[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) is a eukaryotic cytokine that affects a broad spectrum of immune responses and its activation/inactivation is associated with numerous diseases. During protozoan infections MIF is not only expressed by the host, but, has also been observed to be expressed by some parasites and released into the host. To better understand the biological role of parasitic MIF proteins, the crystal structure of the MIF protein from Giardia lamblia (Gl-MIF), the etiological agent responsible for giardiasis, has been determined at 2.30 Å resolution. The 114-residue protein adopts an α/β fold consisting of a four-stranded β-sheet with two anti-parallel α-helices packed against a face of the β-sheet. An additional short β-strand aligns anti-parallel to β4 of the β-sheet in the adjacent protein unit to help stabilize a trimer, the biologically relevant unit observed in all solved MIF crystal structures to date, and form a discontinuous β-barrel. The structure of Gl-MIF is compared to the MIF structures from humans (Hs-MIF) and three Plasmodium species (falciparum, berghei, and yoelii). The structure of all five MIF proteins are generally similar with the exception of a channel that runs through the center of each trimer complex. Relative to Hs-MIF, there are differences in solvent accessibility and electrostatic potential distribution in the channel of Gl-MIF and the Plasmodium-MIFs due primarily to two "gate-keeper" residues in the parasitic MIFs. For the Plasmodium MIFs the gate-keeper residues are at positions 44 (Y⇒R) and 100 (V⇒D) and for Gl-MIF it is at position 100 (V⇒R). If these gate-keeper residues have a biological function and contribute to the progression of parasitemia they may also form the basis for structure-based drug design targeting parasitic MIF proteins.
Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 05/2013;
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT), the causative agent of the deadly neuroparalytic disease botulism, is the most poisonous protein known for humans. Produced by different strains of the anaerobic bacterium Clostridium botulinum, BoNT effects cellular intoxication via a multistep mechanism executed by the three modules of the activated protein. Endocytosis, the first step of cellular intoxication, is triggered by the ∼50 kDa, heavy-chain receptor-binding module (HCR) that is specific for a ganglioside and a protein receptor on neuronal cell surfaces. This dual receptor recognition mechanism between BoNT and the host cell's membrane is well documented and occurs via specific intermolecular interactions with the C-terminal sub-domain, Hcc, of BoNT-HCR. The N-terminal sub-domain of BoNT-HCR, Hcn, comprises ∼50% of BoNT-HCR and adopts a β-sheet jelly roll fold. While suspected in assisting cell surface recognition, no unambiguous function for the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT has been indentified. To obtain insights into the potential function of the Hcn sub-domain in BoNT, the first crystal structure of a BoNT with an organic ligand bound to the Hcn sub-domain has been obtained. Here, we describe the crystal structure of BoNT/CD-HCR determined at 1.70 Å resolution with a tetraethylene glycol (PG4) moiety bound in a hydrophobic cleft between β-strands in the β-sheet jelly fold roll of the Hcn sub-domain. The PG4 moeity is completely engulfed in the cleft, making numerous hydrophobic (Y932, S959, W966, and D1042) and hydrophilic (S935, W977, L979, N1013, and I1066) contacts with the protein's side chain and backbone that may mimic in vivo interactions with the phospholipid membranes on neuronal cell surfaces. A sulfate ion was also observed bound to residues T1176, D1177, K1196, and R1243 in the Hcc sub-domain of BoNT/CD-HCR. In the crystal structure of a similar protein, BoNT/D-HCR, a sialic acid molecule was observed bound to the equivalent residues suggesting that residues T1176, D1177, K1196, and R1243 in BoNT/CD may play a role in ganglioside binding.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by Clostridium botulinum, are a group of seven (A-G) immunologically distinct proteins and cause the paralytic disease botulism. These toxins are the most poisonous substances known to humans and are potential bioweapon agents. Therefore, it is necessary to develop highly sensitive assays for the detection of BoNTs in both clinical and environmental samples. In the present study, we have developed an ELISA-based protein antibody microarray for the sensitive and simultaneous detection of BoNT serotype A, B, C, D, E and F. With engineered high-affinity antibodies, the assays have sensitivities in buffer of 8 fM (1.2 pg/mL) for serotypes A and B, and 32 fM (4.9 pg/mL) for serotypes C, D, E, and F. Using clinical and environmental samples (serum and milk), the microarray is capable of detecting BoNT/A-F to the same levels as in standard buffer. Cross reactivity between assays for individual serotype was also analyzed. These simultaneous, rapid, and sensitive assays have the potential to measure botulinum toxins in a high-throughput manner in complex clinical or environmental samples.