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1.  Riboflavin synthase of Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Protein dynamics revealed by 19F NMR protein perturbation experiments 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:18.
Background
Riboflavin synthase catalyzes the transformation of 6,7-dimethyl-8-ribityllumazine into riboflavin in the last step of the riboflavin biosynthetic pathway. Gram-negative bacteria and certain yeasts are unable to incorporate riboflavin from the environment and are therefore absolutely dependent on endogenous synthesis of the vitamin. Riboflavin synthase is therefore a potential target for the development of antiinfective drugs.
Results
A cDNA sequence from Schizosaccharomyces pombe comprising a hypothetical open reading frame with similarity to riboflavin synthase of Escherichia coli was expressed in a recombinant E. coli strain. The recombinant protein is a homotrimer of 23 kDa subunits as shown by sedimentation equilibrium centrifugation. The protein sediments at an apparent velocity of 4.1 S at 20°C. The amino acid sequence is characterized by internal sequence similarity indicating two similar folding domains per subunit. The enzyme catalyzes the formation of riboflavin from 6,7-dimethyl-8-ribityllumazine at a rate of 158 nmol mg-1 min-1 with an apparent KM of 5.7 microM. 19F NMR protein perturbation experiments using fluorine-substituted intermediate analogs show multiple signals indicating that a given ligand can be bound in at least 4 different states. 19F NMR signals of enzyme-bound intermediate analogs were assigned to ligands bound by the N-terminal respectively C-terminal folding domain on basis of NMR studies with mutant proteins.
Conclusion
Riboflavin synthase of Schizosaccharomyces pombe is a trimer of identical 23-kDa subunits. The primary structure is characterized by considerable similarity of the C-terminal and N-terminal parts. Riboflavin synthase catalyzes a mechanistically complex dismutation of 6,7-dimethyl-8-ribityllumazine affording riboflavin and 5-amino-6-ribitylamino-2,4(1H,3H)-pyrimidinedione. The 19F NMR data suggest large scale dynamic mobility in the trimeric protein which may play an important role in the reaction mechanism.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-18
PMCID: PMC337094  PMID: 14690539
2.  A novel form of the membrane protein CD147 that contains an extra Ig-like domain and interacts homophilically 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:17.
Background
CD147 is a broadly distributed integral membrane glycoprotein with two Ig-like domains implicated in a wide range of functions. It is associated at the cell surface with the monocarboxylate transporters MCT1 and 4 but interactions of the extracellular region have not been characterised.
Results
We report the characterisation of a form of CD147 with an additional membrane-distal Ig-like domain. In contrast to the two domain form, this three domain form of CD147 interacts homophilically. Surface plasmon resonance analysis using recombinant proteins showed that the interaction was of low affinity (KD ~ 40 μM) and this is typical of many interactions between membrane proteins. cDNA for the 3 domain form are rare but have been identified in human and mouse retina.
Conclusion
The finding that the three domain form of CD147 has an extracellular ligand, that is it interacts homophilically, suggests this interaction may be important in aligning lactate transporters in the retina where lactate is an important metabolite.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-17
PMCID: PMC280649  PMID: 14606962
3.  Sugar recognition by human galactokinase 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:16.
Background
Galactokinase catalyses the first committed step of galactose catabolism in which the sugar is phosphorylated at the expense of MgATP. Recent structural studies suggest that the enzyme makes several contacts with galactose – five side chain and two main chain hydrogen bonds. Furthermore, it has been suggested that inhibition of galactokinase may help sufferers of the genetic disease classical galactosemia which is caused by defects in another enzyme of the pathway galactose-1-phosphate uridyl transferase. Galactokinases from different sources have a range of substrate specificities and a diversity of kinetic mechanisms. Therefore only studies on the human enzyme are likely to be of value in the design of therapeutically useful inhibitors.
Results
Using recombinant human galactokinase expressed in and purified from E. coli we have investigated the sugar specificity of the enzyme and the kinetic consequences of mutating residues in the sugar-binding site in order to improve our understanding of substrate recognition by this enzyme. D-galactose and 2-deoxy-D-galactose are substrates for the enzyme, but N-acetyl-D-galactosamine, L-arabinose, D-fucose and D-glucose are all not phosphorylated. Mutation of glutamate-43 (which forms a hydrogen bond to the hydroxyl group attached to carbon 6 of galactose) to alanine results in only minor changes in the kinetic parameters of the enzyme. Mutation of this residue to glycine causes a ten-fold drop in the turnover number. In contrast, mutation of histidine 44 to either alanine or isoleucine results in insoluble protein following expression in E. coli. Alteration of the residue that makes hydrogen bonds to the hydroxyl attached to carbons 3 and 4 (aspartate 46) results in an enzyme that although soluble is essentially inactive.
