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A series of l-leucine aniline analogues were synthesized that contained either a carbonyl or thiocarbonyl as a part of the amide bond. Additionally, the para-position on the phenyl ring of several substrates was altered with various electron-withdrawing or donating groups. The kinetic constants Km and kcat were determined for the hydrolysis of each of these compounds in the presence of the aminopeptidase from Aeromonas proteolytica (AAP) containing either Zn(II) or Cd(II). The dizinc(II) form of AAP ([ZnZn(AAP)]) was able to cleave both carbonyl and thiocarbonyl containing peptide substrates with similar efficiency. However, the dicadmium(II) form of AAP ([CdCd(AAP)]) was unable to cleave any of the carbonyl-containing compounds tested but was able to cleave the thionopeptide substrates. This is consistent with the borderline hard/soft nature of Zn(II) vs Cd(II). The trends observed in the Km values suggest that the oxygen atom of the amide bond directly interacts with the dinuclear active site of AAP. Heterodimetallic forms of AAP that contained one atom of Zn(II) and one of Cd(II) (i.e., [CdZn(AAP)] and [ZnCd(AAP)]) were also prepared. The Km values for the thionopeptides substrates are the smallest when Cd(II) is in the first metal binding site, suggesting that substrate binds to the first metal binding site. 1-Phenyl-2-thiourea (PTU) and urea (PU) were also examined to determine the differences between thionopeptide and peptide binding to AAP. PTU and PU were found to be competitive inhibitors of AAP with inhibition constants of 0.24 and 4.6 mM, respectively. The electronic absorption and EPR spectra of [CoCo(AAP)], [CoZn(AAP)], and [ZnCo(AAP)] were recorded in the absence and presence of both PU and PTU. Spectral changes were observed for PTU binding to [CoCo(AAP)] and [CoZn(AAP)] but not for [ZnCo(AAP)], while no spectral changes were observed for any of the Co(II)-substituted forms of AAP upon the addition of PU. These data indicate that carbonyl binding occurs only at the first metal binding site. In light of the data presented herein, the substrate binding step in the proposed mechanism of AAP catalyzed peptide hydrolysis can be further refined.


Accepted version. Biochemistry, Vol. 41, No. 11 (2002): 3712-3719. DOI. © 2002 American Chemical Society Publications. Used with permission.

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

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