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Structure. 2001 Mar 7;9(3):205-14.

Structural basis for the ADP-specificity of a novel glucokinase from a hyperthermophilic archaeon.

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Department of Biotechnology, The University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo-Ku, Tokyo 113-8657, Japan.



ATP is the most common phosphoryl group donor for kinases. However, certain hyperthermophilic archaea such as Thermococcus litoralis and Pyrococcus furiosus utilize unusual ADP-dependent glucokinases and phosphofructokinases in their glycolytic pathways. These ADP-dependent kinases are homologous to each other but show no sequence similarity to any of the hitherto known ATP-dependent enzymes.


We solved the crystal structure at 2.3 A resolution of an ADP-dependent glucokinase from T. litoralis (tlGK) complexed with ADP. The overall structure can be divided into large and small alpha/beta domains, and the ADP molecule is buried in a shallow pocket in the large domain. Unexpectedly, the structure was similar to those of two ATP-dependent kinases, ribokinase and adenosine kinase. Comparison based on three-dimensional structure revealed that several motifs important both in structure and function are conserved, and the recognition of the alpha- and beta-phosphate of the ADP in the tlGK was almost identical with the recognition of the beta- and gamma-phosphate of ATP in these ATP-dependent kinases.


Noticeable points of our study are the first structure of ADP-dependent kinase, the structural similarity to members of the ATP-dependent ribokinase family, its rare nucleotide specificity caused by a shift in nucleotide binding position by one phosphate unit, and identification of the residues that discriminate ADP- and ATP-dependence. The strict conservation of the binding site for the terminal and adjacent phosphate moieties suggests a common ancestral origin of both the ATP- and ADP-dependent kinases.

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