The role of the conserved Lys68*:Glu265 intersubunit salt bridge in aspartate aminotransferase kinetics: Multiple forced covariant amino acid substitutions in natural variants

Authors

  • Edgar Deu,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3206, USA
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  • Keith A. Koch,

    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3206, USA
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    • Present address: Triad Therapeutics, Inc., 5820 Nancy Ridge Dr., Suite 200, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

  • Jack F. Kirsch

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California 94720-3206, USA
    • Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, 229 Stanley Hall, 3206, Berkeley, CA 94720-3206, USA; fax: (510) 642-6368.
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Abstract

The role of the Lys68* :Glu265 intersubunit salt bridge that is conserved (Csb) in all known aspartate aminotransferases (AATases), except those of animal cytosolic, Ac (His68*:Glu265), and plant mitochondrial, Pm (Met68*:Gln265), origins, was evaluated in the Escherichia coli AATase. Two double-mutant cycles, to K68M/E265Q and the charge reversed K68E/E265K, were characterized with the context dependence (C) and impact (I) formalism, previously defined for functional chimeric analysis. Mutations of Lys68* with Glu265 fixed are generally more deleterious than the converse mutations of Glu265 with Lys68* fixed, showing that buried negative charges have greater effects than buried positive charges in this context. Replacement of the charged Lys68*:Glu265 with the K68M/E265Q neutral pair introduces relatively small effects on the kinetic parameters. The differential sensitivity of kcat/KM, L-Asp and kcat/KM, α-KG to salt bridge mutagenic replacements is shown by a linear-free energy relationship, in which the logarithms of the latter second order rate constants are generally decreased by a factor of two more than are those of the former. Thus, kcat/KM, L-Asp and kcat/KM, α-KG are 133 and 442 mM−1s−1 for the wild-type (WT) enzyme, respectively, but their relative order is reversed in the more severely compromised mutants (14.8 and 5.3 mM−1s−1 for K68E). A Venn diagram illustrates apparent forced covariances of groups of amino acids that accompany the naturally occurring salt bridge replacements in the Pm and Ac classes. The more deeply rooted tree indicates that the Csb variant was the ancestral specie.

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