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See detailSelective and reversible thiol-pegylation, an effective approach for purification and characterization of five fully active ficin (iso)forms from Ficus carica latex.
Azarkan, Mohamed; Matagne, André ULg; Wattiez, Ruddy et al

in Phytochemistry (2011), 72(14-15), 1718-31

The latex of Ficus carica constitutes an important source of many proteolytic components known under the general term of ficin (EC 3.4.22.3) which belongs to the cysteine proteases of the papain family ... [more ▼]

The latex of Ficus carica constitutes an important source of many proteolytic components known under the general term of ficin (EC 3.4.22.3) which belongs to the cysteine proteases of the papain family. So far, no data on the purification and characterization of individual forms of these proteases are available. An effective strategy was used to fractionate and purify to homogeneity five ficin forms, designated A, B, C, D1 and D2 according to their sequence of elution from a cation-exchange chromatographic support. Following rapid fractionation on a SP-Sepharose Fast Flow column, the different ficin forms were chemically modified by a specific and reversible monomethoxypolyethylene glycol (mPEG) reagent. In comparison with their un-derivatized counterparts, the mPEG-protein derivatives behaved differently on the ion-exchanger, allowing us for the first time to obtain five highly purified ficin molecular species titrating 1mol of thiol group per mole of enzyme. The purified ficins were characterized by de novo peptide sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting analyzes, using mass spectrometry. Circular dichroism measurements indicated that all five ficins were highly structured, both in term of secondary and tertiary structure. Furthermore, analysis of far-UV CD spectra allowed calculation of their secondary structural content. Both these data and the molecular masses determined by MS reinforce the view that the enzymes belong to the family of papain-like proteases. The five ficin forms also displayed different specific amidase activities against small synthetic substrates like dl-BAPNA and Boc-Ala-Ala-Gly-pNA, suggesting some differences in their active site organization. Enzymatic activity of the five ficin forms was completely inhibited by specific cysteine and cysteine/serine proteases inhibitors but was unaffected by specific serine, aspartic and metallo proteases inhibitors. [less ▲]

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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 detailConsistent picture of the reversible thermal unfolding of hen egg-white lysozyme from experiment and molecular dynamics
Meersman, Filip; Atilgan, Canan; Miles, Andrew J. et al

in Biophysical Journal (2010), 99

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See detailBackbone 1H, 13C, and 15N resonance assignments for lysozyme from bacteriophage lambda.
Di Paolo, Alexandre ULg; Duval, Valerie; Matagne, André ULg et al

in Biomolecular NMR assignments (2010), 4(1), 111-4

Lysozyme from lambda bacteriophage (lambda lysozyme) is an 18 kDa globular protein displaying some of the structural features common to all lysozymes; in particular, lambda lysozyme consists of two ... [more ▼]

Lysozyme from lambda bacteriophage (lambda lysozyme) is an 18 kDa globular protein displaying some of the structural features common to all lysozymes; in particular, lambda lysozyme consists of two structural domains connected by a helix, and has its catalytic residues located at the interface between these two domains. An interesting feature of lambda lysozyme, when compared to the well-characterised hen egg-white lysozyme, is its lack of disulfide bridges; this makes lambda lysozyme an interesting system for studies of protein folding. A comparison of the folding properties of lambda lysozyme and hen lysozyme will provide important insights into the role that disulfide bonds play in the refolding pathway of the latter protein. Here we report the (1)H, (13)C and (15)N backbone resonance assignments for lambda lysozyme by heteronuclear multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. These assignments provide the starting point for detailed investigation of the refolding pathway using pulse-labelling hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments monitored by NMR. [less ▲]

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See detail1H, 13C and 15N backbone resonance assignments for the BS3 class A beta-lactamase from Bacillus licheniformis.
Vandenameele, Julie ULg; Matagne, André ULg; Damblon, Christian ULg

in Biomolecular NMR Assignments (2010), 4(2), 195-7

Class A beta-lactamases (260-280 amino acids; M ( r ) ~ 29,000) are among the largest proteins studied in term of their folding properties. They are composed of two structural domains: an all-alpha domain ... [more ▼]

Class A beta-lactamases (260-280 amino acids; M ( r ) ~ 29,000) are among the largest proteins studied in term of their folding properties. They are composed of two structural domains: an all-alpha domain formed by five to eight helices and an alpha/beta domain consisting of a five-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet covered by three to four alpha-helices. The alpha domain (~150 residues) is made up of the central part of the polypeptide chain whereas the alpha/beta domain (111-135 residues) is constituted by the N- and C-termini of the protein. Our goal is to determine in which order the different secondary structure elements are formed during the folding of BS3. With this aim, we will use pulse-labelling hydrogen/deuterium exchange experiments, in combination with 2D-NMR measurements, to monitor the time-course of formation and stabilization of secondary structure elements. Here we report the backbone resonance assignments as the requirement for further hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies. [less ▲]