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), produced by Clostridium botulinum, are a group of seven (A-G) immunologically distinct proteins and cause the paralytic disease botulism. These toxins are the most poisonous substances known to humans and are potential bioweapon agents. Therefore, it is necessary to develop highly sensitive assays for the detection of BoNTs in both clinical and environmental samples. In the current study, we have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)-based protein antibody microarray for the sensitive and simultaneous detection of BoNT serotypes A, B, C, D, E, and F. With engineered high-affinity antibodies, the BoNT assays have sensitivities in buffer ranging from 1.3fM (0.2pg/ml) to 14.7fM (2.2pg/ml). Using clinical and food matrices (serum and milk), the microarray is capable of detecting BoNT serotypes A to F to similar levels as in standard buffer. Cross-reactivity between assays for individual serotype was also analyzed. These simultaneous, rapid, and sensitive assays have the potential to measure botulinum toxins in a high-throughput manner in complex clinical, food, and environmental samples.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L-Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) is an important enzyme involved in the last step of glycolysis that catalyzes the reversible conversion of pyruvate to L-lactate with the simultaneous oxidation of NADH to NAD(+). In this study, wild-type LDH from Bacillus subtilis (BsLDH-WT) and the H171C mutant (BsLDH-H171C) were expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to near-homogeneity. BsLDH-WT was crystallized in the presence of fructose 1,6-bisphosphate (FBP) and NAD(+) and the crystal diffracted to 2.38 Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group P3, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 171.04, c = 96.27 Å. BsLDH-H171C was also crystallized as the apoenzyme and in complex with NAD(+), and data sets were collected to 2.20 and 2.49 Å resolution, respectively. Both BsLDH-H171C crystals belonged to space group P3, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 133.41, c = 99.34 Å and a = b = 133.43, c = 99.09 Å, respectively. Tetramers were observed in the asymmetric units of all three crystals.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 01/2012; 68(Pt 1):63-5. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Environmental protection through biological mechanisms that aid in the reductive immobilization of toxic metals (e.g., chromate and uranyl) has been identified to involve specific NADH-dependent flavoproteins that promote cell viability. To understand the enzyme mechanisms responsible for metal reduction, the enzyme kinetics of a putative chromate reductase from Gluconacetobacter hansenii (Gh-ChrR) was measured and the crystal structure of the protein determined at 2.25 Å resolution. Gh-ChrR catalyzes the NADH-dependent reduction of chromate, ferricyanide, and uranyl anions under aerobic conditions. Kinetic measurements indicate that NADH acts as a substrate inhibitor; catalysis requires chromate binding prior to NADH association. The crystal structure of Gh-ChrR shows the protein is a homotetramer with one bound flavin mononucleotide (FMN) per subunit. A bound anion is visualized proximal to the FMN at the interface between adjacent subunits within a cationic pocket, which is positioned at an optimal distance for hydride transfer. Site-directed substitutions of residues proposed to involve in both NADH and metal anion binding (N85A or R101A) result in 90-95% reductions in enzyme efficiencies for NADH-dependent chromate reduction. In comparison site-directed substitution of a residue (S118A) participating in the coordination of FMN in the active site results in only modest (50%) reductions in catalytic efficiencies, consistent with the presence of a multitude of side chains that position the FMN in the active site. The proposed proximity relationships between metal anion binding site and enzyme cofactors is discussed in terms of rational design principles for the use of enzymes in chromate and uranyl bioremediation.
PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(8):e42432. · 3.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Succinic semialdehyde reductase (SSAR) is an important enzyme involved in γ-aminobutyrate (GABA) metabolism. By converting succinic semialdehyde (SSA) to γ-hydroxybutyrate (GHB), the SSAR facilitates an alternative pathway for GABA degradation. In this study, we identified SSARs from Geobacter sulfurreducens and Geobacter metallireducens (GsSSAR and GmSSAR, respectively). The enzymes were over-expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to near homogeneity. Both GsSSAR and GmSSAR showed the activity of reducing SSA using nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate as a co-factor. The oligomeric sizes of GsSSAR and GmSSAR, as determined by analytical size exclusion chromatography, suggest that the enzymes presumably exist as tetramers in solution. The recombinant GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystallized in the presence of NADP(+), and the resulting crystals diffracted to 1.89 Å (GsSSAR) and 2.25 Å (GmSSAR) resolution. The GsSSAR and GmSSAR crystals belong to the space groups P2(1)22(1) (a= 99.61 Å, b= 147.49 Å, c= 182.47 Å) and P1 (a= 75.97 Å, b= 79.14 Å, c= 95.47 Å, α = 82.15°, β = 88.80°, γ = 87.66°), respectively. Preliminary crystallographic data analysis suggests the presence of eight protein monomers in the asymmetric units for both GsSSAR and GmSSAR.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic proteins known for humans and animals with an extremely low LD(50) of ∼1 ng/kg. BoNTs generally require a protein and a ganglioside on the cell membrane surface for binding, which is known as a "dual receptor" mechanism for host intoxication. Recent studies have suggested that in addition to gangliosides, other membrane lipids such as phosphoinositides may be involved in the interactions with the receptor binding domain (HCR) of BoNTs for better membrane penetration. Using two independent lipid-binding assays, we tested the interactions of BoNT/C-HCR with lipids in vitro domain. BoNT/C-HCR was found to bind negatively charged phospholipids, preferentially phosphoinositides in both assays. Interactions with phosphoinositides may facilitate tighter binding between neuronal membranes and BoNT/C.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sucrose transport is the central system for the allocation of carbon resources in vascular plants. During growth and development, plants control carbon distribution by coordinating sites of sucrose synthesis and cleavage in different plant organs and different cellular locations. Sucrose synthase, which reversibly catalyzes sucrose synthesis and cleavage, provides a direct and reversible means to regulate sucrose flux. Depending on the metabolic environment, sucrose synthase alters its cellular location to participate in cellulose, callose, and starch biosynthesis through its interactions with membranes, organelles, and cytoskeletal actin. The x-ray crystal structure of sucrose synthase isoform 1 from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtSus1) has been determined as a complex with UDP-glucose and as a complex with UDP and fructose, at 2.8- and 2.85-Å resolutions, respectively. The AtSus1 structure provides insights into sucrose catalysis and cleavage, as well as the regulation of sucrose synthase and its interactions with cellular targets.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2011; 286(41):36108-18. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human dynamin-like protein 1 (DLP-1) is involved in the fission of mitochondrial outer membranes, a process that helps to maintain mitochondrial morphology and to reduce the accumulation of functional and structural defects in mitochondria. DLP-1 is a ~80 kDa membrane-interacting protein and contains a GTPase domain, a middle domain, a putative PH-like domain and a GTPase effector domain (GED). While the GED has been suggested to be important on protein oligomerization and GTPase activation, functional relationships between the other domains especially the roles of the middle domain in protein activity remains less clear. In this study, we have investigated the biochemical properties of recombinant DLP-1 wild-type and selected mutants, all expressed in Escherichia coli. The middle domain mutants G350D, R365S and ΔPH (lacking the putative PH-like domain) severely impair the GTPase activity, but have no obvious effects on protein tetramerization and liposome-binding properties, suggesting these mutants probably affect protein intra-molecular interactions. Our study also suggested that proper domain-domain interactions are important for DLP-1 GTPase activity.
