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Sample records for provide structural insight

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Olal, Daniel; Daumke, Oliver

    2016-03-01

    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. PMID:26923588

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:27498030

  7. Combining 3D structure with glycan array data provides insight into the origin of glycan specificity.

    PubMed

    Grant, Oliver C; Tessier, Matthew B; Meche, Lawrence; Mahal, Lara K; Foley, Bethany L; Woods, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    Defining how a glycan-binding protein (GBP) specifically selects its cognate glycan from among the ensemble of glycans within the cellular glycome is an area of intense study. Powerful insight into recognition mechanisms can be gained from 3D structures of GBPs complexed to glycans; however, such structures remain difficult to obtain experimentally. Here an automated 3D structure generation technique, called computational carbohydrate grafting, is combined with the wealth of specificity information available from glycan array screening. Integration of the array data with modeling and crystallography allows generation of putative co-complex structures that can be objectively assessed and iteratively altered until a high level of agreement with experiment is achieved. Given an accurate model of the co-complexes, grafting is also able to discern which binding determinants are active when multiple potential determinants are present within a glycan. In some cases, induced fit in the protein or glycan was necessary to explain the observed specificity, while in other examples a revised definition of the minimal binding determinants was required. When applied to a collection of 10 GBP-glycan complexes, for which crystallographic and array data have been reported, grafting provided a structural rationalization for the binding specificity of >90% of 1223 arrayed glycans. A webtool that enables researchers to perform computational carbohydrate grafting is available at www.glycam.org/gr (accessed 03 March 2016).

  8. Combining 3D structure with glycan array data provides insight into the origin of glycan specificity.

    PubMed

    Grant, Oliver C; Tessier, Matthew B; Meche, Lawrence; Mahal, Lara K; Foley, Bethany L; Woods, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    Defining how a glycan-binding protein (GBP) specifically selects its cognate glycan from among the ensemble of glycans within the cellular glycome is an area of intense study. Powerful insight into recognition mechanisms can be gained from 3D structures of GBPs complexed to glycans; however, such structures remain difficult to obtain experimentally. Here an automated 3D structure generation technique, called computational carbohydrate grafting, is combined with the wealth of specificity information available from glycan array screening. Integration of the array data with modeling and crystallography allows generation of putative co-complex structures that can be objectively assessed and iteratively altered until a high level of agreement with experiment is achieved. Given an accurate model of the co-complexes, grafting is also able to discern which binding determinants are active when multiple potential determinants are present within a glycan. In some cases, induced fit in the protein or glycan was necessary to explain the observed specificity, while in other examples a revised definition of the minimal binding determinants was required. When applied to a collection of 10 GBP-glycan complexes, for which crystallographic and array data have been reported, grafting provided a structural rationalization for the binding specificity of >90% of 1223 arrayed glycans. A webtool that enables researchers to perform computational carbohydrate grafting is available at www.glycam.org/gr (accessed 03 March 2016). PMID:26911287

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    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 Å, 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. PMID:19805072

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24816101

  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. 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

  14. 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

    2015-02-01

    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.

  15. X-Ray Structure Reveals a New Class and Provides Insight into Evolution of Alkaline Phosphatases

    PubMed Central

    Bihani, Subhash C.; Das, Amit; Nilgiriwala, Kayzad S.; Prashar, Vishal; Pirocchi, Michel; Apte, Shree Kumar; Ferrer, Jean-Luc; Hosur, Madhusoodan V.

    2011-01-01

    The alkaline phosphatase (AP) is a bi-metalloenzyme of potential applications in biotechnology and bioremediation, in which phosphate monoesters are nonspecifically hydrolysed under alkaline conditions to yield inorganic phosphate. The hydrolysis occurs through an enzyme intermediate in which the catalytic residue is phosphorylated. The reaction, which also requires a third metal ion, is proposed to proceed through a mechanism of in-line displacement involving a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. Stabilizing the transition state by bidentate hydrogen bonding has been suggested to be the reason for conservation of an arginine residue in the active site. We report here the first crystal structure of alkaline phosphatase purified from the bacterium Sphingomonas. sp. Strain BSAR-1 (SPAP). The crystal structure reveals many differences from other APs: 1) the catalytic residue is a threonine instead of serine, 2) there is no third metal ion binding pocket, and 3) the arginine residue forming bidentate hydrogen bonding is deleted in SPAP. A lysine and an aspargine residue, recruited together for the first time into the active site, bind the substrate phosphoryl group in a manner not observed before in any other AP. These and other structural features suggest that SPAP represents a new class of APs. Because of its direct contact with the substrate phosphoryl group, the lysine residue is proposed to play a significant role in catalysis. The structure is consistent with a mechanism of in-line displacement via a trigonal bipyramidal transition state. The structure provides important insights into evolutionary relationships between members of AP superfamily. PMID:21829507

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. New structural snapshots provide molecular insights into the mechanism of high fidelity DNA synthesis.

    PubMed

    Freudenthal, Bret D; Beard, William A; Wilson, Samuel H

    2015-08-01

    Time-lapse X-ray crystallography allows visualization of intermediate structures during the DNA polymerase catalytic cycle. Employing time-lapse crystallography with human DNA polymerase β has recently allowed us to capture and solve novel intermediate structures that are not stable enough to be analyzed by traditional crystallography. The structures of these intermediates reveals exciting surprises about active site metal ions and enzyme conformational changes as the reaction proceeds from the ground state to product release. In this perspective, we provide an overview of recent advances in understanding the DNA polymerase nucleotidyl transferase reaction and highlight both the significance and mysteries of enzyme efficiency and specificity that remain to be solved.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:25808573

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    2016-01-01

    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 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. PMID:26975884

  13. 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

  14. 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. PMID:27211345

  15. Retrieving backbone string neighbors provides insights into structural modeling of membrane proteins.

    PubMed

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

    2012-07-01

    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.

  16. 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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  18. Structural analysis of mevalonate-3-kinase provides insight into the mechanisms of isoprenoid pathway decarboxylases

    PubMed Central

    Vinokur, Jeffrey M; Korman, Tyler P; Sawaya, Michael R; Collazo, Michael; Cascio, Duillio; Bowie, James U

    2015-01-01

    In animals, cholesterol is made from 5-carbon building blocks produced by the mevalonate pathway. Drugs that inhibit the mevalonate pathway such as atorvastatin (lipitor) have led to successful treatments for high cholesterol in humans. Another potential target for the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis is mevalonate diphosphate decarboxylase (MDD), which catalyzes the phosphorylation of (R)-mevalonate diphosphate, followed by decarboxylation to yield isopentenyl pyrophosphate. We recently discovered an MDD homolog, mevalonate-3-kinase (M3K) from Thermoplasma acidophilum, which catalyzes the identical phosphorylation of (R)-mevalonate, but without concomitant decarboxylation. Thus, M3K catalyzes half the reaction of the decarboxylase, allowing us to separate features of the active site that are required for decarboxylation from features required for phosphorylation. Here we determine the crystal structure of M3K in the apo form, and with bound substrates, and compare it to MDD structures. Structural and mutagenic analysis reveals modifications that allow M3K to bind mevalonate rather than mevalonate diphosphate. Comparison to homologous MDD structures show that both enzymes employ analogous Arg or Lys residues to catalyze phosphate transfer. However, an invariant active site Asp/Lys pair of MDD previously thought to play a role in phosphorylation is missing in M3K with no functional replacement. Thus, we suggest that the invariant Asp/Lys pair in MDD may be critical for decarboxylation rather than phosphorylation. PMID:25422158

  19. The Structure of an Oxalate Oxidoreductase Provides Insight into Microbial 2-Oxoacid Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP), a derivative of vitamin B1, is a versatile and ubiquitous cofactor. When coupled with [4Fe-4S] clusters in microbial 2-oxoacid:ferredoxin oxidoreductases (OFORs), TPP is involved in catalyzing low-potential redox reactions that are important for the synthesis of key metabolites and the reduction of N2, H+, and CO2. We have determined the high-resolution (2.27 Å) crystal structure of the TPP-dependent oxalate oxidoreductase (OOR), an enzyme that allows microbes to grow on oxalate, a widely occurring dicarboxylic acid that is found in soil and freshwater and is responsible for kidney stone disease in humans. OOR catalyzes the anaerobic oxidation of oxalate, harvesting the low-potential electrons for use in anaerobic reduction and fixation of CO2. We compare the OOR structure to that of the only other structurally characterized OFOR family member, pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase. This side-by-side structural analysis highlights the key similarities and differences that are relevant for the chemistry of this entire class of TPP-utilizing enzymes. PMID:26061898

  20. Structural analysis of mevalonate-3-kinase provides insight into the mechanisms of isoprenoid pathway decarboxylases.

    PubMed

    Vinokur, Jeffrey M; Korman, Tyler P; Sawaya, Michael R; Collazo, Michael; Cascio, Duillio; Bowie, James U

    2015-02-01

    In animals, cholesterol is made from 5-carbon building blocks produced by the mevalonate pathway. Drugs that inhibit the mevalonate pathway such as atorvastatin (lipitor) have led to successful treatments for high cholesterol in humans. Another potential target for the inhibition of cholesterol synthesis is mevalonate diphosphate decarboxylase (MDD), which catalyzes the phosphorylation of (R)-mevalonate diphosphate, followed by decarboxylation to yield isopentenyl pyrophosphate. We recently discovered an MDD homolog, mevalonate-3-kinase (M3K) from Thermoplasma acidophilum, which catalyzes the identical phosphorylation of (R)-mevalonate, but without concomitant decarboxylation. Thus, M3K catalyzes half the reaction of the decarboxylase, allowing us to separate features of the active site that are required for decarboxylation from features required for phosphorylation. Here we determine the crystal structure of M3K in the apo form, and with bound substrates, and compare it to MDD structures. Structural and mutagenic analysis reveals modifications that allow M3K to bind mevalonate rather than mevalonate diphosphate. Comparison to homologous MDD structures show that both enzymes employ analogous Arg or Lys residues to catalyze phosphate transfer. However, an invariant active site Asp/Lys pair of MDD previously thought to play a role in phosphorylation is missing in M3K with no functional replacement. Thus, we suggest that the invariant Asp/Lys pair in MDD may be critical for decarboxylation rather than phosphorylation. PMID:25422158

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  2. Structural Studies of Streptococcus pyogenes Streptolysin O Provide Insights into the Early Steps of Membrane Penetration

    PubMed Central

    Feil, Susanne C.; Ascher, David B.; Kuiper, Michael J.; Tweten, Rodney K.; Parker, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Cholesterol-dependent cytolysins (CDCs) are a large family of bacterial toxins that exhibit a dependence on the presence of membrane cholesterol in forming large pores in cell membranes. Significant changes in the three-dimensional structure of these toxins are necessary to convert the soluble monomeric protein into a membrane pore. We have determined the crystal structure of the archetypical member of the CDC family, streptolysin O (SLO), a virulence factor from Streptococcus pyogenes. The overall fold is similar to previously reported CDC structures, although the C-terminal domain is in a different orientation with respect to the rest of the molecule. Surprisingly, a signature stretch of CDC sequence called the undecapeptide motif, a key region involved in membrane recognition, adopts a very different structure in SLO to that of the well-characterized CDC perfringolysin O (PFO), although the sequences in this region are identical. An analysis reveals that, in PFO, there are complementary interactions between the motif and the rest of domain 4 that are lost in SLO. Molecular dynamics simulations suggest that the loss of a salt bridge in SLO and a cation–pi interaction are determining factors in the extended conformation of the motif, which in turn appears to result in a greater flexibility of the neighboring L1 loop that houses a cholesterol-sensing motif. These differences may explain the differing abilities of SLO and PFO to efficiently penetrate target cell membranes in the first step of toxin insertion into the membrane. PMID:24316049

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:27529188

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Structures of E. coli σS-transcription initiation complexes provide new insights into polymerase mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bin; Zuo, Yuhong; Steitz, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    In bacteria, multiple σ factors compete to associate with the RNA polymerase (RNAP) core enzyme to form a holoenzyme that is required for promoter recognition. During transcription initiation RNAP remains associated with the upstream promoter DNA via sequence-specific interactions between the σ factor and the promoter DNA while moving downstream for RNA synthesis. As RNA polymerase repetitively adds nucleotides to the 3′-end of the RNA, a pyrophosphate ion is generated after each nucleotide incorporation. It is currently unknown how the release of pyrophosphate affects transcription. Here we report the crystal structures of E. coli transcription initiation complexes (TICs) containing the stress-responsive σS factor, a de novo synthesized RNA oligonucleotide, and a complete transcription bubble (σS-TIC) at about 3.9-Å resolution. The structures show the 3D topology of the σS factor and how it recognizes the promoter DNA, including likely specific interactions with the template-strand residues of the −10 element. In addition, σS-TIC structures display a highly stressed pretranslocated initiation complex that traps a pyrophosphate at the active site that remains closed. The position of the pyrophosphate and the unusual phosphodiester linkage between the two terminal RNA residues suggest an unfinished nucleotide-addition reaction that is likely at equilibrium between nucleotide addition and pyrophosphorolysis. Although these σS-TIC crystals are enzymatically active, they are slow in nucleotide addition, as suggested by an NTP soaking experiment. Pyrophosphate release completes the nucleotide addition reaction and is associated with extensive conformational changes around the secondary channel but causes neither active site opening nor transcript translocation. PMID:27035955

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

    Strecker, Angela L; Olden, Julian D

    2014-03-01

    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

  13. Solution structure of DinI provides insight into its mode of RecA inactivation.

    PubMed Central

    Ramirez, B. E.; Voloshin, O. N.; Camerini-Otero, R. D.; Bax, A.

    2000-01-01

    The Escherichia coli RecA protein triggers both DNA repair and mutagenesis in a process known as the SOS response. The 81-residue E. coli protein DinI inhibits activity of RecA in vivo. The solution structure of DinI has been determined by multidimensional triple resonance NMR spectroscopy, using restraints derived from two sets of residual dipolar couplings, obtained in bicelle and phage media, supplemented with J couplings and a moderate number of NOE restraints. DinI has an alpha/beta fold comprised of a three-stranded beta-sheet and two alpha-helices. The beta-sheet topology is unusual: the central strand is flanked by a parallel and an antiparallel strand and the sheet is remarkably flat. The structure of DinI shows that six negatively charged Glu and Asp residues on DinI's kinked C-terminal alpha-helix form an extended, negatively charged ridge. We propose that this ridge mimics the electrostatic character of the DNA phospodiester backbone, thereby enabling DinI to compete with single-stranded DNA for RecA binding. Biochemical data confirm that DinI is able to displace ssDNA from RecA. PMID:11152126

  14. 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.

  15. Blockers of VacA provide insights into the structure of the pore.

    PubMed Central

    Tombola, F; Del Giudice, G; Papini, E; Zoratti, M

    2000-01-01

    The cytotoxic effects of the Helicobacter pylori toxin VacA, an important etiogenic factor in human gastric diseases, are due to its ability to form anion-selective pores in target cell membranes. We have studied the inhibition of channel activity by 5-nitro-2-(3-phenylpropylamino) benzoic acid (NPPB) and 4, 4'-diisothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DIDS), representatives of two popular classes of chloride channel blockers, to gain information on the mechanism of blocking and on the unknown structure of the VacA pore. The data indicate that both compounds produce a fast block by binding to separate but mutually exclusive sites within the channel lumen. DIDS binds close to the pore opening on the side of protein insertion, whereas NPPB blocks at a position in the opposite half of the channel. Although DIDS reaches the blocking site by traveling along the lumen, inhibition by NPPB appears to involve mainly partition of the compound into the membrane, voltage-independent diffusion from it to the inhibitory position, and voltage-dependent exit. The data are consistent with a pore that can be more easily entered from the side of protein insertion than from the opposite end. PMID:10920018

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Structure of a type III secretion needle at 7-Å resolution provides insights into its assembly and signaling mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Fujii, Takashi; Cheung, Martin; Blanco, Amandine; Kato, Takayuki; Blocker, Ariel J.; Namba, Keiichi

    2012-01-01

    Type III secretion systems of Gram-negative bacteria form injection devices that deliver effector proteins into eukaryotic cells during infection. They span both bacterial membranes and the extracellular space to connect with the host cell plasma membrane. Their extracellular portion is a needle-like, hollow tube that serves as a secretion conduit for effector proteins. The needle of Shigella flexneri is approximately 50-nm long and 7-nm thick and is made by the helical assembly of one protein, MxiH. We provide a 7-Å resolution 3D image reconstruction of the Shigella needle by electron cryomicroscopy, which resolves α-helices and a β-hairpin that has never been observed in the crystal and solution structures of needle proteins, including MxiH. An atomic model of the needle based on the 3D-density map, in comparison with that of the bacterial-flagellar filament, provides insights into how such a thin tubular structure is stably assembled by intricate intermolecular interactions. The map also illuminates how the needle-length control protein functions as a ruler within the central channel during export of MxiH for assembly at the distal end of the needle, and how the secretion-activation signal may be transduced through a conformational change of the needle upon host-cell contact. PMID:22388746

  20. Genomic-scale comparison of sequence- and structure-based methods of function prediction: Does structure provide additional insight?

    PubMed Central

    Fetrow, Jacquelyn S.; Siew, Naomi; Di Gennaro, Jeannine A.; Martinez-Yamout, Maria; Dyson, H. Jane; Skolnick, Jeffrey

    2001-01-01

    A function annotation method using the sequence-to-structure-to-function paradigm is applied to the identification of all disulfide oxidoreductases in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome. The method identifies 27 sequences as potential disulfide oxidoreductases. All previously known thioredoxins, glutaredoxins, and disulfide isomerases are correctly identified. Three of the 27 predictions are probable false-positives. Three novel predictions, which subsequently have been experimentally validated, are presented. Two additional novel predictions suggest a disulfide oxidoreductase regulatory mechanism for two subunits (OST3 and OST6) of the yeast oligosaccharyltransferase complex. Based on homology, this prediction can be extended to a potential tumor suppressor gene, N33, in humans, whose biochemical function was not previously known. Attempts to obtain a folded, active N33 construct to test the prediction were unsuccessful. The results show that structure prediction coupled with biochemically relevant structural motifs is a powerful method for the function annotation of genome sequences and can provide more detailed, robust predictions than function prediction methods that rely on sequence comparison alone. PMID:11316881

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. A Novel Family of Soluble Minimal Scaffolds Provides Structural Insight into the Catalytic Domains of Integral Membrane Metallopeptidases*

    PubMed Central

    López-Pelegrín, Mar; Cerdà-Costa, Núria; Martínez-Jiménez, Francisco; Cintas-Pedrola, Anna; Canals, Albert; Peinado, Juan R.; Marti-Renom, Marc A.; López-Otín, Carlos; Arolas, Joan L.; Gomis-Rüth, F. Xavier

    2013-01-01

    In the search for structural models of integral-membrane metallopeptidases (MPs), we discovered three related proteins from thermophilic prokaryotes, which we grouped into a novel family called “minigluzincins.” We determined the crystal structures of the zymogens of two of these (Pyrococcus abyssi proabylysin and Methanocaldococcus jannaschii projannalysin), which are soluble and, with ∼100 residues, constitute the shortest structurally characterized MPs to date. Despite relevant sequence and structural similarity, the structures revealed two unique mechanisms of latency maintenance through the C-terminal segments previously unseen in MPs as follows: intramolecular, through an extended tail, in proabylysin, and crosswise intermolecular, through a helix swap, in projannalysin. In addition, structural and sequence comparisons revealed large similarity with MPs of the gluzincin tribe such as thermolysin, leukotriene A4 hydrolase relatives, and cowrins. Noteworthy, gluzincins mostly contain a glutamate as third characteristic zinc ligand, whereas minigluzincins have a histidine. Sequence and structural similarity further allowed us to ascertain that minigluzincins are very similar to the catalytic domains of integral membrane MPs of the MEROPS database families M48 and M56, such as FACE1, HtpX, Oma1, and BlaR1/MecR1, which are provided with trans-membrane helices flanking or inserted into a minigluzincin-like catalytic domain. In a time where structural biochemistry of integral-membrane proteins in general still faces formidable challenges, the minigluzincin soluble minimal scaffold may contribute to our understanding of the working mechanisms of these membrane MPs and to the design of novel inhibitors through structure-aided rational drug design approaches. PMID:23733187

  4. 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.

  5. Structural and Mutational Analysis of Escherichia coli AlkB Provides Insight into Substrate Specificity and DNA Damage Searching

    SciTech Connect

    Holland, P.; Hollis, T

    2010-01-01

    In Escherichia coli, cytotoxic DNA methyl lesions on the N1 position of purines and N3 position of pyrimidines are primarily repaired by the 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) iron(II) dependent dioxygenase, AlkB. AlkB repairs 1-methyladenine (1-meA) and 3-methylcytosine (3-meC) lesions, but it also repairs 1-methylguanine (1-meG) and 3-methylthymine (3-meT) at a much less efficient rate. How the AlkB enzyme is able to locate and identify methylated bases in ssDNA has remained an open question. We determined the crystal structures of the E. coli AlkB protein holoenzyme and the AlkB-ssDNA complex containing a 1-meG lesion. We coupled this to site-directed mutagenesis of amino acids in and around the active site, and tested the effects of these mutations on the ability of the protein to bind both damaged and undamaged DNA, as well as catalyze repair of a methylated substrate. A comparison of our substrate-bound AlkB-ssDNA complex with our unliganded holoenzyme reveals conformational changes of residues within the active site that are important for binding damaged bases. Site-directed mutagenesis of these residues reveals novel insight into their roles in DNA damage recognition and repair. Our data support a model that the AlkB protein utilizes at least two distinct conformations in searching and binding methylated bases within DNA: a 'searching' mode and 'repair' mode. Moreover, we are able to functionally separate these modes through mutagenesis of residues that affect one or the other binding state. Finally, our mutagenesis experiments show that amino acid D135 of AlkB participates in both substrate specificity and catalysis.

  6. 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

  7. 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. PMID:24296504

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2016-06-01

    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.

  10. Crystal structure of hGEF-H1 PH domain provides insight into incapability in phosphoinositide binding.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Yan; Jiang, Heli; Zhou, Shaoyang; Meng, Bing; Liu, Zhi-Jie; Ouyang, Songying

    2016-03-18

    The guanine nucleotide exchange factor GEF-H1 (also known as ARHGEF2) is identified as a member of the Dbl family of GEFs. It regulates RhoA-dependent cell signaling pathways and plays important roles in biological processes. GEF-H1 contains an N-terminal zinc finger domain, a Dbl-homologous (DH) domain followed by a Pleckstrin homology (PH) domain, and a C-terminal domain. The specific roles of its PH domain are poorly understood. Here we report the crystal structure of human GEF-H1 PH domain to 2.45 Å resolution. A conserved surface is formed by β8, β9, β10, and it may mediate protein-protein interactions. Although the folding resembles other PH domains that have defined structures, superposition of different PH domains clearly shows that the loop between β6/β7 and the loop between β3/β4 are so close that they will prevent its binding with phosphoinositide due to steric hindrance, and this has been proved by isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) and thermal shift assay (TSA). Our studies provide a structural framework for further work on the function of GEF-H1. PMID:26820534

  11. Structure of the Extracellular Portion of CD46 Provides Insights into Its Interactions with Complement Proteins and Pathogens

    PubMed Central

    Santiago, César; Zocher, Georg; Larvie, Mykol; Scheu, Ulrike; Casasnovas, José M.; Stehle, Thilo

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20941397

  12. The Crystal Structure of Burkholderia cenocepacia DfsA Provides Insights into Substrate Recognition and Quorum Sensing Fatty Acid Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Spadaro, Francesca; Scoffone, Viola C; Chiarelli, Laurent R; Fumagalli, Marco; Buroni, Silvia; Riccardi, Giovanna; Forneris, Federico

    2016-06-14

    Burkholderia cenocepacia is a major concern among respiratory tract infections in cystic fibrosis patients. This pathogen is particularly difficult to treat because of its high level of resistance to the clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. In B. cenocepacia, the quorum sensing cell-cell communication system is involved in different processes that are important for bacterial virulence, such as biofilm formation and protease and siderophore production. Targeting the enzymes involved in this process represents a promising therapeutic approach. With the aim of finding effective quorum sensing inhibitors, we have determined the three-dimensional structure of B. cenocepacia diffusible factor synthase A, DfsA. This bifunctional crotonase (dehydratase/thioesterase) produces the characteristic quorum sensing molecule of B. cenocepacia, cis-2-dodecenoic acid or BDSF, starting from 3-hydroxydodecanoyl-acyl carrier protein. Unexpectedly, the crystal structure revealed the presence of a lipid molecule in the catalytic site of the enzyme, which was identified as dodecanoic acid. Our biochemical characterization shows that DfsA is able to use dodecanoyl-acyl carrier protein as a substrate, demonstrating that dodecanoic acid, the product of this reaction, is released very slowly from the DfsA active site, therefore acting as a DfsA inhibitor. This molecule shows an unprecedented conformational arrangement inside the DfsA active site. In contrast with previous hypotheses, our data illustrate how DfsA and closely related homologous enzymes can recognize long hydrophobic substrates without large conformational changes or assistance by additional regulator molecules. The elucidation of the substrate binding mode in DfsA provides the starting point for structure-based drug discovery studies targeting B. cenocepacia quorum sensing-assisted virulence.

  13. The Crystal Structure of Burkholderia cenocepacia DfsA Provides Insights into Substrate Recognition and Quorum Sensing Fatty Acid Biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Spadaro, Francesca; Scoffone, Viola C; Chiarelli, Laurent R; Fumagalli, Marco; Buroni, Silvia; Riccardi, Giovanna; Forneris, Federico

    2016-06-14

    Burkholderia cenocepacia is a major concern among respiratory tract infections in cystic fibrosis patients. This pathogen is particularly difficult to treat because of its high level of resistance to the clinically relevant antimicrobial agents. In B. cenocepacia, the quorum sensing cell-cell communication system is involved in different processes that are important for bacterial virulence, such as biofilm formation and protease and siderophore production. Targeting the enzymes involved in this process represents a promising therapeutic approach. With the aim of finding effective quorum sensing inhibitors, we have determined the three-dimensional structure of B. cenocepacia diffusible factor synthase A, DfsA. This bifunctional crotonase (dehydratase/thioesterase) produces the characteristic quorum sensing molecule of B. cenocepacia, cis-2-dodecenoic acid or BDSF, starting from 3-hydroxydodecanoyl-acyl carrier protein. Unexpectedly, the crystal structure revealed the presence of a lipid molecule in the catalytic site of the enzyme, which was identified as dodecanoic acid. Our biochemical characterization shows that DfsA is able to use dodecanoyl-acyl carrier protein as a substrate, demonstrating that dodecanoic acid, the product of this reaction, is released very slowly from the DfsA active site, therefore acting as a DfsA inhibitor. This molecule shows an unprecedented conformational arrangement inside the DfsA active site. In contrast with previous hypotheses, our data illustrate how DfsA and closely related homologous enzymes can recognize long hydrophobic substrates without large conformational changes or assistance by additional regulator molecules. The elucidation of the substrate binding mode in DfsA provides the starting point for structure-based drug discovery studies targeting B. cenocepacia quorum sensing-assisted virulence. PMID:27198181

  14. Structure of the FMNL3 FH2/actin complex provides insight into formin-mediated actin nucleation and elongation

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Morgan E.; Heimsath, Ernest G.; Gauvin, Timothy J.; Higgs, Henry N.; Kull, F. Jon

    2012-01-01

    Summary Formins are actin assembly factors that act in a variety of actin-based processes. The conserved formin homology 2 (FH2) domain promotes filament nucleation and influences elongation via interaction with the barbed end. FMNL3 is a formin that induces assembly of filopodia but whose FH2 domain is a poor nucleator. The 3.4 Å structure of an FMNL3 FH2 dimer in complex with tetramethylrhodamine-actin uncovers details of formin-regulated actin elongation. We observe distinct FH2-actin binding regions; interactions in the knob and coiled-coil subdomains are necessary for actin binding while those in the lasso/post interface are important for the stepping mechanism. Biochemical and cellular experiments test the importance of individual residues for function. This structure provides details for FH2 mediated filament elongation via processive capping and supports a model in which C-terminal non-FH2 residues of FMNL3 are required to stabilize the filament nucleus. PMID:23222643

  15. NMR structure of a lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase provides insight into copper binding, protein dynamics, and substrate interactions

    PubMed Central

    Aachmann, Finn L.; Sørlie, Morten; Skjåk-Bræk, Gudmund; Eijsink, Vincent G. H.; Vaaje-Kolstad, Gustav

    2012-01-01

    Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases currently classified as carbohydrate binding module family 33 (CBM33) and glycoside hydrolase family 61 (GH61) are likely to play important roles in future biorefining. However, the molecular basis of their unprecedented catalytic activity remains largely unknown. We have used NMR techniques and isothermal titration calorimetry to address structural and functional aspects of CBP21, a chitin-active CBM33. NMR structural and relaxation studies showed that CBP21 is a compact and rigid molecule, and the only exception is the catalytic metal binding site. NMR data further showed that His28 and His114 in the catalytic center bind a variety of divalent metal ions with a clear preference for Cu2+ (Kd = 55 nM; from isothermal titration calorimetry) and higher preference for Cu1+ (Kd ∼ 1 nM; from the experimentally determined redox potential for CBP21-Cu2+ of 275 mV using a thermodynamic cycle). Strong binding of Cu1+ was also reflected in a reduction in the pKa values of the histidines by 3.6 and 2.2 pH units, respectively. Cyanide, a mimic of molecular oxygen, was found to bind to the metal ion only. These data support a model where copper is reduced on the enzyme by an externally provided electron and followed by oxygen binding and activation by internal electron transfer. Interactions of CBP21 with a crystalline substrate were mapped in a 2H/1H exchange experiment, which showed that substrate binding involves an extended planar binding surface, including the metal binding site. Such a planar catalytic surface seems well-suited to interact with crystalline substrates. PMID:23112164

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Structural and mechanistic insights into bisphenols action provide guidelines for risk assessment and discovery of bisphenol A substitutes

    PubMed Central

    Delfosse, Vanessa; Grimaldi, Marina; Pons, Jean-Luc; Boulahtouf, Abdelhay; le Maire, Albane; Cavailles, Vincent; Labesse, Gilles; Bourguet, William; Balaguer, Patrick

    2012-01-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA) is an industrial compound and a well known endocrine-disrupting chemical with estrogenic activity. The widespread exposure of individuals to BPA is suspected to affect a variety of physiological functions, including reproduction, development, and metabolism. Here we report that the mechanisms by which BPA and two congeners, bisphenol AF and bisphenol C (BPC), bind to and activate estrogen receptors (ER) α and β differ from that used by 17β-estradiol. We show that bisphenols act as partial agonists of ERs by activating the N-terminal activation function 1 regardless of their effect on the C-terminal activation function 2, which ranges from weak agonism (with BPA) to antagonism (with BPC). Crystallographic analysis of the interaction between bisphenols and ERs reveals two discrete binding modes, reflecting the different activities of compounds on ERs. BPA and 17β-estradiol bind to ERs in a similar fashion, whereas, with a phenol ring pointing toward the activation helix H12, the orientation of BPC accounts for the marked antagonist character of this compound. Based on structural data, we developed a protocol for in silico evaluation of the interaction between bisphenols and ERs or other members of the nuclear hormone receptor family, such as estrogen-related receptor γ and androgen receptor, which are two known main targets of bisphenols. Overall, this study provides a wealth of tools and information that could be used for the development of BPA substitutes devoid of nuclear hormone receptor-mediated activity and more generally for environmental risk assessment. PMID:22927406

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  6. Structure-function analysis of hRPC62 provides insights into RNA polymerase III transcription initiation.

    PubMed

    Lefèvre, Stéphane; Dumay-Odelot, Hélène; El-Ayoubi, Leyla; Budd, Aidan; Legrand, Pierre; Pinaud, Noël; Teichmann, Martin; Fribourg, Sébastien

    2011-03-01

    The 17-subunit human RNA polymerase III (hPol III) transcribes small, untranslated RNA genes that are involved in the regulation of transcription, splicing and translation. hPol III subunits hRPC62, hRPC39 and hRPC32 form a stable ternary subcomplex required for promoter-specific transcription initiation by hPol III. Here, we report the crystal structure of hRPC62. This subunit folds as a four-tandem extended winged helix (eWH) protein that is structurally related to the transcription factor TFIIEα N terminus. Through biochemical analyses, we mapped the protein-protein interactions of hRPC62, hRPC32 and hRPC39. In addition, we demonstrated that hRPC62 and hRPC39 bind single-stranded and duplex DNA, respectively, in a sequence-independent manner. Overall, we shed light on structural similarities between the hPol III-specific subunit hRPC62 and TFIIEα and propose specific functions for hRPC39 and hRPC62 in transcription initiation by hPol III. PMID:21358628

  7. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Crystal structure and mutational study of RecOR provide insight into its mode of DNA binding.

    PubMed

    Timmins, Joanna; Leiros, Ingar; McSweeney, Sean

    2007-07-11

    The crystal structure of the complex formed between Deinococcus radiodurans RecR and RecO (drRecOR) has been determined. In accordance with previous biochemical characterisation, the drRecOR complex displays a RecR:RecO molecular ratio of 2:1. The biologically relevant drRecOR entity consists of a heterohexamer in the form of two drRecO molecules positioned on either side of the tetrameric ring of drRecR, with their OB (oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide-binding) domains pointing towards the interior of the ring. Mutagenesis studies validated the protein-protein interactions observed in the crystal structure and allowed mapping of the residues in the drRecOR complex required for DNA binding. Furthermore, the preferred DNA substrate of drRecOR was identified as being 3'-overhanging DNA, as encountered at ssDNA-dsDNA junctions. Together these results suggest a possible mechanism for drRecOR recognition of stalled replication forks. PMID:17581636

  13. Crystal Structure of Insulin-Regulated Aminopeptidase with Bound Substrate Analogue Provides Insight on Antigenic Epitope Precursor Recognition and Processing.

    PubMed

    Mpakali, Anastasia; Saridakis, Emmanuel; Harlos, Karl; Zhao, Yuguang; Papakyriakou, Athanasios; Kokkala, Paraskevi; Georgiadis, Dimitris; Stratikos, Efstratios

    2015-09-15

    Aminopeptidases that generate antigenic peptides influence immunodominance and adaptive cytotoxic immune responses. The mechanisms that allow these enzymes to efficiently process a vast number of different long peptide substrates are poorly understood. In this work, we report the structure of insulin-regulated aminopeptidase, an enzyme that prepares antigenic epitopes for cross-presentation in dendritic cells, in complex with an antigenic peptide precursor analog. Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase is found in a semiclosed conformation with an extended internal cavity with limited access to the solvent. The N-terminal moiety of the peptide is located at the active site, positioned optimally for catalysis, whereas the C-terminal moiety of the peptide is stabilized along the extended internal cavity lodged between domains II and IV. Hydrophobic interactions and shape complementarity enhance peptide affinity beyond the catalytic site and support a limited selectivity model for antigenic peptide selection that may underlie the generation of complex immunopeptidomes.

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-16

    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.

  16. Structure of Gαi1 bound to a GDP-selective peptide provides insight into guanine nucleotide exchange

    PubMed Central

    Johnston, Christopher A.; Willard, Francis S.; Jezyk, Mark R.; Fredericks, Zoey; Bodor, Erik T.; Jones, Miller B.; Blaesius, Rainer; Watts, Val J.; Harden, T. Kendall; Sondek, John; Ramer, J. Kevin; Siderovski, David P.

    2005-01-01

    Heterotrimeric G-proteins are molecular switches that regulate numerous signaling pathways involved in cellular physiology. This characteristic is achieved by the adoption of two principal states: an inactive, GDP-bound and an active, GTP-bound state. Under basal conditions G-proteins exist in the inactive GDP-bound state, thus nucleotide exchange is crucial to the onset of signaling. Despite our understanding of G-protein signaling pathways, the mechanism of nucleotide exchange remains elusive. We employed phage display technology to identify nucleotide-state-dependent Gα binding peptides. Herein, we report a GDP-selective Gα-binding peptide, KB-752, that enhances spontaneous nucleotide exchange of Gαi subunits. Structural determination of the Gαi1/peptide complex reveals unique changes in the Gα switch regions predicted to enhance nucleotide exchange by creating a GDP dissociation route. Our results cast light onto a potential mechanism by which Gα subunits adopt a conformation suitable for nucleotide exchange. PMID:16004878

  17. Structure-Function Analysis of the Drosophila melanogaster Caudal Transcription Factor Provides Insights into Core Promoter-preferential Activation.

    PubMed

    Shir-Shapira, Hila; Sharabany, Julia; Filderman, Matan; Ideses, Diana; Ovadia-Shochat, Avital; Mannervik, Mattias; Juven-Gershon, Tamar

    2015-07-10

    Regulation of RNA polymerase II transcription is critical for the proper development, differentiation, and growth of an organism. The RNA polymerase II core promoter is the ultimate target of a multitude of transcription factors that control transcription initiation. Core promoters encompass the RNA start site and consist of functional elements such as the TATA box, initiator, and downstream core promoter element (DPE), which confer specific properties to the core promoter. We have previously discovered that Drosophila Caudal, which is a master regulator of genes involved in development and differentiation, is a DPE-specific transcriptional activator. Here, we show that the mouse Caudal-related homeobox (Cdx) proteins (mCdx1, mCdx2, and mCdx4) are also preferential core promoter transcriptional activators. To elucidate the mechanism that enables Caudal to preferentially activate DPE transcription, we performed structure-function analysis. Using a systematic series of deletion mutants (all containing the intact DNA-binding homeodomain) we discovered that the C-terminal region of Caudal contributes to the preferential activation of the fushi tarazu (ftz) Caudal target gene. Furthermore, the region containing both the homeodomain and the C terminus of Caudal was sufficient to confer core promoter-preferential activation to the heterologous GAL4 DNA-binding domain. Importantly, we discovered that Drosophila CREB-binding protein (dCBP) is a co-activator for Caudal-regulated activation of ftz. Strikingly, dCBP conferred the ability to preferentially activate the DPE-dependent ftz reporter to mini-Caudal proteins that were unable to preferentially activate ftz transcription themselves. Taken together, it is the unique combination of dCBP and Caudal that enables the co-activation of ftz in a core promoter-preferential manner.

  18. 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

  19. 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

    2015-10-01

    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. PMID:26320580

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2015-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:26320580

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Structural changes during cysteine desulfurase CsdA and sulfur acceptor CsdE interactions provide insight into the trans-persulfuration.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sunmin; Park, Sangyoun

    2013-09-20

    In Escherichia coli, three cysteine desulfurases (IscS, SufS, and CsdA) initiate the delivery of sulfur for various biological processes such as the biogenesis of Fe-S clusters. The sulfur generated as persulfide on a cysteine residue of cysteine desulfurases is further transferred to Fe-S scaffolds (e.g. IscU) or to intermediate cysteine-containing sulfur acceptors (e.g. TusA, SufE, and CsdE) prior to its utilization. Here, we report the structures of CsdA and the CsdA-CsdE complex, which provide insight into the sulfur transfer mediated by the trans-persulfuration reaction. Analysis of the structures indicates that the conformational flexibility of the active cysteine loop in CsdE is essential for accepting the persulfide from the cysteine of CsdA. Additionally, CsdA and CsdE invoke a different binding mode than those of previously reported cysteine desulfurase (IscS) and sulfur acceptors (TusA and IscU). Moreover, the conservation of interaction-mediating residues between CsdA/SufS and CsdE/SufE further suggests that the SufS-SufE interface likely resembles that of CsdA and CsdE.

  4. 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.

