Publications by authors named "Leigh A Plesniak"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Measurement of k(on) without a rapid-mixing device.

Biochem Mol Biol Educ 2010 Jul;38(4):238-41

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of San Diego, San Diego, California 92110.

We have recently designed a biochemistry laboratory experiment for the purpose of providing students an advanced experience with enzyme kinetics and the kinetics of binding. Bestatin, a well-known and commercially available general protease inhibitor, is a slow-binding inhibitor of aminopeptidase isolated from Aeromonas proteolytica. The binding is on a timescale slow enough for measurement without the use of a rapid-mixing device. Aminopeptidase inhibition is detected via a standard colorimetric assay with an inexpensive commercially available substrate. The binding of bestatin follows first order binding kinetics with a rate constant k(on) of 59 ± 5 M(-1) s(-1) . This aminopeptidase is well characterized with several crystal structures and a published K(i) , which students can then use to calculate the value for k(off) .
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bmb.20369DOI Listing
July 2010

Expression, refolding, and initial structural characterization of the Y. pestis Ail outer membrane protein in lipids.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2011 Jan 29;1808(1):482-9. Epub 2010 Sep 29.

Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.

Ail is an outer membrane protein and virulence factor of Yersinia pestis, an extremely pathogenic, category A biothreat agent, responsible for precipitating massive human plague pandemics throughout history. Due to its key role in bacterial adhesion to host cells and bacterial resistance to host defense, Ail is a key target for anti-plague therapy. However, little information is available about the molecular aspects of its function and interactions with the human host, and the structure of Ail is not known. Here we describe the recombinant expression, purification, refolding, and sample preparation of Ail for solution and solid-state NMR structural studies in lipid micelles and lipid bilayers. The initial NMR and CD spectra show that Ail adopts a well-defined transmembrane β-sheet conformation in lipids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbamem.2010.09.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2997907PMC
January 2011

Structure and activity of CPNGRC: a modified CD13/APN peptidic homing motif.

Chem Biol Drug Des 2010 Jun 30;75(6):551-62. Epub 2010 Mar 30.

Department of Biology, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92110, USA.

Asn-Gly-Arg peptides have been designed as vehicles for the delivery of chemotherapeutics, magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents, and fluorescence labels to tumor cells, and cardiac angiogenic tissue. Specificity is derived via an interaction with aminopeptidase N, also known as CD13, a cell surface receptor that is highly expressed in angiogenic tissue. Peptides containing the CNGRC homing sequence tethered to a pro-apoptotic peptide sequence have the ability to specifically induce apoptosis in tumor cells. We have now identified a modification to the Asn-Gly-Arg homing sequence motif that improves overall binding affinity to aminopeptidase N. Through the addition of a proline residue, the new peptide with sequence, CPNGRC, inhibits aminopeptidase N proteolytic activity with an IC(50) of 10 microM, a value that is 30-fold lower than that for CNGRC. Both peptides are cyclized via a disulfide bridge between cysteines. Steady-state kinetic experiments suggest that efficient aminopeptidase N inhibition is achieved through the highly cooperative binding of two molecules of CPNGRC. We have used NMR-derived structural constraints for the elucidation of the solution structures CNGRC and CPNGRC. Resulting structures of CNGRC and CPNGRC have significant differences in the backbone torsion angles, which may contribute to the enhanced binding affinity and demonstrated enzyme inhibition by CPNGRC.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0285.2010.00974.xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2890305PMC
June 2010

Mapping the interaction of pro-apoptotic tBID with pro-survival BCL-XL.

Biochemistry 2009 Sep;48(36):8704-11

Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.

The BH3-only BCL-2 family protein BID is activated by caspase-8 cleavage upon engagement of cell surface death receptors. The resulting 15 kDa C-terminal fragment, tBID, translocates to mitochondria, triggering the release of cytotoxic molecules and cell death. The pro-apoptotic activity of tBID is regulated by its interactions with pro-survival BCL-XL and pro-death BAX, both in the cytosol and at the mitochondrial membrane. In this study, we characterize the molecular interactions between full-length tBID and BCL-XL using NMR spectroscopy and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC). In aqueous solution, tBID adopts an alpha-helical but dynamically disordered conformation; however, the three-dimensional conformation is stabilized when tBID engages its BH3 domain in the BH3-binding hydrophobic groove of BCL-XL to form a stable heterodimeric complex. Characterization of the binding thermodynamics by ITC reveals that the interaction between tBID and BCL-XL is driven by enthalpy but disfavored by the entropy associated with the conformational order induced in tBID upon binding BCL-XL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bi901171nDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2762941PMC
September 2009

Transferred NOE and saturation transfer difference NMR studies of novobiocin binding to EnvZ suggest binding mode similar to DNA gyrase.

Chem Biol Drug Des 2008 Jan 18;71(1):28-35. Epub 2007 Dec 18.

Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA, USA.

