A phosphomimetic mutation in subunit ∊ dramatically increases reproducibility for crystallization of Escherichia coli ATP synthase catalytic complex (F1) (subunit composition α3β3γ∊). Diffraction data were collected to ∼3.15 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.
The bacterial ATP synthase (FOF1) of Escherichia coli has been the prominent model system for genetics, biochemical and more recently single-molecule studies on F-type ATP synthases. With 22 total polypeptide chains (total mass of ∼529 kDa), E. coli FOF1 represents nature’s smallest rotary motor, composed of a membrane-embedded proton transporter (FO) and a peripheral catalytic complex (F1). The ATPase activity of isolated F1 is fully expressed by the α3β3γ ‘core’, whereas single δ and ∊ subunits are required for structural and functional coupling of E. coli F1 to FO. In contrast to mitochondrial F1-ATPases that have been determined to atomic resolution, the bacterial homologues have proven very difficult to crystallize. In this paper, we describe a biochemical strategy that led us to improve the crystallogenesis of the E. coli F1-ATPase catalytic core. Destabilizing the compact conformation of ∊’s C-terminal domain with a phosphomimetic mutation (∊S65D) dramatically increased crystallization success and reproducibility, yielding crystals of E. coli F1 that diffract to ∼3.15 Å resolution.
Crystallization; FOF1-ATP synthase; phosphomimetic mutation; ∊ subunit
The crystallization and initial diffraction analysis of human Drp1 GTPase-GED fusion protein are reported.
The mechano-enzyme dynamin-related protein 1 plays an important role in mitochondrial fission and is implicated in cell physiology. Dysregulation of Drp1 is associated with abnormal mitochondrial dynamics and neuronal damage. Drp1 shares structural and functional similarities with dynamin 1 with respect to domain organization, ability to self-assemble into spiral-like oligomers and GTP-cycle-dependent membrane scission. Structural studies of human dynamin-1 have greatly improved the understanding of this prototypical member of the dynamin superfamily. However, high-resolution structural information for full-length human Drp1 covering the GTPase domain, the middle domain and the GTPase effector domain (GED) is still lacking. In order to obtain mechanistic insights into the catalytic activity, a nucleotide-free GTPase-GED fusion protein of human Drp1 was expressed, purified and crystallized. Initial X-ray diffraction experiments yielded data to 2.67 Å resolution. The hexagonal-shaped crystals belonged to space group P21212, with unit-cell parameters a = 53.59, b = 151.65, c = 43.53 Å, one molecule per asymmetric unit and a solvent content of 42%. Expression of selenomethionine-labelled protein is currently in progress. Here, the expression, purification, crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of the Drp1 GTPase-GED fusion protein are presented, which form a basis for more detailed structural and biophysical analysis.
dynamin-related protein 1; GTPase domain; GTPase effector domain
The pH 6 antigen Psa displayed on the surface of Yersinia pestis, the bacterium that causes plague in humans, consists of polymers of a single protein subunit termed PsaA. Donor-strand complemented PsaA was purified and crystallized.
Yersinia pestis has been responsible for a number of high-mortality epidemics throughout human history. Like all other bacterial infections, the pathogenesis of Y. pestis begins with the attachment of bacteria to the surface of host cells. At least five surface proteins from Y. pestis have been shown to interact with host cells. Psa, the pH 6 antigen, is one of them and is deployed on the surface of bacteria as thin flexible fibrils that are the result of the polymerization of a single PsaA pilin subunit. Here, the crystallization of recombinant donor-strand complemented PsaA by the hanging-drop vapor-diffusion method is reported. X-ray diffraction data sets were collected to 1.9 Å resolution from a native crystal and to 1.5 Å resolution from a bromide-derivatized crystal. These crystals displayed the symmetry of the orthorhombic space group P2221, with unit-cell parameters a = 26.3, b = 54.6, c = 102.1 Å. Initial phases were derived from single isomorphous replacement with anomalous scattering experiments, resulting in an electron-density map that showed a single molecule in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. Sequence assignment was aided by residues binding to bromide ions of the heavy-atom derivative.
Psa; pilins; Yersinia pestis; PsaA
The crystal structure of C. jejuni anabolic ornithine transcarbamoylase has been determined at a resolution of 2.7 Å in an unliganded state.
