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1.  Purification and Characterization of Serine Racemase from a Hyperthermophilic Archaeon, Pyrobaculum islandicum▿ †  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;190(4):1359-1365.
Pyrobaculum islandicum is an anaerobic hyperthermophilic archaeon that is most active at 100°C. A pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-dependent serine racemase called Srr was purified from the organism. The corresponding srr gene was cloned, and recombinant Srr was purified from Escherichia coli. It showed the highest racemase activity toward l-serine, followed by l-threonine, d-serine, and d-threonine. Like rodent and plant serine racemases, Srr is bifunctional, showing high l-serine/l-threonine dehydratase activity. The sequence of Srr is 87% similar to that of Pyrobaculum aerophilum IlvA (a putative threonine dehydratase) but less than 32% similar to any other serine racemases and threonine dehydratases. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel filtration analyses revealed that Srr is a homotrimer of a 44,000-molecular-weight subunit. Both racemase and dehydratase activities were highest at 95°C, while racemization and dehydration were maximum at pH 8.2 and 7.8, respectively. Unlike other, related Ilv enzymes, Srr showed no allosteric properties: neither of these enzymatic activities was affected by either l-amino acids (isoleucine and valine) or most of the metal ions. Only Fe2+ and Cu2+ caused 20 to 30% inhibition and 30 to 40% stimulation of both enzyme activities, respectively. ATP inhibited racemase activity by 10 to 20%. The Km and Vmax values of the racemase activity of Srr for l-serine were 185 mM and 20.1 μmol/min/mg, respectively, while the corresponding values of the dehydratase activity of l-serine were 2.2 mM and 80.4 μmol/min/mg, respectively.
doi:10.1128/JB.01184-07
PMCID: PMC2238205  PMID: 17965169
2.  Cross-Linking of Serine Racemase Dimer by Reactive Oxygen Species and Reactive Nitrogen Species 
Journal of Neuroscience Research  2012;90(6):1218-1229.
Serine racemase (SR) is the only identified enzyme in mammals responsible for isomerization of L-serine to D-serine, a co-agonist at NMDA receptors in the forebrain. Our previous data reported that an apparent SR dimer resistant to SDS and β-mercaptoethanol was elevated in microglial cells after proinflammatory activation. Because the activation of microglia is typically associated with an oxidative burst, oxidative cross-linking between SR subunits was speculated. In this study, an siRNA technique was employed to confirm the identity of this SR dimer band. The oxidative species potentially responsible for the cross-linking was investigated with recombinant SR protein. The data indicate that nitric oxide, peroxynitrite, and hydroxyl radical were the likely candidates, while superoxide and hydrogen peroxide per se failed to contribute. Furthermore, the mechanism of formation of SR dimer by peroxynitrite oxidation was studied by mass spectrometry. A disulfide bond between Cys6 and Cys113 was identified in both SIN-1 treated SR monomer and dimer. Activity assays indicated that SIN-1 treatment decreased SR activity, confirming our previous conclusion that noncovalent dimer is the most active form of SR. These findings suggest a compensatory feedback whereby the consequences of neuroinflammation might dampen D-serine production to limit excitotoxic stimulation of NMDA receptors.
doi:10.1002/jnr.22832
PMCID: PMC3323679  PMID: 22354542
Dimerization; Disulfide; Mass spectrometry; Nitric oxide; Oxidation; Peroxynitrite
3.  Induction of serine racemase expression and D-serine release from microglia by amyloid β-peptide 
Background
Roles for excitotoxicity and inflammation in Alzheimer's disease have been hypothesized. Proinflammatory stimuli, including amyloid β-peptide (Aβ), elicit a release of glutamate from microglia. We tested the possibility that a coagonist at the NMDA class of glutamate receptors, D-serine, could respond similarly.
Methods
Cultured microglial cells were exposed to Aβ. The culture medium was assayed for levels of D-serine by HPLC and for effects on calcium and survival on primary cultures of rat hippocampal neurons. Microglial cell lysates were examined for the levels of mRNA and protein for serine racemase, the enzyme that forms D-serine from L-serine. The racemase mRNA was also assayed in Alzheimer hippocampus and age-matched controls. A microglial cell line was transfected with a luciferase reporter construct driven by the putative regulatory region of human serine racemase.
Results
Conditioned medium from Aβ-treated microglia contained elevated levels of D-serine. Bioassays of hippocampal neurons with the microglia-conditioned medium indicated that Aβ elevated a NMDA receptor agonist that was sensitive to an antagonist of the D-serine/glycine site (5,7-dicholorokynurenic acid; DCKA) and to enzymatic degradation of D-amino acids by D-amino acid oxidase (DAAOx). In the microglia, Aβ elevated steady-state levels of dimeric serine racemase, the apparent active form of the enzyme. Promoter-reporter and mRNA analyses suggest that serine racemase is transcriptionally induced by Aβ. Finally, the levels of serine racemase mRNA were elevated in Alzheimer's disease hippocampus, relative to age-matched controls.
Conclusions
These data suggest that Aβ could contribute to neurodegeneration through stimulating microglia to release cooperative excitatory amino acids, including D-serine.
doi:10.1186/1742-2094-1-2
PMCID: PMC483052  PMID: 15285800
4.  Optical Properties and Application of a Reactive and Bioreducible Thiol-Containing Tetramethylrhodamine Dimer 
Bioconjugate chemistry  2009;20(3):476-480.
