Lu Deng

University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States

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Publications (13)50.45 Total impact

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    Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 05/2005; 59(1):141-4. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The crystal structures of calcium-loaded apo-aequorin and apo-obelin have been determined at resolutions 1.7A and 2.2 A, respectively. A calcium ion is observed in each of the three EF-hand loops that have the canonical calcium-binding sequence, and each is coordinated in the characteristic pentagonal bipyramidal configuration. The calcium-loaded apo-protein retain the same compact scaffold and overall fold as the unreacted photoproteins containing the bound substrate, 2-hyroperoxycoelenterazine, and also the same as the Ca2+-discharged obelin bound with product, coleneteramide. Nevertheless, there are easily discerned shifts in both helix and loop regions, and the shifts are not the same between the two proteins. It is suggested that these photoproteins to sense Ca2+ concentration transients and to produce their bioluminescence response on the millisecond timescale. A mechanism of intrastructural transmission of the calcium signal is proposed.
    Protein Science 04/2005; 14(3):663-75. · 2.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ca2+-regulated photoproteins are members of the EF-hand calcium-binding protein family. The addition of Ca2+ produces a blue bioluminescence by triggering a decarboxylation reaction of protein-bound hydroperoxycoelenterazine to form the product, coelenteramide, in an excited state. Based on the spatial structures of aequorin and several obelins, we have postulated mechanisms for the Ca2+ trigger and for generation of the different excited states that are the origin of the different colors of bioluminescence. Here we report the crystal structure of the Ca2+-discharged photoprotein obelin at 1.96-A resolution. The results lend support to the proposed mechanisms and provide new structural insight into details of these processes. Global conformational changes caused by Ca2+ association are typical of the class of calcium signal modulators within the EF-hand protein superfamily. Accommodation of the Ca2+ ions into the loops of the EF-hands is seen to propagate into the active site of the protein now occupied by the coelenteramide where there is a significant repositioning and flipping of the His-175 imidazole ring as crucially required in the trigger hypothesis. Also the H-bonding between His-22 and the coelenterazine found in the active photoprotein is preserved at the equivalent position of coelenteramide, confirming the proposed rapid excited state proton transfer that would lead to the excited state of the phenolate ion pair, which is responsible for the blue emission of bioluminescence.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 09/2004; 279(32):33647-52. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ca(2+)-regulated photoproteins belong to the EF-hand Ca(2+)-binding protein family. The addition of calcium ions initiates bright blue bioluminescence of the photoproteins, a result of the oxidative breakdown of coelenterazine peroxide to coelenteramide. Crystals of the Ca(2+)-discharged W92F mutant of obelin from Obelia longissima have been grown, representing the first crystallization of a photoprotein after the Ca(2+)-triggered bioluminescence. A green fluorescence observed from the crystals clearly demonstrates that coelenteramide, the bioluminescence product of coelenterazine peroxide, is bound within the protein. The diffraction pattern exhibits tetragonal Laue symmetry. Systematic absences indicate that the space group is either P4(3)2(1)2 or P4(1)2(1)2. The unit-cell parameters are a = b = 53.4, c = 144.0 A. The crystals diffract to 1.9 A resolution.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 04/2004; 60(Pt 3):512-4. · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The methyltransferase fibrillarin is the catalytic component of ribonucleoprotein complexes that direct site-specific methylation of precursor ribosomal RNA and are critical for ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes and archaea. Here we report the crystal structure of a fibrillarin ortholog from the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus at 1.97A resolution. Comparisons of the X-ray structures of fibrillarin orthologs from Methanococcus jannashii and Archaeoglobus fulgidus reveal nearly identical backbone configurations for the catalytic C-terminal domain with the exception of a unique loop conformation at the S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) binding pocket in P. furiosus. In contrast, the N-terminal domains are divergent which may explain why some forms of fibrillarin apparently homodimerize (M. jannashii) while others are monomeric (P. furiosus and A. fulgidus). Three positively charged amino acids surround the AdoMet-binding site and sequence analysis indicates that this is a conserved feature of both eukaryotic and archaeal fibrillarins. We discuss the possibility that these basic residues of fibrillarin are important for RNA-guided rRNA methylation.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 04/2004; 315(3):726-32. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The unique clostridial endo-beta-galactosidase (Endo-beta-Gal(GnGa)) capable of releasing the disaccharide GlcNAc alpha 1,4Gal from O-glycans expressed in the gastric gland mucous cell-type mucin has been crystallized. The crystal belongs to space group P6(3), with unit-cell parameters a = 160.4, c = 86.1 A. Under cryocooled conditions and using a synchrotron X-ray source, the crystals diffract to 1.82 A resolution. The asymmetric unit contains two or three molecules.