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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Modification of near active site residues in organophosphorus hydrolase reduces metal stoichiometry and alters substrate specificity.

Organophosphorus hydrolase ( OPH, EC is a dimeric, bacterial enzyme that detoxifies many organophosphorus neurotoxins by hydrolyzing a variety of phosphonate bonds. The histidinyl residues at amino acid positions 254 and 257 are located near the bimetallic active site present in each monomer. It has been proposed that these residues influence catalysis by interacting with active site residues and the substrate in the binding pocket. We replaced the histidine at position 254 with arginine (H254R) and the one at position 257 with leucine (H257L) independently to form the single-site-modified enzymes. The double modification was also constructed to incorporate both changes (H254R/H257L). Although native OPH has two metals at each active site (four per dimer), all three of these altered enzymes possessed only two metals per dimer while retaining considerable enzymatic activity for the preferred phosphotriester (P-O bond) substrate, paraoxon (5-100% kcat). The three altered enzymes achieved a 2-30-fold increase in substrate specificity (kcat/Km) for demeton S (P-S bond), an analogue for the chemical warfare agent VX. In contrast, the substrate specificity for diisopropyl fluorophosphonate (P-F bond) was substantially decreased for each of these enzymes. In addition, H257L and H254R/H257L showed an 11- and 18-fold increase, respectively, in specificity for NPPMP, the analogue for the chemical warfare agent soman. These results demonstrate the ability to significantly enhance the specificity of OPH for various substrates by site-specific modifications, and it is suggested that changes in metal requirements may affect these improved catalytic characteristics by enhancing structural flexibility and improving access of larger substrates to the active site, while simultaneously decreasing the catalytic efficiency for smaller substrates.[1]


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