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Gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase-glutathione synthetase: domain structure and identification of residues important in substrate and glutathione binding. Biochemistry 2006 Sep 05;45(35):10461-73 PMID: 16939198


In most organisms, glutathione (GSH) is synthesized by the sequential action of distinct enzymes, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase (gamma-GCS) and GSH synthetase (GS). In Streptococcus agalactiae, GSH synthesis is catalyzed by a single enzyme, gamma-glutamylcysteine synthetase-glutathione synthetase (gamma-GCS-GS). The N-terminal sequence of gamma-GCS-GS is similar to Escherichia coli gamma-GCS, but the C-terminal sequence is an ATP-grasp domain more similar to d-Ala, d-Ala ligase than to any known GS. In the present studies, C-terminally and N-terminally truncated constructs were characterized in order to define the limits of the gamma-GCS and GS domains, respectively. Although WT gamma-GCS-GS is nearly uninhibited by GSH (K(i) approximately 140 mM), shorter gamma-GCS domain constructs were unexpectedly found to be strongly inhibited (K(i) approximately 15 mM), reproducing a physiologically important regulation seen in monofunctional gamma-GCS enzymes. Because studies with E. coli gamma-GCS implicate a flexible loop region in GSH binding, chimeras of S. agalactiae gamma-GCS-GS were made containing gamma-GCS domain flexible loop sequences from Enterococcus faecalis and Pasteurella multocida gamma-GCS-GS, isoforms that are inhibited by GSH. Inhibition remained S. agalactiae-like (i.e., very weak). C-Terminal constructs of gamma-GCS-GS have GS activity (0.01-0.04% of WT), but proper folding and significant GS activity required a covalently linked gamma-GCS domain. In addition, site-directed mutants in the middle region of the gamma-GCS-GS sequence established that GS activity depends on residues in a region that is also part of the gamma-GCS domain. Our results provide new insights into the structure of gamma-GCS-GS and suggest gamma-GCS-GS evolved from a monomeric gamma-GCS that became C-terminally fused to a multimeric ATP-grasp protein.

Author List

Janowiak BE, Hayward MA, Peterson FC, Volkman BF, Griffith OW


Francis C. Peterson PhD Professor in the Biochemistry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Brian F. Volkman PhD Professor in the Biochemistry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Amino Acid Sequence
Binding Sites
Circular Dichroism
Enterococcus faecalis
Glutamate-Cysteine Ligase
Glutathione Synthase
Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
Models, Molecular
Molecular Sequence Data
Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
Protein Folding
Protein Structure, Quaternary
Protein Structure, Tertiary
Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
Streptococcus agalactiae

View this publication's entry at the Pubmed website PMID: 16939198
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