A processive single-headed motor: kinesin superfamily protein KIF1A.
A single kinesin molecule can move "processively" along a microtubule for more than 1 micrometer before detaching from it. The prevailing explanation for this processive movement is the "walking model," which envisions that each of two motor domains (heads) of the kinesin molecule binds coordinately to the microtubule. This implies that each kinesin molecule must have two heads to "walk" and that a single-headed kinesin could not move processively. Here, a motor-domain construct of KIF1A, a single-headed kinesin superfamily protein, was shown to move processively along the microtubule for more than 1 micrometer. The movement along the microtubules was stochastic and fitted a biased Brownian-movement model. (+info)
A method for analyzing enzyme kinetics with substrate activation and inhibition and its application to the alpha-chymotrypsin-catalyzed hydrolysis of phenyl acetates.
A general kinetic method was developed to analyze enzyme-catalyzed systems complicated by the presence of activation or inhibition by substrate. The method was applied to the alpha-chymotrypsin [EC 188.8.131.52]-catalyzed hydrolysis of p-chlorophenyl and p-methoxyphenyl acetates. Deacylation rate constants which were not complicated by substrate activation were obtained. The analysis shows that the abnormal substituent dependence of kcat in the steady state hydrolysis is due not to substrate activation but to inappropriateness of the two-step mechanism or the existence of more than one acetyl-enzyme intermediate. (+info)
Condensation of carbon in radioactive supernova gas.
Chemistry resulting in the formation of large carbon-bearing molecules and dust in the interior of an expanding supernova was explored, and the equations governing their abundances were solved numerically. Carbon dust condenses from initially gaseous carbon and oxygen atoms because energetic electrons produced by radioactivity in the supernova cause dissociation of the carbon monoxide molecules, which would otherwise form and limit the supply of carbon atoms. The resulting free carbon atoms enable carbon dust to grow faster by carbon association than the rate at which the dust can be destroyed by oxidation. The origin of presolar micrometer-sized carbon solids that are found in meteorites is thereby altered. (+info)
Multiple oligodeoxyribonucleotide syntheseson a reusable solid-phase CPG support via the hydroquinone-O,O'-diacetic acid (Q-Linker) linker arm.
A strategy for oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis on a reusable CPG solid-phase support, derivatized with hydroxyl groups instead of amino groups, has been developed. Ester linkages, through a base labile hydroquinone- O, O '-diacetic acid ( Q-Linker ) linker arm, were used to couple the first nucleoside to the hydroxyl groups on the support. This coupling was rapidly accomplished (10 min) using O -benzotriazol-1-yl- N, N, N ', N '-tetramethyluronium hexafluorophosphate (HBTU) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole as the activating reagents. Oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis was performed using existing procedures and reagents, except a more labile capping reagent, such as chloro-acetic anhydride, methoxyacetic anhydride or t-butylphenoxyacetic anhydride, was used instead of acetic anhydride. After each oligodeoxyribonucleotide synthesis, the product was cleaved from the support with ammonium hydroxide (3 min) and deprotected as usual. Residual linker arms or capping groups were removed by treatment with ammonium hydroxide/methylamine reagent and the regenerated support was capable of reuse. Up to six different oligodeoxyribonucleotide syntheses or up to 25 cycles of nucleoside derivatization and cleavage were consecutively performed on the reusable support. This method may provide a significant cost advantage over conventional single-use solid supports currently used for the manufacture of antisense oligodeoxyribonucleotides. (+info)
Biophysical characterization of a designed TMV coat protein mutant, R46G, that elicits a moderate hypersensitivity response in Nicotiana sylvestris.
The hypersensitivity resistance response directed by the N' gene in Nicotiana sylvestris is elicited by the tobacco mosaic virus (TMV) coat protein R46G, but not by the U1 wild-type TMV coat protein. In this study, the structural and hydrodynamic properties of R46G and wild-type coat proteins were compared for variations that may explain N' gene elicitation. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals no significant secondary or tertiary structural differences between the elicitor and nonelicitor coat proteins. Analytical ultracentrifugation studies, however, do show different concentration dependencies of the weight average sedimentation coefficients at 4 degrees C. Viral reconstitution kinetics at 20 degrees C were used to determine viral assembly rates and as an initial assay of the rate of 20S formation, the obligate species for viral reconstitution. These kinetic results reveal a decreased lag time for reconstitution performed with R46G that initially lack the 20S aggregate. However, experiments performed with 20S initially present reveal no detectable differences indicating that the mechanism of viral assembly is similar for the two coat protein species. Therefore, an increased rate of 20S formation from R46G subunits may explain the differences in the viral reconstitution lag times. The inferred increase in the rate of 20S formation is verified by direct measurement of the 20S boundary as a function of time at 20 degrees C using velocity sedimentation analysis. These results are consistent with the interpretation that there may be an altered size distribution and/or lifetime of the small coat protein aggregates in elicitors that allows N. sylvestris to recognize the invading virus. (+info)
Crystal structure of wild-type human procathepsin K.
