James Horne

Monash University (Australia), Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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Publications (18)61.1 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: This study demonstrates a critical role for N-methylation in cyclosporin biosynthesis and maintenance of the biologically active cyclosporin conformation. The structural requirements for the AdoMet binding to CySyn were defined. N-methylation of specific amide positions in the cyclosporin backbone is critical for the complete assembly and cyclization of the cyclosporin peptide. A maximum of two desmethyl positions is tolerated before peptide assembly stalls. Subinhibitory concentrations of AdoMet analogs directed peptide assembly towards cyclosporins with less than seven N-methylated amide bonds. Molecular modeling and nuclear magnetic resonance analyses indicate that N-methylation of specific amide bond positions in the cyclosporin backbone is mandatory for the formation of a product-like conformation and recognition by the acceptor site of the downstream peptide bond forming C-domain.
    Chemistry & biology 04/2011; 18(4):464-75. · 6.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Liver-fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP) is found in high levels in enterocytes and is involved in cytosolic solubilization of fatty acids. In addition, L-FABP has been shown to bind endogenous and exogenous lipophilic compounds, suggesting that it may also play a role in modulating their absorption and disposition within enterocytes. Previously, we have described binding of L-FABP to a range of drugs, including a series of fibrates. In the present study, we have generated structural models of L-FABP-fibrate complexes and undertaken thermodynamic analysis of the binding of fibrates containing either a carboxylic acid or ester functionality. Analysis of the current data reveals that both the location and the energetics of binding are different for fibrates that contain a carboxylate compared to those that do not. As such, the data presented in this study suggest potential mechanisms that underpin molecular recognition and dictate specificity in the interaction between fibrates and L-FABP.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 09/2009; 52(17):5344-55. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Oxidative protein folding in Gram-negative bacteria results in the formation of disulfide bonds between pairs of cysteine residues. This is a multistep process in which the dithiol-disulfide oxidoreductase enzyme, DsbA, plays a central role. The structure of DsbA comprises an all helical domain of unknown function and a thioredoxin domain, where active site cysteines shuttle between an oxidized, substrate-bound, reduced form and a DsbB-bound form, where DsbB is a membrane protein that reoxidizes DsbA. Most DsbA enzymes interact with a wide variety of reduced substrates and show little specificity. However, a number of DsbA enzymes have now been identified that have narrow substrate repertoires and appear to interact specifically with a smaller number of substrates. The transient nature of the DsbA-substrate complex has hampered our understanding of the factors that govern the interaction of DsbA enzymes with their substrates. Here we report the crystal structure of a complex between Escherichia coli DsbA and a peptide with a sequence derived from a substrate. The binding site identified in the DsbA-peptide complex was distinct from that observed for DsbB in the DsbA-DsbB complex. The structure revealed details of the DsbA-peptide interaction and suggested a mechanism by which DsbA can simultaneously show broad specificity for substrates yet exhibit specificity for DsbB. This mode of binding was supported by solution nuclear magnetic resonance data as well as functional data, which demonstrated that the substrate specificity of DsbA could be modified via changes at the binding interface identified in the structure of the complex.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2009; 284(26):17835-45. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Intestinal fatty acid binding protein (I-FABP) is present at high levels in the absorptive cells of the intestine (enterocytes) where it plays a role in the intracellular solubilization of fatty acids (FA). However, I-FABP has also been shown to bind to a range of non-FA ligands, including some lipophilic drug molecules, albeit with generally lower affinity than FA. The significance of these lower affinity interactions with exogenous compounds is not known. In this manuscript, we describe further characterization of drug-rat I-FABP binding interactions using a thermal-shift assay. A structural explanation of the observed affinity of rat I-FABP for different drugs based on spectroscopic data and modeling experiments is presented. In addition, immunocytochemistry has been used to probe the expression of I-FABP in a cell culture model reflective of the absorptive cells of the small intestine. Taken together, these data suggest a possible role for I-FABP in the disposition of some lipophilic drugs within the enterocyte.
    Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry 02/2009; 326(1-2):87-95. · 2.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion leads to protein aggregation and neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease and eight other inherited neurological conditions. Expansion of the polyQ tract beyond a threshold of 37 glutamines leads to the formation of toxic nuclear aggregates. This suggests that polyQ expansion causes a conformational change within the protein, the nature of which is unclear. There is a trend in the disease proteins that the polyQ tract is located external to but not within a structured domain. We have created a model polyQ protein in which the repeat location mimics the flexible environment of the polyQ tract in the disease proteins. Our model protein recapitulates the aggregation features observed with the clinical proteins and allows structural characterization. With the use of NMR spectroscopy and a range of biophysical techniques, we demonstrate that polyQ expansion into the pathological range has no effect on the structure, dynamics, and stability of a domain adjacent to the polyQ tract. To explore the clinical significance of repeat location, we engineered a variant of the model protein with a polyQ tract within the domain, a location that does not mimic physiological context, demonstrating significant destabilization and structural perturbation. These different effects highlight the importance of repeat location. We conclude that protein misfolding within the polyQ tract itself is the driving force behind the key characteristics of polyQ disease, and that structural perturbation of flanking domains is not required.
