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

X-ray crystallographic analysis of 6-aminohexanoate-dimer hydrolase: molecular basis for the birth of a nylon oligomer-degrading enzyme.

6-Aminohexanoate-dimer hydrolase (EII), responsible for the degradation of nylon-6 industry by-products, and its analogous enzyme (EII') that has only approximately 0.5% of the specific activity toward the 6-aminohexanoate-linear dimer, are encoded on plasmid pOAD2 of Arthrobacter sp. (formerly Flavobacterium sp.) KI72. Here, we report the three-dimensional structure of Hyb-24 (a hybrid between the EII and EII' proteins; EII'-level activity) by x-ray crystallography at 1.8 A resolution and refined to an R-factor and R-free of 18.5 and 20.3%, respectively. The fold adopted by the 392-amino acid polypeptide generated a two-domain structure that is similar to the folds of the penicillin-recognizing family of serine-reactive hydrolases, especially to those of d-alanyl-d-alanine-carboxypeptidase from Streptomyces and carboxylesterase from Burkholderia. Enzyme assay using purified enzymes revealed that EII and Hyb-24 possess hydrolytic activity for carboxyl esters with short acyl chains but no detectable activity for d-alanyl-d-alanine. In addition, on the basis of the spatial location and role of amino acid residues constituting the active sites of the nylon oligomer hydrolase, carboxylesterase, d-alanyl-d-alanine-peptidase, and beta-lactamases, we conclude that the nylon oligomer hydrolase utilizes nucleophilic Ser(112) as a common active site both for nylon oligomer-hydrolytic and esterolytic activities. However, it requires at least two additional amino acid residues (Asp(181) and Asn(266)) specific for nylon oligomer-hydrolytic activity. Here, we propose that amino acid replacements in the catalytic cleft of a preexisting esterase with the beta-lactamase fold resulted in the evolution of the nylon oligomer hydrolase.[1]


  1. X-ray crystallographic analysis of 6-aminohexanoate-dimer hydrolase: molecular basis for the birth of a nylon oligomer-degrading enzyme. Negoro, S., Ohki, T., Shibata, N., Mizuno, N., Wakitani, Y., Tsurukame, J., Matsumoto, K., Kawamoto, I., Takeo, M., Higuchi, Y. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
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