Feedback regulation mechanisms for the control of GTP cyclohydrolase I activity

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Science  04 Jun 1993:
Vol. 260, Issue 5113, pp. 1507-1510
DOI: 10.1126/science.8502995


Guanosine triphosphate (GTP) cyclohydrolase I, the rate-limiting enzyme in the biosynthesis of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4), is subject to feedback inhibition by BH4, a cofactor for phenylalanine hydroxylase. Inhibition was found to depend specifically on BH4 and the presence of another protein (p35). The inhibition occurred through BH4-dependent complex formation between p35 protein and GTP cyclohydrolase I. Furthermore, the inhibition was specifically reversed by phenylalanine, and, in conjunction with p35, phenylalanine reduced the cooperativity of GTP cyclohydrolase I. These findings also provide a molecular basis for high plasma BH4 concentrations observed in patients with hyperphenylalaninemia caused by phenylalanine hydroxylase deficiency.