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Biochemistry. 1991 Aug 6;30(31):7796-801.

Site-directed mutagenesis of Escherichia coli aspartate aminotransferase: role of Tyr70 in the catalytic processes.

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Department of Medical Chemistry, Osaka Medical College, Japan.


Site-directed mutagenesis of Tyr70 in the active site of Escherichia coli aspartate aminotransferase (AspAT) followed by kinetic studies has elucidated the roles of the hydroxyl group and benzene ring of Tyr70. X-ray crystallographic analysis showed that replacement of Tyr70 by Phe did not alter the active-site conformation of the enzyme. Comparison of the kinetic parameters of the four half-transamination reactions (the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate form of the enzyme with L-aspartate or L-glutamate and the pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate form with oxalacetate or 2-oxoglutarate) between the wild-type and [Tyr70----Phe]AspATs showed that the mutation increases the energy level of the transition state by 2 kcal.mol-1 for all the four substrates, suggesting some contribution of the hydroxyl group of Tyr70 to the transition state. When Phe70 was further replaced by Ser, the energy level of the transition state for L-glutamate or 2-oxoglutarate, but not for L-aspartate or oxalacetate, was further increased by 2-3 kcal.mol-1, suggesting that the presence of a benzene ring at position 70 is essential for recognizing the L-glutamate-2-oxoglutarate pair as substrates.

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