American Chemical Society
bi8b00138_si_001.pdf (19.19 MB)

How a Lytic Polysaccharide Monooxygenase Binds Crystalline Chitin

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journal contribution
posted on 2018-03-02, 00:00 authored by Bastien Bissaro, Ingvild Isaksen, Gustav Vaaje-Kolstad, Vincent G. H. Eijsink, Åsmund K. Røhr
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs) are major players in biomass conversion, both in Nature and in the biorefining industry. How the monocopper LPMO active site is positioned relative to the crystalline substrate surface to catalyze powerful, but potentially self-destructive, oxidative chemistry is one of the major questions in the field. We have adopted a multidisciplinary approach, combining biochemical, spectroscopic, and molecular modeling methods to study chitin binding by the well-studied LPMO from Serratia marcescens SmAA10A (or CBP21). The orientation of the enzyme on a single-chain substrate was determined by analyzing enzyme cutting patterns. Building on this analysis, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations were performed to study interactions between the LPMO and three different surface topologies of crystalline chitin. The resulting atomistic models showed that most enzyme–substrate interactions involve the polysaccharide chain that is to be cleaved. The models also revealed a constrained active site geometry as well as a tunnel connecting the bulk solvent to the copper site, through which only small molecules such as H2O, O2, and H2O2 can diffuse. Furthermore, MD simulations, quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics calculations, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy demonstrate that rearrangement of Cu-coordinating water molecules is necessary when binding the substrate and also provide a rationale for the experimentally observed C1 oxidative regiospecificity of SmAA10A. This study provides a first, experimentally supported, atomistic view of the interactions between an LPMO and crystalline chitin. The confinement of the catalytic center is likely crucially important for controlling the oxidative chemistry performed by LPMOs and will help guide future mechanistic studies.