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

A bifunctional protein in the folate biosynthetic pathway of Streptococcus pneumoniae with dihydroneopterin aldolase and hydroxymethyldihydropterin pyrophosphokinase activities.

A protein encoded by sulD, one of four genes in a previously cloned folate biosynthetic operon of Streptococcus pneumoniae, had been shown to harbor 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase activity. This SulD protein was purified and shown now to harbor also dihydroneopterin aldolase activity. The bifunctional protein therefore catalyzes two successive steps in folate biosynthesis. The aldolase activity can be ascribed to the N-terminal domain of the SulD polypeptide, and the pyrophosphokinase activity can be ascribed to the C-terminal domain. Homologs of the dihydroneopterin aldolase domain were identified in other species, in one of which the domain was encoded as a separate polypeptide. The native SulD protein is a trimer or tetramer of a 31-kDa subunit, and it dissociated reversibly after purification. Dihydroneopterin aldolase activity required the multimeric protein, whereas pyrophosphokinase was expressed by the monomeric form. With purified SulD, the amount of 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin product formed by the aldolase was proportional to the fourth power of the enzyme concentration, as expected for a reversibly dissociating tetramer. By identifying the gene encoding dihydroneopterin aldolase, this work extends our understanding of the molecular basis of the folate biosynthetic system common to many organisms.[1]


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