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1.  Structural Studies of an Anti-Inflammatory Lectin from Canavalia boliviana Seeds in Complex with Dimannosides 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(5):e97015.
Plant lectins, especially those purified from species of the Leguminosae family, represent the best-studied group of carbohydrate-binding proteins. Lectins purified from seeds of the Diocleinae subtribe exhibit a high degree of sequence identity notwithstanding that they show very distinct biological activities. Two main factors have been related to this feature: variance in key residues influencing the carbohydrate-binding site geometry and differences in the pH-dependent oligomeric state profile. In this work, we have isolated a lectin from Canavalia boliviana (Cbol) and solved its x-ray crystal structure in the unbound form and in complex with the carbohydrates Man(α1-3)Man(α1-O)Me, Man(α1-4)Man(α1-O)Me and 5-bromo-4-chloro-3-indolyl-α-D-mannose. We evaluated its oligomerization profile at different pH values using Small Angle X-ray Scattering and compared it to that of Concanavalin A. Based on predicted pKa-shifts of amino acids in the subunit interfaces we devised a model for the dimer-tetramer equilibrium phenomena of these proteins. Additionally, we demonstrated Cbol anti-inflammatory properties and further characterized them using in vivo and in vitro models.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0097015
PMCID: PMC4035259  PMID: 24865454
2.  Structure of a lectin from Canavalia gladiata seeds: new structural insights for old molecules 
Background
Lectins are mainly described as simple carbohydrate-binding proteins. Previous studies have tried to identify other binding sites, which possible recognize plant hormones, secondary metabolites, and isolated amino acid residues. We report the crystal structure of a lectin isolated from Canavalia gladiata seeds (CGL), describing a new binding pocket, which may be related to pathogen resistance activity in ConA-like lectins; a site where a non-protein amino-acid, α-aminobutyric acid (Abu), is bound.
Results
The overall structure of native CGL and complexed with α-methyl-mannoside and Abu have been refined at 2.3 Å and 2.31 Å resolution, respectively. Analysis of the electron density maps of the CGL structure shows clearly the presence of Abu, which was confirmed by mass spectrometry.
Conclusion
The presence of Abu in a plant lectin structure strongly indicates the ability of lectins on carrying secondary metabolites. Comparison of the amino acids composing the site with other legume lectins revealed that this site is conserved, providing an evidence of the biological relevance of this site. This new action of lectins strengthens their role in defense mechanisms in plants.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-7-52
PMCID: PMC1955443  PMID: 17683532
3.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the lectin from Canavalia boliviana Piper seeds 
Canavalia boliviana lectin (Cbol) was purified using a Sephadex G-50 column and crystallized in the presence of X-Man by hanging-drop vapour diffusion at 293 K. After optimization, crystals suitable for diffraction were obtained using 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5 and 3.0 M sodium formate.
Plant lectins are the most studied group of carbohydrate-binding proteins. Despite the high similarity between the members of the Diocleinae subtribe (Leguminosae) group, they present differing biological activities. Canavalia boliviana lectin (Cbol) was purified using a Sephadex G-50 column and crystallized in the presence of X-Man by hanging-drop vapour diffusion at 293 K. After optimization, crystals suitable for diffraction were obtained under the condition 0.1 M HEPES pH 7.5 and 3.0 M sodium formate. The crystal belonged to the monoclinic space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 126.70, b = 66.64, c = 64.99 Å, α = 90.0, β = 120.8, γ = 90.0°. Assuming the presence of a dimer in the asymmetric unit, the solvent content was estimated to be about 46%. A complete data set was collected at 1.5 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109000797
PMCID: PMC2650465  PMID: 19255467
lectins; Canavalia boliviana Piper
4.  A Lectin from Dioclea violacea Interacts with Midgut Surface of Lutzomyia migonei, Unlike Its Homologues, Cratylia floribunda Lectin and Canavalia gladiata Lectin 
The Scientific World Journal  2014;2014:239208.
Leishmaniasis is a vector-borne disease transmitted by phlebotomine sand fly. Susceptibility and refractoriness to Leishmania depend on the outcome of multiple interactions that take place within the sand fly gut. Promastigote attachment to sand fly midgut epithelium is essential to avoid being excreted together with the digested blood meal. Promastigote and gut sand fly surface glycans are important ligands in this attachment. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the interaction of three lectins isolated from leguminous seeds (Diocleinae subtribe), D-glucose and D-mannose-binding, with glycans on Lutzomyia migonei midgut. To study this interaction the lectins were labeled with FITC and a fluorescence assay was performed. The results showed that only Dioclea violacea lectin (DVL) was able to interact with midgut glycans, unlike Cratylia floribunda lectin (CFL) and Canavalia gladiata lectin (CGL). Furthermore, when DVL was blocked with D-mannose the interaction was inhibited. Differences of spatial arrangement of residues and volume of carbohydrate recognition domain (CRD) may be the cause of the fine specificity of DVL for glycans in the surface on Lu. migonei midgut. The findings in this study showed the presence of glycans in the midgut with glucose/mannose residues in its composition and these residues may be important in interaction between Lu. migonei midgut and Leishmania.
doi:10.1155/2014/239208
PMCID: PMC4238264  PMID: 25431778
5.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the lectin from Dioclea rostrata Benth seeds 
D. rostrata lectin was crystallized by hanging-drop vapor diffusion. The crystal belongs to the orthorhombic space group I222 and diffracted to 1.87 Å resolution.
