Lid L11 of the glutamine amidotransferase domain of CTP synthase mediates allosteric GTP activation of glutaminase activity

Martin Willemoës, Anne Mølgaard, Eva Johansson, Jan Martinussen

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    GTP is an allosteric activator of CTP synthase and acts to increase the k(cat) for the glutamine-dependent CTP synthesis reaction. GTP is suggested, in part, to optimally orient the oxy-anion hole for hydrolysis of glutamine that takes place in the glutamine amidotransferase class I (GATase) domain of CTP synthase. In the GATase domain of the recently published structures of the Escherichia coli and Thermus thermophilus CTP synthases a loop region immediately proceeding amino acid residues forming the oxy-anion hole and named lid L11 is shown for the latter enzyme to be flexible and change position depending on the presence or absence of glutamine in the glutamine binding site. Displacement or rearrangement of this loop may provide a means for the suggested role of allosteric activation by GTP to optimize the oxy-anion hole for glutamine hydrolysis. Arg359, Gly360 and Glu362 of the Lactococcus lactis enzyme are highly conserved residues in lid L11 and we have analyzed their possible role in GTP activation. Characterization of the mutant enzymes R359M, R359P, G360A and G360P indicated that both Arg359 and Gly360 are involved in the allosteric response to GTP binding whereas the E362Q enzyme behaved like wild-type enzyme. Apart from the G360A enzyme, the results from kinetic analysis of the enzymes altered at position 359 and 360 showed a 10- to 50-fold decrease in GTP activation of glutamine dependent CTP synthesis and concomitant four- to 10-fold increases in K(A) for GTP. The R359M, R359P and G360P also showed no GTP activation of the uncoupled glutaminase reaction whereas the G360A enzyme was about twofold more active than wild-type enzyme. The elevated K(A) for GTP and reduced GTP activation of CTP synthesis of the mutant enzymes are in agreement with a predicted interaction of bound GTP with lid L11 and indicate that the GTP activation of glutamine dependent CTP synthesis may be explained by structural rearrangements around the oxy-anion hole of the GATase domain
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFEBS Journal
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)856-864
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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