Single crystals of the holoenzyme (1R,6R)-2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate synthase with ThDP and Mn2+ as cofactors were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with 35% ethylene glycol as precipitant. Apoenzyme crystals were obtained by sitting-drop vapour diffusion with 70% MPD.
(1R,6R)-2-Succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate (SHCHC) synthase, also called MenD, participates in the menaquinone (vitamin K2) biosynthetic pathway. The enzyme is a part of the superfamily of ThDP-dependent enzymes; however, it is the only enzyme known to catalyze a Stetter-like 1,4-addition of a ThDP adduct to the β-carbon of an unsaturated carboxylate. This is the first reported crystallization of the apoenzyme and holoenzyme forms of MenD. The apoenzyme crystals were obtained by sitting-drop vapour diffusion with 70% MPD. However, the crystals were too small to collect diffraction data and a search for better conditions was not successful. Single crystals of the holoenzyme with ThDP and Mn2+ as cofactors were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with 35% ethylene glycol as precipitant. Diffraction data were collected on a cryocooled crystal to a resolution of 2.0 Å at BioCARS, Advanced Photon Source (APS), Chicago, IL, USA. The crystal was found to belong to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 106.86, b = 143.06, c = 156.85 Å, α = β = γ = 90°.
SHCHC synthase; MenD; ThDP-dependent enzymes
The formation of 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylic acid (SHCHC), the first identified intermediate in the menaquinone biosynthetic pathway, requires two reactions. They are the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoglutarate by an alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylase, which results in the formation of succinic semialdehyde-thiamine PPi (TPP) anion, and the addition of the succinic semialdehyde-TPP anion to isochorismate carried out by the enzyme SHCHC synthase. Evidence is provided to support the conclusion that both enzymatic activities are encoded by an extended menD gene which is capable of generating a bifunctional 69-kDa protein. Consistent with the requirement for TPP in the decarboxylation of alpha-ketoglutarate, the translated amino acid sequence contains the characteristic TPP-binding motif present in all well-characterized TPP-requiring enzymes.
The biosynthesis of o-succinylbenzoic acid (OSB), the first aromatic intermediate involved in the biosynthesis of menaquinone (vitamin K2) is demonstrated for the first time in the gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. Cell extracts were found to contain isochorismate synthase, 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylic acid (SHCHC) synthase-alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylase and o-succinylbenzoic acid synthase activities. An odhA mutant which lacks the decarboxylase component (usually termed E1, EC 188.8.131.52, oxoglutarate dehydrogenase [lipoamide]) of the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex was found to synthesize SHCHC and form succinic semialdehyde-thiamine pyrophosphate. Thus, the presence of an alternate alpha-ketoglutarate decarboxylase activity specifically involved in menaquinone biosynthesis is established for B. subtilis. A number of OSB-requiring mutants were also assayed for the presence of the various enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of OSB. All mutants were found to lack only the SHCHC synthase activity.
Standard numbering schemes for families of homologous proteins allow for the unambiguous identification of functionally and structurally relevant residues, to communicate results on mutations, and to systematically analyse sequence-function relationships in protein families. Standard numbering schemes have been successfully implemented for several protein families, including lactamases and antibodies, whereas a numbering scheme for the structural family of thiamine-diphosphate (ThDP) -dependent decarboxylases, a large subfamily of the class of ThDP-dependent enzymes encompassing pyruvate-, benzoylformate-, 2-oxo acid-, indolpyruvate- and phenylpyruvate decarboxylases, benzaldehyde lyase, acetohydroxyacid synthases and 2-succinyl-5-enolpyruvyl-6-hydroxy-3-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate synthase (MenD) is still missing.
Despite a high structural similarity between the members of the ThDP-dependent decarboxylases, their sequences are diverse and make a pairwise sequence comparison of protein family members difficult.
We developed and validated a standard numbering scheme for the family of ThDP-dependent decarboxylases. A profile hidden Markov model (HMM) was created using a set of representative sequences from the family of ThDP-dependent decarboxylases. The pyruvate decarboxylase from S. cerevisiae (PDB: 2VK8) was chosen as a reference because it is a well characterized enzyme. The crystal structure with the PDB identifier 2VK8 encompasses the structure of the ScPDC mutant E477Q, the cofactors ThDP and Mg2+ as well as the substrate analogue (2S)-2-hydroxypropanoic acid. The absolute numbering of this reference sequence was transferred to all members of the ThDP-dependent decarboxylase protein family. Subsequently, the numbering scheme was integrated into the already established Thiamine-diphosphate dependent Enzyme Engineering Database (TEED) and was used to systematically analyze functionally and structurally relevant positions in the superfamily of ThDP-dependent decarboxylases.
