Publications by authors named "Giuliana Zanetti"

21 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

High-resolution studies of hydride transfer in the ferredoxin:NADP reductase superfamily.

FEBS J 2017 10 29;284(19):3302-3319. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, USA.

Ferredoxin: NADP reductase (FNR) is an FAD-containing enzyme best known for catalysing the transfer of electrons from ferredoxin (Fd) to NADP to make NADPH during photosynthesis. It is also the prototype for a broad enzyme superfamily, including the NADPH oxidases (NOXs) that all catalyse similar FAD-enabled electron transfers between NAD(P)H and one-electron carriers. Here, we define further mechanistic details of the NAD(P)H ⇌ FAD hydride-transfer step of the reaction based on spectroscopic studies and high-resolution (~ 1.5 Å) crystallographic views of the nicotinamide-flavin interaction in crystals of corn root FNR Tyr316Ser and Tyr316Ala variants soaked with either nicotinamide, NADP , or NADPH. The spectra obtained from FNR crystal complexes match those seen in solution and the complexes reveal active site packing interactions and patterns of covalent distortion of the FAD that imply significant active site compression that would favour catalysis. Furthermore, anisotropic B-factors show that the mobility of the C4 atom of the nicotinamide in the FNR:NADP complex has a directionality matching that expected for boat-like excursions of the nicotinamide ring thought to enhance hydride transfer. Arguments are made for the relevance of this binding mode to catalysis, and specific consideration is given to how the results extrapolate to provide insight to structure-function relations for the membrane-bound NOX enzymes for which little structural information has been available.

Databases: Structural data are available in the PDB database under the accession numbers 3LO8 (wild-type), 5VW4 [Y316S:nicotinamide (P3 21)], 5VW9 [Y316S:nicotinamide (P3 21)], 5VW3 [Y316S:NADP (P3 21)], 5VW8 [Y316S:NADP (P3 21)], 5VW2 [Y316S:NADPH (P3 21)], 5VW5 [Y316A:nicotinamide (P3 21)], 5VW6 [Y316A:NADP (P3 21)], 5VW7 [Y316A:NADPH (P3 21)], 5VWA [Y316F (P3 21)], and 5VWB [Y316F:NADP (P3 21)]. Enzyme Commission number: ferredoxin:NADP reductase - E C1.18.1.2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/febs.14190DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5626627PMC
October 2017

Synthesis of human renalase1 in Escherichia coli and its purification as a FAD-containing holoprotein.

Protein Expr Purif 2010 Aug 17;72(2):244-53. Epub 2010 Mar 17.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Renalase is a protein ubiquitous in vertebrates, which has been proposed to modulate blood pressure and heart rate, and whose downregulation might result in hypertension. Despite its potential relevance for human health, the biochemical characterization of renalase is still lacking, possibly due to difficulties in obtaining it in recombinant form. By expressing two different gene constructs, we found that the major isoform of human renalase, renalase1, is mainly produced in Escherichia coli in inclusion bodies. However, by optimizing the expression conditions, significant amounts of soluble products were obtained. Both soluble renalase forms have been purified to homogeneity exploiting their N-terminal His-tag. Linking of the protein of interest to the SUMO protein did not improve solubility, but yielded untagged renalase1 after proteolytic processing of the fusion product. The two recombinant renalase forms displayed the same molecular properties. They bind equimolar amounts of FAD and appear to be correctly folded by various criteria. The procedures for the production and isolation of recombinant renalase1 here reported are expected to boost the much awaited biochemical studies on this remarkable protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pep.2010.03.008DOI Listing
August 2010

Plasmodium falciparum ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase His286 plays a dual role in NADP(H) binding and catalysis.

Biochemistry 2009 Oct;48(40):9525-33

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Universita degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

The NADP-binding site of Plasmodium falciparum ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase contains two basic residues, His286 and Lys249, conserved within the Plasmodium genus, but not in other plant-type homologues. Previous crystal studies indicated that His286 interacts with the adenine ring and with the 5'-phosphate of 2'-P-AMP, a ligand that mimics the adenylate moiety of NADP(H). Here we show that replacement of His286 with aliphatic residues results both in a decrease in the affinity of the enzyme for NADPH and in a decrease in k(cat), due to a lowered hydride-transfer rate. Unexpectedly, the mutation to Gln produces an enzyme more active than the wild-type one, whereas the change to Lys destabilizes the nicotinamide-isoalloxazine interaction, decreasing k(cat). On the basis of the crystal structure of selected mutants complexed with 2'-P-AMP, we conclude that the His286 side chain plays a dual role in catalysis both by providing binding energy for NADPH and by favoring the catalytically competent orientation of its nicotinamide ring. For the latter function, the H-bonding potential rather than the positively charged state of the His286 imidazole seems sufficient. Furthermore, we show that the Lys249Ala mutation decreases K(m)(NADPH) and K(d) for NADP(+) or 2'-P-AMP by a factor of 10. We propose that the Lys249 side chain participates in substrate recognition by interacting with the 2'-phosphate of NADP(H) and that this interaction was not observed in the crystal form of the enzyme-2'-P-AMP complex due to a conformational perturbation of the substrate-binding loop induced by dimerization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi9013209DOI Listing
October 2009

The ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase/ferredoxin electron transfer system of Plasmodium falciparum.

FEBS J 2009 Jul 11;276(14):3825-36. Epub 2009 Jun 11.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

In the apicoplast of apicomplexan parasites, plastidic-type ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (FNR) form a short electron transport chain that provides reducing power for the synthesis of isoprenoid precursors. These proteins are attractive targets for the development of novel drugs against diseases such as malaria, toxoplasmosis, and coccidiosis. We have obtained ferredoxin and FNR of both Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum in recombinant form, and recently we solved the crystal structure of the P. falciparum reductase. Here we report on the functional properties of the latter enzyme, which differ markedly from those of homologous FNRs. In the physiological reaction, P. falciparum FNR displays a k(cat) five-fold lower than those usually determined for plastidic-type FNRs. By rapid kinetics, we found that hydride transfer between NADPH and protein-bound FAD is slower in the P. falciparum enzyme. The redox properties of the enzyme were determined, and showed that the FAD semiquinone species is highly destabilized. We propose that these two features, i.e. slow hydride transfer and unstable FAD semiquinone, are responsible for the poor catalytic efficiency of the P. falciparum enzyme. Another unprecedented feature of the malarial parasite FNR is its ability to yield, under oxidizing conditions, an inactive dimeric form stabilized by an intermolecular disulfide bond. Here we show that the monomerdimer interconversion can be controlled by oxidizing and reducing agents that are possibly present within the apicoplast, such as H(2)O(2), glutathione, and lipoate. This finding suggests that modulation of the quaternary structure of P. falciparum FNR might represent a regulatory mechanism, although this needs to be verified in vivo.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2009.07100.xDOI Listing
July 2009

Structural and functional diversity of ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases.

Arch Biochem Biophys 2008 Jun 16;474(2):283-91. Epub 2008 Feb 16.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Although all ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases (FNRs) catalyze the same reaction, i.e. the transfer of reducing equivalents between NADP(H) and ferredoxin, they belong to two unrelated families of proteins: the plant-type and the glutathione reductase-type of FNRs. Aim of this review is to provide a general classification scheme for these enzymes, to be used as a framework for the comparison of their properties. Furthermore, we report on some recent findings, which significantly increased the understanding of the structure-function relationships of FNRs, i.e. the ability of adrenodoxin reductase and its homologs to catalyze the oxidation of NADP(+) to its 4-oxo derivative, and the properties of plant-type FNRs from non-photosynthetic organisms. Plant-type FNRs from bacteria and Apicomplexan parasites provide examples of novel ways of FAD- and NADP(H)-binding. The recent characterization of an FNR from Plasmodium falciparum brings these enzymes into the field of drug design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2008.02.014DOI Listing
June 2008

Effect of salt and pH on the reductive half-reaction of Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA with NADPH.

Biochemistry 2008 Mar 23;47(11):3418-25. Epub 2008 Feb 23.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Despite a number of studies, the formation of the Michaelis complexes between ferredoxin-NADP (+) reductases and NADP(H) eluded detailed investigations by rapid kinetic techniques because of their high formation rates. Moreover, the reversible nature of the reaction of hydride ion transfer between these enzymes and NADPH prevented the obtainment of reliable estimates of the rate constant of the hydride transfer step. Here we show that by working at a high salt concentration, the mechanism of the reaction with NADPH of FprA, a Mycobacterium tuberculosis homologue of adrenodoxin reductase, is greatly simplified, making it amenable to investigation by rapid reaction techniques. The approach presented herein allowed for the first time the observation of the formation of the Michaelis complex between an adrenodoxin reductase-like enzyme and NADPH, and the determination of the related rate constants for association and dissociation. Furthermore, the rate constant for the reaction of hydride ion transfer between NADPH and FAD could be unambiguously assessed. It is proposed that the approach described should be applicable to other ferredoxin reductase enzymes, providing a valuable experimental tool for the study of their kinetic properties.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi702250hDOI Listing
March 2008

Enzymatic oxidation of NADP+ to its 4-oxo derivative is a side-reaction displayed only by the adrenodoxin reductase type of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductases.

FEBS J 2007 Aug 16;274(15):3998-4007. Epub 2007 Jul 16.

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy.

We have previously shown that Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA, an NADPH-ferredoxin reductase homologous to mammalian adrenodoxin reductase, promotes the oxidation of NADP(+) to its 4-oxo derivative 3-carboxamide-4-pyridone adenine dinucleotide phosphate [Bossi RT, Aliverti A, Raimondi D, Fischer F, Zanetti G, Ferrari D, Tahallah N, Maier CS, Heck AJ, Rizzi M et al. (2002) Biochemistry41, 8807-8818]. Here, we provide a detailed study of this unusual enzyme reaction, showing that it occurs at a very slow rate (0.14 h(-1)), requires the participation of the enzyme-bound FAD, and is regiospecific in affecting only the C4 of the NADP nicotinamide ring. By protein engineering, we excluded the involvement in catalysis of residues Glu214 and His57, previously suggested to be implicated on the basis of their localization in the three-dimensional structure of the enzyme. Our results substantiate a catalytic mechanism for 3-carboxamide-4-pyridone adenine dinucleotide phosphate formation in which the initial and rate-determining step is the nucleophilic attack of the nicotinamide moiety by an active site water molecule. Whereas plant-type ferredoxin reductases were unable to oxidize NADP(+), the mammalian adrenodoxin reductase also catalyzed this unusual reaction. Thus, the 3-carboxamide-4-pyridone adenine dinucleotide phosphate formation reaction seems to be a peculiar feature of the mitochondrial type of ferredoxin reductases, possibly reflecting conserved properties of their active sites. Furthermore, we showed that 3-carboxamide-4-pyridone adenine dinucleotide phosphate is good ligand and a competitive inhibitor of various dehydrogenases, making this nucleotide analog a useful tool for the characterization of the cosubstrate-binding site of NADPH-dependent enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2007.05934.xDOI Listing
August 2007

The crystal structure of FdxA, a 7Fe ferredoxin from Mycobacterium smegmatis.

Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2007 Aug 12;360(1):97-102. Epub 2007 Jun 12.

Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Mycobacterium smegmatis ferredoxin FdxA, which has an orthologue ferredoxin in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, FdxC, contains both one [3Fe-4S] and one [4Fe-4S] cluster. M. smegmatis FdxA has been shown to be a preferred ferredoxin substrate of FprA [F. Fischer, D. Raimondi, A. Aliverti, G. Zanetti, Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA, a novel bacterial NADPH-ferredoxin reductase, Eur. J. Biochem. 269 (2002) 3005-3013], an adrenodoxin reductase-like flavoprotein of M. tuberculosis, suggesting that M. tuberculosis FdxC could be the physiological partner of the enzyme in providing reducing power to the cytochromes P450. We report here the crystal structure of FdxA at 1.6A resolution (R(factor) 16.5%, R(free) 20.2%). Besides providing an insight on protein architecture for this 106-residue ferredoxin, our crystallographic investigation highlights lability of the [4Fe-4S] center, which is shown to loose a Fe atom during crystal growth. Due to their high similarity (87% sequence identity), the structure here reported can be considered a valuable model for M. tuberculosis FdxC, thus representing a step forward in the study of the complex mycobacterial redox pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2007.06.013DOI Listing
August 2007

Ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase from Plasmodium falciparum undergoes NADP+-dependent dimerization and inactivation: functional and crystallographic analysis.

