Science.gov

Sample records for apicomplexan glideosome-associated proteins

  1. Protein trafficking in apicomplexan parasites: crossing the vacuolar Rubicon.

    PubMed

    Haldar, Kasturi

    2016-08-01

    Although apicomplexans like the blood stages of Plasmodium and the actively replicating 'tachyzoite' stage of Toxoplasma infect very dissimilar host cells, recent studies suggest they share molecular commonalities amongst differences at the parasitophorous vacuolar membrane (PVM) surrounding these intracellular parasites. A protein translocation export (PTEX) complex in the PVM of Plasmodium, is functionally informed by findings in Toxoplasma. Lipids play a role in trafficking to and across the PVM. Toxoplasma exploit an orthologue of a plasmodial secretory aspartyl protease but substrate cleavage yields a signal for targeting to the PVM, rather than directly to the host cell. The studies significantly advance understanding of how trafficking to and across the host-pathogen PVM boundary induces virulence and disease in different host milieu.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    SciTech Connect

    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

    2015-08-24

    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.

  7. Allosteric activation of apicomplexan calcium-dependent protein kinases

    DOE PAGES

    Ingram, Jessica R.; Knockenhauer, Kevin E.; Markus, Benedikt M.; ...

    2015-08-24

    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,more » 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.« less

  8. Holding back the microfilament--structural insights into actin and the actin-monomer-binding proteins of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Olshina, Maya A; Wong, Wilson; Baum, Jake

    2012-05-01

    Parasites from the phylum Apicomplexa are responsible for several major diseases of man, including malaria and toxoplasmosis. These highly motile protozoa use a conserved actomyosin-based mode of movement to power tissue traversal and host cell invasion. The mode termed as 'gliding motility' relies on the dynamic turnover of actin, whose polymerisation state is controlled by a markedly limited number of identifiable regulators when compared with other eukaryotic cells. Recent studies of apicomplexan actin regulator structure-in particular those of the core triad of monomer-binding proteins, actin-depolymerising factor/cofilin, cyclase-associated protein/Srv2, and profilin-have provided new insights into possible mechanisms of actin regulation in parasite cells, highlighting divergent structural features and functions to regulators from other cellular systems. Furthermore, the unusual nature of apicomplexan actin itself is increasingly coming into the spotlight. Here, we review recent advances in understanding of the structure and function of actin and its regulators in apicomplexan parasites. In particular we explore the paradox between there being an abundance of unpolymerised actin, its having a seemingly increased potential to form filaments relative to vertebrate actin, and the apparent lack of visible, stable filaments in parasite cells.

  9. The origins of apicomplexan sequence innovation

    PubMed Central

    Wasmuth, James; Daub, Jennifer; Peregrín-Alvarez, José Manuel; Finney, Constance A.M.; Parkinson, John

    2009-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a group of phylogenetically related parasitic protists that include Plasmodium, Cryptosporidium, and Toxoplasma. Together they are a major global burden on human health and economics. To meet this challenge, several international consortia have generated vast amounts of sequence data for many of these parasites. Here, we exploit these data to perform a systematic analysis of protein family and domain incidence across the phylum. A total of 87,736 protein sequences were collected from 15 apicomplexan species. These were compared with three protein databases, including the partial genome database, PartiGeneDB, which increases the breadth of taxonomic coverage. From these searches we constructed taxonomic profiles that reveal the extent of apicomplexan sequence diversity. Sequences without a significant match outside the phylum were denoted as apicomplexan specialized. These were collated into 9134 discrete protein families and placed in the context of the apicomplexan phylogeny, identifying the putative origin of each family. Most apicomplexan families were associated with an individual genus or species. Interestingly, many genera-specific innovations were associated with specialized host cell invasion and/or parasite survival processes. Contrastingly, those families reflecting more ancestral relationships were enriched in generalized housekeeping functions such as translation and transcription, which have diverged within the apicomplexan lineage. Protein domain searches revealed 192 domains not previously reported in apicomplexans together with a number of novel domain combinations. We highlight domains that may be important to parasite survival. PMID:19363216

  10. Cytoskeleton of Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Morrissette, Naomi S.; Sibley, L. David

    2002-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a phylum of diverse obligate intracellular parasites including Plasmodium spp., the cause of malaria; Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum, opportunistic pathogens of immunocompromised individuals; and Eimeria spp. and Theileria spp., parasites of considerable agricultural importance. These protozoan parasites share distinctive morphological features, cytoskeletal organization, and modes of replication, motility, and invasion. This review summarizes our current understanding of the cytoskeletal elements, the properties of cytoskeletal proteins, and the role of the cytoskeleton in polarity, motility, invasion, and replication. We discuss the unusual properties of actin and myosin in the Apicomplexa, the highly stereotyped microtubule populations in apicomplexans, and a network of recently discovered novel intermediate filament-like elements in these parasites. PMID:11875126

  11. Genomics of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Parkinson, John

    2017-02-22

    The increasing prevalence of infections involving intracellular apicomplexan parasites such as Plasmodium, Toxoplasma, and Cryptosporidium (the causative agents of malaria, toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis, respectively) represent a significant global healthcare burden. Despite their significance, few treatments are available; a situation that is likely to deteriorate with the emergence of new resistant strains of parasites. To lay the foundation for programs of drug discovery and vaccine development, genome sequences for many of these organisms have been generated, together with large-scale expression and proteomic datasets. Comparative analyses of these datasets are beginning to identify the molecular innovations supporting both conserved processes mediating fundamental roles in parasite survival and persistence, as well as lineage-specific adaptations associated with divergent life-cycle strategies. The challenge is how best to exploit these data to derive insights into parasite virulence and identify those genes representing the most amenable targets. In this review, we outline genomic datasets currently available for apicomplexans and discuss biological insights that have emerged as a consequence of their analysis. Of particular interest are systems-based resources, focusing on areas of metabolism and host invasion that are opening up opportunities for discovering new therapeutic targets.

  12. Members of a Novel Protein Family Containing Microneme Adhesive Repeat Domains Act as Sialic Acid-binding Lectins during Host Cell Invasion by Apicomplexan Parasites*

    PubMed Central

    Friedrich, Nikolas; Santos, Joana M.; Liu, Yan; Palma, Angelina S.; Leon, Ester; Saouros, Savvas; Kiso, Makoto; Blackman, Michael J.; Matthews, Stephen; Feizi, Ten; Soldati-Favre, Dominique

    2010-01-01

    Numerous intracellular pathogens exploit cell surface glycoconjugates for host cell recognition and entry. Unlike bacteria and viruses, Toxoplasma gondii and other parasites of the phylum Apicomplexa actively invade host cells, and this process critically depends on adhesins (microneme proteins) released onto the parasite surface from intracellular organelles called micronemes (MIC). The microneme adhesive repeat (MAR) domain of T. gondii MIC1 (TgMIC1) recognizes sialic acid (Sia), a key determinant on the host cell surface for invasion by this pathogen. By complementation and invasion assays, we demonstrate that TgMIC1 is one important player in Sia-dependent invasion and that another novel Sia-binding lectin, designated TgMIC13, is also involved. Using BLAST searches, we identify a family of MAR-containing proteins in enteroparasitic coccidians, a subclass of apicomplexans, including T. gondii, suggesting that all these parasites exploit sialylated glycoconjugates on host cells as determinants for enteric invasion. Furthermore, this protein family might provide a basis for the broad host cell range observed for coccidians that form tissue cysts during chronic infection. Carbohydrate microarray analyses, corroborated by structural considerations, show that TgMIC13, TgMIC1, and its homologue Neospora caninum MIC1 (NcMIC1) share a preference for α2–3- over α2–6-linked sialyl-N-acetyllactosamine sequences. However, the three lectins also display differences in binding preferences. Intense binding of TgMIC13 to α2–9-linked disialyl sequence reported on embryonal cells and relatively strong binding to 4-O-acetylated-Sia found on gut epithelium and binding of NcMIC1 to 6′sulfo-sialyl Lewisx might have implications for tissue tropism. PMID:19901027

  13. Isoprenoid metabolism in apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Imlay, Leah; Odom, Audrey R.

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites include some of the most prevalent and deadly human pathogens. Novel antiparasitic drugs are urgently needed. Synthesis and metabolism of isoprenoids may present multiple targets for therapeutic intervention. The apicoplast-localized methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway for isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis is distinct from the mevalonate (MVA) pathway used by the mammalian host, and this pathway is apparently essential in most Apicomplexa. In this review, we discuss the current field of research on production and metabolic fates of isoprenoids in apicomplexan parasites, including the acquisition of host isoprenoid precursors and downstream products. We describe recent work identifying the first MEP pathway regulator in apicomplexan parasites, and introduce several promising areas for ongoing research into this well-validated antiparasitic target. PMID:25893156

  14. Evolution of apicomplexan secretory organelles

    PubMed Central

    Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Duraisingh, Manoj T.

    2013-01-01

    The alveolate superphylum includes many free-living and parasitic organisms, which are united by the presence of alveolar sacs lying proximal to the plasma membrane, providing cell structure. All species comprising the apicomplexan group of alveolates are parasites and have adapted to the unique requirements of the parasitic lifestyle. Here the evolution of apicomplexan secretory organelles that are involved in the critical process of egress from one cell and invasion of another is explored. The variations within the Apicomplexa and how these relate to species-specific biology will be discussed. In addition, recent studies have identified specific calcium-sensitive molecules that coordinate the various events and regulate the release of these secretory organelles within apicomplexan parasites. Some aspects of this machinery are conserved outside the Apicomplexa, and are beginning to elucidate the conserved nature of the machinery. Briefly, the relationship of this secretion machinery within the Apicomplexa will be discussed, compared with free-living and predatory alveolates, and how these might have evolved from a common ancestor. PMID:23068912

  15. 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

  16. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites

    PubMed Central

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V.; Miller, Catherine M.; Fairweather, Stephen J.; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C.; Cockburn, Ian A.; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G.

    2017-01-01

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family—the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)—play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites. PMID:28205520

  17. Cationic amino acid transporters play key roles in the survival and transmission of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Rajendran, Esther; Hapuarachchi, Sanduni V; Miller, Catherine M; Fairweather, Stephen J; Cai, Yeping; Smith, Nicholas C; Cockburn, Ian A; Bröer, Stefan; Kirk, Kiaran; van Dooren, Giel G

    2017-02-16

    Apicomplexans are obligate intracellular parasites that scavenge essential nutrients from their hosts via transporter proteins on their plasma membrane. The identities of the transporters that mediate amino acid uptake into apicomplexans are unknown. Here we demonstrate that members of an apicomplexan-specific protein family-the Novel Putative Transporters (NPTs)-play key roles in the uptake of cationic amino acids. We show that an NPT from Toxoplasma gondii (TgNPT1) is a selective arginine transporter that is essential for parasite survival and virulence. We also demonstrate that a homologue of TgNPT1 from the malaria parasite Plasmodium berghei (PbNPT1), shown previously to be essential for the sexual gametocyte stage of the parasite, is a cationic amino acid transporter. This reveals a role for cationic amino acid scavenging in gametocyte biology. Our study demonstrates a critical role for amino acid transporters in the survival, virulence and life cycle progression of these parasites.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. New roles for perforins and proteases in apicomplexan egress.

    PubMed

    Roiko, Marijo S; Carruthers, Vern B

    2009-10-01

    Egress is a pivotal step in the life cycle of intracellular pathogens initiating the transition from an expiring host cell to a fresh target cell. While much attention has been focused on understanding cell invasion by intracellular pathogens, recent work is providing a new appreciation of mechanisms and therapeutic potential of microbial egress. This review highlights recent insight into cell egress by apicomplexan parasites and emerging contributions of membranolytic and proteolytic secretory products, along with host proteases. New findings suggest that Toxoplasma gondii secretes a pore-forming protein, TgPLP1, during egress that facilitates parasite escape from the cell by perforating the parasitophorous membrane. Also, in a cascade of proteolytic events, Plasmodium falciparum late-stage schizonts activate and secrete a subtilisin, PfSUB1, which processes enigmatic putative proteases called serine-repeat antigens that contribute to merozoite egress. A new report also suggests that calcium-activated host proteases called calpains aid parasite exit, possibly by acting upon the host cytoskeleton. Together these discoveries reveal important new molecular players involved in the principal steps of egress by apicomplexans.

  1. 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

    2016-09-08

    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.

  2. The calcium signaling toolkit of the Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium spp.

    PubMed

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N J

    2015-03-01

    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 (Ca(2+)) 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 Ca(2+) 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 Ca(2+) 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 Ca(2+)-ATPases are present in Apicomplexans and a putative mitochondrial Ca(2+)/H(+) exchanger has been identified. Apicomplexan genomes contain numerous genes encoding Ca(2+)-binding proteins, with the notable expansion of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), whose study has revealed 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 Ca(2+) 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 Ca(2+) in these parasites.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Genome cartography: charting the apicomplexan genome.

    PubMed

    Kissinger, Jessica C; DeBarry, Jeremy

    2011-08-01

    Genes reside in particular genomic contexts that can be mapped at many levels. Historically, 'genetic maps' were used primarily to locate genes. Recent technological advances in the determination of genome sequences have made the analysis and comparison of whole genomes possible and increasingly tractable. What do we see if we shift our focus from gene content (the 'inventory' of genes contained within a genome) to the composition and organization of a genome? This review examines what has been learned about the evolution of the apicomplexan genome as well as the significance and impact of genomic location on our understanding of the eukaryotic genome and parasite biology.

  6. Marine gregarines: evolutionary prelude to the apicomplexan radiation?

    PubMed

    Leander, Brian S

    2008-02-01

    Gregarine apicomplexans inhabit the intestines, coeloms and reproductive vesicles of invertebrates. An emphasis on specific ancestral characteristics in marine gregarines has given the group a reputation of being 'primitive.' Although some lineages have retained characteristics inferred to be ancestral for the group, and perhaps apicomplexans as a whole, most gregarines represent highly derived parasites with novel ultrastructural and behavioral adaptations. Many marine gregarines have become giants among single-celled organisms and have evolved ornate surface structures. A comparison of gregarine morphology, placed in a modern phylogenetic context, helps clarify the earliest stages of apicomplexan evolution, the origin of Cryptosporidium, and specific cases of convergent evolution within the group and beyond.

  7. Genetic mapping identifies novel highly protective antigens for an apicomplexan parasite.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Billington, Karen J; Copestake, Susan L; Oakes, Richard D; Quail, Michael A; Wan, Kiew-Lian; Shirley, Martin W; Smith, Adrian L

    2011-02-10

    Apicomplexan parasites are responsible for a myriad of diseases in humans and livestock; yet despite intensive effort, development of effective sub-unit vaccines remains a long-term goal. Antigenic complexity and our inability to identify protective antigens from the pool that induce response are serious challenges in the development of new vaccines. Using a combination of parasite genetics and selective barriers with population-based genetic fingerprinting, we have identified that immunity against the most important apicomplexan parasite of livestock (Eimeria spp.) was targeted against a few discrete regions of the genome. Herein we report the identification of six genomic regions and, within two of those loci, the identification of true protective antigens that confer immunity as sub-unit vaccines. The first of these is an Eimeria maxima homologue of apical membrane antigen-1 (AMA-1) and the second is a previously uncharacterised gene that we have termed 'immune mapped protein-1' (IMP-1). Significantly, homologues of the AMA-1 antigen are protective with a range of apicomplexan parasites including Plasmodium spp., which suggest that there may be some characteristic(s) of protective antigens shared across this diverse group of parasites. Interestingly, homologues of the IMP-1 antigen, which is protective against E. maxima infection, can be identified in Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum. Overall, this study documents the discovery of novel protective antigens using a population-based genetic mapping approach allied with a protection-based screen of candidate genes. The identification of AMA-1 and IMP-1 represents a substantial step towards development of an effective anti-eimerian sub-unit vaccine and raises the possibility of identification of novel antigens for other apicomplexan parasites. Moreover, validation of the parasite genetics approach to identify effective antigens supports its adoption in other parasite systems where legitimate protective antigen

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The identification of a sequence related to apicomplexan enolase from Sarcocystis neurona.

    PubMed

    Wilson, A P; Thelen, J J; Lakritz, J; Brown, C R; Marsh, A E

    2004-11-01

    Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona, an apicomplexan parasite. S. neurona is also associated with EPM-like diseases in marine and small mammals. The mechanisms of transmission and ability to infect a wide host range remain obscure; therefore, characterization of essential proteins may provide evolutionary information allowing the development of novel chemotherapeutics that target non-mammalian biochemical pathways. In the current study, two-dimensional electrophoresis and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-ToF) mass spectrometry were combined to characterize and identify an enolase protein from S. neurona based on peptide homology to the Toxoplasma gondii protein. Enolase is thought to be a vestigial, non-photosynthetic protein resulting from an evolutionary endosymbiosis event of an apicomplexan ancestor with green algae. Enolase has also been suggested to play a role in parasite stage conversion for T. gondii. Characterization of this protein in S. neurona and comparison to other protozoans indicate a biochemical similarity of S. neurona enolase to other tissue-cyst forming coccidians that cause encephalitis.

  11. Phylogeny and evolution of apicoplasts and apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Arisue, Nobuko; Hashimoto, Tetsuo

    2015-06-01

    The phylum Apicomplexa includes many parasitic genera of medical and veterinary importance including Plasmodium (causative agent of malaria), Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis), and Babesia (babesiosis). Most of the apicomplexan parasites possess a unique, essential organelle, the apicoplast, which is a plastid without photosynthetic ability. Although the apicoplast is considered to have evolved through secondary endosymbiosis of a red alga into the common ancestral cell of apicomplexans, its evolutionary history has been under debate until recently. The apicoplast has a genome around 30-40 kb in length. Repertoire and arrangement of the apicoplast genome-encoded genes differ among apicomplexan genera, although within the genus Plasmodium these are almost conserved. Genes in the apicoplast genome may be useful markers for Plasmodium phylogeny, because these are single copy (except for the inverted repeat region) and may have more phylogenetic signal than the mitochondrial genome that have been most commonly used for Plasmodium phylogeny. This review describes recent studies concerning the evolutionary origin of the apicoplast, presents evolutionary comparison of the primary structures of apicoplast genomes from apicomplexan parasites, and summarizes recent findings of malaria phylogeny based on apicoplast genome-encoded genes.

  12. Nephromyces, a beneficial apicomplexan symbiont in marine animals

    PubMed Central

    Saffo, Mary Beth; McCoy, Adam M.; Rieken, Christopher; Slamovits, Claudio H.

    2010-01-01

    With malaria parasites (Plasmodium spp.), Toxoplasma, and many other species of medical and veterinary importance its iconic representatives, the protistan phylum Apicomplexa has long been defined as a group composed entirely of parasites and pathogens. We present here a report of a beneficial apicomplexan: the mutualistic marine endosymbiont Nephromyces. For more than a century, the peculiar structural and developmental features of Nephromyces, and its unusual habitat, have thwarted characterization of the phylogenetic affinities of this eukaryotic microbe. Using short-subunit ribosomal DNA (SSU rDNA) sequences as key evidence, with sequence identity confirmed by fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), we show that Nephromyces, originally classified as a chytrid fungus, is actually an apicomplexan. Inferences from rDNA data are further supported by the several apicomplexan-like structural features in Nephromyces, including especially the strong resemblance of Nephromyces infective stages to apicomplexan sporozoites. The striking emergence of the mutualistic Nephromyces from a quintessentially parasitic clade accentuates the promise of this organism, and the three-partner symbiosis of which it is a part, as a model for probing the factors underlying the evolution of mutualism, pathogenicity, and infectious disease. PMID:20736348

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. 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

  16. The Cryptosporidium parvum ApiAP2 gene family: insights into the evolution of apicomplexan AP2 regulatory systems

    PubMed Central

    Oberstaller, Jenna; Pumpalova, Yoanna; Schieler, Ariel; Llinás, Manuel; Kissinger, Jessica C.

    2014-01-01

    We provide the first comprehensive analysis of any transcription factor family in Cryptosporidium, a basal-branching apicomplexan that is the second leading cause of infant diarrhea globally. AP2 domain-containing proteins have evolved to be the major regulatory family in the phylum to the exclusion of canonical regulators. We show that apicomplexan and perkinsid AP2 domains cluster distinctly from other chromalveolate AP2s. Protein-binding specificity assays of C. parvum AP2 domains combined with motif conservation upstream of co-regulated gene clusters allowed the construction of putative AP2 regulons across the in vitro life cycle. Orthologous Apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) expression has been rearranged relative to the malaria parasite P. falciparum, suggesting ApiAP2 network rewiring during evolution. C. hominis orthologs of putative C. parvum ApiAP2 proteins and target genes show greater than average variation. C. parvum AP2 domains display reduced binding diversity relative to P. falciparum, with multiple domains binding the 5′-TGCAT-3′, 5′-CACACA-3′ and G-box motifs (5′-G[T/C]GGGG-3′). Many overrepresented motifs in C. parvum upstream regions are not AP2 binding motifs. We propose that C. parvum is less reliant on ApiAP2 regulators in part because it utilizes E2F/DP1 transcription factors. C. parvum may provide clues to the ancestral state of apicomplexan transcriptional regulation, pre-AP2 domination. PMID:24957599

  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. Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals Evidence for a Cryptic Plastid in the Colpodellid Voromonas pontica, a Close Relative of Chromerids and Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Gile, Gillian H.; Slamovits, Claudio H.

    2014-01-01

    Colpodellids are free-living, predatory flagellates, but their close relationship to photosynthetic chromerids and plastid-bearing apicomplexan parasites suggests they were ancestrally photosynthetic. Colpodellids may therefore retain a cryptic plastid, or they may have lost their plastids entirely, like the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium. To find out, we generated transcriptomic data from Voromonas pontica ATCC 50640 and searched for homologs of genes encoding proteins known to function in the apicoplast, the non-photosynthetic plastid of apicomplexans. We found candidate genes from multiple plastid-associated pathways including iron-sulfur cluster assembly, isoprenoid biosynthesis, and tetrapyrrole biosynthesis, along with a plastid-type phosphate transporter gene. Four of these sequences include the 5′ end of the coding region and are predicted to encode a signal peptide and a transit peptide-like region. This is highly suggestive of targeting to a cryptic plastid. We also performed a taxon-rich phylogenetic analysis of small subunit ribosomal RNA sequences from colpodellids and their relatives, which suggests that photosynthesis was lost more than once in colpodellids, and independently in V. pontica and apicomplexans. Colpodellids therefore represent a valuable source of comparative data for understanding the process of plastid reduction in humanity's most deadly parasite. PMID:24797661

  20. A Novel Candidate Vaccine for Cytauxzoonosis Inferred from Comparative Apicomplexan Genomics

    PubMed Central

    Tarigo, Jaime L.; Scholl, Elizabeth H.; Bird, David McK.; Brown, Corrie C.; Cohn, Leah A.; Dean, Gregg A.; Levy, Michael G.; Doolan, Denise L.; Trieu, Angela; Nordone, Shila K.; Felgner, Philip L.; Vigil, Adam; Birkenheuer, Adam J.

    2013-01-01

    Cytauxzoonosis is an emerging infectious disease of domestic cats (Felis catus) caused by the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Cytauxzoon felis. The growing epidemic, with its high morbidity and mortality points to the need for a protective vaccine against cytauxzoonosis. Unfortunately, the causative agent has yet to be cultured continuously in vitro, rendering traditional vaccine development approaches beyond reach. Here we report the use of comparative genomics to computationally and experimentally interpret the C. felis genome to identify a novel candidate vaccine antigen for cytauxzoonosis. As a starting point we sequenced, assembled, and annotated the C. felis genome and the proteins it encodes. Whole genome alignment revealed considerable conserved synteny with other apicomplexans. In particular, alignments with the bovine parasite Theileria parva revealed that a C. felis gene, cf76, is syntenic to p67 (the leading vaccine candidate for bovine theileriosis), despite a lack of significant sequence similarity. Recombinant subdomains of cf76 were challenged with survivor-cat antiserum and found to be highly seroreactive. Comparison of eleven geographically diverse samples from the south-central and southeastern USA demonstrated 91–100% amino acid sequence identity across cf76, including a high level of conservation in an immunogenic 226 amino acid (24 kDa) carboxyl terminal domain. Using in situ hybridization, transcription of cf76 was documented in the schizogenous stage of parasite replication, the life stage that is believed to be the most important for development of a protective immune response. Collectively, these data point to identification of the first potential vaccine candidate antigen for cytauxzoonosis. Further, our bioinformatic approach emphasizes the use of comparative genomics as an accelerated path to developing vaccines against experimentally intractable pathogens. PMID:23977000

  1. 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

  2. Babesia divergens and Neospora caninum apical membrane antigen 1 structures reveal selectivity and plasticity in apicomplexan parasite host cell invasion

    PubMed Central

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Crawford, Joanna; Lebrun, Maryse L; Boulanger, Martin J

    2013-01-01

    Host cell invasion by the obligate intracellular apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium (malaria) and Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis), requires a step-wise mechanism unique among known host–pathogen interactions. A key step is the formation of the moving junction (MJ) complex, a circumferential constriction between the apical tip of the parasite and the host cell membrane that traverses in a posterior direction to enclose the parasite in a protective vacuole essential for intracellular survival. The leading model of MJ assembly proposes that Rhoptry Neck Protein 2 (RON2) is secreted into the host cell and integrated into the membrane where it serves as the receptor for apical membrane antigen 1 (AMA1) on the parasite surface. We have previously demonstrated that the AMA1-RON2 interaction is an effective target for inhibiting apicomplexan invasion. To better understand the AMA1-dependant molecular recognition events that promote invasion, including the significant AMA1-RON2 interaction, we present the structural characterization of AMA1 from the apicomplexan parasites Babesia divergens (BdAMA1) and Neospora caninum (NcAMA1) by X-ray crystallography. These studies offer intriguing structural insight into the RON2-binding surface groove in the AMA1 apical domain, which shows clear evidence for receptor–ligand co-evolution, and the hyper variability of the membrane proximal domain, which in Plasmodium is responsible for direct binding to erythrocytes. By incorporating the structural analysis of BdAMA1 and NcAMA1 with existing AMA1 structures and complexes we were able to define conserved pockets in the AMA1 apical groove that could be targeted for the design of broadly reactive therapeutics. PMID:23169033

  3. 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

  4. An apicomplexan ankyrin-repeat histone deacetylase with relatives in photosynthetic eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Rider, S Dean; Zhu, Guan

    2009-06-01

    Cryptosporidium parvum is a member of the Apicomplexa that lacks a plastid and associated nuclear-encoded genes, which has hampered its use in evolutionary comparisons with algae and eliminated a pool of potentially useful drug targets. Here we show that apicomplexan parasites possess an unusual family of class II histone deacetylase (HDAC) proteins with orthologues that are present in other chromalveolates and primitive algae. A striking feature of these HDAC proteins is the presence of ankyrin repeats in the amino-terminus that appear to be required for enzyme activity. In vitro and in vivo analyses of the C. parvum orthologue indicate that this subclass of chromatin-remodelling proteins is targeted by the anti-cancer drug suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid and that these proteins are most likely involved in the essential process of H4 histone deacetylation that coincides with DNA replication. We propose that members of this novel class of histone deacetylase can serve as promising new targets for treatments against debilitating diseases such as cryptosporidosis, toxoplasmosis and malaria.

  5. How Apicomplexan Parasites Move In and Out of Cells

    PubMed Central

    Sibley, L. David

    2010-01-01

    Summary Apicomplexan parasites utilize a unique form of “gliding motility” to traverse across substrates, migrate through tissues, and invade into and finally egress from their vertebrate host cells. Parasite gliding relies on the tread milling of surface adhesins linked to short actin filaments that are translocated rearward by a stationary small myosin motor. New details reveal mechanistic insight into the coordinated release and processing of adhesins, the complexity of adhesin-substrate interactions, the regulation of the actin-myosin motor complex, and the formation of a novel junction at the host-parasite interface. These activities are carefully orchestrated to provide an efficient process for motility that is essential for parasite survival. The parasite-specific nature of many of these steps reveals several essential points that may be targeted for intervention. PMID:20580218

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. DEVELOPING AN APICOMPLEXAN DNA BARCODOING SYSTEM TO DETECT BLOOD PARASITES OF SMALL CORAL REEF FISHES.

    PubMed

    Sikkel, Paul; Renoux, Lance P; Dolan, Maureen; Smit, Nico; Cook, Courtney

    2017-04-10

    Apicomplexan parasites are obligate parasites of many species of vertebrates. To date, there is very limited understanding of these parasites in the most diverse group of vertebrates, actinopterygian fishes. While DNA barcoding targeting the eukaryotic 18S small subunit (SSU) rRNA gene sequence has been useful in identifying apicomplexans in tetrapods, identification of apicomplexans infecting fishes has relied solely on morphological identification by microscopy. In this study, a DNA barcoding method was developed that targets the 18S rRNA gene primers for identification apicomplexans parasitizing certain actinopterygian fishes. A lead primer set was selected showing no cross reactivity to the overwhelming abundant host DNA and successfully confirmed 34 of the 41 (82.9%) microscopically verified parasitized fish blood samples analyzed in this study. Furthermore, this DNA barcoding method identified four additional samples that screened negative for parasitemia suggesting this molecular method may provide improved sensitivity over morphological characterization by microscopy. In addition, this PCR screening method for fish apicomplexans using Whatman FTA preserved DNA was tested in efforts leading to a more simplified field collection, transport and sample storage method as well as a streamlining sample processing important for DNA barcoding large sample sets.

  9. 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

  10. Vitamin and cofactor biosynthesis pathways in Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Müller, Sylke; Kappes, Barbara

    2007-03-01

    Vitamins are essential components of the human diet. By contrast, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and related apicomplexan parasites synthesize certain vitamins de novo, either completely or in parts. The various biosynthesis pathways are specific to different apicomplexan parasites and emphasize the distinct requirements of these parasites for nutrients and growth factors. The absence of vitamin biosynthesis in humans implies that inhibition of the parasite pathways might be a way to interfere specifically with parasite development. However, the roles of biosynthesis and uptake of vitamins in the regulation of vitamin homeostasis in parasites needs to be established first. In this article, the procurement of vitamins B(1), B(5) and B(6) by Plasmodium and other apicomplexan parasites is discussed.

  11. Eimeripain, a cathepsin B-like cysteine protease, expressed throughout sporulation of the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Rieux, Anaïs; Gras, Simon; Lecaille, Fabien; Niepceron, Alisson; Katrib, Marilyn; Smith, Nicholas C; Lalmanach, Gilles; Brossier, Fabien

    2012-01-01

    The invasion and replication of Eimeria tenella in the chicken intestine is responsible for avian coccidiosis, a disease that has major economic impacts on poultry industries worldwide. E. tenella is transmitted to naïve animals via shed unsporulated oocysts that need contact with air and humidity to form the infectious sporulated oocysts, which contain the first invasive form of the parasite, the sporozoite. Cysteine proteases (CPs) are major virulence factors expressed by protozoa. In this study, we show that E. tenella expresses five transcriptionally regulated genes encoding one cathepsin L, one cathepsin B and three cathepsin Cs. Biot-LC-LVG-CHN₂, a cystatin derived probe, tagged eight polypeptides in unsporulated oocysts but only one in sporulated oocysts. CP-dependant activities were found against the fluorescent substrates, Z-FR-AMC and Z-LR-AMC, throughout the sporulation process. These activities corresponded to a cathepsin B-like enzyme since they were inhibited by CA-074, a specific cathepsin B inhibitor. A 3D model of the catalytic domain of the cathepsin B-like protease, based on its sequence homology with human cathepsin B, further confirmed its classification as a papain-like protease with similar characteristics to toxopain-1 from the related apicomplexan parasite, Toxoplasma gondii; we have, therefore, named the E. tenella cathepsin B, eimeripain. Following stable transfection of E. tenella sporozoites with a plasmid allowing the expression of eimeripain fused to the fluorescent protein mCherry, we demonstrated that eimeripain is detected throughout sporulation and has a punctate distribution in the bodies of extra- and intracellular parasites. Furthermore, CA-074 Me, the membrane-permeable derivative of CA-074, impairs invasion of epithelial MDBK cells by E. tenella sporozoites. This study represents the first characterization of CPs expressed by a parasite from the Eimeria genus. Moreover, it emphasizes the role of CPs in transmission and

  12. 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...

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  15. Evolutionarily divergent, unstable filamentous actin is essential for gliding motility in apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Skillman, Kristen M; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Khan, Asis; Tang, Keliang; Sept, David; Sibley, L David

    2011-10-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on a novel form of actin-based motility called gliding, which depends on parasite actin polymerization, to migrate through their hosts and invade cells. However, parasite actins are divergent both in sequence and function and only form short, unstable filaments in contrast to the stability of conventional actin filaments. The molecular basis for parasite actin filament instability and its relationship to gliding motility remain unresolved. We demonstrate that recombinant Toxoplasma (TgACTI) and Plasmodium (PfACTI and PfACTII) actins polymerized into very short filaments in vitro but were induced to form long, stable filaments by addition of equimolar levels of phalloidin. Parasite actins contain a conserved phalloidin-binding site as determined by molecular modeling and computational docking, yet vary in several residues that are predicted to impact filament stability. In particular, two residues were identified that form intermolecular contacts between different protomers in conventional actin filaments and these residues showed non-conservative differences in apicomplexan parasites. Substitution of divergent residues found in TgACTI with those from mammalian actin resulted in formation of longer, more stable filaments in vitro. Expression of these stabilized actins in T. gondii increased sensitivity to the actin-stabilizing compound jasplakinolide and disrupted normal gliding motility in the absence of treatment. These results identify the molecular basis for short, dynamic filaments in apicomplexan parasites and demonstrate that inherent instability of parasite actin filaments is a critical adaptation for gliding motility.

  16. 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).

  17. Evolutionarily Divergent, Unstable Filamentous Actin Is Essential for Gliding Motility in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Skillman, Kristen M.; Diraviyam, Karthikeyan; Khan, Asis; Tang, Keliang; Sept, David; Sibley, L. David

    2011-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites rely on a novel form of actin-based motility called gliding, which depends on parasite actin polymerization, to migrate through their hosts and invade cells. However, parasite actins are divergent both in sequence and function and only form short, unstable filaments in contrast to the stability of conventional actin filaments. The molecular basis for parasite actin filament instability and its relationship to gliding motility remain unresolved. We demonstrate that recombinant Toxoplasma (TgACTI) and Plasmodium (PfACTI and PfACTII) actins polymerized into very short filaments in vitro but were induced to form long, stable filaments by addition of equimolar levels of phalloidin. Parasite actins contain a conserved phalloidin-binding site as determined by molecular modeling and computational docking, yet vary in several residues that are predicted to impact filament stability. In particular, two residues were identified that form intermolecular contacts between different protomers in conventional actin filaments and these residues showed non-conservative differences in apicomplexan parasites. Substitution of divergent residues found in TgACTI with those from mammalian actin resulted in formation of longer, more stable filaments in vitro. Expression of these stabilized actins in T. gondii increased sensitivity to the actin-stabilizing compound jasplakinolide and disrupted normal gliding motility in the absence of treatment. These results identify the molecular basis for short, dynamic filaments in apicomplexan parasites and demonstrate that inherent instability of parasite actin filaments is a critical adaptation for gliding motility. PMID:21998582

  18. Isoprenoid precursor biosynthesis offers potential targets for drug discovery against diseases caused by apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Hunter, William N

    2011-01-01

    Two, simple, C5 compounds, dimethylally diphosphate and isopentenyl diphosphate, are the universal precursors of isoprenoids, a large family of natural products involved in numerous important biological processes. Two distinct biosynthetic pathways have evolved to supply these precursors. Humans use the mevalonate route whilst many species of bacteria including important pathogens, plant chloroplasts and apicomplexan parasites exploit the non-mevalonate pathway. The absence from humans, combined with genetic and chemical validation suggests that the non-mevalonate pathway holds the potential to support new drug discovery programmes targeting Gram-negative bacteria and the apicomplexan parasites responsible for causing serious human diseases, and also infections of veterinary importance. The non-mevalonate pathway relies on eight enzyme-catalyzed stages exploiting a range of cofactors and metal ions. A wealth of structural and mechanistic data, mainly derived from studies of bacterial enzymes, now exists for most components of the pathway and these will be described. Particular attention will be paid to how these data inform on the apicomplexan orthologues concentrating on the enzymes from Plasmodium spp. these cause malaria, one the most important parasitic diseases in the world today.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Horizontal gene transfer of epigenetic machinery and evolution of parasitism in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum and other apicomplexans

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The acquisition of complex transcriptional regulatory abilities and epigenetic machinery facilitated the transition of the ancestor of apicomplexans from a free-living organism to an obligate parasite. The ability to control sophisticated gene expression patterns enabled these ancient organisms to evolve several differentiated forms, invade multiple hosts and evade host immunity. How these abilities were acquired remains an outstanding question in protistan biology. Results In this work, we study SET domain bearing genes that are implicated in mediating immune evasion, invasion and cytoadhesion pathways of modern apicomplexans, including malaria parasites. We provide the first conclusive evidence of a horizontal gene transfer of a Histone H4 Lysine 20 (H4K20) modifier, Set8, from an animal host to the ancestor of apicomplexans. Set8 is known to contribute to the coordinated expression of genes involved in immune evasion in modern apicomplexans. We also show the likely transfer of a H3K36 methyltransferase (Ashr3 from plants), possibly derived from algal endosymbionts. These transfers appear to date to the transition from free-living organisms to parasitism and coincide with the proposed horizontal acquisition of cytoadhesion domains, the O-glycosyltransferase that modifies these domains, and the primary family of transcription factors found in apicomplexan parasites. Notably, phylogenetic support for these conclusions is robust and the genes clearly are dissimilar to SET sequences found in the closely related parasite Perkinsus marinus, and in ciliates, the nearest free-living organisms with complete genome sequences available. Conclusions Animal and plant sources of epigenetic machinery provide new insights into the evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. Along with the horizontal transfer of cytoadhesive domains, O-linked glycosylation and key transcription factors, the acquisition of SET domain methyltransferases marks a key transitional event in

  2. A unique hexokinase in Cryptosporidium parvum, an apicomplexan pathogen lacking the Krebs cycle and oxidative phosphorylation.