Thiolated dimeric tetramethylrhodamine (TAMRA) was synthesized in a straightforward procedure utilizing commercially available 5(6)-succinimidyl TAMRA and cystamine hydrochloride. The thiol-containing TAMRA dimer displayed distinct spectral properties in reduced and oxidized forms; covalent dimer formation produced greater effects on the spectral properties than previously reported for non-covalent TAMRA dimers or dimers formed with shorter carbon spacers. The resulting TAMRA disulfide dimer exhibited a hypsochromic shift of 34 nm relative to the reduced monomer species and an isosbestic point at 532 nm between reduced monomeric and oxidized dimeric forms. Molar extinction coefficients of the monomer and dimer relative to moles of TAMRA were similar (6.61×104 M−1cm−1 and 6.42×10−4 M−1cm−1, respectively). However, fluorescence emission was altered with >93% of dye fluorescence quenched in phosphate buffered saline upon dimer formation. A 520:554 nm absorbance intensity ratio of 2.64 was observed for the oxidized ssTAMRA dimer, almost twice as high as values reported for non-covalent TAMRA dimers. The resulting disulfide dye was easily reduced using both soluble and agarose gel immobilized tris(2-carboxyethyl) phosphine and fresh cell lysate from cultured RAW 264.7 macrophage cells. Absorbance intensity ratios at 554 and 520 nm were used to determine the oxidation half-life of a 1.2×10−5 M solution of reduced TAMRA stored in ambient atmosphere to be ~50 hr at 22 °C. The free thiol dye was further reacted with maleimide-derivatized poly(hydroxypropyl methacrylamide) to yield the dye-labeled polymer conjugate. This dye derivative should prove useful as a dithiol reduction-sensitive fluorescent probe in cellular tracking systems as well as a thiol-based dye-labeling reagent due to its easy preparation from readily available materials, environmental sensitivity and simple activation to produce distinct spectral states. The enhanced spectral properties of the covalent TAMRA dimer described here could be useful to prepare more advanced reporter molecules and bioconjugates.
doi:10.1021/bc800367e
PMCID: PMC2676207  PMID: 19249862
Thiolated fluorescent dye; dimer fluorescence quenching; dimer absorbance shift; intracellular fluorescence probe; bioreduction reporter
5.  Purification and characterization of NADH oxidase from Serpulina (Treponema) hyodysenteriae. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1993;175(10):2980-2987.
NADH oxidase (EC 1.6.99.3) was purified from cell lysates of Serpulina (Treponema) hyodysenteriae B204 by differential ultracentrifugation, ammonium sulfate precipitation, and chromatography on anion-exchange, dye-ligand-affinity, and size-exclusion columns. Purified NADH oxidase had a specific activity 119-fold higher than that of cell lysates and migrated as a single band during denaturing gel electrophoresis (sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis [SDS-PAGE]). The enzyme was a monomeric protein with an estimated molecular mass of 47 to 48 kDa, as determined by SDS-PAGE and size-exclusion chromatography. Optimum enzyme activity occurred in buffers with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0. In the presence of oxygen, beta-NADH but not alpha-NADH, alpha-NADPH, or beta-NADPH was rapidly oxidized by the enzyme (Km = 10 microM beta-NADH; Vmax = 110 mumol beta-NADH min-1 mg of protein-1). Oxygen was the only identified electron acceptor for the enzyme. On isoelectric focusing gels, the enzyme separated into three subforms, with isoelectric pH values of 5.25, 5.35, and 5.45. Purified NADH oxidase had a typical flavoprotein absorption spectrum, with peak absorbances at wavelengths of 274, 376, and 448 nm. Flavin adenine dinucleotide was identified as a cofactor and was noncovalently associated with the enzyme at a molar ratio of 1:1. Assays of the enzyme after various chemical treatments indicated that a flavin cofactor and a sulfhydryl group(s), but not a metal cofactor, were essential for activity. Hydrogen peroxide and superoxide were not yielded in significant amounts by the S. hyodysenteriae NADH oxidase, indirect evidence that the enzyme produces water from reduction of oxygen with NADH. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of the NADH oxidase was determined to be MKVIVIGCHGAGTWAAK. In its biochemical properties, the NADH oxidase of S. hyodysenteriae resembles the NADH oxidase of another intestinal bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis.
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PMCID: PMC204616  PMID: 8491717
6.  IDENTIFICATION OF IN VITRO AUTOPHOSPHORYLATION SITES AND THE EFFECTS OF PHOSPHORYLATION ON THE ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY4 (ACR4) RECEPTOR-LIKE KINASE INTRACELLULAR DOMAIN: INSIGHTS INTO CONFORMATION, OLIGOMERIZATION AND ACTIVITY 
Biochemistry  2011;50(12):2170-2186.
Arabidopsis CRINKLY4 (ACR4) is a receptor-like kinase (RLK) that consists of an extracellular domain and an intracellular domain (ICD) with serine/threonine kinase activity. While genetic and cell biology experiments have demonstrated that ACR4 is important in cell fate specification and overall development of the plant, little is known about the biochemical properties of the kinase domain and the mechanisms that underlie the overall function of the receptor. To complement in planta studies on the function of ACR4, we have expressed the ICD in Escherichia coli as a soluble C-terminal fusion to the N-utilization substance A (NusA) protein, purified the recombinant protein and characterized the enzymatic and conformational properties. The protein autophosphorylates via an intramolecular mechanism, prefers Mn2+ over Mg2+ as the divalent cation and displays typical Michaelis-Menten kinetics with respect to ATP with an apparent Km of 6.67 ± 2.07 μM and Vmax of 1.83 ± 0.18 nmol/min/mg. Autophosphorylation is accompanied by a conformational change as demonstrated by circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy and limited proteolysis with trypsin. Analysis by nano-liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS) revealed 16 confirmed sites of phosphorylation at Ser and Thr residues. Sedimentation velocity and gel-filtration experiments indicate that the ICD has a propensity to oligomerize and that this property is lost upon autophosphorylation.