J Mol Biol 2007 Mar 9;367(2):501-13. Epub 2007 Jan 9.

CNR-INFM, Department of Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology, University of Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133-Milano, Italy.

The completion of the Plasmodium falciparum genome sequence has recently promoted the search for new antimalarial drugs. More specifically, metabolic pathways of the apicoplast, a key organelle for survival of the parasite, have been recognized as potential targets for the development of specific new antimalarial agents. As most apicomplexan parasites, P. falciparum displays a plant-type ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase, yielding reduced ferredoxin for essential biosynthetic pathways in the apicoplast. Here we report a molecular, kinetic and ligand binding characterization of the recombinant ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase from P. falciparum, in the light of current data available for plant ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductases. In parallel with the functional characterization, we describe the crystal structures of P. falciparum ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase in free form and in complex with 2'-phospho-AMP (at 2.4 and 2.7 A resolution, respectively). The enzyme displays structural properties likely to be unique to plasmodial reductases. In particular, the two crystal structures highlight a covalent dimer, which relies on the oxidation of residue Cys99 in two opposing subunits, and a helix-coil transition that occurs in the NADP-binding domain, triggered by 2'-phospho-AMP binding. Studies in solution show that NADP(+), as well as 2'-phospho-AMP, promotes the formation of the disulfide-stabilized dimer. The isolated dimer is essentially inactive, but full activity is recovered upon disulfide reduction. The occurrence of residues unique to the plasmodial enzyme, and the discovery of specific conformational properties, highlight the NADP-binding domain of P. falciparum ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase as particularly suited for the rational development of antimalarial compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2007.01.005DOI Listing
March 2007

Role of the His57-Glu214 ionic couple located in the active site of Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA.

Biochemistry 2006 Jul;45(29):8712-20

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA is a NADPH-ferredoxin reductase, functionally and structurally similar to the mammalian adrenodoxin reductase. It is presumably involved in supplying electrons to one or more of the pathogen's cytochrome P450s through reduced ferredoxins. It has been proposed on the basis of crystallographic data (Bossi, R. T., et al. (2002) Biochemistry 41, 8807-8818) that the highly conserved His57 and Glu214 whose side chains are H-bonded are involved in catalysis. Both residues were individually changed to nonionizable amino acyl residues through site-directed mutagenesis. Steady-state kinetics showed that the role of Glu214 in catalysis is negligible. On the contrary, the substitutions of His57 markedly impaired the catalytic efficiency of FprA for ferredoxin in the physiological reaction. Furthemore, they decreased the k(cat)/K(m) value for NADPH in the ferricyanide reduction. Rapid-reaction (stopped-flow) kinetic analysis of the isolated reductive half-reaction of wild-type and His57Gln forms of FprA with NADPH and NADH allowed a detailed description of the mechanism of enzyme-bound FAD reduction, with the identification of the intermediates involved. The His57Gln mutation caused a 6-fold decrease in the rate of hydride transfer from either NADPH or NADH to the enzyme-bound FAD cofactor. The 3D structure of FprA-H57Q, obtained at 1.8 A resolution, explains the inefficient hydride transfer of the mutant in terms of a suboptimal geometry of the nicotinamide-isoalloxazine interaction in the active site. These data demonstrate the role of His57 in the correct binding of NADPH to FprA for the subsequent steps of the catalytic cycle to proceed at a high rate.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi060369mDOI Listing
July 2006

Photosynthesis research in Italy: a review.

Photosynth Res 2006 Jun 6;88(3):211-40. Epub 2006 Jun 6.

Istituto di Biofisica del CNR, Sezione di Milano e Dipartimento di Biologia dell'Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 26, Milan 20133, Italy.

