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1.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of d-aspartate oxidase from porcine kidney 
d-Aspartate oxidase from porcine kidney was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystal diffracted to 1.80 Å resolution.
d-Aspartate oxidase (DDO) from porcine kidney was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 8000 as a precipitant. The crystal belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 79.38, b = 144.0, c = 80.46 Å, β = 101.1°, and diffracted to 1.80 Å resolution. Molecular-replacement trials using the structure of human d-amino-acid oxidase, which is 42% identical in sequence to DDO, as a search model provided a satisfactory solution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112013243
PMCID: PMC3370900  PMID: 22684060
d-aspartate oxidase; FAD; flavoproteins; anaerobic crystallization
2.  Molecular Mechanism of Strict Substrate Specificity of an Extradiol Dioxygenase, DesB, Derived from Sphingobium sp. SYK-6 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e92249.
DesB, which is derived from Sphingobium sp. SYK-6, is a type II extradiol dioxygenase that catalyzes a ring opening reaction of gallate. While typical extradiol dioxygenases show broad substrate specificity, DesB has strict substrate specificity for gallate. The substrate specificity of DesB seems to be required for the efficient growth of S. sp. SYK-6 using lignin-derived aromatic compounds. Since direct coordination of hydroxyl groups of the substrate to the non-heme iron in the active site is a critical step for the catalytic reaction of the extradiol dioxygenases, the mechanism of the substrate recognition and coordination of DesB was analyzed by biochemical and crystallographic methods. Our study demonstrated that the direct coordination between the non-heme iron and hydroxyl groups of the substrate requires a large shift of the Fe (II) ion in the active site. Mutational analysis revealed that His124 and His192 in the active site are essential to the catalytic reaction of DesB. His124, which interacts with OH (4) of the bound gallate, seems to contribute to proper positioning of the substrate in the active site. His192, which is located close to OH (3) of the gallate, is likely to serve as the catalytic base. Glu377’ interacts with OH (5) of the gallate and seems to play a critical role in the substrate specificity. Our biochemical and structural study showed the substrate recognition and catalytic mechanisms of DesB.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092249
PMCID: PMC3962378  PMID: 24657997
3.  Structural Basis of the γ-Lactone-Ring Formation in Ascorbic Acid Biosynthesis by the Senescence Marker Protein-30/Gluconolactonase 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(1):e53706.
The senescence marker protein-30 (SMP30), which is also called regucalcin, exhibits gluconolactonase (GNL) activity. Biochemical and biological analyses revealed that SMP30/GNL catalyzes formation of the γ-lactone-ring of l-gulonate in the ascorbic acid biosynthesis pathway. The molecular basis of the γ-lactone formation, however, remains elusive due to the lack of structural information on SMP30/GNL in complex with its substrate. Here, we report the crystal structures of mouse SMP30/GNL and its complex with xylitol, a substrate analogue, and those with 1,5-anhydro-d-glucitol and d-glucose, product analogues. Comparison of the crystal structure of mouse SMP30/GNL with other related enzymes has revealed unique characteristics of mouse SMP30/GNL. First, the substrate-binding pocket of mouse SMP30/GNL is designed to specifically recognize monosaccharide molecules. The divalent metal ion in the active site and polar residues lining the substrate-binding cavity interact with hydroxyl groups of substrate/product analogues. Second, in mouse SMP30/GNL, a lid loop covering the substrate-binding cavity seems to hamper the binding of l-gulonate in an extended (or all-trans) conformation; l-gulonate seems to bind to the active site in a folded conformation. In contrast, the substrate-binding cavities of the other related enzymes are open to the solvent and do not have a cover. This structural feature of mouse SMP30/GNL seems to facilitate the γ-lactone-ring formation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0053706
PMCID: PMC3551927  PMID: 23349732
4.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of d-serine dehydratase from chicken kidney 
d-Serine dehydratase purified from chicken kidney was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals diffracted to 2.09 Å resolution.
d-Serine dehydratase purified from chicken kidney was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 and 2-propanol as precipitants. The crystal belonged to space group P422, with unit-cell parameters a = 105.0, c = 81.89 Å, and diffracted to 2.09 Å resolution. An attempt to solve the structure using the MAD method is in progress.
doi:10.1107/S1744309110048438
PMCID: PMC3079996  PMID: 21206048
d-serine dehydratase; pyridoxal 5′-phosphate; Schiff base; β-elimination
5.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of maganese(II)-dependent 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl 1,2-dioxygenase from Bacillus sp. JF8 
A thermostable manganese(II)-dependent 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl-1,2-dioxygenase derived from Bacillus sp. JF8 was crystallized in two forms using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. Both crystals diffracted to approximately 1.3 Å resolution.
A thermostable manganese(II)-dependent 2,3-dihydroxybiphenyl-1,2-dioxygenase derived from Bacillus sp. JF8 was crystallized. The initial screening for crystallization was performed by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using a crystallization robot, resulting in the growth of two crystal forms. The first crystal belonged to space group P1, with unit-cell parameters a = 62.7, b = 71.4, c = 93.6 Å, α = 71.2, β = 81.0, γ = 64.0°, and diffracted to 1.3 Å resolution. The second crystal belonged to space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 74.2, b = 90.8, c = 104.3 Å, and diffracted to 1.3 Å resolution. Molecular-replacement trials using homoprotocatechuate 2,3-dioxygenase from Arthrobacter globiformis (28% amino-acid sequence identity) as a search model provided a satisfactory solution for both crystal forms.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109054396
PMCID: PMC2833037  PMID: 20208161
extradiol dioxygenases; crystallization robots; metalloproteins
6.  Direct Observation of Protein Microcrystals in Crystallization Buffer by Atmospheric Scanning Electron Microscopy 
X-ray crystallography requires high quality crystals above a given size. This requirement not only limits the proteins to be analyzed, but also reduces the speed of the structure determination. Indeed, the tertiary structures of many physiologically important proteins remain elusive because of the so-called “crystallization bottleneck”. Once microcrystals have been obtained, crystallization conditions can be optimized to produce bigger and better crystals. However, the identification of microcrystals can be difficult due to the resolution limit of optical microscopy. Electron microscopy has sometimes been utilized instead, with the disadvantage that the microcrystals usually must be observed in vacuum, which precludes the usage for crystal screening. The atmospheric scanning electron microscope (ASEM) allows samples to be observed in solution. Here, we report the use of this instrument in combination with a special thin-membrane dish with a crystallization well. It was possible to observe protein crystals of lysozyme, lipase B and a histone chaperone TAF-Iβ in crystallization buffers, without the use of staining procedures. The smallest crystals observed with ASEM were a few μm in width, and ASEM can be used with non-transparent solutions. Furthermore, the growth of salt crystals could be monitored in the ASEM, and the difference in contrast between salt and protein crystals made it easy to distinguish between these two types of microcrystals. These results indicate that the ASEM could be an important new tool for the screening of protein microcrystals.
doi:10.3390/ijms130810553
PMCID: PMC3431877  PMID: 22949879
X-ray crystallography; protein crystal; nano-crystal; crystallization screening; environmental cell; TAF-Iβ; micro-focus X-ray beams; X-ray free-electron laser; ASEM; ClairScope
7.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of gallate dioxygenase DesB from Sphingobium sp. SYK-6 
Gallate dioxygenase (DesB) from Sphingobium sp. SYK-6, which belongs to the type II extradiol dioxygenase family, was purified and crystallized in two different crystal forms, which were subjected to X-ray analysis.
Gallate dioxygenase (DesB) from Sphingobium sp. SYK-6, which belongs to the type II extradiol dioxygenase family, was purified and crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Two crystal forms were obtained. The form I crystal belonged to space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 136.2, b = 53.6, c = 55.1 Å, β = 112.8°, and diffracted to 1.6 Å resolution. The form II crystal belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 56.2, b = 64.7, c = 116.1 Å, β = 95.1°, and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution. A molecular-replacement calculation using LigAB as a search model yielded a satisfactory solution for both crystal forms.
doi:10.1107/S1744309109041086
PMCID: PMC2777051  PMID: 19923743
extradiol dioxygenases; gallate dioxygenase
8.  Regulatory System of the Protocatechuate 4,5-Cleavage Pathway Genes Essential for Lignin Downstream Catabolism ▿ §  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(13):3394-3405.