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-01

    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 (IC(50) = 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.

  3. In Vitro and In Vivo Activities of Sulfur-Containing Linear Bisphosphonates against Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Szajnman, Sergio H; Galaka, Tamila; Li, Zhu-Hong; Li, Catherine; Howell, Nathan M; Chao, María N; Striepen, Boris; Muralidharan, Vasant; Moreno, Silvia N J; Rodriguez, Juan B

    2017-02-01

    We tested a series of sulfur-containing linear bisphosphonates against Toxoplasma gondii, the etiologic agent of toxoplasmosis. The most potent compound (compound 22; 1-[(n-decylsulfonyl)ethyl]-1,1-bisphosphonic acid) is a sulfone-containing compound, which had a 50% effective concentration (EC50) of 0.11 ± 0.02 μM against intracellular tachyzoites. The compound showed low toxicity when tested in tissue culture with a selectivity index of >2,000. Compound 22 also showed high activity in vivo in a toxoplasmosis mouse model. The compound inhibited the Toxoplasma farnesyl diphosphate synthase (TgFPPS), but the concentration needed to inhibit 50% of the enzymatic activity (IC50) was higher than the concentration that inhibited 50% of growth. We tested compound 22 against two other apicomplexan parasites, Plasmodium falciparum (EC50 of 0.6 ± 0.01 μM), the agent of malaria, and Cryptosporidium parvum (EC50 of ∼65 μM), the agent of cryptosporidiosis. Our results suggest that compound 22 is an excellent novel compound that could lead to the development of potent agents against apicomplexan parasites.

  4. Cell: sporozoite interactions and invasion by apicomplexan parasites of the genus Eimeria.

    PubMed

    Augustine, P C

    2001-01-01

    The site specificity that avian Eimeria sporozoites and, to a more limited degree, other apicomplexan parasites exhibit for invasion in vivo suggests that specific interactions between the sporozoites and the target host cells may mediate the invasion process. Although sporozoite motility and structural and secreted antigens appear to provide the mechanisms for propelling the sporozoite into the host cell,there is a growing body of evidence that the host cell provides characteristics by which the sporozoites recognise and interact with the host cell as a prelude to invasion. Molecules on the surface of cells in the intestinal epithelium, that act as receptor or recognition sites for sporozoite invasion, may be included among these characteristics. The existence of receptor molecules for invasion by apicomplexan parasites was suggested by in vitro studies in which parasite invasion was inhibited in cultured cells that were treated with a variety of substances designed to selectively alter the host cell membrane. These substance included cationic compounds or molecules, enzymes that cleave specific linkages, protease inhibitors, monoclonal antibodies, etc. More specific evidence for the presence of receptors was provided by the binding of parasite antigens to specific host cell surface molecules. Analyses of host cells have implicated 22, 31, and 37 kDa antigens, surface membrane glycoconjugates,conserved epitopes of host cells and sporozoites, etc., but no treatment that perturbs these putative receptors has completely inhibited invasion of the cells by parasites. Regardless of the mechanism,sporozoites of the avian Eimeria also invade the same specific sites in foreign host birds that they invade in the natural host. Thus, site specificity for invasion may be a response to characteristics of the intestine that are shared by a number of hosts rather than to a unique trait of the natural host. Protective immunity elicited against avian Eimeria species is not

  5. 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

  6. Canine Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Release Induced by the Apicomplexan Parasite Neospora caninum In Vitro.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhengkai; Hermosilla, Carlos; Taubert, Anja; He, Xuexiu; Wang, Xiaocen; Gong, Pengtao; Li, Jianhua; Yang, Zhengtao; Zhang, Xichen

    2016-01-01

    Neosporosis is considered as one of the main causes of abortion and severe economic losses in dairy industry. The Canis genus serving as one of the confirmed definitive hosts of the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum (N. caninum) plays a critical role in its life cycle. However, the effects of N. caninum on its definitive hosts of neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) formation remain unclear. In the present study, N. caninum tachyzoite-induced canine NETs formation was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Visualization of DNA decorated with H3, neutrophil elastase (NE), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) within N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs were examined using fluorescence confocal microscopy analyses. Furthermore, the formation of canine NETs was quantified using Sytox Green staining, and the LDH levels in supernatants were examined by an LDH Cytotoxicity Assay(®) kit. The results clearly showed that NETs-like structures were induced by N. caninum tachyzoites, and the major components within these structures induced by N. caninum tachyzoite were further confirmed by fluorescence confocal microscopy visualization. These results suggest that N. caninum tachyzoites strongly induced NETs formation in canine polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). In functional inhibition assays, the blockings of NADPH oxidase, NE, MPO, SOCE, ERK 1/2, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways significantly inhibited N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs formation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the formation of NETs in canine PMN against N. caninum infection.

  7. Canine Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Release Induced by the Apicomplexan Parasite Neospora caninum In Vitro

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Zhengkai; Hermosilla, Carlos; Taubert, Anja; He, Xuexiu; Wang, Xiaocen; Gong, Pengtao; Li, Jianhua; Yang, Zhengtao; Zhang, Xichen

    2016-01-01

    Neosporosis is considered as one of the main causes of abortion and severe economic losses in dairy industry. The Canis genus serving as one of the confirmed definitive hosts of the apicomplexan parasite Neospora caninum (N. caninum) plays a critical role in its life cycle. However, the effects of N. caninum on its definitive hosts of neutrophils extracellular traps (NETs) formation remain unclear. In the present study, N. caninum tachyzoite-induced canine NETs formation was observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Visualization of DNA decorated with H3, neutrophil elastase (NE), and myeloperoxidase (MPO) within N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs were examined using fluorescence confocal microscopy analyses. Furthermore, the formation of canine NETs was quantified using Sytox Green staining, and the LDH levels in supernatants were examined by an LDH Cytotoxicity Assay® kit. The results clearly showed that NETs-like structures were induced by N. caninum tachyzoites, and the major components within these structures induced by N. caninum tachyzoite were further confirmed by fluorescence confocal microscopy visualization. These results suggest that N. caninum tachyzoites strongly induced NETs formation in canine polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN). In functional inhibition assays, the blockings of NADPH oxidase, NE, MPO, SOCE, ERK 1/2, and p38 MAPK signaling pathways significantly inhibited N. caninum tachyzoite-induced NETs formation. To our knowledge, this study is the first to report the formation of NETs in canine PMN against N. caninum infection. PMID:27843440

  8. The Motor Complex of Plasmodium falciparum

    PubMed Central

    Green, Judith L.; Rees-Channer, Roxanne R.; Howell, Stephen A.; Martin, Stephen R.; Knuepfer, Ellen; Taylor, Helen M.; Grainger, Munira; Holder, Anthony A.

    2008-01-01

    Calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) of Apicomplexan parasites are crucial for the survival of the parasite throughout its life cycle. CDPK1 is expressed in the asexual blood stages of the parasite, particularly late stage schizonts. We have identified two substrates of Plasmodium falciparum CDPK1: myosin A tail domain-interacting protein (MTIP) and glideosome-associated protein 45 (GAP45), both of which are components of the motor complex that generates the force required by the parasite to actively invade host cells. Indirect immunofluorescence shows that CDPK1 localizes to the periphery of P. falciparum merozoites and is therefore suitably located to act on MTIP and GAP45 at the inner membrane complex. A proportion of both GAP45 and MTIP is phosphorylated in schizonts, and we demonstrate that both proteins can be efficiently phosphorylated by CDPK1 in vitro. A primary phosphorylation of MTIP occurs at serine 47, whereas GAP45 is phosphorylated at two sites, one of which could also be detected in phosphopeptides purified from parasite lysates. Both CDPK1 activity and host cell invasion can be inhibited by the kinase inhibitor K252a, suggesting that CDPK1 is a suitable target for antimalarial drug development. PMID:18768477

  9. 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

  10. Primary Structure of 28S rRNA Gene Confirms Monophyly of Free-Living Heterotrophic and Phototrophic Apicomplexans (Alveolata).

    PubMed

    Mikhailov, K V; Tikhonenkov, D V; Janouškovec, J; Diakin, A Y; Ofitserov, M V; Mylnikov, A P; Aleshin, V V

    2015-11-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of large subunit ribosomal RNA (LSU rRNA or 28S rRNA) gene sequences from free-living predatory flagellates Colpodella angusta, Voromonas pontica, and Alphamonas edax (Apicomplexa) confirms their close relationship with chromerids Chromera velia and Vitrella brassicaformis, which possess a functional photosynthetic plastid. Together these organisms form a sister group to parasitic apicomplexans (coccidians and gregarines, or sporozoans sensu lato). This result agrees with the previous conclusion on monophyly of colpodellids and chromerids (chrompodellids) based on phylogenomic data. The revealed relationships demonstrate a complex pattern of acquisition, loss, or modification of plastids and transition to parasitism during alveolate evolution.

  11. Three-dimensional visualisation of developmental stages of an apicomplexan fish blood parasite in its invertebrate host

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Although widely used in medicine, the application of three-dimensional (3D) imaging to parasitology appears limited to date. In this study, developmental stages of a marine fish haemogregarine, Haemogregarina curvata (Apicomplexa: Adeleorina), were investigated in their leech vector, Zeylanicobdella arugamensis; this involved 3D visualisation of brightfield and confocal microscopy images of histological sections through infected leech salivary gland cells. Findings 3D assessment demonstrated the morphology of the haemogregarine stages, their spatial layout, and their relationship with enlarged host cells showing reduced cellular content. Haemogregarine meronts, located marginally within leech salivary gland cells, had small tail-like connections to the host cell limiting membrane; this parasite-host cell interface was not visible in two-dimensional (2D) light micrographs and no records of a similar connection in apicomplexan development have been traced. Conclusions This is likely the first account of the use of 3D visualisation to study developmental stages of an apicomplexan parasite in its invertebrate vector. Elucidation of the extent of development of the haemogregarine within the leech salivary cells, together with the unusual connections between meronts and the host cell membrane, illustrates the future potential of 3D visualisation in parasite-vector biology. PMID:22107751

  12. 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.

  13. Assessing the diversity, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in reptiles from Oman, Arabia.

    PubMed

    Maia, João P; Harris, D James; Carranza, Salvador; Goméz-Díaz, Elena

    2016-11-01

    Understanding the processes that shape parasite diversification, their distribution and abundance provides valuable information on the dynamics and evolution of disease. In this study, we assessed the diversity, distribution, host-specificity and infection patterns of apicomplexan parasites in amphibians and reptiles from Oman, Arabia. Using a quantitative PCR approach we detected three apicomplexan parasites (haemogregarines, lankesterellids and sarcocystids). A total of 13 haemogregarine haplotypes were identified, which fell into four main clades in a phylogenetic framework. Phylogenetic analysis of six new lankesterellid haplotypes revealed that these parasites were distinct from, but phylogenetically related to, known Lankesterella species and might represent new taxa. The percentage of infected hosts (prevalence) and the number of haemogregarines in the blood (parasitaemia) varied significantly between gecko species. We also found significant differences in parasitaemia between haemogregarine parasite lineages (defined by phylogenetic clustering of haplotypes), suggesting differences in host-parasite compatibility between these lineages. For Pristurus rupestris, we found significant differences in haemogregarine prevalence between geographical areas. Our results suggest that host ecology and host relatedness may influence haemogregarine distributions and, more generally, highlight the importance of screening wild hosts from remote regions to provide new insights into parasite diversity.

  14. 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...

  15. Pyruvate : NADP+ oxidoreductase from the mitochondrion of Euglena gracilis and from the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum: a biochemical relic linking pyruvate metabolism in mitochondriate and amitochondriate protists.

    PubMed

    Rotte, C; Stejskal, F; Zhu, G; Keithly, J S; Martin, W

    2001-05-01

    Most eukaryotes perform the oxidative decarboxylation of pyruvate in mitochondria using pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH). Eukaryotes that lack mitochondria also lack PDH, using instead the O(2)-sensitive enzyme pyruvate : ferredoxin oxidoreductase (PFO), which is localized either in the cytosol or in hydrogenosomes. The facultatively anaerobic mitochondria of the photosynthetic protist Euglena gracilis constitute a hitherto unique exception in that these mitochondria oxidize pyruvate with the O(2)-sensitive enzyme pyruvate : NADP oxidoreductase (PNO). Cloning and analysis of Euglena PNO revealed that the cDNA encodes a mitochondrial transit peptide followed by an N-terminal PFO domain that is fused to a C-terminal NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase (CPR) domain. Two independent 5.8-kb full-size cDNAs for Euglena mitochondrial PNO were isolated; the gene was expressed in cultures supplied with 2% CO(2) in air and with 2% CO(2) in N(2). The apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum was also shown to encode and express the same PFO-CPR fusion, except that, unlike E. gracilis, no mitochondrial transit peptide for C. parvum PNO was found. Recombination-derived remnants of PNO are conserved in the genomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Schizosaccharomyces pombe as proteins involved in sulfite reduction. Notably, Trypanosoma brucei was found to encode homologs of both PFO and all four PDH subunits. Gene organization and phylogeny revealed that eukaryotic nuclear genes for mitochondrial, hydrogenosomal, and cytosolic PFO trace to a single eubacterial acquisition. These findings suggest a common ancestry of PFO in amitochondriate protists with Euglena mitochondrial PNO and Cryptosporidium PNO. They are also consistent with the view that eukaryotic PFO domains are biochemical relics inherited from a facultatively anaerobic, eubacterial ancestor of mitochondria and hydrogenosomes.

  16. Cryptosporidium is more closely related to the gregarines than to coccidia as shown by phylogenetic analysis of apicomplexan parasites inferred using small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences.

    PubMed

    Carreno, R A; Martin, D S; Barta, J R

    1999-11-01

    The phylogenetic placement of gregarine parasites (Apicomplexa: Gregarinasina) within the Apicomplexa was derived by comparison of small-subunit ribosomal RNA gene sequences. Gregarine sequences were obtained from Gregarina niphandrodes Clopton, Percival, and Janovy, 1991, and Monocystis agilis Stein, 1848 (Eugregarinorida Léger 1900), as well as from Ophriocystis elektroscirrha McLaughlin and Myers, 1970 (Neogregarinorida Grassé 1953). The sequences were aligned with several other gregarine and apicomplexan sequences from GenBank and the resulting data matrix analyzed by parsimony and maximum-likelihood methods. The gregarines form a monophyletic clade that is a sister group to Cryptosporidium spp. The gregarine/ Cryptosporidium clade is separate from the other major apicomplexan clade containing the coccidia, adeleids, piroplasms, and haemosporinids. The trees indicate that the genus Cryptosporidium has a closer phylogenetic affinity with the gregarines than with the coccidia. These results do not support the present classification of the Cryptosporidiidae in the suborder Eimerioirina Léger, 1911.

  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.

  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. Fecundity reduction in the second gonotrophic cycle of Culex pipiens infected with the apicomplexan blood parasite, Hepatozoon sipedon.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Laura V; Smith, Todd G

    2014-08-01

    Fecundity reduction is a well-recognized phenomenon of parasite infection in insects. Reduced production of eggs might increase longevity of a host and release nutrients to both host and parasite that would otherwise be used for oogenesis. The objective of this study was to assess effects on fecundity caused by Hepatozoon sipedon, an apicomplexan blood parasite of snakes, in its invertebrate host, the mosquito Culex pipiens. In the first gonotrophic cycle, the mean number of eggs laid by mosquitoes infected with H. sipedon did not differ significantly from those laid by uninfected mosquitoes. However, in the second gonotrophic cycle infected mosquitoes laid significantly fewer eggs than did uninfected mosquitoes, and fecundity was reduced by 100% in mosquitoes with parasite burdens of more than 60 oocysts. There was a significant negative correlation between parasite burden, or the number of oocysts, and the number of eggs produced in the second gonotrophic cycle. Significantly fewer viable larvae hatched from eggs laid by infected compared to uninfected mosquitoes in the second gonotrophic cycle. These data indicate that fecundity reduction occurs in this system, although the physiological mechanisms driving this phenotype are not yet known.

  20. Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Sarcocystis neurona Protein Kinases.

    PubMed

    Murungi, Edwin K; Kariithi, Henry M

    2017-03-21

    The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a degenerative neurological disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions, such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune response evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans. We identified 97 putative PKs clustering within the various eukaryotic kinase groups. Although containing the universally-conserved PKA (AGC group), S. neurona kinome was devoid of PKB and PKC. Moreover, the kinome contains the six-conserved apicomplexan CDPKs (CAMK group). Several OPK atypical kinases, including ROPKs 19A, 27, 30, 33, 35 and 37 were identified. Notably, S. neurona is devoid of the virulence-associated ROPKs 5, 6, 18 and 38, as well as the Alpha and RIO kinases. Two out of the three S. neurona CK1 enzymes had high sequence similarities to Toxoplasma gondii TgCK1-α and TgCK1-β and the Plasmodium PfCK1. Further experimental studies on the S. neurona putative PKs identified in this study are required to validate the functional roles of the PKs and to understand their involvement in mechanisms that regulate various cellular processes and host-parasite interactions. Given the essentiality of apicomplexan PKs in the survival of apicomplexans, the current study offers a platform for future development of novel therapeutics for EPM, for instance via application of PK inhibitors to block parasite invasion and development in their host.

  1. Genome-Wide Identification and Evolutionary Analysis of Sarcocystis neurona Protein Kinases

    PubMed Central

    Murungi, Edwin K.; Kariithi, Henry M.

    2017-01-01

    The apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis neurona causes equine protozoal myeloencephalitis (EPM), a degenerative neurological disease of horses. Due to its host range expansion, S. neurona is an emerging threat that requires close monitoring. In apicomplexans, protein kinases (PKs) have been implicated in a myriad of critical functions, such as host cell invasion, cell cycle progression and host immune response evasion. Here, we used various bioinformatics methods to define the kinome of S. neurona and phylogenetic relatedness of its PKs to other apicomplexans. We identified 97 putative PKs clustering within the various eukaryotic kinase groups. Although containing the universally-conserved PKA (AGC group), S. neurona kinome was devoid of PKB and PKC. Moreover, the kinome contains the six-conserved apicomplexan CDPKs (CAMK group). Several OPK atypical kinases, including ROPKs 19A, 27, 30, 33, 35 and 37 were identified. Notably, S. neurona is devoid of the virulence-associated ROPKs 5, 6, 18 and 38, as well as the Alpha and RIO kinases. Two out of the three S. neurona CK1 enzymes had high sequence similarities to Toxoplasma gondii TgCK1-α and TgCK1-β and the Plasmodium PfCK1. Further experimental studies on the S. neurona putative PKs identified in this study are required to validate the functional roles of the PKs and to understand their involvement in mechanisms that regulate various cellular processes and host-parasite interactions. Given the essentiality of apicomplexan PKs in the survival of apicomplexans, the current study offers a platform for future development of novel therapeutics for EPM, for instance via application of PK inhibitors to block parasite invasion and development in their host. PMID:28335576

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Aminopeptidase N1 (EtAPN1), an M1 metalloprotease of the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella, participates in parasite development.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

    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.

  7. Molecular assessment of apicomplexan parasites in the snake Psammophis from North Africa: do multiple parasite lineages reflect the final vertebrate host diet?

    PubMed

    Tomé, Beatriz; Maia, João P M C; Harris, D James

    2013-10-01

    The Apicomplexa are intracellular pathogens of animals, with the Coccidia being the largest group. Among these are the hemogregarines, which include some of the most common hemoparasites found in reptiles. Several studies have reported a possible pattern of prey-predator transmission for some of these parasites. Snakes from the Mediterranean region have been found to be parasitized with Hepatozoon spp. similar to those in lacertids and gekkonids, supporting the prey-predator transmission hypothesis. Here we analyzed specimens of the saurophagous genus Psammophis from North Africa, an ecologically different region. Through molecular analysis of tissue samples we detected 3 different apicomplexan parasites: Caryospora, Sarcocystis, and Hepatozoon. Caryospora was detected in a Forskål's sand snake Psammophis schokari from Algeria, constituting the first time these parasites have been detected from a tissue sample through molecular screening. The obtained Sarcocystis phylogeny does not reflect the relationships of their final hosts, with the parasites identified from snakes forming at least 3 unrelated groups, indicating that it is still premature to predict definitive host based on the phylogeny of these parasites. Three unrelated lineages of Hepatozoon parasites were identified in Psammophis, each closely related to lineages previously identified from different lizard groups, on which these snakes feed. This once again indicates that diet might be a key element in transmission, at least for Hepatozoon species of saurophagous snakes.

  8. 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.

  9. Dinoflagellate phylogeny revisited: Using ribosomal proteins to resolve deep branching dinoflagellate clades

    PubMed Central

    Bachvaroff, Tsvetan R.; Gornik, Sebastian G.; Concepcion, Gregory T.; Waller, Ross F.; Mendez, Gregory S.; Lippmeier, J. Casey; Delwiche, Charles F.

    2014-01-01

    The alveolates are composed of three major lineages, the ciliates, dinoflagellates, and apicomplexans. Together these ‘protist’ taxa play key roles in primary production and ecology, as well as in illness of humans and other animals. The interface between the dinoflagellate and apicomplexan clades has been an area of recent discovery, blurring the distinction between these two clades. Moreover, phylogenetic analysis has yet to determine the position of basal dinoflagellate clades hence the deepest branches of the dinoflagellate tree currently remain unresolved. Large-scale mRNA sequencing was applied to 11 species of dinoflagellates, including strains of the syndinean genera Hematodinium and Amoebophrya, parasites of crustaceans and dinoflagellates, respectively, to optimize and update the dinoflagellate tree. From the transcriptome-scale data a total of 73 ribosomal protein-coding genes were selected for phylogeny. After individual gene orthology assessment, the genes were concatenated into a >15,000 amino acid alignment with 76 taxa from dinoflagellates, apicomplexans, ciliates, and the outgroup heterokonts. Overall the tree was well resolved and supported, when the data was subsampled with gblocks or constraint trees were tested with the approximately unbiased test. The deepest branches of the dinoflagellate tree can now be resolved with strong support, and provides a clearer view of the evolution of the distinctive traits of dinoflagellates. PMID:24135237

  10. Besnoitia besnoiti and Toxoplasma gondii: two apicomplexan strategies to manipulate the host cell centrosome and Golgi apparatus.

    PubMed

    Cardoso, Rita; Nolasco, Sofia; Gonçalves, João; Cortes, Helder C; Leitão, Alexandre; Soares, Helena

    2014-09-01

    Besnoitia besnoiti and Toxoplasma gondii are two closely related parasites that interact with the host cell microtubule cytoskeleton during host cell invasion. Here we studied the relationship between the ability of these parasites to invade and to recruit the host cell centrosome and the Golgi apparatus. We observed that T. gondii recruits the host cell centrosome towards the parasitophorous vacuole (PV), whereas B. besnoiti does not. Notably, both parasites recruit the host Golgi apparatus to the PV but its organization is affected in different ways. We also investigated the impact of depleting and over-expressing the host centrosomal protein TBCCD1, involved in centrosome positioning and Golgi apparatus integrity, on the ability of these parasites to invade and replicate. Toxoplasma gondii replication rate decreases in cells over-expressing TBCCD1 but not in TBCCD1-depleted cells; while for B. besnoiti no differences were found. However, B. besnoiti promotes a reorganization of the Golgi ribbon previously fragmented by TBCCD1 depletion. These results suggest that successful establishment of PVs in the host cell requires modulation of the Golgi apparatus which probably involves modifications in microtubule cytoskeleton organization and dynamics. These differences in how T. gondii and B. besnoiti interact with their host cells may indicate different evolutionary paths.

  11. Cell division in Apicomplexan parasites is organized by a homolog of the striated rootlet fiber of algal flagella.

    PubMed

    Francia, Maria E; Jordan, Carly N; Patel, Jay D; Sheiner, Lilach; Demerly, Jessica L; Fellows, Justin D; de Leon, Jessica Cruz; Morrissette, Naomi S; Dubremetz, Jean-François; Striepen, Boris

    2012-01-01

    Apicomplexa are intracellular parasites that cause important human diseases including malaria and toxoplasmosis. During host cell infection new parasites are formed through a budding process that parcels out nuclei and organelles into multiple daughters. Budding is remarkably flexible in output and can produce two to thousands of progeny cells. How genomes and daughters are counted and coordinated is unknown. Apicomplexa evolved from single celled flagellated algae, but with the exception of the gametes, lack flagella. Here we demonstrate that a structure that in the algal ancestor served as the rootlet of the flagellar basal bodies is required for parasite cell division. Parasite striated fiber assemblins (SFA) polymerize into a dynamic fiber that emerges from the centrosomes immediately after their duplication. The fiber grows in a polarized fashion and daughter cells form at its distal tip. As the daughter cell is further elaborated it remains physically tethered at its apical end, the conoid and polar ring. Genetic experiments in Toxoplasma gondii demonstrate two essential components of the fiber, TgSFA2 and 3. In the absence of either of these proteins cytokinesis is blocked at its earliest point, the initiation of the daughter microtubule organizing center (MTOC). Mitosis remains unimpeded and mutant cells accumulate numerous nuclei but fail to form daughter cells. The SFA fiber provides a robust spatial and temporal organizer of parasite cell division, a process that appears hard-wired to the centrosome by multiple tethers. Our findings have broader evolutionary implications. We propose that Apicomplexa abandoned flagella for most stages yet retained the organizing principle of the flagellar MTOC. Instead of ensuring appropriate numbers of flagella, the system now positions the apical invasion complexes. This suggests that elements of the invasion apparatus may be derived from flagella or flagellum associated structures.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. 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)

  14. Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... Search for: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Email People Departments Calendar Careers Give my.harvard ... Nutrition Source Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health > The Nutrition Source > What Should I Eat? > Protein ...

  15. Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... Go lean with protein. • Choose lean meats and poultry. Lean beef cuts include round steaks (top loin, ... main dishes. • Use nuts to replace meat or poultry, not in addition to meat or poultry (i. ...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Mammalian and malaria parasite cyclase-associated proteins catalyze nucleotide exchange on G-actin through a conserved mechanism.

    PubMed

    Makkonen, Maarit; Bertling, Enni; Chebotareva, Natalia A; Baum, Jake; Lappalainen, Pekka

    2013-01-11

    Cyclase-associated proteins (CAPs) are among the most highly conserved regulators of actin dynamics, being present in organisms from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Yeast, plant, and mammalian CAPs are large multidomain proteins, which catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers from ADP to ATP and recycle actin monomers from actin-depolymerizing factor (ADF)/cofilin for new rounds of filament assembly. However, the mechanism by which CAPs promote nucleotide exchange is not known. Furthermore, how apicomplexan CAPs, which lack many domains present in yeast and mammalian CAPs, contribute to actin dynamics is not understood. We show that, like yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 interacts with ADF/cofilin and ADP-G-actin through its N-terminal α-helical and C-terminal β-strand domains, respectively. However, in the variation to yeast Srv2/CAP, mouse CAP1 has two adjacent profilin-binding sites, and it interacts with ATP-actin monomers with high affinity through its WH2 domain. Importantly, we revealed that the C-terminal β-sheet domain of mouse CAP1 is essential and sufficient for catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, although the adjacent WH2 domain is not required for this function. Supporting these data, we show that the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum CAP, which is entirely composed of the β-sheet domain, efficiently promotes nucleotide exchange on actin monomers. Collectively, this study provides evidence that catalyzing nucleotide exchange on actin monomers via the β-sheet domain is the most highly conserved function of CAPs from mammals to apicomplexan parasites. Other functions, including interactions with profilin and ADF/cofilin, evolved in more complex organisms to adjust the specific role of CAPs in actin dynamics.

  3. Discovery of a diverse clade of gregarine apicomplexans (Apicomplexa: Eugregarinorida) from Pacific eunicid and onuphid polychaetes, including descriptions of Paralecudina n. gen., Trichotokara japonica n. sp., and T. eunicae n. sp.

    PubMed

    Rueckert, Sonja; Wakeman, Kevin C; Leander, Brian S

    2013-01-01

    Marine gregarines are poorly understood apicomplexan parasites with large trophozoites that inhabit the body cavities of marine invertebrates. Two novel species of gregarines were discovered in polychaete hosts collected in Canada and Japan. The trophozoites of Trichotokara japonica n. sp. were oval to rhomboidal shaped, and covered with longitudinal epicytic folds with a density of six to eight folds/micron. The nucleus was situated in the middle of the cell, and the mucron was elongated and covered with hair-like projections; antler-like projections also extended from the anterior tip of the mucron. The distinctively large trophozoites of Trichotokara eunicae n. sp. lacked an elongated mucron and had a tadpole-like cell shape consisting of a bulbous anterior region and a tapered tail-like posterior region. The cell surface was covered with longitudinal epicytic folds with a density of three to five folds/micron. Small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences of both species were very divergent and formed a strongly supported clade with the recently described species Trichotokara nothriae and an environmental sequence (AB275074). This phylogenetic context combined with the morphological features of T. eunicae n. sp. required us to amend the description for Trichotokara. The sister clade to the Trichotokara clade consisted of environmental sequences and Lecudina polymorpha, which also possesses densely packed epicyctic folds (3-5 folds/micron) and a prominently elongated mucron. This improved morphological and molecular phylogenetic context justified the establishment of Paralecudina (ex. Lecudina) polymorpha n. gen. et comb.

  4. Structure and function of a G-actin sequestering protein with a vital role in malaria oocyst development inside the mosquito vector.

    PubMed

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

    2010-04-09

    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 beta-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.

  5. Eimeria tenella rhomboid 3 has a potential role in microneme protein cleavage.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jun; Gong, Pengtao; Jia, Honglin; Li, Mingying; Zhang, Guocai; Zhang, Xichen; Li, Jianhua

    2014-03-17

    Invasion in several apicomplexan parasites, including Eimeria tenella, is accompanied by shedding of surface adhesins by intramembrane proteolysis mediated by rhomboid protease. We have previously identified E. tenella rhomboid 3 (EtROM3), but its precise role has not been elucidated. In this study, the interactions between EtROM3 and microneme (MIC) proteins were analyzed using the yeast two hybrid technique. The results showed that c-Myc-ROM3 fusion protein interacted with EtMIC4 protein in co-transformed AH109 yeasts, which was further confirmed by immunoprecipitation assay. Smaller EtMIC4 band from co-transformed cells suggested that EtROM3 was an active protease and involved in the cleavage of EtMIC4.

  6. 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

  7. Targeting a dynamic protein-protein interaction: fragment screening against the malaria myosin A motor complex.

    PubMed

    Douse, Christopher H; Vrielink, Nina; Wenlin, Zhang; Cota, Ernesto; Tate, Edward W

    2015-01-01

    Motility is a vital feature of the complex life cycle of Plasmodium falciparum, the apicomplexan parasite that causes human malaria. Processes such as host cell invasion are thought to be powered by a conserved actomyosin motor (containing myosin A or myoA), correct localization of which is dependent on a tight interaction with myosin A tail domain interacting protein (MTIP) at the inner membrane of the parasite. Although disruption of this protein-protein interaction represents an attractive means to investigate the putative roles of myoA-based motility and to inhibit the parasitic life cycle, no small molecules have been identified that bind to MTIP. Furthermore, it has not been possible to obtain a crystal structure of the free protein, which is highly dynamic and unstable in the absence of its natural myoA tail partner. Herein we report the de novo identification of the first molecules that bind to and stabilize MTIP via a fragment-based, integrated biophysical approach and structural investigations to examine the binding modes of hit compounds. The challenges of targeting such a dynamic system with traditional fragment screening workflows are addressed throughout.

  8. Calcium-dependent microneme protein discharge and in vitro egress of Eimeria tenella sporozoites.

    PubMed

    Yan, Xinlei; Tao, Geru; Liu, Xianyong; Ji, Yongsheng; Suo, Xun

    2016-11-01

    Egress is a vital step in the endogenous development of apicomplexan parasites, as it assures the parasites exit from consumed host cells and entry into fresh ones. However, little information has previously been reported on this step of Eimeria spp. In this study, we investigated in vitro egress of Eimeria tenella sporozoites triggered by acetaldehyde. We found that addition of exogenous acetaldehyde induces egress of sporozoites from primary chicken kidney cells (PCKs) and stimulate secretion of E. tenella microneme 2 protein (EtMic 2). Moreover, by using cellular calcium inhibitors, we further proved that these processes were dependent on the intracellular calcium of the parasites. Our findings provide clues to the study of interaction between eimerian parasites and their hosts.

  9. Expression of Toxoplasma gondii dense granule protein7 (GRA7) in Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Yin, Guangwen; Qin, Mei; Liu, Xianyong; Suo, Jingxia; Suo, Xun

    2013-05-01

    Dense granules are specialized secretory organelles of Apicomplexa parasites; the dense granule (GRA) proteins are believed to play a role in intracellular survival and the nutrient/waste exchange mechanism with the host cell. Until now, limited information is available concerning the characterization of GRA proteins in Eimeria. Eimeria tenella and Toxoplasma gondii are apicomplexan protozoa and share many similarities in biology and genomics. We hypothesized that GRA proteins from T. gondii could be expressed and have a similar function in E. tenella. To confirm the expression and localization of the GRA protein in T. gondii and E. tenella, a transient transfection strategy was used to express T. gondii GRA7 tagged with yellow fluorescent protein (YFP) (GRA7-YFP); T. gondii tachyzoites were transfected with the plasmid pTgtubGRA7-YFP/sagCAT, and E. tenella sporozoites were transfected with the pEtmic1GRA7-YFP/act construct. The results show that fluorescence can be expressed mainly into the parasitophorous vacuoles (PVs) of the T. gondii. GRA7 of T. gondii can also be expressed in E. tenella and can lead the fluorescence protein into the PVs of the parasites and the cavity of the sporocysts. As for the extracellular stage, YFP gathered to form small particles in the released merozoites and sporozoites, suggesting a localization of the secretory organelles of E. tenella. These results suggest that GRA proteins have a conserved function across species of Apicomplexa in targeting proteins to the PVs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-25

    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.

  11. The HU Protein Is Important for Apicoplast Genome Maintenance and Inheritance in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Reiff, Sarah B.; Vaishnava, Shipra

    2012-01-01

    The apicoplast, a chloroplast-like organelle, is an essential cellular component of most apicomplexan parasites, including Plasmodium and Toxoplasma. The apicoplast maintains its own genome, a 35-kb DNA molecule that largely encodes proteins required for organellar transcription and translation. Interference with apicoplast genome maintenance and function is a validated target for drug therapy for malaria and toxoplasmosis. However, the many proteins required for genome maintenance and inheritance remain largely unstudied. Here we genetically characterize a nucleus-encoded homolog to the bacterial HU protein in Toxoplasma gondii. In bacteria, HU is a DNA-binding structural protein with fundamental roles in transcription, replication initiation, and DNA repair. Immunofluorescence assays reveal that in T. gondii this protein localizes to the apicoplast. We have found that the HU protein from Toxoplasma can successfully complement bacterial ΔhupA mutants, supporting a similar function. We were able to construct a genetic knockout of HU in Toxoplasma. This Δhu mutant is barely viable and exhibits significant growth retardation. Upon further analysis of the mutant phenotype, we find that this mutant has a dramatically reduced apicoplast genome copy number and, furthermore, suffers defects in the segregation of the apicoplast organelle. Our findings not only show that the HU protein is important for Toxoplasma cell biology but also demonstrate the importance of the apicoplast genome in the biogenesis of the organelle. PMID:22611021

  12. Analysis of the Sarcocystis neurona microneme protein SnMIC10: protein characteristics and expression during intracellular development.

    PubMed

    Hoane, Jessica S; Carruthers, Vernon B; Striepen, Boris; Morrison, David P; Entzeroth, Rolf; Howe, Daniel K

    2003-07-01

    Sarcocystis neurona, an apicomplexan parasite, is the primary causative agent of equine protozoal myeloencephalitis. Like other members of the Apicomplexa, S. neurona zoites possess secretory organelles that contain proteins necessary for host cell invasion and intracellular survival. From a collection of S. neurona expressed sequence tags, we identified a sequence encoding a putative microneme protein based on similarity to Toxoplasma gondii MIC10 (TgMIC10). Pairwise sequence alignments of SnMIC10 to TgMIC10 and NcMIC10 from Neospora caninum revealed approximately 33% identity to both orthologues. The open reading frame of the S. neurona gene encodes a 255 amino acid protein with a predicted 39-residue signal peptide. Like TgMIC10 and NcMIC10, SnMIC10 is predicted to be hydrophilic, highly alpha-helical in structure, and devoid of identifiable adhesive domains. Antibodies raised against recombinant SnMIC10 recognised a protein band with an apparent molecular weight of 24 kDa in Western blots of S. neurona merozoites, consistent with the size predicted for SnMIC10. In vitro secretion assays demonstrated that this protein is secreted by extracellular merozoites in a temperature-dependent manner. Indirect immunofluorescence analysis of SnMIC10 showed a polar labelling pattern, which is consistent with the apical position of the micronemes, and immunoelectron microscopy provided definitive localisation of the protein to these secretory organelles. Further analysis of SnMIC10 in intracellular parasites revealed that expression of this protein is temporally regulated during endopolygeny, supporting the view that micronemes are only needed during host cell invasion. Collectively, the data indicate that SnMIC10 is a microneme protein that is part of the excreted/secreted antigen fraction of S. neurona. Identification and characterisation of additional S. neurona microneme antigens and comparisons to orthologues in other Apicomplexa could provide further insight into the

  13. Evolutionary implications of localization of the signaling scaffold protein parafusin to both cilia and the nucleus.

    PubMed

    Satir, Birgit Hegner; Wyroba, Elzbieta; Liu, Li; Lethan, Mette; Satir, Peter; Christensen, Søren Tvorup

    2015-02-01

    Parafusin (PFUS), a 63 kDa protein first discovered in the eukaryote Paramecium and known for its role in apicomplexan exocytosis, provides a model for the common origin of cellular systems employing scaffold proteins for targeting and signaling. PFUS is closely related to eubacterial rather than archeal phosphoglucomutases (PGM) - as we proved by comparison of their 88 sequences - but has no PGM activity. Immunofluorescence microscopy analysis with a PFUS-specific peptide antibody showed presence of this protein around the base region of primary cilia in a variety of mammalian cell types, including mouse embryonic (MEFs) and human foreskin fibroblasts (hFFs), human carcinoma stem cells (NT-2 cells), and human retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. Further, PFUS localized to the nucleus of fibroblasts, and prominently to nucleoli of MEFs. Localization studies were confirmed by Western blot analysis, showing that the PFUS antibody specifically recognizes a single protein of ca. 63 kDa in both cytoplasmic and nuclear fractions. Finally, immunofluorescence microscopy analysis showed that PFUS localized to nuclei and cilia in Paramecium. These results support the suggestion that PFUS plays a role in signaling between nucleus and cilia, and that the cilium and the nucleus both evolved around the time of eukaryotic emergence. We hypothesize that near the beginnings of eukaryotic cell evolution, scaffold proteins such as PFUS arose as peripheral membrane protein identifiers for cytoplasmic membrane trafficking and were employed similarly during the subsequent evolution of exocytic, nuclear transport, and ciliogenic mechanisms.

