The PA1b (Pea Albumin 1, subunit b) peptide is an entomotoxin extract from Legume seeds with lethal activity on several insect pests, such as mosquitoes, some aphids and cereal weevils. This 37 amino-acid cysteine-rich peptide has been, until now, obtained by biochemical purification or chemical synthesis. In this paper, we present our results for the transient production of the peptide in Nicotiana benthamiana by agro-infiltration, with a yield of about 35 µg/g of fresh leaves and maximum production 8 days after infiltration. PA1b is part of the PA1 gene which, after post-translational modifications, encodes two peptides (PA1b and PA1a). We show that transforming tobacco with the PA1b cDNA alone does not result in production of the toxin and, in fact, the entire cDNA is necessary, raising the question of the role of PA1a. We constructed a PA1-cassette, allowing for the quick “cut/paste” of different PA1b mutants within a conserved PA1 cDNA. This cassette enabled us to produce the six isoforms of PA1b which exist in pea seeds. Biological tests revealed that all the isoforms display similar activity, with the exception of one which is inactive. The lack of activity in this isoform led us to conclude that the amphiphilic nature of the peptide is necessary for activity. The possible applications of this expression system for other cysteine-rich biomolecules are discussed.
Biochemical and structural analysis of macromolecular protein assemblies remains challenging due to technical difficulties in recombinant expression, engineering and reconstitution of multisubunit complexes. Here we use a recently developed cell-free protein expression system based on the protozoan Leishmania tarentolae to produce in vitro all six subunits of the 600 kDa HOPS and CORVET membrane tethering complexes. We demonstrate that both subcomplexes and the entire HOPS complex can be reconstituted in vitro resulting in a comprehensive subunit interaction map. To our knowledge this is the largest eukaryotic protein complex in vitro reconstituted to date. Using the truncation and interaction analysis, we demonstrate that the complex is assembled through short hydrophobic sequences located in the C-terminus of the individual Vps subunits. Based on this data we propose a model of the HOPS and CORVET complex assembly that reconciles the available biochemical and structural data.
Hemoglobin transports molecular oxygen from the lungs to all human tissues for cellular respiration. Its α2β2 tetrameric assembly undergoes cooperative binding and releasing of oxygen for superior efficiency and responsiveness. Over past decades, hundreds of hemoglobin structures were determined under a wide range of conditions for investigation of molecular mechanism of cooperativity. Based on a joint analysis of hemoglobin structures in the Protein Data Bank (Ren, companion article), here I present a reverse engineering approach to elucidate how two subunits within each dimer reciprocate identical motions that achieves intradimer cooperativity, how ligand-induced structural signals from two subunits are integrated to drive quaternary rotation, and how the structural environment at the oxygen binding sites alter their binding affinity. This mechanical model reveals the intricate design that achieves the cooperative mechanism and has previously been masked by inconsistent structural fluctuations. A number of competing theories on hemoglobin cooperativity and broader protein allostery are reconciled and unified.
The attenuation of sedimentation and convection in microgravity can sometimes decrease irregularities formed during macromolecular crystal growth. Current terrestrial protein crystal growth (PCG) capabilities are very different than those used during the Shuttle era and that are currently on the International Space Station (ISS). The focus of this experiment was to demonstrate the use of a commercial off-the-shelf, high throughput, PCG method in microgravity. Using Protein BioSolutions’ microfluidic Plug Maker™/CrystalCard™ system, we tested the ability to grow crystals of the regulator of glucose metabolism and adipogenesis: peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (apo-hPPAR-γ LBD), as well as several PCG standards. Overall, we sent 25 CrystalCards™ to the ISS, containing ~10,000 individual microgravity PCG experiments in a 3U NanoRacks NanoLab (1U = 103 cm.). After 70 days on the ISS, our samples were returned with 16 of 25 (64%) microgravity cards having crystals, compared to 12 of 25 (48%) of the ground controls. Encouragingly, there were more apo-hPPAR-γ LBD crystals in the microgravity PCG cards than the 1g controls. These positive results hope to introduce the use of the PCG standard of low sample volume and large experimental density to the microgravity environment and provide new opportunities for macromolecular samples that may crystallize poorly in standard laboratories.
