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Sample records for apicomplexan glideosome-associated proteins

  1. A novel family of Apicomplexan glideosome-associated proteins with an inner membrane-anchoring role.

    PubMed

    Bullen, Hayley E; Tonkin, Christopher J; O'Donnell, Rebecca A; Tham, Wai-Hong; Papenfuss, Anthony T; Gould, Sven; Cowman, Alan F; Crabb, Brendan S; Gilson, Paul R

    2009-09-11

    The phylum Apicomplexa are a group of obligate intracellular parasites responsible for a wide range of important diseases. Central to the lifecycle of these unicellular parasites is their ability to migrate through animal tissue and invade target host cells. Apicomplexan movement is generated by a unique system of gliding motility in which substrate adhesins and invasion-related proteins are pulled across the plasma membrane by an underlying actin-myosin motor. The myosins of this motor are inserted into a dual membrane layer called the inner membrane complex (IMC) that is sandwiched between the plasma membrane and an underlying cytoskeletal basket. Central to our understanding of gliding motility is the characterization of proteins residing within the IMC, but to date only a few proteins are known. We report here a novel family of six-pass transmembrane proteins, termed the GAPM family, which are highly conserved and specific to Apicomplexa. In Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii the GAPMs localize to the IMC where they form highly SDS-resistant oligomeric complexes. The GAPMs co-purify with the cytoskeletal alveolin proteins and also to some degree with the actin-myosin motor itself. Hence, these proteins are strong candidates for an IMC-anchoring role, either directly or indirectly tethering the motor to the cytoskeleton.

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

    PubMed

    Templeton, Thomas J; Pain, Arnab

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Designing selective inhibitors for calcium-dependent protein kinases in apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Hui, Raymond; El Bakkouri, Majida; Sibley, L David

    2015-07-01

    Apicomplexan parasites cause some of the most severe human diseases, including malaria (caused by Plasmodium), toxoplasmosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Treatments are limited by the lack of effective drugs and development of resistance to available agents. By exploiting novel features of protein kinases in these parasites, it may be possible to develop new treatments. We summarize here recent advances in identifying small molecule inhibitors against a novel family of plant-like, calcium-dependent kinases that are uniquely expanded in apicomplexan parasites. Analysis of the 3D structure, activation mechanism, and sensitivity to small molecules had identified several attractive chemical scaffolds that are potent and selective inhibitors of these parasite kinases. Further optimization of these leads may yield promising new drugs for treatment of these parasitic infections. PMID:26002073

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  9. The origins of apicomplexan sequence innovation.

    PubMed

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

    2009-07-01

    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.

  10. The apicomplexan inner membrane complex.

    PubMed

    Kono, Maya; Prusty, Dhaneswar; Parkinson, John; Gilberger, Tim W

    2013-06-01

    Dinoflagellates, apicomplexans and ciliates are members of the monophyletic supergroup of Alveolata. The protists of this phylogenetic cluster have adapted to various ecological niches and lifestyles. Dinoflagellates and cilates can be found in any aquatic environment, whereas the phylum Apicomplexa solely comprises intracellular parasites. Despite their diversity all alveolates are united by the presence of membranous vesicles, so called alveoli, located beneath the plasma membrane. In addition to strengthening the cytoskeleton, these vesicles appear to possess taxon-specific functionality. In dinoflagellates and ciliates the alveoli predominantly play a structural role and can function as calcium stores. However, for the Apicomplexa, the alveolar vesicles -here jointly called the inner membrane complex (IMC)- are additionally involved in invasion of the host cell and are important scaffold elements during cytokinesis. Recent studies shed light on the architecture of the apicomplexan IMC and the number and diversity of its constituent proteins. This plethora of proteins and their varying evolutionary origin underlines the versatility of the IMC as a result of the adaption to a parasitic lifestyle.

  11. The inner membrane complex sub-compartment proteins critical for replication of the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii adopt a pleckstrin homology fold.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Beck, Josh R; Bradley, Peter J; Boulanger, Martin J

    2014-05-16

    Toxoplasma gondii, an apicomplexan parasite prevalent in developed nations, infects up to one-third of the human population. The success of this parasite depends on several unique structures including an inner membrane complex (IMC) that lines the interior of the plasma membrane and contains proteins important for gliding motility and replication. Of these proteins, the IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) have recently been shown to play a role in asexual T. gondii daughter cell formation, yet the mechanism is unknown. Complicating mechanistic characterization of the ISPs is a lack of sequence identity with proteins of known structure or function. In support of elucidating the function of ISPs, we first determined the crystal structures of representative members TgISP1 and TgISP3 to a resolution of 2.10 and 2.32 Å, respectively. Structural analysis revealed that both ISPs adopt a pleckstrin homology fold often associated with phospholipid binding or protein-protein interactions. Substitution of basic for hydrophobic residues in the region that overlays with phospholipid binding in related pleckstrin homology domains, however, suggests that ISPs do not retain phospholipid binding activity. Consistent with this observation, biochemical assays revealed no phospholipid binding activity. Interestingly, mapping of conserved surface residues combined with crystal packing analysis indicates that TgISPs have functionally repurposed the phospholipid-binding site likely to coordinate protein partners. Recruitment of larger protein complexes may also be aided through avidity-enhanced interactions resulting from multimerization of the ISPs. Overall, we propose a model where TgISPs recruit protein partners to the IMC to ensure correct progression of daughter cell formation.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Jumbled genomes: missing Apicomplexan synteny.

    PubMed

    DeBarry, Jeremy D; Kissinger, Jessica C

    2011-10-01

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

  14. Calcium-Dependent Signaling and Kinases in Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Billker, Oliver; Lourido, Sebastian; Sibley, L. David

    2009-01-01

    Summary Calcium controls many critical events in the complex life cycles of apicomplexan parasites including protein secretion, motility, and development. Calcium levels are normally tightly regulated and rapid release of calcium into the cytosol activates a family of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), which are normally characteristic of plants. CDPKs present in apicomplexans have acquired a number of unique domain structures likely reflecting their diverse functions. Calcium regulation in parasites is closely linked to signaling by cyclic nucleotides and their associated kinases. This review summarizes the pivotal roles that calcium-and cyclic nucleotide-dependent kinases play in unique aspects of parasite biology. PMID:19527888

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. Recent advances in understanding apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Frank; Steinfelder, Svenja

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Oxidative Stress Control by Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  20. 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

  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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lourido, Sebastian; Moreno, Silvia N.J.

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. The apicomplexan glideosome and adhesins - Structures and function.

    PubMed

    Boucher, Lauren E; Bosch, Jürgen

    2015-05-01

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Biogenesis of iron-sulphur clusters in amitochondriate and apicomplexan protists.

    PubMed

    Seeber, Frank

    2002-09-01

    During the last 4 years there has been an enormous interest in the question how iron-sulphur ([Fe-S]) clusters, which are essential building blocks for life, are synthesised and assembled into apo-proteins, both in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes. The emerging picture is that the basic mechanism of this pathway has been well conserved during evolution. In yeast and probably all other eukaryotes the mitochondrion is the place where [Fe-S] clusters are synthesised, even for extramitochondrial [Fe-S] cluster-containing proteins, and a number of proteins have been functionally characterised to a certain extent within this pathway. However, almost nothing is known about this aspect in parasitic protists, although recent studies of amitochondriate protists and on the plastid-like organelle of apicomplexan parasites, the apicoplast, have started to change this. In this article I will summarise the current view of [Fe-S] cluster biogenesis in eukaryotes and discuss its implications for amitochondriate protists and for the plastid-like organelle of apicomplexan parasites.

  8. 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

  9. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  13. 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

  14. Alveolate mitochondrial metabolic evolution: dinoflagellates force reassessment of the role of parasitism as a driver of change in apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Danne, Jillian C; Gornik, Sebastian G; Macrae, James I; McConville, Malcolm J; Waller, Ross F

    2013-01-01

    Mitochondrial metabolism is central to the supply of ATP and numerous essential metabolites in most eukaryotic cells. Across eukaryotic diversity, however, there is evidence of much adaptation of the function of this organelle according to specific metabolic requirements and/or demands imposed by different environmental niches. This includes substantial loss or retailoring of mitochondrial function in many parasitic groups that occupy potentially nutrient-rich environments in their metazoan hosts. Infrakingdom Alveolata comprises a well-supported alliance of three disparate eukaryotic phyla-dinoflagellates, apicomplexans, and ciliates. These major taxa represent diverse lifestyles of free-living phototrophs, parasites, and predators and offer fertile territory for exploring character evolution in mitochondria. The mitochondria of apicomplexan parasites provide much evidence of loss or change of function from analysis of mitochondrial protein genes. Much less, however, is known of mitochondrial function in their closest relatives, the dinoflagellate algae. In this study, we have developed new models of mitochondrial metabolism in dinoflagellates based on gene predictions and stable isotope labeling experiments. These data show that many changes in mitochondrial gene content previously only known from apicomplexans are found in dinoflagellates also. For example, loss of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex and changes in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme complement are shared by both groups and, therefore, represent ancestral character states. Significantly, we show that these changes do not result in loss of typical TCA cycle activity fueled by pyruvate. Thus, dinoflagellate data show that many changes in alveolate mitochondrial metabolism are independent of the major lifestyle changes seen in these lineages and provide a revised view of mitochondria character evolution during evolution of parasitism in apicomplexans. PMID:22923466

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Apicomplexan Energy Metabolism: Carbon Source Promiscuity and the Quiescence Hyperbole.

    PubMed

    Jacot, Damien; Waller, Ross F; Soldati-Favre, Dominique; MacPherson, Dougal A; MacRae, James I

    2016-01-01

    The nature of energy metabolism in apicomplexan parasites has been closely investigated in the recent years. Studies in Plasmodium spp. and Toxoplasma gondii in particular have revealed that these parasites are able to employ enzymes in non-traditional ways, while utilizing multiple anaplerotic routes into a canonical tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle to satisfy their energy requirements. Importantly, some life stages of these parasites previously considered to be metabolically quiescent are, in fact, active and able to adapt their carbon source utilization to survive. We compare energy metabolism across the life cycle of malaria parasites and consider how this varies in other apicomplexans and related organisms, while discussing how this can be exploited for therapeutic intervention in these diseases.

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Waller, Ross F; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2005-01-01

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

  19. Comparison of Protective Immune Responses to Apicomplexan Parasites

    PubMed Central

    Frölich, Sonja; Entzeroth, Rolf; Wallach, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Members of the phylum Apicomplexa, which includes the species Plasmodium, Eimeria, Toxoplasma, and Babesia amongst others, are the most successful intracellular pathogens known to humankind. The widespread acquisition of antimicrobial resistance to most drugs used to date has sparked a great deal of research and commercial interest in the development of vaccines as alternative control strategies. A few antigens from the asexual and sexual stages of apicomplexan development have been identified and their genes characterised; however, the fine cellular and molecular details of the effector mechanisms crucial for parasite inhibition and stimulation of protective immunity are still not entirely understood. This paper provides an overview of what is currently known about the protective immune response against the various types of apicomplexan parasites and focuses mainly on the similarities of these pathogens and their host interaction. Finally, the evolutionary relationships of these parasites and their hosts, as well as the modulation of immune functions that are critical in determining the outcome of the infection by these pathogenic organisms, are discussed. PMID:21876783

  20. Prevalence of encysted apicomplexans in muscles of raptors.

    PubMed

    Lindsay, D S; Blagburn, B L

    1999-01-28

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

  1. Chemical biology approaches for the study of apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Child, Matthew A

    2013-01-01

    Chemical biology and the techniques the field encompasses provide scientists with the means to address biological questions in ever-evolving and technically sophisticated ways. They facilitate the dissection of molecular mechanisms of cell phenomena on timescales not achievable by other means. Libraries of small molecules, bioorthogonal chemistries and technical advances in mass-spectrometry techniques enable the modern chemical biologist to tackle even the most difficult of biological questions. It is because of their broad applicability that these approaches are well suited to systems less tractable to more classical genetic methods. As such, the parasite community has embraced them with great success. Some of these successes and the continuing evolution of chemical biology applied to apicomplexans will be discussed.

  2. ATG8 localization in apicomplexan parasites: apicoplast and more?

    PubMed

    Mizushima, Noboru; Sahani, Mayurbhai Himatbhai

    2014-09-01

    The ATG genes are highly conserved in eukaryotes including yeasts, plants, and mammals. However, these genes appear to be only partially present in most protists. Recent studies demonstrated that, in the apicomplexan parasites Plasmodium (malaria parasites) and Toxoplasma, ATG8 localizes to the apicoplast, a unique nonphotosynthetic plastid with 4 limiting membranes. In contrast to this established localization, it remains unclear whether these parasites can induce canonical macroautophagy and if ATG8 localizes to autophagosomes. Furthermore, the molecular function of ATG8 in its novel workplace, the apicoplast, is totally unknown. Here, we review recent studies on ATG8 in Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, summarize both consensus and controversial findings, and discuss its potential role in these parasites.

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

    PubMed

    Marsolier, Justine; Weitzman, Jonathan B

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Direct evidence of O-GlcNAcylation in the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii: a biochemical and bioinformatic study.

    PubMed

    Perez-Cervera, Yobana; Harichaux, Grégoire; Schmidt, Jörg; Debierre-Grockiego, Françoise; Dehennaut, Vanessa; Bieker, Ulrike; Meurice, Edwige; Lefebvre, Tony; Schwarz, Ralph T

    2011-03-01

    Toxoplasma gondii and Plasmodium falciparum are apicomplexan parasites responsible for serious diseases in humans. Many studies have focused on the post-translational modifications (PTMs) found in the two protists including phosphorylation, acetylation or SUMOylation but only a few of these are concerned with the nuclear and cytosolic-specific glycosylation O-GlcNAcylation. O-GlcNAcylation is a highly dynamic PTM-regulated by the ON and OFF enzymes: O-GlcNAc transferase and O-GlcNAcase-that can compete with phosphorylation but its function remains unclear. In this work, we directly prove the O-GlcNAcylation in T. gondii using antibodies specifically directed against the modification and we strongly suggest its occurrence in P. falciparum. We found that the inducible 70 kDa-Heat Shock Protein is O-GlcNAcylated, or associated with an O-GlcNAc-partner, in T. gondii. Using anti-OGT antibodies we were able to detect the expression of the glycosyltransferase in T. gondii cultured both in human foreskin fibroblast and in Vero cells and report its putative sequence. For the first time the presence of O-GlcNAcylation is unequivocally shown in T. gondii and suspected in P. falciparum. Since the O-GlcNAcylation is implicated in many biological fundamental processes this study opens a new research track in the knowledge of apicomplexans' life cycle and pathogenic potential.

  5. 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.

  6. The highly reduced and fragmented mitochondrial genome of the early-branching dinoflagellate Oxyrrhis marina shares characteristics with both apicomplexan and dinoflagellate mitochondrial genomes.

    PubMed

    Slamovits, Claudio H; Saldarriaga, Juan F; Larocque, Allen; Keeling, Patrick J

    2007-09-14

    The mitochondrial genome and the expression of the genes within it have evolved to be highly unusual in several lineages. Within alveolates, apicomplexans and dinoflagellates share the most reduced mitochondrial gene content on record, but differ from one another in organisation and function. To clarify how these characteristics originated, we examined mitochondrial genome form and expression in a key lineage that arose close to the divergence of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates, Oxyrrhis marina. We show that Oxyrrhis is a basal member of the dinoflagellate lineage whose mitochondrial genome has some unique characteristics while sharing others with apicomplexans or dinoflagellates. Specifically, Oxyrrhis has the smallest gene complement known, with several rRNA fragments and only two protein coding genes, cox1 and a cob-cox3 fusion. The genome appears to be highly fragmented, like that of dinoflagellates, but genes are frequently arranged as tandem copies, reminiscent of the repeating nature of the Plasmodium genome. In dinoflagellates and Oxyrrhis, genes are found in many arrangements, but the Oxyrrhis genome appears to be more structured, since neighbouring genes or gene fragments are invariably the same: cox1 and the cob-cox3 fusion were never found on the same genomic fragment. Analysing hundreds of cDNAs for both genes and circularized mRNAs from cob-cox3 showed that neither uses canonical start or stop codons, although a UAA terminator is created in the cob-cox3 fusion mRNA by post-transcriptional oligoadenylation. mRNAs from both genes also use a novel 5' oligo(U) cap. Extensive RNA editing is characteristic of dinoflagellates, but we find no editing in Oxyrrhis. Overall, the combination of characteristics found in the Oxyrrhis genome allows us to plot the sequence of many events that led to the extreme organisation of apicomplexan and dinoflalgellate mitochondrial genomes.

  7. Genome Sequence of Babesia bovis and Comparative Analysis of Apicomplexan Hemoprotozoa

    PubMed Central

    Brayton, Kelly A; Lau, Audrey O. T; Herndon, David R; Hannick, Linda; Kappmeyer, Lowell S; Berens, Shawn J; Bidwell, Shelby L; Brown, Wendy C; Crabtree, Jonathan; Fadrosh, Doug; Feldblum, Tamara; Forberger, Heather A; Haas, Brian J; Howell, Jeanne M; Khouri, Hoda; Koo, Hean; Mann, David J; Norimine, Junzo; Paulsen, Ian T; Radune, Diana; Ren, Qinghu; Smith, Roger K; Suarez, Carlos E; White, Owen; Wortman, Jennifer R; Knowles, Donald P; McElwain, Terry F; Nene, Vishvanath M

    2007-01-01

    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 apicomplexan hemoprotozoa Theileria parva and Plasmodium falciparum. At 8.2 Mbp, the B. bovis genome is similar in size to that of Theileria spp. Structural features of the B. bovis and T. parva genomes are remarkably similar, and extensive synteny is present despite several chromosomal rearrangements. In contrast, B. bovis and P. falciparum, which have similar clinical and pathological features, have major differences in genome size, chromosome number, and gene complement. Chromosomal synteny with P. falciparum is limited to microregions. The B. bovis genome sequence has allowed wide scale analyses of the polymorphic variant erythrocyte surface antigen protein (ves1 gene) family that, similar to the P. falciparum var genes, is postulated to play a role in cytoadhesion, sequestration, and immune evasion. The ∼150 ves1 genes are found in clusters that are distributed throughout each chromosome, with an increased concentration adjacent to a physical gap on chromosome 1 that contains multiple ves1-like sequences. ves1 clusters are frequently linked to a novel family of variant genes termed smorfs that may themselves contribute to immune evasion, may play a role in variant erythrocyte surface antigen protein biology, or both. Initial expression analysis of ves1 and smorf genes indicates coincident transcription of multiple variants. B. bovis displays a limited metabolic potential, with numerous missing pathways, including two pathways previously described for the P. falciparum apicoplast. This reduced metabolic potential is reflected in the B. bovis apicoplast, which appears to have fewer nuclear genes targeted to it than other apicoplast containing organisms. Finally

  8. A common red algal origin of the apicomplexan, dinoflagellate, and heterokont plastids.

    PubMed

    Janouskovec, Jan; Horák, Ales; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukes, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J

    2010-06-15

    The discovery of a nonphotosynthetic plastid in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites has sparked a contentious debate about its evolutionary origin. Molecular data have led to conflicting conclusions supporting either its green algal origin or red algal origin, perhaps in common with the plastid of related dinoflagellates. This distinction is critical to our understanding of apicomplexan evolution and the evolutionary history of endosymbiosis and photosynthesis; however, the two plastids are nearly impossible to compare due to their nonoverlapping information content. Here we describe the complete plastid genome sequences and plastid-associated data from two independent photosynthetic lineages represented by Chromera velia and an undescribed alga CCMP3155 that we show are closely related to apicomplexans. These plastids contain a suite of features retained in either apicomplexan (four plastid membranes, the ribosomal superoperon, conserved gene order) or dinoflagellate plastids (form II Rubisco acquired by horizontal transfer, transcript polyuridylylation, thylakoids stacked in triplets) and encode a full collective complement of their reduced gene sets. Together with whole plastid genome phylogenies, these characteristics provide multiple lines of evidence that the extant plastids of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates were inherited by linear descent from a common red algal endosymbiont. Our phylogenetic analyses also support their close relationship to plastids of heterokont algae, indicating they all derive from the same endosymbiosis. Altogether, these findings support a relatively simple path of linear descent for the evolution of photosynthesis in a large proportion of algae and emphasize plastid loss in several lineages (e.g., ciliates, Cryptosporidium, and Phytophthora).

  9. A common red algal origin of the apicomplexan, dinoflagellate, and heterokont plastids

    PubMed Central

    Janouškovec, Jan; Horák, Aleš; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukeš, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J.

    2010-01-01

    The discovery of a nonphotosynthetic plastid in malaria and other apicomplexan parasites has sparked a contentious debate about its evolutionary origin. Molecular data have led to conflicting conclusions supporting either its green algal origin or red algal origin, perhaps in common with the plastid of related dinoflagellates. This distinction is critical to our understanding of apicomplexan evolution and the evolutionary history of endosymbiosis and photosynthesis; however, the two plastids are nearly impossible to compare due to their nonoverlapping information content. Here we describe the complete plastid genome sequences and plastid-associated data from two independent photosynthetic lineages represented by Chromera velia and an undescribed alga CCMP3155 that we show are closely related to apicomplexans. These plastids contain a suite of features retained in either apicomplexan (four plastid membranes, the ribosomal superoperon, conserved gene order) or dinoflagellate plastids (form II Rubisco acquired by horizontal transfer, transcript polyuridylylation, thylakoids stacked in triplets) and encode a full collective complement of their reduced gene sets. Together with whole plastid genome phylogenies, these characteristics provide multiple lines of evidence that the extant plastids of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates were inherited by linear descent from a common red algal endosymbiont. Our phylogenetic analyses also support their close relationship to plastids of heterokont algae, indicating they all derive from the same endosymbiosis. Altogether, these findings support a relatively simple path of linear descent for the evolution of photosynthesis in a large proportion of algae and emphasize plastid loss in several lineages (e.g., ciliates, Cryptosporidium, and Phytophthora). PMID:20534454

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    1998-02-01

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

  12. Molecular phylogeny and surface morphology of Colpodella edax (Alveolata): insights into the phagotrophic ancestry of apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Leander, Brian S; Kuvardina, Olga N; Aleshin, Vladimir V; Mylnikov, Alexander P; Keeling, Patrick J

    2003-01-01

    The molecular phylogeny of colpodellids provides a framework for inferences about the earliest stages in apicomplexan evolution and the characteristics of the last common ancestor of apicomplexans and dinoflagellates. We extended this research by presenting phylogenetic analyses of small subunit rRNA gene sequences from Colpodella edax and three unidentified eukaryotes published from molecular phylogenetic surveys of anoxic environments. Phylogenetic analyses consistently showed C. edax and the environmental sequences nested within a colpodellid clade, which formed the sister group to (eu)apicomplexans. We also presented surface details of C. edax using scanning electron microscopy in order to supplement previous ultrastructural investigations of this species using transmission electron microscopy and to provide morphological context for interpreting environmental sequences. The microscopical data confirmed a sparse distribution of micropores, an amphiesma consisting of small polygonal alveoli, flagellar hairs on the anterior flagellum, and a rostrum molded by the underlying (open-sided) conoid. Three flagella were present in some individuals, a peculiar feature also found in the microgametes of some apicomplexans.

  13. 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...

  14. Apicomplexan parasites and subversion of the host cell microRNA pathway.

    PubMed

    Hakimi, Mohamed-ali; Cannella, Dominique

    2011-11-01

    RNA silencing plays a major role in innate antiviral and antibacterial defenses in plants, insects, and animals through the action of microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs can act in favor of the microorganism, either when it is pathogen-encoded or when the microorganism subverts host miRNAs to its benefit. Recent data point to the possibility that apicomplexan parasites have developed tactics to interfere with host miRNA populations in a parasite-specific manner, thereby identifying the RNA-silencing pathway as a new means to reshape their cellular environment. This review highlights the current understanding and new insights concerning the mechanisms that could be involved and the potential roles of the host microRNome (miRNome) in apicomplexan infection.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

    Orosz, Ferenc

    2015-11-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-12

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

  2. 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

  3. Galactose recognition by the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

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

    2012-05-11

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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. PMID:25216472

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Intraerythrocytic development of species of Hepatozoon infecting ranid frogs: evidence for convergence of life cycle characteristics among apicomplexans.

    PubMed

    Smith, T G; Kim, B; Hong, H; Desser, S S

    2000-06-01

    Intraerythrocytic development of the adeleorin apicomplexans Hepatozoon clamatae and Hepatozoon catesbianae were investigated in the bullfrog, Rana catesbeiana, the green frog, Rana clamitans melanota, and the Northern leopard frog, Rana pipiens. Merozoites emerging from hepatic meronts penetrated erythrocytes and underwent 1-3 rounds of binary fission to produce 2-8 merozoites. Following their release from infected erythrocytes, individual merozoites entered new cells and transformed into gamonts. Although this is the first report of intraerythrocytic development for a fully described species of Hepatozoon, a phylogenetic reanalysis of 11 species of Hepatozoon, 6 species representative of the 5 other hemogregarine taxa, 2 species of dactylosomatids, and 2 species of piroplasms, indicates that asexual reproduction of parasites within blood cells of vertebrates has arisen at least 3 times in the apicomplexan lineage that includes adeleorins and piroplasms. This method of asexual development, which is also observed in species of hemospororin genera such as Plasmodium, is discussed in the context of the evolution of apicomplexan life cycles. In addition to supporting the paraphyly of the genus Hepatozoon determined in an earlier study, this phylogenetic analysis featured a monophyletic group, consisting of the sister taxa Hemolivia and Karyolysus, that was the sister group to a clade consisting of the more derived hemogregarines, the dactylosomatids, and the piroplasms.

  12. 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

  13. Evolutionary relationships of avian Eimeria species among other Apicomplexan protozoa: monophyly of the apicomplexa is supported.

    PubMed

    Barta, J R; Jenkins, M C; Danforth, H D

    1991-05-01

    Direct, reverse transcriptase-mediated, partial sequencing of the small-subunit (16S-like) ribosomal RNA (srRNA) of Eimeria tenella and E. acervulina was performed. Sequences were aligned by eye with six previously published, partial or complete srRNA sequences of apicomplexan protists (Plasmodium berghei, Theileria annulata, Cryptosporidium sp., Toxoplasma gondii, Sarcocystis muris, and S. gigantea). Six eukaryotic protists (a slime mold, a yeast, two dinoflagellates, and two ciliates) acted as an outgroup for a parsimony-based phylogenetic analysis (PAUP Ver. 3.0). The 188 phylogenetically informative sites (i.e., those positions that neither were unvaried nor had only autapomorphic substitutions) supported a single tree topology 481 steps in length with a consistency index of 0.65 in which the monophyly of the Apicomplexa was supported. The two Eimeria species and S. muris, S. gigantea, and T. gondii formed a pair of monophyletic groups that were sister groups. The two Sarcocystis species were not hypothesized to be sister taxa. The genera Plasmodium and Cryptosporidium were hypothesized to form the sister group to these five coccidia and T. annulata. A priori data-editing techniques that deleted "variable" positions prior to analysis failed to recognize the monophyly of the Apicomplexa when the same parsimony-based tree-building algorithm was used. Inability of the outgroup taxa to root the well-supported ingroup tree (Apicomplexa) at a unique site when these taxa were used individually for this purpose reinforces the need for an appropriate, multiple-taxon outgroup in such analyses.

  14. The Import of Proteins into the Mitochondrion of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    van Dooren, Giel G; Yeoh, Lee M; Striepen, Boris; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2016-09-01

    Outside of well characterized model eukaryotes, relatively little is known about the translocons that transport proteins across the two membranes that surround the mitochondrion. Apicomplexans are a phylum of intracellular parasites that cause major diseases in humans and animals and are evolutionarily distant from model eukaryotes such as yeast. Apicomplexans harbor a mitochondrion that is essential for parasite survival and is a validated drug target. Here, we demonstrate that the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii harbors homologues of proteins from all the major mitochondrial protein translocons present in yeast, suggesting these arose early in eukaryotic evolution. We demonstrate that a T. gondii homologue of Tom22 (TgTom22), a central component of the translocon of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, is essential for parasite survival, mitochondrial protein import, and assembly of the TOM complex. We also identify and characterize a T. gondii homologue of Tom7 (TgTom7) that is important for parasite survival and mitochondrial protein import. Contrary to the role of Tom7 in yeast, TgTom7 is important for TOM complex stability, suggesting the role of this protein has diverged during eukaryotic evolution. Together, our study identifies conserved and modified features of mitochondrial protein import in apicomplexan parasites. PMID:27458014

  15. The Import of Proteins into the Mitochondrion of Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    van Dooren, Giel G; Yeoh, Lee M; Striepen, Boris; McFadden, Geoffrey I

    2016-09-01

    Outside of well characterized model eukaryotes, relatively little is known about the translocons that transport proteins across the two membranes that surround the mitochondrion. Apicomplexans are a phylum of intracellular parasites that cause major diseases in humans and animals and are evolutionarily distant from model eukaryotes such as yeast. Apicomplexans harbor a mitochondrion that is essential for parasite survival and is a validated drug target. Here, we demonstrate that the apicomplexan Toxoplasma gondii harbors homologues of proteins from all the major mitochondrial protein translocons present in yeast, suggesting these arose early in eukaryotic evolution. We demonstrate that a T. gondii homologue of Tom22 (TgTom22), a central component of the translocon of the outer mitochondrial membrane (TOM) complex, is essential for parasite survival, mitochondrial protein import, and assembly of the TOM complex. We also identify and characterize a T. gondii homologue of Tom7 (TgTom7) that is important for parasite survival and mitochondrial protein import. Contrary to the role of Tom7 in yeast, TgTom7 is important for TOM complex stability, suggesting the role of this protein has diverged during eukaryotic evolution. Together, our study identifies conserved and modified features of mitochondrial protein import in apicomplexan parasites.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. 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...

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

    PubMed

    Rooney, Alejandro P

    2004-09-01

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

  3. 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. PMID:24650105

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Šlapeta, Jan; Linares, Marjorie C.

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Surolia, Avadhesha

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Cellular identity of a novel small subunit rDNA sequence clade of apicomplexans: description of the marine parasite Rhytidocystis polygordiae n. sp. (host: Polygordius sp., Polychaeta).

    PubMed

    Leander, Brian S; Ramey, Patricia A

    2006-01-01

    A new species of Rhytidocystis (Apicomplexa) is characterized from North American waters of the Atlantic Ocean using electron microscopy and phylogenetic analyses of small subunit (SSU) rDNA sequences. Rhytidocystis polygordiae n. sp. is a parasite of the polychaete Polygordius sp. and becomes the fourth described species within this genus. The trophozoites of R. polygordiae were relatively small oblong cells (L=35-55 microm; W=20-25 microm) and distinctive in possessing subterminal indentations at both ends of the cell. The surface of the trophozoites had six to eight longitudinal series of small transverse folds and several micropores arranged in short linear rows. The trophozoites of R. polygordiae were positioned beneath the brush border of the intestinal epithelium but appeared to reside between the epithelial cells within the extracellular matrix rather than within the cells. The trophozoites possessed a uniform distribution of paraglycogen granules, putative apicoplasts, mitochondria with tubular cristae, and a centrally positioned nucleus. The trophozoites were non-motile and lacked a mucron and an apical complex. Intracellular sporozoites of R. polygordiae had a conoid, a few rhoptries, micronemes, dense granules, and a posteriorly positioned nucleus. Phylogenies inferred from SSU rDNA sequences demonstrated a close relationship between R. polygordiae and the poorly known parasite reported from the hemolymph of the giant clam Tridacna crocea. The rhytidocystid clade diverged early in the apicomplexan radiation and showed a weak affinity to a clade consisting of cryptosporidian parasites, monocystids, and neogregarines.

  14. 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. PMID:23537006

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. Tetrahymena Expresses More than a Hundred Proteins with Lipid-binding MORN Motifs that can Differ in their Subcellular Localisations.

    PubMed

    Habicht, Jörn; Woehle, Christian; Gould, Sven B

    2015-01-01

    Proteins with membrane occupation and recognition nexus (MORN) motifs are associated with cell fission in apicomplexan parasites, chloroplast division in Arabidopsis and the motility of sperm cells. We found that ciliates are among those that encode the largest variety of MORN proteins. Tetrahymena thermophila expresses 129 MORN protein-encoding genes, some of which are specifically up-regulated during conjugation. A lipid-binding assay underpins the assumption that the predominant function of MORN motifs themselves is to confer the ability of lipid binding. The localisation of four MORN candidate proteins with similar characteristics highlights the functional diversity of this group especially in ciliates.

  17. Actin-Like Protein 1 (ALP1) is a component of dynamic, high molecular weight complexes in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Jennifer L.; Buguliskis, Jeffrey S.; Buske, Paul J.; David Sibley, L

    2009-01-01

    Apicomplexan parasites, such as Toxoplasma gondii, rely on actin-based motility for cell invasion, yet conventional actin does not appear to be required for cell division in these parasites. Apicomplexans also contain a variety of actin-related proteins (Arps); however, most of these not directly orthologous to Arps in well-studied systems. We recently identified an apicomplexan-specific member of this family called Actin-Like Protein 1, (ALP1), which plays a role in the assembly of vesicular components recruited to the inner membrane complex (IMC) of daughter cells during cell division. In addition to its enrichment at daughter cell membranes, ALP1 is localized throughout the cytoplasm both diffusely distributed and concentrated in clusters that are detected by fluorescence microscopy, suggesting it forms complexes. Using quantitative optical imaging methods, including fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and fluorescence loss in photobleaching (FLIP), we demonstrated that ALP1 is a component of a large complex, and that it readily exchanges between diffusible and complex-bound forms. Sedimentation and density gradient analyses revealed that ALP1 is found in a freely soluble state as well as high molecular weight complexes. During cell division, ALP1 was dynamically associated with the IMC, suggesting it rapidly cycles between freely diffusible and complex forms during daughter cell assembly. PMID:19701930

  18. Cloning and analysis of a Toxoplasma gondii histone acetyltransferase: a novel chromatin remodelling factor in Apicomplexan parasites.

    PubMed

    Hettmann, C; Soldati, D

    1999-11-15

    The yeast transcriptional adaptor GCN5 functions as a histone acetyltransferase, directly linking chromatin modification to transcriptional regulation. Homologues of yeast GCN5 have been found in Tetrahymena, Drosophila, Arabidopsis and human, suggesting that this pathway of chromatin remodelling is evolutionarily conserved. Consistent with this view, we have identified the Toxoplasma gondii homologue, referred to here as TgGCN5. The gene codes for a protein of 474 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 53 kDa. The protein reveals two regions of close similarity with the GCN5 family members, the HAT domain and the bromodomain. Tg GCN5 occurs in a single copy in the T.gondii genome. The introduction of a second copy of TgGCN5 in T.gondii tachyzoites is toxic unless the HAT activity is disrupted by a single point mutation. Full TgGCN5 does not complement the growth defect in a yeast gcn5 (-)mutant strain, but a chimera comprising the T.gondii HAT domain fused to the remainder of yGCN5 does. These data show that T.gondii GNC5 is a histone acetyltransferase attesting to the significance of chromatin remodelling in gene regulation of Apicomplexa.

  19. 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)

  20. Protein

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. 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

  2. Harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) PMN and monocytes release extracellular traps to capture the apicomplexan parasite Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Reichel, Maria; Muñoz-Caro, Tamara; Sanchez Contreras, Guillermo; Rubio García, Ana; Magdowski, Gerd; Gärtner, Ulrich; Taubert, Anja; Hermosilla, Carlos

    2015-06-01

    Extracellular traps (ETs) are composed of nuclear DNA as backbone adorned with histones, cytoplasmic antimicrobial peptides/proteins which are released from a range of vertebrate and invertebrate host immune cells in response to several invading pathogens. Until now this ancient novel innate defence mechanism has not been demonstrated in any marine mammal. Interactions of harbour seal (Phoca vitulina)-PMN and -monocytes with viable tachyzoites of Toxoplasma gondii were investigated in this respect in vitro. For the demonstration and quantification of harbour seal PMN- and monocyte-derived ETs, extracellular DNA was stained with Sytox Orange. Fluorescence assays as well as scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analyses demonstrated PMN- and monocyte-promoted ET formation rapidly being induced upon contact with T. gondii-tachyzoites. The co-localisation of extracellular DNA decorated with histones (H3), neutrophil elastase (NE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in parasite entrapping structures confirmed the classical characteristics of PMN- and monocyte-promoted ETs. Exposure of harbour seal PMN and monocytes to viable tachyzoites resulted in a significant induction of ETs when compared to negative controls. Harbour seal-ETs were efficiently abolished by DNase I treatment and were reduced after PMN and monocytes pre-incubation with the NADPH oxidase inhibitor diphenilane iodondium. Tachyzoites of T. gondii were firmly entrapped and immobilised within harbour seal-ET structures. To our best knowledge, we here report for the first time on T. gondii-induced ET formation in harbour seal-PMN and -monocytes. Our results strongly indicate that PMN- and monocyte-triggered ETs represent a relevant and ancient conserved effector mechanism of the pinniped innate immune system as reaction against the pathogenic protozoon T. gondii and probably against other foreign pathogens occurring in the ocean environment.

  3. Proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regnier, Fred E.; Gooding, Karen M.

    Because of the complexity of cellular material and body fluids, it is seldom possible to analyze a natural product directly. Qualitative and quantitative analyses must often be preceded by some purification step that separates the molecular species being examined from interfering materials. In the case of proteins, column liquid chromatography has been used extensively for these fractionations. With the advent of gel permeation, cation exchange, anion exchange, hydrophobic, and affinity chromatography, it became possible to resolve proteins through their fundamental properties of size, charge, hydrophobicity, and biological affinity. The chromatographic separations used in the early isolation and characterization of many proteins later became analytical tools in their routine analysis. Unfortunately, these inherently simple and versatile column chromatographic techniques introduced in the 50s and 60s have a severe limitation in routine analysis-separation time. It is common to encounter 1-24 h separation times with the classical gel-type supports.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

    Myzozoans (which include dinoflagellates, chromerids and apicomplexans) display notable divergence from their ciliate sister group, including a reduced mitochondrial genome and divergent metabolic processes. The factors contributing to these divergent processes are still poorly understood and could serve as potential drug targets in disease-causing protists. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a small mitochondrial protein from the rodent-infecting apicomplexan 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.

  6. Subcompartmentalisation of proteins in the rhoptries correlates with ordered events of erythrocyte invasion by the blood stage malaria parasite.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. A novel Toxoplasma gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase.

    PubMed

    Tzen, M; Benarous, R; Dupouy-Camet, J; Roisin, M P

    2007-06-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular parasite that infects all types of cells in humans. A family of calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs), previously identified as important in the development of plants and protists, was recently shown to play a role in the infectivity of apicomplexans, and in motility and host cell invasion in particular. We report here the isolation of a new calcium-dependent protein kinase gene from the human toxoplasmosis parasite, Toxoplasma gondii. The gene consists of 12 exons. The encoded protein, TgCDPK4, consists of the four characteristic domains of members of the CDPK family and is most similar to PfCDPK2 from Plasmodium falciparum. We measured TgCDPK4 activity, induced by calcium influx, using a kinase assay. A calcium chelator (EGTA) inhibited this activity. These findings provide evidence of signal transduction involving members of the CDPK family in T. gondii.

  11. Localization of apical sushi protein in Plasmodium falciparum merozoites.

    PubMed

    Srivastava, Anand; Singh, Shailja; Dhawan, Shikha; Mahmood Alam, M; Mohmmed, Asif; Chitnis, Chetan E

    2010-11-01

    Plasmodium falciparum belongs to the Apicomplexan group of parasites and is characterised by presence of specialized secretory organelles at the apical end. These apical organelles, referred to as microneme and rhoptries, contain proteins that play important roles during host cell invasion by mediating specific functions such as initial attachment, apical reorientation and junction formation. Recently, a protein referred to as P. falciparum apical sushi protein (PfASP), which is expressed at late schizont stage, was localized to micronemes of P. falciparum merozoites. In the present study, we have used indirect immunofluorescence assays and immunoelectron microscopy to demonstrate that PfASP is localized in the neck of rhoptries and not in micronemes as previously described.

  12. A Multidomain Adhesion Protein Family Expressed in Plasmodium falciparum Is Essential for Transmission to the Mosquito

    PubMed Central

    Pradel, Gabriele; Hayton, Karen; Aravind, L.; Iyer, Lakshminarayan M.; Abrahamsen, Mitchell S.; Bonawitz, Annemarie; Mejia, Cesar; Templeton, Thomas J.

    2004-01-01

    The recent sequencing of several apicomplexan genomes has provided the opportunity to characterize novel antigens essential for the parasite life cycle that might lead to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic markers. Here we have screened the Plasmodium falciparum genome sequence for genes encoding extracellular multidomain putative adhesive proteins. Three of these identified genes, named PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, have multiple adhesive modules including a common Limulus coagulation factor C domain also found in two additional Plasmodium genes. Orthologues were identified in the Cryptosporidium parvum genome sequence, indicating an evolutionary conserved function. Transcript and protein expression analysis shows sexual stage–specific expression of PfCCp1, PfCCp2, and PfCCp3, and cellular localization studies revealed plasma membrane–associated expression in mature gametocytes. During gametogenesis, PfCCps are released and localize surrounding complexes of newly emerged microgametes and macrogametes. PfCCp expression markedly decreased after formation of zygotes. To begin to address PfCCp function, the PfCCp2 and PfCCp3 gene loci were disrupted by homologous recombination, resulting in parasites capable of forming oocyst sporozoites but blocked in the salivary gland transition. Our results describe members of a conserved apicomplexan protein family expressed in sexual stage Plasmodium parasites that may represent candidates for subunits of a transmission-blocking vaccine. PMID:15184503

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Comparative genomics of transcription factors and chromatin proteins in parasitic protists and other eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Iyer, Lakshminarayan M; Anantharaman, Vivek; Wolf, Maxim Y; Aravind, L

    2008-01-01

    Comparative genomics of parasitic protists and their free-living relatives are profoundly impacting our understanding of the regulatory systems involved in transcription and chromatin dynamics. While some parts of these systems are highly conserved, other parts are rapidly evolving, thereby providing the molecular basis for the variety in the regulatory adaptations of eukaryotes. The gross number of specific transcription factors and chromatin proteins are positively correlated with proteome size in eukaryotes. However, the individual types of specific transcription factors show an enormous variety across different eukaryotic lineages. The dominant families of specific transcription factors even differ between sister lineages, and have been shaped by gene loss and lineage-specific expansions. Recognition of this principle has helped in identifying the hitherto unknown, major specific transcription factors of several parasites, such as apicomplexans, Entamoeba histolytica, Trichomonas vaginalis, Phytophthora and ciliates. Comparative analysis of predicted chromatin proteins from protists allows reconstruction of the early evolutionary history of histone and DNA modification, nucleosome assembly and chromatin-remodeling systems. Many key catalytic, peptide-binding and DNA-binding domains in these systems ultimately had bacterial precursors, but were put together into distinctive regulatory complexes that are unique to the eukaryotes. In the case of histone methylases, histone demethylases and SWI2/SNF2 ATPases, proliferation of paralogous families followed by acquisition of novel domain architectures, seem to have played a major role in producing a diverse set of enzymes that create and respond to an epigenetic code of modified histones. The diversification of histone acetylases and DNA methylases appears to have proceeded via repeated emergence of new versions, most probably via transfers from bacteria to different eukaryotic lineages, again resulting in lineage

  16. Cryptosporidium parvum possesses a short-type replication protein A large subunit that differs from its host.

    PubMed

    Zhu, G; Marchewka, M J; Keithly, J S

    1999-07-15

    Replication protein A (RPA) consisting of three subunits is a eukaryotic single-stranded DNA (ssDNA)-binding protein involved in DNA replication, repair and recombination. We report here the identification and characterization of a RPA large subunit (CpRPA1) gene from the apicomplexan Cryptosporidium parvum. The CpRPA1 gene encodes a 53.9-kDa peptide that is remarkably smaller than that from other eukaryotes (i.e. approximately 70 kDa) and is actively expressed in both free sporozoites and parasite intracellular stages. This short-type RPA large subunit has also been characterized from one other protist, Crithidia fasciculata. Three distinct domains have been identified in the RPA large subunit of humans and yeasts: an N-terminal protein interaction domain, a central ssDNA-binding area, and a C-terminal subunit-interacting region. Sequence analysis reveals that the short-type RPA large subunit differs from that of other eukaryotes in that only the domains required for ssDNA binding and heterotrimer formation are present. It lacks the N-terminal domain necessary for the binding of proteins mainly involved in DNA repair and recombination. This major structural difference suggests that the mechanism for DNA repair and recombination in some protists differs from that of other eukaryotes. Since replication proteins play an essential role in the cell cycle, the fact that RPA proteins of C. parvum differ from those of its host suggests that RPA be explored as a potential chemotherapeutic target for controlling cryptosporidiosis and/or diseases caused by other apicomplexans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  20. Apicomplexan parasites: environmental contamination and transmission.

