Computational design-of-experiment unveils the conformational reaction coordinate of GH125 α-mannosidases

Santiago Alonso-Gil, Alexandra Males, Pearl Fernandes, Spencer J. Williams, Gideon John Davies, Carme Rovira

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Conformational analysis of enzyme-catalyzed mannoside hydrolysis has revealed two predominant conformational itineraries through B 2,5 or 3H 4 transitionstate (TS) conformations. A prominent unassigned catalytic itinerary is that of exo-1,6-α-mannosidases belonging to CAZy family 125. A published complex of Clostridium perfringens GH125 enzyme with a nonhydrolyzable 1,6-α-thiomannoside substrate mimic bound across the active site revealed an undistorted 4 C 1 conformation and provided no insight into the catalytic pathway of this enzyme. We show through a purely computational approach (QM/MM metadynamics) that sulfur-for-oxygen substitution in the glycosidic linkage fundamentally alters the energetically accessible conformational space of a thiomannoside when bound within the GH12S active site. Modeling of the conformational free energy landscape (FEL) of a thioglycoside strongly favors a mechanistically uninformative 4 C 1 conformation within the GH125 enzyme active site, but the FEL of corresponding O-glycoside substrate reveals a preference for a Michaelis complex in an oS 2 conformation (consistent with catalysis through a B 2,5 TS). This prediction was tested experimentally by determination of the 3D X-ray structure of the pseudo-Michaelis complex of an inactive (D220N) variant of C. perfringens GH125 enzyme in complex with 1,6-α-mannobiose. This complex revealed unambiguous distortion of the -1 subsite mannoside to an oS 2 conformation, matching that predicted by theory and supporting an oS 2 → B 2,5 → 1S 5 conformational itinerary for GH125 α-mannosidases. This work highlights the power of the QM/MM approach and identified shortcomings in the use of nonhydrolyzable substrate analogues for conformational analysis of enzymebound species.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberja-2016-11247
Pages (from-to)1085–1088
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number3
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2017

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