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1.  Many paths to methyltransfer: a chronicle of convergence 
Trends in biochemical sciences  2003;28(6):329-335.
S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) dependent methyltransferases (MTases) are involved in biosynthesis, signal transduction, protein repair, chromatin regulation and gene silencing. Five different structural folds (I–V) have been described that bind AdoMet and catalyze methyltransfer to diverse substrates, although the great majority of known MTases have the Class I fold. Even within a particular MTase class the amino-acid sequence similarity can be as low as 10%. Thus, the structural and catalytic requirements for methyltransfer from AdoMet appear to be remarkably flexible.
doi:10.1016/S0968-0004(03)00090-2
PMCID: PMC2758044  PMID: 12826405
2.  Structure of ATP-bound Human ATP:Cobalamin Adenosyltransferase† 
Biochemistry  2006;45(51):15188-15196.
Mutations in the gene encoding human ATP:cobalamin adenosyltransferase (hATR) can result in the metabolic disorder known as methylmalonic aciduria (MMA). This enzyme catalyzes the final step in the conversion of cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) to the essential human cofactor adenosylcobalamin. Here we present the 2.5 Å crystal structure of ATP bound to hATR refined to an Rfree value of 25.2 %. The enzyme forms a tightly associated trimer, where the monomer comprises a five helix bundle and the active sites lie on the subunit interfaces. Only two of the three active sites within the trimer contain the bound ATP substrate, thereby providing examples of apo- and substrate-bound active sites within the same crystal structure. Comparison of the empty and occupied sites indicates that twenty residues at the enzyme’s N-terminus become ordered upon binding of ATP to form a novel ATP-binding site and an extended cleft that likely binds cobalamin. The structure explains the role of 20 invariant residues; six involved in ATP-binding, including Arg190 which hydrogen bonds to ATP atoms on both sides of the scissile bond, 10 required for structural stability and four in positions to interact with cobalamin. The structure also reveals how the point mutations that cause MMA are deficient in these functions.
doi:10.1021/bi061396f
PMCID: PMC2532598  PMID: 17176040
Cobalamin; Vitamin B12; adenosyltransferase; X-ray crystallography; methylmalonic aciduria
3.  Tetartohedral twinning in IDI-2 from Thermus thermophilus: crystallization under anaerobic conditions 
Type-2 isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase (IDI-2) is a key flavoprotein involved in the biosynthesis of isoprenoids. Since fully reduced flavin mononucleotide (FMNH2) is needed for activity, it was decided to crystallize the enzyme under anaerobic conditions in order to understand how this reduced cofactor binds within the active site and interacts with the substrate isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP). In this study, the protein was expressed and purified under aerobic conditions and then reduced and crystallized under anaerobic conditions. Crystals grown by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method and then soaked with IPP diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution and belonged to the hexagonal space group P6322, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 133.3, c = 172.9 Å.
doi:10.1107/S2053230X14002143
PMCID: PMC3944699  PMID: 24598924
isopentenyl diphosphate isomerase; IDI-2; flavoprotein; anaerobic; isoprenoid; twinning
4.  Molecular architecture of a dynamin adaptor: implications for assembly of mitochondrial fission complexes 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;191(6):1127-1139.
Structural and functional studies of the Mdv1 dimer reveal how this mitochondria-associated adaptor protein orients and stabilizes the assembly of dynamins on membranes to promote mitochondrial fission.
Recruitment and assembly of some dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatases depends on adaptor proteins restricted to distinct cellular membranes. The yeast Mdv1 adaptor localizes to mitochondria by binding to the membrane protein Fis1. Subsequent Mdv1 binding to the mitochondrial dynamin Dnm1 stimulates Dnm1 assembly into spirals, which encircle and divide the mitochondrial compartment. In this study, we report that dimeric Mdv1 is joined at its center by a 92-Å antiparallel coiled coil (CC). Modeling of the Fis1–Mdv1 complex using available crystal structures suggests that the Mdv1 CC lies parallel to the bilayer with N termini at opposite ends bound to Fis1 and C-terminal β-propeller domains (Dnm1-binding sites) extending into the cytoplasm. A CC length of appropriate length and sequence is necessary for optimal Mdv1 interaction with Fis1 and Dnm1 and is important for proper Dnm1 assembly before membrane scission. Our results provide a framework for understanding how adaptors act as scaffolds to orient and stabilize the assembly of dynamins on membranes.
doi:10.1083/jcb.201005046
PMCID: PMC3002026  PMID: 21149566
5.  X-ray structures of isopentenyl phosphate kinase 
ACS chemical biology  2010;5(5):517-527.
