Phosphotransacetylase (Pta), a key enzyme in bacterial metabolism, catalyzes the reversible transfer of an acetyl group from acetyl phosphate to coenzyme A (CoA) to produce acetyl-CoA and Pi. Two classes of Pta have been identified based on the absence (PtaI) or presence (PtaII) of an N-terminal regulatory domain. PtaI has been fairly well studied in bacteria and one genus of archaea; however, only the Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica PtaII enzymes have been biochemically characterized, and they are allosterically regulated. Here, we describe the first biochemical and kinetic characterization of a eukaryotic Pta from the oomycete Phytophthora ramorum. The two Ptas from P. ramorum, designated PrPtaII1 and PrPtaII2, both belong to class II. PrPtaII1 displayed positive cooperativity for both acetyl phosphate and CoA and is allosterically regulated. We compared the effects of different metabolites on PrPtaII1 and the S. enterica PtaII and found that, although the N-terminal regulatory domains share only 19% identity, both enzymes are inhibited by ATP, NADP, NADH, phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP), and pyruvate in the acetyl-CoA/Pi-forming direction but are differentially regulated by AMP. Phylogenetic analysis of bacterial, archaeal, and eukaryotic sequences identified four subtypes of PtaII based on the presence or absence of the P-loop and DRTGG subdomains within the N-terminal regulatory domain. Although the E. coli, S. enterica, and P. ramorum enzymes all belong to the IIa subclass, our kinetic analysis has indicated that enzymes within a subclass can still display differences in their allosteric regulation.
Entamoeba histolytica, an amitochondriate protozoan parasite that relies on glycolysis as a key pathway for ATP generation, has developed a unique extended PPi-dependent glycolytic pathway in which ADP-forming acetyl-coenzyme A (CoA) synthetase (ACD; acetate:CoA ligase [ADP-forming]; EC 22.214.171.124) converts acetyl-CoA to acetate to produce additional ATP and recycle CoA. We characterized the recombinant E. histolytica ACD and found that the enzyme is bidirectional, allowing it to potentially play a role in ATP production or in utilization of acetate. In the acetate-forming direction, acetyl-CoA was the preferred substrate and propionyl-CoA was used with lower efficiency. In the acetyl-CoA-forming direction, acetate was the preferred substrate, with a lower efficiency observed with propionate. The enzyme can utilize both ADP/ATP and GDP/GTP in the respective directions of the reaction. ATP and PPi were found to inhibit the acetate-forming direction of the reaction, with 50% inhibitory concentrations of 0.81 ± 0.17 mM (mean ± standard deviation) and 0.75 ± 0.20 mM, respectively, which are both in the range of their physiological concentrations. ATP and PPi displayed mixed inhibition versus each of the three substrates, acetyl-CoA, ADP, and phosphate. This is the first example of regulation of ACD enzymatic activity, and possible roles for this regulation are discussed.
Acetate kinase (ACK), which catalyzes the reversible phosphorylation of acetate by ATP, is a member of the acetate and sugar kinase/heat shock cognate/actin (ASKHA) superfamily. ASKHA family members share a common core fold that includes an ATPase domain with five structural motifs. The PHOSPHATE1 motif has previously been shown to be important for catalysis. We have investigated the role of two of these motifs in the Methanosarcina thermophila ACK (MtACK) and have shown that residues projecting into the ACK active site from the PHOSPHATE2 and ADENOSINE loops and a third highly conserved loop designated here as LOOP3 play key roles in nucleotide triphosphate (NTP) selection and utilization. Alteration of Asn211 of PHOSPHATE2, Gly239 of LOOP3, and Gly331 of ADENOSINE greatly reduced catalysis. In particular, Gly331, which is highly conserved throughout the ASKHA superfamily, has the greatest effect on substrate selection. Alteration at this site strongly skewed MtACK toward utilization of purines over pyrimidines, unlike the wild type enzyme that shows broad NTP utilization. Further investigation into differences between the ATPase domain in MtACK and other acetate kinases that show different substrate preferences will provide us with a better understanding of the diversity of phosphoryl donor selection in this enzyme family.
acetate kinase; acetate; ATP; Methanosarcina
Xylulose 5-phosphate/fructose 6-phosphate phosphoketolase (Xfp), previously thought to be present only in bacteria but recently found in fungi, catalyzes the formation of acetyl phosphate from xylulose 5-phosphate or fructose 6-phosphate. Here, we describe the first biochemical and kinetic characterization of a eukaryotic Xfp, from the opportunistic fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, which has two XFP genes (designated XFP1 and XFP2). Our kinetic characterization of C. neoformans Xfp2 indicated the existence of both substrate cooperativity for all three substrates and allosteric regulation through the binding of effector molecules at sites separate from the active site. Prior to this study, Xfp enzymes from two bacterial genera had been characterized and were determined to follow Michaelis-Menten kinetics. C. neoformans Xfp2 is inhibited by ATP, phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP), and oxaloacetic acid (OAA) and activated by AMP. ATP is the strongest inhibitor, with a half-maximal inhibitory concentration (IC50) of 0.6 mM. PEP and OAA were found to share the same or have overlapping allosteric binding sites, while ATP binds at a separate site. AMP acts as a very potent activator; as little as 20 μM AMP is capable of increasing Xfp2 activity by 24.8% ± 1.0% (mean ± standard error of the mean), while 50 μM prevented inhibition caused by 0.6 mM ATP. AMP and PEP/OAA operated independently, with AMP activating Xfp2 and PEP/OAA inhibiting the activated enzyme. This study provides valuable insight into the metabolic role of Xfp within fungi, specifically the fungal pathogen Cryptococcus neoformans, and suggests that at least some Xfps display substrate cooperative binding and allosteric regulation.
Acetate kinases (ACKs) are members of the acetate and sugar kinase/hsp70/actin (ASKHA) superfamily and catalyze the reversible phosphorylation of acetate, with ADP/ATP the most common phosphoryl acceptor/donor. While prokaryotic ACKs have been the subject of extensive biochemical and structural characterization, there is a comparative paucity of information on eukaryotic ACKs, and prior to this report, no structure of an ACK of eukaryotic origin was available. We determined the structures of ACKs from the eukaryotic pathogens Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptococcus neoformans. Each active site is located at an interdomain interface, and the acetate and phosphate binding pockets display sequence and structural conservation with their prokaryotic counterparts. Interestingly, the E. histolytica ACK has previously been shown to be pyrophosphate (PPi)-dependent, and is the first ACK demonstrated to have this property. Examination of its structure demonstrates how subtle amino acid substitutions within the active site have converted cosubstrate specificity from ATP to PPi while retaining a similar backbone conformation. Differences in the angle between domains surrounding the active site suggest that interdomain movement may accompany catalysis. Taken together, these structures are consistent with the eukaryotic ACKs following a similar reaction mechanism as is proposed for the prokaryotic homologs.
Acetate kinase; PPi-dependent kinase; ASKHA superfamily
Acetate kinase (ACK) catalyzes the reversible synthesis of acetyl phosphate by transfer of the γ-phosphate of ATP to acetate. Here we report the first biochemical and kinetic characterization of a eukaryotic ACK, that from the protist Entamoeba histolytica. Our characterization revealed that this protist ACK is the only known member of the ASKHA structural superfamily, which includes acetate kinase, hexokinase, and other sugar kinases, to utilize inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi)/inorganic phosphate (Pi) as the sole phosphoryl donor/acceptor. Detection of ACK activity in E. histolytica cell extracts in the direction of acetate/PPi formation but not in the direction of acetyl phosphate/Pi formation suggests that the physiological direction of the reaction is toward acetate/PPi production. Kinetic parameters determined for each direction of the reaction are consistent with this observation. The E. histolytica PPi-forming ACK follows a sequential mechanism, supporting a direct in-line phosphoryl transfer mechanism as previously reported for the well-characterized Methanosarcina thermophila ATP-dependent ACK. Characterizations of enzyme variants altered in the putative acetate/acetyl phosphate binding pocket suggested that acetyl phosphate binding is not mediated solely through a hydrophobic interaction but also through the phosphoryl group, as for the M. thermophila ACK. However, there are key differences in the roles of certain active site residues between the two enzymes. The absence of known ACK partner enzymes raises the possibility that ACK is part of a novel pathway in Entamoeba.
