Jose A. Gavira

Jose A. Gavira
Spanish National Research Council | CSIC · Laboratory for Crystallographyc Studies (LEC)

PhD

About

180
Publications
33,732
Reads
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3,330
Citations
Citations since 2016
74 Research Items
1947 Citations
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Introduction
I am head of the Laboratorio de Estudios Cristalográficos, IACT, an institute of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Granada (UGR). My research is focus on the crystallization, crystal growth and structural determination of proteins. I also look for alternative uses of protein crystal i.e. as sensors, as auto-soported enzymes or as new (nano)composite materials. @gavirius / @LEC_CSIC
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - January 2007
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Research Associate
January 2003 - present
Spanish National Research Council
Position
  • Senior Research Scientist - Cientifico Titular
January 2000 - December 2003
University of Alabama in Huntsville

Publications

Publications (180)
Article
SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein mediates virus attachment to the cells and fusion between viral and cell membranes. Membrane fusion is driven by mutual interaction between the highly conserved heptad-repeat regions 1 and 2 (HR1 and HR2) of the S2 subunit of the spike. For this reason, these S2 regions are interesting therapeutic targets for COVID-19....
Article
The cover picture shows the interaction between the amyloid beta peptide (purple ribbon) and a self‐assembled peptide nanoparticle (pictured in gold) that results in inhibition of pathological amyloid fibrillation. This type of interaction between proteins and peptide assemblies is indeed a hot topic to find new solutions in medicine, from new vacc...
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Sonocrystallization implies the application of ultrasound radiation to control the nucleation and crystal growth depending on the actuation time and intensity. Its application allows to induce nucleation at lower supersaturations than required under standard conditions. Although extended in inorganic and organic crystallization, it has been scarcel...
Article
Peptide assembly is attractive not only to develop biotechnological tools and smart nanomaterials, but also to treat pathologies in new ways. This Review focuses on recent progress made in the exciting area pertaining the interaction between peptide assemblies and proteins. Earlier works aimed to identify proteins able to bind peptide assemblies fo...
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Choline- O -sulfatase (COSe; EC 3.1.6.6) is a member of the alkaline phosphatase (AP) superfamily, and its natural function is to hydrolyze choline- O -sulfate into choline and sulfate. Despite its natural function, the major interest in this enzyme resides in the landmark catalytic/substrate promiscuity of sulfatases, which has led to attention in...
Preprint
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-associated Cas9 protein is an effector that plays a major role in a prokaryotic adaptive immune system, by which invading DNA can be targeted and cut for inactivation. The Cas9 endonuclease is directed to target sites by a guide RNA (gRNA) where Cas9 can recognize specific sequences...
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P. aeruginosa causes a significant number of deaths annually worldwide. For many pathogens, chemotaxis plays an import role in the initial stages of infection, and deciphering the key chomoeffectors and their cognate chemoreceptors may permit the development of strategies to inhibit this process.
Article
This contribution deals with a practical overview of some popular and sophisticated crystallization methods that help increase the success rate of a crystallization project and introduces a newly developed method involving low intensity electromagnetic fields. Aiming to suggest a methodology to follow, the present contribution is divided into two m...
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L-proline amide hydrolase (PAH, EC 3.5.1.101) is a barely described enzyme belonging to the peptidase S33 family, and is highly similar to prolyl aminopeptidases (PAP, EC. 3.4.11.5). Besides being an S-stereoselective character towards piperidine-based carboxamides, this enzyme also hydrolyses different L-amino acid amides, turning it into a potent...
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Human serum transferrin (Tf) is a bilobed glycoprotein whose function is to transport iron through receptor-mediated endocytosis. The mechanism for iron release is pH-dependent and involves conformational changes in the protein, thus making it an attractive system for possible biomedical applications. In this contribution, two powerful X-ray techni...
Article
Obligate symbionts typically exhibit high evolutionary rates. Consequently, their proteins may differ considerably from their modern and ancestral homologs in terms of both sequence and properties, thus providing excellent models to study protein evolution. Also, obligate symbionts are challenging to culture in the lab and proteins from uncultured...
Preprint
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Obligate symbionts exhibit high evolutionary rates and extensive sequence divergence. Here, we use the thioredoxin from Candidatus Photodesmus katoptron, an uncultured symbiont of flashlight fish, to explore evolutionary and engineering aspects of protein folding in heterologous hosts. The symbiont protein is a standard thioredoxin in terms of 3D-s...
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Bacteria have evolved sophisticated signaling mechanisms to coordinate interactions with organisms of other domains, such as plants, animals and human hosts. Several important signal molecules have been identified that are synthesized by members of different domains and that play important roles in inter-domain communication. In this article, we re...
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Agarose gels provide the ideal environment for studying the nucleation step of complex biomacromolecules under diffusion-controlled conditions. In the present paper, we characterized the influence of agarose on the nucleation of three model proteins, i.e., lysozyme, insulin, and proteinase K, as a function of the agarose concentration using a batch...
