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Proteins. 2002 Feb 15;46(3):278-86.

3',5' Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases class III: members, structure, and catalytic mechanism.

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Division of Reproductive Biology, Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, California 94305-5317, USA.


3',5' Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases (PDEs) comprise a superfamily of enzymes that were previously divided by their primary structure into two major classes: PDE class I and II. The 3',5' cyclic AMP phosphodiesterase from Escherichia coli encoded by the cpdA gene does not show any homology to either PDE class I or class II enzymes and, therefore, represents a new, third class of PDEs. Previously, information about essential structural elements, substrate and cofactor binding sites, and the mechanism of catalysis was unknown for this enzyme. The present study shows by computational analysis that the enzyme encoded by the E. coli cpdA gene belongs to a family of phosphodiesterases that closely resembles the catalytic machinery known from purple acid phosphatases and several other dimetallophosphoesterases. They share both the conserved sequence motif, D-(X)(n) GD-(X)(n)-GNH[E/D]-(X)(n)-H-(X)(n)-GHXH, which contains the invariant residues forming the active site of purple acid phosphatases, a binuclear Fe(3+)-Me(2+)-containing center, as well as a beta(alpha)beta(alpha)beta motif as a typical secondary structure signature. Furthermore, the known biochemical properties of the bacterial phosphodiesterase encoded by the cpdA gene, such as the requirement of iron ions and a reductant for maintaining its catalytic activity, support this hypothesis developed by computational analysis. In addition, the availability of atomic coordinates for several purple acid phosphatases and related proteins allowed the generation of a three-dimensional model for class III cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases.

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