Section 41
Chapter 40,031

Enzymatic properties of mutant Escherichia coli tryptophan synthase alpha-subunits

Lim, W.K.; Sarkar, S.K.; Hardman, J.K.

Journal of Biological Chemistry 266(30): 20205-20212


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9258
PMID: 1939081
Accession: 040030274

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Thirty-nine mutant tryptophan synthase alpha subunits have been purified and analyzed (in the presence of the beta 2-subunit) for their enzymatic (kcat, Km) behavior in the reactions catalyzed by the alpha 2.beta 2 complex, the fully constituted form of this enzyme. The mutant alpha subunits, obtained by in vitro random, saturation mutagenesis of the encoding trpA gene, contain single amino acid substitutions at sites within the first 121 residues of the alpha polypeptide. Four categories of altered residues have been tentatively assigned roles in the catalytic functions of this enzyme: 1) catalytic residues (Glu49 and Asp60); 2) residues involved in substrate binding or orientation (Phe22, Thr63, Gln65, Tyr102, and Leu105); 3) residues involved in alpha.beta subunit interactions (Gly51, Pro53, Asp56, Asp60, Pro62, Ala67, Phe72, Thr77, Pro78, Tyr102, Asn104, Leu105, and Asn108); and 4) residues with no apparent catalytic roles. Catalytic residue alterations result in no detectable activity in the alpha-subunit specific reactions. Substrate binding/orientation roles are detected enzymatically primarily as rate defects; alterations only at Tyr102 result in apparent Km effects. alpha.beta interaction roles are detected as rate defects in all tryptophan synthase reactions plus Km increases for the alpha-subunit substrate, indole-3-glycerol phosphate, only when L-serine is present at the beta 2-subunit active site. A substitution at only one site, Asn104, appears to be unique in its potential effect on intersubunit channeling of indole, the product of the alpha-subunit specific reaction, to the beta 2-subunit active site.

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