TEM-1 β-lactamase degrades β-lactam antibiotics with a strong preference for penicillins. Sequence reconstruction studies indicate that it evolved from ancestral enzymes that degraded a variety of β-lactam antibiotics with moderate efficiency. This generalist to specialist conversion involved more than 100 mutational changes, but conserved fold and catalytic residues, suggesting a role for dynamics in enzyme evolution. Here, we develop a conformational dynamics computational approach to rationally mold a protein flexibility profile on the basis of a hinge-shift mechanism. By deliberately weighting and altering the conformational dynamics of a putative Precambrian β-lactamase, we engineer enzyme specificity that mimics the modern TEM-1 β-lactamase with only 21 amino acid replacements. Our conformational dynamics design thus re-enacts the evolutionary process and provides a rational allosteric approach for manipulating function while conserving the enzyme active site.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)