Bjørnar Synstad

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During the past 15 years there has been a continuous flow of reports describing proteins stabilized by the introduction of mutations. These reports span a period from pioneering rational design work on small enzymes such as T4 lysozyme and barnase to protein design, and directed evolution. Concomitantly, the purification and characterization of naturally(More)
We present a comparative study of ChiA, ChiB, and ChiC, the three family 18 chitinases produced by Serratia marcescens. All three enzymes eventually converted chitin to N-acetylglucosamine dimers (GlcNAc2) and a minor fraction of monomers. ChiC differed from ChiA and ChiB in that it initially produced longer oligosaccharides from chitin and had lower(More)
The Gram-negative soil bacterium Serratia marcescens uses three different family 18 chitinases to degrade chitin, an abundant insoluble carbohydrate polymer composed of beta(1,4)-linked units of N-acetylglucosamine. We show that efficient chitin degradation additionally depends on the action of a small non-catalytic protein, CBP21, which binds to the(More)
Glycoside hydrolysis by retaining family 18 chitinases involves a catalytic acid (Glu) which is part of a conserved DXDXE sequence motif that spans strand four of a (betaalpha)8 barrel (TIM barrel) structure. These glycoside hydrolases are unusual in that the positive charge emerging on the anomeric carbon after departure of the leaving group is stabilized(More)
Over the past years, family 18 chitinases have been validated as potential targets for the design of drugs against human pathogens that contain or interact with chitin during their normal life cycles. Thus far, only one potent chitinase inhibitor has been described in detail, the pseudotrisaccharide allosamidin. Recently, however, two potent natural-product(More)
In this study we cloned, expressed, purified, and charaterized chitinase C1 from Serratia marcescens strain BJL200. As expected, the BJL200-ChiC1 amino acid sequence of this strain was highly similar to sequences of ChiC1 identified in two other strains of S. marcescens. BJL200-ChiC1 was overproduced in E. coli by the T7 expression system, and purified by a(More)
The Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin gene (cpe) is rarely found in naturally isolated strains. In human food poisoning strains, cpe is found on the chromosome, and is located episomally in animal isolates. Observations that the gene was somewhat unstable and could be gained or lost suggested that the gene was on a mobile element. An IS200-like element,(More)
The three-dimensional structure of four malate dehydrogenases (MDH) from thermophilic and mesophilic phototropic bacteria have been determined by X-ray crystallography and the corresponding structures compared. In contrast to the dimeric quaternary structure of most MDHs, these MDHs are tetramers and are structurally related to tetrameric malate(More)
The determination of kinetic parameters of chitinases using natural substrates is difficult due to low K(m) values, which require the use of low substrate concentrations that are hard to measure. Using the natural substrate (GlcNAc)(4), we have developed an assay for the determination of k(cat) and K(m)values of chitinases. Product concentrations as low as(More)
Family 18 chitinases are attractive targets for the development of new inhibitors with chemotherapeutic potential against fungi, insects and protozoan/nematodal parasites. Although several inhibitors have been identified, these are based on complex chemistry, which hampers iterative structure-based optimization. Here we report the details of chitinase(More)