Gary J Gerfen

Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York, New York, United States

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Publications (72)372.78 Total impact

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    Nitric Oxide 11/2014; 42C:121. DOI:10.1016/j.niox.2014.09.068 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The giant extracellular hemoglobin (erythrocruorin) from the earth worm (Lumbricus terrestris) has shown promise as a potential hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier (HBOC) in in vivo animal studies. An important beneficial characteristic of this hemoglobin (LtHb) is the large number of heme-based oxygen transport sites which helps overcome issues of osmotic stress when attempting to provide enough material for efficient oxygen delivery. A potentially important additional property is the capacity of the HBOC either to generate nitric oxide (NO) or to preserve NO bioactivity in order to compensate for decreased levels of NO in the circulation.. The present study compares the NO generating and NO bioactivity-preserving capability of LtHb with that of human adult hemoglobin (HbA) through several reactions including: nitrite reductase, reductive nitrosylation and, the still controversial, nitrite anhydrase reaction. An assignment of a heme bound dintrogen trioxide as the stable intermediate associated with the nitrite anhydrase reaction in both LtHb and HbA is supported based on functional and EPR spectroscopic studies. The role of the redox potential as a factor contributing to the NO generating activity of these two proteins is evaluated. The results show that LtHb undergoes the same reactions as HbA and that the reduced efficacy for these reactions for LtHb relative to HbA is consistent with the much higher redox potential of LtHb. Evidence of functional heterogeneity in LtHb is explained in terms of the large difference in the redox potential of the isolated subunits.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2014; 290(1). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.583260 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Herein are reported unique properties of the human 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase multienzyme complex (OGDHc), a rate-limiting enzyme in the Krebs (citric acid) cycle. (a) Functionally competent 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (E1o-h) and dihydrolipoylsuccinyl transferase (E2o-h) components have been expressed according to kinetic and spectroscopic evidence. (b) A stable free radical, consistent with the C2-(C2α-hydroxy)-γ-carboxypropylidene thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) cation radical was detected by electron spin resonance on reacting of the E1o-h with 2-oxoglutarate (OG) by itself or when assembled from individual components into OGDHc. (c) An unusual stability of the E1o-h-bound C2-(2α-hydroxy)-γ-carboxy-propylidene thiamin diphosphate (the ThDP-enamine/C2α-carbanion, the first post-decarboxylation intermediate) was observed, likely stabilized by the 5-carboxyl group of OG, not reported before. (d) The reaction of OG with the E1o-h gave rise to superoxide anion and hydrogen peroxide (reactive oxygen species, ROS). (e) The relatively stable enzyme-bound enamine is the likely substrate for oxidation by O2, leading to the superoxide anion radical (in d) and the radical (in b). (f)The specific activity assessed for ROS formation compared to the NADH (overall complex) activity, as well as the fraction of radical intermediate occupying active centers of E1o-h are consistent with each other, and indicate that radical/ROS formation is an off-pathway side reaction comprising less than 1% of the on-pathway reactivity. Yet, the nearly ubiquitous presence of OGDHc in human tissues, including the brain, makes these findings of considerable importance in human metabolism, and perhaps disease.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2014; 289(43). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M114.591073 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nitric oxide synthase (NOS) catalyzes nitric oxide (NO) synthesis via a two-step process: L-arginine (L-Arg)→N-hydroxy-L-arginine (NOHA)→citrulline+NO. In the active site, the heme is coordinated by a thiolate ligand, which accepts a H-bond from a nearby tryptophan residue, W188. Mutation of W188 to histidine in murine inducible NOS was shown to retard NO synthesis and allow for transient accumulation of a new intermediate with a Soret maximum at 420 nm during the L-Arg hydroxylation reaction [Tejero et al. J. Biol. Chem. 283, 33498-507 (2008)]. However, crystallographic data showed that the mutation did not perturb the overall structure of the enzyme. To understand how the proximal mutation affects the oxygen chemistry, we carried out biophysical studies of the W188H mutant. Our stopped-flow data showed that the 420 nm intermediate was not only populated during the L-Arg reaction, but also during the NOHA reaction. Spectroscopic data and structural analysis demonstrated that the 420 nm intermediate is a hydroxide bound ferric heme species, which is stabilized by an out-of-plane distortion of the heme macrocycle and a cation radical centered on the tetrahydrobiopterin cofactor. The current data add important new insights into the previously proposed catalytic mechanism of NOS [Li et al, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 129, 6943-6951 (2007)].
