A number of enzymes catalyze the removal of carbon dioxide from pyruvate through covalent participation of the coenzyme thiamin pyrophosphate. The conversions of the decarboxylated adduct, hydroxyethyl thiamin pyrophosphate, to subsequent products distinguishes the function of these enzymes. Acetaldehyde is produced by pyruvate decarboxylase, acetic acid by pyruvate oxidase and acetyl coenzyme A by pyruvate dehydrogenase. Differences and details of steps prior to decomposition of hydroxyethyl thiamin pyrophosphate can be evaluated through the use of two substrate analogues, methyl acetylphosphonate and acetylphosphonate. Methyl acetylphosphonate and acetylphosphonate are competitive inhibitors toward pyruvate with Escherichia coli pyruvate oxidase and E. coli pyruvate dehydrogenase but the value of the Ki for the oxidase is more than three orders of magnitude higher than for the dehydrogenase. Yeast pyruvate decarboxylase is not inhibited at all under the same conditions. The binding of methyl acetylphosphonate results in ligand-induced changes in the near ultraviolet circular dichorism spectrum of the oxidase. This spectral perturbation is only seen in the presence of the cofactor, thiamin pyrophosphate, strongly suggesting that the inhibitor is binding at the same site as the substrate, pyruvate, on the enzyme. Kinetic data suggest that lipid activators of pyruvate oxidase increase the affinity of the enzyme for pyruvate and its analogues.
- Phosphate analog, Pyruvate derivative
- Pyruvate oxidase
- Substrate binding
ASJC Scopus subject areas