Structural basis for inhibition of Escherichia coli uridine phosphorylase by 5-substituted acyclouridines

Academic Article


  • Uridine phosphorylase (UP) catalyzes the reversible phosphorolysis of uridine to uracil and ribose 1-phosphate and is a key enzyme in the pyrimidine-salvage pathway. Escherichia coli UP is structurally homologous to E. coli purine nucleoside phosphorylase and other members of the type I family of nucleoside phosphorylases. The structures of 5-benzylacyclouridine, 5-phenylthioacyclouridine, 5-phenylselenenylacyclouridine, 5-m-benzyloxybenzyl acyclouridine and 5-m-benzyloxybenzyl barbituric acid acyclonucleoside bound to the active site of E. coli UP have been determined, with resolutions ranging from 1.95 to 2.3 Å. For all five complexes the acyclo sugar moiety binds to the active site in a conformation that mimics the ribose ring of the natural substrates. Surprisingly, the terminal hydroxyl group occupies the position of the nonessential 5′-hydroxyl substituent of the substrate rather than the 3′-hydroxyl group, which is normally required for catalytic activity. Until recently, inhibitors of UP were designed with limited structural knowledge of the active-site residues. These structures explain the basis of inhibition for this series of acyclouridine analogs and suggest possible additional avenues for future drug-design efforts. Furthermore, the studies can be extended to design inhibitors of human UP, for which no X-ray structure is available. © 2005 International Union of Crystallography - all rights reserved.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bu W; Settembre EC; El Kouni MH; Ealick SE
  • Start Page

  • 863
  • End Page

  • 872
  • Volume

  • 61
  • Issue

  • 7