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J R Soc Interface. 2009 Oct 6;6 Suppl 5:S599-610. doi: 10.1098/rsif.2009.0162.focus. Epub 2009 Jul 8.

Large crystal growth by thermal control allows combined X-ray and neutron crystallographic studies to elucidate the protonation states in Aspergillus flavus urate oxidase.

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1
Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, PO Box 65, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

Urate oxidase (Uox) catalyses the oxidation of urate to allantoin and is used to reduce toxic urate accumulation during chemotherapy. X-ray structures of Uox with various inhibitors have been determined and yet the detailed catalytic mechanism remains unclear. Neutron crystallography can provide complementary information to that from X-ray studies and allows direct determination of the protonation states of the active-site residues and substrate analogues, provided that large, well-ordered deuterated crystals can be grown. Here, we describe a method and apparatus used to grow large crystals of Uox (Aspergillus flavus) with its substrate analogues 8-azaxanthine and 9-methyl urate, and with the natural substrate urate, in the presence and absence of cyanide. High-resolution X-ray (1.05-1.20 A) and neutron diffraction data (1.9-2.5 A) have been collected for the Uox complexes at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility and the Institut Laue-Langevin, respectively. In addition, room temperature X-ray data were also collected in preparation for joint X-ray and neutron refinement. Preliminary results indicate no major structural differences between crystals grown in H(2)O and D(2)O even though the crystallization process is affected. Moreover, initial nuclear scattering density maps reveal the proton positions clearly, eventually providing important information towards unravelling the mechanism of catalysis.

PMID:
19586953
PMCID:
PMC2843968
DOI:
10.1098/rsif.2009.0162.focus
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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