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In many bacteria, plants and animals, the osmoprotectant betaine is synthesized in two steps: (1) choline to betaine aldehyde and (2) betaine aldehyde to betaine. This enzyme is involved in the second step and appears to be the same in plants, animals and bacteria. In contrast, different enzymes are involved in the first reaction. In plants, this reaction is catalysed by EC 188.8.131.52 (choline monooxygenase), whereas in animals and many bacteria it is catalysed by either membrane-bound EC 184.108.40.206 (choline dehydrogenase) or soluble EC 220.127.116.11 (choline oxidase) . In some bacteria, betaine is synthesized from glycine through the actions of EC 18.104.22.168 (glycine/sarcosine N-methyltransferase) and EC 22.214.171.124 (sarcosine/dimethylglycine N-methyltransferase).
The crystal structure of a ternary complex of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Provides new insight into the reaction mechanism and shows a novel binding mode of the 2'-phosphate of NADP+ and a novel cation binding site.
The disulfiram metabolites S-methyl-N,N-diethyldithiocarbamoyl sulfoxide and S-methyl-N,N-diethylthiocarbamoyl sulfone irreversibly inactivate betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, both in vitro and in situ, and arrest bacterial growth.