The numbering scheme serves as a tool for the reliable sequence alignment of ThDP-dependent decarboxylases and the unambiguous identification and communication of corresponding positions. Thus, it is the basis for the systematic and automated analysis of sequence-encoded properties such as structural and functional relevance of amino acid positions, because the analysis of conserved positions, the identification of correlated mutations and the determination of subfamily specific amino acid distributions depend on reliable multisequence alignments and the unambiguous identification of the alignment columns. The method is reliable and robust and can easily be adapted to further protein families.
MenH (2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate synthase) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of menaquinone, catalyzing an unusual 2,5-elimination of pyruvate from 2-succinyl-5-enolpyruvyl-6-hydroxy-3-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate.
The crystal structure of Staphylococcus aureus MenH has been determined at 2 Å resolution. In the absence of a complex to inform on aspects of specificity a model of the enzyme-substrate complex has been used in conjunction with previously published kinetic analyses, site-directed mutagenesis studies and comparisons with orthologues to investigate the structure and reactivity of MenH.
The overall basic active site displays pronounced hydrophobic character on one side and these properties complement those of the substrate. A complex network of hydrogen bonds involving well-ordered water molecules serves to position key residues participating in the recognition of substrate and subsequent catalysis. We propose a proton shuttle mechanism, reliant on a catalytic triad consisting of Ser89, Asp216 and His243. The reaction is initiated by proton abstraction from the substrate by an activated Ser89. The propensity to form a conjugated system provides the driving force for pyruvate elimination. During the elimination, a methylene group is converted to a methyl and we judge it likely that His243 provides a proton, previously acquired from Ser89 for that reduction. A conformational change of the protonated His243 may be encouraged by the presence of an anionic intermediate in the active site.
The menD gene of Escherichia coli codes for the first enzyme of menaquinone biosynthesis, 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate (SHCHC) synthase. DNA sequence analysis of menD shows an open reading frame encoding a 52-kilodalton protein. Possible promoter and ribosome binding sites are present. Insertion of the menD gene into a tac promoter expression vector leads to nearly a 100-fold increase in the level of SHCHC synthase activity upon induction with isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactoside (IPTG). Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of [35S]methionine-labeled proteins shows a 61-kilodalton protein produced upon induction of the menD-containing expression vector. This is the first reported sequence analysis of a men gene and the first significant amplification of any of the menaquinone biosynthetic enzymes.
The structure of the menaquinone-specific isochorismate synthase (MenF) from Escherichia coli has been refined at a resolution of 2.0 Å in complex with magnesium. The magnesium-bound structure has a well defined and organized active site which better represents the active conformation of the enzyme than the currently available structure.
The electron carrier menaquinone is one of many important bacterial metabolites that are derived from the key intermediate chorismic acid. MenF, the first enzyme in the menaquinone pathway, catalyzes the isomerization of chorismate to isochorismate. Here, an improved structure of MenF in a new crystal form is presented. The structure, solved at 2.0 Å resolution in complex with magnesium, reveals a well defined closed active site. Existing evidence suggests that the mechanism of the reaction catalyzed by MenF involves nucleophilic attack of a water molecule on the chorismate ring. The structure reveals a well defined water molecule located in an appropriate position for activation by Lys190 and attack on the substrate.
