[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Butyrylcholinesterase is a serine esterase, closely related to acetylcholinesterase. Both enzymes employ a catalytic triad mechanism for catalysis, similar to that used by serine proteases such as alpha-chymotrypsin. Enzymes of this type are generally considered to be inactive at pH values below 5, because the histidine member of the catalytic triad becomes protonated. We have found that butyrylcholinesterase retains activity at pH <or= 5, under conditions of excess substrate activation. This low-pH activity appears with wild-type butyrylcholinesterase as well as with all mutants we examined: A328G, A328I, A328F, A328Y, A328W, E197Q, L286W, V288W and Y332A (residue A328 is at the bottom of the active-site gorge, near the pi-cation-binding site; E197 is next to the active-site serine S198; L286 and V288 form the acyl-binding pocket; and Y332 is a component of the peripheral anionic site). For example, the kcat value at pH 5.0 for activity in the presence of excess substrate was 32900 +/- 4400 min(-1) for wild-type, 55200 +/- 1600 min(-1) for A328F, and 28 700 +/- 700 min(-1) for A328W. This activity is titratable, with pKa values of 6.0-6.6, suggesting that the catalytic histidine is protonated at pH 5. The existence of activity when the catalytic histidine is protonated indicates that the catalytic-triad mechanism of butyrylcholinesterase does not operate for catalysis at low pH. The mechanism explaining the catalytic behaviour of butyrylcholinesterase at low pH in the presence of excess substrate remains to be elucidated.
Full-text available · Article · Jan 2003 · European Journal of Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Hydrolysis of the neutral substrate N-methylindoxyl acetate (NMIA) by wild-type human butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) and peripheral site mutants (D70G, Y332A, D70G/Y332A) was found to follow the Michaelis-Menten kinetics. K(m) was 0.14 mM for wild-type, and 0.07-0.16 mM for D70G, Y332A and D70G/Y332A, indicating that the peripheral site is not involved in NMIA binding. The values of k(cat) were of the same order for all enzymes: 12,000-18,000 min(-1). Volume changes upon substrate binding (-DeltaV(K(m))) and the activation volumes (DeltaV++(k(cat)) associated with hydrolysis of NMIA were calculated from the pressure dependence of the catalytic constants. Values of -DeltaV(K(m)) indicate that NMIA binds to an aromatic residue, presumed to be W82, the active site binding locus. Binding is accompanied by a release of water molecules from the gorge. Residue 70 controls the number of water molecules that are released upon substrate binding. The values of DeltaV++(k(cat)), which are positive for wild-type and faintly positive for D70G, clearly indicate that the catalytic steps are accompanied by re-entry of water into the gorge. Results support the premise that residue D70 is involved in the conformational stabilization of the active site gorge and in control of its hydration. A slow transient, preceding the steady state, was seen on a time scale of several minutes. The induction time rapidly increased with NMIA concentration to reach a limit at substrate saturation. Much shorter induction times (<1 min) were seen for hydrolysis of benzoylcholine (BzCh) by wild-type BuChE and for hydrolysis of butyrylthiocholine (BuSCh) by the active site mutants E197Q and E197Q/G117H. This slow transient was interpreted in terms of hysteresis without kinetic cooperativity. The hysteretic behavior of BuChE results from a slow conformational equilibrium between two enzyme states E and E'. NMIA binds only to the primed form E'. Kosmotropic salts and hydrostatic pressure were found to shift the equilibrium toward E'. The E-->E' transition is accompanied by a negative activation volume (DeltaV++(0)= -45+/-10 ml/mol), and the E' form is more compact than E. Hydration water in the gorge of E' appears to be more structured than in the unprimed form.
Article · Jun 2002 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Substrate inhibition is considered a defining property of acetylcholinesterase (AChE), whereas substrate activation is characteristic of butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE). To understand the mechanism of substrate inhibition, the pH dependence of acetylthiocholine hydrolysis by AChE was studied between pH 5 and 8. Wild-type human AChE and its mutants Y337G and Y337W, as well as wild-type Bungarus fasciatus AChE and its mutants Y333G, Y333A and Y333W were studied. The pH profile results were unexpected. Instead of substrate inhibition, wild-type AChE and all mutants showed substrate activation at low pH. At high pH, there was substrate inhibition for wild-type AChE and for the mutant with tryptophan in the pi-cation subsite, but substrate activation for mutants containing small residues, glycine or alanine. This is particularly apparent in the B. fasciatus AChE. Thus a single amino acid substitution in the pi-cation site, from the aromatic tyrosine of B. fasciatus AChE to the alanine of BuChE, caused AChE to behave like BuChE. Excess substrate binds to the peripheral anionic site (PAS) of AChE. The finding that AChE is activated by excess substrate supports the idea that binding of a second substrate molecule to the PAS induces a conformational change that reorganizes the active site.
Article · Mar 2002 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The inactivation process of native (N) human butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) by pressure and/or heat was found to be multi-step. It led to irreversible formation of an active intermediate (I) state and a denatured state. This series-inactivation process was described by expanding the Lumry-Eyring [Lumry, R. and Eyring, H. (1954) J. Phys. Chem. 58, 110-120] model. The intermediate state (I) was found to have a K(m) identical with that of the native state and a turnover rate (k(cat)) twofold higher than that of the native state with butyrylthiocholine as the substrate. The increased catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)) of I can be explained by a conformational change in the active-site gorge and/or restructuring of the water-molecule network in the active-site pocket, making the catalytic steps faster. However, a pressure/heat-induced covalent modification of native BuChE, affecting the catalytic machinery, cannot be ruled out. The inactivation process of BuChE induced by the combined action of pressure and heat was found to continue after interruption of pressure/temperature treatment. This secondary inactivation process was termed 'remnant inactivation'. We hypothesized that N and I were in equilibrium with populated metastable N' and I' states. The N' and I' states can either return to the active forms, N and I, or develop into inactive forms, N(')(in) and I(')(in). Both active N' and I' intermediate states displayed different rates of remnant inactivation depending on the pressure and temperature pretreatments and on the storage temperature. A first-order deactivation model describing the kinetics of the remnant inactivation of BuChE is proposed.
Full-text available · Article · Jul 2001 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Capillary electrophoresis (CE) was used to analyze the thermal denaturation of bovine beta-lactoglobulin at different pH. This model protein exhibits complex pH- and temperature association/dissociation dependence balances in its quaternary structure. The study was possible after modification and improvement of a capillary electrophoresis apparatus. The improvement allowed both efficient control (temperature fluctuations <0.05 degrees C) and accurate measurement of the temperature (+/- 0.1 degrees C) within the capillary cartridge. CE allowed the thermodynamic parameters of beta-lactoglobulin thermal denaturation to be estimated. The transition temperature, Tm, was determined at acidic, neutral and alkaline pH. Van't Hoff analysis was performed through direct measurement of native and unfolded protein populations in the slow-time regime. This allowed estimation of thermodynamic parameters (deltaH, deltaS, deltaCp). Finally, the stability curve, i.e., the temperature dependence of the free energy change (deltaG) of protein unfolding was drawn. The accuracy of the parameters values compares with parameters obtained by calorimetric measurements. The available parameters and the requirement of minute amount of protein sample are of potential interest in the field of protein engineering and biological pharmaceuticals. Accordingly, CE can be proposed as a convenient tool to study protein stability and denaturation processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Inactivation of human butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) during and after pressure and/or temperature treatment was investigated. When BuChE was subjected to the combined action of heat and pressure, an intermediate active state was irreversibly formed. Both the native and the intermediate active state were in equilibrium with two unstable active states which were inactivated after treatment interruption (post-inactivation). Inactivation kinetics followed a biexponential first-order model, whereas post-inactivation kinetics followed a simple first-order model. Post-inactivation of BuChE is a one-step transition between unstable active states and inactive states. This instability may result from hydration changes and/or subtle conformational changes occurring in the active site gorge of the enzyme.