Matching Items (167)
- All Subjects: Biochemistry
- Genre: Doctoral Dissertation
- Creators: Arizona State University
Insights into the role of the metal-binding sites of quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase from Bacillus subtilis
The metalloenzyme quercetin 2,3-dioxygenase (QueD) catalyzes the oxidative decomposition of the aromatic compound, quercetin. The most recently characterized example is a product of the bacterium Bacillus subtilis (BsQueD); all previous examples were fungal enzymes from the genus Aspergillus (AQueD). AQueD contains a single atom of Cu(II) per monomer. However, BsQueD, over expressed in Escherichia coli, contains Mn(II) and has two metal-binding sites, and therefore two possible active sites per monomer. To understand the contribution of each site to BsQueD's activity, the N-terminal and C-terminal metal-binding sites have been mutated individually in an effort to disrupt metal binding. In wild type BsQueD, each Mn(II) is ligated by three histidines (His) and one glutamate (Glu). All efforts to mutate His residues to non-ligating residues resulted in insoluble protein or completely inactive enzyme. A soluble mutant was expressed that replaced the Glu residue with a fourth His at the N-terminal domain. This mutant (E69H) has a specific activity of 0.00572 &mumol;/min/mg, which is nearly 3000-fold lower than the rate of wild type BsQueD (15.9 &mumol;/min/mg). Further analysis of E69H by inductively couple plasma mass spectrometry revealed that this mutant contains only 0.062 mol of Mn(II) per mol of enzyme. This is evidence that disabling metal-ligation at one domain influences metal-incorporation at the other. During the course of the mutagenic study, a second, faster purification method was developed. A hexahistidine tag and an enterokinase cleavage site were fused to the N-terminus of BsQueD (6xHis-BsQueD). Active enzyme was successfully expressed and purified with a nickel column in 3 hours. This is much faster than the previous multi-column purification, which took two full days to complete. However, the concentration of soluble, purified enzyme (1.8 mg/mL) was much lower than concentrations achieved with the traditional method (30 mg/mL). While the concentration of 6xHis-BsQueD is sufficient for some analyses, there are several characterization techniques that must be conducted at higher concentrations. Therefore, it will be advantageous to continue using both purification methods in the future.
Isolation, purification and characterization of photosynthetic membrane proteins from Galdieria sulphuraria and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii
In oxygenic photosynthesis, Photosystem I (PSI) and Photosystem II (PSII) are two transmembrane protein complexes that catalyze the main step of energy conversion; the light induced charge separation that drives an electron transfer reaction across the thylakoid membrane. Current knowledge of the structure of PSI and PSII is based on three structures: PSI and PSII from the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus elonagatus and the PSI/light harvesting complex I (PSI-LHCI) of the plant, Pisum sativum. To improve the knowledge of these important membrane protein complexes from a wider spectrum of photosynthetic organisms, photosynthetic apparatus of the thermo-acidophilic red alga, Galdieria sulphuraria and the green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii were studied. Galdieria sulphuraria grows in extreme habitats such as hot sulfur springs with pH values from 0 to 4 and temperatures up to 56°C. In this study, both membrane protein complexes, PSI and PSII were isolated from this organism and characterized. Ultra-fast fluorescence spectroscopy and electron microscopy studies of PSI-LHCI supercomplexes illustrate how this organism has adapted to low light environmental conditions by tightly coupling PSI and LHC, which have not been observed in any organism so far. This result highlights the importance of structure-function relationships in different ecosystems. Galdieria sulphuraria PSII was used as a model protein to show the amenability of integral membrane proteins to top-down mass spectrometry. G.sulphuraria PSII has been characterized with unprecedented detail with identification of post translational modification of all the PSII subunits. This study is a technology advancement paving the way for the usage of top-down mass spectrometry for characterization of other large integral membrane proteins. The green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is widely used as a model for eukaryotic photosynthesis and results from this organism can be extrapolated to other eukaryotes, especially agricultural crops. Structural and functional studies on the PSI-LHCI complex of C.reinhardtii grown under high salt conditions were studied using ultra-fast fluorescence spectroscopy, circular dichroism and MALDI-TOF. Results revealed that pigment-pigment interactions in light harvesting complexes are disrupted and the acceptor side (ferredoxin docking side) is damaged under high salt conditions.
