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1.  MINT, the molecular interaction database: 2012 update 
Nucleic Acids Research  2011;40(Database issue):D857-D861.
The Molecular INTeraction Database (MINT, is a public repository for protein–protein interactions (PPI) reported in peer-reviewed journals. The database grows steadily over the years and at September 2011 contains approximately 235 000 binary interactions captured from over 4750 publications. The web interface allows the users to search, visualize and download interactions data. MINT is one of the members of the International Molecular Exchange consortium (IMEx) and adopts the Molecular Interaction Ontology of the Proteomics Standard Initiative (PSI-MI) standards for curation and data exchange. MINT data are freely accessible and downloadable at We report here the growth of the database, the major changes in curation policy and a new algorithm to assign a confidence to each interaction.
PMCID: PMC3244991  PMID: 22096227
2.  VirusMINT: a viral protein interaction database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2008;37(Database issue):D669-D673.
Understanding the consequences on host physiology induced by viral infection requires complete understanding of the perturbations caused by virus proteins on the cellular protein interaction network. The VirusMINT database ( aims at collecting all protein interactions between viral and human proteins reported in the literature. VirusMINT currently stores over 5000 interactions involving more than 490 unique viral proteins from more than 110 different viral strains. The whole data set can be easily queried through the search pages and the results can be displayed with a graphical viewer. The curation effort has focused on manuscripts reporting interactions between human proteins and proteins encoded by some of the most medically relevant viruses: papilloma viruses, human immunodeficiency virus 1, Epstein–Barr virus, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, herpes viruses and Simian virus 40.
PMCID: PMC2686573  PMID: 18974184
3.  The ER-associated degradation component Der1p and its homolog Dfm1p are contained in complexes with distinct cofactors of the ATPase Cdc48p 
FEBS letters  2008;582(11):1575-1580.
Misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are often degraded in the cytosol by a process called ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD). During ERAD in S. cerevisiae, the ATPase Cdc48p associates with Der1p, a putative component of a retro-translocation channel. Cdc48p also binds a homolog of Der1p, Dfm1p, that has no known function in ERAD. Here, we show that Der1p and Dfm1p are contained in distinct complexes. While the complexes share several ERAD components, only the Dfm1p complex contains the Cdc48p cofactors Ubx1p and Ubx7p, while the Der1p complex is enriched in Ufd1p. These data suggest distinct functions for the Der1p and Dfm1p complexes.
Structured summary
MINT-6491003: Ufd1-SA (uniprotkb:P53044) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Der1-HA (uniprotkb:P38307) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6490940: Der1-SA (uniprotkb:P38307) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Cdc48 (uniprotkb:P25694), Usa1 (uniprotkb:Q03714), Hrd3 (uniprotkb:Q05787), Hrd1 (uniprotkb:Q08109), Ubx2 (uniprotkb:Q04228), Yos9 (uniprotkb:Q99220), Npl4 (uniprotkb:P33755) and Ufd1 (uniprotkb:P53044) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6490972: Dfm1-CA (uniprotkb:Q12743) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Ubx7 (uniprotkb:P38349), Ubx1 (uniprotkb:P34223), Kar2 (uniprotkb:P16474), Npl4 (uniprotkb:P33755), Yos9 (uniprotkb:Q99220), Ubx2 (uniprotkb:Q04228), Hrd1 (uniprotkb:Q08109), Hrd3 (uniprotkb:Q05787), Usa1 (uniprotkb:Q03714) and Cdc48 (uniprotkb:P25694) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6491016: Ufd1-SA (uniprotkb:P53044) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Dfm1-HA (uniprotkb:Q12743) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6491041: Ubx7-SA (uniprotkb:P38349) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Dfm1-HA (uniprotkb:Q12743) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6490909: Dfm1-CA (uniprotkb:Q12743) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Dfm1-HA (uniprotkb:Q12743) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
MINT-6491029: Ubx1-SA (uniprotkb:P34223) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Dfm1-HA (uniprotkb:Q12743) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007) MINT-6490896: Der1-SA (uniprotkb:P38307) physically interacts (MI:0218) with Der1-HA (uniprotkb:P38307) by anti tag coimmunoprecipitation (MI:0007)
PMCID: PMC2438607  PMID: 18407841
ER-associated degradation; Ubx proteins; Cdc48p ATPase
4.  MINT, the molecular interaction database: 2009 update 
Nucleic Acids Research  2009;38(Database issue):D532-D539.
MINT ( is a public repository for molecular interactions reported in peer-reviewed journals. Since its last report, MINT has grown considerably in size and evolved in scope to meet the requirements of its users. The main changes include a more precise definition of the curation policy and the development of an enhanced and user-friendly interface to facilitate the analysis of the ever-growing interaction dataset. MINT has adopted the PSI-MI standards for the annotation and for the representation of molecular interactions and is a member of the IMEx consortium.
PMCID: PMC2808973  PMID: 19897547
5.  A New Mint1 Isoform, but Not the Conventional Mint1, Interacts with the Small GTPase Rab6 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(5):e64149.
