Rational Design of Thermostable Carbonic Anhydrase Mutants Using Molecular Dynamics Simulations

The Journal of Physical Chemistry. B
Ricardo Parra-CruzAnca Pordea


The stability of enzymes is critical for their application in industrial processes, which generally require different conditions from the natural enzyme environment. Both rational and random protein engineering approaches have been used to increase stability, with the latter requiring extensive experimental effort for the screening of variants. Moreover, some general rules addressing the molecular origin of protein thermostability have been established. Herein, we demonstrate the use of molecular dynamics simulations to gain molecular level understanding of protein thermostability and to engineer stabilizing mutations. Carbonic anhydrase (CA) is an enzyme with a high potential for biotechnological carbon capture applications, provided it can be engineered to withstand the high temperature process environments, inevitable in most gas treatment units. In this study, we used molecular dynamics simulations at 343, 353, and 363 K to study the relationship between structure flexibility and thermostability in bacterial α-CAs and applied this knowledge to the design of mutants with increased stability. The most thermostable α-CA known, TaCA from Thermovibrio ammonificans, had the most rigid structure during molecular dynamics simulatio...Continue Reading


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