Structural and biophysical analysis of important biomedical enzymes and nano-architectures

Chattopadhyay, Arundhati. Structural and biophysical analysis of important biomedical enzymes and nano-architectures. 2008, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_8643

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Dopa decarboxylase (DDC) is an important enzyme in the catecholamine biosynthesis pathways. Catecholamines, e.g., dopamine, serotonin, etc. often are the major neuromodulators or neurotransmitters. Hence, DDC plays a key role in regulation of neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease (PD). In order to achieve a medicine for PD, a successful inhibitor for DDC, that could reduce the activity of DDC in the blood while making it more effective in brain, is required. An effective design of an inhibitor requires a detailed structural study of human DDC. It was aimed to solve the DDC structure by X-ray crystallography. In order to have enough protein the DDC encoding gene has been cloned in the pET21d vector which was later termed as pET-DDC-His. However, it required numerous trials and errors until a suitable condition for soluble DDC expression was found. Addition of additives like PLP, ethanol, a complex of sorbitol and betaine in the growth medium of the bacteria did not help bring the protein in the soluble part as it formed inclusion bodies. Several soluble protein fusions with DDC, like Thioredoxin and Glutathione-S-transferase were also not quite helpful towards achieving soluble expression of DDC. Finally, a coexpression of DDC along with bacterial chaperone proteins, e.g., GroEL and GroES (after cotransforming both the DDC and Chaperone protein encoding plasmid in the same E.coli cell, used for expression) lead to solubilization of recombinant human DDC. This enzyme was then purified to homogeneity by successively passing the crude bacterial proteins through Ni-chelate-affinity chromatography and Size Exclusion Chromatography. The purified protein (>90 % purity) did not produce a good yield (4mg/ 8L culture), but this was enough to start the initial crystallization trial. Using a scale up to a 50 L culture, quite a good amount of protein was achieved. The homogeneity of DDC was further confirmed by using Multi-Angle Light Scattering and Blue Native PAGE. The dimeric enzyme preparation was then utilized for crystallization using the Hanging Drop Vapor Diffusion method. In a particular condition of the crystal screens trigonal bipyramidal crystals formed. However, these crystals did not show good diffraction when bombarded with X-ray beams. Later, this particular crystallization condition remained irreproducible.
The peptide nanoparticle, designed and produced in our lab, could possibly be a very valuable tool in biomedical applications, e.g., in designing vaccines, delivering drugs, bioimaging, serodiagnosis, etc. The design of the peptide nanoparticles is based on the application of the symmetry elements of virus icosahedral capsid on a specially designed building block peptide. The designed peptide building block contains two oligomerization motifs, i.e., a trimeric coiled coil and a pentameric coiled coil joined by a linker region. Sixty such peptide units, upon self-assembly, would produce peptide nanoparticle mimicking a small icosahedral virus particle. The peptide chains in the building block provide flexibility in the design so that an additional peptide could be attached to it at the C-terminus in order to functionalize the peptide nanoparticle for various biomedical applications. First of all, the functional peptide at the C-terminus could be an epitope for the antibody of a life threatening disease like HIV. These peptide nanoparticles can then function as the potent vaccine candidate for that particular disease. In this thesis work, I have attached the two epitopes against the two broadly neutralizing classes of antibody for HIV infection, 2F5 and 4E10, to the peptide nanoparticle. Secondly, another sequence of peptide, which proved to have the capacity of seeding gold on its surface, was attached to the building block peptide unit. The nanoparticle, functionalized with such a peptide, can decorate a gold layer surrounding it. Gold coating on the peptide nanoparticle scaffold can provide a nanostructure, called ‘nanoshells’, which could be very important in the field of therapeutics because of its ability in easy detection and quick treatment of cancer cells. Lastly, I added three peptides; those are recognized in the culture filtrates of M.tuberculosis isolated from TB patients, separately, to the basic peptide construct to form three different nanoparticles. Also, I tried to make a single nanoparticle that displays all the three peptides on its surface. Such a nanoparticle could be a very useful tool in the serodiagnosis or the antibody-based rapid detection of the deadly disease- Tuberculosis. The nanoparticle formation in each of the above-mentioned cases was more or less successful. One of the constructs could successfully even produce gold shells on the peptide nanoparticle.
Advisors:Aebi, Ueli
Committee Members:Burkhard, Peter and Schirmer, Tilman
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Former Organization Units Biozentrum > Structural Biology (Aebi)
UniBasel Contributors:Aebi, Ueli and Burkhard, Peter and Schirmer, Tilman
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:8643
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:139
Identification Number:
edoc DOI:
Last Modified:22 Jan 2018 15:50
Deposited On:26 Jun 2009 09:02

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