Relation between dynamics, activity and thermal stability within the cholinesterase family
Incoherent neutron scattering is one of the most powerful tools for studying dynamics in biological matter. Using the cold neutron backscattering spectrometer IN16 at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL, Grenoble, France), temperature dependence of cholinesterases' dynamics (human butyrylcholinesterase from plasma: hBChE; recombinant human acetylcholinesterase: hAChE and recombinant mouse acetylcholinesterase: mAChE) was examined using elastic incoherent neutron scattering (EINS). The dynamics was characterized by the averaged atomic mean square displacement (MSD), associated with the sample flexibility at a given temperature. We found MSD values of hAChE above the dynamical transition temperature (around 200K) larger than for mAChE and hBChE, implying that hAChE is more flexible than the other ChEs. Activation energies for thermodynamical transition were extracted through the frequency window model (FWM) (Becker et al. 2004)  and turned out to increase from hBChE to mAChE and finally to hAChE, inversely to the MSDs relations. Between 280 and 316K, catalytic studies of these enzymes were carried out using thiocholine esters: at the same temperature, the hAChE activity was systematically higher than the mAChE or hBChE ones. Our results thus suggest a strong correlation between dynamics and activity within the ChE family. We also studied and compared the ChEs thermal inactivation kinetics. Here, no direct correlation with the dynamics was observed, thus suggesting that relations between enzyme dynamics and catalytic stability are more complex. Finally, the possible relation between flexibility and protein ability to grow in crystals is discussed.
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