Redesign of coenzyme B12 dependent diol dehydratase to be resistant to the mechanism-based inactivation by glycerol and act on longer chain 1,2-diols


  • Dedicated to the memory of the late Professor Robert H. Abeles and to Emeritus Professor Perry A. Frey for pioneering works on radical enzymology

T. Toraya, Department of Bioscience and Biotechnology, Graduate School of Natural Science and Technology, Okayama University, Tsushima-naka, Kita-ku, Okayama 700-8530, Japan
Fax: +81 86 251 8264
Tel: +81 86 251 8194


Coenzyme B12 dependent diol dehydratase undergoes mechanism-based inactivation by glycerol, accompanying the irreversible cleavage of the coenzyme Co–C bond. Bachovchin et al. [Biochemistry16, 1082–1092 (1977)] reported that glycerol bound in the GS conformation, in which the pro-S-CH2OH group is oriented to the hydrogen-abstracting site, primarily contributes to the inactivation reaction. To understand the mechanism of inactivation by glycerol, we analyzed the X-ray structure of diol dehydratase complexed with cyanocobalamin and glycerol. Glycerol is bound to the active site preferentially in the same conformation as that of (S)-1,2-propanediol, i.e. in the GS conformation, with its 3-OH group hydrogen bonded to Serα301, but not to nearby Glnα336. kinact of the Sα301A, Qα336A and Sα301A/Qα336A mutants with glycerol was much smaller than that of the wild-type enzyme. kcat/kinact showed that the Sα301A and Qα336A mutants are substantially more resistant to glycerol inactivation than the wild-type enzyme, suggesting that Serα301 and Glnα336 are directly or indirectly involved in the inactivation. The degree of preference for (S)-1,2-propanediol decreased on these mutations. The substrate activities towards longer chain 1,2-diols significantly increased on the Sα301A/Qα336A double mutation, probably because these amino acid substitutions yield more space for accommodating a longer alkyl group on C3 of 1,2-diols.


Structural data are available in the Protein Data Bank under the accession number 3AUJ.

Structured digital abstract