The Journal of biological chemistry

Mechanism of inhibition of aliphatic epoxide carboxylation by the coenzyme M analog 2-bromoethanesulfonate.

PMID 20551308


The bacterial metabolism of epoxypropane formed from propylene oxidation uses the atypical cofactor coenzyme M (CoM, 2-mercaptoethanesulfonate) as the nucleophile for epoxide ring opening and as a carrier of intermediates that undergo dehydrogenation, reductive cleavage, and carboxylation to form acetoacetate in a three-step metabolic pathway. 2-Ketopropyl-CoM carboxylase/oxidoreductase (2-KPCC), the terminal enzyme of this pathway, is the only known member of the disulfide oxidoreductase family of enzymes that is a carboxylase. In the present work, the CoM analog 2-bromoethanesulfonate (BES) is shown to be a reversible inhibitor of 2-KPCC and hydroxypropyl-CoM dehydrogenase but not of epoxyalkane:CoM transferase. Further investigations revealed that BES is a time-dependent inactivator of dithiothreitol-reduced 2-KPCC, where the redox active cysteines are in the free thiol forms. BES did not inactivate air-oxidized 2-KPCC, where the redox active cysteine pair is in the disulfide form. The inactivation of 2-KPCC exhibited saturation kinetics, and CoM slowed the rate of inactivation. Mass spectral analysis demonstrated that BES inactivation of reduced 2-KPCC occurs with covalent modification of the interchange thiol (Cys(82)) by a group with a molecular mass identical to that of ethylsulfonate. The flavin thiol Cys(87) was not alkylated by BES under reducing conditions, and no amino acid residues were modified by BES in the oxidized enzyme. The UV-visible spectrum of BES-modifed 2-KPCC showed the characteristic charge transfer absorbance expected with alkylation at Cys(82). These results identify BES as a reactive CoM analog that specifically alkylates the interchange thiol that facilitates thioether bond cleavage and enolacetone formation during catalysis.

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Sodium 2-bromoethanesulfonate, 98%