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

A superfamily of NADPH-dependent reductases in eukaryotes and prokaryotes.

Aldose reductase (AR) is implicated in some of the disabling complications of diabetes, including neuropathy, retinopathy and cataracts. Our studies are aimed at further clarifying the role of AR in diabetes and facilitating the design of new classes of potent, specific AR inhibitors by gaining an understanding of the protein structure of AR. To this end, we have determined the complete protein sequence of rat lens AR using cDNA analysis and primer extension of mRNA. By comparing protein sequences, we have found that the structural relatedness (41% to 57%) among the vertebrate proteins, aldose reductase, aldehyde reductase, prostaglandin F synthase and the frog lens protein rho-crystallin can now be extended to prokaryotes by the inclusion of Corynebacterium 2,5-diketo-D-gluconate reductase. This more distantly related protein shares 30-40% identity with the vertebrate enzymes. Sequence alignments reveal that 18% of the amino acids are completely conserved in all members of the superfamily, many of them in clusters, suggesting that they mark important structural features such as the nucleotide binding site and substrate binding site. rho-Crystallin, which is structurally related to this superfamily of NADPH-dependent reductases, does not appear to reduce PGH2, PGD2, xylose or glyceraldehyde to any appreciable extent. It does, however, bind NADPH.[1]


  1. A superfamily of NADPH-dependent reductases in eukaryotes and prokaryotes. Carper, D.A., Wistow, G., Nishimura, C., Graham, C., Watanabe, K., Fujii, Y., Hayashi, H., Hayaishi, O. Exp. Eye Res. (1989) [Pubmed]
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