Anabolic ornithine transcarbamoylase (aOTC) catalyzes the reaction between carbamoyl phosphate (CP) and l-ornithine (ORN) to form l-citrulline and phosphate in the urea cycle and l-arginine biosynthesis. The crystal structure of unliganded aOTC from Campylobacter jejuni (Cje aOTC) was determined at 2.7 Å resolution and refined to an R
work of 20.3% and an R
free of 24.0%. Cje aOTC is a trimer that forms a head-to-head pseudohexamer in the asymmetric unit. Each monomer is composed of an N-terminal CP-binding domain and a C-terminal ORN-binding domain joined by two interdomain helices. The Cje aOTC structure presents an open conformation of the enzyme with a relatively flexible orientation of the ORN-binding domain respective to the CP-binding domain. The conformation of the B2–H3 loop (residues 68–78), which is involved in binding CP in an adjacent subunit of the trimer, differs from that seen in homologous proteins with CP bound. The loop containing the ORN-binding motif (DxxxSMG, residues 223–230) has a conformation that is different from those observed in unliganded OTC structures from other species, but is similar to those in structures with bound ORN analogs. The major differences in tertiary structure between Cje aOTC and human aOTC are described.
Campylobacter jejuni; anabolic ornithine transcarbamoylases; carbamoyl phosphate; l-ornithine; l-citrulline; arginine biosynthesis; biocatalysis
AIM2 is an innate immune sensor of microbial double-stranded DNA. The HIN-200 domain of mouse AIM2 bound to a 15 bp and an 18 bp dsDNA were crystallized and diffract to about 4.0 Å.
AIM2 (absent in melanoma 2) is an innate immune receptor for cytosolic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). The engagement of dsDNA by AIM2 activates the AIM2 inflammasome, resulting in the cleavage of pro-interleukin-1β by caspase-1. The DNA-binding HIN-200 domain of mouse AIM2 bound to a 15 bp dsDNA and to an 18 bp dsDNA was purified and crystallized. The AIM2 HIN-200 domain in complex with the 15 bp DNA crystallized in the cubic space group I23 or I213, with unit-cell parameter a = 235.60 Å. The complex of the AIM2 HIN-200 domain and the 18 bp DNA crystallized in a similar unit cell. Diffraction data for the two complexes were collected to about 4.0 Å resolution. Mutagenesis and DNA-binding studies suggest that mouse AIM2 uses a similar surface to human AIM2 to recognize DNA.
mouse AIM2; HIN-200 domain; DNA binding
The crystal structure of A. pernix fibrillarin includes a tightly bound S-adenosyl-l-methionine molecule.
Fibrillarin is the key methyltransferase associated with the C/D class of small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) and participates in the preliminary step of pre-ribosomal rRNA processing. This molecule is found in the fibrillar regions of the eukaryotic nucleolus and is involved in methylation of the 2′-O atom of ribose in rRNA. Human fibrillarin contains an N-terminal GAR domain, a central RNA-binding domain comprising an RNP-2-like superfamily consensus sequence and a catalytic C-terminal helical domain. Here, Aeropyrum pernix fibrillarin is described, which is homologous to the C-terminal domain of human fibrillarin. The protein was crystallized with an S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) ligand bound in the active site. The molecular structure of this complex was solved using X-ray crystallography at a resolution of 1.7 Å using molecular replacement with fibrillarin structural homologs. The structure shows the atomic details of SAM and its active-site interactions; there are a number of conserved residues that interact directly with the cofactor. Notably, the adenine ring of SAM is stabilized by π–π interactions with the conserved residue Phe110 and by electrostatic interactions with the Asp134, Ala135 and Gln157 residues. The π–π interaction appears to play a critical role in stabilizing the association of SAM with fibrillarin. Furthermore, comparison of A. pernix fibrillarin with homologous structures revealed different orientations of Phe110 and changes in α-helix 6 of fibrillarin and suggests key differences in its interactions with the adenine ring of SAM in the active site and with the C/D RNA. These differences may play a key role in orienting the SAM ligand for catalysis as well as in the assembly of other ribonucleoproteins and in the interactions with C/D RNA.
fibrillarin; S-adenosyl-l-methionine; methyltransferases; Aeropyrum pernix
Crystal structures of Mn2
2+- and Co2
2+-substituted human arginase I complexed with an unreactive analog of substrate l-arginine are described at 1.82 and 1.90 Å resolution, respectively.
