(1/7757) Probing interactions between HIV-1 reverse transcriptase and its DNA substrate with backbone-modified nucleotides.

BACKGROUND: To gain a molecular understanding of a biochemical process, the crystal structure of enzymes that catalyze the reactions involved is extremely helpful. Often the question arises whether conformations obtained in this way appropriately reflect the reactivity of enzymes, however. Rates that characterize transitions are therefore compulsory experiments for the elucidation of the reaction mechanism. Such experiments have been performed for the reverse transcriptase of the type 1 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1 RT). RESULTS: We have developed a methodology to monitor the interplay between HIV-1 RT and its DNA substrate. To probe the protein-DNA interactions, the sugar backbone of one nucleotide was modified by a substituent that influenced the efficiency of the chain elongation in a characteristic way. We found that strand elongation after incorporation of the modified nucleotide follows a discontinuous efficiency for the first four nucleotides. The reaction efficiencies could be correlated with the distance between the sugar substituent and the enzyme. The model was confirmed by kinetic experiments with HIV-1 RT mutants. CONCLUSIONS: Experiments with HIV-1 RT demonstrate that strand-elongation efficiency using a modified nucleotide correlates well with distances between the DNA substrate and the enzyme. The functional group at the modified nucleotides acts as an 'antenna' for steric interactions that changes the optimal transition state. Kinetic experiments in combination with backbone-modified nucleotides can therefore be used to gain structural information about reverse transcriptases and DNA polymerases.  (+info)

(2/7757) Crystal structure of an MHC class I presented glycopeptide that generates carbohydrate-specific CTL.

T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of nonpeptidic and modified peptide antigens has been recently uncovered but is still poorly understood. Immunization with an H-2Kb-restricted glycopeptide RGY8-6H-Gal2 generates a population of cytotoxic T cells that express both alpha/beta TCR, specific for glycopeptide, and gamma/delta TCR, specific for the disaccharide, even on glycolipids. The crystal structure of Kb/RGY8-6H-Gal2 now demonstrates that the peptide and H-2Kb structures are unaffected by the peptide glycosylation, but the central region of the putative TCR binding site is dominated by the extensive exposure of the tethered carbohydrate. These features of the Kb/RGY8-6H-Gal2 structure are consistent with the individual ligand binding preferences identified for the alpha/beta and gamma/delta TCRs and thus explain the generation of a carbohydrate-specific T cell response.  (+info)

(3/7757) Structural basis of Rab effector specificity: crystal structure of the small G protein Rab3A complexed with the effector domain of rabphilin-3A.

The small G protein Rab3A plays an important role in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. The crystal structure of activated Rab3A/GTP/Mg2+ bound to the effector domain of rabphilin-3A was solved to 2.6 A resolution. Rabphilin-3A contacts Rab3A in two distinct areas. The first interface involves the Rab3A switch I and switch II regions, which are sensitive to the nucleotide-binding state of Rab3A. The second interface consists of a deep pocket in Rab3A that interacts with a SGAWFF structural element of rabphilin-3A. Sequence and structure analysis, and biochemical data suggest that this pocket, or Rab complementarity-determining region (RabCDR), establishes a specific interaction between each Rab protein and its effectors. RabCDRs could be major determinants of effector specificity during vesicle trafficking and fusion.  (+info)

(4/7757) Phe161 and Arg166 variants of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase. Implications for NADPH recognition and structural stability.

Phe161 and Arg166 of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase from Pseudomonas fluorescens belong to a newly discovered sequence motif in flavoprotein hydroxylases with a putative dual function in FAD and NADPH binding [1]. To study their role in more detail, Phe161 and Arg166 were selectively changed by site-directed mutagenesis. F161A and F161G are catalytically competent enzymes having a rather poor affinity for NADPH. The catalytic properties of R166K are similar to those of the native enzyme. R166S and R166E show impaired NADPH binding and R166E has lost the ability to bind FAD. The crystal structure of substrate complexed F161A at 2.2 A is indistinguishable from the native enzyme, except for small changes at the site of mutation. The crystal structure of substrate complexed R166S at 2.0 A revealed that Arg166 is important for providing an intimate contact between the FAD binding domain and a long excursion of the substrate binding domain. It is proposed that this interaction is essential for structural stability and for the recognition of the pyrophosphate moiety of NADPH.  (+info)

(5/7757) Identification of 17-methyl-18-norandrosta-5,13(17-dien-3beta-ol, the C19 fragment formed by adrenal side chain cleavage of a 20-aryl analog of (20S)-20-hydroxycholesterol.

Incubation of (20R)-20-phenyl-5-pregnene-3beta,20-diol, an aromatic analog of (23S)-20-hydroxycholesterol, with an adrenal mitochondrial preparation leads to the formation of four compounds: pregnenolone, phenol, a C8 ketone, acetophenone, and a nonpolar C19 compound. This latter compound has now been identified by reverse isotope dilution analysis and by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry as 17-methyl-18-norandrosta-5,13(17)-dien-3beta-ol. From these results it is evident that enzymatic fission of the C-17,20 bond of this synthetic derivative occurs. On the other hand, when (20S)-20-hydroxy[21-14C]cholesterol was used as substrate, the analogous cleavage did not take place. Thus, substitution of an aromatic group on C-20 facilitates side chain cleavage between that carbon atom and the nucleus whereas neither of the naturally occuring precursors, cholesterol or its 20-hydroxylated counterpart, are metabolized to a C8 fragment.  (+info)

(6/7757) Relationship between supersaturation and calcium oxalate crystallization in normals and idiopathic calcium oxalate stone formers.

