A new family of carbon-nitrogen hydrolases.
Bork P, Koonin EV
1994 Aug; 3(8): 1344-6. PubMed: 7987228.
Abstract + PDF
Using computer methods for database search and multiple alignment, statistically significant sequence similarities were identified between several nitrilases with distinct substrate specificity, cyanide hydratases, aliphatic amidases, beta-alanine synthase, and a few other proteins with unknown molecular function. All these proteins appear to be involved in the reduction of organic nitrogen compounds and ammonia production. Sequence conservation over the entire length, as well as the similarity in the reactions catalyzed by the known enzymes in this family, points to a common catalytic mechanism. The new family of enzymes is characterized by several conserved motifs, one of which contains an invariant cysteine that is part of the catalytic site in nitrilases. Another highly conserved motif includes an invariant glutamic acid that might also be involved in catalysis.
Eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 gamma contains a glutathione transferase domain--study of a diverse, ancient protein superfamily using motif search and structural modeling.
Koonin EV, Mushegian AR, Tatusov RL, Altschul SF, Bryant SH, Bork P, Valencia A
1994 Nov; 3(11): 2045-54. PubMed: 7703850.
Abstract + PDF
Using computer methods for multiple alignment, sequence motif search, and tertiary structure modeling, we show that eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1 gamma (EF1 gamma) contains an N-terminal domain related to class theta glutathione S-transferases (GST). GST-like proteins related to class theta comprise a large group including, in addition to typical GSTs and EF1 gamma, stress-induced proteins from bacteria and plants, bacterial reductive dehalogenases and beta-etherases, and several uncharacterized proteins. These proteins share 2 conserved sequence motifs with GSTs of other classes (alpha, mu, and pi). Tertiary structure modeling showed that in spite of the relatively low sequence similarity, the GST-related domain of EF1 gamma is likely to form a fold very similar to that in the known structures of class alpha, mu, and pi GSTs. One of the conserved motifs is implicated in glutathione binding, whereas the other motif probably is involved in maintaining the proper conformation of the GST domain. We predict that the GST-like domain in EF1 gamma is enzymatically active and that to exhibit GST activity, EF1 gamma has to form homodimers. The GST activity may be involved in the regulation of the assembly of multisubunit complexes containing EF1 and aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases by shifting the balance between glutathione, disulfide glutathione, thiol groups of cysteines, and protein disulfide bonds. The GST domain is a widespread, conserved enzymatic module that may be covalently or noncovalently complexed with other proteins. Regulation of protein assembly and folding may be 1 of the functions of GST.