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2011
Nitrite biosensing using cytochrome c nitrite reductase: Towards a disposable strip electrode, Correia, C., Rodrigues M., Silveira C. M., Moura J. J. G., Ochoteco E., Jubete E., and Almeida M. G. , Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies. Series: Communications in Computer and Information Science, (2011)
Study of membrane ageing and grafting mechanisms using electron paramagnetic resonance, Oliveira, F. R. P., Matos C. T., Moura J. J. G., Portugal C. A. M., and Crespo J. G. , Desalination Water Treatment, Volume 27, p.141–149, (2011)
Cooperative use of cytochrome cd1 nitrite reductase and its redox partner cytochrome c552 to improve the selectivity of nitrite biosensing, Serra, A. S., Jorge S. R., Silveira C. M., Moura J. J. G., Jubete E., Ochoteco E., Cabañero G., Grande H., and Almeida M. G. , Analytica Chimica Acta, Volume 693, Number 1–2, p.41-46, (2011) AbstractWebsite
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2010
DNA damage and metal accumulation in four tissues of feral Octopus vulgaris from two coastal areas in Portugal, Raimundo, Joana, Costa Pedro M., Vale Carlos, Costa Maria Helena, and Moura Isabel , Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety, Oct, Volume 73, Number 7, p.1543-1547, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The alkaline comet assay has been employed for the first time to estimate the basal DNA damage in the digestive gland, gills, kidney and gonads of Octopus vulgaris. Octopuses were captured in two coastal areas adjacent to the cities of Matosinhos (N) and Olhao (S), Portugal. The area of Matosinhos is influenced by discharges of the Douro River, city of Porto, industries and intensive agriculture, while Olhao is an important fisheries port. Previous works point to contrasting metal availability in the two coastal areas. Among the analysed tissues digestive gland presented the highest levels of Zn, Cu, Cd and Pb. Tissues of specimens from Matosinhos exhibited high levels of Cd and from Olhao enhanced Pb concentrations. The DNA damages in digestive gland, gills and kidney were more accentuated in specimens from Matosinhos than from Olhao, suggesting a stronger effect of contaminants. Elevated strand breakages were registered in digestive gland, recognised for its ability to store and detoxify accumulated metals. The DNA damages in kidney, gills and gonads were lower, reflecting reduced metal accumulation or efficient detoxification. The broad variability of damages in the three tissues may also mirror tissue function, specific defences to genotoxicants and cell-cycle turnover. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

An efficient non-mediated amperometric biosensor for nitrite determination, Silveira, C. M., Gomes S. P., Araujo A. N., Montenegro M. C., Todorovic S., Viana A. S., Silva R. J., Moura J. J., and Almeida M. G. , Biosens Bioelectron, May 15, Volume 25, Number 9, p.2026-32, (2010) AbstractWebsite

In this paper we propose the construction of a new non-mediated electrochemical biosensor for nitrite determination in complex samples. The device is based on the stable and selective cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, which has both high turnover and heterogeneous electron transfer rates. In opposition to previous efforts making use of several redox mediators, in this work we exploited the capacity of ccNiR to display a direct electrochemical response when interacting with pyrolytic graphite (PG) surfaces. To enable the analytical application of such bioelectrode the protein was successfully incorporated within a porous silica glass made by the sol-gel process. In the presence of nitrite, the ccNiR/sol-gel/PG electrode promptly displays catalytic currents indicating that the entrapped ccNiR molecules are reduced via direct electron transfer. This result is noteworthy since the protein molecules are caged inside a non-conductive silica network, in the absence of any mediator species or electron relay. At optimal conditions, the minimum detectable concentration is 120 nM. The biosensor sensitivity is 430 mA M(-1) cm(-2) within a linear range of 0.25-50 microM, keeping a stable response up to two weeks. The analysis of nitrites in freshwaters using the method of standard addition was highly accurated.