To gain insight on the impart of high-grain diets on liver metabolism in ruminants, we employed a comparative proteomic approach to investigate the proteome-wide effects of diet in lactating dairy goats by conducting a proteomic analysis of the liver extracts of 10 lactating goats fed either a control diet or a high-grain diet. More than 500 protein spots were detected per condition by two-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). In total, 52 differentially expressed spots (≥2.0-fold changed) were excised and analyzed using MALDI TOF/TOF. Fifty-one protein spots were successfully identified. Of these, 29 proteins were upregulated, while 22 were downregulated in the high-grain fed vs. control animals. Differential expressions of proteins including alpha enolase, elongation factor 2, calreticulin, cytochrome b5, apolipoprotein A-I, catalase, was verified by mRNA analysis and/or Western blotting. Database searches combined with Gene Ontology (GO) analysis and KEGG pathway analysis revealed that the high-grain diet resulted in altered expression of proteins related to amino acids metabolism. These results suggest new candidate proteins that may contribute to a better understanding of the signaling pathways and mechanisms that mediate liver adaptation to high-grain diet.
Structural motions along a reaction pathway hold the secret about how a biological macromolecule functions. If each static structure were considered as a snapshot of the protein molecule in action, a large collection of structures would constitute a multidimensional conformational space of an enormous size. Here I present a joint analysis of hundreds of known structures of human hemoglobin in the Protein Data Bank. By applying singular value decomposition to distance matrices of these structures, I demonstrate that this large collection of structural snapshots, derived under a wide range of experimental conditions, arrange orderly along a reaction pathway. The structural motions along this extensive trajectory, including several helical transformations, arrive at a reverse engineered mechanism of the cooperative machinery (Ren, companion article), and shed light on pathological properties of the abnormal homotetrameric hemoglobins from α-thalassemia. This method of meta-analysis provides a general approach to structural dynamics based on static protein structures in this post genomics era.
An extensive polymorphism analysis of pollen profilin, a fundamental regulator of the actin cytoskeleton dynamics, has been performed with a major focus in 3D-folding maintenance, changes in the 2-D structural elements, surface residues involved in ligands-profilin interactions and functionality, and the generation of conformational and lineal B- and T-cell epitopes variability.
Our results revealed that while the general fold is conserved among profilins, substantial structural differences were found, particularly affecting the special distribution and length of different 2-D structural elements (i.e. cysteine residues), characteristic loops and coils, and numerous micro-heterogeneities present in fundamental residues directly involved in the interacting motifs, and to some extension these residues nearby to the ligand-interacting areas. Differential changes as result of polymorphism might contribute to generate functional variability among the plethora of profilin isoforms present in the olive pollen from different genetic background (olive cultivars), and between plant species, since biochemical interacting properties and binding affinities to natural ligands may be affected, particularly the interactions with different actin isoforms and phosphoinositides lipids species.
Furthermore, conspicuous variability in lineal and conformational epitopes was found between profilins belonging to the same olive cultivar, and among different cultivars as direct implication of sequences polymorphism. The variability of the residues taking part of IgE-binding epitopes might be the final responsible of the differences in cross-reactivity among olive pollen cultivars, among pollen and plant-derived food allergens, as well as between distantly related pollen species, leading to a variable range of allergy reactions among atopic patients. Identification and analysis of commonly shared and specific epitopes in profilin isoforms is essential to gain knowledge about the interacting surface of these epitopes, and for a better understanding of immune responses, helping design and development of rational and effective immunotherapy strategies for the treatment of allergy diseases.
The structure and activity of enzymes are influenced by pH value of their surroundings. Although many enzymes work well in the pH range from 6 to 8, some specific enzymes have good efficiencies only in acidic (pH<5) or alkaline (pH>9) solution. Studies have demonstrated that the activities of enzymes correlate with their primary sequences. It is crucial to judge enzyme adaptation to acidic or alkaline environment from its amino acid sequence in molecular mechanism clarification and the design of high efficient enzymes. In this study, we developed a sequence-based method to discriminate acidic enzymes from alkaline enzymes. The analysis of variance was used to choose the optimized discriminating features derived from g-gap dipeptide compositions. And support vector machine was utilized to establish the prediction model. In the rigorous jackknife cross-validation, the overall accuracy of 96.7% was achieved. The method can correctly predict 96.3% acidic and 97.1% alkaline enzymes. Through the comparison between the proposed method and previous methods, it is demonstrated that the proposed method is more accurate. On the basis of this proposed method, we have built an online web-server called AcalPred which can be freely accessed from the website (http://lin.uestc.edu.cn/server/AcalPred). We believe that the AcalPred will become a powerful tool to study enzyme adaptation to acidic or alkaline environment.
