Lígia M. Saraiva
Other affiliations: University of Kent, Technical University of Lisbon, Nova Southeastern University
Bio: Lígia M. Saraiva is an academic researcher from Universidade Nova de Lisboa. The author has contributed to research in topics: Cytochrome & Heme. The author has an hindex of 35, co-authored 127 publications receiving 4293 citations. Previous affiliations of Lígia M. Saraiva include University of Kent & Technical University of Lisbon.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: Biochemical characterization of AIF's redox activity indicates that AIF has a marked oxidoreductase activity which can be dissociated from its apoptosis-inducing function.
Abstract: Apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) is a mitochondrial flavoprotein, which translocates to the nucleus during apoptosis and causes chromatin condensation and large scale DNA fragmentation. Here we report the biochemical characterization of AIF's redox activity. Natural AIF purified from mitochondria and recombinant AIF purified from bacteria (AIFDelta1-120) exhibit NADH oxidase activity, whereas superoxide anion (O(2)(-)) is formed. AIFDelta1-120 is a monomer of 57 kDa containing 1 mol of noncovalently bound FAD/mol of protein. ApoAIFDelta1-120, which lacks FAD, has no NADH oxidase activity. However, native AIFDelta1-120, apoAIFDelta1-120, and the reconstituted (FAD-containing) holoAIFDelta1-120 protein exhibit a similar apoptosis-inducing potential when microinjected into the cytoplasm of intact cells. Inhibition of the redox function, by external addition of superoxide dismutase or covalent derivatization of FAD with diphenyleneiodonium, failed to affect the apoptogenic function of AIFDelta1-120 assessed on purified nuclei in a cell-free system. Conversely, blockade of the apoptogenic function of AIFDelta1-120 with the thiol reagent para- chloromercuriphenylsulfonic acid did not affect its NADH oxidase activity. Altogether, these data indicate that AIF has a marked oxidoreductase activity which can be dissociated from its apoptosis-inducing function.
TL;DR: A new set of Escherichia coli K-12 genes conferring anaerobic resistance to nitric oxide is presented, namely the gene product of YtfE and a potential transcriptional regulator of the helix-turn-helix LysR-type (YidZ).
Abstract: Nitric oxide produced by activated macrophages plays a key role as one of the immune system's weapons against pathogens. Because the lifetime of nitric oxide is short in aerobic conditions, whereas in anaerobic conditions the cytotoxic effects of nitric oxide are greatly increased as in the infection/inflammation processes, it is important to establish which systems are able to detoxify nitric oxide under anaerobic conditions. In the present work a new set of Escherichia coli K-12 genes conferring anaerobic resistance to nitric oxide is presented, namely the gene product of YtfE and a potential transcriptional regulator of the helix-turn-helix LysR-type (YidZ). The crucial role of flavohemoglobin for anaerobic nitric oxide protection is also demonstrated. Furthermore, nitric oxide is shown to cause a significant alteration of the global E. coli gene transcription profile that includes the increase of the transcript level of genes encoding for detoxification enzymes, iron-sulfur cluster assembly systems, DNA-repairing enzymes, and stress response regulators.
TL;DR: A novel family of prokaryotic NO reductases, with a non-heme di-iron site as the catalytic center, was established, and was shown that the activity was due to the A-type flavoprotein core, as the rubredoxin domain alone exhibited no activity.
Abstract: Escherichia coli flavorubredoxin is a member of the family of the A-type flavoproteins, which are built by two core domains: a metallo-β-lactamase-like domain, at the N-terminal region, harboring a non-heme di-iron site, and a flavodoxin-like domain, containing one FMN moiety. The enzyme fromE. coli has an extra module at the C terminus, containing a rubredoxin-like center. The A-type flavoproteins are widespread among strict and facultative anaerobes, as deduced from the analysis of the complete prokaryotic genomes. In this report we showed that the recombinant enzyme purified from E. coli has nitric-oxide reductase activity with a turnover number of ∼15 mol of NO·mol enzyme−1·s−1, which was well within the range of those determined for the canonical hemeb3 -FeB containing nitric-oxide reductases (e.g. ∼10–50 mol NO·mol enzyme−1·s−1 for the Paracoccus denitrificans NOR). Furthermore, it was shown that the activity was due to the A-type flavoprotein core, as the rubredoxin domain alone exhibited no activity. Thus, a novel family of prokaryotic NO reductases, with a non-heme di-iron site as the catalytic center, was established.
TL;DR: The lowest energy docking solutions were found to correspond to an interaction between the haem IV region in tetrahaem cytochrome c3 with the distal [4Fe-4S] cluster in [NiFe] hydrogenase, which should correspond to efficient electron transfer and be physiologically relevant.
