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Title: Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Organotin and Organolead Compounds Binding to the Organomercurial Lyase MerB Provide New Insights into Its Mechanism of Carbon–Metal Bond Cleavage

Abstract

The organomercurial lyase MerB has the unique ability to cleave carbon–Hg bonds, and structural studies indicate that three residues in the active site (C96, D99, and C159 in E. coli MerB) play important roles in the carbon–Hg bond cleavage. However, the role of each residue in carbon–metal bond cleavage has not been well-defined. To do so, we have structurally and biophysically characterized the interaction of MerB with a series of organotin and organolead compounds. Studies with two known inhibitors of MerB, dimethyltin (DMT) and triethyltin (TET), reveal that they inhibit by different mechanisms. In both cases the initial binding is to D99, but DMT subsequently binds to C96, which induces a conformation change in the active site. In contrast, diethyltin (DET) is a substrate for MerB and the SnIV product remains bound in the active site in a coordination similar to that of HgII following cleavage of organomercurial compounds. The results with analogous organolead compounds are similar in that trimethyllead (TML) is not cleaved and binds only to D99, whereas diethyllead (DEL) is a substrate and the PbIV product remains bound in the active site. Binding and cleavage is an exothermic reaction, while binding to D99 has negligible net heatmore » flow. These results show that initial binding of organometallic compounds to MerB occurs at D99 followed, in some cases, by cleavage and loss of the organic moieties and binding of the metal ion product to C96, D99, and C159. The N-terminus of MerA is able to extract the bound PbVI but not the bound SnIV. These results suggest that MerB could be utilized for bioremediation applications, but certain organolead and organotin compounds may present an obstacle by inhibiting the enzyme.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [2]; ORCiD logo [3]
  1. Département de Biochimie et Médicine Moléculaire, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3C 3J7 Canada; Faculty of Pharmacy, Beni-suef University, Beni-suef, Egypt
  2. Department of Chemistry, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755, United States
  3. Département de Biochimie et Médicine Moléculaire, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec H3C 3J7 Canada
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Upton, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1409605
Report Number(s):
BNL-114657-2017-JA¿¿¿
Journal ID: ISSN 0002-7863
DOE Contract Number:
SC0012704
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of the American Chemical Society; Journal Volume: 139; Journal Issue: 2
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Wahba, Haytham M., Stevenson, Michael J., Mansour, Ahmed, Sygusch, Jurgen, Wilcox, Dean E., and Omichinski, James G. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Organotin and Organolead Compounds Binding to the Organomercurial Lyase MerB Provide New Insights into Its Mechanism of Carbon–Metal Bond Cleavage. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b11327.
Wahba, Haytham M., Stevenson, Michael J., Mansour, Ahmed, Sygusch, Jurgen, Wilcox, Dean E., & Omichinski, James G. Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Organotin and Organolead Compounds Binding to the Organomercurial Lyase MerB Provide New Insights into Its Mechanism of Carbon–Metal Bond Cleavage. United States. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b11327.
Wahba, Haytham M., Stevenson, Michael J., Mansour, Ahmed, Sygusch, Jurgen, Wilcox, Dean E., and Omichinski, James G. Tue . "Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Organotin and Organolead Compounds Binding to the Organomercurial Lyase MerB Provide New Insights into Its Mechanism of Carbon–Metal Bond Cleavage". United States. doi:10.1021/jacs.6b11327.
