Binding of hippuric acid (HA), a uremic toxin, with human serum albumin (HSA) has been examined by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), molecular docking, circular dichroism (CD) and fluorescence spectroscopy to understand the reason that govern its impaired elimination through hemodialysis. ITC results shows that the HA binds with HSA at high (Kb ∼104) and low affinity (Kb ∼103) sites whereas spectroscopic results predict binding at a single site (Kb∼103). The HA form complex with HSA that involves electrostatic, hydrogen and hydrophobic binding forces as illustrated by calculated thermodynamic parameters. Molecular docking and displacement studies collectively revealed that HA bound to both site I and site II; however, relatively strongly to the later. Esterase-like activity of HSA confirms the involvement of Arg410 and Tyr411 of Sudlow site II in binding of HA. CD results show slight conformational changes occurs in the protein upon ligation that may be responsible for the discrepancy in van’t Hoff and calorimetric enthalpy change. Furthermore, an increase in and is observed from DSC results that indicate increase in stability of HSA upon binding to HA. The combined results provide that HA binds to HSA and thus its elimination is hindered.
Binding of substrates into the active site, often through complementarity of shapes and charges, is central to the specificity of an enzyme. In many cases, substrate binding induces conformational changes in the active site, promoting specific interactions between them. In contrast, non-substrates either fail to bind or do not induce the requisite conformational changes upon binding and thus no catalysis occurs. In principle, both lock and key and induced-fit binding can provide specific interactions between the substrate and the enzyme. In this study, we present an interesting case where cofactor binding pre-tunes the active site geometry to recognize only the cognate substrates. We illustrate this principle by studying the substrate binding and kinetic properties of Xylose Reductase from Debaryomyces hansenii (DhXR), an AKR family enzyme which catalyzes the reduction of carbonyl substrates using NADPH as co-factor. DhXR reduces D-xylose with increased specificity and shows no activity towards “non-substrate” sugars like L-rhamnose. Interestingly, apo-DhXR binds to D-xylose and L-rhamnose with similar affinity (Kd∼5.0–10.0 mM). Crystal structure of apo-DhXR-rhamnose complex shows that L-rhamnose is bound to the active site cavity. L-rhamnose does not bind to holo-DhXR complex and thus, it cannot competitively inhibit D-xylose binding and catalysis even at 4–5 fold molar excess. Comparison of Kd values with Km values reveals that increased specificity for D-xylose is achieved at the cost of moderately reduced affinity. The present work reveals a latent regulatory role for cofactor binding which was previously unknown and suggests that cofactor induced conformational changes may increase the complimentarity between D-xylose and active site similar to specificity achieved through induced-fit mechanism.
EF-hand proteins can be activated by the binding of various heavy metals other than calcium, and such complexes can disturb the calcium-signaling pathway and cause toxicity and disease causing state. So far, no comprehensive study has been done to understand different heavy metals binding to calcium signaling proteins.
In this work, the flexibility of the EF-hand motifs are examined by crystallographic and thermodynamic studies of binding of Pb2+, Ba2+ and Sr2+ to Calcium Binding Protein-1 from Entamoeba histolytica (EhCaBP1). The structures of the EhCaBP1- heavy metal complexes are found to be overall similar, nevertheless specific differences in metal coordination, and small differences in the coordination distances between the metal and the ligands in the metal binding loop. The largest such distances occur for the Ba2+- EhCaBP1 complex, where two bariums are bound with partial occupancy at the EF2 motif. Thermodynamic studies confirm that EhCaBP1 has five binding sites for Ba2+ compared to four binding sites for the other metals. These structures and thermodynamic studies reveal that the EF-hand motifs can accommodate several heavy atoms with similar binding affinities. The binding of Ca2+ to the 1st, 2nd and 4th sites and the binding of Ba2+ to the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th sites are both enthalpically and entropically driven, whereas the binding of Sr2+ to the 1st, 2nd and 4th sites are simply enthalpy driven, interestingly in agreement with ITC data, Sr2+ do not coordinate with water in this structure. For all the metals, binding to the 3rd site is only entropy driven.
