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1.  Myristoylation drives dimerization of matrix protein from mouse mammary tumor virus 
Retrovirology  2016;13:2.
Background
Myristoylation of the matrix (MA) domain mediates the transport and binding of Gag polyproteins to the plasma membrane (PM) and is required for the assembly of most retroviruses. In betaretroviruses, which assemble immature particles in the cytoplasm, myristoylation is dispensable for assembly but is crucial for particle transport to the PM. Oligomerization of HIV-1 MA stimulates the transition of the myristoyl group from a sequestered to an exposed conformation, which is more accessible for membrane binding. However, for other retroviruses, the effect of MA oligomerization on myristoyl group exposure has not been thoroughly investigated.
Results
Here, we demonstrate that MA from the betaretrovirus mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV) forms dimers in solution and that this process is stimulated by its myristoylation. The crystal structure of N-myristoylated MMTV MA, determined at 1.57 Å resolution, revealed that the myristoyl groups are buried in a hydrophobic pocket at the dimer interface and contribute to dimer formation. Interestingly, the myristoyl groups in the dimer are mutually swapped to achieve energetically stable binding, as documented by molecular dynamics modeling. Mutations within the myristoyl binding site resulted in reduced MA dimerization and extracellular particle release.
Conclusions
Based on our experimental, structural, and computational data, we propose a model for dimerization of MMTV MA in which myristoyl groups stimulate the interaction between MA molecules. Moreover, dimer-forming MA molecules adopt a sequestered conformation with their myristoyl groups entirely buried within the interaction interface. Although this differs from the current model proposed for lentiviruses, in which oligomerization of MA triggers exposure of myristoyl group, it appears convenient for intracellular assembly, which involves no apparent membrane interaction and allows the myristoyl group to be sequestered during oligomerization.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0235-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/s12977-015-0235-8
PMCID: PMC4700671  PMID: 26728401
Dimerization; Matrix protein; MMTV; Molecular dynamics; Mouse mammary tumor virus; Myristoylation; Myristoyl switch; Retrovirus; Analytical ultracentrifugation; X-ray crystallography
2.  Substrate binding and specificity of rhomboid intramembrane protease revealed by substrate–peptide complex structures 
The EMBO Journal  2014;33(20):2408-2421.
The mechanisms of intramembrane proteases are incompletely understood due to the lack of structural data on substrate complexes. To gain insight into substrate binding by rhomboid proteases, we have synthesised a series of novel peptidyl-chloromethylketone (CMK) inhibitors and analysed their interactions with Escherichia coli rhomboid GlpG enzymologically and structurally. We show that peptidyl-CMKs derived from the natural rhomboid substrate TatA from bacterium Providencia stuartii bind GlpG in a substrate-like manner, and their co-crystal structures with GlpG reveal the S1 to S4 subsites of the protease. The S1 subsite is prominent and merges into the ‘water retention site’, suggesting intimate interplay between substrate binding, specificity and catalysis. Unexpectedly, the S4 subsite is plastically formed by residues of the L1 loop, an important but hitherto enigmatic feature of the rhomboid fold. We propose that the homologous region of members of the wider rhomboid-like protein superfamily may have similar substrate or client-protein binding function. Finally, using molecular dynamics, we generate a model of the Michaelis complex of the substrate bound in the active site of GlpG.
doi:10.15252/embj.201489367
PMCID: PMC4253528  PMID: 25216680
intramembrane protease; rhomboid family; rhomboid protease; structure; substrate recognition
3.  Role of Mason-Pfizer Monkey Virus CA-NC Spacer Peptide-Like Domain in Assembly of Immature Particles 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(24):14148-14160.
ABSTRACT
The hexameric lattice of an immature retroviral particle consists of Gag polyprotein, which is the precursor of all viral structural proteins. Lentiviral and alpharetroviral Gag proteins contain a peptide sequence called the spacer peptide (SP), which is localized between the capsid (CA) and nucleocapsid (NC) domains. SP plays a critical role in intermolecular interactions during the assembly of immature particles of several retroviruses. Published models of supramolecular structures of immature particles suggest that in lentiviruses and alpharetroviruses, SP adopts a rod-like six-helix bundle organization. In contrast, Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), a betaretrovirus that assembles in the cytoplasm, does not contain a distinct SP sequence, and the CA-NC connecting region is not organized into a clear rod-like structure. Nevertheless, the CA-NC junction comprises a sequence critical for assembly of immature M-PMV particles. In the present work, we characterized this region, called the SP-like domain, in detail. We provide biochemical data confirming the critical role of the M-PMV SP-like domain in immature particle assembly, release, processing, and infectivity. Circular dichroism spectroscopy revealed that, in contrast to the SP regions of other retroviruses, a short SP-like domain-derived peptide (SPLP) does not form a purely helical structure in aqueous or helix-promoting solution. Using 8-Å cryo-electron microscopy density maps of immature M-PMV particles, we prepared computational models of the SP-like domain and indicate the structural features required for M-PMV immature particle assembly.
