Cystic fibrosis-associated mutations at arginine 347 alter the pore architecture of CFTR. Evidence for disruption of a salt bridge. (1/1497)

Arginine 347 in the sixth transmembrane domain of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) is a site of four cystic fibrosis-associated mutations. To better understand the function of Arg-347 and to learn how mutations at this site disrupt channel activity, we mutated Arg-347 to Asp, Cys, Glu, His, Leu, or Lys and examined single-channel function. Every Arg-347 mutation examined, except R347K, had a destabilizing effect on the pore, causing the channel to flutter between two conductance states. Chloride flow through the larger conductance state was similar to that of wild-type CFTR, suggesting that the residue at position 347 does not interact directly with permeating anions. We hypothesized that Arg-347 stabilizes the channel through an electrostatic interaction with an anionic residue in another transmembrane domain. To test this, we mutated anionic residues (Asp-924, Asp-993, and Glu-1104) to Arg in the context of either R347E or R347D mutations. Interestingly, the D924R mutation complemented R347D, yielding a channel that behaved like wild-type CFTR. These data suggest that Arg-347 plays an important structural role in CFTR, at least in part by forming a salt bridge with Asp-924; cystic fibrosis-associated mutations disrupt this interaction.  (+info)

Molecular dynamics on a model for nascent high-density lipoprotein: role of salt bridges. (2/1497)

The results of an all-atom molecular dynamics simulation on a discoidal complex made of 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC) and a synthetic alpha-helical 18-mer peptide with an apolipoprotein-like charge distribution are presented. The system consists of 12 acetyl-18A-amide (Ac-18A-NH2) (. J. Biol. Chem. 260:10248-10255) molecules and 20 molecules of POPC in a bilayer, 10 in each leaflet, solvated in a sphere of water for a total of 28,522 atoms. The peptide molecules are oriented with their long axes normal to the bilayer (the "picket fence" orientation). This system is analogous to complexes formed in nascent high-density lipoprotein and to Ac-18A-NH2/phospholipid complexes observed experimentally. The simulation extended over 700 ps, with the last 493 ps used for analysis. The symmetry of this system allows for averaging over different helices to improve sampling, while maintaining explicit all-atom representation of all peptides. The complex is stable on the simulated time scale. Several possible salt bridges between and within helices were studied. A few salt bridge formations and disruptions were observed. Salt bridges provide specificity in interhelical interactions.  (+info)

Mutation of a conserved serine residue in a quinolone-resistant type II topoisomerase alters the enzyme-DNA and drug interactions. (3/1497)

A Ser740 --> Trp mutation in yeast topoisomerase II (top2) and of the equivalent Ser83 in gyrase results in resistance to quinolones and confers hypersensitivity to etoposide (VP-16). We characterized the cleavage complexes induced by the top2(S740W) in the human c-myc gene. In addition to resistance to the fluoroquinolone CP-115,953, top2(S740W) induced novel DNA cleavage sites in the presence of VP-16, azatoxin, amsacrine, and mitoxantrone. Analysis of the VP-16 sites indicated that the changes in the cleavage pattern were reflected by alterations in base preference. C at position -2 and G at position +6 were observed for the top2(S740W) in addition to the previously reported C-1 and G+5 for the wild-type top2. The VP-16-induced top2(S740W) cleavage complexes were also more stable. The most stable sites had strong preference for C-1, whereas the most reversible sites showed no base preference at positions -1 or -2. Different patterns of DNA cleavage were also observed in the absence of drug and in the presence of calcium. These results indicate that the Ser740 --> Trp mutation alters the DNA recognition of top2, enhances its DNA binding, and markedly affects its interactions with inhibitors. Thus, residue 740 of top2 appears critical for both DNA and drug interactions.  (+info)

Inhibition of protein denaturation by fatty acids, bile salts and other natural substances: a new hypothesis for the mechanism of action of fish oil in rheumatic diseases. (4/1497)

