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Proteins. 1997 Jun;28(2):217-26.

Knowledge-based modeling of a bacterial dichloromethane dehalogenase.

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Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Minnesota Supercomputer Institute, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


A three-dimensional structural model of the dichloromethane dehalogenase (DCMD) from Methylophilus sp. DM11 is constructed based on sequence similarities to the glutathione S-transferases (GSTs). To maximize sequence identity and minimize gaps in the alignment, a hybrid approach is used that takes advantage of the increased homology found between DM11 and domain I of the sheep blowfly theta class GST (residues 1-79) and domain II of the human alpha class GST (residues 81-222). The resulting structure has C alpha root mean square deviations of 1.16 A in domain I and 1.83 A in domain II from the template GSTs, which compare well to those seen in other GST inter-class comparisons. The model is further applied to explore the structural basis for substrate binding and catalysis. A conserved network of hydrogen bonds is described that binds glutathione to the G site, placing the thiol group in a suitable location for nucleophilic attack of dichloromethane. A mechanism is proposed that involves activation through a hydrogen bond interaction between Ser12 and glutathione, similar to that found in the theta-GSTs. The model also demonstrates how aromatic residues in the hydrophobic site (H site) could play a role in promoting catalysis: His116 and Trp117 are ideally situated to accept a growing negative charge on a chlorine of dichloromethane, stabilizing displacement. This scheme is consistent with experimental results of single-point mutations and comparisons with other GST structures and mechanisms.

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