Acute treatment of stroke with HDAC inhibitors has been shown to reduce ischemic cell damage; however, it is unclear whether delayed treatment with HDAC inhibitors will contribute to the brain repair and plasticity. In the present study, we investigated the effects of delayed treatment of stroke with a pan HDAC inhibitor, valproic acid (VPA), on white matter injury and neurogenesis during stroke recovery. Administration of VPA at a dose of 100 mg/kg for 7 days starting 24 hours after middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) in rats significantly improved neurological outcome measured 7 to 28 days post-MCAo. In addition, the VPA treatment significantly increased oligodendrocyte survival and newly generated oligodendrocytes, which was associated with elevation of myelinated axonal density in the ischemic boundary 28 days after MCAo. VPA treatment also increased the expression of glutamate transporter 1 (GLT1) in the ischemic boundary after stroke, and increased acetylated histone H4 expression in neuroblasts and the number of new neurons in striatal ischemic boundary region. This study provides new evidence that the delayed VPA treatment enhances white matter repair and neurogenesis in ischemic brain, which may contribute to improved functional outcome.
Valproic acid; oligodendrocyte; axon; neural progenitor cells; subventricular zone (SVZ); stroke
Amyloid fibrils of Alzheimer’s β-amyloid peptide (Aβ) are a primary component of amyloid plaques, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Enormous attention has been given to the structural features and functions of Aβ in amyloid fibrils and other type of aggregates in associated with development of AD. This report describes an efficient protocol to express and purify high-quality 40-residue Aβ(1–40), the most abundant Aβ in brains, for structural studies by NMR spectroscopy. Over-expression of Aβ(1–40) with glutathione S-transferase (GST) tag connected by a Factor Xa recognition site (IEGR▼) in E. Coli resulted in the formation of insoluble inclusion bodies even with the soluble GST tag. This problem was resolved by efficient recovery of the GST-Aβ fusion protein from the inclusion bodies using 0.5% (w/v) sodium lauroyl sarcosinate as solubilizing agent and subsequent purification by affinity chromatography using a glutathione agarose column. The removal of the GST tag by Factor Xa enzymatic cleavage and purification by HPLC yielded as much as ~7 mg and ~1.5 mg of unlabeled Aβ(1–40) and uniformly 15N- and/or 13C-protein Aβ(1–40) from 1 L of the cell culture, respectively. Mass spectroscopy of unlabeled and labeled Aβ and 1H/15N HSQC solution NMR spectrum of the obtained 15N-labeled Aβ in the monomeric form confirmed the expression of native Aβ(1–40). It was also confirmed by electron micrography and solid-state NMR analysis that the purified Aβ(1–40) self-assembles into β-sheet rich amyloid fibrils. To the best of our knowledge, our protocol offers the highest yields among published protocols for production of recombinant Aβ(1–40) samples that are amendable for an NMR-based structural analysis. The protocol may be applied to efficient preparation of other amyloid-forming proteins and peptides that are 13C- and 15N-labeled for NMR experiments.
Amyloid β; GST fusion protein; sodium lauroyl sarcosinate; NMR
To evaluate the papilla alterations around single-implant restorations in the anterior maxillae after crown attachment and to study the influence of soft tissue thickness on the papilla fill alteration. According to the inclusion criteria, 32 patients subjected to implant-supported single-tooth restorations in anterior maxillae were included. The patients were assigned to two groups according to the mucosal thickness: (i) group 1, 1.5 mm≤mucosal thickness≤3 mm; and (ii) group 2, 3 mm
esthetic outcome; papilla fill index; single-implant restoration; soft tissue thickness
Cu2+ binding to Alzheimer’s β (Aβ) peptides in amyloid fibrils has attracted broad attention, as it was shown that Cu ion concentration elevates in Alzheimer’s senile plaque and such association of Aβ with Cu2+ triggers the production of neurotoxic reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as H2O2. However, detailed binding sites and binding structures of Cu2+ to Aβ are still largely unknown for Aβ fibrils or other aggregates of Aβ. In this work, we examined molecular details of Cu2+ binding to amyloid fibrils by detecting paramagnetic signal quenching in 1D and 2D high-resolution 13C SSNMR for full-length 40-residue Aβ(1–40). Selective quenching observed in 13C SSNMR of Cu2+-bound Aβ(1–40) suggested that primary Cu2+ binding sites in Aβ(1–40) fibrils include Nε in His-13 and His-14, and carboxyl groups in Val-40 as well as in Glu side chains (Glu-3, Glu-11, and/or Glu-22). 13C chemical shift analysis demonstrated no major structural changes upon Cu2+ binding in the hydrophobic core regions (residues 18–25 and 30–36). Although the ROS production via oxidization of Met-35 in the presence of Cu2+ has been long suspected, our SSNMR analysis of 13CεH3-S- in M35 showed little changes after Cu2+ binding, excluding the possibility of Met-35 oxidization by Cu2+ alone. Preliminary molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on Cu2+-Aβ complex in amyloid fibrils confirmed binding sites suggested by the SSNMR results and the stabilities of such bindings. The MD simulations also indicate the coexistence of a variety of Cu2+-binding modes unique in Aβ fibril, which are realized by both intra- and inter-molecular contacts and highly concentrated coordination sites due to the in-register parallel β-sheet arrangements.
