Phenylalanine as a hydroxyl radical-specific probe in pyrite slurries.
ABSTRACT: The abundant iron sulfide mineral pyrite has been shown to catalytically produce hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and hydroxyl radical (.OH) in slurries of oxygenated water. Understanding the formation and fate of these reactive oxygen species is important to biological and ecological systems as exposure can lead to deleterious health effects, but also environmental engineering during the optimization of remediation approaches for possible treatment of contaminated waste streams. This study presents the use of the amino acid phenylalanine (Phe) to monitor the kinetics of pyrite-induced .OH formation through rates of hydroxylation forming three isomers of tyrosine (Tyr) - ortho-, meta-, and para-Tyr. Results indicate that about 50% of the Phe loss results in Tyr formation, and that these products further react with .OH at rates comparable to Phe. The overall loss of Phe appeared to be pseudo first-order in [Phe] as a function of time, but for the first time it is shown that initial rates were much less than first-order as a function of initial substrate concentration, [Phe]o. These results can be rationalized by considering that the effective concentration of .OH in solution is lower at a higher level of reactant and that an increasing fraction of .OH is consumed by Phe-degradation products as a function of time. A simplified first-order model was created to describe Phe loss in pyrite slurries which incorporates the [Phe]o, a first-order dependence on pyrite surface area, the assumption that all Phe degradation products compete equally for the limited supply of highly reactive .OH, and a flux that is related to the release of H2O2 from the pyrite surface (a result of the incomplete reduction of oxygen at the pyrite surface). An empirically derived rate constant, Kpyr, was introduced to describe a variable .OH-reactivity for different batches of pyrite. Both the simplified first-order kinetic model, and a more detailed numerical simulation, yielded results that compare well to the observed kinetic data describing the effects of variations in concentrations of both initial Phe and pyrite. This work supports the use of Phe as a useful probe to assess the formation of .OH in the presence of pyrite, and its possible utility for similar applications with other minerals.
Project description:Pyrite, the most abundant metal sulphide on Earth, is known to spontaneously form hydrogen peroxide when exposed to water. In this study the hypothesis that pyrite-induced hydrogen peroxide is transformed to hydroxyl radicals is tested.Using a combination of electron spin resonance (ESR) spin-trapping techniques and scavenging reactions involving nucleic acids, the formation of hydroxyl radicals in pyrite/aqueous suspensions is demonstrated. The addition of EDTA to pyrite slurries inhibits the hydrogen peroxide-to-hydroxyl radical conversion, but does not inhibit the formation of hydrogen peroxide. Given the stability of EDTA chelation with both ferrous and ferric iron, this suggests that the addition of the EDTA prevents the transformation by chelation of dissolved iron species.While the exact mechanism or mechanisms of the hydrogen peroxide-to-hydroxyl radical conversion cannot be resolved on the basis of the experiments reported in this study, it is clear that the pyrite surface promotes the reaction. The formation of hydroxyl radicals is significant because they react nearly instantaneously with most organic molecules. This suggests that the presence of pyrite in natural, engineered, or physiological aqueous systems may induce the transformation of a wide range of organic molecules. This finding has implications for the role pyrite may play in aquatic environments and raises the question whether inhalation of pyrite dust contributes to the development of lung diseases.
Project description:The novel phenylalanine analogues 4'-[N-((4'-phenyl)phenethyl)carboxamido]phenylalanine (Bcp) and 2',6'-dimethyl-4'-[N-((4'-phenyl)phenethyl)carboxamido]phenylalanine (Dbcp) were substituted for Tyr(1) in the delta opioid antagonist TIPP (H-Tyr-Tic-Phe-Phe-OH; Tic = tetrahydroisoquinoline-3-carboxylic acid). Unexpectedly, [Bcp(1)]TIPP was a potent, selective delta opioid agonist, whereas [Dbcp(1)]TIPP retained high delta antagonist activity. Receptor docking studies indicated similar binding modes for the two peptides except for the biphenylethyl moiety which occupied distinct receptor subsites. The dipeptide H-Dbcp-Tic-OH was a highly selective delta antagonist with subnanomolar delta receptor affinity.
