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Journal Article

Crystal structure of chondroitinase AC lyase, a representative of a family of glycosaminoglycan degrading enzymes


Féthière,  James
Max Planck Research Group Ion Channel Structure (Dean R. Madden), Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Féthière, J., Eggimann, B., & Cygler, M. (1999). Crystal structure of chondroitinase AC lyase, a representative of a family of glycosaminoglycan degrading enzymes. Journal of Molecular Biology (London), 288(4), 635-647. doi:10.1006/jmbi.1999.2698.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0024-A5B2-2
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), highly sulfated polymers built of hexosamine-uronic acid disaccharide units, are major components of the extracellular matrix, mostly in the form of proteoglycans. They interact with a large array of proteins, in particular of the blood coagulation cascade. Degradation of GAGs in mammalian systems occurs by the action of GAG hydrolases. Bacteria express a large number of GAG-degrading lyases that break the hexosamine-uronic acid bond to create an unsaturated sugar ring. Flavobacterium heparinum produces at least five GAG lyases of different specificity. Chondroitin AC lyase (chondroitinase AC, 75 kDa) is highly active toward chondroitin 4-sulfate and chondroitin-6 sulfate. Its crystal structure has been determined to 1.9 Å resolution. The enzyme is composed of two domains. The N-terminal domain of approximately 300 residues contains mostly &alpha-helices which form a doubly-layered horseshoe (a subset of the (α/α)6toroidal topology). The ˜370 residues long C-terminal domain is made of β-strands arranged in a four layered β-sheet sandwich, with the first two sheets having nine strands each. This fold is novel and has no counterpart in full among known structures. The sequence of chondroitinase AC shows low level of homology to several hyaluronate lyases, which likely share its fold. The shape of the molecule, distribution of electrostatic potential, the pattern of conservation of the amino acids and the results of mutagenesis of hyaluronate lyases, indicate that the enzymatic activity resides primarily within the N-terminal domain. The most likely candidate for the catalytic base is His225. Other residues involved in catalysis and/or substrate binding are Arg288, Arg292, Lys298 and Lys299