Journal of biochemistry 08/2011; 150(6):627-33. · 1.95 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The (pro)renin receptor (PRR) is an important component of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), which regulates blood pressure and cardiovascular function. The integral membrane protein PRR contains a large extracellular domain (∼310 amino acids), a single transmembrane domain (∼20 amino acids) and an intracellular domain (∼19 amino acids). Although short, the intracellular (IC) domain of the PRR has functionally important roles in a number of signal transduction pathways activated by (pro)renin binding. Meanwhile, together with the transmembrane domain and a small portion of the extracellular domain (∼30 amino acids), the IC domain is also involved in assembly of V(0) portion of the vacuolar proton-translocating ATPase (V-ATPase). To better understand structural and multifunctional roles of the PRR-IC, we report the crystal structure of the PRR-IC domain as maltose-binding protein (MBP) fusion proteins at 2.0Å (maltose-free) and 2.15Å (maltose-bound). In the two separate crystal forms having significantly different unit-cell dimensions and molecular packing, MBP-PRR-IC fusion protein was found to be a dimer, which is different with the natural monomer of native MBP. The PRR-IC domain appears as a relatively flexible loop and is responsible for the dimerization of MBP fusion protein. Residues in the PRR-IC domain, particularly two tyrosines, dominate the intermonomer interactions, suggesting a role for the PRR-IC domain in protein oligomerization.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2011; 407(4):674-9. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) produced by different strains of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum are responsible for the disease botulism and include a group of immunologically distinct serotypes (A, B, E, and F) that are considered to be the most lethal natural proteins known for humans. Two BoNT serotypes, C and D, while rarely associated with human infection, are responsible for deadly botulism outbreaks afflicting animals. Also associated with animal infections is the BoNT C-D mosaic protein (BoNT/CD), a BoNT subtype that is essentially a hybrid of the BoNT/C (∼two-third) and BoNT/D (∼one-third) serotypes. While the amino acid sequence of the heavy chain receptor binding (HCR) domain of BoNT/CD (BoNT/CD-HCR) is very similar to the corresponding amino acid sequence of BoNT/D, BoNT/CD-HCR binds synaptosome membranes better than BoNT/D-HCR. To obtain structural insights for the different membrane binding properties, the crystal structure of BoNT/CD-HCR (S867-E1280) was determined at 1.56 Å resolution and compared to previously reported structures for BoNT/D-HCR. Overall, the BoNT/CD-HCR structure is similar to the two sub-domain organization observed for other BoNT HCRs: an N-terminal jellyroll barrel motif and a C-terminal β-trefoil fold. Comparison of the structure of BoNT/CD-HCR with BoNT/D-HCR indicates that K1118 has a similar structural role as the equivalent residue, E1114, in BoNT/D-HCR, while K1136 has a structurally different role than the equivalent residue, G1132, in BoNT/D-HCR. Lysine-1118 forms a salt bridge with E1247 and may enhance membrane interactions by stabilizing the putative membrane binding loop (K1240-N1248). Lysine-1136 is observed on the surface of the protein. A sulfate ion bound to K1136 may mimic a natural interaction with the negatively changed phospholipid membrane surface. Liposome-binding experiments demonstrate that BoNT/CD-HCR binds phosphatidylethanolamine liposomes more tightly than BoNT/D-HCR.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 01/2011; 404(1):407-12. · 2.41 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly toxic proteins for humans and animals that are responsible for the deadly neuroparalytic disease botulism. Here, details of the expression and purification of the receptor-binding domain (HCR) of BoNT/D in Escherichia coli are presented. Using a codon-optimized cDNA, BoNT/D_HCR was expressed at a high level (150-200 mg per litre of culture) in the soluble fraction. Following a three-step purification protocol, very pure (>98%) BoNT/D_HCR was obtained. The recombinant BoNT/D_HCR was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to 1.65 Å resolution. The crystals belonged to space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a=60.8, b=89.7, c=93.9 Å. Preliminary crystallographic data analysis revealed the presence of one molecule in the asymmetric unit.
Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 12/2010; 66(Pt 12):1610-3. · 0.55 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are the most toxic proteins known. The mechanism for entry into neuronal cells for serotypes A, B, E, F, and G involves a well understood dual receptor (protein and ganglioside) process, however, the mechanism of entry for serotypes C and D remains unclear. To provide structural insights into how BoNT/D enters neuronal cells, the crystal structure of the receptor binding domain (S863-E1276) for this serotype (BoNT/D-HCR) was determined at 1.65Å resolution. While BoNT/D-HCR adopts an overall fold similar to that observed in other known BoNT HCRs, several major structural differences are present. These structural differences are located at, or near, putative receptor binding sites and may be responsible for BoNT/D host preferences. Two loops, S1195-I1204 and K1236-N1244, located on both sides of the putative protein receptor binding pocket, are displaced >10Å relative to the corresponding residues in the crystal structures of BoNT/B and G. Obvious clashes were observed in the putative protein receptor binding site when the BoNT/B protein receptor synaptotagmin II was modeled into the BoNT/D-HCR structure. Although a ganglioside binding site has never been unambiguously identified in BoNT/D-HCR, a shallow cavity in an analogous location to the other BoNT serotypes HCR domains is observed in BoNT/D-HCR that has features compatible with membrane binding. A portion of a loop near the putative receptor binding site, K1236-N1244, is hydrophobic and solvent-exposed and may directly bind membrane lipids. Liposome-binding experiments with BoNT/D-HCR demonstrate that this membrane lipid may be phosphatidylethanolamine.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 10/2010; 401(4):498-503. · 2.41 Impact Factor