The crystal structure of the catalytic domain of alkaline cellulase K was determined at 1.9 Å resolution. Because of the most alkaliphilic nature and it’s highest activity at pH 9.5, it is used commercially in laundry detergents. An analysis of the structural bases of the alkaliphilic character of the enzyme suggested a mechanism similar to that previously proposed for alkaline proteases, that is, an increase in the number of Arg, His, and Gln residues, and a decrease in Asp and Lys residues. Some ion pairs were formed by the gained Arg residues, which is similar to what has been found in the alkaline proteases. Lys-Asp ion pairs are disfavored and partly replaced with Arg-Asp ion pairs. The alkaline adaptation appeared to be a remodeling of ion pairs so that the charge balance is kept in the high pH range.
Journal of Molecular Biology – Elsevier
Published: Jul 27, 2001
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