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Eur J Biochem. 1993 May 1;213(3):1047-54.

Role of tyrosine 129 in the active site of spinach glycolate oxidase.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor.


The enzymatic properties and the three-dimensional structure of spinach glycolate oxidase which has the active-site Tyr129 replaced by Phe (Y129F glycolate oxidase) has been studied. The structure of the mutant is unperturbed which facilitates interpretation of the biochemical data. Y129F glycolate oxidase has an absorbance spectrum with maxima at 364 and 450 nm (epsilon max = 11400 M-1 cm-1). The spectrum indicates that the flavin is in its normal protonated form, i.e. the Y129F mutant does not lower the pKa of the N(3) of oxidized flavin as does the wild-type enzyme [Macheroux, P., Massey, V., Thiele, D. J., and Volokita, M. (1991) Biochemistry 30, 4612-4619]. This was confirmed by a pH titration of Y129F glycolate oxidase which showed that the pKa is above pH 9. In contrast to wild-type glycolate oxidase, oxalate does not perturb the absorbance spectrum of Y129F glycolate oxidase. Moreover oxalate does not inhibit the enzymatic activity of the mutant enzyme. Typical features of wild-type glycolate oxidase that are related to a positively charged lysine side chain near the flavin N(1)-C(2 = O), such as stabilization of the anionic flavin semiquinone and formation of tight N(5)-sulfite adducts, are all conserved in the Y129F mutant protein. Y129F glycolate oxidase exhibited about 3.5% of the wild-type activity. The lower turnover number for the mutant of 0.74 s-1 versus 20 s-1 for the wild-type enzyme amounts to an increase of the energy of the transition state of about 7.8 kJ/mol. Steady-state analysis gave Km values of 1.5 mM and 7 microM for glycolate and oxygen, respectively. The Km for glycolate is slightly higher than that found for wild-type glycolate oxidase (1 mM) whereas the Km for oxygen is much lower. As was the case for wild-type glycolate oxidase, reduction was found to be the rate-limiting step in catalysis, with a rate of 0.63 s-1. The kinetic properties of Y129F glycolate oxidase provide evidence that the main function of the hydroxyl group of Tyr129 is the stabilization of the transition state.

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