This historical review was compiled and edited by Giorgio Forti, whereas the other authors of the different sections are listed alphabetically after his name, below the title of the paper; they are also listed in the individual sections. This review deals with the research on photosynthesis performed in several Italian laboratories during the last 50 years; it includes research done, in collaboration, at several international laboratories, particularly USA, UK, Switzerland, Hungary, Germany, France, Finland, Denmark, and Austria. Wherever pertinent, references are provided, especially to other historical papers in Govindjee et al. [Govindjee, Beatty JT, Gest H, Allen JF (eds) (2005) Discoveries in Photosynthesis. Springer, Dordrecht]. This paper covers the physical and chemical events starting with the absorption of a quantum of light by a pigment molecule to the conversion of the radiation energy into the stable chemical forms of the reducing power and of ATP. It describes the work done on the structure, function and regulation of the photosynthetic apparatus in higher plants, unicellular algae and in photosynthetic bacteria. Phenomena such as photoinhibition and the protection from it are also included. Research in biophysics of photosynthesis in Padova (Italy) is discussed by G.M. Giacometti and G. Giacometti (2006).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11120-006-9054-zDOI Listing
June 2006

Roles of the species-specific subdomain and the N-terminal peptide of Toxoplasma gondii ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase in ferredoxin binding.

Biochemistry 2006 Mar;45(11):3563-71

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

The plant-type ferredoxin/ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (Fd/FNR) redox system found in parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa has been proposed as a target for novel drugs used against life-threatening diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis. Like many proteins from these protists, apicomplexan FNRs are characterized by the presence of unique peptide insertions of variable length and yet unknown function. Since three-dimensional data are not available for any of the parasite FNRs, we used limited proteolysis to carry out an extensive study of the conformation of Toxoplasma gondii FNR. This led to identification of 11 peptide bonds susceptible to the action of four different proteases. Cleavage sites are clustered in four regions of the enzyme, which include two of its three species-specific insertions. Such regions are thus predicted to form flexible surface loops. The protein substrate Fd protected FNR against cleavage both at its N-terminal peptide and at its largest sequence insertion (28 residues). Deletion by protein engineering of the species-specific subdomain containing the latter insertion resulted in an enzyme form that, although catalytically active, displayed a 10-fold decreased affinity for Fd. In contrast, removal of the first 15 residues of the enzyme unexpectedly enhanced its interaction with Fd. Thus, two flexible polypeptide regions of T. gondii FNR are involved in Fd interaction but have opposite roles in modulating the binding affinity for the protein ligand. In this respect, T. gondii FNR differs from plant FNRs, where the N-terminal peptide contributes to the stabilization of their complex with Fd.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi052326wDOI Listing
March 2006

Reconstitution of an apicoplast-localised electron transfer pathway involved in the isoprenoid biosynthesis of Plasmodium falciparum.

FEBS Lett 2005 Nov 2;579(28):6433-8. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Biochemisches Institut, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Friedrichstrasse 24, 35392 Giessen, Germany.

In the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum isoprenoid precursors are synthesised inside a plastid-like organelle (apicoplast) by the mevalonate independent 1-deoxy-d-xylulose-5-phosphate (DOXP) pathway. The last reaction step of the DOXP pathway is catalysed by the LytB enzyme which contains a [4Fe-4S] cluster. In this study, LytB of P. falciparum was shown to be catalytically active in the presence of an NADPH dependent electron transfer system comprising ferredoxin and ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase. LytB and ferredoxin were found to form a stable protein complex. These data suggest that the ferredoxin/ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase redox system serves as the physiological electron donor for LytB in the apicoplast of P. falciparum.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2005.10.037DOI Listing
November 2005

The plant-type ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase/ferredoxin redox system as a possible drug target against apicomplexan human parasites.

Curr Pharm Des 2005 ;11(24):3159-72

FB Biologie/Parasitologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Strasse, 35032 Marburg, Germany.