doi:10.1021/bi101935x
PMCID: PMC3947565  PMID: 21294549
7.  First Archaeal Inorganic Polyphosphate/ATP-Dependent NAD Kinase, from Hyperthermophilic Archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii: Cloning, Expression, and Characterization 
The gene (PH1074) encoding the NAD kinase of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii was identified in the genome database, cloned, and functionally expressed in Escherichia coli. The recombinant enzyme was purified to homogeneity by heat treatment at 90°C for 20 min and one successive HiTrap affinity chromatography step. The purified enzyme was easily precipitated by dialysis against phosphate buffer without NaCl and imidazole and was usually stored in buffer containing 0.5 M NaCl and 0.5 M imidazole to avoid precipitation. The molecular mass of the active enzyme was determined to be 145 kDa by a gel filtration method, and the enzyme was composed of a tetramer of 37-kDa subunits. The archaeal enzyme utilized several nucleoside triphosphates, such as GTP, CTP, UTP, and ITP, as well as ATP and inorganic polyphosphates [poly(P)] as phosphoryl donors for NAD phosphorylation. The enzyme utilized poly(P)27 (the average length of the phosphoryl chain was 27) as the most active inorganic polyphosphate for NAD phosphorylation. Thus, this enzyme is categorized as an inorganic polyphosphate/ATP-dependent NAD kinase. The enzyme was the most thermostable NAD kinase found to date: its activity was not lost by incubation at 95°C for 10 min. The enzyme showed classical Michaelis-Menten-type kinetics for NAD and ATP, but not for poly(P)27. The Km values for NAD were determined to be 0.30 and 0.40 mM when poly(P)27 and ATP, respectively, were used as the phosphoryl donors. The Km value for ATP was 0.29 mM, and the concentration of poly(P)27 which gave half of the maximum enzyme activity was 0.59 mM. The enzyme required several metal cations, such as Mg2+, Mn2+, or Ni2+, for its activity. The deduced amino acid sequence showed a low level of identity to those of E. coli ATP-dependent NAD kinase (31%) and the inorganic polyphosphate/ATP-dependent NAD kinase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (29%). This is the first description of the characteristics of a poly(P)/ATP-dependent NAD kinase from a hyperthermophilic archaeon.
doi:10.1128/AEM.71.8.4352-4358.2005
PMCID: PMC1183369  PMID: 16085824
8.  Purification and Properties of Mucor pusillus Acid Protease1 
Journal of Bacteriology  1968;95(4):1407-1414.
The protease produced by Mucor pusillus was recovered from a wheat bran medium by treatment with ammonium sulfate, ethyl alcohol, gel filtration and ion-exchange chromatography. The yield of the enzyme was 55%. The overall increase in the specific activity of the protease was 34-fold. The purified protease was most active at pH 3.8 and 5.6 against hemoglobin and casein, respectively. Optimal hydrolysis of casein was observed at 55 C. The enzyme was stable from pH 3.0 to 6.0. Enzyme inactivated by metal ions was reactivated by ethylenediaminetetraacetate and o-phenanthroline. Reducing agents and thiol poisons had no effect on the protease, suggesting that free sulfhydryl groups were not required for enzyme activity. Diisopropyl fluorophosphate did not inhibit the protease, indicating the probable absence of serine in the active center. The Michaelis-Menten constant for casein was 0.357%. Electrophoretic analysis of active protein recovered by ion-exchange chromatography showed that the protease preparation was homogeneous.
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PMCID: PMC315100  PMID: 5646628
9.  Enhancement of Residual Arylsulfatase B Activity in Feline Mucopolysaccharidosis VI by Thiol-induced Subunit Association 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1982;69(2):294-302.
The molecular pathology of the deficient arylsulfatase B activity in feline mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) VI was investigated. Compared with the highly purified normal feline hepatic enzyme, the purified MPS VI residual activity had a 100-fold higher Michaelis constant (Km), an altered electrophoretic mobility, half the apparent native molecular weight, and markedly decreased thermo-, cryo-, and pH stabilities. Molecular weight and alkylation studies were consistent with the normal enzyme being a homodimer and the residual MPS VI enzyme a monomer. When incubated with various sulfhydryl reagents, the residual specific activity was enhanced several-fold, whereas the activity of the purified normal enzyme was un-affected or slightly inhibited. In the presence of dithiothreitol (DTT) and cysteamine, a lysosomotropic aminothiol, the residual activity had an electrophoretic mobility and native molecular weight similar to those of the normal feline enzyme. These findings suggested that the monomeric residual enzyme was dimerized in the presence of thiol-reducing agents. To determine if thiol-induced subunit association could therapeutically increase the residual activity and degrade the accumulated dermatan sulfate, in vitro and in vivo experiments were undertaken. When 2 mM DTT or cysteamine was incubated with heparinized whole blood from an MPS VI cat, the leukocyte residual arylsulfatase B activity increased 11- and 20-fold, respectively, and the accumulated dermatan sulfate was degraded in the presence of both thiol reagents. Intravenous administration of DTT (50 mg/kg) effected an immediate, but transient, increase in leukocyte residual activity; however, the substrate levels were not significantly decreased. In contrast, intravenous administration of cysteamine (15 mg/kg) increased leukocyte residual activity more than sixfold 30 min postinfusion; concomitantly, the leukocyte substrate was decreased to 35% of the initial level immediately after infusion and to about 45% of preinfusion values during the 120-min period studied. These results suggest that the defective residual activity in feline MPS VI can be therapeutically manipulated by thiol-induced subunit association. Furthermore, this animal analog provides a prototype for the investigation of human inborn errors of metabolism resulting from enzymatic defects that might be amenable to enzyme manipulation therapy.
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PMCID: PMC370978  PMID: 6799547
10.  Purification and functional analysis of protein kinase G-1α using a bacterial expression system 
Protein expression and purification  2011;79(2):10.1016/j.pep.2011.05.001.
