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Molecular mechanism of thioredoxin regulation in photosynthetic A₂B₂-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase

Fermani, S., Sparla, F., Falini, G., Martelli, P.L., Casadio, R., Pupillo, P., Ripamonti, A., Trost, P.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007 v.104 no.26 pp. 11109-11114
Spinacia oleracea, spinach, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, crystal structure, protein conformation, oxidation, NADP (coenzyme), NAD (coenzyme), binding capacity, chloroplasts, enzyme activity
Chloroplast glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) is a light-regulated, NAD(P)H-dependent enzyme involved in plant photosynthetic carbon reduction. Unlike lower photosynthetic organisms, which only contain A₄-GAPDH, the major GAPDH isoform of land plants is made up of A and B subunits, the latter containing a C-terminal extension (CTE) with fundamental regulatory functions. Light-activation of AB-GAPDH depends on the redox state of a pair of cysteines of the CTE, which can form a disulfide bond under control of thioredoxin f, leading to specific inhibition of the NADPH-dependent activity. The tridimensional structure of A₂B₂-GAPDH from spinach chloroplasts, crystallized in the oxidized state, shows that each disulfide-containing CTE is docked into a deep cleft between a pair of A and B subunits. The structure of the CTE was derived from crystallographic data and computational modeling and confirmed by site-specific mutagenesis. Structural analysis of oxidized A₂B₂-GAPDH and chimeric mutant [A+CTE]₄-GAPDH revealed that Arg-77, which is essential for coenzyme specificity and high NADPH-dependent activity, fails to interact with NADP in these kinetically inhibited GAPDH tetramers and is attracted instead by negative residues of oxidized CTE. Other subtle changes in catalytic domains and overall conformation of the tetramers were noticed in oxidized A₂B₂-GAPDH and [A+CTE]₄-GAPDH, compared with fully active A₄-GAPDH. The CTE is envisioned as a redox-sensitive regulatory domain that can force AB-GAPDH into a kinetically inhibited conformation under oxidizing conditions, which also occur during dark inactivation of the enzyme in vivo.