The acyl-adenylate-forming enzyme superfamily, consisting of acyl- and aryl-CoA synthetases, the adenylation domain of the nonribosomal peptide synthetases, and luciferase, has three signature motifs (I–III) and ten conserved core motifs (A1–A10), some of which overlap the signature motifs. The consensus sequence for signature motif III (core motif A7) in acetyl-CoA synthetase is Y-X-S/T/A-G-D, with an invariant fifth position, highly conserved first and fourth positions, and variable second and third positions. Kinetic studies of enzyme variants revealed that an alteration at any position resulted in a strong decrease in the catalytic rate, although the most deleterious effects were observed when the first or fifth positions were changed. Structural modeling suggests that the highly conserved Tyr in the first position plays a key role in active site architecture through interaction with a highly conserved active-site Gln, and the invariant Asp in the fifth position plays a critical role in ATP binding and catalysis through interaction with the 2′- and 3′-OH groups of the ribose moiety. Interactions between these Asp and ATP are observed in all structures available for members of the superfamily, consistent with a critical role in substrate binding and catalysis for this invariant residue.
The genome sequence of the aceticlastic methanoarchaeon Methanosaeta concilii GP6, comprised of a 3,008,626-bp chromosome and an 18,019-bp episome, has been determined and exhibits considerable differences in gene content from that of Methanosaeta thermophila.
Short- and medium-chain acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) synthetases catalyze the formation of acyl-CoA from an acyl substrate, ATP, and CoA. These enzymes catalyze mechanistically similar two-step reactions that proceed through an enzyme-bound acyl-AMP intermediate. Here we describe the characterization of a member of this enzyme family from the methane-producing archaeon Methanosarcina acetivorans. This enzyme, a medium-chain acyl-CoA synthetase designated MacsMa, utilizes 2-methylbutyrate as its preferred substrate for acyl-CoA synthesis but cannot utilize acetate and thus cannot catalyze the first step of acetoclastic methanogenesis in M. acetivorans. When propionate or other less favorable acyl substrates, such as butyrate, 2-methylpropionate, or 2-methylvalerate, were utilized, the acyl-CoA was not produced or was produced at reduced levels. Instead, acyl-AMP and PPi were released in the absence of CoA, whereas in the presence of CoA, the intermediate was broken down into AMP and the acyl substrate, which were released along with PPi. These results suggest that although acyl-CoA synthetases may have the ability to utilize a broad range of substrates for the acyl-adenylate-forming first step of the reaction, the intermediate may not be suitable for the thioester-forming second step. The MacsMa structure has revealed the putative acyl substrate- and CoA-binding pockets. Six residues proposed to form the acyl substrate-binding pocket, Lys256, Cys298, Gly351, Trp259, Trp237, and Trp254, were targeted for alteration. Characterization of the enzyme variants indicates that these six residues are critical in acyl substrate binding and catalysis, and even conservative alterations significantly reduced the catalytic ability of the enzyme.
