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7 p.

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American Chemical Society

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doi: 10.1021/bi991090r


Seven aliphatic and two aromatic alcohols were tested as reporters of the substrate selectivity of the aminopeptidase from Aeromonas proteolytica (AAP). This series of alcohols was chosen to systematically probe the effect of carbon chain length, steric bulk, and inhibitor shape on the inhibition of AAP. Initially, however, the question of whether AAP is denatured in the presence of aliphatic alcohols was addressed. On the basis of circular dichroism (CD), electronic absorption, and fluorescence spectra, the secondary structure of AAP, with and without added aliphatic alcohols, was unchanged. These data clearly indicate that AAP is not denatured in aliphatic alcohols, even up to concentrations of 20% (v/v). All of the alcohols studied were competitive inhibitors of AAP with Ki values between 860 and 0.98 mM. The clear trend in the data was that as the carbon chain length increases from one to four, the Ki values increase. Branching of the carbon chains also increases the Ki values, but large bulky groups, such as that found in tert-butyl alcohol, do not inhibit AAP as well as leucine analogues, such as 3-methyl-1-butanol. The competitive nature of the inhibition indicates that the substrate and each alcohol studied are mutually exclusive due to binding at the same site on the enzyme. On the basis of EPR and electronic absorption data for Co(II)-substituted AAP, none of the alcohols studied binds to the dinuclear metallo-active site of AAP. Thus, reaction of the inhibitory alcohols with the catalytic metal ions cannot constitute the mechanism of inhibition. Combination of these data suggests that each of these inhibitors bind only to the hydrophobic pocket of AAP and, consequently, block the binding of substrate. Thus, the first step in peptide hydrolysis is the recognition of the N-terminal amino acid side chain by the hydrophobic pocket adjacent to the dinuclear active site of AAP.


Accepted version. Biochemistry, Vol. 38, No. 35 (August 1999): 11433-11439. DOI. © 1999 American Chemical Society Publications. Used with permission.

Brian Bennett and Richard Holz were affiliated with Utah State University at the time of publication.

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