Saposin C is one of four homologous proteins derived from sequential cleavage of the saposin precursor protein, prosaposin. It is an essential activator for glucocerebrosidase, the enzyme deficient in Gaucher disease. Gaucher disease is a rare autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disorder caused by mutations in the GBA gene that exhibits vast phenotypic heterogeneity, despite its designation as a “simple” Mendelian disorder. The observed phenotypic variability has led to a search for disease modifiers that can alter the Gaucher phenotype. The PSAP gene encoding saposin C is a prime candidate modifier for Gaucher disease. In humans, saposin C deficiency due tomutations in PSAP results in a Gaucher-like phenotype, despite normal in vitro glucocerebrosidase activity. Saposin C deficiency has also been shown to modify phenotype in one mousemodel of Gaucher disease. The role of saposin C as an activator required for normal glucocerebrosidase function, and the consequences of saposin C deficiency are described, and are being explored as potential modifying factors in patients with Gaucher disease.
Prosaposin; Lysosomal storage disorder; Glucocerebrosidase; Modifier; Activator
Prosaposin is a multifunctional protein with diverse functions. Intracellularly, prosaposin is a precursor of four sphingolipid activator proteins, saposins A to D, which are required for hydrolysis of sphingolipids by several lysosomal exohydrolases. Secreted prosaposin has been implicated as a neurotrophic, myelinotrophic, and myotrophic factor as well as a spermatogenic factor. It has also been implicated in fertilization. The human and the mouse prosaposin gene has a 9-bp exon (exon 8) that is alternatively spliced, resulting in an isoform with three extra amino acids, Gln-Asp-Gln, within the saposin B domain. Alternative splicing in the prosaposin gene is conserved from fish to humans, tissue specific, and regulated in the brain during development and nerve regeneration-degeneration processes. To elucidate the physiological role of alternative splicing, we have generated a mouse lacking exon 8 by homologous recombination. The exon 8 prosaposin mutant mice are healthy and fertile with no obvious phenotype. No changes were detected in prosaposin secretion or in accumulation and metabolism of gangliosides, sulfatides, neutral glycosphingolipids, neutral phospholipids, other neutral lipids, and ceramide. These data strongly indicate that the prosaposin variant containing the exon 8-encoded three amino acids is dispensable for normal mouse development and fertility as well as for prosaposin secretion and its lysosomal function, at least in the presence of the prosaposin variant missing the exon 8-encoded three amino acids.
Saposin B derives from the multi-functional precursor, prosaposin, and functions as an activity enhancer for several glycosphingolipid (GSL) hydrolases. Mutations in saposin B present in humans with phenotypes resembling metachromatic leukodystrophy. To gain insight into saposin B's physiological functions, a specific deficiency was created in mice by a knock-in mutation of an essential cysteine in exon 7 of the prosaposin locus. No saposin B protein was detected in the homozygotes (B−/−) mice, whereas prosaposin, and saposins A, C and D were at normal levels. B−/− mice exhibited slowly progressive neuromotor deterioration and minor head tremor by 15 months. Excess hydroxy and non-hydroxy fatty acid sulfatide levels were present in brain and kidney. Alcian blue positive (sulfatide) storage cells were found in the brain, spinal cord and kidney. Ultrastructural analyses showed lamellar inclusion material in the kidney, sciatic nerve, brain and spinal cord tissues. Lactosylceramide (LacCer) and globotriaosylceramide (TriCer) were increased in various tissues of B−/− mice supporting the in vivo role of saposin B in the degradation of these lipids. CD68 positive microglial cells and activated GFAP positive astrocytes showed a proinflammatory response in the brains of B−/− mice. These findings delineate the roles of saposin B for the in vivo degradation of several GSLs and its primary function in maintenance of CNS function. B−/− provide a useful model for understanding the contributions of this saposin to GSL metabolism and homeostasis.
