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Sample records for carrier protein crystal

  1. Structure of apo acyl carrier protein and a proposal to engineer protein crystallization through metal ions

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Xiayang; Janson, Cheryl A.

    2010-11-16

    A topic of current interest is engineering surface mutations in order to improve the success rate of protein crystallization. This report explores the possibility of using metal-ion-mediated crystal-packing interactions to facilitate rational design. Escherichia coli apo acyl carrier protein was chosen as a test case because of its high content of negatively charged carboxylates suitable for metal binding with moderate affinity. The protein was successfully crystallized in the presence of zinc ions. The crystal structure was determined to 1.1 {angstrom} resolution with MAD phasing using anomalous signals from the co-crystallized Zn{sup 2+} ions. The case study suggested an integrated strategy for crystallization and structure solution of proteins via engineering surface Asp and Glu mutants, crystallizing them in the presence of metal ions such as Zn{sup 2+} and solving the structures using anomalous signals.

  2. Crystal structure of a PCP/Sfp complex reveals the structural basis for carrier protein posttranslational modification.

    PubMed

    Tufar, Peter; Rahighi, Simin; Kraas, Femke I; Kirchner, Donata K; Löhr, Frank; Henrich, Erik; Köpke, Jürgen; Dikic, Ivan; Güntert, Peter; Marahiel, Mohamed A; Dötsch, Volker

    2014-04-24

    Phosphopantetheine transferases represent a class of enzymes found throughout all forms of life. From a structural point of view, they are subdivided into three groups, with transferases from group II being the most widespread. They are required for the posttranslational modification of carrier proteins involved in diverse metabolic pathways. We determined the crystal structure of the group II phosphopantetheine transferase Sfp from Bacillus in complex with a substrate carrier protein in the presence of coenzyme A and magnesium, and observed two protein-protein interaction sites. Mutational analysis showed that only the hydrophobic contacts between the carrier protein's second helix and the C-terminal domain of Sfp are essential for their productive interaction. Comparison with a similar structure of a complex of human proteins suggests that the mode of interaction is highly conserved in all domains of life.

  3. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (FabK) from Streptococcus pneumoniae

    SciTech Connect

    Saito, Jun Yamada, Mototsugu; Watanabe, Takashi; Kitagawa, Hideo; Takeuchi, Yasuo

    2006-06-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductases are responsible for bacterial type II fatty-acid biosynthesis and are attractive targets for developing novel antibiotics. The S. pneumoniae enoyl-ACP reductase (FabK) was crystallized and selenomethionine MAD data were collected to 2 Å resolution. The enoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase from Streptococcus pneumoniae (FabK; EC 1.3.1.9) is responsible for catalyzing the final step in each elongation cycle of fatty-acid biosynthesis. Selenomethionine-substituted FabK was purified and crystallized by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method at 277 K. The crystal belongs to space group P2{sub 1}, with unit-cell parameters a = 50.26, b = 126.70, c = 53.63 Å, β = 112.46°. Diffraction data were collected to 2.00 Å resolution using synchrotron beamline BL32B2 at SPring-8. Two molecules were estimated to be present in the asymmetric unit, with a solvent content of 45.1%.

  4. The crystal structure of BlmI as a model for nonribosomal peptide synthetase peptidyl carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Lohman, Jeremy R; Ma, Ming; Cuff, Marianne E; Bigelow, Lance; Bearden, Jessica; Babnigg, Gyorgy; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Phillips, George N; Shen, Ben

    2014-07-01

    Carrier proteins (CPs) play a critical role in the biosynthesis of various natural products, especially in nonribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) enzymology, where the CPs are referred to as peptidyl-carrier proteins (PCPs) or acyl-carrier proteins (ACPs), respectively. CPs can either be a domain in large multifunctional polypeptides or standalone proteins, termed Type I and Type II, respectively. There have been many biochemical studies of the Type I PKS and NRPS CPs, and of Type II ACPs. However, recently a number of Type II PCPs have been found and biochemically characterized. In order to understand the possible interaction surfaces for combinatorial biosynthetic efforts we crystallized the first characterized and representative Type II PCP member, BlmI, from the bleomycin biosynthetic pathway from Streptomyces verticillus ATCC 15003. The structure is similar to CPs in general but most closely resembles PCPs. Comparisons with previously determined PCP structures in complex with catalytic domains reveals a common interaction surface. This surface is highly variable in charge and shape, which likely confers specificity for interactions. Previous nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis of a prototypical Type I PCP excised from the multimodular context revealed three conformational states. Comparison of the states with the structure of BlmI and other PCPs reveals that only one of the NMR states is found in other studies, suggesting the other two states may not be relevant. The state represented by the BlmI crystal structure can therefore serve as a model for both Type I and Type II PCPs.

  5. Crystal Structure of a Sulfur Carrier Protein Complex Found in the Cysteine Biosynthetic Pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

    SciTech Connect

    Jurgenson, Christopher T.; Burns, Kristin E.; Begley, Tadhg P.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2008-10-02

    The structure of the protein complex CysM-CysO from a new cysteine biosynthetic pathway found in the H37Rv strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis has been determined at 1.53 {angstrom} resolution. CysM (Rv1336) is a PLP-containing {beta}-replacement enzyme and CysO (Rv1335) is a sulfur carrier protein with a ubiquitin-like fold. CysM catalyzes the replacement of the acetyl group of O-acetylserine by CysO thiocarboxylate to generate a protein-bound cysteine that is released in a subsequent proteolysis reaction. The protein complex in the crystal structure is asymmetric with one CysO protomer binding to one end of a CysM dimer. Additionally, the structures of CysM and CysO were determined individually at 2.8 and 2.7 {angstrom} resolution, respectively. Sequence alignments with homologues and structural comparisons with CysK, a cysteine synthase that does not utilize a sulfur carrier protein, revealed high conservation of active site residues; however, residues in CysM responsible for CysO binding are not conserved. Comparison of the CysM-CysO binding interface with other sulfur carrier protein complexes revealed a similarity in secondary structural elements that contribute to complex formation in the ThiF-ThiS and MoeB-MoaD systems, despite major differences in overall folds. Comparison of CysM with and without bound CysO revealed conformational changes associated with CysO binding.

  6. Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation, growth and perfection of protein crystals will be overviewed along with crystal mechanical properties. The knowledge is based on experiments using optical and force crystals behave similar to inorganic crystals, though with a difference in orders of magnitude in growing parameters. For example, the low incorporation rate of large biomolecules requires up to 100 times larger supersaturation to grow protein, rather than inorganic crystals. Nucleation is often poorly reproducible, partly because of turbulence accompanying the mixing of precipitant with protein solution. Light scattering reveals fluctuations of molecular cluster size, its growth, surface energies and increased clustering as protein ages. Growth most often occurs layer-by-layer resulting in faceted crystals. New molecular layer on crystal face is terminated by a step where molecular incorporation occurs. Quantitative data on the incorporation rate will be discussed. Rounded crystals with molecularly disordered interfaces will be explained. Defects in crystals compromise the x-ray diffraction resolution crucially needed to find the 3D atomic structure of biomolecules. The defects are immobile so that birth defects stay forever. All lattice defects known for inorganics are revealed in protein crystals. Contribution of molecular conformations to lattice disorder is important, but not studied. This contribution may be enhanced by stress field from other defects. Homologous impurities (e.g., dimers, acetylated molecules) are trapped more willingly by a growing crystal than foreign protein impurities. The trapped impurities induce internal stress eliminated in crystals exceeding a critical size (part of mni for ferritin, lysozyme). Lesser impurities are trapped from stagnant, as compared to the flowing, solution. Freezing may induce much more defects unless quickly amorphysizing intracrystalline water.

  7. Crystal structures and kinetic properties of enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase I from Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Ling; Gao, Zengqiang; Li, Yanhua; Wang, Shennan; Dong, Yuhui

    2014-01-01

    Huanglongbing (HLB) is a destructive citrus disease. The leading cause of HLB is Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Fatty acid biosynthesis is essential for bacterial viability and has been validated as a target for the discovery of novel antibacterial agents. Enoyl−acyl carrier protein reductase (also called ENR or FabI and a product of the fabI gene) is an enzyme required in a critical step of bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis and has attracted attention as a target of novel antimicrobial agents. We determined the crystal structures of FabI from Ca. L. asiaticus in its apoform as well as in complex with b-nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) at 1.7 and 2.7 Å resolution, respectively, to facilitate the design and screening of small molecule inhibitors of FabI. The monomeric ClFabI is highly similar to other known FabI structures as expected; however, unlike the typical tetramer, ClFabI exists as a hexamer in crystal, whereas as dimer in solution, on the other hand, the substrate binding loop which always disordered in apoform FabI structures is ordered in apo-ClFabI. Interestingly, the structure of ClFabI undergoes remarkable conformational change in the substrate-binding loop in the presence of NAD. We conclude that the signature sequence motif of FabI can be considered as Gly-(Xaa)5-Ser-(Xaa)n-Val-Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys-(Xaa)n-Thr instead of Tyr-(Xaa)6-Lys. We have further identified isoniazid as a competitive inhibitor with NADH. PMID:24407918

  8. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic studies of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein and biotin protein ligase complex from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3

    SciTech Connect

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin; Matsuura, Yoshinori; Bagautdinova, Svetlana; Kunishima, Naoki

    2007-04-01

    A truncated form of biotin carboxyl carrier protein containing the C-terminal half fragment (BCCPΔN76) and the biotin protein ligase (BPL) with the mutation R48A (BPL*) or the double mutation R48A K111A (BPL**) were successfully cocrystallized in the presence of ATP and biotin. The BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 crystals belong to space group P2{sub 1} and diffract X-rays to 2.7 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively. Biotin protein ligase (BPL) catalyses the biotinylation of the biotin carboxyl carrier protein (BCCP) subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. To elucidate the exact details of the protein–protein interactions in the biotinylation function, the C-terminal half fragment of BCCP (BCCPΔN76), the R48A mutant of BPL (BPL*) and the R48A K111A double mutant of BPL (BPL**), all of which are from Pyrococcus horikoshii OT3, have been expressed, purified and successfully cocrystallized. Cocrystals of the BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 complexes as well as crystals of BPL*, BPL** and BCCPΔN76 were obtained by the oil-microbatch method using PEG 20 000 as a precipitant at 295 K. Complete X-ray diffraction data sets for BPL*–BCCPΔN76 and BPL**–BCCPΔN76 crystals were collected at 100 K to 2.7 and 2.0 Å resolution, respectively, using synchrotron radiation. They belong to the monoclinic space group P2{sub 1}, with similar unit-cell parameters a = 69.85, b = 63.12, c = 75.64 Å, β = 95.9°. Assuming two subunits of the complex per asymmetric unit gives a V{sub M} value of 2.45 Å{sup 3} Da{sup −1} and a solvent content of 50%.

  9. Crystal Structure of Epiphyas Postvittana Takeout 1 With Bound Ubiquinone Supports a Role As Ligand Carriers for Takeout Proteins in Insects

    SciTech Connect

    Hamiaux, C.; Stanley, D.; Greenwood, D.R.; Baker, E.N.; Newcomb, R.D.

    2009-05-19

    Takeout (To) proteins are found exclusively in insects and have been proposed to have important roles in various aspects of their physiology and behavior. Limited sequence similarity with juvenile hormone-binding proteins (JHBPs), which specifically bind and transport juvenile hormones in Lepidoptera, suggested a role for To proteins in binding hydrophobic ligands. We present the first crystal structure of a To protein, EpTo1 from the light brown apple moth Epiphyas postvittana, solved in-house by the single-wavelength anomalous diffraction technique using sulfur anomalous dispersion, and refined to 1.3 {angstrom} resolution. EpTo1 adopts the unusual {alpha}/{beta}-wrap fold, seen only for JHBP and several mammalian lipid carrier proteins, a scaffold tailored for the binding and/or transport of hydrophobic ligands. EpTo1 has a 45 {angstrom} long, purely hydrophobic, internal tunnel that extends for the full length of the protein and accommodates a bound ligand. The latter was shown by mass spectrometry to be ubiquinone-8 and is probably derived from Escherichia coli. The structure provides the first direct experimental evidence that To proteins are ligand carriers; gives insights into the nature of endogenous ligand(s) of EpTo1; shows, by comparison with JHBP, a basis for different ligand specificities; and suggests a mechanism for the binding/release of ligands.

  10. Cloning, expression, crystallization and preliminary X-ray crystallographic analysis of malonyl-CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase (FabD) from Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae.

    PubMed

    Jung, Jae-Wook; Natarajan, Sampath; Kim, Hyesoon; Ahn, Yeh-Jin; Kim, Seunghwan; Kim, Jeong-Gu; Lee, Byoung-Moo; Kang, Lin-Woo

    2008-12-01

    Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) causes bacterial blight in rice, which is one of the most devastating diseases in rice-cultivating countries. The Xoo0880 (fabD) gene coding for a malonyl-CoA-acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT) from Xoo was cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli. MCAT is an essential enzyme that catalyzes a key reaction of fatty-acid synthesis in bacteria and plants: the conversion of malonyl-CoA to malonyl-acyl carrier protein. The FabD enzyme was purified and crystallized in order to elucidate its three-dimensional structure and to determine its enzymatic reaction mechanism and biological importance. The crystal obtained diffracted to 1.9 A resolution and belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 41.4, b = 74.6, c = 98.5 A. According to Matthews coefficient calculations, the crystallographic structure contains only one monomeric unit in the asymmetric unit with a V(M) of 2.21 A(3) Da(-1) and a solvent content of 44.3%.

  11. Structural insight into amino group-carrier protein-mediated lysine biosynthesis: crystal structure of the LysZ·LysW complex from Thermus thermophilus.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Ayako; Tomita, Takeo; Fujimura, Tsutomu; Nishiyama, Chiharu; Kuzuyama, Tomohisa; Nishiyama, Makoto

    2015-01-02

    In the biosynthesis of lysine by Thermus thermophilus, the metabolite α-ketoglutarate is converted to the intermediate α-aminoadipate (AAA), which is protected by the 54-amino acid acidic protein LysW. In this study, we determined the crystal structure of LysZ from T. thermophilus (TtLysZ), an amino acid kinase that catalyzes the second step in the AAA to lysine conversion, which was in a complex with LysW at a resolution of 1.85 Å. A crystal analysis coupled with isothermal titration calorimetry of the TtLysZ mutants for TtLysW revealed tight interactions between LysZ and the globular and C-terminal extension domains of the LysW protein, which were mainly attributed to electrostatic forces. These results provided structural evidence for LysW acting as a protecting molecule for the α-amino group of AAA and also as a carrier protein to guarantee better recognition by biosynthetic enzymes for the efficient biosynthesis of lysine.

  12. Protein Crystal Based Nanomaterials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Jeffrey A.; VanRoey, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    This is the final report on a NASA Grant. It concerns a description of work done, which includes: (1) Protein crystals cross-linked to form fibers; (2) Engineering of protein to favor crystallization; (3) Better knowledge-based potentials for protein-protein contacts; (4) Simulation of protein crystallization.

  13. Protein carriers of conjugate vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Pichichero, Michael E

    2013-01-01

    The immunogenicity of polysaccharides as human vaccines was enhanced by coupling to protein carriers. Conjugation transformed the T cell-independent polysaccharide vaccines of the past to T cell-dependent antigenic vaccines that were much more immunogenic and launched a renaissance in vaccinology. This review discusses the conjugate vaccines for prevention of infections caused by Hemophilus influenzae type b, Streptococcus pneumoniae, and Neisseria meningitidis. Specifically, the characteristics of the proteins used in the construction of the vaccines including CRM, tetanus toxoid, diphtheria toxoid, Neisseria meningitidis outer membrane complex, and Hemophilus influenzae protein D are discussed. The studies that established differences among and key features of conjugate vaccines including immunologic memory induction, reduction of nasopharyngeal colonization and herd immunity, and antibody avidity and avidity maturation are presented. Studies of dose, schedule, response to boosters, of single protein carriers with single and multiple polysaccharides, of multiple protein carriers with multiple polysaccharides and conjugate vaccines administered concurrently with other vaccines are discussed along with undesirable consequences of conjugate vaccines. The clear benefits of conjugate vaccines in improving the protective responses of the immature immune systems of young infants and the senescent immune systems of the elderly have been made clear and opened the way to development of additional vaccines using this technology for future vaccine products. PMID:23955057

  14. Pressure cryocooling protein crystals

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Chae Un; Gruner, Sol M.

    2011-10-04

    Preparation of cryocooled protein crystal is provided by use of helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal allowing collection of high resolution data and by heavier noble gas (krypton or xenon) binding followed by helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal for collection of high resolution data and SAD phasing simultaneously. The helium pressurizing is carried out on crystal coated to prevent dehydration or on crystal grown in aqueous solution in a capillary.

  15. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-05-01

    We developed a new protein crystallization method that incorporates paper. A small piece of paper, such as facial tissue or KimWipes, was added to a drop of protein solution in the traditional sitting drop vapor diffusion technique, and protein crystals grew by incorporating paper. By this method, we achieved the growth of protein crystals with reducing osmotic shock. Because the technique is very simple and the materials are easy to obtain, this method will come into wide use for protein crystallization. In the future, it could be applied to nanoliter-scale crystallization screening on a paper sheet such as in inkjet printing.

  16. A carrier protein strategy yields the structure of dalbavancin

    PubMed Central

    Economou, Nicoleta J.; Nahoum, Virginie; Weeks, Stephen D.; Grasty, Kimberly C.; Zentner, Isaac J.; Townsend, Tracy M.; Bhuiya, Mohammad W.; Cocklin, Simon; Loll, Patrick J.

    2012-01-01

    Many large natural product antibiotics act by specifically binding and sequestering target molecules found on bacterial cells. We have developed a new strategy to expedite the structural analysis of such antibiotic-target complexes, in which we covalently link the target molecules to carrier proteins, and then crystallize the entire carrier/target/antibiotic complex. Using native chemical ligation, we have linked the Lys-d-Ala-d-Ala binding epitope for glycopeptide antibiotics to three different carrier proteins. We show that recognition of this peptide by multiple antibiotics is not compromised by the presence of the carrier protein partner, and use this approach to determine the first-ever crystal structure for the new therapeutic dalbavancin. We also report the first crystal structure of an asymmetric ristocetin antibiotic dimer, as well as the structure of vancomycin bound to a carrier-target fusion. The dalbavancin structure reveals an antibiotic molecule that has closed around its binding partner; it also suggests mechanisms by which the drug can enhance its half-life by binding to serum proteins, and be targeted to bacterial membranes. Notably, the carrier protein approach is not limited to peptide ligands such as Lys-d-Ala-d-Ala, but is applicable to a diverse range of targets. This strategy is likely to yield structural insights that accelerate new therapeutic development. PMID:22352468

  17. The macro domain as fusion tag for carrier-driven crystallization.

    PubMed

    Wild, Rebekka; Hothorn, Michael

    2017-02-01

    Obtaining well-ordered crystals remains a significant challenge in protein X-ray crystallography. Carrier-driven crystallization can facilitate crystal formation and structure solution of difficult target proteins. We obtained crystals of the small and highly flexible SPX domain from the yeast vacuolar transporter chaperone 4 (Vtc4) when fused to a C-terminal, non-cleavable macro tag derived from human histone macroH2A1.1. Initial crystals diffracted to 3.3 Å resolution. Reductive protein methylation of the fusion protein yielded a new crystal form diffracting to 2.1 Å. The structures were solved by molecular replacement, using isolated macro domain structures as search models. Our findings suggest that macro domain tags can be employed in recombinant protein expression in E. coli, and in carrier-driven crystallization.

  18. Protein crystallization in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Aibara, S; Shibata, K; Morita, Y

    1997-12-01

    A space experiment involving protein crystallization was conducted in a microgravity environment using the space shuttle "Endeavour" of STS-47, on a 9-day mission from September 12th to 20th in 1992. The crystallization was carried out according to a batch method, and 5 proteins were selected as flight samples for crystallization. Two of these proteins: hen egg-white lysozyme and co-amino acid: pyruvate aminotransferase from Pseudomonas sp. F-126, were obtained as single crystals of good diffraction quality. Since 1992 we have carried out several space experiments for protein crystallization aboard space shuttles and the space station MIR. Our experimental results obtained mainly from hen egg-white lysozyme are described below, focusing on the effects of microgravity on protein crystal growth.

  19. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Proteins account for 50% or more of the dry weight of most living systems and play a crucial role in virtually all biological processes. Since the specific functions of essentially all biological molecules are determined by their three-dimensional structures, it is obvious that a detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. At the present time, protein crystallography has no substitute, it is the only technique available for elucidating the atomic arrangements within complicated biological molecules. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting and promising projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. There is a pressing need to better understand protein crystal growth, and to develop new techniques that can be used to enhance the size and quality of protein crystals. There are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor that might be expected to alter crystal growth processes in space is the elimination of density-driven convective flow. Another factor that can be readily controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystal in a gravitational field. Another potential advantage of microgravity for protein crystal growth is the option of doing containerless crystal growth. One can readily understand why the microgravity environment established by Earth-orbiting vehicles is perceived to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. The near term objectives of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  20. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy uses laser technology to reveal a defect, a double-screw dislocation, on the surface of this crystal of canavalin, a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. When a crystal grows, attachment kinetics and transport kinetics are competing for control of the molecules. As a molecule gets close to the crystal surface, it has to attach properly for the crystal to be usable. NASA has funded investigators to look at those attachment kinetics from a theoretical standpoint and an experimental standpoint. Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine, is one of those investigators. He uses X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy in his laboratory to answer some of the many questions about how protein crystals grow. Atomic force microscopy provides a means of looking at how individual molecules are added to the surface of growing protein crystals. This helps McPherson understand the kinetics of protein crystal growth. McPherson asks, How fast do crystals grow? What are the forces involved? Investigators funded by NASA have clearly shown that such factors as the level of supersaturation and the rate of growth all affect the habit [characteristic arrangement of facets] of the crystal and the defects that occur in the crystal.

  1. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  2. Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    In order to rapidly and efficiently grow crystals, tools were needed to automatically identify and analyze the growing process of protein crystals. To meet this need, Diversified Scientific, Inc. (DSI), with the support of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center, developed CrystalScore(trademark), the first automated image acquisition, analysis, and archiving system designed specifically for the macromolecular crystal growing community. It offers automated hardware control, image and data archiving, image processing, a searchable database, and surface plotting of experimental data. CrystalScore is currently being used by numerous pharmaceutical companies and academic and nonprofit research centers. DSI, located in Birmingham, Alabama, was awarded the patent Method for acquiring, storing, and analyzing crystal images on March 4, 2003. Another DSI product made possible by Marshall SBIR funding is VaporPro(trademark), a unique, comprehensive system that allows for the automated control of vapor diffusion for crystallization experiments.

  3. Using Inorganic Crystals To Grow Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlichta, Paul J.; Mcpherson, Alexander A.

    1989-01-01

    Solid materials serve as nucleating agents. Protein crystals induced by heterogeneous nucleation and in some cases by epitaxy to grow at lower supersaturations than needed for spontaneous nucleation. Heterogeneous nucleation makes possible to grow large, defect-free single crystals of protein more readily. Such protein crystals benefits research in biochemistry and pharmacology.

  4. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  5. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  6. Microgravity Crystallization of Alpha-Crustacyanin Onboard the Unmanned Carrier, EURECA

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, T. J.; Snell, E. H.; Helliwell, J. R.; Chayen, N. E.; Zagalsky, P. F.

    1998-01-01

    alpha-Crustacyanin, the lobster carapace astaxanthin-protein, was crystallized using the European Space Agency's (ESA) automated Protein Crystallization Facility (PCF) which flew onboard the unmanned EUropean REtrievable CArrier (EURECA). A free interface linear, liquid - liquid diffusion, method was used. Crystals grew larger and thicker in the microgravity case compared to the biggest crystals grown on earth. Video observation on EURECA revealed variations in crystal sizes through-out the reactor neatly correlated with depletion of this coloured protein from the solution. The video observations most importantly revealed no visible movement of crystals over the initial 7 weeks of the experiment, although an obvious temperature induced jump occurred at that time in a mission spanning 11 months. An important observation from this mission, over the first 7 weeks, of completely stationary crystal growth contrasts with crystal motions viewed on manned microgravity missions, even using linear liquid - liquid geometries, and much shorter flights (eg. 12 to 16 days).

  7. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  8. Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This section of the Life and Microgravity Spacelab (LMS) publication contains articles entitled: (1) Crystallization of EGFR-EGF; (2) Crystallization of Apocrustacyanin C1; (3) Crystallization and X-ray Analysis of 5S rRNA and the 5S rRNA Domain A; (4) Growth of Lysozyme Crystals at Low Nucleation Density; (5) Comparative Analysis of Aspartyl tRNA-synthetase and Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and In Microgravity; (6) Lysosome Crystal Growth in the Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility Monitored via Mach-Zehnder Interferometry and CCD Video; (7) Analysis of Thaumatin Crystals Grown on Earth and in Microgravity; (8) Crystallization of the Nucleosome Core Particle; (9) Crystallization of Photosystem I; (10) Mechanism of Membrane Protein Crystal Growth: Bacteriorhodopsin-mixed Micelle Packing at the Consolution Boundary, Stabilized in Microgravity; (11) Crystallization in a Microgravity Environment of CcdB, a Protein Involved in the Control of Cell Death; and (12) Crystallization of Sulfolobus Solfataricus

  9. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, Lawrence J.; Smith, Craig D.; Smith, H. Wilson; Vijay-Kumar, Senadhi; Senadhi, Shobha E.; Ealick, Steven E.; Carter, Daniel C.; Snyder, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The crystals of most proteins or other biological macromolecules are poorly ordered and diffract to lower resolutions than those observed for most crystals of simple organic and inorganic compounds. Crystallization in the microgravity environment of space may improve crystal quality by eliminating convection effects near growing crystal surfaces. A series of 11 different protein crystal growth experiments was performed on U.S. Space Shuttle flight STS-26 in September 1988. The microgravity-grown crystals of gamma-interferon D1, porcine elastase, and isocitrate lyase are larger, display more uniform morphologies, and yield diffraction data to significantly higher resolutions than the best crystals of these proteins grown on earth.

  10. Introduction to protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid–liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  11. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  12. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenblum, William M.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Wilson, William W.

    1989-01-01

    Major advances have been made in several of the experimental aspects of protein crystallography, leaving protein crystallization as one of the few remaining bottlenecks. As a result, it has become important that the science of protein crystal growth is better understood and that improved methods for protein crystallization are developed. Preliminary experiments with both small molecules and proteins indicate that microgravity may beneficially affect crystal growth. For this reason, a series of protein crystal growth experiments using the Space Shuttle was initiated. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth. Various optical techniques are being utilized to monitor the crystal growth process from the incipient or nucleation stage and throughout the growth phase. The eventual goal of these studies is to develop a system which utilizes optical monitoring for dynamic control of the crystallization process.

  13. Bacterial ice crystal controlling proteins.

    PubMed

    Lorv, Janet S H; Rose, David R; Glick, Bernard R

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions.

  14. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  15. Protein Crystals Grown in Space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    A collage of protein and virus crystals, many of which were grown on the U.S. Space Shuttle or Russian Space Station, Mir. The crystals include the proteins canavalin; mouse monoclonal antibody; a sweet protein, thaumatin; and a fungal protease. Viruses are represented here by crystals of turnip yellow mosaic virus and satellite tobacco mosaic virus. The crystals are photographed under polarized light (thus causing the colors) and range in size from a few hundred microns in edge length up to more than a millimeter. All the crystals are grown from aqueous solutions and are useful for X-ray diffraction analysis. Credit: Dr. Alex McPherson, University of California, Irvine.

  16. Protein Crystals and their Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    Recent results on binding between protein molecules in crystal lattice, crystal-solution surface energy, elastic properties and strength and spontaneous crystal cracking are reviewed and discussed in the first half of this paper (Sea 2-4). In the second par&, some basic approaches to solubility of proteins are followed by overview on crystal nucleation and growth (Sec 5). It is argued that variability of mixing in batch crystallization may be a source for scattering of crystal number ultimately appearing in the batch. Frequency at which new molecules join crystal lattice is measured by kinetic coefficient and related to the observable crystal growth rate. Numerical criteria to discriminate diffusion and kinetic limited growth are discussed on this basis in Sec 7. In Sec 8, creation of defects is discussed with the emphasis on the role of impurities and convection on macromolecular crystal I;erfection.

  17. Carrier doping and interlayer coupling in HTSC single crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Kishio, K.; Shimoyama, J.; Kimura, T.; Kotaka, Y.; Kitazawa, K.; Yamafuji, K.; Li, Q.; Suenaga, M.

    1994-09-01

    Experimental results of the effect of carrier doping on the irreversibility lines in (La,Sr){sub 2}CuO{sub 4{minus}{delta}} and Bi{sub 2}Sr{sub 2}CaCu{sub 2}O{sub 8 + {delta}} single crystals are summarized. As a function of Sr or oxygen contents, systematic and dramatic widening of the irreversible regions in the B {minus} T phase diagram was observed in both systems. The present study suggests the critical importance of carrier concentration which directly affects the interlayer coupling strength and dimensionality of the flux line lattice in all the layered HTSC compounds as a universal feature.

  18. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin. The major storage protein of leguminous plants and a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. It is studied in efforts to enhance nutritional value of proteins through protein engineerings. It is isolated from Jack Bean because of it's potential as a nutritional substance. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Alex McPherson.

  19. Protein crystal growth tray assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Miller, Teresa Y. (Inventor)

    1992-01-01

    A protein crystal growth tray assembly includes a tray that has a plurality of individual crystal growth chambers. Each chamber has a movable pedestal which carries a protein crystal growth compartment at an upper end. The several pedestals for each tray assembly are ganged together for concurrent movement so that the solutions in the various pedestal growth compartments can be separated from the solutions in the tray's growth chambers until the experiment is to be activated.

  20. High density protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rouleau, Robyn (Inventor); Delucas, Lawrence (Inventor); Hedden, Douglas Keith (Inventor)

    2004-01-01

    A protein crystal growth assembly including a crystal growth cell and further including a cell body having a top side and a bottom side and a first aperture defined therethrough, the cell body having opposing first and second sides and a second aperture defined therethrough. A cell barrel is disposed within the cell body, the cell barrel defining a cavity alignable with the first aperture of the cell body, the cell barrel being rotatable within the second aperture. A reservoir is coupled to the bottom side of the cell body and a cap having a top side is disposed on the top side of the cell body. The protein crystal growth assembly may be employed in methods including vapor diffusion crystallization, liquid to liquid crystallization, batch crystallization, and temperature induction batch mode crystallization.

  1. Lasing from fluorescent protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Oh, Heon Jeong; Gather, Malte C; Song, Ji-Joon; Yun, Seok Hyun

    2014-12-15

    We investigated fluorescent protein crystals for potential photonic applications, for the first time to our knowledge. Rod-shaped crystals of enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) were synthesized, with diameters of 0.5-2 μm and lengths of 100-200 μm. The crystals exhibit minimal light scattering due to their ordered structure and generate substantially higher fluorescence intensity than EGFP or dye molecules in solutions. The magnitude of concentration quenching in EGFP crystals was measured to be about 7-10 dB. Upon optical pumping at 485 nm, individual EGFP crystals located between dichroic mirrors generated laser emission with a single-mode spectral line at 513 nm. Our results demonstrate the potential of protein crystals as novel optical elements for self-assembled, micro- or nano-lasers and amplifiers in aqueous environment.

  2. Crystal structure and substrate specificity of the [beta]-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthase III (FabH) from Staphylococcus aureus

    SciTech Connect

    Qiu, Xiayang; Choudhry, Anthony E.; Janson, Cheryl A.; Grooms, Michael; Daines, Robert A.; Lonsdale, John T.; Khandekar, Sanjay S.

    2010-07-20

    {beta}-Ketoacyl-ACP synthase III (FabH), an essential enzyme for bacterial viability, catalyzes the initiation of fatty acid elongation by condensing malonyl-ACP with acetyl-CoA. We have determined the crystal structure of FabH from Staphylococcus aureus, a Gram-positive human pathogen, to 2 {angstrom} resolution. Although the overall structure of S. aureus FabH is similar to that of Escherichia coli FabH, the primer binding pocket in S. aureus FabH is significantly larger than that present in E. coli FabH. The structural differences, which agree with kinetic parameters, provide explanation for the observed varying substrate specificity for E. coli and S. aureus FabH. The rank order of activity of S. aureus FabH with various acyl-CoA primers was as follows: isobutyryl- > hexanoyl- > butyryl- > isovaleryl- >> acetyl-CoA. The availability of crystal structure may aid in designing potent, selective inhibitors of S. aureus FabH.

  3. Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  4. Protein crystallization apparatus for microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  5. Scientist prepare Lysozyme Protein Crystal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Dan Carter and Charles Sisk center a Lysozyme Protein crystal grown aboard the USML-2 shuttle mission. Protein isolated from hen egg-white and functions as a bacteriostatic enzyme by degrading bacterial cell walls. First enzyme ever characterized by protein crystallography. It is used as an excellent model system for better understanding parameters involved in microgravity crystal growth experiments. The goal is to compare kinetic data from microgravity experiments with data from laboratory experiments to study the equilibrium.

  6. Surface Relaxation in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boutet, S.; Robinson, I. K.; Hu, Z. W.; Thomas, B. R.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    Surface X-ray diffraction measurements were performed on (111) growth faces of crystals of the Cellular iron-storage protein horse spleen ferritin. Crystal Trunkation Rods (CTR) were measured. A fit of the measured profile of the CTR revealed a surface roughness of 48 +/- 4.5 A and a top layer spacing contraction of 3.9 +/- 1.5%. In addition to the peak from the CTR, the rocking curves of the crystals displayed unexpected extra peaks. Multiple-scattering is demonstrated to account for them. Future applications of the method could allow the exploration of hydration effects on the growth of protein crystals.

  7. The crystal structure of Atg3, an autophagy-related ubiquitin carrier protein (E2) enzyme that mediates Atg8 lipidation.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Yuya; Suzuki, Nobuo N; Hanada, Takao; Ichimura, Yoshinobu; Kumeta, Hiroyuki; Fujioka, Yuko; Ohsumi, Yoshinori; Inagaki, Fuyuhiko

    2007-03-16

    Atg3 is an E2-like enzyme that catalyzes the conjugation of Atg8 and phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). The Atg8-PE conjugate is essential for autophagy, which is the bulk degradation process of cytoplasmic components by the vacuolar/lysosomal system. We report here the crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Atg3 at 2.5-A resolution. Atg3 has an alpha/beta-fold, and its core region is topologically similar to canonical E2 enzymes. Atg3 has two regions inserted in the core region, one of which consists of approximately 80 residues and has a random coil structure in solution and another with a long alpha-helical structure that protrudes from the core region as far as 30 A. In vivo and in vitro analyses suggested that the former region is responsible for binding Atg7, an E1-like enzyme, and that the latter is responsible for binding Atg8. A sulfate ion was bound near the catalytic cysteine of Atg3, suggesting a possible binding site for the phosphate moiety of PE. The structure of Atg3 provides a molecular basis for understanding the unique lipidation reaction that Atg3 carries out.

  8. Emodin targets the β-hydroxyacyl-acyl carrier protein dehydratase from Helicobacter pylori: enzymatic inhibition assay with crystal structural and thermodynamic characterization

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Background The natural product Emodin demonstrates a wide range of pharmacological properties including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiproliferation, vasorelaxant and anti-H. pylori activities. Although its H. pylori inhibition was discovered, no acting target information against Emodin has been revealed to date. Results Here we reported that Emodin functioned as a competitive inhibitor against the recombinant β-hydroxyacyl-ACP dehydratase from Helicobacter pylori (HpFabZ), and strongly inhibited the growth of H. pylori strains SS1 and ATCC 43504. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) based assays have suggested the kinetic and thermodynamic features of Emodin/HpFabZ interaction. Additionally, to inspect the binding characters of Emodin against HpFabZ at atomic level, the crystal structure of HpFabZ-Emodin complex was also examined. The results showed that Emodin inhibition against HpFabZ could be implemented either through its occupying the entrance of the tunnel or embedding into the tunnel to prevent the substrate from accessing the active site. Conclusion Our work is expected to provide useful information for illumination of Emodin inhibition mechanism against HpFabZ, while Emodin itself could be used as a potential lead compound for further anti-bacterial drug discovery. PMID:19433000

  9. Trapping of the Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase–Acyl Carrier Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Tallorin, Lorillee; Finzel, Kara; Nguyen, Quynh G.; Beld, Joris; La Clair, James J.; Burkart, Michael D.

    2016-01-01

    An ideal target for metabolic engineering, fatty acid biosynthesis remains poorly understood on a molecular level. These carrier protein-dependent pathways require fundamental protein–protein interactions to guide reactivity and processivity, and their control has become one of the major hurdles in successfully adapting these biological machines. Our laboratory has developed methods to prepare acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) loaded with substrate mimetics and cross-linkers to visualize and trap interactions with partner enzymes, and we continue to expand the tools for studying these pathways. We now describe application of the slow-onset, tight-binding inhibitor triclosan to explore the interactions between the type II fatty acid ACP from Escherichia coli, AcpP, and its corresponding enoyl-ACP reductase, FabI. We show that the AcpP–triclosan complex demonstrates nM binding, inhibits in vitro activity, and can be used to isolate FabI in complex proteomes. PMID:26938266

  10. Protein transduction assisted by polyethylenimine-cationized carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Kitazoe, Midori; Murata, Hitoshi; Futami, Junichiro; Maeda, Takashi; Sakaguchi, Masakiyo; Miyazaki, Masahiro; Kosaka, Megumi; Tada, Hiroko; Seno, Masaharu; Huh, Nam-ho; Namba, Masayoshi; Nishikawa, Mitsuo; Maeda, Yoshitake; Yamada, Hidenori

    2005-06-01

    Previously, we have reported that cationized-proteins covalently modified with polyethylenimine (PEI) (direct PEI-cationization) efficiently enter cells and function in the cytosol [Futami et al. (2005) J. Biosci. Bioeng. 99, 95-103]. However, it may be more convenient if a protein could be delivered into cells just by mixing the protein with a PEI-cationized carrier protein having a specific affinity (indirect PEI-cationization). Thus, we prepared PEI-cationized avidin (PEI-avidin), streptavidin (PEI-streptavidin), and protein G (PEI-protein G), and examined whether they could deliver biotinylated proteins and antibodies into living cells. PEI-avidin (and/or PEI-streptavidin) carried biotinylated GFPs into various mammalian cells very efficiently. A GFP variant containing a nuclear localization signal was found to arrive even in the nucleus. The addition of a biotinylated RNase A derivative mixed with PEI-streptavidin to a culture medium of 3T3-SV-40 cells resulted in remarkable cell growth inhibition, suggesting that the biotinylated RNase A derivative entered cells and digested intracellular RNA molecules. Furthermore, the addition of a fluorescein-labeled anti-S100C (beta-actin binding protein) antibody mixed with PEI-protein G to human fibroblasts resulted in the appearance of a fluorescence image of actin-like filamentous structures in the cells. These results indicate that indirect PEI-cationization using non-covalent interaction is as effective as the direct PEI-cationization for the transduction of proteins into living cells and for expression of their functions in the cytosol. Thus, PEI-cationized proteins having a specific affinity for certain molecules such as PEI-streptavidin, PEI-avidin and PEI-protein G are concluded to be widely applicable protein transduction carrier molecules.

  11. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel

    1992-01-01

    The overall scientific goals and rationale for growing protein crystals in microgravity are discussed. Data on the growth of human serum albumin crystals which were produced during the First International Microgravity Laboratory (IML-1) are presented. Potential scientific advantages of the utilization of Space Station Freedom are discussed.

  12. Measuring phonons in protein crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Katherine A.; Snell, Edward; Markelz, A. G.

    2013-03-01

    Using Terahertz near field microscopy we find orientation dependent narrow band absorption features for lysozyme crystals. Here we discuss identification of protein collective modes associated with the observed features. Using normal mode calculations we find good agreement with several of the measured features, suggesting that the modes arise from internal molecular motions and not crystal phonons. Such internal modes have been associated with protein function.

  13. Nucleation precursors in protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Vekilov, Peter G.; Vorontsova, Maria A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal nucleation is a central problem in biological crystallography and other areas of science, technology and medicine. Recent studies have demonstrated that protein crystal nuclei form within crucial precursors. Here, methods of detection and characterization of the precursors are reviewed: dynamic light scattering, atomic force microscopy and Brownian microscopy. Data for several proteins provided by these methods have demonstrated that the nucleation precursors are clusters consisting of protein-dense liquid, which are metastable with respect to the host protein solution. The clusters are several hundred nanometres in size, the cluster population occupies from 10−7 to 10−3 of the solution volume, and their properties in solutions supersaturated with respect to crystals are similar to those in homogeneous, i.e. undersaturated, solutions. The clusters exist owing to the conformation flexibility of the protein molecules, leading to exposure of hydrophobic surfaces and enhanced intermolecular binding. These results indicate that protein conformational flexibility might be the mechanism behind the metastable mesoscopic clusters and crystal nucleation. Investigations of the cluster properties are still in their infancy. Results on direct imaging of cluster behaviors and characterization of cluster mechanisms with a variety of proteins will soon lead to major breakthroughs in protein biophysics. PMID:24598910

  14. Protein crystal nucleation in pores

    PubMed Central

    Nanev, Christo N.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2017-01-01

    The most powerful method for protein structure determination is X-ray crystallography which relies on the availability of high quality crystals. Obtaining protein crystals is a major bottleneck, and inducing their nucleation is of crucial importance in this field. An effective method to form crystals is to introduce nucleation-inducing heterologous materials into the crystallization solution. Porous materials are exceptionally effective at inducing nucleation. It is shown here that a combined diffusion-adsorption effect can increase protein concentration inside pores, which enables crystal nucleation even under conditions where heterogeneous nucleation on flat surfaces is absent. Provided the pore is sufficiently narrow, protein molecules approach its walls and adsorb more frequently than they can escape. The decrease in the nucleation energy barrier is calculated, exhibiting its quantitative dependence on the confinement space and the energy of interaction with the pore walls. These results provide a detailed explanation of the effectiveness of porous materials for nucleation of protein crystals, and will be useful for optimal design of such materials. PMID:28091515

  15. Characterization of the "Escherichia Coli" Acyl Carrier Protein Phosphodiesterase

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thomas, Jacob

    2009-01-01

    Acyl carrier protein (ACP) is a small essential protein that functions as a carrier of the acyl intermediates of fatty acid synthesis. ACP requires the posttranslational attachment of a 4'phosphopantetheine functional group, derived from CoA, in order to perform its metabolic function. A Mn[superscript 2+] dependent enzymatic activity that removes…

  16. Protein Crystal Recombinant Human Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1994-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Recombiant Human Insulin; space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). On STS-60, Spacehab II indicated that space-grown crystals are larger and of greater optical clarity than their earth-grown counterparts. Recombiant Human Insulin facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  17. Commercial Protein Crystal Growth: Protein Crystallization Facility (CPCG-H)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2002-12-01

    Within the human body, there are thousands of different proteins that serve a variety of different functions, such as making it possible for red blood cells to carry oxygen in our bodies. Yet proteins can also be involved in diseases. Each protein has a particular chemical structure, which means it has a unique shape. It is this three-dimensional shape that allows each protein to do its job by interacting with chemicals or binding with other proteins. If researchers can determine the shape, or shapes, of a protein, they can learn how it works. This information can then be used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs or improve the way medications work. The NASA Commercial Space Center sponsoring this experiment - the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - has more than 60 industry and academic partners who grow protein crystals and use the information in drug design projects.

  18. Compact Apparatus Grows Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Suddath, Fred L.; Snyder, Robert S.; Herren, Blair J.; Carter, Daniel C.; Yost, Vaughn H.

    1989-01-01

    Laboratory apparatus provides delicately balanced combination of materials and chemical conditions for growth of protein crystals. Apparatus and technique for growth based on hanging-drop method for crystallization of macromolecules. Includes pair of syringes with ganged plungers. One syringe contains protein solution; other contains precipitating-agent solution. Syringes intrude into cavity lined with porous reservoir material saturated with 1 mL or more of similar precipitating-agent solution. Prior to activation, ends of syringes plugged to prevent transport of water vapor among three solutions.

  19. Protein crystallization studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyne, James Evans

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology laboratory at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center uses x-ray crystallographic techniques to conduct research into the three-dimensional structure of a wide variety of proteins. A major effort in the laboratory involves an ongoing study of human serum albumin (the principal protein in human plasma) and its interaction with various endogenous substances and pharmaceutical agents. Another focus is on antigenic and functional proteins from several pathogenic organisms including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the widespread parasitic genus, Schistosoma. My efforts this summer have been twofold: first, to identify clinically significant drug interactions involving albumin binding displacement and to initiate studies of the three-dimensional structure of albumin complexed with these agents, and secondly, to establish collaborative efforts to extend the lab's work on human pathogens.

  20. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  1. The MORPHEUS protein crystallization screen.

    PubMed

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2009-12-01

    A 96-condition initial screen for protein crystallization, called MORPHEUS, has been developed at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England (MRC-LMB). The concept integrates several innovative approaches, such as chemically compatible mixes of potential ligands, new buffer systems and precipitant mixes that also act as cryoprotectants. Instead of gathering a set of crystallization conditions that have already been successful, a selection of molecules frequently observed in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) to co-crystallize with proteins has been made. These have been put together in mixes of similar chemical behaviour and structure, and combined with buffers and precipitant mixes that were also derived from PDB searches, to build the screen de novo. Observations made at the MRC-LMB and many practical aspects were also taken into account when formulating the screen. The resulting screen is easy to use, comprehensive yet small, and has already yielded a list of crystallization hits using both known and novel samples. As an indicator of success, the screen has now become one of the standard screens used routinely at the MRC-LMB when searching initial crystallization conditions for biological macromolecules.

  2. Automated protein crystal growth facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donald, Stacey

    1994-01-01

    A customer for the protein crystal growth facility fills the specially designed chamber with the correct solutions, fills the syringes with their quenching solutions, and submits the data needed for the proper growth of their crystal. To make sure that the chambers and syringes are filled correctly, a NASA representative may assist the customer. The data needed is the approximate growth time, the growth temperature, and the desired crystal size, but this data can be changed anytime from the ground, if needed. The chambers are gathered and placed into numbered slots in special drawers. Then, data is entered into a computer for each of the chambers. Technicians map out when each chamber's growth should be activated so that all of the chambers have enough time to grow. All of this data is up-linked to the space station when the previous growth session is over. Anti-vibrational containers need to be constructed for the high forces encountered during the lift off and the landing of the space shuttle, and though our team has not designed these containers, we do not feel that there is any reason why a suitable one could not be made. When the shuttle reaches the space station, an astronaut removes a drawer of quenched chambers from the growth facility and inserts a drawer of new chambers. All twelve of the drawers can be replaced in this fashion. The optical disks can also be removed this way. The old drawers are stored for the trip back to earth. Once inside the growth facility, a chamber is removed by the robot and placed in one of 144 active sites at a time previously picked by a technician. Growth begins when the chamber is inserted into an active site. Then, the sensing system starts to determine the size of the protein crystal. All during the crystal's growth, the customer can view the crystal and read all of the crystal's data, such as growth rate and crystal size. When the sensing system determines that the crystal has reached the predetermined size, the robot is

  3. Process for Encapsulating Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morrison, Dennis R.; Mosier, Benjamin

    2003-01-01

    A process for growing protein crystals encapsulated within membranes has been invented. This process begins with the encapsulation of a nearly saturated aqueous protein solution inside semipermeable membranes to form microcapsules. The encapsulation is effected by use of special formulations of a dissolved protein and a surfactant in an aqueous first liquid phase, which is placed into contact with a second, immiscible liquid phase that contains one or more polymers that are insoluble in the first phase. The second phase becomes formed into the semipermeable membranes that surround microglobules of the first phase, thereby forming the microcapsules. Once formed, the microcapsules are then dehydrated osmotically by exposure to a concentrated salt or polymer solution. The dehydration forms supersaturated solutions inside the microcapsules, thereby enabling nucleation and growth of protein crystals inside the microcapsules. By suitable formulation of the polymer or salt solution and of other physical and chemical parameters, one can control the rate of transport of water out of the microcapsules through the membranes and thereby create physicochemical conditions that favor the growth, within each microcapsule, of one or a few large crystals suitable for analysis by x-ray diffraction. The membrane polymer can be formulated to consist of low-molecular-weight molecules that do not interfere with the x-ray diffraction analysis of the encapsulated crystals. During dehydration, an electrostatic field can be applied to exert additional control over the rate of dehydration. This protein-crystal-encapsulation process is expected to constitute the basis of protein-growth experiments to be performed on the space shuttle and the International Space Station. As envisioned, the experiments would involve the exposure of immiscible liquids to each other in sequences of steps under microgravitational conditions. The experiments are expected to contribute to knowledge of the precise

  4. Slow cooling of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Warkentin, Matthew; Thorne, Robert E

    2009-10-01

    Cryoprotectant-free thaumatin crystals have been cooled from 300 to 100 K at a rate of 0.1 K s(-1) - 10(3)-10(4) times slower than in conventional flash cooling - while continuously collecting X-ray diffraction data, so as to follow the evolution of protein lattice and solvent properties during cooling. Diffraction patterns show no evidence of crystalline ice at any temperature. This indicates that the lattice of protein molecules is itself an excellent cryoprotectant, and with sodium potassium tartrate incorporated from the 1.5 M mother liquor ice nucleation rates are at least as low as in a 70% glycerol solution. Crystal quality during slow cooling remains high, with an average mosaicity at 100 K of 0.2 degrees . Most of the mosaicity increase occurs above approximately 200 K, where the solvent is still liquid, and is concurrent with an anisotropic contraction of the unit cell. Near 180 K a crossover to solid-like solvent behavior occurs, and on further cooling there is no additional degradation of crystal order. The variation of B factor with temperature shows clear evidence of a protein dynamical transition near 210 K, and at lower temperatures the slope dB/dT is a factor of 3-6 smaller than has been reported for any other protein. These results establish the feasibility of fully temperature controlled studies of protein structure and dynamics between 300 and 100 K.

  5. The effect of haptens on protein-carrier immunogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Gefen, Tal; Vaya, Jacob; Khatib, Soliman; Rapoport, Irena; Lupo, Meital; Barnea, Eilon; Admon, Arie; Heller, Elimelech Dan; Aizenshtein, Elina; Pitcovski, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    The immune response against hapten is T-cell-dependent, and so requires the uptake, processing and presentation of peptides on MHC class II molecules by antigen-presenting cells to the specific T cell. Some haptens, following conjugation to the available free amines on the surface of the carrier protein, can reduce its immunogenicity. The purpose of this study was to explore the mechanism by which this occurs. Four proteins were tested as carriers and six molecules were used as haptens. The immune response to the carrier proteins was reduced > 100-fold by some of the haptens (termed carrier immunogenicity reducing haptens – CIRH), whereas other haptens did not influence the protein immunogenicity (carrier immunogenicity non-reducing haptens – nCIRH). Conjugation of the protein to a CIRH affected protein degradation by lysosomal cathepsins, leading to the generation of peptides that differ in length and sequence from those derived from the same native protein or that protein modified with nCIRH. Injection of CIRH-conjugated protein into mice induced an increase in the population of regulatory T cells. The results of this study provide a putative mechanism of action for the reduction of immune response to haptenated proteins. PMID:25041614

  6. Microfluidic Approaches for Protein Crystal Structure Analysis.

    PubMed

    Maeki, Masatoshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Tokeshi, Manabu; Miyazaki, Masaya

    2016-01-01

    This review summarizes two microfluidic-based protein crystallization methods, protein crystallization behavior in the microfluidic devices, and their applications for X-ray crystal structure analysis. Microfluidic devices provide many advantages for protein crystallography; they require small sample volumes, provide high-throughput screening, and allow control of the protein crystallization. A droplet-based protein crystallization method is a useful technique for high-throughput screening and the formation of a single crystal without any complicated device fabrication process. Well-based microfluidic platforms also enable effective protein crystallization. This review also summarizes the protein crystal growth behavior in microfluidic devices as, is known from viewpoints of theoretical and experimental approaches. Finally, we introduce applications of microfluidic devices for on-chip crystal structure analysis.

  7. Studying how protein crystals form

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Watching molecules of the iron-storing protein apoferritin come together to form a nucleus reveals some interesting behavior. In this series of images, researchers observed clusters of four molecules at the corners of a diamond shape (top). As more molecules attach to the cluster, they arrange themselves into rods (second from top), and a raft-like configuration of molecules forms the critical nucleus (third from top), suggesting that crystal growth is much slower than it could be were the molecules arranged in a more compact formation. In the final image, a crystallite consisting of three layers containing approximately 60 to 70 molecules each is formed. Atomic force microscopy made visualizing the process of nucleation possible for the first time. The principal investigator is Peter Vekilov, of the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Vekilov's team at UAH studies protein solutions as they change phases from liquids to crystalline solids. They want to know if the molecules in the solution interact with one another, and if so, how, from the perspectives of thermodynamics and kinetics. They want to understand which forces -- electrical, electrostatic, hydrodynamic, or other kinds of forces -- are responsible for the interactions. They also study nucleation, the begirning stage of crystallization. This process is important to understand because it sets the stage for crystal growth in all kinds of solutions and liquid melts that are important in such diverse fields as agriculture, medicine, and the fabrication of metal components. Nucleation can determine the rate of crystal growth, the number of crystals that will be formed, and the quality and size of the crystals.

  8. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    SciTech Connect

    Deller, Marc C. Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-28

    Approaches to automated and robot-assisted harvesting of protein crystals are critically reviewed. While no true turn-key solutions for automation of protein crystal harvesting are currently available, systems incorporating advanced robotics and micro-electromechanical systems represent exciting developments with the potential to revolutionize the way in which protein crystals are harvested.

  9. In-crystal and surface charge transport of electric-field-induced carriers in organic single-crystal semiconductors.

    PubMed

    Takeya, J; Kato, J; Hara, K; Yamagishi, M; Hirahara, R; Yamada, K; Nakazawa, Y; Ikehata, S; Tsukagoshi, K; Aoyagi, Y; Takenobu, T; Iwasa, Y

    2007-05-11

    Gate-voltage dependence of carrier mobility is measured in high-performance field-effect transistors of rubrene single crystals by simultaneous detection of the longitudinal conductivity sigma(square) and Hall coefficient R(H). The Hall mobility mu(H) (identical with sigma(square)R(H)) reaches nearly 10 cm(2)/V s when relatively low-density carriers (<10(11) cm(-2)) distribute into the crystal. mu(H) rapidly decreases with higher-density carriers as they are essentially confined to the surface and are subjected to randomness of the amorphous gate insulators. The mechanism to realize high carrier mobility in the organic transistor devices involves intrinsic-semiconductor character of the high-purity organic crystals and diffusive bandlike carrier transport in the bulk.

  10. Can Solution Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    The formation of large protein crystals of "high quality" is considered a characteristic manifestation of microgravity. The physical processes that predict the formation of large, high quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of space are considered rooted in the existence of a "depletion zone" in the vicinity of crystal. Namely, it is considered reasonable that crystal quality suffers in earth-grown crystals as a result of the incorporation of large aggregates, micro-crystals and/or large molecular weight "impurities", processes which are aided by density driven convective flow or mixing at the crystal-liquid interface. Sedimentation and density driven convection produce unfavorable solution conditions in the vicinity of the crystal surface, which promotes rapid crystal growth to the detriment of crystal size and quality. In this effort, we shall further present the hypothesis that the solution supersaturatoin at the crystal surface determines the growth mechanism, or mode, by which protein crystals grow. It is further hypothesized that protein crystal quality is affected by the mechanism or mode of crystal growth. Hence the formation of a depletion zone in microgravity environment is beneficial due to inhibition of impurity incorporatoin as well as preventing a kinetic roughening transition. It should be noted that for many proteins the magnitude of neither protein crystal growth rates nor solution supersaturation are predictors of a kinetic roughening transition. That is, the kinetic roughening transition supersaturation must be dtermined for each individual protein.

  11. Protein crystal growth in a microgravity environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystal growth is a major experimental problem and is the bottleneck in widespread applications of protein crystallography. Research efforts now being pursued and sponsored by NASA are making fundamental contributions to the understanding of the science of protein crystal growth. Microgravity environments offer the possibility of performing new types of experiments that may produce a better understanding of protein crystal growth processes and may permit growth environments that are more favorable for obtaining high quality protein crystals. A series of protein crystal growth experiments using the space shuttle was initiated. The first phase of these experiments was focused on the development of micro-methods for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques, using a space version of the hanging drop method. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  12. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Horse Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1995-01-01

    Horse Serum Albumin crystals grown during the USML-1 (STS-50) mission's Protein Crystal Growth Glovebox Experiment. These crystals were grown using a vapor diffusion technique at 22 degrees C. The crystals were allowed to grow for nine days while in orbit. Crystals of 1.0 mm in length were produced. The most abundant blood serum protein, regulates blood pressure and transports ions, metabolites, and therapeutic drugs. Principal Investigator was Edward Meehan.

  13. Laser Irradiated Growth of Protein Crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Hosokawa, Youichiroh; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Yoshimura, Masashi; Tsunaka, Yasuo; Morikawa, Masaaki; Kanaya, Shigenori; Masuhara, Hiroshi; Kai, Yasushi; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2003-07-01

    We succeeded in the first ever generation of protein crystals by laser irradiation. We call this process Laser Irradiated Growth Technique (LIGHT). Effective crystallization was confirmed by applying an intense femtosecond laser. The crystallization period was dramatically shortened by LIGHT. In addition, protein crystals were obtained by LIGHT from normally uncrystallized conditions. These results indicate that intense femtosecond laser irradiation generates crystal nuclei; protein crystals can then be grown from the nuclei that act as seeds in a supersaturated solution. The nuclei formation is possible primarily due to nonlinear nucleation processes of an intense femtosecond laser with a peak intensity of over a gigawatt (GW).

  14. Structural and bioinformatic characterization of an Acinetobacter baumannii type II carrier protein

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, C. Leigh; Gulick, Andrew M.

    2014-06-01

    The high-resolution crystal structure of a free-standing carrier protein from Acinetobacter baumannii that belongs to a larger NRPS-containing operon, encoded by the ABBFA-003406–ABBFA-003399 genes of A. baumannii strain AB307-0294, that has been implicated in A. baumannii motility, quorum sensing and biofilm formation, is presented. Microorganisms produce a variety of natural products via secondary metabolic biosynthetic pathways. Two of these types of synthetic systems, the nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) and polyketide synthases (PKSs), use large modular enzymes containing multiple catalytic domains in a single protein. These multidomain enzymes use an integrated carrier protein domain to transport the growing, covalently bound natural product to the neighboring catalytic domains for each step in the synthesis. Interestingly, some PKS and NRPS clusters contain free-standing domains that interact intermolecularly with other proteins. Being expressed outside the architecture of a multi-domain protein, these so-called type II proteins present challenges to understand the precise role they play. Additional structures of individual and multi-domain components of the NRPS enzymes will therefore provide a better understanding of the features that govern the domain interactions in these interesting enzyme systems. The high-resolution crystal structure of a free-standing carrier protein from Acinetobacter baumannii that belongs to a larger NRPS-containing operon, encoded by the ABBFA-003406–ABBFA-003399 genes of A. baumannii strain AB307-0294, that has been implicated in A. baumannii motility, quorum sensing and biofilm formation, is presented here. Comparison with the closest structural homologs of other carrier proteins identifies the requirements for a conserved glycine residue and additional important sequence and structural requirements within the regions that interact with partner proteins.

  15. Integrated Protein-Crystal-Growing Apparatus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Percy H.; Snyder, Robert S.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed apparatus for research on growth of protein crystals dispenses drops of protein and precipitating solutions, provides controlled environment for crystalization, and stores crystals. Intended for use in microgravity of outer space, concept of apparatus also useful in design of self-contained terrestrial experiments for remote and/or automatic execution.

  16. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1991-01-01

    The objective of this research is to study the effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality. The application of graphoepitaxy (artificial epitaxy) to proteins is detailed. The development of a method for the control of nucleation is discussed. The factor affecting the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals is presented.

  17. Measurements of Protein Crystal Face Growth Rates

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, S.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystal growth rates will be determined for several hyperthermophile proteins.; The growth rates will be assessed using available theoretical models, including kinetic roughening.; If/when kinetic roughening supersaturations are established, determinations of protein crystal quality over a range of supersaturations will also be assessed.; The results of our ground based effort may well address the existence of a correlation between fundamental growth mechanisms and protein crystal quality.

  18. Classification of protein crystallization imagery.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaoqing; Sun, Shaohua; Bern, Marshall

    2004-01-01

    We investigate automatic classification of protein crystallization imagery, and evaluate the performance of several modern mathematical tools when applied to the problem. For feature extraction, we try a combination of geometric and texture features; for classification algorithms, the support vector machine (SVM) is compared with an automatic decision-tree classifier. Experimental results from 520 images are presented for the binary classification problem: separating successful trials from failed attempts. The best false positive and false negative rates are at 14.6% and 9.6% respectively, achieved by feeding both sets of features to the decision-tree classifier with boosting.

  19. System and method for forming synthetic protein crystals to determine the conformational structure by crystallography

    DOEpatents

    Craig, George D.; Glass, Robert; Rupp, Bernhard

    1997-01-01

    A method for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by use of the dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers easily exceed 10.sup.6 V/m. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved.

  20. System and method for forming synthetic protein crystals to determine the conformational structure by crystallography

    DOEpatents

    Craig, G.D.; Glass, R.; Rupp, B.

    1997-01-28

    A method is disclosed for forming synthetic crystals of proteins in a carrier fluid by use of the dipole moments of protein macromolecules that self-align in the Helmholtz layer adjacent to an electrode. The voltage gradients of such layers easily exceed 10{sup 6}V/m. The synthetic protein crystals are subjected to x-ray crystallography to determine the conformational structure of the protein involved. 2 figs.

  1. Membrane Protein Crystallization Using Laser Irradiation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Murakami, Satoshi; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Yamaguchi, Akihito; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We demonstrate the crystallization of a membrane protein using femtosecond laser irradiation. This method, which we call the laser irradiated growth technique (LIGHT), is useful for producing AcrB crystals in a solution of low supersaturation range. LIGHT is characterized by reduced nucleation times. This feature is important for crystallizing membrane proteins because of their labile properties when solubilized as protein-detergent micelles. Using LIGHT, high-quality crystals of a membrane transporter protein, AcrB, were obtained. The resulting crystals were found to be of sufficiently high resolution for X-ray diffraction. The results reported here indicate that LIGHT is a powerful tool for membrane protein crystallization, as well as for the growth of soluble proteins.

  2. Crystal cataracts: Human genetic cataract caused by protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pande, Ajay; Pande, Jayanti; Asherie, Neer; Lomakin, Aleksey; Ogun, Olutayo; King, Jonathan; Benedek, George B.

    2001-05-01

    Several human genetic cataracts have been linked recently to point mutations in the D crystallin gene. Here we provide a molecular basis for lens opacity in two genetic cataracts and suggest that the opacity occurs because of the spontaneous crystallization of the mutant proteins. Such crystallization of endogenous proteins leading to pathology is an unusual event. Measurements of the solubility curves of crystals of the Arg-58 to His and Arg-36 to Ser mutants of D crystallin show that the mutations dramatically lower the solubility of the protein. Furthermore, the crystal nucleation rate of the mutants is enhanced considerably relative to that of the wild-type protein. It should be noted that, although there is a marked difference in phase behavior, there is no significant difference in protein conformation among the three proteins.

  3. Extra domains in secondary transport carriers and channel proteins.

    PubMed

    Barabote, Ravi D; Tamang, Dorjee G; Abeywardena, Shannon N; Fallah, Neda S; Fu, Jeffrey Yu Chung; Lio, Jeffrey K; Mirhosseini, Pegah; Pezeshk, Ronnie; Podell, Sheila; Salampessy, Marnae L; Thever, Mark D; Saier, Milton H

    2006-10-01

    "Extra" domains in members of the families of secondary transport carrier and channel proteins provide secondary functions that expand, amplify or restrict the functional nature of these proteins. Domains in secondary carriers include TrkA and SPX domains in DASS family members, DedA domains in TRAP-T family members (both of the IT superfamily), Kazal-2 and PDZ domains in OAT family members (of the MF superfamily), USP, IIA(Fru) and TrkA domains in ABT family members (of the APC superfamily), ricin domains in OST family members, and TrkA domains in AAE family members. Some transporters contain highly hydrophilic domains consisting of multiple repeat units that can also be found in proteins of dissimilar function. Similarly, transmembrane alpha-helical channel-forming proteins contain unique, conserved, hydrophilic domains, most of which are not found in carriers. In some cases the functions of these domains are known. They may be ligand binding domains, phosphorylation domains, signal transduction domains, protein/protein interaction domains or complex carbohydrate-binding domains. These domains mediate regulation, subunit interactions, or subcellular targeting. Phylogenetic analyses show that while some of these domains are restricted to closely related proteins derived from specific organismal types, others are nearly ubiquitous within a particular family of transporters and occur in a tremendous diversity of organisms. The former probably became associated with the transporters late in the evolutionary process; the latter probably became associated with the carriers much earlier. These domains can be located at either end of the transporter or in a central region, depending on the domain and transporter family. These studies provide useful information about the evolution of extra domains in channels and secondary carriers and provide novel clues concerning function.