Natural hydrophobic substances like bile salts (cholate, deoxycholate, chenodeoxycholate, lithocholate and their conjugates with glycine and taurine), fatty acids (caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, arachidonic, eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acid) were much more active (EC50 approximately 10(-4)-10(-5) M) than selected amino acids (EC50 > 10(-2) M) and inorganic salts (EC50 approximately 10(-1) M) in inhibiting heat-induced denaturation of human serum albumin in vitro. Fish oil, rich in n-3-polyunsaturated acids such as eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid, administered p.o. (1 ml/kg) in the rat, protected ex vivo (after 2 hr) serum against heat-induced denaturation more than bendazac, a known antidenaturant drug. Thus, we speculated that the antidenaturant activity of fish oil may be partly (in addition to the known effect on endogenous eicosanoid composition) responsible for its beneficial effects in rheumatoid arthritis and other rheumatic conditions. In this connection, it is of note that the in vitro antidenaturant activity of fish oil fatty acids was higher than that of known antidenaturant drugs such as bendazac and bindarit and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like phenylbutazone and indomethacin which could exert beneficial effects in chronic inflammatory conditions by stabilizing endogenous proteins.  (+info)

A novel mechanism of ion homeostasis and salt tolerance in yeast: the Hal4 and Hal5 protein kinases modulate the Trk1-Trk2 potassium transporter. (5/1497)

The regulation of intracellular ion concentrations is a fundamental property of living cells. Although many ion transporters have been identified, the systems that modulate their activity remain largely unknown. We have characterized two partially redundant genes from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, HAL4/SAT4 and HAL5, that encode homologous protein kinases implicated in the regulation of cation uptake. Overexpression of these genes increases the tolerance of yeast cells to sodium and lithium, whereas gene disruptions result in greater cation sensitivity. These phenotypic effects of the mutations correlate with changes in cation uptake and are dependent on a functional Trk1-Trk2 potassium transport system. In addition, hal4 hal5 and trk1 trk2 mutants exhibit similar phenotypes: (i) they are deficient in potassium uptake; (ii) their growth is sensitive to a variety of toxic cations, including lithium, sodium, calcium, tetramethylammonium, hygromycin B, and low pH; and (iii) they exhibit increased uptake of methylammonium, an indicator of membrane potential. These results suggest that the Hal4 and Hal5 protein kinases activate the Trk1-Trk2 potassium transporter, increasing the influx of potassium and decreasing the membrane potential. The resulting loss in electrical driving force reduces the uptake of toxic cations and improves salt tolerance. Our data support a role for regulation of membrane potential in adaptation to salt stress that is mediated by the Hal4 and Hal5 kinases.  (+info)

A mechanistic analysis of the increase in the thermal stability of proteins in aqueous carboxylic acid salt solutions. (6/1497)

The stability of proteins is known to be affected significantly in the presence of high concentration of salts and is highly pH dependent. Extensive studies have been carried out on the stability of proteins in the presence of simple electrolytes and evaluated in terms of preferential interactions and increase in the surface tension of the medium. We have carried out an in-depth study of the effects of a series of carboxylic acid salts: ethylene diamine tetra acetate, butane tetra carboxylate, propane tricarballylate, citrate, succinate, tartarate, malonate, and gluconate on the thermal stability of five different proteins that vary in their physico-chemical properties: RNase A, cytochrome c, trypsin inhibitor, myoglobin, and lysozyme. Surface tension measurements of aqueous solutions of the salts indicate an increase in the surface tension of the medium that is very strongly correlated with the increase in the thermal stability of proteins. There is also a linear correlation of the increase in thermal stability with the number of carboxylic groups in the salt. Thermal stability has been found to increase by as much as 22 C at 1 M concentration of salt. Such a high thermal stability at identical concentrations has not been reported before. The differences in the heat capacities of denaturation, deltaCp for RNase A, deduced from the transition curves obtained in the presence of varying concentrations of GdmCl and that of carboxylic acid salts as a function of pH, indicate that the nature of the solvent medium and its interactions with the two end states of the protein control the thermodynamics of protein denaturation. Among the physico-chemical properties of proteins, there seems to be an interplay of the hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions that lead to an overall stabilizing effect. Increase in surface free energy of the solvent medium upon addition of the carboxylic acid salts appears to be the dominant factor in governing the thermal stability of proteins.  (+info)