  14. Molecular characterization and analysis of a novel protein disulfide isomerase-like protein of Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

    Fetterer, Raymond H; Schwarz, Ryan S; Miska, Katarzyna B; Jenkins, Mark C; Barfield, Ruth C; Murphy, Charles

    2013-10-01

    A recently completed analysis of Eimeria maxima transcriptome identified 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 Eimeria-specific protein (ESP), codes for a protein with a predicted molecular weight of 19 kDa. The ESP gene was cloned and the recombinant protein expressed in bacteria and purified for preparation of specific antisera. Quantitative RT-PCR showed transcription of ESP was low in unsporulated oocysts and after 24 h of sporulation. However, transcription nearly doubled after 48 h of sporulation and reached its highest levels in sporozoites (SZ) and merozoites (MZ). The protein was detectable by Western blot in both sporulated oocysts and in SZ and MZ. Immuno-localization by light microscopy identified ESP in paired structures in the anterior of SZ and MZ. Immuno-localization by electron microscopy identified ESP in MZ rhoptries but no specific staining of any SZ structures was detected. In addition, localization studies on intestinal sections recovered from birds 120-h post-infection indicates that oocysts do not stain with anti-ESP but staining of microgametocytes and developing oocysts was observed. The results indicate that ESP is associated with the rhoptry of E. maxima and that the protein may have functions in other developmental stages.

  16. A SAS-6-like protein suggests that the Toxoplasma conoid complex evolved from flagellar components.

    PubMed

    de Leon, Jessica Cruz; Scheumann, Nicole; Beatty, Wandy; Beck, Josh R; Tran, Johnson Q; Yau, Candace; Bradley, Peter J; Gull, Keith; Wickstead, Bill; Morrissette, Naomi S

    2013-07-01

    SAS-6 is required for centriole biogenesis in diverse eukaryotes. Here, we describe a novel family of SAS-6-like (SAS6L) proteins that share an N-terminal domain with SAS-6 but lack coiled-coil tails. SAS6L proteins are found in a subset of eukaryotes that contain SAS-6, including diverse protozoa and green algae. In the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii, SAS-6 localizes to the centriole but SAS6L is found above the conoid, an enigmatic tubulin-containing structure found at the apex of a subset of alveolate organisms. Loss of SAS6L causes reduced fitness in Toxoplasma. The Trypanosoma brucei homolog of SAS6L localizes to the basal-plate region, the site in the axoneme where the central-pair microtubules are nucleated. When endogenous SAS6L is overexpressed in Toxoplasma tachyzoites or Trypanosoma trypomastigotes, it forms prominent filaments that extend through the cell cytoplasm, indicating that it retains a capacity to form higher-order structures despite lacking a coiled-coil domain. We conclude that although SAS6L proteins share a conserved domain with SAS-6, they are a functionally distinct family that predates the last common ancestor of eukaryotes. Moreover, the distinct localization of the SAS6L protein in Trypanosoma and Toxoplasma adds weight to the hypothesis that the conoid complex evolved from flagellar components.

  17. The role of palmitoylation for protein recruitment to the inner membrane complex of the malaria parasite.

    PubMed

    Wetzel, Johanna; Herrmann, Susann; Swapna, Lakshmipuram Seshadri; Prusty, Dhaneswar; John Peter, Arun T; Kono, Maya; Saini, Sidharth; Nellimarla, Srinivas; Wong, Tatianna Wai Ying; Wilcke, Louisa; Ramsay, Olivia; Cabrera, Ana; Biller, Laura; Heincke, Dorothee; Mossman, Karen; Spielmann, Tobias; Ungermann, Christian; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2015-01-16

    To survive and persist within its human host, the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum utilizes a battery of lineage-specific innovations to invade and multiply in human erythrocytes. With central roles in invasion and cytokinesis, the inner membrane complex, a Golgi-derived double membrane structure underlying the plasma membrane of the parasite, represents a unique and unifying structure characteristic to all organisms belonging to a large phylogenetic group called Alveolata. More than 30 structurally and phylogenetically distinct proteins are embedded in the IMC, where a portion of these proteins displays N-terminal acylation motifs. Although N-terminal myristoylation is catalyzed co-translationally within the cytoplasm of the parasite, palmitoylation takes place at membranes and is mediated by palmitoyl acyltransferases (PATs). Here, we identify a PAT (PfDHHC1) that is exclusively localized to the IMC. Systematic phylogenetic analysis of the alveolate PAT family reveals PfDHHC1 to be a member of a highly conserved, apicomplexan-specific clade of PATs. We show that during schizogony this enzyme has an identical distribution like two dual-acylated, IMC-localized proteins (PfISP1 and PfISP3). We used these proteins to probe into specific sequence requirements for IMC-specific membrane recruitment and their interaction with differentially localized PATs of the parasite.

  18. Secreted protein kinases regulate cyst burden during chronic toxoplasmosis.

    PubMed

    Jones, Nathaniel G; Wang, Qiuling; Sibley, L David

    2017-02-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite that secretes a large number of protein kinases and pseudokinases from its rhoptry organelles. Although some rhoptry kinases (ROPKs) act as virulence factors, many remain uncharacterized. In this study, predicted ROPKs were assessed for bradyzoite expression then prioritized for a reverse genetic analysis in the type II strain Pru that is amenable to targeted disruption. Using CRISPR/Cas9, we engineered C-terminally epitope tagged ROP21 and ROP27 and demonstrated their localization to the parasitophorous vacuole and cyst matrix. ROP21 and ROP27 were not secreted from microneme, rhoptry, or dense granule organelles, but rather were located in small vesicles consistent with a constitutive pathway. Using CRISPR/Cas9, the genes for ROP21, ROP27, ROP28, and ROP30 were deleted individually and in combination, and the mutant parasites were assessed for growth and their ability to form tissue cysts in mice. All knockouts lines were normal for in vitro growth and bradyzoite differentiation, but a combined ∆rop21/∆rop17 knockout led to a 50% reduction in cyst burden in vivo. Our findings question the existing annotation of ROPKs based solely on bioinformatic techniques and yet highlight the importance of secreted kinases in determining the severity of chronic toxoplasmosis.

  19. Immunolocalization of an osteopontin-like protein in dense granules of Toxoplasma gondii tachyzoites and its association with the parasitophorous vacuole.

    PubMed

    Cortez, Erika; Stumbo, Ana Carolina; Saldanha-Gama, Roberta; Villela, Christina Gaspar; Barja-Fidalgo, Christina; Rodrigues, Carlos Alberto; das Graças Henriques, Maria; Benchimol, Marlene; Barbosa, Helene S; Porto, Luis Cristóvão; Carvalho, Laís

    2008-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite infecting a broad host range, including humans. The parasite invades host cell by active penetration with the participation of its secretory organelles proteins during this process. Until now, only a limited number of secretory proteins have been discovered, and the effectors molecules involved in parasite invasion and survival are not well understood. Osteopontin (OPN) is a multifunctional glycophosphoprotein, secreted by different cell types, which is involved in various physiological and pathological events including cell signaling and survival. For the first time we demonstrated in this work by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy approaches the localization of an OPN-like protein in dense granules of extracellular T. gondii tachyzoites. Western blotting and RT-PCR confirmed this protein expression by the parasites. Our results also showed, after macrophage invasion, an intense positive labeling for OPN-like protein at the sub-apical portion of tachyzoites, the site of dense granules secretion, and the localization of this protein at the parasitophorous vacuole membrane. These data suggest that dense granules secrete an OPN-like protein, and we speculate that this protein participates during the parasite interaction process with host cells and parasitophorous vacuole formation.

  20. 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 ...

  1. Functional characterizations of malonyl-CoA:acyl carrier protein transacylase (MCAT) in Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Sun, Mingfei; Zhu, Guan; Qin, Zonghua; Wu, Caiyan; Lv, Minna; Liao, Shenquan; Qi, Nanshan; Xie, Mingquan; Cai, Jianping

    2012-07-01

    Eimeria tenella, an apicomplexan parasite in chickens, possesses an apicoplast and its associated metabolic pathways including the Type II fatty acid synthesis (FAS II). Malonyl-CoA:acyl-carry protein transacylase (MCAT) encoded by the fabD gene is one of the essential enzymes in the FAS II system. In the present study, the entire E. tenella MCAT gene (EtfabD) was cloned and sequenced. Immunolabeling located this protein in the apicoplast organelle in coccidial sporozoites. Functional replacement of the fabD gene with amber mutation of E. coli temperature-sensitive LA2-89 strain by E. tenella EtMCAT demonstrated that EcFabD and EtMCAT perform the same biochemical function. The recombinant EtMCAT protein was expressed and its general biochemical features were also determined. An alkaloid natural product corytuberine (CAS: 517-56-6) could specifically inhibit the EtMCAT activity (IC(50)=16.47μM), but the inhibition of parasite growth in vitro by corytuberine was very weak (the predicted MIC(50)=0.65mM).

  2. RON12, a novel Plasmodium-specific rhoptry neck protein important for parasite proliferation

    PubMed Central

    Knuepfer, Ellen; Suleyman, Oniz; Dluzewski, Anton R; Straschil, Ursula; O'Keeffe, Aisling H; Ogun, Solabomi A; Green, Judith L; Grainger, Munira; Tewari, Rita; Holder, Anthony A

    2014-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites invade host cells by a conserved mechanism: parasite proteins are secreted from apical organelles, anchored in the host cell plasma membrane, and then interact with integral membrane proteins on the zoite surface to form the moving junction (MJ). The junction moves from the anterior to the posterior of the parasite resulting in parasite internalization into the host cell within a parasitophorous vacuole (PV). Conserved as well as coccidia-unique rhoptry neck proteins (RONs) have been described, some of which associate with the MJ. Here we report a novel RON, which we call RON12. RON12 is found only in Plasmodium and is highly conserved across the genus. RON12 lacks a membrane anchor and is a major soluble component of the nascent PV. The bulk of RON12 secretion happens late during invasion (after parasite internalization) allowing accumulation in the fully formed PV with a small proportion of RON12 also apparent occasionally in structures resembling the MJ. RON12, unlike most other RONs is not essential, but deletion of the gene does affect parasite proliferation. The data suggest that although the overall mechanism of invasion by Apicomplexanparasites is conserved, additional components depending on the parasite–host cell combination are required. PMID:23937520

  3. Investigation of SnSPR1, a novel and abundant surface protein of Sarcocystis neurona merozoites.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Deqing; Howe, Daniel K

    2008-04-15

    An expressed sequence tag (EST) sequencing project has produced over 15,000 partial cDNA sequences from the equine pathogen Sarcocystis neurona. While many of the sequences are clear homologues of previously characterized genes, a significant number of the S. neurona ESTs do not exhibit similarity to anything in the extensive sequence databases that have been generated. In an effort to characterize parasite proteins that are novel to S. neurona, a seemingly unique gene was selected for further investigation based on its abundant representation in the collection of ESTs and the predicted presence of a signal peptide and glycolipid anchor addition on the encoded protein. The gene was expressed in E. coli, and monospecific polyclonal antiserum against the recombinant protein was produced by immunization of a rabbit. Characterization of the native protein in S. neurona merozoites and schizonts revealed that it is a low molecular weight surface protein that is expressed throughout intracellular development of the parasite. The protein was designated Surface Protein 1 (SPR1) to reflect its display on the outer surface of merozoites and to distinguish it from the ubiquitous SAG/SRS surface antigens of the heteroxenous Coccidia. Interestingly, infection assays in the presence of the polyclonal antiserum suggested that SnSPR1 plays some role in attachment and/or invasion of host cells by S. neurona merozoites. The work described herein represents a general template for selecting and characterizing the various unidentified gene sequences that are plentiful in the EST databases for S. neurona and other apicomplexans. Furthermore, this study illustrates the value of investigating these novel sequences since it can offer new candidates for diagnostic or vaccine development while also providing greater insight into the biology of these parasites.

  4. Malaria parasites possess a telomere repeat-binding protein that shares ancestry with transcription factor IIIA.

    PubMed

    Bertschi, Nicole L; Toenhake, Christa G; Zou, Angela; Niederwieser, Igor; Henderson, Rob; Moes, Suzette; Jenoe, Paul; Parkinson, John; Bartfai, Richard; Voss, Till S

    2017-03-13

    Telomere repeat-binding factors (TRFs) are essential components of the molecular machinery that regulates telomere function. TRFs are widely conserved across eukaryotes and bind duplex telomere repeats via a characteristic MYB-type domain. Here, we identified the telomere repeat-binding protein PfTRZ in the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, a member of the Alveolate phylum for which TRFs have not been described so far. PfTRZ lacks an MYB domain and binds telomere repeats via a C2H2-type zinc finger domain instead. In vivo, PfTRZ binds with high specificity to the telomeric tract and to interstitial telomere repeats upstream of subtelomeric virulence genes. Conditional depletion experiments revealed that PfTRZ regulates telomere length homeostasis and is required for efficient cell cycle progression. Intriguingly, we found that PfTRZ also binds to and regulates the expression of 5S rDNA genes. Combined with detailed phylogenetic analyses, our findings identified PfTRZ as a remote functional homologue of the basic transcription factor TFIIIA, which acquired a new function in telomere maintenance early in the apicomplexan lineage. Our work sheds unexpected new light on the evolution of telomere repeat-binding proteins and paves the way for dissecting the presumably divergent mechanisms regulating telomere functionality in one of the most deadly human pathogens.

  5. Microneme Protein 5 Regulates the Activity of Toxoplasma Subtilisin 1 by Mimicking a Subtilisin Prodomain*

    PubMed Central

    Saouros, Savvas; Dou, Zhicheng; Henry, Maud; Marchant, Jan; Carruthers, Vern B.; Matthews, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is the model parasite of the phylum Apicomplexa, which contains obligate intracellular parasites of medical and veterinary importance. Apicomplexans invade host cells by a multistep process involving the secretion of adhesive microneme protein (MIC) complexes. The subtilisin protease TgSUB1 trims several MICs on the parasite surface to activate gliding motility and host invasion. Although a previous study showed that expression of the secretory protein TgMIC5 suppresses TgSUB1 activity, the mechanism was unknown. Here, we solve the three-dimensional structure of TgMIC5 by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), revealing that it mimics a subtilisin prodomain including a flexible C-terminal peptide that may insert into the subtilisin active site. We show that TgMIC5 is an almost 50-fold more potent inhibitor of TgSUB1 activity than the small molecule inhibitor N-[N-(N-acetyl-l-leucyl)-l-leucyl]-l-norleucine (ALLN). Moreover, we demonstrate that TgMIC5 is retained on the parasite plasma membrane via its physical interaction with the membrane-anchored TgSUB1. PMID:22896704

  6. Plasmodium falciparum: genetic and immunogenic characterisation of the rhoptry neck protein PfRON4.

    PubMed

    Morahan, Belinda J; Sallmann, Georgina B; Huestis, Robert; Dubljevic, Valentina; Waller, Karena L

    2009-08-01

    The Apicomplexan parasites Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, respectively, cause toxoplasmosis and malaria in humans and although they invade different host cells they share largely conserved invasion mechanisms. Plasmodium falciparum merozoite invasion of red blood cells results from a series of co-ordinated events that comprise attachment of the merozoite, its re-orientation, release of the contents of the invasion-related apical organelles (the rhoptries and micronemes) followed by active propulsion of the merozoite into the cell via an actin-myosin motor. During this process, a tight junction between the parasite and red blood cell plasma membranes is formed and recent studies have identified rhoptry neck proteins, including PfRON4, that are specifically associated with the tight junction during invasion. Here, we report the structure of the gene that encodes PfRON4 and its apparent limited diversity amongst geographically diverse P. falciparum isolates. We also report that PfRON4 protein sequences elicit immunogenic responses in natural human malaria infections.

  7. Sites of interaction between aldolase and thrombospondin-related anonymous protein in plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Buscaglia, Carlos A; Coppens, Isabelle; Hol, Wim G J; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2003-12-01

    Gliding motility and host cell invasion by apicomplexan parasites are empowered by an acto-myosin motor located underneath the parasite plasma membrane. The motor is connected to host cell receptors through trans-membrane invasins belonging to the thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP) family. A recent study indicates that aldolase bridges the cytoplasmic tail of MIC2, the homologous TRAP protein in Toxoplasma, and actin. Here, we confirm these unexpected findings in Plasmodium sporozoites and identify conserved features of the TRAP family cytoplasmic tail required to bind aldolase: a subterminal tryptophan residue and two noncontiguous stretches of negatively charged amino acids. The aldolase substrate and other compounds that bind to the active site inhibit its interaction with TRAP and with F-actin, suggesting that the function of the motor is metabolically regulated. Ultrastructural studies in salivary gland sporozoites localize aldolase to the periphery of the secretory micronemes containing TRAP. Thus, the interaction between aldolase and the TRAP tail takes place during or preceding the biogenesis of the micronemes. The release of their contents in the anterior pole of the parasite upon contact with the target cells should bring simultaneously aldolase, TRAP and perhaps F-actin to the proper subcellular location where the motor is engaged.

  8. Rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) Is a Key Virulence Factor in Neospora caninum

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lei; Liu, Jing; Li, Muzi; Fu, Yong; Zhang, Xiao; Liu, Qun

    2017-01-01

    Neospora caninum, of the Apicomplexa phylum, is a common cause of abortions in cattle and nervous system dysfunction in dogs. Rhoptry proteins of Apicomplexa play an important role in virulence. The objectives of this study were to study functions of NcROP5 in N. caninum by deleting the NcROP5 gene from the wild Nc-1 strain. We selected NcROP5 in ToxoDB and successfully constructed an NcROP5 gene-deleted vector, pTCR-NcROP5-CD KO. Then we screened the NcROP5 knockout strains (ΔNcROP5) at the gene, protein and transcription levels. Plaque assay, host cell invasion assay and intracellular proliferation test showed that the ΔNcROP5 strain had less plaque space, weakened invasion capacity and slower intracellular growth. Animal testing showed significantly lower cerebral load of ΔNcROP5 than the load of the Nc-1 strain, as well as a loss of virulence for the ΔNcROP5 strains. Phenotypic analyses using the label-free LC-MS/MS assay-based proteomic method and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis showed a reduction of NcGRA7 transcription and altered expression of multiple proteins including the apicomplexan family of binding proteins. The present study indicated that ROP5 is a key virulence factor in N. caninum in mice. The proteomic profiling of Nc-1 and ΔNcROP5 provided some data on differential proteins. These data provide a foundation for future research of protein functions in N. caninum. PMID:28326073

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

    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.

  11. Toxoplasma exports dense granule proteins beyond the vacuole to the host cell nucleus and rewires the host genome expression.

    PubMed

    Bougdour, Alexandre; Tardieux, Isabelle; Hakimi, Mohamed-Ali

    2014-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is the most widespread apicomplexan parasite and occupies a large spectrum of niches by infecting virtually any warm-blooded animals. As an obligate intracellular parasite, Toxoplasma has evolved a repertoire of strategies to fine-tune the cellular environment in an optimal way to promote growth and persistence in host tissues hence increasing the chance to be transmitted to new hosts. Short and long-term intracellular survival is associated with Toxoplasma ability to both evade the host deleterious immune defences and to stimulate a beneficial immune balance by governing host cell gene expression. It is only recently that parasite proteins responsible for driving these transcriptional changes have been identified. While proteins contained in the apical secretory Rhoptry organelle have already been identified as bona fide secreted effectors that divert host signalling pathways, recent findings revealed that dense granule proteins should be added to the growing list of effectors as they reach the host cell cytoplasm and nucleus and target various host cell pathways in the course of cell infection. Herein, we emphasize on a novel subfamily of dense granule residentproteins, exemplified with the GRA16 and GRA24 members we recently discovered as both are exported beyond the vacuole-containing parasites and reach the host cell nucleus to reshape the host genome expression.

  12. Proteolytic activity of Plasmodium falciparum subtilisin-like protease 3 on parasite profilin, a multifunctional protein.

    PubMed

    Alam, Asrar; Bhatnagar, Raj K; Relan, Udbhav; Mukherjee, Paushali; Chauhan, Virander S

    2013-10-01

    Subtilisin-like proteases of malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum (PfSUB1, 2 and 3) are expressed at late asexual blood stages. PfSUB1 and 2 are considered important drug targets due to their essentiality for parasite blood stages and role in merozoite egress and invasion of erythrocytes. We have earlier shown the in vitro serine protease activity of PfSUB3 and its localization at asexual blood stages. In this study, we attempted to identify the biological substrate(s) of PfSUB3 and found parasite profilin (PfPRF) as a substrate of the protease. Eukaryotic profilins are multifunctional proteins with primary role in regulation of actin filament assembly. PfPRF possesses biochemical features of eukaryotic profilins and its rodent ortholog is essential in blood stages. Profilin from related apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii (TgPRF) is known to be involved in parasite motility, host cell invasion, active egress from host cell, immune evasion and virulence in mice. In this study, mature PfSUB3 proteolysed recombinant PfPRF in a dose-dependent manner in in vitro assays. Recombinant PfPRF was assessed for its proinflammatory activity and found to induce high level of TNF-α and low but significant level of IL-12 from mouse bone marrow-derived dendritic cells. Proteolysis of PfPRF by PfSUB3 is suggestive of the probable role of the protease in the processes of motility, virulence and immune evasion.

  13. Three old and one new: protein import into red algal-derived plastids surrounded by four membranes.

    PubMed

    Stork, Simone; Lau, Julia; Moog, Daniel; Maier, Uwe-G

    2013-10-01

    Engulfment of a red or green alga by another eukaryote and subsequent reduction of the symbiont to an organelle, termed a complex plastid, is a process known as secondary endosymbiosis and is shown in a diverse group of eukaryotic organisms. Important members are heterokontophytes, haptophytes, cryptophytes, and apicomplexan parasites, all of them with complex plastids of red algal origin surrounded by four membranes. Although the evolutionary relationship between these organisms is still debated, they share common mechanisms for plastid protein import. In this review, we describe recent findings and current models on preprotein import into complex plastids with a special focus on the second outermost plastid membrane. Derived from the plasma membrane of the former endosymbiont, the evolution of protein transport across this so-called periplastidal membrane most likely represented the challenge in the transition from an endosymbiont to a host-dependent organelle. Here, remodeling and relocation of the symbiont endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD) machinery gave rise to a translocon complex termed symbiont-specific ERAD-like machinery and provides a fascinating insight into complex cellular evolution.

  14. Molecular characterization and analysis of a novel calcium-dependent protein kinase from Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Han, H Y; Zhu, S H; Jiang, L L; Li, Y; Dong, H; Zhao, Q P; Kong, C L; Huang, B

    2013-05-01

    The calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) are unique enzymes found only in plants, green algae, ciliates and apicomplexan parasites. In this study, a novel CDPK gene of Eimeria tenella, designed EtCDPK3, was cloned using rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) based on the expressed sequence tag (EST). The entire cDNA of EtCDPK3 contained 1637 nucleotides encoding 433 amino acids and the deduced EtCDPK3 protein had canonical characteristic domains identified in other CDPKs, including a well-conserved amino-terminal kinase domain and a carboxy-terminal calmodulin-like structure with 4 EF-hand motifs for calcium binding. The expression profiles of the EtCDPK3 gene in different development stages were investigated by real-time quantitative PCR. Messenger RNA levels from the EtCDPK3 gene were higher in sporozoites than in other stages (unsporulated oocysts, sporulated oocysts and merozoites). Western blot analysis showed that rabbit antiserum against recombinant EtCDPK3 could recognize a native 49 kDa protein band of parasite. Indirect immunofluorescent antibody labelling revealed dispersed localization of EtCDPK3 during the first schizogony and intense specific staining. EtCDPK3 was located at the apical end of the sporozoites after early infection of DF-1 cells and the protein was highly expressed. Inhibition of EtCDPK3 function using specific antibodies reduced the ability of E. tenella to invade host cells. These results suggested that EtCDPK3 may be involved in invasion and survival of the parasite intracellular stages of E. tenella. Because this kinase family is absent from hosts, it represents a valid target that could be exploited for chemotherapy against Eimeria spp.

  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. The Toxoplasma gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase 7 is involved in early steps of parasite division and is crucial for parasite survival.

    PubMed

    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 subcellular 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.

  18. Development of transgenic lines of Eimeria tenella expressing M2e-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (M2e-EYFP).

    PubMed

    Liu, Xianyong; Zou, Jun; Yin, Guangwen; Su, Huali; Huang, Xiaoxi; Li, Jianan; Xie, Li; Cao, Yingqiong; Cui, Yujuan; Suo, Xun

    2013-03-31

    Eimeria parasites are obligate intracellular apicomplexan protists that can cause coccidiosis, resulting in substantial economic losses in the poultry industry annually. As the component of anticoccidial vaccines, seven Eimeria spp. of chickens are characterized with potent immunogenicity. Whether genetically modified Eimeria spp. maintains this property or not needs to be verified. In this study, two identical transgenic lines of Eimeria tenella were developed by virtue of single sporocyst isolation from a stably transfected population expressing fused protein of M2 ectodomain of avian influenza virus (M2e) and enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP). The chromosomal integration and expression of M2e-EYFP were confirmed by Southern blot, plasmid rescue and Western blot analysis. We found that the reproduction of transgenic parasites was higher than that of the parental strain. Chickens challenged with wild type E. tenella after immunization with 200 oocysts of transgenic parasites had similar performance compared to those in non-immunized and non-challenged group. In another trial, the performance of transgenic parasite-immunized birds was also comparable to that of the Decoquinate Premix-treated chickens. These results suggest that this transgenic line of E. tenella is capable of inducing potent protection against homologous challenge as a live anticoccidial vaccine. Taking together, our study indicates that transgenic eimerian parasites have the potential to be developed as a vaccine vehicle for animal use in the future.

  19. Identification of Toxoplasma TgPH1, a pleckstrin homology domain-containing protein that binds to the phosphoinositide PI(3,5)P2.

    PubMed

    Daher, Wassim; Morlon-Guyot, Juliette; Alayi, Tchilabalo Dilezitoko; Tomavo, Stan; Wengelnik, Kai; Lebrun, Maryse

    2016-05-01

    The phosphoinositide phosphatidylinositol-3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) plays crucial roles in the maintenance of lysosome/vacuole morphology, membrane trafficking and regulation of endolysosome-localized membrane channel activity. In Toxoplasma gondii, we previously reported that PI(3,5)P2 is essential for parasite survival by controlling homeostasis of the apicoplast, a particular organelle of algal origin. Here, by using a phosphoinositide pull-down assay, we identified TgPH1 in Toxoplasma a protein conserved in many apicomplexan parasites. TgPH1 binds specifically to PI(3,5)P2, shows punctate intracellular localization, but plays no vital role for tachyzoite growth in vitro. TgPH1 is a protein predominantly formed by a pleckstrin homology (PH) domain. So far, PH domains have been described to bind preferentially to bis- or trisphosphate phosphoinositides containing two adjacent phosphates (i.e. PI(3,4)P2, PI(4,5)P2, PI(3,4,5)P3). Therefore, our study reveals an unusual feature of TgPH1 which binds preferentially to PI(3,5)P2.

  20. NDR proteins

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Alan M

    2010-01-01

    N-myc downregulated (NDR) genes were discovered more than fifteen years ago. Indirect evidence support a role in tumor progression and cellular differentiation, but their biochemical function is still unknown. Our detailed analyses on Arabidopsis NDR proteins (deisgnated NDR-like, NDL) show their involvement in altering auxin transport, local auxin gradients and expression level of auxin transport proteins. Animal NDL proteins may be involved in membrane recycling of E-cadherin and effector for the small GTPase. In light of these findings, we hypothesize that NDL proteins regulate vesicular trafficking of auxin transport facilitator PIN proteins by biochemically alterating the local lipid environment of PIN proteins. PMID:20724844

  1. Proteins (image)

    MedlinePlus

    ... is an important nutrient that builds muscles and bones and provides energy. Protein can help with weight control because it helps you feel full and satisfied from your meals. The healthiest proteins are the leanest. This means ...

  2. 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…

  3. Therapeutic proteins.

    PubMed

    Dimitrov, Dimiter S

    2012-01-01

    Protein-based therapeutics are highly successful in clinic and currently enjoy unprecedented recognition of their potential. More than 100 genuine and similar number of modified therapeutic proteins are approved for clinical use in the European Union and the USA with 2010 sales of US$108 bln; monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) accounted for almost half (48%) of the sales. Based on their pharmacological activity, they can be divided into five groups: (a) replacing a protein that is deficient or abnormal; (b) augmenting an existing pathway; (c) providing a novel function or activity; (d) interfering with a molecule or organism; and (e) delivering other compounds or proteins, such as a radionuclide, cytotoxic drug, or effector proteins. Therapeutic proteins can also be grouped based on their molecular types that include antibody-based drugs, Fc fusion proteins, anticoagulants, blood factors, bone morphogenetic proteins, engineered protein scaffolds, enzymes, growth factors, hormones, interferons, interleukins, and thrombolytics. They can also be classified based on their molecular mechanism of activity as (a) binding non-covalently to target, e.g., mAbs; (b) affecting covalent bonds, e.g., enzymes; and (c) exerting activity without specific interactions, e.g., serum albumin. Most protein therapeutics currently on the market are recombinant and hundreds of them are in clinical trials for therapy of cancers, immune disorders, infections, and other diseases. New engineered proteins, including bispecific mAbs and multispecific fusion proteins, mAbs conjugated with small molecule drugs, and proteins with optimized pharmacokinetics, are currently under development. However, in the last several decades, there are no conceptually new methodological developments comparable, e.g., to genetic engineering leading to the development of recombinant therapeutic proteins. It appears that a paradigm change in methodologies and understanding of mechanisms is needed to overcome major

  4. Antimicrobial effects of murine mesenchymal stromal cells directed against Toxoplasma gondii and Neospora caninum: role of immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) and guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs).

    PubMed

    Spekker, K; Leineweber, M; Degrandi, D; Ince, V; Brunder, S; Schmidt, S K; Stuhlsatz, S; Howard, J C; Schares, G; Degistirici, O; Meisel, R; Sorg, R V; Seissler, J; Hemphill, A; Pfeffer, K; Däubener, W

    2013-06-01

    Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have a multilineage differentiation potential and provide immunosuppressive and antimicrobial functions. Murine as well as human MSCs restrict the proliferation of T cells. However, species-specific differences in the underlying molecular mechanisms have been described. Here, we analyzed the antiparasitic effector mechanisms active in murine MSCs. Murine MSCs, in contrast to human MSCs, could not restrict the growth of a highly virulent strain of Toxoplasma gondii (BK) after stimulation with IFN-γ. However, the growth of a type II strain of T. gondii (ME49) was strongly inhibited by IFN-γ-activated murine MSCs. Immunity-related GTPases (IRGs) as well as guanylate-binding proteins (GBPs) contributed to this antiparasitic effect. Further analysis showed that IFN-γ-activated mMSCs also inhibit the growth of Neospora caninum, a parasite belonging to the apicomplexan group as well. Detailed studies with murine IFN-γ-activated MSC indicated an involvement in IRGs like Irga6, Irgb6 and Irgd in the inhibition of N. caninum. Additional data showed that, furthermore, GBPs like mGBP1 and mGBP2 could have played a role in the anti-N. caninum effect of murine MSCs. These data underline that MSCs, in addition to their regenerative and immunosuppressive activity, function as antiparasitic effector cells as well. However, IRGs are not present in the human genome, indicating a species-specific difference in anti-T. gondii and anti-N. caninum effect between human and murine MSCs.

  5. Protein from intestinal Eimeria protozoan stimulates IL-12 release from dendritic cells, exhibits antitumor properties in vivo and is correlated with low intestinal tumorigenicity.

    PubMed

    Rosenberg, Barnett; Juckett, David A; Aylsworth, Charles F; Dimitrov, Nikolay V; Ho, Siu-Cheong; Judge, John W; Kessel, Sarah; Quensen, Janet; Wong, Kwai-Pheng Ho; Zlatkin, Igor; Zlatkin, Tanya

    2005-05-01

    The small intestine (SI) of vertebrates exhibits low tumorigenesis and rarely supports metastatic growth from distant tumors. Many theories have been proposed to address this phenomenon, but none has been consistently supported. One candidate mechanism is that the vast immunologic compartment of the SI provides a heightened level of tumor immunosurveillance. Consistent with this, we have identified a molecule of low abundance from bovine SI that has the hallmarks of a potent immunostimulant and may be associated with the natural suppression of cancer in the intestinal tract. The protein originates from an endemic gut protozoan, Eimeria spp., and is homologous to the antigen 3-1E previously isolated from the avian apicomplexan E. acervulina. We show here that it is a very potent stimulator of IL-12 release from dendritic cells, upregulates inflammatory modulators in vivo (IL-12, MCP-1, IL-6, TNF-alpha and INF-gamma) and has antitumor properties in mice. In addition, it is synergistic in vitro with anti-CD40 antibody, IFN-gamma, IL-4 and GM-CSF; is active across species barriers in vivo; and has no observable toxicity. Based on these activities, we speculate that it is an inducer of protozoan-targeted innate immunity, which may explain its potential benefit to the intestinal tract and potency as an agent in cancer immunotherapy.

  6. Whey Protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... inflammation (polymyalgia rheumatica). Taking whey protein in a dairy product twice daily for 8 weeks does not improve muscle function, walking speed, or other movement tests in people with polymyalgia rheumatica. Other conditions. More evidence is needed to rate whey protein for these uses.

  7. 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...

  8. Analysis of stage specific protein expression during babesia bovis development within rhipicephalus microplus female ticks

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arthropod borne pathogens have a complex life cycle that includes asexual reproduction of haploid stages in mammalian erythrocytes and development of diploid stages in the vector. Transition of Apicomplexan pathogens between the mammalian host and the arthropod vector is critical for ongoing transmi...

  9. Antibodies against Thrombospondin-Related Anonymous Protein Do Not Inhibit Plasmodium Sporozoite Infectivity In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Gantt, Soren; Persson, Cathrine; Rose, Keith; Birkett, Ashley J.; Abagyan, Ruben; Nussenzweig, Victor

    2000-01-01

    Thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP), a candidate malaria vaccine antigen, is required for Plasmodium sporozoite gliding motility and cell invasion. For the first time, the ability of antibodies against TRAP to inhibit sporozoite infectivity in vivo is evaluated in detail. TRAP contains an A-domain, a well-characterized adhesive motif found in integrins. We modeled here a three-dimensional structure of the TRAP A-domain of Plasmodium yoelii and located regions surrounding the MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site), the presumed business end of the domain. Mice were immunized with constructs containing these A-domain regions but were not protected from sporozoite challenge. Furthermore, monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against the A-domain, the conserved N terminus, and the repeat region of TRAP had no effect on the gliding motility or sporozoite infectivity to mice. TRAP is located in micronemes, secretory organelles of apicomplexan parasites. Accordingly, the antibodies tested here stained cytoplasmic TRAP brightly by immunofluorescence. However, very little TRAP could be detected on the surface of sporozoites. In contrast, a dramatic relocalization of TRAP onto the parasite surface occurred when sporozoites were treated with calcium ionophore. This likely mimics the release of TRAP from micronemes when a sporozoite contacts its target cell in vivo. Contact with hepatoma cells in culture also appeared to induce the release of TRAP onto the surface of sporozoites. If large amounts of TRAP are released in close proximity to its cellular receptor(s), effective competitive inhibition by antibodies may be difficult to achieve. PMID:10816526

  10. Antibodies against thrombospondin-related anonymous protein do not inhibit Plasmodium sporozoite infectivity in vivo.