Sphingobium sp. strain SYK-6 converts various lignin-derived biaryls with guaiacyl (4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl) and syringyl (4-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl) moieties to vanillate and syringate. These compounds are further catabolized through the protocatechuate (PCA) 4,5-cleavage (PCA45) pathway. In this article, the regulatory system of the PCA45 pathway is described. A LysR-type transcriptional regulator (LTTR), LigR, activated the transcription of the ligK-orf1-ligI-lsdA and ligJABC operons in the presence of PCA or gallate (GA), which is an intermediate metabolite of vanillate or syringate, respectively, and repressed transcription of its own gene. LigR bound to the positions −77 to −51 and −80 to −48 of the ligK and ligJ promoters, respectively, and induced DNA bending. In the presence of PCA or GA, DNA bending on both promoters was enhanced. The LigR-binding regions of the ligK and ligJ promoters in the presence of inducer molecules were extended and shortened, respectively. The LTTR consensus sequences (Box-K and Box-J) in the ligK and ligJ promoters were essential for the binding of LigR and transcriptional activation of both operons. In addition, the regions between the LigR binding boxes and the −35 regions were required for the enhancement of DNA bending, although the binding of LigR to the −35 region of the ligJ promoter was not observed in DNase I footprinting experiments. This study shows the binding features of LigR on the ligK and ligJ promoters and explains how the PCA45 pathway genes are expressed during degradation of lignin-derived biaryls by this bacterium.
doi:10.1128/JB.00215-10
PMCID: PMC2897667  PMID: 20435721
9.  Effect of leucine-to-methionine substitutions on the diffraction quality of histone chaperone SET/TAF-Iβ/INHAT crystals 
The combination of leucine-to-methionine substitutions and optimization of cryoconditions improved the resolution of histone chaperone SET/TAF-Iβ/INHAT crystals from around 5.5 to 2.3 Å without changing the crystallization conditions, allowing successful structure determination of SET/TAF-Iβ/INHAT by the multiwavelength anomalous diffraction method.
One of the most frequent problems in crystallization is poor quality of the crystals. In order to overcome this obstacle several methods have been utilized, including amino-acid substitutions of the target protein. Here, an example is presented of crystal-quality improvement by leucine-to-methionine substitutions. A variant protein with three amino-acid substitutions enabled improvement of the crystal quality of the histone chaperone SET/TAF-Iβ/INHAT when combined with optimization of the cryoconditions. This procedure improved the resolution of the SET/TAF-Iβ/INHAT crystals from around 5.5 to 2.3 Å without changing the crystallization conditions.
doi:10.1107/S1744309108028704
PMCID: PMC2564889  PMID: 18931446
crystal quality improvement; post-crystallization treatments; mutations
10.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the electron-transfer complex of Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin and NADH-dependent ferredoxin reductase derived from Acidovorax sp. strain KKS102 
The electron-transfer complex of BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin, and BphA4, a NADH-dependent ferredoxin reductase, was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method under anaerobic conditions.
The electron-transfer complex of BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin, and BphA4, a NADH-dependent ferredoxin reductase, was crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method under anaerobic conditions. The obtained crystals were analyzed by SDS–PAGE, which showed that they contained both BphA3 and BphA4. The crystals belong to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 60.60, b = 173.72, c = 60.98 Å, β = 115.8°, and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107023007
PMCID: PMC2335082  PMID: 17554177
electron-transfer complexes; ferredoxins; NADH-dependent ferredoxin reductases; anaerobic conditions
11.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the reduced Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin derived from Pseudomonas sp. strain KKS102 
The reduced form of BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin, was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method under anaerobic conditions. A molecular-replacement calculation yielded a satisfactory solution.
