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Structural and mechanistic comparison of the Cyclopropane Mycolic Acid Synthases (CMAS) protein family of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

Artículo en Inglés | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28859976
Tuberculosis (TB) is a chronic disease caused by the bacillus Mycobacterium tuberculosis(Mtb) and remains a leading cause of mortality worldwide. The bacteria has an external wall which protects it from being killed, and the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of the cell wall components have been proposed as promising targets for future drug development efforts. Cyclopropane Mycolic Acid Synthases (CMAS) constitute a group of ten homologous enzymes which belong to the mycolic acid biosynthesis pathway. These enzymes have S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) dependent methyltransferase activity with a peculiarity, each one of them has strong substrate selectivity and reaction specificity, being able to produce among other things cyclopropanes or methyl-alcohol groups from the lipid olefin group. How each CMAS processes its substrate and how the specificity and selectivity are encoded in the protein sequence and structure, is still unclear. In this work, by using a combination of modeling tools, including comparative modeling, docking, all-atom MD and QM/MM methodologies we studied in detail the reaction mechanism of cmaA2, mmaA4, and mmaA1 CMAS and described the molecular determinants that lead to different products. We have modeled the protein-substrate complex structure and determined the free energy pathway for the reaction. The combination of modeling tools at different levels of complexity allows having a complete picture of the CMAS structure-activity relationship.