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Crystal structure of penicillin G acylase from the Bro1 mutant strain of Providencia rettgeri

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 April 2001

MICHAEL A. McDONOUGH
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3125 Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3136
HERBERT E. KLEI
Affiliation:
Bristol-Myers Squibb, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-4000
JUDITH A. KELLY
Affiliation:
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3125 Institute of Materials Science, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut 06269-3136
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Abstract

Penicillin G acylase is an important enzyme in the commercial production of semisynthetic penicillins used to combat bacterial infections. Mutant strains of Providencia rettgeri were generated from wild-type cultures subjected to nutritional selective pressure. One such mutant, Bro1, was able to use 6-bromohexanamide as its sole nitrogen source. Penicillin acylase from the Bro1 strain exhibited an altered substrate specificity consistent with the ability of the mutant to process 6-bromohexanamide. The X-ray structure determination of this enzyme was undertaken to understand its altered specificity and to help in the design of site-directed mutants with desired specificities. In this paper, the structure of the Bro1 penicillin G acylase has been solved at 2.5 Å resolution by molecular replacement. The R-factor after refinement is 0.154 and R-free is 0.165. Of the 758 residues in the Bro1 penicillin acylase heterodimer (α-subunit, 205; β-subunit, 553), all but the eight C-terminal residues of the α-subunit have been modeled based on a partial Bro1 sequence and the complete wild-type P. rettgeri sequence. A tightly bound calcium ion coordinated by one residue from the α-subunit and five residues from the β-subunit has been identified. This enzyme belongs to the superfamily of Ntn hydrolases and uses Oγ of Serβ1 as the characteristic N-terminal nucleophile. A mutation of the wild-type Metα140 to Leu in the Bro1 acylase hydrophobic specificity pocket is evident from the electron density and is consistent with the observed specificity change for Bro1 acylase. The electron density for the N-terminal Gln of the α-subunit is best modeled by the cyclized pyroglutamate form. Examination of aligned penicillin acylase and cephalosporin acylase primary sequences, in conjunction with the P. rettgeri and Escherichia coli penicillin acylase crystal structures, suggests several mutations that could potentially allow penicillin acylase to accept charged β-lactam R-groups and to function as a cephalosporin acylase and thus be used in the manufacture of semi-synthetic cephalosporins.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 1999 The Protein Society

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Crystal structure of penicillin G acylase from the Bro1 mutant strain of Providencia rettgeri
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