The acyl-AMP forming family of adenylating enzymes catalyze two-step reactions to activate a carboxylate with the chemical energy derived from ATP hydrolysis. X-ray crystal structures have been determined for multiple members of this family and, together with biochemical studies, provide insights into the active site and catalytic mechanisms used by these enzymes. These studies have shown that the enzymes use a domain rotation of 140° to reconfigure a single active site to catalyze the two partial reactions. We present here the crystal structure of a new medium chain acyl-CoA synthetase from Methanosarcina acetivorans. The binding pocket for the three substrates is analyzed, with many conserved residues present in the AMP binding pocket. The CoA binding pocket is compared to the pockets of both acetyl-CoA synthetase and 4-chlorobenzoate:CoA ligase. Most interestingly, the acyl binding pocket of the new structure is compared with other acyl- and aryl-CoA synthetases. A comparison of the acyl-binding pocket of the acyl-CoA synthetase from M. acetivorans with other structures identifies a shallow pocket that is used to bind the medium chain carboxylates. These insights emphasize the high sequence and structural diversity among this family in the area of the acyl binding pocket.
Adenylate-forming enzyme; substrate specificity; X-ray crystallography
Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase (ACS;
acetate:CoA ligase (AMP-forming), EC 126.96.36.199) is a key enzyme for
conversion of acetate to acetyl-CoA, an essential intermediate at the
junction of anabolic and catabolic pathways. Phylogenetic analysis of
putative short and medium chain acyl-CoA synthetase sequences
indicates that the ACSs form a distinct clade from other acyl-CoA
synthetases. Within this clade, the archaeal ACSs are not monophyletic
and fall into three groups composed of both bacterial and archaeal
sequences. Kinetic analysis of two archaeal enzymes, an ACS from
thermautotrophicus (designated as MT-ACS1) and an ACS
from Archaeoglobus fulgidus
(designated as AF-ACS2), revealed that these enzymes have very
different properties. MT-ACS1 has nearly 11-fold higher affinity and
14-fold higher catalytic efficiency with acetate than with propionate,
a property shared by most ACSs. However, AF-ACS2 has only 2.3-fold
higher affinity and catalytic efficiency with acetate than with
propionate. This enzyme has an affinity for propionate that is almost
identical to that of MT-ACS1 for acetate and nearly tenfold higher
than the affinity of MT-ACS1 for propionate. Furthermore, MT-ACS1 is
limited to acetate and propionate as acyl substrates, whereas AF-ACS2
can also utilize longer straight and branched chain acyl substrates.
Phylogenetic analysis, sequence alignment and structural modeling
suggest a molecular basis for the altered substrate preference and
expanded substrate range of AF-ACS2 versus MT-ACS1.
acetate; Archaeoglobus fulgidus; Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus
Acetate kinase catalyzes the reversible magnesium-dependent synthesis of acetyl phosphate by transfer of the ATP γ-phosphoryl group to acetate. Inspection of the crystal structure of the Methanosarcina thermophila enzyme containing only ADP revealed a solvent-accessible hydrophobic pocket formed by residues Val93, Leu122, Phe179, and Pro232 in the active site cleft, which identified a potential acetate binding site. The hypothesis that this was a binding site was further supported by alignment of all acetate kinase sequences available from databases, which showed strict conservation of all four residues, and the recent crystal structure of the M. thermophila enzyme with acetate bound in this pocket. Replacement of each residue in the pocket produced variants with Km values for acetate that were 7- to 26-fold greater than that of the wild type, and perturbations of this binding pocket also altered the specificity for longer-chain carboxylic acids and acetyl phosphate. The kinetic analyses of variants combined with structural modeling indicated that the pocket has roles in binding the methyl group of acetate, influencing substrate specificity, and orienting the carboxyl group. The kinetic analyses also indicated that binding of acetyl phosphate is more dependent on interactions of the phosphate group with an unidentified residue than on interactions between the methyl group and the hydrophobic pocket. The analyses also indicated that Phe179 is essential for catalysis, possibly for domain closure. Alignments of acetate kinase, propionate kinase, and butyrate kinase sequences obtained from databases suggested that these enzymes have similar catalytic mechanisms and carboxylic acid substrate binding sites.
