Identification of the regulatory subunit of Arabidopsis thaliana acetohydroxyacid synthase and reconstitution with its catalytic subunit

Biochemistry. 2001 Jun 12;40(23):6836-44. doi: 10.1021/bi002775q.


Acetohydroxyacid synthase (EC; AHAS) catalyzes the initial step in the formation of the branched-chain amino acids. The enzyme from most bacteria is composed of a catalytic subunit, and a smaller regulatory subunit that is required for full activity and for sensitivity to feedback regulation by valine. A similar arrangement was demonstrated recently for yeast AHAS, and a putative regulatory subunit of tobacco AHAS has also been reported. In this latter case, the enzyme reconstituted from its purified subunits remained insensitive to feedback inhibition, unlike the enzyme extracted from native plant sources. Here we have cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, and purified the AHAS regulatory subunit of Arabidopsis thaliana. Combining the protein with the purified A. thaliana catalytic subunit results in an activity stimulation that is sensitive to inhibition by valine, leucine, and isoleucine. Moreover, there is a strong synergy between the effects of leucine and valine, which closely mimics the properties of the native enzyme. The regulatory subunit contains a sequence repeat of approximately 180 residues, and we suggest that one repeat binds leucine while the second binds valine or isoleucine. This proposal is supported by reconstitution studies of the individual repeats, which were also cloned, expressed, and purified. The structure and properties of the regulatory subunit are reminiscent of the regulatory domain of threonine deaminase (EC, and it is suggested that the two proteins are evolutionarily related.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acetolactate Synthase / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Acetolactate Synthase / genetics
  • Acetolactate Synthase / isolation & purification
  • Acetolactate Synthase / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain / metabolism
  • Arabidopsis / enzymology*
  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Catalytic Domain* / genetics
  • Drug Synergism
  • Enzyme Activation / genetics
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Leucine / metabolism
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Recombinant Proteins / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins / biosynthesis
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Threonine Dehydratase / metabolism
  • Valine / metabolism


  • Amino Acids, Branched-Chain
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Acetolactate Synthase
  • Threonine Dehydratase
  • Leucine
  • Valine