Identification of amino acid residues, essential for maintaining the tetrameric structure of sheep liver cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase, by targeted mutagenesis.Biochem J. 2003 Feb 01; 369(Pt 3):469-76.BJ
Serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT), a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme, catalyses the transfer of the hydroxymethyl group from serine to tetrahydrofolate to yield glycine and N (5), N (10)-methylenetetrahydrofolate. An analysis of the known SHMT sequences indicated that several amino acid residues were conserved. In this paper, we report the identification of the amino acid residues essential for maintaining the oligomeric structure of sheep liver cytosolic recombinant SHMT (scSHMT) through intra- and inter-subunit interactions and by stabilizing the binding of PLP at the active site. The mutation of Lys-71, Arg-80 and Asp-89, the residues involved in intra-subunit ionic interactions, disturbed the oligomeric structure and caused a loss of catalytic activity. Mutation of Trp-110 to Phe was without effect, while its mutation to Ala resulted in the enzyme being present in the insoluble fraction. These results suggested that Trp-110 located in a cluster of hydrophobic residues was essential for proper folding of the enzyme. Arg-98 and His-304, residues involved in the inter-subunit interactions, were essential for maintaining the tetrameric structure. Mutation of Tyr-72, Asp-227 and His-356 at the active site which interact with PLP resulted in the loss of PLP, and hence loss of tetrameric structure. Mutation of Cys-203, located away from the active site, weakened PLP binding indirectly. The results demonstrate that in addition to residues involved in inter-subunit interactions, those involved in PLP binding and intra-subunit interactions also affect the oligomeric structure of scSHMT.