The roles of an aspartate and an arginine, which are completely conserved in the active sites of β-class carbonic anhydrases, were investigated by steady-state kinetic analyses of replacement variants of the β-class enzyme (Cab) from the archaeon Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum. Previous kinetic analyses of wild-type Cab indicated a two-step zinc-hydroxide mechanism of catalysis in which the kcat/Km value depends only on the rate constants for the CO2 hydration step, whereas kcat also depends on rate constants from the proton transfer step (K. S. Smith, N. J. Cosper, C. Stalhandske, R. A. Scott, and J. G. Ferry, J. Bacteriol. 182:6605-6613, 2000). The recently solved crystal structure of Cab shows the presence of a buffer molecule within hydrogen bonding distance of Asp-34, implying a role for this residue in the proton transport step (P. Strop, K. S. Smith, T. M. Iverson, J. G. Ferry, and D. C. Rees, J. Biol. Chem. 276:10299-10305, 2001). The kcat/Km values of Asp-34 variants were decreased relative to those of the wild type, although not to an extent which supports an essential role for this residue in the CO2 hydration step. Parallel decreases in kcat and kcat/Km values for the variants precluded any conclusions regarding a role for Asp-34 in the proton transfer step; however, the kcat of the D34A variant was chemically rescued by replacement of 2-(N-morpholino)propanesulfonic acid buffer with imidazole at pH 7.2, supporting a role for the conserved aspartate in the proton transfer step. The crystal structure of Cab also shows Arg-36 with two hydrogen bonds to Asp-34. Arg-36 variants had both kcat and kcat/Km values that were decreased at least 250-fold relative to those of the wild type, establishing an essential function for this residue. Imidazole was unable to rescue the kcat of the R36A variant; however, partial rescue of the kinetic parameter was obtained with guanidine-HCl indicating that the guanido group of this residue is important.
Acetate kinase, an enzyme widely distributed in the Bacteria and Archaea domains, catalyzes the phosphorylation of acetate. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of Methanosarcina thermophila acetate kinase bound to ADP through crystallography. As we previously predicted, acetate kinase contains a core fold that is topologically identical to that of the ADP-binding domains of glycerol kinase, hexokinase, the 70-kDa heat shock cognate (Hsc70), and actin. Numerous charged active-site residues are conserved within acetate kinases, but few are conserved within the phosphotransferase superfamily. The identity of the points of insertion of polypeptide segments into the core fold of the superfamily members indicates that the insertions existed in the common ancestor of the phosphotransferases. Another remarkable shared feature is the unusual, epsilon conformation of the residue that directly precedes a conserved glycine residue (Gly-331 in acetate kinase) that binds the α-phosphate of ADP. Structural, biochemical, and geochemical considerations indicate that an acetate kinase may be the ancestral enzyme of the ASKHA (acetate and sugar kinases/Hsc70/actin) superfamily of phosphotransferases.
Periplasmic cyclic β-glucans of Rhizobium species provide important functions during plant infection and hypo-osmotic adaptation. In Sinorhizobium meliloti (also known as Rhizobium meliloti), these molecules are highly modified with phosphoglycerol and succinyl substituents. We have previously identified an S. meliloti Tn5 insertion mutant, S9, which is specifically impaired in its ability to transfer phosphoglycerol substituents to the cyclic β-glucan backbone (M. W. Breedveld, J. A. Hadley, and K. J. Miller, J. Bacteriol. 177:6346–6351, 1995). In the present study, we have cloned, sequenced, and characterized this mutation at the molecular level. By using the Tn5 flanking sequences (amplified by inverse PCR) as a probe, an S. meliloti genomic library was screened, and two overlapping cosmid clones which functionally complement S9 were isolated. A 3.1-kb HindIII-EcoRI fragment found in both cosmids was shown to fully complement mutant S9. Furthermore, when a plasmid containing this 3.1-kb fragment was used to transform Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. trifolii TA-1JH, a strain which normally synthesizes only neutral cyclic β-glucans, anionic glucans containing phosphoglycerol substituents were produced, consistent with the functional expression of an S. meliloti phosphoglycerol transferase gene. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of two major, overlapping open reading frames within the 3.1-kb fragment. Primer extension analysis revealed that one of these open reading frames, ORF1, was transcribed and its transcription was osmotically regulated. This novel locus of S. meliloti is designated the cgm (cyclic glucan modification) locus, and the product encoded by ORF1 is referred to as CgmB.
