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1.  Resonance assignment of As-p18, a fatty acid binding protein secreted by developing larvae of the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum 
As-p18 is produced and secreted by larvae of the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum as they develop within their eggs. The protein is a member of the fatty acid binding protein (FABP) family found in a wide range of eukaryotes, but is distinctive in that it is secreted from the synthesizing cell and has predicted additional structural features not previously seen in other FABPs. As-p18 and similar proteins found only in nematodes have therefore been designated ‘nemFABPs’. Sequence-specific 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignments were established for the 155 amino acid recombinant protein (18.3 kDa) in complex with oleic acid, using a series of three-dimensional triple-resonance heteronuclear NMR experiments. The secondary structure of As-p18 is predicted to be very similar to other FABPs, but the protein has extended loops that have not been observed in other FABPs whose structures have so far been solved.
doi:10.1007/s12104-012-9447-1
PMCID: PMC3955487  PMID: 23225165
As-p18; Fatty acid binding protein; nemFABP; Nematode; Parasite; Ascaris suum
2.  1H, 13C and 15N chemical shift assignments of Na-FAR-1, a helix-rich fatty acid and retinol binding protein of the parasitic nematode Necator americanus 
The fatty acid and retinol-binding (FAR) proteins are a family of unusual helix-rich lipid binding proteins found exclusively in nematodes, and are secreted by a range of parasites of humans, animals and plants. Na-FAR-1 is from the parasitic nematode Necator americanus, an intestinal blood-feeding parasite of humans. Sequence-specific 1H, 13C and 15N resonance assignments have been obtained for the recombinant 170 amino acid protein, using three-dimensional triple-resonance heteronuclear magnetic resonance experiments. Backbone assignments have been obtained for 99.3 % of the non-proline HN/N pairs (146 out of 147). The amide resonance of T45 was not observed, probably due to rapid exchange with solvent water. A total of 96.9 % of backbone resonances were identified, while 97.7 % assignment of amino acid sidechain protons is complete. All Hα(166), Hβ(250) and Hγ(160) and 98.4 % of the Hδ (126 out of 128) atoms were assigned. In addition, 99.4 % Cα (154 out of 155) and 99.3 % Cβ (143 out of 144) resonances have been assigned. No resonances were observed for the NHn groups of R93 NεHε, arginine, Nη1H2, Nη2H2, histidine Nδ1Hδ1, Nε1Hε1 and lysine Nζ3H3. Na-FAR-1 has a similar overall arrangement of α-helices to Ce-FAR-7 of the free-living Caeorhabditis elegans, but with an extra C-terminal helix.
doi:10.1007/s12104-012-9444-4
PMCID: PMC3955486  PMID: 23179061
Parasitic nematode; Necator americanus; Fatty-acid and retinol-binding protein; Na-FAR-1; NMR
3.  Useable diffraction data from a multiple microdomain-containing crystal of Ascaris suum As-p18 fatty-acid-binding protein using a microfocus beamline 
As-p18, an unusual fatty-acid-binding protein from a parasitic nematode, was expressed in bacteria, purified and crystallized. The use of a microfocus beamline was essential for data collection.
As-p18 is a fatty-acid-binding protein from the parasitic nematode Ascaris suum. Although it exhibits sequence similarity to mammalian intracellular fatty-acid-binding proteins, it contains features that are unique to nematodes. Crystals were obtained, but initial diffraction data analysis revealed that they were composed of a number of ‘microdomains’. Interpretable data could only be collected using a microfocus beamline with a beam size of 12 × 8 µm.
doi:10.1107/S1744309112026553
PMCID: PMC3412778  PMID: 22869127
fatty-acid-binding proteins; parasitic nematodes; Ascaris suum; microfocus beamlines
4.  Interaction of Enterocyte FABPs with Phospholipid Membranes: Clues for Specific Physiological Roles 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2011;1811(7-8):452-459.
Intestinal and liver fatty acid binding proteins (IFABP and LFABP, respectively), are cytosolic soluble proteins with the capacity to bind and transport hydrophobic ligands between different sub-cellular compartments. Their functions are still not clear but they are supposed to be involved in lipid trafficking and metabolism, cell growth, and regulation of several other processes, like cell differentiation. Here we investigated the interaction of these proteins with different models of phospholipid membrane vesicles in order to achieve further insight into their specificity within the enterocyte. A combination of biophysical and biochemical techniques allowed us to determine affinities of these proteins to membranes, the way phospholipid composition and vesicle size and curvature modulate such interaction, as well as the effect of protein binding on the integrity of the membrane structure. We demonstrate here that, beside their apparently opposite ligand transfer mechanisms, both LFABP and IFABP are able to interact with phospholipid membranes, but the factors that modulate such interactions are different for each protein, further implying different roles for IFABP and LFABP in the intracellular context. These results contribute to the proposed central role of intestinal FABPs in the lipid traffic within enterocytes as well as in the regulation of more complex cellular processes.
doi:10.1016/j.bbalip.2011.04.005
PMCID: PMC3143005  PMID: 21539932
Fatty Acid Binding Proteins; Membrane Interaction; Intracellular Fatty Acid Traffic; Model Membranes

Results 1-4 (4)