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See detailThe CCK(-like) receptor in the animal kingdom: functions, evolution and structures.
Staljanssens, Dorien; Azari, Elnaz Karimian; Christiaens, Olivier et al

in Peptides (2011), 32(3), 607-19

In this review, the cholecystokinin (CCK)(-like) receptors throughout the animal kingdom are compared on the level of physiological functions, evolutionary basis and molecular structure. In vertebrates ... [more ▼]

In this review, the cholecystokinin (CCK)(-like) receptors throughout the animal kingdom are compared on the level of physiological functions, evolutionary basis and molecular structure. In vertebrates, the CCK receptor is an important member of the G-protein coupled receptors as it is involved in the regulation of many physiological functions like satiety, gastrointestinal motility, gastric acid secretion, gall bladder contraction, pancreatic secretion, panic, anxiety and memory and learning processes. A homolog for this receptor is also found in nematodes and arthropods, called CK receptor and sulfakinin (SK) receptor, respectively. These receptors seem to have evolved from a common ancestor which is probably still closely related to the nematode CK receptor. The SK receptor is more closely related to the CCK receptor and seems to have similar functions. A molecular 3D-model for the CCK receptor type 1 has been built together with the docking of the natural ligands for the CCK and SK receptors in the CCK receptor type 1. These molecular models can help to study ligand-receptor interactions, that can in turn be useful in the development of new CCK(-like) receptor agonists and antagonists with beneficial health effects in humans or potential for pest control. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Pseudomonas aeruginosa membranes: A target for a new amphiphilic aminoglycoside derivative?
Ouberai, M.; El Garch, F.; Bussiere, A. et al

in Biochimica et biophysica acta (2011)

Aminoglycosides are among the most potent antimicrobials to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, the emergence of resistance has clearly led to a shortage of treatment options, especially for ... [more ▼]

Aminoglycosides are among the most potent antimicrobials to eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa. However, the emergence of resistance has clearly led to a shortage of treatment options, especially for critically ill patients. In the search for new antibiotics, we have synthesized derivatives of the small aminoglycoside, neamine. The amphiphilic aminoglycoside 3',4',6-tri-2-naphtylmethylene neamine (3',4',6-tri-2NM neamine) has appeared to be active against sensitive and resistant P. aeruginosa strains as well as Staphylococcus aureus strains (Baussanne et al., 2010). To understand the molecular mechanism involved, we determined the ability of 3',4',6-tri-2NM neamine to alter the protein synthesis and to interact with the bacterial membranes of P. aeruginosa or models mimicking these membranes. Using atomic force microscopy, we observed a decrease of P. aeruginosa cell thickness. In models of bacterial lipid membranes, we showed a lipid membrane permeabilization in agreement with the deep insertion of 3',4',6-tri-2NM neamine within lipid bilayer as predicted by modeling. This new amphiphilic aminoglycoside bound to lipopolysaccharides and induced P. aeruginosa membrane depolarization. All these effects were compared to those obtained with neamine, the disubstituted neamine derivative (3',6-di-2NM neamine), conventional aminoglycosides (neomycin B and gentamicin) as well as to compounds acting on lipid bilayers like colistin and chlorhexidine. All together, the data showed that naphthylmethyl neamine derivatives target the membrane of P. aeruginosa. This should offer promising prospects in the search for new antibacterials against drug- or biocide-resistant strains. [less ▲]

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See detailPeptides obliques: Etat des lieux
Lins, Laurence ULg

Conference (2010, November 17)

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See detailStudy of the specific lipid binding properties of Abêta 11-22 fragment at endosomal pH
Ravault, Stéphanie; Milon, Alain; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

Conference (2010, February)

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See detailRealistic modeling approaches of structure-function properties of CPPs in non-covalent complexes.
Thomas, Annick ULg; Lins, Laurence ULg; Divita, G. et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (2010)

Transfers of cargoes into cells by means of carrier peptides are multi-steps biological phenomenon the mechanisms of which are unclear. We here discuss bases of realistic in silico molecular modeling ... [more ▼]

Transfers of cargoes into cells by means of carrier peptides are multi-steps biological phenomenon the mechanisms of which are unclear. We here discuss bases of realistic in silico molecular modeling approaches of the formation of non-covalent complexes considering CPPs and cargo diversities. [less ▲]

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See detailAcylated and unacylatedghrelin binding to membranes and to ghrelin receptor: Towards a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms
Staes, Edith; Absil, Pierre-Antoine; Lins, Laurence ULg et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes (2010), 1798

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See detailPepLook Scale-Up Prediction of protein structures
Crowet, Jean-Marc ULg; Lins, Laurence ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

Poster (2009, August 27)

Besides experimental approaches for peptide structures determination which results often differ with assay conditions, there is, to our knowledge, only three in silico methods available for the prediction ... [more ▼]

