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Identification of Thermal Conduits That Link the Protein–Water Interface to the Active Site Loop and Catalytic Base in Enolase

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journal contribution
posted on 04.01.2021, 23:29 by Emily J. Thompson, Adhayana Paul, Anthony T. Iavarone, Judith P. Klinman
We report here on the salient role of protein mobility in accessing conformational landscapes that enable efficient enzyme catalysis. We are focused on yeast enolase, a highly conserved lyase with a TIM barrel domain and catalytic loop, as part of a larger study of the relationship of site selective protein motions to chemical reactivity within superfamilies. Enthalpically hindered variants were developed by replacement of a conserved hydrophobic side chain (Leu 343) with smaller side chains. Leu343 is proximal to the active site base in enolase, and comparative pH rate profiles for the valine and alanine variants indicate a role for side chain hydrophobicity in tuning the pKa of the catalytic base. However, the magnitude of a substrate deuterium isotope effect is almost identical for wild-type (WT) and Leu343Ala, supporting an unchanged rate-determining proton abstraction step. The introduced hydrophobic side chains at position 343 lead to a discontinuous break in both activity and activation energy as a function of side chain volume. Hydrogen–deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) experiments were performed as a function of time and temperature for WT and Leu343Ala, and provide a spatially resolved map of changes in protein flexibility following mutation. Impacts on protein flexibility are localized to specific networks that arise at the protein–solvent interface and terminate in a loop that has been shown by X-ray crystallography to close over the active site. These interrelated effects are discussed in the context of long-range, solvent-accessible and thermally activated networks that play key roles in tuning the precise distances and interactions among reactants.

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