Role of conserved active site residues in catalysis by phospholipase B1 from Cryptococcus neoformans

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Journal Article
Biochemistry, 2007, 46 (35), pp. 10024 - 10032
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Phospholipase B1 (PLB1), secreted by the pathogenic yeast Cryptococcus neoformans, has an established role in virulence. Although the mechanism of its phospholipase B, lysophospholipase, and lysophospholipase transacylase activities is unknown, it possesses lipase, subtilisin protease aspartate, and phospholipase motifs containing putative catalytic residues S146, D392, and R108, respectively, conserved in fungal PLBs and essential for human cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2) catalysis. To determine the role of these residues in PLB1 catalysis, each was substituted with alanine, and the mutant cDNAs were expressed in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The mutant PLB1s were deficient in all three enzymatic activities. As the active site structure of PLB1 is unknown, a homology model was developed, based on the X-ray structure of the cPLA2 catalytic domain. This shows that the two proteins share a closely related fold, with the three catalytic residues located in identical positions as part of a single active site, with S146 and D392 forming a catalytic dyad. The model suggests that PLB1 lacks the "lid" region which occludes the cPLA2 active site and provides a mechanism of interfacial activation. In silico substrate docking studies with cPLA 2 reveal the binding mode of the lipid headgroup, confirming the catalytic dyad mechanism for the cleavage of the sn-2 ester bond within one of two separate binding tracts for the lipid acyl chains. Residues specific for binding arachidonic and palmitic acids, preferred substrates for cPLA 2 and PLB1, respectively, are identified. These results provide an explanation for differences in substrate specificity between lipases sharing the cPLA2 catalytic domain fold and for the differential effect of inhibitors on PLB1 enzymatic activities. © 2007 American Chemical Society.
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