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Structure of a prereaction complex between the nerve agent sarin, its biological target acetylcholinesterase, and the antidote HI-6
FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden.
Umeå University, Sweden.
FOI Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden.
RISE, SP – Sveriges Tekniska Forskningsinstitut, SP Processum.
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2016 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 113, no 20, p. 5514-5519Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Organophosphorus nerve agents interfere with cholinergic signaling by covalently binding to the active site of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE). This inhibition causes an accumulation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, potentially leading to overstimulation of the nervous system and death. Current treatments include the use of antidotes that promote the release of functional AChE by an unknown reactivation mechanism. We have used diffusion trap cryocrystallography and density functional theory (DFT) calculations to determine and analyze prereaction conformers of the nerve agent antidote HI-6 in complex with Mus musculus AChE covalently inhibited by the nerve agent sarin. These analyses reveal previously unknown conformations of the system and suggest that the cleavage of the covalent enzyme-sarin bond is preceded by a conformational change in the sarin adduct itself. Together with data from the reactivation kinetics, this alternate conformation suggests a key interaction between Glu202 and the O-isopropyl moiety of sarin. Moreover, solvent kinetic isotope effect experiments using deuterium oxide reveal that the reactivation mechanism features an isotope-sensitive step. These findings provide insights into the reactivation mechanism and provide a starting point for the development of improved antidotes. The work also illustrates how DFT calculations can guide the interpretation, analysis, and validation of crystallographic data for challenging reactive systems with complex conformational dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Academy of Sciences , 2016. Vol. 113, no 20, p. 5514-5519
Keywords [en]
Acetylcholinesterase, Crystallography, Density functional theory, Nerve agent, Reactivation
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-434DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1523362113Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84969856096OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-434DiVA, id: diva2:942345
Available from: 2016-06-23 Created: 2016-06-23 Last updated: 2019-06-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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