Kinetic and structural characterization of urease active site variants.

Article Details


Pearson MA, Park IS, Schaller RA, Michel LO, Karplus PA, Hausinger RP

Kinetic and structural characterization of urease active site variants.

Biochemistry. 2000 Jul 25;39(29):8575-84.

PubMed ID
10913264 [ View in PubMed

Klebsiella aerogenes urease uses a dinuclear nickel active site to catalyze urea hydrolysis at >10(14)-fold the spontaneous rate. To better define the enzyme mechanism, we examined the kinetics and structures for a suite of site-directed variants involving four residues at the active site: His320, His219, Asp221, and Arg336. Compared to wild-type urease, the H320A, H320N, and H320Q variants exhibit similar approximately 10(-)(5)-fold deficiencies in rates, modest K(m) changes, and disorders in the peptide flap covering their active sites. The pH profiles for these mutant enzymes are anomalous with optima near 6 and shoulders that extend to pH 9. H219A urease exhibits 10(3)-fold increased K(m) over that of native enzyme, whereas the increase is less marked ( approximately 10(2)-fold) in the H219N and H219Q variants that retain hydrogen bonding capability. Structures for these variants show clearly resolved active site water molecules covered by well-ordered peptide flaps. Whereas the D221N variant is only moderately affected compared to wild-type enzyme, D221A urease possesses low activity ( approximately 10(-)(3) that of native enzyme), a small increase in K(m), and a pH 5 optimum. The crystal structure for D221A urease is reminiscent of the His320 variants. The R336Q enzyme has a approximately 10(-)(4)-fold decreased catalytic rate with near-normal pH dependence and an unaffected K(m). Phenylglyoxal inactivates the R336Q variant at over half the rate observed for native enzyme, demonstrating that modification of non-active-site arginines can eliminate activity, perhaps by affecting the peptide flap. Our data favor a mechanism in which His219 helps to polarize the substrate carbonyl group, a metal-bound terminal hydroxide or bridging oxo-dianion attacks urea to form a tetrahedral intermediate, and protonation occurs via the general acid His320 with Asp221 and Arg336 orienting and influencing the acidity of this residue. Furthermore, we conclude that the simple bell-shaped pH dependence of k(cat) and k(cat)/K(m) for the native enzyme masks a more complex underlying pH dependence involving at least four pK(a)s.

DrugBank Data that Cites this Article

NameUniProt ID
Urease subunit alphaP18314Details