Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 2002 May 24;277(21):19166-72. Epub 2002 Mar 8.

Reaction mechanism of alanine racemase from Bacillus stearothermophilus: x-ray crystallographic studies of the enzyme bound with N-(5'-phosphopyridoxyl)alanine.

Author information

Institute for Chemical Research, Kyoto University, Uji, Kyoto 611-0011, Japan.


The crystal structures of alanine racemase bound with reaction intermediate analogs, N-(5'-phosphopyridoxyl)-L-alanine (PLP-L-Ala) and N-(5'-phosphopyridoxyl)-D-alanine (PLP-D-Ala), were determined at 2.0-A resolution with the crystallographic R factor of 17.2 for PLP-L-Ala and 16.9 for PLP-D-Ala complexes. They were quite similar not only to each other but also to the structure of the native pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-form enzyme; root mean square deviations at Calpha among the three structures were less than 0.28 A. The side chains of the amino acid residues around the PLP-L-Ala and PLP-D-Ala were virtually superimposable on each other as well as on those around PLP of the native holoenzyme. The alpha-hydrogen of the alanine moiety of PLP-L-Ala was located near the OH of Tyr(265)', whereas that of PLP-D-Ala was near the NZ of Lys(39). These support the previous findings that Tyr(265)' and Lys(39) are the catalytic bases removing alpha-hydrogen from L- and D-alanine, respectively. The prerequisite for this two-base mechanism is that the alpha-proton abstracted from the substrate is transferred (directly or indirectly) between the NZ of Lys(39) and the OH of Tyr(265'); otherwise the enzyme reaction stops after a single turnover. Only the carboxylate oxygen atom of either PLP-Ala enantiomer occurred at a reasonable position that can mediate the proton transfer; neither the amino acid side chains nor the water molecules were located in the vicinity. Therefore, we propose a mechanism of alanine racemase reaction in which the substrate carboxyl group directly participates in the catalysis by mediating the proton transfer between the two catalytic bases, Lys(39) and Tyr(265)'. The results of molecular orbital calculation also support this mechanism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Support Center