[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contributions of fast (femtosecond) dynamic motion to barrier crossing at enzyme catalytic sites is in dispute. Human purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) forms a ribocation-like transition state in the phosphorolysis of purine nucleosides and fast protein motions have been proposed to participate in barrier crossing. In the present study, (13)C-, (15)N-, (2)H-labeled human PNP (heavy PNP) was expressed, purified to homogeneity, and shown to exhibit a 9.9% increase in molecular mass relative to its unlabeled counterpart (light PNP). Kinetic isotope effects and steady-state kinetic parameters were indistinguishable for both enzymes, indicating that transition-state structure, equilibrium binding steps, and the rate of product release were not affected by increased protein mass. Single-turnover rate constants were slowed for heavy PNP, demonstrating reduced probability of chemical barrier crossing from enzyme-bound substrates to enzyme-bound products. In a second, independent method to probe barrier crossing, heavy PNP exhibited decreased forward commitment factors, also revealing mass-dependent decreased probability for barrier crossing. Increased atomic mass in human PNP alters bond vibrational modes on the femtosecond time scale and reduces on-enzyme chemical barrier crossing. This study demonstrates coupling of enzymatic bond vibrations on the femtosecond time scale to barrier crossing.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(46):18661-5. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plasmodium falciparum causes most of the one million annual deaths from malaria. Drug resistance is widespread and novel agents against new targets are needed to support combination-therapy approaches promoted by the World Health Organization. Plasmodium species are purine auxotrophs. Blocking purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) kills cultured parasites by purine starvation. DADMe-Immucillin-G (BCX4945) is a transition state analogue of human and Plasmodium PNPs, binding with picomolar affinity. Here, we test BCX4945 in Aotus primates, an animal model for Plasmodium falciparum infections. Oral administration of BCX4945 for seven days results in parasite clearance and recrudescence in otherwise lethal infections of P. falciparum in Aotus monkeys. The molecular action of BCX4945 is demonstrated in crystal structures of human and P. falciparum PNPs. Metabolite analysis demonstrates that PNP blockade inhibits purine salvage and polyamine synthesis in the parasites. The efficacy, oral availability, chemical stability, unique mechanism of action and low toxicity of BCX4945 demonstrate potential for combination therapies with this novel antimalarial agent.
PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(11):e26916. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) catalyzes the phosphorolysis of 6-oxy-purine nucleosides to the corresponding purine base and alpha-D-ribose 1-phosphate. Its genetic loss causes a lethal T cell deficiency. The highly reactive ribocation transition state of human PNP is protected from solvent by hydrophobic residues that sequester the catalytic site. The catalytic site was enlarged by replacing individual catalytic site amino acids with glycine. Reactivity of the ribocation transition state was tested for capture by water and other nucleophiles. In the absence of phosphate, inosine is hydrolyzed by native, Y88G, F159G, H257G, and F200G enzymes. Phosphorolysis but not hydrolysis is detected when phosphate is bound. An unprecedented N9-to-N3 isomerization of inosine is catalyzed by H257G and F200G in the presence of phosphate and by all PNPs in the absence of phosphate. These results establish a ribocation lifetime too short to permit capture by water. An enlarged catalytic site permits ribocation formation with relaxed geometric constraints, permitting nucleophilic rebound and N3-inosine isomerization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of new drugs against Chagas disease is a priority since the currently available medicines have toxic effects, partial efficacy and are targeted against the acute phase of disease. At present, there is no drug to treat the chronic stage. In this study, we have optimized a whole cell-based assay for high throughput screening of compounds that inhibit infection of mammalian cells by Trypanosoma cruzi trypomastigotes. A 2000-compound chemical library was screened using a recombinant T. cruzi (Tulahuen strain) expressing beta-galactosidase. Three hits were selected for their high activity against T. cruzi and low toxicity to host cells in vitro: PCH1, NT1 and CX1 (IC(50): 54, 190 and 23 nM, respectively). Each of these three compounds presents a different mechanism of action on intracellular proliferation of T. cruzi amastigotes. CX1 shows strong trypanocidal activity, an essential characteristic for the development of drugs against the chronic stage of Chagas disease where parasites are found intracellular in a quiescent stage. NT1 has a trypanostatic effect, while PCH1 affects parasite division. The three compounds also show high activity against intracellular T. cruzi from the Y strain and against the related kinetoplastid species Leishmania major and L. amazonensis. Characterization of the anti-T. cruzi activity of molecules chemically related to the three library hits allowed the selection of two compounds with IC(50) values of 2 nM (PCH6 and CX2). These values are approximately 100 times lower than those of the medicines used in patients against T. cruzi. These results provide new