Mechanistic studies on pyridoxal phosphate synthase: the reaction pathway leading to a chromophoric intermediate. Academic Article uri icon


  • Two routes for the de novo biosynthesis of pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) have been discovered and reconstituted in vitro. The most common pathway that organisms use is dependent upon the activity of just two enzymes, known as Pdx1 (YaaD) and Pdx2 (YaaE) in bacteria. Pdx2 has been shown to have glutaminase activity and most likely channels ammonia to the active site of the PLP synthase subunit, Pdx1, where ribose-5-phosphate (R5P), glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate (G3P), and ammonia are condensed in a complex series of reactions. In this report we investigated the early steps in the mechanism of PLP formation. Under pre-steady-state conditions, a chromophoric intermediate (I320) is observed that accumulates upon addition of only two of the substrates, R5P and glutamine. The intermediate is covalently bound to the protein. We synthesized C5 monodeuterio (pro-R, pro-S) and dideuterio R5P and showed that there is a primary kinetic isotope effect on the formation of this intermediate using the pro-R but not the pro-S labeled isomer. Furthermore, it was shown that the phosphate unit of R5P is eliminated rather than hydrolyzed in route to intermediate formation and also that there is an observed C5-deuterium kinetic isotope effect on this elimination step. Interestingly, it was observed that the formation of the intermediate could be triggered in the absence of Pdx2 by the addition of high concentrations of NH4Cl to a preincubated solution of Pdx1 and R5P. The formation of I320 was also monitored using high-resolution electrospray ionization Fourier transform mass spectrometry and revealed a species of mass 34,304 Da (Pdx1 + 95 Da). These results allow us to narrow the mechanistic possibilities for the complex series of reactions involved in PLP formation.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hanes, J. W., Burns, K. E., Hilmey, D. G., Chatterjee, A., Dorrestein, P. C., & Begley, T. P.

citation count

  • 27

complete list of authors

  • Hanes, Jeremiah W||Burns, Kristin E||Hilmey, David G||Chatterjee, Abhishek||Dorrestein, Pieter C||Begley, Tadhg P

publication date

  • March 2008