Squalene synthase catalyzes the conversion of two molecules of (E,E)-farnesyl diphosphate to squalene via the cyclopropylcarbinyl intermediate, presqualene diphosphate (PSPP). Since this novel reaction constitutes the first committed step in sterol biosynthesis, there has been considerable interest and research on the stereochemistry and mechanism of the process and in the design of selective inhibitors of the enzyme. This paper reports the synthesis and characterization of five racemic and two enantiopure aziridine analogues of PSPP and the evaluation of their potencies as inhibitors of recombinant yeast squalene synthase. The key aziridine-2-methanol intermediates (6-OH, 7-OH, and 8-OH) were obtained by N-alkylations or by an N-acylation–reduction sequence of (±)-, (2R,3S)-, and (2S,3R)-2,3-aziridinofarnesol (9-OH) protected as tert-butyldi-methylsilyl ethers. SN2 displacements of the corresponding methanesulfonates with pyrophosphate and methanediphosphonate anions afforded aziridine 2-methyl diphosphates and methanediphosphonates bearing N-undecyl, N-bishomogeranyl, and N-(α-methylene)bishomogeranyl substituents as mimics for the 2,6,10-trimethylundeca-2,5,9-trienyl side chain of PSPP. The 2R,3S diphosphate enantiomer bearing the N-bishomogeranyl substituent corresponding in absolute stereochemistry to PSPP proved to be the most potent inhibitor (IC50 1.17 ± 0.08 μM in the presence of inorganic pyrophosphate), a value 4-fold less than that of its 2S,3R stereoisomer. The other aziridine analogues bearing the N-(α-methylene)bishomogeranyl and N-undecyl substituents, and the related methanediphosphonates, exhibited lower affinities for recombinant squalene synthase.
Isopentenyl phosphate kinase (IPK) catalyzes the phosphorylation of isopentenyl phosphate to form the isoprenoid precursor isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) in the archaeal mevalonate pathway. This enzyme is highly homologous to fosfomycin kinase (FomA), an antibiotic resistance enzyme found in a few strains of Streptomyces and Pseudomonas whose mode of action is inactivation by phosphorylation. Superposition of Thermoplasma acidophilum (THA) IPK and FomA structures aligns their respective substrates and catalytic residues, including H50 and K14 in THA IPK, and H58 and K18 in S. wedmorensis FomA. These residues are conserved only in the IPK and FomA members of the phosphate subdivision of the amino acid kinase superfamily. We measured the fosfomycin kinase activity of THA IPK, Km = 15.1 ± 1.0 mM and kcat = (4.0 ± 0.1) × 10−2 s−1, resulting in a catalytic efficiency, kcat/Km = 2.6 M−1s−1, that is five orders of magnitude less than the native reaction. Fosfomycin is a competitive inhibitor of IPK, Ki = 3.6 ± 0.2 mM. Molecular dynamics simulation of the IPK•fosfomycin•MgATP complex identified two binding poses for fosfomycin in the IP binding site, one of which results in a complex analogous to the native IPK•IP•ATP complex that it engages H50 and the lysine triangle formed by K5, K14, and K205. The other binding pose leads to a dead-end complex that engages K204 near the IP binding site to bind fosfomycin. Our findings suggest a mechanism for acquisition of FomA-based antibiotic resistance in fosfomycin producing organisms.
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IDI) catalyzes the interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). These two molecules are the building blocks for construction of isoprenoid carbon skeletons in nature. Two structurally unrelated forms of IDI are known. A variety of studies support a proton addition/proton elimination mechanism for both enzymes. During studies with Thermus thermophilus IDI-2, we discovered that the olefinic hydrogens of a vinyl thiomethyl analogue of isopentenyl diphosphate exchanged with solvent when the enzyme was incubated with D2O without concomitant isomerization of the double bond. These results suggest that the enzyme-catalyzed isomerization reaction is not concerted.