    Biophysical Journal 11/2008; 95(12):5922-30. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A pharmacophore-based screen identified 32 compounds including ethyl 5-amino-3-(4- tert-butylphenyl)-4-oxo-3,4-dihydrothieno[3,4- d]pyridazine-1-carboxylate ( 8) as a new allosteric modulator of the adenosine A1 receptor (A1AR). On the basis of this lead, various derivatives were prepared and evaluated for activity at the human A 1AR. A number of the test compounds allosterically stabilized agonist-receptor-G protein ternary complexes in dissociation kinetic assays, but were found to be more potent as antagonists in subsequent functional assays of ERK1/2 phosphorylation. Additional experiments on the most potent antagonist, 13b, investigating A1AR-mediated [(35)S]GTPgammaS binding and [(3)H]CCPA equilibrium binding confirmed its antagonistic mode of action and also identified inverse agonism. This study has thus identified a new class of A1AR antagonists that can also recognize the receptor's allosteric site with lower potency.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 10/2008; 51(19):6165-72. · 5.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: DsbA is an enzyme found in the periplasm of Gram-negative bacteria that catalyzes the formation of disulfide bonds in a diverse array of protein substrates, many of which are involved in bacterial pathogenesis. Although most bacteria possess only a single essential DsbA, Neisseria meningitidis is unusual in that it possesses three DsbAs, although the reason for this additional redundancy is unclear. Two of these N. meningitidis enzymes (NmDsbA1 and NmDsbA2) play an important role in meningococcal attachment to human epithelial cells, whereas NmDsbA3 is considered to have a narrow substrate repertoire. To begin to address the role of DsbAs in the pathogenesis of N. meningitidis, we have determined the structure of NmDsbA3 to 2.3-A resolution. Although the sequence identity between NmDsbA3 and other DsbAs is low, the NmDsbA3 structure adopted a DsbA-like fold. Consistent with this finding, we demonstrated that NmDsbA3 acts as a thiol-disulfide oxidoreductase in vitro and is reoxidized by Escherichia coli DsbB (EcDsbB). However, pronounced differences in the structures between DsbA3 and EcDsbA, which are clustered around the active site of the enzyme, suggested a structural basis for the unusual substrate specificity that is observed for NmDsbA3.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2008; 283(47):32452-61. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Liver-fatty acid binding protein (L-FABP) is found in high levels in enterocytes and is involved in the cytosolic solubilization of fatty acids during fat absorption. In the current studies, the interaction of L-FABP with a range of lipophilic drugs has been evaluated to explore the potential for L-FABP to provide an analogous function during the absorption of lipophilic drugs. Binding affinity for L-FABP was assessed by displacement of a fluorescent marker, 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS), and the binding site location was determined via nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift perturbation studies. It was found that the majority of drugs bound to L-FABP at two sites, with the internal site generally having a higher affinity for the compounds tested. Furthermore, in contrast to the interaction of L-FABP with fatty acids, it was demonstrated that a terminal carboxylate is not required for specific binding of lipophilic drugs at the internal site of L-FABP.
    Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 08/2008; 51(13):3755-64. · 5.61 Impact Factor
  • 06/2008; , ISBN: 9780470027318
  • 01/2008: pages DOI: 10.1002/9780470027318.a6117m.pub2;
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the structure of the reduced form of the DsbA oxidoreductase from Vibrio cholerae. The reduced structure shows a high level of similarity to the crystal structure of the oxidized form and is typical of this class of enzyme containing a thioredoxin domain with an inserted alpha-helical domain. Proteolytic and thermal stability measurements show that the reduced form of DsbA is considerably more stable than the oxidized form. NMR relaxation data have been collected and analyzed using a model-free approach to probe the dynamics of the reduced and oxidized states of DsbA. Akaike's information criteria have been applied both in the selection of the model-free models and the diffusion tensors that describe the global motions of each redox form. Analysis of the dynamics reveals that the oxidized protein shows increased disorder on the pico- to nanosecond and micro- to millisecond timescale. Many significant changes in dynamics are located either close to the active site or at the insertion points between the domains. In addition, analysis of the diffusion data shows there is a clear difference in the degree of interdomain movement between oxidized and reduced DsbA with the oxidized form being the more rigid. Principal components analysis has been employed to indicate possible concerted movements in the DsbA structure, which suggests that the modeled interdomain motions affect the catalytic cleft of the enzyme. Taken together, these data provide compelling evidence of a role for dynamics in the catalytic cycle of DsbA.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 09/2007; 371(3):703-16. · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • James Horne, Martin J Scanlon
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined 13C/15N/1H assignments for the reduced and oxidised forms of Vibrio cholerae DsbA (VcDsbA). These form the basis for ongoing studies aimed at characterising the dynamics observed in the different redox forms of this bacterial oxidoreductase enzyme.
