Lead poisoning, haem synthesis and 5-aminolaevulinic acid dehydratase

Martin J. Warren, Jon B. Cooper, Stephen P. Wood, Peter M. Shoolingin-jordan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In mammals and yeast, 5-aminolaevulinic acid dehydratase is a zinc-dependent enzyme that catalyses the synthesis of porphobilinogen—the pyrrole building block that is incorporated into all modified tetrapyrroles, including haem, chlorophyll and vitamin B12. The X-ray structure of this enzyme reveals how substitution of the catalytically important zinc ion by lead inactivates the enzyme and causes a form of pseudo-porphyria.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-221
JournalTrends in Biochemical Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 1998


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