The Enzyme Function Initiative (EFI) was recently established to address the challenge of assigning reliable functions to enzymes discovered in bacterial genome projects; in this Current Topic we review the structure and operations of the EFI. The EFI includes the Superfamily/Genome, Protein, Structure, Computation, and Data/Dissemination Cores that provide the infrastructure for reliably predicting the in vitro functions of unknown enzymes. The initial targets for functional assignment are selected from five functionally diverse superfamilies (amidohydrolase, enolase, glutathione transferase, haloalkanoic acid dehalogenase, and isoprenoid synthase), with five superfamily-specific Bridging Projects experimentally testing the predicted in vitro enzymatic activities. The EFI also includes the Microbiology Core that evaluates the in vivo context of in vitro enzymatic functions and confirms the functional predictions of the EFI. The deliverables of the EFI to the scientific community include: 1) development of a large-scale, multidisciplinary sequence/structure-based strategy for functional assignment of unknown enzymes discovered in genome projects (target selection, protein production, structure determination, computation, experimental enzymology, microbiology, and structure-based annotation); 2) dissemination of the strategy to the community via publications, collaborations, workshops, and symposia; 3) computational and bioinformatic tools for using the strategy; 4) provision of experimental protocols and/or reagents for enzyme production and characterization; and 5) dissemination of data via the EFI’s website, enzymefunction.org. The realization of multidisciplinary strategies for functional assignment will begin to define the full metabolic diversity that exists in nature and will impact basic biochemical and evolutionary understanding, as well as a wide range of applications of central importance to industrial, medicinal and pharmaceutical efforts.
Substrate analogues for isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), where the C3 methyl groups were replaced by chlorine, were synthesized and evaluated as substrates for avian farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPase). The IPP analogue (3-ClIPP) was a co-substrate when incubated with dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) or geranyl diphosphate (GPP) to give the corresponding chlorinated analogues of geranyl diphosphate (3-ClGPP) and farnesyl diphosphate (3-ClFPP), respectively. No products were detected in incubations of 3-ClIPP with 3-ClDMAPP. Incubation of IPP with 3-ClDMAPP gave 11-ClFPP as the sole product. Values of KM3-ClIPP (with DMAPP) and KM3-ClDMAPP (with IPP) were similar to those for IPP and DMAPP, however values of kcat for both analogues were substantially lower. These results are consistent with a dissociative electrophilic alkylation mechanism where the rate-limiting step changes from heterolytic cleavage of the carbon-oxygen bond in the allylic substrate to alkylation of the double bond of the homoallylic substrate.
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IDI) catalyzes the interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP), the basic five-carbon building blocks of isoprenoid molecules. Two structurally unrelated classes of IDI are known. Type I IPP isomerase (IDI-1) utilizes a divalent metal in a protonation-deprotonation reaction. In contrast, the type II enzyme (IDI-2) requires reduced flavin, raising the possibility that the reaction catalyzed by IDI-2 involves the net addition/abstraction of a hydrogen atom. As part of our studies of the mechanism of isomerization for IDI-2, we synthesized allene and alkyne substrate analogues for the enzyme. These molecules are predicted to be substantially less reactive toward proton addition than IPP and DMAPP, but have similar reactivities toward hydrogen atom addition. This prediction was verified by calculations of gas phase heats of reaction for addition of a proton and of a hydrogen atom to 1-butyne (3) and 1,2-butadiene (4) to form the 1-buten-2-yl carbocation and radical, respectively, and related affinities for 2-methyl-1-butene (5) and 2-methyl-2-butene (6) using G3MP2B3 and CBS-QB3 protocols. Alkyne 1-OPP and allene 2-OPP were not substrates for Thermus thermophilus IDI-2 or Escherichia coli IDI-1, but instead were competitive inhibitors. The experimental and computational results are consistent with a protonation-deprotonation mechanism for the enzyme-catalyzed isomerization of IPP and DMAPP.