Isoprenoid compounds are ubiquitous in nature, participating in important biological phenomena such as signal transduction, aerobic cellular respiration, photosynthesis, insect communication, and many others. They are derived from the 5-carbon isoprenoid substrates isopentenyl diphosphate (IPP) and its isomer dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMAPP). In Archaea and Eukarya, these building blocks are synthesized via the mevalonate pathway. However, the genes required to convert mevalonate phosphate (MP) to IPP are missing in several species of Archaea. An enzyme with isopentenyl phosphate kinase (IPK) activity was recently discovered in Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (MJ), suggesting a departure from the classical sequence of converting MP to IPP. We have determined the high-resolution crystal structures of isopentenyl phosphate kinases in complex with both substrates and products from Thermoplasma acidophilum (THA), as well as the IPK from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus (MTH), by means of single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD) and molecular replacement. A histidine residue (His50) in THA IPK makes a hydrogen bond with the terminal phosphates of IP and IPP, poising these molecules for phosphoryl transfer through an in-line geometry. Moreover, a lysine residue (Lys14) makes hydrogen bonds with non-bridging oxygen atoms at Pα and Pγ and with the Pβ- Pγ bridging oxygen atom in ATP. These interactions suggest a transition state-stabilizing role for this residue. Lys14 is a part of a newly discovered “lysine triangle” catalytic motif in IPK’s that also includes Lys5 and Lys205. Moreover, His50, Lys5, Lys14, and Lys205 are conserved in all IPK’s and can therefore serve as fingerprints for identifying new homologues.
doi:10.1021/cb100032g
PMCID: PMC2879073  PMID: 20402538
6.  Crystal structures of a halophilic archaeal malate synthase from Haloferax volcanii and comparisons with isoforms A and G 
Background
Malate synthase, one of the two enzymes unique to the glyoxylate cycle, is found in all three domains of life, and is crucial to the utilization of two-carbon compounds for net biosynthetic pathways such as gluconeogenesis. In addition to the main isoforms A and G, so named because of their differential expression in E. coli grown on either acetate or glycolate respectively, a third distinct isoform has been identified. These three isoforms differ considerably in size and sequence conservation. The A isoform (MSA) comprises ~530 residues, the G isoform (MSG) is ~730 residues, and this third isoform (MSH-halophilic) is ~430 residues in length. Both isoforms A and G have been structurally characterized in detail, but no structures have been reported for the H isoform which has been found thus far only in members of the halophilic Archaea.
Results
We have solved the structure of a malate synthase H (MSH) isoform member from Haloferax volcanii in complex with glyoxylate at 2.51 Å resolution, and also as a ternary complex with acetyl-coenzyme A and pyruvate at 1.95 Å. Like the A and G isoforms, MSH is based on a β8/α8 (TIM) barrel. Unlike previously solved malate synthase structures which are all monomeric, this enzyme is found in the native state as a trimer/hexamer equilibrium. Compared to isoforms A and G, MSH displays deletion of an N-terminal domain and a smaller deletion at the C-terminus. The MSH active site is closely superimposable with those of MSA and MSG, with the ternary complex indicating a nucleophilic attack on pyruvate by the enolate intermediate of acetyl-coenzyme A.
Conclusions
The reported structures of MSH from Haloferax volcanii allow a detailed analysis and comparison with previously solved structures of isoforms A and G. These structural comparisons provide insight into evolutionary relationships among these isoforms, and also indicate that despite the size and sequence variation, and the truncated C-terminal domain of the H isoform, the catalytic mechanism is conserved. Sequence analysis in light of the structure indicates that additional members of isoform H likely exist in the databases but have been misannotated.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-23
PMCID: PMC3112382  PMID: 21569248
7.  Structure and function of SirC from Bacillus megaterium: a metal-binding precorrin-2 dehydrogenase 
The Biochemical journal  2008;415(2):257-263.
