Kinetic analysis of zinc ligand mutants of mammalian protein farnesyltransferase.
Protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) is a zinc metalloenzyme that catalyzes the prenylation of several proteins that are important in cellular regulatory events. A specific residue of FTase, Cys299 in the beta subunit previously identified as essential for zinc binding and catalysis, had been tentatively assigned as one of the zinc ligands. This assignment was subsequently confirmed in the X-ray structure of FTase, which also identified two additional residues, Asp297 and His362 in the beta subunit, as the remaining protein-derived metal ligands. To more fully explore the role of zinc in the catalytic mechanism of FTase, site-directed mutagenesis was performed on these two zinc ligands. Although the abilities of all the mutants to bind the farnesyl diphosphate substrate were similar to that of the wild-type enzyme, all the mutants displayed markedly reduced enzymatic activities and zinc affinities. Steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic analyses of the residual activities indicated that the rate-limiting step changed from product release in the wild-type enzyme to the chemical step of product formation for three of the mutant enzymes. Additionally, single-turnover experiments indicated that the greatest effect of alteration of zinc ligands for all the mutants was on the product formation step, this being reduced 10(3)-10(5)-fold in the mutant forms compared to the wild-type enzyme. These results confirm a critical involvement of the zinc in catalysis by FTase and support a model in which the metal ion is directly involved in the chemical step of the enzymatic reaction.
Fu, HW; Beese, LS; Casey, PJ
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