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Keywords:

  • Glutamate dehydrogenase;
  • Hyperthermophile;
  • Pyrococcus furiosus;
  • Thermal stability;
  • Archaea;
  • Ion-pair network;
  • X-ray crystallography

Abstract: The structure determination of the glutamate dehydrogenase from the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus has been completed at 2.2 Å resolution. The structure has been compared with the glutamate dehydrogenases from the mesophiles Clostridium symbiosum, Escherichia coli and Neurospora crassa. This comparison has revealed that the hyperthermophilic enzyme contains a striking series of networks of ion-pairs which are formed by regions of the protein which contain a high density of charged residues. Such regions are not found in the mesophilic enzymes and the number and extent of ion-pair formation is much more limited. The ion-pair networks are clustered at both inter domain and inter subunit interfaces and may well represent a major stabilising feature associated with the adaptation of enzymes to extreme temperatures.