3-Fluoroaspartate and pyruvoyl-dependant aspartate decarboxylase: exploiting the unique characteristics of fluorine to probe reactivity and binding

Chemistry : a European Journal
Jandré de VilliersE Strauss


Fluorine-containing amino acids have been used with great success as mechanism-based inhibitors of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP)-dependent enzymes, and the influence of fluorine on the conformation of molecules has also been extensively studied and practically exploited. In this study, we sought to use these unique characteristics to probe the reactivity and binding of aspartate decarboxylase (ADC) enzymes, which are members of the small class of pyruvoyl-dependant decarboxylases. Since ADC activity has been shown to be essential to the virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, information gained in this manner could be used for the development of inhibitors that selectively target pyruvoyl-dependent enzymes such as ADC, without affecting PLP-dependent enzymes in the host. For this purpose, we synthesized the L-erythro and L-threo isomers of 3-fluoroaspartate and tested their ability to act as substrates and/or inhibitors of the M. tuberculosis and Escherichia coli ADC enzymes. Trapping and MS-based binding analysis was additionally used to confirm that both isomers enter the enzymes' active sites. Our studies show that both isomers undergo single turnover decarboxylation and fluorine elimination reactions to give enamine products t...Continue Reading


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