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See detailThree factors that modulate the activity of class D β-lactamases and interfere with the post-translational carboxylation of Lys 70
Vercheval, Lionel ULg; Di Paolo, Alexandre ULg; Borel, Franck et al

in Biochemical Journal (2010), 432(3), 495-504

Lys-70 carboxylation in the active site of class D β lactamases is essential for their activity. Structural, kinetic and affinity studies show that this post-translational modification can be affected by ... [more ▼]

Lys-70 carboxylation in the active site of class D β lactamases is essential for their activity. Structural, kinetic and affinity studies show that this post-translational modification can be affected by the presence of a poor substrate such as moxalactam but also by the V117T substitution. Val-117 is a strictly conserved hydrophobic residue located in the active site. In addition, inhibition of class D β lactamases by chloride ions is due to a competition between the side chain carboxylate of the modified Lys 70 and chloride ions. Determination of the individual kinetic constants shows that the deacylation of the acyl-enzyme is the rate limiting step for the wild type OXA 10 β lactamase. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of camelid single-domain antibody fragments raised against proteins containing polyglutamine expansions
Pain, Coralie ULg; Scarafone, Natacha; Jaspar, Aurélie et al

Poster (2010, October 14)

Nine progressive neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract above a threshold size (~ 35-45 residues) into nine different proteins [1]. These proteins ... [more ▼]

Nine progressive neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the expansion of a polyglutamine (polyQ) tract above a threshold size (~ 35-45 residues) into nine different proteins [1]. These proteins with expanded polyQ repeats have been found to form intranuclear amyloid-like aggregates, and the formation of these aggregates could play an important role in the pathogenesis [2-4]. The polyQ expansion is the only common feature among the proteins involved, suggesting it may be responsible for the aggregation phenomenon. Understanding the molecular mechanism by which the polyQ expansions promote aggregation is therefore crucial for the development of therapeutic strategies. The nine proteins associated with polyQ diseases are difficult to express recombinantly due to their big size and/or their insoluble character. In order to get further insights into the mechanism by which polyQ tracts promote aggregation, we have therefore decided to insert polyQ sequences into a well studied protein, the b-lactamase BlaP from B. licheniformis [5-6]. We have created chimeras containing 23, 30, 55, and 79 glutamines and we have investigated the effects of the insertions on the activity, the structure, the stability of BlaP as well as on its aggregating properties. Preliminary results indicate that BlaP is a good framework to study the molecular mechanism of aggregation associated with expanded polyglutamine tracts. On another hand, our previous work on the amyloidogenic variants of human lysozyme has shown that camelid single domain antibody fragments are very powerful structural probes to understand, at the molecular level, the mechanism of amyloid fibril formation [7]. Moreover, a recent study has suggested that expanded polyQ strectches adopt multiple conformations in solution that can be readily distinguished by monoclonal antibodies [8]. Altogether these results have encouraged us to generate VHHs against our different chimeras and we present here our preliminary results. References [1] Orr and Zoghbi (2007) Annu Rev Neurosci 30, 575-621. [2] DiFiglia et al. (1997) Science 277, 1990-1993. [3] Paulson HL (2000) Brain Pathol 10, 293-299. [4] Sanchez I. et al. (2003) Nature 421, 373-379. [5] Scarafone N. (2008) Mémoire de DEA en Sciences. Université de Liège. [6] Pain C. (2009) Mémoire de Master en Biochimie. Université de Liège. [7] Dumoulin et al. (2003) Nature 424, 783-788. [8] Legleiter J. et al. (2009) J Biol Chem 284, 21647-21648. [less ▲]