Project description:Penicillopepsin catalyses transpeptidation reactions involving the transfer of the N-terminal amino acids of suitable substrates via covalent acyl intermediates to acceptor peptides, usually the substrate. The major products obtained when Phe-Tyr-Thr-Pro-Lys-Ala and Met-Leu-Gly were used as substrates were Phe-Phe and Met-Met respectively. With Met-Leu-Gly the tetrapeptide Met-Met-Leu-Gly was observed as probable intermediate. Co-incubation of Leu-Tyr-Leu and Phe-Tyr-Thr-Pro-Lys-Ala led to the formation of Leu-Phe and Phe-Leu as well as Leu-Leu and Phe-Phe. No reaction was observed with tripeptides in which the first or second amino acid is glycine. It appears that two amino aicds with large hydrophobic residues are needed for the transpeptidation reaction. Nucleophilic compounds other than peptides, such as hydroxylamine, aliphatic alcohols and dinitrophenylhydrazine, were not acceptors for the acyl group. Leucine, phenylalanine and leucine methyl ester also had no effect on the reaction. The transpeptidation reaction proceeded readily at pH 3.6 and 4.7. At pH 6.0 the reaction was slow and at pH 1.9 little or no transpeptidation was observed. Porcine pepsin catalyses similar transpeptidation reactions. Sequence studies show that porcine pepsin and penicillopepsin are homologous. The present study also suggests that they have a very similar mechanism. Evidence available at this time indicates that the mechanism of these enzymes is complex and may be modulated by secondary substrate-enzyme interactions. A hypothesis is presented which proposes that pepsin-catalysed reactions proceed via different covalent intermediates (amino-intermediates or acylintermediates) depending on the nature of the substrate. The possibility that some reactions do not involve covalent intermediates is also discussed.
Project description:A methodology for the solid-phase synthesis of biaryl bicyclic peptides containing a Phe-Phe, a Phe-Tyr or a Tyr-Tyr motif has been devised. This approach comprises two key steps. The first one involves the cyclization of a linear peptidyl resin containing the corresponding halo- and boronoamino acids via a microwave-assisted Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling. This step is followed by the macrolactamization of the resulting biaryl monocyclic peptidyl resin leading to the formation of the expected biaryl bicyclic peptide. This study provides the first solid-phase synthesis of this type of bicyclic compounds being amenable to prepare a diversity of synthetic or natural biaryl bicyclic peptides.
Project description:SET domain protein lysine methyltransferases (PKMTs) regulate transcription and other cellular functions through site-specific methylation of histones and other substrates. PKMTs catalyze the formation of monomethylated, dimethylated, or trimethylated products, establishing an additional hierarchy with respect to methyllysine recognition in signaling. Biochemical studies of PKMTs have identified a conserved position within their active sites, the Phe/Tyr switch, that governs their respective product specificities. To elucidate the mechanism underlying this switch, we have characterized a Phe/Tyr switch mutant of the histone H4 Lys-20 (H4K20) methyltransferase SET8, which alters its specificity from a monomethyltransferase to a dimethyltransferase. The crystal structures of the SET8 Y334F mutant bound to histone H4 peptides bearing unmodified, monomethyl, and dimethyl Lys-20 reveal that the phenylalanine substitution attenuates hydrogen bonding to a structurally conserved water molecule adjacent to the Phe/Tyr switch, facilitating its dissociation. The additional space generated by the solvent's dissociation enables the monomethyllysyl side chain to adopt a conformation that is catalytically competent for dimethylation and furnishes sufficient volume to accommodate the dimethyl epsilon-ammonium product. Collectively, these results indicate that the Phe/Tyr switch regulates product specificity through altering the affinity of an active-site water molecule whose dissociation is required for lysine multiple methylation.
Project description:Oxidation via Cu(2+)/ascorbate of recombinant human interferon beta-1a (IFN?1a) leads to highly immunogenic aggregates, however it is unknown which amino acids are modified and how covalent aggregates are formed. In the present work we mapped oxidized and cross-linked amino acid residues in aggregated IFN?1a, formed via Cu(2+)/ascorbate catalyzed oxidation. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) was used to confirm extensive aggregation of oxidized IFN?1a. Circular dichroism and intrinsic fluorescence spectroscopy indicated substantial loss of secondary and tertiary structure, respectively. Derivatization with 4-(aminomethyl)benzenesulfonic acid was used to demonstrate, by fluorescence in combination with SEC, the presence of tyrosine (Tyr) oxidation products. High performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionization mass spectrometry of reduced, alkylated, and digested protein was employed to localize chemical degradation products. Oxidation products of methionine, histidine, phenylalanine (Phe), tryptophan, and Tyr residues were identified throughout the primary sequence. Covalent cross-links via 1,4- or 1,6-type addition between primary amines and DOCH (2-amino-3-(3,4-dioxocyclohexa-1,5-dien-1-yl)propanoic acid, an oxidation product of Phe and Tyr) were detected. There was no evidence of disulfide bridge, Schiff base, or dityrosine formation. The chemical cross-links identified in this work are most likely responsible for the formation of covalent aggregates of IFN?1a induced by oxidation, which have previously been shown to be highly immunogenic.