IMPORTANCE Retroviruses such as HIV-1 are of great medical importance. Using Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV) as a model retrovirus, we provide biochemical and structural data confirming the general relevance of a short segment of the structural polyprotein Gag for retrovirus assembly and infectivity. Although this segment is critical for assembly of immature particles of lentiviruses, alpharetroviruses, and betaretroviruses, the organization of this domain is strikingly different. A previously published electron microscopic structure of an immature M-PMV particle allowed us to model this important region into the electron density map. The data presented here help explain the different packing of the Gag segments of various retroviruses, such as HIV, Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), and M-PMV. Such knowledge contributes to understanding the importance of this region and its structural flexibility among retroviral species. The region might play a key role in Gag-Gag interactions, leading to different morphological pathways of immature particle assembly.
doi:10.1128/JVI.02286-14
PMCID: PMC4249148  PMID: 25275119
4.  Human insulin analogues modified at the B26 site reveal a hormone conformation that is undetected in the receptor complex 
[AsnB26]- and [GlyB26]-insulin mutants attain a B26-turn like fold without assistance of chemical modifications. Their structures match the insulin receptor interface and expand the spectrum of insulin conformations.
The structural characterization of the insulin–insulin receptor (IR) interaction still lacks the conformation of the crucial B21–B30 insulin region, which must be different from that in its storage forms to ensure effective receptor binding. Here, it is shown that insulin analogues modified by natural amino acids at the TyrB26 site can represent an active form of this hormone. In particular, [AsnB26]-insulin and [GlyB26]-insulin attain a B26-turn-like conformation that differs from that in all known structures of the native hormone. It also matches the receptor interface, avoiding substantial steric clashes. This indicates that insulin may attain a B26-turn-like conformation upon IR binding. Moreover, there is an unexpected, but significant, binding specificity of the AsnB26 mutant for predominantly the metabolic B isoform of the receptor. As it is correlated with the B26 bend of the B-chain of the hormone, the structures of AsnB26 analogues may provide the first structural insight into the structural origins of differential insulin signalling through insulin receptor A and B isoforms.
doi:10.1107/S1399004714017775
PMCID: PMC4188015  PMID: 25286859
insulin; insulin receptor; complex; active conformation; molecular dynamics; isothermal titration microcalorimetry
5.  Carborane-Based Carbonic Anhydrase Inhibitors: Insight into CAII/CAIX Specificity from a High-Resolution Crystal Structure, Modeling, and Quantum Chemical Calculations 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:389869.
Carborane-based compounds are promising lead structures for development of inhibitors of carbonic anhydrases (CAs). Here, we report structural and computational analysis applicable to structure-based design of carborane compounds with selectivity toward the cancer-specific CAIX isoenzyme. We determined the crystal structure of CAII in complex with 1-methylenesulfamide-1,2-dicarba-closo-dodecaborane at 1.0 Å resolution and used this structure to model the 1-methylenesulfamide-1,2-dicarba-closo-dodecaborane interactions with CAIX. A virtual glycine scan revealed the contributions of individual residues to the energy of binding of 1-methylenesulfamide-1,2-dicarba-closo-dodecaborane to CAII and CAIX, respectively.
doi:10.1155/2014/389869
PMCID: PMC4189773  PMID: 25309911
6.  Modulation of HIV-1 Gag NC/p1 cleavage efficiency affects protease inhibitor resistance and viral replicative capacity 
Retrovirology  2012;9:29.
