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(1/12106) Relocating the active site of activated protein C eliminates the need for its protein S cofactor. A fluorescence resonance energy transfer study.

The effect of replacing the gamma-carboxyglutamic acid domain of activated protein C (APC) with that of prothrombin on the topography of the membrane-bound enzyme was examined using fluorescence resonance energy transfer. The average distance of closest approach (assuming kappa2 = 2/3) between a fluorescein in the active site of the chimera and octadecylrhodamine at the membrane surface was 89 A, compared with 94 A for wild-type APC. The gamma-carboxyglutamic acid domain substitution therefore lowered and/or reoriented the active site, repositioning it close to the 84 A observed for the APC. protein S complex. Protein S enhances wild-type APC cleavage of factor Va at Arg306, but the inactivation rate of factor Va Leiden by the chimera alone is essentially equal to that by wild-type APC plus protein S. These data suggest that the activities of the chimera and of the APC.protein S complex are equivalent because the active site of the chimeric protein is already positioned near the optimal location above the membrane surface to cleave Arg306. Thus, one mechanism by which protein S regulates APC activity is by relocating its active site to the proper position above the membrane surface to optimize factor Va cleavage.  (+info)

(2/12106) Mapping the functional domains of BRCA1. Interaction of the ring finger domains of BRCA1 and BARD1.

Breast cancer 1 (BRCA1) and BRCA1-associated RING domain 1 (BARD1) are multidomain proteins that interact in vivo via their N-terminal RING finger motif regions. To characterize functional aspects of the BRCA1/BARD1 interaction, we have defined the structural domains required for the interaction, as well as their oligomerization state, relative stability, and possible nucleic acid binding activity. We have found that the RING finger motifs do not themselves constitute stable structural domains but are instead part of larger domains comprising residues 1-109 of BRCA1 and residues 26-119 of BARD1. These domains exist as homodimers and preferentially form a stable heterodimer. Shorter BRCA1 RING finger constructs do not interact with BARD1 or with longer BRCA1 constructs, indicating that the heterodimeric and homodimer interactions are mediated by regions outside the canonical RING finger motif. Nucleic acid binding is a generally proposed function of RING finger domains. We show that neither the homodimers nor the heterodimer displays affinity for nucleic acids, indicating that the proposed roles of BRCA1 and BARD1 in DNA repair and/or transcriptional activation must be mediated either by other regions of the proteins or by additional cofactors.  (+info)

(3/12106) Tolerance of a protein to multiple polar-to-hydrophobic surface substitutions.

Hydrophobic substitutions at solvent-exposed positions in two alpha-helical regions of the bacteriophage P22 Arc repressor were introduced by combinatorial mutagenesis. In helix A, hydrophobic residues were tolerated individually at each of the five positions examined, but multiple substitutions were poorly tolerated as shown by the finding that mutants with more than two additional hydrophobic residues were biologically inactive. Several inactive helix A variants were purified and found to have reduced thermal stability relative to wild-type Arc, with a rough correlation between the number of polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions and the magnitude of the stability defect. Quite different results were obtained in helix B, where variants with as many as five polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions were found to be biologically active and one variant with three hydrophobic substitutions had a t(m) 6 degrees C higher than wild-type. By contrast, a helix A mutant with three similar polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions was 23 degrees C less stable than wild-type. Also, one set of three polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions in helix B was tolerated when introduced into the wild-type background but not when introduced into an equally active mutant having a nearly identical structure. Context effects occur both when comparing different regions of the same protein and when comparing the same region in two different homologues.  (+info)

(4/12106) Folding of apocytochrome c induced by the interaction with negatively charged lipid micelles proceeds via a collapsed intermediate state.

Unfolded apocytochrome c acquires an alpha-helical conformation upon interaction with lipid. Folding kinetic results below and above the lipid's CMC, together with energy transfer measurements of lipid bound states, and salt-induced compact states in solution, show that the folding transition of apocytochrome c from the unfolded state in solution to a lipid-inserted helical conformation proceeds via a collapsed intermediate state (I(C)). This initial compact state is driven by a hydrophobic collapse of the polypeptide chain in the absence of the heme group and may represent a heme-free analogue of an early compact intermediate detected on the folding pathway of cytochrome c in solution. Insertion into the lipid phase occurs via an unfolding step of I(C) through a more extended state associated with the membrane surface (I(S)). While I(C) appears to be as compact as salt-induced compact states in solution with substantial alpha-helix content, the final lipid-inserted state (Hmic) is as compact as the unfolded state in solution at pH 5 and has an alpha-helix content which resembles that of native cytochrome c.  (+info)

(5/12106) Esterases in serum-containing growth media counteract chloramphenicol acetyltransferase activity in vitro.

The spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi was unexpectedly found to be as susceptible to diacetyl chloramphenicol, the product of the enzyme chloramphenicol acetyltransferase, as it was to chloramphenicol itself. The susceptibilities of Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, as well as that of B. burgdorferi, to diacetyl chloramphenicol were then assayed in different media. All three species were susceptible to diacetyl chloramphenicol when growth media were supplemented with rabbit serum or, to a lesser extent, human serum. Susceptibility of E. coli and B. subtilis to diacetyl chloramphenicol was not observed in the absence of serum, when horse serum was used, or when the rabbit or human serum was heated first. In the presence of 10% rabbit serum, a strain of E. coli bearing the chloramphenicol acetyltransferase (cat) gene had a fourfold-lower resistance to chloramphenicol than in the absence of serum. A plate bioassay for chloramphenicol activity showed the conversion by rabbit, mouse, and human sera but not bacterial cell extracts or heated serum of diacetyl chloramphenicol to an inhibitory compound. Deacetylation of acetyl chloramphenicol by serum components was demonstrated by using fluorescent substrates and thin-layer chromatography. These studies indicate that esterases of serum can convert diacetyl chloramphenicol back to an active antibiotic, and thus, in vitro findings may not accurately reflect the level of chloramphenicol resistance by cat-bearing bacteria in vivo.  (+info)

(6/12106) Morphological behavior of acidic and neutral liposomes induced by basic amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides with systematically varied hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance.

