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Biochemistry. 2009 Jul 7;48(26):6136-45. doi: 10.1021/bi900448u.

Mutation of the active site carboxy-lysine (K70) of OXA-1 beta-lactamase results in a deacylation-deficient enzyme.

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Department of Chemistry, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan 49401, USA.


Class D beta-lactamases hydrolyze beta-lactam antibiotics by using an active site serine nucleophile to form a covalent acyl-enzyme intermediate and subsequently employ water to deacylate the beta-lactam and release product. Class D beta-lactamases are carboxylated on the epsilon-amino group of an active site lysine, with the resulting carbamate functional group serving as a general base. We discovered that substitutions of the active site serine and lysine in OXA-1 beta-lactamase, a monomeric class D enzyme, significantly disrupt catalytic turnover. Substitution of glycine for the nucleophilic serine (S67G) results in an enzyme that can still bind substrate but is unable to form a covalent acyl-enzyme intermediate. Substitution of the carboxylated lysine (K70), on the other hand, results in enzyme that can be acylated by substrate but is impaired with respect to deacylation. We employed the fluorescent penicillin BOCILLIN FL to show that three different substitutions for K70 (alanine, aspartate, and glutamate) lead to the accumulation of significant acyl-enzyme intermediate. Interestingly, BOCILLIN FL deacylation rates (t(1/2)) vary depending on the identity of the substituting residue, from approximately 60 min for K70A to undetectable deacylation for K70D. Tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy was used to confirm that these results are applicable to natural (i.e., nonfluorescent) substrates. Deacylation by K70A, but not K70D or K70E, can be partially restored by the addition of short-chain carboxylic acid mimetics of the lysine carbamate. In conclusion, we establish the functional role of the carboxylated lysine in OXA-1 and highlight its specific role in acylation and deacylation.

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