Sci Adv 8 (44) eabm4089 [2022-11-04; online 2022-11-04]
Enzymatic catalysis is critically dependent on selectivity, active site architecture, and dynamics. To contribute insights into the interplay of these properties, we established an approach with NMR, crystallography, and MD simulations focused on the ubiquitous phosphotransferase adenylate kinase (AK) isolated from <i>Odinarchaeota</i> (OdinAK). <i>Odinarchaeota</i> belongs to the Asgard archaeal phylum that is believed to be the closest known ancestor to eukaryotes. We show that OdinAK is a hyperthermophilic trimer that, contrary to other AK family members, can use all NTPs for its phosphorylation reaction. Crystallographic structures of OdinAK-NTP complexes revealed a universal NTP-binding motif, while <sup>19</sup>F NMR experiments uncovered a conserved and rate-limiting dynamic signature. As a consequence of trimerization, the active site of OdinAK was found to be lacking a critical catalytic residue and is therefore considered to be "atypical." On the basis of discovered relationships with human monomeric homologs, our findings are discussed in terms of evolution of enzymatic substrate specificity and cold adaptation.