Giuseppe Zaccai

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It is now clear that the understanding of halophilic adaptation at a molecular level requires a strategy of complementary experiments, combining molecular biology, biochemistry, and cellular approaches with physical chemistry and thermodynamics. In this review, after a discussion of the definition and composition of halophilic enzymes, the effects of salt(More)
An effective environmental force constant is introduced to quantify the molecular resilience (or its opposite, "softness") of a protein structure and relate it to biological function and activity. Specific resilience-function relations were found in neutron-scattering experiments on purple membranes containing bacteriorhodopsin, the light-activated proton(More)
The structure of the protein-solvent interface is the subject of controversy in theoretical studies and requires direct experimental characterization. Three proteins with known atomic resolution crystal structure (lysozyme, Escherichia coli thioredoxin reductase, and protein R1 of E. coli ribonucleotide reductase) were investigated in parallel by x-ray and(More)
The gene coding for the enzyme malate dehydrogenase (MDH) of the extremely halophilic archaebacterium Haloarcula marismortui was isolated and sequenced. The enzyme is composed of 303 amino acids, and its molecular mass is 32,638 Da. The deduced amino acid sequence of the enzyme was found to be more similar to the sequence of L-lactate dehydrogenase (L-LDH)(More)
Previous biophysical studies of tetrameric malate dehydrogenase from the halophilic archaeon Haloarcula marismortui (Hm MalDH) have revealed the importance of protein-solvent interactions for its adaptation to molar salt conditions that strongly affect protein solubility, stability, and activity, in general. The structures of the E267R stability mutant of(More)
This review of protein dynamics studied by neutron scattering focuses on data collected in the last 10 years. After an introduction to thermal neutron scattering and instrumental aspects, theoretical models that have been used to interpret the data are presented and discussed. Experiments are described according to sample type, protein powders, solutions(More)
Protein thermal dynamics was evaluated by neutron scattering for halophilic malate dehydrogenase from Haloarcula marismortui (HmMalDH) and BSA under different solvent conditions. As a measure of thermal stability in each case, loss of secondary structure temperatures were determined by CD. HmMalDH requires molar salt and has different stability behavior in(More)
We show that dynamics of specific amino acids within a protein can be characterized by neutron spectroscopy and hydrogen-deuterium labeling, and we present data on the motions of a selected set of groups within bacteriorhodopsin (BR), the retinal-based proton pump in the purple membrane of halophilic Archaea. Elastic incoherent neutron scattering(More)
A dodecameric protease complex with a tetrahedral shape (TET) was isolated from Haloarcula marismortui, a salt-loving archaeon. The 42 kDa monomers in the complex are homologous to metal-binding, bacterial aminopeptidases. TET has a broad aminopeptidase activity and can process peptides of up to 30-35 amino acids in length. TET has a central cavity that is(More)