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A copper protein and a cytochrome bind at the same site on bacterial cytochrome c peroxidase, Pauleta, S. R., Cooper A., Nutley M., Errington N., Harding S., Guerlesquin F., Goodhew C. F., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Pettigrew G. W. , Biochemistry, Nov 23, Volume 43, Number 46, p.14566-76, (2004) AbstractWebsite

Pseudoazurin binds at a single site on cytochrome c peroxidase from Paracoccus pantotrophus with a K(d) of 16.4 microM at 25 degrees C, pH 6.0, in an endothermic reaction that is driven by a large entropy change. Sedimentation velocity experiments confirmed the presence of a single site, although results at higher pseudoazurin concentrations are complicated by the dimerization of the protein. Microcalorimetry, ultracentrifugation, and (1)H NMR spectroscopy studies in which cytochrome c550, pseudoazurin, and cytochrome c peroxidase were all present could be modeled using a competitive binding algorithm. Molecular docking simulation of the binding of pseudoazurin to the peroxidase in combination with the chemical shift perturbation pattern for pseudoazurin in the presence of the peroxidase revealed a group of solutions that were situated close to the electron-transferring heme with Cu-Fe distances of about 14 A. This is consistent with the results of (1)H NMR spectroscopy, which showed that pseudoazurin binds closely enough to the electron-transferring heme of the peroxidase to perturb its set of heme methyl resonances. We conclude that cytochrome c550 and pseudoazurin bind at the same site on the cytochrome c peroxidase and that the pair of electrons required to restore the enzyme to its active state after turnover are delivered one-by-one to the electron-transferring heme.

Mo and W bis-MGD enzymes: nitrate reductases and formate dehydrogenases, Moura, J. J., Brondino C. D., Trincao J., and Romao M. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Oct, Volume 9, Number 7, p.791-9, (2004) AbstractWebsite

Molybdenum and tungsten are second- and third-row transition elements, respectively, which are found in a mononuclear form in the active site of a diverse group of enzymes that generally catalyze oxygen atom transfer reactions. Mononuclear Mo-containing enzymes have been classified into three families: xanthine oxidase, DMSO reductase, and sulfite oxidase. The proteins of the DMSO reductase family present the widest diversity of properties among its members and our knowledge about this family was greatly broadened by the study of the enzymes nitrate reductase and formate dehydrogenase, obtained from different sources. We discuss in this review the information of the better characterized examples of these two types of Mo enzymes and W enzymes closely related to the members of the DMSO reductase family. We briefly summarize, also, the few cases reported so far for enzymes that can function either with Mo or W at their active site.

Overexpression and purification of Treponema pallidum rubredoxin; kinetic evidence for a superoxide-mediated electron transfer with the superoxide reductase neelaredoxin, Auchere, F., Sikkink R., Cordas C., Raleiras P., Tavares P., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Oct, Volume 9, Number 7, p.839-49, (2004) AbstractWebsite

Superoxide reductases are a class of non-haem iron enzymes which catalyse the monovalent reduction of the superoxide anion O2- into hydrogen peroxide and water. Treponema pallidum (Tp), the syphilis spirochete, expresses the gene for a superoxide reductase called neelaredoxin, having the iron protein rubredoxin as the putative electron donor necessary to complete the catalytic cycle. In this work, we present the first cloning, overexpression in Escherichia coli and purification of the Tp rubredoxin. Spectroscopic characterization of this 6 kDa protein allowed us to calculate the molar absorption coefficient of the 490 nm feature of ferric iron, epsilon=6.9+/-0.4 mM(-1) cm(-1). Moreover, the midpoint potential of Tp rubredoxin, determined using a glassy carbon electrode, was -76+/-5 mV. Reduced rubredoxin can be efficiently reoxidized upon addition of Na(2)IrCl(6)-oxidized neelaredoxin, in agreement with a direct electron transfer between the two proteins, with a stoichiometry of the electron transfer reaction of one molecule of oxidized rubredoxin per one molecule of neelaredoxin. In addition, in presence of a steady-state concentration of superoxide anion, the physiological substrate of neelaredoxin, reoxidation of rubredoxin was also observed in presence of catalytic amounts of superoxide reductase, and the rate of rubredoxin reoxidation was shown to be proportional to the concentration of neelaredoxin, in agreement with a bimolecular reaction, with a calculated k(app)=180 min(-1). Interestingly, similar experiments performed with a rubredoxin from the sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris resulted in a much lower value of k(app)=4.5 min(-1). Altogether, these results demonstrated the existence for a superoxide-mediated electron transfer between rubredoxin and neelaredoxin and confirmed the physiological character of this electron transfer reaction.

