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The 1.25 Å resolution structure of phosphoribosyl-ATP pyrophosphohydrolase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography
International Union of Crystallography
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1107/s0907444908007105
  • Research Papers
  • Biology


Phosphoribosyl-ATP pyrophosphohydrolase is the second enzyme in the histidine-biosynthetic pathway, irreversibly hydrolyzing phosphoribosyl-ATP to phosphoribosyl-AMP and pyrophosphate. It is encoded by the hisE gene, which is present as a separate gene in many bacteria and archaea but is fused to hisI in other bacteria, fungi and plants. Because of its essentiality for growth in vitro, HisE is a potential drug target for tuberculosis. The crystal structures of two native (uncomplexed) forms of HisE from Mycobacterium tuber­culosis have been determined to resolutions of 1.25 and 1.79 Å. The structure of the apoenzyme reveals that the protein is composed of five α-helices with connecting loops and is a member of the α-helical nucleoside-triphosphate pyrophos­phatase superfamily. The biological unit of the protein is a homodimer, with an active site on each subunit composed of residues exclusively from that subunit. A comparison with the Campylobacter jejuni dUTPase active site allowed the identification of putative metal- and substrate-binding sites in HisE, including four conserved glutamate and glutamine residues in the sequence that are consistent with a motif for pyrophosphohydrolase activity. However, significant differences between family members are observed in the loop region between α-helices H1 and H3. The crystal structure of M. tuberculosis HisE provides insights into possible mechanisms of substrate binding and the diversity of the nucleoside-triphosphate pyrophosphatase superfamily.

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