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Sample records for provide structural insight

  1. Animal NLRs provide structural insights into plant NLR function.

    PubMed

    Bentham, Adam; Burdett, Hayden; Anderson, Peter A; Williams, Simon J; Kobe, Bostjan

    2017-03-01

    The plant immune system employs intracellular NLRs (nucleotide binding [NB], leucine-rich repeat [LRR]/nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain [NOD]-like receptors) to detect effector proteins secreted into the plant cell by potential pathogens. Activated plant NLRs trigger a range of immune responses, collectively known as the hypersensitive response (HR), which culminates in death of the infected cell. Plant NLRs show structural and functional resemblance to animal NLRs involved in inflammatory and innate immune responses. Therefore, knowledge of the activation and regulation of animal NLRs can help us understand the mechanism of action of plant NLRs, and vice versa. This review provides an overview of the innate immune pathways in plants and animals, focusing on the available structural and biochemical information available for both plant and animal NLRs. We highlight the gap in knowledge between the animal and plant systems, in particular the lack of structural information for plant NLRs, with crystal structures only available for the N-terminal domains of plant NLRs and an integrated decoy domain, in contrast to the more complete structures available for animal NLRs. We assess the similarities and differences between plant and animal NLRs, and use the structural information on the animal NLR pair NAIP/NLRC4 to derive a plausible model for plant NLR activation. Signalling by cooperative assembly formation (SCAF) appears to operate in most innate immunity pathways, including plant and animal NLRs. Our proposed model of plant NLR activation includes three key steps: (1) initially, the NLR exists in an inactive auto-inhibited state; (2) a combination of binding by activating elicitor and ATP leads to a structural rearrangement of the NLR; and (3) signalling occurs through cooperative assembly of the resistosome. Further studies, structural and biochemical in particular, will be required to provide additional evidence for the different features of this model and

  2. Structure of CD84 Provides Insight into SLAM Family Function

    SciTech Connect

    Yan,Q.; Malashkevich, V.; Fedorov, A.; Fedorov, E.; Cao, E.; Lary, J.; Cole, J.; Nathenson, S.; Almo, S.

    2007-01-01

    The signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM) family includes homophilic and heterophilic receptors that modulate both adaptive and innate immune responses. These receptors share a common ectodomain organization: a membrane-proximal immunoglobulin constant domain and a membrane-distal immunoglobulin variable domain that is responsible for ligand recognition. CD84 is a homophilic family member that enhances IFN-{gamma} secretion in activated T cells. Our solution studies revealed that CD84 strongly self-associates with a K{sub d} in the submicromolar range. These data, in combination with previous reports, demonstrate that the SLAM family homophilic affinities span at least three orders of magnitude and suggest that differences in the affinities may contribute to the distinct signaling behavior exhibited by the individual family members. The 2.0 {angstrom} crystal structure of the human CD84 immunoglobulin variable domain revealed an orthogonal homophilic dimer with high similarity to the recently reported homophilic dimer of the SLAM family member NTB-A. Structural and chemical differences in the homophilic interfaces provide a mechanism to prevent the formation of undesired heterodimers among the SLAM family homophilic receptors. These structural data also suggest that, like NTB-A, all SLAM family homophilic dimers adopt a highly kinked organization spanning an end-to-end distance of {approx}140 {angstrom}. This common molecular dimension provides an opportunity for all two-domain SLAM family receptors to colocalize within the immunological synapse and bridge the T cell and antigen-presenting cell.

  3. Structure of the Hantavirus Nucleoprotein Provides Insights into the Mechanism of RNA Encapsidation.

    PubMed

    Olal, Daniel; Daumke, Oliver

    2016-03-08

    Hantaviruses are etiological agents of life-threatening hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome and hantavirus cardiopulmonary syndrome. The nucleoprotein (N) of hantavirus is essential for viral transcription and replication, thus representing an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. We have determined the crystal structure of hantavirus N to 3.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals a two-lobed, mostly α-helical structure that is distantly related to that of orthobunyavirus Ns. A basic RNA binding pocket is located at the intersection between the two lobes. We provide evidence that oligomerization is mediated by amino- and C-terminal arms that bind to the adjacent monomers. Based on these findings, we suggest a model for the oligomeric ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex. Our structure provides mechanistic insights into RNA encapsidation in the genus Hantavirus and constitutes a template for drug discovery efforts aimed at combating hantavirus infections.

  4. Crystal structure of Streptococcus pneumoniae pneumolysin provides key insights into early steps of pore formation

    PubMed Central

    Lawrence, Sara L.; Feil, Susanne C.; Morton, Craig J.; Farrand, Allison J.; Mulhern, Terrence D.; Gorman, Michael A.; Wade, Kristin R.; Tweten, Rodney K.; Parker, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Pore-forming proteins are weapons often used by bacterial pathogens to breach the membrane barrier of target cells. Despite their critical role in infection important structural aspects of the mechanism of how these proteins assemble into pores remain unknown. Streptococcus pneumoniae is the world’s leading cause of pneumonia, meningitis, bacteremia and otitis media. Pneumolysin (PLY) is a major virulence factor of S. pneumoniae and a target for both small molecule drug development and vaccines. PLY is a member of the cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs), a family of pore-forming toxins that form gigantic pores in cell membranes. Here we present the structure of PLY determined by X-ray crystallography and, in solution, by small-angle X-ray scattering. The crystal structure reveals PLY assembles as a linear oligomer that provides key structural insights into the poorly understood early monomer-monomer interactions of CDCs at the membrane surface. PMID:26403197

  5. Crystal structure of a claudin provides insight into the architecture of tight junctions.

    PubMed

    Suzuki, Hiroshi; Nishizawa, Tomohiro; Tani, Kazutoshi; Yamazaki, Yuji; Tamura, Atsushi; Ishitani, Ryuichiro; Dohmae, Naoshi; Tsukita, Sachiko; Nureki, Osamu; Fujiyoshi, Yoshinori

    2014-04-18

    Tight junctions are cell-cell adhesion structures in epithelial cell sheets that surround organ compartments in multicellular organisms and regulate the permeation of ions through the intercellular space. Claudins are the major constituents of tight junctions and form strands that mediate cell adhesion and function as paracellular barriers. We report the structure of mammalian claudin-15 at a resolution of 2.4 angstroms. The structure reveals a characteristic β-sheet fold comprising two extracellular segments, which is anchored to a transmembrane four-helix bundle by a consensus motif. Our analyses suggest potential paracellular pathways with distinctive charges on the extracellular surface, providing insight into the molecular basis of ion homeostasis across tight junctions.

  6. Crystal structure of microsomal prostaglandin E2 synthase provides insight into diversity in the MAPEG superfamily

    PubMed Central

    Sjögren, Tove; Nord, Johan; Ek, Margareta; Johansson, Patrik; Liu, Gang; Geschwindner, Stefan

    2013-01-01

    Prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is a key mediator in inflammatory response. The main source of inducible PGE2, microsomal PGE2 synthase-1 (mPGES-1), has emerged as an interesting drug target for treatment of pain. To support inhibitor design, we have determined the crystal structure of human mPGES-1 to 1.2 Å resolution. The structure reveals three well-defined active site cavities within the membrane-spanning region in each monomer interface of the trimeric structure. An important determinant of the active site cavity is a small cytosolic domain inserted between transmembrane helices I and II. This extra domain is not observed in other structures of proteins within the MAPEG (Membrane-Associated Proteins involved in Eicosanoid and Glutathione metabolism) superfamily but is likely to be present also in microsomal GST-1 based on sequence similarity. An unexpected feature of the structure is a 16-Å-deep cone-shaped cavity extending from the cytosolic side into the membrane-spanning region. We suggest a potential role for this cavity in substrate access. Based on the structure of the active site, we propose a catalytic mechanism in which serine 127 plays a key role. We have also determined the structure of mPGES-1 in complex with a glutathione-based analog, providing insight into mPGES-1 flexibility and potential for structure-based drug design. PMID:23431194

  7. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA

    SciTech Connect

    Sidhu, Navdeep S.; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M.; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that typically manifests itself in childhood and is caused by mutations in the gene for the lysosomal enzyme sulfamidase. The first structure of this enzyme is presented, which provides insight into the molecular basis of disease-causing mutations, and the enzymatic mechanism is proposed. Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  8. Biophysical studies suggest a new structural arrangement of crotoxin and provide insights into its toxic mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Carlos A. H.; Pazin, Wallance M.; Dreyer, Thiago R.; Bicev, Renata N.; Cavalcante, Walter L. G.; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo L.; Ito, Amando S.; Oliveira, Cristiano L. P.; Fernandez, Roberto Morato; Fontes, Marcos R. M.

    2017-01-01

    Crotoxin (CTX) is the main neurotoxin found in Crotalus durissus rattlesnake venoms being composed by a nontoxic and non-enzymatic component (CA) and a toxic phospholipase A2 (CB). Previous crystallographic structures of CTX and CB provided relevant insights: (i) CTX structure showed a 1:1 molecular ratio between CA and CB, presenting three tryptophan residues in the CA/CB interface and one exposed to solvent; (ii) CB structure displayed a tetrameric conformation. This study aims to provide further information on the CTX mechanism of action by several biophysical methods. Our data show that isolated CB can in fact form tetramers in solution; however, these tetramers can be dissociated by CA titration. Furthermore, CTX exhibits a strong reduction in fluorescence intensity and lifetime compared with isolated CA and CB, suggesting that all tryptophan residues in CTX may be hidden by the CA/CB interface. By companying spectroscopy fluorescence and SAXS data, we obtained a new structural model for the CTX heterodimer in which all tryptophans are located in the interface, and the N-terminal region of CB is largely exposed to the solvent. Based on this model, we propose a toxic mechanism of action for CTX, involving the interaction of N-terminal region of CB with the target before CA dissociation. PMID:28256632

  9. Biophysical studies suggest a new structural arrangement of crotoxin and provide insights into its toxic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Fernandes, Carlos A H; Pazin, Wallance M; Dreyer, Thiago R; Bicev, Renata N; Cavalcante, Walter L G; Fortes-Dias, Consuelo L; Ito, Amando S; Oliveira, Cristiano L P; Fernandez, Roberto Morato; Fontes, Marcos R M

    2017-03-03

    Crotoxin (CTX) is the main neurotoxin found in Crotalus durissus rattlesnake venoms being composed by a nontoxic and non-enzymatic component (CA) and a toxic phospholipase A2 (CB). Previous crystallographic structures of CTX and CB provided relevant insights: (i) CTX structure showed a 1:1 molecular ratio between CA and CB, presenting three tryptophan residues in the CA/CB interface and one exposed to solvent; (ii) CB structure displayed a tetrameric conformation. This study aims to provide further information on the CTX mechanism of action by several biophysical methods. Our data show that isolated CB can in fact form tetramers in solution; however, these tetramers can be dissociated by CA titration. Furthermore, CTX exhibits a strong reduction in fluorescence intensity and lifetime compared with isolated CA and CB, suggesting that all tryptophan residues in CTX may be hidden by the CA/CB interface. By companying spectroscopy fluorescence and SAXS data, we obtained a new structural model for the CTX heterodimer in which all tryptophans are located in the interface, and the N-terminal region of CB is largely exposed to the solvent. Based on this model, we propose a toxic mechanism of action for CTX, involving the interaction of N-terminal region of CB with the target before CA dissociation.

  10. Structures of parasite calreticulins provide insights into their flexibility and dual carbohydrate/peptide-binding properties

    PubMed Central

    Moreau, Christophe; Cioci, Gianluca; Iannello, Marina; Laffly, Emmanuelle; Chouquet, Anne; Ferreira, Arturo; Thielens, Nicole M.; Gaboriaud, Christine

    2016-01-01

    Calreticulin (CRT) is a multifaceted protein, initially discovered as an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperone protein, that is essential in calcium metabolism. Various implications in cancer, early development and immunology have been discovered more recently for CRT, as well as its role as a dominant ‘eat-me’ prophagocytic signal. Intriguingly, cell-surface exposure/secretion of CRT is among the infective strategies used by parasites such as Trypanosoma cruzi, Entamoeba histolytica, Taenia solium, Leishmania donovani and Schistosoma mansoni. Because of the inherent flexibility of CRTs, their analysis by X-ray crystallography requires the design of recombinant constructs suitable for crystallization, and thus only the structures of two very similar mammalian CRT lectin domains are known. With the X-ray structures of two distant parasite CRTs, insights into species structural determinants that might be harnessed to fight against the parasites without affecting the functions of the host CRT are now provided. Moreover, although the hypothesis that CRT can exhibit both open and closed conformations has been proposed in relation to its chaperone function, only the open conformation has so far been observed in crystal structures. The first evidence is now provided of a complex conformational transition with the junction reoriented towards P-domain closure. SAXS experiments also provided additional information about the flexibility of T. cruzi CRT in solution, thus complementing crystallographic data on the open conformation. Finally, regarding the conserved lectin-domain structure and chaperone function, evidence is provided of its dual carbohydrate/protein specificity and a new scheme is proposed to interpret such unusual substrate-binding properties. These fascinating features are fully consistent with previous experimental observations, as discussed considering the broad spectrum of CRT sequence conservations and differences. PMID:27840680

  11. Crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana provides insights into its product specificity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Weiwei; Wang, Wenhe; Liu, Zihe; Xie, Yongchao; Wang, Hao; Mu, Yajuan; Huang, Yao; Feng, Yue

    2016-09-16

    Specifier proteins are important components of the glucosinolate-myrosinase system, which mediate plant defense against herbivory and pathogen attacks. Upon tissue disruption, glucosinolates are hydrolyzed to instable aglucones by myrosinases, and then aglucones will rearrange to form defensive isothiocyanates. Specifier proteins can redirect this reaction to form other products, such as simple nitriles, epithionitriles and organic thiocyanates instead of isothiocyanates based on the side chain structure of glucosinolate and the type of the specifier proteins. Nevertheless, the molecular mechanism underlying the different product spectrums of various specifier proteins was not fully understood. Here in this study, we solved the crystal structure of the Epithiospecifier Protein, ESP from Arabidopsis thaliana (AtESP) at 2.3 Å resolution. Structural comparisons with the previously solved structure of thiocyanate forming protein, TFP from Thlaspi arvense (TaTFP) reveal that AtESP shows a dimerization pattern different from TaTFP. Moreover, AtESP harbors a slightly larger active site pocket than TaTFP and several residues around the active site are different between the two proteins, which might account for the different product spectrums of the two proteins. Together, our structural study provides important insights into the molecular mechanisms of specifier proteins and shed light on the basis of their different product spectrums.

  12. Crystal structure of Manduca sexta prophenoloxidase provides insights into the mechanism of type 3 copper enzymes

    SciTech Connect

    Li, Yongchao; Wang, Yang; Jiang, Haobo; Deng, Junpeng

    2010-02-22

    Arthropod phenoloxidase (PO) generates quinones and other toxic compounds to sequester and kill pathogens during innate immune responses. It is also involved in wound healing and other physiological processes. Insect PO is activated from its inactive precursor, prophenoloxidase (PPO), by specific proteolysis via a serine protease cascade. Here, we report the crystal structure of PPO from a lepidopteran insect at a resolution of 1.97 {angstrom}, which is the initial structure for a PPO from the type 3 copper protein family. Manduca sexta PPO is a heterodimer consisting of 2 homologous polypeptide chains, PPO1 and PPO2. The active site of each subunit contains a canonical type 3 di-nuclear copper center, with each copper ion coordinated with 3 structurally conserved histidines. The acidic residue Glu-395 located at the active site of PPO2 may serve as a general base for deprotonation of monophenolic substrates, which is key to the ortho-hydroxylase activity of PO. The structure provides unique insights into the mechanism by which type 3 copper proteins differ in their enzymatic activities, albeit sharing a common active center. A drastic change in electrostatic surface induced on cleavage at Arg-51 allows us to propose a model for localized PPO activation in insects.

  13. Structure of sulfamidase provides insight into the molecular pathology of mucopolysaccharidosis IIIA.

    PubMed

    Sidhu, Navdeep S; Schreiber, Kathrin; Pröpper, Kevin; Becker, Stefan; Usón, Isabel; Sheldrick, George M; Gärtner, Jutta; Krätzner, Ralph; Steinfeld, Robert

    2014-05-01

    Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA (Sanfilippo A syndrome), a fatal childhood-onset neurodegenerative disease with mild facial, visceral and skeletal abnormalities, is caused by an inherited deficiency of the enzyme N-sulfoglucosamine sulfohydrolase (SGSH; sulfamidase). More than 100 mutations in the SGSH gene have been found to reduce or eliminate its enzymatic activity. However, the molecular understanding of the effect of these mutations has been confined by a lack of structural data for this enzyme. Here, the crystal structure of glycosylated SGSH is presented at 2 Å resolution. Despite the low sequence identity between this unique N-sulfatase and the group of O-sulfatases, they share a similar overall fold and active-site architecture, including a catalytic formylglycine, a divalent metal-binding site and a sulfate-binding site. However, a highly conserved lysine in O-sulfatases is replaced in SGSH by an arginine (Arg282) that is positioned to bind the N-linked sulfate substrate. The structure also provides insight into the diverse effects of pathogenic mutations on SGSH function in mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIA and convincing evidence for the molecular consequences of many missense mutations. Further, the molecular characterization of SGSH mutations will lay the groundwork for the development of structure-based drug design for this devastating neurodegenerative disorder.

  14. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-10-26

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients.

  15. Human acid sphingomyelinase structures provide insight to molecular basis of Niemann–Pick disease

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan-Feng; Metcalf, Matthew C.; Garman, Scott C.; Edmunds, Tim; Qiu, Huawei; Wei, Ronnie R.

    2016-01-01

    Acid sphingomyelinase (ASM) hydrolyzes sphingomyelin to ceramide and phosphocholine, essential components of myelin in neurons. Genetic alterations in ASM lead to ASM deficiency (ASMD) and have been linked to Niemann–Pick disease types A and B. Olipudase alfa, a recombinant form of human ASM, is being developed as enzyme replacement therapy to treat the non-neurological manifestations of ASMD. Here we present the human ASM holoenzyme and product bound structures encompassing all of the functional domains. The catalytic domain has a metallophosphatase fold, and two zinc ions and one reaction product phosphocholine are identified in a histidine-rich active site. The structures reveal the underlying catalytic mechanism, in which two zinc ions activate a water molecule for nucleophilic attack of the phosphodiester bond. Docking of sphingomyelin provides a model that allows insight into the selectivity of the enzyme and how the ASM domains collaborate to complete hydrolysis. Mapping of known mutations provides a basic understanding on correlations between enzyme dysfunction and phenotypes observed in ASMD patients. PMID:27725636

  16. Crystal structures of enterovirus 71 (EV71) recombinant virus particles provide insights into vaccine design.

    PubMed

    Lyu, Ke; Wang, Guang-Chuan; He, Ya-Ling; Han, Jian-Feng; Ye, Qing; Qin, Cheng-Feng; Chen, Rong

    2015-02-06

    Hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) remains a major health concern in the Asia-Pacific regions, and its major causative agents include human enterovirus 71 (EV71) and coxsackievirus A16. A desirable vaccine against HFMD would be multivalent and able to elicit protective responses against multiple HFMD causative agents. Previously, we have demonstrated that a thermostable recombinant EV71 vaccine candidate can be produced by the insertion of a foreign peptide into the BC loop of VP1 without affecting viral replication. Here we present crystal structures of two different naturally occurring empty particles, one from a clinical C4 strain EV71 and the other from its recombinant virus containing an insertion in the VP1 BC loop. Crystal structure analysis demonstrated that the inserted foreign peptide is well exposed on the particle surface without significant structural changes in the capsid. Importantly, such insertions do not seem to affect the virus uncoating process as illustrated by the conformational similarity between an uncoating intermediate of another recombinant virus and that of EV71. Especially, at least 18 residues from the N terminus of VP1 are transiently externalized. Altogether, our study provides insights into vaccine development against HFMD.

  17. Structure-function analysis of peroxidasin provides insight into the mechanism of collagen IV crosslinking.

    PubMed

    Lázár, Enikő; Péterfi, Zalán; Sirokmány, Gábor; Kovács, Hajnal A; Klement, Eva; Medzihradszky, Katalin F; Geiszt, Miklós

    2015-06-01

    Basement membranes provide structural support and convey regulatory signals to cells in diverse tissues. Assembly of collagen IV into a sheet-like network is a fundamental mechanism during the formation of basement membranes. Peroxidasin (PXDN) was recently described to catalyze crosslinking of collagen IV through the formation of sulfilimine bonds. Despite the significance of this pathway in tissue genesis, our understanding of PXDN function is far from complete. In this work we demonstrate that collagen IV crosslinking is a physiological function of mammalian PXDN. Moreover, we carried out structure-function analysis of PXDN to gain a better insight into its role in collagen IV synthesis. We identify conserved cysteines in PXDN that mediate the oligomerization of the protein into a trimeric complex. We also demonstrate that oligomerization is not an absolute requirement for enzymatic activity, but optimal collagen IV coupling is only catalyzed by the PXDN trimers. Localization experiments of different PXDN mutants in two different cell models revealed that PXDN oligomers, but not monomers, adhere on the cell surface in "hot spots," which represent previously unknown locations of collagen IV crosslinking.

  18. Crystal structures of nitric oxide reductases provide key insights into functional conversion of respiratory enzymes.

    PubMed

    Tosha, Takehiko; Shiro, Yoshitsugu

    2013-03-01

    Respiration is an essential biological process to get bioenergy, ATP, for all kingdoms of life. Cytochrome c oxidase (COX) plays central role in aerobic respiration, catalyzing the reduction of O(2) coupled with pumping proton across the biological membrane. Nitric oxide reductase (NOR) involved in anaerobic nitrate respiration is suggested to be evolutionary related to COX and share the same progenitor with COX, on the basis of the amino acid sequence homology. Contrary to COX, NOR catalyzes the reduction of nitric oxide and shows no proton pumping ability. Thus, the respiratory enzyme acquires (or loses) proton pumping ability in addition to the conversion of the catalytic property along with the environmental change on earth. Recently, we solved the structures of two types of NORs, which provides novel insights into the functional conversion of the respiratory enzymes. In this review, we focus on the structural similarities and differences between COXs and NORs and discuss possible mechanism for the functional conversion of these enzymes during molecular evolution. Copyright © 2013 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  19. Identification of O-glycan Structures from Chicken Intestinal Mucins Provides Insight into Campylobactor jejuni Pathogenicity*

    PubMed Central

    Struwe, Weston B.; Gough, Ronan; Gallagher, Mary E.; Kenny, Diarmuid T.; Carrington, Stephen D.; Karlsson, Niclas G.; Rudd, Pauline M.

    2015-01-01

    The Gram-negative bacteria Campylobactor jejuni is the primary bacteria responsible for food poisoning in industrialized countries, and acute diarrheal illness is a leading cause of mortality among children in developing countries. C. jejuni are commensal in chickens. They are particularly abundant in the caecal crypts, and poultry products are commonly infected as a result of cross-contamination during processing. The interactions between C. jejuni and chicken intestinal tissues as well as the pathogenic molecular mechanisms of colonization in humans are unknown, but identifying these factors could provide potential targets to reduce the incidence of campylobacteriosis. Recently, purified chicken intestinal mucin was shown to attenuate adherence and invasion of C. jejuni in the human colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line HCT-8 in vitro, and this effect was attributed to mucin O-glycosylation. Mucins from different regions of the chicken intestine inhibited C. jejuni binding and internalization differentially, with large intestine>small intestine>caecum. Here, we use LC-MS to perform a detailed structural analysis of O-glycans released from mucins purified from chicken large intestine, small intestine, and caecum. The O-glycans identified were abundantly sulfated compared with the human intestines, and sulfate moieties were present throughout the chicken intestinal tract. Interestingly, alpha 1–2 linked fucose residues, which have a high binding affinity to C. jejuni, were identified in the small and large intestines. Additionally, N-glycolylneuraminic/N-acetylneuraminic acid containing structures present as Sda-like epitopes were identified in large intestine samples but not small intestine or caecum. O-glycan structural characterization of chicken intestinal mucins provides insights into adherence and invasion properties of C. jejuni, and may offer prospective candidate molecules aimed at reducing the incidence of infection. PMID:25776888

  20. Trehalulose synthase native and carbohydrate complexed structures provide insights into sucrose isomerization.

    PubMed

    Ravaud, Stéphanie; Robert, Xavier; Watzlawick, Hildegard; Haser, Richard; Mattes, Ralf; Aghajari, Nushin

    2007-09-21

    Various diseases related to the overconsumption of sugar make a growing need for sugar substitutes. Because sucrose is an inexpensive and readily available d-glucose donor, the industrial potential for enzymatic synthesis of the sucrose isomers trehalulose and/or isomaltulose from sucrose is large. The product specificity of sucrose isomerases that catalyze this reaction depends essentially on the possibility for tautomerization of sucrose, which is required for trehalulose formation. For optimal use of the enzyme, targeting controlled synthesis of these functional isomers, it is necessary to minimize the side reactions. This requires an extensive analysis of substrate binding modes and of the specificity-determining sites in the structure. The 1.6-2.2-A resolution three-dimensional structures of native and mutant complexes of a trehalulose synthase from Pseudomonas mesoacidophila MX-45 mimic successive states of the enzyme reaction. Combined with mutagenesis studies they give for the first time thorough insights into substrate recognition and processing and reaction specificities of these enzymes. Among the important outcomes of this study is the revelation of an aromatic clamp defined by Phe(256) and Phe(280) playing an essential role in substrate recognition and in controlling the reaction specificity, which is further supported by mutagenesis studies. Furthermore, this study highlights essential residues for binding the glucosyl and fructosyl moieties. The introduction of subtle changes informed by comparative three-dimensional structural data observed within our study can lead to fundamental modifications in the mode of action of sucrose isomerases and hence provide a template for industrial catalysts.

  1. Crystal Structure of Human Myotubularin-Related Protein 1 Provides Insight into the Structural Basis of Substrate Specificity.

    PubMed

    Bong, Seoung Min; Son, Kka-bi; Yang, Seung-Won; Park, Jae-Won; Cho, Jea-Won; Kim, Kyung-Tae; Kim, Hackyoung; Kim, Seung Jun; Kim, Young Jun; Lee, Byung Il

    2016-01-01

    Myotubularin-related protein 1 (MTMR1) is a phosphatase that belongs to the tyrosine/dual-specificity phosphatase superfamily. MTMR1 has been shown to use phosphatidylinositol 3-monophosphate (PI(3)P) and/or phosphatidylinositol 3,5-bisphosphate (PI(3,5)P2) as substrates. Here, we determined the crystal structure of human MTMR1. The refined model consists of the Pleckstrin homology (PH)-GRAM and phosphatase (PTP) domains. The overall structure was highly similar to the previously reported MTMR2 structure. Interestingly, two phosphate molecules were coordinated by strictly conserved residues located in the C(X)5R motif of the active site. Additionally, our biochemical studies confirmed the substrate specificity of MTMR1 for PI(3)P and PI(3,5)P2 over other phosphatidylinositol phosphates. Our structural and enzymatic analyses provide insight into the catalytic mechanism and biochemical properties of MTMR1.

  2. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-04-01

    The X-ray structures of two ω-aminotransferases from P. aeruginosa and C. violaceum in complex with an inhibitor offer the first detailed insight into the structural basis of the substrate specificity of these industrially important enzymes. The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases.

  3. Lactone-bound structures of cyclohexanone monooxygenase provide insight into the stereochemistry of catalysis.

    PubMed

    Yachnin, Brahm J; McEvoy, Michelle B; MacCuish, Roderick J D; Morley, Krista L; Lau, Peter C K; Berghuis, Albert M

    2014-12-19

    The Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenases (BVMOs) are microbial enzymes that catalyze the synthetically useful Baeyer-Villiger oxidation reaction. The available BVMO crystal structures all lack a substrate or product bound in a position that would determine the substrate specificity and stereospecificity of the enzyme. Here, we report two crystal structures of cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO) with its product, ε-caprolactone, bound: the CHMO(Tight) and CHMO(Loose) structures. The CHMO(Tight) structure represents the enzyme state in which substrate acceptance and stereospecificity is determined, providing a foundation for engineering BVMOs with altered substrate spectra and/or stereospecificity. The CHMO(Loose) structure is the first structure where the product is solvent accessible. This structure represents the enzyme state upon binding and release of the substrate and product. In addition, the role of the invariant Arg329 in chaperoning the substrate/product during the catalytic cycle is highlighted. Overall, these data provide a structural framework for the engineering of BVMOs with altered substrate spectra and/or stereospecificity.

  4. Homology modeling and molecular dynamics provide structural insights into tospovirus nucleoprotein.

    PubMed

    Lima, Rayane Nunes; Faheem, Muhammad; Barbosa, João Alexandre Ribeiro Gonçalves; Polêto, Marcelo Depólo; Verli, Hugo; Melo, Fernando Lucas; Resende, Renato Oliveira

    2016-12-15

    Tospovirus is a plant-infecting genus within the family Bunyaviridae, which also includes four animal-infecting genera: Hantavirus, Nairovirus, Phlebovirus and Orthobunyavirus. Compared to these members, the structures of Tospovirus proteins still are poorly understood. Despite multiple studies have attempted to identify candidate N protein regions involved in RNA binding and protein multimerization for tospovirus using yeast two-hybrid systems (Y2HS) and site-directed mutagenesis, the tospovirus ribonucleocapsids (RNPs) remains largely uncharacterized at the molecular level and the lack of structural information prevents detailed insight into these interactions. Here we used the nucleoprotein structure of LACV (La Crosse virus-Orthobunyavirus) and molecular dynamics simulations to access the structure and dynamics of the nucleoprotein from tospovirus GRSV (Groundnut ringspot virus). The resulting model is a monomer composed by a flexible N-terminal and C-terminal arms and a globular domain with a positively charged groove in which RNA is deeply encompassed. This model allowed identifying the candidate amino acids residues involved in RNA interaction and N-N multimerization. Moreover, most residues predicted to be involved in these interactions are highly conserved among tospoviruses. Crucially, the interaction model proposed here for GRSV N is further corroborated by the all available mutational studies on TSWV (Tomato spotted wilt virus) N, so far. Our data will help designing further and more accurate mutational and functional studies of tospovirus N proteins. In addition, the proposed model may shed light on the mechanisms of RNP shaping and could allow the identification of essential amino acid residues as potential targets for tospovirus control strategies.

  5. Structure of a Bimodular Botulinum Neurotoxin Complex Provides Insights into Its Oral Toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Lei; Le, Thi Tuc Nghi; Cheng, Luisa W.; Strotmeier, Jasmin; Kruel, Anna Magdalena; Yao, Guorui; Perry, Kay; Rummel, Andreas; Jin, Rongsheng

    2013-01-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by Clostridium botulinum and cause the fatal disease botulism, a flaccid paralysis of the muscle. BoNTs are released together with several auxiliary proteins as progenitor toxin complexes (PTCs) to become highly potent oral poisons. Here, we report the structure of a ∼760 kDa 14-subunit large PTC of serotype A (L-PTC/A) and reveal insight into its absorption mechanism. Using a combination of X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy, and functional studies, we found that L-PTC/A consists of two structurally and functionally independent sub-complexes. A hetero-dimeric 290 kDa complex protects BoNT, while a hetero-dodecameric 470 kDa complex facilitates its absorption in the harsh environment of the gastrointestinal tract. BoNT absorption is mediated by nine glycan-binding sites on the dodecameric sub-complex that forms multivalent interactions with carbohydrate receptors on intestinal epithelial cells. We identified monosaccharides that blocked oral BoNT intoxication in mice, which suggests a new strategy for the development of preventive countermeasures for BoNTs based on carbohydrate receptor mimicry. PMID:24130488

  6. Crystal Structures of the Histidine Acid Phosphatase from Francisella tularensis Provide Insight into Substrate Recognition

    SciTech Connect

    Singh, Harkewal; Felts, Richard L.; Schuermann, Jonathan P.; Reilly, Thomas J.; Tanner, John J.

    2009-12-01

    Histidine acid phosphatases catalyze the transfer of a phosphoryl group from phosphomonoesters to water at acidic pH using an active-site histidine. The histidine acid phosphatase from the category A pathogen Francisella tularensis (FtHAP) has been implicated in intramacrophage survival and virulence, motivating interest in understanding the structure and mechanism of this enzyme. Here, we report a structure-based study of ligand recognition by FtHAP. The 1.70-{angstrom}-resolution structure of FtHAP complexed with the competitive inhibitor L(+)-tartrate was solved using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction phasing. Structures of the ligand-free enzyme and the complex with inorganic phosphate were determined at resolutions of 1.85 and 1.70 {angstrom}, respectively. The structure of the Asp261Ala mutant enzyme complexed with the substrate 3'-AMP was determined at 1.50 {angstrom} resolution to gain insight into substrate recognition. FtHAP exhibits a two-domain fold similar to that of human prostatic acid phosphatase, consisting of an {alpha}/{beta} core domain and a smaller domain that caps the core domain. The structures show that the core domain supplies the phosphoryl binding site, catalytic histidine (His17), and an aspartic acid residue (Asp261) that protonates the leaving group, while the cap domain contributes residues that enforce substrate preference. FtHAP and human prostatic acid phosphatase differ in the orientation of the crucial first helix of the cap domain, implying differences in the substrate preferences of the two enzymes. 3'-AMP binds in one end of a 15-{angstrom}-long tunnel, with the adenine clamped between Phe23 and Tyr135, and the ribose 2'-hydroxyl interacting with Gln132. The importance of the clamp is confirmed with site-directed mutagenesis; mutation of Phe23 and Tyr135 individually to Ala increases K{sub m} by factors of 7 and 10, respectively. The structural data are consistent with a role for FtHAP in scavenging phosphate from small

  7. Crystal Structures of Phosphite Dehydrogenase Provide Insights into Nicotinamide Cofactor Regeneration

    SciTech Connect

    Zou, Yaozhong; Zhang, Houjin; Brunzelle, Joseph S.; Johannes, Tyler W.; Woodyer, Ryan; Hung, John E.; Nair, Nikhil; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Zhao, Huimin; Nair, Satish K.

    2012-08-21

    The enzyme phosphite dehydrogenase (PTDH) catalyzes the NAD{sup +}-dependent conversion of phosphite to phosphate and represents the first biological catalyst that has been shown to conduct the enzymatic oxidation of phosphorus. Despite investigation for more than a decade into both the mechanism of its unusual reaction and its utility in cofactor regeneration, there has been a lack of any structural data for PTDH. Here we present the cocrystal structure of an engineered thermostable variant of PTDH bound to NAD{sup +} (1.7 {angstrom} resolution), as well as four other cocrystal structures of thermostable PTDH and its variants with different ligands (all between 1.85 and 2.3 {angstrom} resolution). These structures provide a molecular framework for understanding prior mutational analysis and point to additional residues, located in the active site, that may contribute to the enzymatic activity of this highly unusual catalyst.

  8. Structures of the Four Subfamilies of Phosphodiesterase-4 Provide Insight into the Selectivity of Their Inhibitors

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, H.; Peng, M; Chen , Y; Geng, J; Robinson, H; Houslay , M; Cai, J; Ke, H

    2007-01-01

    PDE4 (phosphodiesterase-4)-selective inhibitors have attracted much attention as potential therapeutics for the treatment of both depression and major inflammatory diseases, but their practical application has been compromised by side effects. A possible cause for the side effects is that current PDE4-selective inhibitors similarly inhibit isoforms from all four PDE4 subfamilies. The development of PDE4 subfamily-selective inhibitors has been hampered by a lack of structural information. In the present study, we rectify this by providing the crystal structures of the catalytic domains of PDE4A, PDE4B and PDE4D in complex with the PDE4 inhibitor NVP 4-[8-(3-nitrophenyl)-[1,7]naphthyridin-6-yl]benzoic acid as well as the unliganded PDE4C structure. NVP binds in the same conformation to the deep cAMP substrate pocket and interacts with the same residues in each instance. However, detailed structural comparison reveals significant conformational differences. Although the active sites of PDE4B and PDE4D are mostly comparable, PDE4A shows significant displacements of the residues next to the invariant glutamine residue that is critical for substrate and inhibitor binding. PDE4C appears to be more distal from other PDE4 subfamilies, with certain key residues being disordered. Our analyses provide the first structural basis for the development of PDE4 subfamily-selective inhibitors.

  9. Structures of the four subfamilies of phosphodiesterase-4 provide insight into the selectivity of their inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Wang, Huanchen; Peng, Ming-Sheng; Chen, Yi; Geng, Jie; Robinson, Howard; Houslay, Miles D; Cai, Jiwen; Ke, Hengming

    2007-12-01

    PDE4 (phosphodiesterase-4)-selective inhibitors have attracted much attention as potential therapeutics for the treatment of both depression and major inflammatory diseases, but their practical application has been compromised by side effects. A possible cause for the side effects is that current PDE4-selective inhibitors similarly inhibit isoforms from all four PDE4 subfamilies. The development of PDE4 subfamily-selective inhibitors has been hampered by a lack of structural information. In the present study, we rectify this by providing the crystal structures of the catalytic domains of PDE4A, PDE4B and PDE4D in complex with the PDE4 inhibitor NVP {4-[8-(3-nitrophenyl)-[1,7]naphthyridin-6-yl]benzoic acid} as well as the unliganded PDE4C structure. NVP binds in the same conformation to the deep cAMP substrate pocket and interacts with the same residues in each instance. However, detailed structural comparison reveals significant conformational differences. Although the active sites of PDE4B and PDE4D are mostly comparable, PDE4A shows significant displacements of the residues next to the invariant glutamine residue that is critical for substrate and inhibitor binding. PDE4C appears to be more distal from other PDE4 subfamilies, with certain key residues being disordered. Our analyses provide the first structural basis for the development of PDE4 subfamily-selective inhibitors.

  10. Genomic organization of the crested ibis MHC provides new insight into ancestral avian MHC structure

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Li-Cheng; Lan, Hong; Sun, Li; Deng, Yan-Li; Tang, Ke-Yi; Wan, Qiu-Hong

    2015-01-01

    The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) plays an important role in immune response. Avian MHCs are not well characterized, only reporting highly compact Galliformes MHCs and extensively fragmented zebra finch MHC. We report the first genomic structure of an endangered Pelecaniformes (crested ibis) MHC containing 54 genes in three regions spanning ~500 kb. In contrast to the loose BG (26 loci within 265 kb) and Class I (11 within 150) genomic structures, the Core Region is condensed (17 within 85). Furthermore, this Region exhibits a COL11A2 gene, followed by four tandem MHC class II αβ dyads retaining two suites of anciently duplicated “αβ” lineages. Thus, the crested ibis MHC structure is entirely different from the known avian MHC architectures but similar to that of mammalian MHCs, suggesting that the fundamental structure of ancestral avian class II MHCs should be “COL11A2-IIαβ1-IIαβ2.” The gene structures, residue characteristics, and expression levels of the five class I genes reveal inter-locus functional divergence. However, phylogenetic analysis indicates that these five genes generate a well-supported intra-species clade, showing evidence for recent duplications. Our analyses suggest dramatic structural variation among avian MHC lineages, help elucidate avian MHC evolution, and provide a foundation for future conservation studies. PMID:25608659

  11. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling.

    PubMed

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Weberruß, Marion; Lorenz, Michael; Cheleski, Juliana; Hellberg, Teresa; Whittle, Cathy; El Omari, Kamel; Vasishtan, Daven; Dent, Kyle C; Harlos, Karl; Franzke, Kati; Hagen, Christoph; Klupp, Barbara G; Antonin, Wolfram; Mettenleiter, Thomas C; Grünewald, Kay

    2015-12-29

    Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC), which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling.

  12. Crystal structure of class III chitinase from pomegranate provides the insight into its metal storage capacity.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Taro; Zhao, Guanghua; Mikami, Bunzo

    2015-01-01

    Chitinase hydrolyzes the β-1,4-glycosidic bond in chitin. In higher plants, this enzyme has been regarded as a pathogenesis-related protein. Recently, we identified a class III chitinase, which functions as a calcium storage protein in pomegranate (Punica granatum) seed (PSC, pomegranate seed chitinase). Here, we solved a crystal structure of PSC at 1.6 Å resolution. Although its overall structure, including the structure of catalytic site and non-proline cis-peptides, was closely similar to those of other class III chitinases, PSC had some unique structural characteristics. First, there were some metal-binding sites with coordinated water molecules on the surface of PSC. Second, many unconserved aspartate residues were present in the PSC sequence which rendered the surface of PSC negatively charged. This acidic electrostatic property is in contrast to that of hevamine, well-characterized plant class III chitinase, which has rather a positively charged surface. Thus, the crystal structure provides a clue for metal association property of PSC.

  13. Stable Isotopes Provide Insight into Population Structure and Segregation in Eastern North Atlantic Sperm Whales

    PubMed Central

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M.; Kinze, Carl; Lockyer, Christina H.; Vighi, Morgana; Aguilar, Alex

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly highly mobile, shows indication of structuring in the eastern North Atlantic, an ocean basin in which a single population is believed to occur. To do so, we examined stable isotope values in sequential growth layer groups of teeth from individuals sampled in Denmark and NW Spain. In each layer we measured oxygen- isotope ratios (δ18O) in the inorganic component (hydroxyapatite), and nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios (δ15N: δ13C) in the organic component (primarily collagenous). We found significant differences between Denmark and NW Spain in δ15N and δ18O values in the layer deposited at age 3, considered to be the one best representing the baseline of the breeding ground, in δ15N, δ13C and δ18O values in the period up to age 20, and in the ontogenetic variation of δ15N and δ18O values. These differences evidence that diet composition, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted. PMID:24324782

  14. Stable isotopes provide insight into population structure and segregation in eastern North Atlantic sperm whales.

    PubMed

    Borrell, Asunción; Velásquez Vacca, Adriana; Pinela, Ana M; Kinze, Carl; Lockyer, Christina H; Vighi, Morgana; Aguilar, Alex

    2013-01-01

    In pelagic species inhabiting large oceans, genetic differentiation tends to be mild and populations devoid of structure. However, large cetaceans have provided many examples of structuring. Here we investigate whether the sperm whale, a pelagic species with large population sizes and reputedly highly mobile, shows indication of structuring in the eastern North Atlantic, an ocean basin in which a single population is believed to occur. To do so, we examined stable isotope values in sequential growth layer groups of teeth from individuals sampled in Denmark and NW Spain. In each layer we measured oxygen- isotope ratios (δ(18)O) in the inorganic component (hydroxyapatite), and nitrogen and carbon isotope ratios (δ(15)N: δ(13)C) in the organic component (primarily collagenous). We found significant differences between Denmark and NW Spain in δ(15)N and δ(18)O values in the layer deposited at age 3, considered to be the one best representing the baseline of the breeding ground, in δ(15)N, δ(13)C and δ(18)O values in the period up to age 20, and in the ontogenetic variation of δ(15)N and δ(18)O values. These differences evidence that diet composition, use of habitat and/or migratory destinations are dissimilar between whales from the two regions and suggest that the North Atlantic population of sperm whales is more structured than traditionally accepted.

  15. Crystal Structure of the Herpesvirus Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insights into Inner Nuclear Membrane Remodeling

    PubMed Central

    Zeev-Ben-Mordehai, Tzviya; Weberruß, Marion; Lorenz, Michael; Cheleski, Juliana; Hellberg, Teresa; Whittle, Cathy; El Omari, Kamel; Vasishtan, Daven; Dent, Kyle C.; Harlos, Karl; Franzke, Kati; Hagen, Christoph; Klupp, Barbara G.; Antonin, Wolfram; Mettenleiter, Thomas C.; Grünewald, Kay

    2015-01-01

    Summary Although nucleo-cytoplasmic transport is typically mediated through nuclear pore complexes, herpesvirus capsids exit the nucleus via a unique vesicular pathway. Together, the conserved herpesvirus proteins pUL31 and pUL34 form the heterodimeric nuclear egress complex (NEC), which, in turn, mediates the formation of tight-fitting membrane vesicles around capsids at the inner nuclear membrane. Here, we present the crystal structure of the pseudorabies virus NEC. The structure revealed that a zinc finger motif in pUL31 and an extensive interaction network between the two proteins stabilize the complex. Comprehensive mutational analyses, characterized both in situ and in vitro, indicated that the interaction network is not redundant but rather complementary. Fitting of the NEC crystal structure into the recently determined cryoEM-derived hexagonal lattice, formed in situ by pUL31 and pUL34, provided details on the molecular basis of NEC coat formation and inner nuclear membrane remodeling. PMID:26711332

  16. Neristatin 1 provides critical insight into bryostatin 1 structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Kedei, Noemi; Kraft, Matthew B; Keck, Gary E; Herald, Cherry L; Melody, Noeleen; Pettit, George R; Blumberg, Peter M

    2015-04-24

    Bryostatin 1, a complex macrocyclic lactone isolated from Bugula neritina, has been the subject of multiple clinical trials for cancer. Although it functions as an activator of protein kinase C (PKC) in vitro, bryostatin 1 paradoxically antagonizes most responses to the prototypical PKC activator, the phorbol esters. The bottom half of the bryostatin 1 structure has been shown to be sufficient to confer binding to PKC. In contrast, we have previously shown that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is necessary for its unique biological behavior to antagonize phorbol ester responses. Neristatin 1 comprises a top half similar to that of bryostatin 1 together with a distinct bottom half that confers PKC binding. We report here that neristatin 1 is bryostatin 1-like, not phorbol ester-like, in its biological activity on U937 promyelocytic leukemia cells. We conclude that the top half of the bryostatin 1 structure is largely sufficient for bryostatin 1-like activity, provided the molecule also possesses an appropriate PKC binding domain.

  17. A Near-Atomic Structure of the Dark Apoptosome Provides Insight into Assembly and Activation.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Tat Cheung; Akey, Ildikó V; Yuan, Shujun; Yu, Zhiheng; Ludtke, Steven J; Akey, Christopher W

    2017-01-03

    In Drosophila, the Apaf-1-related killer (Dark) forms an apoptosome that activates procaspases. To investigate function, we have determined a near-atomic structure of Dark double rings using cryo-electron microscopy. We then built a nearly complete model of the apoptosome that includes 7- and 8-blade β-propellers. We find that the preference for dATP during Dark assembly may be governed by Ser325, which is in close proximity to the 2' carbon of the deoxyribose ring. Interestingly, β-propellers in V-shaped domains of the Dark apoptosome are more widely separated, relative to these features in the Apaf-1 apoptosome. This wider spacing may be responsible for the lack of cytochrome c binding to β-propellers in the Dark apoptosome. Our structure also highlights the roles of two loss-of-function mutations that may block Dark assembly. Finally, the improved model provides a framework to understand apical procaspase activation in the intrinsic cell death pathway. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass

    PubMed Central

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-01-01

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca2+ ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca2+ ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite. PMID:26975884

  19. Crystal structure of Anoxybacillus α-amylase provides insights into maltose binding of a new glycosyl hydrolase subclass.

    PubMed

    Chai, Kian Piaw; Othman, Noor Farhan Binti; Teh, Aik-Hong; Ho, Kok Lian; Chan, Kok-Gan; Shamsir, Mohd Shahir; Goh, Kian Mau; Ng, Chyan Leong

    2016-03-15

    A new subfamily of glycosyl hydrolase family GH13 was recently proposed for α-amylases from Anoxybacillus species (ASKA and ADTA), Geobacillus thermoleovorans (GTA, Pizzo, and GtamyII), Bacillus aquimaris (BaqA), and 95 other putative protein homologues. To understand this new GH13 subfamily, we report crystal structures of truncated ASKA (TASKA). ASKA is a thermostable enzyme capable of producing high levels of maltose. Unlike GTA, biochemical analysis showed that Ca(2+) ion supplementation enhances the catalytic activities of ASKA and TASKA. The crystal structures reveal the presence of four Ca(2+) ion binding sites, with three of these binding sites are highly conserved among Anoxybacillus α-amylases. This work provides structural insights into this new GH13 subfamily both in the apo form and in complex with maltose. Furthermore, structural comparison of TASKA and GTA provides an overview of the conformational changes accompanying maltose binding at each subsite.

  20. Geographic variation in the structure of oak hybrid zones provides insights into the dynamics of speciation.

    PubMed

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Liao, Wan-Jin; Petit, Rémy J; Zhang, Da-Yong

    2011-12-01

    Studying geographic variation in the rate of hybridization between closely related species could provide a useful window on the evolution of reproductive isolation. Reinforcement theory predicts greater prezygotic isolation in areas of prolonged contact between recently diverged species than in areas of recent contact, which implies that old contact zones would be dominated by parental phenotypes with few hybrids (bimodal hybrid zones), whereas recent contact zones would be characterized by hybrid swarms (unimodal hybrid zones). Here, we investigate how the hybrid zones of two closely related Chinese oaks, Quercus mongolica and Q. liaotungensis, are structured geographically using both nuclear and chloroplast markers. We found that populations of Q. liaotungensis located around the Changbai Mountains in Northeast China, an inferred glacial refugium, were introgressed by genes from Q. mongolica, suggesting historical contact between the two species in this region. However, these introgressed populations form sharp bimodal hybrid zones with Q. mongolica. In contrast, populations of Q. liaotungensis located in North China, which show no sign of ancient introgression with Q. mongolica, form unimodal hybrid zones with Q. mongolica. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that selection against hybrids has had sufficient time to reinforce the reproductive barriers between Q. liaotungensis and Q. mongolica in Northeast China but not in North China.

  1. Quantitative analysis of glycerol in dicarboxylic acid-rich cutins provides insights into Arabidopsis cutin structure.

    PubMed

    Yang, Weili; Pollard, Mike; Li-Beisson, Yonghua; Ohlrogge, John

    2016-10-01

    Cutin is an extracellular lipid polymer that contributes to protective cuticle barrier functions against biotic and abiotic stresses in land plants. Glycerol has been reported as a component of cutin, contributing up to 14% by weight of total released monomers. Previous studies using partial hydrolysis of cuticle-enriched preparations established the presence of oligomers with glycerol-aliphatic ester links. Furthermore, glycerol-3-phosphate 2-O-acyltransferases (sn-2-GPATs) are essential for cutin biosynthesis. However, precise roles of glycerol in cutin assembly and structure remain uncertain. Here, a stable isotope-dilution assay was developed for the quantitative analysis of glycerol by GC/MS of triacetin with simultaneous determination of aliphatic monomers. To provide clues about the role of glycerol in dicarboxylic acid (DCA)-rich cutins, this methodology was applied to compare wild-type (WT) Arabidopsis cutin with a series of mutants that are defective in cutin synthesis. The molar ratio of glycerol to total DCAs in WT cutins was 2:1. Even when allowing for a small additional contribution from hydroxy fatty acids, this is a substantially higher glycerol to aliphatic monomer ratio than previously reported for any cutin. Glycerol content was strongly reduced in both stem and leaf cutin from all Arabidopsis mutants analyzed (gpat4/gpat8, att1-2 and lacs2-3). In addition, the molar reduction of glycerol was proportional to the molar reduction of total DCAs. These results suggest "glycerol-DCA-glycerol" may be the dominant motif in DCA-rich cutins. The ramifications and caveats for this hypothesis are presented.

  2. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity.

    PubMed

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A

    2013-04-01

    The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-aminotransferases.

  3. Retrieving Backbone String Neighbors Provides Insights Into Structural Modeling of Membrane Proteins*

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jiang-Ming; Li, Tong-Hua; Cong, Pei-Sheng; Tang, Sheng-Nan; Xiong, Wen-Wei

    2012-01-01

    Identification of protein structural neighbors to a query is fundamental in structure and function prediction. Here we present BS-align, a systematic method to retrieve backbone string neighbors from primary sequences as templates for protein modeling. The backbone conformation of a protein is represented by the backbone string, as defined in Ramachandran space. The backbone string of a query can be accurately predicted by two innovative technologies: a knowledge-driven sequence alignment and encoding of a backbone string element profile. Then, the predicted backbone string is employed to align against a backbone string database and retrieve a set of backbone string neighbors. The backbone string neighbors were shown to be close to native structures of query proteins. BS-align was successfully employed to predict models of 10 membrane proteins with lengths ranging between 229 and 595 residues, and whose high-resolution structural determinations were difficult to elucidate both by experiment and prediction. The obtained TM-scores and root mean square deviations of the models confirmed that the models based on the backbone string neighbors retrieved by the BS-align were very close to the native membrane structures although the query and the neighbor shared a very low sequence identity. The backbone string system represents a new road for the prediction of protein structure from sequence, and suggests that the similarity of the backbone string would be more informative than describing a protein as belonging to a fold. PMID:22415040

  4. Structural studies of Pseudomonas and Chromobacterium ω-aminotransferases provide insights into their differing substrate specificity

    PubMed Central

    Sayer, Christopher; Isupov, Michail N.; Westlake, Aaron; Littlechild, Jennifer A.

    2013-01-01

    The crystal structures and inhibitor complexes of two industrially important ω-aminotransferase enzymes from Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Chromobacterium violaceum have been determined in order to understand the differences in their substrate specificity. The two enzymes share 30% sequence identity and use the same amino acceptor, pyruvate; however, the Pseudomonas enzyme shows activity towards the amino donor β-alanine, whilst the Chromobacterium enzyme does not. Both enzymes show activity towards S-α-methylbenzylamine (MBA), with the Chromobacterium enzyme having a broader substrate range. The crystal structure of the P. aeruginosa enzyme has been solved in the holo form and with the inhibitor gabaculine bound. The C. violaceum enzyme has been solved in the apo and holo forms and with gabaculine bound. The structures of the holo forms of both enzymes are quite similar. There is little conformational difference observed between the inhibitor complex and the holoenzyme for the P. aeruginosa aminotransferase. In comparison, the crystal structure of the C. violaceum gabaculine complex shows significant structural rearrangements from the structures of both the apo and holo forms of the enzyme. It appears that the different rigidity of the protein scaffold contributes to the substrate specificity observed for the two ω-­aminotransferases. PMID:23519665

  5. Structure of an asymmetric ternary protein complex provides insight for membrane interaction.

    PubMed

    Dempsey, Brian R; Rezvanpour, Atoosa; Lee, Ting-Wai; Barber, Kathryn R; Junop, Murray S; Shaw, Gary S

    2012-10-10

    Plasma membrane repair involves the coordinated effort of proteins and the inner phospholipid surface to mend the rupture and return the cell back to homeostasis. Here, we present the three-dimensional structure of a multiprotein complex that includes S100A10, annexin A2, and AHNAK, which along with dysferlin, functions in muscle and cardiac tissue repair. The 3.5 Å resolution X-ray structure shows that a single region from the AHNAK C terminus is recruited by an S100A10-annexin A2 heterotetramer, forming an asymmetric ternary complex. The AHNAK peptide adopts a coil conformation that arches across the heterotetramer contacting both annexin A2 and S100A10 protomers with tight affinity (∼30 nM) and establishing a structural rationale whereby both S100A10 and annexin proteins are needed in AHNAK recruitment. The structure evokes a model whereby AHNAK is targeted to the membrane surface through sandwiching of the binding region between the S100A10/annexin A2 complex and the phospholipid membrane.

  6. Structure of a bimodular botulinum neurotoxin complex provides insights into its oral toxicity

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are highly potent oral poisons produced by Clostridium botulinum. BoNTs are secreted along with several auxiliary proteins forming progenitor toxin complexes (PTC). Here, we report the structure of a ~760 kDa 14-subunit PTC using a combination of X-ray crystallography a...

  7. Studies on cattle genomic structural variation provide insights into ruminant speciation and adaptation

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Genomic structural variations, including segmental duplications (SD) and copy number variations (CNV), contribute significantly to individual health and disease in primates and rodents. As a part of the bovine genome annotation effort, we performed the first genome-wide analysis of SD in cattle usin...

  8. A high-resolution structure that provides insight into coiled-coil thiodepsipeptide dynamic chemistry.

    PubMed

    Dadon, Zehavit; Samiappan, Manickasundaram; Shahar, Anat; Zarivach, Raz; Ashkenasy, Gonen

    2013-09-16

    Stable and reactive: A crystal structure at 1.35 Å of a thioester coiled-coil protein reveals high similarity to all-peptide-bond proteins. In these assemblies, the thioester bonds are kept reactive towards thiol molecules in the mixture. This enables efficient domain exchange between proteins in response to changes in folding conditions or introduction of external templates.

  9. Hierarchical population structure in greater sage-grouse provides insight into management boundary delineation

    Treesearch

    Todd B. Cross; David E. Naugle; John C. Carlson; Michael K. Schwartz

    2016-01-01

    Understanding population structure is important for guiding ongoing conservation and restoration efforts. The greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) is a species of concern distributed across 1.2 million km2 of western North America. We genotyped 1499 greater sagegrouse from 297 leks across Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota using a 15 locus...

  10. Structure of Ljungan virus provides insight into genome packaging of this picornavirus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Ling; Wang, Xiangxi; Ren, Jingshan; Porta, Claudine; Wenham, Hannah; Ekström, Jens-Ola; Panjwani, Anusha; Knowles, Nick J.; Kotecha, Abhay; Siebert, C. Alistair; Lindberg, A. Michael; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Rao, Zihe; Tuthill, Tobias J.; Stuart, David I.

    2015-10-01

    Picornaviruses are responsible for a range of human and animal diseases, but how their RNA genome is packaged remains poorly understood. A particularly poorly studied group within this family are those that lack the internal coat protein, VP4. Here we report the atomic structure of one such virus, Ljungan virus, the type member of the genus Parechovirus B, which has been linked to diabetes and myocarditis in humans. The 3.78-Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure shows remarkable features, including an extended VP1 C terminus, forming a major protuberance on the outer surface of the virus, and a basic motif at the N terminus of VP3, binding to which orders some 12% of the viral genome. This apparently charge-driven RNA attachment suggests that this branch of the picornaviruses uses a different mechanism of genome encapsidation, perhaps explored early in the evolution of picornaviruses.

  11. Crystal structures of highly simplified BPTIs provide insights into hydration-driven increase of unfolding enthalpy.

    PubMed

    Islam, Mohammad Monirul; Yohda, Masafumi; Kidokoro, Shun-Ichi; Kuroda, Yutaka

    2017-03-07

    We report a thermodynamic and structural analysis of six extensively simplified bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) variants containing 19-24 alanines out of 58 residues. Differential scanning calorimetry indicated a two-state thermal unfolding, typical of a native protein with densely packed interior. Surprisingly, increasing the number of alanines induced enthalpy stabilization, which was however over-compensated by entropy destabilization. X-ray crystallography indicated that the alanine substitutions caused the recruitment of novel water molecules facilitating the formation of protein-water hydrogen bonds and improving the hydration shells around the alanine's methyl groups, both of which presumably contributed to enthalpy stabilization. There was a strong correlation between the number of water molecules and the thermodynamic parameters. Overall, our results demonstrate that, in contrast to our initial expectation, a protein sequence in which over 40% of the residues are alanines can retain a densely packed structure and undergo thermal denaturation with a large enthalpy change, mainly contributed by hydration.

  12. Structure of Ljungan virus provides insight into genome packaging of this picornavirus

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Ling; Wang, Xiangxi; Ren, Jingshan; Porta, Claudine; Wenham, Hannah; Ekström, Jens-Ola; Panjwani, Anusha; Knowles, Nick J.; Kotecha, Abhay; Siebert, C. Alistair; Lindberg, A. Michael; Fry, Elizabeth E.; Rao, Zihe; Tuthill, Tobias J.; Stuart, David I.

    2015-01-01

    Picornaviruses are responsible for a range of human and animal diseases, but how their RNA genome is packaged remains poorly understood. A particularly poorly studied group within this family are those that lack the internal coat protein, VP4. Here we report the atomic structure of one such virus, Ljungan virus, the type member of the genus Parechovirus B, which has been linked to diabetes and myocarditis in humans. The 3.78-Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure shows remarkable features, including an extended VP1 C terminus, forming a major protuberance on the outer surface of the virus, and a basic motif at the N terminus of VP3, binding to which orders some 12% of the viral genome. This apparently charge-driven RNA attachment suggests that this branch of the picornaviruses uses a different mechanism of genome encapsidation, perhaps explored early in the evolution of picornaviruses. PMID:26446437

  13. A Structural Model for a Self-Assembled Nanotube Provides Insight into Its Exciton Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The design and synthesis of functional self-assembled nanostructures is frequently an empirical process fraught with critical knowledge gaps about atomic-level structure in these noncovalent systems. Here, we report a structural model for a semiconductor nanotube formed via the self-assembly of naphthalenediimide-lysine (NDI-Lys) building blocks determined using experimental 13C–13C and 13C–15N distance restraints from solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance supplemented by electron microscopy and X-ray powder diffraction data. The structural model reveals a two-dimensional-crystal-like architecture of stacked monolayer rings each containing ∼50 NDI-Lys molecules, with significant π-stacking interactions occurring both within the confines of the ring and along the long axis of the tube. Excited-state delocalization and energy transfer are simulated for the nanotube based on time-dependent density functional theory and an incoherent hopping model. Remarkably, these calculations reveal efficient energy migration from the excitonic bright state, which is in agreement with the rapid energy transfer within NDI-Lys nanotubes observed previously using fluorescence spectroscopy. PMID:26120375

  14. Structural studies of neuropilin/antibody complexes provide insights into semaphorin and VEGF binding

    PubMed Central

    Appleton, Brent A; Wu, Ping; Maloney, Janice; Yin, JianPing; Liang, Wei-Ching; Stawicki, Scott; Mortara, Kyle; Bowman, Krista K; Elliott, J Michael; Desmarais, William; Bazan, J Fernando; Bagri, Anil; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Koch, Alexander W; Wu, Yan; Watts, Ryan J; Wiesmann, Christian

    2007-01-01

    Neuropilins (Nrps) are co-receptors for class 3 semaphorins and vascular endothelial growth factors and important for the development of the nervous system and the vasculature. The extracellular portion of Nrp is composed of two domains that are essential for semaphorin binding (a1a2), two domains necessary for VEGF binding (b1b2), and one domain critical for receptor dimerization (c). We report several crystal structures of Nrp1 and Nrp2 fragments alone and in complex with antibodies that selectively block either semaphorin or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) binding. In these structures, Nrps adopt an unexpected domain arrangement in which the a2, b1, and b2 domains form a tightly packed core that is only loosely connected to the a1 domain. The locations of the antibody epitopes together with in vitro experiments indicate that VEGF and semaphorin do not directly compete for Nrp binding. Based upon our structural and functional data, we propose possible models for ligand binding to neuropilins. PMID:17989695

  15. Structure of the Arabidopsis TOPLESS corepressor provides insight into the evolution of transcriptional repression

    PubMed Central

    Martin-Arevalillo, Raquel; Nanao, Max H.; Vinos-Poyo, Thomas; Mast, David; Galvan-Ampudia, Carlos; Brunoud, Géraldine; Dumas, Renaud

    2017-01-01

    Transcriptional repression involves a class of proteins called corepressors that link transcription factors to chromatin remodeling complexes. In plants such as Arabidopsis thaliana, the most prominent corepressor is TOPLESS (TPL), which plays a key role in hormone signaling and development. Here we present the crystallographic structure of the Arabidopsis TPL N-terminal region comprising the LisH and CTLH (C-terminal to LisH) domains and a newly identified third region, which corresponds to a CRA domain. Comparing the structure of TPL with the mammalian TBL1, which shares a similar domain structure and performs a parallel corepressor function, revealed that the plant TPLs have evolved a new tetramerization interface and unique and highly conserved surface for interaction with repressors. Using site-directed mutagenesis, we validated those surfaces in vitro and in vivo and showed that TPL tetramerization and repressor binding are interdependent. Our results illustrate how evolution used a common set of protein domains to create a diversity of corepressors, achieving similar properties with different molecular solutions. PMID:28698367

  16. Near-planar Solution Structures of Mannose-binding Lectin Oligomers Provide Insight on Activation of Lectin Pathway of Complement

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Ami; Phillips, Anna; Gor, Jayesh; Wallis, Russell; Perkins, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    The complement system is a fundamental component of innate immunity that orchestrates complex immunological and inflammatory processes. Complement comprises over 30 proteins that eliminate invading microorganisms while maintaining host cell integrity. Protein-carbohydrate interactions play critical roles in both the activation and regulation of complement. Mannose-binding lectin (MBL) activates the lectin pathway of complement via the recognition of sugar arrays on pathogenic surfaces. To determine the solution structure of MBL, synchrotron x-ray scattering and analytical ultracentrifugation experiments showed that the carbohydrate-recognition domains in the MBL dimer, trimer, and tetramer are positioned close to each other in near-planar fan-like structures. These data were subjected to constrained modeling fits. A bent structure for the MBL monomer was identified starting from two crystal structures for its carbohydrate-recognition domain and its triple helical region. The MBL monomer structure was used to identify 10–12 near-planar solution structures for each of the MBL dimers, trimers, and tetramers starting from 900 to 6,859 randomized structures for each. These near-planar fan-like solution structures joined at an N-terminal hub clarified how the carbohydrate-recognition domain of MBL binds to pathogenic surfaces. They also provided insight on how MBL presents a structural template for the binding and auto-activation of the MBL-associated serine proteases to initiate the lectin pathway of complement activation. PMID:22167201

  17. The shades of gray of the chromatin fiber: recent literature provides new insights into the structure of chromatin.

    PubMed

    Ausió, Juan

    2015-01-01

    The chromatin fiber consists of a string of nucleosomes connected by linker DNA regions. The hierarchy of folding of this fiber within the cell has long been controversial, and the existence of an originally described 30 nm fiber has been debated and reviewed extensively. This review contextualizes two recent papers on this topic that suggest the 30 nm fiber to be an over-simplification. The idealized model from the first study provides good insight into the constraints and histone participation in the maintenance of the fiber structure. The second paper provides a theoretical description of a more realistic view of the highly heterogeneous and dynamic chromatin organization in the in vivo setting. It is now time to abandon the highly regular "one start" solenoidal 30 nm structure and replace it with a more realistic highly dynamic, polymorphic fiber.

  18. Apollo 17 Lunar Sounder Data provide Insight into Aitken Crater's Subsurface Structure

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2007-01-01

    In preparation for the forthcoming avalanche of data from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO), we conducted a pilot study to demonstrate integration of multiple geophysical data sets. We applied methods of data integration that are used by the commercial mineral exploration industry to enhance the value of historical data sets and to provide a roadmap for future efforts.

  19. Structures of human SRP72 complexes provide insights into SRP RNA remodeling and ribosome interaction

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Matthias M. M.; Lapouge, Karine; Segnitz, Bernd; Wild, Klemens; Sinning, Irmgard

    2017-01-01

    Co-translational protein targeting and membrane protein insertion is a fundamental process and depends on the signal recognition particle (SRP). In mammals, SRP is composed of the SRP RNA crucial for SRP assembly and function and six proteins. The two largest proteins SRP68 and SRP72 form a heterodimer and bind to a regulatory site of the SRP RNA. Despite their essential roles in the SRP pathway, structural information has been available only for the SRP68 RNA-binding domain (RBD). Here we present the crystal structures of the SRP68 protein-binding domain (PBD) in complex with SRP72-PBD and of the SRP72-RBD bound to the SRP S domain (SRP RNA, SRP19 and SRP68) detailing all interactions of SRP72 within SRP. The SRP72-PBD is a tetratricopeptide repeat, which binds an extended linear motif of SRP68 with high affinity. The SRP72-RBD is a flexible peptide crawling along the 5e- and 5f-loops of SRP RNA. A conserved tryptophan inserts into the 5e-loop forming a novel type of RNA kink-turn stabilized by a potassium ion, which we define as K+-turn. In addition, SRP72-RBD remodels the 5f-loop involved in ribosome binding and visualizes SRP RNA plasticity. Docking of the S domain structure into cryo-electron microscopy density maps reveals multiple contact sites between SRP68/72 and the ribosome, and explains the role of SRP72 in the SRP pathway. PMID:27899666

  20. Crystal structure of a maltogenic amylase provides insights into a catalytic versatility.

    PubMed

    Kim, J S; Cha, S S; Kim, H J; Kim, T J; Ha, N C; Oh, S T; Cho, H S; Cho, M J; Kim, M J; Lee, H S; Kim, J W; Choi, K Y; Park, K H; Oh, B H

    1999-09-10

    Amylases catalyze the hydrolysis of starch material and play central roles in carbohydrate metabolism. Compared with many different amylases that are able to hydrolyze only alpha-D-(1,4)-glycosidic bonds, maltogenic amylases exhibit catalytic versatility: hydrolysis of alpha-D-(1,4)- and alpha-D-(1,6)-glycosidic bonds and transglycosylation of oligosaccharides to C3-, C4-, or C6-hydroxyl groups of various acceptor mono- or disaccharides. It has been speculated that the catalytic property of the enzymes is linked to the additional approximately 130 residues at the N terminus that are absent in other typical alpha-amylases. The crystal structure of a maltogenic amylase from a Thermus strain was determined at 2.8 A. The structure, an analytical centrifugation, and a size exclusion column chromatography proved that the enzyme is a dimer in solution. The N-terminal segment of the enzyme folds into a distinct domain and comprises the enzyme active site together with the central (alpha/beta)(8) barrel of the adjacent subunit. The active site is a narrow and deep cleft suitable for binding cyclodextrins, which are the preferred substrates to other starch materials. At the bottom of the active site cleft, an extra space, absent in the other typical alpha-amylases, is present whose size is comparable with that of a disaccharide. The space is most likely to host an acceptor molecule for the transglycosylation and to allow binding of a branched oligosaccharide for hydrolysis of alpha-D-(1,4)-glycosidic or alpha-D-(1,6)-glycosidic bond. The (alpha/beta)(8) barrel of the enzyme is the preserved scaffold in all the known amylases. The structure represents a novel example of how an enzyme acquires a different substrate profile and a catalytic versatility from a common active site and represents a framework for explaining the catalytic activities of transglycosylation and hydrolysis of alpha-D-(1,6)-glycosidic bond.

  1. Crystal structures of highly simplified BPTIs provide insights into hydration-driven increase of unfolding enthalpy

    PubMed Central

    Islam, Mohammad Monirul; Yohda, Masafumi; Kidokoro, Shun-ichi; Kuroda, Yutaka

    2017-01-01

    We report a thermodynamic and structural analysis of six extensively simplified bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI) variants containing 19–24 alanines out of 58 residues. Differential scanning calorimetry indicated a two-state thermal unfolding, typical of a native protein with densely packed interior. Surprisingly, increasing the number of alanines induced enthalpy stabilization, which was however over-compensated by entropy destabilization. X-ray crystallography indicated that the alanine substitutions caused the recruitment of novel water molecules facilitating the formation of protein–water hydrogen bonds and improving the hydration shells around the alanine’s methyl groups, both of which presumably contributed to enthalpy stabilization. There was a strong correlation between the number of water molecules and the thermodynamic parameters. Overall, our results demonstrate that, in contrast to our initial expectation, a protein sequence in which over 40% of the residues are alanines can retain a densely packed structure and undergo thermal denaturation with a large enthalpy change, mainly contributed by hydration. PMID:28266637

  2. Structural characterization of encapsulated ferritin provides insight into iron storage in bacterial nanocompartments

    PubMed Central

    He, Didi; Hughes, Sam; Vanden-Hehir, Sally; Georgiev, Atanas; Altenbach, Kirsten; Tarrant, Emma; Mackay, C Logan; Waldron, Kevin J; Clarke, David J; Marles-Wright, Jon

    2016-01-01

    Ferritins are ubiquitous proteins that oxidise and store iron within a protein shell to protect cells from oxidative damage. We have characterized the structure and function of a new member of the ferritin superfamily that is sequestered within an encapsulin capsid. We show that this encapsulated ferritin (EncFtn) has two main alpha helices, which assemble in a metal dependent manner to form a ferroxidase center at a dimer interface. EncFtn adopts an open decameric structure that is topologically distinct from other ferritins. While EncFtn acts as a ferroxidase, it cannot mineralize iron. Conversely, the encapsulin shell associates with iron, but is not enzymatically active, and we demonstrate that EncFtn must be housed within the encapsulin for iron storage. This encapsulin nanocompartment is widely distributed in bacteria and archaea and represents a distinct class of iron storage system, where the oxidation and mineralization of iron are distributed between two proteins. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.18972.001 PMID:27529188

  3. The picobirnavirus crystal structure provides functional insights into virion assembly and cell entry

    PubMed Central

    Duquerroy, Stéphane; Da Costa, Bruno; Henry, Céline; Vigouroux, Armelle; Libersou, Sonia; Lepault, Jean; Navaza, Jorge; Delmas, Bernard; Rey, Félix A

    2009-01-01

    Double-stranded (ds) RNA virus particles are organized around a central icosahedral core capsid made of 120 identical subunits. This core capsid is unable to invade cells from outside, and animal dsRNA viruses have acquired surrounding capsid layers that are used to deliver a transcriptionally active core particle across the membrane during cell entry. In contrast, dsRNA viruses infecting primitive eukaryotes have only a simple core capsid, and as a consequence are transmitted only vertically. Here, we report the 3.4 Å X-ray structure of a picobirnavirus—an animal dsRNA virus associated with diarrhoea and gastroenteritis in humans. The structure shows a simple core capsid with a distinctive icosahedral arrangement, displaying 60 two-fold symmetric dimers of a coat protein (CP) with a new 3D-fold. We show that, as many non-enveloped animal viruses, CP undergoes an autoproteolytic cleavage, releasing a post-translationally modified peptide that remains associated with nucleic acid within the capsid. Our data also show that picobirnavirus particles are capable of disrupting biological membranes in vitro, indicating that its simple 120-subunits capsid has evolved animal cell invasion properties. PMID:19407816

  4. Fish species introductions provide novel insights into the patterns and drivers of phylogenetic structure in freshwaters

    PubMed Central

    Strecker, Angela L.; Olden, Julian D.