Background
Mutations in the substrate of HIV-1 protease, especially changes in the NC/p1 cleavage site, can directly contribute to protease inhibitor (PI) resistance and also compensate for defects in viral replicative capacity (RC) due to a drug resistant protease. These NC/p1 changes are known to enhance processing of the Gag protein. To investigate the capacity of HIV-1 to modulate Gag cleavage and its consequences for PI resistance and RC, we performed a detailed enzymatic and virological analysis using a set of PI resistant NC/p1 variants (HXB2431V, HXB2436E+437T, HXB2437T and HXB2437V).
Results
Here, we demonstrate that single NC/p1 mutants, which displayed only a slight increase in PI resistance did not show an obvious change in RC. In contrast, the double NC/p1 mutant, which displayed a clear increase in processing efficiency and PI resistance, demonstrated a clear reduction in RC. Cleavage analysis showed that a tridecameric NC/p1 peptide representing the double NC/p1 mutant was cleaved in two specific ways instead of one.
The observed decrease in RC for the double NC/p1 mutant (HXB2436E+437T) could (partially) be restored by either reversion of the 436E change or by acquisition of additional changes in the NC/p1 cleavage site at codon 435 or 438 as was revealed during in vitro evolution experiments. These changes not only restored RC but also reduced PI resistance levels. Furthermore these changes normalized Gag processing efficiency and obstructed the novel secondary cleavage site observed for the double NC/p1 mutant.
Conclusions
The results of this study clearly demonstrate that HIV-1 can modulate Gag processing and thereby PI resistance. Distinct increases in Gag cleavage and PI resistance result in a reduced RC that can only be restored by amino acid changes in NC/p1 which reduce Gag processing to an optimal rate.
doi:10.1186/1742-4690-9-29
PMCID: PMC3349524  PMID: 22462820
HIV-1; Protease; Resistance; Gag; Cleavage; Replicative capacity; NC/p1
7.  Enzymatic activity and immunoreactivity of Aca s 4, an alpha-amylase allergen from the storage mite Acarus siro 
BMC Biochemistry  2012;13:3.
Background
Enzymatic allergens of storage mites that contaminate stored food products are poorly characterized. We describe biochemical and immunological properties of the native alpha-amylase allergen Aca s 4 from Acarus siro, a medically important storage mite.
Results
A. siro produced a high level of alpha-amylase activity attributed to Aca s 4. This enzyme was purified and identified by protein sequencing and LC-MS/MS analysis. Aca s 4 showed a distinct inhibition pattern and an unusual alpha-amylolytic activity with low sensitivity to activation by chloride ions. Homology modeling of Aca s 4 revealed a structural change in the chloride-binding site that may account for this activation pattern. Aca s 4 was recognized by IgE from house dust mite-sensitive patients, and potential epitopes for cross-reactivity with house dust mite group 4 allergens were found.
Conclusions
We present the first protein-level characterization of a group 4 allergen from storage mites. Due to its high production and IgE reactivity, Aca s 4 is potentially relevant to allergic hypersensitivity.
doi:10.1186/1471-2091-13-3
PMCID: PMC3306266  PMID: 22292590
Aca s 4; Acarus siro; α-amylases; group 4 mite allergens; storage mites
8.  Substrate binding and specificity of rhomboid intramembrane protease revealed by substrate–peptide complex structures 
The EMBO Journal  2014;33(20):2408-2421.
The mechanisms of intramembrane proteases are incompletely understood due to the lack of structural data on substrate complexes. To gain insight into substrate binding by rhomboid proteases, we have synthesised a series of novel peptidyl-chloromethylketone (CMK) inhibitors and analysed their interactions with Escherichia coli rhomboid GlpG enzymologically and structurally. We show that peptidyl-CMKs derived from the natural rhomboid substrate TatA from bacterium Providencia stuartii bind GlpG in a substrate-like manner, and their co-crystal structures with GlpG reveal the S1 to S4 subsites of the protease. The S1 subsite is prominent and merges into the ‘water retention site’, suggesting intimate interplay between substrate binding, specificity and catalysis. Unexpectedly, the S4 subsite is plastically formed by residues of the L1 loop, an important but hitherto enigmatic feature of the rhomboid fold. We propose that the homologous region of members of the wider rhomboid-like protein superfamily may have similar substrate or client-protein binding function. Finally, using molecular dynamics, we generate a model of the Michaelis complex of the substrate bound in the active site of GlpG.
doi:10.15252/embj.201489367
PMCID: PMC4253528  PMID: 25216680
intramembrane protease; rhomboid family; rhomboid protease; structure; substrate recognition

Results 1-8 (8)