PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-13 (13)
 

Clipboard (0)
None

Select a Filter Below

Journals
Year of Publication
1.  Internal (His)6-tagging delivers a fully functional hetero-oligomeric class II chaperonin in high yield 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:20696.
Group II chaperonins are ATP-ases indispensable for the folding of many proteins that play a crucial role in Archaea and Eukarya. They display a conserved two-ringed assembly enclosing an internal chamber where newly translated or misfolded polypeptides can fold to their native structure. They are mainly hexadecamers, with each eight-membered ring composed of one or two (in Archaea) or eight (in Eukarya) different subunits. A major recurring problem within group II chaperonin research, especially with the hetero-oligomeric forms, is to establish an efficient recombinant system for the expression of large amounts of wild-type as well as mutated variants. Herein we show how we can produce, in E. coli cells, unprecedented amounts of correctly assembled and active αβ-thermosome, the class II chaperonin from Thermoplasma acidophilum, by introducing a (His)6-tag within a loop in the α subunit of the complex. The specific location was identified via a rational approach and proved not to disturb the structure of the chaperonin, as demonstrated by size-exclusion chromatography, native gel electrophoresis and electron microscopy. Likewise, the tagged protein showed an ATP-ase activity and an ability to refold substrates identical to the wild type. This tagging strategy might be employed for the overexpression of other recombinant chaperonins.
doi:10.1038/srep20696
PMCID: PMC4746591  PMID: 26856373
2.  The evolution of the dystroglycan complex, a major mediator of muscle integrity 
Biology Open  2015;4(9):1163-1179.
ABSTRACT
Basement membrane (BM) extracellular matrices are crucial for the coordination of different tissue layers. A matrix adhesion receptor that is important for BM function and stability in many mammalian tissues is the dystroglycan (DG) complex. This comprises the non-covalently-associated extracellular α-DG, that interacts with laminin in the BM, and the transmembrane β-DG, that interacts principally with dystrophin to connect to the actin cytoskeleton. Mutations in dystrophin, DG, or several enzymes that glycosylate α-DG underlie severe forms of human muscular dystrophy. Nonwithstanding the pathophysiological importance of the DG complex and its fundamental interest as a non-integrin system of cell-ECM adhesion, the evolution of DG and its interacting proteins is not understood. We analysed the phylogenetic distribution of DG, its proximal binding partners and key processing enzymes in extant metazoan and relevant outgroups. We identify that DG originated after the divergence of ctenophores from porifera and eumetazoa. The C-terminal half of the DG core protein is highly-conserved, yet the N-terminal region, that includes the laminin-binding region, has undergone major lineage-specific divergences. Phylogenetic analysis based on the C-terminal IG2_MAT_NU region identified three distinct clades corresponding to deuterostomes, arthropods, and mollusks/early-diverging metazoans. Whereas the glycosyltransferases that modify α-DG are also present in choanoflagellates, the DG-binding proteins dystrophin and laminin originated at the base of the metazoa, and DG-associated sarcoglycan is restricted to cnidarians and bilaterians. These findings implicate extensive functional diversification of DG within invertebrate lineages and identify the laminin-DG-dystrophin axis as a conserved adhesion system that evolved subsequent to integrin-ECM adhesion, likely to enhance the functional complexity of cell-BM interactions in early metazoans.
doi:10.1242/bio.012468
PMCID: PMC4582122  PMID: 26319583
Dystroglycan; Protein domain analysis; Metazoa; Multicellularity; Basement membrane; Dystroglycanopathy
3.  Genetic Engineering of Dystroglycan in Animal Models of Muscular Dystrophy 
BioMed Research International  2015;2015:635792.
In skeletal muscle, dystroglycan (DG) is the central component of the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex (DGC), a multimeric protein complex that ensures a strong mechanical link between the extracellular matrix and the cytoskeleton. Several muscular dystrophies arise from mutations hitting most of the components of the DGC. Mutations within the DG gene (DAG1) have been recently associated with two forms of muscular dystrophy, one displaying a milder and one a more severe phenotype. This review focuses specifically on the animal (murine and others) model systems that have been developed with the aim of directly engineering DAG1 in order to study the DG function in skeletal muscle as well as in other tissues. In the last years, conditional animal models overcoming the embryonic lethality of the DG knock-out in mouse have been generated and helped clarifying the crucial role of DG in skeletal muscle, while an increasing number of studies on knock-in mice are aimed at understanding the contribution of single amino acids to the stability of DG and to the possible development of muscular dystrophy.
doi:10.1155/2015/635792
PMCID: PMC4561298  PMID: 26380289
4.  Proteasome Activity Is Affected by Fluctuations in Insulin-Degrading Enzyme Distribution 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(7):e0132455.