Lectins from the Diocleinae subtribe (Leguminosae) are highly similar proteins that promote various biological activities with distinctly differing potencies. The structural basis for this experimental data is not yet fully understood. Dioclea rostrata lectin was purified and crystallized by hanging-drop vapour diffusion at 293 K. The crystal belongs to the orthorhombic space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.51, b = 88.22, c = 87.76 Å.  Assuming the presence of one monomer per asymmetric unit, the solvent content was estimated to be about 47.9%. A complete data set was collected at 1.87 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106001801
PMCID: PMC2150952  PMID: 16511292
lectins; Dioclea rostrata
6.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the Man(α1-2)Man-specific lectin from Bowringia mildbraedii in complex with its carbohydrate ligand 
The lectin from the Nigerian legume B. mildbraedii was crystallized in complex with Man(α1-2)Man and data were collected to a resolution of 1.90 Å using synchrotron radiation.
The lectin from Bowringia mildbraedii seeds crystallizes in the presence of the disaccharide Man(α1-2)Man. The best crystals grow at 293 K within four weeks after a pre-incubation at 277 K to induce nucleation. A complete data set was collected to a resolution of 1.90 Å using synchrotron radiation. The crystals belong to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 66.06, b = 86.35, c = 91.76 Å, and contain one lectin monomer in the asymmetric unit.
doi:10.1107/S174430910502854X
PMCID: PMC1991310  PMID: 16511199
Bowringia mildbraedii; legume lectins; carbohydrate recognition
7.  Ipomoelin, a Jacalin-Related Lectin with a Compact Tetrameric Association and Versatile Carbohydrate Binding Properties Regulated by Its N Terminus 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e40618.
Many proteins are induced in the plant defense response to biotic stress or mechanical wounding. One group is lectins. Ipomoelin (IPO) is one of the wound-inducible proteins of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas cv. Tainung 57) and is a Jacalin-related lectin (JRL). In this study, we resolved the crystal structures of IPO in its apo form and in complex with carbohydrates such as methyl α-D-mannopyranoside (Me-Man), methyl α-D-glucopyranoside (Me-Glc), and methyl α-D-galactopyranoside (Me-Gal) in different space groups. The packing diagrams indicated that IPO might represent a compact tetrameric association in the JRL family. The protomer of IPO showed a canonical β-prism fold with 12 strands of β-sheets but with 2 additional short β-strands at the N terminus. A truncated IPO (ΔN10IPO) by removing the 2 short β-strands of the N terminus was used to reveal its role in a tetrameric association. Gel filtration chromatography confirmed IPO as a tetrameric form in solution. Isothermal titration calorimetry determined the binding constants (KA) of IPO and ΔN10IPO against various carbohydrates. IPO could bind to Me-Man, Me-Glc, and Me-Gal with similar binding constants. In contrast, ΔN10IPO showed high binding ability to Me-Man and Me-Glc but could not bind to Me-Gal. Our structural and functional analysis of IPO revealed that its compact tetrameric association and carbohydrate binding polyspecificity could be regulated by the 2 additional N-terminal β-strands. The versatile carbohydrate binding properties of IPO might play a role in plant defense.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040618
PMCID: PMC3394770  PMID: 22808208
8.  Caenorhabditis elegans N-glycan Core β-galactoside Confers Sensitivity towards Nematotoxic Fungal Galectin CGL2 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(1):e1000717.
The physiological role of fungal galectins has remained elusive. Here, we show that feeding of a mushroom galectin, Coprinopsis cinerea CGL2, to Caenorhabditis elegans inhibited development and reproduction and ultimately resulted in killing of this nematode. The lack of toxicity of a carbohydrate-binding defective CGL2 variant and the resistance of a C. elegans mutant defective in GDP-fucose biosynthesis suggested that CGL2-mediated nematotoxicity depends on the interaction between the galectin and a fucose-containing glycoconjugate. A screen for CGL2-resistant worm mutants identified this glycoconjugate as a Galβ1,4Fucα1,6 modification of C. elegans N-glycan cores. Analysis of N-glycan structures in wild type and CGL2-resistant nematodes confirmed this finding and allowed the identification of a novel putative glycosyltransferase required for the biosynthesis of this glycoepitope. The X-ray crystal structure of a complex between CGL2 and the Galβ1,4Fucα1,6GlcNAc trisaccharide at 1.5 Å resolution revealed the biophysical basis for this interaction. Our results suggest that fungal galectins play a role in the defense of fungi against predators by binding to specific glycoconjugates of these organisms.
Author Summary
Fungi are a source of a large variety of carbohydrate-binding proteins (lectins). Synthesis of these proteins usually occurs in the cytoplasm and is often restricted to the reproductive organs (fruiting bodies, sclerotia) of the respective fungi. Although these lectins can be very abundant in these organs, their function is unknown. The specificity for non-fungal carbohydrates and recent functional studies in genetically amenable fungi argue against an endogenous function in development. Here we show that oral administration of the fruiting-body-specific galectins of the ink cap mushroom Coprinopsis cinerea is toxic for the model nematode Caenorhabditis elegans and that the nematotoxicity of these fungal lectins is dependent on binding to a specific β-galactoside occurring on nematode, but not on fungal, N-glycans. Since fungal-feeding nematodes represent the predominant predators of fungi in the soil, these results suggest that these lectins are effectors of a protein-mediated fungal defense system. Lectin-mediated defense strategies against predators, parasites and pathogens are also used by plants and animals. Due to the conservation of this type of innate defense amongst eukaryotes and the reduced complexity of fungi, studies of this in fungi could contribute to a better understanding of analogous systems and the evolution of multi-level defense in animals.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1000717
PMCID: PMC2798750  PMID: 20062796
9.  Crystal Structures of Streptococcus suis Mannonate Dehydratase (ManD) and Its Complex with Substrate: Genetic and Biochemical Evidence for a Catalytic Mechanism▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2009;191(18):5832-5837.
Mannonate dehydratase (ManD) is found only in certain bacterial species, where it participates in the dissimilation of glucuronate. ManD catalyzes the dehydration of d-mannonate to yield 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate (2-KDG), the carbon and energy source for growth. Selective inactivation of ManD by drug targeting is of therapeutic interest in the treatment of human Streptococcus suis infections. Here, we report the overexpression, purification, functional characterization, and crystallographic structure of ManD from S. suis. Importantly, by Fourier transform mass spectrometry, we show that 2-KDG is formed when the chemically synthesized substrate (d-mannonate) is incubated with ManD. Inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry revealed the presence of Mn2+ in the purified protein, and in the solution state catalytically active ManD exists as a homodimer of two 41-kDa subunits. The crystal structures of S. suis ManD in native form and in complex with its substrate and Mn2+ ion have been solved at a resolution of 2.9 Å. The core structure of S. suis ManD is a TIM barrel similar to that of other members of the xylose isomerase-like superfamily. Structural analyses and comparative amino acid sequence alignments provide evidence for the importance of His311 and Tyr325 in ManD activity. The results of site-directed mutagenesis confirmed the functional role(s) of these residues in the dehydration reaction and a plausible mechanism for the ManD-catalyzed reaction is proposed.
doi:10.1128/JB.00599-09
PMCID: PMC2737975  PMID: 19617363
10.  Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of BipD, a component of the Burkholderia pseudomallei type III secretion system 
A construct consisting of residues 10–310 of mature BipD, a component of the B. pseudomallei type III secretion system, has been crystallized. Native BipD crystals and SeMet and K2PtCl4 derivative crystals have undergone preliminary crystallographic analysis.
A construct consisting of residues 10–310 of BipD, a component of the Burkholderia pseudomallei type III secretion system (T3SS), has been overexpressed as a GST fusion, cleaved from the GST tag and purified. Crystals were grown of native and selenomethionine-labelled BipD. The crystals grow in two different polymorphs from the same condition. The first polymorph belongs to space group C222, with unit-cell parameters a = 103.98, b = 122.79, c = 49.17 Å, a calculated Matthews coefficient of 2.4 Å3 Da−1 (47% solvent content) and one molecule per asymmetric unit. The second polymorph belongs to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 136.47, b = 89.84, c = 50.15 Å, and a calculated Matthews coefficient of 2.3 Å3 Da−1 (45% solvent content) for two molecules per asymmetric unit (analysis of the self-rotation function indicates the presence of a weak twofold non-crystallographic symmetry axis in this P21212 form). The native crystals of both forms give diffraction data to 2.7 Å resolution, while the SeMet-labelled P21212 crystals diffract to 3.3 Å resolution. A K2PtCl4 derivative of the P21212 form was also obtained and data were collected to 2.7 Å with radiation of wavelength λ = 0.933 Å. The Pt-derivative anomalous difference Patterson map revealed two self-peaks on the Harker sections.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106027035
PMCID: PMC1894745  PMID: 16946464
BipD; type III secretion system; Burkholderia pseudomallei
11.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of a lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds 
A lectin from C. maritima was crystallized using the vapour-diffusion method and crystals diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%, refinement is in progress.
