The metal-ion dissociation constants (Mg2+, Mn2+) of wild-type and mutant D-xylose isomerases from Actinoplanes missouriensis have been determined by titrating the metal-ion-free enzymes with Mg2+ and Mn2+ respectively. Substitution of amino acids co-ordinated to metal-ion 1 (E181D, D245N) dramatically affects the dissociation constants, pH-activity profiles and apparent substrate binding. Mutagenesis of groups ligated to metal-ion 2 is less drastic except for that of Asp-255: a decrease in metal-ion affinity, a change in metal-ion preference and an improved apparent substrate binding (at pH values above the optimum), especially in the presence of Mn2+, are observed for the D255N enzyme. Similar effects, except for a slightly increased metal-ion affinity, are obtained by mutagenesis of the adjacent Glu-186 to Gln and the unconserved Ala-25 to Lys. Moreover, the striking acidic-pH shifts observed for the D255N and E186Q enzymes support the crucial role of the water molecule, Wa-690, Asp-255 and the adjacent Glu-186 in proton transfer from 2-OH to O-1 of the open and extended aldose substrate. Mutations of other important groups scarcely affect the metal-ion dissociation constants and pH-activity profiles, although pronounced effects on the kinetic parameters may be observed.

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