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The Mechanism of Citryl-Coenzyme A Formation Catalyzed by Citrate Synthase

Abstract : The enzyme citrate synthase is used by all living cells to catalyze the first step of the citric acid cycle. In this work, we have investigated the enolization and condensation steps catalyzed by citrate synthase, using ab initio (B3LYP/def2-TZVP and MP2/aug-cc-pVDZ) quantum chemical/molecular mechanical hybrid potentials in conjunction with reaction-path-location algorithms and molecular dynamics free energy simulations. The results of the latter indicate that the catalytic His238 residue is in its neutral form, and also argue strongly for the presence of a water molecule in the enzyme's catalytic center. Such a water is observed in some, but not all, of the experimentally resolved structures of the protein. The mechanism itself starts with an enolization that proceeds via an enolate intermediate rather than the enol form, which is much more unstable. This is in agreement with the results of other workers. For the condensation step, we investigated two mechanisms in which there is a direct nucleophilic attack of the enolate intermediate on the oxaloacetate carbonyl carbon, and found the one in which there is no proton transfer from the neighboring arginine to be preferred. Although this residue, Arg329, is not implicated directly in the reaction, it helps to stabilize the negative citryl-CoA formed during the condensation step.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 30, 2014 - 2:46:04 PM
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Alexey Aleksandrov, Elena Zvereva, Martin J Field. The Mechanism of Citryl-Coenzyme A Formation Catalyzed by Citrate Synthase. Journal of Physical Chemistry B, American Chemical Society, 2014, 118 (17), pp.4505-4513. ⟨10.1021/jp412346g⟩. ⟨hal-00998107⟩



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