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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2008 Aug;65(16):2507-27. doi: 10.1007/s00018-008-8082-6.

Mechanisms and structures of crotonase superfamily enzymes--how nature controls enolate and oxyanion reactivity.

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Chemistry Research Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford, Mansfield Road, Oxford, OX1 3TA, UK.


Structural and mechanistic studies on the crotonase superfamily (CS) are reviewed with the aim of illustrating how a conserved structural platform can enable catalysis of a very wide range of reactions. Many CS reactions have precedent in the 'carbonyl' chemistry of organic synthesis; they include alkene hydration/isomerization, aryl-halide dehalogenation, (de)carboxylation, CoA ester and peptide hydrolysis, fragmentation of beta-diketones and C-C bond formation, cleavage and oxidation. CS enzymes possess a canonical fold formed from repeated betabetaalpha units that assemble into two approximately perpendicular beta-sheets surrounded by alpha-helices. CS enzymes often, although not exclusively, oligomerize as trimers or dimers of trimers. Two conserved backbone NH groups in CS active sites form an oxyanion 'hole' that can stabilize enolate/oxyanion intermediates. The range and efficiency of known CS-catalyzed reactions coupled to their common structural platforms suggest that CS variants may have widespread utility in biocatalysis.

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