Evaluation of the role of His447 in the reaction catalyzed by cholesterol oxidase.

PMID 9922167


Cholesterol oxidase catalyzes the oxidation and isomerization of cholesterol to cholest-4-en-3-one via cholest-5-en-3-one. It has been proposed that His447 acts as the general base catalyst for oxidation, and that the resulting imidazolium ion formed acts as an electrophile for isomerization. In this work, we undertook an assessment of the proposed dual roles of His447 in the oxidation and isomerization reactions. To test its role, we constructed five mutants, H447Q, H447N, H447E, H447D, and H447K, that introduce hydrogen bond donors and acceptors and carboxylate bases at this position, and a sixth mutant, E361Q, to test the interplay between His447 and Glu361. These mutants were characterized using steady-state kinetics and deuterium substrate and solvent isotope effects. For those mutants that catalyze either oxidation of cholesterol or isomerization of cholest-5-en-3-one, the Km's vary no more than 3-fold relative to wild type. H447K is inactive in both oxidation (> 100,000-fold reduced) and isomerization assays (> 10,000-fold reduced). H447E and H447D do not catalyze oxidation (> 100,000-fold reduced), but do catalyze isomerization, 10(4) times slower than wild type. The k(cat) for H447Q is 120-fold lower than wild type for oxidation, and the same as wild type for isomerization. The k(cat) for H447N is 4400-fold lower than wild type for oxidation, and is 30-fold lower than wild type for isomerization. E361Q does not catalyze isomerization (> 10,000-fold reduced), and the k(cat) for oxidation is 30-fold lower than wild type. The substrate deuterium kinetic isotope effects for the wild-type and mutant-catalyzed oxidation reactions suggest that mutation of His447 to an amide results in a change of the rate-determining step from hydride transfer to hydroxyl deprotonation. The deuterium solvent and substrate kinetic isotope effects for isomerization indicate that an amide at position 447 is an effective electrophile to catalyze formation of a dienolic intermediate. Moreover, consideration of kinetic and structural results together suggests that a hydrogen bonding network involving His447, Glu361 and Asn485, Wat541, and substrate serves to position the substrate and coordinate general base and electrophilic catalysis. That is, in addition to its previously demonstrated role as base for deprotonation of carbon-4 during isomerization, Glu361 has a structural role and may act as a general base during oxidation. The His447, Asn485, Glu361, and Wat541 residues are conserved in other GMC oxidoreductases. Observation of this catalytic tetrad in flavoproteins of unknown function may be diagnostic for an ability to oxidize unactivated alcohols.

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