Azide binding to the trinuclear copper center in laccase and ascorbate oxidase. (1/79)

Azide binding to the blue copper oxidases laccase and ascorbate oxidase (AO) was investigated by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and pulsed electron-nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) spectroscopies. As the laccase : azide molar ratio decreases from 1:1 to 1:7, the intensity of the type 2 (T2) Cu(II) EPR signal decreases and a signal at g approximately 1.9 appears. Temperature and microwave power dependent EPR measurements showed that this signal has a relatively short relaxation time and is therefore observed only below 40 K. A g approximately 1.97 signal, with similar saturation characteristics was found in the AO : azide (1:7) sample. The g < 2 signals in both proteins are assigned to an S = 1 dipolar coupled Cu(II) pair whereby the azide binding disrupts the anti-ferromagnetic coupling of the type 3 (T3) Cu(II) pair. Analysis of the position of the g < 2 signals suggests that the distance between the dipolar coupled Cu(II) pair is shorter in laccase than in AO. The proximity of T2 Cu(II) to the S = 1 Cu(II) pair enhances its relaxation rate, reducing its signal intensity relative to that of native protein. The disruption of the T3 anti-ferromagnetic coupling occurs only in part of the protein molecules, and in the remaining part a different azide binding mode is observed. The 130 K EPR spectra of AO and laccase with azide (1:7) exhibit, in addition to an unperturbed T2 Cu(II) signal, new features in the g parallel region that are attributed to a perturbed T2 in protein molecules where the anti-ferromagnetic coupling of T3 has not been disrupted. While these features are also apparent in the AO : azide sample at 10 K, they are absent in the EPR spectra of the laccase : azide sample measured in the range of 6-90 K. Moreover, pulsed ENDOR measurements carried out at 4.2 K on the latter exhibited only a reduction in the intensity of the 20 MHz peak of the 14N histidine coordinated to the T2 Cu(II) but did not resolve any significant changes that could indicate azide binding to this ion. The lack of T2 Cu(II) signal perturbation below 90 K in laccase may be due to temperature dependence of the coupling within the trinuclear : azide complex.  (+info)

Homology modeling of the multicopper oxidase Fet3 gives new insights in the mechanism of iron transport in yeast. (2/79)

Fet3, the multicopper oxidase of yeast, oxidizes extracellular ferrous iron which is then transported into the cell through the permease Ftr1. A three-dimensional model structure of Fet3 has been derived by homology modeling. Fet3 consists of three cupredoxin domains joined by a trinuclear copper cluster which is connected to the blue copper site located in the third domain. Close to this site, which is the primary electron acceptor from the substrate, residues for a potential iron binding site could be identified. The surface disposition of negatively charged residues suggests that Fet3 can translocate Fe(3+) to the permease Ftr1 through a pathway under electrostatic guidance.  (+info)

Effects of superoxide anion generators and thiol modulators on nitrergic transmission and relaxation to exogenous nitric oxide in the sheep urethra. (3/79)

The effects of superoxide anion generators, the nitric oxide (NO) scavenger 2-(4-carboxyphenyl)-4,4,5,5-tetramethylimidazoine-1-oxyl 3-oxide (carboxy-PTIO), the specific guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazole-[4,3-a]-quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ), and thiol modulating agents were investigated on relaxations induced by nitrergic stimulation and exogenous NO addition in the sheep urethra. Methylene blue (MB, 10 microM), pyrogallol (0.1 mM) and xanthine (X, 0.1 mM)/xanthine oxidase (XO, 0.1 u ml(-1)) inhibited NO-mediated relaxations, without affecting those induced by nitrergic stimulation. This resistance was not diminished following inhibition of endogenous Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (Cu/Zn SOD) with diethyldithiocarbamic acid (DETCA, 3 mM), which almost abolished tissue SOD activity. Carboxy-PTIO (0.1 - 0.5 mM) inhibited NO-mediated relaxations but had no effect on responses to nitrergic stimulation, which were not changed by treatment with ascorbate oxidase (2 u ml(-1)). Relaxations to NO were reduced, but not abolished, by ODQ (10 microM), while nitrergic responses were completely blocked. The thiol modulators, ethacrynic acid (0.1 mM), diamide (1.5 mM), or 5,5'-dithio-bis (2-nitrobenzoic acid) (DTNB, 0. 5 mM), and subsequent treatment with dithiothreitol (DTT, 2 mM) had no effect on responses to nitrergic stimulation or NO. In contrast, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM, 0.2 mM) markedly inhibited both relaxations. L-cysteine (L-cys, 0.1 mM) had no effect on responses to NO, while it inhibited those to nitrergic stimulation, in a Cu/Zn SOD-independent manner. Our results do not support the view that the urethral nitrergic transmitter is free NO, and the possibility that another compound is acting as mediator still remains open. British Journal of Pharmacology (2000) 129, 53 - 62  (+info)

Auxin metabolism in the root apical meristem. (4/79)

Within the root meristem of flowering plants is a group of mitotically inactive cells designated the quiescent center (QC). Recent work links the quiescent state to high levels of the growth regulator auxin that accumulates in the QC via polar transport. This in turn results in elevated levels of the enzyme ascorbic acid oxidase (AAO), resulting in a reduction of ascorbic acid (AA) within the QC and mitotic quiescence. We present evidence for additional interactions between auxin, AAO, and AA, and report that, in vitro, AAO oxidatively decarboxylates auxin, suggesting a mechanism for regulating auxin levels within the QC. We also report that oxidative decarboxylation occurs at the root tip and that an intact root cap must be present for this metabolic event to occur. Finally, we consider how interaction between auxin and AAO may influence root development by regulating the formation of the QC.  (+info)

Erythrocytes reduce extracellular ascorbate free radicals using intracellular ascorbate as an electron donor. (5/79)

Ascorbate is readily oxidized in aqueous solution by ascorbate oxidase. Ascorbate radicals are formed, which disproportionate to ascorbate and dehydroascorbic acid. Addition of erythrocytes with increasing intracellular ascorbate concentrations decreased the oxidation of ascorbate in a concentration-dependent manner. Concurrently, it was found, utilizing electron spin resonance spectroscopy, that extracellular ascorbate radical levels were decreased. Control experiments showed that these results could not be explained by leakage of ascorbate from the cells, inactivation of ascorbate oxidase, or oxygen depletion. Thus, this means that intracellular ascorbate is directly responsible for the decreased oxidation of extracellular ascorbate. Exposure of ascorbate-loaded erythrocytes to higher levels of extracellular ascorbate radicals resulted in the detection of intracellular ascorbate radicals. Moreover, efflux of dehydroascorbic acid was observed under these conditions. These data confirm the view that intracellular ascorbate donates electrons to extracellular ascorbate free radical via a plasma membrane redox system. Such a redox system enables the cells to effectively counteract oxidative processes and thereby prevent depletion of extracellular ascorbate.  (+info)

Analysis of expressed sequence tags of flower buds in Lotus japonicus. (6/79)

In order to study gene expression in a reproductive organ, we constructed a cDNA library of mature flower buds in Lotus japonicus, and characterized expressed sequence tags (ESTs) of 842 clones randomly selected. The EST sequences were clustered into 718 non-redundant groups. From BLAST and FASTA search analyses of both protein and DNA databases, 58.5% of the EST groups showed significant sequence similarities to known genes. Several genes encoding these EST clones were identified as pollen-specific genes, such as pectin methylesterase, ascorbate oxidase, and polygalacturonase, and as homologous genes involved in pollen-pistil interaction. Comparison of these EST sequences with those derived from the whole plant of L. japonicus, revealed that 64.8% of EST sequences from the flower buds were not found in EST sequences of the whole plant. Taken together, the EST data from flower buds generated in this study is useful in dissecting gene expression in floral organ of L. japonicus.  (+info)

Behavioral activation in rats requires endogenous ascorbate release in striatum. (7/79)

Ascorbate (vitamin C) is found in high concentrations in the striatum in which it may play a role in behavioral activation. To test this hypothesis, freely behaving rats received bilateral intrastriatal infusions of ascorbate oxidase (AAO) to inactivate extracellular ascorbate. Slow-scan voltammetry was used simultaneously to assess changes in ascorbate and 3,4-dihydroxyphenylacetic acid (DOPAC), a major dopamine metabolite, near the infusion site. Intrastriatal AAO, but not saline vehicle, caused a rapid decline in both ascorbate and behavioral activation. Within 20 min, an ascorbate loss of 50-70% led to a near-total inhibition of all recorded behavior, including open-field locomotion, approach of novel objects, and social interactions with other rats. DOPAC levels remained stable, arguing against an AAO-induced disruption of dopamine transmission. Consistent with this interpretation, subsequent injection of 1.0 mg/kg d-amphetamine, an indirect dopamine agonist, quickly restored behavioral activation, which also was accompanied by a marked rise in extracellular ascorbate. Bilateral AAO infusions into dorsal hippocampus, which also has a high level of extracellular ascorbate, failed to alter behavioral activation, indicating that a loss of brain ascorbate per se does not suppress behavior. Collectively, these results implicate ascorbate in the behavioral operations of the striatum and suggest that the extracellular level of this vitamin plays a critical role in behavioral activation.  (+info)

Molecular and biochemical characterization of a highly stable bacterial laccase that occurs as a structural component of the Bacillus subtilis endospore coat. (8/79)

The Bacillus subtilis endospore coat protein CotA shows laccase activity. By using comparative modeling techniques, we were able to derive a model for CotA based on the known x-ray structures of zucchini ascorbate oxidase and Cuprinus cereneus laccase. This model of CotA contains all the structural features of a laccase, including the reactive surface-exposed copper center (T1) and two buried copper centers (T2 and T3). Single amino acid substitutions in the CotA T1 copper center (H497A, or M502L) did not prevent assembly of the mutant proteins into the coat and did not alter the pattern of extractable coat polypeptides. However, in contrast to a wild type strain, both mutants produced unpigmented colonies and spores unable to oxidize syringaldazine (SGZ) and 2'2-azino-bis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS). The CotA protein was purified to homogeneity from an overproducing Escherichia coli strain. The purified CotA shows an absorbance and a EPR spectra typical of blue multicopper oxidases. Optimal enzymatic activity was found at < or =pH 3.0 and at pH 7.0 for ABTS or SGZ oxidation, respectively. The apparent K(m) values for ABTS and SGZ at 37 degrees C were of 106 +/- 11 and 26 +/- 2 microm, respectively, with corresponding k(cat) values of 16.8 +/- 0.8 and 3.7 +/- 0.1 s(-1). Maximal enzyme activity was observed at 75 degrees C with ABTS as substrate. Remarkably, the coat-associated or the purified enzyme showed a half-life of inactivation at 80 degrees C of about 4 and 2 h, respectively, indicating that CotA is intrinsically highly thermostable.  (+info)