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Title: Structural and functional characterisation of human carboxylesterases
Author: Arena de Souza, Victoria Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 6060 4105
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Carboxylesterases are glycosylated general detoxification enzymes belonging to the serine esterase superfamily and play a critical role in the hydrolysis of numerous ester- and amide- containing molecules, including active metabolites, drugs and prodrugs. Three functionally active carboxyleterases have been identified in man (CES1-3), which all show differential tissue expression and critically overlapping, yet specific substrate selectivities. Elucidating the basis of their exact substrate preference would help facilitate the design of clinical prodrugs which are activated by carboxylesterases. Because of their widespread applications, carboxylesterases have attracted much attention in recent years, with CES1 being the most extensively studied human carboxylesterase to date. The work presented here addresses the structure-function relationship of the three human carboxylesterases using a combination of X-ray crystallography, kinetic analysis and biophysical techniques. Recombinant proteins were successfully produced using a mammalian expression system in high yield (5.0 – 84.0 mg/ L cell culture). Analytic ultracentrifugation and size-exclusion chromatography coupled to multi-angle laser light scattering were used to investigate the proteins in solution. These results showed CES1 exists primarily in a trimeric arrangement, whilst CES2 and CES3 are monomeric. Interestingly, atypical mechanisms of substrate inhibition, positive cooperativity and biphasic kinetics were observed for both CES1 and CES2. Three structures of CES1 were solved: wild type, an aglycosylated form and a catalytically inactive form, to 1.48, 1.86 and 2.01 Å respectively. The novel structure of CES2 was solved to 2.04 Å, which revealed that the enzyme forms a strand exchange dimer in contrast to the trimeric CES1. To summarise, this thesis documents a platform that has been generated for the production, characterisation and crystallization of human carboxylesterases. This will aid future structural work for protein ligand binding studies.
Supervisor: Owens, Ray ; Walsh, Martin Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Enzyme kinetics ; Esterases ; X-ray crystallography