Crystal structure and substrate specificity of the thermophilic serine:pyruvate aminotransferase from Sulfolobus solfataricus

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2012 Jul;68(Pt 7):763-72. doi: 10.1107/S0907444912011274. Epub 2012 Jun 15.


The three-dimensional structure of the Sulfolobus solfataricus serine:pyruvate aminotransferase has been determined to 1.8 Å resolution. The structure of the protein is a homodimer that adopts the type I fold of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent aminotransferases. The structure revealed the PLP cofactor covalently bound in the active site to the active-site lysine in the internal aldimine form. The structure of the S. solfataricus enzyme was also determined with an amino form of the cofactor pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate bound in the active site and in complex with gabaculine, an aminotransferase inhibitor. These structures showed the changes in the enzyme active site during the course of the catalytic reaction. A comparison of the structure of the S. solfataricus enzyme with that of the closely related alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase has identified structural features that are proposed to be responsible for the differences in substrate specificity between the two enzymes. These results have been complemented by biochemical studies of the substrate specificity and thermostability of the S. solfataricus enzyme.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Catalytic Domain
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids / pharmacology
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Models, Molecular
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfolobus solfataricus / chemistry
  • Sulfolobus solfataricus / enzymology*
  • Sulfolobus solfataricus / metabolism
  • Transaminases / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Transaminases / chemistry*
  • Transaminases / metabolism*


  • Cyclohexanecarboxylic Acids
  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • gabaculine
  • Pyridoxal Phosphate
  • Transaminases
  • serine-pyruvate aminotransferase

Associated data

  • PDB/3ZRP
  • PDB/3ZRQ
  • PDB/3ZRR