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See detailHypoxia induces protection against etoposide-induced apoptosis: molecular profiling of changes in gene expression and transcription factor activity
Sermeus, Audrey; Cosse, Jean-Philippe ULg; Crespin, Marianne et al

in Molecular Cancer (2008), 7

Background: it is now well established that hypoxia renders tumor cells resistant to radio- but also chemotherapy. However, few elements are currently available as for the mechanisms underlying this ... [more ▼]

Background: it is now well established that hypoxia renders tumor cells resistant to radio- but also chemotherapy. However, few elements are currently available as for the mechanisms underlying this protection. Results: in this study, physiological hypoxia was shown to inhibit apoptosis induced in HepG2 cells by etoposide. Indeed, hypoxia reduced DNA fragmentation, caspase activation and PARP cleavage. The DNA binding activity of 10 transcription factors was followed while the actual transcriptional activity was measured using specific reporter plasmids. Of note is the inhibition of the etoposideinduced activation of p53 under hypoxia. In parallel, data from low density DNA microarrays indicate that the expression of several pro- and anti-apoptotic genes was modified, among which are Bax and Bak whose expression profile paralleled p53 activity. Cluster analysis of data unravels several possible pathways involved in the hypoxia-induced protection against etoposide-induced apoptosis: one of them could be the inhibition of p53 activity under hypoxia since caspase 3 activity parallels Bax and Bak expression profile. Moreover, specific downregulation of HIF-1α by RNA interference significantly enhanced apoptosis under hypoxia possibly by preventing the hypoxia mediated decrease in Bak expression without altering Bax expression. Conclusion: these results are a clear demonstration that hypoxia has a direct protective effect on apoptotic cell death. Moreover, molecular profiling points to putative pathways responsible for tumor growth in challenging environmental conditions and cancer cell resistance to chemotherapeutic agents. [less ▲]

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See detailLys13 plays a crucial role in the functional adaptation of the thermophilic triose-phosphate isomerase from Bacillus stearothermophilus to high temperatures
Alvarez, Marco; Wouters, Johan; Maes, Dominique et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (1999), 274(27), 19181-7

The thermophilic triose-phosphate isomerases (TIMs) of Bacillus stearothermophilus (bTIM) and Thermotoga maritima (tTIM) have been found to possess a His12-Lys13 pair instead of the Asn12-Gly13 pair ... [more ▼]

The thermophilic triose-phosphate isomerases (TIMs) of Bacillus stearothermophilus (bTIM) and Thermotoga maritima (tTIM) have been found to possess a His12-Lys13 pair instead of the Asn12-Gly13 pair normally present in mesophilic TIMs. His12 in bTIM was proposed to prevent deamidation at high temperature, while the precise role of Lys13 is unknown. To investigate the role of the His12 and Lys13 pair in the enzyme's thermoadaptation, we reintroduced the "mesophilic residues" Asn and Gly into both thermophilic TIMs. Neither double mutant displayed diminished structural stability, but the bTIM double mutant showed drastically reduced catalytic activity. No similar behavior was observed with the tTIM double mutant, suggesting that the presence of the His12 and Lys13 cannot be systematically correlated to thermoadaptation in TIMs. We determined the crystal structure of the bTIM double mutant complexed with 2-phosphoglycolate to 2.4-A resolution. A molecular dynamics simulation showed that upon substitution of Lys13 to Gly an increase of the flexibility of loop 1 is observed, causing an incorrect orientation of the catalytic Lys10. This suggests that Lys13 in bTIM plays a crucial role in the functional adaptation of this enzyme to high temperature. Analysis of bTIM single mutants supports this assumption. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign and characterization of novel forms of human 16K prolactin, an antiangiogenic factor
Mainfroid, Véronique; Struman, Ingrid ULg; Weiner, Richard I. et al

Poster (1998, January)

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See detailTriose-phosphate isomerase (TIM) of the psychrophilic bacterium Vibrio marinus. Kinetic and structural properties
Alvarez, Marco; Zeelen, Johan Ph; Mainfroid, Véronique et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (1998), 273(4), 2199-206

