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Artefacts induced on c-type haem proteins by electrode surfaces, Paes de Sousa, P. M., Pauleta S. R., Simoes Goncalves M. L., Pettigrew G. W., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Correia dos Santos M. M. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Feb, Volume 16, Number 2, p.209-15, (2011) AbstractWebsite

In this work it is demonstrated that the characterization of c-type haem containing proteins by electrochemical techniques needs to be cautiously performed when using pyrolytic graphite electrodes. An altered form of the cytochromes, which has a redox potential 300 mV lower than that of the native state and displays peroxidatic activity, can be induced by interaction with the pyrolytic graphite electrode. Proper control experiments need to be performed, as altered conformations of the enzymes containing c-type haems can show activity towards the enzyme substrate. The work was focused on the study of the activation mechanism and catalytic activity of cytochrome c peroxidase from Paracoccus pantotrophus. The results could only be interpreted with the assignment of the observed non-turnover and catalytic signals to a non-native conformation state of the electron-transferring haem. The same phenomenon was detected for Met-His monohaem cytochromes (mitochondrial cytochrome c and Desulfovibrio vulgaris cytochrome c-553), as well as for the bis-His multihaem cytochrome c(3) from Desulfovibrio gigas, showing that this effect is independent of the axial coordination of the c-type haem protein. Thus, the interpretation of electrochemical signals of c-type (multi)haem proteins at pyrolytic graphite electrodes must be carefully performed, to avoid misassignment of the signals and incorrect interpretation of catalytic intermediates.

Assignment of individual heme EPR signals of Desulfovibrio baculatus (strain 9974) tetraheme cytochrome c3. A redox equilibria study, Moura, I., Teixeira M., Huynh B. H., Legall J., and Moura J. J. , Eur J Biochem, Sep 15, Volume 176, Number 2, p.365-9, (1988) AbstractWebsite

An EPR redox titration was performed on the tetraheme cytochrome c3 isolated from Desulfovibrio baculatus (strain 9974), a sulfate-reducer. Using spectral differences at different poised redox states of the protein, it was possible to individualize the EPR g-values of each of the four hemes and also to determine the mid-point redox potentials of each individual heme: heme 4 (-70 mV) at gmax = 2.93, gmed = 2.26 and gmin = 1.51; heme 3 (-280 mV) at gmax = 3.41; heme 2 (-300 mV) at gmax = 3.05, gmed = 2.24 and gmin = 1.34; and heme 1 (-355 mV) at gmx = 3.18. A previously described multi-redox equilibria model used for the interpretation of NMR data of D. gigas cytochrome c3 [Santos, H., Moura, J.J.G., Moura, I., LeGall, J. & Xavier, A. V. (1984) Eur. J. Biochem. 141, 283-296] is discussed in terms of the EPR results.

Association of Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb with protein fractions and sub-cellular partitioning in the digestive gland of Octopus vulgaris living in habitats with different metal levels, Raimundo, J., Vale C., Duarte R., and Moura I. , Chemosphere, Nov, Volume 81, Number 10, p.1314-1319, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Zinc Cu Cd and Pb concentrations were determined in protein fractions of digestive gland and in the whole digestive gland of Octopus vulgaris collected from two areas of the Portuguese coast Approximately 95% of Zn 99% of Cu 85-96% of Cd and 77-86% of Pb were stored in the cytosol suggesting the predominance of cytosolic proteins in the trapping these elements Gel filtration chromatography evidenced the presence of two major groups of proteins with high molecular weight (HMW 144 000-130 000 Da) and low molecular weight (LMW 11 000-6000 Da) The following metal-protein associations were found Zn was distributed between HMW and LMW Cu and Cd in LMW proteins with a minor association with HMW and Pb in HMW proteins The strong positive correlations between Cd Zn and Cu and LMW proteins point to the presence of metalloproteins with high affinity to these elements A shift was registered between the maximum of the ratio 254 280 nm and metal concentrations in the chromatographic profiles This shift may result from metallothioneins having a small participation in the metal binding or protein purification was insufficient and various LMW proteins may be interfering (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd All rights reserved

