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Open Access Publications from the University of California

A Noncanonical Metal Center Drives the Activity of the Sediminispirochaeta smaragdinae Metallo-β-lactamase SPS‑1


In an effort to evaluate whether a recently reported putative metallo-β-lactamase (MβL) contains a novel MβL active site, SPS-1 from Sediminispirochaeta smaragdinae was overexpressed, purified, and characterized using spectroscopic and crystallographic studies. Metal analyses demonstrate that recombinant SPS-1 binds nearly 2 equiv of Zn(II), and steady-state kinetic studies show that the enzyme hydrolyzes carbapenems and certain cephalosporins but not β-lactam substrates with bulky substituents at the 6/7 position. Spectroscopic studies of Co(II)-substituted SPS-1 suggest a novel metal center in SPS-1, with a reduced level of spin coupling between the metal ions and a novel Zn1 metal binding site. This site was confirmed with a crystal structure of the enzyme. The structure shows a Zn2 site that is similar to that in NDM-1 and other subclass B1 MβLs; however, the Zn1 metal ion is coordinated by two histidine residues and a water molecule, which is held in position by a hydrogen bond network. The Zn1 metal is displaced nearly 1 Å from the position reported in other MβLs. The structure also shows extended helices above the active site, which create a binding pocket that precludes the binding of substrates with large, bulky substituents at the 6/7 position of β-lactam antibiotics. This study reveals a novel metal binding site in MβLs and suggests that the targeting of metal binding sites in MβLs with inhibitors is now more challenging with the identification of this new MβL.

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