Mechanistic studies on thiaminase I. Overexpression and identification of the active site nucleophile.
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Thiaminase I (EC 126.96.36.199) catalyzes the replacement of the thiazole moiety of thiamin with a wide variety of nucleophiles. Here we report the sequencing of a thiaminase I clone from Bacillus thiaminolyticus, the overexpression of the cloned gene in Escherichia coli, and the purification and characterization of the enzyme. Recombinant thiaminase I functions as a monomer with a Km for thiamin of 3.7 +/- 0.6 microM and a kcat of 34 s-1. Electrospray ionization Fourier-transform mass spectrometry identified a single sequencing error and demonstrated heterogeneity, finding molecular weights of 42,127, 42,198, and 42,255 due to added Ala and Gly-Ala at the amino terminus. Similar analysis of the 4-amino-2-methyl-6-chloropyrimidine inactivated enzyme indicated that the active site nucleophile involved in catalysis of the substitution reaction is located between Pro79 and Thr177. Subsequent cysteine-specific labeling and site-directed mutagenesis identified Cys113 as the active site nucleophile.