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Analytical biochemistry

Identification of a new chromophoric substrate in the library of amino acid p-nitroanilides for continuous assay of VanX, a D,D-dipeptidase essential for vancomycin resistance.


PMID 16701071

Abstract

As one of key bacterial proteins involved in vancomycin resistance, VanX is a D,D-dipeptidase that impedes bacterial cell wall biosynthesis by hydrolyzing the essential D-Ala-D-Ala dipeptide. Based on a report by Crowder and co-workers that L-alanine-p-nitroanilide (L-Ala-pNA) was a useful substrate for continuous assay of VanX, we constructed a library of 35 L- and D-amino acid p-nitroanilides to provide the needed diversity to discover new substrates that are more specific than L-Ala-pNA. We report here that, among all compounds tested, D-leucine-p-nitroanilide (D-Leu-pNA) was found to be the best substrate for VanX enzyme (KM=8.9+/-1.2 mM, kcat=0.0102+/-0.0016 s(-1), kcat/KM=0.0012 mM(-1)s(-1)). Although it is catalytically inefficient, this new VanX substrate needs essentially no sophisticated synthetic chemistry for preparation and therefore offers a convenient means for routine analysis of enzyme catalysis and the screening of potential inhibitors. Moreover, because it is the uncommon leucine in its D form in D-Leu-pNA, enzymatic activities due to other contaminated species in Escherichia coli used for VanX overproduction should be greatly reduced.

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L9125
L-Leucine-p-nitroanilide, leucine aminopeptidase substrate
C12H17N3O3