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Nat Struct Biol. 1995 Aug;2(8):644-53.

An enzyme-substrate complex involved in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis.

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Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The crystal structure of UDP-N-acetylenolpyruvylglucosamine reductase in the presence of its substrate, enolpyruvyl-UDP-N-acetylglucosamine, has been solved to 2.7 A resolution. This enzyme is responsible for the synthesis of UDP-N-acetylmuramic acid in bacterial cell wall biosynthesis and consequently provides an attractive target for the design of antibacterial agents. The structure reveals a novel flavin binding motif, shows a striking alignment of the flavin with the substrate, and suggests a catalytic mechanism for the reduction of this unusual enol ether.

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