|Jagath, J. R.; Rao, N. A.; Savithri, H. S.
|Role of Arg-401 of cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase in subunit assembly and interaction with the substrate carboxy group
|Amino Acid Substitution
|In an attempt to identify the arginine residue involved in binding of the carboxylate group of serine to mammalian serine hydroxymethyltransferase, a highly conserved Arg-401 was mutated to Ala by site-directed mutagenesis. The mutant enzyme had a characteristic visible absorbance at 425 nm indicative of the presence of bound pyridoxal 5'-phosphate as an internal aldimine with a lysine residue. However, it had only 0.003% of the catalytic activity of the wild-type enzyme. It was also unable to perform reactions with glycine, beta- phenylserine or d-alanine, suggesting that the binding of these substrates to the mutant enzyme was affected. This was also evident from the interaction of amino-oxyacetic acid, which was very slow (8.4x10(-4) s-1 at 50 microM) for the R401A mutant enzyme compared with the wild-type enzyme (44.6 s-1 at 50 microM). In contrast, methoxyamine (which lacks the carboxy group) reacted with the mutant enzyme (1.72 s- 1 at 250 microM) more rapidly than the wild-type enzyme (0.2 s-1 at 250 microM). Further, both wild-type and the mutant enzymes were capable of forming unique quinonoid intermediates absorbing at 440 and 464 nm on interaction with thiosemicarbazide, which also does not have a carboxy group. These results implicate Arg-401 in the binding of the substrate carboxy group. In addition, gel-filtration profiles of the apoenzyme and the reconstituted holoenzyme of R401A and the wild-type enzyme showed that the mutant enzyme remained in a tetrameric form even when the cofactor had been removed. However, the wild-type enzyme underwent partial dissociation to a dimer, suggesting that the oligomeric structure was rendered more stable by the mutation of Arg-401. The increased stability of the mutant enzyme was also reflected in the higher apparent melting temperature (Tm) (61 degrees C) than that of the wild-type enzyme (56 degrees C). The addition of serine or serinamide did not change the apparent Tm of R401A mutant enzyme. These results suggest that the mutant enzyme might be in a permanently 'open' form and the increased apparent Tm could be due to enhanced subunit interactions.