2State Key Laboratory of Medicinal Chemical Biology and College of Pharmacy, Nankai University, Tianjin 300071, China; E-mail: email@example.com
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Received December 18, 2014; Revision received March 4, 2015
Sialyltransferases are key enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of biologically and pathologically important sialic acid-containing molecules in nature. In this study, the activity of a putative sialyltransferase (Pm0160) harboring an inherent mutation D141Y in the conserved DDG motif, which has been identified in GT52 and GT80 families, was restored by reverse mutation. More interestingly, a hydrogen-bond chain was found to form between three conserved residues (Asp141, Asn109, and Asp33) of GT80 sialyltransferases based on recently determined crystal structures. Our mutagenesis experiments demonstrated that the hydrogen-bond chain connecting the general base Asp141 with Nβ4, Nβ1, and Nα1 plays an essential role in maintaining protein structural stability other than keeping the general base Asp141 in a productive orientation for sialic acid transfer.
KEY WORDS: sialyltransferase, hydrogen-bond chain, general base, stability, activity