3′,5′ cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP)-dependent protein kinase G-1α (PKG-1α) is an enzyme that is a target of several anti-hypertensive and erectile dysfunction drugs. Binding of cGMP to PKG-1α produces a conformational change that leads to enzyme activation. Activated PKG-1α performs important roles both in blood vessel vasodilation and in maintaining the smooth muscle cell in a differentiated contractile state. Recombinant PKG-1α has been expressed and purified using Sf9-insect cells. However, attempts at obtaining full length protein in a soluble and active form using bacterial expression-purification systems have thus far been unsuccessful. These attempts were hampered by a lack of proper eukaryotic protein folding machinery in bacteria. In this study, we report the successful expression and purification of PKG-1α using a genetically engineered E. coli strain, Rosetta gami 2(DE3), transduced with full length human PKG-1α cDNA containing a C-terminal histidine tag. PKG-1α expression was purified to homogeneity using sequential nickel affinity chromatography, gel filtration, and an ion exchange MonoQ. Western blot analysis and N-terminal sequencing revealed full length PKG-1α after elution from the ion exchange column. Analysis of enzyme kinetics, using a nonlinear regression curve, identified that, at constant cGMP levels (10μM) and varying ATP concentrations, PKG-1α had a maximal velocity (Vmax) of 5.02 + 0.25 pmol/min/μg and a Michaelis-Menten constant (Km) of 11.78 + 2.68 μM ATP. Recent studies have suggested that endothelial function can be attenuated by oxidative and/or nitrosative stress but the role of PKG-1α under these conditions is unclear. We found that PKG-1α enzyme activity was attenuated by exposure to the NO donor, Spermine NONOate, hydrogen peroxide, and peroxynitrite but not by superoxide. The attenuation of PKG-1α activity may be an under-appreciated mechanism in the development of endothelial dysfunction in cardiovascular disease.
doi:10.1016/j.pep.2011.05.001
PMCID: PMC3872989  PMID: 21600289
Cyclic GMP; Protein Kinase G; Rosetta gami; Purification
11.  Differential Roles of Cysteine Residues in Cellular Trafficking, Dimerization, and Function of the HDL Receptor, SR-BI * 
Biochemistry  2011;50(50):10860-10875.
The scavenger receptor, class B, type I (SR-BI) binds high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and mediates selective delivery of cholesteryl esters (CEs) to the liver and steroidogenic cells of the adrenal and gonads. Although it is clear that the large extracellular domain (ECD) of SR-BI binds HDL, the role of ECD in the selective HDL-CE transport remains poorly understood. In this study, we used a combination of mutational and chemical approaches to systematically evaluate the contribution of cysteine residues, especially six cysteine residues of ECD, in SR-BI-mediated selective HDL-CE uptake, intracellular trafficking and SR-BI dimerization. Pretreatment of SR-BI overexpressing COS-7 cells with disulfide (S-S) bond reducing agent, β-mercaptoethanol (100 mM) or dithiothreitol (DTT) (10 mM) modestly, but significantly impaired the SR-BI mediated selective HDL-CE uptake. Treatment of SR-BI overexpressing COS-7 cells with the optimum doses of membrane permeant alkyl methanethiosulfonate (MTS) reagents, positively charged MTSEA or neutral MMTS that specifically react with the free sulfhydryl group of cysteine reduced the SR-BI-mediated selective HDL-CE uptake, indicating that certain intracellular free cysteine residues may also be critically involved in the selective cholesterol transport process. In contrast, use of membrane impermeant MTS reagent, positively charged MTSET and negatively charged MTSES showed no such effect. Next, the importance of eight cysteine residues in SR-BI expression, cell surface expression, dimer formation and selective HDL-derived CE transport was evaluated. These cysteine residues were replaced either singly or in pairs with serine and the mutant SR-BIs expressed in either COS-7 or CHO cells. Four mutations, C280S, C321S, C323S or C334S of the ECD, either singly or in various pair combinations, resulted in significant decreases in SR-BI (HDL) binding activity, selective-CE uptake, and trafficking to cell surface. Surprisingly, we found that mutation of the two remaining cysteine residues, C251 and C384 of the ECD, had no effect on either SR-BI expression or function. Other cysteine mutations and substitutions were also without any effect. Western blot data indicated that single and double mutants of C280, C321, C323 and C334 residues strongly favor dimer formation. However, they are rendered non-functional presumably due to mutation-induced formation of aberrant disulfide linkages resulting in inhibition of optimal HDL binding and, thus, selective HDL-CE uptake. These results provide novel insights about the functional role of four cysteine residues, C280, C321, C323 and C334 of SR-BI ECD domain in SR-BI expression and trafficking to cell surface, its dimerization, and associated selective CE transport function.
doi:10.1021/bi201264y
PMCID: PMC3262050  PMID: 22097902
12.  Purification and characterization of a developmentally regulated carboxypeptidase from Mucor racemosus. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(2):447-455.
A developmentally regulated carboxypeptidase was purified from hyphae of the dimorphic fungus Mucor racemosus. The enzyme, designated carboxypeptidase 3 (CP3), has been purified greater than 900-fold to homogeneity and characterized. The carboxypeptidase migrated as a single electrophoretic band in isoelectric focusing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE), with an isoelectric point of pH 4.4. The apparent molecular mass of the native enzyme was estimated by gel filtration to be 52 kDa. Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS)-PAGE under nonreducing conditions revealed the presence of a single polypeptide of 51 kDa. SDS-PAGE of CP3 reacted with 2-mercaptoethanol revealed the presence of two polypeptides of 31 and 18 kDa, indicating a dimer structure (alpha 1 beta 1) of the enzyme with disulfide-linked subunits. By using [1,3-3H]diisopropylfluorophosphate as an active-site labeling reagent, it was determined that the catalytic site resides on the small subunit of the carboxypeptidase. With N-carboben zoxy-L-phenylalanyl-L-leucine (N-CBZ-Phe-Leu) as the substrate, the Km, kcat, and Vmax values were 1.7 x 10(-4) M, 490 s-1, and 588 mumol of Leu released per min per mg of protein, respectively. CP3 was determined to be a serine protease, since its catalytic activity was blocked by the serine protease inhibitors diisopropylfluorophosphate, phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, and 3,4-dichloroi Socoumarin (DCI). The enzyme was strongly inhibited by the mercurial compound p-chloromercuribenzoate. The carboxypeptidase readily hydrolyzed peptides with aliphatic or aromatic side chains, whereas most of the peptides which contained glycine in the penultimate position did not serve as substrates for the enzyme. Although CP3 activity was undetectable in Mucor yeast cells, antisera revealed the presence of the enzyme in the yeast form of the fungus. The partial amino acid sequence of the carboxypeptidase was determined.
