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The interaction of Citrobacter freundii methionine γ-lyase (MGL) and the mutant form in which Cys115 is replaced by Ala (MGL C115A) with the nonprotein amino acid (2R)-2-amino-3-[(S)-prop-2-enylsulfinyl]propanoic acid (alliin) was investigated. It was found that MGL catalyzes the β-elimination reaction of alliin to form 2-propenethiosulfinate (allicin), pyruvate and ammonia. The β-elimination reaction of alliin is followed by the inactivation and modification of SH groups of the wild-type and mutant enzymes. Three-dimensional structures of inactivated wild-type MGL (iMGL wild type) and a C115A mutant form (iMGL C115A) were determined at 1.85 and 1.45 Å resolution and allowed the identification of the SH groups that were oxidized by allicin. On this basis, the mechanism of the inactivation of MGL by alliin, a new suicide substrate of MGL, is proposed.

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PDB references: methionine γ-lyase, complex with alliin, 4mkj; C115A mutant, complex with alliin, 4mkk

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