Conclusions
The enzyme is tolerant to small changes at position 2 of the sugar ring, but not at positions 4 and 6. The results from site directed mutagenesis could not have been predicted from the crystal structure alone and needed to be determined experimentally.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-16
PMCID: PMC280648  PMID: 14596685
4.  Mitochondrial activities in human cultured skin fibroblasts contaminated by Mycoplasma hyorhinis 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:15.
Background
Mycoplasma contaminations are a recurrent problem in the use of cultured cells, including human cells, especially as it has been shown to impede cell cycle, triggering cell death under various conditions. More specific consequences on cell metabolism are poorly known.
Results
Here we report the lack of significant consequence of a heavy contamination by the frequently encountered mycoplasma strain, M. hyorhinis, on the determination of respiratory chain activities, but the potential interference when assaying citrate synthase. Contamination by M. hyorhinis was detected by fluorescent imaging and further quantified by the determination of the mycoplasma-specific phosphate acetyltransferase activity. Noticeably, this latter activity was not found equally distributed in various mycoplasma types, being exceptionally high in M. hyorhinis.
Conclusion
While we observed a trend for respiration reduction in heavily contaminated cells, no significant and specific targeting of any respiratory chain components could be identified. This suggested a potential interference with cell metabolism rather than direct interaction with respiratory chain components.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-15
PMCID: PMC270014  PMID: 14596686
5.  Probing the interface in a human co-chaperonin heptamer: residues disrupting oligomeric unfolded state identified 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:14.
Background
The co-chaperonin protein 10 (cpn10) assists cpn60 in the folding of nonnative polypeptides in a wide range of organisms. All known cpn10 molecules are heptamers of seven identical subunits that are linked together by β-strand interactions at a large and flexible interface. Unfolding of human mitochondrial cpn10 in urea results in an unfolded heptameric state whereas GuHCl additions result in unfolded monomers. To address the role of specific interface residues in the assembly of cpn10 we prepared two point-mutated variants, in each case removing a hydrophobic residue positioned at the subunit-subunit interface.
Results
Replacing valine-100 with a glycine (Val100Gly cpn10) results in a wild-type-like protein with seven-fold symmetry although the thermodynamic stability is decreased and the unfolding processes in urea and GuHCl both result in unfolded monomers. In sharp contrast, replacing phenylalanine-8 with a glycine (Phe8Gly cpn10) results in a protein that has lost the ability to assemble. Instead, this protein exists mostly as unfolded monomers.
Conclusions
We conclude that valine-100 is a residue important to adopt an oligomeric unfolded state but it does not affect the ability to assemble in the folded state. In contrast, phenylalanine-8 is required for both heptamer assembly and monomer folding and therefore this mutation results in unfolded monomers at physiological conditions. Despite the plasticity and large size of the cpn10 interface, our observations show that isolated interface residues can be crucial for both the retention of a heptameric unfolded structure and for subunit folding.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-14
PMCID: PMC270013  PMID: 14525625
6.  Comparative inhibition by substrate analogues 3-methoxy- and 3-hydroxydesaminokynurenine and an improved 3 step purification of recombinant human kynureninase. 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:13.
Background
Kynureninase is a key enzyme on the kynurenine pathway of tryptophan metabolism. One of the end products of the pathway is the neurotoxin quinolinic acid which appears to be responsible for neuronal cell death in a number of important neurological diseases. This makes kynureninase a possible therapeutic target for diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and AIDS related dementia, and the development of potent inhibitors an important research aim.
Results
Two new kynurenine analogues, 3-hydroxydesaminokynurenine and 3-methoxydesaminokynurenine, were synthesised as inhibitors of kynureninase and tested on the tryptophan-induced bacterial enzyme from Pseudomonas fluorescens, the recombinant human enzyme and the rat hepatic enzyme. They were found to be mixed inhibitors of all three enzymes displaying both competitive and non competitive inhibition. The 3-hydroxy derivative gave low Ki values of 5, 40 and 100 nM respectively. An improved 3-step purification scheme for recombinant human kynureninase was also developed.
