Kinetics of turnover of cefotaxime by the Enterobacter cloacae P99 and GCl beta-lactamases: two free enzyme forms of the P99 beta-lactamase detected by a combination of pre- and post-steady state kinetics

Biochemistry. 2004 Mar 9;43(9):2664-72. doi: 10.1021/bi030212j.


Third-generation cephalosporins bearing oximino side chains are resistant to hydrolysis by class C beta-lactamases such as that from Enterobacter cloacae P99. For example, steady state parameters for hydrolysis of cefotaxime by this enzyme are as follows: k(cat) = 0.41 s(-1), K(m) = 17.2 microM, and k(cat)/K(m) = 2.3 x 10(4) s(-1) M(-1). On the other hand, however, the K(i) value for cefotaxime as an inhibitor of cephalothin hydrolysis is 27 nM. The discrepancy between K(m) and K(i) indicated that a real steady state had not been achieved in at least one of these experiments. Analysis indicated that only two to three cefotaxime turnovers occurred during the K(i) determination. This suggested that the first few turnovers of cefotaxime by the P99 beta-lactamase may be different from those in the subsequent steady state. A direct pre-steady state experiment confirmed this hypothesis. The simplest reaction scheme that fitted the data involved replacement of the initial enzyme form, E, which bound cefotaxime tightly, with a second more weakly binding form, E', by partitioning of the acyl-enzyme intermediate during the first few turnovers. Steady state turnover of cefotaxime then largely involved E' as the free enzyme form. E' slowly reverted to E in the post-steady state regime. Further evidence for this scheme included quantitative analysis of the post-steady state and observation of a difference in the catalytic activity of E and E' in 2 M ammonium sulfate. The kinetics of P99 beta-lactamase-catalyzed hydrolysis of an acyclic depsipeptide substrate bearing a third-generation cephalosporin side chain showed that the side chain is necessary but not sufficient for production of resistance to beta-lactamase; a combination of the side chain and the dihydrothiazine ring of a cephalosporin is required. The beta-lactamase of E. cloacae GC1, an extended spectrum mutant of the P99 enzyme, rapidly hydrolyzes third-generation cephalosporins, without the structural transition described above. The flexibility of the extended Omega loop of the GC1 enzyme probably leads to this situation. Conformational restriction of the loop in the P99 enzyme is probably responsible for the long-lived acyl-enzyme intermediate and the transition to E' induced by cefotaxime.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acylation
  • Catalysis
  • Cefotaxime / chemistry*
  • Cefotaxime / metabolism*
  • Cefuroxime / chemistry
  • Cephalothin / chemistry
  • Enterobacter cloacae / enzymology*
  • Enterobacter cloacae / genetics
  • Hydrolysis
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Chemical
  • Protein Binding / genetics
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Spectrophotometry
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity
  • beta-Lactamases / chemistry*
  • beta-Lactamases / classification
  • beta-Lactamases / genetics
  • beta-Lactamases / metabolism*


  • beta-Lactamases
  • Cefotaxime
  • Cefuroxime
  • Cephalothin