Phospho-azatyrosine, a less effective protein-tyrosine phosphatase substrate than phosphotyrosine

Terrence R. Burke, Zhu Jun Yao, Bin Ye, Kengo Miyoshi, Akira Otaka, Li Wu, Zhong Yin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations


Azatyrosine (AzaTyr, 4) is a natural product isolated from Streptomyces chibanesis, whose structure is characterized by a nitrogen atom in the aryl ring of a tyrosyl residue. This seemingly minor modification to the tyrosyl residue results in profound physiological effects, as AzaTyr has been shown to promote permanent reversion of ras-dependent transformed cells to the normal phenotype in culture and to inhibit chemical induction of carcinogenesis in transgenic mice bearing oncogenic human ras. The mechanisms underlying these effects are not known, however ras-pathways involve an intricate balance between both protein-tyrosine kinases (PTKs) and protein-tyrosine phosphatases (PTPs). The present study was undertaken to examine the general utility of AzaTyr as a structural motif for PTP inhibitor design by examining the phospho-azatyrosine (pAzaTyr)-containing peptide Ac-Asp-Ala-Asp-Glu-pAzaTyr-Leu-amide (8) in a PTP1 enzyme system. Kinetic analysis indicated that 8 binds with a Km value of 210 μM and a catalytic turnover rate, kcat of 52 s-1. This represents a greater than 50-fold reduction in binding affinity relative to the parent phosphotyrosine-containing peptide, indicating that the aryl nitrogen adversely affects binding affinity. The much lower PTP affinity of the pAzaTyr-containing peptide reduces the potential utility of the AzaTyr pharmacophore for PTP inhibitor design. These results are discussed from the point of view that incorporation of AzaTyr residues into proteins could result in perturbation of protein-tyrosine phosphorylation/dephosphorylation cascades that control signal transduction processes, including ras-dependent pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1265-1268
Number of pages4
JournalBioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 21 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry

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