  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. PMID:23710935

  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. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Directed evolution and structural analysis of N-carbamoyl-D-amino acid amidohydrolase provide insights into recombinant protein solubility in Escherichia coli

    SciTech Connect

    Jiang, Shimin; Li, Chunhong; Zhang, Weiwen; Cai, Yuanheng; Yang, Yunlin; Yang, Sheng; Jiang, Weihong

    2007-03-15

    One of the greatest bottlenecks in producing recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli is that over-expressed target proteins are mostly present in an insoluble form without any biological activity. N-carbamoyl-D-amino-acid amidohydrolase (DCase) is an important enzyme involved in semi-synthesis of β-lactam antibiotics in industry. In this study, in order to determine the amino acid sites responsible for solubility in DCase, error-prone PCR and DNA shuffling techniques are applied to randomly mutate its encoding sequence, followed by an efficient screening based on structural complementation. Several mutants of DCase with reduced aggregation are isolated. Solubility tests of these mutants and several other mutants generated by site-directed mutagenesis indicate that three amino acid residues of DCase (A18, Y30 and K34) are related to the protein solubility in DCase. In silico structural modeling analyses further suggest that hydrophilicity and/or negative charge at these three residues may be responsible for the increased solubility of DCase proteins in E. coli. Based on the information, multiple engineering designated mutants were constructed by site-directed mutagenesis; among them, a triple mutant A18T/Y30N/K34E (named as DCase-M3) can be over-expressed in E. coli with up to 80% of DCase-M3 protein as soluble. DCase-M3 is purified to homogeneity and a comparative analysis with WT DCase demonstrates that DCase-M3 enzyme is similar to the native DCase in terms of its kinetic and thermodynamic properties. The study provides new insights on recombinant protein solubility in E. coli.

  10. 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.

  11. A Structural Snapshot of CYP2B4 in Complex with Paroxetine Provides Insights into Ligand Binding and Clusters of Conformational States

    PubMed Central

    Kufareva, Irina; Pascual, Jaime; Zhang, Qinghai; Stout, C. David; Halpert, James R.

    2013-01-01

    An X-ray crystal structure of CYP2B4 in complex with the drug paroxetine [(3S,4R)-3-[(2H-1,3-benzodioxol-5-yloxy)methyl]-4-(4-fluorophenyl)piperidine] was solved at 2.14 Å resolution. The structure revealed a conformation intermediate to that of the recently solved complex with amlodipine and that of the more compact complex with 4-(4-chlorophenyl)imidazole in terms of the placement of the F-G cassette. Moreover, comparison of the new structure with 15 previously solved structures of CYP2B4 revealed some new insights into the determinants of active-site size and shape. The 2B4-paroxetine structure is nearly superimposable on a previously solved closed structure in a ligand-free state. Despite the overall conformational similarity among multiple closed structures, the active-site cavity volume of the paroxetine complex is enlarged. Further analysis of the accessible space and binding pocket near the heme reveals a new subchamber that resulted from the movement of secondary structural elements and rearrangements of active-site side chains. Overall, the results from the comparison of all 16 structures of CYP2B4 demonstrate a cluster of protein conformations that were observed in the presence or absence of various ligands. PMID:23633618

  12. Soil chemical insights provided through vibrational spectroscopy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  13. 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.

  14. Crystal structure of the AmpR effector binding domain provides insight into the molecular regulation of inducible ampc beta-lactamase.

    PubMed

    Balcewich, Misty D; Reeve, Thomas M; Orlikow, Evan A; Donald, Lynda J; Vocadlo, David J; Mark, Brian L

    2010-07-30

    Hyperproduction of AmpC beta-lactamase (AmpC) is a formidable mechanism of resistance to penicillins and cephalosporins in Gram-negative bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Enterobacteriaceae. AmpC expression is regulated by the LysR-type transcriptional regulator AmpR. ampR and ampC genes form a divergent operon with overlapping promoters to which AmpR binds and regulates the transcription of both genes. AmpR induces ampC by binding to one member of the family of 1,6-anhydro-N-acetylmuramyl peptides, which are cytosolic catabolites of peptidoglycan that accumulate during beta-lactam challenge. To gain structural insights into AmpR regulation, we determined the crystal structure of the effector binding domain (EBD) of AmpR from Citrobacter freundii up to 1.83 A resolution. The AmpR EBD is dimeric and each monomer comprises two subdomains that adopt alpha/beta Rossmann-like folds. Located between the monomer subdomains is a pocket that was found to bind the crystallization buffer molecule 2-(N-morpholino)ethanesulfonic acid. The pocket, together with a groove along the surface of subdomain I, forms a putative effector binding site into which a molecule of 1,6-anhydro-N-acetylmuramyl pentapeptide could be modeled. Amino acid substitutions at the base of the interdomain pocket either were found to render AmpR incapable of inducing ampC (Thr103Val, Ser221Ala and Tyr264Phe) or resulted in constitutive ampC expression (Gly102Glu). While the substitutions that prevented ampC induction did not alter the overall AmpR EBD structure, circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed that the nonconservative Gly102Glu mutation affected EBD secondary structure, confirming previous work suggesting that Gly102Glu induces a conformational change to result in constitutive AmpC production. PMID:20594961

  15. Functional Insights from Structural Genomics

    SciTech Connect

    Forouhar,F.; Kuzin, A.; Seetharaman, J.; Lee, I.; Zhou, W.; Abashidze, M.; Chen, Y.; Montelione, G.; Tong, L.; et al

    2007-01-01

    Structural genomics efforts have produced structural information, either directly or by modeling, for thousands of proteins over the past few years. While many of these proteins have known functions, a large percentage of them have not been characterized at the functional level. The structural information has provided valuable functional insights on some of these proteins, through careful structural analyses, serendipity, and structure-guided functional screening. Some of the success stories based on structures solved at the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) are reported here. These include a novel methyl salicylate esterase with important role in plant innate immunity, a novel RNA methyltransferase (H. influenzae yggJ (HI0303)), a novel spermidine/spermine N-acetyltransferase (B. subtilis PaiA), a novel methyltransferase or AdoMet binding protein (A. fulgidus AF{_}0241), an ATP:cob(I)alamin adenosyltransferase (B. subtilis YvqK), a novel carboxysome pore (E. coli EutN), a proline racemase homolog with a disrupted active site (B. melitensis BME11586), an FMN-dependent enzyme (S. pneumoniae SP{_}1951), and a 12-stranded {beta}-barrel with a novel fold (V. parahaemolyticus VPA1032).

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. High Resolution Crystal Structures of Streptococcus pneumoniae Nicotinamidase with Trapped Intermediates Provide Insights into Catalytic Mechanism and Inhibition by Aldehydes∥,‡

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    Nicotinamidases are salvage enzymes that convert nicotinamide to nicotinic acid. These enzymes are essential for the recycling of nicotinamide into NAD+ in most prokaryotes, most single cell and multicellular eukaryotes, but not in mammals. The significance of these enzymes for nicotinamide salvage and for NAD+ homeostasis has increased interest in nicotinamidases as possible antibiotic targets. Nicotinamidases are also regulators of intracellular nicotinamide concentrations, thereby regulating signaling of downstream NAD+ consuming enzymes, such as the NAD+-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 complexed 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 which 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 for several proposed reaction intermediates and allow for a more complete understanding of the catalytic mechanism of this enzyme. PMID:20853856

  19. High-energy photon activation tandem mass spectrometry provides unprecedented insights into the structure of highly sulfated oligosaccharides extracted from macroalgal cell walls.

    PubMed

    Ropartz, David; Giuliani, Alexandre; Hervé, Cécile; Geairon, Audrey; Jam, Murielle; Czjzek, Mirjam; Rogniaux, Hélène

    2015-01-20

    Extreme ultraviolet photon activation tandem mass spectrometry (MS) at 69 nm (18 eV) was used to characterize mixtures of oligo-porphyrans, a class of highly sulfated oligosaccharides. Porphyrans, hybrid polymers whose structures are far from known, continue to provide a challenge for analytical method development. Activation by 18 eV photons led to a rich fragmentation of the oligo-porphyrans, with many cross-ring and glycosidic cleavages. In contrast to multistage MSn strategies such as activated electron photodetachment dissociation, a single step of irradiation by energetic UV of multiply charged anions led to a complete fragmentation of the oligo-porphyrans. In both ionization modes, the sulfate groups were retained on the backbone, which allowed the pattern of these modifications along the porphyran backbone to be described in unprecedented detail. Many structures released by the enzymatic degradation of the porphyran were completely resolved, including isomers. This work extends the existing knowledge of the structure of porphyrans. In addition, it provides a new demonstration of the potential of activation by high-energy photons for the structural analysis of oligosaccharides, even in unseparated mixtures, with a particular focus on sulfated compounds.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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. PMID:27493782

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. Nuclear Protein-Only Ribonuclease P2 Structure and Biochemical Characterization Provide Insight into the Conserved Properties of tRNA 5' End Processing Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Karasik, Agnes; Shanmuganathan, Aranganathan; Howard, Michael J; Fierke, Carol A; Koutmos, Markos

    2016-01-16

    Protein-only RNase Ps (PRORPs) are a recently discovered class of RNA processing enzymes that catalyze maturation of the 5' end of precursor tRNAs in Eukaryotes. PRORPs are found in the nucleus and/or organelles of most eukaryotic organisms. Arabidopsis thaliana is a representative organism that contains PRORP enzymes (PRORP1, PRORP2 and PRORP3) in both its nucleus and its organelles; PRORP2 and PRORP3 localize to the nucleus and PRORP1 localizes to the chloroplast and the mitochondria. Apart from their identification, almost nothing is known about the structure and function of PRORPs that act in the nucleus. Here, we use a combination of biochemical assays and X-ray crystallography to characterize A. thaliana PRORP2. We solved the crystal structure of PRORP2 (3.2Å) revealing an overall V-shaped protein and conserved metallonuclease active-site structure. Our biochemical studies indicate that PRORP2 requires Mg(2+) for catalysis and catalyzes the maturation of nuclear encoded substrates up to 10-fold faster than mitochondrial encoded precursor nad6 t-element under single-turnover conditions. We also demonstrate that PRORP2 preferentially binds precursor tRNAs containing short 5' leaders and 3' trailers; however, leader and trailer lengths do not significantly alter the observed rate constants of PRORP2 in single-turnover cleavage assays. Our data provide a biochemical and structural framework to begin understanding how nuclear localized PRORPs recognize and cleave their substrates.

  6. 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.

  7. Nuclear Protein-Only Ribonuclease P2 Structure and Biochemical Characterization Provide Insight into the Conserved Properties of tRNA 5' End Processing Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Karasik, Agnes; Shanmuganathan, Aranganathan; Howard, Michael J; Fierke, Carol A; Koutmos, Markos

    2016-01-16

    Protein-only RNase Ps (PRORPs) are a recently discovered class of RNA processing enzymes that catalyze maturation of the 5' end of precursor tRNAs in Eukaryotes. PRORPs are found in the nucleus and/or organelles of most eukaryotic organisms. Arabidopsis thaliana is a representative organism that contains PRORP enzymes (PRORP1, PRORP2 and PRORP3) in both its nucleus and its organelles; PRORP2 and PRORP3 localize to the nucleus and PRORP1 localizes to the chloroplast and the mitochondria. Apart from their identification, almost nothing is known about the structure and function of PRORPs that act in the nucleus. Here, we use a combination of biochemical assays and X-ray crystallography to characterize A. thaliana PRORP2. We solved the crystal structure of PRORP2 (3.2Å) revealing an overall V-shaped protein and conserved metallonuclease active-site structure. Our biochemical studies indicate that PRORP2 requires Mg(2+) for catalysis and catalyzes the maturation of nuclear encoded substrates up to 10-fold faster than mitochondrial encoded precursor nad6 t-element under single-turnover conditions. We also demonstrate that PRORP2 preferentially binds precursor tRNAs containing short 5' leaders and 3' trailers; however, leader and trailer lengths do not significantly alter the observed rate constants of PRORP2 in single-turnover cleavage assays. Our data provide a biochemical and structural framework to begin understanding how nuclear localized PRORPs recognize and cleave their substrates. PMID:26655022

  8. 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

  9. The Crystal Structure of D-Threonine Aldolase from Alcaligenes xylosoxidans Provides Insight into a Metal Ion Assisted PLP-Dependent Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:25884707

  10. 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

    2016-01-01

    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

  11. 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

  12. The structure of Clostridium difficile toxin A glucosyltransferase domain bound to Mn2+ and UDP provides insights into glucosyltransferase activity and product release.

    PubMed

    D'Urzo, Nunzia; Malito, Enrico; Biancucci, Marco; Bottomley, Matthew J; Maione, Domenico; Scarselli, Maria; Martinelli, Manuele

    2012-09-01

    Clostridiumdifficile toxin A (TcdA) is a member of the large clostridial toxin family, and is responsible, together with C. difficile toxin B (TcdB), for many clinical symptoms d ring human infections. Like other large clostridial toxins, TcdA catalyzes the glucosylation of GTPases, and is able to inactivate small GTPases within the host cell. Here, we report the crystal structures of the TcdA glucosyltransferase domain (TcdA-GT) in the apo form and in the presence of Mn(2+) and hydrolyzed UDP-glucose. These structures, together with the recently reported crystal structure of TcdA-GT bound to UDP-glucose, provide a detailed understanding of the conformational changes of TcdA that occur during the catalytic cycle. Indeed, we present a new intermediate conformation of a so-called 'lid' loop (residues 510-522 in TcdA), concomitant with the absence of glucose in the catalytic domain. The recombinant TcdA was expressed in Brevibacillus in the inactive apo form. High thermal stability of wild-type TcdA was observed only after the addition of both Mn(2+) and UDP-glucose. The glucosylhydrolase activity, which is readily restored after reconstitution with both these cofactors, was similar to that reported for TcdB. Interestingly, we found that ammonium, like K(+) , is able to activate the UDP-glucose hydrolase activities of TcdA. Consequently, the presence of ammonium in the crystallization buffer enabled us to obtain the first crystal structure of TcdA-GT bound to the hydrolysis product UDP.

  13. 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

    2014-02-01

    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.

  14. 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

    2014-02-01

    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. PMID:24184278

  15. Structure of the Proline Utilization A Proline Dehydrogenase Domain Inactivated by N-propargylglycine Provides Insight into Conformational Changes Induced by Substrate Binding and Flavin Reduction†,‡

    PubMed Central

    Srivastava, Dhiraj; Zhu, Weidong; Johnson, William H.; Whitman, Christian P.; Becker, Donald F.; Tanner, John J.

    2013-01-01

    Proline utilization A (PutA) from Escherichia coli is a flavoprotein that has mutually exclusive roles as a transcriptional repressor of the put regulon and a membrane-associated enzyme that catalyzes the oxidation of proline to glutamate. Previous studies have shown that the binding of proline in the proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) active site and subsequent reduction of the FAD trigger global conformational changes that enhance PutA-membrane affinity. These events cause PutA to switch from its repressor to enzymatic role, but the mechanism by which this signal is propagated from the active site to the distal membrane-binding domain is largely unknown. Here, it is shown that N-propargylglycine irreversibly inactivates PutA by covalently linking the flavin N(5) atom to the ε-amino of Lys329. Furthermore, inactivation locks PutA into a conformation that may mimic the proline reduced, membrane-associated form. The 2.15 Å resolution structure of the inactivated PRODH domain suggests that the initial events involved in broadcasting the reduced flavin state to the distal membrane binding domain include major reorganization of the flavin ribityl chain, severe (35 degree) butterfly bending of the isoalloxazine ring, and disruption of an electrostatic network involving the flavin N(5), Arg431, and Asp370. The structure also provides information about conformational changes associated with substrate binding. This analysis suggests that the active site is incompletely assembled in the absence of the substrate, and the binding of proline draws together conserved residues in helix 8 and the β1-αl loop to complete the active site. PMID:19994913

  16. Crystal Structure of A. aeolicus Argonaute, a Site-Specific DNA-Guided Endoribonuclease, Provides Insights into RISC-Mediated mRNA Cleavage

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Yu-Ren; Pei, Yi; Ma, Jin-Biao; Kuryavyi, Vitaly; Zhadina, Maria; Meister, Gunter; Chen, Hong-Ying; Dauter, Zbigniew; Tuschl, Thomas; Patel, Dinshaw J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary 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. PMID:16061186

  17. 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.

  18. Comparative FT-Raman and FT-infrared biochemical images of the same tissue sections provide new insight into tissue structure, formation, and aberrations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schultz, Christian P.

    2000-05-01

    IR spectroscopy represents only one section of the entire vibrational spectrum of molecules. Due to the nature of the material analyzed, IR spectra of cell sand tissues always contain features of proteins, lipids, DNA/RNA, carbohydrates and of many small metabolites. The distinction of different tissue structures is achieved by comparing those spectral features, using the fact that cells vary in their chemical composition and therefore also in their spectra. Although cells are composed of different biomolecules, the spectral features expressed in IR spectra normally vary only slightly but are most often more than sufficient for analysis. However, this is where Raman spectroscopy may help enhance the differentiation capabilities of vibration spectroscopy. In contrast to IR spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy only provides information on some of the many cellular biomolecules, thereby being very specific. Conjugated double bonds, aromatic rings and bonds between heavier atoms can be seen as very sharp features in Raman spectra of biomolecules and cells. In some cases even the distribution of drugs can be cartographed in lining cells. Generating IR and Raman images with similar spatial resolution of the same tissue sections may improve the diagnostic capabilities possible with either spectroscopic method alone. Gland tissue sections are presented and analyzed for the distribution of typical cell components and specific molecules such as thyroglobulines and precursors. In addition, fiber optics measurements on tissue sections in vitro are introduced to illustrate the power of the combination of FT-Raman and FT- NIR fiber optics technology. The use of single band analysis, bivariate statistics and cluster analysis applied to spectra from both spectroscopy methods will be assessed in this study and employed to illustrate the concept.

  19. 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. PMID:27040018

  20. 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

  1. Application of structural-dynamic approaches provide novel insights into the enzymatic mechanism of the tumor necrosis factor-α converting enzyme (TACE)

    PubMed Central

    Sagi, Irit; Milla, Marcos E.

    2007-01-01

    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-α 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

  2. Two mutations in the HMG-box with very different structural consequences provide insights into the nature of binding to four-way junction DNA.

    PubMed Central

    Teo, S H; Grasser, K D; Hardman, C H; Broadhurst, R W; Laue, E D; Thomas, J O

    1995-01-01

    Mutation of the highly conserved tryptophan residue in the A-domain HMG-box of HMG1 largely, but not completely, destroys the protein tertiary structure and abolishes its supercoiling ability, but does not abolish structure-specific DNA binding to four-way junctions. Circular dichroism shows that the protein has some residual alpha-helix (< 10%) and does not re-fold in the presence of DNA. Structure-specific DNA binding might therefore be a property of some primary structure element, for example the N-terminal extended strand, which even in the unfolded protein would be held in a restricted conformation by two, largely trans, X-Pro peptide bonds. However, mutation of P5 or P8 of the A-domain to alanine does not abolish the formation of the (first) complex in a gel retardation assay, which probably arises from binding to the junction cross-over, although the P8 mutation does affect the formation of higher complexes which may arise from binding to the junction arms. Since mutation of P8 in the W49R mutant has no effect on structure-specific junction binding, we propose that some residual alpha-helix in the protein might be involved, implicating this element in the interactions of HMG-boxes generally with DNA. Images PMID:7641702

  3. Modern Statistical Graphs that Provide Insight in Research Results

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  4. Comparative genomics provides insight into maize adaptation in temperate regions.

    PubMed

    Hufford, Matthew B

    2016-01-01

    A new study provides insights into the evolution of maize during its global spread into temperate regions from its origin in coastal Mexico.Please see related Research article: http://genomebiology.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13059-016-1009-x. PMID:27411931

  5. Further examples of the failure of surrogates to properly model the structural and hydrothermal chemistry of transuranium elements: Insights provided by uranium and neptunium diphosphonates

    SciTech Connect

    Nelson, Anna-Gay D; Bray, Travis H; Zhang, Wei; Haire, Richard G.; Sayler, Todd S.; Albrecht-Schmitt, Thomas E

    2008-01-01

    In situ hydrothermal reduction of Np(VI) to Np(IV) in the presence of methylenediphosphonic acid (C1P2) results in the crystallization of Np[CH2(PO3)2](H2O)2 (NpC1P2-1). Similar reactions have been explored with U(VI) resulting in the isolation of the U(IV) diphosphonate U[CH2(PO3)2](H2O) (UC1P2-1), and the two U(VI) diphosphonates (UO2)2[CH2(PO3)2](H2O)3 H2O (UC1P2-2) and UO2[CH2(PO3H)2](H2O) (UC1P2-3). Single crystal diffraction studies of NpC1P2-1 reveal that it consists of eight-coordinate Np(IV) bound by diphosphonate anions and two coordinating water molecules to create a polar three-dimensional framework structure wherein the water molecules reside in channels. The structure of UC1P2-1 is similar to that of NpC1P2-1 in that it also adopts a three-dimensional structure. However, the U(IV) centers are seven-coordinate with only a single bound water molecule. UC1P2-2 and UC1P2-3 both contain U(VI). Nevertheless, their structures are quite distinct with UC1P2-2 being composed of corrugated layers containing UO6 and UO7 units bridged by C1P2; whereas, UC1P2-3 is found as a polar three-dimensional network structure containing only pentagonal bipyramidal U(VI). Fluorescence measurements on UC1P2-2 and UC1P2-3 exhibit emission from the uranyl moieties with classical vibronic fine-structure.

  6. 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; 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 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Structural, functional, and mutational analysis of the NblA protein provides insight into possible modes of interaction with the phycobilisome.

    PubMed

    Dines, Monica; Sendersky, Eleonora; David, Liron; Schwarz, Rakefet; Adir, Noam

    2008-10-31

    The enormous macromolecular phycobilisome antenna complex (>4 MDa) in cyanobacteria and red algae undergoes controlled degradation during certain forms of nutrient starvation. The NblA protein (approximately 6 kDa) has been identified as an essential component in this process. We have used structural, biochemical, and genetic methods to obtain molecular details on the mode of action of the NblA protein. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the NblA protein from both the thermophilic cyanobacterium Thermosynechococcus vulcanus and the mesophilic cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus sp. PCC 7942. The NblA monomer has a helix-loop-helix motif which dimerizes into an open, four-helical bundle, identical to the previously determined NblA structure from Anabaena. Previous studies indicated that mutations to NblA residues near the C terminus impaired its binding to phycobilisome proteins in vitro, whereas the only mutation known to affect NblA function in vivo is located near the protein N terminus. We performed random mutagenesis of the S. elongatus nblA gene which enabled the identification of four additional amino acids crucial for NblA function in vivo. This data shows that essential amino acids are not confined to the protein termini. We also show that expression of the Anabaena nblA gene complements phycobilisome degradation in an S. elongatus NblA-null mutant despite the low homology between NblAs of these cyanobacteria. We propose that the NblA interacts with the phycobilisome via "structural mimicry" due to similarity in structural motifs found in all phycobiliproteins. This suggestion leads to a new model for the mode of NblA action which involves the entire NblA protein.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Structural studies of FF domains of the transcription factor CA150 provide insights into the organization of FF domain tandem arrays.

    PubMed

    Murphy, James M; Hansen, D Flemming; Wiesner, Silke; Muhandiram, D Ranjith; Borg, Mikael; Smith, Matthew J; Sicheri, Frank; Kay, Lewis E; Forman-Kay, Julie D; Pawson, Tony

    2009-10-23

    FF domains are poorly understood protein interaction modules that are present within eukaryotic transcription factors, such as CA150 (TCERG-1). The CA150 FF domains have been shown to mediate interactions with the phosphorylated C-terminal domain of RNA polymerase II (phosphoCTD) and a multitude of transcription factors and RNA processing proteins, and may therefore have a central role in organizing transcription. FF domains occur in tandem arrays of up to six domains, although it is not known whether they adopt higher-order structures. We have used the CA150 FF1+FF2 domains as a model system to examine whether tandem FF domains form higher-order structures in solution using NMR spectroscopy. In the solution structure of FF1 fused to the linker that joins FF1 to FF2, we observed that the highly conserved linker peptide is ordered and forms a helical extension of helix alpha3, suggesting that the interdomain linker might have a role in orientating FF1 relative to FF2. However, examination of the FF1+FF2 domains using relaxation NMR experiments revealed that although these domains are not rigidly orientated relative to one another, they do not tumble independently. Thus, the FF1+FF2 structure conforms to a dumbbell-shape in solution, where the helical interdomain linker maintains distance between the two dynamic FF domains without cementing their relative orientations. This model for FF domain organization within tandem arrays suggests a general mechanism by which individual FF domains can manoeuvre to achieve optimal recognition of flexible binding partners, such as the intrinsically-disordered phosphoCTD.

  14. Structure of the N-terminal oligomerization domain of DnaD reveals a unique tetramerization motif and provides insights into scaffold formation.

    PubMed

    Schneider, S; Zhang, W; Soultanas, P; Paoli, M

    2008-03-01

    DnaD is a primosomal protein that remodels supercoiled plasmids. It binds to supercoiled forms and converts them to open forms without nicking. During this remodeling process, all the writhe is converted to twist and the plasmids are held around the periphery of large scaffolds made up of DnaD molecules. This DNA-remodeling function is the sum of a scaffold-forming activity on the N-terminal domain and a DNA-dependent oligomerization activity on the C-terminal domain. We have determined the crystal structure of the scaffold-forming N-terminal domain, which reveals a winged-helix architecture, with additional structural elements extending from both N- and C-termini. Four monomers form dimers that join into a tetramer. The N-terminal extension mediates dimerization and tetramerization, with extensive interactions and distinct interfaces. The wings and helices of the winged-helix domains remain exposed on the surface of the tetramer. Structure-guided mutagenesis and atomic force microscopy imaging indicate that these elements, together with the C-terminal extension, are involved in scaffold formation. Based upon our data, we propose a model for the DnaD-mediated scaffold formation. PMID:18206906

  15. Structural and mutational analyses of Deinococcus radiodurans UvrA2 provide insight into DNA binding and damage recognition by UvrAs.

    PubMed

    Timmins, Joanna; Gordon, Elspeth; Caria, Sofia; Leonard, Gordon; Acajjaoui, Samira; Kuo, Mei-Shiue; Monchois, Vincent; McSweeney, Sean

    2009-04-15

    UvrA proteins are key actors in DNA damage repair and play an essential role in prokaryotic nucleotide excision repair (NER), a pathway that is unique in its ability to remove a broad spectrum of DNA lesions. Understanding the DNA binding and damage recognition activities of the UvrA family is a critical component for establishing the molecular basis of this process. Here we report the structure of the class II UvrA2 from Deinococcus radiodurans in two crystal forms. These structures, coupled with mutational analyses and comparison with the crystal structure of class I UvrA from Bacillus stearothermophilus, suggest a previously unsuspected role for the identified insertion domains of UvrAs in both DNA binding and damage recognition. Taken together, the available information suggests a model for how UvrA interacts with DNA and thus sheds new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying the role of UvrA in the early steps of NER.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Crystal structures and kinetics of monofunctional proline dehydrogenase provide insight into substrate recognition and conformational changes associated with flavin reduction and product release.

    PubMed

    Luo, Min; Arentson, Benjamin W; Srivastava, Dhiraj; Becker, Donald F; Tanner, John J

    2012-12-18

    Proline dehydrogenase (PRODH) catalyzes the FAD-dependent oxidation of proline to Δ(1)-pyrroline-5-carboxylate, which is the first step of proline catabolism. Here, we report the structures of proline dehydrogenase from Deinococcus radiodurans in the oxidized state complexed with the proline analogue L-tetrahydrofuroic acid and in the reduced state with the proline site vacant. The analogue binds against the si face of the FAD isoalloxazine and is protected from bulk solvent by helix α8 and the β1-α1 loop. The FAD ribityl chain adopts two conformations in the E-S complex, which is unprecedented for flavoenzymes. One of the conformations is novel for the PRODH superfamily and may contribute to the low substrate affinity of Deinococcus PRODH. Reduction of the crystalline enzyme-inhibitor complex causes profound structural changes, including 20° butterfly bending of the isoalloxazine, crankshaft rotation of the ribityl, shifting of α8 by 1.7 Å, reconfiguration of the β1-α1 loop, and rupture of the Arg291-Glu64 ion pair. These changes dramatically open the active site to facilitate product release and allow electron acceptors access to the reduced flavin. The structures suggest that the ion pair, which is conserved in the PRODH superfamily, functions as the active site gate. Mutagenesis of Glu64 to Ala decreases the catalytic efficiency 27-fold, which demonstrates the importance of the gate. Mutation of Gly63 decreases the efficiency 140-fold, which suggests that flexibility of the β1-α1 loop is essential for optimal catalysis. The large conformational changes that are required to form the E-S complex suggest that conformational selection plays a role in substrate recognition. PMID:23151026

  19. Crystal Structures and Kinetics of Monofunctional Proline Dehydrogenase Provide Insight into Substrate Recognition and Conformational Changes Associated With Flavin Reduction and Product Release

    PubMed Central

    Luo, Min; Arentson, Benjamin W.; Srivastava, Dhiraj; Becker, Donald F.; Tanner, John J.

    2012-01-01

    Proline dehydrogenase catalyzes the FAD-dependent oxidation of proline to Δ1- pyrroline-5-carboxylate, which is the first step of proline catabolism. Here, we report the structures of proline dehydrogenase from Deinococcus radiodurans in the oxidized state complexed with the proline analog L-tetrahydrofuroic acid and in the reduced state with the proline site vacant. The analog binds against the si face of the FAD isoalloxazine and is protected from bulk solvent by the α8 helix and the β1-α1 loop. The FAD ribityl chain adopts two conformations in the E-S complex, which is unprecedented for flavoenzymes. One of the conformations is novel for the PRODH superfamily and may contribute to the low substrate affinity of Deinococcus PRODH. Reduction of the crystalline enzyme-inhibitor complex causes profound structural changes, including 20° butterfly bending of the isoalloxazine, crankshaft rotation of the ribityl, shifting of α8 by 1.7 Å, reconfiguration of the β1-α1 loop, and rupture of the Arg291-Glu64 ion pair. These changes dramatically open the active site to facilitate product release and allow electron acceptors access to the reduced flavin. The structures suggest that the ion pair, which is conserved in the PRODH superfamily, functions as the active site gate. Mutagenesis of Glu64 to Ala decreases catalytic efficiency 27-fold, which demonstrates the importance of the gate. Mutation of Gly63 decreases efficiency 140-fold, which suggests that flexibility of the β1-α1 loop is essential for optimal catalysis. The large conformational changes that are required to form the E-S complex suggest that conformational selection plays a role in substrate recognition. PMID:23151026

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Crystal structure of α-COP in complex with ϵ-COP provides insight into the architecture of the COPI vesicular coat

    PubMed Central

    Hsia, Kuo-Chiang; Hoelz, André

    2010-01-01

    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 α-COP and full-length ϵ-COP, two components of the B-subcomplex, at a 2.9 Å resolution. The α-COPCTD•ϵ-COP heterodimer forms a rod-shaped structure, in which ϵ-COP adopts a tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) fold that deviates substantially from the canonical superhelical conformation. The α-COP CTD adopts a U-shaped architecture that complements the TPR fold of ϵ-COP. The ϵ-COP TPRs form a circular bracelet that wraps around a protruding β-hairpin of the α-COP CTD, thus interlocking the two proteins. The α-COPCTD•ϵ-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. PMID:20534429

  3. 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

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

    2016-01-15

    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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2016-09-01

    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 less than 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.

  6. The Crystal Structure of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Dissimilatory Sulfite Reductase Bound to DsrC Provides Novel Insights into the Mechanism of Sulfate Respiration*S⃞

    PubMed Central

    Oliveira, Tânia F.; Vonrhein, Clemens; Matias, Pedro M.; Venceslau, Sofia S.; Pereira, Inês A. C.; Archer, Margarida

    2008-01-01

    Sulfate reduction is one of the earliest types of energy metabolism used by ancestral organisms to sustain life. Despite extensive studies, many questions remain about the way respiratory sulfate reduction is associated with energy conservation. A crucial enzyme in this process is the dissimilatory sulfite reductase (dSiR), which contains a unique siroheme-[4Fe4S] coupled cofactor. Here, we report the structure of desulfoviridin from Desulfovibrio vulgaris, in which the dSiR DsrAB (sulfite reductase) subunits are bound to the DsrC protein. The α2β2γ2 assembly contains two siroheme-[4Fe4S] cofactors bound by DsrB, two sirohydrochlorins and two [4Fe4S] centers bound by DsrA, and another four [4Fe4S] centers in the ferredoxin domains. A sulfite molecule, coordinating the siroheme, is found at the active site. The DsrC protein is bound in a cleft between DsrA and DsrB with its conserved C-terminal cysteine reaching the distal side of the siroheme. We propose a novel mechanism for the process of sulfite reduction involving DsrAB, DsrC, and the DsrMKJOP membrane complex (a membrane complex with putative disulfide/thiol reductase activity), in which two of the six electrons for reduction of sulfite derive from the membrane quinone pool. These results show that DsrC is involved in sulfite reduction, which changes the mechanism of sulfate respiration. This has important implications for models used to date ancient sulfur metabolism based on sulfur isotope fractionations. PMID:18829451

  7. Wheat arabinoxylan structure provides insight into function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Proteomic Analysis Provides Insights on Venom Processing in Conus textile

    PubMed Central

    Tayo, Lemmuel L.; Lu, Bingwen; Cruz, Lourdes J.; Yates, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Conus species of marine snails deliver a potent collection of toxins from the venom duct via a long proboscis attached to a harpoon tooth. Conotoxins are known to possess powerful neurological effects and some have been developed for therapeutic uses. Using mass-spectrometry based proteomics, qualitative and quantitative differences in conotoxin components were found in the proximal, central and distal sections of the C. textile venom duct suggesting specialization of duct sections for biosynthesis of particular conotoxins. Reversed phase HPLC followed by Orbitrap mass spectrometry and data analysis using SEQUEST and ProLuCID identified 31 conotoxin sequences and 25 post-translational modification (PTM) variants with King-Kong 2 peptide being the most abundant. Several previously unreported variants of known conopeptides and were found and this is the first time that HyVal is reported for a disulfide rich Conus peptide. Differential expression along the venom duct, production of PTM variants, alternative proteolytic cleavage sites, and venom processing enroute to the proboscis all appear to contribute to enriching the combinatorial pool of conopeptides and producing the appropriate formulation for a particular hunting situation. The complimentary tools of mass spectrometry-based proteomics and molecular biology can greatly accelerate the discovery of Conus peptides and provide insights on envenomation and other biological strategies of cone snails. PMID:20334424

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Combined EXAFS and DFT structure calculations provide structural insights into the 1:1 multi-histidine complexes of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with the tandem octarepeats of the mammalian prion protein.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-28

    The metal-coordinating properties of the prion protein (PrP) have been the subject of intense focus and debate since the first reports of its interaction with copper just before the turn of the century. The picture of metal coordination to PrP has been improved and refined over the past decade, but structural details of the various metal coordination modes have not been fully elucidated in some cases. In the present study, we have employed 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 Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with an N-terminal fragment of PrP. The PrP fragment corresponds to four tandem repeats representative of the mammalian octarepeat domain, designated as 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 have provided additional structural and thermodynamic data, and candidate structures have been used to inform EXAFS data analysis. The optimized geometries from DFT calculations have been used to identify potential coordination complexes for multi-histidine coordination of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) in an aqueous medium, modelled 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 derived from DFT calculations, we have characterized the predominant coordination modes for the 1:1 complexes of Cu(II) , Cu(I) , and Zn(II) with the OR4 peptide at pH 7.4 at atomic resolution, which are best represented as square-planar [Cu(II) (His)4 ](2+) , digonal [Cu(I) (His)2 ](+) , and tetrahedral [Zn(II) (His)3 (OH2 )](2+) , respectively.

  8. Structural and mechanistic insights on nitrate reductases.

    PubMed

    Coelho, Catarina; Romão, Maria João

    2015-12-01

    Nitrate reductases (NR) belong to the DMSO reductase family of Mo-containing enzymes and perform key roles in the metabolism of the nitrogen cycle, reducing nitrate to nitrite. Due to variable cell location, structure and function, they have been divided into periplasmic (Nap), cytoplasmic, and membrane-bound (Nar) nitrate reductases. The first crystal structure obtained for a NR was that of the monomeric NapA from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in 1999. Since then several new crystal structures were solved providing novel insights that led to the revision of the commonly accepted reaction mechanism for periplasmic nitrate reductases. The two crystal structures available for the NarGHI protein are from the same organism (Escherichia coli) and the combination with electrochemical and spectroscopic studies also lead to the proposal of a reaction mechanism for this group of enzymes. Here we present an overview on the current advances in structural and functional aspects of bacterial nitrate reductases, focusing on the mechanistic implications drawn from the crystallographic data. PMID:26362109

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. NIH scientists provide new insight into rare kidney cancer

    Cancer.gov

    NIH scientists have discovered a unique feature of a rare, hereditary form of kidney cancer that may provide a better understanding of its progression and metastasis, possibly laying the foundation for the development of new targeted therapies.

  13. 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.

  14. Recent history provides sustainable African water quality project insight.

    PubMed

    Holm, Rochelle H

    2012-01-01

    Small-scale projects to provide clean drinking water undertaken in the developing world can contribute to significantly improving the livelihood of rural communities. There has been a historical tendency to poorly plan such projects leading to an unsustainable future. Recent history indicates three simple steps to ensuring successful and enduring clean water projects. First, identification of need by the indigenous community provides ownership in the project. Second, a partnership between key individuals in the indigenous community with the donor provides for ambassadors on both sides of the project. Finally, an exit strategy by the donors for the indigenous communities ensures local sustainability for the future. The study site is the village of Geisha in northern Malawi, Africa. Sustainable implementation approaches are discussed in this case study as well as the various lessons learned. Improved project processes ensure sustainable small-scale water quality projects by donor organizations in developing countries. PMID:22070428

  15. The Atlantic salmon genome provides insights into rediploidization

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    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 ...

  16. Monoclonal regulatory T cells provide insights into T cell suppression

    PubMed Central

    Gubser, Céline; Schmaler, Mathias; Rossi, Simona W.; Palmer, Ed

    2016-01-01

    Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have a crucial role in maintaining lymphocyte homeostasis. However an understanding of how Tregs function at a cellular and molecular level has not yet been fully elucidated. Here, we make use of a T cell receptor (TCR) transgenic, Rag−/− mouse expressing a Forkhead-Box-Protein P3 (Foxp3) transgene. This mouse provides a source of monoclonal CD4+ Foxp3+ T cells with a defined specificity. Here we show that monoclonal B3K506 Tregs are functional in vitro and in vivo and clearly require cognate antigen to be suppressive. We further show that the strength of Treg stimulation determines the strength of Treg mediated suppression. Finally we analysed various suppressive mechanisms used by monoclonal Tregs and found that Treg-Tconv proximity is a parameter, which correlates with enhanced suppression. PMID:27210828

  17. 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

  18. Pioneering work, economic factors provide insights into Russian drilling technology

    SciTech Connect

    Gaddy, D.E.

    1998-07-06

    In Russia and America, individual ingenuity and economic forces have produced a variety of drilling technologies, resulting in the development of disparate drilling systems. Endeavors by the US Department of Energy, the Gas Research Institute, Sandia Laboratories, and private industry have promoted exchanges of knowledge since the 1980s, and now that the barriers to technology transfer are being lifted, engineers from both countries have the opportunity to exchange knowledge and incorporate the best of both. The Russian drilling industry, like the Russian space program, has achieved tremendous success in implementing product and process innovations including the first directional (1940s), horizontal (1950s), and multilateral (1950s) wells. In addition, Russian engineers built the first turbodrills, electrodrills, novel drills (lasers, explosives), aluminum drill pipe, downhole electric submersible pumps, and mud hammers. This first part of a two-part series describes the achievements of Russian engineers in horizontal and multilateral drilling technologies followed by a discussion of the economic differences that led Russian and American drillers to develop dissimilar drilling systems. The second part describes a variety of innovative Russian technologies and provides details on the technical advantages they offer for the drilling process.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2016-04-18

    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.

