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1.  Identification and Function of the pdxY Gene, Which Encodes a Novel Pyridoxal Kinase Involved in the Salvage Pathway of Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate Biosynthesis in Escherichia coli K-12 
Journal of Bacteriology  1998;180(7):1814-1821.
pdxK encodes a pyridoxine (PN)/pyridoxal (PL)/pyridoxamine (PM) kinase thought to function in the salvage pathway of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) coenzyme biosynthesis. The observation that pdxK null mutants still contain PL kinase activity led to the hypothesis that Escherichia coli K-12 contains at least one other B6-vitamer kinase. Here we support this hypothesis by identifying the pdxY gene (formally, open reading frame f287b) at 36.92 min, which encodes a novel PL kinase. PdxY was first identified by its homology to PdxK in searches of the complete E. coli genome. Minimal clones of pdxY+ overexpressed PL kinase specific activity about 10-fold. We inserted an omega cassette into pdxY and crossed the resulting pdxY::ΩKanr mutation into the bacterial chromosome of a pdxB mutant, in which de novo PLP biosynthesis is blocked. We then determined the growth characteristics and PL and PN kinase specific activities in extracts of pdxK and pdxY single and double mutants. Significantly, the requirement of the pdxB pdxK pdxY triple mutant for PLP was not satisfied by PL and PN, and the triple mutant had negligible PL and PN kinase specific activities. Our combined results suggest that the PL kinase PdxY and the PN/PL/PM kinase PdxK are the only physiologically important B6 vitamer kinases in E. coli and that their function is confined to the PLP salvage pathway. Last, we show that pdxY is located downstream from pdxH (encoding PNP/PMP oxidase) and essential tyrS (encoding aminoacyl-tRNATyr synthetase) in a multifunctional operon. pdxY is completely cotranscribed with tyrS, but about 92% of tyrS transcripts terminate at a putative Rho-factor-dependent attenuator located in the tyrS-pdxY intercistronic region.
PMCID: PMC107095  PMID: 9537380
2.  Stoking the drug target pipeline for human African trypanosomiasis 
Molecular microbiology  2012;86(1):10-14.
Trypanosoma brucei is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness, putting at risk up to 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa. Current drug therapies are limited by toxicity and difficult treatment regimes and as the development of vaccines remains unlikely, the identification of better drugs to control this deadly disease is needed. Strategies for the identification of new lead compounds include phenotypic screening or target-based approaches. Implementation of the latter has been hampered by the lack of defined targets that are both essential and druggable. In this issue of Molecular Microbiology, Jones et al. report on the characterization of T. brucei pyridoxal kinase (PdxK), an enzyme required for the salvage of vitamin B6, an essential enzymatic cofactor. Genetic knockdown and small molecule inhibitor studies were used to demonstrate that PdxK is essential for parasite growth both in vitro and in a mouse model, providing both genetic and chemical validation of the target. An enzyme assay compatible with high throughput screening (HTS) was developed and the X-ray crystal structure solved, showing the potential for species selective inhibition. These studies add a greatly needed additional target into the drug discovery pipeline for this deadly parasitic infection.
doi:10.1111/mmi.12001
PMCID: PMC3456963  PMID: 22925123
3.  Cloning, purification and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a putative pyridoxal kinase from Bacillus subtilis  
A putative pyridoxal kinase from B. subtilis has been cloned, overexpressed, purified and crystallized and data have been collected to 2.8 Å resolution.
Pyridoxal kinases (PdxK) are able to catalyse the phosphorylation of three vitamin B6 precursors, pyridoxal, pyridoxine and pyridoxamine, to their 5′-­phosphates and play an important role in the vitamin B6 salvage pathway. Recently, the thiD gene of Bacillus subtilis was found to encode an enzyme which has the activity expected of a pyridoxal kinase despite its previous assignment as an HMPP kinase owing to higher sequence similarity. As such, this enzyme would appear to represent a new class of ‘HMPP kinase-like’ pyridoxal kinases. B. subtilis thiD has been cloned and the protein has been overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and subsequently crystallized in a binary complex with ADP and Mg2+. X-ray diffraction data have been collected from crystals to 2.8 Å resolution at 100 K. The crystals belong to a primitive tetragonal system, point group 422, and analysis of the systematic absences suggest that they belong to one of the enantiomorphic pair of space groups P41212 or P43212. Consideration of the space-group symmetry and unit-cell parameters (a = b = 102.9, c = 252.6 Å, α = β = γ = 90°) suggest that the crystals contain between three and six molecules in the asymmetric unit. A full structure determination is under way to provide insights into aspects of the enzyme mechanism and substrate specificity.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106035779
PMCID: PMC2225197  PMID: 17012797
thiD; PdxK; HMPP kinase; pyridoxal kinase; ribokinase superfamily
4.  Crystal Structure of Pyridoxal Kinase from the Escherichia coli pdxK Gene: Implications for the Classification of Pyridoxal Kinases 
Journal of Bacteriology  2006;188(12):4542-4552.
The pdxK and pdxY genes have been found to code for pyridoxal kinases, enzymes involved in the pyridoxal phosphate salvage pathway. Two pyridoxal kinase structures have recently been published, including Escherichia coli pyridoxal kinase 2 (ePL kinase 2) and sheep pyridoxal kinase, products of the pdxY and pdxK genes, respectively. We now report the crystal structure of E. coli pyridoxal kinase 1 (ePL kinase 1), encoded by a pdxK gene, and an isoform of ePL kinase 2. The structures were determined in the unliganded and binary complexes with either MgATP or pyridoxal to 2.1-, 2.6-, and 3.2-Å resolutions, respectively. The active site of ePL kinase 1 does not show significant conformational change upon binding of either pyridoxal or MgATP. Like sheep PL kinase, ePL kinase 1 exhibits a sequential random mechanism. Unlike sheep pyridoxal kinase, ePL kinase 1 may not tolerate wide variation in the size and chemical nature of the 4′ substituent on the substrate. This is the result of differences in a key residue at position 59 on a loop (loop II) that partially forms the active site. Residue 59, which is His in ePL kinase 1, interacts with the formyl group at C-4′ of pyridoxal and may also determine if residues from another loop (loop I) can fill the active site in the absence of the substrate. Both loop I and loop II are suggested to play significant roles in the functions of PL kinases.
doi:10.1128/JB.00122-06
PMCID: PMC1482971  PMID: 16740960
5.  Poisoning Pyridoxal 5-Phosphate-Dependent Enzymes: A New Strategy to Target the Malaria Parasite Plasmodium falciparum 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(2):e4406.
The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum is able to synthesize de novo pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP), a crucial cofactor, during erythrocytic schizogony. However, the parasite possesses additionally a pyridoxine/pyridoxal kinase (PdxK) to activate B6 vitamers salvaged from the host. We describe a strategy whereby synthetic pyridoxyl-amino acid adducts are channelled into the parasite. Trapped upon phosphorylation by the plasmodial PdxK, these compounds block PLP-dependent enzymes and thus impair the growth of P. falciparum. The novel compound PT3, a cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester, inhibited the proliferation of Plasmodium very efficiently (IC50-value of 14 µM) without harming human cells. The non-cyclic pyridoxyl-tryptophan methyl ester PT5 and the pyridoxyl-histidine methyl ester PHME were at least one order of magnitude less effective or completely ineffective in the case of the latter. Modeling in silico indicates that the phosphorylated forms of PT3 and PT5 fit well into the PLP-binding site of plasmodial ornithine decarboxylase (PfODC), the key enzyme of polyamine synthesis, consistent with the ability to abolish ODC activity in vitro. Furthermore, the antiplasmodial effect of PT3 is directly linked to the capability of Plasmodium to trap this pyridoxyl analog, as shown by an increased sensitivity of parasites overexpressing PfPdxK in their cytosol, as visualized by GFP fluorescence.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0004406
PMCID: PMC2634962  PMID: 19197387
6.  Plasma content of B6 vitamers and its relationship to hepatic vitamin B6 metabolism. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1980;66(4):688-695.
The plasma content of B6 vitamers is governed by, among other factors, dietary supply and metabolic interconversion. This study examines the effect of pyridoxine supplementation on the plasma content of B6 vitamers and pyridoxic acid in man, and the metabolic conversion and release of B6 compounds in isolated rat hepatocytes. Six healthy human subjects were given 100 mg pyridoxine-HCl/d orally for 1--3 wk. Before pyridoxine supplementation, the mean total plasma level of B6 vitamers was 114 +/- 9 nM; and pyridoxal-P, pyridoxamine-P, pyridoxal, pyridoxine, and pyridoxamine accounted for 54, 3, 11, 27, and 5%, respectively. Plasma level of pyridoxic acid was 40 +/- 7 nM. Thus, pyridoxal-P is the principal B6 vitamer in plasma. During pyridoxine supplementation, mean plasma levels of the B6 vitamers and pyridoxic acid increased to 655 +/- 122 and 222 +/- 55 nM, respectively. The plasma content of pyridoxal-P and pyridoxic acid increased 6--7-fold and that of pyridoxal, 12-fold, but the pyridoxine level did not increase. Isolated hepatocytes, 1 g/15 ml, were incubated for 2 h with 3.33 microM [14C]pyridoxine (6 microCi/mumol). At zero time, the cells contained about 35 nmol pyridoxal-P and 25 nmol pyridoxamine-P. After 2 h incubation, the cellular content of pyridoxal-P and pyridoxamine-P did not change significantly, but the medium contained 5.9 nmol pyridoxal-P, 0.3 nmol pyridoxamine-P, 7.2 nmol pyridoxal, 26.6 nmol pyridoxine, 0.3 nmol pyridoxamine, and 7.5 nmol pyridoxic acid. Whereas the specific radioactivity of pyridoxal-P, pyridoxal, and pyridoxic acid in the medium approached that of [14C]pyridoxine, the specific radioactivity of cellular pyridoxal-P and pyridoxamine-P was only 20% of that of pyridoxine. Thus, newly synthesized pyridoxal-P is not freely exchangeable with endogenous pyridoxal-P, but is preferentially released or degraded to pyridoxal and pyridoxic acid. The latter B6 compounds are also released. These results suggest that orally ingested pyridoxine is rapidly metabolized in liver and its products are released into the circulation in the form of pyridoxal-P, pyridoxal, and pyridoxic acid.
PMCID: PMC371643  PMID: 7419716
7.  A Screen for Suppressors of Gross Chromosomal Rearrangements Identifies a Conserved Role for PLP in Preventing DNA Lesions 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(8):e134.
Genome instability is a hallmark of cancer cells. One class of genome aberrations prevalent in tumor cells is termed gross chromosomal rearrangements (GCRs). GCRs comprise chromosome translocations, amplifications, inversions, deletion of whole chromosome arms, and interstitial deletions. Here, we report the results of a genome-wide screen in Saccharomyces cerevisiae aimed at identifying novel suppressors of GCR formation. The most potent novel GCR suppressor identified is BUD16, the gene coding for yeast pyridoxal kinase (Pdxk), a key enzyme in the metabolism of pyridoxal 5′ phosphate (PLP), the biologically active form of vitamin B6. We show that Pdxk potently suppresses GCR events by curtailing the appearance of DNA lesions during the cell cycle. We also show that pharmacological inhibition of Pdxk in human cells leads to the production of DSBs and activation of the DNA damage checkpoint. Finally, our evidence suggests that PLP deficiency threatens genome integrity, most likely via its role in dTMP biosynthesis, as Pdxk-deficient cells accumulate uracil in their nuclear DNA and are sensitive to inhibition of ribonucleotide reductase. Since Pdxk links diet to genome stability, our work supports the hypothesis that dietary micronutrients reduce cancer risk by curtailing the accumulation of DNA damage and suggests that micronutrient depletion could be part of a defense mechanism against hyperproliferation.
Author Summary
Cells must ensure the integrity of genetic information before cellular division. Loss of genome integrity is particularly germane to tumorigenesis, where it is thought to contribute to the rapid evolution of the malignant cell towards the fully cancerous phenotype. It is therefore imperative that we understand fully how cells maintain the integrity of the genome and how it is lost during tumorigenesis. In this study, we developed an assay that allowed us to systematically interrogate each gene of the budding yeast S. cerevisiae for its respective contribution to genome integrity. We report the identification of nine novel genes that increase the rate of genome instability in yeast when deleted. To our surprise, one of the genes we identified encodes the enzyme pyridoxal kinase, which acts in the metabolism of vitamin B6. We show that pyridoxal kinase influences genome stability by promoting the conversion of dietary vitamin B6 into its biologically active form, pyridoxal 5′ phosphate. Our work indicates that vitamin B6 metabolites are critical to maintain genome stability and supports a long-standing model, which hypothesizes that vitamin B6 reduces cancer risk by curtailing genome rearrangements.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030134
PMCID: PMC1941753  PMID: 17696614
8.  Vitamin B6 deficient plants display increased sensitivity to high light and photo-oxidative stress 
BMC Plant Biology  2009;9:130.