Low-resolution refinement tools implemented in REFMAC5 are described, including the use of external structural restraints, helical restraints and regularized anisotropic map sharpening.
Two aspects of low-resolution macromolecular crystal structure analysis are considered: (i) the use of reference structures and structural units for provision of structural prior information and (ii) map sharpening in the presence of noise and the effects of Fourier series termination. The generation of interatomic distance restraints by ProSMART and their subsequent application in REFMAC5 is described. It is shown that the use of such external structural information can enhance the reliability of derived atomic models and stabilize refinement. The problem of map sharpening is considered as an inverse deblurring problem and is solved using Tikhonov regularizers. It is demonstrated that this type of map sharpening can automatically produce a map with more structural features whilst maintaining connectivity. Tests show that both of these directions are promising, although more work needs to be performed in order to further exploit structural information and to address the problem of reliable electron-density calculation.
low-resolution refinement; REFMAC5
Alteration of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is involved in various human cancers and has been intensively investigated. A plethora of evidence demonstrates that posttranslational modifications of EGFR play a pivotal role in controlling its function and metabolism. Here, we show that EGFR can be acetylated by CREB binding protein (CBP) acetyltransferase. Interestingly, EGFR acetylation affects its tyrosine phosphorylation, which may contribute to cancer cell resistance to histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACIs). Since there is an increasing interest in using HDACIs to treat various cancers in the clinic, our current study provides insights and rationale for selecting effective therapeutic regimen. Consistent with the previous reports, we also show that HDACI combined with EGFR inhibitors achieves better therapeutic outcomes and provides a molecular rationale for the enhanced effect of combination therapy. Our results unveil a critical role of EGFR acetylation that regulates EGFR function, which may have an important clinical implication.
The automated pipelines for molecular replacement MrBUMP and BALBES are reviewed, with an emphasis on understanding their output. Conclusions are drawn from their performance in extensive trials.
Molecular replacement is one of the key methods used to solve the problem of determining the phases of structure factors in protein structure solution from X-ray image diffraction data. Its success rate has been steadily improving with the development of improved software methods and the increasing number of structures available in the PDB for use as search models. Despite this, in cases where there is low sequence identity between the target-structure sequence and that of its set of possible homologues it can be a difficult and time-consuming chore to isolate and prepare the best search model for molecular replacement. MrBUMP and BALBES are two recent developments from CCP4 that have been designed to automate and speed up the process of determining and preparing the best search models and putting them through molecular replacement. Their intention is to provide the user with a broad set of results using many search models and to highlight the best of these for further processing. An overview of both programs is presented along with a description of how best to use them, citing case studies and the results of large-scale testing of the software.
MrBUMP; BALBES; molecular replacement
The general principles behind the macromolecular crystal structure refinement program REFMAC5 are described.
This paper describes various components of the macromolecular crystallographic refinement program REFMAC5, which is distributed as part of the CCP4 suite. REFMAC5 utilizes different likelihood functions depending on the diffraction data employed (amplitudes or intensities), the presence of twinning and the availability of SAD/SIRAS experimental diffraction data. To ensure chemical and structural integrity of the refined model, REFMAC5 offers several classes of restraints and choices of model parameterization. Reliable models at resolutions at least as low as 4 Å can be achieved thanks to low-resolution refinement tools such as secondary-structure restraints, restraints to known homologous structures, automatic global and local NCS restraints, ‘jelly-body’ restraints and the use of novel long-range restraints on atomic displacement parameters (ADPs) based on the Kullback–Leibler divergence. REFMAC5 additionally offers TLS parameterization and, when high-resolution data are available, fast refinement of anisotropic ADPs. Refinement in the presence of twinning is performed in a fully automated fashion. REFMAC5 is a flexible and highly optimized refinement package that is ideally suited for refinement across the entire resolution spectrum encountered in macromolecular crystallography.
Glutamate racemase (RacE) is a bacterial enzyme that converts L-glutamate to D-glutamate, an essential precursor for peptidoglycan synthesis. In prior work, we have shown that both isoforms co-crystallize with D-glutamate as dimers, and the enzyme is in a closed conformation with limited access to the active site [May et al., (2007) J. Mol. Biol. 371, 1219–1237]. The active site of RacE2 is especially restricted. We now utilize several computational and experimental approaches to understand the overall conformational dynamics involved during catalysis when the ligand enters and product exits the active site. Our steered molecular dynamics simulations and normal mode analysis results indicate that the monomeric form of the enzyme is more flexible than the native dimeric form. These results suggest that the monomeric enzyme might be more active than the dimeric form. We thus generated site-specific mutations that disrupt dimerization, and find that they exhibit significantly higher catalytic rates in the D-Glu to L-Glu reaction direction than the native enzyme. Low resolution models restored from solution X-ray scattering studies correlate well with the first six normal modes of the dimeric form of the enzyme, obtained from NMA. Thus, along with the local active site residues, global domain motions appear to be implicated in the catalytically relevant structural dynamics of this enzyme, and suggest that increased flexibility may accelerate catalysis. This is a novel observation that residues distant from the catalytic site restrain catalytic activity through formation of the dimer structure.
Bacillus anthracis; glutamate racemase; disruption of dimerization; normal modes; x-ray solution scattering; global domain motions; catalytically relevant enzyme structural dynamics
Magnetotactic bacteria are able to swim navigating along geomagnetic field lines. They synthesize ferromagnetic nanocrystals that are embedded in cytoplasmic membrane invaginations forming magnetosomes. Regularly aligned in the cytoplasm along cytoskeleton filaments, the magnetosome chain effectively forms a compass needle bestowing on bacteria their magnetotactic behaviour. A large genomic island, conserved among magnetotactic bacteria, contains the genes potentially involved in magnetosome formation. One of the genes, mamK has been described as encoding a prokaryotic actin-like protein which when it polymerizes forms in the cytoplasm filamentous structures that provide the scaffold for magnetosome alignment. Here, we have identified a series of genes highly similar to the mam genes in the genome of Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1. The newly annotated genes are clustered in a genomic islet distinct and distant from the known magnetosome genomic island and most probably acquired by lateral gene transfer rather than duplication. We focused on a mamK-like gene whose product shares 54.5% identity with the actin-like MamK. Filament bundles of polymerized MamK-like protein were observed in vitro with electron microscopy and in vivo in E. coli cells expressing MamK-like-Venus fusions by fluorescence microscopy. In addition, we demonstrate that mamK-like is transcribed in AMB-1 wild-type and ΔmamK mutant cells and that the actin-like filamentous structures observed in the ΔmamK strain are probably MamK-like polymers. Thus MamK-like is a new member of the prokaryotic actin-like family. This is the first evidence of a functional mam gene encoded outside the magnetosome genomic island.
Magnetotactic bacteria have the unique capacity of synthesizing intracellular single-domain magnetic particles called magnetosomes. The magnetosomes are usually organized in a chain that allows the bacteria to align and swim along geomagnetic field lines, a behavior called magnetotaxis. Two mechanisms of magnetotaxis have been described. Axial magnetotactic cells swim in both directions along magnetic field lines. In contrast, polar magnetotactic cells swim either parallel to the geomagnetic field lines toward the North Pole (north seeking) or antiparallel toward the South Pole (south seeking). In this study, we used a magnetospectrophotometry (MSP) assay to characterize both the axial magnetotaxis of “Magnetospirillum magneticum” strain AMB-1 and the polar magnetotaxis of magneto-ovoid strain MO-1. Two pairs of Helmholtz coils were mounted onto the cuvette holder of a common laboratory spectrophotometer to generate two mutually perpendicular homogeneous magnetic fields parallel or perpendicular to the light beam. The application of magnetic fields allowed measurements of the change in light scattering resulting from cell alignment in a magnetic field or in absorbance due to bacteria swimming across the light beam. Our results showed that MSP is a powerful tool for the determination of bacterial magnetism and the analysis of alignment and swimming of magnetotactic bacteria in magnetic fields. Moreover, this assay allowed us to characterize south-seeking derivatives and non-magnetosome-bearing strains obtained from north-seeking MO-1 cultures. Our results suggest that oxygen is a determinant factor that controls magnetotactic behavior.
