register interest

Wyatt Yue

Research Area: Protein Science and Structural Biology
Technology Exchange: Crystallography, Drug discovery, Microscopy (EM) and Protein interaction
Scientific Themes: Protein Science & Structural Biology and Genetics & Genomics

The Metabolism & Organelle Biogenesis (MOB) group combines structural, biochemical, and chemical biology approaches to study the functions and structure-activity relationships of diverse metabolic protein families in the human genome, with emphasis on understanding the molecular basis of inherited metabolic disorders and potentials of small molecule therapeutics.

Research activities in the group include the heterologous expression, chromatography purification, multiprotein complex reconstitution, biophysical characterization and crystal structure determination of human metabolic enzymes of medical interest.

Current areas of focus include: multiprotein complex machines, glycogen synthesis, vitamin B12 metabolism and Leloir pathway of galactose metabolism.

Name Department Institution Country
Professor Matthias Baumgartner Kinderspital Zurich Switzerland
Professor Johannes Zschocke Medical University of Innsbruck Austria
Professor Udo Oppermann Structural Genomics Consortium Oxford University, Old Road Campus Research Building United Kingdom
Professor Paulo Arruda University of Campinas Brazil
Dr Philippa Mills Institute of Child Health, London United Kingdom
Professor William Newman University of Manchester United Kingdom
Knerr I, Colombo R, Urquhart J, Morais A, Merinero B, Oyarzabal A, Pérez B, Jones SA, Perveen R, Preece MA et al. 2019. Expanding the genetic and phenotypic spectrum of branched-chain amino acid transferase 2 (BCAT2) deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis, | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The first step in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) catabolism is catalyzed by the two BCAA transferase isoenzymes, cytoplasmic branched-chain amino acid transferase (BCAT) 1 and mitochondrial BCAT2. Defects in the second step of BCAA catabolism cause Maple Syrup Urine Disease (MSUD), a condition which has been far more extensively investigated. Here, we studied the consequences of BCAT2 deficiency, an ultra-rare condition in humans. METHODS AND RESULTS: We present genetic, clinical and functional data in five individuals from four different families with homozygous or compound heterozygous BCAT2 mutations which were all detected following abnormal biochemical profile results or familial mutation segregation studies. We demonstrate that BCAT2 deficiency has a recognizable biochemical profile with raised plasma BCAAs and, in contrast with MSUD, low-normal branched-chain keto acids (BCKAs) with undetectable L-allo-isoleucine. Interestingly, unlike in MSUD, none of the individuals with BCAT2 deficiency developed acute encephalopathy even with exceptionally high BCAA levels. We observed wide-ranging clinical phenotypes in individuals with BCAT2 deficiency. While one adult was apparently asymptomatic, three individuals had presented with developmental delay and autistic features. We show that the biochemical characteristics of BCAT2 deficiency may be amenable to protein-restricted diet and that early treatment may improve outcome in affected individuals. CONCLUSIONS: BCAT2 deficiency is an inborn error of BCAA catabolism. At present, it is unclear whether developmental delay and autism are parts of the variable phenotypic spectrum of this condition or coincidental. Further studies will be required to explore this. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Fox NG, Yu X, Feng X, Bailey HJ, Martelli A, Nabhan JF, Strain-Damerell C, Bulawa C, Yue WW, Han S. 2019. Structure of the human frataxin-bound iron-sulfur cluster assembly complex provides insight into its activation mechanism. Nat Commun, 10 (1), pp. 2210. | Show Abstract | Read more

The core machinery for de novo biosynthesis of iron-sulfur clusters (ISC), located in the mitochondria matrix, is a five-protein complex containing the cysteine desulfurase NFS1 that is activated by frataxin (FXN), scaffold protein ISCU, accessory protein ISD11, and acyl-carrier protein ACP. Deficiency in FXN leads to the loss-of-function neurodegenerative disorder Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA). Here the 3.2 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the FXN-bound active human complex, containing two copies of the NFS1-ISD11-ACP-ISCU-FXN hetero-pentamer, delineates the interactions of FXN with other component proteins of the complex. FXN binds at the interface of two NFS1 and one ISCU subunits, modifying the local environment of a bound zinc ion that would otherwise inhibit NFS1 activity in complexes without FXN. Our structure reveals how FXN facilitates ISC production through stabilizing key loop conformations of NFS1 and ISCU at the protein-protein interfaces, and suggests how FRDA clinical mutations affect complex formation and FXN activation.

Abis G, Charles RL, Kopec J, Yue WW, Atkinson RA, Bui TTT, Lynham S, Popova S, Sun Y-B, Fraternali F et al. 2019. 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-Prostaglandin J2 inhibits human soluble epoxide hydrolase by a dual orthosteric and allosteric mechanism. Commun Biol, 2 pp. 188. | Show Abstract | Read more

Human soluble epoxide hydrolase (hsEH) is an enzyme responsible for the inactivation of bioactive epoxy fatty acids, and its inhibition is emerging as a promising therapeutical strategy to target hypertension, cardiovascular disease, pain and insulin sensitivity. Here, we uncover the molecular bases of hsEH inhibition mediated by the endogenous 15-deoxy-Δ12,14-Prostaglandin J2 (15d-PGJ2). Our data reveal a dual inhibitory mechanism, whereby hsEH can be inhibited by reversible docking of 15d-PGJ2 in the catalytic pocket, as well as by covalent locking of the same compound onto cysteine residues C423 and C522, remote to the active site. Biophysical characterisations allied with in silico investigations indicate that the covalent modification of the reactive cysteines may be part of a hitherto undiscovered allosteric regulatory mechanism of the enzyme. This study provides insights into the molecular modes of inhibition of hsEH epoxy-hydrolytic activity and paves the way for the development of new allosteric inhibitors.

Roberts NA, Hilton EN, Lopes FM, Singh S, Randles MJ, Gardiner NJ, Chopra K, Coletta R, Bajwa Z, Hall RJ et al. 2019. Lrig2 and Hpse2, mutated in urofacial syndrome, pattern nerves in the urinary bladder. Kidney Int, 95 (5), pp. 1138-1152. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mutations in leucine-rich-repeats and immunoglobulin-like-domains 2 (LRIG2) or in heparanase 2 (HPSE2) cause urofacial syndrome, a devastating autosomal recessive disease of functional bladder outlet obstruction. It has been speculated that urofacial syndrome has a neural basis, but it is unknown whether defects in urinary bladder innervation are present. We hypothesized that urofacial syndrome features a peripheral neuropathy of the bladder. Mice with homozygous targeted Lrig2 mutations had urinary defects resembling those found in urofacial syndrome. There was no anatomical blockage of the outflow tract, consistent with a functional bladder outlet obstruction. Transcriptome analysis revealed differential expression of 12 known transcripts in addition to Lrig2, including 8 with established roles in neurobiology. Mice with homozygous mutations in either Lrig2 or Hpse2 had increased nerve density within the body of the urinary bladder and decreased nerve density around the urinary outflow tract. In a sample of 155 children with chronic kidney disease and urinary symptoms, we discovered novel homozygous missense LRIG2 variants that were predicted to be pathogenic in 2 individuals with non-syndromic bladder outlet obstruction. These observations provide evidence that a peripheral neuropathy is central to the pathobiology of functional bladder outlet obstruction in urofacial syndrome, and emphasize the importance of LRIG2 and heparanase 2 for nerve patterning in the urinary tract.

Heuberger K, Bailey HJ, Burda P, Chaikuad A, Krysztofinska E, Suormala T, Bürer C, Lutz S, Fowler B, Froese DS et al. 2019. Genetic, structural, and functional analysis of pathogenic variations causing methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase deficiency. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis, 1865 (6), pp. 1265-1272. | Show Abstract | Read more

Human methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase (MCEE) catalyzes the interconversion of d-methylmalonyl-CoA and l-methylmalonyl-CoA in propionate catabolism. Autosomal recessive pathogenic variations in MCEE reportedly cause methylmalonic aciduria (MMAuria) in eleven patients. We investigated a cohort of 150 individuals suffering from MMAuria of unknown origin, identifying ten new patients with pathogenic variations in MCEE. Nine patients were homozygous for the known nonsense variation p.Arg47* (c.139C > T), and one for the novel missense variation p.Ile53Arg (c.158T > G). To understand better the molecular basis of MCEE deficiency, we mapped p.Ile53Arg, and two previously described pathogenic variations p.Lys60Gln and p.Arg143Cys, onto our 1.8 Å structure of wild-type (wt) human MCEE. This revealed potential dimeric assembly disruption by p.Ile53Arg, but no clear defects from p.Lys60Gln or p.Arg143Cys. We solved the structure of MCEE-Arg143Cys to 1.9 Å and found significant disruption of two important loop structures, potentially impacting surface features as well as the active-site pocket. Functional analysis of MCEE-Ile53Arg expressed in a bacterial recombinant system as well as patient-derived fibroblasts revealed nearly undetectable soluble protein levels, defective globular protein behavior, and using a newly developed assay, lack of enzymatic activity - consistent with misfolded protein. By contrast, soluble protein levels, unfolding characteristics and activity of MCEE-Lys60Gln were comparable to wt, leaving unclear how this variation may cause disease. MCEE-Arg143Cys was detectable at comparable levels to wt MCEE, but had slightly altered unfolding kinetics and greatly reduced activity. These studies reveal ten new patients with MCEE deficiency and rationalize misfolding and loss of activity as molecular defects in MCEE-type MMAuria.

Wempe MF, Kumar A, Kumar V, Choi YJ, Swanson MA, Friederich MW, Hyland K, Yue WW, Van Hove JLK, Coughlin CR. 2019. Identification of a novel biomarker for pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy: Implications for newborn screening. J Inherit Metab Dis, 42 (3), pp. 565-574. | Show Abstract | Read more

Pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE) is often characterized as an early onset epileptic encephalopathy with dramatic clinical improvement following pyridoxine supplementation. Unfortunately, not all patients present with classic neonatal seizures or respond to an initial pyridoxine trial, which can result in the under diagnosis of this treatable disorder. Restriction of lysine intake and transport is associated with improved neurologic outcomes, although treatment should be started in the first year of life to be effective. Because of the documented diagnostic delay and benefit of early treatment, we aimed to develop a newborn screening method for PDE. Previous studies have demonstrated the accumulation of Δ1 -piperideine-6-carboxylate and α-aminoadipic semialdehyde in individuals with PDE, although these metabolites are unstable at room temperature (RT) limiting their utility for newborn screening. As a result, we sought to identify a biomarker that could be applied to current newborn screening paradigms. We identified a novel metabolite, 6-oxo-pipecolate (6-oxo-PIP), which accumulates in substantial amounts in blood, plasma, urine, and cerebral spinal fluid of individuals with PDE. Using a stable isotope-labeled internal standard, we developed a nonderivatized liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based method to quantify 6-oxo-PIP. This method replicates the analytical techniques used in many laboratories and could be used with few modifications in newborn screening programs. Furthermore, 6-oxo-PIP was measurable in urine for 4 months even when stored at RT. Herein, we report a novel biomarker for PDE that is stable at RT and can be quantified using current newborn screening techniques.

Majmudar JD, Feng X, Fox NG, Nabhan JF, Towle T, Ma T, Gooch R, Bulawa C, Yue WW, Martelli A. 2019. 4'-Phosphopantetheine and long acyl chain-dependent interactions are integral to human mitochondrial acyl carrier protein function. Medchemcomm, 10 (2), pp. 209-220. | Show Abstract | Read more

The mitochondrial acyl carrier protein (human ACPM, yeast Acp1) is an essential mitochondrial protein. Through binding of nascent acyl chains on the serine (S112)-bound 4'-phosphopantetheine (4'-PP) cofactor, ACPM is involved in mitochondrial fatty acid synthesis and lipoic acid biogenesis. Recently, yeast Acp1 was found to interact with several mitochondrial complexes, including the iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster biosynthesis and respiratory complexes, via the binding to LYRM proteins, a family of proteins involved in assembly/stability of complexes. Importantly, the interaction of LYRM proteins with Acp1 was shown to be essential in maintaining integrity of mitochondrial complexes. In human, recent structures show that ACPM binding to LYRM proteins involves acyl chains attached to the 4'-PP cofactor. Here, we performed an detailed characterization of the mitochondrial interactome of human ACPM by mass spectrometry (MS) and demonstrate the crucial role of the 4'-PP cofactor in most of ACPM interactions. Specifically, we show that ACPM interacts with endogenous Fe-S cluster complex components through binding of the LYRM protein ISD11/LYRM4. Using knockdown experiments, we further determine that ACPM is essential for the stability of mitochondrial respiratory complexes I, II and III, as well as the Fe-S cluster biosynthesis complex. Finally, using native MS and a top-down MS approach, we show that C14, C16 and C18 3-keto-acyl chains on ACPM are implicated in binding to ISD11 through analysis of the recombinant ACPM-ISD11 complex. Taken together, our data provide novel understanding of the role of 4'-PP- and long acyl chains-dependent interactions in human ACPM function.

Muniz JRC, Szeto NW-S, Frise R, Lee WH, Wang X-S, Thöny B, Himmelreich N, Blau N, Hsiao K-J, Liu T-T et al. 2019. Role of protein structure in variant annotation: structural insight of mutations causing 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase deficiency. Pathology, 51 (3), pp. 274-280. | Show Abstract | Read more

Genetic defects on 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase (PTPS) are the most prevalent cause of hyperphenylalaninaemia not due to phenylalanine hydrolyase deficiency (phenylketonuria). PTPS catalyses the second step of tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) cofactor biosynthesis, and its deficiency represents the most common form of BH4 deficiency. Untreated PTPS deficiency results in depletion of the neurotransmitters dopamine, catecholamine and serotonin causing neurological symptoms. We archived reported missense variants of the PTS gene. Common in silico algorithms were used to predict the effects of such variants, and substantial proportions (up to 19%) of the variants were falsely classified as benign or uncertain. We have determined the crystal structure of the human PTPS hexamer, allowing another level of interpretation to understand the potential deleterious consequences of the variants from a structural perspective. The in silico and structure approaches appear to be complimentary and may provide new insights that are not available from each alone. Information from the protein structure suggested that the variants affecting amino acid residues required for interaction between monomeric subunits of the PTPS hexamer were those misclassified as benign by in silico algorithms. Our findings illustrate the important utility of 3D protein structure in interpretation of variants and also current limitations of in silico prediction algorithms. However, software to analyse mutation in the perspective of 3D protein structure is far less readily available than other in silico prediction tools.

Haskovic M, Derks B, van der Ploeg L, Trommelen J, Nyakayiru J, van Loon LJC, Mackinnon S, Yue WW, Peake RWA, Zha L et al. 2018. Arginine does not rescue p.Q188R mutation deleterious effect in classic galactosemia. Orphanet J Rare Dis, 13 (1), pp. 212. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Classic galactosemia is a rare genetic metabolic disease with an unmet treatment need. Current standard of care fails to prevent chronically-debilitating brain and gonadal complications. Many mutations in the GALT gene responsible for classic galactosemia have been described to give rise to variants with conformational abnormalities. This pathogenic mechanism is highly amenable to a therapeutic strategy based on chemical/pharmacological chaperones. Arginine, a chemical chaperone, has shown beneficial effect in other inherited metabolic disorders, as well as in a prokaryotic model of classic galactosemia. The p.Q188R mutation presents a high prevalence in the Caucasian population, making it a very clinically relevant mutation. This mutation gives rise to a protein with lower conformational stability and lower catalytic activity. The aim of this study is to assess the potential therapeutic role of arginine for this mutation. METHODS: Arginine aspartate administration to four patients with the p.Q188R/p.Q188R mutation, in vitro studies with three fibroblast cell lines derived from classic galactosemia patients as well as recombinant protein experiments were used to evaluate the effect of arginine in galactose metabolism. This study has been registered at https://clinicaltrials.gov (NCT03580122) on 09 July 2018. Retrospectively registered. RESULTS: Following a month of arginine administration, patients did not show a significant improvement of whole-body galactose oxidative capacity (p = 0.22), erythrocyte GALT activity (p = 0.87), urinary galactose (p = 0.52) and urinary galactitol levels (p = 0.41). Patients' fibroblasts exposed to arginine did not show changes in GALT activity. Thermal shift analysis of recombinant p.Q188R GALT protein in the presence of arginine did not exhibit a positive effect. CONCLUSIONS: This short pilot study in four patients homozygous for the p.Q188R/p.Q188R mutation reveals that arginine has no potential therapeutic role for galactosemia patients homozygous for the p.Q188R mutation.

