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  • Vidilaseris, Keni; Kellosalo, Juho; Goldman, Adrian (2018)
    Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (mPPases) are homodimeric integral membrane proteins that hydrolyse pyrophosphate into orthophosphates coupled to the active transport of protons or sodium ions across membranes. They occur in bacteria, archaea, plants, and protist parasites. As they are essential in protist parasites and there are no homologous proteins in animals and humans, these enzymes represent an excellent drug target for treating protistal diseases. Experimental screening to find drug candidates is an important step to discover new hit compounds. For that, a cheap, simple, and robust assay is needed. Here we report the application of the molybdenum blue reaction method for a medium throughput microplate activity assay of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima mPPase and the possible application of the assay to screen inhibitors of membrane-bound pyrophosphatases.
  • Shah, Nita R.; Wilkinson, Craig; Harborne, Steven P. D.; Turku, Ainoleena; Li, Kun-Mou; Sun, Yuh-Ju; Harris, Sarah; Goldman, Adrian (2017)
    Membrane-integral pyrophosphatases (mPPases) couple the hydrolysis of pyrophosphate (PPi) to the pumping of Na+, H+, or both these ions across a membrane. Recently solved structures of the Na+-pumping Thermotoga maritima mPPase (TmPPase) and H+-pumping Vigna radiata mPPase revealed the basis of ion selectivity between these enzymes and provided evidence for the mechanisms of substrate hydrolysis and ion-pumping. Our atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations of TmPPase demonstrate that loop 5-6 is mobile in the absence of the substrate or substrate-analogue bound to the active site, explaining the lack of electron density for this loop in resting state structures. Furthermore, creating an apo model of TmPPase by removing ligands from the TmPPase: IDP: Na structure in MD simulations resulted in increased dynamics in loop 5-6, which results in this loop moving to uncover the active site, suggesting that interactions between loop 5-6 and the imidodiphosphate and its associated Mg2+ are important for holding a loop-closed conformation. We also provide further evidence for the transport-before-hydrolysis mechanism by showing that the non-hydrolyzable substrate analogue, methylene diphosphonate, induces low levels of proton pumping by VrPPase. (C) 2017 Author(s).
  • Li, Kun-Mou; Wilkinson, Craig; Kellosalo, Juho; Tsai, Jia-Yin; Kajander, Tommi; Jeuken, Lars J. C.; Sun, Yuh-Ju; Goldman, Adrian (2016)
    Membrane-bound pyrophosphatases (M-PPases), which couple proton/sodium ion transport to pyrophosphate synthesis/hydrolysis, are important in abiotic stress resistance and in the infectivity of protozoan parasites. Here, three M-PPase structures in different catalytic states show that closure of the substrate-binding pocket by helices 5-6 affects helix 13 in the dimer interface and causes helix 12 to move down. This springs a 'molecular mousetrap', repositioning a conserved aspartate and activating the nucleophilic water. Corkscrew motion at helices 6 and 16 rearranges the key ionic gate residues and leads to ion pumping. The pumped ion is above the ion gate in one of the ion-bound structures, but below it in the other. Electrometric measurements show a single-turnover event with a non-hydrolysable inhibitor, supporting our model that ion pumping precedes hydrolysis. We propose a complete catalytic cycle for both proton and sodium-pumping M-PPases, and one that also explains the basis for ion specificity.