G V Avvakumov

York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (63)309.13 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The ubiquitin system regulates virtually all aspects of cellular function. We report a method to target the myriad enzymes that govern ubiquitination of protein substrates. We used massively diverse combinatorial libraries of ubiquitin variants to develop inhibitors of four deubiquitinases (DUBs) and analyzed the DUB-inhibitor complexes by crystallography. We extended the selection strategy to the ubiquitin conjugating (E2) and ubiquitin ligase (E3) enzymes, and found that ubiquitin variants can also enhance enzyme activity. Finally, we showed that ubiquitin variants can bind selectively to ubiquitin-binding domains. Ubiquitin variants exhibit selective function in cells and thus enable orthogonal modulation of specific enzymatic steps in the ubiquitin system.
    Science 01/2013; 339(6119). DOI:10.1126/science.1230161 · 33.61 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Here we describe a systematic structure-function analysis of the human ubiquitin (Ub) E2 conjugating proteins, consisting of the determination of 15 new high-resolution three-dimensional structures of E2 catalytic domains, and autoubiquitylation assays for 26 Ub-loading E2s screened against a panel of nine different HECT (homologous to E6-AP carboxyl terminus) E3 ligase domains. Integration of our structural and biochemical data revealed several E2 surface properties associated with Ub chain building activity; (1) net positive or neutral E2 charge, (2) an "acidic trough" located near the catalytic Cys, surrounded by an extensive basic region, and (3) similarity to the previously described HECT binding signature in UBE2L3 (UbcH7). Mass spectrometry was used to characterize the autoubiquitylation products of a number of functional E2-HECT pairs, and demonstrated that HECT domains from different subfamilies catalyze the formation of very different types of Ub chains, largely independent of the E2 in the reaction. Our data set represents the first comprehensive analysis of E2-HECT E3 interactions, and thus provides a framework for better understanding the molecular mechanisms of ubiquitylation.
    Molecular &amp Cellular Proteomics 04/2012; 11(8):329-41. DOI:10.1074/mcp.O111.013706 · 6.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human ubiquitin-specific cysteine protease 5 (USP5, also known as ISOT and isopeptidase T), an 835-residue multidomain enzyme, recycles ubiquitin by hydrolyzing isopeptide bonds in a variety of unanchored polyubiquitin substrates. Activation of the enzyme's hydrolytic activity toward ubiquitin-AMC (7-amino-4-methylcoumarin), a fluorogenic substrate, by the addition of free, unanchored monoubiquitin suggested an allosteric mechanism of activation by the ZnF-UBP domain (residues 163-291), which binds the substrate's unanchored diglycine carboxyl tail. By determining the structure of full-length USP5, we discovered the existence of a cryptic ZnF-UBP domain (residues 1-156), which was tightly bound to the catalytic core and was indispensable for catalytic activity. In contrast, the previously characterized ZnF-UBP domain did not contribute directly to the active site; a paucity of interactions suggested flexibility between these two domains consistent with an ability by the enzyme to hydrolyze a variety of different polyubiquitin chain linkages. Deletion of the known ZnF-UBP domain did not significantly affect rate of hydrolysis of ubiquitin-AMC and suggested that it is likely associated mainly with substrate targeting and specificity. Together, our findings show that USP5 uses multiple ZnF-UBP domains for substrate targeting and core catalytic function.