chorismate; isochorismate; menaquinone
Menaquinone (MK) plays a central role in the respiratory chain of Bacillus subtilis. The biosynthesis of MK requires the formation of a naphthoquinone ring via a series of specific reactions branching from the shikimate pathway. "Early" MK-specific reactions catalyze the formation of o-succinylbenzoate (OSB) from isochorismate, and "late" reactions convert OSB to dihydroxynaphthoate, by utilizing an OSB-coenzyme A intermediate. We have cloned and sequenced the B. subtilis menE and menB genes encoding, respectively, OSB-coenzyme A synthase and dihydroxynaphthoate synthase. The MenB open reading frame encodes a potential polypeptide of 261 amino acid residues with a predicted size of 28.5 kDa, while the MenE open reading frame could encode a 24.4-kDa polypeptide of 220 amino acid residues. Probable promoter sequences were identified by high-resolution primer extension assays. Organization of these genes and regulatory regions was found to be menBp menB menEp menE. Expression of menE was dependent on both menEp and menBp, indicating an operonlike organization. A region of dyad symmetry capable of forming a stable RNA secondary structure was found between menB and menE. Culture cycle-dependent expression of menB and menE was measured by steady-state transcript accumulation. For both genes, maximal accumulation was found to occur within an hour after the end of exponential growth. The menBp and menEp promoters have sequences compatible with recognition by the major vegetative form of B. subtilis RNA polymerase, E sigma A. Both promoter regions also were found to contain homologies to a sequence motif previously identified in the menCDp region and in promoters for several B. subtilis tricarboxylic acid cycle genes.
The first committed step in the biosynthesis of menaquinone (vitamin K2) is the conversion of chorismate to isochorismate, which is mediated by an isochorismate synthase encoded by the menF gene. This isochorismate synthase (MenF) is distinct from the entC-encoded isochorismate synthase (EntC) involved in enterobactin biosynthesis. MenF has been overexpressed under the influence of the T7 promoter and purified to homogeneity. The purified protein was found to have a molecular mass of 98 kDa as determined by gel filtration column chromatography on Sephacryl S-200. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed a molecular mass of 48 kDa. Thus, the enzyme is a homodimer. The purified enzyme showed a pH optimum of 7.5 to 8.0 and a temperature optimum of 37 degrees C. The enzyme carries out the irreversible conversion of chorismate to isochorismate in the presence of Mg2+. The enzyme was found to have a Km of 195 +/- 23 microM and a k(cat) of 80 min(-1). In the presence of 30 mM beta-mercaptoethanol (BME), the k(cat) increased to 176 min(-1). The reducing agents BME and dithiothreitol stimulated the enzymatic activity more than twofold. Treatment of the enzyme with the cysteine-specific modifying reagent N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) resulted in the complete loss of activity. Preincubation of the enzyme with the substrate, chorismate, before NEM treatment resulted in complete protection of the enzyme from inactivation.
Cell-free extracts of various strains of Escherichia coli synthesize the menaquinone biosynthetic intermediate o-succinylbenzoic acid (OSB) when supplied with chorismic acid, 2-ketoglutaric acid, and thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP). To assay for OSB synthesis, 2-[U-14C]ketoglutaric acid was used as substrate, and the synthesized OSB was examined by radiogas chromatography (as the dimethyl ester). [U-14C]Shikimic acid also gave rise to radioactive OSB if the cofactors necessary for enzymatic conversion to chorismic acid were added. Use of 2-[1-14C]ketoglutaric acid does not give rise to labeled OSB. In the absence of TPP during the incubations, OSB synthesis was much reduced; these observations are consistent with the proposed role for the succinic semialdehyde-TPP anion as the reagent adding to chorismic acid. Extracts of cells from menC and menD mutants did not form OSB separately, but did so in combination. There was evidence for formation of a product, X, by extracts of a menC mutant incubated with chorismic acid, TPP, and 2-ketoglutaric acid; X was converted to OSB by extracts of a menD mutant. It appears that the intermediate, X, is formed by one gene product and converted to OSB by the second gene product.
Bacillus subtilis has duplicate isochorismate synthase genes, menF and dhbC. Isochorismate synthase is involved in the biosynthesis of both the respiratory chain component menaquinone (MK) and the siderophore 2,3-dihydroxybenzoate (DHB). Several menF and dhbC deletion mutants were constructed to identify the contribution made by each gene product to MK and DHB biosynthesis. menF deletion mutants were able to produce wild-type levels of MK and DHB, suggesting that the dhbC gene product is able to compensate for the lack of MenF. However, a dhbC deletion mutant produced wild-type levels of MK but was DHB deficient, indicating that MenF is unable to compensate for the lack of DhbC. A menF dhbC double-deletion mutant was both MK and DHB deficient. Transcription analysis showed that expression of dhbC, but not of menF, is regulated by iron concentration. A dhbA'::lacZ fusion strain was constructed to examine the effects of mutations to the iron box sequence within the dhb promoter region. These mutations abolished the iron-regulated transcription of the dhb genes, suggesting that a Fur-like repressor protein exists in B. subtilis.
