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Structure and mechanism of ArnA: conformational change implies ordered dehydrogenase mechanism in key enzyme for polymyxin resistance.

Gatzeva-Topalova P.Z., May A.P., Sousa M.C.

The modification of lipid A with 4-amino-4-deoxy-L-arabinose (Ara4N) allows gram-negative bacteria to resist the antimicrobial activity of cationic antimicrobial peptides and antibiotics such as polymyxin. ArnA is the first enzyme specific to the lipid A-Ara4N pathway. It contains two functionally and physically separable domains: a dehydrogenase domain (ArnA_DH) catalyzing the NAD+-dependent oxidative decarboxylation of UDP-Glucuronic acid (UDP-GlcA), and a transformylase domain that formylates UDP-Ara4N. Here, we describe the crystal structure of the full-length bifunctional ArnA with UDP-GlcA and ATP bound to the dehydrogenase domain. Binding of UDP-GlcA triggers a 17 A conformational change in ArnA_DH that opens the NAD+ binding site while trapping UDP-GlcA. We propose an ordered mechanism of substrate binding and product release. Mutation of residues R619 and S433 demonstrates their importance in catalysis and suggests that R619 functions as a general acid in catalysis. The proposed mechanism for ArnA_DH has important implications for the design of selective inhibitors.

Structure 13:929-942(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]