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Mechanism of dimethylallyltryptophan synthase: Evidence for a dimethylallyl cation intermediate in an aromatic prenyltransferase reaction

Luk, Louis Yu Pan and Tanner, Martin E. 2009. Mechanism of dimethylallyltryptophan synthase: Evidence for a dimethylallyl cation intermediate in an aromatic prenyltransferase reaction. Journal of the American Chemical Society 131 (39) , pp. 13932-13933. 10.1021/ja906485u

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Abstract

Dimethylallyltryptophan synthase is an aromatic prenyltransferase that catalyzes an electrophilic aromatic substitution reaction between dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP) and l-tryptophan. The synthase is found in a variety of fungi, where it catalyzes the first committed step in the biosynthesis of the ergot alkaloids. The enzymatic reaction could follow either a dissociative mechanism involving a discrete dimethylallyl cation intermediate or an associative mechanism in which the indole ring directly displaces diphosphate in a single step. In this work, positional isotope exchange (PIX) experiments are presented in support of a dissociative mechanism. When [1-18O]-DMAPP is subjected to the synthase reaction and recovered starting material is analyzed, 15% of the 18O-label is found to have scrambled from a bridging to a nonbridging position on the α-phosphorus. Kinetic isotope effect studies show that steps involved in the formation of the arenium ion intermediate are rate-determining, and therefore the scrambling occurs during the lifetime of the dimethylallyl cation/diphosphate ion pair. Similarly, when the unreactive substrate analogue, 6-fluorotryptophan, was employed, complete scrambling of the 18O-label in DMAPP was observed. To our knowledge, this is the first observation of PIX in any prenyltransferase reaction, and it provides strong evidence supporting the existence of a carbocation intermediate.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Chemistry
Subjects: Q Science > QD Chemistry
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 0002-7863
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:56
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/46577

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