Send to

Choose Destination
Nat Struct Biol. 2000 Sep;7(9):786-91.

Structure and mechanism of the evolutionarily unique plant enzyme chalcone isomerase.

Author information

Structural Biology Laboratory, The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, 10010 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


Chalcone isomerase (CHI) catalyzes the intramolecular cyclization of chalcone synthesized by chalcone synthase (CHS) into (2S)-naringenin, an essential compound in the biosynthesis of anthocyanin pigments, inducers of Rhizobium nodulation genes, and antimicrobial phytoalexins. The 1.85 A resolution crystal structure of alfalfa CHI in complex with (2S)-naringenin reveals a novel open-faced beta-sandwich fold. Currently, proteins with homologous primary sequences are found only in higher plants. The topology of the active site cleft defines the stereochemistry of the cyclization reaction. The structure and mutational analysis suggest a mechanism in which shape complementarity of the binding cleft locks the substrate into a constrained conformation that allows the reaction to proceed with a second-order rate constant approaching the diffusion controlled limit. This structure raises questions about the evolutionary history of this structurally unique plant enzyme.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Nature Publishing Group
Loading ...
Support Center