Hassan Belrhali

French National Centre for Scientific Research, Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France

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Publications (28)176.56 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: L-Arabinose sugar residues are relatively abundant in plants and are found mainly in arabinan polysaccharides and in other arabinose-containing polysaccharides such as arabinoxylans and pectic arabinogalactans. The majority of the arabinose units in plants are present in the furanose form and only a small fraction of them are present in the pyranose form. The L-arabinan-utilization system in Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6, a Gram-positive thermophilic soil bacterium, has recently been characterized, and one of the key enzymes was found to be an intracellular β-L-arabinopyranosidase (Abp). Abp, a GH27 enzyme, was shown to remove β-L-arabinopyranose residues from synthetic substrates and from the native substrates sugar beet arabinan and larch arabinogalactan. The Abp monomer is made up of 448 amino acids, and based on sequence homology it was suggested that Asp197 is the catalytic nucleophile and Asp255 is the catalytic acid/base. In the current study, the detailed three-dimensional structure of wild-type Abp (at 2.28 Å resolution) and its catalytic mutant Abp-D197A with (at 2.20 Å resolution) and without (at 2.30 Å resolution) a bound L-arabinose product are reported as determined by X-ray crystallography. These structures demonstrate that the three-dimensional structure of the Abp monomer correlates with the general fold observed for GH27 proteins, consisting of two main domains: an N-terminal TIM-barrel domain and a C-terminal all-β domain. The two catalytic residues are located in the TIM-barrel domain, such that their carboxylic functional groups are about 5.9 Å from each other, consistent with a retaining mechanism. An isoleucine residue (Ile67) located at a key position in the active site is shown to play a critical role in the substrate specificity of Abp, providing a structural basis for the high preference of the enzyme towards arabinopyranoside over galactopyranoside substrates. The crystal structure demonstrates that Abp is a tetramer made up of two `open-pincers' dimers, which clamp around each other to form a central cavity. The four active sites of the Abp tetramer are situated on the inner surface of this cavity, all opening into the central space of the cavity. The biological relevance of this tetrameric structure is supported by independent results obtained from size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), dynamic light-scattering (DLS) and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) experiments. These data and their comparison to the structural data of related GH27 enzymes are used for a more general discussion concerning structure-selectivity aspects in this glycoside hydrolase (GH) family.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 11/2014; 70(Pt 11):2994-3012. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The L-arabinan utilization system of Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6 is composed of five transcriptional units that are clustered within a 38 kb DNA segment. One of the transcriptional units contains 11 genes, the last gene of which (araN) encodes a protein, Ara127N, that belongs to the newly established GH127 family. Ara127N shares 44% sequence identity with the recently characterized HypBA1 protein from Bifidobacterium longum and thus is likely to function similarly as a β-L-arabinofuranosidase. β-L-Arabinofuranosidases are enzymes that hydrolyze β-L-arabinofuranoside linkages, the less common form of such linkages, a unique enzymatic activity that has been identified only recently. The interest in the structure and mode of action of Ara127N therefore stems from its special catalytic activity as well as its membership of the new GH127 family, the structure and mechanism of which are only starting to be resolved. Ara127N has recently been cloned, overexpressed, purified and crystallized. Two suitable crystal forms have been obtained: one (CTP form) belongs to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 104.0, b = 131.2, c = 107.6 Å, β = 112.0°, and the other (RB form) belongs to the orthorhombic space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 65.5, b = 118.1, c = 175.0 Å. A complete X-ray diffraction data set has been collected to 2.3 Å resolution from flash-cooled crystals of the wild-type enzyme (RB form) at -173°C using synchrotron radiation. A selenomethionine derivative of Ara127N has also been prepared and crystallized for multi-wavelength anomalous diffraction (MAD) experiments. Crystals of selenomethionine Ara127N appeared to be isomorphous to those of the wild type (CTP form) and enabled the measurement of a three-wavelength MAD diffraction data set at the selenium absorption edge. These data are currently being used for detailed three-dimensional structure determination of the Ara127N protein.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 08/2014; 70(Pt 8):1038-1045. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Malaria parasites inevitably develop drug resistance to anti-malarials over time. Hence the immediacy for discovering new chemical scaffolds to include in combination malaria drug therapy. The desirable attributes of new chemotherapeutic agents currently include activity against both liver and blood stage malaria parasites. One such recently discovered compound called cladosporin abrogates parasite growth via inhibition of Plasmodium falciparum lysyl-tRNA synthetase (PfKRS), an enzyme central to protein translation. Here, we present crystal structure of ternary PfKRS-lysine-cladosporin (PfKRS-K-C) complex that reveals cladosporin's remarkable ability to mimic the natural substrate adenosine and thereby colonize PfKRS active site. The isocoumarin fragment of cladosporin sandwiches between critical adenine-recognizing residues while its pyran ring fits snugly in the ribose-recognizing cavity. PfKRS-K-C structure highlights ample space within PfKRS active site for further chemical derivatization of cladosporin. Such derivatives may be useful against additional human pathogens that retain high conservation in cladosporin chelating residues within their lysyl-tRNA synthetase.
    Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 06/2014; 15(2):63-71.
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    ABSTRACT: Geobacillus stearothermophilus T6 is a thermophilic, Gram-positive soil bacterium that possesses an extensive and highly regulated hemicellulolytic system, allowing the bacterium to efficiently degrade high-molecular-weight polysaccharides such as xylan, arabinan and galactan. As part of the xylan-degradation system, the bacterium uses a number of side-chain-cleaving enzymes, one of which is Axe2, a 219-amino-acid intracellular serine acetylxylan esterase that removes acetyl side groups from xylooligosaccharides. Bioinformatic analyses suggest that Axe2 belongs to the lipase GDSL family and represents a new family of carbohydrate esterases. In the current study, the detailed three-dimensional structure of Axe2 is reported, as determined by X-ray crystallography. The structure of the selenomethionine derivative Axe2-Se was initially determined by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction techniques at 1.70 Å resolution and was used for the structure determination of wild-type Axe2 (Axe2-WT) and the catalytic mutant Axe2-S15A at 1.85 and 1.90 Å resolution, respectively. These structures demonstrate that the three-dimensional structure of the Axe2 monomer generally corresponds to the SGNH hydrolase fold, consisting of five central parallel β-sheets flanked by two layers of helices (eight α-helices and five 310-helices). The catalytic triad residues, Ser15, His194 and Asp191, are lined up along a substrate channel situated on the concave surface of the monomer. Interestingly, the Axe2 monomers are assembled as a `doughnut-shaped' homo-octamer, presenting a unique quaternary structure built of two staggered tetrameric rings. The eight active sites are organized in four closely situated pairs, which face the relatively wide internal cavity. The biological relevance of this octameric structure is supported by independent results obtained from gel-filtration, TEM and SAXS experiments. These data and their comparison to the structural data of related hydrolases are used for a more general discussion focusing on the structure-function relationships of enzymes of this category.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 02/2014; 70(Pt 2):261-278. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Geobacillus stearothermophilus T1 is a Gram-positive thermophilic soil bacterium that contains an extensive system for the utilization of plant cell-wall polysaccharides, including xylan, arabinan and galactan. The bacterium uses a number of extracellular enzymes that break down the high-molecular-weight polysaccharides into short oligosaccharides, which enter the cell and are further hydrolyzed into sugar monomers by dedicated intracellular glycoside hydrolases. The interest in the biochemical characterization and structural analysis of these proteins originates mainly from the wide range of their potential biotechnological applications. Studying the different hemicellulolytic utilization systems in G. stearothermophilus T1, a new galactan-utilization gene cluster was recently identified, which encodes a number of proteins, one of which is a GH1 putative 6-phospho-β-galactosidase (Gan1D). Gan1D has recently been cloned, overexpressed, purified and crystallized as part of its comprehensive structure-function study. The best crystals obtained for this enzyme belonged to the triclinic space group P1, with average crystallographic unit-cell parameters of a = 67.0, b = 78.1, c = 92.1 Å, α = 102.4, β = 93.5, γ = 91.7°. A full diffraction data set to 1.33 Å resolution has been collected for the wild-type enzyme, as measured from flash-cooled crystals at 100 K, using synchrotron radiation. These data are currently being used for the detailed three-dimensional crystal structure analysis of Gan1D.
    Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology communications. 02/2014; 70(Pt 2):225-31.
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    ABSTRACT: Type IV pili are surface-exposed filaments and bacterial virulence factors, represented by the Tfpa and Tfpb types, which assemble via specific machineries. The Tfpb group is further divided into seven variants, linked to heterogeneity in the assembly machineries. Here we focus on PilO2Bp, a protein component of the Tfpb R64 thin pilus variant assembly machinery from the pathogen Burkholderia pseudomallei. PilO2Bp belongs to the PF06864 Pfam family, for which an improved definition is presented based on newly derived Hidden Markov Model (HMM) profiles. The 3D structure of the N-terminal domain of PilO2Bp (N-PilO2Bp), here reported, is the first structural representative of the PF06864 family. N-PilO2Bp presents an actin-like ATPase fold that is shown to be present in BfpC, a different variant assembly protein; the new HMM profiles classify BfpC as a PF06864 member. Our results provide structural insight into the PF06864 family and on the Type IV pili assembly machinery.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(4):e94981. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In Toxoplasma gondii, as in other eukaryotes, a subset of the amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases are arranged into an abundant cytoplasmic multi-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (MARS) complex. Through a series of genetic pull-down assays, we have identified the enzymes of this complex as: methionyl-, glutaminyl-, glutamyl-, and tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases, and we show that the N-terminal GST-like domain of a partially disordered hybrid scaffold protein, Tg-p43, is sufficient for assembly of the intact complex. Our gel filtration studies revealed significant heterogeneity in the size and composition of isolated MARS complexes. By targeting the tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases subunit, which was found exclusively in the complete 1 MDa complex, we were able to directly visualize MARS particles in the electron microscope. Image analyses of the negative stain data revealed the observed heterogeneity and instability of these complexes to be driven by the intrinsic flexibility of the domain arrangements within the MARS complex. These studies provide unique insights into the assembly of these ubiquitous but poorly understood eukaryotic complexes.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(2):e89487. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glutaredoxins (Grxs) are redox proteins that use glutathione ((γ)Glu-Cys-Gly; GSH) as a cofactor. Plasmodium falciparum has one classic dithiol (CXXC) glutaredoxin (glutaredoxin 1; PfGrx1) and three monothiol (CXXS) Grx-like proteins (GLPs), which have five residue insertions prior to the active-site Cys. Here, the crystal structure of PfGrx1 has been determined by the sulfur single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (S-SAD) method utilizing intrinsic protein and solvent S atoms. Several residues were modelled with alternate conformations, and an alternate position was refined for the active-site Cys29 owing to radiation damage. The GSH-binding site is occupied by water polygons and buffer molecules. Structural comparison of PfGrx1 with other Grxs and Grx-like proteins revealed that the GSH-binding motifs (CXXC/CXXS, TVP, CDD, Lys26 and Gln/Arg63) are structurally conserved. Both the monothiol and dithiol Grxs possess three conserved water molecules; two of these were located in the GSH-binding site. PfGrx1 has several polar and charged amino-acid substitutions that provide structurally important additional hydrogen bonds and salt bridges missing in other Grxs.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 01/2014; 70(Pt 1):91-100. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agent of toxoplasmosis, is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that resides inside a parasitophorous vacuole. During infection, Toxoplasma actively remodels the transcriptome of its hosting cells with profound and coupled impact on the host immune response. We report that Toxoplasma secretes GRA24, a novel dense granule protein which traffics from the vacuole to the host cell nucleus. Once released into the host cell, GRA24 has the unique ability to trigger prolonged autophosphorylation and nuclear translocation of the host cell p38α MAP kinase. This noncanonical kinetics of p38α activation correlates with the up-regulation of the transcription factors Egr-1 and c-Fos and the correlated synthesis of key proinflammatory cytokines, including interleukin-12 and the chemokine MCP-1, both known to control early parasite replication in vivo. Remarkably, the GRA24-p38α complex is defined by peculiar structural features and uncovers a new regulatory signaling path distinct from the MAPK signaling cascade and otherwise commonly activated by stress-related stimuli or various intracellular microbes.