A kinetic isotope effect study and transition state analysis of the S-adenosylmethionine synthetase reaction.

G. D. Markham, D. W. Parkin, F. Mentch, V. L. Schramm

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The biosynthesis of S-adenosylmethionine occurs in a unique enzymatic reaction in which the synthesis of the sulfonium center results from displacement of the entire polyphosphate chain from MgATP. The mechanism of S-adenosylmethionine synthetase (ATP:L-methionine s-adenosyltransferase) from Escherichia coli has been characterized by kinetic isotope effect and substrate trapping measurements. Replacement of 12C by 14C at the 5' carbon of ATP yields a primary Vmax/Km isotope effect (12C/14C) of 1.128 +/- 0.003 in the absence of added monovalent cation activator (K+). At saturating K+ concentrations (10 mM) the primary isotope effect diminishes slightly to 1.108 +/- 0.003, indicating that the step in the mechanism involving bond breaking at the 5' carbon of MgATP has a small commitment to catalysis at conditions near Vmax. No alpha-secondary 3H isotope effect from [5'-3H]ATP was detected, (1H/3H) = 1.000 +/- 0.002, even in the absence of KCl. There was no significant primary sulfur isotope effect from [35S]methionine at KCl concentrations from 0 to 10 mM. Substitution of the methyl group of methionine with tritium yielded a beta-secondary isotope effect (CH3/C3H3) = 1.009 +/- 0.008 independent of KCl concentration. The reaction of selenomethionine and [5'-14C]ATP gave a primary isotope effect of 1.097 +/- 0.006, independent of KCl concentration. Substrate trapping experiments demonstrated that the step in the mechanism involving bond making to sulfur of methionine does not have a significant commitment to catalysis at 0.25 mM KCl, therefore intrinsic isotope effects were observed. Substrate trapping experiments indicated that the step involving bond breaking at carbon 5' of MgATP has a 10% commitment to catalysis at 0.25 mM KCl. The isotope effects are interpreted in terms of an Sn2-like transition state structure in which bonding of the C5' is symmetric with respect to the departing tripolyphosphate group and the incoming sulfur of methionine. With selenomethionine as substrate an earlier transition state is implicated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5609-5615
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Apr 25 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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