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Biochemistry. 2006 May 16;45(19):5985-92.

Spectral and kinetic characterization of the michaelis charge transfer complex in monomeric sarcosine oxidase.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102, USA.


Monomeric sarcosine oxidase is a flavoenzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of the methyl group in sarcosine (N-methylglycine). Rapid reaction kinetic studies under anaerobic conditions at pH 8.0 show that the enzyme forms a charge transfer Michaelis complex with sarcosine (E-FAD(ox).sarcosine) that exhibits an intense long-wavelength absorption band (lambda(max) = 516 nm, epsilon(516) = 4800 M(-)(1) cm(-)(1)). Since charge transfer interaction with sarcosine as donor is possible only with the anionic form of the amino acid, the results indicate that the pK(a) of enzyme-bound sarcosine must be considerably lower than the free amino acid (pK(a) = 10.0). No redox intermediate is detectable during sarcosine oxidation, as judged by the isosbestic spectral course observed for conversion of E-FAD(ox).sarcosine to reduced enzyme at 25 or 5 degrees C. The limiting rate of the reductive half-reaction at 25 degrees C (140 +/- 3 s(-)(1)) is slightly faster than turnover (117 +/- 3 s(-)(1)). The kinetics of formation of the Michaelis charge transfer complex can be directly monitored at 5 degrees C where the reduction rate is 4.5-fold slower and complex stability is increased 2-fold. The observed rate of complex formation exhibits a hyperbolic dependence on sarcosine concentration with a finite Y-intercept, consistent with a mechanism involving formation of an initial complex followed by isomerization to yield a more stable complex. Similar results are obtained for charge transfer complex formation with methylthioacetate. The observed kinetics are consistent with structural studies which show that a conformational change occurs upon binding of methylthioacetate and other competitive inhibitors.

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