Human arginase I (HAI) is a binuclear manganese metalloenzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of l-arginine to form l-ornithine and urea through a metal-activated hydroxide mechanism. Since HAI regulates l-Arg bioavailability for NO biosynthesis, it is a potential drug target for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis. X-ray crystal structures are now reported of the complexes of Mn2
2+-HAI and Co2
2+-HAI with l-2-amino-3-guanidinopropionic acid (AGPA; also known as dinor-l-arginine), an amino acid bearing a guanidinium side chain two methylene groups shorter than that of l-arginine. Hydrogen bonds to the α-carboxylate and α-amino groups of AGPA dominate enzyme–inhibitor recognition; the guanidinium group does not interact directly with the metal ions.
human arginase I; l-2-amino-3-guanidinopropionic acid; dinor-l-arginine
The therapeutic antibody MORAb-009 disrupts the interaction of mesothelin and the ovarian cancer antigen CA-125. Crystals have been grown of the Fab fragment derived from MORAb-009 and of its complex with an N-terminal fragment of mesothelin.
The mesothelin-specific monoclonal antibody MORAb-009 is capable of blocking the binding of mesothelin to CA-125 and displays promising anticancer potential. It is currently undergoing clinical trials. In order to understand the basis of the interaction between MORAb-009 and mesothelin at atomic resolution, both the Fab fragment of MORAb-009 and the complex between the Fab and an N-terminal fragment of mesothelin (residues 7–64) were crystallized. The crystals of the Fab diffracted X-rays to 1.75 Å resolution and had the symmetry of space group P41212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 140.6, c = 282.0 Å. The crystals of the mesothelin–Fab complex diffracted to 2.6 Å resolution and belonged to the hexagonal space group P64, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 146.2, c = 80.9 Å. Structural analyses of these molecules are in progress.
mesothelin; MORAb-009; monoclonal antibodies
The crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis at 1.25 Å resolution of free-ligand arginine kinase from the Pacific whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei are reported. Crystals belong to space group P212121, phases were determined by molecular replacement and refinement was performed with Phenix.
Crystals of an unligated monomeric arginine kinase from the Pacific whiteleg shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei (LvAK) were successfully obtained using the microbatch method. Crystallization conditions and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis to 1.25 Å resolution are reported. Data were collected at 100 K on NSLS beamline X6A. The crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 56.5, b = 70.2, c = 81.7 Å. One monomer per asymmetric unit was found, with a Matthews coefficient (V
M) of 2.05 Å3 Da−1 and 40% solvent content. Initial phases were determined by molecular replacement using a homology model of LvAK as the search model. Refinement was performed with PHENIX, with final R
work and R
free values of 0.15 and 0.19, respectively. Biological analysis of the structure is currently in progress.
arginine kinases; Litopenaeus vannamei
Construct engineering and crystallization of E. coli PgaB using in situ proteolysis and mass spectrometry is reported.
The periplasmic poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (PNAG) de-N-acetylase PgaB from Escherichia coli was overexpressed and purified, but was recalcitrant to crystallization. Use of the in situ proteolysis technique produced crystals of PgaB, but these crystals could not be optimized for diffraction studies. By analyzing the initial crystal hits using SDS–PAGE and mass spectrometry, the boundaries of the protein species that crystallized were determined. The re-engineered protein target crystallized reproducibly without the addition of protease and with significantly increased crystal quality. Crystals of the selenomethionine-incorporated protein exhibited the symmetry of space group P212121 and diffracted to 2.1 Å resolution.
in situ proteolysis; protein modification and truncation; mass spectrometry; PgaB; poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine de-N-acetylase
T. maritima CheA P3-P4-P5 domains were crystallized in complex with CheW. Low-resolution diffraction data were collected to ∼8 Å using synchrotron X-ray radiation.
The CheA–CheW complex plays a key role in bacterial chemotaxis signal transduction by initiating phosphotransfer to response regulators via coupling to the chemoreceptors. CheA (P3-P4-P5 domains) and CheW from Thermotoga maritima were overexpressed in Escherichia coli and crystallized as a complex at 298 K using ammonium dihydrogen phosphate as a precipitant. X-ray diffraction data were collected to ∼8 Å resolution at 100 K using synchrotron radiation. The crystal belonged to space group I222 or I212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 184.2, b = 286.4, c = 327.7 Å. The asymmetric unit may contain six to ten CheA–CheW molecules.
CheA; histidine kinases; CheW; coupling proteins; bacterial chemotaxis; signal transduction; Thermotoga maritima
The catalytic domain of human ADAM-8 was expressed, purified and crystallized in complex with a hydroxamic acid inhibitor, batimastat. The crystal structure of the enzyme–inhibitor complex was refined to 2.1 Å resolution.
The role of ADAM-8 in cancer and inflammatory diseases such as allergy, arthritis and asthma makes it an attractive target for drug development. Therefore, the catalytic domain of human ADAM-8 was expressed, purified and crystallized in complex with a hydroxamic acid inhibitor, batimastat. The crystal structure of the enzyme–inhibitor complex was refined to 2.1 Å resolution. ADAM-8 has an overall fold similar to those of other ADAM members, including a central five-stranded β-sheet and a catalytic Zn2+ ion. However, unique differences within the S1′ binding loop of ADAM-8 are observed which might be exploited to confer specificity and selectivity to ADAM-8 competitive inhibitors for the treatment of diseases involving this enzyme.
ADAM-8; metalloproteases; inhibitors; batimastat; inflammation
The structure of the L166K variant of G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1 has been determined at 2.5 Å resolution in order to determine how a dimer interface observed in prior crystal structures influences the conformation of the enzyme and how the C-terminal amino acids are configured while in a monomeric state.
G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1 (GRK1 or rhodopsin kinase) phosphorylates activated rhodopsin and initiates a cascade of events that results in the termination of phototransduction by the receptor. Although GRK1 seems to be a monomer in solution, seven prior crystal structures of GRK1 revealed a similar domain-swapped dimer interface involving the C-terminus of the enzyme. The influence of this interface on the overall conformation of GRK1 is not known. To address this question, the crystalline dimer interface was disrupted with a L166K mutation and the structure of GRK1-L166K was determined in complex with Mg2+·ATP to 2.5 Å resolution. GRK1-L166K crystallized in a novel space group as a monomer and exhibited little overall conformational difference from prior structures of GRK1, although the C-terminal domain-swapped region had reorganized owing to loss of the dimer interface.
rhodopsin kinase; GRK1; RGS homology domain; dimerization
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from B. anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ is reported.
The crystal structure of a short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase from Bacillus anthracis strain ‘Ames Ancestor’ complexed with NADP has been determined and refined to 1.87 Å resolution. The structure of the enzyme consists of a Rossmann fold composed of seven parallel β-strands sandwiched by three α-helices on each side. An NADP molecule from an endogenous source is bound in the conserved binding pocket in the syn conformation. The loop region responsible for binding another substrate forms two perpendicular short helices connected by a sharp turn.
short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases; NADP; Bacillus anthracis
The amino-terminal domain of the Hsp70 co-chaperone Bag2 from M. musculus has been crystallized in native and selenomethionyl forms diffracting to 2.27 and 3.1 Å resolution, respectively.
Bag2, an atypical member of the Bag family of Hsp70 co-chaperones, acts as both an Hsp70 nucleotide-exchange factor and an inhibitor of the Hsp70-binding E3 ubiquitin ligase CHIP (carboxyl-terminus of Hsp70-interacting protein). The amino-terminal domain of Bag2 (Bag2-NTD), which is required for inhibition of CHIP, has no sequence homologs in the PDB. Native and selenomethionyl (SeMet) forms of Bag2-NTD were crystallized by hanging-drop vapor diffusion. Native Bag2-NTD crystals diffracted to 2.27 Å resolution and belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 75.5, b = 84.7, c = 114.1 Å. SeMet Bag2-NTD crystals diffracted to 3.10 Å resolution and belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 37.2, b = 53.3, c = 86.7 Å. Phases for the SeMet Bag2-NTD crystal were solved by single-wavelength anomalous diffraction. Initial phasing and model building using the 3.10 Å resolution SeMet Bag2-NTD data set suggested that Bag2-NTD forms a dimer and adopts a fold distinct from those of any domains annotated in the Pfam or SMART domain databases.
