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Isoform-Specific Substrate Inhibition Mechanism of Human Tryptophan Hydroxylase

Tidemand, Kasper D., Peters, Günther H., Harris, Pernille, Stensgaard, Eva, Christensen, Hans E. M.
Biochemistry 2017 v.56 no.46 pp. 6155-6164
active sites, biosynthesis, brain, humans, irritable bowel syndrome, molecular dynamics, point mutation, sequence analysis, serotonin, tryptophan
Tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) catalyzes the initial and rate-limiting step in the biosynthesis of serotonin, which is associated with a variety of disorders such as depression and irritable bowel syndrome. TPH exists in two isoforms: TPH1 and TPH2. TPH1 catalyzes the initial step in the synthesis of serotonin in the peripheral tissues, while TPH2 catalyzes this step in the brain. In this study, the steady-state kinetic mechanism for the catalytic domain of human TPH1 has been determined. Varying substrate tryptophan (Trp) and tetrahydrobiopterin (BH₄) results in a hybrid Ping Pong-ordered mechanism in which the reaction can either occur through a Ping Pong or a sequential mechanism depending on the concentration of tryptophan. The catalytic domain of TPH1 shares a sequence identity of 81% with TPH2. Despite the high sequence identity, differences in the kinetic parameters of the isoforms have been identified; i.e., only TPH1 displays substrate tryptophan inhibition. This study demonstrates that the difference can be traced to an active site loop which displays different properties in the TPH isoforms. Steady-state kinetic results of the isoforms, and variants with point mutations in a loop lining the active site, show that the kinetic parameters of only TPH1 are significantly changed upon mutations. Mutations in the active site loop of TPH1 result in an increase in the substrate inhibition constant, Kᵢ, and therefore turnover rate. Molecular dynamics simulations reveal that this substrate inhibition mechanism occurs through a closure of the cosubstrate, BH₄, binding pocket, which is induced by Trp binding.