@article{osti_1409605,
title = {Structural and Biochemical Characterization of Organotin and Organolead Compounds Binding to the Organomercurial Lyase MerB Provide New Insights into Its Mechanism of Carbon–Metal Bond Cleavage},
author = {Wahba, Haytham M. and Stevenson, Michael J. and Mansour, Ahmed and Sygusch, Jurgen and Wilcox, Dean E. and Omichinski, James G.},
abstractNote = {The organomercurial lyase MerB has the unique ability to cleave carbon–Hg bonds, and structural studies indicate that three residues in the active site (C96, D99, and C159 in E. coli MerB) play important roles in the carbon–Hg bond cleavage. However, the role of each residue in carbon–metal bond cleavage has not been well-defined. To do so, we have structurally and biophysically characterized the interaction of MerB with a series of organotin and organolead compounds. Studies with two known inhibitors of MerB, dimethyltin (DMT) and triethyltin (TET), reveal that they inhibit by different mechanisms. In both cases the initial binding is to D99, but DMT subsequently binds to C96, which induces a conformation change in the active site. In contrast, diethyltin (DET) is a substrate for MerB and the SnIV product remains bound in the active site in a coordination similar to that of HgII following cleavage of organomercurial compounds. The results with analogous organolead compounds are similar in that trimethyllead (TML) is not cleaved and binds only to D99, whereas diethyllead (DEL) is a substrate and the PbIV product remains bound in the active site. Binding and cleavage is an exothermic reaction, while binding to D99 has negligible net heat flow. These results show that initial binding of organometallic compounds to MerB occurs at D99 followed, in some cases, by cleavage and loss of the organic moieties and binding of the metal ion product to C96, D99, and C159. The N-terminus of MerA is able to extract the bound PbVI but not the bound SnIV. These results suggest that MerB could be utilized for bioremediation applications, but certain organolead and organotin compounds may present an obstacle by inhibiting the enzyme.},
doi = {10.1021/jacs.6b11327},
journal = {Journal of the American Chemical Society},
number = 2,
volume = 139,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 03 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Tue Jan 03 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}
  • Bacteria resistant to methylmercury utilize two enzymes (MerA and MerB) to degrade methylmercury to the less toxic elemental mercury. The crucial step is the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase (MerB). In this study, we determined high resolution crystal structures of MerB in both the free (1.76-{angstrom} resolution) and mercury-bound (1.64-{angstrom} resolution) states. The crystal structure of free MerB is very similar to the NMR structure, but important differences are observed when comparing the two structures. In the crystal structure, an amino-terminal {alpha}-helix that is not present in the NMR structure makes contact with themore » core region adjacent to the catalytic site. This interaction between the amino-terminal helix and the core serves to bury the active site of MerB. The crystal structures also provide detailed insights into the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. The structures demonstrate that two conserved cysteines (Cys-96 and Cys-159) play a role in substrate binding, carbon-mercury bond cleavage, and controlled product (ionic mercury) release. In addition, the structures establish that an aspartic acid (Asp-99) in the active site plays a crucial role in the proton transfer step required for the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond. These findings are an important step in understanding the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB.« less
  • Demethylation is a key reaction in global mercury cycling. The bacterial organomercurial lyase, MerB, catalyzes the demethylation of a wide range of organomercurials via Hg-C protonolysis. Two strictly conserved cysteine residues in the active site are required for catalysis, but the source of the catalytic proton and the detailed reaction mechanism have not been determined. Here, the two major proposed reaction mechanisms of MerB are investigated and compared using hybrid density functional theory calculations. A model of the active site was constructed from an X-ray crystal structure of the Hg(II)-bound MerB product complex. Stationary point structures and energies characterized formore » the Hg-C protonolysis of methylmercury rule out the direct protonation mechanism in which a cysteine residue delivers the catalytic proton directly to the organic leaving group. Instead, the calculations support a two-step mechanism in which Cys96 or Cys159 first donates a proton to Asp99, enabling coordination of two thiolates with R-Hg(II). At the rate-limiting transition state, Asp99 protonates the nascent carbanion in a trigonal planar, bis thiol-ligated R-Hg(II) species to cleave the Hg-C bond and release the hydrocarbon product. Reactions with two other substrates, vinylmercury and cis-2-butenyl-2-mercury, were also modeled, and the computed activation barriers for all three organomercurial substrates reproduce the trend in the experimentally observed enzymatic reaction rates. Analysis of atomic charges in the rate-limiting transition state structure using Natural Population Analysis shows that MerB lowers the activation free energy in the Hg-C protonolysis reaction by redistributing electron density into the leaving group and away from the catalytic proton.« less
  • Bacteria resistant to methylmercury utilize two enzymes (MerA and MerB) to degrade methylmercury to the less toxic elemental mercury. The crucial step is the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond of methylmercury by the organomercurial lyase (MerB). In this study, we determined high resolution crystal structures of MerB in both the free (1.76-{angstrom} resolution) and mercury-bound (1.64-{angstrom} resolution) states. The crystal structure of free MerB is very similar to theNMRstructure, but important differences are observed when comparing the two structures. In the crystal structure, an amino-terminal-helix that is not present in the NMR structure makes contact with the core region adjacentmore » to the catalytic site. This interaction between the amino-terminal helix and the core serves to bury the active site of MerB. The crystal structures also provide detailed insights into the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB. The structures demonstrate that two conserved cysteines (Cys-96 and Cys-159) play a role in substrate binding, carbon-mercury bond cleavage, and controlled product (ionic mercury) release. In addition, the structures establish that an aspartic acid (Asp-99) in the active site plays a crucial role in the proton transfer step required for the cleavage of the carbon-mercury bond. These findings are an important step in understanding the mechanism of carbon-mercury bond cleavage by MerB.« less