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Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun. 2008 May 1;64(Pt 5):343-50. doi: 10.1107/S1744309108009275. Epub 2008 Apr 30.

Structure of Staphylococcus aureus 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase.

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Program in Molecular Structure and Function, Research Institute, The Hospital for Sick Children, 555 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1X8, Canada.


5'-Methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MTAN) catalyzes the irreversible cleavage of the glycosidic bond in 5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH) and plays a key role in four metabolic processes: biological methylation, polyamine biosynthesis, methionine recycling and bacterial quorum sensing. The absence of the nucleosidase in mammalian species has implicated this enzyme as a target for antimicrobial drug design. MTAN from the pathogenic bacterium Staphylococcus aureus (SaMTAN) has been kinetically characterized and its structure has been determined in complex with the transition-state analogue formycin A (FMA) at 1.7 A resolution. A comparison of the SaMTAN-FMA complex with available Escherichia coli MTAN structures shows strong conservation of the overall structure and in particular of the active site. The presence of an extra water molecule, which forms a hydrogen bond to the O4' atom of formycin A in the active site of SaMTAN, produces electron withdrawal from the ribosyl group and may explain the lower catalytic efficiency that SaMTAN exhibits when metabolizing MTA and SAH relative to the E. coli enzyme. The implications of this structure for broad-based antibiotic design are discussed.

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