Neurochemical Research

, Volume 34, Issue 10, pp 1830–1837 | Cite as

The Low Affinity Dopamine Binding Site on Tyrosine Hydroxylase: The Role of the N-Terminus and In Situ Regulation of Enzyme Activity

  • Sarah L. Gordon
  • Julianne K. Webb
  • Jacqueline Shehadeh
  • Peter R. Dunkley
  • Phillip W. Dickson
Original Paper


Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme in catecholamine biosynthesis, is inhibited in vitro by catecholamines binding to two distinct sites on the enzyme. The N-terminal regulatory domain of TH contributes to dopamine binding to the high affinity site of the enzyme. We prepared an N-terminal deletion mutant of TH to examine the role of the N-terminal domain in dopamine binding to the low affinity site. Deletion of the N-terminus of TH removes the high affinity dopamine binding site, but does not affect dopamine binding to the low affinity site. The role of the low affinity site in situ was examined by incubating PC12 cells with L-DOPA to increase the cytosolic catecholamine concentration. This resulted in an inhibition of TH activity in situ under both basal conditions and conditions that promoted the phosphorylation of Ser40. Therefore the low affinity site is active in situ regardless of the phosphorylation status of Ser40.


Tyrosine hydroxylase Dopamine Catecholamines Feedback inhibition In situ Phosphorylation 



This work was supported by a grant from the National Health and Medical Research Council (No. 455547).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah L. Gordon
    • 1
  • Julianne K. Webb
    • 1
  • Jacqueline Shehadeh
    • 1
  • Peter R. Dunkley
    • 1
  • Phillip W. Dickson
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Biomedical Sciences and The Hunter Medical Research Institute, Faculty of HealthThe University of NewcastleCallaghanAustralia

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