Ruby H. P. Law

Learn More
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is synthesized by two isoforms of the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate-dependent enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD65 and GAD67). GAD67 is constitutively active and is responsible for basal GABA production. In contrast, GAD65, an autoantigen in type I diabetes, is transiently activated in response to the demand for extra GABA in(More)
Natural killer cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes accomplish the critically important function of killing virus-infected and neoplastic cells. They do this by releasing the pore-forming protein perforin and granzyme proteases from cytoplasmic granules into the cleft formed between the abutting killer and target cell membranes. Perforin, a 67-kilodalton(More)
Proteins containing membrane attack complex/perforin (MACPF) domains play important roles in vertebrate immunity, embryonic development, and neural-cell migration. In vertebrates, the ninth component of complement and perforin form oligomeric pores that lyse bacteria and kill virus-infected cells, respectively. However, the mechanism of MACPF function is(More)
Bacteriophages deploy lysins that degrade the bacterial cell wall and facilitate virus egress from the host. When applied exogenously, these enzymes destroy susceptible microbes and, accordingly, have potential as therapeutic agents. The most potent lysin identified to date is PlyC, an enzyme assembled from two components (PlyCA and PlyCB) that is specific(More)
Pore-forming toxins (PFTs) are commonly associated with bacterial pathogenesis. In eukaryotes, however, PFTs operate in the immune system or are deployed for attacking prey (e.g. venoms). This review focuses upon two families of globular protein PFTs: the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) and the membrane attack complex/perforin superfamily (MACPF).(More)
Plasminogen is the proenzyme precursor of the primary fibrinolytic protease plasmin. Circulating plasminogen, which comprises a Pan-apple (PAp) domain, five kringle domains (KR1-5), and a serine protease (SP) domain, adopts a closed, activation-resistant conformation. The kringle domains mediate interactions with fibrin clots and cell-surface receptors.(More)
Serpins are a broadly distributed family of protease inhibitors that use a conformational change to inhibit target enzymes. They are central in controlling many important proteolytic cascades, including the mammalian coagulation pathways. Serpins are conformationally labile and many of the disease-linked mutations of serpins result in misfolding or in(More)
The functions of the cathepsin B-like proteases in liver flukes are unknown and analysis has been hindered by a lack of protein for study, since the protein is produced in small amounts by juvenile flukes. To circumvent this, we isolated and characterized a cDNA encoding the major secreted cathepsin B from Fasciola hepatica. The predicted preproprotein is(More)
Many bacterial pathogens produce extracellular proteases that degrade the extracellular matrix of the host and therefore are involved in disease pathogenesis. Dichelobacter nodosus is the causative agent of ovine footrot, a highly contagious disease that is characterized by the separation of the hoof from the underlying tissue. D. nodosus secretes three(More)
The newly excysted juvenile (NEJ) stage of the Fasciola hepatica lifecycle occurs just prior to invasion into the wall of the gut of the host, rendering it an important target for drug development. The cathepsin B enzymes from NEJ flukes have recently been demonstrated to be crucial to invasion and migration by the parasite. Here we characterize one of the(More)