Aminoacrylate intermediates in the reaction of Citrobacter freundii tyrosine phenol-lyase.

PMID 16878992


Tyrosine phenol-lyase (TPL) from Citrobacter freundii is a pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzyme that catalyzes the reversible hydrolytic cleavage of l-Tyr to give phenol and ammonium pyruvate. The proposed reaction mechanism for TPL involves formation of an external aldimine of the substrate, followed by deprotonation of the alpha-carbon to give a quinonoid intermediate. Elimination of phenol then has been proposed to give an alpha-aminoacrylate Schiff base, which releases iminopyruvate that ultimately undergoes hydrolysis to yield ammonium pyruvate. Previous stopped-flow kinetic experiments have provided direct spectroscopic evidence for the formation of the external aldimine and quinonoid intermediates in the reactions of substrates and inhibitors; however, the predicted alpha-aminoacrylate intermediate has not been previously observed. We have found that 4-hydroxypyridine, a non-nucleophilic analogue of phenol, selectively binds and stabilizes aminoacrylate intermediates in reactions of TPL with S-alkyl-l-cysteines, l-tyrosine, and 3-fluoro-l-tyrosine. In the presence of 4-hydroxypyridine, a new absorption band at 338 nm, assigned to the alpha-aminoacrylate, is observed with these substrates. Formation of the 338 nm peaks is concomitant with the decay of the quinonoid intermediates, with good isosbestic points at approximately 365 nm. The value of the rate constant for aminoacrylate formation is similar to k(cat), suggesting that leaving group elimination is at least partially rate limiting in TPL reactions. In the reaction of S-ethyl-l-cysteine in the presence of 4-hydroxypyridine, a subsequent slow reaction of the alpha-aminoacrylate is observed, which may be due to iminopyruvate formation. Both l-tyrosine and 3-fluoro-l-tyrosine exhibit kinetic isotope effects of approximately 2-3 on alpha-aminoacrylate formation when the alpha-(2)H-labeled substrates are used, consistent with the previously reported internal return of the alpha-proton to the phenol product. These results are the first direct spectroscopic observation of alpha-aminoacrylate intermediates in the reactions of TPL.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

4-Hydroxypyridine, 95%
L-Cysteine ethyl ester hydrochloride, 98%
C5H11NO2S · HCl