Evolution of putrescine N-methyltransferase from spermidine synthase demanded alterations in substrate binding

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Abstract

Putrescine N-methyltransferase (PMT) catalyses S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)-dependent methylation of putrescine in tropane alkaloid biosynthesis. PMT presumably evolved from the ubiquitous spermidine synthase (SPDS). SPDS protein structure suggested that only few amino acid exchanges in the active site were necessary to achieve PMT activity. Protein modelling, mutagenesis, and chimeric protein construction were applied to trace back evolution of PMT activity from SPDS. Ten amino acid exchanges in Datura stramonium SPDS dismissed the hypothesis of facile generation of PMT activity in existing SPDS proteins. Chimeric PMT and SPDS enzymes were active and indicated the necessity for a different putrescine binding site when PMT developed. © 2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

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Biastoff, S., Reinhardt, N., Reva, V., Brandt, W., & Dräger, B. (2009). Evolution of putrescine N-methyltransferase from spermidine synthase demanded alterations in substrate binding. FEBS Letters, 583(20), 3367–3374. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2009.09.043

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