    PubMed

    Siński, Edward; Behnke, Jerzy M

    2004-01-01

    The Apicomplexa are a diverse group of intracellular parasitic protists. The majority of species from the classes Coccidea, Haemosporea and Piroplasmea are responsible for widespread diseases of humans and domestic animals. Oocysts of these parasites can persist for long periods of time in the environment (i.e. in water, soil, on vegetation and other food resources), maintaining their infectivity even under harsh environmental conditions and therefore are important for dispersal and transmission to hosts. This review will address the biology, transmission patterns and survival in the environment of Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora and Toxoplasma species, the most common causes of human diseases.

  1. Proteins related to green algal striated fiber assemblin are present in stramenopiles and alveolates.

    PubMed

    Harper, John D I; Thuet, Jacques; Lechtreck, Karl F; Hardham, Adrienne R

    2009-07-01

    In green algae, striated fiber assemblin (SFA) is the major protein of the striated microtubule-associated fibers that are structural elements in the flagellar basal apparatus. Using Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (BLAST) searches of recently established databases, SFA-like sequences were detected in the genomes not only of green algal species but also of a range of other protists. These included species in two alveolate subgroups, the ciliates (Tetrahymena thermophila, Paramecium tetraurelia) and the dinoflagellates (Perkinsus marinus), and two stramenopile subgroups, the oomycetes (Phytophthora sojae, Phytophthora ramorum, Phytophthora infestans) and the diatoms (Thalassiosira pseudonana, Phaeodactylum tricornutum). Together with earlier identification of SFA-like sequences in the apicomplexans, these results indicate that homologs of SFA are present across the alveolates and stramenopiles. Antibodies raised against SFA from the green alga, Spermatozopsis similis, react in immunofluorescence assays with the two basal bodies and an anteriorly directed striated fiber in the flagellar apparatus of biflagellate Phytophthora zoospores.

  2. 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

  3. Malaria sporozoites leave behind trails of circumsporozoite protein during gliding motility.

    PubMed

    Stewart, M J; Vanderberg, J P

    1988-08-01

    As Plasmodium sporozoites undergo gliding motility in vitro, they leave behind trails of circumsporozoite (CS) protein that correspond to their patterns of movement. This light microscopic observation was made using Plasmodium berghei sporozoites, a monoclonal antibody (MAb H4) directed against the immunodominant repetitive epitope of the CS protein of P. berghei, and an immunogold-silver staining (IGSS) technique. Sporozoites pretreated with agents that inhibit sporozoite motility and invasiveness did not produce trails. Sporozoites that glided on microscope slides coated with MAb H4 left behind considerably longer CS protein trails than those on uncoated slides, and the staining of these trails was more intense. The fact that the CS protein is an exoantigen continuously released as trails by motile sporozoites, together with our previous finding that anti-CS protein antibodies inhibit sporozoite motility, strongly suggests that the CS protein plays a role in gliding motility. The sensitive IGSS technique used in this study may be a useful tool in the study of the translocation of surface proteins during gliding of other apicomplexans, other protists, and bacteria.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Zhou, Jian; Lu, Gang; He, Shenyi

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Toxoplasma ISP4 is a central IMC sub-compartment protein whose localization depends on palmitoylation but not myristoylation.

    PubMed

    Fung, Connie; Beck, Josh R; Robertson, Seth D; Gubbels, Marc-Jan; Bradley, Peter J

    2012-08-01

    Apicomplexan parasites utilize a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) to facilitate host cell invasion and parasite replication. We recently identified a novel family of Toxoplasma IMC Sub-compartment Proteins (ISP1/2/3) that localize to sub-domains of the IMC using a targeting mechanism that is dependent on coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation of a series of residues in the N-terminus of the protein. While the precise functions of the ISPs are unknown, deletion of ISP2 results in replication defects, suggesting that this family of proteins plays a role in daughter cell formation. Here we have characterized a fourth ISP family member (ISP4) and discovered that this protein localizes to the central IMC sub-compartment, similar to ISP2. Like ISP1/3, ISP4 is dispensable for the tachyzoite lytic cycle as the disruption of ISP4 does not produce any gross replication or growth defects. Surprisingly, targeting of ISP4 to the IMC membranes is dependent on residues predicted for palmitoylation but not myristoylation, setting its trafficking apart from the other ISP proteins and demonstrating distinct mechanisms of protein localization to the IMC membranes, even within a family of highly related proteins.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. The Plasmodium TRAP/MIC2 family member, TRAP-Like Protein (TLP), is involved in tissue traversal by sporozoites.

    PubMed

    Moreira, Cristina K; Templeton, Thomas J; Lavazec, Catherine; Hayward, Rhian E; Hobbs, Charlotte V; Kroeze, Hans; Janse, Chris J; Waters, Andrew P; Sinnis, Photini; Coppi, Alida

    2008-07-01

    In the apicomplexan protozoans motility and cell invasion are mediated by the TRAP/MIC2 family of transmembrane proteins, members of which link extracellular adhesion to the intracellular actomyosin motor complex. Here we characterize a new member of the TRAP/MIC2 family, named TRAP-Like Protein (TLP), that is highly conserved within the Plasmodium genus. Similar to the Plasmodium sporozoite protein, TRAP, and the ookinete protein, CTRP, TLP possesses an extracellular domain architecture that is comprised of von Willebrand factor A (vWA) and thrombospondin type 1 (TSP1) domains, plus a short cytoplasmic domain. Comparison of the vWA domain of TLP genes from multiple Plasmodium falciparum isolates showed relative low sequence diversity, suggesting that the protein is not under selective pressures of the host immune system. Analysis of transcript levels by quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) showed that TLP is predominantly expressed in salivary gland sporozoites of P. falciparum and P. berghei. Targeted disruption of P. berghei TLP resulted in a decreased capacity for cell traversal by sporozoites, and reduced infectivity of sporozoites in vivo, whereas in vitro sporozoite motility and hepatocyte invasion were unaffected. These results indicate a role of TLP in cell traversal by sporozoites.

  16. A GFP-based motif-trap reveals a novel mechanism of targeting for the Toxoplasma ROP4 protein.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Peter J; Li, Nancy; Boothroyd, John C

    2004-09-01

    The protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii is a highly specialized eukaryote that contains a remarkable number of intracellular compartments, some unique to Apicomplexans and others typical of eukaryotes in general. We have established a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based motif-trap to identify proteins targeted to different intracellular locations and subsequently the signals responsible for this sorting. The motif-trap involves the transfection and integration of a linearized GFP construct which lacks a promoter and an initiator methionine codon. FACS is used to isolate parasites in which GFP fuses in-frame into a coding region followed by screening by fluorescence microscopy for those containing GFP targeted to specific intracellular compartments. GFP trapping was successful using vectors designed for integration into regions encoding exons and vectors that were engineered with a splice acceptor site for integration into regions encoding introns. This strategy differs from most protein traps in that the resulting fusions are expressed from the endogenous promoter and starting methionine. Thus, problems from inappropriate expression levels or the creation of fortuitous targeting signals seen in library-based traps are diminished. Using this approach, we have trapped GFP localized to a number of intracellular compartments including the nucleus, nucleolus, endoplasmic reticulum, cytosol, parasite surface and rhoptries of Toxoplasma. Further analysis of a parasite clone containing GFP targeted to the rhoptries shows GFP fused to the gene encoding the rhoptry protein ROP4 and has elucidated an additional mechanism for targeting of this protein.

  17. A novel family of Toxoplasma IMC proteins displays a hierarchical organization and functions in coordinating parasite division.

    PubMed

    Beck, Josh R; Rodriguez-Fernandez, Imilce A; de Leon, Jessica Cruz; Huynh, My-Hang; Carruthers, Vern B; Morrissette, Naomi S; Bradley, Peter J

    2010-09-09

    Apicomplexans employ a peripheral membrane system called the inner membrane complex (IMC) for critical processes such as host cell invasion and daughter cell formation. We have identified a family of proteins that define novel sub-compartments of the Toxoplasma gondii IMC. These IMC Sub-compartment Proteins, ISP1, 2 and 3, are conserved throughout the Apicomplexa, but do not appear to be present outside the phylum. ISP1 localizes to the apical cap portion of the IMC, while ISP2 localizes to a central IMC region and ISP3 localizes to a central plus basal region of the complex. Targeting of all three ISPs is dependent upon N-terminal residues predicted for coordinated myristoylation and palmitoylation. Surprisingly, we show that disruption of ISP1 results in a dramatic relocalization of ISP2 and ISP3 to the apical cap. Although the N-terminal region of ISP1 is necessary and sufficient for apical cap targeting, exclusion of other family members requires the remaining C-terminal region of the protein. This gate-keeping function of ISP1 reveals an unprecedented mechanism of interactive and hierarchical targeting of proteins to establish these unique sub-compartments in the Toxoplasma IMC. Finally, we show that loss of ISP2 results in severe defects in daughter cell formation during endodyogeny, indicating a role for the ISP proteins in coordinating this unique process of Toxoplasma replication.

  18. 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

  19. Split photosystem protein, linear-mapping topology, and growth of structural complexity in the plastid genome of Chromera velia.

    PubMed

    Janouskovec, Jan; Sobotka, Roman; Lai, De-Hua; Flegontov, Pavel; Koník, Peter; Komenda, Josef; Ali, Shahjahan; Prásil, Ondrej; Pain, Arnab; Oborník, Miroslav; Lukes, Julius; Keeling, Patrick J

    2013-11-01

    The canonical photosynthetic plastid genomes consist of a single circular-mapping chromosome that encodes a highly conserved protein core, involved in photosynthesis and ATP generation. Here, we demonstrate that the plastid genome of the photosynthetic relative of apicomplexans, Chromera velia, departs from this view in several unique ways. Core photosynthesis proteins PsaA and AtpB have been broken into two fragments, which we show are independently transcribed, oligoU-tailed, translated, and assembled into functional photosystem I and ATP synthase complexes. Genome-wide transcription profiles support expression of many other highly modified proteins, including several that contain extensions amounting to hundreds of amino acids in length. Canonical gene clusters and operons have been fragmented and reshuffled into novel putative transcriptional units. Massive genomic coverage by paired-end reads, coupled with pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and polymerase chain reaction, consistently indicate that the C. velia plastid genome is linear-mapping, a unique state among all plastids. Abundant intragenomic duplication probably mediated by recombination can explain protein splits, extensions, and genome linearization and is perhaps the key driving force behind the many features that defy the conventional ways of plastid genome architecture and function.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-01

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

  1. A cascade of DNA-binding proteins for sexual commitment and development in Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Abhinav; Hughes, Katie R; Modrzynska, Katarzyna K; Otto, Thomas D; Pfander, Claudia; Dickens, Nicholas J; Religa, Agnieszka A; Bushell, Ellen; Graham, Anne L; Cameron, Rachael; Kafsack, Bjorn F C; Williams, April E; Llinás, Manuel; Berriman, Matthew; Billker, Oliver; Waters, Andrew P

    2014-03-13

    Commitment to and completion of sexual development are essential for malaria parasites (protists of the genus Plasmodium) to be transmitted through mosquitoes. The molecular mechanism(s) responsible for commitment have been hitherto unknown. Here we show that PbAP2-G, a conserved member of the apicomplexan AP2 (ApiAP2) family of DNA-binding proteins, is essential for the commitment of asexually replicating forms to sexual development in Plasmodium berghei, a malaria parasite of rodents. PbAP2-G was identified from mutations in its encoding gene, PBANKA_143750, which account for the loss of sexual development frequently observed in parasites transmitted artificially by blood passage. Systematic gene deletion of conserved ApiAP2 genes in Plasmodium confirmed the role of PbAP2-G and revealed a second ApiAP2 member (PBANKA_103430, here termed PbAP2-G2) that significantly modulates but does not abolish gametocytogenesis, indicating that a cascade of ApiAP2 proteins are involved in commitment to the production and maturation of gametocytes. The data suggest a mechanism of commitment to gametocytogenesis in Plasmodium consistent with a positive feedback loop involving PbAP2-G that could be exploited to prevent the transmission of this pernicious parasite.

  2. Alveolins, a new family of cortical proteins that define the protist infrakingdom Alveolata.

    PubMed

    Gould, Sven B; Tham, Wai-Hong; Cowman, Alan F; McFadden, Geoffrey I; Waller, Ross F

    2008-06-01

    Alveolates are a recently recognized group of unicellular eukaryotes that unites disparate protists including apicomplexan parasites (which cause malaria and toxoplasmosis), dinoflagellate algae (which cause red tides and are symbionts in many corals), and ciliates (which are microscopic predators and common rumen symbionts). Gene sequence trees provide robust support for the alveolate alliance, but beyond the common presence of membranous sacs (alveoli) subtending the plasma membrane, the group has no unifying morphological feature. We describe a family of proteins, alveolins, associated with these membranous sacs in apicomplexa, dinoflagellates, and ciliates. Alveolins contain numerous simple peptide repeats and are encoded by multigene families. We generated antibodies against a peptide motif common to all alveolins and identified a range of apparently abundant proteins in apicomplexa, dinoflagellates, and ciliates. Immunolocalization reveals that alveolins are associated exclusively with the cortical regions of apicomplexa, dinoflagellates, and ciliates where the alveolar sacs occur. Alveolins are the first molecular nexus between the unifying structures that defines this eukaryotic group. They provide an excellent opportunity to explore the exceptional compartment that was apparently the key to a remarkable diversification of unique protists that occupy a wide array of lifestyle niches.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-02-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Long, Shaojun; Wang, Qiuling

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-05-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. The gatekeeper residue and beyond: homologous calcium-dependent protein kinases as drug development targets for veterinarian Apicomplexa parasites.

    PubMed

    Keyloun, Katelyn R; Reid, Molly C; Choi, Ryan; Song, Yifan; Fox, Anna M W; Hillesland, Heidi K; Zhang, Zhongsheng; Vidadala, Ramasubbarao; Merritt, Ethan A; Lau, Audrey O T; Maly, Dustin J; Fan, Erkang; Barrett, Lynn K; VAN Voorhis, Wesley C; Ojo, Kayode K

    2014-09-01

    Specific roles of individual CDPKs vary, but in general they mediate essential biological functions necessary for parasite survival. A comparative analysis of the structure-activity relationships (SAR) of Neospora caninum, Eimeria tenella and Babesia bovis calcium-dependent protein kinases (CDPKs) together with those of Plasmodium falciparum, Cryptosporidium parvum and Toxoplasma gondii was performed by screening against 333 bumped kinase inhibitors (BKIs). Structural modelling and experimental data revealed that residues other than the gatekeeper influence compound-protein interactions resulting in distinct sensitivity profiles. We subsequently defined potential amino-acid structural influences within the ATP-binding cavity for each orthologue necessary for consideration in the development of broad-spectrum apicomplexan CDPK inhibitors. Although the BKI library was developed for specific inhibition of glycine gatekeeper CDPKs combined with low inhibition of threonine gatekeeper human SRC kinase, some library compounds exhibit activity against serine- or threonine-containing CDPKs. Divergent BKI sensitivity of CDPK homologues could be explained on the basis of differences in the size and orientation of the hydrophobic pocket and specific variation at other amino-acid positions within the ATP-binding cavity. In particular, BbCDPK4 and PfCDPK1 are sensitive to a larger fraction of compounds than EtCDPK1 despite the presence of a threonine gatekeeper in all three CDPKs. PMID:24927073

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. 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. PMID:23369433

  14. Sequential processing of the Toxoplasma apicoplast membrane protein FtsH1 in topologically distinct domains during intracellular trafficking.

    PubMed

    Karnataki, Anuradha; DeRocher, Amy E; Feagin, Jean E; Parsons, Marilyn

    2009-08-01

    FtsH proteins are hexameric transmembrane proteases found in chloroplasts, mitochondria and bacteria. In the protozoan Toxoplasma gondii, FtsH1 is localized to membranes of the apicoplast, a relict chloroplast present in many apicomplexan parasites. We have shown that although T. gondii FtsH1 lacks the typical bipartite targeting presequence seen on apicoplast luminal proteins, it is targeted to the apicoplast via the endoplasmic reticulum. In this report, we show that FtsH1 undergoes processing events to remove both the N- and C-termini, which are topologically separated by the membrane in which FtsH1 is embedded. Pulse-chase analysis showed that N-terminal cleavage precedes C-terminal cleavage. Unlike the processing of the N-terminal transit peptide of luminal proteins, which occurs in the apicoplast, analysis of ER-retained mutants showed that N-terminal processing of FtsH1 occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum. Two of four FtsH1 mutants bearing internal epitope tags accumulated in structures peripheral to the apicoplast, implying that FtsH1 trafficking is highly sensitive to changes in protein structure. These mutant proteins did not undergo C-terminal processing, suggesting that this processing step occurs after localization to the plastid. Mutation of the peptidase active site demonstrated that neither processing event occurs in cis. These data support a model in which multiple proteases act at different points of the trafficking pathway to form mature FtsH1, making its processing more complex than other FtsHs and unique among apicoplast proteins described thus far. PMID:19450729

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-15

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. A Rapid Diagnostic Test for Toxoplasmosis using Recombinant Antigenic N-terminal Half of SAG1 Linked with Intrinsically Unstructured Domain of GRA2 Protein

    PubMed Central

    Song, Kyoung Ju; Yang, Zhaoshou; Chong, Chom-Kyu; Kim, Jin-Soo; Lee, Kyung Chan; Kim, Tong-Soo

    2013-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is an apicomplexan parasite with a broad host range of most warm-blooded mammals including humans, of which one-thirds of the human population has been infected worldwide which can cause congenital defects, abortion, and neonatal complications. Here, we developed a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) for T. gondii infection. Antigenic N-terminal half of the major surface antigen (SAG1) was linked with intrinsically unstructured domain (IUD) of dense granule protein 2 (GRA2). The recombinant GST-GRA2-SAG1A protein was successfully expressed and purified as 51 kDa of molecular weight. Furthermore, antigenicity and solubility of the rGST-GRA2-SAG1A protein were significantly increased. The overall specificity and sensitivity of GST-GRA2-SAG1A loaded RDT (TgRDT) were estimated as 100% and 97.1% by comparing with ELISA result which uses T. gondii whole cell lysates as the antigen. The TgRDT tested with Uganda people sera for field trial and showed 31.9% of seroprevalence against T. gondii antibody. The TgRDT is proved to be a kit for rapid and easy to use with high accuracy, which would be a suitable serodiagnostic tool for toxoplasmosis. PMID:24327774

  18. Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of inner membrane complex (IMC) subcompartment protein 1 (ISP1) from Toxoplasma gondii.

    PubMed

    Tonkin, Michelle L; Brown, Shannon; Beck, Josh R; Bradley, Peter J; Boulanger, Martin J

    2012-07-01

    The protozoan parasites of the Apicomplexa phylum are devastating global pathogens. Their success is largely due to phylum-specific proteins found in specialized organelles and cellular structures. The inner membrane complex (IMC) is a unique apicomplexan structure that is essential for motility, invasion and replication. The IMC subcompartment proteins (ISP) have recently been identified in Toxoplasma gondii and shown to be critical for replication, although their specific mechanisms are unknown. Structural characterization of TgISP1 was pursued in order to identify the fold adopted by the ISPs and to generate detailed insight into how this family of proteins functions during replication. An N-terminally truncated form of TgISP1 was purified from Escherichia coli, crystallized and subjected to X-ray diffraction analysis. Two crystal forms of TgISP1 belonging to space groups P4(1)32 or P4(3)32 and P2(1)2(1)2(1) diffracted to 2.05 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively.

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

    EPA Science Inventory

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

  20. Total protein

    MedlinePlus

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

  1. Protein Microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ricard-Blum, S.

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

  2. Dietary Proteins

    MedlinePlus

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

  3. 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…

  4. 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. PMID:27063980

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

    Rao, Guodong; Oldfield, Eric

    2016-07-26

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

  9. Transport proteins.

    PubMed

    Thatcher, Jack D

    2013-04-16

    This Teaching Resource provides and describes two animated lessons that illustrate general properties of transport proteins. The lesson called "transport protein classes" depicts major classes and subclasses of transport proteins. The "transporters, mechanism of action" lesson explains how transporters and P class ATPase (adenosine triphosphatase) pumps function. These animations serve as valuable resources for any collegiate-level course that describes these important factors. Courses that might use them include introductory biology, biochemistry, cell biology, physiology, and biophysics.

  10. Proteins wriggle.

    PubMed Central

    Cahill, Michael; Cahill, Sean; Cahill, Kevin

    2002-01-01

    We propose an algorithmic strategy for improving the efficiency of Monte Carlo searches for the low-energy states of proteins. Our strategy is motivated by a model of how proteins alter their shapes. In our model, when proteins fold under physiological conditions, their backbone dihedral angles change synchronously in groups of four or more to avoid steric clashes and respect the kinematic conservation laws. They wriggle; they do not thrash. We describe a simple algorithm that can be used to incorporate wriggling in Monte Carlo simulations of protein folding. We have tested this wriggling algorithm against a code in which the dihedral angles are varied independently (thrashing). Our standard of success is the average root-mean-square distance (rmsd) between the alpha-carbons of the folding protein and those of its native structure. After 100,000 Monte Carlo sweeps, the relative decrease in the mean rmsd, as one switches from thrashing to wriggling, rises from 11% for the protein 3LZM with 164 amino acids (aa) to 40% for the protein 1A1S with 313 aa and 47% for the protein 16PK with 415 aa. These results suggest that wriggling is useful and that its utility increases with the size of the protein. One may implement wriggling on a parallel computer or a computer farm. PMID:11964253

  11. Molecular cloning and characterization of mitogen-activated protein kinase 2 in Toxoplasma gondii

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Huan; Ma, Yan Fen; Bao, Yi; Lee, Hattie; Lisanti, Michael P; Tanowitz, Herbert B

    2011-01-01

    Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways are major signal transduction systems by which eukaryotic cells convert environmental cues to intracellular events, such as cell proliferation and differentiation. Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan that is both a human and animal pathogen. This Apicomplexan causes significant morbidity and mortality in immune-competent and immune-compromised hosts. In humans, the most common manifestations of T. gondii infections are chorioretinitis in congenital infection and encephalitis in immune-compromised patients, such as patients with advanced AIDS. We have identified a T. gondii homolog of the MAPK family that we have called TgMAPK2. Sequence analyses demonstrated that TgMAPK2 has homology with lower eukaryotic ERK2 but has significant differences from mammalian ERK2. TgMAPK2 has an open reading frame of 2,037 bp, 678 amino acids, and its molecular weight is 73.1 kDa. It contains the typical 12 subdomains of a MAPK and has a TDY motif in the dual phosphorylation and activation subdomains. This suggests that TgMAPK2 may play an important role in stress response. Recombinant TgMAPK2 was catalytically active and was not inhibited by a human ERK2 inhibitor, FR180204. A partial TgMAPK2 lacking the ATP-binding motifs GxGxxGxV was successfully regulated by a ligand-controlled destabilization domain (ddFKBP) expression vector system in T. gondii. Since TgMAPK2 is significantly different from its mammalian counterpart, it may be useful as a drug target. This work establishes a foundation for further study for this unique kinase. PMID:22030559

  12. 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.

  13. Bacteriophage protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  14. 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...

  15. Protein electrophoresis - serum

    MedlinePlus

    ... of protein and fat, called lipoproteins (such as LDL cholesterol). ... globulin proteins may indicate: Abnormally low level of LDL cholesterol Malnutrition Increased gamma globulin proteins may indicate: Bone ...

  16. Protein sulfhydration.

    PubMed

    Paul, Bindu D; Snyder, Solomon H

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is one of the gasotransmitters that modulates various biological processes and participates in multiple signaling pathways. H2S signals by a process termed sulfhydration. Sulfhydration has recently been recognized as a posttranslational modification similar to nitrosylation. Sulfhydration occurs at reactive cysteine residues in proteins and results in the conversion of an -SH group of cysteine to an -SSH or a persulfide group. Sulfhydration is highly prevalent in vivo, and aberrant sulfhydration patterns have been observed under several pathological conditions ranging from heart disease to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease. The biotin switch assay, originally developed to detect nitrosylation, has been modified to detect sulfhydration. In this chapter, we discuss the physiological roles of sulfhydration and the methodologies used to detect this modification.

  17. Fusion-protein-assisted protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    Kobe, Bostjan; Ve, Thomas; Williams, Simon J

    2015-07-01

    Fusion proteins can be used directly in protein crystallization to assist crystallization in at least two different ways. In one approach, the `heterologous fusion-protein approach', the fusion partner can provide additional surface area to promote crystal contact formation. In another approach, the `fusion of interacting proteins approach', protein assemblies can be stabilized by covalently linking the interacting partners. The linker connecting the proteins plays different roles in the two applications: in the first approach a rigid linker is required to reduce conformational heterogeneity; in the second, conversely, a flexible linker is required that allows the native interaction between the fused proteins. The two approaches can also be combined. The recent applications of fusion-protein technology in protein crystallization from the work of our own and other laboratories are briefly reviewed.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Protein immobilization strategies for protein biochips.

    PubMed

    Rusmini, Federica; Zhong, Zhiyuan; Feijen, Jan

    2007-06-01

    In the past few years, protein biochips have emerged as promising proteomic and diagnostic tools for obtaining information about protein functions and interactions. Important technological innovations have been made. However, considerable development is still required, especially regarding protein immobilization, in order to fully realize the potential of protein biochips. In fact, protein immobilization is the key to the success of microarray technology. Proteins need to be immobilized onto surfaces with high density in order to allow the usage of small amount of sample solution. Nonspecific protein adsorption needs to be avoided or at least minimized in order to improve detection performances. Moreover, full retention of protein conformation and activity is a challenging task to be accomplished. Although a large number of review papers on protein biochips have been published in recent years, few have focused on protein immobilization technology. In this review, current protein immobilization strategies, including physical, covalent, and bioaffinity immobilization for the fabrication of protein biochips, are described. Particular consideration has been given to oriented immobilization, also referred to as site-specific immobilization, which is believed will improve homogeneous surface covering and accessibility of the active site.

  3. 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

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

    2012-10-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. Nanotechnologies in protein microarrays.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Protein domain architectures.

    PubMed

    Mulder, Nicola J

    2010-01-01

    Proteins are composed of functional units, or domains, that can be found alone or in combination with other domains. Analysis of protein domain architectures and the movement of protein domains within and across different genomes provide clues about the evolution of protein function. The classification of proteins into families and domains is provided through publicly available tools and databases that use known protein domains to predict other members in new proteins sequences. Currently at least 80% of the main protein sequence databases can be classified using these tools, thus providing a large data set to work from for analyzing protein domain architectures. Each of the protein domain databases provide intuitive web interfaces for viewing and analyzing their domain classifications and provide their data freely for downloading. Some of the main protein family and domain databases are described here, along with their Web-based tools for analyzing domain architectures.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Inferring Protein Associations Using Protein Pulldown Assays

    SciTech Connect

    Sharp, Julia L.; Anderson, Kevin K.; Daly, Don S.; Auberry, Deanna L.; Borkowski, John J.; Cannon, William R.

    2007-02-01

    Background: One method to infer protein-protein associations is through a “bait-prey pulldown” assay using a protein affinity agent and an LC-MS (liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry)-based protein identification method. False positive and negative protein identifications are not uncommon, however, leading to incorrect inferences. Methods: A pulldown experiment generates a protein association matrix wherein each column represents a sample from one bait protein, each row represents one prey protein and each cell contains a presence/absence association indicator. Our method evaluates the presence/absence pattern across a prey protein (row) with a Likelihood Ratio Test (LRT), computing its p-value with simulated LRT test statistic distributions after a check with simulated binomial random variates disqualified the large sample 2 test. A pulldown experiment often involves hundreds of tests so we apply the false discovery rate method to control the false positive rate. Based on the p-value, each prey protein is assigned a category (specific association, non-specific association, or not associated) and appraised with respect to the pulldown experiment’s goal and design. The method is illustrated using a pulldown experiment investigating the protein complexes of Shewanella oneidensis MR-1. Results: The Monte Carlo simulated LRT p-values objectively reveal specific and ubiquitous prey, as well as potential systematic errors. The example analysis shows the results to be biologically sensible and more realistic than the ad hoc screening methods previously utilized. Conclusions: The method presented appears to be informative for screening for protein-protein associations.

  12. Mirror image proteins.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Le; Lu, Wuyuan

    2014-10-01

    Proteins composed entirely of unnatural d-amino acids and the achiral amino acid glycine are mirror image forms of their native l-protein counterparts. Recent advances in chemical protein synthesis afford unique and facile synthetic access to domain-sized mirror image d-proteins, enabling protein research to be conducted through 'the looking glass' and in a way previously unattainable. d-Proteins can facilitate structure determination of their native l-forms that are difficult to crystallize (racemic X-ray crystallography); d-proteins can serve as the bait for library screening to ultimately yield pharmacologically superior d-peptide/d-protein therapeutics (mirror-image phage display); d-proteins can also be used as a powerful mechanistic tool for probing molecular events in biology. This review examines recent progress in the application of mirror image proteins to structural biology, drug discovery, and immunology.

  13. High-throughput and multiplexed protein array technology: protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    Sakanyan, Vehary

    2005-02-01

    Miniaturized protein arrays address protein interactions with various types of molecules in a high-throughput and multiplexed fashion. This review focuses on achievements in the analysis of protein-DNA and protein-protein interactions. The technological feasibility of protein arrays depends on the different factors that enable the arrayed proteins to recognize molecular partners and on the specificity of the interactions involved. Proteome-scale studies of molecular interactions require high-throughput approaches for both the production and purification of functionally active proteins. Various solutions have been proposed to avoid non-specific protein interactions on array supports and to monitor low-abundance molecules. The data accumulated indicate that this emerging technology is perfectly suited to resolve networks of protein interactions involved in complex physiological and pathological phenomena in different organisms and to develop sensitive tools for biomedical applications.

  14. 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.

  15. [Protein expression and purification].

    PubMed

    Růčková, E; Müller, P; Vojtěšek, B

    2014-01-01

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

  16. Urine Protein and Urine Protein to Creatinine Ratio

    MedlinePlus

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

  17. Designing Fluorinated Proteins.

    PubMed

    Marsh, E N G

    2016-01-01

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

  18. DNA mimicry by proteins.

    PubMed

    Dryden, D T F; Tock, M R

    2006-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. Protein and protein hydrolysates in sports nutrition.

    PubMed

    van Loon, Luc J C; Kies, Arie K; Saris, Wim H M

    2007-08-01

    With the increasing knowledge about the role of nutrition in increasing exercise performance, it has become clear over the last 2 decades that amino acids, protein, and protein hydrolysates can play an important role. Most of the attention has been focused on their effects at a muscular level. As these nutrients are ingested, however, it also means that gastrointestinal digestibility and absorption can modulate their efficacy significantly. Therefore, discussing the role of amino acids, protein, and protein hydrolysates in sports nutrition entails holding a discussion on all levels of the metabolic route. On May 28-29, 2007, a small group of researchers active in the field of exercise science and protein metabolism presented an overview of the different aspects of the application of protein and protein hydrolysates in sports nutrition. In addition, they were asked to share their opinions on the future progress in their fields of research. In this overview, an introduction to the workshop and a short summary of its outcome is provided.

  1. Engineering fluorescent proteins.

    PubMed

    Miyawaki, Atsushi; Nagai, Takeharu; Mizuno, Hideaki

    2005-01-01

    Green fluorescent protein from the jellyfish Aequorea victora (GFP) and GFP-like proteins from Anthozoa species encode light-absorbing chromophores intrinsically within their respective protein sequences. Recent studies have made progress in obtaining bright variants of these proteins which develop chromophores quickly and efficiently, as well as novel fluorescent proteins that photoactivate or photoconvert, i.e., become fluorescent or change colors upon illumination at specific wavelengths. Also, monomeric versions of these proteins have been engineered for fusion protein applications. Simple GFP variants and circularly permuted GFP variants have been used to develop fluorescent probes that sense physiological signals such as membrane potential and concentrations of free calcium. Further molecular characterization of the structure and maturation of these proteins is in progress, aimed at providing information for rational design of variants with desired fluorescence properties.

  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. 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 ...

  4. 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 ...

  5. [Protein-losing enteropathy].

    PubMed

    Amiot, A

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Protein and older adults.

    PubMed

    Chernoff, Ronni

    2004-12-01

    Body composition changes as people get older. One of the noteworthy alterations is the reduction in total body protein. A decrease in skeletal muscle is the most noticeable manifestation of this change but there is also a reduction in other physiologic proteins such as organ tissue, blood components, and immune bodies as well as declines in total body potassium and water. This contributes to impaired wound healing, loss of skin elasticity, and an inability to fight infection. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for adults for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. Protein tissue accounts for 30% of whole-body protein turnover but that rate declines to 20% or less by age 70. The result of this phenomenon is that older adults require more protein/kilogram body weight than do younger adults. Recently, it has become clear that the requirement for exogenous protein is at least 1.0 gram/kilogram body weight. Adequate dietary intake of protein may be more difficult for older adults to obtain. Dietary animal protein is the primary source of high biological value protein, iron, vitamin B(12), folic acid, biotin and other essential nutrients. In fact, egg protein is the standard against which all other proteins are compared. Compared to other high-quality protein sources like meat, poultry and seafood, eggs are the least expensive. The importance of dietary protein cannot be underestimated in the diets of older adults; inadequate protein intake contributes to a decrease in reserve capacity, increased skin fragility, decreased immune function, poorer healing, and longer recuperation from illness.

  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. 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…

  9. 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.

  10. 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…

  11. CSF total protein

    MedlinePlus

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

  12. 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

  13. Viral complement regulatory proteins.

    PubMed

    Rosengard, A M; Ahearn, J M

    1999-05-01

    The inactivation of complement provides cells and tissues critical protection from complement-mediated attack and decreases the associated recruitment of other inflammatory mediators. In an attempt to evade the host immune response, viruses have evolved two mechanisms to acquire complement regulatory proteins. They can directly seize the host cell complement regulators onto their outer envelope and/or they can produce their own proteins which are either secreted into the neighboring intercellular space or expressed as membrane-bound proteins on the infected host cell. The following review will concentrate on the viral homologues of the mammalian complement regulatory proteins, specifically those containing complement control protein (CCP) repeats. PMID:10408371

  14. 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.

  15. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

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

    2012-05-01

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

  16. Highly thermostable fluorescent proteins

    DOEpatents

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

    2011-11-29

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

  17. Selective Precipitation of Proteins.

    PubMed

    Matulis, Daumantas

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  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. Forces stabilizing proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2014-06-27

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

  1. Clinical protein mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Scherl, Alexander

    2015-06-15

    Quantitative protein analysis is routinely performed in clinical chemistry laboratories for diagnosis, therapeutic monitoring, and prognosis. Today, protein assays are mostly performed either with non-specific detection methods or immunoassays. Mass spectrometry (MS) is a very specific analytical method potentially very well suited for clinical laboratories. Its unique advantage relies in the high specificity of the detection. Any protein sequence variant, the presence of a post-translational modification or degradation will differ in mass and structure, and these differences will appear in the mass spectrum of the protein. On the other hand, protein MS is a relatively young technique, demanding specialized personnel and expensive instrumentation. Many scientists and opinion leaders predict MS to replace immunoassays for routine protein analysis, but there are only few protein MS applications routinely used in clinical chemistry laboratories today. The present review consists of a didactical introduction summarizing the pros and cons of MS assays compared to immunoassays, the different instrumentations, and various MS protein assays that have been proposed and/or are used in clinical laboratories. An important distinction is made between full length protein analysis (top-down method) and peptide analysis after enzymatic digestion of the proteins (bottom-up method) and its implication for the protein assay. The document ends with an outlook on what type of analyses could be used in the future, and for what type of applications MS has a clear advantage compared to immunoassays.

  2. Forces Stabilizing Proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Protein Complexes in Bacteria

    PubMed Central

    Caufield, J. Harry; Abreu, Marco; Wimble, Christopher; Uetz, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Large-scale analyses of protein complexes have recently become available for Escherichia coli and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, yielding 443 and 116 heteromultimeric soluble protein complexes, respectively. We have coupled the results of these mass spectrometry-characterized protein complexes with the 285 “gold standard” protein complexes identified by EcoCyc. A comparison with databases of gene orthology, conservation, and essentiality identified proteins conserved or lost in complexes of other species. For instance, of 285 “gold standard” protein complexes in E. coli, less than 10% are fully conserved among a set of 7 distantly-related bacterial “model” species. Complex conservation follows one of three models: well-conserved complexes, complexes with a conserved core, and complexes with partial conservation but no conserved core. Expanding the comparison to 894 distinct bacterial genomes illustrates fractional conservation and the limits of co-conservation among components of protein complexes: just 14 out of 285 model protein complexes are perfectly conserved across 95% of the genomes used, yet we predict more than 180 may be partially conserved across at least half of the genomes. No clear relationship between gene essentiality and protein complex conservation is observed, as even poorly conserved complexes contain a significant number of essential proteins. Finally, we identify 183 complexes containing well-conserved components and uncharacterized proteins which will be interesting targets for future experimental studies. PMID:25723151

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Racemic protein crystallography.

    PubMed

    Yeates, Todd O; Kent, Stephen B H

    2012-01-01

    Although natural proteins are chiral and are all of one "handedness," their mirror image forms can be prepared by chemical synthesis. This opens up new opportunities for protein crystallography. A racemic mixture of the enantiomeric forms of a protein molecule can crystallize in ways that natural proteins cannot. Recent experimental data support a theoretical prediction that this should make racemic protein mixtures highly amenable to crystallization. Crystals obtained from racemic mixtures also offer advantages in structure determination strategies. The relevance of these potential advantages is heightened by advances in synthetic methods, which are extending the size limit for proteins that can be prepared by chemical synthesis. Recent ideas and results in the area of racemic protein crystallography are reviewed.

  7. Pigment-protein complexes

    SciTech Connect

    Siegelman, H W

    1980-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. Toxic proteins in plants.

    PubMed

    Dang, Liuyi; Van Damme, Els J M

    2015-09-01

    Plants have evolved to synthesize a variety of noxious compounds to cope with unfavorable circumstances, among which a large group of toxic proteins that play a critical role in plant defense against predators and microbes. Up to now, a wide range of harmful proteins have been discovered in different plants, including lectins, ribosome-inactivating proteins, protease inhibitors, ureases, arcelins, antimicrobial peptides and pore-forming toxins. To fulfill their role in plant defense, these proteins exhibit various degrees of toxicity towards animals, insects, bacteria or fungi. Numerous studies have been carried out to investigate the toxic effects and mode of action of these plant proteins in order to explore their possible applications. Indeed, because of their biological activities, toxic plant proteins are also considered as potentially useful tools in crop protection and in biomedical applications, such as cancer treatment. Genes encoding toxic plant proteins have been introduced into crop genomes using genetic engineering technology in order to increase the plant's resistance against pathogens and diseases. Despite the availability of ample information on toxic plant proteins, very few publications have attempted to summarize the research progress made during the last decades. This review focuses on the diversity of toxic plant proteins in view of their toxicity as well as their mode of action. Furthermore, an outlook towards the biological role(s) of these proteins and their potential applications is discussed.

  10. 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

  11. Energy design for protein-protein interactions

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  12. Neutrophil extracellular traps as innate immune reaction against the emerging apicomplexan parasite Besnoitia besnoiti.

    PubMed

    Muñoz Caro, Tamara; Hermosilla, Carlos; Silva, Liliana M R; Cortes, Helder; Taubert, Anja

    2014-01-01

    Besnoitia besnoiti infection in cattle is an important emerging protozoan disease in Europe causing economic losses and severe clinical signs, such as generalized dermatitis, orchitis, and vulvitis in affected animals. Neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation was recently demonstrated as an important effector mechanism of PMN acting against several invading pathogens. In the present study, interactions of bovine PMN with tachyzoites of B. besnoiti were investigated in this respect in vitro. For the demonstration and quantification of NETs, extracellular DNA was stained by Sytox Orange or Pico Green. Fluorescent illustrations as well as scanning electron microscopy analyses (SEM) showed PMN-promoted NET formation rapidly being induced upon contact with B. besnoiti tachyzoites. Co-localization of extracellular DNA with histones, neutrophil elastase (NE) and myeloperoxidase (MPO) in parasite entrapping structures confirmed the classical characteristics of NET. Exposure of PMN to viable, UV attenuated and dead tachyzoites showed a significant induction of NET formation, but even tachyzoite homogenates significantly promoted NETs when compared to negative controls. NETs were abolished by DNase treatment and were reduced after PMN preincubation with NADPH oxidase-, NE- and MPO-inhibitors. Tachyzoite-triggered NET formation led to parasite entrapment as quantitative assays indicated that about one third of tachyzoites were immobilized in NETs. In consequence, tachyzoites were hampered from active invasion of host cells. Thus, transfer of tachyzoites, previously being confronted with PMN, to adequate host cells resulted in significantly reduced infection rates when compared to PMN-free infection controls. To our knowledge, we here report for the first time B. besnoiti-induced NET formation. Our results indicate that PMN-triggered extracellular traps may represent an important effector mechanism of the host early innate immune response against B. besnoiti which may lead to diminishment of initial parasite infection rates during the acute infection phase. PMID:24618849

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Genotypic diversity, a survival strategy for the apicomplexan parasite Theileria parva.

    PubMed

    Katzer, F; Ngugi, D; Walker, A R; McKeever, D J

    2010-02-10

    The tick-borne protozoan parasite Theileria parva causes East Coast fever (ECF), a severe lymphoproliferative disease of cattle that is a major constraint to the improvement of livestock in eastern, central and southern Africa. Studies in cattle experimentally infected with T. parva have shown that the protective cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response is tightly focused, with individual animals recognizing only one or two dominant antigens, the identity of which varies with MHC class I phenotype. It is well known that cross-protection between T. parva stocks is limited, but precise evaluation of genetic diversity in field populations of the parasite has been hampered by a lack of molecular markers spanning the genome. A recently described panel of satellite markers has provided evidence for substantial genotypic diversity and recombination but does not provide cover for large segments of the genome. To address this deficiency, we undertook to identify additional polymorphic markers covering these regions and we report herein 42 newly identified PCR-RFLP markers distributed across the 4 T. parva chromosomes, as well as 19 new satellite markers for chromosomes 1 and 2. This brings the total number of available polymorphic markers to 141 for the 8.5 Mb genome. We have used these markers to characterise existing parasite stabilates and have also shown that passage of the parasite through naïve cattle and ticks can lead to substantial changes of parasite populations in resulting stabilates. These markers have also been used to show that passage of mixed parasites through an immunised calf results in the removal of the immunising genotype from the parasite population produced by ticks fed on this animal. PMID:19837514

  15. 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 ...

  16. 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 ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-22

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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Principles of Flexible Protein-Protein Docking

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Smith, Valerie J; Dyrynda, Elisabeth A

    2015-12-01

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

  6. Electrophoretic separation of proteins.

    PubMed

    Chakavarti, Bulbul; Chakavarti, Deb

    2008-01-01

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

  7. Functional Protein Microarray Technology

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Shaohui; Xie, Zhi; Qian, Jiang; Blackshaw, Seth; Zhu, Heng

    2010-01-01

    Functional protein microarrays are emerging as a promising new tool for large-scale and high-throughput studies. In this article, we will review their applications in basic proteomics research, where various types of assays have been developed to probe binding activities to other biomolecules, such as proteins, DNA, RNA, small molecules, and glycans. We will also report recent progress of using functional protein microarrays in profiling protein posttranslational modifications, including phosphorylation, ubiquitylation, acetylation, and nitrosylation. Finally, we will discuss potential of functional protein microarrays in biomarker identification and clinical diagnostics. We strongly believe that functional protein microarrays will soon become an indispensible and invaluable tool in proteomics research and systems biology. PMID:20872749

  8. 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

  9. 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)

  10. 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.

  11. Protein oxidation and peroxidation.

    PubMed

    Davies, Michael J

    2016-04-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Protein-Losing Gastroenteropathy

    PubMed Central

    Pops, Martin A.