  4. Protein-crystal growth experiment (planned)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fujita, S.; Asano, K.; Hashitani, T.; Kitakohji, T.; Nemoto, H.; Kitamura, S.

    1988-01-01

    To evaluate the effectiveness of a microgravity environment on protein crystal growth, a system was developed using 5 cubic feet Get Away Special payload canister. In the experiment, protein (myoglobin) will be simultaneously crystallized from an aqueous solution in 16 crystallization units using three types of crystallization methods, i.e., batch, vapor diffusion, and free interface diffusion. Each unit has two compartments: one for the protein solution and the other for the ammonium sulfate solution. Compartments are separated by thick acrylic or thin stainless steel plates. Crystallization will be started by sliding out the plates, then will be periodically recorded up to 120 hours by a still camera. The temperature will be passively controlled by a phase transition thermal storage component and recorded in IC memory throughout the experiment. Microgravity environment can then be evaluated for protein crystal growth by comparing crystallization in space with that on Earth.

  5. Method for controlling protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Noever, David A. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A method and apparatus for controlling the crystallization of protein by solvent evaporation including placing a drop of protein solution between and in contact with a pair of parallel plates and driving one of the plates toward and away from the other plate in a controlled manner to adjust the spacing between the plates is presented. The drop of solution forms a liquid cylinder having a height dependent upon the plate spacing thereby effecting the surface area available for solvent evaporation. When the spacing is close, evaporation is slow. Evaporation is increased by increasing the spacing between the plates until the breaking point of the liquid cylinder. One plate is mounted upon a fixed post while the other plate is carried by a receptacle movable relative to the post and driven by a belt driven screw drive. The temperature and humidity of the drop of protein solution are controlled by sealing the drop within the receptacle and mounting a heater and dessicant within the receptacle.

  6. Gold nanoparticle capture within protein crystal scaffolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kowalski, Ann E.; Huber, Thaddaus R.; Ni, Thomas W.; Hartje, Luke F.; Appel, Karina L.; Yost, Jarad W.; Ackerson, Christopher J.; Snow, Christopher D.

    2016-06-01

    DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was confirmed by single crystal X-ray crystallography.DNA assemblies have been used to organize inorganic nanoparticles into 3D arrays, with emergent properties arising as a result of nanoparticle spacing and geometry. We report here the use of engineered protein crystals as an alternative approach to biologically mediated assembly of inorganic nanoparticles. The protein crystal's 13 nm diameter pores result in an 80% solvent content and display hexahistidine sequences on their interior. The hexahistidine sequence captures Au25(glutathione)~17 (nitrilotriacetic acid)~1 nanoclusters throughout a chemically crosslinked crystal via the coordination of Ni(ii) to both the cluster and the protein. Nanoparticle loading was validated by confocal microscopy and elemental analysis. The nanoparticles may be released from the crystal by exposure to EDTA, which chelates the Ni(ii) and breaks the specific protein/nanoparticle interaction. The integrity of the protein crystals after crosslinking and nanoparticle capture was

  7. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1989-01-01

    The mechanisms involved in protein crystallization and those parameters which influence the growth process and crystalline perfection were studied. The analysis of the flows around growing crystals is detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase and the crystal morphologies found are discussed. Preliminary results of controlled nucleation studies are presented.

  8. Compact Apparatus For Growth Of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C.; Miller, Teresa Y.

    1991-01-01

    Compact apparatus proposed specifically for growth of protein crystals in microgravity also used in terrestrial laboratories to initiate and terminate growth at prescribed times automatically. Has few moving parts. Also contains no syringes difficult to clean, load, and unload and introduces contaminant silicon grease into crystallization solution. After growth of crystals terminated, specimens retrieved and transported simply.

  9. Improving the Quality of Protein Crystals Using Stirring Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Niino, Ai; Takano, Kazufumi; Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Warizaya, Masaichi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-04-01

    Recent reports state that a high magnetic field improves the crystal quality of bovine adenosine deaminase (ADA) with an inhibitor [Kinoshita et al.: Acta Cryst. D59 (2003) 1333]. In this paper, we examine the effect of stirring solution on ADA crystallization using a vapor-diffusion technique with rotary and figure-eight motion shakers. The probability of obtaining high-quality crystals is increased with stirring in a figure-eight pattern. Furthermore, rotary stirring greatly increased the probability of obtaining high-quality crystals, however, nucleation time was also increased. The crystal structure with the inhibitor was determined at a high resolution using a crystal obtained from a stirred solution. These results indicate that stirring with simple equipment is as useful as the high magnetic field technique for protein crystallization.

  10. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen.

    PubMed

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-07-01

    High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions.

  11. Approaches to automated protein crystal harvesting

    PubMed Central

    Deller, Marc C.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    The harvesting of protein crystals is almost always a necessary step in the determination of a protein structure using X-ray crystallographic techniques. However, protein crystals are usually fragile and susceptible to damage during the harvesting process. For this reason, protein crystal harvesting is the single step that remains entirely dependent on skilled human intervention. Automation has been implemented in the majority of other stages of the structure-determination pipeline, including cloning, expression, purification, crystallization and data collection. The gap in automation between crystallization and data collection results in a bottleneck in throughput and presents unfortunate opportunities for crystal damage. Several automated protein crystal harvesting systems have been developed, including systems utilizing microcapillaries, microtools, microgrippers, acoustic droplet ejection and optical traps. However, these systems have yet to be commonly deployed in the majority of crystallography laboratories owing to a variety of technical and cost-related issues. Automation of protein crystal harvesting remains essential for harnessing the full benefits of fourth-generation synchrotrons, free-electron lasers and microfocus beamlines. Furthermore, automation of protein crystal harvesting offers several benefits when compared with traditional manual approaches, including the ability to harvest microcrystals, improved flash-cooling procedures and increased throughput. PMID:24637746

  12. Schottky MSM junctions for carrier depletion in silicon photonic crystal microcavities.

    PubMed

    Haret, Laurent-Daniel; Checoury, Xavier; Bayle, Fabien; Cazier, Nicolas; Boucaud, Philippe; Combrié, Sylvain; de Rossi, Alfredo

    2013-04-22

    Collection of free carriers is a key issue in silicon photonics devices. We show that a lateral metal-semiconductor-metal Schottky junction is an efficient and simple way of dealing with that issue in a photonic crystal microcavity. Using a simple electrode design, and taking into account the optical mode profile, the resulting carrier distribution in the structure is calculated. We show that the corresponding effective free carrier lifetime can be reduced by 50 times when the bias is tuned. This allows one to maintain a high cavity quality factor under strong optical injection. In the fabricated structures, carrier depletion is correlated with transmission spectra and directly visualized by Electron Beam Induced Current pictures. These measurements demonstrate the validity of this carrier extraction principle. The design can still be optimized in order to obtain full carrier depletion at a smaller energy cost.

  13. Effect of Stirring Method on Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaoi, Mari; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-10-01

    We previously proposed the use of solution stirring during the growth of protein crystals using the Micro-Stirring technique with a rotary shaker. In this paper, we report on the effects of a new type solution flow on the crystallization of hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) using a wave shaker. The time required for nucleation was reduced by wave stirring, but increased by rotary stirring. Nucleation was stimulated by wave stirring. This result indicates that protein crystal growth in a stirred solution is strongly dependent on the stirring method used and the solution flow. Therefore, optimized stirring conditions are essential for producing high-quality protein crystals.

  14. Advanced protein crystal growth programmatic sensitivity study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of this study is to define the costs of various APCG (Advanced Protein Crystal Growth) program options and to determine the parameters which, if changed, impact the costs and goals of the programs and to what extent. This was accomplished by developing and evaluating several alternate programmatic scenarios for the microgravity Advanced Protein Crystal Growth program transitioning from the present shuttle activity to the man tended Space Station to the permanently manned Space Station. These scenarios include selected variations in such sensitivity parameters as development and operational costs, schedules, technology issues, and crystal growth methods. This final report provides information that will aid in planning the Advanced Protein Crystal Growth Program.

  15. Which strategy for a protein crystallization project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, C. E.

    2004-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryocrystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  16. Which Strategy for a Protein Crystallization Project?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kundrot, Craig E.

    2003-01-01

    The three-dimensional, atomic-resolution protein structures produced by X-ray crystallography over the past 50+ years have led to tremendous chemical understanding of fundamental biochemical processes. The pace of discovery in protein crystallography has increased greatly with advances in molecular biology, crystallization techniques, cryo-crystallography, area detectors, synchrotrons and computing. While the methods used to produce single, well-ordered crystals have also evolved over the years in response to increased understanding and advancing technology, crystallization strategies continue to be rooted in trial-and-error approaches. This review summarizes the current approaches in protein crystallization and surveys the first results to emerge from the structural genomics efforts.

  17. Legionella pneumophila Secretes a Mitochondrial Carrier Protein during Infection

    PubMed Central

    Dolezal, Pavel; Aili, Margareta; Tong, Janette; Jiang, Jhih-Hang; Marobbio, Carlo M.; Lee, Sau fung; Schuelein, Ralf; Belluzzo, Simon; Binova, Eva; Mousnier, Aurelie; Frankel, Gad; Giannuzzi, Giulia; Palmieri, Ferdinando; Gabriel, Kipros; Naderer, Thomas; Hartland, Elizabeth L.; Lithgow, Trevor

    2012-01-01

    The Mitochondrial Carrier Family (MCF) is a signature group of integral membrane proteins that transport metabolites across the mitochondrial inner membrane in eukaryotes. MCF proteins are characterized by six transmembrane segments that assemble to form a highly-selective channel for metabolite transport. We discovered a novel MCF member, termed Legionella nucleotide carrier Protein (LncP), encoded in the genome of Legionella pneumophila, the causative agent of Legionnaire's disease. LncP was secreted via the bacterial Dot/Icm type IV secretion system into macrophages and assembled in the mitochondrial inner membrane. In a yeast cellular system, LncP induced a dominant-negative phenotype that was rescued by deleting an endogenous ATP carrier. Substrate transport studies on purified LncP reconstituted in liposomes revealed that it catalyzes unidirectional transport and exchange of ATP transport across membranes, thereby supporting a role for LncP as an ATP transporter. A hidden Markov model revealed further MCF proteins in the intracellular pathogens, Legionella longbeachae and Neorickettsia sennetsu, thereby challenging the notion that MCF proteins exist exclusively in eukaryotic organisms. PMID:22241989

  18. Crystallization of viruses and virus proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sehnke, Paul C.; Harrington, Melissa; Hosur, M. V.; Li, Yunge; Usha, R.; Craig Tucker, R.; Bomu, Wu; Stauffacher, Cynthia V.; Johnson, John E.

    1988-07-01

    Methods for crystallizing six isometric plant and insect viruses are presented. Procedures developed for modifying, purifying and crystallizing coat protein subunits isolated from a virus forming asymmetric, spheroidal particles, stabilized almost exclusively by protein-RNA interactions, are also discussed. The tertiary and quaternary structures of small RNA viruses are compared.

  19. Insecticidal crystal proteins of Bacillus thuringiensis.

    PubMed Central

    Höfte, H; Whiteley, H R

    1989-01-01

    A classification for crystal protein genes of Bacillus thuringiensis is presented. Criteria used are the insecticidal spectra and the amino acid sequences of the encoded proteins. Fourteen genes are distinguished, encoding proteins active against either Lepidoptera (cryI), Lepidoptera and Diptera (cryII), Coleoptera (cryIII), or Diptera (cryIV). One gene, cytA, encodes a general cytolytic protein and shows no structural similarities with the other genes. Toxicity studies with single purified proteins demonstrated that every described crystal protein is characterized by a highly specific, and sometimes very restricted, insect host spectrum. Comparison of the deduced amino acid sequences reveals sequence elements which are conserved for Cry proteins. The expression of crystal protein genes is affected by a number of factors. Recently, two distinct sigma subunits regulating transcription during different stages of sporulation have been identified, as well as a protein regulating the expression of a crystal protein at a posttranslational level. Studies on the biochemical mechanisms of toxicity suggest that B. thuringiensis crystal proteins induce the formation of pores in membranes of susceptible cells. In vitro binding studies with radiolabeled toxins demonstrated a strong correlation between the specificity of B. thuringiensis toxins and the interaction with specific binding sites on the insect midgut epithelium. The expression of B. thuringiensis crystal proteins in plant-associated microorganisms and in transgenic plants has been reported. These approaches are potentially powerful strategies for the protection of agriculturally important crops against insect damage. Images PMID:2666844

  20. Protein crystal growth (5-IML-1)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1992-01-01

    Proteins (enzymes, hormones, immunoglobulins) account for 50 pct. or more of the dry weight of most living systems. A detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. In principle, there are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor is the elimination of density driven convective flow. Other factors that can be controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystals in a gravitational field, and the potential advantage of doing containerless crystal growth. As a result of these theories and facts, one can readily understand why the microgravity environment of an Earth orbiting vehicle seems to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. This perception has led to the establishment of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project. The results of experiments already performed during STS missions have in many cases resulted in large protein crystals which are structurally correct. Thus, the near term objective of the PCG/ME project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  1. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1990-01-01

    The effect of low gravity on the growth of protein crystals and those parameters which will affect growth and crystal quality was studied. The proper design of the flight hardware and experimental protocols are highly dependent on understanding the factors which influence the nucleation and growth of crystals of biological macromolecules. Thus, those factors are investigated and the body of knowledge which has been built up for small molecule crystallization. These data also provide a basis of comparison for the results obtained from low-g experiments. The flows around growing crystals are detailed. The preliminary study of the growth of isocitrate lyase, the crystal morphologies found and the preliminary x ray results are discussed. The design of two apparatus for protein crystal growth by temperature control are presented along with preliminary results.

  2. The MORPHEUS II protein crystallization screen

    SciTech Connect

    Gorrec, Fabrice

    2015-06-27

    MORPHEUS II is a 96-condition initial crystallization screen formulated de novo. The screen incorporates reagents selected from the Protein Data Bank to yield crystals that are not observed in traditional conditions. In addition, the formulation facilitates the optimization and cryoprotection of crystals. High-quality macromolecular crystals are a prerequisite for the process of protein structure determination by X-ray diffraction. Unfortunately, the relative yield of diffraction-quality crystals from crystallization experiments is often very low. In this context, innovative crystallization screen formulations are continuously being developed. In the past, MORPHEUS, a screen in which each condition integrates a mix of additives selected from the Protein Data Bank, a cryoprotectant and a buffer system, was developed. Here, MORPHEUS II, a follow-up to the original 96-condition initial screen, is described. Reagents were selected to yield crystals when none might be observed in traditional initial screens. Besides, the screen includes heavy atoms for experimental phasing and small polyols to ensure the cryoprotection of crystals. The suitability of the resulting novel conditions is shown by the crystallization of a broad variety of protein samples and their efficiency is compared with commercially available conditions.

  3. Explicitly Solvable Model of the Charge Carriers' Phenomena in Isotropic Conducting Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budzak, Yaroslav S.; Wacławski, Tadeusz

    2017-01-01

    In this paper, a theoretical analysis of the kinetic properties of the isotropic conducting crystals is presented. The general formulas for these kinetic properties are expressed in terms of the Fermi integrals. These integrals were obtained using methods of statistical ensembles with varying number of particles and the Gibbs's grand canonical distribution. The determination of the scattering function and the exploration of its relation with the mobility of the current carriers inside these crystals have been made. Together with the results of theoretical analysis of the scattering function and its relation with the current carriers' mobility, these formulas constitute the mathematical model of the charge carriers' transport phenomena in conducting crystals (where a non-parabolic energy spectrum is described by Kane's formula) and provide algorithms for the calculation of these properties.

  4. Explicitly Solvable Model of the Charge Carriers' Phenomena in Isotropic Conducting Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Budzak, Yaroslav S.; Wacławski, Tadeusz

    2017-04-01

    In this paper, a theoretical analysis of the kinetic properties of the isotropic conducting crystals is presented. The general formulas for these kinetic properties are expressed in terms of the Fermi integrals. These integrals were obtained using methods of statistical ensembles with varying number of particles and the Gibbs's grand canonical distribution. The determination of the scattering function and the exploration of its relation with the mobility of the current carriers inside these crystals have been made. Together with the results of theoretical analysis of the scattering function and its relation with the current carriers' mobility, these formulas constitute the mathematical model of the charge carriers' transport phenomena in conducting crystals (where a non-parabolic energy spectrum is described by Kane's formula) and provide algorithms for the calculation of these properties.

  5. Electrostatic Stabilization Of Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shlichta, Paul J.

    1991-01-01

    Proposed technique produces large crystals in compact, economical apparatus. Report presents concept for supporting protein crystals during growth in microgravity. Yields crystals larger and more-nearly perfect than those grown on Earth. Combines best features of sandwich-drop and electrostatic-levitation methods of support. Drop of protein solution inserted between pair of glass or plastic plates, as in sandwich-drop-support method. Electrostatically charged ring confines drop laterally and shapes it, as in electrostatic technique. Apparatus also made to accommodate several drops simultaneously between same pair of supporting plates. Drops can be inserted and crystals removed through ducts in plates.

  6. The Protein Crystallization Facility STS-95

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization Facility will be used to grow crystals of human insulin. Insulin is the primary treatment for diabetes, the fourth leading cause of death by disease. Research on STS-95 is aimed at producing crystals of even higher quality, which when combined with new analysis techniques will permit a better understanding of the interaction between insulin and its receptor. This has the potential to aid in the development of a new commercially available insulin product with unique time release properties that could reduce fluctuations in a patient's blood sugar level. The Protein Crystallization Facility supports large-scale commercial investigations.

  7. Biochemical characterization of riboflavin carrier protein (RCP) in prostate cancer.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Tanya; Ouhtit, Allal; Gaur, Rajiv; Fernando, Augusta; Schwarzenberger, Paul; Su, Joseph; Ismail, Mohamed F; El-Sayyad, Hassan I; Karande, Anjali; Elmageed, Zakaria Abd; Rao, Prakash; Raj, Madhwa

    2009-01-01

    Riboflavin carrier protein (RCP) is a growth- and development-specific protein. Here, we characterized the expression of this protein in prostate cancer by polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies against chicken RCP. RCP was localized to both androgen-dependent and independent prostate cancer cell lines. Compared to controls, RCP was over-expressed in all 45 prostate adenocarcinomas, irrespective of the Gleason's score or the stage of the disease. The identified RCP had a molecular weight of 38 kDa, similar to RCP purified from chicken. Presence of this protein was also confirmed by siRNA inhibition analysis. Antibodies to chicken RCP inhibited incorporation of tritiated thymidine into DNA and prevented riboflavin uptake in PC3 prostate cancer cells, suggesting a critical function of this protein in prostate cancer cell growth. These data suggest that RCP can be used as a tumor biomarker in prostate cancer.

  8. Protein Crystallization Using Room Temperature Ionic Fluids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Paley, Mark Steve; Turner, Megan B.; Rogers, Robin D.

    2006-01-01

    The ionic liquids (ILs) 1-butyl-3-methylimidizolium chloride (C4mim-C1), 1-butyl-3- methylimidizolium diethyleneglycol monomethylethersulfate ([C4mim]DEMGS), and 1-butyl-1 -methylpyrollidinium dihydrogenphosphate ([p1,4]dhp) were tested for their effects on the crystallization of the proteins canavalin, beta-lactoglobulin B, xylanase, and glucose isomerase, using a standard high throughput screen. The crystallization experiments were set up with the ILs added to the protein solutions at 0.2 and 0.4 M final concentrations. Crystallization droplets were set up at three proteixprecipitant ratios (1:1, 2:1, and 4:l), which served to progressively dilute the effects of the screen components while increasing the equilibrium protein and IL concentrations. Crystals were obtained for all four proteins at a number of conditions where they were not obtained from the IL-free control experiment. Over half of the protein-IL combinations tested had more successful outcomes than negative, where the IL-free crystallization was better than the corresponding IL-containing outcome, relative to the control. One of the most common causes of a negative outcome was solubilization of the protein by the IL, resulting in a clear drop. In one instance, we were able to use the IL-induced solubilizing to obtain beta-lactoglobulin B crystals from conditions that gave precipitated protein in the absence of IL. The results suggest that it may be feasible to develop ILs specifically for the task of macromolecule crystallization.

  9. Spectroscopy of Charge Carriers and Traps in Field-Doped Single Crystal Organic Semiconductors

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Xiaoyang

    2014-12-10

    The proposed research aims to achieve quantitative, molecular level understanding of charge carriers and traps in field-doped crystalline organic semiconductors via in situ linear and nonlinear optical spectroscopy, in conjunction with transport measurements and molecular/crystal engineering. Organic semiconductors are emerging as viable materials for low-cost electronics and optoelectronics, such as organic photovoltaics (OPV), organic field effect transistors (OFETs), and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs). Despite extensive studies spanning many decades, a clear understanding of the nature of charge carriers in organic semiconductors is still lacking. It is generally appreciated that polaron formation and charge carrier trapping are two hallmarks associated with electrical transport in organic semiconductors; the former results from the low dielectric constants and weak intermolecular electronic overlap while the latter can be attributed to the prevalence of structural disorder. These properties have lead to the common observation of low charge carrier mobilities, e.g., in the range of 10-5 - 10-3 cm2/Vs, particularly at low carrier concentrations. However, there is also growing evidence that charge carrier mobility approaching those of inorganic semiconductors and metals can exist in some crystalline organic semiconductors, such as pentacene, tetracene and rubrene. A particularly striking example is single crystal rubrene (Figure 1), in which hole mobilities well above 10 cm2/Vs have been observed in OFETs operating at room temperature. Temperature dependent transport and spectroscopic measurements both revealed evidence of free carriers in rubrene. Outstanding questions are: what are the structural features and physical properties that make rubrene so unique? How do we establish fundamental design principles for the development of other organic semiconductors of high mobility? These questions are critically important but not comprehensive, as the nature of

  10. Role of acyl carrier protein isoforms in plant lipid metabolism

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1990-01-01

    Although acyl carrier protein (ACP) is the best studied protein in plant fatty acid biosynthesis, the in vivo forms of ACPs and their steady state pools have not been examined previously in either seed or leaf. Information about the relative pool sizes of free ACP and its acyl-ACP intermediates is essential for understanding regulation of de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in plants. In this study we utilized antibodies directed against spinach ACP as a sensitive assay to analyze the acyl groups while they were still covalently attached to ACPs. 4 refs., 4 figs.

  11. Thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao

    In this thesis, the thermal crystallization mechanism of silk fibroin protein from Bombyx mori silkworm, was treated as a model for the general study of protein based materials, combining theories from both biophysics and polymer physics fields. A systematic and scientific path way to model the dynamic beta-sheet crystallization process of silk fibroin protein was presented in the following sequence: (1) The crystallinity, fractions of secondary structures, and phase compositions in silk fibroin proteins at any transition stage were determined. Two experimental methods, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) with Fourier self-deconvolution, and specific reversing heat capacity, were used together for the first time for modeling the static structures and phases in the silk fibroin proteins. The protein secondary structure fractions during the crystallization were quantitatively determined. The possibility of existence of a "rigid amorphous phase" in silk protein was also discussed. (2) The function of bound water during the crystallization process of silk fibroin was studied using heat capacity, and used to build a silk-water dynamic crystallization model. The fundamental concepts and thermal properties of silk fibroin with/without bound water were discussed. Results show that intermolecular bound water molecules, acting as a plasticizer, will cause silk to display a water-induced glass transition around 80°C. During heating, water is lost, and the change of the microenvironment in the silk fibroin chains induces a mesophase prior to thermal crystallization. Real time FTIR during heating and isothermal holding above Tg show the tyrosine side chain changes only during the former process, while beta sheet crystallization occurs only during the latter process. Analogy is made between the crystallization of synthetic polymers according to the four-state scheme of Strobl, and the crystallization process of silk fibroin, which includes an intermediate precursor

  12. The Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    2004-01-01

    Obtaining crystals of suitable size and high quality continues to be a major bottleneck in macromolecular crystallography. Currently, structural genomics efforts are achieving on average about a 10% success rate in going from purified protein to a deposited crystal structure. Growth of crystals in microgravity was proposed as a means of overcoming size and quality problems, which subsequently led to a major NASA effort in microgravity crystal growth, with the agency also funding research into understanding the process. Studies of the macromolecule crystal nucleation and growth process were carried out in a number of labs in an effort to understand what affected the resultant crystal quality on Earth, and how microgravity improved the process. Based upon experimental evidence, as well as simple starting assumptions, we have proposed that crystal nucleation occurs by a series of discrete self assembly steps, which 'set' the underlying crystal symmetry. This talk will review the model developed, and its origins, in our laboratory for how crystals nucleate and grow, and will then present, along with preliminary data, how we propose to use this model to improve the success rate for obtaining crystals from a given protein.

  13. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Porcine Elastase. This enzyme is associated with the degradation of lung tissue in people suffering from emphysema. It is useful in studying causes of this disease. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  14. Can Supersaturation Affect Protein Crystal Quality?

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gorti, Sridhar

    2013-01-01

    In quiescent environments (microgravity, capillary tubes, gels) formation of a depletion zone is to be expected, due either to limited sedimentation, density driven convection or a combination of both. The formation of a depletion zone can: Modify solution supersaturation near crystal; Give rise to impurity partitioning. It is conjectured that both supersaturation and impurity partitioning affect protein crystal quality and size. Further detailed investigations on various proteins are needed to assess above hypothesis.

  15. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Pusey, Marc; Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-01-01

    Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent. PMID:26144224

  16. Quantum effect on the nucleation of plastic deformation carriers and destruction in crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Khon, Yury A. Kaminskii, Petr P.

    2015-10-27

    New concepts on the irreversible crystal deformation as a structure transformation caused by a change in interatomic interactions at fluctuations of the electron density under loading are described. The change in interatomic interactions lead to the excitation of dynamical displacements of atoms. A model and a theory of a deformable pristine crystal taking into account the excitation of thermally activated and dynamical displacements of atoms are suggested. New mechanisms of the nucleation of plastic deformation carriers and destruction in pristine crystals at the real value of the deforming stress are studied.

  17. Convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roberts, Glyn O.

    1988-01-01

    Protein crystals for X-ray diffraction study are usually grown resting on the bottom of a hanging drop of a saturated protein solution, with slow evaporation to the air in a small enclosed cell. The evaporation rate is controlled by hanging the drop above a reservoir of water, with its saturation vapor pressure decreased by a low concentration of a passive solute. The drop has a lower solute concentration, and its volume shrinks by evaporation until the molecular concentrations match. Protein crystals can also be grown from a seed crystal suspended or supported in the interior of a supersaturated solution. The main analysis of this report concerns this case because it is less complicated than hanging-drop growth. Convection effects have been suggested as the reason for the apparent cessation of growth at a certain rather small crystal size. It seeems that as the crystal grows, the number of dislocations increases to a point where further growth is hindered. Growth in the microgravity environment of an orbiting space vehicle has been proposed as a method for obtaining larger crystals. Experimental observations of convection effects during the growth of protein crystals have been reported.

  18. Review on the delivery of steroids by carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Chanphai, P; Vesper, A R; Bariyanga, J; Bérubé, G; Tajmir-Riahi, H A

    2016-08-01

    Due to the poor solubility of steroids in aqueous solution, delivery of these biomaterials is of major biomedical importance. We have reviewed the conjugation of testosterone and it aliphatic dimer and aromatic dimer with several carrier proteins, human serum albumin (HSA), bovine serum albumin (BSA) and milk beta-lactoglobulin (b-LG) in aqueous solution at physiological pH. The results of multiple spectroscopic methods, transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and molecular modeling were compared here. Steroid-protein bindings are via hydrophilic and H-bonding contacts. HSA forms more stable conjugate than BSA and b-LG. The stability of steroid-protein conjugates is testosterone>dimer-aromatic>dimer-aliphatic. Encapsulation of steroids by protein is shown by TEM images. Modeling showed the presence of H-bonding, which stabilized testosterone-protein complexes with the free binding energy of -12.95 for HSA and -11.55 for BSA and -8.92kcal/mol for b-LG conjugates. Steroid conjugation induced major perturbations of serum protein conformations. Serum proteins can transport steroids to the target molecules.

  19. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1993-01-01

    This Final Technical Report for NASA Grant NAG8-774 covers the period from April 27, 1989 through December 31, 1992. It covers five main topics: fluid flow studies, the influence of growth conditions on the morphology of isocitrate lyase crystals, control of nucleation, the growth of lysozyme by the temperature gradient method and graphoepitaxy of protein crystals. The section on fluid flow discusses the limits of detectability in the Schlieren imaging of fluid flows around protein crystals. The isocitrate lyase study compares crystals grown terrestrially under a variety of conditions with those grown in space. The controlling factor governing the morphology of the crystals is the supersaturation. The lack of flow in the interface between the drop and the atmosphere in microgravity causes protein precipitation in the boundary layer and a lowering of the supersaturation in the drop. This lowered supersaturation leads to improved crystal morphology. Preliminary experiments with lysozyme indicated that localized temperature gradients could be used to nucleate crystals in a controlled manner. An apparatus (thermonucleator) was designed to study the controlled nucleation of protein crystals. This apparatus has been used to nucleate crystals of materials with both normal (ice-water, Rochelle salt and lysozyme) and retrograde (horse serum albumin and alpha chymotrypsinogen A) solubility. These studies have lead to the design of an new apparatus that small and more compatible with use in microgravity. Lysozyme crystals were grown by transporting nutrient from a source (lysozyme powder) to the crystal in a temperature gradient. The influence of path length and cross section on the growth rate was demonstrated. This technique can be combined with the thermonucleator to control both nucleation and growth. Graphoepitaxy utilizes a patterned substrate to orient growing crystals. In this study, silicon substrates with 10 micron grooves were used to grow crystals of catalase

  20. Protein Crystallization: Specific Phenomena and General Insights on Crystallization Kinetics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1998-01-01

    Experimental and simulation studies of the nucleation and growth kinetics of proteins have revealed phenomena that are specific for macromolecular crystallization, and others that provide a more detailed understanding of solution crystallization in general. The more specific phenomena, which include metastable liquid-liquid phase separations and gelation prior to solid nucleation, are due to the small ratio of the intermolecular interaction-range to the size of molecules involved. The apparently more generally applicable mechanisms include the cascade-like formation of macrosteps, as an intrinsic morphological instability that roots in the coupled bulk transport and nonlinear interface kinetics in systems with mixed growth rate control. Analyses of this nonlinear response provide (a) criteria for the choice of bulk transport conditions to minimize structural defect formation, and (b) indications that the "slow" protein crystallization kinetics stems from the mutual retardation of growth steps.

  1. Using nanoliter plugs in microfluidics to facilitate and understand protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Bo; Gerdts, Cory J; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2006-01-01

    Protein crystallization is important for determining protein structures by X-ray diffraction. Nanoliter-sized plugs —aqueous droplets surrounded by a fluorinated carrier fluid —have been applied to the screening of protein crystallization conditions. Preformed arrays of plugs in capillary cartridges enable sparse matrix screening. Crystals grown in plugs inside a microcapillary may be analyzed by in situ X-ray diffraction. Screening using plugs, which are easily formed in PDMS microfluidic channels, is simple and economical, and minimizes consumption of the protein. This approach also has the potential to improve our understanding of the fundamentals of protein crystallization, such as the effect of mixing on the nucleation of crystals. PMID:16154351

  2. Structure of Dehydroergosterol Monohydrate and Interaction with Sterol Carrier Protein-2

    PubMed Central

    McIntosh, Avery L.; Atshaves, Barbara P.; Gallegos, Adalberto M.; Storey, Stephen M.; Reibenspies, Joseph H.; Kier, Ann B.; Meyer, Edgar; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2008-01-01

    Dehydroergosterol [ergosta-5,7,9(11),22-tetraen-3β-ol] is a naturally-occurring, fluorescent sterol utilized extensively to probe membrane cholesterol distribution, cholesterol-protein interactions, and intracellular cholesterol transport both in vitro and in vivo. In aqueous solutions, the low solubility of dehydroergosterol results in the formation of monohydrate crystals similar to cholesterol. Low temperature x-ray diffraction analysis reveals that dehydroergosterol monohydrate crystallizes in the space group P21 with 4 molecules in the unit cell and monoclinic crystal parameters a = 9.975(1)Å, b = 7.4731(9)Å, c = 34.054(4)Å, and β = 92.970(2)° somewhat similar to ergosterol monohydrate. The molecular arrangement is in a slightly closer packed bilayer structure resembling cholesterol monohydrate. Since dehydroergosterol fluorescence emission undergoes a quantum yield enhancement and red-shift of its maximum wavelength when crystallized, formation or disruption of microcrystals was monitored with high sensitivity using cuvette-based spectroscopy and multi-photon laser scanning imaging microscopy (MPLSM). This manuscript reports on the dynamical effect of sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) interacting between aqueous dispersions of dehydroergosterol monohydrate microcrystal donors and acceptors consisting not only of model membranes but also vesicles derived from plasma membranes isolated by biochemical fractionation and affinity purification from Madin-Darby canine kidney cells. Furthermore, this study provides real-time measurements of the effect of increased SCP-2 levels on the rate of disappearance of dehydroergosterol microcrystals in living cells. PMID:19020914

  3. Trace fluorescent labeling for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Pusey, Marc Barcena, Jorge; Morris, Michelle; Singhal, Anuj; Yuan, Qunying; Ng, Joseph

    2015-06-27

    The presence of a covalently bound fluorescent probe at a concentration of <0.5% does not affect the outcome of macromolecule crystallization screening experiments. Additionally, the fluorescence can be used to determine new, not immediately apparent, lead crystallization conditions. Fluorescence can be a powerful tool to aid in the crystallization of proteins. In the trace-labeling approach, the protein is covalently derivatized with a high-quantum-yield visible-wavelength fluorescent probe. The final probe concentration typically labels ≤0.20% of the protein molecules, which has been shown to not affect the crystal nucleation or diffraction quality. The labeled protein is then used in a plate-screening experiment in the usual manner. As the most densely packed state of the protein is the crystalline form, then crystals show as the brightest objects in the well under fluorescent illumination. A study has been carried out on the effects of trace fluorescent labeling on the screening results obtained compared with nonlabeled protein, and it was found that considering the stochastic nature of the crystal nucleation process the presence of the probe did not affect the outcomes obtained. Other effects are realised when using fluorescence. Crystals are clearly seen even when buried in precipitate. This approach also finds ‘hidden’ leads, in the form of bright spots, with ∼30% of the leads found being optimized to crystals in a single-pass optimization trial. The use of visible fluorescence also enables the selection of colors that bypass interfering substances, and the screening materials do not have to be UV-transparent.

  4. Protein Crystal Growth Dynamics and Impurity Incorporation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alex A.; Thomas, Bill

    2000-01-01

    The general concepts and theories of crystal growth are proven to work for biomolecular crystallization. This allowed us to extract basic parameters controlling growth kinetics - free surface energy, alpha, and kinetic coefficient, beta, for steps. Surface energy per molecular site in thermal units, alpha(omega)(sup 2/3)/kT approx. = 1, is close to the one for inorganic crystals in solution (omega is the specific molecular volume, T is the temperature). Entropic restrictions on incorporation of biomolecules into the lattice reduce the incorporation rate, beta, by a factor of 10(exp 2) - 10(exp 3) relative to inorganic crystals. A dehydration barrier of approx. 18kcal/mol may explain approx. 10(exp -6) times difference between frequencies of adding a molecule to the lattice and Brownian attempts to do so. The latter was obtained from AFM measurements of step and kink growth rates on orthorhombic lysozyme. Protein and many inorganic crystals typically do not belong to the Kossel type, thus requiring a theory to account for inequivalent molecular positions within its unit cell. Orthorhombic lysozyme will serve as an example of how to develop such a theory. Factors deteriorating crystal quality - stress and strain, mosaicity, molecular disorder - will be reviewed with emphasis on impurities. Dimers in ferritin and lysozyme and acetylated lysozyme, are microheterogeneous i.e. nearly isomorphic impurities that are shown to be preferentially trapped by tetragonal lysozyme and ferritin crystals, respectively. The distribution coefficient, K defined as a ratio of the (impurity/protein) ratios in crystal and in solution is a measure of trapping. For acetylated lysoyzme, K = 2.15 or, 3.42 for differently acetylated forms, is independent of both the impurity and the crystallizing protein concentration. The reason is that impurity flux to the surface is constant while the growth rate rises with supersaturation. About 3 times lower dimer concentration in space grown ferritin and

  5. Crystallization of Membrane protein under Microgravity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henning, C.; Frank, J.; Laubender, G.; Fromme, P.

    2002-01-01

    Proteins are biological molecules which catalyse all essential reactions of cells. The knowledge on the structure of these molecular machines is necessary for the understanding of their function. Many diseases are caused by defects of membrane proteins. In order to develop new medical therapies the construction principle of the proteins must be known. The main difficulty in the determination of the structure of these membrane protein complexes is the crystallisation. Membrane proteins are normally not soluble in water and have therefore to be solubilised from the membranes by use of detergents. The whole protein-detergent micelle must be crystallised to maintain the functional integrity of the protein complexes. These difficulties are the reasons for the fact that crystals of membrane proteins are difficult to grow and most of them are badly ordered, being not appropriate for X-ray structure analysis. The crystallisation of proteins under microgravity leads to the growth of better-ordered crystals by reduction of nucleation rate and the undisturbed growth of the hovering seeds by the absence of sedimentation and convection. The successful crystallistation of a membrane protein under microgravity has been performed during the space shuttle missions USML2 and STS95 in the Space Shuttle with Photosystem I as model protein. Photosystem I is a large membrane protein complex which catalyses one of the first and fundamental steps in oxygen photosynthesis. The crystals of Photosystem I, grown under microgravity were twenty times larger than all Photosystem I crystals which have been grown on earth. They were the basis for the determination of an improved X-ray structure of Photo- system I. These experiments opened the way for the structure enlightenment of more membrane proteins on the basis of microgravity experiments. On board of the International Space Station ideal conditions for the crystallisation of proteins under zero gravity are existing.

  6. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins Using Lipidic Mesophases

    PubMed Central

    Caffrey, Martin; Cherezov, Vadim

    2009-01-01

    A detailed protocol for crystallizing membrane proteins that makes use of lipidic mesophases is described. This has variously been referred to as the lipid cubic phase or in meso method. The method has been shown to be quite general in that it has been used to solve X-ray crystallographic structures of prokaryotic and eukaryotic proteins, proteins that are monomeric, homo- and hetero-multimeric, chromophore-containing and chromophore-free, and α-helical and β-barrel proteins. Its most recent successes are the human engineered β2-adrenergic and adenosine A2A G protein-coupled receptors. Protocols are provided for preparing and characterizing the lipidic mesophase, for reconstituting the protein into the monoolein-based mesophase, for functional assay of the protein in the mesophase, and for setting up crystallizations in manual mode. Methods for harvesting micro-crystals are also described. The time required to prepare the protein-loaded mesophase and to set up a crystallization plate manually is about one hour. PMID:19390528

  7. A structural appraisal of sterol carrier protein 2.

    PubMed

    Burgardt, Noelia I; Gianotti, Alejo R; Ferreyra, Raúl G; Ermácora, Mario R

    2017-05-01

    Sterol Carrier Protein 2 (SCP2) has been associated with lipid binding and transfer activities. However, genomic, proteomic, and structural studies revealed that it is an ubiquitous domain of complex proteins with a variety functions in all forms of life. High-resolution structures of representative SCP2 domains are available, encouraging a comprehensive review of the structural basis for its success. Most SCP2 domains pertain to three major families and are frequently found as stand-alone or at the C-termini of lipid related peroxisomal enzymes, acetyltransferases causing bacterial resistance, and bacterial environmentally important sulfatases. We (1) analyzed the structural basis of the fold and the classification of SCP2 domains; (2) identified structure-determined sequence features; (3) compared the lipid binding cavity of SCP2 and other lipid binding proteins; (4) surveyed proposed mechanisms of SCP2 mediated lipid transfer between membranes; and (5) uncovered a possible new function of the SCP2 domain as a protein-protein recognition device.

  8. Liquid nitrogen dewar for protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Gaseous Nitrogen Dewar apparatus developed by Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine for use aboard Mir and the International Space Station allows large quantities of protein samples to be crystallized in orbit. The specimens are contained either in plastic tubing (heat-sealed at each end). Biological samples are prepared with a precipitating agent in either a batch or liquid-liquid diffusion configuration. The samples are then flash-frozen in liquid nitrogen before crystallization can start. On orbit, the Dewar is placed in a quiet area of the station and the nitrogen slowly boils off (it is taken up by the environmental control system), allowing the proteins to thaw to begin crystallization. The Dewar is returned to Earth after one to four months on orbit, depending on Shuttle flight opportunities. The tubes then are analyzed for crystal presence and quality

  9. Datamining protein structure databanks for crystallization patterns of proteins.

    PubMed

    Valafar, Homayoun; Prestegard, James H; Valafar, Faramarz

    2002-12-01

    A study of 345 protein structures selected among 1,500 structures determined by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods, revealed useful correlations between crystallization properties and several parameters for the studied proteins. NMR methods of structure determination do not require the growth of protein crystals, and hence allow comparison of properties of proteins that have or have not been the subject of crystallographic approaches. One- and two-dimensional statistical analyses of the data confirmed a hypothesized relation between the size of the molecule and its crystallization potential. Furthermore, two-dimensional Bayesian analysis revealed a significant relationship between relative ratio of different secondary structures and the likelihood of success for crystallization trials. The most immediate result is an apparent correlation of crystallization potential with protein size. Further analysis of the data revealed a relationship between the unstructured fraction of proteins and the success of its crystallization. Utilization of Bayesian analysis on the latter correlation resulted in a prediction performance of about 64%, whereas a two-dimensional Bayesian analysis succeeded with a performance of about 75%.

  10. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1992-01-01

    A study is presented of the crystallization of isocitrate lyase (ICL) and the influence of the lack of thermal solutal convection in microgravity on the morphology of ICL crystals is discussed. The latest results of studies with thermonucleation are presented. These include the nucleation of a protein with retrograde solubility and an unknown solubility curve. A new design for a more microgravity compatible thermonuclear is presented.

  11. Protein crystallization - is it rocket science?

    PubMed

    DeLucas, L J.

    2001-07-01

    Fueled by initial space shuttle results, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been supporting fundamental studies of macromolecular crystal growth since 1985. The majority of this research is directed at understanding the relationship between experimental variables and important crystal characteristics. The program has resulted in new methods and technology that will benefit the crystallography community's effort to meet the ever-increasing demand for protein structural information. Microgravity crystallization results indicate a potential impact on structural biology's more challenging problems, as soon as long-duration experiments can be performed on the International Space Station.

  12. Nucleation and growth control in protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Nyce, Thomas A.; Meehan, Edward J.; Sowers, Jennifer W.; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1990-01-01

    The five topics summarized in this final report are as follows: (1) a technique for the expedient, semi-automated determination of protein solubilities as a function of temperature and application of this technique to proteins other than lysozyme; (2) a small solution cell with adjustable temperature gradients for the growth of proteins at a predetermined location through temperature programming; (3) a microscopy system with image storage and processing capability for high resolution optical studies of temperature controlled protein growth and etching kinetics; (4) growth experiments with lysozyme in thermosyphon flow ; and (5) a mathematical model for the evolution of evaporation/diffusion induced concentration gradients in the hanging drop protein crystallization technique.

  13. Magnetic Control of Convection during Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ramachandran, N.; Leslie, F. W.

    2004-01-01

    An important component in biotechnology, particularly in the area of protein engineering and rational drug design is the knowledge of the precise three-dimensional molecular structure of proteins. The quality of structural information obtained from X-ray diffraction methods is directly dependent on the degree of perfection of the protein crystals. As a consequence, the growth of high quality macromolecular Crystals for diffraction analyses has been the central focus for bio-chemists, biologists, and bioengineers. Macromolecular crystals are obtained from solutions that contain the crystallizing species in equilibrium with higher aggregates, ions, precipitants, other possible phases of the protein, foreign particles, the walls of container, and a likely host of other impurities. By changing transport modes in general, i.e., reduction of convection and Sedimentation as is achieved in "microgravity", we have been able to dramatically affect the movement and distribution of macromolecules in the fluid, and thus their transport, f o d o n of crystal nuclei, and adsorption to the crystal surface. While a limited number of high quality crystals from space flights have been obtained, as the recent National Research Council (NRC) review of the NASA microgravity crystallization program pointed out, the scientific approach and research in crystallization of proteins has been mainly empirical yielding inconclusive results. We postulate that we can reduce convection in ground-based experiments and we can understand the different aspects of convection control through the use of strong magnetic fields and field gradients. We postulate that limited convection in a magnetic field will provide the environment for the growth of high quality crystals. The approach exploits the variation of fluid magnetic susceptibility with counteracts on for this purpose and the convective damping is realized by appropriately positioning the crystal growth cell so that the magnetic susceptibility

  14. Rotating Vessels for Growing Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cottingham, Paul

    2005-01-01

    Rotating vessels have been proposed as means of growing larger, more nearly uniform protein crystals than would otherwise be possible in the presence of normal Earth gravitation. Heretofore, nonrotating vessels have been used. It is difficult to grow high-quality protein crystals in the terrestrial gravitational field because of convection plumes created by the interaction between gravitation and density gradients in protein-solution depletion layers around growing crystals. The density gradients and the associated convection plumes cause the surfaces of growing crystals to be exposed to nonuniform solution densities, thereby causing the crystals to form in irregular shapes. The microgravitational environment of outer space has been utilized to eliminate gravitation-induced convection, but this approach is generally not favorable because of the high cost and limited availability of space flight. The use of a rotating vessel according to the proposal is intended to ameliorate the effects of gravitation and the resultant convection, relative to the corresponding effects in a non-rotating vessel. The rotation would exert an averaging effect over time, distributing the convective force on the depletion layer. Therefore, the depletion layer would be more nearly uniform and, as a result, the growing crystal would be more nearly perfect. The proposal admits of variations (see figure), including the following: The growing crystal could be rotated about its own central axis or an external axis. The crystal-growth vessel could be of any of various shapes, including cylindrical, hemispherical, conical, and combinations thereof. The crystal-growth vessel could be suspended in a viscous fluid in an outer vessel to isolate the growing crystal from both ambient vibrations and vibrations induced by a mechanism that drives the rotation. The rotation could be coupled to the crystal-growth vessel by viscous or magnetic means. The crystal-growth vessel could be supported within the

  15. Protein crystal growth - Growth kinetics for tetragonal lysozyme crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, M. L.; Snyder, R. S.; Naumann, R.

    1986-01-01

    Results are reported from theoretical and experimental studies of the growth rate of lysozyme as a function of diffusion in earth-gravity conditions. The investigations were carried out to form a comparison database for future studies of protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment of space. A diffusion-convection model is presented for predicting crystal growth rates in the presence of solutal concentration gradients. Techniques used to grow and monitor the growth of hen egg white lysozyme are detailed. The model calculations and experiment data are employed to discuss the effects of transport and interfacial kinetics in the growth of the crystals, which gradually diminished the free energy in the growth solution. Density gradient-driven convection, caused by presence of the gravity field, was a limiting factor in the growth rate.

  16. The solution structure of acyl carrier protein from Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    PubMed

    Wong, Hing C; Liu, Gaohua; Zhang, Yong-Mei; Rock, Charles O; Zheng, Jie

    2002-05-03

    Acyl carrier protein (ACP) performs the essential function of shuttling the intermediates between the enzymes that constitute the type II fatty acid synthase system. Mycobacterium tuberculosis is unique in producing extremely long mycolic acids, and tubercular ACP, AcpM, is also unique in possessing a longer carboxyl terminus than other ACPs. We determined the solution structure of AcpM using protein NMR spectroscopy to define the similarities and differences between AcpM and the typical structures. The amino-terminal region of the structure is well defined and consists of four helices arranged in a right-handed bundle held together by interhelical hydrophobic interactions similar to the structures of other bacterial ACPs. The unique carboxyl-terminal extension from helix IV has a "melted down" feature, and the end of the molecule is a random coil. A comparison of the apo- and holo-forms of AcpM revealed that the 4'-phosphopantetheine group oscillates between two states; in one it is bound to a hydrophobic groove on the surface of AcpM, and in another it is solvent-exposed. The similarity between AcpM and other ACPs reveals the conserved structural motif that is recognized by all type II enzymes. However, the function of the coil domain extending from helix IV to the carboxyl terminus remains enigmatic, but its structural characteristics suggest that it may interact with the very long chain intermediates in mycolic acid biosynthesis or control specific protein-protein interactions.

  17. The secretory carrier membrane protein family: structure and membrane topology.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, C; Singleton, D; Rauch, M; Jayasinghe, S; Cafiso, D; Castle, D

    2000-09-01

    Secretory carrier membrane proteins (SCAMPs) are integral membrane proteins found in secretory and endocytic carriers implicated to function in membrane trafficking. Using expressed sequence tag database and library screens and DNA sequencing, we have characterized several new SCAMPs spanning the plant and animal kingdoms and have defined a broadly conserved protein family. No obvious fungal homologue has been identified, however. We have found that SCAMPs share several structural motifs. These include NPF repeats, a leucine heptad repeat enriched in charged residues, and a proline-rich SH3-like and/or WW domain-binding site in the N-terminal domain, which is followed by a membrane core containing four putative transmembrane spans and three amphiphilic segments that are the most highly conserved structural elements. All SCAMPs are 32-38 kDa except mammalian SCAMP4, which is approximately 25 kDa and lacks most of the N-terminal hydrophilic domain of other SCAMPs. SCAMP4 is authentic as determined by Northern and Western blotting, suggesting that this portion of the larger SCAMPs encodes the functional domain. Focusing on SCAMP1, we have characterized its structure further by limited proteolysis and Western blotting with the use of isolated secretory granules as a uniformly oriented source of antigen and by topology mapping through expression of alkaline phosphatase gene fusions in Escherichia coli. Results show that SCAMP1 is degraded sequentially from the N terminus and then the C terminus, yielding an approximately 20-kDa membrane core that contains four transmembrane spans. Using synthetic peptides corresponding to the three conserved amphiphilic segments of the membrane core, we have demonstrated their binding to phospholipid membranes and shown by circular dichroism spectroscopy that the central amphiphilic segment linking transmembrane spans 2 and 3 is alpha-helical. In the intact protein, these segments are likely to reside in the cytoplasm-facing membrane

  18. Cry protein crystals: a novel platform for protein delivery.

    PubMed

    Nair, Manoj S; Lee, Marianne M; Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A; Dean, Donald H; Ostrowski, Michael C; Burry, Richard W; Boyaka, Prosper N; Chan, Michael K

    2015-01-01

    Protein delivery platforms are important tools in the development of novel protein therapeutics and biotechnologies. We have developed a new class of protein delivery agent based on sub-micrometer-sized Cry3Aa protein crystals that naturally form within the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. We demonstrate that fusion of the cry3Aa gene to that of various reporter proteins allows for the facile production of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals for use in subsequent applications. These Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals are efficiently taken up and retained by macrophages and other cell lines in vitro, and can be delivered to mice in vivo via multiple modes of administration. Oral delivery of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals to C57BL/6 mice leads to their uptake by MHC class II cells, including macrophages in the Peyer's patches, supporting the notion that the Cry3Aa framework can be used to stabilize cargo protein against degradation for delivery to gastrointestinal lymphoid tissues.

  19. Minority-carrier lifetime analysis of silicon epitaxy and bulk crystals with nonuniformly distributed defects

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radzimski, Zbignew; Honeycutt, Jeffrey; Rozgonyi, George A.

    1988-01-01

    Existing analyses of the pulsed response of an MOS capacitor for minority-carrier lifetime determination result in a lifetime value averaged over most of the depletion region width. In this report, an analysis of MOS C-t data is presented that enables minority-carrier generation lifetime to be plotted as a function of depletion region depth. The technique is shown to be useful for samples with bulk or buried interfacial layer defects that have defect-free surfaces. Data are presented for intrinsically gettered bulk crystals and extrinsically gettered Si(2-pct Ge) epitaxial layers with misfit dislocations. In addition, for samples that do have uniform lifetimes, the measurement time required for determining carrier lifetime has been reduced by more than an order of magnitude.

  20. FNAS/advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1992-01-01

    A scintillation method is presented for determination of the temperature dependence of the solubility, S(T), of proteins in 50-100 micro-l volumes of solution. S(T) data for lysozyme and horse serum albumin were obtained for various combinations of pH and precipitant concentrations. The resulting kinetics and equilibrium information was used for dynamic control, that is the separation of nucleation and growth stages in protein crystallization. Individual lysozyme and horse serum albumin crystals were grown in 15-20 micro-l solution volumes contained in x-ray capillaries.

  1. Structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8

    SciTech Connect

    Bagautdinov, Bagautdin Ukita, Yoko; Miyano, Masashi; Kunishima, Naoki

    2008-05-01

    The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-(acyl-carrier protein) synthase II from T. thermophilus HB8 has been determined at 2.0 Å resolution and compared with the structures of β-keto-ACP synthases from other sources. The β-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases (β-keto-ACP synthases; KAS) catalyse the addition of two-carbon units to the growing acyl chain during the elongation phase of fatty-acid synthesis. As key regulators of bacterial fatty-acid synthesis, they are promising targets for the development of new antibacterial agents. The crystal structure of 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase II from Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TtKAS II) has been solved by molecular replacement and refined at 2.0 Å resolution. The crystal is orthorhombic, space group P2{sub 1}2{sub 1}2, with unit-cell parameters a = 72.07, b = 185.57, c = 62.52 Å, and contains one homodimer in the asymmetric unit. The subunits adopt the well known α-β-α-β-α thiolase fold that is common to ACP synthases. The structural and sequence similarities of TtKAS II to KAS I and KAS II enzymes of known structure from other sources support the hypothesis of comparable enzymatic activity. The dimeric state of TtKAS II is important to create each fatty-acid-binding pocket. Closer examination of KAS structures reveals that compared with other KAS structures in the apo form, the active site of TtKAS II is more accessible because of the ‘open’ conformation of the Phe396 side chain.

  2. Searching for the Best Protein Crystals: Synchrotron Based Measurements of Protein Crystal Quality

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Borgstahl, Gloria; Snell, Edward H.; Bellamy, Henry; Pangborn, Walter; Nelson, Chris; Arvai, Andy; Ohren, Jeff; Pokross, Matt

    1999-01-01

    We are developing X-ray diffraction methods to quantitatively evaluate the quality of protein crystals. The ultimate use for these crystal quality will be to optimize crystal growth and freezing conditions to obtain the best diffraction data. We have combined super fine-phi slicing with highly monochromatic, low divergence synchrotron radiation and the ADSC Quantum 4 CCD detector at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation laboratory beamline 1.5 to accurately measure crystal mosaicity. Comparisons of microgravity versus earth-grown insulin crystals using these methods will be presented.

  3. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    SciTech Connect

    Kiefersauer, Reiner Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-05-01

    A novel method and the associated instrumentation for improving crystalline order (higher resolution of X-ray diffraction and reduced mosaicity) of protein crystals by precisely controlled heating is demonstrated. Crystal transformation is optically controlled by a video system. A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress.

  4. Protein Crystal Growth Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C. (Inventor); Dowling, Timothy E. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    Apparatus for growing protein crystals under microgravity environment includes a plurality of protein growth assemblies stacked one above the other within a canister. Each of the protein growth assemblies includes a tray having a number of spaced apart growth chambers recessed below an upper surface. the growth chambers each having an upstanding pedestal and an annular reservoir about the pedestal for receiving a wick and precipitating agents. A well is recessed below the top of each pedestal to define a protein crystal growth receptacle. A flexible membrane is positioned on the upper surface of each tray and a sealing plate is positioned above each membrane, each sealing plate having a number of bumpers corresponding in number and alignment to the pedestals for forcing the membrane selectively against the upper end of the respective pedestal to seal the reservoir and the receptacle when the sealing plate is forced down.

  5. Sigmoid kinetics of protein crystal nucleation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanev, Christo N.; Tonchev, Vesselin D.

    2015-10-01

    A non-linear differential equation expressing the new phase nucleation rate in the different steps of the process (non-stationary and stationary nucleation and in the plateau region) is derived from basic principles of the nucleation theory. It is shown that one and the same sigmoid (logistic) function describes both nucleation scenarios: the one according to the classical theory, and the other according to the modern two-stage mechanism of protein crystal formation. Comparison to experimental data on both insulin crystal nucleation kinetics and on bovine β-lactoglobulin crystallization indicates a good agreement with the sigmoidal prediction. Experimental data for electrochemical nucleation and glass crystallization obey the same sigmoid time dependence, and suggest universality of this nucleation kinetics law.

  6. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Human Serum Albumin. Contributes to many transport and regulatory processes and has multifunctional binding properties which range from various metals, to fatty acids, hormones, and a wide spectrum of therapeutic drugs. The most abundant protein of the circulatory system. It binds and transports an incredible variety of biological and pharmaceutical ligands throughout the blood stream. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Larry DeLucas.

  7. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    The long-term stability of the interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been improved. Growth or dissolution of a crystal on a 100 A scale can now be clearly distinguished from dimensional changes occurring within the optical path of the interferometer. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the local interfacial displacement at several widely-spaced positions on the crystal surface with high local depth resolution, has already yielded novel results. We found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) the mean growth step density is greater at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed to interpret the large body of data in a unified way. The results strongly suggests that (1) the ion to lysozyme ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter on the order of 10 microns. The computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization (see the First Report) has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies. These results show that some elements of a moving boundary problem must be incorporated into the model in order to obtain a more realistic description. Our experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions has been extensively tested. Scattering intensity measurements with a true Rayleigh scatterer produced systematically increased forward scattering, indicating problems with glare. These have been resolved. Preliminary measurements with supersaturated lysozyme solutions revealed that the scatterers grow with time. Work has begun on a computer program

  8. Overexpression, Isolation, and Crystallization of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Skelly, Jane V.; Madden, C. Bernadette

    Rapid developments in recombinant technology have made it possible to overproduce selected proteins of specific interest to the levels required for structural analysis by X-ray crystallography. High-level gene expression has facilitated the purification of many proteins that are normally only expressed at low concentrations, as well as those that have proven difficult to purify to homogeneity from natural sources. Furthermore, advances in oligonucleotide site-directed mutagenesis have enabled proteins to be engineered so as to possess certain features that may confer stability or assist in then isolation. There are several examples of proteins that, despite rigorous purification from their natural source, have defied crystallization attempts, e.g., human growth hormone, but have been successfully crystallized from recombinant sources (1). The lack of posttranslational processing in bacterial expressed proteins can often be an advantage to the crystallographer where microheterogeneity presents a problem. Indeed, certain features or residues of a protein that are believed to impede crystal formation by preventing a close-packing arrangement may be successfully deleted by genetic manipulation without destroying its essential functionality (2).

  9. Structures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) and a C164Q mutant provide templates for antibacterial drug discovery and identify a buried potassium ion and a ligand-binding site that is an artefact of the crystal form

    SciTech Connect

    Baum, Bernhard; Lecker, Laura S. M.; Zoltner, Martin; Jaenicke, Elmar; Schnell, Robert; Hunter, William N.; Brenk, Ruth

    2015-07-28

    Three crystal structures of recombinant P. aeruginosa FabF are reported: the apoenzyme, an active-site mutant and a complex with a fragment of a natural product inhibitor. The characterization provides reagents and new information to support antibacterial drug discovery. Bacterial infections remain a serious health concern, in particular causing life-threatening infections of hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. The situation is exacerbated by the rise in antibacterial drug resistance, and new treatments are urgently sought. In this endeavour, accurate structures of molecular targets can support early-stage drug discovery. Here, crystal structures, in three distinct forms, of recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) are presented. This enzyme, which is involved in fatty-acid biosynthesis, has been validated by genetic and chemical means as an antibiotic target in Gram-positive bacteria and represents a potential target in Gram-negative bacteria. The structures of apo FabF, of a C164Q mutant in which the binding site is altered to resemble the substrate-bound state and of a complex with 3-(benzoylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoic acid are reported. This compound mimics aspects of a known natural product inhibitor, platensimycin, and surprisingly was observed binding outside the active site, interacting with a symmetry-related molecule. An unusual feature is a completely buried potassium-binding site that was identified in all three structures. Comparisons suggest that this may represent a conserved structural feature of FabF relevant to fold stability. The new structures provide templates for structure-based ligand design and, together with the protocols and reagents, may underpin a target-based drug-discovery project for urgently needed antibacterials.

  10. Structures of Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) and a C164Q mutant provide templates for antibacterial drug discovery and identify a buried potassium ion and a ligand-binding site that is an artefact of the crystal form.

    PubMed

    Baum, Bernhard; Lecker, Laura S M; Zoltner, Martin; Jaenicke, Elmar; Schnell, Robert; Hunter, William N; Brenk, Ruth

    2015-08-01

    Bacterial infections remain a serious health concern, in particular causing life-threatening infections of hospitalized and immunocompromised patients. The situation is exacerbated by the rise in antibacterial drug resistance, and new treatments are urgently sought. In this endeavour, accurate structures of molecular targets can support early-stage drug discovery. Here, crystal structures, in three distinct forms, of recombinant Pseudomonas aeruginosa β-ketoacyl-(acyl-carrier-protein) synthase II (FabF) are presented. This enzyme, which is involved in fatty-acid biosynthesis, has been validated by genetic and chemical means as an antibiotic target in Gram-positive bacteria and represents a potential target in Gram-negative bacteria. The structures of apo FabF, of a C164Q mutant in which the binding site is altered to resemble the substrate-bound state and of a complex with 3-(benzoylamino)-2-hydroxybenzoic acid are reported. This compound mimics aspects of a known natural product inhibitor, platensimycin, and surprisingly was observed binding outside the active site, interacting with a symmetry-related molecule. An unusual feature is a completely buried potassium-binding site that was identified in all three structures. Comparisons suggest that this may represent a conserved structural feature of FabF relevant to fold stability. The new structures provide templates for structure-based ligand design and, together with the protocols and reagents, may underpin a target-based drug-discovery project for urgently needed antibacterials.

  11. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1994-01-01

    A high-resolution microscopic interferometric setup for the monitoring of protein morphologies has been developed. Growth or dissolution of a crystal can be resolved with a long-term depth resolution of 200 A and a lateral resolution of 2 microns. This capability of simultaneously monitoring the interfacial displacement with high local depth resolution has yielded several novel results. We have found with lysozyme that (1) the normal growth rate is oscillatory, and (2) depending on the impurity content of the solution, the growth step density is either greater or lower at the periphery of a facet than in its center. The repartitioning of Na plus and Cl minus ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied for a wide range of crystallization conditions. A nucleation-growth-repartitioning model was developed, to interpret the large body of data in unified way. The results strongly suggest that (1) the ion to lysozyne ratio in the crystal depends mostly on kinetic rather than crystallographic parameters, and (2) lysozyme crystals possess a salt-rich core with a diameter electron microscopy results appear to confirm this finding, which could have far-reaching consequences for x-ray diffraction studies. A computational model for diffusive-convective transport in protein crystallization has been applied to a realistic growth cell geometry, taking into account the findings of the above repartitioning studies and our kinetics data for the growth of lysozyme. The results show that even in the small cell employed, protein concentration nonuniformities and gravity-driven solutal convection can be significant. The calculated convection velocities are of the same order to magnitude as those found in earlier experiments. As expected, convective transport, i.e., at Og, lysozyme crystal growth remains kinetically limited. The salt distribution in the crystal is predicted to be non-uniform at both 1g and 0g, as a consequence of protein depletion in the solution. Static and

  12. An investigation into the role of polymeric carriers on crystal growth within amorphous solid dispersion systems.

    PubMed

    Tian, Yiwei; Jones, David S; Andrews, Gavin P

    2015-04-06

    Using phase diagrams derived from Flory-Huggins theory, we defined the thermodynamic state of amorphous felodipine within three different polymeric carriers. Variation in the solubility and miscibility of felodipine within different polymeric materials (using F-H theory) has been identified and used to select the most suitable polymeric carriers for the production of amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersions. With this information, amorphous felodipine solid dispersions were manufactured using three different polymeric materials (HPMCAS-HF, Soluplus, and PVPK15) at predefined drug loadings, and the crystal growth rates of felodipine from these solid dispersions were investigated. Crystallization of amorphous felodipine was studied using Raman spectral imaging and polarized light microscopy. Using this data, we examined the correlation among several characteristics of solid dispersions to the crystal growth rate of felodipine. An exponential relationship was found to exist between drug loading and crystal growth rate. Moreover, crystal growth within all selected amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion systems were viscosity dependent (η(-ξ)). The exponent, ξ, was estimated to be 1.36 at a temperature of 80 °C. Values of ξ exceeding 1 may indicate strong viscosity dependent crystal growth in the amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion systems. We argue that the elevated exponent value (ξ > 1) is a result of drug-polymer mixing which leads to a less fragile amorphous drug-polymer solid dispersion system. All systems investigated displayed an upper critical solution temperature, and the solid-liquid boundary was always higher than the spinodal decomposition curve. Furthermore, for PVP-FD amorphous dispersions at drug loadings exceeding 0.6 volume ratio, the mechanism of phase separation within the metastable zone was found to be driven by nucleation and growth rather than liquid-liquid separation.

  13. The Effect of Protein Impurities on Lysozyme Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Judge, Russell A.; Forsythe, Elizabeth L.; Pusey, Marc L.