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PMCID: PMC205736  PMID: 1729237
13.  Purification and characterization of the hydantoin racemase of Pseudomonas sp. strain NS671 expressed in Escherichia coli. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(24):7989-7995.
The hydantoin racemase gene of Pseudomonas sp. strain NS671 had been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. Hydantoin racemase was purified from the cell extract of the E. coli strain by phenyl-Sepharose, DEAE-Sephacel, and Sephadex G-200 chromatographies. The purified enzyme had an apparent molecular mass of 32 kDa as determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. By gel filtration, a molecular mass of about 190 kDa was found, suggesting that the native enzyme is a hexamer. The optimal conditions for hydantoin racemase activity were pH 9.5 and a temperature of 45 degrees C. The enzyme activity was slightly stimulated by the addition of not only Mn2+ or Co2+ but also metal-chelating agents, indicating that the enzyme is not a metalloenzyme. On the other hand, Cu2+ and Zn2+ strongly inhibited the enzyme activity. Kinetic studies showed substrate inhibition, and the Vmax values for D- and L-5-(2-methylthioethyl)hydantoin were 35.2 and 79.0 mumol/min/mg of protein, respectively. The purified enzyme did not racemize 5-isopropylhydantoin, whereas the cells of E. coli expressing the enzyme are capable of racemizing it. After incubation of the purified enzyme with 5-isopropylhydantoin, the enzyme no longer showed 5-(2-methylthioethyl)hydantoin-racemizing activity. However, in the presence of 5-(2-methylthioethyl)hydantoin, the purified enzyme racemized 5-isopropylhydantoin completely, suggesting that 5-(2-methylthioethyl)hydantoin protects the enzyme from inactivation by 5-isopropylhydratoin. Thus, we examined the protective effect of various compounds and found that divalent-sulfur-containing compounds (R-S-R' and R-SH) have this protective effect.
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PMCID: PMC207535  PMID: 1459947
14.  Isolation and characterization of the DNA-binding protein (DBP) of the Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus 
Virology  2007;370(2):415-429.
DNA-binding protein (DBP) of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) was expressed as an N-terminal His6-tag fusion using a recombinant baculovirus and purified to near homogeneity. Purified DBP formed oligomers that were crosslinked by redox reagents resulting in predominantly protein dimers and tetramers. In gel retardation assays, DBP showed a high affinity for single-stranded oligonucleotides and was able to compete with another baculovirus SSB protein, LEF-3, for binding sites. DBP binding protected ssDNA against hydrolysis by a baculovirus alkaline nuclease AN/LEF-3 complex. Partial proteolysis by trypsin revealed a domain structure of DBP that is required for interaction with DNA and that can be disrupted by thermal treatment. Binding to ssDNA, but not to dsDNA, changed the pattern of proteolytic fragments of DBP indicating adjustments in protein structure upon interaction with ssDNA. DBP was capable of unwinding short DNA duplexes, and also promoted the renaturation of long complementary strands of ssDNA into duplexes. The unwinding and renaturation activities of DBP, as well as the DNA binding activity, were sensitive to sulfhydryl reagents and were inhibited by oxidation of thiol groups with diamide or by alkylation with N-ethylmaleimide. A high affinity of DBP for ssDNA and its unwinding and renaturation activities confirmed identification of DBP as a member of the SSB/recombinase family. These activities and a tight association with subnuclear structures suggests that DBP is a component of the virogenic stroma that is involved in the processing of replicative intermediates.
doi:10.1016/j.virol.2007.09.001
PMCID: PMC2186299  PMID: 17935748
baculovirus; SSB; DBP; LEF-3; replication; recombination
15.  Degradative acetolactate synthase of Bacillus subtilis: purification and properties. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1975;121(3):917-922.
A degradative acetolactate synthase (acetolactate pyruvate-lyase [carboxylating], EC 4.1.3.18) from Bacillus subtilis has been partially purified and characterized. The synthesis of the enzyme was induced by growth of cells in minimal medium plus isobutyrate or acetate. The enzyme was partially purified by ammonium sulfate fractionation, gel filtration, and hydroxyapatite chromatography. The pH optimum of the purified enzyme was 7.0 in phosphate buffer. When assayed in phosphate buffer (pH 7.0), activity was stimulated by acetate and inhibited by sulfate. When assayed in acetate buffer (pH 5.8), activity was inhibited both by sulfate and phosphate. Michaelis-Menten kinetics was observed when the enzyme was assayed in phosphate buffer (pH 6.0 or 7.0), and inhibition by sulfate was competitive and activation by acetate was noncompetitive. When assayed in acetate buffer (pH 5.8), nonlinear Lineweaver-Burk plots were obtained; inhibition by phosphate appeared to be competitive and that by sulfate was of the mixed type. The approximate molecular weight of the purified enzyme was 250,000 as determined by gel filtration.
PMCID: PMC246019  PMID: 234949
16.  Molecular Determinants of S100B Oligomer Formation 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(3):e14768.
Background
S100B is a dimeric protein that can form tetramers, hexamers and higher order oligomers. These forms have been suggested to play a role in RAGE activation.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Oligomerization was found to require a low molecular weight trigger/cofactor and could not be detected for highly pure dimer, irrespective of handling. Imidazol was identified as a substance that can serve this role. Oligomerization is dependent on both the imidazol concentration and pH, with optima around 90 mM imidazol and pH 7, respectively. No oligomerization was observed above pH 8, thus the protonated form of imidazol is the active species in promoting assembly of dimers to higher species. However, disulfide bonds are not involved and the process is independent of redox potential. The process was also found to be independent of whether Ca2+ is bound to the protein or not. Tetramers that are purified from dimers and imidazol by gel filtration are kinetically stable, but dissociate into dimers upon heating. Dimers do not revert to tetramer and higher oligomer unless imidazol is again added. Both tetramers and hexamers bind the target peptide from p53 with retained stoichiometry of one peptide per S100B monomer, and with high affinity (lgK = 7.3±0.2 and 7.2±0.2, respectively in 10 mM BisTris, 5 mM CaCl2, pH 7.0), which is less than one order of magnitude reduced compared to dimer under the same buffer conditions.