The flavoprotein nitroalkane oxidase (NAO) catalyzes the oxidation of primary and secondary nitroalkanes to the corresponding aldehydes and ketones. The enzyme is a homolog of acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. Asp402 in NAO has been proposed to be the active site base responsible for removing the substrate proton in the first catalytic step; structurally it corresponds to the glutamate which acts as the base in medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase. In the active site of NAO, the carboxylate of Asp402 forms an ionic interaction with the side chain of Arg409. The R409K enzyme has now been characterized kinetically and structurally. The mutation results in a decrease in the rate constant for proton abstraction of 100-fold. Analysis of the three-dimensional structure of the R409K enzyme, determined by X-ray crystallography to a resolution of 2.65 Å, shows that the critical structural change is an increase in the distance between the carboxylate of Asp402 and the positively-charged nitrogen in the side chain of the residue at position 409. The D402E mutation results in a smaller decrease in the rate constant for proton abstraction of 18-fold. The structure of the D402E enzyme, determined at 2.4 Å resolution, shows that there is a smaller increase in the distance between Arg409 and the carboxylate at position 402, and the interaction of this residue with Ser276 is perturbed. These results establish the critical importance of the interaction between Asp402 and Arg409 for proton abstraction by nitroalkane oxidase.
Uroporphyrinogen decarboxylase (UROD) is a branch point enzyme in the biosynthesis of the tetrapyrroles. It catalyzes the decarboxylation of four acetate groups of uroporphyrinogen III to yield coproporphyrinogen III, leading to heme and chlorophyll biosynthesis. UROD is a special type of nonoxidative decarboxylase, since no cofactor is essential for catalysis. In this work, the first crystal structure of a bacterial UROD, Bacillus subtilis UROD (URODBs), has been determined at a 2.3 Å resolution. The biological unit of URODBs was determined by dynamic light scattering measurements to be a homodimer in solution. There are four molecules in the crystallographic asymmetric unit, corresponding to two homodimers. Structural comparison of URODBs with eukaryotic URODs reveals a variation of two loops, which possibly affect the binding of substrates and release of products. Structural comparison with the human UROD-coproporphyrinogen III complex discloses a similar active cleft, with five invariant polar residues (Arg29, Arg33, Asp78, Tyr154, and His322) and three invariant hydrophobic residues (Ile79, Phe144, and Phe207), in URODBs. Among them, Asp78 may interact with the pyrrole NH groups of the substrate, and Arg29 is a candidate for positioning the acetate groups of the substrate. Both residues may also play catalytic roles.
Two Tn5-generated mutants of Shewanella putrefaciens with insertions in menD and menB were isolated and analyzed. Both mutants were deficient in the use of several terminal electron acceptors, including Fe(III). This deficiency was overcome by the addition of menaquinone (vitamin K2). Isolated membrane fractions from both mutants were unable to reduce Fe(III) in the absence of added menaquinone when formate was used as the electron donor. These results indicate that menaquinones are essential components for the reduction of Fe(III) by both whole cells and purified membrane fractions when formate or lactate is used as the electron donor.
The DNA binding proteins ArgR and AhrC are essential for regulation of arginine metabolism in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. A unique property of these regulators is that they form hexameric protein complexes, mediating repression of arginine biosynthetic pathways as well as activation of arginine catabolic pathways. The gltS-argE operon of Lactococcus lactis encodes a putative glutamate or arginine transport protein and acetylornithine deacetylase, which catalyzes an important step in the arginine biosynthesis pathway. By random integration knockout screening we found that derepression mutants had ISS1 integrations in, among others, argR and ahrC. Single as well as double regulator deletion mutants were constructed from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363. The three arginine biosynthetic operons argCJDBF, argGH, and gltS-argE were shown to be repressed by the products of argR and ahrC. Furthermore, the arginine catabolic arcABD1C1C2TD2 operon was activated by the product of ahrC but not by that of argR. Expression from the promoter of the argCJDBF operon reached similar levels in the single mutants and in the double mutant, suggesting that the regulators are interdependent and not able to complement each other. At the same time they also appear to have different functions, as only AhrC is involved in activation of arginine catabolism. This is the first study where two homologous arginine regulators are shown to be involved in arginine regulation in a prokaryote, representing an unusual mechanism of regulation.
