[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Thymidylate synthase (TS) is a target for antifolate-based chemotherapies of microbial and human diseases. Here, ligand-based, synthetic and X-ray crystallography studies led to the discovery of 6-(3-cyanobenzoyloxy)-2-oxo-2H-naphto[1,8-bc]furan, a novel inhibitor with a Ki of 310 nM against Pneumocystis carinii TS. The X-ray ternary complex with Escherichia coli TS revealed, for the first time, displacement of the substrate towards the dimeric protein interface, thus providing new opportunities for further design of specific inhibitors of microbial pathogens.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2013; · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although β-lactams have been the most effective class of antibacterial agents used in clinical practice for the past half century, their effectiveness on Gram-negative bacteria has been eroded due to the emergence and spread of β-lactamase enzymes that are not affected by currently marketed β-lactam/β-lactamase inhibitor combinations. Avibactam is a novel, covalent, non-β-lactam β-lactamase inhibitor presently in clinical development in combination with either ceftaroline or ceftazidime. In vitro studies show that avibactam may restore the broad-spectrum activity of cephalosporins against class A, class C and some class D β-lactamases. Here we describe the structure of two clinically important β-lactamase enzymes bound to avibactam, the class A CTX-M-15 extended-spectrum β-lactamase and class C Pseudomonas aeruginosa AmpC β-lactamase, which together provide insight into the binding modes for the respective enzyme classes. The structure reveals a similar binding mode in both enzymes and thus provides a rationale for the broad-spectrum inhibitory activity of avibactam. Identification of the key residues surrounding the binding pocket allows for a better understanding of the potency of this scaffold. Finally, avibactam has recently been shown to be a reversible inhibitor and the structure provides insights into the mechanism of avibactam recyclization. Analysis of the ultra-high resolution CTX-M-15 structure suggests how the deacylation mechanism favors recyclization over hydrolysis.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2013; · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Drug resistance to therapeutic antibiotics poses a challenge to the identification of novel targets and drugs for the treatment of infectious diseases. Infections caused by Enterococcus faecalis are a major health problem. Thymidylate synthase (TS) from E. faecalis is a potential target for antibacterial therapy. The X-ray crystallographic structure of E. faecalis thymidylate synthase (EfTS), which was obtained as a native binary complex composed of EfTS and 5-formyltetrahydrofolate (5-FTHF), has been determined. The structure provides evidence that EfTS is a half-of-the-sites reactive enzyme, as 5-FTHF is bound to two of the four independent subunits present in the crystal asymmetric unit. 5-FTHF is a metabolite of the one-carbon transfer reaction catalysed by 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cyclo-ligase. Kinetic studies show that 5-FTHF is a weak inhibitor of EfTS, suggesting that the EfTS-5-FTHF complex may function as a source of folates and/or may regulate one-carbon metabolism. The structure represents the first example of endogenous 5-FTHF bound to a protein involved in folate metabolism.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: After having set up the computational methodology for Cu(I)-sulfur systems as models for copper proteins, namely using the simple ligands H(2)S, HS(-), CH(3)SH, and CH(3)S(-), the Cu(I)-Cysteine systems have been investigated: [Cu(I)( S -H(2)Cys) (n) ](+) (H(2)Cys, cysteine, NH(2),SH,COOH) [Cu(I)( S -HCys) (n) ](1-) (n) (NH(2),S(-),COOH). Finally, the structures for bi-nuclear [Formula: see text] (Et, CH(2)CH(3)), [Formula: see text] and tri-nuclear [Cu(I)( S -SH)](3), [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text] (NH(2),SH,COOH), [Formula: see text] (NH(2),S(-),COOH, and NH(2),SH,COO(-)), as well as [Formula: see text] (NH(2),S(-),COO(-)), were also optimized to mimic the active center for a metallo-chaperone copper transport protein (CopZ). The X-ray structures for the biomolecules were matched fairly well as regards the Cu-S bond distances and Cu…Cu contact distances in the case the model cysteine S atom is deprotonated. Upon protonation of ligand S atoms, the conformation of clusters is altered and might bring about the di- and tri-nuclear core breakage. These findings suggest that subtle protonation/deprotonation steps, i.e. small and/or local pH changes play a significant role for copper transport processes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The first step of iron biomineralization mediated by ferritin is the oxidation at the ferroxidase active site of two ferrous ions to a diferric oxo/hydroxo species. Metal-loaded ferritin crystals obtained by soaking crystals of frog ferritin in FeSO(4) and CuSO(4) solutions followed by flash freezing provided X-ray crystal structures of the tripositive iron and bipositive copper adducts at 2.7 and 2.8 Å resolution, respectively. At variance with the already available structures, the crystal form used in this study contains 24 independent subunits in the asymmetric unit permitting comparison between them. For the first time, the diferric species at the ferroxidase site