A novel small metal-binding protein (SmbP), with only 93 residues and no similarity to other known proteins, has been isolated from the periplasm of Nitrosomonas europaea. It is characterized by its high percentage (17%) of histidines, a motif of ten repeats of seven residues, a four α-helix bundle structure, and a high binding affinity to about six equivalents of Cu2+. The goal of this study is to investigate the Cu2+ binding sites in SmbP and to understand how Cu2+ stabilizes the protein. Preliminary folding experiments indicated that Cu2+ greatly stabilizes SmbP. In this study, protein folding data from circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy was used to elucidate the role of Cu2+ in stabilizing SmbP structure against unfolding induced by decreased pH, increased temperature, and chemical denaturants. The significant stabilization effects of Cu2+ were demonstrated by the observation that Cu2+-SmbP remained fully folded under extreme environmental conditions, such as acidic pH, 96 °C, and 8 M urea. Also, it was shown that Cu2+ is able to induce the refolding of unfolded SmbP in acidic solutions. These findings imply that the coordination of Cu2+ to histidine residues is responsible for the stabilization effects. The crystal structure of SmbP without Cu2+ has been determined. However, attempts to crystallize Cu2+-SmbP have not been successful. In this study, multidimensional NMR experiments were conducted in order to gain additional information regarding the Cu2+-SmbP structure, in particular its metal binding sites. Unambiguous resonance assignments were successfully made. Cα secondary chemical shifts confirmed that SmbP has a four α-helical structure. A Cu2+-protein titration experiment monitored by NMR indicated a top-to-bottom, sequential metal binding pattern for SmbP. In addition, several bioinformatics tools were used to complement the experimental approach and identity of the ligands in Cu2+-binding sites in SmbP is proposed.
In eukaryotes, DNA is packed in a highly condensed and hierarchically organized structure called chromatin, in which DNA tightly wraps around the histone octamer consisting of one histone 3-histone 4 (H3-H4) tetramer and two histone 2A- histone 2B (H2A-H2B) dimers with 147 base pairs in an almost two left handed turns. Almost all DNA dependent cellular processes, such as DNA duplication, transcription, DNA repair and recombination, take place in the chromatin form. Based on the critical importance of appropriate chromatin condensation, this thesis focused on the folding behavior of the nucleosome array reconstituted using different templates with various controllable factors such as histone tail modification, linker DNA length, and DNA binding proteins. Firstly, the folding behaviors of wild type (WT) and nucleosome arrays reconstituted with acetylation on the histone H4 at lysine 16 (H4K16 (Ac)) were studied. In contrast to the sedimentation result, atomic force microscopy (AFM) measurements revealed no apparent difference in the compact nucleosome arrays between WT and H4K16 (Ac) and WT. Instead, an optimal loading of nucleosome along the template was found necessary for the Mg2+ induced nucleosome array compaction. This finding leads to the further study on the role of linker DNA in the nucleosome compaction. A method of constructing DNA templates with varied linker DNA lengths was developed, and uniformly and randomly spaced nucleosome arrays with average linker DNA lengths of 30 bp and 60 bp were constructed. After comprehensive analyses of the nucleosome arrays' structure in mica surface, the lengths of the linker DNA were found playing an important role in controlling the structural geometries of nucleosome arrays in both their extended and compact forms. In addition, higher concentration of the DNA binding domain of the telomere repeat factor 2 (TRF2) was found to stimulate the compaction of the telomeric nucleosome array. Finally, AFM was successfully applied to investigate the nucleosome positioning behaviors on the Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus (MMTV) promoter region, and two highly positioned region corresponded to nucleosome A and B were identified by this method.
Structure-function study of telomerase RNA from evolutionary disparate species: remarkable divergence in gross architecture with the preservation of critical universal structural elements
Telomerase enzyme is a truly remarkable enzyme specialized for the addition of short, highly repetitive DNA sequences onto linear eukaryotic chromosome ends. The telomerase enzyme functions as a ribonucleoprotein, minimally composed of the highly conserved catalytic telomerase reverse transcriptase and essential telomerase RNA component containing an internalized short template region within the vastly larger non-coding RNA. Even among closely related groups of species, telomerase RNA is astonishingly divergent in sequence, length, and secondary structure. This massive disparity is highly prohibitive for telomerase RNA identification from previously unexplored groups of species, which is fundamental for secondary structure determination. Combined biochemical enrichment and computational screening methods were employed for the discovery of numerous telomerase RNAs from the poorly characterized echinoderm lineage. This resulted in the revelation that--while closely related to the vertebrate lineage and grossly resembling vertebrate telomerase RNA--the echinoderm telomerase RNA central domain varies extensively in structure and sequence, diverging even within echinoderms amongst sea urchins and brittle stars. Furthermore, the origins of telomerase RNA within the eukaryotic lineage have remained a persistent mystery. The ancient Trypanosoma telomerase RNA was previously identified, however, a functionally verified secondary structure remained elusive. Synthetic Trypanosoma telomerase was generated for molecular dissection of Trypanosoma telomerase RNA revealing two RNA domains functionally equivalent to those found in known telomerase RNAs, yet structurally distinct. This work demonstrates that telomerase RNA is uncommonly divergent in gross architecture, while retaining critical universal elements.