    PubMed

    Gantt, S; Persson, C; Rose, K; Birkett, A J; Abagyan, R; Nussenzweig, V

    2000-06-01

    Thrombospondin-related anonymous protein (TRAP), a candidate malaria vaccine antigen, is required for Plasmodium sporozoite gliding motility and cell invasion. For the first time, the ability of antibodies against TRAP to inhibit sporozoite infectivity in vivo is evaluated in detail. TRAP contains an A-domain, a well-characterized adhesive motif found in integrins. We modeled here a three-dimensional structure of the TRAP A-domain of Plasmodium yoelii and located regions surrounding the MIDAS (metal ion-dependent adhesion site), the presumed business end of the domain. Mice were immunized with constructs containing these A-domain regions but were not protected from sporozoite challenge. Furthermore, monoclonal and rabbit polyclonal antibodies against the A-domain, the conserved N terminus, and the repeat region of TRAP had no effect on the gliding motility or sporozoite infectivity to mice. TRAP is located in micronemes, secretory organelles of apicomplexan parasites. Accordingly, the antibodies tested here stained cytoplasmic TRAP brightly by immunofluorescence. However, very little TRAP could be detected on the surface of sporozoites. In contrast, a dramatic relocalization of TRAP onto the parasite surface occurred when sporozoites were treated with calcium ionophore. This likely mimics the release of TRAP from micronemes when a sporozoite contacts its target cell in vivo. Contact with hepatoma cells in culture also appeared to induce the release of TRAP onto the surface of sporozoites. If large amounts of TRAP are released in close proximity to its cellular receptor(s), effective competitive inhibition by antibodies may be difficult to achieve.

  11. Total protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... 2016:chap 215. Read More Agammaglobulinemia Albumin - blood (serum) test Amino acids Antibody Burns Chronic Congenital nephrotic syndrome Fibrinogen blood test Glomerulonephritis Hemoglobin Liver disease Malabsorption Multiple myeloma Polycythemia vera Protein in diet ...

  12. Brain microvessel cross-presentation is a hallmark of experimental cerebral malaria

    PubMed Central

    Howland, Shanshan W; Poh, Chek Meng; Gun, Sin Yee; Claser, Carla; Malleret, Benoit; Shastri, Nilabh; Ginhoux, Florent; Grotenbreg, Gijsbert M; Rénia, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Cerebral malaria is a devastating complication of Plasmodium falciparum infection. Its pathogenesis is complex, involving both parasite- and immune-mediated events. CD8+ T cells play an effector role in murine experimental cerebral malaria (ECM) induced by Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infection. We have identified a highly immunogenic CD8 epitope in glideosome-associated protein 50 that is conserved across rodent malaria species. Epitope-specific CD8+ T cells are induced during PbA infection, migrating to the brain just before neurological signs manifest. They are functional, cytotoxic and can damage the blood–brain barrier in vivo. Such CD8+ T cells are also found in the brain during infection with parasite strains/species that do not induce neuropathology. We demonstrate here that PbA infection causes brain microvessels to cross-present parasite antigen, while non-ECM-causing parasites do not. Further, treatment with fast-acting anti-malarial drugs before the onset of ECM reduces parasite load and thus antigen presentation in the brain, preventing ECM death. Thus our data suggest that combined therapies targeting both the parasite and host antigen-presenting cells may improve the outcome of CM patients. PMID:23681698

  13. Protein Crystallizability.

    PubMed

    Smialowski, Pawel; Wong, Philip

    2016-01-01

    Obtaining diffracting quality crystals remains a major challenge in protein structure research. We summarize and compare methods for selecting the best protein targets for crystallization, construct optimization and crystallization condition design. Target selection methods are divided into algorithms predicting the chance of successful progression through all stages of structural determination (from cloning to solving the structure) and those focusing only on the crystallization step. We tried to highlight pros and cons of different approaches examining the following aspects: data size, redundancy and representativeness, overfitting during model construction, and results evaluation. In summary, although in recent years progress was made and several sequence properties were reported to be relevant for crystallization, the successful prediction of protein crystallization behavior and selection of corresponding crystallization conditions continue to challenge structural researchers.

  14. 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.

  15. Toxoplasma DJ-1 Regulates Organelle Secretion by a Direct Interaction with Calcium-Dependent Protein Kinase 1.

    PubMed

    Child, Matthew A; Garland, Megan; Foe, Ian; Madzelan, Peter; Treeck, Moritz; van der Linden, Wouter A; Oresic Bender, Kristina; Weerapana, Eranthie; Wilson, Mark A; Boothroyd, John C; Reese, Michael L; Bogyo, Matthew

    2017-02-28

    Human DJ-1 is a highly conserved and yet functionally enigmatic protein associated with a heritable form of Parkinson's disease. It has been suggested to be a redox-dependent regulatory scaffold, binding to proteins to modulate their function. Here we present the X-ray crystal structure of the Toxoplasma orthologue Toxoplasma gondii DJ-1 (TgDJ-1) at 2.1-Å resolution and show that it directly associates with calcium-dependent protein kinase 1 (CDPK1). The TgDJ-1 structure identifies an orthologously conserved arginine dyad that acts as a phospho-gatekeeper motif to control complex formation. We determined that the binding of TgDJ-1 to CDPK1 is sensitive to oxidation and calcium, and that this interaction potentiates CDPK1 kinase activity. Finally, we show that genetic deletion of TgDJ-1 results in upregulation of CDPK1 expression and that disruption of the CDPK1/TgDJ-1 complex in vivo prevents normal exocytosis of parasite virulence-associated organelles called micronemes. Overall, our data suggest that TgDJ-1 functions as a noncanonical kinase-regulatory scaffold that integrates multiple intracellular signals to tune microneme exocytosis in T. gondiiIMPORTANCE Apicomplexan parasites such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium are obligate intracellular parasites that require the protective environment of a host cell in order to replicate and survive within a host organism. These parasites secrete effector proteins from specialized apical organelles to select and invade a chosen host cell. The secretion of these organelles is a tightly regulated process coordinated by endogenous small molecules and calcium-dependent protein kinases. We previously identified the Toxoplasma orthologue of the highly conserved protein DJ-1 as a regulator of microneme secretion, but the molecular basis for this was not known. We have now identified the molecular mechanism for how TgDJ-1 regulates microneme secretion. TgDJ-1 interacts with the kinase responsible for the secretion of these

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. 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/.

  20. The malarial drug target Plasmodium falciparum 1-deoxy-D-xylulose-5-phosphate reductoisomerase (PfDXR): development of a 3-D model for identification of novel, structural and functional features and for inhibitor screening.

    PubMed

    Goble, Jessica L; Adendorff, Matthew R; de Beer, Tjaart A P; Stephens, Linda L; Blatch, Gregory L

    2010-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of the malarial drug target protein PfDXR was generated, and validated using structure-checking programs and protein docking studies. Structural and functional features unique to PfDXR were identified using the model and comparative sequence analyses with apicomplexan and non-apicomplexan DXR proteins. Furthermore, we have used the model to develop an efficient approach to screen for potential tool compounds for use in the rational design of novel DXR inhibitors.

  1. Learning about Proteins

    MedlinePlus

    ... What Happens in the Operating Room? Learning About Proteins KidsHealth > For Kids > Learning About Proteins A A ... the foods you eat. continue Different Kinds of Protein Protein from animal sources, such as meat and ...

  2. Protein Microarray Technology

    PubMed Central

    Hall, David A.; Ptacek, Jason

    2007-01-01

    Protein chips have emerged as a promising approach for a wide variety of applications including the identification of protein-protein interactions, protein-phospholipid interactions, small molecule targets, and substrates of proteins kinases. They can also be used for clinical diagnostics and monitoring disease states. This article reviews current methods in the generation and applications of protein microarrays. PMID:17126887

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. The role of a parasite-specific allosteric site in the distinctive activation behavior of Eimeria tenella cGMP-dependent protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Salowe, Scott P; Wiltsie, Judyann; Liberator, Paul A; Donald, Robert G K

    2002-04-02

    A cGMP-dependent protein kinase (PKG) was recently identified as an anticoccidial target for the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella [Gurnett, A., Liberator, P. A., Dulski, P., Salowe, S., Donald, R. G. K., Anderson, J., Wiltsie, J., Diaz, C., Harris, G., Chang, B., Darkin-Rattray, S. J., Nare, B., Crumley, T., Blum, P., Misura, A., Tamas, T., Sardana, M., Yuan, J., Biftu, T., and Schmatz, D. (2002) J. Biol. Chem. (in press)]. Unlike the PKGs of higher organisms that have two cGMP binding sites in their regulatory domain, the PKG from Eimeria tenella (Et-PKG) contains three putative cGMP binding sites and has distinctive activation properties, including a very large stimulation by cGMP ( approximately 1000-fold) with significant cooperativity (Hill coefficient of 1.7). During our investigation of Et-PKG activation, we found that 8-substituted cGMP analogues are weak partial activators. For example, 8-NBD-cGMP provides a maximal stimulation of activity of only 20-fold with little evident cooperativity, although cGMP can synergize with the analogue to provide full activation. The results suggest that partial activation is a consequence of restricted binding of 8-NBD-cGMP to a subset of cGMP sites in the enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis of conserved arginine and glutamate residues in the parasite-specific third cGMP site confirms that this site is an important functional participant in the allosteric regulation of the kinase and that it exhibits very high selectivity against 8-NBD-cGMP. Since the results are consistent with full activation of Et-PKG requiring cyclic nucleotide binding in all three allosteric sites, one role for the additional cGMP site may be to establish a stricter regulatory mechanism for the kinase activity than is present in the PKGs of higher organisms containing only two allosteric sites.

  6. High-resolution structures of Thermus thermophilus enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase in the apo form, in complex with NAD+ and in complex with NAD+ and triclosan

    PubMed Central

    Otero, José M.; Noël, Ann-Josée; Guardado-Calvo, Pablo; Llamas-Saiz, Antonio L.; Wende, Wolfgang; Schierling, Benno; Pingoud, Alfred; van Raaij, Mark J.

    2012-01-01

    Enoyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (ENR; the product of the fabI gene) is an important enzyme that is involved in the type II fatty-acid-synthesis pathway of bacteria, plants, apicomplexan protozoa and mitochondria. Harmful pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Plasmodium falciparum use the type II fatty-acid-synthesis system, but not mammals or fungi, which contain a type I fatty-acid-synthesis pathway consisting of one or two multifunctional enzymes. For this reason, specific inhibitors of ENR are attractive antibiotic candidates. Triclosan, a broad-range antibacterial agent, binds to ENR, inhibiting fatty-acid synthesis. As humans do not have an ENR enzyme, they are not affected. Here, high-resolution structures of Thermus thermophilus (Tth) ENR in the apo form, bound to NAD+ and bound to NAD+ plus triclosan are reported. Differences from and similarities to other known ENR structures are reported; in general, the structures are very similar. The cofactor-binding site is also very similar to those of other ENRs and, as reported for other species, triclosan leads to greater ordering of the loop that covers the cofactor-binding site, which, together with the presence of triclosan itself, presumably provides tight binding of the dinucleotide, preventing cycling of the cofactor. Differences between the structures of Tth ENR and other ENRs are the presence of an additional β-sheet at the N-terminus and a larger number of salt bridges and side-chain hydrogen bonds. These features may be related to the high thermal stability of Tth ENR. PMID:23027736

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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 ...

  11. Protein splicing: selfish genes invade cellular proteins.

    PubMed

    Neff, N F

    1993-12-01

    Protein splicing is a series of enzymatic events involving intramolecular protein breakage, rejoining and intron homing, in which introns are able to promote the recombinative transposition of their own coding sequences. Eukaryotic and prokaryotic spliced proteins have conserved similar gene structure, but little amino acid identity. The genes coding for these spliced proteins contain internal in-frame introns that encode polypeptides that apparently self-excise from the resulting host protein sequences. Excision of the 'protein intron' is coupled with joining of the two flanking protein regions encoded by exons of the host gene. Some introns of this type encode DNA endonucleases, related to Group I RNA intron gene products, that stimulate gene conversion and self-transmission.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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.

  16. Molecular modelling of protein-protein/protein-solvent interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luchko, Tyler

    The inner workings of individual cells are based on intricate networks of protein-protein interactions. However, each of these individual protein interactions requires a complex physical interaction between proteins and their aqueous environment at the atomic scale. In this thesis, molecular dynamics simulations are used in three theoretical studies to gain insight at the atomic scale about protein hydration, protein structure and tubulin-tubulin (protein-protein) interactions, as found in microtubules. Also presented, in a fourth project, is a molecular model of solvation coupled with the Amber molecular modelling package, to facilitate further studies without the need of explicitly modelled water. Basic properties of a minimally solvated protein were calculated through an extended study of myoglobin hydration with explicit solvent, directly investigating water and protein polarization. Results indicate a close correlation between polarization of both water and protein and the onset of protein function. The methodology of explicit solvent molecular dynamics was further used to study tubulin and microtubules. Extensive conformational sampling of the carboxy-terminal tails of 8-tubulin was performed via replica exchange molecular dynamics, allowing the characterisation of the flexibility, secondary structure and binding domains of the C-terminal tails through statistical analysis methods. Mechanical properties of tubulin and microtubules were calculated with adaptive biasing force molecular dynamics. The function of the M-loop in microtubule stability was demonstrated in these simulations. The flexibility of this loop allowed constant contacts between the protofilaments to be maintained during simulations while the smooth deformation provided a spring-like restoring force. Additionally, calculating the free energy profile between the straight and bent tubulin configurations was used to test the proposed conformational change in tubulin, thought to cause microtubule

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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 ...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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…

  4. 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 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) ...

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. Overview of Protein Microarrays

    PubMed Central

    Reymond Sutandy, FX; Qian, Jiang; Chen, Chien-Sheng; Zhu, Heng

    2013-01-01

    Protein microarray is an emerging technology that provides a versatile platform for characterization of hundreds of thousands of proteins in a highly parallel and high-throughput way. Two major classes of protein microarrays are defined to describe their applications: analytical and functional protein microarrays. In addition, tissue or cell lysates can also be fractionated and spotted on a slide to form a reverse-phase protein microarray. While the fabrication technology is maturing, applications of protein microarrays, especially functional protein microarrays, have flourished during the past decade. Here, we will first review recent advances in the protein microarray technologies, and then present a series of examples to illustrate the applications of analytical and functional protein microarrays in both basic and clinical research. The research areas will include detection of various binding properties of proteins, study of protein posttranslational modifications, analysis of host-microbe interactions, profiling antibody specificity, and identification of biomarkers in autoimmune diseases. As a powerful technology platform, it would not be surprising if protein microarrays will become one of the leading technologies in proteomic and diagnostic fields in the next decade. PMID:23546620

  9. The E5 Proteins

    PubMed Central

    DiMaio, Daniel; Petti, Lisa

    2013-01-01

    The E5 proteins are short transmembrane proteins encoded by many animal and human papillomaviruses. These proteins display transforming activity in cultured cells and animals, and they presumably also play a role in the productive virus life cycle. The E5 proteins are thought to act by modulating the activity of cellular proteins. Here, we describe the biological activities of the best-studied E5 proteins and discuss the evidence implicating specific protein targets and pathways in mediating these activities. The primary target of the 44-amino acid BPV1 E5 is the PDGF β receptor, whereas the EGF receptor appears to be an important target of the 83-amino acid HPV16 E5 protein. Both E5 proteins also bind to the vacuolar ATPase and affect MHC class I expression and cell-cell communication. Continued studies of the E5 proteins will elucidate important aspects of transmembrane protein-protein interactions, cellular signal transduction, cell biology, virus replication, and tumorigenesis. PMID:23731971

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Toxoplasma gondii, the most common parasitic infection of the human brain and eye, persists across lifetimes, can progressively damage sight, and is currently incurable. New, curative medicines are needed urgently. Herein, we developed novel models to facilitate drug development: EGS strain T. gondi...

  11. 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.

  12. A genetic linkage map for the apicomplexan protozoan parasite Eimeria maxima and comparison with Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Blake, Damer P; Oakes, Richard; Smith, Adrian L

    2011-02-01

    Eimeria maxima is one of the seven Eimeria spp. that infect the chicken and cause the disease coccidiosis. The well characterised immunogenicity and genetic diversity associated with E. maxima promote its use in genetics-led studies on avian coccidiosis. The development of a genetic map for E. maxima, presented here based upon 647 amplified fragment length polymorphism markers typed from 22 clonal hybrid lines and assembled into 13 major linkage groups, is a major new resource for work with this parasite. Comparison with genetic maps produced for other coccidial parasites indicates relatively high levels of genetic recombination. Conversion of ∼14% of the markers representing the major linkage groups to sequence characterised amplified region markers can provide a scaffold for the assembly of future genomic sequences as well as providing a foundation for more detailed genetic maps. Comparison with the Eimeria tenella genetic map produced 10years ago has revealed a less biased marker distribution, with no more than nine markers mapped within any unresolved heritable unit. Nonetheless, preliminary bioinformatic characterisation of the three largest publicly available genomic E. maxima sequences suggest that the feature-poor/feature-rich structure which has previously been found to define the first sequenced E. tenella chromosome also defines the E. maxima genome. The significance of such a segmented genome and the apparent potential for variation in genetic recombination will be relevant to haplotype stability and the longevity of future anticoccidial strategies based upon multiple loci targeted by novel chemotherapeutic drugs or recombinant subunit vaccines.

  13. Molecular cloning and functional expression of mannitol-1-phosphatase from the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria tenella.

    PubMed

    Liberator, P; Anderson, J; Feiglin, M; Sardana, M; Griffin, P; Schmatz, D; Myers, R W

    1998-02-13

    A metabolic pathway responsible for the biosynthesis and utilization of mannitol is present in the seven species of Eimeria that infect chickens, but is not in the avian host. Mannitol-1-phosphatase (M1Pase), a key enzyme for mannitol biosynthesis, is a highly substrate-specific phosphatase and, accordingly, represents an attractive chemotherapeutic target. Amino acid sequence of tryptic peptides obtained from biochemically purified Eimeria tenella M1Pase was used to synthesize degenerate oligonucleotide hybridization probes. Using these reagents, a partial genomic clone and full-length cDNA clones have been isolated and characterized. The deduced amino acid sequence of E. tenella M1Pase shows limited overall homology to members of the phosphohistidine family of phosphatases. This limited homology to other histidine phosphatases does, however, include several conserved residues that have been shown to be essential for their catalytic activity. Kinetic parameters of recombinant M1Pase expressed in bacteria are essentially identical to those of the biochemically purified preparation from E. tenella. Moreover, recombinant M1Pase is subject to active site-directed, hydroxylamine-reversible inhibition by the histidine-selective acylating reagent diethyl pyrocarbonate. These results indicate the presence of an essential histidine residue(s) at the M1Pase active site, as predicted for a histidine phosphatase.

  14. Modulation of activation-associated host cell gene expression by the apicomplexan parasite Theileria annulata

    PubMed Central

    Durrani, Zeeshan; Weir, William; Pillai, Sreerekha; Kinnaird, Jane; Shiels, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Summary Infection of bovine leucocytes by Theileria annulata results in establishment of transformed, infected cells. Infection of the host cell is known to promote constitutive activation of pro-inflammatory transcription factors that have the potential to be beneficial or detrimental. In this study we have compared the effect of LPS activation on uninfected bovine leucocytes (BL20 cells) and their Theileria-infected counterpart (TBL20). Gene expression profiles representing activated uninfected BL20 relative to TBL20 cells were also compared. The results show that while prolonged stimulation with LPS induces cell death and activation of NF-κB in BL20 cells, the viability of Theileria-infected cells was unaffected. Analysis of gene expression networks provided evidence that the parasite establishes tight control over pathways associated with cellular activation by modulating reception of extrinsic stimuli and by significantly altering the expression outcome of genes targeted by infection-activated transcription factors. Pathway analysis of the data set identified novel candidate genes involved in manipulation of cellular functions associated with the infected transformed cell. The data indicate that the T. annulata parasite can irreversibly reconfigure host cell gene expression networks associated with development of inflammatory disease and cancer to generate an outcome thatis beneficial to survival and propagation of the infected leucocyte. PMID:22533473

  15. 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

  16. Neutrophil extracellular trap formation as innate immune reactions against the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria bovis.

    PubMed

    Behrendt, Jan Hillern; Ruiz, Antonio; Zahner, Horst; Taubert, Anja; Hermosilla, Carlos

    2010-01-15

    Eimeria bovis infections are under immunological control and recent studies have emphasized the role of early PMN-mediated innate immune responses in infected calves. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) have recently been demonstrated to act as a killing mechanism of PMN against several pathogens. In the present study, the interactions of bovine PMN with sporozoites of E. bovis were investigated in this respect in vitro. For demonstration and quantification of NET formation, extracellular DNA was stained by Sytox Orange. Fluorescence images after Sytox Orange staining as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed NET formation to occur upon contact with E. bovis sporozoites. Exposure of PMN to viable sporozoites induced stronger NET formation than to dead or homogenized parasites. NET formation was abolished by treatment with DNase and could be reduced by diphenylene iodonium, which is described as a potent inhibitor of NADPH oxidase. After sporozoite and PMN co-culture, extracellular fibres were found attached to sporozoites and seemed to trap them, strongly suggesting that NETs immobilize E. bovis sporozoites and thereby prevent them from infecting host cells. Thus, transfer of sporozoites, previously being confronted with PMN, to adequate host cells resulted in clearly reduced infection rates when compared to PMN-free controls. NET formation by PMN may therefore represent an effector mechanism in early innate immune reactions against E. bovis. This is the first report indicating Eimeria-induced NET formation.

  17. 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…

  18. Looks can deceive: molecular identity of an intraerythrocytic apicomplexan parasite in Australian gliders.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bing Y; Hartigan, Ashlie; Reppas, George; Higgins, Damien P; Canfield, Paul J; Slapeta, Jan

    2009-02-05

    Two yellow-bellied gliders (Petaurus australis) had an intraerythrocytic parasite closely related to the cyst-forming coccidia (Apicomplexa: Sarcocystidae). The parasitaemia persisted for 3 months or more but was observed to clear within 3 years in captivity. The parasite appears not to significantly debilitate its infected host. Traditionally, using morphological identification, the intraerythrocytic parasite would have been classified within the Hepatozoon species typically found in red blood cells. However, molecular diagnostic techniques targeting the parasite's SSU rDNA and LSU rDNA demonstrated the unusual identity of this blood parasite and disputed its identity as a haemogregarine parasite of the genus Hepatozoon. The sequence was compared with available sequences from diverse mammalian and non-mammalian blood parasites (malaria, piroplasms, hemosporidia and sarcosporidia). The intraerythrocytic blood parasite was found to be most closely related to the cyst-forming coccidia including Besnoitia spp., Cystoisospora spp., Hammondia spp., Hyaloklossia lieberkuehni, Neospora caninum, Sarcocystis spp. and Toxoplasma gondii. The life cycle of this intraerythrocytic parasite remains unknown. The presented DNA identification demonstrates its suitability for an improved identification of blood parasites.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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 ...

  1. Antiparasitic Activity of Sulfur- and Fluorine-Containing Bisphosphonates against Trypanosomatids and Apicomplexan Parasites.

    PubMed

    Galaka, Tamila; Ferrer Casal, Mariana; Storey, Melissa; Li, Catherine; Chao, María N; Szajnman, Sergio H; Docampo, Roberto; Moreno, Silvia N J; Rodriguez, Juan B

    2017-01-04

    Based on crystallographic data of the complexes 2-alkyl(amino)ethyl-1,1-bisphosphonates-Trypanosoma cruzi farnesyl diphosphate synthase, some linear 1,1-bisphosphonic acids and other closely related derivatives were designed, synthesized and biologically evaluated against T. cruzi, the responsible agent of Chagas disease and against Toxoplasma gondii, the etiologic agent of toxoplasmosis and also towards the target enzymes farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase of T. cruzi (TcFPPS) and T gondii (TgFPPS), respectively. The isoprenoid-containing 1,1-bisphosphonates exhibited modest antiparasitic activity, whereas the linear α-fluoro-2-alkyl(amino)ethyl-1,1-bisphosphonates were unexpectedly devoid of antiparasitic activity. In spite of not presenting efficient antiparasitic activity, these data turned out to be very important to establish a structural activity relationship.

  2. Protopia: a protein-protein interaction tool

    PubMed Central

    Real-Chicharro, Alejandro; Ruiz-Mostazo, Iván; Navas-Delgado, Ismael; Kerzazi, Amine; Chniber, Othmane; Sánchez-Jiménez, Francisca; Medina, Miguel Ángel; Aldana-Montes, José F

    2009-01-01

    Background Protein-protein interactions can be considered the basic skeleton for living organism self-organization and homeostasis. Impressive quantities of experimental data are being obtained and computational tools are essential to integrate and to organize this information. This paper presents Protopia, a biological tool that offers a way of searching for proteins and their interactions in different Protein Interaction Web Databases, as a part of a multidisciplinary initiative of our institution for the integration of biological data . Results The tool accesses the different Databases (at present, the free version of Transfac, DIP, Hprd, Int-Act and iHop), and results are expressed with biological protein names or databases codes and can be depicted as a vector or a matrix. They can be represented and handled interactively as an organic graph. Comparison among databases is carried out using the Uniprot codes annotated for each protein. Conclusion The tool locates and integrates the current information stored in the aforementioned databases, and redundancies among them are detected. Results are compatible with the most important network analysers, so that they can be compared and analysed by other world-wide known tools and platforms. The visualization possibilities help to attain this goal and they are especially interesting for handling multiple-step or complex networks. PMID:19828077

  3. Protein-protein interactions in multienzyme megasynthetases.

    PubMed

    Weissman, Kira J; Müller, Rolf

    2008-04-14

    The multienzyme polyketide synthases (PKSs), nonribosomal polypeptide synthetases (NRPSs), and their hybrids are responsible for the construction in bacteria of numerous natural products of clinical value. These systems generate high structural complexity by using a simple biosynthetic logic--that of the assembly line. Each of the individual steps in building the metabolites is designated to an independently folded domain within gigantic polypeptides. The domains are clustered into functional modules, and the modules are strung out along the proteins in the order in which they act. Every metabolite results, therefore, from the successive action of up to 100 individual catalysts. Despite the conceptual simplicity of this division-of-labor organization, we are only beginning to decipher the molecular details of the numerous protein-protein interactions that support assembly-line biosynthesis, and which are critical to attempts to re-engineer these systems as a tool in drug discovery. This review aims to summarize the state of knowledge about several aspects of protein-protein interactions, including current architectural models for PKS and NRPS systems, the central role of carrier proteins, and the structural basis for intersubunit recognition.

  4. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

    Bradbury, Andrew M [Santa Fe, NM; Waldo, Geoffrey S [Santa Fe, NM; Kiss, Csaba [Los Alamos, NM

    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.

  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 [Santa Fe, NM; Waldo, Geoffrey S [Santa Fe, NM; Kiss, Csaba [Los Alamos, NM

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. [Atypical ubiquitination of proteins].

    PubMed

    Buneeva, O A; Medvedev, A E

    2016-07-01

    Ubiquitination is a type of posttranslational modification of intracellular proteins characterized by covalent attachment of one (monoubiquitination) or several (polyubiquitination) of ubiquitin molecules to target proteins. In the case of polyubiquitination, linear or branched polyubiquitin chains are formed. Their formation involves various lysine residues of monomeric ubiquitin. The best studied is Lys48-polyubiquitination, which targets proteins for proteasomal degradation. In this review we have considered examples of so-called atypical polyubiquitination, which mainly involves other lysine residues (Lys6, Lys11, Lys27, Lys29, Lys33, Lys63) and also N-terminal methionine. The considered examples convincingly demonstrate that polyubiquitination of proteins not necessarily targets proteins for their proteolytic degradation in proteasomes. Atypically polyubiquitinated proteins are involved in regulation of various processes and altered polyubiquitination of certain proteins is crucial for development of serious diseases.

  9. Protein and vegetarian diets.

    PubMed

    Marsh, Kate A; Munn, Elizabeth A; Baines, Surinder K

    2013-08-19

    A vegetarian diet can easily meet human dietary protein requirements as long as energy needs are met and a variety of foods are eaten. Vegetarians should obtain protein from a variety of plant sources, including legumes, soy products, grains, nuts and seeds. Eggs and dairy products also provide protein for those following a lacto-ovo-vegetarian diet. There is no need to consciously combine different plant proteins at each meal as long as a variety of foods are eaten from day to day, because the human body maintains a pool of amino acids which can be used to complement dietary protein. The consumption of plant proteins rather than animal proteins by vegetarians may contribute to their reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

  10. 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.

  11. Predictions of Protein-Protein Interfaces within Membrane Protein Complexes

    PubMed Central

    Asadabadi, Ebrahim Barzegari; Abdolmaleki, Parviz

    2013-01-01

    Background Prediction of interaction sites within the membrane protein complexes using the sequence data is of a great importance, because it would find applications in modification of molecules transport through membrane, signaling pathways and drug targets of many diseases. Nevertheless, it has gained little attention from the protein structural bioinformatics community. Methods In this study, a wide variety of prediction and classification tools were applied to distinguish the residues at the interfaces of membrane proteins from those not in the interfaces. Results The tuned SVM model achieved the high accuracy of 86.95% and the AUC of 0.812 which outperforms the results of the only previous similar study. Nevertheless, prediction performances obtained using most employed models cannot be used in applied fields and needs more effort to improve. Conclusion Considering the variety of the applied tools in this study, the present investigation could be a good starting point to develop more efficient tools to predict the membrane protein interaction site residues. PMID:23919118

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Protein flexibility as a biosignal.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Qinyi

    2010-01-01

    Dynamic properties of a protein are crucial for all protein functions, and those of signaling proteins are closely related to the biological function of living beings. The protein flexibility signal concept can be used to analyze this relationship. Protein flexibility controls the rate of protein conformational change and influences protein function. The modification of protein flexibility results in a change of protein activity. The logical nature of protein flexibility cannot be explained by applying the principles of protein three-dimensional structure theory or conformation concept. Signaling proteins show high protein flexibility. Many properties of signaling can be traced back to the dynamic natures of signaling protein. The action mechanism of volatile anesthetics and universal cellular reactions are related to flexibility in the change of signaling proteins. We conclude that protein dynamics is an enzyme-enhanced process, called dynamicase.

  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.

  16. Protein-protein Interactions using Radiolytic Footprinting

    SciTech Connect

    Takamoto,K.; Chance, M.

    2006-01-01

    Structural proteomics approaches using mass spectrometry are increasingly used in biology to examine the composition and structure of macromolecules. Hydroxyl radical-mediated protein footprinting using mass spectrometry has recently been developed to define structure, assembly, and conformational changes of macromolecules in solution based on measurements of reactivity of amino acid side chain groups with covalent modification reagents. Accurate measurements of side chain reactivity are achieved using quantitative liquid-chromatography-coupled mass spectrometry, whereas the side chain modification sites are identified using tandem mass spectrometry. In addition, the use of footprinting data in conjunction with computational modeling approaches is a powerful new method for testing and refining structural models of macromolecules and their complexes. In this review, we discuss the basic chemistry of hydroxyl radical reactions with peptides and proteins, highlight various approaches to map protein structure using radical oxidation methods, and describe state-of-the-art approaches to combine computational and footprinting data.

  17. 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.

  18. Mayaro virus proteins.

    PubMed

    Mezencio, J M; Rebello, M A

    1993-01-01

    Mayaro virus was grown in BHK-21 cells and purified by centrifugation in a potassium-tartrate gradient (5-50%). The electron microscopy analyses of the purified virus showed an homogeneous population of enveloped particles with 69 +/- 2.3 nm in diameter. Three structural virus proteins were identified and designated p1, p2 and p3. Their average molecular weight were p1, 54 KDa; p2, 50 KDa and p3, 34 KDa. In Mayaro virus infected Aedes albopictus cells and in BHK-21 infected cells we detected six viral proteins, in which three of them are the structural virus proteins and the other three were products from processing of precursors of viral proteins, whose molecular weights are 62 KDa, 64 KDa and 110 KDa. The 34 KDa protein was the first viral protein synthesized at 5 hours post-infection in both cell lines studied.

  19. TRIM proteins and diseases.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Masashi; Hatakeyama, Shigetsugu

    2017-01-07

    Ubiquitination is one of the posttranslational modifications that regulates a number of intracellular events including signal transduction, protein quality control, transcription, cell cycle, apoptosis and development. The ubiquitin system functions as a garbage machine to degrade target proteins and as a regulator for several signalling pathways. Biochemical reaction of ubiquitination requires several enzymes including E1, E2 and E3, and E3 ubiquitin ligases play roles as receptors for recognizing target proteins. Most of the tripartite motif (TRIM) proteins are E3 ubiquitin ligases. Recent studies have shown that some TRIM proteins function as important regulators for a variety of diseases including cancer, inflammatory diseases, infectious diseases, neuropsychiatric disorders, chromosomal abnormalities and developmental diseases. In this review, we summarize the involvement of TRIM proteins in the aetiology of various diseases.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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)

  4. 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.

  5. Protein trafficking through the endosomal system prepares intracellular parasites for a home invasion.

    PubMed

    Tomavo, Stanislas; Slomianny, Christian; Meissner, Markus; Carruthers, Vern B

    2013-10-01

    Toxoplasma (toxoplasmosis) and Plasmodium (malaria) use unique secretory organelles for migration, cell invasion, manipulation of host cell functions, and cell egress. In particular, the apical secretory micronemes and rhoptries of apicomplexan parasites are essential for successful host infection. New findings reveal that the contents of these organelles, which are transported through the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi, also require the parasite endosome-like system to access their respective organelles. In this review, we discuss recent findings that demonstrate that these parasites reduced their endosomal system and modified classical regulators of this pathway for the biogenesis of apical organelles.

  6. Chemical Synthesis of Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Nilsson, Bradley L.; Soellner, Matthew B.; Raines, Ronald T.

    2010-01-01

    Proteins have become accessible targets for chemical synthesis. The basic strategy is to use native chemical ligation, Staudinger ligation, or other orthogonal chemical reactions to couple synthetic peptides. The ligation reactions are compatible with a variety of solvents and proceed in solution or on a solid support. Chemical synthesis enables a level of control on protein composition that greatly exceeds that attainable with ribosome-mediated biosynthesis. Accordingly, the chemical synthesis of proteins is providing previously unattainable insight into the structure and function of proteins. PMID:15869385

  7. PIC: Protein Interactions Calculator

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

    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–π 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

  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.

  9. Dietary proteins and angiogenesis.

    PubMed

    Medina, Miguel Ángel; Quesada, Ana R

    2014-01-17

    Both defective and persistent angiogenesis are linked to pathological situations in the adult. Compounds able to modulate angiogenesis have a potential value for the treatment of such pathologies. Several small molecules present in the diet have been shown to have modulatory effects on angiogenesis. This review presents the current state of knowledge on the potential modulatory roles of dietary proteins on angiogenesis. There is currently limited available information on the topic. Milk contains at least three proteins for which modulatory effects on angiogenesis have been previously demonstrated. On the other hand, there is some scarce information on the potential of dietary lectins, edible plant proteins and high protein diets to modulate angiogenesis.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. TRIM proteins in development.

    PubMed

    Petrera, Francesca; Meroni, Germana

    2012-01-01

    TRIM proteins play important roles in several patho-physiological processes. Their common activity within the ubiquitylation pathway makes them amenable to a number of diverse biological roles. Many of the TRIM genes are highly and sometimes specifically expressed during embryogenesis, it is therefore not surprising that several of them might be involved in developmental processes. Here, we primarily discuss the developmental implications of two subgroups of TRIM proteins that conserved domain composition and functions from their invertebrate ancestors. The two groups are: the TRIM-NHL proteins implicated in miRNA processing regulation and the TRIM-FN3 proteins involved in ventral midline development.

  13. 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

  14. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT Protein

    PubMed Central

    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

  15. Protein intakes in India.

    PubMed

    Swaminathan, Sumathi; Vaz, Mario; Kurpad, Anura V

    2012-08-01

    Indian diets derive almost 60 % of their protein from cereals with relatively low digestibility and quality. There have been several surveys of diets and protein intakes in India by the National Nutrition Monitoring Board (NNMB) over the last 25 years, in urban and rural, as well as in slum dwellers and tribal populations. Data of disadvantaged populations from slums, tribals and sedentary rural Indian populations show that the protein intake (mainly from cereals) is about 1 gm/kg/day. However, the protein intake looks less promising in terms of the protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), using lysine as the first limiting amino acid, where all populations, particularly rural and tribal, appear to have an inadequate quality to their protein intake. The protein: energy (PE) ratio is a measure of dietary quality, and has been used in the 2007 WHO/FAO/UNU report to define reference requirement values with which the adequacy of diets can be evaluated in terms of a protein quality corrected PE ratio. It is likely that about one third of this sedentary rural population is at risk of not meeting their requirements. These levels of risk of deficiency are in a population with relatively low BMI populations, whose diets are also inadequate in fruits and vegetables. Therefore, while the burden of enhancing the quality of protein intake in rural India exists, the quality of the diet, in general, represents a challenge that must be met.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Regulation of protein secretion by ... protein secretion?

    PubMed

    Atmakuri, Krishnamohan; Fortune, Sarah M

    2008-09-11

    Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) requires an alternative protein secretion system, ESX1, for virulence. Recently, Raghavan et al. (2008) reported a new regulatory circuit that may explain how ESX1 activity is controlled during infection. Mtb appears to regulate ESX1 by modulating transcription of associated genes rather than structural components of the secretion system itself.

