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Wellert S.,TU Berlin | Tiersch B.,University of Potsdam | Koetz J.,University of Potsdam | Richardt A.,Wehrwissenschaftliches Institute For Schutztechnologien Abc Schutz | And 9 more authors.
European Biophysics Journal | Year: 2011

The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris is of great interest because of its ability to catalyze the hydrolysis of highly toxic organophosphates. In this work, the enzyme structure in solution (native state) was studied by use of different scattering methods. The results are compared with those from hydrodynamic model calculations based on the DFPase crystal structure. Bicontinuous microemulsions made of sugar surfactants are discussed as host systems for the DFPase. The microemulsion remains stable in the presence of the enzyme, which is shown by means of scattering experiments. Moreover, activity assays reveal that the DFPase still has high activity in this complex reaction medium. To complement the scattering experiments cryo-SEM was also employed to study the microemulsion structure. © 2011 European Biophysical Societies' Association.


Gab J.,Blum Scientific Services | Gab J.,University of Marburg | Melzer M.,Blum Scientific Services | Melzer M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | And 4 more authors.
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry | Year: 2010

The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase, EC 3.1.8.2) from the squid Loligo vulgaris effectively catalyzes the hydrolysis of diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and a number of organophosphorus nerve agents, including sarin, soman, cyclosarin, and tabun. Until now, determination of kinetic data has been achieved by use of techniques such as pH-stat titration, ion-selective electrodes, and a recently introduced method based on in situ Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. We report the use of 1D 1H- 31P HSQC NMR spectroscopy as a new method for real-time quantification of the hydrolysis of toxic organophosphonates by DFPase. The method is demonstrated for the agents sarin (GB), soman (GD), and cyclosarin (GD) but can also be used for V-type nerve agents, for example VX. Besides buffered aqueous solutions the method was used to determine enzymatic activities in a biodiesel-based bicontinuous microemulsion that serves as an example of complex decontamination media, for which other established techniques often fail. The method is non-invasive and requires only limited manual handling of small volumes of liquid (700 μL), which adds to work safety when handling highly toxic organophosphorus compounds. Limits of detection are slightly below 100 μmol L-1 on a 400 MHz spectrometer with 16 FIDs added for a single time frame. The method is not restricted to DFPase but can be used with other phosphotriesterases, for example paraxonase (PON), and even reactive chemicals, for example oximes and other nucleophiles, as long as the reaction components are compatible with the NMR experiment. © 2009 Springer-Verlag.


Blum M.-M.,Blum Scientific Services | Tomanicek S.J.,University of Toledo | Tomanicek S.J.,Oak Ridge National Laboratory | John H.,University of Federal Defense Munich | And 6 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications | Year: 2010

The signal-to-noise ratio is one of the limiting factors in neutron macromolecular crystallography. Protein perdeuteration, which replaces all H atoms with deuterium, is a method of improving the signal-to-noise ratio of neutron crystallography experiments by reducing the incoherent scattering of the hydrogen isotope. Detailed analyses of perdeuterated and hydrogenated structures are necessary in order to evaluate the utility of perdeuterated crystals for neutron diffraction studies. The room-temperature X-ray structure of perdeuterated diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) is reported at 2.1 Å resolution. Comparison with an independently refined hydrogenated room-temperature structure of DFPase revealed no major systematic differences, although the crystals of perdeuterated DFPase did not diffract neutrons. The lack of diffraction is examined with respect to data-collection and crystallo-graphic parameters. The diffraction characteristics of successful neutron structure determinations are presented as a guideline for future neutron diffraction studies of macromolecules. X-ray diffraction to beyond 2.0 Å resolution appears to be a strong predictor of successful neutron structures. © 2010 International Union of Crystallography All rights reserved.


