The primary structure of sheep liver cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase and an analysis of the evolutionary relationships among serine hydroxymethyltransferases
Usha, R.; Savithri, H.S.; Rao, N.A.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1204(1): 75-83
The complete amino-acid sequence of sheep liver cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase was determined from an analysis of tryptic, chymotryptic, CNBr and hydroxylamine peptides. Each subunit of sheep liver serine hydroxymethyltransferase consisted of 483 amino-acid residues. A comparison of this sequence with 8 other serine hydroxymethyltransferases revealed that a possible gene duplication event could have occurred after the divergence of animals and fungi. This analysis also showed independent duplication of SHMT genes in Neurospora crassa. At the secondary structural level, all the serine hydroxymethyltransferases belong to the alpha-beta category of proteins. The predicted secondary structure of sheep liver serine hydroxymethyltransferase was similar to that of the observed structure of tryptophan synthase, another pyridoxal 5'-phosphate containing enzyme, suggesting that sheep liver serine hydroxymethyltransferase might have a similar pyridoxal 5'-phosphate binding domain. In addition, a conserved glycine rich region, G L Q G G P, was identified in all the serine hydroxymethyltransferases and could be important in pyridoxal 5'-phosphate binding. A comparison of the cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferases from rabbit and sheep liver with other proteins sequenced from both these sources showed that serine hydroxymethyltransferase was a highly conserved protein. It was slightly less conserved than cytochrome c but better conserved than myoglobin, both of which are well known evolutionary markers. C67 and C203 were specifically protected by pyridoxal 5'-phosphate against modification with (14C)iodoacetic acid, while C247 and C261 were buried in the native serine hydroxymethyltransferase. However, the cysteines are not conserved among the various serine hydroxymethyltransferases. The exact role of the cysteines in the reaction catalyzed by serine hydroxymethyltransferase remains to be elucidated.