Send to

Choose Destination
Biochemistry. 2000 Nov 28;39(47):14409-18.

A histidine residue in the catalytic mechanism distinguishes Vibrio harveyi aldehyde dehydrogenase from other members of the aldehyde dehydrogenase superfamily.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry, McGill University, 3655 Promenade Sir William Osler, Montreal, PQ, Canada H3G 1Y6.


Aldehyde dehydrogenases (ALDHs) catalyze the transfer to NAD(P) of a hydride ion from a thiohemiacetal derivative of the aldehyde coupled with a cysteine residue in the active site. In Vibrio harveyi aldehyde dehydrogenase (Vh-ALDH), a histidine residue (H450) is in proximity (3.8 A) to the cysteine nucleophile (C289) and is thus capable of increasing its reactivity in sharp contrast to other ALDHs in which more distantly located glutamic acid residues are proposed to act as the general base. Mutation of H450 in Vh-ALDH to Gln and Asn resulted in loss of dehydrogenase, (thio)esterase, and acyl-CoA reductase activities; the residual activity of H450Q was higher than that of the H450N mutant in agreement with the capability of Gln but not Asn to partially replace the epsilon-imino group of H450. Coupled with a change in the rate-limiting step, these results indicate that H450 increases the reactivity of C289. Moreover, for the first time, the acylated enzyme intermediate could be directly monitored after reaction with [(3)H]tetradecanoyl-CoA showing that the H450Q mutant was acylated more rapidly than the H450N mutant. Inactivation of the wild-type enzyme with N-ethylmaleimide was much more rapid than the H450Q mutant which in turn was faster than the H450N mutant, demonstrating directly that the nucleophilicity of C289 was affected by H450. As the glutamic acid residue implicated as the general base in promoting cysteine nucleophilicity in other ALDHs is conserved in Vh-ALDH, elucidation of why a histidine residue has evolved to assist in this function in Vh-ALDH will be important to understand the mechanism of ALDHs in general, as well as help delineate the specific roles of the active site glutamic acid residues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society
Loading ...
Support Center