The non-heme iron oxygenase VioC from Streptomyces vinaceus catalyzes Fe(II)- and α-ketoglutarate-dependent Cβ-hydroxylation of L-arginine during the biosynthesis of the tuberactinomycin antibiotic viomycin. Crystal structures of VioC were determined in complexes with the cofactor Fe(II), the substrate L-arginine, the product (2S,3S)-hydroxyarginine (hArg), and the coproduct succinate at 1.1–1.3 Å resolution. The overall structure reveals a β-helix core fold with two additional helical subdomains common to nonheme iron oxygenases of the CAS-like (CSL) superfamily. In contrast to other CAS-like oxygenases, which catalyze the formation of threo diastereomers, VioC produces the erythro diastereomer of Cβ-hydroxylated L-arginine. This unexpected stereospecificity is caused by conformational control of the bound substrate, which enforces a gauche(−) conformer for χ1 instead of the trans conformers observed for the asparagine oxygenase AsnO and other members of the CSL superfamily. Additionally, the substrate specificity of VioC was investigated. The sidechain of the L-arginine substrate projects outward from the active site by making mainly interactions with the C-terminal helical subdomain. Accordingly, VioC exerts broadened substrate specificity by accepting the analogues L-homoarginine and L-canavanine for Cβ-hydroxylation.
non-ribosomal peptide synthesis; iron(II)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent oxygenase; Cβ-hydroxylation of L-arginine; viomycin; oxidoreductase
Members of the adenylate-forming family of enzymes play a role in the metabolism of halogenated aromatics and of short, medium, and long chain fatty acids, as well as in the biosynthesis of menaquinone, peptide antibiotics, and peptide siderophores. This family includes a subfamily of acyl- and aryl-CoA ligases that catalyze thioester synthesis through two half-reactions. A carboxylate substrate first reacts with ATP to form an acyl-adenylate. Subsequent to the release of the product PPi, the enzyme binds CoA, which attacks the activated acyl group to displace AMP. Structural and functional studies on different family members suggest that these enzymes alternate between two conformations during catalysis of the two half-reactions. Specifically, after the initial adenylation step, the C-terminal domain rotates by ~140° to adopt a second conformation for thioester formation. Previously, we determined the structure of 4-chlorobenzoate:CoA ligase (CBL) in the adenylate forming conformation bound to 4-chlorobenzoate. We have determined two new crystal structures. We have determined the structure of CBL in the original adenylate-forming conformation, bound to the adenylate intermediate. Additionally, we have used a novel product analog, 4-chlorophenacyl-CoA, to trap the enzyme in the thioester-forming conformation and determined this structure in a new crystal form. This work identifies a novel binding pocket for the CoA nucleotide. The structures presented herein provide the foundation for biochemical analyses presented in the accompanying manuscript (Wu et al.). The complete characterization of this enzyme allows us to provide an explanation for the use of the domain alternation strategy by these enzymes.
4-chorobenzoate: CoA ligase; 4-chlorobenzoate; coenzyme A; adenylate-forming enzyme superfamily; acyl-adenylate; X-ray structure; Domain Alternation; enzyme conformational changes
Escherichia coli used tetrahydrothiophene 1-oxide (THTO) as an electron acceptor for anaerobic growth with glycerol as a carbon source; the THTO was reduced to tetrahydrothiophene. Cell extracts also reduced THTO to tetrahydrothiophene in the presence of a variety of electron donors. Chlorate-resistant (chl) mutants (chlA, chlB, chlD, and chlE) were unable to grow with THTO as the electron acceptor. However, growth and THTO reduction by the chlD mutant were restored by high concentrations of molybdate. Similarly, mutants of E. coli that are blocked in the menaquinone (vitamin K2) biosynthetic pathway, i.e., menB, menC, and menD mutants, did not grow with THTO as an electron acceptor. Growth and THTO reduction were restored in these mutants by the presence of appropriate intermediates of the vitamin K biosynthetic pathway.