    1966-01-01

    In the past 10 years with the development of improved methods, particularly radioisotope techniques, it has been demonstrated that a number of patients with gastrointestinal disease and depletion of plasma proteins become hypoproteinemic because of actual leakage of albumin and other plasma proteins into the lumen of the gastrointestinal tract. The site of protein leakage is variable depending on the underlying pathological state but the loss of protein-containing lymph through the gastrointestinal lymphatic channels seems to be the major mechanism for hypoproteinemia. It has become apparent that there exists a normal mechanism for secretion of plasma proteins into the gastrointestinal tract as part of the overall metabolism of the plasma proteins. When the process is exaggerated so that resynthesis of plasma protein cannot keep pace with its degradation, sometimes severe hypoproteinemia is the result. Such a pathological process has now been described in approximately 40 disease states. A review of all the techniques which can demonstrate gastroenteric protein loss reveals that there are no widely available quantitative tests but that accurate quantitation is not necessary for the diagnosis of protein losing gastroenteropathy. PMID:18730025

  15. 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.

  16. Acanthamoeba castellanii STAT protein.

    PubMed

    Kicinska, Anna; Leluk, Jacek; Jarmuszkiewicz, Wieslawa

    2014-01-01

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

  17. The Halophile protein database.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Naveen; Farooqi, Mohammad Samir; Chaturvedi, Krishna Kumar; Lal, Shashi Bhushan; Grover, Monendra; Rai, Anil; Pandey, Pankaj

    2014-01-01

    Halophilic archaea/bacteria adapt to different salt concentration, namely extreme, moderate and low. These type of adaptations may occur as a result of modification of protein structure and other changes in different cell organelles. Thus proteins may play an important role in the adaptation of halophilic archaea/bacteria to saline conditions. The Halophile protein database (HProtDB) is a systematic attempt to document the biochemical and biophysical properties of proteins from halophilic archaea/bacteria which may be involved in adaptation of these organisms to saline conditions. In this database, various physicochemical properties such as molecular weight, theoretical pI, amino acid composition, atomic composition, estimated half-life, instability index, aliphatic index and grand average of hydropathicity (Gravy) have been listed. These physicochemical properties play an important role in identifying the protein structure, bonding pattern and function of the specific proteins. This database is comprehensive, manually curated, non-redundant catalogue of proteins. The database currently contains 59 897 proteins properties extracted from 21 different strains of halophilic archaea/bacteria. The database can be accessed through link. Database URL: http://webapp.cabgrid.res.in/protein/

  18. Moonlighting proteins in cancer.

    PubMed

    Min, Kyung-Won; Lee, Seong-Ho; Baek, Seung Joon

    2016-01-01

    Since the 1980s, growing evidence suggested that the cellular localization of proteins determined their activity and biological functions. In a classical view, a protein is characterized by the single cellular compartment where it primarily resides and functions. It is now believed that when proteins appear in different subcellular locations, the cells surpass the expected activity of proteins given the same genomic information to fulfill complex biological behavior. Many proteins are recognized for having the potential to exist in multiple locations in cells. Dysregulation of translocation may cause cancer or contribute to poorer cancer prognosis. Thus, quantitative and comprehensive assessment of dynamic proteins and associated protein movements could be a promising indicator in determining cancer prognosis and efficiency of cancer treatment and therapy. This review will summarize these so-called moonlighting proteins, in terms of a coupled intracellular cancer signaling pathway. Determination of the detailed biological intracellular and extracellular transit and regulatory activity of moonlighting proteins permits a better understanding of cancer and identification of potential means of molecular intervention.

  19. Biomolecular membrane protein crystallization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  20. Glycolipid transfer proteins

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Rhoderick E.; Mattjus, Peter

    2007-01-01

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Protein metabolism and requirements.

    PubMed

    Biolo, Gianni

    2013-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. Interolog interfaces in protein-protein docking.

    PubMed

    Alsop, James D; Mitchell, Julie C

    2015-11-01

    Proteins are essential elements of biological systems, and their function typically relies on their ability to successfully bind to specific partners. Recently, an emphasis of study into protein interactions has been on hot spots, or residues in the binding interface that make a significant contribution to the binding energetics. In this study, we investigate how conservation of hot spots can be used to guide docking prediction. We show that the use of evolutionary data combined with hot spot prediction highlights near-native structures across a range of benchmark examples. Our approach explores various strategies for using hot spots and evolutionary data to score protein complexes, using both absolute and chemical definitions of conservation along with refinements to these strategies that look at windowed conservation and filtering to ensure a minimum number of hot spots in each binding partner. Finally, structure-based models of orthologs were generated for comparison with sequence-based scoring. Using two data sets of 22 and 85 examples, a high rate of top 10 and top 1 predictions are observed, with up to 82% of examples returning a top 10 hit and 35% returning top 1 hit depending on the data set and strategy applied; upon inclusion of the native structure among the decoys, up to 55% of examples yielded a top 1 hit. The 20 common examples between data sets show that more carefully curated interolog data yields better predictions, particularly in achieving top 1 hits. Proteins 2015; 83:1940-1946. © 2015 The Authors. Proteins: Structure, Function, and Bioinformatics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. The folate binding proteins.

    PubMed

    Corrocher, R; Olivieri, O; Pacor, M L

    1991-01-01

    Folates are essential molecules for cell life and, not surprisingly, their transport in biological fluids and their transfer to cells are finely regulated. Folate binding proteins play a major role in this regulation. This paper will review our knowledge on these proteins and examine the most recent advances in this field. PMID:1820987

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  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. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. Protein Binding Pocket Dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-17

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

  1. Protein Binding Pocket Dynamics.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-17

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

  2. Fullerene sorting proteins.

    PubMed

    Calvaresi, Matteo; Zerbetto, Francesco

    2011-07-01

    Proteins bind fullerenes. Hydrophobic pockets can accommodate a carbon cage either in full or in part. However, the identification of proteins able to discriminate between different cages is an open issue. Prediction of candidates able to perform this function is desirable and is achieved with an inverse docking procedure that accurately accounts for (i) van der Waals interactions between the cage and the protein surface, (ii) desolvation free energy, (iii) shape complementarity, and (iv) minimization of the number of steric clashes through conformational variations. A set of more than 1000 protein structures is divided into four categories that either select C(60) or C(70) (p-C(60) or p-C(70)) and either accommodate the cages in the same pocket (homosaccic proteins, from σακκoζ meaning pocket) or in different pockets (heterosaccic proteins). In agreement with the experiments, the KcsA Potassium Channel is predicted to have one of the best performances for both cages. Possible ways to exploit the results and efficiently separate the two cages with proteins are also discussed.

  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. PSC: protein surface classification.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Yan Yuan; Li, Wen-Hsiung

    2012-07-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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. PMID:24579057

  7. Protein microarrays: prospects and problems.

    PubMed

    Kodadek, T

    2001-02-01

    Protein microarrays are potentially powerful tools in biochemistry and molecular biology. Two types of protein microarrays are defined. One, termed a protein function array, will consist of thousands of native proteins immobilized in a defined pattern. Such arrays can be utilized for massively parallel testing of protein function, hence the name. The other type is termed a protein-detecting array. This will consist of large numbers of arrayed protein-binding agents. These arrays will allow for expression profiling to be done at the protein level. In this article, some of the major technological challenges to the development of protein arrays are discussed, along with potential solutions.

  8. Phospholipid transfer proteins revisited.

    PubMed Central

    Wirtz, K W

    1997-01-01

    Phosphatidylinositol transfer protein (PI-TP) and the non-specific lipid transfer protein (nsL-TP) (identical with sterol carrier protein 2) belong to the large and diverse family of intracellular lipid-binding proteins. Although these two proteins may express a comparable phospholipid transfer activity in vitro, recent studies in yeast and mammalian cells have indicated that they serve completely different functions. PI-TP (identical with yeast SEC14p) plays an important role in vesicle flow both in the budding reaction from the trans-Golgi network and in the fusion reaction with the plasma membrane. In yeast, vesicle budding is linked to PI-TP regulating Golgi phosphatidylcholine (PC) biosynthesis with the apparent purpose of maintaining an optimal PI/PC ratio of the Golgi complex. In mammalian cells, vesicle flow appears to be dependent on PI-TP stimulating phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) synthesis. This latter process may also be linked to the ability of PI-TP to reconstitute the receptor-controlled PIP2-specific phospholipase C activity. The nsL-TP is a peroxisomal protein which, by its ability to bind fatty acyl-CoAs, is most likely involved in the beta-oxidation of fatty acids in this organelle. This protein constitutes the N-terminus of the 58 kDa protein which is one of the peroxisomal 3-oxo-acyl-CoA thiolases. Further studies on these and other known phospholipid transfer proteins are bound to reveal new insights in their important role as mediators between lipid metabolism and cell functions. PMID:9182690

  9. (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.

  10. Structure Prediction of Protein Complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, Brian; Weng, Zhiping

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

  11. Piezoelectric allostery of protein.

    PubMed

    Ohnuki, Jun; Sato, Takato; Takano, Mitsunori

    2016-07-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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

  17. Amino acids and proteins.

    PubMed

    van Goudoever, Johannes B; Vlaardingerbroek, Hester; van den Akker, Chris H; de Groof, Femke; van der Schoor, Sophie R D

    2014-01-01

    Amino acids and protein are key factors for growth. The neonatal period requires the highest intake in life to meet the demands. Those demands include amino acids for growth, but proteins and amino acids also function as signalling molecules and function as neurotransmitters. Often the nutritional requirements are not met, resulting in a postnatal growth restriction. However, current knowledge on adequate levels of both amino acid as well as protein intake can avoid under nutrition in the direct postnatal phase, avoid the need for subsequent catch-up growth and improve later outcome.

  18. 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.

  19. The protein-protein interaction map of Helicobacter pylori.

    PubMed

    Rain, J C; Selig, L; De Reuse, H; Battaglia, V; Reverdy, C; Simon, S; Lenzen, G; Petel, F; Wojcik, J; Schächter, V; Chemama, Y; Labigne, A; Legrain, P

    2001-01-11

    With the availability of complete DNA sequences for many prokaryotic and eukaryotic genomes, and soon for the human genome itself, it is important to develop reliable proteome-wide approaches for a better understanding of protein function. As elementary constituents of cellular protein complexes and pathways, protein-protein interactions are key determinants of protein function. Here we have built a large-scale protein-protein interaction map of the human gastric pathogen Helicobacter pylori. We have used a high-throughput strategy of the yeast two-hybrid assay to screen 261 H. pylori proteins against a highly complex library of genome-encoded polypeptides. Over 1,200 interactions were identified between H. pylori proteins, connecting 46.6% of the proteome. The determination of a reliability score for every single protein-protein interaction and the identification of the actual interacting domains permitted the assignment of unannotated proteins to biological pathways.

  20. Dietary Proteins and Angiogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Medina, Miguel Ángel; Quesada, Ana R.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24445377

  1. 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

  2. Densonucleosis virus structural proteins.

    PubMed

    Kelly, D C; Moore, N F; Spilling, C R; Barwise, A H; Walker, I O

    1980-10-01

    The protein coats of two densonucleosis viruses (types 1 and 2) were examined by a variety of biophysical, biochemical, and serological techniques. The viruses were 24 nm in diameter, contained at least four polypeptides, were remarkably stable to extremes of pH and denaturing agents, and were serologically closely related. The two viruses could, however, be distinguished serologically and by differences in migration of their structural polypeptides. For each virus the "top component" (i.e., the protein coat minus DNA, found occurring naturally in infections) appeared to have a composition identical to that of the coat of the virus and was a more stable structure. Electrometric titration curves of the virus particles and top components demonstrated that the DNA phosphate in densonucleosis virus particles was neutralized by cations other than basic amino acid side chains of the protein coat. Circular dichroism studies showed that there was a conformational difference between the protein coats of top components and virus particles.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. C-reactive protein

    MedlinePlus

    ... body. It is one of a group of proteins called "acute phase reactants" that go up in response to inflammation. This article discusses the blood test done to measure the amount of CRP in your blood.

  6. Protein fabrication automation.

    PubMed

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

    2007-03-01

    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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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.

  9. Protein tyrosine nitration

    PubMed Central

    Chaki, Mounira; Leterrier, Marina; Barroso, Juan B

    2009-01-01

    Nitric oxide metabolism in plant cells has a relative short history. Nitration is a chemical process which consists of introducing a nitro group (-NO2) into a chemical compound. in biological systems, this process has been found in different molecules such as proteins, lipids and nucleic acids that can affect its function. This mini-review offers an overview of this process with special emphasis on protein tyrosine nitration in plants and its involvement in the process of nitrosative stress. PMID:19826215

  10. The Malignant Protein Puzzle.

    PubMed

    Walker, Lary C; Jucker, Mathias

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Bence-Jones protein - quantitative

    MedlinePlus

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

  12. 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.

  13. Cardiolipin Interactions with Proteins.

    PubMed

    Planas-Iglesias, Joan; Dwarakanath, Himal; Mohammadyani, Dariush; Yanamala, Naveena; Kagan, Valerian E; Klein-Seetharaman, Judith

    2015-09-15

    Cardiolipins (CL) represent unique phospholipids of bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria with four acyl chains and two phosphate groups that have been implicated in numerous functions from energy metabolism to apoptosis. Many proteins are known to interact with CL, and several cocrystal structures of protein-CL complexes exist. In this work, we describe the collection of the first systematic and, to the best of our knowledge, the comprehensive gold standard data set of all known CL-binding proteins. There are 62 proteins in this data set, 21 of which have nonredundant crystal structures with bound CL molecules available. Using binding patch analysis of amino acid frequencies, secondary structures and loop supersecondary structures considering phosphate and acyl chain binding regions together and separately, we gained a detailed understanding of the general structural and dynamic features involved in CL binding to proteins. Exhaustive docking of CL to all known structures of proteins experimentally shown to interact with CL demonstrated the validity of the docking approach, and provides a rich source of information for experimentalists who may wish to validate predictions.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Membrane protein secretases.

    PubMed Central

    Hooper, N M; Karran, E H; Turner, A J

    1997-01-01

    A diverse range of membrane proteins of Type 1 or Type II topology also occur as a circulating, soluble form. These soluble forms are often derived from the membrane form by proteolysis by a group of enzymes referred to collectively as 'secretases' or 'sheddases'. The cleavage generally occurs close to the extracellular face of the membrane, releasing physiologically active protein. This secretion process also provides a mechanism for down-regulating the protein at the cell surface. Examples of such post-translational proteolysis are seen in the Alzheimer's amyloid precursor protein, the vasoregulatory enzyme angiotensin converting enzyme, transforming growth factor-alpha, the tumour necrosis factor ligand and receptor superfamilies, certain cytokine receptors, and others. Since the proteins concerned are involved in pathophysiological processes such as neurodegeneration, apoptosis, oncogenesis and inflammation, the secretases could provide novel therapeutic targets. Recent characterization of these individual secretases has revealed common features, particularly sensitivity to certain metalloprotease inhibitors and upregulation of activity by phorbol esters. It is therefore likely that a closely related family of metallosecretases controls the surface expression of multiple integral membrane proteins. Current knowledge of the various secretases are compared in this Review, and strategies for cell-free assays of such proteases are outlined as a prelude to their ultimate purification and cloning. PMID:9020855

  17. Cardiolipin Interactions with Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Planas-Iglesias, Joan; Dwarakanath, Himal; Mohammadyani, Dariush; Yanamala, Naveena; Kagan, Valerian E.; Klein-Seetharaman, Judith

    2015-01-01

    Cardiolipins (CL) represent unique phospholipids of bacteria and eukaryotic mitochondria with four acyl chains and two phosphate groups that have been implicated in numerous functions from energy metabolism to apoptosis. Many proteins are known to interact with CL, and several cocrystal structures of protein-CL complexes exist. In this work, we describe the collection of the first systematic and, to the best of our knowledge, the comprehensive gold standard data set of all known CL-binding proteins. There are 62 proteins in this data set, 21 of which have nonredundant crystal structures with bound CL molecules available. Using binding patch analysis of amino acid frequencies, secondary structures and loop supersecondary structures considering phosphate and acyl chain binding regions together and separately, we gained a detailed understanding of the general structural and dynamic features involved in CL binding to proteins. Exhaustive docking of CL to all known structures of proteins experimentally shown to interact with CL demonstrated the validity of the docking approach, and provides a rich source of information for experimentalists who may wish to validate predictions. PMID:26300339

  18. Multifunctional protein: cardiac ankyrin repeat protein*

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2001-10-30

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

  20. 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.

  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. Bioinformatics and Moonlighting Proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  3. The Hedgehog protein family.

    PubMed

    Bürglin, Thomas R

    2008-01-01

    The Hedgehog (Hh) pathway is one of the fundamental signal transduction pathways in animal development and is also involved in stem-cell maintenance and carcinogenesis. The hedgehog (hh) gene was first discovered in Drosophila, and members of the family have since been found in most metazoa. Hh proteins are composed of two domains, an amino-terminal domain HhN, which has the biological signal activity, and a carboxy-terminal autocatalytic domain HhC, which cleaves Hh into two parts in an intramolecular reaction and adds a cholesterol moiety to HhN. HhC has sequence similarity to the self-splicing inteins, and the shared region is termed Hint. New classes of proteins containing the Hint domain have been discovered recently in bacteria and eukaryotes, and the Hog class, of which Hh proteins comprise one family, is widespread throughout eukaryotes. The non-Hh Hog proteins have carboxy-terminal domains (the Hog domain) highly similar to HhC, although they lack the HhN domain, and instead have other amino-terminal domains. Hog proteins are found in many protists, but the Hh family emerged only in early metazoan evolution. HhN is modified by cholesterol at its carboxyl terminus and by palmitate at its amino terminus in both flies and mammals. The modified HhN is released from the cell and travels through the extracellular space. On binding its receptor Patched, it relieves the inhibition that Patched exerts on Smoothened, a G-protein-coupled receptor. The resulting signaling cascade converges on the transcription factor Cubitus interruptus (Ci), or its mammalian counterparts, the Gli proteins, which activate or repress target genes.

  4. Self-Assembling Protein Microarrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-07-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Electrochemical nanomoulding through proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allred, Daniel B.

    The continued improvements in performance of modern electronic devices are directly related to the manufacturing of smaller, denser features on surfaces. Electrochemical fabrication has played a large role in continuing this trend due to its low cost and ease of scaleability toward ever smaller dimensions. This work introduces the concept of using proteins, essentially monodisperse complex polymers whose three-dimensional structures are fixed by their encoded amino acid sequences, as "moulds" around which nanostructures can be built by electrochemical fabrication. Bacterial cell-surface layer proteins, or "S-layer" proteins, from two organisms---Deinococcus radiodurans and Sporosarcina ureae---were used as the "moulds" for electrochemical fabrication. The proteins are easily purified as micron-sized sheets of periodic molecular complexes with 18-nm hexagonal and 13-nm square unit cell lattices, respectively. Direct imaging by transmission electron microscopy on ultrathin noble metal films without sample preparation eliminates potential artifacts to the high surface energy substrates necessary for high nucleation densities. Characterization involved imaging, electron diffraction, spectroscopy, and three-dimensional reconstruction. The S-layer protein of D. radiodurans was further subjected to an atomic force microscope based assay to determine the integrity of its structure and long-range order and was found to be useful for fabrication from around pH 3 to 12.

  9. Nanophotonics of protein amyloids

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhattacharya, Mily; Mukhopadhyay, Samrat

    2014-04-01

    Technological breakthroughs in the super-resolution optical imaging techniques have enriched our current understanding of a range of biological systems and biomolecular processes at the nanoscopic spatial resolution. Protein amyloids are an important class of ordered protein assemblies consisting of misfolded proteins that are implicated in a wide range of devastating human diseases. In order to decipher the structural basis of the supramolecular protein assembly in amyloids and their detrimental interactions with the cell membranes, it is important to employ high-resolution optical imaging techniques. Additionally, amyloids could serve as novel biological nanomaterials for a variety of potential applications. In this review, we summarize a few examples of the utility of near-field scanning optical imaging methodologies to obtain a wealth of structural information into the nanoscale amyloid assembly. Although the near-field technologies were developed several decades ago, it is only recently that these methodologies are being applied and adapted for amyloid research to yield novel information pertaining to the exciting nanoscopic world of protein aggregates. We believe that the account on the nanophotonics of amyloids described in this review will be useful for the future studies on the biophysics of amyloids.

  10. Protein Crowding Is a Determinant of Lipid Droplet Protein Composition.

    PubMed

    Kory, Nora; Thiam, Abdou-Rachid; Farese, Robert V; Walther, Tobias C

    2015-08-10

    Lipid droplets (LDs) are lipid storage organelles that grow or shrink, depending on the availability of metabolic energy. Proteins recruited to LDs mediate many metabolic functions, including phosphatidylcholine and triglyceride synthesis. How the LD protein composition is tuned to the supply and demand for lipids remains unclear. We show that LDs, in contrast to other organelles, have limited capacity for protein binding. Consequently, macromolecular crowding plays a major role in determining LD protein composition. During lipolysis, when LDs and their surfaces shrink, some, but not all, proteins become displaced. In vitro studies show that macromolecular crowding, rather than changes in monolayer lipid composition, causes proteins to fall off the LD surface. As predicted by a crowding model, proteins compete for binding to the surfaces of LDs. Moreover, the LD binding affinity determines protein localization during lipolysis. Our findings identify protein crowding as an important principle in determining LD protein composition. PMID:26212136

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1980-01-01

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

  12. Plant protein kinase substrates identification using protein microarrays.

    PubMed

    Ma, Shisong; Dinesh-Kumar, Savithramma P

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Advanced protein formulations.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei

    2015-07-01

    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.

  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. Targeted antithrombotic protein micelles.

    PubMed

    Kim, Wookhyun; Haller, Carolyn; Dai, Erbin; Wang, Xiowei; Hagemeyer, Christoph E; Liu, David R; Peter, Karlheinz; Chaikof, Elliot L

    2015-01-26

    Activated platelets provide a promising target for imaging inflammatory and thrombotic events along with site-specific delivery of a variety of therapeutic agents. Multifunctional protein micelles bearing targeting and therapeutic proteins were now obtained by one-pot transpeptidation using an evolved sortase A. Conjugation to the corona of a single-chain antibody (scFv), which binds to the ligand-induced binding site (LIBS) of activated GPIIb/IIIa receptors, enabled the efficient detection of thrombi. The inhibition of thrombus formation was subsequently accomplished by incorporating the catalytically active domain of thrombomodulin (TM) onto the micelle corona for the local generation of activated protein C, which inhibits the formation of thrombin. An effective strategy has been developed for the preparation of protein micelles that can be targeted to sites of activated platelets with broad potential for treatment of acute thrombotic events. PMID:25504546

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Matricellular proteins and biomaterials

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Aaron H.; Kyriakides, Themis R.

