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1.  Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of PPD6, a PsbP-domain protein from Arabidopsis thaliana  
The PsbP-domain-containing protein PPD6 from A. thaliana was expressed, purified and crystallized.
The PsbP protein is an extrinsic component of photosystem II that together with PsbO and PsbQ forms the thylakoid lumenal part of the oxygen-evolving complex in higher plants. In addition to PsbP, the thylakoid lumen contains two PsbP-like proteins (PPLs) and six PsbP-domain proteins (PPDs). While the functions of the PsbP-like proteins PPL1 and PPL2 are currently under investigation, the function of the PsbP-domain proteins still remains completely unknown. PPD6 is unique among the PsbP family of proteins in that it contains a conserved disulfide bond which can be reduced in vitro by thioredoxin. The crystal structure determination of the PPD6 protein has been initiated in order to elucidate its function and to gain deeper insights into redox-regulation pathways in the thylakoid lumen. PPD6 has been expressed, purified and crystallized and preliminary X-ray diffraction data have been collected. The crystals belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 47.0, b = 64.3, c = 62.0 Å, β = 94.2°, and diffracted to a maximum d-spacing of 2.1 Å.
PMCID: PMC3310529  PMID: 22442221
photosynthesis; thylakoid lumen; PsbP domain
2.  Isolation of monomeric photosystem II that retains the subunit PsbS 
Photosynthesis Research  2013;118:199-207.
Photosystem II has been purified from a transplastomic strain of Nicotiana tabacum according to two different protocols. Using the procedure described in Piano et al. (Photosynth Res 106:221–226, 2010) it was possible to isolate highly active PSII composed of monomers and dimers but depleted in their PsbS protein content. A “milder” procedure than the protocol reported by Fey et al. (Biochim Biophys Acta 1777:1501–1509, 2008) led to almost exclusively monomeric PSII complexes which in part still bind the PsbS protein. This finding might support a role for PSII monomers in higher plants.
PMCID: PMC3825537  PMID: 23975205
Photosystem II; Photosynthesis; PsbS; Thylakoid membranes; Nicotiana tabacum; Oligomeric state
3.  Degradation of PsbO by the Deg Protease HhoA Is Thioredoxin Dependent 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45713.
The widely distributed members of the Deg/HtrA protease family play an important role in the proteolysis of misfolded and damaged proteins. Here we show that the Deg protease rHhoA is able to degrade PsbO, the extrinsic protein of the Photosystem II (PSII) oxygen-evolving complex in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 and in spinach. PsbO is known to be stable in its oxidized form, but after reduction by thioredoxin it became a substrate for recombinant HhoA (rHhoA). rHhoA cleaved reduced eukaryotic (specifically, spinach) PsbO at defined sites and created distinct PsbO fragments that were not further degraded. As for the corresponding prokaryotic substrate (reduced PsbO of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803), no PsbO fragments were observed. Assembly to PSII protected PsbO from degradation. For Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, our results show that HhoA, HhoB, and HtrA are localized in the periplasma and/or at the thylakoid membrane. In agreement with the idea that PsbO could be a physiological substrate for Deg proteases, part of the cellular fraction of the three Deg proteases of Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 (HhoA, HhoB, and HtrA) was detected in the PSII-enriched membrane fraction.