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 09/2013; · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Geobacillus stearothermophilus T-6 is a thermophilic soil bacterium that possesses an extensive system for the utilization of hemicellulose. The bacterium produces a small number of endo-acting extracellular enzymes that cleave high-molecular-weight hemicellulolytic polymers into short decorated oligosaccharides, which are further hydrolysed into the respective sugar monomers by a battery of intracellular glycoside hydrolases. One of these intracellular processing enzymes is β-L-arabinopyranosidase (Abp), which is capable of removing β-L-arabinopyranose residues from naturally occurring arabino-polysaccharides. As arabino-polymers constitute a significant part of the hemicellulolytic content of plant biomass, their efficient enzymatic degradation presents an important challenge for many potential biotechnological applications. This aspect has led to an increasing interest in the biochemical characterization and structural analysis of this and related hemicellulases. Abp from G. stearothermophilus T-6 has recently been cloned, overexpressed, purified, biochemically characterized and crystallized in our laboratory, as part of its complete structure-function study. The best crystals obtained for this enzyme belonged to the primitive orthorhombic space group P212121, with average unit-cell parameters a = 107.7, b = 202.2, c = 287.3 Å. Full diffraction data sets to 2.3 Å resolution have been collected for both the wild-type enzyme and its D197A catalytic mutant from flash-cooled crystals at 100 K, using synchrotron radiation. These data are currently being used for a high-resolution three-dimensional structure determination of Abp.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 06/2013; 69(Pt 6):695-9. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases are essential enzymes that transmit information from the genetic code to proteins in cells and are targets for antipathogen drug development. Elucidation of the crystal structure of cytoplasmic lysyl-tRNA synthetase from the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfLysRS) has allowed direct comparison with human LysRS. The authors' data suggest that PfLysRS is dimeric in solution, whereas the human counterpart can also adopt tetrameric forms. It is shown for the first time that PfLysRS is capable of synthesizing the signalling molecule Ap4a (diadenosine tetraphosphate) using ATP as a substrate. The PfLysRS crystal structure is in the apo form, such that binding to ATP will require rotameric changes in four conserved residues. Differences in the active-site regions of parasite and human LysRSs suggest the possibility of exploiting PfLysRS for selective inhibition. These investigations on PfLysRS further validate malarial LysRSs as attractive antimalarial targets and provide new structural space for the development of inhibitors that target pathogen LysRSs selectively.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 05/2013; 69(Pt 5):785-95. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acetylxylan esterases are part of the hemi-cellulolytic system of many microorganisms which utilize plant biomass for growth. Xylans, which are polymeric sugars that constitute a significant part of the plant biomass, are usually substituted with acetyl side groups attached at position 2 or 3 of the xylose backbone units. Acetylxylan esterases hydrolyse the ester linkages of the xylan acetyl groups and thus improve the ability of main-chain hydrolysing enzymes to break down the sugar backbone units. As such, these enzymes play an important part in the hemi-cellulolytic utilization system of many microorganisms that use plant biomass for growth. Interest in the biochemical characterization and structural analysis of these enzymes stems from their numerous potential biotechnological applications. An acetylxylan esterase (Axe2) of this type from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T-6 has recently been cloned, overexpressed, purified, biochemically characterized and crystallized. One of the crystal forms obtained (RB1) belonged to the tetragonal space group I422, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 110.2, c = 213.1 Å. A full diffraction data set was collected to 1.85 Å resolution from flash-cooled crystals of the wild-type enzyme at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. A selenomethionine derivative of Axe2 has also been prepared and crystallized for single-wavelength anomalous diffraction experiments. The crystals of the selenomethionine-derivatized Axe2 appeared to be isomorphous to those of the wild-type enzyme and enabled the measurement of a full 1.85 Å resolution diffraction data set at the selenium absorption edge and a full 1.70 Å resolution data set at a remote wavelength. These data are currently being used for three-dimensional structure determination of the Axe2 protein.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 04/2013; 69(Pt 4):430-4. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamine synthetases are ubiquitous, homo-oligomeric enzymes essential for nitrogen metabolism. Unlike types I and II, which are well described both structurally and functionally, the larger, type IIIs are poorly characterized despite their widespread occurrence. An understanding of the structural basis for this divergence and the implications for design of type-specific inhibitors has, therefore, been impossible. The first crystal structure of a GSIII enzyme, presented here, reveals a conservation of the GS catalytic fold but subtle differences in protein-ligand interactions suggest possible avenues for the design GSIII inhibitors. Despite these similarities, the divergence of the GSIII enzymes can be explained by differences in quaternary structure. Unexpectedly, the two hexameric rings of the GSIII dodecamer associate on the opposite surface relative to types I and II. The diversity of GS quaternary structures revealed here suggests a nonallosteric role for the evolution of the double-ringed architecture seen in all GS enzymes.
