Publications by authors named "Evert Bokma"

9 Publications

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Selective blood-brain barrier permeabilisation of brain metastases by a type-1 receptor selective tumour necrosis factor mutein.

Neuro Oncol 2021 Jul 23. Epub 2021 Jul 23.

Cancer Research UK and Medical Research Council Oxford Institute for Radiation Oncology, Department of Oncology, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

Background: Metastasis to the brain is a major challenge with poor prognosis. The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a significant impediment to effective treatment, being intact during the early stages of tumour development and heterogeneously permeable at later stages. Intravenous injection of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) selectively induces BBB permeabilisation at sites of brain micrometastasis, in a TNF type-1 receptor (TNFR1) dependent manner. Here, to enable clinical translation, we have developed a TNFR1-selective agonist variant of human TNF that induces BBB permeabilisation, whilst minimising potential toxicity.

Methods: A library of human TNF muteins (mutTNF) were generated and assessed for binding specificity to mouse and human TNFR1/2, endothelial permeabilising activity in vitro, potential immunogenicity and circulatory half-life. The permeabilising ability of the most promising variant was assessed in vivo in a model of brain metastasis.

Results: The primary mutTNF variant showed similar affinity for human TNFR1 than wild-type human TNF, similar affinity for mouse TNFR1 as wild-type mouse TNF, undetectable binding to human/mouse TNFR2, low potential immunogenicity and permeabilisation of an endothelial monolayer. Circulatory half-life was similar to mouse/human TNF and BBB permeabilisation was induced selectively at sites of micrometastases in vivo, with a time window of ≥24h and enabling delivery of agents within a therapeutically-relevant range (0.5-150kDa), including the clinically approved therapy, trastuzumab.

Conclusions: We have developed a clinically-translatable mutTNF that selectively opens the BBB at micrometastatic sites, whilst leaving the rest of the cerebrovasculature intact. This approach will open a window for brain metastasis treatment that currently does not exist.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/neuonc/noab177DOI Listing
July 2021

Tailored amino acid diversity for the evolution of antibody affinity.

MAbs 2012 Nov-Dec;4(6):664-72. Epub 2012 Aug 27.

MedImmune Ltd., Cambridge, UK.

Antibodies are a unique class of proteins with the ability to adapt their binding sites for high affinity and high specificity to a multitude of antigens. Many analyses have been performed on antibody sequences and structures to elucidate which amino acids have a predominant role in antibody interactions with antigens. These studies have generally not distinguished between amino acids selected for broad antigen specificity in the primary immune response and those selected for high affinity in the secondary immune response. By studying a large data set of affinity matured antibodies derived from in vitro directed evolution experiments, we were able to specifically highlight a subset of amino acids associated with affinity improvements. In a comparison of affinity maturations using either tailored or full amino acid diversification, the tailored approach was found to be at least as effective at improving affinity while requiring fewer mutagenesis libraries than the traditional method. The resulting sequence data also highlight the potential for further reducing amino acid diversity for high affinity binding interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/mabs.21728DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3502233PMC
January 2014

The assembled structure of a complete tripartite bacterial multidrug efflux pump.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2009 Apr 2;106(17):7173-8. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Department of Pathology, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.

Bacteria like Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa expel drugs via tripartite multidrug efflux pumps spanning both inner and outer membranes and the intervening periplasm. In these pumps a periplasmic adaptor protein connects a substrate-binding inner membrane transporter to an outer membrane-anchored TolC-type exit duct. High-resolution structures of all 3 components are available, but a pump model has been precluded by the incomplete adaptor structure, because of the apparent disorder of its N and C termini. We reveal that the adaptor termini assemble a beta-roll structure forming the final domain adjacent to the inner membrane. The completed structure enabled in vivo cross-linking to map intermolecular contacts between the adaptor AcrA and the transporter AcrB, defining a periplasmic interface between several transporter subdomains and the contiguous beta-roll, beta-barrel, and lipoyl domains of the adaptor. With short and long cross-links expressed as distance restraints, the flexible linear topology of the adaptor allowed a multidomain docking approach to model the transporter-adaptor complex, revealing that the adaptor docks to a transporter region of comparative stability distinct from those key to the proposed rotatory pump mechanism, putative drug-binding pockets, and the binding site of inhibitory DARPins. Finally, we combined this docking with our previous resolution of the AcrA hairpin-TolC interaction to develop a model of the assembled tripartite complex, satisfying all of the experimentally-derived distance constraints. This AcrA(3)-AcrB(3)-TolC(3) model presents a 610,000-Da, 270-A-long efflux pump crossing the entire bacterial cell envelope.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0900693106DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2678420PMC
April 2009

A periplasmic coiled-coil interface underlying TolC recruitment and the assembly of bacterial drug efflux pumps.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2007 Mar 5;104(11):4612-7. Epub 2007 Mar 5.

Department of Pathology, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.

Bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa expel antibiotics and other inhibitors via tripartite multidrug efflux pumps spanning the inner and outer membranes and the intervening periplasmic space. A key event in pump assembly is the recruitment of an outer membrane-anchored TolC exit duct by the adaptor protein of a cognate inner membrane translocase, establishing a contiguous transenvelope efflux pore. We describe the underlying interaction of juxtaposed periplasmic exit duct and adaptor coiled-coils in the widespread RND-type pump TolC/AcrAB of E. coli, using in vivo cross-linking to map the extent of intermolecular contacts. Cross-linking of site-specific TolC cysteine variants to wild-type AcrA adaptor identified residues on the lower alpha-helical barrel domain of TolC, defining a contiguous cluster close to the entrance aperture of the exit duct. Reciprocally, site-specific cross-linking of AcrA cysteine variants to wild-type TolC identified the interaction surface on the adaptor within the N-terminal alpha-helix of the AcrA coiled-coil. The experimental data allowed a data-driven docking approach to model the interaction surface central to pump assembly. The lowest energy docked model satisfying all of the cross-link distance constraints places the adaptor at the intramolecular groove formed by the TolC entrance helices, aligning the adaptor coiled-coil with the exposed TolC outer helix. A key feature of this positioning is that it allows space for the proposed movement of the inner coil of TolC during transition to its open state.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0610160104DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1838649PMC
March 2007

Directed evolution of a bacterial efflux pump: adaptation of the E. coli TolC exit duct to the Pseudomonas MexAB translocase.

FEBS Lett 2006 Oct 12;580(22):5339-43. Epub 2006 Sep 12.

Cambridge University Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.

Bacterial multidrug efflux pumps operate by periplasmic recruitment and opening of TolC family outer membrane exit ducts by cognate inner membrane translocases. Directed evolution of active hybrid pumps was achieved by challenging a library of mutated, shuffled TolC variants to adapt to the non-cognate Pseudomonas MexAB translocase, and confer resistance to the efflux substrate novobiocin. Amino acid substitutions in MexAB-adapted TolC variants that endowed high resistance were recreated independently, and revealed that MexAB-adaptation was conferred only by substitutions located in the lower alpha-helical barrel of TolC, specifically the periplasmic equatorial domain and entrance coiled coils. These changes converge to the native MexAB partner OprM, and indicate an interface key to the function and diversity of efflux pumps.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2006.09.005DOI Listing
October 2006

Interactions underlying assembly of the Escherichia coli AcrAB-TolC multidrug efflux system.

Mol Microbiol 2004 Jul;53(2):697-706

Cambridge University Department of Pathology, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, UK.

The major Escherichia coli multidrug efflux pump AcrAB-TolC expels a wide range of antibacterial agents. Using in vivo cross-linking, we show for the first time that the antiporter AcrB and the adaptor AcrA, which form a translocase in the inner membrane, interact with the outer membrane TolC exit duct to form a contiguous proteinaceous complex spanning the bacterial cell envelope. Assembly of the pump appeared to be constitutive, occurring in the presence and absence of drug efflux substrate. This contrasts with substrate-induced assembly of the closely related TolC-dependent protein export machinery, possibly reflecting different assembly dynamics and degrees of substrate responsiveness in the two systems. TolC could be cross-linked independently to AcrB, showing that their large periplasmic domains are in close proximity. However, isothermal titration calorimetry detected no interaction between the purified AcrB and TolC proteins, suggesting that the adaptor protein is required for their stable association in vivo. Confirming this view, AcrA could be cross-linked independently to AcrB and TolC in vivo, and calorimetry demonstrated energetically favourable interactions of AcrA with both AcrB and TolC proteins. AcrB was bound by a polypeptide spanning the C-terminal half of AcrA, but binding to TolC required interaction of N- and C-terminal polypeptides spanning the lipoyl-like domains predicted to present the intervening coiled-coil to the periplasmic coils of TolC. These in vivo and in vitro analyses establish the central role of the AcrA adaptor in drug-independent assembly of the tripartite drug efflux pump, specifically in coupling the inner membrane transporter and the outer membrane exit duct.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2958.2004.04158.xDOI Listing
July 2004

Structure of the periplasmic component of a bacterial drug efflux pump.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2004 Jul 28;101(27):9994-9. Epub 2004 Jun 28.

