Stability Mechanisms of Laccase Isoforms using a Modified FoldX Protocol Applicable to Widely Different Proteins

Niels J. Christensen, Kasper P. Kepp

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


A recent computational protocol that accurately predicts and rationalizes protein multisite mutant stabilities has been extended to handle widely different isoforms of laccases. We apply the protocol to four isoenzymes of Trametes versicolor laccase (TvL) with variable lengths (498–503 residues) and thermostability (Topt ∼ 45–80 °C) and with 67–77% sequence identity. The extended protocol uses (i) statistical averaging, (ii) a molecular-dynamics-validated “compromise” homology model to minimize bias that causes proteins close in sequence to a structural template to be too stable due to having the benefits of the better sampled template (typically from a crystal structure), (iii) correction for hysteresis that favors the input template to overdestabilize, and (iv) a preparative protocol to provide robust input sequences of equal length. The computed ΔΔG values are in good agreement with the major trends in experimental stabilities; that is, the approach may be applicable for fast estimates of the relative stabilities of proteins with as little as 70% identity, something that is currently extremely challenging. The computed stability changes associated with variations are Gaussian-distributed, in good agreement with experimental distributions of stability effects from mutation. The residues causing the differential stability of the four isoforms are consistent with a range of compiled laccase wild type data, suggesting that we may have identified general drivers of laccase stability. Several sites near Cu, notably 79, 241, and 245, or near substrate, mainly 265, are identified that contribute to stability-function trade-offs, of relevance to the search for new proficient and stable variants of these important industrial enzymes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Chemical Theory and Computation
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)203210-3223
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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