A lectin from Canavalia maritima seeds (ConM) was purified and submitted to crystallization experiments. The best crystals were obtained using the vapour-diffusion method at a constant temperature of 293 K and grew in 7 d. A complete structural data set was collected to 2.1 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source. The ConM crystal belongs to the orthorhombic space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 67.15, b = 70.90, c = 97.37 Å. A molecular-replacement search found a solution with a correlation coefficient of 69.2% and an R factor of 42.5%. Crystallographic refinement is under way.
doi:10.1107/S1744309104029197
PMCID: PMC1952371  PMID: 16508099
lectins; Canavalia maritima
12.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a family 43 β-d-xylosidase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T-6 
The crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a β-d-xylosidase from G. stearothermophilus T-6, a family 43 glycoside hydrolase, is described. Native and catalytic inactive mutants of the enzymes were crystallized in two different space groups, orthorhombic P21212 and tetragonal P41212 (or the enantiomorphic space group P43212), using a sensitive cryoprotocol. The latter crystal form diffracted X-rays to a resolution of 2.2 Å.
β-d-Xylosidases (EC 3.2.1.37) are hemicellulases that cleave single xylose units from the nonreducing end of xylooligomers. In this study, the crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a β-d-xylosidase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus T-6 (XynB3), a family 43 glycoside hydrolase, is described. XynB3 is a 535-amino-acid protein with a calculated molecular weight of 61 891 Da. Purified recombinant native and catalytic inactive mutant proteins were crystallized and cocrystallized with xylobiose in two different space groups, P21212 (unit-cell parameters a = 98.32, b = 99.36, c = 258.64 Å) and P41212 (or the enantiomorphic space group P43212; unit-cell parameters a = b = 140.15, c = 233.11 Å), depending on the detergent. Transferring crystals to cryoconditions required a very careful protocol. Orthorhombic crystals diffract to 2.5 Å and tetragonal crystals to 2.2 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309105036262
PMCID: PMC1978154  PMID: 16511233
family 43 glycosidase hydrolases; xylosidases; hemicellulases; Geobacillus stearothermophilus; xylan; xylose
13.  Crystallization and initial X-ray diffraction studies of the flavoenzyme NAD(P)H:(acceptor) oxidoreductase (FerB) from the soil bacterium Paracoccus denitrificans  
The flavin-dependent enzyme FerB from P. denitrificans has been purified and both native and SeMet-substituted FerB have been crystallized. The two variants crystallized in two different crystallographic forms belonging to the monoclinic space group P21 and the orthorhombic space group P21212, respectively. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.75 Å resolution for both forms.
The flavin-dependent enzyme FerB from Paracoccus denitrificans reduces a broad range of compounds, including ferric complexes, chromate and most notably quinones, at the expense of the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide cofactors NADH or NADPH. Recombinant unmodified and SeMet-substituted FerB were crystallized under similar conditions by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with microseeding using PEG 4000 as the precipitant. FerB crystallized in several different crystal forms, some of which diffracted to approximately 1.8 Å resolution. The crystals of native FerB belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.6, b = 110.1, c = 65.2 Å, β = 118.2° and four protein molecules in the asymmetric unit, whilst the SeMet-substituted form crystallized in space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 61.2, b = 89.2, c = 71.5 Å and two protein molecules in the asymmetric unit. Structure determination by the three-wavelength MAD/MRSAD method is now in progress.
doi:10.1107/S1744309110005099
PMCID: PMC2852337  PMID: 20383015
flavoenzymes; quinone reductases; Paracoccus denitrificans
14.  Expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of XometC, a cystathionine γ-lyase-like protein from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae  
XometC, a cystathionine γ-lyase-like protein from X. oryzae pv. oryzae and an antibacterial drug-target protein against bacterial blight, was cloned, purified and crystallized. Preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of XometC crystals was carried out.
Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial blight of rice (Oryza sativa L.), one of the most devastating diseases of rice in most rice-growing countries. XometC, a cystathionine γ-lyase (CGL) like protein that is an antibacterial drug-target protein against Xoo, was cloned, expressed, purified and crystallized. CGL catalyzes the second step in the reverse-transsulfuration pathway, which is essential for the metabolic interconversion of the sulfur-containing amino acids cysteine and methionine. Crystals of two different shapes, plate-shaped and pyramid-shaped, diffracted to 2.9 and 3.2 Å resolution and belonged to the primitive orthogonal space group P212121 and the tetragonal space group P41 (or P43), with unit-cell parameters a = 73.0, b = 144.9, c = 152.3 Å and a = b = 78.2, c = 300.7 Å, respectively. For the P212121 crystals, three or four monomers exist in the asymmetric unit with a corresponding V M of 3.02 or 2.26 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 59.3 or 45.7%. For the P41 (or P43) crystals, four or five monomers exist in the asymmetric unit with a corresponding V M of 2.59 or 2.09 Å3 Da−1 and a solvent content of 52.5 or 40.6%.
