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Sample records for apicomplexan glideosome-associated proteins

  1. Diversity of extracellular proteins during the transition from the 'proto-apicomplexan' alveolates to the apicomplexan obligate parasites.

    PubMed

    Templeton, Thomas J; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    The recent completion of high-coverage draft genome sequences for several alveolate protozoans - namely, the chromerids, Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis; the perkinsid Perkinsus marinus; the apicomplexan, Gregarina niphandrodes, as well as high coverage transcriptome sequence information for several colpodellids, allows for new genome-scale comparisons across a rich landscape of apicomplexans and other alveolates. Genome annotations can now be used to help interpret fine ultrastructure and cell biology, and guide new studies to describe a variety of alveolate life strategies, such as symbiosis or free living, predation, and obligate intracellular parasitism, as well to provide foundations to dissect the evolutionary transitions between these niches. This review focuses on the attempt to identify extracellular proteins which might mediate the physical interface of cell-cell interactions within the above life strategies, aided by annotation of the repertoires of predicted surface and secreted proteins encoded within alveolate genomes. In particular, we discuss what descriptions of the predicted extracellular proteomes reveal regarding a hypothetical last common ancestor of a pre-apicomplexan alveolate - guided by ultrastructure, life strategies and phylogenetic relationships - in an attempt to understand the evolution of obligate parasitism in apicomplexans. PMID:26585326

  2. Wider than Thought Phylogenetic Occurrence of Apicortin, A Characteristic Protein of Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2016-06-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause serious illnesses, including malaria, in humans and domestic animals. The presence of apicortins is predominantly characteristic of this phylum. All the apicomplexan species sequenced contain an apicortin which unites two conserved domains: DCX and partial p25alpha. This paper identifies novel apicortin orthologs in silico and corrects in several cases the erroneous sequences of hypothetical apicortin proteins of Cryptosporidium, Eimeria, and Theileria genera published in databases. Plasmodium apicortins, except from Plasmodium gallinaceum, differ significantly from the other apicomplexan apicortins. The feature of this ortholog suggests that only orthologs of Plasmodiums hosted by mammals altered significantly. The free-living Chromerida, Chromera velia, and Vitrella brassicaformis, contain three paralogs. Their apicomplexan-type and nonapicomplexan-type apicortins might be "outparalogs." The fungal ortholog, Rozella allomycis, found at protein level, and the algal Nitella mirabilis, found as Transcriptome Shotgun Assembly (TSA), are similar to the known Opisthokont (Trichoplax adhaerens, Spizellomyces punctatus) and Viridiplantae (Nicotiana tabacum) ones, since they do not contain the long, unstructured N-terminal part present in apicomplexan apicortins. A few eumetazoan animals possess apicortin-like (partial) sequences at TSA level, which may be either contaminations or the result of horizontal gene transfer; in some cases the contamination has been proved. PMID:27282556

  3. Novel insights on ENTH domain-containing proteins in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Kibria, K M Kaderi; Hossain, Mohammad Uzzal; Oany, Arafat Rahman; Ahmad, Shah Adil Ishtiyaq

    2016-06-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes a large group of early branching eukaryotes having significant medical and economical importance. The molecular machinery responsible for protein trafficking is poorly understood in these apicomplexans. One of the most important proteins involved in clathrin-mediated protein trafficking is Epsin, which contains ENTH domain, a conserved domain crucial for membrane bending leading to vesicle formation. We undertook homology searching and phylogenetic analyses to produce a rigorously annotated set of Epsin homologs retrieved from diverse apicomplexan genomes. Genomic and phylogenetic comparisons revealed that apicomplexans contain unusual Epsin homologs that are distinct from those observed in mammals and yeast. Although there are four Epsin genes in mammalian system and five in the yeast genome, apicomplexan parasites consist only a single Epsin gene. The apicomplexan Epsin contains the conserved ENTH domain consisting of phosphoinositide (PtdIns)-binding sites which indicate about their functional significance in the formation of vesicles; however, the absence of ubiquitin-interacting motif (UIM) suggests a possible different mechanism for protein trafficking. The existence of dileucine motif in Plasmodium, Cryptosporidum parvum and Eimeria tenella Epsins might solve their functionality while lacking a lot of conserved motifs as this motif is known to interact with different adaptor protein complexes (AP1, AP2 and AP3). Other Epsin homologs are also shown to have different peptide motifs reported for possible interaction with α-ear appendage, γ-ear appendage and EH domain present in different adaptors. Bioinformatic and phylogenetic analyses suggest that the apicomplexan Epsins have unusual functionality from that of the mammalian Epsins. This detailed study may greatly facilitate future molecular cell biological investigation for the role of Epsins in these parasites. PMID:26922178

  4. Comparative Analysis of Apicoplast-Targeted Protein Extension Lengths in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Seliverstov, Alexandr V.; Zverkov, Oleg A.; Istomina, Svetlana N.; Pirogov, Sergey A.; Kitsis, Philip S.

    2015-01-01

    In general, the mechanism of protein translocation through the apicoplast membrane requires a specific extension of a functionally important region of the apicoplast-targeted proteins. The corresponding signal peptides were detected in many apicomplexans but not in the majority of apicoplast-targeted proteins in Toxoplasma gondii. In T. gondii signal peptides are either much diverged or their extension region is processed, which in either case makes the situation different from other studied apicomplexans. We propose a statistic method to compare extensions of the functionally important regions of apicoplast-targeted proteins. More specifically, we provide a comparison of extension lengths of orthologous apicoplast-targeted proteins in apicomplexan parasites. We focus on results obtained for the model species T. gondii, Neospora caninum, and Plasmodium falciparum. With our method, cross species comparisons demonstrate that, in average, apicoplast-targeted protein extensions in T. gondii are 1.5-fold longer than in N. caninum and 2-fold longer than in P. falciparum. Extensions in P. falciparum less than 87 residues in size are longer than the corresponding extensions in N. caninum and, reversely, are shorter if they exceed 88 residues. PMID:26114107

  5. Genome-scale protein expression and structural biology of Plasmodium falciparum and related Apicomplexan organisms.

    PubMed

    Vedadi, Masoud; Lew, Jocelyne; Artz, Jennifer; Amani, Mehrnaz; Zhao, Yong; Dong, Aiping; Wasney, Gregory A; Gao, Mian; Hills, Tanya; Brokx, Stephen; Qiu, Wei; Sharma, Sujata; Diassiti, Angelina; Alam, Zahoor; Melone, Michelle; Mulichak, Anne; Wernimont, Amy; Bray, James; Loppnau, Peter; Plotnikova, Olga; Newberry, Kate; Sundararajan, Emayavaram; Houston, Simon; Walker, John; Tempel, Wolfram; Bochkarev, Alexey; Kozieradzki, Ivona; Edwards, Aled; Arrowsmith, Cheryl; Roos, David; Kain, Kevin; Hui, Raymond

    2007-01-01

    Parasites from the protozoan phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for diseases, such as malaria, toxoplasmosis and cryptosporidiosis, all of which have significantly higher rates of mortality and morbidity in economically underdeveloped regions of the world. Advances in vaccine development and drug discovery are urgently needed to control these diseases and can be facilitated by production of purified recombinant proteins from Apicomplexan genomes and determination of their 3D structures. To date, both heterologous expression and crystallization of Apicomplexan proteins have seen only limited success. In an effort to explore the effectiveness of producing and crystallizing proteins on a genome-scale using a standardized methodology, over 400 distinct Plasmodium falciparum target genes were chosen representing different cellular classes, along with select orthologues from four other Plasmodium species as well as Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii. From a total of 1008 genes from the seven genomes, 304 (30.2%) produced purified soluble proteins and 97 (9.6%) crystallized, culminating in 36 crystal structures. These results demonstrate that, contrary to previous findings, a standardized platform using Escherichia coli can be effective for genome-scale production and crystallography of Apicomplexan proteins. Predictably, orthologous proteins from different Apicomplexan genomes behaved differently in expression, purification and crystallization, although the overall success rates of Plasmodium orthologues do not differ significantly. Their differences were effectively exploited to elevate the overall productivity to levels comparable to the most successful ongoing structural genomics projects: 229 of the 468 target genes produced purified soluble protein from one or more organisms, with 80 and 32 of the purified targets, respectively, leading to crystals and ultimately structures from one or more orthologues. PMID:17125854

  6. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    PubMed Central

    Wernimont, Amy K.; Artz, Jennifer D.; Finerty, Patrick; Lin, Y.; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2013-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) play pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites, and comprise a CaMK-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C-terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N-terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate-binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal transduction pathways. PMID:20436473

  7. A DOC2 Protein Identified by Mutational Profiling is Essential for Apicomplexan Parasite Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Farrell, Andrew; Thirugnanam, Sivasakthivel; Lorestani, Alexander; Dvorin, Jeffrey D.; Eidell, Keith P.; Ferguson, David J.P.; Anderson-White, Brooke R.; Duraisingh, Manoj T.; Marth, Gabor T.; Gubbels, Marc-Jan

    2012-01-01

    Exocytosis is essential to the lytic cycle of apicomplexan parasites and required for the pathogenesis of toxoplasmosis and malaria. DOC2 proteins recruit the membrane fusion machinery required for exocytosis in a Ca2+-dependent fashion. Here, the phenotype of a Toxoplasma gondii conditional mutant impaired in host cell invasion and egress was pinpointed to a defect in secretion of the micronemes, an apicomplexan-specific organelle that contains adhesion proteins. Whole genome sequencing identified the etiological point mutation in TgDOC2.1. A conditional allele of the orthologous gene engineered into Plasmodium falciparum was also defective in microneme secretion. However, the major effect was on invasion, suggesting microneme secretion is dispensable for Plasmodium egress. PMID:22246776

  8. Structures of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases reveal mechanism of activation by calcium

    SciTech Connect

    Wernimont, Amy K; Artz, Jennifer D.; Jr, Patrick Finerty; Lin, Yu-Hui; Amani, Mehrnaz; Allali-Hassani, Abdellah; Senisterra, Guillermo; Vedadi, Masoud; Tempel, Wolfram; Mackenzie, Farrell; Chau, Irene; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David; Hui, Raymond

    2010-09-21

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) have pivotal roles in the calcium-signaling pathway in plants, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites and comprise a calmodulin-dependent kinase (CaMK)-like kinase domain regulated by a calcium-binding domain in the C terminus. To understand this intramolecular mechanism of activation, we solved the structures of the autoinhibited (apo) and activated (calcium-bound) conformations of CDPKs from the apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum. In the apo form, the C-terminal CDPK activation domain (CAD) resembles a calmodulin protein with an unexpected long helix in the N terminus that inhibits the kinase domain in the same manner as CaMKII. Calcium binding triggers the reorganization of the CAD into a highly intricate fold, leading to its relocation around the base of the kinase domain to a site remote from the substrate binding site. This large conformational change constitutes a distinct mechanism in calcium signal-transduction pathways.

  9. Evolving Insights into Protein Trafficking to the Multiple Compartments of the Apicomplexan Plastid

    PubMed Central

    PARSONS, MARILYN; KARNATAKI, ANURADHA; DEROCHER, AMY E.

    2010-01-01

    The apicoplast is a relict plastid found in many medically important apicomplexan parasites, such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. Phylogenetic analysis and the presence of four bounding membranes indicate that the apicoplast arose from a secondary endosymbiosis. Here we review what has been discovered about the complex journey proteins take to reach compartments of the apicoplast. The targeting sequences for luminal proteins are well-defined, but those routing proteins to other compartments are only beginning to be studied. Recent work suggests that the trafficking mechanisms involve a variety of molecules of different phylogenetic origins. We highlight some remaining questions regarding protein trafficking to this divergent organelle. PMID:19527348

  10. A Conserved Apicomplexan Microneme Protein Contributes to Toxoplasma gondii Invasion and Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, My-Hang; Boulanger, Martin J.

    2014-01-01

    The obligate intracellular parasite Toxoplasma gondii critically relies on host cell invasion during infection. Proteins secreted from the apical micronemes are central components for host cell recognition, invasion, egress, and virulence. Although previous work established that the sporozoite protein with an altered thrombospondin repeat (SPATR) is a micronemal protein conserved in other apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Neospora, and Eimeria, no genetic evidence of its contribution to invasion has been reported. SPATR contains a predicted epidermal growth factor domain and two thrombospondin type 1 repeats, implying a role in host cell recognition. In this study, we assess the contribution of T. gondii SPATR (TgSPATR) to T. gondii invasion by genetically ablating it and restoring its expression by genetic complementation. Δspatr parasites were ∼50% reduced in invasion compared to parental strains, a defect that was reversed in the complemented strain. In mouse virulence assays, Δspatr parasites were significantly attenuated, with ∼20% of mice surviving infection. Given the conservation of this protein among the Apicomplexa, we assessed whether the Plasmodium falciparum SPATR ortholog (PfSPATR) could complement the absence of the TgSPATR. Although PfSPATR showed correct micronemal localization, it did not reverse the invasion deficiency of Δspatr parasites, because of an apparent failure in secretion. Overall, the results suggest that TgSPATR contributes to invasion and virulence, findings that have implications for the many genera and life stages of apicomplexans that express SPATR. PMID:25092910

  11. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases.

    PubMed

    Ingram, Jessica R; Knockenhauer, Kevin E; Markus, Benedikt M; Mandelbaum, Joseph; Ramek, Alexander; Shan, Yibing; Shaw, David E; Schwartz, Thomas U; Ploegh, Hidde L; Lourido, Sebastian

    2015-09-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise the major group of Ca2+-regulated kinases in plants and protists. It has long been assumed that CDPKs are activated, like other Ca2+-regulated kinases, by derepression of the kinase domain (KD). However, we found that removal of the autoinhibitory domain from Toxoplasma gondii CDPK1 is not sufficient for kinase activation. From a library of heavy chain-only antibody fragments (VHHs), we isolated an antibody (1B7) that binds TgCDPK1 in a conformation-dependent manner and potently inhibits it. We uncovered the molecular basis for this inhibition by solving the crystal structure of the complex and simulating, through molecular dynamics, the effects of 1B7-kinase interactions. In contrast to other Ca2+-regulated kinases, the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 plays a dual role, inhibiting or activating the kinase in response to changes in Ca2+ concentrations. We propose that the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 acts as a molecular splint to stabilize the otherwise inactive KD. This dependence on allosteric stabilization reveals a novel susceptibility in this important class of parasite enzymes. PMID:26305940

  12. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Ingram, Jessica R.; Knockenhauer, Kevin E.; Markus, Benedikt M.; Mandelbaum, Joseph; Ramek, Alexander; Shan, Yibing; Shaw, David E.; Schwartz, Thomas U.; Ploegh, Hidde L.; Lourido, Sebastian

    2015-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) comprise the major group of Ca2+-regulated kinases in plants and protists. It has long been assumed that CDPKs are activated, like other Ca2+-regulated kinases, by derepression of the kinase domain (KD). However, we found that removal of the autoinhibitory domain from Toxoplasma gondii CDPK1 is not sufficient for kinase activation. From a library of heavy chain-only antibody fragments (VHHs), we isolated an antibody (1B7) that binds TgCDPK1 in a conformation-dependent manner and potently inhibits it. We uncovered the molecular basis for this inhibition by solving the crystal structure of the complex and simulating, through molecular dynamics, the effects of 1B7–kinase interactions. In contrast to other Ca2+-regulated kinases, the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 plays a dual role, inhibiting or activating the kinase in response to changes in Ca2+ concentrations. We propose that the regulatory domain of TgCDPK1 acts as a molecular splint to stabilize the otherwise inactive KD. This dependence on allosteric stabilization reveals a novel susceptibility in this important class of parasite enzymes. PMID:26305940

  13. Ribosomal Protein P2 from apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is intrinsically a molten globule.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Pushpa; Choudhary, Sinjan; Hosur, Ramakrishna V

    2015-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite, which causes toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasma P2 (TgP2) is a ribosomal protein and exists as supramolecular assembly with other proteins in the ribosome. It is also shown that TgP2 is involved in some extra ribosomal functions. However, till date the protein has evaded structural characterization by any of the known techniques. In this background, we report here a systematic study using a variety of biophysical techniques and NMR, under different conditions of pH and temperature, and deduce that TgP2 consists of only helices and unstructured regions, is a monomer at low pH but forms multimers at higher pH, and has intrinsically a molten globule structure. The C-terminal half is flexible and the helices are concentrated in the N-terminal half of the chain. The dynamism inherent to the molten globule structure may have functional implications for its extra-ribosomal functions. which is contrast to that of human P2. PMID:25866913

  14. Identification and characterization of Toxoplasma SIP, a conserved apicomplexan cytoskeleton protein involved in maintaining the shape, motility and virulence of the parasite

    PubMed Central

    Lentini, Gaelle; Kong-Hap, Marie; El Hajj, Hiba; Francia, Maria; Claudet, Cyrille; Striepen, Boris; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Lebrun, Maryse

    2015-01-01

    Summary Apicomplexa possess a complex pellicle that is composed of a plasma membrane and a closely apposed inner membrane complex (IMC) that serves as a support for the actin-myosin motor required for motility and host cell invasion. The IMC consists of longitudinal plates of flattened vesicles, fused together and lined on the cytoplasmic side by a subpellicular network of intermediate filament-like proteins. The spatial organization of the IMC has been well described by electron microscopy, but its composition and molecular organization is largely unknown. Here, we identify a novel protein of the IMC cytoskeletal network in Toxoplasma gondii, called TgSIP, and conserved among apicomplexan parasites. To finely pinpoint the localization of TgSIP, we used structured illumination super resolution microscopy and revealed that it likely decorates the transverse sutures of the plates and the basal end of the IMC. This suggests that TgSIP might contribute to the organization or physical connection among the different components of the IMC. We generated a T. gondii SIP deletion mutant and showed that parasites lacking TgSIP are significantly shorter than wild-type parasites and show defects in gliding motility, invasion and reduced infectivity in mice. PMID:25088010

  15. Jumbled genomes: missing Apicomplexan synteny.

    PubMed

    DeBarry, Jeremy D; Kissinger, Jessica C

    2011-10-01

    Whole-genome comparisons provide insight into genome evolution by informing on gene repertoires, gene gains/losses, and genome organization. Most of our knowledge about eukaryotic genome evolution is derived from studies of multicellular model organisms. The eukaryotic phylum Apicomplexa contains obligate intracellular protist parasites responsible for a wide range of human and veterinary diseases (e.g., malaria, toxoplasmosis, and theileriosis). We have developed an in silico protein-encoding gene based pipeline to investigate synteny across 12 apicomplexan species from six genera. Genome rearrangement between lineages is extensive. Syntenic regions (conserved gene content and order) are rare between lineages and appear to be totally absent across the phylum, with no group of three genes found on the same chromosome and in the same order within 25 kb up- and downstream of any orthologous genes. Conserved synteny between major lineages is limited to small regions in Plasmodium and Theileria/Babesia species, and within these conserved regions, there are a number of proteins putatively targeted to organelles. The observed overall lack of synteny is surprising considering the divergence times and the apparent absence of transposable elements (TEs) within any of the species examined. TEs are ubiquitous in all other groups of eukaryotes studied to date and have been shown to be involved in genomic rearrangements. It appears that there are different criteria governing genome evolution within the Apicomplexa relative to other well-studied unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. PMID:21504890

  16. Functional characterization of a fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP) from the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Bin; Cai, Xiaomin; Zhu, Guan

    2006-01-01

    SUMMARY We have identified and conducted functional analysis of a fatty acyl-CoA binding protein (ACBP) gene from the opportunistic protist Cryptosporidium parvum. The CpACBP1 gene encodes a protein of 268 aa that is 3X larger than the typical ACBP proteins (i.e., ∼90 aa) of humans and animals. Sequence analysis indicated that CpACBP1 consists of an N-terminal ACBP domain (∼90 aa) and a C-terminal ankrin repeat sequence (∼170 aa). The entire CpACBP1 ORF was engineered into a maltose-binding protein fusion system and expressed as a recombinant protein for functional analysis. Acyl CoA-binding assays clearly revealed that the preferred binding substrate for CpACBP1 was palmitoyl-CoA. RT-PCR, Western blotting and immuno-labeling analyses clearly showed that the CpACBP1 gene was mainly expressed in the intracellular developmental stages and the level increases during the parasite development. Immunofluorescence microscopy shows that CpACBP1 is associated with the parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which implies that this protein may be involved in the lipid remodeling in the PVM or the transport of fatty acids across the membrane. PMID:16849800

  17. Unique apicomplexan IMC sub-compartment proteins are early markers for apical polarity in the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Poulin, Benoit; Patzewitz, Eva-Maria; Brady, Declan; Silvie, Olivier; Wright, Megan H.; Ferguson, David J. P.; Wall, Richard J.; Whipple, Sarah; Guttery, David S.; Tate, Edward W.; Wickstead, Bill; Holder, Anthony A.; Tewari, Rita

    2013-01-01

    Summary The phylum Apicomplexa comprises over 5000 intracellular protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, that are clinically important pathogens affecting humans and livestock. Malaria parasites belonging to the genus Plasmodium possess a pellicle comprised of a plasmalemma and inner membrane complex (IMC), which is implicated in parasite motility and invasion. Using live cell imaging and reverse genetics in the rodent malaria model P. berghei, we localise two unique IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) and examine their role in defining apical polarity during zygote (ookinete) development. We show that these proteins localise to the anterior apical end of the parasite where IMC organisation is initiated, and are expressed at all developmental stages, especially those that are invasive. Both ISP proteins are N-myristoylated, phosphorylated and membrane-bound. Gene disruption studies suggest that ISP1 is likely essential for parasite development, whereas ISP3 is not. However, an absence of ISP3 alters the apical localisation of ISP1 in all invasive stages including ookinetes and sporozoites, suggesting a coordinated function for these proteins in the organisation of apical polarity in the parasite. PMID:24244852

  18. Recent advances in understanding apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Frank; Steinfelder, Svenja

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular single-celled parasites belonging to the large phylum Apicomplexa are amongst the most prevalent and morbidity-causing pathogens worldwide. In this review, we highlight a few of the many recent advances in the field that helped to clarify some important aspects of their fascinating biology and interaction with their hosts. Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria, and thus the recent emergence of resistance against the currently used drug combinations based on artemisinin has been of major interest for the scientific community. It resulted in great advances in understanding the resistance mechanisms that can hopefully be translated into altered future drug regimens. Apicomplexa are also experts in host cell manipulation and immune evasion. Toxoplasma gondii and Theileria sp., besides Plasmodium sp., are species that secrete effector molecules into the host cell to reach this aim. The underlying molecular mechanisms for how these proteins are trafficked to the host cytosol ( T. gondii and Plasmodium) and how a secreted protein can immortalize the host cell ( Theileria sp.) have been illuminated recently. Moreover, how such secreted proteins affect the host innate immune responses against T. gondii and the liver stages of Plasmodium has also been unraveled at the genetic and molecular level, leading to unexpected insights. Methodological advances in metabolomics and molecular biology have been instrumental to solving some fundamental puzzles of mitochondrial carbon metabolism in Apicomplexa. Also, for the first time, the generation of stably transfected Cryptosporidium parasites was achieved, which opens up a wide variety of experimental possibilities for this understudied, important apicomplexan pathogen. PMID:27347391

  19. Recent advances in understanding apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Seeber, Frank; Steinfelder, Svenja

    2016-01-01

    Intracellular single-celled parasites belonging to the large phylum Apicomplexa are amongst the most prevalent and morbidity-causing pathogens worldwide. In this review, we highlight a few of the many recent advances in the field that helped to clarify some important aspects of their fascinating biology and interaction with their hosts. Plasmodium falciparum causes malaria, and thus the recent emergence of resistance against the currently used drug combinations based on artemisinin has been of major interest for the scientific community. It resulted in great advances in understanding the resistance mechanisms that can hopefully be translated into altered future drug regimens. Apicomplexa are also experts in host cell manipulation and immune evasion. Toxoplasma gondii and Theileria sp., besides Plasmodium sp., are species that secrete effector molecules into the host cell to reach this aim. The underlying molecular mechanisms for how these proteins are trafficked to the host cytosol ( T. gondii and Plasmodium) and how a secreted protein can immortalize the host cell ( Theileria sp.) have been illuminated recently. Moreover, how such secreted proteins affect the host innate immune responses against T. gondii and the liver stages of Plasmodium has also been unraveled at the genetic and molecular level, leading to unexpected insights. Methodological advances in metabolomics and molecular biology have been instrumental to solving some fundamental puzzles of mitochondrial carbon metabolism in Apicomplexa. Also, for the first time, the generation of stably transfected Cryptosporidium parasites was achieved, which opens up a wide variety of experimental possibilities for this understudied, important apicomplexan pathogen. PMID:27347391

  20. Oxidative Stress Control by Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Izui, Natália M.; Schettert, Isolmar; Liebau, Eva

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause infectious diseases that are either a severe public health problem or an economic burden. In this paper we will shed light on how oxidative stress can influence the host-pathogen relationship by focusing on three major diseases: babesiosis, coccidiosis, and toxoplasmosis. PMID:25722976

  1. In silico analysis of the cyclophilin repertoire of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Krücken, Jürgen; Greif, Gisela; von Samson-Himmelstjerna, Georg

    2009-01-01

    Background Cyclophilins (Cyps) are peptidyl cis/trans isomerases implicated in diverse processes such as protein folding, signal transduction, and RNA processing. They are also candidate drug targets, in particular for the immunosuppressant cyclosporine A. In addition, cyclosporine is known to exhibit anti-parasitic effects on a wide range of organisms including several apicomplexa. In order to obtain new non-immunosuppressive drugs targeting apicomplexan cyclophilins, a profound knowledge of the cyclophilin repertoire of this phylum would be necessary. Results BLAST and maximum likelihood analyses identified 16 different cyclophilin subfamilies within the genomes of Cryptosporidium hominis, Toxoplasma gondii, Plasmodium falciparum, Theileria annulata, Theileria parva, and Babesia bovis. In addition to good statistical support from the phylogenetic analysis, these subfamilies are also confirmed by comparison of cyclophilin domain architecture. Within an individual genome, the number of different Cyp genes that could be deduced varies between 7–9 for Cryptosporidia and 14 for T. gondii. Many of the putative apicomplexan cyclophilins are predicted to be nuclear proteins, most of them presumably involved in RNA processing. Conclusion The genomes of apicomplexa harbor a cyclophilin repertoire that is at least as complex as that of most fungi. The identification of Cyp subfamilies that are specific for lower eukaryotes, apicomplexa, or even the genus Plasmodium is of particular interest since these subfamilies are not present in host cells and might therefore represent attractive drug targets. PMID:19555495

  2. Reduced parasite motility and micronemal protein secretion by a p38 MAPK inhibitor leads to a severe impairment of cell invasion by the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Bussière, Françoise I; Brossier, Fabien; Le Vern, Yves; Niepceron, Alisson; Silvestre, Anne; de Sablet, Thibaut; Lacroix-Lamandé, Sonia; Laurent, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    E. tenella infection is associated with a severe intestinal disease leading to high economic losses in poultry industry. Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are implicated in early response to infection and are divided in three pathways: p38, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our objective was to determine the importance of these kinases on cell invasion by E. tenella. We evaluated the effect of specific inhibitors (ERK: PD98059, JNKII: SP600125, p38 MAPK: SB203580) on the invasion of epithelial cells. Incubation of SP600125 and SB203580 with epithelial cells and parasites significantly inhibited cell invasion with the highest degree of inhibition (90%) for SB203580. Silencing of the host p38α MAPK expression by siRNA led to only 20% decrease in cell invasion. In addition, when mammalian epithelial cells were pre-treated with SB203580, and washed prior infection, a 30% decrease in cell invasion was observed. This decrease was overcome when a p38 MAPK activator, anisomycin was added during infection. This suggests an active but limited role of the host p38 MAPK in this process. We next determined whether SB203580 has a direct effect on the parasite. Indeed, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins (EtMIC1, 2, 3 and 5) that are involved in cell invasion were both decreased in the presence of the inhibitor. After chasing the inhibitor, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins were restored and subsequently cell invasion. SB203580 inhibits cell invasion by acting partly on the host cell and mainly on the parasite. PMID:25689363

  3. Reduced Parasite Motility and Micronemal Protein Secretion by a p38 MAPK Inhibitor Leads to a Severe Impairment of Cell Invasion by the Apicomplexan Parasite Eimeria tenella

    PubMed Central

    Bussière, Françoise I.; Le Vern, Yves; Niepceron, Alisson; Silvestre, Anne; de Sablet, Thibaut; Lacroix-Lamandé, Sonia; Laurent, Fabrice

    2015-01-01

    E. tenella infection is associated with a severe intestinal disease leading to high economic losses in poultry industry. Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are implicated in early response to infection and are divided in three pathways: p38, extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) and c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK). Our objective was to determine the importance of these kinases on cell invasion by E. tenella. We evaluated the effect of specific inhibitors (ERK: PD98059, JNKII: SP600125, p38 MAPK: SB203580) on the invasion of epithelial cells. Incubation of SP600125 and SB203580 with epithelial cells and parasites significantly inhibited cell invasion with the highest degree of inhibition (90%) for SB203580. Silencing of the host p38α MAPK expression by siRNA led to only 20% decrease in cell invasion. In addition, when mammalian epithelial cells were pre-treated with SB203580, and washed prior infection, a 30% decrease in cell invasion was observed. This decrease was overcome when a p38 MAPK activator, anisomycin was added during infection. This suggests an active but limited role of the host p38 MAPK in this process. We next determined whether SB203580 has a direct effect on the parasite. Indeed, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins (EtMIC1, 2, 3 and 5) that are involved in cell invasion were both decreased in the presence of the inhibitor. After chasing the inhibitor, parasite motility and secretion of micronemal proteins were restored and subsequently cell invasion. SB203580 inhibits cell invasion by acting partly on the host cell and mainly on the parasite. PMID:25689363

  4. Assembly of the Novel Five-Component Apicomplexan Multi-Aminoacyl-tRNA Synthetase Complex Is Driven by the Hybrid Scaffold Protein Tg-p43

    PubMed Central

    Hammoudi, Pierre-Mehdi; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Coute, Yohann; Sharma, Amit; Pelloux, Hervé; Belrhali, Hassan; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali

    2014-01-01

    In Toxoplasma gondii, as in other eukaryotes, a subset of the amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases are arranged into an abundant cytoplasmic multi-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (MARS) complex. Through a series of genetic pull-down assays, we have identified the enzymes of this complex as: methionyl-, glutaminyl-, glutamyl-, and tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases, and we show that the N-terminal GST-like domain of a partially disordered hybrid scaffold protein, Tg-p43, is sufficient for assembly of the intact complex. Our gel filtration studies revealed significant heterogeneity in the size and composition of isolated MARS complexes. By targeting the tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases subunit, which was found exclusively in the complete 1 MDa complex, we were able to directly visualize MARS particles in the electron microscope. Image analyses of the negative stain data revealed the observed heterogeneity and instability of these complexes to be driven by the intrinsic flexibility of the domain arrangements within the MARS complex. These studies provide unique insights into the assembly of these ubiquitous but poorly understood eukaryotic complexes. PMID:24586818

  5. Assembly of the novel five-component apicomplexan multi-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase complex is driven by the hybrid scaffold protein Tg-p43.

    PubMed

    van Rooyen, Jason M; Murat, Jean-Benjamin; Hammoudi, Pierre-Mehdi; Kieffer-Jaquinod, Sylvie; Coute, Yohann; Sharma, Amit; Pelloux, Hervé; Belrhali, Hassan; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali

    2014-01-01

    In Toxoplasma gondii, as in other eukaryotes, a subset of the amino-acyl-tRNA synthetases are arranged into an abundant cytoplasmic multi-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (MARS) complex. Through a series of genetic pull-down assays, we have identified the enzymes of this complex as: methionyl-, glutaminyl-, glutamyl-, and tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases, and we show that the N-terminal GST-like domain of a partially disordered hybrid scaffold protein, Tg-p43, is sufficient for assembly of the intact complex. Our gel filtration studies revealed significant heterogeneity in the size and composition of isolated MARS complexes. By targeting the tyrosyl-tRNA synthetases subunit, which was found exclusively in the complete 1 MDa complex, we were able to directly visualize MARS particles in the electron microscope. Image analyses of the negative stain data revealed the observed heterogeneity and instability of these complexes to be driven by the intrinsic flexibility of the domain arrangements within the MARS complex. These studies provide unique insights into the assembly of these ubiquitous but poorly understood eukaryotic complexes. PMID:24586818

  6. Apicomplexans pulling the strings: manipulation of the host cell cytoskeleton dynamics.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Rita; Soares, Helena; Hemphill, Andrew; Leitão, Alexandre

    2016-07-01

    Invasive stages of apicomplexan parasites require a host cell to survive, proliferate and advance to the next life cycle stage. Once invasion is achieved, apicomplexans interact closely with the host cell cytoskeleton, but in many cases the different species have evolved distinct mechanisms and pathways to modulate the structural organization of cytoskeletal filaments. The host cell cytoskeleton is a complex network, largely, but not exclusively, composed of microtubules, actin microfilaments and intermediate filaments, all of which are modulated by associated proteins, and it is involved in diverse functions including maintenance of cell morphology and mechanical support, migration, signal transduction, nutrient uptake, membrane and organelle trafficking and cell division. The ability of apicomplexans to modulate the cytoskeleton to their own advantage is clearly beneficial. We here review different aspects of the interactions of apicomplexans with the three main cytoskeletal filament types, provide information on the currently known parasite effector proteins and respective host cell targets involved, and how these interactions modulate the host cell physiology. Some of these findings could provide novel targets that could be exploited for the development of preventive and/or therapeutic strategies. PMID:27041483

  7. A Genome-wide CRISPR Screen in Toxoplasma Identifies Essential Apicomplexan Genes.

    PubMed

    Sidik, Saima M; Huet, Diego; Ganesan, Suresh M; Huynh, My-Hang; Wang, Tim; Nasamu, Armiyaw S; Thiru, Prathapan; Saeij, Jeroen P J; Carruthers, Vern B; Niles, Jacquin C; Lourido, Sebastian

    2016-09-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are leading causes of human and livestock diseases such as malaria and toxoplasmosis, yet most of their genes remain uncharacterized. Here, we present the first genome-wide genetic screen of an apicomplexan. We adapted CRISPR/Cas9 to assess the contribution of each gene from the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during infection of human fibroblasts. Our analysis defines ∼200 previously uncharacterized, fitness-conferring genes unique to the phylum, from which 16 were investigated, revealing essential functions during infection of human cells. Secondary screens identify as an invasion factor the claudin-like apicomplexan microneme protein (CLAMP), which resembles mammalian tight-junction proteins and localizes to secretory organelles, making it critical to the initiation of infection. CLAMP is present throughout sequenced apicomplexan genomes and is essential during the asexual stages of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum. These results provide broad-based functional information on T. gondii genes and will facilitate future approaches to expand the horizon of antiparasitic interventions. PMID:27594426

  8. The Calcium Signaling Toolkit of the Apicomplexan Parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp

    PubMed Central

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N.J.

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites have complex life cycles, frequently split between different hosts and reliant on rapid responses as the parasites react to changing environmental conditions. Calcium ion (Ca2+) signaling is consequently essential for the cellular and developmental changes that support apicomplexan parasitism. Apicomplexan genomes reveal a rich repertoire of genes involved in calcium signaling, although many of the genes responsible for observed physiological changes remain unknown. There is evidence, for example, for the presence of a nifedipine-sensitive calcium entry mechanism in Toxoplasma, but the molecular components involved in Ca2+ entry in both Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, have not been identified. The major calcium stores are the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the acidocalcisomes, and the plant-like vacuole in Toxoplasma, or the food vacuole in Plasmodium spp. Pharmacological evidence suggests that Ca2+ release from intracellular stores may be mediated by inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3) or cyclic ADP ribose (cADPR) although there is no molecular evidence for the presence of receptors for these second messengers in the parasites. Several Ca2+-ATPases are present in apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca2+/H+ exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca2+-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed novel roles in gliding motility, microneme secretion, host cell invasion and egress, and parasite differentiation. Microneme secretion has also been shown to depend on the C2 domain containing protein DOC2 in both Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma, providing further evidence for the complex transduction of Ca2+ signals in these organisms. The characterization of these pathways could lead to the discovery of novel drug targets and to a better understanding of the role of Ca2+ in these parasites. PMID:25605521

  9. Apical membrane antigen 1 mediates apicomplexan parasite attachment but is dispensable for host cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Bargieri, Daniel Y.; Andenmatten, Nicole; Lagal, Vanessa; Thiberge, Sabine; Whitelaw, Jamie A.; Tardieux, Isabelle; Meissner, Markus; Ménard, Robert

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by forming a ring-like junction with the cell surface and actively sliding through the junction inside an intracellular vacuole. Apical membrane antigen 1 is conserved in apicomplexans and a long-standing malaria vaccine candidate. It is considered to have multiple important roles during host cell penetration, primarily in structuring the junction by interacting with the rhoptry neck 2 protein and transducing the force generated by the parasite motor during internalization. Here, we generate Plasmodium sporozoites and merozoites and Toxoplasma tachyzoites lacking apical membrane antigen 1, and find that the latter two are impaired in host cell attachment but the three display normal host cell penetration through the junction. Therefore, apical membrane antigen 1, rather than an essential invasin, is a dispensable adhesin of apicomplexan zoites. These genetic data have implications on the use of apical membrane antigen 1 or the apical membrane antigen 1–rhoptry neck 2 interaction as targets of intervention strategies against malaria or other diseases caused by apicomplexans. PMID:24108241

  10. The apicomplexan glideosome and adhesins -- structures and function

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Lauren E.; Bosch, Jürgen

    2015-01-01

    The apicomplexan family of pathogens, which includes Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii, are primarily obligate intracellular parasites and invade multiple cell types. These parasites express extracellular membrane protein receptors, adhesins, to form specific pathogen-host cell interaction complexes. Various adhesins are used to invade a variety of cell types. The receptors are linked to an actomyosin motor, which is part of a complex comprised of many proteins known as the invasion machinery or glideosome. To date, reviews on invasion have focused primarily on the molecular pathways and signals of invasion, with little or no structural information presented. Over 75 structures of parasite receptors and glideosome proteins have been deposited with the Protein Data Bank. These structures include adhesins, motor proteins, bridging proteins, inner membrane complex and cytoskeletal proteins, as well as co-crystal structures with peptides and antibodies. These structures provide information regarding key interactions necessary for target receptor engagement, machinery complex formation, how force is transmitted, and the basis of inhibitory antibodies. Additionally, these structures can provide starting points for the development of antibodies and inhibitory molecules targeting protein-protein interactions, with the aim to inhibit invasion. This review provides an overview of the parasite adhesin protein families, the glideosome components, glideosome architecture, and discuss recent work regarding alternative models. PMID:25764948

  11. Deciphering the Ubiquitin-Mediated Pathway in Apicomplexan Parasites: A Potential Strategy to Interfere with Parasite Virulence

    PubMed Central

    Ponts, Nadia; Yang, Jianfeng; Chung, Duk-Won Doug; Prudhomme, Jacques; Girke, Thomas; Horrocks, Paul; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2008-01-01

    Background Reversible modification of proteins through the attachment of ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like modifiers is an essential post-translational regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes. The conjugation of ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like proteins has been demonstrated to play roles in growth, adaptation and homeostasis in all eukaryotes, with perturbation of ubiquitin-mediated systems associated with the pathogenesis of many human diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative disorders. Methodology/Principal Findings Here we describe the use of an HMM search of functional Pfam domains found in the key components of the ubiquitin-mediated pathway necessary to activate and reversibly modify target proteins in eight apicomplexan parasitic protozoa for which complete or late-stage genome projects exist. In parallel, the same search was conducted on five model organisms, single-celled and metazoans, to generate data to validate both the search parameters employed and aid paralog classification in Apicomplexa. For each of the 13 species investigated, a set of proteins predicted to be involved in the ubiquitylation pathway has been identified and demonstrates increasing component members of the ubiquitylation pathway correlating with organism and genome complexity. Sequence homology and domain architecture analyses facilitated prediction of apicomplexan-specific protein function, particularly those involved in regulating cell division during these parasite's complex life cycles. Conclusions/Significance This study provides a comprehensive analysis of proteins predicted to be involved in the apicomplexan ubiquitin-mediated pathway. Given the importance of such pathway in a wide variety of cellular processes, our data is a key step in elucidating the biological networks that, in part, direct the pathogenicity of these parasites resulting in a massive impact on global health. Moreover, apicomplexan-specific adaptations of the ubiquitylation pathway may represent new therapeutic

  12. The Organellar Genomes of Chromera and Vitrella, the Phototrophic Relatives of Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexa are known to contain greatly reduced organellar genomes. Their mitochondrial genome carries only three protein-coding genes, and their plastid genome is reduced to a 35-kb-long circle. The discovery of coral-endosymbiotic algae Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, which share a common ancestry with Apicomplexa, provided an opportunity to study possibly ancestral forms of organellar genomes, a unique glimpse into the evolutionary history of apicomplexan parasites. The structurally similar mitochondrial genomes of Chromera and Vitrella differ in gene content, which is reflected in the composition of their respiratory chains. Thus, Chromera lacks respiratory complexes I and III, whereas Vitrella and apicomplexan parasites are missing only complex I. Plastid genomes differ substantially between these algae, particularly in structure: The Chromera plastid genome is a linear, 120-kb molecule with large and divergent genes, whereas the plastid genome of Vitrella is a highly compact circle that is only 85 kb long but nonetheless contains more genes than that of Chromera. It appears that organellar genomes have already been reduced in free-living phototrophic ancestors of apicomplexan parasites, and such reduction is not associated with parasitism. PMID:26092225

  13. Tracking Transmission of Apicomplexan Symbionts in Diverse Caribbean Corals

    PubMed Central

    Kirk, Nathan L.; Ritson-Williams, Raphael; Coffroth, Mary Alice; Miller, Margaret W.; Fogarty, Nicole D.; Santos, Scott R.

    2013-01-01

    Symbionts in each generation are transmitted to new host individuals either vertically (parent to offspring), horizontally (from exogenous sources), or a combination of both. Scleractinian corals make an excellent study system for understanding patterns of symbiont transmission since they harbor diverse symbionts and possess distinct reproductive modes of either internal brooding or external broadcast spawning that generally correlate with vertical or horizontal transmission, respectively. Here, we focused on the under-recognized, but apparently widespread, coral-associated apicomplexans (Protista: Alveolata) to determine if symbiont transmission depends on host reproductive mode. Specifically, a PCR-based assay was utilized towards identifying whether planula larvae and reproductive adults from brooding and broadcast spawning scleractinian coral species in Florida and Belize harbored apicomplexan DNA. Nearly all (85.5%; n = 85/89) examined planulae of five brooding species (Porites astreoides, Agaricia tenuifolia, Agaricia agaricites, Favia fragum, Mycetophyllia ferox) and adults of P. astreoides were positive for apicomplexan DNA. In contrast, no (n = 0/10) apicomplexan DNA was detected from planulae of four broadcast spawning species (Acropora cervicornis, Acropora palmata, Pseudodiploria strigosa, and Orbicella faveolata) and rarely in gametes (8.9%; n = 5/56) of these species sampled from the same geographical range as the brooding species. In contrast, tissue samples from nearly all (92.0%; n = 81/88) adults of the broadcast spawning species A. cervicornis, A. palmata and O. faveolata harbored apicomplexan DNA, including colonies whose gametes and planulae tested negative for these symbionts. Taken together, these data suggest apicomplexans are transmitted vertically in these brooding scleractinian coral species while the broadcast spawning scleractinian species examined here acquire these symbionts horizontally. Notably, these transmission patterns are

  14. Protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, an Unusual Apicomplexan Interconnecting Gregarines and Cryptosporidia

    PubMed Central

    Valigurová, Andrea; Paskerova, Gita G.; Diakin, Andrei; Kováčiková, Magdaléna; Simdyanov, Timur G.

    2015-01-01

    This study focused on the attachment strategy, cell structure and the host-parasite interactions of the protococcidian Eleutheroschizon duboscqi, parasitising the polychaete Scoloplos armiger. The attached trophozoites and gamonts of E. duboscqi were detected at different development stages. The parasite develops epicellularly, covered by a host cell-derived, two-membrane parasitophorous sac forming a caudal tipped appendage. Staining with Evans blue suggests that this tail is protein-rich, supported by the presence of a fibrous substance in this area. Despite the ultrastructural evidence for long filaments in the tail, it stained only weakly for F-actin, while spectrin seemed to accumulate in this area. The attachment apparatus consists of lobes arranged in one (trophozoites) or two (gamonts) circles, crowned by a ring of filamentous fascicles. During trophozoite maturation, the internal space between the parasitophorous sac and parasite turns translucent, the parasite trilaminar pellicle seems to reorganise and is covered by a dense fibrous glycocalyx. The parasite surface is organised in broad folds with grooves in between. Micropores are situated at the bottom of the grooves. A layer of filaments organised in bands, underlying the folds and ending above the attachment fascicles, was detected just beneath the pellicle. Confocal microscopy, along with the application of cytoskeletal drugs (jasplakinolide, cytochalasin D, oryzalin) confirmed the presence of actin and tubulin polymerised forms in both the parasitophorous sac and the parasite, while myosin labelling was restricted to the sac. Despite positive tubulin labelling, no microtubules were detected in mature stages. The attachment strategy of E. duboscqi shares features with that of cryptosporidia and gregarines, i.e. the parasite itself conspicuously resembles an epicellularly located gregarine, while the parasitophorous sac develops in a similar manner to that in cryptosporidia. This study provides a re

  15. Apicomplexan cell cycle flexibility: centrosome controls the clutch

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Ti; Gubbels, Marc-Jan

    2015-01-01

    The centrosome serves as a central hub coordinating multiple cellular events in eukaryotes. A recent study in Toxoplasma gondii revealed a unique bipartite structure of the centrosome, which coordinates the nuclear cycle (S-phase and mitosis) and budding cycle (cytokinesis) of the parasite, and deciphers the principle behind flexible apicomplexan cell division modes. PMID:25899747

  16. An atomic-resolution view of neofunctionalization in the evolution of apicomplexan lactate dehydrogenases

    PubMed Central

    Boucher, Jeffrey I; Jacobowitz, Joseph R; Beckett, Brian C; Classen, Scott; Theobald, Douglas L

    2014-01-01

    Malate and lactate dehydrogenases (MDH and LDH) are homologous, core metabolic enzymes that share a fold and catalytic mechanism yet possess strict specificity for their substrates. In the Apicomplexa, convergent evolution of an unusual LDH from MDH produced a difference in specificity exceeding 12 orders of magnitude. The mechanisms responsible for this extraordinary functional shift are currently unknown. Using ancestral protein resurrection, we find that specificity evolved in apicomplexan LDHs by classic neofunctionalization characterized by long-range epistasis, a promiscuous intermediate, and few gain-of-function mutations of large effect. In canonical MDHs and LDHs, a single residue in the active-site loop governs substrate specificity: Arg102 in MDHs and Gln102 in LDHs. During the evolution of the apicomplexan LDH, however, specificity switched via an insertion that shifted the position and identity of this ‘specificity residue’ to Trp107f. Residues far from the active site also determine specificity, as shown by the crystal structures of three ancestral proteins bracketing the key duplication event. This work provides an unprecedented atomic-resolution view of evolutionary trajectories creating a nascent enzymatic function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.02304.001 PMID:24966208

  17. Towards a molecular understanding of the apicomplexan actin motor: on a road to novel targets for malaria remedies?

    SciTech Connect

    Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2015-04-16

    In this review, current structural understanding of the apicomplexan glideosome and actin regulation is described. Apicomplexan parasites are the causative agents of notorious human and animal diseases that give rise to considerable human suffering and economic losses worldwide. The most prominent parasites of this phylum are the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, which are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, and Toxoplasma gondii, which infects one third of the world’s population. These parasites share a common form of gliding motility which relies on an actin–myosin motor. The components of this motor and the actin-regulatory proteins in Apicomplexa have unique features compared with all other eukaryotes. This, together with the crucial roles of these proteins, makes them attractive targets for structure-based drug design. In recent years, several structures of glideosome components, in particular of actins and actin regulators from apicomplexan parasites, have been determined, which will hopefully soon allow the creation of a complete molecular picture of the parasite actin–myosin motor and its regulatory machinery. Here, current knowledge of the function of this motor is reviewed from a structural perspective.

  18. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-01-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  19. The Large Mitochondrial Genome of Symbiodinium minutum Reveals Conserved Noncoding Sequences between Dinoflagellates and Apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Shoguchi, Eiichi; Shinzato, Chuya; Hisata, Kanako; Satoh, Nori; Mungpakdee, Sutada

    2015-08-01

    Even though mitochondrial genomes, which characterize eukaryotic cells, were first discovered more than 50 years ago, mitochondrial genomics remains an important topic in molecular biology and genome sciences. The Phylum Alveolata comprises three major groups (ciliates, apicomplexans, and dinoflagellates), the mitochondrial genomes of which have diverged widely. Even though the gene content of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes is reportedly comparable to that of apicomplexans, the highly fragmented and rearranged genome structures of dinoflagellates have frustrated whole genomic analysis. Consequently, noncoding sequences and gene arrangements of dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes have not been well characterized. Here we report that the continuous assembled genome (∼326 kb) of the dinoflagellate, Symbiodinium minutum, is AT-rich (∼64.3%) and that it contains three protein-coding genes. Based upon in silico analysis, the remaining 99% of the genome comprises transcriptomic noncoding sequences. RNA edited sites and unique, possible start and stop codons clarify conserved regions among dinoflagellates. Our massive transcriptome analysis shows that almost all regions of the genome are transcribed, including 27 possible fragmented ribosomal RNA genes and 12 uncharacterized small RNAs that are similar to mitochondrial RNA genes of the malarial parasite, Plasmodium falciparum. Gene map comparisons show that gene order is only slightly conserved between S. minutum and P. falciparum. However, small RNAs and intergenic sequences share sequence similarities with P. falciparum, suggesting that the function of noncoding sequences has been preserved despite development of very different genome structures. PMID:26199191

  20. Targeting Purine and Pyrimidine Metabolism in Human Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Hyde, John E.

    2009-01-01

    Synthesis de novo, acquisition by salvage and interconversion of purines and pyrimidines represent the fundamental requirements for their eventual assembly into nucleic acids as nucleotides and the deployment of their derivatives in other biochemical pathways. A small number of drugs targeted to nucleotide metabolism, by virtue of their effect on folate biosynthesis and recycling, have been successfully used against apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium and Toxoplasma for many years, although resistance is now a major problem in the prevention and treatment of malaria. Many targets not involving folate metabolism have also been explored at the experimental level. However, the unravelling of the genome sequences of these eukaryotic unicellular organisms, together with increasingly sophisticated molecular analyses, opens up possibilities of introducing new drugs that could interfere with these processes. This review examines the status of established drugs of this type and the potential for further exploiting the vulnerability of apicomplexan human pathogens to inhibition of this key area of metabolism. PMID:17266529

  1. Parasite calcineurin regulates host cell recognition and attachment by apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Paul, Aditya S.; Saha, Sudeshna; Engelberg, Klemens; Jiang, Rays H.Y.; Coleman, Bradley I.; Kosber, Aziz L.; Chen, Chun-Ti; Ganter, Markus; Espy, Nicole; Gilberger, Tim W.; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Apicomplexans invade a variety of metazoan host cells through mechanisms involving host cell receptor engagement and secretion of parasite factors to facilitate cellular attachment. We find that the parasite homolog of calcineurin, a calcium-regulated phosphatase complex central to signal transduction in eukaryotes, also contributes to host cell invasion by the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related Toxoplasma gondii. Using reverse genetic and chemical-genetic approaches, we determine that calcineurin critically regulates and stabilizes attachment of extracellular P. falciparum to host erythrocytes before intracellular entry and has similar functions in host cell engagement by T. gondii. Calcineurin-mediated Plasmodium invasion is strongly associated with host receptors required for host cell recognition and calcineurin function distinguishes this form of receptor-mediated attachment from a second mode of host-parasite adhesion independent of host receptors. This specific role of calcineurin in coordinating physical interactions with host cells highlights an ancestral mechanism for parasitism used by apicomplexans. PMID:26118996

  2. The apicoplast: a review of the derived plastid of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Waller, Ross F; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2005-01-01

    The apicoplast is a plastid organelle, homologous to chloroplasts of plants, that is found in apicomplexan parasites such as the causative agents of Malaria Plasmodium spp. It occurs throughout the Apicomplexa and is an ancient feature of this group acquired by the process of endosymbiosis. Like plant chloroplasts, apicoplasts are semi-autonomous with their own genome and expression machinery. In addition, apicoplasts import numerous proteins encoded by nuclear genes. These nuclear genes largely derive from the endosymbiont through a process of intracellular gene relocation. The exact role of a plastid in parasites is uncertain but early clues indicate synthesis of lipids, heme and isoprenoids as possibilities. The various metabolic processes of the apicoplast are potentially excellent targets for drug therapy. PMID:15580780

  3. Disassembly activity of actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is associated with distinct cellular processes in apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Haase, Silvia; Zimmermann, Dennis; Olshina, Maya A.; Wilkinson, Mark; Fisher, Fabio; Tan, Yan Hong; Stewart, Rebecca J.; Tonkin, Christopher J.; Wong, Wilson; Kovar, David R.; Baum, Jake

    2015-01-01

    Proteins of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family have been shown to be crucial for the motility and survival of apicomplexan parasites. However, the mechanisms by which ADF proteins fulfill their function remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the comparative activities of ADF proteins from Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, using a conditional T. gondii ADF-knockout line complemented with ADF variants from either species. We show that P. falciparum ADF1 can fully restore native TgADF activity, demonstrating functional conservation between parasites. Strikingly, mutation of a key basic residue (Lys-72), previously implicated in disassembly in PfADF1, had no detectable phenotypic effect on parasite growth, motility, or development. In contrast, organelle segregation was severely impaired when complementing with a TgADF mutant lacking the corresponding residue (Lys-68). Biochemical analyses of each ADF protein confirmed the reduced ability of lysine mutants to mediate actin depolymerization via filament disassembly although not severing, in contrast to previous reports. These data suggest that actin filament disassembly is essential for apicomplexan parasite development but not for motility, as well as pointing to genus-specific coevolution between ADF proteins and their native actin. PMID:26157165

  4. Disassembly activity of actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF) is associated with distinct cellular processes in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Haase, Silvia; Zimmermann, Dennis; Olshina, Maya A; Wilkinson, Mark; Fisher, Fabio; Tan, Yan Hong; Stewart, Rebecca J; Tonkin, Christopher J; Wong, Wilson; Kovar, David R; Baum, Jake

    2015-09-01

    Proteins of the actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin family have been shown to be crucial for the motility and survival of apicomplexan parasites. However, the mechanisms by which ADF proteins fulfill their function remain poorly understood. In this study, we investigate the comparative activities of ADF proteins from Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, the human malaria parasite, using a conditional T. gondii ADF-knockout line complemented with ADF variants from either species. We show that P. falciparum ADF1 can fully restore native TgADF activity, demonstrating functional conservation between parasites. Strikingly, mutation of a key basic residue (Lys-72), previously implicated in disassembly in PfADF1, had no detectable phenotypic effect on parasite growth, motility, or development. In contrast, organelle segregation was severely impaired when complementing with a TgADF mutant lacking the corresponding residue (Lys-68). Biochemical analyses of each ADF protein confirmed the reduced ability of lysine mutants to mediate actin depolymerization via filament disassembly although not severing, in contrast to previous reports. These data suggest that actin filament disassembly is essential for apicomplexan parasite development but not for motility, as well as pointing to genus-specific coevolution between ADF proteins and their native actin. PMID:26157165

  5. Prevalence of encysted apicomplexans in muscles of raptors.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, D S; Blagburn, B L

    1999-01-28

    An acid-pepsin digestion technique was used to examine portions of breast muscle and heart from raptors for encysted protozoans. Apicomplexan zoites were present in 52 (45.6%) of the 114 samples examined: 11 of 12 (91.7%) red-shouldered hawks (Buteo lineatus), 20 of 34 (58.8%) red-tailed hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), two of seven (28.6%) Cooper's hawks (Accipiter cooperi), three of four (75%) sharp-shinned hawks (Accipiter striatus), one (100%) Mississippi kites (Ictinia misisippiensis), one of two (50%) American kestrels (Falco sparverius), one bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), one of two (50%) golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos), one of three (33%) turkey vultures (Cathartes aura), two of three (66.7%) black vultures (Coragyps atratus), three of six (50%) great-horned owls (Bubo virginianus), five of 15 (33.3%) barred owls (Strix varia), and one of 12 (8.3%) screech owls (Asio otus). Encysted protozoans were not observed in digests of tissues from three broad-winged hawks (Buteo platypterus), four ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), and five barn owls (Tyto alba). Apicomplexan cysts resembling Sarcocystis species were observed in tissue sections of muscles from 28 (37.8%) of 74 raptors. PMID:9950339

  6. Factors mediating plastid dependency and the origins of parasitism in apicomplexans and their close relatives

    PubMed Central

    Janouškovec, Jan; Tikhonenkov, Denis V.; Burki, Fabien; Howe, Alexis T.; Kolísko, Martin; Mylnikov, Alexander P.; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexans are a major lineage of parasites, including causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis. How such highly adapted parasites evolved from free-living ancestors is poorly understood, particularly because they contain nonphotosynthetic plastids with which they have a complex metabolic dependency. Here, we examine the origin of apicomplexan parasitism by resolving the evolutionary distribution of several key characteristics in their closest free-living relatives, photosynthetic chromerids and predatory colpodellids. Using environmental sequence data, we describe the diversity of these apicomplexan-related lineages and select five species that represent this diversity for transcriptome sequencing. Phylogenomic analysis recovered a monophyletic lineage of chromerids and colpodellids as the sister group to apicomplexans, and a complex distribution of retention versus loss for photosynthesis, plastid genomes, and plastid organelles. Reconstructing the evolution of all plastid and cytosolic metabolic pathways related to apicomplexan plastid function revealed an ancient dependency on plastid isoprenoid biosynthesis, predating the divergence of apicomplexan and dinoflagellates. Similarly, plastid genome retention is strongly linked to the retention of two genes in the plastid genome, sufB and clpC, altogether suggesting a relatively simple model for plastid retention and loss. Lastly, we examine the broader distribution of a suite of molecular characteristics previously linked to the origins of apicomplexan parasitism and find that virtually all are present in their free-living relatives. The emergence of parasitism may not be driven by acquisition of novel components, but rather by loss and modification of the existing, conserved traits. PMID:25717057

  7. [How does the apicomplexan parasite Theileria control host cell identity?].

    PubMed

    Marsolier, Justine; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2014-01-01

    Infectious agents, like bacteria or virus, are responsible for a large number of pathologies in mammals. Microbes have developed mechanisms for interacting with host cell pathways and hijacking cellular machinery to change the phenotypic state. In this review, we focus on an interesting apicomplexan parasite called Theileria. Infection by the tick-transmitted T. annulata parasite causes Tropical Theileriosis in North Africa and Asia, and the related T. parva parasite causes East Coast Fever in Sub-Saharan Africa. This parasite is the only eukaryote known to induce the transformation of its mammalian host cells. Indeed, T. annulata and T. parva infect bovine leukocytes leading to transforming phenotypes, which partially mirror human lymphoma pathologies. Theileria infection causes hyperproliferation, invasiveness and escape from apoptosis, presumably through the manipulation of host cellular pathways. Several host-signaling mechanisms have been implicated. Here we describe the mechanisms involved in parasite-induced transformation phenotypes. PMID:25840458

  8. Towards a molecular understanding of the apicomplexan actin motor: on a road to novel targets for malaria remedies?

    PubMed Central

    Kumpula, Esa-Pekka; Kursula, Inari

    2015-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are the causative agents of notorious human and animal diseases that give rise to considerable human suffering and economic losses worldwide. The most prominent parasites of this phylum are the malaria-causing Plasmodium species, which are widespread in tropical and subtropical regions, and Toxoplasma gondii, which infects one third of the world’s population. These parasites share a common form of gliding motility which relies on an actin–myosin motor. The components of this motor and the actin-regulatory proteins in Apicomplexa have unique features compared with all other eukaryotes. This, together with the crucial roles of these proteins, makes them attractive targets for structure-based drug design. In recent years, several structures of glideosome components, in particular of actins and actin regulators from apicomplexan parasites, have been determined, which will hopefully soon allow the creation of a complete molecular picture of the parasite actin–myosin motor and its regulatory machinery. Here, current knowledge of the function of this motor is reviewed from a structural perspective. PMID:25945702

  9. A large-scale proteogenomics study of apicomplexan pathogens—Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Krishna, Ritesh; Xia, Dong; Sanderson, Sanya; Shanmugasundram, Achchuthan; Vermont, Sarah; Bernal, Axel; Daniel-Naguib, Gianluca; Ghali, Fawaz; Brunk, Brian P; Roos, David S; Wastling, Jonathan M; Jones, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    Proteomics data can supplement genome annotation efforts, for example being used to confirm gene models or correct gene annotation errors. Here, we present a large-scale proteogenomics study of two important apicomplexan pathogens: Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. We queried proteomics data against a panel of official and alternate gene models generated directly from RNASeq data, using several newly generated and some previously published MS datasets for this meta-analysis. We identified a total of 201 996 and 39 953 peptide-spectrum matches for T. gondii and N. caninum, respectively, at a 1% peptide FDR threshold. This equated to the identification of 30 494 distinct peptide sequences and 2921 proteins (matches to official gene models) for T. gondii, and 8911 peptides/1273 proteins for N. caninum following stringent protein-level thresholding. We have also identified 289 and 140 loci for T. gondii and N. caninum, respectively, which mapped to RNA-Seq-derived gene models used in our analysis and apparently absent from the official annotation (release 10 from EuPathDB) of these species. We present several examples in our study where the RNA-Seq evidence can help in correction of the current gene model and can help in discovery of potential new genes. The findings of this study have been integrated into the EuPathDB. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD000297and PXD000298. PMID:25867681

  10. Sterol Composition and Biosynthetic Genes of Vitrella brassicaformis, a Recently Discovered Chromerid: Comparison to Chromera velia and Phylogenetic Relationship with Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Khadka, Manoj; Salem, Mohamed; Leblond, Jeffrey D

    2015-01-01

    Vitrella brassicaformis is the second discovered species in the Chromerida, and first in the family Vitrellaceae. Chromera velia, the first discovered species, forms an independent photosynthetic lineage with V. brassicaformis, and both are closely related to peridinin-containing dinoflagellates and nonphotosynthetic apicomplexans; both also show phylogenetic closeness with red algal plastids. We have utilized gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify two free sterols, 24-ethylcholest-5-en-3β-ol, and a minor unknown sterol which appeared to be a C(28:4) compound. We have also used RNA Seq analysis to identify seven genes found in the nonmevalonate/methylerythritol pathway (MEP) for sterol biosynthesis. Subsequent genome analysis of V. brassicaformis showed the presence of two mevalonate (MVA) pathway genes, though the genes were not observed in the transcriptome analysis. Transcripts from four genes (dxr, ispf, ispd, and idi) were selected and translated into proteins to study the phylogenetic relationship of sterol biosynthesis in V. brassicaformis and C. velia to other groups of algae and apicomplexans. On the basis of our genomic and transcriptomic analyses, we hypothesize that the MEP pathway was the primary pathway that apicomplexans used for sterol biosynthesis before they lost their sterol biosynthesis ability, although contribution of the MVA pathway cannot be discounted. PMID:25996517

  11. Ubiquitous associations and a peak fall prevalence between apicomplexan symbionts and reef corals in Florida and the Bahamas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirk, N. L.; Thornhill, D. J.; Kemp, D. W.; Fitt, W. K.; Santos, S. R.

    2013-09-01

    Although apicomplexans are a widely recognized and important parasitic group, little is known about those associated with invertebrates, such as reef-building scleractinian corals. To resolve the potential impact of apicomplexans on coral health, it is first necessary to further describe this group of putative parasites and determine their prevalence among host species. Here, it was hypothesized that apicomplexan prevalence would vary seasonally, similar to what occurs in other marine apicomplexans as well as some coral symbionts. To test this, Caribbean scleractinian species Porites astreoides, Montastraea (= Orbicella) annularis, M. (= O.) faveolata, and Siderastrea siderea were sampled seasonally from two reefs each in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas for 9- and 5.5-year periods, respectively. Utilizing a PCR-based screening assay, apicomplexan DNA was detected from most Floridian (80.1 %: n = 555/693) and Bahamian (90.7 %: n = 311/343) coral tissue samples collected over these multi-year periods. Furthermore, apicomplexan DNA was detected from nearly all (98.7 %: n = 78/79) single polyps sampled at multiple locations within six M. faveolata colonies, indicating little to no intracolonial variation in the screening assay. Mixed-model logistic regression was utilized to determine the effects of season, host species, and reef on apicomplexan prevalence. The model identified a significant seasonal effect, with the highest apicomplexan prevalence occurring during fall. There also was a large effect of host species, with apicomplexan prevalence significantly lower among S. siderea colonies relative to the other species. While reef did not have a significant effect in the full model, there was a significant difference in apicomplexan prevalence between Floridian and Bahamian reefs for S. siderea, implying regional differences in this host species. Despite seasonal and species-specific differences in prevalence, apicomplexans are ubiquitous constituents of these

  12. Evidence for a Single Origin of the 35 kb Plastid DNA in Apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Denny, P; Preiser, P; Williamson, D; Wilson, I

    1998-02-01

    Gene organization on three selected parts of the 35-kb plastid DNA of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum was compared with that of two other apicomplexans, namely Toxoplasma gondii and Eimeria tenella. This comparison included the characteristic inverted ribosomal RNA repeat. A short segment of DNA from Theileria annulata also was included in a separate comparison. Criteria such as the presence or absence of particular genes, their map positions and their sequences, were used to assess whether the apicomplexan plastid DNAs originated from a single origin (a unitary hypothesis for the entire phylum), or whether disparate multiple events were more likely. The results provisionally favour a single origin although clearly this comparison of the apicomplexan plDNAs is still fragmentary. Contrary to the tendency towards homogeneity, evidence was found that the coccidian plastids may have evolved a suppressor mechanism for UGA stop codons. PMID:23196113

  13. Vitamin and co-factor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-01-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesise certain vitamins, de novo, either completely or in parts. The occurrence of the various biosynthesis pathways is specific to different apicomplexan parasites, emphasising their distinct requirements for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis from the human host implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways may be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the precise role of biosynthesis and potential uptake of vitamins for the overall regulation of vitamin homeostasis in the parasites needs to be established first. In this review Sylke Müller and Barbara Kappes focus mainly on the procurement of vitamin B1, B5 and B6 by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites. PMID:17276140

  14. Re-emergence of the apicomplexan theileria equi in the United States: Elimination of persistent infection and transmission risk

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arthropod-borne apicomplexan pathogens that cause asymptomatic persistent infections present a significant challenge due to their life-long transmission potential. Although anti-microbials have been used to ameliorate acute disease in animals and humans, chemotherapeutic efficacy for apicomplexan pa...

  15. Attenuation of virulence in an apicomplexan hemoparasite results in reduced genome diversity at the population level

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Virulence acquisition and loss is a dynamic adaptation of pathogens to thrive in changing milieus. We investigated the mechanisms of virulence loss at the whole genome level using Babesia bovis as a model apicomplexan in which genetically related attenuated parasites can be reliably derived from virulent parental strains in the natural host. We expected virulence loss to be accompanied by consistent changes at the gene level, and that such changes would be shared among attenuated parasites of diverse geographic and genetic background. Results Surprisingly, while single nucleotide polymorphisms in 14 genes distinguished all attenuated parasites from their virulent parental strains, all non-synonymous changes resulted in no deleterious amino acid modification that could consistently be associated with attenuation (or virulence) in this hemoparasite. Interestingly, however, attenuation significantly reduced the overall population's genome diversity with 81% of base pairs shared among attenuated strains, compared to only 60% of base pairs common among virulent parental parasites. There were significantly fewer genes that were unique to their geographical origins among the attenuated parasites, resulting in a simplified population structure among the attenuated strains. Conclusions This simplified structure includes reduced diversity of the variant erythrocyte surface 1 (ves) multigene family repertoire among attenuated parasites when compared to virulent parental strains, possibly suggesting that overall variance in large protein families such as Variant Erythrocyte Surface Antigens has a critical role in expression of the virulence phenotype. In addition, the results suggest that virulence (or attenuation) mechanisms may not be shared among all populations of parasites at the gene level, but instead may reflect expansion or contraction of the population structure in response to shifting milieus. PMID:21838895

  16. A host GPCR signaling network required for the cytolysis of infected cells facilitates release of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Millholland, Melanie G; Mishra, Satish; Dupont, Christopher D; Love, Melissa S; Patel, Bhumit; Shilling, Dustin; Kazanietz, Marcelo G; Foskett, J Kevin; Hunter, Christopher A; Sinnis, Photini; Greenbaum, Doron C

    2013-01-16

    Following intracellular replication, the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii cause host cell cytolysis to facilitate parasite release and disease progression. Parasite exit from infected cells requires the interplay of parasite-derived proteins and host actin cytoskeletal changes; however, the host proteins underlying these changes remain obscure. We report the identification of a Gα(q)-coupled host-signaling cascade required for the egress of both P. falciparum and T. gondii. Gα(q)-coupled signaling results in protein kinase C (PKC)-mediated loss of the host cytoskeletal protein adducin and weakening of the cellular cytoskeleton. This cytoskeletal compromise induces catastrophic Ca(2+) influx mediated by the mechanosensitive cation channel TRPC6, which activates host calpain that proteolyzes the host cytoskeleton allowing parasite release. Reinforcing the feasibility of targeting host proteins as an antiparasitic strategy, mammalian PKC inhibitors demonstrated activity in murine models of malaria and toxoplasmosis. Importantly, an orally bioavailable PKC inhibitor prolonged survival in an experimental cerebral malaria model. PMID:23332153

  17. Genome Sequence of Babesia bovis and Camparative Analysis of Apicomplexan Hemoprotozoa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Babesia bovis is an apicomplexan tick-transmitted pathogen of cattle imposing a global risk and severe constraints to livestock health and economic development. The complete genome sequence was undertaken to facilitate vaccine antigen discovery, and to allow for comparative analysis with the related...

  18. Cryptic organelle homology in Apicomplexan parasites: Insights from evolutionary cell biology

    PubMed Central

    Klinger, Christen M.; Nisbet, R. Ellen; Ouologuem, Dinkorma T.; Roos, David S.; Dacks, Joel B.

    2013-01-01

    The economic and clinical significance of apicomplexan parasites drives interest in their many evolutionary novelties. Distinctive intracellular organelles play key roles in parasite motility, invasion, metabolism, and replication, and understanding their relationship with the organelles of better-studied eukaryotic systems suggests potential targets for therapeutic intervention. Recent work has demonstrated divergent aspects of canonical eukaryotic components in the apicomplexa, including Golgi bodies and mitochondria. The apicoplast is a relict plastid of secondary endosymbiotic origin, harboring metabolic pathways distinct from those of host species. The inner membrane complex is derived from the cortical alveoli defining the superphylum Alveolata, but in apicomplexans functions in parasite motility and replication. Micronemes and rhoptries are associated with establishment of the intracellular niche, and define the apical complex for which the phylum is named. Morphological, cell biological and molecular evidence strongly suggest that these organelles are derived from the endocytic pathway. PMID:23932202

  19. Is an Apicomplexan Parasite Responsible for the Collapse of the Iceland Scallop (Chlamys islandica) Stock?

    PubMed Central

    Kristmundsson, Árni; Erlingsdóttir, Ásthildur; Freeman, Mark A.

    2015-01-01

    Due to the total and unexpected collapse of the Iceland scallop, Chlamys islandica, stocks around Iceland during the 2000s, a commercial fishing ban has been imposed on this valuable resource since 2003. Following the initial identification of an apicomplexan parasite in the scallops, a long-term surveillance program was established to evaluate the effect of the parasite on the population. The infections were highly prevalent in all shell sizes throughout the study. However, the parasite only impacts mature scallops where they cause severe macroscopic changes, characterized by an extensively diminished and abnormally coloured adductor muscle. A highly significant relationship was observed between infection intensity and gonad and adductor muscle indices. The first four years of the study, were characterized by high infection intensity and very poor condition of the adductor muscle and gonads, whilst during subsequent years, infections gradually decreased and the condition of the scallops improved. Histopathological changes were restricted to the presence of apicomplexan zoites which were widely distributed, causing varying degrees of pathology in all organs. In heavy infections, muscular and connective tissues were totally necrotized, destroying significant parts of numerous organs, especially the adductor muscle, digestive gland and gonads. The progression of the disease was in good synchrony with the mortality rates and the subsequent decline observed in the scallop stock and recruitment indices. Our findings strongly suggest that the apicomplexan parasite played a major role in the collapse of the Iceland scallop stock in Breidafjordur. In addition to causing mortality, the infections significantly impact gonad development which contributes further to the collapse of the stock in the form of lower larval recruitment. Furthermore, compelling evidence exists that this apicomplexan pathogen is causing serious disease outbreaks in other scallop populations. Similar

  20. Two recently sequenced vertebrate genomes are contaminated with apicomplexan species of the Sarcocystidae family.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2015-11-01

    This paper highlights a general problem, namely that host genome sequences can easily be contaminated with parasite sequences, thus careful isolation of genetic material and careful bioinformatics analysis are needed in all cases. Two recently published genomes are shown here to be contaminated with sequences of apicomplexan parasites which belong to the Sarcocystidae family. Sequences of the characteristic apicomplexan organelle, the apicoplast, were used as queries in BLASTN searches against nucleotide sequences of various animal groups looking for possible contamination. Draft genomes of a bird, Colinus virginianus (Halley et al., 2014), and a bat, Myotis davidii (Zhang et al., 2013) were found to contain at least six and 17 contigs, respectively, originating from the apicoplast of an apicomplexan species, and other genes specific to this phylum can also be found in the published genomes. Obviously, the sources of the genetic material, the muscle and the kidney of the animals, respectively, contained the parasitic cysts. Phylogenetic analyses using 18S rRNA and internal transcribed spacer 1 genes show that the parasite contaminating C. virginianus is a species of Sarcocystis related to ones known to cycle between avian and mammalian hosts. In the case of M. davidii it belongs to the Nephroisospora genus, the only member of which, Nephroisospora eptesici, has been recently identified from the kidney of big brown bats (Eptesicus fuscus). PMID:26264549

  1. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMA-RON2 pair.

    PubMed

    Parker, Michelle L; Penarete-Vargas, Diana M; Hamilton, Phineas T; Guérin, Amandine; Dubey, Jitender P; Perlman, Steve J; Spano, Furio; Lebrun, Maryse; Boulanger, Martin J

    2016-01-12

    Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are widely studied parasites in phylum Apicomplexa and the etiological agents of severe human malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These intracellular pathogens have evolved a sophisticated invasion strategy that relies on delivery of proteins into the host cell, where parasite-derived rhoptry neck protein 2 (RON2) family members localize to the host outer membrane and serve as ligands for apical membrane antigen (AMA) family surface proteins displayed on the parasite. Recently, we showed that T. gondii harbors a novel AMA designated as TgAMA4 that shows extreme sequence divergence from all characterized AMA family members. Here we show that sporozoite-expressed TgAMA4 clusters in a distinct phylogenetic clade with Plasmodium merozoite apical erythrocyte-binding ligand (MAEBL) proteins and forms a high-affinity, functional complex with its coevolved partner, TgRON2L1. High-resolution crystal structures of TgAMA4 in the apo and TgRON2L1-bound forms complemented with alanine scanning mutagenesis data reveal an unexpected architecture and assembly mechanism relative to previously characterized AMA-RON2 complexes. Principally, TgAMA4 lacks both a deep surface groove and a key surface loop that have been established to govern RON2 ligand binding selectivity in other AMAs. Our study reveals a previously underappreciated level of molecular diversity at the parasite-host-cell interface and offers intriguing insight into the adaptation strategies underlying sporozoite invasion. Moreover, our data offer the potential for improved design of neutralizing therapeutics targeting a broad range of AMA-RON2 pairs and apicomplexan invasive stages. PMID:26712012

  2. The conserved apicomplexan Aurora kinase TgArk3 is involved in endodyogeny, duplication rate and parasite virulence.

    PubMed

    Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Reininger, Luc; Carvalho, Teresa G; El Hajj, Hiba; Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Bordat, Yann; Lebrun, Maryse; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Doerig, Christian; Daher, Wassim

    2016-08-01

    Aurora kinases are eukaryotic serine/threonine protein kinases that regulate key events associated with chromatin condensation, centrosome and spindle function and cytokinesis. Elucidating the roles of Aurora kinases in apicomplexan parasites is crucial to understand the cell cycle control during Plasmodium schizogony or Toxoplasma endodyogeny. Here, we report on the localization of two previously uncharacterized Toxoplasma Aurora-related kinases (Ark2 and Ark3) in tachyzoites and of the uncharacterized Ark3 orthologue in Plasmodium falciparum erythrocytic stages. In Toxoplasma gondii, we show that TgArk2 and TgArk3 concentrate at specific sub-cellular structures linked to parasite division: the mitotic spindle and intranuclear mitotic structures (TgArk2), and the outer core of the centrosome and the budding daughter cells cytoskeleton (TgArk3). By tagging the endogenous PfArk3 gene with the green fluorescent protein in live parasites, we show that PfArk3 protein expression peaks late in schizogony and localizes at the periphery of budding schizonts. Disruption of the TgArk2 gene reveals no essential function for tachyzoite propagation in vitro, which is surprising giving that the P. falciparum and P. berghei orthologues are essential for erythrocyte schizogony. In contrast, knock-down of TgArk3 protein results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency. TgArk3-depleted parasites display several defects, such as reduced parasite growth rate, delayed egress and parasite duplication, defect in rosette formation, reduced parasite size and invasion efficiency and lack of virulence in mice. Our study provides new insights into cell cycle control in Toxoplasma and malaria parasites and highlights Aurora kinase 3 as potential drug target. PMID:26833682

  3. Galactose Recognition by the Apicomplexan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii*

    PubMed Central

    Marchant, Jan; Cowper, Ben; Liu, Yan; Lai, Livia; Pinzan, Camila; Marq, Jean Baptiste; Friedrich, Nikolas; Sawmynaden, Kovilen; Liew, Lloyd; Chai, Wengang; Childs, Robert A.; Saouros, Savvas; Simpson, Peter; Roque Barreira, Maria Cristina; Feizi, Ten; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; Matthews, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Toxosplasma gondii is the model parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, which contains numerous obligate intracellular parasites of medical and veterinary importance, including Eimeria, Sarcocystis, Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora, and Plasmodium species. Members of this phylum actively enter host cells by a multistep process with the help of microneme protein (MIC) complexes that play important roles in motility, host cell attachment, moving junction formation, and invasion. T. gondii (Tg)MIC1-4-6 complex is the most extensively investigated microneme complex, which contributes to host cell recognition and attachment via the action of TgMIC1, a sialic acid-binding adhesin. Here, we report the structure of TgMIC4 and reveal its carbohydrate-binding specificity to a variety of galactose-containing carbohydrate ligands. The lectin is composed of six apple domains in which the fifth domain displays a potent galactose-binding activity, and which is cleaved from the complex during parasite invasion. We propose that galactose recognition by TgMIC4 may compromise host protection from galectin-mediated activation of the host immune system. PMID:22399295

  4. Metabolic pathway redundancy within the apicomplexan-dinoflagellate radiation argues against an ancient chromalveolate plastid.

    PubMed

    Waller, Ross F; Gornik, Sebastian G; Koreny, Ludek; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    The chromalveolate hypothesis presents an attractively simple explanation for the presence of red algal-derived secondary plastids in 5 major eukaryotic lineages: "chromista" phyla, cryptophytes, haptophytes and ochrophytes; and alveolate phyla, dinoflagellates and apicomplexans. It posits that a single secondary endosymbiotic event occurred in a common ancestor of these diverse groups, and that this ancient plastid has since been maintained by vertical inheritance only. Substantial testing of this hypothesis by molecular phylogenies has, however, consistently failed to provide support for the predicted monophyly of the host organisms that harbour these plastids-the "chromalveolates." This lack of support does not disprove the chromalveolate hypothesis per se, but rather drives the proposed endosymbiosis deeper into the eukaryotic tree, and requires multiple plastid losses to have occurred within intervening aplastidic lineages. An alternative perspective on plastid evolution is offered by considering the metabolic partnership between the endosymbiont and its host cell. A recent analysis of metabolic pathways in a deep-branching dinoflagellate indicates a high level of pathway redundancy in the common ancestor of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates, and differential losses of these pathways soon after radiation of the major extant lineages. This suggests that vertical inheritance of an ancient plastid in alveolates is highly unlikely as it would necessitate maintenance of redundant pathways over very long evolutionary timescales. PMID:27066182

  5. Sphingolipid synthesis and scavenging in the intracellular apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Pratt, Steven; Wansadhipathi-Kannangara, Nilu K.; Bruce, Catherine R.; Mina, John G.; Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Casas, Josefina; Hanada, Kentaro; Schwarz, Ralph T.; Sonda, Sabrina; Denny, Paul W.

    2013-01-01

    Sphingolipids are essential components of eukaryotic cell membranes, particularly the plasma membrane, and are involved in a diverse array of signal transduction pathways. Mammals produce sphingomyelin (SM) as the primary complex sphingolipid via the well characterised SM synthase. In contrast yeast, plants and some protozoa utilise an evolutionarily related inositol phosphorylceramide (IPC) synthase to synthesise IPC. This activity has no mammalian equivalent and IPC synthase has been proposed as a target for anti-fungals and anti-protozoals. However, detailed knowledge of the sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway of the apicomplexan protozoan parasites was lacking. In this study bioinformatic analyses indicated a single copy orthologue of the putative SM synthase from the apicomplexan Plasmodium falciparum (the causative agent of malaria) was a bona fide sphingolipid synthase in the related model parasite, Toxoplasma gondii (TgSLS). Subsequently, TgSLS was indicated, by complementation of a mutant cell line, to be a functional orthologue of the yeast IPC synthase (AUR1p), demonstrating resistance to the well characterised AUR1p inhibitor aureobasidin A. In vitro, recombinant TgSLS exhibited IPC synthase activity and, for the first time, the presence of IPC was demonstrated in T. gondii lipid extracts by mass spectrometry. Furthermore, host sphingolipid biosynthesis was indicated to influence, but be non-essential for, T. gondii proliferation, suggesting that whilst scavenging does take place de novo sphingolipid synthesis may be important for parasitism. PMID:23246819

  6. Hepatozoon ellisgreineri n. sp. (Hepatozoidae): description of the first avian apicomplexan blood parasite inhabiting granulocytes.

    PubMed

    Valkiūnas, Gediminas; Mobley, Kristin; Iezhova, Tatjana A

    2016-02-01

    Blood parasites of the genus Hepatozoon (Apicomplexa, Hepatozoidae) infect all groups of terrestrial vertebrates, and particularly high prevalence and species diversity have been reported in reptiles and mammals. A few morphologically similar species, in which gamonts inhabit mononuclear leukocytes and red blood cells, have been described in birds. Here, we report a new Hepatozoon species, which was found in wild-caught secretary birds Sagittarius serpentarius, from Tanzania. Hepatozoon ellisgreineri n. sp. can be readily distinguished from all described species of avian Hepatozoon because its gamonts develop only in granulocytes, predominantly in heterophils, a unique characteristic among bird parasites of this genus. Additionally, this is the first reported avian apicomplexan blood parasite, which inhabits and matures in granulocytes. We describe H. ellisgreineri based on morphological characteristics of blood stages and their host cells. This finding broadens knowledge about host cells of avian Hepatozoon spp. and other avian apicomplexan blood parasites, contributing to the better understanding of the diversity of haematozoa. This is the first report of hepatozoonosis in endangered African birds of the Sagittariidae. PMID:26472715

  7. Metabolic pathway redundancy within the apicomplexan-dinoflagellate radiation argues against an ancient chromalveolate plastid

    PubMed Central

    Waller, Ross F.; Gornik, Sebastian G.; Koreny, Ludek; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The chromalveolate hypothesis presents an attractively simple explanation for the presence of red algal-derived secondary plastids in 5 major eukaryotic lineages: “chromista” phyla, cryptophytes, haptophytes and ochrophytes; and alveolate phyla, dinoflagellates and apicomplexans. It posits that a single secondary endosymbiotic event occurred in a common ancestor of these diverse groups, and that this ancient plastid has since been maintained by vertical inheritance only. Substantial testing of this hypothesis by molecular phylogenies has, however, consistently failed to provide support for the predicted monophyly of the host organisms that harbour these plastids—the “chromalveolates.” This lack of support does not disprove the chromalveolate hypothesis per se, but rather drives the proposed endosymbiosis deeper into the eukaryotic tree, and requires multiple plastid losses to have occurred within intervening aplastidic lineages. An alternative perspective on plastid evolution is offered by considering the metabolic partnership between the endosymbiont and its host cell. A recent analysis of metabolic pathways in a deep-branching dinoflagellate indicates a high level of pathway redundancy in the common ancestor of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates, and differential losses of these pathways soon after radiation of the major extant lineages. This suggests that vertical inheritance of an ancient plastid in alveolates is highly unlikely as it would necessitate maintenance of redundant pathways over very long evolutionary timescales. PMID:27066182

  8. A Unique Hexokinase in Cryptosporidium parvum, an Apicomplexan Pathogen Lacking the Krebs Cycle and Oxidative Phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Yonglan; Zhang, Haili; Guo, Fengguang; Sun, Mingfei; Zhu, Guan

    2014-01-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum may cause virtually untreatable infections in AIDS patients, and is recently identified as one of the top four diarrheal pathogens in children in developing countries. Cryptosporidium differs from other apicomplexans (e.g., Plasmodium and Toxoplasma) by lacking many metabolic pathways including the Krebs cycle and cytochrome-based respiratory chain, thus relying mainly on glycolysis for ATP production. Here we report the molecular and biochemical characterizations of a hexokinase in C. parvum (CpHK). Our phylogenetic reconstructions indicated that apicomplexan hexokinases including CpHK were highly divergent from those of humans and animals (i.e., at the base of the eukaryotic clade). CpHK displays unique kinetic features that differ from those in mammals and Toxoplasma gondii (TgHK) in the preference towards various hexoses and its capacity to use ATP and other NTPs. CpHK also displays substrate inhibition by ATP. Moreover, 2-deoxy-D-glucose (2DG) could not only inhibit the CpHK activity, but also the parasite growth in vitro at concentrations nontoxic to host cells (IC50 = 0.54 mM). While the exact action of 2-deoxy-D-glucose on the parasite is subject to further verification, our data suggest that CpHK and the glycolytic pathway may be explored for developing anti-cryptosporidial therapeutics. PMID:25216472

  9. MicroRNAs in the Host-Apicomplexan Parasites Interactions: A Review of Immunopathological Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Judice, Carla C.; Bourgard, Catarina; Kayano, Ana C. A. V.; Albrecht, Letusa; Costa, Fabio T. M.

    2016-01-01

    MicroRNAs (miRNAs), a class of small non-coding regulatory RNAs, have been detected in a variety of organisms ranging from ancient unicellular eukaryotes to mammals. They have been associated with numerous molecular mechanisms involving developmental, physiological and pathological changes of cells and tissues. Despite the fact that miRNA-silencing mechanisms appear to be absent in some Apicomplexan species, an increasing number of studies have reported a role for miRNAs in host-parasite interactions. Host miRNA expression can change following parasite infection and the consequences can lead, for instance, to parasite clearance. In this context, the immune system signaling appears to have a crucial role. PMID:26870701

  10. Sequencing of the smallest Apicomplexan genome from the human pathogen Babesia microti†

    PubMed Central

    Cornillot, Emmanuel; Hadj-Kaddour, Kamel; Dassouli, Amina; Noel, Benjamin; Ranwez, Vincent; Vacherie, Benoît; Augagneur, Yoann; Brès, Virginie; Duclos, Aurelie; Randazzo, Sylvie; Carcy, Bernard; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Delbecq, Stéphane; Moubri-Ménage, Karina; Shams-Eldin, Hosam; Usmani-Brown, Sahar; Bringaud, Frédéric; Wincker, Patrick; Vivarès, Christian P.; Schwarz, Ralph T.; Schetters, Theo P.; Krause, Peter J.; Gorenflot, André; Berry, Vincent; Barbe, Valérie; Ben Mamoun, Choukri

    2012-01-01

    We have sequenced the genome of the emerging human pathogen Babesia microti and compared it with that of other protozoa. B. microti has the smallest nuclear genome among all Apicomplexan parasites sequenced to date with three chromosomes encoding ∼3500 polypeptides, several of which are species specific. Genome-wide phylogenetic analyses indicate that B. microti is significantly distant from all species of Babesidae and Theileridae and defines a new clade in the phylum Apicomplexa. Furthermore, unlike all other Apicomplexa, its mitochondrial genome is circular. Genome-scale reconstruction of functional networks revealed that B. microti has the minimal metabolic requirement for intraerythrocytic protozoan parasitism. B. microti multigene families differ from those of other protozoa in both the copy number and organization. Two lateral transfer events with significant metabolic implications occurred during the evolution of this parasite. The genomic sequencing of B. microti identified several targets suitable for the development of diagnostic assays and novel therapies for human babesiosis. PMID:22833609

  11. Lipid Synthesis in Protozoan Parasites: a Comparison Between Kinetoplastids and Apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    Ramakrishnan, Srinivasan; Serricchio, Mauro; Striepen, Boris; Bütikofer, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Lipid metabolism is of crucial importance for pathogens. Lipids serve as cellular building blocks, signalling molecules, energy stores, posttranslational modifiers, and pathogenesis factors. Parasites rely on a complex system of uptake and synthesis mechanisms to satisfy their lipid needs. The parameters of this system change dramatically as the parasite transits through the various stages of its life cycle. Here we discuss the tremendous recent advances that have been made in the understanding of the synthesis and uptake pathways for fatty acids and phospholipids in apicomplexan and kinetoplastid parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Trypanosoma and Leishmania. Lipid synthesis differs in significant ways between parasites from both phyla and the human host. Parasites have acquired novel pathways through endosymbiosis, as in the case of the apicoplast, have dramatically reshaped substrate and product profiles, and have evolved specialized lipids to interact with or manipulate the host. These differences potentially provide opportunities for drug development. We outline the lipid pathways for key species in detail as they progress through the developmental cycle and highlight those that are of particular importance to the biology of the pathogens and/or are the most promising targets for parasite-specific treatment. PMID:23827884

  12. Re-Emergence of the Apicomplexan Theileria equi in the United States: Elimination of Persistent Infection and Transmission Risk

    PubMed Central

    Ueti, Massaro W.; Mealey, Robert H.; Kappmeyer, Lowell S.; White, Stephen N.; Kumpula-McWhirter, Nancy; Pelzel, Angela M.; Grause, Juanita F.; Bunn, Thomas O.; Schwartz, Andy; Traub-Dargatz, Josie L.; Hendrickson, Amy; Espy, Benjamin; Guthrie, Alan J.; Fowler, W. Kent; Knowles, Donald P.

    2012-01-01

    Arthropod-borne apicomplexan pathogens that cause asymptomatic persistent infections present a significant challenge due to their life-long transmission potential. Although anti-microbials have been used to ameliorate acute disease in animals and humans, chemotherapeutic efficacy for apicomplexan pathogen elimination from a persistently infected host and removal of transmission risk is largely unconfirmed. The recent re-emergence of the apicomplexan Theileria equi in U.S. horses prompted testing whether imidocarb dipropionate was able to eliminate T. equi from naturally infected horses and remove transmission risk. Following imidocarb treatment, levels of T. equi declined from a mean of 104.9 organisms/ml of blood to undetectable by nested PCR in 24 of 25 naturally infected horses. Further, blood transfer from treated horses that became nested PCR negative failed to transmit to naïve splenectomized horses. Although these results were consistent with elimination of infection in 24 of 25 horses, T. equi-specific antibodies persisted in the majority of imidocarb treated horses. Imidocarb treatment was unsuccessful in one horse which remained infected as measured by nested PCR and retained the ability to infect a naïve recipient via intravenous blood transfer. However, a second round of treatment eliminated T. equi infection. These results support the utility of imidocarb chemotherapy for assistance in the control and eradication of this tick-borne pathogen. Successful imidocarb dipropionate treatment of persistently infected horses provides a tool to aid the global equine industry by removing transmission risk associated with infection and facilitating international movement of equids between endemic and non-endemic regions. PMID:22970295

  13. Improving the gene structure annotation of the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum fulfils a vital requirement towards an in silico-derived vaccine.

    PubMed

    Goodswen, Stephen J; Barratt, Joel L N; Kennedy, Paul J; Ellis, John T

    2015-04-01

    Neospora caninum is an apicomplexan parasite which can cause abortion in cattle, instigating major economic burden. Vaccination has been proposed as the most cost-effective control measure to alleviate this burden. Consequently the overriding aspiration for N. caninum research is the identification and subsequent evaluation of vaccine candidates in animal models. To save time, cost and effort, it is now feasible to use an in silico approach for vaccine candidate prediction. Precise protein sequences, derived from the correct open reading frame, are paramount and arguably the most important factor determining the success or failure of this approach. The challenge is that publicly available N. caninum sequences are mostly derived from gene predictions. Annotated inaccuracies can lead to erroneously predicted vaccine candidates by bioinformatics programs. This study evaluates the current N. caninum annotation for potential inaccuracies. Comparisons with annotation from a closely related pathogen, Toxoplasma gondii, are also made to distinguish patterns of inconsistency. More importantly, a mRNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) experiment is used to validate the annotation. Potential discrepancies originating from a questionable start codon context and exon boundaries were identified in 1943 protein coding sequences. We conclude, where experimental data were available, that the majority of N. caninum gene sequences were reliably predicted. Nevertheless, almost 28% of genes were identified as questionable. Given the limitations of RNA-Seq, the intention of this study was not to replace the existing annotation but to support or oppose particular aspects of it. Ideally, many studies aimed at improving the annotation are required to build a consensus. We believe this study, in providing a new resource on gene structure and annotation, is a worthy contributor to this endeavour. PMID:25747726

  14. Alternative splicing mechanisms orchestrating post-transcriptional gene expression: intron retention and the intron-rich genome of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Lunghi, Matteo; Spano, Furio; Magini, Alessandro; Emiliani, Carla; Carruthers, Vern B; Di Cristina, Manlio

    2016-02-01

    Apicomplexan parasites including Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium species have complex life cycles that include multiple hosts and differentiation through several morphologically distinct stages requiring marked changes in gene expression. This review highlights emerging evidence implicating regulation of mRNA splicing as a mechanism to prime these parasites for rapid gene expression upon differentiation. We summarize the most important insights in alternative splicing including its role in regulating gene expression by decreasing mRNA abundance via 'Regulated Unproductive Splicing and Translation'. As a related but less well-understood mechanism, we discuss also our recent work suggesting a role for intron retention for precluding translation of stage specific isoforms of T. gondii glycolytic enzymes. We additionally provide new evidence that intron retention might be a widespread mechanism during parasite differentiation. Supporting this notion, recent genome-wide analysis of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium suggests intron retention is more pervasive than heretofore thought. These findings parallel recent emergence of intron retention being more prevalent in mammals than previously believed, thereby adding to the established roles in plants, fungi and unicellular eukaryotes. Deeper mechanistic studies of intron retention will provide important insight into its role in regulating gene expression in apicomplexan parasites and more general in eukaryotic organisms. PMID:26194054

  15. DB-AT: a 2015 update to the Full-parasites database brings a multitude of new transcriptomic data for apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Jąkalski, Marcin; Wakaguri, Hiroyuki; Kischka, Tabea G.; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi; Kawazu, Shin-ichiro; Matsubayashi, Makoto; Kawahara, Fumiya; Tsuji, Naotoshi; Cao, Shinuo; Sunaga, Fujiko; Xuan, Xuenan; Okubo, Kazuhiro; Igarashi, Ikuo; Tuda, Josef; Mongan, Arthur E.; Eshita, Yuki; Maeda, Ryuichiro; Makałowski, Wojciech; Suzuki, Yutaka; Yamagishi, Junya

    2015-01-01

    The previous release of our Full-parasites database (http://fullmal.hgc.jp/) brought enhanced functionality, an expanded full-length cDNA content, and new RNA-Seq datasets from several important apicomplexan parasites. The 2015 update witnesses the major shift in the databases content with focus on diverse transcriptomes of the apicomplexan parasites. The content of the database was substantially enriched with transcriptome information for new apicomplexan parasites. The latest version covers a total of 17 species, with addition of our newly generated RNA-Seq data of a total of 909 150 388 tags. Moreover, we have generated and included two novel and unique datasets, which represent diverse nature of transcriptomes in individual parasites in vivo and in vitro. One is the data collected from 116 Indonesian patients infected with Plasmodium falciparum. The other is a series of transcriptome data collected from a total of 38 single cells of P. falciparum cultured in vitro. We believe that with the recent advances our database becomes an even better resource and a unique platform in the analysis of apicomplexan parasites and their interaction with their hosts. To adequately reflect the recent modifications and the current content we have changed the database name to DB-AT—DataBase of Apicomplexa Transcriptomes. PMID:25414358

  16. Evidence of tRNA cleavage in apicomplexan parasites: half-tRNAs as new potential regulatory molecules of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium berghei

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Several lines of evidence demonstrated that organisms ranging from bacteria to higher animals possess a regulated endonucleolytic cleavage pathway producing half-tRNA fragments. In the present study, we investigated the occurrence of this phenomenon in two distantly related apicomplexan parasites, T...

  17. Purine salvage in the apicomplexan Sarcocystis neurona, and generation of hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase-deficient clones for positive-negative selection of transgenic parasites.

    PubMed

    Dangoudoubiyam, Sriveny; Zhang, Zijing; Howe, Daniel K

    2014-09-01

    Sarcocystis neurona is an apicomplexan parasite that causes severe neurological disease in horses and marine mammals. The Apicomplexa are all obligate intracellular parasites that lack purine biosynthesis pathways and rely on the host cell for their purine requirements. Hypoxanthine-xanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HXGPRT) and adenosine kinase (AK) are key enzymes that function in two complementary purine salvage pathways in apicomplexans. Bioinformatic searches of the S. neurona genome revealed genes encoding HXGPRT, AK and all of the major purine salvage enzymes except purine nucleoside phosphorylase. Wild-type S. neurona were able to grow in the presence of mycophenolic acid (MPA) but were inhibited by 6-thioxanthine (6-TX), suggesting that the pathways involving either HXGPRT or AK are functional in this parasite. Prior work with Toxoplasma gondii demonstrated the utility of HXGPRT as a positive-negative selection marker. To enable the use of HXGPRT in S. neurona, the SnHXGPRT gene sequence was determined and a gene-targeting plasmid was transfected into S. neurona. SnHXGPRT-deficient mutants were selected with 6-TX, and single-cell clones were obtained. These Sn∆HXG parasites were susceptible to MPA and could be complemented using the heterologous T. gondii HXGPRT gene. In summary, S. neurona possesses both purine salvage pathways described in apicomplexans, thus allowing the use of HXGPRT as a positive-negative drug selection marker in this parasite. PMID:24923662

  18. Dissecting the interface between apicomplexan parasite and host cell: Insights from a divergent AMARON2 pair

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii are widely studied parasites in phylum Apicomplexa and the etiological agents of severe human malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These intracellular pathogens have evolved a sophisticated invasion strategy that relies on delivery of proteins into the...

  19. Characterization and localization of an Eimeria-specific protein in Eimeria maxima

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A recently completed analysis of Eimeria maxima transcriptome indentified a gene with homology to sequences expressed by E. tenella and E. acervulina but lacking homology with other organisms including other apicomplexans. This gene designated ESP codes for a protein with predicted molecular weight...

  20. Mechanisms underlying the evolution and maintenance of functionally heterogeneous 18S rRNA genes in Apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Rooney, Alejandro P

    2004-09-01

    In many species of the protist phylum Apicomplexa, ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene copies are structurally and functionally heterogeneous, owing to distinct requirements for rRNA-expression patterns at different developmental stages. The genomic mechanisms underlying the maintenance of this system over long-term evolutionary history are unclear. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate what processes underlie the long-term evolution of apicomplexan 18S genes in representative species. The results show that these genes evolve according to a birth-and-death model under strong purifying selection, thereby explaining how divergent 18S genes are generated over time while continuing to maintain their ability to produce fully functional rRNAs. In addition, it was found that Cryptosporidium parvum undergoes a rapid form of birth-and-death evolution that may facilitate host-specific adaptation, including that of type I and II strains found in humans. This represents the first case in which an rRNA gene family has been found to evolve under the birth-and-death model. PMID:15175411

  1. Multiple functionally redundant signals mediate targeting to the apicoplast in the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Harb, Omar S; Chatterjee, Bithi; Fraunholz, Martin J; Crawford, Michael J; Nishi, Manami; Roos, David S

    2004-06-01

    Most species of the protozoan phylum Apicomplexa harbor an endosymbiotic organelle--the apicoplast--acquired when an ancestral parasite engulfed a eukaryotic plastid-containing alga. Several hundred proteins are encoded in the parasite nucleus and are posttranslationally targeted to the apicoplast by a distinctive bipartite signal. The N-terminal 20 to 30 amino acids of nucleus-encoded apicoplast targeted proteins function as a classical signal sequence, mediating entry into the secretory pathway. Cleavage of the signal sequence exposes a transit peptide of variable length (50 to 200 amino acids) that is required for directing proteins to the apicoplast. Although these peptides are enriched in basic amino acids, their structural and functional characteristics are not well understood, which hampers the identification of apicoplast proteins that may constitute novel chemotherapeutic targets. To identify functional domains for a model apicoplast transit peptide, we generated more than 80 deletions and mutations throughout the transit peptide of Toxoplasma gondii ferredoxin NADP+ reductase (TgFNR) and examined the ability of these altered transit peptides to mediate proper targeting and processing of a fluorescent protein reporter. These studies revealed the presence of numerous functional domains. Processing can take place at multiple sites in the protein sequence and may occur outside of the apicoplast lumen. The TgFNR transit peptide contains at least two independent and functionally redundant targeting signals, each of which contains a subdomain that is required for release from or proper sorting within the endoplasmic reticulum. Certain deletion constructs traffic to multiple locations, including the apicoplast periphery, the rhoptries, and the parasitophorous vacuole, suggesting a common thread for targeting to these specialized compartments. PMID:15189987

  2. Characterisation of a Babesia orientalis apical membrane antigen, and comparison of its orthologues among selected apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    He, Lan; Fan, Lizhe; Hu, Jinfang; Miao, Xiaoyan; Huang, Yuan; Zhou, Yanqin; Hu, Min; Zhao, Junlong

    2015-04-01

    In the present study, we identified and characterised the complete coding sequence of Babesia orientalis apical membrane antigen 1 (designated Bo-ama1); it is 1803bp in length and encodes a polypeptide of 601 amino acids (aa). The Bo-ama-1 gene product (Bo-AMA1) is predicted to be 67kDa in size and contains a signal peptide. Mature Bo-AMA1 is predicted to have one transmembrane region and a short cytoplasmic tail (C-terminal domain). The extracellular part of Bo-AMA1 has three functional domains (DI, DII and DIII) with 14 conserved cysteine residues. A Bo-AMA1 fragment containing all three of these domains (designated Bo-AMA1-DI/II/III) was cloned into the plasmid vector pET-28a and expressed as a recombinant (His-fusion) protein of 53kDa. Antibodies in the serum from a B. orientalis-infected water buffalo specifically recognised this protein in immunoblotting analysis. Rabbit antibodies raised against the recombinant protein were able to detect native Bo-AMA1 (67kDa) from erythrocytes of B. orientalis-infected water buffalo. Bo-AMA1 is a new member of the AMA1 family and might be a good antigen for the specific detection of antibodies produced in B. orientalis infected cattle. This protein is likely to play critical roles during host cell adherence and invasion by B. orientalis, as the AMA1s reported in other organisms such as Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii. Further research is required to explore the biological functions of this protein and to determine whether its immunisation can induce protective effects in water buffalo against B. orientalis infection. PMID:25732411

  3. A complex of three related membrane proteins is conserved on malarial merozoites

    PubMed Central

    Rayavara, Kempaiah; Rajapandi, Thavamani; Wollenberg, Kurt; Kabat, Juraj; Fischer, Elizabeth R.; Desai, Sanjay A.

    2009-01-01

    Invasion of human red blood cells by the malaria parasite P. falciparum is a coordinated, multi-step process. Here, we describe three novel integral membrane proteins that colocalize on the inner membrane complex immediately beneath the merozoite plasma membrane. Each has 6 predicted transmembrane domains and is conserved in diverse apicomplexan parasites. Immunoprecipitation studies using specific antibodies reveal that these proteins assemble into a heteromeric complex. Each protein was also expressed on insect cells using the baculovirus vector system with a truncated SUMO tag that facilitates maximal expression and protein purification while permitting cleavage with SUMO protease to release unmodified parasite protein. The expressed proteins were successfully reconstituted into artificial liposomes, but were not recognized by human immune sera. Because all three genes are highly conserved in apicomplexan parasites, the complex formed by their encoded proteins likely serves an essential role for invasive merozoites. PMID:19465059

  4. Divergence of the mitochondrial genome structure in the apicomplexan parasites, Babesia and Theileria.

    PubMed

    Hikosaka, Kenji; Watanabe, Yoh-Ichi; Tsuji, Naotoshi; Kita, Kiyoshi; Kishine, Hiroe; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne Marie Q; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro; Sawai, Hiromi; Horii, Toshihiro; Igarashi, Ikuo; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2010-05-01

    Mitochondrial (mt) genomes from diverse phylogenetic groups vary considerably in size, structure, and organization. The genus Plasmodium, causative agent of malaria, of the phylum Apicomplexa, has the smallest mt genome in the form of a circular and/or tandemly repeated linear element of 6 kb, encoding only three protein genes (cox1, cox3, and cob). The closely related genera Babesia and Theileria also have small mt genomes (6.6 kb) that are monomeric linear with an organization distinct from Plasmodium. To elucidate the structural divergence and evolution of mt genomes between Babesia/Theileria and Plasmodium, we determined five new sequences from Babesia bigemina, B. caballi, B. gibsoni, Theileria orientalis, and T. equi. Together with previously reported sequences of B. bovis, T. annulata, and T. parva, all eight Babesia and Theileria mt genomes are linear molecules with terminal inverted repeats (TIRs) on both ends containing three protein-coding genes (cox1, cox3, and cob) and six large subunit (LSU) ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene fragments. The organization and transcriptional direction of protein-coding genes and the rRNA gene fragments were completely conserved in the four Babesia species. In contrast, notable variation occurred in the four Theileria species. Although the genome structures of T. annulata and T. parva were nearly identical to those of Babesia, an inversion in the 3-kb central region was found in T. orientalis. Moreover, the T. equi mt genome is the largest (8.2 kb) and most divergent with unusually long TIR sequences, in which cox3 and two LSU rRNA gene fragments are located. The T. equi mt genome showed little synteny to the other species. These results suggest that the Theileria mt genome is highly diverse with lineage-specific evolution in two Theileria species: genome inversion in T. orientalis and gene-embedded long TIR in T. equi. PMID:20034997

  5. Molecular systematics of marine gregarine apicomplexans from Pacific tunicates, with descriptions of five novel species of Lankesteria.

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Wakeman, Kevin C; Jenke-Kodama, Holger; Leander, Brian S

    2015-08-01

    The eugregarines are a group of apicomplexan parasites that mostly infect the intestines of invertebrates. The high level of morphological variation found within and among species of eugregarines makes it difficult to find consistent and reliable traits that unite even closely related lineages. Based mostly on traits observed with light microscopy, the majority of described eugregarines from marine invertebrates has been classified into a single group, the Lecudinidae. Our understanding of the overall diversity and phylogenetic relationships of lecudinids is very poor, mainly because only a modest amount of exploratory research has been done on the group and very few species of lecudinids have been characterized at the molecular phylogenetic level. In an attempt to understand the diversity of marine gregarines better, we surveyed lecudinids that infect the intestines of Pacific ascidians (i.e. sea squirts) using ultrastructural and molecular phylogenetic approaches; currently, these species fall within one genus, Lankesteria. We collected lecudinid gregarines from six ascidian host species, and our data demonstrated that each host was infected by a different species of Lankesteria: (i) Lankesteria hesperidiiformis sp. nov., isolated from Distaplia occidentalis, (ii) Lankesteria metandrocarpae sp. nov., isolated from Metandrocarpa taylori, (iii) Lankesteria halocynthiae sp. nov., isolated from Halocynthia aurantium, (iv) Lankesteria herdmaniae sp. nov., isolated from Herdmania momus, (v) Lankesteria cf. ritterellae, isolated from Ritterella rubra, and (vi) Lankesteria didemni sp. nov., isolated from Didemnum vexillum. Visualization of the trophozoites with scanning electron microscopy showed that four of these species were covered with epicytic folds, whereas two of the species were covered with a dense pattern of epicytic knobs. The molecular phylogenetic data suggested that species of Lankesteria with surface knobs form a clade that is nested within a paraphyletic

  6. Combined Amplicon Pyrosequencing Assays Reveal Presence of the Apicomplexan “type-N” (cf. Gemmocystis cylindrus) and Chromera velia on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia

    PubMed Central

    Šlapeta, Jan; Linares, Marjorie C.

    2013-01-01

    Background The coral is predominantly composed of the metabolically dependent coral host and the photosynthetic dinoflagellate Symbiodinium sp. The system as a whole interacts with symbiotic eukaryotes, bacteria and viruses. Gemmocystiscylindrus (cf. “type-N” symbiont) belonging to the obligatory parasitic phylum Apicomplexa (Alveolata) is ubiquitous in the Caribbean coral, but its presence in the Great Barrier Reef coral has yet to be documented. Approaches allowing identification of the healthy community from the pathogenic or saprobic organisms are needed for sustainable coral reef monitoring. Methods & Principal Findings We investigated the diversity of eukaryotes associated with a common reef-building corals from the southern Great Barrier Reef. We used three tag encoded 454 amplicon pyrosequencing assays targeting eukaryote small-subunit rRNA gene to demonstrate the presence of the apicomplexan type-N and a photosynthetic sister species to Apicomplexa - Chromeravelia. Amplicon pyrosequencing revealed presence of the small-subunit rRNA genes of known eukaryotic pathogens (Cryptosporidium and Cryptococcus). We therefore conducted bacterial tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assay for small-subunit rRNA gene to support effluent exposure of the coral. Bacteria of faecal origin (Enterobacteriales) formed 41% of total sequences in contrast to 0-2% of the coral-associated bacterial communities with and without C. velia, respectively. Significance This is the first time apicomplexan type-N has been detected in the Great Barrier Reef. Eukaryote tag encoded amplicon pyrosequencing assays demonstrate presence of apicomplexan type-N and C. Velia in total coral DNA. The data highlight the need for combined approaches for eukaryotic diversity studies coupled with bacterial community assessment to achieve a more realistic goals of defining the holobiont community and assessing coral disease. With increasing evidence of Apicomplexa in coral reef environments, it is

  7. Studies of Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase and implications for the development of antiparasitic agents

    SciTech Connect

    Muench, Stephen P.; Prigge, Sean T.; McLeod, Rima; Rafferty, John B.; Kirisits, Michael J.; Roberts, Craig W.; Mui, Ernest J.; Rice, David W.

    2007-03-01

    The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. Recent studies have demonstrated that submicromolar concentrations of the biocide triclosan arrest the growth of the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii and inhibit the activity of the apicomplexan enoyl acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR). The crystal structures of T. gondii and P. falciparum ENR in complex with NAD{sup +} and triclosan and of T. gondii ENR in an apo form have been solved to 2.6, 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures of T. gondii ENR have revealed that, as in its bacterial and plant homologues, a loop region which flanks the active site becomes ordered upon inhibitor binding, resulting in the slow tight binding of triclosan. In addition, the T. gondii ENR–triclosan complex reveals the folding of a hydrophilic insert common to the apicomplexan family that flanks the substrate-binding domain and is disordered in all other reported apicomplexan ENR structures. Structural comparison of the apicomplexan ENR structures with their bacterial and plant counterparts has revealed that although the active sites of the parasite enzymes are broadly similar to those of their bacterial counterparts, there are a number of important differences within the drug-binding pocket that reduce the packing interactions formed with several inhibitors in the apicomplexan ENR enzymes. Together with other significant structural differences, this provides a possible explanation of the lower affinity of the parasite ENR enzyme family for aminopyridine-based inhibitors, suggesting that an effective antiparasitic agent may well be distinct from equivalent antimicrobials.

  8. Multivariate PLS Modeling of Apicomplexan FabD-Ligand Interaction Space for Mapping Target-Specific Chemical Space and Pharmacophore Fingerprints

    PubMed Central

    Surolia, Avadhesha

    2015-01-01

    Biomolecular recognition underlying drug-target interactions is determined by both binding affinity and specificity. Whilst, quantification of binding efficacy is possible, determining specificity remains a challenge, as it requires affinity data for multiple targets with the same ligand dataset. Thus, understanding the interaction space by mapping the target space to model its complementary chemical space through computational techniques are desirable. In this study, active site architecture of FabD drug target in two apicomplexan parasites viz. Plasmodium falciparum (PfFabD) and Toxoplasma gondii (TgFabD) is explored, followed by consensus docking calculations and identification of fifteen best hit compounds, most of which are found to be derivatives of natural products. Subsequently, machine learning techniques were applied on molecular descriptors of six FabD homologs and sixty ligands to induce distinct multivariate partial-least square models. The biological space of FabD mapped by the various chemical entities explain their interaction space in general. It also highlights the selective variations in FabD of apicomplexan parasites with that of the host. Furthermore, chemometric models revealed the principal chemical scaffolds in PfFabD and TgFabD as pyrrolidines and imidazoles, respectively, which render target specificity and improve binding affinity in combination with other functional descriptors conducive for the design and optimization of the leads. PMID:26535573

  9. Repurposing of conserved autophagy-related protein ATG8 in a divergent eukaryote

    PubMed Central

    Lévêque, Maude F.; Nguyen, Hoa Mai; Besteiro, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii and other apicomplexan parasites contain a peculiar non-photosynthetic plastid called the apicoplast, which is essential for their survival. The localization of autophagy-related protein ATG8 to the apicoplast in several apicomplexan species and life stages has recently been described, and we have shown this protein is essential for proper inheritance of this complex plastid into daughter cells during cell division. Although the mechanism behind ATG8 association to the apicoplast in T. gondii is related to the canonical conjugation system leading to autophagosome formation, its singular role seems independent from the initial catabolic purpose of autophagy. Here we also discuss further the functional evolution and innovative adaptations of the autophagy machinery to maintain this organelle during parasite division. PMID:27574540

  10. Repurposing of conserved autophagy-related protein ATG8 in a divergent eukaryote.

    PubMed

    Lévêque, Maude F; Nguyen, Hoa Mai; Besteiro, Sébastien

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and other apicomplexan parasites contain a peculiar non-photosynthetic plastid called the apicoplast, which is essential for their survival. The localization of autophagy-related protein ATG8 to the apicoplast in several apicomplexan species and life stages has recently been described, and we have shown this protein is essential for proper inheritance of this complex plastid into daughter cells during cell division. Although the mechanism behind ATG8 association to the apicoplast in T. gondii is related to the canonical conjugation system leading to autophagosome formation, its singular role seems independent from the initial catabolic purpose of autophagy. Here we also discuss further the functional evolution and innovative adaptations of the autophagy machinery to maintain this organelle during parasite division. PMID:27574540

  11. Toxoplasma Rhoptries: Unique Secretory Organelles and Source of Promising Vaccine Proteins for Immunoprevention of Toxoplasmosis

    PubMed Central

    Dlugonska, Henryka

    2008-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite classified in the phylum Apicomplexa, which includes numerous notable human and animal pathogens (Plasmodium species, Cryptosporidium species, Neospora caninum, etc.). The invasive stages of apicomplexans are characterized by the presence of an apical complex composed of specialized cytoskeletal and secretory organelles, including rhoptries. Rhoptries, unique apical secretory organelles shared exclusively by all apicomplexan parasites, are known to be involved in an active parasite's penetration into the host cell associated with the biogenesis of specific intracellular compartment, parasitophorous vacuole in which the parasite multiplies intensively, avoiding intracellular killing. Due to the key biological role of rhoptries, rhoptry proteins have recently become vaccine candidates for the prevention of several parasitoses, toxoplasmosis among them. The article presents current data on T. gondii rhoptries biology and new approaches to the development of effective vaccines against toxoplasmosis using rhoptry antigens. PMID:18670609

  12. Aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1), an M1 Metalloprotease of the Apicomplexan Parasite Eimeria tenella, Participates in Parasite Development

    PubMed Central

    Gras, Simon; Byzia, Anna; Gilbert, Florence B.; McGowan, Sheena; Drag, Marcin; Niepceron, Alisson; Lecaille, Fabien; Lalmanach, Gilles; Brossier, Fabien

    2014-01-01

    Aminopeptidases N are metalloproteases of the M1 family that have been reported in numerous apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, and Eimeria. While investigating the potency of aminopeptidases as therapeutic targets against coccidiosis, one of the most important avian diseases caused by the genus Eimeria, we identified and characterized Eimeria tenella aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1). Its inhibition by bestatin and amastatin, as well as its reactivation by divalent ions, is typical of zinc-dependent metalloproteases. EtAPN1 shared a similar sequence, three-dimensional structure, and substrate specificity and similar kinetic parameters with A-M1 from Plasmodium falciparum (PfA-M1), a validated target in the treatment of malaria. EtAPN1 is synthesized as a 120-kDa precursor and cleaved into 96-, 68-, and 38-kDa forms during sporulation. Further, immunolocalization assays revealed that, similar to PfA-M1, EtAPN1 is present during the intracellular life cycle stages in both the parasite cytoplasm and the parasite nucleus. The present results support the hypothesis of a conserved role between the two aminopeptidases, and we suggest that EtAPN1 might be a valuable target for anticoccidiosis drugs. PMID:24839124

  13. The apicomplexan parasite Babesia divergens internalizes band 3, glycophorin A and spectrin during invasion of human red blood cells.

    PubMed

    Repnik, Urska; Gangopadhyay, Preetish; Bietz, Sven; Przyborski, Jude M; Griffiths, Gareth; Lingelbach, Klaus

    2015-07-01

    Plasmodium falciparum invades human red blood cells (RBC), while Babesia divergens infects bovine and, occasionally, human RBC. The mammalian RBC is normally unable to endocytose or phagocytose and the events leading to invasion are incompletely understood. Initially, both parasites are surrounded by the RBC plasma membrane-derived parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) that is formed during invasion. In P. falciparum-infected RBC, the PVM persists at least until parasite replication is completed whereas it has been proposed that the B. divergens PVM is disintegrated soon upon invasion. Here, we have used a B. divergens strain adapted to human RBC to investigate the formation and fate of the PVM. Using ultrastructural analysis and whole-mount or on-section immunofluorescence and immunogold labelling, we demonstrate that the initial vacuolar membrane is formed from protein and lipid components of the RBC plasma membrane. Integral membrane proteins band 3 and glycophorin A and the cytoskeletal protein spectrin are associated with the PVM of the B. divergens, but are absent from the PVM of P. falciparum at the ring or the trophozoite stage. Our results provide evidence that the biophysical properties of the RBC cytoskeleton per se do not preclude the internalization of cytoskeletal proteins by invading parasites. PMID:25628009

  14. Alveolate phylogeny inferred using concatenated ribosomal proteins.

    PubMed

    Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R; Handy, Sara M; Place, Allen R; Delwiche, Charles F

    2011-01-01

    Dinoflagellates and apicomplexans are a strongly supported monophyletic group in rDNA phylogenies, although this phylogeny is not without controversy, particularly between the two groups. Here we use concatenated protein-coding genes from expressed sequence tags or genomic data to construct phylogenies including "typical" dinophycean dinoflagellates, a parasitic syndinian dinoflagellate, Amoebophrya sp., and two related species, Oxyrrhis marina, and Perkinsus marinus. Seventeen genes encoding proteins associated with the ribosome were selected for phylogenetic analysis. The dataset was limited for the most part by data availability from the dinoflagellates. Forty-five taxa from four major lineages were used: the heterokont outgroup, ciliates, dinoflagellates, and apicomplexans. Amoebophrya sp. was included in this phylogeny as a sole representative of the enigmatic marine alveolate or syndinian lineage. The atypical dinoflagellate O. marina, usually excluded from rDNA analyses due to long branches, was also included. The resulting phylogenies were well supported in concatenated analyses with only a few unstable or weakly supported branches; most features were consistent when different lineages were pruned from the tree or different genes were concatenated. The least stable branches involved the placement of Cryptosporidium spp. within the Apicomplexa and the relationships between P. marinus, Amoebophrya sp., and O. marina. Both bootstrap and approximately unbiased test results confirmed that P. marinus, Amoebophrya sp., O. marina, and the remaining dinoflagellates form a monophyletic lineage to the exclusion of Apicomplexa. PMID:21518081

  15. Species boundaries in gregarine apicomplexan parasites: a case study-comparison of morphometric and molecular variability in Lecudina cf. tuzetae (Eugregarinorida, Lecudinidae).

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Villette, Petra M A H; Leander, Brian S

    2011-01-01

    Trophozoites of gregarine apicomplexans are large feeding cells with diverse morphologies that have played a prominent role in gregarine systematics. The range of variability in trophozoite shapes and sizes can be very high even within a single species depending on developmental stages and host environmental conditions; this makes the delimitation of different species of gregarines based on morphological criteria alone very difficult. Accordingly, comparisons of morphological variability and molecular variability in gregarines are necessary to provide a pragmatic framework for establishing species boundaries within this diverse and poorly understood group of parasites. We investigated the morphological and molecular variability present in the gregarine Lecudina cf. tuzetae from the intestines of Nereis vexillosa (Polychaeta) collected in two different locations in Canada. Three distinct morphotypes of trophozoites were identified and the small subunit (SSU) rDNA was sequenced either from multicell isolates of the same morphotype or from single cells. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether the different morphotypes and localities reflected phylogenetic relatedness as inferred from the SSU rDNA sequence data. Phylogenetic analyses of the SSU rDNA demonstrated that the new sequences did not cluster according to morphotype or locality and instead were intermingled within a strongly supported clade. A comparison of 1,657 bp from 45 new sequences demonstrated divergences between 0% and 3.9%. These data suggest that it is necessary to acquire both morphological and molecular data in order to effectively delimit the "clouds" of variation associated with each gregarine species and to unambiguously reidentify these species in the future. PMID:21569160

  16. Protein

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteins are the major structural and functional components of all cells in the body. They are macromolecules that comprise 1 or more chains of amino acids that vary in their sequence and length and are folded into specific 3-dimensional structures. The sizes and conformations of proteins, therefor...

  17. Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Doolittle, Russell F.

    1985-01-01

    Examines proteins which give rise to structure and, by virtue of selective binding to other molecules, make genes. Binding sites, amino acids, protein evolution, and molecular paleontology are discussed. Work with encoding segments of deoxyribonucleic acid (exons) and noncoding stretches (introns) provides new information for hypotheses. (DH)

  18. Identification and Characterization of the Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 in Babesia divergens and B. microti.

