Zhou, X, Chua, TK, Tkaczuk, KL, Bujnicki, JM and Sivaraman, J (2010) The crystal structure of Escherichia coli spermidine synthase SpeE reveals a unique substrate-binding pocket. J. Struct. Biol. 169:277-85
Polyamines are essential in all branches of life. Biosynthesis of spermidine, one of the most ubiquitous polyamines, is catalyzed by spermidine synthase (SpeE). Although the function of this enzyme from Escherichia coli has been thoroughly characterised, its structural details remain unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of E. coli SpeE and study its interaction with the ligands by isothermal titration calorimetry and computational modelling. SpeE consists of two domains - a small N-terminal beta-strand domain, and a C-terminal catalytic domain that adopts a canonical methyltransferase (MTase) Rossmann fold. The protein forms a dimer in the crystal and in solution. Structural comparison of E. coli SpeE to its homologs reveals that it has a large and unique substrate-binding cleft that may account for its lower amine substrate specificity.
Amino Acid Sequence; Binding Sites/genetics; Binding Sites/physiology; Calorimetry; Catalytic Domain/genetics; Catalytic Domain/physiology; Crystallography, X-Ray/methods; Escherichia coli Proteins/chemistry; Escherichia coli Proteins/genetics; Escherichia coli Proteins/metabolism; Molecular Sequence Data; Protein Multimerization; Protein Structure, Secondary; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Sequence Homology, Amino Acid; Spermidine Synthase/chemistry; Spermidine Synthase/genetics; Spermidine Synthase/metabolism; Substrate Specificity
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