Theoretical Study of the Reaction Mechanism of Streptomyces coelicolor Type II Dehydroquinase

LM Blomberg, M Mangold, John Blayney Owen Mitchell, J Blumberger

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The reaction mechanism of a type II dehydroquinase (DHQase) from Streptomyces coelicolor was investigated using molecular dynamics simulation and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. DHQase catalyzes the elimination of a water molecule from dehydroquinate (DHQ), a key step in the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids in bacteria, fungi, and plants. In the DFT calculations, 10 models, containing up to 230 atoms, were used to investigate different proposals for the reaction mechanism, suggested on the basis of crystal structures and kinetic data. Probing the flexibility of the active site, molecular dynamics simulation reveals that deprotonated Tyr28 can act as the base that catalyzes the first reaction step, the proton abstraction of the pro-S proton at C2 of DHQ, and formation of the enolate intermediate. The computed barrier for the first transition state (TS1), 13−15 kcal/mol, is only slightly affected by the active site model used and is in good agreement with the corresponding experimental barrier of 13.4 kcal/mol for the rate-determining step. The previously proposed enol form of the intermediate is found to be significantly higher in energy than the enolate form and is thus thermodynamically not competitive. In the second and final reaction step, protonation of the hydroxyl group at C1 by His106 followed by water elimination, there is a substantial buildup of dipole moment due to the net transfer of a proton from His106 to Tyr28. A barrier for the second transition state (TS2) that fits well with the corresponding experimental barrier could only be found if the buildup of dipole moment is at least partly compensated during the second reaction step. We speculate that this could be facilitated by regeneration of the Tyr28 anion or by proton transfer to the vicinity of His106 before TS2 is reached. A revised mechanism for type II DHQase is discussed in light of the results of the present calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1294
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2009




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