Comparison of ligand-induced conformational changes and domain closure mechanisms, between prokaryotic and eukaryotic dehydroquinate synthases.

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Journal Article
J Mol Biol, 2004, 343 (3), pp. 533 - 546
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Dehydroquinate synthase (DHQS) is a potential target for the development of novel broad-spectrum antimicrobial drugs, active against both prokaryotes and lower eukaryotes. Structures have been reported for Aspergillus nidulans DHQS (AnDHQS) in complexes with a range of ligands. Analysis of these AnDHQS structures showed that a large-scale domain movement occurs during the normal catalytic cycle, with a complex series of structural elements propagating substrate binding-induced conformational changes away from the active site to distal locations. Compared to corresponding fungal enzymes, DHQS from bacterial species are both mono-functional and significantly smaller. We have therefore determined the structure of Staphylococcus aureus DHQS (SaDHQS) in five liganded states, allowing comparison of ligand-induced conformational changes and mechanisms of domain closure between fungal and bacterial enzymes. This comparative analysis shows that substrate binding initiates a large-scale domain closure in both species' DHQS and that the active site stereochemistry, of the catalytically competent closed-form enzyme thus produced, is also highly conserved. However, comparison of AnDHQS and SaDHQS open-form structures, and analysis of the putative dynamic processes by which the transition to the closed-form states are made, shows a far lower degree of similarity, indicating a significant structural divergence. As a result, both the nature of the propagation of conformational change and the mechanical systems involved in this propagation are quite different between the DHQSs from the two species.
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