    Biochemistry 02/2012; 51(6):1188-98. DOI:10.1021/bi200854q · 3.02 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Histone modifications and DNA methylation represent two layers of heritable epigenetic information that regulate eukaryotic chromatin structure and gene activity. UHRF1 is a unique factor that bridges these two layers; it is required for maintenance DNA methylation at hemimethylated CpG sites, which are specifically recognized through its SRA domain and also interacts with histone H3 trimethylated on lysine 9 (H3K9me3) in an unspecified manner. Here we show that UHRF1 contains a tandem Tudor domain (TTD) that recognizes H3 tail peptides with the heterochromatin-associated modification state of trimethylated lysine 9 and unmodified lysine 4 (H3K4me0/K9me3). Solution NMR and crystallographic data reveal the TTD simultaneously recognizes H3K9me3 through a conserved aromatic cage in the first Tudor subdomain and unmodified H3K4 within a groove between the tandem subdomains. The subdomains undergo a conformational adjustment upon peptide binding, distinct from previously reported mechanisms for dual histone mark recognition. Mutant UHRF1 protein deficient for H3K4me0/K9me3 binding shows altered localization to heterochromatic chromocenters and fails to reduce expression of a target gene, p16(INK4A), when overexpressed. Our results demonstrate a novel recognition mechanism for the combinatorial readout of histone modification states associated with gene silencing and add to the growing evidence for coordination of, and cross-talk between, the modification states of H3K4 and H3K9 in regulation of gene expression.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2011; 286(27):24300-11. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.234104 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dnmt1 (DNA methyltransferase 1) is the principal enzyme responsible for maintenance of cytosine methylation at CpG dinucleotides in the mammalian genome. The N-terminal replication focus targeting sequence (RFTS) domain of Dnmt1 has been implicated in subcellular localization, protein association, and catalytic function. However, progress in understanding its function has been limited by the lack of assays for and a structure of this domain. Here, we show that the naked DNA- and polynucleosome-binding activities of Dnmt1 are inhibited by the RFTS domain, which functions by virtue of binding the catalytic domain to the exclusion of DNA. Kinetic analysis with a fluorogenic DNA substrate established the RFTS domain as a 600-fold inhibitor of Dnmt1 enzymatic activity. The crystal structure of the RFTS domain reveals a novel fold and supports a mechanism in which an RFTS-targeted Dnmt1-binding protein, such as Uhrf1, may activate Dnmt1 for DNA binding.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2011; 286(17):15344-51. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.209882 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: E2-25K/Hip2 is an unusual ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that interacts with the frameshift mutant of ubiquitin B (UBB(+1)) and has been identified as a crucial factor regulating amyloid-β neurotoxicity. To study the structural basis of the neurotoxicity mediated by the E2-25K-UBB(+1) interaction, we determined the three-dimensional structures of UBB(+1), E2-25K and the E2-25K/ubiquitin, and E2-25K/UBB(+1) complex. The structures revealed that ubiquitin or UBB(+1) is bound to E2-25K via the enzyme MGF motif and residues in α9 of the enzyme. Polyubiquitylation assays together with analyses of various E2-25K mutants showed that disrupting UBB(+1) binding markedly diminishes synthesis of neurotoxic UBB(+1)-anchored polyubiquitin. These results suggest that the interaction between E2-25K and UBB(+1) is critical for the synthesis and accumulation of UBB(+1)-anchored polyubiquitin, which results in proteasomal inhibition and neuronal cell death.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 285(46):36070-80. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M110.145219 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: E2–25K/Hip2 is an unusual ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme that interacts with the frameshift mutant of ubiquitin B (UBB+1) and has been identified as a crucial factor regulating amyloid-β neurotoxicity. To study the structural basis of the neurotoxicity mediated by the E2–25K-UBB+1 interaction, we determined the three-dimensional structures of UBB+1, E2–25K and the E2–25K/ubiquitin, and E2–25K/UBB+1 complex. The structures revealed that ubiquitin or UBB+1 is bound to E2–25K via the enzyme MGF motif and residues in α9 of the enzyme. Polyubiquitylation assays together with analyses of various E2–25K mutants showed that disrupting UBB+1 binding markedly diminishes synthesis of neurotoxic UBB+1-anchored polyubiquitin. These results suggest that the interaction between E2–25K and UBB+1 is critical for the synthesis and accumulation of UBB+1-anchored polyubiquitin, which results in proteasomal inhibition and neuronal cell death.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 11/2010; 285(46):36070-36080. · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    George V Avvakumov · Artem Cherkasov · Yves A Muller · Geoffrey L Hammond
