Catalytic cycle of the bifunctional enzyme phosphoribosyl-ATP pyrophosphohydrolase/phosphoribosyl-AMP cyclohydrolase

Gemma Fisher, Ennio Pecaver, Benjamin Read, Susannah Leese, Erin Laing, Alison Dickson, Clarissa Melo Czekster, R.G. da Silva*

*Corresponding author for this work

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The bifunctional enzyme phosphoribosyl-ATP pyrophosphohydrolase/phosphoribosyl-AMP cyclohydrolase (HisIE) catalyzes the second and third steps of histidine biosynthesis: pyrophosphohydrolysis of N1-(5-phospho-β-D-ribosyl)-ATP (PRATP) to N1-(5-phospho-β-D-ribosyl)-AMP (PRAMP) and pyrophosphate in the C-terminal HisE-like domain, and cyclohydrolysis of PRAMP to N-(5′-phospho-D-ribosylformimino)-5-amino-1-(5″-phospho-D-ribosyl)-4-imidazolecarboxamide (ProFAR) in the N-terminal HisI-like domain. Here we use UV–VIS spectroscopy and LC–MS to show Acinetobacter baumannii putative HisIE produces ProFAR from PRATP. Employing an assay to detect pyrophosphate and another to detect ProFAR, we established the pyrophosphohydrolase reaction rate is higher than the overall reaction rate. We produced a truncated version of the enzyme-containing only the C-terminal (HisE) domain. This truncated HisIE was catalytically active, which allowed the synthesis of PRAMP, the substrate for the cyclohydrolysis reaction. PRAMP was kinetically competent for HisIE-catalyzed ProFAR production, demonstrating PRAMP can bind the HisI-like domain from bulk water, and suggesting that the cyclohydrolase reaction is rate-limiting for the overall bifunctional enzyme. The overall kcat increased with increasing pH, while the solvent deuterium kinetic isotope effect decreased at more basic pH but was still large at pH 7.5. The lack of solvent viscosity effects on kcat and kcat/KM ruled out diffusional steps limiting the rates of substrate binding and product release. Rapid kinetics with excess PRATP demonstrated a lag time followed by a burst in ProFAR formation. These observations are consistent with a rate-limiting unimolecular step involving a proton transfer following adenine ring opening. We synthesized N1-(5-phospho-β-D-ribosyl)-ADP (PRADP), which could not be processed by HisIE. PRADP inhibited HisIE-catalyzed ProFAR formation from PRATP but not from PRAMP, suggesting that it binds to the phosphohydrolase active site while still permitting unobstructed access of PRAMP to the cyclohydrolase active site. The kinetics data are incompatible with a build-up of PRAMP in bulk solvent, indicating HisIE catalysis involves preferential channeling of PRAMP, albeit not via a protein tunnel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7669-7679
Number of pages11
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number11
Early online date23 May 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2023


  • Phosphoribosyl-ATP pyrophosphohydrolase
  • Phosphoribosyl-AMP cyclohydrolase
  • Acinetobacter baumannii
  • Enzyme kinetics
  • Histidine biosynthesis
  • Kinetic isotope effects
  • Substrate channeling


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