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(1/58) Organization of threonine biosynthesis genes from the obligate methylotroph Methylobacillus flagellatus.

The genes encoding aspartate kinase (ask), homoserine dehydrogenase (hom), homoserine kinase (thrB) and threonine synthase (thrC) from the obligate methylotroph Methylobacillus flagellatus were cloned. In maxicells hom and thrC directed synthesis of 51 and 48 kDa polypeptides, respectively. The hom, thrB and thrC genes and adjacent DNA areas were sequenced. Of the threonine biosynthesis genes, only hom and thrC were tightly linked in the order hom-thrC. The gene for thymidylate synthase (thyA) followed thrC and the gene for aspartate aminotransferase (aspC) preceded hom. All four genes (aspC-hom-thrC-thyA) were transcribed in the same direction. mRNA analysis indicated that hom-thrC are apparently transcribed in one 7.5 kb transcript in M. flagellatus. Promoter analysis showed the presence of a functional promoter between aspC and hom. No functional promoter was found to be associated with the DNA stretch between hom and thrC. The thrB gene encoded an unusual type of homoserine kinase and was not linked to other threonine biosynthesis genes.  (+info)

(2/58) Aspartate kinase 2. A candidate gene of a quantitative trait locus influencing free amino acid content in maize endosperm.

The maize (Zea mays) Oh545o2 inbred accumulates an exceptionally high level of free amino acids, especially lysine (Lys), threonine (Thr), methionine, and iso-leucine. In a cross between Oh545o2 and Oh51Ao2, we identified several quantitative trait loci linked with this phenotype. One of these is on the long arm of chromosome 2 and is linked with loci encoding aspartate (Asp) kinase 2 and Asp kinase (AK)-homoserine dehydrogenase (HSDH) 2. To investigate whether these enzymes can contribute to the high levels of Asp family amino acids, we measured their specific activity and feedback inhibition properties, as well as activities of several other key enzymes involved in Lys metabolism. We did not find a significant difference in total activity of dihydrodipicolinate synthase, HSDH, and Lys ketoglutarate reductase between these inbreds, and the feedback inhibition properties of HSDH and dihyrodipicolinate synthase by Lys and/or Thr were similar. The most significant difference we found between Oh545o2 and Oh51Ao2 is feedback inhibition of AK by Lys but not Thr. AK activity in Oh545o2 is less sensitive to Lys inhibition than that in Oh51Ao2, with a Lys I50 twice that of Oh51Ao2. AK activity in Oh545o2 endosperm is also higher than in Oh51Ao2 at 15 d after pollination, but not 20 d after pollination. The results indicate that the Lys-sensitive Asp kinase 2, rather than the Thr-sensitive AK-HSDH2, is the best candidate gene for the quantitative trait locus affecting free amino acid content in Oh545o2.  (+info)

(3/58) Characterization of yeast homoserine dehydrogenase, an antifungal target: the invariant histidine 309 is important for enzyme integrity.

Fungal homoserine dehydrogenase (HSD) is required for the biosynthesis of threonine, isoleucine and methionine from aspartic acid, and is a target for antifungal agents. HSD from the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae was overproduced in Escherichia coli and 25 mg of soluble dimeric enzyme was purified per liter of cell culture in two steps. HSD efficiently reduces aspartate semialdehyde to homoserine (Hse) using either NADH or NADPH with kcat/Km in the order of 10(6-7) M(-1) x s(-1) at pH 7.5. The rate constant of the reverse direction (Hse oxidation) was also significant at pH 9.0 (kcat/Km approximately 10(4-5) M(-1) x s(-1)) but was minimal at pH 7.5. Chemical modification of HSD with diethyl pyrocarbonate (DEPC) resulted in a loss of activity that could be obviated by the presence of substrates. UV difference spectra revealed an increase in absorbance at 240 nm for DEPC-modified HSD consistent with the modification of two histidines (His) per subunit. Amino acid sequence alignment of HSD illustrated the conservation of two His residues among HSDs. These residues, His79 and His309, were substituted to alanine (Ala) using site directed mutagenesis. HSD H79A had similar steady state kinetics to wild type, while kcat/Km for HSD H309A decreased by almost two orders of magnitude. The recent determination of the X-ray structure of HSD revealed that His309 is located at the dimer interface [B. DeLaBarre, P.R. Thompson, G.D. Wright, A.M. Berghuis, Nat. Struct. Biol. 7 (2000) 238-244]. The His309Ala mutant enzyme was found in very high molecular weight complexes rather than the expected dimer by analytical gel filtration chromatography analysis. Thus the invariant His309 plays a structural rather than catalytic role in these enzymes.  (+info)

(4/58) Homoserine dehydrogenase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae: kinetic mechanism and stereochemistry of hydride transfer.

