Cyanide hydratase modification using computational design and docking analysis for improved binding affinity in cyanide detoxification

Narges Malmir, Najaf Allahyari Fard, Yamkela Mgwatyu, Lukhanyo Mekuto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Cyanide is a hazardous and detrimental chemical that causes the inactivation of the respiration system through the inactivation of cytochrome c oxidase. Because of the limitation in the number of cyanide-degrading enzymes, there is a great demand to design and introduce new enzymes with better functionality. This study developed an integrated method of protein-homology-modelling and ligand-docking protein-design approaches that reconstructs a better active site from cyanide hydratase (CHT) structure. Designing a mutant CHT (mCHT) can improve the CHT performance. A computational design procedure that focuses on mutation for constructing a new model of cyanide hydratase with better activity was used. In fact, this study predicted the three-dimensional (3D) structure of CHT for subsequent analysis. Inducing mutation on CHT of Trichoderma harzianum was performed and molecular docking was used to compare protein interaction with cyanide as a ligand in both CHT and mCHT. By combining multiple designed mutations, a significant improvement in docking for CHT was obtained. The results demonstrate computational capabilities for enhancing and accelerating enzyme activity. The result of sequence alignment and homology modeling show that catalytic triad (Cys-Glu-Lys) was conserved in CHT of Trichoderma harzianum. By inducing mutation in CHT structure, MolDock score enhanced from −18.1752 to −23.8575, thus the nucleophilic attack can occur rapidly by adding Cys in the catalytic cavity and the total charge of protein in pH 6.5 is increased from −6.0004 to −5.0004. Also, molecular dynamic simulation shows a stable protein-ligand complex model. These changes would help in the cyanide degradation process by mCHT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1799
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Cyanide
  • Cyanide hydratase (CHT)
  • Docking analysis
  • Mutation
  • Protein engineering
  • Trichoderma harzianum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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