Energetically, Ca2+ is preferred in three sites, while in one site Ba2+ has better binding energy. The Sr2+-coordination in the EF hand motifs is similar to that of the native Ca2+ bound structure, except for the lack of water coordination. Sr2+ coordination seems to be a pre-formed in nature since all seven coordinating atoms are from the protein itself, which also correlates with entropy contributions in Sr2+ binding. These findings improve our understanding of metal association with calcium binding proteins and of metal induced conformational changes.
Calcium sensor; Calcium binding protein; Coordination geometry; EF-hand motifs; Anthropogenic toxicant; Domain swapped manner; Anomalous signal
Structural changes in human serum albumin (HSA) induced by the pollutants 1-naphthol, 2-naphthol and 8-quinolinol were analyzed by circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy and dynamic light scattering. The alteration in protein conformational stability was determined by helical content induction (from 55 to 75%) upon protein-pollutant interactions. Domain plasticity is responsible for the temperature-mediated unfolding of HSA. These findings were compared to HSA-hydrolase activity. We found that though HSA is a monomeric protein, it shows heterotropic allostericity for β-lactamase activity in the presence of pollutants, which act as K- and V-type non-essential activators. Pollutants cause conformational changes and catalytic modifications of the protein (increase in β-lactamase activity from 100 to 200%). HSA-pollutant interactions mediate other protein-ligand interactions, such as HSA-nitrocefin. Therefore, this protein can exist in different conformations with different catalytic properties depending on activator binding. This is the first report to demonstrate the catalytic allostericity of HSA through a mechanistic approach. We also show a correlation with non-microbial drug resistance as HSA is capable of self-hydrolysis of β-lactam drugs, which is further potentiated by pollutants due to conformational changes in HSA.
Sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS), an anionic surfactant that mimics some characteristics of biological membrane has also been found to induce aggregation in proteins. The present study was carried out on 25 diverse proteins using circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, dye binding assay and electron microscopy. It was found that an appropriate molar ratio of protein to SDS readily induced amyloid formation in all proteins at a pH below two units of their respective isoelectric points (pI) while no aggregation was observed at a pH above two units of pI. We also observed that electrostatic interactions play a leading role in the induction of amyloid. This study can be used to design or hypothesize a molecule or drug, which may counter act the factor responsible for amyloid formation.
Uremic syndrome results from malfunctioning of various organ systems due to the retention of uremic toxins which, under normal conditions, would be excreted into the urine and/or metabolized by the kidneys. The aim of this study was to elucidate the mechanisms underlying the renal elimination of uremic toxin creatinine that accumulate in chronic renal failure. Quantitative investigation of the plausible correlations was performed by spectroscopy, calorimetry, molecular docking and accessibility of surface area. Alkalinization of normal plasma from pH 7.0 to 9.0 modifies the distribution of toxin in the body and therefore may affect both the accumulation and the rate of toxin elimination. The ligand loading of HSA with uremic toxin predicts several key side chain interactions of site I that presumably have the potential to impact the specificity and impaired drug binding. These findings provide useful information for elucidating the complicated mechanism of toxin disposition in renal disease state.
Lectins, a group of specific glycoproteins present in animal as well as plant cells, are used as differentiating markers to study cancers and metastatic cell lines. This property of lectins depends on the process of cellular glycosylation. Glycosylation of some of the extracellular membrane proteins and lipids maintains the cell/cell and cell/matrix interactions. Chemical alterations in glycosylation play an important role in the metastatic behavior of tumor cells. Carbohydrate residues of the membrane glycoproteins can be detected using lectins due to their binding specificity to carbohydrates. Lectins, therefore have gained an importance in the field of cancer research. Galectins, a specialized group of lectin like proteins that are Ca+ independent and galactoside binding, are also considered as differentiation markers in some specific cancers like the carcinomas of thyroid.
