3 years ago

Structural insight into molecular mechanism of poly(ethylene terephthalate) degradation

Structural insight into molecular mechanism of poly(ethylene terephthalate) degradation
Sang Yup Lee, Seongjoon Joo, Tae Joo Shin, Hogyun Seo, In Jin Cho, Hye-Young Sagong, Hyeoncheol Francis Son, Kyung-Jin Kim, So Young Choi
Plastics, including poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET), possess many desirable characteristics and thus are widely used in daily life. However, non-biodegradability, once thought to be an advantage offered by plastics, is causing major environmental problem. Recently, a PET-degrading bacterium, Ideonella sakaiensis, was identified and suggested for possible use in degradation and/or recycling of PET. However, the molecular mechanism of PET degradation is not known. Here we report the crystal structure of I. sakaiensis PETase (IsPETase) at 1.5 Å resolution. IsPETase has a Ser–His-Asp catalytic triad at its active site and contains an optimal substrate binding site to accommodate four monohydroxyethyl terephthalate (MHET) moieties of PET. Based on structural and site-directed mutagenesis experiments, the detailed process of PET degradation into MHET, terephthalic acid, and ethylene glycol is suggested. Moreover, other PETase candidates potentially having high PET-degrading activities are suggested based on phylogenetic tree analysis of 69 PETase-like proteins.

Publisher URL: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-02881-1

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-02881-1

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