Second-Sourcing Thymidylate

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  05 Jul 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5578, pp. 9
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5578.9i

It might be assumed that mechanisms for the biosynthesis of essential DNA precursors would be conserved in all organisms. However, Myllykallio et al. (p. 105) show that a large class of proteins that do not have sequence similarity with the classic thymidylate synthase (ThyA) synthesizes thymidylate by a different mechanism. These enzymes (ThyX) are mainly limited to microbial genomes that lack ThyA and are an important drug target as they occur in several human pathogens. In a Perspective, Murzin comments on a rare confluence of events in which the functional characterization is complemented by the recent structural characterization of ThyX by the Joint Center for Structural Genomics.

Stay Connected to Science

Navigate This Article