Phosphate Analogues as Probes of the Catalytic Mechanisms of MurA and AroA, Two Carboxyvinyl Transferases
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The role in catalysis of phosphate with AroA (enolpyruvyl shikimate 3-phosphate synthase) and MurA (enolpyruvyl UDP-GlcNAc synthase) was probed using phosphate analogues and an AroA mutant. Phosphate, the second reaction product, increases the reactivity of the enolpyruvyl products (EP-OR's) approximately 10(5)-fold in the reverse reaction, forming phosphoenolpyruvate and R-OH (shikimate 3-phosphate or UDP-GlcNAc). Phosphate is intrinsically unreactive with EP-OR, raising the question of how AroA and MurA promote EP-OR reactivity. Eleven phosphate analogues were examined. All those with tetrahedral geometries bound with AroA, except sulfate, while no nontetrahedral analogues did. Arsenate, vanadate, and fluorophosphate caused reactions of AroA and MurA with EP-OR's, yielding pyruvate and R-OH. Their k(cat)/K(M) values relative to phosphate were similar for both enzymes, ca. 100-fold worse for arsensate, 200-fold worse for vanadate, and 5000-fold worse for fluorophosphate, implying similar interactions with both enzymes. Examination of the arsenate-promoted reactions using [3'-(3)H]EP-OR's, (2)H(2)O, and H(2)(18)O provided evidence of an arseno-tetrahedral intermediate, analogous to the natural tetrahedral intermediate, proceeding to arsenoenolpyruvate, which spontaneously broke down to pyruvate and arsenate. The only physicochemical property that appeared to be essential for reactivity of the analogues was the presence of a proton. Titration of the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence of the weakly active AroA mutant, Asp313Ala (D313A), demonstrated a fluorescence decrease upon enolpyruvyl shikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) binding, and a further decrease upon binding of phosphate or arsenate to AroA_D313A.EPSP, suggesting a further conformational change. We are hopeful that understanding enzyme-phosphate interactions will make it possible to design inhibitors that can use the high endogenous phosphate concentration in bacteria to enhance inhibitor binding.
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