The role of Glu73 of barnase in catalysis and the binding of barstar.


Barnase, a small extracellular ribonuclease from Bacillus amyloliquefaciens and its intracellular inhibitor barstar have co-evolved to bind tightly and rapidly. Barnase has also evolved to be catalytically active. The active site of barnase and its binding site for barstar use the same subset of amino acids. The exception is Glu73 (the general base in catalysis), which although located at the centre of the binding site, is separated by three ordered water molecules from barstar. We examined in this work the contribution of Glu73 to both catalysis and barstar binding. Truncation mutants of the general base (Glu73 --> Ala or Ser) retain a residual RNase activity of about 0.3% while mutants with larger hydrophobic replacements (Glu 73 --> Trp or Phe) have virtually no catalytic activity. This, and binding data of 3'-GMP with the different barnase mutants suggest that the loss in activity results from the elimination of the general base, which can be substituted to some extent by water or other polar side-chains in truncation mutants. All of the Glu73 mutations lead to a weakening of the free energy of complex formation with barstar by 1.4 to 3.0 kcal/mol (including Gln). This is surprising, since Glu73 does not interact directly with barstar and there is an electrostatic repulsion between Glu73 on barnase and the negatively charged binding surface of barstar. A newly developed method of constructing double mutant cycles between multiple mutations at the same site appears to pinpoint a favourable interaction between Glu73 and one of its nearest neighbours in barstar, Asp39. The coupling energy between those residues is presumably indirect: the carboxylate of Glu73 organizes neighbouring positively charged groups in barnase, Lys27, Arg83, and Arg87 to interact with Asp39 in barstar. This emphasizes that an apparent interaction between a pair of residues as measured with double mutant cycles is the sum of their direct and indirect interactions. Study holds ProTherm entries: 2406, 2407, 2408 Extra Details: protein engineering; double mutant cycles; general base catalysis

Submission Details

ID: GbZfsrFx3

Submitter: Connie Wang

Submission Date: April 24, 2018, 8:18 p.m.

Version: 1

Publication Details
Schreiber G;Frisch C;Fersht AR,J. Mol. Biol. (1997) The role of Glu73 of barnase in catalysis and the binding of barstar. PMID:9231905
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