PMCC PMCC

Search tips
Search criteria

Advanced
Results 1-25 (50)
 

Clipboard (0)
None
Journals
Year of Publication
Document Types
1.  DeStripe: frequency-based algorithm for removing stripe noises from AFM images 
Background
Atomic force microscopy (AFM) is a relatively recently developed technique that shows a promising impact in the field of structural biology and biophysics. It has been used to image the molecular surface of membrane proteins at a lateral resolution of one nanometer or less. An immediate obstacle of characterizing surface features in AFM images is stripe noise. To better interpret structures at a sub-domain level, pre-processing of AFM images for removing stripe noises is necessary. Noise removal can be performed in either spatial or frequency domain. However, denoising processing in the frequency domain is a better solution for preserving edge sharpness.
Results
We have developed a denoising protocol, called DeStripe, for AFM bio-molecular images that are contaminated with heavy and fine stripes. This program adopts a divide-and-conquer approach by dividing the Fourier spectrum of the image into central and off-center regions for noisy pixels detection and intensity restoration; it is also applicable to other images interfered with high-density stripes such as those acquired by the scanning electron microscope. The denoising effect brought by DeStripe provides better visualization for image objects without introducing additional artifacts into the restored image.
Conclusions
The DeStripe denoising effect on AFM images is illustrated in the present work. It allows extracting extended information from the topographic measurements and implicitly enhances the molecular features in the image. All the presented images were processed by DeStripe with the raw image as the only input without any requirement for other prior information. A web service, http://biodev.cea.fr/destripe, is available for running DeStripe.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-7
PMCID: PMC3749244  PMID: 21281524
2.  Structural adaptation of extreme halophilic proteins through decrease of conserved hydrophobic contact surface 
Background
Halophiles are extremophilic microorganisms growing optimally at high salt concentrations. There are two strategies used by halophiles to maintain proper osmotic pressure in their cytoplasm: accumulation of molar concentrations of potassium and chloride with extensive adaptation of the intracellular macromolecules ("salt-in" strategy) or biosynthesis and/or accumulation of organic osmotic solutes ("osmolyte" strategy). Our work was aimed at contributing to the understanding of the shared molecular mechanisms of protein haloadaptation through a detailed and systematic comparison of a sample of several three-dimensional structures of halophilic and non-halophilic proteins. Structural differences observed between the "salt-in" and the mesophilic homologous proteins were contrasted to those observed between the "osmolyte" and mesophilic pairs.
Results
The results suggest that haloadaptation strategy in the presence of molar salt concentration, but not of osmolytes, necessitates a weakening of the hydrophobic interactions, in particular at the level of conserved hydrophobic contacts. Weakening of these interactions counterbalances their strengthening by the presence of salts in solution and may help the structure preventing aggregation and/or loss of function in hypersaline environments.
Conclusions
Considering the significant increase of biotechnology applications of halophiles, the understanding of halophilicity can provide the theoretical basis for the engineering of proteins of great interest because stable at concentrations of salts that cause the denaturation or aggregation of the majority of macromolecules.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-50
PMCID: PMC3293032  PMID: 22192175
3.  The Host-Pathogen interaction of human cyclophilin A and HIV-1 Vpr requires specific N-terminal and novel C-terminal domains 
Background
Cyclophilin A (CypA) represents a potential key molecule in future antiretroviral therapy since inhibition of CypA suppresses human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) replication. CypA interacts with the virus proteins Capsid (CA) and Vpr, however, the mechanism through which CypA influences HIV-1 infectivity still remains unclear.
Results
Here the interaction of full-length HIV-1 Vpr with the host cellular factor CypA has been characterized and quantified by surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. A C-terminal region of Vpr, comprising the 16 residues 75GCRHSRIGVTRQRRAR90, with high binding affinity for CypA has been identified. This region of Vpr does not contain any proline residues but binds much more strongly to CypA than the previously characterized N-terminal binding domain of Vpr, and is thus the first protein binding domain to CypA described involving no proline residues. The fact that the mutant peptide Vpr75-90 R80A binds more weakly to CypA than the wild-type peptide confirms that Arg-80 is a key residue in the C-terminal binding domain. The N- and C-terminal binding regions of full-length Vpr bind cooperatively to CypA and have allowed a model of the complex to be created. The dissociation constant of full-length Vpr to CypA was determined to be approximately 320 nM, indicating that the binding may be stronger than that of the well characterized interaction of HIV-1 CA with CypA.
Conclusions
For the first time the interaction of full-length Vpr and CypA has been characterized and quantified. A non-proline-containing 16-residue region of C-terminal Vpr which binds specifically to CypA with similar high affinity as full-length Vpr has been identified. The fact that this is the first non-proline containing binding motif of any protein found to bind to CypA, changes the view on how CypA is able to interact with other proteins. It is interesting to note that several previously reported key functions of HIV-1 Vpr are associated with the identified N- and C-terminal binding domains of the protein to CypA.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-49
PMCID: PMC3269379  PMID: 22185200
4.  Structural comparison of tRNA m1A58 methyltransferases revealed different molecular strategies to maintain their oligomeric architecture under extreme conditions 
Background
tRNA m1A58 methyltransferases (TrmI) catalyze the transfer of a methyl group from S-adenosyl-L-methionine to nitrogen 1 of adenine 58 in the T-loop of tRNAs from all three domains of life. The m1A58 modification has been shown to be essential for cell growth in yeast and for adaptation to high temperatures in thermophilic organisms. These enzymes were shown to be active as tetramers. The crystal structures of five TrmIs from hyperthermophilic archaea and thermophilic or mesophilic bacteria have previously been determined, the optimal growth temperature of these organisms ranging from 37°C to 100°C. All TrmIs are assembled as tetramers formed by dimers of tightly assembled dimers.
Results
In this study, we present a comparative structural analysis of these TrmIs, which highlights factors that allow them to function over a large range of temperature. The monomers of the five enzymes are structurally highly similar, but the inter-monomer contacts differ strongly. Our analysis shows that bacterial enzymes from thermophilic organisms display additional intermolecular ionic interactions across the dimer interfaces, whereas hyperthermophilic enzymes present additional hydrophobic contacts. Moreover, as an alternative to two bidentate ionic interactions that stabilize the tetrameric interface in all other TrmI proteins, the tetramer of the archaeal P. abyssi enzyme is strengthened by four intersubunit disulfide bridges.
Conclusions
The availability of crystal structures of TrmIs from mesophilic, thermophilic or hyperthermophilic organisms allows a detailed analysis of the architecture of this protein family. Our structural comparisons provide insight into the different molecular strategies used to achieve the tetrameric organization in order to maintain the enzyme activity under extreme conditions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-48
PMCID: PMC3281791  PMID: 22168821
5.  Docking studies on novel analogues of 8 methoxy fluoroquinolones against GyrA mutants of Mycobacterium tuberculosis 
Background
Fluoroquinolone resistance is a serious threat in the battle against the treatment of multi drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB). Fluoroquinolone resistant isolates from India had shown to have evolved several mutants in the quinolone resistance determining region (QRDR) of DNA gyrase A subunit (GyrA), the target of fluoroquinolone. In view of high prevalence of mutations in the 'hot spot' region, a study on combinatorial drug design was carried out to identify better analogues for the treatment of MDR-TB. The gyrA subunit 'hot spot' region of codons 90, 94 and 95 were modeled into their corresponding protein folds and used as receptors for the docking studies. Further, invitro tests were carried using the parent compounds, namely gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin and correlated with the obtained docking scores.