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2012; 288(9). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.403238 · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Abstract There is a need for radioprotectors that protect normal tissues from ionizing radiation in patients receiving high doses of radiation and during nuclear emergencies. We investigated the possibility of creating an efficient oral radioprotector based on the natural pigment melanin that would act as an internal shield and protect the tissues via Compton scattering followed by free radical scavenging. CD-1 mice were fed melanin-containing black edible mushrooms Auricularia auricila-judae before 9 Gy total body irradiation. The location of the mushrooms in the body before irradiation was determined by in vivo fluorescent imaging. Black mushrooms protected 80% of mice from the lethal dose, while control mice or those given melanin-devoid mushrooms died from gastrointestinal syndrome. The crypts of mice given black mushrooms showed less apoptosis and more cell division than those in control mice, and their white blood cell and platelet counts were restored at 45 days to preradiation levels. The role of melanin in radioprotection was proven by the fact that mice given white mushrooms supplemented with melanin survived at the same rate as mice given black mushrooms. The ability of melanin-containing mushrooms to provide remarkable protection against radiation suggests that they could be developed into oral radioprotectors.
    Cancer Biotherapy & Radiopharmaceuticals 11/2012; 27(9):570-6. DOI:10.1089/cbr.2012.1318 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sporothrix schenckii is the etiological agent of sporotrichosis, the main subcutaneous mycosis in Latin America. Melanin is an important virulence factor of S. schenckii, which produces DHN-melanin in conidia and yeast cells. Additionally, L-DOPA can be used to enhance melanin production on these structures as well as on hyphae. Some fungi are able to synthesize another type of melanoid pigment called pyomelanin as a result of tyrosine catabolism. Since there is no information about tyrosine catabolism in Sporothrix, we cultured 73 strains, including representatives of the newly described Sporothrix species of medical interest, such as S. brasiliensis, S. schenckii, and S. globosa in a minimal medium with tyrosine. All but one strain were able to produce a melanoid pigment with a negative charge in this culture medium after nine days of incubation. A S. schenckii DHN-melanin mutant strain also produced pigment in presence of tyrosine. Further analysis showed that pigment production occurs in both filamentous and yeast phases, and pigment accumulates in supernatants during stationary phase growth. Notably, sulcotrione inhibits pigment production. Melanin ghosts of wild type and DHN-mutant strains obtained when the fungus was cultured with tyrosine were similar to melanin ghosts yielded on absence of precursor, indicating that this melanin does not polymerize on fungal cell-wall. However, pyomelanin producing fungal cells were more resistant to nitrogen-derived oxidants and to ultraviolet light. In conclusion, at least three species of the Sporothrix complex are able to produce pyomelanin in the presence of tyrosine and this pigment might be involved in virulence.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 10/2012; 78(24). DOI:10.1128/AEM.02414-12 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) has been regarded as a poisonous gas with a wide spectrum of cytotoxic effects. However, a new controversial role is emerging for H2S in the chemistry of biological systems. It has been found that H2S is synthesized endogenously in mammalian tissues and that it functions as a neuromodulator, and a smooth muscle relaxant [1]. However, the reaction of H2S with Hb and Mb, in the presence of H2O2or O2, results in covalent modification of the heme pyrrole ring bearing the 4-vinyl group, generating the so-called sulfmyoglobin and sulfhemoglobin derivatives. These sulfheme derivatives have lower O2 affinity affecting the heme protein functionality, resulting in a rare blood disease called sulfhemoglobinemia. For the formation of the sulfheme complex, the presence of a heme-ferryl and RSH species are needed, in addition to the adequate oriented histidine in the heme distal site and . However, the structural transient species are not known. Analysis of the sulfheme complex to further comprehend the mechanism and action mode of H2S in the human body, as well as in other organisms is essential. Therefore, it is important to define the relationship between H2S and hemeproteins since these proteins are prime targets. Here, we focus on determining the key intermediates controlling the appropriate interactions that lead to the formation of the sulfheme protein. To accomplish this aim, EPR analysis on Myoglobin (Mb) in the presence of H2S and H2O2 or O2 was performed. The data showed bands associated with ferric low spin species. Thus, the results indicate that the final sulfheme complex is a six coordinated low spin specie. Also, the data showed the development of bands associated characteristic thiol radical bands around 2.051 g and 2.032 g values. Interestingly, the formation of the thiol radicals was not observed upon the reaction of Mb with H2S, in the absence of O2 or H2O2. These data suggests that a thiol radical is a key intermediate in the mechanism that leads to the sulfMb complex formation. As a consequence, the results produced insight into the chemistry of H2S with hemeproteins where H2S reacts as an anti-oxidant, limiting the availability of the heme ferryls species to react with nearby amino acids. Therefore, the evidence shows that a single Histidine E7 amino acid controls the selective toxicity and reactivity of H2S with different hemoglobins, limiting ROS activity with heme proteins.
    Nitric Oxide 09/2012; 27:S35. DOI:10.1016/j.niox.2012.08.052 · 3.18 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reaction of oxidized bovine cytochrome c oxidase (bCcO) with hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) was studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) to determine the properties of radical intermediates. Two distinct radicals with widths of 12 and 46 G are directly observed by X-band EPR in the reaction of bCcO with H(2)O(2) at pH 6 and pH 8. High-frequency EPR (D-band) provides assignments to tyrosine for both radicals based on well-resolved g-tensors. The wide radical (46 G) exhibits g-values similar to a radical generated on L-Tyr by UV-irradiation and to tyrosyl radicals identified in many other enzyme systems. In contrast, the g-values of the narrow radical (12 G) deviate from L-Tyr in a trend akin to the radicals on tyrosines with substitutions at the ortho position. X-band EPR demonstrates that the two tyrosyl radicals differ in the orientation of their β-methylene protons. The 12 G wide radical has minimal hyperfine structure and can be fit using parameters unique to the post-translationally modified Y244 in bCcO. The 46 G wide radical has extensive hyperfine structure and can be fit with parameters consistent with Y129. The results are supported by mixed quantum mechanics and molecular mechanics calculations. In addition to providing spectroscopic evidence of a radical formed on the post-translationally modified tyrosine in CcO, this study resolves the much debated controversy of whether the wide radical seen at low pH in the bovine enzyme is a tyrosine or tryptophan. The possible role of radical formation and migration in proton translocation is discussed.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2012; 134(10):4753-61. DOI:10.1021/ja210535w · 11.44 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this investigation high-frequency electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy (HFEPR) in conjunction with innovative rapid freeze-quench (RFQ) technology is employed to study the exchange-coupled thiyl radical-cob(II)alamin system in ribonucleotide reductase from a prokaryote Lactobacillus leichmannii. The size of the exchange coupling (Jex) and the values of the thiyl radical g tensor are refined, while confirming the previously determined (Gerfen et al. (1996) [20]) distance between the paramagnets. Conclusions relevant to ribonucleotide reductase catalysis and the architecture of the active site are presented. A key part of this work has been the development of a unique RFQ apparatus for the preparation of millisecond quench time RFQ samples which can be packed into small (0.5 mm ID) sample tubes used for CW and pulsed HFEPR--lack of this ability has heretofore precluded such studies. The technology is compatible with a broad range of spectroscopic techniques and can be readily adopted by other laboratories.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance 08/2011; 213(1):32-45. DOI:10.1016/j.jmr.2011.08.030 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The formation of radicals in bovine cytochrome c oxidase (bCcO), during the O(2) redox chemistry and proton translocation, is an unresolved controversial issue. To determine if radicals are formed in the catalytic reaction of bCcO under single turnover conditions, the reaction of O(2) with the enzyme, reduced by either ascorbate or dithionite, was initiated in a custom-built rapid freeze quenching (RFQ) device and the products were trapped at 77K at reaction times ranging from 50μs to 6ms. Additional samples were hand mixed to attain multiple turnover conditions and quenched with a reaction time of minutes. X-band (9GHz) continuous wave electron paramagnetic resonance (CW-EPR) spectra of the reaction products revealed the formation of a narrow radical with both reductants. D-band (130GHz) pulsed EPR spectra allowed for the determination of the g-tensor principal values and revealed that when ascorbate was used as the reductant the dominant radical species was localized on the ascorbyl moiety, and when dithionite was used as the reductant the radical was the SO(2)(-) ion. When the contributions from the reductants are subtracted from the spectra, no evidence for a protein-based radical could be found in the reaction of O(2) with reduced bCcO. As a surrogate for radicals formed on reaction intermediates, the reaction of hydrogen peroxide (H(2)O(2)) with oxidized bCcO was studied at pH 6 and pH 8 by trapping the products at 50μs with the RFQ device to determine the initial reaction events. For comparison, radicals formed after several minutes of incubation were also examined, and X-band and D-band analysis led to the identification of radicals on Tyr-244 and Tyr-129. In the RFQ measurements, a peroxyl (ROO) species was formed, presumably by the reaction between O(2) and an amino acid-based radical. It is postulated that Tyr-129 may play a central role as a proton loading site during proton translocation by ejecting a proton upon formation of the radical species and then becoming reprotonated during its reduction via a chain of three water molecules originating from the region of the propionate groups of heme a(3). This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: "Allosteric cooperativity in respiratory proteins".