is identified in ferritins from higher eukaryotes. Anomalous difference Fourier maps for crystals (iron crystal 1) obtained after long soaking times in FeSO(4) solution invariantly showed diferric species with a Fe-Fe average distance of 3.1 ± 0.1 Å, strongly indicative of the presence of a μ-oxo/hydroxo bridge between the irons; protein ligands for each iron ion (Fe1 and Fe2) were also unequivocally identified and found to be the same in all subunits. For copper bound ferritin, dicopper(II) centers are also observed. While copper at site 1 is essentially in the same position and has the same coordination environment as Fe1, copper at site 2 is displaced toward His54, now acting as a ligand; this results in an increased intermetal distance (4.3 ± 0.4 Å). His54 coordination and longer metal-metal distances might represent peculiar features of divalent cations at the ferroxidase site. This oxidation-dependent structural information may provide key features for the mechanistic pathway in ferritins from higher eukaryotes that drive uptake of bivalent cation and release of ferric products at the catalytic site. This mechanism is supported by the X-ray picture obtained after only 1 min of soaking in FeSO(4) solutions (iron crystal 2) which reasonably contain the metal at different oxidation states. Here two different di-iron species are trapped in the active site, with intermetal distances corresponding to those of the ferric dimer in crystal 1 and of the dicopper centers and corresponding rearrangement of the His54 side chain.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2012; 134(14):6169-76. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Class D β-lactamases with carbapenemase activity are emerging as carbapenem-resistance determinants in gram-negative bacterial pathogens, mostly Acinetobacter baumannii and Klebsiella pneumoniae. Carbapenemase activity is an unusual feature among class D β-lactamases, and the structural elements responsible for this activity remain unclear. Based on structural and molecular dynamics data, we previously hypothesized a potential role of the residues located in the short-loop connecting strands β5 and β6 (the β5-β6 loop) in conferring the carbapenemase activity of the OXA-48 enzyme. In this work, the narrow-spectrum OXA-10 class D β-lactamase, which is unable to hydrolyze carbapenems, was used as a model to investigate the possibility of evolving carbapenemase activity by replacement of the β5-β6 loop with those present in three different lineages of class D carbapenemases (OXA-23, OXA-24, and OXA-48). Biological assays and kinetic measurements showed that all three OXA-10-derived hybrids acquired significant carbapenemase activity. Structural analysis of the OXA-10loop24 and OXA-10loop48 hybrids revealed no significant changes in the molecular fold of the enzyme, except for the orientation of the substituted β5-β6 loops, which was reminiscent of that found in their parental enzymes. These results demonstrate the crucial role of the β5-β6 loop in the carbapenemase activity of class D β-lactamases, and provide previously unexplored insights into the mechanism by which these enzymes can evolve carbapenemase activity.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2011; 108(45):18424-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human thymidylate synthase is a homodimeric enzyme that plays a key role in DNA synthesis and is a target for several clinically important anticancer drugs that bind to its active site. We have designed peptides to specifically target its dimer interface. Here we show through X-ray diffraction, spectroscopic, kinetic, and calorimetric evidence that the peptides do indeed bind at the interface of the dimeric protein and stabilize its di-inactive form. The "LR" peptide binds at a previously unknown binding site and shows a previously undescribed mechanism for the allosteric inhibition of a homodimeric enzyme. It inhibits the intracellular enzyme in ovarian cancer cells and reduces cellular growth at low micromolar concentrations in both cisplatin-sensitive and -resistant cells without causing protein overexpression. This peptide demonstrates the potential of allosteric inhibition of hTS for overcoming platinum drug resistance in ovarian cancer.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/2011; 108(34):E542-9. · 9.74 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To identify specific bacterial thymidylate synthase (TS) inhibitors, we exploited phenolphthalein (PTH), which inhibits both bacterial and human enzymes. The X-ray crystal structure of Lactobacillus casei TS (LcTS) that binds PTH showed multiple binding modes of the inhibitor, which prevented a classical structure-based drug design approach. To overcome this issue, we synthesized two phthalimidic libraries that were tested against TS enzymes and then we performed X-ray crystallographic screening of the active compounds. Compounds 6A, 8A, and 12A showed 40-fold higher affinity for bacterial TS than human TS. The X-ray crystallographic screening characterized the binding mode of six inhibitors in complexes with LcTS. Of these, 20A, 23A, and 24A showed a common unique binding mode, whereas 8A showed a different, unique binding mode. A comparative analysis of the LcTS X-ray complexes that were obtained with the pathogenic TS enabled the selection of compounds 8A and 23A as specific compounds and starting points to be exploited for the specific inhibition of pathogen enzymes.
Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 06/2011; 54(15):5454-67. · 5.61 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: TEM-72, a class A β-lactamase identified in isolates of Enterobacteriaceae, is a quadruple mutant of TEM-1 (Q39K, M182T, G238S and E240K) and shows extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) properties arising from the G238S and E240K substitutions. Although many structures of TEM variants have been published, they do not include an enzyme with the simultaneous presence of both of the ESBL-conferring G238S and E240K substitutions. Furthermore, the structure shows the presence of a citrate anion bound to the TEM-72 active site, where it interacts with all of the conserved residues of class A β-lactamases. The present structure supports the use of polycarboxylates as a scaffold for the design of broad-spectrum inhibitors of serine β-lactamases.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 03/2011; 67(Pt 3):303-6. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Metallo-β-lactamases (MBLs) are important enzymatic factors in resistance to β-lactam antibiotics that show important structural and functional heterogeneity. BJP-1 is a subclass B3 MBL determinant produced by Bradyrhizobium japonicum that exhibits interesting properties. BJP-1, like CAU-1 of Caulobacter vibrioides, overall poorly recognizes β-lactam substrates and shows an unusual substrate profile compared to other MBLs. In order to understand the structural basis of these properties, the crystal structure of BJP-1 was obtained at 1.4-Å resolution. This revealed significant differences in the conformation and locations of the active-site loops, determining a rather narrow active site and the presence of a unique N-terminal helix bearing Phe-31, whose side chain binds in the active site and represents an obstacle for β-lactam substrate binding. In order to probe the potential of sulfonamides (known to inhibit various zinc-dependent enzymes) to bind in the active sites of MBLs, the structure of BJP-1 in complex with 4-nitrobenzenesulfonamide was also obtained (at 1.33-A resolution), thereby revealing the mode of interaction of these molecules in MBLs. Interestingly, sulfonamide binding resulted in the displacement of the side chain of Phe-31 from its hydrophobic binding pocket, where the benzene ring of the molecule is now found. These data further highlight the structural diversity shown by MBLs but also provide interesting insights in the structure-function relationships of these enzymes. More importantly, we provided the first structural observation of MBL interaction with sulfonamides, which might represent an interesting scaffold for the design of MBL inhibitors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 10/2010; 54(10):4343-51. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: S100B contributes to cell proliferation by binding the C terminus of p53 and inhibiting its tumor suppressor function. The use of multiple computational approaches to screen fragment libraries targeting the human S100B-p53 interaction site is reported. This in silico screening led to the identification of 280 novel prospective ligands. NMR spectroscopic experiments revealed specific binding at the p53 interaction site for a set of these compounds and confirmed their potential for further rational optimization. The X-ray crystal structure determined for one of the binders revealed key intermolecular interactions, thus paving the way for structure-based ligand optimization.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Class D beta-lactamases represent a heterogeneous group of active-site serine beta-lactamases that show an extraordinary panel of functional features and substrate profiles, thus representing relevant models for biochemical and structural studies. OXA-46 is a narrow-spectrum enzyme belonging to the OXA-2 subgroup which was found in a Pseudomonas aeruginosa clinical isolate from northern Italy. In this work, we obtained the three-dimensional structure of OXA-46, which shows the overall fold of active serine beta-lactamases and a dimeric quaternary structure. Significant differences with currently available structures of class D beta-lactamases were found in the loops located close to the active site, which differ in length and conformation. Interestingly, the three subunits present in the asymmetric unit showed some structural heterogeneity, only one of which presented a carbamylated lysine recognized as an important functional feature of class D enzymes. The carbamylation state of residue Lys75 appeared to be associated with different shapes and dimensions of the active site. Moreover, a tartrate molecule from the crystallization buffer was found in the active site of the noncarbamylated subunits, which interacts with catalytically relevant residues. The OXA-46 crystal asymmetric units thus interestingly present the structures of the free carbamylated active site and of the ligand-bound uncarbamylated active site, offering the structural basis for investigating the potential of new scaffolds of beta-lactamase inhibitors.
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 02/2010; 54(5):2167-74. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Many enzymes and proteins are regulated by their quaternary structure and/or by their association in homo- and/or hetero-oligomer complexes. Thus, these protein-protein interactions can be good targets for blocking or modulating protein function therapeutically. The large number of oligomeric structures in the Protein Data Bank (http://www.rcsb.org/) reflects growing interest in proteins that function as multimeric complexes. In this review, we consider the particular case of homodimeric enzymes as drug targets. There is intense interest in drugs that inhibit dimerization of a functionally obligate homodimeric enzyme. Because amino acid conservation within enzyme interfaces is often low compared to conservation in active sites, it may be easier to achieve drugs that target protein interfaces selectively and specifically. Two main types of dimerization inhibitors have been developed: peptides or peptidomimetics based on sequences involved in protein-protein interactions, and small molecules that act at hot spots in protein-protein interfaces. Examples include inhibitors of HIV protease and HIV integrase. Studying the mechanisms of action and locating the binding sites of such inhibitors requires different techniques for different proteins. For some enzymes, ligand binding is only detectable in vivo or after unfolding of the complexes. Here, we review the structural features of dimeric enzymes and give examples of inhibition through interference in dimer stability. Several techniques for studying these complex phenomena will be presented.
