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Folgosa, F., C. G. Timoteo, M. Guilherme, D. Penas, P. Tavares, and AS Pereira. "Bacterioferritin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough is a functional DPS-like enzyme." Febs Journal. 279 (2012): 465. AbstractWebsite
Timoteo, C. G., M. Guilherme, D. Penas, F. Folgosa, P. Tavares, and AS Pereira. "Desulfovibrio vulgaris bacterioferritin uses H2O2 as a co-substrate for iron oxidation and reveals DPS-like DNA protection and binding activities." Biochemical Journal. 446 (2012): 125-133. AbstractWebsite

A gene encoding Bfr (bacterioferritin) was identified and isolated from the genome of Desulfovibrio vulgaris cells, and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. In vitro, H2O2 oxidizes Fe2+ ions at much higher reaction rates than O-2. The H2O2 oxidation of two Fe2+ ions was proven by Mossbauer spectroscopy of rapid freeze-quenched samples. On the basis of the Mossbauer parameters of the intermediate species we propose that D. vulgaris Bfr follows a mineralization mechanism similar to the one reported for vertebrate H-type ferritins subunits, in which a diferrous centre at the ferroxidase site is oxidized to diferric intermediate species, that are subsequently translocated into the inner nanocavity. D. vulgaris recombinant Bfr oxidizes and stores up to 600 iron atoms per protein. This Bfr is able to bind DNA and protect it against hydroxyl radical and DNase deleterious effects. The use of H2O2 as an oxidant, combined with the DNA binding and protection activities, seems to indicate a DPS (DNA-binding protein from starved cells)-like role for D. vulgaris Bfr.

Pereira, AS, C. G. Timoteo, M. Guilherme, F. Folgosa, S. G. Naik, A. G. Duarte, BH HUYNH, and P. Tavares. "Spectroscopic Evidence for and Characterization of a Trinuclear Ferroxidase Center in Bacterial Ferritin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough." Journal of the American Chemical Society. 134 (2012): 10822-10832. AbstractWebsite

Ferritins are ubiquitous and can be found in practically all organisms that utilize Fe. They are composed of 24 subunits forming a hollow sphere with an inner cavity of similar to 80 angstrom in diameter. The main function of ferritin is to oxidize the cytotoxic Fe2+ ions and store the oxidized Fe in the inner cavity. It has been established that the initial step of rapid oxidation of Fe2+ (ferroxidation) by H-type ferritins, found in vertebrates, occurs at a diiron binding center, termed the ferroxidase center. In bacterial ferritins, however, X-ray crystallographic evidence and amino acid sequence analysis revealed a trinuclear Fe binding center comprising a binuclear Fe binding center (sites A and B), homologous to the ferroxidase center of H-type ferritin, and an adjacent mononuclear Fe binding site (site C). In an effort to obtain further evidence supporting the presence of a trinuclear Fe binding center in bacterial ferritins and to gain information on the states of the iron bound to the trinuclear center, bacterial ferritin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris (DvFtn) and its E130A variant was loaded with substoichiometric amounts of Fe2+, and the products were characterized by Mossbauer and EPR spectroscopy. Four distinct Fe species were identified: a paramagnetic diferrous species, a diamagnetic diferrous species, a mixed valence Fe2+Fe3+ species, and a mononuclear Fe2+ species. The latter three species were detected in the wild-type DvFtn, while the paramagnetic diferrous species was detected in the E130A variant. These observations can be rationally explained by the presence of a trinuclear Fe binding center, and the four Fe species can be properly assigned to the three Fe binding sites. Further, our spectroscopic data suggest that (1) the fully occupied trinuclear center supports an all ferrous state, (2) sites B and C are bridged by a mu-OH group forming a diiron subcenter within the trinuclear center, and (3) this subcenter can afford both a mixed valence Fe2+Fe3+ state and a diferrous state. Mechanistic insights provided by these new findings are discussed and a minimal mechanistic scheme involving O-O bond cleavage is proposed.