We present an approach that speeds up protein solid-state NMR (SSNMR) by 5–20 fold by using paramagnetic doping to condense data-collection time (to ~0.2 s/scan), overcoming a long-standing limitation on slow recycling due to intrinsic 1H T1 longitudinal spin relaxation. By employing low-power schemes under magic-angle spinning at 40 kHz, we show that two-dimensional 13C/13C and 13C/15N SSNMR spectra can be attained for several to tens of nano-moles of β-amyloid fibrils and ubiquitin in just 1–2 days.
The twin-arginine translocation (Tat) pathway in Corynebacterium glutamicum has been described previously. The minimal functional Tat system in C. glutamicum required TatA and TatC but did not require TatB, although this component was required for maximal efficiency of Tat-dependent secretion. We previously demonstrated that Chryseobacterium proteolyticum pro-protein glutaminase (pro-PG) and Streptomyces mobaraensis pro-transglutaminase (pro-TG) could be secreted via the Tat pathway in C. glutamicum. Here we report that the amounts of pro-PG secreted were more than threefold larger when TatC or TatAC was overexpressed, and there was a further threefold increase when TatABC was overexpressed. These results show that the amount of TatC protein is the first bottleneck and the amount of TatB protein is the second bottleneck in Tat-dependent protein secretion in C. glutamicum. In addition, the amount of pro-TG that accumulated via the Tat pathway when TatABC was overexpressed with the TorA signal peptide in C. glutamicum was larger than the amount that accumulated via the Sec pathway. We concluded that TatABC overexpression improves Tat-dependent pro-PG and pro-TG secretion in C. glutamicum.
The epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has previously been detected in the nucleus of cancer cells and primary tumors. We have reported that EGFR translocates from the plasma membrane to the nucleus. Accumulation of nuclear EGFR is linked to increased DNA synthesis and proliferation; however, the pathological significance of nuclear EGFR is not completely understood. Here, we sought to determine the predictive value of EGFR for the survival of ovarian cancer patients, through the examination of 221 cases of ovarian cancer tissues by immunohistochemical analysis to determine nuclear EGFR expression. In addition, we also examined cyclin D1 and Ki-67 through immunohistochemisty. Furthermore, we examined nuclear EGFR levels in ovarian cancer cell lines treated with EGF, and primary ovarian tumor tissue using immunofluorescence analysis. Nuclear fractions extracted from serum-starved cells treated with or without EGF were subjected to SDS–PAGE and Western blot analyses. We found that 28.3% of the cohort had high levels of nuclear EGFR, while 22.5% had low levels of nuclear EGFR, and 49.2% were negative for nuclear EGFR. Importantly, there was an inverse correlation between high nuclear EGFR, cyclin D1, and Ki-67 with overall survival (P < 0.01, P < 0.09, P < 0.041). Additionally, nuclear EGFR correlated positively with increased levels of cyclin D1 and Ki-67, both indicators for cell proliferation. Our findings indicate a pathological significance of nuclear EGFR that might be important for predicting clinical prognosis of ovarian cancer patients.
EGFR; nucleus; receptor tyrosine kinase; cyclin D1
Listeria monocytogenes may persist for long periods in food processing environments. In some instances, this may be due to aggregation or biofilm formation. To investigate the mechanism controlling biofilm formation in the food-borne pathogen L. monocytogenes, we characterized LM-49, a mutant with enhanced ability of biofilm formation generated via transposon Tn917 mutagenesis of L. monocytogenes 4b G. In this mutant, a Tn917 insertion has disrupted the coding region of the gene encoding a putative ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter permease identical to Lmof2365_1771 (a putative ABC transporter permease) presented in the sequenced strain L. monocytogenes strain 4b F2365. This disrupted gene, denoted lm.G_1771, encoded a protein with 10 transmembrane helixes. The revertant, LM-49RE, was obtained by replacing lm.G_1771::Tn917 with lm.G_1771 via homologous recombination. We found that LM-49RE formed the same amount of biofilm biomass as the wild-type strain. Furthermore, transcription of the downstream lm.G_1770 gene was not influenced by the upstream Tn917 insertion, and the presence of Tn917 has no effect on biofilm formation. These results suggest that lm.G_1771 was solely responsible for the negative regulation of biofilm formation by L. monocytogenes 4b G. The immediate gene upstream of lm.G_1771 encoded an ATP-binding protein. Bioinformatics analysis suggested that these two genes were organized into an operon and that their proteins formed an export ABC transporter. Here, we report the characterization of the mutant and identification of a novel ABC transporter that functions in negative regulation of biofilm formation in L. monocytogenes.
The Twin-arginine translocation (Tat) system serves to translocate folded proteins, including periplasmic enzymes that bind redox cofactors in bacteria. The Tat system is also a determinant of virulence in some pathogenic bacteria, related to pleiotropic effects including growth, motility, and the secretion of some virulent factors. The contribution of the Tat pathway to Vibrio cholerae has not been explored. Here we investigated the functionality of the Tat system in V. cholerae, the etiologic agent of cholera.
In V. cholerae, the tatABC genes function in the translocation of TMAO reductase. Deletion of the tatABC genes led to a significant decrease in biofilm formation, the ability to attach to HT-29 cells, and the ability to colonize suckling mouse intestines. In addition, we observed a reduction in the output of cholera toxin, which may be due to the decreased transcription level of the toxin gene in tatABC mutants, suggesting an indirect effect of the mutation on toxin production. No obvious differences in flagellum biosynthesis and motility were found between the tatABC mutant and the parental strain, showing a variable effect of Tat in different bacteria.
The Tat system contributes to the survival of V. cholerae in the environment and in vivo, and it may be associated with its virulence.
The recombinant actin-like protein MamK was purified from Escherichia coli and used as an antigen to generate the anti-MamK antibody. Immunostaining studies showed a linear distribution of MamK in Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum cells and of MamK in association with magnetosomes. Moreover, we demonstrated that MamK polymerizes into filamentous bundles in vitro.
A systematic test shows how ARP/wARP deals with automated model building for structures that have been solved by molecular replacement. A description of protocols in the flex-wARP control system and studies of two specific cases are also presented.
Automatic iterative model (re-)building, as implemented in ARP/wARP and its new control system flex-wARP, is particularly well suited to follow structure solution by molecular replacement. More than 100 molecular-replacement solutions automatically solved by the BALBES software were submitted to three standard protocols in flex-wARP and the results were compared with final models from the PDB. Standard metrics were gathered in a systematic way and enabled the drawing of statistical conclusions on the advantages of each protocol. Based on this analysis, an empirical estimator was proposed that predicts how good the final model produced by flex-wARP is likely to be based on the experimental data and the quality of the molecular-replacement solution. To introduce the differences between the three flex-wARP protocols (keeping the complete search model, converting it to atomic coordinates but ignoring atom identities or using the electron-density map calculated from the molecular-replacement solution), two examples are also discussed in detail, focusing on the evolution of the models during iterative rebuilding. This highlights the diversity of paths that the flex-wARP control system can employ to reach a nearly complete and accurate model while actually starting from the same initial information.
model building; refinement; molecular replacement
The fully automated pipeline, BALBES, integrates a redesigned hierarchical database of protein structures with their domains and multimeric organization, and solves molecular-replacement problems using only input X-ray and sequence data.
The number of macromolecular structures solved and deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) is higher than 40 000. Using this information in macromolecular crystallography (MX) should in principle increase the efficiency of MX structure solution. This paper describes a molecular-replacement pipeline, BALBES, that makes extensive use of this repository. It uses a reorganized database taken from the PDB with multimeric as well as domain organization. A system manager written in Python controls the workflow of the process. Testing the current version of the pipeline using entries from the PDB has shown that this approach has huge potential and that around 75% of structures can be solved automatically without user intervention.
BALBES; molecular replacement