The Escherichia coli 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDHc) comprises multiple copies of three enzymes—E1o, E2o, and E3—and transthioesterification takes place within the catalytic domain of E2o. The succinyl group from the thiol ester of S8-succinyldihydrolipoyl-E2o is transferred to the thiol group of coenzyme A (CoA), forming the all-important succinyl-CoA. Here, we report mechanistic studies of enzymatic transthioesterification on OGDHc. Evidence is provided for the importance of His375 and Asp374 in E2o for the succinyl transfer reaction. The magnitude of the rate acceleration provided by these residues (54-fold from each with alanine substitution) suggests a role in stabilization of the symmetrical tetrahedral oxyanionic intermediate by formation of two hydrogen bonds, rather than in acid–base catalysis. Further evidence ruling out a role in acid–base catalysis is provided by site-saturation mutagenesis studies at His375 (His375Trp substitution with little penalty) and substitutions to other potential hydrogen bond participants at Asp374. Taking into account that the rate constant for reductive succinylation of the E2o lipoyl domain (LDo) by E1o and 2-oxoglutarate (99 s−1) was approximately twofold larger than the rate constant for kcat of 48 s−1 for the overall reaction (NADH production), it could be concluded that succinyl transfer to CoA and release of succinyl-CoA, rather than reductive succinylation, is the rate-limiting step. The results suggest a revised mechanism of catalysis for acyl transfer in the superfamily of 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complexes, thus provide fundamental information regarding acyl-CoA formation, so important for several biological processes including post-translational succinylation of protein lysines. Enzymes: 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (EC 126.96.36.199); dihydrolipoamide succinyltransferase (EC 188.8.131.52); dihydrolipoamide dehydrogenase (EC 184.108.40.206); pyruvate dehydrogenase (EC 220.127.116.11); dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase (EC 18.104.22.168).
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
- 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complexes
- dihydrolipoamide acyltransferase E2 component
- oxyanionic intermediate stabilization
- saturation mutagenesis