Biochemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Department of Pharmacology
First Thesis Advisor
Neal C. Brown
Bacillus subtilis, Binding Sites, Deoxyribonucleosides, DNA Polymerase III, Pharmacology
6-(p-Hydroxyphenylhydrazino) uracil (H2-HPUra) is a selective and potent inhibitor of the replication-specific DNA polymerase III (pol III) of Gram+ bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis. Although a pyrimidine, H2-HPUra derives its inhibitory activity from its specific capacity to mimic the purine nucleotide, dGTP. The project described in this thesis dissertation involves the use of H2-HPUra-like inhibitors to probe the structure and function of the pol III active site. It consists of two separate problems which are summarized below.
Production of a potent bona fide dGTP form of inhibitor. A method was devised to successfully convert the H2-HPUra inhibitor prototype to a bona fide purine, using N2-benzyl guanine as the basis. Structure-activity relationships of benzyl guanines carrying a variety of substituents on the aryl ring identified N2-(3,4-dichlorobenzyl) guanine (DCBG) as a compound equivalent to H2-HPUra with respect to potency and inhibitor mechanism. DCBdGTP, the 2'-deoxyribonucleoside 5'-triphosphate form of DCBG, was synthesized and characterized with respect to its action on wild-type and mutant forms of pol III. DCBdGTP acted on pol III by the characteristic inhibitor mechanism and formally occupied the dNTP binding site with a fit which permitted its polymerization. The latter experiment identified the site for the binding of the inhibitor's aryl moiety as a distinct site located at a distance of approximately 6-7 Å from the base-paired 2-NH group of a bound dGTP.
Attempt to covalently label amino acid residue 1175, a putative participant in inhibitor binding. Azp-12, a point mutation of serine 1175, yields a form of pol III whose inhibitior sensitivity varies specifically as a function of the composition of the para substituent of the inhibitor's aryl ring. On the basis of the latter behavior, residue 1175 was hypothesized to be a residue directly involved in the binding of the inhibitor's aryl moiety. To test this hypothesis, residue 1175 was specifically mutated to either cysteine or lysine, each of which presents a side chain amenable to covalent bond formation with appropriately reactive inhibitor forms. Of the two mutant pol III forms, only the cysteine form (pol III-cys) was catalytically active. The kinetic properties and inhibitor sensitivity profile of pol III-cys identified it as a target suitable for potentially irreversible inhibitor forms containing the following groups in the meta position of the aryl ring: -CH2Br, -CH2C1, and -CH2SH. None of the several inhibitors tested selectively or irreversibly inactivated pol III-cys. Possible bases for the failure of this group of inhibitors and for the redesign of more useful covalently reactive inhibitor forms are considered.
Butler, MM. Probing the dNTP Binding Region of Bacillus subtilis: DNA Polymerase III with Site-Directed Inhibitors: A Dissertation. (1992). University of Massachusetts Medical School. GSBS Dissertations and Theses. Paper 132. DOI: 10.13028/9pw3-p319. https://escholarship.umassmed.edu/gsbs_diss/132
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