Melzer M.,Blum Scientific Services | Melzer M.,Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz | Heidenreich A.,Blum Scientific Services | Dorandeu F.,Institute Of Recherche Biomedicale Des Armees Crssa | And 7 more authors.
Drug Testing and Analysis | Year: 2012

Highly toxic organophosphorus compounds that irreversibly inhibit the enzyme acetycholinesterase (AChE), including nerve agents like tabun, sarin, or soman, still pose a credible threat to civilian populations and military personnel. New therapeutics that can be used as a pretreatment or after poisoning with these compounds, complementing existing treatment schemes such as the use of atropine and AChE reactivating oximes, are currently the subject of intense research. A prominent role among potential candidates is taken by enzymes that can detoxify nerve agents by hydrolysis. Diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) from the squid Loligo vulgaris is known to effectively hydrolyze DFP and the range of G-type nerve agents including sarin and soman. In the present work, DFPase was PEGylated to increase biological half-life, and to lower or avoid an immunogenic reaction and proteolytic digest. Addition of linear polyethylene glycol (PEG) chains was achieved using mPEG-NHS esters and conjugates were characterized by electrospray ionization - time of flight - mass specrometry (ESI-ToF-MS). PEGylated wildtype DFPase and a mutant selective for the more toxic stereoisomers of the agents were tested in vivo with rats that were challenged with a subcutaneous 3x LD 50 dose of soman. While wildtype DFPase prevented death only at extremely high doses, the mutant was able keep the animals alive and to minimize or totally avoid symptoms of poisoning. The results serve as a proof of principle that engineered variants of DFPase are potential candidates for in vivo use if substrate affinity can be improved or the turnover rate enhanced to lower the required enzyme dose. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Conjugates of DFPase and linear PEGs are characterizedusing ESI-ToF-MS and their in vitro and in vivo efficacy against toxic organophosphorus compounds is determined. A PEGylated variant of DFPase is shown to be able to protect rats from a 3x LD 50 challenge with soman. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd..


Stehle R.,TU Munich | Schulreich C.,Bielefeld University | Wellert S.,TU Berlin | Gab J.,University of Marburg | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2014

The present contribution presents a microemulsion system containing cosmetic oil and sugar surfactant and the enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) as active agent for the decontamination of human skin. The bicontinuous structure and the physical properties of the microemulsion are characterized by dynamic light scattering and small angle neutron scattering. The DFPase from the squid Loligo vulgaris is catalyzing the hydrolysis of highly toxic organophosphates. The effect of the enzyme on the structure of the microemulsion is investigated. Moreover, the enzyme/microemulsion system is also studied with respect to its activity using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy leading to promising results. A fast decomposition of the nerve agent sarin is achieved. © 2013 Elsevier Inc.


Gab J.,Blum Scientific Services | Gab J.,University of Marburg | John H.,University of Federal Defense Munich | Melzer M.,Blum Scientific Services | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Chromatography B: Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences | Year: 2010

Buffering compounds like TRIS are frequently used in chemical, biochemical and biomedical applications to control pH in solution. One of the prerequisites of a buffer compound, in addition to sufficient buffering capacity and pH stability over time, is its non-reactivity with other constituents of the solution. This is especially important in the field of analytical chemistry where analytes are to be determined quantitatively. Investigating the enzymatic hydrolysis of G-type nerve agents sarin, soman and cyclosarin in buffered solution we have identified stable buffer adducts of TRIS, TES and other buffer compounds with the nerve agents. We identified the molecular structure of these adducts as phosphonic diesters using 1D 1H- 31P HSQC NMR and LC-ESI-MS/MS techniques. Reaction rates with TRIS and TES are fast enough to compete with spontaneous hydrolysis in aqueous solution and to yield substantial amounts (up to 20-40%) of buffer adduct over the course of several hours. A reaction mechanism is proposed in which the amino function of the buffer serves as an intramolecular proton acceptor rendering the buffer hydroxyl groups nucleophilic enough for attack on the phosphorus atom of the agents. Results show that similar buffer adducts are formed with a range of hydroxyl and amino function containing buffers including TES, BES, TRIS, BIS-TRIS, BIS-TRIS propane, Tricine, Bicine, HEPES and triethanol amine. It is recommended to use alternative buffers like MOPS, MES and CHES when working with G-type nerve agents especially at higher concentrations and over prolonged times. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.


