Research report 2009 - Max Planck Research Unit for Structural Molecular Biology at DESY

An enzyme structurally closely related to human monoamine oxidases enables a soil bacterium to live on nicotine

Bartunik, Hans D.

Proteindynamik (Dr. Hans-Dieter Bartunik)
MP Arbeitsgruppen für strukturelle Molekularbiologie am DESY, Hamburg

The soil bacterium Arthrobacter nicotinovorans grows on nicotine. Degradation of L-nicotine and D-nicotine involves two genetically unrelated flavoenzymes, 6HLNO and 6HDNO. Their crystal structures may explain the stereospecificity of their enzymatic reactions. 6HLNO by its structure and mechanism is closely related to human monoamine oxidases (MAO), which play central roles in degradation of neurotransmitters. Structural analysis of 6HLNO reaction intermediates and the inhibition mechanism extends the basis for possible development of new leads for MAO.

For the full text, see the German version.

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