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Stelter M.,CNRS Institute of Pharmacology and Structural Biology | Stelter M.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Stelter M.,French Atomic Energy Commission | Molina R.,Spanish Cancer Research Center | And 6 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2014

A set of seven caged gadolinium complexes were used as vectors for introducing the chelated Gd3+ ion into protein crystals in order to provide strong anomalous scattering for de novo phasing. The complexes contained multidentate ligand molecules with different functional groups to provide a panel of possible interactions with the protein. An exhaustive crystallographic analysis showed them to be nondisruptive to the diffraction quality of the prepared derivative crystals, and as many as 50% of the derivatives allowed the determination of accurate phases, leading to high-quality experimental electron-density maps. At least two successful derivatives were identified for all tested proteins. Structure refinement showed that the complexes bind to the protein surface or solvent-accessible cavities, involving hydrogen bonds, electrostatic and CH-π interactions, explaining their versatile binding modes. Their high phasing power, complementary binding modes and ease of use make them highly suitable as a heavy-atom screen for high-throughput de novo structure determination, in combination with the SAD method. They can also provide a reliable tool for the development of new methods such as serial femtosecond crystallography. © 2014 International Union of Crystallography. Source

Stella S.,Spanish Cancer Research Center | Molina R.,Spanish Cancer Research Center | Yefimenko I.,Spanish Cancer Research Center | Prieto J.,Spanish Cancer Research Center | And 5 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2013

Transcription activator-like effectors contain a DNA-binding domain organized in tandem repeats. The repeats include two adjacent residues known as the repeat variable di-residue, which recognize a single base pair, establishing a direct code between the dipeptides and the target DNA. This feature suggests this scaffold as an excellent candidate to generate new protein-DNA specificities for biotechnological applications. Here, the crystal structure of AvrBs3 (residues 152-895, molecular mass 82kDa) in complex with its target DNA sequence is presented, revealing a new mode of interaction with the initial thymine of the target sequence, together with an analysis of both the binding specificity and the thermodynamic properties of AvrBs3. This study quantifies the affinity and the specificity between AvrBs3 and its target DNA. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo analyses reveal that AvrBs3 does not show a strict nucleotide-binding preference for the nucleotide at the zero position of the DNA, widening the number of possible sequences that could be targeted by this scaffold. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved. Source

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