Avigdor Shafferman

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Structures of recombinant wild-type human acetylcholinesterase and of its E202Q mutant as complexes with fasciculin-II, a 'three-finger' polypeptide toxin purified from the venom of the eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps), are reported. The structure of the complex of the wild-type enzyme was solved to 2.8 A resolution by molecular replacement(More)
The presence of a precisely aligned active-site triad (Ser-His-Asp/Glu) in the three-dimensional structures of widely different hydrolytic enzymes has generated intense interest in the chemical modus operandi of this catalytic motif. 1 One hypothesis, which has not received wide acceptance, proposes that the imidazole of the catalytic His is mobile during(More)
Yersinia pestis is the causative agent of plague. Previously we have isolated an attenuated Y. pestis transposon insertion mutant in which the pcm gene was disrupted. In the present study, we investigated the expression and the role of pcm locus genes in Y. pestis pathogenesis using a set of isogenic surE, pcm, nlpD and rpoS mutants of the fully virulent(More)
Bacillus anthracis (Ames strain) chromosome-derived open reading frames (ORFs), predicted to code for surface exposed or virulence related proteins, were selected as B. anthracis-specific vaccine candidates by a multistep computational screen of the entire draft chromosome sequence (February 2001 version, 460 contigs, The Institute for Genomic Research,(More)
An important virulence strategy evolved by bacterial pathogens to overcome host defenses is the modulation of host cell death. Previous observations have indicated that Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague disease, exhibits restricted capacity to induce cell death in macrophages due to ineffective translocation of the type III secretion effector(More)
Organophosphorus acid anhydride (OP) nerve agents are potent inhibitors which rapidly phosphonylate acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and then may undergo an internal dealkylation reaction (called "aging") to produce an OP-enzyme conjugate that cannot be reactivated. To understand the basis for irreversible inhibition, we solved the structures of aged conjugates(More)
Determination of the three dimensional structure of Torpedo Californica acetylcholinesterase (TcAChE) provided an experimental tool for directly visualizing interaction of AChE with cholinesterase inhibitors of fundamental, pharmacological and toxicological interest. The structure revealed that the active site is located near the bottom of a deep and narrow(More)
A genomic analysis of the Bacillus anthracis virulence plasmid pXO1, aimed at identifying potential vaccine candidates and virulence-related genes, was carried out. The 143 previously defined open reading frames (ORFs) (R. T. Okinaka, K. Cloud, O. Hampton, A. R. Hoffmaster, K. K. Hill, P. Keim, T. M. Koehler, G. Lamke, S. Kumano, J. Mahillon, D. Manter, Y.(More)
Several highly attenuated spore-forming nontoxinogenic and nonencapsulated Bacillus anthracis vaccines differing in levels of expression of recombinant protective antigen (rPA) were constructed. Biochemical analyses (including electrospray mass spectroscopy and N terminus amino acid sequencing) as well as biological and immunological tests demonstrated that(More)
In a search for novel attenuated vaccine candidates for use against Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, a signature-tagged mutagenesis strategy was used and optimized for a subcutaneously infected mouse model. A library of tagged mutants of the virulent Y. pestis Kimberley53 strain was generated. Screening of 300 mutants through two consecutive(More)