There are major issues regarding the proposed pathway for starch degradation in germinating cereal grain. Given the commercial importance but genetic intractability of the problem, we have embarked on a program of chemical genetics studies to identify and dissect the pathway and regulation of starch degradation in germinating barley grains. As a precursor to in vivo studies, here we report systematic analysis of the reversible and irreversible inhibition of the major β-amylase of the grain endosperm (BMY1). The molecular basis of inhibitor action was defined through high resolution X-ray crystallography studies of unliganded barley β-amylase, as well as its complexes with glycone site binder disaccharide iminosugar G1M, irreversible inhibitors α-epoxypropyl and α-epoxybutyl glucosides, which target the enzyme's catalytic residues, and the aglycone site binders acarbose and α-cyclodextrin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology