Common protein motifs between histidine decarboxylase (HDC) and ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) were detected by computational analysis. Mutants were generated and expressed in vitro. In both enzymes, terminal PEST-region-containing fragments are not essential for decarboxylation (PEST regions are sequence fragments enriched in proline, glutamic acid, serine and threonine residues in a hydrophilic fragment flanked by cationic amino acids). The substitution of a very well conserved histidine residue by alanine causes a severalfold increase of the apparent Km values for the respective substrates.

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