Methotrexate, a high-affinity pseudosubstrate of dihydrofolate reductase

J W WilliamsR G Duggleby


Investigations have been made of the slow, tight-binding inhibition by methotrexate of the reaction catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase from Streptococcus faecium A. Quantitative analysis has shown that progress curve data are in accord with a mechanism that involves the rapid formation of an enzyme-NADPH-methotrexate complex that subsequently undergoes a relatively slow, reversible isomerization reaction. From the Ki value for the dissociation of methotrexate from the E-NADPH-methotrexate complex (23 nM) and values of 5.1 and 0.013 min-1 for the forward and reverse rate constants of the isomerization reaction, the overall inhibition constant for methotrexate was calculated to be 58 pM. The formation of an enzyme-methotrexate complex was demonstrated by means of fluorescence quenching, and a value of 0.36 muM was determined for its dissociation constant. The same technique was used to determine dissociation constants for the reaction of methotrexate with the E-NADP and E-NADPH complexes. The results indicate that in the presence of either NADPH or NADP there is enhancement of the binding of methotrexate to the enzyme. It is proposed that methotrexate behaves as a pseudosubstrate for dihydrofolate reductase.


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Related Concepts

Complex (molecular entity)
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