Conclusion
For kynureninase from all three species the 2-amino group was found to be crucial for activity whilst the 3-hydroxyl group played a fundamental role in binding at the active site presumably via hydrogen bonding. The potency of the various inhibitors was found to be species specific. The 3-hydroxylated inhibitor had a greater affinity for the human enzyme, consistent with its specificity for 3-hydroxykynurenine as substrate, whilst the methoxylated version yielded no significant difference between bacterial and human kynureninase. The modified purification described is relatively quick, simple and cost effective.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-13
PMCID: PMC223355  PMID: 14505498
7.  Thermophile-specific proteins: the gene product of aq_1292 from Aquifex aeolicus is an NTPase 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:12.
Background
To identify thermophile-specific proteins, we performed phylogenetic patterns searches of 66 completely sequenced microbial genomes. This analysis revealed a cluster of orthologous groups (COG1618) which contains a protein from every thermophile and no sequence from 52 out of 53 mesophilic genomes. Thus, COG1618 proteins belong to the group of thermophile-specific proteins (THEPs) and therefore we here designate COG1618 proteins as THEP1s. Since no THEP1 had been analyzed biochemically thus far, we characterized the gene product of aq_1292 which is THEP1 from the hyperthermophilic bacterium Aquifex aeolicus (aaTHEP1).
Results
aaTHEP1 was cloned in E. coli, expressed and purified to homogeneity. At a temperature optimum between 70 and 80°C, aaTHEP1 shows enzymatic activity in hydrolyzing ATP to ADP + Pi with kcat = 5 × 10-3 s-1 and Km = 5.5 × 10-6 M. In addition, the enzyme exhibits GTPase activity (kcat = 9 × 10-3 s-1 and Km= 45 × 10-6 M). aaTHEP1 is inhibited competitively by CTP, UTP, dATP, dGTP, dCTP, and dTTP. As shown by gel filtration, aaTHEP1 in its purified state appears as a monomer. The enzyme is resistant to limited proteolysis suggesting that it consists of a single domain. Although THEP1s are annotated as "predicted nucleotide kinases" we could not confirm such an activity experimentally.
Conclusion
Since aaTHEP1 is the first member of COG1618 that is characterized biochemically and functional information about one member of a COG may be transferred to the entire COG, we conclude that COG1618 proteins are a family of thermophilic NTPases.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-12
PMCID: PMC222928  PMID: 14503925
8.  Hibernation impact on the catalytic activities of the mitochondrial D-3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase in liver and brain tissues of jerboa (Jaculus orientalis) 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:11.
Background
Jerboa (Jaculus orientalis) is a deep hibernating rodent native to subdesert highlands. During hibernation, a high level of ketone bodies i.e. acetoacetate (AcAc) and D-3-hydroxybutyrate (BOH) are produced in liver, which are used in brain as energetic fuel. These compounds are bioconverted by mitochondrial D-3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase (BDH) E.C. 1.1.1.30. Here we report, the function and the expression of BDH in terms of catalytic activities, kinetic parameters, levels of protein and mRNA in both tissues i.e brain and liver, in relation to the hibernating process.
Results
We found that: 1/ In euthemic jerboa the specific activity in liver is 2.4- and 6.4- fold higher than in brain, respectively for AcAc reduction and for BOH oxidation. The same differences were found in the hibernation state. 2/ In euthermic jerboa, the Michaelis constants, KM BOH and KM NAD+ are different in liver and in brain while KM AcAc, KM NADH and the dissociation constants, KD NAD+and KD NADH are similar. 3/ During prehibernating state, as compared to euthermic state, the liver BDH activity is reduced by half, while kinetic constants are strongly increased except KD NAD+. 4/ During hibernating state, BDH activity is significantly enhanced, moreover, kinetic constants (KM and KD) are strongly modified as compared to the euthermic state; i.e. KD NAD+ in liver and KM AcAc in brain decrease 5 and 3 times respectively, while KD NADH in brain strongly increases up to 5.6 fold. 5/ Both protein content and mRNA level of BDH remain unchanged during the cold adaptation process.
