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J Mol Biol. 2003 Apr 4;327(4):833-42.

NMR structure of Citrobacter freundii AmpD, comparison with bacteriophage T7 lysozyme and homology with PGRP domains.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry, Karolinska Institute, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.


AmpD is a bacterial amidase involved in the recycling of cell-wall fragments in Gram-negative bacteria. Inactivation of AmpD leads to derepression of beta-lactamase expression, presenting a major pathway for the acquisition of constitutive antibiotic resistance. Here, we report the NMR structure of AmpD from Citrobacter freundii (PDB accession code 1J3G). A deep substrate-binding pocket explains the observed specificity for low molecular mass substrates. The fold is related to that of bacteriophage T7 lysozyme. Both proteins bind zinc at a conserved site and require zinc for amidase activity, although the enzymatic mechanism seems to differ in detail. The structure-based sequence alignment identifies conserved features that are also conserved in the eukaryotic peptidoglycan recognition protein (PGRP) domains, including the zinc-coordination site in several of them. PGRP domains thus belong to the same fold family and, where zinc-binding residues are conserved, may have amidase activity. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that human serum N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase seems to be identical with a soluble form of human PGRP-L.

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