MECHANISM OF OXYGEN ACTIVATION AND HYDROXYLATION BY THE AROMATIC AMINO ACID HYDROXYLASES
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The aromatic amino acid hydroxylases phenylalanine hydroxylase (PheH), tyrosine hydroxylase (TyrH) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TrpH) utilize tetrahydropterin and molecular oxygen to catalyze aromatic hydroxylation. All three enzymes have similar active sites and contain an iron atom facially coordinated by two histidines and a glutamate. The three enzymes also catalyze the benzylic hydroxylation of 4- methylphenylalanine. The intrinsic primary and ?-secondary isotope effects for benzylic hydroxylation and their temperature dependences are nearly identical for the three enzymes, suggesting that the transition states, the tunneling contributions and the reactivities of the iron centers are the same. When molecular oxygen and the tetrahydropterin are replaced by hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), these enzymes catalyze the hydroxylation of phenylalanine to form tyrosine and meta-tyrosine with nearly identical second order rate constants. When the H2O2-dependent reaction is carried out with cyclohexylalanine or 4-methylphenylalanine, the products are 4-HO-cyclohexylalanine and 4-hydroxymethylphenylalanine, respectively. These experiments provide further evidence that the intrinsic reactivities of the iron centers in these enzymes are the same. Wild-type PheH and the uncoupled mutant protein V379D exhibit normal and inverse isotope effects, respectively, with deuterated phenylalanines. When the reaction is monitored by stopped-flow absorbance spectroscopy, three steps are visible. The first step is the reversible binding of O2, the second step is 5-7 fold faster than the turnover number, setting a limiting value for the rate constant for O2 activation, and the last step is non-enzymatic. There is no burst in the pre-steady state formation of tyrosine. These results are consistent with formation of the new C-O bond to form tyrosine as the ratelimiting step of the reaction. The reaction of TrpH with both tryptophan and phenylalanine was studied by stopped-flow absorbance spectroscopy and rapid-quench product analysis. With either amino acid as substrate, four steps can be distinguished. The first step is the reversible binding of O2 to the Fe(II) center; this results in an absorbance signature with a maximum at 420 nm. This O2 complex decays with a rate constant that is 18-22 fold faster than the turnover number with either amino acid, setting a the lower limit for the rate constant for O2 activation. The rate constant for the third step agrees well with the pre-steady state of formation of 5-hydroxytryptophan or tyrosine from rapid-quench product analysis. The rate constant for the fourth step agrees well with the turnover number. Overall, these results show that O2 activation is fast and turnover with each amino acid is limited by hydroxylation and release of a product, with the former step being about 4-fold faster than the latter.
Pavon, Jorge A. (2009). MECHANISM OF OXYGEN ACTIVATION AND HYDROXYLATION BY THE AROMATIC AMINO ACID HYDROXYLASES. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from