Conclusion/Significance
S100B oligomerization requires protonated imidazol as a trigger/cofactor. Oligomers are kinetically stable after imidazol is removed but revert back to dimer if heated. The results underscore the importance of kinetic versus thermodynamic control of S100B protein aggregation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014768
PMCID: PMC3060798  PMID: 21445240
17.  Purification and Characterization of an α-Glucosidase from Rhizobium sp. (Robinia pseudoacacia L.) Strain USDA 4280 
A novel α-glucosidase with an apparent subunit mass of 59 ± 0.5 kDa was purified from protein extracts of Rhizobium sp. strain USDA 4280, a nodulating strain of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia L), and characterized. After purification to homogeneity (475-fold; yield, 18%) by ammonium sulfate precipitation, cation-exchange chromatography, hydrophobic chromatography, dye chromatography, and gel filtration, this enzyme had a pI of 4.75 ± 0.05. The enzyme activity was optimal at pH 6.0 to 6.5 and 35°C. The activity increased in the presence of NH4+ and K+ ions but was inhibited by Cu2+, Ag+, Hg+, and Fe2+ ions and by various phenyl, phenol, and flavonoid derivatives. Native enzyme activity was revealed by native gel electrophoresis and isoelectrofocusing-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis with fluorescence detection in which 4-methylumbelliferyl α-glucoside was the fluorogenic substrate. The enzyme was more active with α-glucosides substituted with aromatic aglycones than with oligosaccharides. This α-glucosidase exhibited Michaelis-Menten kinetics with 4-methylumbelliferyl α-d-glucopyranoside (Km, 0.141 μM; Vmax, 6.79 μmol min−1 mg−1) and with p-nitrophenyl α-d-glucopyranoside (Km, 0.037 μM; Vmax, 2.92 μmol min−1 mg−1). Maltose, trehalose, and sucrose were also hydrolyzed by this enzyme.
PMCID: PMC91435  PMID: 10388682
18.  A Leucine Zipper-Like Domain Is Essential for Dimerization and Encapsidation of Bluetongue Virus Nucleocapsid Protein VP4 
Journal of Virology  1998;72(4):2983-2990.
The bluetongue virus (BTV) minor protein VP4, with molecular mass of 76 kDa, is one of the seven structural proteins and is located within the inner capsid of the virion. The protein has a putative leucine zipper near the carboxy terminus of the protein. In this study, we have investigated the functional activity of this putative leucine zipper by a number of approaches. The putative leucine zipper region (amino acids [aa] 523 to 551) was expressed initially as a fusion protein by using the pMAL vector of Escherichia coli, which expresses a maltose binding monomeric protein. The expressed fusion protein was purified by affinity chromatography, and its size was determined by gel filtration chromatography. Proteins of two sizes, 51 and 110 kDa, were recovered, one equivalent to the monomeric form and the other equivalent to the dimeric form of the fusion protein. To prove that the VP4-derived sequence was responsible for dimerization of this protein, a mutated fusion protein was created in which a VP4 leucine residue (at aa 537) within the zipper was replaced by a proline residue. Analyses of the mutated protein demonstrated that the single mutation indeed prevented dimerisation of the protein. The dimeric nature of VP4 was further confirmed by using purified full-length BTV-10 VP4 recovered from recombinant baculovirus-expressing BTV-10 VP4-infected insect cells. Using chemical cross-linking and gel filtration chromatography, we documented that the native VP4 indeed exists as a dimer in solution. Subsequently, Leu537 was replaced by either a proline or an alanine residue and the full-length mutated VP4 was expressed in the baculovirus system. By sucrose density gradient centrifugation and gel filtration chromatography, these mutant forms of VP4 were shown to lack the ability to form dimers. The biological significance of the dimeric forms of VP4 was examined by using a functional assay system, in which the encapsidation activity of VP4 into core-like particles (CLPs) was studied (H. LeBlois, T. French, P. P. C. Mertens, J. N. Burroughs, and P. Roy, Virology 189:757–761, 1992). We demonstrated conclusively that dimerization of VP4 was essential for encapsidation by CLPs.
PMCID: PMC109745  PMID: 9525620
19.  Streptomyces serine protease (SAM-P20): recombinant production, characterization, and interaction with endogenous protease inhibitor. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(22):6638-6643.
Previously, we isolated a candidate for an endogenous target enzyme(s) of the Streptomyces subtilisin inhibitor (SSI), termed SAM-P20, from a non-SSI-producing mutant strain (S. Taguchi, A. Odaka, Y. Watanabe, and H. Momose, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61:180-186, 1995). In this study, in order to investigate the detailed enzymatic properties of this protease, an overproduction system of recombinant SAM-P20 was established in Streptomyces coelicolor with the SSI gene promoter. The recombinant SAM-P20 was purified by salting out and by two successive ion-exchange chromatographies to give a homogeneous band by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Partial peptide mapping and amino acid composition analysis revealed that the recombinant SAM-P20 was identical to natural SAM-P20. From the results for substrate specificity and inhibitor sensitivity, SAM-P20 could be categorized as a chymotrypsin-like protease with an arginine-cleavable activity, i.e., a serine protease with broad substrate specificity. For proteolytic activity, the optimal pH was 10.0 and the optimal temperature was shifted from 50 to 80 degrees C by the addition of 10 mM calcium ion. The strong stoichiometric inhibition of SAM-P20 activity by SSI dimer protein occurred in a subunit molar ratio of these two proteins of about 1, and an inhibitor constant of SSI toward SAM-P20 was estimated to be 8.0 x 10(-10) M. The complex formation of SAM-P20 and SSI was monitored by analytical gel filtration, and a complex composed of two molecules of SAM-P20 and one dimer molecule of SSI was detected, in addition to a complex of one molecule of SAM-P20 bound to one dimer molecule of SSI. The reactive site of SSI toward SAM-P20 was identified as Met-73-Val-74 by sequence analysis of the modified form of SSI, which was produced by the acidification of the complex of SSI and SAM-P20. This reactive site is the same that toward an exogenous target enzyme, subtilisin BPN'.