Siopa, F., AS Pereira, LM Ferreira, M. M. Marques, and P. S. Branco. "Synthesis of catecholamine conjugates with nitrogen-centered bionucleophiles." Bioorganic Chemistry. 44 (2012): 19-24. AbstractWebsite

The enzymatic (tyrosinase) and chemical (NaIO4, Ag2O or Fremys's salt) oxidation of biologically relevant catecholamines, such as dopamine (DA), N-acetyldopamine (NADA) and the Ecstasy metabolites (alpha-MeDA and N-Me-alpha-MeDA) generates the corresponding o-quinone which can be trapped with nitrogen bionucleophiles such as N-acetyl-histidine and imidazole in a regioselective reaction that takes place predominantly at the 6-position of the catecholamine. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Cordas, C. M., J. Wilton, T. Cardoso, F. Folgosa, AS Pereira, and P. Tavares. "Electrochemical behaviour of Dps-a mini-ferritin." European Biophysics Journal with Biophysics Letters. 40 (2011): 181. AbstractWebsite
Timoteo, C. G., AS Pereira, C. E. Martins, S. G. Naik, A. G. Duarte, JJG Moura, P. Tavares, BH HUYNH, and I. Moura. "Low-Spin Heme b(3) in the Catalytic Center of Nitric Oxide Reductase from Pseudomonas nautica." Biochemistry. 50 (2011): 4251-4262. AbstractWebsite

Respiratory nitric oxide reductase (NOR) was purified from membrane extract of Pseudomonas (Ps.) nautica cells to homogeneity as judged by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. The purified protein is a heterodimer with subunits of molecular masses of 54 and 18 kDa. The gene encoding both subunits was cloned and sequenced. The amino acid sequence shows strong homology with enzymes of the cNOR class. Iron/heme determinations show that one heme c is present in the small subunit (NORC) and that approximately two heme b and one non-heme iron are associated with the large subunit (NORB), in agreement with the available data for enzymes of the cNOR class. Mossbauer characterization of the as-purified, ascorbate-reduced, and dithionite-reduced enzyme confirms the presence of three heme groups (the catalytic heme b(3) and the electron transfer heme b and heme c) and one redox-active non-heme Fe (Fe-B). Consistent with results obtained for other cNORs, heme c and heme b in Ps. nautica cNOR were found to be low-spin while FeB was found to be high-spin. Unexpectedly, as opposed to the presumed high-spin state for heme b(3), the Mossbauer data demonstrate unambiguously that heme b(3) is, in fact, low-spin in both ferric and ferrous states, suggesting that heme b(3) is six-coordinated regardless of its oxidation state. EPR spectroscopic measurements of the as-purified enzyme show resonances at the g similar to 6 and g similar to 2-3 regions very similar to those reported previously for other cNORs. The signals at g = 3.60, 2.99, 2.26, and 1.43 are attributed to the two charge-transfer low-spin ferric heme c and heme b. Previously, resonances at the g similar to 6 region were assigned to a small quantity of uncoupled high-spin Fe-III heme b(3). This assignment is now questionable because heme b(3) is low-spin. On the basis of our spectroscopic data, we argue that the g = 6.34 signal is likely arising from a spin spin coupled binuclear center comprising the low-spin Fe-III heme b(3) and the high-spin Fe-B(III). Activity assays performed under various reducing conditions indicate that heme b(3) has to be reduced for the enzyme to be active. But, from an energetic point of view, the formation of a ferrous heme-NO as an initial reaction intermediate for NO reduction is disfavored because heme [FeNO](7) is a stable product. We suspect that the presence of a sixth ligand in the Fe-II-heme b(3) may weaken its affinity for NO and thus promotes, in the first catalytic step, binding of NO at the Fe-B(II) site. The function of heme b(3) would then be to orient the Fe-B-bound NO molecules for the formation of the N-N bond and to provide reducing equivalents for NO reduction.

Folgosa, F., C. M. Cordas, J. A. Santos, AS Pereira, JJG Moura, P. Tavares, and I. Moura. "New spectroscopic and electrochemical insights on a class I superoxide reductase: evidence for an intramolecular electron-transfer pathway." Biochemical Journal. 438 (2011): 485-494. AbstractWebsite

