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Caffeine, found in many foods, beverages, and pharmaceuticals, is the most used chemical compound for mental alertness. It is originally a natural product of plants and exists widely in environmental soil. Some bacteria, such as Pseudomonas putida CBB5, utilize caffeine as a sole carbon and nitrogen source by degrading it through sequential N-demethylation catalyzed by five enzymes (NdmA, NdmB, NdmC, NdmD, and NdmE). The environmentally friendly enzymatic reaction products, methylxanthines, are high-value biochemicals that are used in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries. However, the structures and biochemical properties of bacterial N-demethylases remain largely unknown. Here, we report the structures of NdmA and NdmB, the initial N- and N-specific demethylases, respectively. Reverse-oriented substrate bindings were observed in the substrate-complexed structures, offering methyl position specificity for proper N-demethylation. For efficient sequential degradation of caffeine, these enzymes form a unique heterocomplex with 3:3 stoichiometry, which was confirmed by enzymatic assays, fluorescent labeling, and small-angle X-ray scattering. The binary structure of NdmA with the ferredoxin domain of NdmD, which is the first structural information for the plant-type ferredoxin domain in a complex state, was also determined to better understand electron transport during N-demethylation. These findings broaden our understanding of the caffeine degradation mechanism by bacterial enzymes and will enable their use for industrial applications.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Journal of molecular biology
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A methylxanthine naturally occurring in some beverages and also used as a pharmacological agent. Caffeine's most notable pharmacological effect is as a central nervous system stimulant, increasing alertness and producing agitation. It also relaxes SMOOTH MUSCLE, stimulates CARDIAC MUSCLE, stimulates DIURESIS, and appears to be useful in the treatment of some types of headache. Several cellular actions of caffeine have been observed, but it is not entirely clear how each contributes to its pharmacological profile. Among the most important are inhibition of cyclic nucleotide PHOSPHODIESTERASES, antagonism of ADENOSINE RECEPTORS, and modulation of intracellular calcium handling.
A purine base found in most body tissues and fluids, certain plants, and some urinary calculi. It is an intermediate in the degradation of adenosine monophosphate to uric acid, being formed by oxidation of hypoxanthine. The methylated xanthine compounds caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline and their derivatives are used in medicine for their bronchodilator effects. (Dorland, 28th ed)
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