Polyol-induced activation by excess substrate of the D70G butyrylcholinesterase mutant

Vladislav Levitsky, Weihua Xie, Marie Thérèse Froment, Oksana Lockridge, Patrick Masson

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16 Scopus citations


Wild-type human butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) has a non-Michaelian behaviour showing substrate activation with butyrylthiocholine (BTC) as the substrate. The D70G mutant has a catalytic constant identical to that of the wild-type enzyme, but a 10-fold lower affinity for BTC compared to wild-type enzyme, and it does not exhibit activation by excess BTC under conventional conditions. In the present work it was found that addition of polyols or sugars changed the kinetic behaviour of the D70G mutant with BTC. In the presence of 40% sucrose, the D70G mutant enzyme displayed marked activation by excess substrate. Because D70 is hydrogen bonded to Y332, mutants of Y332 were studied. Mutant Y332F had a behaviour similar to that of wild-type BuChE, whereas mutants Y332A, Y332A/D70G and D70G had negligible substrate activation. The behaviour of wild-type, Y332F, Y332A and Y332A/D70G did not change in the presence of high concentrations of sugar. Substrate activation has been explained by binding of a second substrate molecule in the peripheral site at D70. The D70G mutant should be incapable of substrate activation, if D70 were the only residue involved in substrate activation. The ability of the D70G mutant to display substrate activation by medium engineering suggests that other residues are involved in initial substrate binding and activation by excess substrate. Osmolyte-induced change in conformation and/or hydration status of Y332 and other solvent-exposed residues may account for the non-Michaelian behaviour of the D70G mutant. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-430
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Protein Structure and Molecular Enzymology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 11 1999


  • Butyrylcholinesterase
  • Medium engineering
  • Mutant
  • Peripheral anionic site
  • Substrate activation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Structural Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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