  19. Human Plasma Protein C

    PubMed Central

    Kisiel, Walter

    1979-01-01

    Protein C is a vitamin K-dependent protein, which exists in bovine plasma as a precursor of a serine protease. In this study, protein C was isolated to homogeneity from human plasma by barium citrate adsorption and elution, ammonium sulfate fractionation, DEAE-Sephadex chromatography, dextran sulfate agarose chromatography, and preparative polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Human protein C (Mr = 62,000) contains 23% carbohydrate and is composed of a light chain (Mr = 21,000) and a heavy chain (Mr = 41,000) held together by a disulfide bond(s). The light chain has an amino-terminal sequence of Ala-Asn-Ser-Phe-Leu- and the heavy chain has an aminoterminal sequence of Asp-Pro-Glu-Asp-Gln. The residues that are identical to bovine protein C are underlined. Incubation of human protein C with human α-thrombin at an enzyme to substrate weight ratio of 1:50 resulted in the formation of activated protein C, an enzyme with serine amidase activity. In the activation reaction, the apparent molecular weight of the heavy chain decreased from 41,000 to 40,000 as determined by gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecyl sulfate. No apparent change in the molecular weight of the light chain was observed in the activation process. The heavy chain of human activated protein C also contains the active-site serine residue as evidenced by its ability to react with radiolabeled diisopropyl fluorophosphate. Human activated protein C markedly prolongs the kaolin-cephalin clotting time of human plasma, but not that of bovine plasma. The amidolytic and anticoagulant activities of human activated protein C were completely obviated by prior incubation of the enzyme with diisopropyl fluorophosphate. These results indicate that human protein C, like its bovine counterpart, exists in plasma as a zymogen and is converted to a serine protease by limited proteolysis with attendant anticoagulant activity. Images PMID:468991

  20. Engineered Protein Polymers

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2010-05-31

    of each pure polymer, we plan to combine the various polymer solutions in different ratios to tune the composition and physico-chemical properties...protein materials as vehicles for storage and delivery of small molecules. Each protein polymer under concentrations for particle formation ( vida

  1. Multidomain proteins under force.

    PubMed

    Valle-Orero, Jessica; Rivas-Pardo, Jaime Andrés; Popa, Ionel

    2017-04-28

    Advancements in single-molecule force spectroscopy techniques such as atomic force microscopy and magnetic tweezers allow investigation of how domain folding under force can play a physiological role. Combining these techniques with protein engineering and HaloTag covalent attachment, we investigate similarities and differences between four model proteins: I10 and I91-two immunoglobulin-like domains from the muscle protein titin, and two α + β fold proteins-ubiquitin and protein L. These proteins show a different mechanical response and have unique extensions under force. Remarkably, when normalized to their contour length, the size of the unfolding and refolding steps as a function of force reduces to a single master curve. This curve can be described using standard models of polymer elasticity, explaining the entropic nature of the measured steps. We further validate our measurements with a simple energy landscape model, which combines protein folding with polymer physics and accounts for the complex nature of tandem domains under force. This model can become a useful tool to help in deciphering the complexity of multidomain proteins operating under force.

  2. Archaeal chromatin proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhang, ZhenFeng; Guo, Li; Huang, Li

    2012-05-01

    Archaea, along with Bacteria and Eukarya, are the three domains of life. In all living cells, chromatin proteins serve a crucial role in maintaining the integrity of the structure and function of the genome. An array of small, abundant and basic DNA-binding proteins, considered candidates for chromatin proteins, has been isolated from the Euryarchaeota and the Crenarchaeota, the two major phyla in Archaea. While most euryarchaea encode proteins resembling eukaryotic histones, crenarchaea appear to synthesize a number of unique DNA-binding proteins likely involved in chromosomal organization. Several of these proteins (e.g., archaeal histones, Sac10b homologs, Sul7d, Cren7, CC1, etc.) have been extensively studied. However, whether they are chromatin proteins and how they function in vivo remain to be fully understood. Future investigation of archaeal chromatin proteins will lead to a better understanding of chromosomal organization and gene expression in Archaea and provide valuable information on the evolution of DNA packaging in cellular life.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Sac phosphatase domain proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, W E; Cooke, F T; Parker, P J

    2000-01-01

    Advances in our understanding of the roles of phosphatidylinositol phosphates in controlling cellular functions such as endocytosis, exocytosis and the actin cytoskeleton have included new insights into the phosphatases that are responsible for the interconversion of these lipids. One of these is an entirely novel class of phosphatase domain found in a number of well characterized proteins. Proteins containing this Sac phosphatase domain include the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteins Sac1p and Fig4p. The Sac phosphatase domain is also found within the mammalian phosphoinositide 5-phosphatase synaptojanin and the yeast synaptojanin homologues Inp51p, Inp52p and Inp53p. These proteins therefore contain both Sac phosphatase and 5-phosphatase domains. This review describes the Sac phosphatase domain-containing proteins and their actions, with particular reference to the genetic and biochemical insights provided by study of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PMID:10947947

  7. 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

  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. Transdermal delivery of proteins.

    PubMed

    Kalluri, Haripriya; Banga, Ajay K

    2011-03-01

    Transdermal delivery of peptides and proteins avoids the disadvantages associated with the invasive parenteral route of administration and other alternative routes such as the pulmonary and nasal routes. Since proteins have a large size and are hydrophilic in nature, they cannot permeate passively across the skin due to the stratum corneum which allows the transport of only small lipophilic drug molecules. Enhancement techniques such as chemical enhancers, iontophoresis, microneedles, electroporation, sonophoresis, thermal ablation, laser ablation, radiofrequency ablation and noninvasive jet injectors aid in the delivery of proteins by overcoming the skin barrier in different ways. In this review, these enhancement techniques that can enable the transdermal delivery of proteins are discussed, including a discussion of mechanisms, sterility requirements, and commercial development of products. Combination of enhancement techniques may result in a synergistic effect allowing increased protein delivery and these are also discussed.

  10. Protein crystallization in microgravity.

    PubMed

    Aibara, S; Shibata, K; Morita, Y

    1997-12-01

    A space experiment involving protein crystallization was conducted in a microgravity environment using the space shuttle "Endeavour" of STS-47, on a 9-day mission from September 12th to 20th in 1992. The crystallization was carried out according to a batch method, and 5 proteins were selected as flight samples for crystallization. Two of these proteins: hen egg-white lysozyme and co-amino acid: pyruvate aminotransferase from Pseudomonas sp. F-126, were obtained as single crystals of good diffraction quality. Since 1992 we have carried out several space experiments for protein crystallization aboard space shuttles and the space station MIR. Our experimental results obtained mainly from hen egg-white lysozyme are described below, focusing on the effects of microgravity on protein crystal growth.

  11. Protein expression-yeast.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Klaus H

    2014-01-01

    Yeast is an excellent system for the expression of recombinant eukaryotic proteins. Both endogenous and heterologous proteins can be overexpressed in yeast (Phan et al., 2001; Ton and Rao, 2004). Because yeast is easy to manipulate genetically, a strain can be optimized for the expression of a specific protein. Many eukaryotic proteins contain posttranslational modifications that can be performed in yeast but not in bacterial expression systems. In comparison with mammalian cell culture expression systems, growing yeast is both faster and less expensive, and large-scale cultures can be performed using fermentation. While several different yeast expression systems exist, this chapter focuses on the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and will briefly describe some options to consider when selecting vectors and tags to be used for protein expression. Throughout this chapter, the expression and purification of yeast eIF3 is shown as an example alongside a general scheme outline.

  12. Protein Unfolding and Alzheimer's

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Kelvin

    2012-10-01

    Early interaction events of beta-amyloid (Aβ) proteins with neurons have been associated with the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Knowledge pertaining to the role of lipid molecules, particularly cholesterol, in modulating the single Aβ interactions with neurons at the atomic length and picosecond time resolutions, remains unclear. In our research, we have used atomistic molecular dynamics simulations to explore early molecular events including protein insertion kinetics, protein unfolding, and protein-induced membrane disruption of Aβ in lipid domains that mimic the nanoscopic raft and non-raft regions of the neural membrane. In this talk, I will summarize our current work on investigating the role of cholesterol in regulating the Aβ interaction events with membranes at the molecular level. I will also explain how our results will provide new insights into understanding the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease associated with the Aβ proteins.

  13. Junin virus structural proteins.

    PubMed Central

    De Martínez Segovia, Z M; De Mitri, M I

    1977-01-01

    Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of purified Junin virus revealed six distinct structural polypeptides, two major and four minor ones. Four of these polypeptides appeared to be covalently linked with carbohydrate. The molecular weights of the six proteins, estimated by coelectrophoresis with marker proteins, ranged from 25,000 to 91,000. One of the two major components (number 3) was identified as a nucleoprotein and had a molecular weight of 64,000. It was the most prominent protein and was nonglycosylated. The other major protein (number 5), with a molecular weight of 38,000, was a glucoprotein and a component of the viral envelope. The location on the virion of three additional glycopeptides with molecular weights of 91,000, 72,000, and 52,000, together with a protein with a molecular weight of 25,000, was not well defined. PMID:189088

  14. 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

  15. Protein disulfide engineering.

    PubMed

    Dombkowski, Alan A; Sultana, Kazi Zakia; Craig, Douglas B

    2014-01-21

    Improving the stability of proteins is an important goal in many biomedical and industrial applications. A logical approach is to emulate stabilizing molecular interactions found in nature. Disulfide bonds are covalent interactions that provide substantial stability to many proteins and conform to well-defined geometric conformations, thus making them appealing candidates in protein engineering efforts. Disulfide engineering is the directed design of novel disulfide bonds into target proteins. This important biotechnological tool has achieved considerable success in a wide range of applications, yet the rules that govern the stabilizing effects of disulfide bonds are not fully characterized. Contrary to expectations, many designed disulfide bonds have resulted in decreased stability of the modified protein. We review progress in disulfide engineering, with an emphasis on the issue of stability and computational methods that facilitate engineering efforts.

  16. 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.

  17. [Controversies around diet proteins].

    PubMed

    Cichosz, Grazyna; Czeczot, Hanna

    2013-12-01

    Critical theories regarding proteins of anima origin are still and still popularized, though they are ungrounded from scientific point of view. Predominance of soya proteins over the animal ones in relation to their influence on calcium metabolism, bone break risk or risk of osteoporosis morbidity has not been confirmed in any honest, reliable research experiment. Statement, that sulphur amino acids influence disadvantageously on calcium metabolism of human organism and bone status, is completely groundless, the more so as presence of sulphur amino acids in diet (animal proteins are their best source) is the condition of endogenic synthesis of glutathione, the key antioxidant of the organism, and taurine stimulating brain functioning. Deficiency of proteins in the diet produce weakness of intellectual effectiveness and immune response. There is no doubt that limitation of consumption of animal proteins of standard value is not good for health.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. Regulation of protein turnover by heat shock proteins.

    PubMed

    Bozaykut, Perinur; Ozer, Nesrin Kartal; Karademir, Betul

    2014-12-01

    Protein turnover reflects the balance between synthesis and degradation of proteins, and it is a crucial process for the maintenance of the cellular protein pool. The folding of proteins, refolding of misfolded proteins, and also degradation of misfolded and damaged proteins are involved in the protein quality control (PQC) system. Correct protein folding and degradation are controlled by many different factors, one of the most important of which is the heat shock protein family. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are in the class of molecular chaperones, which may prevent the inappropriate interaction of proteins and induce correct folding. On the other hand, these proteins play significant roles in the degradation pathways, including endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD), the ubiquitin-proteasome system, and autophagy. This review focuses on the emerging role of HSPs in the regulation of protein turnover; the effects of HSPs on the degradation machineries ERAD, autophagy, and proteasome; as well as the role of posttranslational modifications in the PQC system.

  1. Purifying protein complexes for mass spectrometry: applications to protein translation.

    PubMed

    Link, Andrew J; Fleischer, Tracey C; Weaver, Connie M; Gerbasi, Vincent R; Jennings, Jennifer L

    2005-03-01

    Proteins control and mediate most of the biological activities in the cell. In most cases, proteins either interact with regulatory proteins or function in large molecular assemblies to carryout biological processes. Understanding the functions of individual proteins requires the identification of these interacting proteins. With its speed and sensitivity, mass spectrometry has become the dominant method for identifying components of protein complexes. This article reviews and discusses various approaches to purify protein complexes and analyze the proteins using mass spectrometry. As examples, methods to isolate and analyze protein complexes responsible for the translation of messenger RNAs into polypeptides are described.

  2. Prediction of protein-protein interactions: unifying evolution and structure at protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Tuncbag, Nurcan; Gursoy, Attila; Keskin, Ozlem

    2011-06-01

    The vast majority of the chores in the living cell involve protein-protein interactions. Providing details of protein interactions at the residue level and incorporating them into protein interaction networks are crucial toward the elucidation of a dynamic picture of cells. Despite the rapid increase in the number of structurally known protein complexes, we are still far away from a complete network. Given experimental limitations, computational modeling of protein interactions is a prerequisite to proceed on the way to complete structural networks. In this work, we focus on the question 'how do proteins interact?' rather than 'which proteins interact?' and we review structure-based protein-protein interaction prediction approaches. As a sample approach for modeling protein interactions, PRISM is detailed which combines structural similarity and evolutionary conservation in protein interfaces to infer structures of complexes in the protein interaction network. This will ultimately help us to understand the role of protein interfaces in predicting bound conformations.

  3. NMCP/LINC proteins

    PubMed Central

    Ciska, Malgorzata; Moreno Díaz de la Espina, Susana

    2013-01-01

    Lamins are the main components of the metazoan lamina, and while the organization of the nuclear lamina of metazoans and plants is similar, there are apparently no genes encoding lamins or most lamin-binding proteins in plants. Thus, the plant lamina is not lamin-based and the proteins that form this structure are still to be characterized. Members of the plant NMCP/LINC/CRWN protein family share the typical tripartite structure of lamins, although the 2 exhibit no sequence similarity. However, given the many similarities between NMCP/LINC/CRWN proteins and lamins (structural organization, position of conserved regions, sub-nuclear distribution, solubility, and pattern of expression), these proteins are good candidates to carry out the functions of lamins in plants. Moreover, functional analysis of NMCP/LINC mutants has revealed their involvement in maintaining nuclear size and shape, another activity fulfilled by lamins. This review summarizes the current understanding of NMCP/LINC proteins and discusses future studies that will be required to demonstrate definitively that these proteins are plant analogs of lamins. PMID:24128696

  4. TRIM proteins in cancer.

    PubMed

    Cambiaghi, Valeria; Giuliani, Virginia; Lombardi, Sara; Marinelli, Cristiano; Toffalorio, Francesca; Pelicci, Pier Giuseppe

    2012-01-01

    Some members of the tripartite motif (TRIM/RBCC) protein family are thought to be important regulators of carcinogenesis. This is not surprising as the TRIM proteins are involved in several biological processes, such as cell growth, development and cellular differentiation and alteration of these proteins can affect transcriptional regulation, cell proliferation and apoptosis. In particular, four TRIM family genes are frequently translocated to other genes, generating fusion proteins implicated in cancer initiation and progression. Among these the most famous is the promyelocytic leukaemia gene PML, which encodes the protein TRIM19. PML is involved in the t(15;17) translocation that specifically occurs in Acute Promyelocytic Leukaemia (APL), resulting in a PML-retinoic acid receptor-alpha (PML-RARalpha) fusion protein. Other members of the TRIM family are linked to cancer development without being involved in chromosomal re-arrangements, possibly through ubiquitination or loss of tumour suppression functions. This chapter discusses the biological functions of TRIM proteins in cancer.

  5. Bacterial ice crystal controlling proteins.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  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. 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.

  9. Proteins : paradigms of complexity /

    SciTech Connect

    Frauenfelder, Hans,

    2001-01-01

    Proteins are the working machines of living systems. Directed by the DNA, of the order of a few hundred building blocks, selected from twenty different amino acids, are covalently linked into a linear polypeptide chain. In the proper environment, the chain folds into the working protein, often a globule of linear dimensions of a few nanometers. The biologist considers proteins units from which living systems are built. Many physical scientists look at them as systems in which the laws of complexity can be studied better than anywhere else. Some of the results of such studies will be sketched.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. [Phosphorylation of tau protein].

    PubMed

    Uchida, T; Ishiguro, K

    1990-05-01

    In aged human brain and particularly in Alzheimer's disease brain, paired helical filaments (PHFs) accumulate in the neuronal cell. Recently, it has been found that the highly phosphorylated tau protein, one of the microtubule-associated proteins (MAPs), is a component of PHF. The authors attempted to clarify the mechanism underlying the accumulation of PHF from the following two aspects; 1) What is the mechanism of phosphorylation of tau protein? 2) Is the highly phosphorylated tau protein capable of forming PHFs? From rat or bovine microtubule proteins we partially purified and characterized a novel protein kinase that specifically phosphorylated tau and MAP2 among many proteins in the brain extract, and which formed a PHF epitope on the phosphorylated human tau. This enzyme was one of the protein serine/threonine kinases and was independent of known second messengers. The phosphorylation of tau by this enzyme was stimulated by tubulin under the condition of microtubule formation, suggesting that the phosphorylation of tau could occur concomitantly with microtubule formation in the brain. Since this kinase was usually bound to tau but not directly to tubulin, the enzyme was associated with microtubules through tau. From these properties related to tau, this kinase is designated as tau protein kinase. The tau that been phosphorylated with this kinase using [gamma-32P]ATP as a phosphate donor, was digested by endoprotinase Lys-C to produce three labeled fragments, K1, K2 and K3. These three fragments were sequenced and the phosphorylation sites on tau by this kinase were identified. The K2 fragment overlapped with the tau-1 site known to be one of the phosphorylation site in PHF. This result strengthens the possibility that tau protein phosphorylated by tau protein kinase is incorporated into PHF. Tubulin binding sites on tau were located between K1 and K3 fragments, while K2 fragment was located in the neighboring to N-terminus of K1. No phosphorylated sites were

  17. Teaching resources. Protein phosphatases.

    PubMed

    Salton, Stephen R

    2005-03-01

    This Teaching Resource provides lecture notes and slides for a class covering the structure and function of protein phosphatases and is part of the course "Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students." The lecture begins with a discussion of the importance of phosphatases in physiology, recognized by the award of a Nobel Prize in 1992, and then proceeds to describe the two types of protein phosphatases: serine/threonine and tyrosine phosphatases. The information covered includes the structure, regulation, and substrate specificity of protein phosphatases, with an emphasis on their importance in disease and clinical settings.

  18. Electrochromatographic separation of proteins

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Basak, S. K.; Velayudhan, A.; Kohlmann, K.; Ladisch, M. R.; Mitchell, C. A. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    We have developed a modified electrochromatography system which minimizes Joule heating at electric field strengths up to 125 V/cm. A non-linear equilibrium model is described which incorporates electrophoretic mobility, hydrodynamic flow velocity, and an electrically induced concentration polarization at the surface of the stationary phase. This model is able to provide useful estimates of protein retention time and velocity in a column packed with Sephadex gel and subjected to an electric field. A correlation of electrophoretic mobility of peptide and proteins with respect to their charge, molecular mass, and asymmetry enables the selection of solute target molecules for electrochromatographic separations. Good separation of protein mixtures have been obtained.

  19. (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.

  20. Plant protein glycosylation

    PubMed Central

    Strasser, Richard

    2016-01-01

    Protein glycosylation is an essential co- and post-translational modification of secretory and membrane proteins in all eukaryotes. The initial steps of N-glycosylation and N-glycan processing are highly conserved between plants, mammals and yeast. In contrast, late N-glycan maturation steps in the Golgi differ significantly in plants giving rise to complex N-glycans with β1,2-linked xylose, core α1,3-linked fucose and Lewis A-type structures. While the essential role of N-glycan modifications on distinct mammalian glycoproteins is already well documented, we have only begun to decipher the biological function of this ubiquitous protein modification in different plant species. In this review, I focus on the biosynthesis and function of different protein N-linked glycans in plants. Special emphasis is given on glycan-mediated quality control processes in the ER and on the biological role of characteristic complex N-glycan structures. PMID:26911286

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Fully automated protein purification

    PubMed Central

    Camper, DeMarco V.; Viola, Ronald E.

    2009-01-01

    Obtaining highly purified proteins is essential to begin investigating their functional and structural properties. The steps that are typically involved in purifying proteins can include an initial capture, intermediate purification, and a final polishing step. Completing these steps can take several days and require frequent attention to ensure success. Our goal was to design automated protocols that will allow the purification of proteins with minimal operator intervention. Separate methods have been produced and tested that automate the sample loading, column washing, sample elution and peak collection steps for ion-exchange, metal affinity, hydrophobic interaction and gel filtration chromatography. These individual methods are designed to be coupled and run sequentially in any order to achieve a flexible and fully automated protein purification protocol. PMID:19595984

  4. Protein fabrication automation

    PubMed Central

    Cox, J. Colin; Lape, Janel; Sayed, Mahmood A.; Hellinga, Homme W.

    2007-01-01

    Facile “writing” of DNA fragments that encode entire gene sequences potentially has widespread applications in biological analysis and engineering. Rapid writing of open reading frames (ORFs) for expressed proteins could transform protein engineering and production for protein design, synthetic biology, and structural analysis. Here we present a process, protein fabrication automation (PFA), which facilitates the rapid de novo construction of any desired ORF from oligonucleotides with low effort, high speed, and little human interaction. PFA comprises software for sequence design, data management, and the generation of instruction sets for liquid-handling robotics, a liquid-handling robot, a robust PCR scheme for gene assembly from synthetic oligonucleotides, and a genetic selection system to enrich correctly assembled full-length synthetic ORFs. The process is robust and scalable. PMID:17242375

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Occupational protein contact dermatitis.

    PubMed

    Barbaud, Annick; Poreaux, Claire; Penven, Emmanuelle; Waton, Julie

    2015-01-01

    Occupational contact dermatitis is generally caused by haptens but can also be induced by proteins causing mainly immunological contact urticaria (ICU); chronic hand eczema in the context of protein contact dermatitis (PCD). In a monocentric retrospective study, from our database, only 31 (0.41%) of patients with contact dermatitis had positive skin tests with proteins: 22 had occupational PCD, 3 had non-occupational PCD, 5 occupational ICU and 1 cook had a neutrophilic fixed food eruption (NFFE) due to fish. From these results and analysis of literature, the characteristics of PCD can be summarized as follows. It is a chronic eczematous dermatitis, possibly exacerbated by work, suggestive if associated with inflammatory perionyxix and immediate erythema with pruritis, to be investigated when the patient resumes work after a period of interruption. Prick tests with the suspected protein-containing material are essential, as patch tests have negative results. In case of multisensitisation revealed by prick tests, it is advisable to analyse IgE against recombinant allergens. A history of atopy, found in 56 to 68% of the patients, has to be checked for. Most of the cases are observed among food-handlers but PCD can also be due to non-edible plants, latex, hydrolysed proteins or animal proteins. Occupational exposure to proteins can thus lead to the development of ICU. Reflecting hypersensitivity to very low concentrations of allergens, investigating ICU therefore requires caution and prick tests should be performed with a diluted form of the causative protein-containing product. Causes are food, especially fruit peel, non-edible plants, cosmetic products, latex, animals.

  8. Chirality and protein biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Banik, Sindrila Dutta; Nandi, Nilashis

    2013-01-01

    Chirality is present at all levels of structural hierarchy of protein and plays a significant role in protein biosynthesis. The macromolecules involved in protein biosynthesis such as aminoacyl tRNA synthetase and ribosome have chiral subunits. Despite the omnipresence of chirality in the biosynthetic pathway, its origin, role in current pathway, and importance is far from understood. In this review we first present an introduction to biochirality and its relevance to protein biosynthesis. Major propositions about the prebiotic origin of biomolecules are presented with particular reference to proteins and nucleic acids. The problem of the origin of homochirality is unresolved at present. The chiral discrimination by enzymes involved in protein synthesis is essential for keeping the life process going. However, questions remained pertaining to the mechanism of chiral discrimination and concomitant retention of biochirality. We discuss the experimental evidence which shows that it is virtually impossible to incorporate D-amino acids in protein structures in present biosynthetic pathways via any of the two major steps of protein synthesis, namely aminoacylation and peptide bond formation reactions. Molecular level explanations of the stringent chiral specificity in each step are extended based on computational analysis. A detailed account of the current state of understanding of the mechanism of chiral discrimination during aminoacylation in the active site of aminoacyl tRNA synthetase and peptide bond formation in ribosomal peptidyl transferase center is presented. Finally, it is pointed out that the understanding of the mechanism of retention of enantiopurity has implications in developing novel enzyme mimetic systems and biocatalysts and might be useful in chiral drug design.

  9. 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.

  10. Colorimetric protein assay techniques.

    PubMed

    Sapan, C V; Lundblad, R L; Price, N C

    1999-04-01

    There has been an increase in the number of colorimetric assay techniques for the determination of protein concentration over the past 20 years. This has resulted in a perceived increase in sensitivity and accuracy with the advent of new techniques. The present review considers these advances with emphasis on the potential use of such technologies in the assay of biopharmaceuticals. The techniques reviewed include Coomassie Blue G-250 dye binding (the Bradford assay), the Lowry assay, the bicinchoninic acid assay and the biuret assay. It is shown that each assay has advantages and disadvantages relative to sensitivity, ease of performance, acceptance in the literature, accuracy and reproducibility/coefficient of variation/laboratory-to-laboratory variation. A comparison of the use of several assays with the same sample population is presented. It is suggested that the most critical issue in the use of a chromogenic protein assay for the characterization of a biopharmaceutical is the selection of a standard for the calibration of the assay; it is crucial that the standard be representative of the sample. If it is not possible to match the standard with the sample from the perspective of protein composition, then it is preferable to use an assay that is not sensitive to the composition of the protein such as a micro-Kjeldahl technique, quantitative amino acid analysis or the biuret assay. In a complex mixture it might be inappropriate to focus on a general method of protein determination and much more informative to use specific methods relating to the protein(s) of particular interest, using either specific assays or antibody-based methods. The key point is that whatever method is adopted as the 'gold standard' for a given protein, this method needs to be used routinely for calibration.

  11. 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).

  12. 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

  13. Motor proteins 1: kinesins.

    PubMed

    Bloom, G S; Endow, S A

    1995-01-01

    Progress regarding the kinesins is now being made at a rapid and accelerating rate. The in vivo-functions, and biophysical and enzymatic properties of kinesin itself are being explored at ever increasing levels of detail. The kinesin-related proteins now number several dozen, and although more is known about primary structure than function for most of the proteins, this trend is already reversing. For example, knowledge about the kinesin-related protein, ncd, is expanding rapidly, and more is already known about its three-dimensional structure than is known for kinesin heavy chain. This volume presents a comprehensive review of the major published works on kinesin and kinesin-related proteins. Hopefully, this manuscript will complement other recent review articles [17, 20, 25, 37, 60-62, 67, 69, 75, 85-88, 231, 233, 238, 244, 269-271, 281, 282, 292] or books [49, 227, 293] that have focused on more selective aspects of the kinesin family, or have been aimed more generally at MT motor proteins. In line with the stated purpose of the Protein Profile series, annual updates of the review on the kinesins are planned for at least the next few years.

  14. Protein phosphorylation and photorespiration.

    PubMed

    Hodges, M; Jossier, M; Boex-Fontvieille, E; Tcherkez, G

    2013-07-01

    Photorespiration allows the recycling of carbon atoms of 2-phosphoglycolate produced by ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco) oxygenase activity, as well as the removal of potentially toxic metabolites. The photorespiratory pathway takes place in the light, encompasses four cellular compartments and interacts with several other metabolic pathways and functions. Therefore, the regulation of this cycle is probably of paramount importance to plant metabolism, however, our current knowledge is poor. To rapidly respond to changing conditions, proteins undergo a number of different post-translational modifications that include acetylation, methylation and ubiquitylation, but protein phosphorylation is probably the most common. The reversible covalent addition of a phosphate group to a specific amino acid residue allows the modulation of protein function, such as activity, subcellular localisation, capacity to interact with other proteins and stability. Recent data indicate that many photorespiratory enzymes can be phosphorylated, and thus it seems that the photorespiratory cycle is, in part, regulated by protein phosphorylation. In this review, the known phosphorylation sites of each Arabidopsis thaliana photorespiratory enzyme and several photorespiratory-associated proteins are described and discussed. A brief account of phosphoproteomic protocols is also given since the published data compiled in this review are the fruit of this approach.

  15. Disease specific protein corona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, M.; Mahmoudi, M.

    2015-03-01

    It is now well accepted that upon their entrance into the biological environments, the surface of nanomaterials would be covered by various biomacromolecules (e.g., proteins and lipids). The absorption of these biomolecules, so called `protein corona', onto the surface of (nano)biomaterials confers them a new `biological identity'. Although the formation of protein coronas on the surface of nanoparticles has been widely investigated, there are few reports on the effect of various diseases on the biological identity of nanoparticles. As the type of diseases may tremendously changes the composition of the protein source (e.g., human plasma/serum), one can expect that amount and composition of associated proteins in the corona composition may be varied, in disease type manner. Here, we show that corona coated silica and polystyrene nanoparticles (after interaction with in the plasma of the healthy individuals) could induce unfolding of fibrinogen, which promotes release of the inflammatory cytokines. However, no considerable releases of inflammatory cytokines were observed for corona coated graphene sheets. In contrast, the obtained corona coated silica and polystyrene nanoparticles from the hypofibrinogenemia patients could not induce inflammatory cytokine release where graphene sheets do. Therefore, one can expect that disease-specific protein coronas can provide a novel approach for applying nanomedicine to personalized medicine, improving diagnosis and treatment of different diseases tailored to the specific conditions and circumstances.

  16. 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.

  17. Food protein sources.

    PubMed

    Pirie, N W

    1976-07-01

    Work on food, planned by the U.M. (Use and Management) Section of the U.K. committe, was limited to sources of protein because we agreed that more problems calling for research were likely to arise in getting adequate supplies of protein than of other types of food. Deer meat can be produced on land too rough and exposed for sheep; parts of the work on their metabolism and food requirements necessitated building a mobile laboratory. The manner in which the nutritive value of maize is affected by changes in the ratios in which the component proteins are present, stimulated similar studies on barley and groundnut. There is good quality protein in coconuts and leaves but its use in human food is restricted by the presence of fibre. Methods for separating protein from fibre and other deleterious components were improved. In cooperation with scientists in India and Nigeria, the potential yield of protein-deficient foods. e.g. cassava, were 'ennobled' by growing micro-organisms on them with the addition of a cheap source of nitrogen.

  18. Protein-Protein Interfaces in Viral Capsids Are Structurally Unique.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Shanshan; Brooks, Charles L

    2015-11-06

    Viral capsids exhibit elaborate and symmetrical architectures of defined sizes and remarkable mechanical properties not seen with cellular macromolecular complexes. Given the uniqueness of the higher-order organization of viral capsid proteins in the virosphere, we explored the question of whether the patterns of protein-protein interactions within viral capsids are distinct from those in generic protein complexes. Our comparative analysis involving a non-redundant set of 551 inter-subunit interfaces in viral capsids from VIPERdb and 20,014 protein-protein interfaces in non-capsid protein complexes from the Protein Data Bank found 418 generic protein-protein interfaces that share similar physicochemical patterns with some protein-protein interfaces in the capsid set, using the program PCalign we developed for comparing protein-protein interfaces. This overlap in the structural space of protein-protein interfaces is significantly small, with a p-value <0.0001, based on a permutation test on the total set of protein-protein interfaces. Furthermore, the generic protein-protein interfaces that bear similarity in their spatial and chemical arrangement with capsid ones are mostly small in size with fewer than 20 interfacial residues, which results from the relatively limited choices of natural design for small interfaces rather than having significant biological implications in terms of functional relationships. We conclude based on this study that protein-protein interfaces in viral capsids are non-representative of patterns in the smaller, more compact cellular protein complexes. Our finding highlights the design principle of building large biological containers from repeated, self-assembling units and provides insights into specific targets for antiviral drug design for improved efficacy.

  19. 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.

  20. Parallel Computational Protein Design

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yichao; Donald, Bruce R.; Zeng, Jianyang

    2016-01-01

    Computational structure-based protein design (CSPD) is an important problem in computational biology, which aims to design or improve a prescribed protein function based on a protein structure template. It provides a practical tool for real-world protein engineering applications. A popular CSPD method that guarantees to find the global minimum energy solution (GMEC) is to combine both dead-end elimination (DEE) and A* tree search algorithms. However, in this framework, the A* search algorithm can run in exponential time in the worst case, which may become the computation bottleneck of large-scale computational protein design process. To address this issue, we extend and add a new module to the OSPREY program that was previously developed in the Donald lab [1] to implement a GPU-based massively parallel A* algorithm for improving protein design pipeline. By exploiting the modern GPU computational framework and optimizing the computation of the heuristic function for A* search, our new program, called gOSPREY, can provide up to four orders of magnitude speedups in large protein design cases with a small memory overhead comparing to the traditional A* search algorithm implementation, while still guaranteeing the optimality. In addition, gOSPREY can be configured to run in a bounded-memory mode to tackle the problems in which the conformation space is too large and the global optimal solution cannot be computed previously. Furthermore, the GPU-based A* algorithm implemented in the gOSPREY program can be combined with the state-of-the-art rotamer pruning algorithms such as iMinDEE [2] and DEEPer [3] to also consider continuous backbone and side-chain flexibility. PMID:27914056

  1. Modeling Mercury in Proteins

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Jeremy C; Parks, Jerry M

    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 non-toxic, other forms such as Hg2+ 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 Hg2+ can be methylated by certain bacteria and archaea to form methylmercury. Conversely, bacteria also demethylate methylmercury and reduce Hg2+ 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 picture and circumvent issues associated with toxicity. Here we describe computational methods for investigating and characterizing how mercury binds to proteins, how inter- and intra-protein 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 confers mercury resistance in many bacteria. Lastly, we place work on mercury in proteins in the context of what is needed for a comprehensive multi-scale model of environmental mercury cycling.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Heat Capacity in Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prabhu, Ninad V.; Sharp, Kim A.

    2005-05-01

    Heat capacity (Cp) is one of several major thermodynamic quantities commonly measured in proteins. With more than half a dozen definitions, it is the hardest of these quantities to understand in physical terms, but the richest in insight. There are many ramifications of observed Cp changes: The sign distinguishes apolar from polar solvation. It imparts a temperature (T) dependence to entropy and enthalpy that may change their signs and which of them dominate. Protein unfolding usually has a positive ΔCp, producing a maximum in stability and sometimes cold denaturation. There are two heat capacity contributions, from hydration and protein-protein interactions; which dominates in folding and binding is an open question. Theoretical work to date has dealt mostly with the hydration term and can account, at least semiquantitatively, for the major Cp-related features: the positive and negative Cp of hydration for apolar and polar groups, respectively; the convergence of apolar group hydration entropy at T ≈ 112°C; the decrease in apolar hydration Cp with increasing T; and the T-maximum in protein stability and cold denaturation.

  5. The ras superfamily proteins.

    PubMed

    Chardin, P

    1988-07-01

    Several recent discoveries indicate that the ras genes, frequently activated to a transforming potential in some human tumours, belong to a large family that can be divided into three main branches: the first branch represented by the ras, ral and rap genes; the second branch, by the rho genes; and the third branch, by the rab genes. The C-terminal end of the encoded proteins always includes a cystein, which may become fatty-acylated, suggesting a sub-membrane localization. The ras superfamily proteins share four regions of high homology corresponding to the GTP binding site; however, even in these regions, significant differences are found, suggesting that the various proteins may possess slightly different biochemical properties. Recent reports show that some of these proteins play an essential role in the control of physical processes such as cell motility, membrane ruffling, endocytosis and exocytosis. Nevertheless, the characterization of the proteins directly interacting with the ras or ras-related gene-products will be required to precisely understand their function.

  6. [Protein metabolism in vegans].

    PubMed

    Okuda, T; Miyoshi-Nishimura, H; Makita, T; Sugawa-Katayama, Y; Hazama, T; Simizu, T; Yamaguchi, Y

    1994-11-01

    To elucidate the mechanisms of adaptation to a low-energy and low-protein vegan diet, we carried out dietary surveys and nitrogen balance studies five times during one year on two women and a man who ate raw brown rice, raw green vegetables, three kinds of raw roots, fruit and salt daily. Individual subjects modified this vegan diet slightly. The mean daily energy intake of the subjects was 18, 14, and 32 kcal/kg, of body weight. The loss of body weight was about 10% of the initial level. The daily nitrogen balance was -32, -33, and -11 mg N/kg of body weight. In spite of the negative nitrogen balance, the results of routine clinical tests, initially normal, did not change with the vegan diet. Ten months after the start of the vegan diet, the subjects were given 15N urea orally. The incorporation of 15N into serum proteins suggested that these subjects could utilize urea nitrogen for body protein synthesis. The level of 15N in serum proteins was close to the level in other normal adult men on a low-protein diet with adequate energy for 2 weeks.

  7. Protein Dynamics in Enzymology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brooks, , III

    2001-03-01

    Enzymes carry-out the chemical activity essential for living processes by providing particular structural arrangements of chemically functional moieties through the structure of their constituent proteins. They are suggested to be optimized through evolution to specifically bind the transition state for the chemical processes they participate in, thereby enhancing the rate of these chemical events by 6-12 orders of magnitude. However, proteins are malleable and fluctuating many-body systems and may also utilize coupling between motional processes with catalysis to regulate or promote these processes. Our studies are aimed at exploring the hypothesis that motions of the protein couple distant regions of the molecule to assist catalytic processes. We demonstrate, through the use of molecular simulations, that strongly coupled motions occur in regions of protein molecules distant in sequence and space from each other, and the enzyme’s active site, when the protein is in a reactant state. Further, we find that the presence of this coupling disappears in complexes no longer reactive-competent, i.e., for product configurations and mutant sequences. The implications of these findings and aspects of evolutionary relationships and mutational studies which support the coupling hypothesis will be discussed in the context of our work on dihydrofolate reductase.

  8. Protein folding and de novo protein design for biotechnological applications

    PubMed Central

    Khoury, George A.; Smadbeck, James; Kieslich, Chris A.; Floudas, Christodoulos A.

    2014-01-01

    In the post-genomic era, the medical/biological fields are advancing faster than ever. However, before the power of full-genome sequencing can be fully realized, the connection between amino acid sequence and protein structure, known as the protein folding problem, needs to be elucidated. The protein folding problem remains elusive, with significant difficulties still arising when modeling amino acid sequences lacking an identifiable template. Understanding protein folding will allow for unforeseen advances in protein design, often referred as the inverse protein folding problem. Despite challenges in protein folding, de novo protein design has recently demonstrated significant success via computational techniques. We review advances and challenges in protein structure prediction and de novo protein design, and highlight their interplay in successful biotechnological applications. PMID:24268901

  9. Matricellular proteins and biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Morris, Aaron H; Kyriakides, Themis R

    2014-07-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. Thermal hysteresis proteins.