Conclusions
These results cumulatively explained and are consistent with the existence of two BDH enzymatic forms in the liver and the brain. The apoenzyme would be subjected to differential conformational folding depending on the hibernation state. This regulation could be a result of either post-translational modifications and/or a modification of the mitochondrial membrane state, taking into account that BDH activity is phospholipid-dependent.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-11
PMCID: PMC200966  PMID: 12964952
Acetoacetate; BDH: D-3-hydroxybutyrate dehydrogenase; BOH : D-3-hydroxybutyrate; Jerboa: Jaculus orientalis; Ketone bodies
9.  Nuclear annexin II negatively regulates growth of LNCaP cells and substitution of ser 11 and 25 to glu prevents nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling of annexin II 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:10.
Background
Annexin II heavy chain (also called p36, calpactin I) is lost in prostate cancers and in a majority of prostate intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN). Loss of annexin II heavy chain appears to be specific for prostate cancer since overexpression of annexin II is observed in a majority of human cancers, including pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and brain tumors. Annexin II exists as a heterotetramer in complex with a protein ligand p11 (S100A10), and as a monomer. Diverse cellular functions are proposed for the two forms of annexin II. The monomer is involved in DNA synthesis. A leucine-rich nuclear export signal (NES) in the N-terminus of annexin II regulates its nuclear export by the CRM1-mediated nuclear export pathway. Mutation of the NES sequence results in nuclear retention of annexin II.
Results
Annexin II localized in the nucleus is phosphorylated, and the appearance of nuclear phosphorylated annexin II is cell cycle dependent, indicating that phosphorylation may play a role in nuclear entry, retention or export of annexin II. By exogenous expression of annexin II in the annexin II-null LNCaP cells, we show that wild-type annexin II is excluded from the nucleus, whereas the NES mutant annexin II localizes in both the nucleus and cytoplasm. Nuclear retention of annexin II results in reduced cell proliferation and increased doubling time of cells. Expression of annexin II, both wild type and NES mutant, causes morphological changes of the cells. By site-specific substitution of glutamic acid in the place of serines 11 and 25 in the N-terminus, we show that simultaneous phosphorylation of both serines 11 and 25, but not either one alone, prevents nuclear localization of annexin II.
Conclusion
Our data show that nuclear annexin II is phosphorylated in a cell cycle-dependent manner and that substitution of serines 11 and 25 inhibit nuclear entry of annexin II. Aberrant accumulation of nuclear annexin II retards proliferation of LNCaP cells.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-10
PMCID: PMC200965  PMID: 12962548
10.  Methodological factors influencing measurement and processing of plasma reelin in humans 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:9.
Background
Reelin, intensively studied as an extracellular protein that regulates brain development, is also expressed in a variety of tissues and a circulating pool of reelin exists in adult mammals. Here we describe the methodological and biological foundation for carrying out and interpreting clinical studies of plasma reelin.
Results
Reelin in human plasma was sensitive to proteolysis, freeze-thawing and heating during long-term storage, sample preparation and electrophoresis. Reelin in plasma was a dimer under denaturing conditions. Boiling of samples resulted in laddering, suggesting that each of the 8 repeats expressed in reelin contains a heat-labile covalent bond susceptible to breakage. Urinary-type and tissue-type plasminogen activator converted reelin to a discrete 310 kDa fragment co-migrating with the major immunoreactive reelin fragment seen in plasma and also detected in brain. (In contrast, plasmin produced a spectrum of smaller unstable reelin fragments.) We examined archival plasma of 10 pairs of age-matched male individuals differing in repeat length of a CGG repeat polymorphism of the 5'-untranslated region of the reelin gene (both alleles < 11 repeats vs. one allele having >11 repeats). Reelin 310 kDa band content was lower in subjects having the long repeats in all 10 pairs, by 25% on average (p < 0.001). In contrast, no difference was noted for amyloid precursor protein.
Conclusions
Our studies indicate the need for caution in measuring reelin in archival blood samples, and suggest that assays of plasma reelin should take into account three dimensions that might vary independently: a) the total amount of reelin protein; b) the relative amounts of reelin vs. its proteolytic processing products; and c) the aggregation state of the native protein. Reelin-plasminogen activator interactions may affect their roles in synaptic plasticity. Our results also suggest that the human CGG repeat polymorphism affects reelin gene expression, and may affect susceptibility to human disease.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-9
PMCID: PMC200967  PMID: 12959647
reelin; autism; plasminogen activator; plasmin; CGG repeats
11.  Function, expression and localization of annexin A7 in platelets and red blood cells: Insights derived from an annexin A7 mutant mouse 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:8.