Results
Molecular docking and in vitro studies correlated well in demonstrating the enhanced activity of moxifloxacin, when compared to gatifloxacin, on ofloxacin sensitive and resistant strains comprising of clinical isolates of MDR-TB. The evolved lead structures targeting against mutant QRDR receptors were guanosine and cholesteryl esters of gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin. They showed consistently high binding affinity values of -10.3 and -10.1 kcal/mol respectively with the target receptors. Of these, the guanosine ester showed highest binding affinity score and its log P value lied within the Lipinski's range indicating that it could have better absorptivity when it is orally administered thereby having an enhanced activity against MTB.
Conclusions
The docking results showed that the addition of the cholesteryl and guanosine esters to the 'DNA gyrase binding' region of gatifloxacin and moxifloxacin enhanced the binding affinity of these parent molecules with the mutant DNA gyrase receptors. Viewing the positive correlation for the docking and in vitro results with the parent compounds, these lead structures could be further evaluated for their in vitro and in vivo activity against MDR-TB.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-47
PMCID: PMC3298726  PMID: 22152119
Docking; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; GyrA; Fluoroquinolones; gatifloxacin; moxifloxacin
6.  The redundancy of NMR restraints can be used to accelerate the unfolding behavior of an SH3 domain during molecular dynamics simulations 
1 Abstract
Background
The simulation of protein unfolding usually requires recording long molecular dynamics trajectories. The present work aims to figure out whether NMR restraints data can be used to probe protein conformations in order to accelerate the unfolding simulation. The SH3 domain of nephrocystine (nph SH3) was shown by NMR to be destabilized by point mutations, and was thus chosen to illustrate the proposed method.
Results
The NMR restraints observed on the WT nph SH3 domain were sorted from the least redundant to the most redundant ones. Protein NMR conformations were then calculated with: (i) the set full including all NMR restraints measured on nph SH3, (ii) the set reduced where the least redundant restraints with respect to the set full were removed, (iii) the sets random where randomly picked-up restraints were removed. From each set of conformations, we recorded series of 5-ns MD trajectories. The β barrel architecture of nph SH3 in the trajectories starting from sets (i) and (iii) appears to be stable. On the contrary, on trajectories based on the set (ii), a displacement of the hydrophobic core residues and a variation of the β barrel inner cavity profile were observed. The overall nph SH3 destabilization agrees with previous experimental and simulation observations made on other SH3 domains. The destabilizing effect of mutations was also found to be enhanced by the removal of the least redundant restraints.
Conclusions
We conclude that the NMR restraint redundancy is connected to the instability of the SH3 nph domain. This restraint redundancy generalizes the contact order parameter, which is calculated from the contact map of a folded protein and was shown in the literature to be correlated to the protein folding rate. The relationship between the NMR restraint redundancy and the protein folding is also reminiscent of the previous use of the Gaussian Network Model to predict protein folding parameters.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-46
PMCID: PMC3274457  PMID: 22115427
NMR; protein folding; SH3 domain; molecular dynamics simulation; QUEEN; contact order: Gaussian Network Model
7.  Benchmarks for flexible and rigid transcription factor-DNA docking 
Background
Structural insight from transcription factor-DNA (TF-DNA) complexes is of paramount importance to our understanding of the affinity and specificity of TF-DNA interaction, and to the development of structure-based prediction of TF binding sites. Yet the majority of the TF-DNA complexes remain unsolved despite the considerable experimental efforts being made. Computational docking represents a promising alternative to bridge the gap. To facilitate the study of TF-DNA docking, carefully designed benchmarks are needed for performance evaluation and identification of the strengths and weaknesses of docking algorithms.
Results
We constructed two benchmarks for flexible and rigid TF-DNA docking respectively using a unified non-redundant set of 38 test cases. The test cases encompass diverse fold families and are classified into easy and hard groups with respect to the degrees of difficulty in TF-DNA docking. The major parameters used to classify expected docking difficulty in flexible docking are the conformational differences between bound and unbound TFs and the interaction strength between TFs and DNA. For rigid docking in which the starting structure is a bound TF conformation, only interaction strength is considered.
