Rossmann-fold motifs can confer multiple functions to metabolic enzymes: RNA binding and ribonuclease activity of a UDP-glucose dehydrogenase

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Metabolic enzymes are usually characterized to have one specific function, and this is the case of UDP-glucose dehydrogenase that catalyzes the twofold NAD(+)-dependent oxidation of UDP-glucose into UDP-glucuronic acid. We have determined that this enzyme is also capable of participating in other cellular processes. Here, we report that the bacterial UDP-glucose dehydrogenase (UgdG) from Sphingomonas elodea ATCC 31461, which provides UDP-glucuronic acid for the synthesis of the exopolysaccharide gellan, is not only able to bind RNA but also acts as a ribonuclease. The ribonucleolytic activity occurs independently of the presence of NAD(+) and the RNA binding site does not coincide with the NAD(+) binding region. We have also performed the kinetics of interaction between UgdG and RNA. Moreover, computer analysis reveals that the N- and C-terminal domains of UgdG share structural features with ancient mitochondrial ribonucleases named MAR. MARs are present in lower eukaryotic microorganisms, have a Rossmannoid-fold and belong to the isochorismatase superfamily. This observation reinforces that the Rossmann structural motifs found in NAD(+)-dependent dehydrogenases can have a dual function working as a nucleotide cofactor binding domain and as a ribonuclease. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)218-224
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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