Crystal Structure of UDP-Glucuronic acid 4-epimerase from Bacillus cereus in complex with UDP and NAD

Experimental Data Snapshot

  • Resolution: 1.70 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.203 
  • R-Value Work: 0.171 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.172 

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Crystallographic snapshots of UDP-glucuronic acid 4-epimerase ligand binding, rotation, and reduction.

Iacovino, L.G.Savino, S.Borg, A.J.E.Binda, C.Nidetzky, B.Mattevi, A.

(2020) J Biol Chem 295: 12461-12473

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA120.014692
  • Primary Citation of Related Structures:  
    6ZL6, 6ZLA, 6ZLD, 6ZLJ, 6ZLK, 6ZLL

  • PubMed Abstract: 

    UDP-glucuronic acid is converted to UDP-galacturonic acid en route to a variety of sugar-containing metabolites. This reaction is performed by a NAD + -dependent epimerase belonging to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase family. We present several high-resolution crystal structures of the UDP-glucuronic acid epimerase from Bacillus cereus The geometry of the substrate-NAD + interactions is finely arranged to promote hydride transfer. The exquisite complementarity between glucuronic acid and its binding site is highlighted by the observation that the unligated cavity is occupied by a cluster of ordered waters whose positions overlap the polar groups of the sugar substrate. Co-crystallization experiments led to a structure where substrate- and product-bound enzymes coexist within the same crystal. This equilibrium structure reveals the basis for a "swing and flip" rotation of the pro-chiral 4-keto-hexose-uronic acid intermediate that results from glucuronic acid oxidation, placing the C4' atom in position for receiving a hydride ion on the opposite side of the sugar ring. The product-bound active site is almost identical to that of the substrate-bound structure and satisfies all hydrogen-bonding requirements of the ligand. The structure of the apoenzyme together with the kinetic isotope effect and mutagenesis experiments further outlines a few flexible loops that exist in discrete conformations, imparting structural malleability required for ligand rotation while avoiding leakage of the catalytic intermediate and/or side reactions. These data highlight the double nature of the enzymatic mechanism: the active site features a high degree of precision in substrate recognition combined with the flexibility required for intermediate rotation.

  • Organizational Affiliation

    Department of Biology and Biotechnology "Lazzaro Spallanzani", University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy.

Find similar proteins by:  (by identity cutoff)  |  3D Structure
Entity ID: 1
MoleculeChains Sequence LengthOrganismDetailsImage
Epimerase domain-containing protein
A, B
327Bacillus cereus HuA2-4Mutation(s): 0 
Gene Names: IG7_05634
Entity Groups  
Sequence Clusters30% Identity50% Identity70% Identity90% Identity95% Identity100% Identity
Sequence Annotations
  • Reference Sequence
Experimental Data & Validation

Experimental Data

  • Resolution: 1.70 Å
  • R-Value Free: 0.203 
  • R-Value Work: 0.171 
  • R-Value Observed: 0.172 
  • Space Group: P 1
Unit Cell:
Length ( Å )Angle ( ˚ )
a = 42.482α = 96.77
b = 58.56β = 98.41
c = 64.904γ = 110.3
Software Package:
Software NamePurpose
PDB_EXTRACTdata extraction
XDSdata reduction
Aimlessdata scaling

Structure Validation

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Entry History & Funding Information

Deposition Data

Funding OrganizationLocationGrant Number
Italian Ministry of EducationItaly--

Revision History  (Full details and data files)

  • Version 1.0: 2020-07-29
    Type: Initial release
  • Version 1.1: 2020-09-09
    Changes: Database references
  • Version 1.2: 2024-01-31
    Changes: Data collection, Database references, Refinement description