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Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Mutational analyses of human thymidine kinase 2 reveal key residues in ATP-Mg2+ binding and catalysis

Wang, Liya; Eriksson, Staffan


Mitochondrial thymidine kinase 2 (TK2) is an essential enzyme for mitochondrial dNTP synthesis in many tissues. Deficiency in TK2 activity causes devastating mitochondrial diseases. Here we investigated several residues involved in substrate binding and catalysis. We showed that mutations of Gln-110 and Glu-133 affected Mg2+ and ATP binding, and thus are crucial for TK2 function. Furthermore, mutations of Gln-110 and Tyr-141 altered the kinetic behavior, suggesting their involvement in substrate binding through conformational changes. Since the 3 D structure of TK2 is still unknown, and thus, the identification of key amino acids for TK2 function may help to explain how TK2 mutations cause mitochondrial diseases.


thymidine kinase 2; mutagenesis; substrate binding; ATP; Mg2+ binding; enzyme kinetics

Published in

Nucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
2022, Volume: 41, number: 3, pages: 264-272