Influence of storage solution on enamel demineralization submitted to pH cycling, Moura, J. S., Rodrigues L. K., Del Bel Cury A. A., Lima E. M., and Garcia R. M. , J Appl Oral Sci, Sep, Volume 12, Number 3, p.205-8, (2004) AbstractWebsite

Extracted human teeth are frequently used for research or educational purposes. Therefore, it is necessary to store them in disinfectant solutions that do not alter dental structures. Thus, this study evaluated the influence of storage solution on enamel demineralization. For that purpose, sixty samples were divided into the following groups: enamel stored in formaldehyde (F1), stored in thymol (T1), stored in formaldehyde and submitted to pH cycling (F2), stored in thymol and submitted to pH cycling (T2). All samples were evaluated by cross-sectional microhardness analysis and had their percentage of mineral volume versus micrometer (integrated area) determined. Differences between groups were found up to 30-microm depth from the enamel surface (p < 0.05), where samples from group T2 were more demineralized. It was concluded that the storage solution influenced the reaction of a dental substrate to a cariogenic challenge, suggesting that formaldehyde may increase enamel resistance to demineralization, when compared to demineralization occurring in enamel stored in thymol solution.

Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin is an electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase, Pauleta, S. R., Guerlesquin F., Goodhew C. F., Devreese B., Van Beeumen J., Pereira A. S., Moura I., and Pettigrew G. W. , Biochemistry, Sep 7, Volume 43, Number 35, p.11214-11225, (2004) AbstractWebsite

The gene for pseudoazurin was isolated from Paracoccus pantotrophus LMD 52.44 and expressed in a heterologous system with a yield of 54.3 mg of pure protein per liter of culture. The gene and protein were shown to be identical to those from P. pantotrophus LMD 82.5. The extinction coefficient of the protein was re-evaluated and was found to be 3.00 mM(-1) cm(-1) at 590 nm. It was confirmed that the oxidized protein is in a weak monomer/dimer equilibrium that is ionic- strength-dependent. The pseudoazurin was shown to be a highly active electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase, and activity showed an ionic strength dependence consistent with an electrostatic interaction. The pseudoazurin has a very large dipole moment, the vector of which is positioned at the putative electron-transfer site, His81, and is conserved in this position across a wide range of blue copper proteins. Binding of the peroxidase to pseudoazurin causes perturbation of a set of NMR resonances associated with residues on the His81 face, including a ring of lysine residues. These lysines are associated with acidic residues just back from the rim, the resonances of which are also affected by binding to the peroxidase. We propose that these acidic residues moderate the electrostatic influence of the lysines and so ensure that specific charge interactions do not form across the interface with the peroxidase.

