FCCC LOGO Faculty Publications
Jaffe EK , Volin M , Bronson-Mullins CR , Dunbrack RL Jr , Kervinen J , Martins J , Quinlan JF Jr , Sazinsky MH , Steinhouse EM , Yeung AT
An artificial gene for human porphobilinogen synthase allows comparison of an allelic variation implicated in susceptibility to lead poisoning
J Biol Chem. 2000 Jan 28;275(4) :2619-26
Back to previous list
Porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) is an ancient enzyme essential to tetrapyrrole biosynthesis (e.g. heme, chlorophyll, and vitamin B(12)). Two common alleles encoding human PBGS, K59 and N59, have been correlated with differential susceptibility of humans to lead poisoning. However, a model for human PBGS based on homologous crystal structures shows the location of the allelic variation to be distant from the active site with its two Zn(II). Previous microbial expression systems for human PBGS have resulted in a poor yield. Here, an artificial gene encoding human PBGS was constructed by recursive polymerase chain reaction from synthetic oligonucleotides to rectify this problem. The artificial gene was made to resemble the highly expressed homologous Escherichia coli hemB gene and to remove rare codons that can confound heterologous protein expression in E. coli. We have expressed and purified recombinant human PBGS variants K59 and N59 in 100-mg quantities. Both human PBGS proteins purified with eight Zn(II)/octamer; Zn(II) binding was shown to be pH-dependent; and Pb(II) could displace some of the Zn(II). However, there was no differential displacement of Zn(II) by Pb(II) between K59 and N59, and simple Pb(II) inhibition studies revealed no allelic difference.
20112827 0021-9258 Journal Article