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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 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 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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