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Biochemistry. 2001 May 22;40(20):5975-82.

Mechanism of the family 1 beta-glucosidase from Streptomyces sp: catalytic residues and kinetic studies.

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Institut de Biologia Fonamental "Vicent Villar i Palasí" and Dept Bioquímica i Biologia Molecular, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Barcelona, Spain.


The Streptomyces sp. beta-glucosidase (Bgl3) is a retaining glycosidase that belongs to family 1 glycosyl hydrolases. Steady-state kinetics with p-nitrophenyl beta-D-glycosides revealed that the highest k(cat)/K(M) values are obtained with glucoside (with strong substrate inhibition) and fucoside (with no substrate inhibition) substrates and that Bgl3 has 10-fold glucosidase over galactosidase activity. Reactivity studies by means of a Hammett analysis using a series of substituted aryl beta-glucosides gave a biphasic plot log k(cat) vs pK(a) of the phenol aglycon: a linear region with a slope of beta(lg) = -0.8 for the less reactive substrates (pK(a) > 8) and no significant dependence for activated substrates (pK(a) < 8). Thus, according to the two-step mechanism of retaining glycosidases, formation of the glycosyl-enzyme intermediate is rate limiting for the former substrates, while hydrolysis of the intermediate is for the latter. To identify key catalytic residues and on the basis of sequence similarity to other family 1 beta-glucosidases, glutamic acids 178 and 383 were changed to glutamine and alanine by site-directed mutagenesis. Mutation of Glu178 to Gln and Ala yielded enzymes with 250- and 3500-fold reduction in their catalytic efficiencies, whereas larger reduction (10(5)-10(6)-fold) were obtained for mutants at Glu383. The functional role of both residues was probed by a chemical rescue methodology based on activation of the inactive Ala mutants by azide as exogenous nucleophile. The E178A mutant yielded the beta-glucosyl azide adduct (by (1)H NMR) with a 200-fold increase on k(cat) for the 2,4-dinitrophenyl glucoside but constant k(cat)/K(M) on azide concentration. On the other hand, the E383A mutant with the same substrate gave the alpha-glucosyl azide product and a 100-fold increase in k(cat) at 1 M azide. In conclusion, Glu178 is the general acid/base catalyst and Glu383 the catalytic nucleophile. The results presented here indicate that Bgl3 beta-glucosidase displays kinetic and mechanistic properties similar to other family 1 enzymes analyzed so far. Subtle differences in behavior would lie in the fine and specific architecture of their respective active sites.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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