Small GTPases of the Rab family are important regulators of a large variety of different cellular functions such as membrane organization and vesicle trafficking. They have been shown to play a role in several human diseases. One prominent member, Rab6, is thought to be involved in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease, the most prevalent mental disorder worldwide. Previous studies have shown that Rab6 impairs the processing of the amyloid precursor protein (APP), which is cleaved to β-amyloid in brains of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Additionally, all three members of the Mint adaptor family are implied to participate in the amyloidogenic pathway. Here, we report the identification of a new Mint1 isoform in a yeast two-hybrid screening, Mint1 826, which lacks an eleven amino acid (aa) sequence in the conserved C-terminal region. Mint1 826, but not the conventional Mint1, interacts with Rab6 via the PTB domain. This interaction is nucleotide-dependent, Rab6-specific and influences the subcellular localization of Mint1 826. We were able to detect and sequence a corresponding proteolytic peptide derived from cellular Mint1 826 by mass spectrometry proving the absence of aa 495–505 and could show that the deletion does not influence the ability of this adaptor protein to interact with APP. Taking into account that APP interacts and co-localizes with Mint1 826 and is transported in Rab6 positive vesicles, our data suggest that Mint1 826 bridges APP to the small GTPase at distinct cellular sorting points, establishing Mint1 826 as an important player in regulation of APP trafficking and processing.
PMCID: PMC3667844  PMID: 23737971
6.  Integrative Features of the Yeast Phosphoproteome and Protein–Protein Interaction Map 
PLoS Computational Biology  2011;7(1):e1001064.
Following recent advances in high-throughput mass spectrometry (MS)–based proteomics, the numbers of identified phosphoproteins and their phosphosites have greatly increased in a wide variety of organisms. Although a critical role of phosphorylation is control of protein signaling, our understanding of the phosphoproteome remains limited. Here, we report unexpected, large-scale connections revealed between the phosphoproteome and protein interactome by integrative data-mining of yeast multi-omics data. First, new phosphoproteome data on yeast cells were obtained by MS-based proteomics and unified with publicly available yeast phosphoproteome data. This revealed that nearly 60% of ∼6,000 yeast genes encode phosphoproteins. We mapped these unified phosphoproteome data on a yeast protein–protein interaction (PPI) network with other yeast multi-omics datasets containing information about proteome abundance, proteome disorders, literature-derived signaling reactomes, and in vitro substratomes of kinases. In the phospho-PPI, phosphoproteins had more interacting partners than nonphosphoproteins, implying that a large fraction of intracellular protein interaction patterns (including those of protein complex formation) is affected by reversible and alternative phosphorylation reactions. Although highly abundant or unstructured proteins have a high chance of both interacting with other proteins and being phosphorylated within cells, the difference between the number counts of interacting partners of phosphoproteins and nonphosphoproteins was significant independently of protein abundance and disorder level. Moreover, analysis of the phospho-PPI and yeast signaling reactome data suggested that co-phosphorylation of interacting proteins by single kinases is common within cells. These multi-omics analyses illuminate how wide-ranging intracellular phosphorylation events and the diversity of physical protein interactions are largely affected by each other.
Author Summary
To date, high-throughput proteome technologies have revealed that hundreds to thousands of proteins in each of many organisms are phosphorylated under the appropriate environmental conditions. A critical role of phosphorylation is control of protein signaling. However, only a fraction of the identified phosphoproteins participate in currently known protein signaling pathways, and the biological relevance of the remainder is unclear. This has raised the question of whether phosphorylation has other major roles. In this study, we identified new phosphoproteins in budding yeast by mass spectrometry and unified these new data with publicly available phosphoprotein data. We then performed an integrative data-mining of large-scale yeast phosphoproteins and protein–protein interactions (complex formation) by an exhaustive analysis that incorporated yeast protein information from several other sources. The phosphoproteome data integration surprisingly showed that nearly 60% of yeast genes encode phosphoproteins, and the subsequent data-mining analysis derived two models interpreting the mutual intracellular effects of large-scale protein phosphorylation and binding interaction. Biological interpretations of both large-scale intracellular phosphorylation and the topology of protein interaction networks are highly relevant to modern biology. This study sheds light on how in vivo protein pathways are supported by a combination of protein modification and molecular dynamics.
PMCID: PMC3029238  PMID: 21298081
7.  Structural implications for K5/K12-di-acetylated histone H4 recognition by the second bromodomain of BRD2 
FEBS letters  2010;584(18):3901-3908.
The BET family proteins recognize acetylated chromatin through their two bromodomains, acting as transcriptional activators or tethering viral genomes to the mitotic chromosomes of their host. The structural mechanism for how the N-terminal bromodomain of human BRD2 (BRD2-BD1) deciphers the mono-acetylated status of histone H4 tail was recently reported. Here we show the crystal structure of the second bromodomain of BRD2 (BRD2-BD2) in complex with the di-acetylated histone H4 tail (H4K5ac/K12ac). To our surprise, a single K5ac/K12ac peptide interacts with two BRD2-BD2 molecules simultaneously: the K5ac residue binds to one BRD2-BD2 molecule while the K12ac residue binds to another. These results provide a structural basis for the recognition of two different patterns of the histone acetylation status by a single bromodomain.
