Navigation Links
Structure of enzyme against chemical warfare agents determined
Date:1/28/2009

This release is available in German.

The enzyme DFPase from the squid Loligo vulgaris, is able to rapidly and efficiently detoxify chemical warfare agents such as Sarin, which was used in the Tokyo subway attacks in 1995. A detailed understanding of the mechanism by which enzymes catalyze chemical reactions is necessary for efforts aiming to improve their properties. A group of researchers at the University of Frankfurt, the Bundeswehr Institute for Pharmacology and Toxicology in Munich, and Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, USA, have successfully determined the structure of DFPase using neutron diffraction. They report their findings in the 20 January 2009 issue of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (106(3), 713-718).

The team used the neutron source at Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of only three sources worldwide equipped for protein crystallography. In contrast to structure determination using X-rays, neutrons are able to locate the positions of hydrogen atoms, which make up half of all atoms in proteins, and are crucial for chemical reactions. As X-rays interact with the electron cloud around an atomic nucleus, so heavier elements are more easily seen, while neutrons interact with the atomic nuclei, and atoms in proteins such as hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur, all scatter neutrons in a similar manner. Yet despite being so widespread, hydrogen atoms in proteins are quite elusive. As X-rays interact with the electron cloud around an atomic nucleus, hydrogen atoms, with only one electron, are normally invisible in structures. In contrast, neutrons interact with the atomic nuclei, such that atoms in proteins, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and sulfur, all scatter neutrons in a similar manner. The two techniques therefore yield complementary information about a protein structure. This information about hydrogen atoms is therefore essential for a basic understanding of the reaction mechanism of DFPase.

Neutron structures of proteins are quite rare and technically demanding, requiring large crystals and long measurement times. Though the first neutron structure of a protein was reported 40 years ago, in 1969, to date only about 20 unique structures have been solved, out of 50000 entries in the Protein Data Bank. " The effort has been absolutely worth it, " says Junior-Prof. Julian Chen, who published this work together with Dr. Marc-Michael Blum and Prof. Heinz Rueterjans. " Based on the results of this study, we can now create targeted changes to DFPase to augment the activity, as well as diversify the substrate range of the enzyme."


'/>"/>

Contact: Julian Chen
chen@chemie.uni-frankfurt.de
49-697-982-9641
Goethe University Frankfurt
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Brain structure assists in immune response, according to Penn vet study
2. HWI scientist first in world to unravel structure of key breast cancer target enzyme
3. Biologists learn structure, mechanism of powerful molecular motor in virus
4. NSF funds research at Illinois on sustainable biofuels infrastructure
5. How we see objects in depth: The brains code for 3-D structure
6. Key to function of dinosaur crests found in brain structure
7. Brain structure provides key to unraveling function of bizarre dinosaur crests
8. Scripps research team solves structure of beneficial virus
9. The structure of the Mre11 protein bound to DNA
10. Structures of important plant viruses determined
11. Carbon nanostructures form the future of electronics and optoelectronics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/21/2017)... Ore. , Feb. 22, 2017  IBM (NYSE: ... (Avamere Health Services, Infinity Rehab, Signature Hospice, Home Health, ... will apply the power of IBM cognitive computing to ... centers. By analyzing data streaming from sensors in senior ... and environmental conditions, and obtain deeper learnings into the ...
(Date:2/16/2017)...  Genos, a community for personal genetic discovery ... Laboratory Accreditation from the College of American Pathologists ... that meet stringent requirements around quality, accuracy and ... "Genos is committed to maintaining the highest ... to be receiving CAP accreditation," said Jill ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, a ... is designed to enhance fraud detection and investigation ... the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. The ... leverage additional insights from internal and external sources ... protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... ProMIS Neurosciences (“ProMIS” ... for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced it has issued a scientific white paper entitled ... of a series of commentaries from ProMIS’s scientific team offering insight into the ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... ... LabRoots , the leading provider of educational and interactive virtual events ... the launch of a new scholarship for young scientists seeking a degree in any ... open to all high school seniors, 17 years or older; as well as those ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... MOINES, Iowa , Feb. 22, 2017 Origin (Origin ... agricultural biotechnology trait and seed provider, and Arcadia ... -based company that develops and commercializes agricultural productivity traits and nutritional ... a key corn biotechnology product developed in China ... of global regulatory trials. ...
(Date:2/22/2017)... ... February 22, 2017 , ... NDA Partners Chairman Carl ... Deputy Director in the FDA CDRH Division of Cardiovascular, Respiratory, and Neurological Devices ... as an Expert Consultant. , In Dr. Spyker’s accomplished career, he held positions ...
Breaking Biology Technology: