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Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inborn error of metabolism caused by mutations in phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). Over 500 disease-causing mutations have been identified in humans, most of which result in PAH protein misfolding and increased turnover in vivo. The use of pharmacological chaperones to stabilize or promote correct folding of mutant proteins(More)
Nitazoxanide (NTZ) exhibits broad-spectrum activity against anaerobic bacteria and parasites and the ulcer-causing pathogen Helicobacter pylori. Here we show that NTZ is a noncompetitive inhibitor (K(i), 2 to 10 microM) of the pyruvate:ferredoxin/flavodoxin oxidoreductases (PFORs) of Trichomonas vaginalis, Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia intestinalis,(More)
Oligomerization in the heat shock protein (Hsp) 70 family has been extensively documented both in vitro and in vivo, although the mechanism, the identity of the specific protein regions involved and the physiological relevance of this process are still unclear. We have studied the oligomeric properties of a series of human Hsp70 variants by means of(More)
Here, we use single-molecule techniques to study the aggregation of α-synuclein, the protein whose misfolding and deposition is associated with Parkinson's disease. We identify a conformational change from the initially formed oligomers to stable, more compact proteinase-K-resistant oligomers as the key step that leads ultimately to fibril formation. The(More)
The aggregation of the intrinsically disordered protein α-synuclein to form fibrillar amyloid structures is intimately associated with a variety of neurological disorders, most notably Parkinson's disease. The molecular mechanism of α-synuclein aggregation and toxicity is not yet understood in any detail, not least because of the paucity of structural(More)
In the past, enzymatic activity has always been expected to be dependent on overall protein rigidity, necessary for substrate recognition and optimal orientation. However, increasing evidence is now accumulating, revealing that some proteins characterized by intrinsic disorder are actually able to perform catalysis. Among them, the only known natural(More)
The predominant equilibrium in proteins is not between native and unfolded states, it is between the native and multiple partially unfolded forms. Some of these partially unfolded forms can be energetically close to the native state and, therefore, have the potential to become appreciably populated. This could have an important role in protein function or(More)
Helicobacter pylori establishes life-long infections in the gastric mucosa of over 1 billion people worldwide. In many cases, without specific antimicrobial intervention, H. pylori infected individuals will develop type B gastritis, chronic peptic ulcers and, more rarely, gastric neoplasias. Conventional antimicrobial therapy has been complicated by(More)
Pyruvate-dependent reduction of NADP has been demonstrated in cell extracts of the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. However, NADP is not a substrate of purified pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFOR), suggesting that other redox active enzymes mediate this reaction. Here we show that fqrB (HP1164), which is essential and highly conserved among(More)
The self-assembly of α-synuclein is closely associated with Parkinson's disease and related syndromes. We show that squalamine, a natural product with known anticancer and antiviral activity, dramatically affects α-synuclein aggregation in vitro and in vivo. We elucidate the mechanism of action of squalamine by investigating its interaction with lipid(More)