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

A tetrahedral intermediate in the EPSP synthase reaction observed by rapid quench kinetics.

Direct evidence for an enzyme-bound intermediate in the EPSP synthase reaction pathway has been obtained by rapid chemical quench-flow studies. The transient-state kinetic analysis has led to the following complete scheme: (formula; see text) Values for all 12 rate constants were obtained. Substrate trapping experiments in the forward and reverse reactions established the kinetically preferred order of binding and release of substrates and products and showed that shikimate 3-phosphate (S3P) and 5-enolpyruvoylshikimate 3-phosphate (EPSP) dissociate at rates greater than turnover in each direction. Pre-steady-state bursts of product formation were observed in the reaction in each direction indicating a rate-limiting step following catalysis. Single turnover experiments with enzyme in excess over substrate demonstrated the formation of a transient intermediate in both the forward and reverse reactions. In these experiments, the enzymatic reaction was observed by employing a radiolabel in the enol moiety of either phosphoenol pyruvate (PEP) or EPSP. The separation and quantitation of reaction products were accomplished by HPLC monitoring radioactivity. The intermediate was observed as the transient production of radiolabeled pyruvate, formed due to the breakdown of the intermediate in the acid quench used to stop the reaction. The intermediate was observed within 5-10 ms after the substrates were mixed with enzyme and decayed in a reaction paralleling the formation of product in each direction. Thus, the kinetics demonstrate directly the kinetic competence of the presumed intermediate. No pyruvate was formed, on a time scale which is relevant to catalysis, after incubation of the enzyme with dideoxy-S3P and PEP or with EPSP in the absence of phosphate; and so, the intermediate does not accumulate under these conditions. The intermediate broke down to form PEP and EPSP in addition to pyruvate when the reaction was quenched with base rather than acid; therefore, the intermediate must contain the elements of each product. Other experiments were designed to measure directly the phosphate binding rate and further constrain the PEP binding rate. The overall solution equilibrium constant in the forward direction was determined to be 180 by quantitation of radiolabeled reactants and products in equilibrium after incubation with a low enzyme concentration. The internal, active site equilibrium constant was obtained by incubation of radiolabeled S3P with excess enzyme and high concentrations of phosphate and PEP to provide the ratio of [EPSP]/[S3P] = 2.3, which is largely a measure of K4.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)[1]


  1. A tetrahedral intermediate in the EPSP synthase reaction observed by rapid quench kinetics. Anderson, K.S., Sikorski, J.A., Johnson, K.A. Biochemistry (1988) [Pubmed]
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