In JoVE (1)
Articles by Johannes Niederhauser in JoVE
In Situ Measurement and Correlation of Cell Density and Light Emission of Bioluminescent Bacteria Eveline Brodl1, Johannes Niederhauser1, Peter Macheroux1 1Institute of Biochemistry, Graz University of Technology Bioluminescent bacteria regulate light production through a variety of mechanisms, such as quorum sensing. This novel method allows the in situ investigation of bioluminescence and the correlation of light emission to cell density. An artificial bioluminescent Escherichia coli system allows the characterization of lux operons, Lux proteins, and their interplay.
Other articles by Johannes Niederhauser on PubMed
Leucine 208 in Human Histamine N-methyltransferase Emerges As a Hotspot for Protein Stability Rationalizing the Role of the L208P Variant in Intellectual Disability Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta. | Pubmed ID: 27769936 The degradation of histamine catalyzed by the SAM-dependent histamine N-methyltransferase (HNMT) is critically important for the maintenance of neurological processes. Recently, two mutations in the encoding human gene were reported to give rise to dysfunctional protein variants (G60D and L208P) leading to intellectual disability. In the present study, we have expressed eight L208 variants with either apolar (L208F and L208V), polar (L208N and L208T) or charged (L208D, L208H, L208K and L208R) amino acids to define the impact of side chain variations on protein structure and function. We found that the variants L208N, L208T, L208D and L208H were severely compromised in their stability. The other four variants were obtained in lower amounts in the order wild-type HNMT>L208F=L208V>L208K=L208R. Biochemical characterization of the two variants L208F and L208V exhibited similar Michaelis-Menten parameters for SAM and histamine while the enzymatic activity was reduced to 21% and 48%, respectively. A substantial loss of enzymatic activity and binding affinity for histamine was seen for the L208K and L208R variants. Similarly the thermal stability for the latter variants was reduced by 8 and 13°C, respectively. These findings demonstrate that position 208 is extremely sensitive to side chain variations and even conservative replacements affect enzymatic function. Molecular dynamics simulations showed that amino acid replacements in position 208 perturb the helical character and disrupt interactions with the adjacent β-strand, which is involved in the binding and correct positioning of histamine. This finding rationalizes the gradual loss of enzymatic activity observed in the L208 variants.
The Single Berberine Bridge Enzyme Homolog of Physcomitrella patens is a Cellobiose Oxidase The FEBS Journal. | Pubmed ID: 29633551 The berberine bridge enzyme from the California poppy Eschscholzia californica (EcBBE) catalyzes the oxidative cyclization of (S)-reticuline to (S)-scoulerine, that is, the formation of the berberine bridge in the biosynthesis of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids. Interestingly, a large number of BBE-like genes have been identified in plants that lack alkaloid biosynthesis. This finding raised the question of the primordial role of BBE in the plant kingdom, which prompted us to investigate the closest relative of EcBBE in Physcomitrella patens (PpBBE1), the most basal plant harboring a BBE-like gene. Here, we report the biochemical, structural, and in vivo characterization of PpBBE1. Our studies revealed that PpBBE1 is structurally and biochemically very similar to EcBBE. In contrast to EcBBE, we found that PpBBE1 catalyzes the oxidation of the disaccharide cellobiose to the corresponding lactone, that is, PpBBE1 is a cellobiose oxidase. The enzymatic reaction mechanism was characterized by a structure-guided mutagenesis approach that enabled us to assign a catalytic role to amino acid residues in the active site of PpBBE1. In vivo experiments revealed the highest level of PpBBE1 expression in chloronema, the earliest stage of the plant's life cycle, where carbon metabolism is strongly upregulated. It was also shown that the enzyme is secreted to the extracellular space, where it may be involved in later steps of cellulose degradation, thereby allowing the moss to make use of cellulose for energy production. Overall, our results suggest that the primordial role of BBE-like enzymes in plants revolved around primary metabolic reactions in carbohydrate utilization.