    1998-01-01

    While bulk crystallization from impure solutions is used industrially as a purification step for a wide variety of materials, it is a technique that has rarely been used for proteins. Proteins have a reputation for being difficult to crystallize and high purity of the initial crystallization solution is considered paramount for success in the crystallization. Although little is written on the purifying capability of protein crystallization or of the effect of impurities on the various aspects of the crystallization process, recent published reports show that crystallization shows promise and feasibility as a purification technique for proteins. In order to further examine the issue of purity in macromolecule crystallization this study investigates the effect of the protein impurities, avidin, ovalbumin and conalbumin, at concentrations up to 50%, on the solubility, crystal face growth rates and crystal purity, of the protein lysozyme. Solubility was measured in batch experiments while a computer controlled video microscope system was used to measure the f {101} and {101} lysozyme crystal face growth rates. While little effect was observed on solubility and high crystal purity was obtained (>99.99%), the effect of the impurities on the face growth rates varied from no effect to a significant face specific effect leading to growth cessation, a phenomenon that is frequently observed in protein crystal growth. The results shed interesting light on the effect of protein impurities on protein crystal growth and strengthen the feasibility of using crystallization as a unit operation for protein purification.

  14. Mixing it up for Protein Crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hansen, Carl; Sommer, Morten; Berger, James; Quake, Stephen

    2005-03-01

    In the post-genomic era, X-ray crystallography has emerged as the workhorse of large-scale structural biology initiatives that seek to understand protein function and interaction at the atomic scale. Despite impressive technological advances in X-ray sources, phasing techniques, and computing power, the determination of protein structure continues to be severely hampered by the difficulties in obtaining high-quality protein crystals. Emergent technologies utilizing microfluidics now have the potential to solve these problems on several levels. We will present two microfluidic devices that have been shown to dramatically improve protein crystallization. The first is a formulation device which allows for the rapid combinatorial mixing of reagents to systematically explore protein solubility behavior. A priori solubility mapping allows for the rational design of optimal crystallization screens that are tailored to a specific target. A second screening device allows for massively parallel sample processing while exploiting the properties of mass transport manifest at the micron scale to ensure slow and efficient mixing kinetics that are difficult to achieve in macroscopic reactors.

  15. Convective diffusion in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baird, J. K.; Meehan, E. J., Jr.; Xidis, A. L.; Howard, S. B.

    1986-01-01

    A protein crystal modeled as a flat plate suspended in the parent solution, with the normal to the largest face perpendicular to gravity and the protein concentration in the solution adjacent to the plate taken to be the equilibrium solubility, is studied. The Navier-Stokes equation and the equation for convective diffusion in the boundary layer next to the plate are solved to calculate the flow velocity and the protein mass flux. The local rate of growth of the plate is shown to vary significantly with depth due to the convection. For an aqueous solution of lysozyme at a concentration of 40 mg/ml, the boundary layer at the top of a 1-mm-high crystal has a thickness of 80 microns at 1 g, and 2570 microns at 10 to the -6th g.

  16. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1988-01-01

    The solubility and growth of the protein canavalin, and the application of the schlieren technique to study fluid flow in protein crystal growth systems were investigated. These studies have resulted in the proposal of a model to describe protein crystal growth and the preliminary plans for a long-term space flight experiment. Canavalin, which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions, was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studies. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth rate limiting step is a screw dislocation mechanism. A schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed. The data for lyrozyme showed non-linearities in plots of optical properties and density vs. concentration. In conjunction with with W. A. Tiller, a model based on colloid stability theory was proposed to describe protein crystallization. The model was used to explain observations made by ourselves and others. The results of this research has lead to the development for a preliminary design for a long-term, low-g experiment. The proposed apparatus is univeral and capable of operation under microprocessor control.

  17. Mycobacterium tuberculosis acyl carrier protein synthase adopts two different pH-dependent structural conformations

    SciTech Connect

    Gokulan, Kuppan; Aggarwal, Anup; Shipman, Lance; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Sacchettini, James C.

    2011-07-01

    Bacterial acyl carrier protein synthase plays an essential role in the synthesis of fatty acids, nonribosomal peptides and polyketides. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, AcpS or group I phosphopentatheine transferase exhibits two different structural conformations depending upon the pH. The crystal structures of acyl carrier protein synthase (AcpS) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Corynebacterium ammoniagenes determined at pH 5.3 and pH 6.5, respectively, are reported. Comparison of the Mtb apo-AcpS structure with the recently reported structure of the Mtb AcpS–ADP complex revealed that AcpS adopts two different conformations: the orthorhombic and trigonal space-group structures show structural differences in the α2 helix and in the conformation of the α3–α4 connecting loop, which is in a closed conformation. The apo-AcpS structure shows electron density for the entire model and was obtained at lower pH values (4.4–6.0). In contrast, at a higher pH value (6.5) AcpS undergoes significant conformational changes, resulting in disordered regions that show no electron density in the AcpS model. The solved structures also reveal that C. ammoniagenes AcpS undergoes structural rearrangement in two regions, similar to the recently reported Mtb AcpS–ADP complex structure. In vitro reconstitution experiments show that AcpS has a higher post-translational modification activity between pH 4.4 and 6.0 than at pH values above 6.5, where the activity drops owing to the change in conformation. The results show that apo-AcpS and AcpS–ADP adopt different conformations depending upon the pH conditions of the crystallization solution.

  18. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1987-01-01

    The solubility and growth mechanism of canavalin were studied, and the applicability of the Schlieren technique to protein crystal growth was investigated. Canavalin which may be crystallized from a basic solution by the addition of hydrogen (H+) ions was shown to have normal solubility characteristics over the range of temperatures (5 to 25 C) and pH (5 to 7.5) studied. The solubility data combined with growth rate data gathered from the seeded growth of canavalin crystals indicated that the growth mechanism at high supersaturation ratios (>1.28) is screw dislocation like. A Schlieren apparatus was constructed and flow patterns were observed in Rochelle salt (sodium potassium tartrate), lysozyme, and canavalin. The critical parameters were identified as the change in density with concentration (dp/dc) and the change in index of refraction with concentration (dn/dc). Some of these values were measured for the materials listed.

  19. A Cerulenin Insensitive Short Chain 3-Ketoacyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Synthase in Spinacia oleracea Leaves

    PubMed Central

    Jaworski, Jan G.; Clough, Richard C.; Barnum, Susan R.

    1989-01-01

    A cerulenin insensitive 3-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthase has been assayed in extracts of spinach (Spinacia oleracea) leaf. The enzyme was active in the 40 to 80% ammonium sulfate precipitate of whole leaf homogenates and catalyzed the synthesis of acetoacetyl-acyl carrier protein. This condensation reaction was five-fold faster than acetyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase, and the initial rates of acyl-acyl carrier protein synthesis were independent of the presence of cerulenin. In the presence of fatty acid synthase cofactors and 100 micromolar cerulenin, the principal fatty acid product of de novo synthesis was butyric and hexanoic acids. Using conformationally sensitive native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis for separation, malonyl-, acetyl-, butyryl-, hexanoyl, and long chain acyl-acyl carrier proteins could be detected by immunoblotting and autoradiography. In the presence of 100 micromolar cerulenin, the accumulation of butyryl- and hexanoyl-acyl carrier protein was observed, with no detectable long chain acyl-acyl carrier proteins or fatty acids being produced. In the absence of cerulenin, the long chain acyl-acyl carrier proteins also accumulated. Images Figure 2 Figure 3 PMID:16666765

  20. Liquid crystalline phase as a probe for crystal engineering of lactose: carrier for pulmonary drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Patil, Sharvil S; Mahadik, Kakasaheb R; Paradkar, Anant R

    2015-02-20

    The current work was undertaken to assess suitability of liquid crystalline phase for engineering of lactose crystals and their utility as a carrier in dry powder inhalation formulations. Saturated lactose solution was poured in molten glyceryl monooleate which subsequently transformed into gel. The gel microstructure was analyzed by PPL microscopy and SAXS. Lactose particles recovered from gels after 48 h were analyzed for polymorphism using techniques such as FTIR, XRD, DSC and TGA. Particle size, morphology and aerosolisation properties of prepared lactose were analyzed using Anderson cascade impactor. In situ seeding followed by growth of lactose crystals took place in gels with cubic microstructure as revealed by PPL microscopy and SAXS. Elongated (size ∼ 71 μm) lactose particles with smooth surface containing mixture of α and β-lactose was recovered from gel, however percentage of α-lactose was more as compared to β-lactose. The aerosolisation parameters such as RD, ED, %FPF and % recovery of lactose recovered from gel (LPL) were found to be comparable to Respitose® ML001. Thus LC phase (cubic) can be used for engineering of lactose crystals so as to obtain particles with smooth surface, high elongation ratio and further they can be used as carrier in DPI formulations.

  1. An automated protein crystal growth facility on the space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Melody

    1988-01-01

    The need is addressed for an automated Protein Crystal Growth experiment on the Space Station and how robotics will be integrated into the system design. This automated laboratory system will enable several hundred protein crystals to grow simultaneously in microgravity and will allow the major variables in protein crystal growth to be monitored and controlled during the experiment. Growing good quality crystals is important in determining the complete structure of the protein by X-ray diffraction. This information is useful in the research and development of medicines and other important medical and biotechnological products. Previous Protein Crystal Growth experiments indicate that the microgravity environment of space allows larger crystals of higher quality to be grown as compared to the same crystals grown on the ground. It is therefore important to have a laboratory in space where protein crystals can be grown under carefully controlled conditions so that a crystal type can be reproduced as needed.

  2. X-ray Microscopic Characterization of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Holmes, A.; Thomas, B.R.; Chernov, a. A.; Chu, Y. S.; Lai, B.

    2004-01-01

    The microscopic mapping of the variation in degree of perfection and in type of defects in entire protein crystals by x-rays may well be a prerequisite for better understanding causes of lattice imperfections, the growth history, and properties of protein crystals. However, x-ray microscopic characterization of bulk protein crystals, in the as-grown state, is frequently more challenging than that of small molecular crystals due to the experimental difficulties arising largely from the unique features possessed by protein crystals. In this presentation, we will illustrate ssme recent activities in employing coherence-based phase contrast x-ray imaging and high-angular-resolution diffraction techniques for mapping microdefects and the degree of perfection of protein crystals, and demonstrate a correlation between crystal perfection, diffraction phenomena., and crystallization conditions. The observed features and phenomena will be discussed in context to gain insight into the nature of defects, nucleation and growth, and the properties of protein crystals.

  3. The influence of crystallization conditions on the morphology of lactose intended for use as a carrier for dry powder aerosols.

    PubMed

    Zeng, X M; Martin, G P; Marriott, C; Pritchard, J

    2000-06-01

    Lactose has been widely used as a carrier for inhalation aerosols. The carrier morphology is believed to affect the delivery of the drug. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of crystallization conditions on the morphology of alpha-lactose monohydrate intended for use as the carrier for dry powder aerosols. The crystallization of lactose was carried out from aqueous solutions at different supersaturations, temperatures, different stages of crystallization and in the presence of different water-miscible organic solvents. The majority of lactose crystals were found to be either tomahawk-shaped or pyramidal after crystallization at an initial lactose concentration between 33-43% w/w, but these became prismatic if the lactose concentration was increased to 50% w/w. A further increase in the lactose concentration to 60% w/w led to the preparation of elongated cuboidal crystals. Higher initial lactose concentrations tended to result in the crystallization of more elongated particles. Crystallization at 40 degrees C was shown to prepare lactose crystals with a more regular shape and a smoother surface than those crystallized at 0 degrees C. Lactose particles generated during the later stage of crystallization were found to be more regular in shape with a smoother surface than those prepared in the earlier stage. The addition of 10% (v/v) methanol or ethanol or acetone to the mother liquor increased the growth rate of lactose particles whereas addition of propanol or glycerine inhibited the rate of crystal growth. Lactose crystals prepared in the presence of glycerine were more regularly shaped with a smoother surface than those prepared in the presence of ethanol or acetone. All the resultant crystals were shown to comprise alpha-lactose monohydrate. Lactose crystals could be prepared with a precisely defined morphology by means of carefully controlling the crystallization conditions.

  4. Spiro-OMeTAD single crystals: Remarkably enhanced charge-carrier transport via mesoscale ordering

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Dong; Qin, Xiang; Li, Yuan; He, Yao; Zhong, Cheng; Pan, Jun; Dong, Huanli; Xu, Wei; Li, Tao; Hu, Wenping; Brédas, Jean-Luc; Bakr, Osman M.

    2016-01-01

    We report the crystal structure and hole-transport mechanism in spiro-OMeTAD [2,2′,7,7′-tetrakis(N,N-di-p-methoxyphenyl-amine)9,9′-spirobifluorene], the dominant hole-transporting material in perovskite and solid-state dye-sensitized solar cells. Despite spiro-OMeTAD’s paramount role in such devices, its crystal structure was unknown because of highly disordered solution-processed films; the hole-transport pathways remained ill-defined and the charge carrier mobilities were low, posing a major bottleneck for advancing cell efficiencies. We devised an antisolvent crystallization strategy to grow single crystals of spiro-OMeTAD, which allowed us to experimentally elucidate its molecular packing and transport properties. Electronic structure calculations enabled us to map spiro-OMeTAD’s intermolecular charge-hopping pathways. Promisingly, single-crystal mobilities were found to exceed their thin-film counterparts by three orders of magnitude. Our findings underscore mesoscale ordering as a key strategy to achieving breakthroughs in hole-transport material engineering of solar cells. PMID:27152342

  5. Crystallization of G Protein-Coupled Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Salom, David; Padayatti, Pius S.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2015-01-01

    Oligomerization is one of several mechanisms that can regulate the activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), but little is known about the structure of GPCR oligomers. Crystallography and NMR are the only methods able to reveal the details of receptor–receptor interactions at an atomic level, and several GPCR homodimers already have been described from crystal structures. Two clusters of symmetric interfaces have been identified from these structures that concur with biochemical data, one involving helices I, II, and VIII and the other formed mainly by helices V and VI. In this chapter, we describe the protocols used in our laboratory for the crystallization of rhodopsin and the β2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR). For bovine rhodopsin, we developed a new purification strategy including a (NH4)2SO4-induced phase separation that proved essential to obtain crystals of photoactivated rhodopsin containing parallel dimers. Crystallization of native bovine rhodopsin was achieved by the classic vapor-diffusion technique. For β2-AR, we developed a purification strategy based on previously published protocols employing a lipidic cubic phase to obtain diffracting crystals of a β2-AR/T4-lysozyme chimera bound to the antagonist carazolol. PMID:24143992

  6. Bacillus thuringiensis and Its Pesticidal Crystal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Schnepf, E.; Crickmore, N.; Van Rie, J.; Lereclus, D.; Baum, J.; Feitelson, J.; Zeigler, D. R.; Dean, D. H.

    1998-01-01

    During the past decade the pesticidal bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis has been the subject of intensive research. These efforts have yielded considerable data about the complex relationships between the structure, mechanism of action, and genetics of the organism’s pesticidal crystal proteins, and a coherent picture of these relationships is beginning to emerge. Other studies have focused on the ecological role of the B. thuringiensis crystal proteins, their performance in agricultural and other natural settings, and the evolution of resistance mechanisms in target pests. Armed with this knowledge base and with the tools of modern biotechnology, researchers are now reporting promising results in engineering more-useful toxins and formulations, in creating transgenic plants that express pesticidal activity, and in constructing integrated management strategies to insure that these products are utilized with maximum efficiency and benefit. PMID:9729609

  7. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Gamma-Interferon. Stimulates the body's immune system and is used clinically in the treatment of cancer. Potential as an anti-tumor agent against solid tumors as well as leukemia's and lymphomas. It has additional utility as an anti-ineffective agent, including antiviral, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic activities. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Charles Bugg.

  8. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2008-11-01

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) is a new protein-crystallization technology used to generate nanolitre-sized crystallization experiments for crystal screening and optimization. Using the MPCS, diffraction-ready crystals were grown in the plastic MPCS CrystalCard and were used to solve the structure of methionine-R-sulfoxide reductase. The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, ∼10–20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive ‘hybrid’ crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.

  9. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1995-01-01

    During the fourth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme. These clearly revealed the influence of higher molecular weight protein impurities on interface shape; (2) characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions. These efforts have, for the first time, resulted in lysozyme free of higher molecular weight components; (3) continuation of the salt repartitioning studies with Seikagaku lysozyme, which has a lower protein impurity content that Sigma stock. These efforts confirmed our earlier findings of higher salt contents in smaller crystals. However, less salt is in corporated into the crystals grown from Seikagaku stock. This strongly suggests a dependence of salt repartitioning on the concentration of protein impurities in lysozyme. To test this hypothesis, repartitioning studies with the high purity lysozyme prepared in-house will be begun shortly; (4) numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics. These simulations have produced interface shapes which are in good agreement with out experimental observations; and (5) light scattering studies on under- and supersaturated lysozyme solutions. A consistent interpretation of the static and dynamic data leaves little doubt that pre-nucleation clusters, claimed to exist even in undersaturated solutions, are not present. The article: 'Growth morphology response to nutrient and impurity nonuniformities' is attached.

  10. Lattice dynamics of a protein crystal.

    PubMed

    Meinhold, Lars; Merzel, Franci; Smith, Jeremy C

    2007-09-28

    All-atom lattice-dynamical calculations are reported for a crystalline protein, ribonuclease A. The sound velocities, density of states, heat capacity (C(V)) and thermal diffuse scattering are all consistent with available experimental data. C(V) proportional, variant T(1.68) for T < 35 K, significantly deviating from a Debye solid. In Bragg peak vicinity, inelastic scattering of x rays by phonons is found to originate from acoustic mode scattering. The results suggest an approach to protein crystal physics combining all-atom lattice-dynamical calculations with experiments on next-generation neutron sources.

  11. Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis mtFabD, a malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT).

    PubMed

    Ghadbane, Hemza; Brown, Alistair K; Kremer, Laurent; Besra, Gurdyal S; Fütterer, Klaus

    2007-10-01

    Mycobacteria display a unique and unusual cell-wall architecture, central to which is the membrane-proximal mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan core (mAGP). The biosynthesis of mycolic acids, which form the outermost layer of the mAGP core, involves malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT). This essential enzyme catalyses the transfer of malonyl from coenzyme A to acyl carrier protein AcpM, thus feeding these two-carbon units into the chain-elongation cycle of the type II fatty-acid synthase. The crystal structure of M. tuberculosis mtFabD, the mycobacterial MCAT, has been determined to 3.0 A resolution by multi-wavelength anomalous dispersion. Phasing was facilitated by Ni2+ ions bound to the 20-residue N-terminal affinity tag, which packed between the two independent copies of mtFabD.

  12. When proteins are completely hydrated in crystals.

    PubMed

    Carugo, Oliviero

    2016-08-01

    In the crystalline state, protein surface patches that do not form crystal packing contacts are exposed to the solvent and one or more layers of hydration water molecules can be observed. It is well known that these water molecules cannot be observed at very low resolution, when the scarcity of experimental information precludes the observation of several parts of the protein molecule, like for example side-chains at the protein surface. On the contrary, more details are observable at high resolution. Here it is shown that it is necessary to reach a resolution of about 1.5-1.6Å to observe a continuous hydration layer at the protein surface. This contrasts previous estimations, which were more tolerant and according to which a resolution of 2.5Å was sufficient to describe at the atomic level the structure of the hydration layer. These results should prove useful in guiding a more rigorous selection of structural data to study protein hydration and in interpreting new crystal structures.

  13. Structural characterization and comparison of three acyl-carrier-protein synthases from pathogenic bacteria

    SciTech Connect

    Halavaty, Andrei S.; Kim, Youngchang; Minasov, George; Shuvalova, Ludmilla; Dubrovska, Ievgeniia; Winsor, James; Zhou, Min; Onopriyenko, Olena; Skarina, Tatiana; Papazisi, Leka; Kwon, Keehwan; Peterson, Scott N.; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Savchenko, Alexei; Anderson, Wayne F.

    2012-10-01

    The structural characterization of acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) from three different pathogenic microorganisms is reported. One interesting finding of the present work is a crystal artifact related to the activity of the enzyme, which fortuitously represents an opportunity for a strategy to design a potential inhibitor of a pathogenic AcpS. Some bacterial type II fatty-acid synthesis (FAS II) enzymes have been shown to be important candidates for drug discovery. The scientific and medical quest for new FAS II protein targets continues to stimulate research in this field. One of the possible additional candidates is the acyl-carrier-protein synthase (AcpS) enzyme. Its holo form post-translationally modifies the apo form of an acyl carrier protein (ACP), which assures the constant delivery of thioester intermediates to the discrete enzymes of FAS II. At the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases (CSGID), AcpSs from Staphylococcus aureus (AcpS{sub SA}), Vibrio cholerae (AcpS{sub VC}) and Bacillus anthracis (AcpS{sub BA}) have been structurally characterized in their apo, holo and product-bound forms, respectively. The structure of AcpS{sub BA} is emphasized because of the two 3′, 5′-adenosine diphosphate (3′, 5′-ADP) product molecules that are found in each of the three coenzyme A (CoA) binding sites of the trimeric protein. One 3′, 5′-ADP is bound as the 3′, 5′-ADP part of CoA in the known structures of the CoA–AcpS and 3′, 5′-ADP–AcpS binary complexes. The position of the second 3′, 5′-ADP has never been described before. It is in close proximity to the first 3′, 5′-ADP and the ACP-binding site. The coordination of two ADPs in AcpS{sub BA} may possibly be exploited for the design of AcpS inhibitors that can block binding of both CoA and ACP.

  14. Simple micromechanical model of protein crystals for their mechanical characterizations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, G.; Eom, K.; Na, S.

    2010-06-01

    Proteins have been known to perform the excellent mechanical functions and exhibit the remarkable mechanical properties such as high fracture toughness in spider silk protein [1]. This indicates that the mechanical characterization of protein molecules and/or crystals is very essential to understand such remarkable mechanical function of protein molecules. In this study, for gaining insight into mechanical behavior of protein crystals, we developed the micromechanical model by using the empirical potential field prescribed to alpha carbon atoms of a protein crystal in a unit cell. We consider the simple protein crystals for their mechanical behavior under tensile loading to be compared with full atomic models

  15. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    PubMed

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A; Potenza, Marco A C; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G

    2015-07-01

    Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10(-3) of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in lysozyme and glucose isomerase solutions are locations for crystal nucleation.

  16. IR laser-induced protein crystal transformation

    PubMed Central

    Kiefersauer, Reiner; Grandl, Brigitte; Krapp, Stephan; Huber, Robert

    2014-01-01

    A method and the design of instrumentation, and its preliminary practical realisation, including test experiments, with the object of inducing phase changes of biomolecular crystals by controlled dehydration through heating with infrared (IR) light are described. The aim is to generate and select crystalline phases through transformation in the solid state which have improved order (higher resolution in X-ray diffraction experiments) and reduced mosaic spread (more uniformly aligned mosaic blocks) for diffraction data collection and analysis. The crystal is heated by pulsed and/or constant IR laser irradiation. Loss of crystal water following heating and its reabsorption through equilibration with the environment is measured optically by a video system. Heating proved superior to traditional controlled dehydration by humidity change for the test cases CODH (carbon monoxide dehydrogenase) and CLK2 (a protein kinase). Heating with IR light is experimentally simple and offers an exploration of a much broader parameter space than the traditional method, as it allows the option of varying the rate of phase changes through modification of the IR pulse strength, width and repeat frequency. It impacts the crystal instantaneously, isotropically and homogeneously, and is therefore expected to cause less mechanical stress. PMID:24816092

  17. Synthesis and Ultrafast Carrier Dynamics of Single-Crystal Two-Dimensional CuInSe2 Nanosheets.

    PubMed

    Tao, Xin; Mafi, Elham; Gu, Yi

    2014-08-21

    We report, for the first time, the synthesis of single-crystal two-dimensional (2D) CuInSe2 nanosheets and the studies of ultrafast carrier dynamics and transport in this 2D material. Particularly, single-crystal 2D CuInSe2 with various thicknesses in the nanometer regime were fabricated by a solid-state chemical reaction between Cu and single-crystal exfoliated In2Se3 nanosheets. Characteristics of transient optical reflectivity, obtained from femtosecond optical pump-probe measurements on single CuInSe2 nanosheets, suggest that the hot carrier cooling process dominates the carrier dynamics within a few picoseconds following the optical excitation. Spatially resolved pump-probe measurements, coupled to simple model calculations, were used to obtain the ambipolar hot carrier diffusion coefficient in single nanosheets. The dependence of the hot carrier diffusion coefficient on the nanosheet thickness provides insight into the limiting mechanisms of hot carrier transport and can be used to gauge the possibility of efficient hot carrier collection in nanostructured CuInSe2 solar cells.

  18. A protein coated piezoelectric crystal detector

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suleiman, Ahmad; Pender, Marie; Ngeh-Ngwainbi, Jerome; Lubrano, Glenn; Guilbault, George

    1990-05-01

    The purpose of this project was to develop a protein coated, portable piezoelectric crystal detector for organophosphorus compounds. The performance of acetylcholinesterase, GD-1 anti-soman, anti-DMMP antibody, and bovine serum albumin (BSA) coatings was evaluated. Different immobilization methods were also tested. The responses obtained with the protein coatings immobilized via cross-linking with glutaraldehyde were acceptable, provided that the reference crystal was coated with dextran. The proposed coatings showed good stability and reasonable lifetimes that ranged from approximately three weeks in the case of the antibody coatings to several months in the case of BSA. Although moisture, gasoline, and sulfur are potential interferents, their effects on the sensor were eliminated by using a sodium sulfate scrubber which did not affect the performance of the detector towards organophosphates. A small, battery operated portable instrument capable of real time measurements with alarm function was produced. The instrument can be used in a wide range of applications, depending on the coatings applied to the crystals.

  19. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1993-01-01

    The experimental setup for the in-situ high resolution optical monitoring of protein crystal growth/dissolution morphologies was substantially improved. By augmenting the observation system with a temperature-controlled enclosure, laser illumination for the interferometric microscope, and software for pixel by pixel light intensity recording, a height resolution of about two unit cells for lysozyme can now be obtained. The repartitioning of Na(+) and Cl(-) ions between lysozyme solutions and crystals was studied. Quite unexpectedly, it was found that the longer crystals were in contact with their solution, the lower was their ion content. The development of a model for diffusive-convective transport and resulting distribution of the growth rate on facets was completed. Results obtained for a realistic growth cell geometry show interesting differences between 'growth runs' at 1g and 0g. The kinematic viscosity of lysozyme solutions of various supersaturations and salt concentrations was monitored over time. In contrast to the preliminary finding of other authors, no changes in viscosity were found over four days. The experimental setup for light scattering investigations of aggregation and nucleation in protein solutions was completed, and a computer program for the evaluation of multi-angle light scattering data was acquired.

  20. Do protein crystals nucleate within dense liquid clusters?

    SciTech Connect

    Maes, Dominique; Vorontsova, Maria A.; Potenza, Marco A. C.; Sanvito, Tiziano; Sleutel, Mike; Giglio, Marzio; Vekilov, Peter G.

    2015-06-27

    The evolution of protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized by dynamic light scattering (DLS), confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS) and depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy. Newly nucleated crystals within protein-rich clusters were detected directly. These observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters are locations for crystal nucleation. Protein-dense liquid clusters are regions of high protein concentration that have been observed in solutions of several proteins. The typical cluster size varies from several tens to several hundreds of nanometres and their volume fraction remains below 10{sup −3} of the solution. According to the two-step mechanism of nucleation, the protein-rich clusters serve as locations for and precursors to the nucleation of protein crystals. While the two-step mechanism explained several unusual features of protein crystal nucleation kinetics, a direct observation of its validity for protein crystals has been lacking. Here, two independent observations of crystal nucleation with the proteins lysozyme and glucose isomerase are discussed. Firstly, the evolutions of the protein-rich clusters and nucleating crystals were characterized simultaneously by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and confocal depolarized dynamic light scattering (cDDLS), respectively. It is demonstrated that protein crystals appear following a significant delay after cluster formation. The cDDLS correlation functions follow a Gaussian decay, indicative of nondiffusive motion. A possible explanation is that the crystals are contained inside large clusters and are driven by the elasticity of the cluster surface. Secondly, depolarized oblique illumination dark-field microscopy reveals the evolution from liquid clusters without crystals to newly nucleated crystals contained in the clusters to grown crystals freely diffusing in the solution. Collectively, the observations indicate that the protein-rich clusters in

  1. Bacillus subtilis acyl carrier protein is encoded in a cluster of lipid biosynthesis genes.

    PubMed Central

    Morbidoni, H R; de Mendoza, D; Cronan, J E

    1996-01-01

    A cluster of Bacillus subtilis fatty acid synthetic genes was isolated by complementation of an Escherichia coli fabD mutant encoding a thermosensitive malonyl coenzyme A-acyl carrier protein transacylase. The B. subtilis genomic segment contains genes that encode three fatty acid synthetic proteins, malonyl coenzyme A-acyl carrier protein transacylase (fabD), 3-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (fabG), and the N-terminal 14 amino acid residues of acyl carrier protein (acpP). Also present is a sequence that encodes a homolog of E. coli plsX, a gene that plays a poorly understood role in phospholipid synthesis. The B. subtilis plsX gene weakly complemented an E. coli plsX mutant. The order of genes in the cluster is plsX fabD fabG acpP, the same order found in E. coli, except that in E. coli the fabH gene lies between plsX and fabD. The absence of fabH in the B. subtilis cluster is consistent with the different fatty acid compositions of the two organisms. The amino acid sequence of B. subtilis acyl carrier protein was obtained by sequencing the purified protein, and the sequence obtained strongly resembled that of E. coli acyl carrier protein, except that most of the protein retained the initiating methionine residue. The B. subtilis fab cluster was mapped to the 135 to 145 degrees region of the chromosome. PMID:8759840

  2. Small Device for Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Dr. Daniel Carter (center), president of New Century Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Joseph Ho (right), vice president, examine a diffusion Controlled Apparatus for Microgravity (DCAM). At left, Dr. John Ruble, a senior scientist, examines some specimens. The plastic DCAM has two chambers joined by a porous plug through which fluids can diffuse at a controlled rate. This allows researchers to mix protein solutions on Earth and load them aboard the Space Shuttle shortly before launch. The diffusion and crystallization processes are already under way, but at such a slow pace that crystals do not start growing before the DCAM is in orbit aboard the Shuttle or a space station. Dozens of DCAM units can be flown in a small volume and require virtually no crew attention. Specimens are returned to Earth for analysis. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center

  3. Ultratight crystal packing of a 10 kDa protein

    SciTech Connect

    Trillo-Muyo, Sergio; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Minor, Wladek; Kuisiene, Nomeda

    2013-03-01

    The crystal structure of the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase from G. thermoleovorans is reported; it is one of the most tightly packed protein structures reported to date. While small organic molecules generally crystallize forming tightly packed lattices with little solvent content, proteins form air-sensitive high-solvent-content crystals. Here, the crystallization and full structure analysis of a novel recombinant 10 kDa protein corresponding to the C-terminal domain of a putative U32 peptidase are reported. The orthorhombic crystal contained only 24.5% solvent and is therefore among the most tightly packed protein lattices ever reported.

  4. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vekilow, Peter G.

    1998-01-01

    Our work under this grant has significantly contributed to the goals of the NASA supported protein crystallization program. We have achieved the main objectives of the proposed work, as outlined in the original proposal: (1) We have provided important insight into protein nucleation and crystal growth mechanisms to facilitate a rational approach to protein crystallization; (2) We have delineated the factors that currently limit the x-ray diffraction resolution of protein crystals, and their correlation to crystallization conditions; (3) We have developed novel technologies to study and monitor protein crystal nucleation and growth processes, in order to increase the reproducibility and yield of protein crystallization. We have published 17 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals and books and made more than 15 invited and 9 contributed presentations of our results at international and national scientific meetings.

  5. Decarboxylation of malonyl-(acyl carrier protein) by 3-oxoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthases in plant fatty acid biosynthesis.

    PubMed Central

    Winter, E; Brummel, M; Schuch, R; Spener, F

    1997-01-01

    In order to identify regulatory steps in fatty acid biosynthesis, the influence of intermediate 3-oxoacyl-(acyl carrier proteins) (3-oxoacyl-ACPs) and end-product acyl-ACPs of the fatty acid synthase reaction on the condensation reaction was investigated in vitro, using total fatty acid synthase preparations and purified 3-oxoacyl-ACP synthases (KASs; EC 2.3.1.41) from Cuphea lanceolata seeds. KAS I and II in the fatty acid synthase preparations were assayed for the elongation of octanoyl- and hexadecanoyl-ACP respectively, and the accumulation of the corresponding condensation product 3-oxoacyl-ACP was studied by modulating the content of the reducing equivalentS NADH and NADPH. Complete omission of reducing equivalents resulted with either KAS in the abnormal synthesis of acetyl-ACP from malonyl-ACP by a decarboxylation reaction. Supplementation with NADPH or NADH, separately or in combination with recombinant 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase (EC 1.1.1.100), led to a decrease in the amount of acetyl-ACP and a simultaneous increase in elongation products. This demonstrates that the accumulation of 3-oxoacyl-ACP inhibits the condensation reaction on the one hand, and induces the decarboxylation of malonyl-ACP on the other. By carrying out similar experiments with purified enzymes, this decarboxylation was attributed to the action of KAS. Our data point to a regulatory mechanism for the degradation of malonyl-ACP in plants which is activated by the accumulation of the fatty acid synthase intermediate 3-oxoacyl-ACP. PMID:9020860

  6. JAXA protein crystallization in space: ongoing improvements for growing high-quality crystals.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Sachiko; Ohta, Kazunori; Furubayashi, Naoki; Yan, Bin; Koga, Misako; Wada, Yoshio; Yamada, Mitsugu; Inaka, Koji; Tanaka, Hiroaki; Miyoshi, Hiroshi; Kobayashi, Tomoyuki; Kamigaichi, Shigeki

    2013-11-01

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) started a high-quality protein crystal growth project, now called JAXA PCG, on the International Space Station (ISS) in 2002. Using the counter-diffusion technique, 14 sessions of experiments have been performed as of 2012 with 580 proteins crystallized in total. Over the course of these experiments, a user-friendly interface framework for high accessibility has been constructed and crystallization techniques improved; devices to maximize the use of the microgravity environment have been designed, resulting in some high-resolution crystal growth. If crystallization conditions were carefully fixed in ground-based experiments, high-quality protein crystals grew in microgravity in many experiments on the ISS, especially when a highly homogeneous protein sample and a viscous crystallization solution were employed. In this article, the current status of JAXA PCG is discussed, and a rational approach to high-quality protein crystal growth in microgravity based on numerical analyses is explained.

  7. Not all mitochondrial carrier proteins support permeability transition pore formation: no involvement of uncoupling protein 1.

    PubMed

    Crichton, Paul G; Parker, Nadeene; Vidal-Puig, Antonio J; Brand, Martin D

    2009-12-15

    The mPTP (mitochondrial permeability transition pore) is a non-specific channel that is formed in the mitochondrial inner membrane in response to several stimuli, including elevated levels of matrix calcium. The pore is proposed to be composed of the ANT (adenine nucleotide translocase), voltage-dependent anion channel and cyclophilin D. Knockout studies, however, have demonstrated that ANT is not essential for permeability transition, which has led to the proposal that other members of the mitochondrial carrier protein family may be able to play a similar function to ANT in pore formation. To investigate this possibility, we have studied the permeability transition properties of BAT (brown adipose tissue) mitochondria in which levels of the mitochondrial carrier protein, UCP1 (uncoupling protein 1), can exceed those of ANT. Using an improved spectroscopic assay, we have quantified mPTP formation in de-energized mitochondria from wild-type and Ucp1KO (Ucp1-knockout) mice and assessed the dependence of pore formation on UCP1. When correctly normalized for differences in mitochondrial morphology, we find that calcium-induced mPTP activity is the same in both types of mitochondria, with similar sensitivity to GDP (approximately 50% inhibited), although the portion sensitive to cyclosporin A is higher in mitochondria lacking UCP1 (approximately 80% inhibited, compared with approximately 60% in mitochondria containing UCP1). We conclude that UCP1 is not a component of the cyclosporin A-sensitive mPTP in BAT and that playing a role in mPTP formation is not a general characteristic of the mitochondrial carrier protein family but is, more likely, restricted to specific members including ANT.

  8. Characterization of the yellow fever mosquito sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene and ligand-bound protein structure

    SciTech Connect

    Dyer, David H.; Vyazunova, Irina; Lorch, Jeffery M.; Forest, Katrina T.; Lan, Que

    2009-06-12

    The sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene (AeSCP-2L3), a new member of the SCP-2 protein family, is identified from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The predicted molecular weight of AeSCP-2L3 is 13.4 kDa with a calculated pI of 4.98. AeSCP-2L3 transcription occurs in the larval feeding stages and the mRNA levels decrease in pupae and adults. The highest levels of AeSCP-2L3 gene expression are found in the body wall, and possibly originated in the fat body. This is the first report of a mosquito SCP-2-like protein with prominent expression in tissue other than the midgut. The X-ray protein crystal structure of AeSCP-2L3 reveals a bound C16 fatty acid whose acyl tail penetrates deeply into a hydrophobic cavity. Interestingly, the ligand-binding cavity is slightly larger than previously described for AeSCP-2 (Dyer et al. J Biol Chem 278:39085-39091, 2003) and AeSCP-2L2 (Dyer et al. J Lipid Res M700460-JLR200, 2007). There are also an additional 10 amino acids in SCP-2L3 that are not present in other characterized mosquito SCP-2s forming an extended loop between {beta}3 and {beta}4. Otherwise, the protein backbone is exceedingly similar to other SCP-2 and SCP-2-like proteins. In contrast to this observed high structural homology of members in the mosquito SCP2 family, the amino acid sequence identity between the members is less than 30%. The results from structural analysis imply that there have been evolutionary constraints that favor the SCP-2 C{alpha} backbone fold while the specificity of ligand binding can be altered.

  9. Characterization of the yellow fever mosquito sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene and ligand-bound protein structure

    PubMed Central

    Dyer, David H.; Vyazunova, Irina; Lorch, Jeffery M.; Forest, Katrina T.

    2009-01-01

    The sterol carrier protein-2 like 3 gene (AeSCP-2L3), a new member of the SCP-2 protein family, is identified from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. The predicted molecular weight of AeSCP-2L3 is 13.4 kDa with a calculated pI of 4.98. AeSCP-2L3 transcription occurs in the larval feeding stages and the mRNA levels decrease in pupae and adults. The highest levels of AeSCP-2L3 gene expression are found in the body wall, and possibly originated in the fat body. This is the first report of a mosquito SCP-2-like protein with prominent expression in tissue other than the midgut. The X-ray protein crystal structure of AeSCP-2L3 reveals a bound C16 fatty acid whose acyl tail penetrates deeply into a hydrophobic cavity. Interestingly, the ligand-binding cavity is slightly larger than previously described for AeSCP-2 (Dyer et al. J Biol Chem 278:39085–39091, 2003) and AeSCP-2L2 (Dyer et al. J Lipid Res M700460–JLR200, 2007). There are also an additional 10 amino acids in SCP-2L3 that are not present in other characterized mosquito SCP-2s forming an extended loop between β3 and β4. Otherwise, the protein backbone is exceedingly similar to other SCP-2 and SCP-2-like proteins. In contrast to this observed high structural homology of members in the mosquito SCP2 family, the amino acid sequence identity between the members is less than 30%. The results from structural analysis imply that there have been evolutionary constraints that favor the SCP-2 Cα backbone fold while the specificity of ligand binding can be altered. PMID:19130179

  10. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystallization Interactions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.; Smith, Lori; Forsythe, Elizabeth

    1999-01-01

    We are investigating protein-protein interactions in under- and over-saturated crystallization solution conditions using fluorescence methods. The use of fluorescence requires fluorescent derivatives where the probe does not markedly affect the crystal packing. A number of chicken egg white lysozyme (CEWL) derivatives have been prepared, with the probes covalently attached to one of two different sites on the protein molecule; the side chain carboxyl of ASP 101, within the active site cleft, and the N-terminal amine. The ASP 101 derivatives crystallize while the N-terminal amine derivatives do not. However, the N-terminal amine is part of the contact region between adjacent 43 helix chains, and blocking this site does would not interfere with formation of these structures in solution. Preliminary FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C, using the N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and ASP 101 bound Lucifer Yellow (LY, Ex 425 nm, Em 525 nm) probe combination. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10 (exp 5) M respectively), and all experiments were carried out at approximately Csat or lower total protein concentration. The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence yield of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is apparently more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations (reflected in the lower solubility). The estimated average distance between protein molecules at 5 x 10 (exp 6) M is approximately 70 nm, well beyond the range where any FRET can be expected. The calculated RO, where 50% of the donor energy is transferred to the acceptor, for the PAA-CEWL * LY-CEWL system is 3.28 nm, based upon a PAA-CEWL quantum efficiency of 0.41.

  11. Protein crystal growth in low gravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.

    1994-01-01

    This research involved (1) using the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) in a study on the growth of lysozyme crystals and (2) refinement of the design of the Thermonucleator which controls the supersaturation required for the nucleation and growth of protein crystals separately. AFM studies of the (110) tetragonal face confirmed that lysozyme crystals grow by step propagation. There appears to be very little step pile up in the growth regimes which we studied. The step height was measured at = 54A which was equal to the (110) interpane spacing. The AFM images showed areas of step retardation and the formation of pits. These defects ranged in size from 0.1 to 0.4 mu. The source of these defects was not determined. The redesign of the Thermonucleator produced an instrument based on thermoelectric technology which is both easier to use and more amenable to use in a mu g environment. The use of thermoelectric technology resulted in a considerable size reduction which will allow for the design of a multi-unit growth apparatus. The performance of the new apparatus was demonstrated to be the same as the original design.

  12. Protein Crystal Growth Activities on STS-42

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) middeck payload is currently manifested to fly on STS-42 in January 1992. This payload is a joint effort between NASA s Office of Commercial Programs (OCP) and Office of Space Science and Applications (OSSA). The PCG experiments are managed by the Center for Macromolecular Crystallography (CMC), a NASA Center for the Commercial Development of Space (CCDS) based at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This is the eighth flight of a payload in the PCG program that is jointly sponsored by the OCP and the OSSA. The flight hardware for STS-42 includes six Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA) trays stored in two Refrigerator/Incubator Modules (R/TM s). The VDA trays will simultaneously conduct 120 experiments involving 15 different protein compounds, four of which are sponsored by the OCP, the UAB CCDS, and four co-investigators.

  13. Photon energy and carrier density dependence of spin dynamics in bulk CdTe crystal at room temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Hong; Jin, Zuanming; Ma, Guohong; Liu, Weiming; Hai Tang, Sing

    2009-06-01

    Excitation photon energy and carrier density dependence of spin dynamics in bulk CdTe crystal was studied by time resolved pump-probe reflectivity technique at room temperature. The results show that spin relaxation time decreases monotonously. While with increasing excitation carrier density, the time constants increases initially then decreases after reaching a maximum value. Our experimental results reveal that both D'yakonov-Perel' [M. I. D'yakonov and V. I. Perel', Sov. Phys. JETP 38, 177 (1974)] and Elliot-Yafet [R. J. Elliott, Phys. Rev. 96, 266 (1954); Y. Yafet, Solid State Phys. 14, 1 (1963)] mechanisms dominate the spin relaxation process in CdTe crystal.

  14. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc L.

    1999-01-01

    Fluorescence can be used to study protein crystal nucleation through methods such as anisotropy, quenching, and resonance energy transfer (FRET), to follow pH and ionic strength changes, and follow events occurring at the growth interface. We have postulated, based upon a range of experimental evidence that the growth unit of tetragonal hen egg white lysozyme is an octamer. Several fluorescent derivatives of chicken egg white lysozyme have been prepared. The fluorescent probes lucifer yellow (LY), cascade blue, and 5-((2-aminoethyl)aminonapthalene-1-sulfonic acid (EDANS), have been covalently attached to ASP 101. All crystallize in the characteristic tetragonal form, indicating that the bound probes are likely laying within the active site cleft. Crystals of the LY and EDANS derivatives have been found to diffract to at least 1.7 A. A second group of derivatives is to the N-terminal amine group, and these do not crystallize as this site is part of the contact region between the adjacent 43 helix chains. However derivatives at these sites would not interfere with formation of the 43 helices in solution. Preliminary FRET studies have been carried out using N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) lysozyme as a donor and LY (Ex -425 nm, Em 525 nm) labeled lysozyme as an acceptor. FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1 M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding Csat values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approximately 3.3 and approximately 2.5 x 10(exp -5) M respectively). The data at both salt concentrations show a consistent trend of decreasing fluorescence intensity of the donor species (PAA) with increasing total protein concentration. This decrease is more pronounced at 7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations reflected in the lower solubility. The calculated average distance between any two protein molecules at 5 x 10(exp -6) M is approximately 70nm, well beyond the

  15. A pathogenic fungi diphenyl ether phytotoxin targets plant enoyl (acyl carrier protein) reductase.

    PubMed

    Dayan, Franck E; Ferreira, Daneel; Wang, Yan-Hong; Khan, Ikhlas A; McInroy, John A; Pan, Zhiqiang

    2008-07-01

    Cyperin is a natural diphenyl ether phytotoxin produced by several fungal plant pathogens. At high concentrations, this metabolite inhibits protoporphyrinogen oxidase, a key enzyme in porphyrin synthesis. However, unlike its herbicide structural analogs, the mode of action of cyperin is not light dependent, causing loss of membrane integrity in the dark. We report that this natural diphenyl ether inhibits Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) enoyl (acyl carrier protein) reductase (ENR). This enzyme is also sensitive to triclosan, a synthetic antimicrobial diphenyl ether. Whereas cyperin was much less potent than triclosan on this target site, their ability to cause light-independent disruption of membrane integrity and inhibition of ENR is similar at their respective phytotoxic concentrations. The sequence of ENR is highly conserved within higher plants and a homology model of Arabidopsis ENR was derived from the crystal structure of the protein from Brassica napus. Cyperin mimicked the binding of triclosan in the binding pocket of ENR. Both molecules were stabilized by the pi-pi stacking interaction between one of their phenyl rings and the nicotinamide ring of the NAD(+). Furthermore, the side chain of tyrosine is involved in hydrogen bonding with a phenolic hydroxy group of cyperin. Therefore, cyperin may contribute to the virulence of the pathogens by inhibiting ENR and destabilizing the membrane integrity of the cells surrounding the point of infection.

  16. Promotion of protein crystal growth by actively switching crystal growth mode via femtosecond laser ablation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tominaga, Yusuke; Maruyama, Mihoko; Yoshimura, Masashi; Koizumi, Haruhiko; Tachibana, Masaru; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Adachi, Hiroaki; Tsukamoto, Katsuo; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Mori, Yusuke

    2016-11-01

    Large single crystals with desirable shapes are essential for various scientific and industrial fields, such as X-ray/neutron crystallography and crystalline devices. However, in the case of proteins the production of such crystals is particularly challenging, despite the efforts devoted to optimization of the environmental, chemical and physical parameters. Here we report an innovative approach for promoting the growth of protein crystals by directly modifying the local crystal structure via femtosecond laser ablation. We demonstrate that protein crystals with surfaces that are locally etched (several micrometers in diameter) by femtosecond laser ablation show enhanced growth rates without losing crystal quality. Optical phase-sensitive microscopy and X-ray topography imaging techniques reveal that the local etching induces spiral growth, which is energetically advantageous compared with the spontaneous two-dimensional nucleation growth mode. These findings prove that femtosecond laser ablation can actively switch the crystal growth mode, offering flexible control over the size and shape of protein crystals.

  17. Imaging of Protein Crystals with Two-Photon Microscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Padayatti, Pius; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sun, Wenyu; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Salom, David

    2012-05-02

    Second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC), which portrays second-harmonic generation (SHG) by noncentrosymmetric crystals, is emerging as a powerful imaging technique for protein crystals in media opaque to visible light because of its high signal-to-noise ratio. Here we report the incorporation of both SONICC and two-photon excited fluorescence (TPEF) into one imaging system that allows visualization of crystals as small as 10 {mu}m in their longest dimension. Using this system, we then documented an inverse correlation between the level of symmetry in examined crystals and the intensity of their SHG. Moreover, because of blue-green TPEF exhibited by most tested protein crystals, we also could identify and image SHG-silent protein crystals. Our experimental data suggest that the TPEF in protein crystals is mainly caused by the oxidation of tryptophan residues. Additionally, we found that unspecific fluorescent dyes are able to bind to lysozyme crystals and enhance their detection by TPEF. We finally confirmed that the observed fluorescence was generated by a two-photon rather than a three-photon process. The capability for imaging small protein crystals in turbid or opaque media with nondamaging infrared light in a single system makes the combination of SHG and intrinsic visible TPEF a powerful tool for nondestructive protein crystal identification and characterization during crystallization trials.

  18. Carrier scattering processes and low energy phonon spectroscopy in hybrid perovskites crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Even, Jacky; Paofai, Serge; Bourges, Philippe; Letoublon, Antoine; Cordier, Stéphane; Durand, Olivier; Katan, Claudine

    2016-03-01

    Despite the wealth of research conducted the last three years on hybrid organic perovskites (HOP), several questions remain open including: to what extend the organic moiety changes the properties of the material as compared to allinorganic (AIP) related perovskite structures. To ultimately reach an answer to this question, we have recently introduced two approaches that were designed to take the stochastic molecular degrees of freedom into account, and suggested that the high temperature cubic phase of HOP and AIP is an appropriate reference phase to rationalize HOP's properties. In this paper, we recall the main concepts and discuss more specifically the various possible couplings between charge carriers and low energy excitations such as acoustic and optical phonons. As available experimental or simulated data on low energy excitations are limited, we also present preliminary neutron scattering and ultrasonic measurements obtained and freshly prepared single crystals of CH3NH3PbBr3.

  19. Charge carrier mobilities in organic semiconductors: crystal engineering and the importance of molecular contacts.

    PubMed

    Bashir, Asif; Heck, Alexander; Narita, Akimitsu; Feng, Xinliang; Nefedov, Alexei; Rohwerder, Michael; Müllen, Klaus; Elstner, Marcus; Wöll, Christof

    2015-09-14

    We have conducted a combined experimental and theoretical study on the optimization of hexa-peri-hexabenzocoronene (HBC) as organic semiconductor. While orientations with high electronic coupling are unfavorable in the native liquid crystalline phase of HBC, we enforced such orientations by applying external constraints. To this end, self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) were formed by a non-conventional preparation method on an Au-substrate using electrochemical control. Within these SAMs the HBC units are forced into favorable orientations that cannot be achieved by unconstrained crystallization. For simulating the charge transport we applied a recently developed approach, where the molecular structure and the charge carrier are propagated simultaneously during a molecular dynamics simulation. Experiments as well as simulations are mutually supportive of an improved mobility in these novel materials. The implication of these findings for a rational design of future organic semiconductors will be discussed.

  20. Carrier surface generation and recombination effects in photoconduction of HgI2 single crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burshtein, Z.; Akujieze, Justin K.; Silberman, E.

    1986-01-01

    Dc photoconductivity characteristics of HgI2 single crystals have been measured in the range of 1.75-2.75 eV, using CuI as a transparent electrical contact. Hole and electron photocurrents could be separately measured by applying different voltage polarities to the illuminated electrode. It is shown that charge carrier generation near the surface is highly extrinsic, as displayed by differences in the hole and electron photogeneration spectra. Analysis of the photoconductivity versus voltage characteristics indicates that the hole and electron bulk trapping times satisfy greater than 70 and 3 microsec, respectively. The hole and electron surface recombination velocities were 1.0 x 10 to the 4th cm/s and 8 x 10 to the 5th cm/s, respectively.

  1. Generation of Protein Crystals Using a Solution-Stirring Technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adachi, Hiroaki; Niino, Ai; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Warizaya, Masaichi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-06-01

    Crystals of bovine adenosine deaminase (ADA) were grown over a two week period in the presence of an inhibitor, whereas ADA crystals did not form using conventional crystallization methods when the inhibitor was excluded. To obtain ADA crystals in the absence of the inhibitor, a solution-stirring technique was used. The crystals obtained using this technique were found to be of high quality and were shown to have high structural resolution for X-ray diffraction analysis. The results of this study indicate that the stirring technique is a useful method for obtaining crystals of proteins that do not crystallize using conventional techniques.

  2. Interplay between Long-Range Crystal Order and Short-Range Molecular Interactions Tunes Carrier Mobility in Liquid Crystal Dyes

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    We investigated the influence of molecular packing on the optical and electrical properties of the liquid crystalline dye 4,7-bis[5-(2-fluoro-4-pentyl-phenyl)-2-thienyl]-2,1,3-benzothiadiazole (FPPTB). FPPTB is crystalline at room temperature, exhibits a nematic phase at temperatures above 149 °C and is in an isotropic melt at temperatures above 230 °C. Solution processed FPPTB films were subject to thermal annealing through these phase transition temperatures and characterized with X-ray diffraction and polarized optical microscopy. Cooling FPPTB films from the nematic and isotropic phases increased crystal domain size, but also induced local structural variations in the molecular packing of crystalline FPPTB. The decrease in long-range order was correlated with an increase in short-range π–π interactions, leading to changes in molecular aggregation which persisted even when the FPPTB films were cooled to room temperature. Annealing-induced changes in molecular aggregation were confirmed with optical spectroscopy. The carrier mobility in FPPTB films increased over 2 orders of magnitude from (2.2 ± 0.4) × 10–5 cm2 V–1 s–1 in as-spun films to μ = (5.0 ± 0.8) × 10–3 cm2 V–1 s–1 in films cooled from the isotropic melt. We discuss the relationship between thermal stability and high carrier mobility values in terms of the interplay between long-range molecular order and increased π–π interactions between molecular pairs in the FPPTB film. PMID:28139915

  3. Protein and virus crystal growth on international microgravity laboratory-2.

    PubMed Central

    Koszelak, S; Day, J; Leja, C; Cudney, R; McPherson, A

    1995-01-01

    Two T = 1 and one T = 3 plant viruses, along with a protein, were crystallized in microgravity during the International Microgravity Laboratory-2 (IML-2) mission in July of 1994. The method used was liquid-liquid diffusion in the European Space Agency's Advanced Protein Crystallization Facility (APCF). Distinctive alterations in the habits of Turnip Yellow Mosaic Virus (TYMV) crystals and hexagonal canavalin crystals were observed. Crystals of cubic Satellite Tobacco Mosaic Virus (STMV) more than 30 times the volume of crystals grown in the laboratory were produced in microgravity. X-ray diffraction analysis demonstrated that both crystal forms of canavalin and the cubic STMV crystals diffracted to significantly higher resolution and had superior diffraction properties as judged by relative Wilson plots. It is postulated that the establishment of quasi-stable depletion zones around crystals growing in microgravity are responsible for self-regulated and more ordered growth. Images FIGURE 1 FIGURE 2 FIGURE 6 PMID:7669890

  4. Acoustic Methods to Monitor Protein Crystallization and to Detect Protein Crystals in Suspensions of Agarose and Lipidic Cubic Phase.

    PubMed

    Ericson, Daniel L; Yin, Xingyu; Scalia, Alexander; Samara, Yasmin N; Stearns, Richard; Vlahos, Harry; Ellson, Richard; Sweet, Robert M; Soares, Alexei S

    2016-02-01

    Improvements needed for automated crystallography include crystal detection and crystal harvesting. A technique that uses acoustic droplet ejection to harvest crystals was previously reported. Here a method is described for using the same acoustic instrument to detect protein crystals and to monitor crystal growth. Acoustic pulses were used to monitor the progress of crystallization trials and to detect the presence and location of protein crystals. Crystals were detected, and crystallization was monitored in aqueous solutions and in lipidic cubic phase. Using a commercially available acoustic instrument, crystals measuring ~150 µm or larger were readily detected. Simple laboratory techniques were used to increase the sensitivity to 50 µm by suspending the crystals away from the plastic surface of the crystallization plate. This increased the sensitivity by separating the strong signal generated by the plate bottom that can mask the signal from small protein crystals. It is possible to further boost the acoustic reflection from small crystals by reducing the wavelength of the incident sound pulse, but our current instrumentation does not allow this option. In the future, commercially available sound-emitting transducers with a characteristic frequency near 300 MHz should detect and monitor the growth of individual 3 µm crystals.

  5. TIM29 is a subunit of the human carrier translocase required for protein transport.

    PubMed

    Callegari, Sylvie; Richter, Frank; Chojnacka, Katarzyna; Jans, Daniel C; Lorenzi, Isotta; Pacheu-Grau, David; Jakobs, Stefan; Lenz, Christof; Urlaub, Henning; Dudek, Jan; Chacinska, Agnieszka; Rehling, Peter

    2016-12-01

    Hydrophobic inner mitochondrial membrane proteins with internal targeting signals, such as the metabolite carriers, use the carrier translocase (TIM22 complex) for transport into the inner membrane. Defects in this transport pathway have been associated with neurodegenerative disorders. While the TIM22 complex is well studied in baker's yeast, very little is known about the mammalian TIM22 complex. Using immunoprecipitation, we purified the human carrier translocase and identified a mitochondrial inner membrane protein TIM29 as a novel component, specific to metazoa. We show that TIM29 is a constituent of the 440 kDa TIM22 complex and interacts with oxidized TIM22. Our analyses demonstrate that TIM29 is required for the structural integrity of the TIM22 complex and for import of substrate proteins by the carrier translocase.

  6. Analysis of crystallization data in the Protein Data Bank

    SciTech Connect

    Kirkwood, Jobie; Hargreaves, David; O’Keefe, Simon; Wilson, Julie

    2015-09-23

    In a large-scale study using data from the Protein Data Bank, some of the many reported findings regarding the crystallization of proteins were investigated. The Protein Data Bank (PDB) is the largest available repository of solved protein structures and contains a wealth of information on successful crystallization. Many centres have used their own experimental data to draw conclusions about proteins and the conditions in which they crystallize. Here, data from the PDB were used to reanalyse some of these results. The most successful crystallization reagents were identified, the link between solution pH and the isoelectric point of the protein was investigated and the possibility of predicting whether a protein will crystallize was explored.

  7. Structure-based analysis of the molecular interactions between acyltransferase and acyl carrier protein in vicenistatin biosynthesis

    PubMed Central

    Miyanaga, Akimasa; Iwasawa, Shohei; Shinohara, Yuji; Kudo, Fumitaka; Eguchi, Tadashi

    2016-01-01

    Acyltransferases (ATs) are key determinants of building block specificity in polyketide biosynthesis. Despite the importance of protein–protein interactions between AT and acyl carrier protein (ACP) during the acyltransfer reaction, the mechanism of ACP recognition by AT is not understood in detail. Herein, we report the crystal structure of AT VinK, which transfers a dipeptide group between two ACPs, VinL and VinP1LdACP, in vicenistatin biosynthesis. The isolated VinK structure showed a unique substrate-binding pocket for the dipeptide group linked to ACP. To gain greater insight into the mechanism of ACP recognition, we attempted to crystallize the VinK–ACP complexes. Because transient enzyme–ACP complexes are difficult to crystallize, we developed a covalent cross-linking strategy using a bifunctional maleimide reagent to trap the VinK–ACP complexes, allowing the determination of the crystal structure of the VinK–VinL complex. In the complex structure, Arg-153, Met-206, and Arg-299 of VinK interact with the negatively charged helix II region of VinL. The VinK–VinL complex structure allows, to our knowledge, the first visualization of the interaction between AT and ACP and provides detailed mechanistic insights into ACP recognition by AT. PMID:26831085

  8. Protein Crystal Growth With the Aid of Microfluidics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Protein crystallography is one of three well-known methods to obtain the structure of proteins. A major rate limiting step in protein crystallography is protein crystal nucleation and growth, which is still largely a process conducted by trial-and-error methods. Many attempts have been made to improve protein crystal growth by performing growth in microgravity. Although the use of microgravity appears to improve crystal quality in some attempts, this method has been inefficient because several reasons: we lack a fundamental understanding of macromolecular crystal growth in general and of the influence of microgravity in particular, we have to start with crystal growth conditions in microgravity based on conditions on the ground and finally the hardware does not allow for experimental iteration without reloading samples on the ground. To partially accommodate the disadvantages of the current hardware, we have used microfluidic technology (Lab-on-a-Chip devices) to design the concept of a more efficient crystallization device, suitable for use on the International Space Station and in high-throughput applications on the ground. The concept and properties of microfluidics, the application design process, and the advances in protein crystal growth hardware will be discussed in this presentation. Some examples of proteins crystallized in the new hardware will be discussed, including the differences between conventional crystallization versus crystallization in microfluidics.

  9. Effect of Fe-doping on nonlinear optical responses and carrier trapping dynamics in GaN single crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Fang, Yu; Yang, Junyi; Yang, Yong; Zhou, Feng; Wu, Xingzhi; Xiao, Zhengguo; Song, Yinglin

    2015-08-03

    We presented a quantitative study on the Fe-doping concentration dependence of optical nonlinearities and ultrafast carrier dynamics in Fe-doped GaN (GaN:Fe) single crystals using picosecond Z-scan and femtosecond pump-probe with phase object techniques under two-photon excitation. In contrast to the two-photon absorption that was found to be independent on the Fe-doping, the nonlinear refraction decreased with the Fe concentration due to the fast carrier trapping effect of Fe{sup 3+}/Fe{sup 2+} deep acceptors, which simultaneously acted as an efficient non-radiative recombination channels for excess carriers. Remarkably, compared to that of Si-doped GaN bulk crystal, the free-carrier refraction effect in GaN:Fe crystals was found to be enhanced considerably since Fe-doping and the effective carrier lifetime (∼10 ps) could be tuned over three orders of magnitude at high Fe-doping level of 1 × 10{sup 19 }cm{sup −3}.

  10. Fluorescence Studies of Protein Crystal Nucleation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Sumida, John

    2000-01-01

    -association process is a function of the protein concentration relative to the saturation concentration, and observing it in dilute solution (conc. less than or equal to 10(exp -5)M) requires that the experiments be performed under low solubility conditions, i.e., low temperatures and high salt concentrations. Data from preliminary steady state FRET studies with N-terminal bound pyrene acetic acid (PAA-lys, donor, Ex 340 nm, Em 376 nm) and asp101 LY-lys as an acceptor showed a consistent trend of decreasing donor fluorescence intensity with increasing total protein concentration. The FRET data have been obtained at pH 4.6, 0.1M NaAc buffer, at 5 and 7% NaCl, 4 C. The corresponding C(sub sat) values are 0.471 and 0.362 mg/ml (approx. 3.3 and approx. 2.5 x 10(exp -5)M respectively). The donor fluorescence decrease is more pronounced at7% NaCl, consistent with the expected increased intermolecular interactions at higher salt concentrations as reflected in the lower solubility. Results from these and other ongoing studies will be discussed in conjunction with an emerging model for how tetragonal lysozyme crystals nucleate and the relevance of that model to other proteins.

  11. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, George D.; Rupp, Bernhard

    1996-01-01

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an x-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the x-ray diffraction pattern.

  12. Electrorheological crystallization of proteins and other molecules

    DOEpatents

    Craig, G.D.; Rupp, B.

    1996-06-11

    An electrorheological crystalline mass of a molecule is formed by dispersing the molecule in a dispersion fluid and subjecting the molecule dispersion to a uniform electrical field for a period of time during which time an electrorheological crystalline mass is formed. Molecules that may be used to form an electrorheological crystalline mass include any organic or inorganic molecule which has a permanent dipole and/or which is capable of becoming an induced dipole in the presence of an electric field. The molecules used to form the electrorheological crystalline mass are preferably macromolecules, such as biomolecules, such as proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, lipoproteins and viruses. Molecules are crystallized by a method in which an electric field is maintained for a period of time after the electrorheological crystalline mass has formed during which time at least some of the molecules making up the electrorheological crystalline mass form a crystal lattice. The three dimensional structure of a molecule is determined by a method in which an electrorheological crystalline mass of the molecule is formed, an X-ray diffraction pattern of the electrorheological crystalline mass is obtained and the three dimensional structure of the molecule is calculated from the X-ray diffraction pattern. 4 figs.

  13. Detergent-Specific Membrane Protein Crystallization Screens

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiener, Michael

    2007-01-01

    A suite of reagents has been developed for three-dimensional crystallization of integral membranes present in solution as protein-detergent complexes (PDCs). The compositions of these reagents have been determined in part by proximity to the phase boundaries (lower consolute boundaries) of the detergents present in the PDCs. The acquisition of some of the requisite phase-boundary data and the preliminary design of several of the detergent- specific screens was supported by a NASA contract. At the time of expiration of the contract, a partial set of preliminary screens had been developed. This work has since been extended under non-NASA sponsorship, leading to near completion of a set of 20 to 30 different and unique detergent- specific 96-condition screens.

  14. Structure of the complex between teicoplanin and a bacterial cell-wall peptide: use of a carrier-protein approach

    SciTech Connect

    Economou, Nicoleta J.; Zentner, Isaac J.; Lazo, Edwin; Jakoncic, Jean; Stojanoff, Vivian; Weeks, Stephen D.; Grasty, Kimberly C.; Cocklin, Simon; Loll, Patrick J.

