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Molecular mechanism of activation of Burkholderia cepacia Lipase at aqueous-organic interfaces

Lipases are water-soluble enzymes which catalyze the hydrolysis of lipids. Since lipids are mostly hydrophobic, lipase activity occur preferentially at interfaces of aqueous and organic phases. In this work, we study the molecular mechanisms by which the Burkholderia cepacia lipase (BCL) is activated at interfaces of water with octane and with methyl caprylate (CAME). We show that BCL assumes very rapidly a preferential orientation at the interfaces, in which the active site is exposed to the organic phase.

Molecular interpretation of preferential interactions in protein solvation: a solvent-shell perspective by means of minimum-distance distribution functions

Preferential solvation is a fundamental parameter for the interpretation of solubility and solute structural stability. The molecular basis for solute-solvent interactions can be obtained through distribution functions, and the thermodynamic connection to experimental data depends on the computation of distribution integrals, specifically Kirkwood-Buff integrals for the determination of preferential interactions. Standard radial distribution functions, however, are not convenient for the study of the solvation of complex, non-spherical solutes, as proteins.

Best Paper Award at SBAC-PAD 2017

The article "Data Coherence Analysis and Optimization for Heterogeneous Computing" by Rafael Sousa, Fernando Pereira, Marcio Pereira and Guido Araujo received the Best Paper Award at the 2017 edition of the International Symposium on Computer Architecture and High Performance Computing (SBAC-PAD).

A network model predicts the intensity of residue-protein thermal coupling

Motivation: The flow of vibrational energy in proteins has been shown not to obey expectations for isotropic media. The existence of preferential pathways for energy transport, with probable connections to allostery mechanisms, has been repeatedly demonstrated.

Aspergillus niger beta-glucosidase has a cellulase-like tadpole molecular shape: insights into GH3 beta-glucosidases structure and function

Aspergillus niger is known to secrete large amounts of β-glucosidases, which have a variety of biotechnological and industrial applications. Here, we purified an A. niger β-glucosidase (AnBgl1) and conducted its biochemical and biophysical analyses. Surprisingly, the small-angle X-ray experiments reveal that AnBgl1 has a tadpole-like structure, with the N-terminal catalytic domain and C-terminal fibronectin III-like domain (FnIII) connected by the long linker peptide in an extended conformation.

Molecular basis of substrate recognition and specificity revealed in family 12 glycoside hydrolases

Fungal GH12 enzymes are classified as xyloglucanases when they specifically target xyloglucans, or promiscuous endoglucanases when they exhibit catalytic activity against xyloglucan and β-glucan chains. Several structural and functional studies involving GH12 enzymes tried to explain the main patterns of xyloglucan activity, but what really determines xyloglucanase specificity remains elusive. Here, three fungal GH12 enzymes from Aspergillus clavatus (AclaXegA), A. zonatus (AspzoGH12), and A.

Molecular characterization of a family 5 glycoside hydrolase suggests an induced-fit enzymatic mechanism

Glycoside hydrolases (GHs) play fundamental roles in the decomposition of lignocellulosic biomaterials. Here, we report the full-length structure of a cellulase from Bacillus licheniformis (BlCel5B), a member of the GH5 subfamily 4 that is entirely dependent on its two ancillary modules (Ig-like module and CBM46) for catalytic activity.

X-ray Structure and Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Endoglucanase 3 from Trichoderma harzianum: Structural Organization and Substrate Recognition by Endoglucanases That Lack Cellulose Binding Module

It is well known that most cellulases possess a catalytic core domain and a carbohydrate binding module (CBM), without which the enzymatic activity can be drastically reduced. However, Cel12A members of the glycosyl hydrolases family 12 (GHF12) do not bear a CBM and yet are able to hydrolyze amorphous cellulose quite efficiently. Here, we use X-ray crystallography and molecular dynamics simulations to unravel the molecular basis underlying the catalytic capability of endoglucanase 3 from Trichoderma harzianum (ThEG3), a member of the GHF12 enzymes that lacks a CBM.

Zirconia-Nanoparticle-Reinforced Morphology-Engineered Graphene-Based Foams

The morphology of graphene-based foams can be engineered by reinforcing them with nanocrystalline zirconia, thus improving their oil-adsorption capacity; This can be observed experimentally and explained theoretically. Low zirconia fractions yield flaky microstructures where zirconia nanoparticles arrest propagating cracks. Higher zirconia concentrations possess a mesh-like interconnected structure where the degree of coiling is dependant on the local zirconia content.

Synthesis of Low-Density, Carbon-Doped, Porous Hexagonal Boron Nitride Solids

Here, we report the scalable synthesis and characterization of low-density, porous, three-dimensional (3D) solids consisting of two-dimensional (2D) hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) sheets. The structures are synthesized using bottom-up, low-temperature (∼300 °C), solid-state reaction of melamine and boric acid giving rise to porous and mechanically stable interconnected h-BN layers.

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