Further elucidating the steroid isomerisation reaction mechanism of GSTA3-3

Robertson, Gary Jay
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Glutathione S-transferase A3-3 is the most catalytically efficient steroid isomerase enzyme known in humans, transforming Δ5-androstene-3-17-dione into Δ4-androstene-3-17-dione. Though its mechanism of action remains unsolved. GSTA3-3 catalyses this reaction with at least ten-fold greater efficiency than GSTA1-1, its closest competitor in the Alpha class of GSTs. In order to examine the differences between Alpha class GSTs and to better elucidate the mechanism of GSTA3-3 the roles of Tyr9 and Arg15 were examined. Tyr9 is the major catalytic residue of Alpha class GSTs and Arg15 is proposed to be catalytically important to GSTA3-3 but never before experimentally examined. While the structure and stability of the Alpha class enzymes are highly comparable, subtle differences at the G-site of the enzymes account for GSTA3-3 having a ten-fold greater affinity for the substrate GSH. Y9F and R15L mutations, singly or together, have no effect on the structure and stability of GSTA3-3 (the same effect they have on GSTA1-1) despite the R15L mutation removing an interdomain salt-bridge at the active site. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry also revealed that neither mutation had a significant effect on the conformational dynamics of GSTA3-3. The R15L and Y9F mutations are equally important to the specific activity of the steroid isomerase reaction; however, Arg15 is more important for lowering the pKa of GSH. Lowering the pKa of GSH being how GSTs catalyse their reactions. This suggests an additional role for Tyr9, with an important mechanistic implication. Factoring in the inability to detect an intermediate during the reaction, all data are in agreement with the mechanism being concerted and that Tyr9 acts as a proton shuttle. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that Arg15 is integral to allowing GSTA3-3 to differentiate between Δ5-androstene-3-17-dione and Δ4-androstene-3-17-dione, indicating that Arg15 is a more important active-site residue than previously recognized.
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Science, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Johannesburg, 2017.
Robertson, Gary Jay, (2017) Further elucidating the steroid isomerisation reaction mechanism of GST A3-3, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, https://hdl.handle.net/10539/25116