Mechanistic characterization of N-formimino-L-glutamate iminohydrolase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Academic Article uri icon


  • N-Formimino-l-glutamate iminohydrolase (HutF) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa catalyzes the deimination of N-formimino-l-glutamate in the histidine degradation pathway. An amino acid sequence alignment between HutF and members of the amidohydrolase superfamily containing mononuclear metal centers indicated that residues Glu-235, His-269, and Asp-320 are involved in substrate binding and activation of the nucleophilic water molecule. The purified enzyme contained up to one equivalent of zinc. The metal was removed by dialysis against the metal chelator dipicolinate with the complete loss of catalytic activity. Enzymatic activity was restored by incubation of the apoprotein with Zn2+, Cd2+, Ni2+, or Cu2+. The mutation of Glu-235, His-269, or Asp-320 resulted in the diminution of catalytic activity by two to six orders of magnitude. Bell-shaped profiles were observed for kcat and kcat/Km as a function of pH. The pKa of the group that must be unprotonated for catalytic activity was consistent with the ionization of His-269. This residue is proposed to function as a general base in the abstraction of a proton from the metal-bound water molecule. In the proposed catalytic mechanism, the reaction is initiated by the abstraction of a proton from the metal-bound water molecule by the side chain imidazole of His-269 to generate a tetrahedral intermediate of the substrate. The collapse of the tetrahedral intermediate commences with the abstraction of a second proton via the side chain carboxylate of Asp-320. The C-N bond of the substrate is subsequently cleaved with proton transfer from His-269 to form ammonia and the N-formyl product. The postulated role of the invariant Glu-235 is to ion pair with the positively charged formimino group of the substrate.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Mart-Arbona, R., & Raushel, F. M.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Martí-Arbona, Ricardo||Raushel, Frank M

publication date

  • November 2006