  1. 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. PMID:27088604

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Insights into wild-type and mutant p53 functions provided by genetically engineered mice.

    PubMed

    Donehower, Lawrence A

    2014-06-01

    Recent whole-exome sequencing studies of numerous human cancers have now conclusively shown that the TP53 tumor-suppressor gene is the most frequently mutated gene in human cancers. Despite extensive studies of the TP53 gene and its encoded protein (p53), our understanding of how TP53 mutations contribute to cancer initiation and progression remain incomplete. Genetically engineered mice with germline or inducible Trp53 somatic mutations have provided important insights into the mechanisms by which different types of p53 mutation influence cancer development. Trp53 germline mutations that alter specific p53 structural domains or posttranslation modification sites have benefitted our understanding of wild-type p53 functions in a whole organism context. Moreover, genetic approaches to reestablish functional wild-type p53 to p53-deficient tissues and tumors have increased our understanding of the therapeutic potential of restoring functional p53 signaling to cancers. This review outlines many of the key insights provided by the various categories of Trp53 mutant mice that have been generated by multiple genetic engineering approaches.

  10. Structural insights into eukaryotic aquaporin regulation.

    PubMed

    Törnroth-Horsefield, Susanna; Hedfalk, Kristina; Fischer, Gerhard; Lindkvist-Petersson, Karin; Neutze, Richard

    2010-06-18

    Aquaporin-mediated water transport across cellular membranes is an ancient, ubiquitous mechanism within cell biology. This family of integral membrane proteins includes both water selective pores (aquaporins) and transport facilitators of other small molecules such as glycerol and urea (aquaglyceroporins). Eukaryotic aquaporins are frequently regulated post-translationally by gating, whereby the rate of flux through the channel is controlled, or by trafficking, whereby aquaporins are shuttled from intracellular storage sites to the plasma membrane. A number of high-resolution X-ray structures of eukaryotic aquaporins have recently been reported and the new structural insights into gating and trafficking that emerged from these studies are described. Basic structural themes reoccur, illustrating how the problem of regulation in diverse biological contexts builds upon a limited set of possible solutions. PMID:20416297

  11. Botulinum neurotoxins: genetic, structural and mechanistic insights.

    PubMed

    Rossetto, Ornella; Pirazzini, Marco; Montecucco, Cesare

    2014-08-01

    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are produced by anaerobic bacteria of the genus Clostridium and cause a persistent paralysis of peripheral nerve terminals, which is known as botulism. Neurotoxigenic clostridia belong to six phylogenetically distinct groups and produce more than 40 different BoNT types, which inactivate neurotransmitter release owing to their metalloprotease activity. In this Review, we discuss recent studies that have improved our understanding of the genetics and structure of BoNT complexes. We also describe recent insights into the mechanisms of BoNT entry into the general circulation, neuronal binding, membrane translocation and neuroparalysis.

  12. Study Provides Insights into Diagnosis, Treatment of Rare Immune Disease: Autoimmmune Lymphoproliferative Syndrome ...

    MedlinePlus

    ... Related Links​ ALPS Unit, Laboratory of Immunology Autoimmune Diseases Immune System Primary Immune Deficiency Diseases National Library of ... Study Provides Insights Into Diagnosis, Treatment of Rare Immune Disease NIH Scientists Report Findings From 20 Years of ...

  13. 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.

  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. 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

    2016-09-01

    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.

  16. A Parameterized Model of Amylopectin Synthesis Provides Key Insights into the Synthesis of Granular Starch

    PubMed Central

    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. PMID:23762422

  17. 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. PMID:27653881

  18. 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.

  19. Insights into the Mechanisms of Absence Seizure Generation Provided by EEG with Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Carney, Patrick W.; Jackson, Graeme D.

    2014-01-01

    Absence seizures (AS) are brief epileptic events characterized by loss of awareness with subtle motor features. They may be very frequent, and impact on attention, learning, and memory. A number of pathophysiological models have been developed to explain the mechanism of absence seizure generation, which relies heavily on observations from animal studies. Studying the structural and functional relationships between large-scale brain networks in humans is only practical with non-invasive whole brain techniques. EEG with functional MRI (EEG-fMRI) is one such technique that provides an opportunity to explore the interactions between brain structures involved in AS generation. A number of fMRI techniques including event-related analysis, time-course analysis, and functional connectivity (FC) have identified a common network of structures involved in AS. This network comprises the thalamus, midline, and lateral parietal cortex [the default mode network (DMN)], caudate nuclei, and the reticular structures of the pons. The main component displaying an increase in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal relative to the resting state, in group studies, is the thalamus while the most consistent cortical change is reduced BOLD signal in the DMN. Time-course analysis shows that, rather than some structures being activated or inactivated during AS, there appears to be increase in activity across components of the network preceding or following the electro-clinical onset of the seizure. The earliest change in BOLD signal occurs in the DMN, prior to the onset of epileptiform events. This region also shows altered FC in patients with AS. Hence, it appears that engagement of this network is central to AS. In this review, we will explore the insights of EEG-fMRI studies into the mechanisms of AS and consider how the DMN is likely to be the major large-scale brain network central to both seizure generation and seizure manifestations. PMID:25225491

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. The structure of truncated recombinant human bile salt-stimulated lipase reveals bile salt-independent conformational flexibility at the active-site loop and provides insights into heparin binding.

    PubMed

    Moore, S A; Kingston, R L; Loomes, K M; Hernell, O; Bläckberg, L; Baker, H M; Baker, E N

    2001-09-21

    Human bile salt-stimulated lipase (BSSL), which is secreted from the pancreas into the digestive tract and from the lactating mammary gland into human milk, is important for the effective absorption of dietary lipids. The dependence of BSSL on bile acids for activity with water-insoluble substrates differentiates it from other lipases. We have determined the crystal structure of a truncated variant of human BSSL (residues 1-5.8) and refined it at 2.60 A resolution, to an R-factor of 0.238 and R(free) of 0.275. This variant lacks the C-terminal alpha-helix and tandem C-terminal repeat region of native BSSL, but retains full catalytic activity. A short loop (residues 115-126) capable of occluding the active-site (the active site loop) is highly mobile and exists in two conformations, the most predominant of which leaves the active-site open for interactions with substrate. The bile salt analogue 3-[(3-cholamidopropyl)dimethylammonio]-1-propane sulfonic acid (CHAPS) was present in the crystallisation medium, but was not observed bound to the enzyme. However, the structure reveals a sulfonate group from the buffer piperizine ethane sulfonic acid (PIPES), making interactions with Arg63 and His115. His115 is part of the active-site loop, indicating that the loop could participate in the binding of a sulphate group from either the glycosaminoglycan heparin (known to bind BSSL) or a bile acid such as deoxycholate. Opening of the 115-126 active-site loop may be cooperatively linked to a sulphate anion binding at this site. The helix bundle domain of BSSL (residues 319-398) exhibits weak electron density and high temperature factors, indicating considerable structural mobility. This domain contains an unusual Asp:Glu pair buried in a hydrophobic pocket between helices alpha(H) and alpha(K) that may be functionally important. We have also solved the structure of full-length glycosylated human BSSL at 4.1 A resolution, using the refined coordinates of the truncated molecule as

  5. 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. PMID:21707800

  6. Dissecting the genetics of complex inheritance: linkage disequilibrium mapping provides insight into Crohn disease.

    PubMed

    Elding, Heather; Lau, Winston; Swallow, Dallas M; Maniatis, Nikolas

    2011-12-01

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26858446

  17. New insights into nucleolar structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Lam, Yun Wah

    2015-01-01

    The nucleolus is a non-membrane-bound nuclear organelle found in all eukaryotes. It is the quintessential ‘RNA-seeded’ nuclear body, forming around specific chromosomal features called nucleolar organizing regions that contain arrays of ribosomal DNA. Assembly is triggered by activation of RNA polymerase I-mediated transcription and regulated in mammalian cells in a cell cycle-dependent manner. Although the nucleolus is best known for its role in coordinating ribosome biogenesis, biochemical and proteomic analyses have revealed a much wider functional complexity than previously appreciated, including roles in cell cycle regulation, DNA damage sensing and repair, pre-mRNA processing, telomere metabolism, processing of non-coding RNAs, and coordination of the cellular response to various stresses. Despite these advances, much remains to be learned about the full range of biological processes that occur within, or involve, this organelle and how its assembly/disassembly and functional reorganization in response to various stimuli are regulated. Here, we review the impact of recent studies that provide major insights into these fundamental questions, and we highlight the therapeutic potential of targeting nucleolar pathways. PMID:26097721

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:26407004

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:27460707

  2. 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

  3. Insights into the biology of Escherichia coli through structural proteomics.

    PubMed

    Matte, Allan; Jia, Zongchao; Sunita, S; Sivaraman, J; Cygler, Miroslaw

    2007-09-01

    Escherichia coli has historically been an important organism for understanding a multitude of biological processes, and represents a model system as we attempt to simulate the workings of living cells. Many E. coli strains are also important human and animal pathogens for which new therapeutic strategies are required. For both reasons, a more complete and comprehensive understanding of the protein structure complement of E. coli is needed at the genome level. Here, we provide examples of insights into the mechanism and function of bacterial proteins that we have gained through the Bacterial Structural Genomics Initiative (BSGI), focused on medium-throughput structure determination of proteins from E. coli. We describe the structural characterization of several enzymes from the histidine biosynthetic pathway, the structures of three pseudouridine synthases, enzymes that synthesize one of the most abundant modified bases in RNA, as well as the combined use of protein structure and focused functional analysis to decipher functions for hypothetical proteins. Together, these results illustrate the power of structural genomics to contribute to a deeper biological understanding of bacterial processes.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. New insight into structural heterogeneity beneath Taiwan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Z.

    2007-12-01

    To know whether the Eurasian lithosphere subducts beneath Taiwan is an important issue for a better understanding of mountain building, arc magmatism and plate collision in the western Pacific region. High- resolution 3-D velocity images are estimated at depths of 0-400 km beneath Taiwan by inverting a large number of arrival times from local and teleseismic events simultaneously. We used 215,676 P-wave arrival time data from 6782 shallow and intermediate-depth earthquakes that are located in and around the Taiwan Island. We also used 12,078 P-wave arrival times that are collected from 3-componenet seismograms of 1108 teleseismic events recorded by the networks installed by Taiwan, Japan and China. Our tomographic images provide further direct geophysical evidence for the tectonic models proposed by previous studies and revealed some new features of structural heterogeneity related to the subducted Eurasian lithosphere and the subducting Philippine Sea slab. Low-velocity anomalies beneath the active volcanoes are visible in the subduction zone of Taiwan, which might caused by the collision between the subducted Eurasian plate and the subducting Philippine Sea slab. In the southern portion of Taiwan, the Eurasian lithosphere is clearly imaged as a high velocity zone with a thickness of 65-80 km and subducted down to a depth of 300 km, whilst it has not been observed beneath North Taiwan. Despite that the existence of subducted Eurasia slab beneath Taiwan has been documented by Lellamant et al. (2001), the present study is the first one to provide high-resolution image and indicate that the Eurasian lithosphere stops at the depth of 300 km beneath South Taiwan but not under North Taiwan. Meanwhile, the present tomographic results are also coherent well with the geology and with plate reconstructions in the region. The previous study proposed that the plate convergence rate is constant at about 7 cm/yr (Seno et al., 1993), it takes about 4-5 Ma for the subducted slab

  7. 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

  8. Structural insight into the lactoferrin receptors from pathogenic Neisseria.

    PubMed

    Noinaj, Nicholas; Cornelissen, Cynthia Nau; Buchanan, Susan K

    2013-10-01

    Neisseria are pathogenic bacteria that cause gonorrhea, septicemia, and meningitis. Like other pathogenic bacteria, Neisseria must acquire iron for survival from their local environment within the human host. Instead of secreting siderophores to scavenge iron, Neisseria steal iron from human iron binding proteins such as hemoglobin, transferrin and lactoferrin for survival. Recently we reported the crystal structures of the Neisseria meningitidis transferrin receptors TbpA and TbpB, as well as the structures of apo and holo human transferrin. We also analyzed these proteins using small angle X-ray scattering and electron microscopy to provide the molecular details explaining how Neisseria are able to interact with and extract iron from transferrin. Here, we utilize the structural reports, as well as the recently reported structure of the N-lobe of LbpB from Moraxella bovis, to assemble improved 3D homology models for the neisserial lactoferrin import receptors LbpA and LbpB, both of which are important vaccine targets against N. meningitidis. We then analyzed these models to gain structural insights into the lactoferrin-iron import system and form a mechanistic model fashioned in parallel to the homologous transferrin-iron import system.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2015-12-01

    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.

  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.

  12. 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

    2015-12-01

    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

  13. Genome-wide association analyses provide genetic and biochemical insights into natural variation in rice metabolism.

    PubMed

    Chen, Wei; Gao, Yanqiang; Xie, Weibo; Gong, Liang; Lu, Kai; Wang, Wensheng; Li, Yang; Liu, Xianqing; Zhang, Hongyan; Dong, Huaxia; Zhang, Wan; Zhang, Lejing; Yu, Sibin; Wang, Gongwei; Lian, Xingming; Luo, Jie

    2014-07-01

    Plant metabolites are important to world food security in terms of maintaining sustainable yield and providing food with enriched phytonutrients. Here we report comprehensive profiling of 840 metabolites and a further metabolic genome-wide association study based on ∼6.4 million SNPs obtained from 529 diverse accessions of Oryza sativa. We identified hundreds of common variants influencing numerous secondary metabolites with large effects at high resolution. We observed substantial heterogeneity in the natural variation of metabolites and their underlying genetic architectures among different subspecies of rice. Data mining identified 36 candidate genes modulating levels of metabolites that are of potential physiological and nutritional importance. As a proof of concept, we functionally identified or annotated five candidate genes influencing metabolic traits. Our study provides insights into the genetic and biochemical bases of rice metabolome variation and can be used as a powerful complementary tool to classical phenotypic trait mapping for rice improvement.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers

    DOE PAGES

    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; et al

    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

  17. Supramolecular polymerization of a prebiotic nucleoside provides insights into the creation of sequence-controlled polymers.

    PubMed

    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)-N(9)-(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

  18. 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

  19. Structural Insights into Reelin Function: Present and Future

    PubMed Central

    Ranaivoson, Fanomezana M.; von Daake, Sventja; Comoletti, Davide

    2016-01-01

    Reelin is a neuronal glycoprotein secreted by the Cajal-Retzius cells in marginal regions of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus where it plays important roles in the control of neuronal migration and the formation of cellular layers during brain development. This 3461 residue-long protein is composed of a signal peptide, an F-spondin-like domain, eight Reelin repeats (RR1–8), and a positively charged sequence at the C-terminus. Biochemical data indicate that the central region of Reelin binds to the low-density lipoprotein receptors apolipoprotein E receptor 2 (ApoER2) and the very-low-density lipoprotein receptor (VLDLR), leading to the phosphorylation of the intracellular adaptor protein Dab1. After secretion, Reelin is rapidly degraded in three major fragments, but the functional significance of this degradation is poorly understood. Probably due to its large mass and the complexity of its architecture, the high-resolution, three-dimensional structure of Reelin has never been determined. However, the crystal structures of some of the RRs have been solved, providing important insights into their fold and the interaction with the ApoER2 receptor. This review discusses the current findings on the structure of Reelin and its binding to the ApoER2 and VLDLR receptors, and we discuss some areas where proteomics and structural biology can help understanding Reelin function in brain development and human health. PMID:27303268

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. New developments providing mechanistic insight into the impact of the microbiota on allergic disease.

    PubMed

    McCoy, Kathy D; Köller, Yasmin

    2015-08-01

    The increase in allergic diseases over the past several decades is correlated with changes in the composition and diversity of the intestinal microbiota. Microbial-derived signals are critical for instructing the developing immune system and conversely, immune regulation can impact the microbiota. Perturbations in the microbiota composition may be especially important during early-life when the immune system is still developing, resulting in a critical window of opportunity for instructing the immune system. This review highlights recent studies investigating the role of the microbiome in susceptibility or development of allergic diseases with a focus on animal models that provide insight into the mechanisms and pathways involved. Identification of a causal link between reduced microbial diversity or altered microbial composition and increased susceptibility to immune-mediated diseases will hopefully pave the way for better preventive therapies.

  3. The Genome of Undifilum oxytropis Provides Insights into Swainsonine Biosynthesis and Locoism

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Hao; Quan, Haiyun; Ren, Zhenhui; Wang, Shuai; Xue, Ruixu; Zhao, Baoyu

    2016-01-01

    Undifilum oxytropis is a fungal endophyte of locoweeds. It produces swainsonine, which is the principal toxic ingredient of locoweeds. However, the genes, pathways and mechanisms of swainsonine biosynthesis are not known. In this study, the genome of U. oxytropis was firstly sequenced and assembled into a 70.05 megabases (Mb) draft genome, which encoded 11,057 protein-coding genes, and 54% of them were similar to current publicly available sequences. U. oxytropis genes were annotated and 164 putative genes were annotated into enzymes, such as Saccharopine dehydrogenase, Saccharopine oxidase, and Pyrroline-5-carboxylate reductase, hypothesized to be involved in the biosynthesis pathway of swainsonine. The genome sequence and gene annotation of U. oxytropis will provide new insights into functional analyses. The characterization of genes in swainsonine biosynthesis will greatly facilitate locoweed poisoning research and help direct locoism management. PMID:27477109

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Structural insights into the translational infidelity mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Rozov, Alexey; Demeshkina, Natalia; Westhof, Eric; Yusupov, Marat; Yusupova, Gulnara

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26037619

  8. The Pion cloud: Insights into hadron structure

    SciTech Connect

    A.W. Thomas

    2007-11-01

    Modern nuclear theory presents a fascinating study in contrasting approaches to the structure of hadrons and nuclei. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the treatment of the pion cloud. As this discussion really begins with Yukawa, it is entirely appropriate that this invited lecture at the Yukawa Institute in Kyoto should deal with the issue.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Cell secretion: current structural and biochemical insights.

    PubMed

    Trikha, Saurabh; Lee, Elizabeth C; Jeremic, Aleksandar M

    2010-10-12

    Essential physiological functions in eukaryotic cells, such as release of hormones and digestive enzymes, neurotransmission, and intercellular signaling, are all achieved by cell secretion. In regulated (calcium-dependent) secretion, membrane-bound secretory vesicles dock and transiently fuse with specialized, permanent, plasma membrane structures, called porosomes or fusion pores. Porosomes are supramolecular, cup-shaped lipoprotein structures at the cell plasma membrane that mediate and control the release of vesicle cargo to the outside of the cell. The sizes of porosomes range from 150 nm in diameter in acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas to 12 nm in neurons. In recent years, significant progress has been made in our understanding of the porosome and the cellular activities required for cell secretion, such as membrane fusion and swelling of secretory vesicles. The discovery of the porosome complex and the molecular mechanism of cell secretion are summarized in this article.

  12. Structural insight into PPARgamma ligands binding.

    PubMed

    Farce, A; Renault, N; Chavatte, P

    2009-01-01

    Peroxisome Proliferator Activated Receptors (PPARs) are a family of three related nuclear receptors first cloned in 1990. Their involvement in glucidic and lipidic homeostasis quickly made them an attractive target for the treatment of metabolic syndrome, the most prevalent mortality factor in developed countries. They therefore attracted much synthetic efforts, more particularly PPARgamma. Supported by a large number of crystallographic studies, data derived from these compounds lead to a fairly clear view of the agonist binding mode into the Ligand Binding Domain (LBD). Nearly all the compounds conform to a three-module structure, with a binder group involved in a series of hydrogen bonds in front of the ligand-dependent Activation Function (AF2), a linker mostly arranged around a phenoxyethyl and an effector end occupying the large cavity of the binding site. Following the marketing of the glitazones and the observation of the hepatotoxicity of troglitazone, variations in the binder led to the glitazars, and then pharmacomodulations have been undertaken on the two other modules, leading to a large family of highly related chemical structures. Some compounds, while still adhering to the three-module structure, diverge from the mainstream, such as the phthalates. Curiously, these plasticizers were known to elicit biological effects that led to the discovery of PPARs but were not actively studied as PPARs agonists. As the biological effects of PPARs became clearer, new compounds were also found to exert at least a part of their actions by the activation of PPARgamma. PMID:19442144

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Structural insights of a hormone sensitive lipase homologue Est22.

    PubMed

    Huang, Jing; Huo, Ying-Yi; Ji, Rui; Kuang, Siyun; Ji, Chaoneng; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2016-01-01

    Hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) catalyzes the hydrolysis of triacylglycerols into fatty acids and glycerol, thus playing key roles in energy homeostasis. However, the application of HSL serving as a pharmaceutical target and an industrial biocatalyst is largely hampered due to the lack of high-resolution structural information. Here we report biochemical properties and crystal structures of a novel HSL homologue esterase Est22 from a deep-sea metagenomic library. Est22 prefers short acyl chain esters and has a very high activity with substrate p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The crystal structures of wild type and mutated Est22 with its product p-nitrophenol are solved with resolutions ranging from 1.4 Å to 2.43 Å. The Est22 exhibits a α/β-hydrolase fold consisting with a catalytic domain and a substrate-recognizing cap domain. Residues Ser188, Asp287, and His317 comprise the catalytic triad in the catalytic domain. The p-nitrophenol molecule occupies the substrate binding pocket and forms hydrogen bonds with adjacent residues Gly108, Gly109, and Gly189. Est22 exhibits a dimeric form in solution, whereas mutants D287A and H317A change to polymeric form, which totally abolished its enzymatic activities. Our study provides insights into the catalytic mechanism of HSL family esterase and facilitates the understanding for further industrial and biotechnological applications of esterases. PMID:27328716

  16. Structural insights of a hormone sensitive lipase homologue Est22

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Jing; Huo, Ying-Yi; Ji, Rui; Kuang, Siyun; Ji, Chaoneng; Xu, Xue-Wei; Li, Jixi

    2016-01-01

    Hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) catalyzes the hydrolysis of triacylglycerols into fatty acids and glycerol, thus playing key roles in energy homeostasis. However, the application of HSL serving as a pharmaceutical target and an industrial biocatalyst is largely hampered due to the lack of high-resolution structural information. Here we report biochemical properties and crystal structures of a novel HSL homologue esterase Est22 from a deep-sea metagenomic library. Est22 prefers short acyl chain esters and has a very high activity with substrate p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The crystal structures of wild type and mutated Est22 with its product p-nitrophenol are solved with resolutions ranging from 1.4 Å to 2.43 Å. The Est22 exhibits a α/β-hydrolase fold consisting with a catalytic domain and a substrate-recognizing cap domain. Residues Ser188, Asp287, and His317 comprise the catalytic triad in the catalytic domain. The p-nitrophenol molecule occupies the substrate binding pocket and forms hydrogen bonds with adjacent residues Gly108, Gly109, and Gly189. Est22 exhibits a dimeric form in solution, whereas mutants D287A and H317A change to polymeric form, which totally abolished its enzymatic activities. Our study provides insights into the catalytic mechanism of HSL family esterase and facilitates the understanding for further industrial and biotechnological applications of esterases. PMID:27328716

  17. New Structural Insights into Translational Miscoding.

    PubMed

    Rozov, Alexey; Demeshkina, Natalia; Westhof, Eric; Yusupov, Marat; Yusupova, Gulnara

    2016-09-01

    The fidelity of translation depends strongly on the selection of the correct aminoacyl-tRNA that is complementary to the mRNA codon present in the ribosomal decoding center. The ribosome occasionally makes mistakes by selecting the wrong substrate from the pool of aminoacyl-tRNAs. Here, we summarize recent structural advances that may help to clarify the origin of missense errors that occur during decoding. These developments suggest that discrimination between tRNAs is based primarily on steric complementarity and shape acceptance rather than on the number of hydrogen bonds between the molding of the decoding center and the codon-anticodon duplex. They strengthen the hypothesis that spatial mimicry, due either to base tautomerism or ionization, drives infidelity in ribosomal translation.

  18. Structural insights into de novo actin polymerization

    PubMed Central

    Dominguez, Roberto

    2010-01-01

    Summary Many cellular functions depend on rapid and localized actin polymerization/depolymerization. Yet, the de novo polymerization of actin in cells is kinetically unfavorable because of the instability of polymerization intermediates (small actin oligomers) and the actions of actin monomer binding proteins. Cells use filament nucleation and elongation factors to initiate and sustain polymerization. Structural biology is beginning to shed light on the diverse mechanisms by which these unrelated proteins initiate polymerization, undergo regulation, and mediate the transition of monomeric actin onto actin filaments. A prominent role is played by the W domain, which in some of these proteins occurs in tandem repeats that recruit multiple actin subunits. Pro-rich regions are also abundant and mediate the binding of profilin-actin complexes, which are the main source of polymerization competent actin in cells. Filament nucleation and elongation factors frequently interact with Rho family GTPases, which relay signals from membrane receptors to regulate actin cytoskeleton remodeling. PMID:20096561

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. The presence of bacteria within tissue provides insights into the pathogenesis of oral lichen planus.

    PubMed

    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

  4. 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. PMID:19025964

  5. Structural insight into equine lentivirus receptor 1.

    PubMed

    Qian, Lei; Han, Xiaodong; Liu, Xinqi

    2015-05-01

    Equine lentivirus receptor 1 (ELR1) has been identified as a functional cellular receptor for equine infectious anemia virus (EIAV). Herein, recombinant ELR1 and EIAV surface glycoprotein gp90 were respectively expressed in Drosophila melanogaster S2 cells, and purified to homogeneity by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography and gel filtration chromatography. Gel filtration chromatography and analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) analyses indicated that both ELR1 and gp90 existed as individual monomers in solution and formed a complex with a stoichiometry of 1:1 when mixed. The structure of ELR1 was first determined with the molecular replacement method, which belongs to the space group P42 21 2 with one molecule in an asymmetric unit. It contains eight antiparallel β-sheets, of which four are in cysteine rich domain 1 (CRD1) and two are in CRD2 and CRD3, respectively. Alignment of ELR1 with HVEM and CD134 indicated that Tyr61, Leu70, and Gly72 in CRD1 of ELR1 are important residues for binding to gp90. Isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments further confirmed that Leu70 and Gly72 are the critical residues.

  6. 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. PMID:26487042

  7. 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

  8. Structural insights into anaphase-promoting complex function and mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Barford, David

    2011-01-01

    The anaphase-promoting complex or cyclosome (APC/C) controls sister chromatid segregation and the exit from mitosis by catalysing the ubiquitylation of cyclins and other cell cycle regulatory proteins. This unusually large E3 RING-cullin ubiquitin ligase is assembled from 13 different proteins. Selection of APC/C targets is controlled through recognition of short destruction motifs, predominantly the D box and KEN box. APC/C-mediated coordination of cell cycle progression is achieved through the temporal regulation of APC/C activity and substrate specificity, exerted through a combination of co-activator subunits, reversible phosphorylation and inhibitory proteins and complexes. Recent structural and biochemical studies of the APC/C are beginning to reveal an understanding of the roles of individual APC/C subunits and co-activators and how they mutually interact to mediate APC/C functions. This review focuses on the findings showing how information on the structural organization of the APC/C provides insights into the role of co-activators and core APC/C subunits in mediating substrate recognition. Mechanisms of regulating and modulating substrate recognition are discussed in the context of controlling the binding of the co-activator to the APC/C, and the accessibility and conformation of the co-activator when bound to the APC/C. PMID:22084387

  9. 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

  10. Comparative Genomic and Sequence Analysis Provides Insight into the Molecular Functionality of NOD1 and NOD2

    PubMed Central

    Boyle, Joseph P.; Mayle, Sophie; Parkhouse, Rhiannon; Monie, Tom P.

    2013-01-01

    Amino acids with functional or key structural roles display higher degrees of conservation through evolution. The comparative analysis of protein sequences from multiple species and/or between homologous proteins can be highly informative in the identification of key structural and functional residues. Residues which in turn provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of protein function. We have explored the genomic and amino acid conservation of the prototypic innate immune genes NOD1 and NOD2. NOD1 orthologs were found in all vertebrate species analyzed, whilst NOD2 was absent from the genomes of avian, reptilian and amphibian species. Evolutionary trace analysis was used to identify highly conserved regions of NOD1 and NOD2 across multiple species. Consistent with the known functions of NOD1 and NOD2 highly conserved patches were identified that matched the Walker A and B motifs and provided interaction surfaces for the adaptor protein RIP2. Other patches of high conservation reflect key structural functions as predicted by homology models. In addition, the pattern of residue conservation within the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) region of NOD1 and NOD2 is indicative of a conserved mechanism of ligand recognition involving the concave surface of the LRRs. PMID:24109482

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. 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

  15. Neanderthal brain size at birth provides insights into the evolution of human life history

    PubMed Central

    Ponce de León, Marcia S.; Golovanova, Lubov; Doronichev, Vladimir; Romanova, Galina; Akazawa, Takeru; Kondo, Osamu; Ishida, Hajime; Zollikofer, Christoph P. E.

    2008-01-01

    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. PMID:18779579

  16. 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.

  17. Multi-omics analysis of niche specificity provides new insights into ecological adaptation in bacteria.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Bo; Ibrahim, Muhammad; Cui, Zhouqi; Xie, Guanlin; Jin, Gulei; Kube, Michael; Li, Bin; Zhou, Xueping

    2016-08-01

    Different lifestyles, ranging from a saprophyte to a pathogen, have been reported in bacteria of one species. Here, we performed genome-wide survey of the ecological adaptation in four Burkholderia seminalis strains, distinguished by their origin as part of the saprophytic microbial community of soil or water but also including human and plant pathogens. The results indicated that each strain is separated from the others by increased fitness in medium simulating its original niche corresponding to the difference between strains in metabolic capacities. Furthermore, strain-specific metabolism and niche survival was generally linked with genomic variants and niche-dependent differential expression of the corresponding genes. In particular, the importance of iron, trehalose and d-arabitol utilization was highlighted by the involvement of DNA-methylation and horizontal gene transfer in niche-adapted regulation of the corresponding operons based on the integrated analysis of our multi-omics data. Overall, our results provided insights of niche-specific adaptation in bacteria. PMID:26859773

  18. The tiny eukaryote Ostreococcus provides genomic insights into the paradox of plankton speciation.

    PubMed

    Palenik, Brian; Grimwood, Jane; Aerts, Andrea; Rouzé, Pierre; Salamov, Asaf; Putnam, Nicholas; Dupont, Chris; Jorgensen, Richard; Derelle, Evelyne; Rombauts, Stephane; Zhou, Kemin; Otillar, Robert; Merchant, Sabeeha S; Podell, Sheila; Gaasterland, Terry; Napoli, Carolyn; Gendler, Karla; Manuell, Andrea; Tai, Vera; Vallon, Olivier; Piganeau, Gwenael; Jancek, Séverine; Heijde, Marc; Jabbari, Kamel; Bowler, Chris; Lohr, Martin; Robbens, Steven; Werner, Gregory; Dubchak, Inna; Pazour, Gregory J; Ren, Qinghu; Paulsen, Ian; Delwiche, Chuck; Schmutz, Jeremy; Rokhsar, Daniel; Van de Peer, Yves; Moreau, Hervé; Grigoriev, Igor V

    2007-05-01

    The smallest known eukaryotes, at approximately 1-mum diameter, are Ostreococcus tauri and related species of marine phytoplankton. The genome of Ostreococcus lucimarinus has been completed and compared with that of O. tauri. This comparison reveals surprising differences across orthologous chromosomes in the two species from highly syntenic chromosomes in most cases to chromosomes with almost no similarity. Species divergence in these phytoplankton is occurring through multiple mechanisms acting differently on different chromosomes and likely including acquisition of new genes through horizontal gene transfer. We speculate that this latter process may be involved in altering the cell-surface characteristics of each species. In addition, the genome of O. lucimarinus provides insights into the unique metal metabolism of these organisms, which are predicted to have a large number of selenocysteine-containing proteins. Selenoenzymes are more catalytically active than similar enzymes lacking selenium, and thus the cell may require less of that protein. As reported here, selenoenzymes, novel fusion proteins, and loss of some major protein families including ones associated with chromatin are likely important adaptations for achieving a small cell size. PMID:17460045

  19. The Genome of Ganderma lucidum Provide Insights into Triterpense Biosynthesis and Wood Degradation

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhuo; Zhang, Hong-Mei; Liu, Wei; Liu, Le; Ma, Junping; Xia, Zhilan; Chen, Yuxin; Chen, Yuewen; Wang, Depeng; Ni, Peixiang; Guo, An-Yuan; Xiong, Xingyao

    2012-01-01

    Background Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi or Ling Zhi) is one of the most famous Traditional Chinese Medicines and has been widely used in the treatment of various human diseases in Asia countries. It is also a fungus with strong wood degradation ability with potential in bioenergy production. However, genes, pathways and mechanisms of these functions are still unknown. Methodology/Principal Findings The genome of G. lucidum was sequenced and assembled into a 39.9 megabases (Mb) draft genome, which encoded 12,080 protein-coding genes and ∼83% of them were similar to public sequences. We performed comprehensive annotation for G. lucidum genes and made comparisons with genes in other fungi genomes. Genes in the biosynthesis of the main G. lucidum active ingredients, ganoderic acids (GAs), were characterized. Among the GAs synthases, we identified a fusion gene, the N and C terminal of which are homologous to two different enzymes. Moreover, the fusion gene was only found in basidiomycetes. As a white rot fungus with wood degradation ability, abundant carbohydrate-active enzymes and ligninolytic enzymes were identified in the G. lucidum genome and were compared with other fungi. Conclusions/Significance The genome sequence and well annotation of G. lucidum will provide new insights in function analyses including its medicinal mechanism. The characterization of genes in the triterpene biosynthesis and wood degradation will facilitate bio-engineering research in the production of its active ingredients and bioenergy. PMID:22567134

  20. 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.

  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

    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.

  3. Can Transcriptomics Provide Insight into the Chemopreventive Mechanisms of Complex Mixtures of Phytochemicals in Humans?

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract 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. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 20, 2107–2113. PMID:24328558

  4. Transcriptome analysis in different rice cultivars provides novel insights into desiccation and salinity stress responses

    PubMed Central

    Shankar, Rama; Bhattacharjee, Annapurna; Jain, Mukesh

    2016-01-01

    Drought and salinity are the major environmental factors that affect rice productivity. Comparative transcriptome analysis between tolerant and sensitive rice cultivars can provide insights into the regulatory mechanisms involved in these stress responses. In this study, the comparison of transcriptomes of a drought-tolerant [Nagina 22 (N22)] and a salinity-tolerant (Pokkali) rice cultivar with IR64 (susceptible cultivar) revealed variable transcriptional responses under control and stress conditions. A total of 801 and 507 transcripts were exclusively differentially expressed in N22 and Pokkali rice cultivars, respectively, under stress conditions. Gene ontology analysis suggested the enrichment of transcripts involved in response to abiotic stress and regulation of gene expression in stress-tolerant rice cultivars. A larger number of transcripts encoding for members of NAC and DBP transcription factor (TF) families in N22 and members of bHLH and C2H2 TF families in Pokkali exhibited differential regulation under desiccation and salinity stresses, respectively. Transcripts encoding for thioredoxin and involved in phenylpropanoid metabolism were up-regulated in N22, whereas transcripts involved in wax and terpenoid metabolism were up-regulated in Pokkali. Overall, common and cultivar-specific stress-responsive transcripts identified in this study can serve as a helpful resource to explore novel candidate genes for abiotic stress tolerance in rice. PMID:27029818

  5. 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.

  6. Methyl effect in azumamides provides insight into histone deacetylase inhibition by macrocycles.

    PubMed

    Maolanon, Alex R; Villadsen, Jesper S; Christensen, Niels J; Hoeck, Casper; Friis, Tina; Harris, Pernille; Gotfredsen, Charlotte H; Fristrup, Peter; Olsen, Christian A

    2014-11-26

    Natural, nonribosomal cyclotetrapeptides have traditionally been a rich source of inspiration for design of potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors. We recently disclosed the total synthesis and full HDAC profiling of the naturally occurring azumamides ( J. Med. Chem. 2013 , 56 , 6512 ). In this work, we investigate the structural requirements for potent HDAC inhibition by macrocyclic peptides using the azumamides along with a series of unnatural analogues obtained through chemical synthesis. By solving solution NMR structures of selected macrocycles and combining these findings with molecular modeling, we pinpoint crucial enzyme-ligand interactions required for potent inhibition of HDAC3. Docking of additional natural products confirmed these features to be generally important. Combined with the structural conservation across HDACs 1-3, this suggests that while cyclotetrapeptides have provided potent and class-selective HDAC inhibitors, it will be challenging to distinguish between the three major class I deacetylases using these chemotypes.

  7. A Molecular Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Androgen Receptor Signalling in Breast Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Mehta, Jatin; Asthana, Shailendra; Mandal, Chandi Charan; Saxena, Sunita

    2015-01-01

    Background Androgen Receptor (AR) is an essential transcription factor for the development of secondary sex characteristics, spermatogenesis and carcinogenesis. Recently AR has been implicated in the development and progression of breast and prostate cancers. Although some of the functions of the AR are known but the mechanistic details of these divergent processes are still not clear. Therefore understanding the regulatory mechanisms of the functioning of the AR in ER-/AR+ breast cancer will provide many novel targets for the purpose of therapeutic intervention. Methods/Results Using bioinformatics tools, we have identified 75 AR targets having prominent roles in cell cycle, apoptosis and metabolism. Herein, we validated 10 genes as AR targets by studying the regulation of these genes in MDA-MB-453 cell line on stimulation by androgens like 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), using RT-qPCR and ChIP assay. It was observed that all the identified genes involved in cell cycle except MAD1L1 were found to be up regulated whereas expression of apoptosis related genes was decreased in response to DHT treatment. We performed an exhaustive, rigid-body docking between individual ARE and DNA binding domain (DBD) of the AR protein and it was found that novel residues K567, K588, K591 and R592 are involved in the process of DNA binding. To verify these specific DNA-protein interactions electrostatic energy term calculations for each residue was determined using the linearized Poisson–Boltzmann equation. Our experimental data showed that treatment of breast cancer cells with DHT promotes cell proliferation and decreases apoptosis. It was observed that bicalutamide treatment was able to reverse the effect of DHT. Conclusion Taken together, our results provide new insights into the mechanism by which AR promotes breast cancer progression. Moreover our work proposes to use bicalutamide along with taxanes as novel therapy for the treatment of TNBCs, which are positive for downstream

  8. Sex-linked and autosomal microsatellites provide new insights into island populations of the tammar wallaby

    PubMed Central

    MacDonald, A J; FitzSimmons, N N; Chambers, B; Renfree, M B; Sarre, S D

    2014-01-01

    The emerging availability of microsatellite markers from mammalian sex chromosomes provides opportunities to investigate both male- and female-mediated gene flow in wild populations, identifying patterns not apparent from the analysis of autosomal markers alone. Tammar wallabies (Macropus eugenii), once spread over the southern mainland, have been isolated on several islands off the Western Australian and South Australian coastlines for between 10 000 and 13 000 years. Here, we combine analyses of autosomal, Y-linked and X-linked microsatellite loci to investigate genetic variation in populations of this species on two islands (Kangaroo Island, South Australia and Garden Island, Western Australia). All measures of diversity were higher for the larger Kangaroo Island population, in which genetic variation was lowest at Y-linked markers and highest at autosomal markers (θ=3.291, 1.208 and 0.627 for autosomal, X-linked and Y-linked data, respectively). Greater relatedness among females than males provides evidence for male-biased dispersal in this population, while sex-linked markers identified genetic lineages not apparent from autosomal data alone. Overall genetic diversity in the Garden Island population was low, especially on the Y chromosome where most males shared a common haplotype, and we observed high levels of inbreeding and relatedness among individuals. Our findings highlight the utility of this approach for management actions, such as the selection of animals for translocation or captive breeding, and the ecological insights that may be gained by combining analyses of microsatellite markers on sex chromosomes with those derived from autosomes. PMID:24169646

  9. Building structure-activity insights through patent mining.

    PubMed

    Tu, Meihua; Pfefferkorn, Jeffrey A; Guzman-Perez, Angel; Filipski, Kevin J

    2012-11-01

    One gap in current patent-mining practice is the lack of tools to build SAR knowledge. Here, we report a novel technique that enabled us to derive useful SAR information from the exemplified structures of a series of patents. In our approach, exemplified chemical structures were extracted from patent documents. They were grouped into structural series based on similarity and binding mode, after which the R-group table was generated. By analyzing R-group usages over time, we were able to build insights into SAR of a structural series, even though the biological activities were not available.

