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      Evolution toward small molecule inhibitor resistance affects native enzyme function and stability, generating acarbose-insensitive cyclodextrin glucanotransferase variants.

      The Journal of Biological Chemistry

      chemistry, metabolism, Bacillus subtilis, Biochemistry, methods, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Drug Resistance, Bacterial, Escherichia coli, Glucosyltransferases, Temperature, Inhibitory Concentration 50, Models, Molecular, Mutagenesis, Mutagenesis, Site-Directed, Mutation, Plasmids, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Acarbose

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          Small molecule inhibitors play an essential role in the selective inhibition of enzymes associated with human infection and metabolic disorders. Targeted enzymes may evolve toward inhibitor resistance through selective incorporation of mutations. Acquisition of insensitivity may, however, result in profound devolution of native enzyme function and stability. We therefore investigated the consequential effects on native function and stability by evolving a cyclodextrin glucanotransferase (CGTase) enzyme toward insensitivity to the small molecule inhibitor of the protein, acarbose. Error-prone PCR mutagenesis was applied to search the sequence space of CGTase for acarbose-insensitive variants. Our results show that all selected mutations were localized around the active site of the enzyme, and in particular, at the acceptor substrate binding sites, highlighting the regions importance in acarbose inhibition. Single mutations conferring increased resistance, K232E, F283L, and A230V, raised IC(50) values for acarbose between 3,500- and 6,700-fold when compared with wild-type CGTase but at a significant cost to catalytic efficiency. In addition, the thermostability of these variants was significantly lowered. These results reveal not only the relative ease by which resistance may be acquired to small molecule inhibitors but also the considerable cost incurred to native enzyme function and stability, highlighting the subsequent constraints in the further evolutionary potential of inhibitor-resistant variants.

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