Conclusions
We believe these benchmarks are important for the development of better interaction potentials and TF-DNA docking algorithms, which bears important implications to structure-based prediction of transcription factor binding sites and drug design.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-45
PMCID: PMC3262759  PMID: 22044637
8.  Hydration studies on the archaeal protein Sso7d using NMR measurements and MD simulations 
Background
How proteins approach surrounding molecules is fundamental to our understanding of the specific interactions that occur at the surface of proteins. The enhanced surface accessibility of small molecules such as organic solvents and paramagnetic probes to protein binding sites has been observed; however, the molecular basis of this finding has not been fully established. Recently, it has been suggested that hydration dynamics play a predominant role in controlling the distribution of hot spots on surface of proteins.
Results
In the present study, the hydration of the archaeal multifunctional protein Sso7d from Solfolobus solfataricus was investigated using a combination of computational and experimental data derived from molecular dynamics simulations and ePHOGSY NMR spectroscopy.
Conclusions
We obtained a convergent protein hydration landscape that indicated how the shape and stability of the Sso7d hydration shell could modulate the function of the protein. The DNA binding domain overlaps with the protein region involved in chaperon activity and this domain is hydrated only in a very small central region. This localized hydration seems to favor intermolecular approaches from a large variety of ligands. Conversely, high water density was found in surface regions of the protein where the ATP binding site is located, suggesting that surface water molecules play a role in protecting the protein from unspecific interactions.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-44
PMCID: PMC3207888  PMID: 22017970
9.  Computational analysis of a novel mutation in ETFDH gene highlights its long-range effects on the FAD-binding motif 
Background
Multiple acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency (MADD) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by the defects in the mitochondrial electron transfer system and the metabolism of fatty acids. Recently, mutations in electron transfer flavoprotein dehydrogenase (ETFDH) gene, encoding electron transfer flavoprotein:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (ETF:QO) have been reported to be the major causes of riboflavin-responsive MADD. To date, no studies have been performed to explore the functional impact of these mutations or their mechanism of disrupting enzyme activity.
Results
High resolution melting (HRM) analysis and sequencing of the entire ETFDH gene revealed a novel mutation (p.Phe128Ser) and the hotspot mutation (p.Ala84Thr) from a patient with MADD. According to the predicted 3D structure of ETF:QO, the two mutations are located within the flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) binding domain; however, the two residues do not have direct interactions with the FAD ligand. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations and normal mode analysis (NMA), we found that the p.Ala84Thr and p.Phe128Ser mutations are most likely to alter the protein structure near the FAD binding site as well as disrupt the stability of the FAD binding required for the activation of ETF:QO. Intriguingly, NMA revealed that several reported disease-causing mutations in the ETF:QO protein show highly correlated motions with the FAD-binding site.
Conclusions
Based on the present findings, we conclude that the changes made to the amino acids in ETF:QO are likely to influence the FAD-binding stability.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-43
PMCID: PMC3209457  PMID: 22013910
10.  Comparative void-volume analysis of psychrophilic and mesophilic enzymes: Structural bioinformatics of psychrophilic enzymes reveals sources of core flexibility 
Background
Psychrophiles, cold-adapted organisms, have adapted to live at low temperatures by using a variety of mechanisms. Their enzymes are active at cold temperatures by being structurally more flexible than mesophilic enzymes. Even though, there are some indications of the possible structural mechanisms by which psychrophilic enzymes are catalytic active at cold temperatures, there is not a generalized structural property common to all psychrophilic enzymes.
Results
We examine twenty homologous enzyme pairs from psychrophiles and mesophiles to investigate flexibility as a key characteristic for cold adaptation. B-factors in protein X-ray structures are one way to measure flexibility. Comparing psychrophilic to mesophilic protein B-factors reveals that psychrophilic enzymes are more flexible in 5-turn and strand secondary structures. Enzyme cavities, identified using CASTp at various probe sizes, indicate that psychrophilic enzymes have larger average cavity sizes at probe radii of 1.4-1.5 Å, sufficient for water molecules. Furthermore, amino acid side chains lining these cavities show an increased frequency of acidic groups in psychrophilic enzymes.
