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The Journal of biological chemistry

Structure and Properties of a Non-processive, Salt-requiring, and Acidophilic Pectin Methylesterase from Aspergillus niger Provide Insights into the Key Determinants of Processivity Control.


PMID 26567911

Abstract

Many pectin methylesterases (PMEs) are expressed in plants to modify plant cell-wall pectins for various physiological roles. These pectins are also attacked by PMEs from phytopathogens and phytophagous insects. The de-methylesterification by PMEs of the O6-methyl ester groups of the homogalacturonan component of pectin, exposing galacturonic acids, can occur processively or non-processively, respectively, describing sequential versus single de-methylesterification events occurring before enzyme-substrate dissociation. The high resolution x-ray structures of a PME from Aspergillus niger in deglycosylated and Asn-linked N-acetylglucosamine-stub forms reveal a 10⅔-turn parallel β-helix (similar to but with less extensive loops than bacterial, plant, and insect PMEs). Capillary electrophoresis shows that this PME is non-processive, halophilic, and acidophilic. Molecular dynamics simulations and electrostatic potential calculations reveal very different behavior and properties compared with processive PMEs. Specifically, uncorrelated rotations are observed about the glycosidic bonds of a partially de-methyl-esterified decasaccharide model substrate, in sharp contrast to the correlated rotations of processive PMEs, and the substrate-binding groove is negatively not positively charged.

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