Study of Allosteric Regulation of Escherichia coli Aspartate Transcarbamoylase
Zheng, Yunan. “Study of Allosteric Regulation of Escherichia coli Aspartate Transcarbamoylase”, Boston College, 2013. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/3683.
For nearly 60 years the ATP activation and the CTP inhibition of Escherichia coli aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) has been the textbook example of allosteric regulation. We present kinetic data and 5 X-ray structures determined in the absence and presence of a Mg2+ concentration within the physiological range. In the presence of 2 mM divalent cations (Mg2+, Ca2+, Zn2+) CTP does not significantly inhibit the enzyme while the allosteric activation by ATP is enhanced. The data suggest that the actual allosteric inhibitor in vivo of ATCase is the combination of CTP, UTP and a M2+ cation and the actual allosteric activator is ATP and M2+ or ATP, GTP and M2+. The structural data reveals that two NTPs can bind to each allosteric site with a Mg2+ ion acting as a bridge between the triphosphates. Thus the regulation of ATCase is far more complex than previously believed and calls many previous studies into question. The X-ray structures reveal the catalytic chains undergo essentially no alternations, however, several regions of the regulatory chains undergo significant structural changes. Most significant is that the N-terminal regions of the regulatory chains exist in different conformations in the allosterically activated and inhibited forms of the enzyme. Here, a new model of allosteric regulation is proposed.