Abstract: The primary and three-dimensional structures of a [NiFe] hydrogenase isolated from D. desulfuricans ATCC 27774 were determined, by nucleotide analysis and single-crystal X-ray crystallography. The three-dimensional structural model was refined to R=0.167 and Rfree=0.223 using data to 1.8 A resolution. Two unique structural features are observed: the [4Fe-4S] cluster nearest the [NiFe] centre has been modified [4Fe-3S-3O] by loss of one sulfur atom and inclusion of three oxygen atoms; a three-fold disorder was observed for Cys536 which binds to the nickel atom in the [NiFe] centre. Also, the bridging sulfur atom that caps the active site was found to have partial occupancy, thus corresponding to a partly activated enzyme. These structural features may have biological relevance. In particular, the two less-populated rotamers of Cys536 may be involved in the activation process of the enzyme, as well as in the catalytic cycle. Molecular modelling studies were carried out on the interaction between this [NiFe] hydrogenase and its physiological partner, the tetrahaem cytochrome c3 from the same organism. The lowest energy docking solutions were found to correspond to an interaction between the haem IV region in tetrahaem cytochrome c3 with the distal [4Fe-4S] cluster in [NiFe] hydrogenase. This interaction should correspond to efficient electron transfer and be physiologically relevant, given the proximity of the two redox centres and the fact that electron transfer decay coupling calculations show high coupling values and a short electron transfer pathway. On the other hand, other docking solutions have been found that, despite showing low electron transfer efficiency, may give clues on possible proton transfer mechanisms between the two molecules.
TL;DR: The results constitute the first evidence that CO can be utilized as an antimicrobial agent and are expected to be the starting point for the development of novel types of therapeutic drugs designed to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which are widespread and presently a major public health concern.
Abstract: Carbon monoxide (CO) is endogenously produced in the human body, mainly from the oxidation of heme catalyzed by heme oxygenase (HO) enzymes. The induction of HO and the consequent increase in CO production play important physiological roles in vasorelaxation and neurotransmission and in the immune system. The exogenous administration of CO gas and CO-releasing molecules (CO-RMs) has been shown to induce vascular effects and to alleviate hypoxia-reoxygenation injury of mammalian cells. In particular, due to its anti-inflammatory, antiapoptotic, and antiproliferative properties, CO inhibits ischemic-reperfusion injury and provides potent cytoprotective effects during organ and cell transplantation. In spite of these findings regarding the physiology and biology of mammals, nothing is known about the action of CO on bacteria. In the present work, we examined the effect of CO on bacterial cell proliferation. Cell growth experiments showed that CO caused the rapid death of the two pathogenic bacteria tested, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, particularly when delivered through organometallic CO-RMs. Of importance is the observation that the effectiveness of the CO-RMs was greater in near-anaerobic environments, as many pathogens are anaerobic organisms and pathogen colonization occurs in environments with low oxygen concentrations. Our results constitute the first evidence that CO can be utilized as an antimicrobial agent. We anticipate our results to be the starting point for the development of novel types of therapeutic drugs designed to combat antibiotic-resistant pathogens, which are widespread and presently a major public health concern.
TL;DR: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one, which seems an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality.
Abstract: There is, I think, something ethereal about i —the square root of minus one. I remember first hearing about it at school. It seemed an odd beast at that time—an intruder hovering on the edge of reality. Usually familiarity dulls this sense of the bizarre, but in the case of i it was the reverse: over the years the sense of its surreal nature intensified. It seemed that it was impossible to write mathematics that described the real world in …
TL;DR: Once MMP has been induced, it causes the release of catabolic hydrolases and activators of such enzymes (including those of caspases) from mitochondria, meaning that mitochondria coordinate the late stage of cellular demise.
Abstract: Irrespective of the morphological features of end-stage cell death (that may be apoptotic, necrotic, autophagic, or mitotic), mitochondrial membrane permeabilization (MMP) is frequently the decisive event that delimits the frontier between survival and death. Thus mitochondrial membranes constitute the battleground on which opposing signals combat to seal the cell's fate. Local players that determine the propensity to MMP include the pro- and antiapoptotic members of the Bcl-2 family, proteins from the mitochondrialpermeability transition pore complex, as well as a plethora of interacting partners including mitochondrial lipids. Intermediate metabolites, redox processes, sphingolipids, ion gradients, transcription factors, as well as kinases and phosphatases link lethal and vital signals emanating from distinct subcellular compartments to mitochondria. Thus mitochondria integrate a variety of proapoptotic signals. Once MMP has been induced, it causes the release of catabolic hydrolases and activators of such enzymes (including those of caspases) from mitochondria. These catabolic enzymes as well as the cessation of the bioenergetic and redox functions of mitochondria finally lead to cell death, meaning that mitochondria coordinate the late stage of cellular demise. Pathological cell death induced by ischemia/reperfusion, intoxication with xenobiotics, neurodegenerative diseases, or viral infection also relies on MMP as a critical event. The inhibition of MMP constitutes an important strategy for the pharmaceutical prevention of unwarranted cell death. Conversely, induction of MMP in tumor cells constitutes the goal of anticancer chemotherapy.