Histidine protein kinases (HPKs) are a class of receptor proteins found in bacterial two-component signal transduction systems, which allow bacteria to respond to changes in their external environment. To date, there are few potent inhibitors of histidine kinases, despite their potential ability to weaken bacteria against antibiotic treatment. EnvZ is a histidine protein kinase with osmoregulatory function in bacteria with sequence and topological similarity to DNA Gyrase B. DNA Gyrase B has several well-characterized potent inhibitors, including novobiocin and clorobiocin which have detailed structures in complex. With fluorescence competition experiments, we have determined that novobiocin binds to EnvZ with a (novo)K(D) 120 +/- 20 microm. NMR transferred NOE (trNOE) experiments, and saturation transfer difference (STD) experiments suggest that novobiocin binds to EnvZ in a conformation and orientation similar to its binding with DNA Gyrase B. These experiments suggest some similarity in the pocket despite weaker affinity for EnvZ by novobiocin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0285.2007.00607.xDOI Listing
January 2008

Anti-obesity and anti-tumor pro-apoptotic peptides are sufficient to cause release of cytochrome c from vesicles.

FEBS Lett 2007 Nov 5;581(28):5464-8. Epub 2007 Nov 5.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of San Diego, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110, USA.

Peptides that target tissue for an apoptotic death have potential as therapeutics in a variety of disease conditions. The class of peptides described herein enters the cell through a specific receptor-mediated interaction. Once inside the cell, the peptide migrates toward the mitochondria, where the membrane barrier is disrupted. These experiments demonstrate that upon treatment with these short peptides large unilamellar vesicles are not lysed, a graded mode of leakage is observed and the transient pores formed by these peptides are large enough to release entrapped cytochrome c from the vesicles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2007.10.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2173911PMC
November 2007

An efficient (1)H/(31)P double-resonance solid-state NMR probe that utilizes a scroll coil.

J Magn Reson 2007 Oct 6;188(2):279-84. Epub 2007 Aug 6.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0307, USA.

The construction and performance of a scroll coil double-resonance probe for solid-state NMR on stationary samples is described. The advantages of the scroll coil at the high resonance frequencies of (1)H and (31)P include: high efficiency, minimal perturbations of tuning by a wide range of samples, minimal RF sample heating of high dielectric samples of biopolymers in aqueous solution, and excellent RF homogeneity. The incorporation of a cable tie cinch for mechanical stability of the scroll coil is described. Experimental results obtained on a Hunter Killer Peptide 1 (HKP1) interacting with phospholipid bilayers of varying lipid composition demonstrate the capabilities of this probe on lossy aqueous samples.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2007.06.016DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2097957PMC
October 2007

Structural evaluation of a novel pro-apoptotic peptide coupled to CNGRC tumor homing sequence by NMR.

Chem Biol Drug Des 2006 Jun;67(6):417-24

Chemistry Department, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA 92110, USA.

Hunter-killer peptides (HKPs) are synthetic peptides that target specific cell types for apoptosis. These studies report functional and structural characteristics of HKP9, an hunter-killer peptide that specifically targets tumor vasculature with a new apoptotic sequence. Vesicle leakage experiments were performed as a model for membrane perturbing activity. Placement of the homing sequence reduces both cell toxicity and vesicle leakage activity. NMR studies elucidate the conformation and orientation of HKP9 in micelles. The positively charged end of the HKP9 killing sequence is solvent exposed; however, the central portion of the peptide is helical and buried in dodecylphosphorylcholine micelles. The homing sequence is less solvent exposed than in a previously reported tumor-homing peptide. The results suggest that solvent accessibility of the homing sequence should be considered in design of future peptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1747-0285.2006.00394.xDOI Listing
June 2006

Orientation and helical conformation of a tissue-specific hunter-killer peptide in micelles.

Protein Sci 2004 Aug;13(8):1988-96

Department of Chemistry, University of San Diego, San Diego, California 92110, USA.

Hunter-killer peptides are chimeric synthetic peptides that selectively target specific cell types for an apoptotic death. These peptides, which are models for potential therapeutics, contain a homing sequence for receptor-mediated interactions and a pro-apoptotic sequence. Homing domains have been designed to target angiogenic tumor cells, prostate cells, arthritic tissue and, most recently, adipose tissue. After a receptor-mediated internalization, the apoptotic sequence, which contains D-enantiomer amino acids, initiates apoptosis through mitochondrial membrane disruption. We have begun structure and functional studies on a peptide (HKP1) that specifically targets angiogenic tumor cells for apoptosis. As a model for mitochondrial membrane disruption, we have examined peptide-induced leakage of a calcein fluorophore from large unilamellar vesicles. These experiments demonstrate more potent leakage activity by HKP1 than the peptide lacking the homing domain. Circular dichroism and 2D homonuclear NMR experiments demonstrate that this tumor-specific HKP adopts a left-handed amphipathic helix in association with dodecylphosphorylcholine micelles in a parallel orientation to the lipid-water interface with the homing domain remaining exposed to solvent. The amphipathic helix of the apoptotic domain orients with nonpolar leucine and alanine residues inserting most deeply into the lipid environment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1110/ps.04853204DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2279830PMC
August 2004