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Biochemistry. 1988 Jan 12;27(1):276-83.

A possible model for the concerted allosteric transition in Escherichia coli aspartate transcarbamylase as deduced from site-directed mutagenesis studies.

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Department of Chemistry, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts 02167.


Aspartate transcarbamylase is stabilized in a low-affinity-low-activity state exhibiting no cooperativity by selective perturbation of the Glu-50-Arg-167 and Glu-50-Arg-234 interdomain salt bridges. Similarly, a high-affinity-high-activity state of the enzyme, retaining a significant amount of cooperativity, is obtained by perturbation of the interaction between Tyr-240 and Asp-271. In this work, we show that the rupture of the link between Tyr-240 and Asp-271 in the enzyme already lacking the interdomain salt bridges regenerates the homotropic cooperative interactions between the catalytic sites and substantially increases the activity and affinity of the enzyme for aspartate. These results suggest a possible relationship between these two sets of interactions for the establishment of the cooperative behavior of the enzyme. Another mutation, Glu-239 to Gln, introduced to perturb the Glu-239-Lys-164 and Glu-239-Tyr-165 interactions between the two catalytic subunits, is sufficient to "lock" the enzyme in the R state. These observations emphasize the importance of the interactions at the interface between the catalytic trimers in maintaining the T state of the enzyme and shed light on the role played by this pathway in the communication of homotropic cooperativity between the different sites. A model including all these findings, as well as the interactions stabilizing the T state or the R state in the presence of the natural substrates, is proposed.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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