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The journal of physical chemistry. B

Catalytic mechanism of hydroxynitrile lyase from Hevea brasiliensis: a theoretical investigation.


PMID 20593768

Abstract

Density functional theory (DFT) calculations using the hybrid functional B3LYP have been performed to investigate the catalytic mechanism of hydroxynitrile lyase from Hevea brasiliensis (Hb-HNL). This enzyme catalyzes the cleavage of acetone cyanohydrin to hydrocyanic acid plus acetone. Two models (A and B) of the active site consisting of 105 and 155 atoms, respectively, were constructed on the basis of the crystal structure. Good consistency between the two models provides a verification of the proposed mechanism. Our calculations show that the catalytic reaction proceeds via three elementary steps: (1) deprotonation of the OH-Ser80 by His235 and concomitant abstraction of a proton from the substrate hydroxyl by Ser80; (2) the C-C bond cleavage of the acetone cyanohydrin; and (3) protonation of the cleaved cyanide by His235. The cleavage of the C-C bond is the rate-limiting step with the overall free energy barrier of 13.5 kcal/mol for relatively smaller model A (14.9 kcal/mol for a larger model B) in the protein environment, which is in good agreement with experimental rate. The present results give support to the previously proposed general acid/base catalytic mechanism, in which the catalytic triad acts as a general acid/base. Moreover, the calculated results for model C, with the positive charge of Lys236 removed from model A, show that Lys236 with the positive charge plays a vital role in lowering the reaction barrier of the rate-determining and helps in stabilizing the negatively charged CN(-) by forming a hydrogen bond with the substrate, consistent with the experimental analysis.