Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society

Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase: conformational change in the flexible region around Arg334 is required during the transaldimination process.

PMID 10082378


Aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) catalytic mechanism has been proposed to proceed through two consecutive intermediates (i.e., Michaelis complex and the external aldimine). Limited proteolysis of AADC that preferentially digested at the C-terminal side of Arg334 was slightly retarded in the presence of dihydroxyphenyl acetate that formed a stable Michaelis complex. On the contrary, AADC was scarcely digested in the presence of L-dopa methyl ester that formed a stable external aldimine. Similar protection by the substrate analogs was observed in the chemical modification experiment. From these results, we concluded that the region around Arg334 must be exposed and flexible in the unliganded state, and forming the Michaelis complex generated a subtle conformational change, then underwent marked conformational change during the subsequent transaldimination process prerequisite to forming the external aldimine. For further analyses, we constructed a mutant gene encoding in tandem the two peptides of AADC cleaved at the Asn327-Met328 bond inside the putative flexible region. The gene product, fragmentary AADC, was still active with L-dopa as substrate, but its k(cat) value was decreased 57-fold, and the Km value was increased 9-fold compared with those of the wild-type AADC. The absorption spectra of the fragmentary AADC in the presence of L-dopa methyl ester showed shift in the equilibrium of the transaldimination from the external aldimine to the Michaelis complex. Tryptic digestion of the fragmentary AADC removed seven amino acid residues, Met328-Arg334, and resulted in complete inactivation. Susceptibility of the fragmentary enzyme to trypsin was not changed by L-dopa methyl ester revealing the loss of appropriate conformational change in the flexible region induced by substrate binding. From these results we propose that the conformational change in the flexible region is required during the transaldimination process.

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Methyl 4-nitrobenzenesulfonate, 99%