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Eur J Biochem. 1989 Dec 8;186(1-2):249-53.

Evolutionary relationships among aminotransferases. Tyrosine aminotransferase, histidinol-phosphate aminotransferase, and aspartate aminotransferase are homologous proteins.

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1
Biochemisches Institut, Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich, Switzerland.

Abstract

A data base was compiled containing the amino acid sequences of 12 aspartate aminotransferases and 11 other aminotransferases. A comparison of these sequences by a standard alignment method confirmed the previously reported homology of all aspartate aminotransferases and Escherichia coli tyrosine aminotransferase. However, no significant similarity between these proteins and any of the other aminotransferases was detected. A more rigorous analysis, focusing on short sequence segments rather than the total polypeptide chain, revealed that rat tyrosine aminotransferase and Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Escherichia coli histidinol-phosphate aminotransferase share several homologous sequence segments with aspartate aminotransferases. For comparison of the complete sequences, a multiple sequence editor was developed to display the whole set of amino acid sequences in parallel on a single work-sheet. The editor allows gaps in individual sequences or a set of sequences to be introduced and thus facilitates their parallel analysis and alignment. Several clusters of invariant residues at corresponding positions in the amino acid sequences became evident, clearly establishing that the cytosolic and the mitochondrial isoenzyme of vertebrate aspartate aminotransferase, E. coli aspartate aminotransferase, rat and E. coli tyrosine aminotransferase, and S. cerevisiae and E. coli histidinol-phosphate aminotransferase are homologous proteins. Only 12 amino acid residues out of a total of about 400 proved to be invariant in all sequences compared; they are either involved in the binding of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate and the substrate, or appear to be essential for the conformation of the enzymes.

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