A comparison of the amino acid sequence of O-acetylserine (thiol)-lyase (EC 188.8.131.52) from Escherichia coli and the isoforms of this enzyme found in the cytosolic and chloroplastic compartments of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) leaf cells allows the essential lysine residue involved in the binding of the pyridoxal 5′-phosphate cofactor to be identified. The results of further sequence comparison of cDNAs coding for these proteins are discussed in the frame of the endosymbiotic theory of chloroplast evolution. The results are compatible with a mechanism in which the chloroplast enzyme originated from the cytosolic enzyme and both plant genes originated from a common prokaryotic ancestor. The comparison also suggests that the 5′-non-coding sequence of the bacterial gene was transferred to the plant cell nucleus and that it has been used to create the N-terminal portions of both plant enzymes, and possibly the transit peptide of the chloroplast enzyme.
- © 1993 The Biochemical Society, London