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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biophysics - Biotechnology - Chemistry - Biochemistry

Role of Active Site Rigidity in Activity: MD Simulation and Fluorescence Study on a Lipase Mutant
Published: Friday, April 13, 2012
Author: Md. Zahid Kamal et al.

by Md. Zahid Kamal, Tabrez Anwar Shamim Mohammad, G. Krishnamoorthy, Nalam Madhusudhana Rao

Relationship between stability and activity of enzymes is maintained by underlying conformational flexibility. In thermophilic enzymes, a decrease in flexibility causes low enzyme activity while in less stable proteins such as mesophiles and psychrophiles, an increase in flexibility is associated with enhanced enzyme activity. Recently, we identified a mutant of a lipase whose stability and activity were enhanced simultaneously. In this work, we probed the conformational dynamics of the mutant and the wild type lipase, particularly flexibility of their active site using molecular dynamic simulations and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. In contrast to the earlier observations, our data show that active site of the mutant is more rigid than wild type enzyme. Further investigation suggests that this lipase needs minimal reorganization/flexibility of active site residues during its catalytic cycle. Molecular dynamic simulations suggest that catalytically competent active site geometry of the mutant is relatively more preserved than wild type lipase, which might have led to its higher enzyme activity. Our study implies that widely accepted positive correlation between conformation flexibility and enzyme activity need not be stringent and draws attention to the possibility that high enzyme activity can still be accomplished in a rigid active site and stable protein structures. This finding has a significant implication towards better understanding of involvement of dynamic motions in enzyme catalysis and enzyme engineering through mutations in active site.
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