    PubMed

    Ord, Rosalynn L; Rodriguez, Marilis; Cursino-Santos, Jeny R; Hong, Hyunryung; Singh, Manpreet; Gray, Jeremy; Lobo, Cheryl A

    2016-05-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include those of the genera Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma and those of the relatively understudied zoonotic genus Babesia In humans, babesiosis, particularly transfusion-transmitted babesiosis, has been emerging as a major threat to public health. Like malaria, the disease pathology is a consequence of the parasitemia which develops through cyclical replication of Babesia parasites in host erythrocytes. However, there are no exoerythrocytic stages in Babesia, so targeting of the blood stage and associated proteins to directly prevent parasite invasion is the most desirable option for effective disease control. Especially promising among such molecules are the rhoptry neck proteins (RONs), whose homologs have been identified in many apicomplexan parasites. RONs are involved in the formation of the moving junction, along with AMA1, but no RON has been identified and characterized in any Babesia spp. Here we identify the RON2 proteins of Babesia divergens (BdRON2) and B. microti (BmRON2) and show that they are localized apically and that anti-BdRON2 antibodies are significant inhibitors of parasite invasion in vitro Neither protein is immunodominant, as both proteins react only marginally with sera from infected animals. Further characterization of the direct role of both BdRON2 and BmRON2 in parasite invasion is required, but knowledge of the level of conformity of RON2 proteins within the apicomplexan phylum, particularly that of the AMA1-RON2 complex at the moving junction, along with the availability of an animal model for B. microti studies, provides a key to target this complex with a goal of preventing the erythrocytic invasion of these parasites and to further our understanding of the role of these conserved ligands in invasion. PMID:26953328

  19. Toxoplasma gondii Toc75 Functions in Import of Stromal but not Peripheral Apicoplast Proteins.

    PubMed

    Sheiner, Lilach; Fellows, Justin D; Ovciarikova, Jana; Brooks, Carrie F; Agrawal, Swati; Holmes, Zachary C; Bietz, Irine; Flinner, Nadine; Heiny, Sabrina; Mirus, Oliver; Przyborski, Jude M; Striepen, Boris

    2015-12-01

    Apicomplexa are unicellular parasites causing important human and animal diseases, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. Most of these pathogens possess a relict but essential plastid, the apicoplast. The apicoplast was acquired by secondary endosymbiosis between a red alga and a flagellated eukaryotic protist. As a result the apicoplast is surrounded by four membranes. This complex structure necessitates a system of transport signals and translocons allowing nuclear encoded proteins to find their way to specific apicoplast sub-compartments. Previous studies identified translocons traversing two of the four apicoplast membranes. Here we provide functional support for the role of an apicomplexan Toc75 homolog in apicoplast protein transport. We identify two apicomplexan genes encoding Toc75 and Sam50, both members of the Omp85 protein family. We localize the respective proteins to the apicoplast and the mitochondrion of Toxoplasma and Plasmodium. We show that the Toxoplasma Toc75 is essential for parasite growth and that its depletion results in a rapid defect in the import of apicoplast stromal proteins while the import of proteins of the outer compartments is affected only as the secondary consequence of organelle loss. These observations along with the homology to Toc75 suggest a potential role in transport through the second innermost membrane. PMID:26381927

  20. A small mitochondrial protein present in myzozoans is essential for malaria transmission

    PubMed Central

    Klug, Dennis; Mair, Gunnar R.; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Douglas, Ross G.

    2016-01-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium berghei that is essential for development in its mosquito host. Parasites lacking the gene mitochondrial protein ookinete developmental defect (mpodd) showed malformed parasites that were unable to transmit to mosquitoes. Knockout parasites displayed reduced mitochondrial mass without affecting organelle integrity, indicating no role of the protein in mitochondrial biogenesis or morphology maintenance but a likely role in mitochondrial import or metabolism. Using genetic complementation experiments, we identified a previously unrecognized Plasmodium falciparum homologue that can rescue the mpodd(−) phenotype, thereby showing that the gene is functionally conserved. As far as can be detected, mpodd is found in myzozoans, has homologues in the phylum Apicomplexa and appears to have arisen in free-living dinoflagellates. This suggests that the MPODD protein has a conserved mitochondrial role that is important for myzozoans. While previous studies identified a number of essential proteins which are generally highly conserved evolutionarily, our study identifies, for the first time, a non-canonical protein fulfilling a crucial function in the mitochondrion during parasite transmission. PMID:27053680

  1. A small mitochondrial protein present in myzozoans is essential for malaria transmission.

    PubMed

    Klug, Dennis; Mair, Gunnar R; Frischknecht, Friedrich; Douglas, Ross G

    2016-04-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan parasitePlasmodium bergheithat is essential for development in its mosquito host. Parasites lacking the gene mitochondrial protein ookinete developmental defect (mpodd) showed malformed parasites that were unable to transmit to mosquitoes. Knockout parasites displayed reduced mitochondrial mass without affecting organelle integrity, indicating no role of the protein in mitochondrial biogenesis or morphology maintenance but a likely role in mitochondrial import or metabolism. Using genetic complementation experiments, we identified a previously unrecognizedPlasmodium falciparumhomologue that can rescue thempodd(-)phenotype, thereby showing that the gene is functionally conserved. As far as can be detected,mpoddis found in myzozoans, has homologues in the phylumApicomplexaand appears to have arisen in free-living dinoflagellates. This suggests that the MPODD protein has a conserved mitochondrial role that is important for myzozoans. While previous studies identified a number of essential proteins which are generally highly conserved evolutionarily, our study identifies, for the first time, a non-canonical protein fulfilling a crucial function in the mitochondrion during parasite transmission. PMID:27053680

  2. Subcompartmentalisation of Proteins in the Rhoptries Correlates with Ordered Events of Erythrocyte Invasion by the Blood Stage Malaria Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Zuccala, Elizabeth S.; Gout, Alexander M.; Dekiwadia, Chaitali; Marapana, Danushka S.; Angrisano, Fiona; Turnbull, Lynne; Riglar, David T.; Rogers, Kelly L.; Whitchurch, Cynthia B.; Ralph, Stuart A.; Speed, Terence P.; Baum, Jake

    2012-01-01

    Host cell infection by apicomplexan parasites plays an essential role in lifecycle progression for these obligate intracellular pathogens. For most species, including the etiological agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, infection requires active host-cell invasion dependent on formation of a tight junction – the organising interface between parasite and host cell during entry. Formation of this structure is not, however, shared across all Apicomplexa or indeed all parasite lifecycle stages. Here, using an in silico integrative genomic search and endogenous gene-tagging strategy, we sought to characterise proteins that function specifically during junction-dependent invasion, a class of proteins we term invasins to distinguish them from adhesins that function in species specific host-cell recognition. High-definition imaging of tagged Plasmodium falciparum invasins localised proteins to multiple cellular compartments of the blood stage merozoite. This includes several that localise to distinct subcompartments within the rhoptries. While originating from the same organelle, however, each has very different dynamics during invasion. Apical Sushi Protein and Rhoptry Neck protein 2 release early, following the junction, whilst a novel rhoptry protein PFF0645c releases only after invasion is complete. This supports the idea that organisation of proteins within a secretory organelle determines the order and destination of protein secretion and provides a localisation-based classification strategy for predicting invasin function during apicomplexan parasite invasion. PMID:23049965

  3. Virtual Screening and Experimental Validation Identify Novel Inhibitors of the Plasmodium falciparum Atg8-Atg3 Protein-Protein Interaction.

    PubMed

    Hain, Adelaide U P; Miller, Alexia S; Levitskaya, Jelena; Bosch, Jürgen

    2016-04-19

    New therapies are needed against malaria, a parasitic infection caused by Plasmodium falciparum, as drug resistance emerges against the current treatment, artemisinin. We previously characterized the Atg8-Atg3 protein-protein interaction (PPI), which is essential for autophagy and parasite survival. Herein we illustrate the use of virtual library screening to selectively block the PPI in the parasite without inhibiting the homologous interaction in humans by targeting the A-loop of PfAtg8. This A-loop is important for Atg3 binding in Plasmodium, but is absent from the human Atg8 homologues. In this proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate a shift in lipidation state of PfAtg8 and inhibition of P. falciparum growth in both blood- and liver-stage cultures upon drug treatment. Our results illustrate how in silico screening and structure-aided drug design against a PPI can be used to identify new hits for drug development. Additionally, as we targeted a region of Atg8 that is conserved within apicomplexans, we predict that our small molecule will have cross-reactivity against other disease-causing apicomplexans, such as Toxoplasma, Cryptosporidium, Theileria, Neospora, Eimeria, and Babesia. PMID:26748931

  4. SAS6-like protein in Plasmodium indicates that conoid-associated apical complex proteins persist in invasive stages within the mosquito vector

    PubMed Central

    Wall, Richard J.; Roques, Magali; Katris, Nicholas J.; Koreny, Ludek; Stanway, Rebecca R.; Brady, Declan; Waller, Ross F.; Tewari, Rita

    2016-01-01

    The SAS6-like (SAS6L) protein, a truncated paralogue of the ubiquitous basal body/centriole protein SAS6, has been characterised recently as a flagellum protein in trypanosomatids, but associated with the conoid in apicomplexan Toxoplasma. The conoid has been suggested to derive from flagella parts, but is thought to have been lost from some apicomplexans including the malaria-causing genus Plasmodium. Presence of SAS6L in Plasmodium, therefore, suggested a possible role in flagella assembly in male gametes, the only flagellated stage. Here, we have studied the expression and role of SAS6L throughout the Plasmodium life cycle using the rodent malaria model P. berghei. Contrary to a hypothesised role in flagella, SAS6L was absent during gamete flagellum formation. Instead, SAS6L was restricted to the apical complex in ookinetes and sporozoites, the extracellular invasive stages that develop within the mosquito vector. In these stages SAS6L forms an apical ring, as we show is also the case in Toxoplasma tachyzoites. The SAS6L ring was not apparent in blood-stage invasive merozoites, indicating that the apical complex is differentiated between the different invasive forms. Overall this study indicates that a conoid-associated apical complex protein and ring structure is persistent in Plasmodium in a stage-specific manner. PMID:27339728

  5. An Eimeria vaccine candidate based on Eimeria tenella immune mapped protein 1 and the TLR-5 agonist Salmonella typhimurium FliC flagellin

    SciTech Connect

    Yin, Guangwen; Qin, Mei; Liu, Xianyong; Suo, Jingxia; Tang, Xinming; Tao, Geru; Han, Qian; Suo, Xun; Wu, Wenxue

    2013-10-25

    Highlights: •We found a new protective protein – (IMPI) in Eimeria tenella. •EtIMP1-flagellin fusion protein is an effective immunogen against Eimeria infection. •Flagellin can be as an apicomplexan parasite vaccine adjuvant in chickens. -- Abstract: Immune mapped protein-1 (IMP1) is a new protective protein in apicomplexan parasites, and exits in Eimeria tenella. But its structure and immunogenicity in E. tenella are still unknown. In this study, IMPI in E. tenella was predicted to be a membrane protein. To evaluate immunogenicity of IMPI in E. tenella, a chimeric subunit vaccine consisting of E. tenella IMP1 (EtIMP1) and a molecular adjuvant (a truncated flagellin, FliC) was constructed and over-expressed in Escherichia coli and its efficacy against E. tenella infection was evaluated. Three-week-old AA broiler chickens were vaccinated with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant or EtIMP1 with Freund’s Complete Adjuvant. Immunization of chickens with the recombinant EtIMP1-truncated FliC fusion protein resulted in stronger cellular immune responses than immunization with only recombinant EtIMP1 with adjuvant. The clinical effect of the EtIMP1-truncated FliC without adjuvant was also greater than that of the EtIMP1 with adjuvant, which was evidenced by the differences between the two groups in body weight gain, oocyst output and caecal lesions of E. tenella-challenged chickens. The results suggested that the EtIMP1-flagellin fusion protein can be used as an effective immunogen in the development of subunit vaccines against Eimeria infection. This is the first demonstration of antigen-specific protective immunity against avian coccidiosis using a recombinant flagellin as an apicomplexan parasite vaccine adjuvant in chickens.

  6. A new protein superfamily: TPPP-like proteins.

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of the term 'Tubulin Polymerization Promoting Protein (TPPP)-like proteins' is suggested. They constitute a eukaryotic protein superfamily, characterized by the presence of the p25alpha domain (Pfam05517, IPR008907), and named after the first identified member, TPPP/p25, exhibiting microtubule stabilizing function. TPPP-like proteins can be grouped on the basis of two characteristics: the length of their p25alpha domain, which can be long, short, truncated or partial, and the presence or absence of additional domain(s). TPPPs, in the strict sense, contain no other domains but one long or short p25alpha one (long- and short-type TPPPs, respectively). Proteins possessing truncated p25alpha domain are first described in this paper. They evolved from the long-type TPPPs and can be considered as arthropod-specific paralogs of long-type TPPPs. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the two groups (long-type and truncated TPPPs) split in the common ancestor of arthropods. Incomplete p25alpha domains can be found in multidomain TPPP-like proteins as well. The various subfamilies occur with a characteristic phyletic distribution: e. g., animal genomes/proteomes contain almost without exception long-type TPPPs; the multidomain apicortins occur almost exclusively in apicomplexan parasites. There are no data about the physiological function of these proteins except two human long-type TPPP paralogs which are involved in developmental processes of the brain and the musculoskeletal system, respectively. I predict that the superfamily members containing long or partial p25alpha domain are often intrinsically disordered proteins, while those with short or truncated domain(s) are structurally ordered. Interestingly, members of this superfamily connected or maybe connected to diseases are intrinsically disordered proteins. PMID:23166627

  7. A New Protein Superfamily: TPPP-Like Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2012-01-01

    The introduction of the term ‘Tubulin Polymerization Promoting Protein (TPPP)-like proteins’ is suggested. They constitute a eukaryotic protein superfamily, characterized by the presence of the p25alpha domain (Pfam05517, IPR008907), and named after the first identified member, TPPP/p25, exhibiting microtubule stabilizing function. TPPP-like proteins can be grouped on the basis of two characteristics: the length of their p25alpha domain, which can be long, short, truncated or partial, and the presence or absence of additional domain(s). TPPPs, in the strict sense, contain no other domains but one long or short p25alpha one (long- and short-type TPPPs, respectively). Proteins possessing truncated p25alpha domain are first described in this paper. They evolved from the long-type TPPPs and can be considered as arthropod-specific paralogs of long-type TPPPs. Phylogenetic analysis shows that the two groups (long-type and truncated TPPPs) split in the common ancestor of arthropods. Incomplete p25alpha domains can be found in multidomain TPPP-like proteins as well. The various subfamilies occur with a characteristic phyletic distribution: e. g., animal genomes/proteomes contain almost without exception long-type TPPPs; the multidomain apicortins occur almost exclusively in apicomplexan parasites. There are no data about the physiological function of these proteins except two human long-type TPPP paralogs which are involved in developmental processes of the brain and the musculoskeletal system, respectively. I predict that the superfamily members containing long or partial p25alpha domain are often intrinsically disordered proteins, while those with short or truncated domain(s) are structurally ordered. Interestingly, members of this superfamily connected or maybe connected to diseases are intrinsically disordered proteins. PMID:23166627

  8. Structure and Function of a G-actin Sequestering Protein with a Vital Role in Malaria Oocyst Development inside the Mosquito Vector*

    PubMed Central

    Hliscs, Marion; Sattler, Julia M.; Tempel, Wolfram; Artz, Jennifer D.; Dong, Aiping; Hui, Raymond; Matuschewski, Kai; Schüler, Herwig

    2010-01-01

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are evolutionary conserved G-actin-binding proteins that regulate microfilament turnover. CAPs have a modular structure consisting of an N-terminal adenylate cyclase binding domain, a central proline-rich segment, and a C-terminal actin binding domain. Protozoan parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa, such as Cryptosporidium and the malaria parasite Plasmodium, express small CAP orthologs with homology to the C-terminal actin binding domain (C-CAP). Here, we demonstrate by reverse genetics that C-CAP is dispensable for the pathogenic Plasmodium blood stages. However, c-cap(-) parasites display a complete defect in oocyst development in the insect vector. By trans-species complementation we show that the Cryptosporidium parvum ortholog complements the Plasmodium gene functions. Purified recombinant C. parvum C-CAP protein binds actin monomers and prevents actin polymerization. The crystal structure of C. parvum C-CAP shows two monomers with a right-handed β-helical fold intercalated at their C termini to form the putative physiological dimer. Our results reveal a specific vital role for an apicomplexan G-actin-binding protein during sporogony, the parasite replication phase that precedes formation of malaria transmission stages. This study also exemplifies how Plasmodium reverse genetics combined with biochemical and structural analyses of orthologous proteins can offer a fast track toward systematic gene characterization in apicomplexan parasites. PMID:20083609

  9. Identification of new palmitoylated proteins in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Caballero, Marina C; Alonso, Andrés M; Deng, Bin; Attias, Marcia; de Souza, Wanderley; Corvi, María M

    2016-04-01

    Protein palmitoylation has been shown to be an important post-translational modification in eukaryotic cells. This modification alters the localization and/or the function of the targeted protein. In recent years, protein palmitoylation has risen in importance in apicomplexan parasites as well. In Toxoplasma gondii, some proteins have been reported to be modified by palmitate. With the development of new techniques that allow the isolation of palmitoylated proteins, this significant post-translational modification has begun to be studied in more detail in T. gondii. Here we describe the palmitoylome of the tachyzoite stage of T. gondii using a combination of the acyl-biotin exchange chemistry method and mass spectrometry analysis. We identified 401 proteins found in multiple cellular compartments, with a wide range of functions that vary from metabolic processes, gliding and host-cell invasion to even regulation of transcription and translation. Besides, we found that more rhoptry proteins than the ones already described for Toxoplasma are palmitoylated, suggesting an important role for this modification in the invasion mechanism of the host-cell. This study documents that protein palmitoylation is a common modification in T. gondii that could have an impact on different cellular processes. PMID:26825284

  10. Identification of new Palmitoylated Proteins in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Caballero, Marina C.; Alonso, Andrés M.; Deng, Bin; Attias, Marcia; de Souza, Wanderley; Corvi, María M.

    2016-01-01

    Protein palmitoylation has been shown to be an important post-translational modification in eukaryotic cells. This modification alters the localization and/or the function of the targeted protein. In the recent years protein palmitoylation has risen in importance in apicomplexan parasites as well. In Toxoplasma gondii, some proteins have been reported to be modified by palmitate. With the development of new techniques that allow the isolation of palmitoylated proteins, this significant post-translational modification has begun to be studied in more detail in T. gondii. Here we describe the palmitoylome of the tachyzoite stage of T. gondii using a combination of the acyl-biotin exchange chemistry method and mass spectrometry analysis. We identified 401 proteins found in multiple cellular compartments, with a wide range of functions that vary from metabolic processes, gliding and host-cell invasion to even regulation of transcription and translation. Besides, we found that more rhoptry proteins than the ones already described for Toxoplasma are palmitoylated, suggesting an important role for this modification in the invasion mechanism of the host-cell. This study documents that protein palmitoylation is a common modification in T. gondii that could have an impact on different cellular processes. PMID:26825284

  11. Immunoproteomic analysis of the second-generation merozoite proteins of Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liheng; Xu, Lixin; Yan, Fengbin; Yan, Ruofeng; Song, Xiaokai; Li, Xiangrui

    2009-10-14

    Whole proteins of the second-generation merozoite of Eimeria tenella were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) and western blot using the chicken sera infected artificially with E. tenella. Approximately 640 spots were detected on proteome map of the second-generation merozoite stained by Coomassie brilliant blue G-250 and 85 spots were recognized on western blot map as antigens. Forty four spots of the antigens were identified by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight MS (MALDI-TOF-MS) and MALDI-TOF-TOF-MS. Twenty six proteins of E. tenella and three homologous proteins to other apicomplexan parasites or protozoan were identified using 'Mascot' server. These proteins included lactate dehydrogenase, enolase, 14-3-3 protein, microneme proteins, tubulin beta chain, SERPIN1 protein precursor, large subunit ribosomal protein L23 and surface antigens of E. tenella, heat shock protein (HSP70) of Eimeria acervulina, protein phosphatase type 1 of Toxoplasma gondii and hypothetical protein GSPATT00020155001 of Paramecium tetraurelia. The rest proteins were searched against the E. tenella protein sequence database using 'Mascot in-house' (version 2.1) search engine in automated mode and 11 unknown proteins were identified. After the amino acid sequence of the unknown proteins were searched using BLAST against non-redundant sequence databases (NCBI), surface antigen 12 of E. tenella and six homologous proteins to other apicomplexa parasites were found. They were membrane skeleton protein IMC2A, mitochondrial F1-ATP synthase beta subunit precursor, 3-oxoacyl-acyl-carrier-protein synthase and catalase of T. gondii, Vps26 of Plasmodium falciparum 3D7, and hypothetical protein TRIADDRAFT_60424 of Trichoplax adhaerens. No homologues of 8 spots of the 44 analyzed proteins were found. These proteins enriched the data of immunogenic proteins of the second-generation merozoite of E. tenella. PMID:19581052

  12. Identification of three novel Toxoplasma gondii rhoptry proteins

    PubMed Central

    Camejo, Ana; Gold, Daniel A.; Lu, Diana; McFetridge, Kiva; Julien, Lindsay; Yang, Ninghan; Jensen, Kirk D. C.; Saeij, Jeroen P.J

    2013-01-01

    The rhoptries are key secretory organelles from apicomplexan parasites that contain proteins involved in invasion and modulation of the host cell. Some rhoptry proteins are restricted to the posterior bulb (ROPs) and others to the anterior neck (RONs). As many rhoptry proteins have been shown to be key players in Toxoplasma invasion and virulence, it is important to identify, understand and characterize the biological function of the components of the rhoptries. In this report, we identified putative novel rhoptry candidate genes by identifying Toxoplasma genes with similar cyclical expression profiles as known rhoptry protein encoding genes across its cell cycle. Using this approach we identified two new rhoptry bulb (ROP47 and ROP48) and one new rhoptry neck protein (RON12). ROP47 is secreted and traffics to the host cell nucleus, RON12 was not detected at the moving junction during invasion. Deletion of ROP47 or ROP48 in a type II strain did not show major influence in in vitro growth or virulence in mice. PMID:24070999

  13. Gliding Associated Proteins Play Essential Roles during the Formation of the Inner Membrane Complex of Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Gow, Matthew; Jiménez-Ruiz, Elena; Ferguson, David J. P.; Meissner, Markus

    2016-01-01

    The inner membrane complex (IMC) of apicomplexan parasites is a specialised structure localised beneath the parasite’s plasma membrane, and is important for parasite stability and intracellular replication. Furthermore, it serves as an anchor for the myosin A motor complex, termed the glideosome. While the role of this protein complex in parasite motility and host cell invasion has been well described, additional roles during the asexual life cycle are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that core elements of the glideosome, the gliding associated proteins GAP40 and GAP50 as well as members of the GAPM family, have critical roles in the biogenesis of the IMC during intracellular replication. Deletion or disruption of these genes resulted in the rapid collapse of developing parasites after initiation of the cell cycle and led to redistribution of other glideosome components. PMID:26845335

  14. Gliding Associated Proteins Play Essential Roles during the Formation of the Inner Membrane Complex of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Harding, Clare R; Egarter, Saskia; Gow, Matthew; Jiménez-Ruiz, Elena; Ferguson, David J P; Meissner, Markus

    2016-02-01

    The inner membrane complex (IMC) of apicomplexan parasites is a specialised structure localised beneath the parasite's plasma membrane, and is important for parasite stability and intracellular replication. Furthermore, it serves as an anchor for the myosin A motor complex, termed the glideosome. While the role of this protein complex in parasite motility and host cell invasion has been well described, additional roles during the asexual life cycle are unknown. Here, we demonstrate that core elements of the glideosome, the gliding associated proteins GAP40 and GAP50 as well as members of the GAPM family, have critical roles in the biogenesis of the IMC during intracellular replication. Deletion or disruption of these genes resulted in the rapid collapse of developing parasites after initiation of the cell cycle and led to redistribution of other glideosome components. PMID:26845335

  15. ERAD Components in Organisms with Complex Red Plastids Suggest Recruitment of a Preexisting Protein Transport Pathway for the Periplastid Membrane

    PubMed Central

    Felsner, Gregor; Sommer, Maik S.; Gruenheit, Nicole; Hempel, Franziska; Moog, Daniel; Zauner, Stefan; Martin, William; Maier, Uwe G.

    2011-01-01

    The plastids of cryptophytes, haptophytes, and heterokontophytes (stramenopiles) (together once known as chromists) are surrounded by four membranes, reflecting the origin of these plastids through secondary endosymbiosis. They share this trait with apicomplexans, which are alveolates, the plastids of which have been suggested to stem from the same secondary symbiotic event and therefore form a phylogenetic clade, the chromalveolates. The chromists are quantitatively the most important eukaryotic contributors to primary production in marine ecosystems. The mechanisms of protein import across their four plastid membranes are still poorly understood. Components of an endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery in cryptophytes, partially encoded by the reduced genome of the secondary symbiont (the nucleomorph), are implicated in protein transport across the second outermost plastid membrane. Here, we show that the haptophyte Emiliania huxleyi, like cryptophytes, stramenopiles, and apicomplexans, possesses a nuclear-encoded symbiont-specific ERAD machinery (SELMA, symbiont-specific ERAD-like machinery) in addition to the host ERAD system, with targeting signals that are able to direct green fluorescent protein or yellow fluorescent protein to the predicted cellular localization in transformed cells of the stramenopile Phaeodactylum tricornutum. Phylogenies of the duplicated ERAD factors reveal that all SELMA components trace back to a red algal origin. In contrast, the host copies of cryptophytes and haptophytes associate with the green lineage to the exclusion of stramenopiles and alveolates. Although all chromalveolates with four membrane-bound plastids possess the SELMA system, this has apparently not arisen in a single endosymbiotic event. Thus, our data do not support the chromalveolate hypothesis. PMID:21081314

  16. Discriminating Protective from Nonprotective Plasmodium-Specific CD8+ T Cell Responses.

    PubMed

    Doll, Katherine L; Pewe, Lecia L; Kurup, Samarchith P; Harty, John T

    2016-05-15

    Despite decades of research, malaria remains a global health crisis. Current subunit vaccine approaches do not provide efficient long-term, sterilizing immunity against Plasmodium infections in humans. Conversely, whole parasite vaccinations with their larger array of target Ags have conferred long-lasting sterilizing protection to humans. Similar studies in rodent models of malaria reveal that CD8(+) T cells play a critical role in liver-stage immunity after whole parasite vaccination. However, it is unknown whether all CD8(+) T cell specificities elicited by whole parasite vaccination contribute to protection, an issue of great relevance for enhanced subunit vaccination. In this article, we show that robust CD8(+) T cell responses of similar phenotype are mounted after prime-boost immunization against Plasmodium berghei glideosome-associated protein 5041-48-, sporozoite-specific protein 20318-325-, thrombospondin-related adhesion protein (TRAP) 130-138-, or circumsporozoite protein (CSP) 252-260-derived epitopes in mice, but only CSP252-260- and TRAP130-138-specific CD8(+) T cells provide sterilizing immunity and reduce liver parasite burden after sporozoite challenge. Further, CD8(+) T cells specific to sporozoite surface-expressed CSP and TRAP proteins, but not intracellular glideosome-associated protein 50 and sporozoite-specific protein 20, efficiently recognize sporozoite-infected hepatocytes in vitro. These results suggest that: 1) protection-relevant antigenic targets, regardless of their immunogenic potential, must be efficiently presented by infected hepatocytes for CD8(+) T cells to eliminate liver-stage Plasmodium infection; and 2) proteins expressed on the surface of sporozoites may be good target Ags for protective CD8(+) T cells. PMID:27084099

  17. An Apicoplast Localized Ubiquitylation System Is Required for the Import of Nuclear-encoded Plastid Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ponts, Nadia; van Dooren, Giel G.; Prudhomme, Jacques; Brooks, Carrie F.; Rodrigues, Elisadra M.; Tan, John C.; Ferdig, Michael T.; Striepen, Boris; Le Roch, Karine G.

    2013-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for numerous important human diseases including toxoplasmosis, cryptosporidiosis, and most importantly malaria. There is a constant need for new antimalarials, and one of most keenly pursued drug targets is an ancient algal endosymbiont, the apicoplast. The apicoplast is essential for parasite survival, and several aspects of its metabolism and maintenance have been validated as targets of anti-parasitic drug treatment. Most apicoplast proteins are nuclear encoded and have to be imported into the organelle. Recently, a protein translocon typically required for endoplasmic reticulum associated protein degradation (ERAD) has been proposed to act in apicoplast protein import. Here, we show ubiquitylation to be a conserved and essential component of this process. We identify apicoplast localized ubiquitin activating, conjugating and ligating enzymes in Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum and observe biochemical activity by in vitro reconstitution. Using conditional gene ablation and complementation analysis we link this activity to apicoplast protein import and parasite survival. Our studies suggest ubiquitylation to be a mechanistic requirement of apicoplast protein import independent to the proteasomal degradation pathway. PMID:23785288

  18. Protein Traffic to the Plasmodium falciparum apicoplast: evidence for a sorting branch point at the Golgi.

    PubMed

    Heiny, Sabrina R; Pautz, Sabine; Recker, Mario; Przyborski, Jude M

    2014-12-01

    Plasmodium falciparum, similar to many other apicomplexan parasites, contains an apicoplast, a plastid organelle of secondary endosymbiotic origin. Nuclear-encoded proteins are targeted to the apicoplast by a bipartite topogenic signal consisting of (i) an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-type N-terminal secretory signal peptide, followed by (ii) a plant-like transit peptide. Although the signals responsible for transport of most proteins to the apicoplast are well described, the route of trafficking from the ER to the outermost apicoplast membrane is still a matter of debate. Current models of trafficking to the apicoplast suggest that proteins destined for this organelle are, on entry into the lumen of the ER, diverted from the default secretory pathway to a specialized vesicular system which carries proteins directly from the ER to the outer apicoplast membrane. Here, we have re-examined this trafficking pathway. By titrating wild-type and mutant apicoplast transit peptides against different ER retrieval sequences and studying protein transport in a brefeldin A-resistant parasite line, we generated data which suggest a direct involvement of the Golgi in traffic of soluble proteins to the P. falciparum apicoplast. PMID:25264207

  19. Molecular Characterization and Analysis of a Novel Protein Disulfide Isomerase-Like Protein of Eimeria tenella

    PubMed Central

    Han, Hongyu; Dong, Hui; Zhu, Shunhai; Zhao, Qiping; Jiang, Lianlian; Wang, Yange; Li, Liujia; Wu, Youlin; Huang, Bing

    2014-01-01

    Protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) and PDI-like proteins are members of the thioredoxin superfamily. They contain thioredoxin-like domains and catalyze the physiological oxidation, reduction and isomerization of protein disulfide bonds, which are involved in cell function and development in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In this study, EtPDIL, a novel PDI-like gene of Eimeria tenella, was cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) according to the expressed sequence tag (EST). The EtPDIL cDNA contained 1129 nucleotides encoding 216 amino acids. The deduced EtPDIL protein belonged to thioredoxin-like superfamily and had a single predicted thioredoxin domain with a non-classical thioredoxin-like motif (SXXC). BLAST analysis showed that the EtPDIL protein was 55–59% identical to PDI-like proteins of other apicomplexan parasites. The transcript and protein levels of EtPDIL at different development stages were investigated by real-time quantitative PCR and western blot. The messenger RNA and protein levels of EtPDIL were higher in sporulated oocysts than in unsporulated oocysts, sporozoites or merozoites. Protein expression was barely detectable in unsporulated oocysts. Western blots showed that rabbit antiserum against recombinant EtPDIL recognized only a native 24 kDa protein from parasites. Immunolocalization with EtPDIL antibody showed that EtPDIL had a disperse distribution in the cytoplasm of whole sporozoites and merozoites. After sporozoites were incubated in complete medium, EtPDIL protein concentrated at the anterior of the sporozoites and appeared on the surface of parasites. Specific staining was more intense and mainly located on the parasite surface after merozoites released from mature schizonts invaded DF-1 cells. After development of parasites in DF-1 cells, staining intensified in trophozoites, immature schizonts and mature schizonts. Antibody inhibition of EtPDIL function reduced the ability of E. tenella to invade DF-1 cells. These results

  20. Identification of novel proteins in Neospora caninum using an organelle purification and monoclonal antibody approach.

    PubMed

    Sohn, Catherine S; Cheng, Tim T; Drummond, Michael L; Peng, Eric D; Vermont, Sarah J; Xia, Dong; Cheng, Stephen J; Wastling, Jonathan M; Bradley, Peter J

    2011-01-01

    Neospora caninum is an important veterinary pathogen that causes abortion in cattle and neuromuscular disease in dogs. Neospora has also generated substantial interest because it is an extremely close relative of the human pathogen Toxoplasma gondii, yet does not appear to infect humans. While for Toxoplasma there are a wide array of molecular tools and reagents available for experimental investigation, relatively few reagents exist for Neospora. To investigate the unique biological features of this parasite and exploit the recent sequencing of its genome, we have used an organelle isolation and monoclonal antibody approach to identify novel organellar proteins and develop a wide array of probes for subcellular localization. We raised a panel of forty-six monoclonal antibodies that detect proteins from the rhoptries, micronemes, dense granules, inner membrane complex, apicoplast, mitochondrion and parasite surface. A subset of the proteins was identified by immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry and reveal that we have identified and localized many of the key proteins involved in invasion and host interaction in Neospora. In addition, we identified novel secretory proteins not previously studied in any apicomplexan parasite. Thus, this organellar monoclonal antibody approach not only greatly enhances the tools available for Neospora cell biology, but also identifies novel components of the unique biological characteristics of this important veterinary pathogen. PMID:21483743

  1. Analysis of structures and epitopes of a novel secreted protein MYR1 in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jian; Lu, Gang; He, Shenyi

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii (Nicolle et Manceaux, 1908) is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite and can infect warmblooded animals and humans all over the world. Development of effective vaccines is considered the only ideal way to control infection with T. gondii. However, only one live vaccine is commercially available for use in sheep and goats. Thus more effective antigenic proteins are searched for. In the present study we report a novel protein by secreted T. gondii termed Myc regulation 1 (MYR1). The physical and chemical characteristics, epitopes, hydrophilicity and functional sites of MYR1 were analysed by multiple bioinformatic approaches. The 3D models of MYR1 proteins were constructed and analysed. Furthermore, liner B-cell epitopes and T-cell epitopes of MYR1 protein and SAG1 were predicted. Compared to SAG1, MYR1 with good B-cell epitopes and T-cell epitopes had a potentiality to become a more successful vaccine against T. gondii. The bioinformatics analysis of MYR1 proteins could laid the foundation for further studies of its biological function experimentally and provide valuable information necessary for a better prevention and treatment of toxoplasmosis. PMID:27580381

  2. Proteome-wide analysis reveals widespread lysine acetylation of major protein complexes in the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Cobbold, Simon A.; Santos, Joana M.; Ochoa, Alejandro; Perlman, David H.; Llinás, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Lysine acetylation is a ubiquitous post-translational modification in many organisms including the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, yet the full extent of acetylation across the parasite proteome remains unresolved. Moreover, the functional significance of acetylation or how specific acetyl-lysine sites are regulated is largely unknown. Here we report a seven-fold expansion of the known parasite ‘acetylome’, characterizing 2,876 acetylation sites on 1,146 proteins. We observe that lysine acetylation targets a diverse range of protein complexes and is particularly enriched within the Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) DNA-binding protein family. Using quantitative proteomics we determined that artificial perturbation of the acetate/acetyl-CoA balance alters the acetyl-lysine occupancy of several ApiAP2 DNA-binding proteins and related transcriptional proteins. This metabolic signaling could mediate significant downstream transcriptional responses, as we show that acetylation of an ApiAP2 DNA-binding domain ablates its DNA-binding propensity. Lastly, we investigated the acetyl-lysine targets of each class of lysine deacetylase in order to begin to explore how each class of enzyme contributes to regulating the P. falciparum acetylome. PMID:26813983

  3. Bioinformatics analysis and expression of a novel protein ROP48 in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jian; Wang, Lin; Zhou, Aihua; Lu, Gang; Li, Qihang; Wang, Zhilin; Zhu, Meiyan; Zhou, Huaiyu; Cong, Hua; He, Shenyi

    2016-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite, and can infect warmblooded animals and humans all over the world. In the past years, ROP family genes encoding particular proteins of T. gondii had made a great contribution to toxoplasmosis. In this study, we used multiple bioinformatics approaches to predict the physical and chemical characteristics, transmembrane domain, epitope, and topological structure of the rhoptry protein 48 (ROP48). The results indicated that ROP48 protein was mainly located in the membrane and had several positive linear-B cell epitopes and Th-cell epitopes, which suggested that ROP48 is a potential DNA vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis. Then the PCR product amplified from the ROP48 cDNA was inserted into a pEASY-T1 vector to build a recombinant cloning plasmid. After sequencing, ROP48 was subcloned into a eukaryotic expression plasmid pEGFP-C1 to obtain pEGFP-C1-ROP48 (pROP48). After identification by PCR and restriction enzyme digestion, the recombinant plasmid pROP48 was transfected into HEK 293-T cell and identified by RT-PCR. The results showed that the eukaryotic expression plasmid pROP48 was constructed and transfected to the cells of HEK 293-T successfully. Western blotting showed that the expressed proteins can be recognized by anti-STAg mouse sera. PMID:27078655

  4. Artemisinin Induces Calcium-Dependent Protein Secretion in the Protozoan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Nagamune, Kisaburo; Beatty, Wandy L.; Sibley, L. David

    2007-01-01

    Intracellular calcium controls several crucial cellular events in apicomplexan parasites, including protein secretion, motility, and invasion into and egress from host cells. The plant compound thapsigargin inhibits the sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase (SERCA), resulting in elevated calcium and induction of protein secretion in Toxoplasma gondii. Artemisinins are natural products that show potent and selective activity against parasites, making them useful for the treatment of malaria. While the mechanism of action is uncertain, previous studies have suggested that artemisinin may inhibit SERCA, thus disrupting calcium homeostasis. We cloned the single-copy gene encoding SERCA in T. gondii (TgSERCA) and demonstrate that the protein localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum in the parasite. In extracellular parasites, TgSERCA partially relocalized to the apical pole, a highly active site for regulated secretion of micronemes. TgSERCA complemented a calcium ATPase-defective yeast mutant, and this activity was inhibited by either thapsigargin or artemisinin. Treatment of T. gondii with artemisinin triggered calcium-dependent secretion of microneme proteins, similar to the SERCA inhibitor thapsigargin. Artemisinin treatment also altered intracellular calcium in parasites by increasing the periodicity of calcium oscillations and inducing recurrent, strong calcium spikes, as imaged using Fluo-4 labeling. Collectively, these results demonstrate that artemisinin perturbs calcium homeostasis in T. gondii, supporting the idea that Ca2+-ATPases are potential drug targets in parasites. PMID:17766463

  5. A Novel Actin-Related Protein Is Associated with Daughter Cell Formation in Toxoplasma gondii▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Jennifer L.; Beatty, Wandy L.; Sibley, L. David

    2008-01-01

    Cell division in Toxoplasma gondii occurs by an unusual budding mechanism termed endodyogeny, during which twin daughters are formed within the body of the mother cell. Cytokinesis begins with the coordinated assembly of the inner membrane complex (IMC), which surrounds the growing daughter cells. The IMC is compiled of both flattened membrane cisternae and subpellicular filaments composed of articulin-like proteins attached to underlying singlet microtubules. While proteins that comprise the elongating IMC have been described, little is known about its initial formation. Using Toxoplasma as a model system, we demonstrate that actin-like protein 1 (ALP1) is partially redistributed to the IMC at early stages in its formation. Immunoelectron microscopy localized ALP1 to a discrete region of the nuclear envelope, on transport vesicles, and on the nascent IMC of the daughter cells prior to the arrival of proteins such as IMC-1. The overexpression of ALP1 under the control of a strong constitutive promoter disrupted the formation of the daughter cell IMC, leading to delayed growth and defects in nuclear and apicoplast segregation. Collectively, these data suggest that ALP1 participates in the formation of daughter cell membranes during cell division in apicomplexan parasites. PMID:18408052

  6. Serum Albumin Stimulates Protein Kinase G-dependent Microneme Secretion in Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Brown, Kevin M; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L David

    2016-04-29

    Microneme secretion is essential for motility, invasion, and egress in apicomplexan parasites. Although previous studies indicate that Ca(2+) and cGMP control microneme secretion, little is known about how these pathways are naturally activated. Here we have developed genetically encoded indicators for Ca(2+) and microneme secretion to better define the signaling pathways that regulate these processes in Toxoplasma gondii We found that microneme secretion was triggered in vitro by exposure to a single host protein, serum albumin. The natural agonist serum albumin induced microneme secretion in a protein kinase G-dependent manner that correlated with increased cGMP levels. Surprisingly, serum albumin acted independently of elevated Ca(2+) and yet it was augmented by artificial agonists that raise Ca(2+), such as ethanol. Furthermore, although ethanol elevated intracellular Ca(2+), it alone was unable to trigger secretion without the presence of serum or serum albumin. This dichotomy was recapitulated by zaprinast, a phosphodiesterase inhibitor that elevated cGMP and separately increased Ca(2+) in a protein kinase G-independent manner leading to microneme secretion. Taken together, these findings reveal that microneme secretion is centrally controlled by protein kinase G and that this pathway is further augmented by elevation of intracellular Ca(2.) PMID:26933037

  7. Spliced leader RNAs, mitochondrial gene frameshifts and multi-protein phylogeny expand support for the genus Perkinsus as a unique group of alveolates.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Huan; Campbell, David A; Sturm, Nancy R; Dungan, Christopher F; Lin, Senjie

    2011-01-01

    The genus Perkinsus occupies a precarious phylogenetic position. To gain a better understanding of the relationship between perkinsids, dinoflagellates and other alveolates, we analyzed the nuclear-encoded spliced-leader (SL) RNA and mitochondrial genes, intron prevalence, and multi-protein phylogenies. In contrast to the canonical 22-nt SL found in dinoflagellates (DinoSL), P. marinus has a shorter (21-nt) and a longer (22-nt) SL with slightly different sequences than DinoSL. The major SL RNA transcripts range in size between 80-83 nt in P. marinus, and ∼ 83 nt in P. chesapeaki, significantly larger than the typical ≤ 56-nt dinoflagellate SL RNA. In most of the phylogenetic trees based on 41 predicted protein sequences, P. marinus branched at the base of the dinoflagellate clade that included the ancient taxa Oxyrrhis and Amoebophrya, sister to the clade of apicomplexans, and in some cases clustered with apicomplexans as a sister to the dinoflagellate clade. Of 104 Perkinsus spp. genes examined 69.2% had introns, a higher intron prevalence than in dinoflagellates. Examination of Perkinsus spp. mitochondrial cytochrome B and cytochrome C oxidase subunit I genes and their cDNAs revealed no mRNA editing, but these transcripts can only be translated when frameshifts are introduced at every AGG and CCC codon as if AGGY codes for glycine and CCCCU for proline. These results, along with the presence of the numerous uncharacterized 'marine alveolate group I' and Perkinsus-like lineages separating perkinsids from core dinoflagellates, expand support for the affiliation of the genus Perkinsus with an independent lineage (Perkinsozoa) positioned between the phyla of Apicomplexa and Dinoflagellata. PMID:21629701

  8. "Self-cleaving" 2A peptide from porcine teschovirus-1 mediates cleavage of dual fluorescent proteins in transgenic Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Tang, Xinming; Liu, Xianyong; Tao, Geru; Qin, Mei; Yin, Guangwen; Suo, Jingxia; Suo, Xun

    2016-01-01

    The "self-cleaving" 2A sequence of picornavirus, which mediates ribosome-skipping events, enables the generation of two or more separate peptide products from one mRNA containing one or more "self-cleaving" 2A sequences. In this study, we introduced a single 2A sequence of porcine teschovirus-1 (P2A) linked to two fluorescent protein genes, the enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) gene and the red fluorescent protein (RFP) gene, in a single cassette into transgenic Eimeria tenella (EtER). As expected, we obtained two separated protein molecules rather than a fused protein, although the two molecules were translated from the same mRNA carrying a single "self-cleaving" 2A sequence. Importantly, RFP led by a secretion signal was secreted into parasitophorous vacuoles, while EYFP localized mainly to the nucleus of EtER. Our results demonstrate that the "self-cleaving" 2A sequence actively mediated cleavage of polyproteins in the apicomplexan parasite E. tenella. PMID:27352927

  9. Toxoplasma sortilin-like receptor regulates protein transport and is essential for apical secretory organelle biogenesis and host infection.

    PubMed

    Sloves, Pierre-Julien; Delhaye, Stephane; Mouveaux, Thomas; Werkmeister, Elisabeth; Slomianny, Christian; Hovasse, Agnes; Dilezitoko Alayi, Tchilabalo; Callebaut, Isabelle; Gaji, Rajshekhar Y; Schaeffer-Reiss, Christine; Van Dorsselear, Alain; Carruthers, Vern B; Tomavo, Stanislas

    2012-05-17

    Apicomplexan parasites have an assortment of unique apical secretory organelles (rhoptries and micronemes), which have crucial functions in host infection. Here, we show that a Toxoplasma gondii sortilin-like receptor (TgSORTLR) is required for the subcellular localization and formation of apical secretory organelles. TgSORTLR is a transmembrane protein that resides within Golgi-endosomal related compartments. The lumenal domain specifically interacts with rhoptry and microneme proteins, while the cytoplasmic tail of TgSORTLR recruits cytosolic sorting machinery involved in anterograde and retrograde protein transport. Ectopic expression of the N-terminal TgSORTLR lumenal domain results in dominant negative effects with the mislocalization of both endogenous TgSORTLR as well as rhoptry and microneme proteins. Conditional ablation of TgSORTLR disrupts rhoptry and microneme biogenesis, inhibits parasite motility, and blocks both invasion into and egress from host cells. Thus, the sortilin-like receptor is essential for protein trafficking and the biogenesis of key secretory organelles in Toxoplasma. PMID:22607804

  10. Characterization of acyl carrier protein and LytB in Babesia bovis apicoplast

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The apicoplast is a highly specialized organelle that mediates required functions in the growth and replication of apicomplexan parasites. Despite structural conservation of the apicoplast among different parasite genera and species, there are also critical differences in the metabolic requirements ...

  11. Structural and functional dissection of Toxoplasma gondii armadillo repeats only protein.

    PubMed

    Mueller, Christina; Samoo, Atta; Hammoudi, Pierre-Mehdi; Klages, Natacha; Kallio, Juha Pekka; Kursula, Inari; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2016-03-01

    Rhoptries are club-shaped, regulated secretory organelles that cluster at the apical pole of apicomplexan parasites. Their discharge is essential for invasion and the establishment of an intracellular lifestyle. Little is known about rhoptry biogenesis and recycling during parasite division. In Toxoplasma gondii, positioning of rhoptries involves the armadillo repeats only protein (ARO) and myosin F (MyoF). Here, we show that two ARO partners, ARO-interacting protein (AIP) and adenylate cyclase β (ACβ) localize to a rhoptry subcompartment. In absence of AIP, ACβ disappears from the rhoptries. By assessing the contribution of each ARO armadillo (ARM) repeat, we provide evidence that ARO is multifunctional, participating not only in positioning but also in clustering of rhoptries. Structural analyses show that ARO resembles the myosin-binding domain of the Caenorhabditis elegans myosin chaperone UNC-45. A conserved patch of aromatic and acidic residues denotes the putative MyoF-binding site, and the overall arrangement of the ARM repeats explains the dramatic consequences of deleting each of them. Finally, Plasmodium falciparum ARO functionally complements ARO depletion and interacts with the same partners, highlighting the conservation of rhoptry biogenesis in Apicomplexa. PMID:26769898

  12. Plasmodium falciparum aldolase and the C-terminal cytoplasmic domain of certain apical organellar proteins promote actin polymerization.

    PubMed

    Diaz, Suraya A; Martin, Stephen R; Grainger, Munira; Howell, Steven A; Green, Judith L; Holder, Anthony A

    2014-10-01

    The current model of Apicomplexan motility and host cell invasion is that both processes are driven by an actomyosin motor located beneath the plasma membrane, with the force transduced to the outside of the cell via coupling through aldolase and the cytoplasmic tail domains (CTDs) of certain type 1 membrane proteins. In Plasmodium falciparum (Pf), aldolase is thought to bind to the CTD of members of the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) family, which are micronemal proteins and represented by MTRAP in merozoites. Other type 1 membrane proteins including members of the erythrocyte binding antigen (EBA) and reticulocyte binding protein homologue (RH) protein families, which are also apical organellar proteins, have also been implicated in host cell binding in erythrocyte invasion. However, recent studies with Toxoplasma gondii have questioned the importance of aldolase in these processes. Using biolayer interferometry we show that Pf aldolase binds with high affinity to both rabbit and Pf actin, with a similar affinity for filamentous (F-) actin and globular (G-) actin. The interaction between Pf aldolase and merozoite actin was confirmed by co-sedimentation assays. Aldolase binding was shown to promote rabbit actin polymerization indicating that the interaction is more complicated than binding alone. The CTDs of some but not all type 1 membrane proteins also promoted actin polymerization in the absence of aldolase; MTRAP and RH1 CTDs promoted actin polymerization but EBA175 CTD did not. Direct actin polymerization mediated by membrane protein CTDs may contribute to actin recruitment, filament formation and stability during motor assembly, and actin-mediated movement, independent of aldolase. PMID:25261592

  13. Pivotal and distinct role for Plasmodium actin capping protein alpha during blood infection of the malaria parasite

    PubMed Central

    Ganter, Markus; Rizopoulos, Zaira; Schüler, Herwig; Matuschewski, Kai

    2015-01-01

    Accurate regulation of microfilament dynamics is central to cell growth, motility and response to environmental stimuli. Stabilizing and depolymerizing proteins control the steady-state levels of filamentous (F-) actin. Capping protein (CP) binds to free barbed ends, thereby arresting microfilament growth and restraining elongation to remaining free barbed ends. In all CPs characterized to date, alpha and beta subunits form the active heterodimer. Here, we show in a eukaryotic parasitic cell that the two CP subunits can be functionally separated. Unlike the beta subunit, the CP alpha subunit of the apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium is refractory to targeted gene deletion during blood infection in the mammalian host. Combinatorial complementation of Plasmodium berghei CP genes with the orthologs from Plasmodium falciparum verified distinct activities of CP alpha and CP alpha/beta during parasite life cycle progression. Recombinant Plasmodium CP alpha could be produced in Escherichia coli in the absence of the beta subunit and the protein displayed F-actin capping activity. Thus, the functional separation of two CP subunits in a parasitic eukaryotic cell and the F-actin capping activity of CP alpha expand the repertoire of microfilament regulatory mechanisms assigned to CPs. PMID:25565321

  14. Gene cloning and characterization of the protein encoded by the Neospora caninum bradyzoite-specific antigen gene BAG1.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, T; Narabu, S; Yanai, Y; Hatano, Y; Ito, A; Imai, S; Ike, K

    2013-06-01

    Neospora caninum is an Apicomplexan parasite that causes repeated abortion and stillbirth in cattle. The aim of this study was to clone the gene encoding the N. caninum orthologue (NcBAG1) of the Toxoplasma gondii bradyzoite-specific protein TgBAG1 and characterize its expression pattern in the parasite. Isolation of the full-length 684-bp gene revealed that it shared 78.3% sequence similarity with TgBAG1. NcBAG1 encodes a predicted protein of 227 amino acids with 80.3% similarity to TgBAG1. A putative signal peptide sequence and an invariant GVL motif characteristic of small heat-shock proteins were identified in the predicted N. caninum amino acid sequence. We expressed the NcBAG1 gene as a recombinant glutathione S-transferase fusion protein (rNcBAG1) in Escherichia coli and used the purified 60 kDa protein to obtain a monoclonal antibody (Mab). rNcBAG1 reacted to Mabs specific for NcBAG1 and TgBAG1. No reaction between the NcBAG1 Mab and N. caninum tachyzoites was observed. Although the predicted molecular mass of NcBAG1 is 25 kDa, Western blot analysis of parasite lysates using the NcBAG1 Mab revealed a cross-reactive protein of approximately 30 kDa. Additionally, immunofluorescence assays using the tachyzoite-specific Mab for NcSAG1 and the bradyzoite-specific Mab for TgBAG1 or NcSAG4 revealed NcBAG1-specific expression in bradyzoites in cultures exposed to sodium nitroprusside, a reagent that increases the frequency of bradyzoites. Interestingly, the NcBAG1 protein was identified in the cytoplasm of the bradyzoite-stage parasites. This preliminary analysis of the NcBAG1 gene will assist investigations into the role of this protein in N. caninum . PMID:23245337

  15. Protein Condensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunton, James D.; Shiryayev, Andrey; Pagan, Daniel L.

    2007-09-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Globular protein structure; 3. Experimental methods; 4. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; 5. Protein-protein interactions; 6. Theoretical studies of equilibrium; 7. Nucleation theory; 8. Experimental studies of nucleation; 9. Lysozyme; 10. Some other globular proteins; 11. Membrane proteins; 12. Crystallins and cataracts; 13. Sickle hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia; 14, Alzheimer's disease; Index.

  16. Protein Condensation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gunton, James D.; Shiryayev, Andrey; Pagan, Daniel L.

    2014-07-01

    Preface; 1. Introduction; 2. Globular protein structure; 3. Experimental methods; 4. Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics; 5. Protein-protein interactions; 6. Theoretical studies of equilibrium; 7. Nucleation theory; 8. Experimental studies of nucleation; 9. Lysozyme; 10. Some other globular proteins; 11. Membrane proteins; 12. Crystallins and cataracts; 13. Sickle hemoglobin and sickle cell anemia; 14, Alzheimer's disease; Index.

  17. Total protein

    MedlinePlus

    The total protein test measures the total amount of two classes of proteins found in the fluid portion of your ... nutritional problems, kidney disease or liver disease . If total protein is abnormal, you will need to have more ...

  18. Storage Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fujiwara, Toru; Nambara, Eiji; Yamagishi, Kazutoshi; Goto, Derek B.; Naito, Satoshi

    2002-01-01

    Plants accumulate storage substances such as starch, lipids and proteins in certain phases of development. Storage proteins accumulate in both vegetative and reproductive tissues and serve as a reservoir to be used in later stages of plant development. The accumulation of storage protein is thus beneficial for the survival of plants. Storage proteins are also an important source of dietary plant proteins. Here, we summarize the genome organization and regulation of gene expression of storage protein genes in Arabidopsis. PMID:22303197

  19. Transfection of Eimeria mitis with Yellow Fluorescent Protein as Reporter and the Endogenous Development of the Transgenic Parasite

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Mei; Liu, Xian Yong; Tang, Xin Ming; Suo, Jing Xia; Tao, Ge Ru; Suo, Xun

    2014-01-01

    Background Advancements have been made in the genetic manipulation of apicomplexan parasites. Both the in vitro transient and in vivo stable transfection of Eimeria tenella have been developed successfully. Herein, we report the transient and stable transfection of Eimeria mitis. Methods and Findings Sporozoites of E. mitis transfected with enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) expression plasmid were inoculated into chickens via the cloacal route. The recovered fluorescent oocysts were sorted by fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS) and then passaged 6 generations successively in chickens. The resulting population was analyzed by genome walking and Western blot. The endogenous development of the transgenic E. mitis was observed and its reproduction potential was tested. The stable transfection of E. mitis was developed. Genome walking confirmed the random integration of plasmid DNA into the genome; while Western blot analysis demonstrated the expression of foreign proteins. Constitutive expression of EYFP was observed in all stages of merogony, gametogony and sporogony. The peak of the transgenic oocyst output was delayed by 24 h and the total oocyst reproduction was reduced by 7-fold when compared to the parental strain. Conclusion Stable transfection of E. mitis was successfully developed. The expression of foreign antigens in the transgenic parasites will facilitate the development of transgenic E. mitis as a vaccine vector. PMID:25490541

  20. Azurin-like protein blocks invasion of Toxoplasma gondii through potential interactions with parasite surface antigen SAG1.

    PubMed

    Naguleswaran, Arunasalam; Fialho, Arsenio M; Chaudhari, Anita; Hong, Chang Soo; Chakrabarty, Ananda M; Sullivan, William J

    2008-02-01

    Some pathogenic bacteria produce factors that have evolved a capacity to neutralize competing microbes. The cupredoxin family protein azurin, produced by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, exhibits a remarkable ability to impede invasion of a number of diverse intracellular pathogens, including the human AIDS virus human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and the protozoan parasite Plasmodium falciparum (which causes malaria). Here we report that azurin and an azurin-like protein (Laz) from gonococci/meningococci have activity against Toxoplasma, an apicomplexan parasite that causes opportunistic infection in immunocompromised individuals. We demonstrate that the mechanism of action for Laz involves interfering with the ability of Toxoplasma to adhere to host cells. Computer structural analysis reveals that azurin shares structural features with the predominant surface antigen SAG1, which is known to play an important role in parasite attachment. Interestingly, azurin also has structural similarities to a monoclonal antibody to SAG1. Surface plasmon resonance binding studies validate that SAG1 interacts strongly with Laz and, to lesser extent, azurin. Moreover, Toxoplasma mutants lacking SAG1 are not as susceptible to the growth-inhibitory effects of Laz. Collectively, our data show that Toxoplasma adhesion can be significantly impaired by Laz, and to some extent by azurin, via interactions with SAG1. These observations indicate that Laz can serve as an important tool in the study of host-pathogen interactions and is worthy of further study for development into potential therapeutic agents. PMID:18070964

  1. Analysis of Noncanonical Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases in Toxoplasma gondii by Targeted Gene Deletion Using CRISPR/Cas9.

    PubMed

    Long, Shaojun; Wang, Qiuling; Sibley, L David

    2016-05-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are expanded in apicomplexan parasites, especially in Toxoplasma gondii where 14 separate genes encoding these enzymes are found. Although previous studies have shown that several CDPKs play a role in controlling invasion, egress, and cell division in T. gondii, the roles of most of these genes are unexplored. Here we developed a more efficient method for gene disruption using CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated protein 9) that was modified to completely delete large, multiexonic genes from the genome and to allow serial replacement by recycling of the selectable marker using Cre-loxP. Using this system, we generated a total of 24 mutants in type 1 and 2 genetic backgrounds to ascertain the functions of noncanonical CDPKs. Remarkably, although we were able to confirm the essentiality of CDPK1 and CDPK7, the majority of CDPKs had no discernible phenotype for growth in vitro or infection in the mouse model. The exception to this was CDPK6, loss of which leads to reduced plaquing, fitness defect in a competition assay, and reduced tissue cyst formation in chronically infected mice. Our findings highlight the utility of CRISPR/Cas9 for rapid serial gene deletion and also suggest that additional models are needed to reveal the functions of many genes in T. gondii. PMID:26755159

  2. Immunogenicity of orally administrated recombinant Lactobacillus casei Zhang expressing Cryptosporidium parvum surface adhesion protein P23 in mice.

    PubMed

    Geriletu; Xu, Rihua; Jia, Honglin; Terkawi, Mohamad Alaa; Xuan, Xuenan; Zhang, Heping

    2011-05-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum, an intestinal apicomplexan parasite, is a significant cause of diarrheal diseases in both humans and animals. What is more, there is no promising strategy for controlling cryptosporidiosis. In this study, the P23 immunodominant surface protein of C. parvum sporozoites was stably expressed in the Lactobacillus casei Zhang strain and its immunogenicity was evaluated in a mouse model. The molecular weight (23 kDa) and immunogenicity of p23 gene expressed by L. casei Zhang were similar to that of the native P23 protein. Oral immunization with control L. casei Zhang and recombinant L. casei Zhang-p23 activated the mucosal immune system to elicit serum immunoglobulin G (IgG) and mucosal IgA in mice. Furthermore, the expression of cytokines such as IL-4, IL-6, and IFN-γ in splenocytes of mice was detected by real-time PCR after oral immunization. P23-specific immunocyte activation was also verified. These findings indicate that the live L. casei Zhang vector may be a new tool for the production of mucosal vaccines against cryptosporidiosis in animals. PMID:21336991

  3. The Unfolded Protein Response in the Protozoan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii Features Translational and Transcriptional Control

    PubMed Central

    Joyce, Bradley R.; Tampaki, Zoi; Kim, Kami

    2013-01-01

    The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an important regulatory network that responds to perturbations in protein homeostasis in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). In mammalian cells, the UPR features translational and transcriptional mechanisms of gene expression aimed at restoring proteostatic control. A central feature of the UPR is phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor-2 (eIF2) by PERK (EIF2AK3/PEK), which reduces the influx of nascent proteins into the ER by lowering global protein synthesis, coincident with preferential translation of key transcription activators of genes that function to expand the processing capacity of this secretory organelle. Upon ER stress, the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is known to induce phosphorylation of Toxoplasma eIF2α and lower translation initiation. To characterize the nature of the ensuing UPR in this parasite, we carried out microarray analyses to measure the changes in the transcriptome and in translational control during ER stress. We determined that a collection of transcripts linked with the secretory process are induced in response to ER stress, supporting the idea that a transcriptional induction phase of the UPR occurs in Toxoplasma. Furthermore, we determined that about 500 gene transcripts showed enhanced association with translating ribosomes during ER stress. Many of these target genes are suggested to be involved in gene expression, including JmjC5, which continues to be actively translated during ER stress. This study indicates that Toxoplasma triggers a UPR during ER stress that features both translational and transcriptional regulatory mechanisms, which is likely to be important for parasite invasion and development. PMID:23666622

  4. Expression and localization of rhoptry neck protein 5 in merozoites and sporozoites of Plasmodium yoelii.

    PubMed

    Mutungi, Joe Kimanthi; Yahata, Kazuhide; Sakaguchi, Miako; Kaneko, Osamu

    2014-12-01

    Host cell invasion by Apicomplexan parasites marks a crucial step in disease establishment and pathogenesis. The moving junction (MJ) is a conserved and essential feature among parasites of this phylum during host cell invasion, thus proteins that associate at this MJ are potential targets of drug and vaccine development. In both Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum, a micronemal protein, Apical Membrane Antigen 1 (AMA1), and Rhoptry Neck proteins (RONs; RON2 and RON4) form an essential complex at the MJ. A new RON member, RON5, was shown to be important to stabilize RON2 during development and to associate with the MJ complex in T. gondii and also to be immunoprecipitated by anti-AMA1 antibody in P. falciparum. However, the detailed molecular nature of RON5 in Plasmodium is not well understood. In this study, Plasmodium yoelii RON5 gene (pyron5) was identified as an ortholog of P. falciparum and Plasmodium berghei ron5. The pyron5 exon-intron structure was validated by comparing genomic DNA sequences and experimentally determining full-length complementary DNA sequence. PyRON5 was detected in water-insoluble fractions but no reliable transmembrane domain(s) were predicted by transmembrane prediction algorithms. PyRON5 formed a complex with PyRON4, PyRON2, and PyAMA1 in late schizont protein extract. Taken together, we infer that these results suggest that PyRON5 associates with membrane indirectly via other MJ components. Indirect immunofluorescence assay and immunoelectron microscopy localized PyRON5 at the rhoptry neck of the late schizont merozoites and at the rhoptry of sporozoites. The two-stage expression of PyRON5 suggests that PyRON5 plays roles in invasion not only of erythrocytes, but also of mosquito salivary glands and/or mammalian hepatocytes. PMID:25102354

  5. Proteomics reveals differences in protein abundance and highly similar antigenic profiles between Besnoitia besnoiti and Besnoitia tarandi.

