Carbohydrate research

Catalytic mechanism of human UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase: in situ proton NMR studies reveal that the C-5 hydrogen of UDP-glucose is not exchanged with bulk water during the enzymatic reaction.

PMID 22525098


Human UDP-glucose 6-dehydrogenase (hUGDH) catalyzes the biosynthetic oxidation of UDP-glucose into UDP-glucuronic acid. The catalytic reaction proceeds in two NAD(+)-dependent steps via covalent thiohemiacetal and thioester enzyme intermediates. Formation of the thiohemiacetal adduct occurs through attack of Cys(276) on C-6 of the UDP-gluco-hexodialdose produced in the first oxidation step. Because previous studies of the related enzyme from bovine liver had suggested loss of the C-5 hydrogen from UDP-gluco-hexodialdose due to keto-enol tautomerism, we examined incorporation of solvent deuterium into product(s) of UDP-glucose oxidation by hUGDH. We used wild-type enzyme and a slow-reacting Glu(161)→Gln mutant that accumulates the thioester adduct at steady state. In situ proton NMR measurements showed that UDP-glucuronic acid was the sole detectable product of both enzymatic transformations. The product contained no deuterium at C-5 within the detection limit (≤2%). The results are consistent with the proposed mechanistic idea for hUGDH that incipient UDP-gluco-hexodialdose is immediately trapped by thiohemiacetal adduct formation.