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Structure. 2002 Oct;10(10):1435-51.

Sequence and structural differences between enzyme and nonenzyme homologs.

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Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department, University College London, United Kingdom.


To improve our understanding of the evolution of novel functions, we performed a sequence, structural, and functional analysis of homologous enzymes and nonenzymes of known three-dimensional structure. In most examples identified, the nonenzyme is derived from an ancestral catalytic precursor (as opposed to the reverse evolutionary scenario, nonenzyme to enzyme), and the active site pocket has been disrupted in some way, owing to the substitution of critical catalytic residues and/or steric interactions that impede substrate binding and catalysis. Pairwise sequence identity is typically insignificant, and almost one-half of the enzyme and nonenzyme pairs do not share any similarity in function. Heterooligomeric enzymes comprising homologous subunits in which one chain is catalytically inactive and enzyme polypeptides that contain internal catalytic and noncatalytic duplications of an ancient enzyme domain are also discussed.

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