Human M-ficolin fibrinogen-like domain has been overexpressed in P. pastoris, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data have been collected to 1.9 Å.
Ficolins, which are comprised of a collagen-like domain and a fibrinogen-like domain, are a kind of pattern-recognition molecule for pathogens in the innate immunity system. To investigate the molecular mechanism of the discrimination between self and non-self by ficolins, human M-ficolin fibrinogen-like domain (FD1), which contains the ligand-binding site, was overexpressed in Pichia pastoris, purified and crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method at 293 K. The crystals belong to the monoclinic space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 55.16, b = 117.45, c = 55.19 Å, β = 99.88°, and contain three molecules per asymmetric unit. An X-ray data set was collected to 1.9 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation at beamline BL24XU at the SPring-8 facility in Japan.
ficolin; Pichia pastoris; innate immunity
Mutations in both acid-β-glucosidase (GCase) and saposin C lead to Gaucher disease, the most common lysosomal storage disorder. The past several years have seen an explosion of structural and biochemical information for these proteins, which have provided new insight into the biology and pathogenesis of Gaucher disease, as well as opportunities for new therapeutic directions. Nearly 20 crystal structures of GCase are now available, from different heterologous sources, complexed with different ligands in the active site, in different glycosylation states, as well as one that harbors a prevalent disease-causing mutation, N370S. For saposin C, two NMR and 3 crystal structures have been solved, each with its unique snapshot. This review focuses on the details of these structures to highlight salient common and disparate features that contribute to our current state of knowledge of this complex orphan disease.
The preliminary crystallographic analysis of the N-terminal domain of FILIA is described in this paper. FILIA is a component of subcortical maternal complex, which plays critical roles in embryogenesis.
FILIA is a component of the subcortical maternal complex that is essential for early stage embryogenesis. Its 6×His-tagged N-terminal domain was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Two types of crystals formed under different crystallization conditions during screening. Orthorhombic crystals appeared in a solution containing 1.4 M ammonium sulfate, 0.1 M Tris pH 8.2 and 12% glycerol, while tetragonal crystals were obtained using 15% PEG 4000 mixed with 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5 and 15% 2-propanol. High-quality diffraction data were collected from the two crystal forms to resolutions of 1.8 and 2.2 Å, respectively, using synchrotron radiation. The Matthews coefficients indicated that the P212121 and P41212 crystals contained two molecules and one molecule per asymmetric unit, respectively. A selenomethionine-substituted sample failed to crystallize under the native conditions, but another orthorhombic crystal form was obtained under different conditions and anomalous diffraction data were collected.
Atomic-resolution X-ray crystallography, functional analyses, and molecular dynamics simulations suggest a novel mechanism for the regulation of water flux through the yeast Aqy1 water channel.
Aquaporins are transmembrane proteins that facilitate the flow of water through cellular membranes. An unusual characteristic of yeast aquaporins is that they frequently contain an extended N terminus of unknown function. Here we present the X-ray structure of the yeast aquaporin Aqy1 from Pichia pastoris at 1.15 Å resolution. Our crystal structure reveals that the water channel is closed by the N terminus, which arranges as a tightly wound helical bundle, with Tyr31 forming H-bond interactions to a water molecule within the pore and thereby occluding the channel entrance. Nevertheless, functional assays show that Aqy1 has appreciable water transport activity that aids survival during rapid freezing of P. pastoris. These findings establish that Aqy1 is a gated water channel. Mutational studies in combination with molecular dynamics simulations imply that gating may be regulated by a combination of phosphorylation and mechanosensitivity.
