Imperial College London

DrKarenHinxman

Central FacultyHuman Resources Division

Consultant, Postdoc Development Centre
 
 
 
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+44 (0)20 7594 8873k.hinxman Website

 
 
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Sherfield BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
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6 results found

Ruane KM, Lloyd AJ, Fülöp V, Dowson CG, Barreteau H, Boniface A, Dementin S, Blanot D, Mengin-Lecreulx D, Gobec S, Dessen A, Roper DIet al., 2013, Specificity determinants for lysine incorporation in Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan as revealed by the structure of a MurE enzyme ternary complex., J Biol Chem, Vol: 288, Pages: 33439-33448

Formation of the peptidoglycan stem pentapeptide requires the insertion of both L and D amino acids by the ATP-dependent ligase enzymes MurC, -D, -E, and -F. The stereochemical control of the third position amino acid in the pentapeptide is crucial to maintain the fidelity of later biosynthetic steps contributing to cell morphology, antibiotic resistance, and pathogenesis. Here we determined the x-ray crystal structure of Staphylococcus aureus MurE UDP-N-acetylmuramoyl-L-alanyl-D-glutamate:meso-2,6-diaminopimelate ligase (MurE) (E.C. 6.3.2.7) at 1.8 Å resolution in the presence of ADP and the reaction product, UDP-MurNAc-L-Ala-γ-D-Glu-L-Lys. This structure provides for the first time a molecular understanding of how this Gram-positive enzyme discriminates between L-lysine and D,L-diaminopimelic acid, the predominant amino acid that replaces L-lysine in Gram-negative peptidoglycan. Despite the presence of a consensus sequence previously implicated in the selection of the third position residue in the stem pentapeptide in S. aureus MurE, the structure shows that only part of this sequence is involved in the selection of L-lysine. Instead, other parts of the protein contribute substrate-selecting residues, resulting in a lysine-binding pocket based on charge characteristics. Despite the absolute specificity for L-lysine, S. aureus MurE binds this substrate relatively poorly. In vivo analysis and metabolomic data reveal that this is compensated for by high cytoplasmic L-lysine concentrations. Therefore, both metabolic and structural constraints maintain the structural integrity of the staphylococcal peptidoglycan. This study provides a novel focus for S. aureus-directed antimicrobials based on dual targeting of essential amino acid biogenesis and its linkage to cell wall assembly.

Journal article

Majce V, Ruane KM, Gobec S, Roper DIet al., 2013, Crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of a UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide D-alanyl-D-alanine-adding enzyme (PaMurF) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa., Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, Vol: 69, Pages: 503-505

The ATP-dependent UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide:D-Ala-D-Ala ligase MurF catalyses the last step in the cytoplasmic phase of peptidoglycan biosynthesis, which is critical in the formation of the bacterial cell wall and in the recycling of peptidoglycan intermediates. In this study, the crystallization of MurF from the Gram-negative pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the presence of its UDP-MurNAc-tripeptide substrate is reported. The crystals belonged to space group P212121, with unit-cell parameters a = 57.81, b = 87.29, c = 92.61 Å, and data were collected to 1.92 Å resolution, allowing study of the enzyme in the substrate-liganded form for the first time.

Journal article

Rangarajan ES, Ruane KM, Proteau A, Schrag JD, Valladares R, Gonzalez CF, Gilbert M, Yakunin AF, Cygler Met al., 2011, Structural and enzymatic characterization of NanS (YjhS), a 9-O-Acetyl N-acetylneuraminic acid esterase from Escherichia coli O157:H7., Protein Sci, Vol: 20, Pages: 1208-1219

There is a high prevalence of sialic acid in a number of different organisms, resulting in there being a myriad of different enzymes that can exploit it as a fermentable carbon source. One such enzyme is NanS, a carbohydrate esterase that we show here deacetylates the 9 position of 9-O-sialic acid so that it can be readily transported into the cell for catabolism. Through structural studies, we show that NanS adopts a SGNH hydrolase fold. Although the backbone of the structure is similar to previously characterized family members, sequence comparisons indicate that this family can be further subdivided into two subfamilies with somewhat different fingerprints. NanS is the founding member of group II. Its catalytic center contains Ser19 and His301 but no Asp/Glu is present to form the classical catalytic triad. The contribution of Ser19 and His301 to catalysis was confirmed by mutagenesis. In addition to structural characterization, we have mapped the specificity of NanS using a battery of substrates.