Thus the use of lectins and galectins to identify specific carbohydrates present on cell surface help in invasion and metastasis processes.
lectins; metastasis; cellular glycosylation; prognostic markers; galectins
Most invertases identified to date have optimal activity at acidic pH, and are intolerant to neutral or alkaline environments. Here, an acid invertase named uninv2 is described. Uninv2 contained 586 amino acids, with a 100 amino acids N-terminal domain, a catalytic domain and a C-terminal domain. With sucrose as the substrate, uninv2 activity was optimal at pH 4.5 and at 45°C. Removal of N-terminal domain of uninv2 has shifted the optimum pH to 6.0 while retaining its optimum temperaure at 45°C. Both uninv2 and the truncated enzyme retained highly stable at neutral pH at 37°C, and they were stable at their optimum pH at 4°C for as long as 30 days. These characteristics make them far superior to invertase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is mostly used as industrial enzyme.
New Delhi metallo-β-lactamase (NDM-1) is a new metallo-β-lactamase (MBL) that has recently emerged as a global threat because it confers bacteria with resistance to almost all clinically used β-lactam antibiotics. To determine the molecular basis of this threat, NDM-1 was purified from Escherichia coli TransB (DE3) carrying cloned blaNDM-1 gene by an anion-exchange chromatography step followed by a gel permeation chromatography step. The purified enzyme was stable even in extremely alkaline buffer (pH 11) and reached its highest activity at a low temperature (15°C), which was different from other MBLs. The 50% inhibition concentration of EDTA against NDM-1 was 412 nM, which showed that NDM-1 was more susceptible to EDTA than other MBLs. The effects of zinc on NDM-1 differed between cephem and carbapenem complexes, but inhibition at high Zn2+ concentration was observed for all of tested β-lactam compounds.
Human serum albumin (HSA), the most abundant protein in human plasma, could be considered as a prototypic monomeric allosteric protein, since the ligand-dependent conformational adaptability of HSA spreads beyond the immediate proximity of the binding site(s). As a matter of fact, HSA is a major transport protein in the bloodstream and the regulation of the functional allosteric interrelationships between the different binding sites represents a fundamental information for the knowledge of its transport function. Here, kinetics and thermodynamics of the allosteric modulation: (i) of carbon monoxide (CO) binding to ferrous human serum heme-albumin (HSA-heme-Fe(II)) by warfarin (WF), and (ii) of WF binding to HSA-heme-Fe(II) by CO are reported. All data were obtained at pH 7.0 and 25°C. Kinetics of CO and WF binding to the FA1 and FA7 sites of HSA-heme-Fe(II), respectively, follows a multi-exponential behavior (with the same relative percentage for the two ligands). This can be accounted for by the existence of multiple conformations and/or heme-protein axial coordination forms of HSA-heme-Fe(II). The HSA-heme-Fe(II) populations have been characterized by resonance Raman spectroscopy, indicating the coexistence of different species characterized by four-, five- and six-coordination of the heme-Fe atom. As a whole, these results suggest that: (i) upon CO binding a conformational change of HSA-heme-Fe(II) takes place (likely reflecting the displacement of an endogenous ligand by CO), and (ii) CO and/or WF binding brings about a ligand-dependent variation of the HSA-heme-Fe(II) population distribution of the various coordinating species. The detailed thermodynamic and kinetic analysis here reported allows a quantitative description of the mutual allosteric effect of CO and WF binding to HSA-heme-Fe(II).
Bovine serum albumin (BSA) contains high affinity binding sites for several endogenous and exogenous compounds and has been used to replace human serum albumin (HSA), as these two compounds share a similar structure. Naringin palmitate is a modified product of naringin that is produced by an acylation reaction with palmitic acid, which is considered to be an effective substance for enhancing naringin lipophilicity. In this study, the interaction of naringin palmitate with BSA was characterised by spectroscopic and molecular docking techniques.
