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Protein Sci. 1993 Nov;2(11):1890-900.

Aldehyde dehydrogenases: widespread structural and functional diversity within a shared framework.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15261.


Sequences of 16 NAD and/or NADP-linked aldehyde oxidoreductases are aligned, including representative examples of all aldehyde dehydrogenase forms with wide substrate preferences as well as additional types with distinct specificities for certain metabolic aldehyde intermediates, particularly semialdehydes, yielding pairwise identities from 15 to 83%. Eleven of 23 invariant residues are glycine and three are proline, indicating evolutionary restraint against alteration of peptide chain-bending points. Additionally, another 66 positions show high conservation of residue type, mostly hydrophobic residues. Ten of these occur in predicted beta-strands, suggesting important interior-packing interactions. A single invariant cysteine residue is found, further supporting its catalytic role. A previously identified essential glutamic acid residue is conserved in all but methyl malonyl semialdehyde dehydrogenase, which may relate to formation by that enzyme of a CoA ester as a product rather than a free carboxylate species. Earlier, similarity to a GXGXXG segment expected in the NAD-binding site was noted from alignments with fewer sequences. The same region continues to be indicated, although now only the first glycine residue is strictly conserved and the second (usually threonine) is not present at all, suggesting greater variance in coenzyme-binding interactions.

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