Insulin-Degrading-Enzyme (IDE) is a Zn2+-dependent peptidase highly conserved throughout evolution and ubiquitously distributed in mammalian tissues wherein it displays a prevalent cytosolic localization. We have recently demonstrated a novel Heat Shock Protein-like behaviour of IDE and its association with the 26S proteasome. In the present study, we examine the mechanistic and molecular features of IDE-26S proteasome interaction in a cell experimental model, extending the investigation also to the effect of IDE on the enzymatic activities of the 26S proteasome. Further, kinetic investigations indicate that the 26S proteasome activity undergoes a functional modulation by IDE through an extra-catalytic mechanism. The IDE-26S proteasome interaction was analyzed during the Heat Shock Response and we report novel findings on IDE intracellular distribution that might be of critical relevance for cell metabolism.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0132455
PMCID: PMC4506093  PMID: 26186340
5.  The Structure of the T190M Mutant of Murine α-Dystroglycan at High Resolution: Insight into the Molecular Basis of a Primary Dystroglycanopathy 
PLoS ONE  2015;10(5):e0124277.
The severe dystroglycanopathy known as a form of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD2P) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by the point mutation T192M in α-dystroglycan. Functional expression analysis in vitro and in vivo indicated that the mutation was responsible for a decrease in posttranslational glycosylation of dystroglycan, eventually interfering with its extracellular-matrix receptor function and laminin binding in skeletal muscle and brain. The X-ray crystal structure of the missense variant T190M of the murine N-terminal domain of α-dystroglycan (50-313) has been determined, and showed an overall topology (Ig-like domain followed by a basket-shaped domain reminiscent of the small subunit ribosomal protein S6) very similar to that of the wild-type structure. The crystallographic analysis revealed a change of the conformation assumed by the highly flexible loop encompassing residues 159–180. Moreover, a solvent shell reorganization around Met190 affects the interaction between the B1–B5 anti-parallel strands forming part of the floor of the basket-shaped domain, with likely repercussions on the folding stability of the protein domain(s) and on the overall molecular flexibility. Chemical denaturation and limited proteolysis experiments point to a decreased stability of the T190M variant with respect to its wild-type counterpart. This mutation may render the entire L-shaped protein architecture less flexible. The overall reduced flexibility and stability may affect the functional properties of α-dystroglycan via negatively influencing its binding behavior to factors needed for dystroglycan maturation, and may lay the molecular basis of the T190M-driven primary dystroglycanopathy.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0124277
PMCID: PMC4416926  PMID: 25932631
6.  Insights from Molecular Dynamics Simulations: Structural Basis for the V567D Mutation-Induced Instability of Zebrafish Alpha-Dystroglycan and Comparison with the Murine Model 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(7):e103866.
A missense amino acid mutation of valine to aspartic acid in 567 position of alpha-dystroglycan (DG), identified in dag1-mutated zebrafish, results in a reduced transcription and a complete absence of the protein. Lacking experimental structural data for zebrafish DG domains, the detailed mechanism for the observed mutation-induced destabilization of the DG complex and membrane damage, remained unclear. With the aim to contribute to a better clarification of the structure-function relationships featuring the DG complex, three-dimensional structural models of wild-type and mutant (V567D) C-terminal domain of alpha-DG from zebrafish were constructed by a template-based modelling approach. We then ran extensive molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to reveal the structural and dynamic properties of the C-terminal domain and to evaluate the effect of the single mutation on alpha-DG stability. A comparative study has been also carried out on our previously generated model of murine alpha-DG C-terminal domain including the I591D mutation, which is topologically equivalent to the V567D mutation found in zebrafish. Trajectories from MD simulations were analyzed in detail, revealing extensive structural disorder involving multiple beta-strands in the mutated variant of the zebrafish protein whereas local effects have been detected in the murine protein. A biochemical analysis of the murine alpha-DG mutant I591D confirmed a pronounced instability of the protein. Taken together, the computational and biochemical analysis suggest that the V567D/I591D mutation, belonging to the G beta-strand, plays a key role in inducing a destabilization of the alpha-DG C-terminal Ig-like domain that could possibly affect and propagate to the entire DG complex. The structural features herein identified may be of crucial help to understand the molecular basis of primary dystroglycanopathies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103866
PMCID: PMC4117597  PMID: 25078606
7.  Probing the stability of the “naked” mucin-like domain of human α-dystroglycan 
BMC Biochemistry  2013;14:15.
Background
α-Dystroglycan (α-DG) is heavily glycosylated within its central mucin-like domain. The glycosylation shell of α-dystroglycan is known to largely influence its functional properties toward extracellular ligands. The structural features of this α-dystroglycan domain have been poorly studied so far. For the first time, we have attempted a recombinant expression approach in E. coli cells, in order to analyze by biochemical and biophysical techniques this important domain of the α-dystroglycan core protein.
Results
We expressed the recombinant mucin-like domain of human α-dystroglycan in E. coli cells, and purified it as a soluble peptide of 174 aa. A cleavage event, that progressively emerges under repeated cycles of freeze/thaw, occurs at the carboxy side of Arg461, liberating a 151 aa fragment as revealed by mass spectrometry analysis. The mucin-like peptide lacks any particular fold, as confirmed by its hydrodynamic properties and its fluorescence behavior under guanidine hydrochloride denaturation. Dynamic light scattering has been used to demonstrate that this mucin-like peptide is arranged in a conformation that is prone to aggregation at room temperature, with a melting temperature of ~40°C, which indicates a pronounced instability. Such a conclusion has been corroborated by trypsin limited proteolysis, upon which the protein has been fully degraded in less than 60 min.
Conclusions
Our analysis indirectly confirms the idea that the mucin-like domain of α-dystroglycan needs to be extensively glycosylated in order to reach a stable conformation. The absence/reduction of glycosylation by itself may greatly reduce the stability of the dystroglycan complex. Although an altered pattern of α-dystroglycan O-mannosylation, that is not significantly changing its overall glycosylation fraction, represents the primary molecular clue behind currently known dystroglycanopathies, it cannot be ruled out that still unidentified forms of αDG-related dystrophy might originate by a more substantial reduction of α-dystroglycan glycosylation and by its consequent destabilization.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-14-15
PMCID: PMC3704865  PMID: 23815856
Dystroglycan; Dynamic light scattering; Capillary electrophoresis; Mass spectrometry
8.  Dystroglycan is associated to the disulfide isomerase ERp57 
Experimental Cell Research  2012;318(19):2460-2469.
Dystroglycan (DG) is an extracellular receptor composed of two subunits, α-DG and β-DG, connected through the α-DG C-terminal domain and the β-DG N-terminal domain. We report an alanine scanning of all DG cysteine residues performed on DG-GFP constructs overexpressed in 293-Ebna cells, demonstrating that Cys-669 and Cys-713, both located within the β-DG N-terminal domain, are key residues for the DG precursor cleavage and trafficking, but not for the interaction between the two DG subunits. In addition, we have used immunprecipitation and confocal microscopy showing that ERp57, a member of the disulfide isomerase family involved in glycoprotein folding, is associated and colocalizes immunohistochemically with β-DG in the ER and at the plasma membrane of 293-Ebna cells. The β-DG–ERp57 complex also included α-DG. DG mutants, unable to undergo the precursor cleavage, were still associated to ERp57. β-DG and ERp57 were also co-immunoprecipitated in rat heart and kidney tissues. In vitro, a mutant ERp57, mimicking the reduced form of the wild-type protein, interacts directly with the recombinant N-terminal domain of both α-DG and β-DG with apparent dissociation constant values in the micromolar range. ERp57 is likely to be involved in the DG processing/maturation pathway, but its association to the mature DG complex might also suggest some further functional role that needs to be investigated.
