Substrate determinants of the course of tartrate dehydrogenase-catalyzed reactions

Biochemistry. 1995 Jun 6;34(22):7517-24. doi: 10.1021/bi00022a027.


The substrate specificity of tartrate dehydrogenase has been probed using a series of alternative substrates to identify the molecular interactions which determine whether a particular substrate undergoes enzyme-catalyzed decarboxylation or not. A series of 3-substituted malate analogs, in which F, Cl, Br, I, SH, or NH2 substituents were placed at the 3R- or 3S-position, was prepared, and the product resulting from the action of tartrate dehydrogenase on each compound was identified. All of the halomalates and both diastereomers of aminomalate underwent oxidative decarboxylation; both diastereomers of 3-thiomalate underwent net nonoxidative decarboxylation. The results were interpreted in terms of a model in which decarboxylation is conformationally controlled. The data are not consistent with a model which suggests that substrates assume the conformation that is necessary to avoid steric crowding between the enzyme and the substituent at the 3-position of the substrate. These data are consistent with a model in which the course of the reaction with (+)-tartrate and meso-tartrate is dictated by the coordination of the substrate hydroxyls to the active site Mn2+. However, the observed reactivities of the 3-methyltartrate diastereomers are not consistent with this model, either: (2R,3R)-3-methyltartrate undergoes oxidative decarboxylation, and (2R,3S)-3-methyltartrate undergoes simple oxidation. These results suggest that for these compounds the conformation is dictated by the positioning of the hydrophobic substituent in a specific binding pocket.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / chemistry*
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases / metabolism*
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Escherichia coli
  • Kinetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Protein Conformation
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Tartrates / metabolism


  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Tartrates
  • Alcohol Oxidoreductases
  • tartrate dehydrogenase