Structural insights into GDP-mediated regulation of a bacterial acyl-CoA thioesterase Academic Article uri icon


  • Thioesterases catalyze the cleavage of thioester bonds within many activated fatty acids and acyl-CoA substrates. They are expressed ubiquitously in both prokaryotes and eukaryotes and are subdivided into 25 thioesterase families according to their catalytic active site, protein oligomerization, and substrate specificity. Although many of these enzyme families are well-characterized in terms of function and substrate specificity, regulation across most thioesterase families is poorly understood. Here, we characterized a TE6 thioesterase from the bacterium Neisseria meningitidis Structural analysis with X-ray crystallographic diffraction data to 2.0-Å revealed that each protein subunit harbors a hot dog-fold and that the TE6 enzyme forms a hexamer with D3 symmetry. An assessment of thioesterase activity against a range of acyl-CoA substrates revealed the greatest activity against acetyl-CoA, and structure-guided mutagenesis of putative active site residues identified Asn24 and Asp39 as being essential for activity. Our structural analysis revealed that six GDP nucleotides bound the enzyme in close proximity to an intersubunit disulfide bond interactions that covalently link thioesterase domains in a double hot dog dimer. Structure-guided mutagenesis of residues within the GDP-binding pocket identified Arg93 as playing a key role in the nucleotide interaction and revealed that GDP is required for activity. All mutations were confirmed to be specific and not to have resulted from structural perturbations by X-ray crystallography. This is the first report of a bacterial GDP-regulated thioesterase and of covalent linkage of thioesterase domains through a disulfide bond, revealing structural similarities with ADP regulation in the human ACOT12 thioesterase.


  • Khandokar, Yogesh B
  • Srivastava, Parul
  • Cowieson, Nathan
  • Sarker, Subir
  • Aragao, David
  • Das, Shubagata
  • Smith, Kate M
  • Raidal, Shane R
  • Forwood, Jade K

publication date

  • 2017

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