Aminoglycoside phosphotransferases are bacterial enzymes responsible for the inactivation of aminoglycoside antibiotics by O-phosphorylation. It is important to understand the mechanism of enzymes in order to find efficient drugs. Using rapid-mixing methods, we studied the transient kinetics of aminoglycoside phosphotransferase(3')-IIIa. We show that an ADP-enzyme complex is the main steady state intermediate. This intermediate interacts strongly with kanamycin A to form an abortive complex that traps the enzyme in an inactive state. A good strategy to prevent the inactivation of aminoglycosides would be to develop uncompetitive inhibitors that interact with this key ADP-enzyme complex.
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