Publications by authors named "Elke Brosens"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

SAXS analysis of the tRNA-modifying enzyme complex MnmE/MnmG reveals a novel interaction mode and GTP-induced oligomerization.

Nucleic Acids Res 2014 May 14;42(9):5978-92. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

Structural Biology Research Center, VIB, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium Structural Biology Brussels, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium

Transfer ribonucleic acid (tRNA) modifications, especially at the wobble position, are crucial for proper and efficient protein translation. MnmE and MnmG form a protein complex that is implicated in the carboxymethylaminomethyl modification of wobble uridine (cmnm(5)U34) of certain tRNAs. MnmE is a G protein activated by dimerization (GAD), and active guanosine-5'-triphosphate (GTP) hydrolysis is required for the tRNA modification to occur. Although crystal structures of MnmE and MnmG are available, the structure of the MnmE/MnmG complex (MnmEG) and the nature of the nucleotide-induced conformational changes and their relevance for the tRNA modification reaction remain unknown. In this study, we mainly used small-angle X-ray scattering to characterize these conformational changes in solution and to unravel the mode of interaction between MnmE, MnmG and tRNA. In the nucleotide-free state MnmE and MnmG form an unanticipated asymmetric α2β2 complex. Unexpectedly, GTP binding promotes further oligomerization of the MnmEG complex leading to an α4β2 complex. The transition from the α2β2 to the α4β2 complex is fast, reversible and coupled to GTP binding and hydrolysis. We propose a model in which the nucleotide-induced changes in conformation and oligomerization of MnmEG form an integral part of the tRNA modification reaction cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gku213DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027165PMC
May 2014

The oxidase DsbA folds a protein with a nonconsecutive disulfide.

J Biol Chem 2007 Oct 16;282(43):31302-7. Epub 2007 Aug 16.

Brussels Center for Redox Biology, Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, 1050 Brussel, Belgium.

One of the last unsolved problems of molecular biology is how the sequential amino acid information leads to a functional protein. Correct disulfide formation within a protein is hereby essential. We present periplasmic ribonuclease I (RNase I) from Escherichia coli as a new endogenous substrate for the study of oxidative protein folding. One of its four disulfides is between nonconsecutive cysteines. In general view, the folding of proteins with nonconsecutive disulfides requires the protein disulfide isomerase DsbC. In contrast, our study with RNase I shows that DsbA is a sufficient catalyst for correct disulfide formation in vivo and in vitro. DsbA is therefore more specific than generally assumed. Further, we show that the redox potential of the periplasm depends on the presence of glutathione and the Dsb proteins to maintain it at-165 mV. We determined the influence of this redox potential on the folding of RNase I. Under the more oxidizing conditions of dsb(-) strains, DsbC becomes necessary to correct non-native disulfides, but it cannot substitute for DsbA. Altogether, DsbA folds a protein with a nonconsecutive disulfide as long as no incorrect disulfides are formed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M705236200DOI Listing
October 2007

The conserved active site proline determines the reducing power of Staphylococcus aureus thioredoxin.

J Mol Biol 2007 May 22;368(3):800-11. Epub 2007 Feb 22.

Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

Nature uses thioredoxin-like folds in several disulfide bond oxidoreductases. Each of them has a typical active site Cys-X-X-Cys sequence motif, the hallmark of thioredoxin being Trp-Cys-Gly-Pro-Cys. The intriguing role of the highly conserved proline in the ubiquitous reducing agent thioredoxin was studied by site-specific mutagenesis of Staphylococcus aureus thioredoxin (Sa_Trx). We present X-ray structures, redox potential, pK(a), steady-state kinetic parameters, and thermodynamic stabilities. By replacing the central proline to a threonine/serine, no extra hydrogen bonds with the sulphur of the nucleophilic cysteine are introduced. The only structural difference is that the immediate chemical surrounding of the nucleophilic cysteine becomes more hydrophilic. The pK(a) value of the nucleophilic cysteine decreases with approximately one pH unit and its redox potential increases with 30 mV. Thioredoxin becomes more oxidizing and the efficiency to catalyse substrate reduction (k(cat)/K(M)) decreases sevenfold relative to wild-type Sa_Trx. The oxidized form of wild-type Sa_Trx is far more stable than the reduced form over the whole temperature range. The driving force to reduce substrate proteins is the relative stability of the oxidized versus the reduced form Delta(T(1/2))(ox/red). This driving force is decreased in the Sa_Trx P31T mutant. Delta(T(1/2))(ox/red) drops from 15.5 degrees C (wild-type) to 5.8 degrees C (P31T mutant). In conclusion, the active site proline in thioredoxin determines the driving potential for substrate reduction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2007.02.045DOI Listing
May 2007

