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Preview: Acta Crystallographica Section F

Acta Crystallographica Section F

Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology Communications is a rapid all-electronic journal, which provides a home for short communications on the crystallization and structure of biological macromolecules. Structures determined through structur

Published: 2018-04-25


A cryoprotectant induces conformational change in glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase


Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), a glycolytic enzyme, catalyses the conversion of d-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate to 1,3-bisphosphoglycerate. While mammalian and yeast GAPDHs are multifunctional proteins that have additional functions beyond those involved in glycolysis, including reactions related to nuclear RNA transport, DNA replication/repair, membrane fusion and cellular apoptosis, Escherichia coli GAPDH (ecGAPDH) has only been reported to function in glycolysis. The S-loop of GAPDH is required for interaction with its cofactor and with other proteins. In this study, the three-dimensional crystal structure of GAPDH treated with trehalose is reported at 2.0 Å resolution. Trehalose was used as a cryoprotectant for the GAPDH crystals. The structure of trehalose-bound ecGAPDH was compared with the structures of both NAD+-free and NAD+-bound ecGAPDH. At the S-loop, the bound trehalose in the GAPDH structure induces a 2.4° rotation compared with the NAD+-free ecGAPDH structure and a 3.1° rotation compared with the NAD+-bound ecGAPDH structure.

Crystal structure of the mouse innate immunity factor bacterial permeability-increasing family member A1


Bacterial permeability-increasing family member A1 (BPIFA1) is an innate immunity factor and one of the most abundantly secreted proteins in the upper airways. BPIFA1 is multifunctional, with antimicrobial, surfactant and lipopolysaccharide-binding activities, as well as established roles in lung hydration. Here, the 2.5 Å resolution crystal structure of BPIFA1 from Mus musculus (mBPIFA1) is presented and compared with those of human BPIFA1 (hBPIFA1) and structural homologs. Structural distinctions between mBPIFA1 and hBPIFA1 suggest potential differences in biological function, including the regulation of a key pulmonary ion channel.

The putative siderophore-interacting protein from Vibrio anguillarum: protein production, analysis, crystallization and X-ray crystallographic studies


Siderophore-interacting proteins (SIPs) play an important role in iron acquisition in many bacteria. SIPs release iron from the internalized ferric siderophore complex by reducing ferric iron to ferrous iron, but how the iron is reduced is not well understood. Here, a sip gene was identified in the genome of Vibrio anguillarum 775. To further understand the catalytic mechanism of the protein, the SIP was overexpressed in Escherichia coli Rosetta (DE3) cells, purified and crystallized for X-ray diffraction analysis. The crystal diffracted to 1.113 Å resolution and belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 64.63, b = 58.47, c = 70.65 Å, β = 114.19°.

Crystal structures of human CK2α2 in new crystal forms arising from a subtle difference in salt concentration


The catalytic subunits of protein kinase CK2 are classified into two subtypes: CK2α1 and CK2α2. CK2α1 is an attractive drug-discovery target for various diseases such as cancers and nephritis. CK2α2 is defined as an off-target of CK2α1 and is a potential target in the development of male contraceptive drugs. High-resolution crystal structures of both isozymes are likely to provide crucial clues for the design of selective inhibitors of CK2α1 and/or CK2α2. To date, several crystal structures of CK2α1 have been solved at high resolutions of beyond 1.5 Å. However, crystal structures of CK2α2 have barely achieved a low resolution of around 3 Å because of the formation of needle-shaped crystals. In this study, new crystal forms were exploited and one provided a crystal structure of CK2α2 at 1.89 Å resolution. This result, together with the structure of CK2α1, will assist in the development of highly selective inhibitors for both isozymes.

Crystal structure of chorismate mutase from Burkholderia thailandensis


Burkholderia thailandensis is often used as a model for more virulent members of this genus of proteobacteria that are highly antibiotic-resistant and are potential agents of biological warfare that are infective by inhalation. As part of ongoing efforts to identify potential targets for the development of rational therapeutics, the structures of enzymes that are absent in humans, including that of chorismate mutase from B. thailandensis, have been determined by the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease. The high-resolution structure of chorismate mutase from B. thailandensis was determined in the monoclinic space group P21 with three homodimers per asymmetric unit. The overall structure of each protomer has the prototypical AroQγ topology and shares conserved binding-cavity residues with other chorismate mutases, including those with which it has no appreciable sequence identity.

In situ proteolysis of an N-terminal His tag with thrombin improves the diffraction quality of human aldo-keto reductase 1C3 crystals


Human aldo-keto reductase 1C3 (AKR1C3) stereospecifically reduces steroids and prostaglandins and is involved in the biotransformation of xenobiotics. Its role in various cancers makes it a potential therapeutic target for the development of inhibitors. Recombinant AKR1C3 with a thrombin-cleavable N-terminal His6 tag was expressed from a pET-28(+) vector for structural studies of enzyme–inhibitor complexes. A modified in situ proteolysis approach was applied to specifically remove the His tag by thrombin cleavage during crystallization screening trials. This improved the morphology and diffraction quality of the crystals and allowed the acquisition of high-resolution diffraction data and structure solution. This approach may be generally applicable to other proteins expressed using the pET-28(+) vector.

Improved protein-crystal identification by using 2,2,2-trichloroethanol as a fluorescence enhancer


The identification of initial lead conditions for successful protein crystallization is crucial for structural studies using X-ray crystallography. In order to reduce the number of false-negative conditions, an emerging number of fluorescence-based methods have been developed which allow more efficient identification of protein crystals and help to distinguish them from salt crystals. Detection of the native tryptophan fluorescence of protein crystals is one of the most widely used methods. However, this method can fail owing to the properties of the crystallized protein or the chemical composition of the crystallization trials. Here, a simple, fast and cost-efficient method employing 2,2,2-trichloroethanol (TCE) has been developed. It can be performed with a standard UV-light microscope and can be applied to cases in which detection of native tryptophan fluorescence fails. In four test cases this method had no effect on the diffraction properties of the crystals and no structural changes were observed. Further evidence is provided that TCE can be added to crystallization trials during their preparation, making this method compatible with high-throughput approaches.

Structure of the tandem PX-PH domains of Bem3 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae


The structure of the tandem lipid-binding PX and pleckstrin-homology (PH) domains of the Cdc42 GTPase-activating protein Bem3 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae (strain S288c) has been determined to a resolution of 2.2 Å (Rwork = 21.1%, Rfree = 23.4%). It shows that the domains adopt a relative orientation that enables them to simultaneously bind to a membrane and suggests possible cooperativity in membrane binding.

The CD163 long-range scavenger receptor cysteine-rich repeat: expression, purification and X-ray crystallographic characterization


Scavenger receptors (SRs) play critical roles in various physiological and pathological pathways. One of them, CD163, is a multifunctional endocytic receptor and is characterized by a long-range scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) repeat. However, the structural and functional details of this long-range SRCR repeat have not yet been elucidated. In this study, the CD163 long-range SRCR repeat was expressed in Drosophila Schneider 2 cells. The recombinant protein was homogeneous after purification by metal-affinity, cation-exchange and size-exclusion chromatography. Single crystals were obtained using 20% PEG 4000, 0.15 M potassium sodium tartrate tetrahydrate pH 8.5 and diffracted to 3.30 Å resolution. As the first view of a long-range SRCR repeat, this work lays the structural basis for a deep understanding of SRs and their multiple functions.