    PubMed

    García-Lunar, P; Regidor-Cerrillo, J; Ortega-Mora, L M; Gutiérrez-Expósito, D; Alvarez-García, G

    2014-10-15

    Besnoitia besnoiti and Besnoitia tarandi are two cyst-forming apicomplexan parasites of the genus Besnoitia. B. besnoiti uses cattle as an intermediate host, in which it causes a disease that progresses in two sequential phases: the acute anasarca stage and the chronic scleroderma stage. Reindeer and caribou act as intermediate hosts for B. tarandi, which causes clinical signs similar to those caused by B. besnoiti. Previous studies demonstrated high molecular similarity, as determined by 18S and ITS-1 RNA sequences, between these Besnoitia spp., and strong serological cross-reactivity between these species has recently been demonstrated. Thus, a difference gel electrophoresis approach and mass spectrometry analysis were used to describe the proteomes and explore differences in protein abundance between B. besnoiti and B. tarandi in tachyzoite extracts. Immunoproteomes were also compared using 2-DE immunoblotting with polyclonal sera from experimentally infected rabbits. From approximately 1400 spots detected in DIGE-gels, 28 and 29 spots were differentially abundant in B. besnoiti and B. tarandi tachyzoites, respectively (± 1.5-fold, p<0.05). Four and 13 spots were exclusively detected in B. besnoiti and B. tarandi, respectively. Of the 32 differentially abundant spots analyzed by MALDI-TOF/MS, 6 up-regulated B. besnoiti proteins (LDH; HSP90; purine nucleoside phosphorylase and 3 hypothetical proteins) and 6 up-regulated B. tarandi proteins (G3PDH; LDH; PDI; mRNA decapping protein and 2 hypothetical proteins) were identified. Interestingly, no specific antigen spots were recognized by sera on any of the Besnoitia species studied and a similar antigen profile has been observed for B. tarandi and B. besnoiti sera when cross reactions were studied. This fact corroborates the difficulty in discerning Besnoitia infections using current serological assays. The present study underscores the importance of sequencing the B. besnoiti genome for species diversity studies of

  6. Dietary Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... grains and beans. Proteins from meat and other animal products are complete proteins. This means they supply all of the amino acids the body can't make on its own. Most plant proteins are incomplete. You should eat different types of plant proteins every day to get ...

  7. The Toxoplasma gondii Calcium Dependent Protein Kinase 7 is involved in early steps of parasite division and is crucial for parasite survival

    PubMed Central

    Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Berry, Laurence; Chen, Chun-Ti; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Lebrun, Maryse; Daher, Wassim

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites express various Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinases (CDPKs), and some of them play essential roles in invasion and egress. Five of the six CDPKs conserved in most Apicomplexa have been studied at the molecular and cellular levels in Plasmodium species and/or in Toxoplasma gondii parasites, but the function of CDPK7 was so far uncharacterized. In T. gondii, during intracellular replication, two parasites are formed within a mother cell through a unique process called endodyogeny. Here we demonstrate that the knock-down of CDPK7 protein in T. gondii results in pronounced defects in parasite division and a major growth deficiency, while it is dispensable for motility, egress and microneme exocytosis. In cdpk7-depleted parasites, the overall DNA content was not impaired, but the polarity of daughter cells budding and the fate of several sub-cellular structures or proteins involved in cell division were affected, such as the centrosomes and the kinetochore. Overall, our data suggest that CDPK7 is crucial for proper maintenance of centrosome integrity required for the initiation of endodyogeny. Our findings provide a first insight into the probable role of calcium-dependent signalling in parasite multiplication, in addition to its more widely explored role in invasion and egress. PMID:24011186

  8. A Nucleus-Encoded Chloroplast Protein Regulated by Iron Availability Governs Expression of the Photosystem I Subunit PsaA in Chlamydomonas reinhardtii1

    PubMed Central

    Lefebvre-Legendre, Linnka; Choquet, Yves; Kuras, Richard; Loubéry, Sylvain; Douchi, Damien; Goldschmidt-Clermont, Michel

    2015-01-01

    The biogenesis of the photosynthetic electron transfer chain in the thylakoid membranes requires the concerted expression of genes in the chloroplast and the nucleus. Chloroplast gene expression is subjected to anterograde control by a battery of nucleus-encoded proteins that are imported in the chloroplast, where they mostly intervene at posttranscriptional steps. Using a new genetic screen, we identify a nuclear mutant that is required for expression of the PsaA subunit of photosystem I (PSI) in the chloroplast of Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. This mutant is affected in the stability and translation of psaA messenger RNA. The corresponding gene, TRANSLATION OF psaA1 (TAA1), encodes a large protein with two domains that are thought to mediate RNA binding: an array of octatricopeptide repeats (OPR) and an RNA-binding domain abundant in apicomplexans (RAP) domain. We show that as expected for its function, TAA1 is localized in the chloroplast. It was previously shown that when mixotrophic cultures of C. reinhardtii (which use both photosynthesis and mitochondrial respiration for growth) are shifted to conditions of iron limitation, there is a strong decrease in the accumulation of PSI and that this is rapidly reversed when iron is resupplied. Under these conditions, TAA1 protein is also down-regulated through a posttranscriptional mechanism and rapidly reaccumulates when iron is restored. These observations reveal a concerted regulation of PSI and of TAA1 in response to iron availability. PMID:25673777

  9. COMPLETE GENOME SEQUENCE OF THE APICOMPLEXAN, CRYPTOSPORIDIUM (R828043)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  10. Protein Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Sam K. C.

    Proteins are an abundant component in all cells, and almost all except storage proteins are important for biological functions and cell structure. Food proteins are very complex. Many have been purified and characterized. Proteins vary in molecular mass, ranging from approximately 5000 to more than a million Daltons. They are composed of elements including hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and sulfur. Twenty α-amino acids are the building blocks of proteins; the amino acid residues in a protein are linked by peptide bonds. Nitrogen is the most distinguishing element present in proteins. However, nitrogen content in various food proteins ranges from 13.4 to 19.1% (1) due to the variation in the specific amino acid composition of proteins. Generally, proteins rich in basic amino acids contain more nitrogen.

  11. Total protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003483.htm Total protein To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. The total protein test measures the total amount of two classes ...

  12. Whey Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... shows that taking whey protein in combination with strength training increases lean body mass, strength, and muscle size. ... grams/kg of whey protein in combination with strength training for 6-10 weeks. For HIV/AIDS-related ...

  13. Protein Microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricard-Blum, S.

    Proteins are key actors in the life of the cell, involved in many physiological and pathological processes. Since variations in the expression of messenger RNA are not systematically correlated with variations in the protein levels, the latter better reflect the way a cell functions. Protein microarrays thus supply complementary information to DNA chips. They are used in particular to analyse protein expression profiles, to detect proteins within complex biological media, and to study protein-protein interactions, which give information about the functions of those proteins [3-9]. They have the same advantages as DNA microarrays for high-throughput analysis, miniaturisation, and the possibility of automation. Section 18.1 gives a brief overview of proteins. Following this, Sect. 18.2 describes how protein microarrays can be made on flat supports, explaining how proteins can be produced and immobilised on a solid support, and discussing the different kinds of substrate and detection method. Section 18.3 discusses the particular format of protein microarrays in suspension. The diversity of protein microarrays and their applications are then reported in Sect. 18.4, with applications to therapeutics (protein-drug interactions) and diagnostics. The prospects for future developments of protein microarrays are then outlined in the conclusion. The bibliography provides an extensive list of reviews and detailed references for those readers who wish to go further in this area. Indeed, the aim of the present chapter is not to give an exhaustive or detailed analysis of the state of the art, but rather to provide the reader with the basic elements needed to understand how proteins are designed and used.

  14. Protein Structure

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Asmus, Elaine Garbarino

    2007-01-01

    Individual students model specific amino acids and then, through dehydration synthesis, a class of students models a protein. The students clearly learn amino acid structure, primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary structure in proteins and the nature of the bonds maintaining a protein's shape. This activity is fun, concrete, inexpensive and…

  15. Toxoplasma gondii Chromodomain Protein 1 Binds to Heterochromatin and Colocalises with Centromeres and Telomeres at the Nuclear Periphery

    PubMed Central

    Gissot, Mathieu; Walker, Robert; Delhaye, Stephane; Huot, Ludovic; Hot, David; Tomavo, Stanislas

    2012-01-01

    Background Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for some of the most deadly parasitic diseases afflicting humans, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. These obligate intracellular parasites exhibit a complex life cycle and a coordinated cell cycle-dependant expression program. Their cell division is a coordinated multistep process. How this complex mechanism is organised remains poorly understood. Methods and Findings In this study, we provide evidence for a link between heterochromatin, cell division and the compartmentalisation of the nucleus in Toxoplasma gondii. We characterised a T. gondii chromodomain containing protein (named TgChromo1) that specifically binds to heterochromatin. Using ChIP-on-chip on a genome-wide scale, we report TgChromo1 enrichment at the peri-centromeric chromatin. In addition, we demonstrate that TgChromo1 is cell-cycle regulated and co-localised with markers of the centrocone. Through the loci-specific FISH technique for T. gondii, we confirmed that TgChromo1 occupies the same nuclear localisation as the peri-centromeric sequences. Conclusion We propose that TgChromo1 may play a role in the sequestration of chromosomes at the nuclear periphery and in the process of T. gondii cell division. PMID:22427862

  16. Molecular detection of Babesia ovis in sheep and ticks using the gene encoding B. ovis surface protein D (BoSPD).

    PubMed

    Erster, Oran; Roth, Asael; Wolkomirsky, Ricardo; Leibovich, Benjamin; Savitzky, Igor; Zamir, Shmuel; Molad, Thea; Shkap, Varda

    2015-12-15

    The gene encoding Babesia ovis surface protein D (BoSPD) was cloned from B. ovis cDNA library. This gene encodes a polypeptide chain of 155 amino acids, including a predicted 22 amino acid signal peptide. Sequence analysis of the BoSPD suggested that it is a surface protein with no known domains. BLAST analysis followed by multiple alignments showed four orthologs from other Apicomplexan species and suggested that BoSPD is specific for B. ovis. BoSPD-based PCR was then developed to specifically detect B. ovis in experimentally-infected sheep and Rhipicephalus bursa ticks, as well as in field samples. The PCR enabled detection of B. ovis at a calculated parasitemia of 0.0016% and was shown to be specific for B. ovis. Moreover, the BoSPD PCR allowed detection of prolonged subclinical infection in experimentally-infected lambs and in dissected organs of experimentally-infected ticks. Finally, the PCR was used to detect parasitemia in blood samples from naturally-infected sheep and in R. bursa ticks collected from sheep in an infected flock. These results suggest that the BoSPD gene sequence can be used as a specific and sensitive marker, allowing detection of subclinical parasitemia in sheep and in ticks. Based on its predicted properties, BoSPD may be considered as a candidate for anti-B. ovis vaccine development or a target for anti-B.ovis treatment. PMID:26391822

  17. Protein folds and protein folding

    PubMed Central

    Schaeffer, R. Dustin; Daggett, Valerie

    2011-01-01

    The classification of protein folds is necessarily based on the structural elements that distinguish domains. Classification of protein domains consists of two problems: the partition of structures into domains and the classification of domains into sets of similar structures (or folds). Although similar topologies may arise by convergent evolution, the similarity of their respective folding pathways is unknown. The discovery and the characterization of the majority of protein folds will be followed by a similar enumeration of available protein folding pathways. Consequently, understanding the intricacies of structural domains is necessary to understanding their collective folding pathways. We review the current state of the art in the field of protein domain classification and discuss methods for the systematic and comprehensive study of protein folding across protein fold space via atomistic molecular dynamics simulation. Finally, we discuss our large-scale Dynameomics project, which includes simulations of representatives of all autonomous protein folds. PMID:21051320

  18. Structure and Function of Four Classes of the 4Fe-4S Protein, IspH.

    PubMed

    Rao, Guodong; Oldfield, Eric

    2016-07-26

    IspH, (E)-1-hydroxy-2-methyl-but-2-enyl 4-diphosphate reductase, is an essential enzyme in isoprenoid biosynthesis and an important drug/herbicide target. Using X-ray crystallographic, bioinformatics, mutagenesis/kinetics/stability, and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) results, we show that organisms from different environments ultilize one of four main IspH classes. The classes are based on the arrangement of the aromatic residues near the 4Fe-4S cluster and the presence or absence of N- and C-terminal extensions. Class A enzymes are found primarily in anaerobic and microaerophilic bacteria. Class B enzymes are found in aerobic bacteria. Class C enzymes are found in cyanobacteria and plants. Class D enzymes are found in apicomplexan parasites. Using mutagenesis, we show that the cluster-associated aromatic groups in class A and class B IspHs enhance cluster oxidative stability. Y198A, F302A, and a C-terminal truncation mutant of the class B (Escherichia coli) IspH have catalytic activity lower than that of the wild-type protein when using methyl viologen as the electron donor, but higher activity with dithionite as the electron donor, due to ready access of the small reductant to the cluster, consistent with their increased oxygen and H2O2 sensitivity. F302A has the largest effect on the reaction rates, and EPR studies indicate this residue affects Fe-S cluster structure. Similar effects on cluster stability are seen with class A (F14A and Y98A) mutants; however, effects on ET rates are smaller, and there are no differences between the EPR spectra of mutant and wild-type proteins. Overall, the results are of general interest because they show, for the first time, that there are multiple IspH classes that have evolved to allow organisms to survive in diverse oxidative-stress environments. PMID:27357244

  19. Protein Dynamics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frauenfelder, Hans

    2011-03-01

    Proteins combine properties of solids, liquids, and glasses. Schrödinger anticipated the main features of biomolecules long ago by stating that they had to be solid-like, but able to assume many different conformations. Indeed proteins can assume a gigantic number of conformational substates with the same primary sequence but different conformations. The different substates are described as craters in a very-high-dimensional energy landscape. The energy landscape is organized in a hierarchy of tiers, craters within craters within craters. Protein motions are pictured as transition between substates - jumps from crater to crater. Initially we assumed that these jumps were controlled by internal barriers between substates, but experiments have shown that nature selected a different approach. Proteins are surrounded by one to two layers of water and are embedded in a bulk solvent. Structural motions of the protein are controlled by the alpha fluctuations in the solvent surrounding the protein. Some internal motions most likely involving side chains are controlled electrostatically by beta fluctuations in the hydration shell. The dynamics of proteins is consequently dominated by the environment (H. Frauenfelder et al. PNAS 106, 5129 (2009). One can speculate that this organization permits exchange of information among biomolecules. The energy landscape is not just organized into two tiers, alpha and beta, but cryogenic experiments have revealed more tiers and protein more properties similar to that of glasses. While proteins function at ambient temperatures, cryogenic studies are necessary to understand the physics relevant for biology.

  20. Interfacial Protein-Protein Associations

    PubMed Central

    Langdon, Blake B.; Kastantin, Mark; Walder, Robert; Schwartz, Daniel K.

    2014-01-01

    While traditional models of protein adsorption focus primarily on direct protein-surface interactions, recent findings suggest that protein-protein interactions may play a central role. Using high-throughput intermolecular resonance energy transfer (RET) tracking, we directly observed dynamic, protein-protein associations of bovine serum albumin on poly(ethylene glycol) modified surfaces. The associations were heterogeneous and reversible, and associating molecules resided on the surface for longer times. The appearance of three distinct RET states suggested a spatially heterogeneous surface – with areas of high protein density (i.e. strongly-interacting clusters) coexisting with mobile monomers. Distinct association states exhibited characteristic behavior, i.e. partial-RET (monomer-monomer) associations were shorter-lived than complete-RET (protein-cluster) associations. While the fractional surface area covered by regions with high protein density (i.e. clusters) increased with increasing concentration, the distribution of contact times between monomers and clusters was independent of solution concentration, suggesting that associations were a local phenomenon, and independent of the global surface coverage. PMID:24274729

  1. Whey Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... intolerance, for replacing or supplementing milk-based infant formulas, and for reversing weight loss and increasing glutathione ( ... allergic reactions compared to infants who receive standard formula. However, taking why protein might not be helpful ...

  2. Identification of an Atg8-Atg3 Protein–Protein Interaction Inhibitor from the Medicines for Malaria Venture Malaria Box Active in Blood and Liver Stage Plasmodium falciparum Parasites

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Atg8 is a ubiquitin-like autophagy protein in eukaryotes that is covalently attached (lipidated) to the elongating autophagosomal membrane. Autophagy is increasingly appreciated as a target in diverse diseases from cancer to eukaryotic parasitic infections. Some of the autophagy machinery is conserved in the malaria parasite, Plasmodium. Although Atg8’s function in the parasite is not well understood, it is essential for Plasmodium growth and survival and partially localizes to the apicoplast, an indispensable organelle in apicomplexans. Here, we describe the identification of inhibitors from the Malaria Medicine Venture Malaria Box against the interaction of PfAtg8 with its E2-conjugating enzyme, PfAtg3, by surface plasmon resonance. Inhibition of this protein–protein interaction prevents PfAtg8 lipidation with phosphatidylethanolamine. These small molecule inhibitors share a common scaffold and have activity against both blood and liver stages of infection by Plasmodium falciparum. We have derivatized this scaffold into a functional platform for further optimization. PMID:24786226

  3. Characterization of monoclonal antibodies that recognize the Eimeria tenella microneme protein MIC2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Apicomplexan pathogens of the species Eimeria cause coccidiosis, an intestinal disease of chickens, which has a major economic impact on the poultry industry. Members of the phylum Apicomplexa share an assortment of unique secretory organelles (rhoptries, micronemes and dense granules) that me...

  4. Designed protein-protein association.

    PubMed

    Grueninger, Dirk; Treiber, Nora; Ziegler, Mathias O P; Koetter, Jochen W A; Schulze, Monika-Sarah; Schulz, Georg E

    2008-01-11

    The analysis of natural contact interfaces between protein subunits and between proteins has disclosed some general rules governing their association. We have applied these rules to produce a number of novel assemblies, demonstrating that a given protein can be engineered to form contacts at various points of its surface. Symmetry plays an important role because it defines the multiplicity of a designed contact and therefore the number of required mutations. Some of the proteins needed only a single side-chain alteration in order to associate to a higher-order complex. The mobility of the buried side chains has to be taken into account. Four assemblies have been structurally elucidated. Comparisons between the designed contacts and the results will provide useful guidelines for the development of future architectures. PMID:18187656

  5. Structure of a putative ClpS N-end rule adaptor protein from the malaria pathogen Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    AhYoung, Andrew P; Koehl, Antoine; Vizcarra, Christina L; Cascio, Duilio; Egea, Pascal F

    2016-03-01

    The N-end rule pathway uses an evolutionarily conserved mechanism in bacteria and eukaryotes that marks proteins for degradation by ATP-dependent chaperones and proteases such as the Clp chaperones and proteases. Specific N-terminal amino acids (N-degrons) are sufficient to target substrates for degradation. In bacteria, the ClpS adaptor binds and delivers N-end rule substrates for their degradation upon association with the ClpA/P chaperone/protease. Here, we report the first crystal structure, solved at 2.7 Å resolution, of a eukaryotic homolog of bacterial ClpS from the malaria apicomplexan parasite Plasmodium falciparum (Pfal). Despite limited sequence identity, Plasmodium ClpS is very similar to bacterial ClpS. Akin to its bacterial orthologs, plasmodial ClpS harbors a preformed hydrophobic pocket whose geometry and chemical properties are compatible with the binding of N-degrons. However, while the N-degron binding pocket in bacterial ClpS structures is open and accessible, the corresponding pocket in Plasmodium ClpS is occluded by a conserved surface loop that acts as a latch. Despite the closed conformation observed in the crystal, we show that, in solution, Pfal-ClpS binds and discriminates peptides mimicking bona fide N-end rule substrates. The presence of an apicoplast targeting peptide suggests that Pfal-ClpS localizes to this plastid-like organelle characteristic of all Apicomplexa and hosting most of its Clp machinery. By analogy with the related ClpS1 from plant chloroplasts and cyanobacteria, Plasmodium ClpS likely functions in association with ClpC in the apicoplast. Our findings open new venues for the design of novel anti-malarial drugs aimed at disrupting parasite-specific protein quality control pathways. PMID:26701219

  6. Protein Crystallization

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chernov, Alexander A.

    2005-01-01

    Nucleation, growth and perfection of protein crystals will be overviewed along with crystal mechanical properties. The knowledge is based on experiments using optical and force crystals behave similar to inorganic crystals, though with a difference in orders of magnitude in growing parameters. For example, the low incorporation rate of large biomolecules requires up to 100 times larger supersaturation to grow protein, rather than inorganic crystals. Nucleation is often poorly reproducible, partly because of turbulence accompanying the mixing of precipitant with protein solution. Light scattering reveals fluctuations of molecular cluster size, its growth, surface energies and increased clustering as protein ages. Growth most often occurs layer-by-layer resulting in faceted crystals. New molecular layer on crystal face is terminated by a step where molecular incorporation occurs. Quantitative data on the incorporation rate will be discussed. Rounded crystals with molecularly disordered interfaces will be explained. Defects in crystals compromise the x-ray diffraction resolution crucially needed to find the 3D atomic structure of biomolecules. The defects are immobile so that birth defects stay forever. All lattice defects known for inorganics are revealed in protein crystals. Contribution of molecular conformations to lattice disorder is important, but not studied. This contribution may be enhanced by stress field from other defects. Homologous impurities (e.g., dimers, acetylated molecules) are trapped more willingly by a growing crystal than foreign protein impurities. The trapped impurities induce internal stress eliminated in crystals exceeding a critical size (part of mni for ferritin, lysozyme). Lesser impurities are trapped from stagnant, as compared to the flowing, solution. Freezing may induce much more defects unless quickly amorphysizing intracrystalline water.

  7. Bacteriophage protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Häuser, Roman; Blasche, Sonja; Dokland, Terje; Haggård-Ljungquist, Elisabeth; von Brunn, Albrecht; Salas, Margarita; Casjens, Sherwood; Molineux, Ian; Uetz, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Bacteriophages T7, λ, P22, and P2/P4 (from Escherichia coli), as well as ϕ29 (from Bacillus subtilis), are among the best-studied bacterial viruses. This chapter summarizes published protein interaction data of intraviral protein interactions, as well as known phage-host protein interactions of these phages retrieved from the literature. We also review the published results of comprehensive protein interaction analyses of Pneumococcus phages Dp-1 and Cp-1, as well as coliphages λ and T7. For example, the ≈55 proteins encoded by the T7 genome are connected by ≈43 interactions with another ≈15 between the phage and its host. The chapter compiles published interactions for the well-studied phages λ (33 intra-phage/22 phage-host), P22 (38/9), P2/P4 (14/3), and ϕ29 (20/2). We discuss whether different interaction patterns reflect different phage lifestyles or whether they may be artifacts of sampling. Phages that infect the same host can interact with different host target proteins, as exemplified by E. coli phage λ and T7. Despite decades of intensive investigation, only a fraction of these phage interactomes are known. Technical limitations and a lack of depth in many studies explain the gaps in our knowledge. Strategies to complete current interactome maps are described. Although limited space precludes detailed overviews of phage molecular biology, this compilation will allow future studies to put interaction data into the context of phage biology. PMID:22748812

  8. Recombinant protein production technology

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recombinant protein production is an important technology for antibody production, biochemical activity study, and structural determination during the post-genomic era. Limiting factors in recombinant protein production include low-level protein expression, protein precipitation, and loss of protein...

  9. Protein inference: A protein quantification perspective.

    PubMed

    He, Zengyou; Huang, Ting; Liu, Xiaoqing; Zhu, Peijun; Teng, Ben; Deng, Shengchun

    2016-08-01

    In mass spectrometry-based shotgun proteomics, protein quantification and protein identification are two major computational problems. To quantify the protein abundance, a list of proteins must be firstly inferred from the raw data. Then the relative or absolute protein abundance is estimated with quantification methods, such as spectral counting. Until now, most researchers have been dealing with these two processes separately. In fact, the protein inference problem can be regarded as a special protein quantification problem in the sense that truly present proteins are those proteins whose abundance values are not zero. Some recent published papers have conceptually discussed this possibility. However, there is still a lack of rigorous experimental studies to test this hypothesis. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of using protein quantification methods to solve the protein inference problem. Protein inference methods aim to determine whether each candidate protein is present in the sample or not. Protein quantification methods estimate the abundance value of each inferred protein. Naturally, the abundance value of an absent protein should be zero. Thus, we argue that the protein inference problem can be viewed as a special protein quantification problem in which one protein is considered to be present if its abundance is not zero. Based on this idea, our paper tries to use three simple protein quantification methods to solve the protein inference problem effectively. The experimental results on six data sets show that these three methods are competitive with previous protein inference algorithms. This demonstrates that it is plausible to model the protein inference problem as a special protein quantification task, which opens the door of devising more effective protein inference algorithms from a quantification perspective. The source codes of our methods are available at: http://code.google.com/p/protein-inference/. PMID:26935399

  10. DNA vaccination with a gene encoding Toxoplasma gondii Rhoptry Protein 17 induces partial protective immunity against lethal challenge in mice

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Hai-Long; Wang, Yu-Jing; Pei, Yan-Jiang; Bai, Ji-Zhong; Yin, Li-Tian; Guo, Rui; Yin, Guo-Rong

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that affects humans and various vertebrate livestock and causes serious economic losses. To develop an effective vaccine against T. gondii infection, we constructed a DNA vaccine encoding the T. gondii rhoptry protein 17 (TgROP17) and evaluated its immune protective efficacy against acute T. gondii infection in mice. The DNA vaccine (p3×Flag-CMV-14-ROP17) was intramuscularly injected to BALB/c mice and the immune responses of the vaccinated mice were determined. Compared to control mice treated with empty vector or PBS, mice immunized with the ROP17 vaccine showed a relatively high level of specific anti-T. gondii antibodies, and a mixed IgG1/IgG2a response with predominance of IgG2a production. The immunized mice also displayed a specific lymphocyte proliferative response, a Th1-type cellular immune response with production of IFN-γ and interleukin-2, and increased number of CD8+ T cells. Immunization with the ROP17 DNA significantly prolonged the survival time (15.6 ± 5.4 days, P < 0.05) of mice after challenge infection with the virulent T. gondii RH strain (Type I), compared with the control groups which died within 8 days. Therefore, our data suggest that DNA vaccination with TgROP17 triggers significant humoral and cellular responses and induces effective protection in mice against acute T. gondii infection, indicating that TgROP17 is a promising vaccine candidate against acute toxoplasmosis. PMID:26842927

  11. Stable expression of a GFP-BSD fusion protein in transfected and blasticidin-selected B. bovis merozoites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Babesia bovis is a tick-borne apicomplexan parasite that causes an acute disease in cattle. This study describes stable expression of an exogenous gfp-bsd gene in B. bovis transformed parasites. Cultured B. bovis infected erythrocytes of the biologically cloned Mo7 strain were transfected by electro...

  12. A family of cysteine-rich proteins is involved in the formation of the oocyst wall of Toxoplasma gondii

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Among apicomplexan parasites, the coccidia and Cryptosporidium spp. are important pathogens of livestock and humans and the environmentally resistant stage (oocyst) is essential for their transmission. Little is known of the chemical and molecular composition of the oocyst wall. Currently, the only ...

  13. Interfacing protein lysine acetylation and protein phosphorylation

    PubMed Central

    Tran, Hue T.; Uhrig, R. Glen; Nimick, Mhairi; Moorhead, Greg B.

    2012-01-01

    Recognition that different protein covalent modifications can operate in concert to regulate a single protein has forced us to re-think the relationship between amino acid side chain modifications and protein function. Results presented by Tran et al. 2012 demonstrate the association of a protein phosphatase (PP2A) with a histone/lysine deacetylase (HDA14) on plant microtubules along with a histone/lysine acetyltransferase (ELP3). This finding reveals a regulatory interface between two prevalent covalent protein modifications, protein phosphorylation and acetylation, emphasizing the integrated complexity of post-translational protein regulation found in nature. PMID:22827947

  14. Length, protein protein interactions, and complexity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tan, Taison; Frenkel, Daan; Gupta, Vishal; Deem, Michael W.

    2005-05-01

    The evolutionary reason for the increase in gene length from archaea to prokaryotes to eukaryotes observed in large-scale genome sequencing efforts has been unclear. We propose here that the increasing complexity of protein-protein interactions has driven the selection of longer proteins, as they are more able to distinguish among a larger number of distinct interactions due to their greater average surface area. Annotated protein sequences available from the SWISS-PROT database were analyzed for 13 eukaryotes, eight bacteria, and two archaea species. The number of subcellular locations to which each protein is associated is used as a measure of the number of interactions to which a protein participates. Two databases of yeast protein-protein interactions were used as another measure of the number of interactions to which each S. cerevisiae protein participates. Protein length is shown to correlate with both number of subcellular locations to which a protein is associated and number of interactions as measured by yeast two-hybrid experiments. Protein length is also shown to correlate with the probability that the protein is encoded by an essential gene. Interestingly, average protein length and number of subcellular locations are not significantly different between all human proteins and protein targets of known, marketed drugs. Increased protein length appears to be a significant mechanism by which the increasing complexity of protein-protein interaction networks is accommodated within the natural evolution of species. Consideration of protein length may be a valuable tool in drug design, one that predicts different strategies for inhibiting interactions in aberrant and normal pathways.

  15. EDITORIAL: Precision proteins Precision proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna

    2010-06-01

    Since the birth of modern day medicine, during the times of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, the profession has developed from the rudimentary classification of disease into a rigorous science with an inspiring capability to treat and cure. Scientific methodology has distilled clinical diagnostic tools from the early arts of prognosis, which used to rely as much on revelation and prophecy, as intuition and judgement [1]. Over the past decade, research into the interactions between proteins and nanosystems has provided some ingenious and apt techniques for delving into the intricacies of anatomical systems. In vivo biosensing has emerged as a vibrant field of research, as much of medical diagnosis relies on the detection of substances or an imbalance in the chemicals in the body. The inherent properties of nanoscale structures, such as cantilevers, make them well suited to biosensing applications that demand the detection of molecules at very low concentrations. Measurable deflections in cantilevers functionalised with antibodies provide quantitative indicators of the presence of specific antigens when the two react. Such developments have roused mounting interest in the interactions of proteins with nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes [3], which have demonstrated great potential as generic biomarkers. Plasmonic properties are also being exploited in sensing applications, such as the molecular sentinel recently devised by researchers in the US. The device uses the plasmonic properties of a silver nanoparticle linked to a Raman labelled hairpin DNA probe to signal changes in the probe geometry resulting from interactions with substances in the environment. Success stories so far include the detection of two specific genes associated with breast cancer [4]. A greater understanding of how RNA interference regulates gene expression has highlighted the potential of using this natural process as another agent for combating disease in personalized medicine. However, the

  16. EDITORIAL: Precision proteins Precision proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna

    2010-06-01

    Since the birth of modern day medicine, during the times of Hippocrates in ancient Greece, the profession has developed from the rudimentary classification of disease into a rigorous science with an inspiring capability to treat and cure. Scientific methodology has distilled clinical diagnostic tools from the early arts of prognosis, which used to rely as much on revelation and prophecy, as intuition and judgement [1]. Over the past decade, research into the interactions between proteins and nanosystems has provided some ingenious and apt techniques for delving into the intricacies of anatomical systems. In vivo biosensing has emerged as a vibrant field of research, as much of medical diagnosis relies on the detection of substances or an imbalance in the chemicals in the body. The inherent properties of nanoscale structures, such as cantilevers, make them well suited to biosensing applications that demand the detection of molecules at very low concentrations. Measurable deflections in cantilevers functionalised with antibodies provide quantitative indicators of the presence of specific antigens when the two react. Such developments have roused mounting interest in the interactions of proteins with nanostructures, such as carbon nanotubes [3], which have demonstrated great potential as generic biomarkers. Plasmonic properties are also being exploited in sensing applications, such as the molecular sentinel recently devised by researchers in the US. The device uses the plasmonic properties of a silver nanoparticle linked to a Raman labelled hairpin DNA probe to signal changes in the probe geometry resulting from interactions with substances in the environment. Success stories so far include the detection of two specific genes associated with breast cancer [4]. A greater understanding of how RNA interference regulates gene expression has highlighted the potential of using this natural process as another agent for combating disease in personalized medicine. However, the

  17. Shotgun protein sequencing.

    SciTech Connect

    Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Heffelfinger, Grant S.

    2009-06-01

    A novel experimental and computational technique based on multiple enzymatic digestion of a protein or protein mixture that reconstructs protein sequences from sequences of overlapping peptides is described in this SAND report. This approach, analogous to shotgun sequencing of DNA, is to be used to sequence alternative spliced proteins, to identify post-translational modifications, and to sequence genetically engineered proteins.

  18. Protein Crystal Based Nanomaterials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, Jeffrey A.; VanRoey, Patrick

    2001-01-01

    This is the final report on a NASA Grant. It concerns a description of work done, which includes: (1) Protein crystals cross-linked to form fibers; (2) Engineering of protein to favor crystallization; (3) Better knowledge-based potentials for protein-protein contacts; (4) Simulation of protein crystallization.

  19. Protein folding, protein homeostasis, and cancer

    PubMed Central

    Van Drie, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Proteins fold into their functional 3-dimensional structures from a linear amino acid sequence. In vitro this process is spontaneous; while in vivo it is orchestrated by a specialized set of proteins, called chaperones. Protein folding is an ongoing cellular process, as cellular proteins constantly undergo synthesis and degradation. Here emerging links between this process and cancer are reviewed. This perspective both yields insights into the current struggle to develop novel cancer chemotherapeutics and has implications for future chemotherapy discovery. PMID:21272445

  20. Split-Protein Systems: Beyond Binary Protein-Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Shekhawat, Sujan S.; Ghosh, Indraneel

    2011-01-01

    It has been estimated that 650,000 protein-protein interactions exist in the human interactome [1], a subset of all possible macromolecular partnerships that dictate life. Thus there is a continued need for the development of sensitive and user-friendly methods for cataloguing biomacromolecules in complex environments and for detecting their interactions, modifications, and cellular location. Such methods also allow for establishing differences in the interactome between a normal and diseased cellular state and for quantifying the outcome of therapeutic intervention. A promising approach for deconvoluting the role of macromolecular partnerships is split-protein reassembly, also called protein fragment complementation. This approach relies on the appropriate fragmentation of protein reporters, such as the green fluorescent protein or firefly luciferase, which when attached to possible interacting partners can reassemble and regain function, thereby confirming the partnership. Split-protein methods have been effectively utilized for detecting protein-protein interactions in cell-free systems, E. coli, yeast, mammalian cells, plants, and live animals. Herein, we present recent advances in engineering split-protein systems that allow for the rapid detection of ternary protein complexes, small molecule inhibitors, as well as a variety of macromolecules including nucleic acids, poly(ADP) ribose, and iron sulfur clusters. We also present advances that combine split-protein systems with chemical inducers of dimerization strategies that allow for regulating the activity of orthogonal split-proteases as well as aid in identifying enzyme inhibitors. Finally, we discuss autoinhibition strategies leading to turn-on sensors as well as future directions in split-protein methodology including possible therapeutic approaches. PMID:22070901

  1. Split-protein systems: beyond binary protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Shekhawat, Sujan S; Ghosh, Indraneel

    2011-12-01

    It has been estimated that 650,000 protein-protein interactions exist in the human interactome (Stumpf et al., 2008), a subset of all possible macromolecular partnerships that dictate life. Thus there is a continued need for the development of sensitive and user-friendly methods for cataloguing biomacromolecules in complex environments and for detecting their interactions, modifications, and cellular location. Such methods also allow for establishing differences in the interactome between a normal and diseased cellular state and for quantifying the outcome of therapeutic intervention. A promising approach for deconvoluting the role of macromolecular partnerships is split-protein reassembly, also called protein fragment complementation. This approach relies on the appropriate fragmentation of protein reporters, such as the green fluorescent protein or firefly luciferase, which when attached to possible interacting partners can reassemble and regain function, thereby confirming the partnership. Split-protein methods have been effectively utilized for detecting protein-protein interactions in cell-free systems, Escherichia coli, yeast, mammalian cells, plants, and live animals. Herein, we present recent advances in engineering split-protein systems that allow for the rapid detection of ternary protein complexes, small molecule inhibitors, as well as a variety of macromolecules including nucleic acids, poly(ADP) ribose, and iron sulfur clusters. We also present advances that combine split-protein systems with chemical inducers of dimerization strategies that allow for regulating the activity of orthogonal split-proteases as well as aid in identifying enzyme inhibitors. Finally, we discuss autoinhibition strategies leading to turn-on sensors as well as future directions in split-protein methodology including possible therapeutic approaches. PMID:22070901

  2. Protein in diet

    MedlinePlus

    ... basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help ... Protein foods are broken down into parts called amino acids during digestion. The human body needs a number ...

  3. Protein-losing enteropathy

    MedlinePlus

    ... this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007338.htm Protein-losing enteropathy To use the sharing features on this page, please enable JavaScript. Protein-losing enteropathy is an abnormal loss of protein ...

  4. Protein electrophoresis - serum

    MedlinePlus

    ... digestive tract to absorb proteins ( protein-losing enteropathy ) Malnutrition Kidney disorder called nephrotic syndrome Scarring of the ... may indicate: Abnormally low level of LDL cholesterol Malnutrition Increased gamma globulin proteins may indicate: Bone marrow ...

  5. The Structure of Plasmodium falciparum Blood-Stage 6-Cys Protein Pf41 Reveals an Unexpected Intra-Domain Insertion Required for Pf12 Coordination.

    PubMed

    Parker, Michelle L; Peng, Fangni; Boulanger, Martin J

    2015-01-01

    Plasmodium falciparum is an apicomplexan parasite and the etiological agent of severe human malaria. The complex P. falciparum life cycle is supported by a diverse repertoire of surface proteins including the family of 6-Cys s48/45 antigens. Of these, Pf41 is localized to the surface of the blood-stage merozoite through its interaction with the glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored Pf12. Our recent structural characterization of Pf12 revealed two juxtaposed 6-Cys domains (D1 and D2). Pf41, however, contains an additional segment of 120 residues predicted to form a large spacer separating its two 6-Cys domains. To gain insight into the assembly mechanism and overall architecture of the Pf12-Pf41 complex, we first determined the 2.45 Å resolution crystal structure of Pf41 using zinc single-wavelength anomalous dispersion. Structural analysis revealed an unexpected domain organization where the Pf41 6-Cys domains are, in fact, intimately associated and the additional residues instead map predominately to an inserted domain-like region (ID) located between two β-strands in D1. Notably, the ID is largely proteolyzed in the final structure suggesting inherent flexibility. To assess the contribution of the ID to complex formation, we engineered a form of Pf41 where the ID was replaced by a short glycine-serine linker and showed by isothermal titration calorimetry that binding to Pf12 was abrogated. Finally, protease protection assays showed that the proteolytic susceptibility of the ID was significantly reduced in the complex, consistent with the Pf41 ID directly engaging Pf12. Collectively, these data establish the architectural organization of Pf41 and define an essential role for the Pf41 ID in promoting assembly of the Pf12-Pf41 heterodimeric complex. PMID:26414347

  6. Domains mediate protein-protein interactions and nucleate protein assemblies.

    PubMed

    Costa, S; Cesareni, G

    2008-01-01

    Cell physiology is governed by an intricate mesh of physical and functional links among proteins, nucleic acids and other metabolites. The recent information flood coming from large-scale genomic and proteomic approaches allows us to foresee the possibility of compiling an exhaustive list of the molecules present within a cell, enriched with quantitative information on concentration and cellular localization. Moreover, several high-throughput experimental and computational techniques have been devised to map all the protein interactions occurring in a living cell. So far, such maps have been drawn as graphs where nodes represent proteins and edges represent interactions. However, this representation does not take into account the intrinsically modular nature of proteins and thus fails in providing an effective description of the determinants of binding. Since proteins are composed of domains that often confer on proteins their binding capabilities, a more informative description of the interaction network would detail, for each pair of interacting proteins in the network, which domains mediate the binding. Understanding how protein domains combine to mediate protein interactions would allow one to add important features to the protein interaction network, making it possible to discriminate between simultaneously occurring and mutually exclusive interactions. This objective can be achieved by experimentally characterizing domain recognition specificity or by analyzing the frequency of co-occurring domains in proteins that do interact. Such approaches allow gaining insights on the topology of complexes with unknown three-dimensional structure, thus opening the prospect of adopting a more rational strategy in developing drugs designed to selectively target specific protein interactions. PMID:18491061

  7. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D

    2016-07-11

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind cells to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally "undruggable" regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein-protein, protein-lipid, and protein-nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art of high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  8. Protein sensing with engineered protein nanopores*

    PubMed Central

    Mohammad, Mohammad M.; Movileanu, Liviu

    2013-01-01

    The use of nanopores is a powerful new frontier in single-molecule sciences. Nanopores have been used effectively in exploring various biophysical features of small polypeptides and proteins, such as their folding state and structure, ligand interactions, and enzymatic activity. In particular, the α-hemolysin protein pore (αHL) has been used extensively for the detection, characterization and analysis of polypeptides, because this protein nanopore is highly robust, versatile and tractable under various experimental conditions. Inspired by the mechanisms of protein translocation across the outer membrane translocases of mitochondria, we have shown the ability to use nanopore-probe techniques in controlling a single protein using engineered αHL pores. Here, we provide a detailed protocol for the preparation of αHL protein nanopores. Moreover, we demonstrate that placing attractive electrostatic traps is instrumental in tackling single-molecule stochastic sensing of folded proteins. PMID:22528256

  9. Nanotechnologies in protein microarrays.

    PubMed

    Krizkova, Sona; Heger, Zbynek; Zalewska, Marta; Moulick, Amitava; Adam, Vojtech; Kizek, Rene

    2015-01-01

    Protein microarray technology became an important research tool for study and detection of proteins, protein-protein interactions and a number of other applications. The utilization of nanoparticle-based materials and nanotechnology-based techniques for immobilization allows us not only to extend the surface for biomolecule immobilization resulting in enhanced substrate binding properties, decreased background signals and enhanced reporter systems for more sensitive assays. Generally in contemporarily developed microarray systems, multiple nanotechnology-based techniques are combined. In this review, applications of nanoparticles and nanotechnologies in creating protein microarrays, proteins immobilization and detection are summarized. We anticipate that advanced nanotechnologies can be exploited to expand promising fields of proteins identification, monitoring of protein-protein or drug-protein interactions, or proteins structures. PMID:26039143

  10. PREFACE: Protein protein interactions: principles and predictions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nussinov, Ruth; Tsai, Chung-Jung

    2005-06-01

    Proteins are the `workhorses' of the cell. Their roles span functions as diverse as being molecular machines and signalling. They carry out catalytic reactions, transport, form viral capsids, traverse membranes and form regulated channels, transmit information from DNA to RNA, making possible the synthesis of new proteins, and they are responsible for the degradation of unnecessary proteins and nucleic acids. They are the vehicles of the immune response and are responsible for viral entry into the cell. Given their importance, considerable effort has been centered on the prediction of protein function. A prime way to do this is through identification of binding partners. If the function of at least one of the components with which the protein interacts is known, that should let us assign its function(s) and the pathway(s) in which it plays a role. This holds since the vast majority of their chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Hence, through the intricate network of these interactions we can map cellular pathways, their interconnectivities and their dynamic regulation. Their identification is at the heart of functional genomics; their prediction is crucial for drug discovery. Knowledge of the pathway, its topology, length, and dynamics may provide useful information for forecasting side effects. The goal of predicting protein-protein interactions is daunting. Some associations are obligatory, others are continuously forming and dissociating. In principle, from the physical standpoint, any two proteins can interact, but under what conditions and at which strength? The principles of protein-protein interactions are general: the non-covalent interactions of two proteins are largely the outcome of the hydrophobic effect, which drives the interactions. In addition, hydrogen bonds and electrostatic interactions play important roles. Thus, many of the interactions observed in vitro are the outcome of experimental overexpression. Protein disorder

  11. Protein sequence comparison and protein evolution

    SciTech Connect

    Pearson, W.R.

    1995-12-31

    This tutorial was one of eight tutorials selected to be presented at the Third International Conference on Intelligent Systems for Molecular Biology which was held in the United Kingdom from July 16 to 19, 1995. This tutorial examines how the information conserved during the evolution of a protein molecule can be used to infer reliably homology, and thus a shared proteinfold and possibly a shared active site or function. The authors start by reviewing a geological/evolutionary time scale. Next they look at the evolution of several protein families. During the tutorial, these families will be used to demonstrate that homologous protein ancestry can be inferred with confidence. They also examine different modes of protein evolution and consider some hypotheses that have been presented to explain the very earliest events in protein evolution. The next part of the tutorial will examine the technical aspects of protein sequence comparison. Both optimal and heuristic algorithms and their associated parameters that are used to characterize protein sequence similarities are discussed. Perhaps more importantly, they survey the statistics of local similarity scores, and how these statistics can both be used to improve the selectivity of a search and to evaluate the significance of a match. They them examine distantly related members of three protein families, the serine proteases, the glutathione transferases, and the G-protein-coupled receptors (GCRs). Finally, the discuss how sequence similarity can be used to examine internal repeated or mosaic structures in proteins.

  12. Sorghum and millet proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sorghum and millet proteins are an important source of dietary protein for significant numbers of people living throughout Africa and parts of Asia. Compared to other food proteins, such as those found in milk, eggs and wheat, little is known about the functionality of sorghum and millet proteins. ...

  13. Whey protein fractionation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concentrated whey protein products from cheese whey, such as whey protein concentrate (WPC) and whey protein isolate (WPI), contain more than seven different types of proteins: alpha-lactalbumin (alpha-LA), beta-lactoglobulin (beta-LG), bovine serum albumin (BSA), immunoglobulins (Igs), lactoferrin ...

  14. Protein in diet

    MedlinePlus

    ... protein. The basic structure of protein is a chain of amino acids. You need protein in your diet to help your body repair cells and make new ones. Protein is also important for growth and development in children, teens, and pregnant women.

  15. Techniques in protein methylation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeho; Cheng, Donghang; Bedford, Mark T

    2004-01-01

    Proteins can be methylated on the side-chain nitrogens of arginine and lysine residues or on carboxy-termini. Protein methylation is a way of subtly changing the primary sequence of a peptide so that it can encode more information. This common posttranslational modification is implicated in the regulation of a variety of processes including protein trafficking, transcription and protein-protein interactions. In this chapter, we will use the arginine methyltransferases to illustrate different approaches that have been developed to assess protein methylation. Both in vivo and in vitro methylation techniques are described, and the use of small molecule inhibitors of protein methylation will be demonstrated. PMID:15173617

  16. Biochemical Approaches for Discovering Protein-Protein Interactions

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Protein-protein interactions or protein complexes are indigenous to nearly all cellular processes, ranging from metabolism to structure. Elucidating both individual protein associations and complex protein interaction networks, while challenging, is an essential goal of functional genomics. For ex...

  17. Urine Protein and Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio

    MedlinePlus

    ... limited. Home Visit Global Sites Search Help? Urine Protein and Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio Share this page: Was this page helpful? Also known as: 24-Hour Urine Protein; Urine Total Protein; Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio; ...

  18. [Protein expression and purification].

    PubMed

    Růčková, E; Müller, P; Vojtěšek, B

    2014-01-01

    Production of recombinant proteins is essential for many applications in both basic research and also in medicine, where recombinant proteins are used as pharmaceuticals. This review summarizes procedures involved in recombinant protein expression and purification, including molecular cloning of target genes into expression vectors, selection of the appropriate expression system, and protein purification techniques. Recombinant DNA technology allows protein engineering to modify protein stability, activity and function or to facilitate protein purification by affinity tag fusions. A wide range of cloning systems enabling fast and effective design of expression vectors is currently available. A first choice of protein expression system is usually the bacteria Escherichia coli. The main advantages of this prokaryotic expression system are low cost and simplicity; on the other hand this system is often unsuitable for production of complex mammalian proteins. Protein expression mediated by eukaryotic cells (yeast, insect and mammalian cells) usually produces properly folded and posttranslationally modified proteins. How-ever, cultivation of insect and, especially, mammalian cells is time consuming and expensive. Affinity tagged recombinant proteins are purified efficiently using affinity chromatography. An affinity tag is a protein or peptide that mediates specific binding to a chromatography column, unbound proteins are removed during a washing step and pure protein is subsequently eluted. PMID:24945544

  19. Protein- protein interaction detection system using fluorescent protein microdomains

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2010-02-23

    The invention provides a protein labeling and interaction detection system based on engineered fragments of fluorescent and chromophoric proteins that require fused interacting polypeptides to drive the association of the fragments, and further are soluble and stable, and do not change the solubility of polypeptides to which they are fused. In one embodiment, a test protein X is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 10, amino acids 198-214), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. A second test protein Y is fused to a sixteen amino acid fragment of GFP (.beta.-strand 11, amino acids 215-230), engineered to not perturb fusion protein solubility. When X and Y interact, they bring the GFP strands into proximity, and are detected by complementation with a third GFP fragment consisting of GFP amino acids 1-198 (strands 1-9). When GFP strands 10 and 11 are held together by interaction of protein X and Y, they spontaneous association with GFP strands 1-9, resulting in structural complementation, folding, and concomitant GFP fluorescence.

  20. Designing Fluorinated Proteins.

    PubMed

    Marsh, E N G

    2016-01-01

    As methods to incorporate noncanonical amino acid residues into proteins have become more powerful, interest in their use to modify the physical and biological properties of proteins and enzymes has increased. This chapter discusses the use of highly fluorinated analogs of hydrophobic amino acids, for example, hexafluoroleucine, in protein design. In particular, fluorinated residues have proven to be generally effective in increasing the thermodynamic stability of proteins. The chapter provides an overview of the different fluorinated amino acids that have been used in protein design and the various methods available for producing fluorinated proteins. It discusses model proteins systems into which highly fluorinated amino acids have been introduced and the reasons why fluorinated residues are generally stabilizing, with particular reference to thermodynamic and structural studies from our laboratory. Lastly, details of the methodology we have developed to measure the thermodynamic stability of oligomeric fluorinated proteins are presented, as this may be generally applicable to many proteins. PMID:27586337

  1. Surface Mediated Protein Disaggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Radhakrishna, Mithun; Kumar, Sanat K.

    2014-03-01

    Preventing protein aggregation is of both biological and industrial importance. Biologically these aggregates are known to cause amyloid type diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Protein aggregation leads to reduced activity of the enzymes in industrial applications. Inter-protein interactions between the hydrophobic residues of the protein are known to be the major driving force for protein aggregation. In the current paper we show how surface chemistry and curvature can be tuned to mitigate these inter-protein interactions. Our results calculated in the framework of the Hydrophobic-Polar (HP) lattice model show that, inter-protein interactions can be drastically reduced by increasing the surface hydrophobicity to a critical value corresponding to the adsorption transition of the protein. At this value of surface hydrophobicity, proteins lose inter-protein contacts to gain surface contacts and thus the surface helps in reducing the inter-protein interactions. Further, we show that the adsorption of the proteins inside hydrophobic pores of optimal sizes are most efficient both in reducing inter-protein contacts and simultaneously retaining most of the native-contacts due to strong protein-surface interactions coupled with stabilization due to the confinement. Department of Energy (Grant No DE-FG02-11ER46811).

  2. PINT: Protein-protein Interactions Thermodynamic Database.

    PubMed

    Kumar, M D Shaji; Gromiha, M Michael

    2006-01-01

    The first release of Protein-protein Interactions Thermodynamic Database (PINT) contains >1500 data of several thermodynamic parameters along with sequence and structural information, experimental conditions and literature information. Each entry contains numerical data for the free energy change, dissociation constant, association constant, enthalpy change, heat capacity change and so on of the interacting proteins upon binding, which are important for understanding the mechanism of protein-protein interactions. PINT also includes the name and source of the proteins involved in binding, their Protein Information Resource, SWISS-PROT and Protein Data Bank (PDB) codes, secondary structure and solvent accessibility of residues at mutant positions, measuring methods, experimental conditions, such as buffers, ions and additives, and literature information. A WWW interface facilitates users to search data based on various conditions, feasibility to select the terms for output and different sorting options. Further, PINT is cross-linked with other related databases, PIR, SWISS-PROT, PDB and NCBI PUBMED literature database. The database is freely available at http://www.bioinfodatabase.com/pint/index.html. PMID:16381844

  3. DNA mimicry by proteins.

    PubMed

    Dryden, D T F; Tock, M R

    2006-04-01

    It has been discovered recently, via structural and biophysical analyses, that proteins can mimic DNA structures in order to inhibit proteins that would normally bind to DNA. Mimicry of the phosphate backbone of DNA, the hydrogen-bonding properties of the nucleotide bases and the bending and twisting of the DNA double helix are all present in the mimics discovered to date. These mimics target a range of proteins and enzymes such as DNA restriction enzymes, DNA repair enzymes, DNA gyrase and nucleosomal and nucleoid-associated proteins. The unusual properties of these protein DNA mimics may provide a foundation for the design of targeted inhibitors of DNA-binding proteins. PMID:16545103

  4. Physics of protein motility and motor proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kolomeisky, Anatoly B.

    2013-09-01

    Motor proteins are enzymatic molecules that transform chemical energy into mechanical motion and work. They are critically important for supporting various cellular activities and functions. In the last 15 years significant progress in understanding the functioning of motor proteins has been achieved due to revolutionary breakthroughs in single-molecule experimental techniques and strong advances in theoretical modelling. However, microscopic mechanisms of protein motility are still not well explained, and the collective efforts of many scientists are needed in order to solve these complex problems. In this special section the reader will find the latest advances on the difficult road to mapping motor proteins dynamics in various systems. Recent experimental developments have allowed researchers to monitor and to influence the activity of single motor proteins with a high spatial and temporal resolution. It has stimulated significant theoretical efforts to understand the non-equilibrium nature of protein motility phenomena. The latest results from all these advances are presented and discussed in this special section. We would like to thank the scientists from all over the world who have reported their latest research results for this special section. We are also grateful to the staff and editors of Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter for their invaluable help in handling all the administrative and refereeing activities. The field of motor proteins and protein motility is fast moving, and we hope that this collection of articles will be a useful source of information in this highly interdisciplinary area. Physics of protein motility and motor proteins contents Physics of protein motility and motor proteinsAnatoly B Kolomeisky Identification of unique interactions between the flexible linker and the RecA-like domains of DEAD-box helicase Mss116 Yuan Zhang, Mirkó Palla, Andrew Sun and Jung-Chi Liao The load dependence of the physical properties of a molecular motor

  5. Protein C blood test

    MedlinePlus

    ... a normal substance in the body that prevents blood clotting. A blood test can be done to see ... history of blood clots. Protein C helps control blood clotting. A lack of this protein or problem with ...

  6. Protein S blood test

    MedlinePlus

    ... a normal substance in your body that prevents blood clotting. A blood test can be done to see ... family history of blood clots. Protein S helps control blood clotting. A lack of this protein or problem with ...

  7. Protein electrophoresis - urine

    MedlinePlus

    ... nephropathy Kidney failure Multiple myeloma Nephrotic syndrome Acute urinary tract infection Risks There are no risks associated with this ... Primary amyloidosis Protein in diet Protein urine test Urinary tract infection - adults Update Date 5/29/2014 Updated by: ...

  8. [Protein-losing enteropathy].

    PubMed

    Amiot, A

    2015-07-01

    Protein-losing enteropathy is a rare syndrome of gastrointestinal protein loss. The primary causes can be classified into lymphatic leakage due to increased interstitial pressure and increased leakage of protein-rich fluids due to erosive or non-erosive gastrointestinal disorders. The diagnosis of protein-losing enteropathy should be considered in patients with chronic diarrhea and peripheral oedema. The diagnosis of protein-losing enteropathy is most commonly based on the determination of fecal alpha-1 antitrypsin clearance. Most protein-losing enteropathy cases are the result of either lymphatic obstruction or a variety of gastrointestinal disorders and cardiac diseases, while primary intestinal lymphangiectasia (Waldmann's disease) is less common. Treatment of protein-losing enteropathy targets the underlying disease but also includes dietary modification, such as high-protein and low-fat diet along with medium-chain triglyceride supplementation. PMID:25618488

  9. Learning about Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... body, and protecting you from disease. All About Amino Acids When you eat foods that contain protein, the ... called amino (say: uh-MEE-no) acids. The amino acids then can be reused to make the proteins ...

  10. Hydrodynamic effects in proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szymczak, Piotr; Cieplak, Marek

    2011-01-01

    Experimental and numerical results pertaining to flow-induced effects in proteins are reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on shear-induced unfolding and on the role of solvent mediated hydrodynamic interactions in the conformational transitions in proteins.

  11. Hydrodynamic effects in proteins.

    PubMed

    Szymczak, Piotr; Cieplak, Marek

    2011-01-26

    Experimental and numerical results pertaining to flow-induced effects in proteins are reviewed. Special emphasis is placed on shear-induced unfolding and on the role of solvent mediated hydrodynamic interactions in the conformational transitions in proteins. PMID:21406855

  12. Understanding protein folding: small proteins in silico.

    PubMed

    Zimmermann, Olav; Hansmann, Ulrich H E

    2008-01-01

    Recent improvements in methodology and increased computer power now allow atomistic computer simulations of protein folding. We briefly review several advanced Monte Carlo algorithms that have contributed to this development. Details of folding simulations of three designed mini proteins are shown. Adding global translations and rotations has allowed us to handle multiple chains and to simulate the aggregation of six beta-amyloid fragments. In a different line of research we have developed several algorithms to predict local features from sequence. In an outlook we sketch how such biasing could extend the application spectrum of Monte Carlo simulations to structure prediction of larger proteins. PMID:18036571

  13. Imaging Protein-protein Interactions in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Seegar, Tom; Barton, William

    2010-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are a hallmark of all essential cellular processes. However, many of these interactions are transient, or energetically weak, preventing their identification and analysis through traditional biochemical methods such as co-immunoprecipitation. In this regard, the genetically encodable fluorescent proteins (GFP, RFP, etc.) and their associated overlapping fluorescence spectrum have revolutionized our ability to monitor weak interactions in vivo using Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)1-3. Here, we detail our use of a FRET-based proximity assay for monitoring receptor-receptor interactions on the endothelial cell surface. PMID:20972411

  14. CSF myelin basic protein

    MedlinePlus

    CSF myelin basic protein is a test to measure the level of myelin basic protein (MBP) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). The CSF ... less than 4 ng/mL of myelin basic protein in the CSF. Normal value ranges may vary ...

  15. Modeling Protein Domain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton "Buck"; Hull, Elizabeth

    2007-01-01

    This simple but effective laboratory exercise helps students understand the concept of protein domain function. They use foam beads, Styrofoam craft balls, and pipe cleaners to explore how domains within protein active sites interact to form a functional protein. The activity allows students to gain content mastery and an understanding of the…

  16. Palmitoylation of Hedgehog proteins.

    PubMed

    Buglino, John A; Resh, Marilyn D

    2012-01-01

    Hedgehog (Hh) proteins are secreted signaling proteins that contain amide-linked palmitate at the N-terminus and cholesterol at the C-terminus. Palmitoylation of Hh proteins is critical for effective long- and short-range signaling. The palmitoylation reaction occurs during transit of Hh through the secretory pathway, most likely in the lumen of the ER. Attachment of palmitate to Hh proteins is independent of cholesterol modification and autoprocessing and is catalyzed by Hhat (Hedgehog acyltransferase). Hhat is a member of the membrane bound O-acyltransferase (MBOAT) family, a subgroup of multipass membrane proteins that catalyze transfer of fatty acyl groups to lipids and proteins. Several classes of secreted proteins have recently been shown to be substrates for MBOAT acyltransferases, including Hh proteins and Spitz (palmitoylated by Hhat), Wg/Wnt proteins (modified with palmitate and/or palmitoleate by Porcupine) and ghrelin (octanoylated by ghrelin O-acyltransferase). These findings highlight protein fatty acylation as a mechanism that not only influences membrane binding of intracellular proteins but also regulates the signaling range and efficacy of secreted proteins. PMID:22391306

  17. Protein electrophoresis - serum

    MedlinePlus

    Normal value ranges are: Total protein: 6.4 to 8.3 g/dL (grams per deciliter) Albumin: 3.5 to 5.0 g/dL Alpha-1 ... Decreased total protein may indicate: Abnormal loss of protein from the digestive tract or the inability of the digestive tract ...

  18. CSF total protein

    MedlinePlus

    CSF total protein is a test to determine the amount of protein in your spinal fluid, also called cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). ... The normal protein range varies from lab to lab, but is typically about 15 to 60 mg/dL. Note: mg/dL = ...

  19. Modeling Protein Self Assembly

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Baker, William P.; Jones, Carleton Buck; Hull, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    Understanding the structure and function of proteins is an important part of the standards-based science curriculum. Proteins serve vital roles within the cell and malfunctions in protein self assembly are implicated in degenerative diseases. Experience indicates that this topic is a difficult one for many students. We have found that the concept…

  20. Texturized dairy proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Dairy proteins are amenable to structural modifications induced by high temperature, shear and moisture; in particular, whey proteins can change conformation to new unfolded states. The change in protein state is a basis for creating new foods. The dairy products, nonfat dried milk (NDM), whey prote...

  1. Destabilized bioluminescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Allen, Michael S.; Rakesh, Gupta; Gary, Sayler S.

    2007-07-31

    Purified nucleic acids, vectors and cells containing a gene cassette encoding at least one modified bioluminescent protein, wherein the modification includes the addition of a peptide sequence. The duration of bioluminescence emitted by the modified bioluminescent protein is shorter than the duration of bioluminescence emitted by an unmodified form of the bioluminescent protein.

