Immucillin-H binding to purine nucleoside phosphorylase reduces dynamic solvent exchange

Fang Wang, Robert W. Miles, Gregory Kicska, Edward Nieves, Vern L. Schramm, Ruth H. Angeletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The rate and extent of hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange into purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) was monitored by electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) to probe protein conformational and dynamic changes induced by a substrate analogue, products, and a transition state analogue. The genetic deficiency of PNP in humans is associated with severe T-cell immunodeficiency, while B-cell immunity remains functional. Inhibitors of PNP have been proposed for treatment of T-cell leukemia, to suppress the graft-vs.-host response, or to counter type IV autoimmune diseases without destroying humoral immunity. Calf spleen PNP is a homotrimer of polypeptide chains with 284 amino residues, molecular weight 31,541. Immucillin-H inhibits PNP with a K(d) of 23 pM when only one of the three catalytic sites is occupied. Deuterium exchange occurs at 167 slow-exchange sites in 2 h when no catalytic site ligands are present. The substrate analogue and product prevented H/D exchange at 10 of the sites. Immucillin-H protected 32 protons from exchange at full saturation. When one of the three subunits of the homotrimer is filled with immucillin-H, and 27 protons are protected from exchange in all three subunits. Deuterium incorporation in peptides from residues 132-152 decreased in all complexes of PNP. The rate and/or extent of deuterium incorporation in peptides from residues 29-49, 50-70, 81-98, and 112-124 decreased only in the complex with the transition state analogue. The peptide-specific H/D exchange demonstrates that (1) the enzyme is most compact in the complex with immucillin-H, and (2) filling a single catalytic site of the trimer reduces H/D exchange in the same peptides in adjacent subunits. The peptides most highly influenced by the inhibitor surround the catalytic site, providing evidence for reduced protein dynamic motion caused by the transition state analogue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1660-1668
Number of pages9
JournalProtein Science
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2000


  • H/D exchange
  • Immucillin-H
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Negative cooperativity
  • One-third-the-sites reactivity
  • Purine nucleoside phosphorylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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