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Biochemistry. 1991 Jul 16;30(28):6948-56.

Neutral imidazole is the electrophile in the reaction catalyzed by triosephosphate isomerase: structural origins and catalytic implications.

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Department of Chemistry, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138.


To illuminate the role of histidine-95 in the catalytic reaction mediated by triosephosphate isomerase, 13C and 15N NMR titration studies have been carried out both on the wild-type enzyme and on a mutant isomerase in which the single remaining histidine (that at the active site) has been isotopically enriched in the imidazole ring. 15N NMR has proved especially useful in the unambiguous demonstration that the imidazole ring of histidine-95 is uncharged over the entire pH range of isomerase activity, between pH 5 and pH 9.9. The results require that the first pKa of histidine-95 is below 4.5. This abnormally low pKa rules out the traditional view that the positively charged imidazolium cation of histidine-95 donates a proton to the developing charge on the substrate's carbonyl oxygen. 15N NMR experiments on the enzyme in the presence of the reaction intermediate analogue phosphoglycolohydroxamate show the presence of a strong hydrogen bond between N epsilon 2 of histidine-95 and the bound inhibitor. These findings indicate that, in the catalyzed reaction, proton abstraction from C-1 of dihydroxyacetone phosphate first yields an enediolate intermediate that is strongly hydrogen bonded to the neutral imidazole side chain of histidine-95. The imidazole proton involved in this hydrogen bond then protonates the enediolate, with the transient formation of the enediol-imidazolate ion pair. Abstraction of the hydroxyl proton on O-1 now produces the other enediolate intermediate, which collapses to give the product glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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