Roberto Contestabile

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Previous studies suggest that the addition of pyridoxal 5'-phosphate to apo-serine hydroxymethyltransferase from Escherichia coli is the last event in the enzyme's folding process. We propose a mechanism for this reaction based on quenched-flow, stopped-flow and rapid-scanning stopped-flow experiments. All experiments were performed with an excess of(More)
Reprogramming of cellular metabolism towards de novo serine production fuels the growth of cancer cells, providing essential precursors such as amino acids and nucleotides and controlling the antioxidant and methylation capacities of the cell. The enzyme serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) has a key role in this metabolic shift, and directs serine(More)
In this paper, we present a novel, "single experiment" methodology based on genetic engineering of metabolic pathways for direct intracellular production of non-canonical amino acids from simple precursors, coupled with expanded genetic code. In particular, we engineered the intracellular biosynthesis of L-azidohomoalanine from O-acetyl-L-homoserine and(More)
Several drugs and natural compounds are known to be highly neurotoxic, triggering epileptic convulsions or seizures, and causing headaches, agitations, as well as other neuronal symptoms. The neurotoxic effects of some of these compounds, including theophylline and ginkgotoxin, have been traced to their inhibitory activity against human pyridoxal kinase(More)
Thiamin (vitamin B1) is a pharmacological agent boosting central metabolism through the action of the coenzyme thiamin diphosphate (ThDP). However, positive effects, including improved cognition, of high thiamin doses in neurodegeneration may be observed without increased ThDP or ThDP-dependent enzymes in brain. Here, we determine protein partners and(More)
Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) is a cofactor for dozens of B(6) requiring enzymes. PLP reacts with apo-B(6) enzymes by forming an aldimine linkage with the ε-amino group of an active site lysine residue, thus yielding the catalytically active holo-B(6) enzyme. During protein turnover, the PLP is salvaged by first converting it to pyridoxal by a phosphatase(More)
Glutamate-1-semialdehyde aminomutase (GSAM) is a dimeric, pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP)- dependent enzyme catalysing in plants and some bacteria the isomerization of L-glutamate-1-semialdehyde to 5-aminolevulinate, a common precursor of chlorophyll, haem, coenzyme B12, and other tetrapyrrolic compounds. During the catalytic cycle, the coenzyme undergoes(More)
Serine hydroxymethyltransferase catalyzes the reversible interconversion of L-serine and glycine with transfer of one-carbon groups to and from tetrahydrofolate. Active site residue Thr254 is known to be involved in the transaldimination reaction, a crucial step in the catalytic mechanism of all pyridoxal 5'-phosphate- (PLP-) dependent enzymes, which(More)
Pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP), the biologically active of vitamin B 6 , was first identified in the mid-forties as the cofactor for the transamination reaction. Since then, PLP-dependent enzymes have been the focus of extensive biochemical research. The interest aroused by these enzymes is due to their unrivalled catalytic versatility and their widespread(More)
The main focus of this special issue is on structural, functional , and biomedical studies on pyridoxal-5 í® í°-phosphate-(PLP-) dependent enzymes. The unparalleled catalytic versatility of PLP, the active form of vitamin B6, originates from its unique electron-sinking properties, which stabilize reaction intermediates, thus lowering the activation barrier(More)