Bag2; selenomethionine; SAD phasing
The structure of copper amine oxidase 1 from H. polymorpha in its metal-free precursor (apo) form is reported along with structures of the apo protein in complex with CuI and CoII.
Copper amine oxidases (CAOs) catalyze the oxidative deamination of primary amines to their corresponding aldehydes, with the concomitant reduction of O2 to H2O2. Catalysis requires two cofactors: a mononuclear copper center and the cofactor 2,4,5-trihydroxyphenylalanine quinone (TPQ). TPQ is synthesized through the post-translational modification of an endogenous tyrosine residue and requires only oxygen and copper to proceed. TPQ biogenesis in CAO can be supported by alternate metals, albeit at decreased rates. A variety of factors are thought to contribute to the degree to which a metal can support TPQ biogenesis, including Lewis acidity, redox potential and electrostatic stabilization capability. The crystal structure has been solved of one of two characterized CAOs from the yeast Hansenula polymorpha (HPAO-1) in its metal-free (apo) form, which contains an unmodified precursor tyrosine residue instead of fully processed TPQ (HPAO-1 was denoted HPAO in the literature prior to 2010). Structures of apoHPAO-1 in complex with CuI and CoII have also been solved, providing structural insight into metal binding prior to biogenesis.
amine oxidases; biogenesis; TPQ; copper; cofactor
The structure of the catalytic chain of Methanococcus jannaschii aspartate transcarbamoylase has been determined in a hexagonal crystal form and gives insight into the possible paths that the substrate carbamoyl phosphate may follow to reach the active site during catalysis.
Crystals of the catalytic chain of Methanococcus jannaschii aspartate transcarbamoylase (ATCase) grew in the presence of the regulatory chain in the hexagonal space group P6322, with one monomer per asymmetric unit. This is the first time that crystals with only one monomer in the asymmetric unit have been obtained; all known structures of the catalytic subunit contain several crystallographically independent monomers. The symmetry-related chains form the staggered dimer of trimers observed in the other known structures of the catalytic subunit. The central channel of the catalytic subunit contains a sulfate ion and a K+ ion as well as a glycerol molecule at its entrance. It is possible that it is involved in channeling carbamoyl phosphate (CP) to the active site of the enzyme. A second sulfate ion near Arg164 is near the second CP position in the wild-type Escherichia coli ATCase structure complexed with CP. It is suggested that this position may also be in the path that CP takes when binding to the active site in a partial diffusion process at 310 K. Additional biochemical studies of carbamoylation and the molecular organization of this enzyme in M. jannaschii will provide further insight into these points.
aspartate transcarbamoylase; Methanococcus jannaschii; catalytic chain; enzyme mechanisms; protein structure-function
A novel hyperactive antifreeze protein from R. inquisitor (RiAFP) has been overexpressed, purified and crystallized. A complete native X-ray diffraction data set was recorded to 1.3 Å resolution.
Antifreeze proteins (AFPs) are a specialized evolutionary adaptation of a variety of bacteria, fish, arthropods and other organisms to inhibit ice-crystal growth for survival in harsh subzero environments. The recently reported novel hyperactive AFP from Rhagium inquisitor (RiAFP) is the second distinct type of AFP in beetles and its structure could reveal important molecular insights into the evolution of AFPs. For this purpose, RiAFP was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized at 293 K using a combination of 23% PEG 3350 and 0.2 M ammonium sulfate as a precipitant. X-ray diffraction data were collected to 1.3 Å resolution using a synchrotron-radiation source. The crystals belonged to the trigonal space group P3121 (or P3221), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 46.46, c = 193.21 Å.
antifreeze proteins; Rhagium inquisitor
The expression, purification and crystallization of the alginate lyase AlgL from P. aeruginosa is described. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 1.64 Å.
