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Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 2003 Feb;67(2):341-6.

Mutational analysis of amino acid residues involved in catalytic activity of a family 18 chitinase from tulip bulbs.

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Laboratories of Protein Chemistry and Engineering, Graduate School of Bioresource and Bioenvironmental Sciences, Kyushu University, 6-10-1 Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan.


We expressed chitinase-1 (TBC-1) from tulip bulbs (Tulipa bakeri) in E. coli cells and used site-directed mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues essential for catalytic activity. Mutations at Glu-125 and Trp-251 completely abolished enzyme activity, and activity decreased with mutations at Asp-123 and Trp-172 when glycolchitin was the substrate. Activity changed with the mutations of Trp-251 to one of several amino acids with side-chains of little hydrophobicity, suggesting that hydrophobic interaction of Trp-251 is important for the activity. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation analysis with hevamine as the model compound showed that the distance between Asp-123 and Glu-125 was extended by mutation of Trp-251. Kinetic studies of Trp-251-mutated chitinases confirmed these various phenomena. The results suggested that Glu-125 and Trp-251 are essential for enzyme activity and that Trp-251 had a direct role in ligand binding.

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