To produce large quantities of high quality eukaryotic membrane proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, we modified a high-copy vector to express membrane proteins C-terminally-fused to a Tobacco Etch Virus (TEV) protease detachable Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP)-8His tag, which facilitates localization, quantification, quality control, and purification. Using this expression system we examined the production of a human glucose transceptor and 11 nutrient transporters and transceptors from S. cerevisiae that have not previously been overexpressed in S. cerevisiae and purified. Whole-cell GFP-fluorescence showed that induction of GFP-fusion synthesis from a galactose-inducible promoter at 15°C resulted in stable accumulation of the fusions in the plasma membrane and in intracellular membranes. Expression levels of the 12 fusions estimated by GFP-fluorescence were in the range of 0.4 mg to 1.7 mg transporter pr. liter cell culture. A detergent screen showed that n-dodecyl-ß-D-maltopyranoside (DDM) is acceptable for solubilization of the membrane-integrated fusions. Extracts of solubilized membranes were prepared with this detergent and used for purifications by Ni-NTA affinity chromatography, which yielded partially purified full-length fusions. Most of the fusions were readily cleaved at a TEV protease site between the membrane protein and the GFP-8His tag. Using the yeast oligopeptide transporter Ptr2 as an example, we further demonstrate that almost pure transporters, free of the GFP-8His tag, can be achieved by TEV protease cleavage followed by reverse immobilized metal-affinity chromatography. The quality of the GFP-fusions was analysed by fluorescence size-exclusion chromatography. Membranes solubilized in DDM resulted in preparations containing aggregated fusions. However, 9 of the fusions solubilized in DDM in presence of cholesteryl hemisuccinate and specific substrates, yielded monodisperse preparations with only minor amounts of aggregated membrane proteins. In conclusion, we developed a new effective S. cerevisiae expression system that may be used for production of high-quality eukaryotic membrane proteins for functional and structural analysis.
Cytoplasmic dynein light chain 1 (DYNLL1) is a component of large protein complex, which is implicated in cargo transport processes, and is known to interact with many cellular and viral proteins through its short consensus motif (K/R)XTQT. Still, it remains to be explored that bacterial proteins also exhibit similar recognition sequences to make them vulnerable to host defense mechanism. We employed multiple docking protocols including AUTODOCK, PatchDock, ZDOCK, DOCK/PIERR and CLUSPRO to explore the DYNLL1 and Pilin interaction followed by molecular dynamics simulation assays. Subsequent structural comparison of the predicted binding site for DYNLL1-Pilin complex against the experimentally verified DYNLL1 binding partners was performed to cross check the residual contributions and to determine the binding mode. On the basis of in silico analysis, here we describe a novel interaction of DYNLL1 and receptor binding domain of Pilin (the main protein constituent of bacterial type IV Pili) of gram negative bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PAO), which is the third most common nosocomial pathogen associated with the life-threatening infections. Evidently, our results underscore that Pilin specific motif (KSTQD) exhibits a close structural similarity to that of Vaccinia virus polymerase, P protein Rabies and P protein Mokola viruses. We speculate that binding of DYNLL1 to Pilin may trigger an uncontrolled inflammatory response of the host immune system during P. aeruginosa chronic infections thereby opening a new pioneering area to investigate the role of DYNLL1 in gram negative bacterial infections other than viral infections. Moreover, by manifesting a strict correspondence between sequence and function, our study anticipates a novel drug target site to control the complications caused by P. aeruginosa infections.
The identification of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) among the targets that fail to form satisfactory crystal structures in the Protein Structure Initiative represent a key to reducing the costs and time for determining three-dimensional structures of proteins. To help in this endeavor, several Protein Structure Initiative Centers were asked to send samples of both crystallizable proteins and proteins that failed to crystallize. The abundance of intrinsic disorder in these proteins was evaluated via computational analysis using Predictors of Natural Disordered Regions (PONDR®) and the potential cleavage sites and corresponding fragments were determined. Then, the target proteins were analyzed for intrinsic disorder by their resistance to limited proteolysis. The rates of tryptic digestion of sample target proteins were compared to those of lysozyme/myoglobin, apo-myoglobin and α-casein as standards of ordered, partially disordered and completely disordered proteins, respectively. At the next stage, the protein samples were subjected to both far-UV and near-UV circular dichroism (CD) analysis. For most of the samples, a good agreement between CD data, predictions of disorder and the rates of limited tryptic digestion was established. Further experimentation is being performed on a smaller subset of these samples in order to obtain more detailed information on the ordered/disordered nature of the proteins.
Intrinsically disordered proteins; protein disorder prediction; Protein Structure Initiative; limited proteolysis
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a slowly progressive movement disorder that results from the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra, a small area of cells in the mid-brain. PD is a multifactorial disorder with unknown etiology, in which both genetic and environmental factors play important roles. Substantial evidence links α-synuclein, a small highly conserved presynaptic protein with unknown function, to both familial and sporadic PD. Rare familial cases of PD are associated with missense point mutations in α-synuclein, or with the hyper-expression of the wild type protein due to its gene duplication/triplication. Furthermore, α-synuclein was identified as the major component of amyloid fibrils found in Lewy body and Lewy neurites, the characteristic proteinaceous deposits that are the diagnostic hallmarks of PD. α-Synuclein is abundant in various regions of the brain and has two closely related homologs, β-synuclein and γ-synuclein. When isolated in solution, the protein is intrinsically disordered, but in the presence of lipid surfaces α-synuclein adopts a highly helical structure that is believed to mediate its normal function(s). A number of different conformational states of α-synuclein have been observed. Besides the membrane-bound form, other critical conformations include a partially-folded state that is a key intermediate in aggregation and fibrillation, various oligomeric species, and fibrillar and amorphous aggregates. A number of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that either accelerate or inhibit the rate of α-synuclein aggregation and fibrillation in vitro are known. There is a strong correlation between the conformation of α-synuclein (induced by various factors) and its rate of fibrillation. The aggregation process appears to be branched, with one pathway leading to fibrils and another to oligomeric intermediates that may ultimately form amorphous deposits. The molecular basis of Parkinson’s disease appears to be tightly coupled to the aggregation of α-synuclein and the factors that affect its conformation. This review focuses on the contributions of Prof. Anthony L. Fink to the field and presents some recent developments in this exciting area.
α-Synuclein; synucleinopathies; aggregation; amyloid; fibril; neurodegeneration; intrinsically disordered protein; NMR; partially folded intermediate
Acrosome formation and nuclear shaping are the main events in spermatogenesis. During spermiogenesis in Exopalaemon modestus, a unique microtubular structure called the acroframosome (AFS) forms in spermatids. The AFS links to a temporary organelle called the lamellar complex (LCx) leading to the formation of an everted umbrella-shaped acrosome and a dish-shaped nucleus in the mature sperm. These morphological changes require complex cell motility in which the C-terminal kinesin motor protein called KIFC1 is involved. In this study, we demonstrate that KIFC1 moves along the AFS and plays an important role in acrosome formation and nuclear shaping during spermatogenesis in E. modestus.
We cloned a 3125 bp complete cDNA of kifc1 from the testis of E. modestus by PCR. The predicted secondary and tertiary structures of E. modestus KIFC1 contain three domains: a) the C-terminus, b) the stalk region, and the c) N-terminusl. Semi-quantitative RT-PCR detected the expression of kifc1 mRNA in different tissues of E. modestus. In situ hybridization demonstrated the temporal and spatial expression profile of kifc1 during spermiogenesis. Western blot identified the expression of KIFC1 in different tissues of E. modestus, including the testis. Immunofluorescence localized KIFC1, tubulin, GM130, and mitochondria in order to elucidate their role during spermiogenesis in E. modestus.
