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

Three-dimensional structures of sulfatases.

The sulfatase family of enzymes catalyzes the hydrolysis of sulfate ester bonds of a wide variety of substrates. Nine human sulfatase proteins and their genes have been identified, many of which are associated with genetic disorders leading to reduction or loss of function of the corresponding enzyme. A catalytic cysteine residue, strictly conserved in prokaryotic and eukaryotic sulfatases, is modified posttranslationally into a formylglycine. Hydroxylation of the formylglycine residue by a water molecule forming the activated hydroxylformylglycine (a formylglycine hydrate or a gem-diol) is a necessary step for sulfatase activity of the enzyme. Crystal structures of three human sulfatases, arylsulfatases A and B (ARSA and ARSB) and C, also known as steroid sulfatase or estrone/dehydroepiandrosterone sulfatase (ES), have been determined. In addition, the crystal structure of a homologous bacterial arylsulfatase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAS) is also available. While ARSA, ARSB, and PAS are water-soluble enzymes, ES has a hydrophobic domain and is presumed to be bound to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane. This chapter compares and contrasts four sulfatase structures and revisits the proposed catalytic mechanism in light of available structural and functional data. Examination of the ES active site reveals substrate-specific interactions previously identified in another steroidogenic enzyme. Possible influence of the lipid bilayer in substrate capture and recognition by ES is described. Finally, mapping the genetic mutations into the ES structure provides an explanation for the loss of enzyme function in X-linked ichthyosis.[1]


  1. Three-dimensional structures of sulfatases. Ghosh, D. Meth. Enzymol. (2005) [Pubmed]
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