Project description:Ring-closing metathesis has emerged as a powerful tool in organic synthesis for generating cyclic structures via C-C double bond formation. Recently, it has been successfully used in peptide chemistry for obtaining cyclic molecules bridged through an olefin unit in place of the usual disulfide bond. Here, we describe this approach for obtaining cyclic olefin bridged analogues of H-Tyr-c[D-Cys-Gly-Phe-Cys]-OH. The synthesis of the new ligands was performed using the second generation Grubbs' catalyst. The resulting cis-8 (cDADAE) and trans-9 (tDADAE) were fully characterized and tested at delta, mu, and kappa opioid receptors. Also the linear precursor 13 (lDADAE) and the hydrogenated derivative 11 (rDADAE) also were tested. All the cyclic products containing a olefinic bond are slightly selective but highly active and potent for the delta and mu opioid receptors. Activity toward the kappa opioid receptors was absent or very low.
Project description:Thr-124 and Phe-448 are located in the active site of Citrobacter freundii tyrosine phenol-lyase (TPL) near the phenol ring of a bound substrate analogue, 3-(4'-hydroxyphenyl)propionic acid [Sundararaju, Antson, Phillips, Demidkina, Barbolina, Gollnick, Dodson and Wilson (1997) Biochemistry 36, 6502-6510]. Thr-124 is replaced by Asp and Phe-448 is replaced by His in the crystal structure of a structurally similar enzyme, Proteus vulgaris tryptophan indole-lyase, which has 50% identical residues. Hence, Thr-124 and Phe-448 in TPL were mutated to Ala or Asp, and His, respectively, in order to probe the role of these residues in the reaction specificity for L-Tyr. These mutant enzymes have little or no beta-elimination activity with L-Tyr or 3-fluoro-L-Tyr as a substrate, but retain significant elimination activity with S-(o-nitrophenyl)-L-cysteine, S-alkyl-L-cysteines and beta-chloroalanine. Furthermore, the binding of L-Tyr and other non-substrate amino acids is not significantly affected by the mutations. The mutant TPLs form intermediates in rapid-scanning stopped-flow experiments with L-Phe, L-Tyr and L-Trp, similar to those seen with wild-type TPL. These results demonstrate that Thr-124 and Phe-448 are necessary for the reaction specificity of TPL for L-Tyr, and probably play a role in the elimination stage of the reaction mechanism. Thr-124 is within hydrogen-bonding distance of the phenolic group of the bound substrate, and may help to orientate the ring for beta-elimination to occur. Phe-448 may be important to allow the formation of the closed conformation during the reaction.
Project description:The neck domain of fungal conventional kinesins displays characteristic properties which are reflected in a specific sequence pattern. The exchange of the strictly conserved Tyr 362, not present in animals, into Lys, Cys or Phe leads to a failure to dimerize. The destabilizing effect is confirmed by a lower coiled-coil propensity of mutant peptides. Whereas the Phe substitution has only a structural effect, the Lys and Cys replacements lead to dramatic kinetic changes. The steady state ATPase is 4- to 7-fold accelerated, which may be due to a faster microtubule-stimulated ADP release rate. These data suggest that an inhibitory effect of the fungal neck domain on the motor core is mediated by direct interaction of the aromatic ring of Tyr 362 with the head, whereas the OH group is essential for dimerization. This is the first demonstration of a direct influence of the kinesin neck region in regulation of the catalytic activity.
Project description:PURPOSE:Maternal phenylketonuria (MPKU) requires strict control of phenylalanine (Phe) and supplemental tyrosine (Tyr). Monitoring during pregnancy using dried blood spot (DBS) cards by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) is now standard practice, however there are no Phe and Tyr reference ranges for DBS MS/MS method in healthy pregnant women. METHODS:DBS cards (63-1364 days in storage) from healthy women with singleton pregnancies were analyzed by MS/MS. Three hundred ninety DBS cards from 170 pregnancies (5/1-39/6 weeks' gestation), were tested. RESULTS:Both Phe and Tyr levels declined from the first trimester (Phe: 36.2?+/-?10.6; Tyr 25.7?+/-?9.7?µmol/L) to the second trimester (Phe 33.4+/-9.3; Tyr 21.7+/- 6.7?µmol/L) and remained stable in the third trimester (Phe 32.3?+/-?8.7; Tyr 21.0?+/-?6.6?µmol/L). Phe and Tyr levels declined over time since collection (Phe: 0.004?µmol/L per day; Tyr 0.002?µmol/L). Nomograms by gestational age were created using raw data and data adjusted for time from sample collection. Reference ranges by trimester are provided. CONCLUSIONS:Both Phe and Tyr decline quickly during the first trimester and remain relatively constant over the second and third trimesters. These nomograms will provide a valuable resource for care of MPKU.