Research Summary: Structural Insights into Cellulolytic and Chitinolytic Enzymes Revealing Crucial Residues of Insect β-N-acetyl-D-hexosaminidase


The chemical similarity of cellulose and chitin supports the idea that their corresponding hydrolytic enzymes would bind β-1,4-linked glucose residues in a similar manner. A structural and mutational analysis was performed for the plant cellulolytic enzyme BGlu1 from Oryza sativa and the insect chitinolytic enzyme OfHex1 from Ostrinia furnacalis. Although BGlu1 shows little amino-acid sequence or topological similarity with OfHex1, three residues (Trp490, Glu328, Val327 in OfHex1, and Trp358, Tyr131 and Ile179 in BGlu1) were identified as being conserved in the +1 sugar binding site. OfHex1 Glu328 together with Trp490 was confirmed to be necessary for substrate binding. The mutant E328A exhibited a 8-fold increment in Km for (GlcNAc)2 and a 42-fold increment in Ki for TMG-chitotriomycin. A crystal structure of E328A in complex with TMG-chitotriomycin was resolved at 2.5 Å, revealing the obvious conformational changes of the catalytic residues (Glu368 and Asp367) and the absence of the hydrogen bond between E328A and the C3-OH of the +1 sugar. V327G exhibited the same activity as the wild-type, but acquired the ability to efficiently hydrolyse β-1,2-linked GlcNAc in contrast to the wild-type. Thus, Glu328 and Val327 were identified as important for substrate-binding and as glycosidic-bond determinants. A structure-based sequence alignment confirmed the spatial conservation of these three residues in most plant cellulolytic, insect and bacterial chitinolytic enzymes.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 27-December-2012

Author(s): Liu T., Zhou Y., Chen L., Chen W., Liu L., Shen X., Zhang W., Zhang J., Yang Q.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *