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B6db references: 11806827

type Journal Article
authors Xie, G.; Forst, C.; Bonner, C.; Jensen, R.A.
title Significance of two distinct types of tryptophan synthase beta chain in Bacteria, Archaea and higher plants
journal Genome Biol
sel selected
ui 11806827
year (2002)
volume 3
number 1
pages R-0004
abstract BACKGROUND: Tryptophan synthase consists of two subunits, alpha and beta. Two distinct subgroups of beta chain exist. The major group (TrpEb_1) includes the well-studied beta chain of Salmonella typhimurium. The minor group of beta chain (TrpEb_2) is most frequently found in the Archaea. Most of the amino-acid residues important for catalysis are highly conserved between both TrpE subfamilies. RESULTS: Conserved amino-acid residues of TrpEb_1 that make allosteric contact with the TrpEa subunit (the alpha chain) are absent in TrpEb_2. Representatives of Archaea, Bacteria and higher plants all exist that possess both TrpEb_1 and TrpEb_2. In those prokaryotes where two trpEb genes coexist, one is usually trpEb_1 and is adjacent to trpEa, whereas the second is trpEb_2 and is usually unlinked with other tryptophan-pathway genes. CONCLUSIONS: TrpEb_1 is nearly always partnered with TrpEa in the tryptophan synthase reaction. However, by default at least six lineages of the Archaea are likely to use TrpEb_2 as the functional beta chain, as TrpEb_1 is absent. The six lineages show a distinctive divergence within the overall TrpEa phylogenetic tree, consistent with the lack of selection for amino-acid residues in TrpEa that are otherwise conserved for interfacing with TrpEb_1. We suggest that the standalone function of TrpEb_2 might be to catalyze the serine deaminase reaction, an established catalytic capability of tryptophan synthase beta chains. A coincident finding of interest is that the Archaea seem to use the citramalate pathway, rather than threonine deaminase (IlvA), to initiate the pathway of isoleucine biosynthesis.
last changed 2008/02/27 18:24

B6db references