  10. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-10-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8-9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (<100 m), high-altitude region (>1500 m) versus low-altitude region (<1300 m), desert (<10 mm average annual precipitation) versus highly humid region (>600 mm), and arid zone (<400 mm) versus humid zone (>400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change. PMID:27401233

  11. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Cold Stress Responses in Petunia Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Huilin; Ning, Luyun; Li, Bei; Bao, Manzhu

    2016-01-01

    Low temperature is a major adverse environmental factor that impairs petunia growth and development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of cold stress adaptation of petunia plants, a quantitative proteomic analysis using iTRAQ technology was performed to detect the effects of cold stress on protein expression profiles in petunia seedlings which had been subjected to 2°C for 5 days. Of the 2430 proteins whose levels were quantitated, a total of 117 proteins were discovered to be differentially expressed under low temperature stress in comparison to unstressed controls. As an initial study, 44 proteins including well known and novel cold-responsive proteins were successfully annotated. By integrating the results of two independent Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses, seven common GO terms were found of which "oxidation-reduction process" was the most notable for the cold-responsive proteins. By using the subcellular localization tool Plant-mPLoc predictor, as much as 40.2% of the cold-responsive protein group was found to be located within chloroplasts, suggesting that the chloroplast proteome is particularly affected by cold stress. Gene expression analyses of 11 cold-responsive proteins by real time PCR demonstrated that the mRNA levels were not strongly correlated with the respective protein levels. Further activity assay of anti-oxidative enzymes showed different alterations in cold treated petunia seedlings. Our investigation has highlighted the role of antioxidation mechanisms and also epigenetic factors in the regulation of cold stress responses. Our work has provided novel insights into the plant response to cold stress and should facilitate further studies regarding the molecular mechanisms which determine how plant cells cope with environmental perturbation. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002189. PMID:26941746

  12. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-01-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8–9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (<100 m), high-altitude region (>1500 m) versus low-altitude region (<1300 m), desert (<10 mm average annual precipitation) versus highly humid region (>600 mm), and arid zone (<400 mm) versus humid zone (>400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change. PMID:27401233

  13. Characterization of the arginolytic microflora provides insights into pH homeostasis in human oral biofilms.

    PubMed

    Huang, Xuelian; Schulte, Renee M; Burne, Robert A; Nascimento, Marcelle M

    2015-01-01

    A selected group of oral bacteria commonly associated with dental health is capable of producing alkali via the arginine deiminase system (ADS), which has a profound impact on the pH of human oral biofilms. An increased risk for dental caries has been associated with reduced ADS activity of the bacteria in oral biofilms. Arginolytic bacterial strains from dental plaque samples of caries-free and caries-active adults were isolated and characterized to investigate the basis for differences in plaque ADS activity between individuals. Fifty-six ADS-positive bacterial strains were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, and their ADS activity levels were compared under standard growth conditions. The spectrum of bacterial ADS activity ranged from 45.2 to 688.0 units (mg protein)(-1). Although Streptococcus sanguinis was the most prevalent species, other Streptococcus sp. were also represented. Biochemical assays carried out using 27 ADS-positive strains under conditions known to induce or repress ADS gene expression showed substantial variation in arginolytic activity in response to pH, oxygen and the availability of carbohydrate or arginine. This study reveals that the basis for the wide spectrum of arginolytic expression observed among clinical strains is, at least in part, attributable to differences in the regulation of the ADS within and between species. The results provide insights into the microbiological basis for intersubject differences in ADS activity in oral biofilms and enhance our understanding of dental caries as an ecologically driven disease in which arginine metabolism moderates plaque pH and promotes dental health.

  14. Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Daniel; Christiansen, Rói Hammershaimb; Dalsgaard, Inger; Madsen, Lone; Espejo, Romilio; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum. PMID:27071075

  15. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Cold Stress Responses in Petunia Seedlings

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Huilin; Ning, Luyun; Li, Bei; Bao, Manzhu

    2016-01-01

    Low temperature is a major adverse environmental factor that impairs petunia growth and development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of cold stress adaptation of petunia plants, a quantitative proteomic analysis using iTRAQ technology was performed to detect the effects of cold stress on protein expression profiles in petunia seedlings which had been subjected to 2°C for 5 days. Of the 2430 proteins whose levels were quantitated, a total of 117 proteins were discovered to be differentially expressed under low temperature stress in comparison to unstressed controls. As an initial study, 44 proteins including well known and novel cold-responsive proteins were successfully annotated. By integrating the results of two independent Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses, seven common GO terms were found of which “oxidation-reduction process” was the most notable for the cold-responsive proteins. By using the subcellular localization tool Plant-mPLoc predictor, as much as 40.2% of the cold-responsive protein group was found to be located within chloroplasts, suggesting that the chloroplast proteome is particularly affected by cold stress. Gene expression analyses of 11 cold-responsive proteins by real time PCR demonstrated that the mRNA levels were not strongly correlated with the respective protein levels. Further activity assay of anti-oxidative enzymes showed different alterations in cold treated petunia seedlings. Our investigation has highlighted the role of antioxidation mechanisms and also epigenetic factors in the regulation of cold stress responses. Our work has provided novel insights into the plant response to cold stress and should facilitate further studies regarding the molecular mechanisms which determine how plant cells cope with environmental perturbation. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002189. PMID:26941746

  16. Quantitative Proteomic Analysis Provides Novel Insights into Cold Stress Responses in Petunia Seedlings.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Wei; Zhang, Huilin; Ning, Luyun; Li, Bei; Bao, Manzhu

    2016-01-01

    Low temperature is a major adverse environmental factor that impairs petunia growth and development. To better understand the molecular mechanisms of cold stress adaptation of petunia plants, a quantitative proteomic analysis using iTRAQ technology was performed to detect the effects of cold stress on protein expression profiles in petunia seedlings which had been subjected to 2°C for 5 days. Of the 2430 proteins whose levels were quantitated, a total of 117 proteins were discovered to be differentially expressed under low temperature stress in comparison to unstressed controls. As an initial study, 44 proteins including well known and novel cold-responsive proteins were successfully annotated. By integrating the results of two independent Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment analyses, seven common GO terms were found of which "oxidation-reduction process" was the most notable for the cold-responsive proteins. By using the subcellular localization tool Plant-mPLoc predictor, as much as 40.2% of the cold-responsive protein group was found to be located within chloroplasts, suggesting that the chloroplast proteome is particularly affected by cold stress. Gene expression analyses of 11 cold-responsive proteins by real time PCR demonstrated that the mRNA levels were not strongly correlated with the respective protein levels. Further activity assay of anti-oxidative enzymes showed different alterations in cold treated petunia seedlings. Our investigation has highlighted the role of antioxidation mechanisms and also epigenetic factors in the regulation of cold stress responses. Our work has provided novel insights into the plant response to cold stress and should facilitate further studies regarding the molecular mechanisms which determine how plant cells cope with environmental perturbation. The data have been deposited to the ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD002189.

  17. Mitochondrial Genome and Nuclear Markers Provide New Insight into the Evolutionary History of Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Juan; Yu, Jianqiu; Li, Jing; Li, Peng; Fan, Zhenxin; Niu, Lili; Deng, Jiabo; Yue, Bisong; Li, Jing

    2016-01-01

    The evolutionary history of macaques, genus Macaca, has been under debate due to the short times of divergence. In this study, maternal, paternal, and biparental genetic systems were applied to infer phylogenetic relationships among macaques and to trace ancient hybridization events in their evolutionary history. Using a PCR display method, 17 newly phylogenetically informative Alu insertions were identified from M. assamensis. We combined presence/absence analysis of 84 Alu elements with mitochondrial genomes as well as nuclear sequences (five autosomal genes, two Y chromosomal genes, and one X chromosomal fragment) to reconstruct a robust macaque phylogeny. Topologies generated from different inherited markers were similar supporting six well defined species groups and a close relationship of M. assamensis and M. thibetana, but differed in the placing of M. arctoides. Both Alu elements and nuclear genes supported that M. arctoides was close to the sinica group, whereas the mitochondrial data clustered it into the fascicularis/mulatta lineage. Our results reveal that a sex-biased hybridization most likely occurred in the evolutionary history of M. arctoides, and suggest an introgressive pattern of male-mediated gene flow from the ancestors of M. arctoides to the M. mulatta population followed by nuclear swamping. According to the estimation of divergence dates, the hybridization occurred around 0.88~1.77 mya (nuclear data) or 1.38~2.56 mya (mitochondrial data). In general, our study indicates that a combination of various molecular markers could help explain complicated evolutionary relationships. Our results have provided new insights into the evolutionary history of macaques and emphasize that hybridization might play an important role in macaque evolution. PMID:27135608

  18. Whole-Genome Sequencing of Native Sheep Provides Insights into Rapid Adaptations to Extreme Environments.

    PubMed

    Yang, Ji; Li, Wen-Rong; Lv, Feng-Hua; He, San-Gang; Tian, Shi-Lin; Peng, Wei-Feng; Sun, Ya-Wei; Zhao, Yong-Xin; Tu, Xiao-Long; Zhang, Min; Xie, Xing-Long; Wang, Yu-Tao; Li, Jin-Quan; Liu, Yong-Gang; Shen, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Feng; Liu, Guang-Jian; Lu, Hong-Feng; Kantanen, Juha; Han, Jian-Lin; Li, Meng-Hua; Liu, Ming-Jun

    2016-10-01

    Global climate change has a significant effect on extreme environments and a profound influence on species survival. However, little is known of the genome-wide pattern of livestock adaptations to extreme environments over a short time frame following domestication. Sheep (Ovis aries) have become well adapted to a diverse range of agroecological zones, including certain extreme environments (e.g., plateaus and deserts), during their post-domestication (approximately 8-9 kya) migration and differentiation. Here, we generated whole-genome sequences from 77 native sheep, with an average effective sequencing depth of ∼5× for 75 samples and ∼42× for 2 samples. Comparative genomic analyses among sheep in contrasting environments, that is, plateau (>4,000 m above sea level) versus lowland (<100 m), high-altitude region (>1500 m) versus low-altitude region (<1300 m), desert (<10 mm average annual precipitation) versus highly humid region (>600 mm), and arid zone (<400 mm) versus humid zone (>400 mm), detected a novel set of candidate genes as well as pathways and GO categories that are putatively associated with hypoxia responses at high altitudes and water reabsorption in arid environments. In addition, candidate genes and GO terms functionally related to energy metabolism and body size variations were identified. This study offers novel insights into rapid genomic adaptations to extreme environments in sheep and other animals, and provides a valuable resource for future research on livestock breeding in response to climate change.

  19. Characterization of the Arginolytic Microflora Provides Insights into pH Homeostasis in Human Oral Biofilms

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Xuelian; Schulte, Renee M.; Burne, Robert A.; Nascimento, Marcelle M.

    2014-01-01

    A selected group of oral bacteria commonly associated with dental health is capable of producing alkali via the arginine deiminase system (ADS), which has a profound impact on the pH of human oral biofilms. An increased risk for dental caries has been associated with reduced ADS activity of the bacteria in oral biofilms. Arginolytic bacterial strains from dental plaque samples of caries-free (CF) and caries-active (CA) adults were isolated and characterized to investigate the basis for differences in plaque ADS activity between individuals. Fifty-six ADS-positive bacterial strains were identified by 16S rRNA gene sequencing and their ADS activity levels were compared under standard growth conditions. The spectrum of bacterial ADS activity ranged from 45.2 to 688.0 units (mg protein)−1. Although Streptococcus sanguinis was the most prevalent species, other Streptococcus were also represented. Biochemical assays carried out using twenty-seven ADS-positive strains under conditions known to induce or repress ADS gene expression, showed substantial variation in arginolytic activity in response to pH, oxygen, and the availability of carbohydrate or arginine. This study reveals that the basis for the wide spectrum of arginolytic expression observed among clinical strains is, at least in part, attributable to differences in the regulation of the ADS within and between species. The results provide insights into the microbiological basis for inter-subject differences in ADS activity in oral biofilms and enhance our understanding of dental caries as an ecologically-driven disease in which arginine metabolism moderates plaque pH and promotes dental health. PMID:25634570

  20. Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum

    PubMed Central

    Castillo, Daniel; Christiansen, Rói Hammershaimb; Dalsgaard, Inger; Madsen, Lone; Espejo, Romilio

    2016-01-01

    phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum. PMID:27071075

  1. Comparative Genome Analysis Provides Insights into the Pathogenicity of Flavobacterium psychrophilum.

    PubMed

    Castillo, Daniel; Christiansen, Rói Hammershaimb; Dalsgaard, Inger; Madsen, Lone; Espejo, Romilio; Middelboe, Mathias

    2016-01-01

    phenotypic properties may provide new insights to the mechanisms of pathogenicity in F. psychrophilum.

  2. Analysis of Individual Protein Regions Provides Novel Insights on Cancer Pharmacogenomics

    PubMed Central

    Pardo, Eduard Porta; Godzik, Adam

    2015-01-01

    The promise of personalized cancer medicine cannot be fulfilled until we gain better understanding of the connections between the genomic makeup of a patient's tumor and its response to anticancer drugs. Several datasets that include both pharmacologic profiles of cancer cell lines as well as their genomic alterations have been recently developed and extensively analyzed. However, most analyses of these datasets assume that mutations in a gene will have the same consequences regardless of their location. While this assumption might be correct in some cases, such analyses may miss subtler, yet still relevant, effects mediated by mutations in specific protein regions. Here we study such perturbations by separating effects of mutations in different protein functional regions (PFRs), including protein domains and intrinsically disordered regions. Using this approach, we have been able to identify 171 novel associations between mutations in specific PFRs and changes in the activity of 24 drugs that couldn't be recovered by traditional gene-centric analyses. Our results demonstrate how focusing on individual protein regions can provide novel insights into the mechanisms underlying the drug sensitivity of cancer cell lines. Moreover, while these new correlations are identified using only data from cancer cell lines, we have been able to validate some of our predictions using data from actual cancer patients. Our findings highlight how gene-centric experiments (such as systematic knock-out or silencing of individual genes) are missing relevant effects mediated by perturbations of specific protein regions. All the associations described here are available from http://www.cancer3d.org. PMID:25568936

  3. 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.

  4. Modelling the self-assembly of elastomeric proteins provides insights into the evolution of their domain architectures.

    PubMed

    Song, Hongyan; Parkinson, John

    2012-01-01

    Elastomeric proteins have evolved independently multiple times through evolution. Produced as monomers, they self-assemble into polymeric structures that impart properties of stretch and recoil. They are composed of an alternating domain architecture of elastomeric domains interspersed with cross-linking elements. While the former provide the elasticity as well as help drive the assembly process, the latter serve to stabilise the polymer. Changes in the number and arrangement of the elastomeric and cross-linking regions have been shown to significantly impact their assembly and mechanical properties. However, to date, such studies are relatively limited. Here we present a theoretical study that examines the impact of domain architecture on polymer assembly and integrity. At the core of this study is a novel simulation environment that uses a model of diffusion limited aggregation to simulate the self-assembly of rod-like particles with alternating domain architectures. Applying the model to different domain architectures, we generate a variety of aggregates which are subsequently analysed by graph-theoretic metrics to predict their structural integrity. Our results show that the relative length and number of elastomeric and cross-linking domains can significantly impact the morphology and structural integrity of the resultant polymeric structure. For example, the most highly connected polymers were those constructed from asymmetric rods consisting of relatively large cross-linking elements interspersed with smaller elastomeric domains. In addition to providing insights into the evolution of elastomeric proteins, simulations such as those presented here may prove valuable for the tuneable design of new molecules that may be exploited as useful biomaterials. PMID:22396636

  5. Modelling the Self-Assembly of Elastomeric Proteins Provides Insights into the Evolution of Their Domain Architectures

    PubMed Central

    Song, Hongyan; Parkinson, John

    2012-01-01

    Elastomeric proteins have evolved independently multiple times through evolution. Produced as monomers, they self-assemble into polymeric structures that impart properties of stretch and recoil. They are composed of an alternating domain architecture of elastomeric domains interspersed with cross-linking elements. While the former provide the elasticity as well as help drive the assembly process, the latter serve to stabilise the polymer. Changes in the number and arrangement of the elastomeric and cross-linking regions have been shown to significantly impact their assembly and mechanical properties. However, to date, such studies are relatively limited. Here we present a theoretical study that examines the impact of domain architecture on polymer assembly and integrity. At the core of this study is a novel simulation environment that uses a model of diffusion limited aggregation to simulate the self-assembly of rod-like particles with alternating domain architectures. Applying the model to different domain architectures, we generate a variety of aggregates which are subsequently analysed by graph-theoretic metrics to predict their structural integrity. Our results show that the relative length and number of elastomeric and cross-linking domains can significantly impact the morphology and structural integrity of the resultant polymeric structure. For example, the most highly connected polymers were those constructed from asymmetric rods consisting of relatively large cross-linking elements interspersed with smaller elastomeric domains. In addition to providing insights into the evolution of elastomeric proteins, simulations such as those presented here may prove valuable for the tuneable design of new molecules that may be exploited as useful biomaterials. PMID:22396636

  6. Support Needs for Canadian Health Providers Responding to Disaster: New Insights from a Grounded Theory Approach

    PubMed Central

    Fahim, Christine; O'Sullivan, Tracey L.; Lane, Dan

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: An earlier descriptive study exploring the various supports available to Canadian health and social service providers who deployed to the 2010 earthquake disaster in Haiti, indicated that when systems are compromised, professionals are at physical, emotional and mental risk during overseas deployment. While these risks are generally well-identified, there is little literature that explores the effectiveness of the supports in place to mitigate this risk. This study provides evidence to inform policy development regarding future disaster relief, and the effectiveness of supports available to responders assisting with international disaster response. Methods: This study follows Strauss and Corbin’s 1990 structured approach to grounded theory to develop a framework for effective disaster support systems. N=21 interviews with Canadian health and social service providers, who deployed to Haiti in response to the 2010 earthquake, were conducted and analyzed. Resulting data were transcribed, coded and analysed for emergent themes. Results and Discussion: Three themes were identified in the data and were used to develop the evolving theory. The interview data indicate that the experiences of responders are determined based on an interaction between the individual’s ‘lens’ or personal expectations, as well as the supports that an organization is able to provide. Therefore, organizations should consider the following factors: experience, expectations, and supports, to tailor a successful support initiative that caters to the needs of the volunteer workforce. PMID:26203399

  7. Quantitative Hydraulic Models Of Early Land Plants Provide Insight Into Middle Paleozoic Terrestrial Paleoenvironmental Conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, J. P.; Fischer, W. W.

    2010-12-01

    Fossil plants provide useful proxies of Earth’s climate because plants are closely connected, through physiology and morphology, to the environments in which they lived. Recent advances in quantitative hydraulic models of plant water transport provide new insight into the history of climate by allowing fossils to speak directly to environmental conditions based on preserved internal anatomy. We report results of a quantitative hydraulic model applied to one of the earliest terrestrial plants preserved in three dimensions, the ~396 million-year-old vascular plant Asteroxylon mackei. This model combines equations describing the rate of fluid flow through plant tissues with detailed observations of plant anatomy; this allows quantitative estimates of two critical aspects of plant function. First and foremost, results from these models quantify the supply of water to evaporative surfaces; second, results describe the ability of plant vascular systems to resist tensile damage from extreme environmental events, such as drought or frost. This approach permits quantitative comparisons of functional aspects of Asteroxylon with other extinct and extant plants, informs the quality of plant-based environmental proxies, and provides concrete data that can be input into climate models. Results indicate that despite their small size, water transport cells in Asteroxylon could supply a large volume of water to the plant's leaves--even greater than cells from some later-evolved seed plants. The smallest Asteroxylon tracheids have conductivities exceeding 0.015 m^2 / MPa * s, whereas Paleozoic conifer tracheids do not reach this threshold until they are three times wider. However, this increase in conductivity came at the cost of little to no adaptations for transport safety, placing the plant’s vegetative organs in jeopardy during drought events. Analysis of the thickness-to-span ratio of Asteroxylon’s tracheids suggests that environmental conditions of reduced relative

  8. Neristatin 1 Provides Critical Insight into Bryostatin 1 Structure–Function Relationships

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25808573

  9. Resiniferatoxin and its analogs provide novel insights into the pharmacology of the vanilloid (capsaicin) receptor

    SciTech Connect

    Szallasi, A.; Blumberg, P.M. )

    1990-01-01

    Capsaicin, the pungent constituent of chili peppers, represents the paradigm for the capsaicinoids or vanilloids, a family of compounds shown to stimulate and then desensitize specific subpopulations of sensory receptors, including C-polymodal nociceptors, A-delta mechanoheat nociceptors and warm receptors of the skin, as well as enteroceptors of thin afferent fibers. An exciting recent advance in the field has been the finding that resiniferatoxin (RTX), a naturally occurring diterpene containing a homovanillic acid ester, a key structural motif of capsaicin, functions as an ultrapotent capsaicin analog. For most of the responses characteristic of capsaicin, RTX is 100-10,000 fold more potent. Structure/activity analysis indicates, however, that RTX and related homovanillyl-diterpene esters display distinct spectra of activity. Specific ({sup 3}H)RTX binding provides the first direct proof for the existence of vanilloid receptors. We expect that the RTX class of vanilloids will promote rapid progress in understanding of vanilloid structure/activity requirements and mechanism.

  10. An integrated Biophysical CGE model to provide Sustainable Development Goal insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez, Marko; Cicowiez, Martin; Howells, Mark; Zepeda, Eduardo

    2016-04-01

    Future projected changes in the energy system will inevitably result in changes to the level of appropriation of environmental resources, particularly land and water, and this will have wider implications for environmental sustainability, and may affect other sectors of the economy. An integrated climate, land, energy and water (CLEW) system will provide useful insights, particularly with regard to the environmental sustainability. However, it will require adequate integration with other tools to detect economic impacts and broaden the scope for policy analysis. A computable general equilibrium (CGE) model is a well suited tool to channel impacts, as detected in a CLEW analysis, onto all sectors of the economy, and evaluate trade-offs and synergies, including those of possible policy responses. This paper will show an application of such integration in a single-country CGE model with the following key characteristics. Climate is partly exogenous (as proxied by temperature and rainfall) and partly endogenous (as proxied by emissions generated by different sectors) and has an impact on endogenous variables such as land productivity and labor productivity. Land is a factor of production used in agricultural and forestry activities which can be of various types if land use alternatives (e.g., deforestation) are to be considered. Energy is an input to the production process of all economic sectors and a consumption good for households. Because it is possible to allow for substitution among different energy sources (e.g. renewable vs non-renewable) in the generation of electricity, the production process of energy products can consider the use of natural resources such as oil and water. Water, data permitting, can be considered as an input into the production process of agricultural sectors, which is particularly relevant in case of irrigation. It can also be considered as a determinant of total factor productivity in hydro-power generation. The integration of a CLEW

  11. Characterizing dynamic processes in the Critical Zone: Crazy new tools provide crazy new insights

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Selker, J. S.; Sayde, C.; Thomas, C. K.

    2015-12-01

    The dynamics of the critical zone are in many aspects poorly understood, resulting largely from the difficulty of observing key processes. Key stores and fluxes are invisible, from the energy budget in air and soil, to the fluxes of water in soils, air and plants. Fortunately we are poised to remove the blinkers, and reveal the spatial and temporal structure of these terms. This will be achieved by novel combinations of observation technologies and high-performance computing. Fiber optic technology allows 1 s measurement of temperature at 0.25 m resolution to 0.1 C. By injecting heat in the fiber, we can quantify stores of soil water, fluxes in soils and boreholes, and movement of the atmosphere. Air-born digital imagining is shown to facilitate cm-level observation of landscapes at the km-scale, as well as the potential to monitor the temporal dynamics of canopy interception. These data can be used to connect specific structures and plant assemblages to key fluxes. Many of these methods are being developed and provided at low cost to the community by the Center for Transformative Environmental Monitoring Programs (CTEMPs.org). A parallel effort, the Open-Source Published Environmental Sensing (OPENS.org) laboratory, provides a forum for the development and publication of user-producible instruments. In all cases the developments are characterized by combining low-cost per data point at hundreds to thousands of locations to provide a comprehensive view of the spacio-temporal dynamics of the crucial zone.

  12. Insights into Lantibiotic Immunity Provided by Bioengineering of LtnI.

    PubMed

    Draper, Lorraine A; Deegan, Lucy H; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D; Ross, R Paul

    2012-10-01

    The lantibiotic lacticin 3147 has been the focus of much research due to its broad spectrum of activity against many microbial targets, including drug-resistant pathogens. In order to protect itself, a lacticin 3147 producer must possess a cognate immunity mechanism. Lacticin 3147 immunity is provided by an ABC transporter, LtnFE, and a dedicated immunity protein, LtnI, both of which are capable of independently providing a degree of protection. In the study described here, we carried out an in-depth investigation of LtnI structure-function relationships through the creation of a series of fusion proteins and LtnI determinants that have been the subject of random and site-directed mutagenesis. We establish that LtnI is a transmembrane protein that contains a number of individual residues and regions, such as those between amino acids 20 and 27 and amino acids 76 and 83, which are essential for LtnI function. Finally, as a consequence of the screening of a bank of 28,000 strains producing different LtnI derivatives, we identified one variant (LtnI I81V) that provides enhanced protection. To our knowledge, this is the first report of a lantibiotic immunity protein with enhanced functionality. PMID:22802258

  13. Insight into nucleon structure from lattice calculations of moments of parton and generalized parton distributions

    SciTech Connect

    J.W. Negele; R.C. Brower; P. Dreher; R. Edwards; G. Fleming; Ph. Hagler; U.M. Heller; Th. Lippert; A.V.Pochinsky; D.B. Renner; D. Richards; K. Schilling; W. Schroers

    2004-04-01

    This talk presents recent calculations in full QCD of the lowest three moments of generalized parton distributions and the insight they provide into the behavior of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, the origin of the nucleon spin, and the transverse structure of the nucleon. In addition, new exploratory calculations in the chiral regime of full QCD are discussed.

  14. The Manifest Association Structure of the Single-Factor Model: Insights from Partial Correlations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salgueiro, Maria de Fatima; Smith, Peter W. F.; McDonald, John W.

    2008-01-01

    The association structure between manifest variables arising from the single-factor model is investigated using partial correlations. The additional insights to the practitioner provided by partial correlations for detecting a single-factor model are discussed. The parameter space for the partial correlations is presented, as are the patterns of…

  15. High-density interspecific genetic linkage mapping provides insights into genomic incompatibility between channel catfish and blue catfish.

    PubMed

    Liu, S; Li, Y; Qin, Z; Geng, X; Bao, L; Kaltenboeck, L; Kucuktas, H; Dunham, R; Liu, Z

    2016-02-01

    Catfish is the leading aquaculture species in the United States. The interspecific hybrid catfish produced by mating female channel catfish with male blue catfish outperform both of their parent species in a number of traits. However, mass production of the hybrids has been difficult because of reproductive isolation. Investigations of genome structure and organization of the hybrids provide insights into the genetic basis for maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow, thereby helping develop strategies for introgression and efficient production of the hybrids for aquaculture. In this study, we constructed a high-density genetic linkage map using the hybrid catfish system with the catfish 250K SNP array. A total of 26,238 SNPs were mapped to 29 linkage groups, with 12,776 unique marker positions. The linkage map spans approximately 3240 cM with an average intermarker distance of 0.25 cM. A fraction of markers (986 of 12,776) exhibited significant deviation from the expected Mendelian ratio of segregation, and they were clustered in major genomic blocks across 15 LGs, most notably LG9 and LG15. The distorted markers exhibited significant bias for maternal alleles among the backcross progenies, suggesting strong selection against the blue catfish alleles. The clustering of distorted markers within genomic blocks should lend insights into speciation as marked by incompatibilities between the two species. Such findings should also have profound implications for understanding the genomic evolution of closely related species as well as the introgression of hybrid production programs in aquaculture. PMID:26537786

  16. High-density interspecific genetic linkage mapping provides insights into genomic incompatibility between channel catfish and blue catfish.

    PubMed

    Liu, S; Li, Y; Qin, Z; Geng, X; Bao, L; Kaltenboeck, L; Kucuktas, H; Dunham, R; Liu, Z

    2016-02-01

    Catfish is the leading aquaculture species in the United States. The interspecific hybrid catfish produced by mating female channel catfish with male blue catfish outperform both of their parent species in a number of traits. However, mass production of the hybrids has been difficult because of reproductive isolation. Investigations of genome structure and organization of the hybrids provide insights into the genetic basis for maintenance of species divergence in the face of gene flow, thereby helping develop strategies for introgression and efficient production of the hybrids for aquaculture. In this study, we constructed a high-density genetic linkage map using the hybrid catfish system with the catfish 250K SNP array. A total of 26,238 SNPs were mapped to 29 linkage groups, with 12,776 unique marker positions. The linkage map spans approximately 3240 cM with an average intermarker distance of 0.25 cM. A fraction of markers (986 of 12,776) exhibited significant deviation from the expected Mendelian ratio of segregation, and they were clustered in major genomic blocks across 15 LGs, most notably LG9 and LG15. The distorted markers exhibited significant bias for maternal alleles among the backcross progenies, suggesting strong selection against the blue catfish alleles. The clustering of distorted markers within genomic blocks should lend insights into speciation as marked by incompatibilities between the two species. Such findings should also have profound implications for understanding the genomic evolution of closely related species as well as the introgression of hybrid production programs in aquaculture.

  17. Signal Transduction in Histidine Kinases: Insights from New Structures

    PubMed Central

    Bhate, Manasi P.; Molnar, Kathleen S.; Goulian, Mark; DeGrado, William F.

    2015-01-01

    Histidine kinases (HKs) are major players in bacterial signaling. There has been an explosion of new HK crystal structures in the last five years. We globally analyze the structures of HKs to yield insights into the mechanisms by which signals are transmitted to and across protein structures in this family. We interpret known enzymological data in the context of new structural data to show how asymmetry across the dimer interface is a key feature of signal transduction in HKs, and discuss how different HK domains undergo asymmetric-to-symmetric transitions during signal transduction and catalysis. A thermodynamic framework for signaling that encompasses these various properties is presented and the consequences of weak thermodynamic coupling are discussed. The synthesis of observations from enzymology, structural biology, protein engineering and thermodynamics paves the way for a deeper molecular understanding of histidine kinase signal transduction. PMID:25982528

  18. Serial analysis of gene expression provides new insights into regulatory T cells.

    PubMed

    Cobbold, Stephen P; Adams, Elizabeth; Graca, Luis; Waldmann, Herman

    2003-08-01

    It is now possible to induce donor-specific transplantation tolerance in adult rodents using a number of therapeutic strategies. Such peripheral tolerance is maintained by regulatory CD4+ T cells, not only in transplantation models, but also in autoimmunity. Differential gene expression analyses have been used to identify potential new markers for regulatory T cells, aiming to reveal new insights into their mechanisms of action, and to find novel targets for therapeutic manipulation of the immune system. PMID:14690045

  19. The channel catfish genome sequence provides insights into the evolution of scale formation in teleosts

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Zhanjiang; Liu, Shikai; Yao, Jun; Bao, Lisui; Zhang, Jiaren; Li, Yun; Jiang, Chen; Sun, Luyang; Wang, Ruijia; Zhang, Yu; Zhou, Tao; Zeng, Qifan; Fu, Qiang; Gao, Sen; Li, Ning; Koren, Sergey; Jiang, Yanliang; Zimin, Aleksey; Xu, Peng; Phillippy, Adam M.; Geng, Xin; Song, Lin; Sun, Fanyue; Li, Chao; Wang, Xiaozhu; Chen, Ailu; Jin, Yulin; Yuan, Zihao; Yang, Yujia; Tan, Suxu; Peatman, Eric; Lu, Jianguo; Qin, Zhenkui; Dunham, Rex; Li, Zhaoxia; Sonstegard, Tad; Feng, Jianbin; Danzmann, Roy G.; Schroeder, Steven; Scheffler, Brian; Duke, Mary V.; Ballard, Linda; Kucuktas, Huseyin; Kaltenboeck, Ludmilla; Liu, Haixia; Armbruster, Jonathan; Xie, Yangjie; Kirby, Mona L.; Tian, Yi; Flanagan, Mary Elizabeth; Mu, Weijie; Waldbieser, Geoffrey C.

    2016-01-01

    Catfish represent 12% of teleost or 6.3% of all vertebrate species, and are of enormous economic value. Here we report a high-quality reference genome sequence of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), the major aquaculture species in the US. The reference genome sequence was validated by genetic mapping of 54,000 SNPs, and annotated with 26,661 predicted protein-coding genes. Through comparative analysis of genomes and transcriptomes of scaled and scaleless fish and scale regeneration experiments, we address the genomic basis for the most striking physical characteristic of catfish, the evolutionary loss of scales and provide evidence that lack of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins accounts for the evolutionary loss of scales in catfish. The channel catfish reference genome sequence, along with two additional genome sequences and transcriptomes of scaled catfishes, provide crucial resources for evolutionary and biological studies. This work also demonstrates the power of comparative subtraction of candidate genes for traits of structural significance. PMID:27249958

  20. The channel catfish genome sequence provides insights into the evolution of scale formation in teleosts.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhanjiang; Liu, Shikai; Yao, Jun; Bao, Lisui; Zhang, Jiaren; Li, Yun; Jiang, Chen; Sun, Luyang; Wang, Ruijia; Zhang, Yu; Zhou, Tao; Zeng, Qifan; Fu, Qiang; Gao, Sen; Li, Ning; Koren, Sergey; Jiang, Yanliang; Zimin, Aleksey; Xu, Peng; Phillippy, Adam M; Geng, Xin; Song, Lin; Sun, Fanyue; Li, Chao; Wang, Xiaozhu; Chen, Ailu; Jin, Yulin; Yuan, Zihao; Yang, Yujia; Tan, Suxu; Peatman, Eric; Lu, Jianguo; Qin, Zhenkui; Dunham, Rex; Li, Zhaoxia; Sonstegard, Tad; Feng, Jianbin; Danzmann, Roy G; Schroeder, Steven; Scheffler, Brian; Duke, Mary V; Ballard, Linda; Kucuktas, Huseyin; Kaltenboeck, Ludmilla; Liu, Haixia; Armbruster, Jonathan; Xie, Yangjie; Kirby, Mona L; Tian, Yi; Flanagan, Mary Elizabeth; Mu, Weijie; Waldbieser, Geoffrey C

    2016-01-01

    Catfish represent 12% of teleost or 6.3% of all vertebrate species, and are of enormous economic value. Here we report a high-quality reference genome sequence of channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), the major aquaculture species in the US. The reference genome sequence was validated by genetic mapping of 54,000 SNPs, and annotated with 26,661 predicted protein-coding genes. Through comparative analysis of genomes and transcriptomes of scaled and scaleless fish and scale regeneration experiments, we address the genomic basis for the most striking physical characteristic of catfish, the evolutionary loss of scales and provide evidence that lack of secretory calcium-binding phosphoproteins accounts for the evolutionary loss of scales in catfish. The channel catfish reference genome sequence, along with two additional genome sequences and transcriptomes of scaled catfishes, provide crucial resources for evolutionary and biological studies. This work also demonstrates the power of comparative subtraction of candidate genes for traits of structural significance. PMID:27249958

  1. The Epigenome of Schistosoma mansoni Provides Insight about How Cercariae Poise Transcription until Infection

    PubMed Central

    Freitag, Michael; Parrinello, Hugues; Groth, Marco; Emans, Rémi; Cosseau, Céline; Grunau, Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Background Chromatin structure can control gene expression and can define specific transcription states. For example, bivalent methylation of histone H3K4 and H3K27 is linked to poised transcription in vertebrate embryonic stem cells (ESC). It allows them to rapidly engage specific developmental pathways. We reasoned that non-vertebrate metazoans that encounter a similar developmental constraint (i.e. to quickly start development into a new phenotype) might use a similar system. Schistosomes are parasitic platyhelminthes that are characterized by passage through two hosts: a mollusk as intermediate host and humans or rodents as definitive host. During its development, the parasite undergoes drastic changes, most notable immediately after infection of the definitive host, i.e. during the transition from the free-swimming cercariae into adult worms. Methodology/Principal Findings We used Chromatin Immunoprecipitation followed by massive parallel sequencing (ChIP-Seq) to analyze genome-wide chromatin structure of S. mansoni on the level of histone modifications (H3K4me3, H3K27me3, H3K9me3, and H3K9ac) in cercariae, schistosomula and adults (available at http://genome.univ-perp.fr). We saw striking differences in chromatin structure between the developmental stages, but most importantly we found that cercariae possess a specific combination of marks at the transcription start sites (TSS) that has similarities to a structure found in ESC. We demonstrate that in cercariae no transcription occurs, and we provide evidences that cercariae do not possess large numbers of canonical stem cells. Conclusions/Significance We describe here a broad view on the epigenome of a metazoan parasite. Most notably, we find bivalent histone H3 methylation in cercariae. Methylation of H3K27 is removed during transformation into schistosomula (and stays absent in adults) and transcription is activated. In addition, shifts of H3K9 methylation and acetylation occur towards upstream and

  2. Structural and Mechanistic Insights into C-P Bond Hydrolysis by Phosphonoacetate Hydrolase

    SciTech Connect

    Agarwal, Vinayak; Borisova, Svetlana A.; Metcalf, William W.; van der Donk, Wilfred A.; Nair, Satish K.

    2011-12-22

    Bacteria have evolved pathways to metabolize phosphonates as a nutrient source for phosphorus. In Sinorhizobium meliloti 1021, 2-aminoethylphosphonate is catabolized to phosphonoacetate, which is converted to acetate and inorganic phosphate by phosphonoacetate hydrolase (PhnA). Here we present detailed biochemical and structural characterization of PhnA that provides insights into the mechanism of C-P bond cleavage. The 1.35 {angstrom} resolution crystal structure reveals a catalytic core similar to those of alkaline phosphatases and nucleotide pyrophosphatases but with notable differences, such as a longer metal-metal distance. Detailed structure-guided analysis of active site residues and four additional cocrystal structures with phosphonoacetate substrate, acetate, phosphonoformate inhibitor, and a covalently bound transition state mimic provide insight into active site features that may facilitate cleavage of the C-P bond. These studies expand upon the array of reactions that can be catalyzed by enzymes of the alkaline phosphatase superfamily.

