1-Deoxy-D-xylulose 5-phosphate (DXP) reductoisomerase (DXR, also known as methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) synthase) is a NADPH-dependent enzyme, which catalyzes the conversion of DXP to MEP in the nonmevalonate pathway of isoprene biosynthesis. Two mechanisms have been proposed for the DXR-catalyzed reaction. In the ,-ketol rearrangement mechanism, the reaction begins with deprotonation of the C-3 hydroxyl group followed by a 1,2-migration to give methylerythrose phosphate, which is then reduced to MEP by NADPH. In the retroaldol/aldol rearrangement mechanism, DXR first cleaves the C3-C4 bond of DXP in a retroaldol manner to generate a three-carbon and a two-carbon phosphate bimolecular intermediate. These two species are then reunited by an aldol reaction to form a new C-C bond, yielding an aldehyde intermediate. Subsequent reduction by NADPH affords MEP. To differentiate these mechanisms, we have prepared [3-2H]- and [4-2H]-DXP and carried out a competitive secondary kinetic isotope effect (KIE) study of the DXR reaction. The normal 2° KIEs observed for [3-2H]- and [4-2H]-DXP provide compelling evidence supporting a retroaldol/aldol mechanism for the rearrangement catalyzed by DXR, with the rate-limiting step being cleavage of the C3-C4 bond of DXP.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry