Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Uniquely shaped enzyme amazes chemists

Date:
June 17, 2013
Source:
Radboud University Nijmegen
Summary:
Chemists in the Netherlands have found that a uniquely shaped enzyme that has never been seen before in biology is real: two interlocked ring structures, known as catenanes.

A single ring structures (A) and a double ring structure (B), also called a hexadecameric catenane.
Credit: Image courtesy of Radboud University Nijmegen

Chemists of Radboud University Nijmegen have found that a uniquely shaped enzyme that has never been seen before in biology is real: two interlocked ring structures, known as catenanes . The results have been published early June in Chemical Communicationsand were established through a cooperation by the university's chemists and microbiologists.

Microbiologist Mike Jetten is specialized in tracking down new bacteria and archea that perform remarkable chemical reactions. In 2011 he found primal archeon in the mudpots of Italian volcanic solfataras that obtain their energy by converting CS2 into H2S and CO2 with the enzyme CS2hydrolase. Structural analysis revealed that the enzyme is composed of two forms: single ring structures and double ring structures, superposed and riveted together; also called hexadecamericcatenanes.

Mysterious rings

The interlocking rings are very special. Their locked protein structure, that is maintained via weak non-covalent interactions, has never been seen before in biology. That is why researchers first had to test whether the catenane structures were an artefact and that they were actually looking at two loose rings accidentally interlocking through each other. Jasmin Mecinovic , chemist at Radboud University Nijmegen, investigated if the 'interlockedness' of the double rings was real.

"By dissolving the enzyme, we could check the ratio of single and double rings in low concentrations. If the double rings indeed were an artefact, you would not expect them in low concentrations because the chance of accidentally superimposed rings is very small there. The ratio proved to be the same in all different solutions, showing that the interlocking rings exist. We checked this with three different chemical techniques: size exclusion chromatography, multi-angle laser light scattering and native mass spectrometric analyes."

Evolution or coincidence

The three techniques confirmed each other's results and now Mecinovic knows for sure: the interlocking rings are real. His article already attracts a lot of attention: shortly after the online publication in Chemical Communications, the story was selected as a 'hot article' by the journal.

"We have a very special protein assembly in our hands," says Mecinovic. "In the last decades, chemists extensively investigated artificial small molecule catenanes, but we have initiated the reseach on extremely rare biological catenanes. There are virtually no papers on this subject so there are many fundamental questions that still need to be addressed . Now I want to find out why mother nature chose this form. Maybe it's evolutionary, maybe this shape has advantages over others in catalysis or stability. But it could also be a chemical coincidence. I want to find that out by describing the molecular structure of the double rings even better."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Radboud University Nijmegen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Mark B. van Eldijk, Iris van Leeuwen, Victor A. Mikhailov, Lotte Neijenhuis, Harry R. Harhangi, Jan C. M. van Hest, Mike S. M. Jetten, Huub J. M. Op den Camp, Carol V. Robinson, Jasmin Mecinović. Evidence that the catenane form of CS2 hydrolase is not an artefact. Chemical Communications, 2013; DOI: 10.1039/C3CC43219J

Cite This Page:

Radboud University Nijmegen. "Uniquely shaped enzyme amazes chemists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617104517.htm>.
Radboud University Nijmegen. (2013, June 17). Uniquely shaped enzyme amazes chemists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617104517.htm
Radboud University Nijmegen. "Uniquely shaped enzyme amazes chemists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130617104517.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) — Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins