1Biophysics and Computational Biology Laboratory, Department of Biology, College of Sciences, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
2Institute of Biotechnology, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Horseradish peroxidase (HRP), has gained significant interests in biotechnology, especially in biosensor field and diagnostic test kits. Hence, its solvent-exposed lysine residues 174, 232, and 241 have been frequently modified with the aim of improving its stability and catalytic efficiency. In this computational study, we investigated the effects of Lys-to-Glu substitutions on HRP structure to model charge-reversal manipulations at the enzyme surface. Simulation results implied that upon these substitutions, the number of stable hydrogen bonds and α-helical content of HRP are increased and the proximal Ca2+ binding pocket becomes more integrated. The results revealed that although Glu174-heme hydrogen bond is lost after mutation, formation of a new hydrogen bonding network contributes to the stability of heme-protein linkage. Together, it may be concluded that these substitutions enhance the stability of the protein moiety as well as the heme-protein non-covalent interactions. In the enzyme active site, we observed increased accessibility of peroxide binding site and heme prosthetic group to the peroxide and aromatic substrates, respectively. Results also demonstrated that the bottleneck entry of the peroxide-binding site has become wider and more flexible upon substitutions. Moreover, the hydrophobic patch functioning as a binding site or trap for reducing aromatic substrates is more extended in mutated enzyme. These observations suggest that the reactivity of the enzyme to its substrates has increased. Together, the results of this simulation study could provide possible structural clues to explain those experimental observations in which the protein stability achieved upon manipulation of charge distribution on protein surface.
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