Phosphate activation in the ground state of purine nucleoside phosphorylase

Hua Deng, Andrew S. Murkin, Vern L. Schramm

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13 Scopus citations


Phosphate and ribose 1-phosphate (R1P) bound to human purine nucleoside phosphorylase (PNP) have been studied by FTIR spectroscopy for comparison with phosphate bound with a transition state analogue. Bound phosphate is dianionic but exists in two distinct binding modes with similar binding affinities. The phosphate of bound R1P is also dianionic. Bound R1P slowly hydrolyzes to ribose and phosphate even in the absence of nucleobase. The C-OP bond is cleaved in bound R1P, the same as in the PNP-catalyzed reaction. Free R1P undergoes both C-OP and CO-P solvolysis. A hydrogen bond to one P-..O group is stronger than those to the other two P-..O groups in both the PNP·R1P complex and in one form of the PNP·PO4 complex. The average hydrogen bond strength to the P-..O bonds in the PNP·R1P complex is less than that in water but stronger than that in the PNP·PO4 complex. Hydrolysis of bound R1P may be initiated by distortion of the phosphate moiety in bound R1P. The unfavorable interactions on the phosphate moiety of bound R1P are relieved by dissociation of R1P from PNP or by hydrolysis to ribose and phosphate. The two forms of bound phosphate in the PNP·PO4 complex are interpreted to be phosphate positioned as the product in the nucleoside synthesis direction and as the reactant in the phosphorolysis reaction; their interconversion can occur by the transfer of a proton from one PO bond to another. The electronic structure of phosphate bound with a transition state analogue differs substantially from that in the Michaelis complexes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7765-7771
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number24
StatePublished - Jun 21 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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