  3. Discovery of cyclotides in the fabaceae plant family provides new insights into the cyclization, evolution, and distribution of circular proteins.

    PubMed

    Poth, Aaron G; Colgrave, Michelle L; Philip, Reynold; Kerenga, Bomai; Daly, Norelle L; Anderson, Marilyn A; Craik, David J

    2011-04-15

    Cyclotides are plant proteins whose defining structural features are a head-to-tail cyclized backbone and three interlocking disulfide bonds, which in combination are known as a cyclic cystine knot. This unique structural motif confers cyclotides with exceptional resistance to proteolysis. Their endogenous function is thought to be as plant defense agents, associated with their insecticidal and larval growth-inhibitory properties. However, in addition, an array of pharmaceutically relevant biological activities has been ascribed to cyclotides, including anti-HIV, anthelmintic, uterotonic, and antimicrobial effects. So far, >150 cyclotides have been elucidated from members of the Rubiaceae, Violaceae, and Cucurbitaceae plant families, but their wider distribution among other plant families remains unclear. Clitoria ternatea (Butterfly pea) is a member of plant family Fabaceae and through its usage in traditional medicine to aid childbirth bears similarity to Oldenlandia affinis, from which many cyclotides have been isolated. Using a combination of nanospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) analyses, we examined seed extracts of C. ternatea and discovered cyclotides in the Fabaceae, the third-largest family of flowering plants. We characterized 12 novel cyclotides, thus expanding knowledge of cyclotide distribution and evolution within the plant kingdom. The discovery of cyclotides containing novel sequence motifs near the in planta cyclization site has provided new insights into cyclotide biosynthesis. In particular, MS analyses of the novel cyclotides from C. ternatea suggest that Asn to Asp variants at the cyclization site are more common than previously recognized. Moreover, this study provides impetus for the examination of other economically and agriculturally significant species within Fabaceae, now the largest plant family from which cyclotides have been described. PMID:21194241

  4. Discovery of cyclotides in the fabaceae plant family provides new insights into the cyclization, evolution, and distribution of circular proteins.

    PubMed

    Poth, Aaron G; Colgrave, Michelle L; Philip, Reynold; Kerenga, Bomai; Daly, Norelle L; Anderson, Marilyn A; Craik, David J

    2011-04-15

    Cyclotides are plant proteins whose defining structural features are a head-to-tail cyclized backbone and three interlocking disulfide bonds, which in combination are known as a cyclic cystine knot. This unique structural motif confers cyclotides with exceptional resistance to proteolysis. Their endogenous function is thought to be as plant defense agents, associated with their insecticidal and larval growth-inhibitory properties. However, in addition, an array of pharmaceutically relevant biological activities has been ascribed to cyclotides, including anti-HIV, anthelmintic, uterotonic, and antimicrobial effects. So far, >150 cyclotides have been elucidated from members of the Rubiaceae, Violaceae, and Cucurbitaceae plant families, but their wider distribution among other plant families remains unclear. Clitoria ternatea (Butterfly pea) is a member of plant family Fabaceae and through its usage in traditional medicine to aid childbirth bears similarity to Oldenlandia affinis, from which many cyclotides have been isolated. Using a combination of nanospray and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF) analyses, we examined seed extracts of C. ternatea and discovered cyclotides in the Fabaceae, the third-largest family of flowering plants. We characterized 12 novel cyclotides, thus expanding knowledge of cyclotide distribution and evolution within the plant kingdom. The discovery of cyclotides containing novel sequence motifs near the in planta cyclization site has provided new insights into cyclotide biosynthesis. In particular, MS analyses of the novel cyclotides from C. ternatea suggest that Asn to Asp variants at the cyclization site are more common than previously recognized. Moreover, this study provides impetus for the examination of other economically and agriculturally significant species within Fabaceae, now the largest plant family from which cyclotides have been described.

  5. Battling Carpal Tunnel Syndrome through Ergonomics: A Case Study of Texas A&M's Library Provides Insights and Answers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thornton, Joyce K.

    1995-01-01

    Current library automation practices and new technologies have forced library managers to seek some means of reducing carpal tunnel syndrome, and a case study of Texas A&M's library provides insights. Highlights include identifying and assessing the injuries, adjusting work surfaces, testing and selecting new keyboards, and developing adjustable…

  6. Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication.

    PubMed

    Kimura, Birgitta; Marshall, Fiona B; Chen, Shanyuan; Rosenbom, Sónia; Moehlman, Patricia D; Tuross, Noreen; Sabin, Richard C; Peters, Joris; Barich, Barbara; Yohannes, Hagos; Kebede, Fanuel; Teclai, Redae; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Mulligan, Connie J

    2011-01-01

    Genetic data from extant donkeys (Equus asinus) have revealed two distinct mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, suggestive of two separate domestication events in northeast Africa about 5000 years ago. Without distinct phylogeographic structure in domestic donkey haplogroups and with little information on the genetic makeup of the ancestral African wild ass, however, it has been difficult to identify wild ancestors and geographical origins for the domestic mitochondrial clades. Our analysis of ancient archaeological and historic museum samples provides the first genetic information on the historic Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus), Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and ancient donkey. The results demonstrate that the Nubian wild ass was an ancestor of the first donkey haplogroup. In contrast, the Somali wild ass has considerable mitochondrial divergence from the Nubian wild ass and domestic donkeys. These findings resolve the long-standing issue of the role of the Nubian wild ass in the domestication of the donkey, but raise new questions regarding the second ancestor for the donkey. Our results illustrate the complexity of animal domestication, and have conservation implications for critically endangered Nubian and Somali wild ass.

  7. Ancient DNA from Nubian and Somali wild ass provides insights into donkey ancestry and domestication

    PubMed Central

    Kimura, Birgitta; Marshall, Fiona B.; Chen, Shanyuan; Rosenbom, Sónia; Moehlman, Patricia D.; Tuross, Noreen; Sabin, Richard C.; Peters, Joris; Barich, Barbara; Yohannes, Hagos; Kebede, Fanuel; Teclai, Redae; Beja-Pereira, Albano; Mulligan, Connie J.

    2011-01-01

    Genetic data from extant donkeys (Equus asinus) have revealed two distinct mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, suggestive of two separate domestication events in northeast Africa about 5000 years ago. Without distinct phylogeographic structure in domestic donkey haplogroups and with little information on the genetic makeup of the ancestral African wild ass, however, it has been difficult to identify wild ancestors and geographical origins for the domestic mitochondrial clades. Our analysis of ancient archaeological and historic museum samples provides the first genetic information on the historic Nubian wild ass (Equus africanus africanus), Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) and ancient donkey. The results demonstrate that the Nubian wild ass was an ancestor of the first donkey haplogroup. In contrast, the Somali wild ass has considerable mitochondrial divergence from the Nubian wild ass and domestic donkeys. These findings resolve the long-standing issue of the role of the Nubian wild ass in the domestication of the donkey, but raise new questions regarding the second ancestor for the donkey. Our results illustrate the complexity of animal domestication, and have conservation implications for critically endangered Nubian and Somali wild ass. PMID:20667880

  8. Neuroanatomy of the Vestimentiferan Tubeworm Lamellibrachia satsuma Provides Insights into the Evolution of the Polychaete Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Norio; Shinozaki, Ayuta; Fujiwara, Yoshihiro

    2013-01-01

    Vestimentiferan tubeworms are marine invertebrates that inhabit chemosynthetic environments, and although recent molecular phylogenetic analyses have suggested that vestimentiferan tubeworms are derived from polychaete annelids, they show some morphological features that are different from other polychaetes. For example, vestimentiferans lack a digestive tract and have less body segments and comparative neuroanatomy can provide essential insight into the vestimentiferan body plan and its evolution. In the present study, we investigated the adult nervous system in the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia satsuma using antibodies against synapsin, serotonin, FMRMamide and acetylated α-tubulin. We also examined the expressions of neural marker genes, elav and synaptotagmin to reveal the distribution of neuronal cell bodies. Brain anatomy shows simple organization in Lamellibrachia compared to other polychaetes. This simplification is probably due to the loss of the digestive tract, passing through the body between the brain and the subesophageal ganglion. In contrast, the ventral nerve cord shows a repeated organizational structure as in the other polychaetes, despite the absence of the multiple segmentation of the trunk. These results suggest that the brain anatomy is variable depending on the function and the condition of surrounding tissues, and that the formation of the rope ladder-like nervous system of the ventral nerve cord is independent from segmentation in polychaetes. PMID:23372830

  9. Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea genome, transcriptome and secretome provides insight into its pioneer colonization strategies of wood.

    PubMed

    Hori, Chiaki; Ishida, Takuya; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Master, Emma; Ferreira, Patricia; Ruiz-Dueñas, Francisco J; Held, Benjamin; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F; Schmoll, Monika; Druzhinina, Irina S; Kubicek, Christian P; Gaskell, Jill A; Kersten, Phil; St John, Franz; Glasner, Jeremy; Sabat, Grzegorz; Splinter BonDurant, Sandra; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Yadav, Jagjit; Mgbeahuruike, Anthony C; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Asiegbu, Fred O; Lackner, Gerald; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Rencoret, Jorge; Gutiérrez, Ana; Sun, Hui; Lindquist, Erika; Barry, Kerrie; Riley, Robert; Grigoriev, Igor V; Henrissat, Bernard; Kües, Ursula; Berka, Randy M; Martínez, Angel T; Covert, Sarah F; Blanchette, Robert A; Cullen, Daniel

    2014-12-01

    Collectively classified as white-rot fungi, certain basidiomycetes efficiently degrade the major structural polymers of wood cell walls. A small subset of these Agaricomycetes, exemplified by Phlebiopsis gigantea, is capable of colonizing freshly exposed conifer sapwood despite its high content of extractives, which retards the establishment of other fungal species. The mechanism(s) by which P. gigantea tolerates and metabolizes resinous compounds have not been explored. Here, we report the annotated P. gigantea genome and compare profiles of its transcriptome and secretome when cultured on fresh-cut versus solvent-extracted loblolly pine wood. The P. gigantea genome contains a conventional repertoire of hydrolase genes involved in cellulose/hemicellulose degradation, whose patterns of expression were relatively unperturbed by the absence of extractives. The expression of genes typically ascribed to lignin degradation was also largely unaffected. In contrast, genes likely involved in the transformation and detoxification of wood extractives were highly induced in its presence. Their products included an ABC transporter, lipases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Other regulated genes of unknown function and several constitutively expressed genes are also likely involved in P. gigantea's extractives metabolism. These results contribute to our fundamental understanding of pioneer colonization of conifer wood and provide insight into the diverse chemistries employed by fungi in carbon cycling processes.

  10. Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea Genome, Transcriptome and Secretome Provides Insight into Its Pioneer Colonization Strategies of Wood

    DOE PAGES

    Hori, Chiaki; Ishida, Takuya; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Master, Emma; Ferreira, Patricia; Ruiz-Dueñas, Francisco J.; Held, Benjamin; Canessa, Paulo; et al

    2014-12-04

    Collectively classified as white-rot fungi, certain basidiomycetes efficiently degrade the major structural polymers of wood cell walls. A small subset of these Agaricomycetes, exemplified by Phlebiopsis gigantea, is capable of colonizing freshly exposed conifer sapwood despite its high content of extractives, which retards the establishment of other fungal species. The mechanism(s) by which P. gigantea tolerates and metabolizes resinous compounds have not been explored. Here, we report the annotated P. gigantea genome and compare profiles of its transcriptome and secretome when cultured on freshcut versus solvent-extracted loblolly pine wood. The P. gigantea genome contains a conventional repertoire of hydrolase genesmore » involved in cellulose/hemicellulose degradation, whose patterns of expression were relatively unperturbed by the absence of extractives. The expression of genes typically ascribed to lignin degradation was also largely unaffected. In contrast, genes likely involved in the transformation and detoxification of wood extractives were highly induced in its presence. Their products included an ABC transporter, lipases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Other regulated genes of unknown function and several constitutively expressed genes are also likely involved in P. gigantea’s extractives metabolism. These results contribute to our fundamental understanding of pioneer colonization of conifer wood and provide insight into the diverse chemistries employed by fungi in carbon cycling processes.« less

  11. Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea Genome, Transcriptome and Secretome Provides Insight into Its Pioneer Colonization Strategies of Wood

    SciTech Connect

    Hori, Chiaki; Ishida, Takuya; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Master, Emma; Ferreira, Patricia; Ruiz-Dueñas, Francisco J.; Held, Benjamin; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F.; Schmoll, Monika; Druzhinina, Irina S.; Kubicek, Christian P.; Gaskell, Jill A.; Kersten, Phil; St. John, Franz; Glasner, Jeremy; Sabat, Grzegorz; Splinter BonDurant, Sandra; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Yadav, Jagjit; Mgbeahuruike, Anthony C.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Asiegbu, Fred O.; Lackner, Gerald; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Rencoret, Jorge; Gutiérrez, Ana; Sun, Hui; Lindquist, Erika; Barry, Kerrie; Riley, Robert; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Henrissat, Bernard; Berka, Randy M.; Martínez, Angel T.; Covert, Sarah F.; Blanchette, Robert A.; Cullen, Daniel; Copenhaver, Gregory P.

    2014-12-04

    Collectively classified as white-rot fungi, certain basidiomycetes efficiently degrade the major structural polymers of wood cell walls. A small subset of these Agaricomycetes, exemplified by Phlebiopsis gigantea, is capable of colonizing freshly exposed conifer sapwood despite its high content of extractives, which retards the establishment of other fungal species. The mechanism(s) by which P. gigantea tolerates and metabolizes resinous compounds have not been explored. Here, we report the annotated P. gigantea genome and compare profiles of its transcriptome and secretome when cultured on freshcut versus solvent-extracted loblolly pine wood. The P. gigantea genome contains a conventional repertoire of hydrolase genes involved in cellulose/hemicellulose degradation, whose patterns of expression were relatively unperturbed by the absence of extractives. The expression of genes typically ascribed to lignin degradation was also largely unaffected. In contrast, genes likely involved in the transformation and detoxification of wood extractives were highly induced in its presence. Their products included an ABC transporter, lipases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Other regulated genes of unknown function and several constitutively expressed genes are also likely involved in P. gigantea’s extractives metabolism. These results contribute to our fundamental understanding of pioneer colonization of conifer wood and provide insight into the diverse chemistries employed by fungi in carbon cycling processes.

  12. Analysis of the Phlebiopsis gigantea Genome, Transcriptome and Secretome Provides Insight into Its Pioneer Colonization Strategies of Wood

    PubMed Central

    Hori, Chiaki; Ishida, Takuya; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Suzuki, Hitoshi; Master, Emma; Ferreira, Patricia; Ruiz-Dueñas, Francisco J.; Held, Benjamin; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F.; Schmoll, Monika; Druzhinina, Irina S.; Kubicek, Christian P.; Gaskell, Jill A.; Kersten, Phil; St. John, Franz; Glasner, Jeremy; Sabat, Grzegorz; Splinter BonDurant, Sandra; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Yadav, Jagjit; Mgbeahuruike, Anthony C.; Kovalchuk, Andriy; Asiegbu, Fred O.; Lackner, Gerald; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Rencoret, Jorge; Gutiérrez, Ana; Sun, Hui; Lindquist, Erika; Barry, Kerrie; Riley, Robert; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Henrissat, Bernard; Kües, Ursula; Berka, Randy M.; Martínez, Angel T.; Covert, Sarah F.; Blanchette, Robert A.; Cullen, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    Collectively classified as white-rot fungi, certain basidiomycetes efficiently degrade the major structural polymers of wood cell walls. A small subset of these Agaricomycetes, exemplified by Phlebiopsis gigantea, is capable of colonizing freshly exposed conifer sapwood despite its high content of extractives, which retards the establishment of other fungal species. The mechanism(s) by which P. gigantea tolerates and metabolizes resinous compounds have not been explored. Here, we report the annotated P. gigantea genome and compare profiles of its transcriptome and secretome when cultured on fresh-cut versus solvent-extracted loblolly pine wood. The P. gigantea genome contains a conventional repertoire of hydrolase genes involved in cellulose/hemicellulose degradation, whose patterns of expression were relatively unperturbed by the absence of extractives. The expression of genes typically ascribed to lignin degradation was also largely unaffected. In contrast, genes likely involved in the transformation and detoxification of wood extractives were highly induced in its presence. Their products included an ABC transporter, lipases, cytochrome P450s, glutathione S-transferase and aldehyde dehydrogenase. Other regulated genes of unknown function and several constitutively expressed genes are also likely involved in P. gigantea's extractives metabolism. These results contribute to our fundamental understanding of pioneer colonization of conifer wood and provide insight into the diverse chemistries employed by fungi in carbon cycling processes. PMID:25474575

  13. Recent advances in bone biology provide insight into the pathogenesis of bone diseases.

    PubMed

    Boyce, B F; Hughes, D E; Wright, K R; Xing, L; Dai, A

    1999-02-01

    Bone is modeled during embryonic development by endochondral and membranous ossification and is continuously remodeled thereafter under the influence of local and systemic factors to provide structural support and assist in calcium homeostasis. Recent studies of knockout and transgenic mice have increased understanding of the regulation of bone modeling during development and of remodeling of mature bone and have shed new light on the pathogenesis of a number of bone disorders. For example, fibroblast growth factor receptor-3, parathyroid hormone-related protein, and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase affect the function of chondrocytes during endochondral ossification (the latter two by regulating their life spans and thus growth plate thickness and bone length). Some ubiquitously expressed genes seem unexpectedly to have unique functions that are largely confined to bone cells: M-CSF, C-Fos, PU.1, and NF-kappaB are required for osteoclast formation, whereas c-Src and Mitf (microphthalmia transcription factor) are required for osteoclast activity after the cells have formed. Knockout of these genes results in osteopetrosis, a disorder characterized by persistence in marrow cavities of unresorbed osteocartilaginous matrix and, as in some affected humans, by increased mortality. Some proteins seem to act as negative regulators of bone cell function, for example osteoprotegerin (a soluble TNF receptor) in osteoclasts; osteocalcin, bone sialoprotein, and 5-lipoxygenase in osteoblasts. Regulation of osteoclast life span may be an important mechanism by which estrogen and bisphosphonates prevent bone loss in conditions characterized by increased bone resorption, such as postmenopausal osteoporosis. The unique requirement of bone cells for certain gene products raises the possibility that these cells may have specific responses to inhibitory or stimulatory agents, and that signaling molecules in these response pathways could be specific targets for novel therapies to

  14. Chimeric DCL1-Partnering Proteins Provide Insights into the MicroRNA Pathway.

    PubMed

    Reis, Rodrigo S; Eamens, Andrew L; Roberts, Thomas H; Waterhouse, Peter M

    2015-01-01

    In Arabidopsis thaliana, efficient microRNA (miRNA) production requires DICER-LIKE1 (DCL1) with the assistance of a partnering protein, DOUBLE-STRANDED RNA BINDING1 (DRB1) or DRB2. The presence of either of these DRB proteins is crucial to determine the mode of action of a miRNA; i.e., cleavage or translation inhibition. Here we studied the structural determinants for the role of DRB1 and DRB2 in the miRNA pathway. We developed a series of chimeric vectors encoding different functional domains of DRB1 and DRB2, and expressed these in the drb1 mutant background in Arabidopsis under the control of the native DRB1 promoter. Complementation of the drb1 developmental phenotype was used to assess the biological role that each functional domain of DRB1 and DRB2 mediates in the miRNA-guided transcript cleavage pathway. The DRB1 amino acid sequence differs considerably to that of DRB2, and analysis of drb1 transgenic lines revealed that the first dsRNA-binding domains of DRB1 and DRB2 are functionally similar; in contrast, the dsRBD2 of DRB1 and DRB2 appear functionally distinct. Our bioinformatic analysis further suggests that the C-terminal domain of DRB2 mediates a functional role in the miRNA pathway, whereas its counterpart in DRB1 is known to be dispensable. Our results provide evidence for the differences between DRB1 and DRB2 proteins in vivo, which may be essential for the selection of the miRNA regulatory mechanisms, and suggest that these features are conserved among land plants. PMID:26779232

  15. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    PubMed

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-05-06

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk.

  16. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk

    PubMed Central

    Sanggaard, Kristian W.; Bechsgaard, Jesper S.; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F.; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B.; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J.; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U.; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  17. Spider genomes provide insight into composition and evolution of venom and silk.

    PubMed

    Sanggaard, Kristian W; Bechsgaard, Jesper S; Fang, Xiaodong; Duan, Jinjie; Dyrlund, Thomas F; Gupta, Vikas; Jiang, Xuanting; Cheng, Ling; Fan, Dingding; Feng, Yue; Han, Lijuan; Huang, Zhiyong; Wu, Zongze; Liao, Li; Settepani, Virginia; Thøgersen, Ida B; Vanthournout, Bram; Wang, Tobias; Zhu, Yabing; Funch, Peter; Enghild, Jan J; Schauser, Leif; Andersen, Stig U; Villesen, Palle; Schierup, Mikkel H; Bilde, Trine; Wang, Jun

    2014-01-01

    Spiders are ecologically important predators with complex venom and extraordinarily tough silk that enables capture of large prey. Here we present the assembled genome of the social velvet spider and a draft assembly of the tarantula genome that represent two major taxonomic groups of spiders. The spider genomes are large with short exons and long introns, reminiscent of mammalian genomes. Phylogenetic analyses place spiders and ticks as sister groups supporting polyphyly of the Acari. Complex sets of venom and silk genes/proteins are identified. We find that venom genes evolved by sequential duplication, and that the toxic effect of venom is most likely activated by proteases present in the venom. The set of silk genes reveals a highly dynamic gene evolution, new types of silk genes and proteins, and a novel use of aciniform silk. These insights create new opportunities for pharmacological applications of venom and biomaterial applications of silk. PMID:24801114

  18. The elite cross-country skier provides unique insights into human exercise physiology.

    PubMed

    Holmberg, H-C

    2015-12-01

    Successful cross-country skiing, one of the most demanding of endurance sports, involves considerable physiological challenges posed by the combined upper- and lower-body effort of varying intensity and duration, on hilly terrain, often at moderate altitude and in a cold environment. Over the years, this unique sport has helped physiologists gain novel insights into the limits of human performance and regulatory capacity. There is a long-standing tradition of researchers in this field working together with coaches and athletes to improve training routines, monitor progress, and refine skiing techniques. This review summarizes research on elite cross-country skiers, with special emphasis on the studies initiated by Professor Bengt Saltin. He often employed exercise as a means to learn more about the human body, successfully engaging elite endurance athletes to improve our understanding of the demands, characteristics, and specific effects associated with different types of exercise.

  19. Insights into RNA structure and function from genome-wide studies.

    PubMed

    Mortimer, Stefanie A; Kidwell, Mary Anne; Doudna, Jennifer A

    2014-07-01

    A comprehensive understanding of RNA structure will provide fundamental insights into the cellular function of both coding and non-coding RNAs. Although many RNA structures have been analysed by traditional biophysical and biochemical methods, the low-throughput nature of these approaches has prevented investigation of the vast majority of cellular transcripts. Triggered by advances in sequencing technology, genome-wide approaches for probing the transcriptome are beginning to reveal how RNA structure affects each step of protein expression and RNA stability. In this Review, we discuss the emerging relationships between RNA structure and the regulation of gene expression. PMID:24821474

  20. Whole Genome Sequencing of Mycobacterium africanum Strains from Mali Provides Insights into the Mechanisms of Geographic Restriction

    PubMed Central

    Maiga, Mamoudou; Abeel, Thomas; Shea, Terrance; Desjardins, Christopher A.; Diarra, Bassirou; Baya, Bocar; Sanogo, Moumine; Diallo, Souleymane; Earl, Ashlee M.; Bishai, William R.

    2016-01-01

    Background Mycobacterium africanum, made up of lineages 5 and 6 within the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex (MTC), causes up to half of all tuberculosis cases in West Africa, but is rarely found outside of this region. The reasons for this geographical restriction remain unknown. Possible reasons include a geographically restricted animal reservoir, a unique preference for hosts of West African ethnicity, and an inability to compete with other lineages outside of West Africa. These latter two hypotheses could be caused by loss of fitness or altered interactions with the host immune system. Methodology/Principal Findings We sequenced 92 MTC clinical isolates from Mali, including two lineage 5 and 24 lineage 6 strains. Our genome sequencing assembly, alignment, phylogeny and average nucleotide identity analyses enabled us to identify features that typify lineages 5 and 6 and made clear that these lineages do not constitute a distinct species within the MTC. We found that in Mali, lineage 6 and lineage 4 strains have similar levels of diversity and evolve drug resistance through similar mechanisms. In the process, we identified a putative novel streptomycin resistance mutation. In addition, we found evidence of person-to-person transmission of lineage 6 isolates and showed that lineage 6 is not enriched for mutations in virulence-associated genes. Conclusions This is the largest collection of lineage 5 and 6 whole genome sequences to date, and our assembly and alignment data provide valuable insights into what distinguishes these lineages from other MTC lineages. Lineages 5 and 6 do not appear to be geographically restricted due to an inability to transmit between West African hosts or to an elevated number of mutations in virulence-associated genes. However, lineage-specific mutations, such as mutations in cell wall structure, secretion systems and cofactor biosynthesis, provide alternative mechanisms that may lead to host specificity. PMID:26751217

  1. Analysis of BAC end sequences in oak, a keystone forest tree species, providing insight into the composition of its genome

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background One of the key goals of oak genomics research is to identify genes of adaptive significance. This information may help to improve the conservation of adaptive genetic variation and the management of forests to increase their health and productivity. Deep-coverage large-insert genomic libraries are a crucial tool for attaining this objective. We report herein the construction of a BAC library for Quercus robur, its characterization and an analysis of BAC end sequences. Results The EcoRI library generated consisted of 92,160 clones, 7% of which had no insert. Levels of chloroplast and mitochondrial contamination were below 3% and 1%, respectively. Mean clone insert size was estimated at 135 kb. The library represents 12 haploid genome equivalents and, the likelihood of finding a particular oak sequence of interest is greater than 99%. Genome coverage was confirmed by PCR screening of the library with 60 unique genetic loci sampled from the genetic linkage map. In total, about 20,000 high-quality BAC end sequences (BESs) were generated by sequencing 15,000 clones. Roughly 5.88% of the combined BAC end sequence length corresponded to known retroelements while ab initio repeat detection methods identified 41 additional repeats. Collectively, characterized and novel repeats account for roughly 8.94% of the genome. Further analysis of the BESs revealed 1,823 putative genes suggesting at least 29,340 genes in the oak genome. BESs were aligned with the genome sequences of Arabidopsis thaliana, Vitis vinifera and Populus trichocarpa. One putative collinear microsyntenic region encoding an alcohol acyl transferase protein was observed between oak and chromosome 2 of V. vinifera. Conclusions This BAC library provides a new resource for genomic studies, including SSR marker development, physical mapping, comparative genomics and genome sequencing. BES analysis provided insight into the structure of the oak genome. These sequences will be used in the assembly of a

  2. The locust genome provides insight into swarm formation and long-distance flight

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Xianhui; Fang, Xiaodong; Yang, Pengcheng; Jiang, Xuanting; Jiang, Feng; Zhao, Dejian; Li, Bolei; Cui, Feng; Wei, Jianing; Ma, Chuan; Wang, Yundan; He, Jing; Luo, Yuan; Wang, Zhifeng; Guo, Xiaojiao; Guo, Wei; Wang, Xuesong; Zhang, Yi; Yang, Meiling; Hao, Shuguang; Chen, Bing; Ma, Zongyuan; Yu, Dan; Xiong, Zhiqiang; Zhu, Yabing; Fan, Dingding; Han, Lijuan; Wang, Bo; Chen, Yuanxin; Wang, Junwen; Yang, Lan; Zhao, Wei; Feng, Yue; Chen, Guanxing; Lian, Jinmin; Li, Qiye; Huang, Zhiyong; Yao, Xiaoming; Lv, Na; Zhang, Guojie; Li, Yingrui; Wang, Jian; Wang, Jun; Zhu, Baoli; Kang, Le

    2014-01-01

    Locusts are one of the world’s most destructive agricultural pests and represent a useful model system in entomology. Here we present a draft 6.5 Gb genome sequence of Locusta migratoria, which is the largest animal genome sequenced so far. Our findings indicate that the large genome size of L. migratoria is likely to be because of transposable element proliferation combined with slow rates of loss for these elements. Methylome and transcriptome analyses reveal complex regulatory mechanisms involved in microtubule dynamic-mediated synapse plasticity during phase change. We find significant expansion of gene families associated with energy consumption and detoxification, consistent with long-distance flight capacity and phytophagy. We report hundreds of potential insecticide target genes, including cys-loop ligand-gated ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors and lethal genes. The L. migratoria genome sequence offers new insights into the biology and sustainable management of this pest species, and will promote its wide use as a model system. PMID:24423660

  3. Neutral nuclear variation in Baboons (genus Papio) provides insights into their evolutionary and demographic histories.

    PubMed

    Boissinot, Stéphane; Alvarez, Lauren; Giraldo-Ramirez, Juliana; Tollis, Marc

    2014-12-01

    Baboons (genus Papio) are distributed over most of sub-Saharan Africa and in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. Six distinct morphotypes, with clearly defined geographic distributions, are recognized (the olive, chacma, yellow, Guinea, Kinda, and hamadryas baboons). The evolutionary relationships among baboon forms have long been a controversial issue. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed that the modern baboon morphotypes are mitochondrially paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The discordance between mitochondrial lineages and morphology is indicative of extensive introgressive hybridization between ancestral baboon populations. To gain insights into the evolutionary relationships among morphotypes and their demographic history, we performed an analysis of nuclear variation in baboons. We sequenced 13 noncoding, putatively neutral, nuclear regions, and scored the presence/absence of 18 polymorphic transposable elements in a sample of 45 baboons belonging to five of the six recognized baboon forms. We found that the chacma baboon is the sister-taxon to all other baboons and the yellow baboon is the sister-taxon to an unresolved northern clade containing the olive, Guinea, and hamadryas baboons. We estimated that the diversification of baboons occurred entirely in the Pleistocene, the earliest split dating ∼1.5 million years ago, and that baboons have experienced relatively large and constant effective population sizes for most of their evolutionary history (∼30,000 to 95,000 individuals).

  4. Future directions: molecular approaches provide insights into palatal clefting and repair.

    PubMed

    Liu, Karen J

    2012-01-01

    Normal development of the palate depends on spatial and temporal coordination of complex cellular processes and tissue-tissue interactions. Because these processes are quite sensitive to environmental and genetic perturbation, clefts of the palate are among the most common congenital anomalies seen in live births. The clinical burden of cleft palate is significant, as conventional treatments include surgical repair combined with long-term rehabilitation. Affected children may require multiple operations and often have secondary problems such as perturbed speech development, dental occlusion, maxillary growth deficiencies and otitis media. Recent reports, from patient studies and mouse models, have implicated a number of genes in palatogenesis. It is difficult to pinpoint the direct pathological effects of specific genes in humans; therefore, the majority of mechanistic insights have derived from murine models. Furthermore, recent technological advances have made mice an ideal system for studying the signalling events associated with cleft palate. This review discusses several illustrative examples of genetic or molecular studies in which in utero reversal of cleft palate reveals sequential requirements in palate formation. As we develop a more comprehensive understanding of the genetic mechanisms underlying normal and pathological palate development, we can begin to consider the possibility of molecular tools to complement or even replace surgical interventions.

  5. Neutral Nuclear Variation in Baboons (genus Papio) Provides Insights into their Evolutionary and Demographic Histories

    PubMed Central

    Boissinot, Stéphane; Alvarez, Lauren; Giraldo-Ramirez, Juliana; Tollis, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Baboons (genus Papio) are distributed over most of sub-Saharan Africa and in the southern portion of the Arabian Peninsula. Six distinct morphotypes, with clearly defined geographic distributions, are recognized (the olive, chacma, yellow, Guinea, Kinda and hamadryas baboons). The evolutionary relationships among baboon forms have long been a controversial issue. Phylogenetic analyses based on mitochondrial DNA sequences revealed that the modern baboon morphotypes are mitochondrially paraphyletic or polyphyletic. The discordance between mitochondrial lineages and morphology is indicative of extensive introgressive hybridization between ancestral baboon populations. To gain insights into the evolutionary relationships among morphotypes and their demographic history, we performed an analysis of nuclear variation in baboons. We sequenced 13 non-coding, putatively neutral, nuclear regions and scored the presence/absence of 18 polymorphic transposable elements in a sample of 45 baboons belonging to five of the six recognized baboon forms. We found that the chacma baboon is the sister-taxon to all other baboons and the yellow baboon is the sister-taxon to an unresolved northern clade containing the olive, Guinea and hamadryas baboons. We estimated that the diversification of baboons occurred entirely in the Pleistocene, the earliest split dating ~1.5 million years ago, and that baboons have experienced relatively large and constant population sizes for most of their evolutionary history (~30,000 to 95,000 individuals). PMID:25234435

  6. Structural insights into bacterial recognition of intestinal mucins.

    PubMed

    Etzold, Sabrina; Juge, Nathalie

    2014-10-01

    The mucosal layer covering our gut epithelium represents the first line of host defenses against the luminal content, while enabling contacts between the resident microbiota and the host. Mucus is mainly composed of mucins, large glycoproteins containing a protein core and a high number of O-linked oligosaccharides. Mucin glycans act as binding sites or carbon sources for the intestinal microbes, thereby functioning as a host-specific determinant affecting the microbiota composition and human health. Reflecting the structural diversity of mucin glycans and their prime location, commensal and pathogenic microbes have evolved a range of adhesins allowing their interaction with the host. However, despite the recognised importance of mucin glycans in modulating intestinal homeostasis, information on carbohydrate-binding proteins from gut bacteria is disparate. This review is focussed on recent structural insights into host-microbe interactions mediated by mucins.

  7. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    PubMed

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape. PMID:24486486

  8. Comparative molecular epidemiology provides new insights into Zucchini yellow mosaic virus occurrence in France.

    PubMed

    Lecoq, H; Wipf-Scheibel, C; Nozeran, K; Millot, P; Desbiez, C

    2014-06-24

    Zucchini yellow mosaic virus (ZYMV, genus Potyvirus) causes important crop losses in cucurbits worldwide. In France, ZYMV epidemics are sporadic but occasionally very severe. This contrasts with Watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus) which causes regular and early epidemics. Factors influencing ZYMV epidemiology are still poorly understood. In order to gain new insights on the ecology and epidemiology of this virus, a 5-year multilocation trial was conducted in which ZYMV spread and populations were studied in each of the 20 plot/year combinations and compared with WMV. Search for ZYMV alternative hosts was conducted by testing weeds growing naturally around one plot and also by checking ZYMV natural infections in selected ornamental species. Although similar ZYMV populations were observed occasionally in the same plot in two successive years suggesting the occurrence of overwintering hosts nearby, only two Lamium amplexicaule plants were found to be infected by ZYMV of 3459 weed samples that were tested. The scarcity of ZYMV reservoirs contrasts with the frequent detection of WMV in the same samples. Since ZYMV and WMV have many aphid vectors in common and are transmitted with similar efficiencies, the differences observed in ZYMV and WMV reservoir abundances could be a major explanatory factor for the differences observed in the typology of ZYMV and WMV epidemics in France. Other potential ZYMV alternative hosts have been identified in ornamental species including begonia. Although possible in a few cases, exchanges of populations between different plots located from 500 m to 4 km apart seem uncommon. Therefore, the potential dissemination range of ZYMV by its aphid vectors seems to be rather limited in a fragmented landscape.

  9. Calorimetric, spectroscopic, and model studies provide insight into the transport of Ti(IV) by human serum transferrin.

    PubMed

    Tinoco, Arthur D; Incarvito, Christopher D; Valentine, Ann M

    2007-03-21

    Evidence suggests that transferrin can bind Ti(IV) in an unhydrolyzed form (without bound hydroxide or oxide) or in a hydrolyzed form. Ti(IV) coordination by N,N'-di(o-hydroxybenzyl)ethylenediamine-N,N'-diacetic acid (HBED) at different pH values models the two forms of Ti(IV)-loaded transferrin spectrally and structurally. 13C NMR and stopped-flow kinetic experiments reveal that when the metal is delivered to the protein using an unhydrolyzed source, Ti(IV) can coordinate in the typical distorted octahedral environment with a bound synergistic anion. The crystal structure of TiHBED obtained at low pH models this type of coordination. The solution structure of the complex compares favorably with the solid state from pH 3.0 to 4.0, and the complex can be reduced with E1/2 = -641 mV vs NHE. Kinetic and thermodynamic competition studies at pH 3.0 reveal that Ti(citrate)3 reacts with HBED via a dissociative mechanism and that the stability of TiHBED (log beta = 34.024) is weaker than that of the Fe(III) complex. pH stability studies show that Ti(IV) hydrolyzes ligand waters at higher pH but still remains bound to HBED until pH 9.5. Similarly, at a pH greater than 8.0 the synergistic anion that binds Ti(IV) in transferrin is readily displaced by irreversible metal hydrolysis although the metal remains bound to the protein until pH 9.5. Thermal denaturation studies conducted optically and by differential scanning calorimetry reveal that Ti(IV)-bound transferrin experiences only minimal enhanced thermal stability unlike when Fe(III) is bound. The C- and N-lobe transition Tm values shift to a few degrees higher. The stability, competition, and redox studies performed provide insight into the possible mechanism of Ti2-Tf transport in cells. PMID:17315875

  10. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases.

    PubMed

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard; Rompel, Annette

    2016-03-29

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze theo-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme's interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate-enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO's acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their--so far unknown--natural substrates in vivo.

  11. The teeth and faces of twins: providing insights into dentofacial development and oral health for practising oral health professionals.

    PubMed

    Hughes, T E; Townsend, G C; Pinkerton, S K; Bockmann, M R; Seow, W K; Brook, A H; Richards, L C; Mihailidis, S; Ranjitkar, S; Lekkas, D

    2014-06-01

    The continuing studies of the teeth and faces of Australian twins and their families in the Craniofacial Biology Research Group in the School of Dentistry at the University of Adelaide began 30 years ago. Three main cohorts of twins have been recruited, enabling various objectives and specific hypotheses to be addressed about the roles of genetic, epigenetic and environmental influences on human dentofacial growth and development, as well as oral health. This paper highlights some key findings arising from these studies, emphasizing those of direct relevance to practising oral health professionals. We also draw on published literature to review the significant developments in relation to the use of precision 2D and 3D imaging equipment, the application of modern molecular techniques, and the development of sophisticated computer software for analysing genetic relationships and comparing complex shapes. Such developments are valuable for current and future work. Apart from the classical or traditional twin model, there are several other twin models that can be used in research to clarify the relative contributions of genetic, epigenetic and environmental contributions to phenotypic variation. The monozygotic (MZ) co-twin model is one particularly valuable method, given that examination of only one pair of MZ twins can provide considerable insights into underlying causes of observed variation. This model can be used in a dental practice environment, with oral health professionals having the opportunity to explore differences in orofacial structures between MZ co-twins who are attending as patients. As researchers have become more aware of the complexities of the interactions between the genome, the epigenome and the environment during development, there is the need to collect more phenotypic data and define new phenotypes that will better characterize variations in growth processes and health status. When coupled with powerful new genetic approaches, including genome

  12. Community proteomics provides functional insight into polyhydroxyalkanoate production by a mixed microbial culture cultivated on fermented dairy manure.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Andrea J; Guho, Nicholas M; Paszczynski, Andrzej J; Coats, Erik R

    2016-09-01

    Polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs) are bio-based, biodegradable polyesters that can be produced from organic-rich waste streams using mixed microbial cultures (MMCs). To maximize PHA production, MMCs are enriched for bacteria with a high polymer storage capacity through the application of aerobic dynamic feeding (ADF) in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR), which consequently induces a feast-famine metabolic response. Though the feast-famine response is generally understood empirically at a macro-level, the molecular level is less refined. The objective of this study was to investigate the microbial community composition and proteome profile of an enriched MMC cultivated on fermented dairy manure. The enriched MMC exhibited a feast-famine response and was capable of producing up to 40 % (wt. basis) PHA in a fed-batch reactor. High-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing revealed a microbial community dominated by Meganema, a known PHA-producing genus not often observed in high abundance in enrichment SBRs. The application of the proteomic methods two-dimensional electrophoresis and LC-MS/MS revealed PHA synthesis, energy generation, and protein synthesis prominently occurring during the feast phase, corroborating bulk solution variable observations and theoretical expectations. During the famine phase, nutrient transport, acyl-CoA metabolism, additional energy generation, and housekeeping functions were more pronounced, informing previously under-determined MMC functionality under famine conditions. During fed-batch PHA production, acetyl-CoA acetyltransferase and PHA granule-bound phasin proteins were in increased abundance relative to the SBR, supporting the higher PHA content observed. Collectively, the results provide unique microbial community structural and functional insight into feast-famine PHA production from waste feedstocks using MMCs. PMID:27147532

  13. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases.