The goal of this study was to investigate the interactions between naringin palmitate and BSA under physiological conditions, and differences in naringin and naringin palmitate affinities for BSA were further compared and analysed. The formation of naringin palmitate-BSA was revealed by fluorescence quenching, and the Stern-Volmer quenching constant (KSV) was found to decrease with increasing temperature, suggesting that a static quenching mechanism was involved. The changes in enthalpy (ΔH) and entropy (ΔS) for the interaction were detected at −4.11±0.18 kJ·mol−1 and −76.59±0.32 J·mol−1·K−1, respectively, which indicated that the naringin palmitate-BSA interaction occurred mainly through van der Waals forces and hydrogen bond formation. The negative free energy change (ΔG) values of naringin palmitate at different temperatures suggested a spontaneous interaction. Circular dichroism studies revealed that the α-helical content of BSA decreased after interacting with naringin palmitate. Displacement studies suggested that naringin palmitate was partially bound to site I (subdomain IIA) of the BSA, which was also substantiated by the molecular docking studies.
In conclusion, naringin palmitate was transported by BSA and was easily removed afterwards. As a consequence, an extension of naringin applications for use in food, cosmetic and medicinal preparations may be clinically and practically significant, especially in the design of new naringin palmitate-inspired drugs.
The interaction of environmental chemicals and their metabolites with biological macromolecules can result in cytotoxic and genotoxic effects. 4-Aminobiphenyl (4-ABP) and several other related arylamines have been shown to be causally involved in the induction of human urinary bladder cancers. The genotoxic and the carcinogenic effects of 4-ABP are exhibited only when it is metabolically converted to a reactive electrophile, the aryl nitrenium ions, which subsequently binds to DNA and induce lesions. Although several studies have reported the formation of 4-ABP-DNA adducts, no extensive work has been done to investigate the immunogenicity of 4-ABP-modified DNA and its possible involvement in the generation of antibodies in bladder cancer patients.
Human DNA was modified by N-hydroxy-4-acetylaminobiphenyl (N-OH-AABP), a reactive metabolite of 4-ABP. Structural perturbations in the N-OH-AABP modified DNA were assessed by ultraviolet, fluorescence, and circular dichroic spectroscopy as well as by agarose gel electrophoresis. Genotoxicity of N-OH-AABP modified DNA was ascertained by comet assay. High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis of native and modified DNA samples confirmed the formation of N-(deoxyguanosine-8-yl)-4-aminobiphenyl (dG-C8-4ABP) in the N-OH-AABP damaged DNA. The experimentally induced antibodies against N-OH-AABP-modified DNA exhibited much better recognition of the DNA isolated from bladder cancer patients as compared to the DNA obtained from healthy individuals in competitive binding ELISA.
This work shows epitope sharing between the DNA isolated from bladder cancer patients and the N-OH-AABP-modified DNA implicating the role of 4-ABP metabolites in the DNA damage and neo-antigenic epitope generation that could lead to the induction of antibodies in bladder cancer patients.
In this study, we compared basic expression approaches for the efficient expression of bioactive recombinant human interleukin-6 (IL6), as an example for a difficult-to-express protein. We tested these approaches in a laboratory scale in order to pioneer the commercial production of this protein in Escherichia coli (E. coli). Among the various strategies, which were tested under Research and Development (R&D) conditions, aggregation-prone IL6 was solubilized most effectively by co-expressing cytoplasmic chaperones. Expression of a Glutathion-S-Transferase (GST) fusion protein was not efficient to increase IL6 solubility. Alteration of the cultivation temperature significantly increased the solubility in both cases, whereas reduced concentrations of IPTG to induce expression of the T7lac-promotor only had a positive effect on chaperone-assisted expression. The biological activity was comparable to that of commercial IL6. Targeting the expressed protein to an oxidizing environment was not effective in the generation of soluble IL6. Taken together, the presence of chaperones and a lowered cultivation temperature seem effective to isolate large quantities of soluble IL6. This approach led to in vivo soluble, functional protein fractions and reduces purification and refolding requirements caused by downstream purification procedures. The final yield of soluble recombinant protein averaged approximately 2.6 mg IL6/liter of cell culture. These findings might be beneficial for the development of the large-scale production of IL6 under the conditions of current good manufacturing practice (cGMP).