In Bacillus megaterium, the synthesis of vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and sirohaem diverges at sirohydrochlorin along the branched modified tetrapyrrole biosynthetic pathway. This key intermediate is made by the action of SirC, a precorrin-2 dehydrogenase that requires NAD+ as a cofactor. The structure of SirC has now been solved by X-ray crystallography to 2.8 Å (1 Å = 0.1 nm) resolution. The protein is shown to consist of three domains and has a similar topology to the multifunctional sirohaem synthases Met8p and the N-terminal region of CysG, both of which catalyse not only the dehydrogenation of precorrin-2 but also the ferrochelation of sirohydrochlorin to give sirohaem. Guided by the structure, in the present study a number of active-site residues within SirC were investigated by site-directed mutagenesis. No active-site general base was identified, although surprisingly some of the resulting protein variants were found to have significantly enhanced catalytic activity. Unexpectedly, SirC was found to bind metal ions such as cobalt and copper, and to bind them in an identical fashion with that observed in Met8p. It is suggested that SirC may have evolved from a Met8p-like protein by loss of its chelatase activity. It is proposed that the ability of SirC to act as a single monofunctional enzyme, in conjunction with an independent chelatase, may provide greater control over the intermediate at this branchpoint in the synthesis of sirohaem and cobalamin.
doi:10.1042/BJ20080785
PMCID: PMC2857972  PMID: 18588505
chelatase; cobalamin (vitamin B12); dehydrogenase; precorrin-2; sirohaem; sirohydrochlorin
8.  Structure and Mechanistic Implications of a Uroporphyrinogen III Synthase–Product Complex†,‡ 
Biochemistry  2008;47(33):8648-8655.
Uroporphyrinogen III synthase (U3S) catalyzes the asymmetrical cyclization of a linear tetrapyrrole to form the physiologically relevant uroporphyrinogen III (uro’gen III) isomer during heme biosynthesis. Here, we report four apoenzyme and one product complex crystal structures of the Thermus thermophilus (HB27) U3S protein. The overlay of eight crystallographically unique U3S molecules reveals a huge range of conformational flexibility, including a “closed” product complex. The product, uro’gen III, binds between the two domains and is held in place by a network of hydrogen bonds between the product’s side chain carboxylates and the protein’s main chain amides. Interactions of the product A and B ring carboxylate side chains with both structural domains of U3S appear to dictate the relative orientation of the domains in the closed enzyme conformation and likely remain intact during catalysis. The product C and D rings are less constrained in the structure, consistent with the conformational changes required for the catalytic cyclization with inversion of D ring orientation. A conserved tyrosine residue is potentially positioned to facilitate loss of a hydroxyl from the substrate to initiate the catalytic reaction.
doi:10.1021/bi800635y
PMCID: PMC2852885  PMID: 18651750
9.  Structural Basis for ESCRT-III Protein Autoinhibition 
ESCRT-III (endosomal sorting complexes required for transport-III) subunits cycle between two states: soluble monomers and higher-order assemblies that bind and remodel membranes during endosomal vesicle formation, midbody abscission and enveloped virus budding. Here, we show that the N-terminal core domains of IST1 (increased sodium tolerance-1) and CHMP3 (charged multivesicularbody protein-3) form equivalent four-helix bundles, revealing that IST1 is a previously unrecognized ESCRT-III family member. IST1 and its ESCRT-III binding partner, CHMP1B, both form higher-order helical structures in vitro, and IST1-CHMP1 interactions are required for abscission. The IST1 and CHMP3 structures also reveal that equivalent downstream α5 helices can fold back against the core domains. Mutations within the CHMP3 core-α5 interface stimulate the protein’s in vitro assembly and HIV inhibition activities, indicating that dissociation of the autoinhibitory α5 helix from the core activates ESCRT-III proteins for assembly at membranes.
doi:10.1038/nsmb.1621
PMCID: PMC2712734  PMID: 19525971
10.  Inositol Hexakisphosphate Is Bound in the ADAR2 Core and Required for RNA Editing 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2005;309(5740):1534-1539.
We report the crystal structure of the catalytic domain of human ADAR2, an RNA editing enzyme, at 1.7 angstrom resolution. The structure reveals a zinc ion in the active site and suggests how the substrate adenosine is recognized. Unexpectedly, inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6) is buried within the enzyme core, contributing to the protein fold. Although there are no reports that adenosine deaminases that act on RNA (ADARs) require a cofactor, we show that IP6 is required for activity. Amino acids that coordinate IP6 in the crystal structure are conserved in some adenosine deaminases that act on transfer RNA (tRNA) (ADATs), related enzymes that edit tRNA. Indeed, IP6 is also essential for in vivo and in vitro deamination of adenosine 37 of tRNAala by ADAT1.
doi:10.1126/science.1113150
PMCID: PMC1850959  PMID: 16141067

Results 1-10 (10)