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    ABSTRACT: Plasma sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) regulates the access of androgens and estrogens to their target tissues and cell types. An SHBG homologue, known as the androgen-binding protein, is expressed in Sertoli cells of many mammalians, but testicular expression of human SHBG is restricted to germ cells. The primary structure of SHBG comprises tandem laminin G-like (LG) domains. The amino-terminal LG-domain includes the steroid-binding site and dimerization interface, and its tertiary structure, resolved in complex with natural and synthetic sex steroids, has revealed unanticipated mechanisms of steroid binding at the atomic level. This LG-domain interacts with fibulin-1D and fibulin-2 in a ligand-specific manner, and this is attributed to the unique way estrogens reside within the steroid-binding site, and the ordering of an otherwise flexible loop structure covering the entrance of the steroid-binding pocket. This mechanism enables estradiol to enhance the sequestration of plasma SHBG by the stroma of some tissues through binding to these extra-cellular matrix-associated proteins. The human SHBG amino-terminal LG-domain also contains several cation-binding sites, and occupancy of a zinc-binding site influences its affinity for estradiol. The complete quaternary structure of SHBG remains unresolved but structural predictions suggest that the carboxy-terminal LG-domains extend laterally from the dimerized amino-terminal LG-domains. The carboxy-terminal LG-domain contains two N-glycosylation sites, but their biological significance remains obscure. Knowledge of the SHBG tertiary structure has helped develop computational techniques based on the use of a "bench-mark data set" of steroid ligands, and created novel drug discovery and toxicology risk assessment platforms.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 09/2009; 316(1):13-23. DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2009.09.005 · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epigenetic inheritance in mammals is characterized by high-fidelity replication of CpG methylation patterns during development. UHRF1 (also known as ICBP90 in humans and Np95 in mouse) is an E3 ligase important for the maintenance of global and local DNA methylation in vivo. The preferential affinity of UHRF1 for hemi-methylated DNA over symmetrically methylated DNA by means of its SET and RING-associated (SRA) domain and its association with the maintenance DNA methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1) suggests a role in replication of the epigenetic code. Here we report the 1.7 A crystal structure of the apo SRA domain of human UHRF1 and a 2.2 A structure of its complex with hemi-methylated DNA, revealing a previously unknown reading mechanism for methylated CpG sites (mCpG). The SRA-DNA complex has several notable structural features including a binding pocket that accommodates the 5-methylcytosine that is flipped out of the duplex DNA. Two specialized loops reach through the resulting gap in the DNA from both the major and the minor grooves to read the other three bases of the CpG duplex. The major groove loop confers both specificity for the CpG dinucleotide and discrimination against methylation of deoxycytidine of the complementary strand. The structure, along with mutagenesis data, suggests how UHRF1 acts as a key factor for DNMT1 maintenance methylation through recognition of a fundamental unit of epigenetic inheritance, mCpG.
    Nature 10/2008; 455(7214):822-5. DOI:10.1038/nature07273 · 41.46 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We tested the general applicability of in situ proteolysis to form protein crystals suitable for structure determination by adding a protease (chymotrypsin or trypsin) digestion step to crystallization trials of 55 bacterial and 14 human proteins that had proven recalcitrant to our best efforts at crystallization or structure determination. This is a work in progress; so far we determined structures of 9 bacterial proteins and the human aminoimidazole ribonucleotide synthetase (AIRS) domain.
