Raman Spectra of Interchanging β-Lactamase Inhibitor Intermediates on the Millisecond Time Scale
Rapid mix?rapid freeze is a powerful method to study the mechanisms of enzyme?substrate reactions in solution. Here we report a protocol that combines this method with normal (non-resonance) Raman microscopy to enable us to define molecular details of intermediates at early time points. With this combined method, SHV-1, a class A ?-lactamase, and tazobactam, a commercially available ?-lactamase inhibitor, were rapidly mixed on the millisecond time scale and then were flash-frozen by injection into an isopentane solution surrounded by liquid nitrogen. The ?ice? was finally freeze-dried and characterized by Raman microscopy. We found that the reaction is almost complete in solution at 25 ms, giving rise to a major population composed of the trans-enamine intermediate. Between 25 and 500 ms, minor populations of protonated imine are detected that have previously been postulated to precede enamine intermediates. However, within 1 s, the imines are converted entirely to enamines. Interestingly, with this method, we can measure directly the turnover number of SHV-1 and tazobactam. The enzyme is completely inhibited at 1:4 ratio (enzyme:inhibitor) or greater, a number that agrees with the turnover number derived from steady-state kinetic methods. This application, employing non-intensity-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, provides a general and effective route to study the early events in enzyme?substrate reactions.