Role of an active site loop in the promiscuous activities of Amycolatopsis sp. T-1-60 NSAR/OSBS.

PMID 24955846


The o-succinylbenzoate synthase (OSBS) family is part of the functionally diverse enolase superfamily. Many proteins in one branch of the OSBS family catalyze both OSBS and N-succinylamino acid racemization in the same active site. In some promiscuous NSAR/OSBS enzymes, NSAR activity is biologically significant in addition to or instead of OSBS activity. Identifying important residues for each reaction could provide insight into how proteins evolve new functions. We have made a series of mutations in Amycolatopsis sp. T-1-60 NSAR/OSBS in an active site loop, referred to as the 20s loop. This loop affects substrate specificity in many members of the enolase superfamily but is poorly conserved within the OSBS family. Deletion of this loop decreased OSBS and NSAR catalytic efficiency by 4500-fold and 25,000-fold, respectively, showing that it is essential. Most point mutations had small effects, changing the efficiency of both NSAR and OSBS activities <10-fold compared to that of the wild type. An exception was F19A, which reduced kcat/KM(OSBS) 200-fold and kcat/KM(NSAR) 120-fold. Mutating the surface residue R20E, which can form a salt bridge to help close the 20s loop over the active site, had a more modest effect, decreasing kcat/KM of OSBS and NSAR reactions 32- and 8-fold, respectively. Several mutations increased KM of the NSAR reaction more than that of the OSBS reaction. Thus, both activities require the 20s loop, but differences in how mutations affect OSBS and NSAR activities suggest that some substitutions in this loop made a small contribution to the evolution of NSAR activity, although additional mutations were probably required.