    PubMed

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard; Rompel, Annette

    2016-03-29

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze theo-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme's interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate-enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO's acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their--so far unknown--natural substrates in vivo. PMID:26976571

  14. Aurone synthase is a catechol oxidase with hydroxylase activity and provides insights into the mechanism of plant polyphenol oxidases

    PubMed Central

    Molitor, Christian; Mauracher, Stephan Gerhard

    2016-01-01

    Tyrosinases and catechol oxidases belong to the family of polyphenol oxidases (PPOs). Tyrosinases catalyze the o-hydroxylation and oxidation of phenolic compounds, whereas catechol oxidases were so far defined to lack the hydroxylation activity and catalyze solely the oxidation of o-diphenolic compounds. Aurone synthase from Coreopsis grandiflora (AUS1) is a specialized plant PPO involved in the anabolic pathway of aurones. We present, to our knowledge, the first crystal structures of a latent plant PPO, its mature active and inactive form, caused by a sulfation of a copper binding histidine. Analysis of the latent proenzyme’s interface between the shielding C-terminal domain and the main core provides insights into its activation mechanisms. As AUS1 did not accept common tyrosinase substrates (tyrosine and tyramine), the enzyme is classified as a catechol oxidase. However, AUS1 showed hydroxylase activity toward its natural substrate (isoliquiritigenin), revealing that the hydroxylase activity is not correlated with the acceptance of common tyrosinase substrates. Therefore, we propose that the hydroxylase reaction is a general functionality of PPOs. Molecular dynamics simulations of docked substrate–enzyme complexes were performed, and a key residue was identified that influences the plant PPO’s acceptance or rejection of tyramine. Based on the evidenced hydroxylase activity and the interactions of specific residues with the substrates during the molecular dynamics simulations, a novel catalytic reaction mechanism for plant PPOs is proposed. The presented results strongly suggest that the physiological role of plant catechol oxidases were previously underestimated, as they might hydroxylate their—so far unknown—natural substrates in vivo. PMID:26976571

  15. Simplified three-dimensional model provides anatomical insights in lizards' caudal autotomy as printed illustration.

    PubMed

    De Amorim, Joana D C G; Travnik, Isadora; De Sousa, Bernadete M

    2015-03-01

    Lizards' caudal autotomy is a complex and vastly employed antipredator mechanism, with thorough anatomic adaptations involved. Due to its diminished size and intricate structures, vertebral anatomy is hard to be clearly conveyed to students and researchers of other areas. Three-dimensional models are prodigious tools in unveiling anatomical nuances. Some of the techniques used to create them can produce irregular and complicated forms, which despite being very accurate, lack didactical uniformity and simplicity. Since both are considered fundamental characteristics for comprehension, a simplified model could be the key to improve learning. The model here presented depicts the caudal osteology of Tropidurus itambere, and was designed to be concise, in order to be easily assimilated, yet complete, not to compromise the informative aspect. The creation process requires only basic skills in manipulating polygons in 3D modeling softwares, in addition to the appropriate knowledge of the structure to be modeled. As reference for the modeling, we used microscopic observation and a photograph database of the caudal structures. This way, no advanced laboratory equipment was needed and all biological materials were preserved for future research. Therefore, we propose a wider usage of simplified 3D models both in the classroom and as illustrations for scientific publications.

  16. Reconstitution of the augmin complex provides insights into its architecture and function

    PubMed Central

    Hsia, Kuo-Chiang; Wilson-Kubalek, Elizabeth M.; Dottore, Alejandro; Hao, Qi; Tsai, Kuang-Lei; Forth, Scott; Shimamoto, Yuta; Milligan, Ronald A.; Kapoor, Tarun M.

    2014-01-01

    Proper microtubule nucleation during cell division requires augmin, a microtubule-associated hetero-octameric protein complex. In current models, augmin recruits γ-tubulin, via its hDgt6 subunit’s C-terminus, to nucleate microtubules within spindles. However, augmin’s biochemical complexity has restricted analysis of its structural organization and function. Here, we reconstitute human augmin and show it is a Y-shaped complex that can adopt multiple conformations. Further, we find that a dimeric sub-complex retains in vitro microtubule-binding properties of octameric complexes, but not proper metaphase spindle localization. Addition of octameric augmin complexes to Xenopus egg extracts promotes microtubule aster formation, an activity enhanced by Ran-GTP. This activity requires microtubule binding, but not the characterized hDgt6 γ-tubulin-recruitment domain. Tetrameric sub-complexes induce asters, but activity and microtubule bundling within asters are reduced compared to octameric complexes. Together, our findings shed light on augmin’s structural organization, microtubule binding properties and define subunits required for its function in organizing microtubule-based structures. PMID:25173975

  17. Structural plasticity of Cid1 provides a basis for its distributive RNA terminal uridylyl transferase activity.

    PubMed

    Yates, Luke A; Durrant, Benjamin P; Fleurdépine, Sophie; Harlos, Karl; Norbury, Chris J; Gilbert, Robert J C

    2015-03-11

    Terminal uridylyl transferases (TUTs) are responsible for the post-transcriptional addition of uridyl residues to RNA 3' ends, leading in some cases to altered stability. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe TUT Cid1 is a model enzyme that has been characterized structurally at moderate resolution and provides insights into the larger and more complex mammalian TUTs, ZCCHC6 and ZCCHC11. Here, we report a higher resolution (1.74 Å) crystal structure of Cid1 that provides detailed evidence for uracil selection via the dynamic flipping of a single histidine residue. We also describe a novel closed conformation of the enzyme that may represent an intermediate stage in a proposed product ejection mechanism. The structural insights gained, combined with normal mode analysis and biochemical studies, demonstrate that the plasticity of Cid1, particularly about a hinge region (N164-N165), is essential for catalytic activity, and provide an explanation for its distributive uridylyl transferase activity. We propose a model clarifying observed differences between the in vitro apparently processive activity and in vivo distributive monouridylylation activity of Cid1. We suggest that modulating the flexibility of such enzymes-for example by the binding of protein co-factors-may allow them alternatively to add single or multiple uridyl residues to the 3' termini of RNA molecules. PMID:25712096

  18. Structural plasticity of Cid1 provides a basis for its distributive RNA terminal uridylyl transferase activity

    PubMed Central

    Yates, Luke A.; Durrant, Benjamin P.; Fleurdépine, Sophie; Harlos, Karl; Norbury, Chris J.; Gilbert, Robert J.C.

    2015-01-01

    Terminal uridylyl transferases (TUTs) are responsible for the post-transcriptional addition of uridyl residues to RNA 3′ ends, leading in some cases to altered stability. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe TUT Cid1 is a model enzyme that has been characterized structurally at moderate resolution and provides insights into the larger and more complex mammalian TUTs, ZCCHC6 and ZCCHC11. Here, we report a higher resolution (1.74 Å) crystal structure of Cid1 that provides detailed evidence for uracil selection via the dynamic flipping of a single histidine residue. We also describe a novel closed conformation of the enzyme that may represent an intermediate stage in a proposed product ejection mechanism. The structural insights gained, combined with normal mode analysis and biochemical studies, demonstrate that the plasticity of Cid1, particularly about a hinge region (N164–N165), is essential for catalytic activity, and provide an explanation for its distributive uridylyl transferase activity. We propose a model clarifying observed differences between the in vitro apparently processive activity and in vivo distributive monouridylylation activity of Cid1. We suggest that modulating the flexibility of such enzymes—for example by the binding of protein co-factors—may allow them alternatively to add single or multiple uridyl residues to the 3′ termini of RNA molecules. PMID:25712096

  19. Structural plasticity of Cid1 provides a basis for its distributive RNA terminal uridylyl transferase activity.

    PubMed

    Yates, Luke A; Durrant, Benjamin P; Fleurdépine, Sophie; Harlos, Karl; Norbury, Chris J; Gilbert, Robert J C

    2015-03-11

    Terminal uridylyl transferases (TUTs) are responsible for the post-transcriptional addition of uridyl residues to RNA 3' ends, leading in some cases to altered stability. The Schizosaccharomyces pombe TUT Cid1 is a model enzyme that has been characterized structurally at moderate resolution and provides insights into the larger and more complex mammalian TUTs, ZCCHC6 and ZCCHC11. Here, we report a higher resolution (1.74 Å) crystal structure of Cid1 that provides detailed evidence for uracil selection via the dynamic flipping of a single histidine residue. We also describe a novel closed conformation of the enzyme that may represent an intermediate stage in a proposed product ejection mechanism. The structural insights gained, combined with normal mode analysis and biochemical studies, demonstrate that the plasticity of Cid1, particularly about a hinge region (N164-N165), is essential for catalytic activity, and provide an explanation for its distributive uridylyl transferase activity. We propose a model clarifying observed differences between the in vitro apparently processive activity and in vivo distributive monouridylylation activity of Cid1. We suggest that modulating the flexibility of such enzymes-for example by the binding of protein co-factors-may allow them alternatively to add single or multiple uridyl residues to the 3' termini of RNA molecules.

  20. Assembly of Nsp1 Nucleoporins Provides Insight into Nuclear Pore Complex Gating

    PubMed Central

    Gamini, Ramya; Han, Wei; Stone, John E.; Schulten, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) form gateways for material transfer across the nuclear envelope of eukaryotic cells. Disordered proteins, rich in phenylalanine-glycine repeat motifs (FG-nups), form the central transport channel. Understanding how nups are arranged in the interior of the NPC may explain how NPC functions as a selectivity filter for transport of large molecules and a sieve-like filter for diffusion of small molecules (< or ). We employed molecular dynamics to model the structures formed by various assemblies of one kind of nup, namely the 609-aa-long FG domain of Nsp1 (Nsp1-FG). The simulations started from different initial conformations and geometrical arrangements of Nsp1-FGs. In all cases Nsp1-FGs collectively formed brush-like structures with bristles made of bundles of 2–27 nups, however, the bundles being cross-linked through single nups leaving one bundle and joining a nearby one. The degree of cross-linking varies with different initial nup conformations and arrangements. Structural analysis reveals that FG-repeats of the nups not only involve formation of bundle structures, but are abundantly present in cross-linking regions where the epitopes of FG-repeats are highly accessible. Large molecules that are assisted by transport factors (TFs) are selectively transported through NPC apparently by binding to FG-nups through populated FG-binding pockets on the TF surface. Therefore, our finding suggests that TFs bind concertedly to multiple FGs in cross-linking regions and break-up the bundles to create wide pores for themselves and their cargoes to pass. In addition, the cross-linking between Nsp1-FG bundles, arising from simulations, is found to set a molecular size limit of < for passive diffusion of molecules. Our simulations suggest that the NPC central channel, near the periphery where tethering of nups is dominant, features brush-like moderately cross-linked bundles, but in the central region, where tethering loses its effect, features a

  1. New insights about enzyme evolution from large scale studies of sequence and structure relationships.

    PubMed

    Brown, Shoshana D; Babbitt, Patricia C

    2014-10-31

    Understanding how enzymes have evolved offers clues about their structure-function relationships and mechanisms. Here, we describe evolution of functionally diverse enzyme superfamilies, each representing a large set of sequences that evolved from a common ancestor and that retain conserved features of their structures and active sites. Using several examples, we describe the different structural strategies nature has used to evolve new reaction and substrate specificities in each unique superfamily. The results provide insight about enzyme evolution that is not easily obtained from studies of one or only a few enzymes.

  2. Structural insights into the architecture of the hyperthermophilic Fusellovirus SSV1.

    PubMed

    Stedman, Kenneth M; DeYoung, Melissa; Saha, Mitul; Sherman, Michael B; Morais, Marc C

    2015-01-01

    The structure and assembly of many icosahedral and helical viruses are well-characterized. However, the molecular basis for the unique spindle-shaped morphology of many viruses that infect Archaea remains unknown. To understand the architecture and assembly of these viruses, the spindle-shaped virus SSV1 was examined using cryo-EM, providing the first 3D-structure of a spindle-shaped virus as well as insight into SSV1 biology, assembly and evolution. Furthermore, a geometric framework underlying the distinct spindle-shaped structure is proposed. PMID:25463608

  3. Structure-function insights of membrane and soluble proteins revealed by electron crystallography.

    PubMed

    Dreaden, Tina M; Devarajan, Bharanidharan; Barry, Bridgette A; Schmidt-Krey, Ingeborg

    2013-01-01

    Electron crystallography is emerging as an important method in solving protein structures. While it has found extensive applications in the understanding of membrane protein structure and function at a wide range of resolutions, from revealing oligomeric arrangements to atomic models, electron crystallography has also provided invaluable information on the soluble α/β-tubulin which could not be obtained by any other method to date. Examples of critical insights from selected structures of membrane proteins as well as α/β-tubulin are described here, demonstrating the vast potential of electron crystallography that is first beginning to unfold.

  4. Structural insights into the architecture of the hyperthermophilic Fusellovirus SSV1.

    PubMed

    Stedman, Kenneth M; DeYoung, Melissa; Saha, Mitul; Sherman, Michael B; Morais, Marc C

    2015-01-01

    The structure and assembly of many icosahedral and helical viruses are well-characterized. However, the molecular basis for the unique spindle-shaped morphology of many viruses that infect Archaea remains unknown. To understand the architecture and assembly of these viruses, the spindle-shaped virus SSV1 was examined using cryo-EM, providing the first 3D-structure of a spindle-shaped virus as well as insight into SSV1 biology, assembly and evolution. Furthermore, a geometric framework underlying the distinct spindle-shaped structure is proposed.

  5. Initial insights into structure-activity relationships of avian defensins.

    PubMed

    Derache, Chrystelle; Meudal, Hervé; Aucagne, Vincent; Mark, Kevin J; Cadène, Martine; Delmas, Agnès F; Lalmanach, Anne-Christine; Landon, Céline

    2012-03-01

    Numerous β-defensins have been identified in birds, and the potential use of these peptides as alternatives to antibiotics has been proposed, in particular to fight antibiotic-resistant and zoonotic bacterial species. Little is known about the mechanism of antibacterial activity of avian β-defensins, and this study was carried out to obtain initial insights into the involvement of structural features or specific residues in the antimicrobial activity of chicken AvBD2. Chicken AvBD2 and its enantiomeric counterpart were chemically synthesized. Peptide elongation and oxidative folding were both optimized. The similar antimicrobial activity measured for both L- and D-proteins clearly indicates that there is no chiral partner. Therefore, the bacterial membrane is in all likelihood the primary target. Moreover, this work indicates that the three-dimensional fold is required for an optimal antimicrobial activity, in particular for gram-positive bacterial strains. The three-dimensional NMR structure of chicken AvBD2 defensin displays the structural three-stranded antiparallel β-sheet characteristic of β-defensins. The surface of the molecule does not display any amphipathic character. In light of this new structure and of the king penguin AvBD103b defensin structure, the consensus sequence of the avian β-defensin family was analyzed. Well conserved residues were highlighted, and the potential strategic role of the lysine 31 residue of AvBD2 was emphasized. The synthetic AvBD2-K31A variant displayed substantial N-terminal structural modifications and a dramatic decrease in activity. Taken together, these results demonstrate the structural as well as the functional role of the critical lysine 31 residue in antimicrobial activity. PMID:22205704

  6. Human evolutionary history and contemporary evolutionary theory provide insight when assessing cultural group selection.

    PubMed

    Fuentes, Agustin; Kissel, Marc

    2016-01-01

    Richerson et al. provide a much needed roadmap for assessing cultural group selection (CGS) theory and for applying it to understanding variation between contemporary human groups. However, the current proposal lacks connection to relevant evidence from the human evolutionary record and requires a better integration with contemporary evolutionary theory. The article also misapplies the F st statistic. PMID:27562510

  7. Insights from the Sea: Structural Biology of Marine Polyketide Synthases

    PubMed Central

    Akey, David L.; Gehret, Jennifer J.; Khare, Dheeraj; Smith, Janet L.

    2013-01-01

    The world’s oceans are a rich source of natural products with extremely interesting chemistry. Biosynthetic pathways have been worked out for a few, and the story is being enriched with crystal structures of interesting pathway enzymes. By far, the greatest number of structural insights from marine biosynthetic pathways has originated with studies of curacin A, a poster child for interesting marine chemistry with its cyclopropane and thiazoline rings, internal cis double bond, and terminal alkene. Using the curacin A pathway as a model, structural details are now available for a novel loading enzyme with remarkable dual decarboxylase and acetyltransferase activities, an Fe2+/α-ketoglutarate-dependent halogenase that dictates substrate binding order through conformational changes, a decarboxylase that establishes regiochemistry for cyclopropane formation, and a thioesterase with specificity for β-sulfated substrates that lead to terminal alkene offloading. The four curacin A pathway dehydratases reveal an intrinsic flexibility that may accommodate bulky or stiff polyketide intermediates. In the salinosporamide A pathway, active site volume determines the halide specificity of a halogenase that catalyzes for the synthesis of a halogenated building block. Structures of a number of putative polyketide cyclases may help in understanding reaction mechanisms and substrate specificities although their substrates are presently unknown. PMID:22498975

  8. Variation revealed by SNP genotyping and morphology provides insight into the origin of the tomato.

    PubMed

    Blanca, Jose; Cañizares, Joaquín; Cordero, Laura; Pascual, Laura; Diez, María José; Nuez, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato.The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes) were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs). The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took plants from

  9. Variation Revealed by SNP Genotyping and Morphology Provides Insight into the Origin of the Tomato

    PubMed Central

    Cordero, Laura; Pascual, Laura; Diez, María José; Nuez, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    Tomato, Solanum lycopersicum, is divided into two widely distributed varieties: the cultivated S. lycopersicum var. lycopersicum, and the weedy S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme. Solanum pimpinellifolium is the most closely related wild species of tomato. The roles of S. pimpinellifolium and S. l. cerasiforme during the domestication of tomato are still under debate. Some authors consider S. l. cerasiforme to be the ancestor, whereas others think that S. l. cerasiforme is an admixture of S. pimpinellifolium and the cultivated S. l. lycopersicum. It is also not clear whether the domestication occurred in the Andean region or in Mesoamerica. We characterized 272 accessions (63 S. pimpinellifolium, 106 S. l. cerasiforme, 95 S. l. lycopersicum and 8 derived from hybridization processes) were morphologically and genetically using the SolCap platform (7,414 SNPs). The two species were distinguished in a PCA analysis and displayed a rich geographic structure. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme and S. l. lycopersicum were also differentiated in the PCA and Structure analyses, which supports maintaining them as different varieties. Solanum pimpinellifolium and the Andean S. l. cerasiforme were more diverse than the non-Andean S. lycopersicum. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme was morphologically and molecularly intermediate between S. pimpinellifolium and tomato. Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme, with the exception of several Ecuadorian and Mexican accessions, is composed of the products of admixture processes according to the Structure analysis. The non-admixtured S. l. cerasiforme might be similar to the ancestral cultivars from which the cultivated tomato originated, and presents remarkable morphological diversity, including fruits of up to 6 cm in diameter. The data obtained would fit a model in which a pre-domestication took place in the Andean region, with the domestication being completed in Mesoamerica. Subsequently, the Spaniards took plants from

  10. Molecular dynamics simulations provide insights into the substrate specificity of FAOX family members.

    PubMed

    Rigoldi, Federica; Spero, Ludovica; Dalle Vedove, Andrea; Redaelli, Alberto; Parisini, Emilio; Gautieri, Alfonso

    2016-07-19

    Enzymatic assays based on Fructosyl Amino Acid Oxidases (FAOX) represent a potential, rapid and economical strategy to measure glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), which is in turn a reliable method to monitor the insurgence and the development of diabetes mellitus. However, the engineering of naturally occurring FAOX to specifically recognize fructosyl-valine (the glycated N-terminal residue of HbA1c) has been hindered by the paucity of information on the tridimensional structures and catalytic residues of the different FAOX that exist in nature, and in general on the molecular mechanisms that regulate specificity in this class of enzymes. In this study, we use molecular dynamics simulations and advanced modeling techniques to investigate five different relevant wild-type FAOX (Amadoriase I, Amadoriase II, PnFPOX, FPOX-E and N1-1-FAOD) in order to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that drive their specificity towards polar and nonpolar substrates. Specifically, we compare these five different FAOX in terms of overall folding, ligand entry tunnels, ligand binding residues and ligand binding energies. Our work will contribute to future enzyme structure modifications aimed at the rational design of novel biosensors for the monitoring of blood glucose levels. PMID:27327839

  11. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes.

    PubMed

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie; Xu, Xun; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jieming; Wang, Jintu; Qiu, Ying; Li, Wujiao; Zhang, Xinhui; Sun, Ying; Chen, Shixi; Hong, Wanshu; Li, Yuxiang; Cheng, Shifeng; Fan, Guangyi; Shi, Chengcheng; Liang, Jie; Tom Tang, Y; Yang, Chengye; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Bai, Jie; Peng, Chao; Mu, Qian; Lu, Jun; Fan, Mingjun; Yang, Shuang; Huang, Zhiyong; Jiang, Xuanting; Fang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Guojie; Zhang, Yong; Polgar, Gianluca; Yu, Hui; Li, Jia; Liu, Zhongjian; Zhang, Guoqiang; Ravi, Vydianathan; Coon, Steven L; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanming; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wang, Jun; Shi, Qiong

    2014-01-01

    Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers' tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision-related genes are differentially lost or mutated, illustrating genomic changes associated with aerial vision. Transcriptomic analyses of mudskippers exposed to air highlight regulatory pathways that are up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. The present study provides a valuable resource for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates. PMID:25463417

  12. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes.

    PubMed

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie; Xu, Xun; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jieming; Wang, Jintu; Qiu, Ying; Li, Wujiao; Zhang, Xinhui; Sun, Ying; Chen, Shixi; Hong, Wanshu; Li, Yuxiang; Cheng, Shifeng; Fan, Guangyi; Shi, Chengcheng; Liang, Jie; Tom Tang, Y; Yang, Chengye; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Bai, Jie; Peng, Chao; Mu, Qian; Lu, Jun; Fan, Mingjun; Yang, Shuang; Huang, Zhiyong; Jiang, Xuanting; Fang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Guojie; Zhang, Yong; Polgar, Gianluca; Yu, Hui; Li, Jia; Liu, Zhongjian; Zhang, Guoqiang; Ravi, Vydianathan; Coon, Steven L; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanming; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wang, Jun; Shi, Qiong

    2014-12-02

    Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers' tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision-related genes are differentially lost or mutated, illustrating genomic changes associated with aerial vision. Transcriptomic analyses of mudskippers exposed to air highlight regulatory pathways that are up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. The present study provides a valuable resource for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates.

  13. Mudskipper genomes provide insights into the terrestrial adaptation of amphibious fishes

    PubMed Central

    You, Xinxin; Bian, Chao; Zan, Qijie; Xu, Xun; Liu, Xin; Chen, Jieming; Wang, Jintu; Qiu, Ying; Li, Wujiao; Zhang, Xinhui; Sun, Ying; Chen, Shixi; Hong, Wanshu; Li, Yuxiang; Cheng, Shifeng; Fan, Guangyi; Shi, Chengcheng; Liang, Jie; Tom Tang, Y.; Yang, Chengye; Ruan, Zhiqiang; Bai, Jie; Peng, Chao; Mu, Qian; Lu, Jun; Fan, Mingjun; Yang, Shuang; Huang, Zhiyong; Jiang, Xuanting; Fang, Xiaodong; Zhang, Guojie; Zhang, Yong; Polgar, Gianluca; Yu, Hui; Li, Jia; Liu, Zhongjian; Zhang, Guoqiang; Ravi, Vydianathan; Coon, Steven L.; Wang, Jian; Yang, Huanming; Venkatesh, Byrappa; Wang, Jun; Shi, Qiong

    2014-01-01

    Mudskippers are amphibious fishes that have developed morphological and physiological adaptations to match their unique lifestyles. Here we perform whole-genome sequencing of four representative mudskippers to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying these adaptations. We discover an expansion of innate immune system genes in the mudskippers that may provide defence against terrestrial pathogens. Several genes of the ammonia excretion pathway in the gills have experienced positive selection, suggesting their important roles in mudskippers’ tolerance to environmental ammonia. Some vision-related genes are differentially lost or mutated, illustrating genomic changes associated with aerial vision. Transcriptomic analyses of mudskippers exposed to air highlight regulatory pathways that are up- or down-regulated in response to hypoxia. The present study provides a valuable resource for understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying water-to-land transition of vertebrates. PMID:25463417

  14. Electrochemical studies of capping agent adsorption provide insight into the formation of anisotropic gold nanocrystals.

    PubMed

    Danger, Brook R; Fan, Donna; Vivek, J P; Burgess, Ian J

    2012-12-21

    The ability of the 4-dimethylaminopyridine (DMAP) to stabilize and control the formation of anisotropic gold nanocrystals produced via the borohydride reduction of gold(III) salts is reported here. Electrochemical measurements of DMAP electrosorption on different low-index single crystal and polycrystalline electrodes is provided and shows a propensity for DMAP to preferentially adsorb on {100} facets. Measuring the electrochemical potential during nanocrystal formation shows that experimental conditions can easily be manipulated so that the growth of nanoseeds occurs at potentials that support preferential DMAP adsorption on {100} surfaces giving rise to highly anisotropic nanocrystals (nanorods, bipyramids, and nanopods). Nanopods with nearly 50 nm arm lengths are shown to form and produce a surface plasmon mode that extends well into the near IR (λ(max) ≈ 1350 nm). Evidence is provided of the slow, partial reduction of tetrachloroaurate to a DMAP stabilized Au(I) species. Shape control is achieved simply by varying the length of time, τ, that DMAP is allowed to partially reduce the Au(III) ions prior to the addition of the strong reducing agent, NaBH(4). Thus the role of DMAP in producing anisotropic particle shapes is shown to be multifunctional. A mechanism accounting for the dependence of particle shape on τ is provided. PMID:23186041

  15. Structural insights into transcription initiation by RNA polymerase II

    PubMed Central

    Grünberg, Sebastian; Hahn, Steven

    2013-01-01

    Transcriptional regulation is one of the most important steps in control of cell identity, growth, differentiation and development. Many signaling pathways controlling these processes ultimately target the core transcription machinery that, for protein coding genes, consists of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) and the general transcription factors (GTFs). New studies on the structure and mechanism of the core assembly and how it interfaces with promoter DNA and coactivator complexes have given tremendous insight into early steps in the initiation process, genome-wide binding, and mechanisms conserved for all nuclear and archaeal Pols. Here we review recent developments in dissecting the architecture of the Pol II core machinery with a focus on early and regulated steps in transcription initiation. PMID:24120742

  16. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane.

    PubMed

    Stanca, Sarmiza E; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-21

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  17. Magnetic apatite for structural insights on the plasma membrane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stanca, Sarmiza E.; Müller, Robert; Dellith, Jan; Nietzsche, Sandor; Stöckel, Stephan; Biskup, Christoph; Deckert, Volker; Krafft, Christoph; Popp, Jürgen; Fritzsche, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    The iron oxide-hydroxyapatite (FeOxHA) nanoparticles reported here differ from those reported before by their advantage of homogeneity and simple preparation; moreover, the presence of carboxymethyldextran (CMD), together with hydroxyapatite (HA), allows access to the cellular membrane, which makes our magnetic apatite unique. These nanoparticles combine magnetic behavior, Raman label ability and the property of interaction with the cellular membrane; they therefore represent an interesting material for structural differentiation of the cell membrane. It was observed by Raman spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and fluorescence microscopy that FeOxHA adheres to the plasma membrane and does not penetrate the membrane. These insights make the nanoparticles a promising material for magnetic cell sorting, e.g. in microfluidic device applications.

  18. Large-scale modeling provides insights into Arabidopsis's acclimation to changing light and temperature conditions.

    PubMed

    Töpfer, Nadine; Niokoloski, Zoran

    2013-09-01

    Classical flux balance analysis predicts steady-state flux distributions that maximize a given objective function. A recent study, Schuetz et al., (1) demonstrated that competing objectives constrain the metabolic fluxes in E. coli. For plants, with multiple cell types, fulfilling different functions, the objectives remain elusive and, therefore, hinder the prediction of actual fluxes, particularly for changing environments. In our study, we presented a novel approach to predict flux capacities for a large collection of metabolic pathways under eight different temperature and light conditions. (2) By integrating time-series transcriptomics data to constrain the flux boundaries of the metabolic model, we captured the time- and condition-specific state of the network. Although based on a single time-series experiment, the comparison of these capacities to a novel null model for transcript distribution allowed us to define a measure for differential behavior that accounts for the underlying network structure and the complex interplay of metabolic pathways.

  19. Glossina fuscipes populations provide insights for human African trypanosomiasis transmission in Uganda.

    PubMed

    Aksoy, Serap; Caccone, Adalgisa; Galvani, Alison P; Okedi, Loyce M

    2013-08-01

    Uganda has both forms of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT): the chronic gambiense disease in the northwest and the acute rhodesiense disease in the south. The recent spread of rhodesiense into central Uganda has raised concerns given the different control strategies the two diseases require. We present knowledge on the population genetics of the major vector species Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Uganda with a focus on population structure, measures of gene flow between populations, and the occurrence of polyandry. The microbiome composition and diversity is discussed, focusing on their potential role on trypanosome infection outcomes. We discuss the implications of these findings for large-scale tsetse control programs, including suppression or eradication, being undertaken in Uganda, and potential future genetic applications.

  20. Cambrian lobopodians and extant onychophorans provide new insights into early cephalization in Panarthropoda.

    PubMed

    Ou, Qiang; Shu, Degan; Mayer, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Cambrian lobopodians are important for understanding the evolution of arthropods, but despite their soft-bodied preservation, the organization of the cephalic region remains obscure. Here we describe new material of the early Cambrian lobopodian Onychodictyon ferox from southern China, which reveals hitherto unknown head structures. These include a proboscis with a terminal mouth, an anterior arcuate sclerite, a pair of ocellus-like eyes and branched, antenniform appendages associated with this ocular segment. These findings, combined with a comparison with other lobopodians, suggest that the head of the last common ancestor of fossil lobopodians and extant panarthropods comprized a single ocular segment with a proboscis and terminal mouth. The lack of specialized mouthparts in O. ferox and the involvement of non-homologous mouthparts in onychophorans, tardigrades and arthropods argue against a common origin of definitive mouth openings among panarthropods, whereas the embryonic stomodaeum might well be homologous at least in Onychophora and Arthropoda. PMID:23232391

  1. A Devonian predatory fish provides insights into the early evolution of modern sarcopterygians

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Jing; Zhu, Min; Ahlberg, Per Erik; Qiao, Tuo; Zhu, You’an; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liantao

    2016-01-01

    Crown or modern sarcopterygians (coelacanths, lungfishes, and tetrapods) differ substantially from stem sarcopterygians, such as Guiyu and Psarolepis, and a lack of transitional fossil taxa limits our understanding of the origin of the crown group. The Onychodontiformes, an enigmatic Devonian predatory fish group, seems to have characteristics of both stem and crown sarcopterygians but is difficult to place because of insufficient anatomical information. We describe the new skull material of Qingmenodus, a Pragian (~409-million-year-old) onychodont from China, using high-resolution computed tomography to image internal structures of the braincase. In addition to its remarkable similarities with stem sarcopterygians in the ethmosphenoid portion, Qingmenodus exhibits coelacanth-like neurocranial features in the otic region. A phylogenetic analysis based on a revised data set unambiguously assigns onychodonts to crown sarcopterygians as stem coelacanths. Qingmenodus thus bridges the morphological gap between stem sarcopterygians and coelacanths and helps to illuminate the early evolution and diversification of crown sarcopterygians. PMID:27386576

  2. A Devonian predatory fish provides insights into the early evolution of modern sarcopterygians.

    PubMed

    Lu, Jing; Zhu, Min; Ahlberg, Per Erik; Qiao, Tuo; Zhu, You'an; Zhao, Wenjin; Jia, Liantao

    2016-06-01

    Crown or modern sarcopterygians (coelacanths, lungfishes, and tetrapods) differ substantially from stem sarcopterygians, such as Guiyu and Psarolepis, and a lack of transitional fossil taxa limits our understanding of the origin of the crown group. The Onychodontiformes, an enigmatic Devonian predatory fish group, seems to have characteristics of both stem and crown sarcopterygians but is difficult to place because of insufficient anatomical information. We describe the new skull material of Qingmenodus, a Pragian (~409-million-year-old) onychodont from China, using high-resolution computed tomography to image internal structures of the braincase. In addition to its remarkable similarities with stem sarcopterygians in the ethmosphenoid portion, Qingmenodus exhibits coelacanth-like neurocranial features in the otic region. A phylogenetic analysis based on a revised data set unambiguously assigns onychodonts to crown sarcopterygians as stem coelacanths. Qingmenodus thus bridges the morphological gap between stem sarcopterygians and coelacanths and helps to illuminate the early evolution and diversification of crown sarcopterygians. PMID:27386576

  3. Glossina fuscipes populations provide insights for Human African Trypanosomiasis transmission in Uganda

    PubMed Central

    Aksoy, Serap; Caccone, Adalgisa; Galvani, Alison P.; Okedi, Loyce M.

    2013-01-01

    Uganda has both forms of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT): the chronic gambiense disease in the northwest and the acute rhodesiense disease in the south. The recent spread of rhodesiense into central Uganda has raised concerns given the different control strategies the two diseases require. We present knowledge on the population genetics of the major vector species Glossina fuscipes fuscipes in Uganda with a focus on population structure, measures of gene flow between populations, and the occurrence of polyandry. The microbiome composition and diversity is discussed, focusing on their potential role on trypanosome infection outcomes. We discuss the implications of these findings for large-scale tsetse control programs, including suppression or eradication, being undertaken in Uganda and potential future genetic applications. PMID:23845311

  4. Cambrian lobopodians and extant onychophorans provide new insights into early cephalization in Panarthropoda

    PubMed Central

    Ou, Qiang; Shu, Degan; Mayer, Georg

    2012-01-01

    Cambrian lobopodians are important for understanding the evolution of arthropods, but despite their soft-bodied preservation, the organization of the cephalic region remains obscure. Here we describe new material of the early Cambrian lobopodian Onychodictyon ferox from southern China, which reveals hitherto unknown head structures. These include a proboscis with a terminal mouth, an anterior arcuate sclerite, a pair of ocellus-like eyes and branched, antenniform appendages associated with this ocular segment. These findings, combined with a comparison with other lobopodians, suggest that the head of the last common ancestor of fossil lobopodians and extant panarthropods comprized a single ocular segment with a proboscis and terminal mouth. The lack of specialized mouthparts in O. ferox and the involvement of non-homologous mouthparts in onychophorans, tardigrades and arthropods argue against a common origin of definitive mouth openings among panarthropods, whereas the embryonic stomodaeum might well be homologous at least in Onychophora and Arthropoda. PMID:23232391

  5. In situ neutron diffraction under high pressure—Providing an insight into working catalysts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kandemir, Timur; Wallacher, Dirk; Hansen, Thomas; Liss, Klaus-Dieter; Naumann d'Alnoncourt, Raoul; Schlögl, Robert; Behrens, Malte

    2012-05-01

    In the present work the construction and application of a continuous flow cell is presented, from which neutron diffraction data could be obtained during catalytic reactions at high pressure. By coupling an online gas detection system, parallel structure and activity investigations of working catalysts under industrial relevant conditions are possible. The flow cell can be operated with different feed gases in a wide range from room temperature to 603 K. Pressures from ambient up to 6 MPa are applicable. An exchangeable sample positioning system makes the flow cell suitable for several different goniomter types on a variety of instrument beam lines. Complementary operational test measurements were carried out monitoring reduction of and methanol synthesis over a Cu/ZnO/Al2O3 catalyst at the high-flux powder diffraction beamline D1B at ILL and high-resolution diffraction beamline Echidna at ANSTO.

  6. Insights into HLA-G Genetics Provided by Worldwide Haplotype Diversity

    PubMed Central

    Castelli, Erick C.; Ramalho, Jaqueline; Porto, Iane O. P.; Lima, Thálitta H. A.; Felício, Leandro P.; Sabbagh, Audrey; Donadi, Eduardo A.; Mendes-Junior, Celso T.

    2014-01-01

    Human leukocyte antigen G (HLA-G) belongs to the family of non-classical HLA class I genes, located within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). HLA-G has been the target of most recent research regarding the function of class I non-classical genes. The main features that distinguish HLA-G from classical class I genes are (a) limited protein variability, (b) alternative splicing generating several membrane bound and soluble isoforms, (c) short cytoplasmic tail, (d) modulation of immune response (immune tolerance), and (e) restricted expression to certain tissues. In the present work, we describe the HLA-G gene structure and address the HLA-G variability and haplotype diversity among several populations around the world, considering each of its major segments [promoter, coding, and 3′ untranslated region (UTR)]. For this purpose, we developed a pipeline to reevaluate the 1000Genomes data and recover miscalled or missing genotypes and haplotypes. It became clear that the overall structure of the HLA-G molecule has been maintained during the evolutionary process and that most of the variation sites found in the HLA-G coding region are either coding synonymous or intronic mutations. In addition, only a few frequent and divergent extended haplotypes are found when the promoter, coding, and 3′UTRs are evaluated together. The divergence is particularly evident for the regulatory regions. The population comparisons confirmed that most of the HLA-G variability has originated before human dispersion from Africa and that the allele and haplotype frequencies have probably been shaped by strong selective pressures. PMID:25339953

  7. DNA Barcode Libraries Provide Insight into Continental Patterns of Avian Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Lijtmaer, Darío A.; Kerr, Kevin C. R.; Barreira, Ana S.; Hebert, Paul D. N.; Tubaro, Pablo L.

