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The x-ray crystallographic structure of the heterodimeric plant toxin ricin has been determined at 2.8-A resolution. The A chain enzyme is a globular protein with extensive secondary structure and a reasonably prominent cleft assumed to be the active site. The B chain lectin folds into two topologically similar domains, each binding lactose in a shallow(More)
Ricin is an abundant protein component of Ricinus communis seeds (castor beans) that is exquisitely toxic to mammalian cells. It consists of an enzymic polypeptide that catalyzes the N-glycosidic cleavage of a specific adenine residue from 28S ribosomal RNA, joined by a single disulfide bond to a galactose (cell)-binding lectin. The enzymatic activity(More)
Higher plants contain multiple constitutively expressed proteins for defense against infection by viruses, bacteria, and fungi. One such class of proteins, the chitinases, are effective antifungal agents because they hydrolyze the insoluble beta-1,4-linked polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (chitin), which is the major component of the mycelial cell wall of(More)
Ricin A chain is an N-glycosidase which removes a single adenine base from a conservative loop of 28S rRNA, thereby inactivating eukaryotic ribosomes. The mechanism of action has been proposed to include transition-state stabilization of an oxycarbonium ion on the substrate ribose by interaction with Glu 177. Conversion of Glu 177 to Gln reduces activity(More)
Barley chitinase, bacterial chitosanase, and lysozymes from goose (GEWL), phage (T4L) and hen (HEWL) all hydrolyse related polysaccharides. The proteins share no significant amino-acid similarities, but have a structurally invariant core consisting of two helices and a three-stranded beta-sheet which form the substrate-binding and catalytic cleft. These(More)
Class II chitinases (EC are plant defense proteins. They hydrolyze chitin, an insoluble beta-1,4-linked polymer of N-acetylglucosamine (NAG), which is a major cell-wall component of many fungal hyphae. We previously reported the three-dimensional structure of the 26 kDa class II endochitinase from barley seeds at 2.8 A resolution, determined using(More)
The Escherichia coli protein regulator of RNase E activity A (RraA) has recently been shown to act as a trans-acting modulator of RNA turnover in bacteria; it binds to the essential endonuclease RNase E and inhibits RNA processing in vivo and in vitro. Here, we report the 2.0A X-ray structure of RraA. The structure reveals a ring-like trimer with a central(More)
The endochitinase from Coccidioides immitis (CiX1) is a member of the class 18 chitinase family. Here we show the enzyme functions by a retaining catalytic mechanism; that is, the beta-conformation of the chitin substrate linkages is preserved after hydrolysis. The pattern of cleavage of N-acetyglucosamine (GlcNAc) oligosaccharide substrates has been(More)