P R Elliott

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (15)79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Members of the serpin family of serine proteinase inhibitors play important roles in the inflammatory, coagulation, fibrinolytic, and complement cascades. An inherent part of their function is the ability to undergo a structural rearrangement, the stressed (S) to relaxed (R) transition, in which an extra strand is inserted into the central A β-sheet. In order for this transition to take place, the A sheet has to be unusually flexible. Malfunctions in this flexibility can lead to aberrant protein linkage, serpin inactivation, and diseases as diverse as cirrhosis, thrombosis, angioedema, emphysema, and dementia. The development of agents that control this conformational rearrangement requires a high resolution structure of an active serpin. We present here the topology of the archetypal serpin α1-antitrypsin to 2 Å resolution. This structure allows us to define five cavities that are potential targets for rational drug design to develop agents that will prevent conformational transitions and ameliorate the associated disease.
    Protein Science 12/1999; 9(7):1274 - 1281. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant protein processing with tissue deposition is associated with many common neurodegenerative disorders; however, the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors has made it difficult to decipher the sequence of events linking protein aggregation with clinical disease. Substantial progress has been made toward understanding the pathophysiology of prototypical conformational diseases and protein polymerization in the superfamily of serine proteinase inhibitors (serpins). Here we describe a new disease, familial encephalopathy with neuroserpin inclusion bodies, characterized clinically as an autosomal dominantly inherited dementia, histologically by unique neuronal inclusion bodies and biochemically by polymers of the neuron-specific serpin, neuroserpin. We report the cosegregation of point mutations in the neuroserpin gene (PI12) with the disease in two families. The significance of one mutation, S49P, is evident from its homology to a previously described serpin mutations, whereas that of the other, S52R, is predicted by modelling of the serpin template. Our findings provide a molecular mechanism for a familial dementia and imply that inhibitors of protein polymerization may be effective therapies for this disorder and perhaps for other more common neurodegenerative diseases.
    Nature 10/1999; 401(6751):376-9. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The mutation in the Z deficiency variant of alpha1-antitrypsin perturbs the structure of the protein to allow a unique intermolecular linkage. These loop-sheet polymers are retained within the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes to form inclusions that are associated with neonatal hepatitis, juvenile cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The process of polymer formation has been investigated here by intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence, fluorescence polarization, circular dichroic spectra and extrinsic fluorescence with 8-anilino-1-naphthalenesulfonic acid and tetramethylrhodamine-5-iodoacetamide. These biophysical techniques have demonstrated that alpha1-antitrypsin polymerization is a two-stage process and have allowed the calculation of rates for both of these steps. The initial fast phase is unimolecular and likely to represent temperature-induced protein unfolding, while the slow phase is bimolecular and associated with loop-sheet interaction and polymer formation. The naturally occurring Z, S, and I variants and recombinant site-directed reactive loop and shutter domain mutants of alpha1-antitrypsin were used to demonstrate the close association between protein stability and rate of alpha1-antitrypsin polymerization. Taken together, these data allow us to propose a kinetic mechanism for alpha1-antitrypsin polymer formation that involves the generation of an unstable intermediate, which can form polymers or generate latent protein.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/1999; 274(14):9548-55. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • P R Elliott, D Bilton, D A Lomas
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with alpha1-antitrypsin (alpha1-AT) deficiency are at risk of developing early-onset panlobular basal emphysema, which has been attributed to uncontrolled proteolytic activity within the lung. Severe genetic deficiency of alpha1-AT is most commonly due to the Z mutation (342Glu--> Lys), which results in a block in alpha1-AT processing within the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes. The retained alpha1-AT forms inclusions, which are associated with neonatal hepatitis, juvenile cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Our recent studies have shown that the accumulation of alpha1-AT is due to the Z mutation perturbing the structure of alpha1-AT to allow polymer formation, with a unique linkage between the reactive center loop of one alpha1-AT molecule and the A beta-pleated sheet of a second. The detection of loop-sheet polymers and other conformations of alpha1-AT in the lungs of patients with emphysema has been technically difficult. We show here that transverse urea-gradient-gel (TUG) electrophoresis and Western blot analysis may be used to characterize conformations of alpha1-AT in dilute samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). This technique was used to demonstrate loop-sheet polymers in the lungs of patients with Z alpha1-AT-deficiency-related emphysema. Polymers were the predominant conformational form of alpha1-AT in BALF from the lungs of two of five Z homozygotes with emphysema, but were not detectable in any of 13 MM, MS, or MZ alpha1-AT controls. Because alpha1-AT loop-sheet polymers are inactive as proteinase inhibitors, this novel conformational transition will further reduce the levels of functional proteinase inhibitor in the lungs of the Z alpha1-AT homozygote, and so exacerbate tissue damage.
