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Biochemistry. 2003 Oct 21;42(41):12067-76.

Characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis mycothiol S-conjugate amidase.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093, USA.


Mycothiol is comprised of N-acetylcysteine (AcCys) amide linked to 1D-myo-inosityl 2-amino-2-deoxy-alpha-D-glucopyranoside (GlcN-Ins) and is the predominant thiol found in most actinomycetes. Mycothiol S-conjugate amidase (Mca) cleaves the amide bond of mycothiol S-conjugates of a variety of alkylating agents and xenobiotics, producing GlcN-Ins and a mercapturic acid that can be excreted from the cell. Mca of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Rv1082) was cloned and expressed as a soluble protein in Escherichia coli. The protein contained 1.4 +/- 0.1 equiv of zinc after purification, indicating that Mca is a metalloprotein with zinc as the native metal. Kinetic studies of Mca activity with 14 substrates demonstrated that Mca is highly specific for the mycothiol moiety of mycothiol S-conjugates and relatively nonspecific for the structure of the sulfur-linked conjugate. The deacetylase activity of Mca with GlcNAc-Ins is small but significant and failed to saturate at up to 2 mM GlcNAc-Ins, indicating that Mca may contribute modestly to the production of GlcN-Ins when GlcNAc-Ins levels are high. The versatility of Mca can be seen in its ability to react with a broad range of mycothiol S-conjugates, including two different classes of antibiotics. The mycothiol S-conjugate of rifamycin S was produced under physiologically relevant conditions and was shown to be a substrate for Mca in both oxidized and reduced forms. Significant activity was also seen with the mycothiol S-conjugate of the antibiotic cerulenin as a substrate for Mca.

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