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LongText Report for: Sun_2001_J.Biol.Chem_276_9330

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Butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) is important in cocaine metabolism, but it hydrolyzes (-)-cocaine only one-two thousandth as fast as the unnatural (+)-stereoisomer. A starting point in engineering BChE mutants that rapidly clear cocaine from the bloodstream, for overdose treatment, is to elucidate structural factors underlying the stereochemical difference in catalysis. Here, we report two three-dimensional Michaelis-Menten complexes of BChE liganded with natural and unnatural cocaine molecules, respectively, that were derived from molecular modeling and supported by experimental studies. Such complexes revealed that the benzoic ester group of both cocaine stereoisomers must rotate toward the catalytic Ser(198) for hydrolysis. Rotation of (-)-cocaine appears to be hindered by interactions of its phenyl ring with Phe(329) and Trp(430). These interactions do not occur with (+)-cocaine. Because the rate of (-)-cocaine hydrolysis is predicted to be determined mainly by the re-orientation step, it should not be greatly influenced by pH. In fact, measured rates of this reaction were nearly constant over the pH range from 5.5 to 8.5, despite large rate changes in hydrolysis of (+)-cocaine. Our models can explain why BChE hydrolyzes (+)-cocaine faster than (-)-cocaine, and they suggest that mutations of certain residues in the catalytic site could greatly improve catalytic efficiency and the potential for detoxication.

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Mail to: Nicolas Lenfant, Thierry Hotelier, Yves Bourne, Pascale Marchot and Arnaud Chatonnet.
Please cite: Lenfant 2013 Nucleic.Acids.Res. or Marchot Chatonnet 2012 Prot.Pept Lett.
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