Background
Annexin A7 is a Ca2+- and phospholipid-binding protein expressed as a 47 and 51 kDa isoform, which is thought to be involved in membrane fusion processes. Recently the 47 kDa isoform has been identified in erythrocytes where it was proposed to be a key component in the process of the Ca2+-dependent vesicle release, a process with which red blood cells might protect themselves against an attack by for example complement components.
Results
The role of annexin A7 in red blood cells was addressed in erythrocytes from anxA7-/- mice. Interestingly, the Ca2+-mediated vesiculation process was not impaired. Also, the membrane organization appeared not to be disturbed as assessed using gradient fractionation studies. Instead, lack of annexin A7 led to an altered cell shape and increased osmotic resistance of red blood cells. Annexin A7 was also identified in platelets. In these cells its loss led to a slightly slower aggregation velocity which seems to be compensated by an increased number of platelets. The results appear to rule out an important role of annexin A7 in membrane fusion processes occurring in red blood cells. Instead the protein might be involved in the organization of the membrane cytoskeleton. Red blood cells may represent an appropriate model to study the role of annexin A7 in cellular processes.
Conclusion
We have demonstrated the presence of both annexin A7 isoforms in red blood cells and the presence of the small isoform in platelets. In both cell types the loss of annexin A7 impairs cellular functions. The defects observed are however not compatible with a crucial role for annexin A7 in membrane fusion processes in these cell types.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-8
PMCID: PMC194730  PMID: 12925238
12.  Ca2+ binding to complement-type repeat domains 5 and 6 from the low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:7.
Background
The binding of ligands to clusters of complement-type repeat (CR)-domains in proteins of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) family is dependent on Ca2+ ions. One reason for this cation requirement was identified from the crystal structure data for a CR-domain from the prototypic LDLR, which showed the burial of a Ca2+ ion as a necessity for correct folding and stabilization of this protein module. Additional Ca2+ binding data to other CR-domains from both LDLR and the LDLR-related protein (LRP) have suggested the presence of a conserved Ca2+ cage within CR-domains from this family of receptors that function in endocytosis and signalling.
Results
We have previously described the binding of several ligands to a fragment comprising the fifth and the sixth CR-domain (CR56) from LRP, as well as qualitatively described the binding of Ca2+ ions to this CR-domain pair. In the present study we have applied the rate dialysis method to measure the affinity for Ca2+, and show that CR56 binds 2 Ca2+ ions with an average affinity of KD = 10.6 microM, and there is no indication of additional Ca2+ binding sites within this receptor fragment.
Conclusions
Both CR-domains of CR56 bind a single Ca2+ ion with an affinity of 10.6 microM within the range of affinities demonstrated for several other CR-domains.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-7
PMCID: PMC194729  PMID: 12921543
13.  Regulated interaction between polypeptide chain elongation factor-1 complex with the 26S proteasome during Xenopus oocyte maturation 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:6.
Background
During Xenopus oocyte maturation, the amount of a 48 kDa protein detected in the 26S proteasome fraction (p48) decreased markedly during oocyte maturation to the low levels seen in unfertilized eggs. The results indicate that the interaction of at least one protein with the 26S proteasome changes during oocyte maturation and early development. An alteration in proteasome function may be important for the regulation of developmental events, such as the rapid cell cycle, in the early embryo. In this study, we identified p48.
Results
p48 was purified by conventional column chromatography. The resulting purified fraction contained two other proteins with molecular masses of 30 (p30) and 37 (p37) kDa. cDNAs encode elongation factor-1γ and δ were obtained by an immuno-screening method using polyclonal antibodies against purified p48 complex, which recognized p48 and p37. N-terminal amino acid sequence analysis of p30 revealed that it was identical to EF-1β. To identify the p48 complex bound to the 26S proteasome as EF-1βγδ, antibodies were raised against the components of purified p48 complex. Recombinant EF-1 β,γ and δ were expressed in Escherichia coli, and an antibody was raised against purified recombinant EF-1γ. Cross-reactivity of the antibodies toward the p48 complex and recombinant proteins showed it to be specific for each component. These results indicate that the p48 complex bound to the 26S proteasome is the EF-1 complex. MPF phosphorylated EF-1γ was shown to bind to the 26S proteasome. When EF-1γ is phosphorylated by MPF, the association is stabilized.
