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Characterization of the Glu and Asp residues in the active site of human beta-hexosaminidase B

TitleCharacterization of the Glu and Asp residues in the active site of human beta-hexosaminidase B
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHou, YM, Vocadlo, DJ, Leung, A, Withers, SG, Mahuran, D
JournalBIOCHEMISTRY
Volume40
Pagination2201-2209
Date PublishedFEB 20
ISSN0006-2960
Abstract

Human beta -hexosaminidase A (alpha beta) and B (beta beta) are composed of subunits (alpha and beta) that are 60% identical and have been grouped with other evolutionarily related glycosidases into,{''}Family 20{''}. The three-dimensional structure of only one Family 20 member has been elucidated, a bacterial chitobiase. This enzyme shares primary structure homology with both the human subunits only in its active-site region, and even in this restricted area, the level of identity is only 26%. Thus, the validity of the molecular model for the active site of the human enzyme based on chitobiase must be determined experimentally. In this report, we analyze highly purified mutant forms of human hexosaminidase B that have had conservative substitutions made at Glu and Asp residues predicted by the chitobiase model to be part of its active site. Mutation of beta Glu(355) to Gln reduces k(cat) 5000-fold with only a small effect on K-m, while also shifting the pH optimum. These effects are consistent with assignment of this residue as the acid/base catalytic residue. Similarly, mutation of beta Asp(354) to Asn reduced k(cat) 2000-fold while leaving K-m essentially unaltered, consistent with assignment of this residue as the residue that interacts with the substrate acetamide group to promote its attack on the anomeric center. These data in conjunction with the mutagenesis studies of Asp(241) and Glu(491) indicate that the molecular model is substantially accurate in its identification of catalytically important residues.

DOI10.1021/bi002018s