Atomic structure of salutaridine reductase from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum).
ABSTRACT: The opium poppy (Papaver somniferum L.) is one of the oldest known medicinal plants. In the biosynthetic pathway for morphine and codeine, salutaridine is reduced to salutaridinol by salutaridine reductase (SalR; EC 220.127.116.11) using NADPH as coenzyme. Here, we report the atomic structure of SalR to a resolution of ?1.9 Å in the presence of NADPH. The core structure is highly homologous to other members of the short chain dehydrogenase/reductase family. The major difference is that the nicotinamide moiety and the substrate-binding pocket are covered by a loop (residues 265-279), on top of which lies a large "flap"-like domain (residues 105-140). This configuration appears to be a combination of the two common structural themes found in other members of the short chain dehydrogenase/reductase family. Previous modeling studies suggested that substrate inhibition is due to mutually exclusive productive and nonproductive modes of substrate binding in the active site. This model was tested via site-directed mutagenesis, and a number of these mutations abrogated substrate inhibition. However, the atomic structure of SalR shows that these mutated residues are instead distributed over a wide area of the enzyme, and many are not in the active site. To explain how residues distal to the active site might affect catalysis, a model is presented whereby SalR may undergo significant conformational changes during catalytic turnover.
Project description:Salutaridine reductase (SalR, EC 18.104.22.168) catalyzes the stereospecific reduction of salutaridine to 7(S)-salutaridinol in the biosynthesis of morphine. It belongs to a new, plant-specific class of short-chain dehydrogenases, which are characterized by their monomeric nature and increased length compared with related enzymes. Homology modeling and substrate docking suggested that additional amino acids form a novel alpha-helical element, which is involved in substrate binding. Site-directed mutagenesis and subsequent studies on enzyme kinetics revealed the importance of three residues in this element for substrate binding. Further replacement of eight additional residues led to the characterization of the entire substrate binding pocket. In addition, a specific role in salutaridine binding by either hydrogen bond formation or hydrophobic interactions was assigned to each amino acid. Substrate docking also revealed an alternative mode for salutaridine binding, which could explain the strong substrate inhibition of SalR. An alternate arrangement of salutaridine in the enzyme was corroborated by the effect of various amino acid substitutions on substrate inhibition. In most cases, the complete removal of substrate inhibition was accompanied by a substantial loss in enzyme activity. However, some mutations greatly reduced substrate inhibition while maintaining or even increasing the maximal velocity. Based on these results, a double mutant of SalR was created that exhibited the complete absence of substrate inhibition and higher activity compared with wild-type SalR.
Project description:The opium poppy Papaver somniferum is the source of the narcotic analgesics morphine and codeine. Salutaridine reductase (SalR; EC 22.214.171.124) reduces the C-7 keto group of salutaridine to the C-7 (S)-hydroxyl group of salutaridinol in the biosynthetic pathway that leads to morphine in the opium poppy plant. P. somniferum SalR was overproduced in Escherichia coli and purified using cobalt-affinity and size-exclusion chromatography. Hexagonal crystals belonging to space group P6(4)22 or P6(2)22 were obtained using ammonium sulfate as precipitant and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 A.
Project description:Morphinan alkaloids are the most powerful narcotic analgesics currently used to treat moderate to severe and chronic pain. The feasibility of morphinan synthesis in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae starting from the precursor (R,S)-norlaudanosoline was investigated. Chiral analysis of the reticuline produced by the expression of opium poppy methyltransferases showed strict enantioselectivity for (S)-reticuline starting from (R,S)-norlaudanosoline. In addition, the P. somniferum enzymes salutaridine synthase (PsSAS), salutaridine reductase (PsSAR) and salutaridinol acetyltransferase (PsSAT) were functionally co-expressed in S. cerevisiae and optimization of the pH conditions allowed for productive spontaneous rearrangement of salutaridinol-7-O-acetate and synthesis of thebaine from (R)-reticuline. Finally, we reconstituted a 7-gene pathway for the production of codeine and morphine from (R)-reticuline. Yeast cell feeding assays using (R)-reticuline, salutaridine or codeine as substrates showed that all enzymes were functionally co-expressed in yeast and that activity of salutaridine reductase and codeine-O-demethylase likely limit flux to morphine synthesis. The results of this study describe a significant advance for the synthesis of morphinans in S. cerevisiae and pave the way for their complete synthesis in recombinant microbes.