doi:10.1107/S1744309108021155
PMCID: PMC2494973  PMID: 18678949
bacterial blight; cystathionine γ-lyase; reverse transsulfuration pathway; Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae
15.  Glycosylphosphatidylinositol Biosynthesis Defects in Gpi11p- and Gpi13p-deficient Yeast Suggest a Branched Pathway and Implicate Gpi13p in Phosphoethanolamine Transfer to the Third Mannose 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2000;11(5):1611-1630.
Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs) are critical for membrane anchoring and intracellular transport of certain secretory proteins. GPIs have a conserved trimannosyl core bearing a phosphoethanolamine (EthN-P) moiety on the third mannose (Man-3) through which the glycolipid is linked to protein, but diverse GPI precursors with EthN-Ps on Man-1 and Man-2 have also been described. We report on two essential yeast genes whose products are required late in GPI assembly. GPI11 (YDR302w) encodes a homologue of human Pig-Fp, a protein implicated in the addition of EthN-P to Man-3. PIG-F complements the gpi11 deletion, but the rescued haploids are temperature sensitive. Abolition of Gpi11p or Pig-Fp function in GPI11 disruptants blocks GPI anchoring and formation of complete GPI precursors and leads to accumulation of two GPIs whose glycan head groups contain four mannoses but differ in the positioning and number of side chains, probably EthN-Ps. The less polar GPI bears EthN-P on Man-2, whereas the more polar lipid has EthN-P on Man-3. The latter finding indicates that Gpi11p is not required for adding EthN-P to Man-3. Gpi13p (YLL031cp), a member of a family of phosphoryltransferases, is a candidate for the enzyme responsible for adding EthN-P to Man-3. Depletion of Gpi13p in a Gpi11p-defective strain prevents formation of the GPI bearing EthN-P on Man-3, and Gpi13p-deficient strains accumulate a Man4-GPI isoform that bears EthN-P on Man-1. We further show that the lipid accumulation phenotype of Gpi11p-deficient cells resembles that of cells lacking Gpi7p, a sequence homologue of Gpi13p known to add EthN-P to Man-2 of a late-stage GPI precursor. This result suggests that in yeast a Gpi11p-deficiency can affect EthN-P addition to Man-2 by Gpi7p, in contrast to the Pig-Fp defect in mammalian cells, which prevents EthN-P addition to Man-3. Because Gpi11p and Pig-Fp affect EthN-P transfer to Man-2 and Man-3, respectively, these proteins may act in partnership with the GPI-EthN-P transferases, although their involvement in a given EthN-P transfer reaction varies between species. Possible roles for Gpi11p in the supply of the EthN-P donor are discussed. Because Gpi11p- and Gpi13p-deficient cells accumulate isoforms of Man4-GPIs with EthN-P on Man-2 and on Man-1, respectively, and because the GPIs that accumulate in Gpi11p-defective strains are likely to have been generated independently of one another, we propose that the yeast GPI assembly pathway is branched.
PMCID: PMC14871  PMID: 10793139
16.  Molecular Mechanisms of Influenza Inhibition by Surfactant Protein D Revealed by Large-scale Molecular Dynamics Simulation† 
Biochemistry  2013;52(47):8527-8538.
Surfactant protein D (SP-D), a mammalian C-type lectin, is the primary innate inhibitor of influenza A virus (IAV) in the lung. SP-D interactions with highly branched viral N-linked glycans on hemagglutinin (HA), an abundant IAV envelope protein and critical virulence factor, promote viral aggregation and neutralization through as yet unknown molecular mechanisms. Two truncated human SP-D forms, wild-type (WT) and double mutant D325A+R343V, representing neck and carbohydrate recognition domains are compared in this study. Whereas both WT and D325A+R343V bind to isolated glycosylated HA, WT does not inhibit IAV in neutralization assays; in contrast, D325A+R343V neutralization compares well with full-length native SP-D. To elucidate the mechanism for these biochemical observations, we have solved crystal structures of D325A+R343V in the presence and absence of a viral nonamannoside (Man9). Based on the D325A+R343V/Man9 structure and other crystallographic data, models of complexes between HA and WT or D325A+R343V were produced and subjected to molecular dynamics. Simulations reveal that whereas WT and D325A+R343V both block the sialic acid receptor site of HA, the D325A+R343V complex is more stable, with stronger binding due to additional hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions with HA residues. Furthermore, the blocking mechanism of HA differs for WT and D325A+R343V due to alternate glycan binding modes. The combined results suggest a mechanism through which the mode of SP-D/HA interaction could significantly influence viral aggregation and neutralization. These studies provide the first atomic-level molecular view of an innate host defense lectin inhibiting its viral glycoprotein target.
doi:10.1021/bi4010683
PMCID: PMC3927399  PMID: 24224757
17.  Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from Thosea asigna virus 
The RNA-dependent RNA polymerase of Thosea asigna virus has been purified and crystallized in two different crystal forms. Preliminary characterization of P21212 and C2221 crystals is reported. Co-crystallization experiments in the presence of lutetium produced a heavy-atom derivative suitable for structure determination.