All living organisms must regulate precisely the flow of water into and out of cells in order to maintain cell shape and integrity. Proteins of one family, the aquaporins, are found in virtually every living organism and play a major role in maintaining water homeostasis by acting as regulated water channels. Here we describe the first crystal structure of a yeast aquaporin, Aqy1, at 1.15 Å resolution, which represents the highest resolution structural data obtained to date for a membrane protein. Using this structural information, we address an outstanding biological question surrounding yeast aquaporins: what is the functional role of the amino-terminal extension that is characteristic of yeast aquaporins? Our structural data show that the amino terminus of Aqy1 fulfills a novel gate-like function by folding to form a cytoplasmic helical bundle with a tyrosine residue entering the water channel and occluding the cytoplasmic entrance. Molecular dynamics simulations and functional studies in combination with site-directed mutagenesis suggest that water flow is regulated through a combination of mechanosensitive gating and post-translational modifications such as phosphorylation. Our study therefore provides insight into a unique mechanism for the regulation of water flux in yeast.
Prosaposin encodes, in tandem, four small acidic activator proteins (saposins) with specificities for glycosphingolipid (GSL) hydrolases in lysosomes. Extensive GSL storage occurs in various central nervous system regions in mammalian prosaposin deficiencies.
Our hypomorphic prosaposin deficient mouse, PS-NA, exhibited 45% WT levels of brain saposins and showed neuropathology that included neuronal GSL storage and Purkinje cell loss. Impairment of neuronal function was observed as early as 6 wks as demonstrated by the narrow bridges tests. Temporal transcriptome microarray analyses of brain tissues were conducted with mRNA from three prosaposin deficient mouse models: PS-NA, prosaposin null (PS-/-) and a V394L/V394L glucocerebrosidase mutation combined with PS-NA (4L/PS-NA). Gene expression alterations in cerebrum and cerebellum were detectable at birth preceding the neuronal deficits. Differentially expressed genes encompassed a broad spectrum of cellular functions. The number of down-regulated genes was constant, but up-regulated gene numbers increased with age. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein delta (CEBPD) was the only up-regulated transcription factor in these two brain regions of all three models. Network analyses revealed that CEBPD has functional relationships with genes in transcription, pro-inflammation, cell death, binding, myelin and transport.
These results show that: 1) Regionally specific gene expression abnormalities precede the brain histological and neuronal function changes, 2) Temporal gene expression profiles provide insights into the molecular mechanism during the GSL storage disease course, and 3) CEBPD is a candidate regulator of brain disease in prosaposin deficiency to participate in modulating disease acceleration or progression.
Two C-terminal fragments of the RNA helicase Hera have been crytallized in three crystal forms, one of which was phased by MAD using a single selenium site.
Heat-resistant RNA-dependent ATPase (Hera) from Thermus thermophilus is a DEAD-box RNA helicase. Two constructs encompassing the second RecA-like domain and the C-terminal domain of Hera were overproduced in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. Single crystals of both Hera constructs were obtained in three crystal forms. A tetragonal crystal form belonged to space group P41212, with unit-cell parameters a = 65.5, c = 153.0 Å, and contained one molecule per asymmetric unit. Two orthorhombic forms belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 62.8, b = 70.9, c = 102.3 Å (form I) and a = 41.6, b = 67.6, c = 183.5 Å (form II). Both orthorhombic forms contained two molecules per asymmetric unit. All crystals diffracted X-rays to beyond 3 Å resolution, but the tetragonal data sets displayed high Wilson B values and high mean |E
2 − 1| values, indicating potential disorder and anisotropy. The tetragonal crystal was phased by MAD using a single selenium site.
