Promiscuous sulfatase activity and thio-effects in a phosphodiesterase of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily.

PMID 18975918


The nucleotide phosphodiesterase/pyrophosphatase from Xanthomonas axonopodis (NPP) is a structural and evolutionary relative of alkaline phosphatase that preferentially hydrolyzes phosphate diesters. With the goal of understanding how these two enzymes with nearly identical Zn(2+) bimetallo sites achieve high selectivity for hydrolysis of either phosphate monoesters or diesters, we have measured a promiscuous sulfatase activity in NPP. Sulfate esters are nearly isosteric with phosphate esters but carry less charge, offering a probe of electrostatic contributions to selectivity. NPP exhibits sulfatase activity with k(cat)/K(M) value of 2 x 10(-5) M(-1) s(-1), similar to the R166S mutant of alkaline phosphatase. We further report the effects of thio-substitution on phosphate monoester and diester reactions. Reactivities with these noncognate substrates illustrate a reduced dependence of NPP reactivity on the charge of the nonbridging oxygen situated between the Zn(2+) ions relative to that in alkaline phosphatase. This reduced charge dependence can explain about 10(2) of the 10(7)-fold differential catalytic proficiency for the most similar monoester and diester substrates in the two enzymes. The results further suggest that active site contacts to substrate oxygen atoms that do not contact the Zn(2+) ions may play an important role in defining the selectivity of the enzymes.