The crystal structures of the full-length Herpes simplex virus type 1 thymidine kinase in its unligated form and in a complex with an adenine analogue have been determined at 1.9 A resolution. The unligated enzyme contains four water molecules in the thymidine pocket and reveals a small induced fit on substrate binding. The structure of the ligated enzyme shows for the first time a bound adenine analogue after numerous complexes with thymine and guanine analogues have been reported. The adenine analogue constitutes a new lead compound for enzyme-prodrug gene therapy. In addition, the structure of mutant Q125N modifying the binding site of the natural substrate thymidine in complex with this substrate has been established at 2.5 A resolution. It reveals that neither the binding mode of thymidine nor the polypeptide backbone conformation is altered, except that the two major hydrogen bonds to thymidine are replaced by a single water-mediated hydrogen bond, which improves the relative acceptance of the prodrugs aciclovir and ganciclovir compared with the natural substrate. Accordingly, the mutant structure represents a first step toward improving the virus-directed enzyme-prodrug gene therapy by enzyme engineering.
Nucleoside binding site of herpes simplex type 1 thymidine kinase analyzed by X-ray crystallography.,Vogt J, Perozzo R, Pautsch A, Prota A, Schelling P, Pilger B, Folkers G, Scapozza L, Schulz GE Proteins. 2000 Dec 1;41(4):545-53. PMID:11056041
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