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Protein Sci. 1993 Oct;2(10):1675-85.

A structural model for the nucleotide binding domains of the flavocytochrome b-245 beta-chain.

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Laboratory of Mathematical Biology, National Institute for Medical Research, Mill Hill, London, United Kingdom.


NADPH is a system in phagocytic cells that generates O2- and hydrogen peroxide in the endocytic vacuole, both of which are important for killing of the engulfed microbe. Dysfunction of this oxidase results in the syndrome of chronic granulomatous disease, characterized by a profound predisposition to bacterial and fungal infections. A flavocytochrome b is the site of most of the mutations causing this syndrome. The FAD and NADPH binding sites have been located on the beta subunit of this molecule, the C-terminal half of which showed weak sequence similarity to other reductases, including the ferredoxin-NADP reductase (FNR) of known structure. This enabled us to build a model of the nucleotide binding domains of the flavocytochrome using this structure as a template. The model was built initially using a novel automatic modeling method based on distance-matrix projection and then refined using energy minimization with appropriate side-chain torsional constraints. The resulting model rationalized much of the observed sequence conservation and identified a large insertion as a potential regulatory domain. It confirms the inclusion of the neutrophil flavocytochrome b-245 (Cb-245) as a member of the FNR family of reductases and strongly supports its function as the proximal electron transporting component of the NADPH oxidase.

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