Homoserine dehydrogenase (HSD), which is required for the synthesis of threonine, isoleucine and methionine in fungi, is a potential target for novel antifungal drugs. In order to design effective inhibitors, the kinetic mechanism of Saccharomyces cerevisiae HSD and the stereochemistry of hydride transfer were examined. Product inhibition experiments revealed that yeast HSD follows an ordered Bi Bi kinetic mechanism, where NAD(P)H must bind the enzyme prior to aspartate semialdehyde (ASA) and homoserine is released first followed by NAD(P)+. H-(1,2,4-triazol-3-yl)-D,L-alanine was an uncompetitive inhibitor of HSD with respect to NADPH (K(ii)=3.04+/-0.18 mM) and a noncompetitive inhibitor with respect to ASA (K(is)=1.64+/-0.36 mM, K(ii)=3.84+/-0.46 mM), in agreement with the proposed substrate order. Both kinetic isotope and viscosity experiments provided evidence for a very rapid catalytic step and suggest nicotinamide release to be primarily rate limiting. Incubation of HSD with stereospecifically deuterated NADP[2H] and subsaturating amounts of aspartate semialdehyde revealed that the pro-S NADPH hydride is transferred to the aldehyde. The pH dependence of steady state kinetic parameters indicate that ionizable groups with basic pKs may be involved in substrate binding, consistent with the observation of Lys223 at the enzyme active site in the recently determined 3D structure [B. DeLaBarre, P.R. Thompson, G.D. Wright, A.M. Berghuis, Nat. Struct. Biol. 7 (2000) 238-244]. These findings provide the requisite foundation for future exploitation of fungal HSD in inhibitor design.  (+info)

(5/58) An integrated study of threonine-pathway enzyme kinetics in Escherichia coli.

We have determined the kinetic parameters of the individual steps of the threonine pathway from aspartate in Escherichia coli under a single set of experimental conditions chosen to be physiologically relevant. Our aim was to summarize the kinetic behaviour of each enzyme in a single tractable equation that takes into account the effect of the products as competitive inhibitors of the substrates in the forward reaction and also, when appropriate (e.g. near-equilibrium reactions), as substrates of the reverse reactions. Co-operative feedback inhibition by threonine and lysine was also included as necessary. We derived the simplest rate equations that describe the salient features of the enzymes in the physiological range of metabolite concentrations in order to incorporate them ultimately into a complete model of the threonine pathway, able to predict quantitatively the behaviour of the pathway under natural or engineered conditions.  (+info)

(6/58) Threonine synthesis from aspartate in Escherichia coli cell-free extracts: pathway dynamics.

We have developed an experimental model of the whole threonine pathway that allows us to study the production of threonine from aspartate under different conditions. The model consisted of a desalted crude extract of Escherichia coli to which we added the substrates and necessary cofactors of the pathway: aspartate, ATP and NADPH. In this experimental model we measured not only the production of threonine, but also the time dependence of all the intermediate metabolites and of the initial substrates, aspartate, ATP and NADPH. A stoichiometric conversion of precursors into threonine was observed. We have derived conditions in which a quasi steady state can be transiently observed and used to simulate physiological conditions of functioning of the pathway in the cell. The dependence of threonine synthesis and of the aspartate and NADPH consumption on the initial aspartate and threonine concentrations exhibits greater sensitivity to the aspartate concentration than to the threonine concentration in these non-steady-state conditions. A response to threonine is only observed in a narrow concentration range from 0.23 to 2 mM.  (+info)

(7/58) Control of the threonine-synthesis pathway in Escherichia coli: a theoretical and experimental approach.

A computer simulation of the threonine-synthesis pathway in Escherichia coli Tir-8 has been developed based on our previous measurements of the kinetics of the pathway enzymes under near-physiological conditions. The model successfully simulates the main features of the time courses of threonine synthesis previously observed in a cell-free extract without alteration of the experimentally determined parameters, although improved quantitative fits can be obtained with small parameter adjustments. At the concentrations of enzymes, precursors and products present in cells, the model predicts a threonine-synthesis flux close to that required to support cell growth. Furthermore, the first two enzymes operate close to equilibrium, providing an example of a near-equilibrium feedback-inhibited enzyme. The predicted flux control coefficients of the pathway enzymes under physiological conditions show that the control of flux is shared between the first three enzymes: aspartate kinase, aspartate semialdehyde dehydrogenase and homoserine dehydrogenase, with no single activity dominating the control. The response of the model to the external metabolites shows that the sharing of control between the three enzymes holds across a wide range of conditions, but that the pathway flux is sensitive to the aspartate concentration. When the model was embedded in a larger model to simulate the variable demands for threonine at different growth rates, it showed the accumulation of free threonine that is typical of the Tir-8 strain at low growth rates. At low growth rates, the control of threonine flux remains largely with the pathway enzymes. As an example of the predictive power of the model, we studied the consequences of over-expressing different enzymes in the pathway.  (+info)

(8/58) Characterization of the hom-thrC-thrB cluster in aminoethoxyvinylglycine-producing Streptomyces sp. NRRL 5331.

Three genes from the aminoethoxyvinylglycine (AVG)-producing Streptomyces sp. NRRL 5331 involved in threonine biosynthesis, hom, thrB and thrC, encoding homoserine dehydrogenase (HDH), homoserine kinase (HK) and threonine synthase (TS), respectively, have been cloned and sequenced. The hom and thrC genes appear to be organized in a bicistronic operon as deduced by disruption experiments. The thrB gene, however, is transcribed as a monocistronic transcript. The encoded proteins are quite similar to the HDH, HK and TS proteins from other bacterial species. The overall organization of these three genes, in the order hom-thrC-thrB, differs from that in other bacteria and is similar to that reported in the Streptomyces coelicolor genome sequence. This is the first time in which the gene cluster for the three last steps of threonine biosynthesis has been characterized from a streptomycete. Disruption of thrC indicated that threonine is not a direct precursor for AVG biosynthesis in Streptomyces sp. NRRL 5331 and suggested that the branching point of the aspartic acid-derived biosynthetic route of this metabolite should lie earlier on the threonine biosynthetic route.  (+info)