Woodward's reagent K inactivation of Escherichia coli L-threonine dehydrogenase: increased absorbance at 340-350 nm is due to modification of cysteine and histidine residues, not aspartate or glutamate carboxyl groups

Protein Science : a Publication of the Protein Society
A R Johnson, E E Dekker


L-Threonine dehydrogenase (TDH) from Escherichia coli is rapidly inactivated and develops a new absorbance peak at 347 nm when incubated with N-ethyl-5-phenylisoxazolium-3'-sulfonate (Woodward's reagent K, WRK). The cofactors, NAD+ or NADH (1.5 mM), provide complete protection against inactivation; L-threonine (60 mM) is approximately 50% as effective. Tryptic digestion of WRK-modified TDH followed by HPLC fractionation (pH 6.2) yields four 340-nm-absorbing peptides, two of which are absent from enzyme incubated with WRK and NAD+. Peptide I has the sequence TAICGTDVH (TDH residues 35-43), whereas peptide II is TAICGTDVHIY (residues 35-45). Peptides not protected are TMLDTMNHGGR (III, residues 248-258) and NCRGGRTHLCR (IV, residues 98-108). Absorbance spectra of these WRK-peptides were compared with WRK adducts of imidazole, 2-hydroxyethanethiolate, and acetate. Peptides III and IV have pH-dependent lambda max values (340-350 nm), consistent with histidine modification. Peptide I has pH-independent lambda max (350 nm) indicating that a thiol is modified. WRK, therefore, does not react specifically with carboxyl groups in this enzyme, but rather modifies Cys-38 in the active site of TDH; modification of His-105 and His-255 does n...Continue Reading


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