Conclusions
These findings suggest that embedded water molecules may play a significant role in cavity flexibility, and therefore, overall protein flexibility. Thus, our results point to the important role enzyme flexibility plays in adaptation to cold environments.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-42
PMCID: PMC3224250  PMID: 22013889
11.  Hydration sites of unpaired RNA bases: a statistical analysis of the PDB structures 
Background
Hydration is crucial for RNA structure and function. X-ray crystallography is the most commonly used method to determine RNA structures and hydration and, therefore, statistical surveys are based on crystallographic results, the number of which is quickly increasing.
Results
A statistical analysis of the water molecule distribution in high-resolution X-ray structures of unpaired RNA nucleotides showed that: different bases have the same penchant to be surrounded by water molecules; clusters of water molecules indicate possible hydration sites, which, in some cases, match those of the major and minor grooves of RNA and DNA double helices; complex hydrogen bond networks characterize the solvation of the nucleotides, resulting in a significant rigidity of the base and its surrounding water molecules. Interestingly, the hydration sites around unpaired RNA bases do not match, in general, the positions that are occupied by the second nucleotide when the base-pair is formed.
Conclusions
The hydration sites around unpaired RNA bases were found. They do not replicate the atom positions of complementary bases in the Watson-Crick pairs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-41
PMCID: PMC3206426  PMID: 22011380
12.  Central domain deletions affect the SAXS solution structure and function of Yeast Hsp40 proteins Sis1 and Ydj1 
Background
Ydj1 and Sis1 are structurally and functionally distinct Hsp40 proteins of the yeast cytosol. Sis1 is an essential gene whereas the ydj1 gene is essential for growth at elevated temperatures and cannot complement sis1 gene deletion. Truncated polypeptides capable of complementing the sis1 gene deletion comprise the J-domain of either Sis1 or Ydj1 connected to the G/F region of Sis1 (but not Ydj1). Sis1 mutants in which the G/F was deleted but G/M maintained were capable of complementing the sis1 gene deletion.
Results
To investigate the relevance of central domains on the structure and function of Ydj1 and Sis1 we prepared Sis1 constructs deleting specific domains. The mutants had decreased affinity for heated luciferase but were equally capable of stimulating ATPase activity of Hsp70. Detailed low resolution structures were obtained and the overall flexibility of Hsp40 and its mutants were assessed using SAXS methods. Deletion of either the G/M or the G/M plus CTDI domains had little impact on the quaternary structure of Sis1 analyzed by the SAXS technique. However, deletion of the ZFLR-CTDI changed the relative position of the J-domains in Ydj1 in such a way that they ended up resembling that of Sis1. The results revealed that the G/F and G/M regions are not the only flexible domains. All model structures exhibit a common clamp-like conformation.
Conclusions
Our results suggest that the central domains, previously appointed as important features for substrate binding, are also relevant keeping the J-domains in their specific relative positions. The clamp-like architecture observed seems also to be favorable to the interactions of Hsp40 with Hsp70.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-40
PMCID: PMC3236591  PMID: 22011374
13.  Structural characterization of a ribose-5-phosphate isomerase B from the pathogenic fungus Coccidioides immitis 
Background
Ribose-5-phosphate isomerase is an enzyme that catalyzes the interconversion of ribose-5-phosphate and ribulose-5-phosphate. This family of enzymes naturally occurs in two distinct classes, RpiA and RpiB, which play an important role in the pentose phosphate pathway and nucleotide and co-factor biogenesis.