Isoprenoid compounds are ubiquitous in nature, participating in important biological phenomena such as signal transduction, aerobic cellular respiration, photosynthesis, insect communication, and many others. They are derived from the 5-carbon isoprenoid substrates isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and its isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). In Archaea and Eukarya, these building blocks are synthesized via the mevalonate pathway. However, the genes required to convert mevalonate phosphate (MP) to IPP are missing in several species of Archaea. An enzyme with isopentenyl phosphate kinase (IPK) activity was recently discovered in Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (MJ), suggesting a departure from the classical sequence of converting MP to IPP. We have determined the high-resolution crystal structures of isopentenyl phosphate kinases in complex with both substrates and products from Thermoplasma acidophilum (THA), as well as the IPK from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus (MTH), by means of single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD) and molecular replacement. A histidine residue (His50) in THA IPK makes a hydrogen bond with the terminal phosphates of IP and IPP, poising these molecules for phosphoryl transfer through an in-line geometry. Moreover, a lysine residue (Lys14) makes hydrogen bonds with non-bridging oxygen atoms at Pα and Pγ and with the Pβ- Pγ bridging oxygen atom in ATP. These interactions suggest a transition state-stabilizing role for this residue. Lys14 is a part of a newly discovered “lysine triangle” catalytic motif in IPK’s that also includes Lys5 and Lys205. Moreover, His50, Lys5, Lys14, and Lys205 are conserved in all IPK’s and can therefore serve as fingerprints for identifying new homologues.
Incubation of farnesyl diphosphate with recombinant yeast squalene synthase in the absence of NADPH gives a mixture of triterpene hydrocarbons and alcohols, including botryococcene-like compounds with 1’-3 linkages between the farnesyl units. One of these molecules has an unusual cyclopentane structure similar to those recently reported in plant extracts and lakebed sediments.
Organic substances were conceived as those found in living organisms. Although the definition was soon broadened to include all carbon-containing compounds, naturally occurring molecules have always held a special fascination for organic chemists. From these beginnings, molecules from nature were indespensible tools as generations of organic chemists developed new techniques for determining structures, analyzed the mechanisms of reactions, explored the effects conformation and stereochemistry on reactions, and found challenging new targets to synthesize. Only recently have organic chemists harnessed the powerful techniques of organic chemistry to study the functions of organic molecules in their biological hosts, the enzymes that synthesize molecules and the complex processes that occur in a cell. In this Perspective, I present a personal account my entrée into bioorganic chemistry as a physical organic chemist and subsequent work to understand the chemical mechanisms of enzyme-catalyzed reactions, to develop techniques to identify and assign hydrogen bonds in tRNAs through NMR studies with isotopically labeled molecules, and to study how structure determines function in biosynthetic enzymes with proteins obtained by genetic engineering.
Eleven farnesyl diphosphate analogues, which contained ω-azide or alkyne substituents suitable for bioorthogonal Staudinger and Huisgen [3+2] cycloaddition coupling reactions, were synthesized. The analogues were evaluated as substrates for alkylation of peptide co-substrates by yeast protein farnesyl transferase. Five of the diphosphates were good alternative substrates for FPP. Steady-state kinetic constants were measured for the active compounds, and the products were characterized by HPLC and LC-Mass. Two of the analogues gave steady state kinetic parameters (kcat and KM) very similar to those of the natural substrate.
