Mechanistic studies of the agmatine deiminase from Listeria monocytogenes
Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive food-borne pathogen that is capable of living within extreme environments (i.e. low temperatures and pH). This ability to survive in such conditions may arise, at least in part, from agmatine catabolism via the agmatine deiminase system (AgDS). This catabolic pathway utilizes an agmatine deiminase (AgD) to hydrolyse agmatine into N-carbamoylputrescine (NCP), with concomitant release of ammonia, which increases the pH, thus mitigating the ill effects of the acidic environment. Given the potential significance of this pathway for cell survival, we set out to study the catalytic mechanism of the AgD encoded by L. monocytogenes. In the present paper, we describe the catalytic mechanism employed by this enzyme based on pH profiles, pKa measurements of the active site cysteine and solvent isotope effects (SIE). In addition, we report inhibition of this enzyme by two novel AgD inhibitors, i.e. N-(4-aminobutyl)-2-fluoro-ethanimidamide (ABFA) and N-(4-aminobutyl)-2-chloro-ethanimidamide (ABCA). In contrast with other orthologues, L. monocytogenes AgD does not use the reverse protonation or substrate-assisted mechanism, which requires an active site cysteine with a high pKa and has been commonly seen in other members of the guanidinium-modifying enzyme (GME) superfamily. Instead, the L. monocytogenes AgD has a low pKa cysteine in the active site leading to an alternative mechanism of catalysis. This is the first time that this mechanism has been observed in the GME superfamily and is significant because it explains why previously developed mechanism-based inactivators of AgDs are ineffective against this orthologue.
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Soares, & Knuckley, B. (2016). Mechanistic studies of the agmatine deiminase from Listeria monocytogenes. Biochemical Journal, 473(11), 1553–1561. https://doi.org/10.1042/BCJ20160221