Structured summary
MINT-7989882, MINT-7989824, MINT-7989846, MINT-7989865: H4 (uniprotkb:P62805) binds (MI:0407) to BRD2 (uniprotkb:P25440) by surface plasmon resonance (MI:0107)
MINT-7989539: H4 (uniprotkb:P62805) and BRD2 (uniprotkb:P25440) bind (MI:0407) by X-ray crystallography (MI:0114)
PMCID: PMC4158924  PMID: 20709061
BET family; Bromodomain; Cell cycle; Chromatin; Crystal structure; Papilloma virus; Transcription
8.  Association of Kinesin Light Chain with Outer Dense Fibers in a Microtubule-independent Fashion* 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2003;278(18):16159-16168.
Conventional kinesin I motor molecules are heterotetramers consisting of two kinesin light chains (KLCs) and two kinesin heavy chains. The interaction between the heavy and light chains is mediated by the KLC heptad repeat (HR), a leucine zipper-like motif. Kinesins bind to microtubules and are involved in various cellular functions, including transport and cell division. We recently isolated a novel KLC gene, klc3. klc3 is the only known KLC expressed in post-meiotic male germ cells. A monoclonal anti-KLC3 antibody was developed that, in immunoelectron microscopy, detects KLC3 protein associated with outer dense fibers (ODFs), unique structural components of sperm tails. No significant binding of KLC3 with microtubules was observed with this monoclonal antibody. In vitro experiments showed that KLC3-ODF binding occurred in the absence of kinesin heavy chains or microtubules and required the KLC3 HR. ODF1, a major ODF protein, was identified as the KLC3 binding partner. The ODF1 leucine zipper and the KLC3 HR mediated the interaction. These results identify and characterize a novel interaction between a KLC and a non-microtubule macromolecular structure and suggest that KLC3 could play a microtubule-independent role during formation of sperm tails.
PMCID: PMC3178653  PMID: 12594206 CAMSID: cams1883
9.  Mint3/X11γ Is an ADP-Ribosylation Factor-dependent Adaptor that Regulates the Traffic of the Alzheimer's Precursor Protein from the Trans-Golgi Network 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2008;19(1):51-64.
β-Amyloid peptides (Aβ) are the major component of plaques in brains of Alzheimer's patients, and are they derived from the proteolytic processing of the β-amyloid precursor protein (APP). The movement of APP between organelles is highly regulated, and it is tightly connected to its processing by secretases. We proposed previously that transport of APP within the cell is mediated in part through its sorting into Mint/X11-containing carriers. To test our hypothesis, we purified APP-containing vesicles from human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells, and we showed that Mint2/3 are specifically enriched and that Mint3 and APP are present in the same vesicles. Increasing cellular APP levels increased the amounts of both APP and Mint3 in purified vesicles. Additional evidence supporting an obligate role for Mint3 in traffic of APP from the trans-Golgi network to the plasma membrane include the observations that depletion of Mint3 by small interference RNA (siRNA) or mutation of the Mint binding domain of APP changes the export route of APP from the basolateral to the endosomal/lysosomal sorting route. Finally, we show that increased expression of Mint3 decreased and siRNA-mediated knockdowns increased the secretion of the neurotoxic β-amyloid peptide, Aβ1-40. Together, our data implicate Mint3 activity as a critical determinant of post-Golgi APP traffic.
PMCID: PMC2174186  PMID: 17959829
10.  Kinesin Light-Chain KLC3 Expression in Testis Is Restricted to Spermatids1 
Biology of reproduction  2001;64(5):1320-1330.
Kinesins are tetrameric motor molecules, consisting of two kinesin heavy chains (KHCs) and two kinesin light chains (KLCs) that are involved in transport of cargo along microtubules. The function of the light chain may be in cargo binding and regulation of kinesin activity. In the mouse, two KLC genes, KLC1 and KLC2, had been identified. KLC1 plays a role in neuronal transport, and KLC2 appears to be more widely expressed. We report the cloning from a testicular cDNA expression library of a mammalian light chain, KLC3. The KLC3 gene is located in close proximity to the ERCC2 gene. KLC3 can be classified as a genuine light chain: it interacts in vitro with the KHC, the interaction is mediated by a conserved heptade repeat sequence, and it associates in vitro with microtubules. In mouse and rat testis, KLC3 protein expression is restricted to round and elongating spermatids, and KLC3 is present in sperm tails. In contrast, KLC1 and KLC2 can only be detected before meiosis in testis. Interestingly, the expression profiles of the three known KHCs and KLC3 differ significantly: Kif5a and Kif5b are not expressed after meiosis, and Kif5c is expressed at an extremely low level in spermatids but is not detectable in sperm tails. Our characterization of the KLC3 gene suggests that it carries out a unique and specialized role in spermatids.
PMCID: PMC3161965  PMID: 11319135 CAMSID: cams1886
gene regulation; meiosis; spermatid; spermatogenesis; testis
11.  Mff is an essential factor for mitochondrial recruitment of Drp1 during mitochondrial fission in mammalian cells 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2010;191(6):1141-1158.
Localization of the dynamin-related GTPase Drp1 to mitochondria relies on the mitochondrial fission factor Mff.
