Kinetic characterization of mutations found in propionic acidemia and methylcrotonylglycinuria: evidence for cooperativity in biotin carboxylase

J Biol Chem. 2004 Apr 16;279(16):15772-8. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M311982200. Epub 2004 Feb 11.


Acetyl-CoA carboxylase catalyzes the committed step in fatty acid synthesis in all plants, animals, and bacteria. The Escherichia coli form is a multifunctional enzyme consisting of three separate proteins: biotin carboxylase, carboxyltransferase, and the biotin carboxyl carrier protein. The biotin carboxylase component, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent carboxylation of biotin using bicarbonate as the carboxylate source, has a homologous functionally identical subunit in the mammalian biotin-dependent enzymes propionyl-CoA carboxylase and 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase. In humans, mutations in either of these enzymes result in the metabolic deficiency propionic acidemia or methylcrotonylglycinuria. The lack of a system for structure-function studies of these two biotin-dependent carboxylases has prevented a detailed analysis of the disease-causing mutations. However, structural data are available for E. coli biotin carboxylase as is a system for its overexpression and purification. Thus, we have constructed three site-directed mutants of biotin carboxylase that are homologous to three missense mutations found in propionic acidemia or methylcrotonylglycinuria patients. The mutants M169K, R338Q, and R338S of E. coli biotin carboxylase were selected for study to mimic the disease-causing mutations M204K and R374Q of propionyl-CoA carboxylase and R385S of 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase. These three mutants were subjected to a rigorous kinetic analysis to determine the function of the residues in the catalytic mechanism of biotin carboxylase as well as to establish a molecular basis for the two diseases. The results of the kinetic studies have revealed the first evidence for negative cooperativity with respect to bicarbonate and suggest that Arg-338 serves to orient the carboxyphosphate intermediate for optimal carboxylation of biotin.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics*
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / chemistry
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / genetics*
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases / metabolism
  • Catalysis
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity / genetics


  • Biotin
  • Carbon-Nitrogen Ligases
  • biotin carboxylase