Mechanistic studies on glutamate decarboxylase and serine hydroxmethyltransferase
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(2S)- and (2R)-Serine O-sulphate have been synthesised and shown to inactivate glutamate decarboxylase (GAD) from E. Coli. Novel methodology was developed to enable the stereospecific synthesis of (2S) and (2R)-deuteriated serine in order to probe the mechanism of inactivation. The rates of inactivation of glutamate decarboxylase by (2S)-, (2S)-[2-2H]-, (2R)- and (2R)-[2-2H]-serine O-sulphate have been measured for each of the isotopomers at a range of concentrations. From the data obtained the deuterium isotope effects were determined for each enantiomer. The inactivation by the (2S)-enantiomer was shown to involve C-H bond cleavage while inactivation by the (2R)-isomer involves C-decarboxylation. Both processes were shown to occur on the 4'-re-face of the coenzyme, the opposite face to that utilised in the physiological decarboxylation reaction. The methodology developed for the synthesis of the deuteriated serines involved the regiospecific introduction of deuterium to the C-6 centre of (3R)- and (3S)-2,5- dimethoxy-3-isopropyl-3,6-dihydropyrazine. Schollkopf chemistry was then exploited for the stereospecific alkylation at C-6 of the dihydropyrazines. This chemistry was versatile and enabled the synthesis of other deuteriated amino acids. For example (2S)-[2-2H]-phenylalanine, (2S)-[2-2H]-allylglycine and (2S)-[2-2H]-aspartic acid were synthesised using this chemistry. The decarboxylation of 2-aminomalonic acid by cytosolic serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) was studied. Contrary to previous reports, the reaction was found to be stereospecific and the newly introduced hydrogen was shown to occupy the 2-pro-S position of the glycine product.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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