PMCID: PMC177519  PMID: 7592444
20.  Purification and Characterization of an Aminopeptidase from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris Wg2 
An aminopeptidase was purified to homogeneity from a crude cell extract of Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris Wg2 by a procedure that included diethyl-aminoethane-Sephacel chromatography, phenyl-Sepharose chromatography, gel filtration, and high-performance liquid chromatography over an anion-exchange column. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of the purified enzyme showed a single protein band with a molecular weight of 95,000. The aminopeptidase was capable of degrading several peptides by hydrolysis of the N-terminal amino acid. The peptidase had no endopeptidase or carboxypeptidase activity. The aminopeptidase activity was optimal at pH 7 and 40°C. The enzyme was completely inactivated by the p-chloromecuribenzoate mersalyl, chelating agents, and the divalent cations Cu2+ and Cd2+. The activity that was lost by treatment with the sulfhydryl-blocking reagents was restored with dithiothreitol or β-mercapto-ethanol, while Zn2+ or Co2+ restored the activity of the 1,10-phenantroline-treated enzyme. Kinetic studies indicated that the enzyme has a relatively low affinity for lysyl-p-nitroanilide (Km, 0.55 mM) but that it can hydrolyze this substrate at a high rate (Vmax, 30 μmol/min per mg of protein).
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PMCID: PMC183372  PMID: 16348128
21.  Degradation of chloroaromatics: purification and characterization of maleylacetate reductase from Pseudomonas sp. strain B13. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1993;175(19):6075-6081.
Maleylacetate reductase of Pseudomonas sp. strain B13 was purified to homogeneity by chromatography on DEAE-cellulose, Butyl-Sepharose, Blue-Sepharose, and Sephacryl S100. The final preparation gave a single band by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions and a single symmetrical peak by gel filtration under nondenaturing conditions. The subunit M(r) value was 37,000 (determined by sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis). Estimation of the native M(r) value by gel filtration gave a value of 74,000 with a Superose 6 column, indicating that the enzyme is dimeric. The pH and temperature optima were 5.4 and 50 degrees C, respectively. The pI of the enzyme was estimated to be 7.0. The apparent Km values for maleylacetate and NADH were 58 and 30 microM, respectively, and the maximum velocity was 832 U/mg of protein for maleylacetate. Maleylacetate and various substituted maleylacetates, such as 2-chloro- and 2-methyl-maleylacetate, were reduced at significant rates. NADPH was also used as a cofactor instead of NADH with nearly the same Vmax value, but its Km value was estimated to be 77 microM. Reductase activity was inhibited by a range of thiol-blocking reagents. The absorption spectrum indicated that there was no bound cofactor or prosthetic group in the enzyme.
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PMCID: PMC206699  PMID: 8407778
22.  Multiple interfaces between a serine recombinase and an enhancer control site-specific DNA inversion 
eLife  2013;2:e01211.
Serine recombinases are often tightly controlled by elaborate, topologically-defined, nucleoprotein complexes. Hin is a member of the DNA invertase subclass of serine recombinases that are regulated by a remote recombinational enhancer element containing two binding sites for the protein Fis. Two Hin dimers bound to specific recombination sites associate with the Fis-bound enhancer by DNA looping where they are remodeled into a synaptic tetramer competent for DNA chemistry and exchange. Here we show that the flexible beta-hairpin arms of the Fis dimers contact the DNA binding domain of one subunit of each Hin dimer. These contacts sandwich the Hin dimers to promote remodeling into the tetramer. A basic region on the Hin catalytic domain then contacts enhancer DNA to complete assembly of the active Hin tetramer. Our results reveal how the enhancer generates the recombination complex that specifies DNA inversion and regulates DNA exchange by the subunit rotation mechanism.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01211.001
eLife digest
Many processes in biology rely on enzymes that break both the strands in a DNA molecule, then rearrange the strands, and finally join them back together in a new configuration. These recombination reactions can, for example, change the positions of genetic elements such as enhancers and promoters within the DNA molecule and, therefore, influence how a given gene is expressed as a protein. Cells need to be able to control recombination reactions because they can lead to leukemia and lymphomas if they go wrong.
The enzymes that catalyze these recombination reactions are called recombinases. One type of recombinase binds to specific sequences of DNA bases and uses an amino acid in the enzyme–usually serine or tyrosine–to break and rejoin the DNA strands. Recombination reactions require the assembly of complexes containing many proteins bound to DNA. Tyrosine recombinases form relatively simple protein-DNA complexes, and these have been studied in detail. Serine recombinases, on the other hand, form more elaborate protein-DNA complexes, and much less is known about these.
Now McLean et al. have unraveled the mechanism that a serine recombinase called Hin uses to reverse the direction of a stretch of chromosomal DNA in the bacteria Salmonella enterica. Inverting this stretch of DNA–which contains about 1000 base pairs–changes the position of a gene promoter that is responsible for the production of flagellin, which is the protein that enables the bacterium to move. This is one of the tricks that Salmonella uses to evade the immune system of its host.
Previous research has established that four Hin subunits and two copies of a protein called Fis are needed to invert this stretch of DNA: two Hin subunits bind to each of the two hix recombination sites, and the Fis proteins (which are dimers) bind to each end of an enhancer that is located between the hix sites. A protein called HU then causes the DNA to bend and form a loop, and the four Hin subunits and the two Fis dimers all come together at the enhancer to form a structure called the invertasome where the recombination reaction occurs. All four DNA strands at the crossover point are broken as a result of a near simultaneous attack by the catalytic serine amino acids in the Hin subunits. One pair of Hin subunits–and the two DNA strands attached to them–then rotate by 180 degrees around the other pair of Hin subunits. This means that the stretch of DNA between the hix sites is inverted when the DNA strands are rejoined at the end of the reaction.
