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[en] D-Ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO), the most abundant enzyme, is the paradigm member of the recently recognized mechanistically diverse RuBisCO superfamily. The RuBisCO reaction is initiated by abstraction of the proton from C3 of the D-ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate substrate by a carbamate oxygen of carboxylated Lys 201 (spinach enzyme). Heterofunctional homologues of RuBisCO found in species of Bacilli catalyze the tautomerization ('enolization') of 2,3-diketo-5-methylthiopentane 1-phosphate (DK-MTP 1-P) in the methionine salvage pathway in which 5-methylthio-D-ribose (MTR) derived from 5'-methylthioadenosine is converted to methionine (Ashida, H., Saito, Y., Kojima, C., Kobayashi, K., Ogasawara, N., and Yokota, A. (2003) A functional link between RuBisCO-like protein of Bacillus and photosynthetic RuBisCO, Science 302, 286-290]. The reaction catalyzed by this 'enolase' is accomplished by abstraction of a proton from C1 of the DK-MTP 1-P substrate to form the tautomerized product, a conjugated enol. Because the RuBisCO- and 'enolase'-catalyzed reactions differ in the regiochemistry of proton abstraction but are expected to share stabilization of an enolate anion intermediate by coordination to an active site Mg2+, we sought to establish structure-function relationships for the 'enolase' reaction so that the structural basis for the functional diversity could be established. We determined the stereochemical course of the reaction catalyzed by the 'enolases' from Bacillus subtilis and Geobacillus kaustophilus. Using stereospecifically deuterated samples of an alternate substrate derived from D-ribose (5-OH group instead of the 5-methylthio group in MTR) as well as of the natural DK-MTP 1-P substrate, we determined that the 'enolase'-catalyzed reaction involves abstraction of the 1-proS proton. We also determined the structure of the activated 'enolase' from G. kaustophilus (carboxylated on Lys 173) liganded with Mg2+ and 2,3-diketohexane 1-phosphate, a stable alternate substrate. The stereospecificity of proton abstraction restricts the location of the general base to the N-terminal α+ β domain instead of the C-terminal (β/α)8-barrel domain that contains the carboxylated Lys 173. Lys 98 in the N-terminal domain, conserved in all 'enolases', is positioned to abstract the 1-proS proton. Consistent with this proposed function, the K98A mutant of the G. kaustophilus 'enolase' is unable to catalyze the 'enolase' reaction. Thus, we conclude that this functionally divergent member of the RuBisCO superfamily uses the same structural strategy as RuBisCO for stabilizing the enolate anion intermediate, i.e., coordination to an essential Mg2+, but the proton abstraction is catalyzed by a different general base
[en] The bacterial phosphotriesterase (PTE) from Pseudomonas diminuta catalyzes the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters at rates close to the diffusion limit. X-ray diffraction studies have shown that a binuclear metal center is positioned in the active site of PTE and that this complex is responsible for the activation of the nucleophilic water from solvent. In this paper, the three-dimensional structure of PTE was determined in the presence of the hydrolysis product, diethyl phosphate (DEP), and a product analogue, cacodylate. In the structure of the PTE-diethyl phosphate complex, the DEP product is found symmetrically bridging the two divalent cations. The DEP displaces the hydroxide from solvent that normally bridges the two divalent cations in structures determined in the presence or absence of substrate analogues. One of the phosphoryl oxygen atoms in the PTE-DEP complex is 2.0 Angstroms from the a-metal ion, while the other oxygen is 2.2 Angstroms from the β-metal ion. The two metal ions are separated by a distance of 4.0 Angstroms. A similar structure is observed in the presence of cacodylate. Analogous complexes have previously been observed for the product complexes of isoaspartyl dipeptidase, d-aminoacylase, and dihydroorotase from the amidohydrolase superfamily of enzymes. The experimentally determined structure of the PTE-diethyl phosphate product complex is inconsistent with a recent proposal based upon quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations which postulated the formation of an asymmetrical product complex bound exclusively to the β-metal ion with a metal-metal separation of 5.3 Angstroms. This structure is also inconsistent with a chemical mechanism for substrate hydrolysis that utilizes the bridging hydroxide as a base to abstract a proton from a water molecule loosely associated with the a-metal ion. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations support a reaction mechanism that utilizes the bridging hydroxide as the direct nucleophile in the hydrolysis of organophosphate esters by PTE.
[en] The essential tRNA-specific adenosine deaminase catalyzes the deamination of adenosine to inosine at the wobble position of tRNAs. This modification allows for a single tRNA species to recognize multiple synonymous codons containing A, C, or U in the last (3'-most) position and ensures that all sense codons are appropriately decoded. We report the first combined structural and kinetic characterization of a wobble-specific deaminase. The structure of the Escherichia coli enzyme clearly defines the dimer interface and the coordination of the catalytically essential zinc ion. The structure also identifies the nucleophilic water and highlights residues near the catalytic zinc likely to be involved in recognition and catalysis of polymeric RNA substrates. A minimal 19 nucleotide RNA stem substrate has permitted the first steady-state kinetic characterization of this enzyme (kcat = 13 ± 1 min-1 and KM = 0.83 ± 0.22 (micro)M). A continuous coupled assay was developed to follow the reaction at high concentrations of polynucleotide substrates (>10 (micro)M). This work begins to define the chemical and structural determinants responsible for catalysis and substrate recognition and lays the foundation for detailed mechanistic analysis of this essential enzyme
[en] Atrazine chlorohydrolase, TrzN (triazine hydrolase or atrazine chlorohydrolase 2), initiates bacterial metabolism of the herbicide atrazine by hydrolytic displacement of a chlorine substituent from the s-triazine ring. The present study describes crystal structures and reactivity of wild-type and active site mutant TrzN enzymes. The homodimer native enzyme structure, solved to 1.40 (angstrom) resolution, is a (βα)8 barrel, characteristic of members of the amidohydrolase superfamily. TrzN uniquely positions threonine 325 in place of a conserved aspartate that ligates the metal in most mononuclear amidohydrolases superfamily members. The threonine side chain oxygen atom is 3.3 (angstrom) from the zinc atom and 2.6 (angstrom) from the oxygen atom of zinc-coordinated water. Mutation of the threonine to a serine resulted in a 12-fold decrease in kcat/Km, largely due to kcat, whereas the T325D and T325E mutants had immeasurable activity. The structure and kinetics of TrzN are reminiscent of carbonic anhydrase, which uses a threonine to assist in positioning water for reaction with carbon dioxide. An isosteric substitution in the active site glutamate, E241Q, showed a large diminution in activity with ametryn, no detectable activity with atratone, and a 10-fold decrease with atrazine, when compared with wild-type TrzN. Activity with the E241Q mutant was nearly constant from pH 6.0 to 10.0, consistent with the loss of a proton-donating group. Structures for TrzN-E241Q were solved with bound ametryn and atratone to 1.93 and 1.64 (angstrom) resolution, respectively. Both structure and kinetic determinations suggest that the Glu241 side chain provides a proton to N-1 of the s-triazine substrate to facilitate nucleophilic displacement at the adjacent C-2.