SORs (superoxide reductases) are enzymes involved in bacterial resistance to reactive oxygen species, catalysing the reduction of superoxide anions to hydrogen peroxide. So far three structural classes have been identified. Class I enzymes have two ironcentre-containing domains. Most studies have focused on the catalytic iron site (centre II), yet the role of centre I is poorly understood. The possible roles of this iron site were approached by an integrated study using both classical and fast kinetic measurements, as well as direct electrochemistry. A new heterometallic form of the protein with a zinc-substituted centre I, maintaining the iron active-site centre II, was obtained, resulting in a stable derivative useful for comparison with the native all-iron from. Second-order rate constants for the electron transfer between reduced rubredoxin and the different SOR forms were determined to be 2.8 x 10(7) M(-1) . s(-1) and 1.3 x 10(6) M(-1) . s(-1) for SOR(Fe(IIII)-Fe(II)) and for SOR(Fe(IIII)-Fe(III)) forms respectively, and 3.2 x 10(6) M(-1) s(-1) for the SOR(Zn(II)-Fe(III)) form. The results obtained seem to indicate that centre I transfers electrons from the putative physiological donor rubredoxin to the catalytic active iron site (intramolecular process). In addition, electrochemical results show that conformational changes are associated with the redox state of centre I, which may enable a faster catalytic response towards superoxide anion. The apparent rate constants calculated for the SOR-mediated electron transfer also support this observation.

Ferreira, I. M. P. L. V., O. Pinho, D. Monteiro, S. Faria, S. Cruz, A. Perreira, A. C. Roque, and P. Tavares. "Short communication: Effect of kefir grains on proteolysis of major milk proteins." Journal of Dairy Science. 93 (2010): 27-31. AbstractWebsite

The effect of kefir grains on the proteolysis of major milk proteins in milk kefir and in a culture of kefir grains in pasteurized cheese whey was followed by reverse phase-HPLC analysis. The reduction of kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins (CN), alpha-lactalbumin (alpha-LA), and beta-lactoglobulin (beta-LG) contents during 48 and 90 h of incubation of pasteurized milk (100 mL) and respective cheese whey with kefir grains (6 and 12 g) at 20 degrees C was monitored. Significant proteolysis of alpha-LA and kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins was observed. The effect of kefir amount (6 and 12 g/100 mL) was significant for alpha-LA and alpha- and beta-CN. alpha-Lactalbumin and beta-CN were more easily hydrolyzed than alpha-CN. No significant reduction was observed with respect to beta-LG concentration for 6 and 12 g of kefir in 100 mL of milk over 48 h, indicating that no significant proteolysis was carried out. Similar results were observed when the experiment was conducted over 90 h. Regarding the cheese whey kefir samples, similar behavior was observed for the proteolysis of alpha-LA and beta-LG: alpha-LA was hydrolyzed between 60 and 90% after 12 h (for 6 and 12 g of kefir) and no significant beta-LG proteolysis occurred. The proteolytic activity of lactic acid bacteria and yeasts in kefir community was evaluated. Kefir milk prepared under normal conditions contained peptides from proteolysis of alpha-LA and kappa-, alpha-, and beta-caseins. Hydrolysis is dependent on the kefir: milk ratio and incubation time. beta-Lactoglobulin is not hydrolyzed even when higher hydrolysis time is used. Kefir grains are not appropriate as adjunct cultures to increase beta-LG digestibility in whey-based or whey-containing foods.

Conrath, K., AS Pereira, C. E. Martins, C. G. Timoteo, P. Tavares, S. Spinelli, J. Kinne, C. Flaudrops, C. Cambillau, S. Muyldermans, I. Moura, JJG Moura, M. Tegoni, and A. Desmyter. "Camelid nanobodies raised against an integral membrane enzyme, nitric oxide reductase." Protein Science. 18 (2009): 619-628. AbstractWebsite

Nitric Oxide Reductase (NOR) is an integral membrane protein performing the reduction of NO to N(2)O. NOR is composed of two subunits: the large one (NorB) is a bundle of 12 transmembrane helices (TMH). It contains a b type heme and a binuclear iron site, which is believed to be the catalytic site, comprising a heme b and a non-hemic iron. The small subunit (NorC) harbors a cytochrome c and is attached to the membrane through a unique TMH. With the aim to perform structural and functional studies of NOR, we have immunized dromedaries with NOR and produced several antibody fragments of the heavy chain (VHHs, also known as nanobodies (TM)). These fragments have been used to develop a faster NOR purification procedure, to proceed to crystallization assays and to analyze the electron transfer of electron donors. BIAcore experiments have revealed that up to three VHHs can bind concomitantly to NOR with affinities in the nanomolar range. This is the first example of the use of VHHs with an integral membrane protein. Our results indicate that VHHs are able to recognize with high affinity distinct epitopes on this class of proteins, and can be used as versatile and valuable tool for purification, functional study and crystallization of integral membrane proteins.

