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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2007 Mar 1;459(1):20-6. Epub 2006 Dec 6.

Escherichia coli glyoxalase II is a binuclear zinc-dependent metalloenzyme.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue, Waterloo, Ont., Canada N2L 3G1.


Cytotoxic methylglyoxal is detoxified by the two-enzyme glyoxalase system. Glyoxalase I (GlxI) catalyzes conversion of non-enzymatically produced methylglyoxal-glutathione hemithioacetal into its corresponding thioester. Glyoxalase II (Glx II) hydrolyzes the thioester into d-lactate and free glutathione. Glyoxalase I and II are metalloenzymes, which possess mononuclear and binuclear active sites, respectively. There are two distinct classes of GlxI; the first class is Zn2+-dependent and is composed of GlxI from mainly eukaryotic organisms and the second class is composed of non-Zn2+-dependent (but Ni2+ or Co2+-dependent) GlxI enzymes (mainly prokaryotic and leishmanial species). GlxII is typically Zn2+-activated, containing Zn2+ and either Fe3+/Fe2+ or Mn2+ at the active site depending upon the biological source. To address whether two classes of GlxII might exist, glyoxalase II from Escherichia coli was cloned and overexpressed and characterized. Unlike E. coli GlxI, which is non-Zn2+-dependent, Zn2+ activates the E. coli GlxII enzyme, with no evidence for Ni2+ metal utilization.

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