High-resolution structures of RmlC from Streptococcus suis in complex with substrate analogs locate the active site of this class of enzyme

Changjiang Dong, Louise L. Major, Andrew Allen, Wulf Blankenfeldt, Duncan Maskell, James H. Naismith

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34 Citations (Scopus)


Nature achieves the epimerization of carbohydrates by a variety of chemical routes. One common route is that performed by the class of enzyme defined by dTDP-6-deoxy-D-xylo-4-hexulose 3,5-epimerase (RmlC) from the rhamnose pathway. Earlier studies failed to identify the key residues in catalysis. We report the 1.3 A structure of RmlC from Streptococcus suis type 2 and its complexes with dTDP-D-glucose and dTDP-D-xylose. The streptococcal RmlC enzymes belong to a separate subgroup, sharing only 25% identity with RmlC from other bacteria, yet the S. suis enzyme has similar kinetic properties and structure to other RmlC enzymes. Structure, sequence alignment, and mutational analysis have now allowed reliable identification of the catalytic residues and their roles.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715-723
Number of pages9
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Binding Sites
  • Carbohydrate Epimerases
  • Crystallography X-Ray
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Models
  • Protein Binding
  • Tertiary Protein Structure
  • Streptococcus suis

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