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Biol Chem. 2014 Apr;395(4):401-12. doi: 10.1515/hsz-2013-0246.

Azobenzene switch with a long-lived cis-state to photocontrol the enzyme activity of a histone deacetylase-like amidohydrolase.


The control of enzymes by use of an external stimulus such as light enables the temporal and spatial regulation of defined chemical reactions in a highly precise manner. In this work we investigated and characterized the reversible photocontrol of a bacterial histone deacetylase-like amidohydrolase (HDAH) from Bordetella/Alcaligenes strain FB188, which holds great potential to control deacetylation reactions of a broad spectrum of substrates in biotechnological and biomedical applications. Several HDAH variants with a single surface accessible cysteine close to the active site were developed and covalently modified by a monofunctional azobenzene-based photoswitch [4-phenylazomaleinanil (4-PAM)]. The enzymatic activity of three HDAH variants (M30C, S20C and M150C) were shown to be controlled by light. The thermal cis-to-trans relaxation of azobenzene conjugated to HDAH was up to 50-fold retarded compared to unbound 4-PAM allowing light pulse switching rather than continuing irradiation to maintain the thermodynamically less stable cis-state of covalently attached 4-PAM.

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