Send to

Choose Destination
J Mol Biol. 1992 Jun 5;225(3):585-9.

Effect of active site residues in barnase on activity and stability.

Author information

MRC Unit for Protein Function and Design, Cambridge IRC for Protein Engineering, University Chemical Laboratory, U.K.


We have mutated residues in the active site of the ribonuclease, barnase, in order to determine their effects on both enzyme activity and protein stability. Mutation of several of the positively charged residues that interact with the negatively charged RNA substrate (Lys27----Ala, Arg59----Ala and His102----Ala) causes large decreases in activity. This is accompanied, however, by an increase in stability. There is presumably electrostatic strain in the active site where positively charged side-chains are clustered. Mutation of several residues that make hydrogen bonds (Ser57----Ala, Asn58----Asp and Tyr103----Phe) causes smaller decreases in activity, but increases or has no effect on stability. Deletion of hydrogen bonding groups elsewhere in proteins has been found previously to decrease stability by 0.5 to 1.5 kcal mol-1. Conversely, we find that two mutations (Asp54----Asn and Gln104----Ala) decrease stability and increase activity. Another mutation (Glu73----Ala) decreases both activity and stability. It is clear that many residues in the active site do not contribute to stability and that for some, but not all, of the residues there is a compromise between activity and stability. This suggests that certain types of local instability may be necessary for substrate binding and catalysis by barnase. This has implications for the understanding of enzyme activity and the design of enzymes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center