RidA Proteins Protect against Metabolic Damage by Reactive Intermediates

Microbiol Mol Biol Rev. 2020 Jul 15;84(3):e00024-20. doi: 10.1128/MMBR.00024-20. Print 2020 Aug 19.


The Rid (YjgF/YER057c/UK114) protein superfamily was first defined by sequence homology with available protein sequences from bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes (L. Parsons, N. Bonander, E. Eisenstein, M. Gilson, et al., Biochemistry 42:80-89, 2003, https://doi.org/10.1021/bi020541w). The archetypal subfamily, RidA (reactive intermediate deaminase A), is found in all domains of life, with the vast majority of free-living organisms carrying at least one RidA homolog. In over 2 decades, close to 100 reports have implicated Rid family members in cellular processes in prokaryotes, yeast, plants, and mammals. Functional roles have been proposed for Rid enzymes in amino acid biosynthesis, plant root development and nutrient acquisition, cellular respiration, and carcinogenesis. Despite the wealth of literature and over a dozen high-resolution structures of different RidA enzymes, their biochemical function remained elusive for decades. The function of the RidA protein was elucidated in a bacterial model system despite (i) a minimal phenotype of ridA mutants, (ii) the enzyme catalyzing a reaction believed to occur spontaneously, and (iii) confusing literature on the pleiotropic effects of RidA homologs in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Subsequent work provided the physiological framework to support the RidA paradigm in Salmonella enterica by linking the phenotypes of mutants lacking ridA to the accumulation of the reactive metabolite 2-aminoacrylate (2AA), which damaged metabolic enzymes. Conservation of enamine/imine deaminase activity of RidA enzymes from all domains raises the likelihood that, despite the diverse phenotypes, the consequences when RidA is absent are due to accumulated 2AA (or a similar reactive enamine) and the diversity of metabolic phenotypes can be attributed to differences in metabolic network architecture. The discovery of the RidA paradigm in S. enterica laid a foundation for assessing the role of Rid enzymes in diverse organisms and contributed fundamental lessons on metabolic network evolution and diversity in microbes. This review describes the studies that defined the conserved function of RidA, the paradigm of enamine stress in S. enterica, and emerging studies that explore how this paradigm differs in other organisms. We focus primarily on the RidA subfamily, while remarking on our current understanding of the other Rid subfamilies. Finally, we describe the current status of the field and pose questions that will drive future studies on this widely conserved protein family to provide fundamental new metabolic information.

Keywords: 2-aminoacrylate stress; RidA; YjgF/YER057c/UK114; enamine/imine metabolism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alanine / analogs & derivatives
  • Alanine / metabolism
  • Amino Acids / metabolism
  • Aminohydrolases / chemistry
  • Aminohydrolases / metabolism*
  • Bacteria / enzymology
  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Eukaryota / enzymology
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic / metabolism
  • Imines / metabolism
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways
  • Salmonella enterica / enzymology*
  • Salmonella enterica / genetics
  • Stress, Physiological*
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Uracil / metabolism


  • Amino Acids
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Hydrocarbons, Aromatic
  • Imines
  • YjgF protein, Bacteria
  • Uracil
  • dehydroalanine
  • Aminohydrolases
  • Alanine