ATP sulfurylases from sulfate-reducing bacteria of the genus Desulfovibrio. A novel metalloprotein containing cobalt and zinc, Gavel, O. Y., Bursakov S. A., Calvete J. J., George G. N., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , Biochemistry, Nov 17, Volume 37, Number 46, p.16225-32, (1998) AbstractWebsite

Adenosine triphosphate sulfurylase catalyzes the formation of adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate from adenosine triphosphate and sulfate. The enzyme plays a crucial role in sulfate activation, the key step for sulfate utilization, and has been purified from crude extracts of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 and Desulfovibrio gigas. Both proteins are homotrimers [141 kDa (3 x 47) for D. desulfuricans and 147 kDa (3 x 49) for D. gigas] and have been identified, for the first time, as metalloproteins containing cobalt and zinc. EXAFS reveals that either cobalt or zinc binds endogenously at presumably equivalent metal binding sites and is tetrahedrally coordinated to one nitrogen and three sulfur atoms. Furthermore, the electronic absorption spectra display charge-transfer bands at 335 and 370 nm consistent with sulfur coordination to cobalt, and as expected for a distorted tetrahedral cobalt geometry, d-d bands are observed at 625, 666, and 715 nm. This geometry is supported by the observation of high-spin Co2+ EPR signals at g approximately 6.5.

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.

Benefits of membrane electrodes in the electrochemistry of metalloproteins: mediated catalysis of Paracoccus pantotrophus cytochrome c peroxidase by horse cytochrome c: a case study, Paes de Sousa, P. M., Pauleta S. R., Rodrigues D., Simoes Goncalves M. L., Pettigrew G. W., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Correia dos Santos M. M. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Jun, Volume 13, Number 5, p.779-87, (2008) AbstractWebsite

A comparative study of direct and mediated electrochemistry of metalloproteins in bulk and membrane-entrapped solutions is presented. This work reports the first electrochemical study of the electron transfer between a bacterial cytochrome c peroxidase and horse heart cytochrome c. The mediated catalysis of the peroxidase was analysed both using the membrane electrode configuration and with all proteins in solution. An apparent Michaelis constant of 66 +/- 4 and 42 +/- 5 microM was determined at pH 7.0 and 0 M NaCl for membrane and bulk solutions, respectively. The data revealed that maximum activity occurs at 50 mM NaCl, pH 7.0, with intermolecular rate constants of (4.4 +/- 0.5) x 10(6) and (1.0 +/- 0.5) x 10(6) M(-1) s(-1) for membrane-entrapped and bulk solutions, respectively. The influence of parameters such as pH or ionic strength on the mediated catalytic activity was analysed using this approach, drawing attention to the fact that careful analysis of the results is needed to ensure that no artefacts are introduced by the use of the membrane configuration and/or promoters, and therefore the dependence truly reflects the influence of these parameters on the (mediated) catalysis. From the pH dependence, a pK of 7.5 was estimated for the mediated enzymatic catalysis.

BiGGER: a new (soft) docking algorithm for predicting protein interactions, Palma, P. N., Krippahl L., Wampler J. E., and Moura J. J. , Proteins, Jun 1, Volume 39, Number 4, p.372-84, (2000) AbstractWebsite

A new computationally efficient and automated "soft docking" algorithm is described to assist the prediction of the mode of binding between two proteins, using the three-dimensional structures of the unbound molecules. The method is implemented in a software package called BiGGER (Bimolecular Complex Generation with Global Evaluation and Ranking) and works in two sequential steps: first, the complete 6-dimensional binding spaces of both molecules is systematically searched. A population of candidate protein-protein docked geometries is thus generated and selected on the basis of the geometric complementarity and amino acid pairwise affinities between the two molecular surfaces. Most of the conformational changes observed during protein association are treated in an implicit way and test results are equally satisfactory, regardless of starting from the bound or the unbound forms of known structures of the interacting proteins. In contrast to other methods, the entire molecular surfaces are searched during the simulation, using absolutely no additional information regarding the binding sites. In a second step, an interaction scoring function is used to rank the putative docked structures. The function incorporates interaction terms that are thought to be relevant to the stabilization of protein complexes. These include: geometric complementarity of the surfaces, explicit electrostatic interactions, desolvation energy, and pairwise propensities of the amino acid side chains to contact across the molecular interface. The relative functional contribution of each of these interaction terms to the global scoring function has been empirically adjusted through a neural network optimizer using a learning set of 25 protein-protein complexes of known crystallographic structures. In 22 out of 25 protein-protein complexes tested, near-native docked geometries were found with C(alpha) RMS deviations < or =4.0 A from the experimental structures, of which 14 were found within the 20 top ranking solutions. The program works on widely available personal computers and takes 2 to 8 hours of CPU time to run any of the docking tests herein presented. Finally, the value and limitations of the method for the study of macromolecular interactions, not yet revealed by experimental techniques, are discussed.