Combining site-specific mutagenesis and seeding as a strategy to crystallize 'difficult' proteins: the case of Staphylococcus aureus thioredoxin.

Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun 2006 Dec 30;62(Pt 12):1255-8. Epub 2006 Nov 30.

Brussels Center for Redox Biology, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussel, Belgium.

The P31T mutant of Staphylococcus aureus thioredoxin crystallizes spontaneously in space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 41.7, b = 49.5, c = 55.6 A. The crystals diffract to 2.2 A resolution. Isomorphous crystals of wild-type thioredoxin as well as of other point mutants only grow when seeded with the P31T mutant. These results suggest seeding as a valuable tool complementing surface engineering for proteins that are hard to crystallize.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S1744309106047075DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2225371PMC
December 2006

Interplay between ion binding and catalysis in the thioredoxin-coupled arsenate reductase family.

J Mol Biol 2006 Jul 6;360(4):826-38. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Laboratorium voor Ultrastructuur, Department of Molecular and Cellular Interactions, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

In the thioredoxin (Trx)-coupled arsenate reductase family, arsenate reductase from Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pI258 (Sa_ArsC) and from Bacillus subtilis (Bs_ArsC) are structurally related detoxification enzymes. Catalysis of the reduction of arsenate to arsenite involves a P-loop (Cys10Thr11Gly12Asn13Ser14Cys15Arg16) structural motif and a disulphide cascade between three conserved cysteine residues (Cys10, Cys82 and Cys89). For its activity, Sa_ArsC benefits from the binding of tetrahedral oxyanions in the P-loop active site and from the binding of potassium in a specific cation-binding site. In contrast, the steady-state kinetic parameters of Bs_ArsC are not affected by sulphate or potassium. The commonly occurring mutation of a histidine (H62), located about 6 A from the potassium-binding site in Sa_ArsC, to a glutamine uncouples the kinetic dependency on potassium. In addition, the binding affinity for potassium is affected by the presence of a lysine (K33) or an aspartic acid (D33) in combination with two negative charges (D30 and E31) on the surface of Trx-coupled arsenate reductases. In the P-loop of the Trx-coupled arsenate reductase family, the peptide bond between Gly12 and Asn13 can adopt two distinct conformations. The unique geometry of the P-loop with Asn13 in beta conformation, which is not observed in structurally related LMW PTPases, is stabilized by tetrahedral oxyanions and decreases the pK(a) value of Cys10 and Cys82. Tetrahedral oxyanions stabilize the P-loop in its catalytically most active form, which might explain the observed increase in k(cat) value for Sa_ArsC. Therefore, a subtle interplay of potassium and sulphate dictates the kinetics of Trx-coupled arsenate reductases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2006.05.054DOI Listing
July 2006

The activation of electrophile, nucleophile and leaving group during the reaction catalysed by pI258 arsenate reductase.

Chembiochem 2006 Jun;7(6):981-9

Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Algemene Chemie, Pleinlaan 2, 1050, Brussels, Belgium.

The reduction of arsenate to arsenite by pI258 arsenate reductase (ArsC) combines a nucleophilic displacement reaction with a unique intramolecular disulfide cascade. Within this reaction mechanism, the oxidative equivalents are translocated from the active site to the surface of ArsC. The first reaction step in the reduction of arsenate by pI258 ArsC consists of a nucleophilic displacement reaction carried out by Cys10 on dianionic arsenate. The second step involves the nucleophilic attack of Cys82 on the Cys10-arseno intermediate formed during the first reaction step. The onset of the second step is studied here by using quantum chemical calculations in a density functional theory context. The optimised geometry of the Cys10-arseno adduct in the ArsC catalytic site (sequence motif: Cys10-Thr11-Gly12-Asn13-Ser14-Cys15-Arg16-Ser17) forms the starting point for all subsequent calculations. Thermodynamic data and a hard and soft acids and bases (HSAB) reactivity analysis show a preferential nucleophilic attack on a monoanionic Cys10-arseno adduct, which is stabilised by Ser17. The P-loop active site of pI258 ArsC activates first a hydroxy group and subsequently arsenite as the leaving group, as is clear from an increase in the calculated nucleofugality of these groups upon going from the gas phase to the solvent phase to the enzymatic environment. Furthermore, the enzymatic environment stabilises the thiolate form of the nucleophile Cys82 by 3.3 pH units through the presence of the eight-residue alpha helix flanked by Cys82 and Cys89 (redox helix) and through a hydrogen bond with Thr11. The importance of Thr11 in the pKa regulation of Cys82 was confirmed by the observed decrease in the kcat value of the Thr11Ala mutant as compared to that of wild-type ArsC. During the final reaction step, Cys89 is activated as a nucleophile by structural alterations of the redox helix that functions as a pKa control switch for Cys89; this final step is necessary to expose a Cys82-Cys89 disulfide.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cbic.200500507DOI Listing
June 2006

The fimbrial adhesin F17-G of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli has an immunoglobulin-like lectin domain that binds N-acetylglucosamine.

Mol Microbiol 2003 Aug;49(3):705-15

Department of Ultrastructure, Institute for Molecular Biology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Brussels, Belgium.

The F17-G adhesin at the tip of flexible F17 fimbriae of enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli mediates binding to N-acetyl-beta-D-glucosamine-presenting receptors on the microvilli of the intestinal epithelium of ruminants. We report the 1.7 A resolution crystal structure of the lectin domain of F17-G, both free and in complex with N-acetylglucosamine. The monosaccharide is bound on the side of the ellipsoid-shaped protein in a conserved site around which all natural variations of F17-G are clustered. A model is proposed for the interaction between F17-fimbriated E. coli and microvilli with enhanced affinity compared with the binding constant we determined for F17-G binding to N-acetylglucosamine (0.85 mM-1). Unexpectedly, the F17-G structure reveals that the lectin domains of the F17-G, PapGII and FimH fimbrial adhesins all share the immunoglobulin-like fold of the structural components (pilins) of their fimbriae, despite lack of any sequence identity. Fold comparisons with pilin and chaperone structures of the chaperone/usher pathway highlight the central role of the C-terminal beta-strand G of the immunoglobulin-like fold and provides new insights into pilus assembly, function and adhesion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1365-2958.2003.03600.xDOI Listing
August 2003

Solving the phase problem for carbohydrate-binding proteins using selenium derivatives of their ligands: a case study involving the bacterial F17-G adhesin.

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 2003 Jun 23;59(Pt 6):1012-5. Epub 2003 May 23.

Department of Ultrastructure, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Pleinlaan 2, 1050 Brussels, Belgium.

The Escherichia coli adhesin F17-G is a carbohydrate-binding protein that allows the bacterium to attach to the intestinal epithelium of young ruminants. The structure of the 17 kDa lectin domain of F17-G was determined using the anomalous dispersion signal of a selenium-containing analogue of the monosaccharide ligand N-acetyl-d-glucosamine in which the anomeric oxygen was replaced by an Se atom. A three-wavelength MAD data set yielded good experimental phases to 2.6 A resolution. The structure was refined to 1.75 A resolution and was used to solve the structures of the ligand-free protein and the F17-G-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine complex. This selenium-carbohydrate phasing method could be of general use for determining the structures of carbohydrate-binding proteins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/s0907444903007170DOI Listing
June 2003

Purification of an oxidation-sensitive enzyme, pI258 arsenate reductase from Staphylococcus aureus.