PMCID: PMC3446894  PMID: 23029195
4.  Proteomics of Protein Secretion by Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e41662.
The extracellular proteome (secretome) of periodontitis-associated bacteria may constitute a major link between periodontitis and systemic diseases. To obtain an overview of the virulence potential of Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, an oral and systemic human pathogen implicated in aggressive periodontitis, we used a combined LC-MS/MS and bioinformatics approach to characterize the secretome and protein secretion pathways of the rough-colony serotype a strain D7S. LC-MS/MS revealed 179 proteins secreted during biofilm growth. Further to confirming the release of established virulence factors (e.g. cytolethal distending toxin [CDT], and leukotoxin [LtxA]), we identified additional putative virulence determinants in the secretome. These included DegQ, fHbp, LppC, Macrophage infectivity protein (MIP), NlpB, Pcp, PotD, TolB, and TolC. This finding indicates that the number of extracellular virulence-related proteins is much larger than previously demonstrated, which was also supported by in silico analysis of the strain D7S genome. Moreover, our LC-MS/MS and in silico data revealed that at least Type I, II, and V secretion are actively used to excrete proteins directly into the extracellular space, or via two-step pathways involving the Sec/Tat systems for transport across the inner membrane, and outer membrane factors, secretins and auto-transporters, respectively for delivery across the outer membrane. Taken together, our results provide a molecular basis for further elucidating the role of A. actinomycetemcomitans in periodontal and systemic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3405016  PMID: 22848560
5.  Comparative proteome analysis of Saccharomyces cerevisiae: A global overview of in vivo targets of the yeast activator protein 1 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:230.
The activity of the yeast activator protein 1 (Yap1p) increases under stress conditions, which leads to enhanced transcription of a number of genes encoding protective enzymes or other proteins. To obtain a global overview of changes in expression of Yap1p-targeted proteins, we compared a Yap1p-overexpressing transformant with a control transformant by triplicate analysis of the proteome using two-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE). Proteins of interest were identified using MALDI-MS or LC-MS/MS.
The relative quantities of 55 proteins were elevated significantly upon overexpression of Yap1p, and most of these proteins were found to have a Yap1p-binding site upstream of their coding sequences. Interestingly, the main metabolic enzymes in the glycolysis and pyruvate-ethanol pathways showed a significant increase in the Yap1p-overexpressing transformant. Moreover, a comparison of our proteome data with transcriptome data from the literature suggested which proteins were regulated at the level of the proteome, and which proteins were regulated at the level of the transcriptome. Eight proteins involved in stress response, including seven heat-shock and chaperone proteins, were significantly more abundant in the Yap1p-overexpressing transformant.
We have investigated the general protein composition in Yap1p-overexpressing S. cerevisiae using proteomic techniques, and quantified the changes in the expression of the potential Yap1p-targeted proteins. Identification of the potential Yap1p targets and analysis of their role in cellular processes not only give a global overview of the ubiquitous cellular changes elicited by Yap1p, but also provide the framework for understanding the mechanisms behind Yap1p-regulated stress response in yeast.
PMCID: PMC3476450  PMID: 22681880
Yap1; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; Transcription factor; Stress response; Proteome
6.  Enzyme production by filamentous fungi: analysis of the secretome of Trichoderma reesei grown on unconventional carbon source 
Spent hydrolysates from bioethanolic fermentation processes based on agricultural residues have potential as an abundant and inexpensive source of pentose sugars and acids that could serve as nutrients for industrial enzyme-producing microorganisms, especially filamentous fungi. However, the enzyme mixtures produced in such media are poorly defined. In this study, the secretome of Trichoderma reesei Rut C-30 grown either on a spent hydrolysate model medium (SHMM) or on a lactose-based standard medium (LBSM) was explored using proteomics.
Our results show that both the SHMM and LBSM serve as excellent growth media for T. reesei Rut C-30. In total, 52 protein spots on 2-D gels were identified by using matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry (MALDI-MS) and electrospray ionization liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (ESI-LC MS/MS). As expected, a considerable number of the identified proteins were related to the degradation of lignocellulosic biomass. The enzyme production profiles in the two media were similar, but β-glucosidase and β-galactosidase were only produced in LBSM. The main cellobiohydrolases (Cel7A/Cel6A) and endoglucanases (Cel7B/Cel5A) were identified in both media and the cellobiohydrolases, i.e. Cel7A and Cel6A, were the most abundant cellulolytic enzymes. Moreover, both media can also serve as a potent inducer of xylanolytic enzymes. Several key enzymes involved in sugar assimilation and regulation of cellulase formation were identified, and were found to be differentially expressed in the two growth media.
