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

Identification of N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide-reactive glutamic and aspartic acid residues in Escherichia coli transhydrogenase and the exchange of these by site-specific mutagenesis.

Pyridine nucleotide transhydrogenase (EC from Escherichia coli was investigated with respect to the role of glutamic and aspartic acid residues reactive to N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) and potentially involved in the proton-pumping mechanism of the enzyme. The E. coli transhydrogenase consists of an alpha (510 residues) and a beta (462 residues) subunit. DCCD reacts with the enzyme to inhibit catalytic activity and proton pumping. This reagent modifies Asp alpha 232, Glu alpha 238, and Glu alpha 240 as well as amino acid residue(s) in the beta subunit. Using the cloned and overexpressed E. coli transhydrogenase genes (Clarke, D. M., and Bragg, P. D. (1985) J. Bacteriol. 162, 367-373), Asp alpha 232 and Glu alpha 238 were replaced independently by site-specific mutagenesis. In addition, Asp alpha 232, Glu alpha 238, and Glu alpha 240 were replaced to generate triple mutants. The specific catalytic activities of the mutant transhydrogenases alpha D232N, alpha D232E, alpha D232K, alpha D232H, alpha E238K, and alpha E238Q as well as of the triple mutants alpha D232N, alpha E238Q, alpha E240Q and alpha D232H, alpha E238Q, alpha E240Q were in the range of 40-90% of the wild-type activity. Proton-pumping activity was present in all mutants. Examination of the extent of subunit modification by [14C]DCCD revealed that the label was still incorporated into both alpha and beta subunits in the Asp alpha 232 mutants, but that the alpha subunit was not labeled in the triple mutants. Catalytic and proton-pumping activities were nearly insensitive to DCCD in the triple mutants. This suggests that loss of catalytic and proton-pumping activities is associated with modification of the aspartic and glutamic acid residues of the alpha subunit. In the presence of the substrate NADPH, the rate of modification of the beta subunit by [14C]DCCD was increased, and there was a greater extent of enzyme inactivation. By contrast, NADH and 3-acetylpyridine-NAD+ protected the catalytic activity of the transhydrogenase from inhibition by DCCD. The protection was particularly marked in the E238Q and E238K mutants. It is concluded that the Asp alpha 232, Glu alpha 238, and Glu alpha 240 residues are not essential for catalytic activity or proton pumping. The inactivation by DCCD is likely due to the introduction of a sterically hindering group that reacts with the identified acidic residues close to the NAD(H)-binding site.[1]


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