Autoprocessing of Helicobacter pylori γ-glutamyltranspeptidase leads to the formation of a threonine-threonine catalytic dyad

Gina Boanca, Aaron Sand, Toshihiro Okada, Hideyuki Suzuki, Hidehiko Kumagai, Keiichi Fukuyama, Joseph J. Barycki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Helicobacter pylori γ-glutamyltranspeptidase (HpGT) is a glutathione-degrading enzyme that has been shown to be a virulence factor in infection. It is expressed as a 60-kDa inactive precursor that must undergo autocatalytic processing to generate a 40-kDa/20-kDa heterodimer with full γ-glutamyl amide bond hydrolase activity. The new N terminus of the processed enzyme, Thr-380, is the catalytic nucleophile in both the autoprocessing and enzymatic reactions, indicating that HpGT is a member of the N-terminal nucleophile hydrolase superfamily. To further investigate activation as a result of autoprocessing, the structure of HpGT has been determined to a resolution of 1.9 Å. The refined model contains two 40-kDa/20-kDa heterodimers in the asymmetric unit and has structural features comparable with other N-terminal nucleophile hydrolases. Autoprocessing of HpGT leads to a large conformational change, with the loop preceding the catalytic Thr-380 moving >35 Å, thus relieving steric constraints that likely limit substrate binding. In addition, cleavage of the proenzyme results in the formation of a threonine-threonine dyad comprised of Thr-380 and a second conserved threonine residue, Thr-398. The hydroxyl group of Thr-398 is located equidistant from the α-amino group and hydroxyl side chain of Thr-380. Mutation of Thr-398 to an alanine results in an enzyme that is fully capable of autoprocessing but is devoid of enzymatic activity. Substrate docking studies in combination with homology modeling studies of the human homologue reveal additional mechanistic details of enzyme maturation and activation, substrate recognition, and catalysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)534-541
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 5 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Autoprocessing of Helicobacter pylori γ-glutamyltranspeptidase leads to the formation of a threonine-threonine catalytic dyad'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this