Haloadaptation: insights from comparative modeling studies between halotolerant and non-halotolerant dehalogenases



Edbeib MF, Aksoy HM, Kaya Y, Wahab RA, Huyop F.


J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2020 Aug;38(12):3452-3461. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2019.1657498. Epub 2019 Sep 9.


Halophiles are extremophilic microorganisms that grow optimally at high salt concentrations by producing a myriad of equally halotolerant enzymes. Structural haloadaptation of these enzymes adept to thriving under high-salt environments, though are not fully understood. Herein, the study attempts an in silico investigation to identify and comprehend the evolutionary structural adaptation of a halotolerant dehalogenase, DehHX (GenBank accession number: KR297065) of the halotolerant Pseudomonas halophila, over its non-halotolerant counterpart, DehMX1 (GenBank accession number KY129692) produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. GC content of the halotolerant DehHX DNA sequence was distinctively higher (58.9%) than the non-halotolerant dehalogenases (55% average GC). Its acidic residues, Asp and Glu were 8.27% and 12.06%, respectively, compared to an average 5.5% Asp and 7% Glu, in the latter; but lower contents of basic and hydrophobic residues in the DehHX. The secondary structure of DehHX interestingly revealed a lower incidence of α-helix forming regions (29%) and a higher percentage of coils (57%), compared to 49% and 29% in the non-halotolerant homologues, respectively. Simulation models showed the DehHX is stable under a highly saline environment (25% w/v) by adopting a highly negative-charged surface with a concomitant weakly interacting hydrophobic core. The study thus, established that a halotolerant dehalogenase undergoes notable evolutionary structural changes related to GC content over its non-halotolerant counterpart, in order to adapt and thrive under highly saline environments.Communicated by Ramaswamy H. Sarma.

Keywords: .

Link/DOI: 10.1080/07391102.2019.1657498