Arginase (ARG), the enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of arginine to ornithine and urea, is the first and committed step in polyamine biosynthesis in Leishmania. The creation of a conditionally lethal Δarg null mutant in Leishmania mexicana has established that ARG is an essential enzyme for the promastigote form of the parasite and that the enzyme provides an important defense mechanism for parasite survival in the eukaryotic host. Furthermore, human ARGI (HsARGI) has also been implicated as a key factor in parasite proliferation. Thus, inhibitors of ARG offer a rational paradigm for drug design. To initiate a search for inhibitors of the L. mexicana ARG (LmARG), recombinant LmARG and HsARGI enzymes were purified from Escherichia coli. Both LmARG and HsARGI were specific for L-arginine and exhibited no activity with either D-arginine or agmatine as possible substrates. LmARG exhibited a Km of 25 ± 4 mM for L-arginine, a pH optimum ~9.0, and was dependent upon the presence of a divalent cation, preferentially manganese. A Km of 13.5 ± 2 mM for L-arginine was calculated for the HsARGI. A collection of 37 compounds was evaluated against both enzymes. Twelve of these compounds were identified as being either strong inhibitors of both LmARG and HsARGI or differential inhibitors between the two enzymes. Of the 12 compounds, six were selected for further analysis and the type and extent of inhibition determined.
Leishmania; Arginase; Polyamines; Inhibitors; Amino acids
Menaquinone (vitamin K2)-deficient mutants of Bacillus subtilis were selected by simultaneous resistance to two aminoglycoside antibiotics. These men mutants fell into two groups: group I, in which the nutritional requirement was satisfied either by o-succinylbenzoic acid or by 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid; and group II, comprising those capable of growing only when supplemented with 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphthoic acid. The latter group could be further subdivided into two classes on the basis of syntrophy experiments, fine-structure genetic mapping, and in vitro complementation by cell-free extracts (Meganathan et al., J. Bacteriol., 145:328-332, 1981). These subclasses of group II defined the menB and menE genes, whereas group I appeared to comprise mutations in the menC and menD genes. All of the men mutations tested, whether occurring in menB, menE, or menC,D, could be placed by genetic mapping with bacteriophage PBS1 between bioB and ald on the B. subtilis genome.
Pyruvate decarboxylase (PDC) uses thiamine diphosphate as an essential cofactor to catalyze the formation of acetaldehyde on the pathway of ethanol synthesis. Here we report the crystallographic image of a prereaction intermediate of a bacterial pyruvate decarboxylase prepared by cocrystallizing the enzyme with pyruvate and a stable analogue of the cofactor’s activated ylid form. A second crystal structure of PDC in complex with fluoride shows that the ion organizes a water molecule that occludes the pyruvate binding site, accounting for the inhibitory effect of the halide. Also reported is a structure of the cofactor-free apo form, which when compared to the structure of the holo form indicates how thiamine diphosphate organizes the active site pocket of pyruvate decarboxylase to support catalysis. Guided by the structural and enzymatic data, we propose roles for several key residues in the catalytic mechanism.
Cytosolic sulfotransferases (STs) catalyze the sulfation of hydroxyl containing compounds. Human phenol sulfotransferase (SULT1A1) is the major human ST that catalyzes the sulfation of simple phenols. Because of its broad substrate specificity and lack of endogenous substrates, the biological function of SULT1A1 is believed to be an important detoxification enzyme. In this report, amino acid modification, computer structure modeling, and site-directed mutagenesis were used for studies of Arg residues in the active site of SULT1A1. The Arg-specific modification reagent, 2,3-butanedione, inactivated SULT1A1 in an efficient, time- and concentration-dependent manner, suggesting Arg residues play an important role in the catalytic activity of SULT1A1. According to the computer model, Arg78, Arg130, and Arg257 may be important for SULT1A1 catalytic activity. Site-directed mutagenesis results demonstrated that the positive charge on Arg78 is not critical for SULT1A1 because R78A is still active. In contrast, a negative charge at this position, R78E, completely inactivated SULT1A1. Arg78 is in close proximity to the site of sulfuryl group transfer. Arg257 is located very close to the 3′-phosphate in adenosine 3′-phosphate 5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS). Site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that Arg257 is critical for SULT1A1: both R257A and R257E are inactive. Although Arg130 is also located very close to the 3′-phosphate of PAPS, R130A and R130E are still active, suggesting that Arg130 is not a critical residue for the catalytic activity of SULT1A1. Computer modeling suggests that the ionic interaction between the positive charge on Arg257, and the negative charge on 3′-phosphate is the primary force stabilizing the specific binding of PAPS.
