Role of Arg-401 of cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase in subunit assembly and interaction with the substrate carboxy group

Jagath, Junutula Reddy ; Appaji Rao, Naropantul ; Savithri, Handanahal SubbaRao (1997) Role of Arg-401 of cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase in subunit assembly and interaction with the substrate carboxy group Biochemical Journal, 327 . pp. 877-882. ISSN 0264-6021

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In an attempt to identify the arginine residue involved in binding of the carboxylate group of serine to mammalian serine hydroxymethyltransferase, a highly conserved Arg-401 was mutated to Ala by site-directed mutagenesis. The mutant enzyme had a characteristic visible absorbance at 425 nm indicative of the presence of bound pyridoxal 5′-phosphate as an internal aldimine with a lysine residue. However, it had only 0.003% of the catalytic activity of the wild-type enzyme. It was also unable to perform reactions with glycine, β-phenylserine or D-alanine, suggesting that the binding of these substrates to the mutant enzyme was affected. This was also evident from the interaction of amino-oxyacetic acid, which was very slow (8.4 × 10-4 s-1 at 50 μM) for the R401A mutant enzyme compared with the wild-type enzyme (44.6 s-1 at 50 μM). In contrast, methoxyamine (which lacks the carboxy group) reacted with the mutant enzyme (1.72 s-1 at 250 μM) more rapidly than the wild-type enzyme (0.2 s-1 at 250 μM). Further, both wild-type and the mutant enzymes were capable of forming unique quinonoid intermediates absorbing at 440 and 464 nm on interaction with thiosemicarbazide, which also does not have a carboxy group. These results implicate Arg-401 in the binding of the substrate carboxy group. In addition, gel-filtration profiles of the apoenzyme and the reconstituted holoenzyme of R401A and the wild-type enzyme showed that the mutant enzyme remained in a tetrameric form even when the cofactor had been removed. However, the wild-type enzyme underwent partial dissociation to a dimer, suggesting that the oligomeric structure was rendered more stable by the mutation of Arg-401. The increased stability of the mutant enzyme was also reflected in the higher apparent melting temperature (Tm) (61°C) than that of the wild-type enzyme (56°C). The addition of serine or serinamide did not change the apparent Tm of R401A mutant enzyme. These results suggest that the mutant enzyme might be in a permanently 'open' form and the increased apparent Tm could be due to enhanced subunit interactions.

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