Mechanistic and spectroscopic studies of metallo-β-lactamase NDM-1

Hao Yang, Mahesh Aitha, Alyssa M. Hetrick, Timothy K. Richmond, David L. Tierney, Michael W. Crowder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


In an effort to biochemically characterize metallo-β-lactamase NDM-1, we cloned, overexpressed, purified, and characterized several maltose binding protein (MBP)-NDM-1 fusion proteins with different N-termini (full-length, Δ6, Δ21, and Δ36). All MBP-NDM-1 fusion proteins were soluble; however, only one, MBP-NDM-1Δ36, exhibited high activity and bound 2 equiv of Zn(II). Thrombin cleavage of this fusion protein resulted in the truncated NDM-1Δ36 variant, which exhibited a kcat of 16 s -1 and a Km of 1.1 μM when using nitrocefin as a substrate, bound 2 equiv of Zn(II), and was monomeric in solution. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure studies of the NDM-1Δ36 variant indicate the average metal binding site for Zn(II) in this variant consists of four N/O donors (two of which are histidines) and 0.5 sulfur donor per zinc, with a Zn-Zn distance of 3.38 Å. This metal binding site is very similar to those of other metallo-β-lactamases that belong to the B1 subclass. Pre-steady-state kinetic studies using nitrocefin and chromacef and the NDM-1Δ36 variant indicate that the enzyme utilizes a kinetic mechanism similar to that used by metallo-β-lactamases L1 and CcrA, in which a reactive nitrogen anion is stabilized and its protonation is rate-limiting. While they are very different in terms of amino acid sequence, these studies demonstrate that NDM-1 is structurally and mechanistically very similar to metallo-β-lactamase CcrA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3839-3847
Number of pages9
Issue number18
StatePublished - May 8 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry


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