Bilirubin directly disrupts membrane lipid polarity and fluidity, protein order, and redox status in rat mitochondria, Rodrigues, C. M., Sola S., Brito M. A., Brites D., and Moura J. J. , J Hepatol, Mar, Volume 36, Number 3, p.335-41, (2002) AbstractWebsite

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Unconjugated bilirubin (UCB) impairs crucial aspects of cell function and induces apoptosis in primary cultured neurones. While mechanisms of cytotoxicity begin to unfold, mitochondria appear as potential primary targets. METHODS: We used electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis of isolated rat mitochondria to test the hypothesis that UCB physically interacts with mitochondria to induce structural membrane perturbation, leading to increased permeability, and subsequent release of apoptotic factors. RESULTS: Our data demonstrate profound changes on mitochondrial membrane properties during incubation with UCB, including modified membrane lipid polarity and fluidity (P<0.01), as well as disrupted protein mobility (P<0.001). Consistent with increased permeability, cytochrome c was released from the intermembrane space (P<0.01), perhaps uncoupling the respiratory chain and further increasing oxidative stress (P<0.01). Both ursodeoxycholate, a mitochondrial-membrane stabilising agent, and cyclosporine A, an inhibitor of the permeability transition, almost completely abrogated UCB-induced perturbation. CONCLUSIONS: UCB directly interacts with mitochondria influencing membrane lipid and protein properties, redox status, and cytochrome c content. Thus, apoptosis induced by UCB may be mediated, at least in part, by physical perturbation of the mitochondrial membrane. These novel findings should ultimately prove useful to our evolving understanding of UCB cytotoxicity.

Binding of protoporphyrin IX and metal derivatives to the active site of wild-type mouse ferrochelatase at low porphyrin-to-protein ratios, Lu, Y., Sousa A., Franco R., Mangravita A., Ferreira G. C., Moura I., and Shelnutt J. A. , Biochemistry, Jul 2, Volume 41, Number 26, p.8253-8262, (2002) AbstractWebsite

Resonance Raman (RR) spectroscopy is used to examine porphyrin substrate, product, and inhibitor interactions with the active site of murine ferrochelatase (EC, the terminal enzyme in the biosynthesis of heme. The enzyme catalyzes in vivo Fe2+ chelation into protoporphyrin IX to give heme. The RR spectra of native ferrochelatase show that the protein, as isolated, contains varying amounts of endogenously bound high- or low-spin ferric heme, always at much less than 1 equiv. RR data on the binding of free-base protoporphyrin IX and its metalated complexes (Fe(III), Fe(II), and Ni(II)) to active wild-type protein were obtained at varying ratios of porphyrin to protein. The binding of ferric heme, a known inhibitor of the enzyme, leads to the formation of a low-spin six-coordinate adduct. Ferrous heme, the enzyme's natural product, binds in the ferrous high-spin five-coordinate state. Ni(II) protoporphyrin, a metalloporphyrin that has a low tendency toward axial ligation, becomes distorted when bound to ferrochelatase. Similarly for free-base protoporphyrin, the natural substrate of ferrochelatase, the RR spectra of porphyrin-protein complexes reveal a saddling distortion of the porphyrin. These results corroborate and extend our previous findings that porphyrin distortion, a crucial step of the catalytic mechanism, occurs even in the absence of bound metal substrate. Moreover, RR data reveal the presence of an amino acid residue in the active site of ferrochelatase which is capable of specific axial ligation to metals.

