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"Free Zn2+" (rapidly exchangeable Zn2+) is stored along with glutamate in the presynaptic terminals of specific specialized (gluzinergic) cerebrocortical neurons. This synaptically releasable Zn2+ has been recognized as a potent modulator of glutamatergic transmission and as a key toxin in excitotoxic neuronal injury. Surprisingly (despite abundant work on(More)
The crystal structure of Bacillus subtilis ribonuclease P protein is reported at 2.6 angstroms resolution. This protein binds to ribonuclease P RNA to form a ribonucleoprotein holoenzyme with optimal catalytic activity. Mutagenesis and biochemical data indicate that an unusual left-handed betaalphabeta crossover connection and a large central cleft in the(More)
Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is an essential endonuclease that acts early in the tRNA biogenesis pathway. This enzyme catalyzes cleavage of the leader sequence of precursor tRNAs (pre-tRNAs), generating the mature 5' end of tRNAs. RNase P activities have been identified in Bacteria, Archaea, and Eucarya, as well as organelles. Most forms of RNase P are(More)
We demonstrate here that electrical stimulation of organotypic cultures of rat hippocampus results in the prompt release of significant amounts of Zn(II) by a fluorescence microscopic method. The fluorescence imaging of free Zn(II) is achieved using a highly selective biosensing indicator system consisting of human apo-carbonic anhydrase II (apoCAII) and a(More)
RNase P catalyzes the 5' maturation of transfer RNA (tRNA). RNase P from Bacillus subtilis comprises a large RNA component (130 kDa, P RNA) and a small protein subunit (14 kDa, P protein). Although P RNA alone can efficiently catalyze the maturation reaction in vitro, P protein is strictly required under physiological conditions. We have used time-resolved(More)
Metal ions interact with RNA to enhance folding, stabilize structure, and, in some cases, facilitate catalysis. Assigning functional roles to specifically bound metal ions presents a major challenge in analyzing the catalytic mechanisms of ribozymes. Bacillus subtilis ribonuclease P (RNase P), composed of a catalytically active RNA subunit (PRNA) and a(More)
Mounting evidence indicates that zinc has multiple roles in cell biology, viz. as a part of metalloenzyme catalytic sites, as a structural component of gene regulatory proteins, and (like calcium) as a free signal ion, particularly in the cortex of the brain. While most Zn(II) in the brain is tightly bound, such that free Zn(II) levels extracellularly and(More)
Kinetic analysis and protein mutagenesis allow the importance of individual amino acids in ligand binding and catalysis to be assessed. A kinetic analysis has shown that the reaction catalyzed by dihydrofolate reductase is optimized with respect to product flux, which in turn is predetermined by the active-site hydrophobic surface. Protein mutagenesis has(More)
Ribonuclease P (RNase P) is a ribonucleoprotein that catalyzes the 5' maturation of precursor transfer RNA in the presence of magnesium ions. The bacterial RNase P holoenzyme consists of one catalytically active RNA component and a single essential but catalytically inactive protein. In contrast, yeast nuclear RNase P is more complex with one RNA subunit(More)
Farnesylation is an important post-translational modification catalyzed by farnesyltransferase (FTase). Until recently it was believed that a C-terminal CaaX motif is required for farnesylation, but recent experiments have revealed larger substrate diversity. In this study, we propose a general structural modeling scheme to account for peptide binding(More)