Rubredoxin mutant A51C unfolding dynamics: A Forster Resonance Energy Transfer study, Santos, Andrea, Duarte Americo G., Fedorov Alexander, Martinho Jose M. G., and Moura Isabel , Biophysical Chemistry, May, Volume 148, Number 1-3, p.131-137, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The unfolding dynamics of the rubredoxin mutant A51C (RdA51C) from Desulfovibrio vulgaris (DvRd) was studied on the temperature range from 25 degrees C to 90 degrees C and by incubation at 90 degrees C. By Forster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) the donor (D; Trp37) to acceptor (A; 1,5-IAEDANS) distance distribution was probed at several temperatures between 25 degrees C and 90 degrees C, and incubation times at 90 degrees C. From 25 degrees C to 50 degrees C the half-width distributions values (hw) are small and the presence of a discrete D-A distance was considered. At temperatures higher than 60 degrees C broader hw values were observed reflecting the existence of a distance distribution. The protein denaturation was only achieved by heating the solution for 2 h at 90 degrees C, as probed by the increase of the D-A mean distance. From Trp fluorescence it was shown that its vicinity was maintained until similar to 70 degrees C, being the protein hydrodynamic radius invariant until 50 degrees C. However, at similar to 70 degrees C a change in the partial unfolding kinetics indicates the disruption of specific H-bonds occurring in the hydrophobic core. The red shift of 13 nm, observed on the Trp37 emission, confirms the exposition of Trp to solvent after protein incubation at 90 degrees C for 2.5 h. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

An NMR structural study of nickel-substituted rubredoxin, Goodfellow, B. J., Duarte I. C., Macedo A. L., Volkman B. F., Nunes S. G., Moura I., Markley J. L., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Mar, Volume 15, Number 3, p.409-20, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The Ni(II) and Zn(II) derivatives of Desulfovibrio vulgaris rubredoxin (DvRd) have been studied by NMR spectroscopy to probe the structure at the metal centre. The beta CH(2) proton pairs from the cysteines that bind the Ni(II) atom have been identified using 1D nuclear Overhauser enhancement (NOE) difference spectra and sequence specifically assigned via NOE correlations to neighbouring protons and by comparison with the published X-ray crystal structure of a Ni(II) derivative of Clostridium pasteurianum rubredoxin. The solution structures of DvRd(Zn) and DvRd(Ni) have been determined and the paramagnetic form refined using pseudocontact shifts. The determination of the magnetic susceptibility anisotropy tensor allowed the contact and pseudocontact contributions to the observed chemical shifts to be obtained. Analysis of the pseudocontact and contact chemical shifts of the cysteine H beta protons and backbone protons close to the metal centre allowed conclusions to be drawn as to the geometry and hydrogen-bonding pattern at the metal binding site. The importance of NH-S hydrogen bonds at the metal centre for the delocalization of electron spin density is confirmed for rubredoxins and can be extrapolated to metal centres in Cu proteins: amicyanin, plastocyanin, stellacyanin, azurin and pseudoazurin.

The 1.4 angstrom resolution structure of Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin, Najmudin, Shabir, Pauleta Sofia R., Moura Isabel, and Romao Maria J. , Acta Crystallographica Section F-Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications, Jun, Volume 66, p.627-635, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Pseudoazurins are small type 1 copper proteins that are involved in the flow of electrons between various electron donors and acceptors in the bacterial periplasm, mostly under denitrifying conditions. The previously determined structure of Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin in the oxidized form was improved to a nominal resolution of 1.4 angstrom, with R and R(free) values of 0.188 and 0.206, respectively. This high-resolution structure makes it possible to analyze the interactions between the monomers and the solvent structure in detail. Analysis of the high-resolution structure revealed the structural regions that are responsible for monomer-monomer recognition during dimer formation and for protein-protein interaction and that are important for partner recognition. The pseudoazurin structure was compared with other structures of various type 1 copper proteins and these were grouped into families according to similarities in their secondary structure; this may be useful in the annotation of copper proteins in newly sequenced genomes and in the identification of novel copper proteins.

Implications of oxidovanadium(IV) binding to actin, Ramos, S., Almeida R. M., Moura J. J., and Aureliano M. , J Inorg Biochem, Jun, Volume 105, Number 6, p.777-83, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Oxidovanadium(IV), a cationic species (VO(2+)) of vanadium(IV), binds to several proteins, including actin. Upon titration with oxidovanadium(IV), approximately 100% quenching of the intrinsic fluorescence of monomeric actin purified from rabbit skeletal muscle (G-actin) was observed, with a V(50) of 131 muM, whereas for the polymerized form of actin (F-actin) 75% of quenching was obtained and a V(50) value of 320 muM. Stern-Volmer plots were used to estimate an oxidovanadium(IV)-actin dissociation constant, with K(d) of 8.2 muM and 64.1 muM VOSO(4), for G-actin and F-actin, respectively. These studies reveal the presence of a high affinity binding site for oxidovanadium(IV) in actin, producing local conformational changes near the tryptophans most accessible to water in the three-dimensional structure of actin. The actin conformational changes, also confirmed by (1)H NMR, are accompanied by changes in G-actin hydrophobic surface, but not in F-actin. The (1)H NMR spectra of G-actin treated with oxidovanadium(IV) clearly indicates changes in the resonances ascribed to methyl group and aliphatic regions as well as to aromatics and peptide-bond amide region. In parallel, it was verified that oxidovanadium(IV) prevents the G-actin polymerization into F-actin. In the 0-200 muM range, VOSO(4) inhibits 40% of the extent of polymerization with an IC(50) of 15.1 muM, whereas 500 muM VOSO(4) totally suppresses actin polymerization. The data strongly suggest that oxidovanadium(IV) binds to actin at specific binding sites preventing actin polymerization. By affecting actin structure and function, oxidovanadium(IV) might be responsible for many cellular effects described for vanadium.

Relations between mercury, methyl-mercury and selenium in tissues of Octopus vulgaris from the Portuguese Coast, Raimundo, Joana, Vale Carlos, Canario Joao, Branco Vasco, and Moura Isabel , Environmental Pollution, Jun, Volume 158, Number 6, p.2094-2100, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Mercury, methyl-mercury (MeHg) and selenium were determined in digestive gland and mantle of Octopus vulgaris, from three areas of the Portuguese coast. To our knowledge these are the first data on MeHg in cephalopods. Concentrations were higher in the digestive gland and percentage of MeHg in mantle. Enhanced Hg and MeHg levels were obtained in digestive gland of specimens from Olhao (3.1-7.4 and 2.0-5.0 mu g g(-1) respectively). Differences between areas may be partially related to Hg availability. Relationships between concentrations in mantle and digestive gland pointed to proportional increases of Hg and MeHg in tissues of specimens from Matosinhos and Cascais, but relatively constant values in mantle of individuals from Olhao (higher contamination). Se:Hg molar ratio in digestive gland was 32 and 30 in octopus from Matosinhos and Cascais, respectively, and 5.4 from Olhao. The proximity to the unit suggests demethylation as response to elevated MeHg levels in digestive gland. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Enhanced Direct Electron Transfer of a Multihemic Nitrite Reductase on Single-walled Carbon Nanotube Modified Electrodes, Silveira, Celia M., Baur Jessica, Holzinger Michael, Moura Jose J. G., Cosnier Serge, and Gabriela Almeida M. , Electroanalysis, Dec, Volume 22, Number 24, p.2973-2978, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) deposits on glassy carbon and pyrolytic graphite electrodes have dramatically enhanced the direct electron transfer of the multihemic nitrite reductase from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, enabling a 10-fold increase in catalytic currents. At optimal conditions, the sensitivity to nitrite and the maximum current density were 2.4 +/- 0.1 A L mol(-1) cm(-2) and 1500 mu A cm(-2), respectively. Since the biosensor performance decreased over time, laponite clay and electropolymerized amphiphilic pyrrole were tested as protecting layers. Both coating materials increased substantially the bioelectrode stability, which kept about 90% and 60% of its initial sensitivity to nitrite after 20 and 248 days, respectively.