    Structure 04/2011; 19(4):471-83. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This work details the intentional modifications that led to the first structure of a type III glutamine synthetase enzyme (GSIII). This approach followed the serendipitous discovery of digestion caused by an extracellular protease from a contaminating bacterium, Pseudomonas fluorescens. The protease only cleaves the GSIII protein at a single site, leaving the oligomer intact but allowing the protein to crystallize in a different space group. This transition from space group P1 to space group C222(1) is accompanied by improved growth characteristics, more reproducible diffraction and enhanced mechanical stability. The crystallographic analyses presented here provide the structural basis of the altered molecular packing in the full-length and digested crystal forms and suggest modifications for future structural studies.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 03/2011; 67(Pt 3):358-63. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glutamine synthetase enzymes (GSs) are large oligomeric enzymes that play a critical role in nitrogen metabolism in all forms of life. To date, no crystal structures exist for the family of large (∼1 MDa) type III GS enzymes, which only share 9% sequence identity with the well characterized GSI and GSII enzymes. Here we present a novel protocol for the isolation of untagged Bacteroides fragilis GlnN expressed in an auxotrophic Escherichia coli strain. The rapid and scalable two-step protocol utilized differential precipitation by divalent cations followed by affinity chromatography to produce suitable quantities of homogenous material for structural characterization. Subsequent optimizations to the sample stability and solubility led to the discovery of conditions for the production of the first diffraction quality crystals of a type III GS enzyme.
    Protein Expression and Purification 12/2010; 74(2):211-6. · 1.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleosome assembly proteins (NAPs) are histone chaperones that are crucial for the shuttling and incorporation of histones into nucleosomes. NAPs participate in the assembly and disassembly of nucleosomes thus contributing to chromatin structure organization. The human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains two nucleosome assembly proteins termed PfNapL and PfNapS. Three-dimensional crystal structure of PfNapS has been determined and analysed. Gene knockout and localization studies were also performed on PfNapS using transfection studies. Fluorescence spectroscopy was performed to identify histone-binding sites on PfNapS. Extensive sequence and structural comparisons were done with the crystal structures available for NAP/SET family of proteins. Crystal structure of PfNapS shares structural similarity with previous structures from NAP/SET family. Failed attempts to knock-out the gene for PfNapS from malaria parasite suggest essentiality in the parasite. GFP-fused PfNapS fusion protein targeting indicates cellular localization of PfNapS in the parasite nucleus. Fluorescence spectroscopy data suggest that PfNapS interacts with core histones (tetramer, octamer, H3, H4, H2A and H2B) at a different site from its interaction with linker histone H1. This analysis illustrates two regions on the PfNapS dimer as the possible sites for histone recognition. This work presents a thorough analysis of the structural, functional and regulatory attributes of PfNapS from P. falciparum with respect to previously studied histone chaperones.
