Roberto Contestabile

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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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