    2014-01-01

    Despite long-standing interest of terrestrial ecologists, freshwater ecosystems are a fertile, yet unappreciated, testing ground for applying community phylogenetics to uncover mechanisms of species assembly. We quantify phylogenetic clustering and overdispersion of native and non-native fishes of a large river basin in the American Southwest to test for the mechanisms (environmental filtering versus competitive exclusion) and spatial scales influencing community structure. Contrary to expectations, non-native species were phylogenetically clustered and related to natural environmental conditions, whereas native species were not phylogenetically structured, likely reflecting human-related changes to the basin. The species that are most invasive (in terms of ecological impacts) tended to be the most phylogenetically divergent from natives across watersheds, but not within watersheds, supporting the hypothesis that Darwin's naturalization conundrum is driven by the spatial scale. Phylogenetic distinctiveness may facilitate non-native establishment at regional scales, but environmental filtering restricts local membership to closely related species with physiological tolerances for current environments. By contrast, native species may have been phylogenetically clustered in historical times, but species loss from contemporary populations by anthropogenic activities has likely shaped the phylogenetic signal. Our study implies that fundamental mechanisms of community assembly have changed, with fundamental consequences for the biogeography of both native and non-native species. PMID:24452027

  5. Structure of ubiquitylated-Rpn10 provides insight into its autoregulation mechanism.

    PubMed

    Keren-Kaplan, Tal; Zeev Peters, Lee; Levin-Kravets, Olga; Attali, Ilan; Kleifeld, Oded; Shohat, Noa; Artzi, Shay; Zucker, Ori; Pilzer, Inbar; Reis, Noa; Glickman, Michael H; Ben-Aroya, Shay; Prag, Gali

    2016-10-04

    Ubiquitin receptors decode ubiquitin signals into many cellular responses. Ubiquitin receptors also undergo coupled monoubiquitylation, and rapid deubiquitylation has hampered the characterization of the ubiquitylated state. Using bacteria that express a ubiquitylation apparatus, we purified and determined the crystal structure of the proteasomal ubiquitin-receptor Rpn10 in its ubiquitylated state. The structure shows a novel ubiquitin-binding patch that directs K84 ubiquitylation. Superimposition of ubiquitylated-Rpn10 onto electron-microscopy models of proteasomes indicates that the Rpn10-conjugated ubiquitin clashes with Rpn9, suggesting that ubiquitylation might be involved in releasing Rpn10 from the proteasome. Indeed, ubiquitylation on immobilized proteasomes dissociates the modified Rpn10 from the complex, while unmodified Rpn10 mainly remains associated. In vivo experiments indicate that contrary to wild type, Rpn10-K84R is stably associated with the proteasomal subunit Rpn9. Similarly Rpn10, but not ubiquitylated-Rpn10, binds Rpn9 in vitro. Thus we suggest that ubiquitylation functions to dissociate modified ubiquitin receptors from their targets, a function that promotes cyclic activity of ubiquitin receptors.

  6. Crystal structure of γ-tubulin complex protein GCP4 provides insight into microtubule nucleation

    PubMed Central

    Guillet, Valérie; Knibiehler, Martine; Gregory-Pauron, Lynn; Remy, Marie-Hélène; Chemin, Cécile; Raynaud-Messina, Brigitte; Bon, Cécile; Kollman, Justin M; Agard, David A; Merdes, Andreas; Mourey, Lionel

    2013-01-01

    Microtubule nucleation in all eukaryotes involves γ-tubulin small complexes (γTuSCs) that comprise two molecules of γ-tubulin bound to γ-tubulin complex proteins (GCPs) GCP2 and GCP3. In many eukaryotes, multiple γTuSCs associate with GCP4, GCP5 and GCP6 into large γ-tubulin ring complexes (γTuRCs). Recent cryo-EM studies indicate that a scaffold similar to γTuRCs is formed by lateral association of γTuSCs, with the C-terminal regions of GCP2 and GCP3 binding γ-tubulin molecules. However, the exact role of GCPs in microtubule nucleation remains unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of human GCP4 and show that its C-terminal domain binds directly to γ-tubulin. The human GCP4 structure is the prototype for all GCPs, as it can be precisely positioned within the γTuSC envelope, revealing the nature of protein-protein interactions and conformational changes regulating nucleation activity. PMID:21725292

  7. Der p 5 Crystal Structure Provides Insight into the Group 5 Dust Mite Allergens

    SciTech Connect

    Mueller, G.; Gosavi, R; Krahn, J; Edwards, L; Cuneo, M; Glesner, J; Pomes, A; Chapman, M; London, R; Pedersen, L

    2010-01-01

    Group 5 allergens from house dust mites elicit strong IgE antibody binding in mite-allergic patients. The structure of Der p 5 was determined by x-ray crystallography to better understand the IgE epitopes, to investigate the biologic function in mites, and to compare with the conflicting published Blo t 5 structures, designated 2JMH and 2JRK in the Protein Data Bank. Der p 5 is a three-helical bundle similar to Blo t 5, but the interactions of the helices are more similar to 2JMH than 2JRK. The crystallographic asymmetric unit contains three dimers of Der p 5 that are not exactly alike. Solution scattering techniques were used to assess the multimeric state of Der p 5 in vitro and showed that the predominant state was monomeric, similar to Blo t 5, but larger multimeric species are also present. In the crystal, the formation of the Der p 5 dimer creates a large hydrophobic cavity of {approx}3000 {angstrom}{sup 3} that could be a ligand-binding site. Many allergens are known to bind hydrophobic ligands, which are thought to stimulate the innate immune system and have adjuvant-like effects on IgE-mediated inflammatory responses.

  8. Structure of ubiquitylated-Rpn10 provides insight into its autoregulation mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Keren-Kaplan, Tal; Zeev Peters, Lee; Levin-Kravets, Olga; Attali, Ilan; Kleifeld, Oded; Shohat, Noa; Artzi, Shay; Zucker, Ori; Pilzer, Inbar; Reis, Noa; Glickman, Michael H.; Ben-Aroya, Shay; Prag, Gali

    2016-01-01

    Ubiquitin receptors decode ubiquitin signals into many cellular responses. Ubiquitin receptors also undergo coupled monoubiquitylation, and rapid deubiquitylation has hampered the characterization of the ubiquitylated state. Using bacteria that express a ubiquitylation apparatus, we purified and determined the crystal structure of the proteasomal ubiquitin-receptor Rpn10 in its ubiquitylated state. The structure shows a novel ubiquitin-binding patch that directs K84 ubiquitylation. Superimposition of ubiquitylated-Rpn10 onto electron-microscopy models of proteasomes indicates that the Rpn10-conjugated ubiquitin clashes with Rpn9, suggesting that ubiquitylation might be involved in releasing Rpn10 from the proteasome. Indeed, ubiquitylation on immobilized proteasomes dissociates the modified Rpn10 from the complex, while unmodified Rpn10 mainly remains associated. In vivo experiments indicate that contrary to wild type, Rpn10-K84R is stably associated with the proteasomal subunit Rpn9. Similarly Rpn10, but not ubiquitylated-Rpn10, binds Rpn9 in vitro. Thus we suggest that ubiquitylation functions to dissociate modified ubiquitin receptors from their targets, a function that promotes cyclic activity of ubiquitin receptors. PMID:27698474

  9. Permeation properties of the hair cell mechanotransducer channel provide insight into its molecular structure

    PubMed Central

    Pan, B.; Waguespack, J.; Schnee, M. E.; LeBlanc, C.

    2012-01-01

    Mechanoelectric transducer (MET) channels, located near stereocilia tips, are opened by deflecting the hair bundle of sensory hair cells. Defects in this process result in deafness. Despite this critical function, the molecular identity of MET channels remains a mystery. Inherent channel properties, particularly those associated with permeation, provide the backbone for the molecular identification of ion channels. Here, a novel channel rectification mechanism is identified, resulting in a reduced pore size at positive potentials. The apparent difference in pore dimensions results from Ca2+ binding within the pore, occluding permeation. Driving force for permeation at hyperpolarized potentials is increased because Ca2+ can more easily be removed from binding within the pore due to the presence of an electronegative external vestibule that dehydrates and concentrates permeating ions. Alterations in Ca2+ binding may underlie tonotopic and Ca2+-dependent variations in channel conductance. This Ca2+-dependent rectification provides targets for identifying the molecular components of the MET channel. PMID:22323630

  10. Crystal structure of human thimet oligopeptidase provides insight into substrate recognition, regulation, and localization.

    PubMed

    Ray, Kallol; Hines, Christina S; Coll-Rodriguez, Jerry; Rodgers, David W

    2004-05-07

    Thimet oligopeptidase (TOP) is a zinc metallopeptidase that metabolizes a number of bioactive peptides and degrades peptides released by the proteasome, limiting antigenic presentation by MHC class I molecules. We present the crystal structure of human TOP at 2.0-A resolution. The active site is located at the base of a deep channel that runs the length of the elongated molecule, an overall fold first seen in the closely related metallopeptidase neurolysin. Comparison of the two related structures indicates hinge-like flexibility and identifies elements near one end of the channel that adopt different conformations. Relatively few of the sequence differences between TOP and neurolysin map to the proposed substrate-binding site, and four of these variable residues may account for differences in substrate specificity. In addition, a loop segment (residues 599-611) in TOP differs in conformation and degree of order from the corresponding neurolysin loop, suggesting it may also play a role in activity differences. Cysteines thought to mediate covalent oligomerization of rat TOP, which can inactivate the enzyme, are found to be surface-accessible in the human enzyme, and additional cysteines (residues 321,350, and 644) may also mediate multimerization in the human homolog. Disorder in the N terminus of TOP indicates it may be involved in subcellular localization, but a potential nuclear import element is found to be part of a helix and, therefore, unlikely to be involved in transport. A large acidic patch on the surface could potentially mediate a protein-protein interaction, possibly through formation of a covalent linkage.

  11. Catalysis and Structure of Zebrafish Urate Oxidase Provide Insights into the Origin of Hyperuricemia in Hominoids

    PubMed Central

    Marchetti, Marialaura; Liuzzi, Anastasia; Fermi, Beatrice; Corsini, Romina; Folli, Claudia; Speranzini, Valentina; Gandolfi, Francesco; Bettati, Stefano; Ronda, Luca; Cendron, Laura; Berni, Rodolfo; Zanotti, Giuseppe; Percudani, Riccardo

    2016-01-01

    Urate oxidase (Uox) catalyses the first reaction of oxidative uricolysis, a three-step enzymatic pathway that allows some animals to eliminate purine nitrogen through a water-soluble compound. Inactivation of the pathway in hominoids leads to elevated levels of sparingly soluble urate and puts humans at risk of hyperuricemia and gout. The uricolytic activities lost during evolution can be replaced by enzyme therapy. Here we report on the functional and structural characterization of Uox from zebrafish and the effects on the enzyme of the missense mutation (F216S) that preceded Uox pseudogenization in hominoids. Using a kinetic assay based on the enzymatic suppression of the spectroscopic interference of the Uox reaction product, we found that the F216S mutant has the same turnover number of the wild-type enzyme but a much-reduced affinity for the urate substrate and xanthine inhibitor. Our results indicate that the last functioning Uox in hominoid evolution had an increased Michaelis constant, possibly near to upper end of the normal range of urate in the human serum (~300 μM). Changes in the renal handling of urate during primate evolution can explain the genetic modification of uricolytic activities in the hominoid lineage without the need of assuming fixation of deleterious mutations. PMID:27922051

  12. Huygens provides insights about Titan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2005-01-01

    Huygens provides insights about Titan Following the Huygens probe's successful 14 January soft landing on Titan, Saturn's largest moon, scientists at a 21 January European Space Agency (ESA) news briefing announced that the moon has Earth-like meteorology and geology, and that there is evidence for liquid methane. Martin Tomasko, principal investigator for the Huygens Descent Imager-Spectral Radiometer, said, ``Geological evidence for precipitation, erosion, mechanical abrasion and other fluvial activity says that the physical processes shaping Titan are much the same as those shaping Earth.''

  13. Inter-basin movements of Mediterranean sperm whales provide insight into their population structure and conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frantzis, A.; Airoldi, S.; Notarbartolo-di-Sciara, G.; Johnson, C.; Mazzariol, S.

    2011-04-01

    The sperm whale is one of the very few deep diving mammal species in the Mediterranean Sea. Following a rare mass stranding of male sperm whales in the Adriatic Sea in December 2009, photo-identification methods were used in order to investigate previous sightings of the stranded whales in the region. Fluke photos of the stranded whales were compared with those of 153 and 128 free-ranging individuals photographed in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins, respectively. Three out of the seven stranded whales had been previously photo-identified and some of them more than once. To reach the stranding place, two of these re-identified whales performed long-range inter-basin movements of about 1600-2100 km (in a straight line) either through the Strait of Sicily or the Strait of Messina. In addition, comparisons among all whales photographed in the two Mediterranean basins revealed that one more individual first photographed in the western basin (1991) was re-identified 13 years later in the eastern basin (2004). These three cases provide the first conclusive evidence of inter-basin movement of sperm whales in the Mediterranean Sea. Inter-basin gene flow is important for the survival of the small and endangered Mediterranean sperm whale population. Mitigating the disturbance created by human activities in the straits area is crucial for its conservation.

  14. RNASTAR: An RNA STructural Alignment Repository that provides insight into the evolution of natural and artificial RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Widmann, Jeremy; Stombaugh, Jesse; McDonald, Daniel; Chocholousova, Jana; Gardner, Paul; Iyer, Matthew K.; Liu, Zongzhi; Lozupone, Catherine A.; Quinn, John; Smit, Sandra; Wikman, Shandy; Zaneveld, Jesse R.R.; Knight, Rob

    2012-01-01

    Automated RNA alignment algorithms often fail to recapture the essential conserved sites that are critical for function. To assist in the refinement of these algorithms, we manually curated a set of 148 alignments with a total of 9600 unique sequences, in which each alignment was backed by at least one crystal or NMR structure. These alignments included both naturally and artificially selected molecules. We used principles of isostericity to improve the alignments from an average of 83%–94% isosteric base pairs. We expect that this alignment collection will assist in a wide range of benchmarking efforts and provide new insight into evolutionary principles governing change in RNA structural motifs. The improved alignments have been contributed to the Rfam database. PMID:22645380

  15. RNASTAR: an RNA STructural Alignment Repository that provides insight into the evolution of natural and artificial RNAs.

    PubMed

    Widmann, Jeremy; Stombaugh, Jesse; McDonald, Daniel; Chocholousova, Jana; Gardner, Paul; Iyer, Matthew K; Liu, Zongzhi; Lozupone, Catherine A; Quinn, John; Smit, Sandra; Wikman, Shandy; Zaneveld, Jesse R R; Knight, Rob

    2012-07-01

    Automated RNA alignment algorithms often fail to recapture the essential conserved sites that are critical for function. To assist in the refinement of these algorithms, we manually curated a set of 148 alignments with a total of 9600 unique sequences, in which each alignment was backed by at least one crystal or NMR structure. These alignments included both naturally and artificially selected molecules. We used principles of isostericity to improve the alignments from an average of 83%-94% isosteric base pairs. We expect that this alignment collection will assist in a wide range of benchmarking efforts and provide new insight into evolutionary principles governing change in RNA structural motifs. The improved alignments have been contributed to the Rfam database.

  16. The Structure of Allophanate Hydrolase from Granulibacter bethesdensis Provides Insights into Substrate Specificity in the Amidase Signature Family

    SciTech Connect

    Lin, Yi; Maurice, Martin

    2013-01-02

    Allophanate hydrolase (AH) catalyzes the hydrolysis of allophanate, an intermediate in atrazine degradation and urea catabolism pathways, to NH3 and CO2. AH belongs to the amidase signature family, which is characterized by a conserved block of 130 amino acids rich in Gly and Ser and a Ser-cis-Ser-Lys catalytic triad. In this study, the first structures of AH fromGranulibacter bethesdensis were determined, with and without the substrate analogue malonate, to 2.2 and 2.8 Å, respectively. The structures confirm the identity of the catalytic triad residues and reveal an altered dimerization interface that is not conserved in the amidase signature family. The structures also provide insights into previously unrecognized substrate specificity determinants in AH. Two residues, Tyr299 and Arg307, are within hydrogen bonding distance of a carboxylate moiety of malonate. Both Tyr299 and Arg307 were mutated, and the resulting modified enzymes revealed >3 order of magnitude reductions in both catalytic efficiency and substrate stringency. It is proposed that Tyr299 and Arg307 serve to anchor and orient the substrate for attack by the catalytic nucleophile, Ser172. The structure further suggests the presence of a unique C-terminal domain in AH. While this domain is conserved, it does not contribute to catalysis or to the structural integrity of the core domain, suggesting that it may play a role in mediating transient and specific interactions with the urea carboxylase component of urea amidolyase. Analysis of the AH active site architecture offers new insights into common determinants of catalysis and specificity among divergent members of the amidase signature family.

  17. Structural Analysis of the Myo1c and Neph1 Complex Provides Insight into the Intracellular Movement of Neph1

    PubMed Central

    Arif, Ehtesham; Sharma, Pankaj; Solanki, Ashish; Mallik, Leena; Rathore, Yogendra S.; Twal, Waleed O.; Nath, Samir K.; Gandhi, Darpan; Holzman, Lawrence B.; Ostap, E. Michael

    2016-01-01

    The Myo1c motor functions as a cargo transporter supporting various cellular events, including vesicular trafficking, cell migration, and stereociliary movements of hair cells. Although its partial crystal structures were recently described, the structural details of its interaction with cargo proteins remain unknown. This study presents the first structural demonstration of a cargo protein, Neph1, attached to Myo1c, providing novel insights into the role of Myo1c in intracellular movements of this critical slit diaphragm protein. Using small angle X-ray scattering studies, models of predominant solution conformation of unliganded full-length Myo1c and Myo1c bound to Neph1 were constructed. The resulting structures show an extended S-shaped Myo1c with Neph1 attached to its C-terminal tail. Importantly, binding of Neph1 did not induce a significant shape change in Myo1c, indicating this as a spontaneous process or event. Analysis of interaction surfaces led to the identification of a critical residue in Neph1 involved in binding to Myo1c. Indeed, a point mutant from this site abolished interaction between Neph1 and Myo1c when tested in the in vitro and in live-cell binding assays. Live-cell imaging, including fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, provided further support for the role of Myo1c in intracellular vesicular movement of Neph1 and its turnover at the membrane. PMID:27044863

  18. Crystal structures of the CERT START domain with inhibitors provide insights into the mechanism of ceramide transfer.

    PubMed

    Kudo, Norio; Kumagai, Keigo; Matsubara, Ryosuke; Kobayashi, Shu; Hanada, Kentaro; Wakatsuki, Soichi; Kato, Ryuichi

    2010-02-19

    The cytosolic protein CERT transfers ceramide from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi apparatus where ceramide is converted to SM. The C-terminal START (steroidogenic acute regulatory protein-related lipid transfer) domain of CERT binds one ceramide molecule in its central amphiphilic cavity. (1R,3R)-N-(3-Hydroxy-1-hydroxymethyl-3-phenylpropyl)alkanamide (HPA), a synthesized analogue of ceramide, inhibits ceramide transfer by CERT. Here we report crystal structures of the CERT START domain in complex with HPAs of varying acyl chain lengths. In these structures, one HPA molecule is buried in the amphiphilic cavity where the amide and hydroxyl groups of HPA form a hydrogen-bond network with specific amino acid residues. The Omega1 loop, which has been suggested to function as a gate of the cavity, adopts a different conformation when bound to HPA than when bound to ceramide. In the Omega1 loop region, Trp473 shows the largest difference between these two structures. This residue exists inside of the cavity in HPA-bound structures, while it is exposed to the outside of the protein in the apo-form and ceramide-bound complex structures. Surface plasmon resonance experiments confirmed that Trp473 is important for interaction with membranes. These results provide insights into not only the molecular mechanism of inhibition by HPAs but also possible mechanisms by which CERT interacts with ceramide. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Structure of the Tuberous Sclerosis Complex 2 (TSC2) N Terminus Provides Insight into Complex Assembly and Tuberous Sclerosis Pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Zech, Reinhard; Kiontke, Stephan; Mueller, Uwe; Oeckinghaus, Andrea; Kümmel, Daniel

    2016-09-16

    Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is caused by mutations in the TSC1 and TSC2 tumor suppressor genes. The gene products hamartin and tuberin form the TSC complex that acts as GTPase-activating protein for Rheb and negatively regulates the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1). Tuberin contains a RapGAP homology domain responsible for inactivation of Rheb, but functions of other protein domains remain elusive. Here we show that the TSC2 N terminus interacts with the TSC1 C terminus to mediate complex formation. The structure of the TSC2 N-terminal domain from Chaetomium thermophilum and a homology model of the human tuberin N terminus are presented. We characterize the molecular requirements for TSC1-TSC2 interactions and analyze pathological point mutations in tuberin. Many mutations are structural and produce improperly folded protein, explaining their effect in pathology, but we identify one point mutant that abrogates complex formation without affecting protein structure. We provide the first structural information on TSC2/tuberin with novel insight into the molecular function. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  20. X-ray crystallographic structure of a bacterial polysialyltransferase provides insight into the biosynthesis of capsular polysialic acid.

    PubMed

    Lizak, Christian; Worrall, Liam J; Baumann, Lars; Pfleiderer, Moritz M; Volkers, Gesa; Sun, Tianjun; Sim, Lyann; Wakarchuk, Warren; Withers, Stephen G; Strynadka, Natalie C J

    2017-07-19

    Polysialic acid (polySia) is a homopolymeric saccharide that is associated with some neuroinvasive pathogens and is found on selective cell types in their eukaryotic host. The presence of a polySia capsule on these bacterial pathogens helps with resistance to phagocytosis, cationic microbial peptides and bactericidal antibody production. The biosynthesis of bacterial polySia is catalysed by a single polysialyltransferase (PST) transferring sialic acid from a nucleotide-activated donor to a lipid-linked acceptor oligosaccharide. Here we present the X-ray structure of the bacterial PST from Mannheimia haemolytica serotype A2, thereby defining the architecture of this class of enzymes representing the GT38 family. The structure reveals a prominent electropositive groove between the two Rossmann-like domains forming the GT-B fold that is suitable for binding of polySia chain products. Complex structures of PST with a sugar donor analogue and an acceptor mimetic combined with kinetic studies of PST active site mutants provide insight into the principles of substrate binding and catalysis. Our results are the basis for a molecular understanding of polySia biosynthesis in bacteria and might assist the production of polysialylated therapeutic reagents and the development of novel antibiotics.

  1. Crystal structure of a chimera of human and Plasmodium falciparum hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferases provides insights into oligomerization.

    PubMed

    Gayathri, P; Sujay Subbayya, I N; Ashok, Chethan S; Selvi, T Senthamizh; Balaram, Hemalatha; Murthy, M R N

    2008-12-01

    The crystal structure of a chimera of Plasmodium falciparum (Pf) and human hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferases (HGPRT), which consists of the core of the protein from the human enzyme and the hood region from the Pf enzyme, has been determined as a complex with the product guanosine monophosphate (GMP). The chimera can utilize hypoxanthine, guanine, and xanthine as substrates, similar to the Pf enzyme. It exists as a monomer-dimer mixture in solution, but shifts to a tetramer on addition of phosphoribosyl pyrophosphate (PRPP). The structural studies reveal that the asymmetric unit of the crystal consists of two monomers of the chimeric HGPRT. Surprisingly, the dimer interface of the chimera is the less extensive AC interface of the parent HGPRTs. An analysis of the crystal structures of the various human HGPRTs provides an explanation for the oligomeric characteristics of the chimera. Pro93 and Tyr197 form part of crucial interactions holding together the AB interface in the unliganded or GMP-bound forms of HGPRT, while Pro93 and His26 interact at the interface after binding of PRPP. Replacement of Tyr197 of human HGPRT by Ile207 in the chimera disrupts the interaction at the AB interface in the absence of PRPP. In the presence of PRPP, the interaction between Pro93 and His26 could restore the AB interface, shifting the chimeric enzyme to a tetrameric state. The structure provides valuable insights into the differences in the AB interface between Pf and human HGPRTs, which may be useful for designing selective inhibitors against the parasite enzyme.

  2. Insights into remodeling events during eukaryotic large ribosomal subunit assembly provided by high resolution cryo-EM structures.

    PubMed

    Biedka, Stephanie; Wu, Shan; LaPeruta, Amber J; Gao, Ning; Woolford, John L

    2017-03-07

    Ribosomes are responsible for translating the genome, in the form of mRNA, into the proteome in all organisms. Biogenesis of ribosomes in eukaryotes is a complex process involving numerous remodeling events driven in part by the concerted actions of hundreds of protein assembly factors. A major challenge in studying eukaryotic ribosome assembly has, until recently, been a lack of structural data to facilitate understanding of the conformational and compositional changes the pre-ribosome undergoes during its construction. Cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has begun filling these gaps; recent advances in cryo-EM have enabled the determination of several high resolution pre-ribosome structures. This review focuses mainly on lessons learned from the study of pre-60S particles purified from yeast using the assembly factor Nog2 as bait. These Nog2 particles provide insight into many aspects of nuclear stages of 60S subunit assembly, including construction of major 60S subunit functional centers and processing of the ITS2 spacer RNA.

  3. Novel UDP-GalNAc Derivative Structures Provide Insight into the Donor Specificity of Human Blood Group Glycosyltransferase.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Gerd K; Pesnot, Thomas; Palcic, Monica M; Jørgensen, Rene

    2015-12-25

    Two closely related glycosyltransferases are responsible for the final step of the biosynthesis of ABO(H) human blood group A and B antigens. The two enzymes differ by only four amino acid residues, which determine whether the enzymes transfer GalNAc from UDP-GalNAc or Gal from UDP-Gal to the H-antigen acceptor. The enzymes belong to the class of GT-A folded enzymes, grouped as GT6 in the CAZy database, and are characterized by a single domain with a metal dependent retaining reaction mechanism. However, the exact role of the four amino acid residues in the specificity of the enzymes is still unresolved. In this study, we report the first structural information of a dual specificity cis-AB blood group glycosyltransferase in complex with a synthetic UDP-GalNAc derivative. Interestingly, the GalNAc moiety adopts an unusual yet catalytically productive conformation in the binding pocket, which is different from the "tucked under" conformation previously observed for the UDP-Gal donor. In addition, we show that this UDP-GalNAc derivative in complex with the H-antigen acceptor provokes the same unusual binding pocket closure as seen for the corresponding UDP-Gal derivative. Despite this, the two derivatives show vastly different kinetic properties. Our results provide a important structural insight into the donor substrate specificity and utilization in blood group biosynthesis, which can very likely be exploited for the development of new glycosyltransferase inhibitors and probes.

  4. Crystal structure of peroxide stress regulator from Streptococcus pyogenes provides functional insights into the mechanism of oxidative stress sensing.

    PubMed

    Makthal, Nishanth; Rastegari, Sheila; Sanson, Misu; Ma, Zhen; Olsen, Randall J; Helmann, John D; Musser, James M; Kumaraswami, Muthiah

    2013-06-21

    Regulation of oxidative stress responses by the peroxide stress regulator (PerR) is critical for the in vivo fitness and virulence of group A Streptococcus. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of DNA binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation by PerR, we performed biochemical and structural characterization of PerR. Sequence-specific DNA binding by PerR does not require regulatory metal occupancy. However, metal binding promotes higher affinity PerR-DNA interactions. PerR metallated with iron directly senses peroxide stress and dissociates from operator sequences. The crystal structure revealed that PerR exists as a homodimer with two metal-binding sites per subunit as follows: a structural zinc site and a regulatory metal site that is occupied in the crystals by nickel. The regulatory metal-binding site in PerR involves a previously unobserved HXH motif located in its unique N-terminal extension. Mutational analysis of the regulatory site showed that the PerR metal ligands are involved in regulatory metal binding, and integrity of this site is critical for group A Streptococcus virulence. Interestingly, the metal-binding HXH motif is not present in the structurally characterized members of ferric uptake regulator (Fur) family but is fully conserved among PerR from the genus Streptococcus. Thus, it is likely that the PerR orthologs from streptococci share a common mechanism of metal binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation that is different from that of well characterized PerR from Bacillus subtilis. Together, our findings provide key insights into the peroxide sensing and regulation of the oxidative stress-adaptive responses by the streptococcal subfamily of PerR.

  5. Crystal Structure of Peroxide Stress Regulator from Streptococcus pyogenes Provides Functional Insights into the Mechanism of Oxidative Stress Sensing*

    PubMed Central

    Makthal, Nishanth; Rastegari, Sheila; Sanson, Misu; Ma, Zhen; Olsen, Randall J.; Helmann, John D.; Musser, James M.; Kumaraswami, Muthiah

    2013-01-01

    Regulation of oxidative stress responses by the peroxide stress regulator (PerR) is critical for the in vivo fitness and virulence of group A Streptococcus. To elucidate the molecular mechanism of DNA binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation by PerR, we performed biochemical and structural characterization of PerR. Sequence-specific DNA binding by PerR does not require regulatory metal occupancy. However, metal binding promotes higher affinity PerR-DNA interactions. PerR metallated with iron directly senses peroxide stress and dissociates from operator sequences. The crystal structure revealed that PerR exists as a homodimer with two metal-binding sites per subunit as follows: a structural zinc site and a regulatory metal site that is occupied in the crystals by nickel. The regulatory metal-binding site in PerR involves a previously unobserved HXH motif located in its unique N-terminal extension. Mutational analysis of the regulatory site showed that the PerR metal ligands are involved in regulatory metal binding, and integrity of this site is critical for group A Streptococcus virulence. Interestingly, the metal-binding HXH motif is not present in the structurally characterized members of ferric uptake regulator (Fur) family but is fully conserved among PerR from the genus Streptococcus. Thus, it is likely that the PerR orthologs from streptococci share a common mechanism of metal binding, peroxide sensing, and gene regulation that is different from that of well characterized PerR from Bacillus subtilis. Together, our findings provide key insights into the peroxide sensing and regulation of the oxidative stress-adaptive responses by the streptococcal subfamily of PerR. PMID:23645680

  6. Structure of the CED-4-CED-9 Complex Provides Insights into Programmed Cell Death in Caenorhabditis elegans

    SciTech Connect

    Yan,N.; Chai, J.; Lee, E.; Gu, L.; Liu, Q.; He, J.; Wu, J.; Kokel, D.; Li, H.; et al.

    2005-01-01

    Interplay among four genes-egl-1, ced-9, ced-4 and ced-3-controls the onset of programmed cell death in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. Activation of the cell-killing protease CED-3 requires CED-4. However, CED-4 is constitutively inhibited by CED-9 until its release by EGL-1. Here we report the crystal structure of the CED-4-CED-9 complex at 2.6 Angstrom resolution, and a complete reconstitution of the CED-3 activation pathway using homogeneous proteins of CED-4, CED-9 and EGL-1. One molecule of CED-9 binds to an asymmetric dimer of CED-4, but specifically recognizes only one of the two CED-4 molecules. This specific interaction prevents CED-4 from activating CED-3. EGL-1 binding induces pronounced conformational changes in CED-9 that result in the dissociation of the CED-4 dimer from CED-9. The released CED-4 dimer further dimerizes to form a tetramer, which facilitates the autoactivation of CED-3. Together, our studies provide important insights into the regulation of cell death activation in C. elegans.

  7. The structure of C290A:C393A Aurora A provides structural insights into kinase regulation

    PubMed Central

    Burgess, Selena G.; Bayliss, Richard

    2015-01-01

    Aurora A is a Ser/Thr protein kinase that functions in cell-cycle regulation and is implicated in cancer development. During mitosis, Aurora A is activated by autophosphorylation on its activation loop at Thr288. The Aurora A catalytic domain (amino acids 122–403) expressed in Escherichia coli autophosphorylates on two activation-loop threonine residues (Thr288 and Thr287), whereas a C290A,C393A double point mutant of the Aurora A catalytic domain autophosphorylates only on Thr288. The structure of the complex of this mutant with ADP and magnesium was determined to 2.1 Å resolution using molecular replacement. This is an improvement on the existing 2.75 Å resolution structure of the equivalent wild-type complex. The structure confirms that single phosphorylation of the activation loop on Thr288 is insufficient to stabilize a ‘fully active’ conformation of the activation loop in the absence of binding to TPX2. PMID:25760707

  8. Crystal structure of viral serpin crmA provides insights into its mechanism of cysteine proteinase inhibition.

    PubMed Central

    Simonovic, M.; Gettins PGW; Volz, K.

    2000-01-01

    CrmA is an unusual viral serpin that inhibits both cysteine and serine proteinases involved in the regulation of host inflammatory and apoptosis processes. It differs from other members of the serpin superfamily by having a reactive center loop that is one residue shorter, and by its apparent inability to form SDS-stable covalent complexes with cysteine proteinases. To obtain insight into the inhibitory mechanism of crmA, we determined the crystal structure of reactive center loop-cleaved crmA to 2.9 A resolution. The structure, which is the first of a viral serpin, suggests that crmA can inhibit cysteine proteinases by a mechanism analogous to that used by other serpins against serine proteinases. However, one striking difference from other serpins, which may be significant for in vivo function, is an additional highly charged antiparallel strand for b sheet A, whose sequence and length are unique to crmA. PMID:10975564

  9. Structure of putrescine aminotransferase from Escherichia coli provides insights into the substrate specificity among class III aminotransferases.

    PubMed

    Cha, Hyung Jin; Jeong, Jae-Hee; Rojviriya, Catleya; Kim, Yeon-Gil

    2014-01-01

    YgjG is a putrescine aminotransferase enzyme that transfers amino groups from compounds with terminal primary amines to compounds with an aldehyde group using pyridoxal-5'-phosphate (PLP) as a cofactor. Previous biochemical data show that the enzyme prefers primary diamines, such as putrescine, over ornithine as a substrate. To better understand the enzyme's substrate specificity, crystal structures of YgjG from Escherichia coli were determined at 2.3 and 2.1 Å resolutions for the free and putrescine-bound enzymes, respectively. Sequence and structural analyses revealed that YgjG forms a dimer that adopts a class III PLP-dependent aminotransferase fold. A structural comparison between YgjG and other class III aminotransferases revealed that their structures are similar. However, YgjG has an additional N-terminal helical structure that partially contributes to a dimeric interaction with the other subunit via a helix-helix interaction. Interestingly, the YgjG substrate-binding site entrance size and charge distribution are smaller and more hydrophobic than other class III aminotransferases, which suggest that YgjG has a unique substrate binding site that could accommodate primary aliphatic diamine substrates, including putrescine. The YgjG crystal structures provide structural clues to putrescine aminotransferase substrate specificity and binding.

  10. Crystal structures of an archaeal oligosaccharyltransferase provide insights into the catalytic cycle of N-linked protein glycosylation.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Shunsuke; Shimada, Atsushi; Nyirenda, James; Igura, Mayumi; Kawano, Yoshiaki; Kohda, Daisuke

    2013-10-29

    Oligosaccharyltransferase transfers an oligosaccharide chain to the asparagine residues in proteins. The archaeal and eubacterial oligosaccharyltransferases are single subunit membrane enzymes, referred to as "AglB" (archaeal glycosylation B) and "PglB" (protein glycosylation B), respectively. Only one crystal structure of a full-length PglB has been solved. Here we report the crystal structures of the full-length AglB from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Archaeoglobus fulgidus. The AglB and PglB proteins share the common overall topology of the 13 transmembrane helices, and a characteristic long plastic loop in the transmembrane region. This is the structural basis for the formation of the catalytic center, consisting of conserved acidic residues coordinating a divalent metal ion. In one crystal form, a sulfate ion was bound next to the metal ion. This structure appears to represent a dolichol-phosphate binding state, and suggests the release mechanism for the glycosylated product. The structure in the other crystal form corresponds to the resting state conformation with the well-ordered plastic loop in the transmembrane region. The overall structural similarity between the distantly related AglB and PglB proteins strongly indicates the conserved catalytic mechanism in the eukaryotic counterpart, the STT3 (stauroporine and temperature sensitivity 3) protein. The detailed structural comparison provided the dynamic view of the N-glycosylation reaction, involving the conversion between the structured and unstructured states of the plastic loop in the transmembrane region and the formation and collapse of the Ser/Thr-binding pocket in the C-terminal globular domain.

  11. Crystal Structures of Malonyl-Coenzyme A Decarboxylase Provide Insights into Its Catalytic Mechanism and Disease-Causing Mutations

    PubMed Central

    Froese, D. Sean; Forouhar, Farhad; Tran, Timothy H.; Vollmar, Melanie; Kim, Yi Seul; Lew, Scott; Neely, Helen; Seetharaman, Jayaraman; Shen, Yang; Xiao, Rong; Acton, Thomas B.; Everett, John K.; Cannone, Giuseppe; Puranik, Sriharsha; Savitsky, Pavel; Krojer, Tobias; Pilka, Ewa S.; Kiyani, Wasim; Lee, Wen Hwa; Marsden, Brian D.; von Delft, Frank; Allerston, Charles K.; Spagnolo, Laura; Gileadi, Opher; Montelione, Gaetano T.; Oppermann, Udo; Yue, Wyatt W.; Tong, Liang

    2013-01-01

    Summary Malonyl-coenzyme A decarboxylase (MCD) is found from bacteria to humans, has important roles in regulating fatty acid metabolism and food intake, and is an attractive target for drug discovery. We report here four crystal structures of MCD from human, Rhodopseudomonas palustris, Agrobacterium vitis, and Cupriavidus metallidurans at up to 2.3 Å resolution. The MCD monomer contains an N-terminal helical domain involved in oligomerization and a C-terminal catalytic domain. The four structures exhibit substantial differences in the organization of the helical domains and, consequently, the oligomeric states and intersubunit interfaces. Unexpectedly, the MCD catalytic domain is structurally homologous to those of the GCN5-related N-acetyltransferase superfamily, especially the curacin A polyketide synthase catalytic module, with a conserved His-Ser/Thr dyad important for catalysis. Our structures, along with mutagenesis and kinetic studies, provide a molecular basis for understanding pathogenic mutations and catalysis, as well as a template for structure-based drug design. PMID:23791943

  12. Insertion Sequence Element Single Nucleotide Polymorphism Typing Provides Insights into the Population Structure and Evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa

    PubMed Central

    Jordaens, Kurt; Bomans, Pieter; Leirs, Herwig; Durnez, Lies; Affolabi, Dissou; Sopoh, Ghislain; Aguiar, Julia; Phanzu, Delphin Mavinga; Kibadi, Kapay; Eyangoh, Sara; Manou, Louis Bayonne; Phillips, Richard Odame; Adjei, Ohene; Ablordey, Anthony; Rigouts, Leen; Portaels, Françoise; Eddyani, Miriam; de Jong, Bouke C.

    2014-01-01

    Buruli ulcer is an indolent, slowly progressing necrotizing disease of the skin caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. In the present study, we applied a redesigned technique to a vast panel of M. ulcerans disease isolates and clinical samples originating from multiple African disease foci in order to (i) gain fundamental insights into the population structure and evolutionary history of the pathogen and (ii) disentangle the phylogeographic relationships within the genetically conserved cluster of African M. ulcerans. Our analyses identified 23 different African insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism (ISE-SNP) types that dominate in different areas where Buruli ulcer is endemic. These ISE-SNP types appear to be the initial stages of clonal diversification from a common, possibly ancestral ISE-SNP type. ISE-SNP types were found unevenly distributed over the greater West African hydrological drainage basins. Our findings suggest that geographical barriers bordering the basins to some extent prevented bacterial gene flow between basins and that this resulted in independent focal transmission clusters associated with the hydrological drainage areas. Different phylogenetic methods yielded two well-supported sister clades within the African ISE-SNP types. The ISE-SNP types from the “pan-African clade” were found to be widespread throughout Africa, while the ISE-SNP types of the “Gabonese/Cameroonian clade” were much rarer and found in a more restricted area, which suggested that the latter clade evolved more recently. Additionally, the Gabonese/Cameroonian clade was found to form a strongly supported monophyletic group with Papua New Guinean ISE-SNP type 8, which is unrelated to other Southeast Asian ISE-SNP types. PMID:24296504

  13. Insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism typing provides insights into the population structure and evolution of Mycobacterium ulcerans across Africa.

    PubMed

    Vandelannoote, Koen; Jordaens, Kurt; Bomans, Pieter; Leirs, Herwig; Durnez, Lies; Affolabi, Dissou; Sopoh, Ghislain; Aguiar, Julia; Phanzu, Delphin Mavinga; Kibadi, Kapay; Eyangoh, Sara; Manou, Louis Bayonne; Phillips, Richard Odame; Adjei, Ohene; Ablordey, Anthony; Rigouts, Leen; Portaels, Françoise; Eddyani, Miriam; de Jong, Bouke C

    2014-02-01

    Buruli ulcer is an indolent, slowly progressing necrotizing disease of the skin caused by infection with Mycobacterium ulcerans. In the present study, we applied a redesigned technique to a vast panel of M. ulcerans disease isolates and clinical samples originating from multiple African disease foci in order to (i) gain fundamental insights into the population structure and evolutionary history of the pathogen and (ii) disentangle the phylogeographic relationships within the genetically conserved cluster of African M. ulcerans. Our analyses identified 23 different African insertion sequence element single nucleotide polymorphism (ISE-SNP) types that dominate in different areas where Buruli ulcer is endemic. These ISE-SNP types appear to be the initial stages of clonal diversification from a common, possibly ancestral ISE-SNP type. ISE-SNP types were found unevenly distributed over the greater West African hydrological drainage basins. Our findings suggest that geographical barriers bordering the basins to some extent prevented bacterial gene flow between basins and that this resulted in independent focal transmission clusters associated with the hydrological drainage areas. Different phylogenetic methods yielded two well-supported sister clades within the African ISE-SNP types. The ISE-SNP types from the "pan-African clade" were found to be widespread throughout Africa, while the ISE-SNP types of the "Gabonese/Cameroonian clade" were much rarer and found in a more restricted area, which suggested that the latter clade evolved more recently. Additionally, the Gabonese/Cameroonian clade was found to form a strongly supported monophyletic group with Papua New Guinean ISE-SNP type 8, which is unrelated to other Southeast Asian ISE-SNP types.

  14. The Structure of a Sugar Transporter of the Glucose EIIC Superfamily Provides Insight into the Elevator Mechanism of Membrane Transport.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Jason G; Ren, Zhenning; Stanevich, Vitali; Lee, Jumin; Mitra, Sharmistha; Levin, Elena J; Poget, Sebastien; Quick, Matthias; Im, Wonpil; Zhou, Ming

    2016-06-07

    The phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase systems are found in bacteria, where they play central roles in sugar uptake and regulation of cellular uptake processes. Little is known about how the membrane-embedded components (EIICs) selectively mediate the passage of carbohydrates across the membrane. Here we report the functional characterization and 2.55-Å resolution structure of a maltose transporter, bcMalT, belonging to the glucose superfamily of EIIC transporters. bcMalT crystallized in an outward-facing occluded conformation, in contrast to the structure of another glucose superfamily EIIC, bcChbC, which crystallized in an inward-facing occluded conformation. The structures differ in the position of a structurally conserved substrate-binding domain that is suggested to play a central role in sugar transport. In addition, molecular dynamics simulations suggest a potential pathway for substrate entry from the periplasm into the bcMalT substrate-binding site. These results provide a mechanistic framework for understanding substrate recognition and translocation for the glucose superfamily EIIC transporters.

  15. Structure of myosin-1c tail bound to calmodulin provides insights into calcium-mediated conformational coupling.

    PubMed

    Lu, Qing; Li, Jianchao; Ye, Fei; Zhang, Mingjie

    2015-01-01

    Class I myosins can sense cellular mechanical forces and function as tension-sensitive anchors or transporters. How mechanical load is transduced from the membrane-binding tail to the force-generating head in myosin-1 is unknown. Here we determined the crystal structure of the entire tail of mouse myosin-1c in complex with apocalmodulin, showing that myosin-1c adopts a stable monomer conformation suited for force transduction. The lever-arm helix and the C-terminal extended PH domain of the motor are coupled by a stable post-IQ domain bound to calmodulin in a highly unusual mode. Ca(2+) binding to calmodulin induces major conformational changes in both IQ motifs and the post-IQ domain and increases flexibility of the myosin-1c tail. Our study provides a structural blueprint for the neck and tail domains of myosin-1 and expands the target binding modes of the master Ca(2+)-signal regulator calmodulin.

  16. Structural and mutational analyses of the Leptospira interrogans virulence-related heme oxygenase provide insights into its catalytic mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Soldano, Anabel; Klinke, Sebastián; Otero, Lisandro H.; Rivera, Mario; Catalano-Dupuy, Daniela L.

    2017-01-01

    Heme oxygenase from Leptospira interrogans is an important virulence factor. During catalysis, redox equivalents are provided to this enzyme by the plastidic-type ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase also found in L. interrogans. This process may have evolved to aid this bacterial pathogen to obtain heme-iron from their host and enable successful colonization. Herein we report the crystal structure of the heme oxygenase-heme complex at 1.73 Å resolution. The structure reveals several distinctive features related to its function. A hydrogen bonded network of structural water molecules that extends from the catalytic site to the protein surface was cleared observed. A depression on the surface appears to be the H+ network entrance from the aqueous environment to the catalytic site for O2 activation, a key step in the heme oxygenase reaction. We have performed a mutational analysis of the F157, located at the above-mentioned depression. The mutant enzymes were unable to carry out the complete degradation of heme to biliverdin since the reaction was arrested at the verdoheme stage. We also observed that the stability of the oxyferrous complex, the efficiency of heme hydroxylation and the subsequent conversion to verdoheme was adversely affected. These findings underscore a long-range communication between the outer fringes of the hydrogen-bonded network of structural waters and the heme active site during catalysis. Finally, by analyzing the crystal structures of ferredoxin-NADP+ reductase and heme oxygenase, we propose a model for the productive association of these proteins. PMID:28771589

  17. Oligomeric state in the crystal structure of modular FAD synthetase provides insights into its sequential catalysis in prokaryotes.

    PubMed

    Herguedas, Beatriz; Martínez-Júlvez, Marta; Frago, Susana; Medina, Milagros; Hermoso, Juan A

    2010-07-09

    The crystal structure of the modular flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) synthetase from Corynebacterium ammoniagenes has been solved at 1.95 A resolution. The structure of C. ammoniagenes FAD synthetase presents two catalytic modules-a C-terminus with ATP-riboflavin kinase activity and an N-terminus with ATP-flavin mononucleotide (FMN) adenylyltransferase activity-that are responsible for the synthesis of FAD from riboflavin in two sequential steps. In the monomeric structure, the active sites from both modules are placed 40 A away, preventing the direct transfer of the product from the first reaction (FMN) to the second catalytic site, where it acts as substrate. Crystallographic and biophysical studies revealed a hexameric assembly formed by the interaction of two trimers. Each trimer presents a head-tail configuration, with FMN adenylyltransferase and riboflavin kinase modules from different protomers approaching the active sites and allowing the direct transfer of FMN. Experimental results provide molecular-level evidences of the mechanism of the synthesis of FMN and FAD in prokaryotes in which the oligomeric state could be involved in the regulation of the catalytic efficiency of the modular enzyme. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Exploration of insights, opportunities and caveats provided by the X-ray structures of hSERT.

    PubMed

    Topiol, Sid; Bang-Andersen, Benny; Sanchez, Connie; Bøgesø, Klaus P

    2016-10-15

    The recently reported X-ray structures of the human serotonin (5-HT) transporter SERT with bound inhibitors open new opportunities for drug discovery at SERT, selectivity design with respect to other neurotransmitter sodium transporters, and enhanced understanding of the molecular events involved in SERT action. Through computational and structural analyses, we explore the binding and migration of 5-HT at SERT. Consistent with earlier studies of leucine migration at the bacterial homolog of SERT, LeuT, we find multiple potential 'stopover' sites for 5-HT binding at SERT including the two (transmembrane S1 and extracellular vestibule S2) seen in the binding of the SSRI (S)-citalopram (S-Cit) to SERT, as well as other sites. Docking studies reveal the possibility of both hetero- (S-Cit+5-HT) and homo-dimeric (5-HT+5-HT) co-binding at both these sites which may explain earlier published allosteric activity observations and provide novel design strategies. Comparisons with substrate bound X-ray structures of the dopamine transporter reveal a number of potential sources of selectivity, some of which may be 'artificial' including target based, species related, experimental design related, and ligand dependent examples including substrate versus inhibitor related features.

  19. Structure of the extracellular portion of CD46 provides insights into its interactions with complement proteins and pathogens.

    PubMed

    Persson, B David; Schmitz, Nikolaus B; Santiago, César; Zocher, Georg; Larvie, Mykol; Scheu, Ulrike; Casasnovas, José M; Stehle, Thilo

    2010-09-30

    The human membrane cofactor protein (MCP, CD46) is a central component of the innate immune system. CD46 protects autologous cells from complement attack by binding to complement proteins C3b and C4b and serving as a cofactor for their cleavage. Recent data show that CD46 also plays a role in mediating acquired immune responses, and in triggering autophagy. In addition to these physiologic functions, a significant number of pathogens, including select adenoviruses, measles virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV-6), Streptococci, and Neisseria, use CD46 as a cell attachment receptor. We have determined the crystal structure of the extracellular region of CD46 in complex with the human adenovirus type 11 fiber knob. Extracellular CD46 comprises four short consensus repeats (SCR1-SCR4) that form an elongated structure resembling a hockey stick, with a long shaft and a short blade. Domains SCR1, SCR2 and SCR3 are arranged in a nearly linear fashion. Unexpectedly, however, the structure reveals a profound bend between domains SCR3 and SCR4, which has implications for the interactions with ligands as well as the orientation of the protein at the cell surface. This bend can be attributed to an insertion of five hydrophobic residues in a SCR3 surface loop. Residues in this loop have been implicated in interactions with complement, indicating that the bend participates in binding to C3b and C4b. The structure provides an accurate framework for mapping all known ligand binding sites onto the surface of CD46, thereby advancing an understanding of how CD46 acts as a receptor for pathogens and physiologic ligands of the immune system.

  20. Crystal structure of I-DmoI in complex with its target DNA provides new insights into meganuclease engineering

    PubMed Central

    Marcaida, María José; Prieto, Jesús; Redondo, Pilar; Nadra, Alejandro D.; Alibés, Andreu; Serrano, Luis; Grizot, Sylvestre; Duchateau, Philippe; Pâques, Frédéric; Blanco, Francisco J.; Montoya, Guillermo

    2008-01-01

    Homing endonucleases, also known as meganucleases, are sequence-specific enzymes with large DNA recognition sites. These enzymes can be used to induce efficient homologous gene targeting in cells and plants, opening perspectives for genome engineering with applications in a wide series of fields, ranging from biotechnology to gene therapy. Here, we report the crystal structures at 2.0 and 2.1 Å resolution of the I-DmoI meganuclease in complex with its substrate DNA before and after cleavage, providing snapshots of the catalytic process. Our study suggests that I-DmoI requires only 2 cations instead of 3 for DNA cleavage. The structure sheds light onto the basis of DNA binding, indicating key residues responsible for nonpalindromic target DNA recognition. In silico and in vivo analysis of the I-DmoI DNA cleavage specificity suggests that despite the relatively few protein-base contacts, I-DmoI is highly specific when compared with other meganucleases. Our data open the door toward the generation of custom endonucleases for targeted genome engineering using the monomeric I-DmoI scaffold. PMID:18974222

  1. Spatially extensive microbial biogeography of the Indian Ocean provides insights into the unique community structure of a pristine coral atoll

    PubMed Central

    Jeffries, Thomas C.; Ostrowski, Martin; Williams, Rohan B.; Xie, Chao; Jensen, Rachelle M.; Grzymski, Joseph J.; Senstius, Svend Jacob; Givskov, Michael; Hoeke, Ron; Philip, Gayle K.; Neches, Russell Y.; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I.; Chénard, Caroline; Paulsen, Ian T.; Lauro, Federico M.

    2015-01-01

    Microorganisms act both as drivers and indicators of perturbations in the marine environment. In an effort to establish baselines to predict the response of marine habitats to environmental change, here we report a broad survey of microbial diversity across the Indian Ocean, including the first microbial samples collected in the pristine lagoon of Salomon Islands, Chagos Archipelago. This was the first large-scale ecogenomic survey aboard a private yacht employing a ‘citizen oceanography’ approach and tools and protocols easily adapted to ocean going sailboats. Our data highlighted biogeographic patterns in microbial community composition across the Indian Ocean. Samples from within the Salomon Islands lagoon contained a community which was different even from adjacent samples despite constant water exchange, driven by the dominance of the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechococcus. In the lagoon, Synechococcus was also responsible for driving shifts in the metatranscriptional profiles. Enrichment of transcripts related to photosynthesis and nutrient cycling indicated bottom-up controls of community structure. However a five-fold increase in viral transcripts within the lagoon during the day, suggested a concomitant top-down control by bacteriophages. Indeed, genome recruitment against Synechococcus reference genomes suggested a role of viruses in providing the ecological filter for determining the β-diversity patterns in this system. PMID:26481089

  2. Spatially extensive microbial biogeography of the Indian Ocean provides insights into the unique community structure of a pristine coral atoll

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jeffries, Thomas C.; Ostrowski, Martin; Williams, Rohan B.; Xie, Chao; Jensen, Rachelle M.; Grzymski, Joseph J.; Senstius, Svend Jacob; Givskov, Michael; Hoeke, Ron; Philip, Gayle K.; Neches, Russell Y.; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I.; Chénard, Caroline; Paulsen, Ian T.; Lauro, Federico M.

    2015-10-01

    Microorganisms act both as drivers and indicators of perturbations in the marine environment. In an effort to establish baselines to predict the response of marine habitats to environmental change, here we report a broad survey of microbial diversity across the Indian Ocean, including the first microbial samples collected in the pristine lagoon of Salomon Islands, Chagos Archipelago. This was the first large-scale ecogenomic survey aboard a private yacht employing a ‘citizen oceanography’ approach and tools and protocols easily adapted to ocean going sailboats. Our data highlighted biogeographic patterns in microbial community composition across the Indian Ocean. Samples from within the Salomon Islands lagoon contained a community which was different even from adjacent samples despite constant water exchange, driven by the dominance of the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechococcus. In the lagoon, Synechococcus was also responsible for driving shifts in the metatranscriptional profiles. Enrichment of transcripts related to photosynthesis and nutrient cycling indicated bottom-up controls of community structure. However a five-fold increase in viral transcripts within the lagoon during the day, suggested a concomitant top-down control by bacteriophages. Indeed, genome recruitment against Synechococcus reference genomes suggested a role of viruses in providing the ecological filter for determining the β-diversity patterns in this system.

  3. The structure of Arabidopsis thaliana OST1 provides insights into the kinase regulation mechanism in response to osmotic stress.

    PubMed

    Yunta, Cristina; Martínez-Ripoll, Martín; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Albert, Armando

    2011-11-18

    SnRK [SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting-1)-related protein kinase] 2.6 [open stomata 1 (OST1)] is well characterized at molecular and physiological levels to control stomata closure in response to water-deficit stress. OST1 is a member of a family of 10 protein kinases from Arabidopsis thaliana (SnRK2) that integrates abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent signals to coordinate the cell response to osmotic stress. A subgroup of protein phosphatases type 2C binds OST1 and keeps the kinase dephosphorylated and inactive. Activation of OST1 relies on the ABA-dependent inhibition of the protein phosphatases type 2C and the subsequent self-phosphorylation of the kinase. The OST1 ABA-independent activation depends on a short sequence motif that is conserved among all the members of the SnRK2 family. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation. The crystallographic structure of OST1 shows that ABA-independent regulation motif stabilizes the conformation of the kinase catalytically essential α C helix, and it provides the basis of the ABA-independent regulation mechanism for the SnRK2 family of protein kinases.

  4. The Structure of Arabidopsis thaliana OST1 Provides Insights into the Kinase Regulation Mechanism in Response to Osmotic Stress

    PubMed Central

    Yunta, Cristina; Martínez-Ripoll, Martín; Zhu, Jian-Kang; Albert, Armando

    2013-01-01

    SnRK [SNF1 (sucrose non-fermenting-1)-related protein kinase] 2.6 [open stomata 1 (OST1)] is well characterized at molecular and physiological levels to control stomata closure in response to water-deficit stress. OST1 is a member of a family of 10 protein kinases from Arabidopsis thaliana (SnRK2) that integrates abscisic acid (ABA)-dependent and ABA-independent signals to coordinate the cell response to osmotic stress. A subgroup of protein phosphatases type 2C binds OST1 and keeps the kinase dephosphorylated and inactive. Activation of OST1 relies on the ABA-dependent inhibition of the protein phosphatases type 2C and the subsequent self-phosphorylation of the kinase. The OST1 ABA-independent activation depends on a short sequence motif that is conserved among all the members of the SnRK2 family. However, little is known about the molecular mechanism underlying this regulation. The crystallographic structure of OST1 shows that ABA-independent regulation motif stabilizes the conformation of the kinase catalytically essential α C helix, and it provides the basis of the ABA-independent regulation mechanism for the SnRK2 family of protein kinases. PMID:21983340

  5. Spatially extensive microbial biogeography of the Indian Ocean provides insights into the unique community structure of a pristine coral atoll.

    PubMed

    Jeffries, Thomas C; Ostrowski, Martin; Williams, Rohan B; Xie, Chao; Jensen, Rachelle M; Grzymski, Joseph J; Senstius, Svend Jacob; Givskov, Michael; Hoeke, Ron; Philip, Gayle K; Neches, Russell Y; Drautz-Moses, Daniela I; Chénard, Caroline; Paulsen, Ian T; Lauro, Federico M

    2015-10-20

    Microorganisms act both as drivers and indicators of perturbations in the marine environment. In an effort to establish baselines to predict the response of marine habitats to environmental change, here we report a broad survey of microbial diversity across the Indian Ocean, including the first microbial samples collected in the pristine lagoon of Salomon Islands, Chagos Archipelago. This was the first large-scale ecogenomic survey aboard a private yacht employing a 'citizen oceanography' approach and tools and protocols easily adapted to ocean going sailboats. Our data highlighted biogeographic patterns in microbial community composition across the Indian Ocean. Samples from within the Salomon Islands lagoon contained a community which was different even from adjacent samples despite constant water exchange, driven by the dominance of the photosynthetic cyanobacterium Synechococcus. In the lagoon, Synechococcus was also responsible for driving shifts in the metatranscriptional profiles. Enrichment of transcripts related to photosynthesis and nutrient cycling indicated bottom-up controls of community structure. However a five-fold increase in viral transcripts within the lagoon during the day, suggested a concomitant top-down control by bacteriophages. Indeed, genome recruitment against Synechococcus reference genomes suggested a role of viruses in providing the ecological filter for determining the β-diversity patterns in this system.

  6. An exo-β-(1→3)-D-galactanase from Streptomyces sp. provides insights into type II arabinogalactan structure

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Naomi X.-Y.; Lee, Joanne; Ellis, Miriam; Liao, Ming-Long; Mau, Shaio-Lim; Guest, David; Janssen, Peter H.; Kováč, Pavol; Bacic, Antony; Pettolino, Filomena A.

    2012-01-01

    An exo-β-(1→3)-D-galactanase (SGalase1) that specifically cleaves the β-(1→3)-D-galactan backbone of arabinogalactan-proteins (AGPs) was isolated from culture filtrates of a soil Streptomyces sp. Internal peptide sequence information was used to clone and recombinantly express the gene in E. coli. The molecular mass of the isolated enzyme was ~45 kDa, similar to the 48.2 kDa mass predicted from the amino acid sequence. The pI, pH and temperature optima for the enzyme were ~7.45, 3.8 and 48 °C, respectively. The native and recombinant enzymes specifically hydrolysed β-(1→3)-D-galacto-oligo- or poly-saccharides from the upstream (non-reducing) end, typical of an exo-acting enzyme. A second homologous Streptomyces gene (SGalase2) was also cloned and expressed. SGalase2 was similar in size (47.9 kDa) and enzyme activity to SGalase1 but differed in its pH optimum (pH 5). Both SGalase1 and SGalase2 are predicted to belong to the CAZy glycosyl hydrolase family GH 43 based on activity, sequence homology and phylogenetic analysis. The Km and Vmax of the native exo-β-(1→3)-D-galactanase for de-arabinosylated gum arabic (dGA) were 19 mg/ml and 9.7 μmol D-Gal/min/mg protein, respectively. The activity of these enzymes is well suited for the study of type II galactan structures and provides an important tool for the investigation of the biological role of AGPs in plants. De-arabinosylated gum arabic (dGA) was used as a model to investigate the use of these enzymes in defining type II galactan structure. Exhaustive hydrolysis of dGA resulted in a limited number of oligosaccharide products with a trisaccharide of Gal2GlcA1 predominating. PMID:22464224

  7. Crystal structure of the Pyrococcus horikoshii isopropylmalate isomerase small subunit provides insight into the dual substrate specificity of the enzyme.

    PubMed

    Yasutake, Yoshiaki; Yao, Min; Sakai, Naoki; Kirita, Tomomi; Tanaka, Isao

    2004-11-19

    Recent studies have implied that the isopropylmalate isomerase small subunit of the hyperthermophilic archaea Pyrococcus horikoshii (PhIPMI-s) functions as isopropylmalate isomerase in the leucine biosynthesis pathway, and as homoaconitase (HACN) in the lysine biosynthesis pathway via alpha-aminoadipic acid. PhIPMI is thus considered a key to understanding the fundamental metabolism of the earliest organisms. We describe for the first time the crystal structure of PhIPMI-s, which displays dual substrate specificity. The crystal structure unexpectedly shows that four molecules create an interlocked assembly with intermolecular disulfide linkages having a skewed 222 point-group symmetry. Although the overall fold of the PhIPMI-s monomer is related closely to domain 4 of the aconitase (ACN), one alpha-helix in the ACN structure is replaced by a short loop with relatively high temperature factor values. Because this region is essential for discriminating the structurally similar substrate based on interactions with its diversified gamma-moiety, the loop structure in the PhIPMI-s must be dependent on the presence of a substrate. The flexibility of the loop region might be a structural basis for recognizing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic gamma-moieties of two distinct substrates, isopropylmalate and homocitrate.

  8. Retinitis pigmentosa mutants provide insight into the role of the N-terminal cap in rhodopsin folding, structure, and function.

    PubMed

    Opefi, Chikwado A; South, Kieron; Reynolds, Christopher A; Smith, Steven O; Reeves, Philip J

    2013-11-22

    Autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP) mutants (T4K, N15S, T17M, V20G, P23A/H/L, and Q28H) in the N-terminal cap of rhodopsin misfold when expressed in mammalian cells. To gain insight into the causes of misfolding and to define the contributions of specific residues to receptor stability and function, we evaluated the responses of these mutants to 11-cis-retinal pharmacological chaperone rescue or disulfide bond-mediated repair. Pharmacological rescue restored folding in all mutants, but the purified mutant pigments in all cases were thermo-unstable and exhibited abnormal photobleaching, metarhodopsin II decay, and G protein activation. As a complementary approach, we superimposed this panel of ADRP mutants onto a rhodopsin background containing a juxtaposed cysteine pair (N2C/D282C) that forms a disulfide bond. This approach restored folding in T4K, N15S, V20G, P23A, and Q28H but not T17M, P23H, or P23L. ADRP mutant pigments obtained by disulfide bond repair exhibited enhanced stability, and some also displayed markedly improved photobleaching and signal transduction properties. Our major conclusion is that the N-terminal cap stabilizes opsin during biosynthesis and contributes to the dark-state stability of rhodopsin. Comparison of these two restorative approaches revealed that the correct position of the cap relative to the extracellular loops is also required for optimal photochemistry and efficient G protein activation.

  9. Structural and Functional Analysis of the Globular Head Domain of p115 Provides Insight into Membrane Tethering

    PubMed Central

    An, Yu; Chen, Christine Y.; Moyer, Bryan; Rotkiewicz, Piotr; Elsliger, Marc-André; Godzik, Adam; Wilson, Ian A.; Balch, William E.

    2009-01-01

    Molecular tethers play a central role in the organization of the complex membrane architecture of eukaryotic cells. p115 is a ubiquitous, essential tether involved in vesicle transport and the structural organization of the exocytic pathway. We describe two crystal structures of the N-terminal domain of p115 at 2.0 Å resolution. The p115 structures show a novel α-solenoid architecture constructed of 12 armadillo-like, tether-repeat (TR), α-helical tripod motifs. We find that the H1 TR binds the Rab1 GTPase involved in ER to Golgi transport. Mutation of the H1 motif results in the dominant negative inhibition of ER to Golgi trafficking. We propose that the H1 helical tripod contributes to the assembly of Rab-dependent complexes responsible for the tether and SNARE-dependent fusion of membranes. PMID:19414022

  10. The crystal structure of iron-free human serum transferrin provides insight into inter-lobe communication and receptor binding.

    PubMed

    Wally, Jeremy; Halbrooks, Peter J; Vonrhein, Clemens; Rould, Mark A; Everse, Stephen J; Mason, Anne B; Buchanan, Susan K

    2006-08-25

    Serum transferrin reversibly binds iron in each of two lobes and delivers it to cells by a receptor-mediated, pH-dependent process. The binding and release of iron result in a large conformational change in which two subdomains in each lobe close or open with a rigid twisting motion around a hinge. We report the structure of human serum transferrin (hTF) lacking iron (apo-hTF), which was independently determined by two methods: 1) the crystal structure of recombinant non-glycosylated apo-hTF was solved at 2.7-A resolution using a multiple wavelength anomalous dispersion phasing strategy, by substituting the nine methionines in hTF with selenomethionine and 2) the structure of glycosylated apo-hTF (isolated from serum) was determined to a resolution of 2.7A by molecular replacement using the human apo-N-lobe and the rabbit holo-C1-subdomain as search models. These two crystal structures are essentially identical. They represent the first published model for full-length human transferrin and reveal that, in contrast to family members (human lactoferrin and hen ovotransferrin), both lobes are almost equally open: 59.4 degrees and 49.5 degrees rotations are required to open the N- and C-lobes, respectively (compared with closed pig TF). Availability of this structure is critical to a complete understanding of the metal binding properties of each lobe of hTF; the apo-hTF structure suggests that differences in the hinge regions of the N- and C-lobes may influence the rates of iron binding and release. In addition, we evaluate potential interactions between apo-hTF and the human transferrin receptor.

  11. Retinitis Pigmentosa Mutants Provide Insight into the Role of the N-terminal Cap in Rhodopsin Folding, Structure, and Function*

    PubMed Central

    Opefi, Chikwado A.; South, Kieron; Reynolds, Christopher A.; Smith, Steven O.; Reeves, Philip J.

    2013-01-01

    Autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (ADRP) mutants (T4K, N15S, T17M, V20G, P23A/H/L, and Q28H) in the N-terminal cap of rhodopsin misfold when expressed in mammalian cells. To gain insight into the causes of misfolding and to define the contributions of specific residues to receptor stability and function, we evaluated the responses of these mutants to 11-cis-retinal pharmacological chaperone rescue or disulfide bond-mediated repair. Pharmacological rescue restored folding in all mutants, but the purified mutant pigments in all cases were thermo-unstable and exhibited abnormal photobleaching, metarhodopsin II decay, and G protein activation. As a complementary approach, we superimposed this panel of ADRP mutants onto a rhodopsin background containing a juxtaposed cysteine pair (N2C/D282C) that forms a disulfide bond. This approach restored folding in T4K, N15S, V20G, P23A, and Q28H but not T17M, P23H, or P23L. ADRP mutant pigments obtained by disulfide bond repair exhibited enhanced stability, and some also displayed markedly improved photobleaching and signal transduction properties. Our major conclusion is that the N-terminal cap stabilizes opsin during biosynthesis and contributes to the dark-state stability of rhodopsin. Comparison of these two restorative approaches revealed that the correct position of the cap relative to the extracellular loops is also required for optimal photochemistry and efficient G protein activation. PMID:24106275

  12. Association Mapping Provides Insights into the Origin and the Fine Structure of the Sorghum Aluminum Tolerance Locus, AltSB

    PubMed Central

    Caniato, Fernanda F.; Hamblin, Martha T.; Guimaraes, Claudia T.; Zhang, Zhiwu; Schaffert, Robert E.; Kochian, Leon V.; Magalhaes, Jurandir V.

    2014-01-01

    Root damage caused by aluminum (Al) toxicity is a major cause of grain yield reduction on acid soils, which are prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where food security is most tenuous. In sorghum, Al tolerance is conferred by SbMATE, an Al-activated root citrate efflux transporter that underlies the major Al tolerance locus, AltSB, on sorghum chromosome 3. We used association mapping to gain insights into the origin and evolution of Al tolerance in sorghum and to detect functional variants amenable to allele mining applications. Linkage disequilibrium across the AltSB locus decreased much faster than in previous reports in sorghum, and reached basal levels at approximately 1000 bp. Accordingly, intra-locus recombination events were found to be extensive. SNPs and indels highly associated with Al tolerance showed a narrow frequency range, between 0.06 and 0.1, suggesting a rather recent origin of Al tolerance mutations within AltSB. A haplotype network analysis suggested a single geographic and racial origin of causative mutations in primordial guinea domesticates in West Africa. Al tolerance assessment in accessions harboring recombinant haplotypes suggests that causative polymorphisms are localized to a ∼6 kb region including intronic polymorphisms and a transposon (MITE) insertion, whose size variation has been shown to be positively correlated with Al tolerance. The SNP with the strongest association signal, located in the second SbMATE intron, recovers 9 of the 14 highly Al tolerant accessions and 80% of all the Al tolerant and intermediately tolerant accessions in the association panel. Our results also demonstrate the pivotal importance of knowledge on the origin and evolution of Al tolerance mutations in molecular breeding applications. Allele mining strategies based on associated loci are expected to lead to the efficient identification, in diverse sorghum germplasm, of Al tolerant accessions able maintain grain yields under Al

  13. Association mapping provides insights into the origin and the fine structure of the sorghum aluminum tolerance locus, AltSB.

    PubMed

    Caniato, Fernanda F; Hamblin, Martha T; Guimaraes, Claudia T; Zhang, Zhiwu; Schaffert, Robert E; Kochian, Leon V; Magalhaes, Jurandir V

    2014-01-01

    Root damage caused by aluminum (Al) toxicity is a major cause of grain yield reduction on acid soils, which are prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions of the world where food security is most tenuous. In sorghum, Al tolerance is conferred by SbMATE, an Al-activated root citrate efflux transporter that underlies the major Al tolerance locus, AltSB, on sorghum chromosome 3. We used association mapping to gain insights into the origin and evolution of Al tolerance in sorghum and to detect functional variants amenable to allele mining applications. Linkage disequilibrium across the AltSB locus decreased much faster than in previous reports in sorghum, and reached basal levels at approximately 1000 bp. Accordingly, intra-locus recombination events were found to be extensive. SNPs and indels highly associated with Al tolerance showed a narrow frequency range, between 0.06 and 0.1, suggesting a rather recent origin of Al tolerance mutations within AltSB. A haplotype network analysis suggested a single geographic and racial origin of causative mutations in primordial guinea domesticates in West Africa. Al tolerance assessment in accessions harboring recombinant haplotypes suggests that causative polymorphisms are localized to a ∼6 kb region including intronic polymorphisms and a transposon (MITE) insertion, whose size variation has been shown to be positively correlated with Al tolerance. The SNP with the strongest association signal, located in the second SbMATE intron, recovers 9 of the 14 highly Al tolerant accessions and 80% of all the Al tolerant and intermediately tolerant accessions in the association panel. Our results also demonstrate the pivotal importance of knowledge on the origin and evolution of Al tolerance mutations in molecular breeding applications. Allele mining strategies based on associated loci are expected to lead to the efficient identification, in diverse sorghum germplasm, of Al tolerant accessions able maintain grain yields under Al

  14. High-resolution structure of the nitrile reductase QueF combined with molecular simulations provide insight into enzyme mechanism.

    SciTech Connect

    Kim, Y.; Zhou, M.; Moy, S.; Morales, J.; Cunningham, M.; Joachimiak, A.; Biosciences Division; Univ. of Texas-Pan American

    2010-01-01

    Here, we report the 1.53-{angstrom} crystal structure of the enzyme 7-cyano-7-deazaguanine reductase (QueF) from Vibrio cholerae, which is responsible for the complete reduction of a nitrile (C {triple_bond} N) bond to a primary amine (H{sub 2}C-NH{sub 2}). At present, this is the only example of a biological pathway that includes reduction of a nitrile bond, establishing QueF as particularly noteworthy. The structure of the QueF monomer resembles two connected ferrodoxin-like domains that assemble into dimers. Ligands identified in the crystal structure suggest the likely binding conformation of the native substrates NADPH and 7-cyano-7-deazaguanine. We also report on a series of numerical simulations that have shed light on the mechanism by which this enzyme affects the transfer of four protons (and electrons) to the 7-cyano-7-deazaguanine substrate. In particular, the simulations suggest that the initial step of the catalytic process is the formation of a covalent adduct with the residue Cys194, in agreement with previous studies. The crystal structure also suggests that two conserved residues (His233 and Asp102) play an important role in the delivery of a fourth proton to the substrate.

  15. How Peptide Molecular Structure and Charge Influence the Nanostructure of Lipid Bicontinuous Cubic Mesophases: Model Synthetic WALP Peptides Provide Insights.

    PubMed

    van 't Hag, Leonie; Li, Xu; Meikle, Thomas G; Hoffmann, Søren V; Jones, Nykola C; Pedersen, Jan Skov; Hawley, Adrian M; Gras, Sally L; Conn, Charlotte E; Drummond, Calum J

    2016-07-12

    Nanostructured bicontinuous lipidic cubic phases are used for the encapsulation of proteins in a range of applications such as in meso crystallization of transmembrane proteins and as drug delivery vehicles. The retention of the nanoscale order of the cubic phases subsequent to protein incorporation, as well as retention of the protein structure and function, is essential for all of these applications. Herein synthetic peptides (WALP21, WALPS53, and WALPS73) with a common α-helical hydrophobic domain, but varying hydrophilic loop size, were designed to systematically examine the effect of peptide structure and charge on bicontinuous cubic phases. The effect of the cubic phases on the secondary structure of the peptides was also investigated. The incorporation of the WALP peptides in cubic phases formed by a range of lipids showed that hydrophobic mismatch of the peptides with the lipid bilayers, the hydrophilic domain size, and peptide charge were all significant factors determining the response of the lipid nanomaterial to protein insertion. As charge repulsion had the most significant effect on the phase transitions observed, we suggest that buffer pH and salt concentration must be carefully considered to ensure cubic mesophase retention. Importantly, the WALP peptides were found to have a different conformation depending on the local lipid environment. Such structural changes could potentially affect membrane protein function, which is crucial for both current and prospective applications.

