S-adenosyl-L-homocysteine (AdoHcy) hydrolases catalyze the reversible conversion of AdoHcy to adenosine and homocysteine, making use of a catalytic cycle in which a tightly bound NAD+ oxidizes the 3'-hydroxyl group of the substrate at the beginning of the cycle, activating the 4'-CH bond for elimination of homocysteine, followed by Michael addition of water to the resulting intermediate and a final reduction by the tightly bound NADH to give adenosine. The equilibrium and kinetic properties of the association and dissociation of the cofactor NAD+ from the enzymes of Homo sapiens (Hs-SAHH) and Trypanosoma cruzi (Tc-SAHH) are qualitatively similar but quantitatively distinct. Both enzymes bind NAD+ in a complex scheme. The four active sites of the homotetrameric apoenzyme appear to divide into two numerically equal classes of active sites. One class of sites binds cofactor weakly and generates full activity very rapidly (in less than 1 min). The other class binds cofactor more strongly but generates activity only slowly (>30 min). In the case of Tc-SAHH, the final affinity for NAD+ is roughly micromolar and this affinity persists as the equilibrium affinity. In the case of Hs-SAHH, the slow-binding phase terminates in micromolar affinity also, but over a period of hours, the dissociation rate constant decreases until the final equilibrium affinity is in the nM range. The slow binding of NAD+ by both enzymes exhibits saturation kinetics with respect to the cofactor concentration; however, binding to Hs-SAHH has a maximum rate constant around 0.06 s-1, while the rate constant for binding to Tc-SAHH levels out at 0.006 s-1. In contrast to the complex kinetics of association, both enzymes undergo dissociation of NAD+ from all four sites in a single first-order rxn. The equilibrium affinities of both Hs-SAHH and Tc-SAHH for NADH are in the nanomolar range. The dissociation rate constants and the slow-binding association rate constants for NAD+ show a complex temperature dependence with both enzymes; however, the cofactor always dissociates more rapidly from Tc-SAHH than from Hs-SAHH, the ratio being around 80-fold at 37 C, and the cofactor binds more rapidly to Hs-SAHH than to Tc-SAHH above ~16 C. These features present an opening for selective inhibition of Tc-SAHH over Hs-SAHH, demonstrated with the thioamide analogues of NAD+ and NADH. Both analogues bind to Hs-SAHH with ~40 nM affinities but much more weakly to Tc-SAHH (0.6-15 M). Nevertheless, both analogues inactivated Tc-SAHH 60% (NAD+ analogue) or 100% (NADH analogue) within 30 min, while the degree of inhibition of Hs-SAHH approached 30% only after 12 h. The rate of loss of activity is equal to the rate of dissociation of the cofactor and thus 80-fold faster at 37 C for Tc-SAHH.
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