Molecular recognition of adenosine deaminase: 15N NMR studies

Avital Laxer, Hugo E. Gottlieb, Bilha Fischer

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2 Scopus citations


The elucidation of the molecular recognition of adenosine deaminase (ADA), the interpretation of the catalytic mechanism, and the design of novel inhibitors are based mostly on data obtained for the crystalline state of the enzyme. To obtain evidence for molecular recognition of the physiologically relevant soluble enzyme, we studied its interactions with the in situ formed inhibitor, 6-OH-purine riboside (HDPR), by 1D-15N- and 2D-(1H-15N)- NMR using the labeled primary inhibitor [15N4]-PR. We synthesized both [15N4]-PR and an [15N4]-HDPR model, from relatively inexpensive 15N sources. The [15N4]-HDPR model was used to simulate H-bonding and possible Zn2+-coordination of HDPR with ADA. We also explored possible ionic interactions between PR and ADA by 15N-NMR monitored pH-titrations of [15N4]-PR. Finally, we investigated the [15N4]-PR-ADA 1:1 complex by 2D-(1H-15N) NMR. We found that HDPR recognition determinants in ADA do not include any ionic-interactions. HDPR N1 H is an H-bond acceptor, and not an H-bond donor. Despite the proximity of N7 to the Zn2+-ion, no coordination occurs; instead, N7 is an H-bond acceptor. We found an overall agreement between the crystallographic data for the crystallized ADA:HDPR complex and the 15N-NMR signals for the corresponding soluble complex. This finding justifies the use of ADA's crystallographic data for the design of novel inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-180
Number of pages20
JournalNucleosides, Nucleotides and Nucleic Acids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Adenosine deaminase
  • N NMR
  • Nucleosides
  • Purine riboside


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