Background
Vitamin B6 is a collective term for a group of six interconvertible compounds: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine and their phosphorylated derivatives. Vitamin B6 plays essential roles as a cofactor in a range of biochemical reactions. In addition, vitamin B6 is able to quench reactive oxygen species in vitro, and exogenously applied vitamin B6 protects plant cells against cell death induced by singlet oxygen (1O2). These results raise the important question as to whether plants employ vitamin B6 as an antioxidant to protect themselves against reactive oxygen species.
Results
The pdx1.3 mutation affects the vitamin B6 biosynthesis enzyme, pyridoxal synthase (PDX1), and leads to a reduction of the vitamin B6 concentration in Arabidopsis thaliana leaves. Although leaves of the pdx1.3 Arabidopsis mutant contained less chlorophyll than wild-type leaves, we found that vitamin B6 deficiency did not significantly impact photosynthetic performance or shoot and root growth. Chlorophyll loss was associated with an increase in the chlorophyll a/b ratio and a selective decrease in the abundance of several PSII antenna proteins (Lhcb1/2, Lhcb6). These changes were strongly dependent on light intensity, with high light amplifying the difference between pdx1.3 and the wild type. When leaf discs were exposed to exogenous 1O2, lipid peroxidation in pdx1.3 was increased relative to the wild type; this effect was not observed with superoxide or hydrogen peroxide. When leaf discs or whole plants were exposed to excess light energy, 1O2-mediated lipid peroxidation was enhanced in leaves of the pdx1.3 mutant relative to the wild type. High light also caused an increased level of 1O2 in vitamin B6-deficient leaves. Combining the pdx1.3 mutation with mutations affecting the level of 'classical' quenchers of 1O2 (zeaxanthin, tocopherols) resulted in a highly photosensitive phenotype.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that vitamin B6 has a function in the in vivo antioxidant defense of plants. Thus, the antioxidant activity of vitamin B6 inferred from in vitro studies is confirmed in planta. Together with the finding that chloroplasts contain vitamin B6 compounds, the data show that vitamin B6 functions as a photoprotector that limits 1O2 accumulation in high light and prevents 1O2-mediated oxidative damage.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-9-130
PMCID: PMC2777905  PMID: 19903353
9.  The Intestine Plays a Substantial Role in Human Vitamin B6 Metabolism: A Caco-2 Cell Model 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e54113.
Background
Vitamin B6 is present in various forms (vitamers) in the diet that need to be metabolized to pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), the active cofactor form of vitamin B6. In literature, the liver has been reported to be the major site for this conversion, whereas the exact role of the intestine remains to be elucidated.
Objective
To gain insight into the role of the intestine in human vitamin B6 metabolism.
Materials and Methods
Expression of the enzymes pyridoxal kinase (PK), pyridox(am)ine phosphate oxidase (PNPO) and PLP-phosphatase was determined in Caco-2 cells and in lysates of human intestine. Vitamin B6 uptake, conversion and excretion were studied in polarized Caco-2 cell monolayers. B6 vitamer concentrations (pyridoxine (PN), pyridoxal (PL), PLP, pyridoxamine (PM), pyridoxamine phosphate (PMP)) and pyridoxic acid (PA) were quantified by ultra performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) using stable isotope-labeled internal standards.
Results
The enzymatic system involved in vitamin B6 metabolism (PK, PNPO and PLP-phosphatase) is fully expressed in Caco-2 cells as well as in human intestine. We show uptake of PN, PM and PL by Caco-2 cells, conversion of PN and PM into PL and excretion of all three unphosphorylated B6 vitamers.
Conclusion
We demonstrate, in a Caco-2 cell model, that the intestine plays a substantial role in human vitamin B6 metabolism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0054113
PMCID: PMC3544708  PMID: 23342087
10.  Vitamin B6 metabolism influences the intracellular accumulation of cisplatin 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(3):417-421.
Vitamin B6 metabolism influences the adaptive response of non-small lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cells to distinct, potentially lethal perturbations in homeostasis, encompassing nutrient deprivation, hyperthermia, hypoxia, irradiation as well as the exposure to cytotoxic chemicals, including the DNA-damaging agent cisplatin (CDDP). Thus, the siRNA-mediated downregulation of pyridoxal kinase (PDXK), the enzyme that generates the bioactive form of vitamin B6, protects NSCLC cells (as well as a large collection of human and murine malignant cells of distinct histological derivation) from the cytotoxic effects of CDDP. Accordingly, the administration of pyridoxine, one of the inactive precursors of vitamin B6, exacerbates cisplatin-induced cell death, in vitro and in vivo, but only when PDXK is expressed. Conversely, antioxidants such as non-oxidized glutathione (GSH) are known to protect cancer cells from CDDP toxicity. Pyridoxine increases the amount of CDDP-DNA adducts formed upon the exposure of NSCLC cells to CDDP and aggravates the consequent DNA damage response. On the contrary, in the presence of GSH, NSCLC cells exhibit near-to-undetectable levels of CDDP-DNA adducts and a small fraction of the cell population activates the DNA damage response. We therefore wondered whether vitamin B6 metabolism and GSH might interact with CDDP in a pharmacokinetic fashion. In this short communication, we demonstrate that GSH inhibits the intracellular accumulation of CDDP, while pyridoxine potentiates it in a PDXK-dependent fashion. Importantly, such pharmacokinetic effects do not involve plasma membrane transporters that mediate a prominent fraction of CDDP influx, i.e., solute carrier family 31, member 1 (SLC31A1, best known as copper transporter 1, CTR1) and efflux, i.e., ATPase, Cu2+ transporting, β polypeptide (ATP7B).
doi:10.4161/cc.23275
PMCID: PMC3587442  PMID: 23287530
A549; apoptosis; N-acetyl-cysteine; PDXP; reactive oxygen species; Wilson disease
11.  Crystal Structures of Human Pyridoxal Kinase in Complex with the Neurotoxins, Ginkgotoxin and Theophylline: Insights into Pyridoxal Kinase Inhibition 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40954.
Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase (hPL kinase), resulting in deficiency of the active cofactor form of vitamin B6, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP). Pyridoxal (PL), an inactive form of vitamin B6 is converted to PLP by PL kinase. PLP is the B6 vitamer required as a cofactor for over 160 enzymatic activities essential in primary and secondary metabolism. We have performed structural and kinetic studies on hPL kinase with several potential inhibitors, including ginkgotoxin and theophylline. The structural studies show ginkgotoxin and theophylline bound at the substrate site, and are involved in similar protein interactions as the natural substrate, PL. Interestingly, the phosphorylated product of ginkgotoxin is also observed bound at the active site. This work provides insights into the molecular basis of hPL kinase inhibition and may provide a working hypothesis to quickly screen or identify neurotoxic drugs as potential hPL kinase inhibitors. Such adverse effects may be prevented by administration of an appropriate form of vitamin B6, or provide clues of how to modify these drugs to help reduce their hPL kinase inhibitory effects.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040954
PMCID: PMC3412620  PMID: 22879864
12.  Suppression of insertions in the complex pdxJ operon of Escherichia coli K-12 by lon and other mutations. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(5):1554-1567.
Complementation analyses using minimal recombinant clones showed that all known pdx point mutations, which cause pyridoxine (vitamin B6) or pyridoxal auxotrophy, are located in the pdxA, pdxB, serC, pdxJ, and pdxH genes. Antibiotic enrichments for chromosomal transposon mutants that require pyridoxine (vitamin B6) or pyridoxal led to the isolation of insertions in pdxA, pdxB, and pdxH but not in pdxJ. This observation suggested that pdxJ, like pdxA, pdxB, and serC, might be in a complex operon. To test this hypothesis, we constructed stable insertion mutations in and around pdxJ in plasmids and forced them into the bacterial chromosome. Physiological properties of the resulting insertion mutants were characterized, and the DNA sequence of pdxJ and adjacent regions was determined. These combined approaches led to the following conclusions: (i) pdxJ is the first gene in a two-gene operon that contains a gene, temporarily designated dpj, essential for Escherichia coli growth; (ii) expression of the rnc-era-recO and pdxJ-dpj operons can occur independently, although the pdxJ-dpj promoter may lie within recO; (iii) pdxJ encodes a 26,384-Da polypeptide whose coding region is preceded by a PDX box, and dpj probably encodes a basic, 14,052-Da polypeptide; (iv) mini-Mud insertions in dpj and pdxJ, which are polar on dpj, severely limit E. coli growth; and (v) three classes of suppressors, including mutations in lon and suppressors of lon, that allow faster growth of pdxJ::mini-Mud mutants can be isolated. A model to account for the action of dpj suppressors is presented, and aspects of this genetic analysis are related to the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthetic pathway.
Images
PMCID: PMC206551  PMID: 1537800
13.  Characterization of Two Kinases Involved in Thiamine Pyrophosphate and Pyridoxal Phosphate Biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis: 4-Amino-5-Hydroxymethyl-2-Methylpyrimidine Kinase and Pyridoxal Kinase 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(5):1571-1573.
Two Bacillus subtilis genes encoding two proteins (currently annotated ThiD and YjbV) were overexpressed and characterized. YjbV has 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine and 4-amino-5-hydroxymethyl-2-methylpyrimidine pyrophosphate kinase activity and should be reannotated ThiD, and B. subtilis ThiD has pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine kinase activity and should be reannotated PdxK.
doi:10.1128/JB.186.5.1571-1573.2004
PMCID: PMC344394  PMID: 14973012
14.  Pyridine analogs inhibit the glucosyltransferase of Streptococcus mutans. 
Infection and Immunity  1982;37(3):1101-1111.
Soluble glucan synthesis catalyzed by dextransucrase preparations from Streptococcus mutans 6715 were inhibited by pyridoxal-5-phosphate and several other pyridine analogs, including pyridoxine, pyridoxamine, pyridoxamine-5-phosphate, pyridoxal, and 4-pyridoxic acid. Pyridine and pyridine-4-carboxaldehyde were not effective inhibitors of the enzyme. Kinetic analyses suggested that pyridoxal-5-phosphate is a noncompetitive inhibitor of dextransucrase. The inactivation was dependent on time, pyridoxal-5-phosphate concentration, and hydrogen ion concentration. Apparent Ki values were 4.9 mM at pH 7.0 and 4.2 mM at pH 5.5. Dextransucrase activity could be restored by dialysis to remove the inhibitors. Maximum inhibition was observed after a 120-min incubation of the enzyme with pyridoxal-5-phosphate. The pH optima for inhibition by pyridoxal-5-phosphate were 4 and 7. The sucrose-dependent adherence of S. mutans cells to saliva-coated hydroxylapatite beads was also inhibited by pyridoxal-5-phosphate but only marginally by the other pyridine anatogs. In addition, pyridoxal-5-phosphate markedly reduced the rate of acid production by intact S. mutans cells from sucrose or glucose substrates. Another pyridoxal-5-phosphate analog, 2-methyl-5-hydroxypyridine, was also effective in preventing the production of acid by S. mutans from sucrose or glucose. When S. mutans cells were preincubated with pyridoxal-5-phosphate or pyridine analogs, significant reductions in the rate of D-glucose uptake were observed. It is suggested that the inhibition of dextransucrase occurs because of a change iun enzyme conformation which results from the binding of the pyridine derivatives. The results suggest that pyridoxal-5-phosphate or structural analogs may ultimately be useful in reducing the incidence of dental caries.
PMCID: PMC347654  PMID: 6215355
15.  Overexpression, crystallization and preliminary X-­ray crystallographic analysis of pyridoxal biosynthesis lyase PdxS from Pyrococcus horikoshii  
Pyridoxal biosynthesis lyase PdxS from P. horikoshii has been overexpressed and crystallized. X-ray diffraction data have been collected to 2.61 Å resolution.