    Nature Methods 01/2008; 4(12):1019-21. DOI:10.1038/nmeth1118 · 32.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin-specific protease 8 (USP8) hydrolyzes mono and polyubiquitylated targets such as epidermal growth factor receptors and is involved in clathrin-mediated internalization. In 1182 residues, USP8 contains multiple domains, including coiled-coil, rhodanese, and catalytic domains. We report the first high-resolution crystal structures of these domains and discuss their implications for USP8 function. The amino-terminal domain is a homodimer with a novel fold. It is composed of two five-helix bundles, where the first helices are swapped, and carboxyl-terminal helices are extended in an antiparallel fashion. The structure of the rhodanese domain, determined in complex with the E3 ligase NRDP1, reveals the canonical rhodanese fold but with a distorted primordial active site. The USP8 recognition domain of NRDP1 has a novel protein fold that interacts with a conserved peptide loop of the rhodanese domain. A consensus sequence of this loop is found in other NRDP1 targets, suggesting a common mode of interaction. The structure of the carboxyl-terminal catalytic domain of USP8 exhibits the conserved tripartite architecture but shows unique traits. Notably, the active site, including the ubiquitin binding pocket, is in a closed conformation, incompatible with substrate binding. The presence of a zinc ribbon subdomain near the ubiquitin binding site further suggests a polyubiquitin-specific binding site and a mechanism for substrate induced conformational changes.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2007; 281(49):38061-70. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M606704200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds steroids in the blood but is also present in the extravascular compartments of some tissues. Mice expressing a human SHBG transgene in the liver have human SHBG in their blood. In these animals, human SHBG accumulates within the stromal matrix of the endometrium and epididymis. This is remarkable because these tissues do not express the transgene. Human SHBG administered intravenously to wild-type mice in the presence of estradiol is rapidly sequestered within the endometrial stroma, and this prompted us to search for SHBG interacting proteins. Yeast two-hybrid screens revealed that fibulin-1D and fibulin-2 interact with the amino-terminal laminin G domain of SHBG. These interactions were verified in GST-pull down assays in which human SHBG bound the carboxyl-terminal domains of fibulin-1D and fibulin-2 in a steroid-dependent manner, with estradiol being the most effective ligand, and were enhanced by reducing the N-glycosylation of human SHBG. Like human SHBG, fibulin-1 and fibulin-2 concentrate within the endometrial stroma. In addition, SHBG co-immunoprecipitates with these fibulins in a proestrus uterine extract. These matrix-associated proteins may therefore sequester plasma SHBG within uterine stroma where it can control sex-steroid access to target cells. Given the interplay between fibulins and numerous proteins within the basal lamina, interactions between SHBG and matrix proteins may exert novel biological effects.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2006; 281(23):15853-61. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M512370200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) binds and transports androgens and estrogens in the blood of vertebrate species including fish. We have used oligonucleotide primers corresponding to highly conserved regions of the SHBG coding sequences within the zebrafish and fugufish genomes to obtain a 1528 bp cDNA encoding SHBG from tissue RNA extracts from the European sea bass. Amino-terminal sequence analysis of recombinant sea bass SHBG indicated that its deduced precursor polypeptide includes a 35-residue secretion signal polypeptide, and the 361-residue mature sea bass SHBG sequence exhibits 45-67% sequence identity with SHBGs from other fish species that have been determined directly (for zebrafish) or deduced (for rainbow trout, medaka and fugufish) from sequences within public databases. The sea bass SHBG (39,894 Da) comprises a tandem repeat of laminin G-like domains typical of SHBG sequences; contains three N-glycosylation sites, and exists as a 118,300 +/- 11,500 Da homodimer. Sea bass SHBG exhibits a high affinity (K(d) = 8.8 nM for 17beta-estradiol) and specificity for gonadal steroids and their precursors (e.g., 17beta-estradiol > testosterone > dehydroepiandrosterone > 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone > androstenedione >11-ketotesterone). Interestingly, the affinity of sea bass SHBG for the synthetic estrogen, 17alpha-ethynylestradiol was found to be essentially identical to that for 17beta-estradiol. The availability of SHBG sequences in sea bass and other fish set the stage for detailed studies of SHBG function in fish reproductive physiology, as well as its potential role as a target of endocrine disruptors.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 02/2005; 229(1-2):21-9. DOI:10.1016/j.mce.2004.10.004 · 4.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) transports androgens and estrogens in the blood of vertebrates including fish. Orthologs of SHBG in fish are poorly defined, and we have now obtained a zebrafish SHBG cDNA and characterized the zebrafish SHBG gene and protein through molecular biological, biochemical, and informatics approaches. Amino-terminal analysis of zebrafish SHBG indicated that its deduced precursor sequence includes a 25-residue secretion polypeptide and exhibits 22-27% homology with mammalian SHBG sequences and 41% with a deduced fugufish SHBG sequence. The 356-residue mature zebrafish SHBG (39,243 Da) sequence comprises a tandem repeat of laminin G-like domains typical of SHBG sequences; contains three N-glycosylation sites; and exists as a 105,000 +/- 8700 Da homodimer. Zebrafish SHBG exhibits a high affinity and specificity for sex steroids. An RT-PCR indicated that SHBG mRNA first appears in zebrafish larva, and SHBG mRNA was localized within the liver and gut at this stage of development by whole-mount in situ hybridization. In adult fish, SHBG mRNA was found in liver, testis, and gut. In the liver, immunoreactive SHBG was present in hepatocytes and concentrated in intrahepatic bile duct cells, whereas in the testis it was confined to cells surrounding the seminiferous tubule cysts. In the intestine, immunoreactive SHBG was present in the stroma and epithelial cells of the villous projections and the surrounding muscle. The production and presence of SHBG in the gut of developing and adult zebrafish suggests a novel role for this protein in regulating sex steroid action at this site.
    Endocrinology 12/2004; 145(11):5221-30. DOI:10.1210/en.2004-0678 · 4.50 Impact Factor
  • Geoffrey L Hammond · George V Avvakumov · Yves A Muller
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    ABSTRACT: In humans, sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds and transports the biologically most important androgens and estrogens in the blood, and regulates the access of these steroids to their targets tissues. In addition to binding sex steroids, SHBG has specific binding sites for divalent cations including calcium and zinc. Zinc binding to a site at the entrance of the steroid-binding pocket in human SHBG has been shown to reduce its affinity for estrogens, while having no impact on the binding of C19 steroids. Crystallographic studies indicate that C18 and C19 steroids are bound in opposite orientations within the SHBG steroid-binding site, and we have obtained new information that supports a molecular model explaining the mechanism by which zinc alters the affinity of human SHBG for estrogens, by studying directly the estradiol-binding properties SHBG variants created by site-directed mutagenesis. In this model, the coordination of a zinc ion by the side chains of residues Asp65 and His136 eliminates a critical hydrogen bond between Asp65 and the hydroxyl at C3 of estrogens, such as estradiol and 2-methoxyestradiol, and causes disorder in a polypeptide loop segment that covers the steroid-binding site. The combination of these structural changes explains the specific decrease in the affinity of human SHBG for C18 steroids in the presence of a zinc ion.