    2013-04-01

    Using a carrier-protein strategy, the structure of teicoplanin bound to its bacterial cell-wall target has been determined. The structure reveals the molecular determinants of target recognition, flexibility in the antibiotic backbone and intrinsic radiation sensitivity of teicoplanin. Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are commonly treated with glycopeptide antibiotics such as teicoplanin. This drug inhibits bacterial cell-wall biosynthesis by binding and sequestering a cell-wall precursor: a d-alanine-containing peptide. A carrier-protein strategy was used to crystallize the complex of teicoplanin and its target peptide by fusing the cell-wall peptide to either MBP or ubiquitin via native chemical ligation and subsequently crystallizing the protein–peptide–antibiotic complex. The 2.05 Å resolution MBP–peptide–teicoplanin structure shows that teicoplanin recognizes its ligand through a combination of five hydrogen bonds and multiple van der Waals interactions. Comparison of this teicoplanin structure with that of unliganded teicoplanin reveals a flexibility in the antibiotic peptide backbone that has significant implications for ligand recognition. Diffraction experiments revealed an X-ray-induced dechlorination of the sixth amino acid of the antibiotic; it is shown that teicoplanin is significantly more radiation-sensitive than other similar antibiotics and that ligand binding increases radiosensitivity. Insights derived from this new teicoplanin structure may contribute to the development of next-generation antibacterials designed to overcome bacterial resistance.

  15. Anisotropy, phonon modes, and free charge carrier parameters in monoclinic β -gallium oxide single crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schubert, M.; Korlacki, R.; Knight, S.; Hofmann, T.; Schöche, S.; Darakchieva, V.; Janzén, E.; Monemar, B.; Gogova, D.; Thieu, Q.-T.; Togashi, R.; Murakami, H.; Kumagai, Y.; Goto, K.; Kuramata, A.; Yamakoshi, S.; Higashiwaki, M.

    2016-03-01

    We derive a dielectric function tensor model approach to render the optical response of monoclinic and triclinic symmetry materials with multiple uncoupled infrared and far-infrared active modes. We apply our model approach to monoclinic β -Ga2O3 single-crystal samples. Surfaces cut under different angles from a bulk crystal, (010) and (2 ¯01 ), are investigated by generalized spectroscopic ellipsometry within infrared and far-infrared spectral regions. We determine the frequency dependence of 4 independent β -Ga2O3 Cartesian dielectric function tensor elements by matching large sets of experimental data using a point-by-point data inversion approach. From matching our monoclinic model to the obtained 4 dielectric function tensor components, we determine all infrared and far-infrared active transverse optic phonon modes with Au and Bu symmetry, and their eigenvectors within the monoclinic lattice. We find excellent agreement between our model results and results of density functional theory calculations. We derive and discuss the frequencies of longitudinal optical phonons in β -Ga2O3 . We derive and report density and anisotropic mobility parameters of the free charge carriers within the tin-doped crystals. We discuss the occurrence of longitudinal phonon plasmon coupled modes in β -Ga2O3 and provide their frequencies and eigenvectors. We also discuss and present monoclinic dielectric constants for static electric fields and frequencies above the reststrahlen range, and we provide a generalization of the Lyddane-Sachs-Teller relation for monoclinic lattices with infrared and far-infrared active modes. We find that the generalized Lyddane-Sachs-Teller relation is fulfilled excellently for β -Ga2O3 .

  16. Crystal quality and differential crystal-growth behaviour of three proteins crystallized in gel at high hydrostatic pressure.

    PubMed

    Kadri, A; Lorber, B; Charron, C; Robert, M-C; Capelle, B; Damak, M; Jenner, G; Giegé, R

    2005-06-01

    Pressure is a non-invasive physical parameter that can be used to control and influence protein crystallization. It is also found that protein crystals of superior quality can be produced in gel. Here, a novel crystallization strategy combining hydrostatic pressure and agarose gel is described. Comparative experiments were conducted on hen and turkey egg-white lysozymes and the plant protein thaumatin. Crystals could be produced under up to 75-100 MPa (lysozymes) and 250 MPa (thaumatin). Several pressure-dependent parameters were determined, which included solubility and supersaturation of the proteins, number, size and morphology of the crystals, and the crystallization volume. Exploration of three-dimensional phase diagrams in which pH and pressure varied identified growth conditions where crystals had largest size and best morphology. As a general trend, nucleation and crystal-growth kinetics are altered and nucleation is always enhanced under pressure. Further, solubility of the lysozymes increases with pressure while that of thaumatin decreases. Likewise, changes in crystallization volumes at high and atmospheric pressure are opposite, being positive for the lysozymes and negative for thaumatin. Crystal quality was estimated by analysis of Bragg reflection profiles and X-ray topographs. While the quality of lysozyme crystals deteriorates as pressure increases, that of thaumatin crystals improves, with more homogeneous crystal morphology suggesting that pressure selectively dissociates ill-formed nuclei. Analysis of the thaumatin structure reveals a less hydrated solvent shell around the protein when pressure increases, with approximately 20% less ordered water molecules in crystals grown at 150 MPa when compared with those grown at atmospheric pressure (0.1 MPa). Noticeably, the altered water distribution is seen in depressurized crystals, indicating that pressure triggers a stable structural alteration on the protein surface while its polypeptide backbone

  17. Defective peroxisomal catabolism of branched fatty acyl coenzyme A in mice lacking the sterol carrier protein-2/sterol carrier protein-x gene function

    PubMed Central

    Seedorf, Udo; Raabe, Martin; Ellinghaus, Peter; Kannenberg, Frank; Fobker, Manfred; Engel, Thomas; Denis, Simone; Wouters, Fred; Wirtz, Karel W.A.; Wanders, Ronald J.A.; Maeda, Nobuyo; Assmann, Gerd

    1998-01-01

    Gene targeting in mice was used to investigate the unknown function of Scp2, encoding sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP2; a peroxisomal lipid carrier) and sterol carrier protein-x (SCPx; a fusion protein between SCP2 and a peroxisomal thiolase). Complete deficiency of SCP2 and SCPx was associated with marked alterations in gene expression, peroxisome proliferation, hypolipidemia, impaired body weight control, and neuropathy. Along with these abnormalities, catabolism of methyl-branched fatty acyl CoAs was impaired. The defect became evident from up to 10-fold accumulation of the tetramethyl-branched fatty acid phytanic acid in Scp2(−/−) mice. Further characterization supported that the gene disruption led to inefficient import of phytanoyl-CoA into peroxisomes and to defective thiolytic cleavage of 3-ketopristanoyl-CoA. These results corresponded to high-affinity binding of phytanoyl-CoA to the recombinant rat SCP2 protein, as well as high 3-ketopristanoyl-CoA thiolase activity of the recombinant rat SCPx protein. PMID:9553048

  18. Automating the application of smart materials for protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Khurshid, Sahir; Govada, Lata; EL-Sharif, Hazim F.; Reddy, Subrayal M.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2015-03-01

    The first semi-liquid, non-protein nucleating agent for automated protein crystallization trials is described. This ‘smart material’ is demonstrated to induce crystal growth and will provide a simple, cost-effective tool for scientists in academia and industry. The fabrication and validation of the first semi-liquid nonprotein nucleating agent to be administered automatically to crystallization trials is reported. This research builds upon prior demonstration of the suitability of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs; known as ‘smart materials’) for inducing protein crystal growth. Modified MIPs of altered texture suitable for high-throughput trials are demonstrated to improve crystal quality and to increase the probability of success when screening for suitable crystallization conditions. The application of these materials is simple, time-efficient and will provide a potent tool for structural biologists embarking on crystallization trials.

  19. Mycobacterium tuberculosis acyl carrier protein synthase adopts two different pH-dependent structural conformations

    SciTech Connect

    Gokulan, Kuppan; Aggarwal, Anup; Shipman, Lance; Besra, Gurdyal S.; Sacchettini, James C.

    2011-09-20

    The crystal structures of acyl carrier protein synthase (AcpS) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and Corynebacterium ammoniagenes determined at pH 5.3 and pH 6.5, respectively, are reported. Comparison of the Mtb apo-AcpS structure with the recently reported structure of the Mtb AcpS-ADP complex revealed that AcpS adopts two different conformations: the orthorhombic and trigonal space-group structures show structural differences in the {alpha}2 helix and in the conformation of the {alpha}3-{alpha}4 connecting loop, which is in a closed conformation. The apo-AcpS structure shows electron density for the entire model and was obtained at lower pH values (4.4-6.0). In contrast, at a higher pH value (6.5) AcpS undergoes significant conformational changes, resulting in disordered regions that show no electron density in the AcpS model. The solved structures also reveal that C. ammoniagenes AcpS undergoes structural rearrangement in two regions, similar to the recently reported Mtb AcpS-ADP complex structure. In vitro reconstitution experiments show that AcpS has a higher post-translational modification activity between pH 4.4 and 6.0 than at pH values above 6.5, where the activity drops owing to the change in conformation. The results show that apo-AcpS and AcpS-ADP adopt different conformations depending upon the pH conditions of the crystallization solution.

  20. A rational approach to identify inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase.

    PubMed

    Chhabria, Mahesh T; Parmar, Kailash B; Brahmkshatriya, Pathik S

    2013-01-01

    Mycobacterial enoyl acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase is an attractive target for focused design of novel antitubercular agents. Structural information available on enoyl-ACP reductase in complex with different ligands was used to generate receptor-based pharmacophore model in Discovery Studio (DS). In parallel, pharmacophore models were also generated using ligand-based approach (HypoGen module in DS). Statistically significant models were generated (r(2) = 0.85) which were found to be predictive as indicated from internal and external cross-validations. The model was used as a query tool to search Zinc and Maybridge databases to identify lead compounds and predict their activity in silico. Database searching retrieved many potential lead compounds having better estimated IC50 values than the training set compounds. These compounds were then evaluated for their drug-likeliness and pharmacokinetic properties using DS. Few selected compounds were then docked into the crystal structure of enoyl-ACP reductase using Dock 6.5. Most compounds were found to have high score values, which was found to be consistent with the results from pharmacophore mapping. Additionally, molecular docking provided useful insights into the nature of binding of the identified hit molecules. In summary, we show a useful strategy employing ligand- and structure-based approaches (pharmacophore modeling coupled with molecular docking) to identify new enoyl- ACP reductase inhibitors for antimycobacterial chemotherapy.

  1. Lysine and arginine biosyntheses mediated by a common carrier protein in Sulfolobus.

    PubMed

    Ouchi, Takuya; Tomita, Takeo; Horie, Akira; Yoshida, Ayako; Takahashi, Kento; Nishida, Hiromi; Lassak, Kerstin; Taka, Hikari; Mineki, Reiko; Fujimura, Tsutomu; Kosono, Saori; Nishiyama, Chiharu; Masui, Ryoji; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Albers, Sonja-Verena; Kuzuyama, Tomohisa; Nishiyama, Makoto

    2013-04-01

    LysW has been identified as a carrier protein in the lysine biosynthetic pathway that is active through the conversion of α-aminoadipate (AAA) to lysine. In this study, we found that the hyperthermophilic archaeon, Sulfolobus acidocaldarius, not only biosynthesizes lysine through LysW-mediated protection of AAA but also uses LysW to protect the amino group of glutamate in arginine biosynthesis. In this archaeon, after LysW modification, AAA and glutamate are converted to lysine and ornithine, respectively, by a single set of enzymes with dual functions. The crystal structure of ArgX, the enzyme responsible for modification and protection of the amino moiety of glutamate with LysW, was determined in complex with LysW. Structural comparison and enzymatic characterization using Sulfolobus LysX, Sulfolobus ArgX and Thermus LysX identify the amino acid motif responsible for substrate discrimination between AAA and glutamate. Phylogenetic analysis reveals that gene duplication events at different stages of evolution led to ArgX and LysX.

  2. Secretory proteins as potential semiochemical carriers in the horse.

    PubMed

    D'Innocenzo, Barbara; Salzano, Anna Maria; D'Ambrosio, Chiara; Gazzano, Angelo; Niccolini, Alberto; Sorce, Carlo; Dani, Francesca Romana; Scaloni, Andrea; Pelosi, Paolo

    2006-11-14

    Two soluble proteins were isolated as major secretory products of horse sweat and of the parotid gland and characterized for structural and functional properties. The first protein, lipocalin allergen EquC1, was characterized for its glycosylation sites and bound glycosidic moieties. Only one (Asn53) of the two putative glycosylation sites within the sequence was post-translationally modified; a different glycosylation pattern was determined with respect to data previously reported. When purified from horse sweat, this protein contained oleamide and other organic molecules as natural ligands. Ligand binding experiments indicated good protein selectivity toward volatile compounds having a straight chain structure of 9-11 carbon atoms, suggesting a role of this lipocalin in chemical communication. The second protein, here reported for the first time in the horse, belongs to the group of parotid secretory proteins, part of a large superfamily of binding proteins whose function in most cases is still unclear. This protein was sequenced and characterized for its post-translational modifications. Of the three cysteine residues present, two were involved in a disulfide bridge (Cys155-Cys198). A model, built up on the basis of similar proteins, indicated a general fold characterized by the presence of a long hydrophobic barrel. Binding experiments performed with a number of different organic compounds failed to identify ligands for this protein with a well-defined physiological role.

  3. Crystal growth and electronic properties of a 3D Rashba material, BiTeI, with adjusted carrier concentrations.

    PubMed

    Kanou, Manabu; Sasagawa, Takao

    2013-04-03

    3D Rashba materials can be a leading player in spin-related novel phenomena, ranging from the metallic extreme (unconventional superconductivity) to the transport intermediate (spin Hall effects) to the novel insulating variant (3D topological insulating states). As the essential backbone for both fundamental and applied research of such a 3D Rashba material, this study established the growth of sizeable single crystals of a candidate compound BiTeI with adjusted carrier concentrations. Three techniques (standard vertical Bridgman, modified horizontal Bridgman, and vapour transport) were employed, and BiTeI crystals (>1 × 1 × 0.2 mm(3)) with fundamentally different electronic states from metallic to insulating were successfully grown by the chosen technique. The 3D Rashba electronic states, including the Fermi surface topology, for the corresponding carrier concentrations of the obtained BiTeI crystals were revealed by relativistic first-principles calculations.

  4. Growth of protein crystals in hydrogels prevents osmotic shock.

    PubMed

    Sugiyama, Shigeru; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sazaki, Gen; Hirose, Mika; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi

    2012-04-04

    High-throughput protein X-ray crystallography offers a significant opportunity to facilitate drug discovery. The most reliable approach is to determine the three-dimensional structure of the protein-ligand complex by soaking the ligand in apo crystals. However, protein apo crystals produced by conventional crystallization in a solution are fatally damaged by osmotic shock during soaking. To overcome this difficulty, we present a novel technique for growing protein crystals in a high-concentration hydrogel that is completely gellified and exhibits high strength. This technique allowed us essentially to increase the mechanical stability of the crystals, preventing serious damage to the crystals caused by osmotic shock. Thus, this method may accelerate structure-based drug discoveries.

  5. Some implications of colloid stability theory for protein crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Young, C. C.; De Mattei, R. C.; Feigelson, R. S.; Tiller, W. A.

    1988-01-01

    Colloid stability theory has been applied to protein crystallization and predicts a narrow range of conditions under which crystals can be grown without the agglomeration of protein molecules (colloids) in the bulk solution. It also predicts a critical electrolyte concentration above which agglomeration will always occur. Using this theory, the rapid protein agglomeration occurring during Schlieren experiments as well as a terminal crystal size effect in a fixed container were explained. Following this concept, the supposed 'terminal' crystal size has been at least doubled.

  6. Molecular Cross-Talk between Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetase Carrier Proteins and Unstructured Linker Regions.

    PubMed

    Harden, Bradley J; Frueh, Dominique P

    2017-01-24

    Nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) employ multiple domains separated by linker regions to incorporate substrates into natural products. During synthesis, substrates are covalently tethered to carrier proteins that translocate between catalytic partner domains. The molecular parameters that govern translocation and associated linker remodeling remain unknown. Here, we used NMR to characterize the structure, dynamics, and invisible states of a peptidyl carrier protein flanked by its linkers. We showed that the N-terminal linker stabilizes and interacts with the protein core while modulating dynamics at specific sites involved in post-translational modifications and/or domain interactions. The results detail the molecular communication between peptidyl carrier proteins and their linkers and could guide efforts in engineering NRPSs to obtain new pharmaceuticals.

  7. Lab-on-a-Chip Based Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    vanderWoerd, Mark J.; Brasseur, Michael M.; Spearing, Scott F.; Whitaker, Ann F. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    We are developing a novel technique with which we will grow protein crystals in very small volumes, utilizing chip-based, microfluidic ("LabChip") technology. This development, which is a collaborative effort between NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and Caliper Technologies Corporation, promises a breakthrough in the field of protein crystal growth. Our initial results obtained from two model proteins, Lysozyme and Thaumatin, show that it is feasible to dispense and adequately mix protein and precipitant solutions on a nano-liter scale. The mixtures have shown crystal growth in volumes in the range of 10 nanoliters to 5 microliters. In addition, large diffraction quality crystals were obtained by this method. X-ray data from these crystals were shown to be of excellent quality. Our future efforts will include the further development of protein crystal growth with LabChip(trademark) technology for more complex systems. We will initially address the batch growth method, followed by the vapor diffusion method and the liquid-liquid diffusion method. The culmination of these chip developments is to lead to an on orbit protein crystallization facility on the International Space Station. Structural biologists will be invited to utilize the on orbit Iterative Biological Crystallization facility to grow high quality macromolecular crystals in microgravity.

  8. Protein Purification and Its Application to Crystallization

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1988-08-30

    4-1 4.1.2.2 Microcystin ...............................4-5 4.1.2.3 Aequorin.........................4-5 4.1.2.4 Staphylococcal...analyzing these crystals by HPLC to determine crystal composition. Crystals of microcystin , which did not diffract, were isolated from a hanging drop...standard curve was prepared to correlate peak height to micrograms of microcystin injected. The results of this experiment showed that the crystals did

  9. Protein Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Carriers for Cancer Therapy

    PubMed Central

    Lohcharoenkal, Warangkana; Wang, Liying; Chen, Yi Charlie

    2014-01-01

    Nanoparticles have increasingly been used for a variety of applications, most notably for the delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. A large number of nanoparticle drug delivery systems have been developed for cancer treatment and various materials have been explored as drug delivery agents to improve the therapeutic efficacy and safety of anticancer drugs. Natural biomolecules such as proteins are an attractive alternative to synthetic polymers which are commonly used in drug formulations because of their safety. In general, protein nanoparticles offer a number of advantages including biocompatibility and biodegradability. They can be prepared under mild conditions without the use of toxic chemicals or organic solvents. Moreover, due to their defined primary structure, protein-based nanoparticles offer various possibilities for surface modifications including covalent attachment of drugs and targeting ligands. In this paper, we review the most significant advancements in protein nanoparticle technology and their use in drug delivery arena. We then examine the various sources of protein materials that have been used successfully for the construction of protein nanoparticles as well as their methods of preparation. Finally, we discuss the applications of protein nanoparticles in cancer therapy. PMID:24772414

  10. The molecular features of uncoupling protein 1 support a conventional mitochondrial carrier-like mechanism.

    PubMed

    Crichton, Paul G; Lee, Yang; Kunji, Edmund R S

    2017-03-01

    Uncoupling protein 1 (UCP1) is an integral membrane protein found in the mitochondrial inner membrane of brown adipose tissue, and facilitates the process of non-shivering thermogenesis in mammals. Its activation by fatty acids, which overcomes its inhibition by purine nucleotides, leads to an increase in the proton conductance of the inner mitochondrial membrane, short-circuiting the mitochondrion to produce heat rather than ATP. Despite 40 years of intense research, the underlying molecular mechanism of UCP1 is still under debate. The protein belongs to the mitochondrial carrier family of transporters, which have recently been shown to utilise a domain-based alternating-access mechanism, cycling between a cytoplasmic and matrix state to transport metabolites across the inner membrane. Here, we review the protein properties of UCP1 and compare them to those of mitochondrial carriers. UCP1 has the same structural fold as other mitochondrial carriers and, in contrast to past claims, is a monomer, binding one purine nucleotide and three cardiolipin molecules tightly. The protein has a single substrate binding site, which is similar to those of the dicarboxylate and oxoglutarate carriers, but also contains a proton binding site and several hydrophobic residues. As found in other mitochondrial carriers, UCP1 has two conserved salt bridge networks on either side of the central cavity, which regulate access to the substrate binding site in an alternating way. The conserved domain structures and mobile inter-domain interfaces are consistent with an alternating access mechanism too. In conclusion, UCP1 has retained all of the key features of mitochondrial carriers, indicating that it operates by a conventional carrier-like mechanism.

  11. The plug-based nanovolume Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS)

    SciTech Connect

    Gerdts, Cory J.; Elliott, Mark; Lovell, Scott; Mixon, Mark B.; Napuli, Alberto J.; Staker, Bart L.; Nollert, Peter; Stewart, Lance

    2012-02-08

    The Microcapillary Protein Crystallization System (MPCS) embodies a new semi-automated plug-based crystallization technology which enables nanolitre-volume screening of crystallization conditions in a plasticware format that allows crystals to be easily removed for traditional cryoprotection and X-ray diffraction data collection. Protein crystals grown in these plastic devices can be directly subjected to in situ X-ray diffraction studies. The MPCS integrates the formulation of crystallization cocktails with the preparation of the crystallization experiments. Within microfluidic Teflon tubing or the microfluidic circuitry of a plastic CrystalCard, {approx}10-20 nl volume droplets are generated, each representing a microbatch-style crystallization experiment with a different chemical composition. The entire protein sample is utilized in crystallization experiments. Sparse-matrix screening and chemical gradient screening can be combined in one comprehensive 'hybrid' crystallization trial. The technology lends itself well to optimization by high-granularity gradient screening using optimization reagents such as precipitation agents, ligands or cryoprotectants.

  12. A new approach to calculate charge carrier transport mobility in organic molecular crystals from imaginary time path integral simulations

    SciTech Connect

    Song, Linze; Shi, Qiang

    2015-05-07

    We present a new non-perturbative method to calculate the charge carrier mobility using the imaginary time path integral approach, which is based on the Kubo formula for the conductivity, and a saddle point approximation to perform the analytic continuation. The new method is first tested using a benchmark calculation from the numerical exact hierarchical equations of motion method. Imaginary time path integral Monte Carlo simulations are then performed to explore the temperature dependence of charge carrier delocalization and mobility in organic molecular crystals (OMCs) within the Holstein and Holstein-Peierls models. The effects of nonlocal electron-phonon interaction on mobility in different charge transport regimes are also investigated.

  13. Modeling the SHG activities of diverse protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Haupert, Levi M.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2012-01-01

    A symmetry-additive ab initio model for second-harmonic generation (SHG) activity of protein crystals was applied to assess the likely protein-crystal coverage of SHG microscopy. Calculations were performed for 250 proteins in nine point-group symmetries: a total of 2250 crystals. The model suggests that the crystal symmetry and the limit of detection of the instrument are expected to be the strongest predictors of coverage of the factors considered, which also included secondary-structural content and protein size. Much of the diversity in SHG activity is expected to arise primarily from the variability in the intrinsic protein response as well as the orientation within the crystal lattice. Two or more orders-of-­magnitude variation in intensity are expected even within protein crystals of the same symmetry. SHG measurements of tetragonal lysozyme crystals confirmed detection, from which a protein coverage of ∼84% was estimated based on the proportion of proteins calculated to produce SHG responses greater than that of tetragonal lysozyme. Good agreement was observed between the measured and calculated ratios of the SHG intensity from lysozyme in tetragonal and monoclinic lattices. PMID:23090400

  14. Efficient skin permeation of soluble proteins via flexible and functional nano-carrier.

    PubMed

    Choi, Won Il; Lee, Jong Hyun; Kim, Ja-Young; Kim, Jin-Chul; Kim, Young Ha; Tae, Giyoong

    2012-01-30

    In spite of several intrinsic and distinct advantages, a topical and transdermal administration of drugs has been limited mainly due to very low permeability of drugs across skin. Especially, it is generally regarded that hydrophilic macromolecules such as proteins, peptides, and vaccines cannot penetrate across skin. In this study, we demonstrated that chitosan-conjugated, Pluronic-based nano-carrier (nanogel) can act as an efficient delivery vehicle of hydrophilic proteins across human skin. The functional nano-carrier (<100 nm in size), chemically-crosslinking Pluronic F 127 with chitosan conjugation, is flexible and soft with reservoir characteristics for biomacromolecules. The in-vitro permeation experiments through human cadaver skin revealed remarkable permeability of hydrophilic proteins of various sizes including FITC-BSA (67 kDa) and FITC-Insulin (6 kDa) by direct penetration of the nano-carrier across skin. The bioactivity post-permeation of proteins via the functional nano-carrier was also confirmed by delivering ß-galactosidase. Results presented in this paper suggest the use of chitosan-conjugated flexible nano-carrier as a novel platform for transcutaneous delivery of hydrophilic macromolecules and other drug-delivery applications.

  15. Application of hybrid LRR technique to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Jin, Mi Sun; Lee, Jie-Oh

    2008-05-31

    LRR family proteins play important roles in a variety of physiological processes. To facilitate their production and crystallization, we have invented a novel method termed "Hybrid LRR Technique". Using this technique, the first crystal structures of three TLR family proteins could be determined. In this review, design principles and application of the technique to protein crystallization will be summarized. For crystallization of TLRs, hagfish VLR receptors were chosen as the fusion partners and the TLR and the VLR fragments were fused at the conserved LxxLxLxxN motif to minimize local structural incompatibility. TLR-VLR hybridization did not disturb structures and functions of the target TLR proteins. The Hybrid LRR Technique is a general technique that can be applied to structural studies of other LRR proteins. It may also have broader application in biochemical and medical application of LRR proteins by modifying them without compromising their structural integrity.

  16. Automated High Throughput Protein Crystallization Screening at Nanoliter Scale and Protein Structural Study on Lactate Dehydrogenase

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Fenglei

    2006-08-09

    The purposes of our research were: (1) To develop an economical, easy to use, automated, high throughput system for large scale protein crystallization screening. (2) To develop a new protein crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and complete compatibility with high throughput screening system. (3) To determine the structure of lactate dehydrogenase complexed with NADH by x-ray protein crystallography to study its inherent structural properties. Firstly, we demonstrated large scale protein crystallization screening can be performed in a high throughput manner with low cost, easy operation. The overall system integrates liquid dispensing, crystallization and detection and serves as a whole solution to protein crystallization screening. The system can dispense protein and multiple different precipitants in nanoliter scale and in parallel. A new detection scheme, native fluorescence, has been developed in this system to form a two-detector system with a visible light detector for detecting protein crystallization screening results. This detection scheme has capability of eliminating common false positives by distinguishing protein crystals from inorganic crystals in a high throughput and non-destructive manner. The entire system from liquid dispensing, crystallization to crystal detection is essentially parallel, high throughput and compatible with automation. The system was successfully demonstrated by lysozyme crystallization screening. Secondly, we developed a new crystallization method with high screening efficiency, low protein consumption and compatibility with automation and high throughput. In this crystallization method, a gas permeable membrane is employed to achieve the gentle evaporation required by protein crystallization. Protein consumption is significantly reduced to nanoliter scale for each condition and thus permits exploring more conditions in a phase diagram for given amount of protein. In addition

  17. Inorganic and protein crystal growth - Similarities and differences

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, F.

    1986-01-01

    Transport and interface kinetic concepts for the design and control of inorganic crystal growth experiments are reviewed, and their applications and limitations in protein crystal growth are considered. It is suggested that the interfacial concentration gradients are steeper for faster crystallization, and that the interfacial concentration distributions for the protein and the precipitant can differ significantly. Results show that uniformity in crystal composition and steady-state conditions in growth kinetics are favored by larger sample size, since surface-tension gradients drive strong in microgravity experiments and in small samples on earth.

  18. A kinetic model to simulate protein crystal growth in an evaporation-based crystallization platform

    SciTech Connect

    Talreja, S.; Kenis, P; Zukoski, C

    2007-01-01

    The quality, size, and number of protein crystals grown under conditions of continuous solvent extraction are dependent on the rate of solvent extraction and the initial protein and salt concentration. An increase in the rate of solvent extraction leads to a larger number of crystals. The number of crystals decreases, however, when the experiment is started with an initial protein concentration that is closer to the solubility boundary. Here we develop a kinetic model capable of predicting changes in the number and size of protein crystals as a function of time under continuous evaporation. Moreover, this model successfully predicts the initial condition of drops that will result in gel formation. We test this model with experimental crystal growth data of hen egg white lysozyme for which crystal nucleation and growth rate parameters are known from other studies. The predicted and observed rates of crystal growth are in excellent agreement, which suggests that kinetic constants for nucleation and crystal growth for different proteins can be extracted by applying a kinetic model in combination with observations from a few evaporation-based crystallization experiments.

  19. Carrier Mediated Systemic Delivery of Protein and Peptide Therapeutics.

    PubMed

    Zaman, Rahela; Othman, Iekhan; Chowdhury, Ezharul Hoque

    2016-01-01

    Over the last few decades proteins and peptide therapeutics have occupied an enormous fraction of pharmaceutical industry. Despite their high potential as therapeutics, the big challenge often encountered is the effective administration and bioavailability of protein therapeutics in vivo system. Peptide molecules are well known for their in vivo short half-lives. In addition, due to high molecular weight and susceptibility to enzymatic degradation, often it is not easy to administer peptides and proteins orally or through any other noninvasive routes. Conventional drug management system often demands for frequent and regular interval intravenous/subcutaneous administration, which decreases overall patient compliance and increases chances of side-effects related to dose-fluctuation in systemic circulation. A controlled mode of delivery system could address all these short-comings at a time. Therefore, long-acting sustained release formulations for both invasive and noninvasive routes are under rigorous study currently. Long-acting formulations through invasive routes can address patient compliance and dose-fluctuation issues by less frequent administration. Also, any new route of administration other than invasive routes will address cost-effectiveness of the therapeutic by lessening the need to deal with health professional and health care facility. Although a vast number of studies are dealing with novel drug delivery systems, till now only a handful of controlled release formulations for proteins and peptides have been approved by FDA. This study therefore focuses on current and perspective controlled release formulations of existing and novel protein/peptide therapeutics via conventional invasive routes as well as potential novel non-invasive routes of administration, e.g., oral, buccal, sublingual, nasal, ocular, rectal, vaginal and pulmonary.

  20. Radiation driven collapse of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Boutet, Sébastien; Robinson, Ian K

    2006-01-01

    During coherent X-ray diffraction measurements on crystals of ferritin at room temperature using monochromatic undulator radiation from the Advanced Photon Source, a sudden lattice contraction was observed following a characteristic latent period and ultimately leading to the collapse of the crystal. The progression of this collapse is analysed using a two-state Hendricks-Teller model. It reveals that 55% of the layers collapse by 1.6% before the crystal completely stops diffracting.

  1. Protein Crystal Movements and Fluid Flows During Microgravity Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, Titus J.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Snell, Edward H.; Dong, Jun; Lautenschlager, Peter; Potthast, Lothar; Siddons, D. Peter; Stojanoff, Vivian; Gordon, Elspeth; Thompson, Andrew W.; Zagalsky, Peter F.; Bi, Ru-Chang; Helliwell, John R.

    1997-01-01

    The growth of protein crystals suitable for X-ray crystal structure analysis is an important topic. The methods of protein crystal growth are under increasing study whereby different methods are being compared via diagnostic monitoring including Charge Coupled Device (CCD) video and interferometry. The quality (perfection) of protein crystals is now being evaluated by mosaicity analysis (rocking curves) and X-ray topographic images as well as the diffraction resolution limit and overall data quality. Choice of a liquid-liquid linear crystal growth geometry and microgravity can yield a spatial stability of growing crystals and fluid, as seen in protein crystallization experiments on the unmanned platform EURICA. A review is given here of existing results and experience over several microgravity missions. The results include CCD video as well as interferometry during the mission, followed, on return to earth, by rocking curve experiments and full X-ray data collection on LMS and earth control lysozyme crystals. Diffraction data recorded from LMS and ground control apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) crystals are also described.

  2. Control of Protein Crystal Nucleation and Growth Using Stirring Solution

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niino, Ai; Adachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Kinoshita, Takayoshi; Warizaya, Masaichi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-11-01

    We have previously developed a protein crystallization technique using a stirring protein solution and revealed that (i) continuous stirring prevents excess spontaneous nucleation and accelerates the growth of protein crystals and (ii) prestirring (solution stirring in advance) promotes the crystal nucleation of hen egg-white lysozyme. In bovine adenosine deaminase (ADA) crystallization, continuous stirring improves the crystal quality but elongates the nucleation time. In this paper, in order to control both the crystal nucleation and growth of ADA using a Micro-Stirring technique, we carried out five different stirring patterns such as (i) no stirring, (ii) continuous stirring, (iii) prestirring, (iv) poststirring (stirring late in the growth period) and (v) restirring (combined pre- and poststirring). The results showed that high-quality well-shaped crystals were obtained under the continuous stirring and restirring conditions and the nucleation time under the prestirring and restirring conditions was shorter than that under the continuous stirring and poststirring conditions. Consequently, high-quality crystals were promptly obtained under the restirring condition. These results suggest that we are able to control both the nucleation and growth of protein crystals with the stirring techniques.

  3. Effect of temperature and rare-earth doping on charge-carrier mobility in indium-monoselenide crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Abdinov, A. Sh.; Babayeva, R. F.; Amirova, S. I.; Rzayev, R. M.

    2013-08-15

    In the temperature range T = 77-600 K, the dependence of the charge-carrier mobility ({mu}) on the initial dark resistivity is experimentally investigated at 77 K ({rho}d{sub 0}), as well as on the temperature and the level (N) of rare-earth doping with such elements as gadolinium (Gd), holmium (Ho), and dysprosium (Dy) in n-type indium-monoselenide (InSe) crystals. It is established that the anomalous behavior of the dependences {mu}(T), {mu}({rho}d{sub 0}), and {mu}(N) found from the viewpoint of the theory of charge-carrier mobility in crystalline semiconductors is related, first of all, to partial disorder in indium-monoselenide crystals and can be attributed to the presence of random drift barriers in the free energy bands.

  4. Modulation of carrier dynamics and threshold characteristics in 1.3-μm quantum dot photonic crystal nanocavity lasers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xing, Enbo; Tong, Cunzhu; Rong, Jiamin; Shu, Shili; Wu, Hao; Wang, Lijie; Tian, Sicong; Wang, Lijun

    2016-08-01

    A self-consistent all-pathway quantum dot (QD) rate equation model, in which all possible relaxation pathways are considered, is used to investigate the influence of quality (Q) factor on the carrier dynamics of 1.3-μm InAs/GaAs QD photonic crystal (PhC) nanolasers. It is found that Q factor not only affects the photon lifetime, but also modulates the carrier occupation in QDs. About three times increases of carrier injection efficiency in QD ground state can be realized in nanocavity with high Q factor. However, it also reveals that over 90% improvement of threshold current happens when Q factor increases from 2000 to 7000, which means it might be not necessary to pursuit for ultrahigh Q factor for the purpose of low threshold current.

  5. Designed Proteins as Optimized Oxygen Carriers for Artificial Blood

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2014-02-01

    Raman spectroscopy to compare the hydration of the protein core (Figure 2), a method which we first described in year 2 (3).Thus we have, in two... method attempted was to remove the three glutamic acid side chains which lay on the outside of the pseudo-symmetric ligating helix (see Figure 3...the ability to manipulate this histidine ligand affinity enables the concomitant manipulation of gaseous ligand affinity. One possible method is to

  6. Polyethylene glycol on stability of chitosan microparticulate carrier for protein.

    PubMed

    Luangtana-Anan, Manee; Limmatvapirat, Sontaya; Nunthanid, Jurairat; Chalongsuk, Rapeepun; Yamamoto, Keiji

    2010-09-01

    Stability enhancement of protein-loaded chitosan microparticles under storage was investigated. Chitosan glutamate at 35 kDa and bovine serum albumin as model protein drug were used in this study. The chitosan microparticles were prepared by ionotropic gelation, and polyethylene glycol 200 (PEG 200) was applied after the formation of the particles. All chitosan microparticles were kept at 25°C for 28 days. A comparison was made between those preparations with PEG 200 and without PEG 200. The changes in the physicochemical properties of the microparticles such as size, zeta potential, pH, and percent loading capacity were investigated after 0, 3, 7, 14, and 28 days of storage. It was found that the stability decreased upon storage and the aggregation of microparticles could be observed for both preparations. The reduction in the zeta potential and the increase in the pH, size, and loading capacity were observed when they were kept at a longer period. The significant change of those preparations without PEG 200 was evident after 7 days of storage whereas those with PEG 200 underwent smaller changes with enhanced stability after 28 days of storage. Therefore, this investigation gave valuable information on the stability enhancement of the microparticles. Hence, enhanced stability of chitosan glutamate microparticles for the delivery of protein could be achieved by the application of PEG 200.

  7. Diffraction study of protein crystals grown in cryoloops and micromounts.

    PubMed

    Berger, Michael A; Decker, Johannes H; Mathews, Irimpan I

    2010-12-01

    Protein crystals are usually grown in hanging or sitting drops and generally get transferred to a loop or micromount for cryocooling and data collection. This paper describes a method for growing crystals on cryoloops for easier manipulation of the crystals for data collection. This study also investigates the steps for the automation of this process and describes the design of a new tray for the method. The diffraction patterns and the structures of three proteins grown by both the new method and the conventional hanging-drop method are compared. The new setup is optimized for the automation of the crystal mounting process. Researchers could prepare nanolitre drops under ordinary laboratory conditions by growing the crystals directly in loops or micromounts. As has been pointed out before, higher levels of supersaturation can be obtained in very small volumes, and the new method may help in the exploration of additional crystallization conditions.

  8. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; Garcia-Ruiz, Juan M.; Hodge, Teresa A.; Huang, Sijay

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for the growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.

  9. Large-volume protein crystal growth for neutron macromolecular crystallography

    DOE PAGES

    Ng, Joseph D.; Baird, James K.; Coates, Leighton; ...

    2015-03-30

    Neutron macromolecular crystallography (NMC) is the prevailing method for the accurate determination of the positions of H atoms in macromolecules. As neutron sources are becoming more available to general users, finding means to optimize the growth of protein crystals to sizes suitable for NMC is extremely important. Historically, much has been learned about growing crystals for X-ray diffraction. However, owing to new-generation synchrotron X-ray facilities and sensitive detectors, protein crystal sizes as small as in the nano-range have become adequate for structure determination, lessening the necessity to grow large crystals. Here, some of the approaches, techniques and considerations for themore » growth of crystals to significant dimensions that are now relevant to NMC are revisited. We report that these include experimental strategies utilizing solubility diagrams, ripening effects, classical crystallization techniques, microgravity and theoretical considerations.« less

  10. A Dominant Factor for Structural Classification of Protein Crystals.

    PubMed

    Qi, Fei; Fudo, Satoshi; Neya, Saburo; Hoshino, Tyuji

    2015-08-24

    With the increasing number of solved protein crystal structures, much information on protein shape and atom geometry has become available. It is of great interest to know the structural diversity for a single kind of protein. Our preliminary study suggested that multiple crystal structures of a single kind of protein can be classified into several groups from the viewpoint of structural similarity. In order to broadly examine this finding, cluster analysis was applied to the crystal structures of hemoglobin (Hb), myoglobin (Mb), human serum albumin (HSA), hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL), and human immunodeficiency virus type 1 protease (HIV-1 PR), downloaded from the Protein Data Bank (PDB). As a result of classification by cluster analysis, 146 crystal structures of Hb were separated into five groups. The crystal structures of Mb (n = 284), HEWL (n = 336), HSA (n = 63), and HIV-1 PR (n = 488) were separated into six, five, three, and six groups, respectively. It was found that a major factor causing these structural separations is the space group of crystals and that crystallizing agents have an influence on the crystal structures. Amino acid mutation is a minor factor for the separation because no obvious point mutation making a specific cluster group was observed for the five kinds of proteins. In the classification of Hb and Mb, the species of protein source such as humans, rabbits, and mice is another significant factor. When the difference in amino sequence is large among species, the species of protein source is the primary factor causing cluster separation in the classification of crystal structures.

  11. Spatiotemporal development of soaked protein crystal

    PubMed Central

    Mizutani, Ryuta; Shimizu, Yusuke; Saiga, Rino; Ueno, Go; Nakamura, Yuki; Takeuchi, Akihisa; Uesugi, Kentaro; Suzuki, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    Crystal soaking is widely performed in biological crystallography. This paper reports time-resolved X-ray crystallographic and microtomographic analyses of tetragonal crystals of chicken egg-white lysozyme soaked in mother liquor containing potassium hexachloroplatinate. The microtomographic analysis showed that X-ray attenuation spread from the superficial layer of the crystal and then to the crystal core. The crystallographic analyses indicated that platinum sites can be classified into two groups from the temporal development of the electron densities. A soaking process consisting of binding-rate-driven and equilibrium-driven layers is proposed to describe these results. This study suggests that the composition of chemical and structural species resulting from the soaking process varies depending on the position in the crystal. PMID:25043871

  12. Statistical analysis of crystallization database links protein physico-chemical features with crystallization mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Fusco, Diana; Barnum, Timothy J; Bruno, Andrew E; Luft, Joseph R; Snell, Edward H; Mukherjee, Sayan; Charbonneau, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    X-ray crystallography is the predominant method for obtaining atomic-scale information about biological macromolecules. Despite the success of the technique, obtaining well diffracting crystals still critically limits going from protein to structure. In practice, the crystallization process proceeds through knowledge-informed empiricism. Better physico-chemical understanding remains elusive because of the large number of variables involved, hence little guidance is available to systematically identify solution conditions that promote crystallization. To help determine relationships between macromolecular properties and their crystallization propensity, we have trained statistical models on samples for 182 proteins supplied by the Northeast Structural Genomics consortium. Gaussian processes, which capture trends beyond the reach of linear statistical models, distinguish between two main physico-chemical mechanisms driving crystallization. One is characterized by low levels of side chain entropy and has been extensively reported in the literature. The other identifies specific electrostatic interactions not previously described in the crystallization context. Because evidence for two distinct mechanisms can be gleaned both from crystal contacts and from solution conditions leading to successful crystallization, the model offers future avenues for optimizing crystallization screens based on partial structural information. The availability of crystallization data coupled with structural outcomes analyzed through state-of-the-art statistical models may thus guide macromolecular crystallization toward a more rational basis.

  13. Statistical Analysis of Crystallization Database Links Protein Physico-Chemical Features with Crystallization Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Fusco, Diana; Barnum, Timothy J.; Bruno, Andrew E.; Luft, Joseph R.; Snell, Edward H.; Mukherjee, Sayan; Charbonneau, Patrick

    2014-01-01

    X-ray crystallography is the predominant method for obtaining atomic-scale information about biological macromolecules. Despite the success of the technique, obtaining well diffracting crystals still critically limits going from protein to structure. In practice, the crystallization process proceeds through knowledge-informed empiricism. Better physico-chemical understanding remains elusive because of the large number of variables involved, hence little guidance is available to systematically identify solution conditions that promote crystallization. To help determine relationships between macromolecular properties and their crystallization propensity, we have trained statistical models on samples for 182 proteins supplied by the Northeast Structural Genomics consortium. Gaussian processes, which capture trends beyond the reach of linear statistical models, distinguish between two main physico-chemical mechanisms driving crystallization. One is characterized by low levels of side chain entropy and has been extensively reported in the literature. The other identifies specific electrostatic interactions not previously described in the crystallization context. Because evidence for two distinct mechanisms can be gleaned both from crystal contacts and from solution conditions leading to successful crystallization, the model offers future avenues for optimizing crystallization screens based on partial structural information. The availability of crystallization data coupled with structural outcomes analyzed through state-of-the-art statistical models may thus guide macromolecular crystallization toward a more rational basis. PMID:24988076

  14. Comparison of CRM197, diphtheria toxoid and tetanus toxoid as protein carriers for meningococcal glycoconjugate vaccines.

    PubMed

    Tontini, M; Berti, F; Romano, M R; Proietti, D; Zambonelli, C; Bottomley, M J; De Gregorio, E; Del Giudice, G; Rappuoli, R; Costantino, P; Brogioni, G; Balocchi, C; Biancucci, M; Malito, E

    2013-10-01

    Glycoconjugate vaccines are among the most effective and safest vaccines ever developed. Diphtheria toxoid (DT), tetanus toxoid (TT) and CRM197 have been mostly used as protein carriers in licensed vaccines. We evaluated the immunogenicity of serogroup A, C, W-135 and Y meningococcal oligosaccharides conjugated to CRM197, DT and TT in naïve mice. The three carriers were equally efficient in inducing an immune response against the carbohydrate moiety in immunologically naïve mice. The effect of previous exposure to different dosages of the carrier protein on the anti-carbohydrate response was studied using serogroup A meningococcal (MenA) saccharide conjugates as a model. CRM197 showed a strong propensity to positively prime the anti-carbohydrate response elicited by its conjugates or those with the antigenically related carrier DT. Conversely in any of the tested conditions TT priming did not result in enhancement of the anti-carbohydrate response elicited by the corresponding conjugates. Repeated exposure of mice to TT or to CRM197 before immunization with the respective MenA conjugates resulted in a drastic suppression of the anti-carbohydrate response in the case of TT conjugate and only in a slight reduction in the case of CRM197. The effect of carrier priming on the anti-MenA response of DT-based conjugates varied depending on their carbohydrate to protein ratio. These data may have implications for human vaccination since conjugate vaccines are widely used in individuals previously immunized with DT and TT carrier proteins.

  15. Acylation of the Type 3 Secretion System Translocon Using a Dedicated Acyl Carrier Protein

    PubMed Central

    Agrebi, Rym; Canestrari, Mickaël J.; Mignot, Tâm; Lebrun, Régine; Bouveret, Emmanuelle

    2017-01-01

    Bacterial pathogens often deliver effectors into host cells using type 3 secretion systems (T3SS), the extremity of which forms a translocon that perforates the host plasma membrane. The T3SS encoded by Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) is genetically associated with an acyl carrier protein, IacP, whose role has remained enigmatic. In this study, using tandem affinity purification, we identify a direct protein-protein interaction between IacP and the translocon protein SipB. We show, by mass spectrometry and radiolabelling, that SipB is acylated, which provides evidence for a modification of the translocon that has not been described before. A unique and conserved cysteine residue of SipB is identified as crucial for this modification. Although acylation of SipB was not essential to virulence, we show that this posttranslational modification promoted SipB insertion into host-cell membranes and pore-forming activity linked to the SPI-1 T3SS. Cooccurrence of acyl carrier and translocon proteins in several γ- and β-proteobacteria suggests that acylation of the translocon is conserved in these other pathogenic bacteria. These results also indicate that acyl carrier proteins, known for their involvement in metabolic pathways, have also evolved as cofactors of new bacterial protein lipidation pathways. PMID:28085879

  16. Protein Crystal Movements and Fluid Flows During Microgravity Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boggon, Titus J.; Chayen, Naomi E.; Snell, Edward H.; Dong, Jun; Lautenschlager, Peter; Potthast, Lothar; Siddons, D. Peter; Stojanoff, Vivian; Gordon, Elspeth; Thompson, Andrew W.; Zagalsky, Peter F.; Bi, Ru-Chang; Helliwell, John R.

    1998-01-01

    The growth of protein crystals suitable for x-ray crystal structure analysis is an important topic. The quality (perfection) of protein crystals is now being evaluated by mosaicity analysis (rocking curves) and x-ray topographic images as well as the diffraction resolution limit and overall data quality. In yet another study, use of hanging drop vapour diffusion geometry on the IML-2 shuttle mission showed, again via CCD video monitoring, growing apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) protein crystal executing near cyclic movement, reminiscent of Marangoni convection flow of fluid, the crystals serving as "markers" of the fluid flow. A review is given here of existing results and experience over several microgravity missions. Some comment is given on gel protein crystal growth in attempts to 'mimic' the benefits of microgravity on Earth. Finally, the recent new results from our experiments on the shuttle mission LMS are described. These results include CCD video as well as interferometry during the mission, followed, on return to Earth, by reciprocal space mapping at the NSLS, Brookhaven, and full X-ray data collection on LMS and Earth control lysozyme crystals. Diffraction data recorded from LMS and ground control apocrustacyanin C(sub 1) crystals are also described.

  17. Intrinsic carrier multiplication efficiency in bulk Si crystals evaluated by optical-pump/terahertz-probe spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Yamashita, G.; Nagai, M. E-mail: ashida@mp.es.osaka-u.ac.jp; Ashida, M. E-mail: ashida@mp.es.osaka-u.ac.jp; Matsubara, E.; Kanemitsu, Y.

    2014-12-08

    We estimated the carrier multiplication efficiency in the most common solar-cell material, Si, by using optical-pump/terahertz-probe spectroscopy. Through close analysis of time-resolved data, we extracted the exact number of photoexcited carriers from the sheet carrier density 10 ps after photoexcitation, excluding the influences of spatial diffusion and surface recombination in the time domain. For incident photon energies greater than 4.0 eV, we observed enhanced internal quantum efficiency due to carrier multiplication. The evaluated value of internal quantum efficiency agrees well with the results of photocurrent measurements. This optical method allows us to estimate the carrier multiplication and surface recombination of carriers quantitatively, which are crucial for the design of the solar cells.

  18. Xanthan hydrogel films: molecular conformation, charge density and protein carriers.

    PubMed

    Bueno, Vânia Blasques; Petri, Denise Freitas Siqueira

    2014-01-30

    In this article the molecular conformation of xanthan chains in hydrogel films was investigated by means of circular dichroism, showing substantial differences between xanthan hydrogel prepared in the absence (XNT) and in the presence of citric acid (XCA). The xanthan chains in XNT hydrogels films presented ordered conformation (helixes), while in XCA they were in the disordered conformation (coils), exposing a larger number of carboxylate groups than XNT. The large charge density in XCA hydrogels was evidenced by their behavior under variable ionic strength. Studies about the application of XNT and XCA for loading and delivering of bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme (LYZ) showed that both events are controlled by hydrogels and proteins net charge, which can be triggered by pH. The preservation of LYZ native conformation after hydrogel loading explained the substantial bactericidal activity of LYZ loaded hydrogels and enables their use as active wound dressings.

  19. Analysis of Shannon entropy for protein crystallization and prediction of crystallization pH and precipitants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez-Priede, Mónica; García-Granda, Santiago

    2017-02-01

    This is a new attempt at analysing crystallization data from Protein Data Bank. In line with the idea that crystallization conditions are intimately related with amino acid sequences, we have computed the Shannon entropy of polypeptides and polynucleotides and we have discovered a relationship between Shannon entropy and molecular weight, and also between the entropy of polypeptides, and the precipitants used in crystallization experiments. In fact, the Shannon entropy and the molecular weight of proteins are good precipitant predictors. On the other hand, we have proposed the hypothesis that homologous proteins may have similar crystallization conditions, and we have tried to find evidence that supports it, predicting the crystallization pH of a large amount of polypeptide sequences by means of a nearest neighbour approach combined with local sequence alignment.

  20. Teaching Protein Crystallization by the Gel Acupuncture Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Moreno, Abel; Otálora, F.; Rondón, D.; Viedma, C.; Zauscher, F.

    1998-04-01

    This paper provides a detailed description of a simple method to obtain large protein single crystals inside glass capillaries. The method is based upon the properties of gels, which are used to hold capillaries containing the protein solution, and also to act as the mass transport medium for the precipitating agent. Recipes for a set of selected experiments bringing a hands-on experience on the crystallization of different soluble proteins are supplied. These experiments are inexpensive and straightforward enough for teaching at the undergraduate level that large biological macromolecules that are the gate our structural studies and drug design can be crystallized. Using simple equations accounting for the solubility of proteins and for the nucleation process, the experimental results are explained to provide a rational approach to the problem. In addition, because of the nature of the crystallization method which is based on diffusion-reactions systems, the student is introduced to the meaning of self-organization.

  1. Missing strings of residues in protein crystal structures.

    PubMed

    Djinovic-Carugo, Kristina; Carugo, Oliviero

    2015-01-01

    A large fraction of the protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank are incomplete, since the position of one or more residues is not reported, despite these residues are part of the material that was analyzed. This may bias the use of the protein crystal structures by molecular biologists. Here we observe that in the large majority of the protein crystal structures strings of residues are missing. Polar residues incline to occur in missing strings together with glycine, while apolar and aromatic residues tend to avoid them. Particularly flexible residues, as shown by their extremely high B-factors, by their exposure to the solvent and by their secondary structures, flank the missing strings. These data should be a helpful guideline for crystallographers that encounter regions of flat and uninterpretable electron density as well as end-users of crystal structures.

  2. Missing strings of residues in protein crystal structures

    PubMed Central

    Djinovic-Carugo, Kristina; Carugo, Oliviero

    2015-01-01

    A large fraction of the protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank are incomplete, since the position of one or more residues is not reported, despite these residues are part of the material that was analyzed. This may bias the use of the protein crystal structures by molecular biologists. Here we observe that in the large majority of the protein crystal structures strings of residues are missing. Polar residues incline to occur in missing strings together with glycine, while apolar and aromatic residues tend to avoid them. Particularly flexible residues, as shown by their extremely high B-factors, by their exposure to the solvent and by their secondary structures, flank the missing strings. These data should be a helpful guideline for crystallographers that encounter regions of flat and uninterpretable electron density as well as end-users of crystal structures.

  3. Inorganic and Protein Crystal Assembly in Solutions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2005-01-01

    The basic kinetic and thermodynamic concepts of crystal growth will be revisited in view of recent AFM and interferometric findings. These concepts are as follows: 1) The Kossel crystal model that allows only one kink type on the crystal surface. The modern theory is developed overwhelmingly for the Kessel model; 2) Presumption that intensive step fluctuations maintain kink density sufficiently high to allow applicability of Gibbs-Thomson law; 3) Common experience that unlimited step bunching (morphological instability) during layer growth from solutions and supercooled melts always takes place if the step flow direction coincides with that of the fluid.

  4. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth HIV Reverse Transcriptase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    HIV Reverse Transcriptase crystals grown during the USML-1 (STS-50) mission using Commercial Refrigerator/Incubator Module (CR/IM) at 4 degrees C and the Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA). Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme responsible for copying the nucleic acid genome of the AIDS virus from RNA to DNA. Studies indicated that the space-grown crystals were larger and better ordered (beyond 4 angstroms) than were comparable Earth-grown crystals. Principal Investigators were Charles Bugg and Larry DeLucas.

  5. Definition study for temperature control in advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nyce, Thomas A.; Rosenberger, Franz; Sowers, Jennifer W.; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1990-09-01

    Some of the technical requirements for an expedient application of temperature control to advanced protein crystal growth activities are defined. Lysozome was used to study the effects of temperature ramping and temperature gradients for nucleation/dissolution and consecutive growth of sizable crystals and, to determine a prototype temperature program. The solubility study was conducted using equine serum albumin (ESA) which is an extremely stable, clinically important protein due to its capability to bind and transport many different small ions and molecules.

  6. Definition study for temperature control in advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyce, Thomas A.; Rosenberger, Franz; Sowers, Jennifer W.; Monaco, Lisa A.

    1990-01-01

    Some of the technical requirements for an expedient application of temperature control to advanced protein crystal growth activities are defined. Lysozome was used to study the effects of temperature ramping and temperature gradients for nucleation/dissolution and consecutive growth of sizable crystals and, to determine a prototype temperature program. The solubility study was conducted using equine serum albumin (ESA) which is an extremely stable, clinically important protein due to its capability to bind and transport many different small ions and molecules.

  7. Protein crystal growth in microgravity: Temperature induced large scale crystallization of insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Long, Marianna M.; Delucas, Larry J.; Smith, C.; Carson, M.; Moore, K.; Harrington, Michael D.; Pillion, D. J.; Bishop, S. P.; Rosenblum, W. M.; Naumann, R. J.

    1994-01-01

    One of the major stumbling blocks that prevents rapid structure determination using x-ray crystallography is macro-molecular crystal growth. There are many examples where crystallization takes longer than structure determination. In some cases, it is impossible to grow useful crystals on earth. Recent experiments conducted in conjuction with NASA on various Space Shuttle missions have demonstrated that protein crystals often grow larger and display better internal molecular order than their earth-grown counterparts. This paper reports results from three Shuttle flights using the Protein Crystallization Facility (PCF). The PCF hardware produced large, high-quality insulin crystals by using a temperature change as the sole means to affect protein solubility and thus, crystallization. The facility consists of cylinders/containers with volumes of 500, 200, 100, and 50 ml. Data from the three Shuttle flights demonstrated that larger, higher resolution crystals (as evidenced by x-ray diffraction data) were obtained from the microgravity experiments when compared to earth-grown crystals.

  8. Single-drop optimization of protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Arne; Dierks, Karsten; Hilterhaus, Dierk; Klupsch, Thomas; Mühlig, Peter; Kleesiek, Jens; Schöpflin, Robert; Einspahr, Howard; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Betzel, Christian

    2012-08-01

    A completely new crystal-growth device has been developed that permits charting a course across the phase diagram to produce crystalline samples optimized for diffraction experiments. The utility of the device is demonstrated for the production of crystals for the traditional X-ray diffraction data-collection experiment, of microcrystals optimal for data-collection experiments at a modern microbeam insertion-device synchrotron beamline and of nanocrystals required for data collection on an X-ray laser beamline.

  9. Single-drop optimization of protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Arne; Dierks, Karsten; Hilterhaus, Dierk; Klupsch, Thomas; Mühlig, Peter; Kleesiek, Jens; Schöpflin, Robert; Einspahr, Howard; Hilgenfeld, Rolf; Betzel, Christian

    2012-01-01

    A completely new crystal-growth device has been developed that permits charting a course across the phase diagram to produce crystalline samples optimized for diffraction experiments. The utility of the device is demonstrated for the production of crystals for the traditional X-ray diffraction data-collection experiment, of microcrystals optimal for data-collection experiments at a modern microbeam insertion-device synchrotron beamline and of nanocrystals required for data collection on an X-ray laser beamline. PMID:22869140

  10. Strategies for crystallization of large membrane protein complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshikawa, Shinya; Shinzawa-Itoh, Kyoko; Ueda, Hidefumi; Tsukihara, Tomitake; Fukumoto, Yoshihisa; Kubota, Tomomi; Kawamoto, Masahide; Fukuyama, Keiichi; Matsubara, Hiroshi

    1992-08-01

    Crystalline cytochrome c oxidase and ubiquinol: cytochrome c oxidoreductase which diffracted X-rays at 7-8A˚resolution were obtained from bovine heart mitochondria. The methods for the purification and crystallization of these enzymes indicate that large membrane protein complexes are easier to purify and crystallize than smaller homologous membrane protein complexes, because the former have more hydrophilic surface than the latter. Bulky and polydispersed detergents such as Brij-35 and Tween 20 attached to the isolated complex are not always obstructive to crystallization if they are effective for stabilizing the complexes.

  11. Western blot analysis of Src kinase assays using peptide substrates ligated to a carrier protein.

    PubMed

    Xu, Jie; Sun, Luo; Ghosh, Inca; Xu, Ming-Qun

    2004-06-01

    We have applied intein-mediated peptide ligation (IPL) to the use of peptide substrates for kinase assays and subsequent Western blot analysis. IPL allows for the efficient ligation of a synthetic peptide with an N-terminal cysteine residue to an intein-generated carrier protein containing a cysteine reactive C-terminal thioester through a native peptide bond. A distinct advantage of this procedure is that each carrier protein molecule ligates only one peptide, ensuring that the ligation product forms a sharp band on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE). We demonstrate the effectiveness of this approach by mutational analysis of peptide substrates derived from human cyclin-dependent kinase, Cdc2, which contains a phosphorylation site of human c-Src protein tyrosine kinase.

  12. Bioglass as a carrier for reindeer bone protein extract in the healing of rat femur defect.

    PubMed

    Tölli, Hanna; Kujala, Sauli; Levonen, Katri; Jämsä, Timo; Jalovaara, Pekka

    2010-05-01

    Bioactive glasses have been developed as scaffolds for bone tissue engineering but combination with reindeer bone protein extract has not been evaluated. We investigated the effects of bone protein extract implants (5-40 mg dosages) with bioglass (BG) carrier on the healing of rat femur defects. Bioglass implants and untreated defects served as controls. All doses of extract increased bone formation compared with the control groups, and bone union was enhanced with doses of 10 mg or more. In comparison with untreated defect, mean cross-sectional bone area at the defect site was greater when implants with BG + 15 mg of extract or bioglass alone were used, bone density at the defect site was higher in all bioglass groups with and without bone extract, and the BG + 15 mg extract dosage marginally increased bone torsional stiffness in mechanical testing. Bioglass performed well as a carrier candidate for reindeer bone protein extract.

  13. Transport and Growth Kinetics in Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Otalora, F.; Garcia-Ruiz, J. M.; Carotenuto, L.; Castagnolo, D.; Novella, M. L.; Chernov, A. A.

    2002-01-01

    The dynamic coupling between mass transport and incorporation of growth units into the surface of a crystal growing from solution in microgravity is used to derive quantitative information on the crystal growth kinetics. To this end, new procedures for experiment preparation, interferometric data processing and model fitting have been developed. The use of experimental data from the bulk diffusive maw transport together with a model for steady state stagnant crystal growth allows the detailed quantitative understanding of the kinetics of both the concentration depletion zone around the crystal and the growth of the crystal interface. The protein crystal used in the experiment is shown to be growing in the mixed kinetic regime (0.2 x 10(exp -6) centimeters per second less than beta R/D less than 0.9 x 10(exp -6) centimeters per second).

  14. Co-opting sulphur-carrier proteins from primary metabolic pathways for 2-thiosugar biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Sasaki, Eita; Zhang, Xuan; Sun, He G; Lu, Mei-yeh Jade; Liu, Tsung-lin; Ou, Albert; Li, Jeng-yi; Chen, Yu-hsiang; Ealick, Steven E; Liu, Hung-wen

    2014-06-19

    Sulphur is an essential element for life and is ubiquitous in living systems. Yet how the sulphur atom is incorporated into many sulphur-containing secondary metabolites is poorly understood. For bond formation between carbon and sulphur in primary metabolites, the major ionic sulphur sources are the persulphide and thiocarboxylate groups on sulphur-carrier (donor) proteins. Each group is post-translationally generated through the action of a specific activating enzyme. In all reported bacterial cases, the gene encoding the enzyme that catalyses the carbon-sulphur bond formation reaction and that encoding the cognate sulphur-carrier protein exist in the same gene cluster. To study the production of the 2-thiosugar moiety in BE-7585A, an antibiotic from Amycolatopsis orientalis, we identified a putative 2-thioglucose synthase, BexX, whose protein sequence and mode of action seem similar to those of ThiG, the enzyme that catalyses thiazole formation in thiamine biosynthesis. However, no gene encoding a sulphur-carrier protein could be located in the BE-7585A cluster. Subsequent genome sequencing uncovered a few genes encoding sulphur-carrier proteins that are probably involved in the biosynthesis of primary metabolites but only one activating enzyme gene in the A. orientalis genome. Further experiments showed that this activating enzyme can adenylate each of these sulphur-carrier proteins and probably also catalyses the subsequent thiolation, through its rhodanese domain. A proper combination of these sulphur-delivery systems is effective for BexX-catalysed 2-thioglucose production. The ability of BexX to selectively distinguish sulphur-carrier proteins is given a structural basis using X-ray crystallography. This study is, to our knowledge, the first complete characterization of thiosugar formation in nature and also demonstrates the receptor promiscuity of the A. orientalis sulphur-delivery system. Our results also show that co-opting the sulphur-delivery machinery

  15. Two-photon excited UV fluorescence for protein crystal detection

    SciTech Connect

    Madden, Jeremy T.; DeWalt, Emma L.; Simpson, Garth J.

    2011-10-01

    Complementary measurements using SONICC and TPE-UVF allow the sensitive and selective detection of protein crystals. Two-photon excited ultraviolet fluorescence (TPE-UVF) microscopy is explored for sensitive protein-crystal detection as a complement to second-order nonlinear optical imaging of chiral crystals (SONICC). Like conventional ultraviolet fluorescence (UVF), TPE-UVF generates image contrast based on the intrinsic fluorescence of aromatic residues, generally producing higher fluorescence emission within crystals than the mother liquor by nature of the higher local protein concentration. However, TPE-UVF has several advantages over conventional UVF, including (i) insensitivity to optical scattering, allowing imaging in turbid matrices, (ii) direct compatibility with conventional optical plates and windows by using visible light for excitation, (iii) elimination of potentially damaging out-of-plane UV excitation, (iv) improved signal to noise through background reduction from out-of-plane excitation and (v) relatively simple integration into instrumentation developed for SONICC.

  16. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B.; Acharya, Rudresh; Degrado, William F.; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-04-01

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design.

  17. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal.

    PubMed

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B; Acharya, Rudresh; DeGrado, William F; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-04-26

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design.

  18. Engineering nanoparticle-protein associations for protein crystal nucleation and nanoparticle arrangement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Benoit, Denise N.

    Engineering the nanoparticle - protein association offers a new way to form protein crystals as well as new approaches for arrangement of nanoparticles. Central to this control is the nanoparticle surface. By conjugating polymers on the surface with controlled molecular weights many properties of the nanoparticle can be changed including its size, stability in buffers and the association of proteins with its surface. Large molecular weight poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) coatings allow for weak associations between proteins and nanoparticles. These interactions can lead to changes in how proteins crystallize. In particular, they decrease the time to nucleation and expand the range of conditions over which protein crystals form. Interestingly, when PEG chain lengths are too short then protein association is minimized and these effects are not observed. One important feature of protein crystals nucleated with nanoparticles is that the nanoparticles are incorporated into the crystals. What results are nanoparticles placed at well-defined distances in composite protein-nanoparticle crystals. Crystals on the size scale of 10 - 100 micrometers exhibit optical absorbance, fluorescence and super paramagnetic behavior derivative from the incorporated nanomaterials. The arrangement of nanoparticles into three dimensional arrays also gives rise to new and interesting physical and chemical properties, such as fluorescence enhancement and varied magnetic response. In addition, anisotropic nanomaterials aligned throughout the composite crystal have polarization dependent optical properties.

