Publications by authors named "Otavio H Thiemann"

16 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Initial steps in selenocysteine biosynthesis: The interaction between selenocysteine lyase and selenophosphate synthetase.

Int J Biol Macromol 2020 Aug 8;156:18-26. Epub 2020 Apr 8.

Physics Institute of Sao Carlos, University of Sao Paulo, Trabalhador São Carlense Av., 400, São Carlos, SP CEP 13566-590, Brazil; Department of Genetics and Evolution, Federal University of São Carlos - UFSCar, 13565-905 São Carlos, SP, Brazil. Electronic address:

The selenocysteine (Sec) incorporation is a co-translational event taking place at an in-frame UGA-codon and dependent on an organized molecular machinery. Selenium delivery requires mainly two enzymes, the selenocysteine lyase (CsdB) is essential for Sec recycling and conversion to selenide, further used by the selenophosphate synthetase (SelD), responsible for the conversion of selenide in selenophosphate. Therefore, understanding the catalytic mechanism involved in selenium compounds delivery, such as the interaction between SelD and CsdB (EcCsdB.EcSelD), is fundamental for the further comprehension of the selenocysteine synthesis pathway and its control. In Escherichia coli, EcCsdB.EcSelD interaction must occur to prevent cell death from the release of the toxic intermediate selenide. Here, we demonstrate and characterize the in vitro EcSelD.EcCsdB interaction by biophysical methods. The EcSelD.EcCsdB interaction occurs with a stoichiometry of 1:1 in presence of selenocysteine and at a low-nanomolar affinity (~1.8 nM). The data is in agreement with the small angle X-ray scattering model fitted using available structures. Moreover, yeast-2-hybrid assays supported the macromolecular interaction in the cellular environment. This is the first report that demonstrates the interaction between EcCsdB and EcSelD supporting the hypothesis that EcSelD.EcCsdB interaction is necessary to sequester the selenide during the selenocysteine incorporation pathway in Bacteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2020.03.241DOI Listing
August 2020

Formation of a Ternary Complex for Selenocysteine Biosynthesis in Bacteria.

J Biol Chem 2015 Dec 16;290(49):29178-88. Epub 2015 Sep 16.

From the Physics and Informatics Department, Physics Institute of Sao Carlos, University of Sao Paulo - USP, CEP 13563-120 Sao Carlos, SP,

The synthesis of selenocysteine-containing proteins (selenoproteins) involves the interaction of selenocysteine synthase (SelA), tRNA (tRNA(Sec)), selenophosphate synthetase (SelD, SPS), a specific elongation factor (SelB), and a specific mRNA sequence known as selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS). Because selenium compounds are highly toxic in the cellular environment, the association of selenium with proteins throughout its metabolism is essential for cell survival. In this study, we demonstrate the interaction of SPS with the SelA-tRNA(Sec) complex, resulting in a 1.3-MDa ternary complex of 27.0 ± 0.5 nm in diameter and 4.02 ± 0.05 nm in height. To assemble the ternary complex, SPS undergoes a conformational change. We demonstrated that the glycine-rich N-terminal region of SPS is crucial for the SelA-tRNA(Sec)-SPS interaction and selenoprotein biosynthesis, as revealed by functional complementation experiments. Taken together, our results provide new insights into selenoprotein biosynthesis, demonstrating for the first time the formation of the functional ternary SelA-tRNA(Sec)-SPS complex. We propose that this complex is necessary for proper selenocysteine synthesis and may be involved in avoiding the cellular toxicity of selenium compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.613406DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4705924PMC
December 2015

Role of Δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase supports mitochondrial metabolism and host-cell invasion of Trypanosoma cruzi.

J Biol Chem 2015 Mar 26;290(12):7767-90. Epub 2015 Jan 26.

From the Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas, Departamento de Parasitologia, Universidade de São Paulo, 05508-000 São Paulo, Brazil,

Proline is crucial for energizing critical events throughout the life cycle of Trypanosoma cruzi, the etiological agent of Chagas disease. The proline breakdown pathway consists of two oxidation steps, both of which produce reducing equivalents as follows: the conversion of proline to Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C), and the subsequent conversion of P5C to glutamate. We have identified and characterized the Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate dehydrogenase from T. cruzi (TcP5CDH) and report here on how this enzyme contributes to a central metabolic pathway in this parasite. Size-exclusion chromatography, two-dimensional gel electrophoresis, and small angle x-ray scattering analysis of TcP5CDH revealed an oligomeric state composed of two subunits of six protomers. TcP5CDH was found to complement a yeast strain deficient in PUT2 activity, confirming the enzyme's functional role; and the biochemical parameters (Km, kcat, and kcat/Km) of the recombinant TcP5CDH were determined, exhibiting values comparable with those from T. cruzi lysates. In addition, TcP5CDH exhibited mitochondrial staining during the main stages of the T. cruzi life cycle. mRNA and enzymatic activity levels indicated the up-regulation (6-fold change) of TcP5CDH during the infective stages of the parasite. The participation of P5C as an energy source was also demonstrated. Overall, we propose that this enzymatic step is crucial for the viability of both replicative and infective forms of T. cruzi.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M114.574525DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4367278PMC
March 2015

Structural role of the active-site metal in the conformation of Trypanosoma brucei phosphoglycerate mutase.

FEBS J 2012 Jun 24;279(11):2012-21. Epub 2012 Apr 24.

Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Grupo de Cristalografia, Universidade de São Paulo, São Carlos, São Paulo, Brazil.

Phosphoglycerate mutases (PGAMs) participate in both the glycolytic and the gluconeogenic pathways in reversible isomerization of 3-phosphoglycerate and 2-phosphoglycerate. PGAMs are members of two distinct protein families: enzymes that are dependent on or independent of the 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate cofactor. We determined the X-ray structure of the monomeric Trypanosoma brucei independent PGAM (TbiPGAM) in its apoenzyme form, and confirmed this observation by small angle X-ray scattering data. Comparing the TbiPGAM structure with the Leishmania mexicana independent PGAM structure, previously reported with a phosphoglycerate molecule bound to the active site, revealed the domain movement resulting from active site occupation. The structure reported here shows the interaction between Asp319 and the metal bound to the active site, and its contribution to the domain movement. Substitution of the metal-binding residue Asp319 by Ala resulted in complete loss of independent PGAM activity, and showed for the first time its involvement in the enzyme's function. As TbiPGAM is an attractive molecular target for drug development, the apoenzyme conformation described here provides opportunities for its use in structure-based drug design approaches. Database Structural data for the Trypanosoma brucei 2,3-bisphosphoglycerate-independent phosphoglycerate mutase (iPGAM) has been deposited with the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB) Protein Data Bank under code 3NVL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1742-4658.2012.08586.xDOI Listing
June 2012

16-bromoepiandrosterone, an activator of the mammalian immune system, inhibits glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase from Trypanosoma cruzi and is toxic to these parasites grown in culture.

Bioorg Med Chem 2010 Jul 7;18(13):4762-8. Epub 2010 May 7.

Laboratório Nacional de Biociências, Centro de Pesquisa em Energia e Materiais, R. Giuseppe Máximo Scolfaro, 10000 Campinas, Brazil.

Glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) catalyzes the first step of the pentose-phosphate pathway which supplies cells with ribose 5-phosphate (R5P) and NADPH. R5P is the precursor for the biosynthesis of nucleotides while NADPH is the cofactor of several dehydrogenases acting in a broad range of biosynthetic processes and in the maintenance of the cellular redox state. RNA interference-mediated reduction of G6PDH levels in bloodstream-form Trypanosoma brucei validated this enzyme as a drug target against Human African Trypanosomiasis. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), a human steroidal pro-hormone and its derivative 16α-bromoepiandrosterone (16BrEA) are uncompetitive inhibitors of mammalian G6PDH. Such steroids are also known to enhance the immune response in a broad range of animal infection models. It is noteworthy that the administration of DHEA to rats infected by Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Human American Trypanosomiasis (also known as Chagas' disease), reduces blood parasite levels at both acute and chronic infection stages. In the present work, we investigated the in vitro effect of DHEA derivatives on the proliferation of T. cruzi epimastigotes and their inhibitory effect on a recombinant form of the parasite's G6PDH (TcG6PDH). Our results show that DHEA and its derivative epiandrosterone (EA) are uncompetitive inhibitors of TcG6PDH, with K(i) values of 21.5 ± 0.5 and 4.8 ± 0.3 μM, respectively. Results from quantitative inhibition assays indicate 16BrEA as a potent inhibitor of TcG6PDH with an IC₅₀ of 86 ± 8 nM and those from in vitro cell viability assays confirm its toxicity for T. cruzi epimastigotes, with a LD₅₀ of 12 ± 8 μM. In summary, we demonstrated that, in addition to host immune response enhancement, 16BrEA has a direct effect on parasite viability, most likely as a consequence of TcG6PDH inhibition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2010.05.008DOI Listing
July 2010

Inhibition of Trypanosoma brucei glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase by human steroids and their effects on the viability of cultured parasites.

Bioorg Med Chem 2009 Mar 4;17(6):2483-9. Epub 2009 Feb 4.

Centro de Biologia Molecular Estrutural, Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo, Av. Trabalhador São Carlense 400, São Carlos, Brazil.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is known as an intermediate in the synthesis of mammalian steroids and a potent uncompetitive inhibitor of mammalian glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH), but not the enzyme from plants and lower eukaryotes. G6PDH catalyzes the first step of the pentose-phosphate pathway supplying cells with ribose 5-phosphate, a precursor of nucleic acid synthesis, and NADPH for biosynthetic processes and protection against oxidative stress. In this paper we demonstrate that also G6PDH of the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma brucei is uncompetitively inhibited by DHEA and epiandrosterone (EA), with K(i) values in the lower micromolar range. A viability assay confirmed the toxic effect of both steroids on cultured T. brucei bloodstream form cells. Additionally, RNAi mediated reduction of the G6PDH level in T. brucei bloodstream forms validated this enzyme as a drug target against Human African Trypanosomiasis. Together these findings show that inhibition of G6PDH by DHEA derivatives may lead to the development of a new class of anti-trypanosomatid compounds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bmc.2009.01.068DOI Listing
March 2009

Enzymatic inhibitory activity and trypanocidal effects of extracts and compounds from Siphoneugena densiflora O. Berg and Vitex polygama Cham.

Z Naturforsch C J Biosci 2008 May-Jun;63(5-6):371-82

Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal de São Carlos, CP 676, 13565-905, São Carlos-SP, Brazil.

Hexanic, methanolic, and hydroalcoholic extracts, and 34 isolated compounds from Vitex polygama Cham. (Lamiaceae, formely Verbenaceae) and Siphoneugena densiflora O. Berg (Myrtaceae) were screened for their trypanocidal effects on bloodstream forms of Trypanosoma cruzi and T brucei, as well as for their enzymatic inhibitory activities on glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (gGAPDH) and trypanothione reductase (TR) enzymes from T cruzi and adeninephosphoribosyl transferase (APRT) enzyme from Leishmania tarentolae. In general, polar extracts displayed strong effects and some of the tested compounds have shown good results in comparison to positive controls of the bioassays.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3428908PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/znc-2008-5-611DOI Listing
August 2008

Structural complexes of human adenine phosphoribosyltransferase reveal novel features of the APRT catalytic mechanism.

J Biomol Struct Dyn 2008 Jun;25(6):589-97

Departamento de Física e Informática, Grupo de Cristalografia de Proteínas e Biologia Estrutural, Instituto de Física de São Carlos, USP, Caixa Postal 369, 13560-590, São Carlos-SP, Brazil.

Adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (APRT) is an important enzyme component of the purine recycling pathway. Parasitic protozoa of the order Kinetoplastida are unable to synthesize purines de novo and use the salvage pathway for the synthesis of purine bases rendering this biosynthetic pathway an attractive target for antiparasitic drug design. The recombinant human adenine phosphoribosyltransferase (hAPRT) structure was resolved in the presence of AMP in the active site to 1.76 A resolution and with the substrates PRPP and adenine simultaneously bound to the catalytic site to 1.83 A resolution. An additional structure was solved containing one subunit of the dimer in the apo-form to 2.10 A resolution. Comparisons of these three hAPRT structures with other 'type I' PRTases revealed several important features of this class of enzymes. Our data indicate that the flexible loop structure adopts an open conformation before and after binding of both substrates adenine and PRPP. Comparative analyses presented here provide structural evidence to propose the role of Glu104 as the residue that abstracts the proton of adenine N9 atom before its nucleophilic attack on the PRPP anomeric carbon. This work leads to new insights to the understanding of the APRT catalytic mechanism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07391102.2008.10507205DOI Listing
June 2008

Biological activities from extracts of endophytic fungi isolated from Viguiera arenaria and Tithonia diversifolia.

FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol 2008 Jan 11;52(1):134-44. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Faculdade de Ciências Farmacêuticas de Ribeirão Preto, USP, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.

A total of 39 endophytic fungi have been isolated from Viguiera arenaria and Tithonia diversifolia, both collected in São Paulo State, Brazil. The isolates were identified based on their ribosomal DNA sequences. The ethyl acetate (EtOAc) extracts of all endophytic fungi were evaluated for their antimicrobial, antiparasitic and antitumoral activity. Antimicrobial screening was conducted using an agar diffusion assay against three pathogenic microorganisms: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans. Antiparasitic activity was determined by enzymatic inhibition of gGAPDH of Trypanosoma cruzi and adenine phosphorybosiltransferase (APRT) of Leishmania tarentolae. Antitumoral activity was tested against human T leukemia cells by the Mosmann colorimetric method. All extracts showed activity in at least one assay: 79.5% of the extracts were cytotoxic against leukemia cells, 5.1% of the extracts were active against S. aureus, 25.6% against E. coli and 64.1% against Candida albicans. Only one extract showed promising results in the inhibition of parasitic enzymes gGAPDH (95.0%) and three were found to inhibit APRT activity. The cytotoxic extract produced by the strain VA1 (Glomerella cingulata) was fractionated and yielded nectriapyrone and tyrosol. Nectriapyrone showed relevant cytotoxic activity against both human T leukemia and melanoma tumor cell lines.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2007.00354.xDOI Listing
January 2008

Crystal structure of Leishmania tarentolae hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase.

BMC Struct Biol 2007 Sep 25;7:59. Epub 2007 Sep 25.

Departamento de Física e Informática, Grupo de Cristalografia de Proteínas e Biologia Estrutural, Instituto de Física de São Carlos, USP, Caixa Postal 369, 13560-590, São Carlos - SP, Brazil.

Background: Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) (EC 2.4.2.8) is a central enzyme in the purine recycling pathway. Parasitic protozoa of the order Kinetoplastida cannot synthesize purines de novo and use the salvage pathway to synthesize purine bases, making this an attractive target for antiparasitic drug design.

Results: The glycosomal HGPRT from Leishmania tarentolae in a catalytically active form purified and co-crystallized with a guanosine monophosphate (GMP) in the active site. The dimeric structure of HGPRT has been solved by molecular replacement and refined against data extending to 2.1 A resolution. The structure reveals the contacts of the active site residues with GMP.

Conclusion: Comparative analysis of the active sites of Leishmania and human HGPRT revealed subtle differences in the position of the ligand and its interaction with the active site residues, which could be responsible for the different reactivities of the enzymes to allopurinol reported in the literature. The solution and analysis of the structure of Leishmania HGPRT may contribute to further investigations leading to a full understanding of this important enzyme family in protozoan parasites.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1472-6807-7-59DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2228302PMC
September 2007

Sulfated meroterpenoids from the Brazilian sponge Callyspongia sp. are inhibitors of the antileishmaniasis target adenosine phosphoribosyl transferase.

