[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymidylate synthase from Pneumocystis carinii (PcTS) is an especially important drug target, since P. carinii is a fungus that causes opportunistic pneumonia infections in immune-compromised patients and is among the leading causes of death of AIDS patients. Thymidylate synthase (TS) is the sole enzyme responsible for the de novo production of deoxythymidine monophosphate and hence is crucial for DNA replication in every organism. Inhibitors selective for P. carinii TS over human TS would be greatly beneficial in combating this disease. The crystal structure of TS from P. carinii bound to its substrate, dUMP, and a cofactor mimic, CB3717, was determined to 2.6 Å resolution. A comparison with other species of TS shows that the volume of the closed PcTS active-site is 20 % larger than that of five other TS closed active-sites. A two-residue proline insert that is strictly conserved among all fungal species of TS, and a novel C-terminal closing interaction involving a P. carinii-specific tyrosine residue are primarily responsible for this increase in volume. The structure suggests several options for designing an inhibitor specific to PcTS and avoiding interactions with human TS. Taking advantage of the residue substitutions of P. carinii TS over human TS enables the design of a selective inhibitor. Additionally, the larger volume of the active-site of PcTS is an important advantage for designing de novo inhibitors that will exclude the human TS active-site through steric hindrance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Crystal structures of two crystal forms of the complex of Lactobacillus casei (TS) with its substrate dUMP have been solved and refined at 2·55 Å resolution. The two crystal forms differ by approximately 50% in the c-axis length. The TS-dUMP complexes are symmetric dimers with dUMP bound equivalently in both active sites. dUMP is non-covalently bound in the same conformation as in ternary complexes of TS with dUMP and cofactor or cofactor analogs. The same hydrogen bonds are made between TS and substrate in the binary and ternary complexes.We have also determined the 2·36 Å crystal structure of phosphate-bound L. casei TS. This structure has been refined to an R -factor of 19·3% with highly constrained geometry. Refinement has revealed the locations of all residues in the protein, including the disordered residues 90 to 119, which are part of an insert found only in the L. casei and Staphylococcus aureus transposon Tn4003 TS sequences.The 2·9 Å multiple isomorphous replacement (MIR) structure of L. casei TS in a complex with its substrate dUMP has been refined to a crystallographic R-factor of 15·5%. Reducing agents were withheld from crystallization solutions during MIR structure determination to allow heavy-metal labeling of the cysteine residues. Therefore, the active-site cysteine residue in this structure is oxidized and the dUMP is found at half-occupancy in the active site.No significant conformational difference was found between the phosphate-bound and dUMP-bound structures. The TS-dUMP structures were better ordered than the phosphate-bound TS or the oxidized TS-dUMP, particularly Arg23, which is clearly hydrogen-bonded to the phosphate group of dUMP.A large and a small P6122 crystal form are observed for both phosphate-bound and dUMP bound L. casei TS. The small cell forms of the phosphate-bound and dUMP-bound enzyme are isomorphous, whereas the cell constants of the larger cell form change slightly when dUMP is bound (c = 240 Å versus c = 243 Å). For both liganded and unliganded enzyme, conversion from the small to the large crystal form sometimes occurs spontaneously, and the crystal packing changes at a single interlace. Conversion may be the result of a small change in pH in the mother liquor surrounding the crystal. A single intermolecular contact between symmetry-related Asp287 residues is disrupted on going from the small to the large crystal form.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymidylate synthase undergoes a major conformational change upon ligand binding, where the carboxyl terminus displays the largest movement (approximately 4 A). This movement from an "open" unliganded state to the "closed" complexed conformation plays a crucial role in the correct orientation of substrates and in product formation. The mutant lacking the C-terminal valine (V316Am) of the enzyme is inactive. X-ray crystal structures of V316Am and its complexes with dUMP, FdUMP, and both FdUMP and CH2H4folate are described. The structures show that ligands are bound within the active site, but in different modes than those in analogous, wild-type thymidylate synthase structures. The 2.7-A binary complex structures of V316Am with FdUMP and dUMP show that the pyrimidine and ribose moieties of the nucleotides are pivoted approximately 20 degrees around the 3'-hydroxyl compared to dUMP in the wild-type enzyme. The 2.7-A crystal structure of V316Am complexed with cofactor, CH2H4folate, and the substrate analog, FdUMP, shows these ligands bound in an open conformation similar to that of the unliganded enzyme. In this ternary complex, the imidazolidine ring of the cofactor is open and has reacted with water to form 5-HOCH2H4folate. 