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 06/2011; 1807(10):1295-304. DOI:10.1016/j.bbabio.2011.06.012 · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Cyclooxygenase catalysis by prostaglandin H synthase (PGHS)-1 and -2 involves reaction of a peroxide-induced Tyr385 radical with arachidonic acid (AA) to form an AA radical that reacts with O(2). The potential for isomeric AA radicals and formation of an alternate tyrosyl radical at Tyr504 complicate analysis of radical intermediates. We compared the EPR spectra of PGHS-1 and -2 reacted with peroxide and AA or specifically deuterated AA in anaerobic, single-turnover experiments. With peroxide-treated PGHS-2, the carbon-centered radical observed after AA addition was consistently a pentadienyl radical; a variable wide-singlet (WS) contribution from mixture of Tyr385 and Tyr504 radicals was also present. Analogous reactions with PGHS-1 produced EPR signals consistent with varying proportions of pentadienyl and tyrosyl radicals, and two additional EPR signals. One, insensitive to oxygen exposure, is the narrow singlet tyrosyl radical with clear hyperfine features found previously in inhibitor-pretreated PGHS-1. The second type of EPR signal is a narrow singlet lacking detailed hyperfine features that disappeared upon oxygen exposure. This signal was previously ascribed to an allyl radical, but high field EPR analysis indicated that ~90% of the signal originates from a novel tyrosyl radical, with a small contribution from a carbon-centered species. The radical kinetics could be resolved by global analysis of EPR spectra of samples trapped at various times during anaerobic reaction of PGHS-1 with a mixture of peroxide and AA. The improved understanding of the dynamics of AA and tyrosyl radicals in PGHS-1 and -2 will be useful for elucidating details of the cyclooxygenase mechanism, particularly the H-transfer between tyrosyl radical and AA.
    Journal of inorganic biochemistry 03/2011; 105(3):366-74. DOI:10.1016/j.jinorgbio.2010.11.012 · 3.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Methyl-coenzyme M reductase (MCR) from methanogenic archaea catalyzes the final step of methane formation, in which methyl-coenzyme M (2-methylthioethanesulfonate, methyl-SCoM) is reduced with coenzyme B (N-(7-mercaptoheptanoyl)threonine phosphate, CoBSH) to form methane and the heterodisulfide CoBS-SCoM. The active dimeric form of MCR contains two Ni(I)-F(430) prosthetic groups, one in each monomer. This report describes studies of the reaction of the active Ni(I) state of MCR (MCR(red1)) with BES (2-bromoethanesulfonate) and CoBSH or its analogue, CoB(6)SH (N-(6-mercaptohexanoyl)threonine phosphate), by transient kinetic measurements using EPR and UV-visible spectroscopy and by global fits of the data. This reaction is shown to lead to the formation of three intermediates, the first of which is assigned as an alkyl-Ni(III) species that forms as the active Ni(I)-MCR(red1) state of the enzyme decays. Subsequently, a radical (MCR(BES) radical) is formed that was characterized by multifrequency electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies at X- ( approximately 9 GHz), Q- ( approximately 35 GHz), and D- ( approximately 130 GHz) bands and by electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopy. The MCR(BES) radical is characterized by g-values at 2.00340 and 1.99832 and includes a strongly coupled nonexchangeable proton with a hyperfine coupling constant of 50 MHz. Based on transient kinetic measurements, the formation and decay of the radical coincide with a species that exhibits absorption peaks at 426 and 575 nm. Isotopic substitution, multifrequency EPR, and ENDOR spectroscopic experiments rule out the possibility that MCR(BES) is a tyrosyl radical and indicate that if a tyrosyl radical is formed during the reaction, it does not accumulate to detectable levels. The results provide support for a hybrid mechanism of methanogenesis by MCR that includes both alkyl-Ni and radical intermediates.
