Kinetic mechanism of human hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase: rapid phosphoribosyl transfer chemistry. Academic Article uri icon


  • Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRTase) is the locus of Lesch-Nyhan syndrome, the activator of the prodrugs 6-mercaptopurine and allopurinol, and a target for antiparasitic chemotherapy. The three-dimensional structure of the recombinant human enzyme in complex with GMP has recently been solved [Eads, J., Scapin, G., Xu, Y., Grubmeyer, C., & Sacchettini, J. C. (1994) Cell 78, 325-334]. Here, ligand binding, pre-steady state kinetics, isotope trapping, and isotope exchange experiments are presented which detail the sequential kinetic mechanism of the enzyme. In the forward reaction, in which a base (hypoxanthine or guanine) reacts with PRPP to form nucleoside monophosphate and PPi, binding of PRPP precedes that of the base, and in the reverse direction, IMP binds first. Compared to k(cat), phosphoribosyl group transfer is rapid in both the forward (131 vs 6.0 s(-1)) and reverse (9 vs 0.17 s(-1)) directions. In the forward direction, product pyrophosphate dissociates rapidly (> 12 s(-1)) followed by release of IMP (6.0 s(-1)). In the reverse direction, Hx dissociates rapidly (9.5 s(-1)) and PRPP dissociates slowly (0.24 s(-1)). The more rapid rate of utilization of guanine than hypoxanthine in the forward reaction is the result of the faster release of product GMP rather than the result of differences in the rate of the chemical step. The kinetic mechanism, with rapid chemistry and slow product dissociation, accounts for the previously observed ability of the alternative product guanine to stimulate, rather than inhibit, the pyrophosphorolysis of IMP. The overall equilibrium for the hypoxanthine phosphoribosyl transfer reaction lies far toward nucleotide product (Keq approximately 1.6 x 10(5)), at the high end for PRPP-linked nucleotide formation. The three-dimensional structure of the HGPRTase x IMP complex has been solved to 2.4 A resolution and is isomorphous with the GMP complex. The results of the ligand binding and kinetic studies are discussed in light of the structural data.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

author list (cited authors)

  • Xu, Y., Eads, J., Sacchettini, J. C., & Grubmeyer, C.

citation count

  • 104

complete list of authors

  • Xu, Y||Eads, J||Sacchettini, JC||Grubmeyer, C

publication date

  • March 1997