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Biochemistry. 1990 Feb 13;29(6):1460-5.

Observation by 13C NMR of the EPSP synthase tetrahedral intermediate bound to the enzyme active site.

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Monsanto Agricultural Company, Technology Division, St. Louis, Missouri 63167.


Direct observation of the tetrahedral intermediate in the EPSP synthase reaction pathway was provided by 13C NMR by examining the species bound to the enzyme active site under internal equilibrium conditions and using [2-13C]PEP as a spectroscopic probe. The tetrahedral center of the intermediate bound to the enzyme gave a unique signal appearing at 104 ppm. Separate signals were observed for free EPSP (152 ppm) and EPSP bound to the enzyme in a ternary complex with phosphate (161 ppm). These peak assignments account for our quantitation of the species bound to the enzyme and liberated upon quenching with either triethylamine or base. A comparison of quenching with acid, base, or triethylamine was conducted; the intermediate could be isolated by quenching with either triethylamine or 0.2 N KOH, allowing direct quantitation of the species bound to the enzyme. After long times of incubation during the NMR measurement, a signal at 107 ppm appeared. The compound giving rise to this resonance was isolated and identified as an EPSP ketal [Leo et al. (1990) J. Am. Chem. Soc. (in press)]. The rate of formation of the EPSP ketal was very slow, 3.3 X 10(-5) s-1, establishing that it is a side product of the normal enzymatic reaction, probably arising as a breakdown product of the tetrahedral intermediate. A slow formation of pyruvate was also observed and is attributable to the enzymatic hydrolysis of EPSP, with 5% of the enzyme sites occupied by EPSP and hydrolyzing EPSP at a rate of 4.7 X 10(-4) s-1. To look for additional signals that might arise from a covalent adduct which has been postulated to arise from reaction of enzyme with PEP, an NMR experiment was performed with an analogue of S3P lacking the 4- and 5-hydroxyl groups.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

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