Hera; Thermus thermophilus; DEAD-box RNA helicases; ATPases
Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is essential for ATP production in the mitochondria, and is an important antioxidant in every biomembrane and lipoprotein. Due to its hydrophobicity, a binding and transfer protein for CoQ10 is plausible, but none have yet been isolated and characterized. Here we purified a CoQ10-binding protein from human urine and identified it to be saposin B, a housekeeping protein necessary for sphingolipid hydrolysis in lysosomes. We confirmed that cellular saposin B binds CoQ10 in human sperm and the hepatoma cell line HepG2 by using saposin B monoclonal antibody. The molar ratios of CoQ10 to saposin B were estimated to be 0.22 in urine, 0.003 in HepG2, and 0.12 in sperm. We then confirmed that aqueous saposin B extracts CoQ10 from hexane to form a saposin B-CoQ10 complex. Lipid binding affinity to saposin B decreased in the following order: CoQ10>CoQ9>CoQ7>>α-tocopherol>>cholesterol (no binding). The CoQ10-binding affinity to saposin B increased with pH, with maximal binding seen at pH 7.4. On the other hand, the CoQ10-donating activity of the saposin B-CoQ10 complex to erythrocyte ghost membranes increased with decreasing pH. These results suggest that saposin B binds and transports CoQ10 in human cells.
coenzyme Q10 binding protein; saposin B; urine; sperm; HepG2
Saposin-like proteins (SAPLIPs) from soil-transmitted helminths play pivotal roles in host-pathogen interactions and have a high potential as targets for vaccination against parasitic diseases. We have identified two non-orthologous SAPLIPs from human and dog hookworm, Na-SLP-1 and Ac-SLP-1, and solved their three-dimensional crystal structures. Both proteins share the property of membrane binding as monitored by liposome co-pelleting assays and monolayer adsorption. Neither SAPLIP displayed any significant haemolytic or bactericidal activity. Based on the structural information, as well as the results from monolayer adsorption, we propose models of membrane interactions for both SAPLIPs. Initial membrane contact of the monomeric Na-SLP-1 is most likely by electrostatic interactions between the membrane surface and a prominent basic surface patch. In case of the dimeric Ac-SLP-1, membrane interactions are most likely initiated by a unique tryptophan residue that has previously been implicated in membrane interactions in other SAPLIPs.
The thermostable direct haemolysin from G. hollisae has been purified and crystallized in two crystal forms using the vapour-diffusion method.
Vibrio hollisae, a halophilic species recently reclassified as Grimontia hollisae, is a causative agent of gastroenteritis and septicaemia. One important pathogenic Vibrio factor, thermostable direct haemolysin (TDH), has been purified and crystallized in two crystal forms using the vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to an orthorhombic space group, with unit-cell parameters a = 104.8, b = 112.4, c = 61.3 Å and a = 122.9, b = 123.3, c = 89.8 Å. The crystals contained either four or eight molecules per asymmetric unit, with predicted solvent contents of 49.4 and 46.3% and Matthews coefficients (V
M) of 2.4 and 2.3 Å3 Da−1, respectively. These crystals were suitable for structure determination, which would yield structural details related to the cytotoxicity and oligomeric structure of this pore-forming toxin.
thermostable direct haemolysin; Grimontia hollisae
The properties of control and 370Asn-->Ser glucocerebrosidase, the frequently encountered mutated form of the enzyme in type 1 Gaucher disease, were studied in vitro as well as in situ. The catalytic properties of purified 370Asn-->Ser glucocerebrosidase were highly dependent on the assay conditions. The enzyme was deficient in activity towards substrate and in reactivity with the irreversible inhibitor conduritol B-epoxide (CBE) when activated by the bile salt taurocholate. In the presence of more physiological activators, the lysosomal activator protein saposin C and phosphatidylserine, the 370Asn-->Ser enzyme was near normal in kinetic properties at pH values approximately 5, but not at higher pH. In intact fibroblasts, the enzymic activity of the 370Asn-->Ser glucocerebrosidase and its reactivity with CBE were found to be clearly deficient. However, in intact lymphoblasts from the same patients, the behavior of the mutant enzyme was near normal. The catalytic efficiency of 370Asn-->Ser glucocerebrosidase in situ was also found to be highly pH dependent. When intact lymphoblasts were cultured in the presence of permeant weak bases, which increase the pH of acidic intracellular compartments, the catalytic efficiency of the mutant enzyme, as assessed by its reactivity with CBE, became markedly impaired. Our findings indicate that the intralysosomal pH in the intact cell can be expected to have a critical influence on the activation state of 370Asn-->Ser glucocerebrosidase and its ability to hydrolyse substrate. This phenomenon may partly underly the marked heterogeneity in clinical manifestation of Gaucher disease among patients with this mutated form of glucocerebrosidase.