Highlights
► Cys-669 and Cys-713 are key residues for dystroglycan precursor cleavage. ► ERp57 is co-immunopurified with dystroglycan. ► ERp57 co-localizes with dystroglycan in the ER and at the plasma membrane. ► Recombinant ERp57 binds directly to dystroglycan recombinant domains.
doi:10.1016/j.yexcr.2012.07.006
PMCID: PMC3459099  PMID: 22814252
DG, dystroglycan; pre-DG, dystroglycan precursor; NEM, N-ethylmaleimide; DTT, dithiothreitol; sWGL, succinylated wheat germ lectin; Dystroglycan; ERp57; Immunoprecipitation; Fluorescence microscopy; Solid-phase binding assay
9.  Insertion of a myc-tag within α-dystroglycan domains improves its biochemical and microscopic detection 
BMC Biochemistry  2012;13:14.
Background
Epitope tags and fluorescent fusion proteins have become indispensable molecular tools for studies in the fields of biochemistry and cell biology. The knowledge collected on the subdomain organization of the two subunits of the adhesion complex dystroglycan (DG) enabled us to insert the 10 amino acids myc-tag at different locations along the α-subunit, in order to better visualize and investigate the DG complex in eukaryotic cells.
Results
We have generated two forms of DG polypeptides via the insertion of the myc-tag 1) within a flexible loop (between a.a. 170 and 171) that separates two autonomous subdomains, and 2) within the C-terminal domain in position 500. Their analysis showed that double-tagging (the β-subunit is linked to GFP) does not significantly interfere with the correct processing of the DG precursor (pre-DG) and confirmed that the α-DG N-terminal domain is processed in the cell before α-DG reaches its plasma membrane localization. In addition, myc insertion in position 500, right before the second Ig-like domain of α-DG, proved to be an efficient tool for the detection and pulling-down of glycosylated α-DG molecules targeted at the membrane.
Conclusions
Further characterization of these and other myc-permissive site(s) will represent a valid support for the study of the maturation process of pre-DG and could result in the creation of a new class of intrinsic doubly-fluorescent DG molecules that would allow the monitoring of the two DG subunits, or of pre-DG, in cells without the need of antibodies.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-13-14
PMCID: PMC3432625  PMID: 22835149
10.  An Immunological Analysis of Dystroglycan Subunits: Lessons Learned from a Small Cohort of Non-Congenital Dystrophic Patients 
The dystroglycan (DG) expression pattern can be altered in severe muscular dystrophies. In fact, some congenital muscular dystrophies (CMDs) and limb-girdle muscular dystrophies (LGMDs) are caused by point mutations identified in six glycosyltransferase genes which are likely to target different steps along the posttranslational “O-glycosylation route” leading to a fully decorated and functional α-DG subunit. Indeed, hypoglycosylation of α-DG is thought to represent a major pathological event, in that it could reduce the DG’s ability to bind the basement membrane components, thus leading to sarcolemmal instability and necrosis. In order to set up an efficient standard immunological protocol, taking advantage of a wide panel of antibodies, we have analyzed the two DG subunits in a small cohort of adult dystrophic patients, whom an extensive medical examination had already clinically classified as affected by LGMD (5), Miyoshi (1) or distal (1) myopathy. Immunofluorescence analysis of skeletal muscle tissue sections revealed a proper sarcolemmal localization of the DG subunits in all the patients analyzed. However, Western blot analysis of lectin enriched skeletal muscle samples revealed an abnormal glycosylation of α-DG in two patients. Our work reinforces the notion that a careful immunological and biochemical analysis of the two DG subunits should be always considered as a prerequisite for the identification of new putative cases of dystroglycanopathy.
doi:10.2174/1874205X01105010068
PMCID: PMC3204415  PMID: 22046204
Dystroglycan; limb-girdle muscular dystrophy; distal myopathy; Miyoshi myopathy; secondary dystroglycanopathies; dystrophin-glycoprotein complex.
11.  Corneal Deposit of Ciprofloxacin after Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis Procedure: A Case Report 
Journal of Ophthalmology  2010;2010:296034.
