ABSTRACT: Kynureninase is a member of a large family of catalytically diverse but structurally homologous pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzymes known as the aspartate aminotransferase superfamily or alpha-family. The Homo sapiens and other eukaryotic constitutive kynureninases preferentially catalyze the hydrolytic cleavage of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine to produce 3-hydroxyanthranilate and l-alanine, while l-kynurenine is the substrate of many prokaryotic inducible kynureninases. The human enzyme was cloned with an N-terminal hexahistidine tag, expressed, and purified from a bacterial expression system using Ni metal ion affinity chromatography. Kinetic characterization of the recombinant enzyme reveals classic Michaelis-Menten behavior, with a Km of 28.3 +/- 1.9 microM and a specific activity of 1.75 micromol min-1 mg-1 for 3-hydroxy-dl-kynurenine. Crystals of recombinant kynureninase that diffracted to 2.0 A were obtained, and the atomic structure of the PLP-bound holoenzyme was determined by molecular replacement using the Pseudomonas fluorescens kynureninase structure (PDB entry 1qz9) as the phasing model. A structural superposition with the P. fluorescens kynureninase revealed that these two structures resemble the "open" and "closed" conformations of aspartate aminotransferase. The comparison illustrates the dynamic nature of these proteins' small domains and reveals a role for Arg-434 similar to its role in other AAT alpha-family members. Docking of 3-hydroxy-l-kynurenine into the human kynureninase active site suggests that Asn-333 and His-102 are involved in substrate binding and molecular discrimination between inducible and constitutive kynureninase substrates.
Project description:Substantial increases in the tryptophan-kynurenine pathway metabolites, l-kynurenine and the neurotoxin quinolinic acid, occur in human brain, blood and systemic tissues during immune activation. Studies in vitro have shown that not all human cells are capable of synthesizing quinolinate. To investigate further the mechanisms that limit l-kynurenine and quinolinate production, the activities of kynurenine pathway enzymes and the ability of different human cells to convert pathway intermediates into quinolinate were compared. Stimulation with interferon gamma substantially increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity and L-kynurenine production in primary peripheral blood macrophages and fetal brains (astrocytes and neurons), as well as cell lines derived from macrophage/monocytes (THP-1), U373MG astrocytoma, SKHEP1 liver and lung (MRC-9). High activities of kynurenine 3-hydroxylase, kynureninase or 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase were found in interferon-gamma-stimulated macrophages, THP-1 cells and SKHEP1 cells, and these cells made large amounts of quinolinate when supplied with L-tryptophan, L-kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine or 3-hydroxyanthranilate. Quinolinate production by human fetal brain cultures and U373MG cells was restricted by the low activities of kynurenine 3-hydroxylase, kynureninase and 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase, and only small amounts of quinolinate were synthesized when cultures were supplied with L-tryptophan or 3-hydroxyanthranilate. In MRC-9 cells, quinolinate was produced only from 3-hydroxykynurenine and 3-hydroxyanthranilate, consistent with their low kynurenine 3-hydroxylase activity. The results are consistent with the notion that indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase is an important regulatory enzyme in the production of L-kynurenine and quinolinate. Kynurenine 3-hydroxylase and, in some cells, kynureninase and 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase are important determinants of whether a cell can make quinolinate.
Project description:Vitamin B-6 deficiency is associated with impaired tryptophan metabolism because of the coenzyme role of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) for kynureninase and kynurenine aminotransferase. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we developed a mathematical model of tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway. The model includes mammalian data on enzyme kinetics and tryptophan transport from the intestinal lumen to liver, muscle, and brain. Regulatory mechanisms and inhibition of relevant enzymes were included. We simulated the effects of graded reduction in cellular PLP concentration, tryptophan loads and induction of tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO) on metabolite profiles and urinary excretion. The model predictions matched experimental data and provided clarification of the response of metabolites in various extents of vitamin B-6 deficiency. We found that moderate deficiency yielded increased 3-hydroxykynurenine and a decrease in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. More severe deficiency also yielded an increase in kynurenine and xanthurenic acid and more pronounced effects on the other metabolites. Tryptophan load simulations with and without vitamin B-6 deficiency showed altered metabolite concentrations consistent with published data. Induction of TDO caused an increase in all metabolites, and TDO induction together with a simulated vitamin B-6 deficiency, as has been reported in oral contraceptive users, yielded increases in kynurenine, 3-hydroxykynurenine, and xanthurenic acid and decreases in kynurenic acid and anthranilic acid. These results show that the model successfully simulated tryptophan metabolism via the kynurenine pathway and can be used to complement experimental investigations.