Besides experimental approaches for peptide structures determination which results often differ with assay conditions, there is, to our knowledge, only three in silico methods available for the prediction of peptide structures: Pepstruct, Rosetta and PepLook. The latter was developed by the CBMN (1, 2) based on the fact that any protein PDB model can be re-constructed in silico using a restricted subset of φψ couples of angles (3). As PepLook was able to predict conformation of peptides and protein fragments, like cell penetrating peptides (CPPs) (1) and the hydrophobic segment of DGKє (4) with good accuracy, we are testing whether PepLook could be used for the prediction of complete protein structures. To reach this goal, PepLook is used to predict the conformation of peptidic fragments along the protein sequences. The sequence is scanned with different sizes of windows shifted along the sequence from the first to the last residue. For each sequence window, the 99 PepLook models of structure are analysed and compared to the PDB model. PepLook scans are running for five proteins, α-synuclein (1XQ8), a Zinc endoprotease (1C7K), Ubiquitin (1UBQ), Cytochrome b562 (256B) and Lysozyme (3LZT, 1AM7), using different window lengths (7, 9, 11, 15, 17, 21, 23 and 27 residues) by sliding steps of 1 residue. Since this approach requires huge calculation time, we present here the preliminary results. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of thermomyces ianuginosa lipase in the presence of tributyrylglycerol and water
Santini, Sébastien; Crowet, Jean-Marc ULg; Thomas, Annick ULg et al

in Biophysical Journal (2009), 96(12), 4814-4825

The Thermomyces lanuginosa lipase has been extensively studied in industrial and biotechnological research because of its potential for triacylglycerol transformation. This protein is known to catalyze ... [more ▼]

The Thermomyces lanuginosa lipase has been extensively studied in industrial and biotechnological research because of its potential for triacylglycerol transformation. This protein is known to catalyze both hydrolysis at high water contents and transesterification in quasi-anhydrous conditions. Here, we investigated the Thermomyces lanuginosa lipase structure in solution in the presence of a tributyrin aggregate using 30 ns molecular-dynamics simulations. The water content of the active-site groove was modified between the runs to focus on the protein-water molecule interactions and their implications for protein structure and protein-lipid interactions. The simulations confirmed the high plasticity of the lid fragment and showed that lipid molecules also bind to a secondary pocket beside the lid. Together, these results strongly suggest that the lid plays a role in the anchoring of the protein to the aggregate. The simulations also revealed the existence of a polar channel that connects the active-site groove to the outside solvent. At the inner extremity of this channel, a tyrosine makes hydrogen bonds with residues interacting with the catalytic triad. This system could function as a pipe (polar channel) controlled by a valve (the tyrosine) that could regulate the water content of the active site. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection and characterization of tilted peptides in amyloid proteins
Crowet, Jean-Marc ULg; Lins, Laurence ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg

Poster (2009, April 25)

The study of amyloidogenic proteins is of interest in biochemistry because these proteins undergo conformational changes and aggregation. Both processes are largely implicated in several diseases ... [more ▼]

The study of amyloidogenic proteins is of interest in biochemistry because these proteins undergo conformational changes and aggregation. Both processes are largely implicated in several diseases including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s or Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease. These phenomena are not completely understood, either at a structural or energetical point of view. Tilted peptides are short protein fragment (11 to 19 residues) that adopt a tilted orientation when inserted into biological membranes and destabilise them. Recently, tilted peptides have been detected in two amyloidogenic proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases; the amyloid  peptide responsible for Alzheimer’s disease, and the PrP protein that causes Creutzfeldt-Jakob’s disease. Tilted peptides could be responsible for the neurotoxic effects of these proteins. Due to their destabilising properties, they could interact directly with the membrane leading to cell death. Tilted peptides could also be involved in the transconformational process of the proteins. The aim of this work is to detect tilted fragments in other amyloidogenic proteins by molecular modelling and to study some of these peptides experimentally to evidence their lipid destabilizing properties, their structure and their toxicity. Twenty-four tilted peptides from 18 different proteins have been detected among 53 amyloidogenic proteins and 7 peptides were tested experimentally. The results support the hypothesis that some tilted peptides could be involved in transconformational processes and/or cytotoxicity related to amyloidogenic proteins. [less ▲]

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See detailPepLook Scale-Up: Prediction of protein structures
Crowet, Jean-Marc ULg; Brasseur, Robert ULg; Lins, Laurence ULg

Conference (2009, January 27)

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See detailC-terminal mutants of apolipoprotein L-I efficiently kill both Trypanosoma brucei brucei and Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense.
Lecordier, Laurence; Vanhollebeke, Benoit; Poelvoorde, Philippe et al

in PLoS Pathogens (2009), 5(12), 1000685

Apolipoprotein L-I (apoL1) is a human-specific serum protein that kills Trypanosoma brucei through ionic pore formation in endosomal membranes of the parasite. The T. brucei subspecies rhodesiense and ... [more ▼]