TL;DR: This volume is keyed to high resolution electron microscopy, which is a sophisticated form of structural analysis, but really morphology in a modern guise, the physical and mechanical background of the instrument and its ancillary tools are simply and well presented.
Abstract: I read this book the same weekend that the Packers took on the Rams, and the experience of the latter event, obviously, colored my judgment. Although I abhor anything that smacks of being a handbook (like, \"How to Earn a Merit Badge in Neurosurgery\") because too many volumes in biomedical science already evince a boyscout-like approach, I must confess that parts of this volume are fast, scholarly, and significant, with certain reservations. I like parts of this well-illustrated book because Dr. Sj6strand, without so stating, develops certain subjects on technique in relation to the acquisition of judgment and sophistication. And this is important! So, given that the author (like all of us) is somewhat deficient in some areas, and biased in others, the book is still valuable if the uninitiated reader swallows it in a general fashion, realizing full well that what will be required from the reader is a modulation to fit his vision, propreception, adaptation and response, and the kind of problem he is undertaking. A major deficiency of this book is revealed by comparison of its use of physics and of chemistry to provide understanding and background for the application of high resolution electron microscopy to problems in biology. Since the volume is keyed to high resolution electron microscopy, which is a sophisticated form of structural analysis, but really morphology in a modern guise, the physical and mechanical background of The instrument and its ancillary tools are simply and well presented. The potential use of chemical or cytochemical information as it relates to biological fine structure , however, is quite deficient. I wonder when even sophisticated morphol-ogists will consider fixation a reaction and not a technique; only then will the fundamentals become self-evident and predictable and this sine qua flon will become less mystical. Staining reactions (the most inadequate chapter) ought to be something more than a technique to selectively enhance contrast of morphological elements; it ought to give the structural addresses of some of the chemical residents of cell components. Is it pertinent that auto-radiography gets singled out for more complete coverage than other significant aspects of cytochemistry by a high resolution microscopist, when it has a built-in minimal error of 1,000 A in standard practice? I don't mean to blind-side (in strict football terminology) Dr. Sj6strand's efforts for what is \"routinely used in our laboratory\"; what is done is usually well done. It's just that …
TL;DR: The complexity of the apoptotic program began to increase with the discovery of Bcl-2, a gene whose product causes resistance to apoptosis in lymphocytes, and the complex role of mitochondria in apoptosis came into focus when biochemical studies identified several mitochondrial proteins that are able to activate cellular apoptotic programs directly.
Abstract: The initial insight into the genetic basis of apoptosis, or programmed cell death, was gained from ingenious studies of the roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans (for review, see Horvitz 1999). These studies revealed a linear pathway whereby the products of two genes, designated Ced-3 andCed-4, were necessary and sufficient to trigger the perfectly timed and orchestrated death of 131 preordained cells during development. The relevance of this pathway to higher animals was established by the discovery of apparent mammalian orthologs of these genes and the demonstration that the mammalian Ced-3-related genes encode proteases (designated caspases) whose activities are responsible for the morphological changes characteristic of apoptosis (for review, see Hengartner 2000). The complexity of the apoptotic program began to increase with the discovery of Bcl-2, a gene whose product causes resistance to apoptosis in lymphocytes (Vaux et al. 1988; McDonnell et al. 1989). Bcl-2 was shown to correct partially the phenotype of a C. elegans mutation in Ced-9, a cell survival gene that functions upstream of Ced-4 and Ced-3 (Vaux et al. 1992). This finding suggested an apparent one-for-one correlation between the C. elegans and mammalian proand antiapoptotic pathways. However, this correlation did not explain two observations made in mammalian cells. First, the Bcl-2 protein was found on the membrane of mitochondria, which were not implicated in C. elegans apoptosis; and second, apoptotic changes could be produced in Xenopus laevis oocyte extracts only when a membrane fraction enriched in mitochondria was present (Hockenberry et al. 1990; Newmeyer et al. 1994). The complex role of mitochondria in mammalian cell apoptosis came into focus when biochemical studies identified several mitochondrial proteins that are able to activate cellular apoptotic programs directly (Liu et al. 1996; Susin et al. 1999; Du et al. 2000; Verhagen et al. 2000; Li et al. 2001). Normally, these proteins reside in the intermembrane space of mitochondria. In response to a variety of apoptotic stimuli, they are released to the cytosol and/or the nucleus. They promote apoptosis either by activating caspases and nucleases or by neutralizing cytosolic inhibitors of this process. A complex picture has emerged in which mitochondrial and cytosolic proapoptotic proteins interact with antiapoptotic proteins with each cell’s life or death hanging in the balance. This review summarizes the recent data on the expanding and complex role of mitochondria in apoptosis.
TL;DR: The reaction centers of PSI and PSII in chloroplast thylakoids are the major generation site of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and the primary reduced product was identified.
Abstract: The reaction centers of PSI and PSII in chloroplast thylakoids are the major generation site of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Photoreduction of oxygen to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in PSI was discovered over 50 years ago by [Mehler (1951)]. Subsequently, the primary reduced product was identified