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Biochemistry. 1991 Sep 24;30(38):9161-9.

Structural conservation in parallel beta/alpha-barrel enzymes that catalyze three sequential reactions in the pathway of tryptophan biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Structural Biology, University of Basel, Switzerland.


Three successive steps in tryptophan biosynthesis are catalyzed by single-domain proteins, each folded as a parallel beta/alpha-barrel, as observed in the crystal structures of the bienzyme (phosphoribosyl)-anthranilate isomerase:indoleglycerolphosphate synthase from Escherichia coli [Priestle, J.P., Grütter, M. G., White, J. L., Vincent, M. G., Kania, M., Wilson, E., Jardetzky, T. S., Kirschner, K., & Jansonius, J. N. (1987) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 84, 5690-5694] and the alpha-subunit of the tetrameric bienzyme tryptophan synthase from Salmonella typhimurium [Hyde, C. C., Ahmed, S. A., Padlan, E. A., Miles, E. W., & Davies, D. R. (1988) J. Biol. Chem. 263, 17857-17871]. Recent refinement of the crystal structures of these enzymes at atomic resolution revealed that they contain a common phosphate group binding site in the beta/alpha-barrel, created by residues of the loop between beta-strand 7 and alpha-helix 7 and the N-terminus of an additional helix 8'. The close similarities of their beta/alpha-barrel structures permitted the alignment of 50-75% of their respective amino acid sequences. Considerable sequence similarity was detected in the regions spanning the phosphate binding sites, whereas the percentage of identical residues was barely significant for the remaining parts of the enzymes. These observations suggest divergent evolution of these three beta/alpha-barrel enzymes involved in tryptophan biosynthesis. The same phosphate binding site was also observed in six other beta/alpha-barrel enzymes that are functionally unrelated to those involved in tryptophan biosynthesis: triosephosphate isomerase, ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase, glycolate oxidase, flavocytochrome b2, trimethylamine dehydrogenase, and tentatively also fructosebisphosphate aldolase.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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