Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Human DHRS6 is a previously uncharacterized member of the short chain dehydrogenases/reductase family and displays significant homologies to bacterial hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenases. Substrate screening reveals sole NAD(+)-dependent conversion of (R)-hydroxybutyrate to acetoacetate with K(m) values of about 10 mm, consistent with plasma levels of circulating ketone bodies in situations of starvation or ketoacidosis. The structure of human DHRS6 was determined at a resolution of 1.8 A in complex with NAD(H) and reveals a tetrameric organization with a short chain dehydrogenases/reductase-typical folding pattern. A highly conserved triad of Arg residues ("triple R" motif consisting of Arg(144), Arg(188), and Arg(205)) was found to bind a sulfate molecule at the active site. Docking analysis of R-beta-hydroxybutyrate into the active site reveals an experimentally consistent model of substrate carboxylate binding and catalytically competent orientation. GFP reporter gene analysis reveals a cytosolic localization upon transfection into mammalian cells. These data establish DHRS6 as a novel, cytosolic type 2 (R)-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase, distinct from its well characterized mitochondrial type 1 counterpart. The properties determined for DHRS6 suggest a possible physiological role in cytosolic ketone body utilization, either as a secondary system for energy supply in starvation or to generate precursors for lipid and sterol synthesis.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





10291 - 10297


Amino Acid Motifs, Amino Acid Sequence, Animals, Arginine, Binding Sites, Cloning, Molecular, Crystallography, X-Ray, Cytosol, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Exons, Green Fluorescent Proteins, HeLa Cells, Humans, Hydrogen-Ion Concentration, Hydroxybutyrate Dehydrogenase, Kinetics, Lipids, Mitochondria, Models, Molecular, Molecular Sequence Data, Oxidoreductases, Phylogeny, Protein Conformation, Protein Folding, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Sequence Homology, Amino Acid, Substrate Specificity, Sulfates