Catalysis by the isolated tryptophan tryptophylquinone-containing subunit of aromatic amine dehydrogenase is distinct from native enzyme and synthetic model compounds and allows further probing of TTQ mechanism

Biochemistry. 2008 Jan 8;47(1):183-94. doi: 10.1021/bi701690u. Epub 2007 Dec 5.


Para-substituted benzylamines are poor reactivity probes for structure-reactivity studies with TTQ-dependent aromatic amine dehydrogenase (AADH). In this study, we combine kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) with structure-reactivity studies to show that para-substituted benzylamines are good reactivity probes of TTQ mechanism with the isolated TTQ-containing subunit of AADH. Contrary to the TTQ-containing subunit of methylamine dehydrogenase (MADH), which is catalytically inactive, the small subunit of AADH catalyzes the oxidative deamination of a variety of amine substrates. Observed rate constants are second order with respect to substrate and inhibitor (phenylhydrazine) concentration. Kinetic studies with para-substituted benzylamines and their dideuterated counterparts reveal KIEs (>6) larger than those observed with native AADH (KIEs approximately unity). This is attributed to formation of the benzylamine-derived iminoquinone requiring structural rearrangement of the benzyl side chain in the active site of the native enzyme. This structural reorganization requires motions from the side chains of adjacent residues (which are absent in the isolated small subunit). The position of Phealpha97 in particular is responsible for the conformational gating (and hence deflated KIEs) observed with para-substituted benzylamines in the native enzyme. Hammett plots for the small subunit exhibit a strong correlation of structure-reactivity data with electronic substituent effects for para-substituted benzylamines and phenethylamines, unlike native AADH for which a poor correlation is observed. TTQ reduction in the isolated subunit is enhanced by electron withdrawing substituents, contrary to structure-reactivity studies reported for synthetic TTQ model compounds in which rate constants are enhanced by electron donating substituents. We infer that para-substituted benzylamines are good reactivity probes of TTQ mechanism with the isolated small subunit. This is attributed to the absence of structural rearrangement prior to H-transfer that limits the rate of TTQ reduction by para-substituted benzylamines in native enzyme.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amines / chemistry
  • Amines / metabolism
  • Benzylamines / chemistry
  • Benzylamines / metabolism
  • Catalysis
  • Dimerization
  • Indolequinones / chemistry
  • Indolequinones / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Structure
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / chemistry
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / isolation & purification
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors / metabolism*
  • Phenylhydrazines / chemistry
  • Phenylhydrazines / metabolism
  • Protein Subunits / chemistry
  • Protein Subunits / isolation & purification
  • Protein Subunits / metabolism
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tryptophan / analogs & derivatives*
  • Tryptophan / chemistry
  • Tryptophan / metabolism


  • Amines
  • Benzylamines
  • Indolequinones
  • Phenylhydrazines
  • Protein Subunits
  • phenylhydrazine
  • tryptophan tryptophylquinone
  • Tryptophan
  • methylamine dehydrogenase
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-NH Group Donors
  • aromatic amine dehydrogenase