Biochemistry, Department of


Document Type


Date of this Version



THE JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY VOL. 280, NO. 49, pp. 40948–40956, December 9, 2005

DOI 10.1074/jbc.M506713200


This is an Open Access article under the CC BY license.


The activity of the housekeeping ATP:co(I)rrinoid adenosyltransferase (CobA) enzyme of Salmonella enterica sv. Typhimurium is required to adenosylate de novo biosynthetic intermediates of adenosylcobalamin and to salvage incomplete and complete corrinoids from the environment of this bacterium. In vitro, reduced flavodoxin (FldA) provides an electron to generate the co(I)rrinoid substrate in the CobA active site. To understand how CobAand FldA interact, a computer model of aCobA∙FldA complex was generated. This model was used to guide the introduction of mutations into CobA using site-directed mutagenesis and the synthesis of a peptide mimic of FldA. Residues Arg-9 and Arg-165 of CobA were critical for FldA-dependent adenosylation but were catalytically as competent as the wild-type protein when cob(I)alamin was provided as substrate. These results indicate that Arg-9 and Arg-165 are important for CobA∙FldA docking but not to catalysis. A truncation of the 9-amino acid N-terminal helix of CobA reduced its FldA-dependent cobalamin adenosyltransferase activity by 97.4%. The same protein, however, had a 4-fold higher specific activity than the native enzyme when cob(I)alamin was generated chemically in situ.