A hexagonal crystal of free methionine-(R)-sulfoxide reductase from S. aureus has been obtained using ammonium sulfate as a precipitant.
Free methionine-(R)-sulfoxide reductase (fRMsr) catalyzes the reduction of the free form of methionine-(R)-sulfoxide back to free methionine. The fRMsr protein from Staphylococcus aureus was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized at 295 K using ammonium sulfate as a precipitant. Diffraction data were collected to 1.7 Å resolution from a native crystal using synchrotron radiation. The crystal belonged to the hexagonal space group P6122, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 89.84, c = 88.75 Å, α = β = 90, γ = 120°. Assuming the presence of one molecule in the asymmetric unit, the calculated Matthews coefficient value was 2.21 Å3 Da−1, with a solvent content of 57.1%.
methionine sulfoxide; free methionine; free methionine-(R)-sulfoxide reductase
γ-Tocopherol, the major form of dietary vitamin E, is absorbed in the intestine and is secreted in chylomicrons, which are then transferred to liver lysosomes. Most γ-tocopherol is transferred to liver microsomes and is catabolized by cytochrome p450. Due to the hydrophobicity of γ-tocopherol, a binding and transfer protein is plausible, but none have yet been isolated and characterized. We recently found that a ubiquitous cytosolic protein, saposin B, binds and transfers coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is an essential factor for ATP production and an important antioxidant. Here, we report that saposin B also binds γ-tocopherol, but not α-tocopherol, as efficiently as CoQ10 at pH 7.4. At acidic pH, saposin B binds γ-tocopherol preferentially to CoQ10 and α-tocopherol. Furthermore, we confirmed that saposin B selectively binds γ-tocopherol instead of CoQ10 and α-tocopherol at every pH between 5.4 and 8.0 when all three lipids are competing for binding. We detected γ-tocopherol in human saposin B monoclonal antibody-induced immunoprecipitates from human urine, although the amount of γ-tocopherol was much smaller than that of CoQ10. These results suggest that saposin B binds and transports γ-tocopherol in human cells.
saposin B; γ-tocopherol; α-tocopherol; coenzyme Q10
The M. tuberculosis protein Rv0765c was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized. In an attempt to improve the quality of the crystals of Rv0765c, the protein was modified by reductive methylation. The methylated protein crystallized in a new crystal form with profoundly improved diffraction properties.
Rv0765c from Mycobacterium tuberculosis was cloned and heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli. It was purified using affinity and size-exclusion chromatographic techniques and crystallized. The native protein crystallized in a hexagonal crystal form which diffracted to 7 Å resolution. In an attempt to improve the quality of the Rv0765c crystals, the protein was modified by reductive methylation using dimethylaminoborane and formaldehyde. The modified protein crystallized under different conditions in a tetragonal crystal form, from which diffraction data could be collected to a resolution of 3.2 Å. In both crystal forms of Rv0765c, the asymmetric unit contained two copies of the protein molecule.
reductive methylation; Rv0765c; Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Double-stranded DNA molecules (molecular weight 2.5 X 10(5) - 5 X 10(5) daltons) have been crystallized from water-salt solutions as cetyltrimethylammonium salts (CTA-DNA). Variation of crystallization conditions results in a production of different types of CTA-DNA crystals: spherulits, dendrites, needle-shaped and faceted rhombic crystals, the latter beeing up to 0.3 mm on a side. X-ray diffraction data indicate that DNA molecules in the crystals form a hexagonal lattice which parameters vary slightly with the morphological type of the crystal. Comparison of the melting curves of the DNA preparation before and after crystallization suggests that DNA molecules are partially fractionated in the course of crystallization. Crystals of the CTA-DNA-proflavine complex have also been obtained.
Saposins A, B, C and D are derived from a common precursor, prosaposin (psap). The few patients with saposin C deficiency develop a Gaucher disease-like central nervous system (CNS) phenotype attributed to diminished glucosylceramide (GC) cleavage activity by acid β-glucosidase (GCase). The in vivo effects of saposin C were examined by creating mice with selective absence of saposin C (C−/−) using a knock-in point mutation (cysteine-to-proline) in exon 11 of the psap gene. In C−/− mice, prosaposin and saposins A, B and D proteins were present at near wild-type levels, but the saposin C protein was absent. By 1 year, the C−/− mice exhibited weakness of the hind limbs and progressive ataxia. Decreased neuromotor activity and impaired hippocampal long-term potentiation were evident. Foamy storage cells were observed in dorsal root ganglion and there was progressive loss of cerebellar Purkinje cells and atrophy of cerebellar granule cells. Ultrastructural analyses revealed inclusions in axonal processes in the spinal cord, sciatic nerve and brain, but no excess of multivesicular bodies. Activated microglial cells and astrocytes were present in thalamus, brain stem, cerebellum and spinal cord, indicating regional pro-inflammatory responses. No storage cells were found in visceral organs of these mice. The absence of saposin C led to moderate increases in GC and lactosylceramide (LacCer) and their deacylated analogues. These results support the view that saposin C has multiple roles in glycosphingolipid (GSL) catabolism as well as a prominent function in CNS and axonal integrity independent of its role as an optimizer/stabilizer of GCase.
HA3, a 70 kDa haemagglutinating protein, is a precursor form of HA3a and HA3b, the subcomponents of Clostridium botulinum type C 16S progenitor toxin. In this report, recombinant HA3 protein was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized.
HA3, a 70 kDa haemagglutinating protein, is a precursor form of HA3a and HA3b, the subcomponents of Clostridium botulinum type C 16S progenitor toxin. In this report, recombinant HA3 protein was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized. Diffraction data were collected to 2.6 Å resolution and the crystal belonged to the hexagonal space group P63. Matthews coefficient and self-rotation function calculations indicate that there is probably one molecule of HA3 in the asymmetric unit. A search for heavy-atom derivatives has been undertaken.
Clostridium botulinum; C16S toxin; HA3
Human RuvB-like protein RuvBL1 plays important roles in essential signaling pathways like c-Myc and Wnt, in transcription, and in DNA repair and apoptosis. Crystals of both native and a Se-Met derivative were obtained and characterized. SAD data leading to the structure solution at 2.2 Å were measured from the Se-Met crystals.
RuvBL1, an evolutionary highly conserved protein related to the AAA+ family of ATPases, has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 293 K. The crystals are hexagonal and belong to space group P6, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 207.1, c = 60.7 Å and three molecules in the asymmetric unit.
The cloning, overexpression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase from A. mylitta are reported.
Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase from Antheraea mylitta (AmGAPDH) was cloned in pQE30 vector, overexpressed in Escherichia coli M15 (pREP4) cells and purified to homogeneity. The protein was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 85.81, b = 133.72, c = 220.37 Å. X-ray diffraction data were collected and processed to a maximum resolution of 2.2 Å. The presence of three molecules in the asymmetric unit gave a Matthews coefficient (V
M) of 2.80 Å3 Da−1, with a solvent content of 56.08%.
glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase; Antheraea mylitta
Crystallization of proteins is important for fundamental studies and biopharmaceutical development but remains largely an empirical science. Here, we report the use of organic salts that can form a class of unusual non-amphiphilic lyotropic liquid crystals to crystallize the protein lysozyme. Certain non-amphiphilic organic molecules with fused aromatic rings and two charges can assemble into stable thread-like noncovalent polymers that may further form liquid crystal phases in water, traditionally termed chromonic liquid crystals. Using five of these mesogenic molecules as additives to induce protein crystallization, we discover that molecules that can form liquid crystal phases in water are highly effective at inducing the crystal formation of lysozyme, even at concentrations significantly lower than that required for forming liquid crystal phases. This result reveals an example of inducing protein crystallization by the molecular assembly of the additives, and is consistent with a new mechanism by which the strong hydration of an assembly process provides a gradual means to compete for the water molecules to enable solvated proteins to form crystals.
