The aminoglycoside 3-N-acetyltransferase AAC(3)-IV from Escherichia coli exhibits a very broad aminoglycoside specificity, causing resistance to a large number of aminoglycosides, including the atypical veterinary antibiotic, apramycin. We report here on the characterization of the substrate specificity and kinetic mechanism of the acetyl transfer reaction catalyzed by AAC(3)-IV. The steady-state kinetic parameters revealed a narrow specificity for the acyl-donor and broad range of activity for aminoglycosides. AAC(3)-IV has the broadest substrate specificity of all AAC(3)'s studied to date. Dead-end inhibition and ITC experiments revealed that AAC(3)-IV follows a sequential, random bi-bi kinetic mechanism. The analysis of the pH dependence of the kinetic parameters revealed acid- and base-assisted catalysis and the existence of three additional ionizable groups involved in substrate binding. The magnitude of the solvent kinetic isotope effects suggests that a chemical step is at least partially rate limiting in the overall reaction.
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