Purification and preliminary characterization of tetraheme cytochrome c3 and adenylylsulfate reductase from the peptidolytic sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio aminophilus DSM 12254, Lopez-Cortes, A., Bursakov S., Figueiredo A., Thapper A. E., Todorovic S., Moura J. J., Ollivier B., Moura I., and Fauque G. , Bioinorg Chem Appl, p.81-91, (2005) AbstractWebsite

Two proteins were purified and preliminarily characterized from the soluble extract of cells (310 g, wet weight) of the aminolytic and peptidolytic sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio (D.) aminophilus DSM 12254. The iron-sulfur flavoenzyme adenylylsulfate (adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate, APS) reductase, a key enzyme in the microbial dissimilatory sulfate reduction, has been purified in three chromatographic steps (DEAE-Biogel A, Source 15, and Superdex 200 columns). It contains two different subunits with molecular masses of 75 and 18 kDa. The fraction after the last purification step had a purity index (A(278nm) / A(388nm)) of 5.34, which was used for further EPR spectroscopic studies. The D. aminophilus APS reductase is very similar to the homologous enzymes isolated from D. gigas and D. desulfuricans ATCC 27774. A tetraheme cytochrome c(3) (His-heme iron-His) has been purified in three chromatographic steps (DEAE- Biogel A, Source 15, and Biogel-HTP columns) and preliminarily characterized. It has a purity index ([A(553nm) - A(570nm)](red) / A(280nm)) of 2.9 and a molecular mass of around 15 kDa, and its spectroscopic characterization (NMR and EPR) has been carried out. This hemoprotein presents similarities with the tetraheme cytochrome c(3) from Desulfomicrobium (Des.) norvegicum (NMR spectra, and N-terminal amino acid sequence).

Prediction of Signal Peptides and Signal Anchors of Cytocrome c Nitrite Reductase from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 Using Bioinformatic Tools, Gonçalves, L. L., Almeida M. G., Lampreia J., Moura J. J. G., and Moura I. , Essays in Bioinformatics, Volume Vol. 368, p.203-208, (2005) Abstract


Synechocystis ferredoxin/ferredoxin-NADP(+)-reductase/NADP+ complex: Structural model obtained by NMR-restrained docking, Palma, P. N., Lagoutte B., Krippahl L., Moura J. J., and Guerlesquin F. , FEBS Lett, Aug 29, Volume 579, Number 21, p.4585-90, (2005) AbstractWebsite

Ferredoxin (Fd) and ferredoxin-NADP(+)-reductase (FNR) are two terminal physiological partners of the photosynthetic electron transport chain. Based on a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-restrained-docking approach, two alternative structural models of the Fd-FNR complex in the presence of NADP+ are proposed. The protein docking simulations were performed with the software BiGGER. NMR titration revealed a 1:1 stoichiometry for the complex and allowed the mapping of the interacting residues at the surface of Fd. The NMR chemical shifts were encoded into distance constraints and used with theoretically calculated electronic coupling between the redox cofactors to propose experimentally validated docked complexes.

Study of the spin-spin interactions between the metal centers of Desulfovibrio gigas aldehyde oxidoreductase: identification of the reducible sites of the [2Fe-2S]1+,2+ clusters, More, C., Asso M., Roger G., Guigliarelli B., Caldeira J., Moura J., and Bertrand P. , Biochemistry, Aug 30, Volume 44, Number 34, p.11628-35, (2005) AbstractWebsite

The aldehyde oxidoreductase from Desulfovibrio gigas belongs to the family of molybdenum hydroxylases. Besides a molybdenum cofactor which constitutes their active site, these enzymes contain two [2Fe-2S](2+,1+) clusters which are believed to transfer the electrons provided by the substrate to an acceptor which is either a FAD group or an electron-transferring protein. When the three metal centers of D. gigas AOR are simultaneously paramagnetic, splittings due to intercenter spin-spin interactions are visible when the EPR spectra are recorded at low temperatures. By studying quantitatively these interactions with a model based on the X-ray crystal structure, which takes into consideration the interactions between the magnetic moments carried by all the metal sites of the system, it is possible to determine the location of the reducible sites of the [2Fe-2S] clusters. When combined with the electron-transfer pathways proposed on the basis of the X-ray crystal structure, the results provide a detailed description of the electron-transfer system of D. gigas AOR.