    Biochemistry 08/2010; 49(32):6866-76. DOI:10.1021/bi100650m · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The reaction intermediates of reduced bovine Cytochrome c Oxidase (CcO) were trapped following its reaction with oxygen at 50 micros-6 ms by innovative freeze-quenching methods and studied by EPR. When the enzyme was reduced with either ascorbate or dithionite, distinct radicals were generated; X-band (9 GHz) and D-band (130 GHz) CW-EPR measurements support the assignments of these radicals to ascorbyl and sulfur dioxide anion radical (SO2(-.)), respectively. The X-band spectra show a linewidth of 12 G for the ascorbyl radical and 11 G for the SO2(-.) radical and an isotropic g-value of 2.005 for both species. The D-band spectra reveal clear distinctions in the g-tensors and powder patterns of the two species. The ascorbyl radical spectrum displays approximate axial symmetry with g-values of g(x)=2.0068, g(y)=2.0066, and g(z)=2.0023. The SO2(-.) radical has rhombic symmetry with g-values of g(x)=2.0089, g(y)=2.0052, and g(z)=2.0017. When the contributions from the ascorbyl and SO2(-.) radicals were removed, no protein-based radical on CcO could be identified in the EPR spectra.
    Journal of Magnetic Resonance 04/2010; 203(2):213-9. DOI:10.1016/j.jmr.2009.12.017 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Regulation of the class IA PI 3-kinase involves inhibition and stabilization of the catalytic subunit (p110) by the regulatory subunit (p85). Regulation is achieved by two major contacts: a stable interface involving the adapter-binding domain (ABD) of p110 and the inter-SH2 (iSH2) domain of p85 and a regulatory interaction between the N-terminal SH2 (nSH2) domain of p85 and the helical domain of p110. In the present study, we have examined the relative orientation of the nSH2 and iSH2 of p85alpha using site-directed spin labeling and pulsed EPR. Surprisingly, both distance measurements and distance distributions suggest that the nSH2 domain is highly disordered relative to the iSH2 domain. Molecular modeling based on EPR distance restraints suggests that the nSH2 domain moves in a hinge-like manner, sampling a torus space around the proximal end of the iSH2 domain. These data have important implications for the mechanism by which p85/p110 dimers are regulated by phosphopeptides.
    Biochemistry 03/2010; 49(10):2159-66. DOI:10.1021/bi902171d · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ribonucleotide reductase (RNR, 76 kDa) from Lactobacillus leichmannii is a class II RNR that requires adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl) as a cofactor. It catalyzes the conversion of nucleoside triphosphates to deoxynucleotides and is 100% inactivated by 1 equiv of 2',2'-difluoro-2'-deoxycytidine 5'-triphosphate (F(2)CTP) in <2 min. Sephadex G-50 chromatography of the inactivation reaction mixture for 2 min revealed that 0.47 equiv of a sugar moiety is covalently bound to RNR and 0.25 equiv of a cobalt(III) corrin is tightly associated, likely through a covalent interaction with C(419) (Co-S) in the active site of RNR [Lohman, G. J. S., and Stubbe, J. (2010) Biochemistry 49, DOI: 10.1021/bi902132u ]. After 1 h, a similar experiment revealed 0.45 equiv of the Co-S adduct associated with the protein. Thus, at least two pathways are associated with RNR inactivation: one associated with alkylation by the sugar of F(2)CTP and the second with AdoCbl destruction. To determine the fate of [1'-(3)H]F(2)CTP in the latter pathway, the reaction mixture at 2 min was reduced with NaBH(4) (NaB(2)H(4)) and the protein separated from the small molecules using a centrifugation device. The small molecules were dephosphorylated and analyzed by HPLC to reveal 0.25 equiv of a stereoisomer of cytidine, characterized by mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy, indicating the trapped nucleotide had lost both of its fluorides and gained an oxygen. High-field ENDOR studies with [1'-(2)H]F(2)CTP from the reaction quenched at 30 s revealed a radical that is nucleotide-based. The relationship between this radical and the trapped cytidine analogue provides insight into the nonalkylative pathway for RNR inactivation relative to the alkylative pathway.