Current Medicinal Chemistry 02/2010; 17(9):826-46. · 4.07 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carbapenem-hydrolyzing class D beta-lactamases (CHDLs) are enzymes found in important Gram-negative pathogens (mainly Acinetobacter baumannii and Enterobacteriaceae) that confer resistance to beta-lactam antibiotics, and notably carbapenems. The crystal structure of the OXA-48 carbapenemase was determined at pH 7.5 and at a resolution of 1.9 A. Surprisingly, and by contrast with OXA-24, the only other CHDL of known crystal structure, the structure of OXA-48 was similar to OXA-10, an enzyme devoid of carbapenemase activity, indicating that the hydrolysis of these compounds could depend on subtle changes in the active site region. Moreover, the active site groove of OXA-48 was different from that of OXA-24 in shape, dimensions, and charge distribution. Molecular dynamics pointed to the functional relevance of residues located in or close to the beta5-beta6 loop and allowed us to propose a mechanism for carbapenem hydrolysis by OXA-48.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AphA is a magnesium-dependent, bacterial class B acid phosphatase that catalyzes the hydrolysis of a variety of phosphoester substrates and belongs to the DDDD superfamily of phosphohydrolases. The recently reported crystal structure of AphA from Escherichia coli has revealed the quaternary structure of the enzyme together with hints about its catalytic mechanism. The present work reports the crystal structures of AphA from E. coli in complex with substrate, transition-state, and intermediate analogues. The structures provide new insights into the mechanism of the enzyme and allow a revision of some aspects of the previously proposed mechanism that have broader implications for all the phosphatases of the DDDD superfamily.
Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2008; 384(2):478-88. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously provided evidence for a dinuclear zinc site in rabbit skeletal muscle AMPD compatible with a (micro-aqua)(micro-carboxylato)dizinc(II) core with an average of two histidine residues at each metal site. XAS of the zinc binding site of the enzyme in the presence of PRN favors a model where PRN is added to the coordination sphere of one of the two zinc ions increasing its coordination number to five. The uncompetitive nature of the inhibition of AMPD by fluoride reveals that the anion probably displaces the nucleophile water molecule terminally coordinated to the catalytic Zn(1) ion at the enzyme C-terminus, following the binding of AMP at the Zn(2) ion located at N-terminus of the enzyme. Thus, the two Zn ions in the AMPD metallocenter operate together as a single catalytic unit, but have independent function, one of them (Zn(1)) acting to polarize the nucleophile water molecule, whilst the other (Zn(2)) acts transiently as a receptor for an activating substrate molecule. The addition of fluoride to AMPD also abolishes the cooperative behaviour induced in the enzyme by the inhibitory effect of ATP at acidic pH that probably resides in the competition with the substrate for an adenine nucleotide specific regulatory site located in the Zn(2) ion binding region and which is responsible for the positive homotropic cooperativity behaviour of AMPD.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 01/2008; 1774(12):1508-18. · 4.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: XAS of Zn-peptide binary and ternary complexes prepared using peptides mimicking the potential metal binding sites of rabbit skeletal muscle AMP deaminase (AMPD) strongly suggest that the region 48-61 of the enzyme contains a zinc binding site, whilst the region 360-372 of the enzyme is not able to form 1:1 complexes with zinc, in contrast with what has been suggested for the corresponding region of yeast AMPD. XAS performed on fresh preparations of rabbit skeletal muscle AMPD provides evidence for a dinuclear zinc site in the enzyme compatible with a (mu-aqua)(mu-carboxylato)dizinc(II) core with an average of two histidine residues at each metal site and a Zn-Zn distance of about 3.3 Angstrom. The data indicate that zinc is not required for HPRG/AMPD interaction, both zinc ions being bound to the catalytic subunit of the enzyme, one to the three conserved amino acid residues among those four assumed to be in contact with zinc in yeast AMPD, and the other at the N-terminal region, probably to His-52, Glu-53 and His-57. Tryptic digests of different enzyme preparations demonstrate the existence of two different protein conformations and of a zinc ion connecting the N-terminal and C-terminal regions of AMPD.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 03/2007; 1774(2):312-22. · 4.66 Impact Factor