The flavoprotein nitroalkane oxidase (NAO) from Fusarium oxysporum catalyzes the oxidation of primary and secondary nitroalkanes to their respective aldehydes and ketones. Structurally, the enzyme is a member of the acyl-CoA dehydrogenase superfamily. To date no enzymes other than that from F. oxysporum have been annotated an NAOs. To identify additional potential NAOs, the available database was searched for enzymes in which the active site residues Asp402, Arg409, and Ser276 were conserved. Of the several fungal enzymes identified in this fashion, PODANSg2158 from Podospora anserina was selected for expression and characterization. The recombinant enzyme is a flavoprotein with activity on nitroalkanes comparable to the F. oxysporum NAO, although the substrate specificity is somewhat different. Asp399, Arg406, and Ser273 in PODANSg2158 correspond to the active site triad in F. oxysporum NAO. The kcat/Km-pH profile with nitroethane shows a pKa of 5.9 that is assigned to Asp399 as the active site base. Mutation of Asp399 to asparagine decreases the kcat/Km value for nitroethane over two orders of magnitude. The R406K and S373A mutations decrease this kinetic parameter by 64 and 3-fold, respectively. The structure of PODANSg2158 has been determined at a resolution of 2.0 Å, confirming its identification as an NAO.
Glutamate racemases (EC 184.108.40.206) catalyze the cofactor-independent stereoinversion of D- and L-glutamate and are important for viability in several Gram-negative and -positive bacteria. As the only enzyme involved in the stereoinversion of L- to D-glutamate for peptidoglycan biosynthesis, glutamate racemase is an attractive target for the design of antibacterial agents. However, the development of competitive tight-binding inhibitors has been problematic and highly species specific. Despite a number of recent crystal structures of cofactor-independent epimerases and racemases, cocrystallized with substrates or substrate analogues, the source of these enzymes’ catalytic power and their ability to acidify the Cα of amino acids remains unknown. The present integrated computational and experimental study focuses on the glutamate racemase from Bacillus subtilis (RacE). A particular focus is placed on the interaction of the glutamate carbanion intermediate with RacE. Results suggest that the reactive form of the RacE–glutamate carbanion complex, vis-à-vis proton abstraction from Cα, is significantly different than the RacE–D-glutamate complex on the basis of the crystal structure and possesses dramatically stronger enzyme–ligand interaction energy. In silico and experimental site-directed mutagenesis indicates that the strength of the RacE–glutamate carbanion interaction energy is highly distributed among numerous electrostatic interactions in the active site, rather than being dominated by strong hydrogen bonds. Results from this study are important for laying the groundwork for discovery and design of high-affinity ligands to this class of cofactor-independent racemases.
Oxalate decarboxylase (OxDC) catalyzes the conversion of oxalate into CO2 and formate using a catalytic mechanism that remains poorly understood. The Bacillus subtilis enzyme is composed of two cupin domains, each of which contains Mn(II) coordinated by four conserved residues. We have measured heavy atom isotope effects for a series of Bacillus subtilis OxDC mutants in which Arg-92, Arg-270, Glu-162, and Glu-333 are conservatively substituted in an effort to define the functional roles of these residues. This strategy has the advantage that observed isotope effects report directly on OxDC molecules in which the active site manganese center(s) is (are) catalytically active. Our results support the proposal that the N-terminal Mn-binding site can mediate catalysis, and confirm the importance of Arg-92 to catalytic activity. On the other hand, substitution of Arg-270 and Glu-333 affected both Mn(II) incorporation and the ability of Mn to bind to the OxDC mutants, thereby precluding any definitive assessment of whether the metal center in the C-terminal domain can also mediate catalysis. New evidence for the importance of Glu-162 in controlling metal reactivity has been provided by the unexpected observation that the E162Q OxDC mutant exhibits a significantly increased oxalate oxidase and a concomitant reduction in decarboxylase activities relative to wild type OxDC. Hence the reaction specificity of a catalytically active Mn center in OxDC can be perturbed by relatively small changes in local protein environment, in agreement with a proposal based on prior computational studies.
Oxalate; Decarboxylation; Manganese; Metalloenzymes; Evolution of Enzyme Catalysis; Enzyme Mechanism; Heavy Atom Isotope Effects