    PubMed

    Barrett, J

    2001-02-01

    Extreme environments present a wealth of biochemical adaptations. Thermal hysteresis proteins (THPs) have been found in vertebrates, invertebrates, plants, bacteria and fungi and are able to depress the freezing point of water (in the presence of ice crystals) in a non-colligative manner by binding to the surface of nascent ice crystals. The THPs comprise a disparate group of proteins with a variety of tertiary structures and often no common sequence similarities or structural motifs. Different THPs bind to different faces of the ice crystal, and no single mechanism has been proposed to account for THP ice binding affinity and specificity. Experimentally THPs have been used in the cryopreservation of tissues and cells and to induce cold tolerance in freeze susceptible organisms. THPs represent a remarkable example of parallel and convergent evolution with different proteins being adapted for an anti-freeze role.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Tracking protein aggregate interactions

    PubMed Central

    Bartz, Jason C; Nilsson, K Peter R

    2011-01-01

    Amyloid fibrils share a structural motif consisting of highly ordered β-sheets aligned perpendicular to the fibril axis.1, 2 At each fibril end, β-sheets provide a template for recruiting and converting monomers.3 Different amyloid fibrils often co-occur in the same individual, yet whether a protein aggregate aids or inhibits the assembly of a heterologous protein is unclear. In prion disease, diverse prion aggregate structures, known as strains, are thought to be the basis of disparate disease phenotypes in the same species expressing identical prion protein sequences.4–7 Here we explore the interactions reported to occur when two distinct prion strains occur together in the central nervous system. PMID:21597336

  16. 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

  17. Antioxidants and protein oxidation.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, H R

    2000-11-01

    Proteins are susceptible to oxidation by reactive oxygen species, where the type of damage induced is characteristic of the denaturing species. The induction of protein carbonyls is a widely applied biomarker, arising from primary oxidative insult. However, when applied to complex biological and pathological conditions it can be subject to interference from lipid, carbohydrate and DNA oxidation products. More recently, interest has focused on the analysis of specific protein bound oxidised amino acids. Of the 22 amino acids, aromatic and sulphydryl containing residues have been regarded as being particularly susceptible to oxidative modification, with L-DOPA from tyrosine, ortho-tyrosine from phenylalanine; sulphoxides and disulphides from methionine and cysteine respectively; and kynurenines from tryptophan. Latterly, the identification of valine and leucine hydroxides, reduced from hydroperoxide intermediates, has been described and applied. In order to examine the nature of oxidative damage and protective efficacy of antioxidants the markers must be thoroughly evaluated for dosimetry in vitro following damage by specific radical species. Antioxidant protection against formation of the biomarker should be demonstrated in vitro. Quantification of biomarkers in proteins from normal subjects should be within the limits of detection of any analytical procedure. Further to this, the techniques for isolation and hydrolysis of specific proteins should demonstrate that in vitro oxidation is minimised. There is a need for the development of standards for quality assurance material to standardise procedures between laboratories. At present, antioxidant effects on protein oxidation in vivo are limited to animal studies, where dietary antioxidants have been reported to reduce dityrosine formation during rat exercise training. Two studies on humans have been reported last year. The further application of these methods to human studies is indicated, where the quality of the

  18. Discovery of binding proteins for a protein target using protein-protein docking-based virtual screening.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Changsheng; Tang, Bo; Wang, Qian; Lai, Luhua

    2014-10-01

    Target structure-based virtual screening, which employs protein-small molecule docking to identify potential ligands, has been widely used in small-molecule drug discovery. In the present study, we used a protein-protein docking program to identify proteins that bind to a specific target protein. In the testing phase, an all-to-all protein-protein docking run on a large dataset was performed. The three-dimensional rigid docking program SDOCK was used to examine protein-protein docking on all protein pairs in the dataset. Both the binding affinity and features of the binding energy landscape were considered in the scoring function in order to distinguish positive binding pairs from negative binding pairs. Thus, the lowest docking score, the average Z-score, and convergency of the low-score solutions were incorporated in the analysis. The hybrid scoring function was optimized in the all-to-all docking test. The docking method and the hybrid scoring function were then used to screen for proteins that bind to tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα), which is a well-known therapeutic target for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. A protein library containing 677 proteins was used for the screen. Proteins with scores among the top 20% were further examined. Sixteen proteins from the top-ranking 67 proteins were selected for experimental study. Two of these proteins showed significant binding to TNFα in an in vitro binding study. The results of the present study demonstrate the power and potential application of protein-protein docking for the discovery of novel binding proteins for specific protein targets.

  19. SAP family proteins.

    PubMed

    Fujita, A; Kurachi, Y

    2000-03-05

    Thus far, five members including Dlg, SAP97/hDlg, SAP90/PSD-95, SAP102, and PSD-93/chapsyn110 which belong to SAP family have been identified. Recent studies have revealed that these proteins play important roles in the localization and function of glutamate receptors and K(+) channels. Although most of them have been reported to be localized to the synapse, only one member, SAP97, is expressed also in the epithelial cells. In this review, we have summarized structural characters of SAP family proteins and discuss their functions in neurons and epithelial cells.

  20. Protein Biosynthesis in Mitochondria

    PubMed Central

    Kuzmenko, A. V.; Levitskii, S. A.; Vinogradova, E. N.; Atkinson, G. C.; Hauryliuk, V.; Zenkin, N.; Kamenski, P. A.

    2013-01-01

    Translation, that is biosynthesis of polypeptides in accordance with information encoded in the genome, is one of the most important processes in the living cell, and it has been in the spotlight of international research for many years. The mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in bacteria and in the eukaryotic cytoplasm are now understood in great detail. However, significantly less is known about translation in eukaryotic mitochondria, which is characterized by a number of unusual features. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about mitochondrial translation in different organisms while paying special attention to the aspects of this process that differ from cytoplasmic protein biosynthesis. PMID:24228873

  1. 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

  2. [Protein-losing enteropathy].

    PubMed

    Parfenov, A I; Krums, L M

    2017-01-01

    Protein-losing enteropathy (PLE) is a rare complication of intestinal diseases. Its main manifestation is hypoproteinemic edema. The diagnosis of PLE is based on the verification of protein loss into the intestinal lumen, by determining fecal α1-antitrypsin concentration and clearance. The localization of the affected colonic segment is clarified using radiologic and endoscopic techniques. The mainstay of treatment for PLE is a fat-free diet enriched with medium-chain triglycerides. Surgical resection of the affected segment of the colon may be the treatment of choice for severe hypoproteinemia resistant to drug therapy.

  3. 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

  4. Protein biosynthesis in mitochondria.

    PubMed

    Kuzmenko, A V; Levitskii, S A; Vinogradova, E N; Atkinson, G C; Hauryliuk, V; Zenkin, N; Kamenski, P A

    2013-08-01

    Translation, that is biosynthesis of polypeptides in accordance with information encoded in the genome, is one of the most important processes in the living cell, and it has been in the spotlight of international research for many years. The mechanisms of protein biosynthesis in bacteria and in the eukaryotic cytoplasm are now understood in great detail. However, significantly less is known about translation in eukaryotic mitochondria, which is characterized by a number of unusual features. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about mitochondrial translation in different organisms while paying special attention to the aspects of this process that differ from cytoplasmic protein biosynthesis.

  5. Protein energy malnutrition.

    PubMed

    Grover, Zubin; Ee, Looi C

    2009-10-01

    Protein energy malnutrition (PEM) is a common problem worldwide and occurs in both developing and industrialized nations. In the developing world, it is frequently a result of socioeconomic, political, or environmental factors. In contrast, protein energy malnutrition in the developed world usually occurs in the context of chronic disease. There remains much variation in the criteria used to define malnutrition, with each method having its own limitations. Early recognition, prompt management, and robust follow up are critical for best outcomes in preventing and treating PEM.

  6. An introduction to protein moonlighting.

    PubMed

    Jeffery, Constance J

    2014-12-01

    Moonlighting proteins comprise a class of multifunctional proteins in which a single polypeptide chain performs multiple physiologically relevant biochemical or biophysical functions. Almost 300 proteins have been found to moonlight. The known examples of moonlighting proteins include diverse types of proteins, including receptors, enzymes, transcription factors, adhesins and scaffolds, and different combinations of functions are observed. Moonlighting proteins are expressed throughout the evolutionary tree and function in many different biochemical pathways. Some moonlighting proteins can perform both functions simultaneously, but for others, the protein's function changes in response to changes in the environment. The diverse examples of moonlighting proteins already identified, and the potential benefits moonlighting proteins might provide to the organism, such as through coordinating cellular activities, suggest that many more moonlighting proteins are likely to be found. Continuing studies of the structures and functions of moonlighting proteins will aid in predicting the functions of proteins identified through genome sequencing projects, in interpreting results from proteomics experiments, in understanding how different biochemical pathways interact in systems biology, in annotating protein sequence and structure databases, in studies of protein evolution and in the design of proteins with novel functions.

  7. Protein domain connectivity and essentiality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    da F. Costa, L.; Rodrigues, F. A.; Travieso, G.

    2006-10-01

    Protein-protein interactions can be properly modeled as scale-free complex networks, while the lethality of proteins has been correlated with the node degrees, therefore defining a lethality-centrality rule. In this work the authors revisit this relevant problem by focusing attention not on proteins as a whole, but on their functional domains, which are ultimately responsible for their binding potential. Four networks are considered: the original protein-protein interaction network, its randomized version, and two domain networks assuming different lethality hypotheses. By using formal statistical analysis, they show that the correlation between connectivity and essentiality is higher for domains than for proteins.

  8. 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.

  9. NextGen protein design

    PubMed Central

    Regan, Lynne

    2014-01-01

    Protein engineering is at an exciting stage because designed protein–protein interactions are being used in many applications. For instance, three designed proteins are now in clinical trials. Although there have been many successes over the last decade, protein engineering still faces numerous challenges. Often, designs do not work as anticipated and they still require substantial redesign. The present review focuses on the successes, the challenges and the limitations of rational protein design today. PMID:24059497

  10. Conserved herpesvirus protein kinases

    PubMed Central

    Gershburg, Edward; Pagano, Joseph S.

    2008-01-01

    Conserved herpesviral protein kinases (CHPKs) are a group of enzymes conserved throughout all subfamilies of Herpesviridae. Members of this group are serine/threonine protein kinases that are likely to play a conserved role in viral infection by interacting with common host cellular and viral factors; however along with a conserved role, individual kinases may have unique functions in the context of viral infection in such a way that they are only partially replaceable even by close homologues. Recent studies demonstrated that CHPKs are crucial for viral infection and suggested their involvement in regulation of numerous processes at various infection steps (primary infection, nuclear egress, tegumentation), although the mechanisms of this regulation remain unknown. Notwithstanding, recent advances in discovery of new CHPK targets, and studies of CHPK knockout phenotypes have raised their attractiveness as targets for antiviral therapy. A number of compounds have been shown to inhibit the activity of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-encoded UL97 protein kinase and exhibit a pronounced antiviral effect, although the same compounds are inactive against Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV)-encoded protein kinase BGLF4, illustrating the fact that low homology between the members of this group complicates development of compounds targeting the whole group, and suggesting that individualized, structure-based inhibitor design will be more effective. Determination of CHPK structures will greatly facilitate this task. PMID:17881303

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Proteins of Excitable Membranes

    PubMed Central

    Nachmansohn, David

    1969-01-01

    Excitable membranes have the special ability of changing rapidly and reversibly their permeability to ions, thereby controlling the ion movements that carry the electric currents propagating nerve impulses. Acetylcholine (ACh) is the specific signal which is released by excitation and is recognized by a specific protein, the ACh-receptor; it induces a conformational change, triggering off a sequence of reactions resulting in increased permeability. The hydrolysis of ACh by ACh-esterase restores the barrier to ions. The enzymes hydrolyzing and forming ACh and the receptor protein are present in the various types of excitable membranes. Properties of the two proteins directly associated with electrical activity, receptor and esterase, will be described in this and subsequent lectures. ACh-esterase has been shown to be located within the excitable membranes. Potent enzyme inhibitors block electrical activity demonstrating the essential role in this function. The enzyme has been recently crystallized and some protein properties will be described. The monocellular electroplax preparation offers a uniquely favorable material for analyzing the properties of the ACh-receptor and its relation to function. The essential role of the receptor in electrical activity has been demonstrated with specific receptor inhibitors. Recent data show the basically similar role of ACh in the axonal and junctional membranes; the differences of electrical events and pharmacological actions are due to variations of shape, structural organization, and environment. PMID:19873642

  14. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    SciTech Connect

    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.

  15. Chaos in protein dynamics.

    PubMed

    Braxenthaler, M; Unger, R; Auerbach, D; Given, J A; Moult, J

    1997-12-01

    MD simulations, currently the most detailed description of the dynamic evolution of proteins, are based on the repeated solution of a set of differential equations implementing Newton's second law. Many such systems are known to exhibit chaotic behavior, i.e., very small changes in initial conditions are amplified exponentially and lead to vastly different, inherently unpredictable behavior. We have investigated the response of a protein fragment in an explicit solvent environment to very small perturbations of the atomic positions (10(-3)-10(-9) A). Independent of the starting conformation (native-like, compact, extended), perturbed dynamics trajectories deviated rapidly, leading to conformations that differ by approximately 1 A RMSD within 1-2 ps. Furthermore, introducing the perturbation more than 1-2 ps before a significant conformational transition leads to a loss of the transition in the perturbed trajectories. We present evidence that the observed chaotic behavior reflects physical properties of the system rather than numerical instabilities of the calculation and discuss the implications for models of protein folding and the use of MD as a tool to analyze protein folding pathways.

  16. 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

  17. Tuber storage proteins.

    PubMed

    Shewry, Peter R

    2003-06-01

    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.

  18. Protein thin film machines.

    PubMed

    Federici, Stefania; Oliviero, Giulio; Hamad-Schifferli, Kimberly; Bergese, Paolo

    2010-12-01

    We report the first example of microcantilever beams that are reversibly driven by protein thin film machines fueled by cycling the salt concentration of the surrounding solution. We also show that upon the same salinity stimulus the drive can be completely reversed in its direction by introducing a surface coating ligand. Experimental results are throughout discussed within a general yet simple thermodynamic model.

  19. 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.

  20. 24-hour urine protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... your doctor may be able to order a test that is done on just one urine sample (protein-to-creatinine ratio). Normal Results The normal value is less than 100 milligrams per day or less than 10 milligrams per deciliter ... of these tests. Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different ...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Monobodies and other synthetic binding proteins for expanding protein science.

    PubMed

    Sha, Fern; Salzman, Gabriel; Gupta, Ankit; Koide, Shohei

    2017-03-01

    Synthetic binding proteins are constructed using nonantibody molecular scaffolds. Over the last two decades, in-depth structural and functional analyses of synthetic binding proteins have improved combinatorial library designs and selection strategies, which have resulted in potent platforms that consistently generate binding proteins to diverse targets with affinity and specificity that rival those of antibodies. Favorable attributes of synthetic binding proteins, such as small size, freedom from disulfide bond formation and ease of making fusion proteins, have enabled their unique applications in protein science, cell biology and beyond. Here, we review recent studies that illustrate how synthetic binding proteins are powerful probes that can directly link structure and function, often leading to new mechanistic insights. We propose that synthetic proteins will become powerful standard tools in diverse areas of protein science, biotechnology and medicine.

  7. Production of specific antibodies against protein A fusion proteins.

    PubMed Central

    Löwenadler, B; Nilsson, B; Abrahmsén, L; Moks, T; Ljungqvist, L; Holmgren, E; Paleus, S; Josephson, S; Philipson, L; Uhlén, M

    1986-01-01

    The gene for Staphylococcal protein A was fused to the coding sequence of bacterial beta-galactosidase, alkaline phosphatase and human insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). The fusion proteins, expressed in bacteria, were purified by affinity chromatography on IgG-Sepharose and antibodies were raised in rabbits. All three fusion proteins elicited specific antibodies against both the inserted protein sequences and the protein A moiety. In the case of IGF-I, the protein A moiety in the fusion protein may act as an adjuvant since native IGF-I alone is a poor immunogen. The results suggest that the protein A fusion system can be used for efficient antibody production against peptides or proteins expressed from cloned or synthetic genes. To facilitate such gene fusions a set of optimized vectors have been constructed. Images Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 6. PMID:3096719

  8. Accessory proteins for heterotrimeric G-proteins in the kidney

    PubMed Central

    Park, Frank

    2015-01-01

    Heterotrimeric G-proteins play a fundamentally important role in regulating signal transduction pathways in the kidney. Accessory proteins are being identified as direct binding partners for heterotrimeric G-protein α or βγ subunits to promote more diverse mechanisms by which G-protein signaling is controlled. In some instances, accessory proteins can modulate the signaling magnitude, localization, and duration following the activation of cell membrane-associated receptors. Alternatively, accessory proteins complexed with their G-protein α or βγ subunits can promote non-canonical models of signaling activity within the cell. In this review, we will highlight the expression profile, localization and functional importance of these newly identified accessory proteins to control the function of select G-protein subunits under normal and various disease conditions observed in the kidney. PMID:26300785

  9. Exploring NMR ensembles of calcium binding proteins: Perspectives to design inhibitors of protein-protein interactions

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Disrupting protein-protein interactions by small organic molecules is nowadays a promising strategy employed to block protein targets involved in different pathologies. However, structural changes occurring at the binding interfaces make difficult drug discovery processes using structure-based drug design/virtual screening approaches. Here we focused on two homologous calcium binding proteins, calmodulin and human centrin 2, involved in different cellular functions via protein-protein interactions, and known to undergo important conformational changes upon ligand binding. Results In order to find suitable protein conformations of calmodulin and centrin for further structure-based drug design/virtual screening, we performed in silico structural/energetic analysis and molecular docking of terphenyl (a mimicking alpha-helical molecule known to inhibit protein-protein interactions of calmodulin) into X-ray and NMR ensembles of calmodulin and centrin. We employed several scoring methods in order to find the best protein conformations. Our results show that docking on NMR structures of calmodulin and centrin can be very helpful to take into account conformational changes occurring at protein-protein interfaces. Conclusions NMR structures of protein-protein complexes nowadays available could efficiently be exploited for further structure-based drug design/virtual screening processes employed to design small molecule inhibitors of protein-protein interactions. PMID:21569443

  10. 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.

  11. An evaluation of in vitro protein-protein interaction techniques: assessing contaminating background proteins.

    PubMed

    Howell, Jenika M; Winstone, Tara L; Coorssen, Jens R; Turner, Raymond J

    2006-04-01

    Determination of protein-protein interactions is an important component in assigning function and discerning the biological relevance of proteins within a broader cellular context. In vitro protein-protein interaction methodologies, including affinity chromatography, coimmunoprecipitation, and newer approaches such as protein chip arrays, hold much promise in the detection of protein interactions, particularly in well-characterized organisms with sequenced genomes. However, each of these approaches attracts certain background proteins that can thwart detection and identification of true interactors. In addition, recombinant proteins expressed in Escherichia coli are also extensively used to assess protein-protein interactions, and background proteins in these isolates can thus contaminate interaction studies. Rigorous validation of a true interaction thus requires not only that an interaction be found by alternate techniques, but more importantly that researchers be aware of and control for matrix/support dependence. Here, we evaluate these methods for proteins interacting with DmsD (an E. coli redox enzyme maturation protein chaperone), in vitro, using E. coli subcellular fractions as prey sources. We compare and contrast the various in vitro interaction methods to identify some of the background proteins and protein profiles that are inherent to each of the methods in an E. coli system.

  12. 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.

  13. Septins: Regulators of Protein Stability

    PubMed Central

    Vagin, Olga; Beenhouwer, David O.

    2016-01-01

    Septins are small GTPases that play a role in several important cellular processes. In this review, we focus on the roles of septins in protein stabilization. Septins may regulate protein stability by: (1) interacting with proteins involved in degradation pathways, (2) regulating the interaction between transmembrane proteins and cytoskeletal proteins, (3) affecting the mobility of transmembrane proteins in lipid bilayers, and (4) modulating the interaction of proteins with their adaptor or signaling proteins. In this context, we discuss the role of septins in protecting four different proteins from degradation. First we consider botulinum neurotoxin serotype A (BoNT/A) and the contribution of septins to its extraordinarily long intracellular persistence. Next, we discuss the role of septins in stabilizing the receptor tyrosine kinases EGFR and ErbB2. Finally, we consider the contribution of septins in protecting hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) from degradation. PMID:28066764

  14. The quality of microparticulated protein.

    PubMed

    Erdman, J W

    1990-08-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe the effects of microparticulation upon the quality of microparticulated protein products and to confirm that microparticulation does not result in changes in protein structure or quality different from those that occur with cooking. Two products were tested: microparticulated egg white and skim milk proteins and microparticulated whey protein concentrate. Three approaches were used to monitor for changes in amino acid and protein value: amino acid analysis, protein efficiency ratio (PER) bioassay, and both one- and two-dimensional sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Evaluation of the results of these tests indicates that no significant differences were found when comparing the premix before and after microparticulation. Significant differences also did not occur when the premix was cooked using conventional methods. Collectively, the data provide strong evidence that the protein microparticulation process used to prepare microparticulated protein products (e.g., Simplesse) does not alter the quality or nutritional value of protein in the final products.

  15. Dissecting protein-protein interactions using directed evolution.

    PubMed

    Bonsor, Daniel A; Sundberg, Eric J

    2011-04-05

    Protein-protein interactions are essential for life. They are responsible for most cellular functions and when they go awry often lead to disease. Proteins are inherently complex. They are flexible macromolecules whose constituent amino acid components act in combinatorial and networked ways when they engage one another in binding interactions. It is just this complexity that allows them to conduct such a broad array of biological functions. Despite decades of intense study of the molecular basis of protein-protein interactions, key gaps in our understanding remain, hindering our ability to accurately predict the specificities and affinities of their interactions. Until recently, most protein-protein investigations have been probed experimentally at the single-amino acid level, making them, by definition, incapable of capturing the combinatorial nature of, and networked communications between, the numerous residues within and outside of the protein-protein interface. This aspect of protein-protein interactions, however, is emerging as a major driving force for protein affinity and specificity. Understanding a combinatorial process necessarily requires a combinatorial experimental tool. Much like the organisms in which they reside, proteins naturally evolve over time, through a combinatorial process of mutagenesis and selection, to functionally associate. Elucidating the process by which proteins have evolved may be one of the keys to deciphering the molecular rules that govern their interactions with one another. Directed evolution is a technique performed in the laboratory that mimics natural evolution on a tractable time scale that has been utilized widely to engineer proteins with novel capabilities, including altered binding properties. In this review, we discuss directed evolution as an emerging tool for dissecting protein-protein interactions.

  16. 14-3-3 proteins: regulators of numerous eukaryotic proteins.

    PubMed

    van Heusden, G Paul H

    2005-09-01

    14-3-3 proteins form a family of highly conserved proteins capable of binding to more than 200 different mostly phosphorylated proteins. They are present in all eukaryotic organisms investigated, often in multiple isoforms, up to 13 in some plants. 14-3-3 binding partners are involved in almost every cellular process and 14-3-3 proteins play a key role in these processes. 14-3-3 proteins interact with products encoded by oncogenes, with filament forming proteins involved in Alzheimer'ss disease and many other proteins related to human diseases. Disturbance of the interactions with 14-3-3 proteins may lead to diseases like cancer and the neurological Miller-Dieker disease. The molecular consequences of 14-3-3 binding are diverse and only partly understood. Binding of a protein to a 14-3-3 protein may result in stabilization of the active or inactive phosphorylated form of the protein, to a conformational alteration leading to activation or inhibition, to a different subcellular localization or to the interaction with other proteins. Currently genome- and proteome-wide studies are contributing to a wider knowledge of this important family of proteins.

  17. 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...

  18. Quantification of the Influence of Protein-Protein Interactions on Adsorbed Protein Structure and Bioactivity

    PubMed Central

    Wei, Yang; Thyparambil, Aby A.; Latour, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    While protein-surface interactions have been widely studied, relatively little is understood at this time regarding how protein-surface interaction effects are influenced by protein-protein interactions and how these effects combine with the internal stability of a protein to influence its adsorbed-state structure and bioactivity. The objectives of this study were to develop a method to study these combined effects under widely varying protein-protein interaction conditions using hen egg-white lysozyme (HEWL) adsorbed on silica glass, poly(methyl methacrylate), and polyethylene as our model systems. In order to vary protein-protein interaction effects over a wide range, HEWL was first adsorbed to each surface type under widely varying protein solution concentrations for 2 h to saturate the surface, followed by immersion in pure buffer solution for 15 h to equilibrate the adsorbed protein layers in the absence of additionally adsorbing protein. Periodic measurements were made at selected time points of the areal density of the adsorbed protein layer as an indicator of the level of protein-protein interaction effects within the layer, and these values were then correlated with measurements of the adsorbed protein’s secondary structure and bioactivity. The results from these studies indicate that protein-protein interaction effects help stabilize the structure of HEWL adsorbed on silica glass, have little influence on the structural behavior of HEWL on HDPE, and actually serve to destabilize HEWL’s structure on PMMA. The bioactivity of HEWL on silica glass and HDPE was found to decrease in direct proportion to the degree of adsorption-induce protein unfolding. A direct correlation between bioactivity and the conformational state of adsorbed HEWL was less apparent on PMMA, thus suggesting that other factors influenced HEWL’s bioactivity on this surface, such as the accessibility of HEWL’s bioactive site being blocked by neighboring proteins or the surface

  19. 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.

  20. Protein misfolding disorders and macroautophagy

    PubMed Central

    Menzies, Fiona M; Moreau, Kevin; Rubinsztein, David C

    2011-01-01

    A large group of diseases, termed protein misfolding disorders, share the common feature of the accumulation of misfolded proteins. The possibility of a common mechanism underlying either the pathogenesis or therapy for these diseases is appealing. Thus, there is great interest in the role of protein degradation via autophagy in such conditions where the protein is found in the cytoplasm. Here we review the growing evidence supporting a role for autophagic dysregulation as a contributing factor to protein accumulation and cellular toxicity in certain protein misfolding disorders and discuss the available evidence that upregulation of autophagy may be a valuable therapeutic strategy. PMID:21087849

  1. 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

  2. Biological Applications of Protein Splicing

    PubMed Central

    Vila-Perelló, Miquel; Muir, Tom W.

    2010-01-01

    Protein splicing is a naturally-occurring process in which a protein editor, called an intein, performs a molecular disappearing act by cutting itself out of a host protein in a traceless manner. In the two decades since its discovery, protein splicing has been harnessed for the development of several protein-engineering methods. Collectively, these technologies help bridge the fields of chemistry and biology, allowing hitherto impossible manipulations of protein covalent structure. These tools and their application are the subject of this Primer. PMID:20946979

  3. Misfolded Proteins and Retinal Dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jonathan H.; LaVail, Matthew M.

    2010-01-01

    Many mutations associated with retinal degeneration lead to the production of misfolded proteins by cells of the retina. Emerging evidence suggests that these abnormal proteins cause cell death by activating the Unfolded Protein Response, a set of conserved intracellular signaling pathways that detect protein misfolding within the endoplasmic reticulum and control protective and proapoptotic signal transduction pathways. Here, we review the misfolded proteins associated with select types of retinitis pigmentosa, Stargadt-like macular degeneration, and Doyne Honeycomb Retinal Dystrophy and discuss the role that endoplasmic reticulum stress and UPR signaling play in their pathogenesis. Last, we review new therapies for these diseases based on preventing protein misfolding in the retina. PMID:20238009

  4. Functionalizing Microporous Membranes for Protein Purification and Protein Digestion.

    PubMed

    Dong, Jinlan; Bruening, Merlin L

    2015-01-01

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Statistical analysis and prediction of protein-protein interfaces.

    PubMed

    Bordner, Andrew J; Abagyan, Ruben

    2005-08-15

    Predicting protein-protein interfaces from a three-dimensional structure is a key task of computational structural proteomics. In contrast to geometrically distinct small molecule binding sites, protein-protein interface are notoriously difficult to predict. We generated a large nonredundant data set of 1494 true protein-protein interfaces using biological symmetry annotation where necessary. The data set was carefully analyzed and a Support Vector Machine was trained on a combination of a new robust evolutionary conservation signal with the local surface properties to predict protein-protein interfaces. Fivefold cross validation verifies the high sensitivity and selectivity of the model. As much as 97% of the predicted patches had an overlap with the true interface patch while only 22% of the surface residues were included in an average predicted patch. The model allowed the identification of potential new interfaces and the correction of mislabeled oligomeric states.

  7. Mx proteins: antiviral proteins by chance or by necessity?

    PubMed

    Arnheiter, H; Meier, E

    1990-10-01

    The interferon-inducible Mx1 protein is responsible for inborn resistance of mice to influenza. It is now recognized that this protein is a member of a family of interferon-inducible, putative GTP-binding proteins found in many organisms. Thus, these proteins, called the Mx proteins, are found in species that are naturally infected with influenza virus, and also in species that are not. Some Mx proteins display a broader antiviral profile than the one observed for Mx1 in mice. Others, however, may not be antiviral. Two recently discovered GTP-binding proteins, Vps1p in yeast and dynamin in rat, are also related to Mx1. These proteins are synthesized constitutively and serve basic cellular functions.

  8. Collaborative protein filaments.

    PubMed

    Ghosal, Debnath; Löwe, Jan

    2015-09-14

    It is now well established that prokaryotic cells assemble diverse proteins into dynamic cytoskeletal filaments that perform essential cellular functions. Although most of the filaments assemble on their own to form higher order structures, growing evidence suggests that there are a number of prokaryotic proteins that polymerise only in the presence of a matrix such as DNA, lipid membrane or even another filament. Matrix-assisted filament systems are frequently nucleotide dependent and cytomotive but rarely considered as part of the bacterial cytoskeleton. Here, we categorise this family of filament-forming systems as collaborative filaments and introduce a simple nomenclature. Collaborative filaments are frequent in both eukaryotes and prokaryotes and are involved in vital cellular processes including chromosome segregation, DNA repair and maintenance, gene silencing and cytokinesis to mention a few. In this review, we highlight common principles underlying collaborative filaments and correlate these with known functions.

  9. Protein engineering of subtilisin.

    PubMed

    Bryan, P N

    2000-12-29

    The serine protease subtilisin is an important industrial enzyme as well as a model for understanding the enormous rate enhancements affected by enzymes. For these reasons along with the timely cloning of the gene, ease of expression and purification and availability of atomic resolution structures, subtilisin became a model system for protein engineering studies in the 1980s. Fifteen years later, mutations in well over 50% of the 275 amino acids of subtilisin have been reported in the scientific literature. Most subtilisin engineering has involved catalytic amino acids, substrate binding regions and stabilizing mutations. Stability has been the property of subtilisin which has been most amenable to enhancement, yet perhaps least understood. This review will give a brief overview of the subtilisin engineering field, critically review what has been learned about subtilisin stability from protein engineering experiments and conclude with some speculation about the prospects for future subtilisin engineering.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Microdosing of protein drugs.

    PubMed

    Rowland, M

    2016-02-01

    Poor pharmacokinetics (PK) can seriously limit clinical utility. Knowing early whether a new compound is likely to have the desired PK profile at therapeutic doses is therefore important. One approach, microdosing, has shown high success with small molecular weight compounds, despite early skepticism. Vlaming et al. report the first, and successful, clinical application of a microdose of a humanized recombinant protein. But what is the likely success for this class of drugs more generally?

  13. Prion protein and aging

    PubMed Central

    Gasperini, Lisa; Legname, Giuseppe

    2014-01-01

    The cellular prion protein (PrPC) has been widely investigated ever since its conformational isoform, the prion (or PrPSc), was identified as the etiological agent of prion disorders. The high homology shared by the PrPC-encoding gene among mammals, its high turnover rate and expression in every tissue strongly suggest that PrPC may possess key physiological functions. Therefore, defining PrPC roles, properties and fate in the physiology of mammalian cells would be fundamental to understand its pathological involvement in prion diseases. Since the incidence of these neurodegenerative disorders is enhanced in aging, understanding PrPC functions in this life phase may be of crucial importance. Indeed, a large body of evidence suggests that PrPC plays a neuroprotective and antioxidant role. Moreover, it has been suggested that PrPC is involved in Alzheimer disease, another neurodegenerative pathology that develops predominantly in the aging population. In prion diseases, PrPC function is likely lost upon protein aggregation occurring in the course of the disease. Additionally, the aging process may alter PrPC biochemical properties, thus influencing its propensity to convert into PrPSc. Both phenomena may contribute to the disease development and progression. In Alzheimer disease, PrPC has a controversial role because its presence seems to mediate β-amyloid toxicity, while its down-regulation correlates with neuronal death. The role of PrPC in aging has been investigated from different perspectives, often leading to contrasting results. The putative protein functions in aging have been studied in relation to memory, behavior and myelin maintenance. In aging mice, PrPC changes in subcellular localization and post-translational modifications have been explored in an attempt to relate them to different protein roles and propensity to convert into PrPSc. Here we provide an overview of the most relevant studies attempting to delineate PrPC functions and fate in aging

  14. Dissecting Amelogenin Protein Nanospheres

    PubMed Central

    Bromley, Keith M.; Kiss, Andrew S.; Lokappa, Sowmya Bekshe; Lakshminarayanan, Rajamani; Fan, Daming; Ndao, Moise; Evans, John Spencer; Moradian-Oldak, Janet

    2011-01-01

    Amelogenin self-assembles to form an extracellular protein matrix, which serves as a template for the continuously growing enamel apatite crystals. To gain further insight into the molecular mechanism of amelogenin nanosphere formation, we manipulated the interactions between amelogenin monomers by altering pH, temperature, and protein concentration to create isolated metastable amelogenin oligomers. Recombinant porcine amelogenins (rP172 and rP148) and three different mutants containing only a single tryptophan (Trp161, Trp45, and Trp25) were used. Dynamic light scattering and fluorescence studies demonstrated that oligomers were metastable and in constant equilibrium with monomers. Stable oligomers with an average hydrodynamic radius (RH) of 7.5 nm were observed at pH 5.5 between 4 and 10 mg·ml−1. We did not find any evidence of a significant increase in folding upon self-association of the monomers into oligomers, indicating that they are disordered. Fluorescence experiments with single tryptophan amelogenins revealed that upon oligomerization the C terminus of amelogenin (around residue Trp161) is exposed at the surface of the oligomers, whereas the N-terminal region around Trp25 and Trp45 is involved in protein-protein interaction. The truncated rP148 formed similar but smaller oligomers, suggesting that the C terminus is not critical for amelogenin oligomerization. We propose a model for nanosphere formation via oligomers, and we predict that nanospheres will break up to form oligomers in mildly acidic environments via histidine protonation. We further suggest that oligomeric structures might be functional components during maturation of enamel apatite. PMID:21840988

  15. 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.

  16. Teaching resources. Protein kinases.

    PubMed

    Caplan, Avrom

    2005-02-22

    This Teaching Resource provides lecture notes and slides for a class covering the structure and function of protein kinases and is part of the course "Cell Signaling Systems: A Course for Graduate Students." The lecture begins with a discussion of the genomics and evolutionary relationships among kinases and then proceeds to describe the structure-function relationships of specific kinases, the molecular mechanisms underlying substrate specificity, and selected issues in regulation of kinase activity.

  17. Protein-Protein Fusion Catalyzed by Sortase A

    PubMed Central

    Levary, David A.; Parthasarathy, Ranganath; Boder, Eric T.; Ackerman, Margaret E.

    2011-01-01

    Chimeric proteins boast widespread use in areas ranging from cell biology to drug delivery. Post-translational protein fusion using the bacterial transpeptidase sortase A provides an attractive alternative when traditional gene fusion fails. We describe use of this enzyme for in vitro protein ligation and report the successful fusion of 10 pairs of protein domains with preserved functionality — demonstrating the robust and facile nature of this reaction. PMID:21494692

  18. 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.

  19. Process for protein PEGylation.

    PubMed

    Pfister, David; Morbidelli, Massimo

    2014-04-28

    PEGylation is a versatile drug delivery technique that presents a particularly wide range of conjugation chemistry and polymer structure. The conjugated protein can be tuned to specifically meet the needs of the desired application. In the area of drug delivery this typically means to increase the persistency in the human body without affecting the activity profile of the original protein. On the other hand, because of the high costs associated with the production of therapeutic proteins, subsequent operations imposed by PEGylation must be optimized to minimize the costs inherent to the additional steps. The closest attention has to be given to the PEGylation reaction engineering and to the subsequent purification processes. This review article focuses on these two aspects and critically reviews the current state of the art with a clear focus on the development of industrial scale processes which can meet the market requirements in terms of quality and costs. The possibility of using continuous processes, with integration between the reaction and the separation steps is also illustrated.

  20. 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.

  1. Papillomavirus E6 proteins

    PubMed Central

    Howie, Heather L; Katzenellenbogen, Rachel A; Galloway, Denise A

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19081593

  2. Analysis of secreted proteins.

    PubMed

    Severino, Valeria; Farina, Annarita; Chambery, Angela

    2013-01-01

    Most biological processes including growth, proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are coordinated by tightly regulated signaling pathways, which also involve secreted proteins acting in an autocrine and/or paracrine manner. In addition, extracellular signaling molecules affect local niche biology and influence the cross-talking with the surrounding tissues. The understanding of this molecular language may provide an integrated and broader view of cellular regulatory networks under physiological and pathological conditions. In this context, the profiling at a global level of cell secretomes (i.e., the subpopulations of a proteome secreted from the cell) has become an active area of research. The current interest in secretome research also deals with its high potential for the biomarker discovery and the identification of new targets for therapeutic strategies. Several proteomic and mass spectrometry platforms and methodologies have been applied to secretome profiling of conditioned media of cultured cell lines and primary cells. Nevertheless, the analysis of secreted proteins is still a very challenging task, because of the technical difficulties that may hamper the subsequent mass spectrometry analysis. This chapter describes a typical workflow for the analysis of proteins secreted by cultured cells. Crucial issues related to cell culture conditions for the collection of conditioned media, secretome preparation, and mass spectrometry analysis are discussed. Furthermore, an overview of quantitative LC-MS-based approaches, computational tools for data analysis, and strategies for validation of potential secretome biomarkers is also presented.