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TEM-1 β-lactamase degrades β-lactam antibiotics with a strong preference for penicillins. Sequence reconstruction studies indicate that it evolved from ancestral enzymes that degraded a variety of β-lactam antibiotics with moderate efficiency. This generalist to specialist conversion involved more than 100 mutational changes, but conserved fold and...
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Protein therapeutics have a major role in medicine in that they are used to treat diverse pathologies. Their three-dimensional structures not only offer higher specificity and lower toxicity than small organic compounds but also make them less stable, limiting their in vivo half-life. Protein analogues obtained by recombinant DNA technology or by c...
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The autoimmobilization of enzymes via cross-linked enzyme crystals (CLECs) has regained interest in recent years, boosted by the extensive knowledge gained in protein crystallization, the decrease of cost and laboriousness of the process, and the development of potential applications. In this work, we present the crystallization and preparative-sca...
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Classical nucleation theory (CNT), which was established about 90 years ago, represents the most commonly used theory in describing nucleation processes. For a fluid-to-solid phase transition, CNT states that the solutes in a supersaturated solution reversibly form small clusters. Once a cluster reaches its critical size, it becomes thermodynamical...
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Glycosidases are phylogenetically widely distributed enzymes that are crucial for the cleavage of glycosidic bonds. Here, we present the exceptional properties of a putative ancestor of bacterial and eukaryotic family-1 glycosidases. The ancestral protein shares the TIM-barrel fold with its modern descendants but displays large regions with greatly...
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Bacteria have evolved a variety of signal transduction mechanisms that generate different outputs in response to external stimuli. Chemosensory pathways are widespread in bacteria and are among the most complex signaling mechanisms, requiring the participation of at least six proteins. These pathways mediate flagellar chemotaxis, in addition to con...
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Many bacteria possess multiple chemosensory pathways that are composed of homologous signaling proteins. These pathways appear to be functionally insulated from each other, but little information is available on the corresponding molecular basis. We report here a novel mechanism that contributes to pathway insulation. We show that, of the four CheB...
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Signalling through chemosensory pathways is typically initiated by the binding of signal molecules to the chemoreceptor ligand binding domain (LBD). The PcaY_PP chemoreceptor from Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is characterized by an unusually broad signal range, and minimal requisites for signal binding are the presence of a C6-membered ring and that o...
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Sample handling and manipulation for cryoprotection currently remain critical factors in X-ray structural determination. While several microchips for macromolecular crystallization have been proposed during the last two decades to partially overcome crystal-manipulation issues, increased background noise originating from the scattering of chip-fabr...
Article
The nucleation inducing ability of agarose gels has been exploited to study the crystallization of proteins in diffusion-dominated environments. The crystal size was successfully tuned in a wide range of gel, protein and precipitant concentrations. The impact of the gel content on crystal size resulted to be independent of the specific protein, all...
Preprint
Full-text available
Glycosidases are phylogenetically widely distributed enzymes that are crucial for the cleavage of glycosidic bonds. Here, we present the exceptional properties of a putative ancestor of bacterial and eukaryotic family-1 glycosidases. The ancestral protein shares the TIM-barrel fold with its modern descendants but displays large regions with greatly...
Article
Full-text available
Directed evolution has revolutionized protein engineering. Still, enzyme optimization by random library screening remains sluggish, in large part due to futile probing of mutations that are catalytically neutral and/or impair stability and folding. FuncLib is a novel approach which uses phylogenetic analysis and Rosetta design to rank enzyme varian...
Preprint
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Since it was first observed in late 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a global emergency for national health systems due to millions of confirmed cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. At a molecular level, the bottleneck for the infection is the binding of the receptor binding domain (RBD) of the viral spike protein to ACE2, an enzyme ex...
Preprint
div> Directed evolution has revolutionized protein engineering. Still, enzyme optimization by random library screening remains a sluggish process, in large part due to futile probing of mutations that are catalytically neutral and/or impair stability and folding. FuncLib (funclib-weizmann.ac.il) is a novel automated computational procedure which...
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Full-text available
It has been previously shown that the diffraction quality of protein crystals strongly depends on mass transport during their growth. In fact, several studies support the idea that the higher the contribution of the diffusion during mass transport, the better the diffraction quality of the crystals. In this work, we have compared the crystal qualit...
Article
The N-succinylamino acid racemase/o-succinylbenzoate synthase (NSAR/OSBS) subfamily from the enolase superfamily contains different enzymes showing promiscuous N-substituted-amino acid racemase (NxAR) activity. These enzymes were originally named as N-acylamino acid racemases because of their industrial application. Nonetheless, they are pivotal in...