Rivas, M. G., C. S. Mota, S. R. Pauleta, M. S. P. Carepo, F. Folgosa, S. L. A. Andrade, G. Fauque, AS Pereira, P. Tavares, JJ Calvete, I. Moura, and JJG Moura. "Isolation and characterization of a new Cu-Fe protein from Desulfovibrio aminophilus DSM12254." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 103 (2009): 1314-1322. AbstractWebsite

The isolation and characterization of a new metalloprotein containing Cu and Fe atoms is reported. The as-isolated Cu-Fe protein shows an UV-visible spectrum with absorption bands at 320 nm, 409 nm and 615 nm. Molecular mass of the native protein along with denaturating electrophoresis and mass spectrometry data show that this protein is a multimer consisting of 14 +/- 1 subunits of 15254.3 +/- 7.6 Da. Mossbauer spectroscopy data of the as-isolated Cu-Fe protein is consistent with the presence of [2Fe-2S](2+) centers. Data interpretation of the dithionite reduced protein suggest that the metallic cluster could be constituted by two ferromagnetically coupled [2Fe-2S](+) spin delocalized pairs. The biochemical properties of the Cu-Fe protein are similar to the recently reported molybdenum resistance associated protein from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis. Further-more, a BLAST search from the DNA deduced amino acid sequence shows that the Cu-Fe protein has homology with proteins annotated as zinc resistance associated proteins from Desulfovibrio, D. alaskensis, D. vulgaris Hildenborough, D. piger ATCC 29098. These facts suggest a possible role of the Cu-Fe protein in metal tolerance. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Inc.

Rivas, M. G., M. S. P. Carepo, C. S. Mota, M. Korbas, M. C. Durand, A. T. Lopes, CD Brondino, AS Pereira, GN George, A. Dolla, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Molybdenum Induces the Expression of a Protein Containing a New Heterometallic Mo-Fe Cluster in Desulfovibrio alaskensis." Biochemistry. 48 (2009): 873-882. AbstractWebsite

The characterization of a novel Mo-Fe protein (MorP) associated with a system that responds to Mo in Desulfovibrio alaskensis is reported. Biochemical characterization shows that MorP is a periplasmic homomultimer of high molecular weight (260 +/- 13 kDa) consisting of 16-18 monomers of 15321.1 +/- 0.5 Da. The UV/visible absorption spectrum of the as-isolated protein shows absorption peaks around 280, 320, and 570 nm with extinction coefficients of 18700, 12800, and 5000 M(-1) cm(-1), respectively. Metal content, EXAFS data and DFT calculations support the presence of a Mo-2S-[2Fe-2S]-2S-Mo cluster never reported before. Analysis of the available genomes from Desulfovibrio species shows that the MorP encoding gene is located downstream of a sensor and a regulator gene. This type of gene arrangement, called two component system, is used by the cell to regulate diverse physiological processes in response to changes in environmemtal conditions. Increase of both gene expression and protein production was observed when cells were cultured in the presence of 45 mu M molybdenum. Involvement of this system in Mo tolerance of sulfate reducing bacteria is proposed.

Dell'acqua, S., S. R. Pauleta, E. Monzani, AS Pereira, L. Casella, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Electron transfer complex between nitrous oxide reductase and cytochrome c(552) from Pseudomonas nautica: Kinetic, nuclear magnetic resonance, and docking studies." Biochemistry. 47 (2008): 10852-10862. AbstractWebsite

