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Catalytic Mechanism of Cdc25

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journal contribution
posted on 12.11.2002, 00:00 by Johannes Rudolph
Cdc25 is a dual-specificity phosphatase that catalyzes the activation of the cyclin-dependent kinases, thus causing initiation and progression of successive phases of the cell cycle. Although it is not significantly homologous in sequence or structure to other dual-specificity phosphatases, Cdc25 belongs to the class of well-studied cysteine phosphatases as it contains their active site signature motif. Like other dual-specificity phosphatases, Cdc25 contains an active site cysteine whose pKa of 5.9 can be measured in pH-dependent kinetics using both small molecule and protein substrates such as Cdk2-pTpY/CycA. We have previously shown that the catalytic acid expected in phosphatases of this family and apparent in kinetics with the natural protein substrate does not appear to lie within the known structure of Cdc25 [Chen, W., et al. (2000) Biochemistry 39, 10781]. Here we provide experimental evidence for a novel mechanism wherein Cdc25 uses as its substrate a monoprotonated phosphate in contrast to the more typical bisanionic phosphate. Our pH-dependent studies, including one-turnover kinetics, solvent kinetic isotope effects, equilibrium perturbation, substrate depletion, and viscosity measurements, show that the monoprotonated phosphate of the protein substrate Cdk2-pTpY/CycA provides the critical proton to the leaving group. Additionally, we provide evidence that Glu474 on the Cdc25 enzyme serves an important role as a base in the transfer of the proton from the phosphate to the leaving group. Because of its greater intrinsic reactivity, the use of a monoprotonated phosphate as a phosphatase substrate is a chemically attractive solution and suggests the possibility of designing inhibitors specific for the Cdc25 dual-specificity phosphatase, an important anticancer target.