May 30, 2002

ATP-dependent L-cysteine:1D-myo-inosityl 2-amino-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside ligase, mycothiol biosynthesis enzyme MshC, is related to class I cysteinyl-tRNA synthetases

Dipti SareenRobert C Fahey


Mycothiol is a novel thiol produced only by actinomycetes and is the major low molecular weight thiol in mycobacteria. The mycothiol biosynthetic pathway has been postulated to involve ATP-dependent ligation of L-cysteine (Cys) with 1D-myo-inosityl 2-amino-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside; GlcN-Ins) catalyzed by MshC to produce Cys-GlcN-Ins. The ligase activity was purified approximately 2400-fold from Mycobacterium smegmatis and two proteins of slightly different M(r) approximately 47000 were identified with MshC activity. The N-terminal sequence of the smaller protein revealed that it was coded by a gene in the databases for M. smegmatis and M. tuberculosis previously designated as cysS2. The larger protein was coded by the same gene in M. smegmatis but included an eight amino acid N-terminal extension involving a different start codon. The ligase was found to have K(m) values of 40 +/- 3 and 72 +/- 9 microM for Cys and GlcN-Ins, respectively. The cysS2 gene was thought to encode a second cysteinyl-tRNA synthetase in addition to cysS but the present results indicate that cysS2 is actually the mshC gene encoding ATP-dependent Cys:GlcN-Ins ligase.

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Mentioned in this Paper

MT-TA gene
Triplet Codon-amino Acid Adaptor Activity
Transfer RNA
Sulfhydryl Compounds
Mycothiol Biosynthetic Process
Codon, Initiator
CARS gene

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