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2007
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.

Gas chromatography mass spectrometry determination of acaricides from honey after a new fast ultrasonic-based solid phase micro-extraction sample treatment, Rial-Otero, R., Gaspar E. M., Moura I., and Capelo J. L. , Talanta, Mar 30, Volume 71, Number 5, p.1906-1914, (2007) AbstractWebsite

A method is reported for the determination of acaricides (amitraz, bromopropylate, coumaphos and fluvalinate) from honey by gas chromatography mass spectrometry after a new fast solid phase micro-extraction, SPME, procedure. Six different fibers were assessed for micro-extraction purpose studying the following variables: (i) SPME coating, (ii) extraction temperature, (iii) extraction time, (iv) desorption conditions and (v) agitation conditions. The new ultrasonic bath technology providing different sonication frequencies (35 and 130 kHz) and different working modes (Sweep, Standard and Degas) was studied and optimized for speeding up the acaricide micro-extraction. The best extraction results were achieved with the polyacrylate fiber. The extraction process was done in 30 min using the ultrasonic bath at 130 kHz in the Standard mode. Quality parameters of the proposed method show a good precision (<11%) and detection and quantitation limits lower than 6 and 15 ng/g, respectively, except for fluvalinate. Eleven Portuguese commercial honey samples were analyzed with the developed method in order to assess the performance of the method with real samples and to determine whether the concentration of acaricides in honey exceed their maximum residue levels (MRLs). Acaricide residues detected were lower than those established by the legislation. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Application of lactate amperometric sol-gel biosensor to sequential injection determination of L-lactate, Gomes, S. P., Odlozilikova M., Almeida M. G., Araujo A. N., Couto C. M., and Montenegro M. C. , J Pharm Biomed Anal, Mar 12, Volume 43, Number 4, p.1376-81, (2007) AbstractWebsite

This work describes the construction and evaluation of lactate sol-gel biosensors to accomplish the determination of lactate in pharmaceutical products. Lactate oxidase was incorporated in a porous sol-gel film placed onto a platinum-based electrode. Acid and basic catalysis were assessed. When coupled to a sequential injection system (SIA) the biosensor, based on (3-aminopropyl)trimethoxysilane, 2-(3,4-epoxycyclohexyl)ethyl-trimethoxysilane, deionised water, polyethylene glycol 6000 and acid catalyst, presented a range of linearity of 5x10(-5) to 5x10(-3)M. The analytical usefulness of the developed biosensor was evaluated through analysis of commercial pharmaceutical products containing lactate with a sampling rate of 40 samples h(-1). The enzyme remained active for at least 30 days, enabling about 700 determinations without sensitivity decrease.

Correlating EPR and X-ray structural analysis of arsenite-inhibited forms of aldehyde oxidoreductase, Thapper, A., Boer D. R., Brondino C. D., Moura J. J., and Romao M. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Mar, Volume 12, Number 3, p.353-66, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Two arsenite-inhibited forms of each of the aldehyde oxidoreductases from Desulfovibrio gigas and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans have been studied by X-ray crystallography and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. The molybdenum site of these enzymes shows a distorted square-pyramidal geometry in which two ligands, a hydroxyl/water molecule (the catalytic labile site) and a sulfido ligand, have been shown to be essential for catalysis. Arsenite addition to active as-prepared enzyme or to a reduced desulfo form yields two different species called A and B, respectively, which show different Mo(V) EPR signals. Both EPR signals show strong hyperfine and quadrupolar couplings with an arsenic nucleus, which suggests that arsenic interacts with molybdenum through an equatorial ligand. X-ray data of single crystals prepared from EPR-active samples show in both inhibited forms that the arsenic atom interacts with the molybdenum ion through an oxygen atom at the catalytic labile site and that the sulfido ligand is no longer present. EPR and X-ray data indicate that the main difference between both species is an equatorial ligand to molybdenum which was determined to be an oxo ligand in species A and a hydroxyl/water ligand in species B. The conclusion that the sulfido ligand is not essential to determine the EPR properties in both Mo-As complexes is achieved through EPR measurements on a substantial number of randomly oriented chemically reduced crystals immediately followed by X-ray studies on one of those crystals. EPR saturation studies show that the electron transfer pathway, which is essential for catalysis, is not modified upon inhibition.

