Canadian Forest Service Publications
Structural characterization of a lepidopteran type-II farnesyl diphosphate synthase from the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana: Implications for inhibitor design. 2018. Picard, M.-È.; Nisole, A.; Béliveau, C.; Sen, S.; Barbar, A.; Shi, R.; Cusson, M. Insect Biochem. Mol. Biol. 92: 84-92.
Available from: Laurentian Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 38984
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Farnesyl diphosphate synthase (FPPS) is an enzyme from the class of short chain (E)-prenyltransferases that catalyzes the condensation of two molecules of isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP, C5) with dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP, C5) to generate the C15 product FPP. In insects, FPPS plays a key role in the biosynthesis of the morphogenetic and gonadotropic “juvenile hormone” (JH). Lepidopteran genomes encode two very distinct FPPS paralogs, one of which (“type-II”) is expressed almost exclusively in the JH-producing glands, the corpora allata. This paralog has been hypothesized to display structural features that enable the binding of the bulkier precursors required for the biosynthesis of lepidopteran ethyl-branched JHs. Here, we report on the first crystal structures of an insect FPPS solved to date. Apo, ligand-bound, and inhibitor-bound structures of type-II FPPS (FPPS2) from the spruce budworm, Choristoneura fumiferana (Order: Lepidoptera), were obtained. Comparison of apo and inhibitor-bound enzymes revealed differences in both inhibitor binding and structural plasticity of CfFPPS2 compared to other FPPSs. Our data showed that IPP is not essential to the closure of the C-terminal tail. Ortho-substituted pyridinium bisphosphonates, previously shown to inhibit CfFPPS2, bound to the allylic site, as predicted; however, their alkyl groups were oriented towards the homoallylic binding site, with the bulkier propyl-substituted inhibitor penetrating deeply into the IPP binding pocket. The current study sheds light on the structural basis of substrate specificity of type-II FPPS of the spruce budworm. Through a comparison with other inhibitor-bound FPPSs, we propose several approaches to improve inhibitor selectivity and potency.
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