BACKGROUND: In an earlier study on recurrent CaOx stone formers with no detectable abnormalities, we found that the urine of these subjects had a lower tolerance to oxalate load than controls and that the removal of urinary macromolecules with a molecular weight greater than 10,000 D improved their tolerance to oxalate. METHODS: The effects on CaOx crystallization of reduced urinary supersaturation of calcium oxalate (CaOx), induced by night water load, were studied in 12 normal males and in 15 male OxCa stone formers who were free from urinary metabolic abnormalities. The effect of the macromolecules, purified and retrieved from the natural and diluted urine, were analyzed in a metastable solution of CaOx. RESULTS: The water load caused an increase in urine volume (from 307 +/- 111 to 572 +/- 322 ml/8 hr, P = 0.014 in normal subjects, and from 266 +/- 92 to 518 +/- 208 ml/8 hr, P = 0.001 in the stone formers) and a concomitant reduction of the relative CaOx supersaturation (from 8.7 +/- 2.5 to 5.1 +/- 2.5 ml/8 hr, P = 0.001 in normal subjects, and from 10.4 +/- 3.5 to 5.0 +/- 2.7 ml/8 hr, P = 0.001 in the stone formers). The decrease in CaOx supersaturation was accompanied by an increase of the permissible increment in oxalate, both in normal subjects (from 43.8 +/- 10.1 to 67.2 +/- 30. 3 mg/liter, P = 0.018) and in the stone formers (from 25.7 +/- 9.4 to 43.7 +/- 17.1 mg/liter, P = 0.0001), without any significant variations of the upper limit of metastability for CaOx (from 21.6 +/- 5.3 to 20.5 +/- 4.2 mg/liter in normal subjects, and from 18.7 +/- 4.5 to 17.1 +/- 3.7 mg/liter in the stone formers). The inhibitory effect of urinary macromolecules with molecular weight greater than 10,000 Daltons did not undergo any change when the latter were recovered from concentrated or diluted urine, either in normal subjects or in the stone formers. CONCLUSIONS: Reduced CaOx supersaturation by means of water load has a protective effect with regards to CaOx crystallization in subjects who do not present any of the common urinary stone risk factors.  (+info)

(7/7757) Cryoelectron microscopy of a nucleating model bile in vitreous ice: formation of primordial vesicles.

Because gallstones form so frequently in human bile, pathophysiologically relevant supersaturated model biles are commonly employed to study cholesterol crystal formation. We used cryo-transmission electron microscopy, complemented by polarizing light microscopy, to investigate early stages of cholesterol nucleation in model bile. In the system studied, the proposed microscopic sequence involves the evolution of small unilamellar to multilamellar vesicles to lamellar liquid crystals and finally to cholesterol crystals. Small aliquots of a concentrated (total lipid concentration = 29.2 g/dl) model bile containing 8.5% cholesterol, 22.9% egg yolk lecithin, and 68.6% taurocholate (all mole %) were vitrified at 2 min to 20 days after fourfold dilution to induce supersaturation. Mixed micelles together with a category of vesicles denoted primordial, small unilamellar vesicles of two distinct morphologies (sphere/ellipsoid and cylinder/arachoid), large unilamellar vesicles, multilamellar vesicles, and cholesterol monohydrate crystals were imaged. No evidence of aggregation/fusion of small unilamellar vesicles to form multilamellar vesicles was detected. Low numbers of multilamellar vesicles were present, some of which were sufficiently large to be identified as liquid crystals by polarizing light microscopy. Dimensions, surface areas, and volumes of spherical/ellipsoidal and cylindrical/arachoidal vesicles were quantified. Early stages in the separation of vesicles from micelles, referred to as primordial vesicles, were imaged 23-31 min after dilution. Observed structures such as enlarged micelles in primordial vesicle interiors, segments of bilayer, and faceted edges at primordial vesicle peripheries are probably early stages of small unilamellar vesicle assembly. A decrease in the mean surface area of spherical/ellipsoidal vesicles was correlated with the increased production of cholesterol crystals at 10-20 days after supersaturation by dilution, supporting the role of small unilamellar vesicles as key players in cholesterol nucleation and as cholesterol donors to crystals. This is the first visualization of an intermediate structure that has been temporally linked to the development of small unilamellar vesicles in the separation of vesicles from micelles in a model bile and suggests a time-resolved system for further investigation.  (+info)

(8/7757) Purification and properties of a low-molecular-weight, high-alkaline pectate lyase from an alkaliphilic strain of Bacillus.

A low-molecular-weight, high-alkaline pectate lyase (pectate transeliminase, EC was found in an alkaline culture of Bacillus sp. strain KSM-P15, purified to homogeneity, and crystallized. The enzyme had a relative molecular weight of approximately 20,300 as measured by sedimentation equilibrium, with a sedimentation coefficient (s20,w0) of 1.73 S. It was a basic protein with an isoelectric point of pH 10.3, and the alpha-helical content was only 6.6%. In the presence of Ca2+ ions, the enzyme degraded polygalacturonic acid in a random manner to yield 4,5-unsaturated oligo-galacturonides and had its optimal activity around pH 10.5 and 50-55 degrees C. It also had a protopectinase-like activity on cotton fibers. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of the intact protein (28 amino acids) and its two lysyl endopeptidase-cleaved peptide fragments (8 and 12 amino acids) had very low sequence similarity with pectate lyases reported to date. These results strongly suggest that the pectate lyase of Bacillus sp. strain KSM-P15 may be a novel enzyme and belongs in a new family.  (+info)