Human immunodeficiency virus-1 protease. 2. Use of pH rate studies and solvent kinetic isotope effects to elucidate details of chemical mechanism. Academic Article uri icon


  • The pH dependence of the peptidolytic reaction of recombinant human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease has been examined over a pH range of 3-7 for four oligopeptide substrates and two competitive inhibitors. The pK values obtained from the pKis vs pH profiles for the unprotonated and protonated active-site aspartyl groups, Asp-25 and Asp-25', in the monoprotonated enzyme form were 3.1 and 5.2, respectively. Profiles of log V/K vs pH for all four substrates were "bell-shaped" in which the pK values for the unprotonated and protonated aspartyl residues were 3.4-3.7 and 5.5-6.5, respectively. Profiles of log V vs pH for these substrates were "wave-shaped" in which V was shifted to a constant lower value upon protonation of a residue of pK = 4.2-5.2. These results indicate that substrates bind only to a form of HIV-1 protease in which one of the two catalytic aspartyl residues is protonated. Solvent kinetic isotope effects were measured over a pH (D) range of 3-7 for two oligopeptide substrates, Ac-Arg-Ala-Ser-Gln-Asn-Tyr-Pro-Val-Val-NH2 and Ac-Ser-Gln-Asn-Tyr-Pro-Val-Val-NH2. The pH-independent value for DV/K was 1.0 for both substrates, and DV = 1.5-1.7 and 2.2-3.2 at low and high pH (D), respectively. The attentuation of both V and DV at low pH (D) is consistent with a change in rate-limiting step from a chemical one at high pH (D) to one in which a product release step or an enzyme isomerization step becomes partly rate-limiting at low pH (D). Proton inventory data is in accord with the concerted transfer of two protons in the transition state of a rate-limiting chemical step in which the enzyme-bound amide hydrate adduct collapses to form the carboxylic acid and amine products.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Hyland, L. J., Tomaszek, T. A., & Meek, T. D.

citation count

  • 237

complete list of authors

  • Hyland, LJ||Tomaszek, TA||Meek, TD

publication date

  • August 1991