Structural elements in IGP synthase exclude water to optimize ammonia transfer.
ABSTRACT: In the complex pathway of histidine biosynthesis, a key branch point linking amino acid and purine biosynthesis is catalyzed by the bifunctional enzyme imidazole glycerol phosphate (IGP) synthase. The first domain of IGP synthase, a triad glutamine amidotransferase, hydrolyzes glutamine to form glutamate and ammonia. Its activity is tightly regulated by the binding of the substrate PRFAR to its partner synthase domain. Recent crystal structures and molecular dynamics simulations strongly suggest that the synthase domain, a (beta/alpha)(8) barrel protein, mediates the insertion of ammonia and ring formation in IGP by channeling ammonia from one remote active site to the other. Here, we combine both mutagenesis experiments and computational investigations to gain insight into the transfer of ammonia and the mechanism of conduction. We discover an alternate route for the entrance of ammonia into the (beta/alpha)(8) barrel and argue that water acts as both agonist and antagonist to the enzymatic function. Our results indicate that the architecture of the two subdomains, most notably the strict conservation of key residues at the interface and within the (beta/alpha)(8) barrel, has been optimized to allow the efficient passage of ammonia, and not water, between the two remote active sites.
Project description:HisH-hisF is a multidomain globular protein complex; hisH is a class I glutamine amidotransferase that hydrolyzes glutamine to form ammonia, and hisF is a (beta/alpha)8 barrel cyclase that completes the ring formation of imidizole glycerol phosphate synthase. Together, hisH and hisF form a glutamine amidotransferase that carries out the fifth step of the histidine biosynthetic pathway. Recently, it has been suggested that the (beta/alpha)8 barrel participates in a novel function: to channel ammonia from the active site of hisH to the active site of hisF. The present study presents a series of molecular dynamic simulations that investigate the channeling function of hisF. This article reconstructs potentials of mean force for the conduction of ammonia through the channel, and the entrance of ammonia through the strictly conserved channel gate, in both a closed and a hypothetical open conformation. The resulting energy landscape within the channel supports the idea that ammonia does indeed pass through the barrel, interacting with conserved hydrophilic residues along the way. The proposed open conformation, which involves an alternate rotamer state of one of the gate residues, presents only an approximately 2.5-kcal energy barrier to ammonia entry. Another alternate open-gate conformation, which may play a role in non-nitrogen-fixing organisms, is deduced through bioinformatics.
Project description:IGPS is a 51 kDa heterodimeric enzyme comprised of two proteins, HisH and HisF, that catalyze the hydrolysis of glutamine to produce NH(3) in the HisH active site and the cyclization of ammonia with N'-[(5'-phosphoribulosyl)formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-ribonucleotide (PRFAR) in HisF to produce imidazole glycerol phosphate (IGP) and 5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribotide (AICAR). Binding of PRFAR and IGP stimulates glutaminase activity in the HisH enzyme over 5,000 and 100-fold, respectively, despite the active sites being >25 A apart. The details of this long-range protein communication process were investigated by solution NMR spectroscopy and CPMG relaxation dispersion experiments. Formation of the heterodimer enzyme results in a reduction in millisecond motions in HisF that extend throughout the protein. Binding of lGP results in an increase in protein-wide millisecond dynamics evidenced as severe NMR line broadening and elevated R (ex) values. Together, these data demonstrate a grouping of flexible residues that link the HisF active site with the protein interface to which HisH binds and provide a model for the path of communication between the IGPS active sites.
Project description:BACKGROUND: In bacteria, such as Salmonella typhimurium, tryptophan is synthesized from indole-3-glycerole phosphate (IGP) by a tryptophan synthase alphabetabetaalpha heterotetramer. Plants have evolved multiple alpha (TSA) and beta (TSB) homologs, which have probably diverged in biological function and their ability of subunit interaction. There is some evidence for a tryptophan synthase (TS) complex in Arabidopsis. On the other hand maize (Zea mays) expresses the TSA-homologs BX1 and IGL that efficiently cleave IGP, independent of interaction with TSB. RESULTS: In order to clarify, how tryptophan is synthesized in maize, two TSA homologs, hitherto uncharacterized ZmTSA and ZmTSAlike, were functionally analyzed. ZmTSA is localized in plastids, the major site of tryptophan biosynthesis in plants. It catalyzes the tryptophan synthase alpha-reaction (cleavage of IGP), and forms a tryptophan synthase complex with ZmTSB1 in vitro. The catalytic efficiency of the alpha-reaction is strongly enhanced upon complex formation. A 160 kD tryptophan synthase complex was partially purified from maize leaves and ZmTSA was identified as native alpha-subunit of this complex by mass spectrometry. ZmTSAlike, for which no in vitro activity was detected, is localized in the cytosol. ZmTSAlike, BX1, and IGL were not detectable in the native tryptophan synthase complex in leaves. CONCLUSION: It was demonstrated in vivo and in vitro that maize forms a tryptophan synthase complex and ZmTSA functions as alpha-subunit in this complex.
