Sequence and Structural Links between Distant ADP-Ribosyltransferase Families

  • J. Fernando Bazan
  • Friedrich Koch-Nolte
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 419)


The low resolution structure of the Pseudomonas aeroginosa exotoxin A (ETA) presented in 1986 provided the first tantalizing three-dimensional view of an ADP-ribosyltransferase (ADPRT) catalytic domain. The major features of this protein fold have recurred in the more recently solved crystal structures of the cholera toxin-related heatlabile enterotoxin (LT), diphtheria toxin (DT) and pertussis toxin (PT). A core set of α+β elements define a minimal, conserved scaffold with remarkably plastic sequence requirements - only a single glutamic acid residue critical to catalytic activity is invariant. Other interchangeable residues in locations important for catalysis and binding are suggested by the cocrystal structures of DT with the inhibitor ApUp, ETA with bound AMP and nicotinamide, and DT with substrate NAD - in close accord with labeling and mutagenic data. Faint sequence resemblances that were earlier noticed among prokaryotic ADPRTs have now been securely extended by the structural concordance between toxin folds; more recently, eukaryotic ADPRTs have surfaced and their sequences can be reliably threaded into the conserved core fold. We will briefly summarize efforts in Palo Alto and Hamburg to explore these latter relationships, and to mount a rigorous search for new ADPRT families in the growing sequence databases.


Catalytic Domain Pertussis Toxin Diphtheria Toxin Bacterial Toxin Structural Link 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Fernando Bazan
    • 2
  • Friedrich Koch-Nolte
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ImmunologyUniversity HospitalHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Molecular BiologyDNAX Research InstitutePalo AltoUSA

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