Conclusion
p48 bound to the 26S proteasome is identified as the EF-1γ. EF-1 complex is associated with the 26S proteasome in Xenopus oocytes and the interaction is stabilized by MPF-mediated phosphorylation.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-6
PMCID: PMC179889  PMID: 12864926
14.  Distal hinge of plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 involves its latency transition and specificities toward serine proteases 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:5.
Background
The plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) spontaneously converts from an inhibitory into a latent form. Specificity of PAI-1 is mainly determined by its reactive site (Arg346-Met347), which interacts with serine residue of tissue-type plasminogen activator (tPA) with concomitant formation of SDS-stable complex. Other sites may also play roles in determining the specificity of PAI-1 toward serine proteases.
Results
To understand more about the role of distal hinge for PAI-1 specificities towards serine proteases and for its conformational transition, wild type PAI-1 and its mutants were expressed in baculovirus system. WtPAI-1 was found to be about 12 fold more active than the fibrosarcoma PAI-1. Single site mutants within the Asp355-Arg356-Pro357 segment of PAI-1 yield guanidine activatable inhibitors (a) that can still form SDS stable complexes with tPA and urokinase plasminogen activator (uPA), and (b) that have inhibition rate constants towards plasminogen activators which resemble those of the fibrosarcoma inhibitor. More importantly, latency conversion rate of these mutants was found to be ~3–4 fold faster than that of wtPAI-1. We also tested if Glu351 is important for serine protease specificity. The functional stability of wtPAI-1, Glu351Ala, Glu351Arg was about 18 ± 5, 90 ± 8 and 14 ± 3 minutes, respectively, which correlated well with both their corresponding specific activities (84 ± 15 U/ug, 112 ± 18 U/ug and 68 ± 9 U/ug, respectively) and amount of SDS-stable complex formed with tPA after denatured by Guanidine-HCl and dialyzed against 50 mM sodium acetate at 4°C. The second-order rate constants of inhibition for uPA, plasmin and thrombin by Glu351Ala and Glu351Arg were increased about 2–10 folds compared to wtPAI-1, but there was no change for tPA.
Conclusion
The Asp355-Pro357 segment and Glu351 in distal hinge are involved in maintaining the inhibitory conformation of PAI-1. Glu351 is a specificity determinant of PAI-1 toward uPA, plasmin and thrombin, but not for tPA.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-5
PMCID: PMC179894  PMID: 12848892
Plasminogen-activator inhibitor-1; tissue-type plasminogen activator; serine protease specificity; latency transition; serpin; site mutation
15.  The yeast ISN1 (YOR155c) gene encodes a new type of IMP-specific 5'-nucleotidase 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:4.
Background
The purine salvage enzyme inosine 5'-monophosphate (IMP)-specific 5'-nucleotidase catalyzes degradation of IMP to inosine. Although this enzymatic activity has been purified and characterized in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the gene encoding IMP 5'-nucleotidase had not been identified.
Results
Mass spectrometry analysis of several peptides of this enzyme purified from yeast allowed identification of the corresponding gene as YOR155c, an open reading frame of unknown function, renamed ISN1. The deduced Isn1p sequence was clearly not homologous to 5'-nucleotidases from other species. However, significant similarities to Isn1p were found in proteins of unknown function from Neurospora crassa, Plasmodium falciparum and several yeast species. Knock-out of ISN1 resulted in the total loss of IMP-specific 5'-nucleotidase activity, thus confirming that the ISN1 gene indeed encodes the enzymatic activity purified from yeast. In vivo studies revealed that, when IMP is overproduced through constitutive activation of the IMP de novo synthesis pathway, ISN1 is required for excretion of inosine and hypoxanthine in the medium.
Conclusion
We have identified a new yeast gene, ISN1 (YOR155c), as encoding IMP-specific 5'-nucleotidase activity. The ISN1 gene defines a new type of 5'-nucleotidase which was demonstrated to be functional in vivo.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-4
PMCID: PMC156364  PMID: 12735798
16.  Interactions between co-expressed Arabidopsis sucrose transporters in the split-ubiquitin system 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:3.
Background
The Arabidopsis genome contains nine sucrose transporter paralogs falling into three clades: SUT1-like, SUT2 and SUT4. The carriers differ in their kinetic properties. Many transport proteins are known to exist as oligomers. The yeast-based split ubiquitin system can be used to analyze the ability of membrane proteins to interact.
