Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biochemistry. 1989 Jan 24;28(2):431-7.

Mechanism of inactivation of alanine racemase by beta, beta, beta-trifluoroalanine.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


The alanine racemases are a group of PLP-dependent bacterial enzymes that catalyze the racemization of alanine, providing D-alanine for cell wall synthesis. Inactivation of the alanine racemases from the Gram-negative organism Salmonella typhimurium and Gram-positive organism Bacillus stearothermophilus with beta, beta, beta-trifluoroalanine has been studied. The inactivation occurs with the same rate constant as that for formation of a broad 460-490-nm chromophore. Loss of two fluoride ions per mole of inactivated enzyme and retention of [1-14C]trifluoroalanine label accompany inhibition, suggesting a monofluoro enzyme adduct. Partial denaturation (1 M guanidine) leads to rapid return of the initial 420-nm chromophore, followed by a slower (t1/2 approximately 30 min-1 h) loss of the fluoride ion and 14CO2 release. At this point, reduction by NaB3H4 and tryptic digestion yield a single radiolabeled peptide. Purification and sequencing of the peptide reveals that lysine-38 is covalently attached to the PLP cofactor. A mechanism for enzyme inactivation by trifluoroalanine is proposed and contrasted with earlier results on monohaloalanines, in which nucleophilic attack of released aminoacrylate on the PLP aldimine leads to enzyme inactivation. For trifluoroalanine inactivation, nucleophilic attack of lysine-38 on the electrophilic beta-difluoro-alpha, beta-unsaturated imine provides an alternative mode of inhibition for these enzymes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk