Amy C Seila

Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States

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Publications (5)16.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The ribosome-catalyzed peptidyl transferase reaction displays a complex pH profile resulting from two functional groups whose deprotonation is important for the reaction, one within the A-site substrate and a second unidentified group thought to reside in the rRNA peptidyl transferase center. Here we report the synthesis and activity of the beta,beta-difluorophenylalanyl derivative of puromycin, an A-site substrate. The fluorine atoms reduce the pK(a) of the nucleophilic alpha-amino group (<5.0) such that it is deprotonated at all pHs amenable to ribosomal analysis (pH 5.2-9.5). In the 50S modified fragment assay, this substrate reacts substantially faster than puromycin at neutral or acidic pH. The reaction follows a simplified pH profile that is dependent only upon deprotonation of a titratable group within the ribosomal active site. This feature will simplify characterization of the peptidyl transferase reaction mechanism. On the basis of the reaction efficiency of the doubly fluorinated substrate compared to the unfluorinated derivative, the Bronsted coefficient for the nucleophile is estimated to be substantially smaller than that reported for uncatalyzed aminolysis reactions, which has important mechanistic implications for the peptidyl transferase reaction.
    Biochemistry 05/2005; 44(17):6675-84. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ribosome is the macromolecular machine responsible for protein synthesis in all cells. Here, we establish a kinetic framework for the 50S modified fragment reaction that makes it possible to measure the kinetic effects that result from isotopic substitution in either the A or P site of the ribosome. This simplified peptidyl transferase assay follows a rapid equilibrium random mechanism in which the reverse reaction is nonexistent and the forward commitment is negligible. A normal effect (1.009) is observed for (15)N substitution of the incoming nucleophile at both low and high pH. This suggests that the first irreversible step is the formation of the tetrahedral intermediate. The observation of a normal isotope effect that does not change as a function of pH suggests that the ribosome promotes peptide bond formation by a mechanism that differs in its details from an uncatalyzed aminolysis reaction in solution. This implies that the ribosome contributes chemically to catalysis of peptide bond formation.
    Biochemistry 04/2005; 44(10):4018-27. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mechanism by which the ribosome catalyze peptide bond formation remains controversial. Here we describe the synthesis of dinucleotides that can be used in kinetic isotope effect experiments to assess the transition state of ribosome catalyzed peptide bond formation. These substrates are the isotopically labeled dinucleotide cytidylyl-(3′-5′)-3′-amino-3′-deoxy-3′-l-phenylalanyl-N6,N6-dimethyladenosine (Cm6ANPhe-NH2) and cytidylyl-(3′-5′)-3′-amino-3′-deoxy-3′-(l-2-hydroxy-3-phenylpropionyl)-N6,N6-dimethyladenosine (Cm6ANPhe-OH). These substrates are active in peptide bond formation and can be used to measure kinetic isotope effects in ribosome catalyzed protein synthesis.
    Tetrahedron. 01/2004; 60(52):12101-12112.
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    ABSTRACT: The crystal structure of the ribosomal 50S subunit from Haloarcula marismortui in complex with the transition state analog CCdA-phosphate-puromycin (CCdApPmn) led to a mechanistic proposal wherein the universally conversed A2451 in the ribosomal active site acts as an "oxyanion hole" to promote the peptidyl transferase reaction [Nissen, P., Hansen, J., Ban, N., Moore, P.B., and Steitz, T.A. (2000) Science 289, 920-929]. In the model, close proximity (3 A) between the A2451 N3 and the nonbridging phosphoramidate oxygen of CCdApPmn suggested that the carbonyl oxyanion formed during the tetrahedral transition state is stabilized by hydrogen bonding to the protonated A2451 N3, the pKa of which must be perturbed substantially. We characterize the contribution of the putative hydrogen bond between the N3 of A2451 and the nonbridging phosphoramidate oxygen by using chemical protection and peptidyl transfer inhibition assays. If this putative hydrogen bond makes a significant thermodynamic contribution, then CCdApPmn-binding affinity to the 50S ribosomal subunit should be strongly pH-dependent, with affinity increasing as the pH is lowered. We report that CCdApPmn binds 50S ribosomes with essentially equal affinity at all pH values between 5.0 and 8.5. These data argue against a mechanism for peptidyl transfer in which a residue with near neutral pKa stabilizes the transition-state oxyanion, at least to the extent that CCdApPmn accurately mimics the transition state.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2002; 99(18):11658-63. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The large ribosomal subunit catalyzes peptide bond formation during protein synthesis. Its peptidyl transferase activity has often been studied using a 'fragment assay' that depends on high concentrations of methanol or ethanol. Here we describe a version of this assay that does not require alcohol and use it to show, both crystallographically and biochemically, that crystals of the large ribosomal subunits from Haloarcula marismortui are enzymatically active. Addition of these crystals to solutions containing substrates results in formation of products, which ceases when crystals are removed. When substrates are diffused into large subunit crystals, the subsequent structure shows that products have formed. The CC-puromycin-peptide product is found bound to the A-site and the deacylated CCA is bound to the P-site, with its 3prime prime or minute OH near N3 A2486 (Escherichia coli A2451). Thus, this structure represents a state that occurs after peptide bond formation but before the hybrid state of protein synthesis.
    Nature Structural Biology 04/2002; 9(3):225-30.