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Biochemistry. 2003 Dec 16;42(49):14614-25.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae penicillin-binding protein 3 exhibits exceptionally high carboxypeptidase and beta-lactam binding activities.

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Division of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Missouri-Kansas City, Kansas City, Missouri 64110, USA.


A soluble form of penicillin-binding protein 3 (PBP 3) from Neisseria gonorrhoeae was expressed and purified from Escherichia coli and characterized for its interaction with beta-lactam antibiotics, its catalytic properties with peptide and peptidoglycan substrates, and its role in cell viability and morphology. PBP 3 had an unusually high k(2)/K' value relative to other PBPs for acylation with penicillin (7.7 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1)) at pH 8.5 at 25 degrees C and hydrolyzed bound antibiotic very slowly (k(3) < 4.6 x 10(-5) s(-1), t(1/2) > 230 min). PBP 3 also demonstrated exceptionally high carboxypeptidase activity with a k(cat) of 580 s(-1) and a k(cat)/K(m) of 1.8 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) with the substrate N(alpha)-Boc-N(epsilon)-Cbz-L-Lys-D-Ala-D-Ala. This is the highest k(cat) value yet reported for a PBP or other serine peptidases. Activity against a approximately D-Ala-D-Lac peptide substrate was approximately 2-fold lower than against the analogous approximately D-Ala-D-Ala peptide substrate, indicating that deacylation is rate determining for both amide and ester hydrolysis. The pH dependence profiles of both carboxypeptidase activity and beta-lactam acylation were bell-shaped with maximal activity at pH 8.0-8.5. PBP 3 displayed weak transpeptidase activity in a model transpeptidase reaction but was active as an endopeptidase, cleaving dimeric peptide cross-links. Deletion of PBP 3 alone had little effect on viability, growth rate, and morphology of N. gonorrhoeae, although deletion of both PBP 3 and PBP 4, the other low-molecular-mass PBP in N. gonorrhoeae, resulted in a decreased growth rate and marked morphological abnormalities.

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