Transesterification thio effects of phosphate diesters: free energy barriers and kinetic and equilibrium isotope effects from density-functional theory

Biochemistry vol. 45  p. 10043-10053  DOI: 10.1021/bi060869f
PMID/PMCID: 16906762 Published: 2006-08-15 

Yun Liu, Brent A. Gregersen, Alvan Hengge, Darrin M. York [ ]

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Primary and secondary kinetic and equilibrium isotope effects are calculated with density-functional methods for the in-line dianionic methanolysis of the native (unsubstituted) and thio-substituted cyclic phosphates. These reactions represent reverse reaction models for RNA transesterification under alkaline conditions. The effect of solvent is treated with explicit (single and double) water molecules and self-consistently with an implicit (continuum) solvation model. Singly substituted reactions at the nonbridging OP1 position and bridging O2‘, O3‘, and O5‘ positions and a doubly substituted reaction at the OP1 and OP2 positions were considered. Aqueous free energy barriers are calculated, and the structures and bond orders of the rate-controlling transition states are characterized. The results are consistent with available experimental data and provide useful information for the interpretation of measured isotope and thio effects used to probe mechanism in phosphoryl transfer reactions catalyzed by enzymes and ribozymes.