Inhibition of the bovine branched-chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complex and its kinase by arylidenepyruvates

Kim S. Lau, Arthur J L Cooper, David T. Chuang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


A novel class of inhibitors for the branched-chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase (BCOAD) complex has been synthesized and studied. The sodium salts of arylidenepyruvates: e.g., furfurylidenepyruvate (compound I), 4-(3-thienyl)-2-oxo-3-butenoate (compound II), cinnamalpyruvate (compound III) and 4-(2-thienyl)-2-oxo-3-butenoate (compound IV) inhibit the overall and kinase reactions of the BCOAD complex from bovine liver. Inhibitions of the overall reaction occur at the decarboxylase (E1) step as determined by a spectrophotometric assay with 2,6-dichlorophenolindophenol as an electron acceptor. Inhibition of the E1 reaction by compound I (Ki = 0.5 μM) is competitive, whereas inhibitions by compounds II (Ki = 150 μM) and III (Ki=500μM) are non-competitive with respect to the substrate 2-oxoisovalerate. The Km value for 2-oxoisovalerate is 6.7 μM as measured by the E1 assay. Inhibition of the E1 step by compounds I, II and III are reversible at low inhibitor concentrations based on the Michaelis-Menten kinetics observed. By comparison, compound I does not significantly inhibit pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complexes. The arylidenepyruvates (compounds I, II and IV) inhibit the BCOAD kinase reaction in a manner similar to the substrate 2-oxo acids. The inhibition of the kinase reaction by compound I is non-competitive with respect to ATP, with an apparent Ki value of 4.5 mM. The results suggest that arylidenepyruvates may be useful probes for elucidating the reaction mechanisms of the BCOAD complex and its kinase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)360-366
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)/Protein Structure and Molecular
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 8 1990


  • (Bovine liver)
  • Arylidenepyruvate
  • Branched chain 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complex
  • Inhibitor
  • Kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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