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Eur J Biochem. 1997 Feb 15;244(1):186-91.

Enzymes from cold-adapted microorganisms. The class C beta-lactamase from the antarctic psychrophile Psychrobacter immobilis A5.

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Laboratoire de Biochimie, Institut de Chimie B6, Université de Liège, Belgium.


A heat-labile beta-lactamase has been purified from culture supernatants of Psychrobacter immobilis A5 grown at 4 degrees C and the corresponding chromosomal ampC gene has been cloned and sequenced. All structural and kinetic properties clearly relate this enzyme to class C beta-lactamases. The kinetic parameters of P. immobilis beta-lactamase for the hydrolysis of some beta-lactam antibiotics are in the same range as the values recorded for the highly specialized cephalosporinases from pathogenic mesophilic bacteria. By contrast, the enzyme displays a low apparent optimum temperature of activity and a reduced thermal stability. Structural factors responsible for the latter property were analysed from the three-dimensional structure built by homology modelling. The deletion of proline residues in loops, the low number of arginine-mediated H-bonds and aromatic-aromatic interactions, the lower global hydrophobicity and the improved solvent interactions through additional surface acidic residues appear to be the main determinants of the enzyme flexibility.

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