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

Substrate specificity of the 3-methylaspartate ammonia-lyase reaction: observation of differential relative reaction rates for substrate-product pairs.

A range of substituted fumaric and aspartic acid substrates for the enzyme 3-methylaspartate ammonia-lyase (EC have been synthesized and used to study the kinetics of the catalyzed reaction in both the forward (deamination) and reverse (conjugative amination) reaction directions. The rates of amination for all of the alpha, beta-unsaturated substrates studied (bearing substituents the size of an ethyl group or smaller) were similar under [s] much greater than KM conditions although KM values for the substrates varied by a factor of 25. The rates of deamination for the corresponding 3-substituted amino acid substrates varied widely with structure under [s] much greater than KM conditions, and thus for substrate-product pairs the ratio for V(forward)/V(reverse) also varied. These differential reaction rates indicate that there is a step in the deamination direction that is especially sensitive to the size of the 3-substituent of the substrate and that a relatively large group (methyl to ethyl in size) is required for binding in order to reduce the activation energy for this step. Given that it is proposed that the enzyme operates via an E1cb-type mechanism where C-N bond cleavage is rate limiting, it is likely that binding of the C-3 substituent of aspartic acid substrates affects the alignment of the nascent carbanion with the C-N bond for elimination.[1]


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