Assignment of pterin deaminase activity to an enzyme of unknown function guided by homology modeling and docking.
ABSTRACT: Of the over 22 million protein sequences in the nonredundant TrEMBL database, fewer than 1% have experimentally confirmed functions. Structure-based methods have been used to predict enzyme activities from experimentally determined structures; however, for the vast majority of proteins, no such structures are available. Here, homology models of a functionally uncharacterized amidohydrolase from Agrobacterium radiobacter K84 (Arad3529) were computed on the basis of a remote template structure. The protein backbone of two loops near the active site was remodeled, resulting in four distinct active site conformations. Substrates of Arad3529 were predicted by docking of 57,672 high-energy intermediate (HEI) forms of 6440 metabolites against these four homology models. On the basis of docking ranks and geometries, a set of modified pterins were suggested as candidate substrates for Arad3529. The predictions were tested by enzymology experiments, and Arad3529 deaminated many pterin metabolites (substrate, k(cat)/K(m) [M(-1) s(-1)]): formylpterin, 5.2 × 10(6); pterin-6-carboxylate, 4.0 × 10(6); pterin-7-carboxylate, 3.7 × 10(6); pterin, 3.3 × 10(6); hydroxymethylpterin, 1.2 × 10(6); biopterin, 1.0 × 10(6); d-(+)-neopterin, 3.1 × 10(5); isoxanthopterin, 2.8 × 10(5); sepiapterin, 1.3 × 10(5); folate, 1.3 × 10(5), xanthopterin, 1.17 × 10(5); and 7,8-dihydrohydroxymethylpterin, 3.3 × 10(4). While pterin is a ubiquitous oxidative product of folate degradation, genomic analysis suggests that the first step of an undescribed pterin degradation pathway is catalyzed by Arad3529. Homology model-based virtual screening, especially with modeling of protein backbone flexibility, may be broadly useful for enzyme function annotation and discovering new pathways and drug targets.
Project description:Two previously uncharacterized proteins have been identified that efficiently catalyze the deamination of isoxanthopterin and pterin 6-carboxylate. The genes encoding these two enzymes, NYSGXRC-9339a ( gi|44585104 ) and NYSGXRC-9236b ( gi|44611670 ), were first identified from DNA isolated from the Sargasso Sea as part of the Global Ocean Sampling Project. The genes were synthesized, and the proteins were subsequently expressed and purified. The X-ray structure of Sgx9339a was determined at 2.7 A resolution (Protein Data Bank entry 2PAJ ). This protein folds as a distorted (beta/alpha)(8) barrel and contains a single zinc ion in the active site. These enzymes are members of the amidohydrolase superfamily and belong to cog0402 within the clusters of orthologous groups (COG). Enzymes in cog0402 have previously been shown to catalyze the deamination of guanine, cytosine, S-adenosylhomocysteine, and 8-oxoguanine. A small compound library of pteridines, purines, and pyrimidines was used to probe catalytic activity. The only substrates identified in this search were isoxanthopterin and pterin 6-carboxylate. The kinetic constants for the deamination of isoxanthopterin with Sgx9339a were determined to be 1.0 s(-1), 8.0 muM, and 1.3 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) (k(cat), K(m), and k(cat)/K(m), respectively). The active site of Sgx9339a most closely resembles the active site for 8-oxoguanine deaminase (Protein Data Bank entry 2UZ9 ). A model for substrate recognition of isoxanthopterin by Sgx9339a was proposed on the basis of the binding of guanine and xanthine in the active site of guanine deaminase. Residues critical for substrate binding appear to be conserved glutamine and tyrosine residues that form hydrogen bonds with the carbonyl oxygen at C4, a conserved threonine residue that forms hydrogen bonds with N5, and another conserved threonine residue that forms hydrogen bonds with the carbonyl group at C7. These conserved active site residues were used to identify 24 other genes which are predicted to deaminate isoxanthopterin.
Project description:Tetrahydrofolate (THF) and its one-carbon derivatives, collectively termed folates, are essential cofactors, but are inherently unstable. While it is clear that chemical oxidation can cleave folates or damage their pterin precursors, very little is known about enzymatic damage to these molecules or about whether the folate biosynthesis pathway responds adaptively to damage to its end-products. The presence of a duplication of the gene encoding the folate biosynthesis enzyme 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (FolK) in many sequenced bacterial genomes combined with a strong chromosomal clustering of the folK gene with panB, encoding the 5,10-methylene-THF-dependent enzyme ketopantoate hydroxymethyltransferase, led us to infer that PanB has a side activity that cleaves 5,10-methylene-THF, yielding a pterin product that is recycled by FolK. Genetic and metabolic analyses of Escherichia coli strains showed that overexpression of PanB leads to accumulation of the likely folate cleavage product 6-hydroxymethylpterin and other pterins in cells and medium, and-unexpectedly-to a 46% increase in total folate content. In silico modeling of the folate biosynthesis pathway showed that these observations are consistent with the in vivo cleavage of 5,10-methylene-THF by a side-activity of PanB, with FolK-mediated recycling of the pterin cleavage product, and with regulation of folate biosynthesis by folates or their damage products.
Project description:Methanopterin (MPT) and its analogs are coenzymes required for methanogenesis and methylotrophy in specialized microorganisms. The methyl groups at C-7 and C-9 of the pterin ring distinguish MPT from all other pterin-containing natural products. However, the enzyme(s) responsible for the addition of these methyl groups has yet to be identified. Here we demonstrate that a putative radical S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM) enzyme superfamily member encoded by the MJ0619 gene in the methanogen Methanocaldococcus jannaschii is likely this missing methylase. When MJ0619 was heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli, various methylated pterins were detected, consistent with MJ0619 catalyzing methylation at C-7 and C-9 of 7,8-dihydro-6-hydroxymethylpterin, a common intermediate in both folate and MPT biosynthesis. Site-directed mutagenesis of Cys77 present in the first of two canonical radical SAM CX?CX?C motifs present in MJ0619 did not inhibit C-7 methylation, while mutation of Cys102, found in the other radical SAM amino acid motif, resulted in the loss of C-7 methylation, suggesting that the first motif could be involved in C-9 methylation, while the second motif is required for C-7 methylation. Further experiments demonstrated that the C-7 methyl group is not derived from methionine and that methylation does not require cobalamin. When E. coli cells expressing MJ0619 were grown with deuterium-labeled acetate as the sole carbon source, the resulting methyl group on the pterin was predominantly labeled with three deuteriums. Based on these results, we propose that this archaeal radical SAM methylase employs a previously uncharacterized mechanism for methylation, using methylenetetrahydrofolate as a methyl group donor.
Project description:Pterin compounds belong to the group of biomarkers for which an increase in interest has been observed in recent years. Available literature data point to this group of compounds as potential biomarkers for cancer detection, although the biochemical justification for this claim is not yet fully understood. The aim of this study was to evaluate the usefulness of pterin compounds in the diagnosis of bladder cancer, with particular emphasis on the role of creatinine and the specific gravity of urine as factors for normalizing the concentration of pterin compounds in urine. The standardization of the concentration of pterin compounds to urine specific gravity allows the building of better classification models for screening patients with potential cancer of the bladder. Of the compounds that make up the pterin profile, isoxanthopterin appears to be a compound that can potentially be described as a biomarker of bladder cancer.
Project description:6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK), a key enzyme in the folate biosynthetic pathway, catalyzes the pyrophosphoryl transfer from ATP to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin. The enzyme is essential for microorganisms, is absent from humans, and is not the target for any existing antibiotics. Therefore, HPPK is an attractive target for developing novel antimicrobial agents. Previously, we characterized the reaction trajectory of HPPK-catalyzed pyrophosphoryl transfer and synthesized a series of bisubstrate analog inhibitors of the enzyme by linking 6-hydroxymethylpterin to adenosine through 2, 3, or 4 phosphate groups. Here, we report a new generation of bisubstrate analog inhibitors. To improve protein binding and linker properties of such inhibitors, we have replaced the pterin moiety with 7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin and the phosphate bridge with a piperidine linked thioether. We have synthesized the new inhibitors, measured their K(d) and IC(50) values, determined their crystal structures in complex with HPPK, and established their structure-activity relationship. 6-Carboxylic acid ethyl ester-7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin, a novel intermediate that we developed recently for easy derivatization at position 6 of 7,7-dimethyl-7,8-dihydropterin, offers a much high yield for the synthesis of bisubstrate analogs than that of previously established procedure.
Project description:Heteronuclear NMR methods have been used to probe the conformation of four complexes of Escherichia coli dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR) in solution. (1)H(N), (15)N, and (13)C(alpha) resonance assignments have been made for the ternary complex with folate and oxidized NADP(+) cofactor and the ternary complex with folate and a reduced cofactor analog, 5,6-dihydroNADPH. The backbone chemical shifts have been compared with those of the binary complex of DHFR with the substrate analog folate and the binary complex with NADPH (the holoenzyme). Analysis of (1)H(N) and (15)N chemical shifts has led to the identification of marker resonances that report on the active site conformation of the enzyme. Other backbone amide resonances report on the presence of ligands in the pterin binding pocket and in the adenosine and nicotinamide-ribose binding sites of the NADPH cofactor. The chemical shift data indicate that the enzyme populates two dominant structural states in solution, with the active site loops in either the closed or occluded conformations defined by X-ray crystallography; there is no evidence that the open conformation observed in some X-ray structures of E. coli DHFR are populated in solution.
