May 20, 1986

A probe of the active site acidity of carboxypeptidase A

W L Mock, J T Tsay


The substrate analogue 2-(1-carboxy-2-phenylethyl)-4-phenylazophenol is a potent competitive inhibitor of carboxypeptidase A. Upon ligation to the active site, the azophenol moiety undergoes a shift of pKa from a value of 8.76 to a value of 4.9; this provides an index of the Lewis acidity of the active site zinc ion. Examination of the pH dependence of Ki for the inhibitor shows maximum effectiveness in neutral solution (limiting Ki = 7.6 X 10(-7) M), with an increase in Ki in acid (pK1 = 6.16) and in alkaline solution (pK2 = 9.71, pK3 = 8.76). It is concluded that a proton-accepting enzymic functional group with the lower pKa (6.2) controls inhibitor binding, that ionization of this group is also manifested in the hydrolysis of peptide substrates (kcat/Km), and that the identity of this group is the water molecule that binds to the active site metal ion in the uncomplexed enzyme (H2OZn2+L3). Reverse protonation state inhibition is demonstrated, and conventional concepts regarding the mechanism of peptide hydrolysis by the enzyme are brought into question.

  • References19
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Mentioned in this Paper

In Vivo NMR Spectroscopy
Carboxypeptidase A5
Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
Azo Compounds
2-(1-carboxy-2-phenylethyl)-4-phenylazophenol, (L)-isomer

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