  16. Structures of reduced and ligand-bound nitric oxide reductase provide insights into functional differences in respiratory enzymes.

    PubMed

    Sato, Nozomi; Ishii, Shoko; Sugimoto, Hiroshi; Hino, Tomoya; Fukumori, Yoshihiro; Sako, Yoshihiko; Shiro, Yoshitsugu; Tosha, Takehiko

    2014-07-01

    Nitric oxide reductase (NOR) catalyzes the generation of nitrous oxide (N2O) via the reductive coupling of two nitric oxide (NO) molecules at a heme/non-heme Fe center. We report herein on the structures of the reduced and ligand-bound forms of cytochrome c-dependent NOR (cNOR) from Pseudomonas aeruginosa at a resolution of 2.3-2.7 Å, to elucidate structure-function relationships in NOR, and compare them to those of cytochrome c oxidase (CCO) that is evolutionarily related to NOR. Comprehensive crystallographic refinement of the CO-bound form of cNOR suggested that a total of four atoms can be accommodated at the binuclear center. Consistent with this, binding of bulky acetaldoxime (CH3-CH=N-OH) to the binuclear center of cNOR was confirmed by the structural analysis. Active site reduction and ligand binding in cNOR induced only ∼0.5 Å increase in the heme/non-heme Fe distance, but no significant structural change in the protein. The highly localized structural change is consistent with the lack of proton-pumping activity in cNOR, because redox-coupled conformational changes are thought to be crucial for proton pumping in CCO. It also permits the rapid decomposition of cytotoxic NO in denitrification. In addition, the shorter heme/non-heme Fe distance even in the bulky ligand-bound form of cNOR (∼4.5 Å) than the heme/Cu distance in CCO (∼5 Å) suggests the ability of NOR to maintain two NO molecules within a short distance in the confined space of the active site, thereby facilitating N-N coupling to produce a hyponitrite intermediate for the generation of N2O.

  17. The human otubain2-ubiquitin structure provides insights into the cleavage specificity of poly-ubiquitin-linkages.

    PubMed

    Altun, Mikael; Walter, Thomas S; Kramer, Holger B; Herr, Patrick; Iphöfer, Alexander; Boström, Johan; David, Yael; Komsany, Alia; Ternette, Nicola; Navon, Ami; Stuart, David I; Ren, Jingshan; Kessler, Benedikt M

    2015-01-01

    Ovarian tumor domain containing proteases cleave ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like polypeptides from proteins. Here we report the crystal structure of human otubain 2 (OTUB2) in complex with a ubiquitin-based covalent inhibitor, Ub-Br2. The ubiquitin binding mode is oriented differently to how viral otubains (vOTUs) bind ubiquitin/ISG15, and more similar to yeast and mammalian OTUs. In contrast to OTUB1 which has exclusive specificity towards Lys48 poly-ubiquitin chains, OTUB2 cleaves different poly-Ub linked chains. N-terminal tail swapping experiments between OTUB1 and OTUB2 revealed how the N-terminal structural motifs in OTUB1 contribute to modulating enzyme activity and Ub-chain selectivity, a trait not observed in OTUB2, supporting the notion that OTUB2 may affect a different spectrum of substrates in Ub-dependent pathways.

  18. Structure of UBE2Z Enzyme Provides Functional Insight into Specificity in the FAT10 Protein Conjugation Machinery*

    PubMed Central

    Schelpe, Julien; Monté, Didier; Dewitte, Frédérique; Sixma, Titia K.; Rucktooa, Prakash

    2016-01-01

    FAT10 conjugation, a post-translational modification analogous to ubiquitination, specifically requires UBA6 and UBE2Z as its activating (E1) and conjugating (E2) enzymes. Interestingly, these enzymes can also function in ubiquitination. We have determined the crystal structure of UBE2Z and report how the different domains of this E2 enzyme are organized. We further combine our structural data with mutational analyses to understand how specificity is achieved in the FAT10 conjugation pathway. We show that specificity toward UBA6 and UBE2Z lies within the C-terminal CYCI tetrapeptide in FAT10. We also demonstrate that this motif slows down transfer rates for FAT10 from UBA6 onto UBE2Z. PMID:26555268

  19. The crystal structure of DR6 in complex with the amyloid precursor protein provides insight into death receptor activation

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, Kai; Olsen, Olav; Tzvetkova-Robev, Dorothea; Tessier-Lavigne, Marc; Nikolov, Dimitar B.

    2015-04-02

    The amyloid precursor protein (APP) has garnered considerable attention due to its genetic links to Alzheimer's disease. Death receptor 6 (DR6) was recently shown to bind APP via the protein extracellular regions, stimulate axonal pruning, and inhibit synapse formation. Here, we report the crystal structure of the DR6 ectodomain in complex with the E2 domain of APP and show that it supports a model for APP-induced dimerization and activation of cell surface DR6.

  20. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus.

    PubMed

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B; Bzymek, Krzysztof P; Williams, John C; Brakhage, Axel A; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-09-14

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3's peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target.

  1. The structure of the core NuRD repression complex provides insights into its interaction with chromatin.

    PubMed

    Millard, Christopher J; Varma, Niranjan; Saleh, Almutasem; Morris, Kyle; Watson, Peter J; Bottrill, Andrew R; Fairall, Louise; Smith, Corinne J; Schwabe, John W R

    2016-04-21

    The NuRD complex is a multi-protein transcriptional corepressor that couples histone deacetylase and ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling activities. The complex regulates the higher-order structure of chromatin, and has important roles in the regulation of gene expression, DNA damage repair and cell differentiation. HDACs 1 and 2 are recruited by the MTA1 corepressor to form the catalytic core of the complex. The histone chaperone protein RBBP4, has previously been shown to bind to the carboxy-terminal tail of MTA1. We show that MTA1 recruits a second copy of RBBP4. The crystal structure reveals an extensive interface between MTA1 and RBBP4. An EM structure, supported by SAXS and crosslinking, reveals the architecture of the dimeric HDAC1:MTA1:RBBP4 assembly which forms the core of the NuRD complex. We find evidence that in this complex RBBP4 mediates interaction with histone H3 tails, but not histone H4, suggesting a mechanism for recruitment of the NuRD complex to chromatin.

  2. The structure of the core NuRD repression complex provides insights into its interaction with chromatin

    PubMed Central

    Millard, Christopher J; Varma, Niranjan; Saleh, Almutasem; Morris, Kyle; Watson, Peter J; Bottrill, Andrew R; Fairall, Louise; Smith, Corinne J; Schwabe, John WR

    2016-01-01

    The NuRD complex is a multi-protein transcriptional corepressor that couples histone deacetylase and ATP-dependent chromatin remodelling activities. The complex regulates the higher-order structure of chromatin, and has important roles in the regulation of gene expression, DNA damage repair and cell differentiation. HDACs 1 and 2 are recruited by the MTA1 corepressor to form the catalytic core of the complex. The histone chaperone protein RBBP4, has previously been shown to bind to the carboxy-terminal tail of MTA1. We show that MTA1 recruits a second copy of RBBP4. The crystal structure reveals an extensive interface between MTA1 and RBBP4. An EM structure, supported by SAXS and crosslinking, reveals the architecture of the dimeric HDAC1:MTA1:RBBP4 assembly which forms the core of the NuRD complex. We find evidence that in this complex RBBP4 mediates interaction with histone H3 tails, but not histone H4, suggesting a mechanism for recruitment of the NuRD complex to chromatin. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13941.001 PMID:27098840

  3. The structural comparison between membrane-associated human carbonic anhydrases provides insights into drug design of selective inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Alterio, Vincenzo; Pan, Peiwen; Parkkila, Seppo; Buonanno, Martina; Supuran, Claudiu T; Monti, Simona M; De Simone, Giuseppina

    2014-07-01

    Carbonic anhydrase isoform XIV (CA XIV) is the last member of the human (h) CA family discovered so far, being localized in brain, kidneys, colon, small intestine, urinary bladder, liver, and spinal cord. It has recently been described as a possible drug target for treatment of epilepsy, some retinopathies as well as some skin tumors. Human carbonic anhydrase (hCA) XIV is a membrane-associated protein consisting of an N-terminal extracellular domain, a putative transmembrane region, and a small cytoplasmic tail. In this article, we report the expression, purification, and the crystallographic structure of the entire extracellular domain of this enzyme. The analysis of the structure revealed the typical α-CA fold, in which a 10-stranded β-sheet forms the core of the molecule, while the comparison with all the other membrane associated isoforms (hCAs IV, IX, and XII) allowed to identify the diverse oligomeric arrangement and the sequence and structural differences observed in the region 127-136 as the main factors to consider in the design of selective inhibitors for each one of the membrane associated α-CAs.

  4. The Crystal Structure of Peroxiredoxin Asp f3 Provides Mechanistic Insight into Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Aspergillus fumigatus

    PubMed Central

    Hillmann, Falk; Bagramyan, Karine; Straßburger, Maria; Heinekamp, Thorsten; Hong, Teresa B.; Bzymek, Krzysztof P.; Williams, John C.; Brakhage, Axel A.; Kalkum, Markus

    2016-01-01

    Invasive aspergillosis and other fungal infections occur in immunocompromised individuals, including patients who received blood-building stem cell transplants, patients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), and others. Production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) by immune cells, which incidentally is defective in CGD patients, is considered to be a fundamental process in inflammation and antifungal immune response. Here we show that the peroxiredoxin Asp f3 of Aspergillus fumigatus inactivates ROS. We report the crystal structure and the catalytic mechanism of Asp f3, a two-cysteine type peroxiredoxin. The latter exhibits a thioredoxin fold and a homodimeric structure with two intermolecular disulfide bonds in its oxidized state. Replacement of the Asp f3 cysteines with serine residues retained its dimeric structure, but diminished Asp f3’s peroxidase activity, and extended the alpha-helix with the former peroxidatic cysteine residue C61 by six residues. The asp f3 deletion mutant was sensitive to ROS, and this phenotype was rescued by ectopic expression of Asp f3. Furthermore, we showed that deletion of asp f3 rendered A. fumigatus avirulent in a mouse model of pulmonary aspergillosis. The conserved expression of Asp f3 homologs in medically relevant molds and yeasts prompts future evaluation of Asp f3 as a potential therapeutic target. PMID:27624005

  5. A biosynthetic thiolase in complex with a reaction intermediate: the crystal structure provides new insights into the catalytic mechanism.

    PubMed

    Modis, Y; Wierenga, R K

    1999-10-15

    Thiolases are ubiquitous and form a large family of dimeric or tetrameric enzymes with a conserved, five-layered alphabetaalphabetaalpha catalytic domain. Thiolases can function either degradatively, in the beta-oxidation pathway of fatty acids, or biosynthetically. Biosynthetic thiolases catalyze the biological Claisen condensation of two molecules of acetyl-CoA to form acetoacetyl-CoA. This is one of the fundamental categories of carbon skeletal assembly patterns in biological systems and is the first step in a wide range of biosynthetic pathways, including those that generate cholesterol, steroid hormones, and various energy-storage molecules. The crystal structure of the tetrameric biosynthetic thiolase from Zoogloea ramigera has been determined at 2.0 A resolution. The structure contains a striking and novel 'cage-like' tetramerization motif, which allows for some hinge motion of the two tight dimers with respect to each other. The protein crystals were flash-frozen after a short soak with the enzyme's substrate, acetoacetyl-CoA. A reaction intermediate was thus trapped: the enzyme tetramer is acetylated at Cys89 and has a CoA molecule bound in each of its active-site pockets. The shape of the substrate-binding pocket reveals the basis for the short-chain substrate specificity of the enzyme. The active-site architecture, and in particular the position of the covalently attached acetyl group, allow a more detailed reaction mechanism to be proposed in which Cys378 is involved in both steps of the reaction. The structure also suggests an important role for the thioester oxygen atom of the acetylated enzyme in catalysis.

  6. Structure of FliM Provides Insight into Assembly of the Switch Complex in the Bacterial Flagella Motor

    SciTech Connect

    Park,S.; Lowder, B.; Bilwes, A.; Blair, D.; Crane, B.

    2006-01-01

    Bacteria switch the direction their flagella rotate to control movement. FliM, along with FliN and FliG, compose a complex in the motor that, upon binding phosphorylated CheY, reverses the sense of flagellar rotation. The 2.0- Angstroms resolution structure of the FliM middle domain (FliMM) from Thermotoga maritima reveals a pseudo-2-fold symmetric topology similar to the CheY phosphatases CheC and CheX. A variable structural element, which, in CheC, mediates binding to CheD ({alpha}2') and, in CheX, mediates dimerization ({beta}x), has a truncated structure unique to FliM ({alpha}2'). An exposed helix of FliMM ({alpha}1) does not contain the catalytic residues of CheC and CheX but does include positions conserved in FliM sequences. Cross-linking experiments with site-directed cysteine mutants show that FliM self-associates through residues on {alpha}1 and {alpha}2'. CheY activated by BeF3- binds to FliM with {approx}40-fold higher affinity than CheY (Kd = 0.04 {micro}M vs. 2 {micro}M). Mapping residue conservation, suppressor mutation sites, binding data, and deletion analysis onto the FliMM surface defines regions important for contacts with the stator-interacting protein FliG and for either counterclockwise or clockwise rotation. Association of 33-35 FliM subunits would generate a 44- to 45-nm-diameter disk, consistent with the known dimensions of the C-ring. The localization of counterclockwise- and clockwise-biasing mutations to distinct surfaces suggests that the binding of phosphorylated CheY cooperatively realigns FliM around the ring.

  7. Structure of an Essential Type IV Pilus Biogenesis Protein Provides Insights into Pilus and Type II Secretion Systems

    PubMed Central

    Yamagata, Atsushi; Milgotina, Ekaterina; Scanlon, Karen; Craig, Lisa; Tainer, John A.; Donnenberg, Michael S.

    2012-01-01

    Type IV pili (T4Ps) are long cell surface filaments, essential for microcolony formation, tissue adherence, motility, transformation, and virulence by human pathogens. The enteropathogenic E. colibundle-forming pilus (BFP) is a prototypic T4P assembled and powered by BfpD, a conserved GspE secretion superfamily ATPase held by inner membrane proteins BfpC andBfpE, a GspF-family membrane protein. Although the T4P assembly machinery shares similarity with type II secretion (T2S) systems, the structural biochemistry of the T4P machine has been obscure. Here, we report the crystal structure of the two-domain BfpC cytoplasmic region (N-BfpC), responsible for binding to ATPase BfpD and membrane protein BfpE. The N-BfpC structure reveals a prominent central cleft between two α/β domains. Despite negligible sequence similarity, N-BfpC resembles PilM, a cytoplasmic T4P biogenesis protein.Yet surprisingly, N-BfpC has far greaterstructural similarity to T2S component EpsL, with which it also shares virtually no sequence identity. The C-terminus of the cytoplasmic domain, which leads to the transmembrane segment not present in the crystal structure, exits N-BfpC at a positively-charged surface that most likely interacts with the inner membrane, positioning its central cleft for interactions with other Bfp components.Point mutations in surface-exposed N-BfpC residues predicted to be critical for interactions among BfpC, BfpE and BfpD disrupt pilus biogenesis without precluding interactions with BfpE and BfpD and without affecting BfpD ATPase activity. These results illuminate the relationships between T4P biogenesis and T2S systems,imply that subtle changes in component residue interactions can have profound effects on function and pathogenesis, and suggest that T4P systems may be disrupted by inhibitors that donot preclude component assembly. PMID:22387466

  8. Multilocus sequence typing provides insights into the population structure and evolutionary potential of Brenneria goodwinii, associated with acute oak decline.

    PubMed

    Kaczmarek, Maciej; Mullett, Martin S; McDonald, James E; Denman, Sandra

    2017-01-01

    Brenneria goodwinii is one of the most frequently isolated Gram-negative bacteria from native oak species, Quercus robur and Q. petraea, affected by acute oak decline (AOD) in the UK. We investigated the population biology of this bacterial species using a multilocus sequence analysis to determine the population structure and evolutionary potential. Seven partial housekeeping genes were used in the analyses. Amongst 44 bacterial strains from seven different locations, we identified 22 unique sequence types [STs]; only one ST was found at two separate locations. Phylogenetic and cluster-based analyses suggested that B. goodwinii STs form two main distinct groups; however, no geographical pattern of their distribution could be observed. Clonality and recombination tests demonstrated that the studied population is primarily clonal, however both mutation and recombination processes play a role in shaping the genetic structure and evolution of the population. Our study suggests that the B. goodwinii population on oak in the UK has an endemic form, with background recombination appearing to generate new alleles more frequently than mutation, despite the introduction of nucleotide substitutions being approximately twice less likely than mutation. The newly emerged STs subsequently undergo clonal expansion to become dominant genotypes within their specific geographical locations and even within the individual host oak trees.

  9. Modeling, analysis, and validation of a novel HIV integrase structure provide insights into the binding modes of potent integrase inhibitors.

    PubMed

    Chen, X; Tsiang, M; Yu, F; Hung, M; Jones, G S; Zeynalzadegan, A; Qi, X; Jin, H; Kim, C U; Swaminathan, S; Chen, J M

    2008-07-11

    It has been shown that L-731988, a potent integrase inhibitor, targets a conformation of the integrase enzyme formed when complexed to viral DNA, with the 3'-end dinucleotide already cleaved. It has also been shown that diketo acid inhibitors bind to the strand transfer complex of integrase and are competitive with the host target DNA. However, published X-ray structures of HIV integrase do not include the DNA; thus, there is a need to develop a model representing the strand transfer complex. In this study, we have constructed an active-site model of the HIV-1 integrase complexed with viral DNA using the crystal structure of DNA-bound transposase and have identified a binding mode for inhibitors. This proposed binding mechanism for integrase inhibitors involves interaction with a specific Mg(2+) in the active site, accentuated by a hydrophobic interaction in a cavity formed by a flexible loop upon DNA binding. We further validated the integrase active-site model by selectively mutating key residues predicted to play an important role in the binding of inhibitors. Thus, we have a binding model that is applicable to a wide range of potent integrase inhibitors and is consistent with the available resistant mutation data.

  10. The structure of the pleiotropic transcription regulator CodY provides insight into its GTP-sensing mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ah-reum; Kang, Hye-Ri; Son, Jonghyeon; Kwon, Do Hoon; Kim, Sulhee; Lee, Woo Cheol; Song, Hyun Kyu; Song, Moon Jung; Hwang, Kwang Yeon

    2016-01-01

    GTP and branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are metabolic sensors that are indispensable for the determination of the metabolic status of cells. However, their molecular sensing mechanism remains unclear. CodY is a unique global transcription regulator that recognizes GTP and BCAAs as specific signals and affects expression of more than 100 genes associated with metabolism. Herein, we report the first crystal structures of the full-length CodY complex with sensing molecules and describe their functional states. We observed two different oligomeric states of CodY: a dimeric complex of CodY from Staphylococcus aureus with the two metabolites GTP and isoleucine, and a tetrameric form (apo) of CodY from Bacillus cereus. Notably, the tetrameric state shows in an auto-inhibitory manner by blocking the GTP-binding site, whereas the binding sites of GTP and isoleucine are clearly visible in the dimeric state. The GTP is located at a hinge site between the long helical region and the metabolite-binding site. Together, data from structural and electrophoretic mobility shift assay analyses improve understanding of how CodY senses GTP and operates as a DNA-binding protein and a pleiotropic transcription regulator. PMID:27596595

  11. The crystal structure of ribonuclease A in complex with thymidine-3'-monophosphate provides further insight into ligand binding.

    PubMed

    Doucet, Nicolas; Jayasundera, Thusitha B; Simonović, Miljan; Loria, J Patrick

    2010-08-15

    Thymidine-3'-monophosphate (3'-TMP) is a competitive inhibitor analogue of the 3'-CMP and 3'-UMP natural product inhibitors of bovine pancreatic ribonuclease A (RNase A). Isothermal titration calorimetry experiments show that 3'-TMP binds the enzyme with a dissociation constant (K(d)) of 15 microM making it one of the strongest binding members of the five natural bases found in nucleic acids (A, C, G, T, and U). To further investigate the molecular properties of this potent natural affinity, we have determined the crystal structure of bovine pancreatic RNase A in complex with 3'-TMP at 1.55 A resolution and we have performed NMR binding experiments with 3'-CMP and 3'-TMP. Our results show that binding of 3'-TMP is very similar to other natural and non-natural pyrimidine ligands, demonstrating that single nucleotide affinity is independent of the presence or absence of a 2'-hydroxyl on the ribose moiety of pyrimidines and suggesting that the pyrimidine binding subsite of RNase A is not a significant contributor of inhibitor discrimination. Accumulating evidence suggests that very subtle structural, chemical, and potentially motional variations contribute to ligand discrimination in this enzyme.

  12. Structures of the yeast dynamin-like GTPase Sey1p provide insight into homotypic ER fusion

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Liming; Sun, Sha; Wang, Wei; Shi, Juanming; Hu, Xiaoyu; Wang, Shiyan; Su, Dan; Lou, Zhiyong

    2015-01-01

    Homotypic membrane fusion of the endoplasmic reticulum is mediated by dynamin-like guanosine triphosphatases (GTPases), which include atlastin (ATL) in metazoans and Sey1p in yeast. In this paper, we determined the crystal structures of the cytosolic domain of Sey1p derived from Candida albicans. The structures reveal a stalk-like, helical bundle domain following the GTPase, which represents a previously unidentified configuration of the dynamin superfamily. This domain is significantly longer than that of ATL and critical for fusion. Sey1p forms a side-by-side dimer in complex with GMP-PNP or GDP/AlF4− but is monomeric with GDP. Surprisingly, Sey1p could mediate fusion without GTP hydrolysis, even though fusion was much more efficient with GTP. Sey1p was able to replace ATL in mammalian cells, and the punctate localization of Sey1p was dependent on its GTPase activity. Despite the common function of fusogenic GTPases, our results reveal unique features of Sey1p. PMID:26370501

  13. Structure and mutational analysis of the PhoN protein of Salmonella typhimurium provide insight into mechanistic details.

    PubMed

    Makde, Ravindra D; Mahajan, Suresh K; Kumar, Vinay

    2007-02-27

    The Salmonella typhimurium PhoN protein is a nonspecific acid phosphatase and belongs to the phosphatidic acid phosphatase type 2 (PAP2) superfamily. We report here the crystal structures of phosphate-bound PhoN, the PhoN-tungstate complex, and the T159D mutant of PhoN along with functional characterization of three mutants: L39T, T159D, and D201N. Invariant active site residues, Lys-123, Arg-130, Ser-156, Gly-157, His-158, and Arg-191, interact with phosphate and tungstate oxyanions. Ser-156 also accepts a hydrogen bond from Thr-159. The T159D mutation, surprisingly, severely diminishes phosphatase activity, apparently by disturbing the active site scaffold: Arg-191 is swung out of the active site resulting in conformational changes in His-158 and His-197 residues. Our results reveal a hitherto unknown functional role of Arg-191, namely, restricting the active conformation of catalytic His-158 and His-197 residues. Consistent with the conserved nature of Asp-201 in the PAP2 superfamily, the D201N mutation completely abolished phosphatase activity. On the basis of this observation and in silico analysis we suggest that the crucial mechanistic role of Asp-201 is to stabilize the positive charge on the phosphohistidine intermediate generated by the transfer of phosphoryl to the nucleophile, His-197, located within hydrogen bond distance to the invariant Asp-201. This is in contrast to earlier suggestions that Asp-201 stabilizes His-197 and the His197-Asp201 dyad facilitates formation of the phosphoenzyme intermediate through a charge-relay system. Finally, the L39T mutation in the conserved polyproline motif (39LPPPP43) of dimeric PhoN leads to a marginal reduction in activity, in contrast to the nearly 50-fold reduction observed for monomeric Prevotella intermedia acid phosphatase, suggesting that the varying quaternary structure of PhoN orthologues may have functional significance.

  14. Characterization of SNPs in the dopamine-β-hydroxylase gene providing new insights into its structure-function relationship.

    PubMed

    Punchaichira, Toyanji Joseph; Dey, Sanjay Kumar; Mukhopadhyay, Anirban; Kundu, Suman; Thelma, B K

    2017-07-01

    Dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH, EC 1.14.17.1), an oxido-reductase that catalyses the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, is largely expressed in sympathetic neurons and adrenal medulla. Several regulatory and structural variants in DBH associated with various neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular diseases and a few that may determine enzyme activity have also been identified. Due to paucity of studies on functional characterization of DBH variants, its structure-function relationship is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to characterize five non-synonymous (ns) variants that were prioritized either based on previous association studies or Sorting Tolerant From Intolerant (SIFT) algorithm. The DBH ORF with wild type (WT) and site-directed mutagenized variants were transfected into HEK293 cells to generate transient and stable lines expressing these variant enzymes. Activity was determined by UPLC-PDA and corresponding quantity by MRM(HR) on a TripleTOF 5600 MS respectively of spent media from stable cell lines. Homospecific activity computed for the WT and variant proteins showed a marginal decrease in A318S, W544S and R549C variants. In transient cell lines, differential secretion was observed in the case of L317P, W544S and R549C. Secretory defect in L317P was confirmed by localization in ER. R549C exhibited both decreased homospecific activity and differential secretion. Of note, all the variants were seen to be destabilizing based on in silico folding analysis and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, lending support to our experimental observations. These novel genotype-phenotype correlations in this gene of considerable pharmacological relevance have implications for dopamine-related disorders.

  15. Which kind of aromatic structures are produced during biomass charring? New insights provided by modern solid-state NMR spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knicker, Heike; Paneque-Carmona, Marina; Velasco-Molina, Marta; de la Rosa, José Maria; León-Ovelar, Laura Regina; Fernandez-Boy, Elena

    2017-04-01

    Intense research on biochar and charcoal of the last years has revealed that depending on the production conditions, the chemical and physical characteristics of their aromatic network can greatly vary. Since such variations are determining the behavior and stability of charred material in soils, a better understanding of the structural changes occurring during their heating and the impact of those changes on their function is needed. One method to characterize pyrogenic organic matter (PyOM) represents solid-state 13C NMR spectroscopy applying the cross polarization (CP) magic angle spinning technique (MAS). A drawback of this technique is that the quantification of NMR spectra of samples with highly condensed and proton-depleted structures is assumed to be bias. Typical samples with such attributes are charcoals produced at temperatures above 700°C under pyrolytic conditions. Commonly their high condensation degree leads to graphenic structures that are not only reducing the CP efficiency but create also a conductive lattice which acts as a shield and prevents the entering of the excitation pulse into the sample during the NMR experiments. Since the latter can damage the NMR probe and in the most cases the obtained NMR spectra show only one broad signal assignable to aromatic C, this technique is rarely applied for characterizing high temperature chars or soot. As a consequence, a more detailed knowledge of the nature of the aromatic ring systems is still missing. The latter is also true for the aromatic domains of PyOM produced at lower temperatures, since older NMR instruments operating at low magnetic fields deliver solid-state 13C NMR spectra with low resolution which turns a more detailed analysis of the aromatic chemical shift region into a challenging task. In order to overcome this disadvantages, modern NMR spectroscopy offers not only instruments with greatly improved resolution but also special pulse sequences for NMR experiments which allow a more

  16. Genome-Wide Analyses of Individual Strongyloides stercoralis (Nematoda: Rhabditoidea) Provide Insights into Population Structure and Reproductive Life Cycles

    PubMed Central

    Aung, Myo Pa Pa Thet Hnin Htwe; Afrin, Tanzila; Nagayasu, Eiji; Tanaka, Ryusei; Higashiarakawa, Miwa; Win, Kyu Kyu; Hirata, Tetsuo; Htike, Wah Win; Fujita, Jiro; Maruyama, Haruhiko

    2016-01-01

    The helminth Strongyloides stercoralis, which is transmitted through soil, infects 30–100 million people worldwide. S. stercoralis reproduces sexually outside the host as well as asexually within the host, which causes a life-long infection. To understand the population structure and transmission patterns of this parasite, we re-sequenced the genomes of 33 individual S. stercoralis nematodes collected in Myanmar (prevalent region) and Japan (non-prevalent region). We utilised a method combining whole genome amplification and next-generation sequencing techniques to detect 298,202 variant positions (0.6% of the genome) compared with the reference genome. Phylogenetic analyses of SNP data revealed an unambiguous geographical separation and sub-populations that correlated with the host geographical origin, particularly for the Myanmar samples. The relatively higher heterozygosity in the genomes of the Japanese samples can possibly be explained by the independent evolution of two haplotypes of diploid genomes through asexual reproduction during the auto-infection cycle, suggesting that analysing heterozygosity is useful and necessary to infer infection history and geographical prevalence. PMID:28033376

  17. Genetic structure of Populus hybrid zone along the Irtysh River provides insight into plastid-nuclear incompatibility

    PubMed Central

    Zeng, Yan-Fei; Zhang, Jian-Guo; Duan, Ai-Guo; Abuduhamiti, Bawerjan

    2016-01-01

    In plants, the maintenance of species integrity despite hybridization has often been explained by the co-adaption of nuclear gene complexes. However, the interaction between plastid and nuclear sub-genomes has been underestimated. Here, we analyzed the genetic structure of a Populus alba and P. tremula hybrid zone along the Irtysh River system in the Altai region, northwest China, using both nuclear microsatellites and plastid DNA sequences. We found high interspecific differentiation, although the hybrid P. × canescens was prevalent. Bayesian inference classified most hybrids into F1, followed by a few back-crosses to P. alba, and fewer F2 hybrids and back-crosses to P. tremula, indicating a few introgressions but preference toward P. alba. When plastid haplotypes in parental species were distinct, P. × canescens carried the haplotypes of both parents, but showed significant linkage between intraspecific haplotype and nuclear genotypes at several microsatellite loci. Selection, rather than migration and assortative mating, might have contributed to such plastid-nuclear disequilibria. By removing later-generated hybrids carrying interspecific combinations of haplotype and nuclear genotypes, plastid-nuclear incompatibility has greatly limited the gene exchange between P. alba and P. tremula via backcrossing with hybrids, demonstrating a significant association between plastid haplotype and the proportion of nuclear admixture. PMID:27306416

  18. Kinetic analyses of the magnesium chelatase provide insights into the mechanism, structure, and formation of the complex.

    PubMed

    Sawicki, Artur; Willows, Robert D

    2008-11-14

    The metabolic pathway known as (bacterio)chlorophyll biosynthesis is initiated by magnesium chelatase (BchI, BchD, BchH). This first step involves insertion of magnesium into protoporphyrin IX (proto), a process requiring ATP hydrolysis. Structural information shows that the BchI and BchD subunits form a double hexameric enzyme complex, whereas BchH binds proto and can be purified as BchH-proto. We utilized the Rhodobacter capsulatus magnesium chelatase subunits using continuous magnesium chelatase assays and treated the BchD subunit as the enzyme with both BchI and BchH-proto as substrates. Michaelis-Menten kinetics was observed with the BchI subunit, whereas the BchH subunit exhibited sigmoidal kinetics (Hill coefficient of 1.85). The BchI.BchD complex had intrinsic ATPase activity, and addition of BchH greatly increased ATPase activity. This was concentration-dependent and gave sigmoidal kinetics, indicating there is more than one binding site for the BchH subunit on the BchI.BchD complex. ATPase activity was approximately 40-fold higher than magnesium chelatase activity and continued despite cessation of magnesium chelation, implying one or more secondary roles for ATP hydrolysis and possibly an as yet unknown switch required to terminate ATPase activity. One of the secondary roles for BchH-stimulated ATP hydrolysis by a BchI.BchD complex is priming of BchH to facilitate correct binding of proto to BchH in a form capable of participating in magnesium chelation. This porphyrin binding is the rate-limiting step in catalysis. These data suggest that ATP hydrolysis by the BchI.BchD complex causes a series of conformational changes in BchH to effect substrate binding, magnesium chelation, and product release.

  19. THE STRUCTURE OF THE CRISPR-ASSOCIATED PROTEIN CSA3 PROVIDES INSIGHT INTO REGULATION OF THE CRISPR/CAS SYSTEM

    PubMed Central

    Lintner, Nathanael G.; Frankel, Kenneth A.; Tsutakawa, Susan E.; Alsbury, Donald L.; Copié, Valérie; Young, Mark J.; Tainer, John A.; Lawrence, C. Martin

    2015-01-01

    Adaptive immune systems have recently been recognized in prokaryotic organisms where, in response to viral infection, they incorporate short fragments of invader-derived DNA into loci called Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs). In subsequent infections, the CRISPR loci are transcribed and processed into guide sequences for the neutralization of the invading RNA or DNA. The CRISPR-associated protein machinery (Cas) lies at the heart of this process, yet many of the molecular details of the CRISPR/Cas system remain to be elucidated. Here we report the first structure of Csa3, a CRISPR-associated protein from Sulfolobus solfataricus (Sso1445), which reveals a dimeric two-domain protein. The N-terminal domain is a unique variation on the di-nucleotide binding-domain that orchestrates dimer formation. In addition, it utilizes two conserved sequence motifs (Thr-h-Gly-Phe-(Asn/Asp)-Glu-X4-Arg and Leu-X2-Gly-h-Arg) to construct a 2-fold symmetric pocket on the dimer axis. This pocket is likely to represent a regulatory ligand-binding site. The N-terminal domain is fused to a C-terminal MarR-like winged helix-turn-helix domain that is expected to be involved in DNA recognition. Overall, the unique domain architecture of Csa3 suggests a transcriptional regulator under allosteric control of the N-terminal domain. Alternatively, Csa3 may function in a larger complex, with the conserved cleft participating in protein-protein or protein-nucleic acid interactions. A similar N-terminal domain is also identified in Csx1, a second CRISPR associated protein family of unknown function. PMID:21093452

  20. Crystal Structure and Comparative Sequence Analysis of GmhA from Colwellia psychrerythraea Strain 34H Provides Insight into Functional Similarity with DiaA

    PubMed Central

    Do, Hackwon; Yun, Ji-Sook; Lee, Chang Woo; Choi, Young Jun; Kim, Hye-Yeon; Kim, Youn-Jung; Park, Hyun; Chang, Jeong Ho; Lee, Jun Hyuck

    2015-01-01

    The psychrophilic organism Colwellia psychrerythraea strain 34H produces extracellular polysaccharide substances to tolerate cold environments. Sedoheptulose 7-phosphate isomerase (GmhA) is essential for producing d-glycero-d-mannoheptose 7-phosphate, a key mediator in the lipopolysaccharide biosynthetic pathway. We determined the crystal structure of GmhA from C. psychrerythraea strain 34H (CpsGmhA, UniProtKB code: Q47VU0) at a resolution of 2.8 Å. The tetrameric structure is similar to that of homologous GmhA structures. Interestingly, one of the catalytic residues, glutamate, which has been reported to be critical for the activity of other homologous GmhA enzymes, is replaced by a glutamine residue in the CpsGmhA protein. We also found differences in the conformations of several other catalytic residues. Extensive structural and sequence analyses reveal that CpsGmhA shows high similarity to Escherichia coli DnaA initiator-associating protein A (DiaA). Therefore, the CpsGmhA structure reported here may provide insight into the structural and functional correlations between GmhA and DiaA among specific microorganisms. PMID:26612680

  1. Reannotation and extended community resources for the genome of the non-seed plant Physcomitrella patens provide insights into the evolution of plant gene structures and functions

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background The moss Physcomitrella patens as a model species provides an important reference for early-diverging lineages of plants and the release of the genome in 2008 opened the doors to genome-wide studies. The usability of a reference genome greatly depends on the quality of the annotation and the availability of centralized community resources. Therefore, in the light of accumulating evidence for missing genes, fragmentary gene structures, false annotations and a low rate of functional annotations on the original release, we decided to improve the moss genome annotation. Results Here, we report the complete moss genome re-annotation (designated V1.6) incorporating the increased transcript availability from a multitude of developmental stages and tissue types. We demonstrate the utility of the improved P. patens genome annotation for comparative genomics and new extensions to the cosmoss.org resource as a central repository for this plant “flagship” genome. The structural annotation of 32,275 protein-coding genes results in 8387 additional loci including 1456 loci with known protein domains or homologs in Plantae. This is the first release to include information on transcript isoforms, suggesting alternative splicing events for at least 10.8% of the loci. Furthermore, this release now also provides information on non-protein-coding loci. Functional annotations were improved regarding quality and coverage, resulting in 58% annotated loci (previously: 41%) that comprise also 7200 additional loci with GO annotations. Access and manual curation of the functional and structural genome annotation is provided via the http://www.cosmoss.org model organism database. Conclusions Comparative analysis of gene structure evolution along the green plant lineage provides novel insights, such as a comparatively high number of loci with 5’-UTR introns in the moss. Comparative analysis of functional annotations reveals expansions of moss house-keeping and metabolic genes

  2. Conserved Fiber-Penton Base Interaction Revealed by Nearly Atomic Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy of the Structure of Adenovirus Provides Insight into Receptor Interaction

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Changchun; Dong, Xiaoyan; Wu, Xiaobing; Wen, Boyun; Ji, Gang

    2012-01-01

    Adenovirus (Ad) cell attachment is initiated by the attachment of the fiber protein to a primary receptor (usually CAR or CD46). This event is followed by the engagement of the penton base protein with a secondary receptor (integrin) via its loop region, which contains an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) motif, to trigger virus internalization. To understand the well-orchestrated adenovirus cell attachment process that involves the fiber and the penton base, we reconstructed the structure of an Ad5F35 capsid, comprising an adenovirus type 5 (Ad5) capsid pseudotyped with an Ad35 fiber, at a resolution of approximately 4.2 Å. The fiber-penton base interaction in the cryo-electron microscopic (cryo-EM) structure of Ad5F35 is similar to that in the cryo-EM structure of Ad5, indicating that the fiber-penton base interaction of adenovirus is conserved. Our structure also confirms that the C-terminal segment of the fiber tail domain constitutes the bottom trunk of the fiber shaft. Based on the conserved fiber-penton base interaction, we have proposed a model for the interaction of Ad5F35 with its primary and secondary receptors. This model could provide insight for designing adenovirus gene delivery vectors. PMID:22951835

  3. Crystal Structures of the Extracellular Domain from PepT1 and PepT2 Provide Novel Insights into Mammalian Peptide Transport.

    PubMed

    Beale, John H; Parker, Joanne L; Samsudin, Firdaus; Barrett, Anne L; Senan, Anish; Bird, Louise E; Scott, David; Owens, Raymond J; Sansom, Mark S P; Tucker, Stephen J; Meredith, David; Fowler, Philip W; Newstead, Simon

    2015-10-06

    Mammals obtain nitrogen via the uptake of di- and tri-peptides in the gastrointestinal tract through the action of PepT1 and PepT2, which are members of the POT family of proton-coupled oligopeptide transporters. PepT1 and PepT2 also play an important role in drug transport in the human body. Recent crystal structures of bacterial homologs revealed a conserved peptide-binding site and mechanism of transport. However, a key structural difference exists between bacterial and mammalian homologs with only the latter containing a large extracellular domain, the function of which is currently unknown. Here, we present the crystal structure of the extracellular domain from both PepT1 and PepT2 that reveal two immunoglobulin-like folds connected in tandem, providing structural insight into mammalian peptide transport. Functional and biophysical studies demonstrate that these domains interact with the intestinal protease trypsin, suggesting a role in clustering proteolytic activity to the site of peptide transport in eukaryotic cells.

  4. Crystal structure of vaccinia virus mRNA capping enzyme provides insights into the mechanism and evolution of the capping apparatus

    PubMed Central

    Kyrieleis, Otto J.P.; Chang, Jonathan; de la Peña, Marcos; Shuman, Stewart; Cusack, Stephen

    2014-01-01

    Summary Vaccinia virus capping enzyme is a heterodimer of D1 (844-aa) and D12 (287-aa) polypeptides that executes all three steps in m7GpppRNA synthesis. The D1 subunit comprises an N-terminal RNA triphosphatase (TPase)–guanylyltransferase (GTase) module and a C-terminal guanine-N7-methyltransferase (MTase) module. The D12 subunit binds and allosterically stimulates the MTase module. Crystal structures of the complete D1•D12 heterodimer disclose the TPase and GTase as members of the triphosphate tunnel metalloenzyme and covalent nucleotidyltransferase superfamilies, respectively, albeit with distinctive active site features. An extensive TPase-GTase interface clamps the GTase nucleotidyltransferase and OB domains in a closed conformation around GTP. Mutagenesis confirms the importance of the TPase-GTase interface for GTase activity. The D1•D12 structure complements and rationalizes four decades of biochemical studies of this enzyme (the first capping enzyme to be purified and characterized) and provides new insights to the origins of the capping systems of other large DNA viruses. PMID:24607143

  5. Random and site-specific mutagenesis of the Helicobacter pylori ferric uptake regulator provides insight into Fur structure-function relationships.

    PubMed

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J; Pich, Oscar Q; Benoit, Stéphane L; Besold, Angelique N; Cha, Jeong-Heon; Maier, Robert J; Michel, Sarah L J; Maynard, Ernest L; Merrell, D Scott

    2013-07-01

    The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wild-type (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3) respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in manganese-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2 and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein.

  6. Random and Site-Specific Mutagenesis of the Helicobacter pylori Ferric Uptake Regulator Provides Insight into Fur Structure-Function Relationships

    PubMed Central

    Gilbreath, Jeremy J.; Pich, Oscar Q.; Benoit, Stéphane L.; Besold, Angelique N.; Cha, Jeong-Heon; Maier, Robert J.; Michel, Sarah L.J.; Maynard, Ernest L.; Merrell, D. Scott

    2013-01-01

    Summary The ferric uptake regulator (Fur) of Helicobacter pylori is a global regulator that is important for colonization and survival within the gastric mucosa. H. pylori Fur is unique in its ability to activate and repress gene expression in both the iron-bound (Fe-Fur) and apo forms (apo-Fur). In the current study we combined random and site-specific mutagenesis to identify amino acid residues important for both Fe-Fur and apo-Fur function. We identified 25 mutations that affected Fe-Fur repression and 23 mutations that affected apo-Fur repression, as determined by transcriptional analyses of the Fe-Fur target gene amiE, and the apo-Fur target gene, pfr. In addition, eight of these mutations also significantly affected levels of Fur in the cell. Based on regulatory phenotypes, we selected several representative mutations to characterize further. Of those selected, we purified the wildtype (HpFurWT) and three mutant Fur proteins (HpFurE5A, HpFurA92T, and HpFurH134Y), which represent mutations in the N-terminal extension, the regulatory metal binding site (S2) and the structural metal binding site (S3), respectively. Purified proteins were evaluated for secondary structure by circular dichroism spectroscopy, iron-binding by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, oligomerization in iron-substituted and apo conditions by in vitro cross-linking assays, and DNA binding to Fe-Fur and apo-Fur target sequences by fluorescence anisotropy. The results showed that the N-terminal, S2, and S3 regions play distinct roles in terms of Fur structure-function relationships. Overall, these studies provide novel information regarding the role of these residues in Fur function, and provide mechanistic insight into how H. pylori Fur regulates gene expression in both the iron-bound and apo forms of the protein. PMID:23710935

  7. Structural Characterization and Ligand/Inhibitor Identification Provide Functional Insights into the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Cytochrome P450 CYP126A1*

    PubMed Central

    Chenge, Jude T.; Duyet, Le Van; Swami, Shalini; McLean, Kirsty J.; Kavanagh, Madeline E.; Coyne, Anthony G.; Rigby, Stephen E. J.; Cheesman, Myles R.; Girvan, Hazel M.; Levy, Colin W.; Rupp, Bernd; von Kries, Jens P.; Abell, Chris; Leys, David; Munro, Andrew W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv genome encodes 20 cytochromes P450, including P450s crucial to infection and bacterial viability. Many M. tuberculosis P450s remain uncharacterized, suggesting that their further analysis may provide new insights into M. tuberculosis metabolic processes and new targets for drug discovery. CYP126A1 is representative of a P450 family widely distributed in mycobacteria and other bacteria. Here we explore the biochemical and structural properties of CYP126A1, including its interactions with new chemical ligands. A survey of azole antifungal drugs showed that CYP126A1 is inhibited strongly by azoles containing an imidazole ring but not by those tested containing a triazole ring. To further explore the molecular preferences of CYP126A1 and search for probes of enzyme function, we conducted a high throughput screen. Compounds containing three or more ring structures dominated the screening hits, including nitroaromatic compounds that induce substrate-like shifts in the heme spectrum of CYP126A1. Spectroelectrochemical measurements revealed a 155-mV increase in heme iron potential when bound to one of the newly identified nitroaromatic drugs. CYP126A1 dimers were observed in crystal structures of ligand-free CYP126A1 and for CYP126A1 bound to compounds discovered in the screen. However, ketoconazole binds in an orientation that disrupts the BC-loop regions at the P450 dimer interface and results in a CYP126A1 monomeric crystal form. Structural data also reveal that nitroaromatic ligands “moonlight” as substrates by displacing the CYP126A1 distal water but inhibit enzyme activity. The relatively polar active site of CYP126A1 distinguishes it from its most closely related sterol-binding P450s in M. tuberculosis, suggesting that further investigations will reveal its diverse substrate selectivity. PMID:27932461

  8. Can Economics Provide Insights into Trust Infrastructure?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vishik, Claire

    Many security technologies require infrastructure for authentication, verification, and other processes. In many cases, viable and innovative security technologies are never adopted on a large scale because the necessary infrastructure is slow to emerge. Analyses of such technologies typically focus on their technical flaws, and research emphasizes innovative approaches to stronger implementation of the core features. However, an observation can be made that in many cases the success of adoption pattern depends on non-technical issues rather than technology-lack of economic incentives, difficulties in finding initial investment, inadequate government support. While a growing body of research is dedicated to economics of security and privacy in general, few theoretical studies in this area have been completed, and even fewer that look at the economics of “trust infrastructure” beyond simple “cost of ownership” models. This exploratory paper takes a look at some approaches in theoretical economics to determine if they can provide useful insights into security infrastructure technologies and architectures that have the best chance to be adopted. We attempt to discover if models used in theoretical economics can help inform technology developers of the optimal business models that offer a better chance for quick infrastructure deployment.

  9. LiDAR: Providing structure

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vierling, Lee A.; Martinuzzi, Sebastián; Asner, Gregory P.; Stoker, Jason M.; Johnson, Brian R.

    2011-01-01

    Since the days of MacArthur, three-dimensional (3-D) structural information on the environment has fundamentally transformed scientific understanding of ecological phenomena (MacArthur and MacArthur 1961). Early data on ecosystem structure were painstakingly laborious to collect. However, as reviewed and reported in recent volumes of Frontiers(eg Vierling et al. 2008; Asner et al.2011), advances in light detection and ranging (LiDAR) remote-sensing technology provide quantitative and repeatable measurements of 3-D ecosystem structure that enable novel ecological insights at scales ranging from the plot, to the landscape, to the globe. Indeed, annual publication of studies using LiDAR to interpret ecological phenomena increased 17-fold during the past decade, with over 180 new studies appearing in 2010 (ISI Web of Science search conducted on 23 Mar 2011: [{lidar AND ecol*} OR {lidar AND fores*} OR {lidar AND plant*}]).

  10. Crystal Structure of the Streptomyces coelicolor Sortase E1 Transpeptidase Provides Insight into the Binding Mode of the Novel Class E Sorting Signal

    PubMed Central

    Kattke, Michele D.; Chan, Albert H.; Duong, Andrew; Sexton, Danielle L.; Sawaya, Michael R.; Cascio, Duilio; Elliot, Marie A.; Clubb, Robert T.

    2016-01-01

    Many species of Gram-positive bacteria use sortase transpeptidases to covalently affix proteins to their cell wall or to assemble pili. Sortase-displayed proteins perform critical and diverse functions for cell survival, including cell adhesion, nutrient acquisition, and morphological development, among others. Based on their amino acid sequences, there are at least six types of sortases (class A to F enzymes); however, class E enzymes have not been extensively studied. Class E sortases are used by soil and freshwater-dwelling Actinobacteria to display proteins that contain a non-canonical LAXTG sorting signal, which differs from 90% of known sorting signals by substitution of alanine for proline. Here we report the first crystal structure of a class E sortase, the 1.93 Å resolution structure of the SrtE1 enzyme from Streptomyces coelicolor. The active site is bound to a tripeptide, providing insight into the mechanism of substrate binding. SrtE1 possesses β3/β4 and β6/β7 active site loops that contact the LAXTG substrate and are structurally distinct from other classes. We propose that SrtE1 and other class E sortases employ a conserved tyrosine residue within their β3/β4 loop to recognize the amide nitrogen of alanine at position P3 of the sorting signal through a hydrogen bond, as seen here. Incapability of hydrogen-bonding with canonical proline-containing sorting signals likely contributes to class E substrate specificity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that surface anchoring of proteins involved in aerial hyphae formation requires an N-terminal segment in SrtE1 that is presumably positioned within the cytoplasm. Combined, our results reveal unique features within class E enzymes that enable them to recognize distinct sorting signals, and could facilitate the development of substrate-based inhibitors of this important enzyme family. PMID:27936128

  11. The Structure of the Mammalian RNase H2 Complex Provides Insight into RNA.NA Hybrid Processing to Prevent Immune Dysfunction

    SciTech Connect

    Shaban, N.; Harvey, S; Perrino, F; Hollis, T

    2010-01-01

    The mammalian RNase H2 ribonuclease complex has a critical function in nucleic acid metabolism to prevent immune activation with likely roles in processing of RNA primers in Okazaki fragments during DNA replication, in removing ribonucleotides misinserted by DNA polymerases, and in eliminating RNA {center_dot} DNA hybrids during cell death. Mammalian RNase H2 is a heterotrimeric complex of the RNase H2A, RNase H2B, and RNase H2C proteins that are all required for proper function and activity. Mutations in the human RNase H2 genes cause Aicardi-Goutieres syndrome. We have determined the crystal structure of the three-protein mouse RNase H2 enzyme complex to better understand the molecular basis of RNase H2 dysfunction in human autoimmunity. The structure reveals the intimately interwoven architecture of RNase H2B and RNase H2C that interface with RNase H2A in a complex ideally suited for nucleic acid binding and hydrolysis coupled to protein-protein interaction motifs that could allow for efficient participation in multiple cellular functions. We have identified four conserved acidic residues in the active site that are necessary for activity and suggest a two-metal ion mechanism of catalysis for RNase H2. An Okazaki fragment has been modeled into the RNase H2 nucleic acid binding site providing insight into the recognition of RNA {center_dot} DNA junctions by the RNase H2. Further structural and biochemical analyses show that some RNase H2 disease-causing mutations likely result in aberrant protein-protein interactions while the RNase H2A subunit-G37S mutation appears to distort the active site accounting for the demonstrated substrate specificity modification.

  12. Crystal structure of the Streptomyces coelicolor sortase E1 transpeptidase provides insight into the binding mode of the novel class E sorting signal

    DOE PAGES

    Kattke, Michele D.; Chan, Albert H.; Duong, Andrew; ...

    2016-12-09

    Here, many species of Gram-positive bacteria use sortase transpeptidases to covalently affix proteins to their cell wall or to assemble pili. Sortase-displayed proteins perform critical and diverse functions for cell survival, including cell adhesion, nutrient acquisition, and morphological development, among others. Based on their amino acid sequences, there are at least six types of sortases (class A to F enzymes); however, class E enzymes have not been extensively studied. Class E sortases are used by soil and freshwater-dwelling Actinobacteria to display proteins that contain a non-canonical LAXTG sorting signal, which differs from 90% of known sorting signals by substitution ofmore » alanine for proline. Here we report the first crystal structure of a class E sortase, the 1.93 Å resolution structure of the SrtE1 enzyme from Streptomyces coelicolor. The active site is bound to a tripeptide, providing insight into the mechanism of substrate binding. SrtE1 possesses β3/β4 and β6/β7 active site loops that contact the LAXTG substrate and are structurally distinct from other classes. We propose that SrtE1 and other class E sortases employ a conserved tyrosine residue within their β3/β4 loop to recognize the amide nitrogen of alanine at position P3 of the sorting signal through a hydrogen bond, as seen here. Incapability of hydrogen-bonding with canonical proline-containing sorting signals likely contributes to class E substrate specificity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that surface anchoring of proteins involved in aerial hyphae formation requires an N-terminal segment in SrtE1 that is presumably positioned within the cytoplasm. Combined, our results reveal unique features within class E enzymes that enable them to recognize distinct sorting signals, and could facilitate the development of substrate-based inhibitors of this important enzyme family.« less

  13. Crystal structure of the Streptomyces coelicolor sortase E1 transpeptidase provides insight into the binding mode of the novel class E sorting signal

    SciTech Connect

    Kattke, Michele D.; Chan, Albert H.; Duong, Andrew; Sexton, Danielle L.; Sawaya, Michael R.; Cascio, Duilio; Elliot, Marie A.; Clubb, Robert T.; Ton-That, Hung

    2016-12-09

    Here, many species of Gram-positive bacteria use sortase transpeptidases to covalently affix proteins to their cell wall or to assemble pili. Sortase-displayed proteins perform critical and diverse functions for cell survival, including cell adhesion, nutrient acquisition, and morphological development, among others. Based on their amino acid sequences, there are at least six types of sortases (class A to F enzymes); however, class E enzymes have not been extensively studied. Class E sortases are used by soil and freshwater-dwelling Actinobacteria to display proteins that contain a non-canonical LAXTG sorting signal, which differs from 90% of known sorting signals by substitution of alanine for proline. Here we report the first crystal structure of a class E sortase, the 1.93 Å resolution structure of the SrtE1 enzyme from Streptomyces coelicolor. The active site is bound to a tripeptide, providing insight into the mechanism of substrate binding. SrtE1 possesses β3/β4 and β6/β7 active site loops that contact the LAXTG substrate and are structurally distinct from other classes. We propose that SrtE1 and other class E sortases employ a conserved tyrosine residue within their β3/β4 loop to recognize the amide nitrogen of alanine at position P3 of the sorting signal through a hydrogen bond, as seen here. Incapability of hydrogen-bonding with canonical proline-containing sorting signals likely contributes to class E substrate specificity. Furthermore, we demonstrate that surface anchoring of proteins involved in aerial hyphae formation requires an N-terminal segment in SrtE1 that is presumably positioned within the cytoplasm. Combined, our results reveal unique features within class E enzymes that enable them to recognize distinct sorting signals, and could facilitate the development of substrate-based inhibitors of this important enzyme family.

  14. Structure of a Single-Chain Fv Bound to the 17 N-Terminal Residues of Huntingtin Provides Insights into Pathogenic Amyloid Formation and Suppression

    PubMed Central

    De Genst, Erwin; Chirgadze, Dimitri Y.; Klein, Fabrice A.C.; Butler, David C.; Matak-Vinković, Dijana; Trottier, Yvon; Huston, James S.; Messer, Anne; Dobson, Christopher M.

    2015-01-01

    Huntington's disease is triggered by misfolding of fragments of mutant forms of the huntingtin protein (mHTT) with aberrant polyglutamine expansions. The C4 single-chain Fv antibody (scFv) binds to the first 17 residues of huntingtin [HTT(1-17)] and generates substantial protection against multiple phenotypic pathologies in situ and in vivo. We show in this paper that C4 scFv inhibits amyloid formation by exon1 fragments of huntingtin in vitro and elucidate the structural basis for this inhibition and protection by determining the crystal structure of the complex of C4 scFv and HTT(1-17). The peptide binds with residues 3–11 forming an amphipathic helix that makes contact with the antibody fragment in such a way that the hydrophobic face of this helix is shielded from the solvent. Residues 12–17 of the peptide are in an extended conformation and interact with the same region of another C4 scFv:HTT(1-17) complex in the asymmetric unit, resulting in a β-sheet interface within a dimeric C4 scFv:HTT(1-17) complex. The nature of this scFv–peptide complex was further explored in solution by high-resolution NMR and physicochemical analysis of species in solution. The results provide insights into the manner in which C4 scFv inhibits the aggregation of HTT, and hence into its therapeutic potential, and suggests a structural basis for the initial interactions that underlie the formation of disease-associated amyloid fibrils by HTT. PMID:25861763

  15. The Crystal Structure of N-Acetyl-L-glutamate Synthase from Neisseria gonorrhoeae Provides Insights into Mechanisms of Catalysis and Regulation

    SciTech Connect

    Shi, Dashuang; Sagar, Vatsala; Jin, Zhongmin; Yu, Xiaolin; Caldovic, Ljubica; Morizono, Hiroki; Allewell, Norma M.; Tuchman, Mendel

    2010-01-07

    The crystal structures of N-acetylglutamate synthase (NAGS) in the arginine biosynthetic pathway of Neisseria gonorrhoeae complexed with acetyl-CoA and with CoA plus N-acetylglutamate have been determined at 2.5- and 2.6-A resolution, respectively. The monomer consists of two separately folded domains, an amino acid kinase (AAK) domain and an N-acetyltransferase (NAT) domain connected through a 10-A linker. The monomers assemble into a hexameric ring that consists of a trimer of dimers with 32-point symmetry, inner and outer ring diameters of 20 and 100A, respectively, and a height of 110A(.) Each AAK domain interacts with the cognate domains of two adjacent monomers across two 2-fold symmetry axes and with the NAT domain from a second monomer of the adjacent dimer in the ring. The catalytic sites are located within the NAT domains. Three active site residues, Arg316, Arg425, and Ser427, anchor N-acetylglutamate in a position at the active site to form hydrogen bond interactions to the main chain nitrogen atoms of Cys356 and Leu314, and hydrophobic interactions to the side chains of Leu313 and Leu314. The mode of binding of acetyl-CoA and CoA is similar to other NAT family proteins. The AAK domain, although catalytically inactive, appears to bind arginine. This is the first reported crystal structure of any NAGS, and it provides insights into the catalytic function and arginine regulation of NAGS enzymes.

  16. Structure and specificity of a new class of Ca(2+) independent housekeeping sortase from Streptomyces avermitilis provides insights into its non-canonical substrate preference.

    PubMed

    Das, Sreetama; Pawale, Vijaykumar S; Dadireddy, Venkatareddy; Singh, Avinash Kumar; Ramakumar, Suryanarayanarao; Roy, Rajendra P

    2017-03-07

    Surface proteins in Gram-positive bacteria are incorporated into the cell wall through a peptide ligation reaction catalyzed by transpeptidase sortase. Six main classes (A-F) of sortase have been identified of which class A sortase is meant for housekeeping functions. The prototypic housekeeping sortase A (SaSrtA) from Staphylococcus aureus cleaves LPXTG-containing proteins at the scissile T-G peptide bond and ligates Protein-LPXT to the terminal Gly residue of the nascent cross-bridge of peptidoglycan Lipid II precursor. Sortase-mediated ligation ('sortagging') of LPXTG-containing substrates and Gly-terminated nucleophiles occurs in vitro as well as in cellulo in the presence of Ca(2+) and has been applied extensively for protein conjugations. Although majority of applications emanate from SaSrtA, low catalytic efficiency, LPXTG specificity restriction, and Ca(2+) requirement (particularly for in cellulo applications) remains a drawback. Given that Gram-positive bacterial genomes encode a variety of sortases, natural sortase mining can be a viable complementary approach akin to engineering of wild type SaSrtA. Here we describe the structure and specificity of a new class E sortase (SavSrtE) annotated to perform housekeeping roles in Streptomyces avermitilis Biochemical experiments define the attributes of an optimum peptide substrate, demonstrate Ca(2+)-independent activity and provide insights about contrasting functional characteristics of SavSrtE and SaSrtA. Crystal structure, substrate docking and mutagenesis experiments have identified a critical residue that dictates the preference for a non-canonical LAXTG recognition motif over LPXTG. These results have implications for rational tailoring of substrate tolerance in sortases. Besides, Ca(2+) independent orthogonal specificity of SavSrtE is likely to expand the sortagging toolkit.

  17. The 2.0 Å X-ray structure for yeast acetohydroxyacid synthase provides new insights into its cofactor and quaternary structure requirements

    PubMed Central

    Lonhienne, Thierry; Garcia, Mario D.; Fraser, James A.; Williams, Craig M.; Guddat, Luke W.

    2017-01-01

    Acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) catalyzes the first step of branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis, a pathway essential to the life-cycle of plants and micro-organisms. The catalytic subunit has thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as indispensable co-factors. A new, high resolution, 2.0 Å crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae AHAS reveals that the dimer is asymmetric, with the catalytic centres having distinct structures where FAD is trapped in two different conformations indicative of different redox states. Two molecules of oxygen (O2) are bound on the surface of each active site and a tunnel in the polypeptide appears to passage O2 to the active site independently of the substrate. Thus, O2 appears to play a novel “co-factor” role in this enzyme. We discuss the functional implications of these features of the enzyme that have not previously been described. PMID:28178302

  18. The 2.0 Å X-ray structure for yeast acetohydroxyacid synthase provides new insights into its cofactor and quaternary structure requirements.

    PubMed

    Lonhienne, Thierry; Garcia, Mario D; Fraser, James A; Williams, Craig M; Guddat, Luke W

    2017-01-01

    Acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS) catalyzes the first step of branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis, a pathway essential to the life-cycle of plants and micro-organisms. The catalytic subunit has thiamin diphosphate (ThDP) and flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as indispensable co-factors. A new, high resolution, 2.0 Å crystal structure of Saccharomyces cerevisiae AHAS reveals that the dimer is asymmetric, with the catalytic centres having distinct structures where FAD is trapped in two different conformations indicative of different redox states. Two molecules of oxygen (O2) are bound on the surface of each active site and a tunnel in the polypeptide appears to passage O2 to the active site independently of the substrate. Thus, O2 appears to play a novel "co-factor" role in this enzyme. We discuss the functional implications of these features of the enzyme that have not previously been described.

  19. Crystal structure and function of an unusual dimeric Hsp20.1 provide insight into the thermal protection mechanism of small heat shock proteins.

    PubMed

    Liu, Liang; Chen, Jiyun; Yang, Bo; Wang, Yonghua

    2015-03-06

    Small heat shock proteins (sHSPs) are ubiquitous chaperones that play a vital role in protein homeostasis. sHSPs are characterized by oligomeric architectures and dynamic exchange of subunits. The flexible oligomeric assembling associating with function remains poorly understood. Based on the structural data, it is certainly agreed that two dimerization models depend on the presence or absence of a β6 strand to differentiate nonmetazoan sHSPs from metazoan sHSPs. Here, we report the Sulfolobus solfataricus Hsp20.1 ACD dimer structure, which shows a distinct dimeric interface. We observed that, in the absence of β6, Hsp20.1 dimer does not depend on β7 strand for forming dimer interface as metazoan sHSPs, nor dissociates to monomers. This is in contrast to other published sHSPs. Our structure reveals a variable, highly polar dimer interface that has advantages for rapid subunits exchange and substrate binding. Remarkably, we find that the C-terminal truncation variant has chaperone activity comparable to that of wild-type despite lack of the oligomer structure. Our further study indicates that the N-terminal region is essential for the oligomer and dimer binding to the target protein. Together, the structure and function of Hsp20.1 give more insight into the thermal protection mechanism of sHSPs.

  20. Soil chemical insights provided through vibrational spectroscopy

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Vibrational spectroscopy techniques provide a powerful approach to study environmental materials and processes. These multifunctional analysis tools can be used to probe molecular vibrations of solid, liquid, and gaseous samples for characterizing materials, elucidating reaction mechanisms, and exam...

  1. COOH-Terminal Clustering of Autoantibody and T-Cell Determinants on the Structure of GAD65 Provide Insights Into the Molecular Basis of Autoreactivity

    SciTech Connect

    Fenalti, Gustavo; Hampe, Christiane S.; Arafat, Yasir; Law, Ruby H.P.; Banga, J. Paul; Mackay, Ian R.; Whisstock, James C.; Buckle, Ashley M.; Rowley, Merrill J.

    2008-11-19

    To gain structural insights into the autoantigenic properties of GAD65 in type 1 diabetes, we analyzed experimental epitope mapping data in the context of the recently determined crystal structures of GAD65 and GAD67, to allow 'molecular positioning' of epitope sites for B- and T-cell reactivity. Data were assembled from analysis of reported effects of mutagenesis of GAD65 on its reactivity with a panel of 11 human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), supplemented by use of recombinant Fab to cross-inhibit reactivity with GAD65 by radioimmunoprecipitation of the same mAbs. COOH-terminal region on GAD65 was the major autoantigenic site. B-cell epitopes were distributed within two separate clusters around different faces of the COOH-terminal domain. Inclusion of epitope sites in the pyridoxal phosphate- and NH{sub 2}-terminal domains was attributed to the juxtaposition of all three domains in the crystal structure. Epitope preferences of different mAbs to GAD65 aligned with different clinical expressions of type 1 diabetes. Epitopes for four of five known reactive T-cell sequences restricted by HLA DRB1*0401 were aligned to solvent-exposed regions of the GAD65 structure and colocalized within the two B-cell epitope clusters. The continuous COOH-terminal epitope region of GAD65 was structurally highly flexible and therefore differed markedly from the equivalent region of GAD67. Structural features could explain the differing antigenicity, and perhaps immunogenicity, of GAD65 versus GAD67. The proximity of B- and T-cell epitopes within the GAD65 structure suggests that antigen-antibody complexes may influence antigen processing by accessory cells and thereby T-cell reactivity.

  2. Aeromagnetic signatures over western Marie Byrd Land provide insight into magmatic arc basement, mafic magmatism and structure of the Eastern Ross Sea Rift flank

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ferraccioli, F.; Bozzo, E.; Damaske, D.

    2002-03-01

    Aeromagnetic signatures over the Edward VII Peninsula (E7) provide new insight into the largely ice-covered and unexplored eastern flank of the Ross Sea Rift (RSR). Positive anomalies, 10-40 km in wavelength and with amplitudes ranging from 50 to 500 nT could reveal buried Late Devonian(?)-Early Carboniferous Ford Granodiorite plutons. This is suggested by similar magnetic signature over exposed, coeval Admiralty Intrusives of the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). Geochemical data from mid-Cretaceous Byrd Coast Granite, contact metamorphic effects on Swanson Formation and hornblende-bearing granitoid dredge samples strengthen this magnetic interpretation, making alternative explanations less probable. These magnetic anomalies over formerly adjacent TAM and western Marie Byrd Land (wMBL) terranes resemble signatures typically observed over magnetite-rich magmatic arc plutons. Shorter wavelength (5 km) 150 nT anomalies could speculatively mark mid-Cretaceous mafic dikes of the E7, similar to those exposed over the adjacent Ford Ranges. Anomalies with amplitudes of 100-360 nT over the Sulzberger Bay and at the margin of the Sulzberger Ice Shelf likely reveal mafic Late Cenozoic(?) volcanic rocks emplaced along linear rift fabric trends. Buried volcanic rock at the margin of the interpreted half-graben-like "Sulzberger Ice Shelf Block" is modelled in the Kizer Island area. The volcanic rock is marked by a coincident positive Bouguer gravity anomaly. Late Cenozoic volcanic rocks over the TAM, in the RSR, and beneath the West Antarctic Ice Sheet exhibit comparable magnetic anomaly signature reflecting regional West Antarctic Rift fabric. Interpreted mafic magmatism of the E7 is likely related to mid-Cretaceous and Late Cenozoic regional crustal extension and possible mantle plume activity over wMBL. Magnetic lineaments of the E7 are enhanced in maximum horizontal gradient of pseudo-gravity, vertical derivative and 3D Euler Deconvolution maps. Apparent vertical offsets in

  3. The NMR structure of the II–III–VI three-way junction from the Neurospora VS ribozyme reveals a critical tertiary interaction and provides new insights into the global ribozyme structure

    PubMed Central

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Lemieux, Sébastien; Legault, Pascale

    2015-01-01

    As part of an effort to structurally characterize the complete Neurospora VS ribozyme, NMR solution structures of several subdomains have been previously determined, including the internal loops of domains I and VI, the I/V kissing-loop interaction and the III–IV–V junction. Here, we expand this work by determining the NMR structure of a 62-nucleotide RNA (J236) that encompasses the VS ribozyme II–III–VI three-way junction and its adjoining stems. In addition, we localize Mg2+-binding sites within this structure using Mn2+-induced paramagnetic relaxation enhancement. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA displays a family C topology with a compact core stabilized by continuous stacking of stems II and III, a cis WC/WC G•A base pair, two base triples and two Mg2+ ions. Moreover, it reveals a remote tertiary interaction between the adenine bulges of stems II and VI. Additional NMR studies demonstrate that both this bulge–bulge interaction and Mg2+ ions are critical for the stable folding of the II–III–VI junction. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA is consistent with biochemical studies on the complete VS ribozyme, but not with biophysical studies performed with a minimal II–III–VI junction that does not contain the II–VI bulge–bulge interaction. Together with previous NMR studies, our findings provide important new insights into the three-dimensional architecture of this unique ribozyme. PMID:26124200

  4. The NMR structure of the II-III-VI three-way junction from the Neurospora VS ribozyme reveals a critical tertiary interaction and provides new insights into the global ribozyme structure.

    PubMed

    Bonneau, Eric; Girard, Nicolas; Lemieux, Sébastien; Legault, Pascale

    2015-09-01

    As part of an effort to structurally characterize the complete Neurospora VS ribozyme, NMR solution structures of several subdomains have been previously determined, including the internal loops of domains I and VI, the I/V kissing-loop interaction and the III-IV-V junction. Here, we expand this work by determining the NMR structure of a 62-nucleotide RNA (J236) that encompasses the VS ribozyme II-III-VI three-way junction and its adjoining stems. In addition, we localize Mg(2+)-binding sites within this structure using Mn(2+)-induced paramagnetic relaxation enhancement. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA displays a family C topology with a compact core stabilized by continuous stacking of stems II and III, a cis WC/WC G•A base pair, two base triples and two Mg(2+) ions. Moreover, it reveals a remote tertiary interaction between the adenine bulges of stems II and VI. Additional NMR studies demonstrate that both this bulge-bulge interaction and Mg(2+) ions are critical for the stable folding of the II-III-VI junction. The NMR structure of the J236 RNA is consistent with biochemical studies on the complete VS ribozyme, but not with biophysical studies performed with a minimal II-III-VI junction that does not contain the II-VI bulge-bulge interaction. Together with previous NMR studies, our findings provide important new insights into the three-dimensional architecture of this unique ribozyme.

  5. High-Resolution Crystal Structures of Streptococcus pneumoniae Nicotinamidase with Trapped Intermediates Provide Insights into the Catalytic Mechanism and Inhibition by Aldehydes

    SciTech Connect

    French, Jarrod B.; Cen, Yana; Sauve, Anthony A.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2010-11-11

    Nicotinamidases are salvage enzymes that convert nicotinamide to nicotinic acid. These enzymes are essential for the recycling of nicotinamide into NAD{sup +} in most prokaryotes and most single-cell and multicellular eukaryotes, but not in mammals. The significance of these enzymes for nicotinamide salvage and for NAD{sup +} homeostasis has stimulated interest in nicotinamidases as possible antibiotic targets. Nicotinamidases are also regulators of intracellular nicotinamide concentrations, thereby regulating signaling of downstream NAD{sup +}-consuming enzymes, such as the NAD{sup +}-dependent deacetylases (sirtuins). Here, we report several high-resolution crystal structures of the nicotinamidase from Streptococcus pneumoniae (SpNic) in unliganded and ligand-bound forms. The structure of the C136S mutant in complex with nicotinamide provides details about substrate binding, while a trapped nicotinoyl thioester in a complex with SpNic reveals the structure of the proposed thioester reaction intermediate. Examination of the active site of SpNic reveals several important features, including a metal ion that coordinates the substrate and the catalytically relevant water molecule and an oxyanion hole that both orients the substrate and offsets the negative charge that builds up during catalysis. Structures of this enzyme with bound nicotinaldehyde inhibitors elucidate the mechanism of inhibition and provide further details about the catalytic mechanism. In addition, we provide a biochemical analysis of the identity and role of the metal ion that orients the ligand in the active site and activates the water molecule responsible for hydrolysis of the substrate. These data provide structural evidence of several proposed reaction intermediates and allow for a more complete understanding of the catalytic mechanism of this enzyme.

  6. Structural and energetic analysis to provide insight residues of CYP2C9, 2C11 and 2E1 involved in valproic acid dehydrogenation selectivity.

    PubMed

    Bello, Martiniano; Mendieta-Wejebe, Jessica E; Correa-Basurto, José

    2014-07-15

    Docking and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation have been two computational techniques used to gain insight about the substrate orientation within protein active sites, allowing to identify potential residues involved in the binding and catalytic mechanisms. In this study, both methods were combined to predict the regioselectivity in the binding mode of valproic acid (VPA) on three cytochrome P-450 (CYP) isoforms CYP2C9, CYP2C11, and CYP2E1, which are involved in the biotransformation of VPA yielding reactive hepatotoxic intermediate 2-n-propyl-4-pentenoic acid (4nVPA). There are experimental data about hydrogen atom abstraction of the C4-position of VPA to yield 4nVPA, however, there are not structural evidence about the binding mode of VPA and 4nVPA on CYPs. Therefore, the complexes between these CYP isoforms and VPA or 4nVPA were studied to explore their differences in binding and energetic stabilization. Docking results showed that VPA and 4nVPA are coupled into CYPs binding site in a similar conformation, but it does not explain the VPA hydrogen atom abstraction. On the other hand, MD simulations showed a set of energetic states that reorient VPA at the first ns, then making it susceptible to a dehydrogenation reaction. For 4nVPA, multiple binding modes were observed in which the different states could favor either undergo other reaction mechanism or ligand expulsion from the binding site. Otherwise, the energetic and entropic contribution point out a similar behavior for the three CYP complexes, showing as expected a more energetically favorable binding free energy for the complexes between CYPs and VPA than with 4nVPA. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. Structure and activity analyses of Escherichia coli K-12 NagD provide insight into the evolution of biochemical function in the haloalkanoic acid dehalogenase superfamily.

