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

Role of aspartate 27 in the binding of methotrexate to dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli.

Dihydrofolate reductase from wild-type Escherichia coli (WT-ECDHFR) and from a mutant enzyme in which aspartate 27 is replaced by asparagine have been compared with respect to the binding of the inhibitor methotrexate (MTX). Although the Asp27----Asn substitution causes only small changes in the association rate constants (kon) for the formation of binary and ternary (with NADPH) complexes, the dissociation rate constants for these complexes (koff) are increased for the mutant enzyme by factors of about 5- and 100-fold, respectively, at pH 7.65. In binding experiments, the initial MTX binary and ternary complexes of the mutant enzyme were found to undergo relatively rapid isomerization (kobs approximately 17 and 145 s-1, respectively). Although such rapid isomerization of complexes of WT-ECDHFR could not be detected in binding experiments, evidence of a slow isomerization (k = 4 x 10(-3) s-1) of the ternary WT-ECDHFR.MTX.NADPH complex was obtained from progress of inhibition experiments. This slow isomerization increases binding of MTX to WT-ECDHFR only 2.4-fold (much less than previously estimated). From presently available data, we could not determine the contribution of the rapid isomerization of complexes to the binding of MTX to the mutant enzyme. The Asp27----Asn substitution increases the overall dissociation constant (KD) 9-fold for the binary complex and 85-fold for the ternary complex. When it is also taken into account that a proton ultimately derived from the solvent must be added to MTX bound to the WT enzyme, but not to MTX bound to the mutant enzyme, these increases in KD for the mutant enzyme correspond to decreases in binding energy for MTX of 3.9 and 5.2 kcal/mol at pH 7.65 for the binary and ternary complexes, respectively.[1]


  1. Role of aspartate 27 in the binding of methotrexate to dihydrofolate reductase from Escherichia coli. Appleman, J.R., Howell, E.E., Kraut, J., Kühl, M., Blakley, R.L. J. Biol. Chem. (1988) [Pubmed]
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