This study not only provides a catalogue of the prevalent proteins secreted by T. reesei in the two media, but the results also suggest that production of hydrolytic enzymes using unconventional carbon sources, such as components in spent hydrolysates, deserves further attention in the future.
PMCID: PMC3179704  PMID: 21861877
7.  Characterization of Human Thioredoxin-like 2 
The Journal of biological chemistry  2003;278(15):13133-13142.
We describe here the cloning and characterization of a novel member of the thioredoxin family, thioredoxin-like protein 2 (Txl-2). The Txl-2 open reading frame codes for a protein of 330 amino acids consisting of two distinct domains: an N-terminal domain typical of thioredoxins and a C-terminal domain belonging to the nucleoside-diphosphate kinase family, separated by a small interface domain. The Txl-2 gene spans ~28 kb, is organized into 11 exons, and maps at locus 3q22.3-q23. A splicing variant lacking exon 5 (Δ5Txl-2) has also been isolated. By quantitative real time PCR we demonstrate that Txl-2 mRNA is ubiquitously expressed, with testis and lung having the highest levels of expression. Unexpectedly, light and electron microscopy analyses show that the protein is associated with microtubular structures such as lung airway epithelium cilia and the manchette and axoneme of spermatids. Using in vitro translated proteins, we demonstrate that full-length Txl-2 weakly associates with microtubules. In contrast, Δ5Txl-2 specifically binds with very high affinity brain microtubule preparations containing microtubule-binding proteins. Importantly, Δ5Txl-2 also binds to pure microtubules, proving that it possesses intrinsic micro-tubule binding capability. Taken together, Δ5Txl-2 is the first thioredoxin reported to bind microtubules and might therefore be a novel regulator of microtubule physiology.
PMCID: PMC3158135  PMID: 12569107 CAMSID: cams1884
8.  Phosphorylated CpxR Restricts Production of the RovA Global Regulator in Yersinia pseudotuberculosis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(8):e23314.
RovA is a global transcriptional regulator of gene expression in pathogenic Yersinia. RovA levels are kept in check by a sophisticated layering of distinct transcriptional and post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms. In the enteropathogen Y. pseudotuberculosis, we have previously reported that the extracytoplasmic stress sensing CpxA-CpxR two-component regulatory system modulates rovA expression.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this study, we characterized CpxR phosphorylation (CpxR∼P) in vitro, and determined that phosphorylation was necessary for CpxR to efficiently bind to the PCR-amplified upstream regulatory region of rovA. The precise CpxR∼P binding site was mapped by a nuclease protection assay and directed mutagenesis confirmed that in vivo binding to the rovA promoter inhibits transcription. Reduced RovA production was most pronounced following CpxR∼P accumulation in the Yersinia cytoplasm during chronic Cpx pathway activation and by the indiscriminate phosphodonor action of acetyl phosphate.
Cpx pathway activation restricts levels of the RovA global regulator. The regulatory influence of CpxR∼P must therefore extend well beyond periplasmic quality control in the Yersinia envelope, to include genes involved in environmental survival and pathogenicity.
PMCID: PMC3158067  PMID: 21876746
9.  Protein differences between human trapezius and vastus lateralis muscles determined with a proteomic approach 
The trapezius muscle is a neck muscle that is susceptible to chronic pain conditions associated with repetitive tasks, commonly referred to as chronic work-related myalgia, hence making the trapezius a muscle of clinical interest. To provide a basis for further investigations of the proteomic traits of the trapezius muscle in disease, two-dimensional difference gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was performed on the healthy trapezius using vastus lateralis as a reference. To obtain as much information as possible from the vast proteomic data set, both one-way ANOVA, with and without false discovery rate (FDR) correlation, and partial least square projection to latent structures with discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) were combined to compare the outcome of the analysis.