The cytoplasmic dynamin-related guanosine triphosphatase Drp1 is recruited to mitochondria and mediates mitochondrial fission. Although the mitochondrial outer membrane (MOM) protein Fis1 is thought to be a Drp1 receptor, this has not been confirmed. To analyze the mechanism of Drp1 recruitment, we manipulated the expression of mitochondrial fission and fusion proteins and demonstrated that (a) mitochondrial fission factor (Mff) knockdown released the Drp1 foci from the MOM accompanied by network extension, whereas Mff overexpression stimulated mitochondrial recruitment of Drp1 accompanied by mitochondrial fission; (b) Mff-dependent mitochondrial fission proceeded independent of Fis1; (c) a Mff mutant with the plasma membrane–targeted CAAX motif directed Drp1 to the target membrane; (d) Mff and Drp1 physically interacted in vitro and in vivo; (e) exogenous stimuli–induced mitochondrial fission and apoptosis were compromised by knockdown of Drp1 and Mff but not Fis1; and (f) conditional knockout of Fis1 in colon carcinoma cells revealed that it is dispensable for mitochondrial fission. Thus, Mff functions as an essential factor in mitochondrial recruitment of Drp1.
PMCID: PMC3002033  PMID: 21149567
12.  Crystal Structures of the Tetratricopeptide Repeat Domains of Kinesin Light Chains: Insight into Cargo Recognition Mechanisms 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(3):e33943.
Kinesin-1 transports various cargos along the axon by interacting with the cargos through its light chain subunit. Kinesin light chains (KLC) utilize its tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain to interact with over 10 different cargos. Despite a high sequence identity between their TPR domains (87%), KLC1 and KLC2 isoforms exhibit differential binding properties towards some cargos. We determined the structures of human KLC1 and KLC2 tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domains using X-ray crystallography and investigated the different mechanisms by which KLCs interact with their cargos. Using isothermal titration calorimetry, we attributed the specific interaction between KLC1 and JNK-interacting protein 1 (JIP1) cargo to residue N343 in the fourth TRP repeat. Structurally, the N343 residue is adjacent to other asparagines and lysines, creating a positively charged polar patch within the groove of the TPR domain. Whereas, KLC2 with the corresponding residue S328 did not interact with JIP1. Based on these finding, we propose that N343 of KLC1 can form “a carboxylate clamp” with its neighboring asparagine to interact with JIP1, similar to that of HSP70/HSP90 organizing protein-1's (HOP1) interaction with heat shock proteins. For the binding of cargos shared by KLC1 and KLC2, we propose a different site located within the groove but not involving N343. We further propose a third binding site on KLC1 which involves a stretch of polar residues along the inter-TPR loops that may form a network of hydrogen bonds to JIP3 and JIP4. Together, these results provide structural insights into possible mechanisms of interaction between KLC TPR domains and various cargo proteins.
PMCID: PMC3314626  PMID: 22470497
13.  Mutations in Fis1 disrupt orderly disposal of defective mitochondria 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2014;25(1):145-159.
The mitochondrial fission protein Drp1 binds to Mff on mitochondria, followed by entry into a complex with Fis1 at the ER–mitochondrial interface. Mutations in Fis1 disrupt disposal of defective mitochondria when fission is induced by stress. Fis1 thus acts in sequence with Mff to couple mitochondrial fission with downstream degradation processes.
Mitochondrial fission is mediated by the dynamin-related protein Drp1 in metazoans. Drp1 is recruited from the cytosol to mitochondria by the mitochondrial outer membrane protein Mff. A second mitochondrial outer membrane protein, named Fis1, was previously proposed as recruitment factor, but Fis1−/− cells have mild or no mitochondrial fission defects. Here we show that Fis1 is nevertheless part of the mitochondrial fission complex in metazoan cells. During the fission cycle, Drp1 first binds to Mff on the surface of mitochondria, followed by entry into a complex that includes Fis1 and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteins at the ER–mitochondrial interface. Mutations in Fis1 do not normally affect fission, but they can disrupt downstream degradation events when specific mitochondrial toxins are used to induce fission. The disruptions caused by mutations in Fis1 lead to an accumulation of large LC3 aggregates. We conclude that Fis1 can act in sequence with Mff at the ER–mitochondrial interface to couple stress-induced mitochondrial fission with downstream degradation processes.
PMCID: PMC3873885  PMID: 24196833
14.  A conserved regulatory mode in exocytic membrane fusion revealed by Mso1p membrane interactions 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2013;24(3):331-341.
Mso1p, a Sec1p-interacting protein, is a novel lipid-binding protein. The lipid-binding properties are conserved between Mso1 and its mammalian homologue, Mint1p. The results suggest that there is a general requirement for a lipid-binding protein, a Rab GTPase, and a Sec1/Munc18 protein for all SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events.