  2. A novel 57-kDa merozoite protein of Babesia gibsoni is a prospective antigen for diagnosis and serosurvey of canine babesiosis by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

    PubMed

    Aboge, Gabriel Oluga; Jia, Honglin; Terkawi, Mohamad Alaa; Goo, Younkyoung; Kuriki, Ken; Nishikawa, Yoshifumi; Igarashi, Ikuo; Suzuki, Hiroshi; Xuan, Xuenan

    2007-10-21

    We isolated a novel single copy gene encoding a 57-kDa merozoite protein of Babesia gibsoni (BgP57). The nucleotide sequence of the cDNA was 2387 bp with an open reading frame (ORF) of 1644 bp encoding a 57-kDa predicted polypeptide having 547 amino acid residues. The recombinant BgP57 (rBgP57) without a predicted signal peptide was expressed in Escherichia coli as a soluble glutathione S-transferase (GST) fusion protein. Western blotting showed that the corresponding native protein was 57-kDa, consistent with molecular weight of predicted mature polypeptide. An indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using the rBgP57 detected specific antibodies in the sequential sera from a dog experimentally infected with B. gibsoni. Moreover, the antigen did not cross-react with antibodies to B. canis sub-species and closely related apicomplexan parasites indicating that the rBgP57 was a specific antigen for B. gibsoni antibodies. The diagnostic performance of ELISA based on rBgP57 using 107 sera from B. gibsoni-naturally infected dogs was the same as the previously identified rBgP32 but performed better than the previously studied rBgP50. Although, seminested PCR detected higher proportions (82%) of positive samples than the ELISAs, the Mcnemar's chi-square test showed that there was no significant difference in relative effectiveness of rBgP57-ELISA and seminested PCR (chi(2)=2.70; P=0.1003) in identifying positive samples. The rBgP57-ELISA when used in combination with rBgP32-ELISA and rBgP50-ELISA appeared to improve sensitivity of the rBgP57-ELISA for detection of B. gibsoni antibodies. Overall, the rBgP57-ELISA and seminested PCR when used in combination, could improve epidemiological surveys and clinical diagnosis of B. gibsoni infection. PMID:17706873

  3. Protein - Which is Best?

    PubMed

    Hoffman, Jay R; Falvo, Michael J

    2004-09-01

    Protein intake that exceeds the recommended daily allowance is widely accepted for both endurance and power athletes. However, considering the variety of proteins that are available much less is known concerning the benefits of consuming one protein versus another. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze key factors in order to make responsible recommendations to both the general and athletic populations. Evaluation of a protein is fundamental in determining its appropriateness in the human diet. Proteins that are of inferior content and digestibility are important to recognize and restrict or limit in the diet. Similarly, such knowledge will provide an ability to identify proteins that provide the greatest benefit and should be consumed. The various techniques utilized to rate protein will be discussed. Traditionally, sources of dietary protein are seen as either being of animal or vegetable origin. Animal sources provide a complete source of protein (i.e. containing all essential amino acids), whereas vegetable sources generally lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Animal sources of dietary protein, despite providing a complete protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, have some health professionals concerned about the amount of saturated fat common in these foods compared to vegetable sources. The advent of processing techniques has shifted some of this attention and ignited the sports supplement marketplace with derivative products such as whey, casein and soy. Individually, these products vary in quality and applicability to certain populations. The benefits that these particular proteins possess are discussed. In addition, the impact that elevated protein consumption has on health and safety issues (i.e. bone health, renal function) are also reviewed. Key PointsHigher protein needs are seen in athletic populations.Animal proteins is an important source of protein, however potential health concerns do exist from a diet of protein

  4. Protein crystallization with paper

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Matsuoka, Miki; Kakinouchi, Keisuke; Adachi, Hiroaki; Maruyama, Mihoko; Sugiyama, Shigeru; Sano, Satoshi; Yoshikawa, Hiroshi Y.; Takahashi, Yoshinori; Yoshimura, Masashi; Matsumura, Hiroyoshi; Murakami, Satoshi; Inoue, Tsuyoshi; Mori, Yusuke; Takano, Kazufumi

    2016-05-01

    We developed a new protein crystallization method that incorporates paper. A small piece of paper, such as facial tissue or KimWipes, was added to a drop of protein solution in the traditional sitting drop vapor diffusion technique, and protein crystals grew by incorporating paper. By this method, we achieved the growth of protein crystals with reducing osmotic shock. Because the technique is very simple and the materials are easy to obtain, this method will come into wide use for protein crystallization. In the future, it could be applied to nanoliter-scale crystallization screening on a paper sheet such as in inkjet printing.

  5. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2011-03-22

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  6. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2012-05-01

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  7. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Kiss, Csaba

    2011-11-29

    Thermostable fluorescent proteins (TSFPs), methods for generating these and other stability-enhanced proteins, polynucleotides encoding such proteins, and assays and method for using the TSFPs and TSFP-encoding nucleic acid molecules are provided. The TSFPs of the invention show extremely enhanced levels of stability and thermotolerance. In one case, for example, a TSFP of the invention is so stable it can be heated to 99.degree. C. for short periods of time without denaturing, and retains 85% of its fluorescence when heated to 80.degree. C. for several minutes. The invention also provides a method for generating stability-enhanced variants of a protein, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins.

  8. Selective Precipitation of Proteins.

    PubMed

    Matulis, Daumantas

    2016-01-01

    Selective precipitation of proteins can be used as a bulk method to recover the majority of proteins from a crude lysate, as a selective method to fractionate a subset of proteins from a protein solution, or as a very specific method to recover a single protein of interest from a purification step. This unit describes a number of methods suitable for selective precipitation. In each of the protocols that are outlined, the physical or chemical basis of the precipitation process, the parameters that can be varied for optimization, and the basic steps for developing an optimized precipitation are described. PMID:26836410

  9. Forces Stabilizing Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Pace, C. Nick; Scholtz, J. Martin; Grimsley, Gerald R.

    2014-01-01

    The goal of this article is to summarize what has been learned about the major forces stabilizing proteins since the late 1980s when site-directed mutagenesis became possible. The following conclusions are derived from experimental studies of hydrophobic and hydrogen bonding variants. 1. Based on studies of 138 hydrophobic interaction variants in 11 proteins, burying a –CH2– group on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.5 kcal/mol to protein stability. 2. The burial of nonpolar side chains contributes to protein stability in two ways: first, a term that depends on the removal of the side chains from water and, more importantly, the enhanced London dispersion forces that result from the tight packing in the protein interior. 3. Based on studies of 151 hydrogen bonding variants in 15 proteins, forming a hydrogen bond on folding contributes 1.1 ± 0.8 kcal/mol to protein stability. 4. The contribution of hydrogen bonds to protein stability is strongly context dependent. 5. Hydrogen bonds by side chains and peptide groups make similar contributions to protein stability. 6. Polar group burial can make a favorable contribution to protein stability even if the polar group is not hydrogen bonded. 7. Hydrophobic interactions and hydrogen bonds both make large contributions to protein stability. PMID:24846139

  10. Mechanism of protein decarbonylation.

    PubMed

    Wong, Chi-Ming; Marcocci, Lucia; Das, Dividutta; Wang, Xinhong; Luo, Haibei; Zungu-Edmondson, Makhosazane; Suzuki, Yuichiro J

    2013-12-01

    Ligand/receptor stimulation of cells promotes protein carbonylation that is followed by the decarbonylation process, which might involve thiol-dependent reduction (C.M. Wong et al., Circ. Res. 102:301-318; 2008). This study further investigated the properties of this protein decarbonylation mechanism. We found that the thiol-mediated reduction of protein carbonyls is dependent on heat-labile biologic components. Cysteine and glutathione were efficient substrates for decarbonylation. Thiols decreased the protein carbonyl content, as detected by 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine, but not the levels of malondialdehyde or 4-hydroxynonenal protein adducts. Mass spectrometry identified proteins that undergo thiol-dependent decarbonylation, which include peroxiredoxins. Peroxiredoxin-2 and -6 were carbonylated and subsequently decarbonylated in response to the ligand/receptor stimulation of cells. siRNA knockdown of glutaredoxin inhibited the decarbonylation of peroxiredoxin. These results strengthen the concept that thiol-dependent decarbonylation defines the kinetics of protein carbonylation signaling. PMID:24044890

  11. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

    The photosynthetically-active pigment protein complexes of procaryotes and eucaryotes include chlorophyll proteins, carotenochlorophyll proteins, and biliproteins. They are either integral components or attached to photosynthetic membranes. Detergents are frequently required to solubilize the pigment-protein complexes. The membrane localization and detergent solubilization strongly suggest that the pigment-protein complexes are bound to the membranes by hydrophobic interactions. Hydrophobic interactions of proteins are characterized by an increase in entropy. Their bonding energy is directly related to temperature and ionic strength. Hydrophobic-interaction chromatography, a relatively new separation procedure, can furnish an important method for the purification of pigment-protein complexes. Phycobilisome purification and properties provide an example of the need to maintain hydrophobic interactions to preserve structure and function.

  12. Protein solubility modeling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Agena, S. M.; Pusey, M. L.; Bogle, I. D.

    1999-01-01

    A thermodynamic framework (UNIQUAC model with temperature dependent parameters) is applied to model the salt-induced protein crystallization equilibrium, i.e., protein solubility. The framework introduces a term for the solubility product describing protein transfer between the liquid and solid phase and a term for the solution behavior describing deviation from ideal solution. Protein solubility is modeled as a function of salt concentration and temperature for a four-component system consisting of a protein, pseudo solvent (water and buffer), cation, and anion (salt). Two different systems, lysozyme with sodium chloride and concanavalin A with ammonium sulfate, are investigated. Comparison of the modeled and experimental protein solubility data results in an average root mean square deviation of 5.8%, demonstrating that the model closely follows the experimental behavior. Model calculations and model parameters are reviewed to examine the model and protein crystallization process. Copyright 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  13. Toxoplasma gondii Cyclic AMP-Dependent Protein Kinase Subunit 3 Is Involved in the Switch from Tachyzoite to Bradyzoite Development

    PubMed Central

    Sugi, Tatsuki; Ma, Yan Fen; Tomita, Tadakimi; Murakoshi, Fumi; Eaton, Michael S.; Yakubu, Rama; Han, Bing; Tu, Vincent; Kato, Kentaro; Kawazu, Shin-Ichiro; Gupta, Nishith; Suvorova, Elena S.; White, Michael W.; Kim, Kami

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasite that infects warm-blooded vertebrates, including humans. Asexual reproduction in T. gondii allows it to switch between the rapidly replicating tachyzoite and quiescent bradyzoite life cycle stages. A transient cyclic AMP (cAMP) pulse promotes bradyzoite differentiation, whereas a prolonged elevation of cAMP inhibits this process. We investigated the mechanism(s) by which differential modulation of cAMP exerts a bidirectional effect on parasite differentiation. There are three protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunits (TgPKAc1 to -3) expressed in T. gondii. Unlike TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2, which are conserved in the phylum Apicomplexa, TgPKAc3 appears evolutionarily divergent and specific to coccidian parasites. TgPKAc1 and TgPKAc2 are distributed in the cytomembranes, whereas TgPKAc3 resides in the cytosol. TgPKAc3 was genetically ablated in a type II cyst-forming strain of T. gondii (PruΔku80Δhxgprt) and in a type I strain (RHΔku80Δhxgprt), which typically does not form cysts. The Δpkac3 mutant exhibited slower growth than the parental and complemented strains, which correlated with a higher basal rate of tachyzoite-to-bradyzoite differentiation. 3-Isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) treatment, which elevates cAMP levels, maintained wild-type parasites as tachyzoites under bradyzoite induction culture conditions (pH 8.2/low CO2), whereas the Δpkac3 mutant failed to respond to the treatment. This suggests that TgPKAc3 is the factor responsible for the cAMP-dependent tachyzoite maintenance. In addition, the Δpkac3 mutant had a defect in the production of brain cysts in vivo, suggesting that a substrate of TgPKAc3 is probably involved in the persistence of this parasite in the intermediate host animals. PMID:27247232

  14. Protein kinesis: The dynamics of protein trafficking and stability

    SciTech Connect

    1995-12-31

    The purpose of this conference is to provide a multidisciplinary forum for exchange of state-of-the-art information on protein kinesis. This volume contains abstracts of papers in the following areas: protein folding and modification in the endoplasmic reticulum; protein trafficking; protein translocation and folding; protein degradation; polarity; nuclear trafficking; membrane dynamics; and protein import into organelles.

  15. Susceptibility to experimental infection of the invertebrate locusts (Schistocerca gregaria) with the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Alkurashi, Mamdowh M.; May, Sean T.; Kong, Kenny; Bacardit, Jaume; Haig, David

    2014-01-01

    Neuropathogenesis is a feature of Neospora caninum infection. In order to explore this in the absence of acquired host immunity to the parasite, we have tested infection in locusts (Schistocerca gregaria). We show for the first time that locusts are permissive to intra-hemocoel infection with N. caninum tachyzoites. This was characterized by alteration in body weight, fecal output, hemoparasitemia, and sickness-related behavior. Infected locusts exhibited progressive signs of sickness leading to mortality. Also, N. caninum showed neuropathogenic affinity, induced histological changes in the brain and was able to replicate in the brain of infected locusts. Fatty acid (FA) profiling analysis of the brains by gas chromatography and multi-variate prediction models discriminated with high accuracy (98%) between the FA profiles of the infected and control locusts. DNA microarray gene expression profiling distinguished infected from control S. gregaria brain tissues on the basis of distinct differentially-expressed genes. These data indicate that locusts are permissible to infection with N. caninum and that the parasite retains its tropism for neural tissues in the invertebrate host. Locusts may facilitate preclinical testing of interventional strategies to inhibit the growth of N. caninum tachyzoites. Further studies on how N. caninum brings about changes in locust brain tissue are now warranted. PMID:25493211

  16. Discrimination of Neospora caninum from Toxoplasma gondii and other apicomplexan parasites by hybridization and PCR.

    PubMed

    Kaufmann, H; Yamage, M; Roditi, I; Dobbelaere, D; Dubey, J P; Holmdahl, O J; Trees, A; Gottstein, B

    1996-08-01

    Neospora caninum is a protozoan parasite which causes neurological problems in dogs and abortion in cattle. As N. caninum is difficult to distinguish morphologically from Toxoplasma gondii, we developed a molecular tool capable of discriminating between the two parasites. Genomic DNA was isolated from in vitro cultured N. caninum tachyzoites and cloned into a plasmid vector. Resulting colonies were subsequently screened by differential hybridization using N. caninum and T. gondii DNA. Two clones were characterized in detail: one clone, termed pNc5, was found to be specific for N. caninum whereas the second clone, pNc1, hybridized with DNA from both parasites. The sequence of pNc5 was determined and different oligonucleotide primers were designed for use in the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). A 944 bp fragment was specifically amplified from N. caninum DNA, but not from DNA extracted from T. gondii or different Sarcocystis species. Positive signals in PCR were obtained with as little as 100 pg parasite template DNA. In addition, dual PCR with primer pairs specific for N. caninum and T. gondii allowed the detection of either parasite in mixed samples. PMID:8865177

  17. Evidence for a recent population bottleneck in an Apicomplexan parasite of caribou and reindeer, Besnoitia tarandi.

    PubMed

    Madubata, Chioma; Dunams-Morel, Detiger B; Elkin, Brett; Oksanen, Antti; Rosenthal, Benjamin M

    2012-12-01

    The evolutionary history and epidemiology of parasites may be reflected in the extent and geographic distribution of their genetic variation. Among coccidian parasites, the population structure of only Toxoplasma gondii has been extensively examined. Intraspecific variation in other coccidia, for example, those assigned to the genus Besnoitia, remains poorly defined. Here, we characterize the extent of genetic variation among populations of Besnoitia tarandi, a parasite whose intermediate hosts include reindeer/caribou (Rangifer tarandus). Isolates from the Canadian Arctic and Finnish sub-Arctic were genotyped at six microsatellite loci, the first internal transcribed spacer region of nuclear rDNA, and the RNA polymerase β subunit (rpoB) encoded in the plastid genome. Remarkably, all isolates exhibited the same multilocus genotype, regardless of the isolate's geographic origin. This absolute monomorphism occurred despite the capacity of these loci to vary, as established by evident differentiation between B. tarandi and two other species of Besnoitia, and variation among four isolates of B. besnoiti. The surprising lack of genetic variation across the sampled range suggests that B. tarandi may have experienced a recent population bottleneck. PMID:22742966

  18. Parasitology as a Teaching Tool: Isolation of Apicomplexan Cysts from Store-Bought Meat

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Eggleston, Tracy L.; Fitzpatrick, Eileen; Hager, Kristin M.

    2008-01-01

    There are obstacles to teaching science; however, these obstacles are not insurmountable. One obstacle is the students themselves. Students often labor under the misconception or anxiety that the course material will be too difficult to understand, or boring (mind-numbing), or that the information learned will not be applicable in their day-to-day…

  19. Evidence for a population bottleneck in an Apicomplexan parasite of caribou and reindeer, Besnoitia tarandi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The evolutionary history and epidemiology of parasites may be reflected in the extent and geographic distribution of their genetic variation. Among coccidian parasites, the population structure of only Toxoplasma gondii has been extensively examined. Intraspecific variation in other coccidia, for ...

  20. Eugregarines reduce susceptibility of the hide beetle, Dermestes maculatus, to apicomplexan pathogens and retard larval development

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Eugregarines are abundant in a great diversity of invertebrates, and yet their relationships with their hosts are subject to controversy and confusion. We tested the effect of the eugregarine, Pyxinia crystalligera, on growth, development, and susceptibility to two Apicomplexa pathogens of the hide ...

  1. Population, genetic, and antigenic diversity of the apicomplexan Eimeria tenella and their relevance to vaccine development.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Clark, Emily L; Macdonald, Sarah E; Thenmozhi, Venkatachalam; Kundu, Krishnendu; Garg, Rajat; Jatau, Isa D; Ayoade, Simeon; Kawahara, Fumiya; Moftah, Abdalgader; Reid, Adam James; Adebambo, Ayotunde O; Álvarez Zapata, Ramón; Srinivasa Rao, Arni S R; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Banerjee, Partha S; Dhinakar-Raj, G; Raman, M; Tomley, Fiona M

    2015-09-22

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes serious pathogens of humans and animals. Understanding the distribution and population structure of these protozoan parasites is of fundamental importance to explain disease epidemiology and develop sustainable controls. Predicting the likely efficacy and longevity of subunit vaccines in field populations relies on knowledge of relevant preexisting antigenic diversity, population structure, the likelihood of coinfection by genetically distinct strains, and the efficiency of cross-fertilization. All four of these factors have been investigated for Plasmodium species parasites, revealing both clonal and panmictic population structures with exceptional polymorphism associated with immunoprotective antigens such as apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). For the coccidian Toxoplasma gondii only genomic diversity and population structure have been defined in depth so far; for the closely related Eimeria species, all four variables are currently unknown. Using Eimeria tenella, a major cause of the enteric disease coccidiosis, which exerts a profound effect on chicken productivity and welfare, we determined population structure, genotype distribution, and likelihood of cross-fertilization during coinfection and also investigated the extent of naturally occurring antigenic diversity for the E. tenella AMA1 homolog. Using genome-wide Sequenom SNP-based haplotyping, targeted sequencing, and single-cell genotyping, we show that in this coccidian the functionality of EtAMA1 appears to outweigh immune evasion. This result is in direct contrast to the situation in Plasmodium and most likely is underpinned by the biology of the direct and acute coccidian life cycle in the definitive host. PMID:26354122

  2. New paradigms for understanding and step changes in treating active and chronic, persistent apicomplexan infections.

    PubMed

    McPhillie, Martin; Zhou, Ying; El Bissati, Kamal; Dubey, Jitender; Lorenzi, Hernan; Capper, Michael; Lukens, Amanda K; Hickman, Mark; Muench, Stephen; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Weber, Christopher R; Wheeler, Kelsey; Gordon, James; Sanders, Justin; Moulton, Hong; Wang, Kai; Kim, Taek-Kyun; He, Yuqing; Santos, Tatiana; Woods, Stuart; Lee, Patty; Donkin, David; Kim, Eric; Fraczek, Laura; Lykins, Joseph; Esaa, Farida; Alibana-Clouser, Fatima; Dovgin, Sarah; Weiss, Louis; Brasseur, Gael; Wirth, Dyann; Kent, Michael; Hood, Leroy; Meunieur, Brigitte; Roberts, Craig W; Hasnain, S Samar; Antonyuk, Svetlana V; Fishwick, Colin; McLeod, Rima

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently. Herein, we develop novel models to facilitate drug development: EGS strain T. gondii forms cysts in vitro that induce oocysts in cats, the gold standard criterion for cysts. These cysts highly express cytochrome b. Using these models, we envisioned, and then created, novel 4-(1H)-quinolone scaffolds that target the cytochrome bc1 complex Qi site, of which, a substituted 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-4-one inhibits active infection (IC50, 30 nM) and cysts (IC50, 4 μM) in vitro, and in vivo (25 mg/kg), and drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (IC50, <30 nM), with clinically relevant synergy. Mutant yeast and co-crystallographic studies demonstrate binding to the bc1 complex Qi site. Our results have direct impact on improving outcomes for those with toxoplasmosis, malaria, and ~2 billion persons chronically infected with encysted bradyzoites. PMID:27412848

  3. New paradigms for understanding and step changes in treating active and chronic, persistent apicomplexan infections

    PubMed Central

    McPhillie, Martin; Zhou, Ying; El Bissati, Kamal; Dubey, Jitender; Lorenzi, Hernan; Capper, Michael; Lukens, Amanda K; Hickman, Mark; Muench, Stephen; Verma, Shiv Kumar; Weber, Christopher R.; Wheeler, Kelsey; Gordon, James; Sanders, Justin; Moulton, Hong; Wang, Kai; Kim, Taek-Kyun; He, Yuqing; Santos, Tatiana; Woods, Stuart; Lee, Patty; Donkin, David; Kim, Eric; Fraczek, Laura; Lykins, Joseph; Esaa, Farida; Alibana-Clouser, Fatima; Dovgin, Sarah; Weiss, Louis; Brasseur, Gael; Wirth, Dyann; Kent, Michael; Hood, Leroy; Meunieur, Brigitte; Roberts, Craig W.; Hasnain, S. Samar; Antonyuk, Svetlana V.; Fishwick, Colin; McLeod, Rima

    2016-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently. Herein, we develop novel models to facilitate drug development: EGS strain T. gondii forms cysts in vitro that induce oocysts in cats, the gold standard criterion for cysts. These cysts highly express cytochrome b. Using these models, we envisioned, and then created, novel 4-(1H)-quinolone scaffolds that target the cytochrome bc1 complex Qi site, of which, a substituted 5,6,7,8-tetrahydroquinolin-4-one inhibits active infection (IC50, 30 nM) and cysts (IC50, 4 μM) in vitro, and in vivo (25 mg/kg), and drug resistant Plasmodium falciparum (IC50, <30 nM), with clinically relevant synergy. Mutant yeast and co-crystallographic studies demonstrate binding to the bc1 complex Qi site. Our results have direct impact on improving outcomes for those with toxoplasmosis, malaria, and ~2 billion persons chronically infected with encysted bradyzoites. PMID:27412848

  4. Population, genetic, and antigenic diversity of the apicomplexan Eimeria tenella and their relevance to vaccine development

    PubMed Central

    Blake, Damer P.; Clark, Emily L.; Macdonald, Sarah E.; Thenmozhi, Venkatachalam; Kundu, Krishnendu; Garg, Rajat; Jatau, Isa D.; Ayoade, Simeon; Kawahara, Fumiya; Moftah, Abdalgader; Reid, Adam James; Adebambo, Ayotunde O.; Álvarez Zapata, Ramón; Srinivasa Rao, Arni S. R.; Thangaraj, Kumarasamy; Banerjee, Partha S.; Dhinakar-Raj, G.; Raman, M.; Tomley, Fiona M.

    2015-01-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes serious pathogens of humans and animals. Understanding the distribution and population structure of these protozoan parasites is of fundamental importance to explain disease epidemiology and develop sustainable controls. Predicting the likely efficacy and longevity of subunit vaccines in field populations relies on knowledge of relevant preexisting antigenic diversity, population structure, the likelihood of coinfection by genetically distinct strains, and the efficiency of cross-fertilization. All four of these factors have been investigated for Plasmodium species parasites, revealing both clonal and panmictic population structures with exceptional polymorphism associated with immunoprotective antigens such as apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1). For the coccidian Toxoplasma gondii only genomic diversity and population structure have been defined in depth so far; for the closely related Eimeria species, all four variables are currently unknown. Using Eimeria tenella, a major cause of the enteric disease coccidiosis, which exerts a profound effect on chicken productivity and welfare, we determined population structure, genotype distribution, and likelihood of cross-fertilization during coinfection and also investigated the extent of naturally occurring antigenic diversity for the E. tenella AMA1 homolog. Using genome-wide Sequenom SNP-based haplotyping, targeted sequencing, and single-cell genotyping, we show that in this coccidian the functionality of EtAMA1 appears to outweigh immune evasion. This result is in direct contrast to the situation in Plasmodium and most likely is underpinned by the biology of the direct and acute coccidian life cycle in the definitive host. PMID:26354122

  5. Phage display of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kościelska, K; Kiczak, L; Kasztura, M; Wesołowska, O; Otlewski, J

    1998-01-01

    In recent years the phage display approach has become an increasingly popular method in protein research. This method enables the presentation of large peptide and protein libraries on the surface of phage particles from which molecules of desired functional property(ies) can be rapidly selected. The great advantage of this method is a direct linkage between an observed phenotype and encapsulated genotype, which allows fast determination of selected sequences. The phage display approach is a powerful tool in generating highly potent biomolecules, including: search for specific antibodies, determining enzyme specificity, exploring protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions, minimizing proteins, introducing new functions into different protein scaffolds, and searching sequence space of protein folding. In this article many examples are given to illustrate that this technique can be used in different fields of protein science. The phage display has a potential of the natural evolution and its possibilities are far beyond rational prediction. Assuming that we can design the selection agents and conditions we should be able to engineer any desired protein function or feature. PMID:9918498

  6. Energy design for protein-protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Ravikant, D. V. S.; Elber, Ron

    2011-01-01

    Proteins bind to other proteins efficiently and specifically to carry on many cell functions such as signaling, activation, transport, enzymatic reactions, and more. To determine the geometry and strength of binding of a protein pair, an energy function is required. An algorithm to design an optimal energy function, based on empirical data of protein complexes, is proposed and applied. Emphasis is made on negative design in which incorrect geometries are presented to the algorithm that learns to avoid them. For the docking problem the search for plausible geometries can be performed exhaustively. The possible geometries of the complex are generated on a grid with the help of a fast Fourier transform algorithm. A novel formulation of negative design makes it possible to investigate iteratively hundreds of millions of negative examples while monotonically improving the quality of the potential. Experimental structures for 640 protein complexes are used to generate positive and negative examples for learning parameters. The algorithm designed in this work finds the correct binding structure as the lowest energy minimum in 318 cases of the 640 examples. Further benchmarks on independent sets confirm the significant capacity of the scoring function to recognize correct modes of interactions. PMID:21842951

  7. Modeling Protein Expression and Protein Signaling Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Telesca, Donatello; Müller, Peter; Kornblau, Steven M.; Suchard, Marc A.; Ji, Yuan

    2015-01-01

    High-throughput functional proteomic technologies provide a way to quantify the expression of proteins of interest. Statistical inference centers on identifying the activation state of proteins and their patterns of molecular interaction formalized as dependence structure. Inference on dependence structure is particularly important when proteins are selected because they are part of a common molecular pathway. In that case, inference on dependence structure reveals properties of the underlying pathway. We propose a probability model that represents molecular interactions at the level of hidden binary latent variables that can be interpreted as indicators for active versus inactive states of the proteins. The proposed approach exploits available expert knowledge about the target pathway to define an informative prior on the hidden conditional dependence structure. An important feature of this prior is that it provides an instrument to explicitly anchor the model space to a set of interactions of interest, favoring a local search approach to model determination. We apply our model to reverse-phase protein array data from a study on acute myeloid leukemia. Our inference identifies relevant subpathways in relation to the unfolding of the biological process under study. PMID:26246646

  8. Protein-protein docking with backbone flexibility.

    PubMed

    Wang, Chu; Bradley, Philip; Baker, David

    2007-10-19

    Computational protein-protein docking methods currently can create models with atomic accuracy for protein complexes provided that the conformational changes upon association are restricted to the side chains. However, it remains very challenging to account for backbone conformational changes during docking, and most current methods inherently keep monomer backbones rigid for algorithmic simplicity and computational efficiency. Here we present a reformulation of the Rosetta docking method that incorporates explicit backbone flexibility in protein-protein docking. The new method is based on a "fold-tree" representation of the molecular system, which seamlessly integrates internal torsional degrees of freedom and rigid-body degrees of freedom. Problems with internal flexible regions ranging from one or more loops or hinge regions to all of one or both partners can be readily treated using appropriately constructed fold trees. The explicit treatment of backbone flexibility improves both sampling in the vicinity of the native docked conformation and the energetic discrimination between near-native and incorrect models. PMID:17825317

  9. Energy design for protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ravikant, D. V. S.; Elber, Ron

    2011-08-01

    Proteins bind to other proteins efficiently and specifically to carry on many cell functions such as signaling, activation, transport, enzymatic reactions, and more. To determine the geometry and strength of binding of a protein pair, an energy function is required. An algorithm to design an optimal energy function, based on empirical data of protein complexes, is proposed and applied. Emphasis is made on negative design in which incorrect geometries are presented to the algorithm that learns to avoid them. For the docking problem the search for plausible geometries can be performed exhaustively. The possible geometries of the complex are generated on a grid with the help of a fast Fourier transform algorithm. A novel formulation of negative design makes it possible to investigate iteratively hundreds of millions of negative examples while monotonically improving the quality of the potential. Experimental structures for 640 protein complexes are used to generate positive and negative examples for learning parameters. The algorithm designed in this work finds the correct binding structure as the lowest energy minimum in 318 cases of the 640 examples. Further benchmarks on independent sets confirm the significant capacity of the scoring function to recognize correct modes of interactions.

  10. Mechanisms Regulating Protein Localization.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Nicholas C; Doetsch, Paul W; Corbett, Anita H

    2015-10-01

    Cellular functions are dictated by protein content and activity. There are numerous strategies to regulate proteins varying from modulating gene expression to post-translational modifications. One commonly used mode of regulation in eukaryotes is targeted localization. By specifically redirecting the localization of a pool of existing protein, cells can achieve rapid changes in local protein function. Eukaryotic cells have evolved elegant targeting pathways to direct proteins to the appropriate cellular location or locations. Here, we provide a general overview of these localization pathways, with a focus on nuclear and mitochondrial transport, and present a survey of the evolutionarily conserved regulatory strategies identified thus far. We end with a description of several specific examples of proteins that exploit localization as an important mode of regulation. PMID:26172624

  11. Electrophoretic separation of proteins.

    PubMed

    Chakavarti, Bulbul; Chakavarti, Deb

    2008-01-01

    Electrophoresis is used to separate complex mixtures of proteins (e.g., from cells, subcellular fractions, column fractions, or immunoprecipitates), to investigate subunit compositions, and to verify homogeneity of protein samples. It can also serve to purify proteins for use in further applications. In polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, proteins migrate in response to an electrical field through pores in a polyacrylamide gel matrix; pore size decreases with increasing acrylamide concentration. The combination of pore size and protein charge, size, and shape determines the migration rate of the protein. In this unit, the standard Laemmli method is described for discontinuous gel electrophoresis under denaturing conditions, i.e., in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). PMID:19066548

  12. Outer membrane protein purification.

    PubMed

    Arigita, C; Jiskoot, W; Graaf, M R; Kersten, G F

    2001-01-01

    The major outer membrane proteins (OMPs) from Neisseria meningitidis, which are expressed at high levels, are subdivided in five classes based on molecular weight (1,2) (see Table 1). Table 1 Major Meningococcal Outer-Membrane Proteins Outer-membrane proteins Name Molecular maass Function/characteristics Class 1 PorA 44-47 kDa Porin Class 2/3 PorB 37-42 kDa Porin Class 4 Rmp Reductionmodifiableprotein, unknown Class 5 Opa 26-30 kDa Adhesion,opacity protein Opc 25 kDa Invasion, opacity protein Iron-regulated proteins Mirp 37 kDa Iron acquisition (?);majoriron-regulatedprotein FrpB 70 kDa Ferric enterobactin receptor (also FetA) Adapted from ref. (1). PMID:21336748

  13. Biofilm Matrix Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Fong, Jiunn N. C.; Yildiz, Fitnat H.

    2015-01-01

    Proteinaceous components of the biofilm matrix include secreted extracellular proteins, cell surface adhesins and protein subunits of cell appendages such as flagella and pili. Biofilm matrix proteins play diverse roles in biofilm formation and dissolution. They are involved in attaching cells to surfaces, stabilizing the biofilm matrix via interactions with exopolysaccharide and nucleic acid components, developing three-dimensional biofilm architectures, and dissolving biofilm matrix via enzymatic degradation of polysaccharides, proteins, and nucleic acids. In this chapter, we will review functions of matrix proteins in a selected set of microorganisms, studies of the matrix proteomes of Vibrio cholerae and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and roles of outer membrane vesicles and of nucleoid-binding proteins in biofilm formation. PMID:26104709

  14. Principles of Flexible Protein-Protein Docking

    PubMed Central

    Andrusier, Nelly; Mashiach, Efrat; Nussinov, Ruth; Wolfson, Haim J.

    2008-01-01

    Treating flexibility in molecular docking is a major challenge in cell biology research. Here we describe the background and the principles of existing flexible protein-protein docking methods, focusing on the algorithms and their rational. We describe how protein flexibility is treated in different stages of the docking process: in the preprocessing stage, rigid and flexible parts are identified and their possible conformations are modeled. This preprocessing provides information for the subsequent docking and refinement stages. In the docking stage, an ensemble of pre-generated conformations or the identified rigid domains may be docked separately. In the refinement stage, small-scale movements of the backbone and side-chains are modeled and the binding orientation is improved by rigid-body adjustments. For clarity of presentation, we divide the different methods into categories. This should allow the reader to focus on the most suitable method for a particular docking problem. PMID:18655061

  15. Antimicrobial proteins: From old proteins, new tricks.

    PubMed

    Smith, Valerie J; Dyrynda, Elisabeth A

    2015-12-01

    This review describes the main types of antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) synthesised by crustaceans, primarily those identified in shrimp, crayfish, crab and lobster. It includes an overview of their range of microbicidal activities and the current landscape of our understanding of their gene expression patterns in different body tissues. It further summarises how their expression might change following various types of immune challenges. The review further considers proteins or protein fragments from crustaceans that have antimicrobial properties but are more usually associated with other biological functions, or are derived from such proteins. It discusses how these unconventional AMPs might be generated at, or delivered to, sites of infection and how they might contribute to crustacean host defence in vivo. It also highlights recent work that is starting to reveal the extent of multi-functionality displayed by some decapod AMPs, particularly their participation in other aspects of host protection. Examples of such activities include proteinase inhibition, phagocytosis, antiviral activity and haematopoiesis. PMID:26320628

  16. Elastic proteins and elastomeric protein alloys.

    PubMed

    Aghaei-Ghareh-Bolagh, Behnaz; Mithieux, Suzanne M; Weiss, Anthony S

    2016-06-01

    The elastomeric proteins elastin and resilin have been used extensively in the fabrication of biomaterials for tissue engineering applications due to their unique mechanical and biological properties. Tropoelastin is the soluble monomer component of elastin. Tropoelastin and resilin are both highly elastic with high resilience, substantial extensibility, high durability and low energy loss, which makes them excellent candidates for the fabrication of elastic tissues that demand regular and repetitive movement like the skin, lung, blood vessels, muscles and vocal folds. Combinations of these proteins with silk fibroin further enhance their biomechanical and biological properties leading to a new class of protein alloy materials with versatile properties. In this review, the properties of tropoelastin-based and resilin-based biomaterials with and without silk are described in concert with examples of their applications in tissue engineering. PMID:26780495

  17. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell, Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC) uses a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for macromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of macromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystallized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  18. Protein oxidation and peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Davies, Michael J

    2016-04-01

    Proteins are major targets for radicals and two-electron oxidants in biological systems due to their abundance and high rate constants for reaction. With highly reactive radicals damage occurs at multiple side-chain and backbone sites. Less reactive species show greater selectivity with regard to the residues targeted and their spatial location. Modification can result in increased side-chain hydrophilicity, side-chain and backbone fragmentation, aggregation via covalent cross-linking or hydrophobic interactions, protein unfolding and altered conformation, altered interactions with biological partners and modified turnover. In the presence of O2, high yields of peroxyl radicals and peroxides (protein peroxidation) are formed; the latter account for up to 70% of the initial oxidant flux. Protein peroxides can oxidize both proteins and other targets. One-electron reduction results in additional radicals and chain reactions with alcohols and carbonyls as major products; the latter are commonly used markers of protein damage. Direct oxidation of cysteine (and less commonly) methionine residues is a major reaction; this is typically faster than with H2O2, and results in altered protein activity and function. Unlike H2O2, which is rapidly removed by protective enzymes, protein peroxides are only slowly removed, and catabolism is a major fate. Although turnover of modified proteins by proteasomal and lysosomal enzymes, and other proteases (e.g. mitochondrial Lon), can be efficient, protein hydroperoxides inhibit these pathways and this may contribute to the accumulation of modified proteins in cells. Available evidence supports an association between protein oxidation and multiple human pathologies, but whether this link is causal remains to be established. PMID:27026395

  19. Protein oxidation and peroxidation

    PubMed Central

    Davies, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Proteins are major targets for radicals and two-electron oxidants in biological systems due to their abundance and high rate constants for reaction. With highly reactive radicals damage occurs at multiple side-chain and backbone sites. Less reactive species show greater selectivity with regard to the residues targeted and their spatial location. Modification can result in increased side-chain hydrophilicity, side-chain and backbone fragmentation, aggregation via covalent cross-linking or hydrophobic interactions, protein unfolding and altered conformation, altered interactions with biological partners and modified turnover. In the presence of O2, high yields of peroxyl radicals and peroxides (protein peroxidation) are formed; the latter account for up to 70% of the initial oxidant flux. Protein peroxides can oxidize both proteins and other targets. One-electron reduction results in additional radicals and chain reactions with alcohols and carbonyls as major products; the latter are commonly used markers of protein damage. Direct oxidation of cysteine (and less commonly) methionine residues is a major reaction; this is typically faster than with H2O2, and results in altered protein activity and function. Unlike H2O2, which is rapidly removed by protective enzymes, protein peroxides are only slowly removed, and catabolism is a major fate. Although turnover of modified proteins by proteasomal and lysosomal enzymes, and other proteases (e.g. mitochondrial Lon), can be efficient, protein hydroperoxides inhibit these pathways and this may contribute to the accumulation of modified proteins in cells. Available evidence supports an association between protein oxidation and multiple human pathologies, but whether this link is causal remains to be established. PMID:27026395

  20. Computer Models of Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Dr. Marc Pusey (seated) and Dr. Craig Kundrot use computers to analyze x-ray maps and generate three-dimensional models of protein structures. With this information, scientists at Marshall Space Flight Center can learn how proteins are made and how they work. The computer screen depicts a proten structure as a ball-and-stick model. Other models depict the actual volume occupied by the atoms, or the ribbon-like structures that are crucial to a protein's function.

  1. Pressure cryocooling protein crystals

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Chae Un; Gruner, Sol M.

    2011-10-04

    Preparation of cryocooled protein crystal is provided by use of helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal allowing collection of high resolution data and by heavier noble gas (krypton or xenon) binding followed by helium pressurizing and cryocooling to obtain cryocooled protein crystal for collection of high resolution data and SAD phasing simultaneously. The helium pressurizing is carried out on crystal coated to prevent dehydration or on crystal grown in aqueous solution in a capillary.

  2. Protein-protein interactions as drug targets.

    PubMed

    Skwarczynska, Malgorzata; Ottmann, Christian

    2015-10-01

    Modulation of protein-protein interactions (PPIs) is becoming increasingly important in drug discovery and chemical biology. While a few years ago this 'target class' was deemed to be largely undruggable an impressing number of publications and success stories now show that targeting PPIs with small, drug-like molecules indeed is a feasible approach. Here, we summarize the current state of small-molecule inhibition and stabilization of PPIs and review the active molecules from a structural and medicinal chemistry angle, especially focusing on the key examples of iNOS, LFA-1 and 14-3-3. PMID:26510391

  3. Biomolecular membrane protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reddy Bolla, Jani; Su, Chih-Chia; Yu, Edward W.

    2012-07-01

    Integral membrane proteins comprise approximately 30% of the sequenced genomes, and there is an immediate need for their high-resolution structural information. Currently, the most reliable approach to obtain these structures is X-ray crystallography. However, obtaining crystals of membrane proteins that diffract to high resolution appears to be quite challenging, and remains a major obstacle in structural determination. This brief review summarizes a variety of methodologies for use in crystallizing these membrane proteins. Hopefully, by introducing the available methods, techniques, and providing a general understanding of membrane proteins, a rational decision can be made about now to crystallize these complex materials.

  4. Self assembling proteins

    DOEpatents

    Yeates, Todd O.; Padilla, Jennifer; Colovos, Chris

    2004-06-29

    Novel fusion proteins capable of self-assembling into regular structures, as well as nucleic acids encoding the same, are provided. The subject fusion proteins comprise at least two oligomerization domains rigidly linked together, e.g. through an alpha helical linking group. Also provided are regular structures comprising a plurality of self-assembled fusion proteins of the subject invention, and methods for producing the same. The subject fusion proteins find use in the preparation of a variety of nanostructures, where such structures include: cages, shells, double-layer rings, two-dimensional layers, three-dimensional crystals, filaments, and tubes.

  5. Consensus protein design.

    PubMed

    Porebski, Benjamin T; Buckle, Ashley M

    2016-07-01

    A popular and successful strategy in semi-rational design of protein stability is the use of evolutionary information encapsulated in homologous protein sequences. Consensus design is based on the hypothesis that at a given position, the respective consensus amino acid contributes more than average to the stability of the protein than non-conserved amino acids. Here, we review the consensus design approach, its theoretical underpinnings, successes, limitations and challenges, as well as providing a detailed guide to its application in protein engineering. PMID:27274091

  6. Prediction of protein-protein interactions based on protein-protein correlation using least squares regression.

    PubMed

    Huang, De-Shuang; Zhang, Lei; Han, Kyungsook; Deng, Suping; Yang, Kai; Zhang, Hongbo

    2014-01-01

    In order to transform protein sequences into the feature vectors, several works have been done, such as computing auto covariance (AC), conjoint triad (CT), local descriptor (LD), moran autocorrelation (MA), normalized moreaubroto autocorrelation (NMB) and so on. In this paper, we shall adopt these transformation methods to encode the proteins, respectively, where AC, CT, LD, MA and NMB are all represented by '+' in a unified manner. A new method, i.e. the combination of least squares regression with '+' (abbreviated as LSR(+)), will be introduced for encoding a protein-protein correlation-based feature representation and an interacting protein pair. Thus there are totally five different combinations for LSR(+), i.e. LSRAC, LSRCT, LSRLD, LSRMA and LSRNMB. As a result, we combined a support vector machine (SVM) approach with LSR(+) to predict protein-protein interactions (PPI) and PPI networks. The proposed method has been applied on four datasets, i.e. Saaccharomyces cerevisiae, Escherichia coli, Homo sapiens and Caenorhabditis elegans. The experimental results demonstrate that all LSR(+) methods outperform many existing representative algorithms. Therefore, LSR(+) is a powerful tool to characterize the protein-protein correlations and to infer PPI, whilst keeping high performance on prediction of PPI networks. PMID:25059329

  7. Human Mitochondrial Protein Database

    National Institute of Standards and Technology Data Gateway

    SRD 131 Human Mitochondrial Protein Database (Web, free access)   The Human Mitochondrial Protein Database (HMPDb) provides comprehensive data on mitochondrial and human nuclear encoded proteins involved in mitochondrial biogenesis and function. This database consolidates information from SwissProt, LocusLink, Protein Data Bank (PDB), GenBank, Genome Database (GDB), Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM), Human Mitochondrial Genome Database (mtDB), MITOMAP, Neuromuscular Disease Center and Human 2-D PAGE Databases. This database is intended as a tool not only to aid in studying the mitochondrion but in studying the associated diseases.

  8. PIC: Protein Interactions Calculator.

    PubMed

    Tina, K G; Bhadra, R; Srinivasan, N

    2007-07-01

    Interactions within a protein structure and interactions between proteins in an assembly are essential considerations in understanding molecular basis of stability and functions of proteins and their complexes. There are several weak and strong interactions that render stability to a protein structure or an assembly. Protein Interactions Calculator (PIC) is a server which, given the coordinate set of 3D structure of a protein or an assembly, computes various interactions such as disulphide bonds, interactions between hydrophobic residues, ionic interactions, hydrogen bonds, aromatic-aromatic interactions, aromatic-sulphur interactions and cation-pi interactions within a protein or between proteins in a complex. Interactions are calculated on the basis of standard, published criteria. The identified interactions between residues can be visualized using a RasMol and Jmol interface. The advantage with PIC server is the easy availability of inter-residue interaction calculations in a single site. It also determines the accessible surface area and residue-depth, which is the distance of a residue from the surface of the protein. User can also recognize specific kind of interactions, such as apolar-apolar residue interactions or ionic interactions, that are formed between buried or exposed residues or near the surface or deep inside. PMID:17584791

  9. Glycolipid transfer proteins

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Rhoderick E.; Mattjus, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Glycolipid transfer proteins (GLTPs) are small (24 kD), soluble, ubiquitous proteins characterized by their ability to accelerate the intermembrane transfer of glycolipids in vitro. GLTP specificity encompasses both sphingoid- and glycerol-based glycolipids, but with a strict requirement that the initial sugar residue be beta-linked to the hydrophobic lipid backbone. The 3D protein structures of GLTP reveal liganded structures with unique lipid binding modes. The biochemical properties of GLTP action at the membrane surface have been studied rather comprehensively, but the biological role of GLTP remains enigmatic. What is clear is that GLTP differs distinctly from other known glycolipid-binding proteins, such as nonspecific lipid transfer proteins, lysosomal sphingolipid activator proteins, lectins, lung surfactant proteins as well as other lipid binding/transfer proteins. Based on the unique conformational architecture that targets GLTP to membranes and enables glycolipid binding, GLTP is now considered the prototypical and founding member of a new protein superfamily in eukaryotes. PMID:17320476

  10. Engineering therapeutic protein disaggregases.

    PubMed

    Shorter, James

    2016-05-15

    Therapeutic agents are urgently required to cure several common and fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson's disease (PD), and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Protein disaggregases that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native structure, function, and localization could mitigate neurodegeneration by simultaneously reversing 1) any toxic gain of function of the misfolded form and 2) any loss of function due to misfolding. Potentiated variants of Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase and protein disaggregase from yeast, have been engineered to robustly disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with ALS (e.g., TDP-43 and FUS) and PD (e.g., α-synuclein). However, Hsp104 has no metazoan homologue. Metazoa possess protein disaggregase systems distinct from Hsp104, including Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40, as well as HtrA1, which might be harnessed to reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, vicissitudes of aging, environment, or genetics conspire to negate these disaggregase systems in neurodegenerative disease. Thus, engineering potentiated human protein disaggregases or isolating small-molecule enhancers of their activity could yield transformative therapeutics for ALS, PD, and AD. PMID:27255695

  11. Cellulose synthase interacting protein

    PubMed Central

    Somerville, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Cellulose is the most abundant biopolymer on earth. The great abundance of cellulose places it at the forefront as a primary source of biomass for renewable biofuels. However, the knowledge of how plant cells make cellulose remains very rudimentary. Cellulose microfibrils are synthesized at the plasma membrane by hexameric protein complexes, also known as cellulose synthase complexes. The only known components of cellulose synthase complexes are cellulose synthase (CESA) proteins until the recent identification of a novel component. CSI1, which encodes CESA interacting protein 1 (CSI1) in Arabidopsis. CSI1, as the first non-CESA proteins associated with cellulose synthase complexes, opens up many opportunities. PMID:21150290

  12. Consensus protein design

    PubMed Central

    Porebski, Benjamin T.; Buckle, Ashley M.

    2016-01-01

    A popular and successful strategy in semi-rational design of protein stability is the use of evolutionary information encapsulated in homologous protein sequences. Consensus design is based on the hypothesis that at a given position, the respective consensus amino acid contributes more than average to the stability of the protein than non-conserved amino acids. Here, we review the consensus design approach, its theoretical underpinnings, successes, limitations and challenges, as well as providing a detailed guide to its application in protein engineering. PMID:27274091

  13. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT protein.

    PubMed

    Kicinska, Anna; Leluk, Jacek; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-01-01

    STAT (signal transducers and activators of transcription) proteins are one of the important mediators of phosphotyrosine-regulated signaling in metazoan cells. We described the presence of STAT protein in a unicellular, free-living amoebae with a simple life cycle, Acanthamoeba castellanii. A. castellanii is the only, studied to date, Amoebozoan that does not belong to Mycetozoa but possesses STATs. A sequence of the A. castellanii STAT protein includes domains similar to those of the Dictyostelium STAT proteins: a coiled coil (characteristic for Dictyostelium STAT coiled coil), a STAT DNA-binding domain and a Src-homology domain. The search for protein sequences homologous to A. castellanii STAT revealed 17 additional sequences from lower eukaryotes. Interestingly, all of these sequences come from Amoebozoa organisms that belong to either Mycetozoa (slime molds) or Centramoebida. We showed that there are four separated clades within the slime mold STAT proteins. The A. castellanii STAT protein branches next to a group of STATc proteins from Mycetozoa. We also demonstrate that Amoebozoa form a distinct monophyletic lineage within the STAT protein world that is well separated from the other groups. PMID:25338074

  14. Engineering therapeutic protein disaggregases

    PubMed Central

    Shorter, James

    2016-01-01

    Therapeutic agents are urgently required to cure several common and fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by protein misfolding and aggregation, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Protein disaggregases that reverse protein misfolding and restore proteins to native structure, function, and localization could mitigate neurodegeneration by simultaneously reversing 1) any toxic gain of function of the misfolded form and 2) any loss of function due to misfolding. Potentiated variants of Hsp104, a hexameric AAA+ ATPase and protein disaggregase from yeast, have been engineered to robustly disaggregate misfolded proteins connected with ALS (e.g., TDP-43 and FUS) and PD (e.g., α-synuclein). However, Hsp104 has no metazoan homologue. Metazoa possess protein disaggregase systems distinct from Hsp104, including Hsp110, Hsp70, and Hsp40, as well as HtrA1, which might be harnessed to reverse deleterious protein misfolding. Nevertheless, vicissitudes of aging, environment, or genetics conspire to negate these disaggregase systems in neurodegenerative disease. Thus, engineering potentiated human protein disaggregases or isolating small-molecule enhancers of their activity could yield transformative therapeutics for ALS, PD, and AD. PMID:27255695

  15. Ultrafiltration of pegylated proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molek, Jessica R.

    There is considerable clinical interest in the use of "second-generation" therapeutics produced by conjugation of a native protein with various polymers including polyethylene glycol (PEG). PEG--protein conjugates, so-called PEGylated proteins, can exhibit enhanced stability, half-life, and bioavailability. One of the challenges in the commercial production of PEGylated proteins is the purification required to remove unreacted polymer, native protein, and in many cases PEGylated proteins with nonoptimal degrees of conjugation. The overall objective of this thesis was to examine the use of ultrafiltration for the purification of PEGylated proteins. This included: (1) analysis of size-based separation of PEGylated proteins using conventional ultrafiltration membranes, (2) use of electrically-charged membranes to exploit differences in electrostatic interactions, and (3) examination of the effects of PEGylation on protein fouling. The experimental results were analyzed using appropriate theoretical models, with the underlying physical properties of the PEGylated proteins evaluated using size exclusion chromatography, capillary electrophoresis, dynamic light scattering, and reverse phase chromatography. PEGylated proteins were produced by covalent attachment of activated PEG to a protein via primary amines on the lysine residues. A simple model was developed for the reaction kinetics, which was used to explore the effect of reaction conditions and mode of operation on the distribution of PEGylated products. The effective size of the PEGylated proteins was evaluated using size exclusion chromatography, with appropriate correlations developed for the size in terms of the molecular weight of the native protein and attached PEG. The electrophoretic mobility of the PEGylated proteins were evaluated by capillary electrophoresis with the data in good agreement with a simple model accounting for the increase in protein size and the reduction in the number of protonated amine

  16. Protein metabolism and requirements.

    PubMed

    Biolo, Gianni

    2013-01-01

    Skeletal muscle adaptation to critical illness includes insulin resistance, accelerated proteolysis, and increased release of glutamine and the other amino acids. Such amino acid efflux from skeletal muscle provides precursors for protein synthesis and energy fuel to the liver and to the rapidly dividing cells of the intestinal mucosa and the immune system. From these adaptation mechanisms, severe muscle wasting, glutamine depletion, and hyperglycemia, with increased patient morbidity and mortality, may ensue. Protein/amino acid nutrition, through either enteral or parenteral routes, plays a pivotal role in treatment of metabolic abnormalities in critical illness. In contrast to energy requirement, which can be accurately assessed by indirect calorimetry, methods to determine individual protein/amino acid needs are not currently available. In critical illness, a decreased ability of protein/amino acid intake to promote body protein synthesis is defined as anabolic resistance. This abnormality leads to increased protein/amino acid requirement and relative inefficiency of nutritional interventions. In addition to stress mediators, immobility and physical inactivity are key determinants of anabolic resistance. The development of mobility protocols in the intensive care unit should be encouraged to enhance the efficacy of nutrition. In critical illness, protein/amino acid requirement has been defined as the intake level associated with the lowest rate of catabolism. The optimal protein-sparing effects in patients receiving adequate energy are achieved when protein/amino acids are administered at rates between 1.3 and 1.5 g/kg/day. Extra glutamine supplementation is required in conditions of severe systemic inflammatory response. Protein requirement increases during hypocaloric feeding and in patients with acute renal failure on continuous renal replacement therapy. Evidence suggests that receiving adequate protein/amino acid intake may be more important than achieving

  17. Binding Efficiency of Protein-Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Day, Eric S.; Cote, Shaun M.; Whitty, Adrian

    2012-01-01

    We examine the relationship between binding affinity and interface size for reversible protein-protein interactions (PPI), using cytokines from the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) superfamily and their receptors as a test case. Using surface plasmon resonance, we measured single-site binding affinities for the large receptor TNFR1 binding to its ligands TNFα (KD = 1.4 ± 0.4 nM) and lymphotoxin-α (KD = 50 ± 10 nM), and also for the small receptor Fn14 binding to TWEAK (KD = 70 ± 10 nM). We additionally assembled data for all other TNF/TNFR family complexes for which reliable single site binding affinities have been reported. We used these values to calculate the binding efficiency – defined as binding energy per Å2 of surface area buried at the contact interface – for the nine of these complexes for which co-crystal structures are available, and compared the results to those for a set of 144 protein-protein complexes with published affinity values. The results show that the most efficient PPI complexes generate ~20 cal.mol−1/Å2 of binding energy. A minimum contact area of ~500 Å2 is required for a stable complex, required to generate sufficient interaction energy to pay the entropic cost of co-localizing two proteins from 1 M solution. The most compact and efficient TNF/TNFR complex was BAFF/BR3, which achieved ~80% of the maximum achievable binding efficiency. Other small receptors also gave high binding efficiencies, while the larger receptors generated only 44-49% of this limit despite interacting primarily through just a single small domain. The results provide new insight into how much binding energy can be generated by a PPI interface of a given size, and establish a quantitative method to predict how large a natural or engineered contact interface must be to achieve a given level of binding affinity. PMID:23088250

  18. Protein Attachment on Nanodiamonds.

    PubMed

    Lin, Chung-Lun; Lin, Cheng-Huang; Chang, Huan-Cheng; Su, Meng-Chih

    2015-07-16

    A recent advance in nanotechnology is the scale-up production of small and nonaggregated diamond nanoparticles suitable for biological applications. Using detonation nanodiamonds (NDs) with an average diameter of ∼4 nm as the adsorbents, we have studied the static attachment of three proteins (myoglobin, bovine serum albumin, and insulin) onto the nanoparticles by optical spectroscopy, mass spectrometry, and dynamic light scattering, and electrophoretic zeta potential measurements. Results show that the protein surface coverage is predominantly determined by the competition between protein-protein and protein-ND interactions, giving each protein a unique and characteristic structural configuration in its own complex. Specifically, both myoglobin and bovine serum albumin show a Langmuir-type adsorption behavior, forming 1:1 complexes at saturation, whereas insulin folds into a tightly bound multimer before adsorption. The markedly different adsorption patterns appear to be independent of the protein concentration and are closely related to the affinity of the individual proteins for the NDs. The present study provides a fundamental understanding for the use of NDs as a platform for nanomedical drug delivery. PMID:25815400

  19. Poxviral Ankyrin Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Herbert, Michael H.; Squire, Christopher J.; Mercer, Andrew A

    2015-01-01

    Multiple repeats of the ankyrin motif (ANK) are ubiquitous throughout the kingdoms of life but are absent from most viruses. The main exception to this is the poxvirus family, and specifically the chordopoxviruses, with ANK repeat proteins present in all but three species from separate genera. The poxviral ANK repeat proteins belong to distinct orthologue groups spread over different species, and align well with the phylogeny of their genera. This distribution throughout the chordopoxviruses indicates these proteins were present in an ancestral vertebrate poxvirus, and have since undergone numerous duplication events. Most poxviral ANK repeat proteins contain an unusual topology of multiple ANK motifs starting at the N-terminus with a C-terminal poxviral homologue of the cellular F-box enabling interaction with the cellular SCF ubiquitin ligase complex. The subtle variations between ANK repeat proteins of individual poxviruses suggest an array of different substrates may be bound by these protein-protein interaction domains and, via the F-box, potentially directed to cellular ubiquitination pathways and possible degradation. Known interaction partners of several of these proteins indicate that the NF-κB coordinated anti-viral response is a key target, whilst some poxviral ANK repeat domains also have an F-box independent affect on viral host-range. PMID:25690795

  20. Proteins and Amino Acids

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Proteins are the most abundant substances in living organisms and cells. All proteins are constructed from the same twenty amino acids that are linked together by covalent bonds. Shorter chains of two or more amino acids can be linked by covalent bonds to form polypeptides. There are twenty amino...

  1. Proteins and glasses

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, H.

    1997-12-31

    The structure, the energy landscape, and the dynamics of proteins and glasses are similar. Both types of systems display characteristic nonexponential time dependencies of relaxation phenomena. Experiments suggest that both, proteins and glasses, are heterogeneous and that this fact causes the observed time dependence. This result is discussed in terms of the rough energy landscape characteristic of complex systems.

  2. Synthesis of Lipidated Proteins.

    PubMed

    Mejuch, Tom; Waldmann, Herbert

    2016-08-17

    Protein lipidation is one of the major post-translational modifications (PTM) of proteins. The attachment of the lipid moiety frequently determines the localization and the function of the lipoproteins. Lipidated proteins participate in many essential biological processes in eukaryotic cells, including vesicular trafficking, signal transduction, and regulation of the immune response. Malfunction of these cellular processes usually leads to various diseases such as cancer. Understanding the mechanism of cellular signaling and identifying the protein-protein and protein-lipid interactions in which the lipoproteins are involved is a crucial task. To achieve these goals, fully functional lipidated proteins are required. However, access to lipoproteins by means of standard expression is often rather limited. Therefore, semisynthetic methods, involving the synthesis of lipidated peptides and their subsequent chemoselective ligation to yield full-length lipoproteins, were developed. In this Review we summarize the commonly used methods for lipoprotein synthesis and the development of the corresponding chemoselective ligation techniques. Several key studies involving full-length semisynthetic lipidated Ras, Rheb, and LC3 proteins are presented. PMID:27444727

  3. The AVIT protein family

    PubMed Central

    Kaser, Alexandra; Winklmayr, Martina; Lepperdinger, Günther; Kreil, Günther

    2003-01-01

    Homologues of a protein originally isolated from snake venom and frog skin secretions are present in many vertebrate species. They contain 80–90 amino acids, 10 of which are cysteines with identical spacing. Various names have been given to these proteins, such as mamba intestinal protein 1 (MIT1), Bv8 (Bombina variegata molecular mass ∼8 kDa), prokineticins and endocrine-gland vascular endothelial growth factor (EG-VEGF). Their amino-terminal sequences are identical, and so we propose that the sequence of their first four residues, AVIT, is used as a name for this family. From a comparison of the sequences, two types of AVIT proteins can be discerned. These proteins seem to be distributed widely in mammalian tissues and are known to bind to G-protein-coupled receptors. Members of this family have been shown to stimulate contraction of the guinea pig ileum, to cause hyperalgesia after injection into rats and to be active as specific growth factors. Moreover, the messenger RNA level of one of these AVIT proteins changes rhythmically in the region of the brain known as the suprachiasmatic nucleus. This shows that members of this new family of small proteins are involved in diverse biological processes. PMID:12728244

  4. Protein Kinases and Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Anna M.; Messing, Robert O.

    2011-01-01

    Although drugs of abuse have different chemical structures and interact with different protein targets, all appear to usurp common neuronal systems that regulate reward and motivation. Addiction is a complex disease that is thought to involve drug-induced changes in synaptic plasticity due to alterations in cell signaling, gene transcription, and protein synthesis. Recent evidence suggests that drugs of abuse interact with and change a common network of signaling pathways that include a subset of specific protein kinases. The best studied of these kinases are reviewed here and include extracellular signal-regulated kinase, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, cyclin-dependent protein kinase 5, protein kinase C, calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and Fyn tyrosine kinase. These kinases have been implicated in various aspects of drug addiction including acute drug effects, drug self-administration, withdrawal, reinforcement, sensitization, and tolerance. Identifying protein kinase substrates and signaling pathways that contribute to the addicted state may provide novel approaches for new pharma-cotherapies to treat drug addiction. PMID:18991950

  5. Drugging Membrane Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Hang; Flynn, Aaron D.

    2016-01-01

    The majority of therapeutics target membrane proteins, accessible on the surface of cells, to alter cellular signaling. Cells use membrane proteins to transduce signals into cells, transport ions and molecules, bind the cell to a surface or substrate, and catalyze reactions. Newly devised technologies allow us to drug conventionally “undruggable” regions of membrane proteins, enabling modulation of protein–protein, protein–lipid, and protein–nucleic acid interactions. In this review, we survey the state of the art in high-throughput screening and rational design in drug discovery, and we evaluate the advances in biological understanding and technological capacity that will drive pharmacotherapy forward against unorthodox membrane protein targets. PMID:26863923

  6. Manipulating and Visualizing Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Simon, Horst D.

    2003-12-05

    ProteinShop Gives Researchers a Hands-On Tool for Manipulating, Visualizing Protein Structures. The Human Genome Project and other biological research efforts are creating an avalanche of new data about the chemical makeup and genetic codes of living organisms. But in order to make sense of this raw data, researchers need software tools which let them explore and model data in a more intuitive fashion. With this in mind, researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Davis, have developed ProteinShop, a visualization and modeling program which allows researchers to manipulate protein structures with pinpoint control, guided in large part by their own biological and experimental instincts. Biologists have spent the last half century trying to unravel the ''protein folding problem,'' which refers to the way chains of amino acids physically fold themselves into three-dimensional proteins. This final shape, which resembles a crumpled ribbon or piece of origami, is what determines how the protein functions and translates genetic information. Understanding and modeling this geometrically complex formation is no easy matter. ProteinShop takes a given sequence of amino acids and uses visualization guides to help generate predictions about the secondary structures, identifying alpha helices and flat beta strands, and the coil regions that bind them. Once secondary structures are in place, researchers can twist and turn these pre-configurations until they come up with a number of possible tertiary structure conformations. In turn, these are fed into a computationally intensive optimization procedure that tries to find the final, three-dimensional protein structure. Most importantly, ProteinShop allows users to add human knowledge and intuition to the protein structure prediction process, thus bypassing bad configurations that would otherwise be fruitless for optimization. This saves compute cycles and accelerates the entire process, so

  7. Proteins, fluctuations and complexity

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, Hans; Chen, Guo; Fenimore, Paul W

    2008-01-01

    Glasses, supercooled liquids, and proteins share common properties, in particular the existence of two different types of fluctuations, {alpha} and {beta}. While the effect of the {alpha} fluctuations on proteins has been known for a few years, the effect of {beta} fluctuations has not been understood. By comparing neutron scattering data on the protein myoglobin with the {beta} fluctuations in the hydration shell measured by dielectric spectroscopy we show that the internal protein motions are slaved to these fluctuations. We also show that there is no 'dynamic transition' in proteins near 200 K. The rapid increase in the mean square displacement with temperature in many neutron scattering experiments is quantitatively predicted by the {beta} fluctuations in the hydration shell.