Interactions of vanadium(V)-citrate complexes with the sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium pump, Aureliano, M., Tiago T., Gandara R. M., Sousa A., Moderno A., Kaliva M., Salifoglou A., Duarte R. O., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Dec, Volume 99, Number 12, p.2355-61, (2005) AbstractWebsite

Among the biotargets interacting with vanadium is the calcium pump from the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR). To this end, initial research efforts were launched with two vanadium(V)-citrate complexes, namely (NH(4))(6)[V(2)O(4)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(2)].6H(2)O and (NH(4))(6)[V(2)O(2)(O(2))(2)(C(6)H(4)O(7))(2)].4H(2)O, potentially capable of interacting with the SR calcium pump by combining kinetic studies with (51)V NMR spectroscopy. Upon dissolution in the reaction medium (concentration range: 4-0.5mM), both vanadium(V):citrate (VC) and peroxovanadium(V):citrate (PVC) complexes are partially converted into vanadate oligomers. A 1mM solution of the PVC complex, containing 184microM of the PVC complex, 94microM oxoperoxovanadium(V) (PV) species, 222microM monomeric (V1), 43microM dimeric (V2) and 53microM tetrameric (V4) species, inhibits Ca(2+) accumulation by 75 %, whereas a solution of the VC complex of the same vanadium concentration, containing 98microM of the VC complex, 263microM monomeric (V1), 64microM dimeric (V2) and 92microM tetrameric (V4) species inhibits the calcium pump activity by 33 %. In contrast, a 1 mM metavanadate solution, containing 460microM monomeric (V1), 90.2microM dimeric (V2) and 80microM tetrameric (V4) species, has no effect on Ca(2+) accumulation. The NMR signals from the VC complex (-548.0ppm), PVC complex (-551.5ppm) and PV (-611.1ppm) are broadened upon SR vesicle addition (2.5mg/ml total protein). The relative order for the half width line broadening of the NMR signals, which reflect the interaction with the protein, was found to be V4>PVC>VC>PV>V2=V1=1, with no effect observed for the V1 and V2 signals. Putting it all together the effects of two vanadium(V)-citrate complexes on the modulation of calcium accumulation and ATP hydrolysis by the SR calcium pump reflected the observed variable reactivity into the nature of key species forming upon dissolution of the title complexes in the reaction media.

The methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) 677C-->T mutation and cardiovascular risk--A case of ischemic stroke and acute myocardial infarction, Melo, M., Gaspar E., Madeira S., de Moura P., Alexandrino B., and de Moura J. J. , Rev Port Cardiol, Jan, Volume 24, Number 1, p.89-99, (2005) AbstractWebsite

The authors report the case of a 39-year-old male patient who had an ischemic stroke (complete infarction of right anterior cerebral circulation) and an acute myocardial infarction during the same year. Molecular study revealed he was homozygous for the 677C-->T mutation in the gene coding for methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase, a key enzyme of folate metabolism; deficiency of this enzyme is associated with increased cardiovascular risk and neurological lesions. Some considerations are put forward about hyperhomocysteinemia and the MTHFR 677C-->T mutation as cardiovascular risk factors.

Isolation and spectroscopic characterization of the membrane-bound nitrate reductase from Pseudomonas chlororaphis DSM 50135, Pinho, D., Besson S., Silva P. J., de Castro B., and Moura I. , Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta-General Subjects, May 25, Volume 1723, Number 1-3, p.151-162, (2005) AbstractWebsite

