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Keywords:

  • vinorine synthase;
  • ajmaline biosynthesis.

Vinorine synthase (VS) is a central enzyme of the biosynthesis of the antiarrhythmic drug ajmaline and is a member of the BAHD superfamily of acyltransferases. So far, no three-dimensional structure with significant sequence homology with VS is known. Crystals of VS and selenomethionyl-labelled VS from the medicinal plant Rauvolfia serpentina have been obtained by the hanging-drop technique at 305 K with ammonium sulfate and PEG 400 as precipitants. VS crystals diffract to 2.8 Å and belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 82.3, b = 89.6, c = 136.2 Å. The selenomethionyl VS crystal was nearly isomorphous with the VS crystal.