Repositioning the catalytic triad aspartic acid of haloalkane dehalogenase: Effects on stability, kinetics, and structure

Geja H. Krooshof, Edwin M. Kwant, Jiří Damborský, Jaroslav Koča, Dick B. Janssen

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Haloalkane dehalogenase (DhlA) catalyzes the hydrolysis of haloalkanes via an alkyl-enzyme intermediate. The covalent intermediate, which is formed by nucleophilic substitution with Asp124, is hydrolyzed by a water molecule that is activated by His289. The role of Asp260, which is the third member of the catalytic triad, was studied by site-directed mutagenesis. Mutation of Asp260 to asparagine resulted in a catalytically inactive D260N mutant, which demonstrates that the triad acid Asp260 is essential for dehalogenase activity. Furthermore, Asp260 has an important structural role, since the D260N enzyme accumulated mainly in inclusion bodies during expression, and neither substrate nor product could bind in the active-site cavity. Activity for brominated substrates was restored to D260N by replacing Asn148 with an aspartic or glutamic acid. Both double mutants D260N+N148D and D260N+N148E had a 10-fold reduced kcat and 40-fold higher Km values for 1,2-dibromoethane compared to the wild-type enzyme. Pre-steady-state kinetic analysis of the D260N+N148E double mutant showed that the decrease in kcat was mainly caused by a 220-fold reduction of the rate of carbon-bromine bond cleavage and a 10-fold decrease in the rate of hydrolysis of the alkyl-enzyme intermediate. On the other hand, bromide was released 12-fold faster and via a different pathway than in the wild-type enzyme. Molecular modeling of the mutant showed that Glu148 indeed could take over the interaction with His289 and that there was a change in charge distribution in the tunnel region that connects the active site with the solvent. On the basis of primary structure similarity between DhlA and other α/β-hydrolase fold dehalogenases, we propose that a conserved acidic residue at the equivalent position of Asn148 in DhlA is the third catalytic triad residue in the latter enzymes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9571-9580
Number of pages10
Issue number31
Publication statusPublished - 5-Aug-1997



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