    2011-01-01

    Background The causes for the higher biodiversity in the Neotropics as compared to the Nearctic and the factors promoting species diversification in each region have been much debated. The refuge hypothesis posits that high tropical diversity reflects high speciation rates during the Pleistocene, but this conclusion has been challenged. The present study investigates this matter by examining continental patterns of avian diversification through the analysis of large-scale DNA barcode libraries. Methodology and Principal Findings Standardized COI datasets from the avifaunas of Argentina, the Nearctic, and the Palearctic were analyzed. Average genetic distances between closest congeners and sister species were higher in Argentina than in North America reflecting a much higher percentage of recently diverged species in the latter region. In the Palearctic genetic distances between closely related species appeared to be more similar to those of the southern Neotropics. Average intraspecific variation was similar in Argentina and North America, while the Palearctic fauna had a higher value due to a higher percentage of variable species. Geographic patterning of intraspecific structure was more complex in the southern Neotropics than in the Nearctic, while the Palearctic showed an intermediate level of complexity. Conclusions and Significance DNA barcodes can reveal continental patterns of diversification. Our analysis suggests that avian species are older in Argentina than in the Nearctic, supporting the idea that the greater diversity of the Neotropical avifauna is not caused by higher recent speciation rates. Species in the Palearctic also appear to be older than those in the Nearctic. These results, combined with the patterns of geographic structuring found in each region, suggest a major impact of Pleistocene glaciations in the Nearctic, a lesser effect in the Palearctic and a mild effect in the southern Neotropics. PMID:21818252

  8. Fluorescently labeled bacteria provide insight on post-mortem microbial transmigration.

    PubMed

    Burcham, Z M; Hood, J A; Pechal, J L; Krausz, K L; Bose, J L; Schmidt, C J; Benbow, M E; Jordan, H R

    2016-07-01

    Microbially mediated mechanisms of human decomposition begin immediately after death, and are a driving force for the conversion of a once living organism to a resource of energy and nutrients. Little is known about post-mortem microbiology in cadavers, particularly the community structure of microflora residing within the cadaver and the dynamics of these communities during decomposition. Recent work suggests these bacterial communities undergo taxa turnover and shifts in community composition throughout the post-mortem interval. In this paper we describe how the microbiome of a living host changes and transmigrates within the body after death thus linking the microbiome of a living individual to post-mortem microbiome changes. These differences in the human post-mortem from the ante-mortem microbiome have demonstrated promise as evidence in death investigations. We investigated the post-mortem structure and function dynamics of Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium perfringens after intranasal inoculation in the animal model Mus musculus L. (mouse) to identify how transmigration of bacterial species can potentially aid in post-mortem interval estimations. S. aureus was tracked using in vivo and in vitro imaging to determine colonization routes associated with different physiological events of host decomposition, while C. perfringens was tracked using culture-based techniques. Samples were collected at discrete time intervals associated with various physiological events and host decomposition beginning at 1h and ending at 60 days post-mortem. Results suggest that S. aureus reaches its highest concentration at 5-7 days post-mortem then begins to rapidly decrease and is undetectable by culture on day 30. The ability to track these organisms as they move in to once considered sterile space may be useful for sampling during autopsy to aid in determining post-mortem interval range estimations, cause of death, and origins associated with the geographic location of human

  9. Comparative genomics of Ceriporiopsis subvermispora and Phanerochaete chrysosporium provide insight into selective ligninolysis

    SciTech Connect

    Fernandez-Fueyo, Elena; Ruiz-Duenas, Francisco J.; Ferreira, Patrica; Floudas, Dimitrios; HIbbett, David S.; Canessa, Paulo; Larrondo, Luis F.; James, Tim Y.; Seelenfreund, Daniela; Lobos, Sergio; Polanco, Ruben; Tello, Mario; Honda, Yoichi; Watanabe, Takahito; Watanabe, Takashi; Ryu, Jae San; Kubicek, Christian P.; Schmoll, Monika; Gaskell, Jill; Hammel, Kenneth E.; John, Franz J.; Vanden Wymelenberg, Amber; Sabat, Grzegorz; Splinter BonDurant, Sandra; Syed, Khajamohiddin; Yadav, Jagjit S.; Doddapaneni, Harshavardhan; Subramanian, Venkataramanan; Lavin, Jose L.; Oguiza, Jose A.; Perez, Gumer; Pisabarro, Antonio G.; Ramirez, Lucia; Santoyo, Francisco; Master, Emma; Coutinho, Pedro M.; Henrissat, Bernard; Lombard, Vincent; Magnuson, Jon Karl; Kues, Ursula; Hori, Chiaki; Igarashi, Kiyohiko; Samejima, Masahiro; Held, Benjamin W.; Barry, Kerrie W.; LaButti, Kurt M.; Lapidus, Alla; Lindquist, Erika A.; Lucas, Susan M.; Riley, Robert; Salamov, Asaf A.; Hoffmeister, Dirk; Schwenk, Daniel; Hadar, Yitzhak; Yarden, Oded; de Vries, Ronald P.; Wiebenga, Ad; Stenlid, Jan; Eastwood, Daniel; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Berka, Randy M.; Blanchette, Robert A.; Kersten, Phil; Martinez, Angel T.; Vicuna, Rafael; Cullen, Dan

    2011-12-06

    Efficient lignin depolymerization is unique to the wood decay basidiomycetes, collectively referred to as white rot fungi. Phanerochaete chrysosporium simultaneously degrades lignin and cellulose, whereas the closely related species, Ceriporiopsis subvermispora, also depolymerizes lignin but may do so with relatively little cellulose degradation. To investigate the basis for selective ligninolysis, we conducted comparative genome analysis of C. subvermispora and P. chrysosporium. Genes encoding manganese peroxidase numbered 13 and five in C. subvermispora and P. chrysosporium, respectively. In addition, the C. subvermispora genome contains at least seven genes predicted to encode laccases, whereas the P. chrysosporium genome contains none. We also observed expansion of the number of C. subvermispora desaturase-encoding genes putatively involved in lipid metabolism. Microarray-based transcriptome analysis showed substantial up-regulation of several desaturase and MnP genes in wood-containing medium. MS identified MnP proteins in C. subvermispora culture filtrates, but none in P. chrysosporium cultures. These results support the importance of MnP and a lignin degradation mechanism whereby cleavage of the dominant nonphenolic structures is mediated by lipid peroxidation products. Two C. subvermispora genes were predicted to encode peroxidases structurally similar to P. chrysosporium lignin peroxidase and, following heterologous expression in Escherichia coli, the enzymes were shown to oxidize high redox potential substrates, but not Mn2. Apart from oxidative lignin degradation, we also examined cellulolytic and hemicellulolytic systems in both fungi. In summary, the C. subvermispora genetic inventory and expression patterns exhibit increased oxidoreductase potential and diminished cellulolytic capability relative to P. chrysosporium.

  10. Transcriptomics provides insight into Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) mantle function and its role in biomineralisation.

    PubMed

    Bjärnmark, Nadège A; Yarra, T; Churcher, A M; Felix, R C; Clark, M S; Power, D M

    2016-06-01

    The mantle is an organ common to all molluscs and is at the forefront of the biomineralisation process. The present study used the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) as a model species to investigate the structural and functional role of the mantle in shell formation. The transcriptomes of three regions of the mantle edge (umbo to posterior edge) were sequenced using Illumina technology which yielded a total of 61,674,325 reads after adapter trimming and filtering. The raw reads assembled into 179,879 transcripts with an N50 value of 1086bp. A total of 1363 transcripts (321, 223 and 816 in regions 1, 2 and 3, respectively) that differed in abundance in the three mantle regions were identified and putative function was assigned to 54% using BLAST sequence similarity searches (cut-off less than 1e(-10)). Morphological differences detected by histology of the three mantle regions was linked to functional heterogeneity by selecting the top five most abundant Pfam domains in the annotated 1363 differentially abundant transcripts across the three mantle regions. Calcium binding domains dominated region two (middle segment of the mantle edge). Candidate biomineralisation genes were mined and tested by qPCR. This revealed that Flp-like, a penicillin binding protein potentially involved in shell matrix maintenance of the Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas), had significantly higher expression in the posterior end of the mantle edge (region one). Our findings are intriguing as they indicate that the mantle edge appears to be a heterogeneous tissue, displaying structural and functional bias.

  11. Provider Decisions to Treat Respiratory Illnesses with Antibiotics: Insights from a Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Branche, Angela R.; Walsh, Edward E.; Jadhav, Nagesh; Karmally, Rachel; Baran, Andrea; Peterson, Derick R.; Falsey, Ann R.

    2016-01-01

    Rationale Lower respiratory tract illness (LRTI) frequently causes adult hospitalization and antibiotic overuse. Procalcitonin (PCT) treatment algorithms have been used successfully in Europe to safely reduce antibiotic use for LRTI but have not been adopted in the United States. We recently performed a feasibility study for a randomized clinical trial (RCT) of PCT and viral testing to guide therapy for non-pneumonic LRTI. Objective The primary objective of the current study was to understand factors influencing PCT algorithm adherence during the RCT and evaluate factors influencing provider antibiotic prescribing practices for LRTI. Study Design From October 2013-April 2014, 300 patients hospitalized at a community teaching hospital with non-pneumonic LRTI were randomized to standard or PCT-guided care with viral PCR testing. Algorithm adherence data was collected and multivariate stepwise logistic regression of clinical variables used to model algorithm compliance. 134 providers were surveyed anonymously before and after the trial to assess knowledge of biomarkers and viral testing and antibiotic prescribing practices. Results Diagnosis of pneumonia on admission was the only variable significantly associated with non-adherence [7% (adherence) vs. 26% (nonadherence), p = 0.01]. Surveys confirmed possible infiltrate on chest radiograph as important for provider decisions, as were severity of illness, positive sputum culture, abnormal CBC and fever. However, age, patient expectations and medical-legal concerns were also at least somewhat important to prescribing practices. Physician agreement with the importance of viral and PCT testing increased from 42% to 64% (p = 0.007) and 49% to 74% (p = 0.001), respectively, after the study. Conclusions Optimal algorithm adherence will be important for definitive PCT intervention trials in the US to determine if PCT guided algorithms result in better outcomes than reliance on traditional clinical variables. Factors

  12. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A.; Lee, Raymond W.; Fisher, Charles R.

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ13C, δ15N, and δ34S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ13C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ34S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m2 area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ15N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  13. Stable isotopes provide new insights into vestimentiferan physiological ecology at Gulf of Mexico cold seeps.

    PubMed

    Becker, Erin Leigh; Macko, Stephen A; Lee, Raymond W; Fisher, Charles R

    2011-02-01

    On the otherwise low-biomass seafloor of the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) continental slope, natural oil and gas seeps are oases of local primary production that support lush animal communities. Hundreds of seep communities have been documented on the continental slope, and nutrition derived from seeps could be an important link in the overall GoM food web. Here, we present a uniquely large and cohesive data set of δ(13)C, δ(15)N, and δ(34)S compositions of the vestimentiferan tubeworms Escarpia laminata and Lamellibrachia sp. 1, which dominate biomass at GoM seeps and provide habitat for hundreds of other species. Our sampling design encompassed an entire region of the GoM lower slope, allowing us for the first time to assess spatial variability in isotope compositions and to robustly address long-standing hypotheses about how vestimentiferans acquire and cycle nutrients over their long lifespan (200+ years). Tissue δ(13)C values provided strong evidence that larger adult vestimentiferans use their buried roots to take up dissolved inorganic carbon from sediment pore water, while very small individuals use their plume to take up carbon dioxide from the seawater. δ(34)S values were extremely variable among individuals of the same species within one location (<1 m(2) area), indicating high variability in the inorganic sulfur pools on a very small spatial scale. This finding supports the hypothesis that vestimentiferans use their roots to cycle sulfate and sulfide between their symbionts and free-living consortia of sulfate-reducing archaea in the sediment. Finally, consistent differences in δ(15)N between two cooccurring vestimentiferan species provided the first strong evidence for partitioning of inorganic resources, which has significant implications for the ecology and evolution of this taxonomic group.

  14. Whole-genome sequencing of cultivated and wild peppers provides insights into Capsicum domestication and specialization.

    PubMed

    Qin, Cheng; Yu, Changshui; Shen, Yaou; Fang, Xiaodong; Chen, Lang; Min, Jiumeng; Cheng, Jiaowen; Zhao, Shancen; Xu, Meng; Luo, Yong; Yang, Yulan; Wu, Zhiming; Mao, Likai; Wu, Haiyang; Ling-Hu, Changying; Zhou, Huangkai; Lin, Haijian; González-Morales, Sandra; Trejo-Saavedra, Diana L; Tian, Hao; Tang, Xin; Zhao, Maojun; Huang, Zhiyong; Zhou, Anwei; Yao, Xiaoming; Cui, Junjie; Li, Wenqi; Chen, Zhe; Feng, Yongqiang; Niu, Yongchao; Bi, Shimin; Yang, Xiuwei; Li, Weipeng; Cai, Huimin; Luo, Xirong; Montes-Hernández, Salvador; Leyva-González, Marco A; Xiong, Zhiqiang; He, Xiujing; Bai, Lijun; Tan, Shu; Tang, Xiangqun; Liu, Dan; Liu, Jinwen; Zhang, Shangxing; Chen, Maoshan; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Yinchao; Liao, Weiqin; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Min; Lv, Xiaodan; Wen, Bo; Liu, Hongjun; Luan, Hemi; Zhang, Yonggang; Yang, Shuang; Wang, Xiaodian; Xu, Jiaohui; Li, Xueqin; Li, Shuaicheng; Wang, Junyi; Palloix, Alain; Bosland, Paul W; Li, Yingrui; Krogh, Anders; Rivera-Bustamante, Rafael F; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Yin, Ye; Yu, Jiping; Hu, Kailin; Zhang, Zhiming

    2014-04-01

    As an economic crop, pepper satisfies people's spicy taste and has medicinal uses worldwide. To gain a better understanding of Capsicum evolution, domestication, and specialization, we present here the genome sequence of the cultivated pepper Zunla-1 (C. annuum L.) and its wild progenitor Chiltepin (C. annuum var. glabriusculum). We estimate that the pepper genome expanded ∼0.3 Mya (with respect to the genome of other Solanaceae) by a rapid amplification of retrotransposons elements, resulting in a genome comprised of ∼81% repetitive sequences. Approximately 79% of 3.48-Gb scaffolds containing 34,476 protein-coding genes were anchored to chromosomes by a high-density genetic map. Comparison of cultivated and wild pepper genomes with 20 resequencing accessions revealed molecular footprints of artificial selection, providing us with a list of candidate domestication genes. We also found that dosage compensation effect of tandem duplication genes probably contributed to the pungent diversification in pepper. The Capsicum reference genome provides crucial information for the study of not only the evolution of the pepper genome but also, the Solanaceae family, and it will facilitate the establishment of more effective pepper breeding programs.

  15. Studies of alternative isoforms provide insight into TDP-43 autoregulation and pathogenesis

    PubMed Central

    D'Alton, Simon; Altshuler, Marcelle; Lewis, Jada

    2015-01-01

    TDP-43 is a soluble, nuclear protein that undergoes cytoplasmic redistribution and aggregation in the majority of cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. TDP-43 autoregulates the abundance of its own transcript TARDBP by binding to an intron in the 3′ untranslated region, although the mechanisms underlying this activity have been debated. Herein, we provide the most extensive analysis of TARDBP transcript yet undertaken. We detail the existence of a plethora of complex splicing events and alternative poly(A) use and provide data that explain the discrepancies reported to date regarding the autoregulatory capacity of TDP-43. Additionally, although many splice isoforms emanating from the TARDBP locus contain the regulated intron in the 3′ UTR, we find only evidence for autoregulation of the transcript encoding full-length TDP-43. Finally, we use a novel cytoplasmic isoform of TDP to induce disease-like loss of soluble, nuclear TDP-43, which results in aberrant splicing and up-regulation of endogenous TARDBP. These results reveal a previously underappreciated complexity to TDP-43 regulated splicing and suggest that loss of TDP-43 autoregulatory capacity may contribute to the pathogenesis of ALS. PMID:26089325

  16. Transcriptome analysis of near-isogenic lines provides molecular insights into starch biosynthesis in maize kernel.

    PubMed

    Xiao, Yingni; Thatcher, Shawn; Wang, Min; Wang, Tingting; Beatty, Mary; Zastrow-Hayes, Gina; Li, Lin; Li, Jiansheng; Li, Bailin; Yang, Xiaohong

    2016-08-01

    Starch is the major component in maize kernels, providing a stable carbohydrate source for humans and livestock as well as raw material for the biofuel industry. Increasing maize kernel starch content will help meet industry demands and has the potential to increase overall yields. We developed a pair of maize near-isogenic lines (NILs) with different alleles for a starch quantitative trait locus on chromosome 3 (qHS3), resulting in different kernel starch content. To investigate the candidate genes for qHS3 and elucidate their effects on starch metabolism, RNA-Seq was performed for the developing kernels of the NILs at 14 and 21 d after pollination (DAP). Analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data identified 76 genes with nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms and 384 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in the introgressed fragment, including a hexokinase gene, ZmHXK3a, which catalyzes the conversion of glucose to glucose-6-phosphate and may play a key role in starch metabolism. The expression pattern of all DEGs in starch metabolism shows that altered expression of the candidate genes for qHS3 promoted starch synthesis, with positive consequences for kernel starch content. These results expand the current understanding of starch biosynthesis and accumulation in maize kernels and provide potential candidate genes to increase starch content. PMID:26676690

  17. Whole-genome sequencing of cultivated and wild peppers provides insights into Capsicum domestication and specialization

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Cheng; Yu, Changshui; Shen, Yaou; Fang, Xiaodong; Chen, Lang; Min, Jiumeng; Cheng, Jiaowen; Zhao, Shancen; Xu, Meng; Luo, Yong; Yang, Yulan; Wu, Zhiming; Mao, Likai; Wu, Haiyang; Ling-Hu, Changying; Zhou, Huangkai; Lin, Haijian; González-Morales, Sandra; Trejo-Saavedra, Diana L.; Tian, Hao; Tang, Xin; Zhao, Maojun; Huang, Zhiyong; Zhou, Anwei; Yao, Xiaoming; Cui, Junjie; Li, Wenqi; Chen, Zhe; Feng, Yongqiang; Niu, Yongchao; Bi, Shimin; Yang, Xiuwei; Li, Weipeng; Cai, Huimin; Luo, Xirong; Montes-Hernández, Salvador; Leyva-González, Marco A.; Xiong, Zhiqiang; He, Xiujing; Bai, Lijun; Tan, Shu; Tang, Xiangqun; Liu, Dan; Liu, Jinwen; Zhang, Shangxing; Chen, Maoshan; Zhang, Lu; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Yinchao; Liao, Weiqin; Zhang, Yan; Wang, Min; Lv, Xiaodan; Wen, Bo; Liu, Hongjun; Luan, Hemi; Zhang, Yonggang; Yang, Shuang; Wang, Xiaodian; Xu, Jiaohui; Li, Xueqin; Li, Shuaicheng; Wang, Junyi; Palloix, Alain; Bosland, Paul W.; Li, Yingrui; Krogh, Anders; Rivera-Bustamante, Rafael F.; Herrera-Estrella, Luis; Yin, Ye; Yu, Jiping; Hu, Kailin; Zhang, Zhiming

    2014-01-01

    As an economic crop, pepper satisfies people’s spicy taste and has medicinal uses worldwide. To gain a better understanding of Capsicum evolution, domestication, and specialization, we present here the genome sequence of the cultivated pepper Zunla-1 (C. annuum L.) and its wild progenitor Chiltepin (C. annuum var. glabriusculum). We estimate that the pepper genome expanded ∼0.3 Mya (with respect to the genome of other Solanaceae) by a rapid amplification of retrotransposons elements, resulting in a genome comprised of ∼81% repetitive sequences. Approximately 79% of 3.48-Gb scaffolds containing 34,476 protein-coding genes were anchored to chromosomes by a high-density genetic map. Comparison of cultivated and wild pepper genomes with 20 resequencing accessions revealed molecular footprints of artificial selection, providing us with a list of candidate domestication genes. We also found that dosage compensation effect of tandem duplication genes probably contributed to the pungent diversification in pepper. The Capsicum reference genome provides crucial information for the study of not only the evolution of the pepper genome but also, the Solanaceae family, and it will facilitate the establishment of more effective pepper breeding programs. PMID:24591624

  18. The Genome of the "Great Speciator" Provides Insights into Bird Diversification.

    PubMed

    Cornetti, Luca; Valente, Luis M; Dunning, Luke T; Quan, Xueping; Black, Richard A; Hébert, Olivier; Savolainen, Vincent

    2015-09-02

    Among birds, white-eyes (genus Zosterops) have diversified so extensively that Jared Diamond and Ernst Mayr referred to them as the "great speciator." The Zosterops lineage exhibits some of the fastest rates of species diversification among vertebrates, and its members are the most prolific passerine island colonizers. We present a high-quality genome assembly for the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), a white-eye species consisting of several subspecies distributed across multiple islands. We investigate the genetic basis of rapid diversification in white-eyes by conducting genomic analyses at varying taxonomic levels. First, we compare the silvereye genome with those of birds from different families and searched for genomic features that may be unique to Zosterops. Second, we compare the genomes of different species of white-eyes from Lifou island (South Pacific), using whole genome resequencing and restriction site associated DNA. Third, we contrast the genomes of two subspecies of silvereye that differ in plumage color. In accordance with theory, we show that white-eyes have high rates of substitutions, gene duplication, and positive selection relative to other birds. Below genus level, we find that genomic differentiation accumulates rapidly and reveals contrasting demographic histories between sympatric species on Lifou, indicative of past interspecific interactions. Finally, we highlight genes possibly involved in color polymorphism between the subspecies of silvereye. By providing the first whole-genome sequence resources for white-eyes and by conducting analyses at different taxonomic levels, we provide genomic evidence underpinning this extraordinary bird radiation.

  19. Hunter-Gatherer Color Naming Provides New Insight into the Evolution of Color Terms.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Delwin T; Brown, Angela M; Brainard, David H; Apicella, Coren L

    2015-09-21

    Most people name the myriad colors in the environment using between two and about a dozen color terms, with great variation within and between languages. Investigators generally agree that color lexicons evolve from fewer terms to more terms, as technology advances and color communication becomes increasingly important. However, little is understood about the color naming systems at the least technologically advanced end of the continuum. The Hadza people of Tanzania are nomadic hunter-gatherers who live a subsistence lifestyle that was common before the advent of agriculture (see Supplemental Experimental Procedures, section I;), suggesting that the Hadzane language should be at an early stage of color lexicon evolution. When Hadza, Somali, and US informants named 23 color samples, Hadza informants named only the black, white, and red samples with perfect consensus. Otherwise, they used low-consensus terms or responded "don't know." However, even low-consensus color terms grouped test colors into lexical categories that aligned with those found in other world languages. Furthermore, information-theoretic analysis showed that color communication efficiency within the Hadza, Somali, and US language communities falls on the same continuum as other world languages. Thus, the structure of color categories is in place in Hadzane, even though words for many of the categories are not in general use. These results suggest that even very simple color lexicons include precursors of many color categories but that these categories are initially represented in a diverse and distributed fashion.

  20. Analyzing Arabidopsis thaliana root proteome provides insights into the molecular bases of enantioselective imazethapyr toxicity

    PubMed Central

    Qian, Haifeng; Lu, Haiping; Ding, Haiyan; Lavoie, Michel; Li, Yali; Liu, Weiping; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-01-01

    Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used chiral herbicide that inhibits the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). IM is thought to exert its toxic effects on amino acid synthesis mainly through inhibition of acetolactate synthase activity, but little is known about the potential effects of IM on other key biochemical pathways. Here, we exposed the model plant Arabidospsis thaliana to trace S- and R-IM enantiomer concentrations and examined IM toxicity effects on the root proteome using iTRAQ. Conventional analyses of root carbohydrates, organic acids, and enzyme activities were also performed. We discovered several previously unknown key biochemical pathways targeted by IM in Arabidospsis. 1,322 and 987 proteins were differentially expressed in response to R- and S-IM treatments, respectively. Bioinformatics and physiological analyses suggested that IM reduced the BCAA tissue content not only by strongly suppressing BCAA synthesis but also by increasing BCAA catabolism. IM also affected sugar and starch metabolism, changed the composition of root cell walls, increased citrate production and exudation, and affected the microbial community structure of the rhizosphere. The present study shed new light on the multiple toxicity mechanisms of a selective herbicide on a model plant. PMID:26153126

  1. Analyzing Arabidopsis thaliana root proteome provides insights into the molecular bases of enantioselective imazethapyr toxicity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qian, Haifeng; Lu, Haiping; Ding, Haiyan; Lavoie, Michel; Li, Yali; Liu, Weiping; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-07-01

    Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used chiral herbicide that inhibits the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). IM is thought to exert its toxic effects on amino acid synthesis mainly through inhibition of acetolactate synthase activity, but little is known about the potential effects of IM on other key biochemical pathways. Here, we exposed the model plant Arabidospsis thaliana to trace S- and R-IM enantiomer concentrations and examined IM toxicity effects on the root proteome using iTRAQ. Conventional analyses of root carbohydrates, organic acids, and enzyme activities were also performed. We discovered several previously unknown key biochemical pathways targeted by IM in Arabidospsis. 1,322 and 987 proteins were differentially expressed in response to R- and S-IM treatments, respectively. Bioinformatics and physiological analyses suggested that IM reduced the BCAA tissue content not only by strongly suppressing BCAA synthesis but also by increasing BCAA catabolism. IM also affected sugar and starch metabolism, changed the composition of root cell walls, increased citrate production and exudation, and affected the microbial community structure of the rhizosphere. The present study shed new light on the multiple toxicity mechanisms of a selective herbicide on a model plant.

  2. New specimen of Archaeopteryx provides insights into the evolution of pennaceous feathers.

    PubMed

    Foth, Christian; Tischlinger, Helmut; Rauhut, Oliver W M

    2014-07-01

    Discoveries of bird-like theropod dinosaurs and basal avialans in recent decades have helped to put the iconic 'Urvogel' Archaeopteryx into context and have yielded important new data on the origin and early evolution of feathers. However, the biological context under which pennaceous feathers evolved is still debated. Here we describe a new specimen of Archaeopteryx with extensive feather preservation, not only on the wings and tail, but also on the body and legs. The new specimen shows that the entire body was covered in pennaceous feathers, and that the hindlimbs had long, symmetrical feathers along the tibiotarsus but short feathers on the tarsometatarsus. Furthermore, the wing plumage demonstrates that several recent interpretations are problematic. An analysis of the phylogenetic distribution of pennaceous feathers on the tail, hindlimb and arms of advanced maniraptorans and basal avialans strongly indicates that these structures evolved in a functional context other than flight, most probably in relation to display, as suggested by some previous studies. Pennaceous feathers thus represented an exaptation and were later, in several lineages and following different patterns, recruited for aerodynamic functions. This indicates that the origin of flight in avialans was more complex than previously thought and might have involved several convergent achievements of aerial abilities.

  3. Improved criteria and comparative genomics tool provide new insights into grass paleogenomics.

    PubMed

    Salse, Jerome; Abrouk, Michael; Murat, Florent; Quraishi, Umar Masood; Feuillet, Catherine

    2009-11-01

    In the past decade, a number of bioinformatics tools have been developed to perform comparative genomics studies in plants and animals. However, most of the publicly available and user friendly tools lack common standards for the identification of robust orthologous relationships between genomes leading non-specialists to often over interpret the results of large scale comparative sequence analyses. Recently, we have established a number of improved parameters and tools to define significant relationships between genomes as a basis to develop paleogenomics studies in grasses. Here, we describe our approaches and propose the development of community-based standards that can be used in comparative genomic studies to (i) identify robust sets of orthologous gene pairs, (ii) derive complete sets of chromosome to chromosome relationships within and between genomes and (iii) model common paleo-ancestor genome structures. The rice and sorghum genome sequences are used to exemplify step-by-step a methodology that should allow users to perform accurate comparative genome analyses in their favourite species. Finally, we describe two applications for accurate gene annotation and synteny-based cloning of agronomically important traits.

  4. Mass spectrometric identification of SUMO substrates provides insights into heat stress-induced SUMOylation in plants

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Marcus J

    2011-01-01

    The covalent addition of Small Ubiquitin-Like Modifier (SUMO) to various intracellular proteins is an essential regulatory step in most eukaryotes. Due to its necessity and the large number of putative targets, SUMO is thought to be second only to ubiquitin (Ub) among Ub-fold proteins in terms of regulatory influence. Whereas, ubiquitylation (i.e., the attachment of Ub) is generally associated with protein degradation, SUMOylation appears to have more diverse consequences, including the regulation of transcription, chromatin structure/accessibility, nuclear import and various protein-protein interactions, and even appears to block the action of Ub by competing for the same binding sites on targets.1–3 Paramount to understanding SUMO function(s) is knowing the complete catalog of SUMO targets. In the following addendum we review our recent publication4 describing the proteomic identification of SUMO substrates in the model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, and expand our analyses with regard to the changes in SUMOylation patterns that are induced by heat stress. Collectively, our data indicate that SUMOylation is highly dynamic with evidence that SUMO addition globally modifies transcription and chromatin accessibility, especially during stress. PMID:21270536

  5. Large-scale genetic survey provides insights into the captive management and reintroduction of giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Shan, Lei; Hu, Yibo; Zhu, Lifeng; Yan, Li; Wang, Chengdong; Li, Desheng; Jin, Xuelin; Zhang, Chenglin; Wei, Fuwen

    2014-10-01

    The captive genetic management of threatened species strives to preserve genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding to ensure populations remain available, healthy, and viable for future reintroduction. Determining and responding to the genetic status of captive populations is therefore paramount to these programs. Here, we genotyped 19 microsatellite loci for 240 captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) (∼64% of the captive population) from four breeding centers, Wolong (WL), Chengdu (CD), Louguantai (LGT), and Beijing (BJ), and analyzed 655 bp of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence for 220 of these animals. High levels of genetic diversity and low levels of inbreeding were estimated in the breeding centers, indicating that the captive population is genetically healthy and deliberate further genetic input from wild animals is unnecessary. However, the LGT population faces a higher risk of inbreeding, and significant genetic structure was detected among breeding centers, with LGT-CD and WL-BJ clustering separately. Based on these findings, we highlight that: 1) the LGT population should be managed as an independent captive population to resemble the genetic distinctness of their Qinling Mountain origins; 2) exchange between CD and WL should be encouraged because of similar wild founder sources; 3) the selection of captive individuals for reintroduction should consider their geographic origin, genetic background, and genetic contribution to wild populations; and 4) combining our molecular genetic data with existing pedigree data will better guide giant panda breeding and further reduce inbreeding into the future. PMID:25015646

  6. Comparative Genomic Analyses of Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae Provide Insight into Virulence and Commensalism Dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Shahinas, Dea; Thornton, Christina S.; Tamber, Gurdip Singh; Arya, Gitanjali; Wong, Andrew; Jamieson, Frances B.; Ma, Jennifer H.; Alexander, David C.; Low, Donald E.; Pillai, Dylan R.

    2013-01-01

    Streptococcus pseudopneumoniae (SPPN) is a recently described species of the viridans group streptococci (VGS). Although the pathogenic potential of S. pseudopneumoniae remains uncertain, it is most commonly isolated from patients with underlying medical conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. S. pseudopneumoniae can be distinguished from the closely related species, S. pneumoniae and S. mitis, by phenotypic characteristics, including optochin resistance in the presence of 5% CO2, bile insolubility, and the lack of the pneumococcal capsule. Previously, we reported the draft genome sequence of S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493, a clinical isolate obtained from an immunocompromised patient with documented pneumonia. Here, we use comparative genomics approaches to identify similarities and key differences between S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493, S. pneumoniae and S. mitis. The genome structure of S. pseudopneumoniae IS7493 is most closely related to that of S. pneumoniae R6, but several recombination events are evident. Analysis of gene content reveals numerous unique features that distinguish S. pseudopneumoniae from other streptococci. The presence of loci for competence, iron transport, pneumolysin production and antimicrobial resistance reinforce the phylogenetic position of S. pseudopneumoniae as an intermediate species between S. pneumoniae and S. mitis. Additionally, the presence of several virulence factors and antibiotic resistance mechanisms suggest the potential of this commensal species to become pathogenic or to contribute to increasing antibiotic resistance levels seen among the VGS. PMID:23840352

  7. Hunter-Gatherer Color Naming Provides New Insight into the Evolution of Color Terms.

    PubMed

    Lindsey, Delwin T; Brown, Angela M; Brainard, David H; Apicella, Coren L

    2015-09-21

    Most people name the myriad colors in the environment using between two and about a dozen color terms, with great variation within and between languages. Investigators generally agree that color lexicons evolve from fewer terms to more terms, as technology advances and color communication becomes increasingly important. However, little is understood about the color naming systems at the least technologically advanced end of the continuum. The Hadza people of Tanzania are nomadic hunter-gatherers who live a subsistence lifestyle that was common before the advent of agriculture (see Supplemental Experimental Procedures, section I;), suggesting that the Hadzane language should be at an early stage of color lexicon evolution. When Hadza, Somali, and US informants named 23 color samples, Hadza informants named only the black, white, and red samples with perfect consensus. Otherwise, they used low-consensus terms or responded "don't know." However, even low-consensus color terms grouped test colors into lexical categories that aligned with those found in other world languages. Furthermore, information-theoretic analysis showed that color communication efficiency within the Hadza, Somali, and US language communities falls on the same continuum as other world languages. Thus, the structure of color categories is in place in Hadzane, even though words for many of the categories are not in general use. These results suggest that even very simple color lexicons include precursors of many color categories but that these categories are initially represented in a diverse and distributed fashion. PMID:26365254

  8. Constrictor: Flux Balance Analysis Constraint Modification Provides Insight for Design of Biochemical Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, Keesha; Chatterjee, Anushree

    2014-03-01

    The use of in silico methods has become standard practice to correlate the structure of a biochemical network to the expression of a desired phenotype. Flux balance analysis (FBA) is one of the most prevalent techniques for modeling metabolism. FBA models have been successfully applied to obtain growth predictions, theoretical product yields from heterologous pathways, and genome engineering targets. We take inspiration from high-throughput recombineering techniques, which show that combinatorial exploration can reveal optimal mutants, and apply the advantages of computational techniques to analyze these combinations. We introduce Constrictor, an in silico tool for FBA that allows gene mutations to be analyzed in a combinatorial fashion, by applying simulated constraints accounting for regulation of gene expression. We apply this algorithm to study ethylene production in E. coli through the addition of the heterologous ethylene-forming enzyme from P. syringae. Targeting individual reactions as well as sets of reactions results in theoretical ethylene yields that are as much 65% greater than yields calculated using typical FBA. Constrictor is an adaptable technique that can be used to generate and analyze disparate populations of in silico mutants & select gene expression levels.

  9. Analyzing Arabidopsis thaliana root proteome provides insights into the molecular bases of enantioselective imazethapyr toxicity.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Lu, Haiping; Ding, Haiyan; Lavoie, Michel; Li, Yali; Liu, Weiping; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-07-08

    Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used chiral herbicide that inhibits the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). IM is thought to exert its toxic effects on amino acid synthesis mainly through inhibition of acetolactate synthase activity, but little is known about the potential effects of IM on other key biochemical pathways. Here, we exposed the model plant Arabidospsis thaliana to trace S- and R-IM enantiomer concentrations and examined IM toxicity effects on the root proteome using iTRAQ. Conventional analyses of root carbohydrates, organic acids, and enzyme activities were also performed. We discovered several previously unknown key biochemical pathways targeted by IM in Arabidospsis. 1,322 and 987 proteins were differentially expressed in response to R- and S-IM treatments, respectively. Bioinformatics and physiological analyses suggested that IM reduced the BCAA tissue content not only by strongly suppressing BCAA synthesis but also by increasing BCAA catabolism. IM also affected sugar and starch metabolism, changed the composition of root cell walls, increased citrate production and exudation, and affected the microbial community structure of the rhizosphere. The present study shed new light on the multiple toxicity mechanisms of a selective herbicide on a model plant.

  10. Large-scale genetic survey provides insights into the captive management and reintroduction of giant pandas.

    PubMed

    Shan, Lei; Hu, Yibo; Zhu, Lifeng; Yan, Li; Wang, Chengdong; Li, Desheng; Jin, Xuelin; Zhang, Chenglin; Wei, Fuwen

    2014-10-01

    The captive genetic management of threatened species strives to preserve genetic diversity and avoid inbreeding to ensure populations remain available, healthy, and viable for future reintroduction. Determining and responding to the genetic status of captive populations is therefore paramount to these programs. Here, we genotyped 19 microsatellite loci for 240 captive giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) (∼64% of the captive population) from four breeding centers, Wolong (WL), Chengdu (CD), Louguantai (LGT), and Beijing (BJ), and analyzed 655 bp of mitochondrial DNA control region sequence for 220 of these animals. High levels of genetic diversity and low levels of inbreeding were estimated in the breeding centers, indicating that the captive population is genetically healthy and deliberate further genetic input from wild animals is unnecessary. However, the LGT population faces a higher risk of inbreeding, and significant genetic structure was detected among breeding centers, with LGT-CD and WL-BJ clustering separately. Based on these findings, we highlight that: 1) the LGT population should be managed as an independent captive population to resemble the genetic distinctness of their Qinling Mountain origins; 2) exchange between CD and WL should be encouraged because of similar wild founder sources; 3) the selection of captive individuals for reintroduction should consider their geographic origin, genetic background, and genetic contribution to wild populations; and 4) combining our molecular genetic data with existing pedigree data will better guide giant panda breeding and further reduce inbreeding into the future.

  11. Analyzing Arabidopsis thaliana root proteome provides insights into the molecular bases of enantioselective imazethapyr toxicity.

    PubMed

    Qian, Haifeng; Lu, Haiping; Ding, Haiyan; Lavoie, Michel; Li, Yali; Liu, Weiping; Fu, Zhengwei

    2015-01-01

    Imazethapyr (IM) is a widely used chiral herbicide that inhibits the synthesis of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). IM is thought to exert its toxic effects on amino acid synthesis mainly through inhibition of acetolactate synthase activity, but little is known about the potential effects of IM on other key biochemical pathways. Here, we exposed the model plant Arabidospsis thaliana to trace S- and R-IM enantiomer concentrations and examined IM toxicity effects on the root proteome using iTRAQ. Conventional analyses of root carbohydrates, organic acids, and enzyme activities were also performed. We discovered several previously unknown key biochemical pathways targeted by IM in Arabidospsis. 1,322 and 987 proteins were differentially expressed in response to R- and S-IM treatments, respectively. Bioinformatics and physiological analyses suggested that IM reduced the BCAA tissue content not only by strongly suppressing BCAA synthesis but also by increasing BCAA catabolism. IM also affected sugar and starch metabolism, changed the composition of root cell walls, increased citrate production and exudation, and affected the microbial community structure of the rhizosphere. The present study shed new light on the multiple toxicity mechanisms of a selective herbicide on a model plant. PMID:26153126

  12. Molecular taxonomy provides new insights into anopheles species of the neotropical arribalzagia series.

    PubMed

    Gómez, Giovan F; Bickersmith, Sara A; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E; Correa, Margarita M

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  13. The Opisthorchis viverrini genome provides insights into life in the bile duct

    PubMed Central

    Young, Neil D.; Nagarajan, Niranjan; Lin, Suling Joyce; Korhonen, Pasi K.; Jex, Aaron R.; Hall, Ross S.; Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Kaewkong, Worasak; Bertrand, Denis; Gao, Song; Seet, Qihui; Wongkham, Sopit; Teh, Bin Tean; Wongkham, Chaisiri; Intapan, Pewpan Maleewong; Maleewong, Wanchai; Yang, Xinhua; Hu, Min; Wang, Zuo; Hofmann, Andreas; Sternberg, Paul W.; Tan, Patrick; Wang, Jun; Gasser, Robin B.

