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Extended proton relay systems have been proposed for various alcohol dehydrogenases, including the Arabidopsis thaliana cinnamyl alcohol dehydrogenases (AtCADs). Following a previous structural biology investigation of AtCAD5, the potential roles of three amino acid residues in a putative proton relay system, namely Thr49, His52 and Asp57, in AtCAD5, were investigated herein. Using site-directed mutagenesis, kinetic and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) analyses, it was established that the Thr49 residue was essential for overall catalytic conversion, whereas His52 and Asp57 residues were not. Mutation of the Thr49 residue to Ala resulted in near abolition of catalysis, with thermodynamic data indicating a negative enthalpic change (ΔH), as well as a significant decrease in binding affinity with NADPH, in contrast to wild type AtCAD5. Mutation of His52 and Asp57 residues by Ala did not significantly change either catalytic efficiency or thermodynamic parameters. Therefore, only the Thr49 residue is demonstrably essential for catalytic function. ITC analyses also suggested that for AtCAD5 catalysis, NADPH was bound first followed by p-coumaryl aldehyde.
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Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry
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