(1/10540) An antiviral mechanism of nitric oxide: inhibition of a viral protease.

Although nitric oxide (NO) kills or inhibits the replication of a variety of intracellular pathogens, the antimicrobial mechanisms of NO are unknown. Here, we identify a viral protease as a target of NO. The life cycle of many viruses depends upon viral proteases that cleave viral polyproteins into individual polypeptides. NO inactivates the Coxsackievirus protease 3C, an enzyme necessary for the replication of Coxsackievirus. NO S-nitrosylates the cysteine residue in the active site of protease 3C, inhibiting protease activity and interrupting the viral life cycle. Substituting a serine residue for the active site cysteine renders protease 3C resistant to NO inhibition. Since cysteine proteases are critical for virulence or replication of many viruses, bacteria, and parasites, S-nitrosylation of pathogen cysteine proteases may be a general mechanism of antimicrobial host defenses.  (+info)

(2/10540) Cloning of the peroxiredoxin gene family in rats and characterization of the fourth member.

Peroxiredoxin (PRx) exhibits thioredoxin-dependent peroxidase activity and constitutes a family of proteins. Four members of genes from rat tissues were isolated by PCR using degenerated primers based on the sequences which encode a pair of highly conserved Cys-containing domains, and were then cloned to full-length cDNAs. These included two genes which have previously been isolated in rats, PRx I and PRx II, and two rat homologues of PRx III and PRx IV. We showed, for the first time, the simultaneous expression of all four genes in various rat tissues by Northern blotting. Since a discrepancy exists regarding cellular distribution, we further characterized PRx IV by expressing it in COS-1 cells. This clearly demonstrates that PRx IV is a secretory form and functions within the extracellular space.  (+info)

(3/10540) Kinetics of oxidation of aliphatic and aromatic thiols by myeloperoxidase compounds I and II.

Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is the most abundant protein in neutrophils and plays a central role in microbial killing and inflammatory tissue damage. Because most of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and other drugs contain a thiol group, it is necessary to understand how these substrates are oxidized by MPO. We have performed transient kinetic measurements to study the oxidation of 14 aliphatic and aromatic mono- and dithiols by the MPO intermediates, Compound I (k3) and Compound II (k4), using sequential mixing stopped-flow techniques. The one-electron reduction of Compound I by aromatic thiols (e.g. methimidazole, 2-mercaptopurine and 6-mercaptopurine) varied by less than a factor of seven (between 1.39 +/- 0.12 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) and 9.16 +/- 1.63 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1)), whereas reduction by aliphatic thiols was demonstrated to depend on their overall net charge and hydrophobic character and not on the percentage of thiol deprotonation or redox potential. Cysteamine, cysteine methyl ester, cysteine ethyl ester and alpha-lipoic acid showed k3 values comparable to aromatic thiols, whereas a free carboxy group (e.g. cysteine, N-acetylcysteine, glutathione) diminished k3 dramatically. The one-electron reduction of Compound II was far more constrained by the nature of the substrate. Reduction by methimidazole, 2-mercaptopurine and 6-mercaptopurine showed second-order rate constants (k4) of 1.33 +/- 0.08 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1), 5.25 +/- 0.07 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) and 3.03 +/- 0.07 x 10(3) M(-1) s(-1). Even at high concentrations cysteine, penicillamine and glutathione could not reduce Compound II, whereas cysteamine (4.27 +/- 0.05 x 10(3) M(-1) s(-1)), cysteine methyl ester (8.14 +/- 0.08 x 10(3) M(-1) s(-1)), cysteine ethyl ester (3.76 +/- 0.17 x 10(3) M(-1) s(-1)) and alpha-lipoic acid (4.78 +/- 0.07 x 10(4) M(-1) s(-1)) were demonstrated to reduce Compound II and thus could be expected to be oxidized by MPO without co-substrates.  (+info)

(4/10540) Internal electron transfer between hemes and Cu(II) bound at cysteine beta93 promotes methemoglobin reduction by carbon monoxide.

Previous studies showed that CO/H2O oxidation provides electrons to drive the reduction of oxidized hemoglobin (metHb). We report here that Cu(II) addition accelerates the rate of metHb beta chain reduction by CO by a factor of about 1000. A mechanism whereby electron transfer occurs via an internal pathway coupling CO/H2O oxidation to Fe(III) and Cu(II) reduction is suggested by the observation that the copper-induced rate enhancement is inhibited by blocking Cys-beta93 with N-ethylmaleimide. Furthermore, this internal electron-transfer pathway is more readily established at low Cu(II) concentrations in Hb Deer Lodge (beta2His --> Arg) and other species lacking His-beta2 than in Hb A0. This difference is consistent with preferential binding of Cu(II) in Hb A0 to a high affinity site involving His-beta2, which is ineffective in promoting electron exchange between Cu(II) and the beta heme iron. Effective electron transfer is thus affected by Hb type but is not governed by the R left arrow over right arrow T conformational equilibrium. The beta hemes in Cu(II)-metHb are reduced under CO at rates close to those observed for cytochrome c oxidase, where heme and copper are present together in the oxygen-binding site and where internal electron transfer also occurs.  (+info)

(5/10540) Plasma total homocysteine and cysteine in relation to glomerular filtration rate in diabetes mellitus.