J Chromatogr B Analyt Technol Biomed Life Sci 2003 Jun;790(1-2):217-27

Dienst Ultrastructuur, Vlaams Interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Paardenstraat 65, B-1640, Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium.

Arsenate reductase (ArsC) from Staphylococcus aureus pI258 is extremely sensitive to oxidative inactivation. The presence of oxidized ArsC forms was not that critical for NMR, but kinetics and crystallization required an extra reversed-phase purification to increase sample homogeneity. The salt ions observed in the X-ray electron density of ArsC were investigated. Carbonate was found to have the lowest dissociation constant for activation (K(a)=1.1 mM) and potassium was stabilizing ArsC (DeltaT(m)=+6.2 degrees C). Also due to the use of these salt ions, the final yield of the purification had improved with a factor of four, i.e. 73 mg/l culture.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s1570-0232(03)00079-5DOI Listing
June 2003

All intermediates of the arsenate reductase mechanism, including an intramolecular dynamic disulfide cascade.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Jun 18;99(13):8506-11. Epub 2002 Jun 18.

Dienst Ultrastructuur, Vlaams interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Paardenstraat 65, 1640 St. Genesius-Rode, Belgium.

The mechanism of pI258 arsenate reductase (ArsC) catalyzed arsenate reduction, involving its P-loop structural motif and three redox active cysteines, has been unraveled. All essential intermediates are visualized with x-ray crystallography, and NMR is used to map dynamic regions in a key disulfide intermediate. Steady-state kinetics of ArsC mutants gives a view of the crucial residues for catalysis. ArsC combines a phosphatase-like nucleophilic displacement reaction with a unique intramolecular disulfide bond cascade. Within this cascade, the formation of a disulfide bond triggers a reversible "conformational switch" that transfers the oxidative equivalents to the surface of the protein, while releasing the reduced substrate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.132142799DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC124290PMC
June 2002

Kinetics and active site dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus arsenate reductase.

J Biol Inorg Chem 2002 Jan 24;7(1-2):146-56. Epub 2001 Jul 24.

Dienst Ultrastructuur, Vlaams interuniversitair Instituut voor Biotechnologie (VIB), Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Paardenstraat 65, 1640 Sint-Genesius-Rode, Belgium.

Arsenate reductase (ArsC) encoded by Staphylococcus aureus arsenic-resistance plasmid pI258 reduces intracellular arsenate(V) to the more toxic arsenite(III), which is subsequently extruded from the cell. It couples to thioredoxin, thioredoxin reductase and NADPH to be enzymatically active. ArsC is extremely sensitive to oxidative inactivation, has a very dynamic character hampering resonance assignments in NMR and produces peculiar biphasic Michaelis-Menten curves with two V(max) plateaus. In this study, methods to control ArsC oxidation during purification have been optimized. Next, application of Selwyn's test of enzyme inactivation was applied to progress curves and reveals that the addition of tetrahedral oxyanions (50 mM sulfate, phosphate or perchlorate) allows the control of ArsC stability and essentially eliminates the biphasic character of the Michaelis-Menten curves. Finally, 1H-15N HSQC NMR spectroscopy was used to establish that these oxyanions, including the arsenate substrate, exert their stabilizing effect on ArsC through binding with residues located within a C-X5-R sequence motif, characteristic for phosphotyrosine phosphatases. In view of this need for a tetrahedral oxyanion to structure its substrate binding site in its active conformation, a reappraisal of basic kinetic parameters of ArsC was necessary. Under these new conditions and in contrast to previous observations, ArsC has a high substrate specificity, as only arsenate could be reduced ( Km=68 microM, k(cat)/ Km =5.2 x 10(4 )M-1s-1), while its product, arsenite, was identified as a mixed inhibitor ( K*iu=534 microM, K*ic=377 microM).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s007750100282DOI Listing
January 2002
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