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J Biol Chem. 2008 Jan 25;283(4):2010-20. Epub 2007 Nov 14.

Structural requirements for the activation of Escherichia coli CTP synthase by the allosteric effector GTP are stringent, but requirements for inhibition are lax.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H 1X5, Canada.


Cytidine 5'-triphosphate synthase catalyzes the ATP-dependent formation of CTP from UTP using either NH(3) or l-glutamine (Gln) as the source of nitrogen. GTP acts as an allosteric effector promoting Gln hydrolysis but inhibiting Gln-dependent CTP formation at concentrations of >0.15 mM and NH(3)-dependent CTP formation at all concentrations. A structure-activity study using a variety of GTP and guanosine analogues revealed that only a few GTP analogues were capable of activating Gln-dependent CTP formation to varying degrees: GTP approximately 6-thio-GTP > ITP approximately guanosine 5'-tetraphosphate > O(6)-methyl-GTP > 2'-deoxy-GTP. No activation was observed with guanosine, GMP, GDP, 2',3'-dideoxy-GTP, acycloguanosine, and acycloguanosine monophosphate, indicating that the 5'-triphosphate, 2'-OH, and 3'-OH are required for full activation. The 2-NH(2) group plays an important role in binding recognition, whereas substituents at the 6-position play an important role in activation. The presence of a 6-NH(2) group obviates activation, consistent with the inability of ATP to substitute for GTP. Nucleotide and nucleoside analogues of GTP and guanosine, respectively, all inhibited NH(3)- and Gln-dependent CTP formation (often in a cooperative manner) to a similar extent (IC(50) approximately 0.2-0.5 mM). This inhibition appeared to be due solely to the purine base and was relatively insensitive to the identity of the purine with the exception of inosine, ITP, and adenosine (IC(50) approximately 4-12 mM). 8-Oxoguanosine was the best inhibitor identified (IC(50) = 80 microM). Our findings suggest that modifying 2-aminopurine or 2-aminopurine riboside may serve as an effective strategy for developing cytidine 5'-triphosphate synthase inhibitors.

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