Fundamental molecular differences between alcohol dehydrogenase classes.

Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 06/1994; 91(11):4980-4. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.91.11.4980
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Two types of alcohol dehydrogenase in separate protein families are the "medium-chain" zinc enzymes (including the classical liver and yeast forms) and the "short-chain" enzymes (including the insect form). Although the medium-chain family has been characterized in prokaryotes and many eukaryotes (fungi, plants, cephalopods, and vertebrates), insects have seemed to possess only the short-chain enzyme. We have now also characterized a medium-chain alcohol dehydrogenase in Drosophila. The enzyme is identical to insect octanol dehydrogenase. It is a typical class III alcohol dehydrogenase, similar to the corresponding human form (70% residue identity), with mostly the same residues involved in substrate and coenzyme interactions. Changes that do occur are conservative, but Phe-51 is of functional interest in relation to decreased coenzyme binding and increased overall activity. Extra residues versus the human enzyme near position 250 affect the coenzyme-binding domain. Enzymatic properties are similar--i.e., very low activity toward ethanol (Km beyond measurement) and high selectivity for formaldehyde/glutathione (S-hydroxymethylglutathione; kcat/Km = 160,000 min-1.mM-1). Between the present class III and the ethanol-active class I enzymes, however, patterns of variability differ greatly, highlighting fundamentally separate molecular properties of these two alcohol dehydrogenases, with class III resembling enzymes in general and class I showing high variation. The gene coding for the Drosophila class III enzyme produces an mRNA of about 1.36 kb that is present at all developmental stages of the fly, compatible with the constitutive nature of the vertebrate enzyme. Taken together, the results bridge a previously apparent gap in the distribution of medium-chain alcohol dehydrogenases and establish a strictly conserved class III enzyme, consistent with an important role for this enzyme in cellular metabolism.

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    ABSTRACT: Alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) activity is widely distributed in all phyla. In animals, three non-homologous NAD(P)(+)-dependent ADH protein families are reported. These arose independently throughout evolution and possess different structures and mechanisms of reaction: type I (medium-chain) ADHs are zinc-containing enzymes and comprise the most studied group in vertebrates; type II (short-chain) ADHs lack metal cofactor and have been extensively studied in Drosophila; and type III ADHs are iron-dependent/-activated enzymes that were initially identified only in microorganisms. The presence of these different ADHs in animals has been assumed to be a consequence of chronic exposure to ethanol. By far the most common natural source of ethanol is fermentation of fruit sugars by yeast, and available data support that this fruit trait evolved in concert with the characteristics of their frugivorous seed dispersers. Therefore, if the presence of ADHs in animals evolved as an adaptive response to dietary ethanol exposure, then it can be expected that the enzymogenesis of these enzymes began after the appearance of angiosperms with fleshy fruits, because substrate availability must precede enzyme selection. In this work, available evidence supporting this possibility is discussed. Phylogenetic analyses reveal that type II ADHs suffered several duplications, all of these restricted to flies (order Diptera). Induction of type II Adh by ethanol exposure, a positive correlation between ADH activity and ethanol resistance, and the fact that flies and type II Adh diversification occurred in concert with angiosperm diversification, strongly suggest that type II ADHs were recruited to allow larval flies to exploit new restricted niches with high ethanol content. In contrast, phyletic distribution of types I and III ADHs in animals showed that these appeared before angiosperms and land plants, independently of ethanol availability. Because these enzymes are not induced by ethanol exposure and possess a high affinity and/or catalytic efficiency for non-ethanol endogenous substrates, it can be concluded that the participation of types I and III ADHs in ethanol metabolism can be considered as incidental, and not adaptive.
    Chemico-biological interactions 02/2011; 191(1-3):14-25. · 2.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Different lines of alcohol dehydrogenases (ADHs) have separate superfamily origins, already recognized but now extended and re-evaluated by re-screening of the latest databank update. The short-chain form (SDR) is still the superfamily with most abundant occurrence, most multiple divergence, most prokaryotic emphasis, and most non-complicated architecture. This pattern is compatible with an early appearance at the time of the emergence of prokaryotic cellular life. The medium-chain form (MDR) is also old but second in terms of all the parameters above, and therefore compatible with a second emergence. However, this step appears seemingly earlier than previously considered, and may indicate sub-stages of early emergences at the increased resolution available from the now greater number of data entries. The Zn-MDR origin constitutes a third stage, possibly compatible with the transition to oxidative conditions on earth. Within all these three lines, repeated enzymogeneses gave the present divergence. MDR-ADH origin(s), at a fourth stage, may also be further resolved in multiple or extended modes, but the classical liver MDR-ADH of the liver type can still be traced to a gene duplication ∼550 MYA (million years ago), at the early vertebrate radiation, compatible with the post-eon-shift, "Cambrian explosion". Classes and isozymes correspond to subsequent and recent duplicatory events, respectively. They illustrate a peculiar pattern with functional and emerging evolutionary distinctions between parent and emerging lines, suggesting a parallelism between duplicatory and mutational events, now also visible at separate sub-stages. Combined, all forms show distinctive patterns at different levels and illustrate correlations with global events. They further show that simple molecular observations on patterns, multiplicities and occurrence give much information, suggesting common divergence rules not much disturbed by horizontal gene transfers after the initial origins.
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