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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 2014 Dec;29:34-43. doi: 10.1016/j.sbi.2014.08.014. Epub 2014 Sep 26.

Complex behavior: from cannibalism to suicide in the vitamin B1 biosynthesis world.

Author information

1
Department of Botany and Plant Biology, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland. Electronic address: theresa.fitzpatrick@unige.ch.
2
Department of Molecular Biology, University of Geneva, Quai Ernest-Ansermet 30, 1211 Geneva 4, Switzerland.

Abstract

Although thiamin was the first vitamin discovered over a century ago, it is only within the last decade that its metabolism has begun to be unraveled. Over the last few years, several structural and biochemical studies have provided insight into the unprecedented mechanisms of the proteins involved, revealing some remarkable biochemistry. Thiamin biosynthesis is particularly unusual in eukaryotes (fungi and plants) in that it cannibalizes essential cellular cofactors and relies on single turnover proteins, which succumb to enzymatic suicide. Here we provide an overview of recent structural studies that have advanced our understanding of this vital metabolite and question whether the single turnover proteins act to monitor the level of the essential elements used as substrates.

PMID:
25260119
DOI:
10.1016/j.sbi.2014.08.014
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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