Characterisation of the influence of genetic variations on the enzyme activity of a recombinant human glycine N-acyltransferase.

PMID 23237781


Human glycine N-acyltransferase (human GLYAT) detoxifies a wide range of endogenous and xenobiotic metabolites, including benzoate and salicylate. Significant inter-individual variation exists in glycine conjugation capacity. The molecular basis for this variability is not known. To investigate the influence of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the GLYAT coding sequence on enzyme activity, we expressed and characterised a recombinant human GLYAT. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to generate six non-synonymous SNP variants of the enzyme (K16N; S17T; R131H; N156S; F168L; R199C). The variants were expressed, purified, and enzymatically characterised. The enzyme activities of the K16N, S17T and R131H variants were similar to that of the wild-type, whereas the N156S variant was more active, the F168L variant less active, and the R199C variant was inactive. We also generated an E227Q mutant, which lacks the catalytic residue proposed by Badenhorst et al. (2012). This mutant was inactive compared to the wild-type recombinant human GLYAT. A molecular model of human GLYAT containing coenzyme A (CoA) was generated which revealed that the inactivity of the R199C variant could be due to the substitution of the highly conserved Arg(199) and destabilisation of an α-loop-α motif which is important for substrate binding in the GNAT superfamily. The finding that SNP variations in the human GLYAT gene influence the kinetic properties of the enzyme may explain some of the inter-individual variation in glycine conjugation capacity, which is relevant to the metabolism of xenobiotics such as aspirin and the industrial solvent xylene, and to the treatment of some metabolic disorders.