Research & Teaching Faculty

Mechanistic Analysis of Trehalose Synthase from Mycobacterium smegmatis

TitleMechanistic Analysis of Trehalose Synthase from Mycobacterium smegmatis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsZhang, R, Pan, YT, He, S, Lam, M, Brayer, GD, Elbein, AD, Withers, SG
Date PublishedOCT 14

Trehalose synthase (TreS) catalyzes the reversible interconversion of maltose and trehalose and has been shown recently to function primarily in the mobilization of trehalose as a glycogen precursor. Consequently, the mechanism of this intriguing isomerase is of both academic and potential pharmacological interest. TreS catalyzes the hydrolytic cleavage of alpha-aryl glucosides as well as alpha-glucosyl fluoride, thereby allowing facile, continuous assays. Reaction of TreS with 5-fluoroglycosyl fluorides results in the trapping of a covalent glycosyl-enzyme intermediate consistent with TreS being a member of the retaining glycoside hydrolase family 13 enzyme family, thus likely following a two-step, double displacement mechanism. This trapped intermediate was subjected to protease digestion followed by LC-MS/MS analysis, and Asp(230) was thereby identified as the catalytic nucleophile. The isomerization reaction was shown to be an intramolecular process by demonstration of the inability of TreS to incorporate isotope-labeled exogenous glucose into maltose or trehalose consistent with previous studies on other TreS enzymes. The absence of a secondary deuterium kinetic isotope effect and the general independence of k(cat) upon leaving group ability both point to a rate-determining conformational change, likely the opening and closing of the enzyme active site.