Arasin 1 is a 37 amino acid long proline-rich antimicrobial peptide isolated from the spider crab, Hyas araneus. In this work the active region of arasin 1 was identified through structure-activity studies using different peptide fragments derived from the arasin 1 sequence. The pharmacophore was found to be located in the proline/arginine-rich NH2 terminus of the peptide and the fragment arasin 1(1–23) was almost equally active to the full length peptide. Arasin 1 and its active fragment arasin 1(1–23) were shown to be non-toxic to human red blood cells and arasin 1(1–23) was able to bind chitin, a component of fungal cell walls and the crustacean shell. The mode of action of the fully active N-terminal arasin 1(1–23) was explored through killing kinetic and membrane permeabilization studies. At the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), arasin 1(1–23) was not bactericidal and had no membrane disruptive effect. In contrast, at concentrations of 5×MIC and above it was bactericidal and interfered with membrane integrity. We conclude that arasin 1(1–23) has a different mode of action than lytic peptides, like cecropin P1. Thus, we suggest a dual mode of action for arasin 1(1–23) involving membrane disruption at peptide concentrations above MIC, and an alternative mechanism of action, possibly involving intracellular targets, at MIC.
Most proteins from thermophiles or hyperthermophiles are intrinsically thermostable. However, though Methanobacterium thermoautotrophicum ΔH is a thermophilic archaeon with an optimal growth temperature of 65°C, Mth10b, an atypical member the Sac10b protein family from M. thermoautotrophicum ΔH, seems not intrinsically thermostable. In this work, to clarify the molecular mechanism of Mth10b remaining stable under its physiological conditions, the thermodynamic properties of Mth10b were studied through equilibrium unfolding experiments performed at pH 7.0 monitored by circular dichroism (CD) spectra in detail. Our work demonstrated that Mth10b is not intrinsically thermostable and that due to the masking effect upon the large numbers of destabilizing electrostatic repulsions resulting from the extremely uneven distribution of charged residues over the surface of Mth10b, salt can contribute to the thermostability of Mth10b greatly. Considering that the intracellular salt concentration is high to 0.7 M, we concluded that salt is the key extrinsic factor to Mth10b remaining stable under its physiological conditions. In other word, without salt, ‘thermophilic’ protein Mth10b is just a mesophilic one.
Sex is an important factor in the prevalence, incidence, progression, and response to treatment of many medical conditions, including autoimmune and cardiovascular diseases and psychiatric conditions. Identification of molecular differences between typical males and females can provide a valuable basis for exploring conditions differentially affected by sex.
Using multiplexed immunoassays, we analyzed 174 serum molecules in 9 independent cohorts of typical individuals, comprising 196 males and 196 females. Sex differences in analyte levels were quantified using a meta-analysis approach and put into biological context using k-means to generate clusters of analytes with distinct biological functions. Natural sex differences were established in these analyte groups and these were applied to illustrate sexually dimorphic analyte expression in a cohort of 22 males and 22 females with Asperger syndrome. Reproducible sex differences were found in the levels of 77 analytes in serum of typical controls, and these comprised clusters of molecules enriched with distinct biological functions. Analytes involved in fatty acid oxidation/hormone regulation, immune cell growth and activation, and cell death were found at higher levels in females, and analytes involved in immune cell chemotaxis and other indistinct functions were higher in males. Comparison of these naturally occurring sex differences against a cohort of people with Asperger syndrome indicated that a cluster of analytes that had functions related to fatty acid oxidation/hormone regulation was associated with sex and the occurrence of this condition.
