Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports

First Page


Last Page




Francisella tularensis is the causative agent of the highly, infectious disease, tularemia. Amongst the genes identified as essential to the virulence of F. tularensis was the proposed serine hydrolase FTT0941c. Herein, we purified FTT0941c to homogeneity and then characterized the folded stability, enzymatic activity, and substrate specificity of FTT0941c. Based on phylogenetic analysis, FTT0941c was classified within a divergent Francisella subbranch of the bacterial hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) superfamily, but with the conserved sequence motifs of a bacterial serine hydrolase. FTT0941c showed broad hydrolase activity against diverse libraries of ester substrates, including significant hydrolytic activity across alkyl ester substrates from 2 to 8 carbons in length. Among a diverse library of fluorogenic substrates, FTT0941c preferred α-cyclohexyl ester substrates, matching with the substrate specificity of structural homologues and the broad open architecture of its modeled binding pocket. By substitutional analysis, FTT0941c was confirmed to have a classic catalytic triad of Ser115, His278, and Asp248 and to remain thermally stable even after substitution. Its overall substrate specificity profile, divergent phylogenetic homology, and preliminary pathway analysis suggested potential biological functions for FTT0941c in diverse metabolic degradation pathways in F. tularensis.


Article by R. Jeremy Johnson et al. originally published by Elsevier under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commerical No Derivatives 4.0 License in Biochemistry and Biophysics Reports, 2016, Volume 7. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbrep.2016.07.006.