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We show that reproductively mature male sea lampreys release a bile acid that acts as a potent sex pheromone, inducing preference and searching behavior in ovulated female lampreys. The secreted bile acid 7alpha,12alpha,24-trihydroxy-5alpha-cholan-3-one 24-sulfate was released in much higher amounts relative to known vertebrate steroid pheromones and may be(More)
In the past decade, characterization of the host targets of pathogen virulence factors took a center stage in the study of pathogenesis and disease susceptibility in plants and humans. However, the impressive knowledge of host targets has not been broadly exploited to inhibit pathogen infection. Here, we show that host target modification could be a(More)
Shikimate kinase (SK) and other enzymes in the shikimate pathway are potential targets for developing non-toxic antimicrobial agents, herbicides, and anti-parasite drugs, because the pathway is essential in the above species but is absent from mammals. The crystal structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis SK (MtSK) in complex with MgADP has been determined at(More)
We report a "running start, two-bond" protocol to analyze elongation by human RNA polymerase II (RNAP II). In this procedure, the running start allowed us to measure rapid rates of elongation and provided detailed insight into the RNAP II mechanism. Formation of two bonds was tracked to ensure that at least one translocation event was analyzed. By using(More)
When RNA polymerase II (RNAP II) is forced to stall, elongation complexes (ECs) are observed to leave the active pathway and enter a paused state. Initially, ECs equilibrate between active and paused conformations, but with stalls of a long duration, ECs backtrack and become sensitive to transcript cleavage, which is stimulated by the EC rescue factor(More)
6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK) catalyzes the transfer of pyrophosphate from ATP to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin (HMDP). Because HPPK is essential for microorganisms but is absent from human and animals, the enzyme is an excellent target for developing antimicrobial agent. Thermodynamic analysis shows that Mg(2+) is important(More)
Scoring to identify high-affinity compounds remains a challenge in virtual screening. On one hand, protein-ligand scoring focuses on weighting favorable and unfavorable interactions between the two molecules. Ligand-based scoring, on the other hand, focuses on how well the shape and chemistry of each ligand candidate overlay on a three-dimensional reference(More)
The 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate (MEP) pathway leads to the biosynthesis of isopentenyl diphosphate (IDP) and dimethylallyl diphosphate (DMADP), the precursors for isoprene and higher isoprenoids. Isoprene has significant effects on atmospheric chemistry, whereas other isoprenoids have diverse roles ranging from various biological processes to(More)
6-Hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin pyrophosphokinase (HPPK) catalyzes the pyrophosphoryl transfer from ATP to 6-hydroxymethyl-7,8-dihydropterin (HP), the first reaction in the folate biosynthetic pathway. Arginine residues 82 and 92, strictly conserved in 35 HPPK sequences, play dynamic roles in the catalytic cycle of the enzyme. At 0.89-A resolution, two(More)
The complete path for the deamination reaction catalyzed by yeast cytosine deaminase (yCD), a zinc metalloenzyme of significant biomedical interest, has been investigated using the ONIOM method. Cytosine deamination proceeds via a sequential mechanism involving the protonation of N(3), the nucleophilic attack of C(4) by the zinc-coordinated hydroxide, and(More)