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3‑Phosphoglycerate Transhydrogenation Instead of Dehydrogenation Alleviates the Redox State Dependency of Yeast de Novo l‑Serine Synthesis

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journal contribution
posted on 22.01.2019, 15:51 by Nicole Paczia, Julia Becker-Kettern, Jean-François Conrotte, Javier O. Cifuente, Marcelo E. Guerin, Carole L. Linster
The enzymatic mechanism of 3-phosphoglycerate to 3-phosphohydroxypyruvate oxidation, which forms the first step of the main conserved de novo serine synthesis pathway, has been revisited recently in certain microorganisms. While this step is classically considered to be catalyzed by an NAD-dependent dehydrogenase (e.g., PHGDH in mammals), evidence has shown that in Pseudomonas, Escherichia coli, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the PHGDH homologues act as transhydrogenases. As such, they use α-ketoglutarate, rather than NAD+, as the final electron acceptor, thereby producing D-2-hydroxyglutarate in addition to 3-phosphohydroxypyruvate during 3-phosphoglycerate oxidation. Here, we provide a detailed biochemical and sequence–structure relationship characterization of the yeast PHGDH homologues, encoded by the paralogous SER3 and SER33 genes, in comparison to the human and other PHGDH enzymes. Using in vitro assays with purified recombinant enzymes as well as in vivo growth phenotyping and metabolome analyses of yeast strains engineered to depend on either Ser3, Ser33, or human PHGDH for serine synthesis, we confirmed that both yeast enzymes act as transhydrogenases, while the human enzyme is a dehydrogenase. In addition, we show that the yeast paralogs differ from the human enzyme in their sensitivity to inhibition by serine as well as hydrated NADH derivatives. Importantly, our in vivo data support the idea that a 3PGA transhydrogenase instead of dehydrogenase activity confers a growth advantage under conditions where the NAD+:NADH ratio is low. The results will help to elucidate why different species evolved different reaction mechanisms to carry out a widely conserved metabolic step in central carbon metabolism.