Our results indicate that KIFC1 transports the Golgi complex, mitochondria, and other cellular components that results in acrosome formation and nuclear shaping in E. modestus. The KIFC1 transport function depends upon the microtubular structure called the acroframosome (AFS). This study describes some of the molecular mechanisms involved in the acrosome formation and nuclear shaping in E. modestus. In addition, this study may provide a model for studying the molecular mechanisms involved in spermatogenesis in other crustacean species and lead to a better understanding of the fertilization process in crustaceans.
We recently identified a novel anilinoquinazoline derivative, Q15, as a potent apoptosis inducer in a panel of human cancer cell lines and determined that Q15 targets hCAP-G2, a subunit of condensin II complex, leading to abnormal cell division. However, whether the defect in normal cell division directly results in cell death remains unclear. Here, we used an mRNA display method on a microfluidic chip to search for other Q15-binding proteins. We identified an additional Q15-binding protein, MIP-2A (MBP-1 interacting protein-2A), which has been reported to interact with MBP-1, a repressor of the c-Myc promoter. Our results indicate that Q15 inhibits the interaction between MIP-2A and MBP-1 as well as the expression of c-Myc protein, thereby inducing cell death. This study suggests that the simultaneous targeting of hCAP-G2 and MIP-2A is a promising strategy for the development of antitumor drugs as a treatment for intractable tumours.
Malpighian tubules (MTs) are highly specific organs of arthropods (Insecta, Myriapoda and Arachnida) for excretion and osmoregulation. In order to highlight the important genes and pathways involved in multi-functions of MTs, we performed a systematic proteomic analysis of silkworm MTs in the present work. Totally, 1,367 proteins were identified by one-dimensional gel electrophoresis coupled with liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, and as well as by Trans Proteomic Pipeline (TPP) and Absolute protein expression (APEX) analyses. Forty-one proteins were further identified by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis. Some proteins were revealed to be significantly associated with various metabolic processes, organic solute transport, detoxification and innate immunity. Our results might lay a good foundation for future functional studies of MTs in silkworm and other lepidoptera.
Maltogenic amylases belong to a subclass of cyclodextrin-hydrolyzing enzymes and hydrolyze cyclodextrins more efficiently than starch unlike typical α-amylases. Several bacterial malto-genic amylases with temperature optima of 40–60°C have been previously characterized. The thermo-adaption, substrate preferences and transglycosylation aspects of extremely thermostable bacterial maltogenic amylases have not yet been reported.
The recombinant monomeric and dimeric forms of maltogenic α-amylase (Gt-Mamy) of the extremely thermophilic bacterium Geobacillus thermoleovorans are of 72.5 and 145 kDa, which are active optimally at 80°C. Extreme thermostability of this enzyme has been explained by analyzing far-UV CD spectra. Dimerization increases T1/2 of Gt-Mamy from 8.2 h to 12.63 h at 90°C and mediates its enthalpy-driven conformational thermostabilization. Furthermore, dime-rization regulates preferential substrate binding of the enzyme. The substrate preference switching of Gt-Mamy upon dimerization has been confirmed from the substrate-binding affinities of the enzyme for various high and low molecular weight substrates. There is an alteration in Km and substrate hydrolysis efficiency (Vmax/Km) of the enzyme (for cyclodex-trins/starch) upon dimerization. N-terminal truncation indicated the role of N-terminal 128 amino acids in the thermostabilization and modulation of substrate-binding affinity. This has been confirmed by molecular docking of β-cyclodextrin to Gt-Mamy that indicated the requirement of homodimer formation by the interaction of a few N-terminal residues of chain A with the catalytic residues of (α/β)8 barrel of chain B and vice-versa for stable cyclodextrin binding. Site directed mutagenesis provided evidence for the role of N-terminal D109 at the dimeric interface in substrate affinity modulation and thermostabilization. The dimeric Gt-Mamy transglycosylates hydrolytic products of G4/G5 and acarbose, while the truncated form does not because of the lack of extra sugar-binding space formed due to dimerization.
N-terminal domain controls enthalpy-driven thermostabilization, substrate-binding affinity and transglycosylation activity of Gt-Mamy by homodimer formation.
