Molecule of the Month: Lysozyme
Lysozyme attacks the cell walls of bacteria
The First Antibiotic
A Cellular Guardian
A Molecular Laboratory
Exploring the Structure
Lysozyme Active Site
Lysozyme has a long active site cleft that binds to the bacterial carbohydrate chain. The structure shown here contains a piece of the bacterial cell wall, including two sugar rings and a short piece of the crosslinking peptide. Based on computer modeling, it has been proposed that lysozyme distorts the shape of one sugar ring in the chain, making it more easy to cleave (although other studies have proposed that different effects, like electrostatics, are more important). This structure, PDB entry 148l , shows what this distorted ring might look like. Normally, sugar rings adopt a zig-zag "chair" structure, like the purple-colored ring on the left. Compare this to the ring on the right, colored green, which is flattened into a less stable structure. To explore this structure in more detail, click on the image for an interactive JSmol.
Related PDB-101 Resources
- Browse Enzymes
- Browse You and Your Health
- Browse Protein Synthesis
- Browse Immune System
- Browse Biomolecular Structural Biology
- R. Kuroki, L. H. Weaver & B. W. Matthews (1993) A covalent enzyme-substrate intermediate with saccharide distortion in a mutant T4 lysozyme. Science 262, 2030-2033.
- 1l35: P. E. Pjura, M. Matsumura, J. A. Wozniak & B. W. Matthews (1990) Structure of a thermostable disulfide-bridge mutant of phage T4 lysozyme shows that an engineered cross-link in a flexible region does not increas the rigidity of the folded protein. Biochemistry 29, 2592-2598.
- 1lyd: D. R. Rose, J. Phipps, J. Michniewicz, G. I. Birnbaum, F. R. Ahmed, A. Muir, W. F. Anderson & S. Narang (1988) Crystal structure of T4-lysozyme generated from synthetic coding DNA in Escherichia coli. Protein Engineering 2, 277-282.
- 2lyz: R. Diamond (1974) Real-space refinement of the structure hen egg-while lysozyme. Journal of Molecular Biology 82, 371-391.
September 2000, David Goodsellhttp://doi.org/10.2210/rcsb_pdb/mom_2000_9