Apicomplexa are unicellular, obligate intracellular parasites of great medical importance. They include human pathogens like Plasmodium spp., the causative agent of malaria, and Toxoplasma gondii, an opportunistic parasite of immunosuppressed individuals and a common cause of congenital disease (toxoplasmosis). They alone affect several hundred million people worldwide so that new drugs, especially for plasmodial infections, are urgently needed. This review will focus on a recently emerged, potential drug target, a plant-type redox system consisting of ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (FNR) and its redox partner, ferredoxin (Fd). Both reside in an unique organelle of these parasites, named apicoplast, which is of algal origin. The apicoplast has been shown to be required for pathogen survival. In addition to other pathways already identified in this compartment, the FNR/Fd redox system represents a promising drug target because homologous proteins are not present in host organisms. Furthermore, a wealth of structural information exists on the closely related plant proteins, which can be exploited for structure-function studies of the apicomplexan protein pair. T. gondii and P. falciparum FNRs have been cloned, and the T. gondii enzyme was shown to be a flavoprotein active as a NADPH-dependent oxidoreductase. Both phylogenetic and biochemical analyses indicate that T. gondii FNR is similar in function to the isoform present in non-photosynthetic plastids whereby electron flow is from NADPH to oxidized Fd. The resulting reduced Fd is then presumably used as a reductant for various target enzymes whose nature is just starting to emerge. Among the likely candidates is the iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis pathway, which is also located in the apicoplast and dependent on reducing power. Furthermore, lipoic acid synthase and enzymes of the isoprenoid biosynthetic pathway may be other conceivable targets. Since all these metabolic steps are vital for the parasite, blocking electron flow from FNR to Fd by inhibition of either FNR activity or its molecular interaction with Fd should also interfere with these pathways, ultimately killing the parasite. Although the three-dimensional structure of FNR from T. gondii is not yet known, experimental and computational evidence shows that apicomplexan and plant enzymes are very similar in structure. Furthermore, single amino acid changes can have profound effects on the enzyme activity and affinity for Fd. This knowledge may be exploited for the design of inhibitors of protein-protein interaction. On the other hand, specifically tailored NAD(P) analogues or mimetics based on previously described substances might be useful lead compounds for apicomplexan FNR inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1381612054864957DOI Listing
October 2005

Guanidinium chloride- and urea-induced unfolding of FprA, a mycobacterium NADPH-ferredoxin reductase: stabilization of an apo-protein by GdmCl.

FEBS J 2005 May;272(9):2216-24

Division of Molecular and Structural Biology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow, India.

The guanidinium chloride- and urea-induced unfolding of FprA, a mycobacterium NADPH-ferredoxin reductase, was examined in detail using multiple spectroscopic techniques, enzyme activity measurements and size exclusion chromatography. The equilibrium unfolding of FprA by urea is a cooperative process where no stabilization of any partially folded intermediate of protein is observed. In comparison, the unfolding of FprA by guanidinium chloride proceeds through intermediates that are stabilized by interaction of protein with guanidinium chloride. In the presence of low concentrations of guanidinium chloride the protein undergoes compaction of the native conformation; this is due to optimization of charge in the native protein caused by electrostatic shielding by the guanidinium cation of charges on the polar groups located on the protein side chains. At a guanidinium chloride concentration of about 0.8 m, stabilization of apo-protein was observed. The stabilization of apo-FprA by guanidinium chloride is probably the result of direct binding of the Gdm+ cation to protein. The results presented here suggest that the difference between the urea- and guanidinium chloride-induced unfolding of FprA could be due to electrostatic interactions stabilizating the native conformation of this protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2005.2005.04645.xDOI Listing
May 2005

Modulation of cooperativity in Mycobacterium tuberculosis NADPH-ferredoxin reductase: cation-and pH-induced alterations in native conformation and destabilization of the NADP+-binding domain.

Protein Sci 2005 Apr 1;14(4):980-92. Epub 2005 Mar 1.

Division of Molecular and Structural Biology, Central Drug Research Institute, Lucknow 226 001, India.

FprA, a Mycobacterium tuberculosis NADPH-ferredoxin reductase, consists of two structural domains, a FAD-binding and a NADP-binding domain, respectively. For the first time, we demonstrated that native FprA, on thermal treatment underwent partial denaturation with unfolding of only the FAD-binding domain and release of the protein-bound flavin. The NADP-binding domain of this protein is highly resistant to denaturation under these conditions. However, the presence of either 150 mM NaCl or KCl or 10 muM MgCl(2) or CaCl(2) or slightly acidic pH of 6.0 resulted in a highly cooperative and complete thermal unfolding of the protein. Physicochemical investigations showed that the monovalent cations or low concentrations of divalent cations induced compaction of the protein conformation. However, divalent cations at higher concentrations resulted in FAD release leading to stabilization of an enzymatically inactive apoenzyme. Detailed thermal denaturation studies on the native protein and the isolated NADP-binding domain showed that cations and pH 6.0 destabilized only the heat-stable NADP-binding domain. The experimental studies demonstrate that modulation of intramolecular ionic interactions induce significant conformational changes in the NADP-binding domain of FprA, resulting in a substantial increase in the structural cooperativity of the whole molecule. The results presented in this paper are of importance as they demonstrate alterations in the native three-dimensional structure of FprA and cooperativity in protein molecule on slight alteration of pH or modification of ionic interactions in protein.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1110/ps.041162705DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2253443PMC
April 2005

A single in vivo-selected point mutation in the active center of Toxoplasma gondii ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase leads to an inactive enzyme with greatly enhanced affinity for ferredoxin.