  8. Structures of membrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vinothkumar, Kutti R.; Henderson, Richard

    2010-01-01

    In reviewing the structures of membrane proteins determined up to the end of 2009, we present in words and pictures the most informative examples from each family. We group the structures together according to their function and architecture to provide an overview of the major principles and variations on the most common themes. The first structures, determined 20 years ago, were those of naturally abundant proteins with limited conformational variability, and each membrane protein structure determined was a major landmark. With the advent of complete genome sequences and efficient expression systems, there has been an explosion in the rate of membrane protein structure determination, with many classes represented. New structures are published every month and more than 150 unique membrane protein structures have been determined. This review analyses the reasons for this success, discusses the challenges that still lie ahead, and presents a concise summary of the key achievements with illustrated examples selected from each class. PMID:20667175

  9. Protein sequence databases.

    PubMed

    Apweiler, Rolf; Bairoch, Amos; Wu, Cathy H

    2004-02-01

    A variety of protein sequence databases exist, ranging from simple sequence repositories, which store data with little or no manual intervention in the creation of the records, to expertly curated universal databases that cover all species and in which the original sequence data are enhanced by the manual addition of further information in each sequence record. As the focus of researchers moves from the genome to the proteins encoded by it, these databases will play an even more important role as central comprehensive resources of protein information. Several the leading protein sequence databases are discussed here, with special emphasis on the databases now provided by the Universal Protein Knowledgebase (UniProt) consortium. PMID:15036160

  10. Proteins in unexpected locations.

    PubMed Central

    Smalheiser, N R

    1996-01-01

    Members of all classes of proteins--cytoskeletal components, secreted growth factors, glycolytic enzymes, kinases, transcription factors, chaperones, transmembrane proteins, and extracellular matrix proteins--have been identified in cellular compartments other than their conventional sites of action. Some of these proteins are expressed as distinct compartment-specific isoforms, have novel mechanisms for intercompartmental translocation, have distinct endogenous biological actions within each compartment, and are regulated in a compartment-specific manner as a function of physiologic state. The possibility that many, if not most, proteins have distinct roles in more than one cellular compartment has implications for the evolution of cell organization and may be important for understanding pathological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease and cancer. PMID:8862516

  11. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, Charles E.

    1993-01-01

    Proteins account for 50% or more of the dry weight of most living systems and play a crucial role in virtually all biological processes. Since the specific functions of essentially all biological molecules are determined by their three-dimensional structures, it is obvious that a detailed understanding of the structural makeup of a protein is essential to any systematic research pertaining to it. At the present time, protein crystallography has no substitute, it is the only technique available for elucidating the atomic arrangements within complicated biological molecules. Most macromolecules are extremely difficult to crystallize, and many otherwise exciting and promising projects have terminated at the crystal growth stage. There is a pressing need to better understand protein crystal growth, and to develop new techniques that can be used to enhance the size and quality of protein crystals. There are several aspects of microgravity that might be exploited to enhance protein crystal growth. The major factor that might be expected to alter crystal growth processes in space is the elimination of density-driven convective flow. Another factor that can be readily controlled in the absence of gravity is the sedimentation of growing crystal in a gravitational field. Another potential advantage of microgravity for protein crystal growth is the option of doing containerless crystal growth. One can readily understand why the microgravity environment established by Earth-orbiting vehicles is perceived to offer unique opportunities for the protein crystallographer. The near term objectives of the Protein Crystal Growth in a Microgravity Environment (PCG/ME) project is to continue to improve the techniques, procedures, and hardware systems used to grow protein crystals in Earth orbit.

  12. The centrality of cancer proteins in human protein-protein interaction network: a revisit.

    PubMed

    Xiong, Wei; Xie, Luyu; Zhou, Shuigeng; Liu, Hui; Guan, Jihong

    2014-01-01

    Topological analysis of protein-protein interaction (PPI) networks has been widely applied to the investigation on cancer mechanisms. However, there is still a debate on whether cancer proteins exhibit more topological centrality compared to the other proteins in the human PPI network. To resolve this debate, we first identified four sets of human proteins, and then mapped these proteins into the yeast PPI network by homologous genes. Finally, we compared these proteins' properties in human and yeast PPI networks. Experiments over two real datasets demonstrated that cancer proteins tend to have higher degree and smaller clustering coefficient than non-cancer proteins. Experimental results also validated that cancer proteins have larger betweenness centrality compared to the other proteins on the STRING dataset. However, on the BioGRID dataset, the average betweenness centrality of cancer proteins is larger than that of disease and control proteins, but smaller than that of essential proteins. PMID:24878726

  13. Protein Regulation in Signal Transduction.

    PubMed

    Lee, Michael J; Yaffe, Michael B

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARYCells must respond to a diverse, complex, and ever-changing mix of signals, using a fairly limited set of parts. Changes in protein level, protein localization, protein activity, and protein-protein interactions are critical aspects of signal transduction, allowing cells to respond highly specifically to a nearly limitless set of cues and also to vary the sensitivity, duration, and dynamics of the response. Signal-dependent changes in levels of gene expression and protein synthesis play an important role in regulation of protein levels, whereas posttranslational modifications of proteins regulate their degradation, localization, and functional interactions. Protein ubiquitylation, for example, can direct proteins to the proteasome for degradation or provide a signal that regulates their interactions and/or location within the cell. Similarly, protein phosphorylation by specific kinases is a key mechanism for augmenting protein activity and relaying signals to other proteins that possess domains that recognize the phosphorylated residues. PMID:27252361

  14. Bacterial Ice Crystal Controlling Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lorv, Janet S. H.; Rose, David R.; Glick, Bernard R.

    2014-01-01

    Across the world, many ice active bacteria utilize ice crystal controlling proteins for aid in freezing tolerance at subzero temperatures. Ice crystal controlling proteins include both antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins. Antifreeze proteins minimize freezing damage by inhibiting growth of large ice crystals, while ice nucleation proteins induce formation of embryonic ice crystals. Although both protein classes have differing functions, these proteins use the same ice binding mechanisms. Rather than direct binding, it is probable that these protein classes create an ice surface prior to ice crystal surface adsorption. Function is differentiated by molecular size of the protein. This paper reviews the similar and different aspects of bacterial antifreeze and ice nucleation proteins, the role of these proteins in freezing tolerance, prevalence of these proteins in psychrophiles, and current mechanisms of protein-ice interactions. PMID:24579057

  15. Protein Binding Pocket Dynamics.

    PubMed

    Stank, Antonia; Kokh, Daria B; Fuller, Jonathan C; Wade, Rebecca C

    2016-05-17

    The dynamics of protein binding pockets are crucial for their interaction specificity. Structural flexibility allows proteins to adapt to their individual molecular binding partners and facilitates the binding process. This implies the necessity to consider protein internal motion in determining and predicting binding properties and in designing new binders. Although accounting for protein dynamics presents a challenge for computational approaches, it expands the structural and physicochemical space for compound design and thus offers the prospect of improved binding specificity and selectivity. A cavity on the surface or in the interior of a protein that possesses suitable properties for binding a ligand is usually referred to as a binding pocket. The set of amino acid residues around a binding pocket determines its physicochemical characteristics and, together with its shape and location in a protein, defines its functionality. Residues outside the binding site can also have a long-range effect on the properties of the binding pocket. Cavities with similar functionalities are often conserved across protein families. For example, enzyme active sites are usually concave surfaces that present amino acid residues in a suitable configuration for binding low molecular weight compounds. Macromolecular binding pockets, on the other hand, are located on the protein surface and are often shallower. The mobility of proteins allows the opening, closing, and adaptation of binding pockets to regulate binding processes and specific protein functionalities. For example, channels and tunnels can exist permanently or transiently to transport compounds to and from a binding site. The influence of protein flexibility on binding pockets can vary from small changes to an already existent pocket to the formation of a completely new pocket. Here, we review recent developments in computational methods to detect and define binding pockets and to study pocket dynamics. We introduce five

  16. PSC: protein surface classification

    PubMed Central

    Tseng, Yan Yuan; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2012-01-01

    We recently proposed to classify proteins by their functional surfaces. Using the structural attributes of functional surfaces, we inferred the pairwise relationships of proteins and constructed an expandable database of protein surface classification (PSC). As the functional surface(s) of a protein is the local region where the protein performs its function, our classification may reflect the functional relationships among proteins. Currently, PSC contains a library of 1974 surface types that include 25 857 functional surfaces identified from 24 170 bound structures. The search tool in PSC empowers users to explore related surfaces that share similar local structures and core functions. Each functional surface is characterized by structural attributes, which are geometric, physicochemical or evolutionary features. The attributes have been normalized as descriptors and integrated to produce a profile for each functional surface in PSC. In addition, binding ligands are recorded for comparisons among homologs. PSC allows users to exploit related binding surfaces to reveal the changes in functionally important residues on homologs that have led to functional divergence during evolution. The substitutions at the key residues of a spatial pattern may determine the functional evolution of a protein. In PSC (http://pocket.uchicago.edu/psc/), a pool of changes in residues on similar functional surfaces is provided. PMID:22669905

  17. Structure Prediction of Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Brian; Weng, Zhiping

    Protein-protein interactions are critical for biological function. They directly and indirectly influence the biological systems of which they are a part. Antibodies bind with antigens to detect and stop viruses and other infectious agents. Cell signaling is performed in many cases through the interactions between proteins. Many diseases involve protein-protein interactions on some level, including cancer and prion diseases.

  18. (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    (PCG) Protein Crystal Growth Canavalin. The major storage protein of leguminous plants and a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. It is studied in efforts to enhance nutritional value of proteins through protein engineerings. It is isolated from Jack Bean because of it's potential as a nutritional substance. Principal Investigator on STS-26 was Alex McPherson.

  19. Protein Crystal Quality Studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    Eddie Snell (standing), Post-Doctoral Fellow the National Research Council (NRC),and Marc Pusey of Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) use a reciprocal space mapping diffractometer for marcromolecular crystal quality studies. The diffractometer is used in mapping the structure of marcromolecules such as proteins to determine their structure and thus understand how they function with other proteins in the body. This is one of several analytical tools used on proteins crystalized on Earth and in space experiments. Photo credit: NASA/Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC)

  20. Protein Crystal Malic Enzyme

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    Malic Enzyme is a target protein for drug design because it is a key protein in the life cycle of intestinal parasites. After 2 years of effort on Earth, investigators were unable to produce any crystals that were of high enough quality and for this reason the structure of this important protein could not be determined. Crystals obtained from one STS-50 were of superior quality allowing the structure to be determined. This is just one example why access to space is so vital for these studies. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  1. Piezoelectric allostery of protein

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohnuki, Jun; Sato, Takato; Takano, Mitsunori

    2016-07-01

    Allostery is indispensable for a protein to work, where a locally applied stimulus is transmitted to a distant part of the molecule. While the allostery due to chemical stimuli such as ligand binding has long been studied, the growing interest in mechanobiology prompts the study of the mechanically stimulated allostery, the physical mechanism of which has not been established. By molecular dynamics simulation of a motor protein myosin, we found that a locally applied mechanical stimulus induces electrostatic potential change at distant regions, just like the piezoelectricity. This novel allosteric mechanism, "piezoelectric allostery", should be of particularly high value for mechanosensor/transducer proteins.

  2. Emerging fluorescent protein technologies.

    PubMed

    Enterina, Jhon Ralph; Wu, Lanshi; Campbell, Robert E

    2015-08-01

    Fluorescent proteins (FPs), such as the Aequorea jellyfish green FP (GFP), are firmly established as fundamental tools that enable a wide variety of biological studies. Specifically, FPs can serve as versatile genetically encoded markers for tracking proteins, organelles, or whole cells, and as the basis for construction of biosensors that can be used to visualize a growing array of biochemical events in cells and tissues. In this review we will focus on emerging applications of FPs that represent unprecedented new directions for the field. These emerging applications include new strategies for using FPs in biosensing applications, and innovative ways of using FPs to manipulate protein function or gene expression. PMID:26043278

  3. Piezoelectric allostery of protein.

    PubMed

    Ohnuki, Jun; Sato, Takato; Takano, Mitsunori

    2016-07-01

    Allostery is indispensable for a protein to work, where a locally applied stimulus is transmitted to a distant part of the molecule. While the allostery due to chemical stimuli such as ligand binding has long been studied, the growing interest in mechanobiology prompts the study of the mechanically stimulated allostery, the physical mechanism of which has not been established. By molecular dynamics simulation of a motor protein myosin, we found that a locally applied mechanical stimulus induces electrostatic potential change at distant regions, just like the piezoelectricity. This novel allosteric mechanism, "piezoelectric allostery", should be of particularly high value for mechanosensor/transducer proteins. PMID:27575163

  4. Protein crystallography prescreen kit

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Krupka, Heike I.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2007-10-02

    A kit for prescreening protein concentration for crystallization includes a multiplicity of vials, a multiplicity of pre-selected reagents, and a multiplicity of sample plates. The reagents and a corresponding multiplicity of samples of the protein in solutions of varying concentrations are placed on sample plates. The sample plates containing the reagents and samples are incubated. After incubation the sample plates are examined to determine which of the sample concentrations are too low and which the sample concentrations are too high. The sample concentrations that are optimal for protein crystallization are selected and used.

  5. Protein crystallography prescreen kit

    DOEpatents

    Segelke, Brent W.; Krupka, Heike I.; Rupp, Bernhard

    2005-07-12

    A kit for prescreening protein concentration for crystallization includes a multiplicity of vials, a multiplicity of pre-selected reagents, and a multiplicity of sample plates. The reagents and a corresponding multiplicity of samples of the protein in solutions of varying concentrations are placed on sample plates. The sample plates containing the reagents and samples are incubated. After incubation the sample plates are examined to determine which of the sample concentrations are too low and which the sample concentrations are too high. The sample concentrations that are optimal for protein crystallization are selected and used.

  6. Evolution of proteins.

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dayhoff, M. O.

    1971-01-01

    The amino acid sequences of proteins from living organisms are dealt with. The structure of proteins is first discussed; the variation in this structure from one biological group to another is illustrated by the first halves of the sequences of cytochrome c, and a phylogenetic tree is derived from the cytochrome c data. The relative geological times associated with the events of this tree are discussed. Errors which occur in the duplication of cells during the evolutionary process are examined. Particular attention is given to evolution of mutant proteins, globins, ferredoxin, and transfer ribonucleic acids (tRNA's). Finally, a general outline of biological evolution is presented.

  7. Protein based Block Copolymers

    PubMed Central

    Rabotyagova, Olena S.; Cebe, Peggy; Kaplan, David L.

    2011-01-01

    Advances in genetic engineering have led to the synthesis of protein-based block copolymers with control of chemistry and molecular weight, resulting in unique physical and biological properties. The benefits from incorporating peptide blocks into copolymer designs arise from the fundamental properties of proteins to adopt ordered conformations and to undergo self-assembly, providing control over structure formation at various length scales when compared to conventional block copolymers. This review covers the synthesis, structure, assembly, properties, and applications of protein-based block copolymers. PMID:21235251

  8. A Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities

    SciTech Connect

    Gilmore, Jason M.; Auberry, Deanna L.; Sharp, Julia L.; White, Amanda M.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Daly, Don S.

    2008-07-01

    The Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities (BEPro3) is a software tool for estimating probabilities of protein-protein association between bait and prey protein pairs using data from multiple-bait, multiple-replicate, protein pull-down LC-MS assay experiments. BEPro3 is open source software that runs on both Windows XP and Mac OS 10.4 or newer versions, and is freely available from http://www.pnl.gov/statistics/BEPro3.

  9. Interactive protein manipulation

    SciTech Connect

    SNCrivelli@lbl.gov

    2003-07-01

    We describe an interactive visualization and modeling program for the creation of protein structures ''from scratch''. The input to our program is an amino acid sequence -decoded from a gene- and a sequence of predicted secondary structure types for each amino acid-provided by external structure prediction programs. Our program can be used in the set-up phase of a protein structure prediction process; the structures created with it serve as input for a subsequent global internal energy minimization, or another method of protein structure prediction. Our program supports basic visualization methods for protein structures, interactive manipulation based on inverse kinematics, and visualization guides to aid a user in creating ''good'' initial structures.

  10. Protein Colloidal Aggregation Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oliva-Buisson, Yvette J. (Compiler)

    2014-01-01

    To investigate the pathways and kinetics of protein aggregation to allow accurate predictive modeling of the process and evaluation of potential inhibitors to prevalent diseases including cataract formation, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease and others.

  11. Engineered Proteins for Bioelectrochemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Akram, Muhammad Safwan; Rehman, Jawad Ur; Hall, Elizabeth A. H.

    2014-06-01

    It is only in the past two decades that excellent protein engineering tools have begun to meet parallel advances in materials chemistry, nanofabrication, and electronics. This is revealing scenarios from which synthetic enzymes can emerge, which were previously impossible, as well as interfaces with novel electrode materials. That means the control of the protein structure, electron transport pathway, and electrode surface can usher us into a new era of bioelectrochemistry. This article reviews the principle of electron transfer (ET) and considers how its application at the electrode, within the protein, and at a redox group is directing key advances in the understanding of protein structure to create systems that exhibit better efficiency and unique bioelectrochemistry.

  12. Protein Model Database

    SciTech Connect

    Fidelis, K; Adzhubej, A; Kryshtafovych, A; Daniluk, P

    2005-02-23

    The phenomenal success of the genome sequencing projects reveals the power of completeness in revolutionizing biological science. Currently it is possible to sequence entire organisms at a time, allowing for a systemic rather than fractional view of their organization and the various genome-encoded functions. There is an international plan to move towards a similar goal in the area of protein structure. This will not be achieved by experiment alone, but rather by a combination of efforts in crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and computational modeling. Only a small fraction of structures are expected to be identified experimentally, the remainder to be modeled. Presently there is no organized infrastructure to critically evaluate and present these data to the biological community. The goal of the Protein Model Database project is to create such infrastructure, including (1) public database of theoretically derived protein structures; (2) reliable annotation of protein model quality, (3) novel structure analysis tools, and (4) access to the highest quality modeling techniques available.

  13. The Pentapeptide Repeat Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Vetting,M.; Hegde, S.; Fajardo, J.; Fiser, A.; Roderick, S.; Takiff, H.; Blanchard, J.

    2006-01-01

    The Pentapeptide Repeat Protein (PRP) family has over 500 members in the prokaryotic and eukaryotic kingdoms. These proteins are composed of, or contain domains composed of, tandemly repeated amino acid sequences with a consensus sequence of [S, T,A, V][D, N][L, F]-[S, T,R][G]. The biochemical function of the vast majority of PRP family members is unknown. The three-dimensional structure of the first member of the PRP family was determined for the fluoroquinolone resistance protein (MfpA) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The structure revealed that the pentapeptide repeats encode the folding of a novel right-handed quadrilateral {beta}-helix. MfpA binds to DNA gyrase and inhibits its activity. The rod-shaped, dimeric protein exhibits remarkable size, shape and electrostatic similarity to DNA.

  14. Untying knots in proteins.

    PubMed

    Sułkowska, Joanna I; Sułkowski, Piotr; Szymczak, Piotr; Cieplak, Marek

    2010-10-13

    A shoelace can be readily untied by pulling its ends rather than its loops. Attempting to untie a native knot in a protein can also succeed or fail depending on where one pulls. However, thermal fluctuations induced by the surrounding water affect conformations stochastically and may add to the uncertainty of the outcome. When the protein is pulled by the termini, the knot can only get tightened, and any attempt at untying results in failure. We show that, by pulling specific amino acids, one may easily retract a terminal segment of the backbone from the knotting loop and untangle the knot. At still other amino acids, the outcome of pulling can go either way. We study the dependence of the untying probability on the way the protein is grasped, the pulling speed, and the temperature. Elucidation of the mechanisms underlying this dependence is critical for a successful experimental realization of protein knot untying. PMID:20857930

  15. Membrane Protein Prediction Methods

    PubMed Central

    Punta, Marco; Forrest, Lucy R.; Bigelow, Henry; Kernytsky, Andrew; Liu, Jinfeng; Rost, Burkhard

    2007-01-01

    We survey computational approaches that tackle membrane protein structure and function prediction. While describing the main ideas that have led to the development of the most relevant and novel methods, we also discuss pitfalls, provide practical hints and highlight the challenges that remain. The methods covered include: sequence alignment, motif search, functional residue identification, transmembrane segment and protein topology predictions, homology and ab initio modeling. Overall, predictions of functional and structural features of membrane proteins are improving, although progress is hampered by the limited amount of high-resolution experimental information available. While predictions of transmembrane segments and protein topology rank among the most accurate methods in computational biology, more attention and effort will be required in the future to ameliorate database search, homology and ab initio modeling. PMID:17367718

  16. Bence-Jones protein - quantitative

    MedlinePlus

    Immunoglobulin light chains - urine; Urine Bence-Jones protein ... Bence-Jones proteins are a part of regular antibodies called light chains. These proteins are not normally in urine. Sometimes, when ...

  17. Protein Nitrogen Determination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nielsen, S. Suzanne

    The protein content of foods can be determined by numerous methods. The Kjeldahl method and the nitrogen combustion (Dumas) method for protein analysis are based on nitrogen determination. Both methods are official for the purposes of nutrition labeling of foods. While the Kjeldahl method has been used widely for over a hundred years, the recent availability of automated instrumentation for the Dumas method in many cases is replacing use of the Kjeldahl method.

  18. The Malignant Protein Puzzle.

    PubMed

    Walker, Lary C; Jucker, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    When most people hear the words malignant and brain, cancer immediately comes to mind. But our authors argue that proteins can be malignant too, and can spread harmfully through the brain in neurodegenerative diseases that include Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, CTE, and ALS. Studying how proteins such as PrP, amyloid beta, tau, and others aggregate and spread, and kill brain cells, represents a crucial new frontier in neuroscience. PMID:27408676

  19. Recombinant Collagenlike Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fertala, Andzej

    2007-01-01

    A group of collagenlike recombinant proteins containing high densities of biologically active sites has been invented. The method used to express these proteins is similar to a method of expressing recombinant procollagens and collagens described in U. S. Patent 5,593,859, "Synthesis of human procollagens and collagens in recombinant DNA systems." Customized collagenous proteins are needed for biomedical applications. In particular, fibrillar collagens are attractive for production of matrices needed for tissue engineering and drug delivery. Prior to this invention, there was no way of producing customized collagenous proteins for these and other applications. Heretofore, collagenous proteins have been produced by use of such biological systems as yeasts, bacteria, and transgenic animals and plants. These products are normal collagens that can also be extracted from such sources as tendons, bones, and hides. These products cannot be made to consist only of biologically active, specific amino acid sequences that may be needed for specific applications. Prior to this invention, it had been established that fibrillar collagens consist of domains that are responsible for such processes as interaction with cells, binding of growth factors, and interaction with a number of structural proteins present in the extracellular matrix. A normal collagen consists of a sequence of domains that can be represented by a corresponding sequence of labels, e.g., D1D2D3D4. A collagenlike protein of the present invention contains regions of collagen II that contain multiples of a single domain (e.g., D1D1D1D1 or D4D4D4D4) chosen for its specific biological activity. By virtue of the multiplicity of the chosen domain, the density of sites having that specific biological activity is greater than it is in a normal collagen. A collagenlike protein according to this invention can thus be made to have properties that are necessary for tissue engineering.

  20. Protein conducting nanopores

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harsman, Anke; Krüger, Vivien; Bartsch, Philipp; Honigmann, Alf; Schmidt, Oliver; Rao, Sanjana; Meisinger, Christof; Wagner, Richard

    2010-11-01

    About 50% of the cellular proteins have to be transported into or across cellular membranes. This transport is an essential step in the protein biosynthesis. In eukaryotic cells secretory proteins are transported into the endoplasmic reticulum before they are transported in vesicles to the plasma membrane. Almost all proteins of the endosymbiotic organelles chloroplasts and mitochondria are synthesized on cytosolic ribosomes and posttranslationally imported. Genetic, biochemical and biophysical approaches led to rather detailed knowledge on the composition of the translocon-complexes which catalyze the membrane transport of the preproteins. Comprehensive concepts on the targeting and membrane transport of polypeptides emerged, however little detail on the molecular nature and mechanisms of the protein translocation channels comprising nanopores has been achieved. In this paper we will highlight recent developments of the diverse protein translocation systems and focus particularly on the common biophysical properties and functions of the protein conducting nanopores. We also provide a first analysis of the interaction between the genuine protein conducting nanopore Tom40SC as well as a mutant Tom40SC (\\mathrm {S}_{54} \\to E ) containing an additional negative charge at the channel vestibule and one of its native substrates, CoxIV, a mitochondrial targeting peptide. The polypeptide induced a voltage-dependent increase in the frequency of channel closure of Tom40SC corresponding to a voltage-dependent association rate, which was even more pronounced for the Tom40SC S54E mutant. The corresponding dwelltime reflecting association/transport of the peptide could be determined with \\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}} \\cong 1.1 ms for the wildtype, whereas the mutant Tom40SC S54E displayed a biphasic dwelltime distribution (\\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}}^1 \\cong 0.4 ms \\bar {t}_{\\mathrm {off}}^2 \\cong 4.6 ms).

  1. Cotton and Protein Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Goheen, Steven C.; Edwards, J. V.; Rayburn, Alfred R.; Gaither, Kari A.; Castro, Nathan J.

    2006-06-30

    The adsorbent properties of important wound fluid proteins and cotton cellulose are reviewed. This review focuses on the adsorption of albumin to cotton-based wound dressings and some chemically modified derivatives targeted for chronic wounds. Adsorption of elastase in the presence of albumin was examined as a model to understand the interactive properties of these wound fluid components with cotton fibers. In the chronic non-healing wound, elastase appears to be over-expressed, and it digests tissue and growth factors, interfering with the normal healing process. Albumin is the most prevalent protein in wound fluid, and in highly to moderately exudative wounds, it may bind significantly to the fibers of wound dressings. Thus, the relative binding properties of both elastase and albumin to wound dressing fibers are of interest in the design of more effective wound dressings. The present work examines the binding of albumin to two different derivatives of cotton, and quantifies the elastase binding to the same derivatives following exposure of albumin to the fiber surface. An HPLC adsorption technique was employed coupled with a colorimetric enzyme assay to quantify the relative binding properties of albumin and elastase to cotton. The results of wound protein binding are discussed in relation to the porosity and surface chemistry interactions of cotton and wound proteins. Studies are directed to understanding the implications of protein adsorption phenomena in terms of fiber-protein models that have implications for rationally designing dressings for chronic wounds.

  2. Stretching to Understand Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Marek

    2007-03-01

    Mechanical stretching of single proteins has been studied experimentally for about 50 proteins yielding a variety of force patterns and values of the peak forces. We have performed a theoretical survey of 7749 proteins of known native structure and map out the landscape of possible dynamical behaviors unders stretching at constant speed. The model used is constructed based on the native geometry. It is solved by methods of molecular dynamics and validated by comparing the theoretical predictions to experimental results. We characterize the distribution of peak forces and on correlations with the system size and with the structure classification as characterized by the CATH scheme. We identify proteins with the biggest forces and show that they belong to few topology classes. We determine which protein segments act as mechanical clamps and show that, in most cases, they correspond to long stretches of parallel beta-strands, but other mechanisms are also possible. We then consider stretching by fluid flows. We show that unfolding induced by a uniform flow shows a richer behavior than that in the force clamp. The dynamics of unfolding is found to depend strongly on the selection of the amino acid, usually one of the termini, which is anchored. These features offer potentially wider diagnostic tools to investigate structure of proteins compared to experiments based on the atomic force microscopy.

  3. Fast protein folding kinetics

    PubMed Central

    Gelman, Hannah; Gruebele, Martin

    2014-01-01

    Fast folding proteins have been a major focus of computational and experimental study because they are accessible to both techniques: they are small and fast enough to be reasonably simulated with current computational power, but have dynamics slow enough to be observed with specially developed experimental techniques. This coupled study of fast folding proteins has provided insight into the mechanisms which allow some proteins to find their native conformation well less than 1 ms and has uncovered examples of theoretically predicted phenomena such as downhill folding. The study of fast folders also informs our understanding of even “slow” folding processes: fast folders are small, relatively simple protein domains and the principles that govern their folding also govern the folding of more complex systems. This review summarizes the major theoretical and experimental techniques used to study fast folding proteins and provides an overview of the major findings of fast folding research. Finally, we examine the themes that have emerged from studying fast folders and briefly summarize their application to protein folding in general as well as some work that is left to do. PMID:24641816

  4. Use of protein-protein interactions in affinity chromatography.

    PubMed

    Muronetz, V I; Sholukh, M; Korpela, T

    2001-10-30

    Biospecific recognition between proteins is a phenomenon that can be exploited for designing affinity-chromatographic purification systems for proteins. In principle, the approach is straightforward, and there are usually many alternative ways, since a protein can be always found which binds specifically enough to the desired protein. Routine immunoaffinity chromatography utilizes the recognition of antigenic epitopes by antibodies. However, forces involved in protein-protein interactions as well the forces keeping the three-dimensional structures of proteins intact are complicated, and proteins are easily unfolded by various factors with unpredictable results. Because of this and because of the generally high association strength between proteins, the correct adjustment of binding forces between an immobilized protein and the protein to be purified as well as the release of bound proteins in biologically active form from affinity complexes are the main problem. Affinity systems involving interactions like enzyme-enzyme, subunit-oligomer, protein-antibody, protein-chaperone and the specific features involved in each case are presented as examples. This article also aims to sketch prospects for further development of the use of protein-protein interactions for the purification of proteins. PMID:11694271

  5. Protein crystal growth in space

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bugg, C. E.; Clifford, D. W.

    1987-01-01

    The advantages of protein crystallization in space, and the applications of protein crystallography to drug design, protein engineering, and the design of synthetic vaccines are examined. The steps involved in using protein crystallography to determine the three-dimensional structure of a protein are discussed. The growth chamber design and the hand-held apparatus developed for protein crystal growth by vapor diffusion techniques (hanging-drop method) are described; the experimental data from the four Shuttle missions are utilized to develop hardware for protein crystal growth in space and to evaluate the effects of gravity on protein crystal growth.

  6. Multifunctional protein: cardiac ankyrin repeat protein*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Na; Xie, Xiao-jie; Wang, Jian-an

    2016-01-01

    Cardiac ankyrin repeat protein (CARP) not only serves as an important component of muscle sarcomere in the cytoplasm, but also acts as a transcription co-factor in the nucleus. Previous studies have demonstrated that CARP is up-regulated in some cardiovascular disorders and muscle diseases; however, its role in these diseases remains controversial now. In this review, we will discuss the continued progress in the research related to CARP, including its discovery, structure, and the role it plays in cardiac development and heart diseases. PMID:27143260

  7. Bioinformatics and Moonlighting Proteins.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Sergio; Franco, Luís; Calvo, Alejandra; Ferragut, Gabriela; Hermoso, Antoni; Amela, Isaac; Gómez, Antonio; Querol, Enrique; Cedano, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Multitasking or moonlighting is the capability of some proteins to execute two or more biochemical functions. Usually, moonlighting proteins are experimentally revealed by serendipity. For this reason, it would be helpful that Bioinformatics could predict this multifunctionality, especially because of the large amounts of sequences from genome projects. In the present work, we analyze and describe several approaches that use sequences, structures, interactomics, and current bioinformatics algorithms and programs to try to overcome this problem. Among these approaches are (a) remote homology searches using Psi-Blast, (b) detection of functional motifs and domains, (c) analysis of data from protein-protein interaction databases (PPIs), (d) match the query protein sequence to 3D databases (i.e., algorithms as PISITE), and (e) mutation correlation analysis between amino acids by algorithms as MISTIC. Programs designed to identify functional motif/domains detect mainly the canonical function but usually fail in the detection of the moonlighting one, Pfam and ProDom being the best methods. Remote homology search by Psi-Blast combined with data from interactomics databases (PPIs) has the best performance. Structural information and mutation correlation analysis can help us to map the functional sites. Mutation correlation analysis can only be used in very specific situations - it requires the existence of multialigned family protein sequences - but can suggest how the evolutionary process of second function acquisition took place. The multitasking protein database MultitaskProtDB (http://wallace.uab.es/multitask/), previously published by our group, has been used as a benchmark for the all of the analyses. PMID:26157797

  8. Self-Assembling Protein Microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ramachandran, Niroshan; Hainsworth, Eugenie; Bhullar, Bhupinder; Eisenstein, Samuel; Rosen, Benjamin; Lau, Albert Y.; C. Walter, Johannes; LaBaer, Joshua

    2004-07-01

    Protein microarrays provide a powerful tool for the study of protein function. However, they are not widely used, in part because of the challenges in producing proteins to spot on the arrays. We generated protein microarrays by printing complementary DNAs onto glass slides and then translating target proteins with mammalian reticulocyte lysate. Epitope tags fused to the proteins allowed them to be immobilized in situ. This obviated the need to purify proteins, avoided protein stability problems during storage, and captured sufficient protein for functional studies. We used the technology to map pairwise interactions among 29 human DNA replication initiation proteins, recapitulate the regulation of Cdt1 binding to select replication proteins, and map its geminin-binding domain.

  9. Purine inhibitors of protein kinases, G proteins and polymerases

    DOEpatents

    Gray, Nathanael S.; Schultz, Peter; Kim, Sung-Hou; Meijer, Laurent

    2001-07-03

    The present invention relates to purine analogs that inhibit, inter alia, protein kinases, G-proteins and polymerases. In addition, the present invention relates to methods of using such purine analogs to inhibit protein kinases, G-proteins, polymerases and other cellular processes and to treat cellular proliferative diseases.

  10. Benchtop Detection of Proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scardelletti, Maximilian C.; Varaljay, Vanessa

    2007-01-01

    A process, and a benchtop-scale apparatus for implementing the process, have been developed to detect proteins associated with specific microbes in water. The process and apparatus may also be useful for detection of proteins in other, more complex liquids. There may be numerous potential applications, including monitoring lakes and streams for contamination, testing of blood and other bodily fluids in medical laboratories, and testing for microbial contamination of liquids in restaurants and industrial food-processing facilities. A sample can be prepared and analyzed by use of this process and apparatus within minutes, whereas an equivalent analysis performed by use of other processes and equipment can often take hours to days. The process begins with the conjugation of near-infrared-fluorescent dyes to antibodies that are specific to a particular protein. Initially, the research has focused on using near-infrared dyes to detect antigens or associated proteins in solution, which has proven successful vs. microbial cells, and streamlining the technique in use for surface protein detection on microbes would theoretically render similar results. However, it is noted that additional work is needed to transition protein-based techniques to microbial cell detection. Consequently, multiple such dye/antibody pairs could be prepared to enable detection of multiple selected microbial species, using a different dye for each species. When excited by near-infrared light of a suitable wavelength, each dye fluoresces at a unique longer wavelength that differs from those of the other dyes, enabling discrimination among the various species. In initial tests, the dye/antibody pairs are mixed into a solution suspected of containing the selected proteins, causing the binding of the dye/antibody pairs to such suspect proteins that may be present. The solution is then run through a microcentrifuge that includes a membrane that acts as a filter in that it retains the dye/antibody/protein

  11. Solid State NMR and Protein-Protein Interactions in Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A.

    2013-01-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  12. Solid state NMR and protein-protein interactions in membranes.

    PubMed

    Miao, Yimin; Cross, Timothy A

    2013-12-01

    Solid state NMR spectroscopy has evolved rapidly in recent years into an excellent tool for the characterization of membrane proteins and their complexes. In the past few years it has also become clear that the structure of membrane proteins, especially helical membrane proteins is determined, in part, by the membrane environment. Therefore, the modeling of this environment by a liquid crystalline lipid bilayer for solid state NMR has generated a unique tool for the characterization of native conformational states, local and global dynamics, and high-resolution structure for these proteins. Protein-protein interactions can also benefit from this solid state NMR capability to characterize membrane proteins in a native-like environment. These complexes take the form of oligomeric structures and hetero-protein interactions both with water-soluble proteins and other membrane proteins. PMID:24034903

  13. The detection of DNA-binding proteins by protein blotting.

    PubMed Central

    Bowen, B; Steinberg, J; Laemmli, U K; Weintraub, H

    1980-01-01

    A method, called "protein blotting," for the detection of DNA-binding proteins is described. Proteins are separated on an SDA-polyacrylamide gel. The gel is sandwiched between 2 nitrocellulose filters and the proteins allowed to diffuse out of the gel and onto the filters. The proteins are tightly bound to each filter, producing a replica of the original gel pattern. The replica is used to detect DNA-binding proteins, RNA-binding proteins or histone-binding proteins by incubation of the filter with [32P]DNA, [125I]RNA, or [125I] histone. Evidence is also presented that specific protein-DNA interactions may be detected by this technique; under appropriate conditions, the lac repressor binds only to DNA containing the lac operator. Strategies for the detection of specific protein-DNA interactions are discussed. Images PMID:6243775

  14. Histophilus somni Surface Proteins.

    PubMed

    Corbeil, Lynette B

    2016-01-01

    The pathogen surface is usually the first site of interaction with the host. Histophilus somni was earlier thought to only have an outer membrane on its surface. Now it is known that the surface is composed of many virulence factors, including outer membrane proteins, lipooligosaccharide or endotoxin, a fibrillar network, and an exopolysaccharide. Outer membrane blebs, endotoxin, the fibrillar network, and the exopolysaccharide are also shed from the surface. This review will focus on the surface proteins of this pathogen that may colonize the mucosal surface of ruminants as a commensal or may cause pneumonia, septicemia, myocarditis, thrombotic meningoencephalitis, arthritis, and/or abortion. The major outer membrane protein has been well studied. Since its size and epitopes vary from strain to strain, it may be useful for typing strains. Iron-regulated OMPs have also received much attention because of their role in iron uptake for in vivo growth of H. somni. Other OMPs may be protective, based on passive immunization with monospecific antibodies and active immunization experiments. The surface and shed fibrillar network has been shown to be an immunoglobulin-binding protein in that it binds bovine IgG2 by the Fc portion. Two repeat domains (DR1 and DR2) have cytotoxic Fic motifs. Vaccine studies with recombinant DR2 are promising. Studies of the bacterial genome as well as comparison of surface proteins of different strains from the various H. somni syndromes and carrier states will be discussed and have provided much insight into pathogenesis and protection. PMID:26728061

  15. Plant protein kinase substrates identification using protein microarrays.

    PubMed

    Ma, Shisong; Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma P

    2015-01-01

    Protein kinases regulate signaling pathways by phosphorylating their targets. They play critical roles in plant signaling networks. Although many important protein kinases have been identified in plants, their substrates are largely unknown. We have developed and produced plant protein microarrays with more than 15,000 purified plant proteins. Here, we describe a detailed protocol to use these microarrays to identify plant protein kinase substrates via in vitro phosphorylation assays on these arrays. PMID:25930701

  16. How Many Protein-Protein Interactions Types Exist in Nature?

    PubMed Central

    Mitra, Pralay; Zhang, Yang

    2012-01-01

    Protein quaternary structure universe” refers to the ensemble of all protein-protein complexes across all organisms in nature. The number of quaternary folds thus corresponds to the number of ways proteins physically interact with other proteins. This study focuses on answering two basic questions: Whether the number of protein-protein interactions is limited and, if yes, how many different quaternary folds exist in nature. By all-to-all sequence and structure comparisons, we grouped the protein complexes in the protein data bank (PDB) into 3,629 families and 1,761 folds. A statistical model was introduced to obtain the quantitative relation between the numbers of quaternary families and quaternary folds in nature. The total number of possible protein-protein interactions was estimated around 4,000, which indicates that the current protein repository contains only 42% of quaternary folds in nature and a full coverage needs approximately a quarter century of experimental effort. The results have important implications to the protein complex structural modeling and the structure genomics of protein-protein interactions. PMID:22719985

  17. How many protein-protein interactions types exist in nature?

    PubMed

    Garma, Leonardo; Mukherjee, Srayanta; Mitra, Pralay; Zhang, Yang

    2012-01-01

    "Protein quaternary structure universe" refers to the ensemble of all protein-protein complexes across all organisms in nature. The number of quaternary folds thus corresponds to the number of ways proteins physically interact with other proteins. This study focuses on answering two basic questions: Whether the number of protein-protein interactions is limited and, if yes, how many different quaternary folds exist in nature. By all-to-all sequence and structure comparisons, we grouped the protein complexes in the protein data bank (PDB) into 3,629 families and 1,761 folds. A statistical model was introduced to obtain the quantitative relation between the numbers of quaternary families and quaternary folds in nature. The total number of possible protein-protein interactions was estimated around 4,000, which indicates that the current protein repository contains only 42% of quaternary folds in nature and a full coverage needs approximately a quarter century of experimental effort. The results have important implications to the protein complex structural modeling and the structure genomics of protein-protein interactions. PMID:22719985

  18. Computational drug design targeting protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Bienstock, Rachelle J

    2012-01-01

    Novel discoveries in molecular disease pathways within the cell, combined with increasing information regarding protein binding partners has lead to a new approach in drug discovery. There is interest in designing drugs to modulate protein-protein interactions as opposed to solely targeting the catalytic active site within a single enzyme or protein. There are many challenges in this new approach to drug discovery, particularly since the protein-protein interface has a larger surface area, can comprise a discontinuous epitope, and is more amorphous and less well defined than the typical drug design target, a small contained enzyme-binding pocket. Computational methods to predict modes of protein-protein interaction, as well as protein interface hot spots, have garnered significant interest, in order to facilitate the development of drugs to successfully disrupt and inhibit protein-protein interactions. This review summarizes some current methods available for computational protein-protein docking, as well as tabulating some examples of the successful design of antagonists and small molecule inhibitors for protein-protein interactions. Several of these drugs are now beginning to appear in the clinic. PMID:22316151

  19. Advanced protein formulations

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei

    2015-01-01

    It is well recognized that protein product development is far more challenging than that for small-molecule drugs. The major challenges include inherent sensitivity to different types of stresses during the drug product manufacturing process, high rate of physical and chemical degradation during long-term storage, and enhanced aggregation and/or viscosity at high protein concentrations. In the past decade, many novel formulation concepts and technologies have been or are being developed to address these product development challenges for proteins. These concepts and technologies include use of uncommon/combination of formulation stabilizers, conjugation or fusion with potential stabilizers, site-specific mutagenesis, and preparation of nontraditional types of dosage forms—semiaqueous solutions, nonfreeze-dried solid formulations, suspensions, and other emerging concepts. No one technology appears to be mature, ideal, and/or adequate to address all the challenges. These gaps will likely remain in the foreseeable future and need significant efforts for ultimate resolution. PMID:25858529

  20. Thermodynamics of Protein Aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osborne, Kenneth L.; Barz, Bogdan; Bachmann, Michael; Strodel, Birgit

    Amyloid protein aggregation characterizes many neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and Creutz- feldt-Jakob disease. Evidence suggests that amyloid aggregates may share similar aggregation pathways, implying simulation of full-length amyloid proteins is not necessary for understanding amyloid formation. In this study we simulate GNNQQNY, the N-terminal prion-determining domain of the yeast protein Sup35 to investigate the thermodynamics of structural transitions during aggregation. We use a coarse-grained model with replica-exchange molecular dynamics to investigate the association of 3-, 6-, and 12-chain GNNQQNY systems and we determine the aggregation pathway by studying aggregation states of GN- NQQNY. We find that the aggregation of the hydrophilic GNNQQNY sequence is mainly driven by H-bond formation, leading to the formation of /3-sheets from the very beginning of the assembly process. Condensation (aggregation) and ordering take place simultaneously, which is underpinned by the occurrence of a single heat capacity peak only.

  1. Collapse transition in proteins.

    PubMed

    Ziv, Guy; Thirumalai, D; Haran, Gilad

    2009-01-01

    The coil-globule transition, a tenet of the physics of polymers, has been identified in recent years as an important unresolved aspect of the initial stages of the folding of proteins. We describe the basics of the collapse transition, starting with homopolymers and continuing with proteins. Studies of denatured-state collapse under equilibrium are then presented. An emphasis is placed on single-molecule fluorescence experiments, which are particularly useful for measuring properties of the denatured state even under conditions of coexistence with the folded state. Attempts to understand the dynamics of collapse, both theoretically and experimentally, are then described. Only an upper limit for the rate of collapse has been obtained so far. Improvements in experimental and theoretical methodology are likely to continue to push our understanding of the importance of the denatured-state thermodynamics and dynamics for protein folding in the coming years. PMID:19081910

  2. Polarizable protein packing.

    PubMed

    Ng, Albert H; Snow, Christopher D

    2011-05-01

    To incorporate protein polarization effects within a protein combinatorial optimization framework, we decompose the polarizable force field AMOEBA into low order terms. Including terms up to the third-order provides a fair approximation to the full energy while maintaining tractability. We represent the polarizable packing problem for protein G as a hypergraph and solve for optimal rotamers with the FASTER combinatorial optimization algorithm. These approximate energy models can be improved to high accuracy [root mean square deviation (rmsd) < 1 kJ mol(-1)] via ridge regression. The resulting trained approximations are used to efficiently identify new, low-energy solutions. The approach is general and should allow combinatorial optimization of other many-body problems. PMID:21264879

  3. Matricellular proteins and biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Aaron H.; Kyriakides, Themis R.

    2014-01-01

    Biomaterials are essential to modern medicine as components of reconstructive implants, implantable sensors, and vehicles for localized drug delivery. Advances in biomaterials have led to progression from simply making implants that are nontoxic to making implants that are specifically designed to elicit particular functions within the host. The interaction of implants and the extracellular matrix during the foreign body response is a growing area of concern for the field of biomaterials, because it can lead to implant failure. Expression of matricellular proteins is modulated during the foreign body response and these proteins interact with biomaterials. The design of biomaterials to specifically alter the levels of matricellular proteins surrounding implants provides a new avenue for the design and fabrication of biomimetic biomaterials. PMID:24657843

  4. Electron transfer in proteins.

    PubMed

    Gray, H B; Winkler, J R

    1996-01-01

    Electron-transfer (ET) reactions are key steps in a diverse array of biological transformations ranging from photosynthesis to aerobic respiration. A powerful theoretical formalism has been developed that describes ET rates in terms of two parameters: the nuclear reorganization energy (lambda) and the electronic-coupling strength (HAB). Studies of ET reactions in ruthenium-modified proteins have probed lambda and HAB in several metalloproteins (cytochrome c, myoglobin, azurin). This work has shown that protein reorganization energies are sensitive to the medium surrounding the redox sites and that an aqueous environment, in particular, leads to large reorganization energies. Analyses of electronic-coupling strengths suggest that the efficiency of long-range ET depends on the protein secondary structure: beta sheets appear to mediate coupling more efficiently than alpha-helical structures, and hydrogen bonds play a critical role in both. PMID:8811189

  5. Protein Crystal Serum Albumin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    As the most abundant protein in the circulatory system albumin contributes 80% to colloid osmotic blood pressure. Albumin is also chiefly responsible for the maintenance of blood pH. It is located in every tissue and bodily secretion, with extracellular protein comprising 60% of total albumin. Perhaps the most outstanding property of albumin is its ability to bind reversibly to an incredible variety of ligands. It is widely accepted in the pharmaceutical industry that the overall distribution, metabolism, and efficiency of many drugs are rendered ineffective because of their unusually high affinity for this abundant protein. An understanding of the chemistry of the various classes of pharmaceutical interactions with albumin can suggest new approaches to drug therapy and design. Principal Investigator: Dan Carter/New Century Pharmaceuticals

  6. Protein crystallization studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lyne, James Evans

    1996-01-01

    The Structural Biology laboratory at NASA Marshall Spaceflight Center uses x-ray crystallographic techniques to conduct research into the three-dimensional structure of a wide variety of proteins. A major effort in the laboratory involves an ongoing study of human serum albumin (the principal protein in human plasma) and its interaction with various endogenous substances and pharmaceutical agents. Another focus is on antigenic and functional proteins from several pathogenic organisms including the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and the widespread parasitic genus, Schistosoma. My efforts this summer have been twofold: first, to identify clinically significant drug interactions involving albumin binding displacement and to initiate studies of the three-dimensional structure of albumin complexed with these agents, and secondly, to establish collaborative efforts to extend the lab's work on human pathogens.

  7. New MAPS for misfolded proteins.

    PubMed

    Volkmar, Norbert; Fenech, Emma; Christianson, John C

    2016-06-28

    Clearing misfolded proteins from the cytoplasm is essential to maintain cellular homeostasis. Now, a parallel clearance system is described that uses the deubiquitylase USP19 to enable secretion of misfolded cytoplasmic proteins when conventional proteasomal degradation is compromised. Misfolding-associated protein secretion (MAPS) has important implications for protein quality control and prion-like transmission. PMID:27350445

  8. SOY PROTEIN NANOPARTICLES AND NANOCOMPOSITES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soy protein isolate (SPI) is obtained from soybean by removing soybean oil and soy carbohydrates. SPI contains more than 90% protein. Structurally, SPI is a globular protein and its aggregates in water consist of sphere-like protein particles. The number average aggregate size of SPI at pH=5.2 is...

  9. FLOW BEHAVIOR OF PROTEIN BLENDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Blending proteins can increase textural strength or enhance taste or mouth feel, such as blending soy with whey to improve taste. In this study, we measured the viscosity of various combinations of six proteins (whey protein isolates, calcium caseinate, soy protein isolates, wheat gluten, egg album...

  10. Bioinformatics and Moonlighting Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Sergio; Franco, Luís; Calvo, Alejandra; Ferragut, Gabriela; Hermoso, Antoni; Amela, Isaac; Gómez, Antonio; Querol, Enrique; Cedano, Juan

    2015-01-01

    Multitasking or moonlighting is the capability of some proteins to execute two or more biochemical functions. Usually, moonlighting proteins are experimentally revealed by serendipity. For this reason, it would be helpful that Bioinformatics could predict this multifunctionality, especially because of the large amounts of sequences from genome projects. In the present work, we analyze and describe several approaches that use sequences, structures, interactomics, and current bioinformatics algorithms and programs to try to overcome this problem. Among these approaches are (a) remote homology searches using Psi-Blast, (b) detection of functional motifs and domains, (c) analysis of data from protein–protein interaction databases (PPIs), (d) match the query protein sequence to 3D databases (i.e., algorithms as PISITE), and (e) mutation correlation analysis between amino acids by algorithms as MISTIC. Programs designed to identify functional motif/domains detect mainly the canonical function but usually fail in the detection of the moonlighting one, Pfam and ProDom being the best methods. Remote homology search by Psi-Blast combined with data from interactomics databases (PPIs) has the best performance. Structural information and mutation correlation analysis can help us to map the functional sites. Mutation correlation analysis can only be used in very specific situations – it requires the existence of multialigned family protein sequences – but can suggest how the evolutionary process of second function acquisition took place. The multitasking protein database MultitaskProtDB (http://wallace.uab.es/multitask/), previously published by our group, has been used as a benchmark for the all of the analyses. PMID:26157797

  11. Modeling Mercury in Proteins.

    PubMed

    Parks, J M; Smith, J C

    2016-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a naturally occurring element that is released into the biosphere both by natural processes and anthropogenic activities. Although its reduced, elemental form Hg(0) is relatively nontoxic, other forms such as Hg(2+) and, in particular, its methylated form, methylmercury, are toxic, with deleterious effects on both ecosystems and humans. Microorganisms play important roles in the transformation of mercury in the environment. Inorganic Hg(2+) can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg(2+) to relatively inert Hg(0). Transformations and toxicity occur as a result of mercury interacting with various proteins. Clearly, then, understanding the toxic effects of mercury and its cycling in the environment requires characterization of these interactions. Computational approaches are ideally suited to studies of mercury in proteins because they can provide a detailed molecular picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here, we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intraprotein transfer of mercury is orchestrated in biological systems, and how chemical reactions in proteins transform the metal. We describe quantum chemical analyses of aqueous Hg(II), which reveal critical factors that determine ligand-binding propensities. We then provide a perspective on how we used chemical reasoning to discover how microorganisms methylate mercury. We also highlight our combined computational and experimental studies of the proteins and enzymes of the mer operon, a suite of genes that confer mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multiscale model of environmental mercury cycling. PMID:27497164

  12. Epistasis in protein evolution.

    PubMed

    Starr, Tyler N; Thornton, Joseph W

    2016-07-01

    The structure, function, and evolution of proteins depend on physical and genetic interactions among amino acids. Recent studies have used new strategies to explore the prevalence, biochemical mechanisms, and evolutionary implications of these interactions-called epistasis-within proteins. Here we describe an emerging picture of pervasive epistasis in which the physical and biological effects of mutations change over the course of evolution in a lineage-specific fashion. Epistasis can restrict the trajectories available to an evolving protein or open new paths to sequences and functions that would otherwise have been inaccessible. We describe two broad classes of epistatic interactions, which arise from different physical mechanisms and have different effects on evolutionary processes. Specific epistasis-in which one mutation influences the phenotypic effect of few other mutations-is caused by direct and indirect physical interactions between mutations, which nonadditively change the protein's physical properties, such as conformation, stability, or affinity for ligands. In contrast, nonspecific epistasis describes mutations that modify the effect of many others; these typically behave additively with respect to the physical properties of a protein but exhibit epistasis because of a nonlinear relationship between the physical properties and their biological effects, such as function or fitness. Both types of interaction are rampant, but specific epistasis has stronger effects on the rate and outcomes of evolution, because it imposes stricter constraints and modulates evolutionary potential more dramatically; it therefore makes evolution more contingent on low-probability historical events and leaves stronger marks on the sequences, structures, and functions of protein families. PMID:26833806

  13. Single-cell proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Litchfield, J.H.

    1983-02-11

    Both photosynthetic and nonphotosynthetic microorganisms, grown on various carbon and energy sources, are used in fermentation processes for the production of single-cell proteins. Commercial-scale production has been limited to two algal processes, one bacterial process, and several yeast and fungal processes. High capital and operating costs and the need for extensive nutritional and toxicological assessments have limited the development and commercialization of new processes. Any increase in commercial-scale production appears to be limited to those regions of the world where low-cost carbon and energy sources are available and conventional animal feedstuff proteins, such as soybean meal or fish meal, are in short supply. (Refs. 59).

  14. Protein-based ferrogels.

    PubMed

    Mody, Puja; Hart, Cassidy; Romano, Siena; El-Magbri, Mariam; Esson, Moira M; Ibeh, Trisha; Knowlton, Elizabeth D; Zhang, Ming; Wagner, Michael J; Hartings, Matthew R

    2016-06-01

    We present a novel synthesis in which hemoglobin and Fe(2+) react, in the presence of KNO3 and KOH, to produce protein microgels that contain magnetic iron oxide nanoparticles. The synthesis results in microgels with polymer properties (denaturing and glass transition temperatures) that are consistent with the dried protein. The iron oxide nanoparticles that exhibit an average diameter of 22nm, are ferrimagnetic, and display properties consistent with Fe3O4. The multiple functional capabilities displayed by these materials: biocompatibility, magnetism, dye uptake and controlled release, and other properties archetypal of hydrogels, will make the magnetic hydrogels attractive for a number of biomedical applications. PMID:26901627

  15. Late embryogenesis abundant proteins

    PubMed Central

    Olvera-Carrillo, Yadira; Reyes, José Luis

    2011-01-01

    Late Embryogenesis Abundant (LEA) proteins accumulate at the onset of seed desiccation and in response to water deficit in vegetative plant tissues. The typical LEA proteins are highly hydrophilic and intrinsically unstructured. They have been classified in different families, each one showing distinctive conserved motifs. In this manuscript we present and discuss some of the recent findings regarding their role in plant adaptation to water deficit, as well as those concerning to their possible function, and how it can be related to their intrinsic structural flexibility. PMID:21447997

  16. Congenital protein hypoglycosylation diseases

    PubMed Central

    Sparks, Susan E

    2012-01-01

    Glycosylation is an essential process by which sugars are attached to proteins and lipids. Complete lack of glycosylation is not compatible with life. Because of the widespread function of glycosylation, inherited disorders of glycosylation are multisystemic. Since the identification of the first defect on N-linked glycosylation in the 1980s, there are over 40 different congenital protein hypoglycosylation diseases. This review will include defects of N-linked glycosylation, O-linked glycosylation and disorders of combined N- and O-linked glycosylation. PMID:23776380

  17. Lipid-transfer proteins.

    PubMed

    Ng, Tzi Bun; Cheung, Randy Chi Fai; Wong, Jack Ho; Ye, Xiujuan

    2012-01-01

    Lipid-transfer proteins (LTPs) are basic proteins found in abundance in higher plants. LTPs play lots of roles in plants such as participation in cutin formation, embryogenesis, defense reactions against phytopathogens, symbiosis, and the adaptation of plants to various environmental conditions. In addition, LTPs from field mustard and Chinese daffodil exhibit antiproliferative activity against human cancer cells. LTPs from chili pepper and coffee manifest inhibitory activity against fungi pathogenic to humans such as Candida species. The intent of this article is to review LTPs in the plant kingdom. PMID:23193591

  18. DELIVERY OF THERAPEUTIC PROTEINS

    PubMed Central

    Pisal, Dipak S.; Kosloski, Matthew P.; Balu-Iyer, Sathy V.

    2009-01-01

    The safety and efficacy of protein therapeutics are limited by three interrelated pharmaceutical issues, in vitro and in vivo instability, immunogenicity and shorter half-lives. Novel drug modifications for overcoming these issues are under investigation and include covalent attachment of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG), polysialic acid, or glycolic acid, as well as developing new formulations containing nanoparticulate or colloidal systems (e.g. liposomes, polymeric microspheres, polymeric nanoparticles). Such strategies have the potential to develop as next generation protein therapeutics. This review includes a general discussion on these delivery approaches. PMID:20049941

  19. Conformation Distributions in Adsorbed Proteins.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meuse, Curtis W.; Hubbard, Joseph B.; Vrettos, John S.; Smith, Jackson R.; Cicerone, Marcus T.

    2007-03-01

    While the structural basis of protein function is well understood in the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, few methods for the characterization and comparison of protein conformation distributions are available. New methods capable of measuring the stability of protein conformations and the integrity of protein-protein, protein-ligand and protein-surface interactions both in solution and on surfaces are needed to help the development of protein-based products. We are developing infrared spectroscopy methods for the characterization and comparison of molecular conformation distributions in monolayers and in solutions. We have extracted an order parameter describing the orientational and conformational variations of protein functional groups around the average molecular values from a single polarized spectrum. We will discuss the development of these methods and compare them to amide hydrogen/deuterium exchange methods for albumin in solution and on different polymer surfaces to show that our order parameter is related to protein stability.

  20. Extreme multifunctional proteins identified from a human protein interaction network

    PubMed Central

    Chapple, Charles E.; Robisson, Benoit; Spinelli, Lionel; Guien, Céline; Becker, Emmanuelle; Brun, Christine

    2015-01-01

    Moonlighting proteins are a subclass of multifunctional proteins whose functions are unrelated. Although they may play important roles in cells, there has been no large-scale method to identify them, nor any effort to characterize them as a group. Here, we propose the first method for the identification of ‘extreme multifunctional' proteins from an interactome as a first step to characterize moonlighting proteins. By combining network topological information with protein annotations, we identify 430 extreme multifunctional proteins (3% of the human interactome). We show that the candidates form a distinct sub-group of proteins, characterized by specific features, which form a signature of extreme multifunctionality. Overall, extreme multifunctional proteins are enriched in linear motifs and less intrinsically disordered than network hubs. We also provide MoonDB, a database containing information on all the candidates identified in the analysis and a set of manually curated human moonlighting proteins. PMID:26054620

  1. Protein-protein interactions: methods for detection and analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Phizicky, E M; Fields, S

    1995-01-01

    The function and activity of a protein are often modulated by other proteins with which it interacts. This review is intended as a practical guide to the analysis of such protein-protein interactions. We discuss biochemical methods such as protein affinity chromatography, affinity blotting, coimmunoprecipitation, and cross-linking; molecular biological methods such as protein probing, the two-hybrid system, and phage display: and genetic methods such as the isolation of extragenic suppressors, synthetic mutants, and unlinked noncomplementing mutants. We next describe how binding affinities can be evaluated by techniques including protein affinity chromatography, sedimentation, gel filtration, fluorescence methods, solid-phase sampling of equilibrium solutions, and surface plasmon resonance. Finally, three examples of well-characterized domains involved in multiple protein-protein interactions are examined. The emphasis of the discussion is on variations in the approaches, concerns in evaluating the results, and advantages and disadvantages of the techniques. PMID:7708014

  2. Protein Molecular Structures, Protein SubFractions, and Protein Availability Affected by Heat Processing: A Review

    SciTech Connect

    Yu,P.

