Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Crop Bioprotection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #188285


item Poi, Ming
item Tomaszewski, John
item Yuan, Chunhua
item Dunlap, Christopher
item Andersen, Niels
item Gelb, Michael
item Tsai, Ming-daw

Submitted to: Journal of Molecular Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/7/2003
Publication Date: 6/24/2003
Citation: Poi, M.J., Tomaszewski, J.W., Yuan, C., Dunlap, C.A., Andersen, N.H., Gelb, M.H., Tsai, M. 2003. A low-barrier hydrogen bond between histidine of secreted phospholipase A2 and a transition state analog inhibitor. Journal of Molecular Biology. 329:997-1009.

Interpretive Summary: Phospholipase A2 is an important enzyme in a pathway leading to inflammation and is found in nearly every organism. In addition, phospholipase A2 is used on an industrial scale for the processing of soybean lecithin. The current study examines how inhibitors interact with this enzyme. The results show the inhibitor binds to the active site of the enzyme and is stabilized by specific interactions with the enzyme. These results establish how certain small molecules interact with phospholipase A2 and modify its activity. This study benefits scientists trying to manipulate the activity of lipases for medical or industrial uses.

Technical Abstract: This work describes in-depth NMR characterization of a unique low-barrier hydrogen bond (LBHB) between an active site residue from the enzyme and a bound inhibitor: the complex between secreted phospholipase A2 (sPLA2, from bee venom and bovine pancreas) and a transition-state analog inhibitor HK32. A downfield proton NMR resonance, at 17-18 ppm, was observed in the complex but not in the free enzyme. On the basis of site-specific mutagenesis and specific **15N-decoupling, this downfield resonance was assigned to the active site H48, which is part of the catalytic dyad D99-H48. These results led to a hypothesis that the downfield resonance represents the proton (H**epsilon2 of H48) involved in the H-bonding between D99 and H48, in analogy with serine proteases. However, this was shown not to be the case by use of the bovine enzyme labeled with specific [**15N**epsilon2]His. Instead, the downfield resonance arises from H**delta1 of H48, which forms a hydrogen bond with a non-bridging phosphonate oxygen of the inhibitor. Further studies showed that this proton displays a fractionation factor of 0.62(±0.06), and an exchange rate protection factor of >100 at 285 K and >40 at 298 K, which are characteristic of a LBHB. The p-kappa-a of the imidazole ring of H48 was shown to be shifted from 5.7 for the free enzyme to an apparent value of 9.0 in the presence of the inhibitor. These properties are very similar to those of the Asp...His LBHBs in serine proteases. Possible structural bases and functional consequences for the different locations of the LBHB between these two types of enzymes are discussed. The results also underscore the importance of using specific isotope labeling, rather than extrapolation of NMR results from other enzyme systems, to assign the downfield proton resonance to a specific hydrogen bond. Although our studies did not permit the strength of the LBHB to be accurately measured, the data do not provide support for an unusually strong hydrogen bond strength (i.e., >10 kcal/mol).