J Org Chem 2006 Nov;71(23):8685-90

Department of Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6T 1Z1 Canada.

Three new disulfated meroterpenoids, ilhabelanol (1), ilhabrene (2), and isoakaterpin (3), have been isolated from extracts of the Brazilian marine sponge Callyspongia sp. Isoakaterpin (3) inhibits Leishmania spp. adenosine phosphoribosyl transferase with an IC50 of 1.05 microM. The structures of 1, 2, and 3 were elucidated by analysis of one- and two-dimensional NMR data. Ilhabelanol (1) and ilhabrene (2) both have unprecedented meroterpenoid carbon skeletons.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/jo060295kDOI Listing
November 2006

The crystal structure of glucose-6-phosphate isomerase from Leishmania mexicana reveals novel active site features.

Eur J Biochem 2004 Jul;271(13):2765-72

Laboratory of Protein Crystallography and Structural Biology, Physics Institute of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, São Carlos-SP, Brazil.

Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase catalyzes the reversible aldose-ketose isomerization of D-glucose-6-phosphate to D-fructose-6-phosphate in glycolysis and gluconeogenesis, and in the recycling of hexose-6-phosphate in the pentose phosphate pathway. The unicellular protozoans, Trypanosoma brucei, T. cruzi and Leishmania spp., of the order Kinetoplastida are important human parasites responsible for African sleeping sickness, Chagas' disease and leishmaniases, respectively. In these parasites, glycolysis is an important (and in some cases the only) metabolic pathway for ATP supply. The first seven of the 10 enzymes that participate in glycolysis, as well as an important fraction of the enzymes of the pentose phosphate pathway, are compartmentalized in peroxisome-like organelles called glycosomes. The dependence of the parasites on glycolysis, the importance of the pentose phosphate pathway in defense against oxidative stress, and the unique compartmentalization of these pathways, point to the enzymes contained in the glycosome as potential targets for drug design. The present report describes the first crystallographic structure of a parasite (Leishmania mexicana) glucose-6-phosphate isomerase. A comparison of the atomic structure of L. mexicana, human and other mammalian PGIs, which highlights unique features of the parasite's enzyme, is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1432-1033.2004.04205.xDOI Listing
July 2004

Leishmania mexicana mexicana glucose-6-phosphate isomerase: crystallization, molecular-replacement solution and inhibition.

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr 2004 May 21;60(Pt 5):915-9. Epub 2004 Apr 21.

Laboratory of Protein Crystallography and Structural Biology, Physics Institute of São Carlos, University of São Paulo, USP, Av. Trabalhador Sãocarlense 400, PO Box 369, 13566-590 São Carlos-SP, Brazil.

Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (PGI; EC 5.3.1.9; also often called by its old nomenclature phosphoglucose isomerase) is an intracellular enzyme that catalyses the reversible conversion of D-glucose 6-phosphate (G6P) to D-fructose 6-phosphate (F6P). The native Leishmania PGI is a homodimeric molecule of 60 kDa per monomer with 47% sequence identity to human PGI. It has been shown to be present in both the cytosol and the glycosome of Leishmania promastigotes and represents a potential target for rational drug design. The present work describes the crystallization of two bacterially expressed Leishmania PGI constructs, one corresponding to the natural protein and the other to an N-terminally deleted form. Crystals of both forms are identical and present a large c unit-cell parameter. A complete data set was collected from the N-terminally deleted PGI to a resolution of 3.3 A in space group P6(1), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 87.0, c = 354.7 A, alpha = beta = 90, gamma = 120 degrees. A preliminary study of the first inhibitors to be evaluated on the Leishmania enzyme is also reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1107/S0907444904003762DOI Listing
May 2004

Evaluation of monocot and eudicot divergence using the sugarcane transcriptome.

Plant Physiol 2004 Mar;134(3):951-9

Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética, Universidade de Campinas, Caixa Postal 6010, 13083-970, Campinas SP, Brazil.