The periplasmic alginate lyase AlgL is essential for the synthesis and export of the exopolysaccharide alginate in Pseudomonas sp. and also plays a role in its depolymerization. P. aeruginosa PAO1 AlgL has been overexpressed and purified and diffraction-quality crystals were grown using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals grew as thin plates, with unit-cell parameters a = 56.4, b = 59.6, c = 102.1 Å, α = β = γ = 90°. The AlgL crystals exhibited the symmetry of space group P212121 and diffracted to a minimum d-spacing of 1.64 Å. Based on the Matthews coefficient (V
M = 2.20 Å3 Da−1), one molecule is estimated to be present in the asymmetric unit.
AlgL; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; alginate biosynthetic complex; biofilms; exopolysaccharides; alginate lyases
The utility of differential scanning fluorimetry for homogeneity assessment and crystallization improvement of PLP-dependent enzymes is demonstrated using the potential drug target BioA from M. tuberculosis.
Differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) is a practical and accessible technique that allows the assessment of multiphasic unfolding behavior resulting from subsaturating binding of ligands. Multiphasic unfolding is indicative of a heterogenous protein solution, which frequently interferes with crystallization and complicates functional characterization of proteins of interest. Along with UV–Vis spectroscopy, DSF was used to guide purification and crystallization improvements for the pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP) dependent transaminase BioA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The incompatibility of the primary amine-containing buffer 2-amino-2-(hydroxymethyl)-1,3-propanediol (Tris) and PLP was identified as a significant contributor to heterogeneity. It is likely that the utility of DSF for ligand-binding assessment is not limited to the cofactor PLP but will be applicable to a variety of ligand-dependent enzymes.
differential scanning fluorimetry; ThermoFluor; crystallization optimization; pyridoxal 5′-phosphate; UV–Vis spectroscopy
The structure of the third catalytic domain of the human protein disulfide isomerase ERp46 has been determined to 2.0 Å resolution.
Protein disulfide isomerases are responsible for catalyzing the proper oxidation and isomerization of disulfide bonds of newly synthesized proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Here, the crystal structure of the third catalytic domain of protein disulfide isomerase ERp46 (also known as protein disulfide isomerase A5 and TXNDC5) was determined to 2.0 Å resolution. The structure shows a typical thioredoxin-like fold, but also identifies regions of high structural variability. In particular, the loop between helix α2 and strand β3 adopts strikingly different conformations among the five chains of the asymmetric unit. Cys381 and Cys388 form a structural disulfide and its absence in one of the molecules leads to dramatic conformational changes. The tryptophan residue Trp349 of this molecule inserts into the cavity formed by helices α1 and α3 of a neighbouring molecule, potentially mimicking the interactions of ERp46 with misfolded substrates.
thioredoxin-like domains; endoplasmic reticulum; ERp46; protein disulfide isomerases
Structural data for the ternary complex of P. carinii DHFR with NADPH and the potent inhibitor PY1014 reveal conformational changes that help to explain the weaker potency and selectivity of the pyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine scaffold compared with the homologous pyrimidine series of antifolates.
Structural data are reported for 2,4-diamino-6-[2-(5-carboxypent-1-yn-1-yl)-5-methoxybenzyl]-5-methylpyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine (PY1014) complexed with Pneumocystis carinii dihydrofolate reductase (pcDHFR) refined to 1.8 Å resolution. These data reveal that the carboxylate of the ω-carboxyalkynyl side chain of PY1014, the most pcDHFR-selective analog in this series, forms ionic interactions with the conserved Arg75 in the substrate-binding pocket of pcDHFR. The reversal of the 2′,5′-substitution pattern of this analog compared with the highly selective diaminopyrimidine analog PY1011 (i.e. the 5′-pentynylcarboxy-5′-methoxy pattern of PY1014 versus the 3′,4′-dimethoxy-5′-pentynylcarboxy pattern of PY1011) is necessary to achieve optimal interaction with Arg75 as observed in other structures. The larger diaminopyrido[2,3-d]pyrimidine ring of PY1014 places the 5′-methoxy group closer to Leu25 and Ser64 than does the diaminopyrimidine ring of PY1011. The 5′-methoxy O atom forms a hydrogen bond to the amide of Leu25 (O⋯N, 2.7 Å) and the 5′-methoxy methyl group makes a hydrophobic contact of 3.1 Å with Cβ of Ser64. Although the IC50 values of PY1014 and PY1011 are similar, inhibition data show that the selectivity of PY1011 for pcDHFR is significantly greater. The greater selectivity for pcDHFR compared with mammalian DHFR of these inhibitors is also influenced by the enhanced hydrophobic interactions of the side-chain methylene atoms with Phe69 of pcDHFR compared with Asn64 of mammalian DHFR.