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Many bacteria possess a large number of chemoreceptors that recognize a variety of different compounds. More than 60% of the genomes analyzed in this study contain paralogous chemoreceptors, suggesting that they emerge with high frequency. We provide first insight on how paralogous receptors have evolved and show that two chemoreceptors with a narr...
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Evolution involves not only adaptation, but also the degradation of superfluous features. Many examples of degradation at the morphological level are known (vestigial organs, for instance). However, the impact of degradation on molecular evolution has been rarely addressed. Thioredoxins serve as general oxidoreductases in all cells. Here, we report...
Preprint
Full-text available
Evolution involves not only adaptation, but also the degradation of superfluous features. Many examples of degradation at the morphological level are known (vestigial organs, for instance). However, the impact of degradation on molecular evolution has been rarely addressed. Thioredoxins serve as general oxidoreductases in all cells. Here, we report...
Cover Page
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The cover features a lysozyme crystal with an incorporated hydrogel that can protect the enzyme against local radiation damage from radicals generated by X-rays.
Article
Lysozyme crystals grown in Fmoc-CF hydrogels, unlike those grown in agarose, give rise to compo-site crystals that have an enhanced resistance against degradation caused by an intense exposure to X-ray irradiation. Fmoc-CF dipeptide shows a clear protection of the most sensitive groups (di-sulfide bonds and methionines) of the protein. The protecti...
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Short-peptide supramolecular (SPS) hydrogels are a class of materials that have been found to be useful for (bio)technological applications thanks to their biocompatible nature. Among the advantages reported for these peptides, their economic affordability and easy functionalization or modulation have turned them into excellent candidates for the d...
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Determining optimal conditions for the production of well diffracting crystals is a key step in every biocrystallography project. Here, a microfluidic device is described that enables the production of crystals by counter-diffusion and their direct on-chip analysis by serial crystallography at room temperature. Nine `non-model' and diverse biomacro...
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Human aldose reductase (hAR, AKR1B1) has been explored as drug target since the 1980s for its implication in diabetic complications. An activated form of hAR was found in cells from diabetic patients, showing a reduced sensitivity to inhibitors in clinical trials, which may prevent its pharmacological use. Here we report the conversion of native hA...
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Chemotaxis and energy taxis permit directed bacterial movements in gradients of environmental cues. Nitrate is a final electron acceptor for anaerobic respiration and can also serve as a nitrogen source for aerobic growth. Previous studies indicated that bacterial nitrate taxis is mediated by energy taxis mechanisms, which are based on the cytosoli...
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Novel reinforced cross‐linked lysozyme crystals containing homogeneous dispersions of single‐walled carbon nanotubes bundles (SWCNTs) are produced and characterized. The incorporation of SWCNTs inside lysozyme crystals gives rise to reinforced composite materials with tunable mechanical strength and electronic conductivity, while preserving the cry...
Cover Page
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The ISBC2019 belong to a series of International Crystallization Schools organized yearly every last week of May since 2006 in Granada. The whole series of ISC and ISBC are sponsored by the International Union of Crystallography (IUCr), The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, The University of Granada and the Specialized Group of Crys...
Article
The fragility of protein crystals plays an important role in the final quality of the diffraction data and therefore that of the derived three-dimensional structural model. The growth of protein crystals in gels of various natures has been shown to overcome this problem, facilitating the manipulation of the crystals; this is probably owing, amongst...
Article
Formamidases (EC 3.5.1.49) and amidases (EC 3.5.1.4) are paralogous cysteine-dependent enzymes which catalyze the conversion of amide substrates to ammonia and the corresponding carboxylic acid. Both enzymes have been suggested as an alternative pathway for ammonia production during urea shortage. Urea was proved key in the transcriptional regulati...
Cover Page
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Lysozyme crystals obtained in silica gel (dark part of the crystal schematized as linked spheres) regrown from fresh solution [Gavira et al. (2018), Acta Cryst. D74, 1200-1207]. A microscopic photo of the crystal (insert) is shown here with transmitted polarized light. Reinforced gel-grown protein crystals can be a good strategy for the production...
Article
Full-text available
Bacteria possess a large number of signal transduction systems that sense and respond to different environmental cues. Most frequently these are transcriptional regulators, two-component systems and chemosensory pathways. A major bottleneck in the field of signal transduction is the lack of information on signal molecules that modulate the activity...
Article
Full-text available
Genome analyses indicate that many bacteria possess an elevated number of chemoreceptors, suggesting that these species are able to perform chemotaxis to a wide variety of compounds. The scientific community is now only beginning to explore this diversity and to elucidate the corresponding physiological relevance. The discovery of histamine chemota...
Article
Many bacteria can move chemotactically to a variety of compounds and the recognition of chemoeffectors by the chemoreceptor ligand binding domain (LBD) defines the specificity of response. Many chemoreceptors were found to recognize different amino- and organic acids, but the McpU chemoreceptor from Pseudomonas putida was identified as the first ch...