Structural and catalytic diversity within the amidohydrolase superfamily. Academic Article uri icon


  • The amidohydrolase superfamily comprises a remarkable set of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of a wide range of substrates bearing amide or ester functional groups at carbon and phosphorus centers. The most salient structural landmark for this family of hydrolytic enzymes is a mononuclear or binuclear metal center embedded within the confines of a (beta/alpha)(8)-barrel structural fold. Seven variations in the identity of the specific amino acids that function as the direct metal ligands have been structurally characterized by X-ray crystallography. The metal center in this enzyme superfamily has a dual functionality in the expression of the overall catalytic activity. The scissile bond of the substrate must be activated for bond cleavage, and the hydrolytic water molecule must be deprotonated for nucleophilic attack. In all cases, the nucleophilic water molecule is activated through complexation with a mononuclear or binuclear metal center. In the binuclear metal centers, the carbonyl and phosphoryl groups of the substrates are polarized through Lewis acid catalysis via complexation with the beta-metal ion, while the hydrolytic water molecule is activated for nucleophilic attack by interaction with the alpha-metal ion. In the mononuclear metal centers, the substrate is activated by proton transfer from the active site, and the water is activated by metal ligation and general base catalysis. The substrate diversity is dictated by the conformational restrictions imposed by the eight loops that extend from the ends of the eight beta-strands.

published proceedings

  • Biochemistry

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Seibert, C. M., & Raushel, F. M.

citation count

  • 327

complete list of authors

  • Seibert, Clara M||Raushel, Frank M

publication date

  • May 2005