Results
Promoter-GUS fusions were used to analyze the cellular expression of the three transporter genes in transgenic Arabidopsis plants. All three fusion genes are co-expressed in companion cells. Protein-protein interactions between Arabidopsis sucrose transporters were tested using the split ubiquitin system. Three paralogous sucrose transporters are capable of interacting as either homo- or heteromers. The interactions are specific, since a potassium channel and a glucose transporter did not show interaction with sucrose transporters. Also the biosynthetic and metabolizing enzymes, sucrose phosphate phosphatase and sucrose synthase, which were found to be at least in part bound to the plasma membrane, did not specifically interact with sucrose transporters.
Conclusions
The split-ubiquitin system provides a powerful tool to detect potential interactions between plant membrane proteins by heterologous expression in yeast, and can be used to screen for interactions with membrane proteins as baits. Like other membrane proteins, the Arabidopsis sucrose transporters are able to form oligomers. The biochemical approaches are required to confirm the in planta interaction.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-3
PMCID: PMC153512  PMID: 12689351
split-ubiquitin system; sucrose transporter; membrane protein; protein-protein interaction; regulation; companion cells
17.  Measurement of peroxisomal enzyme activities in the liver of brown trout (Salmo trutta), using spectrophotometric methods 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:2.
Background
This study was aimed primarily at testing in the liver of brown trout (Salmo trutta) spectrophotometric methods previously used to measure the activities of catalase and hydrogen peroxide producing oxidases in mammals. To evaluate the influence of temperature on the activities of those peroxisomal enzymes was the second objective. A third goal of this work was the study of enzyme distribution in crude cell fractions of brown trout liver.
Results
The assays revealed a linear increase in the activity of all peroxisomal enzymes as the temperature rose from 10° to 37°C. However, while the activities of hydrogen peroxide producing oxidases were strongly influenced by temperature, catalase activity was only slightly affected. A crude fraction enriched with peroxisomes was obtained by differential centrifugation of liver homogenates, and the contamination by other organelles was evaluated by the activities of marker enzymes for mitochondria (succinate dehydrogenase), lysosomes (aryl sulphatase) and microsomes (NADPH cytochrome c reductase). For peroxisomal enzymes, the activities per mg of protein (specific activity) in liver homogenates were strongly correlated with the activities per g of liver and with the total activities per liver. These correlations were not obtained with crude peroxisomal fractions.
Conclusions
The spectrophotometric protocols originally used to quantify the activity of mammalian peroxisomal enzymes can be successfully applied to the study of those enzymes in brown trout. Because the activity of all studied peroxisomal enzymes rose in a linear mode with temperature, their activities can be correctly measured between 10° and 37°C. Probably due to contamination by other organelles and losses of soluble matrix enzymes during homogenisation, enzyme activities in crude peroxisomal fractions do not correlate with the activities in liver homogenates. Thus, total homogenates will be used in future seasonal and toxicological studies of brown trout peroxisomes.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-2
PMCID: PMC153543  PMID: 12697068
18.  Glycosaminoglycans in human retinoblastoma cells: Heparan sulfate, a modulator of the pigment epithelium-derived factor-receptor interactions 
BMC Biochemistry  2003;4:1.
Background
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) has binding affinity for cell-surface receptors in retinoblastoma cells and for glycosaminoglycans. We investigated the effects of glycosaminoglycans on PEDF-receptor interactions.
Results
125I-PEDF formed complexes with protease-resistant components of medium conditioned by human retinoblastoma Y-79 cells. Using specific glycosaminoglycan degrading enzymes in spectrophotometric assays and PEDF-affinity chromatography, we detected heparin and heparan sulfate-like glycosaminoglycans in the Y-79 conditioned media, which had binding affinity for PEDF. The Y-79 conditioned media significantly enhanced the binding of 125I-PEDF to Y-79 cell-surface receptors. However, enzymatic and chemical depletion of sulfated glycosaminoglycans from the Y-79 cell cultures by heparitinase and chlorate treatments decreased the degree of 125I-PEDF binding to cell-surface receptors.
Conclusions
These data indicate that retinoblastoma cells secrete heparin/heparan sulfate with binding affinity for PEDF, which may be important in efficient cell-surface receptor binding.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-4-1
PMCID: PMC151665  PMID: 12625842
PEDF; glycosaminoglycans; heparan sulfate; heparin; retinoblastoma cells; receptor binding

Results 1-18 (18)