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

Lipoic acid residues in a take-over mechanism for the pyruvate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex of Escherichia coli.

The pyruvate dehydrogenase complex of Escherichia coli contains two lipoic acid residues per dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase chain, and these are known to engage in the part-reactions of the enzyme. The enzyme complex was treated with trypsin at pH 7.0, and a partly proteolysed complex was obtained that had lost almost 60% of its lipoic acid residues although it retained 80% of its pyruvate dehydrogenase-complex activity. When this complex was treated with N-ethylmaleimide in the presence of pyruvate and the absence of CoASH, the rate of modification of the remaining S-acetyldihydrolipoic acid residues was approximately equal to the accompanying rate of loss of enzymic activity. This is in contrast with the native pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, where under the same conditions modification proceeds appreciably faster than the loss of enzymic activity. The native pyruvate dehydrogenase complex was also treated with lipoamidase prepared from Streptococcus faecalis. The release of lipoic acid from the complex followed zero-order kinetics for most of the reaction, whereas the accompanying loss of pyruvate dehydrogenase-complex activity lagged substantially behind. These results eliminate a model for the enzyme mechanism in which specifically one of the two lipoic acid residues on each dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase chain is essential for the reaction. They are consistent with a model in which the dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase component contains more lipoic acid residues than are required to serve the pyruvate decarboxylase subunits under conditions of saturating substrates, enabling the function of an excised or inactivated lipoic acid residue to be taken over by another one. Unusual structural properties of the enzyme complex might permit this novel feature of the enzyme mechanism.[1]


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