Reaction mechanism of hydroxynitrile lyases of the alpha/beta-hydrolase superfamily: the three-dimensional structure of the transient enzyme-substrate complex certifies the crucial role of LYS236.

Karl Gruber, Günter Gartler, Barbara Krammer, Helmut Schwab, Christioph Kratky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The hydroxynitrile lyases (HNLs) from Hevea brasiliensis (HbHNL) and from Manihot esculenta (MeHNL) are both members of the /-hydrolase superfamily.
Mechanistic proposals have been put forward in the past for both enzymes; they differed with respect to the role of the active-site lysine residue for which a catalytic function was claimed for the Hevea enzyme but denied for the Manihot enzyme. We applied a freeze-quench method to prepare crystals of the complex of HbHNL with the biological substrate acetone cyanohydrin and
determined its three-dimensional structure. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to prepare the mutant K236L, which is inactive although its three-dimensional structure is similar to the wild-type enzyme. However, the structure of the K236L-acetone cyanohydrin complex shows the substrate in a different orientation from the wild-type complex. Finite difference Poisson-Boltzmann calculations show that in the absence of Lys236 the catalytic base His235 would be protonated at neutral pH.
All of this suggests that Lys236 is instrumental for catalysis in several ways, i.e. by correctly positioning the substrate, by stabilizing the negatively charged reaction
product CN, and by modulating the basicity of the catalytic base. These data complete the elucidation of the reaction mechanism of /-hydrolase HNLs, in which the catalytic triad acts as a general base rather than as a nucleophile; proton abstraction from the substrate is performed by the serine, and reprotonation of the product cyanide is performed by the histidine residues. Together with a threonine side chain, the active-site serine and lysine are also involved in substrate binding.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20501-10
JournalJournal of Biotechnology
VolumeMay
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Basic - Fundamental (Grundlagenforschung)

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