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Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1981 Jun 26;293(1063):159-71.

On the three-dimensional structure and catalytic mechanism of triose phosphate isomerase.


Triose phosphate isomerase is a dimeric enzyme of molecular mass 56 000 which catalyses the interconversion of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate. The crystal structure of the enzyme from chicken muscle has been determined at a resolution of 2.5 A, and an independent determination of the structure of the yeast enzyme has just been completed at 3 A resolution. The conformation of the polypeptide chain is essentially identical in the two structures, and consists of an inner cylinder of eight strands of parallel beta-pleated sheet, with mostly helical segments connecting each strand. The active site is a pocket containing glutamic acid 165, which is believed to act as a base in the reaction. Crystallographic studies of the binding of DHAP to both the chicken and the yeast enzymes reveal a common mode of binding and suggest a mechanisms for catalysis involving polarization of the substrate carbonyl group.

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