    The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology 07/2003; 85(2-5):195-200. DOI:10.1016/S0960-0760(03)00195-X · 3.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In a crystal structure of the amino-terminal laminin G-like domain of human sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), the biologically active estrogen metabolite, 2-methoxyestradiol (2-MeOE2), binds in the same orientation as estradiol. The high affinity of SHBG for 2-MeOE2 relies primarily on hydrogen bonding between the hydroxyl at C-3 of 2-MeOE2 and Asp(65) and an interaction between the methoxy group at C-2 and the amido group of Asn(82). Accommodation of the 2-MeOE2 methoxy group causes an outward displacement of residues Ser(128)-Pro(130), which appears to disorder and displace the loop region (Leu(131)-His(136)) that covers the steroid-binding site. This could influence the binding kinetics of 2-MeOE2 and/or facilitate ligand-dependent interactions between SHBG and other proteins. Occupancy of a zinc-binding site reduces the affinity of SHBG for 2-MeOE2 and estradiol in the same way. The higher affinity of SHBG for estradiol derivatives with a halogen atom at C-2 is due to either enhanced hydrogen bonding between the hydroxyl at C-3 and Asp(65) (2-fluoroestradiol) or accommodation of the functional group at C-2 (2-bromoestradiol), rather than an interaction with Asn(82). By contrast, the low affinity of SHBG for 2-hydroxyestradiol can be attributed to intra-molecular hydrogen bonding between the hydroxyls in the aromatic steroid ring A, which generates a steric clash with the amido group of Asn(82). Understanding how C-2 derivatives of estradiol interact with SHBG could facilitate the design of biologically active synthetic estrogens.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2002; 277(47):45219-25. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M207762200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The amino-terminal laminin G-like domain of human sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) contains a single high affinity steroid-binding site. Crystal structures of this domain in complex with several different steroid ligands have revealed that estradiol occupies the SHBG steroid-binding site in an opposite orientation when compared with 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone or C19 androgen metabolites (5 alpha-androstan-3 beta,17 beta-diol and 5 alpha-androstan-3 beta,17 alpha-diol) or the synthetic progestin levonorgestrel. Substitution of specific residues within the SHBG steroid-binding site confirmed that Ser(42) plays a key role in determining high affinity interactions by hydrogen bonding to functional groups at C3 of the androstanediols and levonorgestrel and the hydroxyl at C17 of estradiol. Among residues participating in the hydrogen bond network with hydroxy groups at C17 of C19 steroids or C3 of estradiol, Asp(65) appears to be the most important. The different binding mode of estradiol is associated with a difference in the position/orientation of residues (Leu(131) and Lys(134)) in the loop segment (Leu(131)-His(136)) that covers the steroid-binding site as well as others (Leu(171)-Lys(173) and Trp(84)) on the surface of human SHBG and may provide a basis for ligand-dependent interactions between SHBG and other macromolecules. These new crystal structures have also enabled us to construct a simple space-filling model that can be used to predict the characteristics of novel SHBG ligands.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2002; 277(35):32086-93. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M203999200 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A-ring fluorination of estradiol (ES) at position 2 or 4 decreases the rate of metabolism by blocking the formation of catechol estrogens, one of the major metabolic pathways of ES. We postulate that adding a 2- or 4-fluoro substituent to 16alpha-[18F]fluoroestradiol (FES), a positron emission tomography (PET) radiopharmaceutical used for estrogen receptor (ER) imaging, should prolong its blood circulation time, and thus, improve its localization in ER-rich target tissues. On such account, we prepared a series of FES derivatives substituted with a fluorine atom at C2 or C4, with or without an 11beta-OMe group, and we tested their binding affinities for the ER and different serum proteins including rat alphafetoprotein (AFP) and human sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG). Labeling at the 16alpha-position was accomplished via nucleophilic substitution with [18F]F(-) on the reactive 16beta,17beta-cyclic sulfate intermediates. Decay corrected yields varied between 30 and 50% for a total synthesis time of 120 min, providing final products with specific activities >3000 Ci/mmol. The 18F-labeled analogs were evaluated for their biodistribution in immature female rats. Substitutions with the 4-F have little effect on binding affinities. Addition of the 2-F diminishes ER and AFP-binding affinities while augmenting the affinity for the SHBG. Addition of the 11beta-OMe decreases all binding affinities, particularly to AFP and SHBG. In contrast, biodistribution of the corresponding [16alpha-18F]fluoro analogs in immature female rats revealed that the presence of the 11beta-OMe group improves ER-mediated uterus uptake, with the 4,16alpha-[16alpha-18F]difluoro-11beta-methoxyestradiol showing the highest uptake values (15% ID at 1-h post-injection). These data suggest that the addition of both a 4-F and 11beta-OMe group onto FES may provide an improved radiopharmaceutical for PET imaging of ER densities in breast cancer patients.
