ATP sulfurylase, from E. coli K-12, is a GTPase·target complex that conformationally couples the free energies of GTP hydrolysis and activated sulfate (adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate, or APS) synthesis. Energy coupling is achieved by an allosterically driven isomerization that switches on and off chemistry at specific points in the catalytic cycle. This coupling mechanism is derived from the results of model studies using analogue complexes that mimic different stages of the native catalytic cycle. The current investigation extends the analogue studies to the native catalytic cycle. Isomerization is monitored using the fluorescent, guanine nucleotide analogues mGMPPNP (3'-O-(N-methylanthraniloyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine 5'-[β,γ- imido]triphosphate) and mGTP [3'-O-(N-methylanthraniloyl)-2'-deoxyguanosine 5'-triphosphate]. The isomerization is shown to be initiated by an allosteric interaction that requires the simultaneous occupancy of all three substrate- binding sites. Stopped-flow fluorescence and single-turnover studies were used to define and quantitate the isomerization mechanism, and to show that the isomerization precedes and rate-limits both GTP hydrolysis and APS synthesis. These findings are incorporated into a model of the energy- coupling mechanism.
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