Purification, characterization and cDNA cloning of an endo-exonuclease from the basidiomycete fungus Armillaria mellea. (7/1497)

We have purified an endo-exonuclease from the fruiting body of the basidiomycete fungus Armillaria mellea by using an ethanol fractionation step, followed by two rounds of column chromatography. The enzyme had an apparent molecular mass of 17500 Da and was shown to exist as a monomer by gel-filtration analysis. The nuclease was active on both double-stranded and single-stranded DNA but not on RNA. It was optimally active at pH8.5 and also exhibited a significant degree of thermostability. Three bivalent metal ions, Mg2+, Co2+ and Mn2+, acted as cofactors in the catalysis. It was also inhibited by high salt concentrations: activity was completely abolished at 150 mM NaCl. The nuclease possessed both endonuclease activity on supercoiled DNA and a 3'-5' (but not a 5'-3') exonuclease activity. It generated 5'-phosphomonoesters on its products that, after a prolonged incubation, were hydrolysed to a mixture of free mononucleotides and small oligonucleotides ranging in size from two to eight bases. Elucidation of its N-terminal amino acid sequence permitted the cDNA cloning of the A. mellea nuclease via a PCR-based approach. Peptide mapping of the purified enzyme generated patterns consistent with the amino acid sequence coded for by the cloned cDNA. A BLAST search of the SwissProt database revealed that A. mellea nuclease shared significant amino acid similarity with two nucleases from Bacillus subtilis, suggesting that the three might constitute a distinct class of nucleolytic enzymes.  (+info)

Carbon and electron flow in Clostridium cellulolyticum grown in chemostat culture on synthetic medium. (8/1497)

Previous results indicated poor sugar consumption and early inhibition of metabolism and growth when Clostridium cellulolyticum was cultured on medium containing cellobiose and yeast extract. Changing from complex medium to a synthetic medium had a strong effect on (i) the specific cellobiose consumption, which was increased threefold; and (ii) the electron flow, since the NADH/NAD+ ratios ranged from 0.29 to 2.08 on synthetic medium whereas ratios as high as 42 to 57 on complex medium were observed. These data indicate a better control of the carbon flow on mineral salts medium than on complex medium. By continuous culture, it was shown that the electron flow from glycolysis was balanced by the production of hydrogen gas, ethanol, and lactate. At low levels of carbon flow, pyruvate was preferentially cleaved to acetate and ethanol, enabling the bacteria to maximize ATP formation. A high catabolic rate led to pyruvate overflow and to increased ethanol and lactate production. In vitro, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, lactate dehydrogenase, and ethanol dehydrogenase levels were higher under conditions giving higher in vivo specific production rates. Redox balance is essentially maintained by NADH-ferredoxin reductase-hydrogenase at low levels of carbon flow and by ethanol dehydrogenase and lactate dehydrogenase at high levels of carbon flow. The same maximum growth rate (0.150 h-1) was found in both mineral salts and complex media, proving that the uptake of nutrients or the generation of biosynthetic precursors occurred faster than their utilization. On synthetic medium, cellobiose carbon was converted into cell mass and catabolized to produce ATP, while on complex medium, it served mainly as an energy supply and, if present in excess, led to an accumulation of intracellular metabolites as demonstrated for NADH. Cells grown on synthetic medium and at high levels of carbon flow were able to induce regulatory responses such as the production of ethanol and lactate dehydrogenase.  (+info)