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J Biol Chem. 2009 Nov 27;284(48):33654-61. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.024521. Epub 2009 Sep 30.

Structure-based mechanism of ADP-ribosylation by sirtuins.

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Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


Sirtuins comprise a family of enzymes found in all organisms, where they play a role in diverse processes including transcriptional silencing, aging, regulation of transcription, and metabolism. The predominant reaction catalyzed by these enzymes is NAD(+)-dependent lysine deacetylation, although some sirtuins exhibit a weaker ADP-ribosyltransferase activity. Although the Sir2 deacetylation mechanism is well established, much less is known about the Sir2 ADP-ribosylation reaction. We have studied the ADP-ribosylation activity of a bacterial sirtuin, Sir2Tm, and show that acetylated peptides containing arginine or lysine 2 residues C-terminal to the acetyl lysine, the +2 position, are preferentially ADP-ribosylated at the +2 residue. A structure of Sir2Tm bound to the acetylated +2 arginine peptide shows how this arginine could enter the active site and react with a deacetylation reaction intermediate to yield an ADP-ribosylated peptide. The new biochemical and structural studies presented here provide mechanistic insights into the Sir2 ADP-ribosylation reaction and will aid in identifying substrates of this reaction.

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