Molecular determinants for cyclic nucleotide binding to the regulatory domains of phosphodiesterase 2A

Albert Y. Wu, Xiao Bo Tang, Sergio E. Martinez, Kaori Ikeda, Joseph A. Beavo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


Binding of cGMP to the GAF-B domain of phosphodiesterase 2A allosterically activates catalytic activity. We report here a series of mutagenesis studies on the GAF-B domain of PDE2A that support a novel mechanism for molecular recognition of cGMP. Alanine mutations of Phe-438, Asp-439, and Thr-488, amino acids that interact with the pyrimidine ring, decrease cGMP affinity slightly but increase cAMP affinity by up to 8-fold. Each interaction is required to provide for cAMP/cGMP specificity. Mutations of any of the residues that interact with the phosphate-ribose moiety or the imidazole ring abolish cGMP binding. Thus, residues that interact with the pyrimidine ring collectively control cAMP/cGMP specificity, whereas residues that bind the phosphate-ribose moiety and imidazole ring are critical for high affinity binding. Similar decreases in binding were found for mutations made in a bacterially expressed GAF-A/B plus catalytic domain construct. Because these constructs had very high catalytic activity, it appears that these mutations did not cause a global denaturation. The affinities of cAMP and cGMP for wild-type GAF-B alone were ∼4-fold greater than for the holoenzyme, suggesting that the presence of neighboring domains alters the conformation of GAF-B. More importantly, the PDE2A GAF-B, GAF-A/B, GAF-A/B+C domains, and holoenzyme all bind cGMP with much higher affinity than has previously been reported. This high affinity suggests that cGMP binding to PDE2 GAF-B activates the enzyme rapidly, stoichiometrically, and in an all or none fashion, rather than variably over a large range of cyclic nucleotide concentrations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37928-37938
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number36
StatePublished - 3 Sep 2004
Externally publishedYes


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