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See detailRapid Collapse into a Molten Globule Is Followed by Simple Two-State Kinetics in the Folding of Lysozyme from Bacteriophage lambda
Di Paolo, Alexandre ULg; Balbeur, D.; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2010), 49

Stopped-flow fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy have been used in combination with quenched-flow hydrogen exchange labeling, monitored by two-dimensional NMR and electrospray ionization mass ... [more ▼]

Stopped-flow fluorescence and circular dichroism spectroscopy have been used in combination with quenched-flow hydrogen exchange labeling, monitored by two-dimensional NMR and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry, to investigate the folding kinetics of lysozyme from bacteriophage lambda (lambda lysozyme) at pH 5.6, 20 degrees C. The first step in the folding of lambda lysozyme occurs very rapidly (tau < 1 ms) after refolding is initiated and involves both hydrophobic collapse and formation of a high content of secondary structure but only weak protection from (1)H/(2)H exchange and no fixed tertiary structure organization. This early folding step is reflected in the dead-time events observed in the far-UV CD and ANS fluorescence experiments. Following accumulation of this kinetic molten globule species, the secondary structural elements are stabilized and the majority (ca. 88%) of refolding molecules acquire native-like properties in a highly cooperative two-state process, with tau = 0.15 +/- 0.03 s. This is accompanied by the acquisition of substantial native-like protection from hydrogen exchange. A double-mixing experiment and the absence of a denaturant effect reveal that slow (tau = 5 +/- 1 s) folding of the remaining (ca. 12%) molecules is rate limited by the cis/trans isomerization of prolines that are trans in the folded enzyme. In addition, native state hydrogen exchange and classical denaturant unfolding experiments have been used to characterize the thermodynamic properties of the enzyme. In good agreement with previous crystallographic evidence, our results show that lambda lysozyme is a highly dynamic protein, with relatively low conformational stability (DeltaG degrees (N-U) = 25 +/- 2 kJ.mol(-1)). [less ▲]

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See detailFolding of class A beta-lactamases is rate-limited by peptide bond isomerization and occurs via parallel pathways.
Vandenameele, Julie ULg; Lejeune, Annabelle ULg; Di Paolo, Alexandre ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2010), 49(19), 4264-75

Class A beta-lactamases (M(r) approximately 29000) provide good models for studying the folding mechanism of large monomeric proteins. In particular, the highly conserved cis peptide bond between residues ... [more ▼]

Class A beta-lactamases (M(r) approximately 29000) provide good models for studying the folding mechanism of large monomeric proteins. In particular, the highly conserved cis peptide bond between residues 166 and 167 at the active site of these enzymes controls important steps in their refolding reaction. In this work, we analyzed how conformational folding, reactivation, and cis/trans peptide bond isomerizations are interrelated in the folding kinetics of beta-lactamases that differ in the nature of the cis peptide bond, which involves a Pro167 in the BS3 and TEM-1 enzyme, a Leu167 in the NMCA enzyme, and which is missing in the PER-1 enzyme. The analysis of folding by spectroscopic probes and by the regain of enzymatic activity in combination with double-mixing procedures indicates that conformational folding can proceed when the 166-167 bond is still in the incorrect trans form. The very slow trans --> cis isomerization of the Glu166-Xaa167 peptide bond, however, controls the final step of folding and is required for the regain of the enzymatic activity. This very slow phase is absent in the refolding of PER-1, in which the Glu166-Ala167 peptide bond is trans. The double-mixing experiments revealed that a second slow kinetic phase is caused by the cis/trans isomerization of prolines that are trans in the folded proteins. The folding of beta-lactamases is best described by a model that involves parallel pathways. It highlights the role of peptide bond cis/trans isomerization as a kinetic determinant of folding. [less ▲]

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See detailMutational analysis of VIM-2 reveals an essential determinant for metallo-beta-lactamase stability and folding.
Borgianni, Luisa; Vandenameele, Julie ULg; Matagne, André ULg et al

in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2010), 54(8), 3197-204

Metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL)-producing bacteria are emerging worldwide and represent a formidable threat to the efficacy of relevant beta-lactams, including carbapenems, expanded-spectrum cephalosporins ... [more ▼]