The enzyme diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase, EC 3.1.8.2) from the squid Loligo vulgaris effectively catalyzes the hydrolysis of diisopropyl fluorophosphate (DFP) and a number of organophosphorus nerve agents, including sarin, soman, cyclosarin, and tabun. Until now, determination of kinetic data has been achieved by use of techniques such as pH-stat titration, ion-selective electrodes, and a recently introduced method based on in situ Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. We report the use of 1D (1)H-(31)P HSQC NMR spectroscopy as a new method for real-time quantification of the hydrolysis of toxic organophosphonates by DFPase. The method is demonstrated for the agents sarin (GB), soman (GD), and cyclosarin (GD) but can also be used for V-type nerve agents, for example VX. Besides buffered aqueous solutions the method was used to determine enzymatic activities in a biodiesel-based bicontinuous microemulsion that serves as an example of complex decontamination media, for which other established techniques often fail. The method is non-invasive and requires only limited manual handling of small volumes of liquid (700 microL), which adds to work safety when handling highly toxic organophosphorus compounds. Limits of detection are slightly below 100 micromol L(-1) on a 400 MHz spectrometer with 16 FIDs added for a single time frame. The method is not restricted to DFPase but can be used with other phosphotriesterases, for example paraxonase (PON), and even reactive chemicals, for example oximes and other nucleophiles, as long as the reaction components are compatible with the NMR experiment.


PubMed | Blum Scientific Services
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences | Year: 2010

Buffering compounds like TRIS are frequently used in chemical, biochemical and biomedical applications to control pH in solution. One of the prerequisites of a buffer compound, in addition to sufficient buffering capacity and pH stability over time, is its non-reactivity with other constituents of the solution. This is especially important in the field of analytical chemistry where analytes are to be determined quantitatively. Investigating the enzymatic hydrolysis of G-type nerve agents sarin, soman and cyclosarin in buffered solution we have identified stable buffer adducts of TRIS, TES and other buffer compounds with the nerve agents. We identified the molecular structure of these adducts as phosphonic diesters using 1D (1)H-(31)P HSQC NMR and LC-ESI-MS/MS techniques. Reaction rates with TRIS and TES are fast enough to compete with spontaneous hydrolysis in aqueous solution and to yield substantial amounts (up to 20-40%) of buffer adduct over the course of several hours. A reaction mechanism is proposed in which the amino function of the buffer serves as an intramolecular proton acceptor rendering the buffer hydroxyl groups nucleophilic enough for attack on the phosphorus atom of the agents. Results show that similar buffer adducts are formed with a range of hydroxyl and amino function containing buffers including TES, BES, TRIS, BIS-TRIS, BIS-TRIS propane, Tricine, Bicine, HEPES and triethanol amine. It is recommended to use alternative buffers like MOPS, MES and CHES when working with G-type nerve agents especially at higher concentrations and over prolonged times.


PubMed | Blum Scientific Services
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications | Year: 2010

The signal-to-noise ratio is one of the limiting factors in neutron macromolecular crystallography. Protein perdeuteration, which replaces all H atoms with deuterium, is a method of improving the signal-to-noise ratio of neutron crystallography experiments by reducing the incoherent scattering of the hydrogen isotope. Detailed analyses of perdeuterated and hydrogenated structures are necessary in order to evaluate the utility of perdeuterated crystals for neutron diffraction studies. The room-temperature X-ray structure of perdeuterated diisopropyl fluorophosphatase (DFPase) is reported at 2.1 A resolution. Comparison with an independently refined hydrogenated room-temperature structure of DFPase revealed no major systematic differences, although the crystals of perdeuterated DFPase did not diffract neutrons. The lack of diffraction is examined with respect to data-collection and crystallographic parameters. The diffraction characteristics of successful neutron structure determinations are presented as a guideline for future neutron diffraction studies of macromolecules. X-ray diffraction to beyond 2.0 A resolution appears to be a strong predictor of successful neutron structures.

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