The multicopper enzyme nitrous oxide reductase (N2OR) catalyzes the final step of denitrification, the two-electron reduction of N2O to N-2. This enzyme is a functional homodimer containing two different multicopper sites: CuA and CuZ. CuA is a binuclear copper site that transfers electrons to the tetranuclear copper sulfide CuZ, the catalytic site. In this study, Pseudomonas nautica cytochrome C-552 was identified as the physiological electron donor. The kinetic data show differences when physiological and artificial electron donors are compared [cytochrome vs methylviologen (MV)]. In the presence of cytochrome c(552), the reaction rate is dependent on the ET reaction and independent of the N2O concentration. With MV, electron donation is faster than substrate reduction. From the study of cytochrome c(552) concentration dependence, we estimate the following kinetic parameters: K-mc512 = 50.2 +/- 9.0 mu M and V-maxc551 1.8 +/- 10.6 units/mg. The N2O concentration dependence indicates a K-mN2O of 14.0 +/- 2.9 mu M using MV as the electron donor. The pH effect on the kinetic parameters is different when MV or cytochrome c(552) is used as the electron donor (pK(a) = 6.6 or 8.3, respectively). The kinetic study also revealed the hydrophobic nature of the interaction, and direct electron transfer studies showed that CuA is the center that receives electrons from the physiological electron donor. The formation of the electron transfer complex was observed by H-1 NMR protein-protein titrations and was modeled with a molecular docking program (BiGGER). The proposed docked complexes corroborated the ET studies giving a large number of solutions in which cytochrome c(552) is placed near a hydrophobic patch located around the CuA center.

Gavel, OY, SA Bursakov, G. Di Rocco, J. Trincao, I. J. Pickering, GN George, JJ Calvete, VL Shnyrov, CD Brondino, AS Pereira, J. Lampreia, P. Tavares, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "A new type of metal-binding site in cobalt- and zinc-containing adenylate kinases isolated from sulfate-reducers Desulfovibrio gigas and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 102 (2008): 1380-1395. AbstractWebsite

Adenylate kinase (AK) mediates the reversible transfer of phosphate groups between the adenylate nucleotides and contributes to the maintenance of their constant cellular level, necessary for energy metabolism and nucleic acid synthesis. The AK were purified from crude extracts of two sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB), Desulfovibrio (D.) gigas NCIB 9332 and Desulfovibrio desulfuricans ATCC 27774, and biochemically and spectroscopically characterised in the native and fully cobalt- or zinc-substituted forms. These are the first reported adenylate kinases that bind either zinc or cobalt and are related to the subgroup of metal-containing AK found, in most cases, in Gram-positive bacteria. The electronic absorption spectrum is consistent with tetrahedral coordinated cobalt, predominantly via sulfur ligands, and is supported by EPR. The involvement of three cysteines in cobalt or zinc coordination was confirmed by chemical methods. Extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) indicate that cobalt or zinc are bound by three cysteine residues and one histidine in the metal-binding site of the "LID" domain. The sequence (129)Cys-X(5)-His-X(15)-Cys-X(2)-Cys of the AK from D. gigas is involved in metal coordination and represents a new type of binding motif that differs from other known zinc-binding sites of AK. Cobalt and zinc play a structural role in stabilizing the LID domain. (C) 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Fisher, K., D. J. Lowe, P. Tavares, AS Pereira, BH HUYNH, D. Edmondson, and W. E. Newton. "Conformations generated during turnover of the Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase MoFe protein and their relationship to physiological function." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 101 (2007): 1649-1656. AbstractWebsite

Various S = 3/2 EPR signals elicited from wild-type and variant Azotobacter vinelandii nitrogenase MoFe proteins appear to reflect different conformations assumed by the FeMo-cofactor with different protonation states. To determine whether these presumed changes in protonation and conformation reflect catalytic capacity, the responses (particularly to changes in electron flux) of the alpha H195Q, alpha H195N, and alpha Q191 K variant MoFe proteins (where His at position 195 in the alpha subunit is replaced by Gln/Asn or Gln at position alpha-191 by Lys), which have strikingly different substrate-reduction properties, were studied by stopped-flow or rapid-freeze techniques. Rapid-freeze EPR at low electron flux (at 3-fold molar excess of wild-type Fe protein) elicited two transient FeMo-cofactor-based EPR signals within 1 s of initiating turnover under N-2 with the alpha H195Q and alpha H195N variants, but not with the alpha Q191K variant. No EPR signals attributable to P cluster oxidation were observed for any of the variants under these conditions. Furthermore, during turnover at low electron flux with the wild-type, alpha H195Q or alpha H195N MoFe protein, the longer-time 430-nm absorbance increase, which likely reflects P cluster oxidation, was also not observed (by stopped-flow spectrophotometry); it did, however, occur for all three MoFe proteins under higher electron flux. No 430-nm absorbance increase occurred with the alpha Q191K variant, not even at higher electron flux. This putative lack of involvement of the P cluster in electron transfer at low electron flux was confirmed by rapid-freeze Fe-57 Mossbauer spectroscopy, which clearly showed FeMo-factor reduction without P cluster oxidation. Because the wild-type, alpha H195Q and alpha H195N MoFe proteins can bind N-2, but alpha Q195K cannot, these results suggest that P cluster oxidation occurs only under high electron flux as required for N-2 reduction. (C) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ferreira, I. M. P. L. V., R. Eca, O. Pinho, P. Tavares, A. Pereira, and A. C. Roque. "Development and validation of an HPLC/UV method for quantification of bioactive peptides in fermented milks." Journal of Liquid Chromatography & Related Technologies. 30 (2007): 2139-2147. AbstractWebsite

