Send to

Choose Destination
Proteins. 2012 Aug;80(8):2009-19. doi: 10.1002/prot.24089. Epub 2012 May 15.

The triterpene cyclase protein family: a systematic analysis.

Author information

Institute of Technical Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.


Triterpene cyclases catalyze a broad range of cyclization reactions to form polycyclic triterpenes. Triterpene cyclases that convert squalene to hopene are named squalene-hopene cyclases (SHC) and triterpene cyclases that convert oxidosqualene are named oxidosqualene cyclases (OSC). Many sequences have been published, but there is only one structure available for each of SHCs and OSCs. Although they catalyze a similar reaction, the sequence similarity between SHCs and OSCs is low. A family classification based on phylogenetic analysis revealed 20 homologous families which are grouped into two superfamilies, SHCs and OSCs. Based on this family assignment, the Triterpene Cyclase Engineering Database (TTCED) was established. It integrates available information on sequence and structure of 639 triterpene cyclases as well as on structurally and functionally relevant amino acids. Family specific multiple sequence alignments were generated to identify the functionally relevant residues. Based on sequence alignments, conserved residues in SHCs and OSCs were analyzed and compared to experimentally confirmed mutational data. Functional schematic models of the central cavities of OSCs and SHCs were derived from structure comparison and sequence conservation analysis. These models demonstrate the high similarity of the substrate binding cavity of SHCs and OSCs and the equivalences of the respective residues. The TTCED is a novel source for comprehensive information on the triterpene cyclase family, including a compilation of previously described mutational data. The schematic models present the conservation analysis in a readily available fashion and facilitate the correlation of residues to a specific function or substrate interaction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center