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

Tryptophan synthase mutations that alter cofactor chemistry lead to mechanism-based inactivation.

Mutations in the pyridoxal phosphate binding site of the tryptophan synthase beta subunit (S377D and S377E) alter cofactor chemistry [Jhee, K.-H., et al. (1998) J. Biol. Chem. 273, 11417-11422]. We now report that the S377D, S377E, and S377A beta2 subunits form alpha2 beta2 complexes with the alpha subunit and activate the alpha subunit-catalyzed cleavage of indole 3-glycerol phosphate. The apparent Kd for dissociation of the alpha and beta subunits is unaffected by the S377A mutation but is increased up to 500-fold by the S377D and S377E mutations. Although the three mutant alpha2 beta2 complexes exhibit very low activities in beta elimination and beta replacement reactions catalyzed at the beta site in the presence of Na+, the activities and spectroscopic properties of the S377A alpha2 beta2 complex are partially repaired by addition of Cs+. The S377D and S377E alpha2 beta2 complexes, unlike the wild-type and S377A alpha2 beta2 complexes and the mutant beta2 subunits, undergo irreversible substrate-induced inactivation by L-serine or by beta-chloro-L-alanine. The rates of inactivation (kinact) are similar to the rates of catalysis (kcat). The partition ratios are very low (kcat/kinact = 0.25-3) and are affected by alpha subunit ligands and monovalent cations. The inactivation product released by alkali was shown by HPLC and by fluorescence, absorption, and mass spectroscopy to be identical to a compound previously synthesized from pyridoxal phosphate and pyruvate. We suggest that alterations in the cofactor chemistry that result from the engineered Asp377 in the active site of the beta subunit may promote the mechanism-based inactivation.[1]


  1. Tryptophan synthase mutations that alter cofactor chemistry lead to mechanism-based inactivation. Jhee, K.H., McPhie, P., Ro, H.S., Miles, E.W. Biochemistry (1998) [Pubmed]
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