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In cellulo crystallization of Trypanosoma brucei IMP dehydrogenase enables the identification of genuine co-factors

Journal article
Authors K. Nass
L. Redecke
M. Perbandt
O. Yefanov
M. Klinge
R. Koopmann
F. Stellato
A. Gabdulkhakov
R. Schonherr
D. Rehders
J. M. Lahey-Rudolph
A. Aquila
A. Barty
S. Basu
R. B. Doak
R. Duden
M. Frank
R. Fromme
S. Kassemeyer
Gergely Katona
R. Kirian
H. Liu
I. Majoul
J. M. Martin-Garcia
M. Messerschmidt
R. L. Shoeman
U. Weierstall
Sebastian Westenhoff
T. A. White
G. J. Williams
C. H. Yoon
N. Zatsepin
P. Fromme
M. Duszenko
H. N. Chapman
C. Betzel
Published in Nature Communications
Volume 11
Issue 1
Pages 13
ISSN 2041-1723
Publication year 2020
Published at Department of Chemistry and Molecular Biology
Pages 13
Language en
Keywords inosine 5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase, serial femtosecond, crystallography, vivo protein crystallization, 5-monophosphate, dehydrogenase, monophosphate dehydrogenase, crystal-structure, radiation-damage, inhibitors, mechanism, reveals, Science & Technology - Other Topics
Subject categories Biological Sciences


Sleeping sickness is a fatal disease caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei (Tb). Inosine-5'-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) has been proposed as a potential drug target, since it maintains the balance between guanylate deoxynucleotide and ribonucleotide levels that is pivotal for the parasite. Here we report the structure of TbIMPDH at room temperature utilizing free-electron laser radiation on crystals grown in living insect cells. The 2.80 angstrom resolution structure reveals the presence of ATP and GMP at the canonical sites of the Bateman domains, the latter in a so far unknown coordination mode. Consistent with previously reported IMPDH complexes harboring guanosine nucleotides at the second canonical site, TbIMPDH forms a compact oligomer structure, supporting a nucleotide-controlled conformational switch that allosterically modulates the catalytic activity. The oligomeric TbIMPDH structure we present here reveals the potential of in cellulo crystallization to identify genuine allosteric co-factors from a natural reservoir of specific compounds. Trypanosoma brucei inosine-5 '-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) is an enzyme in the guanine nucleotide biosynthesis pathway and of interest as a drug target. Here the authors present the 2.8 angstrom room temperature structure of TbIMPDH determined by utilizing X-ray free-electron laser radiation and crystals that were grown in insect cells and find that ATP and GMP are bound at the canonical sites of the Bateman domains.

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