Glycosidase mechanisms: Anatomy of a finely tuned catalyst

  • Zechel D
  • Withers S
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In order to accelerate the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds by factors approaching 10(17)-fold, glycosidases have evolved finely tuned active sites optimally configured for transition-state stabilization. Structural analyses of various enzyme complexes representing stable intermediates along the reaction coordinate, in conjunction with detailed mechanistic studies on wild-type and mutant enzymes, have delineated the contributions of nucleophilic and general acid/base catalysis, as well as the roles of noncovalent interactions, to these impressive rate enhancements.

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  • David L. Zechel

  • Stephen G. Withers

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