candidate molecules for the development of treatments against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ImmH (1) and DADMe-ImmH (2) are potent inhibitors of human purine nucleoside phoshorylase (PNP), developed by us and currently in clinical trials for the treatment of a variety of T-cell related diseases. Compounds 1 and 2 were used as templates for the design and synthesis of a series of acyclic immucillin analogues (8-38) in order to identify simplified alternatives to 1 and 2. SerMe-ImmG (8) and DATMe-ImmG (9) displayed the lowest inhibition constants of 2.1 and 3.4 pM, respectively, vs PNP. It was postulated that the flexible natures of 8 and 9 enabled them to adopt conformations resembling those of 1 and 2 within the active site of PNP and that the positioning of two hydroxyl groups was critical for picomolar activity. SerMe-ImmH (10, K(d) = 5.2 pM) was shown to be orally available in mice with a long biological residence time on blood PNP.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 02/2009; 52(4):1126-43. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potent immucillin purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP ) inhibitors F-DADMe-ImmH [(3S,4S)-3], and [(3R,4R)-3] are synthesized in seven steps. Cycloaddition to a fluoroalkene and an enzymic resolution are the key features of the construction of the fluoropyrrolidines 11, from which the immucillins are assembled by use of a three-component Mannich reaction. Slow-onset binding constants (Ki(*)) for [(3S,4S)-3] and [(3R,4R)-3] with human PNP are 0.032 and 1.82 nM, respectively. F-DADMe-ImmH [(3S,4S)-3] exhibits oral availability in mice at doses as low as 0.2 mg/kg.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2008; 51(18):5880-4. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neighboring-group participation in the reaction catalyzed by purine nucleoside phosphorylase involves a compression mode between the 5'- and 4'-ribosyl oxygens, facilitated by His257. The His257Gly mutant opens a space in the catalytic site. Hydrophobic 5'-substituted Immucillins are transition-state analogue inhibitors of this mutant enzyme. Dissociation constants as low as 2pM are achieved, with K(m)/K(d) as high as 400,000,000.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: N-ribosyl phosphorylases and hydrolases catalyze nucleophilic displacement reactions by migration of the cationic ribooxacarbenium carbon from the fixed purine to phosphate and water nucleophiles, respectively. As the lysis reaction progresses along the reaction coordinate, the distance between the purine and carbocation increases and the distance between carbocation and nucleophile decreases. Immucillin-H and DADMe-immucillin-H have been shown previously to be potent inhibitors of purine nucleoside phosphorylases and lie more toward the reactant and products side of this reaction coordinate, respectively. Both these enzyme inhibitors, which are currently in human clinical trials for different indications, are chiral and expensive to manufacture. We now report the synthesis of azetidine analogues of the DADMe-immucillins, which, despite their lack of stereochemical complexity, remain potent inhibitors (equilibrium dissociation constants as low as 229 pM) of purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP), methylthioadenosine phosphorylase (MTAP), and methylthioadenosine nucleosidase (MTAN), with potential utility as drug candidates.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 03/2008; 51(4):948-56. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) was crystallized with transition-state analogue inhibitors Immucillin-H and DADMe-Immucillin-H synthesized with ribosyl mimics of l-stereochemistry. The inhibitors demonstrate that major driving forces for tight binding of these analogues are the leaving group interaction and the cationic mimicry of the transition state, even though large geometric changes occur with d-Immucillins and l-Immucillins bound to human PNP.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2008; 130(3):842-4. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The X-ray crystal structures of human purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) with bound inosine or transition-state analogues show His257 within hydrogen bonding distance of the 5'-hydroxyl. The mutants His257Phe, His257Gly, and His257Asp exhibited greatly decreased affinity for Immucillin-H (ImmH), binding this mimic of an early transition state as much as 370-fold (Km/Ki) less tightly than native PNP. In contrast, these mutants bound DADMe-ImmH, a mimic of a late transition state, nearly as well as the native enzyme. These results indicate that His257 serves an important role in the early stages of transition-state formation. Whereas mutation of His257 resulted in little variation in the PNP x DADMe-ImmH x SO4 structures, His257Phe x ImmH x PO4 showed distortion at the 5'-hydroxyl, indicating the importance of H-bonding in positioning this group during progression to the transition state. Binding isotope effect (BIE) and kinetic isotope effect (KIE) studies of the remote 5'-(3)H for the arsenolysis of inosine with native PNP revealed a BIE of 1.5% and an unexpectedly large intrinsic KIE of 4.6%. This result is interpreted as a moderate electronic distortion toward the transition state in the Michaelis complex with continued development of a similar distortion at the transition state. The mutants His257Phe, His257Gly, and His257Asp altered the 5'-(3)H intrinsic KIE to -3, -14, and 7%, respectively, while the BIEs contributed 2, 2, and -2%, respectively. These surprising results establish that forces in the Michaelis complex, reported by the BIEs, can be reversed or enhanced at the transition state.