The purification and characterization of triose-phosphate isomerase from the psychrophilic bacterium Vibrio marinus (vTIM) is described. Crystal structures of the vTIM-sulfate complex and the vTIM-2 ... [more ▼]

The purification and characterization of triose-phosphate isomerase from the psychrophilic bacterium Vibrio marinus (vTIM) is described. Crystal structures of the vTIM-sulfate complex and the vTIM-2-phosphoglycolate complex (at a 2.7-A resolution) are also presented. The optimal growth temperature of Vibrio marinus is 15 degrees C. Stability studies show that vTIM is an unstable protein with a half-life of only 10 min at 25 degrees C. The vTIM sequence is most closely related to the sequence of Escherichia coli TIM (eTIM) (66% identity), and several unique structural features described for eTIM are also seen in vTIM, but eTIM is considerably more stable. The Td values of vTIM and eTIM, determined by calorimetric studies, are 41 and 54 degrees C, respectively. Amino acid sequence comparison reveals that vTIM has an alanine in loop 8 (at position 238), whereas all other TIM sequences known to date have a serine. The vTIM mutant A238S was produced and characterized. Compared with wild type, the catalytic efficiency of the A238S mutant is somewhat reduced, and its stability is considerably increased. [less ▲]

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See detailStabilization of human triosephosphate isomerase by improvement of the stability of individual alpha-helices in dimeric as well as monomeric forms of the protein
Mainfroid, Véronique; Mande, Shekhar C; Hol, Wim G J et al

in Biochemistry (1996), 35(13), 4110-7

Human triosephosphate isomerase (hTIM) is a dimeric enzyme of identical subunits, adopting the alpha/beta-barrel fold. In a previous work, a monomeric mutant of hTIM was engineered in which Met14 and ... [more ▼]

Human triosephosphate isomerase (hTIM) is a dimeric enzyme of identical subunits, adopting the alpha/beta-barrel fold. In a previous work, a monomeric mutant of hTIM was engineered in which Met14 and Arg98, two interface residues, were changed to glutamine. Analysis of equilibrium denaturation of this monomeric mutant, named M14Q/R98Q, revealed that its conformational stability, 2.5kcal/mol, is low as compared to the stability of dimeric hTIM (19.3 kcal/mol). The fact that this value is also lower than the conformational stabilities usually found for monomeric proteins suggests that the hTIM monomers are thermodynamically unstable. In the present work, we attempted to stabilize the M14Q/R98Q mutant by introducing stabilizing mutations in alpha-helices of the protein. Five mutations were proposed, designed to increase alpha-helix propensity by introducing alanines at solvent-exposed sites (Q179A, K193A), to introduce favorable interactions with helix dipoles (Q179D, S105D), or to reduce the conformational entropy of unfolding by introducing proline residues at the "N-cap" position of alpha-helices (A215P). Three replacements (Q179D, K193A, and A215P) were found to increase the stability of the native dimeric hTIM and the monomeric M14Q/R98Q. These results suggest that the monomeric hTIM mutant can be stabilized to a considerable extent by following well-established rules for protein stabilization. A comparison of the stabilizing effect performed by the mutations on the dimeric hTIM and the monomeric M14Q/R98Q allowed us to reinforce a model of equilibrium denaturation proposed for both proteins. [less ▲]

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See detailThree hTIM mutants that provide new insights on why TIM is a dimer
Mainfroid, Véronique; Terpstra, Peter; Beauregard, Marc et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (1996), 257(2), 441-56

Human triosephosphate isomerase (hTIM), a dimeric enzyme, was altered by site-directed mutagenesis in order to determine whether it can be dissociated into monomers. Two hTIM mutants were produced, in ... [more ▼]

