Probing the regulatory domain interface of D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase with engineered tryptophan residues

Gregory A. Grant, Xiao Lan Xu

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D-3-Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase from Escherichia coli is a homotetrameric enzyme which is allosterically regulated by the end product of its pathway, L-serine. The enzyme binds 4 L-serine molecules at two interfaces formed by the noncovalent association of the regulatory domains. The two domains that comprise each interface are related by an approximately 180°axis of symmetry, and two serine molecules bind at each interface by forming a hydrogen bond network between the domains. A model has been proposed that suggests that serine functions by drawing adjacent domains together and that this in turn translates a conformational change to the active site. A tryptophan residue has been engineered into the helices flanking the regulatory interfaces that displays significant quenching in response to serine binding. Residues on the adjacent subunit appear to be primarily responsible for the tryptophan quenching and thus support the hypothesis that serine binding leads to an increase in the proximity between residues on neighboring subunits. Serine binding studies show that this quenching, as well as inhibition of enzymatic activity, are essentially complete when only two of the four serine binding sites are occupied. The requirement for only one serine per interface is consistent with the notion that the interface is formed by relatively rigid domains and that hydrogen bonding at only a single site is all that is required to substantially close the interface. The fluorescence quenching in response to L-serine binding generally correlates with enzymatic inhibition, but there appears to be a slight lag in inhibition relative to quenching at low serine concentrations. The observed fluorescence quenching of residues in the regulatory domains of D-3-phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase provide the first direct evidence for a conformational change in response to effector binding and provide a means to monitor the first step in the allosteric mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22389-22394
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number35
StatePublished - Aug 28 1998


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