The reduced form of BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin component of the biphenyl dioxygenase BphA from Pseudomonas sp. strain KKS102, was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method under anaerobic conditions. The crystal belongs to space group P3121, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 49.6, c = 171.9 Å, and diffracts to a resolution of 1.95 Å. A molecular-replacement calculation using oxidized BphA3 as a search model yielded a satisfactory solution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107009992
PMCID: PMC2330217  PMID: 17401203
ferredoxins; electron transfer; Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] cluster; reduced form; anaerobic conditions
12.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of a haloalkane dehalogenase, DbjA, from Bradyrhizobium japonicum USDA110 
A haloalkane dehalogenase, DbjA, was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 as a precipitant. The crystal belongs to the orthorhombic system, space group P21212 and diffracts to 1.75 Å resolution.
Haloalkane dehalogenases are key enzymes for the degradation of halogenated aliphatic pollutants. The haloalkane dehalogenase DbjA constitutes a novel substrate-specificity class with high catalytic activity for β-methylated haloalkanes. In order to reveal the mechanism of its substrate specificity, DbjA has been crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The best crystals were obtained using the microseeding technique with a reservoir solution consisting of 17–19.5%(w/v) PEG 4000, 0.2 M calcium acetate and 0.1 M Tris–HCl pH 7.7–8.0. The space group of the DbjA crystal is P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 212.9, b = 117.8, c = 55.8 Å. The crystal diffracts to 1.75 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107008652
PMCID: PMC2330215  PMID: 17401198
haloalkane dehalogenases; biodegradation; α/β hydrolases; rhizobia
13.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of DtsR1, a carboxyltransferase subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase from Corynebacterium glutamicum  
DtsR1, a carboxyltransferase subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase from C. glutamicum, was crystallized and phases were obtained by molecular replacement.
DtsR1, a carboxyltransferase subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase derived from Corynebacterium glutamicum, was crystallized by the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method using polyethylene glycol 6000 as a precipitant. The crystal belongs to the trigonal system with space group R32 and contains three subunits in the asymmetric unit. A molecular-replacement solution was found using the structure of transcarboxylase 12S from Propionibacterium shermanii as a search model.
doi:10.1107/S1744309107001078
PMCID: PMC2330119  PMID: 17277455
acetyl-CoA carboxylase; carboxyltransferases; metabolic engineering
14.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of the Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin component of biphenyl dioxygenase from Pseudomonas sp. strain KKS102 
BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin, was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. A molecular-replacement calculation yielded a satisfactory solution.
BphA3, a Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] ferredoxin component of a biphenyl dioxygenase (BphA) from Pseudomonas sp. strain KKS102, was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. Two crystal forms were obtained from the same conditions. The form I crystal belongs to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 26.3, b = 144.3, c = 61.5 Å, and diffracted to 2.45 Å resolution. The form II crystal belongs to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 26.2, b = 121.3, c = 142.7 Å, and diffracted to 2.8 Å resolution. A molecular-replacement calculation using BphF as a search model yielded a satisfactory solution for both forms.
doi:10.1107/S1744309106017799
PMCID: PMC2243079  PMID: 16754990
ferredoxins; electron transfer; Rieske-type [2Fe–2S] clusters
15.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the catechol 2,3-dioxygenase PheB from Bacillus stearothermophilus BR219 
PheB, an extradiol-cleaving catecholic dioxygenase, was crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 as a precipitant. The crystal belongs to the orthorhombic system, space group P212121, and diffracts to 2.3 Å resolution.
