Prediction of subcellular protein localization is essential to correctly assign unknown proteins to cell organelle-specific protein networks and to ultimately determine protein function. For metazoa, several computational approaches have been developed in the past decade to predict peroxisomal proteins carrying the peroxisome targeting signal type 1 (PTS1). However, plant-specific PTS1 protein prediction methods have been lacking up to now, and pre-existing methods generally were incapable of correctly predicting low-abundance plant proteins possessing non-canonical PTS1 patterns. Recently, we presented a machine learning approach that is able to predict PTS1 proteins for higher plants (spermatophytes) with high accuracy and which can correctly identify unknown targeting patterns, i.e., novel PTS1 tripeptides and tripeptide residues. Here we describe the first plant-specific web server PredPlantPTS1 for the prediction of plant PTS1 proteins using the above-mentioned underlying models. The server allows the submission of protein sequences from diverse spermatophytes and also performs well for mosses and algae. The easy-to-use web interface provides detailed output in terms of (i) the peroxisomal targeting probability of the given sequence, (ii) information whether a particular non-canonical PTS1 tripeptide has already been experimentally verified, and (iii) the prediction scores for the single C-terminal 14 amino acid residues. The latter allows identification of predicted residues that inhibit peroxisome targeting and which can be optimized using site-directed mutagenesis to raise the peroxisome targeting efficiency. The prediction server will be instrumental in identifying low-abundance and stress-inducible peroxisomal proteins and defining the entire peroxisomal proteome of Arabidopsis and agronomically important crop plants. PredPlantPTS1 is freely accessible at ppp.gobics.de.
PTS1; peroxisome; machine learning; Arabidopsis; orthologs; subcellular targeting; proteome
We recently developed the first algorithms specifically for plants to predict proteins carrying peroxisome targeting signals type 1 (PTS1) from genome sequences.1 As validated experimentally, the prediction methods are able to correctly predict unknown peroxisomal Arabidopsis proteins and to infer novel PTS1 tripeptides. The high prediction performance is primarily determined by the large number and sequence diversity of the underlying positive example sequences, which mainly derived from EST databases. However, a few constructs remained cytosolic in experimental validation studies, indicating sequencing errors in some ESTs. To identify erroneous sequences, we validated subcellular targeting of additional positive example sequences in the present study. Moreover, we analyzed the distribution of prediction scores separately for each orthologous group of PTS1 proteins, which generally resembled normal distributions with group-specific mean values. The cytosolic sequences commonly represented outliers of low prediction scores and were located at the very tail of a fitted normal distribution. Three statistical methods for identifying outliers were compared in terms of sensitivity and specificity.” Their combined application allows elimination of erroneous ESTs from positive example data sets. This new post-validation method will further improve the prediction accuracy of both PTS1 and PTS2 protein prediction models for plants, fungi, and mammals.
genome screens; machine learning methods; peroxisome; statistics; targeting
We recently established a proteome methodology for Arabidopsis leaf peroxisomes and identified more than 90 putative novel proteins of the organelle. These proteins included glutathione reductase isoform 1 (GR1), a major enzyme of the antioxidative defense system that was previously reported to be cytosolic. In this follow-up study, we validated the proteome data by analyzing the in vivo subcellular targeting of GR1 and the function of its C-terminal tripeptide, TNL>, as a putative novel peroxisome targeting signal type 1 (PTS1). The full-length protein was targeted to peroxisomes in onion epidermal cells when fused N-terminally with the reporter protein. The efficiency of peroxisome targeting, however, was weak upon expression from a strong promoter, consistent with the idea that the enzyme is dually targeted to peroxisomes and the cytosol in vivo. The reporter protein that was extended C-terminally by 10 amino acid residues of GR1 was directed to peroxisomes, characterizing TNL> as a novel PTS1. The data thus identify plant peroxisomal GR at the molecular level in the first plant species and complete the plant peroxisomal ascorbate-glutathione cycle. Moreover, GR1 is the first plant protein that is dually targeted to peroxisomes and the cytosol. The evolutionary origin and regulatory mechanisms of dual targeting are discussed.