    2007-01-01

    The utilization and availability of protein depended on the types of protein and their specific susceptibility to enzymatic hydrolysis (inhibitory activities) in the gastrointestine and was highly associated with protein molecular structures. Studying internal protein structure and protein subfraction profiles leaded to an understanding of the components that make up a whole protein. An understanding of the molecular structure of the whole protein was often vital to understanding its digestive behavior and nutritive value in animals. In this review, recently obtained information on protein molecular structural effects of heat processing was reviewed, in relation to protein characteristics affecting digestive behavior and nutrient utilization and availability. The emphasis of this review was on (1) using the newly advanced synchrotron technology (S-FTIR) as a novel approach to reveal protein molecular chemistry affected by heat processing within intact plant tissues; (2) revealing the effects of heat processing on the profile changes of protein subfractions associated with digestive behaviors and kinetics manipulated by heat processing; (3) prediction of the changes of protein availability and supply after heat processing, using the advanced DVE/OEB and NRC-2001 models, and (4) obtaining information on optimal processing conditions of protein as intestinal protein source to achieve target values for potential high net absorbable protein in the small intestine. The information described in this article may give better insight in the mechanisms involved and the intrinsic protein molecular structural changes occurring upon processing.

  3. Transient protein-protein interactions visualized by solution NMR.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhu; Gong, Zhou; Dong, Xu; Tang, Chun

    2016-01-01

    Proteins interact with each other to establish their identities in cell. The affinities for the interactions span more than ten orders of magnitude, and KD values in μM-mM regimen are considered transient and are important in cell signaling. Solution NMR including diamagnetic and paramagnetic techniques has enabled atomic-resolution depictions of transient protein-protein interactions. Diamagnetic NMR allows characterization of protein complexes with KD values up to several mM, whereas ultraweak and fleeting complexes can be modeled with the use of paramagnetic NMR especially paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE). When tackling ever-larger protein complexes, PRE can be particularly useful in providing long-range intermolecular distance restraints. As NMR measurements are averaged over the ensemble of complex structures, structural information for dynamic protein-protein interactions besides the stereospecific one can often be extracted. Herein the protein interaction dynamics are exemplified by encounter complexes, alternative binding modes, and coupled binding/folding of intrinsically disordered proteins. Further integration of NMR with other biophysical techniques should allow better visualization of transient protein-protein interactions. In particular, single-molecule data may facilitate the interpretation of ensemble-averaged NMR data. Though same structures of proteins and protein complexes were found in cell as in diluted solution, we anticipate that the dynamics of transient protein protein-protein interactions be different, which awaits awaits exploration by NMR. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Physiological Enzymology and Protein Functions. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Physiological Enzymology and Protein Functions. PMID:25896389

  4. Preparing Protein Samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    Cindy Barnes of University Space Research Association (USRA) at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center pipettes a protein solution in preparation to grow crystals as part of NASA's structural biology program. Research on Earth helps scientists define conditions and specimens they will use in space experiments.

  5. Protein Crystal Bovine Insulin

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Bovine Insulin space-grown (left) and earth-grown (right). Facilitates the incorporation of glucose into cells. In diabetics, there is either a decrease in or complete lack of insulin, thereby leading to several harmful complications. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  6. Cosolvent assisted protein refolding.

    PubMed

    Cleland, J L; Wang, D I

    1990-12-01

    The use of cosolvents in aqueous systems has been shown to enhance protein refolding and decrease aggregation. In this study, we have used polyethylene glycol (PEG) in the molecular weight range of 1000 to 8000 Daltons to effectively increase the rate of refolding and prevent aggregation of the model protein, bovine carbonic anhydrase B (CAB). At concentrations of 3 and 30 g/l, PEG increased the rate of recovery of active protein in the absence of aggregation. Using 3 g/l PEG (3350 MW), the refolding rate was three fold greater than the observed normal refolding rate. The observed rate enhancement was caused by PEG acting on the first intermediate in the CAB refolding pathway to increase the rate of formation of the second intermediate. The interaction of PEG with the first intermediate also prevented its self-association during refolding and at equilibrium. The stabilization of this first intermediate resulted in complete recovery of active protein under normal aggregating conditions. PMID:1367488

  7. The Protein Ensemble Database.

    PubMed

    Varadi, Mihaly; Tompa, Peter

    2015-01-01

    The scientific community's major conceptual notion of structural biology has recently shifted in emphasis from the classical structure-function paradigm due to the emergence of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs). As opposed to their folded cousins, these proteins are defined by the lack of a stable 3D fold and a high degree of inherent structural heterogeneity that is closely tied to their function. Due to their flexible nature, solution techniques such as small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) are particularly well-suited for characterizing their biophysical properties. Computationally derived structural ensembles based on such experimental measurements provide models of the conformational sampling displayed by these proteins, and they may offer valuable insights into the functional consequences of inherent flexibility. The Protein Ensemble Database (http://pedb.vib.be) is the first openly accessible, manually curated online resource storing the ensemble models, protocols used during the calculation procedure, and underlying primary experimental data derived from SAXS and/or NMR measurements. By making this previously inaccessible data freely available to researchers, this novel resource is expected to promote the development of more advanced modelling methodologies, facilitate the design of standardized calculation protocols, and consequently lead to a better understanding of how function arises from the disordered state. PMID:26387108

  8. Protein Requirements during Aging.

    PubMed

    Courtney-Martin, Glenda; Ball, Ronald O; Pencharz, Paul B; Elango, Rajavel

    2016-01-01

    Protein recommendations for elderly, both men and women, are based on nitrogen balance studies. They are set at 0.66 and 0.8 g/kg/day as the estimated average requirement (EAR) and recommended dietary allowance (RDA), respectively, similar to young adults. This recommendation is based on single linear regression of available nitrogen balance data obtained at test protein intakes close to or below zero balance. Using the indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO) method, we estimated the protein requirement in young adults and in both elderly men and women to be 0.9 and 1.2 g/kg/day as the EAR and RDA, respectively. This suggests that there is no difference in requirement on a gender basis or on a per kg body weight basis between younger and older adults. The requirement estimates however are ~40% higher than the current protein recommendations on a body weight basis. They are also 40% higher than our estimates in young men when calculated on the basis of fat free mass. Thus, current recommendations may need to be re-assessed. Potential rationale for this difference includes a decreased sensitivity to dietary amino acids and increased insulin resistance in the elderly compared with younger individuals. PMID:27529275

  9. Protein crystal growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    Atomic force microscopy uses laser technology to reveal a defect, a double-screw dislocation, on the surface of this crystal of canavalin, a major source of dietary protein for humans and domestic animals. When a crystal grows, attachment kinetics and transport kinetics are competing for control of the molecules. As a molecule gets close to the crystal surface, it has to attach properly for the crystal to be usable. NASA has funded investigators to look at those attachment kinetics from a theoretical standpoint and an experimental standpoint. Dr. Alex McPherson of the University of California, Irvine, is one of those investigators. He uses X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy in his laboratory to answer some of the many questions about how protein crystals grow. Atomic force microscopy provides a means of looking at how individual molecules are added to the surface of growing protein crystals. This helps McPherson understand the kinetics of protein crystal growth. McPherson asks, How fast do crystals grow? What are the forces involved? Investigators funded by NASA have clearly shown that such factors as the level of supersaturation and the rate of growth all affect the habit [characteristic arrangement of facets] of the crystal and the defects that occur in the crystal.

  10. Protein-protein and protein-salt interactions in aqueous protein solutions containing concentrated electrolytes

    SciTech Connect

    Curtis, R.A.; Blanch, H.W.; Prausnitz, J.M.

    1998-01-05

    Protein-protein and protein-salt interactions have been obtained for ovalbumin in solutions of ammonium sulfate and for lysozyme in solutions of ammonium sulfate, sodium chloride, potassium isothiocyanate, and potassium chloride. The two-body interactions between ovalbumin molecules in concentrated ammonium-sulfate solutions can be described by the DLVO potentials plus a potential that accounts for the decrease in free volume available to the protein due to the presence of the salt ions. The interaction between ovalbumin and ammonium sulfate is unfavorable, reflecting the kosmotropic nature of sulfate anions. Lysozyme-lysozyme interactions cannot be described by the above potentials because anion binding to lysozyme alters these interactions. Lysozyme-isothiocyanate complexes are strongly attractive due to electrostatic interactions resulting from bridging by the isothiocyanate ion. Lysozyme-lysozyme interactions in sulfate solutions are more repulsive than expected, possibly resulting from a larger excluded volume of a lysozyme-sulfate bound complex or perhaps, hydration forces between the lysozyme-sulfate complexes.

  11. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    DOEpatents

    Shoseyov, O.; Shpiegl, I.; Goldstein, M.; Doi, R.

    1998-11-17

    A cellulose binding domain (CBD) having a high affinity for crystalline cellulose and chitin is disclosed, along with methods for the molecular cloning and recombinant production. Fusion products comprising the CBD and a second protein are likewise described. A wide range of applications are contemplated for both the CBD and the fusion products, including drug delivery, affinity separations, and diagnostic techniques. 16 figs.

  12. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    DOEpatents

    Shoseyov, Oded; Shpiegl, Itai; Goldstein, Marc; Doi, Roy

    1998-01-01

    A cellulose binding domain (CBD) having a high affinity for crystalline cellulose and chitin is disclosed, along with methods for the molecular cloning and recombinant production thereof. Fusion products comprising the CBD and a second protein are likewise described. A wide range of applications are contemplated for both the CBD and the fusion products, including drug delivery, affinity separations, and diagnostic techniques.

  13. Ribosome-inactivating proteins

    PubMed Central

    Walsh, Matthew J; Dodd, Jennifer E; Hautbergue, Guillaume M

    2013-01-01

    Ribosome-inactivating proteins (RIPs) were first isolated over a century ago and have been shown to be catalytic toxins that irreversibly inactivate protein synthesis. Elucidation of atomic structures and molecular mechanism has revealed these proteins to be a diverse group subdivided into two classes. RIPs have been shown to exhibit RNA N-glycosidase activity and depurinate the 28S rRNA of the eukaryotic 60S ribosomal subunit. In this review, we compare archetypal RIP family members with other potent toxins that abolish protein synthesis: the fungal ribotoxins which directly cleave the 28S rRNA and the newly discovered Burkholderia lethal factor 1 (BLF1). BLF1 presents additional challenges to the current classification system since, like the ribotoxins, it does not possess RNA N-glycosidase activity but does irreversibly inactivate ribosomes. We further discuss whether the RIP classification should be broadened to include toxins achieving irreversible ribosome inactivation with similar turnovers to RIPs, but through different enzymatic mechanisms. PMID:24071927

  14. Protein Requirements during Aging

    PubMed Central

    Courtney-Martin, Glenda; Ball, Ronald O.; Pencharz, Paul B.; Elango, Rajavel

    2016-01-01

    Protein recommendations for elderly, both men and women, are based on nitrogen balance studies. They are set at 0.66 and 0.8 g/kg/day as the estimated average requirement (EAR) and recommended dietary allowance (RDA), respectively, similar to young adults. This recommendation is based on single linear regression of available nitrogen balance data obtained at test protein intakes close to or below zero balance. Using the indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO) method, we estimated the protein requirement in young adults and in both elderly men and women to be 0.9 and 1.2 g/kg/day as the EAR and RDA, respectively. This suggests that there is no difference in requirement on a gender basis or on a per kg body weight basis between younger and older adults. The requirement estimates however are ~40% higher than the current protein recommendations on a body weight basis. They are also 40% higher than our estimates in young men when calculated on the basis of fat free mass. Thus, current recommendations may need to be re-assessed. Potential rationale for this difference includes a decreased sensitivity to dietary amino acids and increased insulin resistance in the elderly compared with younger individuals. PMID:27529275

  15. Protein states and proteinquakes.

    PubMed Central

    Ansari, A; Berendzen, J; Bowne, S F; Frauenfelder, H; Iben, I E; Sauke, T B; Shyamsunder, E; Young, R D

    1985-01-01

    After photodissociation of carbon monoxide bound to myoglobin, the protein relaxes to the deoxy equilibrium structure in a quake-like motion. Investigation of the proteinquake and of related intramolecular equilibrium motions shows that states and motions have a hierarchical glass-like structure. PMID:3860839

  16. Thermal unfolding of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cieplak, Marek; Sułkowska, Joanna I.

    2005-11-01

    Thermal unfolding of proteins is compared to folding and mechanical stretching in a simple topology-based dynamical model. We define the unfolding time and demonstrate its low-temperature divergence. Below a characteristic temperature, contacts break at separate time scales and unfolding proceeds approximately in a way reverse to folding. Features in these scenarios agree with experiments and atomic simulations on titin.

  17. Dynamics of protein conformations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stepanova, Maria

    2010-10-01

    A novel theoretical methodology is introduced to identify dynamic structural domains and analyze local flexibility in proteins. The methodology employs a multiscale approach combining identification of essential collective coordinates based on the covariance analysis of molecular dynamics trajectories, construction of the Mori projection operator with these essential coordinates, and analysis of the corresponding generalized Langevin equations [M.Stepanova, Phys.Rev.E 76(2007)051918]. Because the approach employs a rigorous theory, the outcomes are physically transparent: the dynamic domains are associated with regions of relative rigidity in the protein, whereas off-domain regions are relatively soft. This also allows scoring the flexibility in the macromolecule with atomic-level resolution [N.Blinov, M.Berjanskii, D.S.Wishart, and M.Stepanova, Biochemistry, 48(2009)1488]. The applications include the domain coarse-graining and characterization of conformational stability in protein G and prion proteins. The results are compared with published NMR experiments. Potential applications for structural biology, bioinformatics, and drug design are discussed.

  18. Protein denaturing on Nanospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Forrest, James; Teichroeb, Jonathan

    2007-03-01

    We have used localized surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) to monitor the structural changes that accompany thermal denaturing of Bovine Serum Albumin(BSA) adsorbed onto gold nanospheres of size 5nm-60nm. The effect of the protein on the LSPR was monitored by visible extinction spectroscopy. The position of the resonance is affected by the conformation of the adsorbed protein layer, and as such can be used as a very sensitive probe of thermal denaturing that is specific to the adsorbed protein. The results are compared to detailed calculations and show that full calculations can lead to significant increases in knowledge where gold nanospheres are used as biosensors. Thermal denaturing on spheres with diameter > 20 nm show strong similarity to bulk calorimetric studies of BSA in solution. BSA adsorbed on nanospheres with d<= 15 nm shows a qualitative difference in behavior, suggesting a sensitivity of denaturing characteristics on local surface curvature. Studies of isothermal denaturing kinetics were used to obtain an activatiuon barrier for thermal denaturing. This activation barrier also exhibited a strong dependence on nanoparticle size. These results may have important implications for other protein-nanoparticle interactions.

  19. [ALR, the multifunctional protein].

    PubMed

    Balogh, Tibor; Szarka, András

    2015-03-29

    ALR is a mystic protein. It has a so called "long" 22 kDa and a "short" 15 kDa forms. It has been described after partial hepatectomy and it has just been considered as a key protein of liver regeneration. At the beginning of the 21st century it has been revealed that the "long" form is localized in the mitochondrial intermembrane space and it is an element of the mitochondrial protein import and disulphide relay system. Several proteins of the substrates of the mitochondrial disulphide relay system are necessary for the proper function of the mitochondria, thus any mutation of the ALR gene leads to mitochondrial diseases. The "short" form of ALR functions as a secreted extracellular growth factor and it promotes the protection, regeneration and proliferation of hepatocytes. The results gained on the recently generated conditional ALR mutant mice suggest that ALR can play an important role in the pathogenesis of alcoholic and non-alcoholic steatosis. Since the serum level of ALR is modified in several liver diseases it can be a promising marker molecule in laboratory diagnostics. PMID:25796277

  20. The Protein Data Bank

    PubMed Central

    Berman, Helen M.; Westbrook, John; Feng, Zukang; Gilliland, Gary; Bhat, T. N.; Weissig, Helge; Shindyalov, Ilya N.; Bourne, Philip E.

    2000-01-01

    The Protein Data Bank (PDB; http://www.rcsb.org/pdb/ ) is the single worldwide archive of structural data of biological macromolecules. This paper describes the goals of the PDB, the systems in place for data deposition and access, how to obtain further information, and near-term plans for the future development of the resource. PMID:10592235

  1. Tuber Storage Proteins

    PubMed Central

    SHEWRY, PETER R.

    2003-01-01

    A wide range of plants are grown for their edible tubers, but five species together account for almost 90 % of the total world production. These are potato (Solanum tuberosum), cassava (Manihot esculenta), sweet potato (Ipomoea batatus), yams (Dioscorea spp.) and taro (Colocasia, Cyrtosperma and Xanthosoma spp.). All of these, except cassava, contain groups of storage proteins, but these differ in the biological properties and evolutionary relationships. Thus, patatin from potato exhibits activity as an acylhydrolase and esterase, sporamin from sweet potato is an inhibitor of trypsin, and dioscorin from yam is a carbonic anhydrase. Both sporamin and dioscorin also exhibit antioxidant and radical scavenging activity. Taro differs from the other three crops in that it contains two major types of storage protein: a trypsin inhibitor related to sporamin and a mannose‐binding lectin. These characteristics indicate that tuber storage proteins have evolved independently in different species, which contrasts with the highly conserved families of storage proteins present in seeds. Furthermore, all exhibit biological activities which could contribute to resistance to pests, pathogens or abiotic stresses, indicating that they may have dual roles in the tubers. PMID:12730067

  2. Protein specific polymeric immunomicrospheres

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rembaum, Alan (Inventor); Yen, Shiao-Ping S. (Inventor); Dreyer, William J. (Inventor)

    1980-01-01

    Small, round, bio-compatible microspheres capable of covalently bonding proteins and having a uniform diameter below about 3500 A are prepared by substantially instantaneously initiating polymerization of an aqueous emulsion containing no more than 35% total monomer including an acrylic monomer substituted with a covalently bondable group such as hydroxyl, amino or carboxyl and a minor amount of a cross-linking agent.

  3. Perspectives on protein crystallisation

    SciTech Connect

    Ochi, T.; Stojanoff, V.; Bolanos-Garcia, V.M.; Moreno, A.

    2009-12-11

    This final part on 'perspectives' is focused on new strategies that can be used to crystallise proteins and improve the crystal quality of macromolecular complexes using any of the methods reviewed in this focused issue. Some advantages and disadvantages, limitations, and plausible applications to high-resolution X-ray crystallography are discussed.

  4. Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2008-05-28

    The Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities (BEPro3) is a software tool for estimating probabilities of protein-protein association between bait and prey protein pairs using data from multiple-bait, multiple-replicate, protein LC-MS/MS affinity isolation experiments. BEPro3 is public domain software, has been tested on Windows XP and version 10.4 or newer of the Mac OS 10.4, and is freely available. A user guide, example dataset with analysis and additional documentation are included with the BEPro3 download.

  5. Homeodomain proteins: an update.

    PubMed

    Bürglin, Thomas R; Affolter, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Here, we provide an update of our review on homeobox genes that we wrote together with Walter Gehring in 1994. Since then, comprehensive surveys of homeobox genes have become possible due to genome sequencing projects. Using the 103 Drosophila homeobox genes as example, we present an updated classification. In animals, there are 16 major classes, ANTP, PRD, PRD-LIKE, POU, HNF, CUT (with four subclasses: ONECUT, CUX, SATB, and CMP), LIM, ZF, CERS, PROS, SIX/SO, plus the TALE superclass with the classes IRO, MKX, TGIF, PBC, and MEIS. In plants, there are 11 major classes, i.e., HD-ZIP (with four subclasses: I to IV), WOX, NDX, PHD, PLINC, LD, DDT, SAWADEE, PINTOX, and the two TALE classes KNOX and BEL. Most of these classes encode additional domains apart from the homeodomain. Numerous insights have been obtained in the last two decades into how homeodomain proteins bind to DNA and increase their specificity by interacting with other proteins to regulate cell- and tissue-specific gene expression. Not only protein-DNA base pair contacts are important for proper target selection; recent experiments also reveal that the shape of the DNA plays a role in specificity. Using selected examples, we highlight different mechanisms of homeodomain protein-DNA interaction. The PRD class of homeobox genes was of special interest to Walter Gehring in the last two decades. The PRD class comprises six families in Bilateria, and tinkers with four different motifs, i.e., the PAIRED domain, the Groucho-interacting motif EH1 (aka Octapeptide or TN), the homeodomain, and the OAR motif. Homologs of the co-repressor protein Groucho are also present in plants (TOPLESS), where they have been shown to interact with small amphipathic motives (EAR), and in yeast (TUP1), where we find an EH1-like motif in MATα2. PMID:26464018

  6. Phosphorylation of human link proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Oester, D.A.; Caterson, B.; Schwartz, E.R.

    1986-06-13

    Three link proteins of 48, 44 and 40 kDa were purified from human articular cartilage and identified with monoclonal anti-link protein antibody 8-A-4. Two sets of lower molecular weight proteins of 30-31 kDa and 24-26 kDa also contained link protein epitopes recognized by the monoclonal antibody and were most likely degradative products of the intact link proteins. The link proteins of 48 and 40 kDa were identified as phosphoproteins while the 44 kDa link protein did not contain /sup 32/P. The phosphorylated 48 and 40 kDa link proteins contained approximately 2 moles PO/sub 4//mole link protein.

  7. Identifying the hub proteins from complicated membrane protein network systems.

    PubMed

    Shen, Yi-Zhen; Ding, Yong-Sheng; Gu, Quan; Chou, Kuo-Chen

    2010-05-01

    The so-called "hub proteins" are those proteins in a protein-protein interaction network system that have remarkably higher interaction relations (or degrees) than the others. Therefore, the information of hub proteins can provide very useful insights for selecting or prioritizing targets during drug development. In this paper, by combining the multi-agent-based method with the graphical spectrum analysis and immune-genetic algorithm, a novel simulator for identifying the hub proteins from membrane protein interaction networks is proposed. As a demonstration of using the simulator, two hub membrane proteins, YPL227C and YIL147C, were identified from a complicated network system consisting of 1500 membrane proteins. Meanwhile, along with the two identified hub proteins, their molecular functions, biological processes, and cellular components were also revealed. It is anticipated that the hub-protein-simulator may become a very useful tool for system biology and drug development, particularly in deciphering unknown protein functions, determining protein complexes, and in identifying the key targets from a complicated disease system. PMID:20507268

  8. Direct Probing of Protein-Protein Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Noy, A; Sulchek, T A; Friddle, R W

    2005-03-10

    This project aimed to establish feasibility of using experimental techniques based on direct measurements of interaction forces on the single molecule scale to characterize equilibrium interaction potentials between individual biological molecules. Such capability will impact several research areas, ranging from rapid interaction screening capabilities to providing verifiable inputs for computational models. It should be one of the enabling technologies for modern proteomics research. This study used a combination of Monte-Carlo simulations, theoretical considerations, and direct experimental measurements to investigate two model systems that represented typical experimental situations: force-induced melting of DNA rigidly attached to the tip, and force-induced unbinding of a protein-antibody pair connected to flexible tethers. Our results establish that for both systems researchers can use force spectroscopy measurements to extract reliable information about equilibrium interaction potentials. However, the approaches necessary to extract these potentials in each case--Jarzynski reconstruction and Dynamic Force Spectroscopy--are very different. We also show how the thermodynamics and kinetics of unbinding process dictates the choice between in each case.

  9. Hydrogels Constructed from Engineered Proteins.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongbin; Kong, Na; Laver, Bryce; Liu, Junqiu

    2016-02-24

    Due to their various potential biomedical applications, hydrogels based on engineered proteins have attracted considerable interest. Benefitting from significant progress in recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering/design techniques, the field of protein hydrogels has made amazing progress. The latest progress of hydrogels constructed from engineered recombinant proteins are presented, mainly focused on biorecognition-driven physical hydrogels as well as chemically crosslinked hydrogels. The various bio-recognition based physical crosslinking strategies are discussed, as well as chemical crosslinking chemistries used to engineer protein hydrogels, and protein hydrogels' various biomedical applications. The future perspectives of this fast evolving field of biomaterials are also discussed. PMID:26707834

  10. Redox control of protein degradation

    PubMed Central

    Pajares, Marta; Jiménez-Moreno, Natalia; Dias, Irundika H.K.; Debelec, Bilge; Vucetic, Milica; Fladmark, Kari E.; Basaga, Huveyda; Ribaric, Samo; Milisav, Irina; Cuadrado, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Intracellular proteolysis is critical to maintain timely degradation of altered proteins including oxidized proteins. This review attempts to summarize the most relevant findings about oxidant protein modification, as well as the impact of reactive oxygen species on the proteolytic systems that regulate cell response to an oxidant environment: the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), autophagy and the unfolded protein response (UPR). In the presence of an oxidant environment, these systems are critical to ensure proteostasis and cell survival. An example of altered degradation of oxidized proteins in pathology is provided for neurodegenerative diseases. Future work will determine if protein oxidation is a valid target to combat proteinopathies. PMID:26381917

  11. Protein-protein interactions in DNA mismatch repair.

    PubMed

    Friedhoff, Peter; Li, Pingping; Gotthardt, Julia

    2016-02-01

    The principal DNA mismatch repair proteins MutS and MutL are versatile enzymes that couple DNA mismatch or damage recognition to other cellular processes. Besides interaction with their DNA substrates this involves transient interactions with other proteins which is triggered by the DNA mismatch or damage and controlled by conformational changes. Both MutS and MutL proteins have ATPase activity, which adds another level to control their activity and interactions with DNA substrates and other proteins. Here we focus on the protein-protein interactions, protein interaction sites and the different levels of structural knowledge about the protein complexes formed with MutS and MutL during the mismatch repair reaction. PMID:26725162

  12. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L.

    2015-07-01

    This review examines advances in the functionalization of microporous membranes for protein purification and the development of protease-containing membranes for controlled protein digestion prior to mass spectrometry analysis. Recent studies confirm that membranes are superior to bead-based columns for rapid protein capture, presumably because convective mass transport in membrane pores rapidly brings proteins to binding sites. Modification of porous membranes with functional polymeric films or TiO2 nanoparticles yields materials that selectively capture species ranging from phosphopeptides to His-tagged proteins, and protein-binding capacities often exceed those of commercial beads. Thin membranes also provide a convenient framework for creating enzyme-containing reactors that afford control over residence times. With millisecond residence times, reactors with immobilized proteases limit protein digestion to increase sequence coverage in mass spectrometry analysis and facilitate elucidation of protein structures. This review emphasizes the advantages of membrane-based techniques and concludes with some challenges for their practical application.

  13. Affinity purification of proteins binding to GST fusion proteins.

    PubMed

    Swaffield, J C; Johnston, S A

    2001-05-01

    This unit describes the use of proteins fused to glutathione-S-transferase (GST fusion proteins) to affinity purify other proteins, a technique also known as GST pulldown purification. The describes a strategy in which a GST fusion protein is bound to agarose affinity beads and the complex is then used to assay the binding of a specific test protein that has been labeled with [35S]methionine by in vitro translation. However, this method can be adapted for use with other types of fusion proteins; for example, His6, biotin tags, or maltose-binding protein fusions (MBP), and these may offer particular advantages. A describes preparation of an E. coli extract that is added to the reaction mixture with purified test protein to reduce nonspecific binding. PMID:18265191

  14. How do oncoprotein mutations rewire protein-protein interaction networks?

    PubMed

    Bowler, Emily H; Wang, Zhenghe; Ewing, Rob M

    2015-01-01

    The acquisition of mutations that activate oncogenes or inactivate tumor suppressors is a primary feature of most cancers. Mutations that directly alter protein sequence and structure drive the development of tumors through aberrant expression and modification of proteins, in many cases directly impacting components of signal transduction pathways and cellular architecture. Cancer-associated mutations may have direct or indirect effects on proteins and their interactions and while the effects of mutations on signaling pathways have been widely studied, how mutations alter underlying protein-protein interaction networks is much less well understood. Systematic mapping of oncoprotein protein interactions using proteomics techniques as well as computational network analyses is revealing how oncoprotein mutations perturb protein-protein interaction networks and drive the cancer phenotype. PMID:26325016

  15. Purine inhibitors of protein kinases, G proteins and polymerases

    DOEpatents

    Gray, Nathanael S.; Schultz, Peter; Kim, Sung-Hou; Meijer, Laurent

    2004-10-12

    The present invention relates to 2-N-substituted 6-(4-methoxybenzylamino)-9-isopropylpurines that inhibit, inter alia, protein kinases, G-proteins and polymerases. In addition, the present invention relates to methods of using such 2-N-substituted 6-(4-methoxybenzylamino)-9-isopropylpurines to inhibit protein kinases, G-proteins, polymerases and other cellular processes and to treat cellular proliferative diseases.

  16. Protein identification and Peptide expression resolver: harmonizing protein identification with protein expression data.

    PubMed

    Kearney, Paul; Butler, Heather; Eng, Kevin; Hugo, Patrice

    2008-01-01

    Proteomic discovery platforms generate both peptide expression information and protein identification information. Peptide expression data are used to determine which peptides are differentially expressed between study cohorts, and then these peptides are targeted for protein identification. In this paper, we demonstrate that peptide expression information is also a powerful tool for enhancing confidence in protein identification results. Specifically, we evaluate the following hypothesis: tryptic peptides originating from the same protein have similar expression profiles across samples in the discovery study. Evidence supporting this hypothesis is provided. This hypothesis is integrated into a protein identification tool, PIPER (Protein Identification and Peptide Expression Resolver), that reduces erroneous protein identifications below 5%. PIPER's utility is illustrated by application to a 72-sample biomarker discovery study where it is demonstrated that false positive protein identifications can be reduced below 5%. Consequently, it is recommended that PIPER methodology be incorporated into proteomic studies where both protein expression and identification data are collected. PMID:18062667

  17. Predicting Disease-Related Proteins Based on Clique Backbone in Protein-Protein Interaction Network

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Lei; Zhao, Xudong; Tang, Xianglong

    2014-01-01

    Network biology integrates different kinds of data, including physical or functional networks and disease gene sets, to interpret human disease. A clique (maximal complete subgraph) in a protein-protein interaction network is a topological module and possesses inherently biological significance. A disease-related clique possibly associates with complex diseases. Fully identifying disease components in a clique is conductive to uncovering disease mechanisms. This paper proposes an approach of predicting disease proteins based on cliques in a protein-protein interaction network. To tolerate false positive and negative interactions in protein networks, extending cliques and scoring predicted disease proteins with gene ontology terms are introduced to the clique-based method. Precisions of predicted disease proteins are verified by disease phenotypes and steadily keep to more than 95%. The predicted disease proteins associated with cliques can partly complement mapping between genotype and phenotype, and provide clues for understanding the pathogenesis of serious diseases. PMID:25013377

  18. Understanding Protein Non-Folding

    PubMed Central

    Uversky, Vladimir N.; Dunker, A. Keith

    2010-01-01

    This review describes the family of intrinsically disordered proteins, members of which fail to form rigid 3-D structures under physiological conditions, either along their entire lengths or only in localized regions. Instead, these intriguing proteins/regions exist as dynamic ensembles within which atom positions and backbone Ramachandran angles exhibit extreme temporal fluctuations without specific equilibrium values. Many of these intrinsically disordered proteins are known to carry out important biological functions which, in fact, depend on the absence of specific 3-D structure. The existence of such proteins does not fit the prevailing structure-function paradigm, which states that unique 3-D structure is a prerequisite to function. Thus, the protein structure-function paradigm has to be expanded to include intrinsically disordered proteins and alternative relationships among protein sequence, structure, and function. This shift in the paradigm represents a major breakthrough for biochemistry, biophysics and molecular biology, as it opens new levels of understanding with regard to the complex life of proteins. This review will try to answer the following questions: How were intrinsically disordered proteins discovered? Why don't these proteins fold? What is so special about intrinsic disorder? What are the functional advantages of disordered proteins/regions? What is the functional repertoire of these proteins? What are the relationships between intrinsically disordered proteins and human diseases? PMID:20117254

  19. Protein Structure Databases.

    PubMed

    Laskowski, Roman A

    2016-01-01

    Web-based protein structure databases come in a wide variety of types and levels of information content. Those having the most general interest are the various atlases that describe each experimentally determined protein structure and provide useful links, analyses, and schematic diagrams relating to its 3D structure and biological function. Also of great interest are the databases that classify 3D structures by their folds as these can reveal evolutionary relationships which may be hard to detect from sequence comparison alone. Related to these are the numerous servers that compare folds-particularly useful for newly solved structures, and especially those of unknown function. Beyond these are a vast number of databases for the more specialized user, dealing with specific families, diseases, structural features, and so on. PMID:27115626

  20. A magnetic protein biocompass.

    PubMed

    Qin, Siying; Yin, Hang; Yang, Celi; Dou, Yunfeng; Liu, Zhongmin; Zhang, Peng; Yu, He; Huang, Yulong; Feng, Jing; Hao, Junfeng; Hao, Jia; Deng, Lizong; Yan, Xiyun; Dong, Xiaoli; Zhao, Zhongxian; Jiang, Taijiao; Wang, Hong-Wei; Luo, Shu-Jin; Xie, Can

    2016-02-01

    The notion that animals can detect the Earth's magnetic field was once ridiculed, but is now well established. Yet the biological nature of such magnetosensing phenomenon remains unknown. Here, we report a putative magnetic receptor (Drosophila CG8198, here named MagR) and a multimeric magnetosensing rod-like protein complex, identified by theoretical postulation and genome-wide screening, and validated with cellular, biochemical, structural and biophysical methods. The magnetosensing complex consists of the identified putative magnetoreceptor and known magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes (Cry), has the attributes of both Cry- and iron-based systems, and exhibits spontaneous alignment in magnetic fields, including that of the Earth. Such a protein complex may form the basis of magnetoreception in animals, and may lead to applications across multiple fields. PMID:26569474

  1. Bone Morphogenetic Proteins.

    PubMed

    Katagiri, Takenobu; Watabe, Tetsuro

    2016-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs), originally identified as osteoinductive components in extracts derived from bone, are now known to play important roles in a wide array of processes during formation and maintenance of various organs including bone, cartilage, muscle, kidney, and blood vessels. BMPs and the related "growth and differentiation factors" (GDFs) are members of the transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) family, and transduce their signals through type I and type II serine-threonine kinase receptors and their intracellular downstream effectors, including Smad proteins. Furthermore, BMP signals are finely tuned by various agonists and antagonists. Because deregulation of the BMP activity at multiple steps in signal transduction is linked to a wide variety of human diseases, therapeutic use of activators and inhibitors of BMP signaling will provide potential avenues for the treatment of the human disorders that are caused by hypo- and hyperactivation of BMP signals, respectively. PMID:27252362

  2. Protein mediated membrane adhesion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carlson, Andreas; Mahadevan, L.

    2015-05-01

    Adhesion in the context of mechanical attachment, signaling, and movement in cellular dynamics is mediated by the kinetic interactions between membrane-embedded proteins in an aqueous environment. Here, we present a minimal theoretical framework for the dynamics of membrane adhesion that accounts for the kinetics of protein binding, the elastic deformation of the membrane, and the hydrodynamics of squeeze flow in the membrane gap. We analyze the resulting equations using scaling estimates to characterize the spatiotemporal features of the adhesive patterning and corroborate them using numerical simulations. In addition to characterizing aspects of cellular dynamics, our results might also be applicable to a range of phenomena in physical chemistry and materials science where flow, deformation, and kinetics are coupled to each other in slender geometries.

  3. Electron Flow through Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Harry B.; Winkler, Jay R.

    2009-01-01

    Electron transfers in photosynthesis and respiration commonly occur between metal-containing cofactors that are separated by large molecular distances. Employing laser flash-quench triggering methods, we have shown that 20-Å, coupling-limited FeII to RuIII and CuI to RuIII electron tunneling in Ru-modified cytochromes and blue copper proteins can occur on the microsecond timescale both in solutions and crystals. Redox equivalents can be transferred even longer distances by multistep tunneling, often called hopping, through intervening amino acid side chains. Our work has established that 20-Å hole hopping through an intervening tryptophan is two orders of magnitude faster than single-step electron tunneling in a Re-modified blue copper protein. PMID:20161522

  4. A magnetic protein biocompass

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Siying; Yin, Hang; Yang, Celi; Dou, Yunfeng; Liu, Zhongmin; Zhang, Peng; Yu, He; Huang, Yulong; Feng, Jing; Hao, Junfeng; Hao, Jia; Deng, Lizong; Yan, Xiyun; Dong, Xiaoli; Zhao, Zhongxian; Jiang, Taijiao; Wang, Hong-Wei; Luo, Shu-Jin; Xie, Can

    2016-02-01

    The notion that animals can detect the Earth’s magnetic field was once ridiculed, but is now well established. Yet the biological nature of such magnetosensing phenomenon remains unknown. Here, we report a putative magnetic receptor (Drosophila CG8198, here named MagR) and a multimeric magnetosensing rod-like protein complex, identified by theoretical postulation and genome-wide screening, and validated with cellular, biochemical, structural and biophysical methods. The magnetosensing complex consists of the identified putative magnetoreceptor and known magnetoreception-related photoreceptor cryptochromes (Cry), has the attributes of both Cry- and iron-based systems, and exhibits spontaneous alignment in magnetic fields, including that of the Earth. Such a protein complex may form the basis of magnetoreception in animals, and may lead to applications across multiple fields.

  5. The interface of protein structure, protein biophysics, and molecular evolution

    PubMed Central

    Liberles, David A; Teichmann, Sarah A; Bahar, Ivet; Bastolla, Ugo; Bloom, Jesse; Bornberg-Bauer, Erich; Colwell, Lucy J; de Koning, A P Jason; Dokholyan, Nikolay V; Echave, Julian; Elofsson, Arne; Gerloff, Dietlind L; Goldstein, Richard A; Grahnen, Johan A; Holder, Mark T; Lakner, Clemens; Lartillot, Nicholas; Lovell, Simon C; Naylor, Gavin; Perica, Tina; Pollock, David D; Pupko, Tal; Regan, Lynne; Roger, Andrew; Rubinstein, Nimrod; Shakhnovich, Eugene; Sjölander, Kimmen; Sunyaev, Shamil; Teufel, Ashley I; Thorne, Jeffrey L; Thornton, Joseph W; Weinreich, Daniel M; Whelan, Simon

    2012-01-01

    Abstract The interface of protein structural biology, protein biophysics, molecular evolution, and molecular population genetics forms the foundations for a mechanistic understanding of many aspects of protein biochemistry. Current efforts in interdisciplinary protein modeling are in their infancy and the state-of-the art of such models is described. Beyond the relationship between amino acid substitution and static protein structure, protein function, and corresponding organismal fitness, other considerations are also discussed. More complex mutational processes such as insertion and deletion and domain rearrangements and even circular permutations should be evaluated. The role of intrinsically disordered proteins is still controversial, but may be increasingly important to consider. Protein geometry and protein dynamics as a deviation from static considerations of protein structure are also important. Protein expression level is known to be a major determinant of evolutionary rate and several considerations including selection at the mRNA level and the role of interaction specificity are discussed. Lastly, the relationship between modeling and needed high-throughput experimental data as well as experimental examination of protein evolution using ancestral sequence resurrection and in vitro biochemistry are presented, towards an aim of ultimately generating better models for biological inference and prediction. PMID:22528593

  6. Improved method for protein complex detection using bottleneck proteins

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Detecting protein complexes is one of essential and fundamental tasks in understanding various biological functions or processes. Therefore accurate identification of protein complexes is indispensable. Methods For more accurate detection of protein complexes, we propose an algorithm which detects dense protein sub-networks of which proteins share closely located bottleneck proteins. The proposed algorithm is capable of finding protein complexes which allow overlapping with each other. Results We applied our algorithm to several PPI (Protein-Protein Interaction) networks of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Homo sapiens, and validated our results using public databases of protein complexes. The prediction accuracy was even more improved over our previous work which used also bottleneck information of the PPI network, but showed limitation when predicting small-sized protein complex detection. Conclusions Our algorithm resulted in overlapping protein complexes with significantly improved F1 score over existing algorithms. This result comes from high recall due to effective network search, as well as high precision due to proper use of bottleneck information during the network search. PMID:23566214

  7. Heat shock proteins: molecular chaperones of protein biogenesis.

    PubMed Central

    Craig, E A; Gambill, B D; Nelson, R J

    1993-01-01

    Heat shock proteins (Hsps) were first identified as proteins whose synthesis was enhanced by stresses such as an increase in temperature. Recently, several of the major Hsps have been shown to be intimately involved in protein biogenesis through a direct interaction with a wide variety of proteins. As a reflection of this role, these Hsps have been referred to as molecular chaperones. Hsp70s interact with incompletely folded proteins, such as nascent chains on ribosomes and proteins in the process of translocation from the cytosol into mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Hsp60 also binds to unfolded proteins, preventing aggregation and facilitating protein folding. Although less well defined, other Hsps such as Hsp90 also play important roles in modulating the activity of a number of proteins. The function of the proteolytic system is intertwined with that of molecular chaperones. Several components of this system, encoded by heat-inducible genes, are responsible for the degradation of abnormal or misfolded proteins. The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has proven very useful in the analysis of the role of molecular chaperones in protein maturation, translocation, and degradation. In this review, results of experiments are discussed within the context of experiments with other organisms in an attempt to describe the current state of understanding of these ubiquitous and important proteins. PMID:8336673

  8. Path to protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Growth of two-dimensional S-layer crystals on supported lipid bilayers observed in solution using in situ atomic force microscopy. This movie shows proteins sticking onto the supported lipid bilayer, forming a mobile phase that condenses into amorphous clusters, and undergoing a phase transition to crystalline clusters composed of 2 to 15 tetramers. These initial clusters then enter a growth phase in which new tetramers form exclusively at unoccupied lattice sites along the cluster edges.

  9. Protein Crystal Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Isocitrate Lyase earth-grown (left) and space-grown (right). This is a target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast; it regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  10. Bone morphogenetic protein

    SciTech Connect

    Xiao Yongtao; Xiang Lixin; Shao Jianzhong

    2007-10-26

    Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are multi-functional growth factors belonging to the transforming growth factor-beta superfamily. It has been demonstrated that BMPs had been involved in the regulation of cell proliferation, survival, differentiation and apoptosis. However, their hallmark ability is that play a pivotal role in inducing bone, cartilage, ligament, and tendon formation at both heterotopic and orthotopic sites. In this review, we mainly concentrate on BMP structure, function, molecular signaling and potential medical application.

  11. Protein threading by learning

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Iksoo; Cieplak, Marek; Dima, Ruxandra I.; Maritan, Amos; Banavar, Jayanth R.

    2001-01-01

    By using techniques borrowed from statistical physics and neural networks, we determine the parameters, associated with a scoring function, that are chosen optimally to ensure complete success in threading tests in a training set of proteins. These parameters provide a quantitative measure of the propensities of amino acids to be buried or exposed and to be in a given secondary structure and are a good starting point for solving both the threading and design problems. PMID:11717394

  12. HRTEM in protein crystallography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyson, P. W.; Spargo, A. E. C.; Tulloch, P. A.; Johnson, A. W. S.

    Electron microscopy/diffraction (ED/D) using spot-scan and low-dose imaging has been successfully applied to investigate microcrystals of an alpha-helical coiled-coil protein extracted from ootheca of the praying mantis. Fourier transforms of the images show resolution out to 4 A and can be used to phase the corresponding ED data which shows reflections out to 2 A.

  13. Distortions in protein helices.

    PubMed

    Geetha, V

    1996-08-01

    alpha-helices are the most common secondary structures in observed proteins. However, they are not always found in ideal helical conformation and they often exhibit structural distortions. Quantification of these irregularities become essential in understanding the packing of helices and therefore, their role in the functional characteristics of the protein. The backbone torsions phi, psi are of limited utility in this endeavor, because distorted helices often maintain the backbone geometry. The local compensatory effects are responsible for the preservation of the entire hydrogen bond network of the helical stretch. Earlier descriptions of helical linearity and curvature rest mostly on approximation, thus motivating the search for a better method for understanding and quantifying helical irregularities. We developed a method which involves the rotation and superposition of identical repeating units of the protein by the quaternion method. The set of parameters derived from the rotation-superposition algorithm helps in identifying the bends and kinks which are not necessarily induced by unusual amino acids like proline. The quantification of irregularities of observed helices might lead to a better understanding of their packing interactions. PMID:8842770

  14. Papillomavirus E6 proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Howie, Heather L.; Katzenellenbogen, Rachel A.; Galloway, Denise A.

    2009-02-20

    The papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses that encode approximately eight genes, and require the host cell DNA replication machinery for their viral DNA replication. Thus papillomaviruses have evolved strategies to induce host cell DNA synthesis balanced with strategies to protect the cell from unscheduled replication. While the papillomavirus E1 and E2 genes are directly involved in viral replication by binding to and unwinding the origin of replication, the E6 and E7 proteins have auxillary functions that promote proliferation. As a consequence of disrupting the normal checkpoints that regulate cell cycle entry and progression, the E6 and E7 proteins play a key role in the oncogenic properties of human papillomaviruses with a high risk of causing anogenital cancers (HR HPVs). As a consequence, E6 and E7 of HR HPVs are invariably expressed in cervical cancers. This article will focus on the E6 protein and its numerous activities including inactivating p53, blocking apoptosis, activating telomerase, disrupting cell adhesion, polarity and epithelial differentiation, altering transcription and reducing immune recognition.

  15. Type Zero Copper Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lancaster, Kyle M.; DeBeer George, Serena; Yokoyama, Keiko; Richards, John H.; Gray, Harry B.

    2009-01-01

    Copper proteins play key roles in biological processes such as electron transfer and dioxygen activation; the active site of each of these proteins is classified as either type 1, 2, or 3, depending on its optical and electron paramagnetic resonance properties. We have built a new type of site that we call “type zero copper” by incorporating leucine, isoleucine, or phenylalanine in place of methionine at position 121 in C112D Pseudomonas aeruginosa azurin. X-ray crystallographic analysis shows that these sites adopt distorted tetrahedral geometries, with an unusually short Cu-O(G45 carbonyl) bond (2.35–2.55 Å). Relatively weak absorption near 800 nm and narrow parallel hyperfine splittings in EPR spectra are the spectroscopic signatures of type zero copper. Copper K-edge x-ray absorption spectra suggest elevated Cu(II) 4p character in the d-electron ground state. Cyclic voltammetric experiments demonstrate that the electron transfer reactivities of type zero azurins are enhanced relative to that of the corresponding type 2 (C112D) protein. PMID:20305734

  16. Hydrolyzed Proteins in Allergy.

    PubMed

    Salvatore, Silvia; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2016-01-01

    Hydrolyzed proteins are used worldwide in the therapeutic management of infants with allergic manifestations and have long been proposed as a dietetic measure to prevent allergy in at risk infants. The degree and method of hydrolysis, protein source and non-nitrogen components characterize different hydrolyzed formulas (HFs) and may determine clinical efficacy, tolerance and nutritional effects. Cow's milk (CM)-based HFs are classified as extensively (eHF) or partially HF (pHF) based on the percentage of small peptides. One whey pHF has been shown to reduce atopic dermatitis in high-risk infants who are not exclusively breastfed. More studies are needed to determine the benefit of these formulas in the prevention of CM allergy (CMA) and in the general population. eHFs represent up to now the treatment of choice for most infants with CMA. However, new developments, such as an extensively hydrolyzed rice protein-based formula, could become alternative options if safety and nutritional and therapeutic efficacy are confirmed as this type of formula is less expensive. In some countries, an extensive soy hydrolysate is available. PMID:27336625

  17. Infrared Protein Crystallography

    SciTech Connect

    J Sage; Y Zhang; J McGeehan; R Ravelli; M Weik; J van Thor

    2011-12-31

    We consider the application of infrared spectroscopy to protein crystals, with particular emphasis on exploiting molecular orientation through polarization measurements on oriented single crystals. Infrared microscopes enable transmission measurements on individual crystals using either thermal or nonthermal sources, and can accommodate flow cells, used to measure spectral changes induced by exposure to soluble ligands, and cryostreams, used for measurements of flash-cooled crystals. Comparison of unpolarized infrared measurements on crystals and solutions probes the effects of crystallization and can enhance the value of the structural models refined from X-ray diffraction data by establishing solution conditions under which they are most relevant. Results on several proteins are consistent with similar equilibrium conformational distributions in crystal and solutions. However, the rates of conformational change are often perturbed. Infrared measurements also detect products generated by X-ray exposure, including CO{sub 2}. Crystals with favorable symmetry exhibit infrared dichroism that enhances the synergy with X-ray crystallography. Polarized infrared measurements on crystals can distinguish spectral contributions from chemically similar sites, identify hydrogen bonding partners, and, in opportune situations, determine three-dimensional orientations of molecular groups. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Protein Structure and Function in the Crystalline State.

  18. The caveolin proteins

    PubMed Central

    Williams, Terence M; Lisanti, Michael P

    2004-01-01

    The caveolin gene family has three members in vertebrates: caveolin-1, caveolin-2, and caveolin-3. So far, most caveolin-related research has been conducted in mammals, but the proteins have also been found in other animals, including Xenopus laevis, Fugu rubripes, and Caenorhabditis elegans. Caveolins can serve as protein markers of caveolae ('little caves'), invaginations in the plasma membrane 50-100 nanometers in diameter. Caveolins are found predominantly at the plasma membrane but also in the Golgi, the endoplasmic reticulum, in vesicles, and at cytosolic locations. They are expressed ubiquitously in mammals, but their expression levels vary considerably between tissues. The highest levels of caveolin-1 (also called caveolin, Cav-1 and VIP2I) are found in terminally-differentiated cell types, such as adipocytes, endothelia, smooth muscle cells, and type I pneumocytes. Caveolin-2 (Cav-2) is colocalized and coexpressed with Cav-1 and requires Cav-1 for proper membrane targeting; the Cav-2 gene also maps to the same chromosomal region as Cav-1 (7q31.1 in humans). Caveolin-3 (Cav-3) has greater protein-sequence similarity to Cav-1 than to Cav-2, but it is expressed mainly in muscle cells, including smooth, skeletal, and cardiac myocytes. Caveolins participate in many important cellular processes, including vesicular transport, cholesterol homeostasis, signal transduction, and tumor suppression. PMID:15003112

  19. A polymetamorphic protein

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Katie L; Dodds, Eric D; Wysocki, Vicki H; Cordes, Matthew H J

    2013-01-01

    Arc repressor is a homodimeric protein with a ribbon-helix–helix fold. A single polar-to-hydrophobic substitution (N11L) at a solvent-exposed position leads to population of an alternate dimeric fold in which 310 helices replace a β-sheet. Here we find that the variant Q9V/N11L/R13V (S-VLV), with two additional polar-to-hydrophobic surface mutations in the same β-sheet, forms a highly stable, reversibly folded octamer with approximately half the✠α-helical content of wild-type Arc. At low protein concentration and low ionic strength, S-VLV also populates both dimeric topologies previously observed for N11L, as judged by NMR chemical shift comparisons. Thus, accumulation of simple hydrophobic mutations in Arc progressively reduces fold specificity, leading first to a sequence with two folds and then to a manifold bridge sequence with at least three different topologies. Residues 9–14 of S-VLV form a highly hydrophobic stretch that is predicted to be amyloidogenic, but we do not observe aggregates of higher order than octamer. Increases in sequence hydrophobicity can promote amyloid aggregation but also exert broader and more complex effects on fold specificity. Altered native folds, changes in fold coupled to oligomerization, toxic pre-amyloid oligomers, and amyloid fibrils may represent a near continuum of accessible alternatives in protein structure space. PMID:23471712

  20. Bioinformatics in protein analysis.

    PubMed

    Persson, B

    2000-01-01

    The chapter gives an overview of bioinformatic techniques of importance in protein analysis. These include database searches, sequence comparisons and structural predictions. Links to useful World Wide Web (WWW) pages are given in relation to each topic. Databases with biological information are reviewed with emphasis on databases for nucleotide sequences (EMBL, GenBank, DDBJ), genomes, amino acid sequences (Swissprot, PIR, TrEMBL, GenePept), and three-dimensional structures (PDB). Integrated user interfaces for databases (SRS and Entrez) are described. An introduction to databases of sequence patterns and protein families is also given (Prosite, Pfam, Blocks). Furthermore, the chapter describes the widespread methods for sequence comparisons, FASTA and BLAST, and the corresponding WWW services. The techniques involving multiple sequence alignments are also reviewed: alignment creation with the Clustal programs, phylogenetic tree calculation with the Clustal or Phylip packages and tree display using Drawtree, njplot or phylo_win. Finally, the chapter also treats the issue of structural prediction. Different methods for secondary structure predictions are described (Chou-Fasman, Garnier-Osguthorpe-Robson, Predator, PHD). Techniques for predicting membrane proteins, antigenic sites and postranslational modifications are also reviewed. PMID:10803381

  1. Protein secretion in Bacillus species.

    PubMed Central

    Simonen, M; Palva, I

    1993-01-01

    Bacilli secrete numerous proteins into the environment. Many of the secretory proteins, their export signals, and their processing steps during secretion have been characterized in detail. In contrast, the molecular mechanisms of protein secretion have been relatively poorly characterized. However, several components of the protein secretion machinery have been identified and cloned recently, which is likely to lead to rapid expansion of the knowledge of the protein secretion mechanism in Bacillus species. Comparison of the presently known export components of Bacillus species with those of Escherichia coli suggests that the mechanism of protein translocation across the cytoplasmic membrane is conserved among gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria differences are found in steps preceding and following the translocation process. Many of the secretory proteins of bacilli are produced industrially, but several problems have been encountered in the production of Bacillus heterologous secretory proteins. In the final section we discuss these problems and point out some possibilities to overcome them. PMID:8464403

  2. Microtubules, Tubulins and Associated Proteins.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raxworthy, Michael J.

    1988-01-01

    Reviews much of what is known about microtubules, which are biopolymers consisting predominantly of subunits of the globular protein, tubulin. Describes the functions of microtubules, their structure and assembly, microtube associated proteins, and microtubule-disrupting agents. (TW)

  3. Current Protocols in Protein Science

    PubMed Central

    Huynh, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    The purification of recombinant proteins for biochemical assays and structural studies is time-consuming and presents inherent difficulties that depend on the optimization of protein stability. The use of dyes to monitor thermal denaturation of proteins with sensitive fluorescence detection enables the rapid and inexpensive determination of protein stability using real-time PCR instruments. By screening a wide range of solution conditions and additives in 96-well format, the thermal shift assay easily identifies conditions that significantly enhance the stability of recombinant proteins. The same approach can be used as a low cost, initial screen to discover new protein:ligand interactions by capitalizing on increases in protein stability that typically occur upon ligand binding. This unit presents a methodological workflow for the small-scale, high-throughout thermal denaturation of recombinant proteins in the presence of SYPRO Orange dye. PMID:25640896

  4. Stabilized polyacrylic saccharide protein conjugates

    DOEpatents

    Callstrom, M.R.; Bednarski, M.D.; Gruber, P.R.

    1996-02-20

    This invention is directed to water soluble protein polymer conjugates which are stable in hostile environments. The conjugate comprises a protein which is linked to an acrylic polymer at multiple points through saccharide linker groups. 16 figs.

  5. How do chaperonins fold protein?

    PubMed Central

    Motojima, Fumihiro

    2015-01-01

    Protein folding is a biological process that is essential for the proper functioning of proteins in all living organisms. In cells, many proteins require the assistance of molecular chaperones for their folding. Chaperonins belong to a class of molecular chaperones that have been extensively studied. However, the mechanism by which a chaperonin mediates the folding of proteins is still controversial. Denatured proteins are folded in the closed chaperonin cage, leading to the assumption that denatured proteins are completely encapsulated inside the chaperonin cage. In contrast to the assumption, we recently found that denatured protein interacts with hydrophobic residues at the subunit interfaces of the chaperonin, and partially protrude out of the cage. In this review, we will explain our recent results and introduce our model for the mechanism by which chaperonins accelerate protein folding, in view of recent findings.

  6. Stabilized polyacrylic saccharide protein conjugates

    DOEpatents

    Callstrom, Matthew R.; Bednarski, Mark D.; Gruber, Patrick R.

    1996-01-01

    This invention is directed to water soluble protein polymer conjugates which are stabile in hostile environments. The conjugate comprises a protein which is linked to an acrylic polymer at multiple points through saccharide linker groups.

  7. Controlling allosteric networks in proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dokholyan, Nikolay

    2013-03-01

    We present a novel methodology based on graph theory and discrete molecular dynamics simulations for delineating allosteric pathways in proteins. We use this methodology to uncover the structural mechanisms responsible for coupling of distal sites on proteins and utilize it for allosteric modulation of proteins. We will present examples where inference of allosteric networks and its rewiring allows us to ``rescue'' cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), a protein associated with fatal genetic disease cystic fibrosis. We also use our methodology to control protein function allosterically. We design a novel protein domain that can be inserted into identified allosteric site of target protein. Using a drug that binds to our domain, we alter the function of the target protein. We successfully tested this methodology in vitro, in living cells and in zebrafish. We further demonstrate transferability of our allosteric modulation methodology to other systems and extend it to become ligh-activatable.

  8. Lattice Tube Model of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banavar, Jayanth R.; Cieplak, Marek; Maritan, Amos

    2004-11-01

    We present a new lattice model for proteins that incorporates a tubelike anisotropy by introducing a preference for mutually parallel alignments in the conformations. The model is demonstrated to capture many aspects of real proteins.

  9. Geometry and physics of proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Banavar, Jayanth R.; Cieplak, Marek; Hoang, Trinh X.; Maritan, Amos

    2005-03-01

    We recall some of the key lessons of protein research over the last several decades and show that they strongly suggest a new framework for understanding proteins. The unified framework is useful for understanding protein folding, amyloid formation and protein interactions and has important implications for natural selection. The experimental data and our new approach, supported by computer simulations, reveal an astonishing simplicity underlying the protein problem. REFERENCES: Banavar, J. R. and Maritan, A. (2003). Colloquium: Geometrical approach to protein folding: A tube picture. Rev. Mod. Phys. 75, 23. Banavar, J. R., Hoang, T. X., Maritan, A., Seno, F. and Trovato, A., (2004). A unified perspective on proteins -- a physics approach. Phys. Rev. E 70, 041905. Banavar, J. R., Cieplak, M. and Maritan, A., (2004). Lattice tube model of proteins, Phys. Rev. Lett. (in press).

  10. Computational Characterization of Moonlighting Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Ishita K; Kihara, Daisuke

    2016-01-01

    Moonlighting proteins perform multiple independent cellular functions within one polypeptide chain. Moonlighting proteins switch functions depending on various factors including the cell type in which they are expressed, cellular location, oligomerization status, and the binding of different ligands at different sites. Although an increasing number of moonlighting proteins have been experimentally identified in recent years, the quantity of known moonlighting proteins is insufficient to elucidate their overall landscape. Moreover, most moonlighting proteins have been identified as a serendipitous discovery. Hence, characterization of moonlighting proteins using bioinformatics approaches can have a significant impact on the overall understanding of protein function. In this work, we provide a short review of existing computational approaches for illuminating the functional diversity of moonlighting proteins. PMID:25399606

  11. Leptospira Protein Expression During Infection

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We are characterizing protein expression in vivo during experimental leptospirosis using immunofluorescence microscopy. Coding regions for several proteins were identified through analysis of Leptospira interrogans serovar Copenhageni and L. borgpetersenii serovar Hardjo genomes. In addition, codi...

  12. Sorting sweet sorting. Protein secretion.

    PubMed

    Ponnambalam, S; Banting, G

    1996-09-01

    Membrane-spanning, lectin-like proteins in the eukaryotic secretory pathway seem to operate quality-control checkpoints by fine tuning protein exit or retention within each subcompartment. PMID:8805362

  13. Protein corona: Opportunities and challenges.

    PubMed

    Zanganeh, Saeid; Spitler, Ryan; Erfanzadeh, Mohsen; Alkilany, Alaaldin M; Mahmoudi, Morteza

    2016-06-01

    In contact with biological fluids diverse type of biomolecules (e.g., proteins) adsorb onto nanoparticles forming protein corona. Surface properties of the coated nanoparticles, in terms of type and amount of associated proteins, dictate their interactions with biological systems and thus biological fate, therapeutic efficiency and toxicity. In this perspective, we will focus on the recent advances and pitfalls in the protein corona field. PMID:26783938

  14. Knot theory in understanding proteins.

    PubMed

    Mishra, Rama; Bhushan, Shantha

    2012-12-01

    This paper aims to enthuse mathematicians, especially topologists, knot theorists and geometers to examine problems in the study of proteins. We have highlighted those advances and breakthroughs in knot theory that directly and indirectly help in understanding proteins. We have discussed the phenomena of knotting of protein backbone. This paper also provides a few open questions for knot theorists, the answers to which will help in further understanding of proteins. PMID:22105789

  15. Nanobiotechnology: protein-nanomaterial interactions.

    PubMed

    Kane, Ravi S; Stroock, Abraham D

    2007-01-01

    We review recent research that involves the interaction of nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowires, and carbon nanotubes with proteins. We begin with a focus on the fundamentals of the structure and function of proteins on nanomaterials. We then review work in three areas that exploit these interactions: (1) sensing, (2) assembly of nanomaterials by proteins and proteins by nanomaterials, and (3) interactions with cells. We conclude with the identification of challenges and opportunities for the future. PMID:17335286

  16. Protein Separation and Characterization Procedures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, Denise M.

    Many protein separation techniques are available to food scientists. Several of the separation techniques described in this chapter are used commercially for the production of food or food ingredients, whereas others are used to purify a protein from a food for further study in the laboratory. In general, separation techniques exploit the biochemical differences in protein solubility, size, charge, adsorption characteristics, and biological affinities for other molecules. These physical characteristics then are used to purify individual proteins from complex mixtures.

