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Biochemistry. 1996 Apr 9;35(14):4628-35.

Phosphoenolpyruvate mutase catalysis of phosphoryl transfer in phosphoenolpyruvate: kinetics and mechanism of phosphorus-carbon bond formation.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park 20742, USA.


Phosphoenolpyruvate phosphomutase (PEP mutase) from Tetrahymena pyriformis catalyzes the rearrangement of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) to phosphonopyruvate (P-pyr). A spectrophotometric P-pyr assay consisting of the coupled actions of P-pyr decarboxylase, phosphonoacetaldehyde hydrolase, and alcohol dehydrogenase was devised to monitor mutase catalysis. The reaction constants determined for PEP mutase catalyzed conversion of PEP to P-pyr at pH 7.5 and 25 degrees C in the presence of Mg(II) are kcat = 5 s(-1), Km = 0.77 +/- 0.05 mM, and Keq = (2-9) x 10(-4). In the PEP forming direction, kcat = 100 s(-1) and Km = 3.5 +/- 0.1 microM. Retention of stereochemistry at phosphorus and strong inhibition displayed by the pyruvyl enolate analog, oxalate, have been cited as two lines of evidence that PEP mutase catalysis proceeds via a phosphoenzyme-pyruvyl enolate intermediate [Seidel, H. M., & Knowles, J. R. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 5641-5646]. In this study, single turnover reactions of oxalyl phosphate with the PEP mutase were carried out to test the formation of the phosphoenzyme intermediate. If formed. the phosphoenzyme-oxalate complex should be sufficiently stable to isolate. Reaction of the mutase with [32P]oxalyl phosphate in the presence of Mg(II)/Mn(II) cofactor failed to produce a detectable level of the [32P]phosphoenzyme-oxalate complex. In contrast, the same reaction carried out with pyruvate phosphate dikinase (PPDK), an enzyme known to catalyze the phosphorylation of its active site histidine with PEP, occurred at a rate of 4 x 10(-4) s(-1) (15% E-P formed) in the presence Mg(II) and at a rate of 3 x 10(-3) s(-1) (60% E-P formed) in the presence of Mn(II). Both oxalyl phosphate (Ki = 180 +/- 10 microM) and oxalate (Ki = 32 +/- 1O microM) were competitive inhibitors of PEP mutase catalysis, but neither displayed slow, tight binding inhibition. These results do not support the intermediacy of a phosphoenzyme-pyruvyl enolate complex in PEP mutase catalysis.

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