A pterin analogue, 5-[(3-azido-6-nitrobenzylidene)amino]-2,6-diamino-4-pyrimidinone (ANBADP), was synthesized as a probe of the pterin binding site of phenylalanine hydroxylase. The photoaffinity label has been found to be a competitive inhibitor of the enzyme with respect to 6,7-dimethyltetrahydropterin, having a Ki of 8.8 ± 1.1 μM. The irreversible labeling of phenylalanine hydroxylase by the photoaffinity label upon irradiation is both concentration and time dependent. Phenylalanine hydroxylase is covalently labeled with a stoichiometry of 0.87 ± 0.08 mol of label/enzyme subunit. 5-Deaza-6-methyltetrahydropterin protects against inactivation and both 5-deaza-6-methyltetrahydropterin and 6-methyltetrahydropterin protect against covalent labeling, indicating that labeling occurs at the pterin binding site. Three tryptic peptides were isolated from [3H]ANBADP-photolabeled enzyme and sequenced. All peptides indicated the sequence Thr-Leu-Lys-Ala-Leu-Tyr-Lys (residues 192-198). The residues labeled with [3H]ANBADP were Lys198 and Lysl94, with the majority of the radioactivity being associated with Lysl98. The reactive sulfhydryl of phenylalanine hydroxylase associated with activation of the enzyme was also identified by labeling with the chromophoric label 5-(iodoacetamido)fluorescein [Parniak, M. A., & Kaufman, S. (1981) J. Biol. Chem. 256, 6876]. Labeling of the enzyme resulted in 1 mol of fluorescein bound per phenylalanine hydroxylase subunit and a concomitant activation of phenylalanine hydroxylase to 82% of the activity found with phenylalanine-activated enzyme. Tryptic and chymotryptic peptides were isolated from fluorescein-labeled enzyme and sequenced. The modified residue was identified as Cys236.
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