Journal article

Quan S, Koldewey P, Tapley T, Kirsch N, Ruane KM, Pfizenmaier J, Shi R, Hofmann S, Foit L, Ren G, Jakob U, Xu Z, Cygler M, Bardwell JCAet al., 2011, Genetic selection designed to stabilize proteins uncovers a chaperone called Spy., Nat Struct Mol Biol, Vol: 18, Pages: 262-269

To optimize the in vivo folding of proteins, we linked protein stability to antibiotic resistance, thereby forcing bacteria to effectively fold and stabilize proteins. When we challenged Escherichia coli to stabilize a very unstable periplasmic protein, it massively overproduced a periplasmic protein called Spy, which increases the steady-state levels of a set of unstable protein mutants up to 700-fold. In vitro studies demonstrate that the Spy protein is an effective ATP-independent chaperone that suppresses protein aggregation and aids protein refolding. Our strategy opens up new routes for chaperone discovery and the custom tailoring of the in vivo folding environment. Spy forms thin, apparently flexible cradle-shaped dimers. The structure of Spy is unlike that of any previously solved chaperone, making it the prototypical member of a new class of small chaperones that facilitate protein refolding in the absence of energy cofactors.

Journal article

Ruane KM, Davies GJ, Martinez-Fleites C, 2008, Crystal structure of a family GT4 glycosyltransferase from Bacillus anthracis ORF BA1558., Proteins, Vol: 73, Pages: 784-787

Journal article

Rangarajan ES, Ruane KM, Sulea T, Watson DC, Proteau A, Leclerc S, Cygler M, Matte A, Young NMet al., 2008, Structure and active site residues of PglD, an N-acetyltransferase from the bacillosamine synthetic pathway required for N-glycan synthesis in Campylobacter jejuni., Biochemistry, Vol: 47, Pages: 1827-1836, ISSN: 0006-2960

Campylobacter jejuni is highly unusual among bacteria in forming N-linked glycoproteins. The heptasaccharide produced by its pgl system is attached to protein Asn through its terminal 2,4-diacetamido-2,4,6-trideoxy-d-Glc (QuiNAc4NAc or N,N'-diacetylbacillosamine) moiety. The crucial, last part of this sugar's synthesis is the acetylation of UDP-2-acetamido-4-amino-2,4,6-trideoxy-d-Glc by the enzyme PglD, with acetyl-CoA as a cosubstrate. We have determined the crystal structures of PglD in CoA-bound and unbound forms, refined to 1.8 and 1.75 A resolution, respectively. PglD is a trimer of subunits each comprised of two domains, an N-terminal alpha/beta-domain and a C-terminal left-handed beta-helix. Few structural differences accompany CoA binding, except in the C-terminal region following the beta-helix (residues 189-195), which adopts an extended structure in the unbound form and folds to extend the beta-helix upon binding CoA. Computational molecular docking suggests a different mode of nucleotide-sugar binding with respect to the acetyl-CoA donor, with the molecules arranged in an "L-shape", compared with the "in-line" orientation in related enzymes. Modeling indicates that the oxyanion intermediate would be stabilized by the NH group of Gly143', with His125' the most likely residue to function as a general base, removing H+ from the amino group prior to nucleophilic attack at the carbonyl carbon of acetyl-CoA. Site-specific mutations of active site residues confirmed the importance of His125', Glu124', and Asn118. We conclude that Asn118 exerts its function by stabilizing the intricate hydrogen bonding network within the active site and that Glu124' may function to increase the pKa of the putative general base, His125'.

Journal article

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