Project description:Plants are the main source of folate in human diets, but many fruits, tubers, and seeds are poor in this vitamin, and folate deficiency is a worldwide problem. Plants synthesize folate from pteridine, p-aminobenzoate (PABA), and glutamate moieties. Pteridine synthesis capacity is known to drop in ripening tomato fruit; therefore, we countered this decline by fruit-specific overexpression of GTP cyclohydrolase I, the first enzyme of pteridine synthesis. We used a synthetic gene based on mammalian GTP cyclohydrolase I, because this enzyme is predicted to escape feedback control in planta. This engineering maneuver raised fruit pteridine content by 3- to 140-fold and fruit folate content by an average of 2-fold among 12 independent transformants, relative to vector-alone controls. Most of the folate increase was contributed by 5-methyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamates and 5,10-methenyltetrahydrofolate polyglutamates, which were also major forms of folate in control fruit. The accumulated pteridines included neopterin, monapterin, and hydroxymethylpterin; their reduced forms, which are folate biosynthesis intermediates; and pteridine glycosides not previously found in plants. Engineered fruit with intermediate levels of pteridine overproduction attained the highest folate levels. PABA pools were severely depleted in engineered fruit that were high in folate, and supplying such fruit with PABA by means of the fruit stalk increased their folate content by up to 10-fold. These results demonstrate that engineering a moderate increase in pteridine production can significantly enhance the folate content in food plants and that boosting the PABA supply can produce further gains.
Project description:The sulfonamide class of antibiotics has been in continuous use for over 70years. They are thought to act by directly inhibiting dihydropteroate synthase (DHPS), and also acting as prodrugs that sequester pterin pools by forming dead end pterin-sulfonamide conjugates. In this study, eight pterin-sulfonamide conjugates were synthesized using a novel synthetic strategy and their biochemical and microbiological properties were investigated. The conjugates were shown to competitively inhibit DHPS, and inhibition was enhanced by the presence of pyrophosphate that is crucial to catalysis and is known to promote an ordering of the DHPS active site. The co-crystal structure of Yersinia pestis DHPS bound to one of the more potent conjugates revealed a mode of binding that is similar to that of the enzymatic product analog pteroic acid. The antimicrobial activities of the pterin-sulfonamide conjugates were measured against Escherichia coli in the presence and absence of folate precursors and dependent metabolites. These results show that the conjugates have appreciable antibacterial activity and act by an on target, anti-folate pathway mechanism rather than as simple dead end products.
Project description:Folates are indispensable co-factors for one-carbon metabolism in all organisms. In humans, suboptimal folate intake results in serious disorders. One promising strategy for improving human folate status is to enhance folate levels in food crops by metabolic engineering. In this study, we cloned two GmGCHI (GTP cyclohydrolase I) genes (Gm8gGCHI and Gm3gGCHI) and one GmADCS (aminodeoxychorismate synthase) gene from soybean, which are responsible for synthesizing the folate precursors pterin and p-aminobenzoate, respectively. We initially confirmed their functions in transgenic Arabidopsis plants and found that Gm8gGCHI increased pterin and folate production more than Gm3gGCHI did. We then co-expressed Gm8gGCHI and GmADCS driven by endosperm-specific promoters in maize and wheat, two major staple crops, to boost their folate metabolic flux. A 4.2-fold and 2.3-fold increase in folate levels were observed in transgenic maize and wheat grains, respectively. To optimize wheat folate enhancement, codon-optimized Gm8gGCHI and tomato LeADCS genes under the control of a wheat endosperm-specific glutenin promoter (1Dx5) were co-transformed. This yielded a 5.6-fold increase in folate in transgenic wheat grains (Gm8gGCHI+/LeADCS+). This two-gene co-expression strategy therefore has the potential to greatly enhance folate levels in maize and wheat, thus improving their nutritional value.
Project description:N(10) -formyltetrahydrofolate synthetase (FTHFS) is a folate enzyme that catalyzes the formylation of tetrahydrofolate (THF) in an ATP dependent manner. Structures of FTHFS from the thermophilic homoacetogen, Moorella thermoacetica, complexed with (1) a catalytic intermediate-formylphosphate (XPO) and product-ADP; (2) with an inhibitory substrate analog-folate; (3) with XPO and an inhibitory THF analog, ZD9331, were used to analyze the enzyme mechanism. Nucleophilic attack of the formate ion on the gamma phosphate of ATP leads to the formation of XPO and the first product ADP. A channel that leads to the putative formate binding pocket allows for the binding of ATP and formate in random order. Formate binding is due to interactions with the gamma-phosphate moiety of ATP and additionally to two hydrogen bonds from the backbone nitrogen of Ala276 and the side chain of Arg97. Upon ADP dissociation, XPO reorients and moves to the position previously occupied by the beta-phosphate of ATP. Conformational changes that occur due to the XPO presence apparently allow for the recruitment of the third substrate, THF, with its pterin moiety positioned between Phe384 and Trp412. This position overlaps with that of the bound nucleoside, which is consistent with a catalytic mechanism hypothesis that FTHFS works via a sequential ping-pong mechanism. More specifically, a random bi uni uni bi ping-pong ter ter mechanism is proposed. Additionally, the native structure originally reported at a 2.5 Å resolution was redetermined at a 2.2 Å resolution.