Potentiometric analysis of UDP-galactopyranose mutase: Stabilization of the flavosemiquinone by substrate

S W B Fullerton, S Daff, D A R Sanders, W J Ingledew, C Whitfield, S K Chapman, J H Naismith

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UDP-galactopyranose mutase is a flavoprotein which catalyses the interconversion of UDP-galactopyranose and UDP-galactofuranose. The enzyme is of interest because it provides the activated biosynthetic precursor of galactofuranose, a key cell wall component of many bacterial pathogens. The reaction mechanism of this mutase is intriguing because the anomeric oxygen forms a glycosidic bond, which means that the reaction must proceed by a novel mechanism involving ring breakage and closure. The structure of the enzyme is known, but the mechanism, although speculated on, is not resolved. The overall reaction is electrically neutral but a crypto-redox reaction is suggested by the requirement that the flavin must adopt the reduced form for activity. Herein we report a thermodynamic analysis of the enzyme's flavin cofactor with the objective of defining the system and setting parameters for possible reaction schemes. The analysis shows that the neutral semiquinone (FADH(.)) is stabilized in the presence of substrate and the fully reduced flavin is the anionic FADH(-) rather than the neutral FADH(2). The anionic FADH(-) has the potential to act as a rapid 1-electron donor/acceptor without being slowed by a coupled proton transfer and is therefore an ideal crypto-redox cofactor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2104-2109
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2003



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