The shikimate dehydrogenase family: functional diversity within a conserved structural and mechanistic framework.

Peek J, Christendat D

Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 2015 Jan 15; 566():85-99

PMID: 25524738


Shikimate dehydrogenase (SDH) catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of 3-deydroshikimate to shikimate, an essential reaction in the biosynthesis of the aromatic amino acids and a large number of other secondary metabolites in plants and microbes. The indispensible nature of this enzyme makes it a potential target for herbicides and antimicrobials. SDH is the archetypal member of a large protein family, which contains at least four additional functional classes with diverse metabolic roles. The different members of the SDH family share a highly similar three-dimensional structure and utilize a conserved catalytic mechanism, but exhibit distinct substrate preferences, making the family a particularly interesting system for studying modes of substrate recognition used by enzymes. Here, we review our current understanding of the biochemical and structural properties of each of the five previously identified SDH family functional classes.

Structurally diverse dehydroshikimate dehydratase variants participate in microbial quinate catabolism.

Peek J, Roman J, Moran GR, Christendat D

Mol. Microbiol. 2017 01; 103(1):39-54

PMID: 27706847


Quinate and shikimate can be degraded by a number of microbes. Dehydroshikimate dehydratases (DSDs) play a central role in this process, catalyzing the conversion of 3-dehydroshikimate to protocatechuate, a common intermediate of aromatic degradation pathways. DSDs have applications in metabolic engineering for the production of valuable protocatechuate-derived molecules. Although a number of Gram-negative bacteria are known to catabolize quinate and shikimate, only limited information exists on the quinate/shikimate catabolic enzymes found in these organisms. Here, we have functionally and structurally characterized a putative DSD designated QuiC1, which is present in some pseudomonads. The QuiC1 protein is not related by sequence with previously identified DSDs from the Gram-negative genus, Acinetobacter, but instead shows limited sequence identity in its N-terminal half with fungal DSDs. Analysis of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa quiC1 gene knock-out demonstrates that it is important for growth on either quinate or shikimate. The structure of a QuiC1 enzyme from P. putida reveals that the protein is a fusion of two distinct modules: an N-terminal sugar phosphate isomerase-like domain associated with DSD activity and a novel C-terminal hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-like domain. The results of this study highlight the considerable diversity of enzymes that participate in quinate/shikimate catabolism in different microbes.

Shikimate Induced Transcriptional Activation of Protocatechuate Biosynthesis Genes by QuiR, a LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulator, in Listeria monocytogenes.

Prezioso SM, Xue K, Leung N, Gray-Owen SD, Christendat D

J. Mol. Biol. 2018 Apr 27; 430(9):1265-1283

PMID: 29530613


Listeria monocytogenes is a common foodborne bacterial pathogen that contaminates plant and animal consumable products. The persistent nature of L. monocytogenes is associated with millions of dollars in food recalls annually. Here, we describe the role of shikimate in directly modulating the expression of genes encoding enzymes for the conversion of quinate and shikimate metabolites to protocatechuate. In L. monocytogenes, these genes are found within two operons, named qui1 and qui2. In addition, a gene named quiR, encoding a LysR-Type Transcriptional Regulator (QuiR), is located immediately upstream of the qui1 operon. Transcriptional lacZ-promoter fusion experiments show that QuiR induces gene expression of both qui1 and qui2 operons in the presence of shikimate. Furthermore, co-crystallization of the QuiR effector binding domain in complex with shikimate provides insights into the mechanism of activation of this regulator. Together these data show that upon shikimate accumulation, QuiR activates the transcription of genes encoding enzymes involved in shikimate and quinate utilization for the production of protocatechuate. Furthermore, the accumulation of protocatechuate leads to the inhibition of Listeria growth. Since protocatechuate is not known to be utilized by Listeria, its role is distinct from those established in other bacteria.