The simultaneous separation and quantification of two casein peptides (IPP, VPP) presenting potent inhibitory activity of angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) and casein in fermented milks was developed. Gradient elution was carried out at a flow-rate of 1 mL/min, using a mixture of two solvents. Solvent A was 0.1% TFA in water and solvent B was acetonitrile-water-trifluoracetic acid 95:5:0.1. The effluent was monitored by UV detector at 214 nm. Calibration curves were constructed in the interval of 0.01-1.0 mg/mL for VPP, 0.005-1.0 mg/mL for IPP, and 0.05-3.0 mg/mL for casein. R 2 invariably exceeded 0.999. The detection limits were 0.004 for VPP, 0.002 mg/mL for IPP, and 0.02 mg/mL for casein. Repeatability of the method was evaluated by six consecutive injections of two standard solutions containing VPP, IPP, and casein. The RSD values for concentration were all below 5.08%. Recovery studies were carried out to determine the accuracy of the method. Recoveries ranged between 88 and 98.2%. The methodology was applied, not only, for the monitorization of VPP, IPP, and casein in commercial fermented milks labeled as presenting anti hypertensive properties, but also, in milk with different degrees of fermentation by L Helveticus, and in other commercial functional fermented milks, such as, those presenting cholesterol lowering properties.

Pauleta, S. R., A. G. Duarte, M. S. Carepo, AS Pereira, P. Tavares, I. Moura, and JJG Moura. "NMR assignment of the apo-form of a Desulfovibrio gigas protein containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster." Biomolecular Nmr Assignments. 1 (2007): 81-83. AbstractWebsite

We report the 98% assignment of the apo-form of an orange protein, containing a novel Mo-Cu cluster isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas. This protein presents a region where backbone amide protons exchange fast with bulk solvent becoming undetectable. These residues were assigned using C-13-detection experiments.

Ferreira, I. M. P. L. V., O. Pinho, M. V. Mota, P. Tavares, A. Pereira, M. P. Goncalves, D. Torres, C. Rocha, and J. A. Teixeira. "Preparation of ingredients containing an ACE-inhibitory peptide by tryptic hydrolysis of whey protein concentrates." International Dairy Journal. 17 (2007): 481-487. AbstractWebsite

This study describes the characterisation of whey protein hydrolysates obtained from tryptic hydrolysis to assess their application as ingredients with angiotensin-converting-enzyme (ACE) inhibitory action. The levels of a-lactalbumin (alpha-la) and P-lactoglobulin (beta-lg) remaining after hydrolysis were quantified. Peptides were separated by RP-HPLC, and Ala-Leu-Pro-Met-His-Ile-Arg (ALPMHIR), the most potent beta-lg-derived ACE-inhibitory peptide was monitored. A correlation curve was established for the production of this peptide as a function of hydrolysis time. Heat-induced gelation of hydrolysates was studied by small-deformation rheology. The gelation times and the strength of the final gels were highly dependent on the degree of hydrolysis. Smaller peptides liberated by hydrolysis contributed to the inability of whey protein hydrolysates to gel. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Pereira, AS, P. Tavares, F. Folgosa, R. M. Almeida, I. Moura, and JJG Moura. "Superoxide reductases." European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2007): 2569-2581. AbstractWebsite