ascorbate-glutathione cycle; dual targeting; proteome analyses; reactive oxygen species; targeting signals
Plant peroxisomes are essential organelles that house diverse metabolic activities. To understand the full spectrum of peroxisomal functions, we recently performed a proteomic analysis of Arabidopsis leaf peroxisomes followed by in vivo subcellular targeting validation of some novel proteins. Here, we continue with the targeting analysis and demonstrate that the nonapeptide RVx5HF, which is present near the N terminus of the newly identified peroxisomal protein, HIT3 (histidine triad family protein 3), is a functional peroxisome targeting signal type 2 (PTS2). In addition, we have confirmed the peroxisomal localization of UP6 (unknown protein 6) and GLX1 (glyoxalase 1 homolog), two proteins with possible roles in stress responses and glutathione-dependent detoxification, respectively. These data, together with results from our previous analysis of the peroxisomal proteome, reinforce the notion that peroxisomes are involved in various stress responses and suggest glutathione as a major antioxidant in plant peroxisomes.
peroxisome targeting; PTS2; glyoxalase; defense; arabidopsis
Peroxisomes are small subcellular organelles mediating a multitude of processes in plants. Proteomics studies over the last several years have yielded much needed information on the composition of plant peroxisomes. In this review, the status of peroxisome proteomics studies in Arabidopsis and other plant species and the cumulative advances made through these studies are summarized. A reference Arabidopsis peroxisome proteome is generated, and some unique aspects of Arabidopsis peroxisomes that were uncovered through proteomics studies and hint at unanticipated peroxisomal functions are also highlighted. Knowledge gained from Arabidopsis was utilized to compile a tentative list of peroxisome proteins for the model monocot plant, rice. Differences in the peroxisomal proteome between these two model plants were drawn, and novel facets in rice were expounded upon. Finally, we discuss about the current limitations of experimental proteomics in decoding the complete and dynamic makeup of peroxisomes, and complementary and integrated approaches that would be beneficial to defining the peroxisomal metabolic and regulatory roadmaps. The synteny of genomes in the grass family makes rice an ideal model to study peroxisomes in cereal crops, in which these organelles have received much less attention, with the ultimate goal to improve crop yield.
peroxisome; proteomics; Arabidopsis; rice
Pex mutants of the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica are defective in peroxisome assembly. The mutant strain pex16-1 lacks morphologically recognizable peroxisomes. Most peroxisomal proteins are mislocalized to a subcellular fraction enriched for cytosol in pex16 strains, but a subset of peroxisomal proteins is localized at, or near, wild-type levels to a fraction typically enriched for peroxisomes. The PEX16 gene was isolated by functional complementation of the pex16-1 strain and encodes a protein, Pex16p, of 391 amino acids (44,479 D). Pex16p has no known homologues. Pex16p is a peripheral protein located at the matrix face of the peroxisomal membrane. Substitution of the carboxylterminal tripeptide Ser-Thr-Leu, which is similar to the consensus sequence of peroxisomal targeting signal 1, does not affect targeting of Pex16p to peroxisomes. Pex16p is synthesized in wild-type cells grown in glucose-containing media, and its levels are modestly increased by growth of cells in oleic acid–containing medium. Overexpression of the PEX16 gene in oleic acid– grown Y. lipolytica leads to the appearance of a small number of enlarged peroxisomes, which contain the normal complement of peroxisomal proteins at levels approaching those of wild-type peroxisomes.
The Peroxisomal Targeting Sequence 1 (PTS1) is a consensus tripeptide, (S/C/A)(K/R/H)(L/M), found on the C-terminus of most peroxisomal proteins. However, the only known mammalian protein containing a terminal methionine PTS1 (SKM), human soluble epoxide hydrolase (hsEH), shows both peroxisomal and cytosolic localization in vivo. Mechanisms regulating the subcellular localization of hsEH thus remain unclear. Here we utilized GFP-hsEH fusion constructs to study the peroxisomal targeting of hsEH in transiently and stably-transfected Chinese hamster ovary cells. Our results suggest that the peroxisomal import of hsEH is regulated by three factors. First, we show that SKM is required but not sufficient for peroxisomal import. Second, by manipulating protein expression levels, we show that SKM mediates peroxisomal import of wild type hsEH only when expression levels are high. Third, we show that amino acid modifications which decrease subunit oligomerization and presumably enhance accessibility of the SKM motif confer peroxisomal targeting even at low protein expression levels. We conclude that in hsEH, SKM is a necessary but inefficient and context dependent PTS1. Peroxisomal import occurs when expression levels are high or when the SKM motif is accessible. These results provide a mechanistic basis for understanding the cell- and tissue-specific localization of hsEH in vivo.
peroxisomal targeting sequence; Pex5p; subcellular localization; soluble epoxide hydrolase; polymorphism
The analytical depth of investigation of the peroxisomal proteome of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana has not yet reached that of other major cellular organelles such as chloroplasts or mitochondria. This is primarily due to the difficulties associated with isolating and obtaining purified samples of peroxisomes from Arabidopsis. So far only a handful of research groups have been successful in obtaining such fractions. To make things worse, enriched peroxisome fractions frequently suffer from significant organellar contamination, lowering confidence in localization assignment of the identified proteins. As with other cellular compartments, identification of peroxisomal proteins forms the basis for investigations of the dynamics of the peroxisomal proteome. It is therefore not surprising that, in terms of functional analyses by proteomic means, peroxisomes are lagging considerably behind chloroplasts or mitochondria. Alternative strategies are needed to overcome the obstacle of hard-to-obtain organellar fractions. This will help to close the knowledge gap between peroxisomes and other organelles and provide a full picture of the physiological pathways shared between organelles. In this review, we briefly summarize the status quo and discuss some of the methodological alternatives to classic organelle proteomic approaches.
peroxisome; subcellular localization; protein:protein interaction; free-flow electrophoresis; functional proteomics; targeted quantitation of proteins
Previous work has shown that the firefly (Photinus pyralis) luciferase contains a C-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal consisting of the tripeptide Ser-Lys-Leu. This report describes the microinjection of two proteins, (i) luciferase and (ii) albumin conjugated to a peptide ending in the sequence Ser-Lys-Leu, into mammalian cells grown in tissue culture. Following microinjection, incubation of the cells at 37 degrees C resulted in peroxisomal transport of these exogenous proteins into catalase-containing vesicles. The translocation was both time and temperature dependent. The transport could be inhibited by coinjection of synthetic peptides bearing various peroxisomal targeting signal motifs. These proteins could be transported into peroxisomes in normal human fibroblast cell lines but not in cell lines derived from patients with Zellweger syndrome. These results demonstrate that microinjection of peroxisomal proteins yields an authentic in vivo system with which to study peroxisomal transport. Furthermore, these results reveal that the process of peroxisomal transport does not involve irreversible modification of the protein, that artificial hybrid substrates can be transported and used as tools to study peroxisomal transport, and that the defect in Zellweger syndrome is indeed the inability to transport proteins containing the Ser-Lys-Leu targeting signal into the peroxisomal lumen.
The tripeptide serine-lysine-leucine (SKL) occurs at the carboxyl terminus of many peroxisomal proteins and serves as a peroxisomal targeting signal. Saccharomyces cerevisiae has two isozymes of citrate synthase. The peroxisomal form, encoded by CIT2, terminates in SKL, while the mitochondrial form, encoded by CIT1, begins with an amino-terminal mitochondrial signal sequence and ends in SKN. We analyzed the importance of SKL as a topogenic signal for citrate synthase, using oleate to induce peroxisomes and density gradients to fractionate organelles. Our experiments revealed that SKL was necessary for directing citrate synthase to peroxisomes. C-terminal SKL was also sufficient to target a leaderless version of mitochondrial citrate synthase to peroxisomes. Deleting this tripeptide from the CIT2 protein caused peroxisomal citrate synthase to be missorted to mitochondria. These experiments suggest that the CIT2 protein contains a cryptic mitochondrial targeting signal.
By virtue of their synthesis in the cytoplasm, proteins destined for import into peroxisomes are obliged to traverse the single membrane of this organelle. Because the targeting signal for most peroxisomal matrix proteins is a carboxy-terminal tripeptide sequence (SKL or its variants), these proteins must remain import competent until their translation is complete. We sought to determine whether stably folded proteins were substrates for peroxisomal import. Prefolded proteins stabilized with disulfide bonds and chemical cross-linkers were shown to be substrates for peroxisomal import, as were mature folded and disulfide-bonded IgG molecules containing the peroxisomal targeting signal. In addition, colloidal gold particles conjugated to proteins bearing the peroxisomal targeting signal were translocated into the peroxisomal matrix. These results support the concept that proteins may fold in the mammalian cytosol, before their import into the peroxisome, and that protein unfolding is not a prerequisite for peroxisomal import.
Peroxisomes, glyoxysomes, glycosomes, and hydrogenosomes have each been classified as microbodies, i.e., subcellular organelles with an electron-dense matrix that is bound by a single membrane. We investigated whether these organelles might share a common evolutionary origin by asking if targeting signals used for translocation of proteins into these microbodies are related. A peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS) consisting of the COOH-terminal tripeptide serine-lysine- leucine-COOH has been identified in a number of peroxisomal proteins (Gould, S.J., G.-A. Keller, N. Hosken, J. Wilkinson, and S. Subramani. 1989. J. Cell Biol. 108:1657-1664). Antibodies raised to a peptide ending in this sequence (SKL-COOH) recognize a number of peroxisomal proteins. Immunocryoelectron microscopy experiments using this anti-SKL antibody revealed the presence of proteins containing the PTS within glyoxysomes of cells from Pichia pastoris, germinating castor bean seeds, and Neurospora crassa, as well as within the glycosomes of Trypanosoma brucei. Western blot analysis of purified organelle fractions revealed the presence of many proteins containing this PTS in both glyoxysomes and glycosomes. These results indicate that at least one of the signals, and therefore the mechanism, for protein translocation into peroxisomes, glyoxysomes, and glycosomes has been conserved, lending support to a common evolutionary origin for these microbodies. Hydrogenosomes, the fourth type of microbody, did not contain proteins that cross-reacted with the anti-PTS antibody, suggesting that this organelle is unrelated to microbodies.
Peroxisomes are ubiquitous organelles housing a variety of essential biochemical pathways. Peroxisome dysfunction causes a spectrum of human diseases known as peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBD). While much is known regarding the mechanism of peroxisome biogenesis, it is still unclear how peroxisome dysfunction leads to the disease state. Several recent studies have shown that mutations in Drosophila peroxin genes cause phenotypes similar to those seen in humans with PBDs suggesting that Drosophila might be a useful system to model PBDs. We have analyzed the proteome of Drosophila to identify the proteins involved in peroxisomal biogenesis and homeostasis as well as metabolic enzymes that function within the organelle. The subcellular localization of five of these predicted peroxisomal proteins was confirmed. Similar to C. elegans, Drosophila appears to only utilize the peroxisome targeting signal (PTS) type 1 system for matrix protein import. This work will further our understanding of peroxisomes in Drosophila and add to the usefulness of this emerging model system.
peroxisomes; drosophila; β-oxidation; α-oxidation; ether lipids
The firefly luciferase protein contains a peroxisomal targeting signal at its extreme COOH terminus (Gould et al., 1987). Site-directed mutagenesis of the luciferase gene reveals that this peroxisomal targeting signal consists of the COOH-terminal three amino acids of the protein, serine-lysine-leucine. When this tripeptide is appended to the COOH terminus of a cytosolic protein (chloramphenicol acetyltransferase), it is sufficient to direct the fusion protein into peroxisomes. Additional mutagenesis experiments reveal that only a limited number of conservative changes can be made in this tripeptide targeting signal without abolishing its activity. These results indicate that peroxisomal protein import, unlike other types of transmembrane translocation, is dependent upon a conserved amino acid sequence.
We have identified a novel peroxisomal targeting sequence (PTS) at the extreme COOH terminus of human catalase. The last four amino acids of this protein (-KANL) are necessary and sufficient to effect targeting to peroxisomes in both human fibroblasts and Saccharomyces cerevisiae, when appended to the COOH terminus of the reporter protein, chloramphenicol acetyl transferase. However, this PTS differs from the extensive family of COOH-terminal PTS tripeptides collectively termed PTS1 in two major aspects. First, the presence of the uncharged amino acid, asparagine, at the penultimate residue of the human catalase PTS is highly unusual, in that a basic residue at this position has been previously found to be a common and critical feature of PTS1 signals. Nonetheless, this asparagine residue appears to constitute an important component of the catalase PTS, in that replacement with aspartate abolished peroxisomal targeting (as did deletion of the COOH-terminal four residues). Second, the human catalase PTS comprises more than the COOH-terminal three amino acids, in that COOH-terminal-ANL cannot functionally replace the PTS1 signal-SKL in targeting a chloramphenicol acetyl transferase fusion protein to peroxisomes. The critical nature of the fourth residue from the COOH terminus of the catalase PTS (lysine) is emphasized by the fact that substitution of this residue with a variety of other amino acids abolished or reduced peroxisomal targeting. Targeting was not reduced when this lysine was replaced with arginine, suggesting that a basic amino acid at this position is required for maximal functional activity of this PTS. In spite of these unusual features, human catalase is sorted by the PTS1 pathway, both in yeast and human cells. Disruption of the PAS10 gene encoding the S. cerevisiae PTS1 receptor resulted in a cytosolic location of chloramphenicol acetyl transferase appended with the human catalase PTS, as did expression of this protein in cells from a neonatal adrenoleukodystrophy patient specifically defective in PTS1 import. Furthermore, through the use of the two-hybrid system, it was demonstrated that both the PAS10 gene product (Pas10p) and the human PTS1 receptor can interact with the COOH-terminal region of human catalase, but that this interaction is abolished by substitutions at the penultimate residue (asparagine-to- aspartate) and at the fourth residue from the COOH terminus (lysine-to-glycine) which abolish PTS functionality. We have found no evidence of additional targeting information elsewhere in the human catalase protein. An internal tripeptide (-SHL-, which conforms to the mammalian PTS1 consensus) located nine to eleven residues from the COOH terminus has been excluded as a functional PTS. Additionally, in contrast to the situation for S. cerevisiae catalase A, which contains an internal PTS in addition to a COOH-terminal PTS1, human catalase lacks such a redundant PTS, as evidenced by the exclusive cytosolic location of human catalase mutated in the COOH-terminal PTS. Consistent with this species difference, fusions between catalase A and human catalase which include the catalase A internal PTS are targeted, at least in part, to peroxisomes regardless of whether the COOH-terminal human catalase PTS is intact.
Functional but silent peroxisomal targeting signals have been found in non- peroxisomal proteins. This discovery has important implications for sequence-based signal prediction and for evolution.
Can sequence segments coding for subcellular targeting or for posttranslational modifications occur in proteins that are not substrates in either of these processes? Although considerable effort has been invested in achieving low false-positive prediction rates, even accurate sequence-analysis tools for the recognition of these motifs generate a small but noticeable number of protein hits that lack the appropriate biological context but cannot be rationalized as false positives.
We show that the carboxyl termini of a set of definitely non-peroxisomal proteins with predicted peroxisomal targeting signals interact with the peroxisomal matrix protein receptor peroxin 5 (PEX5) in a yeast two-hybrid test. Moreover, we show that examples of these proteins - chicken lysozyme, human tyrosinase and the yeast mitochondrial ribosomal protein L2 (encoded by MRP7) - are imported into peroxisomes in vivo if their original sorting signals are disguised. We also show that even prokaryotic proteins can contain peroxisomal targeting sequences.
Thus, functional localization signals can evolve in unrelated protein sequences as a result of neutral mutations, and subcellular targeting is hierarchically organized, with signal accessibility playing a decisive role. The occurrence of silent functional motifs in unrelated proteins is important for the development of sequence-based function prediction tools and the interpretation of their results. Silent functional signals have the potential to acquire importance in future evolutionary scenarios and in pathological conditions.
We have previously shown that the peroxisomal targeting signal in firefly luciferase consists of the COOH-terminal three amino acids of the protein, serine-lysine-leucine (Gould, S.J., G.A. Keller, N. Hosken, J. Wilkinson, and S. Subramani, 1989. J. Cell Biol. 108:1657- 1664). Antibodies were raised against a synthetic peptide that contained this tripeptide at its COOH terminus. Immunofluorescence and immunocryoelectron microscopy revealed that the anti-peptide antibodies specifically detected peroxisomes in mammalian cells. Further characterization revealed that the antibodies were primarily directed against the COOH-terminal three amino acids of the peptide. In Western blot experiments, the antibodies recognized 15-20 rat liver peroxisomal proteins, but reacted with only a few proteins from other subcellular compartments. These results provide independent immunological evidence that the peroxisomal targeting signal identified in firefly luciferase is present in many peroxisomal proteins.
As part of an effort to understand how proteins are imported into the peroxisome, we have sought to identify the peroxisomal targeting signals in four unrelated peroxisomal proteins: human catalase, rat hydratase:dehydrogenase, pig D-amino acid oxidase, and rat acyl-CoA oxidase. Using gene fusion experiments, we have identified a region of each protein that can direct heterologous proteins to peroxisomes. In each case, the peroxisomal targeting signal is contained at or near the carboxy terminus of the protein. For catalase, the peroxisomal targeting signal is located within the COOH-terminal 27 amino acids of the protein. For hydratase:dehydrogenase, D-amino acid oxidase, and acyl-CoA oxidase, the targeting signals are located within the carboxy- terminal 15, 14, and 15 amino acids, respectively. A tripeptide of the sequence Ser-Lys/His-Leu is present in each of these targeting signals as well as in the peroxisomal targeting signal identified in firefly luciferase (Gould, S.J., G.-A. Keller, and S. Subramani. 1987. J. Cell Biol. 105:2923-2931). When the peroxisomal targeting signal of the hydratase:dehydrogenase is mutated so that the Ser-Lys-Leu tripeptide is converted to Ser-Asn-Leu, it can no longer direct proteins to peroxisomes. We suggest that this tripeptide is an essential element of at least one class of peroxisomal targeting signals.
Peroxisomes are unimembrane, respiratory organelles of the cell. Transport of cellular proteins to the peroxisomal matrix requires a type 1 peroxisomal targeting signal (PTS1) which essentially constitutes a tripeptide from the consensus sequence S/T/A/G/C/N-K/R/H-L/I/V/M/A/F/Y. Although PTS-containing proteins have been identified in eukaryotes, prokaryotes, and parasites, viral proteins with such signals have not been identified so far. We report here the first instance of a virus, the rotavirus, which causes infantile diarrhea worldwide, containing a functional C-terminal PTS1 in one of its proteins (VP4). Analysis of 153 rotavirus VP4-deduced amino acid sequences identified five groups of conserved C-terminal PTS1 tripeptide sequences (SKL, CKL, GKL, CRL, and CRI), of which CRL is represented in approximately 62% of the sequences. Infection of cells by a CRL-containing representative rotavirus (SA11 strain) and confocal immunofluorescence analysis revealed colocalization of VP4 with peroxisomal markers and morphological changes of peroxisomes. Further, transient cellular expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-fused VP4CRL resulted in transport of VP4 to peroxisomes, whereas the chimera lacking the PTS1 signal, GFP-VP4ΔCRL, resulted in diffuse cytoplasmic staining, suggesting a CRL-dependent targeting of the protein. The present study therefore demonstrates hitherto unreported organelle involvement, specifically of the peroxisomes, in rotaviral infections as demonstrated by using the SA11 strain of rotavirus and opens a new line of investigation toward understanding viral pathogenesis and disease mechanisms.
The carboxy termini of proteins are a frequent site of activity for a variety of biologically important functions, ranging from post-translational modification to protein targeting. Several short peptide motifs involved in protein sorting roles and dependent upon their proximity to the C-terminus for proper function have already been characterized. As a limited number of such motifs have been identified, the potential exists for genome-wide statistical analysis and comparative genomics to reveal novel peptide signatures functioning in a C-terminal dependent manner. We have applied a novel methodology to the prediction of C-terminal-anchored peptide motifs involving a simple z-statistic and several techniques for improving the signal-to-noise ratio.
We examined the statistical over-representation of position-specific C-terminal tripeptides in 7 eukaryotic proteomes. Sequence randomization models and simple-sequence masking were applied to the successful reduction of background noise. Similarly, as C-terminal homology among members of large protein families may artificially inflate tripeptide counts in an irrelevant and obfuscating manner, gene-family clustering was performed prior to the analysis in order to assess tripeptide over-representation across protein families as opposed to across all proteins. Finally, comparative genomics was used to identify tripeptides significantly occurring in multiple species. This approach has been able to predict, to our knowledge, all C-terminally anchored targeting motifs present in the literature. These include the PTS1 peroxisomal targeting signal (SKL*), the ER-retention signal (K/HDEL*), the ER-retrieval signal for membrane bound proteins (KKxx*), the prenylation signal (CC*) and the CaaX box prenylation motif. In addition to a high statistical over-representation of these known motifs, a collection of significant tripeptides with a high propensity for biological function exists between species, among kingdoms and across eukaryotes. Motifs of note include a serine-acidic peptide (DSD*) as well as several lysine enriched motifs found in nearly all eukaryotic genomes examined.
We have successfully generated a high confidence representation of eukaryotic motifs anchored at the C-terminus. A high incidence of true-positives in our results suggests that several previously unidentified tripeptide patterns are strong candidates for representing novel peptide motifs of a widely employed nature in the C-terminal biology of eukaryotes. Our application of comparative genomics, statistical over-representation and the adjustment for protein family homology has generated several hypotheses concerning the C-terminal topology as it pertains to sorting and potential protein interaction signals. This approach to background reduction could be expanded for application to protein motif prediction in the protein interior. A parallel N-terminal analysis is presented as supplementary data.
An efficient building block for protein structure prediction can be tripeptides. 8000 different tripeptides from a dataset of 1220 high resolution (≤ 2.0°A) structures from the Protein Data Bank (PDB) have been looked at, to determine which are structurally rigid and non-rigid. This data has been statistically analyzed, discussed and summarized. The entire data can be utilized for the building of protein structures.
Tripeptides have been classified into three categories: rigid, non-rigid and intermediate, based on the relative structural rigidity between Cα and Cβ atoms in a tripeptide. We found that 18% of the tripeptides in the dataset can be classified as rigid, 4% as non-rigid and 78% as intermediate. Many rigid tripeptides are made of hydrophobic residues, however, there are tripeptides with polar side chains forming rigid structures. The bulk of the tripeptides fall in the intermediate class while very small numbers actually fall in the non-rigid class. Structurally all rigid tripeptides essentially form two structural classes while the intermediate and non-rigid tripeptides fall into one structural class. This notion of rigidity and non-rigidity is designed to capture side chain interactions but not secondary structures.
Rigid tripeptides have no correlation with the secondary structures in proteins and hence this work is complementary to such studies. Tripeptide data may be used to predict plausible structures for oligopeptides and for denovo protein design.
Tripeptide; Structural homologs; Hydrophobicity; Structural rigidity
Peroxisomes are subcellular organelles with multiple functions mediated by their plasticity and dynamic behavior in plants. Changes in their shape, size, number and enzyme content occur in response to developmental and metabolic cues as well as environmental conditions. The number of peroxisomes per cell is thus mainly determined by its capacity to proliferate. In mammals, peroxisome proliferators such as the hypolipidemic drug clofibrate are perceived by the Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors (PPARs) nuclear receptors. Therein, activated transcription of the peroxisome biogenesis PEX11 genes and the recruitment of dynamin-related proteins lead to peroxisome proliferation. We recently reported that Arabidopsis thaliana, despite of lacking a PPAR homolog protein, activated the proliferation of peroxisomes in response to clofibrate. Concomitantly, clofibrate activated the expression of wound-responsive genes through the jasmonic acid signaling master regulator COI1 F-box protein. Besides, wounding activated the expression of the peroxisome biogenesis-related PEX1 and PEX14 genes, but not of PEX11 or DRP3A, which analogously to mammals, code for the main regulators of peroxisome proliferation in Arabidopsis. Thus, wounding did not activate peroxisome proliferation. Noteworthy, jasmonic acid-treated plants contained fewer but larger peroxisomes. Despite of the cross-talk between clofibrate- and wound-induced signaling, the proliferation of peroxisomes and the wound-activated defense remained uncoupled.
peroxisome proliferation; clofibrate; wound-related signaling; arabidopsis
Peroxisomes are essential organelles that play a key role in redox signalling and lipid homeostasis. They contain a highly diverse enzymatic network among different species, mirroring the varied metabolic needs of the organisms. The previous PeroxisomeDB version organized the peroxisomal proteome of humans and Saccharomyces cerevisiae based on genetic and functional information into metabolic categories with a special focus on peroxisomal disease. The new release (http://www.peroxisomeDB.org) adds peroxisomal proteins from 35 newly sequenced eukaryotic genomes including fungi, yeasts, plants and lower eukaryotes. We searched these genomes for a core ensemble of 139 peroxisomal protein families and identified 2706 putative peroxisomal protein homologs. Approximately 37% of the identified homologs contained putative peroxisome targeting signals (PTS). To help develop understanding of the evolutionary relationships among peroxisomal proteins, the new database includes phylogenetic trees for 2386 of the peroxisomal proteins. Additional new features are provided, such as a tool to capture kinetic information from Brenda, CheBI and Sabio-RK databases and more than 1400 selected bibliographic references. PeroxisomeDB 2.0 is a freely available, highly interactive functional genomics platform that offers an extensive view on the peroxisomal metabolome across lineages, thus facilitating comparative genomics and systems analysis of the organelle.
This report describes the microinjection of a purified peroxisomal protein, alcohol oxidase, from Pichia pastoris into mammalian tissue culture cells and the subsequent transport of this protein into vesicular structures. Transport was into membrane-enclosed vesicles as judged by digitonin-permeabilization experiments. The transport was time and temperature dependent. Vesicles containing alcohol oxidase could be detected as long as 6 d after injection. Coinjection of synthetic peptides containing a consensus carboxyterminal tripeptide peroxisomal targeting signal resulted in abolition of alcohol oxidase transport into vesicles in all cell lines examined. Double-label experiments indicated that, although some of the alcohol oxidase was transported into vesicles that contained other peroxisomal proteins, the bulk of the alcohol oxidase did not appear to be transported to preexisting peroxisomes. While the inhibition of transport of alcohol oxidase by peptides containing the peroxisomal targeting signal suggests a competition for some limiting component of the machinery involved in the sorting of proteins into peroxisomes, the organelles into which the majority of the protein is targeted appear to be unusual and distinct from endogenous peroxisomes by several criteria. Microinjected alcohol oxidase was transported into vesicles in normal fibroblasts and also in cell lines derived from patients with Zellweger syndrome, which are unable to transport proteins containing the ser-lys- leu-COOH peroxisomal targeting signal into peroxisomes (Walton et al., 1992). The implications of this result for the mechanism of peroxisomal protein transport are discussed.
Two peroxisome targeting signals (PTSs) for matrix proteins have been well defined to date. PTS1 comprises a COOH-terminal tripeptide, SKL, and has been found in several matrix proteins, whereas PTS2 has been found only in peroxisomal thiolase and is contained within an NH2- terminal cleavable presequence. We have investigated the functional integrity of the import routes for PTS1 and PTS2 in fibroblasts from patients suffering from peroxisome assembly disorders. Three of the five complementation groups tested showed a general loss of PTS1 and PTS2 import. Two complementation groups showed a differential loss of peroxisomal protein import: group I cells were able to import a PTS1- but not a PTS2- containing reporter protein into their peroxisomes, and group IV cells were able to import the PTS2 but not the PTS1 reporter into aberrant, peroxisomal ghostlike structures. The observation that the PTS2 import pathway is intact only in group IV cells is supported by the protection of endogenous thiolase from protease degradation in group IV cells and its sensitivity in the remaining complementation groups, including the partialized disorder of group I. The functionality of the PTS2 import pathway and colocalization of endogenous thiolase with the peroxisomal membranes in group IV cells was substantiated further using immunofluorescence, subcellular fractionation, and immunoelectron microscopy. The phenotypes of group I and IV cells provide the first evidence for differential import deficiencies in higher eukaryotes. These phenotypes are analogous to those found in Saccharomyces cerevisiae peroxisome assembly mutants.