15N and 13C NMR studies of ligands bound to the 280,000-dalton protein porphobilinogen synthase elucidate the structures of enzyme-bound product and a Schiff base intermediate.

Biochemistry Department, University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6002.
Biochemistry (Impact Factor: 3.02). 10/1990; 29(36):8345-50.
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Porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS) catalyzes the asymmetric condensation of two molecules of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). Despite the 280,000-dalton size of PBGS, much can be learned about the reaction mechanism through 13C and 15N NMR. To our knowledge, these studies represent the largest protein complex for which individual nuclei have been characterized by 13C or 15N NMR. Here we extend our 13C NMR studies to PBGS complexes with [3,3-2H2,3-13C]ALA and report 15N NMR studies of [15N]ALA bound to PBGS. As in our previous 13C NMR studies, observation of enzyme-bound 15N-labeled species was facilitated by deuteration at nitrogens that are attached to slowly exchanging hydrogens. For holo-PBGS at neutral pH, the NMR spectra reflect the structure of the enzyme-bound product porphobilinogen (PBG), whose chemical shifts are uniformly consistent with deprotonation of the amino group whose solution pKa is 11. Despite this local environment, the protons of the amino group are in rapid exchange with solvent (kexchange greater than 10(2) s-1). For methyl methanethiosulfonate (MMTS) modified PBGS, the NMR spectra reflect the chemistry of an enzyme-bound Schiff base intermediate that is formed between C4 of ALA and an active-site lysine. The 13C chemical shift of [3,3-2H2,3-13C]ALA confirms that the Schiff base is an imine of E stereochemistry. By comparison to model imines formed between [15N]ALA and hydrazine or hydroxylamine, the 15N chemical shift of the enzyme-bound Schiff base suggests that the free amino group is an environment resembling partial deprotonation; again the protons are in rapid exchange with solvent. Deprotonation of the amino group would facilitate formation of a Schiff base between the amino group of the enzyme-bound Schiff base and C4 of the second ALA substrate. This is the first evidence supporting carbon-nitrogen bond formation as the initial site of interaction between the two substrate molecules.

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    ABSTRACT: The alpha and beta metal-binding sites of 5-aminolaevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) (porphobilinogen synthase, EC from Escherichia coli were investigated to determine the function of each metal ion and the role of the reactive cysteines in metal binding. Occupancy of the alpha site by Zn2+ restored virtually all catalytic activity to the inactive metal-depleted ALAD (apoALAD). Occupancy of the alpha site by Co2+ also yielded an active enzyme and resulted in a charge-transfer band indicative of a single cysteine amongst the metal ligands. Subsequent labelling of this cysteine residue with 14C-labelled N-ethylmaleimide, followed by peptide analysis, indicated the involvement of Cys-130. The metal ion at the alpha site is thought to be essential for binding of the second molecule of substrate at the A substrate-binding site that forms the acetic acid side of the product, porphobilinogen. Binding of Zn2+ to the beta site restored little activity if the alpha site was unfilled. Metal ion binding to the beta site could be monitored by following the change in protein fluorescence with Zn2+ titration of apoALAD at pH 6. A conformational change upon beta site occupancy may explain why binding of Mg2+ at the alpha site can occur only if Zn2+ is bound at the beta site. The binding of Co2+ at the beta site produced an inactive enzyme that exhibited a charge-transfer band indicative of at least three cysteine ligands.
    Ciba Foundation symposium 02/1994; 180:50-64; discussion 64-9. DOI:10.1002/9780470514535.ch4
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    ABSTRACT: Experiments are described in which the individual properties of the two 5-aminolaevulinic acid (ALA) binding sites, the A-site and the P-site, of 5-aminolaevulinic acid dehydratase (ALAD) have been investigated. The ALA binding affinity at the A-site is greatly enhanced (at least 10-fold) on the binding of the catalytic metal ion (bound at the alpha-site). The nature of the catalytic metal ion, Mg2+ or Zn2+, also gave major variations in the substrate Km, P-site affinity for ALA, the effect of potassium and phosphate ions and the pH-dependence of substrate binding. Modification of the P-site by reaction of the enzyme-substrate Schiff base with NaBH4 and analysis of the reduced adduct by electro-spray mass spectrometry indicated a maximum of 1 mol of substrate incorporated/mol of subunit, correlating with a linear loss of enzyme activity. The reduced Schiff-base adduct was used to investigate substrate binding at the A-site by using rate-of-dialysis analysis. The affinity for ALA at the A-site of Mg alpha Zn beta ALAD was found to determine the Km for the reaction and was pH-dependent, with its affinity increasing from 1 mM at pH 6 to 70 microM at pH 8.5. The affinity of ALA at the P-site of Zn alpha An beta ALAD is proposed to limit the Km at pH values above 7, since the measured Kd for ALA at the A-site in 45 microM Tris, pH 8, was well below the observed Km (600 microM) under the same conditions. The amino group of the ALA molecule bound at the P-site was identified as a critical binding component for the A-site, explaining why ALA binding to ALAD is ordered, with the P-site ALA binding first. Structural requirements for ALA binding at the A- and P-sites have been identified: the P-site requires the carbonyl and carboxylate groups, whereas the A-site requires the amino, carbonyl and carboxylate groups of the substrate.
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    ABSTRACT: Porphobilinogen is the monopyrrole precursor of all biological tetrapyrroles. The biosynthesis of porphobilinogen involves the asymmetric condensation of two molecules of 5-aminolevulinate and is carried out by the enzyme porphobilinogen synthase (PBGS), also known as 5-aminolevulinate dehydratase. This review documents what is known about the mechanism of the PBGS-catalyzed reaction. The metal ion constituents of PBGS are of particular interest because PBGS is a primary target for the environmental toxin lead. Mammalian PBGS contains two zinc ions at each active site. Bacterial and plant PBGS use a third metal ion, magnesium, as an allosteric activator. In addition, some bacterial and plant PBGS may use magnesium in place of one or both of the zinc ions of mammalian PBGS. These phylogenetic variations in metal ion usage are described along with a proposed rationale for the evolutionary divergence in metal ion usage. Finally, I describe what is known about the structure of PBGS, an enzyme which has as yet eluded crystal structure determination.
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