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See detailA non-natural variant of human lysozyme (I59T) mimics the in vitro behaviour of the I56T variant that is responsible for a form of familial amyloidosis.
Hagan, Christine L; Johnson, Russell J K; Dhulesia, Anne et al

in Protein Engineering, Design & Selection (2010), 23(7), 499-506

We report here the detailed characterisation of a non-naturally occurring variant of human lysozyme, I59T, which possesses a destabilising point mutation at the interface of the alpha- and beta-domains ... [more ▼]

We report here the detailed characterisation of a non-naturally occurring variant of human lysozyme, I59T, which possesses a destabilising point mutation at the interface of the alpha- and beta-domains. Although more stable in its native structure than the naturally occurring variants that give rise to a familial form of systemic amyloidosis, I59T possesses many attributes that are similar to these disease-associated species. In particular, under physiologically relevant conditions, I59T populates transiently an intermediate in which a region of the structure unfolds cooperatively; this loss of global cooperativity has been suggested to be a critical feature underlying the amyloidogenic nature of the disease-associated lysozyme variants. In the present study, we have utilised this variant to provide direct evidence for the generic nature of the conformational transition that precedes the ready formation of the fibrils responsible for lysozyme-associated amyloid disease. This non-natural variant can be expressed at higher levels than the natural amyloidogenic variants, enabling, for example, singly isotopically labelled protein to be generated much more easily for detailed structural studies by multidimensional NMR spectroscopy. Moreover, we demonstrate that the I59T variant can readily form fibrils in vitro, similar in nature to those of the amyloidogenic I56T variant, under significantly milder conditions than are needed for the wild-type protein. [less ▲]

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See detail(1)H, (13)C and (15)N assignments of a camelid nanobody directed against human alpha-synuclein.
Vuchelen, Anneleen; O'Day, Elizabeth; De Genst, Erwin et al

in Biomolecular NMR Assignments (2009), 3(2), 231-3

Nanobodies are single chain antibodies that are uniquely produced in Camelidae, e.g. camels and llamas. They have the desirable features of small sizes (Mw < 14 kDa) and high affinities against antigens ... [more ▼]

Nanobodies are single chain antibodies that are uniquely produced in Camelidae, e.g. camels and llamas. They have the desirable features of small sizes (Mw < 14 kDa) and high affinities against antigens (Kd approximately nM), making them ideal as structural probes for biomedically relevant motifs both in vitro and in vivo. We have previously shown that nanobody binding to amyloidogenic human lysozyme variants can effectively inhibit their aggregation, the process that is at the origin of systemic amyloid disease. Here we report the NMR assignments of a new nanobody, termed NbSyn2, which recognises the C-terminus of the intrinsically disordered protein, human alpha-synuclein (aS), whose aberrant self-association is implicated in Parkinson's disease. [less ▲]

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See detailEngineering a camelid antibody fragment that binds to the active site of human lysozyme and inhibits its conversion into amyloid fibrils
Chan, Pak Ho; Pardon, Els; Menzer, Linda ULg et al

in Biochemistry (2008), 47

single-domain fragment, cAb-HuL22, of a camelid heavy-chain antibody specific for the active site of human lysozyme has been generated, and its effects on the properties of the I56T and D67H amyloidogenic ... [more ▼]

single-domain fragment, cAb-HuL22, of a camelid heavy-chain antibody specific for the active site of human lysozyme has been generated, and its effects on the properties of the I56T and D67H amyloidogenic variants of human lysozyme, which are associated with a form of systemic amyloidosis, have been investigated by a wide range of biophysical techniques. Pulse-labeling hydrogen-deuterium exchange experiments monitored by mass spectrometry reveal that binding of the antibody fragment strongly inhibits the locally cooperative unfolding of the I56T and D67H variants and restores their global cooperativity to that characteristic of the wild-type protein. The antibody fragment was, however, not stable enough under the conditions used to explore its ability to perturb the aggregation behavior of the lysozyme amyloidogenic variants. We therefore engineered a more stable version of cAb-HuL22 by adding a disulfide bridge between the two beta-sheets in the hydrophobic core of the protein. The binding of this engineered antibody fragment to the amyloidogenic variants of lysozyme inhibited their aggregation into fibrils. These findings support the premise that the reduction in global cooperativity caused by the pathogenic mutations in the lysozyme gene is the determining feature underlying their amyloidogenicity. These observations indicate further that molecular targeting of enzyme active sites, and of protein binding sites in general, is an effective strategy for inhibiting or preventing the aberrant self-assembly process that is often a consequence of protein mutation and the origin of pathogenicity. Moreover, this work further demonstrates the unique properties of camelid single-domain antibody fragments as structural probes for studying the mechanism of aggregation and as potential inhibitors of fibril formation. [less ▲]

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