Effect of Mutation and Substrate Binding on the Stability of Cytochrome P450BM3 Variants

Inacrist Geronimo, Catherine A. Denning, W. Eric Rogers, Thaer Othman, Tom Huxford, David K. Heidary, Edith C. Glazer, Christina M. Payne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Cytochrome P450BM3 is a heme-containing enzyme from Bacillus megaterium that exhibits high monooxygenase activity and has a self-sufficient electron transfer system in the full-length enzyme. Its potential synthetic applications drive protein engineering efforts to produce variants capable of oxidizing nonnative substrates such as pharmaceuticals and aromatic pollutants. However, promiscuous P450BM3 mutants often exhibit lower stability, thereby hindering their industrial application. This study demonstrated that the heme domain R47L/F87V/L188Q/E267V/F81I pentuple mutant (PM) is destabilized because of the disruption of hydrophobic contacts and salt bridge interactions. This was directly observed from crystal structures of PM in the presence and absence of ligands (palmitic acid and metyrapone). The instability of the tertiary structure and heme environment of substrate-free PM was confirmed by pulse proteolysis and circular dichroism, respectively. Binding of the inhibitor, metyrapone, significantly stabilized PM, but the presence of the native substrate, palmitic acid, had no effect. On the basis of high-temperature molecular dynamics simulations, the lid domain, β-sheet 1, and Cys ligand loop (a β-bulge segment connected to the heme) are the most labile regions and, thus, potential sites for stabilizing mutations. Possible approaches to stabilization include improvement of hydrophobic packing interactions in the lid domain and introduction of new salt bridges into β-sheet 1 and the heme region. An understanding of the molecular factors behind the loss of stability of P450BM3 variants therefore expedites site-directed mutagenesis studies aimed at developing thermostability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3594-3606
Number of pages13
Issue number25
StatePublished - Jun 28 2016

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Structure determination was based upon research conducted at the Northeastern Collaborative Access Team beamlines, which are funded by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) (P41 GM103403). The Pilatus 6M detector on 24-ID-C beamline is funded by a NIH-ORIP HEI Grant (S10 RR029205).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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