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Int J Biochem Mol Biol. 2011;2(1):67-77. Epub 2011 Jan 29.

Structural analysis of NADPH depleted bovine liver catalase and its inhibitor complexes.


To study the functional role of NADPH during mammalian catalase inhibition, the X-ray crystal structures of NADPH-depleted bovine liver catalase and its inhibitor complexes, cyanide and azide, determined at 2.8Å resolution. From the complex structures it is observed that subunits with and without an inhibitor/catalytic water molecule are linked by N-terminal domain swapping. Comparing mammalian- and fungal- catalases, we speculate that NADPH-depleted mammalian catalases may function as a domain-swapped dimer of dimers, especially during inactivation by inhibitors like cyanide and azide. We further speculate that in mammalian catalases the N-terminal hinge-loop region and α-helix is the structural element that senses NADPH binding. Although the above arguments are speculative and need further verification, as a whole our studies have opened up a new possibility, viz. that mammalian catalase acts as a domain-swapped dimer of dimers, especially during inhibitor binding. To generalize this concept to the formation of the inactive state in mammalian catalases in the absence of tightly bound NADPH molecules needs further exploration. The present study adds one more intriguing fact to the existing mysteries of mammalian catalases.


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