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Chem Biol Interact. 2019 Aug 1;308:179-184. doi: 10.1016/j.cbi.2019.05.016. Epub 2019 May 14.

An evolutionary perspective on the first disulfide bond in members of the cholinesterase-carboxylesterase (COesterase) family: Possible outcomes for cholinesterase expression in prokaryotes.

Author information

1
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) / Université Montpellier, Dynamique Musculaire et Métabolisme, Montpellier, France. Electronic address: arnaud.chatonnet@inra.fr.
2
Institut de Recherche Biomédicale des Armées (IRBA), Département de Toxicologie et Risques Chimiques, Brétigny-sur-Orge, France.
3
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) / Université Montpellier, Dynamique Musculaire et Métabolisme, Montpellier, France.
4
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA) / Université Montpellier, Dynamique Musculaire et Métabolisme, Montpellier, France; Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) / Aix-Marseille Univ, Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, Marseille, France.
5
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) / Aix-Marseille Univ, Architecture et Fonction des Macromolécules Biologiques, Marseille, France.

Abstract

Within the alpha/beta hydrolase fold superfamily of proteins, the COesterase group (carboxylesterase type B, block C, cholinesterases …) diverged from the other groups through simultaneous integration of an N-terminal, first disulfide bond and a significant increase in the protein mean size. This first disulfide bond ties a large Cys loop, which in the cholinesterases is named the omega loop and forms the upper part of the active center gorge, essential for the high catalytic activity of these enzymes. In some non-catalytic members of the family, the loop may be necessary for heterologous partner recognition. Reshuffling of this protein portion occurred at the time of emergence of the fungi/metazoan lineage. Homologous proteins with this first disulfide bond are absent in plants but they are found in a limited number of bacterial genomes. In prokaryotes, the genes coding for such homologous proteins may have been acquired by horizontal transfer. However, the cysteines of the first disulfide bond are often lost in bacteria. Natural expression in bacteria of CO-esterases comprising this disulfide bond may have required compensatory mutations or expression of new chaperones. This disulfide bond may also challenge expression of the eukaryote-specific cholinesterases in prokaryotic cells. Yet recently, catalytically active human cholinesterase variants with enhanced thermostability were successfully expressed in E. coli. The key was the use of a peptidic sequence optimized through the Protein Repair One Stop Shop process, an automated structure- and sequence-based algorithm for expression of properly folded, soluble and stable eukaryotic proteins. Surprisingly however, crystal structures of the optimized cholinesterase variants expressed in bacteria revealed co-existing formed and unformed states of the first disulfide bond. Whether the bond never formed, or whether it properly formed then broke during the production/analysis process, cannot be inferred from the structural data. Yet, these features suggest that the recently acquired first disulfide bond is difficult to maintain in E. coli-expressed cholinesterases. To explore the fate of the first disulfide bond throughout the cholinesterase relatives, we reanalyzed the crystal structures of representative COesterases members from natural prokaryotic or eukaryotic sources or produced as recombinant proteins in E. coli. We found that in most cases this bond is absent.

PMID:
31100280
DOI:
10.1016/j.cbi.2019.05.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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