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Biochemistry. 2005 Mar 22;44(11):4408-15.

Kinetic analysis of the L-ornithine transcarbamoylase from Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola that is resistant to the transition state analogue (R)-N delta-(N'-sulfodiaminophosphinyl)-L-ornithine.

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  • 1Horticulture and Food Research Institute of New Zealand, Mt. Albert Research Centre, Auckland, New Zealand.


(R)-N(delta)-(N'-Sulfodiaminophosphinyl)-L-ornithine (PSorn) is the active component of a phytotoxin, called phaseolotoxin, produced by Pseudomonas savastanoi pv. phaseolicola. PSorn acts as a potent transition state (TS) inhibitor of ornithine transcarbamoylase (OTCase, E.C. that binds to the OTCase from Escherichia coli (ARGI) with a dissociation constant of 1.6 pM. While inhibition of OTCase can lead to arginine auxotrophy, P. savastanoi pv. phaseolicola is able to synthesize toxin while growing on minimal medium. This is achieved by the expression during toxin production of a second gene encoding OTCase activity that is not inhibited by PSorn (ROTCase). ROTCase is orthologous to other OTCases, but it has substitutions to key conserved amino acids, particularly to those around the carbamoyl phosphate (CP) binding site and in the ornithine binding "SMG" loop. This suggests that the topology of the CP binding site and the closure of the SMG loop may be different in ROTCase. Steady-state kinetics indicate that ROTCase has an ordered mechanism, and the (13)C kinetic isotope effect (IE) in CP indicates that it is the first substrate to bind. However, unlike other OTCases, there is a random element to the mechanism since the second substrate ornithine (Orn) was unable to completely suppress the IE to unity. The most striking difference with ROTCase is the reduction of k(cat) to between 1% and 2% of other OTCases. This is consistent with the large IE that ROTCase exhibits (3.4%) at near-zero Orn. These results suggest that the chemistry of the reaction is rate limiting for ROTCase. ROTCase has a substrate and inhibitor profile similar to that of other OTCases. The CP binding affinity of ROTCase is diminished when compared with that observed from ARGI, and inhibitors that compete with the CP binding site have K(i) values at least 10-fold higher for ROTCase than for ARGI. Arsenate did not inhibit ROTCase, and bisubstrate and dead-end inhibitors are less effective inhibitors of ROTCase than ARGI. These data suggest that PSorn is unable to bind tightly to either the apo or activated forms of ROTCase at the expense of CP binding and reduced k(cat).

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