School of Chemistry - Research Publications

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    Glutaredoxins employ parallel monothiol-dithiol mechanisms to catalyze thiol-disulfide exchanges with protein disulfides
    Ukuwela, AA ; Bush, AI ; Wedd, AG ; Xiao, Z (ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2018-02-07)
    Glutaredoxins (Grxs) are a family of glutathione (GSH)-dependent thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases. They feature GSH-binding sites that directly connect the reversible redox chemistry of protein thiols to the abundant cellular nonprotein thiol pool GSSG/GSH. This work studied the pathways for oxidation of protein dithiols P(SH)2 and reduction of protein disulfides P(SS) catalyzed by Homo sapiens HsGrx1 and Escherichia coli EcGrx1. The metal-binding domain HMA4n(SH)2 was chosen as substrate as it contains a solvent-exposed CysCys motif. Quenching of the reactions with excess iodoacetamide followed by protein speciation analysis via ESI-MS allowed interception and characterization of both substrate and enzyme intermediates. The enzymes shuttle between three catalytically-competent forms (Grx(SH)(S-), Grx(SH)(SSG) and Grx(SS)) and employ conserved parallel monothiol and dithiol mechanisms. Experiments with dithiol and monothiol versions of both Grx enzymes demonstrate which monothiol (plus GSSG or GSH) or dithiol pathways dominate a specific oxidation or reduction reaction. Grxs are shown to be a class of versatile enzymes with diverse catalytic functions that are driven by specific interactions with GSSG/GSH.
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    The challenges of using a copper fluorescent sensor (CS1) to track intracellular distributions of copper in neuronal and glial cells
    Price, KA ; Hickey, JL ; Xiao, Z ; Wedd, AG ; James, SA ; Liddell, JR ; Crouch, PJ ; White, AR ; Donnelly, PS (ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2012-01-01)
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    Parallel In Vivo DNA Assembly by Recombination: Experimental Demonstration and Theoretical Approaches
    Shi, Z ; Wedd, AG ; Gras, SL ; Isalan, M (PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-02-28)
    The development of synthetic biology requires rapid batch construction of large gene networks from combinations of smaller units. Despite the availability of computational predictions for well-characterized enzymes, the optimization of most synthetic biology projects requires combinational constructions and tests. A new building-brick-style parallel DNA assembly framework for simple and flexible batch construction is presented here. It is based on robust recombination steps and allows a variety of DNA assembly techniques to be organized for complex constructions (with or without scars). The assembly of five DNA fragments into a host genome was performed as an experimental demonstration.
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    Unification of the Copper(I) Binding Affinities of the Metallo-chaperones Atx1, Atox1, and Related Proteins DETECTION PROBES AND AFFINITY STANDARDS
    Xiao, Z ; Brose, J ; Schimo, S ; Ackland, SM ; La Fontaine, S ; Wedd, AG (AMER SOC BIOCHEMISTRY MOLECULAR BIOLOGY INC, 2011-04-01)
    Literature estimates of metal-protein affinities are widely scattered for many systems, as highlighted by the class of metallo-chaperone proteins, which includes human Atox1. The discrepancies may be attributed to unreliable detection probes and/or inconsistent affinity standards. In this study, application of the four Cu(I) ligand probes bicinchoninate, bathocuproine disulfonate, dithiothreitol (Dtt), and glutathione (GSH) is reviewed, and their Cu(I) affinities are re-estimated and unified. Excess bicinchoninate or bathocuproine disulfonate reacts with Cu(I) to yield distinct 1:2 chromatophoric complexes [Cu(I)L(2)](3-) with formation constants β(2) = 10(17.2) and 10(19.8) m(-2), respectively. These constants do not depend on proton concentration for pH ≥7.0. Consequently, they are a pair of complementary and stable probes capable of detecting free Cu(+) concentrations from 10(-12) to 10(-19) m. Dtt binds Cu(I) with K(D) ∼10(-15) m at pH 7, but it is air-sensitive, and its Cu(I) affinity varies with pH. The Cu(I) binding properties of Atox1 and related proteins (including the fifth and sixth domains at the N terminus of the Wilson protein ATP7B) were assessed with these probes. The results demonstrate the following: (i) their use permits the stoichiometry of high affinity Cu(I) binding and the individual quantitative affinities (K(D) values) to be determined reliably via noncompetitive and competitive reactions, respectively; (ii) the scattered literature values are unified by using reliable probes on a unified scale; and (iii) Atox1-type proteins bind Cu(I) with sub-femtomolar affinities, consistent with tight control of labile Cu(+) concentrations in living cells.