Earlier computational and bioinformatics analysis of several large protein datasets across 28 species showed that proteins involved in regulation and execution of programmed cell death (PCD) possess substantial amounts of intrinsic disorder. Based on the comprehensive analysis of these datasets by a wide array of modern bioinformatics tools it was concluded that disordered regions of PCD-related proteins are involved in a multitude of biological functions and interactions with various partners, possess numerous posttranslational modification sites, and have specific evolutionary patterns (Peng
et al. 2013). This study extends our previous work by providing information on the intrinsic disorder status of some of the major players of the three major PCD pathways: apoptosis, autophagy, and necroptosis. We also present a detailed description of the disorder status and interactomes of selected proteins that are involved in the p53-mediated apoptotic signaling pathways.
Identifying shared sequence segments along amino acid sequences generally requires a collection of closely related proteins, most often curated manually from the sequence datasets to suit the purpose at hand. Currently developed statistical methods are strained, however, when the collection contains remote sequences with poor alignment to the rest, or sequences containing multiple domains. In this paper, we propose a completely unsupervised and automated method to identify the shared sequence segments observed in a diverse collection of protein sequences including those present in a smaller fraction of the sequences in the collection, using a combination of sequence alignment, residue conservation scoring and graph-theoretical approaches. Since shared sequence fragments often imply conserved functional or structural attributes, the method produces a table of associations between the sequences and the identified conserved regions that can reveal previously unknown protein families as well as new members to existing ones. We evaluated the biological relevance of the method by clustering the proteins in gold standard datasets and assessing the clustering performance in comparison with previous methods from the literature. We have then applied the proposed method to a genome wide dataset of 17793 human proteins and generated a global association map to each of the 4753 identified conserved regions. Investigations on the major conserved regions revealed that they corresponded strongly to annotated structural domains. This suggests that the method can be useful in predicting novel domains on protein sequences.
Mitogenomes can provide information for phylogenetic analyses and evolutionary biology. The complete mitochondrial genome of Amata emma (Lepidoptera: Erebidae) was sequenced and analyzed in the study. The circular genome is 15,463 bp in size, with the gene content, orientation and order identical to other ditrysian insects. The genome composition of the major strand shows highly A+T biased and exhibits negative AT-skew and GC-skew. The initial codons are the canonical putative start codons ATN with the exception of cox1 gene which uses CGA instead. Ten genes share complete termination codons TAA, and three genes use incomplete stop codons TA or T. Additionally, the codon distribution and Relative Synonymous Codon Usage of the 13 PCGs in the A. emma mitogenome are consistent with those in other Noctuid mitogenomes. All tRNA genes have typical cloverleaf secondary structures, except for the trnS1 (AGN) gene, in which the dihydrouridine (DHU) arm is simplified down to a loop. The secondary structures of two rRNA genes broadly conform with the models proposed for these genes of other Lepidopteran insects. Except for the A+T-rich region, there are three major intergenic spacers, spanning at least 10 bp and five overlapping regions. There are obvious differences in the A+T-rich region between A. emma and other Lepidopteran insects reported previously except that the A+T-rich region contains an ‘ATAGA’ -like motif followed by a 19 bp poly-T stretch and a (AT)9 element preceded by the ‘ATTTA’ motif. It neither has a poly-A (in the α strand) upstream trnM nor potential stem-loop structures and just has some simple structures like (AT)nGTAT. The phylogenetic relationships based on nucleotide sequences of 13 PCGs using Bayesian inference and maximum likelihood methods provided a well-supported a broader outline of Lepidoptera and which agree with the traditional morphological classification and recently working, but with a much higher support.
Streptomycetes have been studied mostly as producers of secondary metabolites, while the transition from dormant spores to an exponentially growing culture has largely been ignored. Here, we focus on a comparative analysis of fluorescently and radioactively labeled proteome and microarray acquired transcriptome expressed during the germination of Streptomyces coelicolor. The time-dynamics is considered, starting from dormant spores through 5.5 hours of growth with 13 time points. Time series of the gene expressions were analyzed using correlation, principal components analysis and an analysis of coding genes utilization. Principal component analysis was used to identify principal kinetic trends in gene expression and the corresponding genes driving S. coelicolor germination. In contrast with the correlation analysis, global trends in the gene/protein expression reflected by the first principal components showed that the prominent patterns in both the protein and the mRNA domains are surprisingly well correlated. Analysis of the number of expressed genes identified functional groups activated during different time intervals of the germination.