New findings for in-gel digestion accelerated by high-intensity focused ultrasound for protein identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Carreira, R. J., Cordeiro F. M., Moro A. J., Rivas M. G., Rial-Otero R., Gaspar E. M., Moura I., and Capelo J. L. , Journal of Chromatography A, Jun 15, Volume 1153, Number 1-2, p.291-299, (2007) AbstractWebsite

New findings in sample treatment based on high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) for protein digestion after polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis separation are presented. The following variables were studied: (i) sample volume; (ii) sonotrode diameter; (iii) previous protein denaturation; (iv) cooling; (v) enzyme concentration; and (vi) protein concentration. Results showed that positive protein identification could be done after protein separation by gel electrophoresis through peptide mass fingerprint (PMF) in a volume as low as 25 mu L. The time needed was less than 2 min and no cooling was necessary. The importance of the sonotrode diameter was negligible. On the other hand, protein denaturation before sonication was a trade-off for the success of procedure here described. The protein coverage was raised from 5 to 30%, and the number of peptides matching the proteins was also increased in a percentage ranging 10-100% when the classical overnight treatment is compared with the proposed HIFU procedure. The minimum amount of protein that can be identified using the HIFU sample treatment by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS) was 0.06 mu g. The lower concentration of trypsin successfully used to obtain an adequate protein digestion was 3.6 mu g/mL. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Heterodimeric nitrate reductase (NapAB) from Cupriavidus necator H16: purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis, Coelho, C., Gonzalez P. J., Trincao J., Carvalho A. L., Najmudin S., Hettman T., Dieckman S., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Romao M. J. , Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, Jun 1, Volume 63, Number Pt 6, p.516-9, (2007) AbstractWebsite

The periplasmic nitrate reductase from Cupriavidus necator (also known as Ralstonia eutropha) is a heterodimer that is able to reduce nitrate to nitrite. It comprises a 91 kDa catalytic subunit (NapA) and a 17 kDa subunit (NapB) that is involved in electron transfer. The larger subunit contains a molybdenum active site with a bis-molybdopterin guanine dinucleotide cofactor as well as one [4Fe-4S] cluster, while the small subunit is a di-haem c-type cytochrome. Crystals of the oxidized form of this enzyme were obtained using polyethylene glycol 3350 as precipitant. A single crystal grown at the High Throughput Crystallization Laboratory of the EMBL in Grenoble diffracted to beyond 1.5 A at the ESRF (ID14-1), which is the highest resolution reported to date for a nitrate reductase. The unit-cell parameters are a = 142.2, b = 82.4, c = 96.8 A, beta = 100.7 degrees, space group C2, and one heterodimer is present per asymmetric unit.

Mediated catalysis of Paracoccus pantotrophus cytochrome c peroxidase by P. pantotrophus pseudoazurin: kinetics of intermolecular electron transfer, de Sousa, P. M., Pauleta S. R., Goncalves M. L., Pettigrew G. W., Moura I., Dos Santos M. M., and Moura J. J. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Jun, Volume 12, Number 5, p.691-8, (2007) AbstractWebsite

This work reports the direct electrochemistry of Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin and the mediated catalysis of cytochrome c peroxidase from the same organism. The voltammetric behaviour was examined at a gold membrane electrode, and the studies were performed in the presence of calcium to enable the peroxidase activation. A formal reduction potential, E (0)', of 230 +/- 5 mV was determined for pseudoazurin at pH 7.0. Its voltammetric signal presented a pH dependence, defined by pK values of 6.5 and 10.5 in the oxidised state and 7.2 in the reduced state, and was constant up to 1 M NaCl. This small copper protein was shown to be competent as an electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase and the kinetics of intermolecular electron transfer was analysed. A second-order rate constant of 1.4 +/- 0.2 x 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) was determined at 0 M NaCl. This parameter has a maximum at 0.3 M NaCl and is pH-independent between pH 5 and 9.

