Does Positive Charge at the ActiveSites of Phosphatases Cause a Change in Mechanism? The Effect of the Conserved Arginine on theTransition State for Phosphoryl Transfer In the Protein-tyrosine Phosphatase from Yersinia

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Journal of the American Chemical Society

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Positive charge is uniformly present in the active sites of all known phosphatases. The postulate that this charge imparts a change to the mechanism and the transition state for phosphoryl transfer was examined by comparing kinetic isotope effects with the substrate p-nitrophenyl phosphate for reactions of the native protein tyrosine phosphatase from Yersinia with data from mutants in which the conserved arginine residue was mutated to Lys or to Ala. The kcat values for both mutants are about 104 less than that of the native enzyme but are still nearly 105-fold faster than the uncatalyzed rate. Steady-state kinetic data as well as isotope effects showed that both mutations interfere with functioning of general acid catalysis. To examine the effect of positive charge on the transition state free of this additional effect, double mutants were made in which general acid catalysis was removed by mutation of Asp356 to either Asn or Ala in addition to the mutation to Arg. The kcat/Km values of D356A and D356N are 300−360-fold higher than those of R409A/D356A and R409A/D356N suggesting that the side chain of Arg409 contributes 3.4−3.5 kcal/mol to transition-state stabilization. Comparisons of the isotope effects for reactions of the double mutants with data from general acid single mutants show that mutation of Arg to either Lys or to Ala does not significantly affect the transition state for phosphoryl transfer. This indicates that this residue functions to stabilize the transition state but does not alter it from its structure in the uncatalyzed reaction.

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