Pyridoxal biosynthesis lyase (PdxS) is an important player in the biosynthesis of pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), the biologically active form of vitamin B6. PLP is an important cofactor involved in the metabolic pathway of amine-containing natural products such as amino acids and amino sugars. PdxS catalyzes the condensation of ribulose 5-phosphate (Ru5P), glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (G3P) and ammonia, while glutamine amidotransferase (PdxT) catalyzes the production of ammonia from glutamine. PdxS and PdxT form a complex, PLP synthase, and widely exist in eubacteria, archaea, fungi and plants. To facilitate further structural comparisons among PdxS proteins, the structural analysis of PdxS from Pyrococcus horikoshii encoded by the Ph1355 gene was initiated. PdxS from P. horikoshii was overexpressed in Escherichia coli and crystallized at 296 K using 2-methyl-2,4-pentanediol as a precipitant. Crystals of P. horikoshii PdxS diffracted to 2.61 Å resolution and belonged to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 59.30, b = 178.56, c = 109.23 Å, β = 102.97°. The asymmetric unit contained six monomers, with a corresponding V M of 2.54 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 51.5% by volume.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112005829
PMCID: PMC3325815  PMID: 22505415
Pyrococcus horikoshii; pdxS; pyridoxal biosynthesis lyase; pyridoxal 5′-phosphate
16.  Crystal Structure of the PdxY Protein from Escherichia coli 
Journal of Bacteriology  2004;186(23):8074-8082.
The crystal structure of Escherichia coli PdxY, the protein product of the pdxY gene, has been determined to a 2.2-Å resolution. PdxY is a member of the ribokinase superfamily of enzymes and has sequence homology with pyridoxal kinases that phosphorylate pyridoxal at the C-5′ hydroxyl. The protein is a homodimer with an active site on each monomer composed of residues that come exclusively from each respective subunit. The active site is filled with a density that fits that of pyridoxal. In monomer A, the ligand appears to be covalently attached to Cys122 as a thiohemiacetal, while in monomer B it is not covalently attached but appears to be partially present as pyridoxal 5′-phosphate. The presence of pyridoxal phosphate and pyridoxal as ligands was confirmed by the activation of aposerine hydroxymethyltransferase after release of the ligand by the denaturation of PdxY. The ligand, which appears to be covalently attached to Cys122, does not dissociate after denaturation of the protein. A detailed comparison (of functional properties, sequence homology, active site and ATP-binding-site residues, and active site flap types) of PdxY with other pyridoxal kinases as well as the ribokinase superfamily in general suggested that PdxY is a member of a new subclass of the ribokinase superfamily. The structure of PdxY also permitted an interpretation of work that was previously published about this enzyme.
doi:10.1128/JB.186.23.8074-8082.2004
PMCID: PMC529075  PMID: 15547280
17.  The Vitamin B6 Biosynthesis Pathway in Streptococcus pneumoniae Is Controlled by Pyridoxal 5′-Phosphate and the Transcription Factor PdxR and Has an Impact on Ear Infection 
Journal of Bacteriology  2013;195(10):2187-2196.
Vitamin B6 is an essential cofactor for a large number of enzymes in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In this study, we characterized the pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) biosynthesis pathway in Streptococcus pneumoniae. Our results revealed that S. pneumoniae possesses a de novo vitamin B6 biosynthesis pathway encoded by the pdxST genes. Purified PdxS functionally displayed as PLP synthase, whereas PdxT exhibited glutaminase activity in vitro. Deletion of pdxS, but not pdxT, resulted in a vitamin B6 auxotrophic mutant. The defective growth of the ΔpdxS mutant in a vitamin B6-depleted medium could be chemically restored in the presence of the B6 vitamers at optimal concentrations. By analyzing PdxS expression levels, we demonstrated that the expression of pdxS was repressed by PLP and activated by a transcription factor, PdxR. A pneumococcal ΔpdxR mutant also exhibited as a vitamin B6 auxotroph. In addition, we found that disruption of the vitamin B6 biosynthesis pathway in S. pneumoniae caused a significant attenuation in a chinchilla middle ear infection model and a minor attenuation in a mouse pneumonia model, indicating that the impact of vitamin B6 synthesis on virulence depends upon the bacterial infection niche.
doi:10.1128/JB.00041-13
PMCID: PMC3650526  PMID: 23475965
18.  The Assembly of the Plasmodial PLP Synthase Complex Follows a Defined Course 
PLoS ONE  2008;3(3):e1815.
Background
Plants, fungi, bacteria and the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum are able to synthesize vitamin B6 de novo, whereas mammals depend upon the uptake of this essential nutrient from their diet. The active form of vitamin B6 is pyridoxal 5-phosphate (PLP). For its synthesis two enzymes, Pdx1 and Pdx2, act together, forming a multimeric complex consisting of 12 Pdx1 and 12 Pdx2 protomers.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Here we report amino acid residues responsible for stabilization of the structural and enzymatic integrity of the plasmodial PLP synthase, identified by using distinct mutational analysis and biochemical approaches. Residues R85, H88 and E91 (RHE) are located at the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface and play an important role in Pdx1 complex assembly. Mutation of these residues to alanine impedes both Pdx1 activity and Pdx2 binding. Furthermore, changing D26, K83 and K151 (DKK), amino acids from the active site of Pdx1, to alanine obstructs not only enzyme activity but also formation of the complex. In contrast to the monomeric appearance of the RHE mutant, alteration of the DKK residues results in a hexameric assembly, and does not affect Pdx2 binding or its activity. While the modelled position of K151 is distal to the Pdx1:Pdx1 interface, it affects the assembly of hexameric Pdx1 into a functional dodecamer, which is crucial for PLP synthesis.
Conclusions/Significance
Taken together, our data suggest that the assembly of a functional Pdx1:Pdx2 complex follows a defined pathway and that inhibition of this assembly results in an inactive holoenzyme.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0001815
PMCID: PMC2266796  PMID: 18350152
19.  Epilepsy due to PNPO mutations: genotype, environment and treatment affect presentation and outcome 
Brain  2014;137(5):1350-1360.
Mutations in PNPO are a known cause of neonatal onset seizures that are resistant to pyridoxine but responsive to pyridoxal phosphate (PLP). Mills et al. show that PNPO mutations can also cause neonatal onset seizures that respond to pyridoxine but worsen with PLP, as well as PLP-responsive infantile spasms.
