Modular structure of neuronal nitric oxide synthase: Localization of the arginine binding site and modulation by pterin
Expressed Sequence Tags
Gene Expression Profiling
A putative dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) module has been identified in neuronal nitric oxide synthase, consisting of amino acids 558-721, and is proposed to be the site of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) binding. This polypeptide has been expressed in E. coli as a fusion protein with glutathione S-transferase (GST), using the plasmid pGEX-4T1. The protein binds N omega-nitro-L-arginine (NNA) tightly, but this binding is not stimulated by BH4. cDNAs for Module II (residues 220-557) and Module III (residues 220-721) have been expressed as fusion proteins with GST. Module II does not bind NNA. However, Module III does bind NNA and binding is significantly stimulated by BH4. These observations are taken as strong evidence that the DHFR module contains the L-arginine binding site and, presumably, the BH4 binding site by analogy to its homology with DHFR, but that tight binding of BH4 requires amino acids 220-577.