  17. Protein function annotation using protein domain family resources.

    PubMed

    Das, Sayoni; Orengo, Christine A

    2016-01-15

    As a result of the genome sequencing and structural genomics initiatives, we have a wealth of protein sequence and structural data. However, only about 1% of these proteins have experimental functional annotations. As a result, computational approaches that can predict protein functions are essential in bridging this widening annotation gap. This article reviews the current approaches of protein function prediction using structure and sequence based classification of protein domain family resources with a special focus on functional families in the CATH-Gene3D resource. PMID:26434392

  18. Implication of Terminal Residues at Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Martin, Olivier M F; Etheve, Loïc; Launay, Guillaume; Martin, Juliette

    2016-01-01

    Terminal residues of protein chains are charged and more flexible than other residues since they are constrained only on one side. Do they play a particular role in protein-protein and protein-DNA interfaces? To answer this question, we considered large sets of non-redundant protein-protein and protein-DNA complexes and analyzed the status of terminal residues and their involvement in interfaces. In protein-protein complexes, we found that more than half of terminal residues (62%) are either modified by attachment of a tag peptide (10%) or have missing coordinates in the analyzed structures (52%). Terminal residues are almost exclusively located at the surface of proteins (94%). Contrary to charged residues, they are not over or under-represented in protein-protein interfaces, but strongly prefer the peripheral region of interfaces when present at the interface (83% of terminal residues). The almost exclusive location of terminal residues at the surface of the proteins or in the rim regions of interfaces explains that experimental methods relying on tail hybridization can be successfully applied without disrupting the complexes under study. Concerning conformational rearrangement in protein-protein complexes, despite their expected flexibility, terminal residues adopt similar locations between the free and bound forms of the docking benchmark. In protein-DNA complexes, N-terminal residues are twice more frequent than C-terminal residues at interfaces. Both N-terminal and C-terminal residues are under-represented in interfaces, in contrast to positively charged residues, which are strongly favored. When located in protein-DNA interfaces, terminal residues prefer the periphery. N-terminal and C-terminal residues thus have particular properties with regard to interfaces, which cannot be reduced to their charged nature. PMID:27611671

  19. Identification of essential proteins based on ranking edge-weights in protein-protein interaction networks.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yan; Sun, Huiyan; Du, Wei; Blanzieri, Enrico; Viero, Gabriella; Xu, Ying; Liang, Yanchun

    2014-01-01

    Essential proteins are those that are indispensable to cellular survival and development. Existing methods for essential protein identification generally rely on knock-out experiments and/or the relative density of their interactions (edges) with other proteins in a Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) network. Here, we present a computational method, called EW, to first rank protein-protein interactions in terms of their Edge Weights, and then identify sub-PPI-networks consisting of only the highly-ranked edges and predict their proteins as essential proteins. We have applied this method to publicly-available PPI data on Saccharomyces cerevisiae (Yeast) and Escherichia coli (E. coli) for essential protein identification, and demonstrated that EW achieves better performance than the state-of-the-art methods in terms of the precision-recall and Jackknife measures. The highly-ranked protein-protein interactions by our prediction tend to be biologically significant in both the Yeast and E. coli PPI networks. Further analyses on systematically perturbed Yeast and E. coli PPI networks through randomly deleting edges demonstrate that the proposed method is robust and the top-ranked edges tend to be more associated with known essential proteins than the lowly-ranked edges. PMID:25268881

  20. Evolution of Chloroplast J Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, Chi-Chou; Chen, Lih-Jen; Su, Pai-Hsiang; Li, Hsou-min

    2013-01-01

    Hsp70 chaperones are involved in multiple biological processes and are recruited to specific processes by designated J domain-containing cochaperones, or J proteins. To understand the evolution and functions of chloroplast Hsp70s and J proteins, we identified the Arabidopsis chloroplast J protein constituency using a combination of genomic and proteomic database searches and individual protein import assays. We show that Arabidopsis chloroplasts have at least 19 J proteins, the highest number of confirmed J proteins for any organelle. These 19 J proteins are classified into 11 clades, for which cyanobacteria and glaucophytes only have homologs for one clade, green algae have an additional three clades, and all the other 7 clades are specific to land plants. Each clade also possesses a clade-specific novel motif that is likely used to interact with different client proteins. Gene expression analyses indicate that most land plant-specific J proteins show highly variable expression in different tissues and are down regulated by low temperatures. These results show that duplication of chloroplast Hsp70 in land plants is accompanied by more than doubling of the number of its J protein cochaperones through adding new J proteins with novel motifs, not through duplications within existing families. These new J proteins likely recruit chloroplast Hsp70 to perform tissue specific functions related to biosynthesis rather than to stress resistance. PMID:23894646

  1. Transglutaminase Polymerization of Peanut Proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    INTRODUCTION: Transglutaminase (TGase) [protein-glutamine:amine gamma-glutamyl-transferase, EC 2.3.2.13]promotes protein cross-linking reactions through an acyl transferase mechanism involving protein-bound glutaminyl residues and primary amines (1), including the epsilon-amino group of lysine resid...

  2. Role of regulator of G protein signaling proteins in bone

    PubMed Central

    Keinan, David; Yang, Shuying; Cohen, Robert E.; Yuan, Xue; Liu, Tongjun; Li, Yi-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins are a family with more than 30 proteins that all contain an RGS domain. In the past decade, increasing evidence has indicated that RGS proteins play crucial roles in the regulation of G protein coupling receptors (GPCR), G proteins, and calcium signaling during cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation in a variety of tissues. In bone, those proteins modulate bone development and remodeling by influencing various signaling pathways such as GPCR-G protein signaling, Wnt, calcium oscillations and PTH. This review summarizes the recent advances in the understanding of the regulation of RGS genes expression, as well as the functions and mechanisms of RGS proteins, especially in regulating GPCR-G protein signaling, Wnt signaling, calcium oscillations signaling and PTH signaling during bone development and remodeling. This review also highlights the regulation of different RGS proteins in osteoblasts, chondrocytes and osteoclasts. The knowledge from the recent advances of RGS study summarized in the review would provide the insights into new therapies for bone diseases. PMID:24389209

  3. Biophysics of protein evolution and evolutionary protein biophysics

    PubMed Central

    Sikosek, Tobias; Chan, Hue Sun

    2014-01-01

    The study of molecular evolution at the level of protein-coding genes often entails comparing large datasets of sequences to infer their evolutionary relationships. Despite the importance of a protein's structure and conformational dynamics to its function and thus its fitness, common phylogenetic methods embody minimal biophysical knowledge of proteins. To underscore the biophysical constraints on natural selection, we survey effects of protein mutations, highlighting the physical basis for marginal stability of natural globular proteins and how requirement for kinetic stability and avoidance of misfolding and misinteractions might have affected protein evolution. The biophysical underpinnings of these effects have been addressed by models with an explicit coarse-grained spatial representation of the polypeptide chain. Sequence–structure mappings based on such models are powerful conceptual tools that rationalize mutational robustness, evolvability, epistasis, promiscuous function performed by ‘hidden’ conformational states, resolution of adaptive conflicts and conformational switches in the evolution from one protein fold to another. Recently, protein biophysics has been applied to derive more accurate evolutionary accounts of sequence data. Methods have also been developed to exploit sequence-based evolutionary information to predict biophysical behaviours of proteins. The success of these approaches demonstrates a deep synergy between the fields of protein biophysics and protein evolution. PMID:25165599

  4. Protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Waldo, Geoffrey S.; Cabantous, Stephanie

    2009-09-08

    The invention provides protein subcellular localization assays using split fluorescent protein systems. The assays are conducted in living cells, do not require fixation and washing steps inherent in existing immunostaining and related techniques, and permit rapid, non-invasive, direct visualization of protein localization in living cells. The split fluorescent protein systems used in the practice of the invention generally comprise two or more self-complementing fragments of a fluorescent protein, such as GFP, wherein one or more of the fragments correspond to one or more beta-strand microdomains and are used to "tag" proteins of interest, and a complementary "assay" fragment of the fluorescent protein. Either or both of the fragments may be functionalized with a subcellular targeting sequence enabling it to be expressed in or directed to a particular subcellular compartment (i.e., the nucleus).

  5. Commercial Protein Crystal Growth: Protein Crystallization Facility (CPCG-H)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLucas, Lawrence J.

    2002-12-01

    Within the human body, there are thousands of different proteins that serve a variety of different functions, such as making it possible for red blood cells to carry oxygen in our bodies. Yet proteins can also be involved in diseases. Each protein has a particular chemical structure, which means it has a unique shape. It is this three-dimensional shape that allows each protein to do its job by interacting with chemicals or binding with other proteins. If researchers can determine the shape, or shapes, of a protein, they can learn how it works. This information can then be used by the pharmaceutical industry to develop new drugs or improve the way medications work. The NASA Commercial Space Center sponsoring this experiment - the Center for Biophysical Sciences and Engineering at the University of Alabama at Birmingham - has more than 60 industry and academic partners who grow protein crystals and use the information in drug design projects.

  6. Current Experimental Methods for Characterizing Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Mi; Li, Qing; Wang, Renxiao

    2016-04-19

    Protein molecules often interact with other partner protein molecules in order to execute their vital functions in living organisms. Characterization of protein-protein interactions thus plays a central role in understanding the molecular mechanism of relevant protein molecules, elucidating the cellular processes and pathways relevant to health or disease for drug discovery, and charting large-scale interaction networks in systems biology research. A whole spectrum of methods, based on biophysical, biochemical, or genetic principles, have been developed to detect the time, space, and functional relevance of protein-protein interactions at various degrees of affinity and specificity. This article presents an overview of these experimental methods, outlining the principles, strengths and limitations, and recent developments of each type of method. PMID:26864455

  7. Protein – Which is Best?

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Jay R.; Falvo, Michael J.

    2004-01-01

    Protein intake that exceeds the recommended daily allowance is widely accepted for both endurance and power athletes. However, considering the variety of proteins that are available much less is known concerning the benefits of consuming one protein versus another. The purpose of this paper is to identify and analyze key factors in order to make responsible recommendations to both the general and athletic populations. Evaluation of a protein is fundamental in determining its appropriateness in the human diet. Proteins that are of inferior content and digestibility are important to recognize and restrict or limit in the diet. Similarly, such knowledge will provide an ability to identify proteins that provide the greatest benefit and should be consumed. The various techniques utilized to rate protein will be discussed. Traditionally, sources of dietary protein are seen as either being of animal or vegetable origin. Animal sources provide a complete source of protein (i.e. containing all essential amino acids), whereas vegetable sources generally lack one or more of the essential amino acids. Animal sources of dietary protein, despite providing a complete protein and numerous vitamins and minerals, have some health professionals concerned about the amount of saturated fat common in these foods compared to vegetable sources. The advent of processing techniques has shifted some of this attention and ignited the sports supplement marketplace with derivative products such as whey, casein and soy. Individually, these products vary in quality and applicability to certain populations. The benefits that these particular proteins possess are discussed. In addition, the impact that elevated protein consumption has on health and safety issues (i.e. bone health, renal function) are also reviewed. Key Points Higher protein needs are seen in athletic populations. Animal proteins is an important source of protein, however potential health concerns do exist from a diet of protein

  8. Protein-protein interactions of mitochondrial-associated protein via bioluminescence resonance energy transfer

    PubMed Central

    Koshiba, Takumi

    2015-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions are essential biological reactions occurring at inter- and intra-cellular levels. The analysis of their mechanism is generally required in order link to understand their various cellular functions. Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), which is based on an enzymatic activity of luciferase, is a useful tool for investigating protein-protein interactions in live cells. The combination of the BRET system and biomolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) would provide us a better understanding of the hetero-oligomeric structural states of protein complexes. In this review, we discuss the application of BRET to the protein-protein interactions of mitochondrial-associated proteins and discuss its physiological relevance. PMID:27493852

  9. Membrane Bending by Protein Crowding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stachowiak, Jeanne

    2014-03-01

    From endosomes and synaptic vesicles to the cristae of the mitochondria and the annulus of the nuclear pore, highly curved membranes are fundamental to the structure and physiology of living cells. The established view is that specific families of proteins are able to bend membranes by binding to them. For example, inherently curved proteins are thought to impose their structure on the membrane surface, while membrane-binding proteins with hydrophobic motifs are thought to insert into the membrane like wedges, driving curvature. However, computational models have recently revealed that these mechanisms would require specialized membrane-bending proteins to occupy nearly 100% of a curved membrane surface, an improbable physiological situation given the immense density and diversity of membrane-bound proteins, and the low expression levels of these specialized proteins within curved regions of the membrane. How then does curvature arise within the complex and crowded environment of cellular membranes? Our recent work using proteins involved in clathrin-mediated endocytosis, as well as engineered protein-lipid interactions, has suggested a new hypothesis - that lateral pressure generated by collisions between membrane-bound proteins can drive membrane bending. Specifically, by correlating membrane bending with quantitative optical measurements of protein density on synthetic membrane surfaces and simple physical models of collisions among membrane-bound proteins, we have demonstrated that protein-protein steric interactions can drive membrane curvature. These findings suggest that a simple imbalance in the concentration of membrane-bound proteins across a membrane surface can drive a membrane to bend, providing an efficient mechanism by which essentially any protein can contribute to shaping membranes.

  10. Tetramer formation in Arabidopsis MADS domain proteins: analysis of a protein-protein interaction network

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background MADS domain proteins are transcription factors that coordinate several important developmental processes in plants. These proteins interact with other MADS domain proteins to form dimers, and it has been proposed that they are able to associate as tetrameric complexes that regulate transcription of target genes. Whether the formation of functional tetramers is a widespread property of plant MADS domain proteins, or it is specific to few of these transcriptional regulators remains unclear. Results We analyzed the structure of the network of physical interactions among MADS domain proteins in Arabidopsis thaliana. We determined the abundance of subgraphs that represent the connection pattern expected for a MADS domain protein heterotetramer. These subgraphs were significantly more abundant in the MADS domain protein interaction network than in randomized analogous networks. Importantly, these subgraphs are not significantly frequent in a protein interaction network of TCP plant transcription factors, when compared to expectation by chance. In addition, we found that MADS domain proteins in tetramer-like subgraphs are more likely to be expressed jointly than proteins in other subgraphs. This effect is mainly due to proteins in the monophyletic MIKC clade, as there is no association between tetramer-like subgraphs and co-expression for proteins outside this clade. Conclusions Our results support that the tendency to form functional tetramers is widespread in the MADS domain protein-protein interaction network. Our observations also suggest that this trend is prevalent, or perhaps exclusive, for proteins in the MIKC clade. Because it is possible to retrodict several experimental results from our analyses, our work can be an important aid to make new predictions and facilitates experimental research on plant MADS domain proteins. PMID:24468197

  11. Differential expression of three members of the multidomain adhesion CCp family in babesia bigemina, babesia bovis and theileria equi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Members of the CCp protein family have been previously described to be expressed on gametocytes of apicomplexan Plasmodium parasites. Knocking out Plasmodium CCp genes blocks the development of the parasite in the mosquito vector, making the CCp proteins potential targets for the development of a tr...

  12. Green fluorescent protein: A perspective

    PubMed Central

    Remington, S James

    2011-01-01

    A brief personal perspective is provided for green fluorescent protein (GFP), covering the period 1994–2011. The topics discussed are primarily those in which my research group has made a contribution and include structure and function of the GFP polypeptide, the mechanism of fluorescence emission, excited state protein transfer, the design of ratiometric fluorescent protein biosensors and an overview of the fluorescent proteins derived from coral reef animals. Structure-function relationships in photoswitchable fluorescent proteins and nonfluorescent chromoproteins are also briefly covered. PMID:21714025

  13. Information contained in protein shapes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sundaram, K.; Viswanadhan, V. N.; Macelroy, R. D.

    1983-01-01

    The sequence of local conformations at C-alpha atoms of a protein has been considered as an informational message string. The total self-information contents and self-information per letter have been evaluated for 83 globular proteins whose structures are known from X-ray crystallography. The derived information contents provide a method of quantitating structural specificity of proteins. This method of analysis enables repeating, intricate structural features to be recognized. Among the globular proteins whose structures have been solved, high potential iron protein stands out with the largest three-letter dependence.

  14. Selective chemical labeling of proteins.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xi; Wu, Yao-Wen

    2016-06-28

    Over the years, there have been remarkable efforts in the development of selective protein labeling strategies. In this review, we deliver a comprehensive overview of the currently available bioorthogonal and chemoselective reactions. The ability to introduce bioorthogonal handles to proteins is essential to carry out bioorthogonal reactions for protein labeling in living systems. We therefore summarize the techniques that allow for site-specific "installation" of bioorthogonal handles into proteins. We also highlight the biological applications that have been achieved by selective chemical labeling of proteins. PMID:26940577

  15. Viruses and viral proteins

    PubMed Central

    Verdaguer, Nuria; Ferrero, Diego; Murthy, Mathur R. N.

    2014-01-01

    For more than 30 years X-ray crystallography has been by far the most powerful approach for determining the structures of viruses and viral proteins at atomic resolution. The information provided by these structures, which covers many important aspects of the viral life cycle such as cell-receptor recognition, viral entry, nucleic acid transfer and genome replication, has extensively enriched our vision of the virus world. Many of the structures available correspond to potential targets for antiviral drugs against important human pathogens. This article provides an overview of the current knowledge of different structural aspects of the above-mentioned processes. PMID:25485129

  16. Probing High-density Functional Protein Microarrays to Detect Protein-protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Fasolo, Joseph; Im, Hogune; Snyder, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    High-density functional protein microarrays containing ~4,200 recombinant yeast proteins are examined for kinase protein-protein interactions using an affinity purified yeast kinase fusion protein containing a V5-epitope tag for read-out. Purified kinase is obtained through culture of a yeast strain optimized for high copy protein production harboring a plasmid containing a Kinase-V5 fusion construct under a GAL inducible promoter. The yeast is grown in restrictive media with a neutral carbon source for 6 hr followed by induction with 2% galactose. Next, the culture is harvested and kinase is purified using standard affinity chromatographic techniques to obtain a highly purified protein kinase for use in the assay. The purified kinase is diluted with kinase buffer to an appropriate range for the assay and the protein microarrays are blocked prior to hybridization with the protein microarray. After the hybridization, the arrays are probed with monoclonal V5 antibody to identify proteins bound by the kinase-V5 protein. Finally, the arrays are scanned using a standard microarray scanner, and data is extracted for downstream informatics analysis to determine a high confidence set of protein interactions for downstream validation in vivo. PMID:26274875

  17. Intrinsic Localized Modes in Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Nicolaï, Adrien; Delarue, Patrice; Senet, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Protein dynamics is essential for proteins to function. Here we predicted the existence of rare, large nonlinear excitations, termed intrinsic localized modes (ILMs), of the main chain of proteins based on all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of two fast-folder proteins and of a rigid α/β protein at 300 K and at 380 K in solution. These nonlinear excitations arise from the anharmonicity of the protein dynamics. The ILMs were detected by computing the Shannon entropy of the protein main-chain fluctuations. In the non-native state (significantly explored at 380 K), the probability of their excitation was increased by a factor between 9 and 28 for the fast-folder proteins and by a factor 2 for the rigid protein. This enhancement in the non-native state was due to glycine, as demonstrated by simulations in which glycine was mutated to alanine. These ILMs might play a functional role in the flexible regions of proteins and in proteins in a non-native state (i.e. misfolded or unfolded states). PMID:26658321

  18. Intrinsic Localized Modes in Proteins.

    PubMed

    Nicolaï, Adrien; Delarue, Patrice; Senet, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Protein dynamics is essential for proteins to function. Here we predicted the existence of rare, large nonlinear excitations, termed intrinsic localized modes (ILMs), of the main chain of proteins based on all-atom molecular dynamics simulations of two fast-folder proteins and of a rigid α/β protein at 300 K and at 380 K in solution. These nonlinear excitations arise from the anharmonicity of the protein dynamics. The ILMs were detected by computing the Shannon entropy of the protein main-chain fluctuations. In the non-native state (significantly explored at 380 K), the probability of their excitation was increased by a factor between 9 and 28 for the fast-folder proteins and by a factor 2 for the rigid protein. This enhancement in the non-native state was due to glycine, as demonstrated by simulations in which glycine was mutated to alanine. These ILMs might play a functional role in the flexible regions of proteins and in proteins in a non-native state (i.e. misfolded or unfolded states). PMID:26658321

  19. The Papillomavirus E2 proteins

    SciTech Connect

    McBride, Alison A.

    2013-10-15

    The papillomavirus E2 proteins are pivotal to the viral life cycle and have well characterized functions in transcriptional regulation, initiation of DNA replication and partitioning the viral genome. The E2 proteins also function in vegetative DNA replication, post-transcriptional processes and possibly packaging. This review describes structural and functional aspects of the E2 proteins and their binding sites on the viral genome. It is intended to be a reference guide to this viral protein. - Highlights: • Overview of E2 protein functions. • Structural domains of the papillomavirus E2 proteins. • Analysis of E2 binding sites in different genera of papillomaviruses. • Compilation of E2 associated proteins. • Comparison of key mutations in distinct E2 functions.

  20. Protein Repeats from First Principles.

    PubMed

    Turjanski, Pablo; Parra, R Gonzalo; Espada, Rocío; Becher, Verónica; Ferreiro, Diego U

    2016-01-01

    Some natural proteins display recurrent structural patterns. Despite being highly similar at the tertiary structure level, repeating patterns within a single repeat protein can be extremely variable at the sequence level. We use a mathematical definition of a repetition and investigate the occurrences of these in sequences of different protein families. We found that long stretches of perfect repetitions are infrequent in individual natural proteins, even for those which are known to fold into structures of recurrent structural motifs. We found that natural repeat proteins are indeed repetitive in their families, exhibiting abundant stretches of 6 amino acids or longer that are perfect repetitions in the reference family. We provide a systematic quantification for this repetitiveness. We show that this form of repetitiveness is not exclusive of repeat proteins, but also occurs in globular domains. A by-product of this work is a fast quantification of the likelihood of a protein to belong to a family. PMID:27044676

  1. Protein Repeats from First Principles

    PubMed Central

    Turjanski, Pablo; Parra, R. Gonzalo; Espada, Rocío; Becher, Verónica; Ferreiro, Diego U.

    2016-01-01

    Some natural proteins display recurrent structural patterns. Despite being highly similar at the tertiary structure level, repeating patterns within a single repeat protein can be extremely variable at the sequence level. We use a mathematical definition of a repetition and investigate the occurrences of these in sequences of different protein families. We found that long stretches of perfect repetitions are infrequent in individual natural proteins, even for those which are known to fold into structures of recurrent structural motifs. We found that natural repeat proteins are indeed repetitive in their families, exhibiting abundant stretches of 6 amino acids or longer that are perfect repetitions in the reference family. We provide a systematic quantification for this repetitiveness. We show that this form of repetitiveness is not exclusive of repeat proteins, but also occurs in globular domains. A by-product of this work is a fast quantification of the likelihood of a protein to belong to a family. PMID:27044676

  2. Protein Adsorption in Three Dimensions

    PubMed Central

    Vogler, Erwin A.

    2011-01-01

    Recent experimental and theoretical work clarifying the physical chemistry of blood-protein adsorption from aqueous-buffer solution to various kinds of surfaces is reviewed and interpreted within the context of biomaterial applications, especially toward development of cardiovascular biomaterials. The importance of this subject in biomaterials surface science is emphasized by reducing the “protein-adsorption problem” to three core questions that require quantitative answer. An overview of the protein-adsorption literature identifies some of the sources of inconsistency among many investigators participating in more than five decades of focused research. A tutorial on the fundamental biophysical chemistry of protein adsorption sets the stage for a detailed discussion of the kinetics and thermodynamics of protein adsorption, including adsorption competition between two proteins for the same adsorbent immersed in a binary-protein mixture. Both kinetics and steady-state adsorption can be rationalized using a single interpretive paradigm asserting that protein molecules partition from solution into a three-dimensional (3D) interphase separating bulk solution from the physical-adsorbent surface. Adsorbed protein collects in one-or-more adsorbed layers, depending on protein size, solution concentration, and adsorbent surface energy (water wettability). The adsorption process begins with the hydration of an adsorbent surface brought into contact with an aqueous-protein solution. Surface hydration reactions instantaneously form a thin, pseudo-2D interface between the adsorbent and protein solution. Protein molecules rapidly diffuse into this newly-formed interface, creating a truly 3D interphase that inflates with arriving proteins and fills to capacity within milliseconds at mg/mL bulk-solution concentrations CB. This inflated interphase subsequently undergoes time-dependent (minutes-to-hours) decrease in volume VI by expulsion of either-or-both interphase water and

  3. Protein crystal growth in microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rosenblum, William M.; Delucas, Lawrence J.; Wilson, William W.

    1989-01-01

    Major advances have been made in several of the experimental aspects of protein crystallography, leaving protein crystallization as one of the few remaining bottlenecks. As a result, it has become important that the science of protein crystal growth is better understood and that improved methods for protein crystallization are developed. Preliminary experiments with both small molecules and proteins indicate that microgravity may beneficially affect crystal growth. For this reason, a series of protein crystal growth experiments using the Space Shuttle was initiated. The preliminary space experiments were used to evolve prototype hardware that will form the basis for a more advanced system that can be used to evaluate effects of gravity on protein crystal growth. Various optical techniques are being utilized to monitor the crystal growth process from the incipient or nucleation stage and throughout the growth phase. The eventual goal of these studies is to develop a system which utilizes optical monitoring for dynamic control of the crystallization process.

  4. Mathematical methods for protein science

    SciTech Connect

    Hart, W.; Istrail, S.; Atkins, J.

    1997-12-31

    Understanding the structure and function of proteins is a fundamental endeavor in molecular biology. Currently, over 100,000 protein sequences have been determined by experimental methods. The three dimensional structure of the protein determines its function, but there are currently less than 4,000 structures known to atomic resolution. Accordingly, techniques to predict protein structure from sequence have an important role in aiding the understanding of the Genome and the effects of mutations in genetic disease. The authors describe current efforts at Sandia to better understand the structure of proteins through rigorous mathematical analyses of simple lattice models. The efforts have focused on two aspects of protein science: mathematical structure prediction, and inverse protein folding.

  5. Protein Repeats from First Principles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turjanski, Pablo; Parra, R. Gonzalo; Espada, Rocío; Becher, Verónica; Ferreiro, Diego U.

    2016-04-01

    Some natural proteins display recurrent structural patterns. Despite being highly similar at the tertiary structure level, repeating patterns within a single repeat protein can be extremely variable at the sequence level. We use a mathematical definition of a repetition and investigate the occurrences of these in sequences of different protein families. We found that long stretches of perfect repetitions are infrequent in individual natural proteins, even for those which are known to fold into structures of recurrent structural motifs. We found that natural repeat proteins are indeed repetitive in their families, exhibiting abundant stretches of 6 amino acids or longer that are perfect repetitions in the reference family. We provide a systematic quantification for this repetitiveness. We show that this form of repetitiveness is not exclusive of repeat proteins, but also occurs in globular domains. A by-product of this work is a fast quantification of the likelihood of a protein to belong to a family.

  6. Bioinformatic Prediction of WSSV-Host Protein-Protein Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Zheng; Xiang, Jianhai

    2014-01-01

    WSSV is one of the most dangerous pathogens in shrimp aquaculture. However, the molecular mechanism of how WSSV interacts with shrimp is still not very clear. In the present study, bioinformatic approaches were used to predict interactions between proteins from WSSV and shrimp. The genome data of WSSV (NC_003225.1) and the constructed transcriptome data of F. chinensis were used to screen potentially interacting proteins by searching in protein interaction databases, including STRING, Reactome, and DIP. Forty-four pairs of proteins were suggested to have interactions between WSSV and the shrimp. Gene ontology analysis revealed that 6 pairs of these interacting proteins were classified into “extracellular region” or “receptor complex” GO-terms. KEGG pathway analysis showed that they were involved in the “ECM-receptor interaction pathway.” In the 6 pairs of interacting proteins, an envelope protein called “collagen-like protein” (WSSV-CLP) encoded by an early virus gene “wsv001” in WSSV interacted with 6 deduced proteins from the shrimp, including three integrin alpha (ITGA), two integrin beta (ITGB), and one syndecan (SDC). Sequence analysis on WSSV-CLP, ITGA, ITGB, and SDC revealed that they possessed the sequence features for protein-protein interactions. This study might provide new insights into the interaction mechanisms between WSSV and shrimp. PMID:24982879

  7. A new protein structure representation for efficient protein function prediction.

    PubMed

    Maghawry, Huda A; Mostafa, Mostafa G M; Gharib, Tarek F

    2014-12-01

    One of the challenging problems in bioinformatics is the prediction of protein function. Protein function is the main key that can be used to classify different proteins. Protein function can be inferred experimentally with very small throughput or computationally with very high throughput. Computational methods are sequence based or structure based. Structure-based methods produce more accurate protein function prediction. In this article, we propose a new protein structure representation for efficient protein function prediction. The representation is based on three-dimensional patterns of protein residues. In the analysis, we used protein function based on enzyme activity through six mechanistically diverse enzyme superfamilies: amidohydrolase, crotonase, haloacid dehalogenase, isoprenoid synthase type I, and vicinal oxygen chelate. We applied three different classification methods, naïve Bayes, k-nearest neighbors, and random forest, to predict the enzyme superfamily of a given protein. The prediction accuracy using the proposed representation outperforms a recently introduced representation method that is based only on the distance patterns. The results show that the proposed representation achieved prediction accuracy up to 98%, with improvement of about 10% on average. PMID:25343279

  8. LEA proteins prevent protein aggregation due to water stress

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Kshamata; Walton, Laura J.; Tunnacliffe, Alan

    2005-01-01

    LEA (late embryogenesis abundant) proteins in both plants and animals are associated with tolerance to water stress resulting from desiccation and cold shock. However, although various functions of LEA proteins have been proposed, their precise role has not been defined. Recent bioinformatics studies suggest that LEA proteins might behave as molecular chaperones, and the current study was undertaken to test this hypothesis. Recombinant forms of AavLEA1, a group 3 LEA protein from the anhydrobiotic nematode Aphelenchus avenae, and Em, a group 1 LEA protein from wheat, have been subjected to functional analysis. Heat-stress experiments with citrate synthase, which is susceptible to aggregation at high temperatures, suggest that LEA proteins do not behave as classical molecular chaperones, but they do exhibit a protective, synergistic effect in the presence of the so-called chemical chaperone, trehalose. In contrast, both LEA proteins can independently protect citrate synthase from aggregation due to desiccation and freezing, in keeping with a role in water-stress tolerance; similar results were obtained with lactate dehydrogenase. This is the first evidence of anti-aggregation activity of LEA proteins due to water stress. Again, a synergistic effect of LEA and trehalose was observed, which is significant given that non-reducing disaccharides are known to accumulate during dehydration in plants and nematodes. A model is proposed whereby LEA proteins might act as a novel form of molecular chaperone, or ‘molecular shield’, to help prevent the formation of damaging protein aggregates during water stress. PMID:15631617

  9. Protein-protein interaction network analysis of cirrhosis liver disease

    PubMed Central

    Safaei, Akram; Rezaei Tavirani, Mostafa; Arefi Oskouei, Afsaneh; Zamanian Azodi, Mona; Mohebbi, Seyed Reza; Nikzamir, Abdol Rahim

    2016-01-01

    Aim: Evaluation of biological characteristics of 13 identified proteins of patients with cirrhotic liver disease is the main aim of this research. Background: In clinical usage, liver biopsy remains the gold standard for diagnosis of hepatic fibrosis. Evaluation and confirmation of liver fibrosis stages and severity of chronic diseases require a precise and noninvasive biomarkers. Since the early detection of cirrhosis is a clinical problem, achieving a sensitive, specific and predictive novel method based on biomarkers is an important task. Methods: Essential analysis, such as gene ontology (GO) enrichment and protein-protein interactions (PPI) was undergone EXPASy, STRING Database and DAVID Bioinformatics Resources query. Results: Based on GO analysis, most of proteins are located in the endoplasmic reticulum lumen, intracellular organelle lumen, membrane-enclosed lumen, and extracellular region. The relevant molecular functions are actin binding, metal ion binding, cation binding and ion binding. Cell adhesion, biological adhesion, cellular amino acid derivative, metabolic process and homeostatic process are the related processes. Protein-protein interaction network analysis introduced five proteins (fibroblast growth factor receptor 4, tropomyosin 4, tropomyosin 2 (beta), lectin, Lectin galactoside-binding soluble 3 binding protein and apolipoprotein A-I) as hub and bottleneck proteins. Conclusion: Our result indicates that regulation of lipid metabolism and cell survival are important biological processes involved in cirrhosis disease. More investigation of above mentioned proteins will provide a better understanding of cirrhosis disease. PMID:27099671

  10. Peptides and proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Bachovchin, W.W.; Unkefer, C.J.

    1994-12-01

    Advances in magnetic resonance and vibrational spectroscopy make it possible to derive detailed structural information about biomolecular structures in solution. These techniques are critically dependent on the availability of labeled compounds. For example, NMR techniques used today to derive peptide and protein structures require uniformity {sup 13}C-and {sup 15}N-labeled samples that are derived biosynthetically from (U-6-{sup 13}C) glucose. These experiments are possible now because, during the 1970s, the National Stable Isotope Resource developed algal methods for producing (U-6-{sup 13}C) glucose. If NMR techniques are to be used to study larger proteins, we will need sophisticated labelling patterns in amino acids that employ a combination of {sup 2}H, {sup 13}C, and {sup 15}N labeling. The availability of these specifically labeled amino acids requires a renewed investment in new methods for chemical synthesis of labeled amino acids. The development of new magnetic resonance or vibrational techniques to elucidate biomolecular structure will be seriously impeded if we do not see rapid progress in labeling technology. Investment in labeling chemistry is as important as investment in the development of advanced spectroscopic tools.

  11. Introduction to protein crystallization

    PubMed Central

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A.

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid–liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  12. Introduction to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid-liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies. PMID:24419610

  13. Chirality and protein folding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwiecinska, Joanna I.; Cieplak, Marek

    2005-05-01

    There are several simple criteria of folding to a native state in model proteins. One of them involves crossing of a threshold value of the root mean square deviation distance away from the native state. Another checks whether all native contacts are established, i.e. whether the interacting amino acids come closer than some characteristic distance. We use Go-like models of proteins and show that such simple criteria may prompt one to declare folding even though fragments of the resulting conformations have a wrong sense of chirality. We propose that a better condition of folding should augment the simple criteria with the requirement that most of the local values of the chirality should be nearly native. The kinetic discrepancy between the simple and compound criteria can be substantially reduced in the Go-like models by providing the Hamiltonian with a term which favours native values of the local chirality. We study the effects of this term as a function of its amplitude and compare it to other models such as ones with side groups and ones with angle-dependent potentials.

  14. Hyperquenching for protein cryocrystallography

    PubMed Central

    Warkentin, Matthew; Berejnov, Viatcheslav; Husseini, Naji S.; Thorne, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    When samples having volumes characteristic of protein crystals are plunge cooled in liquid nitrogen or propane, most cooling occurs in the cold gas layer above the liquid. By removing this cold gas layer, cooling rates for small samples and modest plunge velocities are increased to 1.5 × 104 K s−1, with increases of a factor of 100 over current best practice possible with 10 μm samples. Glycerol concentrations required to eliminate water crystallization in protein-free aqueous mixtures drop from ∼28% w/v to as low as 6% w/v. These results will allow many crystals to go from crystallization tray to liquid cryogen to X-ray beam without cryoprotectants. By reducing or eliminating the need for cryoprotectants in growth solutions, they may also simplify the search for crystallization conditions and for optimal screens. The results presented here resolve many puzzles, such as why plunge cooling in liquid nitrogen or propane has, until now, not yielded significantly better diffraction quality than gas-stream cooling. PMID:20461232

  15. Water-transporting proteins.

    PubMed

    Zeuthen, Thomas

    2010-04-01

    Transport through lipids and aquaporins is osmotic and entirely driven by the difference in osmotic pressure. Water transport in cotransporters and uniporters is different: Water can be cotransported, energized by coupling to the substrate flux by a mechanism closely associated with protein. In the K(+)/Cl(-) and the Na(+)/K(+)/2Cl(-) cotransporters, water is entirely cotransported, while water transport in glucose uniporters and Na(+)-coupled transporters of nutrients and neurotransmitters takes place by both osmosis and cotransport. The molecular mechanism behind cotransport of water is not clear. It is associated with the substrate movements in aqueous pathways within the protein; a conventional unstirred layer mechanism can be ruled out, due to high rates of diffusion in the cytoplasm. The physiological roles of the various modes of water transport are reviewed in relation to epithelial transport. Epithelial water transport is energized by the movements of ions, but how the coupling takes place is uncertain. All epithelia can transport water uphill against an osmotic gradient, which is hard to explain by simple osmosis. Furthermore, genetic removal of aquaporins has not given support to osmosis as the exclusive mode of transport. Water cotransport can explain the coupling between ion and water transport, a major fraction of transepithelial water transport and uphill water transport. Aquaporins enhance water transport by utilizing osmotic gradients and cause the osmolarity of the transportate to approach isotonicity. PMID:20091162

  16. Signature Product Code for Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Shawn B.; Brown, William M.

    2004-09-25

    The SigProdV1.0 software consists of four programs which together allow the prediction of protein-protein interactions using only amino acid sequences and experimental data. The software is based on the use of tensor products of amino acid trimers coupled with classifiers known as support vector machines. Essentially the program looks for amino acid trimer pairs which occur more frequently in protein pairs which are known to interact. These trimer pairs are then used to make predictions about unknown protein pairs. A detailed description of the method can be found in the paper: S. Martin, D. Roe, J.L. Faulon. "Predicting protein-protein interactions using signature products," Bioinformatics, available online from Advance Access, Aug. 19, 2004.

  17. Protein-protein interactions and genetic diseases: The Interactome

    PubMed Central

    Lage, Kasper

    2014-01-01

    Protein-protein interactions mediate essentially all biological processes. Despite the quality of these data being widely questioned a decade ago, the reproducibility of large-scale protein interaction data is now much improved and there is little question that the latest screens are of high quality. Moreover, common data standards and coordinated curation practices between the databases that collect the interactions have made these valuable data available to a wide group of researchers. Here, I will review how protein-protein interactions are measured, collected and quality controlled. I discuss how the architecture of molecular protein networks have informed disease biology, and how these data are now being computationally integrated with the newest genomic technologies, in particular genome-wide association studies and exome-sequencing projects, to improve our understanding of molecular processes perturbed by genetics in human diseases. PMID:24892209

  18. Protein secretion in Pichia pastoris and advances in protein production.

    PubMed

    Damasceno, Leonardo M; Huang, Chung-Jr; Batt, Carl A

    2012-01-01

    Yeast expression systems have been successfully used for over 20 years for the production of recombinant proteins. With the growing interest in recombinant protein expression for various uses, yeast expression systems, such as the popular Pichia pastoris, are becoming increasingly important. Although P. pastoris has been successfully used in the production of many secreted and intracellular recombinant proteins, there is still room for improvement of this expression system. In particular, secretion of recombinant proteins is still one of the main reasons for using P. pastoris. Therefore, endoplasmic reticulum protein folding, correct glycosylation, vesicular transport to the plasma membrane, gene dosage, secretion signal sequences, and secretome studies are important considerations for improved recombinant protein production. PMID:22057543

  19. Mitochondrial nucleoid interacting proteins support mitochondrial protein synthesis

    PubMed Central

    He, J.; Cooper, H. M.; Reyes, A.; Di Re, M.; Sembongi, H.; Litwin, T. R.; Gao, J.; Neuman, K. C.; Fearnley, I. M.; Spinazzola, A.; Walker, J. E.; Holt, I. J.

    2012-01-01

    Mitochondrial ribosomes and translation factors co-purify with mitochondrial nucleoids of human cells, based on affinity protein purification of tagged mitochondrial DNA binding proteins. Among the most frequently identified proteins were ATAD3 and prohibitin, which have been identified previously as nucleoid components, using a variety of methods. Both proteins are demonstrated to be required for mitochondrial protein synthesis in human cultured cells, and the major binding partner of ATAD3 is the mitochondrial ribosome. Altered ATAD3 expression also perturbs mtDNA maintenance and replication. These findings suggest an intimate association between nucleoids and the machinery of protein synthesis in mitochondria. ATAD3 and prohibitin are tightly associated with the mitochondrial membranes and so we propose that they support nucleic acid complexes at the inner membrane of the mitochondrion. PMID:22453275

  20. Protein-water dynamics in antifreeze protein III activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Xu, Yao; Bäumer, Alexander; Meister, Konrad; Bischak, Connor G.; DeVries, Arthur L.; Leitner, David M.; Havenith, Martina

    2016-03-01

    We combine Terahertz absorption spectroscopy (THz) and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to investigate the underlying molecular mechanism for the antifreeze activity of one class of antifreeze protein, antifreeze protein type III (AFP-III) with a focus on the collective water hydrogen bond dynamics near the protein. After summarizing our previous work on AFPs, we present a new investigation of the effects of cosolutes on protein antifreeze activity by adding sodium citrate to the protein solution of AFP-III. Our results reveal that for AFP-III, unlike some other AFPs, the addition of the osmolyte sodium citrate does not affect the hydrogen bond dynamics at the protein surface significantly, as indicated by concentration dependent THz measurements. The present data, in combination with our previous THz measurements and molecular simulations, confirm that while long-range solvent perturbation is a necessary condition for the antifreeze activity of AFP-III, the local binding affinity determines the size of the hysteresis.

  1. Revisiting the Voronoi description of protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Cazals, Frédéric; Proust, Flavien; Bahadur, Ranjit P; Janin, Joël

    2006-09-01

    We developed a model of macromolecular interfaces based on the Voronoi diagram and the related alpha-complex, and we tested its properties on a set of 96 protein-protein complexes taken from the Protein Data Bank. The Voronoi model provides a natural definition of the interfaces, and it yields values of the number of interface atoms and of the interface area that have excellent correlation coefficients with those of the classical model based on solvent accessibility. Nevertheless, some atoms that do not lose solvent accessibility are part of the interface defined by the Voronoi model. The Voronoi model provides robust definitions of the curvature and of the connectivity of the interfaces, and leads to estimates of these features that generally agree with other approaches. Our implementation of the model allows an analysis of protein-water contacts that highlights the role of structural water molecules at protein-protein interfaces. PMID:16943442

  2. Signature Product Code for Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (ESTSC)

    2004-09-25

    The SigProdV1.0 software consists of four programs which together allow the prediction of protein-protein interactions using only amino acid sequences and experimental data. The software is based on the use of tensor products of amino acid trimers coupled with classifiers known as support vector machines. Essentially the program looks for amino acid trimer pairs which occur more frequently in protein pairs which are known to interact. These trimer pairs are then used to make predictionsmore » about unknown protein pairs. A detailed description of the method can be found in the paper: S. Martin, D. Roe, J.L. Faulon. "Predicting protein-protein interactions using signature products," Bioinformatics, available online from Advance Access, Aug. 19, 2004.« less

  3. Proteins interacting with cloning scars: a source of false positive protein-protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    Banks, Charles A. S.; Boanca, Gina; Lee, Zachary T.; Florens, Laurence; Washburn, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    A common approach for exploring the interactome, the network of protein-protein interactions in cells, uses a commercially available ORF library to express affinity tagged bait proteins; these can be expressed in cells and endogenous cellular proteins that copurify with the bait can be identified as putative interacting proteins using mass spectrometry. Control experiments can be used to limit false-positive results, but in many cases, there are still a surprising number of prey proteins that appear to copurify specifically with the bait. Here, we have identified one source of false-positive interactions in such studies. We have found that a combination of: 1) the variable sequence of the C-terminus of the bait with 2) a C-terminal valine “cloning scar” present in a commercially available ORF library, can in some cases create a peptide motif that results in the aberrant co-purification of endogenous cellular proteins. Control experiments may not identify false positives resulting from such artificial motifs, as aberrant binding depends on sequences that vary from one bait to another. It is possible that such cryptic protein binding might occur in other systems using affinity tagged proteins; this study highlights the importance of conducting careful follow-up studies where novel protein-protein interactions are suspected. PMID:25704442

  4. Characterization of Protein Complexes and Subcomplexes in Protein-Protein Interaction Databases

    PubMed Central

    Zaki, Nazar; Mohamed, Elfadil A.; Mora, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    The identification and characterization of protein complexes implicated in protein-protein interaction data are crucial to the understanding of the molecular events under normal and abnormal physiological conditions. This paper provides a novel characterization of subcomplexes in protein interaction databases, stressing definition and representation issues, quantification, biological validation, network metrics, motifs, modularity, and gene ontology (GO) terms. The paper introduces the concept of “nested group” as a way to represent subcomplexes and estimates that around 15% of those nested group with the higher Jaccard index may be a result of data artifacts in protein interaction databases, while a number of them can be found in biologically important modular structures or dynamic structures. We also found that network centralities, enrichment in essential proteins, GO terms related to regulation, imperfect 5-clique motifs, and higher GO homogeneity can be used to identify proteins in nested complexes. PMID:25722891

  5. A computational system for modelling flexible protein-protein and protein-DNA docking.

    PubMed

    Sternberg, M J; Aloy, P; Gabb, H A; Jackson, R M; Moont, G; Querol, E; Aviles, F X

    1998-01-01

    A computational system is described that predicts the structure of protein/protein and protein/DNA complexes starting from unbound coordinate sets. The approach is (i) a global search with rigid-body docking for complexes with shape complementarity and favourable electrostatics; (ii) use of distance constraints from experimental (or predicted) knowledge of critical residues; (iii) use of pair potential to screen docked complexes and (iv) refinement and further screening by protein-side chain optimisation and interfacial energy minimisation. The system has been applied to model ten protein/protein and eight protein-repressor/DNA (steps i to iii only) complexes. In general a few complexes, one of which is close to the true structure, can be generated. PMID:9783224

  6. Proteins aggregation and human diseases

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Chin-Kun

    2015-04-01

    Many human diseases and the death of most supercentenarians are related to protein aggregation. Neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease (AD), Huntington's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), frontotemporallobar degeneration, etc. Such diseases are due to progressive loss of structure or function of neurons caused by protein aggregation. For example, AD is considered to be related to aggregation of Aβ40 (peptide with 40 amino acids) and Aβ42 (peptide with 42 amino acids) and HD is considered to be related to aggregation of polyQ (polyglutamine) peptides. In this paper, we briefly review our recent discovery of key factors for protein aggregation. We used a lattice model to study the aggregation rates of proteins and found that the probability for a protein sequence to appear in the conformation of the aggregated state can be used to determine the temperature at which proteins can aggregate most quickly. We used molecular dynamics and simple models of polymer chains to study relaxation and aggregation of proteins under various conditions and found that when the bending-angle dependent and torsion-angle dependent interactions are zero or very small, then protein chains tend to aggregate at lower temperatures. All atom models were used to identify a key peptide chain for the aggregation of insulin chains and to find that two polyQ chains prefer anti-parallel conformation. It is pointed out that in many cases, protein aggregation does not result from protein mis-folding. A potential drug from Chinese medicine was found for Alzheimer's disease.

  7. Protein Adaptations in Archaeal Extremophiles

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Christopher J.; Lewis, Hunter; Trejo, Eric; Winston, Vern; Evilia, Caryn

    2013-01-01

    Extremophiles, especially those in Archaea, have a myriad of adaptations that keep their cellular proteins stable and active under the extreme conditions in which they live. Rather than having one basic set of adaptations that works for all environments, Archaea have evolved separate protein features that are customized for each environment. We categorized the Archaea into three general groups to describe what is known about their protein adaptations: thermophilic, psychrophilic, and halophilic. Thermophilic proteins tend to have a prominent hydrophobic core and increased electrostatic interactions to maintain activity at high temperatures. Psychrophilic proteins have a reduced hydrophobic core and a less charged protein surface to maintain flexibility and activity under cold temperatures. Halophilic proteins are characterized by increased negative surface charge due to increased acidic amino acid content and peptide insertions, which compensates for the extreme ionic conditions. While acidophiles, alkaliphiles, and piezophiles are their own class of Archaea, their protein adaptations toward pH and pressure are less discernible. By understanding the protein adaptations used by archaeal extremophiles, we hope to be able to engineer and utilize proteins for industrial, environmental, and biotechnological applications where function in extreme conditions is required for activity. PMID:24151449

  8. Laboratory-Directed Protein Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Ling; Kurek, Itzhak; English, James; Keenan, Robert

    2005-01-01

    Systematic approaches to directed evolution of proteins have been documented since the 1970s. The ability to recruit new protein functions arises from the considerable substrate ambiguity of many proteins. The substrate ambiguity of a protein can be interpreted as the evolutionary potential that allows a protein to acquire new specificities through mutation or to regain function via mutations that differ from the original protein sequence. All organisms have evolutionarily exploited this substrate ambiguity. When exploited in a laboratory under controlled mutagenesis and selection, it enables a protein to “evolve” in desired directions. One of the most effective strategies in directed protein evolution is to gradually accumulate mutations, either sequentially or by recombination, while applying selective pressure. This is typically achieved by the generation of libraries of mutants followed by efficient screening of these libraries for targeted functions and subsequent repetition of the process using improved mutants from the previous screening. Here we review some of the successful strategies in creating protein diversity and the more recent progress in directed protein evolution in a wide range of scientific disciplines and its impacts in chemical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural sciences. PMID:16148303

  9. EH domain proteins regulate cardiac membrane protein targeting

    PubMed Central

    Gudmundsson, Hjalti; Hund, Thomas J.; Wright, Patrick J.; Kline, Crystal F.; Snyder, Jedidiah S.; Qian, Lan; Koval, Olha M.; Cunha, Shane R.; George, Manju; Rainey, Mark A.; Kashef, Farshid E.; Dun, Wen; Boyden, Penelope A.; Anderson, Mark E.; Band, Hamid; Mohler, Peter J.

    2010-01-01

    Rationale Cardiac membrane excitability is tightly regulated by an integrated network of membrane-associated ion channels, transporters, receptors, and signaling molecules. Membrane protein dynamics in health and disease are maintained by a complex ensemble of intracellular targeting, scaffolding, recycling, and degradation pathways. Surprisingly, despite decades of research linking dysfunction in membrane protein trafficking with human cardiovascular disease, essentially nothing is known regarding the molecular identity or function of these intracellular targeting pathways in excitable cardiomyocytes. Objective We sought to discover novel pathways for membrane protein targeting in primary cardiomyocytes. Methods and Results We report the initial characterization of a large family of membrane trafficking proteins in human heart. We employed a tissue-wide screen for novel ankyrin-associated trafficking proteins and identified four members of a unique Eps15 homology (EH) domain-containing protein family (EHD1, EHD2, EHD3, EHD4) that serve critical roles in endosome-based membrane protein targeting in other cell types. We show that EHD1-4 directly associate with ankyrin, provide the first information on the expression and localization of these molecules in primary cardiomyocytes, and demonstrate that EHD1-4 are co-expressed with ankyrin-B in the myocyte perinuclear region. Notably, the expression of multiple EHD proteins is increased in animal models lacking ankyrin-B, and EHD3-deficient cardiomyocytes display aberrant ankyrin-B localization and selective loss of Na/Ca exchanger expression and function. Finally, we report significant modulation of EHD expression following myocardial infarction, suggesting that these proteins may play a key role in regulating membrane excitability in normal and diseased heart. Conclusions Our findings identify and characterize a new class of cardiac trafficking proteins, define the first group of proteins associated with the ankyrin

  10. Geminivirus C3 Protein: Replication Enhancement and Protein Interactions

    PubMed Central

    Settlage, Sharon B.; See, Renee G.; Hanley-Bowdoin, Linda

    2005-01-01

    Most dicot-infecting geminiviruses encode a replication enhancer protein (C3, AL3, or REn) that is required for optimal replication of their small, single-stranded DNA genomes. C3 interacts with C1, the essential viral replication protein that initiates rolling circle replication. C3 also homo-oligomerizes and interacts with at least two host-encoded proteins, proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and the retinoblastoma-related protein (pRBR). It has been proposed that protein interactions contribute to C3 function. Using the C3 protein of Tomato yellow leaf curl virus, we examined the impact of mutations to amino acids that are conserved across the C3 protein family on replication enhancement and protein interactions. Surprisingly, many of the mutations did not affect replication enhancement activity of C3 in tobacco protoplasts. Other mutations either enhanced or were detrimental to C3 replication activity. Analysis of mutated proteins in yeast two-hybrid assays indicated that mutations that inactivate C3 replication enhancement activity also reduce or inactivate C3 oligomerization and interaction with C1 and PCNA. In contrast, mutated C3 proteins impaired for pRBR binding are fully functional in replication assays. Hydrophobic residues in the middle of the C3 protein were implicated in C3 interaction with itself, C1, and PCNA, while polar resides at both the N and C termini of the protein are important for C3-pRBR interaction. These experiments established the importance of C3-C3, C3-C1, and C3-PCNA interactions in geminivirus replication. While C3-pRBR interaction is not required for viral replication in cycling cells, it may play a role during infection of differentiated cells in intact plants. PMID:16014949

  11. Essential protein identification based on essential protein-protein interaction prediction by Integrated Edge Weights.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yuexu; Wang, Yan; Pang, Wei; Chen, Liang; Sun, Huiyan; Liang, Yanchun; Blanzieri, Enrico

    2015-07-15

    Essential proteins play a crucial role in cellular survival and development process. Experimentally, essential proteins are identified by gene knockouts or RNA interference, which are expensive and often fatal to the target organisms. Regarding this, an alternative yet important approach to essential protein identification is through computational prediction. Existing computational methods predict essential proteins based on their relative densities in a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network. Degree, betweenness, and other appropriate criteria are often used to measure the relative density. However, no matter what criterion is used, a protein is actually ordered by the attributes of this protein per se. In this research, we presented a novel computational method, Integrated Edge Weights (IEW), to first rank protein-protein interactions by integrating their edge weights, and then identified sub PPI networks consisting of those highly-ranked edges, and finally regarded the nodes in these sub networks as essential proteins. We evaluated IEW on three model organisms: Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The experimental results showed that IEW achieved better performance than the state-of-the-art methods in terms of precision-recall and Jackknife measures. We had also demonstrated that IEW is a robust and effective method, which can retrieve biologically significant modules by its highly-ranked protein-protein interactions for S. cerevisiae, E. coli, and C. elegans. We believe that, with sufficient data provided, IEW can be used to any other organisms' essential protein identification. A website about IEW can be accessed from http://digbio.missouri.edu/IEW/index.html. PMID:25892709

  12. Protein degradation and protection against misfolded or damaged proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goldberg, Alfred L.

    2003-12-01

    The ultimate mechanism that cells use to ensure the quality of intracellular proteins is the selective destruction of misfolded or damaged polypeptides. In eukaryotic cells, the large ATP-dependent proteolytic machine, the 26S proteasome, prevents the accumulation of non-functional, potentially toxic proteins. This process is of particular importance in protecting cells against harsh conditions (for example, heat shock or oxidative stress) and in a variety of diseases (for example, cystic fibrosis and the major neurodegenerative diseases). A full understanding of the pathogenesis of the protein-folding diseases will require greater knowledge of how misfolded proteins are recognized and selectively degraded.

  13. Membrane Protein Solubilization and Composition of Protein Detergent Complexes.

    PubMed

    Duquesne, Katia; Prima, Valérie; Sturgis, James N

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are typically expressed in heterologous systems with a view to in vitro characterization. A critical step in the preparation of membrane proteins after expression in any system is the solubilization of the protein in aqueous solution, typically using detergents and lipids, to obtain the protein in a form suitable for purification, structural or functional analysis. This process is particularly difficult as the objective is to prepare the protein in an unnatural environment, a protein detergent complex, separating it from its natural lipid partners while causing the minimum destabilization or modification of the structure. Although the process is difficult, and relatively hard to master, an increasing number of membrane proteins have been successfully isolated after expression in a wide variety of systems. In this chapter we give a general protocol for preparing protein detergent complexes that is aimed at guiding the reader through the different critical steps. In the second part of the chapter we illustrate how to analyze the composition of protein detergent complexes; this analysis is important as it has been found that compositional variation often causes irreproducible results. PMID:27485340

  14. Protein-protein interactions and prediction: a comprehensive overview.

    PubMed

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Ranganathan, Shoba

    2014-01-01

    Molecular function in cellular processes is governed by protein-protein interactions (PPIs) within biological networks. Selective yet specific association of these protein partners contributes to diverse functionality such as catalysis, regulation, assembly, immunity, and inhibition in a cell. Therefore, understanding the principles of protein-protein association has been of immense interest for several decades. We provide an overview of the experimental methods used to determine PPIs and the key databases archiving this information. Structural and functional information of existing protein complexes confers knowledge on the principles of PPI, based on which a classification scheme for PPIs is then introduced. Obtaining high-quality non-redundant datasets of protein complexes for interaction characterisation is an essential step towards deciphering their underlying binding principles. Analysis of physicochemical features and their documentation has enhanced our understanding of the molecular basis of protein-protein association. We describe the diverse datasets created/collected by various groups and their key findings inferring distinguishing features. The currently available interface databases and prediction servers have also been compiled. PMID:23855658

  15. Novel computational methods to design protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Alice Qinhua; O'Hern, Corey; Regan, Lynne

    2014-03-01

    Despite the abundance of structural data, we still cannot accurately predict the structural and energetic changes resulting from mutations at protein interfaces. The inadequacy of current computational approaches to the analysis and design of protein-protein interactions has hampered the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic agents. In this work, we apply a simple physical model that includes only a minimal set of geometrical constraints, excluded volume, and attractive van der Waals interactions to 1) rank the binding affinity of mutants of tetratricopeptide repeat proteins with their cognate peptides, 2) rank the energetics of binding of small designed proteins to the hydrophobic stem region of the influenza hemagglutinin protein, and 3) predict the stability of T4 lysozyme and staphylococcal nuclease mutants. This work will not only lead to a fundamental understanding of protein-protein interactions, but also to the development of efficient computational methods to rationally design protein interfaces with tunable specificity and affinity, and numerous applications in biomedicine. NSF DMR-1006537, PHY-1019147, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

  16. Nanosecond Relaxation Dynamics of Hydrated Proteins: Water versus protein contributions

    SciTech Connect

    Khodadadi, S; Curtis, J. E.; Sokolov, Alexei P

    2011-01-01

    We have studied picosecond to nanosecond dynamics of hydrated protein powders using dielectric spectroscopy and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. Our analysis of hydrogen-atom single particle dynamics from MD simulations focused on main ( main tens of picoseconds) and slow ( slow nanosecond) relaxation processes that were observed in dielectric spectra of similar hydrated protein samples. Traditionally, the interpretation of these processes observed in dielectric spectra has been ascribed to the relaxation behavior of hydration water tightly bounded to a protein and not to protein atoms. Detailed analysis of the MD simulations and comparison to dielectric data indicate that the observed relaxation process in the nanosecond time range of hydrated protein spectra is mainly due to protein atoms. The relaxation processes involve the entire structure of protein including atoms in the protein backbone, side chains, and turns. Both surface and buried protein atoms contribute to the slow processes; however, surface atoms demonstrate slightly faster relaxation dynamics. Analysis of the water molecule residence and dipolar relaxation correlation behavior indicates that the hydration water relaxes at much shorter time scales.

  17. Protein-protein interface prediction based on hexagon structure similarity.

    PubMed

    Guo, Fei; Ding, Yijie; Li, Shuai Cheng; Shen, Chao; Wang, Lusheng

    2016-08-01

    Studies on protein-protein interaction are important in proteome research. How to build more effective models based on sequence information, structure information and physicochemical characteristics, is the key technology in protein-protein interface prediction. In this paper, we study the protein-protein interface prediction problem. We propose a novel method for identifying residues on interfaces from an input protein with both sequence and 3D structure information, based on hexagon structure similarity. Experiments show that our method achieves better results than some state-of-the-art methods for identifying protein-protein interface. Comparing to existing methods, our approach improves F-measure value by at least 0.03. On a common dataset consisting of 41 complexes, our method has overall precision and recall values of 63% and 57%. On Benchmark v4.0, our method has overall precision and recall values of 55% and 56%. On CAPRI targets, our method has overall precision and recall values of 52% and 55%. PMID:26936323

  18. Noninvasive imaging of protein-protein interactions in living animals

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luker, Gary D.; Sharma, Vijay; Pica, Christina M.; Dahlheimer, Julie L.; Li, Wei; Ochesky, Joseph; Ryan, Christine E.; Piwnica-Worms, Helen; Piwnica-Worms, David

    2002-05-01

    Protein-protein interactions control transcription, cell division, and cell proliferation as well as mediate signal transduction, oncogenic transformation, and regulation of cell death. Although a variety of methods have been used to investigate protein interactions in vitro and in cultured cells, none can analyze these interactions in intact, living animals. To enable noninvasive molecular imaging of protein-protein interactions in vivo by positron-emission tomography and fluorescence imaging, we engineered a fusion reporter gene comprising a mutant herpes simplex virus 1 thymidine kinase and green fluorescent protein for readout of a tetracycline-inducible, two-hybrid system in vivo. By using micro-positron-emission tomography, interactions between p53 tumor suppressor and the large T antigen of simian virus 40 were visualized in tumor xenografts of HeLa cells stably transfected with the imaging constructs. Imaging protein-binding partners in vivo will enable functional proteomics in whole animals and provide a tool for screening compounds targeted to specific protein-protein interactions in living animals.

  19. Methods for analyzing and quantifying protein-protein interaction.

    PubMed

    Syafrizayanti; Betzen, Christian; Hoheisel, Jörg D; Kastelic, Damjana

    2014-02-01

    Genome sequencing has led to the identification of many proteins, which had not been recognized before. In consequence, the basic set of human proteins is generally known. Far less information, however, exists about protein-protein interactions, which are required and responsible for cellular activities and their control. Many protein isoforms that result from mutations, splice-variations and post-translational modifications also come into play. Until recently, interactions of only few protein partners could be analyzed in a single experiment. However, this does not meet the challenge of investigating the highly complex interaction patterns in cellular systems. It is made even more demanding by the need to determine the intensity of interactions quantitatively in order to properly understand protein interplay. Currently available techniques vary with respect to accuracy, reliability, reproducibility and throughput and their performances range from a mere qualitative demonstration of binding to a quantitative characterization of affinities. In this article, an overview is given of the methodologies available for analysis of protein-protein interactions. PMID:24393018

  20. Cry Protein Crystals: A Novel Platform for Protein Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A.; Dean, Donald H.; Ostrowski, Michael C.; Burry, Richard W.; Boyaka, Prosper N.; Chan, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Protein delivery platforms are important tools in the development of novel protein therapeutics and biotechnologies. We have developed a new class of protein delivery agent based on sub-micrometer-sized Cry3Aa protein crystals that naturally form within the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. We demonstrate that fusion of the cry3Aa gene to that of various reporter proteins allows for the facile production of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals for use in subsequent applications. These Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals are efficiently taken up and retained by macrophages and other cell lines in vitro, and can be delivered to mice in vivo via multiple modes of administration. Oral delivery of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals to C57BL/6 mice leads to their uptake by MHC class II cells, including macrophages in the Peyer’s patches, supporting the notion that the Cry3Aa framework can be used to stabilize cargo protein against degradation for delivery to gastrointestinal lymphoid tissues. PMID:26030844