We explored the structural features of recombinant ostreolysin A (rOlyA), a protein produced by Pleurotus ostreatus and responsible for binding to α/β-tubulin. We found that rOlyA cell internalization is essential for the induction of adipocyte-associated activity, which is mediated by the interaction of rOlyA and microtubule proteins. We created different point mutations at conserved tryptophan (W) sites in rOlyA and analyzed their biological activity in HIB-1B preadipocytes. We demonstrated that the protein’s cell-internalization ability and the differentiated phenotype induced, such as small lipid-droplet formation and gene expression of mitogenesis activity, were impaired in point-mutated proteins W96A and W28A, where W was converted to alanine (A). We also showed that an rOlyA homologue, OlyA6 complexed with mCherry, cannot bind to β-tubulin and does not induce mitochondrial biosynthesis-associated markers, suggesting that the OlyA6 region masked by mCherry is involved in β-tubulin binding. Protein–protein docking simulations were carried out to investigate the binding mode of rOlyA with β-tubulin. Taken together, we identified functional sites in rOlyA that are essential for its binding to β-tubulin and its adipocyte-associated biological activity.
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