  19. Structural basis for specificity and promiscuity in a carrier protein/enzyme system from the sulfur cycle

    PubMed Central

    Grabarczyk, Daniel B.; Chappell, Paul E.; Johnson, Steven; Stelzl, Lukas S.; Berks, Ben C.

    2015-01-01

    The bacterial Sox (sulfur oxidation) pathway is an important route for the oxidation of inorganic sulfur compounds. Intermediates in the Sox pathway are covalently attached to the heterodimeric carrier protein SoxYZ through conjugation to a cysteine on a protein swinging arm. We have investigated how the carrier protein shuttles intermediates between the enzymes of the Sox pathway using the interaction between SoxYZ and the enzyme SoxB as our model. The carrier protein and enzyme interact only weakly, but we have trapped their complex by using a “suicide enzyme” strategy in which an engineered cysteine in the SoxB active site forms a disulfide bond with the incoming carrier arm cysteine. The structure of this trapped complex, together with calorimetric data, identifies sites of protein–protein interaction both at the entrance to the enzyme active site tunnel and at a second, distal, site. We find that the enzyme distinguishes between the substrate and product forms of the carrier protein through differences in their interaction kinetics and deduce that this behavior arises from substrate-specific stabilization of a conformational change in the enzyme active site. Our analysis also suggests how the carrier arm-bound substrate group is able to outcompete the adjacent C-terminal carboxylate of the carrier arm for binding to the active site metal ions. We infer that similar principles underlie carrier protein interactions with other enzymes of the Sox pathway. PMID:26655737

  20. Convective flow effects on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1995-01-01

    During the fifth semi-annual period under this grant we have pursued the following activities: (1) Characterization of the purity and further purification of lysozyme solutions, these efforts are summarized in Section 2; (2) Crystal growth morphology and kinetics studies with tetragonal lysozyme, our observation on the dependence of lysozyme growth kinetics on step sources and impurities has been summarized in a manuscript which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Crystal Growth; (3) Numerical modelling of the interaction between bulk transport and interface kinetics, for a detailed summary of this work see the manuscript which was accepted for publication in the Journal of Crystal Growth; and (4) Light scattering studies, this work has been summarized in a manuscript that has been submitted for publication to the Journal of Chemical Physics.

  1. Unveiling the in Vivo Protein Corona of Circulating Leukocyte-like Carriers.

    PubMed

    Corbo, Claudia; Molinaro, Roberto; Taraballi, Francesca; Toledano Furman, Naama E; Hartman, Kelly A; Sherman, Michael B; De Rosa, Enrica; Kirui, Dickson K; Salvatore, Francesco; Tasciotti, Ennio

    2017-03-10

    Understanding interactions occurring at the interface between nanoparticles and biological components is an urgent challenge in nanomedicine due to their effect on the biological fate of nanoparticles. After the systemic injection of nanoparticles, a protein corona constructed by blood components surrounds the carrier's surface and modulates its pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. Biomimicry-based approaches in nanotechnology attempt to imitate what happens in nature in order to transfer specific natural functionalities to synthetic nanoparticles. Several biomimetic formulations have been developed, showing superior in vivo features as a result of their cell-like identity. We have recently designed biomimetic liposomes, called leukosomes, which recapitulate the ability of leukocytes to target inflamed endothelium and escape clearance by the immune system. To gain insight into the properties of leukosomes, we decided to investigate their protein corona in vivo. So far, most information about the protein corona has been obtained using in vitro experiments, which have been shown to minimally reproduce in vivo phenomena. Here we directly show a time-dependent quantitative and qualitative analysis of the protein corona adsorbed in vivo on leukosomes and control liposomes. We observed that leukosomes absorb fewer proteins than liposomes, and we identified a group of proteins specifically adsorbed on leukosomes. Moreover, we hypothesize that the presence of macrophage receptors on leukosomes' surface neutralizes their protein corona-meditated uptake by immune cells. This work unveils the protein corona of a biomimetic carrier and is one of the few studies on the corona performed in vivo.

  2. Nature of impurities during protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baskakova, S. S.; Volkov, V. V.; Laptinskaya, T. V.; Lyasnikova, M. S.; Voloshin, A. E.; Koval'chuk, M. V.

    2017-01-01

    Lysozyme crystal growth was studied using reagents of different purity of three trademarks— Seikagaku Corporation (sixfold recrystallized lysozyme), Sigma-Aldrich (threefold recrystallized lysozyme), and Hampton Research (threefold recrystallized lysozyme). Solutions of these reagents were investigated by small-angle X-ray scattering, dynamic light scattering (DLS), ultracentrifugation, and electrophoresis. It was found that crystal-growth and oligomerization processes are more intense in solutions of the reagent of higher purity. The dependences of the fraction of lysozyme oligomers on the supersaturation and purity of the solution are analyzed.

  3. A new recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 carrier for bone regeneration.

    PubMed

    Yokota, S; Sonohara, S; Yoshida, M; Murai, M; Shimokawa, S; Fujimoto, R; Fukushima, S; Kokubo, S; Nozaki, K; Takahashi, K; Uchida, T; Yokohama, S; Sonobe, T

    2001-07-31

    A gelatin sponge was formed by foaming and heat treating a gelatin solution, followed by coating the solid with poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) to reinforce the gelatin framework. This sponge was tested for its suitability as a biodegradable porous, recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein (rhBMP)-2 carrier. Incorporation of rhBMP-2 into the sponge was closely related to its bulk density of gelatin sponge. The calcium content in the sponges, as assessed by an ectopic bone formation assay in rats, increased with the increasing sponge bulk density. Histologic and peripheral quantitative computed tomography analysis of implants in this ectopic assay system revealed cell growth throughout the carrier in 4 weeks after implantation regardless gelatin bulk density. The carrier containing rhBMP-2 maintained its three-dimensional structure after implantation; the carrier resisted collapse caused by soft tissue pressure during rapid bone formation as assessed by soft X-ray photographs. These results indicate that this newly developed sponge has excellent carrier characteristics to introduce rhBMP-2 into areas needed for bone regeneration.

  4. A Critical Assessment of Protein Crystal Growth in Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc

    1997-01-01

    Experiments to grow higher diffraction quality protein crystals in the microgravity environment of an orbiting spacecraft are one of the most frequently flown space experiments. Ground-based research has shown that convective flows occur even about protein crystals growing in the Earth's gravitational field. Further, this research has shown that the resultant flow velocities can cause growth cessation, and probably affect the measured X-ray data quality obtained. How flow deleteriously affects protein crystal growth (PCG) is still not known, and is the subject of ongoing research. Failing a rational method for ameliorating flow effects on Earth, one can, through NASA and other nations space agency sponsored programs, carry out protein crystal growth in the microgravity environment of an orbiting spacecraft. Early first generation PCG hardware was characterized by a very low success rate and a steep design learning curve. Subsequent hardware designs have improved upon their predecessors. Now the crystal grower has a wide variety of hardware configurations and crystal growth protocols to choose from, many of which implement "standard" laboratory protein crystal growth methods. While many of these are first or early second generation hardware the success rate, defined as growing crystals giving data better than has been obtained on Earth, is at least 20% overall and may be considerably higher if one only considers latter experiments. There are a large number of protein crystals grown every year, with hundreds of structures determined. Those crystallized in microgravity represent a small proportion of this total, and there is concern that the costs of the microgravity PCG program(s) do not justify such limited returns. Empirical evidence suggests that optimum crystal growth conditions in microgravity differ from those determined on Earth, further exacerbating the chances of success. Microgravity PCG is probably best suited for "mature" crystallizations, where one has

  5. Using Microfluidics to Decouple Nucleation and Growth of Protein Crystals.

    PubMed

    Shim, Jung-Uk; Cristobal, Galder; Link, Darren R; Thorsen, Todd; Fraden, Seth

    2007-01-01

    A high throughput, low volume microfluidic device has been designed to decouple the physical processes of protein crystal nucleation and growth. This device, called the Phase Chip, is constructed out of poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS) elastomer. One of the Phase Chip's innovations is to exploit surface tension forces to guide each drop to a storage chamber. We demonstrate that nanoliter water-in-oil drops of protein solutions can be rapidly stored in individual wells thereby allowing the screening of 1000 conditions while consuming a total of only 10 mug protein on a 20 cm(2) chip. Another significant advance over current microfluidic devices is that each well is in contact with a reservoir via a dialysis membrane through which only water and other low molecular weight organic solvents can pass, but not salt, polymer, or protein. This enables the concentration of all solutes in a solution to be reversibly, rapidly, and precisely varied in contrast to current methods, such as the free interface diffusion or sitting drop methods, which are irreversible. The Phase Chip operates by first optimizing conditions for nucleation by using dialysis to supersaturate the protein solution, which leads to nucleation of many small crystals. Next, conditions are optimized for crystal growth by using dialysis to reduce the protein and precipitant concentrations, which leads small crystals to dissolve while simultaneously causing only the largest ones to grow, ultimately resulting in the transformation of many small, unusable crystals into a few large ones.

  6. Latest methods of fluorescence-based protein crystal identification

    SciTech Connect

    Meyer, Arne; Betzel, Christian

    2015-01-28

    Fluorescence, whether intrinsic or by using trace fluorescent labeling, can be a powerful aid in macromolecule crystallization. Its use in screening for crystals is discussed here. Successful protein crystallization screening experiments are dependent upon the experimenter being able to identify positive outcomes. The introduction of fluorescence techniques has brought a powerful and versatile tool to the aid of the crystal grower. Trace fluorescent labeling, in which a fluorescent probe is covalently bound to a subpopulation (<0.5%) of the protein, enables the use of visible fluorescence. Alternatively, one can avoid covalent modification and use UV fluorescence, exploiting the intrinsic fluorescent amino acids present in most proteins. By the use of these techniques, crystals that had previously been obscured in the crystallization drop can readily be identified and distinguished from amorphous precipitate or salt crystals. Additionally, lead conditions that may not have been obvious as such under white-light illumination can be identified. In all cases review of the screening plate is considerably accelerated, as the eye can quickly note objects of increased intensity.

  7. Protein crystal growth and the International Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    DeLucas, L. J.; Moore, K. M.; Long, M. M.

    1999-01-01

    Protein structural information plays a key role in understanding biological structure-function relationships and in the development of new pharmaceuticals for both chronic and infectious diseases. The Center for Macromolecular Crystallography (CMC) has devoted considerable effort studying the fundamental processes involved in macromolecular crystal growth both in a 1-g and microgravity environment. Results from experiments performed on more than 35 U.S. space shuttle flights have clearly indicated that microgravity can provide a beneficial environment for macromolecular crystal growth. This research has led to the development of a new generation of pharmaceuticals that are currently in preclinical or clinical trials for diseases such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, AIDS, influenza, stroke and other cardiovascular complications. The International Space Station (ISS) provides an opportunity to have complete crystallographic capability on orbit, which was previously not possible with the space shuttle orbiter. As envisioned, the x-ray Crystallography Facility (XCF) will be a complete facility for growing protein crystals; selecting, harvesting, and mounting sample crystals for x-ray diffraction; cryo-freezing mounted crystals if necessary; performing x-ray diffraction studies; and downlinking the data for use by crystallographers on the ground. Other advantages of such a facility include crystal characterization so that iterations in the crystal growth conditions can be made, thereby optimizing the final crystals produced in a three month interval on the ISS.

  8. A Microfluidic, High Throughput Protein Crystal Growth Method for Microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Carruthers Jr, Carl W.; Gerdts, Cory; Johnson, Michael D.; Webb, Paul

    2013-01-01

    The attenuation of sedimentation and convection in microgravity can sometimes decrease irregularities formed during macromolecular crystal growth. Current terrestrial protein crystal growth (PCG) capabilities are very different than those used during the Shuttle era and that are currently on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus of this experiment was to demonstrate the use of a commercial off-the-shelf, high throughput, PCG method in microgravity. Using Protein BioSolutions’ microfluidic Plug Maker™/CrystalCard™ system, we tested the ability to grow crystals of the regulator of glucose metabolism and adipogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (apo-hPPAR-γ LBD), as well as several PCG standards. Overall, we sent 25 CrystalCards™ to the ISS, containing ~10,000 individual microgravity PCG experiments in a 3U NanoRacks NanoLab (1U = 103 cm.). After 70 days on the ISS, our samples were returned with 16 of 25 (64%) microgravity cards having crystals, compared to 12 of 25 (48%) of the ground controls. Encouragingly, there were more apo-hPPAR-γ LBD crystals in the microgravity PCG cards than the 1g controls. These positive results hope to introduce the use of the PCG standard of low sample volume and large experimental density to the microgravity environment and provide new opportunities for macromolecular samples that may crystallize poorly in standard laboratories. PMID:24278480

  9. Protein encapsulated magnetic carriers for micro/nanoscale drug delivery systems.

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Y.; Kaminski, M. D.; Mertz, C. J.; Finck, M. R.; Guy, S. G.; Chen, H.; Rosengart, A. J.; Chemical Engineering; Univ. of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine

    2005-01-01

    Novel methods for drug delivery may be based on nanotechnology using non-invasive magnetic guidance of drug loaded magnetic carriers to the targeted site and thereafter released by external ultrasound energy. The key building block of this system is to successfully synthesize biodegradable, magnetic drug carriers. Magnetic carriers using poly(D,L-lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or poly(lactic acid)-poly(ethylene glycol) (PLA-PEG) as matrix materials were loaded with bovine serum albumin (BSA) by a double-emulsion technique. BSA-loaded magnetic microspheres were characterized for size, morphology, surface charge, and magnetization. The BSA encapsulation efficiency was determined by recovering albumin from the microspheres using dimethyl sulfoxide and 0.05N NaOH/0.5% SDS then quantifying with the Micro-BCA protein assay. BSA release profiles were also determined by the Micro-BCA protein assay. The microspheres had drug encapsulation efficiencies up to 90% depending on synthesis parameters. Particles were spherical with a smooth or porous surface having a size range less than 5 {mu}m. The surface charge (expressed as zeta potential) was near neutral, optimal for prolonged intravascular survival. The magnetization of these BSA loaded magnetic carriers was 2 to 6 emu/g, depending on the specific magnetic materials used during synthesis.

  10. Quantifying Nanomolar Protein Concentrations Using Designed DNA Carriers and Solid-State Nanopores

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Designed “DNA carriers” have been proposed as a new method for nanopore based specific protein detection. In this system, target protein molecules bind to a long DNA strand at a defined position creating a second level transient current drop against the background DNA translocation. Here, we demonstrate the ability of this system to quantify protein concentrations in the nanomolar range. After incubation with target protein at different concentrations, the fraction of DNA translocations showing a secondary current spike allows for the quantification of the corresponding protein concentration. For our proof-of-principle experiments we use two standard binding systems, biotin–streptavidin and digoxigenin–antidigoxigenin, that allow for measurements of the concentration down to the low nanomolar range. The results demonstrate the potential for a novel quantitative and specific protein detection scheme using the DNA carrier method. PMID:27121643

  11. Advanced protein crystal growth flight hardware for the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herrmann, Frederick T.

    1988-01-01

    The operational environment of the Space Station will differ considerably from the previous short term missions such as the Spacelabs. Limited crew availability combined with the near continuous operation of Space Station facilities will require a high degree of facility automation. This paper will discuss current efforts to develop automated flight hardware for advanced protein crystal growth on the Space Station. Particular areas discussed will be the automated monitoring of key growth parameters for vapor diffusion growth and proposed mechanisms for control of these parameters. A history of protein crystal growth efforts will be presented in addition to the rationale and need for improved protein crystals for X-ray diffraction. The facility will be capable of simultaneously processing several hundred protein samples at various temperatures, pH's, concentrations etc., and provide allowances for real time variance of growth parameters.

  12. Protein crystallization in low gravity by step gradient diffusion method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sygusch, Jurgen; Coulombe, René; Cassanto, John M.; Sportiello, Michael G.; Todd, Paul

    1996-05-01

    Two-step crystallization experiments were conducted in low gravity employing a liquid-liquid diffusion method in an effort to eliminate problems associated with protein crystal growth under the supersaturating conditions required for nucleation. Experiments were performed in diffusion cells formed by the sliding of blocks on orbit. Step gradient diffusion experiments consisted of first exposing protein solutions in diffusion half-wells for brief periods to initiating buffer solutions of high precipitant concentrations to induce nucleation followed by exposure of the same protein solutions to solutions of lower precipitant concentration to promote growth of induced nuclei into crystals. To avoid convective disturbances that occur when solutions of discrepant densities are interfaced at normal gravity, crystallization of hen egg-white lysozyme and rabbit skeletal muscle aldolase by step gradient diffusion was investigated in low gravity on four NASA space shuttle flights. In general, the largest crystals of both proteins formed at the highest initiating precipitant concentration used, which is consistent with nuclei formation upon brief exposure to high precipitant concentration, and that these nuclei are competent for sustained growth at lower precipitant concentration. The two-step approach dissociates nucleation events from crystal growth allowing parameters affecting nucleation kinetics such as time, precipitant concentration and temperature of nucleation to be varied separately from conditions used for post-nucleation growth.

  13. Modification of the substrate specificity of an acyl-acyl carrier protein thioesterase by protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Yuan, L; Voelker, T A; Hawkins, D J

    1995-11-07

    The plant acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) thioesterases (TEs) are of biochemical interest because of their roles in fatty acid synthesis and their utilities in the bioengineering of plant seed oils. When the FatB1 cDNA encoding a 12:0-ACP TE (Uc FatB1) from California bay, Umbellularia californica (Uc) was expressed in Escherichia coli and in developing oilseeds of the plants Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus, large amounts of laurate (12:0) and small amounts of myristate (14:0) were accumulated. We have isolated a TE cDNA from camphor (Cinnamomum camphorum) (Cc) seeds that shares 92% amino acid identity with Uc FatB1. This TE, Cc FatB1, mainly hydrolyzes 14:0-ACP as shown by E. coli expression. We have investigated the roles of the N- and C-terminal regions in determining substrate specificity by constructing two chimeric enzymes, in which the N-terminal portion of one protein is fused to the C-terminal portion of the other. Our results show that the C-terminal two-thirds of the protein is critical for the specificity. By site-directed mutagenesis, we have replaced several amino acids in Uc FatB1 by using the Cc FatB1 sequence as a guide. A double mutant, which changes Met-197 to an Arg and Arg-199 to a His (M197R/R199H), turns Uc FatB1 into a 12:0/14:0 TE with equal preference for both substrates. Another mutation, T231K, by itself does not effect the specificity. However, when it is combined with the double mutant to generate a triple mutant (M197R/R199H/T231K), Uc FatB1 is converted to a 14:0-ACP TE. Expression of the double-mutant cDNA in E. coli K27, a strain deficient in fatty acid degradation, results in accumulation of similar amounts of 12:0 and 14:0. Meanwhile the E. coli expressing the triple-mutant cDNA produces predominantly 14:0 with very small amounts of 12:0. Kinetic studies indicate that both wild-type Uc FatB1 and the triple mutant have similar values of Km,app with respect to 14:0-ACP. Inhibitory studies also show that 12:0-ACP is a good

  14. Real-Time Protein Crystallization Image Acquisition and Classification System.

    PubMed

    Sigdel, Madhav; Pusey, Marc L; Aygun, Ramazan S

    2013-07-03

    In this paper, we describe the design and implementation of a stand-alone real-time system for protein crystallization image acquisition and classification with a goal to assist crystallographers in scoring crystallization trials. In-house assembled fluorescence microscopy system is built for image acquisition. The images are classified into three categories as non-crystals, likely leads, and crystals. Image classification consists of two main steps - image feature extraction and application of classification based on multilayer perceptron (MLP) neural networks. Our feature extraction involves applying multiple thresholding techniques, identifying high intensity regions (blobs), and generating intensity and blob features to obtain a 45-dimensional feature vector per image. To reduce the risk of missing crystals, we introduce a max-class ensemble classifier which applies multiple classifiers and chooses the highest score (or class). We performed our experiments on 2250 images consisting 67% non-crystal, 18% likely leads, and 15% clear crystal images and tested our results using 10-fold cross validation. Our results demonstrate that the method is very efficient (< 3 seconds to process and classify an image) and has comparatively high accuracy. Our system only misses 1.2% of the crystals (classified as non-crystals) most likely due to low illumination or out of focus image capture and has an overall accuracy of 88%.

  15. Expression, purification and crystallization of a lyssavirus matrix (M) protein

    SciTech Connect

    Assenberg, René; Delmas, Olivier; Graham, Stephen C.; Verma, Anil; Berrow, Nick; Stuart, David I.; Owens, Raymond J.; Bourhy, Hervé; Grimes, Jonathan M.

    2008-04-01

    The expression, purification and crystallization of the full-length matrix protein from three lyssaviruses is described. The matrix (M) proteins of lyssaviruses (family Rhabdoviridae) are crucial to viral morphogenesis as well as in modulating replication and transcription of the viral genome. To date, no high-resolution structural information has been obtained for full-length rhabdovirus M. Here, the cloning, expression and purification of the matrix proteins from three lyssaviruses, Lagos bat virus (LAG), Mokola virus and Thailand dog virus, are described. Crystals have been obtained for the full-length M protein from Lagos bat virus (LAG M). Successful crystallization depended on a number of factors, in particular the addition of an N-terminal SUMO fusion tag to increase protein solubility. Diffraction data have been recorded from crystals of native and selenomethionine-labelled LAG M to 2.75 and 3.0 Å resolution, respectively. Preliminary analysis indicates that these crystals belong to space group P6{sub 1}22 or P6{sub 5}22, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 56.9–57.2, c = 187.9–188.6 Å, consistent with the presence of one molecule per asymmetric unit, and structure determination is currently in progress.

  16. Structural analysis and interaction studies of acyl-carrier protein (acpP) of Staphylococcus aureus, an extraordinarily thermally stable protein.

    PubMed

    Volk, Kathrin; Breunig, Sven D; Rid, Raphaela; Herzog, Julia; Bräuer, Maria; Hundsberger, Harald; Klein, Christian; Müller, Norbert; Önder, Kamil

    2017-01-01

    Acyl-carrier-protein (acpP) is an essential protein in fatty acid biosynthesis of Staphylococcus aureus [Cronan, J.E. and Thomas, J. (2009). Complex enzymes in microbial natural product biosynthesis, part B: polyketides, aminocoumarins and carbohydrates.

  17. Effects of Solution Stirring on Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yaoi, Mari; Aadachi, Hiroaki; Takano, Kazufumi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Sasaki, Takatomo

    2004-05-01

    We report the influence of solution stirring on the growth of hen egg white lysozyme crystals. Solution stirring rate was controlled by varying the rotation speed of a rotary shaker. A range of precipitation agent (sodium chloride) concentrations was also investigated. The time required for crystal nucleation to occur was observed to be much greater in stirred samples than in unstirred samples. Solution stirring resulted in a reduced number of crystals (at sodium chloride concentrations from 6 to 9%). These crystals were larger and of a higher quality. However, the time required for nucleation to occur was reduced by gentle stirring (25 and 50 rpm) in a 12.5% sodium chloride concentration solution, suggesting that stirring can stimulate nucleation. These results indicate that the optimization of solution stirring rates is a useful technique for controlling protein crystal growth.

  18. Correlation between thermal fluctuation effects and phase coherence factor in carrier transport of single-crystal organic semiconductors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fukami, Tatsuya; Ishii, Hiroyuki; Kobayashi, Nobuhiko; Uemura, Takafumi; Sakai, Kenichi; Okada, Yugo; Takeya, Jun; Hirose, Kenji

    2015-04-01

    We find that the phase coherence factor derived from Hall effect measurements of single-crystal thin-film field-effect transistors of pentacene, which relates the intrinsic charge transport with the phase coherence, has a strong correlation with the thermal fluctuations of transfer energies between neighboring molecules. This observation also holds true for other organic semiconductors such as tetracene, dianthrathiophene (DAT)-V, and dinaphtho[2,3-b:2',3'-f]thieno[3,2-b]thiophene (DNTT). This gives us clues for constructing flexible molecular systems with high carrier mobility.

  19. Liquid Between Macromolecules in Protein Crystals: Static Versus Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, A. A.

    2005-01-01

    Protein crystals are so fragile that they often can not be handled by tweezers. Indeed, measurements of the Young modulus, E, of lysozyme crystals resulted in E approx. equals 0.1 - 1 GPa, the lower figures, 0.1 - 0.5 GPa, being obtained from triple point bending of as-grown and not cross-linked crystals sitting in solution. The bending strength was found to be approx.10(exp -2) E. On the other hand, ultrasound speed and Mandelstam-Raman-Brilloin light scattering experiments led to much higher figures, E approx. equals 2.7 GPa. The lower figures for E were found from static or low frequency crystal deformations measurements, while the higher moduli are based on high frequency lattice vibrations, 10(exp 7) - 10(exp 10) 1/s. The physical reason for the about an order of magnitude discrepancy is in different behavior of water filling space between protein molecules. At slow lattice deformation, the not-bound intermolecular water has enough time to flow from the compressed to expanded regions of the deformed crystal. At high deformation frequencies in the ultra- and hypersound waves, the water is confined in the intermolecular space and, on that scale, behaves like a solid, thus contributing to the elastic crystal moduli. In this case, the reciprocal crystal modulus is expected to be an average of the water protein and water compressibilities (reciprocal compressibilities): the bulk modulus for lysozyme is 26 GPa, for water it is 7 GPa. Anisotropy of the crystal moduli comes from intermolecular contacts within the lattice while the high frequency hardness comes from the bulk of protein molecules and water bulk moduli. These conclusions are based on the analysis of liquid flow in porous medium to be presented.

  20. Growing protein crystals in microgravity - The NASA Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Herren, B.

    1992-01-01

    In collaboration with a medical researcher at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, under the sponsorship of the Microgravity Science and Applications Division (MSAD) at NASA Headquarters, is continuing a series of space experiments in protein crystal growth which could lead to innovative new drugs as well as basic science data on protein molecular structures. From 1985 through 1992, Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiments will have been flown on the Space Shuttle a total of 14 times. The first four hand-held experiments were used to test hardware concepts; later flights incorporated these concepts for vapor diffusion protein crystal growth with temperature control. This article provides an overview of the PCG program: its evolution, objectives, and plans for future experiments on NASA's Space Shuttle and Space Station Freedom.

  1. Structure of the complex between teicoplanin and a bacterial cell-wall peptide: use of a carrier-protein approach

    PubMed Central

    Economou, Nicoleta J.; Zentner, Isaac J.; Lazo, Edwin; Jakoncic, Jean; Stojanoff, Vivian; Weeks, Stephen D.; Grasty, Kimberly C.; Cocklin, Simon; Loll, Patrick J.

    2013-01-01

    Multidrug-resistant bacterial infections are commonly treated with glycopeptide antibiotics such as teicoplanin. This drug inhibits bacterial cell-wall biosynthesis by binding and sequestering a cell-wall precursor: a d-alanine-containing peptide. A carrier-protein strategy was used to crystallize the complex of teicoplanin and its target peptide by fusing the cell-wall peptide to either MBP or ubiquitin via native chemical ligation and subsequently crystallizing the protein–peptide–antibiotic complex. The 2.05 Å resolution MBP–peptide–teicoplanin structure shows that teicoplanin recognizes its ligand through a combination of five hydrogen bonds and multiple van der Waals interactions. Comparison of this teicoplanin structure with that of unliganded teicoplanin reveals a flexibility in the antibiotic peptide backbone that has significant implications for ligand recognition. Diffraction experiments revealed an X-ray-induced dechlorination of the sixth amino acid of the antibiotic; it is shown that teicoplanin is significantly more radiation-sensitive than other similar antibiotics and that ligand binding increases radiosensitivity. Insights derived from this new teicoplanin structure may contribute to the development of next-generation antibacterials designed to overcome bacterial resistance. PMID:23519660

  2. Novel protein crystal growth technology: Proof of concept

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nyce, Thomas A.; Rosenberger, Franz

    1989-01-01

    A technology for crystal growth, which overcomes certain shortcomings of other techniques, is developed and its applicability to proteins is examined. There were several unknowns to be determined: the design of the apparatus for suspension of crystals of varying (growing) diameter, control of the temperature and supersaturation, the methods for seeding and/or controlling nucleation, the effect on protein solutions of the temperature oscillations arising from the circulation, and the effect of the fluid shear on the suspended crystals. Extensive effort was put forth to grow lysozyme crystals. Under conditions favorable to the growth of tetragonal lysozyme, spontaneous nucleation could be produced but the number of nuclei could not be controlled. Seed transfer techniques were developed and implemented. When conditions for the orthorhombic form were tried, a single crystal 1.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 mm was grown (after in situ nucleation) and successfully extracted. A mathematical model was developed to predict the flow velocity as a function of the geometry and the operating temperatures. The model can also be used to scaleup the apparatus for growing larger crystals of other materials such as water soluble non-linear optical materials. This crystal suspension technology also shows promise for high quality solution growth of optical materials such as TGS and KDP.

  3. Specific Rate of Protein Crystallization Determined by the Guggenheim Method

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Baird, James K.; McFeeters, Robert L.; Caraballo, Katiuska G.

    2014-05-01

    The biological function of a protein is intimately related to its three-dimensional molecular structure. Although X-ray diffraction from single crystals can be employed to solve for the molecular structure, use of this method is often impeded by the slow rate of precipitation of crystals from the pH buffered, aqueous solutions of strong electrolytes which ordinarily serve as growth media. The rate of crystallization can be measured as a function of growth solution conditions by growing the crystals in a dilatometer. As the crystallization progresses, the rate of change of the system volume caused by the difference in density between the crystals and the solution is reflected in the rate of change of the height of the fluid in the capillary side arm of the dilatometer. In the case of the proteins, lysozyme, and canavalin, this height changes exponentially with time, which serves to define a first-order rate constant or specific crystallization rate, k. A dozen such experiments may be needed to determine how depends upon pH, electrolyte concentration, and temperature. Each experiment can require 4 or 5 days to reach equilibrium. If height measurements are made equally spaced in time, however, early time data can be combined according to the Guggenheim procedure, and the value of k can be determined without the experiment having to reach equilibrium. By using this method, the time required to complete an experiment can be reduced by as much as 50 %.

  4. Thermal Optimization of Growth and Quality in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wiencek, John M.

    1996-01-01

    Experimental evidence suggests that larger and higher quality crystals can be attained in the microgravity of space; however, the effect of growth rate on protein crystal quality is not well documented. This research is the first step towards providing strategies to grow crystals under constant rates of growth. Controlling growth rates at a constant value allows for direct one-to-one comparison of results obtained in microgravity and on earth. The overall goal of the project was to control supersaturation at a constant value during protein crystal growth by varying temperature in a predetermined manner. Applying appropriate theory requires knowledge of specific physicochemical properties of the protein solution including the effect of supersaturation on growth rates and the effect of temperature on protein solubility. Such measurements typically require gram quantities of protein and many months of data acquisition. A second goal of the project applied microcalorimetry for the rapid determination of these physicochemical properties using a minimum amount of protein. These two goals were successfully implemented on hen egg-white lysozyme. Results of these studies are described in the attached reprints.

  5. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility

    SciTech Connect

    Wilson, William W.; DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2014-04-30

    This article highlights some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program, and includes a more detailed discussion of the history and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA’s Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput.

  6. Nucleation and Convection Effects in Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz

    1997-01-01

    Work during the second year under this grant (NAG8-1161) resulted in several major achievements. We have characterized protein impurities as well as microheterogeneities in the proteins hen egg white lysozyme and horse spleen apoferritin, and demonstrated the effects of these impurities on nucleation and crystallization. In particular, the purification of apoferritin resulted in crystals with an X-ray diffraction resolution of better than 1.8 A, i.e. a 1 A improvement over earlier work on the cubic form. Furthermore, we have shown, in association with studies of liquid-liquid phase separation, that depending on the growth conditions, lysozyme can produce all growth morphologies that have been observed with other proteins. Finally, in connection with our experimental and simulation work on growth step bunching, we have developed a system-dependent criterion for advantages and disadvantages of crystallization from solution under reduced gravity. In the following, these efforts are described in some detail.

  7. Mechanisms of protein and virus crystal growth: An atomic force microscopy study of Canavalin crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Land, T.A.; De Yoreo, J.J.; Malkin, A.J.; Kutznesov, Y.G.; McPherson, A.

    1995-03-10

    The evolution of surface morphology and step dynamics during growth of single crystals of the protein Canavalin and of the cubic satellite tobacco mosaic virus crystals (STMV) have been investigated by in situ atomic force microscopy. These two crystals were observed to grow by very different mechanisms. Growth of Canavalin occurs on complex vicinal hillocks formed by multiple, independently acting screw dislocations. Small cluster were observed on the terraces. STMV on the other hand, was observed to grow by 2D nucleation of islands. No dislocations were found on the crystal. The results are used to determine the growth mechanisms and estimate fundamental materials parameters. The images also illustrate the important mechanism of defect incorporation and provide insight to the processes that limit the growth rate and uniformity of these crystals.

  8. THz Microscopy of Anisotropy and Correlated Motions in Protein Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niessen, Katherine; Acbas, Gheorghe; Snell, Edward; Markelz, Andrea

    2013-03-01

    We introduce a new technique, Crystal Anisotropy Terahertz Microscopy (CATM) which can directly measure correlated intra-molecular protein vibrations. The terahertz (THz) frequency range (5-100 cm-1) corresponds to global correlated protein motions, proposed to be essential to protein function [1, 2]. CATM accesses these motions by removal of the relaxational background of the solvent and residue side chain librational motions. We demonstrate narrowband features in the anisotropic absorbance for hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) single crystals as well as HEWL with triacetylglucosamine (HEWL-3NAG) inhibitor single crystals. The most prominent features for the HEWL crystals appear at 45 cm-1, 69 cm-1, and 78 cm-1 and the strength of the absorption varies with crystal orientation relative to the THz polarization. Calculations show similar anisotropic features, suggesting specific correlated mode identification is possible. 1. Hammes-Schiffer, S. and S.J. Benkovic, Relating Protein Motion to Catalysis. Annu. Rev. Biochem., 2006. 75: p. 519-41. 2. Henzler-Wildman, K.A., et al., Intrinsic motions along an enzymatic reaction trajectory. Nature, 2007. 450(7171): p. 838-U13. This work supported by NSF MRI2 grant DBI295998.

  9. Induction of the lac carrier and an associated membrane protein in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Lagarias, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    Induction of the lac operon in wild type Escherichia coli strains results in synthesis of a 16 kilodalton inner membrane protein in addition to the known products of the lacZ, lacY and lacA genes. Cells carrying the lacY gene on a plasmid over produce this 16 kilodalton polypeptide as well as the Lac carrier, the membrane protein product of the lacY gene. However, (/sup 35/S)methionine labeling of minicells carrying the lacY plasmid shows that the 16 kDa protein is not synthesized from the plasmid DNA. The 16 kDa protein was purified and partially characterized. It is an acidic membrane protein of apparent molecular weight 15,800 whose amino terminal sequence (NH/sub 2/-Met-Arg-Asn-Phe-Asp-Leu-) does not correspond to any nucleotide sequence known in lac operon DNA. Using antibody prepared to the purified 16 kDa protein, a quantitative analysis of conditions under which this protein is made was accomplished, and reveals that the amount of 16 kDa protein which appears in the membrane is proportional to lac operon expression. Hybridization of a synthetic oligonucleotide probe complementary to the 5' end of 16 kDa protein mRNA shows that its synthesis is regulated at the level of transcription. A description of attempts to clone this gene is given. Possible functional roles for the 16 kDa protein are discussed.

  10. Crystallization of a protein using dehydration without a precipitant

    PubMed Central

    Sharpe, Miriam L.; Baker, Edward N.; Lott, J. Shaun

    2005-01-01

    Hypoxic response protein I (HRPI) is a protein of unknown biochemical function whose expression is very strongly upregulated in response to oxygen depletion in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Crystals have been grown from a solution of full-length HRPI by the unusual method of dehydration without the use of precipitants. The crystals produced diffract to a maximum resolution of 2.1 Å and belong to space group P41212 (or P43212), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 79.18, c = 37.34 Å. PMID:16511097

  11. Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment aboard mission STS-66

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    On the Space Shuttle Orbiter Atlantis' middeck, Astronaut Joseph R. Tarner, mission specialist, works at an area amidst several lockers which support the Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) experiment during the STS-66 mission. This particular section is called the Crystal Observation System, housed in the Thermal Enclosure System (COS/TES). Together with the Vapor Diffusion Apparatus (VDA), housed in Single Locker Thermal Enclosure (SLTES), the COS/TES represents the continuing research into the structure of proteins and other macromolecules such as viruses.

  12. Protein crystal screening and characterization for serial femtosecond nanocrystallography

    PubMed Central

    Darmanin, Connie; Strachan, Jamie; Adda, Christopher G.; Ve, Thomas; Kobe, Bostjan; Abbey, Brian

    2016-01-01

    The recent development of X-ray free electron lasers (XFELs) has spurred the development of serial femtosecond nanocrystallography (SFX) which, for the first time, is enabling structure retrieval from sub-micron protein crystals. Although there are already a growing number of structures published using SFX, the technology is still very new and presents a number of unique challenges as well as opportunities for structural biologists. One of the biggest barriers to the success of SFX experiments is the preparation and selection of suitable protein crystal samples. Here we outline a protocol for preparing and screening for suitable XFEL targets. PMID:27139248

  13. Mesoscale crystallization of calcium phosphate nanostructures in protein (casein) micelles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thachepan, Surachai; Li, Mei; Mann, Stephen

    2010-11-01

    Aqueous micelles of the multi-protein calcium phosphate complex, casein, were treated at 60 °C and pH 7 over several months. Although partial dissociation of the micelles into 12 nm sized amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)/protein nanoparticles occurred within a period of 14 days, crystallization of the ACP nanoclusters into bundles of hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanofilaments was not observed until after 12 weeks. The HAP nanofilaments were formed specifically within the partially disrupted protein micelles suggesting a micelle-mediated pathway of mesoscale crystallization. Similar experiments using ACP-containing synthetic micelles prepared from β-casein protein alone indicated that co-aligned bundles of HAP nanofilaments were produced within the protein micelle interior after 24 hours at temperatures as low as 35 °C. The presence of Mg2+ ions in the casein micelles, as well as a possible synergistic effect associated with the multi-protein nature of the native aggregates, could account for the marked inhibition in mesoscale crystallization observed in the casein micelles compared with the single-component β-casein constructs.Aqueous micelles of the multi-protein calcium phosphate complex, casein, were treated at 60 °C and pH 7 over several months. Although partial dissociation of the micelles into 12 nm sized amorphous calcium phosphate (ACP)/protein nanoparticles occurred within a period of 14 days, crystallization of the ACP nanoclusters into bundles of hydroxyapatite (HAP) nanofilaments was not observed until after 12 weeks. The HAP nanofilaments were formed specifically within the partially disrupted protein micelles suggesting a micelle-mediated pathway of mesoscale crystallization. Similar experiments using ACP-containing synthetic micelles prepared from β-casein protein alone indicated that co-aligned bundles of HAP nanofilaments were produced within the protein micelle interior after 24 hours at temperatures as low as 35 °C. The presence of Mg2+ ions in

  14. Virtually Designed Triclosan-Based Inhibitors of Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and of Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Owono Owono, Luc C; Ntie-Kang, Fidele; Keita, Melalie; Megnassan, Eugene; Frecer, Vladimir; Miertus, Stanislav

    2015-05-01

    We report here new chemical structures of predicted nanomolar triclosan-based inhibitors (TCLs) of Mycobacterium tuberculosis enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (InhA) virtually proposed by computer-assisted molecular design. 3D models of InhA-TCL complexes were prepared by in situ modifications of the reference crystal structure (PDB entry 1P45) for a training set of 15 TCLs with known InhA inhibitory activities. A QSAR model was built leading to linear correlation between the calculated free energies of complexation (ΔΔGcom ) and experimental values IC50 (exp) : pIC50 =-0.0657×ΔΔGcom +3.0502, R(2) =0.96. In addition, ligand-based quantitative pharmacophore model (PH4) was built from bound conformations of the training set compounds and confirmed the correlation between molecular models and observed activities: pIC50 (exp=) 0.8929×pIC50 (pre) -0.441, R(2) =0.95. Structural information from both models helped us to propose new TCL analogues. A virtual library of TCLs with known predicted activities against enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase of Plasmodium falciparum (PfENR) was evaluated, revealing dual target TCLs. Moreover, analysis of binding site interactions suggested enriching substitutions, which led to more potent TCLs with predicted pIC50 (pre) as low as 7 nM. The computational approach, which used both free energy estimated from molecular modeling and 3D-QSAR pharmacophore model, was helpful in virtually proposing the dual-targeted drugs and provided valuable information for the design of novel potential antituberculotic agents.

  15. Charge carrier transport and collection enhancement of copper indium diselenide photoactive nanoparticle-ink by laser crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    Nian, Qiong; Cheng, Gary J.; Zhang, Martin Y.; Wang, Yuefeng; Das, Suprem R.; Bhat, Venkataprasad S.; Huang, Fuqiang

    2014-09-15

    There has been increasing needs for cost-effective and high performance thin film deposition techniques for photovoltaics. Among all deposition techniques, roll-to-roll printing of nanomaterials has been a promising method. However, the printed thin film contains many internal imperfections, which reduce the charge-collection performance. Here, direct pulse laser crystallization (DPLC) of photoactive nanoparticles-inks is studied to meet this challenge. In this study, copper indium selenite (CIS) nanoparticle-inks is applied as an example. Enhanced crystallinity, densified structure in the thin film is resulted after DLPC under optimal conditions. It is found that the decreased film internal imperfections after DPLC results in reducing scattering and multi-trapping effects. Both of them contribute to better charge-collection performance of CIS absorber material by increasing extended state mobility and carrier lifetime, when carrier transport and kinetics are coupled. Charge carrier transport was characterized after DPLC, showing mobility increased by 2 orders of magnitude. Photocurrent under AM1.5 illumination was measured and shown 10 times enhancement of integrated power density after DPLC, which may lead to higher efficiency in photo-electric energy conversion.

  16. A structural dissection of large protein-protein crystal packing contacts.

    PubMed

    Luo, Jiesi; Liu, Zhongyu; Guo, Yanzhi; Li, Menglong

    2015-09-15

    With the rapid increase in crystal structures of protein-protein complexes deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB), more and more crystal contacts have been shown to have similar or even larger interface areas than biological interfaces. However, little attention has been paid to these large crystal packing contacts and their structural principles remain unknown. To address this issue, we used a comparative feature analysis to analyze the geometric and physicochemical properties of large crystal packing contacts by comparing two types of specific protein-protein interactions (PPIs), weak transient complexes and permanent homodimers. Our results show that although large crystal packing contacts have a similar interface area and contact size as permanent homodimers, they tend to be more planar, loosely packed and less hydrophobic than permanent homodimers and cannot form a central core region that is fully buried during interaction. However, the properties of large crystal packing contacts, except for the interface area and contact size, more closely resemble those of weak transient complexes. The large overlap between biological and large crystal packing contacts indicates that interface properties are not efficient indicators for classification of biological interfaces from large crystal packing contacts and finding other specific features urgently needed.

  17. Cross-Linked Protein Crystals for Vaccine Delivery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    St. Clair, Nancy; Shenoy, Bhami; Jacob, Lawrence D.; Margolin, Alexey L.

    1999-08-01

    The progress toward subunit vaccines has been limited by their poor immunogenicity and limited stability. To enhance the immune response, subunit vaccines universally require improved adjuvants and delivery vehicles. In the present paper, we propose the use of cross-linked protein crystals (CLPCs) as antigens. We compare the immunogenicity of CLPCs of human serum albumin with that of soluble protein and conclude that there are marked differences in the immune response to the different forms of human serum albumin. Relative to the soluble protein, crystalline forms induce and sustain over almost a 6-month study a 6- to 10-fold increase in antibody titer for highly cross-linked crystals and an approximately 30-fold increase for lightly cross-linked crystals. We hypothesize that the depot effect, the particulate structure of CLPCs, and highly repetitive nature of protein crystals may play roles in the enhanced production of circulating antibodies. Several features of CLPCs, such as their remarkable stability, purity, biodegradability, and ease of manufacturing, make them highly attractive for vaccine formulations. This work paves the way for a systematic study of protein crystallinity and cross-linking on enhancement of humoral and T cell responses.

  18. Cross-linked protein crystals for vaccine delivery

    PubMed Central

    St. Clair, Nancy; Shenoy, Bhami; Jacob, Lawrence D.; Margolin, Alexey L.

    1999-01-01

    The progress toward subunit vaccines has been limited by their poor immunogenicity and limited stability. To enhance the immune response, subunit vaccines universally require improved adjuvants and delivery vehicles. In the present paper, we propose the use of cross-linked protein crystals (CLPCs) as antigens. We compare the immunogenicity of CLPCs of human serum albumin with that of soluble protein and conclude that there are marked differences in the immune response to the different forms of human serum albumin. Relative to the soluble protein, crystalline forms induce and sustain over almost a 6-month study a 6- to 10-fold increase in antibody titer for highly cross-linked crystals and an approximately 30-fold increase for lightly cross-linked crystals. We hypothesize that the depot effect, the particulate structure of CLPCs, and highly repetitive nature of protein crystals may play roles in the enhanced production of circulating antibodies. Several features of CLPCs, such as their remarkable stability, purity, biodegradability, and ease of manufacturing, make them highly attractive for vaccine formulations. This work paves the way for a systematic study of protein crystallinity and cross-linking on enhancement of humoral and T cell responses. PMID:10449716

  19. Rational design of crystal contact-free space in protein crystals for analyzing spatial distribution of motions within protein molecules.

    PubMed

    Matsuoka, Rei; Shimada, Atsushi; Komuro, Yasuaki; Sugita, Yuji; Kohda, Daisuke

    2016-03-01

    Contacts with neighboring molecules in protein crystals inevitably restrict the internal motions of intrinsically flexible proteins. The resultant clear electron densities permit model building, as crystallographic snapshot structures. Although these still images are informative, they could provide biased pictures of the protein motions. If the mobile parts are located at a site lacking direct contacts in rationally designed crystals, then the amplitude of the movements can be experimentally analyzed. We propose a fusion protein method, to create crystal contact-free space (CCFS) in protein crystals and to place the mobile parts in the CCFS. Conventional model building fails when large amplitude motions exist. In this study, the mobile parts appear as smeared electron densities in the CCFS, by suitable processing of the X-ray diffraction data. We applied the CCFS method to a highly mobile presequence peptide bound to the mitochondrial import receptor, Tom20, and a catalytically relevant flexible segment in the oligosaccharyltransferase, AglB. These two examples demonstrated the general applicability of the CCFS method to the analysis of the spatial distribution of motions within protein molecules.

  20. Nonenzymatic biotinylation of a biotin carboxyl carrier protein: unusual reactivity of the physiological target lysine.

    PubMed

    Streaker, Emily D; Beckett, Dorothy

    2006-08-01

    Enzyme-catalyzed addition of biotin to proteins is highly specific. In any single organism one or a small number of proteins are biotinylated and only a single lysine on each of these proteins is modified. A detailed understanding of the structural basis for the selective biotinylation process has not yet been elucidated. Recently certain mutants of the Escherichia coli biotin protein ligase have been shown to mediate "promiscuous" biotinylation of proteins. It was suggested that the reaction involved diffusion of a reactive activated biotin intermediate, biotinoyl-5'-AMP, with nonspecific proteins. In this work the reactivity of this chemically synthesized intermediate toward the natural target of enzymatic biotinylation, the biotin carboxyl carrier protein, was investigated. The results indicate that the intermediate does, indeed, react with target protein, albeit at a significantly slower rate than the enzyme-catalyzed process. Surprisingly, analysis of the products of nonenzymatic biotinylation indicates that of five lysine residues in the protein only the physiological target side chain is modified. These results indicate that either the environment of this lysine residue or its intrinsic properties render it highly reactive to nonenzymatic biotinylation mediated by biotinoyl-5'-AMP. This reactivity may be important for its selective biotinylation in vivo.

  1. Morphology and the Strength of Intermolecular Contact in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matsuura, Yoshiki; Chernov, Alexander A.

    2002-01-01

    The strengths of intermolecular contacts (macrobonds) in four lysozyme crystals were estimated based on the strengths of individual intermolecular interatomic interaction pairs. The periodic bond chain of these macrobonds accounts for the morphology of protein crystals as shown previously. Further in this paper, the surface area of contact, polar coordinate representation of contact site, Coulombic contribution on the macrobond strength, and the surface energy of the crystal have been evaluated. Comparing location of intermolecular contacts in different polymorphic crystal modifications, we show that these contacts can form a wide variety of patches on the molecular surface. The patches are located practically everywhere on this surface except for the concave active site. The contacts frequently include water molecules, with specific intermolecular hydrogen-bonds on the background of non-specific attractive interactions. The strengths of macrobonds are also compared to those of other protein complex systems. Making use of the contact strengths and taking into account bond hydration we also estimated crystal-water interfacial energies for different crystal faces.

  2. From art to science in protein crystallization by means of thin-film nanotechnology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pechkova, Eugenia; Nicolini, Claudio

    2002-08-01

    A new method of protein crystallization based on a homologous Langmuir-Schaefer (LS) protein thin-film template proves to successfully stimulate crystal nucleation and growth of the four different proteins being studied, under different crystallization conditions including those failing to lead to crystal formation in solution. Protein microcrystals were obtained by a modified vapour diffusion hanging drop method. This report is focused on recombinant bovine cytochrome P-450scc crystallization and subsequent crystal characterization by atomic force microscopy in an appropriate chamber. The results are discussed in terms of a possible transition in protein crystallization from art to science by means of LS thin-film nanotechnology.

  3. Fusion proteins as alternate crystallization paths to difficult structure problems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carter, Daniel C.; Rueker, Florian; Ho, Joseph X.; Lim, Kap; Keeling, Kim; Gilliland, Gary; Ji, Xinhua

    1994-01-01

    The three-dimensional structure of a peptide fusion product with glutathione transferase from Schistosoma japonicum (SjGST) has been solved by crystallographic methods to 2.5 A resolution. Peptides or proteins can be fused to SjGST and expressed in a plasmid for rapid synthesis in Escherichia coli. Fusion proteins created by this commercial method can be purified rapidly by chromatography on immobilized glutathione. The potential utility of using SjGST fusion proteins as alternate paths to the crystallization and structure determination of proteins is demonstrated.

  4. Effects of Mutations in Aedes aegypti Sterol Carrier Protein-2 on the Biological Function of the Protein

    PubMed Central

    Radek, James T.; Dyer, David H.; Lan, Que

    2010-01-01

    Sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) is a non-specific intracellular lipid carrier protein. However, the molecular mechanism of ligand selectivity and the in vivo function of SCP-2 remain unclear. In this study, we used site directed mutagenesis to investigate ligand selectivity and in vivo function of the yellow fever mosquito sterol carrier protein-2 protein (AeSCP-2). Mutations to amino acids in AeSCP-2 known to interact with bound ligand also decreased NBD-cholesterol binding. Substitution of amino acids in the ligand cavity changed the ligand specificity of mutant AeSCP-2. Over-expressing AeSCP-2 wild-type in the Aedes aegypti cultured Aag-2 cells resulted in an increase in incorporation of [3H]cholesterol. However, over-expressing mutants that were deleterious to the binding of NBD-cholesterol in AeSCP-2 showed a loss in the ability to enhance uptake of [3H] cholesterol in cultured cells. Interestingly, when [3H]palmitic acid was used as the substrate for incorporation in vivo, there was no change in the levels of incorporation with over-expression of wild-type protein or mutated AeSCP-2s. The in vivo data suggest that AeSCP-2 is involved in sterol uptake, but not fatty acid uptake. This is the first report that the ability of cholesterol binding may directly correlate to AeSCP-2’s in vivo function in aiding the uptake of cholesterol. PMID:20681612

  5. Hybrid nanosystems based on natural polymers as protein carriers for respiratory delivery: Stability and toxicological evaluation.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Susana; Cordeiro, Clara; Seijo, Begoña; Remuñán-López, Carmen; Grenha, Ana

    2015-06-05

    Chitosan/carrageenan/tripolyphosphate nanoparticles were previously presented as holding potential for an application in transmucosal delivery of macromolecules, with tripolyphosphate demonstrating to contribute for both size reduction and stabilisation of the nanoparticles. This work was aimed at evaluating the capacity of the nanoparticles as protein carriers for pulmonary and nasal transmucosal delivery, further assessing their biocompatibility pattern regarding that application. Nanoparticles demonstrated stability in presence of lysozyme, while freeze-drying was shown to preserve their characteristics when glucose or sucrose were used as cryoprotectants. Bovine serum albumin was associated to the nanoparticles, which were successfully microencapsulated by spray-drying to meet the aerodynamic requirements inherent to pulmonary delivery. Finally, a satisfactory biocompatibility profile was demonstrated upon exposure of two respiratory cell lines (Calu-3 and A549 cells) to the carriers. A negligible effect on cell viability along with no alterations on transepithelial electrical resistance and no induction of inflammatory response were observed.

  6. Can proteins and crystals self-catalyze methyl rotations?

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Jeremy C; Baudry, Jerome

    2005-10-01

    The {chi} (C{sub {alpha}}-C{sub {beta}}) torsional barrier in the dipeptide alanine (N-methyl-l-alanyl-N-methylamide) crystal was investigated using ab initio calculations at various levels of theory, molecular mechanics, and molecular dynamics. For one of the two molecules in the asymmetric unit the calculations suggest that rotation around the ? dihedral angle is catalyzed by the crystal environment, reducing by up to 2kT the torsional barrier in the crystal with respect to that in the gas phase. This catalytic effect is present at both low and room temperature and originates from a van der Waals destabilization of the minima in the methyl dihedral potential coming from the nonbonded environment of the side chain. Screening of a subset of the Protein Data Bank with a pharmacophore model reproducing the crystal environment around this side chain methyl identified a protein containing an alanine residue with an environment similar to that in the crystal. Calculations indicate that this ? torsional barrier is also reduced in the protein at low temperature but not at room temperature. This suggests that environment-catalyzed rotation of methyl groups can occur both in the solid phase and in native biological structures, though this effect might be temperature-dependent. The relevance of this catalytic effect is discussed in terms of its natural occurrence and its possible contribution to the low-frequency vibrational modes of molecules.

  7. Frequency conversion, nonlinear absorption and carrier dynamics of GaSe:B/Er crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuksek, Mustafa; Karatay, Ahmet; Ertap, Hüseyin; Elmali, Ayhan; Karabulut, Mevlut

    2017-04-01

    We aimed to investigate the influence of Er3+ rare earth element on the frequency conversion wavelength in boron doped GaSe crystals. It was found that by substitution of Er3+ with B3+, SHG signal shifted to higher wavelength. In addition, the nonlinear absorption properties and ultrafast dynamics of pure, 0.5 at% B3+ and 0.25 at% B3+ + 0.25 at% Er3+ doped GaSe crystals have been studied by open aperture Z-scan and ultrafast pump probe spectroscopy techniques. All of the studied crystals showed nonlinear absorption (NA). It was observed that 0.5 at% B3+ doped GaSe crystal showed bleach signal. This signal switched to NA signal with long life after substitution of 0.25 at% Er3+ with 0.25 at% B3+.

  8. LMAN1 (ERGIC-53) is a potential carrier protein for matrix metalloproteinase-9 glycoprotein secretion.

    PubMed

    Duellman, Tyler; Burnett, John; Shin, Alice; Yang, Jay

    2015-08-28

    Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is a secreted glycoprotein with a major role in shaping the extracellular matrix and a detailed understanding of the secretory mechanism could help identify methods to correct diseases resulting from dysregulation of secretion. MMP-9 appears to follow a canonical secretory pathway through a quality control cycle in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before transport of the properly folded protein to the Golgi apparatus and beyond for secretion. Through a complementation assay, we determined that LMAN1, a well-studied lectin-carrier protein, interacts with a secretion-competent N-glycosylated MMP-9 in the ER while N-glycosylation-deficient secretion-compromised MMP-9 does not. In contrast, co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated protein interaction between LMAN1 and secretion-compromised N-glycosylation-deficient MMP-9. MMP-9 secretion was reduced in the LMAN1 knockout cell line compared to control cells confirming the functional role of LMAN1. These observations support the role of LMAN1 as a lectin-carrier protein mediating efficient MMP-9 secretion.

  9. LMAN1 (ERGIC-53) is a potential carrier protein for matrix metalloproteinase-9 glycoprotein secretion

    PubMed Central

    Duellman, Tyler; Burnett, John; Shin, Alice; Yang, Jay

    2015-01-01

    Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) is a secreted glycoprotein with a major role in shaping the extra-cellular matrix and a detailed understanding of the secretory mechanism could help identify methods to correct diseases resulting from dysregulation of secretion. MMP-9 appears to follow a canonical secretory pathway through a quality control cycle in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) before transport of the properly folded protein to the Golgi apparatus and beyond for secretion. Through a complementation assay, we determined that LMAN1, a well-studied lectin-carrier protein, interacts with a secretion-competent N-glycosylated MMP-9 in the ER while N-glycosylation-deficient secretion-compromised MMP-9 does not. In contrast, co-immunoprecipitation demonstrated protein interaction between LMAN1 and secretion-compromised N-glycosylation-deficient MMP-9. MMP-9 secretion was reduced in the LMAN1 knockout cell line compared to control cells confirming the functional role of LMAN1. These observations support the role of LMAN1 as a lectin-carrier protein mediating efficient MMP-9 secretion. PMID:26150355

  10. Applications of the second virial coefficient: protein crystallization and solubility.

    PubMed

    Wilson, William W; Delucas, Lawrence J

    2014-05-01

    This article begins by highlighting some of the ground-based studies emanating from NASA's Microgravity Protein Crystal Growth (PCG) program. This is followed by a more detailed discussion of the history of and the progress made in one of the NASA-funded PCG investigations involving the use of measured second virial coefficients (B values) as a diagnostic indicator of solution conditions conducive to protein crystallization. A second application of measured B values involves the determination of solution conditions that improve or maximize the solubility of aqueous and membrane proteins. These two important applications have led to several technological improvements that simplify the experimental expertise required, enable the measurement of membrane proteins and improve the diagnostic capability and measurement throughput.

  11. Crystallization of cyclase-associated protein from Dictyostelium discoideum.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Andreas; Hess, Sonja; Noegel, Angelika A; Schleicher, Michael; Wlodawer, Alexander

    2002-10-01

    Cyclase-associated protein (CAP) is a conserved two-domain protein that helps to activate the catalytic activity of adenylyl cyclase in the cyclase-bound state through interaction with Ras, which binds to the cyclase in a different region. With its other domain, CAP can bind monomeric actin and therefore also carries a cytoskeletal function. The protein is thus involved in Ras/cAMP-dependent signal transduction and most likely serves as an adapter protein translocating the adenylyl cyclase complex to the actin cytoskeleton. Crystals belonging to the orthorhombic space group C222, with unit-cell parameters a = 71.2, b = 75.1, c = 162.9 A, have been obtained from Dictyostelium discoideum CAP carrying a C-terminal His tag. A complete native data set extending to 2.2 A resolution was collected from a single crystal using an in-house X-ray system. The asymmetric unit contains one molecule of CAP.

  12. Structure of the adenylation-peptidyl carrier protein didomain of the Microcystis aeruginosa microcystin synthetase McyG.

    PubMed

    Tan, Xiao-Feng; Dai, Ya-Nan; Zhou, Kang; Jiang, Yong-Liang; Ren, Yan-Min; Chen, Yuxing; Zhou, Cong-Zhao

    2015-04-01

    Microcystins, which are the most common cause of hepatotoxicity associated with cyanobacterial water blooms, are assembled in vivo on a large multienzyme complex via a mixed nonribosomal peptide synthetase/polyketide synthetase (NRPS/PKS). The biosynthesis of microcystin in Microcystis aeruginosa PCC 7806 starts with the enzyme McyG, which contains an adenylation-peptidyl carrier protein (A-PCP) didomain for loading the starter unit to assemble the side chain of an Adda residue. However, the catalytic mechanism remains unclear. Here, the 2.45 Å resolution crystal structure of the McyG A-PCP didomain complexed with the catalytic intermediate L-phenylalanyl-adenylate (L-Phe-AMP) is reported. Each asymmetric unit contains two protein molecules, one of which consists of the A-PCP didomain and the other of which comprises only the A domain. Structural analyses suggest that Val227 is likely to be critical for the selection of hydrophobic substrates. Moreover, two distinct interfaces demonstrating variable crosstalk between the PCP domain and the A domain were observed. A catalytic cycle for the adenylation and peptide transfer of the A-PCP didomain is proposed.

  13. X-ray transparent Microfluidics for Protein Crystallization and Biomineralization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Opathalage, Achini

    Protein crystallization demands the fundamental understanding of nucleation and applying techniques to find the optimal conditions to achieve the kinetic pathway for a large and defect free crystal. Classical nucleation theory predicts that the nucleation occurs at high supersaturation conditions. In this dissertation we sought out to develop techniques to attain optimal supersaturation profile to a large defect free crystal and subject it to in-situ X-ray diffraction using microfluidics. We have developed an emulsion-based serial crystallographic technology in nanolitre-sized droplets of protein solution encapsulated in to nucleate one crystal per drop. Diffraction data are measured, one crystal at a time, from a series of room temperature crystals stored on an X-ray semi-transparent microfluidic chip, and a 93% complete data set is obtained by merging single diffraction frames taken from different un-oriented crystals. As proof of concept, the structure of Glucose Isomerase was solved to 2.1 A. We have developed a suite of X-ray semi-transparent micrfluidic devices which enables; controlled evaporation as a method of increasing supersaturation and manipulating the phase space of proteins and small molecules. We exploited the inherently high water permeability of the thin X-ray semi-transparent devices as a mean of increasing the supersaturation by controlling the evaporation. We fabricated the X-ray semi-transparent version of the PhaseChip with a thin PDMS membrane by which the storage and the reservoir layers are separated, and studies the phase transition of amorphous CaCO3.

  14. The effect of microgravity on protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mcpherson, Alexander; Greenwood, Aaron; Day, John

    1991-01-01

    Based on the results of microgravity crystallization experiments using the protein canavalin aboard four separate U.S. Space Shuttle missions, visual observations and diffraction data are presented that support the contention that protein crystals of improved quality can be obtained in a microgravity environment. With canavalin, no significant increase in resolution was noted, but an overall improvement in diffraction quality, as judged by statistical analyses of the data, was clear. This improvement in quality may be due primarily to the elimination of defects and dislocations rather than an overall enhancement of order. The mechanism for this improvement may be microgravity-stabilized depletion zones that develop around growing crystals that establish and maintain optimal growth conditions more rapidly following nucleation. Such zones would be destroyed by convective flow effects in earth's gravity.

  15. Protein phase behavior and crystallization: Effect of glycerol

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sedgwick, H.; Cameron, J. E.; Poon, W. C. K.; Egelhaaf, S. U.

    2007-09-01

    Glycerol is widely used as an additive to stabilize proteins in aqueous solution. We have studied the effect of up to 40wt% glycerol on the crystallization of lysozyme from brine. As the glycerol concentration increased, progressively larger amounts of salt were needed to crystallize the protein. Like previous authors, we interpret this as evidence for glycerol changing the interaction between lysozyme molecules. We quantitatively model the interprotein interaction using a Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek potential. We find that the effect of glycerol can be entirely accounted for by the way it modifies the dielectric constant and refractive index of the solvent. Quantifying the interprotein interaction by the second virial coefficient, B2, we find a universal crystallization boundary for all glycerol concentrations.

  16. Protein phase behavior and crystallization: effect of glycerol.

    PubMed

    Sedgwick, H; Cameron, J E; Poon, W C K; Egelhaaf, S U

    2007-09-28

    Glycerol is widely used as an additive to stabilize proteins in aqueous solution. We have studied the effect of up to 40 wt % glycerol on the crystallization of lysozyme from brine. As the glycerol concentration increased, progressively larger amounts of salt were needed to crystallize the protein. Like previous authors, we interpret this as evidence for glycerol changing the interaction between lysozyme molecules. We quantitatively model the interprotein interaction using a Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek potential. We find that the effect of glycerol can be entirely accounted for by the way it modifies the dielectric constant and refractive index of the solvent. Quantifying the interprotein interaction by the second virial coefficient, B(2), we find a universal crystallization boundary for all glycerol concentrations.

  17. X-ray crystal structures of a severely desiccated protein.

    PubMed Central

    Bell, J. A.

