Article

X-ray, neutron and NMR studies of the catalytic mechanism of aspartic proteinases.

School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, Bassett Crescent East, Southampton, SO16 7PX, England.
European Biophysics Journal (Impact Factor: 2.27). 10/2006; 35(7):559-66. DOI:10.1007/s00249-006-0065-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Current proposals for the catalytic mechanism of aspartic proteinases are largely based on X-ray structures of bound oligopeptide inhibitors possessing non-hydrolysable analogues of the scissile peptide bond. Until recent years, the positions of protons on the catalytic aspartates and the ligand in these complexes had not been determined with certainty due to the inadequate resolution of these analyses. There has been much interest in locating the catalytic protons at the active site of aspartic proteinases since this has major implications for detailed understanding of the mechanism of action and the design of improved transition state mimics for therapeutic applications. In this review we discuss the results of studies which have shed light on the locations of protons at the catalytic centre. The first direct determination of the proton positions stemmed from neutron diffraction data collected from crystals of the fungal aspartic proteinase endothiapepsin bound to a transition state analogue (H261). The neutron structure of the complex at a resolution of 2.1 A provided evidence that Asp 215 is protonated and that Asp 32 is the negatively charged residue in the transition state complex. Atomic resolution X-ray studies of inhibitor complexes have corroborated this finding. A similar study of the native enzyme established that it, unexpectedly, has a dipeptide bound at the catalytic site which is consistent with classical reports of inhibition by short peptides and the ability of pepsins to catalyse transpeptidation reactions. Studies by NMR have confirmed the findings of low-barrier and single-well hydrogen bonds in the complexes with transition state analogues.

0 0
 · 
0 Bookmarks
 · 
56 Views
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The LADI-III diffractometer at the Institut Laue-Langevin has been used to carry out a preliminary neutron crystallographic study of the self-complementary DNA oligonucleotide d(AGGGGCCCCT)(2) in the A conformation. The results demonstrate the viability of a full neutron crystallographic analysis with the aim of providing enhanced information on the ion-water networks that are known to be important in stabilizing A-DNA. This is the first account of a single-crystal neutron diffraction study of A-DNA. The study was carried out with the smallest crystal used to date for a neutron crystallographic study of a biological macromolecule.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 04/2009; 65(Pt 3):232-5. · 0.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Cells of Candida albicans (C. albicans) can invade humans and may lead to mucosal and skin infections or to deep-seated mycoses of almost all inner organs, especially in immunocompromised patients. In this context, both the host immune status and the ability of C. albicans to modulate the expression of its virulence factors are relevant aspects that drive the candidal susceptibility or resistance; in this last case, culminating in the establishment of successful infection known as candidiasis. C. albicans possesses a potent armamentarium consisting of several virulence molecules that help the fungal cells to escape of the host immune responses. There is no doubt that the secretion of aspartyl-type proteases, designated as Saps, are one of the major virulence attributes produced by C. albicans cells, since these hydrolytic enzymes participate in a wide range of fungal physiological processes as well as in different facets of the fungal-host interactions. For these reasons, Saps clearly hold promise as new potential drug targets. Corroborating this hypothesis, the introduction of new anti-human immunodeficiency virus drugs of the aspartyl protease inhibitor-type (HIV PIs) have emerged as new agents for the inhibition of Saps. The introduction of HIV PIs has revolutionized the treatment of HIV disease, reducing opportunistic infections, especially candidiasis. The attenuation of candidal infections in HIV-infected individuals might not solely have resulted from improved immunological status, but also as a result of direct inhibition of C. albicans Saps. In this article, we review updates on the beneficial effects of HIV PIs against the human fungal pathogen C. albicans, focusing on the effects of these compounds on Sap activity, growth behavior, morphological architecture, cellular differentiation, fungal adhesion to animal cells and abiotic materials, modulation of virulence factors, experimental candidiasis infection, and their synergistic actions with classical antifungal agents.
    World journal of biological chemistry. 02/2010; 1(2):21-30.
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aspartic peptidases are proteolytic enzymes present in many organisms like vertebrates, plants, fungi, protozoa and in some retroviruses such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). These enzymes are involved in important metabolic processes in microorganisms/virus and play major roles in infectious diseases. Although few studies have been performed in order to identify and characterize aspartic peptidase in trypanosomatids, which include the etiologic agents of leishmaniasis, Chagas, disease and sleeping sickness, some beneficial properties of aspartic peptidase inhibitors have been described on fundamental biological events of these pathogenic agents. In this context, aspartic peptidase inhibitors (PIs) used in the current chemotherapy against HIV (e.g., amprenavir, indinavir, lopinavir, nelfinavir, ritonavir and saquinavir) were able to inhibit the aspartic peptidase activity produced by different species of Leishmania. Moreover, the treatment of Leishmania promastigotes with HIV PIs induced several perturbations on the parasite homeostasis, including loss of the motility and arrest of proliferation/growth. The HIV PIs also induced an increase in the level of reactive oxygen species and the appearance of irreversible morphological alterations, triggering parasite death pathways such as programed cell death (apoptosis) and uncontrolled autophagy. The blockage of physiological parasite events as well as the induction of death pathways culminated in its incapacity to adhere, survive and escape of phagocytic cells. Collectively, these results support the data showing that parasites treated with HIV PIs have a significant reduction in the ability to cause in vivo infection. Similarly, the treatment of Trypanosoma cruzi cells with pepstatin A showed a significant inhibition on both aspartic peptidase activity and growth as well as promoted several and irreversible morphological changes. These studies indicate that aspartic peptidases can be promising targets in trypanosomatid cells and aspartic proteolytic inhibitors can be benefic chemotherapeutic agents against these human pathogenic microorganisms.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 12/2012; · 4.07 Impact Factor

Full-text

View
49 Downloads
Available from
Dec 4, 2012