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Active Site Structure and Mechanism of Human Glyoxalase I - An Ab Initio Theoretical Study



U Richter, Morris Krauss


The structure of the active site of human glyoxalase I and the reaction mechanism of the enzyme-catalyzed conversion of the thiohemiacetal, formed from methylglyoxal and glutathione, to S-D-lactoylglutathione has been investigated by ab initio quantum chemical calculations. To realistically represent the environment of the reaction center, the effective fragment potential methodology has been employed, which allows systems of several hundred atoms to be described quantum mechanically. The methodology and the active site model have been validated by optimizing the structure of a known enzyme-inhibitor complex, which yielded structures in good agreement with the experiment. The same crystal structure has been used to obtain the quantum motif for the investigation of the glyoxalase I reaction. The results of our study confirm that the metal center of the active site zinc complex plays a direct catalytic role by binding the substrate and stabilizing the proposed enediolate reaction intermediate. In addition, our calculations yielded detailed information about the interactions of the substrate, the reaction intermediates and the product with the active site of the enzyme and about the mechanism of the glyoxalase I reaction. The proton transfers of the reaction proceed via the two highly flexible residues Glu172 and Glu99. Information about the structural and energetic effect of the protein on the first shell complex has been attained by comparison of the structures optimized in the local protein environment and in vacuum. The environment of the zinc complex disturbs the Cs symmetry found for the complex in a vacuum, which suggests an explanation for the stereochemical behavior of glyoxalase I.
Journal of the American Chemical Society


effective fragment potentials, enzyme active site, glyoxalase I, reactive mechanism, S-d-lactoylglutathione product, thiohemiacetal reactant


Richter, U. and Krauss, M. (2001), Active Site Structure and Mechanism of Human Glyoxalase I - An Ab Initio Theoretical Study, Journal of the American Chemical Society (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created July 24, 2001, Updated October 12, 2021