Reactive oxygen species (ROS), when in excess, are among the most deleterious species an organism can deal with. The physiological effects of ROS include amino acid chain cleavage, DNA degradation and lipid oxidation, among others. They can be formed in the cytoplasm in a variety of ways, including autooxidation reactions (FMN- and FAD-containing enzymes) and Fenton reactions as a result of the cytoplasmatic pool of iron ions. The superoxide anion (021, despite its short half-life in solution, is particularly pernicious as it can form other reactive ROS (such as the strong oxidant peroxynitrite) or oxidize and/or reduce cellular components. For strict anaerobic or microaerophilic bacteria it is of particular importance to be able to dispose of ROS in a controlled manner, especially if these organisms are temporarily exposed to air. This review aims to describe the structural characteristics of superoxide reductases (SORs) and mechanistic aspects of biological superoxide anion reduction. SORs can be considered the main class of enzymes behind the oxygen detoxification pathway of anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. The geometry of the active site (three classes have been described), the possible electron donors in vivo and the current hypothesis for the catalytic mechanism will be discussed. Some phylogenetic considerations are presented, regarding the primary structure of SORs currently available in genome databases. ((c) Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, 69451 Weinheim, Germany, 2007).

Tavares, P., AS Pereira, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Metalloenzymes of the denitrification pathway." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 100 (2006): 2087-2100. AbstractWebsite

Denitrification, or dissimilative nitrate reduction, is an anaerobic process used by some bacteria for energy generation. This process is important in many aspects, but its environmental implications have been given particular relevance. Nitrate accumulation and release of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere due to excess use of fertilizers in agriculture are examples of two environmental problems where denitrification plays a central role. The reduction of nitrate to nitrogen gas is accomplished by four different types of metalloenzymes in four simple steps: nitrate is reduced to nitrite, then to nitric oxide, followed by the reduction to nitrous oxide and by a final reduction to dinitrogen. In this manuscript we present a concise updated review of the bioinorganic aspects of denitrification. (c) 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Cordas, C. M., AS Pereira, C. E. Martins, C. G. Timoteo, I. Moura, JJG Moura, and P. Tavares. "Nitric oxide reductase: Direct electrochemistry and electrocatalytic activity." Chembiochem. 7 (2006): 1878-1881. AbstractWebsite
Bursakov, SA, OY Gavel, G. Di Rocco, J. Lampreia, J. Calvete, AS Pereira, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Antagonists Mo and Cu in a heterometallic cluster present on a novel protein (orange protein) isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 98 (2004): 833-840. AbstractWebsite

An orange-coloured protein (ORP) isolated from Desulfovibrio gigas, a sulphate reducer, has been previously shown by extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) to contain a novel mixed-metal sulphide cluster of the type [S2MoS2CuS2MoS2] [J. Am. Chem. Soc. 122 (2000) 8321]. We report here the purification and the biochemical/spectroscopic characterisation of this novel protein. ORP is a soluble monomeric protein (11.8 kDa). The cluster is non-covalently bound to the polypeptide chain. The presence of a MoS42- moiety in the structure of the cofactor contributes with a quite characteristic UV-Vis spectra, exhibiting an orange colour, with intense absorption peaks at 480 and 338 nm. Pure ORP reveals an Abs(480)/Abs(338) ratio of 0.535. The gene sequence coding for ORP as well as the amino acid sequence was determined. The putative biological function of ORP is discussed. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Pauleta, Sr., F. Guerlesquin, C. F. Goodhew, B. Devreese, J. VanBeeumen, AS Pereira, I. Moura, and G. W. Pettigrew. "Paracoccus pantotrophus pseudoazurin is an electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase." Biochemistry. 43 (2004): 11214-11225. AbstractWebsite

The gene for pseudoazurin was isolated from Paracoccus pantotrophus LMD 52.44 and expressed in a heterologous system with a yield of 54.3 mg of pure protein per liter of culture. The gene and protein were shown to be identical to those from P. pantotrophus LMD 82.5. The extinction coefficient of the protein was re-evaluated and was found to be 3.00 mM(-1) cm(-1) at 590 nm. It was confirmed that the oxidized protein is in a weak monomer/dimer equilibrium that is ionic- strength-dependent. The pseudoazurin was shown to be a highly active electron donor to cytochrome c peroxidase, and activity showed an ionic strength dependence consistent with an electrostatic interaction. The pseudoazurin has a very large dipole moment, the vector of which is positioned at the putative electron-transfer site, His81, and is conserved in this position across a wide range of blue copper proteins. Binding of the peroxidase to pseudoazurin causes perturbation of a set of NMR resonances associated with residues on the His81 face, including a ring of lysine residues. These lysines are associated with acidic residues just back from the rim, the resonances of which are also affected by binding to the peroxidase. We propose that these acidic residues moderate the electrostatic influence of the lysines and so ensure that specific charge interactions do not form across the interface with the peroxidase.