Metallo-beta-lactamase (MBL)-producing bacteria are emerging worldwide and represent a formidable threat to the efficacy of relevant beta-lactams, including carbapenems, expanded-spectrum cephalosporins, and beta-lactamase inactivator/beta-lactam combinations. VIM-2 is currently the most widespread MBL and represents a primary target for MBL inhibitor research, the clinical need for which is expected to further increase in the future. Using a saturation mutagenesis approach, we probed the importance of four residues (Phe-61, Ala-64, Tyr-67, and Trp-87) located close to the VIM-2 active site and putatively relevant to the enzyme activity based on structural knowledge of the enzyme and on structure-activity relationships of the subclass B1 MBLs. The ampicillin MIC values shown by the various mutants were affected very differently depending on the randomized amino acid position. Position 64 appeared to be rather tolerant to substitution, and kinetic studies showed that the A64W mutation did not significantly affect substrate hydrolysis or binding, representing an important difference from IMP-type enzymes. Phe-61 and Tyr-67 could be replaced with several amino acids without the ampicillin MIC being significantly affected, but in contrast, Trp-87 was found to be critical for ampicillin resistance. Further kinetic and biochemical analyses of W87A and W87F variants showed that this residue is apparently important for the structure and proper folding of the enzyme but, surprisingly, not for its catalytic activity. These data support the critical role of residue 87 in the stability and folding of VIM-2 and might have strong implications for MBL inhibitor design, as this residue would represent an ideal target for interaction with small molecules. [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 detailThe Zinc Center Influences the Redox and Thermodynamic Properties of Escherichia coli Thioredoxin 2
El Hajjaji, Hayat; Dumoulin, Mireille ULg; Matagne, André ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2009), 386(1), 60-71

Thioredoxins are small, ubiquitous redox enzymes that reduce protein disulfide bonds by using a pair of cysteine residues present in a strictly conserved WCGPC catalytic motif. The Escherichia coli ... [more ▼]

Thioredoxins are small, ubiquitous redox enzymes that reduce protein disulfide bonds by using a pair of cysteine residues present in a strictly conserved WCGPC catalytic motif. The Escherichia coli cytoplasm contains two thioredoxins, Trx1 and Trx2. Trx2 is special because it is induced under oxidative stress conditions and it has an additional N-terminal zinc-binding domain. We have determined the redox potential of Trx2, the pKa of the active site nucleophilic cysteine, as well as the stability of the oxidized and reduced form of the protein. Trx2 is more oxidizing than Trx1 (–221 mV versus –284 mV, respectively), which is in good agreement with the decreased value of the pKa of the nucleophilic cysteine (5.1 versus 7.1, respectively). The difference in stability between the oxidized and reduced forms of an oxidoreductase is the driving force to reduce substrate proteins. This difference is smaller for Trx2 (ΔΔG°H2O = 9 kJ/mol and ΔTm = 7. 4 °C) than for Trx1 (ΔΔG°H2O = 15 kJ/mol and ΔTm = 13 °C). Altogether, our data indicate that Trx2 is a significantly less reducing enzyme than Trx1, which suggests that Trx2 has a distinctive function. We disrupted the zinc center by mutating the four Zn2+-binding cysteines to serine. This mutant has a more reducing redox potential (–254 mV) and the pKa of its nucleophilic cysteine shifts from 5.1 to 7.1. The removal of Zn2+ also decreases the overall stability of the reduced and oxidized forms by 3.2 kJ/mol and 5.8 kJ/mol, respectively. In conclusion, our data show that the Zn2+-center of Trx2 fine-tunes the properties of this unique thioredoxin. [less ▲]

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See detailPositively Cooperative Binding of Zinc Ions to Bacillus cereus 569/H/9 beta-Lactamase II Suggests that the Binuclear Enzyme Is the Only Relevant Form for Catalysis
Jacquin, Olivier ULg; Balbeur, Dorothée ULg; Damblon, Christian ULg et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (2009), 392(5), 1278-1291

Metallo-beta-lactamases catalyze the hydrolysis of most beta-lactam antibiotics and hence represent a major clinical concern. While enzymes belonging to subclass B1 have been shown to display maximum ... [more ▼]

Metallo-beta-lactamases catalyze the hydrolysis of most beta-lactam antibiotics and hence represent a major clinical concern. While enzymes belonging to subclass B1 have been shown to display maximum activity as dizinc species, the actual metal-to-protein stoichiometry and the affinity for zinc are not clear. We have further investigated the process of metal binding to the beta-lactamase H from Bacillus cereus 569/H/9 (known as BcII). Zinc binding was monitored using complementary biophysical techniques, including circular dichroism in the far-UV, enzymatic activity measurements, competition with a chromophoric chelator, mass spectrometry, and nuclear magnetic resonance. Most noticeably, mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance experiments, together with catalytic activity measurements, demonstrate that two zinc ions bind cooperatively to the enzyme active site (with K-1/K-2 >= 5) and, hence, that catalysis is associated with the dizinc enzyme species only. Furthermore, competitive experiments with the chromophoric chelator Mag-Fura-2 indicates K-2 < 80 nM. This contrasts with cadmium binding, which is clearly a noncooperative process with the mono form being the only species significantly populated in the presence of 1 molar equivalent of Cd(II). Interestingly, optical measurements reveal that although the apo and dizinc species exhibit undistinguishable tertiary structural organizations, the metal-depleted enzyme shows a significant decrease in its alpha-helical content, presumably associated with enhanced flexibility. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailOptimization of the Production of the Amyloidogenic Variants of Human Lysozyme
Menzer, Linda ULg; Tocquin, Pierre ULg; Dony, Nicolas et al

Poster (2008, February 16)

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