Project description:Vitamin B6 is an essential metabolic cofactor that has more functions in humans than any other single nutrient. Its de novo biosynthesis occurs through two mutually exclusive pathways that are absent in animals. The predominant pathway found in most prokaryotes, fungi, and plants has only recently been discovered. It is distinguished by a glutamine amidotransferase, which is remarkable in that it alone can synthesize the cofactor form, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), directly from a triose and a pentose saccharide and glutamine. Here we report the 3D structure of the PLP synthase complex with substrate glutamine bound as well as those of the individual synthase and glutaminase subunits Pdx1 and Pdx2, respectively. The complex is made up of 24 protein units assembled like a cogwheel, a dodecameric Pdx1 to which 12 Pdx2 subunits attach. In contrast to the architecture of previously determined glutamine amidotransferases, macromolecular assembly is directed by an N-terminal alpha-helix on the synthase. Interaction with the synthase subunit leads to glutaminase activation, resulting in formation of an oxyanion hole, a prerequisite for catalysis. Mutagenesis permitted identification of the remote glutaminase and synthase catalytic centers and led us to propose a mechanism whereby ammonia shuttles between these active sites through a methionine-rich hydrophobic tunnel.
Project description:Protein allosteric pathways are investigated in the imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase heterodimer in an effort to elucidate how the effector (PRFAR, N'-[(5'-phosphoribulosyl)formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide ribonucleotide) activates glutaminase catalysis at a distance of 25 ? from the glutamine-binding site. We apply solution NMR techniques and community analysis of dynamical networks, based on mutual information of correlated protein motions in the active and inactive enzymes. We find evidence that the allosteric pathways in the PRFAR bound enzyme involve conserved residues that correlate motion of the PRFAR binding loop to motion at the protein-protein interface, and ultimately at the glutaminase active site. The imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase bienzyme is an important branch point for the histidine and nucleotide biosynthetic pathways and represents a potential therapeutic target against microbes. The proposed allosteric mechanism and the underlying allosteric pathways provide fundamental insights for the design of new allosteric drugs and/or alternative herbicides.
Project description:Glutamate synthase (GltS) is a complex iron-sulfur flavoprotein that catalyzes the reductive transfer of L-glutamine amide group to the C2 carbon of 2-oxoglutarate yielding two molecules of L-glutamate. Molecular dynamics calculations in explicit solvent were carried out to gain insight into the conformational flexibility of GltS and into the role played by the enzyme substrates in regulating the catalytic cycle. We have modelled the free (unliganded) form of Azospirillum brasilense GltS alpha subunit and the structure of the reduced enzyme in complex with the L-glutamine and 2-oxoglutarate substrates starting from the crystallographically determined coordinates of the GltS alpha subunit in complex with L-methionine sulphone and 2-oxoglutarate. The present 4-ns molecular dynamics calculations reveal that the GltS glutaminase site may exist in a catalytically inactive conformation unable to bind glutamine, and in a catalytically competent conformation, which is stabilized by the glutamine substrate. Substrates binding also induce (1) closure of the loop formed by residues 263-271 with partial shielding of the glutaminase site from solvent, and (2) widening of the ammonia tunnel entrance at the glutaminase end to allow for ammonia diffusion toward the synthase site. The Q-loop of glutamate synthase, which acts as an active site lid in other amidotransferases, seems to maintain an open conformation. Finally, binding of L-methionine sulfone, a glutamine analog that mimics the tetrahedral transient species occurring during its hydrolysis, causes a coordinated rigid-body motion of segments of the glutaminase domain that results in the inactive conformation observed in the crystal structure of GltS alpha subunit.