    American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology 05/1998; 18(5):670-4. · 4.15 Impact Factor
  • P R Elliott, J P Abrahams, D A Lomas
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    ABSTRACT: alpha 1-Antitrypsin is the archetypal member of the serine proteinase inhibitor or serpin superfamily. Members of the family show structural homology based on a dominant A beta-sheet and a mobile reactive centre loop. Our recent crystal structure of alpha 1-antitrypsin stabilized with a point mutation showed the loop to be in a canonical inhibitory conformation in the absence of significant insertion into the A beta-sheet. It could be argued that the stabilizing mutation may induce the reactive centre loop to adopt an artificial, and unrepresentative, conformation and the finding seems to be at variance with studies assessing rates of peptide insertion into the A beta-sheet and limited proteolysis of the reactive loop. Here we present a 2.9 A structure of recombinant wild-type alpha 1-antitrypsin with no stabilizing mutations. Again, the reactive loop is in a canonical conformation in the absence of significant insertion into the A beta-sheet. A stabilizing salt bridge between P5 glutamate and arginine residues 196, 223 and 281, already identified in the mutant, provides strong evidence that this conformation is not an artefact of crystallization but represents the conformation of the circulating inhibitor in vivo. Comparison with the structure of alpha 1-antitrypsin stabilized with the Phe51Leu mutation indicates that the increased thermal stability of the mutant results from enhanced packing of aromatic residues in the hydrophobic core of the molecule. The structure of wild-type alpha 1-antitrypsin reveals a hydrophobic pocket between s2A and helices D and E that is filled on reactive loop insertion and the formation of biologically relevant loop-sheet polymers. This pocket may provide a target for rational drug design to prevent the formation of polymers and the associated plasma deficiency, liver cirrhosis and emphysema.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 02/1998; 275(3):419-25. · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    D A Lomas, P R Elliott, R W Carrell
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    ABSTRACT: Fractionated plasma alpha1-antitrypsin is widely-used as replacement therapy in patients with Z alpha1-antitrypsin deficiency-related emphysema. We have recently shown that purified antitrypsin may be induced to adopt an inactive latent conformation by heating at high temperatures in stabilizing concentrations of sodium citrate. Such a conformation was predicted to be present in commercial preparations of antitrypsin, as these require heating under similar conditions for viral inactivation. Native antitrypsin was purified from plasma, and commercial antitrypsin (Prolastin) was obtained from Bayer Corporation. Western blot analysis of transverse urea gradient (TUG) gels showed that commercial antitrypsin migrated as two bands: one with an unfolding profile of native antitrypsin and the second with a profile of latent antitrypsin. A latent fraction, comprising approximately 8% of the total antitrypsin, was separated from the native antitrypsin in Prolastin by anion exchange chromatography. The specific activity of this latent form against bovine alpha-chymotrypsin increased from 1 to 2% to 50% over 3 h after refolding from 6 M guanidine hydrochloride. These data show that commercial antitrypsin contains a latent component. The significance of this conformation in vivo is unknown, although Prolastin has shown few adverse side-effects in prolonged clinical usage.
    European Respiratory Journal 04/1997; 10(3):672-5. · 6.36 Impact Factor
  • Nature Structural Biology 12/1996; 3(11):910-1.
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    ABSTRACT: The reactive site loop of the serpin family of serine proteinase inhibitors is flexible and can adopt a number of diverse conformations. A 2.9 A resolution structure of alpha 1-antitrypsin-the principal proteinase inhibitor in human plasma-shows the loop in a stable canonical conformation matching that found in all other families of serine proteinase inhibitors. This unexpected finding in the absence of loop insertion into the body of the molecule favours a two-stage mechanism of inhibition and provides a model for the heparin activation of antithrombin. The beta-pleated strand conformation of the loop also accounts for the polymerization of the serpins in disease and for their association with other beta-sheet structures, most notably the beta-amyloid of Alzheimer's disease.
