Allosteric inhibition of VIM metallo-β-lactamases by a camelid nanobody

Jean S. Sohier, Clémentine Laurent, Andy Chevigné, Els Pardon, Vasundara Srinivasan, Ulrich Wernery, Patricia Lassaux, Jan Steyaert, Moreno Galleni*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)


    MβL (metallo-β-lactamase) enzymes are usually produced by multi-resistant Gram-negative bacterial strains and have spread worldwide. An approach on the basis of phage display was used to select single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs, also called nanobodies) that would inhibit the clinically relevant VIM (Verona integron-encoded MβL)-4 MβL. Out of more than 50 selected nanobodies, only the NbVIM-38 nanobody inhibited VIM-4. The paratope, inhibition mechanism and epitope of the NbVIM-38 nanobody were then characterized. An alanine scan of the NbVIM-38 paratope showed that its binding was driven by hydrophobic amino acids. The inhibitory concentration was in the micromolar range for all β-lactams tested. In addition, the inhibition was found to follow a mixed hyperbolic profile with a predominantly uncompetitive component. Moreover, substrate inhibition was recorded only after nanobody binding. These kinetic data are indicative of a binding site that is distant from the active site. This finding was confirmed by epitope mapping analysis that was performed using peptides, and which identified two stretches of amino acids in the L6 loop and at the end of the α2 helix. Because this binding site is distant from the active site and alters both the substrate binding and catalytic properties of VIM-4, this nanobody can be considered as an allosteric inhibitor.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)477-486
    Number of pages10
    JournalBiochemical Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2013


    • Allosteric inhbition
    • Metallo-β-lactamase
    • Nanobody


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