Christine E Farrar

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI, United States

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Publications (4)10.13 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Biotin synthase (BS) is a member of the "SAM radical" superfamily of enzymes, which catalyze reactions in which the reversible or irreversible oxidation of various substrates is coupled to the reduction of the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) sulfonium to generate methionine and 5'-deoxyadenosine (dAH). Prior studies have demonstrated that these products are modest inhibitors of BS and other members of this enzyme family. In addition, the in vivo catalytic activity of Escherichia coli BS requires expression of 5'-methylthioadenosine/S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine nucleosidase, which hydrolyzes 5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA), S-adenosyl-l-homocysteine (AdoHcy), and dAH. In the present work, we confirm that dAH is a modest inhibitor of BS (K(i) = 20 μM) and show that cooperative binding of dAH with excess methionine results in a 3-fold enhancement of this inhibition. However, with regard to the other substrates of MTA/AdoHcy nucleosidase, we demonstrate that AdoHcy is a potent inhibitor of BS (K(i) ≤ 650 nM) while MTA is not an inhibitor. Inhibition by both dAH and AdoHcy likely accounts for the in vivo requirement for MTA/AdoHcy nucleosidase and may help to explain some of the experimental disparities between various laboratories studying BS. In addition, we examine possible inhibition by other AdoMet-related biomolecules present as common contaminants in commercial AdoMet preparations and/or generated during an assay, as well as by sinefungin, a natural product that is a known inhibitor of several AdoMet-dependent enzymes. Finally, we examine the catalytic activity of BS with highly purified AdoMet in the presence of MTAN to relieve product inhibition and present evidence suggesting that the enzyme is half-site active and capable of undergoing multiple turnovers in vitro.
    Biochemistry 10/2010; 49(46):9985-96. · 3.38 Impact Factor
  • Christine E Farrar, Joseph T Jarrett
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    ABSTRACT: Biotin synthase catalyzes the oxidative addition of a sulfur atom to dethiobiotin (DTB) to generate the biotin thiophane ring. This reaction is initiated by the reductive cleavage of the sulfonium center of S-adenosyl-L-methionine (AdoMet), generating methionine and a transient 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical that functions as an oxidant by abstracting hydrogen atoms from DTB. Biotin synthase contains a highly conserved sequence motif, YNHNLD, in which Asn153 and Asp155 form hydrogen bonds with the ribose hydroxyl groups of AdoMet. In the present work, we constructed four individual site-directed mutations to change each of these two residues in order to probe their role in the active site. We used molecular weight filtration assays to show that for most of the mutant enzymes binding of the substrates was only slightly affected. In vitro assays demonstrate that several of the mutant enzymes were able to reductively cleave AdoMet, but none were able to produce a significant amount of biotin. Several of the mutants, especially Asn153Ser, were able to produce high levels of the stable intermediate 9-mercaptodethiobiotin. Some of the mutants, such as Asp155Asn and Asn153Ala, produced instead an alternate product tentatively identified by mass spectrometry as 5'-mercapto-5'-deoxyadenosine, generated by direct attack of the 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical on the [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster. Collectively, these results suggest that the protein residues that form hydrogen bonds to AdoMet and DTB are important for retaining intermediates during the catalytic cycle and for targeting the reactivity of the 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical.
    Biochemistry 02/2009; 48(11):2448-58. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    Andrew M Taylor, Christine E Farrar, Joseph T Jarrett
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    ABSTRACT: Biotin synthase (BS) catalyzes the oxidative addition of a sulfur atom to dethiobiotin (DTB) to generate the biotin thiophane ring. This enzyme is an S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) radical enzyme that catalyzes the reductive cleavage of AdoMet, generating methionine and a transient 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical. In our working mechanism, the 5'-deoxyadenosyl radical oxidizes DTB by abstracting a hydrogen from C6 or C9, generating a dethiobiotinyl carbon radical that is quenched by a sulfide from a [2Fe-2S] (2+) cluster. A similar reaction sequence directed at the other position generates the second C-S bond in the thiophane ring. Since the BS active site holds only one AdoMet and one DTB, it follows that dissociation of methionine and 5'-deoxyadenosine and binding of a second equivalent of AdoMet must be intermediate steps in the formation of biotin. During these dissociation-association steps, a discrete DTB-derived intermediate must remain bound to the enzyme. In this work, we confirm that the conversion of DTB to biotin is accompanied by the reductive cleavage of 2 equiv of AdoMet. A discrepancy between DTB consumption and biotin formation suggests the presence of an intermediate, and we use liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to demonstrate that this intermediate is indeed 9-mercaptodethiobiotin, generated at approximately 10% of the total enzyme concentration. The amount of intermediate observed is increased when the reaction is run with substoichiometric levels of AdoMet or with the defective enzyme containing the Asn153Ser mutation. The retention of 9-mercaptodethiobiotin as a tightly bound intermediate is consistent with a mechanism involving the stepwise radical-mediated oxidative abstraction of sulfide from an iron-sulfur cluster.
    Biochemistry 10/2008; 47(35):9309-17. · 3.38 Impact Factor
  • Christine E Farrar, Joseph T Jarrett
    09/2007; , ISBN: 9780470015902