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True catalases are tyrosine-liganded, usually tetrameric, hemoproteins with subunit sizes of ∼55-84 kDa. Recently characterized hemoproteins with a catalase-related structure, yet lacking in catalatic activity, include the 40-43 kDa allene oxide synthases of marine invertebrates and cyanobacteria. Herein, we describe the 1.8 Å X-ray crystal structure of a 33 kDa subunit hemoprotein from Mycobacterium avium ssp. paratuberculosis (annotated as MAP-2744c), that retains the core elements of the catalase fold and exhibits an organic peroxide-dependent peroxidase activity. MAP-2744c exhibits negligible catalatic activity, weak peroxidatic activity using hydrogen peroxide (20/s) and strong peroxidase activity (∼300/s) using organic hydroperoxides as co-substrate. Key amino acid differences significantly impact prosthetic group conformation and placement and confer a distinct activity to this prototypical member of a group of conserved bacterial "minicatalases". Its structural features and the result of the enzyme assays support a role for MAP-2744c and its close homologues in mitigating challenge by a variety of reactive oxygen species. Published by Wiley-Blackwell. © 2009 The Protein Society.

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Protein Science

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