Kinetic isotope effects of L-Dopa decarboxylase

Yen Lin Lin, Jiali Gao

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27 Scopus citations


A mixed centroid path integral and free energy perturbation method (PI-FEP/UM) has been used to investigate the primary carbon and secondary hydrogen kinetic isotope effects (KIEs) in the amino acid decarboxylation of L-Dopa catalyzed by the enzyme L-Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) along with the corresponding uncatalyzed reaction in water. DDC is a pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) dependent enzyme. The cofactor undergoes an internal proton transfer between the zwitterionic protonated Schiff base configuration and the neutral hydroxyimine tautomer. It was found that the cofactor PLP makes significant contributions to lowering the decarboxylation barrier, while the enzyme active site provides further stabilization of the transition state. Interestingly, the O-protonated configuration is preferred both in the Michaelis complex and at the decarboxylation transition state. The computed kinetic isotope effects (KIE) on the carboxylate C-13 are consistent with that observed on decarboxylation reactions of other PLP-dependent enzymes, whereas the KIEs on the α carbon and secondary proton, which can easily be validated experimentally, may be used as a possible identification for the active form of the PLP tautomer in the active site of DDC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4398-4403
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 30 2011


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