Thosea asigna virus (TaV) is a positive-sense, single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) virus that belongs to the Permutotetravirus genera within the recently created Permutotetraviridae family. The genome of TaV consists of an RNA segment of about 5.700 nucleotides with two open reading frames, encoding for the replicase and capsid protein. The particular TaV replicase does not contain N7-methyl transferase and helicase domains but includes a structurally unique RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) with a sequence permutation in the domain where the active site is anchored. This architecture is also found in double-stranded RNA viruses of the Birnaviridae family. Here we report the purification and preliminary crystallographic studies TaV RdRp. The enzyme was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour diffusion method using PEG 8K and lithium sulfate as precipitants. Two different crystal forms were obtained: native RdRp crystallized in space group P21212 and diffracts up to 2.1 Å and the RdRp-Lu3+ derivative co-crystals belong to the C2221 space group, diffracting to 3.0 Å resolution. The structure of TaV RdRp represents the first structure of a non-canonical RdRp from ssRNA viruses.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112037529
PMCID: PMC3490467  PMID: 23027763
RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; non-canonical palm; tetravirus; Thosea asigna virus; X-ray crystallography
18.  Burkholderia cenocepacia BC2L-C Is a Super Lectin with Dual Specificity and Proinflammatory Activity 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(9):e1002238.
Lectins and adhesins are involved in bacterial adhesion to host tissues and mucus during early steps of infection. We report the characterization of BC2L-C, a soluble lectin from the opportunistic pathogen Burkholderia cenocepacia, which has two distinct domains with unique specificities and biological activities. The N-terminal domain is a novel TNF-α-like fucose-binding lectin, while the C-terminal part is similar to a superfamily of calcium-dependent bacterial lectins. The C-terminal domain displays specificity for mannose and l-glycero-d-manno-heptose. BC2L-C is therefore a superlectin that binds independently to mannose/heptose glycoconjugates and fucosylated human histo-blood group epitopes. The apo form of the C-terminal domain crystallized as a dimer, and calcium and mannose could be docked in the binding site. The whole lectin is hexameric and the overall structure, determined by electron microscopy and small angle X-ray scattering, reveals a flexible arrangement of three mannose/heptose-specific dimers flanked by two fucose-specific TNF-α-like trimers. We propose that BC2L-C binds to the bacterial surface in a mannose/heptose-dependent manner via the C-terminal domain. The TNF-α-like domain triggers IL-8 production in cultured airway epithelial cells in a carbohydrate-independent manner, and is therefore proposed to play a role in the dysregulated proinflammatory response observed in B. cenocepacia lung infections. The unique architecture of this newly recognized superlectin correlates with multiple functions including bacterial cell cross-linking, adhesion to human epithelia, and stimulation of inflammation.
Author Summary
The glycoconjugates that cover the surface of eukaryotic cells are a target for pathogens that use protein receptors for binding to the carbohydrate moieties exposed. Opportunistic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Burkholderia species of the B. cepacia complex display a wide range of adhesins and soluble lectins that are specific for human oligosaccharides. We characterized the complex architecture of one Burkholderia cenocepacia soluble lectin, and analysed the specificity of two different lectin subdomains. We propose that one of the subdomains attaches to sugars present on the bacteria surface, enabling bacterial aggregation in microcolonies. The other subdomain attaches to sugars in human airways. In addition, this domain can elicit an inflammatory response in airways cells. Burkholderia cenocepacia causes lethal infections in cystic fibrosis patients and soluble lectins may be novel therapeutics targets.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002238
PMCID: PMC3164656  PMID: 21909279
19.  Expression, purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the apo form of InsP5 2-K from Arabidopsis thaliana  
A mutated version of InsP5 2-K allows the production of crystals of the apo form and structure determination using X-ray crystallography.
Inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphosphate 2-kinase (IP5 2-K) is a key enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of phytic acid (IP6) from inositol 1,3,4,5,6-pentakisphos­phate (IP5) and ATP. The first structure of IP5 2-K, that from Arabidopsis thaliana, has been solved previously; it only crystallized in the presence of inositol, either the substrate IP5 or the product IP6, and failed to crystallize in its free state (without inositol). Based on structural analysis, a point mutation of IP5 2-K (W129A) has been produced in order to overcome this limitation and obtain information about protein conformational changes upon substrate binding. Here, the production and crystallization of W129A IP5 2-K in its free state and with bound nucleotide is described. These crystals differed from the native crystals and belonged to the orthorhombic space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 66.00, b = 68.23, c = 105.80 Å and a = 63.06, b = 71.80, c = 100.23 Å, respectively. The crystals diffracted to resolutions of 2.22 Å (apo) and 2.05 Å (nucleotide bound) using synchrotron radiation and contained one molecule per asymmetric unit. The structures have been determined using the molecular-replacement method and refinement is being undertaken.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112017307
PMCID: PMC3370915  PMID: 22684075
inositol kinases; inositol phosphate; phytic acid; IP6; IP5 2-K
20.  Crystallization and preliminary structural studies of champedak galactose-binding lectin 
Galactose-binding lectin from champedak was crystallized at 293 K. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analyses are reported.
Galactose-binding lectin from champedak (Artocarpus integer) consists of two chains: α and β (133 and 21 amino acids, respectively). It has been shown to recognize and bind to carbohydrates involved in IgA and C1 inhibitor molecules. The protein was purified and crystallized at 293 K. Crystals were observed in two space groups, P21 and P21212, and diffracted to 1.65 and 2.6 Å, respectively.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109029303
PMCID: PMC2795594  PMID: 19724126
lectins; Artocarpus integer; champedak; galactose binding
21.  Crystallization of the nonameric small terminase subunit of bacteriophage P22 
The small terminase subunit of bacteriophage P22 was overexpressed in E. coli, purified under native conditions and crystallized as a nonamer. High-quality diffraction data were collected to 1.75 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.
The packaging of viral genomes into preformed empty procapsids is powered by an ATP-dependent genome-translocating motor. This molecular machine is formed by a heterodimer consisting of large terminase (L-terminase) and small terminase (S-terminase) subunits, which is assembled into a complex of unknown stoichiometry, and a dodecameric portal protein. There is considerable confusion in the literature regarding the biologically relevant oligomeric state of terminases, which, like portal proteins, form ring-like structures. The number of subunits in a hollow oligomeric protein defines the internal diameter of the central channel and the ability to fit DNA inside. Thus, knowledge of the exact stoichiometry of terminases is critical to decipher the mechanisms of terminase-dependent DNA translocation. Here, the gene encoding bacteriophage P22 S-­terminase in Escherichia coli has been overexpressed and the protein purified under native conditions. In the absence of detergents and/or denaturants that may cause disassembly of the native oligomer and formation of aberrant rings, it was found that P22 S-terminase assembles into a concentration-independent nonamer of ∼168 kDa. Nonameric S-terminase was crystallized in two different crystal forms at neutral pH. Crystal form I belonged to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 144.2, b = 144.2, c = 145.3 Å, and diffracted to 3.0 Å resolution. Crystal form II belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 76.48, b = 100.9, c = 89.95 Å, β = 93.73°, and diffracted to 1.75 Å resolution. Preliminary crystallographic analysis of crystal form II confirms that the S-terminase crystals contain a nonamer in the asymmetric unit and are suitable for high-resolution structure determination.
doi:10.1107/S174430911004697X
PMCID: PMC3079985  PMID: 21206037
small terminase; large terminase; DNA packaging; bacteriophage P22; nonamers
22.  Secretory immunoglobulin A carries oligosaccharide receptors for Escherichia coli type 1 fimbrial lectin. 
Infection and Immunity  1990;58(9):3073-3077.
Type 1 fimbriae with mannose-specific lectins are widely distributed among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae and confer the ability to attach to a range of host cells, including colonic epithelial cells. The mucosal surfaces are protected by secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), which agglutinates microorganisms and prevents their attachment to host epithelial cells. This action has been attributed to a specificity of the antigen-combining site of mucosal immunoglobulins for bacterial and viral surface components. Here, we report a novel mechanism for the antibacterial effect of secretory IgA. Secretory IgA and IgA myeloma proteins, especially those of the IgA2 subclass, were shown to possess carbohydrate receptors for the mannose-specific lectin of type 1-fimbriated Escherichia coli. The presence of the high-mannose oligosaccharide chain Man alpha 1-6(Man alpha 1-3)Man alpha 1-6(Man alpha 1-3)Man beta 1-4GlcNAc beta 1-4GlcNAc correlated with binding activity. The interaction between bacterial mannose-specific lectins and IgA receptor oligosaccharide resulted in agglutination of the bacteria and in inhibition of bacterial attachment to colonic epithelial cells. Thus, this interaction could form the basis for a broad antibacterial function of secretory IgA against enterobacteria regardless of the specificity of antibody molecules.