Sec1/Munc18 family proteins are important components of soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive factor attachment protein receptor (SNARE) complex–mediated membrane fusion processes. However, the molecular interactions and the mechanisms involved in Sec1p/Munc18 control and SNARE complex assembly are not well understood. We provide evidence that Mso1p, a Sec1p- and Sec4p-binding protein, interacts with membranes to regulate membrane fusion. We identify two membrane-binding sites on Mso1p. The N-terminal region inserts into the lipid bilayer and appears to interact with the plasma membrane, whereas the C-terminal region of the protein binds phospholipids mainly through electrostatic interactions and may associate with secretory vesicles. The Mso1p membrane interactions are essential for correct subcellular localization of Mso1p–Sec1p complexes and for membrane fusion in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. These characteristics are conserved in the phosphotyrosine-binding (PTB) domain of β-amyloid precursor protein–binding Mint1, the mammalian homologue of Mso1p. Both Mint1 PTB domain and Mso1p induce vesicle aggregation/clustering in vitro, supporting a role in a membrane-associated process. The results identify Mso1p as a novel lipid-interacting protein in the SNARE complex assembly machinery. Furthermore, our data suggest that a general mode of interaction, consisting of a lipid-binding protein, a Rab family GTPase, and a Sec1/Munc18 family protein, is important in all SNARE-mediated membrane fusion events.
PMCID: PMC3564535  PMID: 23197474
15.  Comparing system-specific chaperone interactions with their Tat dependent redox enzyme substrates 
Febs Letters  2010;584(22):4553-4558.
Redox enzyme substrates of the twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system contain a RR-motif in their leader peptide and require the assistance of chaperones, redox enzyme maturation proteins (REMPs). Here various regions of the RR-containing oxidoreductase subunit (leader peptide, full preprotein with and without a leader cleavage site, mature protein) were assayed for interaction with their REMPs. All REMPs bound their preprotein substrates independent of the cleavage site. Some showed binding to either the leader or mature region, whereas in one case only the preprotein bound its REMP. The absence of Tat also influenced the amount of chaperone–substrate interaction.
Structured summary
MINT-8047497: FdhE (uniprotkb:P13024) and FdoG (uniprotkb:P32176) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
MINT-8046441: HybO (uniprotkb:P69741) and HybE (uniprotkb:P0AAN1) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
MINT-8046375: DmsA (uniprotkb:P18775) and DmsD (uniprotkb:P69853) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
MINT-8046425: TorA (uniprotkb:P33225) and TorD (uniprotkb:P36662) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
MINT-8046393: NarJ (uniprotkb:P0AF26) and NarG (uniprotkb:P09152) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
MINT-8046409: NapD (uniprotkb:P0A9I5) and NapA (uniprotkb:P33937) physically interact (MI:0915) by two hybrid (MI:0018)
PMCID: PMC3285697  PMID: 20974141 CAMSID: cams1627
System specific chaperone; Twin-arginine translocase system; Twin arginine translocase; Leader sequence; Bacterial two-hybrid; Protein maturation
16.  MINT: the Molecular INTeraction database 
Nucleic Acids Research  2006;35(Database issue):D572-D574.
The Molecular INTeraction database (MINT, ) aims at storing, in a structured format, information about molecular interactions (MIs) by extracting experimental details from work published in peer-reviewed journals. At present the MINT team focuses the curation work on physical interactions between proteins. Genetic or computationally inferred interactions are not included in the database. Over the past four years MINT has undergone extensive revision. The new version of MINT is based on a completely remodeled database structure, which offers more efficient data exploration and analysis, and is characterized by entries with a richer annotation. Over the past few years the number of curated physical interactions has soared to over 95 000. The whole dataset can be freely accessed online in both interactive and batch modes through web-based interfaces and an FTP server. MINT now includes, as an integrated addition, HomoMINT, a database of interactions between human proteins inferred from experiments with ortholog proteins in model organisms ().
PMCID: PMC1751541  PMID: 17135203
17.  HomoMINT: an inferred human network based on orthology mapping of protein interactions discovered in model organisms 
BMC Bioinformatics  2005;6(Suppl 4):S21.
The application of high throughput approaches to the identification of protein interactions has offered for the first time a glimpse of the global interactome of some model organisms. Until now, however, such genome-wide approaches have not been applied to the human proteome.
In order to fill this gap we have assembled an inferred human protein interaction network where interactions discovered in model organisms are mapped onto the corresponding human orthologs. In addition to a stringent assignment to orthology classes based on the InParanoid algorithm, we have implemented a string matching algorithm to filter out orthology assignments of proteins whose global domain organization is not conserved. Finally, we have assessed the accuracy of our own, and related, inferred networks by benchmarking them against i) an assembled experimental interactome, ii) a network derived by mining of the scientific literature and iii) by measuring the enrichment of interacting protein pairs sharing common Gene Ontology annotation.
The resulting networks are named HomoMINT and HomoMINT_filtered, the latter being based on the orthology table filtered by the domain architecture matching algorithm. They contains 9749 and 5203 interactions respectively and can be analyzed and viewed in the context of the experimentally verified interactions between human proteins stored in the MINT database. HomoMINT is constantly updated to take into account the growing information in the MINT database.
PMCID: PMC1866386  PMID: 16351748
18.  Mff functions with Pex11pβ and DLP1 in peroxisomal fission 
Biology Open  2013;2(10):998-1006.
Peroxisomal division comprises three steps: elongation, constriction, and fission. Translocation of dynamin-like protein 1 (DLP1), a member of the large GTPase family, from the cytosol to peroxisomes is a prerequisite for membrane fission; however, the molecular machinery for peroxisomal targeting of DLP1 remains unclear. This study investigated whether mitochondrial fission factor (Mff), which targets DLP1 to mitochondria, may also recruit DLP1 to peroxisomes. Results show that endogenous Mff is localized to peroxisomes, especially at the membrane-constricted regions of elongated peroxisomes, in addition to mitochondria. Knockdown of MFF abrogates the fission stage of peroxisomal division and is associated with failure to recruit DLP1 to peroxisomes, while ectopic expression of MFF increases the peroxisomal targeting of DLP1. Co-expression of MFF and PEX11β, the latter being a key player in peroxisomal elongation, increases peroxisome abundance. Overexpression of MFF also increases the interaction between DLP1 and Pex11pβ, which knockdown of MFF, but not Fis1, abolishes. Moreover, results show that Pex11pβ interacts with Mff in a DLP1-dependent manner. In conclusion, Mff contributes to the peroxisomal targeting of DLP1 and plays a key role in the fission of the peroxisomal membrane by acting in concert with Pex11pβ and DLP1.
PMCID: PMC3798195  PMID: 24167709
Peroxisome morphogenesis; Elongation; Fission; Division; Mitochondrial fission factor; Dynamin-like protein 1; Peroxin Pex11p; Fis1
19.  A Specific Light Chain of Kinesin Associates with Mitochondria in Cultured Cells 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  1998;9(2):333-343.
The motor protein kinesin is implicated in the intracellular transport of organelles along microtubules. Kinesin light chains (KLCs) have been suggested to mediate the selective binding of kinesin to its cargo. To test this hypothesis, we isolated KLC cDNA clones from a CHO-K1 expression library. Using sequence analysis, they were found to encode five distinct isoforms of KLCs. The primary region of variability lies at the carboxyl termini, which were identical or highly homologous to carboxyl-terminal regions of rat KLC B and C, human KLCs, sea urchin KLC isoforms 1–3, and squid KLCs. To examine whether the KLC isoforms associate with different cytoplasmic organelles, we made an antibody specific for a 10-amino acid sequence unique to B and C isoforms. In an indirect immunofluorescence assay, this antibody specifically labeled mitochondria in cultured CV-1 cells and human skin fibroblasts. On Western blots of total cell homogenates, it recognized a single KLC isoform, which copurified with mitochondria. Taken together, these data indicate a specific association of a particular KLC (B type) with mitochondria, revealing that different KLC isoforms can target kinesin to different cargoes.
PMCID: PMC25259  PMID: 9450959
20.  Intracellular APP Sorting and Aβ Secretion are Regulated by Src-mediated Phosphorylation of Mint2 
The Journal of Neuroscience  2012;32(28):9613-9625.
Mint adaptor proteins bind to the membrane-bound amyloid precursor protein (APP) and affect the production of pathogenic amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides related to Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Previous studies have shown that loss of each of the three Mint proteins delays the age-dependent production of amyloid plaques in transgenic mouse models of AD. However, the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying Mints effect on amyloid production are unclear. Because Aβ generation involves the internalization of membrane-bound APP via endosomes and Mints bind directly to the endocytic motif of APP, we proposed that Mints are involved in APP intracellular trafficking, which in turn, affects Aβ generation. Here, we show that APP endocytosis was attenuated in Mint knockout neurons, revealing a role for Mints in APP trafficking. We also show that the endocytic APP sorting processes are regulated by Src-mediated phosphorylation of Mint2 and that internalized APP is differentially sorted between autophagic and recycling trafficking pathways. A Mint2 phospho-mimetic mutant favored endocytosis of APP along the autophagic sorting pathway leading to increased intracellular Aβ accumulation. Conversely, the Mint2 phospho-resistant mutant increased APP localization to the recycling pathway and back to the cell surface thereby enhancing Aβ42 secretion. These results demonstrate that Src-mediated phosphorylation of Mint2 regulates the APP endocytic sorting pathway, providing a mechanism for regulating Aβ secretion.
PMCID: PMC3404619  PMID: 22787047
Mint; X11; APP; Src; phosphorylation; β-amyloid; Alzheimer’s disease
21.  Detecting and Removing Inconsistencies between Experimental Data and Signaling Network Topologies Using Integer Linear Programming on Interaction Graphs 
PLoS Computational Biology  2013;9(9):e1003204.
Cross-referencing experimental data with our current knowledge of signaling network topologies is one central goal of mathematical modeling of cellular signal transduction networks. We present a new methodology for data-driven interrogation and training of signaling networks. While most published methods for signaling network inference operate on Bayesian, Boolean, or ODE models, our approach uses integer linear programming (ILP) on interaction graphs to encode constraints on the qualitative behavior of the nodes. These constraints are posed by the network topology and their formulation as ILP allows us to predict the possible qualitative changes (up, down, no effect) of the activation levels of the nodes for a given stimulus. We provide four basic operations to detect and remove inconsistencies between measurements and predicted behavior: (i) find a topology-consistent explanation for responses of signaling nodes measured in a stimulus-response experiment (if none exists, find the closest explanation); (ii) determine a minimal set of nodes that need to be corrected to make an inconsistent scenario consistent; (iii) determine the optimal subgraph of the given network topology which can best reflect measurements from a set of experimental scenarios; (iv) find possibly missing edges that would improve the consistency of the graph with respect to a set of experimental scenarios the most. We demonstrate the applicability of the proposed approach by interrogating a manually curated interaction graph model of EGFR/ErbB signaling against a library of high-throughput phosphoproteomic data measured in primary hepatocytes. Our methods detect interactions that are likely to be inactive in hepatocytes and provide suggestions for new interactions that, if included, would significantly improve the goodness of fit. Our framework is highly flexible and the underlying model requires only easily accessible biological knowledge. All related algorithms were implemented in a freely available toolbox SigNetTrainer making it an appealing approach for various applications.
Author Summary
Cellular signal transduction is orchestrated by communication networks of signaling proteins commonly depicted on signaling pathway maps. However, each cell type may have distinct variants of signaling pathways, and wiring diagrams are often altered in disease states. The identification of truly active signaling topologies based on experimental data is therefore one key challenge in systems biology of cellular signaling. We present a new framework for training signaling networks based on interaction graphs (IG). In contrast to complex modeling formalisms, IG capture merely the known positive and negative edges between the components. This basic information, however, already sets hard constraints on the possible qualitative behaviors of the nodes when perturbing the network. Our approach uses Integer Linear Programming to encode these constraints and to predict the possible changes (down, neutral, up) of the activation levels of the involved players for a given experiment. Based on this formulation we developed several algorithms for detecting and removing inconsistencies between measurements and network topology. Demonstrated by EGFR/ErbB signaling in hepatocytes, our approach delivers direct conclusions on edges that are likely inactive or missing relative to canonical pathway maps. Such information drives the further elucidation of signaling network topologies under normal and pathological phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3764019  PMID: 24039561
22.  Human Mitochondrial Chaperone (mtHSP70) and Cysteine Desulfurase (NFS1) Bind Preferentially to the Disordered Conformation, Whereas Co-chaperone (HSC20) Binds to the Structured Conformation of the Iron-Sulfur Cluster Scaffold Protein (ISCU)* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2013;288(40):28755-28770.
Background: Iron-sulfur cluster biosynthesis involves a scaffold protein (ISCU), cysteine desulfurase (NFS1), chaperone (mtHSP70), and co-chaperone (HSC20).
Results: Human mitochondrial ISCU populates structured (S) and disordered (D) conformational states. S interacts preferentially with NFS1 and mtHSP70; D interacts preferentially with HSC20.
Conclusion: Shifts in the S ⇄ D equilibrium reveal functional states.
Significance: The scaffold protein metamorphic property seen in Escherichia coli is conserved in humans.
Human ISCU is the scaffold protein for mitochondrial iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster biogenesis and transfer. NMR spectra have revealed that ISCU populates two conformational states; that is, a more structured state (S) and a partially disordered state (D). We identified two single amino acid substitutions (D39V and N90A) that stabilize the S-state and two (D39A and H105A) that stabilize the D-state. We isolated the two constituent proteins of the human cysteine desulfurase complex (NFS1 and ISD11) separately and used NMR spectroscopy to investigate their interaction with ISCU. We found that ISD11 does not interact directly with ISCU. By contrast, NFS1 binds preferentially to the D-state of ISCU as does the NFS1-ISD11 complex. An in vitro Fe-S cluster assembly assay showed that [2Fe-2S] and [4Fe-4S] clusters are assembled on ISCU when catalyzed by NFS1 alone and at a higher rate when catalyzed by the NFS1-ISD11 complex. The DnaK-type chaperone (mtHSP70) and DnaJ-type co-chaperone (HSC20) are involved in the transfer of clusters bound to ISCU to acceptor proteins in an ATP-dependent reaction. We found that the ATPase activity of mtHSP70 is accelerated by HSC20 and further accelerated by HSC20 plus ISCU. NMR studies have shown that mtHSP70 binds preferentially to the D-state of ISCU and that HSC20 binds preferentially to the S-state of ISCU.
PMCID: PMC3789972  PMID: 23940031
ATPases; Chaperone Chaperonin; Enzyme Catalysis; Mitochondria; NMR; Protein Conformation; Protein-Protein Interactions; Scaffold Proteins; Spectroscopy
23.  Vaccinia Protein F12 Has Structural Similarity to Kinesin Light Chain and Contains a Motor Binding Motif Required for Virion Export 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(2):e1000785.
Vaccinia virus (VACV) uses microtubules for export of virions to the cell surface and this process requires the viral protein F12. Here we show that F12 has structural similarity to kinesin light chain (KLC), a subunit of the kinesin-1 motor that binds cargo. F12 and KLC share similar size, pI, hydropathy and cargo-binding tetratricopeptide repeats (TPRs). Moreover, molecular modeling of F12 TPRs upon the crystal structure of KLC2 TPRs showed a striking conservation of structure. We also identified multiple TPRs in VACV proteins E2 and A36. Data presented demonstrate that F12 is critical for recruitment of kinesin-1 to virions and that a conserved tryptophan and aspartic acid (WD) motif, which is conserved in the kinesin-1-binding sequence (KBS) of the neuronal protein calsyntenin/alcadein and several other cellular kinesin-1 binding proteins, is essential for kinesin-1 recruitment and virion transport. In contrast, mutation of WD motifs in protein A36 revealed they were not required for kinesin-1 recruitment or IEV transport. This report of a viral KLC-like protein containing a KBS that is conserved in several cellular proteins advances our understanding of how VACV recruits the kinesin motor to virions, and exemplifies how viruses use molecular mimicry of cellular components to their advantage.
Author Summary
Vaccinia virus (VACV), the vaccine used to eradicate smallpox, exploits the host cell motor kinesin-1 to export virus particles to the cell surface. We demonstrate that the VACV F12 protein has structural similarity with kinesin light chain (KLC) and facilitates viral transport using a kinesin binding sequence (KBS) that is conserved in several neuronal proteins. Dysfunction of some of these neuronal proteins can contribute to diseases, such as Alzheimer's. Mutation of the KBS in protein F12 showed it is essential for kinesin recruitment to virions and for virion transport to the cell surface. These findings enhance our understanding of how viruses hijack the host cell transport system, demonstrate conservation of a kinesin binding motif in cellular and viral proteins and identify targets for drug development.
PMCID: PMC2829069  PMID: 20195521
24.  Smaug/SAMD4A Restores Translational Activity of CUGBP1 and Suppresses CUG-Induced Myopathy 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(4):e1003445.
We report the identification and characterization of a previously unknown suppressor of myopathy caused by expansion of CUG repeats, the mutation that triggers Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1). We screened a collection of genes encoding RNA–binding proteins as candidates to modify DM1 pathogenesis using a well established Drosophila model of the disease. The screen revealed smaug as a powerful modulator of CUG-induced toxicity. Increasing smaug levels prevents muscle wasting and restores muscle function, while reducing its function exacerbates CUG-induced phenotypes. Using human myoblasts, we show physical interactions between human Smaug (SMAUG1/SMAD4A) and CUGBP1. Increased levels of SMAUG1 correct the abnormally high nuclear accumulation of CUGBP1 in myoblasts from DM1 patients. In addition, augmenting SMAUG1 levels leads to a reduction of inactive CUGBP1-eIF2α translational complexes and to a correction of translation of MRG15, a downstream target of CUGBP1. Therefore, Smaug suppresses CUG-mediated muscle wasting at least in part via restoration of translational activity of CUGBP1.
Author Summary
Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is the most common among the muscular dystrophies causing muscle weakness and wasting in adults, and it is triggered by expansion of an untranslated CUG repeat. To identify potential therapeutic approaches, we used a Drosophila DM1 model to screen for genes capable of suppressing CUG-induced toxicity. Here we report that increased levels of the smaug gene prevent muscle wasting and, perhaps more impressively, also prevent muscle dysfunction caused by the DM1 mutation. Smaug interacts genetically and physically with CUGBP1, an RNA–binding protein previously implicated in DM1. We used myoblasts from DM1 patients and control individuals to investigate how Smaug suppresses CUG-induced myopathy. We found that increased human SMAUG1 (a.k.a. SMAD4A) levels revert the abnormal accumulation of CUGBP1 in myoblasts nuclei and restore normal translation of at least one mRNA regulated by CUGBP1 in the cytoplasm. These findings demonstrate that manipulating Smaug activity protects against the effects of the DM1 mutation, and they also support the idea that restoring normal CUGBP1 function is a potential therapeutic approach.
PMCID: PMC3630084  PMID: 23637619
25.  Conventional Kinesin Holoenzymes Are Composed of Heavy and Light Chain Homodimers† 
Biochemistry  2008;47(15):4535-4543.
Conventional kinesin is a major microtubule-based motor protein responsible for anterograde transport of various membrane-bounded organelles (MBO) along axons. Structurally, this molecular motor protein is a tetrameric complex composed of two heavy (kinesin-1) chains and two light chain (KLC) subunits. The products of three kinesin-1 (kinesin-1A, -1B, and -1C, formerly KIF5A, -B, and -C) and two KLC (KLC1, KLC2) genes are expressed in mammalian nervous tissue, but the functional significance of this subunit heterogeneity remains unknown. In this work, we examine all possible combinations among conventional kinesin subunits in brain tissue. In sharp contrast with previous reports, immunoprecipitation experiments here demonstrate that conventional kinesin holoenzymes are formed of kinesin-1 homodimers. Similar experiments confirmed previous findings of KLC homodimerization. Additionally, no specificity was found in the interaction between kinesin-1s and KLCs, suggesting the existence of six variant forms of conventional kinesin, as defined by their gene product composition. Subcellular fractionation studies indicate that such variants associate with biochemically different MBOs and further suggest a role of kinesin-1s in the targeting of conventional kinesin holoenzymes to specific MBO cargoes. Taken together, our data address the combination of subunits that characterize endogenous conventional kinesin. Findings on the composition and subunit organization of conventional kinesin as described here provide a molecular basis for the regulation of axonal transport and delivery of selected MBOs to discrete subcellular locations.
PMCID: PMC2644488  PMID: 18361505

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