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Biochemistry. 1996 Feb 6;35(5):1672-80.

Site-directed mutagenesis of active site glutamate-217 in mouse adenosine deaminase.

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Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, Texas 77005, USA.


Mouse adenosine deaminase (ADA) contains an active site glutamate residue at position-217 that is highly conserved in other adenosine and AMP deaminases. Previous research has suggested that proton donation to N-1 of the adenosine ring occurs prior to catalysis and supports the mechanism as proceeding via formation of a tetrahedral intermediate at C-6 of adenosine. The proposed catalytic mechanism of ADA based on the recent elucidations of the crystal structure of this enzyme with transition- and ground-state analogs hypothesized that Glu217 was involved in this proton donation step [Wilson, D. K., Rudolph, F. B., & Quiocho, F. A. (1991) Science 252, 1278-1284; Wilson, D. K., & Quiocho, F. A. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 1689-1693]. Site-directed mutagenesis of the equivalent glutamate in human ADA resulted in a dramatic loss of enzyme activity [Bhaumik, D., Medin, J., Gathy, K., & Coleman, M. (1993) J. Biol. Chem. 268, 5464-5470]. To further study the importance of this residue, site-directed mutagenesis was used to create mouse ADA mutants. Glu217 was mutated to Asp, Gly, Gln, and Ser, and all mutants were successfully expressed and purified. Circular dichroism and zinc analysis showed no significant changes in secondary structure or zinc content, respectively, compared to the native protein. The mutants showed only a slight variation in Km but dramatically reduced kcat, less than 0.2% of wild-type activity. UV difference and 13C NMR spectra conclusively demonstrated the failure of any of these mutants to hydrate purine riboside, a reaction carried out by the wild-type enzyme that results in formation of an enzyme-inhibitor complex. Surprisingly, Ki values for binding of the inhibitor to the mutants and to wild-type protein are similar, irrespective of whether the inhibitor is hydrated upon binding. These data confirm the importance of Glu217 in catalysis as suggested by the crystal structure of mouse ADA.

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