    1999-01-01

    Unlike most protein crystals, form IX of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A diffracts well when severely dehydrated. Crystal structures have been solved after 2.5 and 4 days of desiccation with CaSO4, at 1.9 and 2.0 A resolution, respectively. The two desiccated structures are very similar. An RMS displacement of 1.6 A is observed for main-chain atoms in each structure when compared to the hydrated crystal structure with some large rearrangements observed in loop regions. The structural changes are the result of intermolecular contacts formed by strong electrostatic interactions in the absence of a high dielectric medium. The electron density is very diffuse for some surface loops, consistent with a very disordered structure. This disorder is related to the conformational changes. These results help explain conformational changes during the lyophilization of protein and the associated phenomena of denaturation and molecular memory. PMID:10548049

  18. Steady-state protein focusing in carrier ampholyte based isoelectric focusing: Part I-Analytical solution.

    PubMed

    Shim, Jaesool; Yoo, Kisoo; Dutta, Prashanta

    2017-03-01

    The determination of an analytical solution to find the steady-state protein concentration distribution in IEF is very challenging due to the nonlinear coupling between mass and charge conservation equations. In this study, approximate analytical solutions are obtained for steady-state protein distribution in carrier ampholyte based IEF. Similar to the work of Svensson, the final concentration profile for proteins is assumed to be Gaussian, but appropriate expressions are presented in order to obtain the effective electric field and pH gradient in the focused protein band region. Analytical results are found from iterative solutions of a system of coupled algebraic equations using only several iterations for IEF separation of three plasma proteins: albumin, cardiac troponin I, and hemoglobin. The analytical results are compared with numerically predicted results for IEF, showing excellent agreement. Analytically obtained electric field and ionic conductivity distributions show significant deviation from their nominal values, which is essential in finding the protein focusing behavior at isoelectric points. These analytical solutions can be used to determine steady-state protein concentration distribution for experiment design of IEF considering any number of proteins and ampholytes. Moreover, the model presented herein can be used to find the conductivity, electric field, and pH field.

  19. Breadboard activities for advanced protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz; Banish, Michael

    1993-01-01

    The proposed work entails the design, assembly, testing, and delivery of a turn-key system for the semi-automated determination of protein solubilities as a function of temperature. The system will utilize optical scintillation as a means of detecting and monitoring nucleation and crystallite growth during temperature lowering (or raising, with retrograde solubility systems). The deliverables of this contract are: (1) turn-key scintillation system for the semi-automatic determination of protein solubilities as a function of temperature, (2) instructions and software package for the operation of the scintillation system, and (3) one semi-annual and one final report including the test results obtained for ovostatin with the above scintillation system.

  20. Utilization of Protein Crystal Structures in Industry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ishikawa, Kohki

    In industry, protein crystallography is used in mainly two technologies. One is structure-based drug design, and the other is structure-based enzyme engineering. Some successful cases together with recent advances are presented in this article. The cases include the development of an anti-influenza drug, and the introduction of engineered acid phosphatase to the manufacturing process of nucleotides used as umami seasoning.

  1. Exploring Carbon Nanomaterial Diversity for Nucleation of Protein Crystals

    PubMed Central

    Govada, Lata; Leese, Hannah S.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Kassen, Sean; Chain, Benny; Khurshid, Sahir; Menzel, Robert; Hu, Sheng; Shaffer, Milo S. P.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2016-01-01

    Controlling crystal nucleation is a crucial step in obtaining high quality protein crystals for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) including carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide, and carbon black provide a range of surface topographies, porosities and length scales; functionalisation with two different approaches, gas phase radical grafting and liquid phase reductive grafting, provide routes to a range of oligomer functionalised products. These grafted materials, combined with a range of controls, were used in a large-scale assessment of the effectiveness for protein crystal nucleation of 20 different carbon nanomaterials on five proteins. This study has allowed a direct comparison of the key characteristics of carbon-based nucleants: appropriate surface chemistry, porosity and/or roughness are required. The most effective solid system tested in this study, carbon black nanoparticles functionalised with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether of mean molecular weight 5000, provides a novel highly effective nucleant, that was able to induce crystal nucleation of four out of the five proteins tested at metastable conditions. PMID:26843366

  2. Exploring Carbon Nanomaterial Diversity for Nucleation of Protein Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Govada, Lata; Leese, Hannah S.; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Kassen, Sean; Chain, Benny; Khurshid, Sahir; Menzel, Robert; Hu, Sheng; Shaffer, Milo S. P.; Chayen, Naomi E.

    2016-02-01

    Controlling crystal nucleation is a crucial step in obtaining high quality protein crystals for structure determination by X-ray crystallography. Carbon nanomaterials (CNMs) including carbon nanotubes, graphene oxide, and carbon black provide a range of surface topographies, porosities and length scales; functionalisation with two different approaches, gas phase radical grafting and liquid phase reductive grafting, provide routes to a range of oligomer functionalised products. These grafted materials, combined with a range of controls, were used in a large-scale assessment of the effectiveness for protein crystal nucleation of 20 different carbon nanomaterials on five proteins. This study has allowed a direct comparison of the key characteristics of carbon-based nucleants: appropriate surface chemistry, porosity and/or roughness are required. The most effective solid system tested in this study, carbon black nanoparticles functionalised with poly(ethylene glycol) methyl ether of mean molecular weight 5000, provides a novel highly effective nucleant, that was able to induce crystal nucleation of four out of the five proteins tested at metastable conditions.

  3. Heterogeneous Nucleation of Protein Crystals on Fluorinated Layered Silicate

    PubMed Central

    Ino, Keita; Udagawa, Itsumi; Iwabata, Kazuki; Takakusagi, Yoichi; Kubota, Munehiro; Kurosaka, Keiichi; Arai, Kazuhito; Seki, Yasutaka; Nogawa, Masaya; Tsunoda, Tatsuo; Mizukami, Fujio; Taguchi, Hayao; Sakaguchi, Kengo

    2011-01-01

    Here, we describe an improved system for protein crystallization based on heterogeneous nucleation using fluorinated layered silicate. In addition, we also investigated the mechanism of nucleation on the silicate surface. Crystallization of lysozyme using silicates with different chemical compositions indicated that fluorosilicates promoted nucleation whereas the silicates without fluorine did not. The use of synthesized saponites for lysozyme crystallization confirmed that the substitution of hydroxyl groups contained in the lamellae structure for fluorine atoms is responsible for the nucleation-inducing property of the nucleant. Crystallization of twelve proteins with a wide range of pI values revealed that the nucleation promoting effect of the saponites tended to increase with increased substitution rate. Furthermore, the saponite with the highest fluorine content promoted nucleation in all the test proteins regardless of their overall net charge. Adsorption experiments of proteins on the saponites confirmed that the density of adsorbed molecules increased according to the substitution rate, thereby explaining the heterogeneous nucleation on the silicate surface. PMID:21818343

  4. The Growth of Protein Crystals Using McDUCK

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ewing, Felicia; Wilson, Lori; Nadarajah, Arunan; Pusey, Marc

    1998-01-01

    Most of the current microgravity crystal growth hardware is optimized to produce crystals within the limited time available on orbit. This often results in the actual nucleation and growth process being rushed or the system not coming to equilibrium within the limited time available. Longer duration hardware exists, but one cannot readily pick out crystals grown early versus those which nucleated and grew more slowly. We have devised a long duration apparatus, the Multi-chamber Dialysis Unit for Crystallization Kinetics, or McDUCK. This apparatus-is a series of protein chambers, stacked upon a precipitant reservoir chamber. All chambers are separated by a dialysis membrane, which serves to pass small molecules while retaining the protein. The volume of the Precipitant chamber is equal to the sum of the volumes of the protein chamber. In operation, the appropriate chambers are filled with precipitant solution or protein solution, and the McDUCK is placed standing upright, with the precipitant chamber on the bottom. The precipitant diffuses upwards over time, with the time to reach equilibration a function of the diffusivity of the precipitant and the overall length of the diffusion pathway. Typical equilibration times are approximately 2-4 months, and one can readily separate rapid from slow nucleation and growth crystals. An advantage on Earth is that the vertical precipitant concentration gradient dominates that of the solute, thus dampening out solute density gradient driven convective flows. However, large Earth-grown crystals have so far tended to be more two dimensional. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of lysozyme crystals grown in McDUCK have indicated that the best, and largest, come from the middle chambers, suggesting that there is an optimal growth rate. Further, the improvements in diffraction resolution have been better signal to noise ratios in the low resolution data, not an increase in resolution overall. Due to the persistently large crystals

  5. Understanding the fabric of protein crystals: computational classification of biological interfaces and crystal contacts

    PubMed Central

    Capitani, Guido; Duarte, Jose M.; Baskaran, Kumaran; Bliven, Spencer; Somody, Joseph C.

    2016-01-01

    Modern structural biology still draws the vast majority of information from crystallography, a technique where the objects being investigated are embedded in a crystal lattice. Given the complexity and variety of those objects, it becomes fundamental to computationally assess which of the interfaces in the lattice are biologically relevant and which are simply crystal contacts. Since the mid-1990s, several approaches have been applied to obtain high-accuracy classification of crystal contacts and biological protein–protein interfaces. This review provides an overview of the concepts and main approaches to protein interface classification: thermodynamic estimation of interface stability, evolutionary approaches based on conservation of interface residues, and co-occurrence of the interface across different crystal forms. Among the three categories, evolutionary approaches offer the strongest promise for improvement, thanks to the incessant growth in sequence knowledge. Importantly, protein interface classification algorithms can also be used on multimeric structures obtained using other high-resolution techniques or for protein assembly design or validation purposes. A key issue linked to protein interface classification is the identification of the biological assembly of a crystal structure and the analysis of its symmetry. Here, we highlight the most important concepts and problems to be overcome in assembly prediction. Over the next few years, tools and concepts of interface classification will probably become more frequently used and integrated in several areas of structural biology and structural bioinformatics. Among the main challenges for the future are better addressing of weak interfaces and the application of interface classification concepts to prediction problems like protein–protein docking. Supplementary information: Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. Contact: guido.capitani@psi.ch PMID:26508758

  6. Possible pheromone-carrier function of two lipocalin proteins in the vomeronasal organ.

    PubMed Central

    Miyawaki, A; Matsushita, F; Ryo, Y; Mikoshiba, K

    1994-01-01

    We report the molecular cloning and characterization of two secretory proteins specifically expressed in vomeronasal and posterior glands of the nasal septum, the ducts of which open into the lumen of the vomeronasal organ. These two proteins are members of the lipocalin superfamily, consisting of hydrophobic ligand carriers. We immunohistochemically localized one of the proteins in the mucus covering the vomeronasal sensory epithelium, where the primary reception of pheromone takes place. The immunoreactivity on the vomeronasal sensory epithelium was evident in the neonatal and post-pubertal periods, when the close contact between animals plays critical roles in suckling and sexual behaviors, respectively. These results suggest that small lipophilic molecules stimulate the accessory olfactory system to regulate the reproductive behavior of mice. Images PMID:7813422

  7. Dynamic X-ray diffraction sampling for protein crystal positioning.

    PubMed

    Scarborough, Nicole M; Godaliyadda, G M Dilshan P; Ye, Dong Hye; Kissick, David J; Zhang, Shijie; Newman, Justin A; Sheedlo, Michael J; Chowdhury, Azhad U; Fischetti, Robert F; Das, Chittaranjan; Buzzard, Gregery T; Bouman, Charles A; Simpson, Garth J

    2017-01-01

    A sparse supervised learning approach for dynamic sampling (SLADS) is described for dose reduction in diffraction-based protein crystal positioning. Crystal centering is typically a prerequisite for macromolecular diffraction at synchrotron facilities, with X-ray diffraction mapping growing in popularity as a mechanism for localization. In X-ray raster scanning, diffraction is used to identify the crystal positions based on the detection of Bragg-like peaks in the scattering patterns; however, this additional X-ray exposure may result in detectable damage to the crystal prior to data collection. Dynamic sampling, in which preceding measurements inform the next most information-rich location to probe for image reconstruction, significantly reduced the X-ray dose experienced by protein crystals during positioning by diffraction raster scanning. The SLADS algorithm implemented herein is designed for single-pixel measurements and can select a new location to measure. In each step of SLADS, the algorithm selects the pixel, which, when measured, maximizes the expected reduction in distortion given previous measurements. Ground-truth diffraction data were obtained for a 5 µm-diameter beam and SLADS reconstructed the image sampling 31% of the total volume and only 9% of the interior of the crystal greatly reducing the X-ray dosage on the crystal. Using in situ two-photon-excited fluorescence microscopy measurements as a surrogate for diffraction imaging with a 1 µm-diameter beam, the SLADS algorithm enabled image reconstruction from a 7% sampling of the total volume and 12% sampling of the interior of the crystal. When implemented into the beamline at Argonne National Laboratory, without ground-truth images, an acceptable reconstruction was obtained with 3% of the image sampled and approximately 5% of the crystal. The incorporation of SLADS into X-ray diffraction acquisitions has the potential to significantly minimize the impact of X-ray exposure on the crystal by

  8. Heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled biomineralizaiton proteins in calcite crystals.

    PubMed

    Liu, Chuang; Xie, Liping; Zhang, Rongqing

    2015-12-17

    Biominerals are highly ordered crystals mediated by organic matters especially proteins in organisms. However, how specific proteins are distributed inside biominerals are not well understood. In the present study, we use fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to label extracted proteins from the shells of bivalve Pinctada fucata. By confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), we observe a heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled proteins inside synthetic calcite at the microscale. Proteins from the prismatic calcite layers accumulate at the edge of crystals while proteins from the nacreous aragonite layers accumulate at the center of crystals. Raman and X-ray powder diffraction show that both the proteins cannot alter the crystal phase. Scanning electron microscope demonstrates both proteins are able to affect the crystal morphology. This study may provide a direct approach for the visualization of protein distributions in crystals by small-molecule dye-labelled proteins as the additives in the crystallization process and improve our understanding of intracrystalline proteins distribution in biogenic calcites.

  9. Protein purification and crystallization artifacts: The tale usually not told.

    PubMed

    Niedzialkowska, Ewa; Gasiorowska, Olga; Handing, Katarzyna B; Majorek, Karolina A; Porebski, Przemyslaw J; Shabalin, Ivan G; Zasadzinska, Ewelina; Cymborowski, Marcin; Minor, Wladek

    2016-03-01

    The misidentification of a protein sample, or contamination of a sample with the wrong protein, may be a potential reason for the non-reproducibility of experiments. This problem may occur in the process of heterologous overexpression and purification of recombinant proteins, as well as purification of proteins from natural sources. If the contaminated or misidentified sample is used for crystallization, in many cases the problem may not be detected until structures are determined. In the case of functional studies, the problem may not be detected for years. Here several procedures that can be successfully used for the identification of crystallized protein contaminants, including: (i) a lattice parameter search against known structures, (ii) sequence or fold identification from partially built models, and (iii) molecular replacement with common contaminants as search templates have been presented. A list of common contaminant structures to be used as alternative search models was provided. These methods were used to identify four cases of purification and crystallization artifacts. This report provides troubleshooting pointers for researchers facing difficulties in phasing or model building.

  10. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction of the N-terminal calmodulin-like domain of the human mitochondrial ATP-Mg/Pi carrier SCaMC1.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qin; Brüschweiler, Sven; Chou, James J

    2014-01-01

    SCaMC is an ATP-Mg/Pi carrier protein located at the mitochondrial inner membrane. SCaMC has an unusual N-terminal Ca(2+)-binding domain (NTD) in addition to its characteristic six-helix transmembrane bundle. The NTD of human SCaMC1 (residues 1-193) was expressed and purified in order to study its role in Ca(2+)-regulated ATP-Mg/Pi transport mediated by its transmembrane domain. While Ca(2+)-bound NTD could be crystallized, the apo state resisted extensive crystallization trials. Selenomethionine-labeled Ca(2+)-bound NTD crystals, which belonged to space group P6(2)22 with one molecule per asymmetric unit, diffracted X-rays to 2.9 Å resolution.

  11. Protein-directed self-assembly of a fullerene crystal

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Kook-Han; Ko, Dong-Kyun; Kim, Yong-Tae; Kim, Nam Hyeong; Paul, Jaydeep; Zhang, Shao-Qing; Murray, Christopher B.; Acharya, Rudresh; DeGrado, William F.; Kim, Yong Ho; Grigoryan, Gevorg

    2016-01-01

    Learning to engineer self-assembly would enable the precise organization of molecules by design to create matter with tailored properties. Here we demonstrate that proteins can direct the self-assembly of buckminsterfullerene (C60) into ordered superstructures. A previously engineered tetrameric helical bundle binds C60 in solution, rendering it water soluble. Two tetramers associate with one C60, promoting further organization revealed in a 1.67-Å crystal structure. Fullerene groups occupy periodic lattice sites, sandwiched between two Tyr residues from adjacent tetramers. Strikingly, the assembly exhibits high charge conductance, whereas both the protein-alone crystal and amorphous C60 are electrically insulating. The affinity of C60 for its crystal-binding site is estimated to be in the nanomolar range, with lattices of known protein crystals geometrically compatible with incorporating the motif. Taken together, these findings suggest a new means of organizing fullerene molecules into a rich variety of lattices to generate new properties by design. PMID:27113637

  12. Scalable photonic crystal chips for high sensitivity protein detection.

    PubMed

    Liang, Feng; Clarke, Nigel; Patel, Parth; Loncar, Marko; Quan, Qimin

    2013-12-30

    Scalable microfabrication technology has enabled semiconductor and microelectronics industries, among other fields. Meanwhile, rapid and sensitive bio-molecule detection is increasingly important for drug discovery and biomedical diagnostics. In this work, we designed and demonstrated that photonic crystal sensor chips have high sensitivity for protein detection and can be mass-produced with scalable deep-UV lithography. We demonstrated label-free detection of carcinoembryonic antigen from pg/mL to μg/mL, with high quality factor photonic crystal nanobeam cavities.

  13. Laser Scattering Tomography for the Study of Defects in Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, Robert S.; DeLucas, Lawrence; DeMattei, R. C.

    1997-01-01

    The goal of this research is to explore the application of the non-destructive technique of Laser Scattering Tomography (LST) to study the defects in protein crystals and relate them to the x-ray diffraction performance of the crystals. LST has been used successfully for the study of defects in inorganic crystals and. in the case of lysozyme, for protein crystals.

  14. Lipid-Based Liquid Crystals As Carriers for Antimicrobial Peptides: Phase Behavior and Antimicrobial Effect.

    PubMed

    Boge, Lukas; Bysell, Helena; Ringstad, Lovisa; Wennman, David; Umerska, Anita; Cassisa, Viviane; Eriksson, Jonny; Joly-Guillou, Marie-Laure; Edwards, Katarina; Andersson, Martin

    2016-05-03

    The number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is increasing worldwide, and the demand for novel antimicrobials is constantly growing. Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) could be an important part of future treatment strategies of various bacterial infection diseases. However, AMPs have relatively low stability, because of proteolytic and chemical degradation. As a consequence, carrier systems protecting the AMPs are greatly needed, to achieve efficient treatments. In addition, the carrier system also must administrate the peptide in a controlled manner to match the therapeutic dose window. In this work, lyotropic liquid crystalline (LC) structures consisting of cubic glycerol monooleate/water and hexagonal glycerol monooleate/oleic acid/water have been examined as carriers for AMPs. These LC structures have the capability of solubilizing both hydrophilic and hydrophobic substances, as well as being biocompatible and biodegradable. Both bulk gels and discrete dispersed structures (i.e., cubosomes and hexosomes) have been studied. Three AMPs have been investigated with respect to phase stability of the LC structures and antimicrobial effect: AP114, DPK-060, and LL-37. Characterization of the LC structures was performed using small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), dynamic light scattering, ζ-potential, and cryogenic transmission electron microscopy (Cryo-TEM) and peptide loading efficacy by ultra performance liquid chromatography. The antimicrobial effect of the LCNPs was investigated in vitro using minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and time-kill assay. The most hydrophobic peptide (AP114) was shown to induce an increase in negative curvature of the cubic LC system. The most polar peptide (DPK-060) induced a decrease in negative curvature while LL-37 did not change the LC phase at all. The hexagonal LC phase was not affected by any of the AMPs. Moreover, cubosomes loaded with peptides AP114 and DPK-060 showed preserved antimicrobial activity, whereas particles loaded

  15. Models of protein-ligand crystal structures: trust, but verify

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deller, Marc C.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2015-09-01

    X-ray crystallography provides the most accurate models of protein-ligand structures. These models serve as the foundation of many computational methods including structure prediction, molecular modelling, and structure-based drug design. The success of these computational methods ultimately depends on the quality of the underlying protein-ligand models. X-ray crystallography offers the unparalleled advantage of a clear mathematical formalism relating the experimental data to the protein-ligand model. In the case of X-ray crystallography, the primary experimental evidence is the electron density of the molecules forming the crystal. The first step in the generation of an accurate and precise crystallographic model is the interpretation of the electron density of the crystal, typically carried out by construction of an atomic model. The atomic model must then be validated for fit to the experimental electron density and also for agreement with prior expectations of stereochemistry. Stringent validation of protein-ligand models has become possible as a result of the mandatory deposition of primary diffraction data, and many computational tools are now available to aid in the validation process. Validation of protein-ligand complexes has revealed some instances of overenthusiastic interpretation of ligand density. Fundamental concepts and metrics of protein-ligand quality validation are discussed and we highlight software tools to assist in this process. It is essential that end users select high quality protein-ligand models for their computational and biological studies, and we provide an overview of how this can be achieved.

  16. Utilizing clathrin triskelions as carriers for spatially controlled multi-protein display.

    PubMed

    Deci, Michael B; Ferguson, Scott W; Liu, Maixian; Peterson, Damian C; Koduvayur, Sujatha P; Nguyen, Juliane

    2016-11-01

    The simultaneous and spatially controlled display of different proteins on nanocarriers is a desirable property not often achieved in practice. Here, we report the use of clathrin triskelions as a versatile platform for functional protein display. We hypothesized that site-specific molecular epitope recognition would allow for effective and ordered protein attachment to clathrin triskelions. Clathrin binding peptides (CBPs) were genetically fused to mCherry and green fluorescent protein (GFP), expressed, and loaded onto clathrin triskelions by site-specific binding. Attachment was confirmed by surface plasmon resonance. mCherry fusion proteins modified with various CBPs displayed binding affinities between 470 nM and 287 μM for the clathrin triskelions. Simultaneous attachment of GFP-Wbox and mCherry-Cbox fusion constructs to the clathrin terminal domain was verified by Förster resonance energy transfer. The circulating half-lives, area under the curve, and the terminal half-lives of GFP and mCherry were significantly increased when attached to clathrin triskelions. Clathrin triskelion technology is useful for the development of versatile and multifunctional carriers for spatially controlled protein or peptide display with tremendous potential in nanotechnology, drug delivery, vaccine development, and targeted therapeutic applications.

  17. Purification and characterization of a novel cell-penetrating carrier similar to cholera toxin chimeric protein.

    PubMed

    Lin, Weiping; Zheng, Xi; Wang, Huaqian; Yu, Lin; Zhou, Xiaofen; Sun, Yunxiao; Zhao, Suqing; Du, Zhiyun; Zhang, Kun

    2017-01-01

    Developing a recombinant vector for noninvasively delivering biological macromolecules into the brain is important. This study constructed and purified a protein complex based on the cholera toxin (CT) molecular structure. Enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-modified A2 subunits of CT (CTA2) were used as tracer molecules for introduction of transactivator of transcription (TAT) through the A subunit into cells. The protein complex EGFP-CTA2-TAT/(CTB)5 (CTB: B subunit of CT) was obtained using an in vitro recombination method and verified by monosialoganglioside-enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and high performance liquid chromatography assay. The protein complexes bound more strongly to monosialoganglioside (GM1) than (CTB)5 at low concentrations (0.625-1.25 μg/mL). In vitro assays revealed that the transmembrane function of TAT was also maintained. The GM1-binding activity and cell membrane-penetrating ability suggested that a CT structure-based protein complexes could be used to design a delivery carrier for intranasal administration through GM1 binding. The expression vector introduced in this study provides a feasible expression frame for constructing several new macromolecular protein drugs for effective cell penetration.

  18. Isolation and Characterization of Two Safflower Oleoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Thioesterase cDNA Clones

    PubMed Central

    Knutzon, Deborah S.; Bleibaum, Janice L.; Nelsen, Janet; Kridl, Jean C.; Thompson, Gregory A.

    1992-01-01

    Oleoyl-acyl carrier protein (18:1-ACP) thioesterase has been partially purified from developing safflower (Carthamus tinctorius) seeds. Protein species with molecular masses of 34 and 40 kD associated with thioesterase activity were identified and partially sequenced. Analysis of amino-terminal and internal cyanogen bromide peptide sequences revealed no differences in the primary structure of the two species. Amino acid sequence was used to design degenerate oligonucleotides for primers in a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) using safflower embryo cDNA as a template. A 380-base pair PCR product was used to isolate two classes of cDNA clones, designated 2-1 and 5-2, from the embryo cDNA library. Clone 2-1 encodes a 389-amino acid protein including a 60-amino acid transit peptide, and contains all of the protein sequence determined from the 34- and 40-kD proteins. Clone 5-2 encodes a 385-amino acid protein with 80% identity to that encoded by 2-1. Expression of the two safflower cDNA clones in Escherichia coli resulted in a 50- to 100-fold increase in the level of 18:1-ACP thioesterase activity. Both thioesterases are most active on 18:1-ACP; however, the enzyme encoded by 5-2 shows less discrimination against saturated 16- and 18-carbon acyl-ACP substrates. Images Figure 1 Figure 4 PMID:16653193

  19. Rational Design of a Carrier Protein for the Production of Recombinant Toxic Peptides in Escherichia coli

    PubMed Central

    Pizzo, Elio; Varcamonti, Mario; Zanfardino, Anna; Sgambati, Valeria; Di Maro, Antimo; Carpentieri, Andrea; Izzo, Viviana; Di Donato, Alberto; Cafaro, Valeria; Notomista, Eugenio

    2016-01-01

    Commercial uses of bioactive peptides require low cost, effective methods for their production. We developed a new carrier protein for high yield production of recombinant peptides in Escherichia coli very well suited for the production of toxic peptides like antimicrobial peptides. GKY20, a short antimicrobial peptide derived from the C-terminus of human thrombin, was fused to the C-terminus of Onconase, a small ribonuclease (104 amino acids), which efficiently drove the peptide into inclusion bodies with very high expression levels (about 200–250 mg/L). After purification of the fusion protein by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography, peptide was obtained by chemical cleavage in diluted acetic acid of an acid labile Asp-Pro sequence with more than 95% efficiency. To improve peptide purification, Onconase was mutated to eliminate all acid labile sequences thus reducing the release of unwanted peptides during the acid cleavage. Mutations were chosen to preserve the differential solubility of Onconase as function of pH, which allows its selective precipitation at neutral pH after the cleavage. The improved carrier allowed the production of 15–18 mg of recombinant peptide per liter of culture with 96–98% purity without the need of further chromatographic steps after the acid cleavage. The antimicrobial activity of the recombinant peptide, with an additional proline at the N-terminus, was tested on Gram-negative and Gram-positive strains and was found to be identical to that measured for synthetic GKY20. This finding suggests that N-terminal proline residue does not change the antimicrobial properties of recombinant (P)GKY20. The improved carrier, which does not contain cysteine and methionine residues, Asp-Pro and Asn-Gly sequences, is well suited for the production of peptides using any of the most popular chemical cleavage methods. PMID:26808536

  20. Rational Design of a Carrier Protein for the Production of Recombinant Toxic Peptides in Escherichia coli.

    PubMed

    Pane, Katia; Durante, Lorenzo; Pizzo, Elio; Varcamonti, Mario; Zanfardino, Anna; Sgambati, Valeria; Di Maro, Antimo; Carpentieri, Andrea; Izzo, Viviana; Di Donato, Alberto; Cafaro, Valeria; Notomista, Eugenio

    2016-01-01

    Commercial uses of bioactive peptides require low cost, effective methods for their production. We developed a new carrier protein for high yield production of recombinant peptides in Escherichia coli very well suited for the production of toxic peptides like antimicrobial peptides. GKY20, a short antimicrobial peptide derived from the C-terminus of human thrombin, was fused to the C-terminus of Onconase, a small ribonuclease (104 amino acids), which efficiently drove the peptide into inclusion bodies with very high expression levels (about 200-250 mg/L). After purification of the fusion protein by immobilized metal ion affinity chromatography, peptide was obtained by chemical cleavage in diluted acetic acid of an acid labile Asp-Pro sequence with more than 95% efficiency. To improve peptide purification, Onconase was mutated to eliminate all acid labile sequences thus reducing the release of unwanted peptides during the acid cleavage. Mutations were chosen to preserve the differential solubility of Onconase as function of pH, which allows its selective precipitation at neutral pH after the cleavage. The improved carrier allowed the production of 15-18 mg of recombinant peptide per liter of culture with 96-98% purity without the need of further chromatographic steps after the acid cleavage. The antimicrobial activity of the recombinant peptide, with an additional proline at the N-terminus, was tested on Gram-negative and Gram-positive strains and was found to be identical to that measured for synthetic GKY20. This finding suggests that N-terminal proline residue does not change the antimicrobial properties of recombinant (P)GKY20. The improved carrier, which does not contain cysteine and methionine residues, Asp-Pro and Asn-Gly sequences, is well suited for the production of peptides using any of the most popular chemical cleavage methods.

  1. Screening and Crystallization Plates for Manual and High-throughput Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thorne, Robert E. (Inventor); Berejnov, Viatcheslav (Inventor); Kalinin, Yevgeniy (Inventor)

    2010-01-01

    In one embodiment, a crystallization and screening plate comprises a plurality of cells open at a top and a bottom, a frame that defines the cells in the plate, and at least two films. The first film seals a top of the plate and the second film seals a bottom of the plate. At least one of the films is patterned to strongly pin the contact lines of drops dispensed onto it, fixing their position and shape. The present invention also includes methods and other devices for manual and high-throughput protein crystal growth.

  2. Protein crystal growth; Proceedings of the First International Conference, Stanford University, CA, August 14-16, 1985

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Feigelson, R. S. (Editor)

    1986-01-01

    Papers are presented on mechanisms of nucleation and growth of protein crystals, the role of purification in the crystallization of proteins and nucleic acids, and the effect of chemical impurities in polyethylene glycol on macromolecular crystallization. Also considered are growth kinetics of tetragonal lysozyme crystals, thermodynamic and kinetic considerations for crystal growth of complex molecules from solution, protein single-crystal growth under microgravity, and growth of organic crystals in a microgravity environment. Papers are also presented on preliminary investigations of protein crystal growth using the Space Shuttle, convective diffusion in protein crystal growth, and the growth and characterization of membrane protein crystals.

  3. Self-organization of the vascular system in plant leaves: inter-dependent dynamics of auxin flux and carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Feugier, Francois G; Mochizuki, A; Iwasa, Y

    2005-10-21

    The vegetative hormone Auxin is involved in vascular tissues formation throughout the plant. Trans-membrane carrier proteins transporting auxin from cell to cell and distributed asymmetrically around each cell give to auxin a polarized movement in tissues, creating streams of auxin that presume future vascular bundles. According to the canalization hypothesis, auxin transport ability of cells is thought to increase with auxin flux, resulting in the self-enhancement of this flux along auxin paths. In this study we evaluate a series of models based on canalization hypothesis using carrier proteins, under different assumptions concerning auxin flux formation and carrier protein dynamics. Simulations are run on a hexagonal lattice with uniform auxin production. A single cell located in the margin of the lattice indicates the petiole, and acts as an auxin sink. The main results are: (1) We obtain branching auxin distribution patterns. (2) The type of self-enhancement described by the functional form of the carrier proteins regulation responding to the auxin flux intensity in different parts of a cell, has a strong effect on the possibility of generating the branching patterns. For response functions with acceleration in the increase of carrier protein numbers compared to the auxin flux, branching patterns are likely to be generated. For linear or decelerating response functions, no branching patterns are formed. (3) When branching patterns are formed, auxin distribution greatly differs between the case in which the number of carrier proteins in different parts of a cell are regulated independently, and the case in which different parts of a cell compete for a limited number of carrier proteins. In the former case, the auxin level is lower in veins than in the surrounding tissue, while in the latter, the auxin is present in greater abundance in veins. These results suggest that canalization is a good candidate for describing plant vein pattern formation.

  4. An overview of heavy-atom derivatization of protein crystals

    PubMed Central

    Pike, Ashley C. W.; Garman, Elspeth F.; Krojer, Tobias; von Delft, Frank; Carpenter, Elisabeth P.

    2016-01-01

    Heavy-atom derivatization is one of the oldest techniques for obtaining phase information for protein crystals and, although it is no longer the first choice, it remains a useful technique for obtaining phases for unknown structures and for low-resolution data sets. It is also valuable for confirming the chain trace in low-resolution electron-density maps. This overview provides a summary of the technique and is aimed at first-time users of the method. It includes guidelines on when to use it, which heavy atoms are most likely to work, how to prepare heavy-atom solutions, how to derivatize crystals and how to determine whether a crystal is in fact a derivative. PMID:26960118

  5. Role of acyl carrier protein isoforms in plant lipid metabolism: Progress report

    SciTech Connect

    Ohlrogge, J.B.

    1989-01-01

    Previous research from my lab has revealed that several higher plant species have multiple isoforms of acyl carrier protein (ACP) and therefore this trait appears highly conserved among higher plants. This level of conservation suggests that the existence of ACP isoforms is not merely the results of neutral gene duplications. We have developed techniques to examine a wider range of species. Acyl carrier proteins can be labelled very specifically and to high specific activity using H-palmitate and the E. coli enzyme acyl-ACP synthetase. Isoforms were then resolved by western blotting and native PAGE of H-palmitate labelled ACP's. Multiple isoforms of ACP were observed the leaf tissue of the monocots Avena sativa and Hordeum vulgare and dicots including Arabidopsis thallina, Cuphea wrightii, and Brassica napus. Lower vascular plants including the cycad, Dioon edule, Ginkgo biloba, the gymnosperm Pinus, the fern Anernia phyllitidis and Psilotum nudum, the most primitive known extant vascular plant, were also found to have multiple ACP isoforms as were the nonvascular liverwort, Marchantia and moss, Polytrichum. Therefore, the development of ACP isoforms occurred early in evolution. However, the uniellular alge Chlamydomonas and Dunaliella and the photosynthetic cyanobacteria Synechocystis and Agmnellum have only a single elecrophotetic form of ACP. Thus, multiple forms of ACP do not occur in all photosynthetic organisms but may be associated with multicellular plants.

  6. Gradual improvements of charge carrier mobility at ionic liquid/rubrene single crystal interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yokota, Yasuyuki; Hara, Hisaya; Morino, Yusuke; Bando, Ken-ichi; Ono, Sakurako; Imanishi, Akihito; Okada, Yugo; Matsui, Hiroyuki; Uemura, Takafumi; Takeya, Jun; Fukui, Ken-ichi

    2016-02-01

    We report evolution of electric characteristics of an electric double layer field-effect transistor based on the ionic liquid/rubrene single crystal interfaces. In contrast to usual devices, the field effect mobility was found to gradually increase with time for a day, followed by minor long-term fluctuations. Although the details of the evolution were somewhat device dependent, the final values of the mobility turned out to be 3-4 times larger irrespective of the initial values. These observations are explained by the evolution of the flat interface by defect-induced spontaneous dissolution of rubrene molecules at the ionic liquid/rubrene single crystal interfaces, revealed by frequency modulation atomic force microscopy.

  7. Studies of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase and implications for the development of antiparasitic agents

    SciTech Connect

    Muench, Stephen P.; Prigge, Sean T.; McLeod, Rima; Rafferty, John B.; Kirisits, Michael J.; Roberts, Craig W.; Mui, Ernest J.; Rice, David W.

    2007-03-01

    The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. Recent studies have demonstrated that submicromolar concentrations of the biocide triclosan arrest the growth of the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and inhibit the activity of the apicomplexan enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR). The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures of T. gondii ENR have revealed that, as in its bacterial and plant homologues, a loop region which flanks the active site becomes ordered upon inhibitor binding, resulting in the slow tight binding of triclosan. In addition, the T. gondii ENR–triclosan complex reveals the folding of a hydrophilic insert common to the apicomplexan family that flanks the substrate-binding domain and is disordered in all other reported apicomplexan ENR structures. Structural comparison of the apicomplexan ENR structures with their bacterial and plant counterparts has revealed that although the active sites of the parasite enzymes are broadly similar to those of their bacterial counterparts, there are a number of important differences within the drug-binding pocket that reduce the packing interactions formed with several inhibitors in the apicomplexan ENR enzymes. Together with other significant structural differences, this provides a possible explanation of the lower affinity of the parasite ENR enzyme family for aminopyridine-based inhibitors, suggesting that an effective antiparasitic agent may well be distinct from equivalent antimicrobials.

  8. The first crystal structure of an archaeal helical repeat protein

    SciTech Connect

    Yoneda, Kazunari; Sakuraba, Haruhiko; Tsuge, Hideaki; Katunuma, Nobuhiko; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Kawabata, Takeshi; Ohshima, Toshihisa

    2005-07-01

    The crystal structure of ST1625p, a protein encoded by a hypothetical open reading frame ST1625 in the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii, was determined at 2.2 Å resolution. The structure of ST1625p consists of a unique superhelix with a low-level structure resemblance to doamins from other proteins with known three-dimensional structures. The crystal structure of ST1625p, a protein encoded by a hypothetical open reading frame ST1625 in the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii, was determined at 2.2 Å resolution. The only sequence similarity exhibited by the amino-acid sequence of ST1625p was a 33% identity with the sequence of SSO0983p from S. solfataricus. The 19 kDa monomeric protein was observed to consist of a right-handed superhelix assembled from a tandem repeat of ten α-helices. A structural homology search using the DALI and MATRAS algorithms indicates that this protein can be classified as a helical repeat protein.

  9. Effects of impurities on membrane-protein crystallization in different systems

    SciTech Connect

    Kors, Christopher A.; Wallace, Ellen; Davies, Douglas R.; Li, Liang; Laible, Philip D.; Nollert, Peter

    2009-10-01

    The effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes are investigated and it is found that the lipidic cubic phase crystallization methodology is the most robust, tolerating protein contamination levels of up to 50%, with little effect on crystal quality. If generally applicable, this tolerance may be exploited (i) in initial crystallization trials to determine the ‘crystallizability’ of a given membrane-protein and (ii) to subject partially pure membrane-protein samples to crystallization trials. When starting a protein-crystallization project, scientists are faced with several unknowns. Amongst them are these questions: (i) is the purity of the starting material sufficient? and (ii) which type of crystallization experiment is the most promising to conduct? The difficulty in purifying active membrane-protein samples for crystallization trials and the high costs associated with producing such samples require an extremely pragmatic approach. Additionally, practical guidelines are needed to increase the efficiency of membrane-protein crystallization. In order to address these conundrums, the effects of commonly encountered impurities on various membrane-protein crystallization regimes have been investigated and it was found that the lipidic cubic phase (LCP) based crystallization methodology is more robust than crystallization in detergent environments using vapor diffusion or microbatch approaches in its ability to tolerate contamination in the forms of protein, lipid or other general membrane components. LCP-based crystallizations produced crystals of the photosynthetic reaction center (RC) of Rhodobacter sphaeroides from samples with substantial levels of residual impurities. Crystals were obtained with protein contamination levels of up to 50% and the addition of lipid material and membrane fragments to pure samples of RC had little effect on the number or on the quality of crystals obtained in LCP

  10. Therapeutics and carriers: the dual role of proteins in nanoparticles for ocular delivery.

    PubMed

    Pescina, Silvia; Sonvico, Fabio; Santi, Patrizia; Nicoli, Sara

    2015-01-01

    Blindness and visual impairment affect millions of people worldwide and have a very important impact on patients quality of life. Proteins and peptides represent nowadays an important therapeutic tool for the treatment of ocular diseases but, despite their potential, have significant limitations, as the administration of protein-based pharmaceuticals represents a real challenge. Moreover, administration of ocular medications is difficult due to the peculiar structure of this organ and the presence of numerous barriers protecting the eye inner structure. Nanoencapsulation of peptides and proteins presents a number of advantages for their ocular delivery since it can protect the drug from metabolic activity, control and sustain the release and increase drug bioavailability after topical or intravitreal administration. In fact, nanoparticulate formulations are contributing to overcome ocular barriers, such as the corneal or the blood-retinal barrier, improve the residence time in the eye, increase local drug level, reduce the drug dosage and showing improved performance when compared to conventional formulations. Besides, proteins have also been proposed for the preparation of nanocarriers intended for ophthalmic administration, since they are highly biocompatible, biodegradable and easily modified to link surface ligands. The present review focuses the attention on the use of proteins in ocular drug delivery nanotechnology: their dual role as both therapeutics and carriers has been critically evaluated and discussed.

  11. Using Green and Red Fluorescent Proteins to Teach Protein Expression, Purification, and Crystallization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wu, Yifeng; Zhou, Yangbin; Song, Jiaping; Hu, Xiaojian; Ding, Yu; Zhang, Zhihong

    2008-01-01

    We have designed a laboratory curriculum using the green and red fluorescent proteins (GFP and RFP) to visualize the cloning, expression, chromatography purification, crystallization, and protease-cleavage experiments of protein science. The EGFP and DsRed monomer (mDsRed)-coding sequences were amplified by PCR and cloned into pMAL (MBP-EGFP) or…

  12. Site-specific immobilization of proteins at zeolite L crystals by nitroxide exchange reactions.

    PubMed

    Becker, Maike; De Cola, Luisa; Studer, Armido

    2011-03-28

    Site-selective immobilization of dyes and different protein recognizing entities at the surface of zeolite L crystals using mild radical nitroxide exchange reactions is reported. Exposure of these crystals to aqueous protein solutions leads to site-selective immobilization of proteins onto the crystals.

  13. Crystal growth of proteins, nucleic acids, and viruses in gels.

    PubMed

    Lorber, Bernard; Sauter, Claude; Théobald-Dietrich, Anne; Moreno, Abel; Schellenberger, Pascale; Robert, Marie-Claire; Capelle, Bernard; Sanglier, Sarah; Potier, Noëlle; Giegé, Richard

    2009-11-01

    Medium-sized single crystals with perfect habits and no defect producing intense and well-resolved diffraction patterns are the dream of every protein crystallographer. Crystals of biological macromolecules possessing these characteristics can be prepared within a medium in which mass transport is restricted to diffusion. Chemical gels (like polysiloxane) and physical gels (such as agarose) provide such an environment and are therefore suitable for the crystallisation of biological macromolecules. Instructions for the preparation of each type of gel are given to urge crystal growers to apply diffusive media for enhancing crystallographic quality of their crystals. Examples of quality enhancement achieved with silica and agarose gels are given. Results obtained with other substances forming gel-like media (such as lipidic phases and cellulose derivatives) are presented. Finally, the use of gels in combination with capillary tubes for counter-diffusion experiments is discussed. Methods and techniques implemented with proteins can also be applied to nucleic acids and nucleoprotein assemblies such as viruses.

  14. Nanoliter-scale protein crystallization and screening with a microfluidic droplet robot.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Ying; Zhu, Li-Na; Guo, Rui; Cui, Heng-Jun; Ye, Sheng; Fang, Qun

    2014-05-23

    Large-scale screening of hundreds or even thousands of crystallization conditions while with low sample consumption is in urgent need, in current structural biology research. Here we describe a fully-automated droplet robot for nanoliter-scale crystallization screening that combines the advantages of both automated robotics technique for protein crystallization screening and the droplet-based microfluidic technique. A semi-contact dispensing method was developed to achieve flexible, programmable and reliable liquid-handling operations for nanoliter-scale protein crystallization experiments. We applied the droplet robot in large-scale screening of crystallization conditions of five soluble proteins and one membrane protein with 35-96 different crystallization conditions, study of volume effects on protein crystallization, and determination of phase diagrams of two proteins. The volume for each droplet reactor is only ca. 4-8 nL. The protein consumption significantly reduces 50-500 fold compared with current crystallization stations.

  15. Renaissance of protein crystallization and precipitation in biopharmaceuticals purification.

    PubMed

    Dos Santos, Raquel; Carvalho, Ana Luísa; Roque, A Cecília A

    The current chromatographic approaches used in protein purification are not keeping pace with the increasing biopharmaceutical market demand. With the upstream improvements, the bottleneck shifted towards the downstream process. New approaches rely in Anything But Chromatography methodologies and revisiting former techniques with a bioprocess perspective. Protein crystallization and precipitation methods are already implemented in the downstream process of diverse therapeutic biological macromolecules, overcoming the current chromatographic bottlenecks. Promising work is being developed in order to implement crystallization and precipitation in the purification pipeline of high value therapeutic molecules. This review focuses in the role of these two methodologies in current industrial purification processes, and highlights their potential implementation in the purification pipeline of high value therapeutic molecules, overcoming chromatographic holdups.

  16. Crystallization of a paraspeckle protein PSPC1-NONO heterodimer.

    PubMed

    Passon, Daniel M; Lee, Mihwa; Fox, Archa H; Bond, Charles S

    2011-10-01

    The paraspeckle component 1 (PSPC1) and non-POU-domain-containing octamer-binding protein (NONO) heterodimer is an essential structural component of paraspeckles, ribonucleoprotein bodies found in the interchromatin space of mammalian cell nuclei. PSPC1 and NONO both belong to the Drosophila behaviour and human splicing (DBHS) protein family, which has been implicated in many aspects of RNA processing. A heterodimer of the core DBHS conserved region of PSPC1 and NONO comprising two tandemly arranged RNA-recognition motifs (RRMs), a NONA/paraspeckle (NOPS) domain and part of a predicted coiled-coil domain has been crystallized in space group C2, with unit-cell parameters a = 90.90, b = 67.18, c = 94.08 Å, β = 99.96°. The crystal contained one heterodimer in the asymmetric unit and diffracted to 1.9 Å resolution using synchrotron radiation.

  17. Safety and efficacy of self-assembling bubble carriers stabilized with sodium dodecyl sulfate for oral delivery of therapeutic proteins.

    PubMed

    Lin, Po-Yen; Chuang, Er-Yuan; Chiu, Yi-Hsuan; Chen, Hsin-Lung; Lin, Kun-Ju; Juang, Jyuhn-Huarng; Chiang, Ching-Hua; Mi, Fwu-Long; Sung, Hsing-Wen

    2016-12-20

    Sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) is generally regarded as a potent permeability enhancer in oral formulations; however, one concern related to the use of any permeation enhancer is its possible absorption of unwanted toxins during the period of epithelial permeability enhancement. In this work, the safety and efficacy of an SDS-containing bubble carrier system that is developed from an orally administered enteric-coated capsule are evaluated. The bubble carriers comprise diethylene triamine pentaacetic acid (DTPA) dianhydride, sodium bicarbonate (SBC), SDS, and insulin. Upon exposure to the intestinal fluid, DTPA dianhydride hydrolyzes to yield acids, and SBC rapidly reacts with these acids to generate CO2, producing bubble carriers, each containing a self-assembling water film. The hydrophilic insulin is entrapped in the self-assembled water film, which is stabilized by SDS. The SDS in the bubble carrier system can act as a dissolution enhancer in the dispersion of insulin molecules, as a surfactant that stabilizes the bubble carriers, as a protease inhibitor that protects the protein drug, and as a permeation enhancer that augments its oral bioavailability. Hence, a significant increase in the plasma insulin level and an excellent blood glucose-lowering response in diabetic rats are effectively achieved. Moreover, the enhancement of epithelial permeation by this SDS-containing formulation does not promote the absorption of intestinal endotoxins. The above facts indicate that the bubble carrier system that is stabilized by SDS can be used as a safe and potent carrier in the oral delivery of therapeutic proteins.

  18. A special acyl carrier protein for transferring long hydroxylated fatty acids to lipid A in Rhizobium.

    PubMed

    Brozek, K A; Carlson, R W; Raetz, C R

    1996-12-13

    Lipid A, the hydrophobic anchor of lipopolysaccharides in the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria, varies in structure among different Rhizobiaceae. The Rhizobium meliloti lipid A backbone, like that of Escherichia coli, is a beta1'-6-linked glucosamine disaccharide that is phosphorylated at positions 1 and 4'. Rhizobium leguminosarum lipid A lacks both phosphates, but contains aminogluconate in place of the proximal glucosamine 1-phosphate, and galacturonic acid instead of the 4'-phosphate. A peculiar feature of the lipid As of all Rhizobiaceae is acylation with 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid, a long hydroxylated fatty acid not found in E. coli. We now describe an in vitro system, consisting of a membrane enzyme and a cytosolic acyl donor from R. leguminosarum, that transfers 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid to (Kdo)2-lipid IVA, a key lipid A precursor common to both E. coli and R. leguminosarum. The 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid moiety was detected in the lipid product by mass spectrometry. The membrane enzyme required the presence of Kdo residues in the acceptor substrate for activity. The cytosolic acyl donor was purified from wild-type R. leguminosarum using the acylation of (Kdo)2-[4'-32P]-lipid IVA as the assay. Amino-terminal sequencing of the purified acyl donor revealed an exact 19-amino acid match with a partially sequenced gene (orf*) of R. leguminosarum. Orf* contains the consensus sequence, DSLD, for attachment of 4'-phosphopantetheine. When the entire orf* gene was sequenced, it was found to encode a protein of 92 amino acids. Orf* is a new kind of acyl carrier protein because it is only approximately 25% identical both to the constitutive acyl carrier protein (AcpP) and to the inducible acyl carrier protein (NodF) of R. leguminosarum. Mass spectrometry of purified active Orf* confirmed the presence of 4'-phosphopantetheine and 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid in the major species. Smaller mass peaks indicative of Orf* acylation with hydroxylated 20, 22, 24

  19. Phytases: crystal structures, protein engineering and potential biotechnological applications.

    PubMed

    Yao, M-Z; Zhang, Y-H; Lu, W-L; Hu, M-Q; Wang, W; Liang, A-H

    2012-01-01

    Phytases are a group of enzymes capable of releasing phosphates from phytates, one of the major forms of phosphorus (P) in animal feeds of plant origin. These enzymes have been widely used in animal feed to improve phosphorus nutrition and to reduce phosphorus pollution in animal waste. This review covers the basic nomenclature and crystal structures of phytases and emphasizes both the protein engineering strategies used for the development of new, effective phytases with improved properties and the potential biotechnological applications of phytases.

  20. Recent results and new hardware developments for protein crystal growth in microactivity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Delucas, L. J.; Long, M. M.; Moore, K. M.; Smith, C.; Carson, M.; Narayana, S. V. L.; Carter, D.; Clark, A. D., Jr.; Nanni, R. G.; Ding, J.

    1993-01-01

    Protein crystal growth experiments have been performed on 16 space shuttle missions since April, 1985. The initial experiments utilized vapor diffusion crystallization techniques similar to those used in laboratories for earth-based experiments. More recent experiments have utilized temperature induced crystallization as an alternative method for growing high quality protein crystals in microgravity. Results from both vapor diffusion and temperature induced crystallization experiments indicate that proteins grown in microgravity may be larger, display more uniform morphologies, and yield diffraction data to significantly higher resolutions than the best crystals of these proteins grown on earth.

  1. Hot Carrier Trapping in High-Purity and Doped Germanium Crystals at Millikelvin Temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piro, M.-C.; Broniatowski, A.; Marnieros, S.; Dumoulin, L.; Olivieri, E.

    2014-09-01

    A new set of experimental data is presented for the mean drift lengths and the drift velocities of hot electrons and holes as a function of the electric field in ultra-pure and in lightly doped (n- and p-type) germanium single crystals at mK temperatures. Measurements are made in the field range between 0.1 and 15 V/cm, typical for the operation of cryogenic germanium detectors for dark matter search. The analysis of the experimental data strongly suggests that the dominant trapping centers are the dopant species in the neutral state.

  2. From protein structure to function via single crystal optical spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Ronda, Luca; Bruno, Stefano; Bettati, Stefano; Storici, Paola; Mozzarelli, Andrea

    2015-01-01

    The more than 100,000 protein structures determined by X-ray crystallography provide a wealth of information for the characterization of biological processes at the molecular level. However, several crystallographic “artifacts,” including conformational selection, crystallization conditions and radiation damages, may affect the quality and the interpretation of the electron density maps, thus limiting the relevance of structure determinations. Moreover, for most of these structures, no functional data have been obtained in the crystalline state, thus posing serious questions on their validity in infereing protein mechanisms. In order to solve these issues, spectroscopic methods have been applied for the determination of equilibrium and kinetic properties of proteins in the crystalline state. These methods are UV-vis spectrophotometry, spectrofluorimetry, IR, EPR, Raman, and resonance Raman spectroscopy. Some of these approaches have been implemented with on-line instruments at X-ray synchrotron beamlines. Here, we provide an overview of investigations predominantly carried out in our laboratory by single crystal polarized absorption UV-vis microspectrophotometry, the most applied technique for the functional characterization of proteins in the crystalline state. Studies on hemoglobins, pyridoxal 5′-phosphate dependent enzymes and green fluorescent protein in the crystalline state have addressed key biological issues, leading to either straightforward structure-function correlations or limitations to structure-based mechanisms. PMID:25988179

  3. Optical absorption and DFT calculations in L-aspartic acid anhydrous crystals: Charge carrier effective masses point to semiconducting behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Silva, A. M.; Silva, B. P.; Sales, F. A. M.; Freire, V. N.; Moreira, E.; Fulco, U. L.; Albuquerque, E. L.; Maia, F. F., Jr.; Caetano, E. W. S.

    2012-11-01

    Density functional theory (DFT) computations within the local-density approximation and generalized gradient approximation in pure form and with dispersion correction (GGA+D) were carried out to investigate the structural, electronic, and optical properties of L-aspartic acid anhydrous crystals. The electronic (band structure and density of states) and optical absorption properties were used to interpret the light absorption measurements we have performed in L-aspartic acid anhydrous crystalline powder at room temperature. We show the important role of the layered spatial disposition of L-aspartic acid molecules in anhydrous L-aspartic crystals to explain the observed electronic and optical properties. There is good agreement between the GGA+D calculated and experimental lattice parameters, with (Δa, Δb, Δc) deviations of (0.029,-0.023,-0.024) (units in Å). Mulliken [J. Chem. Phys.JCPSA60021-960610.1063/1.1740588 23, 1833 (1955)] and Hirshfeld [Theor. Chim. ActaTCHAAM0040-574410.1007/BF00549096 44, 129 (1977)] population analyses were also performed to assess the degree of charge polarization in the zwitterion state of the L-aspartic acid molecules in the DFT converged crystal. The lowest-energy optical absorption peaks related to transitions between the top of the valence band and the bottom of the conduction band involve O 2p valence states and C 1p and O 2p conduction states, with the carboxyl and COOH lateral chain group contributing significantly to the energy band gap. Among the calculated band gaps, the lowest GGA+D (4.49-eV) gap is smaller than the experimental estimate of 5.02 eV, as obtained by optical absorption. Such a wide-band-gap energy together with the small carrier effective masses estimated from band curvatures allows us to suggest that an L-aspartic acid anhydrous crystal can behave as a wide-gap semiconductor. A comparison of effective masses among directions parallel and perpendicular to the L-aspartic molecules layers reveals that charge

  4. Structural correlates of carrier protein recognition in tetanus toxoid-conjugated bacterial polysaccharide vaccines

    PubMed Central

    Lockyer, Kay; Gao, Fang; Derrick, Jeremy P.; Bolgiano, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    An analysis of structure-antibody recognition relationships in nine licenced polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid (TT) conjugate vaccines was performed. The panel of conjugates used included vaccine components to protect against disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitidis groups A, C, W and Y and Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 18C. Conformation and structural analysis included size exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering to determine size, and intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence quenching to evaluate the protein folding and exposure of Trp residues. A capture ELISA measured the recognition of TT epitopes in the conjugates, using four rat monoclonal antibodies: 2 localised to the HC domain, and 2 of which were holotoxoid conformation-dependent. The conjugates had a wide range of average molecular masses ranging from 1.8 × 106 g/mol to larger than 20 × 106 g/mol. The panel of conjugates were found to be well folded, and did not have spectral features typical of aggregated TT. A partial correlation was found between molecular mass and epitope recognition. Recognition of the epitopes either on the HC domain or the whole toxoid was not necessarily hampered by the size of the molecule. Correlation was also found between the accessibility of Trp side chains and polysaccharide loading, suggesting also that a higher level of conjugated PS does not necessarily interfere with toxoid accessibility. There were different levels of carrier protein Trp side-chain and epitope accessibility that were localised to the HC domain; these were related to the saccharide type, despite the conjugates being independently manufactured. These findings extend our understanding of the molecular basis for carrier protein recognition in TT conjugate vaccines. PMID:25640334

  5. Structural correlates of carrier protein recognition in tetanus toxoid-conjugated bacterial polysaccharide vaccines.

    PubMed

    Lockyer, Kay; Gao, Fang; Derrick, Jeremy P; Bolgiano, Barbara

    2015-03-10

    An analysis of structure-antibody recognition relationships in nine licenced polysaccharide-tetanus toxoid (TT) conjugate vaccines was performed. The panel of conjugates used included vaccine components to protect against disease caused by Haemophilus influenzae type b, Neisseria meningitidis groups A, C, W and Y and Streptococcus pneumoniae serotype 18C. Conformation and structural analysis included size exclusion chromatography with multi-angle light scattering to determine size, and intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy and fluorescence quenching to evaluate the protein folding and exposure of Trp residues. A capture ELISA measured the recognition of TT epitopes in the conjugates, using four rat monoclonal antibodies: 2 localised to the HC domain, and 2 of which were holotoxoid conformation-dependent. The conjugates had a wide range of average molecular masses ranging from 1.8×10(6) g/mol to larger than 20×10(6) g/mol. The panel of conjugates were found to be well folded, and did not have spectral features typical of aggregated TT. A partial correlation was found between molecular mass and epitope recognition. Recognition of the epitopes either on the HC domain or the whole toxoid was not necessarily hampered by the size of the molecule. Correlation was also found between the accessibility of Trp side chains and polysaccharide loading, suggesting also that a higher level of conjugated PS does not necessarily interfere with toxoid accessibility. There were different levels of carrier protein Trp side-chain and epitope accessibility that were localised to the HC domain; these were related to the saccharide type, despite the conjugates being independently manufactured. These findings extend our understanding of the molecular basis for carrier protein recognition in TT conjugate vaccines.

  6. Protein dynamics derived from clusters of crystal structures.

    PubMed Central

    van Aalten, D M; Conn, D A; de Groot, B L; Berendsen, H J; Findlay, J B; Amadei, A

    1997-01-01

    A method is presented to mathematically extract concerted structural transitions in proteins from collections of crystal structures. The "essential dynamics" procedure is used to filter out small-amplitude fluctuations from such a set of structures; the remaining large conformational changes describe motions such as those important for the uptake/release of substrate/ligand and in catalytic reactions. The method is applied to sets of x-ray structures for a number of proteins, and the results are compared with the results from essential dynamics as applied to molecular dynamics simulations of those proteins. A significant degree of similarity is found, thereby providing a direct experimental basis for the application of such simulations to the description of large concerted motions in proteins. Images FIGURE 1 PMID:9414203

  7. The first crystal structure of an archaeal helical repeat protein

    PubMed Central

    Yoneda, Kazunari; Sakuraba, Haruhiko; Tsuge, Hideaki; Katunuma, Nobuhiko; Kuramitsu, Seiki; Kawabata, Takeshi; Ohshima, Toshihisa

    2005-01-01

    The crystal structure of ST1625p, a protein encoded by a hypothetical open reading frame ST1625 in the genome of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus tokodaii, was determined at 2.2 Å resolution. The only sequence similarity exhibited by the amino-acid sequence of ST1625p was a 33% identity with the sequence of SSO0983p from S. solfataricus. The 19 kDa monomeric protein was observed to consist of a right-handed superhelix assembled from a tandem repeat of ten α-­helices. A structural homology search using the DALI and MATRAS algorithms indicates that this protein can be classified as a helical repeat protein. PMID:16511116

  8. Crystal structure of Homo sapiens protein LOC79017

    SciTech Connect

    Bae, Euiyoung; Bingman, Craig A.; Aceti, David J.; Phillips, Jr., George N.

    2010-02-08

    LOC79017 (MW 21.0 kDa, residues 1-188) was annotated as a hypothetical protein encoded by Homo sapiens chromosome 7 open reading frame 24. It was selected as a target by the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics (CESG) because it did not share more than 30% sequence identity with any protein for which the three-dimensional structure is known. The biological function of the protein has not been established yet. Parts of LOC79017 were identified as members of uncharacterized Pfam families (residues 1-95 as PB006073 and residues 104-180 as PB031696). BLAST searches revealed homologues of LOC79017 in many eukaryotes, but none of them have been functionally characterized. Here, we report the crystal structure of H. sapiens protein LOC79017 (UniGene code Hs.530024, UniProt code O75223, CESG target number go.35223).

  9. Prospects of riboflavin carrier protein (RCP) as an antifertility vaccine in male and female mammals.

    PubMed

    Adiga, P R; Subramanian, S; Rao, J; Kumar, M

    1997-01-01

    Riboflavin carrier protein (RCP) is obligatorily involved in yolk deposition of the vitamin, riboflavin, in the developing oocyte of the hen. The production of this protein is inducible by oestrogen. It is evolutionarily conserved in terms of its physicochemical, immunological and functional characteristics. It is the prime mediator of vitamin supply to the developing fetus in mammals, including primates. Passive immunoneutralization of the protein terminates pregnancy in rats. Active immunization of rats and bonnet monkeys with avian RCP prevents pregnancy without causing any adverse physiological effects of the mother in terms of her vitamin status, reproductive cycles or reproductive-endocrine profile. Denatured, linearized RCP is more effective in eliciting neutralizing antibodies capable of interfering with embryonic viability either before or during peri-implantation stages. Two defined stretches of sequential epitopes, one located at the N-terminus and the other at the C-terminus of the protein have been identified. Active immunization with either of these epitopes conjugated with diphtheria toxoid curtails pregnancy in rats and monkeys. Immunohistochemical localization of RCP on ovulated oocytes and early embryos shows that the antibodies cause degeneration only of early embryos. RCP is produced intra-testicularly and becomes localized on acrosomal surface of mammalian spermatozoa. Active immunization of male rats and monkeys with denatured RCP markedly reduces fertility by impairing the fertilizing potential of spermatozoa. These findings suggest that RCP, or its defined fragments, could be a novel, first generation vaccine for regulating fertility in both the sexes.

  10. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of papaya mosaic virus coat protein.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Todderud, E; Stubbs, G

    1993-12-05

    Papaya mosaic virus coat protein has been treated with trypsin and a large fragment of the intact protein has been crystallized in space group P3(1)21 or P3(2)21 (unit cell dimensions: a = b = 110 A, c = 237 A). The crystals diffract to 3.5 A resolution. Crystals of the untreated protein have also been grown. The untreated protein crystals diffract to 4 A resolution, but have a large mosaic spread. They have the same space group as the trypsin-treated protein crystals, but a much smaller unit cell (a = b = 72 A, c = 240 A).

  11. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    D Freed; P Horanyi; M Wiener; D Cafiso

    2011-12-31

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  12. Conformational Exchange in a Membrane Transport Protein Is Altered in Protein Crystals

    SciTech Connect

    Freed, Daniel M.; Horanyi, Peter S.; Wiener, Michael C.; Cafiso, David S.

    2010-09-27

    Successful macromolecular crystallography requires solution conditions that may alter the conformational sampling of a macromolecule. Here, site-directed spin labeling is used to examine a conformational equilibrium within BtuB, the Escherichia coli outer membrane transporter for vitamin B{sub 12}. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra from a spin label placed within the N-terminal energy coupling motif (Ton box) of BtuB indicate that this segment is in equilibrium between folded and unfolded forms. In bilayers, substrate binding shifts this equilibrium toward the unfolded form; however, EPR spectra from this same spin-labeled mutant indicate that this unfolding transition is blocked in protein crystals. Moreover, crystal structures of this spin-labeled mutant are consistent with the EPR result. When the free energy difference between substates is estimated from the EPR spectra, the crystal environment is found to alter this energy by 3 kcal/mol when compared to the bilayer state. Approximately half of this energy change is due to solutes or osmolytes in the crystallization buffer, and the remainder is contributed by the crystal lattice. These data provide a quantitative measure of how a conformational equilibrium in BtuB is modified in the crystal environment, and suggest that more-compact, less-hydrated substates will be favored in protein crystals.

  13. The Conserved Modular Elements of the Acyl Carrier Proteins of Lipid Synthesis Are Only Partially Interchangeable*

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Lei; Cronan, John E.

    2015-01-01

    Prior work showed that expression of acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) of a diverse set of bacteria replaced the function of Escherichia coli ACP in lipid biosynthesis. However, the AcpAs of Lactococcus lactis and Enterococcus faecalis were inactive. Both failed to support growth of an E. coli acpP mutant strain. This defect seemed likely because of the helix II sequences of the two AcpAs, which differed markedly from those of the proteins that supported growth. To test this premise, chimeric ACPs were constructed in which L. lactis helix II replaced helix II of E. coli AcpP and vice versa. Expression of the AcpP protein L. lactis AcpA helix II allowed weak growth, whereas the L. lactis AcpA-derived protein that contained E. coli AcpP helix II failed to support growth of the E. coli mutant strain. Replacement of the L. lactis AcpA helix II residues in this protein showed that substitution of valine for the phenylalanine residue four residues downstream of the phosphopanthetheine-modified serine gave robust growth and allowed modification by the endogenous AcpS phosphopantetheinyl transferase (rather than the promiscuous Sfp transferase required to modify the L. lactis AcpA and the chimera of L. lactis AcpA helix II in AcpP). Further chimera constructs showed that the lack of function of the L. lactis AcpA-derived protein containing E. coli AcpP helix II was due to incompatibility of L. lactis AcpA helix I with the downstream elements of AcpP. Therefore, the origins of ACP incompatibility can reside in either helix I or in helix II. PMID:25861991

  14. Impact of Protein-Metal Ion Interactions on the Crystallization of Silk Fibroin Protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Xiao; Lu, Qiang; Kaplan, David; Cebe, Peggy

    2009-03-01

    Proteins can easily form bonds with a variety of metal ions, which provides many unique biological functions for the protein structures, and therefore controls the overall structural transformation of proteins. We use advanced thermal analysis methods such as temperature modulated differential scanning calorimetry and quasi-isothermal TMDSC, combined with Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy, to investigate the protein-metallic ion interactions in Bombyx mori silk fibroin proteins. Silk samples were mixed with different metal ions (Ca^2+, K^+, Ma^2+, Na^+, Cu^2+, Mn^2+) with different mass ratios, and compared with the physical conditions in the silkworm gland. Results show that all metallic ions can directly affect the crystallization behavior and glass transition of silk fibroin. However, different ions tend to have different structural impact, including their role as plasticizer or anti-plasticizer. Detailed studies reveal important information allowing us better to understand the natural silk spinning and crystallization process.