Sex-specific molecular differences were detected in serum of typical controls and these were reproducible across independent cohorts. This study extends current knowledge of sex differences in biological functions involved in metabolism and immune function. Deviations from typical sex differences were found in a cluster of molecules in Asperger syndrome. These findings illustrate the importance of investigating the influence of sex on medical conditions.
Precipitation of alpha chymotrypsin in the simultaneous presence of ammonium sulphate and t-butanol (three phase partitioning) resulted in preparations which showed self aggregation of the enzyme molecules. Precipitation with increasing amounts of ammonium sulphate led to increasing size of aggregates. While light scattering estimated the hydrodynamic diameter of these aggregates in the range of 242–1124 nm; Nanoparticle tracking analysis (NTA) gave the value as 130–462 nm. Scanning electron microscopy and gel filtration on Sephadex G-200 showed extensive aggregation in these preparations. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the aggregates had irregular shapes. All the aggregates had about 3× higher catalytic activity than the native enzyme. These aggregates did not differ in λmax of fluorescence emission which was around 340 nm. However, all the aggregates showed higher fluorescence emission intensity. Far-UV and near-UV circular dichroism also showed no significant structural changes as compared to the native molecule. Interestingly, HPLC gel filtration (on a hydroxylated silica column) gave 14 nm as the diameter for all preparations. Light scattering of preparations in the presence of 10% ethylene glycol also dissociated the aggregates to monomers of 14 nm. Both these results indicated that hydrophobic interactions were the driving force behind this aggregation. These results indicate: (1) Even without any major structural change, three phase partitioning led to protein molecules becoming highly prone to aggregation. (2) Different methods gave widely different estimates of sizes of aggregates. It was however possible to reconcile the data obtained with various approaches. (3) The nature of the gel filtration column is crucial and use of this technique for refolding and studying aggregation needs a rethink.
β/γ-Crystallins, the major structural proteins in human lens, are highly conserved in their tertiary structures but distinct in the quaternary structures. The N- and C-terminal extensions have been proposed to play a crucial role in mediating the size of β-crystallin assembly. In this research, we investigated the molecular mechanism underlying the congenital hereditary cataract caused by the recently characterized A2V mutation in βB2-crystallin. Spectroscopic experiments indicated that the mutation did not affect the secondary and tertiary structures of βB2-crystallin. The mutation did not affect the formation of βB2/βA3-crystallin heteromer as well as the stability and folding of the heteromer, suggesting that the mutation might not interfere with the protein interacting network in the lens. However, the tetramerization of βB2-crystallin at high protein concentrations was retarded by the A2V mutation. The mutation slightly decreased the thermal stability and promoted the thermal aggregation of βB2-crystallin. Although it did not influence the stability of βB2-crystallin against denaturation induced by chemical denaturants and UV irradiation, the A2V mutant was more prone to be trapped in the off-pathway aggregation process during kinetic refolding. Our results suggested that the A2V mutation might lead to injury of lens optical properties by decreasing βB2-crystallin stability against heat treatment and by impairing βB2-crystallin assembly into high-order homo-oligomers.
Honey is a sweet and healthy food produced by honeybees (Apis mellifera L.) from flower nectars. Using bidimensional zymography, we have detected the, until now unrevealed, proteolytic activities present in row honey samples. The resulting zymograms were specific for each type of the four unifloral honey under study, and enzymes were identified as serine proteases by the use of specific inhibitors. Further, using bidimensional electrophoresis, we have shown that honey proteases are able to degrade the major Royal Jelly proteins and in particular MRPJ-1, the protein that promotes queen differentiation in honeybees. Our findings open new perspectives for the better understanding of honeybee development, social behaviour and role in honey production. The now discovered honey proteases may influence honey properties and quality, and bidimensional zymograms might be useful to distinguish between different honey types, establish their age and floral origin, and allow honey certification.
