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Understanding the Role of Histidine in the GHSxG Acyltransferase Active Site Motif: Evidence for Histidine Stabilization of the Malonyl-Enzyme Intermediate


Acyltransferases determine which extender units are incorporated into polyketide and fatty acid products. The ping-pong acyltransferase mechanism utilizes a serine in a conserved GHSxG motif. However, the role of the conserved histidine in this motif is poorly understood. We observed that a histidine to alanine mutation (H640A) in the GHSxG motif of the malonyl-CoA specific yersiniabactin acyltransferase results in an approximately seven-fold higher hydrolysis rate over the wildtype enzyme, while retaining transacylation activity. We propose two possibilities for the reduction in hydrolysis rate: either H640 structurally stabilizes the protein by hydrogen bonding with a conserved asparagine in the ferredoxin-like subdomain of the protein, or a water-mediated hydrogen bond between H640 and the malonyl moiety stabilizes the malonyl-O-AT ester intermediate.

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