    Nature Structural Biology 09/1996; 3(8):676-81.
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    ABSTRACT: The Z (Glu342-->Lys) and Siiyama (Ser53-->Phe) deficiency variants of alpha 1-antitrypsin result in the retention of protein in the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocyte by loop-sheet polymerization in which the reactive center loop of one molecule is inserted into a beta-pleated sheet of a second. We show here that antitrypsin Mmalton (Phe52-deleted), which is associated with the same liver inclusions, is also retained at an endoglycosidase H-sensitive stage of processing in the Xenopus oocyte and spontaneously forms polymers in vivo. These polymers, obtained from the plasma of an Mmalton/QO (null) bolton heterozygote, were much shorter than other antitrypsin polymers and contained a reactive center loop-cleaved species. Monomeric mutant antitrypsin was also isolated from the plasma. The monomeric component had a normal unfolding transition on transverse urea gradient gel electrophoresis and formed polymers in vitro more readily than M, but less readily than Z, antitrypsin. The A beta-sheet accommodated a reactive center loop peptide much less readily than Z antitrypsin, which in turn was less receptive than native M antitrypsin. The nonreceptive conformation of the A sheet in antitrypsin Mmalton had little effect on kinetic parameters, the formation of SDS-stable complexes, the S to R transition, and the formation of the latent conformation. Comparison of the results with similar findings of short chain polymers associated with the antithrombin variant Rouen VI (Bruce, D., Perry, D., Borg, J.-Y., Carrell, R. W., and Wardell, M. R. (1994) J. Clin. Invest. 94, 2265-2274) suggests that polymerization is more complicated than the mechanism proposed earlier. The Z, Siiyama, and Mmalton mutations favor a conformational change in the antitrypsin molecule to an intermediate between the native and latent forms. This would involve a partial overinsertion of the reactive loop into the A sheet with displacement of strand 1C and consequent loop-C sheet polymerization.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/1995; 270(28):16864-70. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Z (Glu342 → Lys) and Siiyama (Ser53 → Phe) deficiency variants of α1-antitrypsin result in the retention of protein in the endoplasmic reticulum of the hepatocyte by loop-sheet polymerization in which the reactive center loop of one molecule is inserted into a β-pleated sheet of a second. We show here that antitrypsin Mmalton (Phe52-deleted), which is associated with the same liver inclusions, is also retained at an endoglycosidase H-sensitive stage of processing in the Xenopus oocyte and spontaneously forms polymers in vivo. These polymers, obtained from the plasma of an Mmalton/QO (null) bolton heterozygote, were much shorter than other antitrypsin polymers and contained a reactive center loop-cleaved species. Monomeric mutant antitrypsin was also isolated from the plasma. The monomeric component had a normal unfolding transition on transverse urea gradient gel electrophoresis and formed polymers in vitro more readily than M, but less readily than Z, antitrypsin. The A β-sheet accommodated a reactive center loop peptide much less readily than Z antitrypsin, which in turn was less receptive than native M antitrypsin. The nonreceptive conformation of the A sheet in antitrypsin Mmalton had little effect on kinetic parameters, the formation of SDS-stable complexes, the S to R transition, and the formation of the latent conformation. Comparison of the results with similar findings of short chain polymers associated with the antithrombin variant Rouen VI (Bruce, D., Perry, D., Borg, J.-Y., Carrell, R. W., and Wardell, M. R.(1994) J. Clin. Invest. 94, 2265-2274) suggests that polymerization is more complicated than the mechanism proposed earlier. The Z, Siiyama, and Mmalton mutations favor a conformational change in the antitrypsin molecule to an intermediate between the native and latent forms. This would involve a partial overinsertion of the reactive loop into the A sheet with displacement of strand 1C and consequent loop-C sheet polymerization.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/1995; 270(28):16864-16870. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the serine proteinase inhibitor or serpin superfamily have a common molecular architecture based on a dominant five-membered A β-pleated sheet and a mobile reactive center loop. The reactive center loop has been shown to adopt a range of conformations from the three turn α-helix of ovalbumin to the cleaved or latent inhibitor in which the reactive center loop is fully inserted into the A sheet of the molecule. While the cleaved state can be achieved in all inhibitory serpins only plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and, more recently, antithrombin have been shown to adopt the latent conformation. We show here that the archetypal serpin, α1-antitrypsin, can also be induced to adopt the latent conformation by heating at high temperatures in 0.7 M citrate for 12 h. The resulting species elutes at a lower sodium chloride concentration on an anion-exchange column and has a more cathodal electrophoretic mobility on non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing than native M antitrypsin. Latent antitrypsin is inactive as an inhibitor of bovine α-chymotrypsin, is stable to unfolding with 8 M urea, and is more resistant to heat-induced loop-sheet polymerization than native but less resistant than cleaved antitrypsin. The reactive center loop of latent antitrypsin is inaccessible to proteolytic cleavage, and its occupancy of the A sheet prevents the molecule accepting an exogenous reactive center loop peptide. The activity of latent antitrypsin may be increased from <1% to approximately 35% by refolding from 6 M guanidinium chloride.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/1995; 270(10):5282-5288. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Members of the serine proteinase inhibitor or serpin superfamily have a common molecular architecture based on a dominant five-membered A beta-pleated sheet and a mobile reactive center loop. The reactive center loop has been shown to adopt a range of conformations from the three turn alpha-helix of ovalbumin to the cleaved or latent inhibitor in which the reactive center loop is fully inserted into the A sheet of the molecule. While the cleaved state can be achieved in all inhibitory serpins only plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 and, more recently, antithrombin have been shown to adopt the latent conformation. We show here that the archetypal serpin, alpha 1-antitrypsin, can also be induced to adopt the latent conformation by heating at high temperatures in 0.7 M citrate for 12 h. The resulting species elutes at a lower sodium chloride concentration on an anion-exchange column and has a more cathodal electrophoretic mobility on non-denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing than native M antitrypsin. Latent antitrypsin is inactive as an inhibitor of bovine alpha-chymotrypsin, is stable to unfolding with 8 M urea, and is more resistant to heat-induced loop-sheet polymerization than native but less resistant than cleaved antitrypsin. The reactive center loop of latent antitrypsin is inaccessible to proteolytic cleavage, and its occupancy of the A sheet prevents the molecule accepting an exogenous reactive center loop peptide. The activity of latent antitrypsin may be increased from < 1% to approximately 35% by refolding from 6 M guanidinium chloride.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/1995; 270(10):5282-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Peter R. Elliott, Diana Bilton, David A. Lomas
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with a 1 -antitrypsin ( a 1 -AT) deficiency are at risk of developing early-onset panlobular basal em- physema, which has been attributed to uncontrolled proteolytic activity within the lung. Severe genetic de- ficiency of a 1 -AT is most commonly due to the Z mutation (342Glu φι Lys), which results in a block in a 1 -AT processing within the endoplasmic reticulum of hepatocytes. The retained a 1 -AT forms inclusions, which are associated with neonatal hepatitis, juvenile cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma. Our recent studies have shown that the accumulation of a 1 -AT is due to the Z mutation perturbing the structure of a 1 -AT to allow polymer formation, with a unique linkage between the reactive center loop of one a 1 -AT molecule and the A b -pleated sheet of a second. The detection of loop-sheet polymers and other conforma- tions of a 1 -AT in the lungs of patients with emphysema has been technically difficult. We show here that transverse urea-gradient-gel (TUG) electrophoresis and Western blot analysis may be used to characterize conformations of a 1 -AT in dilute samples of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF). This technique was used to demonstrate loop-sheet polymers in the lungs of patients with Z a 1 -AT-deficiency-related emphy- sema. Polymers were the predominant conformational form of a 1 -AT in BALF from the lungs of two of five Z homozygotes with emphysema, but were not detectable in any of 13 MM, MS, or MZ a 1 -AT con- trols. Because a 1 -AT loop-sheet polymers are inactive as proteinase inhibitors, this novel conformational transition will further reduce the levels of functional proteinase inhibitor in the lungs of the Z a 1 -AT ho- mozygote, and so exacerbate tissue damage. Elliott, P. R., D. Bilton, and D. A. Lomas. 1998. Lung poly- mers in Z a 1 -antitrypsin deficiency-related emphysema. Am. J. Respir. Cell Mol. Biol. 18:670-674.