Seeing the process of histidine phosphorylation in human bisphosphoglycerate mutase

J Biol Chem. 2006 Dec 22;281(51):39642-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M606421200. Epub 2006 Oct 18.


Bisphosphoglycerate mutase is an erythrocyte-specific enzyme catalyzing a series of intermolecular phosphoryl group transfer reactions. Its main function is to synthesize 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate, the allosteric effector of hemoglobin. In this paper, we directly observed real-time motion of the enzyme active site and the substrate during phosphoryl transfer. A series of high resolution crystal structures of human bisphosphoglycerate mutase co-crystallized with 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate, representing different time points in the phosphoryl transfer reaction, were solved. These structures not only clarify the argument concerning the substrate binding mode for this enzyme family but also depict the entire process of the key histidine phosphorylation as a "slow movie". It was observed that the enzyme conformation continuously changed during the different states of the reaction. These results provide direct evidence for an "in line" phosphoryl transfer mechanism, and the roles of some key residues in the phosphoryl transfer process are identified.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate / chemistry
  • Allosteric Site
  • Binding Sites
  • Bisphosphoglycerate Mutase / chemistry*
  • Bisphosphoglycerate Mutase / metabolism
  • Electrons
  • Hemoglobins / chemistry*
  • Histidine / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Models, Chemical
  • Models, Molecular
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Hemoglobins
  • Ligands
  • 2,3-Diphosphoglycerate
  • Histidine
  • Bisphosphoglycerate Mutase

Associated data

  • PDB/1H4X
  • PDB/2A9J
  • PDB/2H4Z
  • PDB/2HHJ