PMCID: PMC313613  PMID: 2201644
23.  Purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the CBS-domain pair of cyclin M2 (CNNM2) 
This work describes the purification and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the CBS-domain pair of the murine CNNM2 magnesium transporter, which consists of a pair of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) motifs and has 100% sequence identity to its human homologue.
This work describes the purification and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the CBS-domain pair of the murine CNNM2 magnesium transporter (formerly known as ancient domain protein 2; ACDP2), which consists of a pair of cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) motifs and has 100% sequence identity to its human homologue. CNNM proteins represent the least-studied members of the eight different types of magnesium transporters identified to date in mammals. In humans, the CNNM family is encoded by four genes: CNNM1–4. CNNM1 acts as a cytosolic copper chaperone, whereas CNNM2 and CNNM4 have been associated with magnesium handling. Interestingly, mutations in the CNNM2 gene cause familial dominant hypomagnesaemia (MIM:607803), a rare human disorder characterized by renal and intestinal magnesium (Mg2+) wasting, which may lead to symptoms of Mg2+ depletion such as tetany, seizures and cardiac arrhythmias. This manuscript describes the preliminary crystallographic analysis of two different crystal habits of a truncated form of the protein containing its regulatory CBS-domain pair, which has been reported to host the pathological mutation T568I in humans. The crystals belonged to space groups P21212 and I222 (or I212121) and diffracted X-­rays to 2.0 and 3.6 Å resolution, respectively, using synchrotron radiation.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112035348
PMCID: PMC3497979  PMID: 23027747
CBS domains; cyclin M2; ancient conserved domain protein 2; magnesium transporters; familial hypomagnesaemia; ion transport
24.  Expression, Purification, Crystallization and Preliminary Crystallographic Analysis of BipD, a Component of the Burkholderia Pseudomallei Type III Secretion System 
A construct consisting of residues 10–310 of BipD, a component of the Burkholderia pseudomallei type III secretion system (T3SS), has been overexpressed as a GST fusion, cleaved from the GST tag and purified. Crystals were grown of native and selenomethionine-labelled BipD. The crystals grow in two different polymorphs from the same condition. The first polymorph belongs to space group C222, with unit-cell parameters a = 103.98, b = 122.79, c = 49.17 Å, a calculated Matthews coefficient of 2.4 Å3 Da−1 (47% solvent content) and one molecule per asymmetric unit. The second polymorph belongs to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 136.47, b = 89.84, c = 50.15 Å, and a calculated Matthews coefficient of 2.3 Å3 Da−1 (45% solvent content) for two molecules per asymmetric unit (analysis of the self-rotation function indicates the presence of a weak twofold non-crystallographic symmetry axis in this P21212 form). The native crystals of both forms give diffraction data to 2.7 Å resolution, while the SeMet-labelled P21212 crystals diffract to 3.3 Å resolution. A K2PtCl4 derivative of the P21212 form was also obtained and data were collected to 2.7 Å with radiation of wavelengt λ = 0.933 Å. The Pt-derivative anomalous difference Patterson map revealed two self-peaks on the Harker sections.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106027035
PMCID: PMC1894745  PMID: 16946464
25.  Carbohydrate recognition by the antiviral lectin cyanovirin-N 
Journal of the American Chemical Society  2012;134(48):19639-19651.
Cyanovirin-N is a cyanobacterial lectin with potent antiviral activity, and has been the focus of extensive pre-clinical investigation as a potential prophylactic for the prevention of the sexual transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Here we present a detailed analysis of carbohydrate recognition by this important protein, using a combination of computational methods, including extensive molecular dynamics simulations and Molecular-Mechanics/ Poisson–Boltzmann/Surface-Area (MM/PBSA) energetic analysis. The simulation results strongly suggest that the observed tendency of wildtype CVN to form domain-swapped dimers is the result of a previously unidentified cis-peptide bond present in the monomeric state. The energetic analysis additionally indicates that the highest-affinity ligand for CVN characterized to date (α-Man-(1,2)-α-Man-(1,2)-α-Man) is recognized asymmetrically by the two binding sites. Finally, we are able to provide a detailed map of the role of all binding site functional groups (both backbone and side chain) to various aspects of molecular recognition: general affinity for cognate ligands, specificity for distinct oligosaccharide targets and the asymmetric recognition of α-Man-(1,2)-α-Man-(1,2)-α-Man. Taken as a whole, these results complement past experimental characterization (both structural and thermodynamic) to provide the most complete understanding of carbohydrate recognition by CVN to date. The results also provide strong support for the application of similar approaches to the understanding of other protein–carbohydrate complexes.
doi:10.1021/ja305755b
PMCID: PMC3531799  PMID: 23057413
molecular recognition; glycobiology; continuum electrostatics; virucide; microbicide; protein therapeutics; biotherapeutics

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