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1.  Degradation of Phytate by the 6-Phytase from Hafnia alvei: A Combined Structural and Solution Study 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e65062.
Phytases hydrolyse phytate (myo-inositol hexakisphosphate), the principal form of phosphate stored in plant seeds to produce phosphate and lower phosphorylated myo-inositols. They are used extensively in the feed industry, and have been characterised biochemically and structurally with a number of structures in the PDB. They are divided into four distinct families: histidine acid phosphatases (HAP), β-propeller phytases, cysteine phosphatases and purple acid phosphatases and also split into three enzyme classes, the 3-, 5- and 6-phytases, depending on the position of the first phosphate in the inositol ring to be removed. We report identification, cloning, purification and 3D structures of 6-phytases from two bacteria, Hafnia alvei and Yersinia kristensenii, together with their pH optima, thermal stability, and degradation profiles for phytate. An important result is the structure of the H. alvei enzyme in complex with the substrate analogue myo-inositol hexakissulphate. In contrast to the only previous structure of a ligand-bound 6-phytase, where the 3-phosphate was unexpectedly in the catalytic site, in the H. alvei complex the expected scissile 6-phosphate (sulphate in the inhibitor) is placed in the catalytic site.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0065062
PMCID: PMC3669009  PMID: 23741456
2.  JLigand: a graphical tool for the CCP4 template-restraint library 
The CCP4 template-restraint library defines restraints for biopolymers, their modifications and ligands that are used in macromolecular structure refinement. JLigand is a graphical editor for generating descriptions of new ligands and covalent linkages.
Biological macromolecules are polymers and therefore the restraints for macromolecular refinement can be subdivided into two sets: restraints that are applied to atoms that all belong to the same monomer and restraints that are associated with the covalent bonds between monomers. The CCP4 template-restraint library contains three types of data entries defining template restraints: descriptions of monomers and their modifications, both used for intramonomer restraints, and descriptions of links for intermonomer restraints. The library provides generic descriptions of modifications and links for protein, DNA and RNA chains, and for some post-translational modifications including glycosylation. Structure-specific template restraints can be defined in a user’s additional restraint library. Here, JLigand, a new CCP4 graphical interface to LibCheck and REFMAC that has been developed to manage the user’s library and generate new monomer entries is described, as well as new entries for links and associated modifications.
doi:10.1107/S090744491200251X
PMCID: PMC3322602  PMID: 22505263
macromolecular refinement; restraint library; molecular graphics
3.  Both Ca2+ and Zn2+ are essential for S100A12 protein oligomerization and function 
BMC Biochemistry  2009;10:11.
Background
Human S100A12 is a member of the S100 family of EF-hand calcium-modulated proteins that are associated with many diseases including cancer, chronic inflammation and neurological disorders. S100A12 is an important factor in host/parasite defenses and in the inflammatory response. Like several other S100 proteins, it binds zinc and copper in addition to calcium. Mechanisms of zinc regulation have been proposed for a number of S100 proteins e.g. S100B, S100A2, S100A7, S100A8/9. The interaction of S100 proteins with their targets is strongly dependent on cellular microenvironment.
Results
The aim of the study was to explore the factors that influence S100A12 oligomerization and target interaction. A comprehensive series of biochemical and biophysical experiments indicated that changes in the concentration of calcium and zinc led to changes in the oligomeric state of S100A12. Surface plasmon resonance confirmed that the presence of both calcium and zinc is essential for the interaction of S100A12 with one of its extracellular targets, RAGE – the Receptor for Advanced Glycation End products. By using a single-molecule approach we have shown that the presence of zinc in tissue culture medium favors both the oligomerization of exogenous S100A12 protein and its interaction with targets on the cell surface.
Conclusion
We have shown that oligomerization and target recognition by S100A12 is regulated by both zinc and calcium. Our present work highlighted the potential role of calcium-binding S100 proteins in zinc metabolism and, in particular, the role of S100A12 in the cross talk between zinc and calcium in cell signaling.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-10-11
PMCID: PMC2686732  PMID: 19386136

Results 1-3 (3)