Human triosephosphate isomerase (hTIM), a dimeric enzyme, was altered by site-directed mutagenesis in order to determine whether it can be dissociated into monomers. Two hTIM mutants were produced, in which a glutamine residue was substituted for either Met14 or Arg98, both of which are interface residuces. These substitutions strongly interfere with TIM subunit association, since these mutant TIMs appear to exist as compact monomers in dynamic equilibrium with dimers. In kinetic studies, the M14Q mutant exhibits significant catalytic activity, while the R98Q enzyme is inactive. The M14Q enzyme is nevertheless much less active than unmutated hTIM. Moreover, its specific activity is concentration dependent, suggesting a dissociation process in which the monomers are inactive. In order to determine the conformational stability of the wild-type and mutant hTIMs, unfolding of all three enzymes was monitored by circular dichroism and tryptophan fluorescence spectroscopy. In each case, protein stability is concentration dependent, and the unfolding reaction is compatible with a two-state model involving the native dimer and unfolded monomers. The conformational stability of hTIM, as estimated according to this model, is 19.3 (+/-0.4) kcal/mol. The M14Q and R98Q replacements significantly reduce enzyme stability, since the free energies of unfolding are 13.8 and 13.5 (+/- 0.3) kcal/mol respectively, for the mutants, A third mutant, in which the M14Q and R98Q replacements are cumulated, behaves like a monomer. The stability of this mutant is not concentration-dependent, and the unfolding reaction is assigned to a transition from a folded monomer to an unfolded monomer. The conformational stability of this double mutant is estimated 2.5 (+/-0.1) kcal/mol. All these data combined suggest that TIM monomers are thermodynamically unstable. This might explain why TIM occurs only as a dimer. [less ▲]

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See detailCharacterization of lactogen receptor-binding site 1 of human prolactin
Kinet, Sandrina; Goffin, Vincent; Mainfroid, Véronique et al

in Journal of Biological Chemistry (1996), 271(24), 14353-60

Prolactin (PRL) binds to two molecules of PRL receptor (PRLR) through two regions referred to as binding sites 1 and 2. Although binding site 1 has been generally assigned to the pocket delimited by helix ... [more ▼]

Prolactin (PRL) binds to two molecules of PRL receptor (PRLR) through two regions referred to as binding sites 1 and 2. Although binding site 1 has been generally assigned to the pocket delimited by helix 1, helix 4, and the second half of loop 1, the residues involved in receptor binding have not yet all been precisely identified. In an earlier alanine-scanning mutational study, we identified three major binding determinants in loop 1 of human PRL (hPRL) (Goffin, V., Norman, M. & Martial, J. A.(1992) Mol. Endocrinol. 6, 1381-1392). Here we focus on the two other regions that form binding site 1, namely helices 1 and 4. Putative binding residues, selected on the basis of a three-dimensional model of hPRL constructed in this laboratory, were mutated to alanine, and recombinant hPRL mutants produced in Escherichia coli were tested for their ability to bind to the PRLR and to stimulate Nb2 cell proliferation. We thus identified nine single mutations (three in helix 1 and six in helix 4) whose effect was to reduce both binding and mitogenic activity by more than half as compared with wild-type hPRL, indicating the functional involvement of the corresponding residues. Adding these to the three binding determinants identified in loop 1, we now propose a complete picture of PRLR-binding site 1 of hPRL. As we earlier hypothesized, the binding site 1 determinants of hPRL differ from those of human growth hormone, a hPRL homolog. [less ▲]

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See detailSecond-generation octarellins: two new de novo (beta/alpha)8 polypeptides designed for investigating the influence of beta-residue packing on the alpha/beta-barrel structure stability
Houbrechts, Annick ULg; Moreau, Benoît; Abagyan, Ruben et al

in Protein Engineering (1995), 8(3), 249-59

The sequence of octarellin I, the first de novo (beta/alpha)8 polypeptide, was revised according to several criteria, among others the symmetry of the sequence, beta-residue volume and hydrophobicity, and ... [more ▼]

