Multiple Reaction Products from the Hydrolysis of Chiral and Prochiral Organophosphate Substrates by the Phosphotriesterase from Sphingobium sp. TCM1

The phosphotriesterase from Sphingobium sp. TCM1 (Sb-PTE) is notable for its ability to hydrolyze organophosphates that are not substrates for other enzymes. In an attempt to determine the catalytic properties of Sb-PTE for hydrolysis of chiral phosphotriesters, we discovered that multiple phosphodiester products are formed from a single substrate. For example, Sb-PTE catalyzes the hydrolysis of the RP-enantiomer of methyl cyclohexyl p-nitrophenyl phosphate with exclusive formation of methyl cyclohexyl phosphate. However, the enzyme catalyzes hydrolysis of the SP-enantiomer of this substrate to an equal mixture of methyl cyclohexyl phosphate and cyclohexyl p-nitrophenyl phosphate products. The ability of this enzyme to catalyze the hydrolysis of a methyl ester at the same rate as the hydrolysis of a p-nitrophenyl ester contained within the same substrate is remarkable. The overall scope of the stereoselective properties of this enzyme is addressed with a library of chiral and prochiral substrates.