The enzyme phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH) catalyzes the NAD +-dependent conversion of phosphite to phosphate and represents the first biological catalyst that has been shown to conduct the enzymatic oxidation of phosphorus. Despite investigation for more than a decade into both the mechanism of its unusual reaction and its utility in cofactor regeneration, there has been a lack of any structural data for PTDH. Here we present the cocrystal structure of an engineered thermostable variant of PTDH bound to NAD+ (1.7 Å resolution), as well as four other cocrystal structures of thermostable PTDH and its variants with different ligands (all between 1.85 and 2.3 Å resolution). These structures provide a molecular framework for understanding prior mutational analysis and point to additional residues, located in the active site, that may contribute to the enzymatic activity of this highly unusual catalyst.
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