The trapezius and vastus lateralis showed significant differences in metabolic, contractile and regulatory proteins, with different results depending on choice of statistical approach and pre-processing technique. Using the standard method, FDR correlated one-way ANOVA, 42 protein spots differed significantly in abundance between the two muscles. Complementary analysis using immunohistochemistry and western blot confirmed the results from the 2D-DIGE analysis.
The proteomic approach used in the present study combining 2D-DIGE and multivariate modelling provided a more comprehensive comparison of the protein profiles of the human trapezius and vastus lateralis muscle, than previously possible to obtain with immunohistochemistry or SDS-PAGE alone. Although 2D-DIGE has inherent limitations it is particularly useful to comprehensively screen for important structural and metabolic proteins, and appears to be a promising tool for future studies of patients suffering from chronic work related myalgia or other muscle diseases.
PMCID: PMC3173403  PMID: 21831281
10.  Role of the Ndc1 interaction network in yeast nuclear pore complex assembly and maintenance 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2009;185(3):475-491.
The nuclear pore complex (NPC) mediates all nucleocytoplasmic transport, yet its structure and biogenesis remain poorly understood. In this study, we have functionally characterized interaction partners of the yeast transmembrane nucleoporin Ndc1. Ndc1 forms a distinct complex with the transmembrane proteins Pom152 and Pom34 and two alternative complexes with the soluble nucleoporins Nup53 and Nup59, which in turn bind to Nup170 and Nup157. The transmembrane and soluble Ndc1-binding partners have redundant functions at the NPC, and disruption of both groups of interactions causes defects in Ndc1 targeting and in NPC structure accompanied by significant pore dilation. Using photoconvertible fluorescent protein fusions, we further show that the depletion of Pom34 in cells that lack NUP53 and NUP59 blocks new NPC assembly and leads to the reversible accumulation of newly made nucleoporins in cytoplasmic foci. Therefore, Ndc1 together with its interaction partners are collectively essential for the biosynthesis and structural integrity of yeast NPCs.
PMCID: PMC2700399  PMID: 19414609
11.  Light Induced Changes in Protein Expression and Uniform Regulation of Transcription in the Thylakoid Lumen of Arabidopsis thaliana 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(5):e5649.
In plants oxygenic photosynthesis is performed by large protein complexes found in the thylakoid membranes of chloroplasts. The soluble thylakoid lumen space is a narrow and compressed region within the thylakoid membrane which contains 80–200 proteins. Because the thylakoid lumen proteins are in close proximity to the protein complexes of photosynthesis, it is reasonable to assume that the lumen proteins are highly influenced by the presence of light.
To identify light regulated proteins in the thylakoid lumen of Arabidopsis thaliana we developed a faster thylakoid preparation and combined this with difference gel electrophoresis (DIGE) of dark-adapted and light-adapted lumen proteomes. The DIGE experiments revealed that 19 lumen proteins exhibit increased relative protein levels after eight hour light exposure. Among the proteins showing increased abundance were the PsbP and PsbQ subunits of Photosystem II, major plastocyanin and several other proteins of known or unknown function. In addition, co-expression analysis of publicly available transcriptomic data showed that the co-regulation of lumen protein expression is not limited to light but rather that lumen protein genes exhibit a high uniformity of expression.
The large proportion of thylakoid lumen proteins displaying increased abundance in light-adapted plants, taken together with the observed uniform regulation of transcription, implies that the majority of thylakoid lumen proteins have functions that are related to photosynthetic activity. This is the first time that an analysis of the differences in protein level during a normal day/night cycle has been performed and it shows that even a normal cycle of light significantly influences the thylakoid lumen proteome. In this study we also show for the first time, using co-expression analysis, that the prevalent lumenal chloroplast proteins are very similarly regulated at the level of transcription.
PMCID: PMC2680967  PMID: 19461964

Results 1-11 (11)