The sequence of octarellin I, the first de novo (beta/alpha)8 polypeptide, was revised according to several criteria, among others the symmetry of the sequence, beta-residue volume and hydrophobicity, and charge distribution. These considerations and the overall conclusions drawn from the first design led to two new sequences, corresponding to octarellins II and III. Octarellin II retains perfect 8-fold symmetry. Octarellin III has the same sequence as octarellin II, except for the beta-strands which exhibit a 4-fold symmetry. The two proteins were produced in Escherichia coli. Infrared and CD spectral analyses of octarellins II and III reveal a high secondary structure content. Non-denaturing gel electrophoresis, molecular sieve chromatography and analytical ultracentrifugation suggest that both of these second-generation artificial polypeptides exist as a mixture of a monomer and a dimer form. Octarellins II and III are at least 10 times more soluble than octarellin I. Urea-induced unfolding followed by fluorescence emission suggests that the tryptophan residues, designed to be buried in the (beta/alpha)8, are indeed packed in the hydrophobic core of both proteins. However, octarellin III displays a higher stability towards urea denaturation, indicating that introducing 4-fold symmetry into the beta-barrel might be important for stability of the overall folding. [less ▲]

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See detailCrystal structure of recombinant triosephosphate isomerase from Bacillus stearothermophilus. An analysis of potential thermostability factors in six isomerases with known three-dimensional structures points to the importance of hydrophobic interactions
Delboni, Luis F; Mande, Shekhar C; Rentier-Delrue, Françoise ULg et al

in Protein Science : A Publication of the Protein Society (1995), 4(12), 2594-604

The structure of the thermostable triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) from Bacillus stearothermophilus complexed with the competitive inhibitor 2-phosphoglycolate was determined by X-ray crystallography to a ... [more ▼]

The structure of the thermostable triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) from Bacillus stearothermophilus complexed with the competitive inhibitor 2-phosphoglycolate was determined by X-ray crystallography to a resolution of 2.8 A. The structure was solved by molecular replacement using XPLOR. Twofold averaging and solvent flattening was applied to improve the quality of the map. Active sites in both the subunits are occupied by the inhibitor and the flexible loop adopts the "closed" conformation in either subunit. The crystallographic R-factor is 17.6% with good geometry. The two subunits have an RMS deviation of 0.29 A for 248 C alpha atoms and have average temperature factors of 18.9 and 15.9 A2, respectively. In both subunits, the active site Lys 10 adopts an unusual phi, psi combination. A comparison between the six known thermophilic and mesophilic TIM structures was conducted in order to understand the higher stability of B. stearothermophilus TIM. Although the ratio Arg/(Arg+Lys) is higher in B. stearothermophilus TIM, the structure comparisons do not directly correlate this higher ratio to the better stability of the B. stearothermophilus enzyme. A higher number of prolines contributes to the higher stability of B. stearothermophilus TIM. Analysis of the known TIM sequences points out that the replacement of a structurally crucial asparagine by a histidine at the interface of monomers, thus avoiding the risk of deamidation and thereby introducing a negative charge at the interface, may be one of the factors for adaptability at higher temperatures in the TIM family. Analysis of buried cavities and the areas lining these cavities also contributes to the greater thermal stability of the B. stearothermophilus enzyme. However, the most outstanding result of the structure comparisons appears to point to the hydrophobic stabilization of dimer formation by burying the largest amount of hydrophobic surface area in B. stearothermophilus TIM compared to all five other known TIM structures. [less ▲]

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See detailModular mutagenesis of a TIM-barrel enzyme: the crystal structure of a chimeric E. coli TIM having the eighth beta alpha-unit replaced by the equivalent unit of chicken TIM
Kishan, Radha; Zeelen, Ph. Johan; Noble, Martin E.M. et al

in Protein Engineering (1994), 7(8), 945-51

The crystal structure of a hybrid Escherichia coli triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) has been determined at 2.8 A resolution. The hybrid TIM (ETIM8CHI) was constructed by replacing the eighth beta alpha ... [more ▼]

