Altered binding of thioflavin t to the peripheral anionic site of acetylcholinesterase after phosphorylation of the active site by chlorpyrifos oxon or dichlorvos

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The peripheral anionic site of acetylcholinesterase, when occupied by a ligand, is known to modulate reaction rates at the active site of this important enzyme. The current report utilized the peripheral anionic site specific fluorogenic probe thioflavin t to determine if the organophosphates chlorpyrifos oxon and dichlorvos bind to the peripheral anionic site of human recombinant acetylcholinesterase, since certain organophosphates display concentration-dependent kinetics when inhibiting this enzyme. Incubation of 3 nM acetylcholinesterase active sites with 50 nM or 2000 nM inhibitor altered both the Bmax and Kd for thioflavin t binding to the peripheral anionic site. However, these changes resulted from phosphorylation of Ser203 since increasing either inhibitor from 50 nM to 2000 nM did not alter further thioflavin t binding kinetics. Moreover, the organophosphate-induced decrease in Bmax did not represent an actual reduction in binding sites, but instead likely resulted from conformational interactions between the acylation and peripheral anionic sites that led to a decrease in the rigidity of bound thioflavin t. A drop in fluorescence quantum yield, leading to an apparent decrease in Bmax, would accompany the decreased rigidity of bound thioflavin t molecules. The organophosphate-induced alterations in Kd represented changes in binding affinity of thioflavin t, with diethylphosphorylation of Ser203 increasing Kd, and dimethylphosphorylation of Ser203 decreasing Kd. These results indicate that chlorpyrifos oxon and dichlorvos do not bind directly to the peripheral anionic site of acetylcholinesterase, but can affect binding to that site through phosphorylation of Ser203.

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