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phosphate and ribose 1-phosphate (R1P) bound to human purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) have been studied by FTIR spectroscopy for comparison with phosphate bound with a transition state analogue. Bound phosphate is dianionic but exists in two distinct binding modes with similar binding affinities. The phosphate of bound R1P is also dianionic. Bound R1P slowly hydrolyzes to ribose and phosphate even in the absence of nucleobase. The C-OP bond is cleaved in bound R1P, the same as in the PNP-catalyzed reaction. Free R1P undergoes both C-OP and CO-P solvolysis. A hydrogen bond to one P-O group is stronger than those to the other two P-O groups in both the PNP.R1P complex and in one form of the PNP.PO4 complex. The average hydrogen bond strength to the PO bonds in the PNP.R1P complex is less than that in water but stronger than that in the PNP.PO4 complex. Hydrolysis of bound R1P may be initiated by distortion of the phosphate moiety in bound R1P. The unfavorable interactions on the phosphate moiety of bound R1P are relieved by dissociation of R1P from PNP or by hydrolysis to ribose and phosphate. The two forms of bound phosphate in the PNP.PO4 complex are interpreted to be phosphate positioned as the product in the nucleoside synthesis direction and as the reactant in the phosphorolysis reaction; their interconversion can occur by the transfer of a proton from one PO bond to another. The electronic structure of phosphate bound with a transition state analogue differs substantially from that in the Michaelis complexes.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 07/2006; 128(24):7765-71. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transition state analogues of PNP, the Immucillins and DADMe-Immucillins, were designed to match transition state features of bovine and human PNPs, respectively. The inhibitors with or without the hydroxyl and hydroxymethyl groups of the substrate demonstrate that inhibitor geometry mimicking that of the transition state confers binding affinity discrimination. This finding is remarkable since crystallographic analysis indicates complete conservation of active site residues and contacts to ligands in human and bovine PNPs.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 07/2006; 128(22):7126-7. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper reports the first identification of a fully functional hydrolyzing UDP-N-acetylglucosamine 2-epimerase from a bacterial source. The epimerase (known as SiaA or NeuC) from Neisseria meningitidis MC58 group B is shown to catalyze the conversion of UDP-GlcNAc into ManNAc and UDP in the first step of sialic acid (N-acetylneuraminic acid) biosynthesis. The mechanism is proposed to involve an anti elimination of UDP to form 2-acetamidoglucal as an intermediate, followed by the syn addition of water. The observation that the alpha-anomer of ManNAc is the true product and that solvent deuterium is incorporated at C-2 is consistent with this mechanism. The use of the (18)O-labeled substrate confirms that the overall hydrolysis reaction proceeds via cleavage of the C-O bond. Furthermore, the putative intermediate 2-acetamidoglucal is shown to serve as a catalytically competent substrate and is enzymatically hydrated to give ManNAc exclusively. Isotope effect studies show that cleavage of the C-H bond is not rate limiting during catalysis. Mutagenesis studies show that three active site carboxylate residues are crucial for catalysis. In two of the mutants that were studied (E122Q and D131N), 2-acetamidoglucal was released from the active site during catalysis, providing direct evidence that the enzyme is capable of catalyzing the anti elimination of UDP from UDP-GlcNAc.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The K1 capsule is an essential virulence determinant of Escherichia coli strains that cause meningitis in neonates. Biosynthesis and transport of the capsule, an alpha-2,8-linked polymer of sialic acid, are encoded by the 17-kb kps gene cluster. We deleted neuC, a K1 gene implicated in sialic acid synthesis, from the chromosome of EV36, a K-12-K1 hybrid, by allelic exchange. Exogenously added sialic acid restored capsule expression to the deletion strain (DeltaneuC), confirming that NeuC is necessary for sialic acid synthesis. The deduced amino acid sequence of NeuC showed similarities to those of UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) 2-epimerases from both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The NeuC homologue from serotype III Streptococcus agalactiae complements DeltaneuC. We cloned the neuC gene into an intein expression vector to facilitate purification. We demonstrated by paper chromatography that the purified neuC gene product catalyzed the formation of [2-(14)C]acetamidoglucal and [N-(14)C]acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) from UDP-[(14)C]GlcNAc. The formation of reaction intermediate 2-acetamidoglucal with the concomitant release of UDP was confirmed by proton and phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NeuC could not use GlcNAc as a substrate. These data suggest that neuC encodes an epimerase that catalyzes the formation of ManNAc from UDP-GlcNAc via a 2-acetamidoglucal intermediate. The unexpected release of the glucal intermediate and the extremely low rate of ManNAc formation likely were a result of the in vitro assay conditions, in which a key regulatory molecule or protein was absent.