    2014-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. How to Study Protein-protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Podobnik, Marjetka; Kraševec, Nada; Bedina Zavec, Apolonija; Naneh, Omar; Flašker, Ajda; Caserman, Simon; Hodnik, Vesna; Anderluh, Gregor

    2016-01-01

    Physical and functional interactions between molecules in living systems are central to all biological processes. Identification of protein complexes therefore is becoming increasingly important to gain a molecular understanding of cells and organisms. Several powerful methodologies and techniques have been developed to study molecular interactions and thus help elucidate their nature and role in biology as well as potential ways how to interfere with them. All different techniques used in these studies have their strengths and weaknesses and since they are mostly employed in in vitro conditions, a single approach can hardly accurately reproduce interactions that happen under physiological conditions. However, complementary usage of as many as possible available techniques can lead to relatively realistic picture of the biological process. Here we describe several proteomic, biophysical and structural tools that help us understand the nature and mechanism of these interactions. PMID:27640371

  2. 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.

  3. Modeling Mercury in Proteins.

    PubMed

    Parks, J M; Smith, J C

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Modeling Mercury in Proteins.

    PubMed

    Parks, J M; Smith, J C

    2016-01-01

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

  5. FLOW BEHAVIOR OF PROTEIN BLENDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  6. 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

  7. Kinetics of protein aggregation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knowles, Tuomas

    2015-03-01

    Aggregation into linear nanostructures, notably amyloid and amyloid-like fibrils, is a common form of behaviour exhibited by a range of peptides and proteins. This process was initially discovered in the context of the aetiology of a range of neurodegenerative diseases, but has recently been recognised to of general significance and has been found at the origin of a number of beneficial functional roles in nature, including as catalytic scaffolds and functional components in biofilms. This talk discusses our ongoing efforts to study the kinetics of linear protein self-assembly by using master equation approaches combined with global analysis of experimental data.

  8. Lipid-transfer proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Coupled transport protein systems.

    PubMed

    Thatcher, Jack D

    2013-04-16

    This set of animated lessons provides examples of how transport proteins interact in coupled systems to produce physiologic effects. The gastric pumps animation depicts the secretion of hydrochloric acid into the gastric lumen. The animation called glucose absorption depicts glucose absorption by intestinal epithelial cells. The CFTR animation explains how the cystic fibrosis conductance transmembrane regulator (CFTR) functions as a key component of a coupled system of transport proteins that clears the pulmonary system of mucus and inhaled particulates. These animations serve as valuable resources for any collegiate-level course that describes these processes. Courses that might use them include introductory biology, biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology, pharmacology, and physiology.

  10. Protein production and purification

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    In selecting a method to produce a recombinant protein, a researcher is faced with a bewildering array of choices as to where to start. To facilitate decision-making, we describe a consensus ‘what to try first’ strategy based on our collective analysis of the expression and purification of over 10,000 different proteins. This review presents methods that could be applied at the outset of any project, a prioritized list of alternate strategies and a list of pitfalls that trip many new investigators. PMID:18235434

  11. 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.

  12. Late embryogenesis abundant proteins

    PubMed Central

    Olvera-Carrillo, Yadira; Reyes, José Luis

    2011-01-01

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

  13. Protein Bodies of the Soybean

    PubMed Central

    Tombs, M. P.

    1967-01-01

    Some microscope observations of the protein bodies of the cotyledon cells of the soybean (Glycine max) are described, together with changes in their appearance which occur on germination. Density gradient centrifugation permits the isolation of protein bodies from soymeal. They contain about 70% of the protein of the bean. Only 1 protein could be detected in them: glycinin, the major soybean protein. The protein bodies were fractionated to light and heavy fractions. The former contained 97.5% protein, the latter 78.5%. RNA, phytic acid and lipids were also present. The 2 fractions probably differ only in the extent of contamination by other cell fragments. Images PMID:16656574

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Regulators of G-protein-signaling proteins: negative modulators of G-protein-coupled receptor signaling.

    PubMed

    Woodard, Geoffrey E; Jardín, Isaac; Berna-Erro, A; Salido, Gines M; Rosado, Juan A

    2015-01-01

    Regulators of G-protein-signaling (RGS) proteins are a category of intracellular proteins that have an inhibitory effect on the intracellular signaling produced by G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). RGS along with RGS-like proteins switch on through direct contact G-alpha subunits providing a variety of intracellular functions through intracellular signaling. RGS proteins have a common RGS domain that binds to G alpha. RGS proteins accelerate GTPase and thus enhance guanosine triphosphate hydrolysis through the alpha subunit of heterotrimeric G proteins. As a result, they inactivate the G protein and quickly turn off GPCR signaling thus terminating the resulting downstream signals. Activity and subcellular localization of RGS proteins can be changed through covalent molecular changes to the enzyme, differential gene splicing, and processing of the protein. Other roles of RGS proteins have shown them to not be solely committed to being inhibitors but behave more as modulators and integrators of signaling. RGS proteins modulate the duration and kinetics of slow calcium oscillations and rapid phototransduction and ion signaling events. In other cases, RGS proteins integrate G proteins with signaling pathways linked to such diverse cellular responses as cell growth and differentiation, cell motility, and intracellular trafficking. Human and animal studies have revealed that RGS proteins play a vital role in physiology and can be ideal targets for diseases such as those related to addiction where receptor signaling seems continuously switched on.

  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. Protein nano-crystallogenesis.

    PubMed

    Kuil, Maxim E; Bodenstaff, E Rene; Hoedemaeker, Flip J; Abrahams, Jan Pieter

    2002-03-13

    We demonstrate the feasibility of growing crystals of protein in volumes as small as 1 nanoliter. Advances in the handling of very small volumes (i.e. through inkjet and other technologies) open the way towards fully automated systems. The rationale for these experiments is the desire to develop a system that speeds up the structure determination of proteins by crystallographic techniques, where most of the precious protein sample is wasted for the identification of the ideal crystallisation conditions. An additional potential benefit of crystallisation in very small volumes is the potential improvement of the crystal quality through reduced convection during crystal growth. Furthermore, in such small volumes even very highly supersaturated conditions can be stable for prolonged periods, allowing additional regions of phase-space to be prospected for elusive crystallisation conditions. A massive improvement in the efficiency of protein crystallogenesis will cause a paradigm shift in the biomolecular sciences and will have a major impact in product development in (for example) the pharmaceutical industry.

  1. Preparing Protein Samples

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

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

  2. The Protein Ensemble Database.

    PubMed

    Varadi, Mihaly; Tompa, Peter

    2015-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Protein Requirements during Aging.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Ribosome-inactivating proteins

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. Cellulose binding domain proteins

    DOEpatents

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

    1998-01-01

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

  14. [ALR, the multifunctional protein].

    PubMed

    Balogh, Tibor; Szarka, András

    2015-03-29

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

  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. Protein stability in ice.

    PubMed

    Strambini, Giovanni B; Gonnelli, Margherita

    2007-03-15

    This study presents an experimental approach, based on the change of Trp fluorescence between native and denatured states of proteins, which permits to monitor unfolding equilibria and the thermodynamic stability (DeltaG degrees ) of these macromolecules in frozen aqueous solutions. The results obtained by guanidinium chloride denaturation of the azurin mutant C112S from Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in the temperature range from -8 to -16 degrees C, demonstrate that the stability of the native fold may be significantly perturbed in ice depending mainly on the size of the liquid water pool (V(L)) in equilibrium with the solid phase. The data establish a threshold, around V(L)=1.5%, below which in ice DeltaG degrees decreases progressively relative to liquid state, up to 3 kcal/mole for V(L)=0.285%. The sharp dependence of DeltaG degrees on V(L) is consistent with a mechanism based on adsorption of the protein to the ice surface. The reduction in DeltaG degrees is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in m-value indicating that protein-ice interactions increase the solvent accessible surface area of the native fold or reduce that of the denatured state, or both. The method opens the possibility for examining in a more quantitative fashion the influence of various experimental conditions on the ice perturbation and in particular to test the effectiveness of numerous additives used in formulations to preserve labile pharmaco proteins.

  17. Weakly Stable Regions and Protein-Protein Interactions in Beta-Barrel Membrane Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Naveed, Hammad; Liang, Jie

    2014-01-01

    We briefly discuss recent progress in computational characterization of the sequence and structural properties of β-barrel membrane properties. We discuss the emerging concept of weakly stable regions in β-barrel membrane proteins, computational methods to identify these regions and mechanisms adopted by β-barrel membrane proteins in nature to stabilize them. We further discuss computational methods to identify protein-protein interactions in β-barrel membrane proteins and recent experimental studies that aim at altering the biophysical properties including oligomerization state and stability of β-barrel membrane proteins based on the emerging organization principles of these proteins from recent computational studies. PMID:23713778

  18. Protein farnesyltransferase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Ayral-Kaloustian, Semiramis; Salaski, Edward J

    2002-05-01

    Specific mutations in the ras gene impair the guanosine triphophatase (GTPase) activity of Ras proteins, which play a fundamental role in the signaling cascade, leading to uninterrupted growth signals and to the transformation of normal cells into malignant phenotypes. It has been shown that normal cells transfected with mutant ras gene become cancerous and that unfarnesylated, cytosolic mutant Ras protein does not anchor onto cell membranes and cannot induce this transformation. Posttranslational modification and plasma membrane association of mutant Ras is necessary for this transforming activity. Since its identification, the enzyme protein farnesyltransferase (FTase) that catalyzes the first and essential step of the three Ras-processing steps has emerged as the most promising target for therapeutic intervention. FTase has been implicated as a potential target in inhibiting the prenylation of a variety of proteins, thus in controlling varied disease states (e.g. cancer, neurofibromatosis, restenosis, viral hepatitis, bone resorption, parasitic infections, corneal inflammations, and diabetes) associated with prenyl modifications of Ras and other proteins. Furthermore, it has been suggested that FTase inhibitors indirectly help in inhibiting tumors via suppression of angiogenesis and induction of apoptosis. Major milestones have been achieved with small-molecule FTase inhibitors that show efficacy without toxicity in vitro, as well as in mouse models bearing ras-dependent tumors. With the determination of the crystal structure of mammalian FTase, existent leads have been fine-tuned and new potent molecules of diverse structural classes have been designed. A few of these molecules are currently in the clinic, with at least three drug candidates in Phase II studies and one in Phase III. This article will review the progress that has been reported with FTase inhibitors in drug discovery and in the clinic. PMID:12733981

  19. Bayesian Estimator of Protein-Protein Association Probabilities

    2008-05-28

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

  20. 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.

  1. Protein-protein interaction databases: keeping up with growing interactomes

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Over the past few years, the number of known protein-protein interactions has increased substantially. To make this information more readily available, a number of publicly available databases have set out to collect and store protein-protein interaction data. Protein-protein interactions have been retrieved from six major databases, integrated and the results compared. The six databases (the Biological General Repository for Interaction Datasets [BioGRID], the Molecular INTeraction database [MINT], the Biomolecular Interaction Network Database [BIND], the Database of Interacting Proteins [DIP], the IntAct molecular interaction database [IntAct] and the Human Protein Reference Database [HPRD]) differ in scope and content; integration of all datasets is non-trivial owing to differences in data annotation. With respect to human protein-protein interaction data, HPRD seems to be the most comprehensive. To obtain a complete dataset, however, interactions from all six databases have to be combined. To overcome this limitation, meta-databases such as the Agile Protein Interaction Database (APID) offer access to integrated protein-protein interaction datasets, although these also currently have certain restrictions. PMID:19403463

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-05-01

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

  3. Molecular simulations of lipid-mediated protein-protein interactions.

    PubMed

    de Meyer, Frédérick Jean-Marie; Venturoli, Maddalena; Smit, Berend

    2008-08-01

    Recent experimental results revealed that lipid-mediated interactions due to hydrophobic forces may be important in determining the protein topology after insertion in the membrane, in regulating the protein activity, in protein aggregation and in signal transduction. To gain insight into the lipid-mediated interactions between two intrinsic membrane proteins, we developed a mesoscopic model of a lipid bilayer with embedded proteins, which we studied with dissipative particle dynamics. Our calculations of the potential of mean force between transmembrane proteins show that hydrophobic forces drive long-range protein-protein interactions and that the nature of these interactions depends on the length of the protein hydrophobic segment, on the three-dimensional structure of the protein and on the properties of the lipid bilayer. To understand the nature of the computed potentials of mean force, the concept of hydrophilic shielding is introduced. The observed protein interactions are interpreted as resulting from the dynamic reorganization of the system to maintain an optimal hydrophilic shielding of the protein and lipid hydrophobic parts, within the constraint of the flexibility of the components. Our results could lead to a better understanding of several membrane processes in which protein interactions are involved. PMID:18487292

  4. 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

  5. Hydrogels Constructed from Engineered Proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-24

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

  6. 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.

  7. Motif-Driven Design of Protein-Protein Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Silva, Daniel-Adriano; Correia, Bruno E; Procko, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Protein-protein interfaces regulate many critical processes for cellular function. The ability to accurately control and regulate these molecular interactions is of major interest for biomedical and synthetic biology applications, as well as to address fundamental biological questions. In recent years, computational protein design has emerged as a tool for designing novel protein-protein interactions with functional relevance. Although attractive, these computational tools carry a steep learning curve. In order to make some of these methods more accessible, we present detailed descriptions and examples of ROSETTA computational protocols for the design of functional protein binders using seeded protein interface design. In these protocols, a motif of known structure that interacts with the target site is grafted into a scaffold protein, followed by design of the surrounding interaction surface. PMID:27094298

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Electron flow through proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gray, Harry B.; Winkler, Jay R.

    2009-11-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Protein Structure Databases.

    PubMed

    Laskowski, Roman A

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Cow's Milk Protein Allergy.

    PubMed

    Mousan, Grace; Kamat, Deepak

    2016-10-01

    Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is a common condition encountered in children with incidence estimated as 2% to 7.5% in the first year of life. Formula and breast-fed babies can present with symptoms of CMPA. It is important to accurately diagnose CMPA to avoid the consequences of either under- or overdiagnosis. CMPA is classically categorized into immunoglobulin E (IgE)- or non-IgE-mediated reaction that vary in clinical manifestations, diagnostic evaluation, and prognosis. The most commonly involved systems in patients with CMPA are gastrointestinal, skin, and respiratory. Evaluation of CMPA starts with good data gathering followed by testing if indicated. Treatment is simply by avoidance of cow's milk protein (CMP) in the child's or mother's diet, if exclusively breast-feeding. This article reviews the definition, epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, evaluation, management, and prognosis of CMPA and provides an overview of different options for formulas and their indication in the treatment of CMPA.

  14. 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.

  15. Protein-protein fusion catalyzed by sortase A.

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-06

    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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Path to protein crystallization

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    Growth of two-dimensional S-layer crystals on supported lipid bilayers observed in solution using in situ atomic force microscopy. This movie shows proteins sticking onto the supported lipid bilayer, forming a mobile phase that condenses into amorphous clusters, and undergoing a phase transition to crystalline clusters composed of 2 to 15 tetramers. These initial clusters then enter a growth phase in which new tetramers form exclusively at unoccupied lattice sites along the cluster edges.

  19. 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?

  20. Myosin V motor proteins

    PubMed Central

    Vale, Ronald D.

    2003-01-01

    Mammalian myosin V motors transport cargo processively along actin filaments. Recent biophysical and structural studies have led to a detailed understanding of the mechanism of myosin V, making it perhaps the best understood cytoskeletal motor. In addition to describing the mechanism, this review will illustrate how “dynamic” single molecule measurements can synergize with “static” protein structural studies to produce amazingly clear information on the workings of a nanometer-scale machine. PMID:14610051

  1. Protein Crystal Isocitrate Lyase

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    The comparison of protein crystal, Isocitrate Lyase earth-grown (left) and space-grown (right). This is a target enzyme for fungicides. A better understanding of this enzyme should lead to the discovery of more potent fungicides to treat serious crop diseases such as rice blast; it regulates the flow of metabolic intermediates required for cell growth. Principal Investigator is Larry DeLucas.

  2. HRTEM in protein crystallography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dyson, P. W.; Spargo, A. E. C.; Tulloch, P. A.; Johnson, A. W. S.

    Electron microscopy/diffraction (ED/D) using spot-scan and low-dose imaging has been successfully applied to investigate microcrystals of an alpha-helical coiled-coil protein extracted from ootheca of the praying mantis. Fourier transforms of the images show resolution out to 4 A and can be used to phase the corresponding ED data which shows reflections out to 2 A.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Food allergy to proteins.

    PubMed

    Nowak-Wegrzyn, Anna

    2007-01-01

    Food allergy is defined as an immune system-mediated adverse reaction to food proteins. Class 1 food allergens are represented by peanut, egg white, and cow's milk; they are heat- and acid-stable glycoproteins that induce allergic sensitization via gastrointestinal tract and cause systemic reactions. Class 2 food allergens are homologous to proteins in birch tree pollen and class 2 food allergy develops as a consequence of respiratory sensitization to the cross-reactive pollen. Class 2 food allergens are very heat-labile and tend to induce reactions limited to oral allergy symptoms. In contrast, plant nonspecific lipid transfer proteins are resistant to heating and tend to induce systemic reactions. Analysis of IgE-binding epitopes with SPOT membranes revealed that cow's milk-, egg- and peanut-allergic subjects without IgE antibodies against certain sequential epitopes of the major allergens were more likely to achieve tolerance than subjects whose IgE antibodies were directed against those epitopes. Subsequently, peptide microarray showed a correlation between reaction severity and the intensity of IgE binding and the number of epitopes recognized of patients' immune responses against peanut allergens. Taken together, these data suggest that the epitope recognition pattern and intensity of IgE binding are important determinants of severity and duration of food allergy.

  6. Hydrolyzed Proteins in Allergy.

    PubMed

    Salvatore, Silvia; Vandenplas, Yvan

    2016-01-01

    Hydrolyzed proteins are used worldwide in the therapeutic management of infants with allergic manifestations and have long been proposed as a dietetic measure to prevent allergy in at risk infants. The degree and method of hydrolysis, protein source and non-nitrogen components characterize different hydrolyzed formulas (HFs) and may determine clinical efficacy, tolerance and nutritional effects. Cow's milk (CM)-based HFs are classified as extensively (eHF) or partially HF (pHF) based on the percentage of small peptides. One whey pHF has been shown to reduce atopic dermatitis in high-risk infants who are not exclusively breastfed. More studies are needed to determine the benefit of these formulas in the prevention of CM allergy (CMA) and in the general population. eHFs represent up to now the treatment of choice for most infants with CMA. However, new developments, such as an extensively hydrolyzed rice protein-based formula, could become alternative options if safety and nutritional and therapeutic efficacy are confirmed as this type of formula is less expensive. In some countries, an extensive soy hydrolysate is available. PMID:27336625

  7. Proteins Among the Polysaccharides

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Fushi; Curlango-Rivera, Gilberto

    2007-01-01

    Charles Darwin recognized the power of the root cap as a model for plant signalling and behavior, and used it to explore the ways plants sense and respond to diverse stimuli. Over ensuing decades, various groups have reported tantalizing clues regarding the role of a complex extracellular matrix that ensheaths the tip region housing the apical and root cap meristems. In the course of characterizing root tip resistance to infection and injury and the role border cells play in this phenomenon, we confirmed and extended early- and mid-20th century studies reporting enzyme activities secreted from the root cap. Multidimensional protein analysis revealed, in fact, that >100 proteins are actively synthesized and secreted from the root cap and border cells. This ‘root cap secretome’ appears to be a critical component of root tip resistance to infection. We have developed a microscopic assay to quantify the protein-based extracellular response to dynamic changes in environmental conditions including hydroponic culture, and present the results here. This tool provides a simple, direct measure that can be used to explore the ways border cells may function in the manner of white blood cells to trap, immobilize and neutralize threats to the growing root tip. PMID:19704617

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. A polymetamorphic protein

    PubMed Central

    Stewart, Katie L; Dodds, Eric D; Wysocki, Vicki H; Cordes, Matthew H J

    2013-01-01

    Arc repressor is a homodimeric protein with a ribbon-helix–helix fold. A single polar-to-hydrophobic substitution (N11L) at a solvent-exposed position leads to population of an alternate dimeric fold in which 310 helices replace a β-sheet. Here we find that the variant Q9V/N11L/R13V (S-VLV), with two additional polar-to-hydrophobic surface mutations in the same β-sheet, forms a highly stable, reversibly folded octamer with approximately half the✠α-helical content of wild-type Arc. At low protein concentration and low ionic strength, S-VLV also populates both dimeric topologies previously observed for N11L, as judged by NMR chemical shift comparisons. Thus, accumulation of simple hydrophobic mutations in Arc progressively reduces fold specificity, leading first to a sequence with two folds and then to a manifold bridge sequence with at least three different topologies. Residues 9–14 of S-VLV form a highly hydrophobic stretch that is predicted to be amyloidogenic, but we do not observe aggregates of higher order than octamer. Increases in sequence hydrophobicity can promote amyloid aggregation but also exert broader and more complex effects on fold specificity. Altered native folds, changes in fold coupled to oligomerization, toxic pre-amyloid oligomers, and amyloid fibrils may represent a near continuum of accessible alternatives in protein structure space. PMID:23471712

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Small molecules that target phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Nobumoto; Osada, Hiroyuki

    2016-08-01

    Protein-protein interaction is one of the key events in the signal transduction pathway. The interaction changes the conformations, activities, localization and stabilities of the proteins, and transduces the signal to the next step. Frequently, this interaction occurs upon the protein phosphorylation. When upstream signals are stimulated, protein kinase(s) is/are activated and phosphorylate(s) their substrates, and induce the phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction. For this interaction, several domains in proteins are known to specifically recognize the phosphorylated residues of target proteins. These specific domains for interaction are important in the progression of the diseases caused by disordered signal transduction such as cancer. Thus small molecules that modulate this interaction are attractive lead compounds for the treatment of such diseases. In this review, we focused on three examples of phosphorylation dependent protein-protein interaction modules (14-3-3, polo box domain of Plk1 and F-box proteins in SCF ubiquitin ligases) and summarize small molecules that modulate their interaction. We also introduce our original screening system to identify such small molecules.

