Leishmania major pteridine reductase 1 belongs to the short chain dehydrogenase family: stereochemical and kinetic evidence

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Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Pharmacology and Molecular Toxicology

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Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Pteridine reductase 1 (PTR1) is a novel broad spectrum enzyme of pterin and folate metabolism in the protozoan parasite Leishmania. Overexpression of PTR1 confers methotrexate resistance to these protozoa, arising from the enzyme's ability to reduce dihydrofolate and its relative insensitivity to methotrexate. The kinetic mechanism and stereochemical course for the catalyzed reaction confirm PTR1's membership within the short chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) family. With folate as a substrate, PTR1 catalyzes two rounds of reduction, yielding 5,6,7, 8-tetrahydrofolate and oxidizing 2 equiv of NADPH. Dihydrofolate accumulates transiently during folate reduction and is both a substrate and an inhibitor of PTR1. PTR1 transfers the pro-S hydride of NADPH to carbon 6 on the si face of dihydrofolate, producing the same stereoisomer of THF as does dihydrofolate reductase. Product inhibition and isotope partitioning studies support an ordered ternary complex mechanism, with NADPH binding first and NADP+ dissociating after the reduced pteridine. Identical kinetic mechanisms and NAD(P)H hydride chirality preferences are seen with other SDRs. An observed tritium effect upon V/K for reduction of dihydrofolate arising from isotopic substitution of the transferred hydride was suppressed at a high concentration of dihydrofolate, consistent with a steady-state ordered kinetic mechanism. Interestingly, half of the binary enzyme-NADPH complex appears to be incapable of rapid turnover. Fluorescence quenching results also indicate the existence of a nonproductive binary enzyme-dihydrofolate complex. The nonproductive complexes observed between PTR1 and its substrates are unique among members of the SDR family and may provide leads for developing antileishmanial therapeutics.

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Biochemistry. 1998 Mar 24;37(12):4093-104. Link to article on publisher's site

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