The interactions of the phosphorylated derivatives of hydroquinone (HQN-P2), resorcinol (RSN-P2), 4-hydroxybenzaldehyde (HBA-P) and 2,4-dihydroxybenzaldehyde (DHBA-P; phosphate group at position 4) with fructose bisphosphate aldolase were analysed by enzyme kinetics, UV/visible difference spectroscopy and site-directed mutagenesis. Enzyme activity was competitively inhibited in the presence of HQN-P2, RSN-P2 and HBA-P, whereas DHBA-P exhibited slow-binding inhibition. Inhibition by DHBA-P involved active-site Schiff-base formation and required a phenol group ortho to the aldehyde moiety. Rates of enzyme inactivation and of Schiff-base formation by DHBA-P were identical, and corresponded to 3.2-3.5 DHBA-P molecules covalently bound per aldolase tetramer at maximal inactivation. Site-directed mutagenesis of the active-site lysine residues at positions 107, 146 and 229 was found to be consistent with Schiff-base formation between DHBA-P and Lys-146, and this was promoted by Lys-229. Mutation of Glu-187, located vicinally between Lys-146 and Lys-229 in the active site, perturbed the rate of Schiff-base formation, suggesting a functional role for Glu-187 in Schiff-base formation and stabilization. The decreased cleavage activity of the active-site mutants towards fructose 1,6-bisphosphate is consistent with a proton-transfer mechanism involving Lys-229, Glu-187 and Lys-146.

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