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Cell Mol Biol (Noisy-le-grand). 1997 Feb;43(1):67-73.

Characteristics of human protoporphyrinogen oxidase in controls and variegate porphyrias.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Georgia, Athens 30602-2605, USA.


Protoporphyrinogen oxidase (E.C. (PPO) catalyzes the penultimate step in the heme biosynthetic pathway. Deficiency in activity of this enzyme results in the human genetic disease variegate porphyria. Herein we detail the cloning, expression, purification and characterization of the normal and variegate porphyria forms of human PPO. The cDNA sequence for human ppo is approximately 1.8 kb in length and codes for a protein of 477 amino acids. This protein, which does not contain a typical cleavable mitochondrial targeting sequence, is approximately 51 kDa and contains a putative dinucleotide binding motif near the amino terminus. The active enzyme is a homodimer and contains an FAD. Attachment of a six his amino terminal tag allows for the rapid and efficient purification of approximately 10 mg of enzyme from one liter of E. coli culture. Three variegate porphyria mutant PPO enzymes were expressed and characterized. These mutations, R59W, R168C and A433P, result in decreased enzyme activity by causing a decrease in kcat without a significant change in Km for the substrate protoporphyrinogen IX. Purified R59W lacks the FAD cofactor which may be explained by the fact that this mutation resides within the dinucleotide binding motif of PPO.

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