    PubMed

    Tremblay, Lee W; Dunaway-Mariano, Debra; Allen, Karen N

    2006-01-31

    The HAD superfamily is a large superfamily of proteins which share a conserved core domain that provides those active site residues responsible for the chemistry common to all family members. The superfamily is further divided into the four subfamilies I, IIA, IIB, and III, based on the topology and insertion site of a cap domain that provides substrate specificity. This structural and functional division implies that members of a given HAD structural subclass may target substrates that have similar structural characteristics. To understand the structure/function relationships in all of the subfamilies, a type IIA subfamily member, NagD from Escherichia coli K-12, was selected (type I, IIB, and III members have been more extensively studied). The structure of the NagD protein was solved to 1.80 A with R(work) = 19.8% and R(free) = 21.8%. Substrate screening and kinetic analysis showed NagD to have high specificity for nucleotide monophosphates with k(cat)/K(m) = 3.12 x 10(4) and 1.28 x 10(4) microM(-)(1) s(-)(1) for UMP and GMP, respectively. This specificity is consistent with the presence of analogues of NagD that exist as fusion proteins with a nucleotide pyrophosphatase from the Nudix family. Docking of the nucleoside substrate in the active site brings it in contact with conserved residues from the cap domain that can act as a substrate specificity loop (NagD residues 144-149) in the type IIA subfamily. NagD and other subfamily IIA and IIB members show the common trait that substrate specificity and catalytic efficiencies (k(cat)/K(m)) are low (1 x 10(4) M(-)(1) s(-)(1)) and the boundaries defining physiological substrates are somewhat overlapping. The ability to catabolize other related secondary metabolites indicates that there is regulation at the genetic level.

  8. Structure and Activity Analyses of Escherichia coli K-12 NagD Provide Insight into the Evolution of Biochemical Function in the Haloakanoic Acid Dehlogenase Superfamily

    SciTech Connect

    Tremblay,L.; Dunaway-Mariano, D.; Allen, K.

    2006-01-01

    The HAD superfamily is a large superfamily of proteins which share a conserved core domain that provides those active site residues responsible for the chemistry common to all family members. The superfamily is further divided into the four subfamilies I, IIA, IIB, and III, based on the topology and insertion site of a cap domain that provides substrate specificity. This structural and functional division implies that members of a given HAD structural subclass may target substrates that have similar structural characteristics. To understand the structure/function relationships in all of the subfamilies, a type IIA subfamily member, NagD from Escherichia coli K-12, was selected (type I, IIB, and III members have been more extensively studied). The structure of the NagD protein was solved to 1.80 Angstroms with R{sub work} = 19.8% and R{sub free} = 21.8%. Substrate screening and kinetic analysis showed NagD to have high specificity for nucleotide monophosphates with kcat/Km = 3.12 x 10{sup 4} and 1.28 x 10{sup 4} {micro}M{sup -1} s{sup -1} for UMP and GMP, respectively. This specificity is consistent with the presence of analogues of NagD that exist as fusion proteins with a nucleotide pyrophosphatase from the Nudix family. Docking of the nucleoside substrate in the active site brings it in contact with conserved residues from the cap domain that can act as a substrate specificity loop (NagD residues 144-149) in the type IIA subfamily. NagD and other subfamily IIA and IIB members show the common trait that substrate specificity and catalytic efficiencies (k{sub cat}/K{sub m}) are low (1 x 10{sup 4} M{sup -1} s{sup -1}) and the boundaries defining physiological substrates are somewhat overlapping. The ability to catabolize other related secondary metabolites indicates that there is regulation at the genetic level.

  9. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, J. I.; Kowalski, G. J.; Klimova, A.; Staniland, I. J.; Baylis, A. M. M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations. PMID:27493782

  10. Population structure and historical demography of South American sea lions provide insights into the catastrophic decline of a marine mammal population.

    PubMed

    Hoffman, J I; Kowalski, G J; Klimova, A; Eberhart-Phillips, L J; Staniland, I J; Baylis, A M M

    2016-07-01

    Understanding the causes of population decline is crucial for conservation management. We therefore used genetic analysis both to provide baseline data on population structure and to evaluate hypotheses for the catastrophic decline of the South American sea lion (Otaria flavescens) at the Falkland Islands (Malvinas) in the South Atlantic. We genotyped 259 animals from 23 colonies across the Falklands at 281 bp of the mitochondrial hypervariable region and 22 microsatellites. A weak signature of population structure was detected, genetic diversity was moderately high in comparison with other pinniped species, and no evidence was found for the decline being associated with a strong demographic bottleneck. By combining our mitochondrial data with published sequences from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru, we also uncovered strong maternally directed population structure across the geographical range of the species. In particular, very few shared haplotypes were found between the Falklands and South America, and this was reflected in correspondingly low migration rate estimates. These findings do not support the prominent hypothesis that the decline was caused by migration to Argentina, where large-scale commercial harvesting operations claimed over half a million animals. Thus, our study not only provides baseline data for conservation management but also reveals the potential for genetic studies to shed light upon long-standing questions pertaining to the history and fate of natural populations.

  11. The 1.4 Å Crystal Structure of the ArsD Arsenic Metallochaperone Provides Insights into Its Interaction with the ArsA ATPase

    SciTech Connect

    Ye, Jun; Ajees, A. Abdul; Yang, Jianbo; Rosen, Barry P.

    2010-12-07

    Arsenic is a carcinogen that tops the Superfund list of hazardous chemicals. Bacterial resistance to arsenic is facilitated by ArsD, which delivers As(III) to the ArsA ATPase, the catalytic subunit of the ArsAB pump. Here we report the structure of the arsenic metallochaperone ArsD at 1.4 {angstrom} and a model for its binding of metalloid. There are two ArsD molecules in the asymmetric unit. The overall structure of the ArsD monomer has a thioredoxin fold, with a core of four {beta}-strands flanked by four {alpha}-helices. Based on data from structural homologues, ArsD was modeled with and without bound As(III). ArsD binds one arsenic per monomer coordinated with the three sulfur atoms of Cys12, Cys13, and Cys18. Using this structural model, an algorithm was used to dock ArsD and ArsA. The resulting docking model provides testable predictions of the contact points of the two proteins and forms the basis for future experiments.

  12. The 1.4 Å crystal structure of the ArsD arsenic metallochaperone provides insights into its interaction with the ArsA ATPase†

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Jun; Ajees, A. Abdul; Yang, Jianbo; Rosen, Barry P.

    2010-01-01

    Arsenic is a carcinogen that tops the Superfund list of hazardous chemicals. Bacterial resistance to arsenic is facilitated by ArsD, which delivers As(III) to the ArsA ATPase, the catalytic subunit of the ArsAB pump. Here we report the structure of the arsenic metallochaperone ArsD at 1.4 Å, and a model for its binding of metalloid. There are two ArsD molecules in the asymmetric unit. The overall structure of the ArsD monomer has a thioredoxin fold, with a core of four β-strands flanked by four α-helices. Based on data from structural homologues, ArsD was modeled with and without bound As(III). ArsD binds one arsenic per monomer coordinated with the three sulfur atoms of Cys12, Cys13 and Cys18. Using this structural model, an algorithm was used to dock ArsD and ArsA. The resulting docking model provides testable predictions of the contact points of the two proteins and forms the basis for future experiments. PMID:20507177

  13. Structure of the Sgt2/Get5 complex provides insights into GET-mediated targeting of tail-anchored membrane proteins.

    PubMed

    Simon, Aline C; Simpson, Peter J; Goldstone, Rachael M; Krysztofinska, Ewelina M; Murray, James W; High, Stephen; Isaacson, Rivka L

    2013-01-22

    Small, glutamine-rich, tetratricopeptide repeat protein 2 (Sgt2) is the first known port of call for many newly synthesized tail-anchored (TA) proteins released from the ribosome and destined for the GET (Guided Entry of TA proteins) pathway. This leads them to the residential membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum via an alternative to the cotranslational, signal recognition particle-dependent mechanism that their topology denies them. In yeast, the first stage of the GET pathway involves Sgt2 passing TA proteins on to the Get4/Get5 complex through a direct interaction between the N-terminal (NT) domain of Sgt2 and the ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain of Get5. Here we characterize this interaction at a molecular level by solving both a solution structure of Sgt2_NT, which adopts a unique helical fold, and a crystal structure of the Get5_UBL. Furthermore, using reciprocal chemical shift perturbation data and experimental restraints, we solve a structure of the Sgt2_NT/Get5_UBL complex, validate it via site-directed mutagenesis, and empirically determine its stoichiometry using relaxation experiments and isothermal titration calorimetry. Taken together, these data provide detailed structural information about the interaction between two key players in the coordinated delivery of TA protein substrates into the GET pathway.

  14. Structural and In Vivo Studies on Trehalose-6-Phosphate Synthase from Pathogenic Fungi Provide Insights into Its Catalytic Mechanism, Biological Necessity, and Potential for Novel Antifungal Drug Design.

    PubMed

    Miao, Yi; Tenor, Jennifer L; Toffaletti, Dena L; Maskarinec, Stacey A; Liu, Jiuyu; Lee, Richard E; Perfect, John R; Brennan, Richard G

    2017-07-25

    , namely, trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (Tps1) and trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (Tps2), are prominent targets for antifungal intervention. Here, we report the first eukaryotic Tps1 structures from the pathogenic fungi Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus in complex with substrates, substrate analogues, and inhibitors. These structures reveal key protein-substrate interactions, providing atomic-level scaffolds for structure-guided drug design of novel antifungals that target Tps1. Copyright © 2017 Miao et al.

  15. The crystal structure of D-threonine aldolase from Alcaligenes xylosoxidans provides insight into a metal ion assisted PLP-dependent mechanism.

    PubMed

    Uhl, Michael K; Oberdorfer, Gustav; Steinkellner, Georg; Riegler-Berket, Lina; Mink, Daniel; van Assema, Friso; Schürmann, Martin; Gruber, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Threonine aldolases catalyze the pyridoxal phosphate (PLP) dependent cleavage of threonine into glycine and acetaldehyde and play a major role in the degradation of this amino acid. In nature, L- as well as D-specific enzymes have been identified, but the exact physiological function of D-threonine aldolases (DTAs) is still largely unknown. Both types of enantio-complementary enzymes have a considerable potential in biocatalysis for the stereospecific synthesis of various β-hydroxy amino acids, which are valuable building blocks for the production of pharmaceuticals. While several structures of L-threonine aldolases (LTAs) have already been determined, no structure of a DTA is available to date. Here, we report on the determination of the crystal structure of the DTA from Alcaligenes xylosoxidans (AxDTA) at 1.5 Å resolution. Our results underline the close relationship of DTAs and alanine racemases and allow the identification of a metal binding site close to the PLP-cofactor in the active site of the enzyme which is consistent with the previous observation that divalent cations are essential for DTA activity. Modeling of AxDTA substrate complexes provides a rationale for this metal dependence and indicates that binding of the β-hydroxy group of the substrate to the metal ion very likely activates this group and facilitates its deprotonation by His193. An equivalent involvement of a metal ion has been implicated in the mechanism of a serine dehydratase, which harbors a metal ion binding site in the vicinity of the PLP cofactor at the same position as in DTA. The structure of AxDTA is completely different to available structures of LTAs. The enantio-complementarity of DTAs and LTAs can be explained by an approximate mirror symmetry of crucial active site residues relative to the PLP-cofactor.

  16. The structural basis of chicken, swine and bovine CD8αα dimers provides insight into the co-evolution with MHC I in endotherm species

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yanjie; Li, Xin; Qi, Jianxun; Zhang, Nianzhi; Xia, Chun

    2016-01-01

    It is unclear how the pivotal molecules of the adaptive immune system (AIS) maintain their inherent characteristics and relationships with their co-receptors over the course of co-evolution. CD8α, a fundamental but simple AIS component with only one immunoglobulin variable (IgV) domain, is a good example with which to explore this question because it can fold correctly to form homodimers (CD8αα) and interact with peptide-MHC I (p/MHC I) with low sequence identities between different species. Hereby, we resolved the crystal structures of chicken, swine and bovine CD8αα. They are typical homodimers consisting of two symmetric IgV domains with distinct species specificities. The CD8αα structures indicated that a few highly conserved residues are important in CD8 dimerization and in interacting with p/MHC I. The dimerization of CD8αα mainly depends on the pivotal residues on the dimer interface; in particular, four aromatic residues provide many intermolecular forces and contact areas. Three residues on the surface of CD8α connecting cavities that formed most of the hydrogen bonds with p/MHC I were also completely conserved. Our data propose that a few key conserved residues are able to ensure the CD8α own structural characteristics despite the great sequence variation that occurs during evolution in endotherms. PMID:27122108

  17. The crystal structure of spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase in complex with spermine provides insights into substrate binding and catalysis.

    PubMed

    Montemayor, Eric J; Hoffman, David W

    2008-09-02

    The enzyme spermidine/spermine N (1)-acetyltransferase (SSAT) catalyzes the transfer of acetyl groups from acetylcoenzyme A to spermidine and spermine, as part of a polyamine degradation pathway. This work describes the crystal structure of SSAT in complex with coenzyme A, with and without bound spermine. The complex with spermine provides a direct view of substrate binding by an SSAT and demonstrates structural plasticity near the active site of the enzyme. Associated water molecules bridge several of the intermolecular contacts between spermine and the enzyme and form a "proton wire" between the side chain of Glu92 and the N1 amine of spermine. A single water molecule can also be seen forming hydrogen bonds with the side chains of Glu92, Asp93, and the N4 amine of spermine. Site-directed mutation of Glu92 to glutamine had a detrimental effect on both substrate binding and catalysis and shifted the optimal pH for enzyme activity further into alkaline solution conditions, while mutation of Asp93 to asparagine affected both substrate binding and catalysis without changing the pH dependence of the enzyme. Considered together, the structural and kinetic data suggest that Glu92 functions as a catalytic base to drive an otherwise unfavorable deprotonation step at physiological pH.

  18. The structural basis of chicken, swine and bovine CD8αα dimers provides insight into the co-evolution with MHC I in endotherm species.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yanjie; Li, Xin; Qi, Jianxun; Zhang, Nianzhi; Xia, Chun

    2016-04-28

    It is unclear how the pivotal molecules of the adaptive immune system (AIS) maintain their inherent characteristics and relationships with their co-receptors over the course of co-evolution. CD8α, a fundamental but simple AIS component with only one immunoglobulin variable (IgV) domain, is a good example with which to explore this question because it can fold correctly to form homodimers (CD8αα) and interact with peptide-MHC I (p/MHC I) with low sequence identities between different species. Hereby, we resolved the crystal structures of chicken, swine and bovine CD8αα. They are typical homodimers consisting of two symmetric IgV domains with distinct species specificities. The CD8αα structures indicated that a few highly conserved residues are important in CD8 dimerization and in interacting with p/MHC I. The dimerization of CD8αα mainly depends on the pivotal residues on the dimer interface; in particular, four aromatic residues provide many intermolecular forces and contact areas. Three residues on the surface of CD8α connecting cavities that formed most of the hydrogen bonds with p/MHC I were also completely conserved. Our data propose that a few key conserved residues are able to ensure the CD8α own structural characteristics despite the great sequence variation that occurs during evolution in endotherms.

  19. Molecular dynamics simulations and structure-guided mutagenesis provide insight into the architecture of the catalytic core of the ectoine hydroxylase.

    PubMed

    Widderich, Nils; Pittelkow, Marco; Höppner, Astrid; Mulnaes, Daniel; Buckel, Wolfgang; Gohlke, Holger; Smits, Sander H J; Bremer, Erhard

    2014-02-06

    Many bacteria amass compatible solutes to fend-off the detrimental effects of high osmolarity on cellular physiology and water content. These solutes also function as stabilizers of macromolecules, a property for which they are referred to as chemical chaperones. The tetrahydropyrimidine ectoine is such a compatible solute and is widely synthesized by members of the Bacteria. Many ectoine producers also synthesize the stress protectant 5-hydroxyectoine from the precursor ectoine, a process that is catalyzed by the ectoine hydroxylase (EctD). The EctD enzyme is a member of the non-heme-containing iron(II) and 2-oxoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase superfamily. A crystal structure of the EctD protein from the moderate halophile Virgibacillus salexigens has previously been reported and revealed the coordination of the iron catalyst, but it lacked the substrate ectoine and the co-substrate 2-oxoglutarate. Here we used this crystal structure as a template to assess the likely positioning of the ectoine and 2-oxoglutarate ligands within the active site by structural comparison, molecular dynamics simulations, and site-directed mutagenesis. Collectively, these approaches suggest the positioning of the iron, ectoine, and 2-oxoglutarate ligands in close proximity to each other and with a spatial orientation that will allow the region-selective and stereo-specific hydroxylation of (4S)-ectoine to (4S,5S)-5-hydroxyectoine. Our study thus provides a view into the catalytic core of the ectoine hydroxylase and suggests an intricate network of interactions between the three ligands and evolutionarily highly conserved residues in members of the EctD protein family.

  20. Structure of a Ca2+/CaM:Kv7.4 (KCNQ4) B helix complex provides insight into M-current modulation

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Qiang; Chang, Aram; Tolia, Alexandra; Minor, Daniel L.

    2012-01-01

    Calmodulin (CaM) is an important regulator of Kv7.x (KCNQx) voltage-gated potassium channels. Channels from this family produce neuronal M-currents and cardiac and auditory IKS currents, and harbor mutations that cause arrhythmias, epilepsy, and deafness. Despite extensive functional characterization, biochemical and structural details of the interaction between CaM and the channel have remained elusive. Here, we show that both apo-CaM and Ca2+/CaM bind to the C-terminal tail of the neuronal channel Kv7.4 (KCNQ4), which is involved both hearing and mechanosensation. Interactions between apo-CaM and the Kv7.4 tail involve two C-terminal tail segments, known as the A and B segments, whereas the interaction between Ca2+/CaM and the Kv7.4 C-terminal tail requires only the B segment. Biochemical studies show that the calcium dependence of the CaM:B segment interaction is conserved in all Kv7 subtypes. X-ray crystallographic determination of the structure of the Ca2+/CaM:Kv7.4 B segment complex shows that Ca2+/CaM wraps around the Kv7.4 B segment, which forms an α-helix, in an antiparallel orientation that embodies a variation of the classic 1-14 Ca2+/CaM interaction motif. Taken together with the context of prior studies, our data suggest a model for modulation of neuronal Kv7 channels involving a calcium-dependent conformational switch from an apo-CaM form that bridges the A and B segments to a Ca2+/CaM form bound to the B-helix. The structure presented here also provides a context for a number of disease causing mutations and for further dissection of the mechanisms by which CaM controls Kv7 function. PMID:23178170

  1. Crystal structure of A. aeolicus argonaute, a site-specific DNA-guided endoribonuclease, provides insights into RISC-mediated mRNA cleavage

    SciTech Connect

    Yuan,Y.; Pei, Y.; Ma, J.; Kuryavyi, V.; Zhadina, M.; Meister, G.; Chen, H.; Dauter, Z.; Tuschi, T.; Patel, D.

    2005-01-01

    Argonaute (Ago) proteins constitute a key component of the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). We report the crystal structure of Aquifex aeolicus Ago (Aa-Ago) together with binding and cleavage studies, which establish this eubacterial Ago as a bona fide guide DNA strand-mediated site-specific RNA endonuclease. We have generated a stereochemically robust model of the complex, where the guide DNA-mRNA duplex is positioned within a basic channel spanning the bilobal interface, such that the 5' phosphate of the guide strand can be anchored in a basic pocket, and the mRNA can be positioned for site-specific cleavage by RNase H-type divalent cation-coordinated catalytic Asp residues of the PIWI domain. Domain swap experiments involving chimeras of human Ago (hAgo1) and cleavage-competent hAgo2 reinforce the role of the PIWI domain in 'slicer' activity. We propose a four-step Ago-mediated catalytic cleavage cycle model, which provides distinct perspectives into the mechanism of guide strand-mediated mRNA cleavage within the RISC.

  2. The crystal structure of maleylacetate reductase from Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005 provides insights into the reaction mechanism of enzymes in its original family.

    PubMed

    Fujii, Tomomi; Sato, Ai; Okamoto, Yuko; Yamauchi, Takae; Kato, Shiro; Yoshida, Masahiro; Oikawa, Tadao; Hata, Yasuo

    2016-08-01

    Maleylacetate reductase plays a crucial role in catabolism of resorcinol by catalyzing the NAD(P)H-dependent reduction of maleylacetate, at a carbon-carbon double bond, to 3-oxoadipate. The crystal structure of maleylacetate reductase from Rhizobium sp. strain MTP-10005, GraC, has been elucidated by the X-ray diffraction method at 1.5 Å resolution. GraC is a homodimer, and each subunit consists of two domains: an N-terminal NADH-binding domain adopting an α/β structure and a C-terminal functional domain adopting an α-helical structure. Such structural features show similarity to those of the two existing families of enzymes in dehydroquinate synthase-like superfamily. However, GraC is distinct in dimer formation and activity expression mechanism from the families of enzymes. Two subunits in GraC have different structures from each other in the present crystal. One subunit has several ligands mimicking NADH and the substrate in the cleft and adopts a closed domain arrangement. In contrast, the other subunit does not contain any ligand causing structural changes and adopts an open domain arrangement. The structure of GraC reveals those of maleylacetate reductase both in the coenzyme, substrate-binding state and in the ligand-free state. The comparison of both subunit structures reveals a conformational change of the Tyr326 loop for interaction with His243 on ligand binding. Structures of related enzymes suggest that His243 is likely a catalytic residue of GraC. Mutational analyses of His243 and Tyr326 support the catalytic roles proposed from structural information. The crystal structure of GraC characterizes the maleylacetate reductase family as a third family in the dehydroquinate synthase-like superfamily. Proteins 2016; 84:1029-1042. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. What insights can satellite data provide about the subsurface?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, C.; Churnside, J. H.

    2016-02-01

    The advent of satellite oceanography in the last 30 years, which has made global measurements of altimetry, sea-surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll, salinity, and winds available on daily to weekly timescales, has revolutionized our understanding of ocean dynamics. However for the most part satellite observations only provide measurements at the surface of the ocean, whereas most oceanographers want data on the interior, subsurface structure of the ocean. What insights, if any, can satellite data provide about the subsurface? The "surface" measured by satellite data depends upon the frequency of the sensor making the measurement. For example, IR measurements of SST measure a depth of about 20 micrometers, while microwave SST radiometers measure a depth of a few millimeters, and visible ocean color sensors integrate over the entire photic zone, which can vary from less than a meter in turbid water to tens of meters in very clear water. These depth differences might seem negligible, given that they all fall within the average mixed layer depth, however diurnal heating and air-sea fluxes of heat can create a variable "surface" temperature structure which can exist even within a "mixed layer" defined by standard in-situ measurements. From altimetry data we can drive subsurface features such as topography, and in some instances thermocline depths. In this presentation we will review the measurement capabilities of the current oceanographic satellite sensors and discuss efforts to extrapolate satellite measurements down into the oceanic subsurface. For example, satellite polarization lidars, developed to detect cloud aerosols, have been used with some success to probe the sub-surface structure of water and detect bio-optical layers and sub-surface processes down to 50-100 m.

  4. Application of Structural-Dynamic Approaches Provide Novel Insights Into the Enzymatic Mechanism of the Tumor Necrosis Factor-Alpha Converting Enzyme (TACE)

    SciTech Connect

    Sagi, I.; Milla, M

    2008-01-01

    Zinc dependent metalloproteinases comprise a large family of structurally homologous enzymes with a wide variety of biological roles. Originally described as proteinases involved in extracellular matrix (ECM) catabolism, these enzymes were later found to serve major roles as initiators of signaling pathways in many aspects of biology, ranging from cell proliferation, differentiation and communication, to pathological states associated with tumor metastasis, inflammation, tissue degeneration and cell death. From these enzymes, the tumor necrosis factor-a converting enzyme (TACE) stands out as a central shedding activity mediating the regulated release of a host of cytokines, receptors and other cell surface molecules. Selective drugs targeted at blocking TACE for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other disease indications are highly sought. Yet, the structural and chemical knowledge underlying its enzymatic activity is very limited. This is in part due to the fact that the catalytic zinc atom of metalloproteinases is usually spectroscopically silent and hence difficult to study using conventional spectroscopic and analytical tools. Most structural and biochemical studies, as well as medicinal chemistry efforts carried out so far were limited to non-dynamic structure/function characterization. Thus, to date, our mechanistic knowledge comes from theoretical calculations derived from static crystal structures from family members that are highly similar in their amino acid sequence and three-dimensional structure.This review introduces the importance of real-time quantification of biophysical properties and structural kinetic behavior applied to the study of TACE and other zinc metalloproteinases to dissect their molecular mechanisms. The molecular details that link the catalytic chemistry to key kinetic, electronic and structural events have remained elusive because of the difficulties associated with probing time-dependent structure-function aspects of enzymatic

  5. Structure of an anti-DNA fab complexed with a non-DNA ligand provides insights into cross-reactivity and molecular mimicry.

    PubMed

    Schuermann, Jonathan P; Henzl, Michael T; Deutscher, Susan L; Tanner, John J

    2004-11-01

    Antibodies that recognize DNA (anti-DNA) are part of the autoimmune response underlying systemic lupus erythematosus. To better understand molecular recognition by anti-DNA antibodies, crystallographic studies have been performed using an anti-ssDNA antigen-binding fragment (Fab) known as DNA-1. The previously determined structure of a DNA-1/dT5 complex revealed that thymine bases insert into a narrow groove, and that ligand recognition primarily involves the bases of DNA. We now report the 1.75-A resolution structure of DNA-1 complexed with the biological buffer HEPES (4-(2-Hydroxyethyl)piperazine-1-ethanesulfonic acid). All three light chain complementarity-determining regions (CDRs) and HCDR3 contribute to binding. The HEPES sulfonate hydrogen bonds to His L91, Asn L50, and to the backbone of Tyr H100 and Tyr H100A. The Tyr side-chains of L32, L92, H100, and H100A form nonpolar contacts with the HEPES ethylene and piperazine groups. Comparison to the DNA-1/dT5 structure reveals that the dual recognition of dT5 and HEPES requires a 13-A movement of HCDR3. This dramatic structural change converts the combining site from a narrow groove, appropriate for the edge-on insertion of thymine bases, to one sufficiently wide to accommodate the HEPES sulfonate and piperazine. Isothermal titration calorimetry verified the association of HEPES with DNA-1 under conditions similar those used for crystallization (2 M ammonium sulfate). Interestingly, the presence of 2 M ammonium sulfate increases the affinities of DNA-1 for both HEPES and dT5, suggesting that non-polar Fab-ligand interactions are important for molecular recognition in highly ionic solvent conditions. The structural and thermodynamic data suggest a molecular mimicry mechanism based on structural plasticity and hydrophobic interactions.

  6. Single-strand conformation polymorphism (SSCP) of oligodeoxyribonucleotides: an insight into solution structural dynamics of DNAs provided by gel electrophoresis and molecular dynamics simulations.

    PubMed

    Biyani, Manish; Nishigaki, Koichi

    2005-10-01

    Studies on the solution structure dynamics of RNA/DNA are becoming crucially important. The phenomena of SSCP (single-strand conformation polymorphism), small RNA dynamics in a cell, and others can be related to the conformational changes of single-stranded (ss) RNAs/DNAs in solution. However, little is known about those dynamics. Only the intra-structural transition of ssDNAs in solution has been reported based on Watson-Crick (W-C) base-pairing. Here, we found a general feature of the SSCP phenomenon by studying the simpler molecules of ss-oligodeoxyribonucleotides. A single base substitution or a positional exchange of nucleotide in a highly homologous series of ss-dodecanucleotides led to a change in the mobility-in-gel. This was unexpected, since most of these nucleotides [such as d(A(11)G) or d(A(11)C)] have no possibility of forming W-C base-pairing. MD (molecular dynamics) experiments revealed differences in shape and size between the dynamic structures of these molecules which could affect their mobility-in-gel. In addition, a high correlation was observed between the electrophoretic mobility and the size-related parameters such as end-to-end distance obtained from MD simulations. Because the simulation was considerably shorter (nanosecond) than the experimental time-scale (second), the result must be considered conservatively; but it is nevertheless encouraging for utilizing MD simulation for structural analysis of oligonucleotides.

  7. The structure of Medicago truncatula δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase provides new insights into regulation of proline biosynthesis in plants

    DOE PAGES

    Ruszkowski, Milosz; Nocek, Boguslaw; Forlani, Giuseppe; ...

    2015-10-30

    The two pathways for proline biosynthesis in higher plants share the last step, the conversion of δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) to L-proline, which is catalyzed by P5C reductase (P5CR, EC 1.5.1.2) with the use of NAD(P)H as a coenzyme. There is increasing amount of evidence to suggest a complex regulation of P5CR activity at the post-translational level, yet the molecular basis of these mechanisms is unknown. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of the P5CR enzyme from the model legume Medicago truncatula (Mt). The crystal structures of unliganded MtP5CR decamer, and its complexes with the products NAD+, NADP+, and L-proline were refinedmore » using x-ray diffraction data (at 1.7, 1.85, 1.95, and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively). Based on the presented structural data, the coenzyme preference for NADPH over NADH was explained, and NADPH is suggested to be the only coenzyme used by MtP5CR in vivo. Moreover, the insensitivity of MtP5CR to feed-back inhibition by proline, revealed by enzymatic analysis, was correlated with structural features. Additionally, a mechanism for the modulation of enzyme activity by chloride anions is discussed, as well as the rationale for the possible development of effective enzyme inhibitors.« less

  8. High resolution structures of Plasmodium falciparum GST complexes provide novel insights into the dimer-tetramer transition and a novel ligand-binding site.

    PubMed

    Perbandt, Markus; Eberle, Raphael; Fischer-Riepe, Lena; Cang, Huaixing; Liebau, Eva; Betzel, Christian

    2015-09-01

    Protection from oxidative stress and efficient redox regulation are essential for malarial parasites which have to grow and multiply rapidly in pro-oxidant rich environments. Therefore, redox active proteins currently belong to the most attractive antimalarial drug targets. The glutathione S-transferase from Plasmodium falciparum (PfGST) is a redox active protein displaying a peculiar dimer-tetramer transition that causes full enzyme-inactivation. This distinct structural feature is absent in mammalian GST isoenzyme counterparts. A flexible loop between residues 113-119 has been reported to be necessary for this tetramerization process. However, here we present structural data of a modified PfGST lacking loop 113-119 at 1.9 Å resolution. Our results clearly show that this loop is not essential for the formation of stable tetramers. Moreover we present for the first time the structures of both, the inactive and tetrameric state at 1.7 Å and the active dimeric state in complex with reduced glutathione at 2.4 Å resolution. Surprisingly, the structure of the inactive tetrameric state reveals a novel non-substrate binding-site occupied by a 2-(N-morpholino) ethane sulfonic acid (MES) molecule in each monomer. Although it is known that the PfGST has the ability to bind lipophilic anionic ligands, the location of the PfGST ligand-binding site remained unclear up to now. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. DNA from bird-dispersed seed and wind-disseminated pollen provides insights into postglacial colonization and population genetic structure of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis)

    Treesearch

    Bryce A. Richardson; Steven J. Runsfeld; Ned B. Klopfenstein

    2002-01-01

    Uniparentally inherited mitochondrial (mt)DNA and chloroplast (cp)DNA microsatellites (cpSSRs) were used to examine population genetic structure and biogeographic patterns of bird-dispersed seed and wind-disseminated pollen of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis Engelm.). Sampling was conducted from 41 populations throughout the range of the species....

  10. The structure of Medicago truncatula δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase provides new insights into regulation of proline biosynthesis in plants

    PubMed Central

    Ruszkowski, Milosz; Nocek, Boguslaw; Forlani, Giuseppe; Dauter, Zbigniew

    2015-01-01

    The two pathways for proline biosynthesis in higher plants share the last step, the conversion of δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) to L-proline, which is catalyzed by P5C reductase (P5CR, EC 1.5.1.2) with the use of NAD(P)H as a coenzyme. There is increasing amount of evidence to suggest a complex regulation of P5CR activity at the post-translational level, yet the molecular basis of these mechanisms is unknown. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of the P5CR enzyme from the model legume Medicago truncatula (Mt). The crystal structures of unliganded MtP5CR decamer, and its complexes with the products NAD+, NADP+, and L-proline were refined using x-ray diffraction data (at 1.7, 1.85, 1.95, and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively). Based on the presented structural data, the coenzyme preference for NADPH over NADH was explained, and NADPH is suggested to be the only coenzyme used by MtP5CR in vivo. Furthermore, the insensitivity of MtP5CR to feed-back inhibition by proline, revealed by enzymatic analysis, was correlated with structural features. Additionally, a mechanism for the modulation of enzyme activity by chloride anions is discussed, as well as the rationale for the possible development of effective enzyme inhibitors. PMID:26579138

  11. Crystal structure of an enzyme-substrate complex provides insight into the interaction between human arylsulfatase A and its substrates during catalysis.

    PubMed

    von Bülow, R; Schmidt, B; Dierks, T; von Figura, K; Usón, I

    2001-01-12

    Arylsulfatase A (ASA) belongs to the sulfatase family whose members carry a C(alpha)-formylglycine that is post-translationally generated by oxidation of a conserved cysteine or serine residue. The crystal structures of two arylsulfatases, ASA and ASB, and kinetic studies on ASA mutants led to different proposals for the catalytic mechanism in the hydrolysis of sulfate esters. The structures of two ASA mutants that lack the functional C(alpha)-formylglycine residue 69, in complex with a synthetic substrate, have been determined in order to unravel the reaction mechanism. The crystal structure of the inactive mutant C69A-ASA in complex with p-nitrocatechol sulfate (pNCS) mimics a reaction intermediate during sulfate ester hydrolysis by the active enzyme, without the covalent bond to the key side-chain FGly69. The structure shows that the side-chains of lysine 123, lysine 302, serine 150, histidine 229, the main-chain of the key residue 69 and the divalent cation in the active center are involved in sulfate binding. It is proposed that histidine 229 protonates the leaving alcoholate after hydrolysis.C69S-ASA is able to bind covalently to the substrate and hydrolyze it, but is unable to release the resulting sulfate. Nevertheless, the resulting sulfation is low. The structure of C69S-ASA shows the serine side-chain in a single conformation, turned away from the position a substrate occupies in the complex. This suggests that the double conformation observed in the structure of wild-type ASA is more likely to correspond to a formylglycine hydrate than to a twofold disordered aldehyde oxo group, and accounts for the relative inertness of the C69S-ASA mutant. In the C69S-ASA-pNCS complex, the substrate occupies the same position as in the C69A-ASA-pNCS complex, which corresponds to the non-covalently bonded substrate. Based on the structural data, a detailed mechanism for sulfate ester cleavage is proposed, involving an aldehyde hydrate as the functional group. Copyright

  12. Computational docking, molecular dynamics simulation and subsite structure analysis of a maltogenic amylase from Bacillus lehensis G1 provide insights into substrate and product specificity.

    PubMed

    Manas, Nor Hasmaliana Abdul; Bakar, Farah Diba Abu; Illias, Rosli Md

    2016-06-01

    Maltogenic amylase (MAG1) from Bacillus lehensis G1 displayed the highest hydrolysis activity on β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) to produce maltose as a main product and exhibited high transglycosylation activity on malto-oligosaccharides with polymerization degree of three and above. These substrate and product specificities of MAG1 were elucidated from structural point of view in this study. A three-dimensional structure of MAG1 was constructed using homology modeling. Docking of β-CD and malto-oligosaccharides was then performed in the MAG1 active site. An aromatic platform in the active site was identified which is responsible in substrate recognition especially in determining the enzyme's preference toward β-CD. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation showed MAG1 structure is most stable when docked with β-CD and least stable when docked with maltose. The docking analysis and MD simulation showed that the main subsites for substrate stabilization in the active site are -2, -1, +1 and +2. A bulky residue, Trp359 at the +2 subsite was identified to cause steric interference to the bound linear malto-oligosaccharides thus prevented it to occupy subsite +3, which can only be reached by a highly bent glucose molecule such as β-CD. The resulted modes of binding from docking simulation show a good correlation with the experimentally determined hydrolysis pattern. The subsite structure generated from this study led to a possible mode of action that revealed how maltose was mainly produced during hydrolysis. Furthermore, maltose only occupies subsite +1 and +2, therefore could not be hydrolyzed or transglycosylated by the enzyme. This important knowledge has paved the way for a novel structure-based molecular design for modulation of its catalytic activities.

  13. Structural Basis for Dual Nucleotide Selectivity of Aminoglycoside 2″-Phosphotransferase IVa Provides Insight on Determinants of Nucleotide Specificity of Aminoglycoside Kinases*♦

    PubMed Central

    Shi, Kun; Berghuis, Albert M.

    2012-01-01

    Enzymatic phosphorylation through a family of enzymes called aminoglycoside O-phosphotransferases (APHs) is a major mechanism by which bacteria confer resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics. Members of the APH(2″) subfamily are of particular clinical interest because of their prevalence in pathogenic strains and their broad substrate spectra. APH(2″) enzymes display differential preferences between ATP or GTP as the phosphate donor, with aminoglycoside 2″-phosphotransferase IVa (APH(2″)-IVa) being a member that utilizes both nucleotides at comparable efficiencies. We report here four crystal structures of APH(2″)-IVa, two of the wild type enzyme and two of single amino acid mutants, each in complex with either adenosine or guanosine. Together, these structures afford a detailed look at the nucleoside-binding site architecture for this enzyme and reveal key elements that confer dual nucleotide specificity, including a solvent network in the interior of the nucleoside-binding pocket and the conformation of an interdomain linker loop. Steady state kinetic studies, as well as sequence and structural comparisons with members of the APH(2″) subfamily and other aminoglycoside kinases, rationalize the different substrate preferences for these enzymes. Finally, despite poor overall sequence similarity and structural homology, analysis of the nucleoside-binding pocket of APH(2″)-IVa shows a striking resemblance to that of eukaryotic casein kinase 2 (CK2), which also exhibits dual nucleotide specificity. These results, in complement with the multitude of existing inhibitors against CK2, can serve as a structural basis for the design of nucleotide-competitive inhibitors against clinically relevant APH enzymes. PMID:22371504

  14. High-resolution structures of Neotermes koshunensis β-glucosidase mutants provide insights into the catalytic mechanism and the synthesis of glucoconjugates.

    PubMed

    Jeng, Wen-Yih; Wang, Nai-Chen; Lin, Cheng-Tse; Chang, Wei-Jung; Liu, Chia-I; Wang, Andrew H-J

    2012-07-01

    NkBgl, a β-glucosidase from Neotermes koshunensis, is a β-retaining glycosyl hydrolase family 1 enzyme that cleaves β-glucosidic linkages in disaccharide or glucose-substituted molecules. β-Glucosidases have been widely used in several applications. For example, mutagenesis of the attacking nucleophile in β-glucosidase has been conducted to convert it into a glycosynthase for the synthesis of oligosaccharides. Here, several high-resolution structures of wild-type or mutated NkBgl in complex with different ligand molecules are reported. In the wild-type NkBgl structures it was found that glucose-like glucosidase inhibitors bind to the glycone-binding pocket, allowing the buffer molecule HEPES to remain in the aglycone-binding pocket. In the crystal structures of NkBgl E193A, E193S and E193D mutants Glu193 not only acts as the catalytic acid/base but also plays an important role in controlling substrate entry and product release. Furthermore, in crystal structures of the NkBgl E193D mutant it was found that new glucoconjugates were generated by the conjugation of glucose (hydrolyzed product) and HEPES/EPPS/opipramol (buffer components). Based on the wild-type and E193D-mutant structures of NkBgl, the glucosidic bond of cellobiose or salicin was hydrolyzed and a new bond was subsequently formed between glucose and HEPES/EPPS/opipramol to generate new glucopyranosidic products through the transglycosylation reaction in the NkBgl E193D mutant. This finding highlights an innovative way to further improve β-glucosidases for the enzymatic synthesis of oligosaccharides.

  15. Structural basis for dual nucleotide selectivity of aminoglycoside 2''-phosphotransferase IVa provides insight on determinants of nucleotide specificity of aminoglycoside kinases.

    PubMed

    Shi, Kun; Berghuis, Albert M

    2012-04-13

    Enzymatic phosphorylation through a family of enzymes called aminoglycoside O-phosphotransferases (APHs) is a major mechanism by which bacteria confer resistance to aminoglycoside antibiotics. Members of the APH(2″) subfamily are of particular clinical interest because of their prevalence in pathogenic strains and their broad substrate spectra. APH(2″) enzymes display differential preferences between ATP or GTP as the phosphate donor, with aminoglycoside 2″-phosphotransferase IVa (APH(2″)-IVa) being a member that utilizes both nucleotides at comparable efficiencies. We report here four crystal structures of APH(2″)-IVa, two of the wild type enzyme and two of single amino acid mutants, each in complex with either adenosine or guanosine. Together, these structures afford a detailed look at the nucleoside-binding site architecture for this enzyme and reveal key elements that confer dual nucleotide specificity, including a solvent network in the interior of the nucleoside-binding pocket and the conformation of an interdomain linker loop. Steady state kinetic studies, as well as sequence and structural comparisons with members of the APH(2″) subfamily and other aminoglycoside kinases, rationalize the different substrate preferences for these enzymes. Finally, despite poor overall sequence similarity and structural homology, analysis of the nucleoside-binding pocket of APH(2″)-IVa shows a striking resemblance to that of eukaryotic casein kinase 2 (CK2), which also exhibits dual nucleotide specificity. These results, in complement with the multitude of existing inhibitors against CK2, can serve as a structural basis for the design of nucleotide-competitive inhibitors against clinically relevant APH enzymes.

  16. Simultaneous visualization of two Citrus tristeza virus genotypes provides new insights into the structure of multi-component virus populations in a host.

    PubMed

    Bergua, María; Phelan, Dane M; Bak, Aurélie; Bloom, David C; Folimonova, Svetlana Y

    2016-04-01

    Complex Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) populations composed of mixtures of different strains of the virus are commonly found in citrus trees in the field. At present, little is known about how these populations are formed, maintained, and how they are structured within a host. Here we used a novel in situ hybridization approach allowing simultaneous visualization of two different RNA targets with high sensitivity and specificity to examine the distribution of two isolates, T36 and T68-1, representing phylogenetically distinct strains of CTV, in a citrus host in single and mixed infections. Remarkably, in doubly inoculated plants the two virus variants appeared to be well mixed within the infected tissue and showed no spatial segregation. In addition, both CTV variants were often found occupying the same cells. Possible mechanisms involved in shaping CTV populations and the biological significance of the observed lack of structural separation of the individual components are discussed. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Modern Statistical Graphs that Provide Insight in Research Results

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Modern statistical graphics offer insight in assessing the results of many common statistical analyses. These ideas, however, are rarely employed in agronomic research articles. This work presents several commonly used graphs, offers one or more alternatives for each, and provides the reasons for pr...

  18. Crystal structures of the F88Y obelin mutant before and after bioluminescence provide molecular insight into spectral tuning among hydromedusan photoproteins.

    PubMed

    Natashin, Pavel V; Markova, Svetlana V; Lee, John; Vysotski, Eugene S; Liu, Zhi-Jie

    2014-03-01

    Ca(2+) -regulated photoproteins are responsible for the bioluminescence of a variety of marine coelenterates. All hydromedusan photoproteins are a single-chain polypeptide to which 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine is tightly but non-covalently bound. Bioluminescence results from oxidative decarboxylation of 2-hydroperoxycoelenterazine, generating protein-bound coelenteramide in an excited state. The bioluminescence spectral maxima of recombinant photoproteins vary in the range 462-495 nm, despite a high degree of identity of amino acid sequences and spatial structures of these photoproteins. Based on studies of obelin and aequorin mutants with substitution of Phe to Tyr and Tyr to Phe, respectively [Stepanyuk GA et al. (2005) FEBS Lett 579, 1008-1014], it was suggested that the spectral differences may be accounted for by an additional hydrogen bond between the hydroxyl group of a Tyr residue and an oxygen atom of the 6-(p-hydroxyphenyl) substituent of coelenterazine. Here, we report the crystal structures of two conformation states of the F88Y obelin mutant that has bioluminescence and product fluorescence spectra resembling those of aequorin. Comparison of spatial structures of the F88Y obelin conformation states with those of wild-type obelin clearly shows that substitution of Phe to Tyr does not affect the overall structures of either F88Y obelin or its product following Ca(2+) discharge, compared to the conformation states of wild-type obelin. The hydrogen bond network in F88Y obelin being due to the Tyr substitution clearly supports the suggestion that different hydrogen bond patterns near the oxygen of the 6-(p-hydroxyphenyl) substituent are the basis for spectral modifications between hydromedusan photoproteins.

  19. Structure of turbulent flow at a river confluence with momentum and velocity ratios close to 1: Insight provided by an eddy-resolving numerical simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Constantinescu, George; Miyawaki, Shinjiro; Rhoads, Bruce; Sukhodolov, Alexander; Kirkil, Gokhan

    2011-05-01

    River confluences are complex hydrodynamic environments where convergence of incoming flows produces complicated patterns of fluid motion, including the development of large-scale turbulence structures. Accurately simulating confluence hydrodynamics represents a considerable challenge for numerical modeling of river flows. This study uses an eddy-resolving numerical model to simulate the mean flow and large-scale turbulence structure at an asymmetrical river confluence with a concordant bed when the momentum ratio between the two incoming streams is close to 1. Results of the simulation are compared with field data on mean flow and turbulence structure. The simulation shows that the mixing interface is populated by quasi-two-dimensional eddies. Successive eddies have opposing senses of rotation. The mixing layer structure resembles that of a wake behind a bluff body (wake mode). Strong streamwise-oriented vortical (SOV) cells form on both sides of the mixing layer, a finding consistent with patterns inferred from the field data. The predicted mean flow fields show that flow curvature has an important influence on streamwise variation of circulation within the cores of the two primary SOV cells. These SOV cells, along with vortices generated by flow over a submerged block of sediment at one of the banks, strongly influence distributions of the streamwise velocity and turbulent kinetic energy downstream of the junction. Comparison of the eddy-resolving simulation results with predictions from the steady Spalart-Allmaras RANS model shows that the latter fails to predict important features of the measured distributions of streamwise velocity and turbulent kinetic energy because the RANS model underpredicts the strength of the SOV cells. Analysis of instantaneous and mean bed shear stress distributions indicates that the SOV cells enhance bed shear stresses to a greater degree than the quasi-two-dimensional eddies in the mixing interface.

  20. Long term records provide insights on the relative influence of climate and forest community structure on water yield in the southern Appalachians

    Treesearch

    Peter Caldwell; Chelcy Ford Miniat; Steven Brantley; Katherine Elliott; Stephanie Laseter; Wayne Swank

    2016-01-01

    In forested watersheds, changes in climate and forest structure or age can affect water yield; yet few long-term observational records from such watersheds exist that allow an assessment of these impacts over time. In this study, we used long-term (~80 yrs) observational records of climate and water yield in six reference watersheds at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory...

  1. Snowflake vitreoretinal degeneration (SVD) mutation R162W provides new insights into Kir7.1 ion channel structure and function.

    PubMed

    Pattnaik, Bikash R; Tokarz, Sara; Asuma, Matti P; Schroeder, Tyler; Sharma, Anil; Mitchell, Julie C; Edwards, Albert O; Pillers, De-Ann M

    2013-01-01

    Snowflake Vitreoretinal Degeneration (SVD) is associated with the R162W mutation of the Kir7.1 inwardly-rectifying potassium channel. Kir7.1 is found at the apical membrane of Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) cells, adjacent to the photoreceptor neurons. The SVD phenotype ranges from RPE degeneration to an abnormal b-wave to a liquid vitreous. We sought to determine how this mutation alters the structure and function of the human Kir7.1 channel. In this study, we expressed a Kir7.1 construct with the R162W mutation in CHO cells to evaluate function of the ion channel. Compared to the wild-type protein, the mutant protein exhibited a non-functional Kir channel that resulted in depolarization of the resting membrane potential. Upon co-expression with wild-type Kir7.1, R162W mutant showed a reduction of IKir7.1 and positive shift in '0' current potential. Homology modeling based on the structure of a bacterial Kir channel protein suggested that the effect of R162W mutation is a result of loss of hydrogen bonding by the regulatory lipid binding domain of the cytoplasmic structure.

  2. NMR-detected hydrogen exchange and molecular dynamics simulations provide structural insight into fibril formation of prion protein fragment 106–126

    PubMed Central

    Kuwata, Kazuo; Matumoto, Tomoharu; Cheng, Hong; Nagayama, Kuniaki; James, Thomas L.; Roder, Heinrich

    2003-01-01

    PrP106–126, a peptide corresponding to residues 107–127 of the human prion protein, induces neuronal cell death by apoptosis and causes proliferation and hypertrophy of glia, reproducing the main neuropathological features of prion-related transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Although PrP106–126 has been shown to form amyloid-like fibrils in vitro, their structural properties have not been elucidated. Here, we investigate the conformational characteristics of a fibril-forming fragment of the mouse prion protein, MoPrP106–126, by using electron microscopy, CD spectroscopy, NMR-detected hydrogen–deuterium exchange measurements, and molecular dynamics simulations. The fibrils contain ≈50% β-sheet structure, and strong amide exchange protection is limited to the central portion of the peptide spanning the palindromic sequence VAGAAAAGAV. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that MoPrP106–126 in water assumes a stable structure consisting of two four-stranded parallel β-sheets that are tightly packed against each other by methyl–methyl interactions. Fibril formation involving polyalanine stacking is consistent with the experimental observations. PMID:14657385

  3. Crystal structures of IFT70/52 and IFT52/46 provide insight into intraflagellar transport B core complex assembly

    PubMed Central

    Taschner, Michael; Kotsis, Fruzsina; Braeuer, Philipp; Kuehn, E. Wolfgang

    2014-01-01

    Cilia are microtubule-based organelles that assemble via intraflagellar transport (IFT) and function as signaling hubs on eukaryotic cells. IFT relies on molecular motors and IFT complexes that mediate the contacts with ciliary cargo. To elucidate the architecture of the IFT-B complex, we reconstituted and purified the nonameric IFT-B core from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and determined the crystal structures of C. reinhardtii IFT70/52 and Tetrahymena IFT52/46 subcomplexes. The 2.5-Å resolution IFT70/52 structure shows that IFT52330–370 is buried deeply within the IFT70 tetratricopeptide repeat superhelix. Furthermore, the polycystic kidney disease protein IFT88 binds IFT52281–329 in a complex that interacts directly with IFT70/IFT52330–381 in trans. The structure of IFT52C/IFT46C was solved at 2.3 Å resolution, and we show that it is essential for IFT-B core integrity by mediating interaction between IFT88/70/52/46 and IFT81/74/27/25/22 subcomplexes. Consistent with this, overexpression of mammalian IFT52C in MDCK cells is dominant-negative and causes IFT protein mislocalization and disrupted ciliogenesis. These data further rationalize several ciliogenesis phenotypes of IFT mutant strains. PMID:25349261

  4. The complete nucleotide sequence of PEBV RNA2 reveals the presence of a novel open reading frame and provides insights into the structure of tobraviral subgenomic promoters.

    PubMed Central

    Goulden, M G; Lomonossoff, G P; Davies, J W; Wood, K R

    1990-01-01

    The 3374 nucleotide sequence of RNA2 from the British PEBV strain SP5 has been determined. The RNA includes three open reading frames flanked by 5' and 3' noncoding regions of 509 and 480 nucleotides. The open reading frames specify coat protein, a 29.6K product homologous to the 29.1K product of TRV(TCM) RNA2 and a 23K product not homologous to any previously described protein. The homology demonstrated between the coat proteins of PRV, TRV and PEBV indicates a common evolutionary origin for these proteins. Upstream of each ORF are located sequences homologous to those with which subgenomic RNAs of other tobraviruses start. Subgenomic RNAs for the expression of the three ORFs may start at these points. On all five tobraviral RNA2 molecules sequenced to date, these sequences were found upstream of the coat protein ORF in association with a strongly-conserved potential secondary structural element. Similar potential structures were identified upstream of other tobraviral ORFs. These structures may contribute to the activity of the tobraviral subgenomic promoter. Images PMID:2388830

  5. Insights into the conformations of three structurally diverse proteins: cytochrome c, p53, and MDM2, provided by variable-temperature ion mobility mass spectrometry.

    PubMed

    Dickinson, Eleanor R; Jurneczko, Ewa; Pacholarz, Kamila J; Clarke, David J; Reeves, Matthew; Ball, Kathryn L; Hupp, Ted; Campopiano, Dominic; Nikolova, Penka V; Barran, Perdita E

    2015-03-17

    Thermally induced conformational transitions of three proteins of increasing intrinsic disorder-cytochrome c, the tumor suppressor protein p53 DNA binding domain (p53 DBD), and the N-terminus of the oncoprotein murine double minute 2 (NT-MDM2)-have been studied by native mass spectrometry and variable-temperature drift time ion mobility mass spectrometry (VT-DT-IM-MS). Ion mobility measurements were carried out at temperatures ranging from 200 to 571 K. Multiple conformations are observable over several charge states for all three monomeric proteins, and for cytochrome c, dimers of significant intensity are also observed. Cytochrome c [M + 5H](5+) ions present in one conformer of CCS ∼1200 Å(2), undergoing compaction in line with the reported Tmelt = 360.15 K before slight unfolding at 571 K. The more extended [M + 7H](7+) cytochrome c monomer presents as two conformers undergoing similar compaction and structural rearrangements, prior to thermally induced unfolding. The [D + 11H](11+) dimer presents as two conformers, which undergo slight structural compaction or annealing before dissociation. p53 DBD follows a trend of structural collapse before an increase in the observed collision cross section (CCS), akin to that observed for cytochrome c but proceeding more smoothly. At 300 K, the monomeric charge states present in two conformational families, which compact to one conformer of CCS ∼1750 Å(2) at 365 K, in line with the low solution Tmelt = 315-317 K. The protein then extends to produce either a broad unresolved CCS distribution or, for z > 9, two conformers. NT-MDM2 exhibits a greater number of structural rearrangements, displaying charge-state-dependent unfolding pathways. DT-IM-MS experiments at 200 K resolve multiple conformers. Low charge state species of NT-MDM2 present as a single compact conformational family centered on CCS ∼1250 Å(2) at 300 K. This undergoes conformational tightening in line with the solution Tmelt = 348 K before unfolding at

  6. Structure of the Small Dictyostelium discoideum Myosin Light Chain MlcB Provides Insights into MyoB IQ Motif Recognition*

    PubMed Central

    Liburd, Janine; Chitayat, Seth; Crawley, Scott W.; Munro, Kim; Miller, Emily; Denis, Chris M.; Spencer, Holly L.; Côté, Graham P.; Smith, Steven P.

    2014-01-01

    Dictyostelium discoideum MyoB is a class I myosin involved in the formation and retraction of membrane projections, cortical tension generation, membrane recycling, and phagosome maturation. The MyoB-specific, single-lobe EF-hand light chain MlcB binds the sole IQ motif of MyoB with submicromolar affinity in the absence and presence of Ca2+. However, the structural features of this novel myosin light chain and its interaction with its cognate IQ motif remain uncharacterized. Here, we describe the NMR-derived solution structure of apoMlcB, which displays a globular four-helix bundle. Helix 1 adopts a unique orientation when compared with the apo states of the EF-hand calcium-binding proteins calmodulin, S100B, and calbindin D9k. NMR-based chemical shift perturbation mapping identified a hydrophobic MyoB IQ binding surface that involves amino acid residues in helices I and IV and the functional N-terminal Ca2+ binding loop, a site that appears to be maintained when MlcB adopts the holo state. Complementary mutagenesis and binding studies indicated that residues Ile-701, Phe-705, and Trp-708 of the MyoB IQ motif are critical for recognition of MlcB, which together allowed the generation of a structural model of the apoMlcB-MyoB IQ complex. We conclude that the mode of IQ motif recognition by the novel single-lobe MlcB differs considerably from that of stereotypical bilobal light chains such as calmodulin. PMID:24790102

  7. Atomic model of a cypovirus built from cryo-EM structure provides insight into the mechanism of mRNA capping

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Lingpeng; Sun, Jingchen; Zhang, Kai; Mou, Zongjun; Huang, Xiaoxing; Ji, Gang; Sun, Fei; Zhang, Jingqiang; Zhu, Ping

    2011-01-01

    The cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (CPV) from the family Reoviridae belongs to a subgroup of “turreted” reoviruses, in which the mRNA capping activity occurs in a pentameric turret. We report a full atomic model of CPV built from a 3D density map obtained using cryoelectron microscopy. The image data for the 3D reconstruction were acquired exclusively from a CCD camera. Our structure shows that the enzymatic domains of the pentameric turret of CPV are topologically conserved and that there are five unique channels connecting the guanylyltransferase and methyltransferase regions. This structural organization reveals how the channels guide nascent mRNA sequentially to guanylyltransferase, 7-N-methyltransferase, and 2′-O-methyltransferase in the turret, undergoing the highly coordinated mRNA capping activity. Furthermore, by fitting the deduced amino acid sequence of the protein VP5 to 120 large protrusion proteins on the CPV capsid shell, we confirmed that this protrusion protein is encoded by CPV RNA segment 7. PMID:21220303

  8. Structure of the AvrBs3–DNA complex provides new insights into the initial thymine-recognition mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Stella, Stefano; Molina, Rafael; Yefimenko, Igor; Prieto, Jesús; Silva, George; Bertonati, Claudia; Juillerat, Alexandre; Duchateau, Phillippe; Montoya, Guillermo

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Fic domain-catalyzed adenylylation: Insight provided by the structural analysis of the type IV secretion system effector BepA

    PubMed Central

    Palanivelu, Dinesh V; Goepfert, Arnaud; Meury, Marcel; Guye, Patrick; Dehio, Christoph; Schirmer, Tilman

    2011-01-01

    Numerous bacterial pathogens subvert cellular functions of eukaryotic host cells by the injection of effector proteins via dedicated secretion systems. The type IV secretion system (T4SS) effector protein BepA from Bartonella henselae is composed of an N-terminal Fic domain and a C-terminal Bartonella intracellular delivery domain, the latter being responsible for T4SS-mediated translocation into host cells. A proteolysis resistant fragment (residues 10–302) that includes the Fic domain shows autoadenylylation activity and adenylyl transfer onto Hela cell extract proteins as demonstrated by autoradiography on incubation with α-[32P]-ATP. Its crystal structure, determined to 2.9-Å resolution by the SeMet-SAD method, exhibits the canonical Fic fold including the HPFxxGNGRxxR signature motif with several elaborations in loop regions and an additional β-rich domain at the C-terminus. On crystal soaking with ATP/Mg2+, additional electron density indicated the presence of a PPi/Mg2+ moiety, the side product of the adenylylation reaction, in the anion binding nest of the signature motif. On the basis of this information and that of the recent structure of IbpA(Fic2) in complex with the eukaryotic target protein Cdc42, we present a detailed model for the ternary complex of Fic with the two substrates, ATP/Mg2+ and target tyrosine. The model is consistent with an in-line nucleophilic attack of the deprotonated side-chain hydroxyl group onto the α-phosphorus of the nucleotide to accomplish AMP transfer. Furthermore, a general, sequence-independent mechanism of target positioning through antiparallel β-strand interactions between enzyme and target is suggested. PMID:21213248

  10. Crystal structure of [alpha]-COP in complex with [epsilon]-COP provides insight into the architecture of the COPI vesicular coat

    SciTech Connect

    Hsia, Kuo-Chiang; Hoelz, André

    2010-07-23

    The heptameric coatomer complex forms the protein shell of membrane-bound vesicles that are involved in transport from the Golgi to the endoplasmatic reticulum and in intraGolgi trafficking. The heptamer can be dissected into a heterotetrameric F-subcomplex, which displays similarities to the adapter complex of the 'inner' coat in clathrin-coated vesicles, and a heterotrimeric B-subcomplex, which is believed to form an 'outer' coat with a morphology distinct from that of clathrin-coated vesicles. We have determined the crystal structure of the complex between the C-terminal domain (CTD) of {alpha}-COP and full-length {epsilon}-COP, two components of the B-subcomplex, at a 2.9 {angstrom} resolution. The {alpha}-COP{sup CTD} {center_dot} {epsilon}-COP heterodimer forms a rod-shaped structure, in which {epsilon}-COP adopts a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) fold that deviates substantially from the canonical superhelical conformation. The {alpha}-COP CTD adopts a U-shaped architecture that complements the TPR fold of {epsilon}-COP. The {epsilon}-COP TPRs form a circular bracelet that wraps around a protruding {beta}-hairpin of the {alpha}-COP CTD, thus interlocking the two proteins. The {alpha}-COPCTD {center_dot} {epsilon}-COP complex forms heterodimers in solution, and we demonstrate biochemically that the heterodimer directly interacts with the Dsl1 tethering complex. These data suggest that the heterodimer is exposed on COPI vesicles, while the remaining part of the B-subcomplex oligomerizes underneath into a cage.

  11. Human serine racemase structure/activity relationship studies provide mechanistic insight and point to position 84 as a hot spot for β-elimination function.

    PubMed

    Nelson, David L; Applegate, Greg A; Beio, Matthew L; Graham, Danielle L; Berkowitz, David B

    2017-08-25

    There is currently great interest in human serine racemase, the enzyme responsible for producing the NMDA co-agonist d-serine. Reported correlation of d-serine levels with disorders including Alzheimer's disease, ALS, and ischemic brain damage (elevated d-serine) and schizophrenia (reduced d-serine) has further piqued this interest. Reported here is a structure/activity relationship study of position Ser(84), the putative re-face base. In the most extreme case of functional reprogramming, the S84D mutant displays a dramatic reversal of β-elimination substrate specificity in favor of l-serine over the normally preferred l-serine-O-sulfate (∼1200-fold change in kcat/Km ratios) and l (l-THA; ∼5000-fold change in kcat/Km ratios) alternative substrates. On the other hand, the S84T (which performs l-Ser racemization activity), S84A (good kcat but high Km for l-THA elimination), and S84N mutants (nearly WT efficiency for l-Ser elimination) displayed intermediate activity, all showing a preference for the anionic substrates, but generally attenuated compared with the native enzyme. Inhibition studies with l-erythro-β-hydroxyaspartate follow this trend, with both WT serine racemase and the S84N mutant being competitively inhibited, with Ki = 31 ± 1.5 μm and 1.5 ± 0.1 mm, respectively, and the S84D being inert to inhibition. Computational modeling pointed to a key role for residue Arg-135 in binding and properly positioning the l-THA and l-serine-O-sulfate substrates and the l-erythro-β-hydroxyaspartate inhibitor. Examination of available sequence data suggests that Arg-135 may have originated for l-THA-like β-elimination function in earlier evolutionary variants, and examination of available structural data suggests that a Ser(84)-H2O-Lys(114) hydrogen-bonding network in human serine racemase lowers the pKa of the Ser(84)re-face base. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. Structure-based in silico identification of ubiquitin-binding domains provides insights into the ALIX-V:ubiquitin complex and retrovirus budding

    PubMed Central

    Keren-Kaplan, Tal; Attali, Ilan; Estrin, Michael; Kuo, Lillian S; Farkash, Efrat; Jerabek-Willemsen, Moran; Blutraich, Noa; Artzi, Shay; Peri, Aviyah; Freed, Eric O; Wolfson, Haim J; Prag, Gali

    2013-01-01

    The ubiquitylation signal promotes trafficking of endogenous and retroviral transmembrane proteins. The signal is decoded by a large set of ubiquitin (Ub) receptors that tether Ub-binding domains (UBDs) to the trafficking machinery. We developed a structure-based procedure to scan the protein data bank for hidden UBDs. The screen retrieved many of the known UBDs. Intriguingly, new potential UBDs were identified, including the ALIX-V domain. Pull-down, cross-linking and E3-independent ubiquitylation assays biochemically corroborated the in silico findings. Guided by the output model, we designed mutations at the postulated ALIX-V:Ub interface. Biophysical affinity measurements using microscale-thermophoresis of wild-type and mutant proteins revealed some of the interacting residues of the complex. ALIX-V binds mono-Ub with a Kd of 119 μM. We show that ALIX-V oligomerizes with a Hill coefficient of 5.4 and IC50 of 27.6 μM and that mono-Ub induces ALIX-V oligomerization. Moreover, we show that ALIX-V preferentially binds K63 di-Ub compared with mono-Ub and K48 di-Ub. Finally, an in vivo functionality assay demonstrates the significance of ALIX-V:Ub interaction in equine infectious anaemia virus budding. These results not only validate the new procedure, but also demonstrate that ALIX-V directly interacts with Ub in vivo and that this interaction can influence retroviral budding. PMID:23361315

  13. Structure-based in silico identification of ubiquitin-binding domains provides insights into the ALIX-V:ubiquitin complex and retrovirus budding.

    PubMed

    Keren-Kaplan, Tal; Attali, Ilan; Estrin, Michael; Kuo, Lillian S; Farkash, Efrat; Jerabek-Willemsen, Moran; Blutraich, Noa; Artzi, Shay; Peri, Aviyah; Freed, Eric O; Wolfson, Haim J; Prag, Gali

    2013-02-20

    The ubiquitylation signal promotes trafficking of endogenous and retroviral transmembrane proteins. The signal is decoded by a large set of ubiquitin (Ub) receptors that tether Ub-binding domains (UBDs) to the trafficking machinery. We developed a structure-based procedure to scan the protein data bank for hidden UBDs. The screen retrieved many of the known UBDs. Intriguingly, new potential UBDs were identified, including the ALIX-V domain. Pull-down, cross-linking and E3-independent ubiquitylation assays biochemically corroborated the in silico findings. Guided by the output model, we designed mutations at the postulated ALIX-V:Ub interface. Biophysical affinity measurements using microscale-thermophoresis of wild-type and mutant proteins revealed some of the interacting residues of the complex. ALIX-V binds mono-Ub with a K(d) of 119 μM. We show that ALIX-V oligomerizes with a Hill coefficient of 5.4 and IC(50) of 27.6 μM and that mono-Ub induces ALIX-V oligomerization. Moreover, we show that ALIX-V preferentially binds K63 di-Ub compared with mono-Ub and K48 di-Ub. Finally, an in vivo functionality assay demonstrates the significance of ALIX-V:Ub interaction in equine infectious anaemia virus budding. These results not only validate the new procedure, but also demonstrate that ALIX-V directly interacts with Ub in vivo and that this interaction can influence retroviral budding.

  14. Structure and Properties of a Non-processive, Salt-requiring, and Acidophilic Pectin Methylesterase from Aspergillus niger Provide Insights into the Key Determinants of Processivity Control*

    PubMed Central

    Kent, Lisa M.; Loo, Trevor S.; Melton, Laurence D.; Mercadante, Davide; Williams, Martin A. K.; Jameson, Geoffrey B.

    2016-01-01

    Many pectin methylesterases (PMEs) are expressed in plants to modify plant cell-wall pectins for various physiological roles. These pectins are also attacked by PMEs from phytopathogens and phytophagous insects. The de-methylesterification by PMEs of the O6-methyl ester groups of the homogalacturonan component of pectin, exposing galacturonic acids, can occur processively or non-processively, respectively, describing sequential versus single de-methylesterification events occurring before enzyme-substrate dissociation. The high resolution x-ray structures of a PME from Aspergillus niger in deglycosylated and Asn-linked N-acetylglucosamine-stub forms reveal a 10⅔-turn parallel β-helix (similar to but with less extensive loops than bacterial, plant, and insect PMEs). Capillary electrophoresis shows that this PME is non-processive, halophilic, and acidophilic. Molecular dynamics simulations and electrostatic potential calculations reveal very different behavior and properties compared with processive PMEs. Specifically, uncorrelated rotations are observed about the glycosidic bonds of a partially de-methyl-esterified decasaccharide model substrate, in sharp contrast to the correlated rotations of processive PMEs, and the substrate-binding groove is negatively not positively charged. PMID:26567911

  15. Optimal fitting of Gaussian-apodized or under-resolved emission lines in Fourier transform spectra providing new insights on the velocity structure of NGC 6720

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin, Thomas B.; Prunet, Simon; Drissen, Laurent

    2016-12-01

    An analysis of the kinematics of NGC 6720 is performed on the commissioning data obtained with SITELLE, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope's new imaging Fourier transform spectrometer. In order to measure carefully the small broadening effect of a shell expansion on an unresolved emission line, we have determined a computationally robust implementation of the convolution of a Gaussian with a sinc instrumental line shape which avoids arithmetic overflows. This model can be used to measure line broadening of typically a few km s-1 even at low spectral resolution (R < 5000). We have also designed the corresponding set of Gaussian apodizing functions that are now used by ORBS, the SITELLE's reduction pipeline. We have implemented this model in ORCS, a fitting engine for SITELLE's data, and used it to derive the [S II] density map of the central part of the nebula. The study of the broadening of the [N II] lines shows that the main ring and the central lobe are two different shells with different expansion velocities. We have also derived deep and spatially resolved velocity maps of the halo in [N II] and Hα and found that the brightest bubbles are originating from two bipolar structures with a velocity difference of more than 35 km s-1 lying at the poles of a possibly unique halo shell expanding at a velocity of more than 15 km s-1.

  16. Structure of the AvrBs3–DNA complex provides new insights into the initial thymine-recognition mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Stella, Stefano; Molina, Rafael; Yefimenko, Igor; Prieto, Jesús; Silva, George; Bertonati, Claudia; Juillerat, Alexandre; Duchateau, Phillippe; Montoya, Guillermo

    2013-01-01

    Transcription activator-like effectors contain a DNA-binding domain organized in tandem repeats. The repeats include two adjacent residues known as the repeat variable di-residue, which recognize a single base pair, establishing a direct code between the dipeptides and the target DNA. This feature suggests this scaffold as an excellent candidate to generate new protein–DNA specificities for biotechnological applications. Here, the crystal structure of AvrBs3 (residues 152–895, molecular mass 82 kDa) in complex with its target DNA sequence is presented, revealing a new mode of interaction with the initial thymine of the target sequence, together with an analysis of both the binding specificity and the thermodynamic properties of AvrBs3. This study quantifies the affinity and the specificity between AvrBs3 and its target DNA. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo analyses reveal that AvrBs3 does not show a strict nucleotide-binding preference for the nucleotide at the zero position of the DNA, widening the number of possible sequences that could be targeted by this scaffold. PMID:23999294

  17. Evolutionary and Structural Analyses of Mammalian Haloacid Dehalogenase-type Phosphatases AUM and Chronophin Provide Insight into the Basis of Their Different Substrate Specificities*

    PubMed Central

    Seifried, Annegrit; Knobloch, Gunnar; Duraphe, Prashant S.; Segerer, Gabriela; Manhard, Julia; Schindelin, Hermann; Schultz, Jörg; Gohla, Antje

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-type phosphatases are an emerging family of phosphatases with important functions in physiology and disease, yet little is known about the basis of their substrate specificity. Here, we characterize a previously unexplored HAD family member (gene annotation, phosphoglycolate phosphatase), which we termed AUM, for aspartate-based, ubiquitous, Mg2+-dependent phosphatase. AUM is a tyrosine-specific paralog of the serine/threonine-specific protein and pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-directed HAD phosphatase chronophin. Comparative evolutionary and biochemical analyses reveal that a single, differently conserved residue in the cap domain of either AUM or chronophin is crucial for phosphatase specificity. We have solved the x-ray crystal structure of the AUM cap fused to the catalytic core of chronophin to 2.65 Å resolution and present a detailed view of the catalytic clefts of AUM and chronophin that explains their substrate preferences. Our findings identify a small number of cap domain residues that encode the different substrate specificities of AUM and chronophin. PMID:24338473

  18. Oligomeric states of the Shigella translocator protein IpaB provide structural insights into formation of the type III secretion translocon

    PubMed Central

    Dickenson, Nicholas E; Choudhari, Shyamal P; Adam, Philip R; Kramer, Ryan M; Joshi, Sangeeta B; Middaugh, C Russell; Picking, Wendy L; Picking, William D

    2013-01-01

    The Shigella flexneri Type III secretion system (T3SS) senses contact with human intestinal cells and injects effector proteins that promote pathogen entry as the first step in causing life threatening bacillary dysentery (shigellosis). The Shigella Type III secretion apparatus (T3SA) consists of an anchoring basal body, an exposed needle, and a temporally assembled tip complex. Exposure to environmental small molecules recruits IpaB, the first hydrophobic translocator protein, to the maturing tip complex. IpaB then senses contact with a host cell membrane, forming the translocon pore through which effectors are delivered to the host cytoplasm. Within the bacterium, IpaB exists as a heterodimer with its chaperone IpgC; however, IpaB's structural state following secretion is unknown due to difficulties isolating stable protein. We have overcome this by coexpressing the IpaB/IpgC heterodimer and isolating IpaB by incubating the complex in mild detergents. Interestingly, preparation of IpaB with n-octyl-oligo-oxyethylene (OPOE) results in the assembly of discrete oligomers while purification in N,N-dimethyldodecylamine N-oxide (LDAO) maintains IpaB as a monomer. In this study, we demonstrate that IpaB tetramers penetrate phospholipid membranes to allow a size-dependent release of small molecules, suggesting the formation of discrete pores. Monomeric IpaB also interacts with liposomes but fails to disrupt them. From these and additional findings, we propose that IpaB can exist as a tetramer having inherent flexibility, which allows it to cooperatively interact with and insert into host cell membranes. This event may then lay the foundation for formation of the Shigella T3SS translocon pore. PMID:23456854

  19. Wheat arabinoxylan structure provides insight into function

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Recent attention to dietary fiber in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) has invigorated research in the non-starch carbohydrate arabinoxylan. Arabinoxylan (AX) molecules are comprised of a linear xylose backbone with arabinose substitutions along the backbone. These arabinose substituents can also carry a...

