Research Article

A Glycyl Radical Site in the Crystal Structure of a Class III Ribonucleotide Reductase

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Science  05 Mar 1999:
Vol. 283, Issue 5407, pp. 1499-1504
DOI: 10.1126/science.283.5407.1499

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Abstract

Ribonucleotide reductases catalyze the reduction of ribonucleotides to deoxyribonucleotides. Three classes have been identified, all using free-radical chemistry but based on different cofactors. Classes I and II have been shown to be evolutionarily related, whereas the origin of anaerobic class III has remained elusive. The structure of a class III enzyme suggests a common origin for the three classes but shows differences in the active site that can be understood on the basis of the radical-initiation system and source of reductive electrons, as well as a unique protein glycyl radical site. A possible evolutionary relationship between early deoxyribonucleotide metabolism and primary anaerobic metabolism is suggested.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: derek{at}biokemi.su.se, par{at}milvus.biokemi.su.se

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