Wei Zhao

University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui Sheng, China

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Publications (10)33.07 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Phosphorylated derivatives of phosphatidylinositol (PtdIns), also called phosphoinositides (PIPs), are basic components of membrane-associated signalling systems. A family of PtdIns-transfer proteins (PITPs) called the Sec14 family have been predicted to form a set of functional modules that can sense different types of lipid metabolism and transmit the information to the PIP signalling system. In eukaryotic cells, the Sec14 family exhibits a wide diversity of activity, but the structural basis of this diversity remains unclear. In the present study, the dimeric structure of Sfh3 (Sec14 family homologue 3 in yeast) is reported for the first time and differs from the Sec14 proteins reported to date, all of which are monomeric. Some variations in the binding pocket of Sfh3 were observed and the dimer interface was identified and proposed to provide a link between dimer-monomer state changes and PtdIns binding. Together, these structural changes and the oligomeric state transformation of Sfh3 support ideas of diversity within the Sec14 family and provide some new clues to function.
    Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography 03/2013; 69(Pt 3):313-23. · 12.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Snake-venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLEs) are serine proteases that are widely distributed in snakes from the Crotalinae subfamily of the Viperidae. In contrast to other snake-venom serine proteases, they have a biochemical activity similar to that of thrombin and play an important role in the process of blood coagulation. However, SVTLEs cannot activate factor VIII, which is essential in blood-clot stabilization. Consequently, blood clots produced by SVTLEs are not stable and are cleared rapidly. This characteristic makes SVTLEs attractive as potential candidates for antithrombotic therapy. Saxthrombin, an SVTLE from Gloydius saxatilis, was purified and crystallized to obtain a high-quality crystal, from which data were acquired to 1.43 Å resolution. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis showed that the crystal belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 94.2, b = 52.2, c = 50.1 Å, β = 96.7°. The crystal structure was determined by molecular replacement and the final R factor was 18.69%; the R(free) was 20.01%. This is the first report of a crystal structure of an SVTLE. Saxthrombin belongs to the typical α/β-hydrolase fold of serine proteases. Its structure was compared with those of thrombin and other snake-venom serine proteases. The observed differences in the amino-acid composition of the loops surrounding the active site appear to contribute to different surface-charge distributions and thus alter the shape of the active-site cleft, which may explain the differences in substrate affinity.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 08/2011; 67(Pt 8):862-5. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Zinc-binding proteins are the most abundant metallo-proteins in Protein Data Bank (PDB). Accurate prediction of zinc-binding sites in proteins of unknown function may provide important clues for the inference of protein function. As zinc binding is often associated with characteristic 3D arrangements of zinc ligand residues, its prediction may benefit from using not only the sequence information but also the structure information of proteins. In this work, we present a structure-based method, TEMSP (3D TEmplate-based Metal Site Prediction), to predict zinc-binding sites. TEMSP significantly improves over previously reported best methods in predicting as many as possible true ligand residues for zinc with minimum overpredictions: if only those results in which all zinc ligand residues have been correctly predicted are defined as true positives, our method improves sensitivity from less than 30% to above 60%, and selectivity from around 25% to 80%. These results are for predictions based on apo state structures. In addition, the method can predict the zinc-bound local structures reliably, generating predictions useful for function inference. We applied TEMSP to 1888 protein structures of the 'Unknown Function' class in the PDB database. A number of zinc-binding sites have been discovered de novo, i.e. based solely on the protein structures. Using the predicted local structures of these sites, possible functional roles were analyzed. TEMSP is freely available from http://netalign.ustc.edu.cn/temsp/.
    Bioinformatics 03/2011; 27(9):1262-8. · 5.47 Impact Factor
  • Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 09/2010; 79(2):662-8. · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Zinc is an important component of many proteins that play key roles in transcription, translation, and catalysis. Kti11p, DESR1, both belonging to a protein family characterized by a CSL zinc finger domain, and the co-catalytic zinc-protein PML containing a Zn(2+) binding domain called RING or C(3)HC(4) finger are all structurally determined by NMR although the zinc sites are silent to this spectroscopical method. The comparison of X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy (XANES) data for the three proteins demonstrates that fingerprints effect is a reliable method for a primary characterization of ligand species. Ab initio full MS calculations performed by MXAN are applied to obtain chemical and stereo structural information around the Zn ion in Kti11p. For the first time this high-spatial resolution technique confirms the formation of a stable Zn tetrahedral configuration with four sulfur ligands, and returns extremely accurate bond angle information between ligands.
    Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 08/2008; 374(1):28-32. · 2.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acutolysin-C, a snake-venom zinc metalloproteinase, displays a distinct pH-dependent proteolytic activity, which has been tentatively assigned to a structural change of the zinc-containing catalytic center. In this work we compare X-ray absorption near-edge structure (XANES) experimental spectra at the Zn K-edge and theoretical calculations of solutions at different pH values. The experimental data show clear differences confirmed by a best fit using the MXAN procedure. The results show that, when pH decreases from pH 8.0 to pH 3.0, the zinc-coordinating catalytic water molecule moves far from the Glu143 residue that is considered to play an essential role in the proteolytic process. Data suggests that this is the possible mechanism that deactivates the metalloproteinase.
    Spectrochimica Acta Part B Atomic Spectroscopy 11/2007; · 3.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The snake-venom thrombin-like enzymes (SVTLEs) are a class of serine proteinases that show fibrinogen-clotting and esterolytic activities. Most TLEs convert fibrinogen to fibrin by releasing either fibrinopeptide A or fibrinopeptide B and cannot activate factor XIII. The enzymes hydrolyze fibrinogen to produce non-cross-linked fibrins, which are susceptible to the lytic action of plasmin. Because of these physiological properties, TLEs have important medical applications in myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and thrombotic diseases. Here, a three-step chromatography procedure was used to purify saxthrombin (AAP20638) from Gloydius saxatilis venom to homogeneity. Its molecular weight is about 30 kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE. A saxthrombin crystal was obtained using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method and diffracted to a resolution limit of 1.43 A. The crystal belongs to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 97.23, b = 52.21, c = 50.10 A, beta = 96.72 degrees , and the Matthews coefficient (V(M)) was calculated to be 2.13 A(3) Da(-1) with one molecule in the asymmetric unit.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 09/2007; 63(Pt 8):704-7. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Galectins are a family of animal lectins which share similar carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRDs) and an affinity for beta-galactosides. A novel human galectin-related protein named GRP (galectin-related protein; previously known as HSPC159) comprises only one conserved CRD with 38 additional N-terminal residues. The C-terminal fragment of human GRP (GRP-C; residues 38-172) containing the CRD has been expressed and purified. The protein was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method from a solution containing 2% PEG 400 and 2M ammonium sulfate in 100 mM Tris-HCl buffer pH 7.5. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution limit of 2.0 angstroms at beamline 3W1A of Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility at 100 K. The crystals belong to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 123.07, b = 96.67, c = 61.56 angstroms, beta = 118.72 degrees. The estimated Matthews coefficient was 2.6 angstroms3 Da(-1), corresponding to 51.8% solvent content.
    Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications 06/2006; 62(Pt 5):474-6. · 0.55 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Kti11p is a small, highly conserved CSL zinc finger-containing protein found in many eukaryotes. It was first identified as one of the factors required for maintaining the sensitivity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae to Kluyveromyces lactis zymocin. Then, it was found to be identical to Dph3, a protein required for diphthamide biosynthesis on eEF-2, the target of diphtheria toxin and Pseudomonas exotoxin A, in both yeast and higher eukaryotes. Furthermore, Kti11p/Dph3 was found to physically interact with core-Elongator, ribosomal proteins, eEF-2, two other proteins required for diphthamide modification on eEF-2, and DelGEF. Here, we determined the solution structure of Kti11p using NMR, providing the first structure of the CSL-class zinc-binding protein family. We present the first experimental evidence that Kti11p can bind a single Zn(2+) ion by its four conserved cysteine residues. The major structure of Kti11p comprises a beta sandwich as well as an alpha helix. Moreover, a structure-based similarity search suggests that it represents a novel structure and may define a new family of the zinc ribbon fold group. Therefore, our work provides a molecular basis for further understanding the multiple functions of Kti11p/Dph3 in different biological processes.
    Biochemistry 07/2005; 44(24):8801-9. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section A Accelerators Spectrometers Detectors and Associated Equipment · 1.14 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

33 Citations
33.07 Total Impact Points


  • 2008–2013
    • University of Science and Technology of China
      • School of Life Sciences
      Hefei, Anhui Sheng, China
  • 2011
    • Northeast Institute of Geography and Agroecology
      • Department of Science
      Beijing, Beijing Shi, China
  • 2006–2007
    • Chinese Academy of Sciences
      • Institute of High Energy Physics
      Peping, Beijing, China