Phosphorus-containing inhibitors of aspartate transcarbamoylase from Escherichia coli
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A tetrahedral intermediate is the prominent feature of the generally accepted mechanism for aspartate transcarbamoylase. We have synthesized N-pyrophosphoryl-L-aspartate as a charged analogue of the postulated intermediate. Surprisingly, its affinity for the enzyme from Escherichia coli was substantially lower than that of the previously known inhibitor phosphonoacetyl-L-aspartate which contained a trigonal carbonyl group. Similar results were obtained with the corresponding mercaptosuccinate derivatives. We also tested a number of new pyrophosphate analogues as inhibitors. Our results cast doubt on some aspects of the current model for the mechanism of this enzyme.
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