On the role of Glu-68 in alcohol dehydrogenase

Ulf Ryde
Protein Science 4 (1995) 1124-1132

Theoretical computations (molecular dynamics and combined quantum chemical and molecular mechanical geometry optimisations) have been performed on horse liver alcohol dehydrogenase. The results provide evidence that Glu-68, a highly conserved residue located 0.47 nm from the catalytic zinc ion, may intermittently coordinate to the zinc ion. Structures with Glu-68 coordinated to the zinc ion are almost as stable as structures with Glu-68 at the crystal position and the barrier between the two configurations of Glu-68 is so low that it can readily be bypassed at room temperature. There is a cavity behind the zinc ion that seems to be tailored to allow such coordination of Glu-68 to the zinc ion. It is suggested that Glu-68 may facilitate the exchange of ligands in the substrate site by coordinating to the zinc ion when the old ligand dissociates.