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See detailA Tripeptide Deletion in the Class C beta-Lactamase FOX-4 Enzyme Impairs Cefoxitin Hydrolysis and Slightly Increases Susceptibility to beta-Lactamase Inhibitors
Mallo, Susana; Pérez-Llarena, Francisco J.; Kerff, Frédéric ULg et al

in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy (2010), 65(6), 1187-94

OBJECTIVES: A natural variant of the AmpC enzyme from Escherichia coli HKY28 with a tripeptide deletion (Gly-286/Ser-287/Asp-288) was recently described. The isolate produced an inhibitor-sensitive AmpC ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: A natural variant of the AmpC enzyme from Escherichia coli HKY28 with a tripeptide deletion (Gly-286/Ser-287/Asp-288) was recently described. The isolate produced an inhibitor-sensitive AmpC beta-lactamase variant that also conferred higher than usual levels of resistance to ceftazidime in the E. coli host. To demonstrate whether this is true in other class C beta-lactamase enzymes, we deleted the equivalent tripeptide in the FOX-4 plasmid-mediated class C beta-lactamase. METHODS: By site-directed mutagenesis, we deleted the tripeptide Gly-306/Asn-307/Ser-308 of FOX-4, thus generating FOX-4(DeltaGNS). The enzymes (FOX-4 wild-type and DeltaGNS) were purified and kinetic parameters (kcat, Km, kcat/Km) as well as IC50 values of several beta-lactams were assessed. Modelling studies were also performed. RESULTS: FOX-4(DeltaGNS) did not increase the catalytic efficiency towards ceftazidime, although it conferred a slight increase in the susceptibility to beta-lactamase inhibitors. There was also a noteworthy decrease in the cefoxitin MIC with the FOX-4(DeltaGNS) mutant (from 512 to 16 mg/L) as well as a 10-fold decrease in kcat/Km towards imipenem, which revealed specific structural features. CONCLUSIONS: Although deletions in the R2-loop are able to extend the substrate spectrum of class C enzymes, the present results do not confirm this hypothesis in FOX-4. The FOX-4 R2 site would already be wide enough to accommodate antibiotic molecules, and thus any amino acid replacement or deletion at this location would not affect the hydrolytic efficiency towards beta-lactams and would have a less drastic effect on the susceptibility to beta-lactamase inhibitors. [less ▲]

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See detailCurrent challenges in antimicrobial chemotherapy: focus on beta-lactamase inhibition.
Bebrone, Carine ULg; Lassaux, Patricia ULg; Vercheval, Lionel ULg et al

in Drugs (2010), 70(6)

The use of the three classical beta-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam, sulbactam) in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics is currently the most successful strategy to combat the beta ... [more ▼]

The use of the three classical beta-lactamase inhibitors (clavulanic acid, tazobactam, sulbactam) in combination with beta-lactam antibiotics is currently the most successful strategy to combat the beta-lactamase mediated resistance. However, these inhibitors are efficient in inactivating class A beta-lactamases only and the efficiency of the inhibitor/antibiotic combination can be compromised by several mechanisms among which the production of naturally resistant class B or class D enzymes, the hyperproduction of AmpC or even the production of evolved inhibitor-resistant class A enzymes. There is thus an urgent need in the development of novel inhibitors. For serine active enzymes (classes A, C and D), derivatives of the beta-lactam ring such as 6-beta-halogenopenicillanates, beta-lactam sulfones, penems and oxapenems, monobactams or trinems seem to be potential starting points to design efficient molecules (among which AM-112 and LK-157). Moreover, a promising non-beta-lactam molecule, NXL-104 is now under clinical trial. In contrast, an ideal inhibitor of metallo-beta-lactamases (class B) remains to be found, despite the huge number of potential molecules already described (biphenyl tetrazoles, cysteinyl peptides, mercaptocarboxylates, succinic acid derivatives, etc). The search for such an inhibitor is complicated by the absence of a covalent intermediate in their catalytic mechanisms and the fact that beta-lactam derivatives often behave as substrates rather than as inhibitors. Currently, the most promising broad spectrum inhibitors of class B enzymes are molecules presenting chelating groups (thiols, carboxylates, etc) combined with an aromatic group. This review describes all the types of molecules already tested as potential beta-lactamase inhibitors and thus constitutes an update of the current status in beta-lactamase inhibitor discovery. [less ▲]

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See detailInsights into the metagenomic approach : identification and characterization of cellulases involved in bacterial cellulose synthesis
Berlemont, Renaud ULg; Delsaute, Maud ULg; Galleni, Moreno ULg

