Journal of molecular biology

Potential anti-infective targets in pathogenic yeasts: structure and properties of 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase of Candida albicans.

PMID 15328619


A synthetic gene specifying a putative 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase of Candida albicans directed the synthesis of a 22.5 kDa peptide in a recombinant Escherichia coli strain. The recombinant protein was purified to apparent homogeneity by two chromatographic steps and was shown to catalyze the formation of L-3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate from ribulose 5-phosphate at a rate of 332 nmol mg(-1) min(-1). Hydrodynamic studies indicated a native molecular mass of 41 kDa in line with a homodimer structure. The protein was crystallized in its apoform. Soaking yielded crystals in complex with the substrate ribulose 5-phosphate. The structures were solved at resolutions of 1.6 and 1.7 angstroms, respectively, using 3,4-dihydroxy-2-butanone 4-phosphate synthase of E. coli for molecular replacement. Structural comparison with the orthologs of Magnaporthe grisea and Methanococcus jannaschii revealed a hitherto unknown conformation of the essential acidic active-site loop.