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

Effects of site-directed mutagenesis of the highly conserved aspartate residues in domain II of farnesyl diphosphate synthase activity.

Comparison of the farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) synthase amino acid sequences from four species with amino acid sequences from the related enzymes hexaprenyl diphosphate synthase and geranylgeranyl diphosphate synthase show the presence of two aspartate rich highly conserved domains. The aspartate motif ((I, L, or V)XDDXXD) of the second of those domains has homology with at least 9 prenyl transfer enzymes that utilize an allylic prenyl diphosphate as one substrate. In order to investigate the role of this second aspartate-rich domain in rat FPP synthase, we mutated the first or third aspartate to glutamate, expressed the wild-type and mutant enzymes in Escherichia coli, and purified them to apparent homogeneity using a single chromatographic step. Approximately 12 mg of homogeneous protein was isolated from 120 mg of crude bacterial extract. The kinetic parameters of the purified wild-type recombinant FPP synthase containing the DDYLD motif were as follows: Vmax = 0.84 mumol/min/mg; GPP Km = 1.0 microM; isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) Km = 2.7 microM. Substitution of glutamate for the first aspartate (EDYLD) decreased the Vmax by over 90-fold. The Km for IPP increased, whereas the Km for GPP remained the same in this D243E mutant. Substitution of glutamate for the third aspartate (DDYLE) did not result in altered enzyme kinetics in the D247E mutant. These results suggest that the first aspartate in the second domain is involved in the catalysis by FPP synthase.[1]


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