Publications by authors named "Marcia Alvarez-Fernandez"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Crystal structure of the parasite protease inhibitor chagasin in complex with a host target cysteine protease.

J Mol Biol 2007 Aug 10;371(1):137-53. Epub 2007 May 10.

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Division of Clinical Chemistry and Pharmacology, Lund University, University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.

Chagasin is a protein produced by Trypanosoma cruzi, the parasite that causes Chagas' disease. This small protein belongs to a recently defined family of cysteine protease inhibitors. Although resembling well-known inhibitors like the cystatins in size (110 amino acid residues) and function (they all inhibit papain-like (C1 family) proteases), it has a unique amino acid sequence and structure. We have crystallized and solved the structure of chagasin in complex with the host cysteine protease, cathepsin L, at 1.75 A resolution. An inhibitory wedge composed of three loops (L2, L4, and L6) forms a number of contacts responsible for high-affinity binding (K(i), 39 pM) to the enzyme. All three loops interact with the catalytic groove, with the central loop L2 inserted directly into the catalytic center. Loops L4 and L6 embrace the enzyme molecule from both sides and exhibit distinctly different patterns of protein-protein recognition. Comparison with a 1.7 A structure of uncomplexed chagasin, also determined in this study, demonstrates that a conformational change of the first binding loop (L4) allows extended binding to the non-primed substrate pockets of the enzyme active site cleft, thereby providing a substantial part of the inhibitory surface. The mode of chagasin binding is generally similar, albeit distinctly different in detail, when compared to those displayed by cystatins and the cysteine protease inhibitory p41 fragment of the invariant chain. The chagasin-cathepsin L complex structure provides details of how the parasite protein inhibits a host enzyme of possible importance in host defense. The high level of structural and functional similarity between cathepsin L and the T. cruzi enzyme cruzipain gives clues to how the cysteine protease activity of the parasite can be targeted. This information will aid in the development of synthetic inhibitors for use as potential drugs for the treatment of Chagas disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmb.2007.05.005DOI Listing
August 2007

Crystal structure of human cystatin D, a cysteine peptidase inhibitor with restricted inhibition profile.

J Biol Chem 2005 May 23;280(18):18221-8. Epub 2005 Feb 23.

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, Lund University, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden.

Cystatins are natural inhibitors of papain-like (family C1) and legumain-related (family C13) cysteine peptidases. Cystatin D is a type 2 cystatin, a secreted inhibitor found in human saliva and tear fluid. Compared with its homologues, cystatin D presents an unusual inhibition profile with a preferential inhibition cathepsin S > cathepsin H > cathepsin L and no inhibition of cathepsin B or pig legumain. To elucidate the structural reasons for this specificity, we have crystallized recombinant human Arg(26)-cystatin D and solved its structures at room temperature and at cryo conditions to 2.5- and 1.8-A resolution, respectively. Human cystatin D presents the typical cystatin fold, with a five-stranded anti-parallel beta-sheet wrapped around a five-turn alpha-helix. The structures reveal differences in the peptidase-interacting regions when compared with other cystatins, providing plausible explanations for the restricted inhibitory specificity of cystatin D for some papain-like peptidases and its lack of reactivity toward legumain-related enzymes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M411914200DOI Listing
May 2005

Cystatins.

Biochem Soc Symp 2003 (70):179-99

Department of Clinical Chemistry, Institute of Laboratory Medicine, University of Lund, University Hospital, S-221 85 Lund, Sweden.

Chicken egg white cystatin was first described in the late 1960s. Since then, our knowledge about a superfamily of similar proteins present in mammals, birds, fish, insects, plants and some protozoa has expanded, and their properties as potent peptidase inhibitors have been firmly established. Today, 12 functional chicken cystatin relatives are known in humans, but a few evolutionarily related gene products still remain to be characterized. The type 1 cystatins (A and B) are mainly intracellular, the type 2 cystatins (C, D, E/M, F, G, S, SN and SA) are extracellular, and the type 3 cystatins (L- and H-kininogens) are intravascular proteins. All true cystatins inhibit cysteine peptidases of the papain (C1) family, and some also inhibit legumain (C13) family enzymes. These peptidases play key roles in physiological processes, such as intracellular protein degradation (cathepsins B, H and L), are pivotal in the remodelling of bone (cathepsin K), and may be important in the control of antigen presentation (cathepsin S, mammalian legumain). Moreover, the activities of such peptidases are increased in pathophysiological conditions, such as cancer metastasis and inflammation. Additionally, such peptidases are essential for several pathogenic parasites and bacteria. Thus cystatins not only have capacity to regulate normal body processes and perhaps cause disease when down-regulated, but may also participate in the defence against microbial infections. In this chapter, we have aimed to summarize our present knowledge about the human cystatins.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/bss0700179DOI Listing
February 2004
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