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J Biol Chem. 1991 Mar 25;266(9):5430-7.

Roles of the D-ribose and 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole moieties of the nucleotide loop of adenosylcobalamin in manifestation of coenzymic function in the diol dehydrase reaction.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan.


Coenzyme analogs in which the D-ribose moiety of the nucleotide loop was replaced by an oligomethylene group and a trimethylene analog containing imidazole instead of 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole were synthesized. Coordination of the 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole to the cobalt atom in these analogs was much weaker than that in cobalamins. The replacement of this base with imidazole did not significantly alter the strength of the coordination to the cobalt atom. 5,6-Dimethylbenzimidazolyl trimethylene and tetramethylene and imidazolyl trimethylene analogs were partially active as coenzymes in the diol dehydrase reaction in this order as judged by kcat, but the others were not active as coenzymes and were weak competitive inhibitors. This indicates that neither the alpha-D-ribofuranose ring nor the functional groups of the ribose moiety are essential for coenzymic function. There was an optimum loop size of the analogs for catalysis and for tight binding to the apoenzyme, which corresponds to the loop size of cobalamins. Therefore, the D-ribose moiety seems important as a spacer to keep the base in the proper position. The reaction with the imidazolyl trimethylene analog as coenzyme was accompanied with concomitant rapid inactivation during catalysis. The inactivation occurred only in the presence of substrate. Upon inactivation with this analog, 5'-deoxyadenosine and a B12r-like species were formed from the adenosyl group and the rest of the analog molecule, respectively, without modification of the apoenzyme. Therefore, it can be concluded that this is a kind of suicide inactivation which occurred from one of the intermediates in the normal catalytic process. The dimethylbenzo moiety of the regular coenzyme thus seems to play an important role in preventing the intermediate complexes from inactivation during catalysis.

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