Class II extradiol-cleaving catecholic dioxygenase, a key enzyme of aromatic compound degradation in bacteria, cleaves the aromatic ring of catechol by adding two O atoms. PheB is one of the class II extradiol-cleaving catecholic dioxygenases and shows a high substrate specificity for catechol derivatives, which have one aromatic ring. In order to reveal the mechanism of the substrate specificity of PheB, PheB has been crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000 as a precipitant. The space group of the obtained crystal was P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 65.5, b = 119.2, c = 158.7 Å. The crystal diffracted to 2.3 Å resolution.
doi:10.1107/S174430910504323X
PMCID: PMC2150948  PMID: 16511281
extradiol-type dioxygenase; non-haem iron; thermostable proteins
16.  Structural basis for recognition of cognate tRNA by tyrosyl-tRNA synthetase from three kingdoms 
Nucleic Acids Research  2007;35(13):4289-4300.
The specific aminoacylation of tRNA by tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases (TyrRSs) relies on the identity determinants in the cognate tRNATyrs. We have determined the crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae TyrRS (SceTyrRS) complexed with a Tyr-AMP analog and the native tRNATyr(GΨA). Structural information for TyrRS–tRNATyr complexes is now full-line for three kingdoms. Because the archaeal/eukaryotic TyrRSs–tRNATyrs pairs do not cross-react with their bacterial counterparts, the recognition modes of the identity determinants by the archaeal/eukaryotic TyrRSs were expected to be similar to each other but different from that by the bacterial TyrRSs. Interestingly, however, the tRNATyr recognition modes of SceTyrRS have both similarities and differences compared with those in the archaeal TyrRS: the recognition of the C1-G72 base pair by SceTyrRS is similar to that by the archaeal TyrRS, whereas the recognition of the A73 by SceTyrRS is different from that by the archaeal TyrRS but similar to that by the bacterial TyrRS. Thus, the lack of cross-reactivity between archaeal/eukaryotic and bacterial TyrRS-tRNATyr pairs most probably lies in the different sequence of the last base pair of the acceptor stem (C1-G72 vs G1-C72) of tRNATyr. On the other hand, the recognition mode of Tyr-AMP is conserved among the TyrRSs from the three kingdoms.
doi:10.1093/nar/gkm417
PMCID: PMC1934993  PMID: 17576676
18.  Amino Acids in Positions 48, 52, and 73 Differentiate the Substrate Specificities of the Highly Homologous Chlorocatechol 1,2-Dioxygenases CbnA and TcbC 
Journal of Bacteriology  2005;187(15):5427-5436.
Chlorocatechol 1,2-dioxygenase (CCD) is the first-step enzyme of the chlorocatechol ortho-cleavage pathway, which plays a central role in the degradation of various chloroaromatic compounds. Two CCDs, CbnA from the 3-chlorobenzoate-degrader Ralstonia eutropha NH9 and TcbC from the 1,2,4-trichlorobenzene-degrader Pseudomonas sp. strain P51, are highly homologous, having only 12 different amino acid residues out of identical lengths of 251 amino acids. But CbnA and TcbC are different in substrate specificities against dichlorocatechols, favoring 3,5-dichlorocatechol (3,5-DC) and 3,4-dichlorocatechol (3,4-DC), respectively. A study of chimeric mutants constructed from the two CCDs indicated that the N-terminal parts of the enzymes were responsible for the difference in the substrate specificities. Site-directed mutagenesis studies further identified the amino acid in position 48 (Leu in CbnA and Val in TcbC) as critical in differentiating the substrate specificities of the enzymes, which agreed well with molecular modeling of the two enzymes. Mutagenesis studies also demonstrated that Ile-73 of CbnA and Ala-52 of TcbC were important for their high levels of activity towards 3,5-DC and 3,4-DC, respectively. The importance of Ile-73 for 3,5-DC specificity determination was also shown with other CCDs such as TfdC from Burkholderia sp. NK8 and TfdC from Alcaligenes sp. CSV90 (identical to TfdC from R. eutropha JMP134), which convert 3,5-DC preferentially. Together with amino acid sequence comparisons indicating high conservation of Leu-48 and Ile-73 among CCDs, these results suggested that TcbC of strain P51 had diverged from other CCDs to be adapted to conversion of 3,4-DC.
doi:10.1128/JB.187.15.5427-5436.2005
PMCID: PMC1196051  PMID: 16030237

Results 1-18 (18)