Structures of three human β alcohol dehydrogenase variants: Correlations with their functional differences

Thomas D. Hurley, William F. Bosron, Carol L. Stone, L. Mario Amzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

68 Scopus citations


The three-dimensional structures of three variants of human β alcohol dehydrogenase have been determined to 2.5 Å resolution. These three structures differ only in the amino acid at position 47 and the molecules occupying the alcohol binding site. Human β1 alcohol dehydrogenase has an Arg at position 47 and was crystallized in a complex with NAD(H) and cyclohexanol. A naturally occurring variant of β1 alcohol dehydrogenase, found in approximately 50 % of the Asian population, possesses a His at position 47 (β2 or β47H) and was crystallized in a complex with NAD+ and the inhibitor 4-iodopyrazole. A site-directed mutant of β1 alcohol dehydrogenase in which a Gly is substituted for Arg47 (β47G) was crystallized in a complex with NAD+. By comparing both the common and unique features of these structures, it is clear that position 47 contributes significantly to the strength of protein-coenzyme interactions. The substitution of Arg47 by His produces an enzyme with a 100-fold lower affinity for coenzyme, but creates no large changes in the enzyme structure. The substitution of Arg47 by Gly produces an enzyme with coenzyme binding characteristics more similar to the wild-type enzyme than to the enzyme with His at position 47, but the structure of the Gly47 variant exhibits differences in and around the coenzyme binding site. These changes involve a rigid-body rotation of the catalytic domain towards the coenzyme domain by approximately 0.8° and local rearrangements of amino acid side-chains, such as a 1.0 Å movement of Lys228, relative to the β1 enzyme. These structural alterations may compensate for the loss of coenzyme interactions contributed by Arg47 and can explain the high affinity of the Gly47 variant for coenzyme.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)415-429
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of molecular biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 9 1994


  • Alcohol
  • Binding
  • Crystallography
  • Dehydrogenase
  • Water

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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