Molecular determinants of the cofactor specificity of ribitol dehydrogenase, a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase

Hee Jung Moon, Manish Kumar Tiwari, Ranjitha Singh, Yun Chan Kang, Jung Kul Lee

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Ribitol dehydrogenase from Zymomonas mobilis (ZmRDH) catalyzes the conversion of ribitol to D-ribulose and concomitantly reduces NAD(P)+ to NAD(P)H. A systematic approach involving an initial sequence alignment-based residue screening, followed by a homology model-based screening and site-directed mutagenesis of the screened residues, was used to study the molecular determinants of the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH. A homologous conserved amino acid, Ser156, in the substrate-binding pocket of the wild-type ZmRDH was identified as an important residue affecting the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH. Further insights into the function of the Ser156 residue were obtained by substituting it with other hydrophobic nonpolar or polar amino acids. Substituting Ser156 with the negatively charged amino acids (Asp and Glu) altered the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH toward NAD+ (S156D, [kcat/Km, NAD]/[kcat/Km, NADP]=10.9, where Km, NAD is the Km for NAD+ and Km, NADP is the Km for NADP+). In contrast, the mutants containing positively charged amino acids (His, Lys, or Arg) at position 156 showed a higher efficiency with NADP+ as the cofactor (S156H, [kcat/Km, NAD]/[kcat/Km, NADP]=0.11). These data, in addition to those of molecular dynamics and isothermal titration calorimetry studies, suggest that the cofactor specificity of ZmRDH can be modulated by manipulating the amino acid residue at position 156.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3079-3086
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 May 1
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Biotechnology
  • Ecology

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