    Malaria Journal 04/2010; 9:90. · 3.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pregnancy-associated malaria (PAM) is a serious consequence of sequestration of Plasmodium falciparum-parasitized erythrocytes (PE) in the placenta through adhesion to chondroitin sulfate A (CSA) present on placental proteoglycans. Recent work implicates var2CSA, a member of the PfEMP1 family, as the mediator of placental sequestration and as a key target for PAM vaccine development. Var2CSA is a 350 kDa transmembrane protein, whose extracellular region includes six Duffy-binding-like (DBL) domains. Due to its size and high cysteine content, the full-length var2CSA extracellular region has not hitherto been expressed in heterologous systems, thus limiting investigations to individual recombinant domains. Here we report for the first time the expression of the full-length var2CSA extracellular region (domains DBL1X to DBL6epsilon) from the 3D7 parasite strain using the human embryonic kidney 293 cell line. We show that the recombinant extracellular var2CSA region is correctly folded and that, unlike the individual DBL domains, it binds with high affinity and specificity to CSA (K(D) = 61 nM) and efficiently inhibits PE from binding to CSA. Structural characterization by analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle x-ray scattering reveals a compact organization of the full-length protein, most likely governed by specific interdomain interactions, rather than an extended structure. Collectively, these data suggest that a high-affinity, CSA-specific binding site is formed by the higher-order structure of the var2CSA extracellular region. These results have important consequences for the development of an effective vaccine and therapeutic inhibitors.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2010; 107(11):4884-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 entry into host cells is mediated by the sequential binding of the envelope glycoprotein gp120 to CD4 and a chemokine receptor. Antibodies binding to epitopes overlapping the CD4-binding site on gp120 are potent inhibitors of HIV entry, such as the llama heavy chain antibody fragment V(HH) D7, which has cross-clade neutralizing properties and competes with CD4 and mAb b12 for high affinity binding to gp120. We report the crystal structure of the D7 V(HH) at 1.5 A resolution, which reveals the molecular details of the complementarity determining regions (CDR) and substantial flexibility of CDR3 that could facilitate an induced fit interaction with gp120. Structural comparison of CDRs from other CD4 binding site antibodies suggests diverse modes of interaction. Mutational analysis identified CDR3 as a key component of gp120 interaction as determined by surface plasmon resonance. A decrease in affinity is directly coupled to the neutralization efficiency since mutations that decrease gp120 interaction increase the IC50 required for HIV-1 IIIB neutralization. Thus the structural study identifies the long CDR3 of D7 as the key determinant of interaction and HIV-1 neutralization. Furthermore, our data confirm that the structural plasticity of gp120 can accommodate multiple modes of antibody binding within the CD4 binding site.
    PLoS ONE 01/2010; 5(5):e10482. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Nucleosome assembly proteins (NAPs) are histone chaperones that are essential for the transfer and incorporation of histones into nucleosomes. NAPs participate in assembly and disassembly of nucleosomes and in chromatin structure organization. Human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum contains two nucleosome assembly proteins termed PfNapL and PfNapS. To gain structural insights into the mechanism of NAPs, we have determined and analyzed the crystal structure of PfNapL at 2.3 A resolution. PfNapL, an ortholog of eukaryotic NAPs, is dimeric in nature and adopts a characteristic fold seen previously for yeast NAP-1 and Vps75 and for human SET/TAF-1b (beta)/INHAT. The PfNapL monomer is comprised of domain I, containing a dimerization alpha-helix, and a domain II, composed of alpha-helices and a beta-subdomain. Structural comparisons reveal that the "accessory domain," which is inserted between the domain I and domain II in yeast NAP-1 and other eukaryotic NAPs, is surprisingly absent in PfNapL. Expression of green fluorescent protein-tagged PfNapL confirmed its exclusive localization to the parasite cytoplasm. Attempts to disrupt the PfNapL gene were not successful, indicating its essential role for the malaria parasite. A detailed analysis of PfNapL structure suggests unique histone binding properties. The crucial structural differences observed between parasite and yeast NAPs shed light on possible new modes of histone recognition by nucleosome assembly proteins.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2009; 284(15):10076-87. · 4.65 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

372 Citations
176.56 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
    • European Synchrotron Radiation Facility
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2007–2010
    • University Joseph Fourier - Grenoble 1
      • Laboratoire Adaptation et Pathogénie des Microorganismes
      Grenoble, Rhône-Alpes, France
  • 2006
    • Institut Pasteur de Lille
      Lille, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
    • European Molecular Biology Laboratory
      Heidelburg, Baden-Württemberg, Germany