5-HOCH2H4folate is structural evidence for the 5-iminium ion intermediate, which is the proposed reactive form of CH2H4folate. The altered ligand binding modes observed in the three V316Am complex structures open new venues for the design of novel TS inhibitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A molecular docking computer program (DOCK) was used to screen the Fine Chemical Directory, a database of commercially available compounds, for molecules that are complementary to thymidylate synthase (TS), a chemotherapeutic target. Besides retrieving the substrate and several known inhibitors, DOCK proposed putative inhibitors previously unknown to bind to the enzyme. Three of these compounds inhibited Lactobacillus casei TS at submillimolar concentrations. One of these inhibitors, sulisobenzone, crystallized with TS in two configurations that differed from the DOCK-favored geometry: a counterion was bound in the substrate site, which resulted in a 6 to 9 angstrom displacement of the inhibitor. The structure of the complexes suggested another binding region in the active site that could be exploited. This region was probed with molecules sterically similar to sulisobenzone, which led to the identification of a family of phenolphthalein analogs that inhibit TS in the 1 to 30 micromolar range. These inhibitors do not resemble the substrates of the enzyme. A crystal structure of phenolphthalein with TS shows that it binds in the target site in a configuration that resembles the one suggested by DOCK.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conditions for in vitro unfolding and refolding of dimeric thymidylate synthase from Lactobacillus casei were found. Ultraviolet difference and circular dichroism spectra showed that the enzyme was completely unfolded at concentrations of urea over 5.5 M. As measured by restoration of enzyme activity, refolding was accomplished when 0.5 M potassium chloride was included in the refolding mixture. Recombination of subunits from catalytically inactive mutant homodimers to form an active hybrid dimer was achieved under these unfolding-refolding conditions, demonstrating a monomer to dimer association step.
Protein Science 06/1992; 1(6):796-800. DOI:10.1002/pro.5560010611 · 2.85 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure of Escherichia coli thymidylate synthase (TS) complexed with the substrate dUMP and an analogue of the cofactor methylenetetrahydrofolate was solved by multiple isomorphous replacement and refined at 1.97-A resolution to a residual of 18% for all data (16% for data greater than 2 sigma) for a highly constrained structure. All residues in the structure are clearly resolved and give a very high confidence in total correctness of the structure. The ternary complex directly suggests how methylation of dUMP takes place. C-6 of dUMP is covalently bound to gamma S of Cys-198(146) during catalysis, and the reactants are surrounded by specific hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions from conserved residues. Comparison with the independently solved structure of unliganded TS reveals a large conformation change in the enzyme, which closes down to sequester the reactants and several highly ordered water molecules within a cavernous active center, away from bulk solvent. A second binding site for the quinazoline ring of the cofactor analogue was discovered by withholding addition of reducing agent during crystal storage. The chemical change in the protein is slight, and from difference density maps modification of sulfhydryls is not directly responsible for blockade of the primary site. The site, only partially overlapping with the primary site, is also surrounded by conserved residues and thus may play a functional role. The ligand-induced conformational change is not a domain shift but involves the segmental accommodation of several helices, beta-strands, and loops that move as units against the beta-sheet interface between monomers.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structure of thymidylate synthase (TS) from Escherichia coli was solved from cubic crystals with a = 133 A grown under reducing conditions at pH 7.0, and refined to R = 22% at 2.1 A resolution. The structure is compared with that from Lactobacillus casei solved to R = 21% at 2.3 A resolution. The structures are compared using a difference distance matrix, which identifies a common core of residues that retains the same relationship to one another in both species. After subtraction of the effects of a 50 amino acid insert present in Lactobacillus casei, differences in position of atoms correlate with temperature factors and with distance from the nearest substituted residue. The dependence of structural difference on thermal factor is parameterized and reflects both errors in coordinates that correlate with thermal factor, and the increased width of the energy well in which atoms of high thermal factor lie. The dependence of structural difference on distance from the nearest substitution also depends on thermal factors and shows an exponential dependence with half maximal effect at 3.0 A from the substitution. This represents the plastic accommodation of the protein which is parameterized in terms of thermal B factor and distance from a mutational change.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 01/1990; 8(4):315-33. DOI:10.1002/prot.340080406 · 2.63 Impact Factor