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Title: Studies on an N-terminal nucleophile hydrolase and enzymes of clavulanic acid biosynthesis
Author: Iqbal, Aman
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 0556
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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(3R,5R)-Clavulanic acid is a clinically important inhibitor of Class A β-lactamases. Progress has been made in to establishing the steps of clavulanic acid biosynthesis leading to (3S,5S)-clavaminic acid. However, the mechanism by which (3S,5S)-clavaminic acid is converted to the penultimate intermediate (3R,5R)-clavaldehyde remains elusive. It is believed that the products of the later genes (orf10-orf18) of the clavulanic acid biosynthesis gene cluster are probably involved in this conversion. Part I of this thesis describes biochemical and structural studies carried out on OAT2, a member of N-terminal nucleophile (Ntn) hydrolase superfamily of enzymes. OAT2 has been characterised to be an ornithine acetyl transferase (OAT) and is involved in clavulanic acid biosynthesis. OAT2 catalyses the reversible transfer of the acetyl group between N-acetyl-L-ornithine and L-glutamate. It was found that this reaction is catalysed via the formation of an acyl-enzyme intermediate. Subsequent studies including mass spectrometry, 13C NMR spectroscopy, infrared spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations, further confirmed the viability of the intermediate. This acyl-enzyme intermediate of OAT2 was found to be exceptionally stable at physiological pH, as compared to the acyl-enzyme intermediates involved in catalysis by hydrolytic enzymes including proteases, Ntn hydrolases and β-lactamses. The X-ray studies revealed possible reason for this unusual stability. The infrared studies revealed two conformations for the acyl-enzyme. Modeling (MDS) studies assigned one of these to the structure observed by X-ray and proposed the other one to result from a hydroxyl hydrogen 'flip' involving the oxyanion hole component Thr-111 resulting in a singly hydrogen bonded acyl-enzyme intermediate. α, β Subunit co-expression studies with OAT2 were used to investigate the autocatalytic cleavage step. In one case an interesting N-acyl enzyme species was observed. Part II of this thesis describes efforts carried out to characterise the ORF10 and ORF15 proteins of clavulanic acid biosynthesis. ORF10 was characterised to be an 'active' cytochrome P450 and ORF10 crystals were obtained in the presence spinach ferredoxin, highlighting the role of the ferredoxin interaction in assisting ORF10 crystallisation. ORF15 was shown to be a probable peptide transporter, which binds bradykinin as observed in the crystal structure.
Supervisor: Schofield, Christopher J. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Chemistry & allied sciences ; Antibiotics ; Biophysical chemistry ; Chemical biology ; Crystallography ; clavulanic acid ; beta lactam antibiotics ; Proteases