Conference (2010, March 22)

the mining of an Antarctic soil sample by functional metagenomics allowed the isolation of a cold-adapted protein (RBcel1) that hydrolyzes only carboxymethyl cellulose. The new enzyme is related to family ... [more ▼]

the mining of an Antarctic soil sample by functional metagenomics allowed the isolation of a cold-adapted protein (RBcel1) that hydrolyzes only carboxymethyl cellulose. The new enzyme is related to family 5 of the glycosyl hydrolase (GH5) protein from Pseudomonas stutzeri (Pst_2494) and does not possess a carbohydrate-binding domain. The protein was produced and purified to homogeneity. RBcel1 displayed an endoglucanase activity, producing cellobiose and cellotriose, using carboxymethyl cellulose as a substrate. Moreover, the study of pH and the thermal dependence of the hydrolytic activity shows that RBcel1 was active from pH 6 to pH 9 and remained significantly active when temperature decreased (18% of activity at 10 1C). It is interesting that RBcel1 was able to synthetize non-reticulated cellulose using cellobiose as a substrate. Moreover, by a combination of bioinformatics and enzyme analysis, the physiological relevance of the RBcel1 protein and its mesophilic homologous Pst_2494 protein from P. stutzeri, A1501, was established as the key enzymes involved in the production of cellulose by bacteria. In addition, RBcel1 and Pst_2494 are the two primary enzymes belonging to the GH5 family involved in this process. [less ▲]

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See detailMercaptophosphonate Compounds as Broad-Spectrum Inhibitors of the Metallo-β-lactamases
Lassaux, Patricia; Hamel, Matthieu; Gulea, Mihaela et al

in Journal of Medicinal Chemistry (2010), 53

In this paper, we investigated the inhibitory effect of mercaptophosphonate derivatives against the three subclasses of MBLs (B1, B2, and B3). All 14 tested mercaptophosphonates, with the exception of one ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we investigated the inhibitory effect of mercaptophosphonate derivatives against the three subclasses of MBLs (B1, B2, and B3). All 14 tested mercaptophosphonates, with the exception of one, behaved as competitive inhibitors for the three subclasses. <br />Apart from two compounds, all the mercaptophosphonates tested exhibit a good inhibitory effect on the subclass B2 MBL CphA with low inhibition constants (Ki<15 μM). Interestingly, compound 18 turned out to be a potent broad spectrum MBL inhibitor. <br />The crystallographic structures of the CphA-10a and CphA-18 complexes indicated that the sulfur atom of 10a and the phosphonato group of 18 interact with the Zn2þ ion, respectively. Molecular modeling studies of the interactions between two compounds and the VIM-4 (B1), CphA (B2), and FEZ-1 (B3) enzymes brought to light different binding modes depending on the enzyme and the inhibitor, consistent with the crystallographic structures. [less ▲]

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See detailCA1838, A NANOBODY INHIBITING THE METALLO-β-LACTAMASE VIM-4.
Sohier, Jean ULg; Laurent, Clémentine ULg; Pardon, Els et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailcAbVIM4, a nanobody inhibiting the metallo-β-lactamase VIM-4
Sohier, Jean ULg; Laurent, Clémentine ULg; Pardon, Els et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailThymic self-antigens for the design of a negative/tolerogenic self-vaccination against type 1 diabetes.
Geenen, Vincent ULg; Mottet, Marie ULg; Dardenne, Olivier ULg et al

in Current Opinion in Pharmacology (2010), 10

Before being able to react against infectious non-self antigens, the immune system has to be educated in the recognition and tolerance of neuroendocrine proteins and this critical process takes place only ... [more ▼]

Before being able to react against infectious non-self antigens, the immune system has to be educated in the recognition and tolerance of neuroendocrine proteins and this critical process takes place only in the thymus. The development of the autoimmune diabetogenic response results from a thymus dysfunction in programming central self-tolerance to pancreatic insulin-secreting islet β cells, leading to the breakdown of immune homeostasis with an enrichment of islet β-cell reactive effector T cells and a deficiency of β-cell specific natural regulatory T cells (nTregs) in the peripheral T-lymphocyte repertoire. Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF-2) is the dominant member of the insulin family expressed during fetal life by the thymic epithelium under the control of the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene/protein. The very low degree of insulin gene transcription in normal murine and human thymus explains why the insulin protein is poorly tolerogenic as evidenced in many studies, including the failure of all clinical trials that have attempted immune tolerance to islet β cells via various methods of insulin administration. Based on the close homology and cross-tolerance between insulin, the primary T1D autoantigen, and IGF-2, the dominant self-antigen of the insulin family, a novel type of vaccination, so-called “negative/tolerogenic self-vaccination”, is currently being developed for prevention and cure of T1D. If this approach were found to be effective for reprogramming immunological tolerance in T1D, it could pave the way for the design of other self-vaccines against autoimmune endocrine diseases, as well as other organ-specific autoimmune diseases. [less ▲]

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See detailCellulases catalysed cellulose polymerisation
Delsaute, Maud ULg; Berlemont, Renaud ULg; Renson, Thomas ULg et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailCharacterisation of B1 metallo-beta-lactamase inhibition by VHHs
Sohier, Jean ULg; Laurent, Clémentine ULg; Chevigné, Andy et al

Poster (2010)

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See detailSecreted subtilisin Sub3 from Microsporum canis is required for adherence to but not for invasion of the epidermis
Baldo, Aline ULg; Mathy, Anne ULg; Tabart, J. et al

in British Journal of Dermatology (2010), 162(5), 990-997

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See detailCarbohydrate actives enzymes derived from metagenomes: from microbial ecology to enzymology
Berlemont, Renaud ULg; Galleni, Moreno ULg

in Li, Robert W. (Ed.) Metagenomics and its Applications in Agriculture, Biomedicine and Environmental Studies (2010)

In the last ten years, the intensive mining of various environmental metagenomes has led to the discovery of numerous new genes and corresponding putative enzymes. Some enzymes were isolated for their ... [more ▼]

In the last ten years, the intensive mining of various environmental metagenomes has led to the discovery of numerous new genes and corresponding putative enzymes. Some enzymes were isolated for their ability to hydrolyze carbohydrates, including starch, xylan, chitin and cellulose derivatives. The accurate characterization of these proteins highlights their variability and their biophysical adaptation in order to cope with specific environmental conditions. In this perspective, the sampling of extreme environments for metagenomic library construction resulted in the isolation of enzymes harbouring tailor made properties aimed at their implementation in various industrial processes. Although these new catalysts appear to be of particular interest for biotechnological applications, little is known about their physiological functions in their natural host. In the field of glycosides hydrolases, different functions have been suggested including both hydrolysis and synthesis of polymers. On the one hand, indeed in the environment microorganisms compete for ecological niches by producing enzymes active against vast ranges of substrates which allow them to thrive on various carbon sources. On the other hand, production of structural (cellulose) or reserve (glycogen) polymers by bacteria such as Gluconacetobacter sp. was reported. Polysaccharides can be associated with bacterial biofilm and feed stock, compounds that are required for bacteria to live in various environments. Interestingly, the synthesis of these polymers requires enzymes which act on carbohydrate including enzymes referred to as glycoside hydrolases acting as transglycosylases. In this chapter, a review of the representative glycoside hydrolases isolated by metagenomic and their possible physiological functions are presented. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative study of mature and zymogen mite cysteine protease stability and pH unfolding.
Chevigne, A.; Dumez, Marie-Eve ULg; Dumoulin, Mireille ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (2010), 1800(9), 937-945

BACKGROUND: Papain-like proteases (CA1) are synthesized as inactive precursors carrying an N-terminal propeptide, which is further removed under acidic conditions to generate active enzymes. METHODS: To ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Papain-like proteases (CA1) are synthesized as inactive precursors carrying an N-terminal propeptide, which is further removed under acidic conditions to generate active enzymes. METHODS: To have a better insight into the mechanism of activation of this protease family, we compared the pH unfolding of the zymogen and the mature form of the mite cysteine protease Der p 1. RESULTS: We showed that the presence of the propeptide does not significantly influence the pH-induced unfolding of the catalytic domain but does affect its fluorescence properties by modifying the exposure of the tryptophan 192 to the solvent. In addition, we demonstrated that the propeptide displays weaker pH stability than the protease domain confirming that the unfolding of the propeptide is the key event in the activation process of the zymogen. GENERAL SIGNIFICANCE: Finally, we show, using thermal denaturation and enzymatic activity measurements, that whatever the pH value, the propeptide does not stabilize the structure of the catalytic domain but very interestingly, prevents its autolysis. [less ▲]