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 08/2007; 1(1):75-6. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcellular diffusion across the absorptive epithelial cells (enterocytes) of the small intestine is the main route of absorption for most orally administered drugs. The process by which lipophilic compounds transverse the aqueous environment of the cytoplasm, however, remains poorly defined. In the present study, we have identified a structurally diverse group of lipophilic drugs that display low micromolar binding affinities for a cytosolic lipid-binding protein - intestinal fatty acid-binding protein (I-FABP). Binding to I-FABP significantly enhanced the transport of lipophilic drug molecules across a model membrane, and the degree of transport enhancement was related to both drug lipophilicity and I-FABP binding affinity. These data suggest that intracellular lipid-binding proteins such as I-FABP may enhance the membrane transport of lipophilic xenobiotics and facilitate drug access to the enterocyte cytoplasm and cytoplasmic organelles.
    Chemistry & Biology 05/2007; 14(4):453-65. · 6.16 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have determined the structure of the reduced form of the DsbA oxidoreductase from Vibrio cholerae. The reduced structure shows a high level of similarity to the crystal structure of the oxidized form and is typical of this class of enzyme containing a thioredoxin domain with an inserted alpha-helical domain. Proteolytic and thermal stability measurements show that the reduced form of DsbA is considerably more stable than the oxidized form. NMR relaxation data have been collected and analyzed using a model-free approach to probe the dynamics of the reduced and oxidized states of DsbA. Akaike's information criteria have been applied both in the selection of the model-free models and the diffusion tensors that describe the global motions of each redox form. Analysis of the dynamics reveals that the oxidized protein shows increased disorder on the pico- to nanosecond and micro- to millisecond timescale. Many significant changes in dynamics are located either close to the active site or at the insertion points between the domains. In addition, analysis of the diffusion data shows there is a clear difference in the degree of interdomain movement between oxidized and reduced DsbA with the oxidized form being the more rigid. Principal components analysis has been employed to indicate possible concerted movements in the DsbA structure, which suggests that the modeled interdomain motions affect the catalytic cleft of the enzyme. Taken together, these data provide compelling evidence of a role for dynamics in the catalytic cycle of DsbA.
    J Mol Biol. 01/2007; 371(3):703-16.
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    ABSTRACT: Phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) is activated by its substrate phenylalanine, and through phosphorylation by cAMP-dependent protein kinase at Ser16 in the N-terminal autoregulatory sequence of the enzyme. The crystal structures of phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms of the enzyme showed that, in the absence of phenylalanine, in both cases the N-terminal 18 residues including the phosphorylation site contained no interpretable electron density. We used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to characterize this N-terminal region of the molecule in different stages of the regulatory pathway. A number of sharp resonances are observed in PAH with an intact N-terminal region, but no sharp resonances are present in a truncation mutant lacking the N-terminal 29 residues. The N-terminal sequence therefore represents a mobile flexible region of the molecule. The resonances become weaker after the addition of phenylalanine, indicating a loss of mobility. The peptides corresponding to residues 2-20 of PAH have different structural characteristics in the phosphorylated and unphosphorylated forms, with the former showing increased secondary structure. Our results support the model whereby upon phenylalanine binding, the mobile N-terminal 18 residues of PAH associate with the folded core of the molecule; phosphorylation may facilitate this interaction.
    Protein Science 09/2002; 11(8):2041-7. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinases exhibit various degrees of substrate specificity. The large number of different protein kinases in the eukaryotic proteomes makes it impractical to determine the specificity of each enzyme experimentally. To test if it were possible to discriminate potential substrates from non-substrates by simple computational techniques, we analysed the binding enthalpies of modelled enzyme-substrate complexes and attempted to correlate it with experimental enzyme kinetics measurements. The crystal structures of phosphorylase kinase and cAMP-dependent protein kinase were used to generate models of the enzyme with a series of known peptide substrates and non-substrates, and the approximate enthalpy of binding assessed following energy minimization. We show that the computed enthalpies do not correlate closely with kinetic measurements, but the method can distinguish good substrates from weak substrates and non-substrates.
    Journal of Molecular Recognition 01/2002; 15(2):104-11. · 3.01 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The recently determined crystal structure of the PR65/A subunit of protein phosphatase 2A reveals the architecture of proteins containing HEAT repeats. The structural properties of this solenoid protein explain many functional characteristics and account for the involvement of solenoids as scaffold, anchoring and adaptor proteins.
    Structure 06/1999; 7(5):R91-7. · 5.99 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

173 Citations
61.10 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2007–2009
    • Monash University (Australia)
      • • Department of Medicinal Chemistry
      • • School of Biomedical Sciences
      Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 2008
    • University of Queensland 
      • Institute for Molecular Bioscience
      Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • 2002
    • Saint Vincent's Institute
      Fitzroy, Victoria, Australia