The crystal structure of a hybrid Escherichia coli triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) has been determined at 2.8 A resolution. The hybrid TIM (ETIM8CHI) was constructed by replacing the eighth beta alpha-unit of E. coli TIM with the equivalent unit of chicken TIM. This replacement involves 10 sequence changes. One of the changes concerns the mutation of a buried alanine (Ala232 in strand 8) into a phenylalanine. The ETIM8CHI structure shows that the A232F sequence change can be incorporated by a side-chain rotation of Phe224 (in helix 7). No cavities or strained dihedrals are observed in ETIM8CHI in the region near position 232, which is in agreement with the observation that ETIM8CHI and E.coli TIM have similar stabilities. The largest CA (C-alpha atom) movements, approximately 3 A, are seen for the C-terminal end of helix 8 (associated with the outward rotation of Phe224) and for the residues in the loop after helix 1 (associated with sequence changes in helix 8). From the structure it is not clear why the kcat of ETIM8CHI is 10 times lower than in wild type E.coli TIM. [less ▲]

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See detailCloning and overexpression of the triosephosphate isomerase genes from psychrophilic and thermophilic bacteria. Structural comparison of the predicted protein sequences
Rentier-Delrue, Françoise ULg; Mande, Shekhar C; Moyens, Sylvianne et al

in Journal of Molecular Biology (1993), 229(1), 85-93

We focused on the temperature adaptation of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM; E.C. 5.3.1.1.) by comparing the structure of TIMs isolated from bacterial organisms living in either cold or hot environments ... [more ▼]

We focused on the temperature adaptation of triosephosphate isomerase (TIM; E.C. 5.3.1.1.) by comparing the structure of TIMs isolated from bacterial organisms living in either cold or hot environments. The TIM gene from psychrophilic bacteria Moraxella sp. TA137 was cloned and its nucleotide sequence determined. Its deduced amino acid sequence revealed 34% identity with the thermophilic bacteria Bacillus stearothermophilus TIM. Expression vectors were constructed and recombinant Moraxella TA137 and Bacillus stearothermophilus TIMs were overproduced and purified to homogeneity. Recombinant TIM inactivation constants (Ki), measured at various temperatures, compared to those of the mesophilic Escherichia coli recombinant TIM clearly show that Moraxella TA137 and B. stearothermophilus TIMs have respectively psychrophilic and thermophilic characteristics. To try to elucidate the structure-thermolability and structure-thermostability relationship, factors affecting the overall stability of these two TIMs were examined, based on the alignment with the mesophilic chicken TIM, the three-dimensional structure of which is already known. From this comparison, it appears that the adaptability of TIM to high temperature is favored by better stabilizing residues for the helix dipole as well as better helix-forming residues whereas the adaptability of TIM to low temperature seems to reside in the nature of helix-capping residues. [less ▲]

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See detailReplacing the (beta alpha)-unit 8 of E.coli TIM with its chicken homologue leads to a stable and active hybrid enzyme
Mainfroid, Véronique; Goraj, Karine; Rentier-Delrue, Françoise ULg et al

in Protein Engineering (1993), 6(8), 893-900

In order to investigate how structural modifications interfere with protein stability, we modified a (beta alpha)-unit in E.coli triosephosphate isomerase (TIM), a typical (beta alpha)-barrel protein ... [more ▼]

In order to investigate how structural modifications interfere with protein stability, we modified a (beta alpha)-unit in E.coli triosephosphate isomerase (TIM), a typical (beta alpha)-barrel protein, assuming that the pseudosymmetrical beta-barrel can be divided into eight successive loop/beta-strand/loop/alpha-helix motifs. We replaced the eighth (beta alpha)-unit of E.coli TIM with the corresponding chicken (beta alpha)-unit. The substitution, involving the replacement of 10 of the 23 residues of this (beta alpha)-unit, was evaluated first by modelling, then experimentally. Modelling by homology suggests how the amino acid replacements might be accommodated in the hybrid E.coli/chicken TIM (ETIM8CHI). Both natural and hybrid recombinant TIMs, overproduced in E.coli, were purified to homogeneity and characterized as to their stability and kinetics. Our kinetic studies show that the modification performed here leads to an active enzyme. The stability studies indicate that the stability of ETIM8CHI is comparable to that of the wild type TIM. [less ▲]

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