Mutational analysis of human glutathione transferase A2-2 identifies structural elements supporting high activity with the prodrug azathioprine.

Modén O, Zhang W, Mannervik B

Protein Eng. Des. Sel. 25 (4) 189-197 [2012-04-00; online 2012-02-16]

Glutathione transferase (GST) A2-2 is the human enzyme displaying the highest catalytic activity with the prodrug azathioprine (Aza). The reaction releases pharmacologically active 6-mercaptopurine by displacing the imidazole moiety from the Aza molecule. The GST-catalyzed reaction is of medical significance, since high rates of Aza activation may lead to adverse side effects in treated patients. The present study involves structure-activity relationships in GST A2-2 variants. Chimeric GSTs were previously generated by DNA shuffling and two peptide segments, one N-terminal and one C-terminal, were identified as primary determinants of Aza activity. The segments contain several residues of the substrate-binding H-site and their significance for supporting high Aza activity was investigated. Substitution of the corresponding two small regions in the low-activity human GST A3-3 or rat GST A3-3 by the human GST A2-2 segments generated chimeras with ∼10-fold enhanced Aza activity. The H-site residues Met208 and Leu213 in the C-terminal segment of GST A2-2 were mutated to produce a library with all possible residue combinations. At a calculated 93% library coverage, all of the 1880 mutants examined showed wild-type or decreased Aza activity, even though some retained activities with alternative substrates, further emphasizing the importance of this region for the targeted activity.

NGI Uppsala (Uppsala Genome Center)

National Genomics Infrastructure

PubMed 22334756

DOI 10.1093/protein/gzs006

Crossref 10.1093/protein/gzs006

pii: gzs006

Publications 9.5.0