Altering the interfacial activation mechanism of a lipase by solid-phase selective chemical modification

Biochemistry. 2012 Sep 4;51(35):7028-36. doi: 10.1021/bi300799v. Epub 2012 Aug 23.


This study presents a combined protein immobilization, directed mutagenesis, and site-selective chemical modification approach, which was used to create a hyperactivated semisynthetic variant of BTL2. Various alkane chains were tethered at three different positions in order to mimic the lipase interfacial activation exogenously triggered by detergents. Optimum results were obtained when a dodecane chain was introduced at position 320 by solid-phase site-selective chemical modification. The resulting semisynthetic variant showed a 2.5-fold higher activity than the wild-type nonmodified variant in aqueous conditions. Remarkably, this is the maximum hyperactivation ever observed for BTL2 in the presence of detergents such as Triton X-100. We present evidence to suggest that the endogenous dodecane chain hyperactivates the enzyme in a similar fashion as an exogenous detergent molecule. In this way, we also observe a faster irreversible enzyme inhibition and an altered detergent sensitivity profile promoted by the site-selective chemical modification. These findings are also supported by fluorescence studies, which reveal that the structural conformation changes of the semisynthetic variant are different to those of the wild type, an effect that is more pronounced in the presence of detergent. Finally, the optimal immobilized semisynthetic variant was successfully applied to the selective synthesis of oxiran-2-yl butyrate. Significantly, this biocatalyst is 12-fold more efficient than the immobilized wild-type enzyme, producing the S-enantiomer with higher enantiospecificity (ee = 92%).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkanes / chemistry
  • Biotransformation
  • Detergents / metabolism
  • Enzyme Activation*
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / chemistry
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / genetics*
  • Enzymes, Immobilized / metabolism*
  • Geobacillus / chemistry
  • Geobacillus / enzymology*
  • Geobacillus / metabolism
  • Lipase / chemistry
  • Lipase / genetics*
  • Lipase / metabolism*
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Solid-Phase Synthesis Techniques
  • Spectrometry, Fluorescence
  • Substrate Specificity
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds / chemistry


  • Alkanes
  • Detergents
  • Enzymes, Immobilized
  • Sulfhydryl Compounds
  • Lipase