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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Exploring substrate binding and discrimination in fructose1, 6-bisphosphate and tagatose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolases.

Fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase catalyses the reversible condensation of glycerone-P and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate into fructose 1,6-bisphosphate. A recent structure of the Escherichia coli Class II fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase [Hall, D.R., Leonard, G.A., Reed, C.D., Watt, C.I., Berry, A. & Hunter, W.N. (1999) J. Mol. Biol. 287, 383-394] in the presence of the transition state analogue phosphoglycolohydroxamate delineated the roles of individual amino acids in binding glycerone-P and in the initial proton abstraction steps of the mechanism. The X-ray structure has now been used, together with sequence alignments, site-directed mutagenesis and steady-state enzyme kinetics to extend these studies to map important residues in the binding of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. From these studies three residues (Asn35, Ser61 and Lys325) have been identified as important in catalysis. We show that mutation of Ser61 to alanine increases the Km value for fructose 1, 6-bisphosphate 16-fold and product inhibition studies indicate that this effect is manifested most strongly in the glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate binding pocket of the active site, demonstrating that Ser61 is involved in binding glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate. In contrast a S61T mutant had no effect on catalysis emphasizing the importance of an hydroxyl group for this role. Mutation of Asn35 (N35A) resulted in an enzyme with only 1.5% of the activity of the wild-type enzyme and different partial reactions indicate that this residue effects the binding of both triose substrates. Finally, mutation of Lys325 has a greater effect on catalysis than on binding, however, given the magnitude of the effects it is likely that it plays an indirect role in maintaining other critical residues in a catalytically competent conformation. Interestingly, despite its proximity to the active site and high sequence conservation, replacement of a fourth residue, Gln59 (Q59A) had no significant effect on the function of the enzyme. In a separate study to characterize the molecular basis of aldolase specificity, the agaY-encoded tagatose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase of E. coli was cloned, expressed and kinetically characterized. Our studies showed that the two aldolases are highly discriminating between the diastereoisomers fructose bisphosphate and tagatose bisphosphate, each enzyme preferring its cognate substrate by a factor of 300-1500-fold. This produces an overall discrimination factor of almost 5 x 105 between the two enzymes. Using the X-ray structure of the fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase and multiple sequence alignments, several residues were identified, which are highly conserved and are in the vicinity of the active site. These residues might potentially be important in substrate recognition. As a consequence, nine mutations were made in attempts to switch the specificity of the fructose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase to that of the tagatose 1,6-bisphosphate aldolase and the effect on substrate discrimination was evaluated. Surprisingly, despite making multiple changes in the active site, many of which abolished fructose 1, 6-bisphosphate aldolase activity, no switch in specificity was observed. This highlights the complexity of enzyme catalysis in this family of enzymes, and points to the need for further structural studies before we fully understand the subtleties of the shaping of the active site for complementarity to the cognate substrate.[1]


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