Structure of N-formimino-L-glutamate iminohydrolase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa

Biochemistry. 2015 Jan 27;54(3):890-7. doi: 10.1021/bi501299y. Epub 2015 Jan 16.


N-Formimino-l-glutamate iminohydrolase (HutF), from Pseudomonas aeruginosa with a locus tag of Pa5106 ( gi|15600299 ), is a member of the amidohydrolase superfamily. This enzyme catalyzes the deamination of N-formimino-l-glutamate to N-formyl-l-glutamate and ammonia in the histidine degradation pathway. The crystal structure of Pa5106 was determined in the presence of the inhibitors N-formimino-l-aspartate and N-guanidino-l-glutaric acid at resolutions of 1.9 and 1.4 Å, respectively. The structure of an individual subunit is composed of two domains with the larger domain folding as a distorted (β/α)8-barrel. The (β/α)8-barrel domain is composed of eight β-strands flanked by 11 α-helices, whereas the smaller domain is made up of eight β-strands. The active site of Pa5106 contains a single zinc atom that is coordinated by His-56, His-58, His-232, and Asp-320. The nucleophilic solvent water molecule coordinates with the zinc atom at a distance of 2.0 Å and is hydrogen bonded to Asp-320 and His-269. The α-carboxylate groups of both inhibitors are hydrogen bonded to the imidazole moiety of His-206, the hydroxyl group of Tyr-121, and the side chain amide group of Gln-61. The side chain carboxylate groups of the two inhibitors are ion-paired with the guanidino groups of Arg-209 and Arg-82. Computational docking of high-energy tetrahedral intermediate forms of the substrate, N-formimino-l-glutamate, to the three-dimensional structure of Pa5106 suggests that this compound likely undergoes a re-faced nucleophilic attack at the formimino group by the metal-bound hydroxide. A catalytic mechanism of the reaction catalyzed by Pa5106 is proposed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amidohydrolases / chemistry*
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Crystallography, X-Ray
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / chemistry
  • Enzyme Inhibitors / metabolism
  • Glutamates / chemistry
  • Glutamates / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Structure, Quaternary
  • Protein Structure, Secondary
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / enzymology*
  • Zinc / metabolism


  • Enzyme Inhibitors
  • Glutamates
  • Ligands
  • N-formylglutamate
  • Amidohydrolases
  • Zinc