1. Enzymic synthesis of N-acetyl-L-phenylalanine in Escherichia coli K12
R V Krishna, P R Krishnaswamy, D R Rao Biochem J. 1971 Oct;124(5):905-13. doi: 10.1042/bj1240905.
1. Cell-free extracts of Escherichia coli K12 catalyse the synthesis of N-acetyl-l-phenylalanine from acetyl-CoA and l-phenylalanine. 2. The acetyl-CoA-l-phenylalanine alpha-N-acetyltransferase was purified 160-fold from cell-free extracts. 3. The enzyme has a pH optimum of 8 and catalyses the acetylation of l-phenylalanine. Other l-amino acids such as histidine and alanine are acetylated at slower rates. 4. A transacylase was also purified from E. coli extracts and its substrate specificity studied. 5. The properties of both these enzymes were compared with those of other known amino acid acetyltransferases and transacylases.
2. A Novel L-Phenylalanine Dipeptide Inhibits the Growth and Metastasis of Prostate Cancer Cells via Targeting DUSP1 and TNFSF9
Lanlan Li, Mingfei Yang, Jia Yu, Sha Cheng, Mashaal Ahmad, Caihong Wu, Xinwei Wan, Bixue Xu, Yaacov Ben-David, Heng Luo Int J Mol Sci. 2022 Sep 18;23(18):10916. doi: 10.3390/ijms231810916.
Prostate cancer (PCa) is a common malignant cancer of the urinary system. Drug therapy, chemotherapy, and radical prostatectomy are the primary treatment methods, but drug resistance and postoperative recurrence often occur. Therefore, seeking novel anti-tumor compounds with high efficiency and low toxicity from natural products can produce a new tumor treatment method. Matijin-Su [N-(N-benzoyl-L-phenylalanyl)-O-acetyl-L-phenylalanol, MTS] is a phenylalanine dipeptide monomer compound that is isolated from the Chinese ethnic medicine Matijin (Dichondra repens Forst.). Its derivatives exhibit various pharmacological activities, especially anti-tumor. Among them, the novel MTS derivative HXL131 has a significant inhibitory effect against prostate tumor growth and metastasis. This study is designed to investigate the effects of HXL131 on the growth and metastasis of human PCa cell lines PC3 and its molecular mechanism through in vitro experiments combined with proteomics, molecular docking, and gene silencing. The in vitro results showed that HXL131 concentration dependently inhibited PC3 cell proliferation, induced apoptosis, arrested cell cycle at the G2/M phase, and inhibited cell migration capacity. A proteomic analysis and a Western blot showed that HXL131 up-regulated the expression of proliferation, apoptosis, cell cycle, and migration-related proteins CYR61, TIMP1, SOD2, IL6, SERPINE2, DUSP1, TNFSF9, OSMR, TNFRSF10D, and TNFRSF12A. Molecular docking, a cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA), and gene silencing showed that HXL131 had a strong binding affinity with DUSP1 and TNFSF9, which are important target genes for inhibiting the growth and metastasis of PC3 cells. This study demonstrates that HXL131 exhibited excellent anti-prostate cancer activity and inhibited the growth and metastasis of prostate cancer cells by regulating the expression of DUSP1 and TNFSF9.
3. Rational design of aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase specific for p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine
Renhua Sun, Heng Zheng, Zhengzhi Fang, Wenbing Yao Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2010 Jan 1;391(1):709-15. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2009.11.125. Epub 2009 Nov 26.
The Methanococcus jannaschii tRNA(Tyr)/tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase pair has been engineered to incorporate unnatural amino acids into proteins in Escherichia coli site-specifically. In order to add other unnatural amino acids into proteins by this approach, the amino acid binding site of M. jannaschii tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase need to be mutated. The crystal structures of M. jannaschii tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase and its mutations were determined, which provided an opportunity to design aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases specific for other unnatural amino acids. In our study, we attempted to design aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases being able to deliver p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine into proteins. p-Acetyl-L-phenylalanine was superimposed on tyrosyl in M. jannaschii tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase-tyrosine complex. Tyr32 needed to be changed to non-polar amino acid with shorter side chain, Val, Leu, Ile, Gly or Ala, in order to reduce steric clash and provide hydrophobic environment to acetyl on p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine. Asp158 and Ile159 would be changed to specific amino acids for the same reason. So we designed 60 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. Binding of these aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases with p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine indicated that only 15 of them turned out to be able to bind p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine with reasonable poses. Binding affinity computation proved that the mutation of Tyr32Leu and Asp158Gly benefited p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine binding. And two of the designed aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases had considerable binding affinities. They seemed to be very promising to be able to incorporate p-acetyl-L-phenylalanine into proteins in E. coli. The results show that the combination of homology modeling and molecular docking is a feasible method to filter inappropriate mutations in molecular design and point out beneficial mutations.