Metallothioneins and trace elements in digestive gland, gills, kidney and gonads of Octopus vulgaris, Raimundo, J., Costa P. M., Vale C., Costa M. H., and Moura I. , Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology C-Toxicology & Pharmacology, Aug, Volume 152, Number 2, p.139-146, (2010) AbstractWebsite

Metallothionein-like proteins (MT) and V, Cr, Co, Ni, Zn, Cu, As and Cd were determined in digestive gland, gills, kidney and gonads of Octopus vulgaris, from the Portuguese coast. To our knowledge these are the first data on MT in octopus. High concentrations (mu g g(-1), dry mass) of Zn (48050) and Cd (555) were found in digestive gland, and MT reached levels one order of magnitude above the ones registered in wild bivalves. Significantly higher levels of MT in digestive gland and gills of specimens from A and B were in line with elevated Cd concentrations. Principal component analyses (PCA) point to MT-Cd and MT-Cr associations in digestive gland and gills. Despite the high levels of Zn in specimens from B, association with Zn was not obtained. Due to the affinity of MT to various elements, it should not be excluded the possibility of Cd replacing Zn in Zn-MT. Kidney presented higher levels of Cd, Co, Ni and As than gills and gonads, and in the case of As surpassing the levels in digestive gland, but PCA showed no relation with MT. Likewise the MT levels in gonads had no correspondence to the metal concentration variation. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

A new CuZ active form in the catalytic reduction of N(2)O by nitrous oxide reductase from Pseudomonas nautica, Dell'Acqua, S., Pauleta S. R., Paes de Sousa P. M., Monzani E., Casella L., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Aug, Volume 15, Number 6, p.967-76, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The final step of bacterial denitrification, the two-electron reduction of N(2)O to N(2), is catalyzed by a multi-copper enzyme named nitrous oxide reductase. The catalytic centre of this enzyme is a tetranuclear copper site called CuZ, unique in biological systems. The in vitro reconstruction of the activity requires a slow activation in the presence of the artificial electron donor, reduced methyl viologen, necessary to reduce CuZ from the resting non-active state (1Cu(II)/3Cu(I)) to the fully reduced state (4Cu(I)), in contrast to the turnover cycle, which is very fast. In the present work, the direct reaction of the activated form of Pseudomonas nautica nitrous oxide reductase with stoichiometric amounts of N(2)O allowed the identification of a new reactive intermediate of the catalytic centre, CuZ degrees , in the turnover cycle, characterized by an intense absorption band at 680 nm. Moreover, the first mediated electrochemical study of Ps. nautica nitrous oxide reductase with its physiological electron donor, cytochrome c-552, was performed. The intermolecular electron transfer was analysed by cyclic voltammetry, under catalytic conditions, and a second-order rate constant of (5.5 +/- 0.9) x 10(5) M(-1 )s(-1) was determined. Both the reaction of stoichiometric amounts of substrate and the electrochemical studies show that the active CuZ degrees species, generated in the absence of reductants, can rearrange to the resting non-active CuZ state. In this light, new aspects of the catalytic and activation/inactivation mechanism of the enzyme are discussed.

Ultrasonic multiprobe as a new tool to overcome the bottleneck of throughput in workflows for protein identification relaying on ultrasonic energy, Santos, H. M., Carreira R., Diniz M. S., Rivas M. G., Lodeiro C., Moura J. J., and Capelo J. L. , Talanta, Apr 15, Volume 81, Number 1-2, p.55-62, (2010) AbstractWebsite

We studied in this work the performance of the new ultrasonic multiprobe in terms of throughput, handling and robustness. The study was conducted using the multiprobe to speed two different proteomics workflows. The "classic" method relaying on overnight protein digestion (12h), was used as the standard procedure. This work clearly shows the importance of testing variables such as ultrasonic amplitude and ultrasonic time when adapting an ultrasonic-based treatment to a new ultrasonic device. The results here presented also shown and confirm the advantage of speed up sample treatment workflows with the aid of ultrasonic energy in combination with a 96-well plate. The methods compared were similar in terms of robustness, but the desalting free method was the fastest, requiring only 2 min/sample for completion. In addition it was also the simplest in terms of handling, since no desalting step was needed. The following standard proteins were successfully identified using the methods studied: bovine serum albumin, alpha-lactalbumin, ovalbumin, carbonic anhydrase, fructose-bisphosphate aldolase A, catalase, chymotrypsinogen A. As case study, the identification of the protein Split-Soret cytochrome c from D. desulfuricans ATCC 27774 was carried out.

