[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Liver fatty acid-binding protein (LFABP) is a 14 kDa cytosolic polypeptide, differing from other family members in the number of ligand binding sites, the diversity of bound ligands, and the transfer of fatty acid(s) to membranes primarily via aqueous diffusion rather than direct collisional interactions. Distinct two-dimensional (1)H-(15)N nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals indicative of slowly exchanging LFABP assemblies formed during stepwise ligand titration were exploited, without determining the protein-ligand complex structures, to yield the stoichiometries for the bound ligands, their locations within the protein binding cavity, the sequence of ligand occupation, and the corresponding protein structural accommodations. Chemical shifts were monitored for wild-type LFABP and an R122L/S124A mutant in which electrostatic interactions viewed as being essential to fatty acid binding were removed. For wild-type LFABP, the results compared favorably with the data for previous tertiary structures of oleate-bound wild-type LFABP in crystals and in solution: there are two oleates, one U-shaped ligand that positions the long hydrophobic chain deep within the cavity and another extended structure with the hydrophobic chain facing the cavity and the carboxylate group lying close to the protein surface. The NMR titration validated a prior hypothesis that the first oleate to enter the cavity occupies the internal protein site. In contrast, (1)H and (15)N chemical shift changes supported only one liganded oleate for R122L/S124A LFABP, at an intermediate location within the protein cavity. A rationale based on protein sequence and electrostatics was developed to explain the stoichiometry and binding site trends for LFABPs and to put these findings into context within the larger protein family.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Melanins serve a variety of protective functions in plants and animals, but in fungi such as Cryptococcus neoformans they are also associated with virulence. A recently developed solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) strategy, based on the incorporation of site-specific (13)C-enriched precursors into melanin, followed by spectroscopy of both powdered and solvent-swelled melanin ghosts, was used to provide new molecular-level insights into fungal melanin biosynthesis. The side chain of an l-dopa precursor was shown to cyclize and form a proposed indole structure in C. neoformans melanin, and modification of the aromatic rings revealed possible patterns of polymer chain elongation and cross-linking within the biopolymer. Mannose supplied in the growth medium was retained as a beta-pyranose moiety in the melanin ghosts even after exhaustive degradative and dialysis treatments, suggesting the possibility of tight binding or covalent incorporation of the pigment into the polysaccharide fungal cell walls. In contrast, glucose was scrambled metabolically and incorporated into both polysaccharide cell walls and aliphatic chains present in the melanin ghosts, consistent with metabolic use as a cellular nutrient as well as covalent attachment to the pigment. The prominent aliphatic groups reported previously in several fungal melanins were identified as triglyceride structures that may have one or more sites of chain unsaturation. These results establish that fungal melanin contains chemical components derived from sources other than l-dopa polymerization and suggest that covalent linkages between l-dopa-derived products and polysaccharide components may serve to attach this pigment to cell wall structures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rat liver fatty acid-binding protein (LFABP) is distinctive among intracellular lipid-binding proteins (iLBPs): more than one molecule of long-chain fatty acid and a variety of diverse ligands can be bound within its large cavity, and in vitro lipid transfer to model membranes follows a mechanism that is diffusion-controlled rather than mediated by protein-membrane collisions. Because the apoprotein has proven resistant to crystallization, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy offers a unique route to functionally informative comparisons of molecular structure and dynamics for LFABP in free (apo) and liganded (holo) forms. We report herein the solution-state structures determined for apo-LFABP at pH 6.0 and for holoprotein liganded to two oleates at pH 7.0, as well as the structure of the complex including locations of the ligands. 1H, 13C, and 15N resonance assignments revealed very similar types and locations of secondary structural elements for apo- and holo-LFABP as judged from chemical shift indices. The solution-state tertiary structures of the proteins were derived with the CNS/ARIA computational protocol, using distance and angular restraints based on 1H-1H nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs), hydrogen-bonding networks, 3J(HNHA) coupling constants, intermolecular NOEs, and residual dipolar (NH) couplings. The holo-LFABP solution-state conformation is in substantial agreement with a previously reported X-ray structure [Thompson, J., Winter, N., Terwey, D., Bratt, J., and Banaszak, L. (1997) The crystal structure of the liver fatty acid-binding protein. A complex with two bound oleates, J. Biol. Chem. 272, 7140-7150], including the typical beta-barrel capped by a helix-turn-helix portal. In the solution state, the internally bound oleate has the expected U-shaped conformation and is tethered electrostatically, but the extended portal ligand can adopt a range of conformations based on the computationally refined structures, in contrast to the single conformation observed in the crystal structure. The apo-LFABP also has a well-defined beta-barrel structural motif typical of other members of the iLBP protein family, but the portal region that is thought to facilitate ligand entry and exit exhibits conformational variability and an unusual "open cap" orientation with respect to the barrel. These structural results allow us to propose a model in which ligand binding to LFABP occurs through conformational fluctuations that adjust the helix-turn-helix motif to open or close the top of the beta-barrel, and solvent accessibility to the protein cavity favors diffusion-controlled ligand transport.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intercellular adhesion strengthening, a phenomenon that compromises the texture and the edible quality of potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.), has been induced reproducibly by exposure to low-pH acetic acid solutions under tissue culture conditions. The resulting parenchyma tissues have been examined by solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) in order to characterize the biopolymer(s) thought to be associated with this syndrome. Cross polarization-magic angle spinning (CPMAS) (13)C NMR has been used to establish the presence of a polyphenol-suberin-like aromatic-aliphatic polyester within an abundant cell wall polysaccharide matrix in potato tubers that exhibit hardening due to strengthened intercellular adhesion. Dipolar dephasing and CP chemical shift anisotropy experiments suggest that the aromatic domain is composed primarily of guaiacyl and sinapyl groups. Two-dimensional wide-line separation experiments show that the biopolymer associated with parenchyma hardening contains rigid polysaccharide cell walls and mobile aliphatic long-chain fatty acids; (1)H spin diffusion experiments show that these flexible aliphatic chains are proximal to both the phenolics and a subpopulation of the cell wall polysaccharides. Finally, high-resolution MAS NMR of parenchyma samples swelled in DMSO in conjunction with two-dimensional through-bond and through-space NMR spectroscopy provides evidence for covalent linkages among the polysaccharide, phenolic, and aliphatic domains of the intercellular adhesion-strengthening biopolymer in potato parenchyma tissue.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tea catechins, an important class of polyphenols, have been shown to have antioxidant activity and are thought to act as antioxidants in biological systems. However, the mechanisms of their antioxidant reactions remain unclear. The objective of this study was to characterize the reaction products of epicatechin with peroxyl radicals generated by thermolysis of the azo initiator azo-bisisobutyrylnitrile (AIBN). Structural elucidation of these products can provide insights into specific mechanisms of antioxidant reactions. Eight reaction products were isolated and identified using high-field 1D and 2D NMR spectral analysis. The observation of these compounds confirmed that the B-ring is the initial site for formation of reaction products in the peroxyl radical oxidant system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of the current study is to characterize the reaction products of theaflavin 3,3′-digallate, one of the major characteristic polyphenols of black tea, with hydroxyl radicals generated by hydrogen peroxide, with the aim of gaining insights into specific mechanisms of antioxidant reactions in physiological systems. Two major reaction products were isolated and identified using high-field 1D and 2D NMR spectral analysis. Both of them are A-ring fission products. The observation of these compounds indicates that the A ring rather than the benzotropolone moiety is the initial site for formation of reaction products in the hydrogen peroxide oxidant system.