Aggregation of tau protein in the brain is associated with a class of neurodegenerative diseases known as tauopathies. FK506 binding protein 51 kDa (FKBP51, encoded by FKBP5) forms a mature chaperone complex with Hsp90 that prevents tau degradation. In this study, we have shown that tau levels are reduced throughout the brains of Fkbp5–/– mice. Recombinant FKBP51 and Hsp90 synergized to block tau clearance through the proteasome, resulting in tau oligomerization. Overexpression of FKBP51 in a tau transgenic mouse model revealed that FKBP51 preserved the species of tau that have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis, blocked amyloid formation, and decreased tangle load in the brain. Alterations in tau turnover and aggregate structure corresponded with enhanced neurotoxicity in mice. In human brains, FKBP51 levels increased relative to age and AD, corresponding with demethylation of the regulatory regions in the FKBP5 gene. We also found that higher FKBP51 levels were associated with AD progression. Our data support a model in which age-associated increases in FKBP51 levels and its interaction with Hsp90 promote neurotoxic tau accumulation. Strategies aimed at attenuating FKBP51 levels or its interaction with Hsp90 have the potential to be therapeutically relevant for AD and other tauopathies.
In human membrane proteins, intrinsically disordered regions, the regions that lack a well-defined three-dimensional structure under physiological conditions, preferentially occur in the cytoplasmic tails. Many of these proteins represent cell receptors that function by recognizing their cognate ligand outside the cell and translating this binding information into an intracellular activation signal. Based on location of recognition and signaling (effector) domains, functionally diverse and unrelated cell receptors can be classified into two main families: those in which binding and signaling domains are located on the same protein chain, the so-called single-chain receptors (SRs), and those in which these domains are intriguingly located on separate subunits, the so-called multichain receptors (MRs). Recognition domains of both SRs and MRs are known to be well ordered. In contrast, while cytoplasmic signaling domains of SRs are well-structured as well, those of MRs are intrinsically disordered. Despite important role of receptor signaling in health and disease, extensive comparative structural analysis of receptor signaling domains has not been carried out as of yet. In this study, using a variety of prediction algorithms, we show that protein disorder is a characteristic and distinctive feature of receptors with recognition and signaling functions distributed between separate protein chains. We also reveal that disorder distribution patterns are rather similar within SR subclasses suggesting potential functional explanations. Why did nature select protein disorder to provide intracellular signaling for MRs? Is there any correlation between disorder profiles of signaling domains and receptor function? These and other questions are addressed in this article.
intrinsically disordered proteins; immune signaling; protein disorder; single-chain receptors; multichain immune recognition receptors; MIRR; T cell receptor; B cell receptor; RTK; receptor tyrosine kinases
We analyzed the applicability of high-resolution 2H-HMR spectroscopy for the analysis of microbe metabolism in samples of mitochondrion isolated from rat liver and from aqueous extracts of homogenates of rat liver and other organs and tissues in the presence of high D2O contents. Such analysis is possible due to the fast microbe adaptation to life in the heavy water. It is also shown that some enzymatic processes typical for the intact cells are preserved in the homogenized tissue preparations. The microbial and cellular metabolic processes can be differentiated via the strategic use of cell poisons and antibiotics.
Microbe adaptation; Microbial metabolism; 2H-HMR spectroscopy; High resolution NMR; Heavy water
α-Synuclein aggregation and fibrillation are closely associated with the formation of Lewy bodies in neurons and are implicated in the causative pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease and other synucleinopathies. Currently, there is no approved therapeutic agent directed toward preventing the protein aggregation, which has been recently shown to have a key role in the cytotoxic nature of amyloidogenic proteins. Flavonoids, known as plant pigments, belong to a broad family of polyphenolic compounds. Over 4,000 flavonoids have been identified from various plants and foodstuffs derived from plants and have been demonstrated as potential neuroprotective agents. In this study 48 flavonoids belonging to several classes with structures differing in the position of double bonds and ring substituents were tested for their ability to inhibit the fibrillation of α-synuclein in vitro. A variety of flavonoids inhibited α-synuclein fibrillation, and most of the strong inhibitory flavonoids were also found to disaggregate preformed fibrils.