Crystal structure of the 16 heme cytochrome from Desulfovibrio gigas: A glycosylated protein in a sulphate-reducing bacterium, Santos-Silva, Teresa, Dias Joao Miguel, Dolla Alain, Durand Marie-Claire, Goncalves Luisa L., Lampreia Jorge, Moura Isabel, and Romao Maria Joao , Journal of Molecular Biology, Jul 20, Volume 370, Number 4, p.659-673, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Sulphate-reducing bacteria have a wide variety of periplasmic cytochromes involved in electron transfer from the periplasm to the cytoplasm. HmcA is a high molecular mass cytochrome of 550 amino acid residues that harbours 16 c-type heme groups. We report the crystal structure of HmcA isolated from the periplasm of Desulfovibrio gigas. Crystals were grown. using polyethylene glycol 8K and zinc acetate, and diffracted beyond 2.1 angstrom resolution. A multiple-wavelength anomalous dispersion experiment at the iron absorption edge enabled us to obtain good-quality phases for structure solution and model building. DgHmcA has a V-shape architecture, already observed in HmcA isolated from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough. The presence of an oligosaccharide molecule covalently bound to an Asn residue was observed in the electron density maps of DgHmcA and confirmed by mass spectrometry. Three modified monosaccharides appear at the highly hydrophobic vertex, possibly acting as an anchor of the protein to the cytoplasmic membrane. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

NMR assignment of the apo-form of a Desulfovibrio gigas protein containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster, Pauleta, S. R., Duarte A. G., Carepo M. S., Pereira A. S., Tavares P., Moura I., and Moura J. J. , Biomol NMR Assign, Jul, Volume 1, Number 1, p.81-3, (2007) AbstractWebsite

We report the 98% assignment of the apo-form of an orange protein, containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas. This protein presents a region where backbone amide protons exchange fast with bulk solvent becoming undetectable. These residues were assigned using 13C-detection experiments.

A needle in a haystack: the active site of the membrane-bound complex cytochrome c nitrite reductase, Almeida, M. G., Silveira C. M., Guigliarelli B., Bertrand P., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Leger C. , FEBS Lett, Jan 23, Volume 581, Number 2, p.284-8, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Cytochrome c nitrite reductase is a multicenter enzyme that uses a five-coordinated heme to perform the six-electron reduction of nitrite to ammonium. In the sulfate reducing bacterium Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, the enzyme is purified as a NrfA2NrfH complex that houses 14 hemes. The number of closely-spaced hemes in this enzyme and the magnetic interactions between them make it very difficult to study the active site by using traditional spectroscopic approaches such as EPR or UV-Vis. Here, we use both catalytic and non-catalytic protein film voltammetry to simply and unambiguously determine the reduction potential of the catalytic heme over a wide range of pH and we demonstrate that proton transfer is coupled to electron transfer at the active site.

Vanadium distribution, lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress markers upon decavanadate in vivo administration, Soares, S. S., Martins H., Duarte R. O., Moura J. J., Coucelo J., Gutierrez-Merino C., and Aureliano M. , J Inorg Biochem, Jan, Volume 101, Number 1, p.80-8, (2007) AbstractWebsite

The contribution of decameric vanadate species to vanadate toxic effects in cardiac muscle was studied following an intravenous administration of a decavanadate solution (1mM total vanadium) in Sparus aurata. Although decameric vanadate is unstable in the assay medium, it decomposes with a half-life time of 16 allowing studying its effects not only in vitro but also in vivo. After 1, 6 and 12h upon decavanadate administration the increase of vanadium in blood plasma, red blood cells and in cardiac mitochondria and cytosol is not affected in comparison to the administration of a metavanadate solution containing labile oxovanadates. Cardiac tissue lipid peroxidation increases up to 20%, 1, 6 and 12h after metavanadate administration, whilst for decavanadate no effects were observed except 1h after treatment (+20%). Metavanadate administration clearly differs from decavanadate by enhancing, 12h after exposure, mitochondrial superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity (+115%) and not affecting catalase (CAT) activity whereas decavanadate increases SOD activity by 20% and decreases (-55%) mitochondrial CAT activity. At early times of exposure, 1 and 6h, the only effect observed upon decavanadate administration was the increase by 20% of SOD activity. In conclusion, decavanadate has a different response pattern of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress markers, in spite of the same vanadium distribution in cardiac cells observed after decavanadate and metavanadate administration. It is suggested that once formed decameric vanadate species has a different reactivity than vanadate, thus, pointing out that the differential contribution of vanadium oligomers should be taken into account to rationalize in vivo vanadate toxicity.

Chromatographic-based methods for pesticide determination in honey: An overview, Rial-Otero, R., Gaspar E. M., Moura I., and Capelo J. L. , Talanta, Feb 15, Volume 71, Number 2, p.503-514, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Nowadays the control of pesticides in honey is an issue of primary health importance as consequence of the increasing content of these chemicals in the aforementioned matrix. This poisoning has led to the worldwide increasing loss of bees since 1995. From Europe to Canada, scientist, beekeepers and chemical companies disagree about the reasons that have led to colony losses higher than 50% in some areas. This problem has become a public health issue due to the high honey worldwide consumption. The presence of pesticides in honey has been directly related to bees' mortality by some researchers through pesticide presence in (1) pollen, (2) honeycomb walls, (3) own bees and (4) honey. In this work we describe the actual state-of-the-art for pesticides determination in honey along with a review in this subject focused on sample treatments and instrumentation. Finally, future trends are also commented. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Sonoreactor-based technology for fast high-throughput proteolytic digestion of proteins, Rial-Otero, R., Carreira R. J., Cordeiro F. M., Moro A. J., Fernandes L., Moura I., and Capelo J. L. , Journal of Proteome Research, Feb, Volume 6, Number 2, p.909-912, (2007) AbstractWebsite

Fast (120 s) and high-throughput (more than six samples at once) in-gel trypsin digestion of proteins using sonoreactor technology has been achieved. Successful protein identification was done by matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, MALDI-TOF-MS. Specific identification of the adenylylsulphate reductase alfa subunit from a complex protein mixture from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774 was done as a proof of the methodology. The new sample treatment is of easy implementation, saves time and money, and can be adapted to online procedures and robotic platforms.

NADH oxidase activity of rat and human liver xanthine oxidoreductase: potential role in superoxide production, Maia, L., Duarte R. O., Ponces-Freire A., Moura J. J., and Mira L. , J Biol Inorg Chem, Aug, Volume 12, Number 6, p.777-87, (2007) AbstractWebsite

To characterise the NADH oxidase activity of both xanthine dehydrogenase (XD) and xanthine oxidase (XO) forms of rat liver xanthine oxidoreductase (XOR) and to evaluate the potential role of this mammalian enzyme as an O2*- source, kinetics and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopic studies were performed. A steady-state kinetics study of XD showed that it catalyses NADH oxidation, leading to the formation of one O2*- molecule and half a H(2)O(2) molecule per NADH molecule, at rates 3 times those observed for XO (29.2 +/- 1.6 and 9.38 +/- 0.31 min(-1), respectively). EPR spectra of NADH-reduced XD and XO were qualitatively similar, but they were quantitatively quite different. While NADH efficiently reduced XD, only a great excess of NADH reduced XO. In agreement with reductive titration data, the XD specificity constant for NADH (8.73 +/- 1.36 microM(-1) min(-1)) was found to be higher than that of the XO specificity constant (1.07 +/- 0.09 microM(-1) min(-1)). It was confirmed that, for the reducing substrate xanthine, rat liver XD is also a better O2*- source than XO. These data show that the dehydrogenase form of liver XOR is, thus, intrinsically more efficient at generating O2*- than the oxidase form, independently of the reducing substrate. Most importantly, for comparative purposes, human liver XO activity towards NADH oxidation was also studied, and the kinetics parameters obtained were found to be very similar to those of the XO form of rat liver XOR, foreseeing potential applications of rat liver XOR as a model of the human liver enzyme.

Spectroscopic, computational, and kinetic studies of the mu4-sulfide-bridged tetranuclear CuZ cluster in N2O reductase: pH effect on the edge ligand and its contribution to reactivity, Ghosh, S., Gorelsky S. I., George S. D., Chan J. M., Cabrito I., Dooley D. M., Moura J. J., Moura I., and Solomon E. I. , J Am Chem Soc, Apr 4, Volume 129, Number 13, p.3955-65, (2007) AbstractWebsite

