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Inhibition of mouse acetylcholinesterase by fasciculin: Crystal structure of the complex and mutagenesis of fasciculin

Abstract : Fasciculins are members of the superfamily of three-fingered peptidic toxins from Elapidae venoms. They selectively inhibit mammalian and electric fish acetylcholinesterases (AChE) with Ki values in the pico- to nanomolar range. Kinetic studies performed in solution indicate that fasciculin does not totally occlude ligand access to the active site of AChE, but rather binds to a peripheral site of the enzyme to inhibit catalysis, perhaps allosterically. The crystal structure of the Fas2-mouse AChE complex delineated a large contact area consistent with the low dissociation constant of the complex; the Fas2 and AChE residues participating in the binding interface were unambiguously established, and major hydrophobic interactions were identified. The structure however suggests that fasciculin totally occludes substrate entry into the catalytic site of AChE, and does not reveal to what extent each contact between Fas2 and AChE contributes to the overall binding energy. New probes, designed to delineate the individual contributions of the fasciculin residues to the complex formation and conformation, were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of a synthetic Fas2 gene. A fully processed recombinant fasciculin, rFas2, that is undistinguishable from the natural, venom-derived Fas2, was expressed in a mammalian system; fourteen mutants, encompassing 16 amino acid residues distributed among the three loops (fingers) of Fas2, were developed from both the kinetic and structural data and analyzed for inhibition of mouse AChE. The determinants identified by the structural and the functional approaches do coincide. However, only a few of the many residues which make up the overall interactive site of the Fas2 molecule provide the strong interactions required for high affinity binding and enzyme inhibition. Potential drug design from the fasciculin molecule is discussed.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 3:11:46 PM
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P. Marchot, Yves Bourne, Claudine Prowse, Pierre Bougis, Palmer Taylor. Inhibition of mouse acetylcholinesterase by fasciculin: Crystal structure of the complex and mutagenesis of fasciculin. Toxicon, Elsevier, 1998, 36 (11), pp.1613-1622. ⟨10.1016/s0041-0101(98)00154-8⟩. ⟨hal-03262468⟩

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