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1.  Structural insights into ChpT, an essential dimeric histidine phosphotransferase regulating the cell cycle in Caulobacter crescentus  
The cell-cycle regulator ChpT of C. crescentus is a dimeric histidine phosphotransferase that resembles the typical structure of histidine kinases.
Two-component and phosphorelay signal-transduction proteins are crucial for bacterial cell-cycle regulation in Caulobacter crescentus. ChpT is an essential histidine phosphotransferase that controls the activity of the master cell-cycle regulator CtrA by phosphorylation. Here, the 2.2 Å resolution crystal structure of ChpT is reported. ChpT is a homodimer and adopts the domain architecture of the intracellular part of class I histidine kinases. Each subunit consists of two distinct domains: an N-terminal helical hairpin domain and a C-terminal α/β domain. The two N-terminal domains are adjacent within the dimer, forming a four-helix bundle. The ChpT C-terminal domain adopts an atypical Bergerat ATP-binding fold.
PMCID: PMC3433190  PMID: 22949187
bacterial cell cycle; Caulobacter crescentus; histidine kinases; histidine phosphotransferases
2.  Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy of Mycobacterial Adhesin-Adhesin Interactions▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2007;189(24):8801-8806.
The heparin-binding hemagglutinin (HBHA) is one of the few virulence factors identified for Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is a surface-associated adhesin that expresses a number of different activities, including mycobacterial adhesion to nonphagocytic cells and microbial aggregation. Previous evidence indicated that HBHA is likely to form homodimers or homopolymers via a predicted coiled-coil region located within the N-terminal portion of the molecule. Here, we used single-molecule atomic-force microscopy to measure individual homophilic HBHA-HBHA interaction forces. Force curves recorded between tips and supports derivatized with HBHA proteins exposing their N-terminal domains showed a bimodal distribution of binding forces reflecting the formation of dimers or multimers. Moreover, the binding peaks showed elongation forces that were consistent with the unfolding of α-helical coiled-coil structures. By contrast, force curves obtained for proteins exposing their lysine-rich C-terminal domains showed a broader distribution of binding events, suggesting that they originate primarily from intermolecular electrostatic bridges between cationic and anionic residues rather than from specific coiled-coil interactions. Notably, similar homophilic HBHA-HBHA interactions were demonstrated on live mycobacteria producing HBHA, while they were not observed on an HBHA-deficient mutant. Together with the fact that HBHA mediates bacterial aggregation, these observations suggest that the single homophilic HBHA interactions measured here reflect the formation of multimers that may promote mycobacterial aggregation.
PMCID: PMC2168608  PMID: 17933894
3.  Visualization of TGN to Endosome Trafficking through Fluorescently Labeled MPR and AP-1 in Living CellsV⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(1):142-155.
We have stably expressed in HeLa cells a chimeric protein made of the green fluorescent protein (GFP) fused to the transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains of the mannose 6-phosphate/insulin like growth factor II receptor in order to study its dynamics in living cells. At steady state, the bulk of this chimeric protein (GFP-CI-MPR) localizes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN), but significant amounts are also detected in peripheral, tubulo-vesicular structures and early endosomes as well as at the plasma membrane. Time-lapse videomicroscopy shows that the GFP-CI-MPR is ubiquitously detected in tubular elements that detach from the TGN and move toward the cell periphery, sometimes breaking into smaller tubular fragments. The formation of the TGN-derived tubules is temperature dependent, requires the presence of intact microtubule and actin networks, and is regulated by the ARF-1 GTPase. The TGN-derived tubules fuse with peripheral, tubulo-vesicular structures also containing the GFP-CI-MPR. These structures are highly dynamic, fusing with each other as well as with early endosomes. Time-lapse videomicroscopy performed on HeLa cells coexpressing the CFP-CI-MPR and the AP-1 complex whose γ-subunit was fused to YFP shows that AP-1 is present not only on the TGN and peripheral CFP-CI-MPR containing structures but also on TGN-derived tubules containing the CFP-CI-MPR. The data support the notion that tubular elements can mediate MPR transport from the TGN to a peripheral, tubulo-vesicular network dynamically connected with the endocytic pathway and that the AP-1 coat may facilitate MPR sorting in the TGN and endosomes.
PMCID: PMC140234  PMID: 12529433

Results 1-3 (3)