Substrate specificities and conformational flexibility of 3-ketosteroid 9α-hydroxylases


KshA is the oxygenase component of 3-ketosteroid 9α-hydroxylase, a Rieske oxygenase involved in the bacterial degrdn. of steroids. Consistent with its role in bile acid catabolism, KshA1 from Rhodococcus rhodochrous DSM43269 had the highest apparent specificity (kcat/Km) for steroids with an iso-Pr side chain at C17, such as 3-oxo-23,24-bisnorcholesta-1,4-diene-22-oate (1,4-BNC). By contrast, the KshA5 homolog had the highest apparent specificity for substrates with no C17 side chain (kcat/Km >105 s-1m-1 for 4-estrendione, 5α-androstandione, and testosterone). Unexpectedly, substrates such as 4-androstene-3,17-dione (ADD) and 4-BNC displayed strong substrate inhibition (KiS ∼100 μm). By comparison, the cholesterol-degrading KshAMtb from Mycobacterium tuberculosis had the highest specificity for CoA-thioesterified substrates. These specificities are consistent with differences in the catabolism of cholesterol and bile acids, resp., in actinobacteria. X-ray crystallog. structures of the KshAMtb·ADD, KshA1·1,4-BNC-CoA, KshA5·ADD, and KshA5·1,4-BNC-CoA complexes revealed that the enzymes have very similar steroid-binding pockets with the substrate’s C17 oriented toward the active site opening. Comparisons suggest Tyr-245 and Phe-297 are determinants of KshA1 specificity. All enzymes have a flexible 16-residue “mouth loop,” which in some structures completely occluded the substrate-binding pocket from the bulk solvent. Remarkably, the catalytic iron and α-helixes harboring its ligands were displaced up to 4.4 Å in the KshA5·substrate complexes as compared with substrate-free KshA, suggesting that Rieske oxygenases may have a dynamic nature similar to cytochrome P 450. [on SciFinder(R)]

J Biol Chem