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Mol Microbiol. 2011 Feb;79(4):861-71. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07492.x. Epub 2011 Jan 5.

HdcB, a novel enzyme catalysing maturation of pyruvoyl-dependent histidine decarboxylase.

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  • 1Molecular Microbiology, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, University of Groningen, Groningen, the Netherlands.


Pyruvoyl-dependent histidine decarboxylases are produced as proenzymes that mature by cleavage followed by formation of the pyruvoyl prosthetic group. The histidine decarboxylation pathway of Streptococcus thermophilus CHCC1524 that consists of the pyruvoyl-dependent histidine decarboxylase HdcA and the histidine/histamine exchanger HdcP was functionally expressed in Lactococcus lactis. The operon encoding the pathway contains in addition to the hdcA and hdcP genes a third gene hdcB. Expression of different combinations of the genes in L. lactis and Escherichia coli followed by analysis of the protein products demonstrated the involvement of HdcB in the cleavage of the HdcA proenzyme. The HdcA proenzyme and HdcB protein were purified to homogeneity and cleavage and activation of the histidine decarboxylase activity was demonstrated in vitro. Substoichiometric amounts of HdcB were required to cleave HdcA showing that HdcB functions as an enzyme. In agreement, expression levels of HdcB in the cells were low relative to those of HdcA. The turnover number of HdcB in vitro was extremely low (0.05 min⁻¹) which was due to a very slow association/dissociation of the enzyme/substrate complex. In fact, HdcB was shown to co-purify both with the HdcA S82A mutant that mimics the proenzyme and with the mature HdcA complex.

© 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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