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 04/2004; 60(Pt 3):537-8. · 14.10 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The spatial structure of the Ca(2+)-regulated photoprotein obelin has been solved to resolution of 1.1A. Two oxygen atoms are revealed substituted at the C2-position of the coelenterazine in contrast to the obelin structure at 1.73A resolution where one oxygen atom only was disclosed. The electron density of the second oxygen atom was very weak but after exposing the crystals to a trace of Ca(2+), the electron densities of both oxygen atoms became equally intense. In addition, one Ca(2+) was found bound in the loop of the first EF-hand motif. Four of the ligands were provided by protein residues Asp30, Asn32, Asn34, and the main chain oxygen of Lys36. The other two were from water molecules. From a comparison of B-factors for the residues constituting the active site, it is suggested that the variable electron densities observed in various photoprotein structures could be attributed to different mobilities of the peroxy oxygen atoms.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 12/2003; 311(2):433-9. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Obelin from the hydroid Obelia longissima and aequorin are members of a subfamily of Ca(2+)-regulated photoproteins that is a part of the larger EF-hand calcium binding protein family. On the addition of Ca(2+), obelin generates a blue bioluminescence emission (lambda(max) = 485 nm) as the result of the oxidative decarboxylation of the bound substrate, coelenterazine. The W92F obelin mutant is noteworthy because of the unusually high speed with which it responds to sudden changes of [Ca(2+)] and because it emits violet light rather than blue due to a prominent band with lambda(max) = 405 nm. Increase of pH in the range from 5.5 to 8.5 and using D(2)O both diminish the contribution of the 405 nm band, indicating that excited state proton transfer is involved. Fluorescence model studies have suggested the origin of the 485 nm emission as the excited state of an anion of coelenteramide, the bioluminescence reaction product, and 405 nm from the excited neutral state. Assuming that the dimensions of the substrate binding cavity do not change during the excited state formation, a His22 residue within hydrogen bonding distance to the 6-(p-hydroxy)-phenyl group of the excited coelenteramide is a likely candidate for accepting the phenol proton to produce an ion-pair excited state, in support of recent suggestions for the bioluminescence emitting state. The proton transfer could be impeded by removal of the Trp92 H-bond, resulting in strong enhancement of a 405 nm band giving the violet color of bioluminescence. Comparative analysis of 3D structures of the wild-type (WT) and W92F obelins reveals that there are structural displacements of certain key Ca(2+)-ligating residues in the loops of the two C-terminal EF hands as well as clear differences in hydrogen bond networks in W92F. For instance, the hydrogen bond between the side-chain oxygen atom of Asp169 and the main-chain nitrogen of Arg112 binds together the incoming alpha-helix of loop III and the exiting alpha-helix of loop IV in WT, providing probably concerted changes in these EF hands on calcium binding. But this linkage is not found in W92F obelin. These differences apparently do not change the overall affinity to calcium of W92F obelin but may account for the kinetic differences between the WT and mutant obelins. From analysis of the hydrogen bond network in the coelenterazine binding cavity, it is proposed that the trigger for bioluminescence reaction in these Ca(2+)-regulated photoproteins may be a shift of the hydrogen bond donor-acceptor separations around the coelenterazine-2-hydroperoxy substrate, initiated by small spatial adjustment of the exiting alpha-helix of loop IV.
    Biochemistry 06/2003; 42(20):6013-24. · 3.38 Impact Factor
  • Acta Crystallographica Section A - ACTA CRYSTALLOGR A. 01/2002; 58.
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    ABSTRACT: Mutation of the Trp92 that is known to lie within the active site of the photoprotein obelin from Obelia longissima, results in a shift of the bioluminescence color from blue (lambda(max)=485 nm) to violet. The corrected spectrum shows a new band with lambda(max)=410 nm now contributing equally to the one at longer wavelength. The crystal structure of this W92F obelin determined at 1.72 A resolution shows that there is no significant change in the dimensions of the active site between WT obelin (recombinant Ca2+-regulated photoprotein from Obelia longissima) and the mutant. It is proposed that the bioluminescence spectral shift results from removal of a hydrogen bond from the indole of W92 nearby a hydroxyl belonging to the 6-phenyl substituent of the substrate coelenterazine. Propagation of this change through a conjugated bond system in the excited state of the product coelenteramide affects the coupling of the N1-position and the hydrogen-bonded Y138.
    FEBS Letters 11/2001; 506(3):281-5. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Proceedings of the 11th international symposium on bioluminescence and chemiluminescenceProceedings of the 11th international symposium on bioluminescence and chemiluminescence; 01/2001
  • Bioluminescence And Chemiluminescence - 11th International Symposium; 01/2001
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    ABSTRACT: The crystal structures of calcium-loaded apoaequorin and apo-obelin have been determined at resolutions 1.7 â« and 2.2 â«, respectively. A calcium ion is observed in each of the three EF-hand loops that have the canonical calcium-binding sequence, and each is coordinated in the characteristic pentagonal bipyramidal configuration. The calcium-loaded apo-proteins retain the same compact scaffold and overall fold as the unreacted photoproteins containing the bound substrate, 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine, and also the same as the Ca{sup 2+}-discharged obelin bound with the product, coelenteramide. Nevertheless, there are easily discerned shifts in both helix and loop regions, and the shifts are not the same between the two proteins. It is suggested that these subtle shifts are the basis of the ability of these photoproteins to sense Ca{sup 2+} concentration transients and to produce their bioluminescence response on the millisecond timescale. A mechanism of intrastructural transmission of the calcium signal is proposed.