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J Biol Chem. 2001 May 4;276(18):15174-6. Epub 2001 Jan 30.

Dissecting a charged network at the active site of orotidine-5'-phosphate decarboxylase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599-7260, USA.


The crystal structure of yeast orotidine-5'-phosphate decarboxylase in complex with the postulated transition state analog, 6-hydroxyuridine-5'-phosphate, reveals contacts between this inhibitor and a novel quartet of charged residues (Lys-59, Asp-91, Lys-93, and Asp-96) within the active site. The structure also suggests a possible interaction between O2 of the 6-hydroxyuridine-5'-phosphate pyrimidine ring and Gln-215. Here we report the results of mutagenesis of each of the charged active site residues and Gln-215. The activities of the Q215A and wild-type enzymes were equal indicating that any interactions between this residue and the pyrimidine ring are dispensable for efficient decarboxylation. For the D91A and K93A mutant enzymes, activity was reduced by more than 5 orders of magnitude and substrate binding could not be detected by isothermal calorimetry. For the D96A mutant enzyme, k(cat) was reduced by more than 5 orders of magnitude, and isothermal calorimetry indicated an 11-fold decrease in the affinity of this enzyme for the substrate in the ground state. For the K59A enzyme, k(cat) was reduced by a factor of 130, and K(m) had increased by a factor of 900. These results indicate that the integrity of the network of charged residues is essential for transition state stabilization.

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