A nitrate reductase was solubilized with Triton X-100 from the membranes of Pseudomonas chlororaphis DSM 50135 grown microaerobically in the presence of nitrate. Like other membrane-bound nitrate reductases, it contains three subunits, of 129, 66 (64) and 24 kDa, referred to in the literature as alpha, beta and gamma, respectively. Electrocatalytic studies revealed that only the membrane-bound, not the solubilized form of the enzyme, can accept electrons from a menaquinone analog, menadione, whereas both forms can accept electrons from methylviologen. The isolated enzyme possesses several iron-sulfur clusters and a molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide active center. The iron-sulfur clusters can be grouped in two classes according to their redox properties, the high-potential and low-potential clusters. In the as-isolated enzyme, two forms of the molybdenum center, high- and low-pH, are detectable by electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy. The low-pH form shows a hyperfine splitting due to a proton, suggesting the presence of an -OHx ligand. Dithionite reduces the Mo(V) center to Mo(W) and subsequent reoxidization with nitrate originates a new Mo(V) signal, identical to the oxidized low-pH form but lacking its characteristic hyperfine splitting. The isolated preparation also contains heme c (in a sub-stoichiometric amount) with the ability to relay electrons to the molybdenum center, suggesting that this nitrate reductase may contain heme c instead of the heme b usually found in this class of enzymes. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Superoxide reductase from the syphilis spirochete Treponema pallidum: crystallization and structure determination using soft X-rays, Santos-Silva, T., Trincao J., Carvalho A. L., Bonifacio C., Auchere F., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Romao M. J. , Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, Nov 1, Volume 61, Number Pt 11, p.967-70, (2005) AbstractWebsite

Superoxide reductase is a 14 kDa metalloprotein containing a catalytic non-haem iron centre [Fe(His)4Cys]. It is involved in defence mechanisms against oxygen toxicity, scavenging superoxide radicals from the cell. The oxidized form of Treponema pallidum superoxide reductase was crystallized in the presence of polyethylene glycol and magnesium chloride. Two crystal forms were obtained depending on the oxidizing agents used after purification: crystals grown in the presence of K3Fe(CN)6 belonged to space group P2(1) (unit-cell parameters a = 60.3, b = 59.9, c = 64.8 A, beta = 106.9 degrees) and diffracted beyond 1.60 A resolution, while crystals grown in the presence of Na2IrCl6 belonged to space group C2 (a = 119.4, b = 60.1, c = 65.6 A, beta = 104.9 degrees) and diffracted beyond 1.55 A. A highly redundant X-ray diffraction data set from the C2 crystal form collected on a copper rotating-anode generator (lambda = 1.542 A) clearly defined the positions of the four Fe atoms present in the asymmetric unit by SAD methods. A MAD experiment at the iron absorption edge confirmed the positions of the previously determined iron sites and provided better phases for model building and refinement. Molecular replacement using the P2(1) data set was successful using a preliminary trace as a search model. A similar arrangement of the four protein molecules could be observed.

Desulfovibrio gigas ferredoxin II: redox structural modulation of the [3Fe-4S] cluster, Rodrigues, P. M., Macedo A. L., Goodfellow B. J., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Apr, Volume 11, Number 3, p.307-15, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Desulfovibrio gigas ferredoxin II (DgFdII) is a small protein with a polypeptide chain composed of 58 amino acids, containing one Fe3S4 cluster per monomer. Upon studying the redox cycle of this protein, we detected a stable intermediate (FdIIint) with four 1H resonances at 24.1, 20.5, 20.8 and 13.7 ppm. The differences between FdIIox and FdIIint were attributed to conformational changes resulting from the breaking/formation of an internal disulfide bridge. The same 1H NMR methodology used to fully assign the three cysteinyl ligands of the [3Fe-4S] core in the oxidized state (DgFdIIox) was used here for the assignment of the same three ligands in the intermediate state (DgFdIIint). The spin-coupling model used for the oxidized form of DgFdII where magnetic exchange coupling constants of around 300 cm-1 and hyperfine coupling constants equal to 1 MHz for all the three iron centres were found, does not explain the isotropic shift temperature dependence for the three cysteinyl cluster ligands in DgFdIIint. This study, together with the spin delocalization mechanism proposed here for DgFdIIint, allows the detection of structural modifications at the [3Fe-4S] cluster in DgFdIIox and DgFdIIint.

Molybdenum and tungsten enzymes: the xanthine oxidase family, Brondino, C. D., Romao M. J., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , Curr Opin Chem Biol, Apr, Volume 10, Number 2, p.109-14, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Mononuclear molybdenum and tungsten are found in the active site of a diverse group of enzymes that, in general, catalyze oxygen atom transfer reactions. Enzymes of the xanthine oxidase family are the best-characterized mononuclear Mo-containing enzymes. Several 3D structures of diverse members of this family are known. Recently, the structures of substrate-bound and arsenite-inhibited forms of two members of this family have also been reported. In addition, spectroscopic studies have been utilized to elucidate fine details that complement the structural information. Altogether, these studies have provided an important amount of information on the characteristics of the active site and the electron transfer pathways.

Metalloenzymes of the denitrification pathway, Tavares, P., Pereira A. S., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , J Inorg Biochem, Dec, Volume 100, Number 12, p.2087-100, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Denitrification, or dissimilative nitrate reduction, is an anaerobic process used by some bacteria for energy generation. This process is important in many aspects, but its environmental implications have been given particular relevance. Nitrate accumulation and release of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere due to excess use of fertilizers in agriculture are examples of two environmental problems where denitrification plays a central role. The reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas is accomplished by four different types of metalloenzymes in four simple steps: nitrate is reduced to nitrite, then to nitric oxide, followed by the reduction to nitrous oxide and by a final reduction to dinitrogen. In this manuscript we present a concise updated review of the bioinorganic aspects of denitrification.

Nitric oxide reductase: direct electrochemistry and electrocatalytic activity, Cordas, C. M., Pereira A. S., Martins C. E., Timoteo C. G., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Tavares P. , Chembiochem, Dec, Volume 7, Number 12, p.1878-81, (2006) AbstractWebsite
Redox chemistry of low-pH forms of tetrahemic cytochrome c3, Santos, M., Dos Santos M. M., Goncalves M. L., Costa C., Romao J. C., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Dec, Volume 100, Number 12, p.2009-16, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough cytochrome c(3) contains four hemes in a low-spin state with bis-histidinyl coordination. High-spin forms of cytochrome c(3) can be generated by protonation of the axial ligands in order to probe spin equilibrium (low-spin/high-spin). The spin alterations occurring at acid pH, the associated changes in redox potentials, as well as the reactivity towards external ligands were followed by the conjunction of square wave voltammetry and UV-visible, CD, NMR and EPR spectroscopies. These processes may be used for modelling the action of enzymes that use spin equilibrium to promote enzyme activity and reactivity towards small molecules.

Biochemical and spectroscopic characterization of an aldehyde oxidoreductase isolated from Desulfovibrio aminophilus, Thapper, A., Rivas M. G., Brondino C. D., Ollivier B., Fauque G., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Jan, Volume 100, Number 1, p.44-50, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) activity has been found in a number of sulfate-reducing bacteria. The enzyme that is responsible for the conversion of aldehydes to carboxylic acids is a mononuclear molybdenum enzyme belonging to the xanthine oxidase family. We report here the purification and characterization of AOR isolated from the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio (D.) aminophilus DSM 12254, an aminolytic strain performing thiosulfate dismutation. The enzyme is a homodimer (ca. 200 kDa), containing a molybdenum centre and two [2Fe-2S] clusters per monomer. UV/Visible and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectra of D. aminophilus AOR recorded in as-prepared and reduced states are similar to those obtained in AORs from Desulfovibrio gigas, Desulfovibrio desulfuricans and Desulfovibrio alaskensis. Despite AOR from D. aminophilus is closely related to other AORs, it presents lower activity towards aldehydes and no activity towards N-heterocyclic compounds, which suggests another possible role for this enzyme in vivo. A comparison of the molecular and EPR properties of AORs from different Desulfovibrio species is also included.