Squalene synthase (SQS) is a bifunctional enzyme that catalyzes the condensation of two molecules of farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) to give presqualene diphosphate (PSPP) and the subsequent rearrangement of PSPP to squalene. These reactions constitute the first pathway-specific steps in hopane biosynthesis in Bacteria and sterol biosynthesis in Eukarya. The genes encoding SQS were isolated from the hopane-producing bacteria Thermosynechococcus elongatus BP-1, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, and Zymomonas mobilis and cloned into an Escherichia coli expression system. The expressed proteins with a His6 tag were found exclusively in inclusion bodies when no additives were used in the buffer. After extensive optimization, soluble recombinant T. elongatus BP-1 SQS was obtained when cells were disrupted and purified in buffers containing glycerol. The recombinant B. japonicum and Z. mobilis SQSs could not be solubilized under any of the expression and purification conditions used. Purified T. elongatus His6-SQS gave a single band at 42 kDa by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and molecular ion at m/z 41886 by electrospray mass spectrometry. Incubation with FPP and NADPH gave squalene as the sole product. Incubation of the enzyme with [14C]FPP in the absence of NADPH gave PSPP. The enzyme requires Mg2+ for activity, has an optimum pH of 7.6, and is strongly stimulated by detergent. Under optimal conditions, the Km of FPP is 0.97 ± 0.10 μM and the kcat is 1.74 ± 0.04 s−1. Zaragozic acid A, a potent inhibitor of mammalian, fungal, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae SQSs, also inhibited recombinant T. elongatus BP-1 SQS, with a 50% inhibitory concentration of 95.5 ± 13.6 nM.
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IDI) catalyzes the interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). This is an essential step in the mevalonate entry into the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway. The isomerization catalyzed by type I IDI involves protonation of the carbon-carbon double bond in IPP or DMAPP to form a tertiary carbocation, followed by deprotonation. Diene analogs for DMAPP (E-2-OPP and Z-2-OPP) and IPP (4-OPP) were synthesized and found to be potent active-site directed irreversible inhibitors of the enzyme. X-ray analysis of the E·I complex between E. coli IDI and 4-OPP reveals the presence of two isomers that differ in the stereochemistry of the newly formed C3-C4 double bond in the hydrocarbon chain of the inhibitor. In both adducts C5 of the inhibitor is joined to the sulfur of C67. In these structures the methyl group formed upon protonation of the diene moiety in 4-OPP is located near E116, implicating that residue in the protonation step.
Type II isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) isomerase catalyzes the interconversion of IPP and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). Although the reactions catalyzed by the type II enzyme and the well-studied type I IPP isomerase are identical, the type II protein requires reduced flavin for activity. The chemical mechanism, including the role of flavin, has not been established for type II IPP isomerase. Recombinant type II IPP isomerase from Thermus thermophilus HB27 was purified by Ni2+ affinity chromatography. Aerobically purified enzyme was inactive until the flavin cofactor was reduced by NADPH, dithionite, or photochemically. The inactive oxidized flavin-enzyme complex bound IPP in a Mg2+ dependent manner with KD ~ KmIPP, suggesting that the substrate binds to the inactive oxidized and active reduced forms of the protein with similar affinities. N,N-dimethyl-3-amino-1-propyl diphosphate (NIPP), a transition state analog for the type I isomerase, competitively inhibits the type II enzyme, but with much lower affinity. pH dependent spectral changes indicate that the binding of IPP, DMAPP, and a saturated analogue isopentyl diphosphate promotes protonation of anionic reduced flavin. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and UV-visible spectroscopy show a substrate-dependent accumulation of the neutral flavin semiquinone during both the flavoenzyme reduction and re-oxidation processes in the presence of IPP and related analogues. Redox potentials of IPP-bound enzyme indicate that the neutral semiquinone state of the flavin is stabilized thermodynamically relative to free FMN in solution.
