Recombinant Rhodobacter capsulatus xanthine dehydrogenase, a useful model system for the characterization of protein variants leading to xanthinuria I in humans.
Rhodobacter capsulatus xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) forms an (alphabeta)2 heterotetramer and is highly homologous to homodimeric eukaryotic XDHs. The crystal structures of bovine XDH and R. capsulatus XDH showed that the two proteins have highly similar folds. We have developed an efficient system for the recombinant expression of R. capsulatus XDH in Escherichia coli. The recombinant protein shows spectral features and a range of substrate specificities similar to bovine milk xanthine oxidase. However, R. capsulatus XDH is at least 5 times more active than bovine XDH and, unlike mammalian XDH, does not undergo the conversion to the oxidase form. EPR spectra were obtained for the FeS centers of the enzyme showing an axial signal for FeSI, which is different from that reported for xanthine oxidase. X-ray absorption spectroscopy at the iron and molybdenum K-edge and the tungsten LIII-edge have been used to probe the different metal coordinations of variant forms of the enzyme. Based on a mutation identified in a patient suffering from xanthinuria I, the corresponding arginine 135 was substituted to a cysteine in R. capsulatus XDH, and the protein variant was purified and characterized. Two different forms of XDH-R135C were purified, an active (alphabeta)2 heterotetrameric form and an inactive (alphabeta) heterodimeric form. The active form contains a full complement of redox centers, whereas in the inactive form the FeSI center is likely to be missing.
Leimkuhler, S; Hodson, R; George, GN; Rajagopalan, KV
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