Investigation of Acid–Base Catalysis in Halimadienyl Diphosphate Synthase Involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Virulence

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Lemke, Cody
Roach, Kristin
Ortega, Teresa
Tantillo, Dean J.
Siegel, Justin B.
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Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
The devastating human pathogenMycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is able to parasitize phagosomal compartments within alveolar macrophage cells due, in part, to the activity of its cell-surface lipids. Prominent among these is 1-tuberculosinyl-adenosine (1-TbAd), a derivative of the diterpenoid tuberculosinyl (halima-5,13-dienyl) diphosphate produced by the class II diterpene cyclase encoded by Rv3377c, termed here MtHPS. Given the demonstrated ability of 1-TbAd to act as a virulence factor for Mtb and the necessity for Rv3377c for its production, there is significant interest in MtHPS activity. Class II diterpene cyclases catalyze a general acid–base-mediated carbocation cascade reaction initiated by protonation of the terminal alkene in the general diterpenoid precursor (E,E,E)-geranylgeranyl diphosphate and terminated by deprotonation of the final cyclized (and sometimes also rearranged) intermediate. Here, structure-guided mutagenesis was applied to characterize the various residues contributing to activation of the enzymatic acid, as well as identify the enzymatic base in MtHPS. Particularly given the ability of conservative substitution for the enzymatic base (Y479F) to generate an alternative product (labda-7,13-dienyl diphosphate) via deprotonation of an earlier unrearranged intermediate, further mutational analysis was carried out to introduce potential alternative catalytic bases. The results were combined with mechanistic molecular modeling to elucidate how these mutations affect the catalytic activity of this important enzyme. This not only provided detailed structure–function insight into MtHPS but also further emphasized the inert nature of the active site of MtHPS and class II diterpene cyclases more generally.
This article is published as Lemke, Cody, Kristin Roach, Teresa Ortega, Dean J. Tantillo, Justin B. Siegel, and Reuben J. Peters. "Investigation of Acid–Base Catalysis in Halimadienyl Diphosphate Synthase Involved in Mycobacterium tuberculosis Virulence." ACS Bio & Med Chem Au (2022). doi: Posted with permission. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License.