Farnesyl diphosphate (FPP) synthase catalyzes the consecutive head-to-tail condensations of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP, C5) with dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP, C5) and geranyl diphosphate (GPP, C10) to give (E,E)-FPP (C15). The enzyme belongs to a genetically distinct family of chain elongation enzymes that install E-double bonds during each addition of a five-carbon isoprene unit. Analysis of the C10 and C15 products from incubations with avian FPP synthase reveals that small amounts of neryl diphosphate (Z-C10) and (Z,E)-FPP are formed along with the E-isomers during the C5 → C10 and C10 → C15 reactions. Similar results were obtained for FPP synthase from Escherichia coli, Artemisia tridentata (sage brush), Pyrococcus furiosus, and Methanobacter thermautotrophicus and for GPP and FPP synthesized in vivo by E. coli FPP synthase. When (R)-[2-2H]IPP was a substrate for chain elongation, no deuterium was found in the chain elongation products. In contrast, the deuterium in (S)-[2-2H]IPP was incorporated into all of the products. Thus, the pro-R hydrogen at C2 of IPP is lost when the E- and Z-double bond isomers are formed. The synthesis of Z-double bond isomers by FPP synthase during chain elongation is unexpected for a highly evolved enzyme and probably reflects a compromise between optimizing double bond stereoselectivity and the need to exclude DMAPP from the IPP binding site.
A general approach was developed for the regio- and chemoselective covalent immobilization of soluble proteins on glass surfaces through an unnatural amino acid created by posttranslationally modifying the cysteine residue in a CaaX recognition motif with functional groups suitable for “click” chemistry or a Staudinger ligation. Farnesyl diphosphate analogs bearing ω-azide or ω-alkyne moieties were attached to the cysteine residue in Cys-Val-Ile-Ala motifs at the C-termini of engineered versions of green fluorescent protein (GFP) and glutathione S-transferase (GST) by protein farnesyltransferase. The derivatized proteins were attached to glass slides bearing linkers containing azide (“click” chemistry) or phosphine (Staudinger ligation) groups. “Click” immobilized proteins were detected by fluorescently labeled antibodies and remained attached to the slide through two cycles of stripping under stringent conditions at 80 °C. GFP immobilized by a Staudinger ligation was detected by directly imagining the GFP fluorophore over a period of 6 days. These methods for covalent immobilization of proteins should be generally applicable. CaaX recognition motifs can easily be appended to the C-terminus of a cloned protein by a simple modification of the corresponding gene, and virtually any soluble protein or peptide bearing a CaaX motif is a substrate for protein farnesyltransferase.
Short practical syntheses for five deuterium labeled derivatives of dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) useful for enzymological studies are reported. These include the preparation of the C1-labeled derivatives (R)-[1-2H]3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate ((R)-[1-2H]1-OPP) and (S)-[1-2H]3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate ((S)-[1-2H]1-OPP), the C2-labeled derivative [2-2H]3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate ([2-2H]1-OPP), and the methyl-labeled derivatives (E)-[4,4,4-2H3]3-methylbut-2-enyl diphosphate ((E)-[4,4,4-2H3]1-OPP) and (Z)-[4,4,4-2H3]3-methyl-but-2-enyl diphosphate ((Z)-[4,4,4-2H3]1-OPP).
Type-2 isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase, which catalyzes the interconversion if isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate, contains a tightly bound molecule of FMN. Incubation of the active enzyme•FMNH2 complex with an analog of isopentenyl diphosphate, where the methyl group has been replaced with a cyclopropane ring, results in isomerization of the analog to the corresponding allylic isomer without inactivation of the enzyme. In contrast, the related epoxide analog is a potent irreversible inhibitor that covalently modifies the flavin cofactor in a proton-initiated reaction. These results suggest that the mechanism for isomerization by the type-2 isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase may be similar to the protonation-deprotonation sequence of the type-1 enzyme and places limits on the lifetimes of radical intermediates in an alternative hydrogen atom addition/abstraction mechanism.
Essential isoprenoid compounds are synthesized using the 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway in many gram-negative bacteria, some gram-positive bacteria, some apicomplexan parasites, and plant chloroplasts. The alternative mevalonate pathway is found in archaea and eukaryotes, including cytosolic biosynthesis in plants. The existence of orthogonal essential pathways in eukaryotes and bacteria makes the MEP pathway an attractive target for the development of antimicrobial agents. A system is described for identifying mutations in the MEP pathway of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. Using this system, point mutations induced by diethyl sulfate were found in the all genes of the essential MEP pathway and also in genes involved in uptake of methylerythritol. Curiously, none of the MEP pathway genes could be identified in the same parent strain by transposon mutagenesis, despite extensive searches. The results complement the biochemical and bioinformatic approaches to the elucidation of the genes involved in the MEP pathway and also identify key residues for activity in the enzymes of the pathway.
