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Structural basis of functional group activation by sulfotransferases in complex metabolic pathways.


ABSTRACT: Sulfated molecules with diverse functions are common in biology, but sulfonation as a method to activate a metabolite for chemical catalysis is rare. Catalytic activity was characterized and crystal structures were determined for two such "activating" sulfotransferases (STs) that sulfonate ?-hydroxyacyl thioester substrates. The CurM polyketide synthase (PKS) ST domain from the curacin A biosynthetic pathway of Moorea producens and the olefin synthase (OLS) ST from a hydrocarbon-producing system of Synechococcus PCC 7002 both occur as a unique acyl carrier protein (ACP), ST, and thioesterase (TE) tridomain within a larger polypeptide. During pathway termination, these cyanobacterial systems introduce a terminal double bond into the ?-hydroxyacyl-ACP-linked substrate by the combined action of the ST and TE. Under in vitro conditions, CurM PKS ST and OLS ST acted on ?-hydroxy fatty acyl-ACP substrates; however, OLS ST was not reactive toward analogues of the natural PKS ST substrate bearing a C5-methoxy substituent. The crystal structures of CurM ST and OLS ST revealed that they are members of a distinct protein family relative to other prokaryotic and eukaryotic sulfotransferases. A common binding site for the sulfonate donor 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate was visualized in complexes with the product 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphate. Critical functions for several conserved amino acids in the active site were confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis, including a proposed glutamate catalytic base. A dynamic active-site flap unique to the "activating" ST family affects substrate selectivity and product formation, based on the activities of chimeras of the PKS and OLS STs with exchanged active-site flaps.

SUBMITTER: McCarthy JG 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC3528841 | BioStudies | 2012-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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