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Characterization of aromatic aminotransferases from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus litoralis



Characterization of aromatic aminotransferases from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus litoralis



European Journal of Biochemistry 220(2): 543-549



The hyperthermophilic archaeon (formerly archaebacterium) Thermococcus litoralis grows at temperatures up to 98 degrees C using peptides and proteins as the sole sources of carbon and nitrogen. Cell-free extracts of the organism contained two distinct types of aromatic aminotransferases (EC 2.6.1.57) which were separated and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity. Both enzymes are homodimers with subunit masses of approximately 47 kDa and 45 kDa. Using 2-oxoglutarate as the amino acceptor, each catalyzed the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate-dependent transamination of the three aromatic amino acids but showed virtually no activity towards aspartic acid, alanine, valine or isoleucine. From the determination of Km and kcat values using 2-oxoglutarate, phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan as substrates, both enzymes were shown to be highly efficient at transaminating phenylalanine (kcat/Km approximately 400 s-1 mM-1); the 47-kDa enzyme showed more activity towards tyrosine and tryptophan compared to the 45-kDa one. Kinetic analyses indicated a two-step mechanism with a pyridoxamine intermediate. Both enzymes were virtually inactive at 30 degrees C and exhibited maximal activity between 95-100 degrees C. They showed no N-terminal sequence similarity with each other (approximately 30 residues), nor with the complete amino acid sequences of aromatic aminotransferases from Escherichia coli and rat liver. The catalytic properties of the two enzymes are distinct from bacterial aminotransferases, which have broad substrate specificities, but are analogous to two aromatic aminotransferases which play a biosynthetic role in a methanogenic archaeon. In contrast, it is proposed that one or both play a catabolic role in proteolytic T. litoralis in which they generate glutamate and an arylpyruvate. These serve as substrates for glutamate dehydrogenase and indolepyruvate ferredoxin oxidoreductase in a novel pathway for the utilization of aromatic amino acids.

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Accession: 008296127

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8125113

DOI: 10.1111/j.1432-1033.1994.tb18654.x


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