Open reading frame sll1556 in the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain 6803 encodes a putative type II isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) isomerase. The His6-tagged protein was produced in Escherichia coli and purified by Ni2+ chromatography. The homotetrameric enzyme required NADPH, flavin mononucleotide, and Mg2+ for activity; KmIPP was 52 μM, and kcatIPP was 0.23 s−1.
Isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP):dimethylallyl diphosphate isomerase catalyzes the interconversion of the fundamental five-carbon homoallylic and allylic diphosphate building blocks required for biosynthesis of isoprenoid compounds. Two different isomerases have been reported. The type I enzyme, first characterized in the late 1950s, is widely distributed in eukaryota and eubacteria. The type II enzyme was recently discovered in Streptomyces sp. strain CL190. Open reading frame 48 (ORF48) in the archaeon Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus encodes a putative type II IPP isomerase. A plasmid-encoded copy of the ORF complemented IPP isomerase activity in vivo in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain RMC29, which contains chromosomal knockouts in the genes for type I IPP isomerase (idi) and 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate (dxs). The dxs gene was interrupted with a synthetic operon containing the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genes erg8, erg12, and erg19 allowing for the conversion of mevalonic acid to IPP by the mevalonate pathway. His6-tagged M. thermautotrophicus type II IPP isomerase was produced in Escherichia coli and purified by Ni2+ chromatography. The purified protein was characterized by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry. The enzyme has optimal activity at 70°C and pH 6.5. NADPH, flavin mononucleotide, and Mg2+ are required cofactors. The steady-state kinetic constants for the archaeal type II IPP isomerase from M. thermautotrophicus are as follows: Km, 64 μM; specific activity, 0.476 μmol mg−1 min−1; and kcat, 1.6 s−1.
2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate is the first committed intermediate in the biosynthesis of the isoprenoid precursors isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. Supplementation of the growth medium with 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol has been shown to complement disruptions in the Escherichia coli gene for 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase, the enzyme that synthesizes the immediate precursor of 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol 4-phosphate. In order to be utilized in isoprenoid biosynthesis, 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol must be phosphorylated. We describe the construction of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain RMC26, in which the essential gene encoding 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase has been disrupted by insertion of a synthetic mevalonate operon consisting of the yeast ERG8, ERG12, and ERG19 genes, responsible for converting mevalonate to isopentenyl diphosphate under the control of an arabinose-inducible promoter. Random mutagenesis of RMC26 produced defects in the sorbitol phosphotransferase system that prevented the transport of 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol into the cell. RMC26 and mutant strains of RMC26 unable to grow on 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol were incubated in buffer containing mevalonate and deuterium-labeled 2-C-methyl-d-erythritol. Ubiquinone-8 was isolated from these cells and analyzed for deuterium content. Efficient incorporation of deuterium was observed for RMC26. However, there was no evidence of deuterium incorporation into the isoprenoid side chain of ubiquinone Q8 in the RMC26 mutants.
