- Glycoconjugates play a central role in several cellular processes, and alteration in their composition is associated with numerous human pathologies. Substrates for cellular glycosylation are synthesized in the hexosamine biosynthetic pathway, which is controlled by the glutamine:fructose-6-phosphate amidotransfera-se (GFAT). Human isoform 2 GFAT (hGFAT2) has been implicated in diabetes and cancer; however, there is no information about structural and enzymatic properties of this enzyme. Here, we report a successful expression and purification of a catalytically active recombinant hGFAT2 (rhGFAT2) in Escherichia coli cells fused or not to a HisTag at the C-terminal end.
- Succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) is an inner mitochondrial membrane protein complex that links the Krebs cycle to the electron transport system. It can produce significant amounts of superoxide ( O 2 · ¯ ) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2); however, the precise mechanisms are unknown. This fact hinders the development of next-generation antioxidant therapies targeting mitochondria. To help address this problem, we developed a computational model to analyze and identify the kinetic mechanism of O 2 · ¯ and H2O2 production by SDH.
- Biological systems are inherently complex, and the increasing level of detail with which we are able to experimentally probe such systems continually reveals new complexity. Fortunately, mathematical models are uniquely positioned to provide a tool suitable for rigorous analysis, hypothesis generation, and connecting results from isolated in vitro experiments with results from in vivo and whole-organism studies. However, developing useful mathematical models is challenging because of the often different domains of knowledge required in both math and biology.
- Nitric oxide (NO) synthases (NOSs) catalyze the formation of NO from l-arginine. We have shown previously that the NOS enzyme catalytic cycle involves a large number of reactions but can be characterized by a global model with three main rate-limiting steps. These are the rate of heme reduction by the flavin domain (kr), of dissociation of NO from the ferric heme-NO complex (kd), and of oxidation of the ferrous heme-NO complex (kox). The reaction of oxygen with the ferrous heme-NO species is part of a futile cycle that does not directly contribute to NO synthesis but allows a population of inactive enzyme molecules to return to the catalytic cycle, and thus, enables a steady-state NO synthesis rate.
- In the quest for a sustainable economy of the Earth’s resources and for renewable sources of energy, a promising avenue is to exploit the vast quantity of polysaccharide molecules contained in green wastes. To that end, the decomposition of pectin appears to be an interesting target because this polymeric carbohydrate is abundant in many fruit pulps and soft vegetables. To quantitatively study this degradation process, here we designed a bioreactor that is continuously fed with de-esterified pectin (PGA).
- Haloalkane dehalogenases catalyze the hydrolysis of halogen–carbon bonds in organic halogenated compounds and as such are of great utility as biocatalysts. The crystal structures of the haloalkane dehalogenase DhlA from the bacterium from Xanthobacter autotrophicus GJ10, specifically adapted for the conversion of the small 1,2-dichloroethane (DCE) molecule, display the smallest catalytic site (110 Å3) within this enzyme family. However, during a substrate-specificity screening, we noted that DhlA can catalyze the conversion of far bulkier substrates, such as the 4-(bromomethyl)-6,7-dimethoxy-coumarin (220 Å3).
- Sumoylation is a multistep, multienzymatic post-translational modification in which a small ubiquitin-like modifier protein (SUMO) is attached to the target. We present the first mathematical model for sumoylation including enzyme mechanism details such as autosumoylation of E2 and multifunctional nature of SENP. Simulations and analysis reveal three nonobvious properties for the long term response, modeled as an open system: (i) the steady state sumoylation level is robust to variation in several enzyme properties; (ii) even when autosumoylation of E2 results in equal or higher activity, the target sumoylation levels are lower; and (iii) there is an optimal SENP concentration at which steady state target sumoylation level is maximum.
- Mammalian E3 is an essential mitochondrial enzyme responsible for catalyzing the terminal reaction in the oxidative catabolism of several metabolites. E3 is a key regulator of metabolic fuel selection as a component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHc). E3 regulates PDHc activity by altering the affinity of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase, an inhibitor of the enzyme complex, through changes in reduction and acetylation state of lipoamide moieties set by the NAD+/NADH ratio. Thus, an accurate kinetic model of E3 is needed to predict overall mammalian PDHc activity.