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Biochemistry. 2011 Oct 25;50(42):9158-66. doi: 10.1021/bi2013382. Epub 2011 Sep 27.

Uridine phosphorylase from Trypanosoma cruzi: kinetic and chemical mechanisms.

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Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, Bronx, New York 10461, United States.


The reversible phosphorolysis of uridine to generate uracil and ribose 1-phosphate is catalyzed by uridine phosphorylase and is involved in the pyrimidine salvage pathway. We define the reaction mechanism of uridine phosphorylase from Trypanosoma cruzi by steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetics, pH-rate profiles, kinetic isotope effects from uridine, and solvent deuterium isotope effects. Initial rate and product inhibition patterns suggest a steady-state random kinetic mechanism. Pre-steady-state kinetics indicated no rate-limiting step after formation of the enzyme-products ternary complex, as no burst in product formation is observed. The limiting single-turnover rate constant equals the steady-state turnover number; thus, chemistry is partially or fully rate limiting. Kinetic isotope effects with [1'-(3)H]-, [1'-(14)C]-, and [5'-(14)C,1,3-(15)N(2)]uridine gave experimental values of (α-T)(V/K)(uridine) = 1.063, (14)(V/K)(uridine) = 1.069, and (15,β-15)(V/K)(uridine) = 1.018, in agreement with an A(N)D(N) (S(N)2) mechanism where chemistry contributes significantly to the overall rate-limiting step of the reaction. Density functional theory modeling of the reaction in gas phase supports an A(N)D(N) mechanism. Solvent deuterium kinetic isotope effects were unity, indicating that no kinetically significant proton transfer step is involved at the transition state. In this N-ribosyl transferase, proton transfer to neutralize the leaving group is not part of transition state formation, consistent with an enzyme-stabilized anionic uracil as the leaving group. Kinetic analysis as a function of pH indicates one protonated group essential for catalysis and for substrate binding.

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