  20. Structural insights into microtubule doublet interactions inaxonemes

    SciTech Connect

    Downing, Kenneth H.; Sui, Haixin

    2007-06-06

    Coordinated sliding of microtubule doublets, driven by dynein motors, produces periodic beating of the axoneme. Recent structural studies of the axoneme have used cryo-electron tomography to reveal new details of the interactions among some of the multitude of proteins that form the axoneme and regulate its movement. Connections among the several sets of dyneins, in particular, suggest ways in which their actions may be coordinated. Study of the molecular architecture of isolated doublets has provided a structural basis for understanding the doublet's mechanical properties that are related to the bending of the axoneme, and has also offered insight into its potential role in the mechanism of dynein activity regulation.

  1. Structural analysis of APOB variants, p.(Arg3527Gln), p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del), causing Familial Hypercholesterolaemia provides novel insights into variant pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Higuero, J A; Etxebarria, A; Benito-Vicente, A; Alves, A C; Arrondo, J L R; Ostolaza, H; Bourbon, M; Martin, C

    2015-12-08

    Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an inherited autosomal dominant disorder resulting from defects in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), in the apolipoprotein B (APOB) or in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) genes. In the majority of the cases FH is caused by mutations occurring within LDLR, while only few mutations in APOB and PCSK9 have been proved to cause disease. p.(Arg3527Gln) was the first mutation in APOB being identified and characterized. Recently two novel pathogenic APOB variants have been described: p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) showing impaired LDLR binding capacity, and diminished LDL uptake. The objective of this work was to analyse the structure of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants to gain insight into their pathogenicity. Secondary structure of the human ApoB100 has been investigated by infrared spectroscopy (IR) and LDL particle size both by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electron microscopy. The results show differences in secondary structure and/or in particle size of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants compared with wild type. We conclude that these changes underlie the defective binding and uptake of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants. Our study reveals that structural studies on pathogenic variants of APOB may provide very useful information to understand their role in FH disease.

  2. Structural analysis of APOB variants, p.(Arg3527Gln), p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del), causing Familial Hypercholesterolaemia provides novel insights into variant pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Fernández-Higuero, J. A.; Etxebarria, A.; Benito-Vicente, A.; Alves, A. C.; Arrondo, J. L. R.; Ostolaza, H.; Bourbon, M.; Martin, C.

    2015-01-01

    Familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is an inherited autosomal dominant disorder resulting from defects in the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR), in the apolipoprotein B (APOB) or in the proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) genes. In the majority of the cases FH is caused by mutations occurring within LDLR, while only few mutations in APOB and PCSK9 have been proved to cause disease. p.(Arg3527Gln) was the first mutation in APOB being identified and characterized. Recently two novel pathogenic APOB variants have been described: p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) showing impaired LDLR binding capacity, and diminished LDL uptake. The objective of this work was to analyse the structure of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants to gain insight into their pathogenicity. Secondary structure of the human ApoB100 has been investigated by infrared spectroscopy (IR) and LDL particle size both by dynamic light scattering (DLS) and electron microscopy. The results show differences in secondary structure and/or in particle size of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants compared with wild type. We conclude that these changes underlie the defective binding and uptake of p.(Arg1164Thr) and p.(Gln4494del) variants. Our study reveals that structural studies on pathogenic variants of APOB may provide very useful information to understand their role in FH disease. PMID:26643808

  3. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Kohei; Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  4. Social network analysis provides insights into African swine fever epidemiology.

    PubMed

    Lichoti, Jacqueline Kasiiti; Davies, Jocelyn; Kitala, Philip M; Githigia, Samuel M; Okoth, Edward; Maru, Yiheyis; Bukachi, Salome A; Bishop, Richard P

    2016-04-01

    Pig movements play a significant role in the spread of economically important infectious diseases such as the African swine fever. Characterization of movement networks between pig farms and through other types of farm and household enterprises that are involved in pig value chains can provide useful information on the role that different participants in the networks play in pathogen transmission. Analysis of social networks that underpin these pig movements can reveal pathways that are important in the transmission of disease, trade in commodities, the dissemination of information and the influence of behavioural norms. We assessed pig movements among pig keeping households within West Kenya and East Uganda and across the shared Kenya-Uganda border in the study region, to gain insight into within-country and trans-boundary pig movements. Villages were sampled using a randomized cluster design. Data were collected through interviews in 2012 and 2013 from 683 smallholder pig-keeping households in 34 villages. NodeXL software was used to describe pig movement networks at village level. The pig movement and trade networks were localized and based on close social networks involving family ties, friendships and relationships with neighbours. Pig movement network modularity ranged from 0.2 to 0.5 and exhibited good community structure within the network implying an easy flow of knowledge and adoption of new attitudes and beliefs, but also promoting an enhanced rate of disease transmission. The average path length of 5 defined using NodeXL, indicated that disease could easily reach every node in a cluster. Cross-border boar service between Uganda and Kenya was also recorded. Unmonitored trade in both directions was prevalent. While most pig transactions in the absence of disease, were at a small scale (<5km) and characterized by regular agistment, most pig sales during ASF outbreaks were to traders or other farmers from outside the sellers' village at a range of >10km

  5. Sparse regularization techniques provide novel insights into outcome integration processes.

    PubMed

    Mohr, Holger; Wolfensteller, Uta; Frimmel, Steffi; Ruge, Hannes

    2015-01-01

    By exploiting information that is contained in the spatial arrangement of neural activations, multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA) can detect distributed brain activations which are not accessible by standard univariate analysis. Recent methodological advances in MVPA regularization techniques have made it feasible to produce sparse discriminative whole-brain maps with highly specific patterns. Furthermore, the most recent refinement, the Graph Net, explicitly takes the 3D-structure of fMRI data into account. Here, these advanced classification methods were applied to a large fMRI sample (N=70) in order to gain novel insights into the functional localization of outcome integration processes. While the beneficial effect of differential outcomes is well-studied in trial-and-error learning, outcome integration in the context of instruction-based learning has remained largely unexplored. In order to examine neural processes associated with outcome integration in the context of instruction-based learning, two groups of subjects underwent functional imaging while being presented with either differential or ambiguous outcomes following the execution of varying stimulus-response instructions. While no significant univariate group differences were found in the resulting fMRI dataset, L1-regularized (sparse) classifiers performed significantly above chance and also clearly outperformed the standard L2-regularized (dense) Support Vector Machine on this whole-brain between-subject classification task. Moreover, additional L2-regularization via the Elastic Net and spatial regularization by the Graph Net improved interpretability of discriminative weight maps but were accompanied by reduced classification accuracies. Most importantly, classification based on sparse regularization facilitated the identification of highly specific regions differentially engaged under ambiguous and differential outcome conditions, comprising several prefrontal regions previously associated with

  6. Eggshell Porosity Provides Insight on Evolution of Nesting in Dinosaurs

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Knowledge about the types of nests built by dinosaurs can provide insight into the evolution of nesting and reproductive behaviors among archosaurs. However, the low preservation potential of their nesting materials and nesting structures means that most information can only be gleaned indirectly through comparison with extant archosaurs. Two general nest types are recognized among living archosaurs: 1) covered nests, in which eggs are incubated while fully covered by nesting material (as in crocodylians and megapodes), and 2) open nests, in which eggs are exposed in the nest and brooded (as in most birds). Previously, dinosaur nest types had been inferred by estimating the water vapor conductance (i.e., diffusive capacity) of their eggs, based on the premise that high conductance corresponds to covered nests and low conductance to open nests. However, a lack of statistical rigor and inconsistencies in this method render its application problematic and its validity questionable. As an alternative we propose a statistically rigorous approach to infer nest type based on large datasets of eggshell porosity and egg mass compiled for over 120 extant archosaur species and 29 archosaur extinct taxa/ootaxa. The presence of a strong correlation between eggshell porosity and nest type among extant archosaurs indicates that eggshell porosity can be used as a proxy for nest type, and thus discriminant analyses can help predict nest type in extinct taxa. Our results suggest that: 1) covered nests are likely the primitive condition for dinosaurs (and probably archosaurs), and 2) open nests first evolved among non-avian theropods more derived than Lourinhanosaurus and were likely widespread in non-avian maniraptorans, well before the appearance of birds. Although taphonomic evidence suggests that basal open nesters (i.e., oviraptorosaurs and troodontids) were potentially the first dinosaurs to brood their clutches, they still partially buried their eggs in sediment. Open nests

  7. The Crystal Structures of Substrate and Nucleotide Complexes of Enterococcus faecium Aminoglycoside-2′′-Phosphotransferase-IIa [APH(2′′)-IIa] Provide Insights into Substrate Selectivity in the APH(2′′) Subfamily▿ ‡

    PubMed Central

    Young, Paul G.; Walanj, Rupa; Lakshmi, Vendula; Byrnes, Laura J.; Metcalf, Peter; Baker, Edward N.; Vakulenko, Sergei B.; Smith, Clyde A.

    2009-01-01

    Aminoglycoside-2′′-phosphotransferase-IIa [APH(2′′)-IIa] is one of a number of homologous bacterial enzymes responsible for the deactivation of the aminoglycoside family of antibiotics and is thus a major component in bacterial resistance to these compounds. APH(2′′)-IIa produces resistance to several clinically important aminoglycosides (including kanamycin and gentamicin) in both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, most notably in Enterococcus species. We have determined the structures of two complexes of APH(2′′)-IIa, the binary gentamicin complex and a ternary complex containing adenosine-5′-(β,γ-methylene)triphosphate (AMPPCP) and streptomycin. This is the first crystal structure of a member of the APH(2′′) family of aminoglycoside phosphotransferases. The structure of the gentamicin-APH(2′′)-IIa complex was solved by multiwavelength anomalous diffraction methods from a single selenomethionine-substituted crystal and was refined to a crystallographic R factor of 0.210 (Rfree, 0.271) at a resolution of 2.5 Å. The structure of the AMPPCP-streptomycin complex was solved by molecular replacement using the gentamicin-APH(2′′)-IIa complex as the starting model. The enzyme has a two-domain structure with the substrate binding site located in a cleft in the C-terminal domain. Gentamicin binding is facilitated by a number of conserved acidic residues lining the binding cleft, with the A and B rings of the substrate forming the majority of the interactions. The inhibitor streptomycin, although binding in the same pocket as gentamicin, is orientated such that no potential phosphorylation sites are adjacent to the catalytic aspartate residue. The binding of gentamicin and streptomycin provides structural insights into the substrate selectivity of the APH(2′′) subfamily of aminoglycoside phosphotransferases, specifically, the selectivity between the 4,6-disubstituted and the 4,5-disubstituted aminoglycosides. PMID:19429619

  8. Prevalent Exon-Intron Structural Changes in the APETALA1/FRUITFULL, SEPALLATA, AGAMOUS-LIKE6, and FLOWERING LOCUS C MADS-Box Gene Subfamilies Provide New Insights into Their Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Xianxian; Duan, Xiaoshan; Zhang, Rui; Fu, Xuehao; Ye, Lingling; Kong, Hongzhi; Xu, Guixia; Shan, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    AP1/FUL, SEP, AGL6, and FLC subfamily genes play important roles in flower development. The phylogenetic relationships among them, however, have been controversial, which impedes our understanding of the origin and functional divergence of these genes. One possible reason for the controversy may be the problems caused by changes in the exon-intron structure of genes, which, according to recent studies, may generate non-homologous sites and hamper the homology-based sequence alignment. In this study, we first performed exon-by-exon alignments of these and three outgroup subfamilies (SOC1, AG, and STK). Phylogenetic trees reconstructed based on these matrices show improved resolution and better congruence with species phylogeny. In the context of these phylogenies, we traced evolutionary changes of exon-intron structures in each subfamily. We found that structural changes have occurred frequently following gene duplication and speciation events. Notably, exons 7 and 8 (if present) suffered more structural changes than others. With the knowledge of exon-intron structural changes, we generated more reasonable alignments containing all the focal subfamilies. The resulting trees showed that the SEP subfamily is sister to the monophyletic group formed by AP1/FUL and FLC subfamily genes and that the AGL6 subfamily forms a sister group to the three abovementioned subfamilies. Based on this topology, we inferred the evolutionary history of exon-intron structural changes among different subfamilies. Particularly, we found that the eighth exon originated before the divergence of AP1/FUL, FLC, SEP, and AGL6 subfamilies and degenerated in the ancestral FLC-like gene. These results provide new insights into the origin and evolution of the AP1/FUL, FLC, SEP, and AGL6 subfamilies. PMID:27200066

  9. Saccharina genomes provide novel insight into kelp biology

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Naihao; Zhang, Xiaowen; Miao, Miao; Fan, Xiao; Zheng, Yi; Xu, Dong; Wang, Jinfeng; Zhou, Lin; Wang, Dongsheng; Gao, Yuan; Wang, Yitao; Shi, Wenyu; Ji, Peifeng; Li, Demao; Guan, Zheng; Shao, Changwei; Zhuang, Zhimeng; Gao, Zhengquan; Qi, Ji; Zhao, Fangqing

    2015-01-01

    Seaweeds are essential for marine ecosystems and have immense economic value. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of the draft genome of Saccharina japonica, one of the most economically important seaweeds. The 537-Mb assembled genomic sequence covered 98.5% of the estimated genome, and 18,733 protein-coding genes are predicted and annotated. Gene families related to cell wall synthesis, halogen concentration, development and defence systems were expanded. Functional diversification of the mannuronan C-5-epimerase and haloperoxidase gene families provides insight into the evolutionary adaptation of polysaccharide biosynthesis and iodine antioxidation. Additional sequencing of seven cultivars and nine wild individuals reveal that the genetic diversity within wild populations is greater than among cultivars. All of the cultivars are descendants of a wild S. japonica accession showing limited admixture with S. longissima. This study represents an important advance toward improving yields and economic traits in Saccharina and provides an invaluable resource for plant genome studies. PMID:25908475

  10. Genomic analyses provide insights into the history of tomato breeding.

    PubMed

    Lin, Tao; Zhu, Guangtao; Zhang, Junhong; Xu, Xiangyang; Yu, Qinghui; Zheng, Zheng; Zhang, Zhonghua; Lun, Yaoyao; Li, Shuai; Wang, Xiaoxuan; Huang, Zejun; Li, Junming; Zhang, Chunzhi; Wang, Taotao; Zhang, Yuyang; Wang, Aoxue; Zhang, Yancong; Lin, Kui; Li, Chuanyou; Xiong, Guosheng; Xue, Yongbiao; Mazzucato, Andrea; Causse, Mathilde; Fei, Zhangjun; Giovannoni, James J; Chetelat, Roger T; Zamir, Dani; Städler, Thomas; Li, Jingfu; Ye, Zhibiao; Du, Yongchen; Huang, Sanwen

    2014-11-01

    The histories of crop domestication and breeding are recorded in genomes. Although tomato is a model species for plant biology and breeding, the nature of human selection that altered its genome remains largely unknown. Here we report a comprehensive analysis of tomato evolution based on the genome sequences of 360 accessions. We provide evidence that domestication and improvement focused on two independent sets of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), resulting in modern tomato fruit ∼100 times larger than its ancestor. Furthermore, we discovered a major genomic signature for modern processing tomatoes, identified the causative variants that confer pink fruit color and precisely visualized the linkage drag associated with wild introgressions. This study outlines the accomplishments as well as the costs of historical selection and provides molecular insights toward further improvement.

  11. Saccharina genomes provide novel insight into kelp biology.

    PubMed

    Ye, Naihao; Zhang, Xiaowen; Miao, Miao; Fan, Xiao; Zheng, Yi; Xu, Dong; Wang, Jinfeng; Zhou, Lin; Wang, Dongsheng; Gao, Yuan; Wang, Yitao; Shi, Wenyu; Ji, Peifeng; Li, Demao; Guan, Zheng; Shao, Changwei; Zhuang, Zhimeng; Gao, Zhengquan; Qi, Ji; Zhao, Fangqing

    2015-04-24

    Seaweeds are essential for marine ecosystems and have immense economic value. Here we present a comprehensive analysis of the draft genome of Saccharina japonica, one of the most economically important seaweeds. The 537-Mb assembled genomic sequence covered 98.5% of the estimated genome, and 18,733 protein-coding genes are predicted and annotated. Gene families related to cell wall synthesis, halogen concentration, development and defence systems were expanded. Functional diversification of the mannuronan C-5-epimerase and haloperoxidase gene families provides insight into the evolutionary adaptation of polysaccharide biosynthesis and iodine antioxidation. Additional sequencing of seven cultivars and nine wild individuals reveal that the genetic diversity within wild populations is greater than among cultivars. All of the cultivars are descendants of a wild S. japonica accession showing limited admixture with S. longissima. This study represents an important advance toward improving yields and economic traits in Saccharina and provides an invaluable resource for plant genome studies.

  12. Neutron structure of the T26H mutant of T4 phage lysozyme provides insight into the catalytic activity of the mutant enzyme and how it differs from that of wild type

    PubMed Central

    Meilleur, Flora; Shimizu, Rumi; Shibazaki, Chie; Tamada, Taro; Kuroki, Ryota

    2017-01-01

    Abstract T4 phage lysozyme is an inverting glycoside hydrolase that degrades the murein of bacterial cell walls by cleaving the β‐1,4‐glycosidic bond. The substitution of the catalytic Thr26 residue to a histidine converts the wild type from an inverting to a retaining enzyme, which implies that the original general acid Glu11 can also act as an acid/base catalyst in the hydrolysis. Here, we have determined the neutron structure of the perdeuterated T26H mutant to clarify the protonation states of Glu11 and the substituted His26, which are key in the retaining reaction. The 2.09‐Å resolution structure shows that the imidazole group of His26 is in its singly protonated form in the active site, suggesting that the deprotonated Nɛ2 atom of His26 can attack the anomeric carbon of bound substrate as a nucleophile. The carboxyl group of Glu11 is partially protonated and interacts with the unusual neutral state of the guanidine moiety of Arg145, as well as two heavy water molecules. Considering that one of the water‐binding sites has the potential to be occupied by a hydronium ion, the bulk solvent could be the source for the protonation of Glu11. The respective protonation states of Glu11 and His26 are consistent with the bond lengths determined by an unrestrained refinement of the high‐resolution X‐ray structure of T26H at 1.04‐Å resolution. The detail structural information, including the coordinates of the deuterium atoms in the active site, provides insight into the distinctively different catalytic activities of the mutant and wild type enzymes. PMID:28707339

  13. Structure of the LINGO-1-anti-LINGO-1 Li81 antibody complex provides insights into the biology of LINGO-1 and the mechanism of action of the antibody therapy.

    PubMed

    Pepinsky, R Blake; Arndt, Joseph W; Quan, Chao; Gao, Yan; Quintero-Monzon, Omar; Lee, Xinhua; Mi, Sha

    2014-07-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune-inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (CNS) with prominent demyelination and axonal injury. While most MS therapies target the immunologic response, there is a large unmet need for treatments that can promote CNS repair. LINGO-1 (leucine-rich repeat and Ig-containing Nogo receptor interacting protein-1) is a membrane protein selectively expressed in the CNS that suppresses myelination, preventing the repair of damaged axons. We are investigating LINGO-1 antagonist antibodies that lead to remyelination as a new paradigm for treatment of individuals with MS. The anti-LINGO-1 Li81 antibody,BIIB033, is currently in clinical trials and is the first MS treatment targeting CNS repair. Here, to elucidate the mechanism of action of the antibody, we solved the crystal structure of the LINGO-1-Li81 Fab complex and used biochemical and functional studies to investigate structure-function relationships. Li81 binds to the convex surface of the leucine-rich repeat domain of LINGO-1 within repeats 4-8. Fab binding blocks contact points used in the oligomerization of LINGO-1 and produces a stable complex containing two copies each of LINGO-1 and Fab that results from a rearrangement of contacts stabilizing the quaternary structure of LINGO-1. The formation of the LINGO-1-Li81 Fab complex masks functional epitopes within the Ig domain of LINGO-1 that are important for its biologic activity in oligodendrocyte differentiation. These studies provide new insights into the structure and biology of LINGO-1 and how Li81 monoclonal antibody can block its function.

  14. Neutron structure of the T26H mutant of T4 phage lysozyme provides insight into the catalytic activity of the mutant enzyme and how it differs from that of wild type.

    PubMed

    Hiromoto, Takeshi; Meilleur, Flora; Shimizu, Rumi; Shibazaki, Chie; Adachi, Motoyasu; Tamada, Taro; Kuroki, Ryota

    2017-07-13

    T4 phage lysozyme is an inverting glycoside hydrolase that degrades the murein of bacterial cell walls by cleaving the β-1,4-glycosidic bond. The substitution of the catalytic Thr26 residue to a histidine converts the wild type from an inverting to a retaining enzyme, which implies that the original general acid Glu11 can also act as an acid/base catalyst in the hydrolysis. Here, we have determined the neutron structure of the perdeuterated T26H mutant to clarify the protonation states of Glu11 and the substituted His26, which are key in the retaining reaction. The 2.09-Å resolution structure shows that the imidazole group of His26 is in its singly protonated form in the active site, suggesting that the deprotonated Nɛ2 atom of His26 can attack the anomeric carbon of bound substrate as a nucleophile. The carboxyl group of Glu11 is partially protonated and interacts with the unusual neutral state of the guanidine moiety of Arg145, as well as two heavy water molecules. Considering that one of the water-binding sites has the potential to be occupied by a hydronium ion, the bulk solvent could be the source for the protonation of Glu11. The respective protonation states of Glu11 and His26 are consistent with the bond lengths determined by an unrestrained refinement of the high-resolution X-ray structure of T26H at 1.04-Å resolution. The detail structural information, including the coordinates of the deuterium atoms in the active site, provides insight into the distinctively different catalytic activities of the mutant and wild type enzymes. © 2017 The Authors Protein Science published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Protein Society.

  15. Genomic characterization provides new insight into Salmonella phage diversity

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Salmonella is a widely distributed foodborne pathogen that causes tens of millions of salmonellosis cases globally every year. While the genomic diversity of Salmonella is increasingly well studied, our knowledge of Salmonella phage genomic diversity is still rather limited, despite the contributions of both lysogenic and lytic phages to Salmonella virulence, diversity and ecology (e.g., through horizontal gene transfer and Salmonella lysis). To gain a better understanding of phage diversity in a specific ecological niche, we sequenced 22 Salmonella phages isolated from a number of dairy farms from New York State (United States) and analyzed them using a comparative genomics approach. Results Classification of the 22 phages according to the presence/absence of orthologous genes allowed for classification into 8 well supported clusters. In addition to two phage clusters that represent novel virulent Salmonella phages, we also identified four phage clusters that each contained previously characterized phages from multiple continents. Our analyses also identified two clusters of phages that carry putative virulence (e.g., adhesins) and antimicrobial resistance (tellurite and bicyclomycin) genes as well as virulent and temperate transducing phages. Insights into phage evolution from our analyses include (i) identification of DNA metabolism genes that may facilitate nucleotide synthesis in phages with a G+C % distinct from Salmonella, and (ii) evidence of Salmonella phage tailspike and fiber diversity due to both single nucleotide polymorphisms and major re-arrangements, which may affect the host specificity of Salmonella phages. Conclusions Genomics-based characterization of 22 Salmonella phages isolated from dairy farms allowed for identification of a number of novel Salmonella phages. While the comparative genomics analyses of these phages provide a number of new insights in the evolution and diversity of Salmonella phages, they only represent a first

  16. Combined EXAFS and DFT Structure Calculations Provide Structural Insights into the 1:1 Multi-Histidine Complexes of CuII, CuI and ZnII with the Tandem Octarepeats of the Mammalian Prion Protein

    PubMed Central

    Pushie, M. Jake; Nienaber, Kurt H.; McDonald, Alex; Millhauser, Glenn L.; George, Graham N.

    2014-01-01

    The metal coordinating properties of the prion protein (PrP) have been the subject of intense focus and debate since the first reports of copper interaction with PrP just before the turn of the century. The picture of metal coordination to PrP has been improved and refined over the past decade, and yet the structural details of the various metal coordination modes have not been fully elucidated in some cases. Herein we employ X-ray absorption near edge spectroscopy as well as extended X-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS) spectroscopy to structurally characterize the dominant 1:1 coordination modes for CuII, CuI and ZnII with an N-terminal fragment of PrP. The PrP fragment constitutes four tandem repeats representative of the mammalian octarepeat domain, designated OR4, which is also the most studied PrP fragment for metal interactions, making our findings applicable to a large body of previous work. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations provide additional structural and thermodynamic data, and candidate structures are used to inform EXAFS data analysis. The optimized geometries from DFT calculations are used to identify potential coordination complexes for multi-histidine coordination of CuII, CuI and ZnII in an aqueous medium, modeled using 4-methylimidazole to represent the histidine side chain. Through a combination of in silico coordination chemistry as well as rigorous EXAFS curve fitting, using full multiple scattering on candidate structures from DFT calculations, we have characterized the predominant coordination modes for the 1:1 complexes of CuII, CuI and ZnII with the OR4 peptide at pH 7.4 at atomic resolution, which are best represented as a square planar [CuII(His)4]2+, digonal [CuI(His)2]+ and tetrahedral [ZnII(His)3(OH2)]2+, respectively. PMID:25042361

  17. CONSTRICTOR: Constraint Modification Provides Insight into Design of Biochemical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Erickson, Keesha E.; Gill, Ryan T.; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2014-01-01

    Advances in computational methods that allow for exploration of the combinatorial mutation space are needed to realize the potential of synthetic biology based strain engineering efforts. Here, we present Constrictor, a computational framework that uses flux balance analysis (FBA) to analyze inhibitory effects of genetic mutations on the performance of biochemical networks. Constrictor identifies engineering interventions by classifying the reactions in the metabolic model depending on the extent to which their flux must be decreased to achieve the overproduction target. The optimal inhibition of various reaction pathways is determined by restricting the flux through targeted reactions below the steady state levels of a baseline strain. Constrictor generates unique in silico strains, each representing an “expression state”, or a combination of gene expression levels required to achieve the overproduction target. The Constrictor framework is demonstrated by studying overproduction of ethylene in Escherichia coli network models iAF1260 and iJO1366 through the addition of the heterologous ethylene-forming enzyme from Pseudomonas syringae. Targeting individual reactions as well as combinations of reactions reveals in silico mutants that are predicted to have as high as 25% greater theoretical ethylene yields than the baseline strain during simulated exponential growth. Altering the degree of restriction reveals a large distribution of ethylene yields, while analysis of the expression states that return lower yields provides insight into system bottlenecks. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of Constrictor to scan networks and provide targets for a range of possible products. Constrictor is an adaptable technique that can be used to generate and analyze disparate populations of in silico mutants, select gene expression levels and provide non-intuitive strategies for metabolic engineering. PMID:25422896

  18. Genetic Determinants of Epigenetic Patterns: Providing Insight into Disease.

    PubMed

    Cazaly, Emma; Charlesworth, Jac; Dickinson, Joanne L; Holloway, Adele F

    2015-03-26

    The field of epigenetics and our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the establishment, maintenance and heritability of epigenetic patterns continue to grow at a remarkable rate. This information is providing increased understanding of the role of epigenetic changes in disease, insight into the underlying causes of these epigenetic changes and revealing new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Epigenetic modifiers are increasingly being pursued as therapeutic targets in a range of diseases, with a number of agents targeting epigenetic modifications already proving effective in diseases such as cancer. Although it is well established that DNA mutations and aberrant expression of epigenetic modifiers play a key role in disease, attention is now turning to the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors in complex disease etiology. The role of genetic variability in determining epigenetic profiles, which can then be modified by environmental and stochastic factors, is becoming more apparent. Understanding the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors is likely to aid in identifying individuals most likely to benefit from epigenetic therapies. This goal is coming closer to realization because of continual advances in laboratory and statistical tools enabling improvements in the integration of genomic, epigenomic and phenotypic data.

  19. Comparative Genomics Provide Insights into Evolution of Trichoderma Nutrition Style

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Bin-Bin; Qin, Qi-Long; Shi, Mei; Chen, Lei-Lei; Shu, Yan-Li; Luo, Yan; Wang, Xiao-Wei; Rong, Jin-Cheng; Gong, Zhi-Ting; Li, Dan; Sun, Cai-Yun; Liu, Gui-Ming; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Pang, Xiu-Hua; Huang, Feng; Liu, Weifeng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong; Song, Xiao-Yan

    2014-01-01

    Saprotrophy on plant biomass is a recently developed nutrition strategy for Trichoderma. However, the physiology and evolution of this new nutrition strategy is still elusive. We report the deep sequencing and analysis of the genome of Trichoderma longibrachiatum, an efficient cellulase producer. The 31.7-Mb genome, smallest among the sequenced Trichoderma species, encodes fewer nutrition-related genes than saprotrophic T. reesei (Tr), including glycoside hydrolases and nonribosomal peptide synthetase–polyketide synthase. Homology and phylogenetic analyses suggest that a large number of nutrition-related genes, including GH18 chitinases, β-1,3/1,6-glucanases, cellulolytic enzymes, and hemicellulolytic enzymes, were lost in the common ancestor of T. longibrachiatum (Tl) and Tr. dN/dS (ω) calculation indicates that all the nutrition-related genes analyzed are under purifying selection. Cellulolytic enzymes, the key enzymes for saprotrophy on plant biomass, are under stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr than in mycoparasitic species, suggesting that development of the nutrition strategy of saprotrophy on plant biomass has increased the selection pressure. In addition, aspartic proteases, serine proteases, and metalloproteases are subject to stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr, suggesting that these enzymes may also play important roles in the nutrition. This study provides insights into the physiology and evolution of the nutrition strategy of Trichoderma. PMID:24482532

  20. Comparative genomics provide insights into evolution of trichoderma nutrition style.

    PubMed

    Xie, Bin-Bin; Qin, Qi-Long; Shi, Mei; Chen, Lei-Lei; Shu, Yan-Li; Luo, Yan; Wang, Xiao-Wei; Rong, Jin-Cheng; Gong, Zhi-Ting; Li, Dan; Sun, Cai-Yun; Liu, Gui-Ming; Dong, Xiao-Wei; Pang, Xiu-Hua; Huang, Feng; Liu, Weifeng; Chen, Xiu-Lan; Zhou, Bai-Cheng; Zhang, Yu-Zhong; Song, Xiao-Yan

    2014-02-01

    Saprotrophy on plant biomass is a recently developed nutrition strategy for Trichoderma. However, the physiology and evolution of this new nutrition strategy is still elusive. We report the deep sequencing and analysis of the genome of Trichoderma longibrachiatum, an efficient cellulase producer. The 31.7-Mb genome, smallest among the sequenced Trichoderma species, encodes fewer nutrition-related genes than saprotrophic T. reesei (Tr), including glycoside hydrolases and nonribosomal peptide synthetase-polyketide synthase. Homology and phylogenetic analyses suggest that a large number of nutrition-related genes, including GH18 chitinases, β-1,3/1,6-glucanases, cellulolytic enzymes, and hemicellulolytic enzymes, were lost in the common ancestor of T. longibrachiatum (Tl) and Tr. dN/dS (ω) calculation indicates that all the nutrition-related genes analyzed are under purifying selection. Cellulolytic enzymes, the key enzymes for saprotrophy on plant biomass, are under stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr than in mycoparasitic species, suggesting that development of the nutrition strategy of saprotrophy on plant biomass has increased the selection pressure. In addition, aspartic proteases, serine proteases, and metalloproteases are subject to stronger purifying selection pressure in Tl and Tr, suggesting that these enzymes may also play important roles in the nutrition. This study provides insights into the physiology and evolution of the nutrition strategy of Trichoderma.

  1. Marsupial Genome Sequences: Providing Insight into Evolution and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Deakin, Janine E.

    2012-01-01

    Marsupials (metatherians), with their position in vertebrate phylogeny and their unique biological features, have been studied for many years by a dedicated group of researchers, but it has only been since the sequencing of the first marsupial genome that their value has been more widely recognised. We now have genome sequences for three distantly related marsupial species (the grey short-tailed opossum, the tammar wallaby, and Tasmanian devil), with the promise of many more genomes to be sequenced in the near future, making this a particularly exciting time in marsupial genomics. The emergence of a transmissible cancer, which is obliterating the Tasmanian devil population, has increased the importance of obtaining and analysing marsupial genome sequence for understanding such diseases as well as for conservation efforts. In addition, these genome sequences have facilitated studies aimed at answering questions regarding gene and genome evolution and provided insight into the evolution of epigenetic mechanisms. Here I highlight the major advances in our understanding of evolution and disease, facilitated by marsupial genome projects, and speculate on the future contributions to be made by such sequences. PMID:24278712

  2. Genetic Determinants of Epigenetic Patterns: Providing Insight into Disease

    PubMed Central

    Cazaly, Emma; Charlesworth, Jac; Dickinson, Joanne L; Holloway, Adele F

    2015-01-01

    The field of epigenetics and our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate the establishment, maintenance and heritability of epigenetic patterns continue to grow at a remarkable rate. This information is providing increased understanding of the role of epigenetic changes in disease, insight into the underlying causes of these epigenetic changes and revealing new avenues for therapeutic intervention. Epigenetic modifiers are increasingly being pursued as therapeutic targets in a range of diseases, with a number of agents targeting epigenetic modifications already proving effective in diseases such as cancer. Although it is well established that DNA mutations and aberrant expression of epigenetic modifiers play a key role in disease, attention is now turning to the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors in complex disease etiology. The role of genetic variability in determining epigenetic profiles, which can then be modified by environmental and stochastic factors, is becoming more apparent. Understanding the interplay between genetic and epigenetic factors is likely to aid in identifying individuals most likely to benefit from epigenetic therapies. This goal is coming closer to realization because of continual advances in laboratory and statistical tools enabling improvements in the integration of genomic, epigenomic and phenotypic data. PMID:25822796

  3. Small teleost fish provide new insights into human skeletal diseases.

    PubMed

    Witten, P E; Harris, M P; Huysseune, A; Winkler, C

    2017-01-01

    Small teleost fish such as zebrafish and medaka are increasingly studied as models for human skeletal diseases. Efficient new genome editing tools combined with advances in the analysis of skeletal phenotypes provide new insights into fundamental processes of skeletal development. The skeleton among vertebrates is a highly conserved organ system, but teleost fish and mammals have evolved unique traits or have lost particular skeletal elements in each lineage. Several unique features of the skeleton relate to the extremely small size of early fish embryos and the small size of adult fish used as models. A detailed analysis of the plethora of interesting skeletal phenotypes in zebrafish and medaka pushes available skeletal imaging techniques to their respective limits and promotes the development of new imaging techniques. Impressive numbers of zebrafish and medaka mutants with interesting skeletal phenotypes have been characterized, complemented by transgenic zebrafish and medaka lines. The advent of efficient genome editing tools, such as TALEN and CRISPR/Cas9, allows to introduce targeted deficiencies in genes of model teleosts to generate skeletal phenotypes that resemble human skeletal diseases. This review will also discuss other attractive aspects of the teleost skeleton. This includes the capacity for lifelong tooth replacement and for the regeneration of dermal skeletal elements, such as scales and fin rays, which further increases the value of zebrafish and medaka models for skeletal research.

  4. The complex jujube genome provides insights into fruit tree biology.

    PubMed

    Liu, Meng-Jun; Zhao, Jin; Cai, Qing-Le; Liu, Guo-Cheng; Wang, Jiu-Rui; Zhao, Zhi-Hui; Liu, Ping; Dai, Li; Yan, Guijun; Wang, Wen-Jiang; Li, Xian-Song; Chen, Yan; Sun, Yu-Dong; Liu, Zhi-Guo; Lin, Min-Juan; Xiao, Jing; Chen, Ying-Ying; Li, Xiao-Feng; Wu, Bin; Ma, Yong; Jian, Jian-Bo; Yang, Wei; Yuan, Zan; Sun, Xue-Chao; Wei, Yan-Li; Yu, Li-Li; Zhang, Chi; Liao, Sheng-Guang; He, Rong-Jun; Guang, Xuan-Min; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Yue-Yang; Luo, Long-Hai

    2014-10-28

    The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.), a member of family Rhamnaceae, is a major dry fruit and a traditional herbal medicine for more than one billion people. Here we present a high-quality sequence for the complex jujube genome, the first genome sequence of Rhamnaceae, using an integrated strategy. The final assembly spans 437.65 Mb (98.6% of the estimated) with 321.45 Mb anchored to the 12 pseudo-chromosomes and contains 32,808 genes. The jujube genome has undergone frequent inter-chromosome fusions and segmental duplications, but no recent whole-genome duplication. Further analyses of the jujube-specific genes and transcriptome data from 15 tissues reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying some specific properties of the jujube. Its high vitamin C content can be attributed to a unique high level expression of genes involved in both biosynthesis and regeneration. Our study provides insights into jujube-specific biology and valuable genomic resources for the improvement of Rhamnaceae plants and other fruit trees.

  5. The complex jujube genome provides insights into fruit tree biology

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Meng-Jun; Zhao, Jin; Cai, Qing-Le; Liu, Guo-Cheng; Wang, Jiu-Rui; Zhao, Zhi-Hui; Liu, Ping; Dai, Li; Yan, Guijun; Wang, Wen-Jiang; Li, Xian-Song; Chen, Yan; Sun, Yu-Dong; Liu, Zhi-Guo; Lin, Min-Juan; Xiao, Jing; Chen, Ying-Ying; Li, Xiao-Feng; Wu, Bin; Ma, Yong; Jian, Jian-Bo; Yang, Wei; Yuan, Zan; Sun, Xue-Chao; Wei, Yan-Li; Yu, Li-Li; Zhang, Chi; Liao, Sheng-Guang; He, Rong-Jun; Guang, Xuan-Min; Wang, Zhuo; Zhang, Yue-Yang; Luo, Long-Hai

    2014-01-01

    The jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.), a member of family Rhamnaceae, is a major dry fruit and a traditional herbal medicine for more than one billion people. Here we present a high-quality sequence for the complex jujube genome, the first genome sequence of Rhamnaceae, using an integrated strategy. The final assembly spans 437.65 Mb (98.6% of the estimated) with 321.45 Mb anchored to the 12 pseudo-chromosomes and contains 32,808 genes. The jujube genome has undergone frequent inter-chromosome fusions and segmental duplications, but no recent whole-genome duplication. Further analyses of the jujube-specific genes and transcriptome data from 15 tissues reveal the molecular mechanisms underlying some specific properties of the jujube. Its high vitamin C content can be attributed to a unique high level expression of genes involved in both biosynthesis and regeneration. Our study provides insights into jujube-specific biology and valuable genomic resources for the improvement of Rhamnaceae plants and other fruit trees. PMID:25350882

  6. Latest insights on adenovirus structure and assembly.

    PubMed

    San Martín, Carmen

    2012-05-01

    Adenovirus (AdV) capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å) and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25), but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber) had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies.

  7. Latest Insights on Adenovirus Structure and Assembly

    PubMed Central

    San Martín, Carmen

    2012-01-01

    Adenovirus (AdV) capsid organization is considerably complex, not only because of its large size (~950 Å) and triangulation number (pseudo T = 25), but also because it contains four types of minor proteins in specialized locations modulating the quasi-equivalent icosahedral interactions. Up until 2009, only its major components (hexon, penton, and fiber) had separately been described in atomic detail. Their relationships within the virion, and the location of minor coat proteins, were inferred from combining the known crystal structures with increasingly more detailed cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) maps. There was no structural information on assembly intermediates. Later on that year, two reports described the structural differences between the mature and immature adenoviral particle, starting to shed light on the different stages of viral assembly, and giving further insights into the roles of core and minor coat proteins during morphogenesis [1,2]. Finally, in 2010, two papers describing the atomic resolution structure of the complete virion appeared [3,4]. These reports represent a veritable tour de force for two structural biology techniques: X-ray crystallography and cryoEM, as this is the largest macromolecular complex solved at high resolution by either of them. In particular, the cryoEM analysis provided an unprecedented clear picture of the complex protein networks shaping the icosahedral shell. Here I review these latest developments in the field of AdV structural studies. PMID:22754652

  8. Can tobacco dependence provide insights into other drug addictions?

    PubMed

    DiFranza, Joseph R

    2016-10-27

    Within the field of addiction research, individuals tend to operate within silos of knowledge focused on specific drug classes. The discovery that tobacco dependence develops in a progression of stages and that the latency to the onset of withdrawal symptoms after the last use of tobacco changes over time have provided insights into how tobacco dependence develops that might be applied to the study of other drugs.As physical dependence on tobacco develops, it progresses through previously unrecognized clinical stages of wanting, craving and needing. The latency to withdrawal is a measure of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal, extending from the last use of tobacco to the emergence of withdrawal symptoms. Symptomatic withdrawal is characterized by a wanting phase, a craving phase, and a needing phase. The intensity of the desire to smoke that is triggered by withdrawal correlates with brain activity in addiction circuits. With repeated tobacco use, the latency to withdrawal shrinks from as long as several weeks to as short as several minutes. The shortening of the asymptomatic phase of withdrawal drives an escalation of smoking, first in terms of the number of smoking days/month until daily smoking commences, then in terms of cigarettes smoked/day.The discoveries of the stages of physical dependence and the latency to withdrawal raises the question, does physical dependence develop in stages with other drugs? Is the latency to withdrawal for other substances measured in weeks at the onset of dependence? Does it shorten over time? The research methods that uncovered how tobacco dependence emerges might be fruitfully applied to the investigation of other addictions.

  9. Understanding cochleate formation: insights into structural development.

    PubMed

    Nagarsekar, Kalpa; Ashtikar, Mukul; Steiniger, Frank; Thamm, Jana; Schacher, Felix; Fahr, Alfred

    2016-04-20

    Understanding the structure and the self-assembly process of cochleates has become increasingly necessary considering the advances of this drug delivery system towards the pharmaceutical industry. It is well known that the addition of cations like calcium to a dispersion of anionic lipids such as phosphatidylserines results in stable, multilamellar cochleates through a spontaneous assembly. In the current investigation we have studied the intermediate structures generated during this self-assembly of cochleates. To achieve this, we have varied the process temperature for altering the rate of cochleate formation. Our findings from electron microscopy studies showed the formation of ribbonlike structures, which with proceeding interaction associate to form lipid stacks, networks and eventually cochleates. We also observed that the variation in lipid acyl chains did not make a remarkable difference to the type of structure evolved during the formation of cochleates. More generally, our observations provide a new insight into the self-assembly process of cochleates based on which we have proposed a pathway for cochleate formation from phosphatidylserine and calcium. This knowledge could be employed in using cochleates for a variety of possible biomedical applications in the future.

  10. Structural insights into transcription complexes.

    PubMed

    Berger, Imre; Blanco, Alexandre G; Boelens, Rolf; Cavarelli, Jean; Coll, Miquel; Folkers, Gert E; Nie, Yan; Pogenberg, Vivian; Schultz, Patrick; Wilmanns, Matthias; Moras, Dino; Poterszman, Arnaud

    2011-08-01

    Control of transcription allows the regulation of cell activity in response to external stimuli and research in the field has greatly benefited from efforts in structural biology. In this review, based on specific examples from the European SPINE2-COMPLEXES initiative, we illustrate the impact of structural proteomics on our understanding of the molecular basis of gene expression. While most atomic structures were obtained by X-ray crystallography, the impact of solution NMR and cryo-electron microscopy is far from being negligible. Here, we summarize some highlights and illustrate the importance of specific technologies on the structural biology of protein-protein or protein/DNA transcription complexes: structure/function analysis of components the eukaryotic basal and activated transcription machinery with focus on the TFIID and TFIIH multi-subunit complexes as well as transcription regulators such as members of the nuclear hormone receptor families. We also discuss molecular aspects of promoter recognition and epigenetic control of gene expression. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. [Current insights into chromatin structure organization].

    PubMed

    Ilatovskiĭ, A V; Lebedev, D V; Filatov, M V; Petukhov, M G; Isaev-Ivanov, V V

    2012-01-01

    This review summarizes current insights into organization of chromatin structure at different levels of DNA compaction. Analysis of available experimental data allowed concluding that only nucleosomal level of structural organization was sufficiently investigated, whereas structure of a 30-nm chromatin fiber remains an open issue. The data on the chromatin structure obtained at the level of the nucleus speak in favor of a biphasic fractal organization of chromatin.

  12. Structural insights into Elongator function.

    PubMed

    Glatt, Sebastian; Müller, Christoph W

    2013-04-01

    The eukaryotic Elongator complex was initially identified in yeast as a RNA polymerase II (Pol II) associated transcription elongation factor, although there is accumulating evidence that its main cellular function is the specific modification of uridines at the wobble base position of tRNAs. Elongator complex is built up by six highly conserved subunits and was shown to be involved in a variety of different cellular activities. Here, we summarize structural and functional information on individual Elongator subunits or subcomplexes. On the basis of homology models of the Elp1, Elp2 and Elp3 subunits and the crystal structure of the Elp456 subcomplex, the role of each subunit in Elongator complex assembly and catalytic activity is discussed. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Structural insights into RNA interference.

    PubMed

    Sashital, Dipali G; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2010-02-01

    Virtually all animals and plants utilize small RNA molecules to control protein expression during different developmental stages and in response to viral infection. Structural and mechanistic studies have begun to illuminate three fundamental aspects of these pathways: small RNA biogenesis, formation of RNA-induced silencing complexes (RISCs), and targeting of complementary mRNAs. Here we review exciting recent progress in understanding how regulatory RNAs are produced and how they trigger specific destruction of mRNAs during RNA interference (RNAi).

  14. Structural insights into calicivirus attachment and uncoating.

    PubMed

    Bhella, David; Gatherer, Derek; Chaudhry, Yasmin; Pink, Rebecca; Goodfellow, Ian G

    2008-08-01

    The Caliciviridae family comprises positive-sense RNA viruses of medical and veterinary significance. In humans, caliciviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, while in animals respiratory illness, conjunctivitis, stomatitis, and hemorrhagic disease are documented. Investigation of virus-host interactions is limited by a lack of culture systems for many viruses in this family. Feline calicivirus (FCV), a member of the Vesivirus genus, provides a tractable model, since it may be propagated in cell culture. Feline junctional adhesion molecule 1 (fJAM-1) was recently identified as a functional receptor for FCV. We have analyzed the structure of this virus-receptor complex by cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, combined with fitting of homology modeled high-resolution coordinates. We show that domain 1 of fJAM-1 binds to the outer face of the P2 domain of the FCV capsid protein VP1, inducing conformational changes in the viral capsid. This study provides the first structural view of a native calicivirus-protein receptor complex and insights into the mechanisms of virus attachment and uncoating.

  15. Structural insights on complement activation.

    PubMed

    Alcorlo, Martín; López-Perrote, Andrés; Delgado, Sandra; Yébenes, Hugo; Subías, Marta; Rodríguez-Gallego, César; Rodríguez de Córdoba, Santiago; Llorca, Oscar

    2015-10-01

    The proteolytic cleavage of C3 to generate C3b is the central and most important step in the activation of complement, a major component of innate immunity. The comparison of the crystal structures of C3 and C3b illustrates large conformational changes during the transition from C3 to C3b. Exposure of a reactive thio-ester group allows C3b to bind covalently to surfaces such as pathogens or apoptotic cellular debris. The displacement of the thio-ester-containing domain (TED) exposes hidden surfaces that mediate the interaction with complement factor B to assemble the C3-convertase of the alternative pathway (AP). In addition, the displacement of the TED and its interaction with the macroglobulin 1 (MG1) domain generates an extended surface in C3b where the complement regulators factor H (FH), decay accelerating factor (DAF), membrane cofactor protein (MCP) and complement receptor 1 (CR1) can bind, mediating accelerated decay of the AP C3-convertase and proteolytic inactivation of C3b. In the last few years, evidence has accumulated revealing that the structure of C3b in solution is significantly more flexible than anticipated. We review our current knowledge on C3b structural flexibility to propose a general model where the TED can display a collection of conformations around the MG ring, as well as a few specialized positions where the TED is held in one of several fixed locations. Importantly, this conformational heterogeneity in C3b impacts complement regulation by affecting the interaction with regulators.

  16. Structural insight into the specificity of the B3 DNA-binding domains provided by the co-crystal structure of the C-terminal fragment of BfiI restriction enzyme

    PubMed Central

    Golovenko, Dmitrij; Manakova, Elena; Zakrys, Linas; Zaremba, Mindaugas; Sasnauskas, Giedrius; Gražulis, Saulius; Siksnys, Virginijus

    2014-01-01

    The B3 DNA-binding domains (DBDs) of plant transcription factors (TF) and DBDs of EcoRII and BfiI restriction endonucleases (EcoRII-N and BfiI-C) share a common structural fold, classified as the DNA-binding pseudobarrel. The B3 DBDs in the plant TFs recognize a diverse set of target sequences. The only available co-crystal structure of the B3-like DBD is that of EcoRII-N (recognition sequence 5′-CCTGG-3′). In order to understand the structural and molecular mechanisms of specificity of B3 DBDs, we have solved the crystal structure of BfiI-C (recognition sequence 5′-ACTGGG-3′) complexed with 12-bp cognate oligoduplex. Structural comparison of BfiI-C–DNA and EcoRII-N–DNA complexes reveals a conserved DNA-binding mode and a conserved pattern of interactions with the phosphodiester backbone. The determinants of the target specificity are located in the loops that emanate from the conserved structural core. The BfiI-C–DNA structure presented here expands a range of templates for modeling of the DNA-bound complexes of the B3 family of plant TFs. PMID:24423868

  17. Fractal image perception provides novel insights into hierarchical cognition.

    PubMed

    Martins, M J; Fischmeister, F P; Puig-Waldmüller, E; Oh, J; Geissler, A; Robinson, S; Fitch, W T; Beisteiner, R

    2014-08-01

    Hierarchical structures play a central role in many aspects of human cognition, prominently including both language and music. In this study we addressed hierarchy in the visual domain, using a novel paradigm based on fractal images. Fractals are self-similar patterns generated by repeating the same simple rule at multiple hierarchical levels. Our hypothesis was that the brain uses different resources for processing hierarchies depending on whether it applies a "fractal" or a "non-fractal" cognitive strategy. We analyzed the neural circuits activated by these complex hierarchical patterns in an event-related fMRI study of 40 healthy subjects. Brain activation was compared across three different tasks: a similarity task, and two hierarchical tasks in which subjects were asked to recognize the repetition of a rule operating transformations either within an existing hierarchical level, or generating new hierarchical levels. Similar hierarchical images were generated by both rules and target images were identical. We found that when processing visual hierarchies, engagement in both hierarchical tasks activated the visual dorsal stream (occipito-parietal cortex, intraparietal sulcus and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex). In addition, the level-generating task specifically activated circuits related to the integration of spatial and categorical information, and with the integration of items in contexts (posterior cingulate cortex, retrosplenial cortex, and medial, ventral and anterior regions of temporal cortex). These findings provide interesting new clues about the cognitive mechanisms involved in the generation of new hierarchical levels as required for fractals. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  18. Structural insights into ribosome translocation

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Clarence

    2016-01-01

    During protein synthesis, tRNA and mRNA are translocated from the A to P to E sites of the ribosome thus enabling the ribosome to translate one codon of mRNA after the other. Ribosome translocation along mRNA is induced by the universally conserved ribosome GTPase, elongation factor G (EF‐G) in bacteria and elongation factor 2 (EF‐2) in eukaryotes. Recent structural and single‐molecule studies revealed that tRNA and mRNA translocation within the ribosome is accompanied by cyclic forward and reverse rotations between the large and small ribosomal subunits parallel to the plane of the intersubunit interface. In addition, during ribosome translocation, the ‘head’ domain of small ribosomal subunit undergoes forward‐ and back‐swiveling motions relative to the rest of the small ribosomal subunit around the axis that is orthogonal to the axis of intersubunit rotation. tRNA/mRNA translocation is also coupled to the docking of domain IV of EF‐G into the A site of the small ribosomal subunit that converts the thermally driven motions of the ribosome and tRNA into the forward translocation of tRNA/mRNA inside the ribosome. Despite recent and enormous progress made in the understanding of the molecular mechanism of ribosome translocation, the sequence of structural rearrangements of the ribosome, EF‐G and tRNA during translocation is still not fully established and awaits further investigation. WIREs RNA 2016, 7:620–636. doi: 10.1002/wrna.1354 For further resources related to this article, please visit the WIREs website. PMID:27117863

  19. The relationship between consumer insight and provider-consumer agreement regarding consumer's quality of life.

    PubMed

    Hasson-Ohayon, Ilanit; Roe, David; Kravetz, Shlomo; Levy-Frank, Itamar; Meir, Taly

    2011-10-01

    This study examined the relationship between insight and mental health consumers and providers agreement regarding consumers rated quality of life (QoL). Seventy mental health consumers and their 23 care providers filled-out parallel questionnaires designed to measure consumer QoL. Consumers' insight was also assessed. For most QoL domains, agreement between consumers and providers was higher for persons with high insight. For the Psychological well being dimension a negative correlation was uncovered for persons with low insight indicating disagreement between consumer and provider. These findings are discussed within the context of the literature on insight and agreement between consumer and provider as related to the therapeutic alliance.

  20. Structure of the Catalytic Domain of α-L-Arabinofuranosidase from Coprinopsis cinerea, CcAbf62A, Provides Insights into Structure-Function Relationships in Glycoside Hydrolase Family 62.

    PubMed

    Tonozuka, Takashi; Tanaka, Yutaro; Okuyama, Shunsaku; Miyazaki, Takatsugu; Nishikawa, Atsushi; Yoshida, Makoto

    2017-02-01

    α-L-Arabinofuranosidases, belonging to the glycoside hydrolase family (GH) 62, hydrolyze the α-1,2- or α-1,3-bond to liberate L-arabinofuranose from the xylan backbone. Here, we determined the structure of the C-terminal catalytic domain of CcAbf62A, a GH62 α-L-arabinofuranosidase from Coprinopsis cinerea. CcAbf62A is composed of a five-bladed β-propeller, as observed in other GH62 enzymes. The structure near the active site of CcAbf62A is also highly homologous to those of other GH62 enzymes. However, a calcium atom in the catalytic center interacts with an asparagine residue, Asn279, which is not found in other GH62 enzymes. In addition, some residues in subsites +3R, +2NR, +3NR, and +4NR of CcAbf62A are not conserved in other GH62 enzymes. In particular, a histidine residue, His221, is uniquely observed in subsite +2NR of CcAbf62A, which is likely to influence the substrate specificity. The results obtained here suggest that the amino acid residues that interact with the xylan backbone vary among the GH62 enzymes, despite the high similarity of their overall structures.

  1. Athena: Providing Insight into the History of the Universe

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-01-01

    The American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics has provided a Request for Proposal which calls for a manned mission to a Near-Earth Object. It is the goal of Team COLBERT to respond to their request by providing a reusable system that can be implemented as a solid stepping stone for future manned trips to Mars and beyond. Despite Team COLBERT consisting of only students in Aerospace Engineering, in order to achieve this feat, the team must employ the use of Systems Engineering. Tools and processes from Systems Engineering will provide quantitative and semi-quantitative tools for making design decisions and evaluating items such as budgets and schedules. This paper will provide an in-depth look at some of the Systems Engineering processes employed and will step through the design process of a Human Asteroid Exploration System.

  2. The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    The common ancestor of salmonids underwent an autotetraploid whole genome duplication event (Ss4R) approximately eighty million years ago, which provides unique opportunities to study the early evolutionary fate of a duplicated vertebrate genome in different extant lineages. Here, we present a high ...

  3. Solid phase synthesis, NMR structure determination of α-KTx3.8, its in silico docking to Kv1.x potassium channels, and electrophysiological analysis provide insights into toxin-channel selectivity.

    PubMed

    Kohl, Bastian; Rothenberg, Ina; Ali, Syed Abid; Alam, Mehtab; Seebohm, Guiscard; Kalbacher, Hubert; Voelter, Wolfgang; Stoll, Raphael

    2015-07-01

    Animal venoms, such as those from scorpions, are a potent source for new pharmacological substances. In this study we have determined the structure of the α-KTx3.8 (named as Bs6) scorpion toxin by multidimensional (1)H homonuclear NMR spectroscopy and investigated its function by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and electrophysiological measurements. Bs6 is a potent inhibitor of the Kv1.3 channel which plays an important role during the activation and proliferation of memory T-cells (TEM), which play an important role in autoimmune diseases. Therefore, it could be an interesting target for treatment of autoimmune diseases. In this study, Bs6 was synthesised by solid phase synthesis and its three-dimensional (3D) structure has been determined. To gain a deeper insight into the interaction of Bs6 with different potassium channels like hKv1.1 and hKv1.3, the protein-protein complex was modelled based on known toxin-channel structures and tested for stability in MD simulations using GROMACS. The toxin-channel interaction was further analysed by electrophysiological measurements of different potassium channels like hKv1.3 and hKv7.1. As potassium channel inhibitors could play an important role to overcome autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and type-1 diabetes mellitus, our data contributes to the understanding of the molecular mechanism of action and will ultimately help to develop new potent inhibitors in future. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Isothermal microcalorimetry provides new insight into terrestrial carbon cycling.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Anke M; Coucheney, Elsa; Nunan, Naoise

    2014-04-15

    Energy is continuously transformed in environmental systems through the metabolic activities of living organisms, but little is known about the relationship between the two. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that microbial energetics are controlled by microbial community composition in terrestrial ecosystems. We determined the functional diversity profiles of the soil biota (i.e., multiple substrate-induced respiration and microbial energetics) in soils from an arable ecosystem with contrasting long-term management regimes (54 years). These two functional profiling methods were then related to the soils' microbial community composition. Using isothermal microcalorimetry, we show that direct measures of energetics provide a functional link between energy flows and the composition of below-ground microbial communities at a high taxonomic level (Mantel R = 0.4602, P = 0.006). In contrast, this link was not apparent when carbon dioxide (CO2) was used as an aggregate measure of microbial metabolism (Mantel R = 0.2291, P = 0.11). Our work advocates that the microbial energetics approach provides complementary information to soil respiration for investigating the involvement of microbial communities in below-ground carbon dynamics. Empirical data of our proposed microbial energetics approach can feed into carbon-climate based ecosystem feedback modeling with the suggested conceptual ecological model as a base.

  5. Metaproteomics Provides Functional Insight into Activated Sludge Wastewater Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Wilmes, Paul; Wexler, Margaret; Bond, Philip L.

    2008-01-01

    Background Through identification of highly expressed proteins from a mixed culture activated sludge system this study provides functional evidence of microbial transformations important for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). Methodology/Principal Findings A laboratory-scale sequencing batch reactor was successfully operated for different levels of EBPR, removing around 25, 40 and 55 mg/l P. The microbial communities were dominated by the uncultured polyphosphate-accumulating organism “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis”. When EBPR failed, the sludge was dominated by tetrad-forming α-Proteobacteria. Representative and reproducible 2D gel protein separations were obtained for all sludge samples. 638 protein spots were matched across gels generated from the phosphate removing sludges. 111 of these were excised and 46 proteins were identified using recently available sludge metagenomic sequences. Many of these closely match proteins from “Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis” and could be directly linked to the EBPR process. They included enzymes involved in energy generation, polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis, glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, glycogen synthesis, glyoxylate/TCA cycle, fatty acid β oxidation, fatty acid synthesis and phosphate transport. Several proteins involved in cellular stress response were detected. Conclusions/Significance Importantly, this study provides direct evidence linking the metabolic activities of “Accumulibacter” to the chemical transformations observed in EBPR. Finally, the results are discussed in relation to current EBPR metabolic models. PMID:18392150

  6. Simulations of Enhancer Evolution Provide Mechanistic Insights into Gene Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Duque, Thyago; Samee, Md. Abul Hassan; Kazemian, Majid; Pham, Hannah N.; Brodsky, Michael H.; Sinha, Saurabh

    2014-01-01

    There is growing interest in models of regulatory sequence evolution. However, existing models specifically designed for regulatory sequences consider the independent evolution of individual transcription factor (TF)–binding sites, ignoring that the function and evolution of a binding site depends on its context, typically the cis-regulatory module (CRM) in which the site is located. Moreover, existing models do not account for the gene-specific roles of TF-binding sites, primarily because their roles often are not well understood. We introduce two models of regulatory sequence evolution that address some of the shortcomings of existing models and implement simulation frameworks based on them. One model simulates the evolution of an individual binding site in the context of a CRM, while the other evolves an entire CRM. Both models use a state-of-the art sequence-to-expression model to predict the effects of mutations on the regulatory output of the CRM and determine the strength of selection. We use the new framework to simulate the evolution of TF-binding sites in 37 well-studied CRMs belonging to the anterior–posterior patterning system in Drosophila embryos. We show that these simulations provide accurate fits to evolutionary data from 12 Drosophila genomes, which includes statistics of binding site conservation on relatively short evolutionary scales and site loss across larger divergence times. The new framework allows us, for the first time, to test hypotheses regarding the underlying cis-regulatory code by directly comparing the evolutionary implications of the hypothesis with the observed evolutionary dynamics of binding sites. Using this capability, we find that explicitly modeling self-cooperative DNA binding by the TF Caudal (CAD) provides significantly better fits than an otherwise identical evolutionary simulation that lacks this mechanistic aspect. This hypothesis is further supported by a statistical analysis of the distribution of intersite

  7. Insights into early pig domestication provided by ancient DNA analysis

    PubMed Central

    Caliebe, Amke; Nebel, Almut; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Krawczak, Michael; Krause-Kyora, Ben

    2017-01-01

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) were first domesticated between 8,500 and 8,000 cal BC in the Near East, from where they were subsequently brought into Europe by agriculturalists. Soon after the arrival of the first domestic pigs in northern Europe (~4500 BC), farmers are thought to have started to incorporate local wild boars into their swine herds. This husbandry strategy ultimately resulted in the domestication of European wild boars. Here, we set out to provide a more precise geographic and temporal framework of the early management of suid populations in northern Europe, drawing upon mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from 116 Neolithic Sus specimens. We developed a quantitative mathematical model tracing the haplotypes of the domestic pigs back to their most likely geographic origin. Our modelling results suggest that, between 5000 and 4000 BC, almost all matrilines in the north originated from domesticated animals from the south of central Europe. In the following period (4000–3000 BC), an estimated 78–100% of domesticates in the north were of northern matrilineal origin, largely from local wild boars. These findings point towards a dramatic change in suid management strategies taking place throughout south-central and northern Europe after 4000 BC. PMID:28300151

  8. The African coelacanth genome provides insights into tetrapod evolution.

    PubMed

    Amemiya, Chris T; Alföldi, Jessica; Lee, Alison P; Fan, Shaohua; Philippe, Hervé; Maccallum, Iain; Braasch, Ingo; Manousaki, Tereza; Schneider, Igor; Rohner, Nicolas; Organ, Chris; Chalopin, Domitille; Smith, Jeramiah J; Robinson, Mark; Dorrington, Rosemary A; Gerdol, Marco; Aken, Bronwen; Biscotti, Maria Assunta; Barucca, Marco; Baurain, Denis; Berlin, Aaron M; Blatch, Gregory L; Buonocore, Francesco; Burmester, Thorsten; Campbell, Michael S; Canapa, Adriana; Cannon, John P; Christoffels, Alan; De Moro, Gianluca; Edkins, Adrienne L; Fan, Lin; Fausto, Anna Maria; Feiner, Nathalie; Forconi, Mariko; Gamieldien, Junaid; Gnerre, Sante; Gnirke, Andreas; Goldstone, Jared V; Haerty, Wilfried; Hahn, Mark E; Hesse, Uljana; Hoffmann, Steve; Johnson, Jeremy; Karchner, Sibel I; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Lara, Marcia; Levin, Joshua Z; Litman, Gary W; Mauceli, Evan; Miyake, Tsutomu; Mueller, M Gail; Nelson, David R; Nitsche, Anne; Olmo, Ettore; Ota, Tatsuya; Pallavicini, Alberto; Panji, Sumir; Picone, Barbara; Ponting, Chris P; Prohaska, Sonja J; Przybylski, Dariusz; Saha, Nil Ratan; Ravi, Vydianathan; Ribeiro, Filipe J; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Scapigliati, Giuseppe; Searle, Stephen M J; Sharpe, Ted; Simakov, Oleg; Stadler, Peter F; Stegeman, John J; Sumiyama, Kenta; Tabbaa, Diana; Tafer, Hakim; Turner-Maier, Jason; van Heusden, Peter; White, Simon; Williams, Louise; Yandell, Mark; Brinkmann, Henner; Volff, Jean-Nicolas; Tabin, Clifford J; Shubin, Neil; Schartl, Manfred; Jaffe, David B; Postlethwait, John H; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Di Palma, Federica; Lander, Eric S; Meyer, Axel; Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin

    2013-04-18

    The discovery of a living coelacanth specimen in 1938 was remarkable, as this lineage of lobe-finned fish was thought to have become extinct 70 million years ago. The modern coelacanth looks remarkably similar to many of its ancient relatives, and its evolutionary proximity to our own fish ancestors provides a glimpse of the fish that first walked on land. Here we report the genome sequence of the African coelacanth, Latimeria chalumnae. Through a phylogenomic analysis, we conclude that the lungfish, and not the coelacanth, is the closest living relative of tetrapods. Coelacanth protein-coding genes are significantly more slowly evolving than those of tetrapods, unlike other genomic features. Analyses of changes in genes and regulatory elements during the vertebrate adaptation to land highlight genes involved in immunity, nitrogen excretion and the development of fins, tail, ear, eye, brain and olfaction. Functional assays of enhancers involved in the fin-to-limb transition and in the emergence of extra-embryonic tissues show the importance of the coelacanth genome as a blueprint for understanding tetrapod evolution.

  9. The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization.

    PubMed

    Lien, Sigbjørn; Koop, Ben F; Sandve, Simen R; Miller, Jason R; Kent, Matthew P; Nome, Torfinn; Hvidsten, Torgeir R; Leong, Jong S; Minkley, David R; Zimin, Aleksey; Grammes, Fabian; Grove, Harald; Gjuvsland, Arne; Walenz, Brian; Hermansen, Russell A; von Schalburg, Kris; Rondeau, Eric B; Di Genova, Alex; Samy, Jeevan K A; Olav Vik, Jon; Vigeland, Magnus D; Caler, Lis; Grimholt, Unni; Jentoft, Sissel; Våge, Dag Inge; de Jong, Pieter; Moen, Thomas; Baranski, Matthew; Palti, Yniv; Smith, Douglas R; Yorke, James A; Nederbragt, Alexander J; Tooming-Klunderud, Ave; Jakobsen, Kjetill S; Jiang, Xuanting; Fan, Dingding; Hu, Yan; Liberles, David A; Vidal, Rodrigo; Iturra, Patricia; Jones, Steven J M; Jonassen, Inge; Maass, Alejandro; Omholt, Stig W; Davidson, William S

    2016-05-12

    The whole-genome duplication 80 million years ago of the common ancestor of salmonids (salmonid-specific fourth vertebrate whole-genome duplication, Ss4R) provides unique opportunities to learn about the evolutionary fate of a duplicated vertebrate genome in 70 extant lineages. Here we present a high-quality genome assembly for Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and show that large genomic reorganizations, coinciding with bursts of transposon-mediated repeat expansions, were crucial for the post-Ss4R rediploidization process. Comparisons of duplicate gene expression patterns across a wide range of tissues with orthologous genes from a pre-Ss4R outgroup unexpectedly demonstrate far more instances of neofunctionalization than subfunctionalization. Surprisingly, we find that genes that were retained as duplicates after the teleost-specific whole-genome duplication 320 million years ago were not more likely to be retained after the Ss4R, and that the duplicate retention was not influenced to a great extent by the nature of the predicted protein interactions of the gene products. Finally, we demonstrate that the Atlantic salmon assembly can serve as a reference sequence for the study of other salmonids for a range of purposes.

  10. Molecular insights provide the critical path to disease mitigation.

    PubMed

    Waldman, S A; Terzic, A

    2014-01-01

    The revolution in scientific innovation, driven by the engines of enabling technologies, is increasingly capable of deconstructing complex disease processes for the express purpose of reconstructing patient-specific solutions. These revelations in biological mechanisms provide the pressure points of opportunity for radical discovery and development to advance modern health care. Principles of mechanism-based discovery and their translation into therapeutic algorithms will, however, be challenged in the near term by emerging global public health crises that currently have no immediate solutions: chronic diseases, obesity, antibiotic-resistant infections, dementia, depression. The threat of these pandemics (multiplied in an increasingly aging population), the global burden of disease they represent, and their worldwide assault on human capital underscore the importance of continued and accelerated investments in science-propelled practice advancement, converting new knowledge into delivery of tangible health solutions. In that context, this annual issue of CPT on therapeutics innovations highlights remarkable recent successes in the discovery-development paradigm translating molecular innovations into diagnostic and therapeutic realities that transform the management of disease, impacting global health.

  11. Chromosomal Passports Provide New Insights into Diffusion of Emmer Wheat

    PubMed Central

    Badaeva, Ekaterina D.; Keilwagen, Jens; Knüpffer, Helmut; Waßermann, Louise; Dedkova, Olga S.; Mitrofanova, Olga P.; Kovaleva, Olga N.; Liapunova, Olga A.; Pukhalskiy, Vitaly A.; Özkan, Hakan; Graner, Andreas; Willcox, George; Kilian, Benjamin

    2015-01-01

    Emmer wheat, Triticum dicoccon schrank (syn. T. dicoccum (schrank) schÜbl.), is one of the earliest domesticated crops, harboring a wide range of genetic diversity and agronomically valuable traits. The crop, however, is currently largely neglected. We provide a wealth of karyotypic information from a comprehensive collection of emmer wheat and related taxa. In addition to C-banding polymorphisms, we identified 43 variants of chromosomal rearrangements in T. dicoccon; among them 26 (60.4%) were novel. The T7A:5B translocation was most abundant in Western Europe and the Mediterranean. The plant genetic resources investigated here might become important in the future for wheat improvement. Based on cluster analysis four major karyotypic groups were discriminated within the T. dicoccon genepool, each harboring characteristic C-banding patterns and translocation spectra: the balkan, asian, european and ethiopian groups. We postulate four major diffusion routes of the crop and discuss their migration out of the Fertile Crescent considering latest archaeobotanical findings. PMID:26024381

  12. Arabidopsis thaliana nucleosidase mutants provide new insights into nucleoside degradation

    PubMed Central

    Riegler, Heike; Geserick, Claudia; Zrenner, Rita

    2011-01-01

    A central step in nucleoside and nucleobase salvage pathways is the hydrolysis of nucleosides to their respective nucleobases. In plants this is solely accomplished by nucleosidases (EC 3.2.2.x). To elucidate the importance of nucleosidases for nucleoside degradation, general metabolism, and plant growth, thorough phenotypic and biochemical analyses were performed using Arabidopsis thaliana T-DNA insertion mutants lacking expression of the previously identified genes annotated as uridine ribohydrolases (URH1 and URH2). Comprehensive functional analyses of single and double mutants demonstrated that both isoforms are unimportant for seedling establishment and plant growth, while one participates in uridine degradation. Rather unexpectedly, nucleoside and nucleotide profiling and nucleosidase activity screening of soluble crude extracts revealed a deficiency of xanthosine and inosine hydrolysis in the single mutants, with substantial accumulation of xanthosine in one of them. Mixing of the two mutant extracts, and by in vitro activity reconstitution using a mixture of recombinant URH1 and URH2 proteins, both restored activity, thus providing biochemical evidence that at least these two isoforms are needed for inosine and xanthosine hydrolysis. This mutant study demonstrates the utility of in vivo systems for the examination of metabolic activities, with the discovery of the new substrate xanthosine and elucidation of a mechanism for expanding the nucleosidase substrate spectrum. PMID:21599668

  13. Insights into early pig domestication provided by ancient DNA analysis.

    PubMed

    Caliebe, Amke; Nebel, Almut; Makarewicz, Cheryl; Krawczak, Michael; Krause-Kyora, Ben

    2017-03-16

    Pigs (Sus scrofa) were first domesticated between 8,500 and 8,000 cal BC in the Near East, from where they were subsequently brought into Europe by agriculturalists. Soon after the arrival of the first domestic pigs in northern Europe (~4500 BC), farmers are thought to have started to incorporate local wild boars into their swine herds. This husbandry strategy ultimately resulted in the domestication of European wild boars. Here, we set out to provide a more precise geographic and temporal framework of the early management of suid populations in northern Europe, drawing upon mitochondrial DNA haplotype data from 116 Neolithic Sus specimens. We developed a quantitative mathematical model tracing the haplotypes of the domestic pigs back to their most likely geographic origin. Our modelling results suggest that, between 5000 and 4000 BC, almost all matrilines in the north originated from domesticated animals from the south of central Europe. In the following period (4000-3000 BC), an estimated 78-100% of domesticates in the north were of northern matrilineal origin, largely from local wild boars. These findings point towards a dramatic change in suid management strategies taking place throughout south-central and northern Europe after 4000 BC.

  14. Elephant Transcriptome Provides Insights into the Evolution of Eutherian Placentation

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N.; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M.; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E.

