l-Ornithine cyclodeaminase (OCD) is involved in l-proline biosynthesis and catalyzes the unique deaminating cyclization of l-ornithine to l-proline via a Δ(1)-pyrroline-2-carboxyrate (Pyr2C) intermediate. Although this pathway functions in only a few bacteria, many archaea possess OCD-like genes (proteins), among which only AF1665 protein (gene) from Archaeoglobus fulgidus has been characterized as an NAD(+)-dependent l-alanine dehydrogenase (AfAlaDH). However, the physiological role of OCD-like proteins from archaea has been unclear. Recently, we revealed that Pyr2C reductase, involved in trans-3-hydroxy-l-proline (T3LHyp) metabolism of bacteria, belongs to the OCD protein superfamily and catalyzes only the reduction of Pyr2C to l-proline (no OCD activity) [FEBS Open Bio (2014) 4, 240-250]. In this study, based on bioinformatics analysis, we assumed that the OCD-like gene from Thermococcus litoralis DSM 5473 is related to T3LHyp and/or proline metabolism (TlLhpI). Interestingly, TlLhpI showed three different enzymatic activities: AlaDH; N-methyl-l-alanine dehydrogenase; Pyr2C reductase. Kinetic analysis suggested strongly that Pyr2C is the preferred substrate. In spite of their similar activity, TlLhpI had a poor phylogenetic relationship to the bacterial and mammalian reductases for Pyr2C and formed a close but distinct subfamily to AfAlaDH, indicating convergent evolution. Introduction of several specific amino acid residues for OCD and/or AfAlaDH by site-directed mutagenesis had marked effects on both AlaDH and Pyr2C reductase activities. The OCC_00387 gene, clustered with the TlLhpI gene on the genome, encoded T3LHyp dehydratase, homologous to the bacterial and mammalian enzymes. To our knowledge, this is the first report of T3LHyp metabolism from archaea.
Keywords: AlaDH, l-alanine dehydrogenase; CRYM, μ-crystallin; Molecular evolution; NMAlaDH, N-methyl-l-alanine dehydrogenase; OCD, ornithine cyclodeaminase; Ornithine cyclodeaminase; Pyr2C, Δ1-pyrroline-2-carboxylate; T3LHyp, trans-3-hydroxy-l-proline; trans-3-Hydroxy-l-proline metabolism; Δ1-pyrroline-2-carboxylate reductase.