Proteins and small molecules are the effectors of physiological action in biological systems and comprehensive methods are needed to analyze their modifications, expression levels and interactions. Systems-scale characterization of the proteome requires thousands of components in high-complexity samples to be isolated and simultaneously probed. While protein microarrays offer a promising approach to probe systems-scale changes in a high-throughput format, they are limited by the need to individually synthesize tens of thousands of proteins. We present an alternative technique, which we call diffusive gel (DiG) stamping, for patterning a microarray using a cellular lysate enabling rapid visualization of dynamic changes in the proteome as well protein interactions. A major advantage of the method described is that it requires no specialized equipment or in-vitro protein synthesis, making it widely accessible to researchers. The method can be integrated with mass spectrometry, allowing for the discovery of novel protein interactions. Here, we describe and characterize the sensitivity and physical features of DiG-Stamping. We demonstrate the biologic utility of DiG-Stamping by (1) identifying the binding partners of a target protein within a cellular lysate and by (2) visualizing the dynamics of proteins with multiple post-translational modifications.
Protein refolding is an important process to recover active recombinant proteins from inclusion bodies. Refolding by simple dilution, dialysis and on-column refolding methods are the most common techniques reported in the literature. However, the refolding process is time-consuming and laborious due to the variability of the behavior of each protein and requires a great deal of trial-and-error to achieve success. Hence, there is a need for automation to make the whole process as convenient as possible. In this study, we invented an automatic apparatus that integrated three refolding techniques: varying dilution, dialysis and on-column refolding. We demonstrated the effectiveness of this technology by varying the flow rates of the dilution buffer into the denatured protein and testing different refolding methods. We carried out different refolding methods on this apparatus: a combination of dilution and dialysis for human stromal cell-derived factor 1 (SDF-1/CXCL12) and thioredoxin fused-human artemin protein (Trx-ARTN); dilution refolding for thioredoxin fused-human insulin-like growth factor I protein (Trx-IGF1) and enhanced fluorescent protein (EGFP); and on-column refolding for bovine serum albumin (BSA). The protein refolding processes of these five proteins were preliminarily optimized using the slowly descending denaturants (or additives) method. Using this strategy of decreasing denaturants concentration, the efficiency of protein refolding was found to produce higher quantities of native protein. The standard refolding apparatus configuration can support different operations for different applications; it is not limited to simple dilution, dialysis and on-column refolding techniques. Refolding by slowly decreasing denaturants concentration, followed by concentration or purification on-column, may be a useful strategy for rapid and efficient recovery of active proteins from inclusion bodies. An automatic refolding apparatus employing this flexible strategy may provide a powerful tool for preparative scale protein production.
Hormonal contraceptive (HC) use may increase cardiometabolic risk; however, the effect of HC on emerging cardiometabolic and other disease risk factors is not clear.
To determine the association between HC use and plasma proteins involved in established and emerging disease risk pathways.
Concentrations of 54 high-abundance plasma proteins were measured simultaneously by LC-MRM/MS in 783 women from the Toronto Nutrigenomics and Health Study. C-reactive protein (CRP) was measured separately. ANCOVA was used to test differences in protein concentrations between users and non-users, and among HC users depending on total hormone dose. Linear regression was used to test the association between duration (years) of HC use and plasma protein concentrations. Principal components analysis (PCA) was used to identify plasma proteomic profiles in users and non-users.
After Bonferroni correction, 19 proteins involved in inflammation, innate immunity, coagulation and blood pressure regulation were significantly different between users and non-users (P<0.0009). These differences were replicated across three distinct ethnocultural groups. Traditional markers of glucose and lipid metabolism were also significantly higher among HC users. Neither hormone dose nor duration of use affected protein concentrations. PCA identified 4 distinct proteomic profiles in users and 3 in non-users.
HC use was associated with different concentrations of plasma proteins along various disease-related pathways, and these differences were present across different ethnicities. Aside from the known effect of HC on traditional biomarkers of cardiometabolic risk, HC use also affects numerous proteins that may be biomarkers of dysregulation in inflammation, coagulation and blood pressure.
