Human renal dipeptidase, an enzyme associated with glutathione metabolism and the hydrolysis of β-lactams, is similar in sequence to a cluster of ∼400 microbial proteins currently annotated as nonspecific dipeptidases within the amidohydrolase superfamily. The closest homologue to the human renal dipeptidase from a fully sequenced microbe is Sco3058 from Streptomyces coelicolor. Dipeptide substrates of Sco3058 were identified by screening a comprehensive series of L-Xaa-L-Xaa, L-Xaa-D-Xaa, and D-Xaa-L-Xaa dipeptide libraries. The substrate specificity profile shows that Sco3058 hydrolyzes a broad range of dipeptides with a marked preference for an L-amino acid at the N-terminus and a D-amino acid at the C-terminus. The best substrate identified was L-Arg-D-Asp (kcat/Km = 7.6 x 105 M -1 s-1). The three-dimensional structure of Sco3058 was determined in the absence and presence of the inhibitors citrate and a phosphinate mimic of L-Ala-D-Asp. The enzyme folds as a (β/α)8 barrel, and two zinc ions are bound in the active site. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to probe the importance of specific residues that have direct interactions with the substrate analogues in the active site (Asp-22, His-150, Arg-223, and Asp-320). The solvent viscosity and kinetic effects of D2O indicate that substrate binding is relatively sticky and that proton transfers do not occurr during the rate-limiting step. A bell-shaped pH-rate profile for kcat and kcat/Km indicated that one group needs to be deprotonated and a second group must be protonated for optimal turnover. Computational docking of high-energy intermediate forms of L/D-Ala-L/D-Ala to the three-dimensional structure of Sco3058 identified the structural determinants for the stereochemical preferences for substrate binding and turnover.
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