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs using our custom annotation pipeline. A Markov algorithm was used to cluster orthologs of human, mouse, cow, and elephant placenta transcripts. We found 2,963 genes are commonly expressed in the placentas of these eutherian mammals. Gene ontology categories previously suggested to be important for placenta function (e.g., estrogen receptor signaling pathway, cell motion and migration, and adherens junctions) were significantly enriched in these eutherian placenta–expressed genes. Genes duplicated in different lineages and also specifically expressed in the placenta contribute to the great diversity observed in mammalian placenta anatomy. We identified 1,365 human lineage–specific, 1,235 mouse lineage–specific, 436 cow lineage–specific, and 904 elephant-specific placenta-expressed (PE) genes. The most enriched clusters of human-specific PE genes are signal/glycoprotein and immunoglobulin, and humans possess a deeply invasive human hemochorial placenta that comes into direct contact with maternal immune cells. Inference of phylogenetically conserved and derived transcripts demonstrates the power of comparative transcriptomics to trace placenta evolution and variation across mammals and identified candidate genes that may be important in the normal function of the human placenta, and their dysfunction may be related to human pregnancy complications. PMID:22546564

  15. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into mycorrhizal symbiosis

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, F.; Aerts, A.; Ahren, D.; Brun, A.; Danchin, E. G. J.; Duchaussoy, F.; Gibon, J.; Kohler, A.; Lindquist, E.; Peresa, V.; Salamov, A.; Shapiro, H. J.; Wuyts, J.; Blaudez, D.; Buee, M.; Brokstein, P.; Canback, B.; Cohen, D.; Courty, P. E.; Coutinho, P. M.; Delaruelle, C.; Detter, J. C.; Deveau, A.; DiFazio, S.; Duplessis, S.; Fraissinet-Tachet, L.; Lucic, E.; Frey-Klett, P.; Fourrey, C.; Feussner, I.; Gay, G.; Grimwood, J.; Hoegger, P. J.; Jain, P.; Kilaru, S.; Labbe, J.; Lin, Y. C.; Legue, V.; Le Tacon, F.; Marmeisse, R.; Melayah, D.; Montanini, B.; Muratet, M.; Nehls, U.; Niculita-Hirzel, H.; Secq, M. P. Oudot-Le; Peter, M.; Quesneville, H.; Rajashekar, B.; Reich, M.; Rouhier, N.; Schmutz, J.; Yin, T.; Chalot, M.; Henrissat, B.; Kues, U.; Lucas, S.; Van de Peer, Y.; Podila, G. K.; Polle, A.; Pukkila, P. J.; Richardson, P. M.; Rouze, P.; Sanders, I. R.; Stajich, J. E.; Tunlid, A.; Tuskan, G.; Grigoriev, I. V.

    2007-08-10

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants 1, 2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that are

  16. Elephant transcriptome provides insights into the evolution of eutherian placentation.

    PubMed

    Hou, Zhuo-Cheng; Sterner, Kirstin N; Romero, Roberto; Than, Nandor Gabor; Gonzalez, Juan M; Weckle, Amy; Xing, Jun; Benirschke, Kurt; Goodman, Morris; Wildman, Derek E

    2012-01-01

    The chorioallantoic placenta connects mother and fetus in eutherian pregnancies. In order to understand the evolution of the placenta and provide further understanding of placenta biology, we sequenced the transcriptome of a term placenta of an African elephant (Loxodonta africana) and compared these data with RNA sequence and microarray data from other eutherian placentas including human, mouse, and cow. We characterized the composition of 55,910 expressed sequence tag (i.e., cDNA) contigs using our custom annotation pipeline. A Markov algorithm was used to cluster orthologs of human, mouse, cow, and elephant placenta transcripts. We found 2,963 genes are commonly expressed in the placentas of these eutherian mammals. Gene ontology categories previously suggested to be important for placenta function (e.g., estrogen receptor signaling pathway, cell motion and migration, and adherens junctions) were significantly enriched in these eutherian placenta-expressed genes. Genes duplicated in different lineages and also specifically expressed in the placenta contribute to the great diversity observed in mammalian placenta anatomy. We identified 1,365 human lineage-specific, 1,235 mouse lineage-specific, 436 cow lineage-specific, and 904 elephant-specific placenta-expressed (PE) genes. The most enriched clusters of human-specific PE genes are signal/glycoprotein and immunoglobulin, and humans possess a deeply invasive human hemochorial placenta that comes into direct contact with maternal immune cells. Inference of phylogenetically conserved and derived transcripts demonstrates the power of comparative transcriptomics to trace placenta evolution and variation across mammals and identified candidate genes that may be important in the normal function of the human placenta, and their dysfunction may be related to human pregnancy complications.

  17. The genome of Laccaria bicolor provides insights into

    SciTech Connect

    Martin, F; Aerts, A.; Ahren, D; Brun, A; Danchin, E; Duchaussoy, F; Gibon, J; Kohler, A; Lindquist, E; Pereda, V; Salamov, A.; Shapiro, HJ; Wuyts, J; Blaudez, D.; Buee, M; Brokstein, P; Canbeck, B; Cohen, D; Courty, PE; Coutinho, PM; Delaruelle, C; Detter, J C; Deveau, A; DiFazio, Stephen P; Duplessis, S; Fraissinet-Tachet, L; Lucic, E; Frey-Klett, P; Fourrey, C; Feussner, I; Gay, G; Grimwood, Jane; Hoegger, P J; Jain, P; Kilaru, S; Labbe, J; Lin, Y C; Legue, V; Le Tacon, F; Marmeisse, R; Melayah, D; Montanini, B; Muratet, M; Nehls, U; Niculita-Hirzel, H; Oudot-Le Secq, M P; Peter, M; Quesneville, H; Rajashekar, B; Reich, M; Rouhler, N; Schmutz, Jeremy; Yin, Tongming; Tuskan, Gerald A; Chalot, M; Henrissat, B; Kues, U; Lucas, S; Van de Peer, Y; Podila, G; Polle, A; Pukkila, P J; Richardson, P M; Rouze, P; Sanders, I R; Stajich, J E; Tunlid, A; Grigoriev, I.

    2008-01-01

    Mycorrhizal symbioses the union of roots and soil fungi are universal in terrestrial ecosystems and may have been fundamental to land colonization by plants1,2. Boreal, temperate and montane forests all depend on ectomycorrhizae1. Identification of the primary factors that regulate symbiotic development and metabolic activity will therefore open the door to understanding the role of ectomycorrhizae in plant development and physiology, allowing the full ecological significance of this symbiosis to be explored. Here we report the genome sequence of the ectomycorrhizal basidiomycete Laccaria bicolor (Fig. 1) and highlight gene sets involved in rhizosphere colonization and symbiosis. This 65-megabase genome assembly contains 20,000 predicted protein-encoding genes and a very large number of transposons and repeated sequences. We detected unexpected genomic features, most notably a battery of effector-type small secreted proteins (SSPs) with unknown function, several of which are only expressed in symbiotic tissues. The most highly expressed SSP accumulates in the proliferating hyphae colonizing the host root. The ectomycorrhizae-specific SSPs probably have a decisive role in the establishment of the symbiosis. The unexpected observation that the genome of L. bicolor lacks carbohydrate-active enzymes involved in degradation of plant cell walls, but maintains the ability to degrade non-plant cell wall polysaccharides, reveals the dual saprotrophic and biotrophic lifestyle of the mycorrhizal fungus that enables it to grow within both soil and living plant roots. The predicted gene inventory of the L. bicolor genome, therefore, points to previously unknown mechanisms of symbiosis operating in biotrophic mycorrhizal fungi. The availability of this genome provides an unparalleled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the processes by which symbionts interact with plants within their ecosystem to perform vital functions in the carbon and nitrogen cycles that are

  18. Fusion transcriptome profiling provides insights into alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma.

    PubMed

    Xie, Zhongqiu; Babiceanu, Mihaela; Kumar, Shailesh; Jia, Yuemeng; Qin, Fujun; Barr, Frederic G; Li, Hui

    2016-11-15

    Gene fusions and fusion products were thought to be unique features of neoplasia. However, more and more studies have identified fusion RNAs in normal physiology. Through RNA sequencing of 27 human noncancer tissues, a large number of fusion RNAs were found. By analyzing fusion transcriptome, we observed close clusterings between samples of same or similar tissues, supporting the feasibility of using fusion RNA profiling to reveal connections between biological samples. To put the concept into use, we selected alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma (ARMS), a myogenic pediatric cancer whose exact cell of origin is not clear. PAX3-FOXO1 (paired box gene 3 fused with forkhead box O1) fusion RNA, which is considered a hallmark of ARMS, was recently found during normal muscle cell differentiation. We performed and analyzed RNA sequencing from various time points during myogenesis and uncovered many chimeric fusion RNAs. Interestingly, we found that the fusion RNA profile of RH30, an ARMS cell line, is most similar to the myogenesis time point when PAX3-FOXO1 is expressed. In contrast, full transcriptome clustering analysis failed to uncover this connection. Strikingly, all of the 18 chimeric RNAs in RH30 cells could be detected at the same myogenic time point(s). In addition, the seven chimeric RNAs that follow the exact transient expression pattern as PAX3-FOXO1 are specific to rhabdomyosarcoma cells. Further testing with clinical samples also confirmed their specificity to rhabdomyosarcoma. These results provide further support for the link between at least some ARMSs and the PAX3-FOXO1-expressing myogenic cells and demonstrate that fusion RNA profiling can be used to investigate the etiology of fusion-gene-associated cancers.

  19. Orthobunyaviruses: recent genetic and structural insights.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Richard M

    2014-10-01

    Orthobunyaviruses, which have small, tripartite, negative-sense RNA genomes and structurally simple virions composed of just four proteins, can have devastating effects on human health and well-being, either by causing disease in humans or by causing disease in livestock and crops. In this Review, I describe the recent genetic and structural advances that have revealed important insights into the composition of orthobunyavirus virions, viral transcription and replication and viral interactions with the host innate immune response. Lastly, I highlight outstanding questions and areas of future research.

  20. Crystal Structure of the Human Cytomegalovirus pUL50-pUL53 Core Nuclear Egress Complex Provides Insight into a Unique Assembly Scaffold for Virus-Host Protein Interactions.

    PubMed

    Walzer, Sascha A; Egerer-Sieber, Claudia; Sticht, Heinrich; Sevvana, Madhumati; Hohl, Katharina; Milbradt, Jens; Muller, Yves A; Marschall, Manfred

    2015-11-13

    Nuclear replication of cytomegalovirus relies on elaborate mechanisms of nucleocytoplasmic egress of viral particles. Thus, the role of two essential and conserved viral nuclear egress proteins, pUL50 and pUL53, is pivotal. pUL50 and pUL53 heterodimerize and form a core nuclear egress complex (NEC), which is anchored to the inner nuclear membrane and provides a scaffold for the assembly of a multimeric viral-cellular NEC. Here, we report the crystal structure of the pUL50-pUL53 heterodimer (amino acids 1-175 and 50-292, respectively) at 2.44 Å resolution. Both proteins adopt a globular fold with mixed α and β secondary structure elements. pUL53-specific features include a zinc-binding site and a hook-like N-terminal extension, the latter representing a hallmark element of the pUL50-pUL53 interaction. The hook-like extension (amino acids 59-87) embraces pUL50 and contributes 1510 Å(2) to the total interface area (1880 Å(2)). The pUL50 structure overall resembles the recently published NMR structure of the murine cytomegalovirus homolog pM50 but reveals a considerable repositioning of the very C-terminal α-helix of pUL50 upon pUL53 binding. pUL53 shows structural resemblance with the GHKL domain of bacterial sensory histidine kinases. A close examination of the crystal structure indicates partial assembly of pUL50-pUL53 heterodimers to hexameric ring-like structures possibly providing additional scaffolding opportunities for NEC. In combination, the structural information on pUL50-pUL53 considerably improves our understanding of the mechanism of HCMV nuclear egress. It may also accelerate the validation of the NEC as a unique target for developing a novel type of antiviral drug and improved options of broad-spectrum antiherpesviral therapy.

  1. Recent structural insights into transcription preinitiation complexes.

    PubMed

    Nogales, E

    2000-12-01

    Our understanding of the elaborate mechanism of gene transcription initiation in eukaryotes has been widened by recent structural information on some of the key components of the complex preinitiation transcriptional machinery. The high-resolution structures of both bacterial and eukaryotic polymerases are technical landmarks of great biological significance that have given us the first molecular insight into the mechanism of this large enzyme. While new atomic structures of different domains of general transcription factors, such as the double bromodomain of TAF250, have become available by means of X-ray crystallography and NMR studies, more global pictures of multisubunit transcription complexes, such as TFIID, TFIIH or the yeast mediator, have now been obtained by electron microscopy and image-reconstruction techniques. A combination of methodologies may prove essential for a complete structural description of the initial steps in the expression of eukaryotic genes.

  2. Complexes of Thermotoga maritima S-adenosylmethionine decarboxylase provide insights into substrate specificity

    SciTech Connect

    Bale, Shridhar; Baba, Kavita; McCloskey, Diane E.; Pegg, Anthony E.; Ealick, Steven E.

    2010-06-25

    The polyamines putrescine, spermidine and spermine are ubiquitous aliphatic cations and are essential for cellular growth and differentiation. S-Adenosylmethionine decarboxylase (AdoMetDC) is a critical pyruvoyl-dependent enzyme in the polyamine-biosynthetic pathway. The crystal structures of AdoMetDC from humans and plants and of the AdoMetDC proenzyme from Thermotoga maritima have been obtained previously. Here, the crystal structures of activated T. maritima AdoMetDC (TmAdoMetDC) and of its complexes with S-adenosylmethionine methyl ester and 5{prime}-deoxy-5{prime}-dimethylthioadenosine are reported. The results demonstrate for the first time that TmAdoMetDC autoprocesses without the need for additional factors and that the enzyme contains two complete active sites, both of which use residues from both chains of the homodimer. The complexes provide insights into the substrate specificity and ligand binding of AdoMetDC in prokaryotes. The conservation of the ligand-binding mode and the active-site residues between human and T. maritima AdoMetDC provides insight into the evolution of AdoMetDC.

  3. Free energy calculation provides insight into the action mechanism of selective PARP-1 inhibitor.

    PubMed

    Cao, Ran

    2016-04-01

    Selective poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP)-1 inhibitor represents promising therapy against cancers with a good balance between efficacy and safety. Owing to the conserved structure between PARP-1 and PARP-2, most of the clinical and experimental drugs show equivalent inhibition against both targets. Most recently, it's disclosed a highly selective PARP-1 inhibitor (NMS-P118) with promising pharmacokinetic properties. Herein, we combined molecular simulation with free energy calculation to gain insights into the selective mechanism of NMS-P118. Our results suggest the reduction of binding affinity for PARP-2 is attributed to the unfavorable conformational change of protein, which is accompanied by a significant energy penalty. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis study further reveals the important role for a tyrosine residue of donor loop (Tyr889(PARP-1) and Tyr455(PARP-2)) in contributing to the ligand selectivity. Retrospective structural analysis indicates the ligand-induced movement of Tyr455(PARP-2) disrupts the intra-molecule hydrogen bonding network, which partially accounts for the "high-energy" protein conformation in the presence of NMS-P118. Interestingly, such effect isn't observed in other non-selective PARP inhibitors including BMN673 and A861695, which validates the computational prediction. Our work provides energetic insight into the subtle variations in the crystal structures and could facilitate rational design of new selective PARP inhibitor.

  4. NAP (davunetide) provides functional and structural neuroprotection.

    PubMed

    Gozes, Illana

    2011-01-01

    NAP (davunetide) is an eight amino acid peptide (NAPVSIPQ) that has been shown to provide potent neuroprotection, in vitro and in vivo. In human clinical trials, NAP has been shown to increase memory scores in patients suffering from amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease and to enhance functional daily behaviors in schizophrenia patients. NAP is derived from activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) a molecule that is essential for brain formation, interacting with chromatin associated protein alpha and the chromatin remodeling complex SWI/SNF and regulating >400 genes during embryonic development. Partial loss in ADNP results in cognitive deficits and pathology of the microtubule associated protein tau (tauopathy) that is ameliorated in part by NAP replacement therapy. Recent studies increased the scope of NAP neuroprotection and provided further insights into the NAP mechanisms of action. Thus, it has been hypothesized that the presence of tau on axonal microtubules renders them notably less sensitive to the microtubule-severing protein katanin, and NAP was shown to protect microtubules from katanin disruption in the face of reduced tau expression. Parallel studies showed that NAP reduced the number of apoptotic neurons through activation of PI-3K/Akt pathway in the cortical plate or both PI-3K/Akt and MAPK/MEK1 kinases in the white matter. The interaction of these disparate yet complementary pathways is the subject of future studies toward human brain neuroprotection in the clinical scenario.

  5. Feathered non-avian dinosaurs from North America provide insight into wing origins.

    PubMed

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, François; Erickson, Gregory M; DeBuhr, Christopher L; Kobayashi, Yoshitsugu; Eberth, David A; Hadfield, Frank

    2012-10-26

    Previously described feathered dinosaurs reveal a fascinating record of feather evolution, although substantial phylogenetic gaps remain. Here we report the occurrence of feathers in ornithomimosaurs, a clade of non-maniraptoran theropods for which fossilized feathers were previously unknown. The Ornithomimus specimens, recovered from Upper Cretaceous deposits of Alberta, Canada, provide new insights into dinosaur plumage and the origin of the avian wing. Individuals from different growth stages reveal the presence of a filamentous feather covering throughout life and winglike structures on the forelimbs of adults. The appearance of winglike structures in older animals indicates that they may have evolved in association with reproductive behaviors. These specimens show that primordial wings originated earlier than previously thought, among non-maniraptoran theropods.

  6. Molecular fossils in modern genomes provide physiological and geochemical insights to the ancient earth (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dupont, C.; Caetano-Anolles, G.

    2010-12-01

    The genomes of extant organisms are ultimately derived from ancient life, thus theoretically contain insight to ancient physiology, ecology, and environments. In particular, metalloenzymes may be particularly insightful. The fundamental chemistry of trace elements dictates the molecular speciation and reactivity both within cells and the environment at large. Using protein structure and comparative genomics, we elucidate several major influences this chemistry has had upon biology. All of life exhibits the same proteome size-dependent scaling for the number of metal-binding proteins within a proteome. This fundamental evolutionary constant shows that the selection of one element occurs at the exclusion of another, with the eschewal of Fe for Zn and Ca being a defining feature of eukaryotic pro- teomes. Early life lacked both the structures required to control intracellular metal concentrations and the metal-binding proteins that catalyze electron transport and redox transformations. The development of protein structures for metal homeostasis coincided with the emergence of metal-specific structures, which predomi- nantly bound metals abundant in the Archean ocean. Potentially, this promoted the diversification of emerging lineages of Archaea and Bacteria through the establishment of biogeochemical cycles. In contrast, structures binding Cu and Zn evolved much later, pro- viding further evidence that environmental availability influenced the selection of the elements. The late evolving Zn-binding proteins are fundamental to eukaryotic cellular biology, and Zn bioavailabil- ity may have been a limiting factor in eukaryotic evolution. The results presented here provide an evolutionary timeline based on genomic characteristics, and key hypotheses can be tested by alternative geochemical methods.

  7. Parameter sensitivity analysis of stochastic models provides insights into cardiac calcium sparks.

    PubMed

    Lee, Young-Seon; Liu, Ona Z; Hwang, Hyun Seok; Knollmann, Bjorn C; Sobie, Eric A

    2013-03-05

    We present a parameter sensitivity analysis method that is appropriate for stochastic models, and we demonstrate how this analysis generates experimentally testable predictions about the factors that influence local Ca(2+) release in heart cells. The method involves randomly varying all parameters, running a single simulation with each set of parameters, running simulations with hundreds of model variants, then statistically relating the parameters to the simulation results using regression methods. We tested this method on a stochastic model, containing 18 parameters, of the cardiac Ca(2+) spark. Results show that multivariable linear regression can successfully relate parameters to continuous model outputs such as Ca(2+) spark amplitude and duration, and multivariable logistic regression can provide insight into how parameters affect Ca(2+) spark triggering (a probabilistic process that is all-or-none in a single simulation). Benchmark studies demonstrate that this method is less computationally intensive than standard methods by a factor of 16. Importantly, predictions were tested experimentally by measuring Ca(2+) sparks in mice with knockout of the sarcoplasmic reticulum protein triadin. These mice exhibit multiple changes in Ca(2+) release unit structures, and the regression model both accurately predicts changes in Ca(2+) spark amplitude (30% decrease in model, 29% decrease in experiments) and provides an intuitive and quantitative understanding of how much each alteration contributes to the result. This approach is therefore an effective, efficient, and predictive method for analyzing stochastic mathematical models to gain biological insight.

  8. Insights into the structural biology of Gaucher disease.

    PubMed

    Smith, Laura; Mullin, Stephen; Schapira, Anthony H V

    2017-09-18

    Gaucher disease, the most common lysosomal storage disorder, is caused by mutations in the gene encoding the acid-β-glucosidase lysosomal hydrolase enzyme that cleaves glucocerebroside into glucose and ceramide. Reduced enzyme activity and impaired structural stability arise due to >300 known disease-causing mutations. Several of these mutations have also been associated with an increased risk of Parkinson disease (PD). Since the discovery of the acid-β-glucosidase X-ray structure, there have been major advances in our understanding of the structural properties of the protein. Analysis of specific residues has provided insight into their functional and structural importance and provided insight into the pathogenesis of Gaucher disease and the contribution to PD. Disease-causing mutations are positioned throughout the acid-β-glucosidase structure, with many located far from the active site and thus retaining some enzymatic activity however, thus far no clear relationship between mutation location and disease severity has been established. Here, we review the crystal structure of acid-β-glucosidase, while highlighting important structural aspects of the protein in detail. This review discusses the structural stability of acid-β-glucosidase, which can be altered by pH and glycosylation, and explores the relationship between known Gaucher disease and PD mutations, structural stability and disease severity. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. Structure of the Single-lobe Myosin Light Chain C in Complex with the Light Chain-binding Domains of Myosin-1C Provides Insights into Divergent IQ Motif Recognition.

    PubMed

    Langelaan, David N; Liburd, Janine; Yang, Yidai; Miller, Emily; Chitayat, Seth; Crawley, Scott W; Côté, Graham P; Smith, Steven P

    2016-09-09

    Myosin light chains are key regulators of class 1 myosins and typically comprise two domains, with calmodulin being the archetypal example. They bind IQ motifs within the myosin neck region and amplify conformational changes in the motor domain. A single lobe light chain, myosin light chain C (MlcC), was recently identified and shown to specifically bind to two sequentially divergent IQ motifs of the Dictyostelium myosin-1C. To provide a molecular basis of this interaction, the structures of apo-MlcC and a 2:1 MlcC·myosin-1C neck complex were determined. The two non-functional EF-hand motifs of MlcC pack together to form a globular four-helix bundle that opens up to expose a central hydrophobic groove, which interacts with the N-terminal portion of the divergent IQ1 and IQ2 motifs. The N- and C-terminal regions of MlcC make critical contacts that contribute to its specific interactions with the myosin-1C divergent IQ motifs, which are contacts that deviate from the traditional mode of calmodulin-IQ recognition.

  10. Structure of the Single-lobe Myosin Light Chain C in Complex with the Light Chain-binding Domains of Myosin-1C Provides Insights into Divergent IQ Motif Recognition *

    PubMed Central

    Langelaan, David N.; Liburd, Janine; Yang, Yidai; Miller, Emily; Chitayat, Seth; Crawley, Scott W.; Côté, Graham P.; Smith, Steven P.

    2016-01-01

    Myosin light chains are key regulators of class 1 myosins and typically comprise two domains, with calmodulin being the archetypal example. They bind IQ motifs within the myosin neck region and amplify conformational changes in the motor domain. A single lobe light chain, myosin light chain C (MlcC), was recently identified and shown to specifically bind to two sequentially divergent IQ motifs of the Dictyostelium myosin-1C. To provide a molecular basis of this interaction, the structures of apo-MlcC and a 2:1 MlcC·myosin-1C neck complex were determined. The two non-functional EF-hand motifs of MlcC pack together to form a globular four-helix bundle that opens up to expose a central hydrophobic groove, which interacts with the N-terminal portion of the divergent IQ1 and IQ2 motifs. The N- and C-terminal regions of MlcC make critical contacts that contribute to its specific interactions with the myosin-1C divergent IQ motifs, which are contacts that deviate from the traditional mode of calmodulin-IQ recognition. PMID:27466369

  11. Crystal structure of a human cleavage factor CFI(m)25/CFI(m)68/RNA complex provides an insight into poly(A) site recognition and RNA looping.

    PubMed

    Yang, Qin; Coseno, Molly; Gilmartin, Gregory M; Doublié, Sylvie

    2011-03-09

    Cleavage factor I(m) (CFI(m)) is a highly conserved component of the eukaryotic mRNA 3' processing machinery that functions in sequence-specific poly(A) site recognition through the collaboration of a 25 kDa subunit containing a Nudix domain and a larger subunit of 59, 68, or 72 kDa containing an RNA recognition motif (RRM). Our previous work demonstrated that CFI(m)25 is both necessary and sufficient for sequence-specific binding of the poly(A) site upstream element UGUA. Here, we report the crystal structure of CFI(m)25 complexed with the RRM domain of CFI(m)68 and RNA. The CFI(m)25 dimer is clasped on opposite sides by two CFI(m)68 RRM domains. Each CFI(m)25 subunit binds one UGUA element specifically. Biochemical analysis indicates that the CFI(m)68 RRMs serve to enhance RNA binding and facilitate RNA looping. The intrinsic ability of CFI(m) to direct RNA looping may provide a mechanism for its function in the regulation of alternative poly(A) site selection.

  12. A new raptorial dinosaur with exceptionally long feathering provides insights into dromaeosaurid flight performance.

    PubMed

    Han, Gang; Chiappe, Luis M; Ji, Shu-An; Habib, Michael; Turner, Alan H; Chinsamy, Anusuya; Liu, Xueling; Han, Lizhuo

    2014-07-15

    Microraptorines are a group of predatory dromaeosaurid theropod dinosaurs with aerodynamic capacity. These close relatives of birds are essential for testing hypotheses explaining the origin and early evolution of avian flight. Here we describe a new 'four-winged' microraptorine, Changyuraptor yangi, from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota of China. With tail feathers that are nearly 30 cm long, roughly 30% the length of the skeleton, the new fossil possesses the longest known feathers for any non-avian dinosaur. Furthermore, it is the largest theropod with long, pennaceous feathers attached to the lower hind limbs (that is, 'hindwings'). The lengthy feathered tail of the new fossil provides insight into the flight performance of microraptorines and how they may have maintained aerial competency at larger body sizes. We demonstrate how the low-aspect-ratio tail of the new fossil would have acted as a pitch control structure reducing descent speed and thus playing a key role in landing.

  13. A Renaissance in Nepovirus Research Provides New Insights Into Their Molecular Interface With Hosts and Vectors.

    PubMed

    Fuchs, M; Schmitt-Keichinger, C; Sanfaçon, H

    2017-01-01

    Nepoviruses supplied seminal landmarks to the historical trail of plant virology. Among the first agriculturally relevant viruses recognized in the late 1920s and among the first plant viruses officially classified in the early 1970s, nepoviruses also comprise the first species for which a soil-borne ectoparasitic nematode vector was identified. Early research on nepoviruses shed light on the genome structure and expression, biological properties of the two genomic RNAs, and mode of transmission. In recent years, research on nepoviruses enjoyed an extraordinary renaissance. This resurgence provided new insights into the molecular interface between viruses and their plant hosts, and between viruses and dagger nematode vectors to advance our understanding of some of the major steps of the infectious cycle. Here we examine these recent findings, highlight ongoing work, and offer some perspectives for future research.

  14. Comparative and functional genomics provide insights into the pathogenicity of dermatophytic fungi

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Millions of humans and animals suffer from superficial infections caused by a group of highly specialized filamentous fungi, the dermatophytes, which exclusively infect keratinized host structures. To provide broad insights into the molecular basis of the pathogenicity-associated traits, we report the first genome sequences of two closely phylogenetically related dermatophytes, Arthroderma benhamiae and Trichophyton verrucosum, both of which induce highly inflammatory infections in humans. Results 97% of the 22.5 megabase genome sequences of A. benhamiae and T. verrucosum are unambiguously alignable and collinear. To unravel dermatophyte-specific virulence-associated traits, we compared sets of potentially pathogenicity-associated proteins, such as secreted proteases and enzymes involved in secondary metabolite production, with those of closely related onygenales (Coccidioides species) and the mould Aspergillus fumigatus. The comparisons revealed expansion of several gene families in dermatophytes and disclosed the peculiarities of the dermatophyte secondary metabolite gene sets. Secretion of proteases and other hydrolytic enzymes by A. benhamiae was proven experimentally by a global secretome analysis during keratin degradation. Molecular insights into the interaction of A. benhamiae with human keratinocytes were obtained for the first time by global transcriptome profiling. Given that A. benhamiae is able to undergo mating, a detailed comparison of the genomes further unraveled the genetic basis of sexual reproduction in this species. Conclusions Our results enlighten the genetic basis of fundamental and putatively virulence-related traits of dermatophytes, advancing future research on these medically important pathogens. PMID:21247460

  15. Comparative and functional genomics provide insights into the pathogenicity of dermatophytic fungi.

    PubMed

    Burmester, Anke; Shelest, Ekaterina; Glöckner, Gernot; Heddergott, Christoph; Schindler, Susann; Staib, Peter; Heidel, Andrew; Felder, Marius; Petzold, Andreas; Szafranski, Karol; Feuermann, Marc; Pedruzzi, Ivo; Priebe, Steffen; Groth, Marco; Winkler, Robert; Li, Wenjun; Kniemeyer, Olaf; Schroeckh, Volker; Hertweck, Christian; Hube, Bernhard; White, Theodore C; Platzer, Matthias; Guthke, Reinhard; Heitman, Joseph; Wöstemeyer, Johannes; Zipfel, Peter F; Monod, Michel; Brakhage, Axel A

    2011-01-01

    Millions of humans and animals suffer from superficial infections caused by a group of highly specialized filamentous fungi, the dermatophytes, which exclusively infect keratinized host structures. To provide broad insights into the molecular basis of the pathogenicity-associated traits, we report the first genome sequences of two closely phylogenetically related dermatophytes, Arthroderma benhamiae and Trichophyton verrucosum, both of which induce highly inflammatory infections in humans. 97% of the 22.5 megabase genome sequences of A. benhamiae and T. verrucosum are unambiguously alignable and collinear. To unravel dermatophyte-specific virulence-associated traits, we compared sets of potentially pathogenicity-associated proteins, such as secreted proteases and enzymes involved in secondary metabolite production, with those of closely related onygenales (Coccidioides species) and the mould Aspergillus fumigatus. The comparisons revealed expansion of several gene families in dermatophytes and disclosed the peculiarities of the dermatophyte secondary metabolite gene sets. Secretion of proteases and other hydrolytic enzymes by A. benhamiae was proven experimentally by a global secretome analysis during keratin degradation. Molecular insights into the interaction of A. benhamiae with human keratinocytes were obtained for the first time by global transcriptome profiling. Given that A. benhamiae is able to undergo mating, a detailed comparison of the genomes further unraveled the genetic basis of sexual reproduction in this species. Our results enlighten the genetic basis of fundamental and putatively virulence-related traits of dermatophytes, advancing future research on these medically important pathogens.

  16. Tools providing new insight into coastal anoxygenic purple bacterial mats: review and perspectives.

    PubMed

    Hubas, Cédric; Jesus, Bruno; Passarelli, Claire; Jeanthon, Christian

    2011-11-01

    Coastal photosynthetic microbial mats are highly structured microbial communities that populate a variety of shallow environments such as estuaries, sheltered sandy beaches, intertidal flats, salt marshes and hypersaline salterns. In soft sediments, most of these microbial mats are formed of vertically stratified, multicolored cohesive thin layers, of several functional groups of microorganisms, such as cyanobacteria, colorless sulfur bacteria, purple sulfur bacteria and sulfate-reducing bacteria, distributed along vertical microgradients of oxygen, sulfide and light. These microbial communities are highly productive and significant contributors to carbon, nitrogen and sulfur cycles and to sediment stability in shallow-water habitats. Many examples of these communities have been cited in the past, but comparatively few microbial mats have been presented for which mass developments of anoxygenic purple bacteria have been observed. Yet, application of molecular approaches has provided fresh insight into the ecology, diversity and evolution of microbial mats. In situ measurements using electrochemical and optical microprobes led to detailed characterization of their physical and chemical environment, whereas reflectance measurements revealed the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of microbial mat surfaces. We hereby report the main discoveries due to introduction of these powerful techniques and we point out the potential insight to be gained from the study of anoxygenic purple bacterial mats.

  17. Structural insight into Slit-Robo signalling.

    PubMed

    Hohenester, Erhard

    2008-04-01

    Drosophila Slit and its vertebrate orthologues Slit1-Slit3 are secreted glycoproteins that play important roles in the development of the nervous system and other organs. Human Slits are also involved in a number of pathological situations, such as cancer and inflammation. Slits exert their effects by activating receptors of the Robo (Roundabout) family, which resemble cell adhesion molecules in their ectodomains and have large, mainly unstructured cytosolic domains. HS (heparan sulfate) is required for Slit-Robo signalling. The hallmark of Slit proteins is a tandem of four LRR (leucine-rich repeat) domains, which mediate binding to the IG (immunoglobulin-like) domains of Robos. A major question is how Slit binding is translated into the recruitment of effector molecules to the cytosolic domain of Robo. Detailed structure-function studies have shown that the second LRR domain of Slit (D2) binds to the first two IG domains of Robo, and that HS serves to stabilize the Slit-Robo interaction and is required for biological activity of Slit D2. Very recently, the crystal structure of a minimal Slit-Robo complex revealed that the IG1 domain of Robo is bound by the concave face of Slit D2, confirming earlier mutagenesis data. To define the mechanism of Robo transmembrane signalling, these structural insights will have to be complemented by new cell biology and microscopy approaches.

  18. Visualization of elusive structures using intracardiac echocardiography: Insights from electrophysiology

    PubMed Central

    Szili-Torok, T; McFadden, EP; Jordaens, LJ; Roelandt, JRTC

    2004-01-01

    Electrophysiological mapping and ablation techniques are increasingly used to diagnose and treat many types of supraventricular and ventricular tachycardias. These procedures require an intimate knowledge of intracardiac anatomy and their use has led to a renewed interest in visualization of specific structures. This has required collaborative efforts from imaging as well as electrophysiology experts. Classical imaging techniques may be unable to visualize structures involved in arrhythmia mechanisms and therapy. Novel methods, such as intracardiac echocardiography and three-dimensional echocardiography, have been refined and these technological improvements have opened new perspectives for more effective and accurate imaging during electrophysiology procedures. Concurrently, visualization of these structures noticeably improved our ability to identify intracardiac structures. The aim of this review is to provide electrophysiologists with an overview of recent insights into the structure of the heart obtained with intracardiac echocardiography and to indicate to the echo-specialist which structures are potentially important for the electrophysiologist. PMID:15253772

  19. A parameterized model of amylopectin synthesis provides key insights into the synthesis of granular starch.

    PubMed

    Wu, Alex Chi; Morell, Matthew K; Gilbert, Robert G

    2013-01-01

    A core set of genes involved in starch synthesis has been defined by genetic studies, but the complexity of starch biosynthesis has frustrated attempts to elucidate the precise functional roles of the enzymes encoded. The chain-length distribution (CLD) of amylopectin in cereal endosperm is modeled here on the basis that the CLD is produced by concerted actions of three enzyme types: starch synthases, branching and debranching enzymes, including their respective isoforms. The model, together with fitting to experiment, provides four key insights. (1) To generate crystalline starch, defined restrictions on particular ratios of enzymatic activities apply. (2) An independent confirmation of the conclusion, previously reached solely from genetic studies, of the absolute requirement for debranching enzyme in crystalline amylopectin synthesis. (3) The model provides a mechanistic basis for understanding how successive arrays of crystalline lamellae are formed, based on the identification of two independent types of long amylopectin chains, one type remaining in the amorphous lamella, while the other propagates into, and is integral to the formation of, an adjacent crystalline lamella. (4) The model provides a means by which a small number of key parameters defining the core enzymatic activities can be derived from the amylopectin CLD, providing the basis for focusing studies on the enzymatic requirements for generating starches of a particular structure. The modeling approach provides both a new tool to accelerate efforts to understand granular starch biosynthesis and a basis for focusing efforts to manipulate starch structure and functionality using a series of testable predictions based on a robust mechanistic framework.

  20. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling

    PubMed Central

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-01-01

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery. PMID:25981301

  1. Opioid receptors: Structural and mechanistic insights into pharmacology and signaling.

    PubMed

    Shang, Yi; Filizola, Marta

    2015-09-15

    Opioid receptors are important drug targets for pain management, addiction, and mood disorders. Although substantial research on these important subtypes of G protein-coupled receptors has been conducted over the past two decades to discover ligands with higher specificity and diminished side effects, currently used opioid therapeutics remain suboptimal. Luckily, recent advances in structural biology of opioid receptors provide unprecedented insights into opioid receptor pharmacology and signaling. We review here a few recent studies that have used the crystal structures of opioid receptors as a basis for revealing mechanistic details of signal transduction mediated by these receptors, and for the purpose of drug discovery.

  2. Computational models and motor learning paradigms: Could they provide insights for neuroplasticity after stroke? An overview.

    PubMed

    Kiper, Pawel; Szczudlik, Andrzej; Venneri, Annalena; Stozek, Joanna; Luque-Moreno, Carlos; Opara, Jozef; Baba, Alfonc; Agostini, Michela; Turolla, Andrea

    2016-10-15

    Computational approaches for modelling the central nervous system (CNS) aim to develop theories on processes occurring in the brain that allow the transformation of all information needed for the execution of motor acts. Computational models have been proposed in several fields, to interpret not only the CNS functioning, but also its efferent behaviour. Computational model theories can provide insights into neuromuscular and brain function allowing us to reach a deeper understanding of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the process occurring in the CNS that is able to permanently change both structure and function due to interaction with the external environment. To understand such a complex process several paradigms related to motor learning and computational modeling have been put forward. These paradigms have been explained through several internal model concepts, and supported by neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies. Therefore, it has been possible to make theories about the basis of different learning paradigms according to known computational models. Here we review the computational models and motor learning paradigms used to describe the CNS and neuromuscular functions, as well as their role in the recovery process. These theories have the potential to provide a way to rigorously explain all the potential of CNS learning, providing a basis for future clinical studies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Analysis of Imatinib and Sorafenib Binding to p38 Compared with c-Abl and b-Raf Provides Structural Insights for Understanding the Selectivity of Inhibitors Targeting the DFG-Out Form of Protein Kinases

    SciTech Connect

    Namboodiri, H.; Bukhtiyarova, M; Ramcharan, J; Karpusas, M; Lee, Y; Springman, E

    2010-01-01

    Protein kinases c-Abl, b-Raf, and p38{alpha} are recognized as important targets for therapeutic intervention. c-Abl and b-Raf are major targets of marketed oncology drugs Imatinib (Gleevec) and Sorafenib (Nexavar), respectively, and BIRB-796 is a p38{alpha} inhibitor that reached Phase II clinical trials. A shared feature of these drugs is the fact that they bind to the DFG-out forms of their kinase targets. Although the discovery of this class of kinase inhibitors has increased the level of emphasis on the design of DFG-out inhibitors, the structural determinants for their binding and stabilization of the DFG-out conformation remain unclear. To improve our understanding of these determinants, we determined cocrystal structures of Imatinib and Sorafenib with p38{alpha}. We also conducted a detailed analysis of Imatinib and Sorafenib binding to p38{alpha} in comparison with BIRB-796, including binding kinetics, binding interactions, the solvent accessible surface area (SASA) of the ligands, and stabilization of key structural elements of the protein upon ligand binding. Our results yield an improved understanding of the structural requirements for stabilizing the DFG-out form and a rationale for understanding the genesis of ligand selectivity among DFG-out inhibitors of protein kinases.

  4. Forward dynamics simulations provide insight into muscle mechanical work during human locomotion.

    PubMed

    Neptune, Richard R; McGowan, Craig P; Kautz, Steven A

    2009-10-01

    Complex musculoskeletal models and computer simulations can provide critical insight into muscle mechanical work output during locomotion. Simulations provide both a consistent mechanical solution that can be interrogated at multiple levels (muscle fiber, musculotendon, net joint moment, and whole-body work) and an ideal framework to identify limitations with different estimates of muscle work and the resulting implications for metabolic cost and efficiency.

  5. The structure of Medicago truncatula δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase provides new insights into regulation of proline biosynthesis in plants

    SciTech Connect

    Ruszkowski, Milosz; Nocek, Boguslaw; Forlani, Giuseppe; Dauter, Zbigniew

    2015-10-30

    The two pathways for proline biosynthesis in higher plants share the last step, the conversion of δ1-pyrroline-5-carboxylate (P5C) to L-proline, which is catalyzed by P5C reductase (P5CR, EC 1.5.1.2) with the use of NAD(P)H as a coenzyme. There is increasing amount of evidence to suggest a complex regulation of P5CR activity at the post-translational level, yet the molecular basis of these mechanisms is unknown. Here we report the three-dimensional structure of the P5CR enzyme from the model legume Medicago truncatula (Mt). The crystal structures of unliganded MtP5CR decamer, and its complexes with the products NAD+, NADP+, and L-proline were refined using x-ray diffraction data (at 1.7, 1.85, 1.95, and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively). Based on the presented structural data, the coenzyme preference for NADPH over NADH was explained, and NADPH is suggested to be the only coenzyme used by MtP5CR in vivo. Moreover, the insensitivity of MtP5CR to feed-back inhibition by proline, revealed by enzymatic analysis, was correlated with structural features. Additionally, a mechanism for the modulation of enzyme activity by chloride anions is discussed, as well as the rationale for the possible development of effective enzyme inhibitors.

  6. Markov state models provide insights into dynamic modulation of protein function.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Diwakar; Hernández, Carlos X; Weber, Jeffrey K; Pande, Vijay S

    2015-02-17

    CONSPECTUS: Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or "molecular switches" within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a theoretical

  7. Markov State Models Provide Insights into Dynamic Modulation of Protein Function

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Conspectus Protein function is inextricably linked to protein dynamics. As we move from a static structural picture to a dynamic ensemble view of protein structure and function, novel computational paradigms are required for observing and understanding conformational dynamics of proteins and its functional implications. In principle, molecular dynamics simulations can provide the time evolution of atomistic models of proteins, but the long time scales associated with functional dynamics make it difficult to observe rare dynamical transitions. The issue of extracting essential functional components of protein dynamics from noisy simulation data presents another set of challenges in obtaining an unbiased understanding of protein motions. Therefore, a methodology that provides a statistical framework for efficient sampling and a human-readable view of the key aspects of functional dynamics from data analysis is required. The Markov state model (MSM), which has recently become popular worldwide for studying protein dynamics, is an example of such a framework. In this Account, we review the use of Markov state models for efficient sampling of the hierarchy of time scales associated with protein dynamics, automatic identification of key conformational states, and the degrees of freedom associated with slow dynamical processes. Applications of MSMs for studying long time scale phenomena such as activation mechanisms of cellular signaling proteins has yielded novel insights into protein function. In particular, from MSMs built using large-scale simulations of GPCRs and kinases, we have shown that complex conformational changes in proteins can be described in terms of structural changes in key structural motifs or “molecular switches” within the protein, the transitions between functionally active and inactive states of proteins proceed via multiple pathways, and ligand or substrate binding modulates the flux through these pathways. Finally, MSMs also provide a

  8. Mitochondrial DNA capture and divergence in Pinus provide new insights into the evolution of the genus.

    PubMed

    Wang, Baosheng; Wang, Xiao-Ru

    2014-11-01

    The evolution of the mitochondrial (mt) genome is far from being fully understood. Systematic investigations into the modes of inheritance, rates and patterns of recombination, nucleotide substitution, and structural changes in the mt genome are still lacking in many groups of plants. In this study, we sequenced >11kbp mtDNA segments from multiple accessions of 36 pine species to characterize the evolutionary patterns of mtDNA in the genus Pinus. We found extremely low substitution rates and complex repetitive sequences scattered across different genome regions, as well as chimeric structures that were probably generated by multiple intergenomic recombinations. The mtDNA-based phylogeny of the genus differed from that based on chloroplast and nuclear DNA in the placement of several groups of species. Such discordances suggest a series of mtDNA capture events during past range shifts of the pine species and that both vertical and horizontal inheritance are implicated in the evolution of mtDNA in Pinus. MtDNA dating revealed that most extant lineages of the genus originated during Oligocene-Miocene radiation and subgenus Strobus diversified earlier than subgenus Pinus. Our findings illustrate a reticular evolutionary pathway for the mt genome through capture and recombination in the genus Pinus, and provide new insights into the evolution of the genus. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Tackling wicked problems: how theories of agency can provide new insights.

    PubMed

    Varpio, Lara; Aschenbrener, Carol; Bates, Joanna

    2017-04-01

    This paper reviews why and how theories of agency can be used as analytical lenses to help health professions education (HPE) scholars address our community's wicked problems. Wicked problems are those that resist clear problem statements, defy traditional analysis approaches, and refuse definitive resolution (e.g. student remediation, assessments of professionalism, etc.). We illustrate how theories of agency can provide new insights into such challenges by examining the application of these theories to one particular wicked problem in HPE: interprofessional education (IPE). After searching the HPE literature and finding that theories of agency had received little attention, we borrowed techniques from narrative literature reviews to search databases indexing a broad scope of disciplines (i.e. ERIC, Web of Science, Scopus, MEDLINE and PubMed) for publications (1994-2014) that: (i) examined agency, or (ii) incorporated an agency-informed analytical perspective. The lead author identified the theories of agency used in these articles, and reviewed the texts on agency cited therein and the original sources of each theory. We identified 10 theories of agency that we considered to be applicable to HPE's wicked problems. To select a subset of theories for presentation in this paper, we discussed each theory in relation to some of HPE's wicked problems. Through debate and reflection, we unanimously agreed on the applicability of a subset of theories for illuminating HPE's wicked problems. This subset is described in this paper. We present four theories of agency: Butler's post-structural formulation; Giddens' sociological formulation; cultural historical activity theory's formulation, and Bandura's social cognitive psychology formulation. We introduce each theory and apply each to the challenges of engaging in IPE. Theories of agency can inform HPE scholarship in novel and generative ways. Each theory offers new insights into the roots of wicked problems and means for

  10. The Active Site of Oligogalacturonate Lyase Provides Unique Insights into Cytoplasmic Oligogalacturonate β-Elimination*

    PubMed Central

    Abbott, D. Wade; Gilbert, Harry J.; Boraston, Alisdair B.

    2010-01-01

    Oligogalacturonate lyases (OGLs; now also classified as pectate lyase family 22) are cytoplasmic enzymes found in pectinolytic members of Enterobacteriaceae, such as the enteropathogen Yersinia enterocolitica. OGLs utilize a β-elimination mechanism to preferentially catalyze the conversion of saturated and unsaturated digalacturonate into monogalacturonate and the 4,5-unsaturated monogalacturonate-like molecule, 5-keto-4-deoxyuronate. To provide mechanistic insights into the specificity of this enzyme activity, we have characterized the OGL from Y. enterocolitica, YeOGL, on oligogalacturonides and determined its three-dimensional x-ray structure to 1.65 Å. The model contains a Mn2+ atom in the active site, which is coordinated by three histidines, one glutamine, and an acetate ion. The acetate mimics the binding of the uronate group of galactourono-configured substrates. These findings, in combination with enzyme kinetics and metal supplementation assays, provide a framework for modeling the active site architecture of OGL. This enzyme appears to contain a histidine for the abstraction of the α-proton in the −1 subsite, a residue that is highly conserved throughout the OGL family and represents a unique catalytic base among pectic active lyases. In addition, we present a hypothesis for an emerging relationship observed between the cellular distribution of pectate lyase folding and the distinct metal coordination chemistries of pectate lyases. PMID:20851883

  11. Dissecting the genetics of complex inheritance: linkage disequilibrium mapping provides insight into Crohn disease.

    PubMed

    Elding, Heather; Lau, Winston; Swallow, Dallas M; Maniatis, Nikolas

    2011-12-09

    Family studies for Crohn disease (CD) report extensive linkage on chromosome 16q and pinpoint NOD2 as a possible causative locus. However, linkage is also observed in families that do not bear the most frequent NOD2 causative mutations, but no other signals on 16q have been found so far in published genome-wide association studies. Our aim is to identify this missing genetic contribution. We apply a powerful genetic mapping approach to the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases genome-wide association data on CD. This method takes into account the underlying structure of linkage disequilibrium (LD) by using genetic distances from LD maps and provides a location for the causal agent. We find genetic heterogeneity within the NOD2 locus and also show an independent and unsuspected involvement of the neighboring gene, CYLD. We find associations with the IRF8 region and the region containing CDH1 and CDH3, as well as substantial phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity for CD itself. The genes are known to be involved in inflammation and immune dysregulation. These findings provide insight into the genetics of CD and suggest promising directions for understanding disease heterogeneity. The application of this method thus paves the way for understanding complex inheritance in general, leading to the dissection of different pathways and ultimately, personalized treatment. Copyright © 2011 The American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Dissecting the Genetics of Complex Inheritance: Linkage Disequilibrium Mapping Provides Insight into Crohn Disease

    PubMed Central

    Elding, Heather; Lau, Winston; Swallow, Dallas M.; Maniatis, Nikolas

    2011-01-01

    Family studies for Crohn disease (CD) report extensive linkage on chromosome 16q and pinpoint NOD2 as a possible causative locus. However, linkage is also observed in families that do not bear the most frequent NOD2 causative mutations, but no other signals on 16q have been found so far in published genome-wide association studies. Our aim is to identify this missing genetic contribution. We apply a powerful genetic mapping approach to the Wellcome Trust Case-Control Consortium and the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases genome-wide association data on CD. This method takes into account the underlying structure of linkage disequilibrium (LD) by using genetic distances from LD maps and provides a location for the causal agent. We find genetic heterogeneity within the NOD2 locus and also show an independent and unsuspected involvement of the neighboring gene, CYLD. We find associations with the IRF8 region and the region containing CDH1 and CDH3, as well as substantial phenotypic and genetic heterogeneity for CD itself. The genes are known to be involved in inflammation and immune dysregulation. These findings provide insight into the genetics of CD and suggest promising directions for understanding disease heterogeneity. The application of this method thus paves the way for understanding complex inheritance in general, leading to the dissection of different pathways and ultimately, personalized treatment. PMID:22152681

  13. The charophycean green algae provide insights into the early origins of plant cell walls.

    PubMed

    Sørensen, Iben; Pettolino, Filomena A; Bacic, Antony; Ralph, John; Lu, Fachuang; O'Neill, Malcolm A; Fei, Zhangzhun; Rose, Jocelyn K C; Domozych, David S; Willats, William G T

    2011-10-01

    Numerous evolutionary innovations were required to enable freshwater green algae to colonize terrestrial habitats and thereby initiate the evolution of land plants (embryophytes). These adaptations probably included changes in cell-wall composition and architecture that were to become essential for embryophyte development and radiation. However, it is not known to what extent the polymers that are characteristic of embryophyte cell walls, including pectins, hemicelluloses, glycoproteins and lignin, evolved in response to the demands of the terrestrial environment or whether they pre-existed in their algal ancestors. Here we show that members of the advanced charophycean green algae (CGA), including the Charales, Coleochaetales and Zygnematales, but not basal CGA (Klebsormidiales and Chlorokybales), have cell walls that are comparable in several respects to the primary walls of embryophytes. Moreover, we provide both chemical and immunocytochemical evidence that selected Coleochaete species have cell walls that contain small amounts of lignin or lignin-like polymers derived from radical coupling of hydroxycinnamyl alcohols. Thus, the ability to synthesize many of the components that characterize extant embryophyte walls evolved during divergence within CGA. Our study provides new insight into the evolutionary window during which the structurally complex walls of embryophytes originated, and the significance of the advanced CGA during these events.

  14. Emerging structural insights into the function of ionotropic glutamate receptors

    PubMed Central

    Karakas, Erkan; Regan, Michael C.; Furukawa, Hiro

    2015-01-01

    Summary Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) are ligand-gated ion channels that mediate excitatory neurotransmission crucial for brain development and function including learning and memory formation. Recently a wealth of structural studies on iGluRs, including AMPA receptors (AMPARs), kainate receptors, and NMDA receptors (NMDARs) became available.. These studies showed structures of non-NMDARs including AMPAR and kainate receptor in various functional states, thereby providing the first visual sense of how non-NMDAR iGluRs may function in the context of homotetramers. Furthermore, they provided the first view of heterotetrameric NMDAR ion channels, which illuminated the similarities with and differences from non-NMDARs, thus raising a mechanistic distinction between the two groups of iGluRs. Here we review mechanistic insights into iGluR functions gained through structural studies of multiple groups. PMID:25941168

  15. The crystal structure of a ternary complex of betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Provides new insight into the reaction mechanism and shows a novel binding mode of the 2'-phosphate of NADP+ and a novel cation binding site.

    PubMed

    González-Segura, Lilian; Rudiño-Piñera, Enrique; Muñoz-Clares, Rosario A; Horjales, Eduardo

    2009-01-16

    In the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the NAD(P)(+)-dependent betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (PaBADH) may play the dual role of assimilating carbon and nitrogen from choline or choline precursors--abundant at infection sites--and producing glycine betaine and NADPH, potentially protective against the high-osmolarity and oxidative stresses prevalent in the infected tissues. Disruption of the PaBADH gene negatively affects the growth of bacteria, suggesting that this enzyme could be a target for antibiotic design. PaBADH is one of the few ALDHs that efficiently use NADP(+) and one of the even fewer that require K(+) ions for stability. Crystals of PaBADH were obtained under aerobic conditions in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol, glycerol, NADP(+) and K(+) ions. The three-dimensional structure was determined at 2.1-A resolution. The catalytic cysteine (C286, corresponding to C302 of ALDH2) is oxidized to sulfenic acid or forms a mixed disulfide with 2-mercaptoethanol. The glutamyl residue involved in the deacylation step (E252, corresponding to E268 of ALDH2) is in two conformations, suggesting a proton relay system formed by two well-conserved residues (E464 and K162, corresponding to E476 and K178, respectively, of ALDH2) that connects E252 with the bulk water. In some active sites, a bound glycerol molecule mimics the thiohemiacetal intermediate; its hydroxyl oxygen is hydrogen bonded to the nitrogen of the amide groups of the side chain of the conserved N153 (N169 of ALDH2) and those of the main chain of C286, which form the "oxyanion hole." The nicotinamide moiety of the nucleotide is not observed in the crystal, and the adenine moiety binds in the usual way. A salt bridge between E179 (E195 of ALDH2) and R40 (E53 of ALDH2) moves the carboxylate group of the former away from the 2'-phosphate of the NADP(+), thus avoiding steric clashes and/or electrostatic repulsion between the two groups. Finally, the crystal shows two K(+) binding sites per subunit

  16. The structure- and metal-dependent activity of Escherichia coli PgaB provides insight into the partial de-N-acetylation of poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine.

    PubMed

    Little, Dustin J; Poloczek, Joanna; Whitney, John C; Robinson, Howard; Nitz, Mark; Howell, P Lynne

    2012-09-07

    Exopolysaccharides are required for the development and integrity of biofilms produced by a wide variety of bacteria. In Escherichia coli, partial de-N-acetylation of the exopolysaccharide poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-D-glucosamine (PNAG) by the periplasmic protein PgaB is required for polysaccharide intercellular adhesin-dependent biofilm formation. To understand the molecular basis for PNAG de-N-acetylation, the structure of PgaB in complex with Ni(2+) and Fe(3+) have been determined to 1.9 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively, and its activity on β-1,6-GlcNAc oligomers has been characterized. The structure of PgaB reveals two (β/α)(x) barrel domains: a metal-binding de-N-acetylase that is a member of the family 4 carbohydrate esterases (CE4s) and a domain structurally similar to glycoside hydrolases. PgaB displays de-N-acetylase activity on β-1,6-GlcNAc oligomers but not on the β-1,4-(GlcNAc)(4) oligomer chitotetraose and is the first CE4 member to exhibit this substrate specificity. De-N-acetylation occurs in a length-dependent manor, and specificity is observed for the position of de-N-acetylation. A key aspartic acid involved in de-N-acetylation, normally seen in other CE4s, is missing in PgaB, suggesting that the activity of PgaB is attenuated to maintain the low levels of de-N-acetylation of PNAG observed in vivo. The metal dependence of PgaB is different from most CE4s, because PgaB shows increased rates of de-N-acetylation with Co(2+) and Ni(2+) under aerobic conditions, and Co(2+), Ni(2+) and Fe(2+) under anaerobic conditions, but decreased activity with Zn(2+). The work presented herein will guide inhibitor design to combat biofilm formation by E. coli and potentially a wide range of medically relevant bacteria producing polysaccharide intercellular adhesin-dependent biofilms.

  17. The Structure- and Metal-dependent Activity of Escherichia coli PgaB Provides Insight into the Partial De-N-acetylation of Poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine*

    PubMed Central

    Little, Dustin J.; Poloczek, Joanna; Whitney, John C.; Robinson, Howard; Nitz, Mark; Howell, P. Lynne

    2012-01-01

    Exopolysaccharides are required for the development and integrity of biofilms produced by a wide variety of bacteria. In Escherichia coli, partial de-N-acetylation of the exopolysaccharide poly-β-1,6-N-acetyl-d-glucosamine (PNAG) by the periplasmic protein PgaB is required for polysaccharide intercellular adhesin-dependent biofilm formation. To understand the molecular basis for PNAG de-N-acetylation, the structure of PgaB in complex with Ni2+ and Fe3+ have been determined to 1.9 and 2.1 Å resolution, respectively, and its activity on β-1,6-GlcNAc oligomers has been characterized. The structure of PgaB reveals two (β/α)x barrel domains: a metal-binding de-N-acetylase that is a member of the family 4 carbohydrate esterases (CE4s) and a domain structurally similar to glycoside hydrolases. PgaB displays de-N-acetylase activity on β-1,6-GlcNAc oligomers but not on the β-1,4-(GlcNAc)4 oligomer chitotetraose and is the first CE4 member to exhibit this substrate specificity. De-N-acetylation occurs in a length-dependent manor, and specificity is observed for the position of de-N-acetylation. A key aspartic acid involved in de-N-acetylation, normally seen in other CE4s, is missing in PgaB, suggesting that the activity of PgaB is attenuated to maintain the low levels of de-N-acetylation of PNAG observed in vivo. The metal dependence of PgaB is different from most CE4s, because PgaB shows increased rates of de-N-acetylation with Co2+ and Ni2+ under aerobic conditions, and Co2+, Ni2+ and Fe2+ under anaerobic conditions, but decreased activity with Zn2+. The work presented herein will guide inhibitor design to combat biofilm formation by E. coli and potentially a wide range of medically relevant bacteria producing polysaccharide intercellular adhesin-dependent biofilms. PMID:22810235

  18. The Crystal Structure of a Ternary Complex of Betaine Aldehyde Dehydrogenase from Pseudomonas aeruginosa Provides New Insight Into the Reaction Mechansim and Shows A Novel Binding Mode of the 2'-Phosphate of NADP+ and A Novel Cation Binding Site

    SciTech Connect

    Gonzalez-Segura, L.; Rudino-Pinera, E; Munoz-Clares, R; Horjales, E

    2009-01-01

    In the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the NAD(P)+-dependent betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (PaBADH) may play the dual role of assimilating carbon and nitrogen from choline or choline precursors-abundant at infection sites-and producing glycine betaine and NADPH, potentially protective against the high-osmolarity and oxidative stresses prevalent in the infected tissues. Disruption of the PaBADH gene negatively affects the growth of bacteria, suggesting that this enzyme could be a target for antibiotic design. PaBADH is one of the few ALDHs that efficiently use NADP+ and one of the even fewer that require K+ ions for stability. Crystals of PaBADH were obtained under aerobic conditions in the presence of 2-mercaptoethanol, glycerol, NADP+ and K+ ions. The three-dimensional structure was determined at 2.1-A resolution. The catalytic cysteine (C286, corresponding to C302 of ALDH2) is oxidized to sulfenic acid or forms a mixed disulfide with 2-mercaptoethanol. The glutamyl residue involved in the deacylation step (E252, corresponding to E268 of ALDH2) is in two conformations, suggesting a proton relay system formed by two well-conserved residues (E464 and K162, corresponding to E476 and K178, respectively, of ALDH2) that connects E252 with the bulk water. In some active sites, a bound glycerol molecule mimics the thiohemiacetal intermediate; its hydroxyl oxygen is hydrogen bonded to the nitrogen of the amide groups of the side chain of the conserved N153 (N169 of ALDH2) and those of the main chain of C286, which form the 'oxyanion hole.' The nicotinamide moiety of the nucleotide is not observed in the crystal, and the adenine moiety binds in the usual way. A salt bridge between E179 (E195 of ALDH2) and R40 (E53 of ALDH2) moves the carboxylate group of the former away from the 2?-phosphate of the NADP+, thus avoiding steric clashes and/or electrostatic repulsion between the two groups. Finally, the crystal shows two K+ binding sites per subunit. One is in an

  19. Structural Studies of Soybean Calmodulin Isoform 4 Bound to the Calmodulin-binding Domain of Tobacco Mitogen-activated Protein Kinase Phosphatase-1 Provide Insights into a Sequential Target Binding Mode*

    PubMed Central

    Ishida, Hiroaki; Rainaldi, Mario; Vogel, Hans J.

    2009-01-01

    The calcium regulatory protein calmodulin (CaM) binds in a calcium-dependent manner to numerous target proteins. The calmodulin-binding domain (CaMBD) region of Nicotiana tabacum MAPK phosphatase has an amino acid sequence that does not resemble the CaMBD of any other known Ca2+-CaM-binding proteins. Using a unique fusion protein strategy, we have been able to obtain a high resolution solution structure of the complex of soybean Ca2+-CaM4 (SCaM4) and this CaMBD. Complete isotope labeling of both parts of the complex in the fusion protein greatly facilitated the structure determination by NMR. The 12-residue CaMBD region was found to bind exclusively to the C-lobe of SCaM4. A specific Trp and Leu side chain are utilized to facilitate strong binding through a novel “double anchor” motif. Moreover, the orientation of the helical peptide on the surface of Ca2+-SCaM4 is distinct from other known complexes. The N-lobe of Ca2+-SCaM4 in the complex remains free for additional interactions and could possibly act as a calcium-dependent adapter protein. Signaling through the MAPK pathway and increases in intracellular Ca2+ are both hallmarks of the plant stress response, and our data support the notion that coordination of these responses may occur through the formation of a unique CaM-MAPK phosphatase multiprotein complex. PMID:19667066

  20. Structural insights into the transport of small molecules across membranes

    PubMed Central

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Buchanan, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    While hydrophobic small molecules often can freely permeate a lipid bilayer, ions and other polar molecules cannot and require transporters to mediate their transport. Recently, a number of important structures have been reported which have advanced our understanding of how membrane protein transporters function to transport small molecules. Structures of TbpA/B and HmuUV provided new insight into iron uptake by pathogenic bacteria while the structures of NarK, ASBT, and VcINDY revealed molecular details about the transport of nitrate, bile acids and dicarboxylates, respectively. The structure of the folate ECF transporter indicated that the S component likely undergoes a large conformational shift to mediate folate transport, while the cellulose synthase/transporter contains an elongated translocation pore for passage through the inner membrane. PMID:24681594

  1. X-ray Structure Analysis of Indazolium trans-[Tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (KP1019) Bound to Human Serum Albumin Reveals Two Ruthenium Binding Sites and Provides Insights into the Drug Binding Mechanism.

    PubMed

    Bijelic, Aleksandar; Theiner, Sarah; Keppler, Bernhard K; Rompel, Annette

    2016-06-23

    Ruthenium(III) complexes are promising candidates for anticancer drugs, especially the clinically studied indazolium trans-[tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (KP1019) and its analogue sodium trans-[tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (NKP-1339). Several studies have emphasized the likely role of human serum proteins in the transportation and accumulation of ruthenium(III) complexes in tumors. Therefore, the interaction between KP1019 and human serum albumin was investigated by means of X-ray crystallography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The structural data unambiguously reveal the binding of two ruthenium atoms to histidine residues 146 and 242, which are both located within well-known hydrophobic binding pockets of albumin. The ruthenium centers are octahedrally coordinated by solvent molecules revealing the dissociation of both indazole ligands from the ruthenium-based drug. However, a binding mechanism is proposed indicating the importance of the indazole ligands for binding site recognition and thus their indispensable role for the binding of KP1019.

  2. X-ray Structure Analysis of Indazolium trans-[Tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (KP1019) Bound to Human Serum Albumin Reveals Two Ruthenium Binding Sites and Provides Insights into the Drug Binding Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Ruthenium(III) complexes are promising candidates for anticancer drugs, especially the clinically studied indazolium trans-[tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (KP1019) and its analogue sodium trans-[tetrachlorobis(1H-indazole)ruthenate(III)] (NKP-1339). Several studies have emphasized the likely role of human serum proteins in the transportation and accumulation of ruthenium(III) complexes in tumors. Therefore, the interaction between KP1019 and human serum albumin was investigated by means of X-ray crystallography and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The structural data unambiguously reveal the binding of two ruthenium atoms to histidine residues 146 and 242, which are both located within well-known hydrophobic binding pockets of albumin. The ruthenium centers are octahedrally coordinated by solvent molecules revealing the dissociation of both indazole ligands from the ruthenium-based drug. However, a binding mechanism is proposed indicating the importance of the indazole ligands for binding site recognition and thus their indispensable role for the binding of KP1019. PMID:27196130

  3. Structural Determination and Tryptophan Fluorescence of Heterokaryon Incompatibility C2 Protein (HET-C2), a Fungal Glycolipid Transfer Protein (GLTP), Provide Novel Insights into Glycolipid Specificity and Membrane Interaction by the GLTP Fold*

    PubMed Central

    Kenoth, Roopa; Simanshu, Dhirendra K.; Kamlekar, Ravi Kanth; Pike, Helen M.; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Benson, Linda M.; Bergen, H. Robert; Prendergast, Franklyn G.; Malinina, Lucy; Venyaminov, Sergei Y.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.

    2010-01-01

    HET-C2 is a fungal protein that transfers glycosphingolipids between membranes and has limited sequence homology with human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP). The human GLTP fold is unique among lipid binding/transfer proteins, defining the GLTP superfamily. Herein, GLTP fold formation by HET-C2, its glycolipid transfer specificity, and the functional role(s) of its two Trp residues have been investigated. X-ray diffraction (1.9 Å) revealed a GLTP fold with all key sugar headgroup recognition residues (Asp66, Asn70, Lys73, Trp109, and His147) conserved and properly oriented for glycolipid binding. Far-UV CD showed secondary structure dominated by α-helices and a cooperative thermal unfolding transition of 49 °C, features consistent with a GLTP fold. Environmentally induced optical activity of Trp/Tyr/Phe (2:4:12) detected by near-UV CD was unaffected by membranes containing glycolipid but was slightly altered by membranes lacking glycolipid. Trp fluorescence was maximal at ∼355 nm and accessible to aqueous quenchers, indicating free exposure to the aqueous milieu and consistent with surface localization of the two Trps. Interaction with membranes lacking glycolipid triggered significant decreases in Trp emission intensity but lesser than decreases induced by membranes containing glycolipid. Binding of glycolipid (confirmed by electrospray injection mass spectrometry) resulted in a blue-shifted emission wavelength maximum (∼6 nm) permitting determination of binding affinities. The unique positioning of Trp208 at the HET-C2 C terminus revealed membrane-induced conformational changes that precede glycolipid uptake, whereas key differences in residues of the sugar headgroup recognition center accounted for altered glycolipid specificity and suggested evolutionary adaptation for the simpler glycosphingolipid compositions of filamentous fungi. PMID:20164530

  4. Structural Determination and Tryptophan Fluorescence of Heterokaryon Incompatibility C2 Protein (HET-C2), a Fungal Glycolipid Transfer Protein (GLTP), Provide Novel Insights into Glycolipid Specificity and Membrane Interaction by the GLTP Fold

    SciTech Connect

    Kenoth, Roopa; Simanshu, Dhirendra K.; Kamlekar, Ravi Kanth; Pike, Helen M.; Molotkovsky, Julian G.; Benson, Linda M.; Bergen, III, H. Robert; Prendergast, Franklyn G.; Malinina, Lucy; Venyaminov, Sergei Y.; Patel, Dinshaw J.; Brown, Rhoderick E.

    2010-06-21

    HET-C2 is a fungal protein that transfers glycosphingolipids between membranes and has limited sequence homology with human glycolipid transfer protein (GLTP). The human GLTP fold is unique among lipid binding/transfer proteins, defining the GLTP superfamily. Herein, GLTP fold formation by HET-C2, its glycolipid transfer specificity, and the functional role(s) of its two Trp residues have been investigated. X-ray diffraction (1.9 {angstrom}) revealed a GLTP fold with all key sugar headgroup recognition residues (Asp{sup 66}, Asn{sup 70}, Lys{sup 73}, Trp{sup 109}, and His{sup 147}) conserved and properly oriented for glycolipid binding. Far-UV CD showed secondary structure dominated by {alpha}-helices and a cooperative thermal unfolding transition of 49 C, features consistent with a GLTP fold. Environmentally induced optical activity of Trp/Tyr/Phe (2:4:12) detected by near-UV CD was unaffected by membranes containing glycolipid but was slightly altered by membranes lacking glycolipid. Trp fluorescence was maximal at {approx}355 nm and accessible to aqueous quenchers, indicating free exposure to the aqueous milieu and consistent with surface localization of the two Trps. Interaction with membranes lacking glycolipid triggered significant decreases in Trp emission intensity but lesser than decreases induced by membranes containing glycolipid. Binding of glycolipid (confirmed by electrospray injection mass spectrometry) resulted in a blue-shifted emission wavelength maximum ({approx}6 nm) permitting determination of binding affinities. The unique positioning of Trp{sup 208} at the HET-C2 C terminus revealed membrane-induced conformational changes that precede glycolipid uptake, whereas key differences in residues of the sugar headgroup recognition center accounted for altered glycolipid specificity and suggested evolutionary adaptation for the simpler glycosphingolipid compositions of filamentous fungi.

  5. New technologies provide insights into genetic basis of psychiatric disorders and explain their co-morbidity.

    PubMed

    Rudan, Igor

    2010-06-01

    The completion of Human Genome Project and the "HapMap" project was followed by translational activities from companies within the private sector. This led to the introduction of genome-wide scans based on hundreds of thousands of single nucleotide polymorphysms (SNP). These scans were based on common genetic variants in human populations. This new and powerful technology was then applied to the existing DNA-based datasets with information on psychiatric disorders. As a result, an unprecedented amount of novel scientific insights related to the underlying biology and genetics of psychiatric disorders was obtained. The dominant design of these studies, so called "genome-wide association studies" (GWAS), used statistical methods which minimized the risk of false positive reports and provided much greater power to detect genotype-phenotype associations. All findings were entirely data-driven rather than hypothesis-driven, which often made it difficult for researchers to understand or interpret the findings. Interestingly, this work in genetics is indicating how non-specific some genes are for psychiatric disorders, having associations in common for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism. This suggests that the earlier stages of psychiatric disorders may be multi-valent and that early detection, coupled with a clearer understanding of the environmental factors, may allow prevention. At the present time, the rich "harvest" from GWAS still has very limited power to predict the variation in psychiatric disease status at individual level, typically explaining less than 5% of the total risk variance. The most recent studies of common genetic variation implicated the role of major histocompatibility complex in schizophrenia and other disorders. They also provided molecular evidence for a substantial polygenic component to the risk of psychiatric diseases, involving thousands of common alleles of very small effect. The studies of structural genetic variation, such as copy

  6. Structural and mechanistic insights into hepatitis C viral translation initiation.

    PubMed

    Fraser, Christopher S; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2007-01-01

    Hepatitis C virus uses an internal ribosome entry site (IRES) to control viral protein synthesis by directly recruiting ribosomes to the translation-start site in the viral mRNA. Structural insights coupled with biochemical studies have revealed that the IRES substitutes for the activities of translation-initiation factors by binding and inducing conformational changes in the 40S ribosomal subunit. Direct interactions of the IRES with initiation factor eIF3 are also crucial for efficient translation initiation, providing clues to the role of eIF3 in protein synthesis.

  7. BK channel activation: structural and functional insights

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Urvi S.; Cui, Jianmin

    2010-01-01

    The voltage and Ca2+ activated K+ (BK) channels are involved in the regulation of neurotransmitter release and neuronal excitability. Structurally, BK channels are homologous to voltage- and ligand-gated K+ channels, having a voltage sensor and pore as the membrane-spanning domain and a cytosolic domain containing metal binding sites. Recently published electron cryomicroscopy (cryo-EM) and X-ray crystallographic structures of the BK channel provided the first look into the assembly of these domains, corroborating the close interactions among these domains during channel gating that have been suggested by functional studies. This review discusses these latest findings and an emerging new understanding about BK channel gating and implications for diseases such as epilepsy, in which mutations in BK channel genes have been associated. PMID:20663573

  8. Microstructure provides insights into evolutionary design and resilience of Coscinodiscus sp. frustule

    PubMed Central

    Aitken, Zachary H.; Luo, Shi; Reynolds, Stephanie N.; Thaulow, Christian; Greer, Julia R.

    2016-01-01

    We conducted in situ three-point bending experiments on beams with roughly square cross-sections, which we fabricated from the frustule of Coscinodiscus sp. We observe failure by brittle fracture at an average stress of 1.1 GPa. Analysis of crack propagation and shell morphology reveals a differentiation in the function of the frustule layers with the basal layer pores, which deflect crack propagation. We calculated the relative density of the frustule to be ∼30% and show that at this density the frustule has the highest strength-to-density ratio of 1,702 kN⋅m/kg, a significant departure from all reported biologic materials. We also performed nanoindentation on both the single basal layer of the frustule as well as the girdle band and show that these components display similar mechanical properties that also agree well with bending tests. Transmission electron microscopy analysis reveals that the frustule is made almost entirely of amorphous silica with a nanocrystalline proximal layer. No flaws are observed within the frustule material down to 2 nm. Finite element simulations of the three-point bending experiments show that the basal layer carries most of the applied load whereas stresses within the cribrum and areolae layer are an order of magnitude lower. These results demonstrate the natural development of architecture in live organisms to simultaneously achieve light weight, strength, and exceptional structural integrity and may provide insight into evolutionary design. PMID:26858446

  9. Microstructure provides insights into evolutionary design and resilience of Coscinodiscus sp. frustule.

    PubMed

    Aitken, Zachary H; Luo, Shi; Reynolds, Stephanie N; Thaulow, Christian; Greer, Julia R

    2016-02-23

    We conducted in situ three-point bending experiments on beams with roughly square cross-sections, which we fabricated from the frustule of Coscinodiscus sp. We observe failure by brittle fracture at an average stress of 1.1 GPa. Analysis of crack propagation and shell morphology reveals a differentiation in the function of the frustule layers with the basal layer pores, which deflect crack propagation. We calculated the relative density of the frustule to be ∼30% and show that at this density the frustule has the highest strength-to-density ratio of 1,702 kN⋅m/kg, a significant departure from all reported biologic materials. We also performed nanoindentation on both the single basal layer of the frustule as well as the girdle band and show that these components display similar mechanical properties that also agree well with bending tests. Transmission electron microscopy analysis reveals that the frustule is made almost entirely of amorphous silica with a nanocrystalline proximal layer. No flaws are observed within the frustule material down to 2 nm. Finite element simulations of the three-point bending experiments show that the basal layer carries most of the applied load whereas stresses within the cribrum and areolae layer are an order of magnitude lower. These results demonstrate the natural development of architecture in live organisms to simultaneously achieve light weight, strength, and exceptional structural integrity and may provide insight into evolutionary design.

