Molecule of the Month: Tetrahydrobiopterin Biosynthesis
Tetrahydrobiopterin plays an essential role in the production of aromatic amino acids, neurotransmitters and nitric oxide.
Building a Cofactor
Regenerating the Cofactor
Exploring the Structure
Sepiapterin Reductase (PDB entries 1sep and 4j7u)
A recent crystallographic analysis revealed the structural basis for side effects caused by sulfa drugs. These drugs revolutionized medicine in the 1930s, being one of the first effective antibiotics for fighting bacterial infections. However, they show some side effects with the nervous system when used at high doses. A recent structure (PDB entry 4j7u ), revealed that the drugs bind to sepiapterin reductase, blocking its action and ultimately blocking the production of neurotransmitters. To explore the structure of a sulfa drug bound to this enzyme, as well as the structure of the enzyme with its intended substrate (PDB entry 1sep ), click the image for an interactive JSmol.
Topics for Further Discussion
- To see tetrahydrobiopterin in action, try searching for structures of phenylalanine hydroxylase, tyrosine hydroxylase and nitric oxide synthase.
- More information about tetrahydrobiopterin is available at the Ligand Summary page.
August 2015, David Goodsellhttp://doi.org/10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2015_8