Svistunova DM, Simon JN, Rembeza E, Crabtree M, Yue WW, Oliver PL, Finelli MJ. 2019. Oxidation resistance 1 regulates post-translational modifications of peroxiredoxin 2 in the cerebellum. Free Radic Biol Med, 130 pp. 151-162. | Show Abstract | Read more

Protein aggregation, oxidative and nitrosative stress are etiological factors common to all major neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, identifying proteins that function at the crossroads of these essential pathways may provide novel targets for therapy. Oxidation resistance 1 (Oxr1) is a protein proven to be neuroprotective against oxidative stress, although the molecular mechanisms involved remain unclear. Here, we demonstrate that Oxr1 interacts with the multifunctional protein, peroxiredoxin 2 (Prdx2), a potent antioxidant enzyme highly expressed in the brain that can also act as a molecular chaperone. Using a combination of in vitro assays and two animal models, we discovered that expression levels of Oxr1 regulate the degree of oligomerization of Prdx2 and also its post-translational modifications (PTMs), specifically suggesting that Oxr1 acts as a functional switch between the antioxidant and chaperone functions of Prdx2. Furthermore, we showed in the Oxr1 knockout mouse that Prdx2 is aberrantly modified by overoxidation and S-nitrosylation in the cerebellum at the presymptomatic stage; this in-turn affected the oligomerization of Prdx2, potentially impeding its normal functions and contributing to the specific cerebellar neurodegeneration in this mouse model.

Bilyard MK, Bailey HJ, Raich L, Gafitescu MA, Machida T, Iglésias-Fernández J, Lee SS, Spicer CD, Rovira C, Yue WW, Davis BG. 2018. Palladium-mediated enzyme activation suggests multiphase initiation of glycogenesis. Nature, 563 (7730), pp. 235-240. | Show Abstract | Read more

Biosynthesis of glycogen, the essential glucose (and hence energy) storage molecule in humans, animals and fungi1, is initiated by the glycosyltransferase enzyme, glycogenin (GYG). Deficiencies in glycogen formation cause neurodegenerative and metabolic disease2-4, and mouse knockout5 and inherited human mutations6 of GYG impair glycogen synthesis. GYG acts as a 'seed core' for the formation of the glycogen particle by catalysing its own stepwise autoglucosylation to form a covalently bound gluco-oligosaccharide chain at initiation site Tyr 195. Precise mechanistic studies have so far been prevented by an inability to access homogeneous glycoforms of this protein, which unusually acts as both catalyst and substrate. Here we show that unprecedented direct access to different, homogeneously glucosylated states of GYG can be accomplished through a palladium-mediated enzyme activation 'shunt' process using on-protein C-C bond formation. Careful mimicry of GYG intermediates recapitulates catalytic activity at distinct stages, which in turn allows discovery of triphasic kinetics and substrate plasticity in GYG's use of sugar substrates. This reveals a tolerant but 'proof-read' mechanism that underlies the precision of this metabolic process. The present demonstration of direct, chemically controlled access to intermediate states of active enzymes suggests that such ligation-dependent activation could be a powerful tool in the study of mechanism.

Kakhlon O, Ferreira I, Solmesky LJ, Khazanov N, Lossos A, Alvarez R, Yetil D, Pampou S, Weil M, Senderowitz H et al. 2018. Guaiacol as a drug candidate for treating adult polyglucosan body disease. JCI Insight, 3 (17), | Show Abstract | Read more

Adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD) is a late-onset disease caused by intracellular accumulation of polyglucosan bodies, formed due to glycogen-branching enzyme (GBE) deficiency. To find a treatment for APBD, we screened 1,700 FDA-approved compounds in fibroblasts derived from APBD-modeling GBE1-knockin mice. Capitalizing on fluorescent periodic acid-Schiff reagent, which interacts with polyglucosans in the cell, this screen discovered that the flavoring agent guaiacol can lower polyglucosans, a result also confirmed in APBD patient fibroblasts. Biochemical assays showed that guaiacol lowers basal and glucose 6-phosphate-stimulated glycogen synthase (GYS) activity. Guaiacol also increased inactivating GYS1 phosphorylation and phosphorylation of the master activator of catabolism, AMP-dependent protein kinase. Guaiacol treatment in the APBD mouse model rescued grip strength and shorter lifespan. These treatments had no adverse effects except making the mice slightly hyperglycemic, possibly due to the reduced liver glycogen levels. In addition, treatment corrected penile prolapse in aged GBE1-knockin mice. Guaiacol's curative effects can be explained by its reduction of polyglucosans in peripheral nerve, liver, and heart, despite a short half-life of up to 60 minutes in most tissues. Our results form the basis to use guaiacol as a treatment and prepare for the clinical trials in APBD.

Fox NG, Martelli A, Nabhan JF, Janz J, Borkowska O, Bulawa C, Yue WW. 2018. Zinc(II) binding on human wild-type ISCU and Met140 variants modulates NFS1 desulfurase activity. Biochimie, 152 pp. 211-218. | Show Abstract | Read more

Human de novo iron-sulfur (Fe-S) assembly complex consists of cysteine desulfurase NFS1, accessory protein ISD11, acyl carrier protein ACP, scaffold protein ISCU, and allosteric activator frataxin (FXN). FXN binds the NFS1-ISD11-ACP-ISCU complex (SDAU), to activate the desulfurase activity and Fe-S cluster biosynthesis. In the absence of FXN, the NFS1-ISD11-ACP (SDA) complex was reportedly inhibited by binding of recombinant ISCU. Recent studies also reported a substitution at position Met141 on the yeast ISCU orthologue Isu, to Ile, Leu, Val, or Cys, could bypass the requirement of FXN for Fe-S cluster biosynthesis and cell viability. Here, we show that recombinant human ISCU binds zinc(II) ion, as previously demonstrated with the E. coli orthologue IscU. Surprisingly, the relative proportion between zinc-bound and zinc-depleted forms varies among purification batches. Importantly the presence of zinc in ISCU impacts SDAU desulfurase activity. Indeed, removal of zinc(II) ion from ISCU causes a moderate but significant increase in activity compared to SDA alone, and FXN can activate both zinc-depleted and zinc-bound forms of ISCU complexed to SDA. Taking into consideration the inhibition of desulfurase activity by zinc-bound ISCU, we characterized wild type ISCU and the M140I, M140L, and M140V variants under both zinc-bound and zinc-depleted conditions, and did not observe significant differences in the biochemical and biophysical properties between wild-type and variants. Importantly, in the absence of FXN, ISCU variants behaved like wild-type and did not stimulate the desulfurase activity of the SDA complex. This study therefore identifies an important regulatory role for zinc-bound ISCU in modulation of the human Fe-S assembly system in vitro and reports no 'FXN bypass' effect on mutations at position Met140 in human ISCU. Furthermore, this study also calls for caution in interpreting studies involving recombinant ISCU by taking into consideration the influence of the bound zinc(II) ion on SDAU complex activity.

Froese DS, Kopec J, Rembeza E, Bezerra GA, Oberholzer AE, Suormala T, Lutz S, Chalk R, Borkowska O, Baumgartner MR, Yue WW. 2018. Structural basis for the regulation of human 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase by phosphorylation and S-adenosylmethionine inhibition. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 2261. | Show Abstract | Read more

The folate and methionine cycles are crucial for biosynthesis of lipids, nucleotides and proteins, and production of the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) represents a key regulatory connection between these cycles, generating 5-methyltetrahydrofolate for initiation of the methionine cycle, and undergoing allosteric inhibition by its end product SAM. Our 2.5 Å resolution crystal structure of human MTHFR reveals a unique architecture, appending the well-conserved catalytic TIM-barrel to a eukaryote-only SAM-binding domain. The latter domain of novel fold provides the predominant interface for MTHFR homo-dimerization, positioning the N-terminal serine-rich phosphorylation region near the C-terminal SAM-binding domain. This explains how MTHFR phosphorylation, identified on 11 N-terminal residues (16 in total), increases sensitivity to SAM binding and inhibition. Finally, we demonstrate that the 25-amino-acid inter-domain linker enables conformational plasticity and propose it to be a key mediator of SAM regulation. Together, these results provide insight into the molecular regulation of MTHFR.

Oerum S, Roovers M, Rambo RP, Kopec J, Bailey HJ, Fitzpatrick F, Newman JA, Newman WG, Amberger A, Zschocke J et al. 2018. Structural insight into the human mitochondrial tRNA purine N1-methyltransferase and ribonuclease P complexes. J Biol Chem, 293 (33), pp. 12862-12876. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mitochondrial tRNAs are transcribed as long polycistronic transcripts of precursor tRNAs and undergo posttranscriptional modifications such as endonucleolytic processing and methylation required for their correct structure and function. Among them, 5'-end processing and purine 9 N1-methylation of mitochondrial tRNA are catalyzed by two proteinaceous complexes with overlapping subunit composition. The Mg2+-dependent RNase P complex for 5'-end cleavage comprises the methyltransferase domain-containing protein tRNA methyltransferase 10C, mitochondrial RNase P subunit (TRMT10C/MRPP1), short-chain oxidoreductase hydroxysteroid 17β-dehydrogenase 10 (HSD17B10/MRPP2), and metallonuclease KIAA0391/MRPP3. An MRPP1-MRPP2 subcomplex also catalyzes the formation of 1-methyladenosine/1-methylguanosine at position 9 using S-adenosyl-l-methionine as methyl donor. However, a lack of structural information has precluded insights into how these complexes methylate and process mitochondrial tRNA. Here, we used a combination of X-ray crystallography, interaction and activity assays, and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to gain structural insight into the two tRNA modification complexes and their components. The MRPP1 N terminus is involved in tRNA binding and monomer-monomer self-interaction, whereas the C-terminal SPOUT fold contains key residues for S-adenosyl-l-methionine binding and N1-methylation. The entirety of MRPP1 interacts with MRPP2 to form the N1-methylation complex, whereas the MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 RNase P complex only assembles in the presence of precursor tRNA. This study proposes low-resolution models of the MRPP1-MRPP2 and MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 complexes that suggest the overall architecture, stoichiometry, and orientation of subunits and tRNA substrates.

Bulbrook D, Brazier H, Mahajan P, Kliszczak M, Fedorov O, Marchese FP, Aubareda A, Chalk R, Picaud S, Strain-Damerell C et al. 2018. Tryptophan-Mediated Interactions between Tristetraprolin and the CNOT9 Subunit Are Required for CCR4-NOT Deadenylase Complex Recruitment. J Mol Biol, 430 (5), pp. 722-736. | Show Abstract | Read more

The zinc-finger protein tristetraprolin (TTP) binds to AU-rich elements present in the 3' untranslated regions of transcripts that mainly encode proteins of the inflammatory response. TTP-bound mRNAs are targeted for destruction via recruitment of the eight-subunit deadenylase complex "carbon catabolite repressor protein 4 (CCR4)-negative on TATA-less (NOT)," which catalyzes the removal of mRNA poly-(A) tails, the first obligatory step in mRNA decay. Here we show that a novel interaction between TTP and the CCR4-NOT subunit, CNOT9, is required for recruitment of the deadenylase complex. In addition to CNOT1, CNOT9 is now included in the identified CCR4-NOT subunits shown to interact with TTP. We find that both the N- and C-terminal domains of TTP are involved in an interaction with CNOT9. Through a combination of SPOT peptide array, site-directed mutagenesis, and bio-layer interferometry, we identified several conserved tryptophan residues in TTP that serve as major sites of interaction with two tryptophan-binding pockets of CNOT9, previously found to interact with another modulator GW182. We further demonstrate that these interactions are also required for recruitment of the CCR4-NOT complex and TTP-directed decay of an mRNA containing an AU-rich element in its 3'-untranslated region. Together the results reveal new molecular details for the TTP-CNOT interaction that shape an emerging mechanism whereby TTP targets inflammatory mRNAs for deadenylation and decay.

Mayer L, Jasztal M, Pardo M, Aguera de Haro S, Collins J, Bariana TK, Smethurst PA, Grassi L, Petersen R, Nurden P et al. 2018. Nbeal2 interacts with Dock7, Sec16a, and Vac14. Blood, 131 (9), pp. 1000-1011. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mutations in NBEAL2, the gene encoding the scaffolding protein Nbeal2, are causal of gray platelet syndrome (GPS), a rare recessive bleeding disorder characterized by platelets lacking α-granules and progressive marrow fibrosis. We present here the interactome of Nbeal2 with additional validation by reverse immunoprecipitation of Dock7, Sec16a, and Vac14 as interactors of Nbeal2. We show that GPS-causing mutations in its BEACH domain have profound and possible effects on the interaction with Dock7 and Vac14, respectively. Proximity ligation assays show that these 2 proteins are physically proximal to Nbeal2 in human megakaryocytes. In addition, we demonstrate that Nbeal2 is primarily localized in the cytoplasm and Dock7 on the membrane of or in α-granules. Interestingly, platelets from GPS cases and Nbeal2 -/- mice are almost devoid of Dock7, resulting in a profound dysregulation of its signaling pathway, leading to defective actin polymerization, platelet activation, and shape change. This study shows for the first time proteins interacting with Nbeal2 and points to the dysregulation of the canonical signaling pathway of Dock7 as a possible cause of the aberrant formation of platelets in GPS cases and Nbeal2-deficient mice.

Bradley AR, Echalier A, Fairhead M, Strain-Damerell C, Brennan P, Bullock AN, Burgess-Brown NA, Carpenter EP, Gileadi O, Marsden BD et al. 2017. The SGC beyond structural genomics: redefining the role of 3D structures by coupling genomic stratification with fragment-based discovery. Essays Biochem, 61 (5), pp. 495-503. | Show Abstract | Read more

The ongoing explosion in genomics data has long since outpaced the capacity of conventional biochemical methodology to verify the large number of hypotheses that emerge from the analysis of such data. In contrast, it is still a gold-standard for early phenotypic validation towards small-molecule drug discovery to use probe molecules (or tool compounds), notwithstanding the difficulty and cost of generating them. Rational structure-based approaches to ligand discovery have long promised the efficiencies needed to close this divergence; in practice, however, this promise remains largely unfulfilled, for a host of well-rehearsed reasons and despite the huge technical advances spearheaded by the structural genomics initiatives of the noughties. Therefore the current, fourth funding phase of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), building on its extensive experience in structural biology of novel targets and design of protein inhibitors, seeks to redefine what it means to do structural biology for drug discovery. We developed the concept of a Target Enabling Package (TEP) that provides, through reagents, assays and data, the missing link between genetic disease linkage and the development of usefully potent compounds. There are multiple prongs to the ambition: rigorously assessing targets' genetic disease linkages through crowdsourcing to a network of collaborating experts; establishing a systematic approach to generate the protocols and data that comprise each target's TEP; developing new, X-ray-based fragment technologies for generating high quality chemical matter quickly and cheaply; and exploiting a stringently open access model to build multidisciplinary partnerships throughout academia and industry. By learning how to scale these approaches, the SGC aims to make structures finally serve genomics, as originally intended, and demonstrate how 3D structures systematically allow new modes of druggability to be discovered for whole classes of targets.