EPR and redox properties of periplasmic nitrate reductase from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, Gonzalez, P. J., Rivas M. G., Brondino C. D., Bursakov S. A., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Jul, Volume 11, Number 5, p.609-16, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Nitrate reductases are enzymes that catalyze the conversion of nitrate to nitrite. We report here electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies in the periplasmic nitrate reductase isolated from the sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774. This protein, belonging to the dimethyl sulfoxide reductase family of mononuclear Mo-containing enzymes, comprises a single 80-kDa subunit and contains a Mo bis(molybdopterin guanosine dinucleotide) cofactor and a [4Fe-4S] cluster. EPR-monitored redox titrations, carried out with and without nitrate in the potential range from 200 to -500 mV, and EPR studies of the enzyme, in both catalytic and inhibited conditions, reveal distinct types of Mo(V) EPR-active species, which indicates that the Mo site presents high coordination flexibility. These studies show that nitrate modulates the redox properties of the Mo active site, but not those of the [4Fe-4S] center. The possible structures and the role in catalysis of the distinct Mo(V) species detected by EPR are discussed.

The first crystal structure of class III superoxide reductase from Treponema pallidum, Santos-Silva, T., Trincao J., Carvalho A. L., Bonifacio C., Auchere F., Raleiras P., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Romao M. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Jul, Volume 11, Number 5, p.548-58, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Superoxide reductase (SOR) is a metalloprotein containing a non-heme iron centre, responsible for the scavenging of superoxide radicals in the cell. The crystal structure of Treponema pallidum (Tp) SOR was determined using soft X-rays and synchrotron radiation. Crystals of the oxidized form were obtained using poly(ethylene glycol) and MgCl2 and diffracted beyond 1.55 A resolution. The overall architecture is very similar to that of other known SORs but TpSOR contains an N-terminal domain in which the desulforedoxin-type Fe centre, found in other SORs, is absent. This domain conserves the beta-barrel topology with an overall arrangement very similar to that of other SOR proteins where the centre is present. The absence of the iron ion and its ligands, however, causes a decrease in the cohesion of the domain and some disorder is observed, particularly in the region where the metal would be harboured. The C-terminal domain exhibits the characteristic immunoglobulin-like fold and harbours the Fe(His)4(Cys) active site. The five ligands of the iron centre are well conserved despite some disorder observed for one of the four molecules in the asymmetric unit. The participation of a glutamate as the sixth ligand of some of the iron centres in Pyrococcus furiosus SOR was not observed in TpSOR. A possible explanation is that either X-ray photoreduction occurred or there was a mixture of redox states at the start of data collection. In agreement with earlier proposals, details in the TpSOR structure also suggest that Lys49 might be involved in attraction of superoxide to the active site.

Kinetics studies of the superoxide-mediated electron transfer reactions between rubredoxin-type proteins and superoxide reductases, Auchere, F., Pauleta S. R., Tavares P., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Jun, Volume 11, Number 4, p.433-44, (2006) AbstractWebsite

In this work we present a kinetic study of the superoxide-mediated electron transfer reactions between rubredoxin-type proteins and members of the three different classes of superoxide reductases (SORs). SORs from the sulfate-reducing bacteria Desulfovibrio vulgaris (Dv) and D. gigas (Dg) were chosen as prototypes of classes I and II, respectively, while SOR from the syphilis spirochete Treponema pallidum (Tp) was representative of class III. Our results show evidence for different behaviors of SORs toward electron acceptance, with a trend to specificity for the electron donor and acceptor from the same organism. Comparison of the different kapp values, 176.9+/-25.0 min(-1) in the case of the Tp/Tp electron transfer, 31.8+/-3.6 min(-1) for the Dg/Dg electron transfer, and 6.9+/-1.3 min(-1) for Dv/Dv, could suggest an adaptation of the superoxide-mediated electron transfer efficiency to various environmental conditions. We also demonstrate that, in Dg, another iron-sulfur protein, a desulforedoxin, is able to transfer electrons to SOR more efficiently than rubredoxin, with a kapp value of 108.8+/-12.0 min(-1), and was then assigned as the potential physiological electron donor in this organism.