FEBS Lett 2004 Oct;576(3):375-80

FB Biologie/Parasitologie, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Karl-von-Frisch-Str., D-35032 Marburg, Germany.

Electron transfer between plant-type [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin (Fd) and ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase (FNR) depends on the physical interaction between both proteins. We have applied a random mutagenesis approach with subsequent in vivo selection using the yeast two-hybrid system to obtain mutants of Toxoplasma gondii FNR with higher affinity for Fd. One mutant showed a 10-fold enhanced binding using affinity chromatography on immobilized Fd. A single serine-to-arginine exchange in the active site was responsible for its increased affinity. The mutant reductase was also enzymatically inactive. Homology modeling of the mutant FNR-Fd complex predicts substantial alterations of protein-FAD interactions in the active site of the enzyme with subsequent structural changes. Collectively, for the first time a point mutation in this important class of enzymes is described which leads to greatly enhanced affinity for its protein ligand.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2004.09.042DOI Listing
October 2004

Domain exchange between isoforms of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase produces a functional enzyme.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2004 Jan;1696(1):93-101

Dipartimento di Scienze Biomolecolari e Biotecnologie, Università degli Studi di Milano, via Celoria 26, 20133 Milan, Italy.

Two isoforms of ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase (FNR) exist in higher plants, the leaf (or photosynthetic) and the root (or non-photosynthetic) isoform, which have 48% amino acid sequence identity and display specific structural and functional features. With the aim to gain further insight into the structure-function relationship of this enzyme, we designed two novel chimeric flavoenzymes by swapping the structural domains between the leaf and the root isoforms. Characterization of the chimeras would allow dissection of the contribution of the individual domains to catalysis. The chimera obtained by grafting together the FAD-binding domain of the root-isoform and the NADP-binding domain of the leaf-isoform was inactive when expressed in Escherichia coli. On the other hand, the chimera assembled in the opposite way (leaf FAD-binding domain and root NADP-binding domain) was functional and was produced in the bacterial host to a level threefold higher than that of the parent enzymes. The protein was purified and found to be as stable as the natural isoforms. Limited proteolysis excluded the presence in the chimera of misfolded regions. The affinity of the chimera for ferredoxin I (Fd I) was similar to that of the leaf isoform, although interprotein electron-transfer was partially impaired. As occurs with the root isoform, the chimera bound NADP(+) with high affinity, while spectroscopic evidence suggested that the conformation adopted by the nicotinamide moiety bound to the chimera was similar to that observed in the leaf enzyme. Interestingly, the chimera, by combining favorable features from both parent isoforms, acquired a catalytic efficiency (k(cat)/K(m)), as an NADPH-dependent diaphorase, higher than those of both the root ( approximately 2-fold) and the leaf enzyme ( approximately 5-fold). Thus, molecular breeding between isozymes has improved the catalytic properties of FNR.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbapap.2003.09.011DOI Listing
January 2004

Ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase and ferredoxin of the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii interact productively in Vitro and in Vivo.

J Biol Chem 2002 Dec 4;277(50):48463-71. Epub 2002 Oct 4.

Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica Generali, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Toxoplasma gondii possesses an apicoplast-localized, plant-type ferredoxin-NADP(+) reductase. We have cloned a [2Fe-2S] ferredoxin from the same parasite to investigate the interplay of the two redox proteins. A detailed characterization of the two purified recombinant proteins, particularly as to their interaction, has been performed. The two-protein complex was able to catalyze electron transfer from NADPH to cytochrome c with high catalytic efficiency. The redox potential of the flavin cofactor (FAD/FADH(-)) of the reductase was shown to be more positive than that of the NADP(+)/NADPH couple, thus favoring electron transfer from NADPH to yield reduced ferredoxin. The complex formation between the reductase and ferredoxins from various sources was studied both in vitro by several approaches (enzymatic activity, cross-linking, protein fluorescence quenching, affinity chromatography) and in vivo by the yeast two-hybrid system. Our data show that the two proteins yield an active complex with high affinity, strongly suggesting that the two proteins of T. gondii form a physiological redox couple that transfers electrons from NADPH to ferredoxin, which in turn is used by some reductive biosynthetic pathway(s) of the apicoplast. These data provide the basis for the exploration of this redox couple as a drug target in apicomplexan parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M209388200DOI Listing
December 2002

A covalent modification of NADP+ revealed by the atomic resolution structure of FprA, a Mycobacterium tuberculosis oxidoreductase.

Biochemistry 2002 Jul;41(28):8807-18

Dipartimento di Genetica e Microbiologia, Università di Pavia, via Abbiategrasso 207, 27100 Pavia, Italy.

FprA is a mycobacterial oxidoreductase that catalyzes the transfer of reducing equivalents from NADPH to a protein acceptor. We determined the atomic resolution structure of FprA in the oxidized (1.05 A resolution) and NADPH-reduced (1.25 A resolution) forms. The comparison of these FprA structures with that of bovine adrenodoxin reductase showed no significant overall differences. Hence, these enzymes, which belong to the structural family of the disulfide oxidoreductases, are structurally conserved in very distant organisms such as mycobacteria and mammals. Despite the conservation of the overall fold, the details of the active site of FprA show some peculiar features. In the oxidized enzyme complex, the bound NADP+ exhibits a covalent modification, which has been identified as an oxygen atom linked through a carbonylic bond to the reactive C4 atom of the nicotinamide ring. Mass spectrometry has confirmed this assignment. This NADP+ derivative is likely to form by oxidation of the NADP+ adduct resulting from nucleophilic attack by an active-site water molecule. A Glu-His pair is well positioned to activate the attacking water through a mechanism analogous to that of the catalytic triad in serine proteases. The NADP+ nicotinamide ring exhibits the unusual cis conformation, which may favor derivative formation. The physiological significance of this reaction is presently unknown. However, it could assist with drug-design studies in that the modified NADP+ could serve as a lead compound for the development of specific inhibitors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi025858aDOI Listing
July 2002

Mycobacterium tuberculosis FprA, a novel bacterial NADPH-ferredoxin reductase.

Eur J Biochem 2002 Jun;269(12):3005-13

Dipartimento di Fisiologia e Biochimica Generali, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milano, Italy.

The gene fprA of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, encoding a putative protein with 40% identity to mammalian adrenodoxin reductase, was expressed in Escherichia coli and the protein purified to homogeneity. The 50-kDa protein monomer contained one tightly bound FAD, whose fluorescence was fully quenched. FprA showed a low ferric reductase activity, whereas it was very active as a NAD(P)H diaphorase with dyes. Kinetic parameters were determined and the specificity constant (kcat/Km) for NADPH was two orders of magnitude larger than that of NADH. Enzyme full reduction, under anaerobiosis, could be achieved with a stoichiometric amount of either dithionite or NADH, but not with even large excess of NADPH. In enzyme titration with substoichiometric amounts of NADPH, only charge transfer species (FAD-NADPH and FADH2-NADP+) were formed. At NADPH/FAD ratios higher than one, the neutral FAD semiquinone accumulated, implying that the semiquinone was stabilized by NADPH binding. Stabilization of the one-electron reduced form of the enzyme may be instrumental for the physiological role of this mycobacterial flavoprotein. By several approaches, FprA was shown to be able to interact productively with [2Fe-2S] iron-sulfur proteins, either adrenodoxin or plant ferredoxin. More interestingly, kinetic parameters of the cytochrome c reductase reaction catalyzed by FprA in the presence of a 7Fe ferredoxin purified from M. smegmatis were determined. A Km value of 30 nm and a specificity constant of 110 microM(-1) x s(-1) (10 times greater than that for the 2Fe ferredoxin) were determined for this ferredoxin. The systematic name for FprA is therefore NADPH-ferredoxin oxidoreductase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1046/j.1432-1033.2002.02989.xDOI Listing
June 2002