Twisting of glycosidic bonds by hydrolases

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Johnson, Glenn
Petersen, Luis
French, Alfred
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Chemical and Biological Engineering

The function of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering has been to prepare students for the study and application of chemistry in industry. This focus has included preparation for employment in various industries as well as the development, design, and operation of equipment and processes within industry.Through the CBE Department, Iowa State University is nationally recognized for its initiatives in bioinformatics, biomaterials, bioproducts, metabolic/tissue engineering, multiphase computational fluid dynamics, advanced polymeric materials and nanostructured materials.

The Department of Chemical Engineering was founded in 1913 under the Department of Physics and Illuminating Engineering. From 1915 to 1931 it was jointly administered by the Divisions of Industrial Science and Engineering, and from 1931 onward it has been under the Division/College of Engineering. In 1928 it merged with Mining Engineering, and from 1973–1979 it merged with Nuclear Engineering. It became Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2005.

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1913 - present

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  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1913–1928)
  • Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering (1928–1957)
  • Department of Chemical Engineering (1957–1973, 1979–2005)
    • Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (2005–present)

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Patterns of scissile bond twisting have been found in crystal structures of glycoside hydrolases (GHs) that are complexed with substrates and inhibitors. To estimate the increased potential energy in the substrates that results from this twisting, we have plotted torsion angles for the scissile bonds on hybrid Quantum Mechanics::Molecular Mechanics energy surfaces. Eight such maps were constructed, including one for α-maltose and three for different forms of methyl α-acarviosinide to provide energies for twisting of α-(1,4) glycosidic bonds. Maps were also made for β-thiocellobiose and for three β-cellobiose conformers having different glycon ring shapes to model distortions of β-(1,4) glycosidic bonds. Different GH families twist scissile glycosidic bonds differently, increasing their potential energies from 0.5 to 9.5 kcal/mol. In general, the direction of twisting of the glycosidic bond away from the conformation of lowest intramolecular energy correlates with the position (syn or anti) of the proton donor with respect to the glycon’s ring oxygen atom. This correlation suggests that glycosidic bond distortion is important for the optimal orientation of one of the glycosidic oxygen lone pairs toward the enzyme’s proton donor.


This is a post-print of an article from Carbohydrate Research, 344, no. 16 (2 November 2009): 2157–2166, doi: 10.1016/j.carres.2009.08.011.

Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2009