Over 40,000 sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum) consensus sequences assembled from 237,954 expressed sequence tags were compared with the protein and DNA sequences from other angiosperms, including the genomes of Arabidopsis and rice (Oryza sativa). Approximately two-thirds of the sugarcane transcriptome have similar sequences in Arabidopsis. These sequences may represent a core set of proteins or protein domains that are conserved among monocots and eudicots and probably encode for essential angiosperm functions. The remaining sequences represent putative monocot-specific genetic material, one-half of which were found only in sugarcane. These monocot-specific cDNAs represent either novelties or, in many cases, fast-evolving sequences that diverged substantially from their eudicot homologs. The wide comparative genome analysis presented here provides information on the evolutionary changes that underlie the divergence of monocots and eudicots. Our comparative analysis also led to the identification of several not yet annotated putative genes and possible gene loss events in Arabidopsis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1104/pp.103.033878DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC389918PMC
March 2004

Analysis and functional annotation of an expressed sequence tag collection for tropical crop sugarcane.

Genome Res 2003 Dec 12;13(12):2725-35. Epub 2003 Nov 12.

Centro de Biologia Molecular e Engenharia Genética, Instituto da Computação, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, 13083-970 Campinas-SP, Brazil.

To contribute to our understanding of the genome complexity of sugarcane, we undertook a large-scale expressed sequence tag (EST) program. More than 260,000 cDNA clones were partially sequenced from 26 standard cDNA libraries generated from different sugarcane tissues. After the processing of the sequences, 237,954 high-quality ESTs were identified. These ESTs were assembled into 43,141 putative transcripts. Of the assembled sequences, 35.6% presented no matches with existing sequences in public databases. A global analysis of the whole SUCEST data set indicated that 14,409 assembled sequences (33% of the total) contained at least one cDNA clone with a full-length insert. Annotation of the 43,141 assembled sequences associated almost 50% of the putative identified sugarcane genes with protein metabolism, cellular communication/signal transduction, bioenergetics, and stress responses. Inspection of the translated assembled sequences for conserved protein domains revealed 40,821 amino acid sequences with 1415 Pfam domains. Reassembling the consensus sequences of the 43,141 transcripts revealed a 22% redundancy in the first assembling. This indicated that possibly 33,620 unique genes had been identified and indicated that >90% of the sugarcane expressed genes were tagged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.1532103DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC403815PMC
December 2003

Cloning, characterization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of Leishmania hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase.

Biochim Biophys Acta 2002 Jul;1598(1-2):3-9

Laboratory of Protein Crystallography and Structural Biology, Physics Institute of São Carlos, University of São Paulo-USP, Av. Trabalhador Sãocarlense 400, São Carlos, Brazil.

Hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) (EC 2.4.2.8) is an important enzyme involved in the recycling of purine nucleotides in all cells. Parasitic protozoa of the order Kinetoplastida are unable to synthesize purines de novo and use the salvage pathway for the synthesis of nucleotides; therefore, this pathway is an attractive target for antiparasitic drug design. The hgprt gene was cloned from a Leishmania tarentolae genomic library and the sequence determined. The L. tarentolae hgprt gene contains a 633-nucleotide open reading frame that encodes a 23.4-kDa protein. A pairwise alignment of the different HGPRT's sequences revealed a 26%-53% sequence identity with the Leishmania sequences and 87% identity to the HGPRT of Leishmania donovani. A recombinant protein was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified to homogeneity and found to retain enzymatic activity. The steady-state kinetic parameters were determined for the recombinant enzyme and the enzyme is active as a homodimer in solution. Single crystals were obtained for the L. tarentolae HGPRT representing the first Leishmania HGPRT crystallized and initial crystallographic data were collected. The crystals obtained belong to the orthorhombic space group (P2(1)2(1)2(1)) with unit cell parameters a=58.104 A, b=85.443 A and c=87.598 A and diffract to a resolution of 2.3 A. The availability of the HGPRT enzyme from Leishmania and its crystallization suitable for X-ray diffraction data collection should provide the basis for a functional and structural analysis of this enzyme, which has been proposed as a potential target for rational drug design, in a Leishmania model system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0167-4838(02)00334-5DOI Listing
July 2002