PROSITE documentation PDOC00635
Transketolase signatures


Transketolase (EC (TK) catalyzes the reversible transfer of a two-carbon ketol unit from xylulose 5-phosphate to an aldose receptor, such as ribose 5-phosphate, to form sedoheptulose 7-phosphate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. This enzyme, together with transaldolase, provides a link between the glycolytic and pentose-phosphate pathways.

TK requires thiamine pyrophosphate as a cofactor. In most sources where TK has been purified, it is a homodimer of approximately 70 Kd subunits. TK sequences from a variety of eukaryotic and prokaryotic sources [1,2] show that the enzyme has been evolutionarily conserved.

In the peroxisomes of methylotrophic yeast Hansenula polymorpha, there is a highly related enzyme, dihydroxy-acetone synthase (DHAS) (EC (also known as formaldehyde transketolase), which exhibits a very unusual specificity by including formaldehyde amongst its substrates.

1-deoxyxylulose-5-phosphate synthase (DXP synthase) [3] is an enzyme so far found in bacteria (gene dxs) and plants (gene CLA1) which catalyzes the thiamine pyrophosphoate-dependent acyloin condensation reaction between carbon atoms 2 and 3 of pyruvate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate to yield 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate (dxp), a precursor in the biosynthetic pathway to isoprenoids, thiamine (vitamin B1), and pyridoxol (vitamin B6). DXP synthase is evolutionary related to TK.

We selected two regions of TK as signature patterns. The first, located in the N-terminal section, contains a histidine residue which appears to function in proton transfer during catalysis [4]. The second, located in the central section, contains conserved acidic residues that are part of the active cleft and may participate in substrate-binding [4].

Last update:

December 2004 / Pattern and text revised.


Technical section

PROSITE methods (with tools and information) covered by this documentation:

TRANSKETOLASE_1, PS00801; Transketolase signature 1  (PATTERN)

TRANSKETOLASE_2, PS00802; Transketolase signature 2  (PATTERN)


1AuthorsAbedinia M. Layfield R. Jones S.M. Nixon P.F. Mattick J.S.
TitleNucleotide and predicted amino acid sequence of a cDNA clone encoding part of human transketolase.
SourceBiochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 183:1159-1166(1992).
PubMed ID1567394

2AuthorsFletcher T.S. Kwee I.L. Nakada T. Largman C. Martin B.M.
TitleDNA sequence of the yeast transketolase gene.
SourceBiochemistry 31:1892-1896(1992).
PubMed ID1737042

3AuthorsSprenger G.A. Schorken U. Wiegert T. Grolle S. de Graaf A.A. Taylor S.V. Begley T.P. Bringer-Meyer S. Sahm H.
TitleIdentification of a thiamin-dependent synthase in Escherichia coli required for the formation of the 1-deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate precursor to isoprenoids, thiamin, and pyridoxol.
SourceProc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94:12857-12862(1997).
PubMed ID9371765

4AuthorsLindqvist Y. Schneider G. Ermler U. Sundstroem M.
TitleThree-dimensional structure of transketolase, a thiamine diphosphate dependent enzyme, at 2.5 A resolution.
SourceEMBO J. 11:2373-2379(1992).
PubMed ID1628611

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