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.

Biochemical and spectroscopic characterization of overexpressed fuscoredoxin from Escherichia coli, Pereira, A. S., Tavares P., Krebs C., Huynh B. H., Rusnak F., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, Jun 24, Volume 260, Number 1, p.209-15, (1999) AbstractWebsite

Fuscoredoxin is a unique iron containing protein of yet unknown function originally discovered in the sulfate reducers of the genus Desulfovibrio. It contains two iron-sulfur clusters: a cubane [4Fe-4S] and a mixed oxo- and sulfido-bridged 4Fe cluster of unprecedented structure. The recent determination of the genomic sequence of Escherichia coli (E. coli) has revealed a homologue of fuscoredoxin in this facultative microbe. The presence of this gene in E. coli raises interesting questions regarding the function of fuscoredoxin and whether this gene represents a structural homologue of the better-characterized Desulfovibrio proteins. In order to explore the latter, an overexpression system for the E. coli fuscoredoxin gene was devised. The gene was cloned from genomic DNA by use of the polymerase chain reaction into the expression vector pT7-7 and overexpressed in E. coli BL21(DE3) cells. After two chromatographic steps a good yield of recombinant protein was obtained (approximately 4 mg of pure protein per liter of culture). The purified protein exhibits an optical spectrum characteristic of the homologue from D. desulfuricans, indicating that cofactor assembly was accomplished. Iron analysis indicated that the protein contains circa 8 iron atoms/molecule which were shown by EPR and Mossbauer spectroscopies to be present as two multinuclear clusters, albeit with slightly altered spectroscopic features. A comparison of the primary sequences of fuscoredoxins is presented and differences on cluster coordination modes are discussed on the light of the spectroscopic data.

Biochemical and spectroscopic characterization of the membrane-bound nitrate reductase from Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus 617, Correia, C., Besson S., Brondino C. D., Gonzalez P. J., Fauque G., Lampreia J., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Nov, Volume 13, Number 8, p.1321-33, (2008) AbstractWebsite

Membrane-bound nitrate reductase from Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus 617 can be solubilized in either of two ways that will ultimately determine the presence or absence of the small (Iota) subunit. The enzyme complex (NarGHI) is composed of three subunits with molecular masses of 130, 65, and 20 kDa. This enzyme contains approximately 14 Fe, 0.8 Mo, and 1.3 molybdopterin guanine dinucleotides per enzyme molecule. Curiously, one heme b and 0.4 heme c per enzyme molecule have been detected. These hemes were potentiometrically characterized by optical spectroscopy at pH 7.6 and two noninteracting species were identified with respective midpoint potentials at Em=+197 mV (heme c) and -4.5 mV (heme b). Variable-temperature (4-120 K) X-band electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies performed on both as-isolated and dithionite-reduced nitrate reductase showed, respectively, an EPR signal characteristic of a [3Fe-4S]+ cluster and overlapping signals associated with at least three types of [4Fe-4S]+ centers. EPR of the as-isolated enzyme shows two distinct pH-dependent Mo(V) signals with hyperfine coupling to a solvent-exchangeable proton. These signals, called "low-pH" and "high-pH," changed to a pH-independent Mo(V) signal upon nitrate or nitrite addition. Nitrate addition to dithionite-reduced samples at pH 6 and 7.6 yields some of the EPR signals described above and a new rhombic signal that has no hyperfine structure. The relationship between the distinct EPR-active Mo(V) species and their plausible structures is discussed on the basis of the structural information available to date for closely related membrane-bound nitrate reductases.

