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

Convergent evolution of a 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase from isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase in Solanum tuberosum.

The potato cDNAs Solanum tuberosum isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenases 1 and 2 (St-IVD1 and St-IVD2) encode proteins that are 84% identical to each other and 65 and 64% identical to human IVD, respectively. St-IVD2 protein was previously partially purified from potato tubers and confirmed to be an IVD. The function of St-IVD1 is unknown. In these experiments, both proteins were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified as intact homotetramers. The substrate preference profile of the St-IVD2 protein was similar to that of human IVD. However, recombinant St-IVD1 had maximal activity with 2-methylbutyryl-CoA, which in humans is dehydrogenated by short/branched-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SBCAD). Whereas molecular modeling predicts that the 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase (2MBCD) and IVD substrate binding pockets are nearly identical, 2MBCD has amino acid substitutions at five residues that are invariant among all of the known and putative IVDs. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to match the human IVD active site with that of potato 2MBCD. The resulting mutant IVD had detectable activity with 2-methylbutyryl-CoA and no activity with isovaleryl-CoA. The 2MBCD active site was compared with that of human SBCAD using molecular modeling. Residues Met-361 and Ala-365 of 2MBCD appear to partially substitute for the function of Tyr-380 in human SBCAD, binding the methyl branch linked to C2 of 2-methylbutyryl-CoA, whereas residues Val-88, Val-92, and Val-96 appear to bind the distal C4 methyl group. The presence of a 2MBCD in potato that is highly homologous to IVD is an example of convergent evolution within the acyl-CoA dehydrogenase family, leading to the independent occurrence of two enzymes (SBCAD and 2MBCD) specific for 2-methylbutyryl-CoA.[1]


  1. Convergent evolution of a 2-methylbutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase from isovaleryl-CoA dehydrogenase in Solanum tuberosum. Goetzman, E.S., Mohsen, A.W., Prasad, K., Vockley, J. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
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