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Structure. 2003 Aug;11(8):973-84.

The structure of barley alpha-amylase isozyme 1 reveals a novel role of domain C in substrate recognition and binding: a pair of sugar tongs.

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Laboratoire de BioCristallographie, Institut de Biologie et Chimie des Protéines, UMR 5086-CNRS/UCBL1, 7 Passage du Vercors, F-69367 Lyon cedex 07, France.


Though the three-dimensional structures of barley alpha-amylase isozymes AMY1 and AMY2 are very similar, they differ remarkably from each other in their affinity for Ca(2+) and when interacting with substrate analogs. A surface site recognizing maltooligosaccharides, not earlier reported for other alpha-amylases and probably associated with the different activity of AMY1 and AMY2 toward starch granules, has been identified. It is located in the C-terminal part of the enzyme and, thus, highlights a potential role of domain C. In order to scrutinize the possible biological significance of this domain in alpha-amylases, a thorough comparison of their three-dimensional structures was conducted. An additional role for an earlier-identified starch granule binding surface site is proposed, and a new calcium ion is reported.

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