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Divergent Mechanisms of Suicide Inactivation for Ethanolamine Ammonia-Lyase

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journal contribution
posted on 22.06.2005, 00:00 by Gregory M. Sandala, David M. Smith, Leo Radom
Ab initio molecular orbital calculations have been used to study the mechanism of suicide inactivation of ethanolamine ammonia-lyase induced by three different substrate analogues. Analysis of the normal catalytic mechanism with 2-aminoethanol (ethanolamine) as substrate predicts that both the hydrogen-abstraction and hydrogen-reabstraction steps involving the B12-cofactor are likely to be exothermic. On the other hand, the proposed inactivation mechanism for the first substrate analogue, glycolaldehyde, leads to a highly stabilized radical that results in a very endothermic (by ca. 90 kJ mol-1) hydrogen-reabstraction step, which is thought to halt the normal function of the enzyme. Curiously, the energy requirements for a catalytically imposed mechanism in the case of the second substrate analogue, 2-hydroxyethylhydrazine (HEH), parallel those for the catalytic substrate, despite the fact that HEH is found to inactivate EAL experimentally. However, further analysis reveals the presence of a lower energy pathway for HEH that leads to the formation of the highly stabilized hydrazinium radical cation. In a manner similar to when glycolaldehyde is the substrate analogue, this results in an endothermicity for the hydrogen-reabstraction step that is prohibitively large. In contrast to these related inactivation mechanisms, the third substrate analogue, 2-aminoacetaldehyde, apparently accomplishes the inactivation of EAL in an entirely different manner. A pathway for the experimentally observed formation of acetic acid and ammonium cation has been identified and appears catalytic in the sense that 5‘-deoxyadenosyl radical is regenerated. However, mechanisms to account for the subsequent formation of 4‘,5‘-anhydroadenosine and degradation of the corrinoid ring of the cofactor have not been elucidated.