  3. 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.

  4. A Bayesian Framework for Combining Protein and Network Topology Information for Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Birlutiu, Adriana; d'Alché-Buc, Florence; Heskes, Tom

    2015-01-01

    Computational methods for predicting protein-protein interactions are important tools that can complement high-throughput technologies and guide biologists in designing new laboratory experiments. The proteins and the interactions between them can be described by a network which is characterized by several topological properties. Information about proteins and interactions between them, in combination with knowledge about topological properties of the network, can be used for developing computational methods that can accurately predict unknown protein-protein interactions. This paper presents a supervised learning framework based on Bayesian inference for combining two types of information: i) network topology information, and ii) information related to proteins and the interactions between them. The motivation of our model is that by combining these two types of information one can achieve a better accuracy in predicting protein-protein interactions, than by using models constructed from these two types of information independently.

  5. Predicting disease-related proteins based on clique backbone in protein-protein interaction network.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. S-linked protein homocysteinylation: identifying targets based on structural, physicochemical and protein-protein interactions of homocysteinylated proteins.

    PubMed

    Silla, Yumnam; Sundaramoorthy, Elayanambi; Talwar, Puneet; Sengupta, Shantanu

    2013-05-01

    An elevated level of homocysteine, a thiol-containing amino acid is associated with a wide spectrum of disease conditions. A majority (>80 %) of the circulating homocysteine exist in protein-bound form. Homocysteine can bind to free cysteine residues in the protein or could cleave accessible cysteine disulfide bonds via thiol disulfide exchange reaction. Binding of homocysteine to proteins could potentially alter the structure and/or function of the protein. To date only 21 proteins have been experimentally shown to bind homocysteine. In this study we attempted to identify other proteins that could potentially bind to homocysteine based on the criteria that such proteins will have significant 3D structural homology with the proteins that have been experimentally validated and have solvent accessible cysteine residues either with high dihedral strain energy (for cysteine-cysteine disulfide bonds) or low pKa (for free cysteine residues). This analysis led us to the identification of 78 such proteins of which 68 proteins had 154 solvent accessible disulfide cysteine pairs with high dihedral strain energy and 10 proteins had free cysteine residues with low pKa that could potentially bind to homocysteine. Further, protein-protein interaction network was built to identify the interacting partners of these putative homocysteine binding proteins. We found that the 21 experimentally validated proteins had 174 interacting partners while the 78 proteins identified in our analysis had 445 first interacting partners. These proteins are mainly involved in biological activities such as complement and coagulation pathway, focal adhesion, ECM-receptor, ErbB signalling and cancer pathways, etc. paralleling the disease-specific attributes associated with hyperhomocysteinemia.

  7. [Methods for analysis of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions].

    PubMed

    Durech, M; Trčka, F; Vojtěšek, B; Müller, P

    2014-01-01

    In order to maintain cellular homeostasis, cellular proteins coexist in complex and variable molecular assemblies. Therefore, understanding of major physiological processes at molecular level is based on analysis of protein-protein interaction networks. Firstly, composition of the molecular assembly has to be qualitatively analyzed. In the next step, quantitative bio-chemical properties of the identified protein-protein interactions are determined. Detailed information about the protein-protein interaction interface can be obtained by crystallographic methods. Accordingly, the insight into the molecular architecture of these protein-protein complexes allows us to rationally design new synthetic compounds that specifically influence various physiological or pathological processes by targeted modulation of protein interactions. This review is focused on description of the most used methods applied in both qualitative and quantitative analysis of protein-protein interactions. Co- immunoprecipitation and affinity co- precipitation are basic methods designed for qualitative analysis of protein binding partners. Further bio-chemical analysis of the interaction requires definition of kinetic and thermodynamic parameters. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is used for description of affinity and kinetic profile of the interaction, fluorescence polarization (FP) method for fast determination of inhibition potential of inhibitors and isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) for definition of thermodynamic parameters of the interaction (G, H and S). Besides the importance of uncovering the molecular basis of protein interactions for basic research, the same methodological approaches open new possibilities in rational design of novel therapeutic agents.

  8. 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

  9. Why fibrous proteins are romantic.

    PubMed

    Cohen, C

    1998-01-01

    Here I give a personal account of the great history of fibrous protein structure. I describe how Astbury first recognized the essential simplicity of fibrous proteins and their paradigmatic role in protein structure. The poor diffraction patterns yielded by these proteins were then deciphered by Pauling, Crick, Ramachandran and others (in part by model building) to reveal alpha-helical coiled coils, beta-sheets, and the collagen triple helical coiled coil-all characterized by different local sequence periodicities. Longer-range sequence periodicities (or "magic numbers") present in diverse fibrous proteins, such as collagen, tropomyosin, paramyosin, myosin, and were then shown to account for the characteristic axial repeats observed in filaments of these proteins. More recently, analysis of fibrous protein structure has been extended in many cases to atomic resolution, and some systems, such as "leucine zippers," are providing a deeper understanding of protein design than similar studies of globular proteins. In the last sections, I provide some dramatic examples of fibrous protein dynamics. One example is the so-called "spring-loaded" mechanism for viral fusion by the hemagglutinin protein of influenza. Another is the possible conformational changes in prion proteins, implicated in "mad cow disease," which may be related to similar transitions in a variety of globular and fibrous proteins.

  10. Protein-protein interactions in the synaptonemal complex.

    PubMed Central

    Tarsounas, M; Pearlman, R E; Gasser, P J; Park, M S; Moens, P B

    1997-01-01

    In mammalian systems, an approximately M(r) 30,000 Cor1 protein has been identified as a major component of the meiotic prophase chromosome cores, and a M(r) 125,000 Syn1 protein is present between homologue cores where they are synapsed and form the synaptonemal complex (SC). Immunolocalization of these proteins during meiosis suggests possible homo- and heterotypic interactions between the two as well as possible interactions with yet unrecognized proteins. We used the two-hybrid system in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae to detect possible protein-protein associations. Segments of hamsters Cor1 and Syn1 proteins were tested in various combinations for homo- and heterotypic interactions. In the cause of Cor1, homotypic interactions involve regions capable of coiled-coil formation, observation confirmed by in vitro affinity coprecipitation experiments. The two-hybrid assay detects no interaction of Cor1 protein with central and C-terminal fragments of Syn1 protein and no homotypic interactions involving these fragments of Syn1. Hamster Cor1 and Syn1 proteins both associate with the human ubiquitin-conjugation enzyme Hsubc9 as well as with the hamster Ubc9 homologue. The interactions between SC proteins and the Ubc9 protein may be significant for SC disassembly, which coincides with the repulsion of homologs by late prophase I, and also for the termination of sister centromere cohesiveness at anaphase II. Images PMID:9285814

  11. Evolutionary reprograming of protein-protein interaction specificity.

    PubMed

    Akiva, Eyal; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2015-10-22

    Using mutation libraries and deep sequencing, Aakre et al. study the evolution of protein-protein interactions using a toxin-antitoxin model. The results indicate probable trajectories via "intermediate" proteins that are promiscuous, thus avoiding transitions via non-interactions. These results extend observations about other biological interactions and enzyme evolution, suggesting broadly general principles.

  12. Multiscale modeling of proteins.

    PubMed

    Tozzini, Valentina

    2010-02-16

    The activity within a living cell is based on a complex network of interactions among biomolecules, exchanging information and energy through biochemical processes. These events occur on different scales, from the nano- to the macroscale, spanning about 10 orders of magnitude in the space domain and 15 orders of magnitude in the time domain. Consequently, many different modeling techniques, each proper for a particular time or space scale, are commonly used. In addition, a single process often spans more than a single time or space scale. Thus, the necessity arises for combining the modeling techniques in multiscale approaches. In this Account, I first review the different modeling methods for bio-systems, from quantum mechanics to the coarse-grained and continuum-like descriptions, passing through the atomistic force field simulations. Special attention is devoted to their combination in different possible multiscale approaches and to the questions and problems related to their coherent matching in the space and time domains. These aspects are often considered secondary, but in fact, they have primary relevance when the aim is the coherent and complete description of bioprocesses. Subsequently, applications are illustrated by means of two paradigmatic examples: (i) the green fluorescent protein (GFP) family and (ii) the proteins involved in the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) replication cycle. The GFPs are currently one of the most frequently used markers for monitoring protein trafficking within living cells; nanobiotechnology and cell biology strongly rely on their use in fluorescence microscopy techniques. A detailed knowledge of the actions of the virus-specific enzymes of HIV (specifically HIV protease and integrase) is necessary to study novel therapeutic strategies against this disease. Thus, the insight accumulated over years of intense study is an excellent framework for this Account. The foremost relevance of these two biomolecular systems was

  13. Chemical Protein Modification through Cysteine.

    PubMed

    Gunnoo, Smita B; Madder, Annemieke

    2016-04-01

    The modification of proteins with non-protein entities is important for a wealth of applications, and methods for chemically modifying proteins attract considerable attention. Generally, modification is desired at a single site to maintain homogeneity and to minimise loss of function. Though protein modification can be achieved by targeting some natural amino acid side chains, this often leads to ill-defined and randomly modified proteins. Amongst the natural amino acids, cysteine combines advantageous properties contributing to its suitability for site-selective modification, including a unique nucleophilicity, and a low natural abundance--both allowing chemo- and regioselectivity. Native cysteine residues can be targeted, or Cys can be introduced at a desired site in a protein by means of reliable genetic engineering techniques. This review on chemical protein modification through cysteine should appeal to those interested in modifying proteins for a range of applications.

  14. 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. PMID:27493521

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. The Evolutionary Design of Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Poelwijk, Frank J.; Raman, Arjun S.; Leibler, Stanislas; Ranganathan, Rama

    2011-03-01

    Proteins fold spontaneously into precise, well-packed 3D structures, and execute complex functions such as specificity in molecular recognition, and efficient catalysis. Despite this, many studies show that proteins are robust to random mutagenesis. Additionally, proteins are evolvable. What principles underlying the design of natural proteins explain these properties? Recent work examining correlated evolution of amino acid positions shows that many positions in proteins are nearly statistically independent while 10-20% are organized into groups of co-evolving positions - termed ``protein sectors'' - that underlie conserved, independently varying biological activities. These findings suggest that the basic design of natural proteins is fundamentally tied to the nature of fluctuations in the selection pressures during evolution. We propose to test this hypothesis using a system for high-speed laboratory evolution and determine how variation in selection pressures influences the architecture of amino acid interactions within a protein.

  2. Purification of Tetrahymena cytoskeletal proteins.

    PubMed

    Honts, Jerry E

    2012-01-01

    Like all eukaryotic cells, Tetrahymena thermophila contains a rich array of cytoskeletal proteins, some familiar and some novel. A detailed analysis of the structure, function, and interactions of these proteins requires procedures for purifying the individual protein components. Procedures for the purification of actin and tubulin from Tetrahymena are reviewed, followed by a description of a procedure that yields proteins from the epiplasmic layer and associated structures, including the tetrins. Finally, the challenges and opportunities for future advances are assessed.

  3. Tyrosine phosphorylation of WW proteins

    PubMed Central

    Reuven, Nina; Shanzer, Matan

    2015-01-01

    A number of key regulatory proteins contain one or two copies of the WW domain known to mediate protein–protein interaction via proline-rich motifs, such as PPxY. The Hippo pathway components take advantage of this module to transduce tumor suppressor signaling. It is becoming evident that tyrosine phosphorylation is a critical regulator of the WW proteins. Here, we review the current knowledge on the involved tyrosine kinases and their roles in regulating the WW proteins. PMID:25627656

  4. BALANCED PRODUCTION OF RIBOSOMAL PROTEINS

    PubMed Central

    Perry, Robert P.

    2017-01-01

    Eukaryotic ribosomes contain one molecule each of 79 different proteins. The genes encoding these proteins are usually at widely scattered loci and have distinctive promoters with certain common features. This minireview discusses the means by which cells manage to balance the production of ribosomal proteins so as to end up with equimolar quantities in the ribosome. Regulation at all levels of gene expression, from transcription to protein turnover, is considered. PMID:17689889

  5. Protein loss during nuclear isolation

    PubMed Central

    1983-01-01

    Cryomicrodissection makes possible the measurement of the entire in vivo protein content of the amphibian oocyte nucleus and provides a heretofore missing baseline for estimating protein loss during nuclear isolation by other methods. When oocyte nuclei are isolated into an aqueous medium, they lose 95% of their protein with a half-time of 250 s. This result implies an even more rapid loss of protein from aqueously isolated nuclei of ordinary-size cells. PMID:6619193

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Aeolotopic interactions of globular proteins

    PubMed Central

    Lomakin, Aleksey; Asherie, Neer; Benedek, George B.

    1999-01-01

    Protein crystallization, aggregation, liquid–liquid phase separation, and self-assembly are important in protein structure determination in the industrial processing of proteins and in the inhibition of protein condensation diseases. To fully describe such phase transformations in globular protein solutions, it is necessary to account for the strong spatial variation of the interactions on the protein surface. One difficulty is that each globular protein has its own unique surface, which is crucial for its biological function. However, the similarities amongst the macroscopic properties of different protein solutions suggest that there may exist a generic model that is capable of describing the nonuniform interactions between globular proteins. In this paper we present such a model, which includes the short-range interactions that vary from place to place on the surface of the protein. We show that this aeolotopic model [from the Greek aiolos (“variable”) and topos (“place”)] describes the phase diagram of globular proteins and provides insight into protein aggregation and crystallization. PMID:10449715

  11. Functional Foods Containing Whey Proteins

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Whey proteins, modified whey proteins, and whey components are useful as nutrients or supplements for health maintenance. Extrusion modified whey proteins can easily fit into new products such as beverages, confectionery items (e.g., candies), convenience foods, desserts, baked goods, sauces, and in...

  12. Protein folding in the cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gething, Mary-Jane; Sambrook, Joseph

    1992-01-01

    In the cell, as in vitro, the final conformation of a protein is determined by its amino-acid sequence. But whereas some isolated proteins can be denatured and refolded in vitro in the absence of other macromolecular cellular components, folding and assembly of polypeptides in vivo involves other proteins, many of which belong to families that have been highly conserved during evolution.

  13. 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

  14. Mechanisms of protein evolution and their application to protein engineering.

    PubMed

    Glasner, Margaret E; Gerlt, John A; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2007-01-01

    Protein engineering holds great promise for the development of new biosensors, diagnostics, therapeutics, and agents for bioremediation. Despite some remarkable successes in experimental and computational protein design, engineered proteins rarely achieve the efficiency or specificity of natural enzymes. Current protein design methods utilize evolutionary concepts, including mutation, recombination, and selection, but the inability to fully recapitulate the success of natural evolution suggests that some evolutionary principles have not been fully exploited. One aspect of protein engineering that has received little attention is how to select the most promising proteins to serve as templates, or scaffolds, for engineering. Two evolutionary concepts that could provide a rational basis for template selection are the conservation of catalytic mechanisms and functional promiscuity. Knowledge of the catalytic motifs responsible for conserved aspects of catalysis in mechanistically diverse superfamilies could be used to identify promising templates for protein engineering. Second, protein evolution often proceeds through promiscuous intermediates, suggesting that templates which are naturally promiscuous for a target reaction could enhance protein engineering strategies. This review explores these ideas and alternative hypotheses concerning protein evolution and engineering. Future research will determine if application of these principles will lead to a protein engineering methodology governed by predictable rules for designing efficient, novel catalysts.

  15. Protein engineering methods applied to membrane protein targets.

    PubMed

    Lluis, M W; Godfroy, J I; Yin, H

    2013-02-01

    Genes encoding membrane proteins have been estimated to comprise as much as 30% of the human genome. Among these membrane, proteins are a large number of signaling receptors, transporters, ion channels and enzymes that are vital to cellular regulation, metabolism and homeostasis. While many membrane proteins are considered high-priority targets for drug design, there is a dearth of structural and biochemical information on them. This lack of information stems from the inherent insolubility and instability of transmembrane domains, which prevents easy obtainment of high-resolution crystals to specifically study structure-function relationships. In part, this lack of structures has greatly impeded our understanding in the field of membrane proteins. One method that can be used to enhance our understanding is directed evolution, a molecular biology method that mimics natural selection to engineer proteins that have specific phenotypes. It is a powerful technique that has considerable success with globular proteins, notably the engineering of protein therapeutics. With respect to transmembrane protein targets, this tool may be underutilized. Another powerful tool to investigate membrane protein structure-function relationships is computational modeling. This review will discuss these protein engineering methods and their tremendous potential in the study of membrane proteins.

  16. The Proteins API: accessing key integrated protein and genome information.

    PubMed

    Nightingale, Andrew; Antunes, Ricardo; Alpi, Emanuele; Bursteinas, Borisas; Gonzales, Leonardo; Liu, Wudong; Luo, Jie; Qi, Guoying; Turner, Edd; Martin, Maria

    2017-04-05

    The Proteins API provides searching and programmatic access to protein and associated genomics data such as curated protein sequence positional annotations from UniProtKB, as well as mapped variation and proteomics data from large scale data sources (LSS). Using the coordinates service, researchers are able to retrieve the genomic sequence coordinates for proteins in UniProtKB. This, the LSS genomics and proteomics data for UniProt proteins is programmatically only available through this service. A Swagger UI has been implemented to provide documentation, an interface for users, with little or no programming experience, to 'talk' to the services to quickly and easily formulate queries with the services and obtain dynamically generated source code for popular programming languages, such as Java, Perl, Python and Ruby. Search results are returned as standard JSON, XML or GFF data objects. The Proteins API is a scalable, reliable, fast, easy to use RESTful services that provides a broad protein information resource for users to ask questions based upon their field of expertise and allowing them to gain an integrated overview of protein annotations available to aid their knowledge gain on proteins in biological processes. The Proteins API is available at (http://www.ebi.ac.uk/proteins/api/doc).

  17. 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).

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Experimental and bioinformatic approaches for interrogating protein-protein interactions to determine protein function.

    PubMed

    Droit, Arnaud; Poirier, Guy G; Hunter, Joanna M

    2005-04-01

    An ambitious goal of proteomics is to elucidate the structure, interactions and functions of all proteins within cells and organisms. One strategy to determine protein function is to identify the protein-protein interactions. The increasing use of high-throughput and large-scale bioinformatics-based studies has generated a massive amount of data stored in a number of different databases. A challenge for bioinformatics is to explore this disparate data and to uncover biologically relevant interactions and pathways. In parallel, there is clearly a need for the development of approaches that can predict novel protein-protein interaction networks in silico. Here, we present an overview of different experimental and bioinformatic methods to elucidate protein-protein interactions.

  1. Viruses and viral proteins.

    PubMed

    Verdaguer, Nuria; Ferrero, Diego; Murthy, Mathur R N

    2014-11-01

    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.

  2. Prion protein and cancers.

    PubMed

    Yang, Xiaowen; Zhang, Yan; Zhang, Lihua; He, Tianlin; Zhang, Jie; Li, Chaoyang

    2014-06-01

    The normal cellular prion protein, PrP(C) is a highly conserved and widely expressed cell surface glycoprotein in all mammals. The expression of PrP is pivotal in the pathogenesis of prion diseases; however, the normal physiological functions of PrP(C) remain incompletely understood. Based on the studies in cell models, a plethora of functions have been attributed to PrP(C). In this paper, we reviewed the potential roles that PrP(C) plays in cell physiology and focused on its contribution to tumorigenesis.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. [Protein phosphatases: structure and function].

    PubMed

    Bulanova, E G; Budagian, V M

    1994-01-01

    The process of protein and enzyme systems phosphorylation is necessary for cell growth, differentiation and preparation for division and mitosis. The conformation changes of protein as a result of phosphorylation lead to increased enzyme activity and enhanced affinity to substrates. A large group of enzymes--protein kinases--is responsible for phosphorylation process in cell, which are divided into tyrosine- and serine-threonine-kinases depending on their ability to phosphorylate appropriate amino acid residues. In this review has been considered the functional importance and structure of protein phosphatases--enzymes, which are functional antagonists of protein kinases.

  6. Protein nanotechnology: what is it?

    PubMed

    Gerrard, Juliet A

    2013-01-01

    Protein nanotechnology is an emerging field that is still defining itself. It embraces the intersection of protein science, which exists naturally at the nanoscale, and the burgeoning field of nanotechnology. In this opening chapter, a select review is given of some of the exciting nanostructures that have already been created using proteins, and the sorts of applications that protein engineers are reaching towards in the nanotechnology space. This provides an introduction to the rest of the volume, which provides inspirational case studies, along with tips and tools to manipulate proteins into new forms and architectures, beyond Nature's original intentions.

  7. 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

  8. Green fluorescent protein: a perspective.

    PubMed

    Remington, S James

    2011-09-01

    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.

  9. Imaging individual green fluorescent proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Daniel W.; Hom-Booher, Nora; Vale, Ronald D.

    1997-07-01

    Recent advances in fluorescence microscopy techniques have allowed the video-time imaging of single molecules of fluorescent dyes covalently bound to proteins in aqueous environments. However, the techniques have not been exploited fully because proteins can be difficult to label, and dye modification may cause partial or complete loss of activity. These difficulties could be circumvented by fusing proteins to green fluorescent protein (GFP) of the jellyfish Aequorea victoria. Here we report that single S65T mutant GFP molecules can be imaged using total internal reflection microscopy, and that ATP-driven movement of an individual kinesin molecule (a microtubule motor protein) fused to GFP can be readily observed.

  10. [Protein nutrition and physical activity].

    PubMed

    Navarro, M P

    1992-09-01

    The relationship between physical exercise and diet in order to optimize performance is getting growing interest. This review examines protein needs and protein intakes as well as the role of protein in the body and the metabolic changes occurring at the synthesis and catabolic levels during exercise. Protein synthesis in muscle or liver, amino acids oxidation, glucose production via gluconeogenesis from amino acids, etc., are modified, and consequently plasma and urinary nitrogen metabolites are affected. A brief comment on the advantages, disadvantages and forms of different protein supplements for sportsmen is given.

  11. Protein-protein interaction network-based detection of functionally similar proteins within species.

    PubMed

    Song, Baoxing; Wang, Fen; Guo, Yang; Sang, Qing; Liu, Min; Li, Dengyun; Fang, Wei; Zhang, Deli

    2012-07-01

    Although functionally similar proteins across species have been widely studied, functionally similar proteins within species showing low sequence similarity have not been examined in detail. Identification of these proteins is of significant importance for understanding biological functions, evolution of protein families, progression of co-evolution, and convergent evolution and others which cannot be obtained by detection of functionally similar proteins across species. Here, we explored a method of detecting functionally similar proteins within species based on graph theory. After denoting protein-protein interaction networks using graphs, we split the graphs into subgraphs using the 1-hop method. Proteins with functional similarities in a species were detected using a method of modified shortest path to compare these subgraphs and to find the eligible optimal results. Using seven protein-protein interaction networks and this method, some functionally similar proteins with low sequence similarity that cannot detected by sequence alignment were identified. By analyzing the results, we found that, sometimes, it is difficult to separate homologous from convergent evolution. Evaluation of the performance of our method by gene ontology term overlap showed that the precision of our method was excellent.

  12. Toponomics: studying protein-protein interactions and protein networks in intact tissue.

    PubMed

    Pierre, Sandra; Scholich, Klaus

    2010-04-01

    The function of a protein is determined on several levels including the genome, transcriptome, proteome, and the recently introduced toponome. The toponome describes the topology of all proteins, protein complexes and protein networks which constitute and influence the microenvironment of a given protein. It has long been known that cellular function or dysfunction of proteins strongly depends on their microenvironment and even small changes in protein arrangements can dramatically alter their activity/function. Thus, deciphering the topology of the multi-dimensional networks which control normal and disease-related pathways will give a better understanding of the mechanisms underlying disease development. While various powerful proteomic tools allow simultaneous quantification of proteins, only a limited number of techniques are available to visualize protein networks in intact cells and tissues. This review discusses a novel approach to map and decipher functional molecular networks of proteins in intact cells or tissues. Multi-epitope-ligand-cartography (MELC) is an imaging technology that identifies and quantifies protein networks at the subcellular level of morphologically-intact specimens. This immunohistochemistry-based method allows serial visualization and biomathematical analysis of up to 100 cellular components using fluorescence-labelled tags. The resulting toponome maps, simultaneously ranging from the subcellular to the supracellular scale, have the potential to provide the basis for a mathematical description of the dynamic topology of protein networks, and will complement current proteomic data to enhance the understanding of physiological and pathophysiological cell functions.

  13. THE PROTEIN PROBLEM OF CHINA.

    PubMed

    Adolph, W H

    1944-07-07

    (1) The protein intake of China is approximately 80 grams per capita per day, 5 per cent. of which is animal protein. (2) The lower digestibility of the protein in vegetarian diets causes the effective protein intake to be much less than is indicated by this figure. (3) Attempts in the laboratory to devise an adequate diet using foods from vegetarian sources only have not met with marked success. (4) The use of mixed cereals in the diet has provided protein of higher biological value; this habit may reflect the attempt on the part of the rural peoples to work out a more effective protein intake. (5) It is suggested that in China some of the cereal protein in the dietary intake be replaced by more leaf vegetable protein. (6) The question is raised as to how far it is feasible in the war economy to replace animal protein by vegetable protein. (7) In long-term plans for food relief in the Far East it is urged that an emphasis be placed on the protein factor.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Protein Repeats from First Principles.

    PubMed

    Turjanski, Pablo; Parra, R Gonzalo; Espada, Rocío; Becher, Verónica; Ferreiro, Diego U

    2016-04-05

    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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. An intravascular protein osmometer.

    PubMed

    Henson, J W; Brace, R A

    1983-05-01

    Our purpose was to develop an intravascular osmometer for measuring the colloid (i.e., protein) osmotic pressure (COP) of circulating blood. A semipermeable hollow fiber from a Cordis Dow artificial kidney (C-DAK 4000) was attached to polyethylene tubing on one end, filled with saline, and sealed at the other end. This was small enough to be inserted into the vasculature of research animals. Protein osmotic pressure plus hydrostatic pressure was measured by a Statham pressure transducer attached to the hollow fiber. Simultaneously, a second catheter and transducer was used to measure hydrostatic pressure, which was subtracted from the pressure measured from the fiber with an on-line computer. The system was documented by a variety of tests. The colloid osmotic pressure vs. albumin concentration curve determined with the fiber is identical to the curve determined by standard membrane osmometry. The time constant for 2- and 8-cm fibers was 2.6 +/- 0.6 and 1.5 +/- 0.5 (+/- SD) min, respectively. The reflection coefficient (+/- SD) of the fiber for NaCl is 0.042 +/- 0.019 (n = 38); COP measured at varying temperatures (absolute scale) changed linearly as expected from COP = nCRT (i.e., van't Hoff's law). Finally, hollow-fiber osmometers were inserted into femoral veins of dogs and sheep, and blood COP was continuously recorded during osmotic manipulations. In conclusion, we attempted to develop and document a simple method for continuous measurement of intravascular colloid osmotic pressure.

  4. 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

  5. General introduction: recombinant protein production and purification of insoluble proteins.

    PubMed

    Ferrer-Miralles, Neus; Saccardo, Paolo; Corchero, José Luis; Xu, Zhikun; García-Fruitós, Elena

    2015-01-01

    Proteins are synthesized in heterologous systems because of the impossibility to obtain satisfactory yields from natural sources. The production of soluble and functional recombinant proteins is among the main goals in the biotechnological field. In this context, it is important to point out that under stress conditions, protein folding machinery is saturated and this promotes protein misfolding and, consequently, protein aggregation. Thus, the selection of the optimal expression organism and the most appropriate growth conditions to minimize the formation of insoluble proteins should be done according to the protein characteristics and downstream requirements. Escherichia coli is the most popular recombinant protein expression system despite the great development achieved so far by eukaryotic expression systems. Besides, other prokaryotic expression systems, such as lactic acid bacteria and psychrophilic bacteria, are gaining interest in this field. However, it is worth mentioning that prokaryotic expression system poses, in many cases, severe restrictions for a successful heterologous protein production. Thus, eukaryotic systems such as mammalian cells, insect cells, yeast, filamentous fungus, and microalgae are an interesting alternative for the production of these difficult-to-express proteins.

  6. Regulators of G protein signalling proteins in the human myometrium.

    PubMed

    Ladds, Graham; Zervou, Sevasti; Vatish, Manu; Thornton, Steven; Davey, John

    2009-05-21

    The contractile state of the human myometrium is controlled by extracellular signals that promote relaxation or contraction. Many of these signals function through G protein-coupled receptors at the cell surface, stimulating heterotrimeric G proteins and leading to changes in the activity of effector proteins responsible for bringing about the response. G proteins can interact with multiple receptors and many different effectors and are key players in the response. Regulators of G protein signalling (RGS) proteins are GTPase activating proteins for heterotrimeric G proteins and help terminate the signal. Little is known about the function of RGS proteins in human myometrium and we have therefore analysed transcript levels for RGS proteins at various stages of pregnancy (non-pregnant, preterm, term non-labouring, term labouring). RGS2 and RGS5 were the most abundantly expressed isolates in each of the patient groups. The levels of RGS4 and RGS16 (and to a lesser extent RGS2 and RGS14) increased in term labouring samples relative to the other groups. Yeast two-hybrid analysis and co-immunoprecipitation in myometrial cells revealed that both RGS2 and RGS5 interact directly with the cytoplasmic tail of the oxytocin receptor, suggesting they might help regulate signalling through this receptor.

  7. Protein oxidation in aging and the removal of oxidized proteins.

    PubMed

    Höhn, Annika; König, Jeannette; Grune, Tilman

    2013-10-30

    Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are generated constantly within cells at low concentrations even under physiological conditions. During aging the levels of ROS can increase due to a limited capacity of antioxidant systems and repair mechanisms. Proteins are among the main targets for oxidants due to their high rate constants for several reactions with ROS and their abundance in biological systems. Protein damage has an important influence on cellular viability since most protein damage is non-repairable, and has deleterious consequences on protein structure and function. In addition, damaged and modified proteins can form cross-links and provide a basis for many senescence-associated alterations and may contribute to a range of human pathologies. Two proteolytic systems are responsible to ensure the maintenance of cellular functions: the proteasomal (UPS) and the lysosomal system. Those degrading systems provide a last line of antioxidative protection, removing irreversible damaged proteins and recycling amino acids for the continuous protein synthesis. But during aging, both systems are affected and their proteolytic activity declines significantly. Here we highlight the recent advantages in the understanding of protein oxidation and the fate of these damaged proteins during aging. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Posttranslational Protein modifications in biology and Medicine.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Protein transduction assisted by polyethylenimine-cationized carrier proteins.

    PubMed

    Kitazoe, Midori; Murata, Hitoshi; Futami, Junichiro; Maeda, Takashi; Sakaguchi, Masakiyo; Miyazaki, Masahiro; Kosaka, Megumi; Tada, Hiroko; Seno, Masaharu; Huh, Nam-ho; Namba, Masayoshi; Nishikawa, Mitsuo; Maeda, Yoshitake; Yamada, Hidenori

    2005-06-01

    Previously, we have reported that cationized-proteins covalently modified with polyethylenimine (PEI) (direct PEI-cationization) efficiently enter cells and function in the cytosol [Futami et al. (2005) J. Biosci. Bioeng. 99, 95-103]. However, it may be more convenient if a protein could be delivered into cells just by mixing the protein with a PEI-cationized carrier protein having a specific affinity (indirect PEI-cationization). Thus, we prepared PEI-cationized avidin (PEI-avidin), streptavidin (PEI-streptavidin), and protein G (PEI-protein G), and examined whether they could deliver biotinylated proteins and antibodies into living cells. PEI-avidin (and/or PEI-streptavidin) carried biotinylated GFPs into various mammalian cells very efficiently. A GFP variant containing a nuclear localization signal was found to arrive even in the nucleus. The addition of a biotinylated RNase A derivative mixed with PEI-streptavidin to a culture medium of 3T3-SV-40 cells resulted in remarkable cell growth inhibition, suggesting that the biotinylated RNase A derivative entered cells and digested intracellular RNA molecules. Furthermore, the addition of a fluorescein-labeled anti-S100C (beta-actin binding protein) antibody mixed with PEI-protein G to human fibroblasts resulted in the appearance of a fluorescence image of actin-like filamentous structures in the cells. These results indicate that indirect PEI-cationization using non-covalent interaction is as effective as the direct PEI-cationization for the transduction of proteins into living cells and for expression of their functions in the cytosol. Thus, PEI-cationized proteins having a specific affinity for certain molecules such as PEI-streptavidin, PEI-avidin and PEI-protein G are concluded to be widely applicable protein transduction carrier molecules.

  11. Protein-protein interaction network of celiac disease

    PubMed Central

    Zamanian Azodi, Mona; Peyvandi, Hassan; Rostami-Nejad, Mohammad; Safaei, Akram; Rostami, Kamran; Vafaee, Reza; Heidari, Mohammadhossein; Hosseini, Mostafa; Zali, Mohammad Reza

    2016-01-01

    Aim: The aim of this study is to investigate the Protein-Protein Interaction Network of Celiac Disease. Background: Celiac disease (CD) is an autoimmune disease with susceptibility of individuals to gluten of wheat, rye and barley. Understanding the molecular mechanisms and involved pathway may lead to the development of drug target discovery. The protein interaction network is one of the supportive fields to discover the pathogenesis biomarkers for celiac disease. Material and methods: In the present study, we collected the articles that focused on the proteomic data in celiac disease. According to the gene expression investigations of these articles, 31 candidate proteins were selected for this study. The networks of related differentially expressed protein were explored using Cytoscape 3.3 and the PPI analysis methods such as MCODE and ClueGO. Results: According to the network analysis Ubiquitin C, Heat shock protein 90kDa alpha (cytosolic and Grp94); class A, B and 1 member, Heat shock 70kDa protein, and protein 5 (glucose-regulated protein, 78kDa), T-complex, Chaperon in containing TCP1; subunit 7 (beta) and subunit 4 (delta) and subunit 2 (beta), have been introduced as hub-bottlnecks proteins. HSP90AA1, MKKS, EZR, HSPA14, APOB and CAD have been determined as seed proteins. Conclusion: Chaperons have a bold presentation in curtail area in network therefore these key proteins beside the other hub-bottlneck proteins may be a suitable candidates biomarker panel for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment processes in celiac disease. PMID:27895852

  12. Cathepsin proteases in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Dou, Zhicheng; Carruthers, Vern B.

    2014-01-01

    Cysteine proteases are important for the growth and survival of apicomplexan parasites that infect humans. The apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii expresses five members of the C1 family of cysteine proteases, including one cathepsin L-like (TgCPL), one cathepsin B-like (TgCPB), and three cathepsin C-like (TgCPC1, 2 and 3) proteases. Recent genetic, biochemical and structural studies reveal that cathepsins function in microneme and rhoptry protein maturation, host cell invasion, replication, and nutrient acquisition.. Here, we review the key features and roles of T. gondii cathepsins and discuss the therapeutic potential for specific inhibitor development. PMID:21660658

  13. Mitochondrial nucleoid interacting proteins support mitochondrial protein synthesis.

    PubMed

    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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  14. Computational Prediction of Protein-Protein Interactions of Human Tyrosinase

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Su-Fang; Oh, Sangho; Si, Yue-Xiu; Wang, Zhi-Jiang; Han, Hong-Yan; Lee, Jinhyuk; Qian, Guo-Ying

    2012-01-01

    The various studies on tyrosinase have recently gained the attention of researchers due to their potential application values and the biological functions. In this study, we predicted the 3D structure of human tyrosinase and simulated the protein-protein interactions between tyrosinase and three binding partners, four and half LIM domains 2 (FHL2), cytochrome b-245 alpha polypeptide (CYBA), and RNA-binding motif protein 9 (RBM9). Our interaction simulations showed significant binding energy scores of −595.3 kcal/mol for FHL2, −859.1 kcal/mol for CYBA, and −821.3 kcal/mol for RBM9. We also investigated the residues of each protein facing toward the predicted site of interaction with tyrosinase. Our computational predictions will be useful for elucidating the protein-protein interactions of tyrosinase and studying its binding mechanisms. PMID:22577521

  15. Enhanced protein production by engineered zinc finger proteins.

    PubMed

    Reik, Andreas; Zhou, Yuanyue; Collingwood, Trevor N; Warfe, Lyndon; Bartsevich, Victor; Kong, Yanhong; Henning, Karla A; Fallentine, Barrett K; Zhang, Lei; Zhong, Xiaohong; Jouvenot, Yann; Jamieson, Andrew C; Rebar, Edward J; Case, Casey C; Korman, Alan; Li, Xiao-Yong; Black, Amelia; King, David J; Gregory, Philip D

    2007-08-01

    Increasing the yield of therapeutic proteins from mammalian production cell lines reduces costs and decreases the time to market. To this end, we engineered a zinc finger protein transcription factor (ZFP TF) that binds a DNA sequence within the promoter driving transgene expression. This ZFP TF enabled >100% increase in protein yield from CHO cells in transient, stable, and fermentor production run settings. Expression vectors engineered to carry up to 10 ZFP binding sites further enhanced ZFP-mediated increases in protein production up to approximately 500%. The multimerized ZFP binding sites function independently of the promoter, and therefore across vector platforms. CHO cell lines stably expressing ZFP TFs demonstrated growth characteristics similar to parental cell lines. ZFP TF expression and gains in protein production were stable over >30 generations in the absence of antibiotic selection. Our results demonstrate that ZFP TFs can rapidly and stably increase protein production in mammalian cells.

