Computer-assisted docking of flavodoxin with the ATP:Co(I)rrinoid adenosyltransferase (CobA) enzyme reveals residues critical for protein-protein interactions but not for catalysis

J Biol Chem. 2005 Dec 9;280(49):40948-56. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M506713200. Epub 2005 Oct 5.


The activity of the housekeeping ATP:co(I)rrinoid adenosyltransferase (CobA) enzyme of Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium is required to adenosylate de novo biosynthetic intermediates of adenosylcobalamin and to salvage incomplete and complete corrinoids from the environment of this bacterium. In vitro, reduced flavodoxin (FldA) provides an electron to generate the co(I)rrinoid substrate in the CobA active site. To understand how CobA and FldA interact, a computer model of a CobA.FldA complex was generated. This model was used to guide the introduction of mutations into CobA using site-directed mutagenesis and the synthesis of a peptide mimic of FldA. Residues Arg-9 and Arg-165 of CobA were critical for FldA-dependent adenosylation but were catalytically as competent as the wild-type protein when cob(I)alamin was provided as substrate. These results indicate that Arg-9 and Arg-165 are important for CobA.FldA docking but not to catalysis. A truncation of the 9-amino acid N-terminal helix of CobA reduced its FldA-dependent cobalamin adenosyltransferase activity by 97.4%. The same protein, however, had a 4-fold higher specific activity than the native enzyme when cob(I)alamin was generated chemically in situ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / chemistry*
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / genetics
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arginine
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Catalysis
  • Computer Simulation
  • Crystallization
  • Flavodoxin / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Protein Interaction Mapping
  • Salmonella typhimurium / enzymology*
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Vitamin B 12 / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Flavodoxin
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Arginine
  • Alkyl and Aryl Transferases
  • ATP-corrinoid adenosyltransferase
  • Vitamin B 12

Associated data

  • PDB/1AHN
  • PDB/1G64