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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic and biochemical characterization of the trpB8 mutation of Escherichia coli tryptophan synthase. An amino acid switch at the sharp turn of the trypsin-sensitive "hinge" region diminishes substrate binding and alters solubility.

The trpB8 mutation of Escherichia coli tryptophan synthase is unique in that the cells bearing this lesion are not only capable of utilizing indole for growth, but they also accumulate indole, under conditions of tryptophan limitation. The lesion was shown by DNA sequencing to be a G to C transversion at nucleotide 5528 of the trp operon, resulting in a Gly to Arg switch at codon 281. Gly-281, within the trypsin-sensitive "hinge" region, is invariant among all known beta polypeptides. The catalytic activity of the mutant beta 2(B8) protein is dramatically stimulated by alpha subunit, both in vivo and in vitro. In the absence of alpha subunit, ammonium ion effectively stimulated the activity in an apparently cooperative manner. The pH optimum for the mutant subunit was 9.8, which is 2 units higher than that of wild type. In contrast to the wild-type subunit, beta(B8) partially aggregated within cells upon overexpression. At the optimal concentration of ammonium ions (2.25 M), the beta 2(B8) mutant enzyme displayed lower affinity than wild-type enzyme toward indole and L-serine, but the Vmax was almost unchanged. The physicochemical behavior of beta 2(B8) is supported by computer graphic modeling studies. An open versus closed model of conformational change within the beta 2 protein is proposed. A plausible role for the hinge region is discussed.[1]


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