In silico analyses of substrate interactions with human serum paraoxonase 1

Proteins. 2009 May 1;75(2):486-98. doi: 10.1002/prot.22264.


Human paraoxonase (HuPON1) is a serum enzyme that exhibits a broad spectrum of hydrolytic activities, including the hydrolysis of various organophosphates, esters, and recently identified lactone substrates. Despite intensive site-directed mutagenesis and other biological studies, the structural basis for the specificity of substrate interactions of HuPON1 remains elusive. In this study, we apply homology modeling, docking, and molecular dynamic (MD) simulations to probe the binding interactions of HuPON1 with representative substrates. The results suggest that the active site of HuPON1 is characterized by two distinct binding regions: the hydrophobic binding site for arylesters/lactones, and the paraoxon binding site for phosphotriesters. The unique binding modes proposed for each type of substrate reveal a number of key residues governing substrate specificity. The polymorphic residue R/Q192 interacts with the leaving group of paraoxon, suggesting it plays an important role in the proper positioning of this substrate in the active site. MD simulations of the optimal binding complexes show that residue Y71 undergoes an "open-closed" conformational change upon ligand binding, and forms strong interactions with substrates. Further binding free energy calculations and residual decomposition give a more refined molecular view of the energetics and origin of HuPON1/substrate interactions. These studies provide a theoretical model of substrate binding and specificity associated with wild type and mutant forms of HuPON1, which can be applied in the rational design of HuPON1 variants as bioscavengers with enhanced catalytic activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / chemistry*
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase / metabolism*
  • Catalytic Domain
  • Computer Simulation
  • Esters / chemistry
  • Esters / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lactones / chemistry
  • Lactones / metabolism
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Thermodynamics


  • Esters
  • Lactones
  • Aryldialkylphosphatase
  • PON1 protein, human