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Evidence That Nucleophile Deprotonation Exceeds Bond Formation in the HDV Ribozyme Transition State



Evidence That Nucleophile Deprotonation Exceeds Bond Formation in the HDV Ribozyme Transition State



Biochemistry 57(25): 3465-3472



Steric constraints imposed by the active sites of protein and RNA enzymes pose major challenges to the investigation of structure-function relationships within these systems. As a strategy to circumvent such constraints in the HDV ribozyme, we have synthesized phosphoramidites from propanediol derivatives and incorporated them at the 5'-termini of RNA and DNA oligonucleotides to generate a series of novel substrates with nucleophiles perturbed electronically through geminal fluorination. In nonenzymatic, hydroxide-catalyzed intramolecular transphosphorylation of the DNA substrates, pH-rate profiles revealed that fluorine substitution reduces the maximal rate and the kinetic p Ka, consistent with the expected electron-withdrawing effect. In HDV ribozyme reactions, we observed that the RNA substrates undergo transphosphorylation relatively efficiently, suggesting that the conformational constraints imposed by a ribofuranose ring are not strictly required for ribozyme catalysis. In contrast to the nonenzymatic reactions, however, substrate fluorination modestly increases the ribozyme reaction rate, consistent with a mechanism in which (1) the 2'-hydroxyl nucleophile exists predominantly in its neutral, protonated form in the ground state and (2) the 2'-hydroxyl bears some negative charge in the rate-determining step, consistent with a transition state in which the extent of 2'-OH deprotonation exceeds the extent of P-O bond formation.

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Accession: 063602033

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 29733591

DOI: 10.1021/acs.biochem.8b00031


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