Cloning, expression, purification, and characterization of biosynthetic threonine deaminase from Escherichia coli.
Feedback inhibition of the regulatory enzyme threonine deaminase by isoleucine provides an important level of enzymic control over branched chain amino acid biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Cloning ilvA, the structural gene for threonine deaminase, under control of the trc promoter results in expression of active enzyme upon induction by isopropyl 1-thio-beta-D-galactoside to levels of approximately 20% of the soluble protein in cell extracts. High level expression of threonine deaminase has facilitated the development of a rapid and efficient protocol for the purification of gram quantities of enzyme with a specific activity 3-fold greater than previous preparations. The catalytic activity of threonine deaminase is absolutely dependent on the presence of pyridoxal phosphate, and the tetrameric molecule is isolated containing 1 mol of cofactor/56,000-Da chain. Wild-type threonine deaminase demonstrates a sigmoidal dependence of initial velocity on threonine concentration in the absence of isoleucine, consistent with a substrate-promoted conversion of the enzyme from a low activity to a high activity conformation. The enzymic dehydration of threonine to alpha-ketobutyrate measured by steady-state kinetics, performed at 20 degrees C in 0.05 M potassium phosphate, pH 7.5, is described by a Hill coefficient, nH, of 2.3 and a K0.5 of 8.0 mM. The negative allosteric effector L-isoleucine strongly inhibits the enzyme, yielding a value for nH of 3.9 and K0.5 of 74 mM whereas enzyme activity is greatly increased by L-valine, which yields nearly hyperbolic kinetics characterized by a value for nH of 1.0 and a K0.5 of 5.7 mM. Thus, these effectors promote dramatic and opposing effects on the transition from the low activity to the high activity conformation of the tetrameric enzyme.
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