Nitrite Biosensing via Selective Enzymes-A Long but Promising Route, Almeida, M. G., Serra A., Silveira C. M., and Moura J. J. , Sensors, Volume 10, Number 12, p.11530-55, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The last decades have witnessed a steady increase of the social and political awareness for the need of monitoring and controlling environmental and industrial processes. In the case of nitrite ion, due to its potential toxicity for human health, the European Union has recently implemented a number of rules to restrict its level in drinking waters and food products. Although several analytical protocols have been proposed for nitrite quantification, none of them enable a reliable and quick analysis of complex samples. An alternative approach relies on the construction of biosensing devices using stable enzymes, with both high activity and specificity for nitrite. In this paper we review the current state-of-the-art in the field of electrochemical and optical biosensors using nitrite reducing enzymes as biorecognition elements and discuss the opportunities and challenges in this emerging market.

Measuring the cytochrome c nitrite reductase activity-practical considerations on the enzyme assays, Silveira, C. M., Besson S., Moura I., Moura J. J., and Almeida M. G. , Bioinorg Chem Appl, (2010) AbstractWebsite

The cytochrome c nitrite reductase (ccNiR) from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 is able to reduce nitrite to ammonia in a six-electron transfer reaction. Although extensively characterized from the spectroscopic and structural points-of-view, some of its kinetic aspects are still under explored. In this work the kinetic behaviour of ccNiR has been evaluated in a systematic manner using two different spectrophotometric assays carried out in the presence of different redox mediators and a direct electrochemical approach. Solution assays have proved that the specific activity of ccNiR decreases with the reduction potential of the electronic carriers and ammonium is always the main product of nitrite reduction. The catalytic parameters were discussed on the basis of the mediator reducing power and also taking into account the location of their putative docking sites with ccNiR. Due to the fast kinetics of ccNiR, electron delivering from reduced electron donors is rate-limiting in all spectrophotometric assays, so the estimated kinetic constants are apparent only. Nevertheless, this limitation could be overcome by using a direct electrochemical approach which shows that the binding affinity for nitrite decreases whilst turnover increases with the reductive driving force.

2009
Cobalt-, zinc- and iron-bound forms of adenylate kinase (AK) from the sulfate-reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio gigas: purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis, Kladova, A. V., Gavel O. Y., Mukhopaadhyay A., Boer D. R., Teixeira S., Shnyrov V. L., Moura I., Moura J. J., Romao M. J., Trincao J., and Bursakov S. A. , Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, Sep 1, Volume 65, Number Pt 9, p.926-9, (2009) AbstractWebsite

Adenylate kinase (AK; ATP:AMP phosphotransferase; EC 2.7.4.3) is involved in the reversible transfer of the terminal phosphate group from ATP to AMP. AKs contribute to the maintenance of a constant level of cellular adenine nucleotides, which is necessary for the energetic metabolism of the cell. Three metal ions, cobalt, zinc and iron(II), have been reported to be present in AKs from some Gram-negative bacteria. Native zinc-containing AK from Desulfovibrio gigas was purified to homogeneity and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to beyond 1.8 A resolution. Furthermore, cobalt- and iron-containing crystal forms of recombinant AK were also obtained and diffracted to 2.0 and 3.0 A resolution, respectively. Zn(2+)-AK and Fe(2+)-AK crystallized in space group I222 with similar unit-cell parameters, whereas Co(2+)-AK crystallized in space group C2; a monomer was present in the asymmetric unit for both the Zn(2+)-AK and Fe(2+)-AK forms and a dimer was present for the Co(2+)-AK form. The structures of the three metal-bound forms of AK will provide new insights into the role and selectivity of the metal in these enzymes.

Rubredoxin as a paramagnetic relaxation-inducing probe, Almeida, R. M., Pauleta S. R., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Sep, Volume 103, Number 9, p.1245-53, (2009) AbstractWebsite

The paramagnetic effect due to the presence of a metal center with unpaired electrons is no longer considered a hindrance in protein NMR spectroscopy. In the present work, the paramagnetic effect due to the presence of a metal center with unpaired electrons was used to map the interface of an electron transfer complex. Desulfovibrio gigas cytochrome c(3) was chosen as target to study the effect of the paramagnetic probe, Fe-rubredoxin, which produced specific line broadening in the heme IV methyl resonances M2(1) and M18(1). The rubredoxin binding surface in the complex with cytochrome c(3) was identified in a heteronuclear 2D NMR titration. The identified heme methyls on cytochrome c(3) are involved in the binding interface of the complex, a result that is in agreement with the predicted complexes obtained by restrained molecular docking, which shows a cluster of possible solutions near heme IV. The use of a paramagnetic probe in (1)HNMR titration and the mapping of the complex interface, in combination with a molecular simulation algorithm proved to be a valuable strategy to study electron transfer complexes involving non-heme iron proteins and cytochromes.

