Quantitating tertiary binding energies of 2' OH groups on the P1 duplex of the Tetrahymena ribozyme: intrinsic binding energy in an RNA enzyme.

Biochemistry

PubMedID: 9054551

Narlikar GJ, Khosla M, Usman N, Herschlag D. Quantitating tertiary binding energies of 2' OH groups on the P1 duplex of the Tetrahymena ribozyme: intrinsic binding energy in an RNA enzyme. Biochemistry. 1997;36(9):2465-77.
Binding of the Tetrahymena ribozyme's oligonucleotide substrate (S) involves P1 duplex formation with the ribozyme's internal guide sequence (IGS) to give an open complex, followed by docking of the P1 duplex into the catalytic core via tertiary interactions to give a closed complex. The overall binding energies provided by 2' OH groups on S and IGS have been measured previously. To obtain the energetic contribution of each of these 2' OH groups in the docking step, we have separately measured their contribution to the stability of a model P1 duplex using "substrate inhibition". This new approach allows measurement of duplex stabilities under conditions identical to those used for ribozyme binding measurements. The tertiary binding energies from the individual 2' OH groups include a small destabilizing contribution of 0.7 kcal/mol and stabilizing contributions of up to -2.9 kcal/mol. The energetic contributions of specific 2' OH groups are discussed in the context of considerable previous work that has characterized the tertiary interactions of the P1 duplex. A "threshold" model for the open and closed complexes is presented that provides a framework to interpret the energetic effects of functional group substitutions on the P1 duplex. The sum of the tertiary stabilization provided by the conserved G x U wobble at the cleavage site and the individual 2' OH groups on the P1 duplex is significantly greater than the observed tertiary stabilization of S (11.0 vs 2.2 kcal/mol). It is suggested that there is an energetic cost for docking the P1 duplex into the active site that is paid for by the "intrinsic binding energy" of groups on the P1 duplex. Substrates that lack sufficient tertiary binding energy to overcome this energetic barrier exhibit reduced reactivities. Thus, the ribozyme appears to use the intrinsic binding energy of groups on the P1 duplex for catalysis. This intrinsic binding energy may be used to position reactants within the active site and to induce electrostatic destabilization of the substrate, relative to its interactions in solution.