Biochemical characterization of the purple form of Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus nitrous oxide reductase, Dell'Acqua, S., Pauleta S. R., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, Volume 367, Issue 1593, p.1204-1212, (2012)
Biochemical/spectroscopic characterization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a new aldehyde oxidoreductase isolated from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, Duarte, R. O., Archer M., Dias J. M., Bursakov S., Huber R., Moura I., Romao M. J., and Moura J. J. , Biochem Biophys Res Commun, Feb 24, Volume 268, Number 3, p.745-9, (2000) AbstractWebsite

Aldehyde oxidoreductase (AOR) activity has been found in different sulfate reducing organisms (Moura, J. J. G., and Barata, B. A. S. (1994) in Methods in Enzymology (Peck, H. D., Jr., and LeGall, J., Eds.), Vol. 243, Chap. 4. Academic Press; Romao, M. J., Knablein, J., Huber, R., and Moura, J. J. G. (1997) Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 68, 121-144). The enzyme was purified to homogeneity from extracts of Desulfovibrio desulfuricans (Dd) ATCC 27774, a sulfate reducer that can use sulfate or nitrate as terminal respiratory substrates. The protein (AORDd) is described as a homodimer (monomer, circa 100 kDa), contains a Mo-MCD pterin, 2 x [2Fe-2S] clusters, and lacks a flavin group. Visible and EPR spectroscopies indicate a close similarity with the AOR purified from Desulfovibrio gigas (Dg) (Barata, B. A. S., LeGall, J., and Moura, J. J. G. (1993) Biochemistry 32, 11559-11568). Activity and substrate specificity for different aldehydes were determined. EPR studies were performed in native and reduced states of the enzyme and after treatment with ethylene glycol and dithiothreitol. The AORDd was crystallized using ammonium sulfate as precipitant and the crystals belong to the space group P6(1)22, with unit cell dimensions a = b = 156.4 and c = 177.1 A. These crystals diffract to beyond 2.5 A resolution and a full data set was measured on a rotating anode generator. The data were used to solve the structure by Patterson Search methods, using the model of AORDg.

Biosensing nitrite using the system nitrite redutase/Nafion/methyl viologen--a voltammetric study, Almeida, M. G., Silveira C. M., and Moura J. J. , Biosens Bioelectron, May 15, Volume 22, Number 11, p.2485-92, (2007) AbstractWebsite

This work describes the construction and voltammetric characterization of a nitrite biosensor based on a cytochrome c-type nitrite reductase (ccNiR) and the Nafion ionomeric matrix loaded with methyl viologen as redox mediator. Despite the potential electrostatic repulsions between the anionic substrate and the Nafion sulfonate groups, the resulting bioelectrode exhibited electrocatalytic activity toward nitrite. This phenomenon must be due to the nonuniformity of the enzyme/Nafion membrane, which allows the direct interaction between the substrate and numerous enzyme molecules. Nevertheless, the anionic nature of Nafion exerted a certain diffusion barrier to nitrite, as revealed by the unusually elevated limits of the linear dynamic range and k(m)(app). The irregularity of the composite membrane also contributed to slow down the rate of charge transfer throughout the Nafion polymer. The level of viologens incorporated within the Nafion membrane had a strong influence in the analytical parameters: as much mediator was present, lower was the sensitivity and wider was the linear range. For an optimized ratio enzyme/mediator the sensitivity was 445+/-8 mA M(-1)cm(-2), within the linear range 75-800 microM; the lowest detected nitrite concentration was 60 microM. The operational stability of the biosensor and the influence of some possible interferences were evaluated.

Biosensor for direct bioelectrocatalysis detection of nitric oxide using nitric oxide reductase incorporated in carboxylated single-walled carbon nanotubes/lipidic bilayer nanocomposite, Gomes, FO, Maia L. B., Loureiro JA, Pereira MC, Delerue-Matos C., Moura I., Moura J. J. G., and Morais S. , Bioelectrochem, Volume 127, p.76-86, (2019)
Biossensores: Modernas Ferramentas para Monitorização e Controlo Analítico, Almeida, M. G. , Bol. Biotecnol. , Volume 79, p.12-23, (2004) Abstract
Broad-temperature range spectroscopy of the two-centre modular redox metalloprotein Desulfovibrio desulfuricans desulfoferrodoxin, Andersen, N. H., Harnung S. E., Trabjerg I., Moura I., Moura J. J. G., and Ulstrup J. , Dalton Transactions, Sep 7, Number 17, p.3328-3338, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The electronic-vibrational couplings of the two-centre non-heme iron protein Desulfovibrio desulfuricans desulfoferrodoxin (DFx) in three oxidation states, i.e. fully oxidised (grey), half-oxidised (pink), and fully reduced (colourless), have been investigated by variable temperature (VT) UV/VIS, MCD, CD, and EPR spectroscopy. The UV/VIS spectra of grey DFx at room temperature is characterised by broad charge transfer (CT) transitions associated with oxidised centre 1 (495 and 368 nm) and II (335 and 635 nm). The transitions are resolved at 78 K, substantiated by VT-MCD and -CD. The data offer novel information about the electronic-vibrational couplings of the transitions. Multiphonon bandshape analysis discloses strong contributions from both local Fe-S and S-C stretching and solvent/protein modes. A number of transitions are blue- or red-shifted compared with monomeric desulforedoxin, superoxide reductase or dismutase, and cloned Desulfovibrio vulgaris DFx fragments. Conversion from grey to pink DFx is accompanied by drastic electronic-vibrational changes of both centres. The data suggest that electron transfer and optical CT-transitions of DFx are controlled by environmental reorganization in the whole region between the metal centres.

Ca2+ and the bacterial peroxidases: the cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas stutzeri, Timoteo, C. G., Tavares P., Goodhew C. F., Duarte L. C., Jumel K., Girio F. M. F., Harding S., Pettigrew G. W., and Moura I. , Journal of Biological Inorganic Chemistry, Jan, Volume 8, Number 1-2, p.29-37, (2003) AbstractWebsite

The production of cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) from Pseudomonas (Ps.) stutzeri (ATCC 11607) was optimized by adjusting the composition of the growth medium and aeration of the culture. The protein was isolated and characterized biochemically and spectroscopically in the oxidized and mixed valence forms. The activity of Ps. stutzeri CCP was studied using two different ferrocytochromes as electron donors: Ps. stutzeri cytochrome C-551 (the physiological electron donor) and horse heart cytochrome c. These electron donors interact differently with Ps. stutzeri CCP, exhibiting different ionic strength dependence. The CCP from Paracoccus (Pa.) denitrificans was proposed to have two different Ca2+ binding sites: one usually occupied (site I) and the other either empty or partially occupied in the oxidized enzyme (site II). The Ps. stutzeri enzyme was purified in a form with tightly bound Ca2+. The affinity for Ca2+ in the mixed valence enzyme is so high that Ca2+ returns to it from the EGTA which was added to empty the site in the oxidized enzyme. Molecular mass determination by ultracentrifugation and behavior on gel filtration chromatography have revealed that this CCP is isolated as an active dimer, in contrast to the Pa. denitrificans CCP which requires added Ca2+ for formation of the dimer and also for activation of the enzyme. This is consistent with the proposal that Ca2+ in the bacterial peroxidases influences the monomer/dimer equilibrium and the transition to the active form of the enzyme. Additional Ca2+ does affect both the kinetics of oxidation of horse heart cytochrome c (but not cytochrome C-551) and higher aggregation states of the enzyme. This suggests the presence of a superficial Ca2+ binding site of low affinity.

Calcium-dependent conformation of a heme and fingerprint peptide of the diheme cytochrome c peroxidase from Paracoccus pantotrophus, Pauleta, S. R., Lu Y., Goodhew C. F., Moura I., Pettigrew G. W., and Shelnutt J. A. , Biochemistry, Jun 5, Volume 40, Number 22, p.6570-6579, (2001) AbstractWebsite

The structural changes in the heme macrocycle and substituents caused by binding of Ca2+ to the diheme cytochrome c peroxidase from Paracoccus pantotrophus were clarified by resonance Raman spectroscopy of the inactive fully oxidized form of the enzyme. The changes in the macrocycle vibrational modes are consistent with a Ca2+-dependent increase in the out-of-plane distortion of the low-potential heme, the proposed peroxidatic heme. Most of the increase in out-of-plane distortion occurs when the high-affinity site I is occupied, but a small further increase in distortion occurs when site II is also occupied by Ca2+ or Mg2+. This increase in the heme distortion explains the red shift in the Soret absorption band that occurs upon Ca2+ binding. Changes also occur in the low-frequency substituent modes of the heme, indicating that a structural change in the covalently attached fingerprint pentapeptide of the LP heme occurs upon Ca2+ binding to site I. These structural changes may lead to loss of the sixth ligand at the peroxidatic heme in the semireduced form of the enzyme and activation.

Camelid nanobodies raised against an integral membrane enzyme, nitric oxide reductase, Conrath, K., Pereira A. S., Martins C. E., Timoteo C. G., Tavares P., Spinelli S., Kinne J., Flaudrops C., Cambillau C., Muyldermans S., Moura I., Moura J. J., Tegoni M., and Desmyter A. , Protein Sci, Mar, Volume 18, Number 3, p.619-28, (2009) AbstractWebsite

Nitric Oxide Reductase (NOR) is an integral membrane protein performing the reduction of NO to N(2)O. NOR is composed of two subunits: the large one (NorB) is a bundle of 12 transmembrane helices (TMH). It contains a b type heme and a binuclear iron site, which is believed to be the catalytic site, comprising a heme b and a non-hemic iron. The small subunit (NorC) harbors a cytochrome c and is attached to the membrane through a unique TMH. With the aim to perform structural and functional studies of NOR, we have immunized dromedaries with NOR and produced several antibody fragments of the heavy chain (VHHs, also known as nanobodies). These fragments have been used to develop a faster NOR purification procedure, to proceed to crystallization assays and to analyze the electron transfer of electron donors. BIAcore experiments have revealed that up to three VHHs can bind concomitantly to NOR with affinities in the nanomolar range. This is the first example of the use of VHHs with an integral membrane protein. Our results indicate that VHHs are able to recognize with high affinity distinct epitopes on this class of proteins, and can be used as versatile and valuable tool for purification, functional study and crystallization of integral membrane proteins.

Can ultrasonic energy efficiently speed (18)O-labeling of proteins?, Carreira, Ricardo J., Lodeiro Carlos, Diniz Mario S., Moura Isabel, and Capelo Jose L. , Proteomics, Nov, Volume 9, Number 21, p.4974-4977, (2009) AbstractWebsite

We report in this work on the robustness of ultrasonic energy as a tool to speed the isotopic labeling of proteins using the (18)O-decoupling procedure. The first part of the decoupling procedure, comprising protein denaturation, reduction, alkylation and digestion, is done in 8 min under the effects of an ultrasonic field whilst the second part, the isotopic labeling, was assayed with and without the use of ultrasonic energy. Our results clearly demonstrate that the (18)O-isotopic labeling in a decoupling procedure cannot be accelerated using an ultrasonic field.

Can ultrasonic energy efficiently speed (18)O-labeling of proteins?, Carreira, Ricardo J., Lodeiro Carlos, Diniz Mario S., Moura Isabel, and Capelo Jose L. , Proteomics, Nov, Volume 9, Number 21, p.4974-4977, (2009) AbstractWebsite

We report in this work on the robustness of ultrasonic energy as a tool to speed the isotopic labeling of proteins using the (18)O-decoupling procedure. The first part of the decoupling procedure, comprising protein denaturation, reduction, alkylation and digestion, is done in 8 min under the effects of an ultrasonic field whilst the second part, the isotopic labeling, was assayed with and without the use of ultrasonic energy. Our results clearly demonstrate that the (18)O-isotopic labeling in a decoupling procedure cannot be accelerated using an ultrasonic field.

The catalytic cycle of nitrous oxide reductase - The enzyme that catalyzes the last step of denitrification, Carreira, C., Pauleta S. R., and Moura I. , J Inorg Biochem, Volume 177, p.423-434, (2017)
Changes in metabolic pathways of Desulfovibrio alaskensis G20 cells induced by molybdate excess, Nair, R. R., Silveira C. M., Diniz M. S., Almeida M. G., Moura J. J. G., and Rivas M. G. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Volume 20, p.311–322, (2015)