  10. Unusual mutation clusters provide insight into class I gene conversion mechanisms.

    PubMed Central

    Pease, L R; Horton, R M; Pullen, J K; Yun, T J

    1993-01-01

    Genetic diversity among the K and D alleles of the mouse major histocompatibility complex is generated by gene conversion among members of the class I multigene family. The majority of known class I mutants contain clusters of nucleotide changes that can be traced to linked family members. However, the details of the gene conversion mechanism are not known. The bm3 and bm23 mutations represent exceptions to the usual pattern and provide insight into intermediates generated during the gene conversion process. Both of these variants contain clusters of five nucleotide substitutions, but they differ from the classic conversion mutants in the important respect that no donor gene for either mutation could be identified in the parental genome. Nevertheless, both mutation clusters are composed of individual mutations that do exist within the parent. Therefore, they are not random and appear to be templated. Significantly, the bm3 and bm23 mutation clusters are divided into overlapping regions that match class I genes which have functioned as donor genes in other characterized gene conversion events. The unusual structure of the mutation clusters indicates an underlying gene conversion mechanism that can generate mutation clusters as a result of the interaction of three genes in a single genetic event. The unusual mutation clusters are consistent with a hypothetical gene conversion model involving extrachromosomal intermediates. Images PMID:8321237

  11. First fossil gravid turtle provides insight into the evolution of reproductive traits in turtles.

    PubMed

    Zelenitsky, Darla K; Therrien, Franc Ois; Joyce, Walter G; Brinkman, Donald B

    2008-12-23

    Here we report on the first discovery of shelled eggs inside the body cavity of a fossil turtle and on an isolated egg clutch, both referable to the Cretaceous turtle Adocus. These discoveries provide a unique opportunity to gain insight into the reproductive traits of an extinct turtle and to understand the evolution of such traits among living turtles. The gravid adult and egg clutch indicate that Adocus laid large clutches of rigid-shelled spherical eggs and established their nests near rivers, traits that are shared by its closest living relatives, the soft-shelled turtles. Adocus eggshell, however, was probably more rigid than that of living turtles, based on its great thickness and structure, features that may represent unique adaptations to intense predation or to arid nest environments. In light of the reproductive traits observed in Adocus, the distribution of reproductive traits among turtles reveals that large clutches of rigid-shelled eggs are primitive for hidden-necked turtles (cryptodirans) and that spherical eggs may have evolved independently within this group.

  12. Analysis of the FGF gene family provides insights into aquatic adaptation in cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Nam, Kiwoong; Lee, Kyeong Won; Chung, Oksung; Yim, Hyung-Soon; Cha, Sun-Shin; Lee, Sae-Won; Jun, JeHoon; Cho, Yun Sung; Bhak, Jong; Magalhães, João Pedro de; Lee, Jung-Hyun; Jeong, Jae-Yeon

    2017-01-01

    Cetacean body structure and physiology exhibit dramatic adaptations to their aquatic environment. Fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) are a family of essential factors that regulate animal development and physiology; however, their role in cetacean evolution is not clearly understood. Here, we sequenced the fin whale genome and analysed FGFs from 8 cetaceans. FGF22, a hair follicle-enriched gene, exhibited pseudogenization, indicating that the function of this gene is no longer necessary in cetaceans that have lost most of their body hair. An evolutionary analysis revealed signatures of positive selection for FGF3 and FGF11, genes related to ear and tooth development and hypoxia, respectively. We found a D203G substitution in cetacean FGF9, which was predicted to affect FGF9 homodimerization, suggesting that this gene plays a role in the acquisition of rigid flippers for efficient manoeuvring. Cetaceans utilize low bone density as a buoyancy control mechanism, but the underlying genes are not known. We found that the expression of FGF23, a gene associated with reduced bone density, is greatly increased in the cetacean liver under hypoxic conditions, thus implicating FGF23 in low bone density in cetaceans. Altogether, our results provide novel insights into the roles of FGFs in cetacean adaptation to the aquatic environment. PMID:28074842

  13. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution

    PubMed Central

    Rutledge, Gavin G.; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J.; Cotton, James A.; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A.; Apinjoh, Tobias O.; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W.; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M.; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N.; McCarthy, James S.; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P.; Newbold, Chris I.; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D.

    2017-01-01

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri)1. These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic2,3 and are often undetectable by light microscopy4, rendering their study in human populations difficult5. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested6,7. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole. PMID:28117441

  14. Plasmodium malariae and P. ovale genomes provide insights into malaria parasite evolution.

    PubMed

    Rutledge, Gavin G; Böhme, Ulrike; Sanders, Mandy; Reid, Adam J; Cotton, James A; Maiga-Ascofare, Oumou; Djimdé, Abdoulaye A; Apinjoh, Tobias O; Amenga-Etego, Lucas; Manske, Magnus; Barnwell, John W; Renaud, François; Ollomo, Benjamin; Prugnolle, Franck; Anstey, Nicholas M; Auburn, Sarah; Price, Ric N; McCarthy, James S; Kwiatkowski, Dominic P; Newbold, Chris I; Berriman, Matthew; Otto, Thomas D

    2017-02-02

    Elucidation of the evolutionary history and interrelatedness of Plasmodium species that infect humans has been hampered by a lack of genetic information for three human-infective species: P. malariae and two P. ovale species (P. o. curtisi and P. o. wallikeri). These species are prevalent across most regions in which malaria is endemic and are often undetectable by light microscopy, rendering their study in human populations difficult. The exact evolutionary relationship of these species to the other human-infective species has been contested. Using a new reference genome for P. malariae and a manually curated draft P. o. curtisi genome, we are now able to accurately place these species within the Plasmodium phylogeny. Sequencing of a P. malariae relative that infects chimpanzees reveals similar signatures of selection in the P. malariae lineage to another Plasmodium lineage shown to be capable of colonization of both human and chimpanzee hosts. Molecular dating suggests that these host adaptations occurred over similar evolutionary timescales. In addition to the core genome that is conserved between species, differences in gene content can be linked to their specific biology. The genome suggests that P. malariae expresses a family of heterodimeric proteins on its surface that have structural similarities to a protein crucial for invasion of red blood cells. The data presented here provide insight into the evolution of the Plasmodium genus as a whole.

  15. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Networks: Positron Emission Tomography and Neuropsychology Provide New Insights

    PubMed Central

    Millet, Bruno; Dondaine, Thibaut; Reymann, Jean-Michel; Bourguignon, Aurélie; Naudet, Florian; Jaafari, Nematollah; Drapier, Dominique; Turmel, Valérie; Mesbah, Habiba; Vérin, Marc; Le Jeune, Florence

    2013-01-01

    Background Deep brain stimulation has shed new light on the central role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). We explored this structure from a functional perspective, synchronizing neuroimaging and cognitive measures. Methods and Findings This case-control cross-sectional study compared 15 OCD patients without comorbidities and not currently on serotonin reuptake inhibitors or cognitive behavioural therapy with 15 healthy controls (matched for age, sex and education level) on resting-state 18FDG-PET scans and a neuropsychological battery assessing executive functions. We looked for correlations between metabolic modifications and impaired neuropsychological scores. Modifications in glucose metabolism were found in frontal regions (orbitofrontal cortex and dorsolateral cortices), the cingulate gyrus, insula and parietal gyrus. Neuropsychological differences between patients and controls, which were subtle, were correlated with the metabolism of the prefrontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Conclusion As expected, we confirmed previous reports of a PFC dysfunction in OCD patients, and established a correlation with cognitive deficits. Other regions outside the prefrontal cortex, including the dorsoparietal cortex and the insula, also appeared to be implicated in the pathophysiology of OCD, providing fresh insights on the complexity of OCD syndromes. PMID:23326403

  16. Peeping at TOMs-Diverse Entry Gates to Mitochondria Provide Insights into the Evolution of Eukaryotes.

    PubMed

    Mani, Jan; Meisinger, Chris; Schneider, André

    2016-02-01

    Mitochondria are essential for eukaryotic life and more than 95% of their proteins are imported as precursors from the cytosol. The targeting signals for this posttranslational import are conserved in all eukaryotes. However, this conservation does not hold true for the protein translocase of the mitochondrial outer membrane that serves as entry gate for essentially all precursor proteins. Only two of its subunits, Tom40 and Tom22, are conserved and thus likely were present in the last eukaryotic common ancestor. Tom7 is found in representatives of all supergroups except the Excavates. This suggests that it was added to the core of the translocase after the Excavates segregated from all other eukaryotes. A comparative analysis of the biochemically and functionally characterized outer membrane translocases of yeast, plants, and trypanosomes, which represent three eukaryotic supergroups, shows that the receptors that recognize the conserved import signals differ strongly between the different systems. They present a remarkable example of convergent evolution at the molecular level. The structural diversity of the functionally conserved import receptors therefore provides insight into the early evolutionary history of mitochondria.

  17. Structural and functional insights into asymmetric enzymatic dehydration of alkenols.

    PubMed

    Nestl, Bettina M; Geinitz, Christopher; Popa, Stephanie; Rizek, Sari; Haselbeck, Robert J; Stephen, Rosary; Noble, Michael A; Fischer, Max-Philipp; Ralph, Erik C; Hau, Hoi Ting; Man, Henry; Omar, Muhiadin; Turkenburg, Johan P; van Dien, Stephen; Culler, Stephanie J; Grogan, Gideon; Hauer, Bernhard

    2017-03-01

    The asymmetric dehydration of alcohols is an important process for the direct synthesis of alkenes. We report the structure and substrate specificity of the bifunctional linalool dehydratase isomerase (LinD) from the bacterium Castellaniella defragrans that catalyzes in nature the hydration of β-myrcene to linalool and the subsequent isomerization to geraniol. Enzymatic kinetic resolutions of truncated and elongated aromatic and aliphatic tertiary alcohols (C5-C15) that contain a specific signature motif demonstrate the broad substrate specificity of LinD. The three-dimensional structure of LinD from Castellaniella defragrans revealed a pentamer with active sites at the protomer interfaces. Furthermore, the structure of LinD in complex with the product geraniol provides initial mechanistic insights into this bifunctional enzyme. Site-directed mutagenesis confirmed active site amino acid residues essential for its dehydration and isomerization activity. These structural and mechanistic insights facilitate the development of hydrating catalysts, enriching the toolbox for novel bond-forming biocatalysis.

  18. Segmentation studies provide insights to better understanding attitudes towards science and technology.

    PubMed

    Cormick, Craig; Romanach, Lygia Malzoni

    2014-03-01

    Values-based studies of people's attitudes towards science and technology not only provide great insights into what drives different attitudes to issues like climate change and genetically modified foods, but allow for segmenting the general public by homogeneous values. Such segmentations both provide better predictions of people's attitudes to new technologies or contentious science issues than age, sex, or other standard demographics, and allow a better matching of different messages with different community values.

  19. Forward Dynamics Simulations Provide insight into Muscle Mechanical Work during Human Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Neptune, Richard R.; McGowan, Craig P.; Kautz, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    Complex musculoskeletal models and computer simulations can provide critical insight into muscle mechanical work output during locomotion. Simulations provide both a consistent mechanical solution that can be interrogated at multiple levels (muscle fiber, musculotendon, net joint moment and whole body work) and an ideal framework to identify limitations with different estimates of muscle work and the resulting implications for metabolic cost and efficiency. PMID:19955870

  20. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment

    PubMed Central

    Miyadera, Keiko; Delemotte, Lucie; MacDermaid, Christopher M.; Reinstein, Shelby L.; Crumley, William R.; Dixon, Christopher J.; Casal, Margret L.; Klein, Michael L.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.; Tanaka, Jacqueline C.; Guziewicz, Karina E.

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM). ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ) domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients. PMID:26407004

  1. Transcriptional Profiling of a Yeast Colony Provides New Insight into the Heterogeneity of Multicellular Fungal Communities

    PubMed Central

    Traven, Ana; Jänicke, Amrei; Harrison, Paul; Swaminathan, Angavai; Seemann, Torsten; Beilharz, Traude H.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms – the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development of multicellular

  2. Canine CNGA3 Gene Mutations Provide Novel Insights into Human Achromatopsia-Associated Channelopathies and Treatment.

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Naoto; Dutrow, Emily V; Miyadera, Keiko; Delemotte, Lucie; MacDermaid, Christopher M; Reinstein, Shelby L; Crumley, William R; Dixon, Christopher J; Casal, Margret L; Klein, Michael L; Aguirre, Gustavo D; Tanaka, Jacqueline C; Guziewicz, Karina E

    2015-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels are key mediators underlying signal transduction in retinal and olfactory receptors. Genetic defects in CNGA3 and CNGB3, encoding two structurally related subunits of cone CNG channels, lead to achromatopsia (ACHM). ACHM is a congenital, autosomal recessive retinal disorder that manifests by cone photoreceptor dysfunction, severely reduced visual acuity, impaired or complete color blindness and photophobia. Here, we report the first canine models for CNGA3-associated channelopathy caused by R424W or V644del mutations in the canine CNGA3 ortholog that accurately mimic the clinical and molecular features of human CNGA3-associated ACHM. These two spontaneous mutations exposed CNGA3 residues essential for the preservation of channel function and biogenesis. The CNGA3-R424W results in complete loss of cone function in vivo and channel activity confirmed by in vitro electrophysiology. Structural modeling and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations revealed R424-E306 salt bridge formation and its disruption with the R424W mutant. Reversal of charges in a CNGA3-R424E-E306R double mutant channel rescued cGMP-activated currents uncovering new insights into channel gating. The CNGA3-V644del affects the C-terminal leucine zipper (CLZ) domain destabilizing intersubunit interactions of the coiled-coil complex in the MD simulations; the in vitro experiments showed incompetent trimeric CNGA3 subunit assembly consistent with abnormal biogenesis of in vivo channels. These newly characterized large animal models not only provide a valuable system for studying cone-specific CNG channel function in health and disease, but also represent prime candidates for proof-of-concept studies of CNGA3 gene replacement therapy for ACHM patients.

  3. Song hybridization events during revolutionary song change provide insights into cultural transmission in humpback whales

    PubMed Central

    Garland, Ellen C.; Rendell, Luke; Lamoni, Luca; Poole, M. Michael; Noad, Michael J.

    2017-01-01

    Cultural processes occur in a wide variety of animal taxa, from insects to cetaceans. The songs of humpback whales are one of the most striking examples of the transmission of a cultural trait and social learning in any nonhuman animal. To understand how songs are learned, we investigate rare cases of song hybridization, where parts of an existing song are spliced with a new one, likely before an individual totally adopts the new song. Song unit sequences were extracted from over 9,300 phrases recorded during two song revolutions across the South Pacific Ocean, allowing fine-scale analysis of composition and sequencing. In hybrid songs the current and new songs were spliced together in two specific ways: (i) singers placed a single hybrid phrase, in which content from both songs were combined, between the two song types when transitioning from one to the other, and/or (ii) singers spliced complete themes from the revolutionary song into the current song. Sequence analysis indicated that both processes were governed by structural similarity rules. Hybrid phrases or theme substitutions occurred at points in the songs where both songs contained “similar sounds arranged in a similar pattern.” Songs appear to be learned as segments (themes/phrase types), akin to birdsong and human language acquisition, and these can be combined in predictable ways if the underlying structural pattern is similar. These snapshots of song change provide insights into the mechanisms underlying song learning in humpback whales, and comparative perspectives on the evolution of human language and culture. PMID:28739940

  4. Transcriptional profiling of a yeast colony provides new insight into the heterogeneity of multicellular fungal communities.

    PubMed

    Traven, Ana; Jänicke, Amrei; Harrison, Paul; Swaminathan, Angavai; Seemann, Torsten; Beilharz, Traude H

    2012-01-01

    Understanding multicellular fungal structures is important for designing better strategies against human fungal pathogens. For example, the ability to form multicellular biofilms is a key virulence property of the yeast Candida albicans. C. albicans biofilms form on indwelling medical devices and are drug resistant, causing serious infections in hospital settings. Multicellular fungal communities are heterogeneous, consisting of cells experiencing different environments. Heterogeneity is likely important for the phenotypic characteristics of communities, yet it is poorly understood. Here we used colonies of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model fungal multicellular structure. We fractionated the outside colony layers from the cells in the center by FACS, using a Cit1-GFP marker expressed exclusively on the outside. Transcriptomics analysis of the two subpopulations revealed that the outside colony layers are actively growing by fermentative metabolism, while the cells residing on the inside are in a resting state and experience changes to mitochondrial activity. Our data shows several parallels with C. albicans biofilms providing insight into the contributions of heterogeneity to biofilm phenotypes. Hallmarks of C. albicans biofilms - the expression of ribosome and translation functions and activation of glycolysis and ergosterol biosynthesis occur on the outside of colonies, while expression of genes associates with sulfur assimilation is observed in the colony center. Cell wall restructuring occurs in biofilms, and cell wall functions are enriched in both fractions: the outside cells display enrichment of cell wall biosynthesis enzymes and cell wall proteins, while the inside cells express cell wall degrading enzymes. Our study also suggests that noncoding transcription and posttranscriptional mRNA regulation play important roles during growth of yeast in colonies, setting the scene for investigating these pathways in the development of multicellular

  5. Modeling fMRI signals can provide insights into neural processing in the cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sharifian, Fariba; Heikkinen, Hanna; Vigário, Ricardo

    2015-01-01

    Every stimulus or task activates multiple areas in the mammalian cortex. These distributed activations can be measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which has the best spatial resolution among the noninvasive brain imaging methods. Unfortunately, the relationship between the fMRI activations and distributed cortical processing has remained unclear, both because the coupling between neural and fMRI activations has remained poorly understood and because fMRI voxels are too large to directly sense the local neural events. To get an idea of the local processing given the macroscopic data, we need models to simulate the neural activity and to provide output that can be compared with fMRI data. Such models can describe neural mechanisms as mathematical functions between input and output in a specific system, with little correspondence to physiological mechanisms. Alternatively, models can be biomimetic, including biological details with straightforward correspondence to experimental data. After careful balancing between complexity, computational efficiency, and realism, a biomimetic simulation should be able to provide insight into how biological structures or functions contribute to actual data processing as well as to promote theory-driven neuroscience experiments. This review analyzes the requirements for validating system-level computational models with fMRI. In particular, we study mesoscopic biomimetic models, which include a limited set of details from real-life networks and enable system-level simulations of neural mass action. In addition, we discuss how recent developments in neurophysiology and biophysics may significantly advance the modelling of fMRI signals. PMID:25972586

  6. Modeling fMRI signals can provide insights into neural processing in the cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Vanni, Simo; Sharifian, Fariba; Heikkinen, Hanna; Vigário, Ricardo

    2015-08-01

    Every stimulus or task activates multiple areas in the mammalian cortex. These distributed activations can be measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), which has the best spatial resolution among the noninvasive brain imaging methods. Unfortunately, the relationship between the fMRI activations and distributed cortical processing has remained unclear, both because the coupling between neural and fMRI activations has remained poorly understood and because fMRI voxels are too large to directly sense the local neural events. To get an idea of the local processing given the macroscopic data, we need models to simulate the neural activity and to provide output that can be compared with fMRI data. Such models can describe neural mechanisms as mathematical functions between input and output in a specific system, with little correspondence to physiological mechanisms. Alternatively, models can be biomimetic, including biological details with straightforward correspondence to experimental data. After careful balancing between complexity, computational efficiency, and realism, a biomimetic simulation should be able to provide insight into how biological structures or functions contribute to actual data processing as well as to promote theory-driven neuroscience experiments. This review analyzes the requirements for validating system-level computational models with fMRI. In particular, we study mesoscopic biomimetic models, which include a limited set of details from real-life networks and enable system-level simulations of neural mass action. In addition, we discuss how recent developments in neurophysiology and biophysics may significantly advance the modelling of fMRI signals.

  7. Structural Insights into the Mechanism of PEPCK Catalysis

    SciTech Connect

    Holyoak,T.; Sullivan, S.; Nowak, T.

    2006-01-01

    Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase catalyzes the reversible decarboxylation of oxaloacetic acid with the concomitant transfer of the {gamma}-phosphate of GTP to form PEP and GDP as the first committed step of gluconeogenesis and glyceroneogenesis. The three structures of the mitochondrial isoform of PEPCK reported are complexed with Mn{sup 2+}, Mn{sup 2+}-PEP, or Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP and provide the first observations of the structure of the mitochondrial isoform and insight into the mechanism of catalysis mediated by this enzyme. The structures show the involvement of the hyper-reactive cysteine (C307) in the coordination of the active site Mn{sup 2+}. Upon formation of the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-PEP or PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complexes, C307 coordination is lost as the P-loop in which it resides adopts a different conformation. The structures suggest that stabilization of the cysteine-coordinated metal geometry holds the enzyme as a catalytically incompetent metal complex and may represent a previously unappreciated mechanism of regulation. A third conformation of the mobile P-loop in the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complex demonstrates the participation of a previously unrecognized, conserved serine residue (S305) in mediating phosphoryl transfer. The ordering of the mobile active site lid in the PEPCK-Mn{sup 2+}-malonate-Mn{sup 2+}GDP complex yields the first observation of this structural feature and provides additional insight into the mechanism of phosphoryl transfer.

  8. Structure-function insights into prokaryotic and eukaryotic translation initiation.

    PubMed

    Myasnikov, Alexander G; Simonetti, Angelita; Marzi, Stefano; Klaholz, Bruno P

    2009-06-01

    Translation initiation is the rate-limiting and most complexly regulated step of protein synthesis in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. In the last few years, cryo-electron microscopy has provided several novel insights into the universal process of translation initiation. Structures of prokaryotic 30S and 70S ribosomal initiation complexes with initiator transfer RNA (tRNA), messenger RNA (mRNA), and initiation factors have recently revealed the mechanism of initiator tRNA recruitment to the assembling ribosomal machinery, involving molecular rearrangements of the ribosome and associated factors. First three-dimensional pictures of the particularly complex eukaryotic translation initiation machinery have been obtained, revealing how initiation factors tune the ribosome for recruiting the mRNA. A comparison of the available prokaryotic and eukaryotic structures shows that--besides significant differences--some key ribosomal features are universally conserved.

  9. Proteomic analysis of FUS interacting proteins provides insights into FUS function and its role in ALS.

    PubMed

    Kamelgarn, Marisa; Chen, Jing; Kuang, Lisha; Arenas, Alexandra; Zhai, Jianjun; Zhu, Haining; Gal, Jozsef

    2016-10-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. Mutations in the Fused in Sarcoma/Translocated in Liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) gene cause a subset of familial ALS cases and are also implicated in sporadic ALS. FUS is typically localized to the nucleus. The ALS-related FUS mutations cause cytoplasmic mis-localization and the formation of stress granule-like structures. Abnormal cytoplasmic FUS localization was also found in a subset of frontotemporal dementia (FTLD) cases without FUS mutations. To better understand the function of FUS, we performed wild-type and mutant FUS pull-downs followed by proteomic identification of the interacting proteins. The FUS interacting partners we identified are involved in multiple pathways, including chromosomal organization, transcription, RNA splicing, RNA transport, localized translation, and stress response. FUS interacted with hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3, RNA binding proteins whose mutations were also reported to cause familial ALS, suggesting that hnRNPA1 and Matrin-3 may play common pathogenic roles with FUS. The FUS interactions displayed varied RNA dependence. Numerous FUS interacting partners that we identified are components of exosomes. We found that FUS itself was present in exosomes, suggesting that the secretion of FUS might contribute to the cell-to-cell spreading of FUS pathology. FUS interacting proteins were sequestered into the cytoplasmic mutant FUS inclusions that could lead to their mis-regulation or loss of function, contributing to ALS pathogenesis. Our results provide insights into the physiological functions of FUS as well as important pathways where mutant FUS can interfere with cellular processes and potentially contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS.

  10. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects.

    PubMed

    Jaramillo, Eduardo; Dugan, Jenifer E; Hubbard, David M; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  11. Association genetics in Solanum tuberosum provides new insights into potato tuber bruising and enzymatic tissue discoloration

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Most agronomic plant traits result from complex molecular networks involving multiple genes and from environmental factors. One such trait is the enzymatic discoloration of fruit and tuber tissues initiated by mechanical impact (bruising). Tuber susceptibility to bruising is a complex trait of the cultivated potato (Solanum tuberosum) that is crucial for crop quality. As phenotypic evaluation of bruising is cumbersome, the application of diagnostic molecular markers would empower the selection of low bruising potato varieties. The genetic factors and molecular networks underlying enzymatic tissue discoloration are sparsely known. Hitherto there is no association study dealing with tuber bruising and diagnostic markers for enzymatic discoloration are rare. Results The natural genetic diversity for bruising susceptibility was evaluated in elite middle European potato germplasm in order to elucidate its molecular basis. Association genetics using a candidate gene approach identified allelic variants in genes that function in tuber bruising and enzymatic browning. Two hundred and five tetraploid potato varieties and breeding clones related by descent were evaluated for two years in six environments for tuber bruising susceptibility, specific gravity, yield, shape and plant maturity. Correlations were found between different traits. In total 362 polymorphic DNA fragments, derived from 33 candidate genes and 29 SSR loci, were scored in the population and tested for association with the traits using a mixed model approach, which takes into account population structure and kinship. Twenty one highly significant (p < 0.001) and robust marker-trait associations were identified. Conclusions The observed trait correlations and associated marker fragments provide new insight in the molecular basis of bruising susceptibility and its natural variation. The markers diagnostic for increased or decreased bruising susceptibility will facilitate the combination of superior

  12. Macroscale patterns in body size of intertidal crustaceans provide insights on climate change effects

    PubMed Central

    Dugan, Jenifer E.; Hubbard, David M.; Contreras, Heraldo; Duarte, Cristian; Acuña, Emilio; Schoeman, David S.

    2017-01-01

    Predicting responses of coastal ecosystems to altered sea surface temperatures (SST) associated with global climate change, requires knowledge of demographic responses of individual species. Body size is an excellent metric because it scales strongly with growth and fecundity for many ectotherms. These attributes can underpin demographic as well as community and ecosystem level processes, providing valuable insights for responses of vulnerable coastal ecosystems to changing climate. We investigated contemporary macroscale patterns in body size among widely distributed crustaceans that comprise the majority of intertidal abundance and biomass of sandy beach ecosystems of the eastern Pacific coasts of Chile and California, USA. We focused on ecologically important species representing different tidal zones, trophic guilds and developmental modes, including a high-shore macroalga-consuming talitrid amphipod (Orchestoidea tuberculata), two mid-shore scavenging cirolanid isopods (Excirolana braziliensis and E. hirsuticauda), and a low-shore suspension-feeding hippid crab (Emerita analoga) with an amphitropical distribution. Significant latitudinal patterns in body sizes were observed for all species in Chile (21° - 42°S), with similar but steeper patterns in Emerita analoga, in California (32°- 41°N). Sea surface temperature was a strong predictor of body size (-4% to -35% °C-1) in all species. Beach characteristics were subsidiary predictors of body size. Alterations in ocean temperatures of even a few degrees associated with global climate change are likely to affect body sizes of important intertidal ectotherms, with consequences for population demography, life history, community structure, trophic interactions, food-webs, and indirect effects such as ecosystem function. The consistency of results for body size and temperature across species with different life histories, feeding modes, ecological roles, and microhabitats inhabiting a single widespread coastal

  13. Genome-wide analysis of Pax8 binding provides new insights into thyroid functions

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background The transcription factor Pax8 is essential for the differentiation of thyroid cells. However, there are few data on genes transcriptionally regulated by Pax8 other than thyroid-related genes. To better understand the role of Pax8 in the biology of thyroid cells, we obtained transcriptional profiles of Pax8-silenced PCCl3 thyroid cells using whole genome expression arrays and integrated these signals with global cis-regulatory sequencing studies performed by ChIP-Seq analysis Results Exhaustive analysis of Pax8 immunoprecipitated peaks demonstrated preferential binding to intragenic regions and CpG-enriched islands, which suggests a role of Pax8 in transcriptional regulation of orphan CpG regions. In addition, ChIP-Seq allowed us to identify Pax8 partners, including proteins involved in tertiary DNA structure (CTCF) and chromatin remodeling (Sp1), and these direct transcriptional interactions were confirmed in vivo. Moreover, both factors modulate Pax8-dependent transcriptional activation of the sodium iodide symporter (Nis) gene promoter. We ultimately combined putative and novel Pax8 binding sites with actual target gene expression regulation to define Pax8-dependent genes. Functional classification suggests that Pax8-regulated genes may be directly involved in important processes of thyroid cell function such as cell proliferation and differentiation, apoptosis, cell polarity, motion and adhesion, and a plethora of DNA/protein-related processes. Conclusion Our study provides novel insights into the role of Pax8 in thyroid biology, exerted through transcriptional regulation of important genes involved in critical thyrocyte processes. In addition, we found new transcriptional partners of Pax8, which functionally cooperate with Pax8 in the regulation of thyroid gene transcription. Besides, our data demonstrate preferential location of Pax8 in non-promoter CpG regions. These data point to an orphan CpG island-mediated mechanism that represents a novel role

  14. Structural Insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and Parasporin Toxins

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-01-01

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively. PMID:25229189

  15. Structural insights into Bacillus thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins.

    PubMed

    Xu, Chengchen; Wang, Bi-Cheng; Yu, Ziniu; Sun, Ming

    2014-09-16

    Since the first X-ray structure of Cry3Aa was revealed in 1991, numerous structures of B. thuringiensis toxins have been determined and published. In recent years, functional studies on the mode of action and resistance mechanism have been proposed, which notably promoted the developments of biological insecticides and insect-resistant transgenic crops. With the exploration of known pore-forming toxins (PFTs) structures, similarities between PFTs and B. thuringiensis toxins have provided great insights into receptor binding interactions and conformational changes from water-soluble to membrane pore-forming state of B. thuringiensis toxins. This review mainly focuses on the latest discoveries of the toxin working mechanism, with the emphasis on structural related progress. Based on the structural features, B. thuringiensis Cry, Cyt and parasporin toxins could be divided into three categories: three-domain type α-PFTs, Cyt toxin type β-PFTs and aerolysin type β-PFTs. Structures from each group are elucidated and discussed in relation to the latest data, respectively.

  16. VET Provider Market Structures: History, Growth and Change. Research Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Korbel, Patrick; Misko, Josie

    2016-01-01

    This paper tracks the development of the Australian vocational education and training (VET) provider market over the last two decades in the context of significant policy changes and generally increased competition. It provides an insight into how the sector has arrived at its current position, painting a present-day picture of great diversity.…

  17. Structure Prediction: New Insights into Decrypting Long Noncoding RNAs

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Kun; Arfat, Yasir; Li, Dijie; Zhao, Fan; Chen, Zhihao; Yin, Chong; Sun, Yulong; Hu, Lifang; Yang, Tuanmin; Qian, Airong

    2016-01-01

    Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which form a diverse class of RNAs, remain the least understood type of noncoding RNAs in terms of their nature and identification. Emerging evidence has revealed that a small number of newly discovered lncRNAs perform important and complex biological functions such as dosage compensation, chromatin regulation, genomic imprinting, and nuclear organization. However, understanding the wide range of functions of lncRNAs related to various processes of cellular networks remains a great experimental challenge. Structural versatility is critical for RNAs to perform various functions and provides new insights into probing the functions of lncRNAs. In recent years, the computational method of RNA structure prediction has been developed to analyze the structure of lncRNAs. This novel methodology has provided basic but indispensable information for the rapid, large-scale and in-depth research of lncRNAs. This review focuses on mainstream RNA structure prediction methods at the secondary and tertiary levels to offer an additional approach to investigating the functions of lncRNAs. PMID:26805815

  18. Structural insights into substrate traffic and inhibition in acetylcholinesterase

    PubMed Central

    Colletier, Jacques-Philippe; Fournier, Didier; Greenblatt, Harry M; Stojan, Jure; Sussman, Joel L; Zaccai, Giuseppe; Silman, Israel; Weik, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Acetylcholinesterase (AChE) terminates nerve-impulse transmission at cholinergic synapses by rapid hydrolysis of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Substrate traffic in AChE involves at least two binding sites, the catalytic and peripheral anionic sites, which have been suggested to be allosterically related and involved in substrate inhibition. Here, we present the crystal structures of Torpedo californica AChE complexed with the substrate acetylthiocholine, the product thiocholine and a nonhydrolysable substrate analogue. These structures provide a series of static snapshots of the substrate en route to the active site and identify, for the first time, binding of substrate and product at both the peripheral and active sites. Furthermore, they provide structural insight into substrate inhibition in AChE at two different substrate concentrations. Our structural data indicate that substrate inhibition at moderate substrate concentration is due to choline exit being hindered by a substrate molecule bound at the peripheral site. At the higher concentration, substrate inhibition arises from prevention of exit of acetate due to binding of two substrate molecules within the active-site gorge. PMID:16763558

  19. Variations upon a theme: Australian lizards provide insights into the endocrine control of vertebrate reproductive cycles.

    PubMed

    Jones, Susan M

    2017-04-01

    Australian lizards exhibit a broad array of different reproductive strategies and provide an extraordinary diversity and range of models with which to address fundamental problems in reproductive biology. Studies on lizards have frequently led to new insights into hormonal regulatory pathways or mechanisms of control, but we have detailed knowledge of the reproductive cycle in only a small percentage of known species. This review provides an overview and synthesis of current knowledge of the hormonal control of reproductive cycles in Australian lizards. Agamid lizards have provided useful models with which to test hypotheses about the hormonal regulation of the expression of reproductive behaviors, while research on viviparous skinks is providing insights into the evolution of the endocrine control of gestation. However, in order to better understand the potential risks that environmental factors such as climate change and endocrine disrupting chemicals pose to our fauna, better knowledge is required of the fundamental characteristics of the reproductive cycle in a broader range of lizard species. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Structural Insights on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteasomal ATPase Mpa

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tao; Li, Hua; Lin, Gang; Tang, Chunyan; Li, Dongyang; Nathan, Carl; Darwin, K. Heran; Li, Huilin

    2009-01-01

    Summary Proteasome-mediated protein turnover in all domains of life is an energy-dependent process that requires ATPase activity. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) was recently shown to possess a ubiquitin-like proteasome pathway that plays an essential role in Mtb resistance to killing by products of host macrophages. Here we report our structural and biochemical investigation of Mpa, the presumptive Mtb proteasomal ATPase. We demonstrate that Mpa binds to the Mtb proteasome in the presence of ATPγS, providing the physical evidence that Mpa is the proteasomal ATPase. X-ray crystallographic determination of the conserved inter-domain showed a five-stranded double β-barrel structure containing a Greek key motif. The structure and mutagenesis indicate a major role of the inter-domain for Mpa hexamerization. Our mutational and functional studies further suggest that the central channel in the Mpa hexamer is involved in protein substrate translocation and degradation. These studies provide insights into how a bacterial proteasomal ATPase interacts with and facilitates protein degradation by the proteasome. PMID:19836337

  1. Structural Insights on the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Proteasomal ATPase Mpa

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, T.; Li, H; Lin, G; Tang, C; Li, D; Nathan, C; Heran Darwin, K

    2009-01-01

    Proteasome-mediated protein turnover in all domains of life is an energy-dependent process that requires ATPase activity. Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) was recently shown to possess a ubiquitin-like proteasome pathway that plays an essential role in Mtb resistance to killing by products of host macrophages. Here we report our structural and biochemical investigation of Mpa, the presumptive Mtb proteasomal ATPase. We demonstrate that Mpa binds to the Mtb proteasome in the presence of ATPS, providing the physical evidence that Mpa is the proteasomal ATPase. X-ray crystallographic determination of the conserved interdomain showed a five stranded double {beta} barrel structure containing a Greek key motif. Structure and mutational analysis indicate a major role of the interdomain for Mpa hexamerization. Our mutational and functional studies further suggest that the central channel in the Mpa hexamer is involved in protein substrate translocation and degradation. These studies provide insights into how a bacterial proteasomal ATPase interacts with and facilitates protein degradation by the proteasome.

  2. The genome of Pleurotus eryngii provides insights into the mechanisms of wood decay.

    PubMed

    Yang, Rui-Heng; Li, Yan; Wáng, Ying; Wan, Jia-Ning; Zhou, Chen-Li; Wāng, Ying; Gao, Ying-Nv; Mao, Wen-Jun; Tang, Li-Hua; Gong, Ming; Wu, Ying-Ying; Bao, Da-Peng

    2016-12-10

    Pleurotus eryngii (DC.) Quél. is widely used for bioconverting lignocellulosic byproducts into biofuel and value added products. Sequencing and annotating the genome of a monokaryon strain P. eryngii 183 allows us to gain a better understanding of carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes) and oxidoreductases for degradation of lignocellulose in white-rot fungi. The genomic data provides insights into genomic basis of degradation mechanisms of lignin and cellulose and may pave new avenues for lignocellulose bioconversion. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  3. Vertebrate Membrane Proteins: Structure, Function, and Insights from Biophysical Approaches

    PubMed Central

    MÜLLER, DANIEL J.; WU, NAN; PALCZEWSKI, KRZYSZTOF

    2008-01-01

    Membrane proteins are key targets for pharmacological intervention because they are vital for cellular function. Here, we analyze recent progress made in the understanding of the structure and function of membrane proteins with a focus on rhodopsin and development of atomic force microscopy techniques to study biological membranes. Membrane proteins are compartmentalized to carry out extra- and intracellular processes. Biological membranes are densely populated with membrane proteins that occupy approximately 50% of their volume. In most cases membranes contain lipid rafts, protein patches, or paracrystalline formations that lack the higher-order symmetry that would allow them to be characterized by diffraction methods. Despite many technical difficulties, several crystal structures of membrane proteins that illustrate their internal structural organization have been determined. Moreover, high-resolution atomic force microscopy, near-field scanning optical microscopy, and other lower resolution techniques have been used to investigate these structures. Single-molecule force spectroscopy tracks interactions that stabilize membrane proteins and those that switch their functional state; this spectroscopy can be applied to locate a ligand-binding site. Recent development of this technique also reveals the energy landscape of a membrane protein, defining its folding, reaction pathways, and kinetics. Future development and application of novel approaches during the coming years should provide even greater insights to the understanding of biological membrane organization and function. PMID:18321962

  4. Structural insights into ABC transporter mechanism

    SciTech Connect

    Oldham, Michael L.; Davidson, Amy L.; Chen, Jue

    2010-07-27

    ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters utilize the energy from ATP hydrolysis to transport substances across the membrane. In recent years, crystal structures of several ABC transporters have become available. These structures show that both importers and exporters oscillate between two conformations: an inward-facing conformation with the substrate translocation pathway open to the cytoplasm and an outward-facing conformation with the translocation pathway facing the opposite side of the membrane. In this review, conformational differences found in the structures of homologous ABC transporters are analyzed to understand how alternating-access is achieved. It appears that rigid-body rotations of the transmembrane subunits, coinciding with the opening and closing of the nucleotide-binding subunits, couples ATP hydrolysis to substrate translocation.

  5. Comparison of the Internal Dynamics of Metalloproteases Provides New Insights on Their Function and Evolution.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Henrique F; Roque, Ana C A; Iranzo, Olga; Branco, Ricardo J F

    2015-01-01

    Metalloproteases have evolved in a vast number of biological systems, being one of the most diverse types of proteases and presenting a wide range of folds and catalytic metal ions. Given the increasing understanding of protein internal dynamics and its role in enzyme function, we are interested in assessing how the structural heterogeneity of metalloproteases translates into their dynamics. Therefore, the dynamical profile of the clan MA type protein thermolysin, derived from an Elastic Network Model of protein structure, was evaluated against those obtained from a set of experimental structures and molecular dynamics simulation trajectories. A close correspondence was obtained between modes derived from the coarse-grained model and the subspace of functionally-relevant motions observed experimentally, the later being shown to be encoded in the internal dynamics of the protein. This prompted the use of dynamics-based comparison methods that employ such coarse-grained models in a representative set of clan members, allowing for its quantitative description in terms of structural and dynamical variability. Although members show structural similarity, they nonetheless present distinct dynamical profiles, with no apparent correlation between structural and dynamical relatedness. However, previously unnoticed dynamical similarity was found between the relevant members Carboxypeptidase Pfu, Leishmanolysin, and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A, despite sharing no structural similarity. Inspection of the respective alignments shows that dynamical similarity has a functional basis, namely the need for maintaining proper intermolecular interactions with the respective substrates. These results suggest that distinct selective pressure mechanisms act on metalloproteases at structural and dynamical levels through the course of their evolution. This work shows how new insights on metalloprotease function and evolution can be assessed with comparison schemes that incorporate

  6. Comparison of the Internal Dynamics of Metalloproteases Provides New Insights on Their Function and Evolution

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Henrique F.; Roque, Ana C. A.; Iranzo, Olga; Branco, Ricardo J. F.

    2015-01-01

    Metalloproteases have evolved in a vast number of biological systems, being one of the most diverse types of proteases and presenting a wide range of folds and catalytic metal ions. Given the increasing understanding of protein internal dynamics and its role in enzyme function, we are interested in assessing how the structural heterogeneity of metalloproteases translates into their dynamics. Therefore, the dynamical profile of the clan MA type protein thermolysin, derived from an Elastic Network Model of protein structure, was evaluated against those obtained from a set of experimental structures and molecular dynamics simulation trajectories. A close correspondence was obtained between modes derived from the coarse-grained model and the subspace of functionally-relevant motions observed experimentally, the later being shown to be encoded in the internal dynamics of the protein. This prompted the use of dynamics-based comparison methods that employ such coarse-grained models in a representative set of clan members, allowing for its quantitative description in terms of structural and dynamical variability. Although members show structural similarity, they nonetheless present distinct dynamical profiles, with no apparent correlation between structural and dynamical relatedness. However, previously unnoticed dynamical similarity was found between the relevant members Carboxypeptidase Pfu, Leishmanolysin, and Botulinum Neurotoxin Type A, despite sharing no structural similarity. Inspection of the respective alignments shows that dynamical similarity has a functional basis, namely the need for maintaining proper intermolecular interactions with the respective substrates. These results suggest that distinct selective pressure mechanisms act on metalloproteases at structural and dynamical levels through the course of their evolution. This work shows how new insights on metalloprotease function and evolution can be assessed with comparison schemes that incorporate

  7. Structural insights into the translational infidelity mechanism

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rozov, Alexey; Demeshkina, Natalia; Westhof, Eric; Yusupov, Marat; Yusupova, Gulnara

    2015-06-01

    The decoding of mRNA on the ribosome is the least accurate process during genetic information transfer. Here we propose a unified decoding mechanism based on 11 high-resolution X-ray structures of the 70S ribosome that explains the occurrence of missense errors during translation. We determined ribosome structures in rare states where incorrect tRNAs were incorporated into the peptidyl-tRNA-binding site. These structures show that in the codon-anticodon duplex, a G.U mismatch adopts the Watson-Crick geometry, indicating a shift in the tautomeric equilibrium or ionization of the nucleobase. Additional structures with mismatches in the 70S decoding centre show that the binding of any tRNA induces identical rearrangements in the centre, which favours either isosteric or close to the Watson-Crick geometry codon-anticodon pairs. Overall, the results suggest that a mismatch escapes discrimination by preserving the shape of a Watson-Crick pair and indicate that geometric selection via tautomerism or ionization dominates the translational infidelity mechanism.

  8. Nanoscale insights on one- and two-dimensional material structures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Floresca, Herman Carlo

    The race for smaller, faster and more efficient devices has led researchers to explore the possibilities of utilizing nanostructures for scaling. These one-dimensional and two-dimensional materials have properties that are attractive for this purpose but are still not well controlled. Control comes with a complete understanding of the materials' electrical, thermal, optical and structural characteristics but is difficult to obtain due to their small scale. This work is intended to help researchers overcome the difficulty in studying nanostructures by providing techniques for analysis and insights of nanostructures that have not been previously available. Two nanostructures were studied: silicon nanowires and graphene. The nanowires were prepared for cross-section transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to discover the effects that controlled oxidation has on the dimensions and shape of the nanowires. Since cross-section TEM is not able to provide information about surface structure, a method for manipulating the wires with orientation control was developed. With this ability, all three orthogonal views of the nanowire were compiled for a comprehensive study on its structure in terms of shape and surface roughness. Graphene was used for a two-dimensional analytical technique that took advantage of customized computer programs for data acquisition, measurement and display. With the information provided, distinctions between grain boundary types in polycrystalline graphene were made and supported by statistical information from the software's output. It was also applied to a growth series of graphene samples in conjunction with scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) maps. The results help point to origins of graphene's polycrystalline nature. This dissertation concludes with a thought towards the future by highlighting a method that can help analyze nanostructures, which may become incorporated into the structures of large

  9. Structural insights into a circadian oscillator.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Carl Hirschie; Egli, Martin; Stewart, Phoebe L

    2008-10-31

    An endogenous circadian system in cyanobacteria exerts pervasive control over cellular processes, including global gene expression. Indeed, the entire chromosome undergoes daily cycles of topological changes and compaction. The biochemical machinery underlying a circadian oscillator can be reconstituted in vitro with just three cyanobacterial proteins, KaiA, KaiB, and KaiC. These proteins interact to promote conformational changes and phosphorylation events that determine the phase of the in vitro oscillation. The high-resolution structures of these proteins suggest a ratcheting mechanism by which the KaiABC oscillator ticks unidirectionally. This posttranslational oscillator may interact with transcriptional and translational feedback loops to generate the emergent circadian behavior in vivo. The conjunction of structural, biophysical, and biochemical approaches to this system reveals molecular mechanisms of biological timekeeping.

  10. Insight into Amyloid Structure Using Chemical Probes

    PubMed Central

    Reinke, Ashley A.; Gestwicki, Jason E.

    2011-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a common neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the deposition of amyloids in the brain. One prominent form of amyloid is composed of repeating units of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide. Over the past decade, it has become clear that these Aβ amyloids are not homogeneous; rather, they are composed of a series of structures varying in their overall size and shape and the number of Aβ peptides they contain. Recent theories suggest that these different amyloid conformations may play distinct roles in disease, although their relative contributions are still being discovered. Here, we review how chemical probes, such as congo red, thioflavin T and their derivatives, have been powerful tools for better understanding amyloid structure and function. Moreover, we discuss how design and deployment of conformationally selective probes might be used to test emerging models of AD. PMID:21457473

  11. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D; Brun, Yves V

    2015-04-01

    How Darwin's "endless forms most beautiful" have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating "evolutionary thinking" into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. © 2015 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

  12. Mechanisms of bacterial morphogenesis: Evolutionary cell biology approaches provide new insights

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Chao; Caccamo, Paul D.; Brun, Yves V.

    2015-01-01

    How Darwin’s “endless forms most beautiful” have evolved remains one of the most exciting questions in biology. The significant variety of bacterial shapes is most likely due to the specific advantages they confer with respect to the diverse environments they occupy. While our understanding of the mechanisms generating relatively simple shapes has improved tremendously in the last few years, the molecular mechanisms underlying the generation of complex shapes and the evolution of shape diversity are largely unknown. The emerging field of bacterial evolutionary cell biology provides a novel strategy to answer this question in a comparative phylogenetic framework. This relatively novel approach provides hypotheses and insights into cell biological mechanisms, such as morphogenesis, and their evolution that would have been difficult to obtain by studying only model organisms. We discuss the necessary steps, challenges, and impact of integrating “evolutionary thinking” into bacterial cell biology in the genomic era. PMID:25664446

  13. The African turquoise killifish genome provides insights into evolution and genetic architecture of lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Valenzano, Dario Riccardo; Benayoun, Bérénice A.; Singh, Param Priya; Zhang, Elisa; Etter, Paul D.; Hu, Chi-Kuo; Clément-Ziza, Mathieu; Willemsen, David; Cui, Rongfeng; Harel, Itamar; Machado, Ben E.; Yee, Muh-Ching; Sharp, Sabrina C.; Bustamante, Carlos D.; Beyer, Andreas; Johnson, Eric A.; Brunet, Anne

    2015-01-01

    Summary Lifespan is a remarkably diverse trait ranging from a few days to several hundred years in nature, but the mechanisms underlying the evolution of lifespan differences remain elusive. Here we de novo assemble a reference genome for the naturally short-lived African turquoise killifish, providing a unique resource for comparative and experimental genomics. The identification of genes under positive selection in this fish reveals potential candidates to explain its compressed lifespan. Several aging genes are under positive selection in this short-lived fish and long-lived species, raising the intriguing possibility that the same gene could underlie evolution of both compressed and extended lifespans. Comparative genomics and linkage analysis identify candidate genes associated with lifespan differences between various turquoise killifish strains. Remarkably, these genes are clustered on the sex chromosome, suggesting that short lifespan might have co-evolved with sex determination. Our study provides insights into the evolutionary forces that shape lifespan in nature. PMID:26638078

  14. The African Turquoise Killifish Genome Provides Insights into Evolution and Genetic Architecture of Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Valenzano, Dario Riccardo; Benayoun, Bérénice A; Singh, Param Priya; Zhang, Elisa; Etter, Paul D; Hu, Chi-Kuo; Clément-Ziza, Mathieu; Willemsen, David; Cui, Rongfeng; Harel, Itamar; Machado, Ben E; Yee, Muh-Ching; Sharp, Sabrina C; Bustamante, Carlos D; Beyer, Andreas; Johnson, Eric A; Brunet, Anne

    2015-12-03

    Lifespan is a remarkably diverse trait ranging from a few days to several hundred years in nature, but the mechanisms underlying the evolution of lifespan differences remain elusive. Here we de novo assemble a reference genome for the naturally short-lived African turquoise killifish, providing a unique resource for comparative and experimental genomics. The identification of genes under positive selection in this fish reveals potential candidates to explain its compressed lifespan. Several aging genes are under positive selection in this short-lived fish and long-lived species, raising the intriguing possibility that the same gene could underlie evolution of both compressed and extended lifespans. Comparative genomics and linkage analysis identify candidate genes associated with lifespan differences between various turquoise killifish strains. Remarkably, these genes are clustered on the sex chromosome, suggesting that short lifespan might have co-evolved with sex determination. Our study provides insights into the evolutionary forces that shape lifespan in nature.

  15. Sequencing of the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) genome provides insights into vertebrate evolution

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Jeramiah J; Kuraku, Shigehiro; Holt, Carson; Sauka-Spengler, Tatjana; Jiang, Ning; Campbell, Michael S; Yandell, Mark D; Manousaki, Tereza; Meyer, Axel; Bloom, Ona E; Morgan, Jennifer R; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Sachidanandam, Ravi; Sims, Carrie; Garruss, Alexander S; Cook, Malcolm; Krumlauf, Robb; Wiedemann, Leanne M; Sower, Stacia A; Decatur, Wayne A; Hall, Jeffrey A; Amemiya, Chris T; Saha, Nil R; Buckley, Katherine M; Rast, Jonathan P; Das, Sabyasachi; Hirano, Masayuki; McCurley, Nathanael; Guo, Peng; Rohner, Nicolas; Tabin, Clifford J; Piccinelli, Paul; Elgar, Greg; Ruffier, Magali; Aken, Bronwen L; Searle, Stephen MJ; Muffato, Matthieu; Pignatelli, Miguel; Herrero, Javier; Jones, Matthew; Brown, C Titus; Chung-Davidson, Yu-Wen; Nanlohy, Kaben G; Libants, Scot V; Yeh, Chu-Yin; McCauley, David W; Langeland, James A; Pancer, Zeev; Fritzsch, Bernd; de Jong, Pieter J; Zhu, Baoli; Fulton, Lucinda L; Theising, Brenda; Flicek, Paul; Bronner, Marianne E; Warren, Wesley C; Clifton, Sandra W; Wilson, Richard K; Li, Weiming

    2013-01-01

    Lampreys are representatives of an ancient vertebrate lineage that diverged from our own ~500 million years ago. By virtue of this deeply shared ancestry, the sea lamprey (P. marinus) genome is uniquely poised to provide insight into the ancestry of vertebrate genomes and the underlying principles of vertebrate biology. Here, we present the first lamprey whole-genome sequence and assembly. We note challenges faced owing to its high content of repetitive elements and GC bases, as well as the absence of broad-scale sequence information from closely related species. Analyses of the assembly indicate that two whole-genome duplications likely occurred before the divergence of ancestral lamprey and gnathostome lineages. Moreover, the results help define key evolutionary events within vertebrate lineages, including the origin of myelin-associated proteins and the development of appendages. The lamprey genome provides an important resource for reconstructing vertebrate origins and the evolutionary events that have shaped the genomes of extant organisms. PMID:23435085

  16. Structural and functional insights into Mimivirus ORFans

    PubMed Central

    Saini, Harpreet Kaur; Fischer, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    Background Mimivirus isolated from A. polyphaga is the largest virus discovered so far. It is unique among all the viruses in having genes related to translation, DNA repair and replication which bear close homology to eukaryotic genes. Nevertheless, only a small fraction of the proteins (33%) encoded in this genome has been assigned a function. Furthermore, a large fraction of the unassigned protein sequences bear no sequence similarity to proteins from other genomes. These sequences are referred to as ORFans. Because of their lack of sequence similarity to other proteins, they can not be assigned putative functions using standard sequence comparison methods. As part of our genome-wide computational efforts aimed at characterizing Mimivirus ORFans, we have applied fold-recognition methods to predict the structure of these ORFans and further functions were derived based on conservation of functionally important residues in sequence-template alignments. Results Using fold recognition, we have identified highly confident computational 3D structural assignments for 21 Mimivirus ORFans. In addition, highly confident functional predictions for 6 of these ORFans were derived by analyzing the conservation of functional motifs between the predicted structures and proteins of known function. This analysis allowed us to classify these 6 previously unannotated ORFans into their specific protein families: carboxylesterase/thioesterase, metal-dependent deacetylase, P-loop kinases, 3-methyladenine DNA glycosylase, BTB domain and eukaryotic translation initiation factor eIF4E. Conclusion Using stringent fold recognition criteria we have assigned three-dimensional structures for 21 of the ORFans encoded in the Mimivirus genome. Further, based on the 3D models and an analysis of the conservation of functionally important residues and motifs, we were able to derive functional attributes for 6 of the ORFans. Our computational identification of important functional sites in these

  17. Structural Insights into Calicivirus Attachment and Uncoating▿ †

    PubMed Central

    Bhella, David; Gatherer, Derek; Chaudhry, Yasmin; Pink, Rebecca; Goodfellow, Ian G.

    2008-01-01

    The Caliciviridae family comprises positive-sense RNA viruses of medical and veterinary significance. In humans, caliciviruses are a major cause of acute gastroenteritis, while in animals respiratory illness, conjunctivitis, stomatitis, and hemorrhagic disease are documented. Investigation of virus-host interactions is limited by a lack of culture systems for many viruses in this family. Feline calicivirus (FCV), a member of the Vesivirus genus, provides a tractable model, since it may be propagated in cell culture. Feline junctional adhesion molecule 1 (fJAM-1) was recently identified as a functional receptor for FCV. We have analyzed the structure of this virus-receptor complex by cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction, combined with fitting of homology modeled high-resolution coordinates. We show that domain 1 of fJAM-1 binds to the outer face of the P2 domain of the FCV capsid protein VP1, inducing conformational changes in the viral capsid. This study provides the first structural view of a native calicivirus-protein receptor complex and insights into the mechanisms of virus attachment and uncoating. PMID:18550656

  18. Structural Insights into Sulfite Oxidase Deficiency

    SciTech Connect

    Karakas,E.; Wilson, H.; Graf, T.; Xiang, S.; Jaramillo-Busquets, S.; Rajagopalan, K.; Kisker, C.

    2005-01-01

    Sulfite oxidase deficiency is a lethal genetic disease that results from defects either in the genes encoding proteins involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis or in the sulfite oxidase gene itself. Several point mutations in the sulfite oxidase gene have been identified from patients suffering from this disease worldwide. Although detailed biochemical analyses have been carried out on these mutations, no structural data could be obtained because of problems in crystallizing recombinant human and rat sulfite oxidases and the failure to clone the chicken sulfite oxidase gene. We synthesized the gene for chicken sulfite oxidase de novo, working backward from the amino acid sequence of the native chicken liver enzyme by PCR amplification of a series of 72 overlapping primers. The recombinant protein displayed the characteristic absorption spectrum of sulfite oxidase and exhibited steady state and rapid kinetic parameters comparable with those of the tissue-derived enzyme. We solved the crystal structures of the wild type and the sulfite oxidase deficiency-causing R138Q (R160Q in humans) variant of recombinant chicken sulfite oxidase in the resting and sulfate-bound forms. Significant alterations in the substrate-binding pocket were detected in the structure of the mutant, and a comparison between the wild type and mutant protein revealed that the active site residue Arg-450 adopts different conformations in the presence and absence of bound sulfate. The size of the binding pocket is thereby considerably reduced, and its position relative to the cofactor is shifted, causing an increase in the distance of the sulfur atom of the bound sulfate to the molybdenum.

  19. Structural insights into sulfite oxidase deficiency.

    PubMed

    Karakas, Erkan; Wilson, Heather L; Graf, Tyler N; Xiang, Song; Jaramillo-Busquets, Sandra; Rajagopalan, K V; Kisker, Caroline

    2005-09-30

    Sulfite oxidase deficiency is a lethal genetic disease that results from defects either in the genes encoding proteins involved in molybdenum cofactor biosynthesis or in the sulfite oxidase gene itself. Several point mutations in the sulfite oxidase gene have been identified from patients suffering from this disease worldwide. Although detailed biochemical analyses have been carried out on these mutations, no structural data could be obtained because of problems in crystallizing recombinant human and rat sulfite oxidases and the failure to clone the chicken sulfite oxidase gene. We synthesized the gene for chicken sulfite oxidase de novo, working backward from the amino acid sequence of the native chicken liver enzyme by PCR amplification of a series of 72 overlapping primers. The recombinant protein displayed the characteristic absorption spectrum of sulfite oxidase and exhibited steady state and rapid kinetic parameters comparable with those of the tissue-derived enzyme. We solved the crystal structures of the wild type and the sulfite oxidase deficiency-causing R138Q (R160Q in humans) variant of recombinant chicken sulfite oxidase in the resting and sulfate-bound forms. Significant alterations in the substrate-binding pocket were detected in the structure of the mutant, and a comparison between the wild type and mutant protein revealed that the active site residue Arg-450 adopts different conformations in the presence and absence of bound sulfate. The size of the binding pocket is thereby considerably reduced, and its position relative to the cofactor is shifted, causing an increase in the distance of the sulfur atom of the bound sulfate to the molybdenum.

  20. New insights into prion structure and toxicity.

    PubMed

    Harris, David A; True, Heather L

    2006-05-04

    Prion diseases in humans and animals are due to conformational conversion of PrP(C), a cellular glycoprotein of unknown function, into PrP(Sc), an isoform that appears to be infectious in the absence of nucleic acids. Proteins that behave as prions are also found in yeast and filamentous fungi. Although there is now strong experimental support for the hypothesis that prions are infectious proteins, two subjects have remained poorly understood: the structure of prions, and the mechanisms by which they kill neurons. In this review, we will highlight recent studies that shed new light on these important issues.

  1. Basic Science Simulations Provide New Insights to Aid Hydrogen Gas Turbine Development (Fact Sheet), NREL Highlights, Science

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    2011-11-01

    Massive first-principles simulation provides insight into flame anchoring in a hydrogen-rich jet in cross-flow. When gas turbine designers want to use gasified biomass for stationary power generation, they are faced with a challenge: bio-derived syngas typically contains significant amounts of hydrogen, which is far more reactive than the methane that is the traditional gas turbine fuel. This reactivity leads to a safety design issue, because with hydrogen-rich fuels a flame may anchor in the fuel injection section of the combustor instead of the downstream design point. In collaboration with Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories and Andrea Gruber of SINTEF, a Norwegian energy think tank, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is carrying out fundamental simulations to provide new insight into the physics of flame anchoring in canonical 'jet in cross-flow' configurations using hydrogen-rich fuels. To deal with the large amount and complexity of the data, the combustion scientists also teamed up with computer scientists from across the U.S. Department of Energy's laboratories to develop novel ways to analyze the data. These simulations have shown that fine-scale turbulence structures formed at the jet boundary provide particularly intense mixing between the fuel and air, which then enters a quiescent region formed downstream of the jet in a separate, larger turbulent structure. This insight explains the effect that reducing the wall-normal velocity of the fuel jet causes the flame to blow off; with the aid of the simulation, we now understand this counterintuitive result because reducing the wall-normal velocity would reduce the intensity of the mixing as well as move the quiescent region farther downstream. NREL and its research partners are conducting simulations that provide new insight into the physics of flame anchoring in canonical 'jet in cross-flow' configurations using hydrogen-rich fuels. Simulation results explain the mechanism behind

  2. Quantitative measures of walking and strength provide insight into brain corticospinal tract pathology in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Fritz, Nora E; Keller, Jennifer; Calabresi, Peter A; Zackowski, Kathleen M

    2017-01-01

    At least 85% of individuals with multiple sclerosis report walking dysfunction as their primary complaint. Walking and strength measures are common clinical measures to mark increasing disability or improvement with rehabilitation. Previous studies have shown an association between strength or walking ability and spinal cord MRI measures, and strength measures with brainstem corticospinal tract magnetization transfer ratio. However, the relationship between walking performance and brain corticospinal tract magnetization transfer imaging measures and the contribution of clinical measurements of walking and strength to the underlying integrity of the corticospinal tract has not been explored in multiple sclerosis. The objectives of this study were explore the relationship of quantitative measures of walking and strength to whole-brain corticospinal tract-specific MRI measures and to determine the contribution of quantitative measures of function in addition to basic clinical measures (age, gender, symptom duration and Expanded Disability Status Scale) to structural imaging measures of the corticospinal tract. We hypothesized that quantitative walking and strength measures would be related to brain corticospinal tract-specific measures, and would provide insight into the heterogeneity of brain pathology. Twenty-nine individuals with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (mean(SD) age 48.7 (11.5) years; symptom duration 11.9(8.7); 17 females; median[range] Expanded Disability Status Scale 4.0 [1.0-6.5]) and 29 age and gender-matched healthy controls (age 50.8(11.6) years; 20 females) participated in clinical tests of strength and walking (Timed Up and Go, Timed 25 Foot Walk, Two Minute Walk Test ) as well as 3 T imaging including diffusion tensor imaging and magnetization transfer imaging. Individuals with multiple sclerosis were weaker (p = 0.0024) and walked slower (p = 0.0013) compared to controls. Quantitative measures of walking and strength were

  3. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Jun; Bonnesen, Peter V; Rangel, E.; Vallejo, E.; Sanchez-Castillo, Ariadna; Cleaves, II, H. James; Baddorf, Arthur P; Sumpter, Bobby G; Pan, Minghu; Maksymovych, Petro; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel A

    2016-01-04

    The self-assembly of a nucleoside on Au(111) was studied to ascertain whether polymerization on well-defined substrates constitutes a promising approach for making sequence-controlled polymers. Scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory were used to investigate the self-assembly on Au(111) of (RS)-N9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine (DHPA), a plausibly prebiotic nucleoside analog of adenosine. It is found that DHPA molecules self-assemble into a hydrogen-bonded polymer that grows almost exclusively along the herringbone reconstruction pattern, has a two component sequence that is repeated over hundreds of nanometers, and is erasable with electron-induced excitation. Although the sequence is simple, more complicated ones are envisioned if two or more nucleoside types are combined. Because polymerization occurs on a substrate in a dry environment, the success of each combination can be gauged with high-resolution imaging and accurate modeling techniques. The resulting characteristics make nucleoside self-assembly on a substrate an attractive approach for designing sequence-controlled polymers. Moreover, by choosing plausibly prebiotic nucleosides, insights may be provided into how nature created the first sequence-controlled polymers capable of storing information. Such insights, in turn, can inspire new ways of synthesizing sequence-controlled polymers.

  4. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jun; Bonnesen, Peter V.; Rangel, E.; Vallejo, E.; Sanchez-Castillo, Ariadna; James Cleaves, H., II; Baddorf, Arthur P.; Sumpter, Bobby G.; Pan, Minghu; Maksymovych, Petro; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Self-assembly of a nucleoside on Au(111) was studied to ascertain whether polymerization on well-defined substrates constitutes a promising approach for making sequence-controlled polymers. Scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory were used to investigate the self-assembly on Au(111) of (RS)-N9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine (DHPA), a plausibly prebiotic nucleoside analog of adenosine. It is found that DHPA molecules self-assemble into a hydrogen-bonded polymer that grows almost exclusively along the herringbone reconstruction pattern, has a two component sequence that is repeated over hundreds of nanometers, and is erasable with electron-induced excitation. Although the sequence is simple, more complicated ones are envisioned if two or more nucleoside types are combined. Because polymerization occurs on a substrate in a dry environment, the success of each combination can be gauged with high-resolution imaging and accurate modeling techniques. These characteristics make nucleoside self-assembly on a substrate an attractive approach for designing sequence-controlled polymers. Further, by choosing plausibly prebiotic nucleosides, insights may be provided into how nature created the first sequence-controlled polymers capable of storing information. Such insights, in turn, can inspire new ways of synthesizing sequence-controlled polymers.

  5. Otx expression during lamprey embryogenesis provides insights into the evolution of the vertebrate head and jaw.

    PubMed

    Tomsa, J M; Langeland, J A

    1999-03-01

    Agnathan or jawless vertebrates, such as lampreys, occupy a critical phylogenetic position between the gnathostome or jawed vertebrates and the cephalochordates, represented by amphioxus. In order to gain insight into the evolution of the vertebrate head, we have cloned and characterized a homolog of the head-specific gene Otx from the lamprey Petromyzon marinus. This lamprey Otx gene is a clear phylogenetic outgroup to both the gnathostome Otx1 and Otx2 genes. Like its gnathostome counterparts, lamprey Otx is expressed throughout the presumptive forebrain and midbrain. Together, these results indicate that the divergence of Otx1 and Otx2 took place after the gnathostome/agnathan divergence and does not correlate with the origin of the vertebrate brain. Intriguingly, Otx is also expressed in the cephalic neural crest cells as well as mesenchymal and endodermal components of the first pharyngeal arch in lampreys, providing molecular evidence of homology with the gnathostome mandibular arch and insights into the evolution of the gnathostome jaw. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.

  6. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jun; Bonnesen, Peter V.; Rangel, E.; Vallejo, E.; Sanchez-Castillo, Ariadna; James Cleaves II, H.; Baddorf, Arthur P.; Sumpter, Bobby G.; Pan, Minghu; Maksymovych, Petro; Fuentes-Cabrera, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    Self-assembly of a nucleoside on Au(111) was studied to ascertain whether polymerization on well-defined substrates constitutes a promising approach for making sequence-controlled polymers. Scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory were used to investigate the self-assembly on Au(111) of (RS)-N9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine (DHPA), a plausibly prebiotic nucleoside analog of adenosine. It is found that DHPA molecules self-assemble into a hydrogen-bonded polymer that grows almost exclusively along the herringbone reconstruction pattern, has a two component sequence that is repeated over hundreds of nanometers, and is erasable with electron-induced excitation. Although the sequence is simple, more complicated ones are envisioned if two or more nucleoside types are combined. Because polymerization occurs on a substrate in a dry environment, the success of each combination can be gauged with high-resolution imaging and accurate modeling techniques. These characteristics make nucleoside self-assembly on a substrate an attractive approach for designing sequence-controlled polymers. Further, by choosing plausibly prebiotic nucleosides, insights may be provided into how nature created the first sequence-controlled polymers capable of storing information. Such insights, in turn, can inspire new ways of synthesizing sequence-controlled polymers. PMID:26725380

  7. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers

    DOE PAGES

    Wang, Jun; Bonnesen, Peter V; Rangel, E.; ...

    2016-01-04

    The self-assembly of a nucleoside on Au(111) was studied to ascertain whether polymerization on well-defined substrates constitutes a promising approach for making sequence-controlled polymers. Scanning tunneling microscopy and density functional theory were used to investigate the self-assembly on Au(111) of (RS)-N9-(2,3-dihydroxypropyl)adenine (DHPA), a plausibly prebiotic nucleoside analog of adenosine. It is found that DHPA molecules self-assemble into a hydrogen-bonded polymer that grows almost exclusively along the herringbone reconstruction pattern, has a two component sequence that is repeated over hundreds of nanometers, and is erasable with electron-induced excitation. Although the sequence is simple, more complicated ones are envisioned if two ormore » more nucleoside types are combined. Because polymerization occurs on a substrate in a dry environment, the success of each combination can be gauged with high-resolution imaging and accurate modeling techniques. The resulting characteristics make nucleoside self-assembly on a substrate an attractive approach for designing sequence-controlled polymers. Moreover, by choosing plausibly prebiotic nucleosides, insights may be provided into how nature created the first sequence-controlled polymers capable of storing information. Such insights, in turn, can inspire new ways of synthesizing sequence-controlled polymers.« less

  8. Theoretical Insight into Polymer Structure near Interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Curro, John G.

    2000-03-01

    A molecule near a surface experiences an anisotropic environment in contrast to a molecule in a bulk liquid. As a consequence, the packing of macromolecules is different in the vicinity of a surface than in a bulk polymer melt or solution, and, in addition, must be treated with a theoretical formalism appropriate for inhomogeneous systems. Not surprisingly, this interface structure plays an important role in determining many properties of interest including adhesion, surface tension, wetting, and polymer compatibility. This work is concerned with modeling the structure and packing of macromolecules near a surface. Our approach, like many other previous studies, is a self-consistent field theory. In this theory the many chain problem near a surface is mapped onto a single chain problem in the presence of an external field. The effects of the multiple chain correlations are incorporated into a self-consistently determined, external field. Our approach differs from previous work in that we use a form of this external field that allows us to account for atomistic details in the calculation. We employ the classical density functional theory (DFT) of Chandler, McCoy, and Singer in which the excess free energy of the inhomogeneous system is expanded to second order about the uniform system. This leads to a nonlocal external field involving the direct correlation function C(r) of the homogeneous, bulk polymer liquid. C(r) can be determined from polymer reference interaction site (PRISM) theory, or simulation. The self-consistent calculation of the density profile can be computed numerically for chain models that are Markovian. For more realistic chain models, however, a single chain Monte Carlo simulation in an external field must be performed. Applications of this DFT method will be discussed and comparisons will be made between theory and full, many chain simulations.

  9. Real-time three-dimensional echocardiography provides novel and useful anatomic insights of perimembranous ventricular septal aneurysm.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Jong-Hau; Wu, Jiunn-Ren; Dai, Zen-Kong; Lee, Meng-Hsun

    2007-06-12

    Real-time three-dimensional echocardiography (RT3DE) is a new image modality, and it can display a unique image reconstruction in a variety of heart diseases. However, clinical assessment of ventricular septal aneurysm (VSA) by RT3DE has not been reported. This pilot prospective study is to survey what kinds of new insights of VSA can be provided by RT3DE as compared with conventional 2-dimensional echocardiography (2DE). We investigated the diagnostic value of RT3DE and 2DE in 60 consecutive patients with VSA. From different transthoracic windows, structures of interest can be displayed from any orientation through adjusting cropping and slicing the RT3DE datasets. The results were compared with those in 2DE. RT3DE reconstruction of VSA was feasible in 56 of 60 patients (93%). When compared with 2DE, additional information provided by RT3DE included blood flow through left ventricle to right ventricle, visualization of VSD enface border in 56 patients (93%), morphology of the VSA from apical short axis view in 48 patients (86%), hypertrophied margin of the interventricular septum in 26 patients (43%), dynamic changes of VSA and tricuspid valve in 18 patients (30%), adhesion of chordae tendineae in VSA in 16 patients (26%). Structures of interest can be evaluated from unique RT3DE in any orientation during scanning. RT3DE offers additional novel views and has the advantages of not only displaying better visualization of VSA, but also adequately showing the spatial relationship with its adjacent structures. It can provide novel and useful anatomic insights than 2DE while assessing patients with VSA.

  10. Food allergy: Insights into etiology, prevention and treatment provided by murine models

    PubMed Central

    Oyoshi, Michiko K.; Oettgen, Hans C.; Chatila, Talal A.; Geha, Raif S.; Bryce, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    Food allergy is a rapidly growing public health concern due to its increasing prevalence and its life threatening potential. Animal models of food allergy have emerged as a tool for identifying mechanisms involved in the development of sensitization to normally harmless food allergens as well as delineating the critical immune components of the effector phase of allergic reactions to food. However, the role animal models might play in understanding human diseases remain contentious. This review summarizes how animal models have provided insights on the etiology of human food allergy, experimental corroboration for epidemiological findings that might facilitate prevention strategies, and validation for the utility of new therapies for food allergy. Improved understanding of food allergy from the study of animal models together with human studies are likely to contribute to the development of novel strategies to prevent and treat food allergy. PMID:24636470

  11. Comparative analysis of bat genomes provides insight into the evolution of flight and immunity.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guojie; Cowled, Christopher; Shi, Zhengli; Huang, Zhiyong; Bishop-Lilly, Kimberly A; Fang, Xiaodong; Wynne, James W; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Baker, Michelle L; Zhao, Wei; Tachedjian, Mary; Zhu, Yabing; Zhou, Peng; Jiang, Xuanting; Ng, Justin; Yang, Lan; Wu, Lijun; Xiao, Jin; Feng, Yue; Chen, Yuanxin; Sun, Xiaoqing; Zhang, Yong; Marsh, Glenn A; Crameri, Gary; Broder, Christopher C; Frey, Kenneth G; Wang, Lin-Fa; Wang, Jun

    2013-01-25

    Bats are the only mammals capable of sustained flight and are notorious reservoir hosts for some of the world's most highly pathogenic viruses, including Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). To identify genetic changes associated with the development of bat-specific traits, we performed whole-genome sequencing and comparative analyses of two distantly related species, fruit bat Pteropus alecto and insectivorous bat Myotis davidii. We discovered an unexpected concentration of positively selected genes in the DNA damage checkpoint and nuclear factor κB pathways that may be related to the origin of flight, as well as expansion and contraction of important gene families. Comparison of bat genomes with other mammalian species has provided new insights into bat biology and evolution.

