Modular protein assembly has been widely reported as a mechanism for constructing allosteric machinery. Recently, a distinctive allosteric system has been identified in a bi-enzyme assembly comprising a 3-deoxy-D-arabino heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase (DAH7PS) and chorismate mutase (CM). These enzymes catalyze the first and branch point reactions of aromatic amino acid biosynthesis in the bacterium Prevotella nigrescens (PniDAH7PS), respectively. The interactions between these two distinct catalytic domains support functional inter-reliance within this bifunctional enzyme. The binding of prephenate, the product of CM-catalyzed reaction, to the CM domain is associated with a striking rearrangement of overall protein conformation that alters the interdomain interactions and allosterically inhibits the DAH7PS activity. In this study, we observed allosteric activation of CM activity in the presence of all DAH7PS substrates. Using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments we show that changes in overall protein conformations and dynamics are associated with the presence of different DAH7PS substrates and the allosteric inhibitor prephenate. Furthermore, we have identified an extended interhelix loop located in CM domain, loopC320-F333, as a crucial segment for the interdomain structural and catalytic communications. Our results suggest that the dual function enzyme PniDAH7PS contains a reciprocal allosteric system between the two enzymatic moieties, as a result of this bidirectional interdomain communication. This arrangement allows for a complex feedback and feedforward system for control of pathway flux by connecting the initiation and branch point of aromatic amino acid biosynthesis.
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