The 2.2 Å resolution crystal structure of recombinant human manganese superoxide dismutase, a homotetrameric enzyme that protects mitochondria against oxygen-mediated free radical damage, has been determined. Within each subunit, both the N-terminal helical hairpin and C-terminal α β domains contribute ligands to the catalytic manganese site. Two identical 4-helix bundles, symmetrically assembled from the N-terminal helical hairpins, form novel tetrameric interfaces that stabilize the active sites. Structurally altered polymorphic variants with reduced activity, such as tetrameric interface mutant Ile-58 to Thr, may produce not only an early selective advantage, through enhanced cytotoxicity of tumor necrosis factor for virus-infected cells, but also detrimental effects from increased mitochondrial oxidative damage, contributing to degenerative conditions, including diabetes, aging, and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)