Decavanadate interactions with actin: cysteine oxidation and vanadyl formation, Ramos, S., Duarte R. O., Moura J. J., and Aureliano M. , Dalton Trans, Oct 14, Number 38, p.7985-94, (2009) AbstractWebsite

Incubation of actin with decavanadate induces cysteine oxidation and oxidovanadium(IV) formation. The studies were performed combining kinetic with spectroscopic (NMR and EPR) methodologies. Although decavanadate is converted to labile oxovanadates, the rate of deoligomerization can be very slow (half-life time of 5.4 h, at 25 degrees C, with a first order kinetics), which effectively allows decavanadate to exist for some time under experimental conditions. It was observed that decavanadate inhibits F-actin-stimulated myosin ATPase activity with an IC(50) of 0.8 microM V(10) species, whereas 50 microM of vanadate or oxidovanadium(IV) only inhibits enzyme activity up to 25%. Moreover, from these three vanadium forms, only decavanadate induces the oxidation of the so called "fast" cysteines (or exposed cysteine, Cys-374) when the enzyme is in the polymerized and active form, F-actin, with an IC(50) of 1 microM V(10) species. Decavanadate exposition to F- and G-actin (monomeric form) promotes vanadate reduction since a typical EPR oxidovanadium(IV) spectrum was observed. Upon observation that V(10) reduces to oxidovanadium(IV), it is proposed that this cation interacts with G-actin (K(d) of 7.48 +/- 1.11 microM), and with F-actin (K(d) = 43.05 +/- 5.34 microM) with 1:1 and 4:1 stoichiometries, respectively, as observed by EPR upon protein titration with oxidovanadium(IV). The interaction of oxidovanadium(IV) with the protein may occur close to the ATP binding site of actin, eventually with lysine-336 and 3 water molecules.

EPR studies of the Mo-enzyme aldehyde oxidoreductase from Desulfovibrio gigas: an application of the Bloch-Wangsness-Redfield theory to a system containing weakly-coupled paramagnetic redox centers with different relaxation rates, Gonzalez, P. J., Barrera G. I., Rizzi A. C., Moura J. J., Passeggi M. C., and Brondino C. D. , J Inorg Biochem, Oct, Volume 103, Number 10, p.1342-6, (2009) AbstractWebsite

Electron transfer proteins and redox enzymes containing paramagnetic redox centers with different relaxation rates are widespread in nature. Despite both the long distances and chemical paths connecting these centers, they can present weak magnetic couplings produced by spin-spin interactions such as dipolar and isotropic exchange. We present here a theoretical model based on the Bloch-Wangsness-Redfield theory to analyze the dependence with temperature of EPR spectra of interacting pairs of spin 1/2 centers having different relaxation rates, as is the case of the molybdenum-containing enzyme aldehyde oxidoreductase from Desulfovibrio gigas. We analyze the changes of the EPR spectra of the slow relaxing center (Mo(V)) induced by the faster relaxing center (FeS center). At high temperatures, when the relaxation time T(1) of the fast relaxing center is very short, the magnetic coupling between centers is averaged to zero. Conversely, at low temperatures when T(1) is longer, no modulation of the coupling between metal centers can be detected.

Isolation and characterization of a new Cu-Fe protein from Desulfovibrio aminophilus DSM12254, Rivas, M. G., Mota C. S., Pauleta S. R., Carepo M. S., Folgosa F., Andrade S. L., Fauque G., Pereira A. S., Tavares P., Calvete J. J., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Inorg Biochem, Oct, Volume 103, Number 10, p.1314-22, (2009) AbstractWebsite