  14. Ontology integration to identify protein complex in protein interaction networks

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Protein complexes can be identified from the protein interaction networks derived from experimental data sets. However, these analyses are challenging because of the presence of unreliable interactions and the complex connectivity of the network. The integration of protein-protein interactions with the data from other sources can be leveraged for improving the effectiveness of protein complexes detection algorithms. Methods We have developed novel semantic similarity method, which use Gene Ontology (GO) annotations to measure the reliability of protein-protein interactions. The protein interaction networks can be converted into a weighted graph representation by assigning the reliability values to each interaction as a weight. Following the approach of that of the previously proposed clustering algorithm IPCA which expands clusters starting from seeded vertices, we present a clustering algorithm OIIP based on the new weighted Protein-Protein interaction networks for identifying protein complexes. Results The algorithm OIIP is applied to the protein interaction network of Sacchromyces cerevisiae and identifies many well known complexes. Experimental results show that the algorithm OIIP has higher F-measure and accuracy compared to other competing approaches. PMID:22165991

  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. Sorting sweet sorting. Protein secretion.

    PubMed

    Ponnambalam, S; Banting, G

    1996-09-01

    Membrane-spanning, lectin-like proteins in the eukaryotic secretory pathway seem to operate quality-control checkpoints by fine tuning protein exit or retention within each subcompartment. PMID:8805362

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. Nanobiotechnology: protein-nanomaterial interactions.

    PubMed

    Kane, Ravi S; Stroock, Abraham D

    2007-01-01

    We review recent research that involves the interaction of nanomaterials such as nanoparticles, nanowires, and carbon nanotubes with proteins. We begin with a focus on the fundamentals of the structure and function of proteins on nanomaterials. We then review work in three areas that exploit these interactions: (1) sensing, (2) assembly of nanomaterials by proteins and proteins by nanomaterials, and (3) interactions with cells. We conclude with the identification of challenges and opportunities for the future. PMID:17335286

  2. The Papillomavirus E2 Proteins

    PubMed Central

    McBride, Alison A.

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23849793

  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. Endogenous protein phosphorylation and protein kinase activity in winged bean.

    PubMed

    Mukhopadhyay, K; Singh, M

    1997-10-01

    In winged bean (Psophocarpus tetragonolobus) protein kinases (E.C. 2.7.1.37) were found in all tissues studied. There was a significant increase in kinase activity during seed development, with a concomitant enhancement in the phosphorylation of a number of polypeptides; this was reversed in germinating seed cotyledons. Protein phosphorylation was apparently correlated with the increase in the protein content of the developing seed and the growing axis. At least three distinct autophosphorylating proteins could be distinguished in the developing seeds after SDS-PAGE, indicating the presence of different types of protein kinases in winged bean.

  5. 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

  6. Implication of Terminal Residues at Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Martin, Olivier M F; Etheve, Loïc; Launay, Guillaume; Martin, Juliette

    2016-01-01

    Terminal residues of protein chains are charged and more flexible than other residues since they are constrained only on one side. Do they play a particular role in protein-protein and protein-DNA interfaces? To answer this question, we considered large sets of non-redundant protein-protein and protein-DNA complexes and analyzed the status of terminal residues and their involvement in interfaces. In protein-protein complexes, we found that more than half of terminal residues (62%) are either modified by attachment of a tag peptide (10%) or have missing coordinates in the analyzed structures (52%). Terminal residues are almost exclusively located at the surface of proteins (94%). Contrary to charged residues, they are not over or under-represented in protein-protein interfaces, but strongly prefer the peripheral region of interfaces when present at the interface (83% of terminal residues). The almost exclusive location of terminal residues at the surface of the proteins or in the rim regions of interfaces explains that experimental methods relying on tail hybridization can be successfully applied without disrupting the complexes under study. Concerning conformational rearrangement in protein-protein complexes, despite their expected flexibility, terminal residues adopt similar locations between the free and bound forms of the docking benchmark. In protein-DNA complexes, N-terminal residues are twice more frequent than C-terminal residues at interfaces. Both N-terminal and C-terminal residues are under-represented in interfaces, in contrast to positively charged residues, which are strongly favored. When located in protein-DNA interfaces, terminal residues prefer the periphery. N-terminal and C-terminal residues thus have particular properties with regard to interfaces, which cannot be reduced to their charged nature. PMID:27611671

  7. Implication of Terminal Residues at Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Martin, Olivier M. F.; Etheve, Loïc; Launay, Guillaume

    2016-01-01

    Terminal residues of protein chains are charged and more flexible than other residues since they are constrained only on one side. Do they play a particular role in protein-protein and protein-DNA interfaces? To answer this question, we considered large sets of non-redundant protein-protein and protein-DNA complexes and analyzed the status of terminal residues and their involvement in interfaces. In protein-protein complexes, we found that more than half of terminal residues (62%) are either modified by attachment of a tag peptide (10%) or have missing coordinates in the analyzed structures (52%). Terminal residues are almost exclusively located at the surface of proteins (94%). Contrary to charged residues, they are not over or under-represented in protein-protein interfaces, but strongly prefer the peripheral region of interfaces when present at the interface (83% of terminal residues). The almost exclusive location of terminal residues at the surface of the proteins or in the rim regions of interfaces explains that experimental methods relying on tail hybridization can be successfully applied without disrupting the complexes under study. Concerning conformational rearrangement in protein-protein complexes, despite their expected flexibility, terminal residues adopt similar locations between the free and bound forms of the docking benchmark. In protein-DNA complexes, N-terminal residues are twice more frequent than C-terminal residues at interfaces. Both N-terminal and C-terminal residues are under-represented in interfaces, in contrast to positively charged residues, which are strongly favored. When located in protein-DNA interfaces, terminal residues prefer the periphery. N-terminal and C-terminal residues thus have particular properties with regard to interfaces, which cannot be reduced to their charged nature. PMID:27611671

  8. 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

  9. Role of regulator of G protein signaling proteins in bone

    PubMed Central

    Keinan, David; Yang, Shuying; Cohen, Robert E.; Yuan, Xue; Liu, Tongjun; Li, Yi-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Regulators of G protein signaling (RGS) proteins are a family with more than 30 proteins that all contain an RGS domain. In the past decade, increasing evidence has indicated that RGS proteins play crucial roles in the regulation of G protein coupling receptors (GPCR), G proteins, and calcium signaling during cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation in a variety of tissues. In bone, those proteins modulate bone development and remodeling by influencing various signaling pathways such as GPCR-G protein signaling, Wnt, calcium oscillations and PTH. This review summarizes the recent advances in the understanding of the regulation of RGS genes expression, as well as the functions and mechanisms of RGS proteins, especially in regulating GPCR-G protein signaling, Wnt signaling, calcium oscillations signaling and PTH signaling during bone development and remodeling. This review also highlights the regulation of different RGS proteins in osteoblasts, chondrocytes and osteoclasts. The knowledge from the recent advances of RGS study summarized in the review would provide the insights into new therapies for bone diseases. PMID:24389209

  10. Highly specific protein-protein interactions, evolution and negative design.

    PubMed

    Sear, Richard P

    2004-12-01

    We consider highly specific protein-protein interactions in proteomes of simple model proteins. We are inspired by the work of Zarrinpar et al (2003 Nature 426 676). They took a binding domain in a signalling pathway in yeast and replaced it with domains of the same class but from different organisms. They found that the probability of a protein binding to a protein from the proteome of a different organism is rather high, around one half. We calculate the probability of a model protein from one proteome binding to the protein of a different proteome. These proteomes are obtained by sampling the space of functional proteomes uniformly. In agreement with Zarrinpar et al we find that the probability of a protein binding a protein from another proteome is rather high, of order one tenth. Our results, together with those of Zarrinpar et al, suggest that designing, say, a peptide to block or reconstitute a single signalling pathway, without affecting any other pathways, requires knowledge of all the partners of the class of binding domains the peptide is designed to mimic. This knowledge is required to use negative design to explicitly design out interactions of the peptide with proteins other than its target. We also found that patches that are required to bind with high specificity evolve more slowly than those that are required only to not bind to any other patch. This is consistent with some analysis of sequence data for proteins engaged in highly specific interactions.

  11. 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

  12. Protein adsorption to hydrocephalus shunt catheters: CSF protein adsorption

    PubMed Central

    Brydon, H.; Keir, G.; Thompson, E.; Bayston, R.; Hayward, R.; Harkness, W.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To assess the quantity and nature of the proteins that adsorb to hydrocephalus shunt catheters after implantation, and to determine whether sufficient could accumulate to obstruct the catheter.
DESIGN—Elution of proteins from 102 explanted shunt catheters, with protein assay and electrophoresis of the eluate, and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of the catheters.
RESULTS—The amount of protein elutable was extremely low, and significant protein, apart from a thin film, was not found on SEM. Qualitative analysis disclosed that most of the adsorbed protein was albumin.
CONCLUSIONS—Protein deposition on hydrocephalus catheters does not occur in sufficient quantities to cause catheter obstruction.

 PMID:9598681

  13. Flowering Buds of Globular Proteins: Transpiring Simplicity of Protein Organization

    PubMed Central

    Berezovsky, Igor N.

    2002-01-01

    Structural and functional complexity of proteins is dramatically reduced to a simple linear picture when the laws of polymer physics are considered. A basic unit of the protein structure is a nearly standard closed loop of 25–35 amino acid residues, and every globular protein is built of consecutively connected closed loops. The physical necessity of the closed loops had been apparently imposed on the early stages of protein evolution. Indeed, the most frequent prototype sequence motifs in prokaryotic proteins have the same sequence size, and their high match representatives are found as closed loops in crystallized proteins. Thus, the linear organization of the closed loop elements is a quintessence of protein evolution, structure and folding. PMID:18629251

  14. 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.

  15. 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).

  16. Yeast protein-protein interaction assays and screens.

    PubMed

    de Folter, Stefan; Immink, Richard G H

    2011-01-01

    Most transcription factors fulfill their role in protein complexes. As a consequence, information about their interaction capacity sheds light on a protein's function and the molecular mechanism underlying this activity. The yeast two-hybrid GAL4 (Y2H) assay is a powerful method to unravel and identify the composition of protein complexes. This in vivo based system makes use of two functional protein domains of the GAL4 transcription factor, each fused to a protein of interest. Upon interaction between the two proteins under study, a transcriptional activator gets reconstituted and reporter genes get activated, allowing the yeast to grow on selective medium. In this chapter protocols are given for Y2H library screening, directed Y2H screening, Y2H matrix screening, and YnH screening involving more than two proteins. PMID:21720951

  17. Protein enriched pasta: structure and digestibility of its protein network.

    PubMed

    Laleg, Karima; Barron, Cécile; Santé-Lhoutellier, Véronique; Walrand, Stéphane; Micard, Valérie

    2016-02-01

    Wheat (W) pasta was enriched in 6% gluten (G), 35% faba (F) or 5% egg (E) to increase its protein content (13% to 17%). The impact of the enrichment on the multiscale structure of the pasta and on in vitro protein digestibility was studied. Increasing the protein content (W- vs. G-pasta) strengthened pasta structure at molecular and macroscopic scales but reduced its protein digestibility by 3% by forming a higher covalently linked protein network. Greater changes in the macroscopic and molecular structure of the pasta were obtained by varying the nature of protein used for enrichment. Proteins in G- and E-pasta were highly covalently linked (28-32%) resulting in a strong pasta structure. Conversely, F-protein (98% SDS-soluble) altered the pasta structure by diluting gluten and formed a weak protein network (18% covalent link). As a result, protein digestibility in F-pasta was significantly higher (46%) than in E- (44%) and G-pasta (39%). The effect of low (55 °C, LT) vs. very high temperature (90 °C, VHT) drying on the protein network structure and digestibility was shown to cause greater molecular changes than pasta formulation. Whatever the pasta, a general strengthening of its structure, a 33% to 47% increase in covalently linked proteins and a higher β-sheet structure were observed. However, these structural differences were evened out after the pasta was cooked, resulting in identical protein digestibility in LT and VHT pasta. Even after VHT drying, F-pasta had the best amino acid profile with the highest protein digestibility, proof of its nutritional interest.

  18. Protein enriched pasta: structure and digestibility of its protein network.

    PubMed

    Laleg, Karima; Barron, Cécile; Santé-Lhoutellier, Véronique; Walrand, Stéphane; Micard, Valérie

    2016-02-01

    Wheat (W) pasta was enriched in 6% gluten (G), 35% faba (F) or 5% egg (E) to increase its protein content (13% to 17%). The impact of the enrichment on the multiscale structure of the pasta and on in vitro protein digestibility was studied. Increasing the protein content (W- vs. G-pasta) strengthened pasta structure at molecular and macroscopic scales but reduced its protein digestibility by 3% by forming a higher covalently linked protein network. Greater changes in the macroscopic and molecular structure of the pasta were obtained by varying the nature of protein used for enrichment. Proteins in G- and E-pasta were highly covalently linked (28-32%) resulting in a strong pasta structure. Conversely, F-protein (98% SDS-soluble) altered the pasta structure by diluting gluten and formed a weak protein network (18% covalent link). As a result, protein digestibility in F-pasta was significantly higher (46%) than in E- (44%) and G-pasta (39%). The effect of low (55 °C, LT) vs. very high temperature (90 °C, VHT) drying on the protein network structure and digestibility was shown to cause greater molecular changes than pasta formulation. Whatever the pasta, a general strengthening of its structure, a 33% to 47% increase in covalently linked proteins and a higher β-sheet structure were observed. However, these structural differences were evened out after the pasta was cooked, resulting in identical protein digestibility in LT and VHT pasta. Even after VHT drying, F-pasta had the best amino acid profile with the highest protein digestibility, proof of its nutritional interest. PMID:26829164

  19. 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...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. SERUM PROTEIN PROFILES IN COCCIDIOIDOMYCOSIS

    PubMed Central

    Reed, William B.; Heiskell, Charles L.; Holeman, Charles W.; Carpenter, Charles

    1962-01-01

    Serum protein analysis is a valuable addition to the present methods for evaluating the status of the individual patient with coccidioidomycosis. The albumin protein and albumin glycoprotein decrease and gamma protein increases in relation to severity of infection. In 40 patients with coccidioidomycosis, changes in individual protein fractions could be significantly correlated with conventional laboratory tests, such as the complement fixation test, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and hematocrit. Changes in the alpha, glycoprotein concentration, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the hematocrit value appear to be related to the degree of inflammation, while the changes in the gamma protein and the beta, glycoprotein appear to be related to the specific antibody response. PMID:13973566

  3. Serum protein profiles in coccidioidomycosis.

    PubMed

    REED, W B; HEISKELL, C L; HOLEMAN, C W; CARPENTER, C

    1962-12-01

    Serum protein analysis is a valuable addition to the present methods for evaluating the status of the individual patient with coccidioidomycosis. The albumin protein and albumin glycoprotein decrease and gamma protein increases in relation to severity of infection. In 40 patients with coccidioidomycosis, changes in individual protein fractions could be significantly correlated with conventional laboratory tests, such as the complement fixation test, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and hematocrit. Changes in the alpha, glycoprotein concentration, the erythrocyte sedimentation rate and the hematocrit value appear to be related to the degree of inflammation, while the changes in the gamma protein and the beta, glycoprotein appear to be related to the specific antibody response.

  4. Probing High-density Functional Protein Microarrays to Detect Protein-protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Fasolo, Joseph; Im, Hogune; Snyder, Michael P

    2015-01-01

    High-density functional protein microarrays containing ~4,200 recombinant yeast proteins are examined for kinase protein-protein interactions using an affinity purified yeast kinase fusion protein containing a V5-epitope tag for read-out. Purified kinase is obtained through culture of a yeast strain optimized for high copy protein production harboring a plasmid containing a Kinase-V5 fusion construct under a GAL inducible promoter. The yeast is grown in restrictive media with a neutral carbon source for 6 hr followed by induction with 2% galactose. Next, the culture is harvested and kinase is purified using standard affinity chromatographic techniques to obtain a highly purified protein kinase for use in the assay. The purified kinase is diluted with kinase buffer to an appropriate range for the assay and the protein microarrays are blocked prior to hybridization with the protein microarray. After the hybridization, the arrays are probed with monoclonal V5 antibody to identify proteins bound by the kinase-V5 protein. Finally, the arrays are scanned using a standard microarray scanner, and data is extracted for downstream informatics analysis to determine a high confidence set of protein interactions for downstream validation in vivo. PMID:26274875

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Protein Repeats from First Principles.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

    Some natural proteins display recurrent structural patterns. Despite being highly similar at the tertiary structure level, repeating patterns within a single repeat protein can be extremely variable at the sequence level. We use a mathematical definition of a repetition and investigate the occurrences of these in sequences of different protein families. We found that long stretches of perfect repetitions are infrequent in individual natural proteins, even for those which are known to fold into structures of recurrent structural motifs. We found that natural repeat proteins are indeed repetitive in their families, exhibiting abundant stretches of 6 amino acids or longer that are perfect repetitions in the reference family. We provide a systematic quantification for this repetitiveness. We show that this form of repetitiveness is not exclusive of repeat proteins, but also occurs in globular domains. A by-product of this work is a fast quantification of the likelihood of a protein to belong to a family. PMID:27044676

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Dietary protein and blood pressure.

    PubMed

    Bursztyn, P G; Vas Dias, F W

    1985-01-01

    Vegetarians have lower blood pressures than omnivores. Dietary protein may be partly responsible. Human volunteers, whose normal diet contained little soya protein, were given soya based foods to replace some of the meat in their diet. During this period over 20% of the total protein intake was derived from soya, however blood pressures remained unchanged. Rabbits were given diets based on either soya, casein, or fish protein. The animals' diets were then changed to one of the other protein sources. During the subsequent 3 weeks, small increases in blood pressure were seen in the casein and soya groups. When rabbits were given fat enriched diets, blood pressures rose but the increase was independent of the type of protein in the diet. It is concluded that the type of protein consumed is unlikely to account for the blood pressure differences between vegetarians and omnivores. Arguments are presented suggesting that other dietary components, such as fat or fibre may be responsible.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Converting a marginally hydrophobic soluble protein into a membrane protein.

    PubMed

    Nørholm, Morten H H; Cunningham, Fiona; Deber, Charles M; von Heijne, Gunnar

    2011-03-18

    δ-Helices are marginally hydrophobic α-helical segments in soluble proteins that exhibit certain sequence characteristics of transmembrane (TM) helices [Cunningham, F., Rath, A., Johnson, R. M. & Deber, C. M. (2009). Distinctions between hydrophobic helices in globular proteins and TM segments as factors in protein sorting. J. Biol. Chem., 284, 5395-402]. In order to better understand the difference between δ-helices and TM helices, we have studied the insertion of five TM-like δ-helices into dog pancreas microsomal membranes. Using model constructs in which an isolated δ-helix is engineered into a bona fide membrane protein, we find that, for two δ-helices originating from secreted proteins, at least three single-nucleotide mutations are necessary to obtain efficient membrane insertion, whereas one mutation is sufficient in a δ-helix from the cytosolic protein P450BM-3. We further find that only when the entire upstream region of the mutated δ-helix in the intact cytochrome P450BM-3 is deleted does a small fraction of the truncated protein insert into microsomes. Our results suggest that upstream portions of the polypeptide, as well as embedded charged residues, protect δ-helices in globular proteins from being recognized by the signal recognition particle-Sec61 endoplasmic-reticulum-targeting machinery and that δ-helices in secreted proteins are mutationally more distant from TM helices than δ-helices in cytosolic proteins.

  18. Optimization of the electrostatic interactions in protein-protein complexes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alexov, Emil; Brock, Kelly; Kundrotas, Petras

    2007-03-01

    Electrostatic energy is one of the driving forces of protein-protein association. Understanding the role of the energy components on the energetics of protein-protein association will help us in engineering protein-protein interactions and could lead to development of scoring functions that can rank alternative models and decoys. Here we investigate whether the components of the electrostatic energy of protein-protein complexes is optimized in respect to random distribution of the charged residues. We report a clear tendency that coulombic electrostatic interactions are optimized, while the reaction field energy is inversely optimized. It was found that the maximum of the coulombic energy Z-score is shifted 3 units away from the origin and the maximum of the reaction field energy by 2 units. Such a large shift of the Z-score of both coulombic and reaction field energies indicates that wild-type protein-protein interactions are in most cases optimized in terms of coulombic interactions while compromising reaction field energy. Based on these finding a scoring function was developed as a linear combination of the Z-score of the coulombic interactions minus Z-score of the reaction field energy. The scoring function was tested against the decoy sets and it was shown that in majority of the cases we can identify the wild-type complex among hundreds of decoys.

  19. Protein farnesyltransferase and protein prenylation in Plasmodium falciparum.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarti, Debopam; Da Silva, Thiago; Barger, Jennifer; Paquette, Steve; Patel, Hetal; Patterson, Shelley; Allen, Charles M

    2002-11-01

    Comparison of the malaria parasite and mammalian protein prenyltransferases and their cellular substrates is important for establishing this enzyme as a target for developing antimalarial agents. Nineteen heptapeptides differing only in their carboxyl-terminal amino acid were tested as alternative substrates of partially purified Plasmodium falciparum protein farnesyltransferase. Only NRSCAIM and NRSCAIQ serve as substrates, with NRSCAIM being the best. Peptidomimetics, FTI-276 and GGTI-287, inhibit the transferase with IC(50) values of 1 and 32 nm, respectively. Incubation of P. falciparum-infected erythrocytes with [(3)H]farnesol labels 50- and 22-28-kDa proteins, whereas [(3)H]geranylgeraniol labels only 22-28-kDa proteins. The 50-kDa protein is shown to be farnesylated, whereas the 22-28-kDa proteins are geranylgeranylated, irrespective of the labeling prenol. Protein labeling is inhibited more than 50% by either 5 microm FTI-277 or GGTI-298. The same concentration of inhibitors also inhibits parasite growth from the ring stage by 50%, decreases expression of prenylated proteins as measured with prenyl-specific antibody, and inhibits parasite differentiation beyond the trophozoite stage. Furthermore, differentiation specific prenylation of P. falciparum proteins is demonstrated. Protein labeling is detected predominantly during the trophozoite to schizont and schizont to ring transitions. These results demonstrate unique properties of protein prenylation in P. falciparum: a limited specificity of the farnesyltransferase for peptide substrates compared with mammalian enzymes, the ability to use farnesol to label both farnesyl and geranylgeranyl moieties on proteins, differentiation specific protein prenylation, and the ability of peptidomimetic prenyltransferase inhibitors to block parasite differentiation.