In eubacteria, green algae, and plant chloroplasts, isopentenyl diphosphate, a key intermediate in the biosynthesis of isoprenoids, is synthesized by the methylerythritol phosphate pathway. The five carbons of the basic isoprenoid unit are assembled by joining pyruvate and d-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. The reaction is catalyzed by the thiamine diphosphate-dependent enzyme 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase. In Rhodobacter capsulatus, two open reading frames (ORFs) carry the genes that encode 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase. ORF 2816 is located in the photosynthesis-related gene cluster, along with most of the genes required for synthesis of the photosynthetic machinery of the bacterium, whereas ORF 2895 is located elsewhere in the genome. The proteins encoded by ORF 2816 and ORF 2895, 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase A and B, containing a His6 tag, were synthesized in Escherichia coli and purified to greater than 95% homogeneity in two steps. 1-Deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase A appears to be a homodimer with 68 kDa subunits. A new assay was developed, and the following steady-state kinetic constants were determined for 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase A and B: Kmpyruvate = 0.61 and 3.0 mM, Kmd-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate = 150 and 120 μM, and Vmax = 1.9 and 1.4 μmol/min/mg in 200 mM sodium citrate (pH 7.4). The ORF encoding 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate synthase B complemented the disrupted essential dxs gene in E. coli strain FH11.
Many proteins that contain a carboxyl-terminal CaaX sequence motif, including Ras and yeast a-factor, undergo a series of sequential posttranslational processing steps. Following the initial prenylation of the cysteine, the three C-terminal amino acids are proteolytically removed, and the newly formed prenylcysteine is carboxymethylated. The specific amino acids that comprise the CaaX sequence influence whether the protein can be prenylated and proteolyzed. In this study, we evaluated processing of a-factor variants with all possible single amino acid substitutions at either the a1, the a2, or the X position of the a-factor Ca1a2X sequence, CVIA. The substrate specificity of the two known yeast CaaX proteases, Afc1p and Rce1p, was investigated in vivo. Both Afc1p and Rce1p were able to proteolyze a-factor with A, V, L, I, C, or M at the a1 position, V, L, I, C, or M at the a2 position, or any amino acid at the X position that was acceptable for prenylation of the cysteine. Eight additional a-factor variants with a1 substitutions were proteolyzed by Rce1p but not by Afc1p. In contrast, Afc1p was able to proteolyze additional a-factor variants that Rce1p may not be able to proteolyze. In vitro assays indicated that farnesylation was compromised or undetectable for 11 a-factor variants that produced no detectable halo in the wild-type AFC1 RCE1 strain. The isolation of mutations in RCE1 that improved proteolysis of a-factor-CAMQ, indicated that amino acid substitutions E139K, F189L, and Q201R in Rce1p affected its substrate specificity.
Isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase catalyzes the interconversion of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). In eukaryotes, archaebacteria, and some bacteria, IPP is synthesized from acetyl coenzyme A by the mevalonate pathway. The subsequent isomerization of IPP to DMAPP activates the five-carbon isoprene unit for subsequent prenyl transfer reactions. In Escherichia coli, the isoprene unit is synthesized from pyruvate and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate by the recently discovered nonmevalonate pathway. An open reading frame (ORF696) encoding a putative IPP isomerase was identified in the E. coli chromosome at 65.3 min. ORF696 was cloned into an expression vector; the 20.5 kDa recombinant protein was purified in three steps, and its identity as an IPP isomerase was established biochemically. The gene for IPP isomerase, idi, is not clustered with other known genes for enzymes in the isoprenoid pathway. E. coli FH12 was constructed by disruption of the chromosomal idi gene with the aminoglycoside 3′-phosphotransferase gene and complemented by the wild-type idi gene on plasmid pFMH33 with a temperature-sensitive origin of replication. FH12/pFMH33 was able to grow at the restrictive temperature of 44°C and FH12 lacking the plasmid grew on minimal medium, thereby establishing that idi is a nonessential gene. Although the Vmax of the bacterial protein was 20-fold lower than that of its yeast counterpart, the catalytic efficiencies of the two enzymes were similar through a counterbalance in Kms. The E. coli protein requires Mg2+ or Mn2+ for activity. The enzyme contains conserved cysteine and glutamate active-site residues found in other IPP isomerases.
Inhibitors; LytB (IspH); MEP pathway; Metalloenzymes; Mössbauer spectroscopy