    Steroids 09/2002; 67(9):765-75. DOI:10.1016/S0039-128X(02)00025-9 · 2.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The crystal structure of human sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) has revealed how 5alpha-dihydrotestosterone intercalates between the two seven-stranded beta-sheets of its amino-terminal laminin G-like domain. However, a region of disorder (residues 130 to 135 of SHBG) was identified together with a zinc-binding site in immediate proximity to the steroid. It has been important to resolve the structure of this region because previous studies have suggested that these residues may contribute to steroid binding directly. Here, we present the 2.35 A and 1.7 A crystal structures of the amino-terminal LG domain of SHBG obtained from a tetragonal crystal form and by EDTA-soaking of a trigonal crystal form, respectively. In both of these new structures, residues Pro130 to Arg135 are now clearly visible. Substitution of the two residues (Leu131Gly and Lys134Ala) pointing towards the steroid has shown that only Leu131 contributes significantly to steroid binding. Rather than covering the steroid-binding pocket in an extended conformation, a 3(10) helical turn is formed by residues Leu131 to Lys134 in this segment. Unfolding of this secondary structure element can either facilitate the entry of the steroids into the binding site or modulate the important contribution that Leu131 makes to steroid binding. A comparison with previous structures supports the concept that zinc binding re-orients the side-chain of His136, and this residue serves as a lever causing disorder within the loop structure between Pro130 and Arg135.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 06/2002; 318(3):621-6. DOI:10.1016/S0022-2836(02)00169-9 · 4.33 Impact Factor
  • M Raineri · M G Catalano · G L Hammond · G V Avvakumov · R Frairia · N Fortunati
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    ABSTRACT: Human sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) is a homodimeric plasma glycoprotein, and each SHBG monomer may have an O-linked oligosaccharide at Thr(7) and up to two N-linked oligosaccharides at Asn(351) and Asn(367). In addition, a common genetic variant of SHBG exists with an extra site for N-glycosylation at residue 327. In the present study, we isolated MCF-7 derived cell lines expressing human SHBG cDNAs encoding the wild type protein or various glycosylation mutants. Estradiol (1 nM) treatment of parental (untransfected) MCF-7 cells or MCF-7 cells transfected with control expression vectors resulted in an increase in proliferation which was fully abrogated by co-incubation with an equimolar amount of human SHBG. In contrast, the same amount of purified SHBG added to MCF-7 cells expressing wild type SHBG partially inhibited the estradiol-induced cell proliferation. A high affinity binding site for SHBG was detectable on untransfected and control cells, but not on MCF-7 cells expressing wild type SHBG. Moreover, the treatment of MCF-7 cells with the conditioned medium containing wild type SHBG caused the disappearance of the SHBG plasma membrane-binding site. Media containing SHBG N-glycosylation mutants exerted the same effect, but mutants lacking the O-linked oligosaccharide at Thr(7) failed to do so. Estradiol-induced proliferation of parental MCF-7 cells was also inhibited by treatment with conditioned medium containing wild type SHBG or SHBG mutants lacking N-linked oligosaccharides, or containing an additional N-linked oligosaccharide at residue 327. However, MCF-7 conditioned medium containing SHBG mutants lacking an O-linked oligosaccharide at Thr(7) failed to exert this effect. These data suggest that O-glycosylation of SHBG is essential for SHBG binding to a membrane receptor that is responsible for inhibiting the estradiol-induced proliferation of MCF-7 breast cancer cells.
    Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 04/2002; 189(1-2):135-43. DOI:10.1016/S0303-7207(01)00725-0 · 4.41 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
309.13 Total Impact Points


  • 2012
    • York University
      • Department of Biology
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2005–2012
    • University of Toronto
      • • Department of Physiology
      • • Structural Genomics Consortium
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2004
    • Children's & Women's Health Centre of British Columbia
      Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1993–2003
    • The University of Western Ontario
      • Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
      London, Ontario, Canada
  • 2002
    • Freie Universität Berlin
      Berlín, Berlin, Germany
  • 1990–1991
    • Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry Polish Academy of Science
      Posen, Greater Poland Voivodeship, Poland