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J Biol Chem. 2001 Apr 13;276(15):11477-86. Epub 2001 Jan 4.

The unique cyanobacterial protein OpcA is an allosteric effector of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase in Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133.

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  • 1Section of Microbiology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD), encoded by zwf, is essential for nitrogen fixation and dark heterotrophic growth of the cyanobacterium Nostoc punctiforme ATCC 29133. In N. punctiforme, zwf is part of a four-gene operon transcribed in the order fbp-tal-zwf-opcA. Genetic analyses indicated that opcA is required for G6PD activity. To define the role of opcA, the synthesis, aggregation state, and activity of G6PD in N. punctiforme strains expressing different amounts of G6PD and/or OpcA were examined. A single tetrameric form of G6PD was consistently observed for all strains, as well as for recombinant N. punctiforme His-G6PD purified from Escherichia coli, regardless of the quantity of OpcA present. However, His-G6PD and the G6PD of strain UCD 351, which lacks OpcA, had low affinities for glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) substrate (K(m)(app) = 65 and 85 mm, respectively) relative to wild-type N. punctiforme G6PD (K(m)(app) = 0.5 mm). Near wild-type affinities for G6P were observed for these enzymes when saturating amounts of His-OpcA- or OpcA-containing extract were added. Kinetic studies were consistent with OpcA acting as an allosteric activator of G6PD. A role in redox modulation of G6PD activity was also indicated, because thioredoxin-mediated inactivation and reactivation of His-G6PD occurred only when His-OpcA was present.

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