The cyclic β-(1,2)-glucans of Rhizobium meliloti and Agrobacterium tumefaciens play an important role during hypoosmotic adaptation, and the synthesis of these compounds is osmoregulated. Glucosyltransferase, the enzyme responsible for cyclic β-(1,2)-glucan biosynthesis, is present constitutively, suggesting that osmotic regulation of the biosynthesis of these glucans occurs through modulation of enzyme activity. In this study, we examined regulation of cyclic glucan biosynthesis in vitro with membrane preparations from R. meliloti. The results show that ionic solutes inhibit glucan synthesis, even when they are present at low concentrations (e.g., 10 mM). In contrast, neutral solutes (glucose, sucrose, and the compatible solutes glycine betaine and trehalose) were found to stimulate glucan synthesis in vitro when they were present at high concentrations (e.g., 1 M). Furthermore, high concentrations of these neutral solutes were shown to compensate for the inhibition of glucosyltransferase activity by ionic solutes. Consistent with their ionic character, the compatible solute potassium glutamate and the osmoprotectant choline chloride inhibited glucosyltransferase activity in vitro. The results suggest that intracellular ion concentrations, intracellular osmolarity, and intracellular concentrations of nonionic compatible solutes all act as important determinants of glucosyltransferase activity in vivo. Additional experiments were performed with an ndvA mutant defective for transport of cyclic glucans and an ndvB mutant that produces a C-terminal truncated glucosyltransferase. Cyclic β-(1,2)-glucan biosynthesis, although reduced, was found to be osmoregulated in both mutants. These results reveal that NdvA and the C terminus of NdvB are not required for osmotic regulation of cyclic β-(1,2)-glucan biosynthesis.
Acetate kinase catalyzes the reversible phosphorylation of acetate (CH3COO− + ATP⇄CH3CO2PO32− + ADP). A mechanism which involves a covalent phosphoryl-enzyme intermediate has been proposed, and chemical modification studies of the enzyme from Escherichia coli indicate an unspecified glutamate residue is phosphorylated (J. A. Todhunter and D. L. Purich, Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 60:273–280, 1974). Alignment of the amino acid sequences for the acetate kinases from E. coli (Bacteria domain), Methanosarcina thermophila (Archaea domain), and four other phylogenetically divergent microbes revealed high identity which included five glutamates. These glutamates were replaced in the M. thermophila enzyme to determine if any are essential for catalysis. The histidine-tagged altered enzymes were produced in E. coli and purified to electrophoretic homogeneity by metal affinity chromatography. Replacements of E384 resulted in either undetectable or extremely low kinase activity, suggesting E384 is essential for catalysis which supports the proposed mechanism. Replacement of E385 influenced the Km values for acetate and ATP with only moderate decreases in kcat, which suggests that this residue is involved in substrate binding but not catalysis. The unaltered acetate kinase was not inactivated by N-ethylmaleimide; however, replacement of E385 with cysteine conferred sensitivity to N-ethylmaleimide which was prevented by preincubation with acetate, acetyl phosphate, ATP, or ADP, suggesting that E385 is located near the active site. Replacement of E97 decreased the Km value for acetate but not ATP, suggesting this residue is involved in binding acetate. Replacement of either E32 or E334 had no significant effects on the kinetic constants, which indicates that neither residue is essential for catalysis or significantly influences the binding of acetate or ATP.