[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Spider venom sphingomyelinases D catalyze the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin via an Mg(2+) ion-dependent acid-base catalytic mechanism which involves two histidines. In the crystal structure of the sulfate free enzyme determined at 1.85A resolution, the metal ion is tetrahedrally coordinated instead of the trigonal-bipyramidal coordination observed in the sulfate bound form. The observed hyperpolarized state of His47 requires a revision of the previously suggested catalytic mechanism. Molecular modeling indicates that the fundamental structural features important for catalysis are fully conserved in both classes of SMases D and that the Class II SMases D contain an additional intra-chain disulphide bridge (Cys53-Cys201). Structural analysis suggests that the highly homologous enzyme from Loxosceles bonetti is unable to hydrolyze sphingomyelin due to the 95Gly-->Asn and 134Pro-->Glu mutations that modify the local charge and hydrophobicity of the interfacial face. Structural and sequence comparisons confirm the evolutionary relationship between sphingomyelinases D and the glicerophosphodiester phosphoesterases which utilize a similar catalytic mechanism.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2006; 342(1):323-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Envenomation by arachnids of the genus Loxosceles leads to local dermonecrosis and serious systemic toxicity mainly induced by sphingomyelinases D (SMase D). These enzymes catalyze the hydrolysis of sphingomyelin resulting in the formation of ceramide-phosphate and choline as well as the cleavage of lysophosphatidyl choline generating the lipid mediator lysophosphatidic acid. We have, previously, cloned and expressed two functional SMase D isoforms, named P1 and P2, from Loxosceles intermedia venom and comparative protein sequence analysis revealed that they are highly homologous to SMase I from Loxosceles laeta which folds to form an (alpha/beta)8 barrel. In order to further characterize these proteins, pH dependence kinetic experiments and chemical modification of the two active SMases D isoforms were performed. We show here that the amino acids involved in catalysis and in the metal ion binding sites are strictly conserved in the SMase D isoforms from L. intermedia. However, the kinetic studies indicate that SMase P1 hydrolyzes sphingomyelin less efficiently than P2, which can be attributed to a substitution at position 203 (Pro-Leu) and local amino acid substitutions in the hydrophobic channel that could probably play a role in the substrate recognition and binding.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Two cationic proteins, C1 and C3, were purified to homogeneity from the hemolytic fraction of the venom of Bunodosoma caissarum sea anemone. The purification processes employed gel filtration followed by ion exchange chromatography, being the purity and molecular mass confirmed by SDS-PAGE and mass spectrometry. Protein C1 represented the second major peak of the hemolytic fraction and was previously believed to be a cytolysin belonging to a new class of hemolysins. The C1 protein has a molecular mass of 15495 Da and was assayed for hemolysis, PLA2 activity and acute toxicity in crabs and mice, showing no activity in these assays. It has an amino terminal with no similarity to all known hemolysins and, therefore, should not be considered a toxin, being its function completely unknown. The protein C3 (19757 Da), that also lacks PLA2 activity, was recognized by antiserum against Eqt II and presented high hemolytic activity to human erythrocytes (ED50 of 0.270 microg/ml), being named Caissarolysin I (Bcs I). Its activity was inhibited by pre-incubation with sphingomyelin (SM) and also when in presence of erythrocytes pre-treated with the SMase P2, a phospholipase D from the brown spider Loxosceles intermedia, indicating that SM is the main target of Bcs I. Caissarolysin I is the first hemolysin purified from a sea anemone belonging to the genus Bunodosoma and belongs to the Actinoporin family of sea anemone hemolysins.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 04/2006; 1760(3):453-61. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Envenomation by arachnids of the genus Loxosceles can induce a variety of biological effects, including dermonecrosis and hemolysis. We have previously identified in L. intermedia venom two highly homologous proteins with sphingomyelinase activity, termed P1 and P2, responsible for all these pathological events, and also an inactive isoform P3. The toxins P1 and P2 displayed 85% identity with each other at the amino acid level and showed a 57% identity with SMase I, an active toxin from L. laeta venom. Circular dichroism was used to determine and compare the solution structure of the active and inactive isoforms. Effects of pH and temperature change on the CD spectra of the toxins were investigated and correlated with the biological activities. This study sheds new light on the structure-function relationship of homologous proteins with distinct biological properties and represents the first report on the structure-function relationship of Loxosceles sphingomyelinases D.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2005; 327(1):117-23. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SMase I, a 32 kDa sphingomyelinase found in Loxosceles laeta venom, is responsible for the major pathological effects of spider envenomation. This toxin has been cloned and functionally expressed as a fusion protein containing a 6 x His tag at its N-terminus to yield a 33 kDa protein [Fernandes-Pedrosa et al. (2002), Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 298, 638-645]. The recombinant protein possesses all the biological properties ascribed to the whole L. laeta venom, including dermonecrotic and complement-dependent haemolytic activities. Dynamic light-scattering experiments conducted at 291 K demonstrate that the sample possesses a monomodal distribution, with a hydrodynamic radius of 3.57 nm. L. laeta SMase I was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique using the sparse-matrix method. Single crystals were obtained using a buffer solution consisting of 0.08 M HEPES and 0.9 M trisodium citrate, which was titrated to pH 7.5 using 0.25 M sodium hydroxide. Complete three-dimensional diffraction data were collected to 1.8 angstroms at the Laboratório Nacional de Luz Síncrotron (LNLS, Campinas, Brazil). The crystals belong to the hexagonal system (space group P6(1) or P6(5)), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 140.6, c = 113.6 angstroms. A search for heavy-atom derivatives has been initiated and elucidation of the crystal structure is currently in progress.