dihydrofolate reductase; inhibitors; Pneumocystis carinii
Crystals of the SCAN domain of Zfp206 are tetragonal, belonging to space group I422 with unit-cell parameters a = 67.57, c = 87.54 Å and one molecule in the asymmetric unit, and diffract to 1.85 Å resolution.
Zfp206 (also named Zscan10) is a transcription factor that plays an important role in maintaining the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells. Zfp206 is a member of the SCAN-domain family of C2H2 zinc-finger transcription factors. The SCAN domain is a highly conserved motif of 84 residues which mediates the self-association of and heterodimerization between SCAN-domain family transcription factors. The SCAN domain may therefore be the key to the selective oligomerization of and may combinatorially enhance the regulatory versatility of C2H2 zinc fingers. This paper describes crystallization attempts with the SCAN domain of Zfp206 (Zfp206SCAN) and optimization strategies to obtain diffraction-quality crystals. The best diffracting crystal was grown in a solution consisting of 0.3 M ammonium sulfate, 0.1 M Tris–HCl pH 8.6, 25% PEG 3350, 0.1 M ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid disodium salt dehydrate (EDTA) using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion technique. Optimized crystals diffracted to 1.85 Å resolution and belonged to space group I422, with unit-cell parameters a = 67.57, c = 87.54 Å. A Matthews analysis indicated the presence of one Zfp206SCAN molecule per asymmetric unit.
Zfp206; SCAN domain; transcription factors
AAC(6′)-Im is an N-acetyltransferase enzyme responsible for aminoglycoside resistance in E. faecium and E. coli isolates. Crystals of the kanamycin complex of this enzyme have been prepared and preliminary X-ray diffraction experiments have been undertaken.
Bacterial resistance to the aminoglycoside antibiotics is primarily the result of enzymatic deactivation of the drugs. The aminoglycoside N-acetyltransferases (AACs) are a large family of bacterial enzymes that are responsible for coenzyme-A-facilitated acetylation of aminoglycosides. The gene encoding one of these enzymes, AAC(6′)-Im, has been cloned and the protein (comprising 178 amino-acid residues) was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized as the kanamycin complex. Synchrotron diffraction data to approximately 2.0 Å resolution were collected from a crystal of this complex on beamline BL12-2 at SSRL (Stanford, California, USA). The crystals belonged to the hexagonal space group P65, with approximate unit-cell parameters a = 107.75, c = 37.33 Å, and contained one molecule in the asymmetric unit. Structure determination is under way using molecular replacement.
N-acetyltransferases; AAC(6′)-Im; aminoglycoside resistance
In order to characterize the type IV pili of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae, an attempt to solve the atomic structure of the major pilin subunit PilA was initiated. A 1.73 Å resolution X-ray diffraction data set was collected from native N-terminally truncated PilA (ΔN-PilA).
The type IV pili of nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae (NTHi) are involved in twitching motility, adherence, competence and biofilm formation. They are potential virulence factors for this important human pathogen and are thus considered to be vaccine targets. To characterize these pili, an attempt to solve the atomic structure of the major pilin subunit PilA was initiated. A 1.73 Å resolution X-ray diffraction data set was collected from native N-terminally truncated PilA (ΔN-PilA). Data processing indicated a hexagonal crystal system, which was determined to belong to space group P61 or P65 based on the systematic absences and near-perfect twinning of the crystal. The unit-cell parameters were a = b = 68.08, c = 197.03 Å with four molecules in the asymmetric unit, giving a solvent content of 50%. Attempts to solve the ΔN-PilA structure by molecular replacement with existing type IV pilin and type II secretion pseudopilin structures are in progress.
nontypeable Haemophilus influenzae; type IV pili; otitis media