Project description:1. Kynurenine-2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (isoenzyme 1) was purified to homogeneity from the liver, brain and small intestine of rats by the same procedure. The three enzyme preparations had nearly identical pH optima, substrate specificities and molecular weights. Isoenzyme 1 was active with 2-oxoglutarate but not with pyruvate as amino acceptor, and utilized a wide range of amino acids as amino donors. Amino acids were effective in the following order to activity: L-aspartate greater than L-tyrosine greater than L-phenylalanine greater than L-tryptophan greater than 5-hydroxy-L-tryptophan greater than L-kynurenine. The molecular weight was approximately 88 000 as determined by sucrose-density-gradient centrifugation. The pH optimum was between 8.0 and 8.5. On the basis of substrate specificity, substrate inhibition, subcellular distribution and polyacrylamide-disc-gel electrophoresis, it is suggested that liver, brain and small intestinal kynurenine-2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (isoenzyme 1) is identical with mitochondrial tyrosine-2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase and also with mitochondrial aspartate-2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase. 2. An additional kynurenine-2-oxoglutarate aminotransferase (isoenzyme 2) was purified from the liver. This enzyme was specific for 2-oxoglutarate and L-kynurenine. Sucrose-density-gradient centrifugation gave a molecular weight of approximately 100 000. The pH optimum was between 6.0 and 6.5. This enzyme was not detected in the brain or small intestine.
Project description:The alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT), a hepatocyte-specific pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzyme, transaminates L-alanine and glyoxylate to glycine and pyruvate, thus detoxifying glyoxylate and preventing pathological oxalate precipitation in tissues. In the widely accepted catalytic mechanism of the aminotransferase family, the lysine binding to PLP acts as a catalyst in the stepwise 1,3-proton transfer, interconverting the external aldimine to ketimine. This step requires protonation by a conserved aspartate of the pyridine nitrogen of PLP to enhance its ability to stabilize the carbanionic intermediate. The aspartate residue is also responsible for a significant geometrical distortion of the internal aldimine, crucial for catalysis. We present the structure of human AGT in which complete X-ray photoreduction of the Schiff base has occurred. This result, together with two crystal structures of the conserved aspartate pathogenic variant (D183N) and the molecular modeling of the transaldimination step, led us to propose that an interplay of opposite forces, which we named spring mechanism, finely tunes PLP geometry during catalysis and is essential to move the external aldimine in the correct position in order for the 1,3-proton transfer to occur.
Project description:The enzyme kynurenine aminotransferase (KAT) catalyses the conversion of kynurenine (KYN) to kynurenic acid (KYNA). Although the isozymes KAT1-4 have been identified, KYNA is mainly produced by KAT2 in brain tissues. KNYA is an antagonist of N-methyl-D-aspartate and ?-7-nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, and accumulation of KYNA in the brain has been associated with the pathology of schizophrenia. Therefore, KAT2 could be exploited as a therapeutic target for the management of schizophrenia. Although currently available KAT2 inhibitors irreversibly bind to pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), inhibition via this mechanism may cause adverse side effects because of the presence of other PLP-dependent enzymes. Therefore, we identified novel selective KAT2 inhibitors by screening approximately 13,000 molecules. Among these, glycyrrhizic acid (GL) and its analogues, glycyrrhetinic acid (GA) and carbenoxolone (CBX), were identified as KAT2 inhibitors. These compounds were highly selective for KAT2 and competed with its substrate KYN, but had no effects on the other 3 KAT isozymes. Furthermore, we demonstrated that in complex structures that were predicted in docking calculations, GL, GA and CBX were located on the same surface as the aromatic ring of KYN. These results indicate that GL and its analogues are highly selective and competitive inhibitors of KAT2.
Project description:Kynurenine aminotransferase isozymes (KATs 1-4) are members of the pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme family, which catalyse the permanent conversion of l-kynurenine (l-KYN) to kynurenic acid (KYNA), a known neuroactive agent. As KATs are found in the mammalian brain and have key roles in the kynurenine pathway, involved in different categories of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, the KATs are prominent targets in the quest to treat neurodegenerative and cognitive impairment disorders. Recent studies suggest that inhibiting these enzymes would produce effects beneficial to patients with these conditions, as abnormally high levels of KYNA are observed. KAT-1 and KAT-3 share the highest sequence similarity of the isozymes in this family, and their active site pockets are also similar. Importantly, KAT-2 has the major role of kynurenic acid production (70%) in the human brain, and it is considered therefore that suitable inhibition of this isozyme would be most effective in managing major aspects of CNS diseases. Human KAT-2 inhibitors have been developed, but the most potent of them, chosen for further investigations, did not proceed in clinical studies due to the cross toxicity caused by their irreversible interaction with PLP, the required cofactor of the KAT isozymes, and any other PLP-dependent enzymes. As a consequence of the possibility of extensive undesirable adverse effects, it is also important to pursue KAT inhibitors that reversibly inhibit KATs and to include a strategy that seeks compounds likely to achieve substantial interaction with regions of the active site other than the PLP. The main purpose of this treatise is to review the recent developments with the inhibitors of KAT isozymes. This treatise also includes analyses of their crystallographic structures in complex with this enzyme family, which provides further insight for researchers in this and related studies.
Project description:Kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT-II) is a 47 kDa pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme, active as a homodimer, which catalyses the transamination of the amino acids kynurenine (KYN) and 3-hydroxykynurenine (3-HK) in the tryptophan pathway, and is responsible for producing metabolites that lead to kynurenic acid (KYNA), which is implicated in several neurological diseases such as schizophrenia. In order to fully describe the role of KAT-II in the pathobiology of schizophrenia and other brain disorders, the crystal structure of full-length PLP-form hKAT-II was determined at 1.83 Å resolution, the highest available. The electron density of the active site reveals an aldimine linkage between PLP and Lys263, as well as the active site residues, which characterize the fold-type I PLP-dependent enzymes.
Project description:Accumulation of quinolinic acid and L-kynurenine occurs in the brain and/or blood following immune activation, and may derive from L-tryptophan following induction of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase and other kynurenine-pathway enzymes. In the present study a survey of various cell lines derived from either brain or systemic tissues showed that, while all cells examined responded to interferon-gamma by increased conversion of L-[13C6]tryptophan into L-kynurenine (human: B-lymphocytes, neuroblastoma, glioblastoma, lung, liver, kidney; rat brain: microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes), only macrophage-derived cells (peripheral-blood mononuclear cells; THP-1, U-937) and certain liver cells (SKHep1) synthesized [13C6]quinolinic acid. Tumour necrosis factor-alpha enhanced the effects of interferon-gamma in THP-1 cells. Norharmane, 6-chloro-DL-tryptophan and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate attenuated quinolinic acid formation by THP-1 cells with IC50 values of 51 microM, 58 microM and 0.11 microM respectively. Norharmane and 6-chloro-DL-tryptophan attenuated L-kynurenine formation with IC50 values of 43 microM and 51 microM respectively, whereas 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate had no effect on L-kynurenine accumulation. The reductions in L-kynurenine and quinolinic acid formation are consistent with the reports that norharmane is an inhibitor of indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase, 6-chloro-DL-tryptophan is metabolized through the kynurenine pathway, and 4-chloro-3-hydroxyanthranilate is an inhibitor of 3-hydroxyanthranilate 3,4-dioxygenase. These results suggest that many tissues may contribute to the production of L-kynurenine following indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase induction and immune activation. Quinolinic acid may be directly synthesized from L-tryptophan in both macrophages and certain types of liver cells, although uptake of quinolinic acid precursors from blood may contribute to quinolinic acid synthesis in cells that cannot convert L-kynurenine into quinolinic acid.
Project description:Tryptophan contents of liver, serum and kidney were determined in normal and vitamin-B-6-deficient rats after tryptophan injection. Tryptophan contents of normal and B-6-deficient liver were different, but not those in serum and kidney. Both kynurenine and 3-hydroxykynurenine accumulated in B-6-deficient liver more than in the normal. The 3-hydroxykynurenine contents after tryptophan injection (30 mg/100 g body wt.) increased to 1380 nmol/g of liver at 1-1.5 h, a value sufficient to produce xanthurenate, in view of the Km value of kynurenine aminotransferase. The enzymes metabolizing kynurenine were assayed at various times after tryptophan injection. The activity of kynureninase holoenzyme in B-6-deficient liver was much decreased, but the activity of total enzyme was not changed. It appeared that a high dose of tryptophan in B-6-deficient rats could cause a greater deficiency of pyridoxal 5-phosphate. Tryptophan metabolism in B-6-deficient rat liver after tryptophan administration is discussed.
Project description:Enzymes dependent on pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP, the active form of vitamin B6) perform a myriad of diverse chemical transformations. They promote various reactions by modulating the electronic states of PLP through weak interactions in the active site. Neutron crystallography has the unique ability of visualizing the nuclear positions of hydrogen atoms in macromolecules. Here we present a room-temperature neutron structure of a homodimeric PLP-dependent enzyme, aspartate aminotransferase, which was reacted in situ with α-methylaspartate. In one monomer, the PLP remained as an internal aldimine with a deprotonated Schiff base. In the second monomer, the external aldimine formed with the substrate analog. We observe a deuterium equidistant between the Schiff base and the C-terminal carboxylate of the substrate, a position indicative of a low-barrier hydrogen bond. Quantum chemical calculations and a low-pH room-temperature X-ray structure provide insight into the physical phenomena that control the electronic modulation in aspartate aminotransferase.Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is a ubiquitous co factor for diverse enzymes, among them aspartate aminotransferase. Here the authors use neutron crystallography, which allows the visualization of the positions of hydrogen atoms, and computation to characterize the catalytic mechanism of the enzyme.