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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2003 Apr 11;1647(1-2):92-7.

Pyridoxine 5'-phosphate synthase: de novo synthesis of vitamin B6 and beyond.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie, Abteilung Strukturforschung, D-82152 Planegg-Martinsried, Germany.


Vitamin B(6) is an essential component in human diet. However, some organisms have the required machinery for its synthesis. There are two independent and autoexclusive groups of genes, pdx and SOR1. Pyridoxine 5'-phosphate (PNP) synthase is the key enzyme in the pdx group. It catalyses a multistep ring closure reaction yielding PNP and inorganic phosphate (Pi). This is the last step in the de novo synthetic pathway; afterwards, PNP enters the salvage pathway to be transformed to the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate cofactor. Because PNP synthase is not present in humans but is found in many human pathogens, the enzyme can be regarded as a potential target for the development of novel drugs. We have recently solved the structure of PNP synthase in complex with several ligands. The structural information allowed us to characterise the active site of the enzyme and identify the catalytically important residues. Furthermore, a detailed reaction mechanism could be proposed.

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