    Biochemistry 02/2010; 49(7):1396-403. DOI:10.1021/bi9021318 · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We previously proposed a model of Class IA PI3K regulation in which p85 inhibition of p110alpha requires (i) an inhibitory contact between the p85 nSH2 domain and the p110alpha helical domain, and (ii) a contact between the p85 nSH2 and iSH2 domains that orients the nSH2 so as to inhibit p110alpha. We proposed that oncogenic truncations of p85 fail to inhibit p110 due to a loss of the iSH2-nSH2 contact. However, we now find that within the context of a minimal regulatory fragment of p85 (the nSH2-iSH2 fragment, termed p85ni), the nSH2 domain rotates much more freely (tau(c) approximately 12.7 ns) than it could if it were interacting rigidly with the iSH2 domain. These data are not compatible with our previous model. We therefore tested an alternative model in which oncogenic p85 truncations destabilize an interface between the p110alpha C2 domain (residue N345) and the p85 iSH2 domain (residues D560 and N564). p85ni-D560K/N564K shows reduced inhibition of p110alpha, similar to the truncated p85ni-572(STOP). Conversely, wild-type p85ni poorly inhibits p110alphaN345K. Strikingly, the p110alphaN345K mutant is inhibited to the same extent by the wild-type or truncated p85ni, suggesting that mutation of p110alpha-N345 is not additive with the p85ni-572(STOP) mutation. Similarly, the D560K/N564K mutation is not additive with the p85ni-572(STOP) mutant for downstream signaling or cellular transformation. Thus, our data suggests that mutations at the C2-iSH2 domain contact and truncations of the iSH2 domain, which are found in human tumors, both act by disrupting the C2-iSH2 domain interface.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2009; 106(48):20258-63. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0902369106 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Melanin, a high-molecular weight pigment that is ubiquitous in nature, protects melanized microorganisms against high doses of ionizing radiation. However, the physics of melanin interaction with ionizing radiation is unknown. We rationally designed melanins from either 5-S-cysteinyl-DOPA, L-cysteine/L-DOPA, or L-DOPA with diverse structures as shown by elemental analysis and HPLC. Sulfur-containing melanins had higher predicted attenuation coefficients than non-sulfur-containing melanins. All synthetic melanins displayed strong electron paramagnetic resonance (2.14.10(18), 7.09.10(18), and 9.05.10(17) spins/g, respectively), with sulfur-containing melanins demonstrating more complex spectra and higher numbers of stable free radicals. There was no change in the quality or quantity of the stable free radicals after high-dose (30,000 cGy), high-energy ((137)Cs, 661.6 keV) irradiation, indicating a high degree of radical stability as well as a robust resistance to the ionizing effects of gamma irradiation. The rationally designed melanins protected mammalian cells against ionizing radiation of different energies. We propose that due to melanin's numerous aromatic oligomers containing multiple pi-electron system, a generated Compton recoil electron gradually loses energy while passing through the pigment, until its energy is sufficiently low that it can be trapped by stable free radicals present in the pigment. Controlled dissipation of high-energy recoil electrons by melanin prevents secondary ionizations and the generation of damaging free radical species.
    PLoS ONE 09/2009; 4(9):e7229. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0007229 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Prostacyclin synthase (PGIS) is a membrane-bound class III cytochrome P450 that catalyzes an isomerization of prostaglandin H(2), an endoperoxide, to prostacyclin. We report here the characterization of the PGIS intermediates in reactions with other peroxides, peracetic acid (PA), and iodosylbenzene. Rapid-scan stopped-flow experiments revealed an intermediate with an absorption spectrum similar to that of compound ES (Cpd ES), which is an oxo-ferryl (Fe(IV)O) plus a protein-derived radical. Cpd ES, formed upon reaction with PA, has an X-band (9 GHz) EPR signal of g = 2.0047 and a half-saturation power, P(1/2), of 0.73 mW. High-field (130 GHz) EPR reveals the presence of two species of tyrosyl radicals in Cpd ES with their g-tensor components (g(x), g(y), g(z)) of 2.00970, 2.00433, 2.00211 and 2.00700, 2.00433, 2.00211 at a 1:2 ratio, indicating that one is involved in hydrogen bonding and the other is not. The line width of the g = 2 signal becomes narrower, while its P(1/2) value becomes smaller as the reaction proceeds, indicating migration of the unpaired electron to an alternative site. The rate of electron migration ( approximately 0.2 s(-1)) is similar to that of heme bleaching, suggesting the migration is associated with the enzymatic inactivation. Moreover, a g = 6 signal that is presumably a high-spin ferric species emerges after the appearance of the amino acid radical and subsequently decays at a rate comparable to that of enzymatic inactivation. This loss of the g = 6 species thus likely indicates another pathway leading to enzymatic inactivation. The inactivation, however, was prevented by the exogenous reductant guaiacol. The studies of PGIS with PA described herein provide a mechanistic model of a peroxidase reaction catalyzed by the class III cytochromes P450.
    Biochemistry 03/2009; 48(5):917-28. DOI:10.1021/bi801382v · 3.19 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mechanism accounting for the robust catalase activity in catalase-peroxidases (KatG) presents a new challenge in heme protein enzymology. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, KatG is the sole catalase and is also responsible for peroxidative activation of isoniazid, an anti-tuberculosis pro-drug. Here, optical stopped-flow spectrophotometry, rapid freeze-quench EPR spectroscopy both at the X-band and at the D-band, and mutagenesis are used to identify catalase reaction intermediates in M. tuberculosis KatG. In the presence of millimolar H2O2 at neutral pH, oxyferrous heme is formed within milliseconds from ferric (resting) KatG, whereas at pH 8.5, low spin ferric heme is formed. Using rapid freeze-quench EPR at X-band under both of these conditions, a narrow doublet radical signal with an 11 G principal hyperfine splitting was detected within the first milliseconds of turnover. The radical and the unique heme intermediates persist in wild-type KatG only during the time course of turnover of excess H2O2 (1000-fold or more). Mutation of Met255, Tyr229, or Trp107, which have covalently linked side chains in a unique distal side adduct (MYW) in wild-type KatG, abolishes this radical and the catalase activity. The D-band EPR spectrum of the radical exhibits a rhombic g tensor with dual gx values (2.00550 and 2.00606) and unique gy (2.00344) and gz values (2.00186) similar to but not typical of native tyrosyl radicals. Density functional theory calculations based on a model of an MYW adduct radical built from x-ray coordinates predict experimentally observed hyperfine interactions and a shift in g values away from the native tyrosyl radical. A catalytic role for an MYW adduct radical in the catalase mechanism of KatG is proposed.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2009; 284(11):7017-29. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M808106200 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 02/2009; 96(3). DOI:10.1016/j.bpj.2008.12.3708 · 3.83 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
372.78 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 1999–2014
    • Albert Einstein College of Medicine
      • Department of Physiology & Biophysics
      New York, New York, United States
  • 2000–2008
    • Yeshiva University
      • Department of Physiology & Biophysics
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2000–2005
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
      • Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
      Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 2002
    • University of California, Davis
      • Department of Chemistry
      Davis, California, United States
  • 1995–2001
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
      • Department of Chemistry
      Cambridge, MA, United States
  • 1996
    • Brandeis University
      • Department of Biochemistry
      Волтам, Massachusetts, United States
  • 1988–1994
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States