Molecular docking serves as an important tool in modeling protein-ligand interactions. Most of the docking approaches treat the protein receptor as rigid and move the ligand in the binding pocket through an energy minimization, which is an incorrect approach as proteins are flexible and undergo conformational changes upon ligand binding. However, modeling receptor backbone flexibility in docking is challenging and computationally expensive due to the large conformational space that needs to be sampled.
A novel flexible docking approach called BP-Dock (Backbone Perturbation docking) was developed to overcome this challenge. BP-Dock integrates both backbone and side chain conformational changes of a protein through a multi-scale approach. In BP-Dock, the residues along a protein chain are perturbed mimicking the binding induced event, with a small Brownian kick, one at a time. The fluctuation response profile of the chain upon these perturbations is computed by Perturbation Response Scanning (PRS) to generate multiple receptor conformations for ensemble docking. To evaluate the performance of BP-Dock, this approach was applied to a large and diverse dataset of unbound structures as receptors. Furthermore, the protein-peptide docking of PICK1-PDZ proteins was investigated. This study elucidates the determinants of PICK1-PDZ binding that plays crucial roles in numerous neurodegenerative disorders. BP-Dock approach was also extended to the challenging problem of protein-glycan docking and applied to analyze the energetics of glycan recognition in Cyanovirin-N (CVN), a cyanobacterial lectin that inhibits HIV by binding to its highly glycosylated envelope protein gp120. This study provide the energetic contribution of the individual residues lining the binding pocket of CVN and explore the effect of structural flexibility in the hinge region of CVN on glycan binding, which are also verified experimentally. Overall, these successful applications of BP-Dock highlight the importance of modeling backbone flexibility in docking that can have important implications in defining the binding properties of protein-ligand interactions.
Finally, an induced fit docking approach called Adaptive BP-Dock is presented that allows both protein and ligand conformational sampling during the docking. Adaptive BP-Dock can provide a faster and efficient docking approach for the virtual screening of novel targets for rational drug design and aid our understanding of protein-ligand interactions.
DNA nanotechnology is one of the most flourishing interdisciplinary research fields. Through the features of programmability and predictability, DNA nanostructures can be designed to self-assemble into a variety of periodic or aperiodic patterns of different shapes and length scales, and more importantly, they can be used as scaffolds for organizing other nanoparticles, proteins and chemical groups. By leveraging these molecules, DNA nanostructures can be used to direct the organization of complex bio-inspired materials that may serve as smart drug delivery systems and in vitro or in vivo bio-molecular computing and diagnostic devices. In this dissertation I describe a systematic study of the thermodynamic properties of complex DNA nanostructures, including 2D and 3D DNA origami, in order to understand their assembly, stability and functionality and inform future design endeavors. It is conceivable that a more thorough understanding of DNA self-assembly can be used to guide the structural design process and optimize the conditions for assembly, manipulation, and functionalization, thus benefiting both upstream design and downstream applications. As a biocompatible nanoscale motif, the successful integration, stabilization and separation of DNA nanostructures from cells/cell lysate suggests its potential to serve as a diagnostic platform at the cellular level. Here, DNA origami was used to capture and identify multiple T cell receptor mRNA species from single cells within a mixed cell population. This demonstrates the potential of DNA nanostructure as an ideal nano scale tool for biological applications.
Identification of structural mechanisms that modulate glycosaminoglycan affinity in various strains of decorin binding protein A
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a class of complex biomolecules comprised of linear, sulfated polysaccharides whose presence on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix involve them in many physiological phenomena as well as in interactions with pathogenic microbes. Decorin binding protein A (DBPA), a Borrelia surface lipoprotein involved in the infectivity of Lyme disease, is responsible for binding GAGs found on decorin, a small proteoglycan present in the extracellular matrix. Different DBPA strains have notable sequence heterogeneity that results in varying levels of GAG-binding affinity. In this dissertation, the structures and GAG-binding mechanisms for three strains of DBPA (B31 and N40 DBPAs from B. burgdorferi and PBr DBPA from B. garinii) are studied to determine why each strain has a different affinity for GAGs. These three strains have similar topologies consisting of five α-helices held together by a hydrophobic core as well as two long flexible segments: a linker between helices one and two and a C-terminal tail. This structural arrangement facilitates the formation of a basic pocket below the flexible linker which is the primary GAG-binding epitope. However, this GAG-binding site can be occluded by the flexible linker, which makes the linker a negative regulator of GAG-binding. ITC and NMR titrations provide KD values that show PBr DBPA binds GAGs with higher affinity than B31 and N40 DBPAs, while N40 binds with the lowest affinity of the three. Work in this thesis demonstrates that much of the discrepancies seen in GAG affinities of the three DBPAs can be explained by the amino acid composition and conformation of the linker. Mutagenesis studies show that B31 DBPA overcomes the pocket obstruction with the BXBB motif in its linker while PBr DBPA has a retracted linker that exposes the basic pocket as well as a secondary GAG-binding site. N40 DBPA, however, does not have any evolutionary modifications to its structure to enhance GAG binding which explains its lower affinity for GAGs. GMSA and ELISA assays, along with NMR PRE experiments, confirm that structural changes in the linker do affect GAG-binding and, as a result, the linker is responsible for regulating GAG affinity.