  12. Genomic analyses of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus provide insights into asexual reproduction.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xia; Xu, Yuantao; Zhang, Siqi; Cao, Li; Huang, Yue; Cheng, Junfeng; Wu, Guizhi; Tian, Shilin; Chen, Chunli; Liu, Yan; Yu, Huiwen; Yang, Xiaoming; Lan, Hong; Wang, Nan; Wang, Lun; Xu, Jidi; Jiang, Xiaolin; Xie, Zongzhou; Tan, Meilian; Larkin, Robert M; Chen, Ling-Ling; Ma, Bin-Guang; Ruan, Yijun; Deng, Xiuxin; Xu, Qiang

    2017-05-01

    The emergence of apomixis-the transition from sexual to asexual reproduction-is a prominent feature of modern citrus. Here we de novo sequenced and comprehensively studied the genomes of four representative citrus species. Additionally, we sequenced 100 accessions of primitive, wild and cultivated citrus. Comparative population analysis suggested that genomic regions harboring energy- and reproduction-associated genes are probably under selection in cultivated citrus. We also narrowed the genetic locus responsible for citrus polyembryony, a form of apomixis, to an 80-kb region containing 11 candidate genes. One of these, CitRWP, is expressed at higher levels in ovules of polyembryonic cultivars. We found a miniature inverted-repeat transposable element insertion in the promoter region of CitRWP that cosegregated with polyembryony. This study provides new insights into citrus apomixis and constitutes a promising resource for the mining of agriculturally important genes.

  13. The Lingula genome provides insights into brachiopod evolution and the origin of phosphate biomineralization

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Yi-Jyun; Takeuchi, Takeshi; Koyanagi, Ryo; Yamada, Lixy; Kanda, Miyuki; Khalturina, Mariia; Fujie, Manabu; Yamasaki, Shin-ichi; Endo, Kazuyoshi; Satoh, Noriyuki

    2015-01-01

    The evolutionary origins of lingulid brachiopods and their calcium phosphate shells have been obscure. Here we decode the 425-Mb genome of Lingula anatina to gain insights into brachiopod evolution. Comprehensive phylogenomic analyses place Lingula close to molluscs, but distant from annelids. The Lingula gene number has increased to ∼34,000 by extensive expansion of gene families. Although Lingula and vertebrates have superficially similar hard tissue components, our genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses show that Lingula lacks genes involved in bone formation, indicating an independent origin of their phosphate biominerals. Several genes involved in Lingula shell formation are shared by molluscs. However, Lingula has independently undergone domain combinations to produce shell matrix collagens with EGF domains and carries lineage-specific shell matrix proteins. Gene family expansion, domain shuffling and co-option of genes appear to be the genomic background of Lingula's unique biomineralization. This Lingula genome provides resources for further studies of lophotrochozoan evolution. PMID:26383154

  14. The genome and transcriptome of Japanese flounder provide insights into flatfish asymmetry.

    PubMed

    Shao, Changwei; Bao, Baolong; Xie, Zhiyuan; Chen, Xinye; Li, Bo; Jia, Xiaodong; Yao, Qiulin; Ortí, Guillermo; Li, Wenhui; Li, Xihong; Hamre, Kristin; Xu, Juan; Wang, Lei; Chen, Fangyuan; Tian, Yongsheng; Schreiber, Alex M; Wang, Na; Wei, Fen; Zhang, Jilin; Dong, Zhongdian; Gao, Lei; Gai, Junwei; Sakamoto, Takashi; Mo, Sudong; Chen, Wenjun; Shi, Qiong; Li, Hui; Xiu, Yunji; Li, Yangzhen; Xu, Wenteng; Shi, Zhiyi; Zhang, Guojie; Power, Deborah M; Wang, Qingyin; Schartl, Manfred; Chen, Songlin

    2017-01-01

    Flatfish have the most extreme asymmetric body morphology of vertebrates. During metamorphosis, one eye migrates to the contralateral side of the skull, and this migration is accompanied by extensive craniofacial transformations and simultaneous development of lopsided body pigmentation. The evolution of this developmental and physiological innovation remains enigmatic. Comparative genomics of two flatfish and transcriptomic analyses during metamorphosis point to a role for thyroid hormone and retinoic acid signaling, as well as phototransduction pathways. We demonstrate that retinoic acid is critical in establishing asymmetric pigmentation and, via cross-talk with thyroid hormones, in modulating eye migration. The unexpected expression of the visual opsins from the phototransduction pathway in the skin translates illumination differences and generates retinoic acid gradients that underlie the generation of asymmetry. Identifying the genetic underpinning of this unique developmental process answers long-standing questions about the evolutionary origin of asymmetry, but it also provides insight into the mechanisms that control body shape in vertebrates.

  15. The Lingula genome provides insights into brachiopod evolution and the origin of phosphate biomineralization.

    PubMed

    Luo, Yi-Jyun; Takeuchi, Takeshi; Koyanagi, Ryo; Yamada, Lixy; Kanda, Miyuki; Khalturina, Mariia; Fujie, Manabu; Yamasaki, Shin-ichi; Endo, Kazuyoshi; Satoh, Noriyuki

    2015-09-18

    The evolutionary origins of lingulid brachiopods and their calcium phosphate shells have been obscure. Here we decode the 425-Mb genome of Lingula anatina to gain insights into brachiopod evolution. Comprehensive phylogenomic analyses place Lingula close to molluscs, but distant from annelids. The Lingula gene number has increased to ∼34,000 by extensive expansion of gene families. Although Lingula and vertebrates have superficially similar hard tissue components, our genomic, transcriptomic and proteomic analyses show that Lingula lacks genes involved in bone formation, indicating an independent origin of their phosphate biominerals. Several genes involved in Lingula shell formation are shared by molluscs. However, Lingula has independently undergone domain combinations to produce shell matrix collagens with EGF domains and carries lineage-specific shell matrix proteins. Gene family expansion, domain shuffling and co-option of genes appear to be the genomic background of Lingula's unique biomineralization. This Lingula genome provides resources for further studies of lophotrochozoan evolution.

  16. Whole Genome Analysis of Leptospira licerasiae Provides Insight into Leptospiral Evolution and Pathogenicity

    PubMed Central

    Selengut, Jeremy D.; Harkins, Derek M.; Patra, Kailash P.; Moreno, Angelo; Lehmann, Jason S.; Purushe, Janaki; Sanka, Ravi; Torres, Michael; Webster, Nicholas J.; Vinetz, Joseph M.; Matthias, Michael A.

    2012-01-01

    The whole genome analysis of two strains of the first intermediately pathogenic leptospiral species to be sequenced (Leptospira licerasiae strains VAR010 and MMD0835) provides insight into their pathogenic potential and deepens our understanding of leptospiral evolution. Comparative analysis of eight leptospiral genomes shows the existence of a core leptospiral genome comprising 1547 genes and 452 conserved genes restricted to infectious species (including L. licerasiae) that are likely to be pathogenicity-related. Comparisons of the functional content of the genomes suggests that L. licerasiae retains several proteins related to nitrogen, amino acid and carbohydrate metabolism which might help to explain why these Leptospira grow well in artificial media compared with pathogenic species. L. licerasiae strains VAR010T and MMD0835 possess two prophage elements. While one element is circular and shares homology with LE1 of L. biflexa, the second is cryptic and homologous to a previously identified but unnamed region in L. interrogans serovars Copenhageni and Lai. We also report a unique O-antigen locus in L. licerasiae comprised of a 6-gene cluster that is unexpectedly short compared with L. interrogans in which analogous regions may include >90 such genes. Sequence homology searches suggest that these genes were acquired by lateral gene transfer (LGT). Furthermore, seven putative genomic islands ranging in size from 5 to 36 kb are present also suggestive of antecedent LGT. How Leptospira become naturally competent remains to be determined, but considering the phylogenetic origins of the genes comprising the O-antigen cluster and other putative laterally transferred genes, L. licerasiae must be able to exchange genetic material with non-invasive environmental bacteria. The data presented here demonstrate that L. licerasiae is genetically more closely related to pathogenic than to saprophytic Leptospira and provide insight into the genomic bases for its infectiousness

  17. Amyloid-beta fibrillogenesis: structural insight and therapeutic intervention.

    PubMed

    Dasilva, Kevin A; Shaw, James E; McLaurin, Joanne

    2010-06-01

    Structural insight into the conformational changes associated with aggregation and assembly of fibrils has provided a number of targets for therapeutic intervention. Solid-state NMR, hydrogen/deuterium exchange and mutagenesis strategies have been used to probe the secondary and tertiary structure of amyloid fibrils and key intermediates. Rational design of peptide inhibitors directed against key residues important for aggregation and stabilization of fibrils has demonstrated effectiveness at inhibiting fibrillogenesis. Studies on the interaction between Abeta and cell membranes led to the discovery that inositol, the head group of phosphatidylinositol, inhibits fibrillogenesis. As a result, scyllo-inositol is currently in clinical trials for the treatment of AD. Additional small-molecule inhibitors, including polyphenolic compounds such as curcumin, (-)-epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), and grape seed extract have been shown to attenuate Abeta aggregation through distinct mechanisms, and have shown effectiveness at reducing amyloid levels when administered to transgenic mouse models of AD. Although the results of ongoing clinical trials remain to be seen, these compounds represent the first generation of amyloid-based therapeutics, with the potential to alter the progression of AD and, when used prophylactically, alleviate the deposition of Abeta.

  18. Insights from the structural analysis of protein heterodimer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Anita, Sathyanarayanan; Kangueane, Pandjassarame

    2011-01-01

    Protein heterodimer complexes are often involved in catalysis, regulation, assembly, immunity and inhibition. This involves the formation of stable interfaces between the interacting partners. Hence, it is of interest to describe heterodimer interfaces using known structural complexes. We use a non-redundant dataset of 192 heterodimer complex structures from the protein databank (PDB) to identify interface residues and describe their interfaces using amino-acids residue property preference. Analysis of the dataset shows that the heterodimer interfaces are often abundant in polar residues. The analysis also shows the presence of two classes of interfaces in heterodimer complexes. The first class of interfaces (class A) with more polar residues than core but less than surface is known. These interfaces are more hydrophobic than surfaces, where protein-protein binding is largely hydrophobic. The second class of interfaces (class B) with more polar residues than core and surface is shown. These interfaces are more polar than surfaces, where binding is mainly polar. Thus, these findings provide insights to the understanding of protein-protein interactions. PMID:21572879

  19. Insights from the structural analysis of protein heterodimer interfaces.

    PubMed

    Sowmya, Gopichandran; Anita, Sathyanarayanan; Kangueane, Pandjassarame

    2011-05-07

    Protein heterodimer complexes are often involved in catalysis, regulation, assembly, immunity and inhibition. This involves the formation of stable interfaces between the interacting partners. Hence, it is of interest to describe heterodimer interfaces using known structural complexes. We use a non-redundant dataset of 192 heterodimer complex structures from the protein databank (PDB) to identify interface residues and describe their interfaces using amino-acids residue property preference. Analysis of the dataset shows that the heterodimer interfaces are often abundant in polar residues. The analysis also shows the presence of two classes of interfaces in heterodimer complexes. The first class of interfaces (class A) with more polar residues than core but less than surface is known. These interfaces are more hydrophobic than surfaces, where protein-protein binding is largely hydrophobic. The second class of interfaces (class B) with more polar residues than core and surface is shown. These interfaces are more polar than surfaces, where binding is mainly polar. Thus, these findings provide insights to the understanding of protein-protein interactions.

  20. Circulating Tumor Cells and Circulating Tumor DNA Provide New Insights into Pancreatic Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Yang; Zhu, Yayun; Yuan, Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Pancreatic cancer has a rather dismal prognosis mainly due to high malignance of tumor biology. Up to now, the relevant researches on pancreatic cancer lag behind seriously partly due to the obstacles for tissue biopsy, which handicaps the understanding of molecular and genetic features of pancreatic cancer. In the last two decades, liquid biopsy, including circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), is promising to provide new insights into the biological and clinical characteristics of malignant tumors. Both CTCs and ctDNA provide an opportunity for studying tumor heterogeneity, drug resistance, and metastatic mechanism for pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, they can also play important roles in detecting early-stage tumors, providing prognostic information, monitoring tumor progression and guiding treatment regimens. In this review, we will introduce the latest findings on biological features and clinical applications of both CTCs and ctDNA in pancreatic cancer. In a word, CTCs and ctDNA are promising to promote precision medicine in pancreatic cancer. PMID:27994495

  1. Hyper-dry conditions provide new insights into the cause of extreme floods after wildfire

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Moody, John A.; Ebel, Brian A.

    2012-01-01

    A catastrophic wildfire in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains near Boulder, Colorado provided a unique opportunity to investigate soil conditions immediately after a wildfire and before alteration by rainfall. Measurements of near-surface (θ; and matric suction, ψ), rainfall, and wind velocity were started 8 days after the wildfire began. These measurements established that hyper-dryconditions (θ 3 cm-3; ψ > ~ 3 x 105 cm) existed and provided an in-situ retention curve for these conditions. These conditions exacerbate the effects of water repellency (natural and fire-induced) and limit the effectiveness of capillarity and gravity driven infiltration into fire-affected soils. The important consequence is that given hyper-dryconditions, the critical rewetting process before the first rain is restricted to the diffusion–adsorption of water-vapor. This process typically has a time scale of days to weeks (especially when the hydrologic effects of the ash layer are included) that is longer than the typical time scale (minutes to hours) of some rainstorms, such that under hyper-dryconditions essentially no rain infiltrates. The existence of hyper-dryconditions provides insight into why, frequently during the first rain storm after a wildfire, nearly all rainfall becomes runoff causing extremefloods and debris flows.

  2. Improved prediction of RNA tertiary structure with insights into native state dynamics.

    PubMed

    Bida, John Paul; Maher, L James

    2012-03-01

    The importance of RNA tertiary structure is evident from the growing number of published high resolution NMR and X-ray crystallographic structures of RNA molecules. These structures provide insights into function and create a knowledge base that is leveraged by programs such as Assemble, ModeRNA, RNABuilder, NAST, FARNA, Mc-Sym, RNA2D3D, and iFoldRNA for tertiary structure prediction and design. While these methods sample native-like RNA structures during simulations, all struggle to capture the native RNA conformation after scoring. We propose RSIM, an improved RNA fragment assembly method that preserves RNA global secondary structure while sampling conformations. This approach enhances the quality of predicted RNA tertiary structure, provides insights into the native state dynamics, and generates a powerful visualization of the RNA conformational space. RSIM is available for download from http://www.github.com/jpbida/rsim.

  3. Structural and functional analyses of the archaeal tRNA m2G/m22G10 methyltransferase aTrm11 provide mechanistic insights into site specificity of a tRNA methyltransferase that contains common RNA-binding modules

    PubMed Central

    Hirata, Akira; Nishiyama, Seiji; Tamura, Toshihiro; Yamauchi, Ayano; Hori, Hiroyuki

    2016-01-01

    N2-methylguanosine is one of the most universal modified nucleosides required for proper function in transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules. In archaeal tRNA species, a specific S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAM)-dependent tRNA methyltransferase (MTase), aTrm11, catalyzes formation of N2-methylguanosine and N2,N2-dimethylguanosine at position 10. Here, we report the first X-ray crystal structures of aTrm11 from Thermococcus kodakarensis (Tko), of the apo-form, and of its complex with SAM. The structures show that TkoTrm11 consists of three domains: an N-terminal ferredoxinlike domain (NFLD), THUMP domain and Rossmann-fold MTase (RFM) domain. A linker region connects the THUMP-NFLD and RFM domains. One SAM molecule is bound in the pocket of the RFM domain, suggesting that TkoTrm11 uses a catalytic mechanism similar to that of other tRNA MTases containing an RFM domain. Furthermore, the conformation of NFLD and THUMP domains in TkoTrm11 resembles that of other tRNA-modifying enzymes specifically recognizing the tRNA acceptor stem. Our docking model of TkoTrm11-SAM in complex with tRNA, combined with biochemical analyses and pre-existing evidence, provides insights into the substrate tRNA recognition mechanism: The THUMP domain recognizes a 3′-ACCA end, and the linker region and RFM domain recognize the T-stem, acceptor stem and V-loop of tRNA, thereby causing TkoTrm11 to specifically identify its methylation site. PMID:27325738

  4. Dynamic transcriptional profiling provides insights into tuberous root development in Rehmannia glutinosa

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Peng; Xiao, Xingguo; Duan, Liusheng; Guo, Yuhai; Qi, Jianjun; Liao, Dengqun; Zhao, Chunli; Liu, Yan; Zhou, Lili; Li, Xianen

    2015-01-01

    Rehmannia glutinosa, an herb of the Scrophulariaceae family, is widely cultivated in the Northern part of China. The tuberous root has well-known medicinal properties; however, yield and quality are threatened by abiotic and biotic stresses. Understanding the molecular process of tuberous root development may help identify novel targets for its control. In the present study, we used Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly strategies to obtain a reference transcriptome that is relevant to tuberous root development. We then conducted RNA-seq quantification analysis to determine gene expression profiles of the adventitious root (AR), thickening adventitious root (TAR), and the developing tuberous root (DTR). Expression profiling identified a total of 6794 differentially expressed unigenes during root development. Bioinformatics analysis and gene expression profiling revealed changes in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, and plant hormone biosynthesis during root development. Moreover, we identified and allocated putative functions to the genes involved in tuberous root development, including genes related to major carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism, and transcription regulation. The present study provides the initial description of gene expression profiles of AR, TAR, and DTR, which facilitates identification of genes of interest. Moreover, our work provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying tuberous root development and may assist in the design and development of improved breeding schemes for different R. glutinosa varieties through genetic manipulation. PMID:26113849

  5. Comprehensive population-based genome sequencing provides insight into hematopoietic regulatory mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Michael H.; Nandakumar, Satish K.; Ulirsch, Jacob C.; Zekavat, Seyedeh M.; Buenrostro, Jason D.; Natarajan, Pradeep; Salem, Rany M.; Chiarle, Roberto; Mitt, Mario; Kals, Mart; Pärn, Kalle; Fischer, Krista; Milani, Lili; Mägi, Reedik; Palta, Priit; Gabriel, Stacey B.; Metspalu, Andres; Lander, Eric S.; Kathiresan, Sekar; Hirschhorn, Joel N.; Esko, Tõnu; Sankaran, Vijay G.

    2017-01-01

    Genetic variants affecting hematopoiesis can influence commonly measured blood cell traits. To identify factors that affect hematopoiesis, we performed association studies for blood cell traits in the population-based Estonian Biobank using high-coverage whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in 2,284 samples and SNP genotyping in an additional 14,904 samples. Using up to 7,134 samples with available phenotype data, our analyses identified 17 associations across 14 blood cell traits. Integration of WGS-based fine-mapping and complementary epigenomic datasets provided evidence for causal mechanisms at several loci, including at a previously undiscovered basophil count-associated locus near the master hematopoietic transcription factor CEBPA. The fine-mapped variant at this basophil count association near CEBPA overlapped an enhancer active in common myeloid progenitors and influenced its activity. In situ perturbation of this enhancer by CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells demonstrated that it is necessary for and specifically regulates CEBPA expression during basophil differentiation. We additionally identified basophil count-associated variation at another more pleiotropic myeloid enhancer near GATA2, highlighting regulatory mechanisms for ordered expression of master hematopoietic regulators during lineage specification. Our study illustrates how population-based genetic studies can provide key insights into poorly understood cell differentiation processes of considerable physiologic relevance. PMID:28031487

  6. Six decades of vitiligo genetics: genome-wide studies provide insights into autoimmune pathogenesis.

    PubMed

    Spritz, Richard A

    2012-02-01

    Generalized vitiligo (GV) is a complex disease in which patchy depigmentation results from autoimmune loss of melanocytes from affected regions. Genetic analyses of GV span six decades, with the goal of understanding biological mechanisms and elucidating pathways that underlie the disease. The earliest studies attempted to describe the mode of inheritance and genetic epidemiology. Early genetic association studies of biological candidate genes resulted in some successes, principally HLA and PTPN22, but in hindsight many such reports now seem to be false-positives. Later, genome-wide linkage studies of multiplex GV families identified NLRP1 and XBP1, which appear to be valid GV susceptibility genes that control key aspects of immune regulation. Recently, the application of genome-wide association studies to analysis of GV has produced a rich yield of validated GV susceptibility genes that encode components of biological pathways reaching from immune cells to the melanocyte. These genes and pathways provide insights into underlying pathogenetic mechanisms and possible triggers of GV, establish relationships to other autoimmune diseases, and may provide clues to potential new approaches to GV treatment and perhaps even prevention. These results thus validate the hopes and efforts of the early investigators who first attempted to comprehend the genetic basis of vitiligo.

  7. Comprehensive population-based genome sequencing provides insight into hematopoietic regulatory mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Guo, Michael H; Nandakumar, Satish K; Ulirsch, Jacob C; Zekavat, Seyedeh M; Buenrostro, Jason D; Natarajan, Pradeep; Salem, Rany M; Chiarle, Roberto; Mitt, Mario; Kals, Mart; Pärn, Kalle; Fischer, Krista; Milani, Lili; Mägi, Reedik; Palta, Priit; Gabriel, Stacey B; Metspalu, Andres; Lander, Eric S; Kathiresan, Sekar; Hirschhorn, Joel N; Esko, Tõnu; Sankaran, Vijay G

    2017-01-17

    Genetic variants affecting hematopoiesis can influence commonly measured blood cell traits. To identify factors that affect hematopoiesis, we performed association studies for blood cell traits in the population-based Estonian Biobank using high-coverage whole-genome sequencing (WGS) in 2,284 samples and SNP genotyping in an additional 14,904 samples. Using up to 7,134 samples with available phenotype data, our analyses identified 17 associations across 14 blood cell traits. Integration of WGS-based fine-mapping and complementary epigenomic datasets provided evidence for causal mechanisms at several loci, including at a previously undiscovered basophil count-associated locus near the master hematopoietic transcription factor CEBPA The fine-mapped variant at this basophil count association near CEBPA overlapped an enhancer active in common myeloid progenitors and influenced its activity. In situ perturbation of this enhancer by CRISPR/Cas9 mutagenesis in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells demonstrated that it is necessary for and specifically regulates CEBPA expression during basophil differentiation. We additionally identified basophil count-associated variation at another more pleiotropic myeloid enhancer near GATA2, highlighting regulatory mechanisms for ordered expression of master hematopoietic regulators during lineage specification. Our study illustrates how population-based genetic studies can provide key insights into poorly understood cell differentiation processes of considerable physiologic relevance.

  8. Dynamic transcriptional profiling provides insights into tuberous root development in Rehmannia glutinosa.

    PubMed

    Sun, Peng; Xiao, Xingguo; Duan, Liusheng; Guo, Yuhai; Qi, Jianjun; Liao, Dengqun; Zhao, Chunli; Liu, Yan; Zhou, Lili; Li, Xianen

    2015-01-01

    Rehmannia glutinosa, an herb of the Scrophulariaceae family, is widely cultivated in the Northern part of China. The tuberous root has well-known medicinal properties; however, yield and quality are threatened by abiotic and biotic stresses. Understanding the molecular process of tuberous root development may help identify novel targets for its control. In the present study, we used Illumina sequencing and de novo assembly strategies to obtain a reference transcriptome that is relevant to tuberous root development. We then conducted RNA-seq quantification analysis to determine gene expression profiles of the adventitious root (AR), thickening adventitious root (TAR), and the developing tuberous root (DTR). Expression profiling identified a total of 6794 differentially expressed unigenes during root development. Bioinformatics analysis and gene expression profiling revealed changes in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, starch and sucrose metabolism, and plant hormone biosynthesis during root development. Moreover, we identified and allocated putative functions to the genes involved in tuberous root development, including genes related to major carbohydrate metabolism, hormone metabolism, and transcription regulation. The present study provides the initial description of gene expression profiles of AR, TAR, and DTR, which facilitates identification of genes of interest. Moreover, our work provides insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying tuberous root development and may assist in the design and development of improved breeding schemes for different R. glutinosa varieties through genetic manipulation.

  9. The presence of bacteria within tissue provides insights into the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Yun Sik; Kim, Yunji; Yoon, Hye-Jung; Baek, Keum Jin; Alam, Jehan; Park, Hee Kyung; Choi, Youngnim

    2016-01-01

    Oral lichen planus (OLP) is a chronic T cell-mediated mucocutaneous disease of unknown etiopathogenesis. Although various antigens have been considered, what actually triggers the inflammatory response of T cells is unknown. In the present study, we propose that intracellular bacteria present within tissues trigger T cell infiltration and provide target antigens. Sections of OLP (n = 36) and normal (n = 10) oral mucosal tissues were subjected to in situ hybridization using a universal probe targeting the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and immunohistochemistry with anti-CD3, anti-CD4, anti-CD8, and anti-macrophage-specific antibodies. Bacteria were abundant throughout the epithelium and the lamina propria of OLP tissues, which exhibited positive correlations with the levels of infiltrated CD3+, CD4+, and CD8+ cells. Furthermore, bacteria were detected within the infiltrated T cells. Pyrosequencing analysis of the mucosal microbiota from OLP patients (n = 13) and control subjects (n = 11) revealed a decrease in Streptococcus and increases in gingivitis/periodontitis-associated bacteria in OLP lesions. Using the selected bacterial species, we demonstrated that certain oral bacteria damage the epithelial physical barrier, are internalized into epithelial cells or T cells, and induce production of T cell chemokines CXCL10 and CCL5. Our findings provide insights into the pathogenesis of OLP. PMID:27383402

  10. Vertebral development of modern salamanders provides insights into a unique event of their evolutionary history.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Catherine Anne

    2009-01-15

    The origin of salamanders and their interrelationships to the two other modern amphibian orders (frogs and caecilians) are problematic owing to an 80-100 million year gap in the fossil record between the Carboniferous to the Lower Jurassic. This is compounded by a scarcity of adult skeletal characters linking the early representatives of the modern orders to their stem-group in the Paleozoic. The use of ontogenetic characters can be of great use in the resolution of these questions. Growth series of all ten modern salamander families (a 120 cleared and stained larvae) were examined for pattern and timing of vertebral elements chondrification and ossification. The primitive pattern is that of the neural arches developing before the centra, while the reverse represents the derived condition. Both the primitive and derived conditions are observed within the family Hynobiidae, whereas only the derived condition is observed in all other salamanders. This provides support to the claims that Hynobiidae is both the most basal of modern families and potentially polyphyletic (with Ranodon and Hybobius forming the most basal clade and Salamandrella being a part of the most derived clade). This provides insight into a unique event in salamander evolutionary history and suggests that the developmental pattern switch occurred between the Triassic and the mid-Jurassic before the last major radiation.

  11. Transcriptome Analysis of Manganese-deficient Chlamydomonas reinhardtii Provides Insight on the Chlorophyll Biosynthesis Pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Lockhart, Ainsley; Zvenigorodsky, Natasha; Pedraza, Mary Ann; Lindquist, Erika

    2011-08-11

    The biosynthesis of chlorophyll and other tetrapyrroles is a vital but poorly understood process. Recent genomic advances with the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii have created opportunity to more closely examine the mechanisms of the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway via transcriptome analysis. Manganese is a nutrient of interest for complex reactions because of its multiple stable oxidation states and role in molecular oxygen coordination. C. reinhardtii was cultured in Manganese-deplete Tris-acetate-phosphate (TAP) media for 24 hours and used to create cDNA libraries for sequencing using Illumina TruSeq technology. Transcriptome analysis provided intriguing insight on possible regulatory mechanisms in the pathway. Evidence supports similarities of GTR (Glutamyl-tRNA synthase) to its Chlorella vulgaris homolog in terms of Mn requirements. Data was also suggestive of Mn-related compensatory up-regulation for pathway proteins CHLH1 (Manganese Chelatase), GUN4 (Magnesium chelatase activating protein), and POR1 (Light-dependent protochlorophyllide reductase). Intriguingly, data suggests possible reciprocal expression of oxygen dependent CPX1 (coproporphyrinogen III oxidase) and oxygen independent CPX2. Further analysis using RT-PCR could provide compelling evidence for several novel regulatory mechanisms in the chlorophyll biosynthesis pathway.

  12. A neurophylogenetic approach provides new insight to the evolution of Scaphopoda.

    PubMed

    Sumner-Rooney, Lauren H; Schrödl, Michael; Lodde-Bensch, Eva; Lindberg, David R; Heß, Martin; Brennan, Gerard P; Sigwart, Julia D

    2015-01-01

    The position of scaphopods in molluscan phylogeny remains singularly contentious, with several sister relationships supported by morphological and phylogenomic data: Scaphopoda + Bivalvia (Diasoma), Scaphopoda + Cephalopoda (Variopoda), and Scaphopoda + Gastropoda. Nervous system architecture has contributed significant insights to reconstructing phylogeny in the Mollusca and other invertebrate groups, but a modern neurophylogenetic approach has not been applied to molluscs, hampered by a lack of clearly defined homologous characters that can be unequivocally compared across the radical body plan disparity among the living clades. We present the first three-dimensional reconstruction of the anterior nervous system of a scaphopod, Rhabdus rectius, using histological tomography. We also describe a new putative sensory organ, a paired and pigmented sensory mantle slit. This structure is restricted to our study species and not a general feature of scaphopods, but it forms an integral part of the description of the nervous system in R. rectius. It also highlights the potential utility of neuro-anatomical characters for multiple levels of phylogenetic inference beyond this study. This potential has not previously been exploited for the thorny problem of molluscan phylogeny. The neuroanatomy of scaphopods demonstrates a highly derived architecture that shares a number of key characters with the cephalopod nervous system, and supports a Scaphopoda + Cephalopoda grouping.

  13. The Jujube Genome Provides Insights into Genome Evolution and the Domestication of Sweetness/Acidity Taste in Fruit Trees

    PubMed Central

    Wan, KangKang; Zhang, Zhong; Pang, Xiaoming; Yin, Xiao; Bai, Yang; Sun, Xiaoqing; Gao, Lizhi; Li, Ruiqiang; Zhang, Jinbo

    2016-01-01

    Jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) belongs to the Rhamnaceae family and is a popular fruit tree species with immense economic and nutritional value. Here, we report a draft genome of the dry jujube cultivar ‘Junzao’ and the genome resequencing of 31 geographically diverse accessions of cultivated and wild jujubes (Ziziphus jujuba var. spinosa). Comparative analysis revealed that the genome of ‘Dongzao’, a fresh jujube, was ~86.5 Mb larger than that of the ‘Junzao’, partially due to the recent insertions of transposable elements in the ‘Dongzao’ genome. We constructed eight proto-chromosomes of the common ancestor of Rhamnaceae and Rosaceae, two sister families in the order Rosales, and elucidated the evolutionary processes that have shaped the genome structures of modern jujubes. Population structure analysis revealed the complex genetic background of jujubes resulting from extensive hybridizations between jujube and its wild relatives. Notably, several key genes that control fruit organic acid metabolism and sugar content were identified in the selective sweep regions. We also identified S-locus genes controlling gametophytic self-incompatibility and investigated haplotype patterns of the S locus in the jujube genomes, which would provide a guideline for parent selection for jujube crossbreeding. This study provides valuable genomic resources for jujube improvement, and offers insights into jujube genome evolution and its population structure and domestication. PMID:28005948

  14. Iron-Sulfur Cluster Engineering Provides Insight into the Evolution of Substrate Specificity among Sulfonucleotide Reductases

    PubMed Central

    Bhave, Devayani P.; Hong, Jiyoung A.; Keller, Rebecca L.; Krebs, Carsten; Carroll, Kate S.

    2011-01-01

    Assimilatory sulfate reduction supplies prototrophic organisms with reduced sulfur that is required for the biosynthesis of all sulfur-containing metabolites, including cysteine and methionine. The reduction of sulfate requires its activation via an ATP-dependent activation to form adenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (APS). Depending on the species, APS can be reduced directly to sulfite by APS reductase (APR) or undergo a second phosphorylation to yield 3′-phosphoadenosine-5′-phosphosulfate (PAPS), the substrate for PAPS reductase (PAPR). These essential enzymes have no human homolog, rendering them attractive targets for the development of novel antibacterial drugs. APR and PAPR share sequence and structure homology as well as a common catalytic mechanism, but the enzymes are distinguished by two features, namely, the amino acid sequence of the phosphate-binding loop (P-loop) and an iron-sulfur cofactor in APRs. Based on the crystal structures of APR and PAPR, two P-loop residues are proposed to determine substrate specificity; however, this hypothesis has not been tested. In contrast to this prevailing view, we report here that the P-loop motif has a modest effect on substrate discrimination. Instead, by means of metalloprotein engineering, spectroscopic and kinetic analyses, we demonstrate that the iron-sulfur cluster cofactor enhances APS reduction by nearly 1000-fold, thereby playing a pivotal role in substrate specificity and catalysis. These findings offer new insights into the evolution of this enzyme family, and extend the known functions of protein-bound iron-sulfur clusters. PMID:22023093

  15. Large-scale GWAS identifies multiple loci for hand grip strength providing biological insights into muscular fitness

    PubMed Central

    Willems, Sara M.; Wright, Daniel J.; Day, Felix R.; Trajanoska, Katerina; Joshi, Peter K.; Morris, John A.; Matteini, Amy M.; Garton, Fleur C.; Grarup, Niels; Oskolkov, Nikolay; Thalamuthu, Anbupalam; Mangino, Massimo; Liu, Jun; Demirkan, Ayse; Lek, Monkol; Xu, Liwen; Wang, Guan; Oldmeadow, Christopher; Gaulton, Kyle J.; Lotta, Luca A.; Miyamoto-Mikami, Eri; Rivas, Manuel A.; White, Tom; Loh, Po-Ru; Aadahl, Mette; Amin, Najaf; Attia, John R.; Austin, Krista; Benyamin, Beben; Brage, Søren; Cheng, Yu-Ching; Cięszczyk, Paweł; Derave, Wim; Eriksson, Karl-Fredrik; Eynon, Nir; Linneberg, Allan; Lucia, Alejandro; Massidda, Myosotis; Mitchell, Braxton D.; Miyachi, Motohiko; Murakami, Haruka; Padmanabhan, Sandosh; Pandey, Ashutosh; Papadimitriou, Ioannis; Rajpal, Deepak K.; Sale, Craig; Schnurr, Theresia M.; Sessa, Francesco; Shrine, Nick; Tobin, Martin D.; Varley, Ian; Wain, Louise V.; Wray, Naomi R.; Lindgren, Cecilia M.; MacArthur, Daniel G.; Waterworth, Dawn M.; McCarthy, Mark I.; Pedersen, Oluf; Khaw, Kay-Tee; Kiel, Douglas P.; Oei, Ling; Zheng, Hou-Feng; Forgetta, Vincenzo; Leong, Aaron; Ahmad, Omar S.; Laurin, Charles; Mokry, Lauren E.; Ross, Stephanie; Elks, Cathy E.; Bowden, Jack; Warrington, Nicole M.; Murray, Anna; Ruth, Katherine S.; Tsilidis, Konstantinos K.; Medina-Gómez, Carolina; Estrada, Karol; Bis, Joshua C.; Chasman, Daniel I.; Demissie, Serkalem; Enneman, Anke W.; Hsu, Yi-Hsiang; Ingvarsson, Thorvaldur; Kähönen, Mika; Kammerer, Candace; Lacroix, Andrea Z.; Li, Guo; Liu, Ching-Ti; Liu, Yongmei; Lorentzon, Mattias; Mägi, Reedik; Mihailov, Evelin; Milani, Lili; Moayyeri, Alireza; Nielson, Carrie M.; Sham, Pack Chung; Siggeirsdotir, Kristin; Sigurdsson, Gunnar; Stefansson, Kari; Trompet, Stella; Thorleifsson, Gudmar; Vandenput, Liesbeth; van der Velde, Nathalie; Viikari, Jorma; Xiao, Su-Mei; Zhao, Jing Hua; Evans, Daniel S.; Cummings, Steven R.; Cauley, Jane; Duncan, Emma L.; de Groot, Lisette C. P. G. M.; Esko, Tonu; Gudnason, Vilmundar; Harris, Tamara B.; Jackson, Rebecca D.; Jukema, J Wouter; Ikram, Arfan M. A.; Karasik, David; Kaptoge, Stephen; Kung, Annie Wai Chee; Lehtimäki, Terho; Lyytikäinen, Leo-Pekka; Lips, Paul; Luben, Robert; Metspalu, Andres; van Meurs, Joyce B. J.; Minster, Ryan L.; Orwoll, Erick; Oei, Edwin; Psaty, Bruce M.; Raitakari, Olli T.; Ralston, Stuart W.; Ridker, Paul M.; Robbins, John A.; Smith, Albert V.; Styrkarsdottir, Unnur; Tranah, Gregory J.; Thorstensdottir, Unnur; Uitterlinden, Andre G.; Zmuda, Joseph; Zillikens, M Carola; Ntzani, Evangelia E.; Evangelou, Evangelos; Ioannidis, John P. A.; Evans, David M.; Ohlsson, Claes; Pitsiladis, Yannis; Fuku, Noriyuki; Franks, Paul W.; North, Kathryn N.; van Duijn, Cornelia M.; Mather, Karen A.; Hansen, Torben; Hansson, Ola; Spector, Tim; Murabito, Joanne M.; Richards, J. Brent; Rivadeneira, Fernando; Langenberg, Claudia; Perry, John R. B.; Wareham, Nick J.; Scott, Robert A.

    2017-01-01

    Hand grip strength is a widely used proxy of muscular fitness, a marker of frailty, and predictor of a range of morbidities and all-cause mortality. To investigate the genetic determinants of variation in grip strength, we perform a large-scale genetic discovery analysis in a combined sample of 195,180 individuals and identify 16 loci associated with grip strength (P<5 × 10−8) in combined analyses. A number of these loci contain genes implicated in structure and function of skeletal muscle fibres (ACTG1), neuronal maintenance and signal transduction (PEX14, TGFA, SYT1), or monogenic syndromes with involvement of psychomotor impairment (PEX14, LRPPRC and KANSL1). Mendelian randomization analyses are consistent with a causal effect of higher genetically predicted grip strength on lower fracture risk. In conclusion, our findings provide new biological insight into the mechanistic underpinnings of grip strength and the causal role of muscular strength in age-related morbidities and mortality.

  16. Functional Analysis of Environmental DNA-Derived Microviridins Provides New Insights into the Diversity of the Tricyclic Peptide Family

    PubMed Central

    Gatte-Picchi, Douglas; Weiz, Annika; Ishida, Keishi; Hertweck, Christian

    2014-01-01

    Microviridins represent a unique family of ribosomally synthesized cage-like depsipeptides from cyanobacteria with potent protease-inhibitory activities. The natural diversity of these peptides is largely unexplored. Here, we describe two methodologies that were developed to functionally characterize cryptic microviridin gene clusters from metagenomic DNA. Environmental samples were collected and enriched from cyanobacterial freshwater blooms of different geographical origins containing predominantly Microcystis sp. Microviridins were produced either directly from fosmid clones or after insertion of environmental DNA-derived gene cassettes into a minimal expression platform in Escherichia coli. Three novel microviridin variants were isolated and tested against different serine-type proteases. The comparison of the bioactivity profiles of the new congeners allows deduction of further structure-function relationships for microviridins. Moreover, this study provides new insights into microviridin processing and gene cluster organization. PMID:24334668

  17. The Microbial Signature Provides Insight into the Mechanistic Basis of Coral Success across Reef Habitats

    PubMed Central

    Leggat, William; Bongaerts, Pim

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT For ecosystems vulnerable to environmental change, understanding the spatiotemporal stability of functionally crucial symbioses is fundamental to determining the mechanisms by which these ecosystems may persist. The coral Pachyseris speciosa is a successful environmental generalist that succeeds in diverse reef habitats. The generalist nature of this coral suggests it may have the capacity to form functionally significant microbial partnerships to facilitate access to a range of nutritional sources within different habitats. Here, we propose that coral is a metaorganism hosting three functionally distinct microbial interactions: a ubiquitous core microbiome of very few symbiotic host-selected bacteria, a microbiome of spatially and/or regionally explicit core microbes filling functional niches (<100 phylotypes), and a highly variable bacterial community that is responsive to biotic and abiotic processes across spatial and temporal scales (>100,000 phylotypes). We find that this coral hosts upwards of 170,000 distinct phylotypes and provide evidence for the persistence of a select group of bacteria in corals across environmental habitats of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. We further show that a higher number of bacteria are consistently associated with corals on mesophotic reefs than on shallow reefs. An increase in microbial diversity with depth suggests reliance by this coral on bacteria for nutrient acquisition on reefs exposed to nutrient upwelling. Understanding the complex microbial communities of host organisms across broad biotic and abiotic environments as functionally distinct microbiomes can provide insight into those interactions that are ubiquitous niche symbioses and those that provide competitive advantage within the hosts’ environment. PMID:27460792

  18. Insights into structural variations and genome rearrangements in prokaryotic genomes.

    PubMed

    Periwal, Vinita; Scaria, Vinod

    2015-01-01

    Structural variations (SVs) are genomic rearrangements that affect fairly large fragments of DNA. Most of the SVs such as inversions, deletions and translocations have been largely studied in context of genetic diseases in eukaryotes. However, recent studies demonstrate that genome rearrangements can also have profound impact on prokaryotic genomes, leading to altered cell phenotype. In contrast to single-nucleotide variations, SVs provide a much deeper insight into organization of bacterial genomes at a much better resolution. SVs can confer change in gene copy number, creation of new genes, altered gene expression and many other functional consequences. High-throughput technologies have now made it possible to explore SVs at a much refined resolution in bacterial genomes. Through this review, we aim to highlight the importance of the less explored field of SVs in prokaryotic genomes and their impact. We also discuss its potential applicability in the emerging fields of synthetic biology and genome engineering where targeted SVs could serve to create sophisticated and accurate genome editing. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  19. Comparative proteomic analysis provides new insights into mulberry dwarf responses in mulberry (Morus alba L.).

    PubMed

    Ji, Xianling; Gai, Yingping; Zheng, Chengchao; Mu, Zhimei

    2009-12-01

    Mulberry dwarf (MD) is a serious infectious disease of mulberry caused by phytoplasma. Infection with MD phytoplasma results in stress phenotypes of yellowing, phyllody, stunting, proliferation, and witches' broom. Physiological and biochemical analysis has shown that infection with MD phytoplasma causes an increase in soluble carbohydrate and starch content, and a decrease in the net photosynthesis rate, carboxylation efficiency, and pigment content of leaves. Furthermore, damage to the chloroplast ultrastructure was detected in infected leaves. To better understand the pathogen-stress response of mulberry (Morus alba L.) to MD phytoplasma, we conducted a comparative proteomic analysis using 2-DE of infected and healthy leaves. Among 500 protein spots that were reproducibly detected, 20 were down-regulated and 17 were up-regulated. MS identified 16 differentially expressed proteins. The photosynthetic proteins rubisco large subunit, rubisco activase, and sedoheptulose-1,7-bisphosphatase showed enhanced degradation in infected leaves. Based these results, a model for the occurrence mechanism of MD is proposed. In conclusion, this study provides new insights into the mulberry response to MD phytoplasma infection.

  20. Evolution of Digestive Enzymes and RNASE1 Provides Insights into Dietary Switch of Cetaceans

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Du, Kexing; Huang, Fang; Chen, Zhuo; Zhou, Kaiya; Ren, Wenhua; Yang, Guang

    2016-01-01

    Although cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) have multi-chambered stomachs, feeding habits of modern cetaceans have dramatically changed from herbivorous to carnivorous. However, the genetic basis underlying this dietary switch remains unexplored. Here, we present the first systematic investigation of 10 digestive enzymes genes (i.e., CYP7A1, CTRC, LIPC, LIPF, PNLIP, PGC, PRSS1, SI, SLC5A1, and TMPRSS15) of representative cetaceans, and the evolutionary trajectory of RNASE1 in cetartiodactylans. Positive selections were detected with proteinases (i.e., CTRC, PRSS1, and TMPRSS15) and lipases (i.e., CYP7A1, LIPF, and PNLIP) suggesting that cetaceans have evolved an enhanced digestion capacity for proteins and lipids, the major nutritional components of their prey (fishes and invertebrates). In addition, it was found that RNASE1 gene duplicated after the cetartiodactylan speciation and two independent gene duplication events took place in Camelidae and Ruminantia. Positive selection was detected with RNASE1 of Camelidae and Bovidae, suggesting enhanced digestive efficiency in the ruminants. Remarkably, even though the ancestors of cetaceans were terrestrial artiodactyls that are herbivorous, modern cetaceans lost the pancreatic RNASE1 copy with digestive function, which is in accordance with the dietary change from herbivorous to carnivorous. In sum, this is the first study that provides new insights into the evolutionary mechanism of dietary switch in cetaceans. PMID:27651393

  1. The sacred lotus genome provides insights into the evolution of flowering plants.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yun; Fan, Guangyi; Liu, Yiman; Sun, Fengming; Shi, Chengcheng; Liu, Xin; Peng, Jing; Chen, Wenbin; Huang, Xinfang; Cheng, Shifeng; Liu, Yuping; Liang, Xinming; Zhu, Honglian; Bian, Chao; Zhong, Lan; Lv, Tian; Dong, Hongxia; Liu, Weiqing; Zhong, Xiao; Chen, Jing; Quan, Zhiwu; Wang, Zhihong; Tan, Benzhong; Lin, Chufa; Mu, Feng; Xu, Xun; Ding, Yi; Guo, An-Yuan; Wang, Jun; Ke, Weidong

    2013-11-01

    Sacred lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) is an ornamental plant that is also used for food and medicine. This basal eudicot species is especially important from an evolutionary perspective, as it occupies a critical phylogenetic position in flowering plants. Here we report the draft genome of a wild strain of sacred lotus. The assembled genome is 792 Mb, which is approximately 85-90% of genome size estimates. We annotated 392 Mb of repeat sequences and 36,385 protein-coding genes within the genome. Using these sequence data, we constructed a phylogenetic tree and confirmed the basal location of sacred lotus within eudicots. Importantly, we found evidence for a relatively recent whole-genome duplication event; any indication of the ancient paleo-hexaploid event was, however, absent. Genomic analysis revealed evidence of positive selection within 28 embryo-defective genes and one annexin gene that may be related to the long-term viability of sacred lotus seed. We also identified a significant expansion of starch synthase genes, which probably elevated starch levels within the rhizome of sacred lotus. Sequencing this strain of sacred lotus thus provided important insights into the evolution of flowering plant and revealed genetic mechanisms that influence seed dormancy and starch synthesis.

  2. Systematic characterization of the peroxidase gene family provides new insights into fungal pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae

    PubMed Central

    Mir, Albely Afifa; Park, Sook-Young; Sadat, Md. Abu; Kim, Seongbeom; Choi, Jaeyoung; Jeon, Junhyun; Lee, Yong-Hwan

    2015-01-01

    Fungal pathogens have evolved antioxidant defense against reactive oxygen species produced as a part of host innate immunity. Recent studies proposed peroxidases as components of antioxidant defense system. However, the role of fungal peroxidases during interaction with host plants has not been explored at the genomic level. Here, we systematically identified peroxidase genes and analyzed their impact on fungal pathogenesis in a model plant pathogenic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Phylogeny reconstruction placed 27 putative peroxidase genes into 15 clades. Expression profiles showed that majority of them are responsive to in planta condition and in vitro H2O2. Our analysis of individual deletion mutants for seven selected genes including MoPRX1 revealed that these genes contribute to fungal development and/or pathogenesis. We identified significant and positive correlations among sensitivity to H2O2, peroxidase activity and fungal pathogenicity. In-depth analysis of MoPRX1 demonstrated that it is a functional ortholog of thioredoxin peroxidase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is required for detoxification of the oxidative burst within host cells. Transcriptional profiling of other peroxidases in ΔMoprx1 suggested interwoven nature of the peroxidase-mediated antioxidant defense system. The results from this study provide insight into the infection strategy built on evolutionarily conserved peroxidases in the rice blast fungus. PMID:26134974

  3. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Fig Flowers Provides Insights into Potential Mechanisms for Mutualism Stability and Gall Induction.

    PubMed

    Martinson, Ellen O; Hackett, Jeremiah D; Machado, Carlos A; Arnold, A Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    A striking property of the mutualism between figs and their pollinating wasps is that wasps consistently oviposit in the inner flowers of the fig syconium, which develop into galls that house developing larvae. Wasps typically do not use the outer ring of flowers, which develop into seeds. To better understand differences between gall and seed flowers, we used a metatranscriptomic approach to analyze eukaryotic gene expression within fig flowers at the time of oviposition choice and early gall development. Consistent with the unbeatable seed hypothesis, we found significant differences in gene expression between gall- and seed flowers in receptive syconia prior to oviposition. In particular, transcripts assigned to flavonoids and carbohydrate metabolism were significantly up-regulated in gall flowers relative to seed flowers. In response to oviposition, gall flowers significantly up-regulated the expression of chalcone synthase, which previously has been connected to gall formation in other plants. We propose several genes encoding proteins with signal peptides or associations with venom of other Hymenoptera as candidate genes for gall initiation or growth. This study simultaneously evaluates the gene expression profile of both mutualistic partners in a plant-insect mutualism and provides insight into a possible stability mechanism in the ancient fig-fig wasp association.

  4. Metatranscriptome Analysis of Fig Flowers Provides Insights into Potential Mechanisms for Mutualism Stability and Gall Induction

    PubMed Central

    Martinson, Ellen O.; Hackett, Jeremiah D.; Machado, Carlos A.; Arnold, A. Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    A striking property of the mutualism between figs and their pollinating wasps is that wasps consistently oviposit in the inner flowers of the fig syconium, which develop into galls that house developing larvae. Wasps typically do not use the outer ring of flowers, which develop into seeds. To better understand differences between gall and seed flowers, we used a metatranscriptomic approach to analyze eukaryotic gene expression within fig flowers at the time of oviposition choice and early gall development. Consistent with the unbeatable seed hypothesis, we found significant differences in gene expression between gall- and seed flowers in receptive syconia prior to oviposition. In particular, transcripts assigned to flavonoids and carbohydrate metabolism were significantly up-regulated in gall flowers relative to seed flowers. In response to oviposition, gall flowers significantly up-regulated the expression of chalcone synthase, which previously has been connected to gall formation in other plants. We propose several genes encoding proteins with signal peptides or associations with venom of other Hymenoptera as candidate genes for gall initiation or growth. This study simultaneously evaluates the gene expression profile of both mutualistic partners in a plant-insect mutualism and provides insight into a possible stability mechanism in the ancient fig-fig wasp association. PMID:26090817

  5. Ambient mass spectrometry imaging metabolomics method provides novel insights into the action mechanism of drug candidates.

    PubMed

    He, Jingjing; Luo, Zhigang; Huang, Lan; He, Jiuming; Chen, Yi; Rong, Xianfang; Jia, Shaobo; Tang, Fei; Wang, Xiaohao; Zhang, Ruiping; Zhang, Jianjun; Shi, Jiangong; Abliz, Zeper

    2015-01-01

    Elucidation of the mechanism of action for drug candidates is fundamental to drug development, and it is strongly facilitated by metabolomics. Herein, we developed an imaging metabolomics method based on air-flow-assisted desorption electrospray ionization mass spectrometry imaging (AFADESI-MSI) under ambient conditions. This method was subsequently applied to simultaneously profile a novel anti-insomnia drug candidate, N(6)-(4-hydroxybenzyl)-adenosine (NHBA), and various endogenous metabolites in rat whole-body tissue sections after the administration of NHBA. The principal component analysis (PCA) represented by an intuitive color-coding scheme based on hyperspectral imaging revealed in situ molecular profiling alterations in response to stimulation of NHBA, which are in a very low intensity and hidden in massive interferential peaks. We found that the abundance of six endogenous metabolites changed after drug administration. The spatiotemporal distribution indicated that five altered molecules—including neurotransmitter γ-aminobutyric acid, neurotransmitter precursors choline and glycerophosphocholine, energy metabolism-related molecules adenosine (an endogenous sleep factor), and creatine—are closely associated with insomnia or other neurological disorders. These findings not only provide insights into a deep understanding on the mechanism of action of NHBA, but also demonstrate that the AFADESI-MSI-based imaging metabolomics is a powerful technique to investigate the molecular mechanism of drug action, especially for drug candidates with multitarget or undefined target in the preclinical study stage.

  6. Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history.

    PubMed

    Ponce de León, Marcia S; Golovanova, Lubov; Doronichev, Vladimir; Romanova, Galina; Akazawa, Takeru; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime; Zollikofer, Christoph P E

    2008-09-16

    From birth to adulthood, the human brain expands by a factor of 3.3, compared with 2.5 in chimpanzees [DeSilva J and Lesnik J (2006) Chimpanzee neonatal brain size: Implications for brain growth in Homo erectus. J Hum Evol 51: 207-212]. How the required extra amount of human brain growth is achieved and what its implications are for human life history and cognitive development are still a matter of debate. Likewise, because comparative fossil evidence is scarce, when and how the modern human pattern of brain growth arose during evolution is largely unknown. Virtual reconstructions of a Neanderthal neonate from Mezmaiskaya Cave (Russia) and of two Neanderthal infant skeletons from Dederiyeh Cave (Syria) now provide new comparative insights: Neanderthal brain size at birth was similar to that in recent Homo sapiens and most likely subject to similar obstetric constraints. Neanderthal brain growth rates during early infancy were higher, however. This pattern of growth resulted in larger adult brain sizes but not in earlier completion of brain growth. Because large brains growing at high rates require large, late-maturing, mothers [Leigh SR and Blomquist GE (2007) in Campbell CJ et al. Primates in perspective; pp 396-407], it is likely that Neanderthal life history was similarly slow, or even slower-paced, than in recent H. sapiens.

  7. Placental Proteomics Provides Insights into Pathophysiology of Pre-Eclampsia and Predicts Possible Markers in Plasma.

    PubMed

    Mary, Sheon; Kulkarni, Mahesh J; Malakar, Dipankar; Joshi, Sadhana R; Mehendale, Savita S; Giri, Ashok P

    2017-02-03

    Pre-eclampsia is a hypertensive disorder characterized by the new onset of hypertension >140/90 mmHg and proteinuria after the 20th week of gestation. The disorder is multifactorial and originates with abnormal placentation. Comparison of the placental proteome of normotensive (n = 25) and pre-eclamptic (n = 25) patients by gel-free proteomic techniques identified a total of 2145 proteins in the placenta of which 180 were differentially expressed (>1.3 fold, p < 0.05). Gene ontology enrichment analysis of biological process suggested that the differentially expressed proteins belonged to various physiological processes such as angiogenesis, apoptosis, oxidative stress, hypoxia, and placental development, which are implicated in the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia. Some of the differentially expressed proteins were monitored in the plasma by multiple reaction monitoring analysis, which showed an increase in apolipoproteins A-I and A-II in gestational weeks 26-30 (2-fold, p < 0.01), while haptoglobin and hemopexin decreased in gestational weeks 26-30 and week 40/at delivery (1.8 fold, p < 0.01) in pre-eclamptic patients. This study provides a proteomic insight into the pathophysiology of pre-eclampsia. Identified candidate proteins can be evaluated further for the development of potential biomarkers associated with pre-eclampsia pathogenesis.

  8. Systematic characterization of the peroxidase gene family provides new insights into fungal pathogenicity in Magnaporthe oryzae.

    PubMed

    Mir, Albely Afifa; Park, Sook-Young; Abu Sadat, Md; Kim, Seongbeom; Choi, Jaeyoung; Jeon, Junhyun; Lee, Yong-Hwan

    2015-07-02

    Fungal pathogens have evolved antioxidant defense against reactive oxygen species produced as a part of host innate immunity. Recent studies proposed peroxidases as components of antioxidant defense system. However, the role of fungal peroxidases during interaction with host plants has not been explored at the genomic level. Here, we systematically identified peroxidase genes and analyzed their impact on fungal pathogenesis in a model plant pathogenic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae. Phylogeny reconstruction placed 27 putative peroxidase genes into 15 clades. Expression profiles showed that majority of them are responsive to in planta condition and in vitro H2O2. Our analysis of individual deletion mutants for seven selected genes including MoPRX1 revealed that these genes contribute to fungal development and/or pathogenesis. We identified significant and positive correlations among sensitivity to H2O2, peroxidase activity and fungal pathogenicity. In-depth analysis of MoPRX1 demonstrated that it is a functional ortholog of thioredoxin peroxidase in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is required for detoxification of the oxidative burst within host cells. Transcriptional profiling of other peroxidases in ΔMoprx1 suggested interwoven nature of the peroxidase-mediated antioxidant defense system. The results from this study provide insight into the infection strategy built on evolutionarily conserved peroxidases in the rice blast fungus.

  9. Digital expression profiling of novel diatom transcripts provides insight into their biological functions.

    PubMed

    Maheswari, Uma; Jabbari, Kamel; Petit, Jean-Louis; Porcel, Betina M; Allen, Andrew E; Cadoret, Jean-Paul; De Martino, Alessandra; Heijde, Marc; Kaas, Raymond; La Roche, Julie; Lopez, Pascal J; Martin-Jézéquel, Véronique; Meichenin, Agnès; Mock, Thomas; Schnitzler Parker, Micaela; Vardi, Assaf; Armbrust, E Virginia; Weissenbach, Jean; Katinka, Michaël; Bowler, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Diatoms represent the predominant group of eukaryotic phytoplankton in the oceans and are responsible for around 20% of global photosynthesis. Two whole genome sequences are now available. Notwithstanding, our knowledge of diatom biology remains limited because only around half of their genes can be ascribed a function based onhomology-based methods. High throughput tools are needed, therefore, to associate functions with diatom-specific genes. We have performed a systematic analysis of 130,000 ESTs derived from Phaeodactylum tricornutum cells grown in 16 different conditions. These include different sources of nitrogen, different concentrations of carbon dioxide, silicate and iron, and abiotic stresses such as low temperature and low salinity. Based on unbiased statistical methods, we have catalogued transcripts with similar expression profiles and identified transcripts differentially expressed in response to specific treatments. Functional annotation of these transcripts provides insights into expression patterns of genes involved in various metabolic and regulatory pathways and into the roles of novel genes with unknown functions. Specific growth conditions could be associated with enhanced gene diversity, known gene product functions, and over-representation of novel transcripts. Comparative analysis of data from the other sequenced diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, helped identify several unique diatom genes that are specifically regulated under particular conditions, thus facilitating studies of gene function, genome annotation and the molecular basis of species diversity. The digital gene expression database represents a new resource for identifying candidate diatom-specific genes involved in processes of major ecological relevance.

  10. Biological responsiveness to pheromones provides fundamental and unique insight into olfactory function.

    PubMed

    Sorensen, P W

    1996-04-01

    When exposed to the odor of conspecifics, most organisms exhibit an adaptive behavioral response, particularly if the individuals are sexually mature. Evidence increasingly suggests that behavioral responsiveness to these odors, which are termed 'pheromones', reflects neuroethological mechanisms associated with olfactory function. Reproductive pheromones, which are the best understood, are commonly used by both invertebrates and vertebrates. In both instances they are generally comprised of mixtures of compounds and behavioral responsiveness to them is largely instinctual, sexually-dimorphic, and attributable to a specialized component(s) of the olfactory system. While pheromonal responsiveness in some systems (e.g. moths) appears highly stereotypic and symptomatic of a relatively simple 'labeled line', behavioral responsiveness of other animals (e.g. rodents) can be modified by experience, suggesting a more complex underlying central mechanism. In any case, our understanding of these fascinating systems is progressing only because of an active dialogue between behavioral and neurological investigations. This review briefly examines how behavioral studies have provided fundamental insight into the neuroethology of olfactory function by drawing comparisons between some of the better understood sex pheromone systems which have been described in heliothine moths, the goldfish, and the pig. Many similarities between invertebrate and vertebrate pheromone systems are noted.

  11. Deep Circular RNA Sequencing Provides Insights into the Mechanism Underlying Grass Carp Reovirus Infection.

    PubMed

    He, Libo; Zhang, Aidi; Xiong, Lv; Li, Yongming; Huang, Rong; Liao, Lanjie; Zhu, Zuoyan; Wang, And Yaping

    2017-09-14

    Grass carp hemorrhagic disease, caused by the grass carp reovirus (GCRV), is a major disease that hampers the development of grass carp aquaculture in China. The mechanism underlying GCRV infection is still largely unknown. Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are important regulators involved in various biological processes. In the present study, grass carp were infected with GCRV, and spleen samples were collected at 0 (control), 1, 3, 5, and 7 days post-infection (dpi). Samples were used to construct and sequence circRNA libraries, and a total of 5052 circRNAs were identified before and after GCRV infection, of which 41 exhibited differential expression compared with controls. Many parental genes of the differentially expressed circRNAs are involved in metal ion binding, protein ubiquitination, enzyme activity, and nucleotide binding. Moreover, 72 binding miRNAs were predicted from the differentially expressed circRNAs, of which eight targeted genes were predicted to be involved in immune responses, blood coagulation, hemostasis, and complement and coagulation cascades. Upregulation of these genes may lead to endothelial and blood cell damage and hemorrhagic symptoms. Our results indicate that an mRNA-miRNA-circRNA network may be present in grass carp infected with GCRV, providing new insight into the mechanism underlying grass carp reovirus infection.

  12. Can transcriptomics provide insight into the chemopreventive mechanisms of complex mixtures of phytochemicals in humans?

    PubMed

    van Breda, Simone G J; Wilms, Lonneke C; Gaj, Stan; Jennen, Danyel G J; Briedé, Jacob J; Helsper, Johannes P; Kleinjans, Jos C S; de Kok, Theo M C M

    2014-05-10

    Blueberries contain relatively large amounts of different phytochemicals, which are suggested to have chemopreventive properties, but little information is available on the underlying molecular modes of action. This study investigates whole genome gene expression changes in lymphocytes of 143 humans after a 4-week blueberry-apple juice dietary intervention. Differentially expressed genes and genes correlating with the extent of antioxidant protection were identified in four subgroups. The magnitude of the preventive effect after the intervention differed between these four subgroups. Furthermore, subjects in two groups carried genetic polymorphisms that were previously found to influence the chemopreventive response. Pathway analysis of the identified genes showed strong but complex gene expression changes in pathways signaling for apoptosis, immune response, cell adhesion, and lipid metabolism. These pathways indicate increased apoptosis, upgraded growth control, induced immunity, reduced platelet aggregation and activation, blood glucose homeostasis, and regulation of fatty acid metabolism. Based on these observations, we hypothesize that combining transcriptomic data with phenotypic markers of oxidative stress may provide insight into the relevant cellular processes and genetic pathways, which contribute to the antioxidant response of complex mixtures of phytochemicals, such as found in blueberry-apple juice.

  13. Comparative transcriptome analysis of chemosensory genes in two sister leaf beetles provides insights into chemosensory speciation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Bin; Zhang, Wei; Nie, Rui-E; Li, Wen-Zhu; Segraves, Kari A; Yang, Xing-Ke; Xue, Huai-Jun

    2016-12-01

    Divergence in chemosensory traits has been posited as an important component of chemosensory speciation in insects. In particular, chemosensory genes expressed in the peripheral sensory neurons are likely to influence insect behaviors such as preference for food, oviposition sites, and mates. Despite their key role in insect behavior and potentially speciation, the underlying genetic basis for divergence in chemosensory traits remains largely unexplored. One way to ascertain the role of chemosensory genes in speciation is to make comparisons of these genes across closely related species to detect the genetic signatures of divergence. Here, we used high throughput transcriptome analysis to compare chemosensory genes of the sister leaf beetles species Pyrrhalta maculicollis and P. aenescens, whose sexual isolation and host plant preference are mediated by divergent chemical signals. Although there was low overall divergence between transcriptome profiles, there were a number of genes that were differentially expressed between the species. Furthermore, we also detected two chemosensory genes under positive selection, one of which that was also differentially expressed between the species, suggesting a possible role for these genes in chemical-based premating reproductive isolation and host use. Combined with the available chemical and ecological work in this system, further studies of the divergent chemosensory genes presented here will provide insight into the process of chemosensory speciation among Pyrrhalta beetles.

  14. DNA methylation provides insight into intergenerational risk for preterm birth in African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Parets, Sasha E; Conneely, Karen N; Kilaru, Varun; Menon, Ramkumar; Smith, Alicia K

    2015-01-01

    African Americans are at increased risk for spontaneous preterm birth (PTB). Though PTB is heritable, genetic studies have not identified variants that account for its intergenerational risk, prompting the hypothesis that epigenetic factors may also contribute. The objective of this study was to evaluate DNA methylation from maternal leukocytes to identify patterns specific to PTB and its intergenerational risk. DNA from peripheral leukocytes from African American women that delivered preterm (24–34 weeks; N = 16) or at term (39–41 weeks; N = 24) was assessed for DNA methylation using the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. In maternal samples, 17,829 CpG sites associated with PTB, but no CpG site remained associated after correction for multiple comparisons. Examination of paired maternal-fetal samples identified 5,171 CpG sites in which methylation of maternal samples correlated with methylation of her respective fetus (FDR < 0.05). These correlated sites were enriched for association with PTB in maternal leukocytes. The majority of correlated CpG sites could be attributed to one or more genetic variants. They were also significantly more likely to be in genes involved in metabolic, cardiovascular, and immune pathways, suggesting a role for genetic and environmental contributions to PTB risk and chronic disease. The results of this study may provide insight into the factors underlying intergenerational risk for PTB and its consequences. PMID:26090903

  15. Evolution of Digestive Enzymes and RNASE1 Provides Insights into Dietary Switch of Cetaceans.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhengfei; Xu, Shixia; Du, Kexing; Huang, Fang; Chen, Zhuo; Zhou, Kaiya; Ren, Wenhua; Yang, Guang

    2016-12-01

    Although cetaceans (whales, porpoises, and dolphins) have multi-chambered stomachs, feeding habits of modern cetaceans have dramatically changed from herbivorous to carnivorous. However, the genetic basis underlying this dietary switch remains unexplored. Here, we present the first systematic investigation of 10 digestive enzymes genes (i.e., CYP7A1, CTRC, LIPC, LIPF, PNLIP, PGC, PRSS1, SI, SLC5A1, and TMPRSS15) of representative cetaceans, and the evolutionary trajectory of RNASE1 in cetartiodactylans. Positive selections were detected with proteinases (i.e., CTRC, PRSS1, and TMPRSS15) and lipases (i.e., CYP7A1, LIPF, and PNLIP) suggesting that cetaceans have evolved an enhanced digestion capacity for proteins and lipids, the major nutritional components of their prey (fishes and invertebrates). In addition, it was found that RNASE1 gene duplicated after the cetartiodactylan speciation and two independent gene duplication events took place in Camelidae and Ruminantia. Positive selection was detected with RNASE1 of Camelidae and Bovidae, suggesting enhanced digestive efficiency in the ruminants. Remarkably, even though the ancestors of cetaceans were terrestrial artiodactyls that are herbivorous, modern cetaceans lost the pancreatic RNASE1 copy with digestive function, which is in accordance with the dietary change from herbivorous to carnivorous. In sum, this is the first study that provides new insights into the evolutionary mechanism of dietary switch in cetaceans. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  16. Transcriptome analyses provide insights into the phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the mangrove fern genus Acrostichum.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhang; He, Ziwen; Xu, Shaohua; Li, Xinnian; Guo, Wuxia; Yang, Yuchen; Zhong, Cairong; Zhou, Renchao; Shi, Suhua

    2016-10-26

    The mangrove fern genus Acrostichum grows in the extremely unstable marine intertidal zone under harsh conditions, such as high salt concentrations, tidal rhythms and long-term climate changes. To explore the phylogenetic relationships and molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in this genus, we sequenced the transcriptomes of two species of Acrostichum, A. aureum and A. speciosum, as well as a species in the sister genus, Ceratopteris thalictroides. We obtained 47,517, 36,420 and 60,823 unigenes for the three ferns, of which 24.39-45.63% were annotated using public databases. The estimated divergence time revealed that Acrostichum adapted to the coastal region during the late Cretaceous, whereas the two mangrove ferns from the Indo West-Pacific (IWP) area diverged more recently. Two methods (the modified branch-site model and the Kh method) were used to identify several positively selected genes, which may contribute to differential adaptation of the two Acrostichum species to different light and salt conditions. Our study provides abundant transcriptome data and new insights into the evolution and adaptations of mangrove ferns in the inhospitable intertidal zone.

  17. Transcriptome analyses provide insights into the phylogeny and adaptive evolution of the mangrove fern genus Acrostichum

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhang; He, Ziwen; Xu, Shaohua; Li, Xinnian; Guo, Wuxia; Yang, Yuchen; Zhong, Cairong; Zhou, Renchao; Shi, Suhua

    2016-01-01

    The mangrove fern genus Acrostichum grows in the extremely unstable marine intertidal zone under harsh conditions, such as high salt concentrations, tidal rhythms and long-term climate changes. To explore the phylogenetic relationships and molecular mechanisms underlying adaptations in this genus, we sequenced the transcriptomes of two species of Acrostichum, A. aureum and A. speciosum, as well as a species in the sister genus, Ceratopteris thalictroides. We obtained 47,517, 36,420 and 60,823 unigenes for the three ferns, of which 24.39–45.63% were annotated using public databases. The estimated divergence time revealed that Acrostichum adapted to the coastal region during the late Cretaceous, whereas the two mangrove ferns from the Indo West-Pacific (IWP) area diverged more recently. Two methods (the modified branch-site model and the Kh method) were used to identify several positively selected genes, which may contribute to differential adaptation of the two Acrostichum species to different light and salt conditions. Our study provides abundant transcriptome data and new insights into the evolution and adaptations of mangrove ferns in the inhospitable intertidal zone. PMID:27782130

  18. Digital expression profiling of novel diatom transcripts provides insight into their biological functions

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Diatoms represent the predominant group of eukaryotic phytoplankton in the oceans and are responsible for around 20% of global photosynthesis. Two whole genome sequences are now available. Notwithstanding, our knowledge of diatom biology remains limited because only around half of their genes can be ascribed a function based onhomology-based methods. High throughput tools are needed, therefore, to associate functions with diatom-specific genes. Results We have performed a systematic analysis of 130,000 ESTs derived from Phaeodactylum tricornutum cells grown in 16 different conditions. These include different sources of nitrogen, different concentrations of carbon dioxide, silicate and iron, and abiotic stresses such as low temperature and low salinity. Based on unbiased statistical methods, we have catalogued transcripts with similar expression profiles and identified transcripts differentially expressed in response to specific treatments. Functional annotation of these transcripts provides insights into expression patterns of genes involved in various metabolic and regulatory pathways and into the roles of novel genes with unknown functions. Specific growth conditions could be associated with enhanced gene diversity, known gene product functions, and over-representation of novel transcripts. Comparative analysis of data from the other sequenced diatom, Thalassiosira pseudonana, helped identify several unique diatom genes that are specifically regulated under particular conditions, thus facilitating studies of gene function, genome annotation and the molecular basis of species diversity. Conclusions The digital gene expression database represents a new resource for identifying candidate diatom-specific genes involved in processes of major ecological relevance. PMID:20738856

  19. Comparative genome analysis of two Streptococcus phocae subspecies provides novel insights into pathogenicity.

    PubMed

    Bethke, J; Avendaño-Herrera, R

    2017-02-01

    Streptococcus phocae is a beta-hemolytic, Gram-positive bacterium that was first isolated in Norway from clinical specimens of harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) affected by pneumonia or respiratory infection, and in 2005, this bacterium was identified from disease outbreaks at an Atlantic salmon farm. A recent comparative polyphasic study reclassified Streptococcus phocae as subsp. phocae and subsp. salmonis, and there are currently two S. phocae NCBI sequencing projects for the type strains ATCC 51973(T) and C-4(T). The present study compared these genome sequences to determine shared properties between the pathogenic mammalian and fish S. phocae subspecies. Both subspecies presented genomic islands, prophages, CRISPRs, and multiple gene activator and RofA regulator regions that could play key roles in the pathogenesis of streptococcal species. Likewise, proteins possibly influencing immune system evasion and virulence strategies were identified in both genomes, including Streptokinases, Streptolysin S, IgG endopeptidase, Fibronectin binding proteins, Daunorubicin, and Penicillin resistance proteins. Comparative differences in phage, non-phage, and genomic island sequences may form the genetic basis for the virulence, pathogenicity, and ability of S. phocae subsp. salmonis to infect and cause disease in Atlantic salmon, in contrast to S. phocae subsp. phocae. This comparative genomic study between two S. phocae subsp. provides novel insights into virulence factors and pathogenicity, offering important information that will facilitate the development of preventive and treatment measures against this pathogen. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Network component analysis provides quantitative insights on an Arabidopsis transcription factor-gene regulatory network

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    activity. However, since NCA relies on documented connectivity information about the underlying TF-GRN, it is currently limited in its application to larger plant networks because of the lack of documented connectivities. In the future, the identification of interactions between plant TFs and their target genes on a genome scale would allow the use of NCA to provide quantitative regulatory information about plant TF-GRNs, leading to improved insights on cellular regulatory programs. PMID:24228871