Apolipoprotein L-I (apoL1) is a human-specific serum protein that kills Trypanosoma brucei through ionic pore formation in endosomal membranes of the parasite. The T. brucei subspecies rhodesiense and gambiense resist this lytic activity and can infect humans, causing sleeping sickness. In the case of T. b. rhodesiense, resistance to lysis involves interaction of the Serum Resistance-Associated (SRA) protein with the C-terminal helix of apoL1. We undertook a mutational and deletional analysis of the C-terminal helix of apoL1 to investigate the linkage between interaction with SRA and lytic potential for different T. brucei subspecies. We confirm that the C-terminal helix is the SRA-interacting domain. Although in E. coli this domain was dispensable for ionic pore-forming activity, its interaction with SRA resulted in inhibition of this activity. Different mutations affecting the C-terminal helix reduced the interaction of apoL1 with SRA. However, mutants in the L370-L392 leucine zipper also lost in vitro trypanolytic activity. Truncating and/or mutating the C-terminal sequence of human apoL1 like that of apoL1-like sequences of Papio anubis resulted in both loss of interaction with SRA and acquired ability to efficiently kill human serum-resistant T. b. rhodesiense parasites, in vitro as well as in transgenic mice. These findings demonstrate that SRA interaction with the C-terminal helix of apoL1 inhibits its pore-forming activity and determines resistance of T. b. rhodesiense to human serum. In addition, they provide a possible explanation for the ability of Papio serum to kill T. b. rhodesiense, and offer a perspective to generate transgenic cattle resistant to both T. b. brucei and T. b. rhodesiense. [less ▲]

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See detailExosites Mediate The Anti-Inflammatory Effects Of A Multifunctional Serpin From The Saliva Of The Tick Ixodes Ricinus
Prevot, Pp.; Beschin, A.; Lins, Laurence ULg et al

in Febs Journal (2009), 276(12),

Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a structurally related but functionally diverse family of ubiquitous proteins. We previously described Ixodes ricinus immunosuppressor (Iris) as a serpin from the ... [more ▼]

Serine protease inhibitors (serpins) are a structurally related but functionally diverse family of ubiquitous proteins. We previously described Ixodes ricinus immunosuppressor (Iris) as a serpin from the saliva of the tick I. ricinus displaying high affinity for human leukocyte elastase. Iris also displays pleotropic effects because it interferes with both the immune response and hemostasis of the host. It thus inhibits lymphocyte proliferation and the secretion of interferon-gamma or tumor necrosis factor-alpha by peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and also platelet adhesion, coagulation and fibrinolysis. Its ability to interfere with coagulation and fibrinolysis, but not platelet adhesion, depends on the integrity of its antiproteolytic reactive center loop domain. Here, we dissect the mechanisms underlying the interaction of recombinant Iris with peripheral blood mononuclear cells. We show that Iris binds to monocytes/macrophages and inhibits their ability to secrete tumor necrosis factor-alpha. Recombinant Iris also has a protective role in endotoxemic shock. The anti-inflammatory ability of Iris does not depend on its antiprotease activity. Moreover, we pinpoint the exosites involved in this activity. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the specific lipid binding properties of Abeta 11-22 fragment at endosomal pH.
Ravault, S.; Flore, Christelle ULg; Saurel, O. et al

in Langmuir (2009), 25(18), 10948-53

Increasing evidence implicates interactions between Abeta peptide and lipids in the development of Alzheimer's disease. More generally, Abeta peptide interactions with membranes seem to depend on the ... [more ▼]

Increasing evidence implicates interactions between Abeta peptide and lipids in the development of Alzheimer's disease. More generally, Abeta peptide interactions with membranes seem to depend on the composition of the lipid bilayer and the structural features of the peptide. One key parameter should be pH, since one site of intracellular Abeta peptide production and/or accumulation is likely to be endosomes. This intracellular endosomal accumulation was suggested to contribute to disease progression. In this paper, we report a study on the 11-22 amphiphilic domain of Abeta in interaction with model membrane; this region contains most of the charged residues of the N-terminal domain of Abeta. We show that the peptide charge, and more precisely the protonation state of histidines 13 and/or 14, is important for the interaction with lipids. Hence, it is only at endosomal pH that a conformational change of the peptide is observed in the presence of negatively charged lipid vesicles, that is, when both lipid headgroups and histidines can interact through electrostatic interactions. Specific interactions of the fragment with phosphatidylserine and to a lesser extent with phosphatidylcholine, but not phosphatidylethanolamine, are further evidenced by the Langmuir monolayer technique. From our results, we suggest that the protonation state of His residues could have a role in the pathogenic surface interaction of the whole Abeta peptide with membranes. [less ▲]

