The Catalytic Role of Glutamate 151 in the Leucine Aminopeptidase from Aeromonas proteolytica

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Journal of Biological Chemistry

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Glutamate 151 has been proposed to act as the general acid/base during the peptide hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by the co-catalytic metallohydrolase from Aeromonas proteolytica (AAP). However, to date, no direct evidence has been reported for the role of Glu-151 during catalytic turnover by AAP. In order to elucidate the catalytic role of Glu-151, altered AAP enzymes have been prepared in which Glu-151 has been substituted with a glutamine, an alanine, and an aspartate. The Michaelis constant (Km) does not change upon substitution to aspartate or glutamine, but the rate of the reaction changes drastically in the following order: glutamate (100% activity), aspartate (0.05%), glutamine (0.004%), and alanine (0%). Examination of the pH dependence of the kinetic constants kcat and Km revealed a change in the pKa of a group that ionizes at pH 4.8 in recombinant leucine aminopeptidase (rAAP) to 4.2 for E151D-AAP. The remaining pKa values at 5.2, 7.5, and 9.9 do not change. Proton inventory studies indicate that one proton is transferred in the rate-limiting step of the reaction at pH 10.50 for both rAAP and E151D-AAP, but at pH 6.50 two protons and general solvation effects are responsible for the observed effects in the reaction catalyzed by rAAP and E151D-AAP, respectively. Based on these data, Glu-151 is intrinsically involved in the peptide hydrolysis reaction catalyzed by AAP and can be assigned the role of a general acid and base.


Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol. 279, No. 30 (July 23, 2004): 31018-31025. DOI.

Richard Holz was affiliated with the Utah State University at the time of publication.