Journal of Bacteriology 03/2004; 186(3):706-12. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The K1 capsule is an essential virulence determinant of Escherichia coli strains that cause meningitis in neonates. Biosynthesis and transport of the capsule, an -2,8-linked polymer of sialic acid, are encoded by the 17-kb kps gene cluster. We deleted neuC, a K1 gene implicated in sialic acid synthesis, from the chromosome of EV36, a K-12–K1 hybrid, by allelic exchange. Exogenously added sialic acid restored capsule expression to the deletion strain (neuC), confirming that NeuC is necessary for sialic acid synthesis. The deduced amino acid sequence of NeuC showed similarities to those of UDP–N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) 2-epimerases from both prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The NeuC homologue from serotype III Streptococcus agalactiae complements neuC. We cloned the neuC gene into an intein expression vector to facilitate purification. We demonstrated by paper chromatography that the purified neuC gene product catalyzed the formation of [2-14 C]acetamido-glucal and [N-14 C]acetylmannosamine (ManNAc) from UDP-[ 14 C]GlcNAc. The formation of reaction inter-mediate 2-acetamidoglucal with the concomitant release of UDP was confirmed by proton and phosphorus nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. NeuC could not use GlcNAc as a substrate. These data suggest that neuC encodes an epimerase that catalyzes the formation of ManNAc from UDP-GlcNAc via a 2-acetamidoglucal intermediate. The unexpected release of the glucal intermediate and the extremely low rate of ManNAc forma-tion likely were a result of the in vitro assay conditions, in which a key regulatory molecule or protein was absent. Although most strains of Escherichia coli are harmless com-mensals, certain isolates can be considered primary pathogens because they possess a variety of virulence determinants that allow the organism to evade host defenses and cause disease. Clinical syndromes vary and include several distinct forms of diarrheal disease, urinary tract infections (32) and, especially in neonates, sepsis and meningitis (28). Despite antimicrobial therapy, meningitis caused by E. coli K1 remains a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in neonates, and neurologic sequelae are common among survivors (34). Most strains of E. coli responsible for these infections synthesize the K1 capsule as an essential virulence factor (24, 26). The K1 capsule is a linear homopolymer of -2,8-linked N-acetylneuraminic acid (sialic acid; NeuNAc) (24, 28). The capsule provides the or-ganism with an antiphagocytic barrier characterized by the ability of terminal sialic acid residues to inhibit activation of the alternative complement pathway (8, 21). The K1 capsule is also a poor immunogen, a property attributed to molecular mimicry of the polysialic acid capsule to polysialosylglycopep-tides on human fetal neuronal tissue (33). Biosynthesis and transport of the E. coli K1 capsule are encoded by the 17-kb kps gene cluster that is located at 67 min
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ribosomally produced peptides that contain D-amino acids have been isolated from a number of vertebrate and invertebrate sources. In each case, the D-amino acids are introduced by a posttranslational modification of a parent peptide containing only amino acids of the L-configuration. The only known enzyme to catalyze such a reaction is the peptide epimerase (also known as peptide isomerase) from the venom of the funnel web spider, Agelenopsis aperta. This enzyme interconverts two 48-amino-acid-long peptide toxins that differ only by the stereochemistry at a single serine residue. In this paper we report the synthesis and testing of two pentapeptide analogues that contain modified amino acids at the site normally occupied by the substrate serine residue. When the L-chloroalanine-containing peptide 3 was incubated with the epimerase it was converted into the dehydroalanine-containing peptide 4 via an elimination of HCl. The dehydroalanine peptide 4 was independently synthesized and found to act as a potent inhibitor of the epimerase (IC50 = 0.5 microM). These results support a direct deprotonation/reprotonation mechanism in which a carbanionic intermediate is formed. The observed inhibition by 4 can be attributed to the sp(2)-hybridization of the alpha-carbon in the dehydroalanine unit that mimics the planar geometry of the anionic intermediate.
The Journal of Organic Chemistry 12/2002; 67(24):8389-94. · 4.56 Impact Factor