The structure of glycogen phosphorylase a at 2.5 Å resolution

Stephen Sprang, Robert J. Fletterick

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The structure of the glucose-inhibited form of glycogen phosphorylase a has been determined at a resolution of 2.5 Å. With the aid of the primary sequence derived by Titani et al. (1977) for this enzyme, we have constructed an atomic model of the 97,400 molecular weight monomer. A substantial improvement in the electron density map over that reported previously (Fletterick et al., 1976b) was achieved by extension of the data set to 2.5 Å and the inclusion of three additional "heavy-atom" derivatives in the phasing procedure. Main-chain and side-chain electron density are clearly resolved in the map, allowing an unambiguous correlation with the published primary structure. The course of the polypeptide backbone in the C-terminal half of the molecule has been modified at two positions from that reported in the 3.0 Å resolution interpretation. The enzyme is clearly organized into two domains, both with α β packing topology. The catalytic site lies in a crevice at the interface between the two domains. α-d-Glucose, which stabilizes the inactive (T) conformation in the parent crystal, is bound at this site in the C(6′) chair equatorial conformation within 6 Å of the pyridoxal phosphate coenzyme which is covalently bound through the ε{lunate}-amino group of lysine 679. The larger, N-terminal domain is differentiated by folding architecture and tertiary contacts into two lobes or subdomains which share the same β-sheet backbone: the predominantly helical glycogen storage (maltoheptaose binding) lobe and the N-terminal subdomain. The latter is involved in a variety of protein-protein interactions with the monomer related by the 2-fold axis of the physiological dimer, and contains the serine 14-phosphate moiety and the AMP (positive effector) binding site. The core of the second domain is the complex (βαβ)′ folding unit previously characterized as the nucleotide binding fold (Rao & Rossmann, 1973).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)523-551
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 5 1979


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