An extended active-site motif controls the reactivity of the thioredoxin fold.
Mavridou DA., Saridakis E., Kritsiligkou P., Mozley EC., Ferguson SJ., Redfield C.
Proteins belonging to the thioredoxin (Trx) superfamily are abundant in all organisms. They share the same structural features, arranged in a seemingly simple fold, but they perform a multitude of functions in oxidative protein folding and electron transfer pathways. We use the C-terminal domain of the unique transmembrane reductant conductor DsbD as a model for an in-depth analysis of the factors controlling the reactivity of the Trx fold. We employ NMR spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography, mutagenesis, in vivo functional experiments applied to DsbD, and a comparative sequence analysis of Trx-fold proteins to determine the effect of residues in the vicinity of the active site on the ionization of the key nucleophilic cysteine of the -CXXC- motif. We show that the function and reactivity of Trx-fold proteins depend critically on the electrostatic features imposed by an extended active-site motif.