- Virtually all age-related neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) can be characterized by the accumulation of proteins inside and outside the cell that are thought to significantly contribute to disease pathogenesis. One of the cell’s primary systems for the degradation of misfolded/damaged proteins is the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS), and its impairment is implicated in essentially all NDs. Thus, upregulating this system to combat NDs has garnered a great deal of interest in recent years. Various animal models have focused on stimulating 26S activity and increasing 20S proteasome levels, but thus far, none have targeted intrinsic activation of the 20S proteasome itself.
- Sulfite oxidase (SOX) is a homodimeric molybdoheme enzyme that oxidizes sulfite to sulfate at the molybdenum center. Following substrate oxidation, molybdenum is reduced and subsequently regenerated by two sequential electron transfers (ETs) via heme to cytochrome c. SOX harbors both metals in spatially separated domains within each subunit, suggesting that domain movement is necessary to allow intramolecular ET. To address whether one subunit in a SOX dimer is sufficient for catalysis, we produced heterodimeric SOX variants with abolished sulfite oxidation by replacing the molybdenum-coordinating and essential cysteine in the active site.
- Deubiquitinases deconjugate ubiquitin modifications from target proteins and are involved in many cellular processes in eukaryotes. The functions of deubiquitinases are regulated by post-translational modifications, mainly phosphorylation and ubiquitination. Post-translational modifications can result in subtle changes in structural and dynamic properties, which are difficult to identify but functionally important. In this work, we used NMR spectroscopy to characterize the conformational properties of the human deubiquitinase A (DUBA), a negative regulator of type I interferon.
- Substrate ambiguity and relaxed reaction specificity underlie the diversity of reactions catalyzed by the transsulfuration pathway enzymes, cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) and γ-cystathionase (CSE). These enzymes either commit sulfur metabolism to cysteine synthesis from homocysteine or utilize cysteine and/or homocysteine for synthesis of H2S, a signaling molecule. We demonstrate that a kinetically controlled heme-dependent metabolite switch in CBS regulates these competing reactions where by cystathionine, the product of CBS, inhibits H2S synthesis by the second enzyme, CSE.