Molecular mechanics calculations have been employed to obtain models of the complexes between Saccharomyces cerevisiae phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) kinase and the ATP analogs pyridoxal 5'-diphosphoadenosine (PLP-AMP) and pyridoxal 5'-triphosphoadenosine (PLP-ADP), using the crystalline coordinates of the ATP-pyruvate-Mn2+-Mg2+ complex of Escherichia coli PEP carboxykinase [Tari et al. (1997), Nature Struct. Biol. 4, 990-994]. In these models, the preferred conformation of the pyridoxyl moiety of PLP-ADP and PLP-AMP was established through rotational barrier and simulated annealing procedures. Distances from the carbonyl-C of each analog to ε-N of active- site lysyl residues were calculated for the most stable enzyme-analog complex conformation, and it was found that the closest ε-N is that from Lys290, thus predicting Schiff base formation between the corresponding carbonyl and amino groups. This prediction was experimentally verified through chemical modification of S. cerevisiae PEP carboxykinase with PLP-ADP and PLP-AMP. The results here described demonstrate the use of molecular modeling procedures when planning chemical modification of enzyme-active sites.
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