Bacterial nitrate reductases: Molecular and biological aspects of nitrate reduction, Gonzalez, P. J., Correia C., Moura I., Brondino C. D., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, May, Volume 100, Number 5-6, p.1015-23, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Nitrogen is a vital component in living organisms as it participates in the making of essential biomolecules such as proteins, nucleic acids, etc. In the biosphere, nitrogen cycles between the oxidation states +V and -III producing many species that constitute the biogeochemical cycle of nitrogen. All reductive branches of this cycle involve the conversion of nitrate to nitrite, which is catalyzed by the enzyme nitrate reductase. The characterization of nitrate reductases from prokaryotic organisms has allowed us to gain considerable information on the molecular basis of nitrate reduction. Prokaryotic nitrate reductases are mononuclear Mo-containing enzymes sub-grouped as respiratory nitrate reductases, periplasmic nitrate reductases and assimilatory nitrate reductases. We review here the biological and molecular properties of these three enzymes along with their gene organization and expression, which are necessary to understand the biological processes involved in nitrate reduction.

Decavanadate interactions with actin: inhibition of G-actin polymerization and stabilization of decameric vanadate, Ramos, S., Manuel M., Tiago T., Duarte R., Martins J., Gutierrez-Merino C., Moura J. J., and Aureliano M. , J Inorg Biochem, Nov, Volume 100, Number 11, p.1734-43, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Decameric vanadate species (V10) inhibit the rate and the extent of G-actin polymerization with an IC50 of 68+/-22 microM and 17+/-2 microM, respectively, whilst they induce F-actin depolymerization at a lower extent. On contrary, no effect on actin polymerization and depolymerization was detected for 2mM concentration of "metavanadate" solution that contains ortho and metavanadate species, as observed by combining kinetic with (51)V NMR spectroscopy studies. Although at 25 degrees C, decameric vanadate (10 microM) is unstable in the assay medium, and decomposes following a first-order kinetic, in the presence of G-actin (up to 8 microM), the half-life increases 5-fold (from 5 to 27 h). However, the addition of ATP (0.2mM) in the medium not only prevents the inhibition of G-actin polymerization by V10 but it also decreases the half-life of decomposition of decameric vanadate species from 27 to 10h. Decameric vanadate is also stabilized by the sarcoplasmic reticulum vesicles, which raise the half-life time from 5 to 18h whereas no effects were observed in the presence of phosphatidylcholine liposomes, myosin or G-actin alone. It is proposed that the "decavanadate" interaction with G-actin, favored by the G-actin polymerization, stabilizes decameric vanadate species and induces inhibition of G-actin polymerization. Decameric vanadate stabilization by cytoskeletal and transmembrane proteins can account, at least in part, for decavanadate toxicity reported in the evaluation of vanadium (V) effects in biological systems.

Sample treatment for protein identification by mass spectrometry-based techniques, Lopez-Ferrer, D., Canas B., Vazquez J., Lodeiro C., Rial-Otero R., Moura I., and Capelo J. L. , Trac-Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Nov, Volume 25, Number 10, p.996-1005, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Rapid identification of proteins is of primary importance for the analytical community. Protein-biomarker discovery for medical diagnostics or pharmacological purposes is becoming one of the hottest research topics. Moreover, rapid identification of proteins can help unambiguous bacterial and virus detection. In addition, the fast identification of bacteria can be used to beat bioterrorism. As a consequence, new analytical methodologies have emerged recently with the aim of making protein analysis as fast and as confident as possible. In this article, we critically review the new trends in sample treatment for protein identification and comment on the prospects for the future in this promising analytical area. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.