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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)
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)
BACKGROUND In mammals succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) plays an essential role in the metabolism of the inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) to succinic acid (SA). Deficiency of SSADH in humans results in elevated levels of GABA and gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), which leads to psychomotor retardation, muscular hypotonia,(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)
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)
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)
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)
Residue depth (RD) is a solvent exposure measure that complements the information provided by conventional accessible surface area (ASA) and describes to what extent a residue is buried in the protein structure space. Previous studies have established that RD is correlated with several protein properties, such as protein stability, residue conservation and(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)
Serpins fold to a metastable native state and are susceptible to undergoing spontaneous conformational change to more stable conformers, such as the latent form. We investigated conformational change in tengpin, an unusual prokaryotic serpin from the extremophile Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis. In addition to the serpin domain, tengpin contains a(More)