Project description:A cytochrome P450 (P450) enzyme in porcine liver that catalyzed the phenol-coupling reaction of the substrate (R)-reticuline to salutaridine was previously purified to homogeneity (Amann, T., Roos, P. H., Huh, H., and Zenk, M. H. (1995) Heterocycles 40, 425-440). This reaction was found to be catalyzed by human P450s 2D6 and 3A4 in the presence of (R)-reticuline and NADPH to yield not a single product, but rather (-)-isoboldine, (-)-corytuberine, (+)-pallidine, and salutaridine, the para-ortho coupled established precursor of morphine in the poppy plant and most likely also in mammals. (S)-Reticuline, a substrate of both P450 enzymes, yielded the phenol-coupled alkaloids (+)-isoboldine, (+)-corytuberine, (-)-pallidine, and sinoacutine; none of these serve as a morphine precursor. Catalytic efficiencies were similar for P450 2D6 and P450 3A4 in the presence of cytochrome b(5) with (R)-reticuline as substrate. The mechanism of phenol coupling is not yet established; however, we favor a single cycle of iron oxidation to yield salutaridine and the three other alkaloids from (R)-reticuline. The total yield of salutaridine formed can supply the 10 nm concentration of morphine found in human neuroblastoma cell cultures and in brain tissues of mice.
Project description:The opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, is one of mankind's oldest medicinal plants. Opium poppy today is the commercial source of the narcotic analgesics morphine and codeine. Along with these two morphinans, opium poppy produces approximately eighty alkaloids belonging to various tetrahydrobenzylisoquinoline-derived classes. It has been known for over a century that morphinan alkaloids accumulate in the latex of opium poppy. With identification of many of the enzymes of alkaloid biosynthesis in this plant, biochemical data suggested involvement of multiple cell types in alkaloid biosynthesis in poppy. Herein the immunolocalization of five enzymes of alkaloid formation in opium poppy is reported: (R,S)-3'-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine 4'-O-methyltransferase central to the biosynthesis of tetrahydroisoquinoline-derived alkaloids, the berberine bridge enzyme of the sanguinarine pathway, (R,S)-reticuline 7-O-methyltransferase specific to laudanosine formation, and salutaridinol 7-O-acetyltransferase and codeinone reductase, which lead to morphine. In capsule and stem, both O-methyltransferases and the O-acetyltransferase are found predominantly in parenchyma cells within the vascular bundle, and codeinone reductase is localized to laticifers, the site of morphinan alkaloid accumulation. In developing root tip, both O-methyltransferases and the O-acetyltransferase are found in the pericycle of the stele, and the berberine bridge enzyme is localized to parenchyma cells of the root cortex. Laticifers are not found in developing root tip, and, likewise, codeinone reductase was not detected. These results provide cell-specific localization that gives a coherent picture of the spatial distribution of alkaloid biosynthesis in opium poppy.
Project description:Chiral molecule (R)-3-quinuclidinol, a valuable compound for the production of various pharmaceuticals, is efficiently synthesized from 3-quinuclidinone by using NADPH-dependent 3-quinuclidinone reductase (RrQR) from Rhodotorula rubra. Here, we report the crystal structure of RrQR and the structure-based mutational analysis. The enzyme forms a tetramer, in which the core of each protomer exhibits the ?/? Rossmann fold and contains one molecule of NADPH, whereas the characteristic substructures of a small lobe and a variable loop are localized around the substrate-binding site. Modeling and mutation analyses of the catalytic site indicated that the hydrophobicity of two residues, I167 and F212, determines the substrate-binding orientation as well as the substrate-binding affinity. Our results revealed that the characteristic substrate-binding pocket composed of hydrophobic amino acid residues ensures substrate docking for the stereospecific reaction of RrQR in spite of its loose interaction with the substrate.
Project description:An aldo-keto reductase AKR5C3 from Gluconobacter oxydans (designated as Gox0644) is a useful enzyme with various substrates, including aldehydes, diacetyl, keto esters, and ?-ketocarbonyl compounds. The crystal structures of AKR5C3 in apoform in complex with NADPH and the D53A mutant (AKR5C3(-D53A) ) in complex with NADPH are presented herein. Structure comparison and site-directed mutagenesis combined with biochemical kinetics analysis reveal that the conserved Asp53 in the AKR5C3 catalytic tetrad has a crucial role in securing active pocket conformation. The gain-of-function Asp53 to Ala mutation triggers conformational changes on the Trp30 and Trp191 side chains, improving NADPH affinity to AKR5C3, which helps increase catalytic efficiency. The highly conserved Trp30 and Trp191 residues interact with the nicotinamide moiety of NADPH and help form the NADPH-binding pocket. The AKR5C3(-W30A) and AKR5C3(-W191Y) mutants show decreased activities, confirming that both residues facilitate catalysis. Residue Trp191 is in the loop structure, and the AKR5C3(-W191Y) mutant does not react with benzaldehyde, which might also determine substrate recognition. Arg192, which is involved in the substrate binding, is another important residue. The introduction of R192G increases substrate-binding affinity by improving hydrophobicity in the substrate-binding pocket. These results not only supplement the AKRs superfamily with crystal structures but also provide useful information for understanding the catalytic properties of AKR5C3 and guiding further engineering of this enzyme.
Project description:It has been firmly established that humans excrete a small but steady amount of the isoquinoline alkaloid morphine in their urine. It is unclear whether it is of dietary or endogenous origin. There is no doubt that a simple isoquinoline alkaloid, tetrahydropapaveroline (THP), is found in human and rodent brain as well as in human urine. This suggests a potential biogenetic relationship between both alkaloids. Unlabeled THP or [1,3,4-D(3)]-THP was injected intraperitoneally into mice and the urine was analyzed. This potential precursor was extensively metabolized (96%). Among the metabolites found was the phenol-coupled product salutaridine, the known morphine precursor in the opium poppy plant. Synthetic [7D]-salutaridinol, the biosynthetic reduction product of salutaridine, injected intraperitoneally into live animals led to the formation of [7D]-thebaine, which was excreted in urine. [N-CD(3)]-thebaine was also administered and yielded [N-CD(3)]-morphine and the congeners [N-CD(3)]-codeine and [N-CD(3)]-oripavine in urine. These results show for the first time that live animals have the biosynthetic capability to convert a normal constituent of rodents, THP, to morphine. Morphine and its precursors are normally not found in tissues or organs, presumably due to metabolic breakdown. Hence, only that portion of the isoquinoline alkaloids excreted in urine unmetabolized can be detected. Analysis of urine by high resolution-mass spectrometry proved to be a powerful method for tracking endogenous morphine and its biosynthetic precursors.
Project description:Thioredoxin reductase catalyzes the NADPH-dependent reduction of the catalytic disulfide bond of thioredoxin. In mammals and other higher eukaryotes, thioredoxin reductases contain the rare amino acid selenocysteine at the active site. The mitochondrial enzyme from Caenorhabditis elegans, however, contains a cysteine residue in place of selenocysteine. The mitochondrial C. elegans thioredoxin reductase was cloned from an expressed sequence tag and then produced in Escherichia coli as an intein-fusion protein. The purified recombinant enzyme has a kcat of 610 min(-1) and a Km of 610 microM using E. coli thioredoxin as substrate. The reported kcat is 25% of the kcat of the mammalian enzyme and is 43-fold higher than a cysteine mutant of mammalian thioredoxin reductase. The enzyme would reduce selenocysteine, but not hydrogen peroxide or insulin. The flanking glycine residues of the GCCG motif were mutated to serine. The mutants improved substrate binding, but decreased the catalytic rate.
Project description:We investigated the effect of substrate binding on the mechanical stability of mouse dihydrofolate reductase using single-molecule force spectroscopy by atomic force microscopy. We find that under mechanical forces dihydrofolate reductase unfolds via a metastable intermediate with lifetimes on the millisecond timescale. Based on the measured length increase of approximately 22 nm we suggest a structure for this intermediate with intact substrate binding sites. In the presence of the substrate analog methotrexate and the cofactor NADPH lifetimes of this intermediate are increased by up to a factor of two. Comparing mechanical and thermodynamic stabilization effects of substrate binding suggests mechanical stability is dominated by local interactions within the protein structure. These experiments demonstrate that protein mechanics can be used to probe the substrate binding status of an enzyme.