    2014-01-01

    Opisthorchiasis is a neglected, tropical disease caused by the carcinogenic Asian liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini. This hepatobiliary disease is linked to malignant cancer (cholangiocarcinoma, CCA) and affects millions of people in Asia. No vaccine is available, and only one drug (praziquantel) is used against the parasite. Little is known about O. viverrini biology and the diseases that it causes. Here we characterize the draft genome (634.5 Mb) and transcriptomes of O. viverrini, elucidate how this fluke survives in the hostile environment within the bile duct and show that metabolic pathways in the parasite are highly adapted to a lipid-rich diet from bile and/or cholangiocytes. We also provide additional evidence that O. viverrini and other flukes secrete proteins that directly modulate host cell proliferation. Our molecular resources now underpin profound explorations of opisthorchiasis/CCA and the design of new interventions. PMID:25007141

  14. Single-filament kinetic studies provide novel insights into regulation of actin-based motility

    PubMed Central

    Shekhar, Shashank; Carlier, Marie-France

    2016-01-01

    Polarized assembly of actin filaments forms the basis of actin-based motility and is regulated both spatially and temporally. Cells use a variety of mechanisms by which intrinsically slower processes are accelerated, and faster ones decelerated, to match rates observed in vivo. Here we discuss how kinetic studies of individual reactions and cycles that drive actin remodeling have provided a mechanistic and quantitative understanding of such processes. We specifically consider key barbed-end regulators such as capping protein and formins as illustrative examples. We compare and contrast different kinetic approaches, such as the traditional pyrene-polymerization bulk assays, as well as more recently developed single-filament and single-molecule imaging approaches. Recent development of novel biophysical methods for sensing and applying forces will in future allow us to address the very important relationship between mechanical stimulus and kinetics of actin-based motility. PMID:26715420

  15. Plasmodium cynomolgi genome sequences provide insight into Plasmodium vivax and the monkey malaria clade

    PubMed Central

    Tachibana, Shin-Ichiro; Sullivan, Steven A.; Kawai, Satoru; Nakamura, Shota; Kim, Hyunjae R.; Goto, Naohisa; Arisue, Nobuko; Palacpac, Nirianne M. Q.; Honma, Hajime; Yagi, Masanori; Tougan, Takahiro; Katakai, Yuko; Kaneko, Osamu; Mita, Toshihiro; Kita, Kiyoshi; Yasutomi, Yasuhiro; Sutton, Patrick L.; Shakhbatyan, Rimma; Horii, Toshihiro; Yasunaga, Teruo; Barnwell, John W.; Escalante, Ananias A.; Carlton, Jane M.; Tanabe, Kazuyuki

    2013-01-01

    Plasmodium cynomolgi, a malaria parasite of Asian Old World monkeys, is the sister taxon of Plasmodium vivax, the most prevalent human malaria species outside Africa. Since P. cynomolgi shares many phenotypic, biologic and genetic characteristics of P. vivax, we generated draft genome sequences of three P. cynomolgi strains and performed comparative genomic analysis between them and P. vivax, as well as a third previously sequenced simian parasite, Plasmodium knowlesi. Here we show that genomes of the monkey malaria clade can be characterized by CNVs in multigene families involved in evasion of the human immune system and invasion of host erythrocytes. We identify genome-wide SNPs, microsatellites, and CNVs in the P. cynomolgi genome, providing a map of genetic variation for mapping parasite traits and studying parasite populations. The P. cynomolgi genome is a critical step in developing a model system for P. vivax research, and to counteract the neglect of P. vivax. PMID:22863735

  16. Integration-dependent bacteriophage immunity provides insights into the evolution of genetic switches.

    PubMed

    Broussard, Gregory W; Oldfield, Lauren M; Villanueva, Valerie M; Lunt, Bryce L; Shine, Emilee E; Hatfull, Graham F

    2013-01-24

    Genetic switches are critical components of developmental circuits. Because temperate bacteriophages are vastly abundant and greatly diverse, they are rich resources for understanding the mechanisms and evolution of switches and the molecular control of genetic circuitry. Here, we describe a new class of small, compact, and simple switches that use site-specific recombination as the key decision point. The phage attachment site attP is located within the phage repressor gene such that chromosomal integration results in removal of a C-terminal tag that destabilizes the virally encoded form of the repressor. Integration thus not only confers prophage stability but also is a requirement for lysogenic establishment. The variety of these self-contained integration-dependent immunity systems in different genomic contexts suggests that these represent ancestral states in switch evolution from which more-complex switches have evolved. They also provide a powerful toolkit for building synthetic biological circuits. PMID:23246436

  17. Molecular developmental mechanism in polypterid fish provides insight into the origin of vertebrate lungs

    PubMed Central

    Tatsumi, Norifumi; Kobayashi, Ritsuko; Yano, Tohru; Noda, Masatsugu; Fujimura, Koji; Okada, Norihiro; Okabe, Masataka

    2016-01-01

    The lung is an important organ for air breathing in tetrapods and originated well before the terrestrialization of vertebrates. Therefore, to better understand lung evolution, we investigated lung development in the extant basal actinopterygian fish Senegal bichir (Polypterus senegalus). First, we histologically confirmed that lung development in this species is very similar to that of tetrapods. We also found that the mesenchymal expression patterns of three genes that are known to play important roles in early lung development in tetrapods (Fgf10, Tbx4, and Tbx5) were quite similar to those of tetrapods. Moreover, we found a Tbx4 core lung mesenchyme-specific enhancer (C-LME) in the genomes of bichir and coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae) and experimentally confirmed that these were functional in tetrapods. These findings provide the first molecular evidence that the developmental program for lung was already established in the common ancestor of actinopterygians and sarcopterygians. PMID:27466206

  18. Establishing a leaf proteome reference map for Ginkgo biloba provides insight into potential ethnobotanical uses.

    PubMed

    Uvackova, Lubica; Ondruskova, Emilia; Danchenko, Maksym; Skultety, Ludovit; Miernyk, Ján A; Hrubík, Pavel; Hajduch, Martin

    2014-11-26

    Although ginkgo (Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba L.) is an ancient medicinal and ornamental tree, there has not previously been any systematic proteomic study of the leaves. Herein we describe results from the initial study identifying abundant ginkgo leaf proteins and present a gel reference map. Proteins were isolated from fully developed mature leaves in biological triplicate and analyzed by two-dimensional electrophoresis plus tandem mass spectrometry. Using this approach, we were able to reproducibly quantify 190 abundant protein spots, from which 157 proteins were identified. Most of identified proteins are associated with the energy and protein destination/storage categories. The reference map provides a basis for understanding the accumulation of flavonoids and other phenolic compounds in mature leaves (e.g., identification of chalcone synthase, the first committed enzyme in flavonoid biosynthesis). We additionally detected several proteins of as yet unknown function. These proteins comprise a pool of potential targets that might be useful in nontraditional medical applications. PMID:25365400

  19. Ghana's National Health Insurance Scheme: insights from members, administrators and health care providers.

    PubMed

    Barimah, Kofi Bobi; Mensah, Joseph

    2013-08-01

    The Ghana National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) was established as part of a poverty reduction strategy to make health care more affordable to Ghanaians. It is envisaged that it will eventually replace the existing cash-and-carry system. This paper examines the views of NHIS administrators, members/enrollees, and health care providers on how the Scheme operates in practice. It is part of a larger evaluation project on Ghana's NHIS, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Development Network as part of a two-year global research. We rely primarily on qualitative data from focus group discussion in the Brong Ahafo and the Upper East regions respectively. Our findings suggest that the NHIS has improved access to affordable health care services and prescription drugs to many people in Ghana. However, there are concerns about fraud and corruption that must be addressed if the Scheme is to be financially viable.

  20. The Mechanism of Variegation in immutans Provides Insight into Chloroplast Biogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Foudree, Andrew; Putarjunan, Aarthi; Kambakam, Sekhar; Nolan, Trevor; Fussell, Jenna; Pogorelko, Gennady; Rodermel, Steve

    2012-01-01

    The immutans (im) variegation mutant of Arabidopsis has green and white-sectored leaves due to the absence of fully functional plastid terminal oxidase (PTOX), a plastoquinol oxidase in thylakoid membranes. PTOX appears to be at the nexus of a growing number of biochemical pathways in the plastid, including carotenoid biosynthesis, PSI cyclic electron flow, and chlororespiration. During the early steps of chloroplast biogenesis, PTOX serves as an alternate electron sink and is a prime determinant of the redox poise of the developing photosynthetic apparatus. Whereas a lack of PTOX causes the formation of photooxidized plastids in the white sectors of im, compensating mechanisms allow the green sectors to escape the effects of the mutation. This manuscript provides an update on PTOX, the mechanism of im variegation, and findings about im compensatory mechanisms. PMID:23205022

  1. Molecular Taxonomy Provides New Insights into Anopheles Species of the Neotropical Arribalzagia Series

    PubMed Central

    Gómez, Giovan F.; Bickersmith, Sara A.; González, Ranulfo; Conn, Jan E.; Correa, Margarita M.

    2015-01-01

    Phylogenetic analysis of partial mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase c subunit I (COI) and nuclear internal transcribed spacer 2 (ITS2) sequences were used to evaluate initial identification and to investigate phylogenetic relationships of seven Anopheles morphospecies of the Arribalzagia Series from Colombia. Phylogenetic trees recovered highly supported clades for An. punctimaculas.s., An. calderoni, An. malefactor s.l., An. neomaculipalpus, An. apicimacula s.l., An. mattogrossensis and An. peryassui. This study provides the first molecular confirmation of An. malefactorfrom Colombia and discovered conflicting patterns of divergence for the molecular markers among specimens from northeast and northern Colombia suggesting the presence of two previously unrecognized Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). Furthermore, two highly differentiated An. apicimacula MOTUs previously found in Panama were detected. Overall, the combined molecular dataset facilitated the detection of known and new Colombian evolutionary lineages, and constitutes the baseline for future research on their bionomics, ecology and potential role as malaria vectors. PMID:25774795

  2. The ASCO Oncology Composite Provider Utilization File: New Data, New Insights.

    PubMed

    Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L; Barr, Thomas R; Towle, Elaine L

    2016-01-01

    As we seek to understand the changing practice environment in oncology, the need for accurate information about demand for services, distribution of the delivery system in this sector of the health economy, and other practice trends is apparent. In this article, we present analysis of the sector using one of the public use files from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in combination with other publicly available data. Medicare data are particularly useful for this analysis because cancer is associated with aging and Medicare is the primary payer in the United States for patients older than age 65. As a result, nearly all oncologists who serve adult populations are represented in these data. By combining publicly available datasets into what we call the ASCO Provider Utilization File,we can investigate a wide range of supply, demand, and practice issues. We calculate the average work performed per physician, observe regional differences in work production,and quantify the downside risk and upside potential associated with the provision of chemotherapy drugs. Comparing the supply of oncologists by state with physician work relative value units and with estimates of cancer incidence by state reveals intriguing differences in the distribution of physicians and the demand for oncology services. In addition, our analysis demonstrates significant downside practice risk associated with the provision of drug therapy to Medicare beneficiaries. The economic risk associated with the purchase and delivery of chemotherapy is of particular concern as pressure for value increases. This article provides a description of a new dataset and interesting observations from these data.

  3. The Genome of the “Great Speciator” Provides Insights into Bird Diversification

    PubMed Central

    Cornetti, Luca; Valente, Luis M.; Dunning, Luke T.; Quan, Xueping; Black, Richard A.; Hébert, Olivier; Savolainen, Vincent

    2015-01-01

    Among birds, white-eyes (genus Zosterops) have diversified so extensively that Jared Diamond and Ernst Mayr referred to them as the “great speciator.” The Zosterops lineage exhibits some of the fastest rates of species diversification among vertebrates, and its members are the most prolific passerine island colonizers. We present a high-quality genome assembly for the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis), a white-eye species consisting of several subspecies distributed across multiple islands. We investigate the genetic basis of rapid diversification in white-eyes by conducting genomic analyses at varying taxonomic levels. First, we compare the silvereye genome with those of birds from different families and searched for genomic features that may be unique to Zosterops. Second, we compare the genomes of different species of white-eyes from Lifou island (South Pacific), using whole genome resequencing and restriction site associated DNA. Third, we contrast the genomes of two subspecies of silvereye that differ in plumage color. In accordance with theory, we show that white-eyes have high rates of substitutions, gene duplication, and positive selection relative to other birds. Below genus level, we find that genomic differentiation accumulates rapidly and reveals contrasting demographic histories between sympatric species on Lifou, indicative of past interspecific interactions. Finally, we highlight genes possibly involved in color polymorphism between the subspecies of silvereye. By providing the first whole-genome sequence resources for white-eyes and by conducting analyses at different taxonomic levels, we provide genomic evidence underpinning this extraordinary bird radiation. PMID:26338191

  4. Genomic and Proteomic Analyses of the Fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora Provide Insights into Nematode-Trap Formation

    PubMed Central

    Feng, Yun; Li, Xiaomin; Zou, Chenggang; Xu, Jianping; Ren, Yan; Mi, Qili; Wu, Junli; Liu, Shuqun; Liu, Yu; Huang, Xiaowei; Wang, Haiyan; Niu, Xuemei; Li, Juan; Liang, Lianming; Luo, Yanlu; Ji, Kaifang; Zhou, Wei; Yu, Zefen; Li, Guohong; Liu, Yajun; Li, Lei; Qiao, Min; Feng, Lu; Zhang, Ke-Qin

    2011-01-01

    Nematode-trapping fungi are “carnivorous” and attack their hosts using specialized trapping devices. The morphological development of these traps is the key indicator of their switch from saprophytic to predacious lifestyles. Here, the genome of the nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora Fres. (ATCC24927) was reported. The genome contains 40.07 Mb assembled sequence with 11,479 predicted genes. Comparative analysis showed that A. oligospora shared many more genes with pathogenic fungi than with non-pathogenic fungi. Specifically, compared to several sequenced ascomycete fungi, the A. oligospora genome has a larger number of pathogenicity-related genes in the subtilisin, cellulase, cellobiohydrolase, and pectinesterase gene families. Searching against the pathogen-host interaction gene database identified 398 homologous genes involved in pathogenicity in other fungi. The analysis of repetitive sequences provided evidence for repeat-induced point mutations in A. oligospora. Proteomic and quantitative PCR (qPCR) analyses revealed that 90 genes were significantly up-regulated at the early stage of trap-formation by nematode extracts and most of these genes were involved in translation, amino acid metabolism, carbohydrate metabolism, cell wall and membrane biogenesis. Based on the combined genomic, proteomic and qPCR data, a model for the formation of nematode trapping device in this fungus was proposed. In this model, multiple fungal signal transduction pathways are activated by its nematode prey to further regulate downstream genes associated with diverse cellular processes such as energy metabolism, biosynthesis of the cell wall and adhesive proteins, cell division, glycerol accumulation and peroxisome biogenesis. This study will facilitate the identification of pathogenicity-related genes and provide a broad foundation for understanding the molecular and evolutionary mechanisms underlying fungi-nematodes interactions. PMID:21909256

  5. Hunter-gatherer color naming provides new insight into the evolution of color terms

    PubMed Central

    Lindsey, Delwin T.; Brown, Angela M.; Brainard, David H.; Apicella, Coren L.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Most people name the myriad colors in the environment using between two and about a dozen color terms [1], with great variation within and between languages [2]. Investigators generally agree that color lexicons evolve from fewer terms to more terms, as technology advances and color communication becomes increasingly important [3]. However, little is understood about the color naming systems at the least technologically-advanced end of the continuum. The Hadza people of Tanzania are nomadic hunter-gatherers who live a subsistence lifestyle that was common before the advent of agriculture (see SM-I, [4]), suggesting that the Hadzane language should be at an early stage of color lexicon evolution. When Hadza, Somali, and U.S. informants named 23 color samples, Hadza informants named only the black, white and red samples with perfect consensus. Otherwise, they used low-consensus terms, or responded “don’t know”. However, even low-consensus color terms grouped test colors into lexical categories that aligned with those found in other world languages [5]. Furthermore, information-theoretic analysis showed that color communication efficiency within the Hadza, Somali, and U.S. language communities falls on the same continuum as other world languages. Thus, the structure of color categories is in place in Hadzane, even though words for many of the categories are not in general use. These results suggest that even very simple color lexicons include precursors of many color categories, but that these categories are initially represented in a diverse and distributed fashion. PMID:26365254

  6. Kinetic model of the aggregation of alpha-synuclein provides insights into prion-like spreading.

    PubMed

    Iljina, Marija; Garcia, Gonzalo A; Horrocks, Mathew H; Tosatto, Laura; Choi, Minee L; Ganzinger, Kristina A; Abramov, Andrey Y; Gandhi, Sonia; Wood, Nicholas W; Cremades, Nunilo; Dobson, Christopher M; Knowles, Tuomas P J; Klenerman, David

    2016-03-01

    The protein alpha-synuclein (αS) self-assembles into small oligomeric species and subsequently into amyloid fibrils that accumulate and proliferate during the development of Parkinson's disease. However, the quantitative characterization of the aggregation and spreading of αS remains challenging to achieve. Previously, we identified a conformational conversion step leading from the initially formed oligomers to more compact oligomers preceding fibril formation. Here, by a combination of single-molecule fluorescence measurements and kinetic analysis, we find that the reaction in solution involves two unimolecular structural conversion steps, from the disordered to more compact oligomers and then to fibrils, which can elongate by further monomer addition. We have obtained individual rate constants for these key microscopic steps by applying a global kinetic analysis to both the decrease in the concentration of monomeric protein molecules and the increase in oligomer concentrations over a 0.5-140-µM range of αS. The resulting explicit kinetic model of αS aggregation has been used to quantitatively explore seeding the reaction by either the compact oligomers or fibrils. Our predictions reveal that, although fibrils are more effective at seeding than oligomers, very high numbers of seeds of either type, of the order of 10(4), are required to achieve efficient seeding and bypass the slow generation of aggregates through primary nucleation. Complementary cellular experiments demonstrated that two orders of magnitude lower numbers of oligomers were sufficient to generate high levels of reactive oxygen species, suggesting that effective templated seeding is likely to require both the presence of template aggregates and conditions of cellular stress. PMID:26884195

  7. Kinetic model of the aggregation of alpha-synuclein provides insights into prion-like spreading

    PubMed Central

    Iljina, Marija; Garcia, Gonzalo A.; Horrocks, Mathew H.; Tosatto, Laura; Choi, Minee L.; Ganzinger, Kristina A.; Abramov, Andrey Y.; Gandhi, Sonia; Wood, Nicholas W.; Cremades, Nunilo; Dobson, Christopher M.; Knowles, Tuomas P. J.; Klenerman, David

    2016-01-01

    The protein alpha-synuclein (αS) self-assembles into small oligomeric species and subsequently into amyloid fibrils that accumulate and proliferate during the development of Parkinson’s disease. However, the quantitative characterization of the aggregation and spreading of αS remains challenging to achieve. Previously, we identified a conformational conversion step leading from the initially formed oligomers to more compact oligomers preceding fibril formation. Here, by a combination of single-molecule fluorescence measurements and kinetic analysis, we find that the reaction in solution involves two unimolecular structural conversion steps, from the disordered to more compact oligomers and then to fibrils, which can elongate by further monomer addition. We have obtained individual rate constants for these key microscopic steps by applying a global kinetic analysis to both the decrease in the concentration of monomeric protein molecules and the increase in oligomer concentrations over a 0.5–140-µM range of αS. The resulting explicit kinetic model of αS aggregation has been used to quantitatively explore seeding the reaction by either the compact oligomers or fibrils. Our predictions reveal that, although fibrils are more effective at seeding than oligomers, very high numbers of seeds of either type, of the order of 104, are required to achieve efficient seeding and bypass the slow generation of aggregates through primary nucleation. Complementary cellular experiments demonstrated that two orders of magnitude lower numbers of oligomers were sufficient to generate high levels of reactive oxygen species, suggesting that effective templated seeding is likely to require both the presence of template aggregates and conditions of cellular stress. PMID:26884195

  8. Whole genome sequencing of 35 individuals provides insights into the genetic architecture of Korean population

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Due to a significant decline in the costs associated with next-generation sequencing, it has become possible to decipher the genetic architecture of a population by sequencing a large number of individuals to a deep coverage. The Korean Personal Genomes Project (KPGP) recently sequenced 35 Korean genomes at high coverage using the Illumina Hiseq platform and made the deep sequencing data publicly available, providing the scientific community opportunities to decipher the genetic architecture of the Korean population. Methods In this study, we used two single nucleotide variant (SNV) calling pipelines: mapping the raw reads obtained from whole genome sequencing of 35 Korean individuals in KPGP using BWA and SOAP2 followed by SNV calling using SAMtools and SOAPsnp, respectively. The consensus SNVs obtained from the two SNV pipelines were used to represent the SNVs of the Korean population. We compared these SNVs to those from 17 other populations provided by the HapMap consortium and the 1000 Genomes Project (1KGP) and identified SNVs that were only present in the Korean population. We studied the mutation spectrum and analyzed the genes of non-synonymous SNVs only detected in the Korean population. Results We detected a total of 8,555,726 SNVs in the 35 Korean individuals and identified 1,213,613 SNVs detected in at least one Korean individual (SNV-1) and 12,640 in all of 35 Korean individuals (SNV-35) but not in 17 other populations. In contrast with the SNVs common to other populations in HapMap and 1KGP, the Korean only SNVs had high percentages of non-silent variants, emphasizing the unique roles of these Korean only SNVs in the Korean population. Specifically, we identified 8,361 non-synonymous Korean only SNVs, of which 58 SNVs existed in all 35 Korean individuals. The 5,754 genes of non-synonymous Korean only SNVs were highly enriched in some metabolic pathways. We found adhesion is the top disease term associated with SNV-1 and Nelson syndrome is

  9. Metabolomic Analysis Provides Insights on Paraquat-Induced Parkinson-Like Symptoms in Drosophila melanogaster.

    PubMed

    Shukla, Arvind Kumar; Ratnasekhar, Ch; Pragya, Prakash; Chaouhan, Hitesh Singh; Patel, Devendra Kumar; Chowdhuri, Debapratim Kar; Mudiam, Mohana Krishna Reddy

    2016-01-01

    Paraquat (PQ) exposure causes degeneration of the dopaminergic neurons in an exposed organism while altered metabolism has a role in various neurodegenerative disorders. Therefore, the study presented here was conceived to depict the role of altered metabolism in PQ-induced Parkinson-like symptoms and to explore Drosophila as a potential model organism for such studies. Metabolic profile was generated in control and in flies that were fed PQ (5, 10, and 20 mM) in the diet for 12 and 24 h concurrent with assessment of indices of oxidative stress, dopaminergic neurodegeneration, and behavioral alteration. PQ was found to significantly alter 24 metabolites belonging to different biological pathways along with significant alterations in the above indices. In addition, PQ attenuated brain dopamine content in the exposed organism. The study demonstrates that PQ-induced alteration in the metabolites leads to oxidative stress and neurodegeneration in the exposed organism along with movement disorder, a phenotype typical of Parkinson-like symptoms. The study is relevant in the context of Drosophila and humans because similar alteration in the metabolic pathways has been observed in both PQ-exposed Drosophila and in postmortem samples of patients with Parkinsonism. Furthermore, this study provides advocacy towards the applicability of Drosophila as an alternate model organism for pre-screening of environmental chemicals for their neurodegenerative potential with altered metabolism.

  10. Genomes of Ellobius species provide insight into the evolutionary dynamics of mammalian sex chromosomes.

    PubMed

    Mulugeta, Eskeatnaf; Wassenaar, Evelyne; Sleddens-Linkels, Esther; van IJcken, Wilfred F J; Heard, Edith; Grootegoed, J Anton; Just, Walter; Gribnau, Joost; Baarends, Willy M

    2016-09-01

    The X and Y sex chromosomes of placental mammals show hallmarks of a tumultuous evolutionary past. The X Chromosome has a rich and conserved gene content, while the Y Chromosome has lost most of its genes. In the Transcaucasian mole vole Ellobius lutescens, the Y Chromosome including Sry has been lost, and both females and males have a 17,X diploid karyotype. Similarly, the closely related Ellobius talpinus, has a 54,XX karyotype in both females and males. Here, we report the sequencing and assembly of the E. lutescens and E. talpinus genomes. The results indicate that the loss of the Y Chromosome in E. lutescens and E. talpinus occurred in two independent events. Four functional homologs of mouse Y-Chromosomal genes were detected in both female and male E. lutescens, of which three were also detected in the E. talpinus genome. One of these is Eif2s3y, known as the only Y-derived gene that is crucial for successful male meiosis. Female and male E. lutescens can carry one and the same X Chromosome with a largely conserved gene content, including all genes known to function in X Chromosome inactivation. The availability of the genomes of these mole vole species provides unique models to study the dynamics of sex chromosome evolution. PMID:27510564

  11. Broad-scale phylogenomics provides insights into retrovirus–host evolution

    PubMed Central

    Hayward, Alexander; Grabherr, Manfred; Jern, Patric

    2013-01-01

    Genomic data provide an excellent resource to improve understanding of retrovirus evolution and the complex relationships among viruses and their hosts. In conjunction with broad-scale in silico screening of vertebrate genomes, this resource offers an opportunity to complement data on the evolution and frequency of past retroviral spread and so evaluate future risks and limitations for horizontal transmission between different host species. Here, we develop a methodology for extracting phylogenetic signal from large endogenous retrovirus (ERV) datasets by collapsing information to facilitate broad-scale phylogenomics across a wide sample of hosts. Starting with nearly 90,000 ERVs from 60 vertebrate host genomes, we construct phylogenetic hypotheses and draw inferences regarding the designation, host distribution, origin, and transmission of the Gammaretrovirus genus and associated class I ERVs. Our results uncover remarkable depths in retroviral sequence diversity, supported within a phylogenetic context. This finding suggests that current infectious exogenous retrovirus diversity may be underestimated, adding credence to the possibility that many additional exogenous retroviruses may remain to be discovered in vertebrate taxa. We demonstrate a history of frequent horizontal interorder transmissions from a rodent reservoir and suggest that rats may have acted as important overlooked facilitators of gammaretrovirus spread across diverse mammalian hosts. Together, these results demonstrate the promise of the methodology used here to analyze large ERV datasets and improve understanding of retroviral evolution and diversity for utilization in wider applications. PMID:24277832

  12. In vivo cell biology in zebrafish – providing insights into vertebrate development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Vacaru, Ana M.; Unlu, Gokhan; Spitzner, Marie; Mione, Marina; Knapik, Ela W.; Sadler, Kirsten C.

    2014-01-01

    ABSTRACT Over the past decades, studies using zebrafish have significantly advanced our understanding of the cellular basis for development and human diseases. Zebrafish have rapidly developing transparent embryos that allow comprehensive imaging of embryogenesis combined with powerful genetic approaches. However, forward genetic screens in zebrafish have generated unanticipated findings that are mirrored by human genetic studies: disruption of genes implicated in basic cellular processes, such as protein secretion or cytoskeletal dynamics, causes discrete developmental or disease phenotypes. This is surprising because many processes that were assumed to be fundamental to the function and survival of all cell types appear instead to be regulated by cell-specific mechanisms. Such discoveries are facilitated by experiments in whole animals, where zebrafish provides an ideal model for visualization and manipulation of organelles and cellular processes in a live vertebrate. Here, we review well-characterized mutants and newly developed tools that underscore this notion. We focus on the secretory pathway and microtubule-based trafficking as illustrative examples of how studying cell biology in vivo using zebrafish has broadened our understanding of the role fundamental cellular processes play in embryogenesis and disease. PMID:24481493

  13. Transcriptome Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes Provides Insight into Stolon Formation in Tulipa edulis

    PubMed Central

    Miao, Yuanyuan; Zhu, Zaibiao; Guo, Qiaosheng; Zhu, Yunhao; Yang, Xiaohua; Sun, Yuan

    2016-01-01

    Tulipa edulis (Miq.) Baker is an important medicinal plant with a variety of anti-cancer properties. The stolon is one of the main asexual reproductive organs of T. edulis and possesses a unique morphology. To explore the molecular mechanism of stolon formation, we performed an RNA-seq analysis of the transcriptomes of stolons at three developmental stages. In the present study, 15.49 Gb of raw data were generated and assembled into 74,006 unigenes, and a total of 2,811 simple sequence repeats were detected in T. edulis. Among the three libraries of stolons at different developmental stages, there were 5,119 differentially expressed genes (DEGs). A functional annotation analysis based on sequence similarity queries of the GO, COG, KEGG databases showed that these DEGs were mainly involved in many physiological and biochemical processes, such as material and energy metabolism, hormone signaling, cell growth, and transcription regulation. In addition, quantitative real-time PCR analysis revealed that the expression patterns of the DEGs were consistent with the transcriptome data, which further supported a role for the DEGs in stolon formation. This study provides novel resources for future genetic and molecular studies in T. edulis. PMID:27064558

  14. Transcriptome-wide sequencing provides insights into geocarpy in peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.).

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoping; Yang, Qingli; Li, Haifen; Li, Heying; Hong, Yanbin; Pan, Lijuan; Chen, Na; Zhu, Fanghe; Chi, Xiaoyuan; Zhu, Wei; Chen, Mingna; Liu, Haiyan; Yang, Zhen; Zhang, Erhua; Wang, Tong; Zhong, Ni; Wang, Mian; Liu, Hong; Wen, Shijie; Li, Xingyu; Zhou, Guiyuan; Li, Shaoxiong; Wu, Hong; Varshney, Rajeev; Liang, Xuanqiang; Yu, Shanlin

    2016-05-01

    A characteristic feature of peanut is the subterranean fructification, geocarpy, in which the gynophore ('peg'), a specialized organ that transitions from upward growth habit to downward outgrowth upon fertilization, drives the developing pod into the soil for subsequent development underground. As a step towards understanding this phenomenon, we explore the developmental dynamics of the peanut pod transcriptome at 11 successive stages. We identified 110 217 transcripts across developmental stages and quantified their abundance along a pod developmental gradient in pod wall. We found that the majority of transcripts were differentially expressed along the developmental gradient as well as identified temporal programs of gene expression, including hundreds of transcription factors. Thought to be an adaptation to particularly harsh subterranean environments, both up- and down-regulated gene sets in pod wall were enriched for response to a broad array of stimuli, like gravity, light and subterranean environmental factors. We also identified hundreds of transcripts associated with gravitropism and photomorphogenesis, which may be involved in the geocarpy. Collectively, this study forms a transcriptional baseline for geocarpy in peanut as well as provides a considerable body of evidence that transcriptional regulation in peanut aerial and subterranean fruits is complex. PMID:26502832

  15. Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis.

    PubMed

    Tisserant, Emilie; Malbreil, Mathilde; Kuo, Alan; Kohler, Annegret; Symeonidi, Aikaterini; Balestrini, Raffaella; Charron, Philippe; Duensing, Nina; Frei dit Frey, Nicolas; Gianinazzi-Pearson, Vivienne; Gilbert, Luz B; Handa, Yoshihiro; Herr, Joshua R; Hijri, Mohamed; Koul, Raman; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Krajinski, Franziska; Lammers, Peter J; Masclaux, Frederic G; Murat, Claude; Morin, Emmanuelle; Ndikumana, Steve; Pagni, Marco; Petitpierre, Denis; Requena, Natalia; Rosikiewicz, Pawel; Riley, Rohan; Saito, Katsuharu; San Clemente, Hélène; Shapiro, Harris; van Tuinen, Diederik; Bécard, Guillaume; Bonfante, Paola; Paszkowski, Uta; Shachar-Hill, Yair Y; Tuskan, Gerald A; Young, J Peter W; Young, Peter W; Sanders, Ian R; Henrissat, Bernard; Rensing, Stefan A; Grigoriev, Igor V; Corradi, Nicolas; Roux, Christophe; Martin, Francis

    2013-12-10

    The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged genomes. The expansion of mating-related genes suggests the existence of cryptic sex-related processes. A comparison of gene categories confirms that R. irregularis is close to the Mucoromycotina. The AMF obligate biotrophy is not explained by genome erosion or any related loss of metabolic complexity in central metabolism, but is marked by a lack of genes encoding plant cell wall-degrading enzymes and of genes involved in toxin and thiamine synthesis. A battery of mycorrhiza-induced secreted proteins is expressed in symbiotic tissues. The present comprehensive repertoire of R. irregularis genes provides a basis for future research on symbiosis-related mechanisms in Glomeromycota.

  16. Transcriptomic analysis of the white rot fungus Polyporus brumalis provides insight into sesquiterpene biosynthesis.

    PubMed

    Lee, Su-Yeon; Kim, Myungkil; Kim, Seon-Hong; Hong, Chang-Young; Ryu, Sun-Hwa; Choi, In-Gyu

    2016-01-01

    Object of this study was to identify genes and enzymes that are involved in sesquiterpene biosynthesis in the wood rotting fungus, Polyporus brumalis. Sesquiterpenes, β-eudesmane and β-eudesmol, were produced by the mycelium of P. brumalis cultured in modified medium. However, theses final products were not observed when the fungus was grown in potato dextrose medium. We used next generation sequencing (NGS) to identify differentially expressed genes (DEGs) related to terpene metabolism. This approach generated 25,000 unigenes and 127 metabolic pathways that were assigned to Kyoto Encyclopedia Genes Groups (KEGG). Further analysis of samples from modified medium indicated significant upregulation of 8 unigenes involved in the mevalonate (MVA) and methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) biosynthetic pathways. These pathways generate isopentenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP), which are precursors for the synthesis of sesquiterpenes. Furthermore, genes encoding germacrene A synthase, which facilitate the cyclization of FPP, were only differentially expressed in mycelium from fungi grown in modified medium. Our data provide a resource for studying the molecular mechanisms underpinning sesquiterpene biosynthesis and terpene metabolism. PMID:26686622

  17. Maternal separation with early weaning: a rodent model providing novel insights into neglect associated developmental deficits.

    PubMed

    Carlyle, Becky C; Duque, Alvaro; Kitchen, Robert R; Bordner, Kelly A; Coman, Daniel; Doolittle, Eliza; Papademetris, Xenophonios; Hyder, Fahmeed; Taylor, Jane R; Simen, Arthur A

    2012-11-01

    Child neglect is the most prevalent form of child maltreatment in the United States, and poses a serious public health concern. Children who survive such episodes go on to experience long-lasting psychological and behavioral problems, including higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and cognitive deficits. To date, most research into the causes of these life-long problems has focused on well-established targets such as stress responsive systems, including the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Using the maternal separation and early weaning model, we have attempted to provide comprehensive molecular profiling of a model of early-life neglect in an organism amenable to genomic manipulation: the mouse. In this article, we report new findings generated with this model using chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing, diffuse tensor magnetic resonance imaging, and behavioral analyses. We also review the validity of the maternal separation and early weaning model, which reflects behavioral deficits observed in neglected humans including hyperactivity, anxiety, and attentional deficits. Finally, we summarize the molecular characterization of these animals, including RNA profiling and label-free proteomics, which highlight protein translation and myelination as novel pathways of interest. PMID:23062306

  18. Molecular interactions of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Atg1 complex provide insights into assembly and regulatory mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Chew, Leon H; Lu, Shan; Liu, Xu; Li, Franco Kk; Yu, Angela Yh; Klionsky, Daniel J; Dong, Meng-Qiu; Yip, Calvin K

    2015-01-01

    The Atg1 complex, which contains 5 major subunits: Atg1, Atg13, Atg17, Atg29, and Atg31, regulates the induction of autophagy and autophagosome formation. To gain a better understanding of the overall architecture and assembly mechanism of this essential autophagy regulatory complex, we have reconstituted a core assembly of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae Atg1 complex composed of full-length Atg17, Atg29, and Atg31, along with the C-terminal domains of Atg1 (Atg1[CTD]) and Atg13 (Atg13[CTD]). Using chemical-crosslinking coupled with mass spectrometry (CXMS) analysis we systematically mapped the intersubunit interaction interfaces within this complex. Our data revealed that the intrinsically unstructured C-terminal domain of Atg29 interacts directly with Atg17, whereas Atg17 interacts with Atg13 in 2 distinct intrinsically unstructured regions, including a previously unknown motif that encompasses several putative phosphorylation sites. The Atg1[CTD] crosslinks exclusively to the Atg13[CTD] and does not appear to make direct contact with the Atg17-Atg31-Atg29 scaffold. Finally, single-particle electron microscopy analysis revealed that both the Atg13[CTD] and Atg1[CTD] localize to the tip regions of Atg17-Atg31-Atg29 and do not alter the distinct curvature of this scaffolding subcomplex. This work provides a comprehensive understanding of the subunit interactions in the fully assembled Atg1 core complex, and uncovers the potential role of intrinsically disordered regions in regulating complex integrity. PMID:25998554

  19. A 4000-species dataset provides new insight into the evolution of ferns.

    PubMed

    Testo, Weston; Sundue, Michael

    2016-12-01

    Ferns are the second-most diverse lineage of vascular plants on Earth, yet the best-sampled time-calibrated phylogeny of the group to date includes fewer than 5% of global diversity and was published seven years ago. We present a time-calibrated phylogeny that includes nearly half of extant fern diversity. Our results are evaluated in the context of previous studies and the fossil record, and we develop new hypotheses about the radiation of leptosporangiate ferns. We used sequence data from six chloroplast regions for nearly 4000 species of ferns to generate the most comprehensive phylogeny of the group ever published. We calibrate the phylogeny with twenty-six fossils and use an array of phylogenetic methods to resolve phylogenetic relationships, estimate divergence times, and infer speciation, extinction, and net diversification rates. We infer a mid-late Silurian origin for ferns (including horsetails) and an early Carboniferous origin for leptosporangiate ferns. Most derived fern families appeared in the Cretaceous and persisted for millions of years before rapidly diversifying in the Cenozoic. We find no evidence of differential rates of diversification among terrestrial and epiphytic species. Our findings challenge previous hypotheses on the evolutionary history of ferns and present a new paradigm for their Cenozoic radiation. We estimate earlier divergences for most fern lineages than were reported in previous studies and provide evidence of extended persistence of major fern lineages prior to rapid diversification in the last fifty million years.

  20. Genome of an arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus provides insight into the oldest plant symbiosis

    PubMed Central

    Tisserant, Emilie; Malbreil, Mathilde; Kuo, Alan; Kohler, Annegret; Symeonidi, Aikaterini; Balestrini, Raffaella; Charron, Philippe; Duensing, Nina; Frei dit Frey, Nicolas; Gianinazzi-Pearson, Vivienne; Gilbert, Luz B.; Handa, Yoshihiro; Herr, Joshua R.; Hijri, Mohamed; Koul, Raman; Kawaguchi, Masayoshi; Krajinski, Franziska; Lammers, Peter J.; Masclaux, Frederic G.; Murat, Claude; Morin, Emmanuelle; Ndikumana, Steve; Pagni, Marco; Petitpierre, Denis; Requena, Natalia; Rosikiewicz, Pawel; Riley, Rohan; Saito, Katsuharu; San Clemente, Hélène; Shapiro, Harris; van Tuinen, Diederik; Bécard, Guillaume; Bonfante, Paola; Paszkowski, Uta; Shachar-Hill, Yair Y.; Tuskan, Gerald A.; Young, J. Peter W.; Sanders, Ian R.; Henrissat, Bernard; Rensing, Stefan A.; Grigoriev, Igor V.; Corradi, Nicolas; Roux, Christophe; Martin, Francis

    2013-01-01

    The mutualistic symbiosis involving Glomeromycota, a distinctive phylum of early diverging Fungi, is widely hypothesized to have promoted the evolution of land plants during the middle Paleozoic. These arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) perform vital functions in the phosphorus cycle that are fundamental to sustainable crop plant productivity. The unusual biological features of AMF have long fascinated evolutionary biologists. The coenocytic hyphae host a community of hundreds of nuclei and reproduce clonally through large multinucleated spores. It has been suggested that the AMF maintain a stable assemblage of several different genomes during the life cycle, but this genomic organization has been questioned. Here we introduce the 153-Mb haploid genome of Rhizophagus irregularis and its repertoire of 28,232 genes. The observed low level of genome polymorphism (0.43 SNP per kb) is not consistent with the occurrence of multiple, highly diverged gen