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

Glutamate 47 in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase is a major specificity determinant.

Glutamate 47 is conserved in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate (ACC) synthases and is positioned near the sulfonium pole of (S,S)-S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) in the modeled pyridoxal phosphate quinonoid complex with SAM. E47Q and E47D constructs of ACC synthase were made to investigate a putative ionic interaction between Glu47 and SAM. The k(cat)/K(m) values for the conversion of (S,S)-SAM to ACC and methylthioadenosine (MTA) are depressed 630- and 25-fold for the E47Q and E47D enzymes, respectively. The decreases in the specificity constants are due to reductions in k(cat) for both mutant enzymes, and a 5-fold increase in K(m) for the E47Q enzyme. Importantly, much smaller effects were observed for the kinetic parameters of reactions with the alternate substrates L-vinylglycine (L-VG) (deamination to form alpha-ketobutyrate and ammonia) and L-alanine (transamination to form pyruvate), which have uncharged side chains. L-VG is both a substrate and a mechanism-based inactivator of the enzyme [Feng, L., and Kirsch, J. F. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 2436-2444], but the partition ratio, k(cat)/k(inact), is unaffected by the Glu47 mutations. ACC synthase primarily catalyzes the beta,gamma-elimination of MTA from the (R,S) diastereomer of SAM to produce L-VG [Satoh, S., and Yang, S. F. (1989) Arch.Biochem. Biophys. 271, 107-112], but catalyzes the formation of ACC to a lesser extent via alpha,gamma-elimination of MTA. The partition ratios for (alpha,gamma/beta,gamma)-elimination on (R,S)-SAM are 0.4, < or =0.014, and < or =0.08 for the wild-type, E47Q, and E47D enzymes, respectively. The results of these experiments strongly support a role for Glu47 as an anchor for the sulfonium pole of (S,S)-SAM, and consequently a role as an active site determinant of reaction specificity.[1]


  1. Glutamate 47 in 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate synthase is a major specificity determinant. McCarthy, D.L., Capitani, G., Feng, L., Gruetter, M.G., Kirsch, J.F. Biochemistry (2001) [Pubmed]
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