BACKGROUND: The plasma concentrations of total homocysteine (tHcy) and total cysteine (tCys) are determined by intracellular metabolism and by renal plasma clearance, and we hypothesized that glomerular filtration is a major determinant of plasma tHcy and tCys. We studied the relationships between the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and plasma tHcy and tCys in populations of diabetic patients with particularly wide ranges of GFR. METHODS: We measured GFR, urine albumin excretion rate (UAER), plasma tHcy, tCys, methionine, vitamin B12, folate, C-peptide, and routine parameters in 50 insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and 30 non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) patients. All patients underwent intensive insulin treatment and had a serum creatinine concentration below 115 micromol/liter. RESULTS: Mean plasma tHcy in diabetic patients (0.1 micromol/liter) was lower than in normal persons (11.1 micromol/liter, P = 0.0014). Mean plasma tCys in diabetic patients (266.1 micromol/liter) was also lower than in normal persons (281.9 micromol/liter, P = 0.0005). Seventy-three percent of the diabetic patients had relative hyperfiltration. Plasma tHcy and tCys were closely and independently associated with GFR, serum folate, and serum B12. However, plasma tHcy was not independently associated with any of the 22 other variables tested, including age, serum creatinine concentration, UAER, total daily insulin dose, and glycemic control. CONCLUSIONS: Glomerular filtration rate is an independent determinant of plasma tHcy and tCys concentrations, and GFR is rate limiting for renal clearance of both homocysteine and cysteine in diabetic patients without overt nephropathy. Declining GFR explains the age-related increase in plasma tHcy, and hyperfiltration explains the lower than normal mean plasma tHcy and tCys concentrations in populations of diabetic patients.  (+info)

(6/10540) Variants of ribonuclease inhibitor that resist oxidation.

Human ribonuclease inhibitor (hRI) is a cytosolic protein that protects cells from the adventitious invasion of pancreatic-type ribonucleases. hRI has 32 cysteine residues. The oxidation of these cysteine residues to form disulfide bonds is a rapid, cooperative process that inactivates hRI. The most proximal cysteine residues in native hRI are two pairs that are adjacent in sequence: Cys94 and Cys95, and Cys328 and Cys329. A cystine formed from such adjacent cysteine residues would likely contain a perturbing cis peptide bond within its eight-membered ring, which would disrupt the structure of hRI and could facilitate further oxidation. We find that replacing Cys328 and Cys329 with alanine residues has little effect on the affinity of hRI for bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A), but increases its resistance to oxidation by 10- to 15-fold. Similar effects are observed for the single variants, C328A hRI and C329A hRI, suggesting that oxidation resistance arises from the inability to form a Cys328-Cys329 disulfide bond. Replacing Cys94 and Cys95 with alanine residues increases oxidation resistance to a lesser extent, and decreases the affinity of hRI for RNase A. The C328A, C329A, and C328A/C329A variants are likely to be more useful than wild-type hRI for inhibiting pancreatic-type ribonucleases in vitro and in vivo. We conclude that replacing adjacent cysteine residues can confer oxidation resistance in a protein.  (+info)

(7/10540) Metal-catalyzed oxidation of phenylalanine-sensitive 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase from Escherichia coli: inactivation and destabilization by oxidation of active-site cysteines.

The in vitro instability of the phenylalanine-sensitive 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase [DAHPS(Phe)] from Escherichia coli has been found to be due to a metal-catalyzed oxidation mechanism. DAHPS(Phe) is one of three differentially feedback-regulated isoforms of the enzyme which catalyzes the first step of aromatic biosynthesis, the formation of DAHP from phosphoenolpyruvate and D-erythrose-4-phosphate. The activity of the apoenzyme decayed exponentially, with a half-life of about 1 day at room temperature, and the heterotetramer slowly dissociated to the monomeric state. The enzyme was stabilized by the presence of phosphoenolpyruvate or EDTA, indicating that in the absence of substrate, a trace metal(s) was the inactivating agent. Cu2+ and Fe2+, but none of the other divalent metals that activate the enzyme, greatly accelerated the rate of inactivation and subunit dissociation. Both anaerobiosis and the addition of catalase significantly reduced Cu2+-catalyzed inactivation. In the spontaneously inactivated enzyme, there was a net loss of two of the seven thiols per subunit; this value increased with increasing concentrations of added Cu2+. Dithiothreitol completely restored the enzymatic activity and the two lost thiols in the spontaneously inactivated enzyme but was only partially effective in reactivation of the Cu2+-inactivated enzyme. Mutant enzymes with conservative replacements at either of the two active-site cysteines, Cys61 or Cys328, were insensitive to the metal attack. Peptide mapping of the Cu2+-inactivated enzyme revealed a disulfide linkage between these two cysteine residues. All results indicate that DAHPS(Phe) is a metal-catalyzed oxidation system wherein bound substrate protects active-site residues from oxidative attack catalyzed by bound redox metal cofactor. A mechanism of inactivation of DAHPS is proposed that features a metal redox cycle that requires the sequential oxidation of its two active-site cysteines.  (+info)

(8/10540) Functional importance and local environments of the cysteines in the tetracycline resistance protein encoded by plasmid pBR322.

The properties of the cysteines in the pBR322-encoded tetracycline resistance protein have been examined. Cysteines are important but not essential for tetracycline transport activity. None of the cysteines reacted with biotin maleimide, suggesting that they are shielded from the aqueous phase or reside in a negatively charged local environment.  (+info)