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    Synthesis and redox properties of triarylmethane dye cation salts of anions [M6O19](2-) (M = Mo, W)
    Guo, S-X ; Xie, J ; Gilbert-Wilson, R ; Birkett, SL ; Bond, AM ; Wedd, AG (ROYAL SOC CHEMISTRY, 2011-01-01)
    Four salts have been isolated combining the triarylmethane dye cations pararosaniline (PR(+)) and crystal violet (CV(+)) with the hexametalates [M(6)O(19)](2-) (M = Mo, W). A new hexatungstic acid H(2)[W(6)O(19)]·4dma (dma = dimethylacetamide) was isolated and is a useful synthon for hexatungstate salts. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction confirmed the presence of PR(+) and [Mo(6)O(19)](2-) ions in [PR](2)[Mo(6)O(19)]·6dmf (dmf = dimethylformamide). A number of charge-assisted hydrogen bonds N-H···O exist between the cation -NH(2) functions and the anion oxygen atoms. Comparative cyclic voltammetry of salts [A]Cl (A = PR, CV), [Bu(4)N](2)[M(6)O(19)](2-) and A(2)[M(6)O(19)] was established in MeCN and Me(2)SO solutions and of solids in contact with the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium bis(trifluoromethanesulfonyl)amide [emim][tfsa]. In the molecular solvents, the reversible potential for the process [Mo(6)O(19)](2-/3-) is less negative than the first reduction processes of the dye cations. In contrast, that for [W(6)O(19)](2-/3-) is more negative. Spectro-electrochemistry and bulk electrolysis experiments reveal significantly different pathways in the two cases. In contrast, in the [emim][tfsa] medium, a positive shift in reduction potential of at least 400 mV is seen for the anion processes but relatively little change for the dye cation processes. This means that initial reduction of the anions always precedes that of the dyes, providing significant simplification of the complex voltammetric data. Chemically modified electrodes can be used in the ionic liquid because of slow dissolution kinetics. However, reduced anion salts dissolve rapidly, allowing dissolved phase electrochemistry to be examined. The electrochemistries of the oxidized salts A(2)[M(6)O(19)] are essentially those of the individual ions, although low level interaction of A(+) with reduced anions [M(6)O(19)](3-,4-) is evident. The work establishes protocols for synthesis and handling of intensely absorbing and relatively insoluble salts which can now be applied to systems containing more complex polyoxometalate anions.
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    Reactivity of one-, two-, three- and four-electron reduced forms of alpha-[P2W18O62](6-) generated by controlled potential electrolysis in water
    Bernardini, G ; Wedd, AG ; Bond, AM (Elsevier, 2011-08-01)
    One, two, three and four electron reduced forms of α-[P2W18O62]6− in aqueous acidic electrolyte media have been selectively generated by bulk electrolysis from a solution that has an initial pH of 3.6. The reactivities of the reduced polyoxometalate anions and identities of products formed in the presence and absence of dioxygen have been assessed via oxygen and hydrogen Clark-type electrodes, a pH electrode and rotating disk electrode voltammetry. [P2W18O62]7− is stable to protons but is slowly oxidized by dioxygen (timescale: hours to days) back to [P2W18O62]6−. In contrast, [P2W18O62]8− reacts more rapidly with O2 and slowly with H+, whereas generation of the [P2W18O62]9− and [P2W18O62]10− anion is accompanied by a large increase in pH and rapid reaction with O2 or, in its absence, with H+. Consequently, it is concluded that photocatalytic reactions based upon [P2W18O62]6− chemistry are only likely to be of significance if [P2W18O62]9− or more highly reduced species are generated and form part of the catalytic cycle.
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    Metallo-oxidase Enzymes: Design of their Active Sites
    Xiao, Z ; Wedd, AG (CSIRO PUBLISHING, 2011-01-01)
    Multi-copper oxidases are a large family of enzymes prevalent in all three domains of life. They couple the one-electron oxidation of substrate to the four-electron reduction of dioxygen to water and feature at least four Cu atoms, traditionally divided into three sites: T1, T2, and (binuclear) T3. The T1 site catalyzes substrate oxidation while a trinuclear cluster (comprising combined T2 and T3 centres) catalyzes the reduction of dioxygen. Substrate oxidation at the T1 Cu site occurs via an outer-sphere mechanism and consequently substrate specificities are determined primarily by the nature of a substrate docking/oxidation (SDO) site associated with the T1 Cu centre. Many of these enzymes ‘moonlight’, i.e. display broad specificities towards many different substrates and may have multiple cellular functions. A sub-set are robust catalysts for the oxidation of low-valent transition metal ions such as FeII, CuI, and MnII and are termed ‘metallo-oxidases’. They play essential roles in nutrient metal uptake and homeostasis, with the ferroxidase ceruloplasmin being a prominent member. Their SDO sites are tailored to facilitate specific binding and facile oxidation of these low-valent metal ions and this is the focus of this review.