Exploring the active site of yeast xylose reductase by site-directed mutagenesis of sequence motifs characteristic of two dehydrogenase/reductase family types.FEBS Lett. 2001 Jul 06; 500(3):149-52.FL
Starting from a common tyrosine, yeast xylose reductases (XRs) contain two conserved sequence motifs corresponding to the catalytic signatures of single-domain reductases/epimerases/dehydrogenases (Tyr(n)-(X)3-Lys(n+4)) and aldo/keto reductases (AKRs) (Tyr(n)-(X)28-Lys(n+29)). Tyr(51), Lys(55) and Lys(80) of XR from Candida tenuis were replaced by site-directed mutagenesis. The purified Tyr(51)--> Phe and Lys(80)-->Ala mutants showed turnover numbers and catalytic efficiencies for NADH-dependent reduction of D-xylose between 2500- and 5000-fold below wild-type levels, suggesting a catalytic role of both residues. Replacing Lys(55) by Asn, a substitution found in other AKRs, did not detectably affect binding of coenzymes, and enzymatic catalysis to carbonyl/alcohol interconversion. The contribution of Tyr(51) to rate enhancement of aldehyde reduction conforms with expectations for the general acid catalyst of the enzymatic reaction.