Lipid-peptide interaction has been investigated using cationic amphiphilic alpha-helical peptides and systematically varying their hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance (HHB). The influence of the peptides on neutral and acidic liposomes was examined by 1) Trp fluorescence quenched by brominated phospholipid, 2) membrane-clearing ability, 3) size determination of liposomes by dynamic light scattering, 4) morphological observation by electron microscopy, and 5) ability to form planar lipid bilayers from channels. The peptides examined consist of hydrophobic Leu and hydrophilic Lys residues with ratios 13:5, 11:7, 9:9, 7:11, and 5:13 (abbreviated as Hels 13-5, 11-7, 9-9, 7-11, and 5-13, respectively; Kiyota, T., S. Lee, and G. Sugihara. 1996. Biochemistry. 35:13196-13204). The most hydrophobic peptide (Hel 13-5) induced a twisted ribbon-like fibril structure for egg PC liposomes. In a 3/1 (egg PC/egg PG) lipid mixture, Hel 13-5 addition caused fusion of the liposomes. Hel 13-5 formed ion channels in neutral lipid bilayer (egg PE/egg PC = 7/3) at low peptide concentrations, but not in an acidic bilayer (egg PE/brain PS = 7/3). The peptides with hydrophobicity less than Hel 13-5 (Hels 11-7 and Hel 9-9) were able to partially immerse their hydrophobic part of the amphiphilic helix in lipid bilayers and fragment liposome to small bicelles or micelles, and then the bicelles aggregated to form a larger assembly. Peptides Hel 11-7 and Hel 9-9 each formed strong ion channels. Peptides (Hel 7-11 and Hel 5-13) with a more hydrophilic HHB interacted with an acidic lipid bilayer by charge interaction, in which the former immerses the hydrophobic part in lipid bilayer, and the latter did not immerse, and formed large assemblies by aggregation of original liposomes. The present study clearly showed that hydrophobic-hydrophilic balance of a peptide is a crucial factor in understanding lipid-peptide interactions.  (+info)

(7/12106) Localization and environment of tryptophans in soluble and membrane-bound states of a pore-forming toxin from Staphylococcus aureus.

The location and environment of tryptophans in the soluble and membrane-bound forms of Staphylococcus aureus alpha-toxin were monitored using intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Fluorescence quenching of the toxin monomer in solution indicated varying degrees of tryptophan burial within the protein interior. N-Bromosuccinimide readily abolished 80% of the fluorescence in solution. The residual fluorescence of the modified toxin showed a blue-shifted emission maximum, a longer fluorescence lifetime as compared to the unmodified and membrane-bound alpha-toxin, and a 5- to 6-nm red edge excitation shift, all indicating a restricted tryptophan environment and deeply buried tryptophans. In the membrane-bound form, the fluorescence of alpha-toxin was quenched by iodide, indicating a conformational change leading to exposure of some tryptophans. A shorter average lifetime of tryptophans in the membrane-bound alpha-toxin as compared to the native toxin supported the conclusions based on iodide quenching of the membrane-bound toxin. Fluorescence quenching of membrane-bound alpha-toxin using brominated and spin-labeled fatty acids showed no quenching of fluorescence using brominated lipids. However, significant quenching was observed using 5- and 12-doxyl stearic acids. An average depth calculation using the parallax method indicated that the doxyl-quenchable tryptophans are located at an average depth of 10 A from the center of the bilayer close to the membrane interface. This was found to be in striking agreement with the recently described structure of the membrane-bound form of alpha-toxin.  (+info)

(8/12106) Photophysical analysis of class I major histocompatibility complex protein assembly using a xanthene-derivatized beta2-microglobulin.

Spectral changes and a sixfold increase in the emission intensity were observed in the fluorescence of a single xanthene probe (Texas red) attached to beta2m-microglobulin (beta2m) upon assembly of beta2m into a ternary complex with mouse H-2Kd heavy chain and influenza nuclear protein peptide. Dissociation of the labeled beta2m from the ternary complex restored the probe's fluorescence and absorption spectra and reduced the emission intensity. Thus changes in xanthene probe fluorescence upon association/dissociation of the labeled beta2m molecule with/from the ternary complex provide a simple and convenient method for studying the assembly/dissociation mechanism of the class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I) encoded molecule. The photophysical changes in the probe can be accounted for by the oligomerization of free labeled beta2m molecules. The fluorescence at 610 nm is due to beta2m dimers, where the probes are significantly separated spatially so that their emission and excitation properties are close to those of xanthene monomers. Fluorescence around 630 nm is due to beta2m oligomers where xanthene probes interact. Minima in the steady-state excitation (550 nm) and emission (630 nm) anisotropy spectra correlate with the maxima of the high-order oligomer excitation and emission spectra, showing that their fluorescence is more depolarized. These photophysical features are explained by splitting of the first singlet excited state of interacting xanthene probes that can be modeled by exciton theory.  (+info)