Document Type





The S. cerevisiae carbamylphosphate synthetase – aspartate transcarbamylase multifunctional protein catalyses the first two reactions of the pyrimidine pathway. In this organism, these two reactions are feedback inhibited by the end product UTP. In the present work, the mechanisms of these integrated inhibitions were studied.


The results obtained show that the inhibition is competitive in the case of carbamylphosphate synthetase and non-competitive in the case of aspartate transcarbamylase. They also identify the substrate whose binding is altered by this nucleotide and the step of the carbamylphosphate synthetase reaction which is inhibited. Furthermore, the structure of the domains catalyzing these two reactions were modelled in order to localize the mutations which, specifically, alter the aspartate transcarbamylase sensitivity to the feedback inhibitor UTP. Taken together, the results make it possible to propose a model for the integrated regulation of the two activities of the complex. UTP binds to a regulatory site located in the vicinity of the carbamylphosphate synthetase catalytic subsite which catalyzes the third step of this enzyme reaction. Through a local conformational change, this binding decreases, competitively, the affinity of this site for the substrate ATP. At the same time, through a long distance signal transmission process it allosterically decreases the affinity of the aspartate transcarbamylase catalytic site for the substrate aspartate.


This investigation provides informations about the mechanisms of allosteric inhibition of the two activities of the CPSase-ATCase complex. Although many allosteric monofunctional enzymes were studied, this is the first report on integrated allosteric regulation in a multifunctional protein. The positions of the point mutations which specifically abolish the sensitivity of aspartate transcarbamylase to UTP define an interface between the carbamylphosphate synthetase and aspartate transcarbamylase domains, through which the allosteric signal for the regulation of aspartate transcarbamylase must be propagated.


Molecular Biology