RNA (New York, N.Y.)

Adenosine 5'-O-(3-thio)triphosphate (ATPgammaS) is a substrate for the nucleotide hydrolysis and RNA unwinding activities of eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4A.

PMID 13130132


Whereas ATPgammaS is often considered a nonhydrolyzable substrate for ATPases, we present evidence that ATPgammaS is a good substrate for the RNA-stimulated nucleotide hydrolysis and RNA unwinding activities of eIF4A. In the presence of saturating single-stranded poly(U) RNA, eIF4A hydrolyzes ATPgammaS.Mg and ATP.Mg with similar steady-state parameters (KM(NTP.Mg) = 66 and 58 microM and kcat = 1.0 and 0.97 min(-1), respectively). ATPgammaS.Mg also supports catalysis of RNA unwinding within 10-fold of the rate supported by ATP.Mg. The identical steady-state rate parameters, in comparison with the expected difference in the intrinsic rate of hydrolysis for ATP and ATPgammaS, suggest a nonchemical rate-limiting step for nucleotide hydrolysis. These results raise caution concerning the assumption that ATPgammaS is a nonhydrolyzable ATP analog and underscore the utility of thio-substituted NTPs as mechanistic probes.