Transthyretin (TTR) is a homotetrameric serum and cerebrospinal fluid protein that transports thyroxine (T4) and retinol by binding to retinol binding protein. Rate-limiting tetramer dissociation and rapid monomer misfolding and disassembly of TTR lead to amyloid fibril formation in different tissues causing various amyloid diseases. Based on the current understanding of the pathogenesis of TTR amyloidosis, it is considered that the inhibition of amyloid fibril formation by stabilization of TTR in native tetrameric form is a viable approach for the treatment of TTR amyloidosis.
Methodology and Principal Findings
We have examined interactions of the wtTTR with a series of compounds containing various substitutions at biphenyl ether skeleton and a novel compound, previously evaluated for binding and inhibiting tetramer dissociation, by x-ray crystallographic approach. High resolution crystal structures of five ligands in complex with wtTTR provided snapshots of negatively cooperative binding of ligands in two T4 binding sites besides characterizing their binding orientations, conformations, and interactions with binding site residues. In all complexes, the ligand has better fit and more potent interactions in first T4 site i.e. (AC site) than the second T4 site (BD site). Together, these results suggest that AC site is a preferred ligand binding site and retention of ordered water molecules between the dimer interfaces further stabilizes the tetramer by bridging a hydrogen bond interaction between Ser117 and its symmetric copy.
Novel biphenyl ether based compounds exhibit negative-cooperativity while binding to two T4 sites which suggests that binding of only single ligand molecule is sufficient to inhibit the TTR tetramer dissociation.
The plasma cholesterol and triacylglycerol lowering effects of Tamarindus indica extract have been previously described. We have also shown that the methanol extract of T. indica fruit pulp altered the expression of lipid-associated genes including ABCG5 and APOAI in HepG2 cells. In the present study, effects of the same extract on the release of proteins from the cells were investigated using the proteomics approach.
When culture media of HepG2 cells grown in the absence and presence of the methanol extract of T. indica fruit pulp were subjected to 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis, the expression of seven proteins was found to be significantly different (p<0.03125). Five of the spots were subsequently identified as alpha enolase (ENO1), transthyretin (TTR), apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I; two isoforms), and rab GDP dissociation inhibitor beta (GDI-2). A functional network of lipid metabolism, molecular transport and small molecule biochemistry that interconnects the three latter proteins with the interactomes was identified using the Ingenuity Pathways Analysis software.
The methanol extract of T. indica fruit pulp altered the release of ENO1, ApoA-I, TTR and GDI-2 from HepG2 cells. Our results provide support on the effect of T. indica extract on cellular lipid metabolism, particularly that of cholesterol.
Progress in functional and structural studies of integral membrane proteins (IMPs) is lacking behind their soluble counterparts due to the great challenge in producing stable and homogeneous IMPs. Low natural abundance, toxicity when over-expressed and potential lipid requirements of IMPs are only a few reasons for the limited progress. Here, we describe an optimised workflow for the recombinant over-expression of the human tetraspan vesicle protein (TVP) synaptogyrin in Escherichia coli and its biophysical characterisation. TVPs are ubiquitous and abundant components of vesicles. They are believed to be involved in various aspects of the synaptic vesicle cycle, including vesicle biogenesis, exocytosis and endocytotic recycling. Even though TVPs are found in most cell types, high-resolution structural information for this class of membrane proteins is still missing. The optimisation of the N-terminal sequence of the gene together with the usage of the recently developed Lemo21(DE3) strain which allows the balancing of the translation with the membrane insertion rate led to a 50-fold increased expression rate compared to the classical BL21(DE3) strain. The protein was soluble and stable in a variety of mild detergents and multiple biophysical methods confirmed the folded state of the protein. Crosslinking experiments suggest an oligomeric architecture of at least four subunits. The protein stability is significantly improved in the presence of cholesteryl hemisuccinate as judged by differential light scattering. The approach described here can easily be adapted to other eukaryotic IMPs.