Department of Pathology, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.

Multidrug resistance among Gram-negative bacteria is conferred by three-component membrane pumps that expel diverse antibiotics from the cell. These efflux pumps consist of an inner membrane transporter such as the AcrB proton antiporter, an outer membrane exit duct of the TolC family, and a periplasmic protein known as the adaptor. We present the x-ray structure of the MexA adaptor from the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The elongated molecule contains three linearly arranged subdomains; a 47-A-long alpha-helical hairpin, a lipoyl domain, and a six-stranded beta-barrel. In the crystal, hairpins of neighboring MexA monomers pack side-by-side to form twisted arcs. We discuss the implications of the packing of molecules within the crystal. On the basis of the structure and packing, we suggest a model for the key periplasmic interaction between the outer membrane channel and the adaptor protein in the assembled drug efflux pump.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0400375101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC454203PMC
July 2004

Transition to the open state of the TolC periplasmic tunnel entrance.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2002 Aug 5;99(17):11103-8. Epub 2002 Aug 5.

Department of Pathology, Cambridge University, Tennis Court Road, Cambridge CB2 1QP, United Kingdom.

The TolC channel-tunnel spans the bacterial outer membrane and periplasm, providing a large exit duct for protein export and multidrug efflux when recruited by substrate-engaged inner membrane complexes. The sole constriction in the single pore of the homotrimeric TolC is the periplasmic tunnel entrance, which in its resting configuration is closed by dense packing of the 12 tunnel-forming alpha-helices. Recruitment of TolC must trigger opening for substrate transit to occur, but the mechanism underlying transition from the closed to the open state is not known. The high resolution structure of TolC indicates that the tunnel helices are constrained at the entrance by a circular network of intra- and intermonomer hydrogen bonds and salt bridges. To assess how opening is achieved, we disrupted these connections and monitored changes in the aperture size by measuring the single channel conductance of TolC derivatives in black lipid bilayers. Elimination of individual connections caused incremental weakening of the circular network, accompanied by gradual relaxation from the closed state and increased flexibility of the entrance. Simultaneous abolition of the key links caused a substantial increase in conductance, generating an aperture that corresponds to the modeled open state, with the capacity to allow access and passage of diverse substrates. The results support a model in which transition to the open state of TolC is achieved by an iris-like realignment of the tunnel entrance helices.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.162039399DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC123217PMC
August 2002

Expression and characterization of active site mutants of hevamine, a chitinase from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis.

Eur J Biochem 2002 Feb;269(3):893-901

Department of Biochemistry, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands.

Hevamine is a chitinase from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. Its active site contains Asp125, Glu127, and Tyr183, which interact with the -1 sugar residue of the substrate. To investigate their role in catalysis, we have successfully expressed wild-type enzyme and mutants of these residues as inclusion bodies in Escherichia coli. After refolding and purification they were characterized by both structural and enzyme kinetic studies. Mutation of Tyr183 to phenylalanine produced an enzyme with a lower k(cat) and a slightly higher K(m) than the wild-type enzyme. Mutating Asp125 and Glu127 to alanine gave mutants with approximately 2% residual activity. In contrast, the Asp125Asn mutant retained substantial activity, with an approximately twofold lower k(cat) and an approximately twofold higher K(m) than the wild-type enzyme. More interestingly, it showed activity to higher pH values than the other variants. The X-ray structure of the Asp125Ala/Glu127Ala double mutant soaked with chitotetraose shows that, compared with wild-type hevamine, the carbonyl oxygen atom of the N-acetyl group of the -1 sugar residue has rotated away from the C1 atom of that residue. The combined structural and kinetic data show that Asp125 and Tyr183 contribute to catalysis by positioning the carbonyl oxygen of the N-acetyl group near to the C1 atom. This allows the stabilization of a positively charged transient intermediate, in agreement with a previous proposal that the enzyme makes use of substrate-assisted catalysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.0014-2956.2001.02721.xDOI Listing
February 2002
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