Isolation and functional studies of the F-type ATP synthase from spinach chloroplasts and Heliobacterium modesticaldum
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the universal chemical energy currency in most living cells, used to power many cellular reactions and generated by an enzyme supercomplex known as the ATP synthase, consisting of a hydrophilic F1 subcomplex and a membrane-bound FO subcomplex. Driven by the electrochemical gradient generated by the respiratory or photosynthetic electron transport chain, the rotation of the FO domain drives movements of the central stalk in response to conformational changes in the F1 domain, in which the physical energy is converted into chemical energy through the condensation of ADP and Pi to ATP. The exact mechanism how ATP synthesis is coupled to proton translocation is not known as no structure of the intact ATP-synthase nor the intact FO subcomplex has been determined to date. Structural information may shed light on these mechanisms and aid in understanding how structural changed relate to its coupling to ATP synthesis. The work in this thesis has successful established a defined large-scale CF1FO isolation procedure resulting in high purity and high yield of this complex from spinach thylakoid membranes by incorporating a unique combination of biochemical methods will form the basis for the subsequent structural determination of this complex. Isolation began from the isolation of intact chloroplasts and the separation of intact thylakoid membranes. Both native and denaturing electrophoresis analyses clearly demonstrated that the purified CF1FO retains its quaternary structure consisting of the CF1 and CFO subcomplexes and nine subunits (five F1 subunits: α, β, γ, δ and ε, and four FO subunits: a, b, b' and c). Moreover, both ATP synthesis and hydrolysis activities were successfully detected using protein reconstitution in combination with acid-base incubation and in-gel ATPase assays, respectively. Furthermore, the ATP-synthase of H. modesticaldum, an anaerobic photosynthetic bacterium, was also isolated and characterized at the biochemical level. These biochemical characterizations directly influenced recent studies on the high-resolution structure determination of intact CF1FO using electron crystallography on two-dimensional crystals. The availability of the functionally intact CF1FO purified at a large scale will lead to studies that investigate the possible crystallization conditions to ultimately determine its three-dimensional structure at atomic resolution.
Expression, purification, and crystallization of CTB-MPR₆₄₉_₆₈₄, a candidate mucosal vaccine component against HIV-1
CTB-MPR649-684 is a translational fusion protein consisting of the cholera toxin B subunit (CTB) and the conserved residues 649-684 of gp41 membrane proximal region (MPR). It is a candidate vaccine component aimed at early steps of the HIV-1 infection by blocking viral mucosal transmission. Bacterially produced CTB-MPR was previously shown to induce HIV-1 transcytosis-blocking antibodies in mice and rabbits. However, the induction of high-titer MPR specific antibodies with HIV-1 transcytosis blocking ability remains a challenge as the immuno-dominance of CTB overshadows the response to MPR. X-ray crystallography was used to investigate the structure of CTB-MPR with the goal of identifying potential solutions to improve the immune response of MPR. Various CTB-MPR variants were designed using different linkers connecting the two fusion proteins. The procedures for over-expression E. coli and purification have been optimized for each of the variants of CTB-MPR. The purity and oligomeric homogeneity of the fusion protein was demonstrated by electrophoresis, size-exclusion chromatography, dynamic light scattering, and immuno-blot analysis. Crystallization conditions for macroscopic and micro
ano-crystals have been established for the different variants of the fusion protein. Diffraction patterns were collected by using both conventional and serial femto-second crystallography techniques. The two crystallography techniques showed very interesting differences in both the crystal packing and unit cell dimensions of the same CTB-MPR construct. Although information has been gathered on CTB-MPR, the intact structure of fusion protein was not solved as the MPR region showed only weak electron density or was cleaved during crystallization of macroscopic crystals. The MPR region is present in micro
ano-crystals, but due to the severe limitation of the Free Electron Laser beamtime, only a partial data set was obtained and is insufficient for structure determination. However, the work of this thesis has established methods to purify large quantities of CTB-MPR and has established procedures to grow crystals for X-ray structure analysis. This has set the foundation for future structure determination experiments as well as immunization studies.