  15. Protein crystal growth results from shuttle flight 51-F

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.

    1985-01-01

    The protein crystal growth (PCG) experiments run on 51-F were analyzed. It was found that: (1) sample stability is increased over that observed during the experiments on flight 51-D; (2) the dialysis experiments produced lysozyme crystals that were significantly larger than those obtained in our identical ground-based studies; (3) temperature fluctuations apparently caused problems during the crystallization experiments on 51-F; (4) it is indicated that teflon tape stabilizes droplets on the syringe tips; (5) samples survived during the reentry and landing in glass tips that were not stoppered with plungers; (6) from the ground-based studies, it was expected that equilibration should be complete within 2 to 4 days for all of these vapor-diffusion experiments, thus it appears that the vapor diffusion rates are somewhat slower under microgravity conditions; (7) drop tethering was highly successful, all four of the tethered drops were stable, even though they contained MPD solutions; (8) the PCG experiments on 51-F were done to assess the hardware and experimental procedures that are developed for future flights, when temperature control will be available. Lysozyme crystals obtained by microdialysis are considerably larger than those obtained on the ground, using the identical apparatus and procedures.

  16. The mitochondrial acyl carrier protein (ACP) coordinates mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis with iron sulfur cluster biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Van Vranken, Jonathan G; Jeong, Mi-Young; Wei, Peng; Chen, Yu-Chan; Gygi, Steven P; Winge, Dennis R; Rutter, Jared

    2016-01-01

    Mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis (FASII) and iron sulfur cluster (FeS) biogenesis are both vital biosynthetic processes within mitochondria. In this study, we demonstrate that the mitochondrial acyl carrier protein (ACP), which has a well-known role in FASII, plays an unexpected and evolutionarily conserved role in FeS biogenesis. ACP is a stable and essential subunit of the eukaryotic FeS biogenesis complex. In the absence of ACP, the complex is destabilized resulting in a profound depletion of FeS throughout the cell. This role of ACP depends upon its covalently bound 4’-phosphopantetheine (4-PP)-conjugated acyl chain to support maximal cysteine desulfurase activity. Thus, it is likely that ACP is not simply an obligate subunit but also exploits the 4-PP-conjugated acyl chain to coordinate mitochondrial fatty acid and FeS biogenesis. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.17828.001 PMID:27540631

  17. New Structural Data Reveal the Motion of Carrier Proteins in Nonribosomal Peptide Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Kittilä, Tiia; Mollo, Aurelio

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are one of the most promising resources for the production of new bioactive molecules. The mechanism of NRPS catalysis is based around sequential catalytic domains: these are organized into modules, where each module selects, modifies, and incorporates an amino acid into the growing peptide. The intermediates formed during NRPS catalysis are delivered between enzyme centers by peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) domains, which makes PCP interactions and movements crucial to NRPS mechanism. PCP movement has been linked to the domain alternation cycle of adenylation (A) domains, and recent complete NRPS module structures provide support for this hypothesis. However, it appears as though the A domain alternation alone is insufficient to account for the complete NRPS catalytic cycle and that the loaded state of the PCP must also play a role in choreographing catalysis in these complex and fascinating molecular machines. PMID:27435901

  18. Evolutionary, environmental and tissue controls on the occurrence of multiple isoforms of acyl carrier protein

    SciTech Connect

    Battey, J.F.; Ohlrogge, J.B. )

    1989-04-01

    Previous research has revealed that several higher plant species have multiple isoforms of acyl carrier protein (ACP). We have examined the development of this trait in evolutionarily diverse species. Isoforms were resolved by Western blotting and native PAGE of {sup 3}H-palmitate labelled ACP's. Multiple isoforms of ACP were observed in primitive vascular plants including gymnosperms, ferns and Psilotum and the nonvascular liverworts and mosses. Therefore, the development of ACP isoforms occurred early in evolution. However, unicellular algae and bacteria such as Chlamydomonas, Dunaliella, Synechocystis and Agmnellum have only a single electrophoretic form of ACP. Thus, multiple forms of ACP do not occur in all photosynthetic organisms but may be associated with multicellular plants. We have also examined light and tissue control over the expression of ACP isoforms. The expression of multiple forms of ACP in leaf of Spinacia and Avena is altered very little by light. Rather, the different patterns of ACP isoforms are primarily dependant on tissue source.

  19. Effect of increased CRM₁₉₇ carrier protein dose on meningococcal C bactericidal antibody response.

    PubMed

    Lee, Lucia H; Blake, Milan S

    2012-04-01

    New multivalent CRM(197)-based conjugate vaccines are available for childhood immunization. Clinical studies were reviewed to assess meningococcal group C (MenC) antibody responses following MenC-CRM(197) coadministration with CRM(197)-based pneumococcal or Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines. Infants receiving a total CRM(197) carrier protein dose of ∼50 μg and concomitant diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP)-containing vaccine tended to have lower MenC geometric mean antibody titers and continued to have low titers after the toddler dose. Nevertheless, at least 95% of children in the reported studies achieved a MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) titer of ≥ 1:8 after the last infant or toddler dose. SBA was measured using an assay with a baby rabbit or human complement source. Additional studies are needed to assess long-term antibody persistence and MenC CRM(197) conjugate vaccine immunogenicity using alternative dosing schedules.

  20. Correlated Protein Motion Measurements of Dihydrofolate Reductase Crystals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Mengyang; Niessen, Katherine; Pace, James; Cody, Vivian; Markelz, Andrea

    2014-03-01

    We report the first direct measurements of the long range structural vibrational modes in dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). DHFR is a universal housekeeping enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of 7,8-dihydrofolate to 5,6,7,8-tetra-hydrofolate, with the aid of coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH). This crucial enzymatic role as the target for anti-cancer [methotrexate (MTX)], and other clinically useful drugs, has made DHFR a long-standing target of enzymological studies. The terahertz (THz) frequency range (5-100 cm-1), corresponds to global correlated protein motions. In our lab we have developed Crystal Anisotropy Terahertz Microscopy (CATM), which directly measures these large scale intra-molecular protein vibrations, by removing the relaxational background of the solvent and residue side chain librational motions. We demonstrate narrowband features in the anisotropic absorbance for mouse DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals as well as Escherichia coli DHFR with the ligand binding of NADPH and MTX single crystals. This work is supported by NSF grant MRI2 grant DBI2959989.

  1. Sticky swinging arm dynamics: studies of an acyl carrier protein domain from the mycolactone polyketide synthase

    PubMed Central

    Vance, Steven; Tkachenko, Olga; Thomas, Ben; Bassuni, Mona; Hong, Hui; Nietlispach, Daniel; Broadhurst, William

    2016-01-01

    Type I modular polyketide synthases (PKSs) produce polyketide natural products by passing a growing acyl substrate chain between a series of enzyme domains housed within a gigantic multifunctional polypeptide assembly. Throughout each round of chain extension and modification reactions, the substrate stays covalently linked to an acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain. In the present study we report on the solution structure and dynamics of an ACP domain excised from MLSA2, module 9 of the PKS system that constructs the macrolactone ring of the toxin mycolactone, cause of the tropical disease Buruli ulcer. After modification of apo ACP with 4′-phosphopantetheine (Ppant) to create the holo form, 15N nuclear spin relaxation and paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments suggest that the prosthetic group swings freely. The minimal chemical shift perturbations displayed by Ppant-attached C3 and C4 acyl chains imply that these substrate-mimics remain exposed to solvent at the end of a flexible Ppant arm. By contrast, hexanoyl and octanoyl chains yield much larger chemical shift perturbations, indicating that they interact with the surface of the domain. The solution structure of octanoyl-ACP shows the Ppant arm bending to allow the acyl chain to nestle into a nonpolar pocket, whereas the prosthetic group itself remains largely solvent exposed. Although the highly reduced octanoyl group is not a natural substrate for the ACP from MLSA2, similar presentation modes would permit partner enzyme domains to recognize an acyl group while it is bound to the surface of its carrier protein, allowing simultaneous interactions with both the substrate and the ACP. PMID:26920023

  2. Recognition of Acyl Carrier Proteins by Ketoreductases in Assembly Line Polyketide Synthases

    PubMed Central

    Ostrowski, Matthew P.; Cane, David E.; Khosla, Chaitan

    2016-01-01

    Ketoreductases (KRs) are the most widespread tailoring domains found in individual modules of assembly line polyketide synthases (PKSs), and are responsible for controlling the configurations of both the α-methyl and β-hydroxyl stereogenic centers in the growing polyketide chain. Because they recognize substrates that are covalently bound to acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) within the same PKS module, we sought to quantify the extent to which protein-protein recognition contributes to the turnover of these oxidoreductive enzymes using stand-alone domains from the 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase (DEBS). Reduced 2-methyl-3-hydroxyacyl-ACP substrates derived from two enantiomeric acyl chains and four distinct ACP domains were synthesized and presented to four distinct KR domains. Two KRs, from DEBS modules 2 and 5, displayed little preference for oxidation of substrates tethered to their cognate ACP domains over those attached to the other ACP domains tested. In contrast, the KR from DEBS module 1 showed a ca. 10-50-fold preference for substrate attached to its native ACP domain, whereas the KR from DEBS module 6 actually displayed a ca. 10-fold preference for the ACP from DEBS module 5. Our findings suggest that recognition of the ACP by a KR domain is unlikely to affect the rate of native assembly line polyketide biosynthesis. In some cases, however, unfavorable KR-ACP interactions may suppress the rate of substrate processing when KR domains are swapped to construct hybrid PKS modules. PMID:27118242

  3. Rod-shaped hydroxyapatite with mesoporous structure as drug carriers for proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Wandong; Chai, Yamin; Xu, Xianghua; Wang, Yonglan; Cao, Nana

    2014-12-01

    Rod-shaped hydroxyapatite (HAp) with mesoporous structure was synthesized by a hydrothermal method using Pluronic block co-polymer F127 as the template. The rod-shaped HAp was then tested as protein drug carriers by investigating their protein adsorption/release properties. Bovine serum albumin (BSA) and lysozyme (LSZ) were used as the model drugs. Various instrumental methods were used to characterize the structure, morphology, texture and protein drug adsorption/release properties of the samples. The amounts of BSA or LSZ adsorbed onto the rod-shaped HAp and their release profiles were evaluated in a simulated body fluid (SBF). The synthesized rod-shaped HAp had irregular mesostructures with lengths of 75-125 nm and diameters of about 25 nm. The rod-shaped HAp exhibited a higher loading capacity for BSA than for LSZ in the SBF. This adsorption behavior can be explained by the morphology of the rod-shaped HAp, which grew along the c-axis, leading to an a(b)-plane area that is larger than the c-plane area. Consequently, the number of positive charges on the surface of the rod-shaped HAp increased relative to the number of negative charges. The BSA release rate in SBF was slower than that of LSZ which is a result of the HAp surface properties.

  4. Isolation and characterization of an enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase gene from microalga Isochrysis galbana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, Minggang; Liang, Kepeng; Wang, Bo; Sun, Xiuqin; Yue, Yanyan; Wan, Wenwen; Zheng, Li

    2013-03-01

    In most bacteria, plants and algae, fatty acid biosynthesis is catalyzed by a group of freely dissociable proteins known as the type II fatty acid synthase (FAS II) system. In the FAS II system, enoylacyl carrier protein reductase (ENR) acts as a determinant for completing the cycles of fatty acid elongation. In this study, the cDNA sequence of ENR, designated as IgENR, was isolated from the microalga Isochrysis galbana CCMM5001. RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends) was used to isolate the full-length cDNA of IgENR (1 503 bp), which contains an open reading frame (ORF) of 1 044 bp and encodes a protein of 347 amino acids. The genomic DNA sequence of IgENR is interrupted by four introns. The putative amino acid sequence is homologous to the ENRs of seed plants and algae, and they contain common coenzymebinding sites and active site motifs. Under different stress conditions, real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) showed the expression of IgENR was upregulated by high temperature (35°C), and downregulated by depleted nitrogen (0 mol/L). To clarify the mechanism of lipids accumulating lipids, other genes involved in lipids accumulation should be studied.

  5. Acyl-acyl carrier protein as a source of fatty acids for bacterial bioluminescence

    SciTech Connect

    Byers, D.M.; Meighen, E.A.

    1985-09-01

    Pulse-chase experiments with (/sup 3/H)tetradecanoic acid and ATP showed that the bioluminescence-related 32-kDa acyltransferase from Vibrio harveyi can specifically catalyze the deacylation of a /sup 3/H-labeled 18-kDa protein observed in extracts of this bacterium. The 18-kDa protein has been partially purified and its physical and chemical properties strongly indicate that it is fatty acyl-acyl carrier protein (acyl-ACP). Both this V. harveyi (/sup 3/H)acylprotein and (/sup 3/H)palmitoyl-ACP from Escherichia coli were substrates in vitro for either the V. harveyi 32-kDa acyltransferase or the analogous enzyme (34K) from Photobacterium phosphoreum. TLC analysis indicated that the hexane-soluble product of the reaction is fatty acid. No significant cleavage of either E. coli or V. harveyi tetradecanoyl-ACP was observed in extracts of these bacteria unless the 32-kDa or 34K acyltransferase was present. Since these enzymes are believed to be responsible for the supply of fatty acids for reduction to form the aldehyde substrate of luciferase, the above results suggest that long-chain acyl-ACP is the source of fatty acids for bioluminescence.

  6. Structure and Function of the Sterol Carrier Protein-2 N-Terminal Presequence†

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Gregory G.; Hostetler, Heather A.; McIntosh, Avery L.; Tichy, Shane E.; Williams, Brad J.; Russell, David H.; Berg, Jeremy M.; Spencer, Thomas A.; Ball, Judith; Kier, Ann B.; Schroeder, Friedhelm

    2008-01-01

    Although sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) is encoded as a precursor protein (proSCP-2), little is known regarding the structure and function of the 20-amino acid N-terminal presequence. As shown herein, the presequence contains significant secondary structure and alters SCP-2: (i) secondary structure (CD), (ii) tertiary structure (aqueous exposure of Trp shown by UV absorbance, fluorescence, fluorescence quenching), (iii) ligand binding site [Trp response to ligands, peptide cross-linked by photoactivatable free cholesterol (FCBP)], (iv) selectivity for interaction with anionic phospholipid-rich membranes, (v) interaction with a peroxisomal import protein [FRET studies of Pex5p(C) binding], the N-terminal presequence increased SCP-2’s affinity for Pex5p(C) by 10-fold, and (vi) intracellular targeting in living and fixed cells (confocal microscopy). Nearly 5-fold more SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with plasma membrane lipid rafts/caveolae (AF488-CTB), 2.8-fold more SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with a mitochondrial marker (Mitotracker), but nearly 2-fold less SCP-2 than proSCP-2 colocalized with peroxisomes (AF488-antibody to PMP70). These data indicate the importance of the N-terminal presequence in regulating SCP-2 structure, cholesterol localization within the ligand binding site, membrane association, and, potentially, intracellular targeting. PMID:18465878

  7. Dissecting the Structural Elements for the Activation of β-Ketoacyl-(Acyl Carrier Protein) Reductase from Vibrio cholerae

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Jing; Zheng, Heping; Chruszcz, Maksymilian; Zimmerman, Matthew D.; Shumilin, Igor A.; Osinski, Tomasz; Demas, Matt; Grimshaw, Sarah

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT β-Ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) reductase (FabG) catalyzes the key reductive reaction in the elongation cycle of fatty acid synthesis (FAS), which is a vital metabolic pathway in bacteria and a promising target for new antibiotic development. The activation of the enzyme is usually linked to the formation of a catalytic triad and cofactor binding, and crystal structures of FabG from different organisms have been captured in either the active or inactive conformation. However, the structural elements which enable activation of FabG require further exploration. Here we report the findings of structural, enzymatic, and binding studies of the FabG protein found in the causative agent of cholera, Vibrio cholerae (vcFabG). vcFabG exists predominantly as a dimer in solution and is able to self-associate to form tetramers, which is the state seen in the crystal structure. The formation of the tetramer may be promoted by the presence of the cofactor NADP(H). The transition between the dimeric and tetrameric states of vcFabG is related to changes in the conformations of the α4/α5 helices on the dimer-dimer interface. Two glycine residues adjacent to the dimer interface (G92 and G141) are identified to be the hinge for the conformational changes, while the catalytic tyrosine (Y155) and a glutamine residue that forms hydrogen bonds to both loop β4-α4 and loop β5-α5 (Q152) stabilize the active conformation. The functions of the aforementioned residues were confirmed by binding and enzymatic assays for the corresponding mutants. IMPORTANCE This paper describes the results of structural, enzymatic, and binding studies of FabG from Vibrio cholerae (vcFabG). In this work, we dissected the structural elements responsible for the activation of vcFabG. The structural information provided here is essential for the development of antibiotics specifically targeting bacterial FabG, especially for the multidrug-resistant strains of V. cholerae. PMID:26553852

  8. Photonic Crystal Hydrogel Enhanced Plasmonic Staining for Multiplexed Protein Analysis.

    PubMed

    Mu, Zhongde; Zhao, Xiangwei; Huang, Yin; Lu, Meng; Gu, Zhongze

    2015-12-02

    Plasmonic nanoparticles are commonly used as optical transducers in sensing applications. The optical signals resulting from the interaction of analytes and plamsonic nanoparticles are influenced by surrounding physical structures where the nanoparticles are located. This paper proposes inverse opal photonic crystal hydrogel as 3D structure to improve Raman signals from plasmonic staining. By hybridization of the plasmonic nanoparticles and photonic crystal, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) analysis of multiplexed protein is realized. It benefits the Raman analysis by providing high-density "hot spots" in 3D and extra enhancement of local electromagnetic field at the band edge of PhC with periodic refractive index distribution. The strong interaction of light and the hybrid 3D nanostructure offers new insights into plasmonic nanoparticle applications and biosensor design.

  9. In situ observation of elementary growth processes of protein crystals by advanced optical microscopy.

    PubMed

    Sazaki, Gen; Van Driessche, Alexander E S; Dai, Guoliang; Okada, Masashi; Matsui, Takuro; Otálora, Fermin; Tsukamoto, Katsuo; Nakajima, Kazuo

    2012-07-01

    To start systematically investigating the quality improvement of protein crystals, the elementary growth processes of protein crystals must be first clarified comprehensively. Atomic force microscopy (AFM) has made a tremendous contribution toward elucidating the elementary growth processes of protein crystals and has confirmed that protein crystals grow layer by layer utilizing kinks on steps, as in the case of inorganic and low-molecular-weight compound crystals. However, the scanning of the AFM cantilever greatly disturbs the concentration distribution and solution flow in the vicinity of growing protein crystals. AFM also cannot visualize the dynamic behavior of mobile solute and impurity molecules on protein crystal surfaces. To compensate for these disadvantages of AFM, in situ observation by two types of advanced optical microscopy has been recently performed. To observe the elementary steps of protein crystals noninvasively, laser confocal microscopy combined with differential interference contrast microscopy (LCM-DIM) was developed. To visualize individual mobile protein molecules, total internal reflection fluorescent (TIRF) microscopy, which is widely used in the field of biological physics, was applied to the visualization of protein crystal surfaces. In this review, recent progress in the noninvasive in situ observation of elementary steps and individual mobile protein molecules on protein crystal surfaces is outlined.

  10. Protein-detergent interactions in single crystals of membrane proteins studied by neutron crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    Timmins, P.A.; Pebay-Peyroula, E.

    1994-12-31

    The detergent micelles surrounding membrane protein molecules in single crystals can be investigated using neutron crystallography combined with H{sub 2}O/D{sub 2}O contrast variation. If the protein structure is known then the contrast variation method allows phases to be determined at a contrast where the detergent dominates the scattering. The application of various constraints allows the resulting scattering length density map to be realistically modeled. The method has been applied to two different forms of the membrane protein porin. In one case both hydrogenated and partially deuterated protein were used, allowing the head group and tail to be distinguished.

  11. Crystal structure of the petal death protein from carnation flower.

    PubMed

    Teplyakov, Alexey; Liu, Sijiu; Lu, Zhibing; Howard, Andrew; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra; Herzberg, Osnat

    2005-12-20

    Expression of the PSR132 protein from Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation, clover pink) is induced in response to ethylene production associated with petal senescence, and thus the protein is named petal death protein (PDP). Recent work has established that despite the annotation of PDP in sequence databases as carboxyphosphoenolpyruvate mutase, the enzyme is actually a C-C bond cleaving lyase exhibiting a broad substrate profile. The crystal structure of PDP has been determined at 2.7 A resolution, revealing a dimer-of-dimers oligomeric association. Consistent with sequence homology, the overall alpha/beta barrel fold of PDP is the same as that of other isocitrate lyase/PEP mutase superfamily members, including a swapped eighth helix within a dimer. Moreover, Mg(2+) binds in the active site of PDP with a coordination pattern similar to that seen in other superfamily members. A compound, covalently bound to the catalytic residue, Cys144, was interpreted as a thiohemiacetal adduct resulting from the reaction of glutaraldehyde used to cross-link the crystals. The Cys144-carrying flexible loop that gates access to the active site is in the closed conformation. Models of bound substrates and comparison with the closed conformation of isocitrate lyase and 2-methylisocitrate lyase revealed the structural basis for the broad substrate profile of PDP.

  12. Crystallizing Membrane Proteins in Lipidic Mesophases. A Host Lipid Screen

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Dianfan; Lee, Jean; Caffrey, Martin

    2011-11-30

    The default lipid for the bulk of the crystallogenesis studies performed to date using the cubic mesophase method is monoolein. There is no good reason, however, why this 18-carbon, cis-monounsaturated monoacylglycerol should be the preferred lipid for all target membrane proteins. The latter come from an array of biomembrane types with varying properties that include hydrophobic thickness, intrinsic curvature, lateral pressure profile, lipid and protein makeup, and compositional asymmetry. Thus, it seems reasonable that screening for crystallizability based on the identity of the lipid creating the hosting mesophase would be worthwhile. For this, monoacylglycerols with differing acyl chain characteristics, such as length and olefinic bond position, must be available. A lipid synthesis and purification program is in place in the author's laboratory to serve this need. In the current study with the outer membrane sugar transporter, OprB, we demonstrate the utility of host lipid screening as a means for generating diffraction-quality crystals. Host lipid screening is likely to prove a generally useful strategy for mesophase-based crystallization of membrane proteins.

  13. Three-dimensional Raman spectroscopic imaging of protein crystals deposited on a nanodroplet.

    PubMed

    Nitahara, Satoshi; Maeki, Masatoshi; Yamaguchi, Hiroshi; Yamashita, Kenichi; Miyazaki, Masaya; Maeda, Hideaki

    2012-12-21

    Confocal Raman spectroscopic imaging has been used to find the location of protein crystals deposited in a nanodroplet. The depth of the protein crystal has been clearly identified by comparing the three-dimensional Raman spectroscopic images of the protein with those of water. Additionally, the low concentration region around a growing protein crystal in the nanodroplet was visualized using two-dimensional Raman spectroscopic imaging.

  14. Nucleation and convection effects in protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenberger, Franz (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    The following activities are reported on: repartitioning of NaCl and protein impurities in lysozyme crystallization; dependence of lysozyme growth kinetics on step sources and impurities; facet morphology response to nonuniformities in nutrient and impurity supply; interactions in undersaturated and supersaturated lysozyme solutions; heterogeneity determination and purification of commercial hen egg white lysozyme; nonlinear response of layer growth dynamics in the mixed kinetics-bulk transport regime; development of a simultaneous multiangle light scattering technique; and x-ray topography of tetragonal lysozyme grown by the temperature-control technique.

  15. Protein-protein binding detection with nanoparticle photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (NP-PCEM).

    PubMed

    Zhuo, Yue; Tian, Limei; Chen, Weili; Yu, Hojeong; Singamaneni, Srikanth; Cunningham, Brian T

    2014-01-01

    We demonstrate a novel microscopy-based biosensing approach that utilizes a photonic crystal (PC) surface to detect protein-protein binding with the functionalized nanoparticles as tags. This imaging approach utilizes the measurement of localized shifts in the resonant wavelength and resonant reflection magnitude from the PC biosensor in the presence of individual nanoparticles. Moreover, it substantially increases the sensitivity of the imaging approach through tunable localized surface plasmon resonant frequency of the nanoparticle matching with the resonance of the PC biosensor. Experimental demonstrations of photonic crystal enhanced microscopy (PCEM) imaging with single nanoparticle resolution are supported by Finite-Difference Time-Domain (FDTD) computer simulations. The ability to detect the surface adsorption of individual nanoparticles as tags offers a route to single molecule biosensing with photonic crystal biosensor in the future.

  16. Charge carrier transport properties in polymer liquid crystals containing oxadiazole and amine moieties in the same side chain.

    PubMed

    Kawamoto, Masuki; Mochizuki, Hiroyuki; Ikeda, Tomiki; Iino, Hiroaki; Hanna, Jun-ichi

    2005-05-19

    Steady-state and transient photocurrent measurements were carried out to study the charge carrier transport properties of polymer liquid crystal (LC) containing oxadiazole (OXD) and amine moieties in the same side chain. The steady-state photocurrent measurement with asymmetric electrodes of ITO and Al and a short penetration depth of the illumination light indicated that both electrons and holes can be transported in this film. The transient hole photocurrent observed by time-of-flight (TOF) experiments was dispersive at room temperature. The hole drift mobility significantly depended on temperature and electric field and was determined to be 6.1 x 10(-8) cm2/Vs at a field of 9.1 x 10(5) V/cm. According to the disorder formalism, the Gaussian width of the density of states was determined to be 170 meV for holes. Despite the indication of possible electron transport in this film, we could not determine the electron mobility by TOF experiments due to strong dispersive photocurrent. We discuss the present charge transport properties of the film in relation to a large dipole attributed to an electrical push-pull structure of p-dimethylaminophenyl-substitited OXD moiety in polymer LC and its electroluminescent properties.

  17. Probing the Phosphopantetheine Arm Conformations of Acyl Carrier Proteins Using Vibrational Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) are universal and highly conserved domains central to both fatty acid and polyketide biosynthesis. These proteins tether reactive acyl intermediates with a swinging 4′-phosphopantetheine (Ppant) arm and interact with a suite of catalytic partners during chain transport and elongation while stabilizing the growing chain throughout the biosynthetic pathway. The flexible nature of the Ppant arm and the transient nature of ACP–enzyme interactions impose a major obstacle to obtaining structural information relevant to understanding polyketide and fatty acid biosynthesis. To overcome this challenge, we installed a thiocyanate vibrational spectroscopic probe on the terminal thiol of the ACP Ppant arm. This site-specific probe successfully reported on the local environment of the Ppant arm of two ACPs previously characterized by solution NMR, and was used to determine the solution exposure of the Ppant arm of an ACP from 6-deoxyerythronolide B synthase (DEBS). Given the sensitivity of the probe’s CN stretching band to conformational distributions resolved on the picosecond time scale, this work lays a foundation for observing the dynamic action-related structural changes of ACPs using vibrational spectroscopy. PMID:25080832

  18. Submicellar bile salts stimulate phosphatidylcholine transfer activity of sterol carrier protein 2.

    PubMed

    Leonard, A N; Cohen, D E

    1998-10-01

    To explore a potential role for sterol carrier protein 2 (SCP2, also known as non-specific lipid transfer protein) in hepatocellular phospholipid trafficking, we examined the influence of submicellar bile salt concentrations on phosphatidylcholine (PC) transfer activity of SCP2. We measured rate constants for first-order transfer of sn-1 palmitoyl, sn-2 parinaroyl PC, a naturally fluorescent self-quenching phospholipid between model membranes. Purified bovine liver SCP2 promoted transfer of PC from donor to acceptor small unilamellar vesicles. Taurine- and glycine-conjugated bile salts (anionic steroid detergent-like molecules), at concentrations well below their critical micellar concentrations, stimulated PC transfer activity of SCP2 80- to 140-fold. Rate constants increased in proportion to bile salt concentration, temperature, and bile salt-membrane binding affinity. Sodium taurofusidate, a conjugated fungal bile salt analog, also activated PC transfer whereas no effect was observed with the anionic and non-ionic straight chain detergents sodium dodecyl sulfate and octylglucoside, respectively. Thermodynamic and kinetic analyses of PC transfer support a mechanism in which bile salts stimulate SCP2 activity by partitioning into donor vesicles and enhancing membrane association of SCP2. These results imply that under physiological conditions, SCP2 may contribute to hepatocellular selection and transport of biliary PCs.

  19. Sterol carrier protein-2 localization in endoplasmic reticulum and role in phospholipid formation.

    PubMed

    Starodub, O; Jolly, C A; Atshaves, B P; Roths, J B; Murphy, E J; Kier, A B; Schroeder, F

    2000-10-01

    Although sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2; also called nonspecific lipid transfer protein) binds fatty acids and fatty acyl-CoAs, its role in fatty acid metabolism is not fully understood. L-cell fibroblasts stably expressing SCP-2 were used to resolve the relationship between SCP-2 intracellular location and fatty acid transacylation in the endoplasmic reticulum. Indirect immunofluorescence double labeling and laser scanning confocal microscopy detected SCP-2 in peroxisomes > endoplasmic reticulum > mitochondria > lysosomes. SCP-2 enhanced incorporation of exogenous [(3)H]oleic acid into phospholipids and triacylglycerols of overexpressing cells 1.6- and 2.5-fold, respectively, stimulated microsomal incorporation of [1-(14)C]oleoyl-CoA into phosphatidic acid in vitro 13-fold, and exhibited higher specificity for unsaturated versus saturated fatty acyl-CoA. SCP-2 enhanced the rate-limiting step in microsomal phosphatidic acid biosynthesis mediated by glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase. SCP-2 also enhanced microsomal acyl-chain remodeling of phosphatidylethanolamine up to fivefold and phosphatidylserine twofold, depending on the specific fatty acyl-CoA, but had no effect on other phospholipid classes. In summary, these results were consistent with a role for SCP-2 in phospholipid synthesis in the endoplasmic reticulum.

  20. Immunocontraceptive potential of recombinantly expressed minimized chicken riboflavin carrier protein (mini-RCP) in rodents.

    PubMed

    Subramanian, Sarada; Karandeb, Anjali A; Adiga, P Radhakantha

    2004-12-01

    Chicken riboflavin carrier protein (RCP; 219 AA) harbours four linear epitopes, constituted by the peptide residues 3-23, 64-83, 130-147 and 200-219. Antibodies to these sequences bioneutralize maternal RCP and provide protection from pregnancy in rodents. In order to overcome the major histocompatibility complex-dependent variability in immune response often encountered with use of single peptides for vaccination in genetically outbred populations, we have assembled a novel synthetic gene, incorporating in tandem the nucleotide sequences coding for all the four neutralizing epitopes of chicken RCP and expressed in Escherichia coli. The gene product, mini-RCP has been characterized for its immunogenic properties and contraceptive potential in rodents. Immunization of rabbits and rats led to generation of antibodies against individual peptide components, as determined by enzyme-linked-immunosorbent assay (ELISA). However, immunized rats carried pregnancy to term and delivered healthy offsprings. Antisera from these rats exhibited decreased affinity of binding to the native protein. These findings suggest that the prospects of covalently-linked epitope peptides need to be cautiously evaluated during the design and development of peptide-based vaccines.

  1. Secretory Carrier Membrane Protein (SCAMP) deficiency influences behavior of adult flies

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, JiaLin C.; Tham, Chook Teng; Keatings, Kathleen; Fan, Steven; Liou, Angela Yen-Chun; Numata, Yuka; Allan, Douglas; Numata, Masayuki

    2014-01-01

    Secretory Carrier Membrane Proteins (SCAMPs) are a group of tetraspanning integral membrane proteins evolutionarily conserved from insects to mammals and plants. Mammalian genomes contain five SCAMP genes SCAMP1-SCAMP5 that regulate membrane dynamics, most prominently membrane-depolarization and Ca2+-induced regulated secretion, a key mechanism for neuronal and neuroendocrine signaling. However, the biological role of SCAMPs has remained poorly understood primarily owing to the lack of appropriate model organisms and behavior assays. Here we generate Drosophila Scamp null mutants and show that they exhibit reduced lifespan and behavioral abnormalities including impaired climbing, deficiency in odor associated long-term memory, and a susceptibility to heat-induced seizures. Neuron-specific restoration of Drosophila Scamp rescues all Scamp null behavioral phenotypes, indicating that the phenotypes are due to loss of neuronal Scamp. Remarkably, neuronal expression of human SCAMP genes rescues selected behavioral phenotypes of the mutants, suggesting the conserved function of SCAMPs across species. The newly developed Drosophila mutants present the first evidence that genetic depletion of SCAMP at the organismal level leads to varied behavioral abnormalities, and the obtained results indicate the importance of membrane dynamics in neuronal functions in vivo. PMID:25478561

  2. Tragacanth as an oral peptide and protein delivery carrier: Characterization and mucoadhesion.

    PubMed

    Nur, M; Ramchandran, L; Vasiljevic, T

    2016-06-05

    Biopolymers such as tragacanth, an anionic polysaccharide gum, can be alternative polymeric carrier for physiologically important peptides and proteins. Characterization of tragacanth is thus essential for providing a foundation for possible applications. Rheological studies colloidal solution of tragacanth at pH 3, 5 or 7 were carried out by means of steady shear and small amplitude oscillatory measurements. Tragacanth mucoadhesivity was also analyzed using an applicable rheological method and compared to chitosan, alginate and PVP. The particle size and zeta potential were measured by a zetasizer. Thermal properties of solutions were obtained using a differential scanning calorimetry. The solution exhibited shear-thinning characteristics. The value of the storage modulus (G') and the loss modulus (G″) increased with an increase in angular frequency (Ω). In all cases, loss modulus values were higher than storage values (G″>G') and viscous character was, therefore, dominant. Tragacanth and alginate showed a good mucoadhesion. Tragacanth upon dispersion created particles of a submicron size with a negative zeta potential (-7.98 to -11.92 mV). These properties were pH dependant resulting in acid gel formation at pH 3.5. Tragacanth has thus a potential to be used as an excipient for peptide/protein delivery.

  3. Secretory Carrier Membrane Protein (SCAMP) deficiency influences behavior of adult flies.

    PubMed

    Zheng, JiaLin C; Tham, Chook Teng; Keatings, Kathleen; Fan, Steven; Liou, Angela Yen-Chun; Numata, Yuka; Allan, Douglas; Numata, Masayuki

    2014-01-01

    Secretory Carrier Membrane Proteins (SCAMPs) are a group of tetraspanning integral membrane proteins evolutionarily conserved from insects to mammals and plants. Mammalian genomes contain five SCAMP genes SCAMP1-SCAMP5 that regulate membrane dynamics, most prominently membrane-depolarization and Ca(2+)-induced regulated secretion, a key mechanism for neuronal and neuroendocrine signaling. However, the biological role of SCAMPs has remained poorly understood primarily owing to the lack of appropriate model organisms and behavior assays. Here we generate Drosophila Scamp null mutants and show that they exhibit reduced lifespan and behavioral abnormalities including impaired climbing, deficiency in odor associated long-term memory, and a susceptibility to heat-induced seizures. Neuron-specific restoration of Drosophila Scamp rescues all Scamp null behavioral phenotypes, indicating that the phenotypes are due to loss of neuronal Scamp. Remarkably, neuronal expression of human SCAMP genes rescues selected behavioral phenotypes of the mutants, suggesting the conserved function of SCAMPs across species. The newly developed Drosophila mutants present the first evidence that genetic depletion of SCAMP at the organismal level leads to varied behavioral abnormalities, and the obtained results indicate the importance of membrane dynamics in neuronal functions in vivo.

  4. Protein products obtained by site-preferred partial crosslinking in protein crystals and "liberated" by redissolution.

    PubMed

    Buch, Michal; Wine, Yariv; Dror, Yael; Rosenheck, Sonia; Lebendiker, Mario; Giordano, Rita; Leal, Ricardo M F; Popov, Alexander N; Freeman, Amihay; Frolow, Felix

    2014-07-01

    The use of protein crystals as a source of nanoscale biotemplates has attracted growing interest in recent years owing to their inherent internal order. As these crystals are vulnerable to environmental changes, potential applications require their stabilization by chemical crosslinking. We have previously shown that such intermolecular chemical crosslinking reactions occurring within protein crystals are not random events, but start at preferred crosslinking sites imposed by the alignment of protein molecules and their packing within the crystalline lattice. Here we propose a new working hypothesis and demonstrate its feasibility in enabling us to extricate homogeneous populations of single protein molecules that display chemical point mutations or of dimers that show homogeneous chemical crosslinking, and that have the potential for isolation of higher structures. Characterization of the crosslinking mechanism and its end products opens the way to the potential retrieval of such specific modified/intermolecular crosslinked products simply by effecting partial crosslinking at identified preferred sites, followed by time-controlled arrest of the crosslinking reaction and dissolution of the crystals by medium exchange complemented by chromatographic purification.

  5. Determination of protein and solvent volumes in protein crystals from contrast variation data

    SciTech Connect

    Badger, J.

    1994-12-31

    By varying the relative values of protein and solvent scattering densities in a crystal, it is possible to obtain information on the shape and dimensions of protein molecular envelopes. Neutron diffraction methods are ideally suited to these contrast variation experiments because H/D exchange leads to large differential changes in the protein and solvent scattering densities and is structurally non-perturbing. Low resolution structure factors have been measured from cubic insulin crystals with differing H/D contents. Structure factors calculated from a simple binary density model, in which uniform scattering densities represent the protein and solvent volumes in the crystals, were compared with these data. The contrast variation differences in the sets of measured structure factors were found to be accurately fitted by this simple model. Trial applications to two problems in crystal structure determination illustrate how this fact may be exploited. (1) A translation function that employs contrast variation data gave a sharp minimum within 1-9{Angstrom} of the correctly positioned insulin molecule and is relatively insensitive to errors in the atomic model. (2) An ab initio phasing method for the contrast variation data, based on analyzing histograms of the density distributions in trial maps, was found to recover the correct molecular envelope.

  6. PEGylated Dendritic Unimolecular Micelles as Versatile Carriers for Ligands of G Protein-Coupled Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Yoonkyung; Hechler, Béatrice; Gao, Zhan-Guo; Gachet, Christian; Jacobson, Kenneth A.

    2009-01-01

    Despite its widespread application in nanomedicine, poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) is seldom used for covalent modification of ligands for G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) due to potential steric complications. In order to study the influence of PEG chains on the biological activity of GPCR ligands bound to a common macromolecular carrier, we prepared a series of G3 polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers derivatized with Alexa Fluor 488, varying numbers of PEG550/PEG750/PEG2000, and nucleoside moieties derived from the A2A adenosine receptor (AR) agonist CGS21680 (2-[4-(2-carboxylethyl)phenylethylamino]-5′-N-ethylcarboxamidoadenosine). These dendrimer conjugates were purified by size exclusion chromatography and characterized by 1H NMR and MALDI MS. In radioligand binding assays, some PAMAM-PEG conjugates showed enhanced subtype-selectivity at the human A2A AR compared to monomeric ligands of comparable affinity. The functional potency was measured in the A2A AR-mediated activation of adenylate cyclase and inhibition of ADP-induced platelet aggregation. Interestingly, the dendrimer conjugate 10c bearing 11 PEG750 chains (out of theo. 32 amino end groups) and 14 nucleoside moieties was 5-fold more potent in A2A AR–mediated stimulation of cyclic AMP formation than 10d with four PEG2000 chains and 21 nucleosides, although the binding affinities of these two compounds were similar. Thus, a relatively small (≤10 nm) multivalent ligand 10c modified for water solubility maintained high potency and displayed increased A2A AR binding selectivity over the monomeric nucleosides. Longer PEG chains reduced affinity at the A2A AR. The current study demonstrates the feasiblity of using short PEG chains in the design of carriers that target ligand-receptor interactions. PMID:19785401

  7. Experiment and theory for heterogeneous nucleation of protein crystals in a porous medium.

    PubMed

    Chayen, Naomi E; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Sear, Richard P

    2006-01-17

    The determination of high-resolution structures of proteins requires crystals of suitable quality. Because of the new impetus given to structural biology by structural genomics/proteomics, the problem of crystallizing proteins is becoming increasingly acute. There is therefore an urgent requirement for the development of new efficient methods to aid crystal growth. Nucleation is the crucial step that determines the entire crystallization process. Hence, the holy grail is to design a "universal nucleant," a substrate that induces the nucleation of crystals of any protein. We report a theory for nucleation on disordered porous media and its experimental testing and validation using a mesoporous bioactive gel-glass. This material induced the crystallization of the largest number of proteins ever crystallized using a single nucleant. The combination of the model and the experimental results opens up the scope for the rational design of nucleants, leading to alternative means of controlling crystallization.

  8. A crystallization technique for obtaining large protein crystals with increased mechanical stability using agarose gel combined with a stirring technique

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, Mihoko; Hayashi, Yuki; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Okada, Shino; Koizumi, Haruhiko; Tachibana, Masaru; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Adachi, Hiroaki; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Takano, Kazufumi; Murakami, Satoshi; Yoshimura, Masashi; Mori, Yusuke

    2016-10-01

    We developed a protein crystallization technique using a 0.0-2.0 w/v% agarose gel solution combined with a stirring technique for the purpose of controlling the crystal number in the gelled solutions. To confirm the stirring effect in the gelled solution, we investigated the nucleation probability and growth rate of the crystals produced using this method. The stirring operation by a rotary shaker affected the behavior of protein molecules in the gelled solution, and both a significant decrease in the nucleation rate and an enhancement of the crystal growth rate were achieved by the method. As a result, we concluded that the proposed technique, the stirring technique in a gel solution, was effective for generating protein crystals of sufficient and increased mechanical stability.

  9. Superheating of ice crystals in antifreeze protein solutions.

    PubMed

    Celik, Yeliz; Graham, Laurie A; Mok, Yee-Foong; Bar, Maya; Davies, Peter L; Braslavsky, Ido

    2010-03-23

    It has been argued that for antifreeze proteins (AFPs) to stop ice crystal growth, they must irreversibly bind to the ice surface. Surface-adsorbed AFPs should also prevent ice from melting, but to date this has been demonstrated only in a qualitative manner. Here we present the first quantitative measurements of superheating of ice in AFP solutions. Superheated ice crystals were stable for hours above their equilibrium melting point, and the maximum superheating obtained was 0.44 degrees C. When melting commenced in this superheated regime, rapid melting of the crystals from a point on the surface was observed. This increase in melting temperature was more appreciable for hyperactive AFPs compared to the AFPs with moderate antifreeze activity. For each of the AFP solutions that exhibited superheating, the enhancement of the melting temperature was far smaller than the depression of the freezing temperature. The present findings clearly show that AFPs adsorb to ice surfaces as part of their mechanism of action, and this absorption leads to protection of ice against melting as well as freezing.

  10. Crystallization of the Large Membrane Protein Complex Photosystem I in a Microfluidic Channel

    PubMed Central

    Abdallah, Bahige G.; Kupitz, Christopher; Fromme, Petra; Ros, Alexandra

    2014-01-01

    Traditional macroscale protein crystallization is accomplished non-trivially by exploring a range of protein concentrations and buffers in solution until a suitable combination is attained. This methodology is time consuming and resource intensive, hindering protein structure determination. Even more difficulties arise when crystallizing large membrane protein complexes such as photosystem I (PSI) due to their large unit cells dominated by solvent and complex characteristics that call for even stricter buffer requirements. Structure determination techniques tailored for these ‘difficult to crystallize’ proteins such as femtosecond nanocrystallography are being developed, yet still need specific crystal characteristics. Here, we demonstrate a simple and robust method to screen protein crystallization conditions at low ionic strength in a microfluidic device. This is realized in one microfluidic experiment using low sample amounts, unlike traditional methods where each solution condition is set up separately. Second harmonic generation microscopy via Second Order Nonlinear Imaging of Chiral Crystals (SONICC) was applied for the detection of nanometer and micrometer sized PSI crystals within microchannels. To develop a crystallization phase diagram, crystals imaged with SONICC at specific channel locations were correlated to protein and salt concentrations determined by numerical simulations of the time-dependent diffusion process along the channel. Our method demonstrated that a portion of the PSI crystallization phase diagram could be reconstructed in excellent agreement with crystallization conditions determined by traditional methods. We postulate that this approach could be utilized to efficiently study and optimize crystallization conditions for a wide range of proteins that are poorly understood to date. PMID:24191698

  11. Supported phospholipid bilayers for two-dimensional protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Uzgiris, E E

    1986-01-29

    Phospholipid bilayers, supported on UV irradiated carbon shadowed nitrocellulose electron microscope grids, have been used to induce two-dimensional crystal growth of IgE and IgG anti-DNP monoclonal antibodies. The UV irradiation renders the grids hydrophilic in a very uniform fashion and allows for the transfer of phospholipid monolayers from an air/water interface in a sequential dipping procedure. The surface coverage achieved was nearly 100% as measured by antibody binding and by the formation of protein arrays on the bilayer covered grids. The supported bilayers appear to be stably held and are appropriate for slow binding conditions and long incubation times with low concentrations of binding protein.

  12. Sterol carrier protein-2 alters high density lipoprotein-mediated cholesterol efflux.

    PubMed

    Atshaves, B P; Starodub, O; McIntosh, A; Petrescu, A; Roths, J B; Kier, A B; Schroeder, F

    2000-11-24

    Although sterol carrier protein-2 (SCP-2) participates in the uptake and intracellular trafficking of cholesterol, its effect on "reverse cholesterol transport" has not been explored. As shown herein, SCP-2 expression inhibited high density lipoprotein (HDL)-mediated efflux of [(3)H]cholesterol and fluorescent 22-(N-(7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1, 3-diazol-4-yl)amino)-23,24-bisnor-5-cholen-3b-ol (NBD-cholesterol) up to 61 and 157%, respectively. Confocal microscopy of living cells allowed kinetic analysis of two intracellular pools of HDL-mediated NBD-cholesterol efflux: the highly fluorescent lipid droplet pool and the less fluorescent pool outside the lipid droplets, designated the cytoplasmic compartment. Both the whole cell and the cytoplasmic compartment exhibited two similar kinetic pools, the half-times of which were consistent with protein (t(b)(12) near 1 min) and vesicular (t(d)(12) = 10-20 min) mediated sterol transfer. Although SCP-2 expression did not alter cytoplasmic sterol pool sizes, the rapid t(b)(12) decreased 36%, while the slower t(d)(12) increased 113%. Lipid droplets also exhibited two kinetic pools of NBD-cholesterol efflux but with half-times over 200% shorter than those of the cytoplasmic compartment. The lipid droplet slower effluxing pool size and t(d)(12) were increased 48% and 115%, respectively, in SCP-2-expressing cells. Concomitantly, the level of the lipid droplet-specific adipose differentiation-related protein decreased 70%. Overall, HDL-mediated sterol efflux from L-cell fibroblasts reflected that of the cytoplasmic rather than lipid droplet compartment. SCP-2 differentially modulated sterol efflux from the two cytoplasmic pools. However, net efflux was determined primarily by inhibition of the slowly effluxing pool rather than by acceleration of the rapid protein-mediated pool. Finally, SCP-2 expression also inhibited sterol efflux from lipid droplets, an effect related to decreased adipose differentiation-related protein, a lipid

  13. A Proposed Model for Protein Crystal Nucleation and Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pusey, Marc; Curreri, Peter A. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    How does one take a molecule, strongly asymmetric in both shape and charge distribution, and assemble it into a crystal? We propose a model for the nucleation and crystal growth process for tetragonal lysozyme, based upon fluorescence, light, neutron, and X-ray scattering data, size exclusion chromatography experiments, dialysis kinetics, AFM, and modeling of growth rate data, from this and other laboratories. The first species formed is postulated to be a 'head to side' dimer. Through repeating associations involving the same intermolecular interactions this grows to a 4(sub 3) helix structure, that in turn serves as the basic unit for nucleation and subsequent crystal growth. High salt attenuates surface charges while promoting hydrophobic interactions. Symmetry facilitates subsequent helix-helix self-association. Assembly stability is enhanced when a four helix structure is obtained, with each bound to two neighbors. Only two unique interactions are required. The first are those for helix formation, where the dominant interaction is the intermolecular bridging anion. The second is the anti-parallel side-by-side helix-helix interaction, guided by alternating pairs of symmetry related salt bridges along each side. At this stage all eight unique positions of the P4(sub3)2(sub 1),2(sub 1) unit cell are filled. The process is one of a) attenuating the most strongly interacting groups, such that b) the molecules begin to self-associate in defined patterns, so that c) symmetry is obtained, which d) propagates as a growing crystal. Simple and conceptually obvious in hindsight, this tells much about what we are empirically doing when we crystallize macromolecules. By adjusting the growth parameters we are empirically balancing the intermolecular interactions, preferentially attenuating the dominant strong (for lysozyme the charged groups) while strengthening the lesser strong (hydrophobic) interactions. In the general case for proteins the lack of a singularly defined

  14. Analysis of zinc binding sites in protein crystal structures.

    PubMed Central

    Alberts, I. L.; Nadassy, K.; Wodak, S. J.

    1998-01-01

    The geometrical properties of zinc binding sites in a dataset of high quality protein crystal structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank have been examined to identify important differences between zinc sites that are directly involved in catalysis and those that play a structural role. Coordination angles in the zinc primary coordination sphere are compared with ideal values for each coordination geometry, and zinc coordination distances are compared with those in small zinc complexes from the Cambridge Structural Database as a guide of expected trends. We find that distances and angles in the primary coordination sphere are in general close to the expected (or ideal) values. Deviations occur primarily for oxygen coordinating atoms and are found to be mainly due to H-bonding of the oxygen coordinating ligand to protein residues, bidentate binding arrangements, and multi-zinc sites. We find that H-bonding of oxygen containing residues (or water) to zinc bound histidines is almost universal in our dataset and defines the elec-His-Zn motif. Analysis of the stereochemistry shows that carboxyl elec-His-Zn motifs are geometrically rigid, while water elec-His-Zn motifs show the most geometrical variation. As catalytic motifs have a higher proportion of carboxyl elec atoms than structural motifs, they provide a more rigid framework for zinc binding. This is understood biologically, as a small distortion in the zinc position in an enzyme can have serious consequences on the enzymatic reaction. We also analyze the sequence pattern of the zinc ligands and residues that provide elecs, and identify conserved hydrophobic residues in the endopeptidases that also appear to contribute to stabilizing the catalytic zinc site. A zinc binding template in protein crystal structures is derived from these observations. PMID:10082367

  15. Equilibrium Kinetics Studies and Crystallization Aboard the International Space Station (ISS) Using the Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity (PCAM)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Achari, Aniruddha; Roeber, Dana F.; Barnes, Cindy L.; Kundrot, Craig E.; Stinson, Thomas N. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Protein Crystallization Apparatus in Microgravity (PCAM) trays have been used in Shuttle missions to crystallize proteins in a microgravity environment. The crystallization experiments are 'sitting drops' similar to that in Cryschem trays, but the reservoir solution is soaked in a wick. From early 2001, crystallization experiments are conducted on the International Space Station using mission durations of months rather than two weeks on previous shuttle missions. Experiments were set up in April 2001 on Flight 6A to characterize the time crystallization experiments will take to reach equilibrium in a microgravity environment using salts, polyethylene glycols and an organic solvent as precipitants. The experiments were set up to gather data for a series of days of activation with different droplet volumes and precipitants. The experimental set up on ISS and results of this study will be presented. These results will help future users of PCAM to choose precipitants to optimize crystallization conditions for their target macromolecules for a particular mission with known mission duration. Changes in crystal morphology and size between the ground and space grown crystals of a protein and a protein -DNA complex flown on the same mission will also be presented.

  16. Crystal Structure of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus Envelope Protein

    SciTech Connect

    Luca, Vincent C.; AbiMansour, Jad; Nelson, Christopher A.; Fremont, Daved H.

    2012-03-13

    Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is the leading global cause of viral encephalitis. The JEV envelope protein (E) facilitates cellular attachment and membrane fusion and is the primary target of neutralizing antibodies. We have determined the 2.1-{angstrom} resolution crystal structure of the JEV E ectodomain refolded from bacterial inclusion bodies. The E protein possesses the three domains characteristic of flavivirus envelopes and epitope mapping of neutralizing antibodies onto the structure reveals determinants that correspond to the domain I lateral ridge, fusion loop, domain III lateral ridge, and domain I-II hinge. While monomeric in solution, JEV E assembles as an antiparallel dimer in the crystal lattice organized in a highly similar fashion as seen in cryo-electron microscopy models of mature flavivirus virions. The dimer interface, however, is remarkably small and lacks many of the domain II contacts observed in other flavivirus E homodimers. In addition, uniquely conserved histidines within the JEV serocomplex suggest that pH-mediated structural transitions may be aided by lateral interactions outside the dimer interface in the icosahedral virion. Our results suggest that variation in dimer structure and stability may significantly influence the assembly, receptor interaction, and uncoating of virions.

  17. First experiences with semi-autonomous robotic harvesting of protein crystals.

    PubMed

    Viola, Robert; Walsh, Jace; Melka, Alex; Womack, Wesley; Murphy, Sean; Riboldi-Tunnicliffe, Alan; Rupp, Bernhard

    2011-07-01

    The demonstration unit of the Universal Micromanipulation Robot (UMR) capable of semi-autonomous protein crystal harvesting has been tested and evaluated by independent users. We report the status and capabilities of the present unit scheduled for deployment in a high-throughput protein crystallization center. We discuss operational aspects as well as novel features such as micro-crystal handling and drip-cryoprotection, and we extrapolate towards the design of a fully autonomous, integrated system capable of reliable crystal harvesting. The positive to enthusiastic feedback from the participants in an evaluation workshop indicates that genuine demand exists and the effort and resources to develop autonomous protein crystal harvesting robotics are justified.

  18. Microphase Separation Controlled beta-Sheet Crystallization Kinetics in Fibrous Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Hu, X.; Lu, Q; Kaplan, D; Cebe, P

    2009-01-01

    Silk is a naturally occurring fibrous protein with a multiblock chain architecture. As such, it has many similarities with synthetic block copolymers, including the possibility for e-sheet crystallization restricted within the crystallizable blocks. The mechanism of isothermal crystallization kinetics of e-sheet crystals in silk multiblock fibrous proteins is reported in this study. Kinetics theories, such as Avrami analysis which was established for studies of synthetic polymer crystal growth, are for the first time extended to investigate protein self-assembly in e-sheet rich Bombyx mori silk fibroin samples, using time-resolved Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and synchrotron real-time wide-angle X-ray scattering (WAXS). The Avrami exponent, n, was close to 2 for all methods and crystallization temperatures, indicating formation of e-sheet crystals in silk proteins is different from the 3-D spherulitic crystal growth found in synthetic polymers. Observations by scanning electron microscopy support the view that the protein structures vary during the different stages of crystal growth, and show a microphase separation pattern after chymotrypsin enzyme biodegradation. We present a model to explain the crystallization of the multiblock silk fibroin protein, by analogy to block copolymers: crystallization of e-sheets occurs under conditions of geometrical restriction caused by phase separation of the crystallizable and uncrystallizable blocks. This crystallization model could be widely applicable in other proteins with multiblock (i.e., crystallizable and noncrystallizable) domains.

  19. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the haem-binding protein HemS from Yersinia enterocolitica

    SciTech Connect

    Schneider, Sabine; Paoli, Massimo

    2005-08-01

    The haem binding protein HemS from Y. enterocolitica has been crystallized in complex with its ligand. The crystals diffracted X-rays to 2.6 Å in-house. Bacteria have evolved strategies to acquire iron from their environment. Pathogenic microbes rely on specialized proteins to ‘steal’ haem from their host and use it as an iron source. HemS is the ultimate recipient of a molecular-relay system for haem uptake in Gram-negative species, functioning as the cytosolic carrier of haem. Soluble expression and high-quality diffraction crystals were obtained for HemS from Yersinia enterocolitica. Crystals belong to the orthorhombic space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 74.86, b = 77.45, c = 114.09 Å, and diffract X-rays to 2.6 Å spacing in-house. Determination of the structure of the haem–HemS complex will reveal the molecular basis of haem binding.

  20. Self-assembled multicompartment liquid crystalline lipid carriers for protein, peptide, and nucleic acid drug delivery.

    PubMed

    Angelova, Angelina; Angelov, Borislav; Mutafchieva, Rada; Lesieur, Sylviane; Couvreur, Patrick

    2011-02-15

    Lipids and lipopolymers self-assembled into biocompatible nano- and mesostructured functional materials offer many potential applications in medicine and diagnostics. In this Account, we demonstrate how high-resolution structural investigations of bicontinuous cubic templates made from lyotropic thermosensitive liquid-crystalline (LC) materials have initiated the development of innovative lipidopolymeric self-assembled nanocarriers. Such structures have tunable nanochannel sizes, morphologies, and hierarchical inner organizations and provide potential vehicles for the predictable loading and release of therapeutic proteins, peptides, or nucleic acids. This Account shows that structural studies of swelling of bicontinuous cubic lipid/water phases are essential for overcoming the nanoscale constraints for encapsulation of large therapeutic molecules in multicompartment lipid carriers. For the systems described here, we have employed time-resolved small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) and high-resolution freeze-fracture electronic microscopy (FF-EM) to study the morphology and the dynamic topological transitions of these nanostructured multicomponent amphiphilic assemblies. Quasi-elastic light scattering and circular dichroism spectroscopy can provide additional information at the nanoscale about the behavior of lipid/protein self-assemblies under conditions that approximate physiological hydration. We wanted to generalize these findings to control the stability and the hydration of the water nanochannels in liquid-crystalline lipid nanovehicles and confine therapeutic biomolecules within these structures. Therefore we analyzed the influence of amphiphilic and soluble additives (e.g. poly(ethylene glycol)monooleate (MO-PEG), octyl glucoside (OG), proteins) on the nanochannels' size in a diamond (D)-type bicontinuous cubic phase of the lipid glycerol monooleate (MO). At body temperature, we can stabilize long-living swollen states, corresponding to a diamond cubic phase

  1. Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of the haem-binding protein HemS from Yersinia enterocolitica.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Sabine; Paoli, Massimo

    2005-08-01

    Bacteria have evolved strategies to acquire iron from their environment. Pathogenic microbes rely on specialized proteins to ;steal' haem from their host and use it as an iron source. HemS is the ultimate recipient of a molecular-relay system for haem uptake in Gram-negative species, functioning as the cytosolic carrier of haem. Soluble expression and high-quality diffraction crystals were obtained for HemS from Yersinia enterocolitica. Crystals belong to the orthorhombic space group I222, with unit-cell parameters a = 74.86, b = 77.45, c = 114.09 A, and diffract X-rays to 2.6 A spacing in-house. Determination of the structure of the haem-HemS complex will reveal the molecular basis of haem binding.

  2. The effect of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots on the rotational viscosity and charge carrier concentration of a nematic liquid crystal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shcherbinin, D. P.; Konshina, E. A.; Solodkov, D. E.

    2015-08-01

    The addition of CdSe/ZnS quantum dots (QDs) with a core diameter of 3.5 nm at a concentration of 10 wt % leads to a 2.5-fold increase in the dynamic rotational viscosity of a 5CB nematic liquid crystal (NLC). A comparison of the diffusion currents in NLC cells filled with pure 5CB and a suspension with QDs shows evidence of an increase in the concentration of charge carriers in the latter case.

  3. The 2.1 A structure of an elicitin-ergosterol complex: a recent addition to the Sterol Carrier Protein family.

    PubMed Central

    Boissy, G.; O'Donohue, M.; Gaudemer, O.; Perez, V.; Pernollet, J. C.; Brunie, S.

    1999-01-01

    Elicitins, produced by most of the phytopathogenic fungi of the genus Phytophthora, provoke in tobacco both remote leaf necrosis and the induction of a resistance against subsequent attack by various microorganisms. Despite the recent description of the three-dimensional crystal structure of cryptogein (CRY), the molecular basis of the interactions between Phytophthora and plants largely remains unknown. The X-ray crystal structure, refined at 2.1 A, of a ligand complexed, mutated CRY, K13H, is reported. Analysis of this structure reveals that CRY is able to encapsulate a ligand that induces only a minor conformational change in the protein structure. The ligand has been identified as an ergosterol by gas chromatographic analysis coupled with mass spectrometry analysis. This result is consistent with biochemical data that have shown that elicitins are a distinct class of Sterol Carrier Proteins (SCP). Data presented here provide the first structural description of the pertinent features of the elicitin sterol interaction and permit a reassessment of the importance of both the key residue 13 and the mobility of the omega loop for the accessibility of the sterol to the cavity. The biological implications thereof are discussed. This paper reports the first structure of a SCP/sterol complex. PMID:10386869

  4. The Feasibility of Bulk Crystallization as an Industrial Purification and Production Technique for Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Judge, Russell A.; Forsythe, Elizabeth L.; Johns, Michael R.; Pusey, Marc L.; White, Edward T.

    1998-01-01

    Bulk crystallization in stirred vessels is used industrially for the recovery and purification of many inorganic and organic materials. Although much has been written on the crystallization of proteins for X-ray diffraction analysis, very little has been reported on the application of bulk crystallization in stirred vessels. In this study, a 1-liter, seeded, stirred, batch crystallizer was used with ovalbumin as a model protein to test the feasibility of this crystallization method as a recovery and purification process for proteins. Results were obtained for ovalbumin solubility, nucleation thresholds, crystal breakage and crystal growth kinetics in bulk solution under a range of operating conditions of pH and ammonium sulphate concentration (Judge et al., 1996). Experiments were also performed to determine the degree of purification that can be achieved by the crystallization of ovalbumin from a mixture of proteins. The effect of the presence of these proteins upon the ovalbumin crystal growth kinetics was also investigated (Judge et al., 1995). All of these aspects are essential for the design of bulk crystallization processes which have not previously been reported for proteins. Results from a second study that investigated the effect of structurally different proteins on the solubility, crystal growth rates and crystal purity of chicken egg white lysozyme are also presented (Judge et al., 1997). In this case face growth rates were measured using lysozyme purified by liquid chromatography and the effect of the addition of specific protein impurities were observed on the (110) and (101) crystal faces. In these two studies the results are presented to show the feasibility and purifying ability of crystallization as a production process for proteins.

  5. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases are associated with floral isolation in sexually deceptive orchids

    PubMed Central

    Schlüter, Philipp M.; Xu, Shuqing; Gagliardini, Valeria; Whittle, Edward; Shanklin, John; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Schiestl, Florian P.

    2011-01-01

    The orchids Ophrys sphegodes and O. exaltata are reproductively isolated from each other by the attraction of two different, highly specific pollinator species. For pollinator attraction, flowers chemically mimic the pollinators’ sex pheromones, the key components of which are alkenes with different double-bond positions. This study identifies genes likely involved in alkene biosynthesis, encoding stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) desaturase (SAD) homologs. The expression of two isoforms, SAD1 and SAD2, is flower-specific and broadly parallels alkene production during flower development. SAD2 shows a significant association with alkene production, and in vitro assays show that O. sphegodes SAD2 has activity both as an 18:0-ACP Δ9 and a 16:0-ACP Δ4 desaturase. Downstream metabolism of the SAD2 reaction products would give rise to alkenes with double-bonds at position 9 or position 12, matching double-bond positions observed in alkenes in the odor bouquet of O. sphegodes. SAD1 and SAD2 show evidence of purifying selection before, and positive or relaxed purifying selection after gene duplication. By contributing to the production of species-specific alkene bouquets, SAD2 is suggested to contribute to differential pollinator attraction and reproductive isolation among these species. Taken together, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that SAD2 is a florally expressed barrier gene of large phenotypic effect and, possibly, a genic target of pollinator-mediated selection. PMID:21436056

  6. Characterization of a structurally and functionally diverged acyl-acyl carrier protein desaturase from milkweed seed.

    PubMed

    Cahoon, E B; Coughlan, S J; Shanklin, J

    1997-04-01

    A cDNA for a structurally variant acyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) desaturase was isolated from milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) seed, a tissue enriched in palmitoleic (16:1delta9)* and cis-vaccenic (18:1delta11) acids. Extracts of Escherichia coli that express the milkweed cDNA catalyzed delta9 desaturation of acyl-ACP substrates, and the recombinant enzyme exhibited seven- to ten-fold greater specificity for palmitoyl (16:0)-ACP and 30-fold greater specificity for myristoyl (14:0)-ACP than did known delta9-stearoyl (18:0)-ACP desaturases. Like other variant acyl-ACP desaturases reported to date, the milkweed enzyme contains fewer amino acids near its N-terminus compared to previously characterized delta9-18:0-ACP desaturases. Based on the activity of an N-terminal deletion mutant of a delta9-18:0-ACP desaturase, this structural feature likely does not account for differences in substrate specificities.

