Evaluation of intrinsic binding energy from a hydrogen bonding group in an enzyme inhibitor

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Science  30 Jan 1987:
Vol. 235, Issue 4788, pp. 569-571
DOI: 10.1126/science.3810155


This and two accompanying reports describe the intrinsic binding energy derived from a single hydrogen bond between an inhibitor and an enzyme. The results were obtained by comparing matched pairs of inhibitors of the zinc endopeptidase thermolysin that bind to the enzyme in an essentially identical manner but differ in the presence or absence of a specific hydrogen bond. This report describes five phosphorus-containing analogs of the peptides carbobenzoxy-Gly-Leu-X, in which the Gly-Leu peptide linkage is replaced with a phosphonate ester (-PO2(-)-O-). Values for the inhibition constants of these inhibitors show a direct relation with those of the corresponding phosphonamidate analogs (-PO2(-)-NH- in place of the Gly-Leu peptide moiety), which have been characterized previously as transition state analogs. However, each phosphonate ester is bound about 840 times more weakly than the analogous phosphonamidate, reflecting the loss of 4.0 +/- 0.1 kilocalories per mole in binding energy. From these results and the crystallographic analysis in the next report, it can be inferred that the value of 4.0 kilocalories per mole represents the intrinsic binding energy arising from a highly specific hydrogen binding interaction.

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