The first diffraction-quality crystals of a PutA protein are reported. One of the three crystal forms described here exhibits pseudo-merohedral twinning. Removal of the N-terminal histidine tag aided the crystallization of another form.
Proline utilization A proteins (PutAs) are large (1000–1300 residues) membrane-associated bifunctional flavoenzymes that catalyze the two-step oxidation of proline to glutamate by the sequential action of proline dehydrogenase and Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase domains. Here, the first successful crystallization efforts for a PutA protein are described. Three crystal forms of PutA from Bradyrhizobium japonicum are reported: apparent tetragonal, hexagonal and centered monoclinic. The apparent tetragonal and hexagonal crystals were grown in the presence of PEG 3350 and sodium formate near pH 7. The apparent tetragonal form diffracted to 2.7 Å resolution and exhibited pseudo-merohedral twinning such that the true space group is P212121 with four molecules in the asymmetric unit. The hexagonal form diffracted to 2.3 Å resolution and belonged to space group P6222 with one molecule in the asymmetric unit. Centered monoclinic crystals were grown in ammonium sulfate, diffracted to 2.3 Å resolution and had two molecules in the asymmetric unit. Removing the histidine tag was important in order to obtain the C2 crystal form.
proline utilization A; PutA; proline catabolism; proline dehydrogenase; P5C dehydrogenase; pseudo-merohedral twinning
Gaucher disease (GD), the most common lysosomal storage disorder, results from the inherited deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme glucocerebrosidase (GCase). Previously, wildtype GCase was used for high throughput screening (HTS) of large collections of compounds to identify small molecule chaperones that could be developed as new therapies for GD. However, the compounds identified from HTS usually showed reduced potency later in confirmatory cell-based assays. An alternate strategy is to perform HTS on mutant enzyme to identify different lead compounds, including those enhancing mutant enzyme activities. We developed a new screening assay using enzyme extract prepared from the spleen of a patient with Gaucher disease with genotype N370S/N370S. In tissue extracts, GCase is in a more native physiological environment, and is present with the native activator saposin C and other potential cofactors. Using this assay, we screened a library of 250,000 compounds and identified novel modulators of mutant GCase including 14 new lead inhibitors and 30 lead activators. The activities of some of the primary hits were confirmed in subsequent cell-based assays using patient-derived fibroblasts. These results suggest that primary screening assays using enzyme extracted from tissues is an alternative approach to identify high quality, physiologically relevant lead compounds for drug development.
The crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase from H. halochoris is reported.
Sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase (EC 184.108.40.206) is an enzyme from the extremely halophilic anaerobic bacterium Halorhodospira halochoris. This enzyme catalyzes the twofold methylation of sarcosine to betaine, with S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) as the methyl-group donor. This study presents the crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of recombinant sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase produced in Escherichia coli. Mass spectroscopy was used to determine the purity and homogeneity of the enzyme material. Two different crystal forms, which initially appeared to be hexagonal and tetragonal, were obtained. However, on analyzing the diffraction data it was discovered that both crystal forms were pseudo-merohedrally twinned. The true crystal systems were monoclinic and orthorhombic. The monoclinic crystal diffracted to a maximum of 2.15 Å resolution and the orthorhombic crystal diffracted to 1.8 Å resolution.
sarcosine dimethylglycine methyltransferase; Halorhodospira halochoris; twinning