Cathepsin K is a lysosomal cysteine protease belonging to the papain superfamily. It has been implicated as a major mediator of osteoclastic bone resorption. Wild-type human procathepsin K has been crystallized in a glycosylated and a deglycosylated form. The latter crystals diffract better, to 3.2 A resolution, and contain four molecules in the asymmetric unit. The structure was solved by molecular replacement and refined to an R-factor of 0.194. The N-terminal fragment of the proregion forms a globular domain while the C-terminal segment is extended and shows substantial flexibility. The proregion interacts with the enzyme along the substrate binding groove and along the proregion binding loop (residues Ser138-Asn156). It binds to the active site in the opposite direction to that of natural substrates. The overall binding mode of the proregion to cathepsin K is similar to that observed in cathepsin L, caricain, and cathepsin B, but there are local differences that likely contribute to the specificity of these proregions for their cognate enzymes. The main observed difference is in the position of the short helix alpha3p (67p-75p), which occupies the S' subsites. As in the other proenzymes, the proregion utilizes the S2 subsite for anchoring by placing a leucine side chain there, according to the specificity of cathepsin K toward its substrate. (+info)
pKa calculations for class A beta-lactamases: influence of substrate binding.
Beta-Lactamases are responsible for bacterial resistance to beta-lactams and are thus of major clinical importance. However, the identity of the general base involved in their mechanism of action is still unclear. Two candidate residues, Glu166 and Lys73, have been proposed to fulfill this role. Previous studies support the proposal that Glu166 acts during the deacylation, but there is no consensus on the possible role of this residue in the acylation step. Recent experimental data and theoretical considerations indicate that Lys73 is protonated in the free beta-lactamases, showing that this residue is unlikely to act as a proton abstractor. On the other hand, it has been proposed that the pKa of Lys73 would be dramatically reduced upon substrate binding and would thus be able to act as a base. To check this hypothesis, we performed continuum electrostatic calculations for five wild-type and three beta-lactamase mutants to estimate the pKa of Lys73 in the presence of substrates, both in the Henri-Michaelis complex and in the tetrahedral intermediate. In all cases, the pKa of Lys73 was computed to be above 10, showing that it is unlikely to act as a proton abstractor, even when a beta-lactam substrate is bound in the enzyme active site. The pKa of Lys234 is also raised in the tetrahedral intermediate, thus confirming a probable role of this residue in the stabilization of the tetrahedral intermediate. The influence of the beta-lactam carboxylate on the pKa values of the active-site lysines is also discussed. (+info)
Breaking the low barrier hydrogen bond in a serine protease.
The serine protease subtilisin BPN' is a useful catalyst for peptide synthesis when dissolved in high concentrations of a water-miscible organic co-solvent such as N,N-dimethylformamide (DMF). However, in 50% DMF, the k(cat) for amide hydrolysis is two orders of magnitude lower than in aqueous solution. Surprisingly, the k(cat) for ester hydrolysis is unchanged in 50% DMF. To explain this alteration in activity, the structure of subtilisin 8397+1 was determined in 20, 35, and 50% (v/v) DMF to 1.8 A resolution. In 50% DMF, the imidazole ring of His64, the central residue of the catalytic triad, has rotated approximately 180 degrees around the Cbeta-Cgamma bond. Two new water molecules in the active site stabilize the rotated conformation. This rotation places His64 in an unfavorable geometry to interact with the other members of the catalytic triad, Ser221 and Asp32. NMR experiments confirm that the characteristic resonance due to the low barrier hydrogen bond between the His64 and Asp32 is absent in 50% DMF. These experiments provide a clear structural basis for the change in activity of serine proteases in organic co-solvents. (+info)