Mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate decarboxylase is involved in the recently discovered Thermoplasma-type mevalonate pathway. The enzyme catalyzes the elimination of the 3-phosphate group from mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate as well as concomitant decarboxylation of the substrate. This entire reaction of the enzyme resembles the latter half-reactions of its homologs, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase and phosphomevalonate decarboxylase, which also catalyze ATP-dependent phosphorylation of the 3-hydroxyl group of their substrates. However, the crystal structure of mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate decarboxylase and the structural reasons of the difference between reactions catalyzed by the enzyme and its homologs are unknown. In this study, we determined the X-ray crystal structure of mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate decarboxylase from Picrophilus torridus, a thermoacidophilic archaeon of the order Thermoplasmatales. Structural and mutational analysis demonstrated the importance of a conserved aspartate residue for enzyme activity. In addition, although crystallization was performed in the absence of substrate or ligands, residual electron density having the shape of a fatty acid was observed at a position overlapping the ATP-binding site of the homologous enzyme, diphosphomevalonate decarboxylase. This finding is in agreement with the expected evolutionary route from phosphomevalonate decarboxylase (ATP-dependent) to mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate decarboxylase (ATP-independent) through the loss of kinase activity. We found that the binding of geranylgeranyl diphosphate, an intermediate of the archeal isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway, evoked significant activation of mevalonate 3,5-bisphosphate decarboxylase, and several mutations at the putative geranylgeranyl diphosphate-binding site impaired this activation, suggesting the physiological importance of ligand binding as well as a possible novel regulatory system employed by the Thermoplasma-type mevalonate pathway.
Keywords: archaea; crystal structure; isoprenoid; mevalonate pathway; molecular evolution; mutagenesis.
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