Dias, JM, T. Alves, C. Bonifacio, AS Pereira, J. Trincao, D. Bourgeois, I. Moura, and MJ Romao. "Structural basis for the mechanism of Ca2+ activation of the di-heme cytochrome c peroxidase from Pseudomonas nautica 617." Structure. 12 (2004): 961-973. AbstractWebsite

Cytochrome c peroxidase (CCP) catalyses the reduction of H2O2 to H2O, an important step in the cellular detoxification process. The crystal structure of the di-heme CCP from Pseudomonas nautica 617 was obtained in two different conformations in a redox state with the electron transfer heme reduced. Form IN, obtained at pH 4.0, does not contain Ca2+ and was refined at 2.2 Angstrom resolution. This inactive form presents a closed conformation where the peroxidatic heme adopts a six-ligand coordination, hindering the peroxidatic reaction from taking place. Form OUT is Ca2+ dependent and was crystallized at pH 5.3 and refined at 2.4 Angstrom resolution. This active form shows an open conformation, with release of the distal histidine (His71) ligand, providing peroxide access to the active site. This is the first time that the active and inactive states are reported for a di-heme peroxidase.

Jameson, G. N. L., W. Jin, C. Krebs, A. S. Perreira, P. Tavares, X. F. Liu, E. C. Theil, and BH HUYNH. "Stoichiometric production of hydrogen peroxide and parallel formation of ferric multimers through decay of the diferric-peroxo complex, the first detectable intermediate in ferritin mineralization." Biochemistry. 41 (2002): 13435-13443. AbstractWebsite

The catalytic step that initiates formation of the ferric oxy-hydroxide mineral core in the central cavity of H-type ferritin involves rapid oxidation of ferrous ion by molecular oxygen (ferroxidase reaction) at a binuclear site (ferroxidase site) found in each of the 24 subunits. Previous investigators have shown that the first detectable reaction intermediate of the ferroxidase reaction is a diferric-peroxo intermediate, F-peroxo, formed within 25 ms, which then leads to the release of H2O2 and formation of ferric mineral precursors. The stoichiometric relationship between F-peroxo, H2O2, and ferric mineral precursors, crucial to defining the reaction pathway and mechanism, has now been determined. To this end, a horseradish peroxidase-catalyzed spectrophotometric method was used as an assay for H2O2. By rapidly mixing apo M ferritin from frog, Fe2+, and O-2 and allowing the reaction to proceed for 70 ms when F-peroxo has reached its maximum accumulation, followed by spraying the reaction mixture into the H2O2 assay solution, we were able to quantitatively determine the amount of H2O2 produced during the decay of F-peroxo. The correlation between the amount of H2O2 released with the amount of F-peroxo accumulated at 70 ms determined by Mossbauer spectroscopy showed that F-peroxo decays into H2O2 with a stoichiometry of 1 F-peroxo:H2O2. When the decay of F-peroxo was monitored by rapid freeze-quench Mossbauer spectroscopy, multiple diferric mu-oxo/mu-hydroxo complexes and small polynuclear ferric clusters were found to form at rate constants identical to the decay rate of F-peroxo. This observed parallel formation of multiple products (H2O2, diferric complexes, and small polynuclear clusters) from the decay of a single precursor (F-peroxo) provides useful mechanistic insights into ferritin mineralization and demonstrates a flexible ferroxidase site.

Di Rocco, G., AS Pereira, SA Bursakov, OY Gavel, F. Rusnak, J. Lampreia, JJG Moura, and I. Moura. "Cloning of a novel Mo-Cu containing protein from Desulfovibrio.gigas." Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 86 (2001): 202. AbstractWebsite