The isolation and characterization of a new metalloprotein containing Cu and Fe atoms is reported. The as-isolated Cu-Fe protein shows an UV-visible spectrum with absorption bands at 320 nm, 409 nm and 615 nm. Molecular mass of the native protein along with denaturating electrophoresis and mass spectrometry data show that this protein is a multimer consisting of 14+/-1 subunits of 15254.3+/-7.6 Da. Mossbauer spectroscopy data of the as-isolated Cu-Fe protein is consistent with the presence of [2Fe-2S](2+) centers. Data interpretation of the dithionite reduced protein suggest that the metallic cluster could be constituted by two ferromagnetically coupled [2Fe-2S](+) spin delocalized pairs. The biochemical properties of the Cu-Fe protein are similar to the recently reported molybdenum resistance associated protein from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis. Furthermore, a BLAST search from the DNA deduced amino acid sequence shows that the Cu-Fe protein has homology with proteins annotated as zinc resistance associated proteins from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis, D. vulgaris Hildenborough, D. piger ATCC 29098. These facts suggest a possible role of the Cu-Fe protein in metal tolerance.

A variable temperature spectroscopic study on Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin: Protein constraints on the blue Cu site, Xie, Xiangjin, Hadt Ryan G., Pauleta Sofia R., Gonzalez Pablo J., Un Sun, Moura Isabel, and Solomon Edward I. , Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, Oct, Volume 103, Number 10, p.1307-1313, (2009) AbstractWebsite

The blue or Type 1 (T1) copper site of Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin exhibits significant absorption intensity in both the 450 and 600 nm regions. These are sigma and pi S(Cys) to Cu(2+) charge transfer (CT) transitions. The temperature dependent absorption, EPR, and resonance Raman (rR) vibrations enhanced by these bands indicate that a single species is present at all temperatures. This contrasts the temperature dependent behavior of the T1 center in nitrite reductase [S. Ghosh, X. Xie, A. Dey, Y. Sun, C. Scholes, E. Solomon, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 106 (2009) 4969-4974] which has a thioether ligand that is unconstrained by the protein. The lack of temperature dependence in the T1 site in pseudoazurin indicates the presence of a protein constraint similar to the blue Cu site in plastocyanin where the thioether ligand is constrained at 2.8 angstrom. However, plastocyanin exhibits only pi CT. This spectral difference between pseudoazurin and plastocyanin reflects a coupled distortion of the site where the axial thiorether in pseudoazurin is also constrained, but at a shorter Cu-S(Met) bond length. This leads to an increase in the Cu(2+)-S(Cys) bond length, and the site undergoes a partial tetragonal distortion in pseudoazurin. Thus, its ground state wavefunction has both sigma and pi character in the Cu(2+)-S(Cys) bond. (C) 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The effect of the sixth sulfur ligand in the catalytic mechanism of periplasmic nitrate reductase, Cerqueira, N. M., Gonzalez P. J., Brondino C. D., Romao M. J., Romao C. C., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , J Comput Chem, Nov 30, Volume 30, Number 15, p.2466-84, (2009) AbstractWebsite

The catalytic mechanism of nitrate reduction by periplasmic nitrate reductases has been investigated using theoretical and computational means. We have found that the nitrate molecule binds to the active site with the Mo ion in the +6 oxidation state. Electron transfer to the active site occurs only in the proton-electron transfer stage, where the Mo(V) species plays an important role in catalysis. The presence of the sulfur atom in the molybdenum coordination sphere creates a pseudo-dithiolene ligand that protects it from any direct attack from the solvent. Upon the nitrate binding there is a conformational rearrangement of this ring that allows the direct contact of the nitrate with Mo(VI) ion. This rearrangement is stabilized by the conserved methionines Met141 and Met308. The reduction of nitrate into nitrite occurs in the second step of the mechanism where the two dimethyl-dithiolene ligands have a key role in spreading the excess of negative charge near the Mo atom to make it available for the chemical reaction. The reaction involves the oxidation of the sulfur atoms and not of the molybdenum as previously suggested. The mechanism involves a molybdenum and sulfur-based redox chemistry instead of the currently accepted redox chemistry based only on the Mo ion. The second part of the mechanism involves two protonation steps that are promoted by the presence of Mo(V) species. Mo(VI) intermediates might also be present in this stage depending on the availability of protons and electrons. Once the water molecule is generated only the Mo(VI) species allow water molecule dissociation, and, the concomitant enzymatic turnover.

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.