Conversion of an amide to a high-energy thioester by Staphylococcus aureus sortase A is powered by variable binding affinity for calcium

Xiao Wang, Jia Liang Chen, Gottfried Otting, Xun Cheng Su*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Thioesters are key intermediates in biology, which often are generated from less energy-rich amide precursors. Staphylococcus aureus sortase A (SrtA) is an enzyme widely used in biotechnology for peptide ligation. The reaction proceeds in two steps, where the first step involves the conversion of an amide bond of substrate peptide into a thioester intermediate with the enzyme. Here we show that the free energy required for this step is matched by an about 30-fold increase in binding affinity of a calcium ion at the calcium binding site of SrtA, which is remote from the thioester bond. The magnitude of this allosteric effect highlights the importance of calcium for the activity of SrtA. The increase in calcium binding affinity upon binding of substrate not only achieves catalytic formation of an energy-rich intermediate in the absence of nucleotide triphosphates or any tight non-covalent enzyme-substrate interactions, but is also accompanied by accumulation of the labile thioester intermediate, which makes it directly observable in nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number16371
    JournalScientific Reports
    Volume8
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018

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