Project description:Imidazole glycerol phosphate synthase (IGPS) is a V-type allosteric enzyme, which is catalytically inactive for glutamine hydrolysis until the allosteric effector, N'-[(5'-phosphoribulosyl)formimino]-5-aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide-ribonucleotide (PRFAR) binds 30 Å away. In the apo state, NMR relaxation dispersion experiments indicate the absence of millisecond (ms) timescale motions. Binding of the PRFAR to form the active ternary complex is endothermic with a large positive entropy change. In addition, there is a protein wide enhancement of conformational motions in the ternary complex, which connect the two active sites. NMR chemical shift changes and acrylamide quenching experiments suggest that little in the way of structural changes accompany these motions. The data indicate that enzyme activation in the ternary complex is primarily due to an enhancement of ms motions that allows formation of a population of enzymatically active conformers.
Project description:The question of parallel (alpha/beta)8-barrel fold evolution remains unclear, owing mainly to the lack of sequence homology throughout the amino acid sequences of (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes. The "classical" approaches used in the search for homologies among (alpha/beta)8-barrels (e.g., production of structurally based alignments) have yielded alignments perfect from the structural point of view, but the approaches have been unable to reveal the homologies. These are proposed to be "hidden" in (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes. The term "hidden homology" means that the alignment of sequence stretches proposed to be homologous need not be structurally fully satisfactory. This is due to the very long evolutionary history of all (alpha/beta)8-barrels. This work identifies so-called hidden homology around the strand beta 2 that is flanked by loops containing invariant glycines and prolines in 17 different (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes, i.e., roughly in half of all currently known (alpha/beta)8-barrel proteins. The search was based on the idea that a conserved sequence region of an (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzyme should be more or less conserved also in the equivalent part of the structure of the other enzymes with this folding motif, given their mutual evolutionary relatedness. For this purpose, the sequence region around the well-conserved second beta-strand of alpha-amylase flanked by the invariant glycine and proline (56_GFTAIWITP, Aspergillus oryzae alpha-amylase numbering), was used as the sequence-structural template. The proposal that the second beta-strand of (alpha/beta)8-barrel fold is important from the evolutionary point of view is strongly supported by the increasing trend of the observed beta 2-strand structural similarity for the pairs of (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes: alpha-amylase and the alpha-subunit of tryptophan synthase, alpha-amylase and mandelate racemase, and alpha-amylase and cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase. This trend is also in agreement with the existing evolutionary division of the entire family of (alpha/beta)8-barrel proteins.
Project description:Glucosamine-6-phosphate synthase channels ammonia over 18 A from glutamine at the glutaminase site to fructose-6P at the synthase site. We have modeled the anisotropic displacements of the glutaminase and synthase domains from the two crystallized states, the enzyme in complex with fructose-6P or in complex with glucose-6P and a glutamine affinity analog, using TLS (rigid-body motion in terms of translation, libration, and screw motions) refinement implemented in REFMAC. The domains displacements in the crystal lattices are compared to the movement of the glutaminase domain relative to the synthase domain that occurs during the catalytic cycle upon glutamine binding, which was visualized by comparing the two structures. This movement was analyzed by the program DYNDOM as a 22.8 degrees rotation around an effective hinge axis running approximately parallel to helix 300-317 of the synthase domain, the glutaminase loop that covers the glutaminase site upon glutamine binding acting as the mechanical hinge.
Project description:Many (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes contain their conserved sequence regions at or around the beta-strand segments that are often preceded and succeeded by glycines and prolines, respectively. alpha-Amylase is one of these enzymes. Its sequences exhibit a very low degree of similarity, but strong conservation is seen around its beta-strands. These conserved regions were used in the search for similarities with beta-strands of other (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzymes. The analysis revealed an interesting similarity between the segment around the beta 2-strand of alpha-amylase and the one around the beta 4-strand of glycolate oxidase that are flanked in loops by glycines and prolines. The similarity can be further extended on other members of the alpha-amylase and glycolate oxidase subfamilies, i.e., cyclodextrin glycosyltransferase and oligo-1,6-glucosidase, and flavocytochrome b2, respectively. Moreover, the alpha-subunit of tryptophan synthase, the (alpha/beta)8-barrel enzyme belonging to the other subfamily of (alpha/beta)8-barrels, has both investigated strands, beta 2 and beta 4, similar to beta 2 of alpha-amylase and beta 4 of glycolate oxidase. The possibilities of whether this similarity exists only by chance or is a consequence of some processes during the evolution of (alpha/beta)8-barrel proteins are briefly discussed.