Engineering the Substrate Specificity ofd-Amino-acid Oxidase
Journal of Biological Chemistry
The high resolution crystal structure of D-amino-acid oxidase (DAAO) from the yeast Rhodotorula gracilis provided us with the tool to engineer the substrate specificity of this flavo-oxidase. DAAO catalyzes the oxidative deamination of D-amino acids, with the exception of D-aspartate and D-glutamate (which are oxidized by Daspartate oxidase, DASPO). Following sequence homology, molecular modeling, and simulated annealing docking analyses, the active site residue Met-213 was mutated to arginine.
... utated to arginine. The mutant enzyme showed properties close to those of DASPO (e.g. the oxidation of D-aspartate and the binding of L-tartrate), and it was still active on D-alanine. The presence of an additional guanidinium group in the active site of the DAAO mutant allowed the binding (and thus the oxidation) of D-aspartate, but it was also responsible for a lower catalytic activity on D-alanine. Similar results were also obtained when two additional arginines were simultaneously introduced in the active site of DAAO (M213R/Y238R mutant, yielding an architecture of the active site more similar to that obtained for the DASPO model), but the double mutant showed very low stability in solution. The decrease in maximal activity observed with these DAAO mutants could be due to alterations in the precise orbital alignment required for efficient catalysis, although even the change in the redox properties (more evident in the DAAO-benzoate complex) could play a role. The rational design approach was successful in producing an enzymatic activity with a new, broader substrate specificity, and this approach could also be used to develop DAAO variants suitable for use in biotechnological applications.