Conversion of a Peroxiredoxin into a Disulfide Reductase by a Triplet Repeat Expansion

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Science  05 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5540, pp. 158-160
DOI: 10.1126/science.1063143

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Pathways for the reduction of protein disulfide bonds are found in all organisms and are required for the reductive recycling of certain enzymes including the essential protein ribonucleotide reductase. An Escherichia coli strain that lacks both thioredoxin reductase and glutathione reductase grows extremely poorly. Here, we show that a mutation occurring at high frequencies in the gene ahpC, encoding a peroxiredoxin, restores normal growth to this strain. This mutation is the result of a reversible expansion of a triplet nucleotide repeat sequence, leading to the addition of one amino acid that converts the AhpC protein from a peroxidase to a disulfide reductase. The ready mutational interconversion between the two activities could provide an evolutionary advantage to E. coli.

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