Modeling effects of oxyanion hole on the ester hydrolysis catalyzed by human cholinesterases

Daquan Gao, Chang Guo Zhan

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53 Scopus citations


Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and hydrogen bonding energy (HBE) calculations have been performed on the prereactive enzyme-substrate complexes (ES), transition states (TS1), and intermediates (INT1) for acetylcholinesterase (AChE)-catalyzed hydrolysis of acetylcholine (ACh), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE)-catalyzed hydrolysis of ACh, and BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of (+)/(-)-cocaine to examine the protein environmental effects on the catalytic reactions. The hydrogen bonding of cocaine with the oxyanion hole of BChE is found to be remarkably different from that of ACh with AChE/BChE. Whereas G121/G116, G122/G117, and A204/A199 of AChE/BChE all can form hydrogen bonds with ACh to stabilize the transition state during the ACh hydrolysis, BChE only uses G117 and A199 to form hydrogen bonds with cocaine. The change of the estimated total HBE from ES to TS1 is ca. -5.47-4.4 kcal/mol for AChE/BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of ACh and ca. -1.7/-0.8 kcal/mol for BChE-catalyzed hydrolysis of (+)/(-)-cocaine. The remarkable difference of ∼3 to 5 kcal/mol reveals that the oxyanion hole of AChE/BChE can lower the energy barrier of the ACh hydrolysis significantly more than that of BChE for the cocaine hydrolysis. These results help to understand why the catalytic activity of AChE against ACh is considerably higher than that of BChE against cocaine and provides valuable clues on how to improve the catalytic activity of BChE against cocaine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23070-23076
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number48
StatePublished - Dec 8 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry


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