Ghosh A, Mercer J, Mackinnon S, Yue WW, Church H, Beesley CE, Broomfield A, Jones SA, Tylee K. 2017. IDUA mutational profile and genotype-phenotype relationships in UK patients with Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I. Hum Mutat, 38 (11), pp. 1555-1568. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I (MPS I) is a lysosomal storage disorder with varying degrees of phenotypic severity caused by mutations in IDUA. Over 200 disease-causing variants in IDUA have been reported. We describe the profile of disease-causing variants in 291 individuals with MPS I for whom IDUA sequencing was performed, focusing on the UK subset of the cohort. A total of 63 variants were identified, of which 20 were novel, and the functional significance of the novel variants is explored. The severe form of MPS I is treated with hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, known to have improved outcomes with earlier age at treatment. Developing genotype-phenotype relationships would therefore have considerable clinical utility, especially in the light of the development of newborn screening programs for MPS I. Associations between genotype and phenotype are examined in this cohort, particularly in the context of the profile of variants identified in UK individuals. Relevant associations can be made for the majority of UK individuals based on the presence of nonsense or truncating variants as well as other associations described in this report.

Oerum S, Roovers M, Leichsenring M, Acquaviva-Bourdain C, Beermann F, Gemperle-Britschgi C, Fouilhoux A, Korwitz-Reichelt A, Bailey HJ, Droogmans L et al. 2017. Novel patient missense mutations in the HSD17B10 gene affect dehydrogenase and mitochondrial tRNA modification functions of the encoded protein. Biochim Biophys Acta Mol Basis Dis, 1863 (12), pp. 3294-3302. | Show Abstract | Read more

MRPP2 (also known as HSD10/SDR5C1) is a multifunctional protein that harbours both catalytic and non-catalytic functions. The protein belongs to the short-chain dehydrogenase/reductases (SDR) family and is involved in the catabolism of isoleucine in vivo and steroid metabolism in vitro. MRPP2 also moonlights in a complex with the MRPP1 (also known as TRMT10C) protein for N1-methylation of purines at position 9 of mitochondrial tRNA, and in a complex with MRPP1 and MRPP3 (also known as PRORP) proteins for 5'-end processing of mitochondrial precursor tRNA. Inherited mutations in the HSD17B10 gene encoding MRPP2 protein lead to a childhood disorder characterised by progressive neurodegeneration, cardiomyopathy or both. Here we report two patients with novel missense mutations in the HSD17B10 gene (c.34G>C and c.526G>A), resulting in the p.V12L and p.V176M substitutions. Val12 and Val176 are highly conserved residues located at different regions of the MRPP2 structure. Recombinant mutant proteins were expressed and characterised biochemically to investigate their effects towards the functions of MRPP2 and associated complexes in vitro. Both mutant proteins showed significant reduction in the dehydrogenase, methyltransferase and tRNA processing activities compared to wildtype, associated with reduced stability for protein with p.V12L, whereas the protein carrying p.V176M showed impaired kinetics and complex formation. This study therefore identified two distinctive molecular mechanisms to explain the biochemical defects for the novel missense patient mutations.

Reijnders MRF, Ansor NM, Kousi M, Yue WW, Tan PL, Clarkson K, Clayton-Smith J, Corning K, Jones JR, Lam WWK et al. 2017. RAC1 Missense Mutations in Developmental Disorders with Diverse Phenotypes. Am J Hum Genet, 101 (3), pp. 466-477. | Show Abstract | Read more

RAC1 is a widely studied Rho GTPase, a class of molecules that modulate numerous cellular functions essential for normal development. RAC1 is highly conserved across species and is under strict mutational constraint. We report seven individuals with distinct de novo missense RAC1 mutations and varying degrees of developmental delay, brain malformations, and additional phenotypes. Four individuals, each harboring one of c.53G>A (p.Cys18Tyr), c.116A>G (p.Asn39Ser), c.218C>T (p.Pro73Leu), and c.470G>A (p.Cys157Tyr) variants, were microcephalic, with head circumferences between -2.5 to -5 SD. In contrast, two individuals with c.151G>A (p.Val51Met) and c.151G>C (p.Val51Leu) alleles were macrocephalic with head circumferences of +4.16 and +4.5 SD. One individual harboring a c.190T>G (p.Tyr64Asp) allele had head circumference in the normal range. Collectively, we observed an extraordinary spread of ∼10 SD of head circumferences orchestrated by distinct mutations in the same gene. In silico modeling, mouse fibroblasts spreading assays, and in vivo overexpression assays using zebrafish as a surrogate model demonstrated that the p.Cys18Tyr and p.Asn39Ser RAC1 variants function as dominant-negative alleles and result in microcephaly, reduced neuronal proliferation, and cerebellar abnormalities in vivo. Conversely, the p.Tyr64Asp substitution is constitutively active. The remaining mutations are probably weakly dominant negative or their effects are context dependent. These findings highlight the importance of RAC1 in neuronal development. Along with TRIO and HACE1, a sub-category of rare developmental disorders is emerging with RAC1 as the central player. We show that ultra-rare disorders caused by private, non-recurrent missense mutations that result in varying phenotypes are challenging to dissect, but can be delineated through focused international collaboration.

Solmesky LJ, Khazanov N, Senderowitz H, Wang P, Minassian BA, Ferreira IM, Yue WW, Lossos A, Weil M, Kakhlon O. 2017. A novel image-based high-throughput screening assay discovers therapeutic candidates for adult polyglucosan body disease. Biochem J, 474 (20), pp. 3403-3420. | Show Abstract | Read more

Glycogen storage disorders (GSDs) are caused by excessive accumulation of glycogen. Some GSDs [adult polyglucosan (PG) body disease (APBD), and Tarui and Lafora diseases] are caused by intracellular accumulation of insoluble inclusions, called PG bodies (PBs), which are chiefly composed of malconstructed glycogen. We developed an APBD patient skin fibroblast cell-based assay for PB identification, where the bodies are identified as amylase-resistant periodic acid-Schiff's-stained structures, and quantified. We screened the DIVERSet CL 10 084 compound library using this assay in high-throughput format and discovered 11 dose-dependent and 8 non-dose-dependent PB-reducing hits. Approximately 70% of the hits appear to act through reducing glycogen synthase (GS) activity, which can elongate glycogen chains and presumably promote PB generation. Some of these GS inhibiting hits were also computationally predicted to be similar to drugs interacting with the GS activator protein phosphatase 1. Our work paves the way to discovering medications for the treatment of PB-involving GSD, which are extremely severe or fatal disorders.

Pasquali CC, Islam Z, Adamoski D, Ferreira IM, Righeto RD, Bettini J, Portugal RV, Yue WW-Y, Gonzalez A, Dias SMG, Ambrosio ALB. 2017. The origin and evolution of human glutaminases and their atypical C-terminal ankyrin repeats. J Biol Chem, 292 (27), pp. 11572-11585. | Show Abstract | Read more

On the basis of tissue-specific enzyme activity and inhibition by catalytic products, Hans Krebs first demonstrated the existence of multiple glutaminases in mammals. Currently, two human genes are known to encode at least four glutaminase isoforms. However, the phylogeny of these medically relevant enzymes remains unclear, prompting us to investigate their origin and evolution. Using prokaryotic and eukaryotic glutaminase sequences, we built a phylogenetic tree whose topology suggested that the multidomain architecture was inherited from bacterial ancestors, probably simultaneously with the hosting of the proto-mitochondrion endosymbiont. We propose an evolutionary model wherein the appearance of the most active enzyme isoform, glutaminase C (GAC), which is expressed in many cancers, was a late retrotransposition event that occurred in fishes from the Chondrichthyes class. The ankyrin (ANK) repeats in the glutaminases were acquired early in their evolution. To obtain information on ANK folding, we solved two high-resolution structures of the ANK repeat-containing C termini of both kidney-type glutaminase (KGA) and GLS2 isoforms (glutaminase B and liver-type glutaminase). We found that the glutaminase ANK repeats form unique intramolecular contacts through two highly conserved motifs; curiously, this arrangement occludes a region usually involved in ANK-mediated protein-protein interactions. We also solved the crystal structure of full-length KGA and present a small-angle X-ray scattering model for full-length GLS2. These structures explain these proteins' compromised ability to assemble into catalytically active supra-tetrameric filaments, as previously shown for GAC. Collectively, these results provide information about glutaminases that may aid in the design of isoform-specific glutaminase inhibitors.

Plessl T, Bürer C, Lutz S, Yue WW, Baumgartner MR, Froese DS. 2017. Protein destabilization and loss of protein-protein interaction are fundamental mechanisms in cblA-type methylmalonic aciduria. Hum Mutat, 38 (8), pp. 988-1001. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mutations in the human MMAA gene cause the metabolic disorder cblA-type methylmalonic aciduria (MMA), although knowledge of the mechanism of dysfunction remains lacking. MMAA regulates the incorporation of the cofactor adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl), generated from the MMAB adenosyltransferase, into the destination enzyme methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT). This function of MMAA depends on its GTPase activity, which is stimulated by an interaction with MUT. Here, we present 67 new patients with cblA-type MMA, identifying 19 novel mutations. We biochemically investigated how missense mutations in MMAA in 22 patients lead to disease. About a third confer instability to the recombinant protein in bacterial and human expression systems. All 15 purified mutant proteins demonstrated wild-type like intrinsic GTPase activity and only one (p.Asp292Val), where the mutation is in the GTP binding domain, revealed decreased GTP binding. However, all mutations strongly decreased functional association with MUT by reducing GTPase activity stimulation upon incubation with MUT, while nine mutant proteins additionally lost the ability to physically bind MUT. Finally, all mutations interfered with gating the transfer of AdoCbl from MMAB to MUT. This work suggests loss of functional interaction between MMAA and MUT as a disease-causing mechanism that impacts processing and assembly of a cofactor to its destination enzyme.

Demain LAM, Urquhart JE, O'Sullivan J, Williams SG, Bhaskar SS, Jenkinson EM, Lourenco CM, Heiberg A, Pearce SH, Shalev SA et al. 2017. Expanding the genotypic spectrum of Perrault syndrome. Clin Genet, 91 (2), pp. 302-312. | Show Abstract | Read more

Perrault syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) in both sexes and primary ovarian insufficiency in 46, XX karyotype females. Biallelic variants in five genes are reported to be causative: HSD17B4, HARS2, LARS2, CLPP and C10orf2. Here we present eight families affected by Perrault syndrome. In five families we identified novel or previously reported variants in HSD17B4, LARS2, CLPP and C10orf2. The proband from each family was whole exome sequenced and variants confirmed by Sanger sequencing. A female was compound heterozygous for a known, p.(Gly16Ser) and novel, p.(Val82Phe) variant in D-bifunctional protein (HSD17B4). A family was homozygous for mitochondrial leucyl aminocyl tRNA synthetase (mtLeuRS) (LARS2) p.(Thr522Asn), previously associated with Perrault syndrome. A further family was compound heterozygous for mtLeuRS, p.(Thr522Asn) and a novel variant, p.(Met117Ile). Affected individuals with LARS2 variants had low frequency SNHL, a feature previously described in Perrault syndrome. A female with significant neurological disability was compound heterozygous for p.(Arg323Gln) and p.(Asn399Ser) variants in Twinkle (C10orf2). A male was homozygous for a novel variant in CLPP, p.(Cys144Arg). In three families there were no putative pathogenic variants in these genes confirming additional disease-causing genes remain unidentified. We have expanded the spectrum of disease-causing variants associated with Perrault syndrome.

Reid ES, Papandreou A, Drury S, Boustred C, Yue WW, Wedatilake Y, Beesley C, Jacques TS, Anderson G, Abulhoul L et al. 2016. Advantages and pitfalls of an extended gene panel for investigating complex neurometabolic phenotypes. Brain, 139 (11), pp. 2844-2854. | Show Abstract | Read more

Neurometabolic disorders are markedly heterogeneous, both clinically and genetically, and are characterized by variable neurological dysfunction accompanied by suggestive neuroimaging or biochemical abnormalities. Despite early specialist input, delays in diagnosis and appropriate treatment initiation are common. Next-generation sequencing approaches still have limitations but are already enabling earlier and more efficient diagnoses in these patients. We designed a gene panel targeting 614 genes causing inborn errors of metabolism and tested its diagnostic efficacy in a paediatric cohort of 30 undiagnosed patients presenting with variable neurometabolic phenotypes. Genetic defects that could, at least partially, explain observed phenotypes were identified in 53% of cases. Where biochemical abnormalities pointing towards a particular gene defect were present, our panel identified diagnoses in 89% of patients. Phenotypes attributable to defects in more than one gene were seen in 13% of cases. The ability of in silico tools, including structure-guided prediction programmes to characterize novel missense variants were also interrogated. Our study expands the genetic, clinical and biochemical phenotypes of well-characterized (POMGNT1, TPP1) and recently identified disorders (PGAP2, ACSF3, SERAC1, AFG3L2, DPYS). Overall, our panel was accurate and efficient, demonstrating good potential for applying similar approaches to clinically and biochemically diverse neurometabolic disease cohorts.

Yue WW. 2016. From structural biology to designing therapy for inborn errors of metabolism. J Inherit Metab Dis, 39 (4), pp. 489-498. | Show Abstract | Read more

At the SSIEM Symposium in Istanbul 2010, I presented an overview of protein structural approaches in the study of inborn errors of metabolism (Yue and Oppermann 2011). Five years on, the field is going strong with new protein structures, uncovered catalytic functions and novel chemical matters for metabolic enzymes, setting the stage for the next generation of drug discovery. This article aims to update on recent advances and lessons learnt on inborn errors of metabolism via the protein-centric approach, citing examples of work from my group, collaborators and co-workers that cover diverse pathways of transsulfuration, cobalamin and glycogen metabolism. Taking into consideration that many inborn errors of metabolism result in the loss of enzyme function, this presentation aims to outline three key principles that guide the design of small molecule therapy in this technically challenging field: (1) integrating structural, biochemical and cell-based data to evaluate the wide spectrum of mutation-driven enzyme defects in stability, catalysis and protein-protein interaction; (2) studying multi-domain proteins and multi-protein complexes as examples from nature, to learn how enzymes are activated by small molecules; (3) surveying different regions of the enzyme, away from its active site, that can be targeted for the design of allosteric activators and inhibitors.

Cited:

21

WOS

Montgomery AB, Kopec J, Shrestha L, Thezenas M-L, Burgess-Brown NA, Fischer R, Yue WW, Venables PJ. 2016. Crystal structure of Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase: implications for autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES, 75 (6), pp. 1255-1261. | Read more

Patel D, Kopec J, Fitzpatrick F, McCorvie TJ, Yue WW. 2016. Structural basis for ligand-dependent dimerization of phenylalanine hydroxylase regulatory domain. Sci Rep, 6 (1), pp. 23748. | Show Abstract | Read more

The multi-domain enzyme phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) catalyzes the hydroxylation of dietary I-phenylalanine (Phe) to I-tyrosine. Inherited mutations that result in PAH enzyme deficiency are the genetic cause of the autosomal recessive disorder phenylketonuria. Phe is the substrate for the PAH active site, but also an allosteric ligand that increases enzyme activity. Phe has been proposed to bind, in addition to the catalytic domain, a site at the PAH N-terminal regulatory domain (PAH-RD), to activate the enzyme via an unclear mechanism. Here we report the crystal structure of human PAH-RD bound with Phe at 1.8 Å resolution, revealing a homodimer of ACT folds with Phe bound at the dimer interface. This work delivers the structural evidence to support previous solution studies that a binding site exists in the RD for Phe, and that Phe binding results in dimerization of PAH-RD. Consistent with our structural observation, a disease-associated PAH mutant impaired in Phe binding disrupts the monomer:dimer equilibrium of PAH-RD. Our data therefore support an emerging model of PAH allosteric regulation, whereby Phe binds to PAH-RD and mediates the dimerization of regulatory modules that would bring about conformational changes to activate the enzyme.