Purpose. To report one case of corneal antibiotic deposition after ciprofloxacin administration in Laser Assisted Subepithelial Keratomileusis (LASEK). Methods. One case of post-LASEK treatment resulted in corneal precipitates and poor wound healing. Debris was analyzed with dark field microscopy and placed on a blood-agar plate seeded with a susceptible stain of Staphylococcus aureus (ATCC 29213). Results. The alterations resolved with discontinuation of ciprofloxacin treatment, although some residual deposits persisted subepithelially for 6 months. Analysis of precipitates revealed polydisperse crystalline needles of 183 μm average length (SD = 54 μm) and the excised precipitate demonstrated a zone of inhibition. Conclusions. Fluoroquinolone antibiotic drops have been used extensively in postsurgical treatment of refractive surgery. Corneal precipitates have been previously reported in the literature, but up to now nothing has been documented after LASEK. Polypharmacy during refractive surgery may impair epithelialisation, and clinical management should reduce toxic environment and promote ocular surface stability when performing surface ablations.
doi:10.1155/2010/296034
PMCID: PMC2903952  PMID: 20634934
12.  Duplication of the dystroglycan gene in most branches of teleost fish 
Background
The dystroglycan (DG) complex is a major non-integrin cell adhesion system whose multiple biological roles involve, among others, skeletal muscle stability, embryonic development and synapse maturation. DG is composed of two subunits: α-DG, extracellular and highly glycosylated, and the transmembrane β-DG, linking the cytoskeleton to the surrounding basement membrane in a wide variety of tissues. A single copy of the DG gene (DAG1) has been identified so far in humans and other mammals, encoding for a precursor protein which is post-translationally cleaved to liberate the two DG subunits. Similarly, D. rerio (zebrafish) seems to have a single copy of DAG1, whose removal was shown to cause a severe dystrophic phenotype in adult animals, although it is known that during evolution, due to a whole genome duplication (WGD) event, many teleost fish acquired multiple copies of several genes (paralogues).
Results
Data mining of pufferfish (T. nigroviridis and T. rubripes) and other teleost fish (O. latipes and G. aculeatus) available nucleotide sequences revealed the presence of two functional paralogous DG sequences. RT-PCR analysis proved that both the DG sequences are transcribed in T. nigroviridis. One of the two DG sequences harbours an additional mini-intronic sequence, 137 bp long, interrupting the uncomplicated exon-intron-exon pattern displayed by DAG1 in mammals and D. rerio. A similar scenario emerged also in D. labrax (sea bass), from whose genome we have cloned and sequenced a new DG sequence that also harbours a shorter additional intronic sequence of 116 bp. Western blot analysis confirmed the presence of DG protein products in all the species analysed including two teleost Antarctic species (T. bernacchii and C. hamatus).
Conclusion
Our evolutionary analysis has shown that the whole-genome duplication event in the Class Actinopterygii (ray-finned fish) involved also DAG1. We unravelled new important molecular genetic details about fish orthologous DGs, which might help to increase the current knowledge on DG expression, maturation and targeting and on its physiopathological role in higher organisms.
doi:10.1186/1471-2199-8-34
PMCID: PMC1885269  PMID: 17509131
13.  O Mannosylation of α-Dystroglycan Is Essential for Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis Virus Receptor Function 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(22):14297-14308.
α-Dystroglycan (α-DG) was identified as a common receptor for lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and several other arenaviruses including the human pathogenic Lassa fever virus. Initial work postulated that interactions between arenavirus glycoproteins and α-DG are based on protein-protein interactions. We found, however, that susceptibility toward LCMV infection differed in various cell lines despite them expressing comparable levels of DG, suggesting that posttranslational modifications of α-DG would be involved in viral receptor function. Here, we demonstrate that glycosylation of α-DG, and in particular, O mannosylation, which is a rare type of O-linked glycosylation in mammals, is essential for LCMV receptor function. Cells that are defective in components of the O-mannosylation pathway showed strikingly reduced LCMV infectibility. As defective O mannosylation is associated with severe clinical symptoms in mammals such as congenital muscular dystrophies, it is likely that LCMV and potentially other arenaviruses may have selected this conserved and crucial posttranslational modification as the primary target structure for cell entry and infection.
doi:10.1128/JVI.79.22.14297-14308.2005
PMCID: PMC1280192  PMID: 16254364

Results 1-13 (13)