  16. 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.

  17. Proteins interacting with cloning scars: a source of false positive protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Banks, Charles A S; Boanca, Gina; Lee, Zachary T; Florens, Laurence; Washburn, Michael P

    2015-02-23

    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.

  18. Protein-protein interactions in complex cosolvent solutions.

    PubMed

    Javid, Nadeem; Vogtt, Karsten; Krywka, Chris; Tolan, Metin; Winter, Roland

    2007-04-02

    The effects of various kosmotropic and chaotropic cosolvents and salts on the intermolecular interaction potential of positively charged lysozyme is evaluated at varying protein concentrations by using synchrotron small-angle X-ray scattering in combination with liquid-state theoretical approaches. The experimentally derived static structure factors S(Q) obtained without and with added cosolvents and salts are analysed with a statistical mechanical model based on the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek (DLVO) potential, which accounts for repulsive and attractive interactions between the protein molecules. Different cosolvents and salts influence the interactions between protein molecules differently as a result of changes in the hydration level or solvation, in charge screening, specific adsorption of the additives at the protein surface, or increased hydrophobic interactions. Intermolecular interaction effects are significant above protein concentrations of 1 wt %, and with increasing protein concentration, the repulsive nature of the intermolecular pair potential V(r) increases markedly. Kosmotropic cosolvents like glycerol and sucrose exhibit strong concentration-dependent effects on the interaction potential, leading to an increase of repulsive forces between the protein molecules at low to medium high osmolyte concentrations. Addition of trifluoroethanol exhibits a multiphasic effect on V(r) when changing its concentration. Salts like sodium chloride and potassium sulfate exhibit strong concentration-dependent changes of the interaction potential due to charge screening of the positively charged protein molecules. Guanidinium chloride (GdmCl) at low concentrations exhibits a similar charge-screening effect, resulting in increased attractive interactions between the protein molecules. At higher GdmCl concentrations, V(r) becomes more repulsive in nature due to the presence of high concentrations of Gdm(+) ions binding to the protein molecules. Our findings also

  19. Linkers in the structural biology of protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Reddy Chichili, Vishnu Priyanka; Kumar, Veerendra; Sivaraman, J

    2013-02-01

    Linkers or spacers are short amino acid sequences created in nature to separate multiple domains in a single protein. Most of them are rigid and function to prohibit unwanted interactions between the discrete domains. However, Gly-rich linkers are flexible, connecting various domains in a single protein without interfering with the function of each domain. The advent of recombinant DNA technology made it possible to fuse two interacting partners with the introduction of artificial linkers. Often, independent proteins may not exist as stable or structured proteins until they interact with their binding partner, following which they gain stability and the essential structural elements. Gly-rich linkers have been proven useful for these types of unstable interactions, particularly where the interaction is weak and transient, by creating a covalent link between the proteins to form a stable protein-protein complex. Gly-rich linkers are also employed to form stable covalently linked dimers, and to connect two independent domains that create a ligand-binding site or recognition sequence. The lengths of linkers vary from 2 to 31 amino acids, optimized for each condition so that the linker does not impose any constraints on the conformation or interactions of the linked partners. Various structures of covalently linked protein complexes have been described using X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance and cryo-electron microscopy techniques. In this review, we evaluate several structural studies where linkers have been used to improve protein quality, to produce stable protein-protein complexes, and to obtain protein dimers.

  20. 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

  1. Proteins, exons and molecular evolution.

    PubMed

    Holland, S K; Blake, C C

    1987-01-01

    The discovery of the eukaryotic gene structure has prompted research into the potential relationship between protein structure and function and the corresponding exon/intron patterns. The exon shuffling hypothesis put forward by Gilbert and Blake suggests the encodement of structural and functional protein elements by exons which can recombine to create novel proteins. This provides an explanation for the relatively rapid evolution of proteins from a few primordial molecules. As the number of gene and protein structures increases, evidence of exon shuffling is becoming more apparent and examples are presented both from modern multi-domain proteins and ancient proteins. Recent work into the chemical properties and catalytic functions of RNA have led to hypotheses based upon the early existence of RNA. These theories suggest that the split gene structure originated in the primordial soup as a result of random RNA synthesis. Stable regions of RNA, or exons, were utilised as primitive enzymes. In response to selective pressures for information storage, the activity was directly transferred from the RNA enzymes or ribozymes, to proteins. These short polypeptides fused together to create larger proteins with a wide range of functions. Recent research into RNA processing and exon size, discussed in this review, provides a clearer insight into the evolutionary development of the gene and protein structure.

  2. 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

  3. Spectrophotometric determination of protein concentration.

    PubMed

    Simonian, Michael H

    2004-09-01

    This unit describes spectrophotometric and colorimetric methods for measuring the concentration of a sample protein in solution. Absorbance measured at 280 nm (A(280)) is used to calculate protein concentration by comparison with a standard curve or published absorptivity values for that protein (a(280)). Alternatively, absorbance measured at 205 nm (A(205)) is used to calculate the protein concentration. The A(280) and A(205) methods can be used to quantify total protein in crude lysates and purified or partially purified protein. A spectrofluorometer or a filter fluorometer can be used to measure the intrinsic fluorescence emission of a sample solution; this value is compared with the emissions from standard solutions to determine the sample concentration. The fluorescence emission method is used to quantify purified protein. This simple method is useful for dilute protein samples and can be completed in a short amount of time. There are two colorimetric methods: the Bradford colorimetric method, based upon binding of the dye Coomassie brilliant blue to the protein of interest, and the Lowry method, which measures colorimetric reaction of tyrosyl residues in the protein sample.

  4. Strategies for protein synthetic biology

    PubMed Central

    Grünberg, Raik; Serrano, Luis

    2010-01-01

    Proteins are the most versatile among the various biological building blocks and a mature field of protein engineering has lead to many industrial and biomedical applications. But the strength of proteins—their versatility, dynamics and interactions—also complicates and hinders systems engineering. Therefore, the design of more sophisticated, multi-component protein systems appears to lag behind, in particular, when compared to the engineering of gene regulatory networks. Yet, synthetic biologists have started to tinker with the information flow through natural signaling networks or integrated protein switches. A successful strategy common to most of these experiments is their focus on modular interactions between protein domains or domains and peptide motifs. Such modular interaction swapping has rewired signaling in yeast, put mammalian cell morphology under the control of light, or increased the flux through a synthetic metabolic pathway. Based on this experience, we outline an engineering framework for the connection of reusable protein interaction devices into self-sufficient circuits. Such a framework should help to ‘refacture’ protein complexity into well-defined exchangeable devices for predictive engineering. We review the foundations and initial success stories of protein synthetic biology and discuss the challenges and promises on the way from protein- to protein systems design. PMID:20385577

  5. 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.

  6. Targeted protein degradation by PROTACs.

    PubMed

    Neklesa, Taavi K; Winkler, James D; Crews, Craig M

    2017-02-14

    Targeted protein degradation using the PROTAC technology is emerging as a novel therapeutic method to address diseases driven by the aberrant expression of a disease-causing protein. PROTAC molecules are bifunctional small molecules that simultaneously bind a target protein and an E3-ubiquitin ligase, thus causing ubiquitination and degradation of the target protein by the proteasome. Like small molecules, PROTAC molecules possess good tissue distribution and the ability to target intracellular proteins. Herein, we highlight the advantages of protein degradation using PROTACs, and provide specific examples where degradation offers therapeutic benefit over classical enzyme inhibition. Foremost, PROTACs can degrade proteins regardless of their function. This includes the currently "undruggable" proteome, which comprises approximately 85% of all human proteins. Other beneficial aspects of protein degradation include the ability to target overexpressed and mutated proteins, as well as the potential to demonstrate prolonged pharmacodynamics effect beyond drug exposure. Lastly, due to their catalytic nature and the pre-requisite ubiquitination step, an exquisitely potent molecules with a high degree of degradation selectivity can be designed. Impressive preclinical in vitro and in vivo PROTAC data have been published, and these data have propelled the development of clinically viable PROTACs. With the molecular weight falling in the 700-1000Da range, the delivery and bioavailability of PROTACs remain the largest hurdles on the way to the clinic. Solving these issues and demonstrating proof of concept clinical data will be the focus of many labs over the next few years.

  7. 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.

  8. Protein detection system

    DOEpatents

    Fruetel, Julie A.; Fiechtner, Gregory J.; Kliner, Dahv A. V.; McIlroy, Andrew

    2009-05-05

    The present embodiment describes a miniature, microfluidic, absorption-based sensor to detect proteins at sensitivities comparable to LIF but without the need for tagging. This instrument utilizes fiber-based evanescent-field cavity-ringdown spectroscopy, in combination with faceted prism microchannels. The combination of these techniques will increase the effective absorption path length by a factor of 10.sup.3 to 10.sup.4 (to .about.1-m), thereby providing unprecedented sensitivity using direct absorption. The coupling of high-sensitivity absorption with high-performance microfluidic separation will enable real-time sensing of biological agents in aqueous samples (including aerosol collector fluids) and will provide a general method with spectral fingerprint capability for detecting specific bio-agents.

  9. Protein Crystal Growth

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    In order to rapidly and efficiently grow crystals, tools were needed to automatically identify and analyze the growing process of protein crystals. To meet this need, Diversified Scientific, Inc. (DSI), with the support of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from NASA s Marshall Space Flight Center, developed CrystalScore(trademark), the first automated image acquisition, analysis, and archiving system designed specifically for the macromolecular crystal growing community. It offers automated hardware control, image and data archiving, image processing, a searchable database, and surface plotting of experimental data. CrystalScore is currently being used by numerous pharmaceutical companies and academic and nonprofit research centers. DSI, located in Birmingham, Alabama, was awarded the patent Method for acquiring, storing, and analyzing crystal images on March 4, 2003. Another DSI product made possible by Marshall SBIR funding is VaporPro(trademark), a unique, comprehensive system that allows for the automated control of vapor diffusion for crystallization experiments.

  10. Protein- mediated enamel mineralization

    PubMed Central

    Moradian-Oldak, Janet

    2012-01-01

    Enamel is a hard nanocomposite bioceramic with significant resilience that protects the mammalian tooth from external physical and chemical damages. The remarkable mechanical properties of enamel are associated with its hierarchical structural organization and its thorough connection with underlying dentin. This dynamic mineralizing system offers scientists a wealth of information that allows the study of basic principals of organic matrix-mediated biomineralization and can potentially be utilized in the fields of material science and engineering for development and design of biomimetic materials. This chapter will provide a brief overview of enamel hierarchical structure and properties as well as the process and stages of amelogenesis. Particular emphasis is given to current knowledge of extracellular matrix protein and proteinases, and the structural chemistry of the matrix components and their putative functions. The chapter will conclude by discussing the potential of enamel for regrowth. PMID:22652761

  11. Photo Control of Protein Function Using Photoactive Yellow Protein.

    PubMed

    Reis, Jakeb M; Woolley, G Andrew

    2016-01-01

    Photoswitchable proteins are becoming increasingly common tools for manipulating cellular processes with high spatial and temporal precision. Photoactive yellow protein (PYP) is a small, water-soluble protein that undergoes a blue light induced change in conformation. It can serve as a scaffold for designing new tools to manipulate biological processes, but with respect to other protein scaffolds it presents some technical challenges. Here, we present practical information on how to overcome these, including how to synthesize the PYP chromophore, how to express and purify PYP, and how to screen for desired activity.

  12. Cry protein crystals: a novel platform for protein delivery.

    PubMed

    Nair, Manoj S; Lee, Marianne M; 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.

  13. Exploring the repeat protein universe through computational protein design.

    PubMed

    Brunette, T J; Parmeggiani, Fabio; Huang, Po-Ssu; Bhabha, Gira; Ekiert, Damian C; Tsutakawa, Susan E; Hura, Greg L; Tainer, John A; Baker, David

    2015-12-24

    A central question in protein evolution is the extent to which naturally occurring proteins sample the space of folded structures accessible to the polypeptide chain. Repeat proteins composed of multiple tandem copies of a modular structure unit are widespread in nature and have critical roles in molecular recognition, signalling, and other essential biological processes. Naturally occurring repeat proteins have been re-engineered for molecular recognition and modular scaffolding applications. Here we use computational protein design to investigate the space of folded structures that can be generated by tandem repeating a simple helix-loop-helix-loop structural motif. Eighty-three designs with sequences unrelated to known repeat proteins were experimentally characterized. Of these, 53 are monomeric and stable at 95 °C, and 43 have solution X-ray scattering spectra consistent with the design models. Crystal structures of 15 designs spanning a broad range of curvatures are in close agreement with the design models with root mean square deviations ranging from 0.7 to 2.5 Å. Our results show that existing repeat proteins occupy only a small fraction of the possible repeat protein sequence and structure space and that it is possible to design novel repeat proteins with precisely specified geometries, opening up a wide array of new possibilities for biomolecular engineering.

  14. Hydration of proteins: excess partial volumes of water and proteins.

    PubMed

    Sirotkin, Vladimir A; Komissarov, Igor A; Khadiullina, Aigul V

    2012-04-05

    High precision densitometry was applied to study the hydration of proteins. The hydration process was analyzed by the simultaneous monitoring of the excess partial volumes of water and the proteins in the entire range of water content. Five unrelated proteins (lysozyme, chymotrypsinogen A, ovalbumin, human serum albumin, and β-lactoglobulin) were used as models. The obtained data were compared with the excess partial enthalpies of water and the proteins. It was shown that the excess partial quantities are very sensitive to the changes in the state of water and proteins. At the lowest water weight fractions (w(1)), the changes of the excess functions can mainly be attributed to water addition. A transition from the glassy to the flexible state of the proteins is accompanied by significant changes in the excess partial quantities of water and the proteins. This transition appears at a water weight fraction of 0.06 when charged groups of proteins are covered. Excess partial quantities reach their fully hydrated values at w(1) > 0.5 when coverage of both polar and weakly interacting surface elements is complete. At the highest water contents, water addition has no significant effect on the excess quantities. At w(1) > 0.5, changes in the excess functions can solely be attributed to changes in the state of the proteins.

  15. Modular protein switches derived from antibody mimetic proteins

    PubMed Central

    Nicholes, N.; Date, A.; Beaujean, P.; Hauk, P.; Kanwar, M.; Ostermeier, M.

    2016-01-01

    Protein switches have potential applications as biosensors and selective protein therapeutics. Protein switches built by fusion of proteins with the prerequisite input and output functions are currently developed using an ad hoc process. A modular switch platform in which existing switches could be readily adapted to respond to any ligand would be advantageous. We investigated the feasibility of a modular protein switch platform based on fusions of the enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase (BLA) with two different antibody mimetic proteins: designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) and monobodies. We created libraries of random insertions of the gene encoding BLA into genes encoding a DARPin or a monobody designed to bind maltose-binding protein (MBP). From these libraries, we used a genetic selection system for β-lactamase activity to identify genes that conferred MBP-dependent ampicillin resistance to Escherichia coli. Some of these selected genes encoded switch proteins whose enzymatic activity increased up to 14-fold in the presence of MBP. We next introduced mutations into the antibody mimetic domain of these switches that were known to cause binding to different ligands. To different degrees, introduction of the mutations resulted in switches with the desired specificity, illustrating the potential modularity of these platforms. PMID:26637825

  16. Modular protein switches derived from antibody mimetic proteins.

    PubMed

    Nicholes, N; Date, A; Beaujean, P; Hauk, P; Kanwar, M; Ostermeier, M

    2016-02-01

    Protein switches have potential applications as biosensors and selective protein therapeutics. Protein switches built by fusion of proteins with the prerequisite input and output functions are currently developed using an ad hoc process. A modular switch platform in which existing switches could be readily adapted to respond to any ligand would be advantageous. We investigated the feasibility of a modular protein switch platform based on fusions of the enzyme TEM-1 β-lactamase (BLA) with two different antibody mimetic proteins: designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins) and monobodies. We created libraries of random insertions of the gene encoding BLA into genes encoding a DARPin or a monobody designed to bind maltose-binding protein (MBP). From these libraries, we used a genetic selection system for β-lactamase activity to identify genes that conferred MBP-dependent ampicillin resistance to Escherichia coli. Some of these selected genes encoded switch proteins whose enzymatic activity increased up to 14-fold in the presence of MBP. We next introduced mutations into the antibody mimetic domain of these switches that were known to cause binding to different ligands. To different degrees, introduction of the mutations resulted in switches with the desired specificity, illustrating the potential modularity of these platforms.

  17. Enhancing recombinant protein quality and yield by protein stability profiling.

    PubMed

    Mezzasalma, Tara M; Kranz, James K; Chan, Winnie; Struble, Geoffrey T; Schalk-Hihi, Céline; Deckman, Ingrid C; Springer, Barry A; Todd, Matthew J

    2007-04-01

    The reliable production of large amounts of stable, high-quality proteins is a major challenge facing pharmaceutical protein biochemists, necessary for fulfilling demands from structural biology, for high-throughput screening, and for assay purposes throughout early discovery. One strategy for bypassing purification challenges in problematic systems is to engineer multiple forms of a particular protein to optimize expression, purification, and stability, often resulting in a nonphysiological sub-domain. An alternative strategy is to alter process conditions to maximize wild-type construct stability, based on a specific protein stability profile (PSP). ThermoFluor, a miniaturized 384-well thermal stability assay, has been implemented as a means of monitoring solution-dependent changes in protein stability, complementing the protein engineering and purification processes. A systematic analysis of pH, buffer or salt identity and concentration, biological metals, surfactants, and common excipients in terms of an effect on protein stability rapidly identifies conditions that might be used (or avoided) during protein production. Two PSPs are presented for the kinase catalytic domains of Akt-3 and cFMS, in which information derived from a ThermoFluor PSP led to an altered purification strategy, improving the yield and quality of the protein using the primary sequences of the catalytic domains.

  18. Protein hijacking: key proteins held captive against their will.

    PubMed

    Traven, Ana; Huang, David C S; Lithgow, Trevor

    2004-02-01

    Proteins travel to their appropriate intracellular homes by means of the targeting signals they carry. It now seems that a short, but important, list of key regulatory proteins are victims of protein hijacking: Bid, Bim, NF-kappaB, SREBP, and perhaps the intracellular portion of MUC1. These provide critical functions within a particular subcellular compartment, but are initially prevented from finding their way to this intracellular home. Only in response to specific physiological signals are these proteins released to find the site at which they act.

  19. 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.

  20. Young proteins experience more variable selection pressures than old proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vishnoi, Anchal; Kryazhimskiy, Sergey; Bazykin, Georgii A.; Hannenhalli, Sridhar; Plotkin, Joshua B.

    2010-01-01

    It is well known that young proteins tend to experience weaker purifying selection and evolve more quickly than old proteins. Here, we show that, in addition, young proteins tend to experience more variable selection pressures over time than old proteins. We demonstrate this pattern in three independent taxonomic groups: yeast, Drosophila, and mammals. The increased variability of selection pressures on young proteins is highly significant even after controlling for the fact that young proteins are typically shorter and experience weaker purifying selection than old proteins. The majority of our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the function of a young gene tends to change over time more readily than that of an old gene. At the same time, our results may be caused in part by young genes that serve constant functions over time, but nevertheless appear to evolve under changing selection pressures due to depletion of adaptive mutations. In either case, our results imply that the evolution of a protein-coding sequence is partly determined by its age and origin, and not only by the phenotypic properties of the encoded protein. We discuss, via specific examples, the consequences of these findings for understanding of the sources of evolutionary novelty. PMID:20921233

  1. 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.

  2. Protein Hormones and Immunity‡

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Keith W.; Weigent, Douglas A.; Kooijman, Ron

    2007-01-01

    A number of observations and discoveries over the past 20 years support the concept of important physiological interactions between the endocrine and immune systems. The best known pathway for transmission of information from the immune system to the neuroendocrine system is humoral in the form of cytokines, although neural transmission via the afferent vagus is well documented also. In the other direction, efferent signals from the nervous system to the immune system are conveyed by both the neuroendocrine and autonomic nervous systems. Communication is possible because the nervous and immune systems share a common biochemical language involving shared ligands and receptors, including neurotransmitters, neuropeptides, growth factors, neuroendocrine hormones and cytokines. This means that the brain functions as an immune-regulating organ participating in immune responses. A great deal of evidence has accumulated and confirmed that hormones secreted by the neuroendocrine system play an important role in communication and regulation of the cells of the immune system. Among protein hormones, this has been most clearly documented for prolactin (PRL), growth hormone (GH), and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-I), but significant influences on immunity by thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) have also been demonstrated. Here we review evidence obtained during the past 20 years to clearly demonstrate that neuroendocrine protein hormones influence immunity and that immune processes affect the neuroendocrine system. New findings highlight a previously undiscovered route of communication between the immune and endocrine systems that is now known to occur at the cellular level. This communication system is activated when inflammatory processes induced by proinflammatory cytokines antagonize the function of a variety of hormones, which then causes endocrine resistance in both the periphery and brain. Homeostasis during inflammation is achieved by a balance between cytokines and

  3. Synthetic Peptides as Protein Mimics

    PubMed Central

    Groß, Andrea; Hashimoto, Chie; Sticht, Heinrich; Eichler, Jutta

    2016-01-01

    The design and generation of molecules capable of mimicking the binding and/or functional sites of proteins represents a promising strategy for the exploration and modulation of protein function through controlled interference with the underlying molecular interactions. Synthetic peptides have proven an excellent type of molecule for the mimicry of protein sites because such peptides can be generated as exact copies of protein fragments, as well as in diverse chemical modifications, which includes the incorporation of a large range of non-proteinogenic amino acids as well as the modification of the peptide backbone. Apart from extending the chemical and structural diversity presented by peptides, such modifications also increase the proteolytic stability of the molecules, enhancing their utility for biological applications. This article reviews recent advances by this and other laboratories in the use of synthetic protein mimics to modulate protein function, as well as to provide building blocks for synthetic biology. PMID:26835447

  4. Biofoams and natural protein surfactants

    PubMed Central

    Cooper, Alan; Kennedy, Malcolm W.

    2010-01-01

    Naturally occurring foam constituent and surfactant proteins with intriguing structures and functions are now being identified from a variety of biological sources. The ranaspumins from tropical frog foam nests comprise a range of proteins with a mixture of surfactant, carbohydrate binding and antimicrobial activities that together provide a stable, biocompatible, protective foam environment for developing eggs and embryos. Ranasmurfin, a blue protein from a different species of frog, displays a novel structure with a unique chromophoric crosslink. Latherin, primarily from horse sweat, but with similarities to salivary, oral and upper respiratory tract proteins, illustrates several potential roles for surfactant proteins in mammalian systems. These proteins, together with the previously discovered hydrophobins of fungi, throw new light on biomolecular processes at air–water and other interfaces. This review provides a perspective on these recent findings, focussing on structure and biophysical properties. PMID:20615601

  5. Phase retrieval in protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhong Chuan; Xu, Rui; Dong, Yu Hui

    2012-03-01

    Solution of the phase problem is central to crystallographic structure determination. An oversampling method is proposed, based on the hybrid input-output algorithm (HIO) [Fienup (1982). Appl. Opt. 21, 2758-2769], to retrieve the phases of reflections in crystallography. This method can extend low-resolution structures to higher resolution for structure determination of proteins without additional sample preparation. The method requires an envelope of the protein which divides a unit cell into the density region where the proteins are located and the non-density region occupied by solvents. After a few hundred to a few thousand iterations, the correct phases and density maps are recovered. The method has been used successfully in several cases to retrieve the phases from the experimental X-ray diffraction data and the envelopes of proteins constructed from structure files downloaded from the Protein Data Bank. It is hoped that this method will greatly facilitate the ab initio structure determination of proteins.

  6. Posttranslational protein modification in Archaea.

    PubMed

    Eichler, Jerry; Adams, Michael W W

    2005-09-01

    One of the first hurdles to be negotiated in the postgenomic era involves the description of the entire protein content of the cell, the proteome. Such efforts are presently complicated by the various posttranslational modifications that proteins can experience, including glycosylation, lipid attachment, phosphorylation, methylation, disulfide bond formation, and proteolytic cleavage. Whereas these and other posttranslational protein modifications have been well characterized in Eucarya and Bacteria, posttranslational modification in Archaea has received far less attention. Although archaeal proteins can undergo posttranslational modifications reminiscent of what their eucaryal and bacterial counterparts experience, examination of archaeal posttranslational modification often reveals aspects not previously observed in the other two domains of life. In some cases, posttranslational modification allows a protein to survive the extreme conditions often encountered by Archaea. The various posttranslational modifications experienced by archaeal proteins, the molecular steps leading to these modifications, and the role played by posttranslational modification in Archaea form the focus of this review.

  7. Principles of protein labeling techniques.

    PubMed

    Obermaier, Christian; Griebel, Anja; Westermeier, Reiner

    2015-01-01

    Protein labeling methods prior to separation and analysis have become indispensable approaches for proteomic profiling. Basically, three different types of tags are employed: stable isotopes, mass tags, and fluorophores. While proteins labeled with stable isotopes and mass tags are measured and differentiated by mass spectrometry, fluorescent labels are detected with fluorescence imagers. The major purposes for protein labeling are monitoring of biological processes, reliable quantification of compounds and specific detection of protein modifications and isoforms in multiplexed samples, enhancement of detection sensitivity, and simplification of detection workflows. Proteins can be labeled during cell growth by incorporation of amino acids containing different isotopes, or in biological fluids, cells or tissue samples by attaching specific groups to the ε-amino group of lysine, the N-terminus, or the cysteine residues. The principles and the modifications of the different labeling approaches on the protein level are described; benefits and shortcomings of the methods are discussed.

  8. Advantages of proteins being disordered

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhirong; Huang, Yongqi

    2014-01-01

    The past decade has witnessed great advances in our understanding of protein structure-function relationships in terms of the ubiquitous existence of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) and intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs). The structural disorder of IDPs/IDRs enables them to play essential functions that are complementary to those of ordered proteins. In addition, IDPs/IDRs are persistent in evolution. Therefore, they are expected to possess some advantages over ordered proteins. In this review, we summarize and survey nine possible advantages of IDPs/IDRs: economizing genome/protein resources, overcoming steric restrictions in binding, achieving high specificity with low affinity, increasing binding rate, facilitating posttranslational modifications, enabling flexible linkers, preventing aggregation, providing resistance to non-native conditions, and allowing compatibility with more available sequences. Some potential advantages of IDPs/IDRs are not well understood and require both experimental and theoretical approaches to decipher. The connection with protein design is also briefly discussed. PMID:24532081

  9. Recombinant protein polymers in biomaterials.

    PubMed

    Kim, Wookhyun

    2013-01-01

    Naturally occurring protein-based materials have been found that function as critical components in biomechanical response, fibers and adhesives. A relatively small but growing number of recombinant protein-based materials that mimic the desired features of their natural sources, such as collagens, elastins and silks, are considered as an alternative to conventional synthetic polymers. Advances in genetic engineering have facilitated the synthesis of repetitive protein polymers with precise control of molecular weights which are designed by using synthetic genes encoding tandem repeats of oligopeptide originating from a modular domain of natural proteins. Many repeat sequences as protein polymer building blocks adopt a well-defined secondary structure and undergo self-assembly to result in physically cross-linked networks or with chemical cross-linking so that further form three-dimensional architectures similar to natural counterparts. In this review, recombinant protein polymers currently developed will be presented that have emerged as promising class of next generation biomaterials.

  10. Monitoring protein stability in vivo.

    PubMed

    Ignatova, Zoya

    2005-08-24

    Reduced protein stability in vivo is a prerequisite to aggregation. While this is merely a nuisance factor in recombinant protein production, it holds a serious impact for man. This review focuses on specific approaches to selectively determine the solubility and/or stability of a target protein within the complex cellular environment using different detection techniques. Noninvasive techniques mapping folding/misfolding events on a fast time scale can be used to unravel the complexity and dynamics of the protein aggregation process and factors altering protein solubility in vivo. The development of approaches to screen for folding and solubility in vivo should facilitate the identification of potential components that improve protein solubility and/or modulate misfolding and aggregation and may provide a therapeutic benefit.

  11. Posttranslational Protein Modification in Archaea

    PubMed Central

    Eichler, Jerry; Adams, Michael W. W.

    2005-01-01

    One of the first hurdles to be negotiated in the postgenomic era involves the description of the entire protein content of the cell, the proteome. Such efforts are presently complicated by the various posttranslational modifications that proteins can experience, including glycosylation, lipid attachment, phosphorylation, methylation, disulfide bond formation, and proteolytic cleavage. Whereas these and other posttranslational protein modifications have been well characterized in Eucarya and Bacteria, posttranslational modification in Archaea has received far less attention. Although archaeal proteins can undergo posttranslational modifications reminiscent of what their eucaryal and bacterial counterparts experience, examination of archaeal posttranslational modification often reveals aspects not previously observed in the other two domains of life. In some cases, posttranslational modification allows a protein to survive the extreme conditions often encountered by Archaea. The various posttranslational modifications experienced by archaeal proteins, the molecular steps leading to these modifications, and the role played by posttranslational modification in Archaea form the focus of this review. PMID:16148304

  12. Theoretical studies of protein-protein and protein-DNA binding rates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alsallaq, Ramzi A.

    Proteins are folded chains of amino acids. Some of the amino acids (e.g. Lys, Arg, His, Asp, and Glu) carry charges under physiological conditions. Proteins almost always function through binding to other proteins or ligands, for example barnase is a ribonuclease protein, found in the bacterium Bacillus amyloliquefaceus. Barnase degrades RNA by hydrolysis. For the bacterium to inhibit the potentially lethal action of Barnase within its own cell it co-produces another protein called barstar which binds quickly, and tightly, to barnase. The biological function of this binding is to block the active site of barnase. The speeds (rates) at which proteins associate are vital to many biological processes. They span a wide range (from less than 103 to 108 M-1s-1 ). Rates greater than ˜ 106 M -1s-1 are typically found to be manifestations of enhancements by long-range electrostatic interactions between the associating proteins. A different paradigm appears in the case of protein binding to DNA. The rate in this case is enhanced through attractive surface potential that effectively reduces the dimensionality of the available search space for the diffusing protein. This thesis presents computational and theoretical models on the rate of association of ligands/proteins to other proteins or DNA. For protein-protein association we present a general strategy for computing protein-protein rates of association. The main achievements of this strategy is the ability to obtain a stringent reaction criteria based on the landscape of short-range interactions between the associating proteins, and the ability to compute the effect of the electrostatic interactions on the rates of association accurately using the best known solvers for Poisson-Boltzmann equation presently available. For protein-DNA association we present a mathematical model for proteins targeting specific sites on a circular DNA topology. The main achievements are the realization that a linear DNA with reflecting ends

  13. Simultaneous Site-Specific Dual Protein Labeling Using Protein Prenyltransferases.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yi; Blanden, Melanie J; Sudheer, Ch; Gangopadhyay, Soumyashree A; Rashidian, Mohammad; Hougland, James L; Distefano, Mark D

    2015-12-16

    Site-specific protein labeling is an important technique in protein chemistry and is used for diverse applications ranging from creating protein conjugates to protein immobilization. Enzymatic reactions, including protein prenylation, have been widely exploited as methods to accomplish site-specific labeling. Enzymatic prenylation is catalyzed by prenyltransferases, including protein farnesyltransferase (PFTase) and geranylgeranyltransferase type I (GGTase-I), both of which recognize C-terminal CaaX motifs with different specificities and transfer prenyl groups from isoprenoid diphosphates to their respective target proteins. A number of isoprenoid analogues containing bioorthogonal functional groups have been used to label proteins of interest via PFTase-catalyzed reaction. In this study, we sought to expand the scope of prenyltransferase-mediated protein labeling by exploring the utility of rat GGTase-I (rGGTase-I). First, the isoprenoid specificity of rGGTase-I was evaluated by screening eight different analogues and it was found that those with bulky moieties and longer backbone length were recognized by rGGTase-I more efficiently. Taking advantage of the different substrate specificities of rat PFTase (rPFTase) and rGGTase-I, we then developed a simultaneous dual labeling method to selectively label two different proteins by using isoprenoid analogue and CaaX substrate pairs that were specific to only one of the prenyltransferases. Using two model proteins, green fluorescent protein with a C-terminal CVLL sequence (GFP-CVLL) and red fluorescent protein with a C-terminal CVIA sequence (RFP-CVIA), we demonstrated that when incubated together with both prenyltransferases and the selected isoprenoid analogues, GFP-CVLL was specifically modified with a ketone-functionalized analogue by rGGTase-I and RFP-CVIA was selectively labeled with an alkyne-containing analogue by rPFTase. By switching the ketone-containing analogue to an azide-containing analogue, it was

  14. Protein Crystallization Apparatus for Microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  15. Protein crystallization apparatus for microgravity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2001-01-01

    The Protein Crystallization for Microgravity (DCAM) was developed at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center. A droplet of solution with protein molecules dissolved in it is isolated in the center of a small well. In orbit, an elastomer seal is lifted so the solution can evaporate and be absorbed by a wick material. This raises the concentration of the solution, thus prompting protein molecules in the solution to form crystals. The principal investigator is Dr. Dan Carter of New Century Pharmaceuticals in Huntsville, AL.

  16. Protein Multifunctionality: Principles and Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Zaretsky, Joseph Z.; Wreschner, Daniel H.

    2008-01-01

    In the review, the nature of protein multifunctionality is analyzed. In the first part of the review the principles of structural/functional organization of protein are discussed. In the second part, the main mechanisms involved in development of multiple functions on a single gene product(s) are analyzed. The last part represents a number of examples showing that multifunctionality is a basic feature of biologically active proteins. PMID:21566747

  17. Scientist prepare Lysozyme Protein Crystal

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1996-01-01

    Dan Carter and Charles Sisk center a Lysozyme Protein crystal grown aboard the USML-2 shuttle mission. Protein isolated from hen egg-white and functions as a bacteriostatic enzyme by degrading bacterial cell walls. First enzyme ever characterized by protein crystallography. It is used as an excellent model system for better understanding parameters involved in microgravity crystal growth experiments. The goal is to compare kinetic data from microgravity experiments with data from laboratory experiments to study the equilibrium.

  18. Intracellular targeting with engineered proteins

    PubMed Central

    Miersch, Shane; Sidhu, Sachdev S.

    2016-01-01

    If the isolation, production, and clinical use of insulin marked the inception of the age of biologics as therapeutics, the convergence of molecular biology and combinatorial engineering techniques marked its coming of age. The first wave of recombinant protein-based drugs in the 1980s demonstrated emphatically that proteins could be engineered, formulated, and employed for clinical advantage. Yet despite the successes of protein-based drugs such as antibodies, enzymes, and cytokines, the druggable target space for biologics is currently restricted to targets outside the cell. Insofar as estimates place the number of proteins either secreted or with extracellular domains in the range of 8000 to 9000, this represents only one-third of the proteome and circumscribes the pathways that can be targeted for therapeutic intervention. Clearly, a major objective for this field to reach maturity is to access, interrogate, and modulate the majority of proteins found inside the cell. However, owing to the large size, complex architecture, and general cellular impermeability of existing protein-based drugs, this poses a daunting challenge. In recent years, though, advances on the two related fronts of protein engineering and drug delivery are beginning to bring this goal within reach. First, prompted by the restrictions that limit the applicability of antibodies, intense efforts have been applied to identifying and engineering smaller alternative protein scaffolds for the modulation of intracellular targets. In parallel, innovative solutions for delivering proteins to the intracellular space while maintaining their stability and functional activity have begun to yield successes. This review provides an overview of bioactive intrabodies and alternative protein scaffolds amenable to engineering for intracellular targeting and also outlines advances in protein engineering and formulation for delivery of functional proteins to the interior of the cell to achieve therapeutic action

  19. Novel protein-protein interaction family proteins involved in chloroplast movement response.

    PubMed

    Kodama, Yutaka; Suetsugu, Noriyuki; Wada, Masamitsu

    2011-04-01

    To optimize photosynthetic activity, chloroplasts change their intracellular location in response to ambient light conditions; chloroplasts move toward low intensity light to maximize light capture, and away from high intensity light to avoid photodamage. Although several proteins have been reported to be involved in the chloroplast photorelocation movement response, any physical interaction among them was not found so far. We recently found a physical interaction between two plant-specific coiled-coil proteins, WEB1 (Weak Chloroplast Movement under Blue Light 1) and PMI2 (Plastid Movement Impaired 2), that were identified to regulate chloroplast movement velocity. Since the both coiled-coil regions of WEB1 and PMI2 were classified into an uncharacterized protein family having DUF827 (DUF: Domain of Unknown Function) domain, it was the first report that DUF827 proteins could mediate protein-protein interaction. In this mini-review article, we discuss regarding molecular function of WEB1 and PMI2, and also define a novel protein family composed of WEB1, PMI2 and WEB1/PMI2-like proteins for protein-protein interaction in land plants.

  20. Developing algorithms for predicting protein-protein interactions of homology modeled proteins.

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Shawn Bryan; Sale, Kenneth L.; Faulon, Jean-Loup Michel; Roe, Diana C.

    2006-01-01

    The goal of this project was to examine the protein-protein docking problem, especially as it relates to homology-based structures, identify the key bottlenecks in current software tools, and evaluate and prototype new algorithms that may be developed to improve these bottlenecks. This report describes the current challenges in the protein-protein docking problem: correctly predicting the binding site for the protein-protein interaction and correctly placing the sidechains. Two different and complementary approaches are taken that can help with the protein-protein docking problem. The first approach is to predict interaction sites prior to docking, and uses bioinformatics studies of protein-protein interactions to predict theses interaction site. The second approach is to improve validation of predicted complexes after docking, and uses an improved scoring function for evaluating proposed docked poses, incorporating a solvation term. This scoring function demonstrates significant improvement over current state-of-the art functions. Initial studies on both these approaches are promising, and argue for full development of these algorithms.