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

Molecular basis for dysfunction of some mutant forms of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase: deductions from the structure of methionine synthase.

Inherited defects in the gene for methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (EC result in the mut forms of methylmalonic aciduria. mut- mutations lead to the absence of detectable mutase activity and are not corrected by excess cobalamin, whereas mut- mutations exhibit residual activity when exposed to excess cobalamin. Many of the mutations that cause methylmalonic aciduria in humans affect residues in the C-terminal region of the methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. This portion of the methylmalonyl-CoA mutase sequence can be aligned with regions in other B12 (cobalamin)-dependent enzymes, including the C-terminal portion of the cobalamin-binding region of methionine synthase. The alignments allow the mutations of human methylmalonyl-CoA mutase to be mapped onto the structure of the cobalamin-binding fragment of methionine synthase from Escherichia coli (EC, which has recently been determined by x-ray crystallography. In this structure, the dimethylbenzimidazole ligand to the cobalt in free cobalamin has been displaced by a histidine ligand, and the dimethylbenzimidazole nucleotide "tail" is thrust into a deep hydrophobic pocket in the protein. Previously identified mut0 and mut- mutations (Gly-623 --> Arg, Gly-626 --> Cys, and Gly-648 --> Asp) of the mutase are predicted to interfere with the structure and/or stability of the loop that carries His-627, the presumed lower axial ligand to the cobalt of adenosylcobalamin. Two mutants that lead to severe impairment (mut0) are Gly-630 --> Glu and Gly-703 --> Arg, which map to the binding site for the dimethylbenzimidazole nucleotide substituent of adenosylcobalamin. The substitution of larger residues for glycine is predicted to block the binding of adenosylcobalamin.[1]


  1. Molecular basis for dysfunction of some mutant forms of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase: deductions from the structure of methionine synthase. Drennan, C.L., Matthews, R.G., Rosenblatt, D.S., Ledley, F.D., Fenton, W.A., Ludwig, M.L. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1996) [Pubmed]
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