McCorvie TJ, Kopec J, Pey AL, Fitzpatrick F, Patel D, Chalk R, Shrestha L, Yue WW. 2016. Molecular basis of classic galactosemia from the structure of human galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase. Hum Mol Genet, 25 (11), pp. 2234-2244. | Show Abstract | Read more

Classic galactosemia is a potentially lethal disease caused by the dysfunction of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT). Over 300 disease-associated GALT mutations have been reported, with the majority being missense changes, although a better understanding of their underlying molecular effects has been hindered by the lack of structural information for the human enzyme. Here, we present the 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure of human GALT (hGALT) ternary complex, revealing a homodimer arrangement that contains a covalent uridylylated intermediate and glucose-1-phosphate in the active site, as well as a structural zinc-binding site, per monomer. hGALT reveals significant structural differences from bacterial GALT homologues in metal ligation and dimer interactions, and therefore is a zbetter model for understanding the molecular consequences of disease mutations. Both uridylylation and zinc binding influence the stability and aggregation tendency of hGALT. This has implications for disease-associated variants where p.Gln188Arg, the most commonly detected, increases the rate of aggregation in the absence of zinc likely due to its reduced ability to form the uridylylated intermediate. As such our structure serves as a template in the future design of pharmacological chaperone therapies and opens new concepts about the roles of metal binding and activity in protein misfolding by disease-associated mutants.

Hamed RB, Gomez-Castellanos JR, Sean Froese D, Krysztofinska E, Yue WW, Schofield CJ. 2016. Use of Methylmalonyl-CoA Epimerase in Enhancing Crotonase Stereoselectivity. Chembiochem, 17 (6), pp. 471-473. | Show Abstract | Read more

The use of methylmalonyl-CoA epimerase (MCEE) to improve stereoselectivity in crotonase-mediated biocatalysis is exemplified by the coupling of MCEE, crotonyl-CoA carboxylase reductase and carboxymethylproline synthase in a three-enzyme one-pot sequential synthesis of functionalised C-5 carboxyalkylprolines starting from crotonyl-CoA and carbon dioxide.

de Goede C, Yue WW, Yan G, Ariyaratnam S, Chandler KE, Downes L, Khan N, Mohan M, Lowe M, Banka S. 2016. Role of reverse phenotyping in interpretation of next generation sequencing data and a review of INPP5E related disorders. Eur J Paediatr Neurol, 20 (2), pp. 286-295. | Show Abstract | Read more

INTRODUCTION: Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) is a useful tool in diagnosis of rare disorders but the interpretation of data can be challenging in clinical settings. We present results of extended studies on a family of multiple members with global developmental delay and learning disability, where another research group postulated the underlying cause to be a homozygous RABL6 missense variant. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using data from the Exome Variant Server, we show that missense RABL6 variants are unlikely to cause early onset rare developmental disorder. Protein structural analysis, cellular functional studies and reverse phenotyping proved that the condition in this family is due to a homozygous INPP5E mutation. An in-depth review of mutational and phenotypic spectrum associated with INPP5E demonstrated that mutations in this gene lead to a range of cilliopathy-phenotypes. DISCUSSION: We use this study as an example to demonstrate the importance of careful clinical evaluation of multiple family members, reverse phenotyping, considering the unknown phenotypic variability of rare diseases, utilizing publically available genomic databases and conducting appropriate bioinformatics and functional studies while interpreting results from NGS in uncertain cases. We emphasize that interpretation of NGS data is an iterative process and its dynamic nature should be explained to patients and families. Our study shows that developmental delay, intellectual disability, hypotonia and ocular motor apraxia are common in INPP5E-related disorders and considerable intra-familial phenotypic variability is possible. We have compiled the INPP5E mutational spectrum and provided novel insights into their molecular mechanisms.

Froese DS, Kopec J, Fitzpatrick F, Schuller M, McCorvie TJ, Chalk R, Plessl T, Fettelschoss V, Fowler B, Baumgartner MR, Yue WW. 2015. Structural Insights into the MMACHC-MMADHC Protein Complex Involved in Vitamin B12 Trafficking. J Biol Chem, 290 (49), pp. 29167-29177. | Show Abstract | Read more

Conversion of vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) into the cofactor forms methyl-Cbl (MeCbl) and adenosyl-Cbl (AdoCbl) is required for the function of two crucial enzymes, mitochondrial methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and cytosolic methionine synthase, respectively. The intracellular proteins MMACHC and MMADHC play important roles in processing and targeting the Cbl cofactor to its destination enzymes, and recent evidence suggests that they may interact while performing these essential trafficking functions. To better understand the molecular basis of this interaction, we have mapped the crucial protein regions required, indicate that Cbl is likely processed by MMACHC prior to interaction with MMADHC, and identify patient mutations on both proteins that interfere with complex formation, via different mechanisms. We further report the crystal structure of the MMADHC C-terminal region at 2.2 Å resolution, revealing a modified nitroreductase fold with surprising homology to MMACHC despite their poor sequence conservation. Because MMADHC demonstrates no known enzymatic activity, we propose it as the first protein known to repurpose the nitroreductase fold solely for protein-protein interaction. Using small angle x-ray scattering, we reveal the MMACHC-MMADHC complex as a 1:1 heterodimer and provide a structural model of this interaction, where the interaction region overlaps with the MMACHC-Cbl binding site. Together, our findings provide novel structural evidence and mechanistic insight into an essential biological process, whereby an intracellular "trafficking chaperone" highly specific for a trace element cofactor functions via protein-protein interaction, which is disrupted by inherited disease mutations.

Colak G, Pougovkina O, Dai L, Tan M, Te Brinke H, Huang H, Cheng Z, Park J, Wan X, Liu X et al. 2015. Proteomic and Biochemical Studies of Lysine Malonylation Suggest Its Malonic Aciduria-associated Regulatory Role in Mitochondrial Function and Fatty Acid Oxidation. Mol Cell Proteomics, 14 (11), pp. 3056-3071. | Show Abstract | Read more

The protein substrates of sirtuin 5-regulated lysine malonylation (Kmal) remain unknown, hindering its functional analysis. In this study, we carried out proteomic screening, which identified 4042 Kmal sites on 1426 proteins in mouse liver and 4943 Kmal sites on 1822 proteins in human fibroblasts. Increased malonyl-CoA levels in malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD)-deficient cells induces Kmal levels in substrate proteins. We identified 461 Kmal sites showing more than a 2-fold increase in response to MCD deficiency as well as 1452 Kmal sites detected only in MCD-/- fibroblast but not MCD+/+ cells, suggesting a pathogenic role of Kmal in MCD deficiency. Cells with increased lysine malonylation displayed impaired mitochondrial function and fatty acid oxidation, suggesting that lysine malonylation plays a role in pathophysiology of malonic aciduria. Our study establishes an association between Kmal and a genetic disease and offers a rich resource for elucidating the contribution of the Kmal pathway and malonyl-CoA to cellular physiology and human diseases.

Montgomery AB, Kopec J, Shrestha L, Thezenas M-L, Burgess-Brown NA, Fischer R, Yue WW, Venables PJ. 2016. Crystal structure of Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase: implications for autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis. Ann Rheum Dis, 75 (6), pp. 1255-1261. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Periodontitis (PD) is a known risk factor for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and there is increasing evidence that the link between the two diseases is due to citrullination by the unique bacterial peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) enzyme expressed by periodontal pathogen Pophyromonas gingivalis (PPAD). However, the precise mechanism by which PPAD could generate potentially immunogenic peptides has remained controversial due to lack of information about the structural and catalytic mechanisms of the enzyme. OBJECTIVES: By solving the 3D structure of PPAD we aim to characterise activity and elucidate potential mechanisms involved in breach of tolerance to citrullinated proteins in RA. METHODS: PPAD and a catalytically inactive mutant PPAD(C351A) were crystallised and their 3D structures solved. Key residues identified from 3D structures were examined by mutations. Fibrinogen and α-enolase were incubated with PPAD and P. gingivalis arginine gingipain (RgpB) and citrullinated peptides formed were sequenced and quantified by mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Here, we solve the crystal structure of a truncated, highly active form of PPAD. We confirm catalysis is mediated by the following residues: Asp130, His236, Asp238, Asn297 and Cys351 and show Arg152 and Arg154 may determine the substrate specificity of PPAD for C-terminal arginines. We demonstrate the formation of 37 C-terminally citrullinated peptides from fibrinogen and 11 from α-enolase following incubation with tPPAD and RgpB. CONCLUSIONS: PPAD displays an unequivocal specificity for C-terminal arginine residues and readily citrullinates peptides from key RA autoantigens. The formation of these novel citrullinated peptides may be involved in breach of tolerance to citrullinated proteins in RA.

Froese DS, Michaeli A, McCorvie TJ, Krojer T, Sasi M, Melaev E, Goldblum A, Zatsepin M, Lossos A, Álvarez R et al. 2015. Structural basis of glycogen branching enzyme deficiency and pharmacologic rescue by rational peptide design. Hum Mol Genet, 24 (20), pp. 5667-5676. | Show Abstract | Read more

Glycogen branching enzyme 1 (GBE1) plays an essential role in glycogen biosynthesis by generating α-1,6-glucosidic branches from α-1,4-linked glucose chains, to increase solubility of the glycogen polymer. Mutations in the GBE1 gene lead to the heterogeneous early-onset glycogen storage disorder type IV (GSDIV) or the late-onset adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD). To better understand this essential enzyme, we crystallized human GBE1 in the apo form, and in complex with a tetra- or hepta-saccharide. The GBE1 structure reveals a conserved amylase core that houses the active centre for the branching reaction and harbours almost all GSDIV and APBD mutations. A non-catalytic binding cleft, proximal to the site of the common APBD mutation p.Y329S, was found to bind the tetra- and hepta-saccharides and may represent a higher-affinity site employed to anchor the complex glycogen substrate for the branching reaction. Expression of recombinant GBE1-p.Y329S resulted in drastically reduced protein yield and solubility compared with wild type, suggesting this disease allele causes protein misfolding and may be amenable to small molecule stabilization. To explore this, we generated a structural model of GBE1-p.Y329S and designed peptides ab initio to stabilize the mutation. As proof-of-principle, we evaluated treatment of one tetra-peptide, Leu-Thr-Lys-Glu, in APBD patient cells. We demonstrate intracellular transport of this peptide, its binding and stabilization of GBE1-p.Y329S, and 2-fold increased mutant enzymatic activity compared with untreated patient cells. Together, our data provide the rationale and starting point for the screening of small molecule chaperones, which could become novel therapies for this disease.

Belaya K, Rodríguez Cruz PM, Liu WW, Maxwell S, McGowan S, Farrugia ME, Petty R, Walls TJ, Sedghi M, Basiri K et al. 2015. Mutations in GMPPB cause congenital myasthenic syndrome and bridge myasthenic disorders with dystroglycanopathies. Brain, 138 (Pt 9), pp. 2493-2504. | Show Abstract | Read more

Congenital myasthenic syndromes are inherited disorders that arise from impaired signal transmission at the neuromuscular junction. Mutations in at least 20 genes are known to lead to the onset of these conditions. Four of these, ALG2, ALG14, DPAGT1 and GFPT1, are involved in glycosylation. Here we identify a fifth glycosylation gene, GMPPB, where mutations cause congenital myasthenic syndrome. First, we identified recessive mutations in seven cases from five kinships defined as congenital myasthenic syndrome using decrement of compound muscle action potentials on repetitive nerve stimulation on electromyography. The mutations were present through the length of the GMPPB, and segregation, in silico analysis, exon trapping, cell transfection followed by western blots and immunostaining were used to determine pathogenicity. GMPPB congenital myasthenic syndrome cases show clinical features characteristic of congenital myasthenic syndrome subtypes that are due to defective glycosylation, with variable weakness of proximal limb muscle groups while facial and eye muscles are largely spared. However, patients with GMPPB congenital myasthenic syndrome had more prominent myopathic features that were detectable on muscle biopsies, electromyography, muscle magnetic resonance imaging, and through elevated serum creatine kinase levels. Mutations in GMPPB have recently been reported to lead to the onset of muscular dystrophy dystroglycanopathy. Analysis of four additional GMPPB-associated muscular dystrophy dystroglycanopathy cases by electromyography found that a defective neuromuscular junction component is not always present. Thus, we find mutations in GMPPB can lead to a wide spectrum of clinical features where deficit in neuromuscular transmission is the major component in a subset of cases. Clinical recognition of GMPPB-associated congenital myasthenic syndrome may be complicated by the presence of myopathic features, but correct diagnosis is important because affected individuals can respond to appropriate treatments.

Riemersma M, Froese DS, van Tol W, Engelke UF, Kopec J, van Scherpenzeel M, Ashikov A, Krojer T, von Delft F, Tessari M et al. 2015. Human ISPD Is a Cytidyltransferase Required for Dystroglycan O-Mannosylation. Chem Biol, 22 (12), pp. 1643-1652. | Show Abstract | Read more

A unique, unsolved O-mannosyl glycan on α-dystroglycan is essential for its interaction with protein ligands in the extracellular matrix. Defective O-mannosylation leads to a group of muscular dystrophies, called dystroglycanopathies. Mutations in isoprenoid synthase domain containing (ISPD) represent the second most common cause of these disorders, however, its molecular function remains uncharacterized. The human ISPD (hISPD) crystal structure showed a canonical N-terminal cytidyltransferase domain linked to a C-terminal domain that is absent in cytidyltransferase homologs. Functional studies demonstrated cytosolic localization of hISPD, and cytidyltransferase activity toward pentose phosphates, including ribulose 5-phosphate, ribose 5-phosphate, and ribitol 5-phosphate. Identity of the CDP sugars was confirmed by liquid chromatography quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry and two-dimensional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Our combined results indicate that hISPD is a cytidyltransferase, suggesting the presence of a novel human nucleotide sugar essential for functional α-dystroglycan O-mannosylation in muscle and brain. Thereby, ISPD deficiency can be added to the growing list of tertiary dystroglycanopathies.

Peters V, Lanthaler B, Amberger A, Fleming T, Forsberg E, Hecker M, Wagner AH, Yue WW, Hoffmann GF, Nawroth P et al. 2015. Carnosine metabolism in diabetes is altered by reactive metabolites. Amino Acids, 47 (11), pp. 2367-2376. | Show Abstract | Read more

Carnosinase 1 (CN1) contributes to diabetic nephropathy by cleaving histidine-dipeptides which scavenge reactive oxygen and carbonyl species and increase nitric oxide (NO) production. In diabetic mice renal CN1 activity is increased, the regulatory mechanisms are unknown. We therefore analysed the in vitro and in vivo regulation of CN1 activity using recombinant and human CN1, and the db/db mouse model of diabetes. Glucose, leptin and insulin did not modify recombinant and human CN1 activity in vitro, glucose did not alter renal CN1 activity of WT or db/db mice ex vivo. Reactive metabolite methylglyoxal and Fenton reagent carbonylated recombinant CN1 and doubled CN1 efficiency. NO S-nitrosylated CN1 and decreased CN1 efficiency for carnosine by 70 % (p < 0.01), but not for anserine. Both CN1 cysteine residues were nitrosylated, the cysteine at position 102 but not at position 229 regulated CN1 activities. In db/db mice, renal CN1 mRNA and protein levels were similar as in non-diabetic controls, CN1 efficiency 1.9 and 1.6 fold higher for carnosine and anserine. Renal carbonyl stress was strongly increased and NO production halved, CN1 highly carbonylated and less S-nitrosylated compared to WT mice. GSH and NO2/3 concentrations were reduced and inversely related with carnosine degradation rate (r = -0.82/-0.85). Thus, reactive metabolites of diabetes upregulate CN1 activity by post-translational modifications, and thus decrease the availability of reactive metabolite-scavenging histidine dipeptides in the kidney in a positive feedback loop. Interference with this vicious circle may represent a new therapeutic target for mitigation of DN.

Bhatia C, Oerum S, Bray J, Kavanagh KL, Shafqat N, Yue W, Oppermann U. 2015. Towards a systematic analysis of human short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDR): Ligand identification and structure-activity relationships. Chem Biol Interact, 234 pp. 114-125. | Show Abstract | Read more

Short-chain dehydrogenases/reductases (SDRs) constitute a large, functionally diverse branch of enzymes within the class of NAD(P)(H) dependent oxidoreductases. In humans, over 80 genes have been identified with distinct metabolic roles in carbohydrate, amino acid, lipid, retinoid and steroid hormone metabolism, frequently associated with inherited genetic defects. Besides metabolic functions, a subset of atypical SDR proteins appears to play critical roles in adapting to redox status or RNA processing, and thereby controlling metabolic pathways. Here we present an update on the human SDR superfamily and a ligand identification strategy using differential scanning fluorimetry (DSF) with a focused library of oxidoreductase and metabolic ligands to identify substrate classes and inhibitor chemotypes. This method is applicable to investigate structure-activity relationships of oxidoreductases and ultimately to better understand their physiological roles.

McCorvie TJ, Kopec J, Hyung S-J, Fitzpatrick F, Feng X, Termine D, Strain-Damerell C, Vollmar M, Fleming J, Janz JM et al. 2014. Inter-domain communication of human cystathionine β-synthase: structural basis of S-adenosyl-L-methionine activation. J Biol Chem, 289 (52), pp. 36018-36030. | Show Abstract | Read more

Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is a key enzyme in sulfur metabolism, and its inherited deficiency causes homocystinuria. Mammalian CBS is modulated by the binding of S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) to its regulatory domain, which activates its catalytic domain. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we performed x-ray crystallography, mutagenesis, and mass spectrometry (MS) on human CBS. The 1.7 Å structure of a AdoMet-bound CBS regulatory domain shows one AdoMet molecule per monomer, at the interface between two constituent modules (CBS-1, CBS-2). AdoMet binding is accompanied by a reorientation between the two modules, relative to the AdoMet-free basal state, to form interactions with AdoMet via residues verified by mutagenesis to be important for AdoMet binding (Phe(443), Asp(444), Gln(445), and Asp(538)) and for AdoMet-driven inter-domain communication (Phe(443), Asp(538)). The observed structural change is further supported by ion mobility MS, showing that as-purified CBS exists in two conformational populations, which converged to one in the presence of AdoMet. We therefore propose that AdoMet-induced conformational change alters the interface and arrangement between the catalytic and regulatory domains within the CBS oligomer, thereby increasing the accessibility of the enzyme active site for catalysis.

Banka S, de Goede C, Yue WW, Morris AAM, von Bremen B, Chandler KE, Feichtinger RG, Hart C, Khan N, Lunzer V et al. 2014. Expanding the clinical and molecular spectrum of thiamine pyrophosphokinase deficiency: a treatable neurological disorder caused by TPK1 mutations. Mol Genet Metab, 113 (4), pp. 301-306. | Show Abstract | Read more

Thiamine pyrophosphokinase (TPK) produces thiamine pyrophosphate, a cofactor for a number of enzymes, including pyruvate dehydrogenase and 2-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase. Episodic encephalopathy type thiamine metabolism dysfunction (OMIM 614458) due to TPK1 mutations is a recently described rare disorder. The mechanism of the disease, its phenotype and treatment are not entirely clear. We present two patients with novel homozygous TPK1 mutations (Patient 1 with p.Ser160Leu and Patient 2 with p.Asp222His). Unlike the previously described phenotype, Patient 2 presented with a Leigh syndrome like non-episodic early-onset global developmental delay, thus extending the phenotypic spectrum of the disorder. We, therefore, propose that TPK deficiency may be a better name for the condition. The two cases help to further refine the neuroradiological features of TPK deficiency and show that MRI changes can be either fleeting or progressive and can affect either white or gray matter. We also show that in some cases lactic acidosis can be absent and 2-ketoglutaric aciduria may be the only biochemical marker. Furthermore, we have established the assays for TPK enzyme activity measurement and thiamine pyrophosphate quantification in frozen muscle and blood. These tests will help to diagnose or confirm the diagnosis of TPK deficiency in a clinical setting. Early thiamine supplementation prevented encephalopathic episodes and improved developmental progression of Patient 1, emphasizing the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of TPK deficiency. We present evidence suggesting that thiamine supplementation may rescue TPK enzyme activity. Lastly, in silico protein structural analysis shows that the p.Ser160Leu mutation is predicted to interfere with TPK dimerization, which may be a novel mechanism for the disease.

Wettstein S, Underhaug J, Perez B, Marsden BD, Yue WW, Martinez A, Blau N. 2015. Linking genotypes database with locus-specific database and genotype-phenotype correlation in phenylketonuria. Eur J Hum Genet, 23 (3), pp. 302-309. | Show Abstract | Read more

The wide range of metabolic phenotypes in phenylketonuria is due to a large number of variants causing variable impairment in phenylalanine hydroxylase function. A total of 834 phenylalanine hydroxylase gene variants from the locus-specific database PAHvdb and genotypes of 4181 phenylketonuria patients from the BIOPKU database were characterized using FoldX, SIFT Blink, Polyphen-2 and SNPs3D algorithms. Obtained data was correlated with residual enzyme activity, patients' phenotype and tetrahydrobiopterin responsiveness. A descriptive analysis of both databases was compiled and an interactive viewer in PAHvdb database was implemented for structure visualization of missense variants. We found a quantitative relationship between phenylalanine hydroxylase protein stability and enzyme activity (r(s) = 0.479), between protein stability and allelic phenotype (r(s) = -0.458), as well as between enzyme activity and allelic phenotype (r(s) = 0.799). Enzyme stability algorithms (FoldX and SNPs3D), allelic phenotype and enzyme activity were most powerful to predict patients' phenotype and tetrahydrobiopterin response. Phenotype prediction was most accurate in deleterious genotypes (≈ 100%), followed by homozygous (92.9%), hemizygous (94.8%), and compound heterozygous genotypes (77.9%), while tetrahydrobiopterin response was correctly predicted in 71.0% of all cases. To our knowledge this is the largest study using algorithms for the prediction of patients' phenotype and tetrahydrobiopterin responsiveness in phenylketonuria patients, using data from the locus-specific and genotypes database.

Wichelecki DJ, Froese DS, Kopec J, Muniz JRC, Yue WW, Gerlt JA. 2014. Enzymatic and structural characterization of rTSγ provides insights into the function of rTSβ. Biochemistry, 53 (16), pp. 2732-2738. | Show Abstract | Read more

In humans, the gene encoding a reverse thymidylate synthase (rTS) is transcribed in the reverse direction of the gene encoding thymidylate synthase (TS) that is involved in DNA biosynthesis. Three isoforms are found: α, β, and γ, with the transcript of the α-isoform overlapping with that of TS. rTSβ has been of interest since the discovery of its overexpression in methotrexate and 5-fluorouracil resistant cell lines. Despite more than 20 years of study, none of the rTS isoforms have been biochemically or structurally characterized. In this study, we identified rTSγ as an l-fuconate dehydratase and determined its high-resolution crystal structure. Our data provide an explanation for the observed difference in enzymatic activities between rTSβ and rTSγ, enabling more informed proposals for the possible function of rTSβ in chemotherapeutic resistance.

Forny P, Froese DS, Suormala T, Yue WW, Baumgartner MR. 2014. Functional characterization and categorization of missense mutations that cause methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT) deficiency. Hum Mutat, 35 (12), pp. 1449-1458. | Show Abstract | Read more

Methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT) is an essential enzyme in propionate catabolism that requires adenosylcobalamin as a cofactor. Almost 250 inherited mutations in the MUT gene are known to cause the devastating disorder methylmalonic aciduria; however, the mechanism of dysfunction of these mutations, more than half of which are missense changes, has not been thoroughly investigated. Here, we examined 23 patient missense mutations covering a spectrum of exonic/structural regions, clinical phenotypes, and ethnic populations in order to determine their influence on protein stability, using two recombinant expression systems and a thermostability assay, and enzymatic function by measuring MUT activity and affinity for its cofactor and substrate. Our data stratify MUT missense mutations into categories of biochemical defects, including (1) reduced protein level due to misfolding, (2) increased thermolability, (3) impaired enzyme activity, and (4) reduced cofactor response in substrate turnover. We further demonstrate the stabilization of wild-type and thermolabile mutants by chemical chaperones in vitro and in bacterial cells. This in-depth mutation study illustrates the tools available for MUT enzyme characterization, guides future categorization of further missense mutations, and supports the development of alternative, chaperone-based therapy for patients not responding to current treatment.

Deutschmann AJ, Amberger A, Zavadil C, Steinbeisser H, Mayr JA, Feichtinger RG, Oerum S, Yue WW, Zschocke J. 2014. Mutation or knock-down of 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 10 cause loss of MRPP1 and impaired processing of mitochondrial heavy strand transcripts. Hum Mol Genet, 23 (13), pp. 3618-3628. | Show Abstract | Read more

17β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 10 (HSD10) is multifunctional protein coded by the X-chromosomal HSD17B10 gene. Mutations in this gene cause HSD10 disease characterized by progressive neurological abnormalities and cardiomyopathy. Disease progression and severity of symptoms is unrelated to the protein's dehydrogenase activity. Recently, it was shown that HSD10 is an essential component of mitochondrial Ribonuclease P (RNase P), an enzyme required for mitochondrial tRNA processing, but little is known about the role of HSD10 in RNase P function. RNase P consists of three different proteins MRPP1, MRPP2 (HSD10) and MRPP3, each of which is essential for RNase P function. Here, we show that HSD10 protein levels are significantly reduced in fibroblasts from patients carrying the HSD17B10 mutation p.R130C. A reduction in HSD10 levels was accompanied by a reduction in MRPP1 protein but not MRPP3 protein. In HSD10 knock-down cells, MRPP1 protein content was also reduced, indicating that HSD10 is important for the maintenance of normal MRPP1 protein levels. Ectopic expression of HSD10 partially restored RNA processing in HSD10 knock-down cells and fibroblasts, and also expression of MRPP1 protein was restored to values comparable to controls. In both, patient fibroblasts and HSD10 knock-down cells, there was evidence of impaired processing of precursor tRNA transcripts of the mitochondrial heavy strand but not the light strand compared with controls. Our findings indicate that HSD10 is important for the maintenance of the MRPP1-HSD10 subcomplex of RNase P and that loss of HSD10 causes impaired mitochondrial precursor transcript processing which may explain mitochondrial dysfunction observed in HSD10 disease.

Banka S, Cain SA, Carim S, Daly SB, Urquhart JE, Erdem G, Harris J, Bottomley M, Donnai D, Kerr B et al. 2015. Leri's pleonosteosis, a congenital rheumatic disease, results from microduplication at 8q22.1 encompassing GDF6 and SDC2 and provides insight into systemic sclerosis pathogenesis. Ann Rheum Dis, 74 (6), pp. 1249-1256. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVES: Leri's pleonosteosis (LP) is an autosomal dominant rheumatic condition characterised by flexion contractures of the interphalangeal joints, limited motion of multiple joints, and short broad metacarpals, metatarsals and phalanges. Scleroderma-like skin thickening can be seen in some individuals with LP. We undertook a study to characterise the phenotype of LP and identify its genetic basis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Whole-genome single-nucleotide polymorphism genotyping in two families with LP defined microduplications of chromosome 8q22.1 as the cause of this condition. Expression analysis of dermal fibroblasts from affected individuals showed overexpression of two genes, GDF6 and SDC2, within the duplicated region, leading to dysregulation of genes that encode proteins of the extracellular matrix and downstream players in the transforming growth factor (TGF)-β pathway. Western blot analysis revealed markedly decreased inhibitory SMAD6 levels in patients with LP. Furthermore, in a cohort of 330 systemic sclerosis cases, we show that the minor allele of a missense SDC2 variant, p.Ser71Thr, could confer protection against disease (p<1×10(-5)). CONCLUSIONS: Our work identifies the genetic cause of LP in these two families, demonstrates the phenotypic range of the condition, implicates dysregulation of extracellular matrix homoeostasis genes in its pathogenesis, and highlights the link between TGF-β/SMAD signalling, growth/differentiation factor 6 and syndecan-2. We propose that LP is an additional member of the growing 'TGF-β-pathies' group of musculoskeletal disorders, which includes Myhre syndrome, acromicric dysplasia, geleophysic dysplasias, Weill-Marchesani syndromes and stiff skin syndrome. Identification of a systemic sclerosis-protective SDC2 variant lays the foundation for exploration of the role of syndecan-2 in systemic sclerosis in the future.

Hopkinson RJ, Tumber A, Yapp C, Chowdhury R, Aik W, Che KH, Li XS, Kristensen JBL, King ONF, Chan MC et al. 2013. 5-Carboxy-8-hydroxyquinoline is a Broad Spectrum 2-Oxoglutarate Oxygenase Inhibitor which Causes Iron Translocation. Chem Sci, 4 (8), pp. 3110-3117. | Show Abstract | Read more

2-Oxoglutarate and iron dependent oxygenases are therapeutic targets for human diseases. Using a representative 2OG oxygenase panel, we compare the inhibitory activities of 5-carboxy-8-hydroxyquinoline (IOX1) and 4-carboxy-8-hydroxyquinoline (4C8HQ) with that of two other commonly used 2OG oxygenase inhibitors, N-oxalylglycine (NOG) and 2,4-pyridinedicarboxylic acid (2,4-PDCA). The results reveal that IOX1 has a broad spectrum of activity, as demonstrated by the inhibition of transcription factor hydroxylases, representatives of all 2OG dependent histone demethylase subfamilies, nucleic acid demethylases and γ-butyrobetaine hydroxylase. Cellular assays show that, unlike NOG and 2,4-PDCA, IOX1 is active against both cytosolic and nuclear 2OG oxygenases without ester derivatisation. Unexpectedly, crystallographic studies on these oxygenases demonstrate that IOX1, but not 4C8HQ, can cause translocation of the active site metal, revealing a rare example of protein ligand-induced metal movement.

Froese DS, Forouhar F, Tran TH, Vollmar M, Kim YS, Lew S, Neely H, Seetharaman J, Shen Y, Xiao R et al. 2013. Crystal structures of malonyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase provide insights into its catalytic mechanism and disease-causing mutations. Structure, 21 (7), pp. 1182-1192. | Show Abstract | Read more

Malonyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase (MCD) is found from bacteria to humans, has important roles in regulating fatty acid metabolism and food intake, and is an attractive target for drug discovery. We report here four crystal structures of MCD from human, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Agrobacterium vitis, and Cupriavidus metallidurans at up to 2.3 Å resolution. The MCD monomer contains an N-terminal helical domain involved in oligomerization and a C-terminal catalytic domain. The four structures exhibit substantial differences in the organization of the helical domains and, consequently, the oligomeric states and intersubunit interfaces. Unexpectedly, the MCD catalytic domain is structurally homologous to those of the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase superfamily, especially the curacin A polyketide synthase catalytic module, with a conserved His-Ser/Thr dyad important for catalysis. Our structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, provide a molecular basis for understanding pathogenic mutations and catalysis, as well as a template for structure-based drug design.

Shafqat N, Muniz JRC, Pilka ES, Papagrigoriou E, von Delft F, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2013. Insight into S-adenosylmethionine biosynthesis from the crystal structures of the human methionine adenosyltransferase catalytic and regulatory subunits. Biochem J, 452 (1), pp. 27-36. | Show Abstract | Read more

MAT (methionine adenosyltransferase) utilizes L-methionine and ATP to form SAM (S-adenosylmethionine), the principal methyl donor in biological methylation. Mammals encode a liver-specific isoenzyme, MAT1A, that is genetically linked with an inborn metabolic disorder of hypermethioninaemia, as well as a ubiquitously expressed isoenzyme, MAT2A, whose enzymatic activity is regulated by an associated subunit MAT2B. To understand the molecular mechanism of MAT functions and interactions, we have crystallized the ligand-bound complexes of human MAT1A, MAT2A and MAT2B. The structures of MAT1A and MAT2A in binary complexes with their product SAM allow for a comparison with the Escherichia coli and rat structures. This facilitates the understanding of the different substrate or product conformations, mediated by the neighbouring gating loop, which can be accommodated by the compact active site during catalysis. The structure of MAT2B reveals an SDR (short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase) core with specificity for the NADP/H cofactor, and harbours the SDR catalytic triad (YxxxKS). Extended from the MAT2B core is a second domain with homology with an SDR sub-family that binds nucleotide-sugar substrates, although the equivalent region in MAT2B presents a more open and extended surface which may endow a different ligand/protein-binding capability. Together, the results of the present study provide a framework to assign structural features to the functional and catalytic properties of the human MAT proteins, and facilitate future studies to probe new catalytic and binding functions.

Shafqat N, Kavanagh KL, Sass JO, Christensen E, Fukao T, Lee WH, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2013. A structural mapping of mutations causing succinyl-CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase (SCOT) deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis, 36 (6), pp. 983-987. | Show Abstract | Read more

Succinyl-CoA:3-ketoacid CoA transferase (SCOT) deficiency is a rare inherited metabolic disorder of ketone metabolism, characterized by ketoacidotic episodes and often permanent ketosis. To date there are ~20 disease-associated alleles on the OXCT1 gene that encodes the mitochondrial enzyme SCOT. SCOT catalyzes the first, rate-limiting step of ketone body utilization in peripheral tissues, by transferring a CoA moiety from succinyl-CoA to form acetoacetyl-CoA, for entry into the tricarboxylic acid cycle for energy production. We have determined the crystal structure of human SCOT, providing a molecular understanding of the reported mutations based on their potential structural effects. An interactive version of this manuscript (which may contain additional mutations appended after acceptance of this manuscript) may be found on the web address: http://www.thesgc.org/jimd/SCOT .

Stuart HM, Roberts NA, Burgu B, Daly SB, Urquhart JE, Bhaskar S, Dickerson JE, Mermerkaya M, Silay MS, Lewis MA et al. 2013. LRIG2 mutations cause urofacial syndrome. Am J Hum Genet, 92 (2), pp. 259-264. | Show Abstract | Read more

Urofacial syndrome (UFS) (or Ochoa syndrome) is an autosomal-recessive disease characterized by congenital urinary bladder dysfunction, associated with a significant risk of kidney failure, and an abnormal facial expression upon smiling, laughing, and crying. We report that a subset of UFS-affected individuals have biallelic mutations in LRIG2, encoding leucine-rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains 2, a protein implicated in neural cell signaling and tumorigenesis. Importantly, we have demonstrated that rare variants in LRIG2 might be relevant to nonsyndromic bladder disease. We have previously shown that UFS is also caused by mutations in HPSE2, encoding heparanase-2. LRIG2 and heparanase-2 were immunodetected in nerve fascicles growing between muscle bundles within the human fetal bladder, directly implicating both molecules in neural development in the lower urinary tract.

Forny P, Froese DS, Suormala T, Yue WW, Baumgartner MR. 2012. ENZYMATIC CHARACTERIZATION AND THERMAL STABILITY ASSAYS ESTABLISH METHYLMALONYL-COA MUTASE MUTATIONS AS A TARGET FOR PHARMACOLOGICAL CHAPERONE SCREENING JOURNAL OF INHERITED METABOLIC DISEASE, 35 pp. S9-S9.

Chaikuad A, Pilka ES, De Riso A, von Delft F, Kavanagh KL, Vénien-Bryan C, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2012. Structure of human aspartyl aminopeptidase complexed with substrate analogue: insight into catalytic mechanism, substrate specificity and M18 peptidase family. BMC Struct Biol, 12 (1), pp. 14. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Aspartyl aminopeptidase (DNPEP), with specificity towards an acidic amino acid at the N-terminus, is the only mammalian member among the poorly understood M18 peptidases. DNPEP has implicated roles in protein and peptide metabolism, as well as the renin-angiotensin system in blood pressure regulation. Despite previous enzyme and substrate characterization, structural details of DNPEP regarding ligand recognition and catalytic mechanism remain to be delineated. RESULTS: The crystal structure of human DNPEP complexed with zinc and a substrate analogue aspartate-β-hydroxamate reveals a dodecameric machinery built by domain-swapped dimers, in agreement with electron microscopy data. A structural comparison with bacterial homologues identifies unifying catalytic features among the poorly understood M18 enzymes. The bound ligands in the active site also reveal the coordination mode of the binuclear zinc centre and a substrate specificity pocket for acidic amino acids. CONCLUSIONS: The DNPEP structure provides a molecular framework to understand its catalysis that is mediated by active site loop swapping, a mechanism likely adopted in other M18 and M42 metallopeptidases that form dodecameric complexes as a self-compartmentalization strategy. Small differences in the substrate binding pocket such as shape and positive charges, the latter conferred by a basic lysine residue, further provide the key to distinguishing substrate preference. Together, the structural knowledge will aid in the development of enzyme-/family-specific aminopeptidase inhibitors.

Froese DS, Krojer T, Wu X, Shrestha R, Kiyani W, von Delft F, Gravel RA, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2012. Structure of MMACHC reveals an arginine-rich pocket and a domain-swapped dimer for its B12 processing function. Biochemistry, 51 (25), pp. 5083-5090. | Show Abstract | Read more

Defects in the MMACHC gene represent the most common disorder of cobalamin (Cbl) metabolism, affecting synthesis of the enzyme cofactors adenosyl-Cbl and methyl-Cbl. The encoded MMACHC protein binds intracellular Cbl derivatives with different upper axial ligands and exhibits flavin mononucleotide (FMN)-dependent decyanase activity toward cyano-Cbl as well as glutathione (GSH)-dependent dealkylase activity toward alkyl-Cbls. We determined the structure of human MMACHC·adenosyl-Cbl complex, revealing a tailor-made nitroreductase scaffold which binds adenosyl-Cbl in a "base-off, five-coordinate" configuration for catalysis. We further identified an arginine-rich pocket close to the Cbl binding site responsible for GSH binding and dealkylation activity. Mutation of these highly conserved arginines, including a replication of the prevalent MMACHC missense mutation, Arg161Gln, disrupts GSH binding and dealkylation. We further showed that two Cbl-binding monomers dimerize to mediate the reciprocal exchange of a conserved "PNRRP" loop from both subunits, serving as a protein cap for the upper axial ligand in trans and required for proper dealkylation activity. Our dimeric structure is supported by solution studies, where dimerization is triggered upon binding its substrate adenosyl-Cbl or cofactor FMN. Together our data provide a structural framework to understanding catalytic function and disease mechanism for this multifunctional enzyme.

Grünert SC, Stucki M, Morscher RJ, Suormala T, Bürer C, Burda P, Christensen E, Ficicioglu C, Herwig J, Kölker S et al. 2012. 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase deficiency: clinical, biochemical, enzymatic and molecular studies in 88 individuals. Orphanet J Rare Dis, 7 (1), pp. 31. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Isolated 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCC) deficiency is an autosomal recessive disorder of leucine metabolism caused by mutations in MCCC1 or MCCC2 encoding the α and β subunit of MCC, respectively. The phenotype is highly variable ranging from acute neonatal onset with fatal outcome to asymptomatic adults. METHODS: We report clinical, biochemical, enzymatic and mutation data of 88 MCC deficient individuals, 53 identified by newborn screening, 26 diagnosed due to clinical symptoms or positive family history and 9 mothers, identified following the positive newborn screening result of their baby. RESULTS: Fifty-seven percent of patients were asymptomatic while 43% showed clinical symptoms, many of which were probably not related to MCC deficiency but due to ascertainment bias. However, 12 patients (5 of 53 identified by newborn screening) presented with acute metabolic decompensations. We identified 15 novel MCCC1 and 16 novel MCCC2 mutant alleles. Additionally, we report expression studies on 3 MCCC1 and 8 MCCC2 mutations and show an overview of all 132 MCCC1 and MCCC2 variants known to date. CONCLUSIONS: Our data confirm that MCC deficiency, despite low penetrance, may lead to a severe clinical phenotype resembling classical organic acidurias. However, neither the genotype nor the biochemical phenotype is helpful in predicting the clinical course.

Yue WW, Froese DS, Brennan PE. 2014. The role of protein structural analysis in the next generation sequencing era. Top Curr Chem, 336 pp. 67-98. | Show Abstract | Read more

Proteins are macromolecules that serve a cell's myriad processes and functions in all living organisms via dynamic interactions with other proteins, small molecules and cellular components. Genetic variations in the protein-encoding regions of the human genome account for >85% of all known Mendelian diseases, and play an influential role in shaping complex polygenic diseases. Proteins also serve as the predominant target class for the design of small molecule drugs to modulate their activity. Knowledge of the shape and form of proteins, by means of their three-dimensional structures, is therefore instrumental to understanding their roles in disease and their potentials for drug development. In this chapter we outline, with the wide readership of non-structural biologists in mind, the various experimental and computational methods available for protein structure determination. We summarize how the wealth of structure information, contributed to a large extent by the technological advances in structure determination to date, serves as a useful tool to decipher the molecular basis of genetic variations for disease characterization and diagnosis, particularly in the emerging era of genomic medicine, and becomes an integral component in the modern day approach towards rational drug development.

Pilka ES, Kochan G, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2012. Crystal structure of the secretory isozyme of mammalian carbonic anhydrases CA VI: implications for biological assembly and inhibitor development. Biochem Biophys Res Commun, 419 (3), pp. 485-489. | Show Abstract | Read more

Zn(2+)-dependent carbonic anhydrases (CA) catalyse the reversible hydration of carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and participate in diverse physiological processes, hence having manifold therapeutic potentials. Among the 15 human CAs with wide-ranging sub-cellular localisation and kinetic properties, CA VI is the only secretory isoform. The 1.9Å crystal structure of the human CA VI catalytic domain reveals a prototypical mammalian CA fold, and a novel dimeric arrangement as compared to previously-reported CA structures. The active site cavity contains a cluster of non-conserved residues that may be involved in ligand binding and have significant implications for developing the next-generation of isoform-specific inhibitors.

Chaikuad A, Froese DS, Berridge G, von Delft F, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2011. Conformational plasticity of glycogenin and its maltosaccharide substrate during glycogen biogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108 (52), pp. 21028-21033. | Show Abstract | Read more

Glycogenin initiates the synthesis of a maltosaccharide chain covalently attached to itself on Tyr195 via a stepwise glucosylation reaction, priming glycogen synthesis. We have captured crystallographic snapshots of human glycogenin during its reaction cycle, revealing a dynamic conformational switch between ground and active states mediated by the sugar donor UDP-glucose. This switch includes the ordering of a polypeptide stretch containing Tyr195, and major movement of an approximately 30-residue "lid" segment covering the active site. The rearranged lid guides the nascent maltosaccharide chain into the active site in either an intra- or intersubunit mode dependent upon chain length and steric factors and positions the donor and acceptor sugar groups for catalysis. The Thr83Met mutation, which causes glycogen storage disease XV, is conformationally locked in the ground state and catalytically inactive. Our data highlight the conformational plasticity of glycogenin and coexistence of two modes of glucosylation as integral to its catalytic mechanism.

Hillringhaus L, Yue WW, Rose NR, Ng SS, Gileadi C, Loenarz C, Bello SH, Bray JE, Schofield CJ, Oppermann U. 2011. Structural and evolutionary basis for the dual substrate selectivity of human KDM4 histone demethylase family. J Biol Chem, 286 (48), pp. 41616-41625. | Show Abstract | Read more

N(ε)-Methylations of histone lysine residues play critical roles in cell biology by "marking" chromatin for transcriptional activation or repression. Lysine demethylases reverse N(ε)-methylation in a sequence- and methylation-selective manner. The determinants of sequence selectivity for histone demethylases have been unclear. The human JMJD2 (KDM4) H3K9 and H3K36 demethylases can be divided into members that act on both H3K9 and H3K36 and H3K9 alone. Kinetic, crystallographic, and mutagenetic studies in vitro and in cells on KDM4A-E reveal that selectivity is determined by multiple interactions within the catalytic domain but outside the active site. Structurally informed phylogenetic analyses reveal that KDM4A-C orthologues exist in all genome-sequenced vertebrates with earlier animals containing only a single KDM4 enzyme. KDM4D orthologues only exist in eutherians (placental mammals) where they are conserved, including proposed substrate sequence-determining residues. The results will be useful for the identification of inhibitors for specific histone demethylases.

Yue WW, Oppermann U. 2011. High-throughput structural biology of metabolic enzymes and its impact on human diseases. J Inherit Metab Dis, 34 (3), pp. 575-581. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) is a public-private partnership that aims to determine the three-dimensional structures of human proteins of medical relevance and place them into the public domain without restriction. To date, the Oxford Metabolic Enzyme Group at SGC has deposited the structures of more than 140 human metabolic enzymes from diverse protein families such as oxidoreductases, hydrolases, oxygenases and fatty acid transferases. A subset of our target proteins are involved in the inherited disorders of carbohydrate, fatty acid, amino acid and vitamin metabolism. This article will provide an overview of the structural data gathered from our high-throughput efforts and the lessons learnt in the structure-function relationship of these enzymes, small molecule development and the molecular basis of disease mutations.

Lee WH, Yue WW, Raush E, Totrov M, Abagyan R, Oppermann U, Marsden BD. 2011. Interactive JIMD articles using the iSee concept: turning a new page on structural biology data. J Inherit Metab Dis, 34 (3), pp. 565-567. | Read more

Picaud S, Kavanagh KL, Yue WW, Lee WH, Muller-Knapp S, Gileadi O, Sacchettini J, Oppermann U. 2011. Structural basis of fumarate hydratase deficiency. J Inherit Metab Dis, 34 (3), pp. 671-676. | Show Abstract | Read more

Fumarate hydratase catalyzes the stereospecific hydration across the olefinic double bond in fumarate leading to L-malate. The enzyme is expressed in mitochondrial and cytosolic compartments, and participates in the Krebs cycle in mitochondria, as well as in regulation of cytosolic fumarate levels. Fumarate hydratase deficiency is an autosomal recessive trait presenting as metabolic disorder with severe encephalopathy, seizures and poor neurological outcome. Heterozygous mutations are associated with a predisposition to cutaneous and uterine leiomyomas and to renal cancer. The crystal structure of human fumarate hydratase shows that mutations can be grouped into two distinct classes either affecting structural integrity of the core enzyme architecture, or are localized around the enzyme active site. An interactive version of this manuscript (which may contain additional mutations appended after acceptance of this manuscript) may be found on the SSIEM website at: http://www.ssiem.org/resources/structures/FH .

Chaikuad A, Shafqat N, Al-Mokhtar R, Cameron G, Clarke AR, Brady RL, Oppermann U, Frayne J, Yue WW. 2011. Structure and kinetic characterization of human sperm-specific glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, GAPDS. Biochem J, 435 (2), pp. 401-409. | Show Abstract | Read more

hGAPDS (human sperm-specific glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) is a glycolytic enzyme essential for the survival of spermatozoa, and constitutes a potential target for non-hormonal contraception. However, enzyme characterization of GAPDS has been hampered by the difficulty in producing soluble recombinant protein. In the present study, we have overexpressed in Escherichia coli a highly soluble form of hGAPDS truncated at the N-terminus (hGAPDSΔN), and crystallized the homotetrameric enzyme in two ligand complexes. The hGAPDSΔN-NAD+-phosphate structure maps the two anion-recognition sites within the catalytic pocket that correspond to the conserved Ps site and the newly recognized Pi site identified in other organisms. The hGAPDSΔN-NAD+-glycerol structure shows serendipitous binding of glycerol at the Ps and new Pi sites, demonstrating the propensity of these anion-recognition sites to bind non-physiologically relevant ligands. A comparison of kinetic profiles between hGAPDSΔN and its somatic equivalent reveals a 3-fold increase in catalytic efficiency for hGAPDSΔN. This may be attributable to subtle amino acid substitutions peripheral to the active centre that influence the charge properties and protonation states of catalytic residues. Our data therefore elucidate structural and kinetic features of hGAPDS that might provide insightful information towards inhibitor development.

Froese DS, Kochan G, Muniz JRC, Chaikuad A, Wu X, Gileadi C, Ugochukwu E, Krysztofinska E, Gravel RA, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2011. DELINEATING THE MITOCHONDRIAL VITAMIN B12 PATHWAY THROUGH STRUCTURAL AND INTERACTION STUDIES JOURNAL OF INHERITED METABOLIC DISEASE, 34 pp. S119-S119.

Lee WH, Raush E, Totrov M, Abagyan R, Marsden BD, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2011. INTERACTIVE 3D VISUALISATIONS OF PROTEIN STRUCTURES TO AID THE STUDY OF INBORN ERRORS OF METABOLISM JOURNAL OF INHERITED METABOLIC DISEASE, 34 pp. S240-S240.

Froese DS, Kochan G, Muniz JRC, Wu X, Gileadi C, Ugochukwu E, Krysztofinska E, Gravel RA, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2010. Structures of the human GTPase MMAA and vitamin B12-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and insight into their complex formation. J Biol Chem, 285 (49), pp. 38204-38213. | Show Abstract | Read more

Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin, Cbl) is essential to the function of two human enzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT). The conversion of dietary Cbl to its cofactor forms, methyl-Cbl (MeCbl) for MS and adenosyl-Cbl (AdoCbl) for MUT, located in the cytosol and mitochondria, respectively, requires a complex pathway of intracellular processing and trafficking. One of the processing proteins, MMAA (methylmalonic aciduria type A), is implicated in the mitochondrial assembly of AdoCbl into MUT and is defective in children from the cblA complementation group of cobalamin disorders. To characterize the functional interplay between MMAA and MUT, we have crystallized human MMAA in the GDP-bound form and human MUT in the apo, holo, and substrate-bound ternary forms. Structures of both proteins reveal highly conserved domain architecture and catalytic machinery for ligand binding, yet they show substantially different dimeric assembly and interaction, compared with their bacterial counterparts. We show that MMAA exhibits GTPase activity that is modulated by MUT and that the two proteins interact in vitro and in vivo. Formation of a stable MMAA-MUT complex is nucleotide-selective for MMAA (GMPPNP over GDP) and apoenzyme-dependent for MUT. The physiological importance of this interaction is highlighted by a recently identified homoallelic patient mutation of MMAA, G188R, which, we show, retains basal GTPase activity but has abrogated interaction. Together, our data point to a gatekeeping role for MMAA by favoring complex formation with MUT apoenzyme for AdoCbl assembly and releasing the AdoCbl-loaded holoenzyme from the complex, in a GTP-dependent manner.

Healy S, McDonald MK, Wu X, Yue WW, Kochan G, Oppermann U, Gravel RA. 2010. Structural impact of human and Escherichia coli biotin carboxyl carrier proteins on biotin attachment. Biochemistry, 49 (22), pp. 4687-4694. | Show Abstract | Read more

Holocarboxylase synthetase (HCS, human) and BirA (Escherichia coli) are biotin protein ligases that catalyze the ATP-dependent attachment of biotin to apocarboxylases. Biotin attachment occurs on a highly conserved lysine residue within a consensus sequence (Ala/Val-Met-Lys-Met) that is found in carboxylases in most organisms. Numerous studies have indicated that HCS and BirA, as well as biotin protein ligases from other organisms, can attach biotin to apocarboxylases from different organisms, indicating that the mechanism of biotin attachment is well conserved. In this study, we examined the cross-reactivity of biotin attachment between human and bacterial biotin ligases by comparing biotinylation of p-67 and BCCP87, the biotin-attachment domain fragments from human propionyl-CoA carboxylase and E. coli acetyl-CoA carboxylase, respectively. While BirA has similar biotinylation activity toward the two substrates, HCS has reduced activity toward bacterial BCCP87 relative to its native substrate, p-67. The crystal structure of a digested form of p-67, spanning a sequence that contains a seven-residue protruding thumb loop in BCCP87, revealed the absence of a similar structure in the human peptide. Significantly, an engineered "thumbless" bacterial BCCP87 could be biotinylated by HCS, with substrate affinity restored to near normal. This study suggests that the thumb loop found in bacterial carboxylases interferes with optimal interaction with the mammalian biotin protein ligase. While the function of the thumb loop remains unknown, these results indicate a constraint on specificity of the bacterial substrate for biotin attachment that is not itself a feature of BirA.

Shafqat N, Turnbull A, Zschocke J, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2010. Crystal structures of human HMG-CoA synthase isoforms provide insights into inherited ketogenesis disorders and inhibitor design. J Mol Biol, 398 (4), pp. 497-506. | Show Abstract | Read more

3-Hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (CoA) synthase (HMGCS) catalyzes the condensation of acetyl-CoA and acetoacetyl-CoA into 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl CoA. It is ubiquitous across the phylogenetic tree and is broadly classified into three classes. The prokaryotic isoform is essential in Gram-positive bacteria for isoprenoid synthesis via the mevalonate pathway. The eukaryotic cytosolic isoform also participates in the mevalonate pathway but its end product is cholesterol. Mammals also contain a mitochondrial isoform; its deficiency results in an inherited disorder of ketone body formation. Here, we report high-resolution crystal structures of the human cytosolic (hHMGCS1) and mitochondrial (hHMGCS2) isoforms in binary product complexes. Our data represent the first structures solved for human HMGCS and the mitochondrial isoform, allowing for the first time structural comparison among the three isoforms. This serves as a starting point for the development of isoform-specific inhibitors that have potential cholesterol-reducing and antibiotic applications. In addition, missense mutations that cause mitochondrial HMGCS deficiency have been mapped onto the hHMGCS2 structure to rationalize the structural basis for the disease pathology.

Yue WW, Hozjan V, Ge W, Loenarz C, Cooper CDO, Schofield CJ, Kavanagh KL, Oppermann U, McDonough MA. 2010. Crystal structure of the PHF8 Jumonji domain, an Nepsilon-methyl lysine demethylase. FEBS Lett, 584 (4), pp. 825-830. | Show Abstract | Read more

Crystallographic analysis of the catalytic domain of PHD finger protein 8 (PHF8), an N(epsilon)-methyl lysine histone demethylase associated with mental retardation and cleft lip/palate, reveals a double-stranded beta-helix fold with conserved Fe(II) and cosubstrate binding sites typical of the 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenases. The PHF8 active site is highly conserved with those of the FBXL10/11demethylases, which are also selective for the di-/mono-methylated lysine states, but differs from that of the JMJD2 demethylases which are selective for tri-/di-methylated states. The results rationalize the lack of activity for the clinically observed F279S PHF8 variant and they will help to identify inhibitors selective for specific N(epsilon)-methyl lysine demethylase subfamilies.

Picaud SS, Muniz JRC, Kramm A, Pilka ES, Kochan G, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2009. Crystal structure of human carbonic anhydrase-related protein VIII reveals the basis for catalytic silencing. Proteins, 76 (2), pp. 507-511. | Read more

Kochan G, Pilka ES, von Delft F, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2009. Structural snapshots for the conformation-dependent catalysis by human medium-chain acyl-coenzyme A synthetase ACSM2A. J Mol Biol, 388 (5), pp. 997-1008. | Show Abstract | Read more

Acyl-CoA synthetases belong to the superfamily of adenylate-forming enzymes, and catalyze the two-step activation of fatty acids or carboxylate-containing xenobiotics. The carboxylate substrate first reacts with ATP to form an acyl-adenylate intermediate, which then reacts with CoA to produce an acyl-CoA ester. Here, we report the first crystal structure of a medium-chain acyl-CoA synthetase ACSM2A, in a series of substrate/product/cofactor complexes central to the catalytic mechanism. We observed a substantial rearrangement between the N- and C-terminal domains, driven purely by the identity of the bound ligand in the active site. Our structures allowed us to identify the presence or absence of the ATP pyrophosphates as the conformational switch, and elucidated new mechanistic details, including the role of invariant Lys557 and a divalent magnesium ion in coordinating the ATP pyrophosphates, as well as the involvement of a Gly-rich P-loop and the conserved Arg472-Glu365 salt bridge in the domain rearrangement.

Ng SS, Yue WW, Oppermann U, Klose RJ. 2009. Dynamic protein methylation in chromatin biology. Cell Mol Life Sci, 66 (3), pp. 407-422. | Show Abstract | Read more

Post-translational modification of chromatin is emerging as an increasingly important regulator of chromosomal processes. In particular, histone lysine and arginine methylation play important roles in regulating transcription, maintaining genomic integrity, and contributing to epigenetic memory. Recently, the use of new approaches to analyse histone methylation, the generation of genetic model systems, and the ability to interrogate genome wide histone modification profiles has aided in defining how histone methylation contributes to these processes. Here we focus on the recent advances in our understanding of the histone methylation system and examine how dynamic histone methylation contributes to normal cellular function in mammals.

Hassler M, Singh S, Yue WW, Luczynski M, Lakbir R, Sanchez-Sanchez F, Bader T, Pearl LH, Mittnacht S. 2007. Crystal structure of the retinoblastoma protein N domain provides insight into tumor suppression, ligand interaction, and holoprotein architecture. Mol Cell, 28 (3), pp. 371-385. | Show Abstract | Read more

The retinoblastoma susceptibility protein, Rb, has a key role in regulating cell-cycle progression via interactions involving the central "pocket" and C-terminal regions. While the N-terminal domain of Rb is dispensable for this function, it is nonetheless strongly conserved and harbors missense mutations found in hereditary retinoblastoma, indicating that disruption of its function is oncogenic. The crystal structure of the Rb N-terminal domain (RbN), reveals a globular entity formed by two rigidly connected cyclin-like folds. The similarity of RbN to the A and B boxes of the Rb pocket domain suggests that Rb evolved through domain duplication. Structural and functional analysis provides insight into oncogenicity of mutations in RbN and identifies a unique phosphorylation-regulated site of protein interaction. Additionally, this analysis suggests a coherent conformation for the Rb holoprotein in which RbN and pocket domains directly interact, and which can be modulated through ligand binding and possibly Rb phosphorylation.

Yue WW, Hassler M, Roe SM, Thompson-Vale V, Pearl LH. 2007. Insights into histone code syntax from structural and biochemical studies of CARM1 methyltransferase. EMBO J, 26 (20), pp. 4402-4412. | Show Abstract | Read more

Coactivator-associated arginine methyltransferase (CARM1) is a transcriptional coactivator that methylates Arg17 and Arg26 in histone H3. CARM1 contains a conserved protein arginine methyltransferase (PRMT) catalytic core flanked by unique pre- and post-core regions. The crystal structures of the CARM1 catalytic core in the apo and holo states reveal cofactor-dependent formation of a substrate-binding groove providing a specific access channel for arginine to the active site. The groove is supported by the first eight residues of the post-core region (C-extension), not present in other PRMTs. In vitro methylation assays show that the C-extension is essential for all histone H3 methylation activity, whereas the pre-core region is required for methylation of Arg26, but not Arg17. Kinetic analysis shows Arg17 methylation is potentiated by pre-acetylation of Lys18, and this is reflected in k(cat) rather than K(m). Together with the absence of specificity subsites in the structure, this suggests an electrostatic sensing mechanism for communicating the modification status of vicinal residues as part of the syntax of the 'histone code.'

Schalk IJ, Yue WW, Buchanan SK. 2004. Recognition of iron-free siderophores by TonB-dependent iron transporters. Mol Microbiol, 54 (1), pp. 14-22. | Show Abstract | Read more

TonB-dependent iron transporters reside in the outer membranes of Gram-negative bacteria, transporting ferric-complexes into the periplasm by a mechanism requiring proton motive force and an integral inner membrane complex, TonB-ExbB-ExbD. Certain TonB-dependent transporters contain an additional domain at the N-terminus, which interacts with an inner membrane regulatory protein and a cytoplasmic sigma factor to induce transcription of iron transport genes when a ferric-ligand is bound at the extracellular surface of the transporter. Transport of the ferric-ligand is apparently not necessary for transcription induction. Recent biophysical and crystallographic experiments have shown that this subclass of TonB-dependent iron transporters can bind iron-free ligands, whereas only the ferric-ligands are transported into the periplasm. This review focuses on the ligand binding properties of these transporters and includes a discussion of the biological function of the additional domain, the mechanism of transcription induction and the mechanism of ferric-ligand transport.

Yue WW, Grizot S, Buchanan SK. 2003. Structural evidence for iron-free citrate and ferric citrate binding to the TonB-dependent outer membrane transporter FecA. J Mol Biol, 332 (2), pp. 353-368. | Show Abstract | Read more

Escherichia coli possesses a TonB-dependent transport system, which exploits the iron-binding capacity of citrate and its natural abundance. Here, we describe three structures of the outer membrane ferric citrate transporter FecA: unliganded and complexed with iron-free or diferric dicitrate. We show the structural mechanism for discrimination between the iron-free and ferric siderophore: the binding of diferric dicitrate, but not iron-free dicitrate alone, causes major conformational rearrangements in the transporter. The structure of FecA bound with iron-free dicitrate represents the first structure of a TonB-dependent transporter bound with an iron-free siderophore. Binding of diferric dicitrate to FecA results in changes in the orientation of the two citrate ions relative to each other and in their interactions with FecA, compared to the binding of iron-free dicitrate. The changes in ligand binding are accompanied by conformational changes in three areas of FecA: two extracellular loops, one plug domain loop and the periplasmic TonB-box motif. The positional and conformational changes in the siderophore and transporter initiate two independent events: ferric citrate transport into the periplasm and transcription induction of the fecABCDE transport genes. From these data, we propose a two-step ligand recognition event: FecA binds iron-free dicitrate in the non-productive state or first step, followed by siderophore displacement to form the transport-competent, diferric dicitrate-bound state in the second step.

Froese DS, Kopec J, Rembeza E, Bezerra GA, Oberholzer AE, Suormala T, Lutz S, Chalk R, Borkowska O, Baumgartner MR, Yue WW. 2018. Structural basis for the regulation of human 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase by phosphorylation and S-adenosylmethionine inhibition. Nat Commun, 9 (1), pp. 2261. | Show Abstract | Read more

The folate and methionine cycles are crucial for biosynthesis of lipids, nucleotides and proteins, and production of the methyl donor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). 5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) represents a key regulatory connection between these cycles, generating 5-methyltetrahydrofolate for initiation of the methionine cycle, and undergoing allosteric inhibition by its end product SAM. Our 2.5 Å resolution crystal structure of human MTHFR reveals a unique architecture, appending the well-conserved catalytic TIM-barrel to a eukaryote-only SAM-binding domain. The latter domain of novel fold provides the predominant interface for MTHFR homo-dimerization, positioning the N-terminal serine-rich phosphorylation region near the C-terminal SAM-binding domain. This explains how MTHFR phosphorylation, identified on 11 N-terminal residues (16 in total), increases sensitivity to SAM binding and inhibition. Finally, we demonstrate that the 25-amino-acid inter-domain linker enables conformational plasticity and propose it to be a key mediator of SAM regulation. Together, these results provide insight into the molecular regulation of MTHFR.

Oerum S, Roovers M, Rambo RP, Kopec J, Bailey HJ, Fitzpatrick F, Newman JA, Newman WG, Amberger A, Zschocke J et al. 2018. Structural insight into the human mitochondrial tRNA purine N1-methyltransferase and ribonuclease P complexes. J Biol Chem, 293 (33), pp. 12862-12876. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mitochondrial tRNAs are transcribed as long polycistronic transcripts of precursor tRNAs and undergo posttranscriptional modifications such as endonucleolytic processing and methylation required for their correct structure and function. Among them, 5'-end processing and purine 9 N1-methylation of mitochondrial tRNA are catalyzed by two proteinaceous complexes with overlapping subunit composition. The Mg2+-dependent RNase P complex for 5'-end cleavage comprises the methyltransferase domain-containing protein tRNA methyltransferase 10C, mitochondrial RNase P subunit (TRMT10C/MRPP1), short-chain oxidoreductase hydroxysteroid 17β-dehydrogenase 10 (HSD17B10/MRPP2), and metallonuclease KIAA0391/MRPP3. An MRPP1-MRPP2 subcomplex also catalyzes the formation of 1-methyladenosine/1-methylguanosine at position 9 using S-adenosyl-l-methionine as methyl donor. However, a lack of structural information has precluded insights into how these complexes methylate and process mitochondrial tRNA. Here, we used a combination of X-ray crystallography, interaction and activity assays, and small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to gain structural insight into the two tRNA modification complexes and their components. The MRPP1 N terminus is involved in tRNA binding and monomer-monomer self-interaction, whereas the C-terminal SPOUT fold contains key residues for S-adenosyl-l-methionine binding and N1-methylation. The entirety of MRPP1 interacts with MRPP2 to form the N1-methylation complex, whereas the MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 RNase P complex only assembles in the presence of precursor tRNA. This study proposes low-resolution models of the MRPP1-MRPP2 and MRPP1-MRPP2-MRPP3 complexes that suggest the overall architecture, stoichiometry, and orientation of subunits and tRNA substrates.

Bradley AR, Echalier A, Fairhead M, Strain-Damerell C, Brennan P, Bullock AN, Burgess-Brown NA, Carpenter EP, Gileadi O, Marsden BD et al. 2017. The SGC beyond structural genomics: redefining the role of 3D structures by coupling genomic stratification with fragment-based discovery. Essays Biochem, 61 (5), pp. 495-503. | Show Abstract | Read more

The ongoing explosion in genomics data has long since outpaced the capacity of conventional biochemical methodology to verify the large number of hypotheses that emerge from the analysis of such data. In contrast, it is still a gold-standard for early phenotypic validation towards small-molecule drug discovery to use probe molecules (or tool compounds), notwithstanding the difficulty and cost of generating them. Rational structure-based approaches to ligand discovery have long promised the efficiencies needed to close this divergence; in practice, however, this promise remains largely unfulfilled, for a host of well-rehearsed reasons and despite the huge technical advances spearheaded by the structural genomics initiatives of the noughties. Therefore the current, fourth funding phase of the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), building on its extensive experience in structural biology of novel targets and design of protein inhibitors, seeks to redefine what it means to do structural biology for drug discovery. We developed the concept of a Target Enabling Package (TEP) that provides, through reagents, assays and data, the missing link between genetic disease linkage and the development of usefully potent compounds. There are multiple prongs to the ambition: rigorously assessing targets' genetic disease linkages through crowdsourcing to a network of collaborating experts; establishing a systematic approach to generate the protocols and data that comprise each target's TEP; developing new, X-ray-based fragment technologies for generating high quality chemical matter quickly and cheaply; and exploiting a stringently open access model to build multidisciplinary partnerships throughout academia and industry. By learning how to scale these approaches, the SGC aims to make structures finally serve genomics, as originally intended, and demonstrate how 3D structures systematically allow new modes of druggability to be discovered for whole classes of targets.

Yue WW. 2016. From structural biology to designing therapy for inborn errors of metabolism. J Inherit Metab Dis, 39 (4), pp. 489-498. | Show Abstract | Read more

At the SSIEM Symposium in Istanbul 2010, I presented an overview of protein structural approaches in the study of inborn errors of metabolism (Yue and Oppermann 2011). Five years on, the field is going strong with new protein structures, uncovered catalytic functions and novel chemical matters for metabolic enzymes, setting the stage for the next generation of drug discovery. This article aims to update on recent advances and lessons learnt on inborn errors of metabolism via the protein-centric approach, citing examples of work from my group, collaborators and co-workers that cover diverse pathways of transsulfuration, cobalamin and glycogen metabolism. Taking into consideration that many inborn errors of metabolism result in the loss of enzyme function, this presentation aims to outline three key principles that guide the design of small molecule therapy in this technically challenging field: (1) integrating structural, biochemical and cell-based data to evaluate the wide spectrum of mutation-driven enzyme defects in stability, catalysis and protein-protein interaction; (2) studying multi-domain proteins and multi-protein complexes as examples from nature, to learn how enzymes are activated by small molecules; (3) surveying different regions of the enzyme, away from its active site, that can be targeted for the design of allosteric activators and inhibitors.

Cited:

21

WOS

Montgomery AB, Kopec J, Shrestha L, Thezenas M-L, Burgess-Brown NA, Fischer R, Yue WW, Venables PJ. 2016. Crystal structure of Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase: implications for autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES, 75 (6), pp. 1255-1261. | Read more

McCorvie TJ, Kopec J, Pey AL, Fitzpatrick F, Patel D, Chalk R, Shrestha L, Yue WW. 2016. Molecular basis of classic galactosemia from the structure of human galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase. Hum Mol Genet, 25 (11), pp. 2234-2244. | Show Abstract | Read more

Classic galactosemia is a potentially lethal disease caused by the dysfunction of galactose 1-phosphate uridylyltransferase (GALT). Over 300 disease-associated GALT mutations have been reported, with the majority being missense changes, although a better understanding of their underlying molecular effects has been hindered by the lack of structural information for the human enzyme. Here, we present the 1.9 Å resolution crystal structure of human GALT (hGALT) ternary complex, revealing a homodimer arrangement that contains a covalent uridylylated intermediate and glucose-1-phosphate in the active site, as well as a structural zinc-binding site, per monomer. hGALT reveals significant structural differences from bacterial GALT homologues in metal ligation and dimer interactions, and therefore is a zbetter model for understanding the molecular consequences of disease mutations. Both uridylylation and zinc binding influence the stability and aggregation tendency of hGALT. This has implications for disease-associated variants where p.Gln188Arg, the most commonly detected, increases the rate of aggregation in the absence of zinc likely due to its reduced ability to form the uridylylated intermediate. As such our structure serves as a template in the future design of pharmacological chaperone therapies and opens new concepts about the roles of metal binding and activity in protein misfolding by disease-associated mutants.

Froese DS, Michaeli A, McCorvie TJ, Krojer T, Sasi M, Melaev E, Goldblum A, Zatsepin M, Lossos A, Álvarez R et al. 2015. Structural basis of glycogen branching enzyme deficiency and pharmacologic rescue by rational peptide design. Hum Mol Genet, 24 (20), pp. 5667-5676. | Show Abstract | Read more

Glycogen branching enzyme 1 (GBE1) plays an essential role in glycogen biosynthesis by generating α-1,6-glucosidic branches from α-1,4-linked glucose chains, to increase solubility of the glycogen polymer. Mutations in the GBE1 gene lead to the heterogeneous early-onset glycogen storage disorder type IV (GSDIV) or the late-onset adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD). To better understand this essential enzyme, we crystallized human GBE1 in the apo form, and in complex with a tetra- or hepta-saccharide. The GBE1 structure reveals a conserved amylase core that houses the active centre for the branching reaction and harbours almost all GSDIV and APBD mutations. A non-catalytic binding cleft, proximal to the site of the common APBD mutation p.Y329S, was found to bind the tetra- and hepta-saccharides and may represent a higher-affinity site employed to anchor the complex glycogen substrate for the branching reaction. Expression of recombinant GBE1-p.Y329S resulted in drastically reduced protein yield and solubility compared with wild type, suggesting this disease allele causes protein misfolding and may be amenable to small molecule stabilization. To explore this, we generated a structural model of GBE1-p.Y329S and designed peptides ab initio to stabilize the mutation. As proof-of-principle, we evaluated treatment of one tetra-peptide, Leu-Thr-Lys-Glu, in APBD patient cells. We demonstrate intracellular transport of this peptide, its binding and stabilization of GBE1-p.Y329S, and 2-fold increased mutant enzymatic activity compared with untreated patient cells. Together, our data provide the rationale and starting point for the screening of small molecule chaperones, which could become novel therapies for this disease.

McCorvie TJ, Kopec J, Hyung S-J, Fitzpatrick F, Feng X, Termine D, Strain-Damerell C, Vollmar M, Fleming J, Janz JM et al. 2014. Inter-domain communication of human cystathionine β-synthase: structural basis of S-adenosyl-L-methionine activation. J Biol Chem, 289 (52), pp. 36018-36030. | Show Abstract | Read more

Cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) is a key enzyme in sulfur metabolism, and its inherited deficiency causes homocystinuria. Mammalian CBS is modulated by the binding of S-adenosyl-l-methionine (AdoMet) to its regulatory domain, which activates its catalytic domain. To investigate the underlying mechanism, we performed x-ray crystallography, mutagenesis, and mass spectrometry (MS) on human CBS. The 1.7 Å structure of a AdoMet-bound CBS regulatory domain shows one AdoMet molecule per monomer, at the interface between two constituent modules (CBS-1, CBS-2). AdoMet binding is accompanied by a reorientation between the two modules, relative to the AdoMet-free basal state, to form interactions with AdoMet via residues verified by mutagenesis to be important for AdoMet binding (Phe(443), Asp(444), Gln(445), and Asp(538)) and for AdoMet-driven inter-domain communication (Phe(443), Asp(538)). The observed structural change is further supported by ion mobility MS, showing that as-purified CBS exists in two conformational populations, which converged to one in the presence of AdoMet. We therefore propose that AdoMet-induced conformational change alters the interface and arrangement between the catalytic and regulatory domains within the CBS oligomer, thereby increasing the accessibility of the enzyme active site for catalysis.

Froese DS, Forouhar F, Tran TH, Vollmar M, Kim YS, Lew S, Neely H, Seetharaman J, Shen Y, Xiao R et al. 2013. Crystal structures of malonyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase provide insights into its catalytic mechanism and disease-causing mutations. Structure, 21 (7), pp. 1182-1192. | Show Abstract | Read more

Malonyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase (MCD) is found from bacteria to humans, has important roles in regulating fatty acid metabolism and food intake, and is an attractive target for drug discovery. We report here four crystal structures of MCD from human, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Agrobacterium vitis, and Cupriavidus metallidurans at up to 2.3 Å resolution. The MCD monomer contains an N-terminal helical domain involved in oligomerization and a C-terminal catalytic domain. The four structures exhibit substantial differences in the organization of the helical domains and, consequently, the oligomeric states and intersubunit interfaces. Unexpectedly, the MCD catalytic domain is structurally homologous to those of the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase superfamily, especially the curacin A polyketide synthase catalytic module, with a conserved His-Ser/Thr dyad important for catalysis. Our structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, provide a molecular basis for understanding pathogenic mutations and catalysis, as well as a template for structure-based drug design.

Chaikuad A, Froese DS, Berridge G, von Delft F, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2011. Conformational plasticity of glycogenin and its maltosaccharide substrate during glycogen biogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 108 (52), pp. 21028-21033. | Show Abstract | Read more

Glycogenin initiates the synthesis of a maltosaccharide chain covalently attached to itself on Tyr195 via a stepwise glucosylation reaction, priming glycogen synthesis. We have captured crystallographic snapshots of human glycogenin during its reaction cycle, revealing a dynamic conformational switch between ground and active states mediated by the sugar donor UDP-glucose. This switch includes the ordering of a polypeptide stretch containing Tyr195, and major movement of an approximately 30-residue "lid" segment covering the active site. The rearranged lid guides the nascent maltosaccharide chain into the active site in either an intra- or intersubunit mode dependent upon chain length and steric factors and positions the donor and acceptor sugar groups for catalysis. The Thr83Met mutation, which causes glycogen storage disease XV, is conformationally locked in the ground state and catalytically inactive. Our data highlight the conformational plasticity of glycogenin and coexistence of two modes of glucosylation as integral to its catalytic mechanism.

Froese DS, Kochan G, Muniz JRC, Wu X, Gileadi C, Ugochukwu E, Krysztofinska E, Gravel RA, Oppermann U, Yue WW. 2010. Structures of the human GTPase MMAA and vitamin B12-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase and insight into their complex formation. J Biol Chem, 285 (49), pp. 38204-38213. | Show Abstract | Read more

Vitamin B(12) (cobalamin, Cbl) is essential to the function of two human enzymes, methionine synthase (MS) and methylmalonyl-CoA mutase (MUT). The conversion of dietary Cbl to its cofactor forms, methyl-Cbl (MeCbl) for MS and adenosyl-Cbl (AdoCbl) for MUT, located in the cytosol and mitochondria, respectively, requires a complex pathway of intracellular processing and trafficking. One of the processing proteins, MMAA (methylmalonic aciduria type A), is implicated in the mitochondrial assembly of AdoCbl into MUT and is defective in children from the cblA complementation group of cobalamin disorders. To characterize the functional interplay between MMAA and MUT, we have crystallized human MMAA in the GDP-bound form and human MUT in the apo, holo, and substrate-bound ternary forms. Structures of both proteins reveal highly conserved domain architecture and catalytic machinery for ligand binding, yet they show substantially different dimeric assembly and interaction, compared with their bacterial counterparts. We show that MMAA exhibits GTPase activity that is modulated by MUT and that the two proteins interact in vitro and in vivo. Formation of a stable MMAA-MUT complex is nucleotide-selective for MMAA (GMPPNP over GDP) and apoenzyme-dependent for MUT. The physiological importance of this interaction is highlighted by a recently identified homoallelic patient mutation of MMAA, G188R, which, we show, retains basal GTPase activity but has abrogated interaction. Together, our data point to a gatekeeping role for MMAA by favoring complex formation with MUT apoenzyme for AdoCbl assembly and releasing the AdoCbl-loaded holoenzyme from the complex, in a GTP-dependent manner.

Molecular basis of moonlighting enzymes – the Swiss army knives in a cell

While metabolic enzymes classically catalyse a chemical reaction within a pathway, emerging data point to certain metabolic enzymes that moonlight in non-metabolic, and even non-enzymatic functions. These additional functions are often mediated by protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions, within the context of macromolecular complexes. Characterization of these interaction networks are key to deciphering how moonlighting enzymes multi-task, and how they impact on the phenotypic spectrum of ...

View project

1029

Thank you for registering your interest

We were unable to record your request to register for interest in future opportunities. Please try again and if problems persist contact us at webteam@ndm.ox.ac.uk