  7. Subcellular localization of acyl carrier protein in leaf protoplasts of Spinacia oleracea.

    PubMed Central

    Ohlrogge, J B; Kuhn, D N; Stumpf, P K

    1979-01-01

    This communication demonstrates that all de novo fatty acid biosynthesis in spinach leaf cells requires acyl carrier protein (ACP) and occurs specifically in the chloroplasts. Antibodies raised to purified spinach ACP inhibited at least 98% of malonyl CoA-dependent fatty acid synthesis by spinach leaf homogenates. Therefore, the presence of ACP in a compartment of the spinach leaf cell would serve as a marker for de novo fatty acid biosynthesis. A radioimmunoassay capable of detecting 10(15) mol (10(-11) g) of spinach ACP was developed to measure the levels of ACP in leaf cell components isolated by sucrose gradient centrifugation of a gentle lysate of spinach leaf protoplasts. All of the ACP of the leaf cell could be attributed to the chloroplast. Less than 1% of the ACP associated with chloroplasts resulted from binding of free ACP to chloroplasts. Of interest, ACP from Escherichia coli, soybean, and sunflower showed only partial crossreactivity with spinach ACP by the radioimmunoassay. These results strongly suggest that, in the leaf cell, chloroplasts are the sole site for the de novo synthesis of C16 and C18 fatty acids. These fatty acids are then transported into the cytoplasm for further modification and are either inserted into extrachloroplastic membrane lipids or returned to the chloroplast for insertion into lamellar membrane lipids. PMID:286305

  8. Novel Polymeric Scaffolds Using Protein Microbubbles as Porogen and Growth Factor Carriers

    PubMed Central

    Nair, Ashwin; Thevenot, Paul; Dey, Jagannath; Shen, Jinhui; Sun, Man-Wu; Yang, Jian

    2010-01-01

    Polymeric tissue engineering scaffolds prepared by conventional techniques like salt leaching and phase separation are greatly limited by their poor biomolecule-delivery abilities. Conventional methods of incorporation of various growth factors, proteins, and/or peptides on or in scaffold materials via different crosslinking and conjugation techniques are often tedious and may affect scaffold's physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. To overcome such deficiencies, a novel two-step porous scaffold fabrication procedure has been created in which bovine serum albumin microbubbles (henceforth MB) were used as porogen and growth factor carriers. Polymer solution mixed with MB was phase separated and then lyophilized to create porous scaffold. MB scaffold triggered substantially lesser inflammatory responses than salt-leached and conventional phase-separated scaffolds in vivo. Most importantly, the same technique was used to produce insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)–eluting porous scaffolds, simply by incorporating IGF-1–loaded MB (MB-IGF-1) with polymer solution before phase separation. In vitro such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds were able to promote cell growth to a much greater extent than scaffold soaked in IGF-1, confirming the bioactivity of the released IGF-1. Further, such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds elicited IGF-1–specific collagen production in the surrounding tissue in vivo. This novel growth factor–eluting scaffold fabrication procedure can be used to deliver a range of single or combination of bioactive biomolecules to substantially promote cell growth and function in degradable scaffold. PMID:19327002

  9. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases are associated with floral isolation in sexually deceptive orchids.

    PubMed

    Schlüter, Philipp M; Xu, Shuqing; Gagliardini, Valeria; Whittle, Edward; Shanklin, John; Grossniklaus, Ueli; Schiestl, Florian P

    2011-04-05

    The orchids Ophrys sphegodes and O. exaltata are reproductively isolated from each other by the attraction of two different, highly specific pollinator species. For pollinator attraction, flowers chemically mimic the pollinators' sex pheromones, the key components of which are alkenes with different double-bond positions. This study identifies genes likely involved in alkene biosynthesis, encoding stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) desaturase (SAD) homologs. The expression of two isoforms, SAD1 and SAD2, is flower-specific and broadly parallels alkene production during flower development. SAD2 shows a significant association with alkene production, and in vitro assays show that O. sphegodes SAD2 has activity both as an 18:0-ACP Δ(9) and a 16:0-ACP Δ(4) desaturase. Downstream metabolism of the SAD2 reaction products would give rise to alkenes with double-bonds at position 9 or position 12, matching double-bond positions observed in alkenes in the odor bouquet of O. sphegodes. SAD1 and SAD2 show evidence of purifying selection before, and positive or relaxed purifying selection after gene duplication. By contributing to the production of species-specific alkene bouquets, SAD2 is suggested to contribute to differential pollinator attraction and reproductive isolation among these species. Taken together, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that SAD2 is a florally expressed barrier gene of large phenotypic effect and, possibly, a genic target of pollinator-mediated selection.

  10. Novel polymeric scaffolds using protein microbubbles as porogen and growth factor carriers.

    PubMed

    Nair, Ashwin; Thevenot, Paul; Dey, Jagannath; Shen, Jinhui; Sun, Man-Wu; Yang, Jian; Tang, Liping

    2010-02-01

    Polymeric tissue engineering scaffolds prepared by conventional techniques like salt leaching and phase separation are greatly limited by their poor biomolecule-delivery abilities. Conventional methods of incorporation of various growth factors, proteins, and/or peptides on or in scaffold materials via different crosslinking and conjugation techniques are often tedious and may affect scaffold's physical, chemical, and mechanical properties. To overcome such deficiencies, a novel two-step porous scaffold fabrication procedure has been created in which bovine serum albumin microbubbles (henceforth MB) were used as porogen and growth factor carriers. Polymer solution mixed with MB was phase separated and then lyophilized to create porous scaffold. MB scaffold triggered substantially lesser inflammatory responses than salt-leached and conventional phase-separated scaffolds in vivo. Most importantly, the same technique was used to produce insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1)-eluting porous scaffolds, simply by incorporating IGF-1-loaded MB (MB-IGF-1) with polymer solution before phase separation. In vitro such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds were able to promote cell growth to a much greater extent than scaffold soaked in IGF-1, confirming the bioactivity of the released IGF-1. Further, such MB-IGF-1 scaffolds elicited IGF-1-specific collagen production in the surrounding tissue in vivo. This novel growth factor-eluting scaffold fabrication procedure can be used to deliver a range of single or combination of bioactive biomolecules to substantially promote cell growth and function in degradable scaffold.

  11. Stearoyl-acyl carrier protein desaturases are associated with floral isolation in sexually deceptive orchids

    SciTech Connect

    Schluter, P.M.; Shanklin, J.; Xu, S.; Gagliardini, V.; Whittle, E.; Grossniklaus, U.; Schiestl, F. P.

    2011-04-05

    The orchids Ophrys sphegodes and O. exaltata are reproductively isolated from each other by the attraction of two different, highly specific pollinator species. For pollinator attraction, flowers chemically mimic the pollinators sex pheromones, the key components of which are alkenes with different double-bond positions. This study identifies genes likely involved in alkene biosynthesis, encoding stearoyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) desaturase (SAD) homologs. The expression of two isoforms, SAD1 and SAD2, is flower-specific and broadly parallels alkene production during flower development. SAD2 shows a significant association with alkene production, and in vitro assays show that O. sphegodes SAD2 has activity both as an 18:0-ACP {Delta}{sup 9} and a 16:0-ACP {Delta}{sup 4} desaturase. Downstream metabolism of the SAD2 reaction products would give rise to alkenes with double-bonds at position 9 or position 12, matching double-bond positions observed in alkenes in the odor bouquet of O. sphegodes. SAD1 and SAD2 show evidence of purifying selection before, and positive or relaxed purifying selection after gene duplication. By contributing to the production of species-specific alkene bouquets, SAD2 is suggested to contribute to differential pollinator attraction and reproductive isolation among these species. Taken together, these data are consistent with the hypothesis that SAD2 is a florally expressed barrier gene of large phenotypic effect and, possibly, a genic target of pollinator-mediated selection.

  12. Photosynthetic fuel for heterologous enzymes: the role of electron carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Mellor, Silas Busck; Vavitsas, Konstantinos; Nielsen, Agnieszka Zygadlo; Jensen, Poul Erik

    2017-03-11

    Plants, cyanobacteria, and algae generate a surplus of redox power through photosynthesis, which makes them attractive for biotechnological exploitations. While central metabolism consumes most of the energy, pathways introduced through metabolic engineering can also tap into this source of reducing power. Recent work on the metabolic engineering of photosynthetic organisms has shown that the electron carriers such as ferredoxin and flavodoxin can be used to couple heterologous enzymes to photosynthetic reducing power. Because these proteins have a plethora of interaction partners and rely on electrostatically steered complex formation, they form productive electron transfer complexes with non-native enzymes. A handful of examples demonstrate channeling of photosynthetic electrons to drive the activity of heterologous enzymes, and these focus mainly on hydrogenases and cytochrome P450s. However, competition from native pathways and inefficient electron transfer rates present major obstacles, which limit the productivity of heterologous reactions coupled to photosynthesis. We discuss specific approaches to address these bottlenecks and ensure high productivity of such enzymes in a photosynthetic context.

  13. A conserved motif flags Acyl Carrier Proteins for β-branching in polyketide synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Song, Zhongshu; Farmer, Rohit; Williams, Christopher; Hothersall, Joanne; Płoskoń, Eliza; Wattana-amorn, Pakorn; Stephens, Elton R.; Yamada, Erika; Gurney, Rachel; Takebayashi, Yuiko; Masschelein, Joleen; Cox, Russell J.; Lavigne, Rob; Willis, Christine L.; Simpson, Thomas J.; Crosby, John; Winn, Peter J.; Thomas, Christopher M.; Crump, Matthew P.

    2015-01-01

    Type I PKSs often utilise programmed β-branching, via enzymes of an “HMG-CoA synthase (HCS) cassette”, to incorporate various side chains at the second carbon from the terminal carboxylic acid of growing polyketide backbones. We identified a strong sequence motif in Acyl Carrier Proteins (ACPs) where β-branching is known. Substituting ACPs confirmed a correlation of ACP type with β-branching specificity. While these ACPs often occur in tandem, NMR analysis of tandem β-branching ACPs indicated no ACP-ACP synergistic effects and revealed that the conserved sequence motif forms an internal core rather than an exposed patch. Modelling and mutagenesis identified ACP Helix III as a probable anchor point of the ACP-HCS complex whose position is determined by the core. Mutating the core affects ACP functionality while ACP-HCS interface substitutions modulate system specificity. Our method for predicting β-carbon branching expands the potential for engineering novel polyketides and lays a basis for determining specificity rules. PMID:24056399

  14. Generating Functional Recombinant NRPS Enzymes in the Laboratory Setting via Peptidyl Carrier Protein Engineering.

    PubMed

    Owen, Jeremy G; Calcott, Mark J; Robins, Katherine J; Ackerley, David F

    2016-11-17

    Non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs) are modular enzymatic assembly lines where substrates and intermediates undergo rounds of transformation catalyzed by adenylation (A), condensation (C), and thioesterase (TE) domains. Central to the NRPS biosynthesis are peptidyl carrier protein (PCP) domains, small, catalytically inactive domains that shuttle substrates and intermediates between the catalytic modules and govern product release from TE domains. There is strong interest in recombination of NRPS systems to generate new chemical entities. However, the intrinsic complexity of these systems has been a major challenge. Here, we employ domain substitution and random mutagenesis to recapitulate NRPS evolution, focusing on PCP domains. Using NRPS model systems that produce two different pigmented molecules, pyoverdine and indigoidine, we found that only evolutionarily specialized recombinant PCP domains could interact effectively with the native TE domain for product release. Overall, we highlight that substituted PCP domains require very minor changes to result in functional NRPSs, and infer that positive selection pressure may improve recombinant NRPS outcomes.

  15. Enhanced production of polyunsaturated fatty acids by enzyme engineering of tandem acyl carrier proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Shohei; Satoh, Yasuharu; Ujihara, Tetsuro; Takata, Yusuke; Dairi, Tohru

    2016-01-01

    In some microorganisms, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are biosynthesized by PUFA synthases characterized by tandem acyl carrier proteins (ACPs) in subunit A. These ACPs were previously shown to be important for PUFA productivity. In this study, we examined their function in more detail. PUFA productivities increased depending on the number of ACPs without profile changes in each subunit A of eukaryotic and prokaryotic PUFA synthases. We also constructed derivative enzymes from subunit A with 5 × ACPs. Enzymes possessing one inactive ACP at any position produced ~30% PUFAs compared with the parental enzyme but unexpectedly had ~250% productivity compared with subunit A with 4 × ACPs. Enzymes constructed by replacing the 3rd ACP with an inactive ACP from another subunit A or ACP-unrelated sequences produced ~100% and ~3% PUFAs compared with the parental 3rd ACP-inactive enzyme, respectively. These results suggest that both the structure and number of ACP domains are important for PUFA productivity. PMID:27752094

  16. Effect of Increased CRM197 Carrier Protein Dose on Meningococcal C Bactericidal Antibody Response

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Milan S.

    2012-01-01

    New multivalent CRM197-based conjugate vaccines are available for childhood immunization. Clinical studies were reviewed to assess meningococcal group C (MenC) antibody responses following MenC-CRM197 coadministration with CRM197-based pneumococcal or Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccines. Infants receiving a total CRM197 carrier protein dose of ∼50 μg and concomitant diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP)-containing vaccine tended to have lower MenC geometric mean antibody titers and continued to have low titers after the toddler dose. Nevertheless, at least 95% of children in the reported studies achieved a MenC serum bactericidal antibody (SBA) titer of ≥1:8 after the last infant or toddler dose. SBA was measured using an assay with a baby rabbit or human complement source. Additional studies are needed to assess long-term antibody persistence and MenC CRM197 conjugate vaccine immunogenicity using alternative dosing schedules. PMID:22336285

  17. Preparation and evaluation of oleoyl-carboxymethy-chitosan (OCMCS) nanoparticles as oral protein carriers.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ya; Cheng, Xiao Jie; Dang, Qi Feng; Ma, Fang Kui; Chen, Xi Guang; Park, Hyun Jin; Kim, Bum Keun

    2012-02-01

    Oleoyl-carboxymethy chitosan (OCMCS) nanoparticles based on chitosan with different molecular weights (50, 170 and 820 kDa) were prepared by self-assembled method. The nanoparticles had spherical shape, positive surface charges and the mean diameters were 157.4, 274.1 and 396.7 nm, respectively. FITC-labeled OCMCS nanoparticles were internalized via the intestinal mucosa and observed in liver, spleen, intestine and heart following oral deliverance to carps (Cyprinus carpio). Extracellular products (ECPs) of Aeromonas hydrophila as microbial antigen was efficiently loaded to form OCMCS-ECPs nanoparticles and shown to be sustained release in PBS. Significantly higher (P < 0.05) antigen-specific antibodies were detected in serum after orally immunized with OCMCS-ECPs nanoparticles than that immunized with ECPs alone and non-immunized in control group in carps. These results implied that amphiphilic modified chitosan nanoparticles had great potential to be applied as carriers for the oral administration of protein drugs.

  18. Steady-state protein focusing in carrier ampholyte-based isoelectric focusing: Part II-validation and case studies.

    PubMed

    Shim, Jaesool; Yoo, Kisoo; Dutta, Prashanta

    2017-03-01

    In this study, we systematically investigate the validity and applicability of an analytical model developed for carrier ampholyte-based isoelectric focusing (IEF). Three different IEF cases are considered in order to evaluate the efficacy of the approximate analytical results by comparison with high-resolution computer simulations. In the first case, three proteins are separated in a narrow pH range (6-9) by using 50 carrier ampholytes. In the second and third cases, the separation of proteins is studied in broad pH range (3-10) IEF by using 100 carrier ampholytes. Results obtained from the approximate analytical models are in very good agreement with the numerical results for IEF separation of cardiac troponin I, albumin, and hemoglobin in both narrow and broad pH ranges. The sensitivity of the analytical model is also tested for different initial mass ratios of proteins to ampholytes. No appreciable differences are observed between the approximate analytical and numerical results within the mass ratio range studied. The effect of a nominal electric field and/or a nominal pH gradient on protein focusing is also examined to demonstrate the effectiveness of the analytical model. Our results indicate that the use of both nominal electric field and pH gradient will result in erroneous peak concentrations for proteins. Finally, we describe the limitations of the approximate analytical solutions.

  19. Plasma protein corona modulates the vascular wall interaction of drug carriers in a material and donor specific manner.

    PubMed

    Sobczynski, Daniel J; Charoenphol, Phapanin; Heslinga, Michael J; Onyskiw, Peter J; Namdee, Katawut; Thompson, Alex J; Eniola-Adefeso, Omolola

    2014-01-01

    The nanoscale plasma protein interaction with intravenously injected particulate carrier systems is known to modulate their organ distribution and clearance from the bloodstream. However, the role of this plasma protein interaction in prescribing the adhesion of carriers to the vascular wall remains relatively unknown. Here, we show that the adhesion of vascular-targeted poly(lactide-co-glycolic-acid) (PLGA) spheres to endothelial cells is significantly inhibited in human blood flow, with up to 90% reduction in adhesion observed relative to adhesion in simple buffer flow, depending on the particle size and the magnitude and pattern of blood flow. This reduced PLGA adhesion in blood flow is linked to the adsorption of certain high molecular weight plasma proteins on PLGA and is donor specific, where large reductions in particle adhesion in blood flow (>80% relative to buffer) is seen with ∼60% of unique donor bloods while others exhibit moderate to no reductions. The depletion of high molecular weight immunoglobulins from plasma is shown to successfully restore PLGA vascular wall adhesion. The observed plasma protein effect on PLGA is likely due to material characteristics since the effect is not replicated with polystyrene or silica spheres. These particles effectively adhere to the endothelium at a higher level in blood over buffer flow. Overall, understanding how distinct plasma proteins modulate the vascular wall interaction of vascular-targeted carriers of different material characteristics would allow for the design of highly functional delivery vehicles for the treatment of many serious human diseases.

  20. High-throughput method for optimum solubility screening for homogeneity and crystallization of proteins

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Sung-Hou [Moraga, CA; Kim, Rosalind [Moraga, CA; Jancarik, Jamila [Walnut Creek, CA

    2012-01-31

    An optimum solubility screen in which a panel of buffers and many additives are provided in order to obtain the most homogeneous and monodisperse protein condition for protein crystallization. The present methods are useful for proteins that aggregate and cannot be concentrated prior to setting up crystallization screens. A high-throughput method using the hanging-drop method and vapor diffusion equilibrium and a panel of twenty-four buffers is further provided. Using the present methods, 14 poorly behaving proteins have been screened, resulting in 11 of the proteins having highly improved dynamic light scattering results allowing concentration of the proteins, and 9 were crystallized.

  1. Dextran, a hapten carrier in immunoassays for s-triazines. A comparison with ELISAs based on hapten-protein conjugates.

    PubMed

    Böcher, M; Giersch, T; Schmid, R D

    1992-07-06

    A conjugate of 2-aminohexylamino-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine (AHA), a derivative of the herbicide atrazine, with dextran as carrier has been synthesized and used as the coating antigen in ELISA procedures. The quantification of terbutryn, atrazine and prometryn in ELISA formats using monoclonal antibodies and the AHA-dextran conjugate was at least as sensitive as ELISAs using protein conjugates as immobilized antigens (sensitivity at 50% B/B0 was 0.4-0.6 micrograms/l for terbutryn). Formats with immobilized antibody and enzyme labelled AHA proved to be less sensitive (1.5 micrograms/l for terbutryn). The observed differences in sensitivity do not apparently result from structural effects of the carrier bound hapten since all conjugates were prepared with one form of the hapten, 2-aminohexylamino-atrazine, which was covalently linked via its amino function to the carriers or enzymes.

  2. Acoustic transfer of protein crystals from agarose pedestals to micromeshes for high-throughput screening

    SciTech Connect

    Cuttitta, Christina M.; Ericson, Daniel L.; Scalia, Alexander; Roessler, Christian G.; Teplitsky, Ella; Joshi, Karan; Campos, Olven; Agarwal, Rakhi; Allaire, Marc; Orville, Allen M.; Sweet, Robert M.; Soares, Alexei S.

    2015-01-01

    An acoustic high-throughput screening method is described for harvesting protein crystals and combining the protein crystals with chemicals such as a fragment library. Acoustic droplet ejection (ADE) is an emerging technology with broad applications in serial crystallography such as growing, improving and manipulating protein crystals. One application of this technology is to gently transfer crystals onto MiTeGen micromeshes with minimal solvent. Once mounted on a micromesh, each crystal can be combined with different chemicals such as crystal-improving additives or a fragment library. Acoustic crystal mounting is fast (2.33 transfers s{sup −1}) and all transfers occur in a sealed environment that is in vapor equilibrium with the mother liquor. Here, a system is presented to retain crystals near the ejection point and away from the inaccessible dead volume at the bottom of the well by placing the crystals on a concave agarose pedestal (CAP) with the same chemical composition as the crystal mother liquor. The bowl-shaped CAP is impenetrable to crystals. Consequently, gravity will gently move the crystals into the optimal location for acoustic ejection. It is demonstrated that an agarose pedestal of this type is compatible with most commercially available crystallization conditions and that protein crystals are readily transferred from the agarose pedestal onto micromeshes with no loss in diffraction quality. It is also shown that crystals can be grown directly on CAPs, which avoids the need to transfer the crystals from the hanging drop to a CAP. This technology has been used to combine thermolysin and lysozyme crystals with an assortment of anomalously scattering heavy atoms. The results point towards a fast nanolitre method for crystal mounting and high-throughput screening.

  3. Crystal structure of the essential Mycobacterium tuberculosis phosphopantetheinyl transferase PptT, solved as a fusion protein with maltose binding protein.

    PubMed

    Jung, James; Bashiri, Ghader; Johnston, Jodie M; Brown, Alistair S; Ackerley, David F; Baker, Edward N

    2014-12-01

    Phosphopantetheinyl transferases (PPTases) are key enzymes in the assembly-line production of complex molecules such as fatty acids, polyketides and polypeptides, where they activate acyl or peptidyl carrier proteins, transferring a 4'-phosphopantetheinyl moiety from coenzyme A (CoA) to a reactive serine residue on the carrier protein. The human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes two PPTases, both essential and therefore attractive drug targets. We report the structure of the type-II PPTase PptT, obtained from crystals of a fusion protein with maltose binding protein. The structure, at 1.75Å resolution (R=0.156, Rfree=0.191), reveals an α/β fold broadly similar to other type-II PPTases, but with differences in peripheral structural elements. A bound CoA is clearly defined with its pantetheinyl arm tucked into a hydrophobic pocket. Interactions involving the CoA diphosphate, bound Mg(2+) and three active site acidic side chains suggest a plausible pathway for proton transfer during catalysis.

  4. Isolation, purification, crystallization, and preliminary X-ray diffraction study of the crystals of HU protein from M. gallisepticum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolaeva, A. Yu.; Timofeev, V. I.; Boiko, K. M.; Korzhenevskii, D. A.; Rakitina, T. V.; Dorovatovskii, P. V.; Lipkin, A. V.

    2015-11-01

    HU proteins are involved in bacterial DNA and RNA repair. Since these proteins are absent in cells of higher organisms, inhibitors of HU proteins can be used as effective and safe antibiotics. The crystallization conditions for the M. gallisepticum HU protein were found and optimized by the vapor-diffusion method. The X-ray diffraction data set was collected to 2.91 Å resolution from the crystals grown by the vapor-diffusion method on a synchrotron source. The crystals of the HU protein belong to sp. gr. P41212 and have the following unit-cell parameters: a = b = 97.94 Å, c = 77.92 Å, α = β = γ = 90°.

  5. Beneficial effect of solubility enhancers on protein crystal nucleation and growth.

    PubMed

    Gosavi, Rajendrakumar A; Bhamidi, Venkateswarlu; Varanasi, Sasidhar; Schall, Constance A

    2009-04-21

    Crystallizing solutions of proteins often contain various nonelectrolyte additives that arise from the purification process of proteins or from the reagents employed in the screening kits. Currently, limited knowledge exists about the influence of these additives on the mechanisms underlying the crystallization process, in particular on the nucleation stage of crystals. To address this need, we studied crystallization of two proteins, D-xylose isomerase and chicken egg-white lysozyme, in small batches and in the presence of two solubility-enhancing additives, acetonitrile and glycerol. We have also measured the nucleation rates of crystals of these proteins in the presence and in the absence of acetonitrile using the method of initial rates. With the addition of the solubility enhancers, both proteins exhibited an increase in crystal nucleation at any given supersaturation. Solubility enhancing additives appear to lower the energy barrier to nucleation by influencing the strength of attraction between the protein molecules. We have characterized the quality of D-xylose isomerase crystals by determining the crystal mosaicity, which showed considerable improvement for crystals grown in the presence of additives. When compared to the crystals of chicken egg-white lysozyme, D-xylose isomerase crystals required higher supersaturations to nucleate. We attribute this result to the large size of the D-xylose isomerase molecule, which influences the energy barrier to nucleation by increasing the surface area of the critical nucleus. Contrary to the common expectation that reagents that solubilize the protein may hinder the crystallization process, our results suggest that solubility enhancers, in fact, can have a beneficial effect on the nucleation and growth of crystals. These findings are of importance in formulating successful strategies toward crystallizing new proteins.

  6. Automatic classification and pattern discovery in high-throughput protein crystallization trials.

    PubMed

    Cumbaa, Christian; Jurisica, Igor

    2005-01-01

    Conceptually, protein crystallization can be divided into two phases search and optimization. Robotic protein crystallization screening can speed up the search phase, and has a potential to increase process quality. Automated image classification helps to increase throughput and consistently generate objective results. Although the classification accuracy can always be improved, our image analysis system can classify images from 1,536-well plates with high classification accuracy (85%) and ROC score (0.87), as evaluated on 127 human-classified protein screens containing 5,600 crystal images and 189,472 non-crystal images. Data mining can integrate results from high-throughput screens with information about crystallizing conditions, intrinsic protein properties, and results from crystallization optimization. We apply association mining, a data mining approach that identifies frequently occurring patterns among variables and their values. This approach segregates proteins into groups based on how they react in a broad range of conditions, and clusters cocktails to reflect their potential to achieve crystallization. These results may lead to crystallization screen optimization, and reveal associations between protein properties and crystallization conditions. We also postulate that past experience may lead us to the identification of initial conditions favorable to crystallization for novel proteins.

  7. Cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics for protein crystallization and in situ X-ray diffraction.

    PubMed

    Emamzadah, Soheila; Petty, Tom J; De Almeida, Victor; Nishimura, Taisuke; Joly, Jacques; Ferrer, Jean Luc; Halazonetis, Thanos D

    2009-09-01

    Microfluidics is a promising technology for the rapid identification of protein crystallization conditions. However, most of the existing systems utilize silicone elastomers as the chip material which, despite its many benefits, is highly permeable to water vapour. This limits the time available for protein crystallization to less than a week. Here, the use of a cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics system for protein crystallization and in situ X-ray diffraction is described. Liquid handling in this system is performed in 2 mm thin transparent cards which contain 500 chambers, each with a volume of 320 nl. Microbatch, vapour-diffusion and free-interface diffusion protocols for protein crystallization were implemented and crystals were obtained of a number of proteins, including chicken lysozyme, bovine trypsin, a human p53 protein containing both the DNA-binding and oligomerization domains bound to DNA and a functionally important domain of Arabidopsis Morpheus' molecule 1 (MOM1). The latter two polypeptides have not been crystallized previously. For X-ray diffraction analysis, either the cards were opened to allow mounting of the crystals on loops or the crystals were exposed to X-rays in situ. For lysozyme, an entire X-ray diffraction data set at 1.5 A resolution was collected without removing the crystal from the card. Thus, cyclic olefin homopolymer-based microfluidics systems have the potential to further automate protein crystallization and structural genomics efforts.

  8. A Photonic Crystal Protein Hydrogel Sensor for Candida albicans.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zhongyu; Kwak, Daniel H; Punihaole, David; Hong, Zhenmin; Velankar, Sachin S; Liu, Xinyu; Asher, Sanford A

    2015-10-26

    We report two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystal (PC) sensing materials that selectively detect Candida albicans (C. albicans). These sensors utilize Concanavalin A (Con A) protein hydrogels with a 2D PC embedded on the Con A protein hydrogel surface, that multivalently and selectively bind to mannan on the C. albicans cell surface to form crosslinks. The resulting crosslinks shrink the Con A protein hydrogel, reduce the 2D PC particle spacing, and blue-shift the light diffracted from the PC. The diffraction shifts can be visually monitored, measured with a spectrometer, or determined from the Debye diffraction ring diameter. Our unoptimized hydrogel sensor has a detection limit of around 32 CFU/mL for C. albicans. This sensor distinguishes between C. albicans and those microbes devoid of cell-surface mannan such as the gram-negative bacterium E. coli. This sensor provides a proof-of-concept for utilizing recognition between lectins and microbial cell surface carbohydrates to detect microorganisms in aqueous environments.

  9. Use of dye to distinguish salt and protein crystals under microcrystallization conditions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cosenza, Larry (Inventor); Bray, Terry L. (Inventor); DeLucas, Lawrence J. (Inventor); Gester, Thomas E. (Inventor); Hamrick, David T. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    An improved method of screening crystal growth conditions is provided wherein molecules are crystallized from solutions containing dyes. These dyes are selectively incorporated or associated with crystals of particular character thereby rendering crystals of particular character colored and improving detection of the dyed crystals. A preferred method involves use of dyes in protein solutions overlayed by oil. Use of oil allows the use of small volumes of solution and facilitates the screening of large numbers of crystallization conditions in arrays using automated devices that dispense appropriate solutions to generate crystallization trials, overlay crystallization trials with an oil, provide appropriate conditions conducive to crystallization and enhance detection of dyed (colored) or undyed (uncolored) crystals that result.

  10. Crystal Structure of a Lipid G Protein-Coupled Receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Hanson, Michael A; Roth, Christopher B; Jo, Euijung; Griffith, Mark T; Scott, Fiona L; Reinhart, Greg; Desale, Hans; Clemons, Bryan; Cahalan, Stuart M; Schuerer, Stephan C; Sanna, M Germana; Han, Gye Won; Kuhn, Peter; Rosen, Hugh; Stevens, Raymond C

    2012-03-01

    The lyso-phospholipid sphingosine 1-phosphate modulates lymphocyte trafficking, endothelial development and integrity, heart rate, and vascular tone and maturation by activating G protein-coupled sphingosine 1-phosphate receptors. Here, we present the crystal structure of the sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 fused to T4-lysozyme (S1P1-T4L) in complex with an antagonist sphingolipid mimic. Extracellular access to the binding pocket is occluded by the amino terminus and extracellular loops of the receptor. Access is gained by ligands entering laterally between helices I and VII within the transmembrane region of the receptor. This structure, along with mutagenesis, agonist structure-activity relationship data, and modeling, provides a detailed view of the molecular recognition and requirement for hydrophobic volume that activates S1P1, resulting in the modulation of immune and stromal cell responses.

  11. Towards long-wavelength protein crystallography: keeping a protein crystal frozen in vacuum

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mykhaylyk, Vitaliy; Wagner, Armin

    2013-03-01

    There is growing interest to explore the long-wavelength X-ray domain for macromolecular crystallography (MX) experiments but there are a number of practical issues that make these experiments difficult to perform. In this article we study several aspects related to cooling a protein crystal in a vacuum environment. We investigated thermal contact conductance (TCC) of copper-copper joints and designed a demountable sample holder assembly with a magnetic joint that facilitates good thermal conductivity and reliability over a long time period. The thermal conductivity of amorphous ice formed by a 20% solution of ethylene glycol was studied. It is concluded that the ice thickness is the factor that can compromise the cooling of protein crystals and therefore it should be carefully controlled.

  12. Phase Sensitive X-Ray Diffraction Imaging Study of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hu, Z. W.

    2003-01-01

    The study of defects and growth of protein crystals is of importance in providing a fundamental understanding of this important category of systems and the rationale for crystallization of better ordered crystals for structural determination and drug design. Yet, as a result of the extremely weak scattering power of x-rays in protein and other biological macromolecular crystals, the extinction lengths for those crystals are extremely large and, roughly speaking, of the order of millimeters on average compared to the scale of micrometers for most small molecular crystals. This has significant implication for x-ray diffraction and imaging study of protein crystals, and presents an interesting challenge to currently available x-ray analytical techniques. We proposed that coherence-based phase sensitive x-ray diffraction imaging could provide a way to augment defect contrast in x-ray diffraction images of weakly diffracting biological macromolecular crystals. I shall examine the principles and ideas behind this approach and compare it to other available x-ray topography and diffraction methods. I shall then present some recent experimental results in two model protein systems-cubic apofemtin and tetragonal lysozyme crystals to demonstrate the capability of the coherence-based imaging method in mapping point defects, dislocations, and the degree of perfection of biological macromolecular crystals with extreme sensitivity. While further work is under way, it is intended to show that the observed new features have yielded important information on protein crystal perfection and nucleation and growth mechanism otherwise unobtainable.

  13. Enoyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase I (FabI) Is Essential for the Intracellular Growth of Listeria monocytogenes.

    PubMed

    Yao, Jiangwei; Ericson, Megan E; Frank, Matthew W; Rock, Charles O

    2016-12-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase catalyzes the last step in each elongation cycle of type II bacterial fatty acid synthesis and is a key regulatory protein in bacterial fatty acid synthesis. Genes of the facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes encode two functional enoyl-acyl carrier protein isoforms based on their ability to complement the temperature-sensitive growth phenotype of Escherichia coli strain JP1111 [fabI(Ts)]. The FabI isoform was inactivated by the FabI selective inhibitor AFN-1252, but the FabK isoform was not affected by the drug, as expected. Inhibition of FabI by AFN-1252 decreased endogenous fatty acid synthesis by 80% and lowered the growth rate of L. monocytogenes in laboratory medium. Robust exogenous fatty acid incorporation was not detected in L. monocytogenes unless the pathway was partially inactivated by AFN-1252 treatment. However, supplementation with exogenous fatty acids did not restore normal growth in the presence of AFN-1252. FabI inactivation prevented the intracellular growth of L. monocytogenes, showing that neither FabK nor the incorporation of host cellular fatty acids was sufficient to support the intracellular growth of L. monocytogenes Our results show that FabI is the primary enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase of type II bacterial fatty acid synthesis and is essential for the intracellular growth of L. monocytogenes.

  14. Primary structure of a cerulenin-binding. beta. -ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) synthase from barley chloroplasts

    SciTech Connect

    Siggaard-Andersen, M.; Kauppinen, S. ); von Wettstein-Knowles, P. Univ. of Copenhagen )

    1991-05-15

    The radioactively labeled {beta}-ketoacyl thioester synthase inhibitor ({sup 3}H)cerulenin was used to tag three dimeric barley chloroplast proteins ({alpha}{alpha}, {alpha}{beta}, and {beta}{beta}) from the stromal fraction. Oligonucleotides corresponding to amino acid sequences obtained from the purified proteins were used to generate with the polymerase chain reaction a probe for cDNAs encoding the {beta} subunit. cDNA sequencing revealed an open reading frame for 462 residues comprising the mature protein and a 35-amino acid transit peptide. The deduced amino acid sequence of the mature protein is homologous to the {beta}-ketoacyl-(acyl carrier protein) (ACP) synthase I (3-oxoacyl-ACP synthase; acyl-ACP:malonyl-ACP C-acyltransferase (decarboxylating), EC 2.3.1.41) of Escherichia coli. Under analogous experimental conditions ({sup 3}H)cerulenin tagged a single dimeric protein from spinach chloroplasts.

  15. Extracellular matrix protein in calcified endoskeleton: a potential additive for crystal growth and design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Azizur Rahman, M.; Fujimura, Hiroyuki; Shinjo, Ryuichi; Oomori, Tamotsu

    2011-06-01

    In this study, we demonstrate a key function of extracellular matrix proteins (ECMPs) on seed crystals, which are isolated from calcified endoskeletons of soft coral and contain only CaCO 3 without any living cells. This is the first report that an ECMP protein extracted from a marine organism could potentially influence in modifying the surface of a substrate for designing materials via crystallization. We previously studied with the ECMPs from a different type of soft coral ( Sinularia polydactyla) without introducing any seed crystals in the process , which showed different results. Thus, crystallization on the seed in the presence of ECMPs of present species is an important first step toward linking function to individual proteins from soft coral. For understanding this interesting phenomenon, in vitro crystallization was initiated in a supersaturated solution on seed particles of calcite (1 0 4) with and without ECMPs. No change in the crystal growth shape occurred without ECMPs present during the crystallization process. However, with ECMPs, the morphology and phase of the crystals in the crystallization process changed dramatically. Upon completion of crystallization with ECMPs, an attractive crystal morphology was found. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was utilized to observe the crystal morphologies on the seeds surface. The mineral phases of crystals nucleated by ECMPs on the seeds surface were examined by Raman spectroscopy. Although 50 mM Mg 2+ is influential in making aragonite in the crystallization process, the ECMPs significantly made calcite crystals even when 50 mM Mg 2+ was present in the process. Crystallization with the ECMP additive seems to be a technically attractive strategy to generate assembled micro crystals that could be used in crystals growth and design in the Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

  16. Heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled biomineralizaiton proteins in calcite crystals

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Chuang; Xie, Liping; Zhang, Rongqing

    2015-01-01

    Biominerals are highly ordered crystals mediated by organic matters especially proteins in organisms. However, how specific proteins are distributed inside biominerals are not well understood. In the present study, we use fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) to label extracted proteins from the shells of bivalve Pinctada fucata. By confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM), we observe a heterogeneous distribution of dye-labelled proteins inside synthetic calcite at the microscale. Proteins from the prismatic calcite layers accumulate at the edge of crystals while proteins from the nacreous aragonite layers accumulate at the center of crystals. Raman and X-ray powder diffraction show that both the proteins cannot alter the crystal phase. Scanning electron microscope demonstrates both proteins are able to affect the crystal morphology. This study may provide a direct approach for the visualization of protein distributions in crystals by small-molecule dye-labelled proteins as the additives in the crystallization process and improve our understanding of intracrystalline proteins distribution in biogenic calcites. PMID:26675363

  17. Isolation of a crystal matrix protein associated with calcium oxalate precipitation in vacuoles of specialized cells.

    PubMed

    Li, Xingxiang; Zhang, Dianzhong; Lynch-Holm, Valerie J; Okita, Thomas W; Franceschi, Vincent R

    2003-10-01

    The formation of calcium (Ca) oxalate crystals is considered to be a high-capacity mechanism for regulating Ca in many plants. Ca oxalate precipitation is not a stochastic process, suggesting the involvement of specific biochemical and cellular mechanisms. Microautoradiography of water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) tissue exposed to 3H-glutamate showed incorporation into developing crystals, indicating potential acidic proteins associated with the crystals. Dissolution of crystals leaves behind a crystal-shaped matrix "ghost" that is capable of precipitation of Ca oxalate in the original crystal morphology. To assess whether this matrix has a protein component, purified crystals were isolated and analyzed for internal protein. Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis revealed the presence of one major polypeptide of about 55 kD and two minor species of 60 and 63 kD. Amino acid analysis indicates the matrix protein is relatively high in acidic amino acids, a feature consistent with its solubility in formic acid but not at neutral pH. 45Ca-binding assays demonstrated the matrix protein has a strong affinity for Ca. Immunocytochemical localization using antibody raised to the isolated protein showed that the matrix protein is specific to crystal-forming cells. Within the vacuole, the surface and internal structures of two morphologically distinct Ca oxalate crystals, raphide and druse, were labeled by the antimatrix protein serum, as were the surfaces of isolated crystals. These results demonstrate that a specific Ca-binding protein exists as an integral component of Ca oxalate crystals, which holds important implications with respect to regulation of crystal formation.

  18. A profile of protein-protein interaction: Crystal structure of a lectin-lectin complex.

    PubMed

    Surya, Sukumaran; Abhilash, Joseph; Geethanandan, Krishnan; Sadasivan, Chittalakkottu; Haridas, Madhathilkovilakathu

    2016-06-01

    Proteins may utilize complex networks of interactions to create/proceed signaling pathways of highly adaptive responses such as programmed cell death. Direct binary interactions study of proteins may help propose models for protein-protein interaction. Towards this goal we applied a combination of thermodynamic kinetics and crystal structure analyses to elucidate the complexity and diversity in such interactions. By determining the heat change on the association of two galactose-specific legume lectins from Butea monosperma (BML) and Spatholobus parviflorus (SPL) belonging to Fabaceae family helped to compute the binding equilibrium. It was extended further by X-ray structural analysis of BML-SPL binary complex. In order to chart the proteins interacting mainly through their interfaces, identification of the nature of forces which stabilized the association of the lectin-lectin complex was examined. Comprehensive analysis of the BMLSPL complex by isothermal titration calorimetry and X-ray crystal structure threw new light on the lectin-lectin interactions suggesting of their use in diverse areas of glycobiology.

  19. Quartz crystal microbalances for quantitative biosensing and characterizing protein multilayers.

    PubMed

    Rickert, J; Brecht, A; Göpel, W

    1997-01-01

    The use of quartz crystal microbalances (QCMs) for quantitative biosensing and characterization of protein multilayers is demonstrated in three case studies. Monolayers of QCM-based affinity biosensors were investigated first. Layers of a thiol-containing synthetic peptide constituting an epitope of the foot-and-mouse-disease virus were formed on gold electrodes via self-assembly. The binding of specific antibodies to epitope-modified gold electrodes was detected for different concentrations of antibody solutions. Oligolayers were studied in a second set of experiments. Dextran hydrogels were modified by thrombin inhibitors. The QCM response was used in a competitive binding assay to identify inhibitors for thrombin at different concentrations. Multilayers of proteins formed by self-assembly of a biotin-conjugate and streptavidin were investigated next. The QCM frequency response was monitored as a function of layer thickness up to 20 protein layers. A linear frequency decay was observed with increasing thickness. The decay per layer remained constant, thus indicating perfect mass coupling to the substrate. Frequency changes a factor of four higher were obtained in buffer solution as compared to measurements in dry air. This indicates a significant incorporation of water (75% weight) in the protein layers. This water behaves like a solid concerning the shear mode coupling to the substrate. The outlook discusses briefly the need for controlled molecular engineering of overlayers for subsequent QCM analysis, and the importance of an additional multiparameter analysis with other transducer principles and with additional techniques of interface analysis to characterize the mechanical coupling of overlayers as biosensor coatings. A promising trend concerns the use of QCM-arrays for screening experiments.

  20. Protein-complex structure completion using IPCAS (Iterative Protein Crystal structure Automatic Solution).

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weizhe; Zhang, Hongmin; Zhang, Tao; Fan, Haifu; Hao, Quan

    2015-07-01

    Protein complexes are essential components in many cellular processes. In this study, a procedure to determine the protein-complex structure from a partial molecular-replacement (MR) solution is demonstrated using a direct-method-aided dual-space iterative phasing and model-building program suite, IPCAS (Iterative Protein Crystal structure Automatic Solution). The IPCAS iteration procedure involves (i) real-space model building and refinement, (ii) direct-method-aided reciprocal-space phase refinement and (iii) phase improvement through density modification. The procedure has been tested with four protein complexes, including two previously unknown structures. It was possible to use IPCAS to build the whole complex structure from one or less than one subunit once the molecular-replacement method was able to give a partial solution. In the most challenging case, IPCAS was able to extend to the full length starting from less than 30% of the complex structure, while conventional model-building procedures were unsuccessful.

  1. [Advances in effects of insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops on soil ecology].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xue-Yong; Liu, Ning; Zhao, Man; Li, He; Zhou, Lang; Tang, Zong-Wen; Cao, Fei; Li, Wei

    2011-05-01

    With the large scale cultivation of transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticidal crystal proteins in the world, the problem of environmental safety caused by these Bt crops has received extensive attention. These insecticidal crystal proteins can be released into the soil continuously in the growing period of Bt plants. If their accumulation of the insecticidal crystal proteins exceeds consumption by insect larvae and degradation by the environmental factors, these insecticidal crystal proteins could constitute a hazard to non-target insects and soil microbiota. There are three main ways to release insecticidal crystal proteins into soil for Bt plants: root exudates, pollen falling, and crop reside returning. The Bt insecticidal crystal proteins released into soil can be adsorbed rapidly by active soil particles and the absorption equilibrium attained within 1-3 h. The adsorption protects Bt insecticidal crystal proteins against soil microbial degradation or enzyme degradation, which leads to remarkable prolong of the persistence of insecticidal activity. The change of soil microorganism species is an important index for evaluating the effect of Bt plants on soil ecology. The research showed that these insecticidal crystal proteins released by the Bt plant root exudates or Bt organism had no toxicity to the soil earthworms, nematodes, protozoa, bacteria and fungi; however, it could reduce the mycelium length of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and restrain AMF to form invasion unit. The influencing degree of Bt protein on soil enzyme activity varied with the releasing modes or growth period of Bt crops. Bt Cry1Ab protein can be taken up from soil by parts of following crops; however, different results were obtained with different commercial kits. To better understand the soil ecological evaluation about the insecticidal crystal proteins released from transgenic Bt crops, this review provides a comprehensive overview about the release

  2. Novel Structural Components Contribute to the High Thermal Stability of Acyl Carrier Protein from Enterococcus faecalis*

    PubMed Central

    Park, Young-Guen; Jung, Min-Cheol; Song, Heesang; Jeong, Ki-Woong; Bang, Eunjung; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Kim, Yangmee

    2016-01-01

    Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive, commensal bacterium that lives in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals. It causes severe infections because of high antibiotic resistance. E. faecalis can endure extremes of temperature and pH. Acyl carrier protein (ACP) is a key element in the biosynthesis of fatty acids responsible for acyl group shuttling and delivery. In this study, to understand the origin of high thermal stabilities of E. faecalis ACP (Ef-ACP), its solution structure was investigated for the first time. CD experiments showed that the melting temperature of Ef-ACP is 78.8 °C, which is much higher than that of Escherichia coli ACP (67.2 °C). The overall structure of Ef-ACP shows the common ACP folding pattern consisting of four α-helices (helix I (residues 3–17), helix II (residues 39–53), helix III (residues 60–64), and helix IV (residues 68–78)) connected by three loops. Unique Ef-ACP structural features include a hydrophobic interaction between Phe45 in helix II and Phe18 in the α1α2 loop and a hydrogen bonding between Ser15 in helix I and Ile20 in the α1α2 loop, resulting in its high thermal stability. Phe45-mediated hydrophobic packing may block acyl chain binding subpocket II entry. Furthermore, Ser58 in the α2α3 loop in Ef-ACP, which usually constitutes a proline in other ACPs, exhibited slow conformational exchanges, resulting in the movement of the helix III outside the structure to accommodate a longer acyl chain in the acyl binding cavity. These results might provide insights into the development of antibiotics against pathogenic drug-resistant E. faecalis strains. PMID:26631734

  3. Novel Structural Components Contribute to the High Thermal Stability of Acyl Carrier Protein from Enterococcus faecalis.

    PubMed

    Park, Young-Guen; Jung, Min-Cheol; Song, Heesang; Jeong, Ki-Woong; Bang, Eunjung; Hwang, Geum-Sook; Kim, Yangmee

    2016-01-22

    Enterococcus faecalis is a Gram-positive, commensal bacterium that lives in the gastrointestinal tracts of humans and other mammals. It causes severe infections because of high antibiotic resistance. E. faecalis can endure extremes of temperature and pH. Acyl carrier protein (ACP) is a key element in the biosynthesis of fatty acids responsible for acyl group shuttling and delivery. In this study, to understand the origin of high thermal stabilities of E. faecalis ACP (Ef-ACP), its solution structure was investigated for the first time. CD experiments showed that the melting temperature of Ef-ACP is 78.8 °C, which is much higher than that of Escherichia coli ACP (67.2 °C). The overall structure of Ef-ACP shows the common ACP folding pattern consisting of four α-helices (helix I (residues 3-17), helix II (residues 39-53), helix III (residues 60-64), and helix IV (residues 68-78)) connected by three loops. Unique Ef-ACP structural features include a hydrophobic interaction between Phe(45) in helix II and Phe(18) in the α1α2 loop and a hydrogen bonding between Ser(15) in helix I and Ile(20) in the α1α2 loop, resulting in its high thermal stability. Phe(45)-mediated hydrophobic packing may block acyl chain binding subpocket II entry. Furthermore, Ser(58) in the α2α3 loop in Ef-ACP, which usually constitutes a proline in other ACPs, exhibited slow conformational exchanges, resulting in the movement of the helix III outside the structure to accommodate a longer acyl chain in the acyl binding cavity. These results might provide insights into the development of antibiotics against pathogenic drug-resistant E. faecalis strains.

  4. Experience with pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (conjugated to CRM197 carrier protein) in children and adults.

    PubMed

    Durando, P; Faust, S N; Fletcher, M; Krizova, P; Torres, A; Welte, T

    2013-10-01

    Streptococcus pneumoniae-related infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in people of all ages worldwide. Pneumococcal vaccine development started in 1911 with a whole cell vaccine and more recently multivalent plain polysaccharide and polysaccharide conjugate vaccines have been developed. The recent vaccines rely on capsular polysaccharide antigens to induce serotype-specific immune responses. We summarize here the presentations on pneumococcal polysaccharide conjugate vaccine (conjugated to CRM197 carrier protein) given during the integrated symposium organized and funded by Pfizer International Operations during the 22nd European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) 31 March to 3 April 2012, London, UK. A dramatic reduction in the incidence of invasive pneumococcal diseases (IPD) due to vaccine serotypes (VST-IPD) has been reported since the introduction of a hepta-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV7). An indirect (herd) effect has been demonstrated to be associated with PCV7 infant vaccination programmes, with many studies reporting reductions in VST-IPD in populations that are not eligible for PCV7 vaccination. Since 2010, a 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13) has been introduced into national immunization programmes and results from early surveillance suggest that this vaccine also has an impact on the serotypes unique to PCV13, as well as continuing to protect against the PCV7 serotypes. Data from a passive surveillance system in Europe in 2009, for instance, showed that the highest incidence of IPD remains in those aged >65 years and in children <5 years. PCV13 has now been licensed for vaccination of adults >50 years based on safety and immunogenicity data; an efficacy trial is being conducted. Regardless of previous pneumococcal vaccination status, if the use of 23-valent polysaccharide is considered appropriate, it is recommended to give PCV13 first. Novel immunization strategies remain

  5. Use of structure-based drug design approaches to obtain novel anthranilic acid acyl carrier protein synthase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Joseph-McCarthy, Diane; Parris, Kevin; Huang, Adrian; Failli, Amedeo; Quagliato, Dominick; Dushin, Elizabeth Glasfeld; Novikova, Elena; Severina, Elena; Tuckman, Margareta; Petersen, Peter J; Dean, Charles; Fritz, Christian C; Meshulam, Tova; DeCenzo, Maureen; Dick, Larry; McFadyen, Iain J; Somers, William S; Lovering, Frank; Gilbert, Adam M

    2005-12-15

    Acyl carrier protein synthase (AcpS) catalyzes the transfer of the 4'-phosphopantetheinyl group from the coenzyme A to a serine residue in acyl carrier protein (ACP), thereby activating ACP, an important step in cell wall biosynthesis. The structure-based design of novel anthranilic acid inhibitors of AcpS, a potential antibacterial target, is presented. An initial high-throughput screening lead and numerous analogues were modeled into the available AcpS X-ray structure, opportunities for synthetic modification were identified, and an iterative process of synthetic modification, X-ray complex structure determination with AcpS, biological testing, and further modeling ultimately led to potent inhibitors of the enzyme. Four X-ray complex structures of representative anthranilic acid ligands bound to AcpS are described in detail.

  6. Real-time investigation of dynamic protein crystallization in living cellsa)

    PubMed Central

    Schönherr, R.; Klinge, M.; Rudolph, J. M.; Fita, K.; Rehders, D.; Lübber, F.; Schneegans, S.; Majoul, I. V.; Duszenko, M.; Betzel, C.; Brandariz-Nuñez, A.; Martinez-Costas, J.; Duden, R.; Redecke, L.

    2015-01-01

    X-ray crystallography requires sufficiently large crystals to obtain structural insights at atomic resolution, routinely obtained in vitro by time-consuming screening. Recently, successful data collection was reported from protein microcrystals grown within living cells using highly brilliant free-electron laser and third-generation synchrotron radiation. Here, we analyzed in vivo crystal growth of firefly luciferase and Green Fluorescent Protein-tagged reovirus μNS by live-cell imaging, showing that dimensions of living cells did not limit crystal size. The crystallization process is highly dynamic and occurs in different cellular compartments. In vivo protein crystallization offers exciting new possibilities for proteins that do not form crystals in vitro. PMID:26798811

  7. Understanding the Physical Properties that Control Protein Crystallization by Analysis of Large-Scale Experimental Data

    SciTech Connect

    Price, W.; Chen, Y; Handelman, S; Neely, H; Manor, P; Karlin, R; Nair, R; Montelione, G; Hunt, J; et. al.

    2008-01-01

    Crystallization is the most serious bottleneck in high-throughput protein-structure determination by diffraction methods. We have used data mining of the large-scale experimental results of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium and experimental folding studies to characterize the biophysical properties that control protein crystallization. This analysis leads to the conclusion that crystallization propensity depends primarily on the prevalence of well-ordered surface epitopes capable of mediating interprotein interactions and is not strongly influenced by overall thermodynamic stability. We identify specific sequence features that correlate with crystallization propensity and that can be used to estimate the crystallization probability of a given construct. Analyses of entire predicted proteomes demonstrate substantial differences in the amino acid-sequence properties of human versus eubacterial proteins, which likely reflect differences in biophysical properties, including crystallization propensity. Our thermodynamic measurements do not generally support previous claims regarding correlations between sequence properties and protein stability.

  8. The nanoscience behind the art of in-meso crystallization of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Zabara, Alexandru; Meikle, Thomas G; Newman, Janet; Peat, Thomas S; Conn, Charlotte E; Drummond, Calum J

    2017-01-05

    The structural changes occurring at the nanoscale level within the lipid bilayer and driving the in-meso formation of large well-diffracting membrane protein crystals have been uniquely characterized for a model membrane protein, intimin. Importantly, the order to order transitions taking place within the bilayer and the lipidic nanostructures required for crystal growth have been shown to be general, occurring for both the cubic and the sponge mesophase crystallization pathways. For the first time, a transient fluid lamellar phase has been observed and unambiguously assigned for both crystallization pathways, present at the earliest stages of protein crystallogenesis but no longer observed once the crystals surpass the size of the average lyotropic liquid crystalline domain. The reported time-resolved structural investigation provides a significantly improved and general understanding of the nanostructural changes taking place within the mesophase during in-meso crystallization which is a fundamental advance in the enabling area of membrane protein structural biology.

  9. Protein crystallization using microfluidic technologies based on valves, droplets, and SlipChip.

    PubMed

    Li, Liang; Ismagilov, Rustem F

    2010-01-01

    To obtain protein crystals, researchers must search for conditions in multidimensional chemical space. Empirically, thousands of crystallization experiments are carried out to screen various precipitants at multiple concentrations. Microfluidics can manipulate fluids on a nanoliter scale, and it affects crystallization twofold. First, it miniaturizes the experiments that can currently be done on a larger scale and enables crystallization of proteins that are available only in small amounts. Second, it offers unique experimental approaches that are difficult or impossible to implement on a larger scale. Ongoing development of microfluidic techniques and their integration with protein production, characterization, and in situ diffraction promises to accelerate the progress of structural biology.

  10. Graphene as a protein crystal mounting material to reduce background scatter

    PubMed Central

    Wierman, Jennifer L.; Alden, Jonathan S.; Kim, Chae Un; McEuen, Paul L.; Gruner, Sol M.

    2013-01-01

    The overall signal-to-noise ratio per unit dose for X-ray diffraction data from protein crystals can be improved by reducing the mass and density of all material surrounding the crystals. This article demonstrates a path towards the practical ultimate in background reduction by use of atomically thin graphene sheets as a crystal mounting platform for protein crystals. The results show the potential for graphene in protein crystallography and other cases where X-ray scatter from the mounting material must be reduced and specimen dehydration prevented, such as in coherent X-ray diffraction imaging of microscopic objects. PMID:24068843

  11. The kidney in vitamin B12 and folate homeostasis: characterization of receptors for tubular uptake of vitamins and carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Birn, Henrik

    2006-07-01

    Over the past 10 years, animal studies have uncovered the molecular mechanisms for the renal tubular recovery of filtered vitamin and vitamin carrier proteins. Relatively few endocytic receptors are responsible for the proximal tubule uptake of a number of different vitamins, preventing urinary losses. In addition to vitamin conservation, tubular uptake by endocytosis is important to vitamin metabolism and homeostasis. The present review focuses on the receptors involved in renal tubular recovery of folate, vitamin B12, and their carrier proteins. The multiligand receptor megalin is important for the uptake and tubular accumulation of vitamin B12. During vitamin load, the kidney accumulates large amounts of free vitamin B12, suggesting a possible storage function. In addition, vitamin B12 is metabolized in the kidney, suggesting a role in vitamin homeostasis. The folate receptor is important for the conservation of folate, mediating endocytosis of the vitamin. Interaction between the structurally closely related, soluble folate-binding protein and megalin suggests that megalin plays an additional role in the uptake of folate bound to filtered folate-binding protein. A third endocytic receptor, the intrinsic factor-B12 receptor cubilin-amnionless complex, is essential to the renal tubular uptake of albumin, a carrier of folate. In conclusion, uptake is mediated by interaction with specific endocytic receptors also involved in the renal uptake of other vitamins and vitamin carriers. Little is known about the mechanisms regulating intracellular transport and release of vitamins, and whereas tubular uptake is a constitutive process, this may be regulated, e.g., by vitamin status.

  12. Automation of Vapor-Diffusion Growth of Protein Crystals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hamrick, David T.; Bray, Terry L.

    2005-01-01

    Some improvements have been made in a system of laboratory equipment developed previously for studying the crystallization of proteins from solution by use of dynamically controlled flows of dry gas. The improvements involve mainly (1) automation of dispensing of liquids for starting experiments, (2) automatic control of drying of protein solutions during the experiments, and (3) provision for automated acquisition of video images for monitoring experiments in progress and for post-experiment analysis. The automation of dispensing of liquids was effected by adding an automated liquid-handling robot that can aspirate source solutions and dispense them in either a hanging-drop or a sitting-drop configuration, whichever is specified, in each of 48 experiment chambers. A video camera of approximately the size and shape of a lipstick dispenser was added to a mobile stage that is part of the robot, in order to enable automated acquisition of images in each experiment chamber. The experiment chambers were redesigned to enable the use of sitting drops, enable backlighting of each specimen, and facilitate automation.

  13. Real-time processing of interferograms for monitoring protein crystal growth on the Space Station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Choudry, A.; Dupuis, N.

    1988-01-01

    The possibility of using microscopic interferometric techniques to monitor the growth of protein crystals on the Space Station is studied. Digital image processing techniques are used to develop a system for the real-time analysis of microscopic interferograms of nucleation sites during protein crystal growth. Features of the optical setup and the image processing system are discussed and experimental results are presented.

  14. Metal-assisted and microwave accelerated-evaporative crystallization: Application to lysozyme protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mauge-Lewis, Kevin

    In response to the growing need for new crystallization techniques that afford for rapid processing times along with control over crystal size and distribution, the Aslan Research Group has recently demonstrated the use of Metal-Assisted and Microwave-Accelerated Evaporative Crystallization MA-MAEC technique in conjunction with metal nanoparticles and nanostructures for the crystallization of amino acids and organic small molecules. In this study, we have employed the newly developed MA-MAEC technique to the accelerated crystallization of chicken egg-white lysozyme on circular crystallization platforms in order to demonstrate the proof-of-principle application of the method for protein crystallization. The circular crystallization platforms are constructed in-house from poly (methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) and silver nanoparticle films (SNFs), indium tin oxide (ITO) and iron nano-columns. In this study, we prove the MA-MAEC method to be a more effective technique in the rapid crystallization of macromolecules in comparison to other conventional methods. Furthermore, we demonstrate the use of the novel iCrystal system, which incorporates the use of continuous, low wattage heating to facilitate the rapid crystallization of the lysozyme while still retaining excellent crystal quality. With the incorporation of the iCrystal system, we observe crystallization times that are even shorter than those produced by the MA-MAEC technique using a conventional microwave oven in addition to significantly improved crystal quality.

  15. Structure of a Specialized Acyl Carrier Protein Essential for Lipid A Biosynthesis with Very Long-chain Fatty Acids in Open and Closed Conformations

    SciTech Connect

    Ramelot, Theresa A.; Rossi, Paolo M.; Forouhar, Farhad; Lee, Hsiau-Wei; Yang, Yunhuang; Ni, Shuisong; Unser, Sarah; Lew, Scott; Seetharaman, Jayaraman; Xiao, Rong; Acton, Thomas; Everett, John K.; Prestegard, James H.; Hunt, John F.; Montelione, Gaetano; Kennedy, Michael A.

    2012-09-18

    The solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures and backbone (15)N dynamics of the specialized acyl carrier protein (ACP), RpAcpXL, from Rhodopseudomonas palustris, in both the apo form and holo form modified by covalent attachment of 4'-phosphopantetheine at S37, are virtually identical, monomeric, and correspond to the closed conformation. The structures have an extra α-helix compared to the archetypical ACP from Escherichia coli, which has four helices, resulting in a larger opening to the hydrophobic cavity. Chemical shift differences between apo- and holo-RpAcpXL indicated some differences in the hinge region between α2 and α3 and in the hydrophobic cavity environment, but corresponding changes in nuclear Overhauser effect cross-peak patterns were not detected. In contrast to the NMR structures, apo-RpAcpXL was observed in an open conformation in crystals that diffracted to 2.0 Å resolution, which resulted from movement of α3. On the basis of the crystal structure, the predicted biological assembly is a homodimer. Although the possible biological significance of dimerization is unknown, there is potential that the resulting large shared hydrophobic cavity could accommodate the very long-chain fatty acid (28-30 carbons) that this specialized ACP is known to synthesize and transfer to lipid A. These structures are the first representatives of the AcpXL family and the first to indicate that dimerization may be important for the function of these specialized ACPs.

  16. An Overview of Hardware for Protein Crystallization in a Magnetic Field

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Er-Kai; Zhang, Chen-Yan; He, Jin; Yin, Da-Chuan

    2016-01-01

    Protein crystallization under a magnetic field is an interesting research topic because a magnetic field may provide a special environment to acquire improved quality protein crystals. Because high-quality protein crystals are very useful in high-resolution structure determination using diffraction techniques (X-ray, neutron, and electron diffraction), research using magnetic fields in protein crystallization has attracted substantial interest; some studies have been performed in the past two decades. In this research field, the hardware is especially essential for successful studies because the environment is special and the design and utilization of the research apparatus in such an environment requires special considerations related to the magnetic field. This paper reviews the hardware for protein crystallization (including the magnet systems and the apparatus designed for use in a magnetic field) and progress in this area. Future prospects in this field will also be discussed. PMID:27854318

  17. Crystal-protein interactions studied by overgrowth of calcite on biogenic skeletal elements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aizenberg, J.; Albeck, S.; Weiner, S.; Addadi, L.

    1994-09-01

    A key parameter in the biological control of crystal formation is the interaction of a group of acidic macromolecules with the mineral phase. Here we study protein-calcite interactions using epitaxial overgrowth of synthetic calcite crystals under conditions in which local release of occluded macromolecules from the biogenic substrate occurs. The macromolecules subsequently interact with the newly formed overgrown crystals, resulting in modified calcite morphology. This novel method provides a means of mapping crystal-protein interactions under conditions that minimally affect the conformational states of the acidic macromolecules. We show that proteins released from calcitic sponge spicules and mollusc prisms specifically interact with {001} and {01 l} faces of calcite, whereas proteins released from echinoderm skeletal elements only interact with {01 l} faces. The extent to which the overgrown crystals are affected by the proteins varies even in the same organism and within the same element, depending on the site and crystallographic orientation of the skeletal elements.

  18. Influence of precipitating agents on thermodynamic parameters of protein crystallization solutions.

    PubMed

    Stavros, Philemon; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Nounesis, George

    2016-09-01

    X-ray crystallography is the most powerful method for determining three-dimensional structures of proteins to (near-)atomic resolution, but protein crystallization is a poorly explained and often intractable phenomenon. Differential Scanning Calorimetry was used to measure the thermodynamic parameters (ΔG, ΔH, ΔS) of temperature-driven unfolding of two globular proteins, lysozyme, and ribonuclease A, in various salt solutions. The mixtures were categorized into those that were conducive to crystallization of the protein and those that were not. It was found that even fairly low salt concentrations had very large effects on thermodynamic parameters. High concentrations of salts conducive to crystallization stabilized the native folded forms of proteins, whereas high concentrations of salts that did not crystallize them tended to destabilize them. Considering the ΔH and TΔS contributions to the ΔG of unfolding separately, high concentrations of crystallizing salts were found to enthalpically stabilize and entropically destabilize the protein, and vice-versa for the noncrystallizing salts. These observations suggest an explanation, in terms of protein stability and entropy of hydration, of why some salts are good crystallization agents for a given protein and others are not. This in turn provides theoretical insight into the process of protein crystallization, suggesting ways of predicting and controlling it. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Biopolymers 105: 642-652, 2016.