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyoxoanions have enormous potential as drug delivery hosts, as catalysts, as agents for sequestering nuclear waste heavy metals, and as luminescent materials for laser and optical devices applications. We report the encapsulation of the polyoxoanion [Eu(H2O)3(α-1- P2W17O61)]7- within Mobil crystalline material (MCM)-41. For proper host−guest interaction, it was necessary to functionalize the surface walls of MCM-41 through use of a silylation reagent, specifically, (aminopropyl)triethoxysilane. A stable and integrated [Eu(H2O)3(α-1-P2W17O61)]7- polyoxoanion was shown to be formed inside the channels of modified MCM-41. X-ray diffraction, 29Si magic angle spinning (MAS) NMR, UV−vis absorption, emission and excitation spectra, and Raman scattering measurements have been used to structurally characterize the various products. Cross-polarization 29Si MAS NMR has been shown to better reveal the surface structural character of the modified MCM-41 than does regular 29Si MAS NMR. We find (when compared to bulk polyoxoanion) that the Raman spectrum of the polyoxoanion/MCM-41 composite system exhibits red shifts for the symmetric stretching (νs) of the W−Ot (where Ot represents a terminal oxygen) and P−O−W bands. These latter observations are interpreted as suggesting that electrostatic interaction between the negative-charged terminal oxygen (Ot) of the polyoxoanion and the −NH3+ terminal functional group, associated with the silylation agent on the walls of MCM-41, leads to an increase in the lengths of adjacent W−O and P−O bonds. Given the shape and dimensions of the polyoxoanion and the diameter of the pores in MCM-41, as well as the effects of encapsulation on emission and Raman spectra, we conclude that the anion (i) is encapsulated with its long axis parallel to the pore axis and (ii) couples to the surface through interaction with terminal oxygens that are not directly bonded to the europium atom.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uniformly (13)C-labeled long-chain fatty acids were used to probe ligand binding to rat liver fatty acid-binding protein (LFABP), an atypical member of the fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) family that binds more than one molecule of long-chain fatty acid, accommodates a variety of diverse ligands, and exhibits diffusion-mediated lipid transport to membranes. Two sets of (1)H-(13)C resonances were found in a titration series of NMR spectra for oleate-LFABP complexes, indicating that two molecules of the fatty acid are situated in the protein cavity. However, no distinct resonances were observed for the excess fatty acid in solution, suggesting that at least one ligand undergoes rapid exchange with oleate in the bulk solution. An exchange rate of 54 +/- 6 s(-1) between the two sets of resonances was measured directly using (13)C z,z-exchange spectroscopy. In light of these NMR measurements, possible molecular mechanisms for the ligand-exchange process are evaluated and implications for the anomalous fatty acid transport mechanism of LFABP are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Uniformly C-13-labeled long-chain fatty acids were used to probe ligand binding to rat liver fatty acid-binding protein (LFABP), an atypical member of the fatty acid-binding protein (FABP) family that binds more than one molecule of long-chain fatty acid, accommodates a variety of diverse ligands, and exhibits diffusion-mediated lipid transport to membranes. Two sets of H-1-C-13 resonances were found in a titration series of NMR spectra for oleate-LFABP complexes, indicating that two molecules of the fatty acid are situated in the protein cavity. However, no distinct resonances were observed for the excess fatty acid in solution, suggesting that at least one ligand undergoes rapid exchange with oleate in the bulk solution. An exchange rate of 54 +/- 6 s(-1) between the two sets of resonances was measured directly using C-13 z,z-exchange spectroscopy. In light of these NMR measurements, possible molecular mechanisms for the ligand-exchange process are evaluated and implications for the anomalous fatty acid transport mechanism of LFABP are discussed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cuticle of higher plants functions primarily as a protective barrier for the leaves and fruits, controlling microbial attack as well as the diffusion of water and chemicals from the outside environment. Its major chemical constituents are waxes (for waterproofing) and cutin (a structural support polymer). However, the insolubility of cutin has hampered investigations of its covalent structure and domain architecture, which are viewed as essential for the design of crop protection strategies and the development of improved synthetic waterproofing materials. Recently developed strategies designed to meet these investigative challenges include partial depolymerization using enzymatic or chemical reagents and spectroscopic examination of the intact polyesters in a solvent-swelled form. The soluble oligomers from degradative treatments of lime fruit cutin are composed primarily of the expected 10,16-dihydroxyhexadecanoic and 16-hydroxy-10-oxo-hexadecanoic acids; low-temperature HF treatments also reveal sugar units that are covalently attached to the hydroxyfatty acids. Parallel investigations of solvent-swollen cutin using 2D NMR spectroscopy assisted by magic-angle spinning yield well-resolved spectra that permit detailed comparisons to be made among chemical moieties present in the intact biopolymer, the soluble degradation products, and the unreacted solid residue.