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Biochemistry. 2001 Nov 13;40(45):13466-73.

Investigation of the role of the domain linkers in separate site catalysis by Clostridium symbiosum pyruvate phosphate dikinase.

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Department of Chemistry, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA.


Pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK) catalyzes the reversible reaction: ATP + P(i) + pyruvate <--> AMP + PP(i) + PEP using Mg2+ and NH4+ ions as cofactors. The reaction takes place in three steps, each mediated by a carrier histidine residue located on the surface of the central domain of this three-domain enzyme: (1) E-His + ATP <--> E-His-PP.AMP, (2) E-His-PP.AMP + P(i) <--> E-His-P + AMP + PP(i), (3) E-His-P + pyruvate <--> E-His + PEP. The first two partial reactions are catalyzed at an active site located on the N-terminal domain, and the third partial reaction is catalyzed at an active site located on the C-terminal domain. For catalytic turnover, the central domain travels from one terminal domain to the other. The goal of this work is to determine whether the two connecting linkers direct the movement of the central domain between active sites during catalytic turnover. The X-ray crystal structure of the enzyme suggests interaction between the two linkers that may result in their coordinated movement. Mutations were made at the linkers for the purpose of disrupting the linker-linker interaction and, hence, synchronized linker movement. Five linker mutants were analyzed. Two of these contain 4-Ala insertions within the solvated region of the linker, and three have 3-residue deletions in this region. The efficiencies of the mutants for catalysis of the complete reaction as well as the E-His + ATP <--> E-His-PP.AMP partial reaction at the N-terminal domain and the E-His + PEP <--> E-His-P + pyruvate reaction at the C-terminal domain were measured to assess linker function. Three linker mutants are highly active catalysts at both active sites, and the fourth is highly active at one site but not the other. These results are interpreted as evidence against coordinated linker movement, and suggest instead that the linkers move independently as the central domain travels between active sites. It is hypothesized that while the linkers play a passive role in central domain-terminal domain docking, their structural design minimizes the conformational space searched in the diffusion process.

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