The first described patients with pyridox(am)ine 5’-phosphate oxidase deficiency all had neonatal onset seizures that did not respond to treatment with pyridoxine but responded to treatment with pyridoxal 5’-phosphate. Our data suggest, however, that the clinical spectrum of pyridox(am)ine 5’-phosphate oxidase deficiency is much broader than has been reported in the literature. Sequencing of the PNPO gene was undertaken for a cohort of 82 individuals who had shown a reduction in frequency and severity of seizures in response to pyridoxine or pyridoxal 5’-phosphate. Novel sequence changes were studied using a new cell-free expression system and a mass spectrometry-based assay for pyridoxamine phosphate oxidase. Three groups of patients with PNPO mutations that had reduced enzyme activity were identified: (i) patients with neonatal onset seizures responding to pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (n = 6); (ii) a patient with infantile spasms (onset 5 months) responsive to pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (n = 1); and (iii) patients with seizures starting under 3 months of age responding to pyridoxine (n = 8). Data suggest that certain genotypes (R225H/C and D33V) are more likely to result in seizures that to respond to treatment with pyridoxine. Other mutations seem to be associated with infertility, miscarriage and prematurity. However, the situation is clearly complex with the same combination of mutations being seen in patients who responded and did not respond to pyridoxine. It is possible that pyridoxine responsiveness in PNPO deficiency is affected by prematurity and age at the time of the therapeutic trial. Other additional factors that are likely to influence treatment response and outcome include riboflavin status and how well the foetus has been supplied with vitamin B6 by the mother. For some patients there was a worsening of symptoms on changing from pyridoxine to pyridoxal 5’-phosphate. Many of the mutations in PNPO affected residues involved in binding flavin mononucleotide or pyridoxal 5’-phosphate and many of them showed residual enzyme activity. One sequence change (R116Q), predicted to affect flavin mononucleotide binding and binding of the two PNPO dimers, and with high residual activity was found in Groups (ii) and (iii). This sequence change has been reported in the 1000 Genomes project suggesting it could be a polymorphism but alternatively it could be a common mutation, perhaps responsible for the susceptibility locus for genetic generalized epilepsy on 17q21.32 (close to rs72823592). We believe the reduction in PNPO activity and B6-responsive epilepsy in the patients reported here indicates that it contributes to the pathogenesis of epilepsy.
doi:10.1093/brain/awu051
PMCID: PMC3999720  PMID: 24645144
pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP); pyridoxine; pyridox(am)ine 5’-phosphate oxidase (PNPO); seizures; epilepsy
20.  Overlap between pdxA and ksgA in the complex pdxA-ksgA-apaG-apaH operon of Escherichia coli K-12. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1989;171(9):4767-4777.
We report that pdxA, which is required for de novo biosynthesis of pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and pyridoxal phosphate, belongs to an unusual, multifunctional operon. The pdxA gene was cloned in the same 3.5-kilobase BamHI-EcoRI restriction fragment that contains ksgA, which encodes the 16S rRNA modification enzyme m6(2)A methyltransferase, and apaH, which encodes diadenosine tetraphosphatase (ApppA hydrolase). Previously, Blanchin-Roland et al. showed that ksgA and apaH form a complex operon (Mol. Gen. Genet. 205:515-522, 1986). The pdxA gene was located on recombinant plasmids by subcloning, complementation, and insertion mutagenesis, and chromosomal insertions at five positions upstream from ksgA inactivated pdxA function. DNA sequence analysis and minicell translation experiments demonstrated that pdxA encoded a 35.1-kilodalton polypeptide and that the stop codon of pdxA overlapped the start codon of ksgA by 2 nucleotides. The translational start codon of pdxA was tentatively assigned based on polypeptide size and on the presence of a unique sequence that was also found near the translational start of PdxB. This conserved sequence may play a role in translational control of certain pyridoxine biosynthetic genes. RNase T2 mapping of chromosomal transcripts confirmed that pdxA and ksgA were members of the same complex operon, yet about half of ksgA transcripts arose in vivo under some culture conditions from an internal promoter mapped near the end of pdxA. Transcript analysis further suggested that pdxA is not the first gene in the operon. These structural features support the idea that pyridoxine-biosynthetic genes are members of complex operons, perhaps to interweave coenzyme biosynthesis genetically with other metabolic processes. The results are also considered in terms of ksgA expression.
Images
PMCID: PMC210278  PMID: 2670894
21.  Sugar and Chromosome Stability: Clastogenic Effects of Sugars in Vitamin B6-Deficient Cells 
PLoS Genetics  2014;10(3):e1004199.
Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), the active form of vitamin B6, has been implicated in preventing human pathologies, such as diabetes and cancer. However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of PLP are still unclear. Using Drosophila as a model system, we show that PLP deficiency, caused either by mutations in the pyridoxal kinase-coding gene (dPdxk) or by vitamin B6 antagonists, results in chromosome aberrations (CABs). The CAB frequency in PLP-depleted cells was strongly enhanced by sucrose, glucose or fructose treatments, and dPdxk mutant cells consistently displayed higher glucose contents than their wild type counterparts, an effect that is at least in part a consequence of an acquired insulin resistance. Together, our results indicate that a high intracellular level of glucose has a dramatic clastogenic effect if combined with PLP deficiency. This is likely due to an elevated level of Advanced Glycation End-products (AGE) formation. Treatment of dPdxk mutant cells with α-lipoic acid (ALA) lowered both AGE formation and CAB frequency, suggesting a possible AGE-CAB cause-effect relationship. The clastogenic effect of glucose in PLP-depleted cells is evolutionarily conserved. RNAi-mediated silencing of PDXK in human cells or treatments with PLP inhibitors resulted in chromosome breakage, which was potentiated by glucose and reduced by ALA. These results suggest that patients with concomitant hyperglycemia and vitamin B6 deficiency may suffer chromosome damage. This might impact cancer risk, as CABs are a well-known tumorigenic factor.
Author Summary
We show that the active form of vitamin B6 (Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, PLP) plays an important role in the maintenance of genome integrity. We found, using Drosophila as a model system, that PLP deficiency results in chromosome breaks and rearrangements (collectively dubbed chromosome aberrations, abbreviated with CABs). Most importantly, we observed that in PLP deficient cells, sucrose, glucose, or fructose strongly enhance the frequency of CABs. The mutagenic effects of sugars in the presence of PLP deficiency are evolutionarily conserved, as PLP depletion or inhibition in human cells results in CAB formation, which is potentiated by glucose or fructose. These results suggest that patients with concomitant hyperglycemic crises and vitamin B6 deficiency may suffer genetic damage, which might promote cancer and diabetes complications. Our work further suggests that patients treated with PLP antagonist drugs should keep under control the level of sugar in their blood and compensate their vitamin B6 level.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1004199
PMCID: PMC3961173  PMID: 24651653
22.  Kinetic limitation and cellular amount of pyridoxine (pyridoxamine) 5'-phosphate oxidase of Escherichia coli K-12. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(4):883-891.
We report the purification and enzymological characterization of Escherichia coli K-12 pyridoxine (pyridoxamine) 5'-phosphate (PNP/PMP) oxidase, which is a key committed enzyme in the biosynthesis of the essential coenzyme pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP). The enzyme encoded by pdxH was overexpressed and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by four steps of column chromatography. The purified PdxH enzyme is a thermally stable 51-kDa homodimer containing one molecule of flavin mononucleotide (FMN). In the presence of molecular oxygen, the PdxH enzyme uses PNP or PMP as a substrate (Km = 2 and 105 microM and kcat = 0.76 and 1.72 s-1 for PNP and PMP, respectively) and produces hydrogen peroxide. Thus, under aerobic conditions, the PdxH enzyme acts as a classical monofunctional flavoprotein oxidase with an extremely low kcat turnover number. Comparison of kcat/Km values suggests that PNP rather than PMP is the in vivo substrate of E. coli PdxH oxidase. In contrast, the eukaryotic enzyme has similar kcat/Km values for PNP and PMP and seems to act as a scavenger. E. coli PNP/PMP oxidase activities were competitively inhibited by the pathway end product, PLP, and by the analog, 4-deoxy-PNP, with Ki values of 8 and 105 microM, respectively. Immunoinhibition studies suggested that the catalytic domain of the enzyme may be composed of discontinuous residues on the polypeptide sequence. Two independent quantitation methods showed that PNP/PMP oxidase was present in about 700 to 1,200 dimer enzyme molecules per cell in E. coli growing exponentially in minimal medium plus glucose at 37 degrees C. Thus, E. coli PNP/PMP oxidase is an example of a relatively abundant, but catalytically sluggish, enzyme committed to PLP coenzyme biosynthesis.
PMCID: PMC176679  PMID: 7860596
23.  Prognostic value of LIPC in non-small cell lung carcinoma 
Cell Cycle  2013;12(4):647-654.
Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) is the most common form of lung cancer and is associated with a high mortality rate worldwide. The majority of individuals bearing NSCLC are treated with surgery plus adjuvant cisplatin, an initially effective therapeutic regimen that, however, is unable to prevent relapse within 5 years after tumor resection in an elevated proportion of patients. The factors that predict the clinical course of NSCLC and its sensitivity to therapy remain largely obscure. One notable exception is provided by pyridoxal kinase (PDXK), the enzyme that generates the bioactive form of vitamin B6. PDXK has recently been shown to be required for optimal cisplatin responses in vitro and in vivo and to constitute a bona fide prognostic marker in the NSCLC setting. Together with PDXK, 84 additional factors were identified that influence the response of NSCLC cells to cisplatin, in vitro including the hepatic lipase LIPC. Here, we report that the intratumoral levels of LIPC, as assessed by immunohistochemistry in two independent cohorts of NSCLC patients, positively correlate with disease outcome. In one out of two cohorts studied, the overall survival of NSCLC patients bearing LIPChigh lesions was unaffected, if not slightly worsened, by cisplatin-based adjuvant therapy. Conversely, the overall survival of patients with LIPClow lesions was prolonged by post-operative cisplatin. Pending validation in appropriate clinical series, these results suggest that LIPClow NSCLC patients would be those who mainly benefit from adjuvant cisplatin therapy. Thus, the expression levels of LIPC appear to have an independent prognostic value (and perhaps a predictive potential) in the setting of NSCLC. If these findings were confirmed by additional studies, LIPC expression levels might allow not only for NSCLC patient stratification, but also for the implementation of personalized therapeutic approaches.
doi:10.4161/cc.23517
PMCID: PMC3594265  PMID: 23343765
anaplastic lymphoma kinase; apoptosis; BCL-XL; PDXP; personalized medicine; pyridoxine
24.  Three serendipitous pathways in E. coli can bypass a block in pyridoxal-5′-phosphate synthesis 
Overexpression of seven different genes restores growth of a ΔpdxB strain of E. coli, which cannot make pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), on M9/glucose.None of the enzymes encoded by these genes has a promiscuous 4-phosphoerythronate dehydrogenase activity that can replace the activity of PdxB.Overexpression of these genes restores PLP synthesis by three different serendipitous pathways that feed into the normal PLP synthesis pathway downstream of the blocked step.Reactions in one of these pathways are catalyzed by low-level activities of enzymes of unknown function and a promiscuous activity of an enzyme that normally has a role in another pathway; one reaction appears to be non-enzymatic.
Most metabolic enzymes are prodigious catalysts that have evolved to accelerate chemical reactions with high efficiency and specificity. However, many enzymes have inefficient promiscuous activities, as well, as a result of the assemblage of highly reactive catalytic residues and cofactors in active sites. Although promiscuous activities are generally orders of magnitude less efficient than well-evolved activities (O'Brien and Herschlag, 1998, 2001; Wang et al, 2003; Taylor Ringia et al, 2004), they often enhance reaction rates by orders of magnitude relative to those of uncatalyzed reactions (O'Brien and Herschlag, 1998, 2001). Thus, promiscuous activities provide a reservoir of novel catalytic activities that can be recruited to serve new functions.
The evolutionary potential of promiscuous enzymes extends beyond the recruitment of single enzymes to serve new functions. Microbes contain hundreds of enzymes—E. coli contains about 1700 (Freilich et al, 2005)—raising the possibility that promiscuous enzymes can be patched together to generate ‘serendipitous' pathways that are not part of normal metabolism. We distinguish serendipitous pathways from latent or cryptic pathways, which are bona fide pathways involving dedicated enzymes that are produced only under particular environmental circumstances. In contrast, serendipitous pathways are patched together from enzymes that normally serve other functions and are not regulated in a coordinated manner in response to the need to synthesize or degrade a metabolite.
In this study, we describe the discovery of three serendipitous pathways that allow synthesis of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) in a strain of E. coli that lacks 4-phosphoerythronate dehydrogenase (PdxB) when one of the seven different genes is overexpressed. These genes were identified in a multicopy suppression experiment in which a library of E. coli genes (from the ASKA collection) was introduced into a ΔpdxB strain of E. coli that is unable to synthesize PLP. Surprisingly, none of the enzymes encoded by these genes has a promiscuous 4-phosphoerythronate (4PE) dehydrogenase activity that can substitute for the missing PdxB. Rather, overproduction of these enzymes appears to facilitate at least three serendipitous pathways that draw material from other metabolic pathways and feed into the normal PLP synthesis pathway downstream of the blocked step (Figure 1).