A combination of spectroscopy and density functional theory (DFT) calculations has been used to evaluate the pH effect at the CuZ site in Pseudomonas nautica (Pn) nitrous oxide reductase (N2OR) and Achromobacter cycloclastes (Ac) N2OR and its relevance to catalysis. Absorption, magnetic circular dichroism, and electron paramagnetic resonance with sulfur K-edge X-ray absorption spectra of the enzymes at high and low pH show minor changes. However, resonance Raman (rR) spectroscopy of PnN2OR at high pH shows that the 415 cm-1 Cu-S vibration (observed at low pH) shifts to higher frequency, loses intensity, and obtains a 9 cm-1 18O shift, implying significant Cu-O character, demonstrating the presence of a OH- ligand at the CuICuIV edge. From DFT calculations, protonation of either the OH- to H2O or the mu4-S2- to mu4-SH- would produce large spectral changes which are not observed. Alternatively, DFT calculations including a lysine residue at an H-bonding distance from the CuICuIV edge ligand show that the position of the OH- ligand depends on the protonation state of the lysine. This would change the coupling of the Cu-(OH) stretch with the Cu-S stretch, as observed in the rR spectrum. Thus, the observed pH effect (pKa approximately 9.2) likely reflects protonation equilibrium of the lysine residue, which would both raise E degrees and provide a proton for lowering the barrier for the N-O cleavage and for reduction of the [Cu4S(im)7OH]2+ to the fully reduced 4CuI active form for turnover.

Simplifying sample handling for protein identification by peptide mass fingerprint using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry, Cordeiro, Francisco M., Carreira Ricardo J., Rial-Otero Raquel, Rivas Gabriela M., Moura Isabel, and Capelo Jose-Luis , Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 2007, Volume 21, Number 20, p.3269-3278, (2007) AbstractWebsite

An ultrasonic bath, an ultrasonic probe and a sonoreactor were used to speed up the kinetics of the reactions involved in each step of the sample handling for in-gel protein identification by peptide mass fingerprint, PMF, using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). The following steps were successfully accelerated using ultrasonic energy: gel washing, protein reduction, and protein alkylation. As a result, a reduction comprising 80% to 90% of the total time involved in the classic approach was achieved. In addition the sample handling was also drastically simplified. The number of peptides identified and the protein sequence coverage obtained for the new procedure were comparable to those obtained with the traditional sample treatment for the following protein standards: glycogen phosphorylase b, BSA, ovalbumin, carbonic anhydrase, trypsin inhibitor and alpha-lactalbumin. Finally, as a proof of the procedure, specific proteins were identified from complex protein mixtures obtained from three different sulphate- reducing bacteria: Desulfovibrio, desulfuricans G20, Desulfuvibrio gigas NCIB 9332, and Desulfuvibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774. Copyright (c) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Superoxide Reductases, Pereira, Alice S., Tavares Pedro, Folgosa Filipe, Almeida Rui M., Moura Isabel, and Moura José J. G. , European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, Volume 2007, Number 18, p.2569-2581, (2007) AbstractWebsite
n/a
2006
Modelling the electron-transfer complex between aldehyde oxidoreductase and flavodoxin, Krippahl, Ludwig, Palma Nuno P., Moura Isabel, and Moura Jose J. G. , European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry, Oct 2, Number 19, p.3835-3840, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Three-dimensional protein structures of the xanthine oxidase family show different solutions for the problem of transferring electrons between the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) group and the molybdenum cofactor. In xanthine oxidase all the cofactors he within domains of the same protein chain, whereas in CO dehydrogenase the Fe-S centres, FAD and Mo cofactors are enclosed in separate chains and the enzyme exists as a stable complex of all three. In aldehyde oxidore-ductase, only Fe-S and Mo co-factors are present in a single protein chain. Flavodoxin is docked to aldehyde oxidoreductase to mimic the flavin component on the intramolecular electron transfer chain of aanthine oxidase and CO dehydrogenase and, remarkably, the main features of the electron-transfer pathway are observed.

Structural and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies of mononuclear molybdenum enzymes from sulfate-reducing bacteria, Brondino, C. D., Rivas M. G., Romao M. J., Moura J. J., and Moura I. , Acc Chem Res, Oct, Volume 39, Number 10, p.788-96, (2006) AbstractWebsite

Molybdenum and tungsten are found in biological systems in a mononuclear form in the active site of a diverse group of enzymes that generally catalyze oxygen-atom-transfer reactions. The metal atom (Mo or W) is coordinated to one or two pyranopterin molecules and to a variable number of ligands such as oxygen (oxo, hydroxo, water, serine, aspartic acid), sulfur (cysteines), and selenium (selenocysteines) atoms. In addition, these proteins contain redox cofactors such as iron-sulfur clusters and heme groups. All of these metal cofactors are along an electron-transfer pathway that mediates the electron exchange between substrate and an external electron acceptor (for oxidative reactions) or donor (for reductive reactions). We describe in this Account a combination of structural and electronic paramagnetic resonance studies that were used to reveal distinct aspects of these enzymes.

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.

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.

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.

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.