  20. Introduction to protein crystallization.

    PubMed

    McPherson, Alexander; Gavira, Jose A

    2014-01-01

    Protein crystallization was discovered by chance about 150 years ago and was developed in the late 19th century as a powerful purification tool and as a demonstration of chemical purity. The crystallization of proteins, nucleic acids and large biological complexes, such as viruses, depends on the creation of a solution that is supersaturated in the macromolecule but exhibits conditions that do not significantly perturb its natural state. Supersaturation is produced through the addition of mild precipitating agents such as neutral salts or polymers, and by the manipulation of various parameters that include temperature, ionic strength and pH. Also important in the crystallization process are factors that can affect the structural state of the macromolecule, such as metal ions, inhibitors, cofactors or other conventional small molecules. A variety of approaches have been developed that combine the spectrum of factors that effect and promote crystallization, and among the most widely used are vapor diffusion, dialysis, batch and liquid-liquid diffusion. Successes in macromolecular crystallization have multiplied rapidly in recent years owing to the advent of practical, easy-to-use screening kits and the application of laboratory robotics. A brief review will be given here of the most popular methods, some guiding principles and an overview of current technologies.

  1. Cow's Milk Protein Allergy.

    PubMed

    Mousan, Grace; Kamat, Deepak

    2016-10-01

    Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is a common condition encountered in children with incidence estimated as 2% to 7.5% in the first year of life. Formula and breast-fed babies can present with symptoms of CMPA. It is important to accurately diagnose CMPA to avoid the consequences of either under- or overdiagnosis. CMPA is classically categorized into immunoglobulin E (IgE)- or non-IgE-mediated reaction that vary in clinical manifestations, diagnostic evaluation, and prognosis. The most commonly involved systems in patients with CMPA are gastrointestinal, skin, and respiratory. Evaluation of CMPA starts with good data gathering followed by testing if indicated. Treatment is simply by avoidance of cow's milk protein (CMP) in the child's or mother's diet, if exclusively breast-feeding. This article reviews the definition, epidemiology, risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical presentation, evaluation, management, and prognosis of CMPA and provides an overview of different options for formulas and their indication in the treatment of CMPA. PMID:27582492

  2. Rat myocardial protein degradation.

    PubMed

    Steer, J H; Hopkins, B E

    1981-07-01

    1. Myocardial protein degradation rates were determined by following tyrosine release from rat isolated left hemi-atria in vitro. 2. After two 20 min preincubations the rate of tyrosine release from hemi-atria was constant for 4 h. 3. Skeletal muscle protein degradation was determined by following tyrosine release from rat isolated hemi-diaphragm (Fulks, Li & Goldberg, 1975). 4. Insulin (10(-7) M) inhibited tyrosine release from hemi-atria and hemi-diaphragm to a similar extent. A 48 h fast increased tyrosine release rate from hemi-diaphragm and decreased tyrosine release rate from hemi-atria. Hemi-diaphragm tyrosine release was inhibited by 15 mmol/l D-glucose but a variety of concentrations of D-glucose (0, 5, 15 mmol/l) had no effect on tyrosine release from hemi-atria. Five times the normal plasma levels of the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine had no effect on tyrosine release from either hemi-atria or hemi-diaphragm.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Protein secretion in Pichia pastoris and advances in protein production.

    PubMed

    Damasceno, Leonardo M; Huang, Chung-Jr; Batt, Carl A

    2012-01-01

    Yeast expression systems have been successfully used for over 20 years for the production of recombinant proteins. With the growing interest in recombinant protein expression for various uses, yeast expression systems, such as the popular Pichia pastoris, are becoming increasingly important. Although P. pastoris has been successfully used in the production of many secreted and intracellular recombinant proteins, there is still room for improvement of this expression system. In particular, secretion of recombinant proteins is still one of the main reasons for using P. pastoris. Therefore, endoplasmic reticulum protein folding, correct glycosylation, vesicular transport to the plasma membrane, gene dosage, secretion signal sequences, and secretome studies are important considerations for improved recombinant protein production. PMID:22057543

  6. Neurocognitive derivation of protein surface property from protein aggregate parameters

    PubMed Central

    Mishra, Hrishikesh; Lahiri, Tapobrata

    2011-01-01

    Current work targeted to predicate parametric relationship between aggregate and individual property of a protein. In this approach, we considered individual property of a protein as its Surface Roughness Index (SRI) which was shown to have potential to classify SCOP protein families. The bulk property was however considered as Intensity Level based Multi-fractal Dimension (ILMFD) of ordinary microscopic images of heat denatured protein aggregates which was known to have potential to serve as protein marker. The protocol used multiple ILMFD inputs obtained for a protein to produce a set of mapped outputs as possible SRI candidates. The outputs were further clustered and largest cluster centre after normalization was found to be a close approximation of expected SRI that was calculated from known PDB structure. The outcome showed that faster derivation of individual protein’s surface property might be possible using its bulk form, heat denatured aggregates. PMID:21572883

  7. Side-Chain Conformational Preferences Govern Protein-Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Watkins, Andrew M; Bonneau, Richard; Arora, Paramjit S

    2016-08-24

    Protein secondary structures serve as geometrically constrained scaffolds for the display of key interacting residues at protein interfaces. Given the critical role of secondary structures in protein folding and the dependence of folding propensities on backbone dihedrals, secondary structure is expected to influence the identity of residues that are important for complex formation. Counter to this expectation, we find that a narrow set of residues dominates the binding energy in protein-protein complexes independent of backbone conformation. This finding suggests that the binding epitope may instead be substantially influenced by the side-chain conformations adopted. We analyzed side-chain conformational preferences in residues that contribute significantly to binding. This analysis suggests that preferred rotamers contribute directly to specificity in protein complex formation and provides guidelines for peptidomimetic inhibitor design.

  8. Signature Product Code for Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, Shawn B.; Brown, William M.

    2004-09-25

    The SigProdV1.0 software consists of four programs which together allow the prediction of protein-protein interactions using only amino acid sequences and experimental data. The software is based on the use of tensor products of amino acid trimers coupled with classifiers known as support vector machines. Essentially the program looks for amino acid trimer pairs which occur more frequently in protein pairs which are known to interact. These trimer pairs are then used to make predictions about unknown protein pairs. A detailed description of the method can be found in the paper: S. Martin, D. Roe, J.L. Faulon. "Predicting protein-protein interactions using signature products," Bioinformatics, available online from Advance Access, Aug. 19, 2004.

  9. 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.

  10. Expanding coordination chemistry from protein to protein assembly.

    PubMed

    Sanghamitra, Nusrat J M; Ueno, Takafumi

    2013-05-14

    Bioinorganic chemistry is of growing importance in the fields of nanomaterial science and biotechnology. Coordination of metals by biological systems is a crucial step in intricate enzymatic reactions such as photosynthesis, nitrogen fixation and biomineralization. Although such systems employ protein assemblies as molecular scaffolds, the important roles of protein assemblies in coordination chemistry have not been systematically investigated and characterized. Many researchers are joining the field of bioinorganic chemistry to investigate the inorganic chemistry of protein assemblies. This area is emerging as an important next-generation research field in bioinorganic chemistry. This article reviews recent progress in rational design of protein assemblies in coordination chemistry for integration of catalytic reactions using metal complexes, preparation of mineral biomimetics, and mechanistic investigations of biomineralization processes with protein assemblies. The unique chemical properties of protein assemblies in the form of cages, tubes, and crystals are described in this review.

  11. Signature Product Code for Predicting Protein-Protein Interactions

    2004-09-25

    The SigProdV1.0 software consists of four programs which together allow the prediction of protein-protein interactions using only amino acid sequences and experimental data. The software is based on the use of tensor products of amino acid trimers coupled with classifiers known as support vector machines. Essentially the program looks for amino acid trimer pairs which occur more frequently in protein pairs which are known to interact. These trimer pairs are then used to make predictionsmore » about unknown protein pairs. A detailed description of the method can be found in the paper: S. Martin, D. Roe, J.L. Faulon. "Predicting protein-protein interactions using signature products," Bioinformatics, available online from Advance Access, Aug. 19, 2004.« less

  12. Protein efficiency ratios and net protein ratios of selected protein foods.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, G V; Jenkins, M Y; Grundel, E

    1989-01-01

    As a part of a cooperative study initiated to assess both in vitro and in vivo protein quality methods, the protein efficiency ratio (PER) and net protein ratios (NPR) of 15 different protein sources were determined. Male weanling Sprague-Dawley rats were fed a 10% protein diet. Fourteen-day NPR and relative NPR (RNPR) values and 14- and 28-day PER and relative PER (RPER) values were calculated for each protein source. When protein quality values were expressed relative to ANRC casein, the 14- and 28-day PER data ranked the protein sources essentially in the same order. RPER values of nonfat dried skim milk (unheated) and tuna were more than 100% that of casein; nonfat dried skim milk (heated), chickpeas, and breakfast sausage were between 50 and 70% of that of casein; and pinto beans and rice-wheat gluten cereal did not support substantial growth of the rat. The NPR method did not always rank the protein sources in the same order as the PER method. For the poor quality proteins, RNPR values were much higher than the RPER values; however, the RNPR and RPER values agreed closely for high quality protein sources. PMID:2710752

  13. 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.

  14. Prediction of thermodynamic instabilities of protein solutions from simple protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Agostino, Tommaso; Solana, José Ramón; Emanuele, Antonio

    2013-10-01

    Statistical thermodynamics of protein solutions is often studied in terms of simple, microscopic models of particles interacting via pairwise potentials. Such modelling can reproduce the short range structure of protein solutions at equilibrium and predict thermodynamics instabilities of these systems. We introduce a square well model of effective protein-protein interaction that embeds the solvent’s action. We modify an existing model [45] by considering a well depth having an explicit dependence on temperature, i.e. an explicit free energy character, thus encompassing the statistically relevant configurations of solvent molecules around proteins. We choose protein solutions exhibiting demixing upon temperature decrease (lysozyme, enthalpy driven) and upon temperature increase (haemoglobin, entropy driven). We obtain satisfactory fits of spinodal curves for both the two proteins without adding any mean field term, thus extending the validity of the original model. Our results underline the solvent role in modulating or stretching the interaction potential.

  15. 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

  16. Protein adaptations in archaeal extremophiles.

    PubMed

    Reed, Christopher J; Lewis, Hunter; Trejo, Eric; Winston, Vern; Evilia, Caryn

    2013-01-01

    Extremophiles, especially those in Archaea, have a myriad of adaptations that keep their cellular proteins stable and active under the extreme conditions in which they live. Rather than having one basic set of adaptations that works for all environments, Archaea have evolved separate protein features that are customized for each environment. We categorized the Archaea into three general groups to describe what is known about their protein adaptations: thermophilic, psychrophilic, and halophilic. Thermophilic proteins tend to have a prominent hydrophobic core and increased electrostatic interactions to maintain activity at high temperatures. Psychrophilic proteins have a reduced hydrophobic core and a less charged protein surface to maintain flexibility and activity under cold temperatures. Halophilic proteins are characterized by increased negative surface charge due to increased acidic amino acid content and peptide insertions, which compensates for the extreme ionic conditions. While acidophiles, alkaliphiles, and piezophiles are their own class of Archaea, their protein adaptations toward pH and pressure are less discernible. By understanding the protein adaptations used by archaeal extremophiles, we hope to be able to engineer and utilize proteins for industrial, environmental, and biotechnological applications where function in extreme conditions is required for activity.

  17. 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.

  18. Phylogenomics of Prokaryotic Ribosomal Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Yutin, Natalya; Puigbò, Pere; Koonin, Eugene V.; Wolf, Yuri I.

    2012-01-01

    Archaeal and bacterial ribosomes contain more than 50 proteins, including 34 that are universally conserved in the three domains of cellular life (bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes). Despite the high sequence conservation, annotation of ribosomal (r-) protein genes is often difficult because of their short lengths and biased sequence composition. We developed an automated computational pipeline for identification of r-protein genes and applied it to 995 completely sequenced bacterial and 87 archaeal genomes available in the RefSeq database. The pipeline employs curated seed alignments of r-proteins to run position-specific scoring matrix (PSSM)-based BLAST searches against six-frame genome translations, mitigating possible gene annotation errors. As a result of this analysis, we performed a census of prokaryotic r-protein complements, enumerated missing and paralogous r-proteins, and analyzed the distributions of ribosomal protein genes among chromosomal partitions. Phyletic patterns of bacterial and archaeal r-protein genes were mapped to phylogenetic trees reconstructed from concatenated alignments of r-proteins to reveal the history of likely multiple independent gains and losses. These alignments, available for download, can be used as search profiles to improve genome annotation of r-proteins and for further comparative genomics studies. PMID:22615861

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    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.

  20. Novel computational methods to design protein-protein interactions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Alice Qinhua; O'Hern, Corey; Regan, Lynne

    2014-03-01

    Despite the abundance of structural data, we still cannot accurately predict the structural and energetic changes resulting from mutations at protein interfaces. The inadequacy of current computational approaches to the analysis and design of protein-protein interactions has hampered the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic agents. In this work, we apply a simple physical model that includes only a minimal set of geometrical constraints, excluded volume, and attractive van der Waals interactions to 1) rank the binding affinity of mutants of tetratricopeptide repeat proteins with their cognate peptides, 2) rank the energetics of binding of small designed proteins to the hydrophobic stem region of the influenza hemagglutinin protein, and 3) predict the stability of T4 lysozyme and staphylococcal nuclease mutants. This work will not only lead to a fundamental understanding of protein-protein interactions, but also to the development of efficient computational methods to rationally design protein interfaces with tunable specificity and affinity, and numerous applications in biomedicine. NSF DMR-1006537, PHY-1019147, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Institute for Biological, Physical and Engineering Sciences, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

  1. Membrane Protein Solubilization and Composition of Protein Detergent Complexes.

    PubMed

    Duquesne, Katia; Prima, Valérie; Sturgis, James N

    2016-01-01

    Membrane proteins are typically expressed in heterologous systems with a view to in vitro characterization. A critical step in the preparation of membrane proteins after expression in any system is the solubilization of the protein in aqueous solution, typically using detergents and lipids, to obtain the protein in a form suitable for purification, structural or functional analysis. This process is particularly difficult as the objective is to prepare the protein in an unnatural environment, a protein detergent complex, separating it from its natural lipid partners while causing the minimum destabilization or modification of the structure. Although the process is difficult, and relatively hard to master, an increasing number of membrane proteins have been successfully isolated after expression in a wide variety of systems. In this chapter we give a general protocol for preparing protein detergent complexes that is aimed at guiding the reader through the different critical steps. In the second part of the chapter we illustrate how to analyze the composition of protein detergent complexes; this analysis is important as it has been found that compositional variation often causes irreproducible results. PMID:27485340

  2. 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.

  3. Protein expression strategies for identification of novel target proteins.

    PubMed

    Schuster, M; Wasserbauer, E; Einhauer, A; Ortner, C; Jungbauer, A; Hammerschmid, F; Werner, G

    2000-04-01

    Identification of new target proteins is a novel paradigm in drug discovery. A major bottleneck of this strategy is the rapid and simultaneous expression of proteins from differential gene expression to identify eligible candidates. By searching for a generic system enabling high throughput expression analysis and purification of unknown cDNAs, we evaluated the YEpFLAG-1 yeast expression system. We have selected cDNAs encoding model proteins (eukaryotic initiation factor-5A [eIF-5A] and Homo sapiens differentiation-dependent protein-A4) and cDNA encoding an unknown protein (UP-1) for overexpression in Saccharomyces cerevisiae using fusions with a peptide that changes its conformation in the presence of Ca2+ ions, the FLAG tag (Eastman Kodak, Rochester, NY). The cDNAs encoding unknown proteins originating from a directionally cloned cDNA library were expressed in all three possible reading frames. The expressed proteins were detected by an antibody directed against the FLAG tag and/or by antibodies against the model proteins. The alpha-leader sequence, encoding a yeast mating pheromone, upstream of the gene fusion site facilitates secretion into the culture supernatant. EIF-5A could be highly overexpressed and was secreted into the culture supernatant. In contrast, the Homo sapiens differentiation-dependent protein-A4 as well as the protein UP-1, whose cDNA did not match to any known gene, could not be detected in the culture supernatant. The expression product of the correct frame remained in the cells, whereas the FLAG-tagged proteins secreted into the supernatant were short, out-of-frame products. The presence of transmembrane domains or patches of hydrophobic amino acids may preclude secretion of these proteins into the culture supernatant. Subsequently, isolation and purification of the various proteins was accomplished by affinity chromatography or affinity extraction using magnetizable beads coated with the anti-FLAG monoclonal antibody. The purity of

  4. Cry Protein Crystals: A Novel Platform for Protein Delivery

    PubMed Central

    Bonnegarde-Bernard, Astrid; Wallace, Julie A.; Dean, Donald H.; Ostrowski, Michael C.; Burry, Richard W.; Boyaka, Prosper N.; Chan, Michael K.

    2015-01-01

    Protein delivery platforms are important tools in the development of novel protein therapeutics and biotechnologies. We have developed a new class of protein delivery agent based on sub-micrometer-sized Cry3Aa protein crystals that naturally form within the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. We demonstrate that fusion of the cry3Aa gene to that of various reporter proteins allows for the facile production of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals for use in subsequent applications. These Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals are efficiently taken up and retained by macrophages and other cell lines in vitro, and can be delivered to mice in vivo via multiple modes of administration. Oral delivery of Cry3Aa fusion protein crystals to C57BL/6 mice leads to their uptake by MHC class II cells, including macrophages in the Peyer’s patches, supporting the notion that the Cry3Aa framework can be used to stabilize cargo protein against degradation for delivery to gastrointestinal lymphoid tissues. PMID:26030844

  5. 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.

  6. Water-protein interactions from high-resolution protein crystallography.

    PubMed Central

    Nakasako, Masayoshi

    2004-01-01

    To understand the role of water in life at molecular and atomic levels, structures and interactions at the protein-water interface have been investigated by cryogenic X-ray crystallography. The method enabled a much clearer visualization of definite hydration sites on the protein surface than at ambient temperature. Using the structural models of proteins, including several hydration water molecules, the characteristics in hydration structures were systematically analysed for the amount, the interaction geometries between water molecules and proteins, and the local and global distribution of water molecules on the surface of proteins. The tetrahedral hydrogen-bond geometry of water molecules in bulk solvent was retained at the interface and enabled the extension of a three-dimensional chain connection of a hydrogen-bond network among hydration water molecules and polar protein atoms over the entire surface of proteins. Networks of hydrogen bonds were quite flexible to accommodate and/or to regulate the conformational changes of proteins such as domain motions. The present experimental results may have profound implications in the understanding of the physico-chemical principles governing the dynamics of proteins in an aqueous environment and a discussion of why water is essential to life at a molecular level. PMID:15306376

  7. 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. PMID:26030844

  8. The Protein Naming Utility: a rules database for protein nomenclature.

    PubMed

    Goll, Johannes; Montgomery, Robert; Brinkac, Lauren M; Schobel, Seth; Harkins, Derek M; Sebastian, Yinong; Shrivastava, Susmita; Durkin, Scott; Sutton, Granger

    2010-01-01

    Generation of syntactically correct and unambiguous names for proteins is a challenging, yet vital task for functional annotation processes. Proteins are often named based on homology to known proteins, many of which have problematic names. To address the need to generate high-quality protein names, and capture our significant experience correcting protein names manually, we have developed the Protein Naming Utility (PNU, http://www.jcvi.org/pn-utility). The PNU is a web-based database for storing and applying naming rules to identify and correct syntactically incorrect protein names, or to replace synonyms with their preferred name. The PNU allows users to generate and manage collections of naming rules, optionally building upon the growing body of rules generated at the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI). Since communities often enforce disparate conventions for naming proteins, the PNU supports grouping rules into user-managed collections. Users can check their protein names against a selected PNU rule collection, generating both statistics and corrected names. The PNU can also be used to correct GenBank table files prior to submission to GenBank. Currently, the database features 3080 manual rules that have been entered by JCVI Bioinformatics Analysts as well as 7458 automatically imported names.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Electron hopping through proteins

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Jeffrey J.; Ener, Maraia E.; Vlček, Antonín; Winkler, Jay R.; Gray, Harry B.

    2012-01-01

    Biological redox machines require efficient transfer of electrons and holes for function. Reactions involving multiple tunneling steps, termed “hopping,” often promote charge separation within and between proteins that is essential for energy storage and conversion. Here we show how semiclassical electron transfer theory can be extended to include hopping reactions: graphical representations (called hopping maps) of the dependence of calculated two-step reaction rate constants on driving force are employed to account for flow in a rhenium-labeled azurin mutant as well as in two structurally characterized redox enzymes, DNA photolyase and MauG. Analysis of the 35 Å radical propagation in ribonucleotide reductases using hopping maps shows that all tyrosines and tryptophans on the radical pathway likely are involved in function. We suggest that hopping maps can facilitate the design and construction of artificial photosynthetic systems for the production of fuels and other chemicals. PMID:23420049

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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. PMID:23276922

  19. Protein aggregation in salt solutions.

    PubMed

    Kastelic, Miha; Kalyuzhnyi, Yurij V; Hribar-Lee, Barbara; Dill, Ken A; Vlachy, Vojko

    2015-05-26

    Protein aggregation is broadly important in diseases and in formulations of biological drugs. Here, we develop a theoretical model for reversible protein-protein aggregation in salt solutions. We treat proteins as hard spheres having square-well-energy binding sites, using Wertheim's thermodynamic perturbation theory. The necessary condition required for such modeling to be realistic is that proteins in solution during the experiment remain in their compact form. Within this limitation our model gives accurate liquid-liquid coexistence curves for lysozyme and γ IIIa-crystallin solutions in respective buffers. It provides good fits to the cloud-point curves of lysozyme in buffer-salt mixtures as a function of the type and concentration of salt. It than predicts full coexistence curves, osmotic compressibilities, and second virial coefficients under such conditions. This treatment may also be relevant to protein crystallization.

  20. 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.