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See detailThe "Tilted Peptide Theory" links membrane insertion properties and fusogenicity of viral fusion peptides.
Charloteaux, Benoît ULg; Lorin, Aurélien; Brasseur, Robert ULg et al

in Protein & Peptide Letters (2009), 16(7), 718-25

Class I fusion glycoproteins of viruses are involved in the fusion between viral envelope and cell membrane. A region located in the N-terminal domain of these glycoproteins, called the fusion peptide, is ... [more ▼]

Class I fusion glycoproteins of viruses are involved in the fusion between viral envelope and cell membrane. A region located in the N-terminal domain of these glycoproteins, called the fusion peptide, is essential for fusion. Fusion peptides are able to induce by themselves in vitro membrane fusion. In this paper, we review the properties of those peptides related to their fusogenicity, in particular the correlation existing between their ability to insert obliquely in membranes and fusogenicity. This relation notably allows predicting successfully the minimal region of some fusion peptides sufficient to induce significant in vitro fusion. The notion of obliquity and fusogenicity is discussed in terms of the existing proposed mechanisms for viral fusion. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermination Of The Minimal Fusion Peptide Of Hiv, Siv And Blv Fusion Glycoproteins
Lorin, A.; Charloteaux, Benoît ULg; Lins, Laurence ULg et al

in Peptides For Youth - the Proceedings of the 20th American Peptidesymposium (2009), 611

The entry of enveloped viruses into target cells requires the fusion between the viral envelope and the target cell membrane. In the case of many viruses like HIV, SIV and BLV, the fusion is mediated by ... [more ▼]

The entry of enveloped viruses into target cells requires the fusion between the viral envelope and the target cell membrane. In the case of many viruses like HIV, SIV and BLV, the fusion is mediated by class 1 fusion glycoproteins located on the viral envelope. These fusion glycoproteins contain a region at their N-terminal extremity called the “fusion peptide”, which interact with the target membrane. Many mutagenesis studies showed that this region is required for mediating membrane fusion [1]. Moreover, synthetic peptides corresponding to the fusion peptide of many glycoproteins induce membrane fusion in vitro. Despite the large number of studies on synthetic fusion peptides, the region necessary and sufficient to induce optimal membrane fusion is not known. To determine this minimal fusion peptide, we used the “tilted peptide” theory. According to this theory, a helical peptide inserting obliquely into membranes induces fusion [2]. Moreover, the more tilted the peptide is, the more important the fusion is. Then, we postulate that the minimal fusion peptide corresponds to the shortest helical fragment able to insert into the membrane with an angle close to 45°. This peptide was predicted using the IMPALA algorithm, which allow to predict peptide-membrane interactions [3]. Fusogenicity of this peptide was then assessed in liposome lipid-mixing and leakage assays and compared to the fusogenicity of smaller and longer peptides to check the validity of the prediction. This methodology was used to determine successfully the minimal fusion peptide of three viruses, HIV, SIV and BLV. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of the carbonyl group location of ester bond on interfacial properties of sugar-based surfactants: experimental and computational evidences
Razafindralambo, Hary ULg; Blecker, Christophe ULg; Mezdour, Samir et al

in Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2009), 113

Interfacial properties of surfactants are dependent on the conformation adopted by the hydrophilic headgroup or/and the hydrophobic tail at the boundary limit of two immiscible phases. Here, we ... [more ▼]

Interfacial properties of surfactants are dependent on the conformation adopted by the hydrophilic headgroup or/and the hydrophobic tail at the boundary limit of two immiscible phases. Here, we demonstrate the impacts of the carbonyl group (-CO-) location of the ester bond of sugar-based surfactants by comparing some properties of two closely related esters, octyl glucuronate and glucose octanoate, at the air-water interface. The carbonyl group location influences the rate and extent of interfacial adsorption and the rheology properties of sugar esters at the air-water interface, which were evaluated by dynamic surface tension and complex surface viscoelastic measurements. Octyl glucuronate adsorbs the fastest at the air-water interface whereas glucose octanoate reduces the dynamic surface tension at the lowest value and exhibits the highest film viscoelasticity. Differences are attributed to molecular conformation constraints inducing relevant changes to the surface coverage kinetic capacity and the interaction strengths of the octyl sugar ester adsorbed films at the air-water interface. All of the results are supported by the minimum cross-sectional area values per molecule determined by both experimental and computational approaches. [less ▲]

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See detailDéstabilisation membranaire et peptides obliques : état des lieux
Lins, Laurence ULg

Conference (2008, June)

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See detailDéstabilisation membranaire et peptides obliques : état des lieux
Lins, Laurence ULg

Conference (2008, May 13)

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