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J Mol Biol. 1998 Jan 30;275(4):635-50.

Structural and mechanistic comparison of prokaryotic and eukaryotic phosphoinositide-specific phospholipases C.

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Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie, Universität Freiburg, Germany.


Phosphoinositide-specific phospholipases C (PI-PLCs) are ubiquitous enzymes that catalyse the hydrolysis of phosphoinositides to inositol phosphates and diacylglycerol (DAG). Whereas the eukaryotic PI-PLCs play a central role in most signal transduction cascades by producing two second messengers, inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate and DAG, prokaryotic PI-PLCs are of interest because they act as virulence factors in some pathogenic bacteria. Bacterial PI-PLCs consist of a single domain of 30 to 35 kDa, while the much larger eukaryotic enzymes (85 to 150 kDa) are organized in several distinct domains. The catalytic domain of eukaryotic PI-PLCs is assembled from two highly conserved polypeptide stretches, called regions X and Y, that are separated by a divergent linker sequence. There is only marginal sequence similarity between the catalytic domain of eukaryotic and prokaryotic PI-PLCs. Recently the crystal structures of a bacterial and a eukaryotic PI-PLC have been determined, both in complexes with substrate analogues thus enabling a comparison of these enzymes in structural and mechanistic terms. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic PI-PLCs contain a distorted (beta alpha)8-barrel as a structural motif with a surprisingly large structural similarity for the first half of the (beta alpha)8-barrel and a much weaker similarity for the second half. The higher degree of structure conservation in the first half of the barrel correlates with the presence of all catalytic residues, in particular two catalytic histidine residues, in this portion of the enzyme. The second half contributes mainly to the features of the substrate binding pocket that result in the distinct substrate preferences exhibited by the prokaryotic and eukaryotic enzymes. A striking difference between the enzymes is the utilization of a catalytic calcium ion that electrostatically stabilizes the transition state in eukaryotic enzymes, whereas this role is filled by an analogously positioned arginine in bacterial PI-PLCs. The catalytic domains of all PI-PLCs may share not only a common fold but also a similar catalytic mechanism utilizing general base/acid catalysis. The conservation of the topology and parts of the active site suggests a divergent evolution from a common ancestral protein.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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