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See detailInhibitors of VIM-2 by screening pharmacologically active and click-chemistry compound libraries
Minond, D.; Saldanha, S. A.; Spaargaren, M. et al

in Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry (2009), 17

VIM-2 is an Ambler class B metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) capable of hydrolyzing a broad-spectrum of beta-lactam antibiotics. Although the discovery and development of MBL inhibitors continue to be an area ... [more ▼]

VIM-2 is an Ambler class B metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL) capable of hydrolyzing a broad-spectrum of beta-lactam antibiotics. Although the discovery and development of MBL inhibitors continue to be an area of active research, an array of potent, small molecule inhibitors is yet to be fully characterized for VIM-2. In the presented research, a compound library screening approach was used to identify and characterize VIM-2 inhibitors from a library of pharmacologically active compounds as well as a focused 'click' chemistry library. The four most potent VIM-2 inhibitors resulting from a VIM-2 screen were characterized by kinetic studies in order to determine K(i) and mechanism of enzyme inhibition. As a result, two previously described pharmacologic agents, mitoxantrone (1,4-dihydroxy-5,8-bis([2-([2-hydroxyethyl]amino)ethyl]amino)-9,10-anthracenedione) and 4-chloromercuribenzoic acid (pCMB) were found to be active, the former as a non-competitive inhibitor (K(i)=K(i)(')=1.5+/-0.2microM) and the latter as a slowly reversible or irreversible inhibitor. Additionally, two novel sulfonyl-triazole analogs from the click library were identified as potent, competitive VIM-2 inhibitors: N-((4-((but-3-ynyloxy)methyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-5-yl)methyl)-4-iodobenzenesulfonamide (1, K(i)=0.41+/-0.03microM) and 4-iodo-N-((4-(methoxymethyl)-1H-1,2,3-triazol-5-yl)methyl)benzenesulfonamide (2, K(i)=1.4+/-0.10microM). Mitoxantrone and pCMB were also found to potentiate imipenem efficacy in MIC and synergy assays employing Escherichia coli. Taken together, all four compounds represent useful chemical probes to further investigate mechanisms of VIM-2 inhibition in biochemical and microbiology-based assays. [less ▲]

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See detailInsights into bacterial cellulose biosynthesis by functional metagenomics on Antarctic soil samples.
Berlemont, Renaud ULg; Delsaute, Maud ULg; Pipers, Delphine ULg et al

in ISME Journal (The) (2009), 3(9), 1070-1081

In this study, the mining of an Antarctic soil sample by functional metagenomics allowed the isolation of a cold-adapted protein (RBcel1) that hydrolyzes only carboxymethyl cellulose. The new enzyme is ... [more ▼]

In this study, the mining of an Antarctic soil sample by functional metagenomics allowed the isolation of a cold-adapted protein (RBcel1) that hydrolyzes only carboxymethyl cellulose. The new enzyme is related to family 5 of the glycosyl hydrolase (GH5) protein from Pseudomonas stutzeri (Pst_2494) and does not possess a carbohydrate-binding domain. The protein was produced and purified to homogeneity. RBcel1 displayed an endoglucanase activity, producing cellobiose and cellotriose, using carboxymethyl cellulose as a substrate. Moreover, the study of pH and the thermal dependence of the hydrolytic activity shows that RBcel1 was active from pH 6 to pH 9 and remained significantly active when temperature decreased (18% of activity at 10 degrees C). It is interesting that RBcel1 was able to synthetize non-reticulated cellulose using cellobiose as a substrate. Moreover, by a combination of bioinformatics and enzyme analysis, the physiological relevance of the RBcel1 protein and its mesophilic homologous Pst_2494 protein from P. stutzeri, A1501, was established as the key enzymes involved in the production of cellulose by bacteria. In addition, RBcel1 and Pst_2494 are the two primary enzymes belonging to the GH5 family involved in this process.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 21 May 2009; doi:10.1038/ismej.2009.48. [less ▲]

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