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The enzymes of the transsulfuration pathways: Active-site characterizations

Susan M. Aitken, Pratik H. Lodha, Dominique J.K. Morneau
Biochimica et biophysica acta 2011 v.1814 no.11 pp. 1511-1517
active sites, animals, anti-infective agents, bacteria, cystathionine, cystathionine beta-synthase, cystathionine gamma-lyase, cysteine, engineering, enzymology, pyridoxal, pyridoxal phosphate, therapeutics, yeasts
The diversity of reactions catalyzed by enzymes reliant on pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) demonstrates the catalytic versatility of this cofactor and the plasticity of the protein scaffolds of the major fold types of PLP-dependent enzymes. The enzymes of the transsulfuration (cystathionine γ-synthase and cystathionine β-lyase) and reverse transsulfuration (cystathionine β-synthase and cystathionine γ-lyase) pathways interconvert l-cysteine and l-homocysteine, the immediate precursor of l-methionine, in plants/bacteria and yeast/animals, respectively. These enzymes provide a useful model system for investigation of the mechanisms of substrate and reaction specificity in PLP-dependent enzymes as they catalyze distinct side chain rearrangements of similar amino acid substrates. Exploration of the underlying factors that enable enzymes to control the substrate and reaction specificity of this cofactor will enable the engineering of these properties and the development of therapeutics and antimicrobial compounds. Recent studies probing the role of active-site residues, of the enzymes of the transsulfuration pathways, as determinants of substrate and reaction specificity are the subject of this review. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Pyridoxal Phosphate Enzymology.