Catalytic control of enzymatic fluorine specificity.

Departments of Chemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 11/2012; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1212591109
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The investigation of unique chemical phenotypes has led to the discovery of enzymes with interesting behaviors that allow us to explore unusual function. The organofluorine-producing microbe Streptomyces cattleya has evolved a fluoroacetyl-CoA thioesterase (FlK) that demonstrates a surprisingly high level of discrimination for a single fluorine substituent on its substrate compared with the cellularly abundant hydrogen analog, acetyl-CoA. In this report, we show that the high selectivity of FlK is achieved through catalysis rather than molecular recognition, where deprotonation at the C(α) position to form a putative ketene intermediate only occurs on the fluorinated substrate, thereby accelerating the rate of hydrolysis 10(4)-fold compared with the nonfluorinated congener. These studies provide insight into mechanisms of catalytic selectivity in a native system where the existence of two reaction pathways determines substrate rather than product selection.

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    ABSTRACT: Fluorination has been widely used in chemical synthesis, but is rare in nature. The only known biological fluorination scope is represented by the fl pathway from Streptomyces cattleya that produces fluoroacetate (FAc) and 4-fluorothreonine (4-FT). Here we report the identification of a novel pathway for FAc and 4-FT biosynthesis from the actinomycetoma-causing pathogen Nocardia brasiliensis ATCC 700358. The new pathway shares overall conservation with the fl pathway in S. cattleya. Biochemical characterization of the conserved domains revealed a novel fluorinase NobA that can biosynthesize 5'-fluoro-5'-deoxyadenosine (5'-FDA) from inorganic fluoride and S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM). The NobA shows similar halide specificity and characteristics to the fluorination enzyme FlA of the fl pathway. Kinetic parameters for fluoride ( K m 4153 μM, k cat 0.073 min (-1)) and SAM ( K m 416 μM, k cat 0.139 min (-1)) have been determined, revealing that NobA is slightly (2.3 fold) slower than FlA. Upon sequence comparison, we finally identified a distinct loop region in the fluorinases that probably accounts for the disparity of fluorination activity.
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