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Biochemistry. 1995 Feb 28;34(8):2592-8.

Investigation of the active site cysteine residue of rat liver mitochondrial aldehyde dehydrogenase by site-directed mutagenesis.

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Department of Biochemistry, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907.


To determine the active site cysteine residue in aldehyde dehydrogenase, we mutated amino acid residues 49, 162, and 302 of recombinantly expressed rat liver mitochondrial (class 2) aldehyde dehydrogenase. The C49A and C162A mutants were fully active tetrameric enzymes, although the C162A mutant was found to be highly unstable. The C302A mutant was also a tetramer and bound coenzyme, but lacked both dehydrogenase and esterase activities. To test for the role of cysteine 302 as a nucleophile, the residue was mutated to a serine, a poor nucleophile. this C302S mutant was active but was a much poorer catalyst, with a kcat/Km value 7 x 10(5) times lower than that of the recombinant native enzyme. Unlike with native enzyme where deacylation is rate limiting, formation of the serine hemiacetal intermediate appeared to be the rate-limiting step. Cysteine 302 is the only strictly conserved cysteine residue among all the available sequences of the aldehyde dehydrogenase superfamily, supporting the role of this residue as the active site nucleophile of aldehyde dehydrogenase.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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