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A single site in human beta-hexosaminidase A binds both 6-sulfate-groups on hexosamines and the sialic acid moiety of GM2 ganglioside


A single site in human beta-hexosaminidase A binds both 6-sulfate-groups on hexosamines and the sialic acid moiety of GM2 ganglioside



Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 1637(1): 113-118



ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3002

PMID: 12527415

DOI: 10.1016/s0925-4439(02)00221-1

Human beta-hexosaminidase A (Hex A) (alphabeta) is composed of two subunits whose primary structures are approximately 60% identical. Deficiency of either subunit results in severe neurological disease due to the storage of GM2 ganglioside; Tay-Sachs disease, alpha deficiency, and Sandhoff disease, beta deficiency. Whereas both subunits contain active sites only the alpha-site can efficiently bind negatively charged 6-sulfated hexosamine substrates and GM2 ganglioside. We have recently identified the alphaArg(424) as playing a critical role in the binding of 6-sulfate-containing substrates, and betaAsp(452) as actively inhibiting their binding. To determine if these same residues affect the binding of the sialic acid moiety of GM2 ganglioside, an alphaArg(424)Gln form of Hex A was expressed and its kinetics analyzed using the GM2 activator protein:[3H]-GM2 ganglioside complex as a substrate. The mutant showed a approximately 3-fold increase in its K(m) for the complex. Next a form of Hex B (betabeta) containing a double mutation, betaAspLeu(453)AsnArg (duplicating the alpha-aligning sequences), was expressed. As compared to the wild type (WT), the mutant exhibited a >30-fold increase in its ability to hydrolyze a 6-sulfated substrate and was now able to hydrolyze GM2 ganglioside when the GM2 activator protein was replaced by sodium taurocholate. Thus, this alpha-site is critical for binding both types of negatively charge substrates.

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Accession: 010099289

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