We have characterized one of these pathways in detail (Figure 3). The first step, dephosphorylation of 3-phosphohydroxypyruvate, is catalyzed by YeaB, a predicted NUDIX hydrolase of unknown function. Although catalysis is inefficient (kcat=5.7×10−5 s−1 and kcat/KM>0.028 M−1 s−1), the enzymatic rate is 4×107-fold faster than the rate of the uncatalyzed reaction, and is sufficient to support PLP synthesis when YeaB is overproduced. The second step in the pathway is decarboxylation of 3-hydroxypyruvate (3HP). Although we found two enzymes (1-deoxyxylulose-5-phosphate synthase and the catalytic domain of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase) that catalyze this reaction with low but respectable activity in vitro, their involvement in pathway 1 was ruled out by genetic methods. Surprisingly, the non-enzymatic rate of decarboxylation of 3HP appears to be sufficient to support PLP synthesis. The third step in the pathway, condensation of glycolaldehyde and glycine to form 4-hydroxy-L-threonine, is catalyzed by LtaE, a low-specificity threonine aldolase whose physiological role is not known. The final step, phosphorylation of 4-hydroxy-L-threonine, is catalyzed by homoserine kinase (ThrB), which is required for synthesis of threonine. The promiscuous phosphorylation of 4-hydroxy-L-threonine is 80-fold slower than the physiological phosphorylation of homoserine. The involvement of LtaE and ThrB in pathway 1 was confirmed by genetic experiments showing that overexpression of yeaB no longer restores growth of ΔpdxB strains lacking either ltaE or thrB.
Although pathway 1 is inefficient, it provides the ΔpdxB strain with the ability to grow under conditions in which survival is otherwise impossible. In general, serendipitous assembly of an inefficient pathway from promiscuous activities of available enzymes will be important whenever the pathway provides increased fitness. This might occur when a critical metabolite is no longer available from the environment, and survival depends on assembly of a new biosynthetic pathway. A second circumstance in which an inefficient serendipitous pathway might improve fitness is the appearance of a novel compound in the environment that can be exploited as a source of carbon, nitrogen or phosphorous. Finally, chemotherapeutic agents that block metabolic pathways in bacteria or cancer cells could provide selective pressure for assembly of serendipitous pathways that allow synthesis of the end product of the blocked pathway and thus a previously unappreciated source of drug resistance. In all of these cases, even an inefficient pathway can provide a selective advantage over other cells in a particular environmental niche, allowing survival and subsequent mutations that elevate the efficiency of the pathway.
Our work is consistent with the hypothesis that the recognized metabolic network of E. coli is underlain by a denser network of reactions due to promiscuous enzymes that use and generate recognized metabolites, but also unusual metabolites that normally have no physiological role. The findings reported here highlight the abundance of cryptic capabilities in the E. coli proteome that can be drawn on to generate novel pathways. Such pathways could provide a starting place for assembly of more efficient pathways, both in nature and in the hands of metabolic engineers.
Bacterial genomes encode hundreds to thousands of enzymes, most of which are specialized for particular functions. However, most enzymes have inefficient promiscuous activities, as well, that generally serve no purpose. Promiscuous reactions can be patched together to form multistep metabolic pathways. Mutations that increase expression or activity of enzymes in such serendipitous pathways can elevate flux through the pathway to a physiologically significant level. In this study, we describe the discovery of three serendipitous pathways that allow synthesis of pyridoxal-5′-phosphate (PLP) in a strain of E. coli that lacks 4-phosphoerythronate (4PE) dehydrogenase (PdxB) when one of seven different genes is overexpressed. We have characterized one of these pathways in detail. This pathway diverts material from serine biosynthesis and generates an intermediate in the normal PLP synthesis pathway downstream of the block caused by lack of PdxB. Steps in the pathway are catalyzed by a protein of unknown function, a broad-specificity enzyme whose physiological role is unknown, and a promiscuous activity of an enzyme that normally serves another function. One step in the pathway may be non-enzymatic.
doi:10.1038/msb.2010.88
PMCID: PMC3010111  PMID: 21119630
metabolic bypass; multicopy suppression; promiscuity; pyridoxal-5′-phosphate; serendipitous pathway
25.  Biochemical characterization of gapB-encoded erythrose 4-phosphate dehydrogenase of Escherichia coli K-12 and its possible role in pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthesis. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(10):2804-2812.
One step in de novo pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthesis was predicted to be an oxidation catalyzed by an unidentified D-erythrose-4-phosphate dehydrogenase (E4PDH). To help identify this E4PDH, we purified the Escherichia coli K-12 gapA- and gapB-encoded dehydrogenases to homogeneity and tested whether either uses D-erythrose-4-phosphate (E4P) as a substrate. gapA (gap1) encodes the major D-glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GA3PDH). The function of gapB (gap2) is unknown, although it was suggested that gapB encodes a second form of GA3PDH or is a cryptic gene. We found that the gapB-encoded enzyme is indeed an E4PDH and not a second GA3PDH, whereas gapA-encoded GA3PDH used E4P poorly, if at all, as a substrate under the in vitro reaction conditions used in this study. The amino terminus of purified E4PDH matched the sequence predicted from the gapB DNA sequence. Purified E4PDH was a heat-stable tetramer with a native molecular mass of 132 kDa. E4PDH had an apparent Km value for E4P [Kmapp(E4P)] of 0.96 mM, an apparent kcat catalytic constant for E4P [kcatapp(E4P)] of 200 s-1, Kmapp(NAD+) of 0.074 mM, and kcatapp(NAD+) of 169 s-1 in steady-state reactions in which NADH formation was determined. From specific activities in crude extracts, we estimated that there are at least 940 E4PDH tetramer molecules per bacterium growing in minimal salts medium plus glucose at 37 degrees C. Thin-layer chromatography confirmed that the product of the E4PDH reaction was likely the aldonic acid 4-phosphoerythronate. To establish a possible role of E4PDH in pyridoxal 5'-phosphate biosynthesis, we showed that 4-phosphoerythronate is a likely substrate for the 2-hydroxy-acid dehydrogenase encoded by the pdxB gene. Implications of these findings in the evolution of GA3PDHs are also discussed. On the basis of these results, we propose renaming gapB as epd (for D-erythrose-4-phosphate dehydrogenase).
PMCID: PMC176952  PMID: 7751290

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