The structure of the elusive urease-urea complex unveils a paradigmatic case of metallo-enzyme catalysis.

08:00 EDT 10th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "The structure of the elusive urease-urea complex unveils a paradigmatic case of metallo-enzyme catalysis."

Urease, the most efficient enzyme known, contains an essential dinuclear Ni(II) cluster in the active site. It catalyses the hydrolysis of urea, inducing a rapid pH increase that has negative effects on human health and agriculture. Thus, control of urease activity is of utmost importance in medical, pharmaceutical, and agro-environmental applications. All known urease inhibitors are either toxic or inefficient. The development of new and efficient chemicals able to inhibit urease relies on the knowledge of all steps of the catalytic mechanism. The short (microseconds) lifetime of the urease-urea complex has hampered the obtainment of its structure. This study uses fluoride to substitute the hydroxide acting as the co-substrate in the reaction, preventing the occurrence of the catalytic steps that follow substrate binding. The 1.42-Å crystal structure of the urease-urea complex, here reported, resolves the enduring debate on the mechanism of this paradigmatic metallo-enzyme.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Angewandte Chemie (International ed. in English)
ISSN: 1521-3773


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An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of urea and water to carbon dioxide and ammonia. EC

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