The reductive half-reaction of xanthine dehydrogenase from Rhodobacter capsulatus. The role of Glu 232 in catalysis [Enzymology]

September 25th, 2014 by Hall, J., Reschke, S., Cao, H., Leimkuhler, S., Hille, R.

The kinetic properties of an E232Q variant of the xanthine dehydrogenase from Rhodobacter capsulatus have been examined to ascertain whether Glu 232 in wild-type enzyme is protonated or unprotonated in the course of catalysis at neutral pH. We find that kred, the limiting rate constant for reduction at high [xanthine], is significantly compromised in the variant, a result that is inconsistent with Glu 232 being neutral in the active site of the wild-type enzyme. A comparison of the pH dependence of both kred and kred/Kd from reductive-half reaction experiments between wild-type and enzyme and the E232Q variant suggests that the ionized Glu232 of wild-type enzyme plays an important role in catalysis by discriminating against the monoanionic form of substrate, effectively increasing the pKa of substrate by two pH units and ensuring that at physiological pH the neutral form of substrate predominates in the Michaelis complex. A kinetic isotope study of the wild-type R. capsulatus enzyme indicates that, as previously determined for the bovine and chicken enzymes, product release is principally rate-limiting in catalysis. The disparity in rate constants for the chemical step of the reaction and product release, however, is not as great in the bacterial enzyme as compared to the vertebrate forms. The results indicate that the bacterial and bovine enzymes catalyze the chemical step of the reaction to the same degree, and that the faster turnover observed with the bacterial enzyme is due to a faster rate constant for product release than is seen with the vertebrate enzyme.