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J Mol Biol. 2001 Apr 27;308(2):295-310.

The X-ray crystal structure of the Trichoderma reesei family 12 endoglucanase 3, Cel12A, at 1.9 A resolution.

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Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Uppsala University, Sweden.


We present the three-dimensional structure of Trichoderma reesei endoglucanase 3 (Cel12A), a small, 218 amino acid residue (24.5 kDa), neutral pI, glycoside hydrolase family 12 cellulase that lacks a cellulose-binding module. The structure has been determined using X-ray crystallography and refined to 1.9 A resolution. The asymmetric unit consists of six non-crystallographic symmetry-related molecules that were exploited to improve initial multiple isomorphous replacement phasing, and subsequent structure refinement. The enzyme contains one disulfide bridge and is glycosylated at Asp164 by a single N-acetyl glucosamine residue. The protein has the expected fold for a glycoside hydrolase clan-C family 12 enzyme. It contains two beta-sheets, of six and nine strands, packed on top of one another, and one alpha-helix. The concave surface of the nine-stranded beta-sheet forms a large substrate-binding groove in which the active-site residues are located. In the active site, we find a carboxylic acid trio, similar to that of glycoside hydrolase families 7 and 16. The strictly conserved Asp99 hydrogen bonds to the nucleophile, the invariant Glu116. The binding crevice is lined with both aromatic and polar amino acid side-chains which may play a role in substrate binding. The structure of the fungal family 12 enzyme presented here allows a complete structural characterization of the glycoside hydrolase-C clan.

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