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

Molecular aspects of functional differences between alcohol and sorbitol dehydrogenases.

The amino acid sequence of sheep liver sorbitol dehydrogenase has been fitted to the high-resolution model of the homologous horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase by computer graphics. This has allowed construction of a model of sorbitol dehydrogenase that provides explanations why sorbitol is not a substrate for alcohol dehydrogenase, why ethanol is not a substrate for sorbitol dehydrogenase, and what determines its specificity for polyols. An important feature of the model is that one of the ligands to the active site zinc atom is a glutamic acid residue instead of a cysteine residue, which is the corresponding ligand in the homologous alcohol dehydrogenases. This is one component of the structural change that can be related to the different substrate specificities, showing how altered enzymic activity might be brought about by structural changes of the kind that it is now possible to introduce by site-directed mutagenesis and recombinant DNA techniques.[1]


  1. Molecular aspects of functional differences between alcohol and sorbitol dehydrogenases. Eklund, H., Horjales, E., Jörnvall, H., Brändén, C.I., Jeffery, J. Biochemistry (1985) [Pubmed]
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