Enhancers often regulate transcription and other reactions from a distance. McLean et al. reveal how an enhancer of a DNA recombination reaction works. The pairs of Hin subunits that initially bind to the DNA are not catalytically active, but when they are brought together by the enhancer and form a tetramer, they become active. Two of the Hin subunits are clamped onto the enhancer by the Fis dimers and by directly interacting with the enhancer DNA, but the other two (and the DNA strands attached to them) are free to rotate within the tetramer. In the Salmonella chromosome the enhancer is located close to one of the hix sites (∼100 base pairs away from it), so the length of the DNA between the enhancer and hix site physically limits the number of Hin subunit rotations to just one.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01211.002
doi:10.7554/eLife.01211
PMCID: PMC3798978  PMID: 24151546
Salmonella enterica; site-specific DNA recombination; serine recombinase; recombinational enhancer; synaptic complex; DNA strand exchange; E. coli
23.  Beta-lactam biosynthesis in a gram-negative eubacterium: purification and characterization of isopenicillin N synthase from Flavobacterium sp. strain SC 12.154. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1989;171(10):5720-5728.
The occurrence, localization, and extraction of isopenicillin N-synthase (IPNS) were investigated in the gram-negative low-level beta-lactam producer Flavobacterium sp. strain SC 12.154, which forms deacetoxycephalosporin and excretes the cephabacin 7-formamidocephalosporin. IPNS was detected with anti-IPNS antibodies raised against the Cephalosporium acremonium enzyme. The flavobacterium enzyme, whose molecular mass (38 kilodaltons) and cofactor requirements resemble those of the fungal and Streptomyces enzymes, is formed at the transition from growth to the stationary phase. It was extracted into the polyethylene glycol phase of a polyethylene glycol-Ficoll-dextran three-phase system and was purified by quaternary aminoethyl ion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration, covalent chromatography on cystamine-Sepharose, and fast-protein liquid chromatography on Mono Q. The enzyme was characterized with respect to sulfhydryl requirement, inhibition by disulfides and metal ions, pH and temperature dependence, and stimulation by polyethylene glycol and low Triton X-100 concentrations, as well as by several amino acids, including alpha-aminoadipic acid and cysteine. The Km for alpha-aminoadipyl-cysteinyl-D-valine was 0.08 mM. An inactive membrane-associated form of IPNS was detected together with a beta-lactamase active on isopenicillin N. The system has been suggested as a model for the study of endogenous functions of beta-lactams in bacteria.
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PMCID: PMC210420  PMID: 2793834
24.  Purification of cereolysin and the electrophoretic separation of the active (reduced) and inactive (oxidized) forms of the purified toxin. 
Infection and Immunity  1976;14(1):144-154.
Cereolysin was purified to apparent homogeneity by using ammonium sulfate fractionation, hydrophobic chromatography with AH-Sepharose, isoelectric focusing, and gel filtration. The active form of the toxin had an isoelectric point of 6.6, and the molecular weight of the protein was about 55,500 as judged by sodium dodecyl sulfate-gel electrophoresis, gel filtration, and gel electrophoresis using various concentrations of acrylamide. Cereolysin contained two half-cystine residues and was dependent on reducing agents, such as dithiothreitol, for maximal hemolytic activity and charge homogeneity. By using discontinuous acrylamide electrophoresis, two forms of the toxin could be observed: oxidized and reduced. If the toxin was purified in the absence of dithiothreitol, partial spontaneous oxidation resulted in the formation of an oxidized form of the toxin. Relative to the reduced form, the oxidized form moved slightly closer to the anode in gel electrophoresis at pH 9.0. If the toxin was purified in the presence of 5 mM dithiothreitol or if the spontaneously oxidized toxin was preincubated with dithiothreitol, only the reduced form of the protein was observed. When the logarithims of their relative mobilities were plotted against the concentration of acrylamide in the gels, the slopes for the reduced and oxidized forms were identical. This indicates that the two forms are identical in size and are separable because of different charges. The reduced protein could be inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide, 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid), and p-hydroxymercuribenzoate. Inhibition by the latter two sulfhydryl reagents could be completely reversed by dithiothreitol. The reversibly oxidized form of the toxin did not appear to be inhibited by N-ethylmaleimide and apparently was either unable to bind to or had a decreased affinity for the erythrocyte membrane.
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PMCID: PMC420857  PMID: 820638
25.  Isolation, Purification, and Characterization of Fungal Laccase from Pleurotus sp. 
Enzyme Research  2011;2011:248735.
Laccases are blue copper oxidases (E.C. 1.10.3.2 benzenediol: oxygen oxidoreductase) that catalyze the one-electron oxidation of phenolics, aromatic amines, and other electron-rich substrates with the concomitant reduction of O2 to H2O. They are currently seen as highly interesting industrial enzymes because of their broad substrate specificity. A positive strain was isolated and characterized as nonspore forming Basidiomycetes Pleurotus sp. Laccase activity was determined using ABTS as substrate. Laccase was purified by ionexchange and gel filtration chromatography. The purified laccase was a monomer showed a molecular mass of 40 ± 1 kDa as estimated by SDS-PAGE and a 72-fold purification with a 22% yield. The optimal pH and temperature were 4.5 and 65°C, respectively. The Km and Vmax values are 250 (mM) and 0.33 (μmol/min), respectively, for ABTS as substrate. Metal ions like CuSO4, BaCl2, MgCl2, FeCl2, ZnCl2 have no effect on purified laccase whereas HgCl2 and MnCl2 moderately decrease enzyme activity. SDS and sodium azide inhibited enzyme activity, whereas Urea, PCMB, DTT, and mercaptoethanol have no effect on enzyme activity. The isolated laccase can be used in development of biosensor for detecting the phenolic compounds from the effluents of paper industries.
doi:10.4061/2011/248735
PMCID: PMC3184503  PMID: 21977312

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