Results
Although RpiB occurs predominantly in bacteria, here we report crystal structures of a putative RpiB from the pathogenic fungus Coccidioides immitis. A 1.9 Å resolution apo structure was solved by combined molecular replacement and single wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) phasing using a crystal soaked briefly in a solution containing a high concentration of iodide ions. RpiB from C. immitis contains modest sequence and high structural homology to other known RpiB structures. A 1.8 Å resolution phosphate-bound structure demonstrates phosphate recognition and charge stabilization by a single positively charged residue whereas other members of this family use up to five positively charged residues to contact the phosphate of ribose-5-phosphate. A 1.7 Å resolution structure was obtained in which the catalytic base of C. immitis RpiB, Cys76, appears to form a weakly covalent bond with the central carbon of malonic acid with a bond distance of 2.2 Å. This interaction may mimic that formed by the suicide inhibitor iodoacetic acid with RpiB.
Conclusion
The C. immitis RpiB contains the same fold and similar features as other members of this class of enzymes such as a highly reactive active site cysteine residue, but utilizes a divergent phosphate recognition strategy and may recognize a different substrate altogether.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-39
PMCID: PMC3212906  PMID: 21995815
14.  A conformation ensemble approach to protein residue-residue contact 
Background
Protein residue-residue contact prediction is important for protein model generation and model evaluation. Here we develop a conformation ensemble approach to improve residue-residue contact prediction. We collect a number of structural models stemming from a variety of methods and implementations. The various models capture slightly different conformations and contain complementary information which can be pooled together to capture recurrent, and therefore more likely, residue-residue contacts.
Results
We applied our conformation ensemble approach to free modeling targets from both CASP8 and CASP9. Given a diverse ensemble of models, the method is able to achieve accuracies of. 48 for the top L/5 medium range contacts and. 36 for the top L/5 long range contacts for CASP8 targets (L being the target domain length). When applied to targets from CASP9, the accuracies of the top L/5 medium and long range contact predictions were. 34 and. 30 respectively.
Conclusions
When operating on a moderately diverse ensemble of models, the conformation ensemble approach is an effective means to identify medium and long range residue-residue contacts. An immediate benefit of the method is that when tied with a scoring scheme, it can be used to successfully rank models.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-38
PMCID: PMC3200154  PMID: 21989082
15.  Structural studies of the PARP-1 BRCT domain 
Background
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP-1) is one of the first proteins localized to foci of DNA damage. Upon activation by encountering nicked DNA, the PARP-1 mediated trans-poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation of DNA binding proteins occurs, facilitating access and accumulation of DNA repair factors. PARP-1 also auto-(ADP-ribosyl)ates its central BRCT-containing domain forming part of an interaction site for the DNA repair scaffolding protein X-ray cross complementing group 1 protein (XRCC1). The co-localization of XRCC1, as well as bound DNA repair factors, to sites of DNA damage is important for cell survival and genomic integrity.
Results
Here we present the solution structure and biophysical characterization of the BRCT domain of rat PARP-1. The PARP-1 BRCT domain has the globular α/β fold characteristic of BRCT domains and has a thermal melting transition of 43.0°C. In contrast to a previous characterization of this domain, we demonstrate that it is monomeric in solution using both gel-filtration chromatography and small-angle X-ray scattering. Additionally, we report that the first BRCT domain of XRCC1 does not interact significantly with the PARP-1 BRCT domain in the absence of ADP-ribosylation. Moreover, none of the interactions with other longer PARP-1 constructs which previously had been demonstrated in a pull-down assay of mammalian cell extracts were detected.
Conclusions
The PARP-1 BRCT domain has the conserved BRCT fold that is known to be an important protein:protein interaction module in DNA repair and cell signalling pathways. Data indicating no significant protein:protein interactions between PARP-1 and XRCC1 likely results from the absence of poly(ADP-ribose) in one or both binding partners, and further implicates a poly(ADP-ribose)-dependent mechanism for localization of XRCC1 to sites of DNA damage.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-37
PMCID: PMC3195086  PMID: 21967661
16.  Novel dimeric β-helical model of an ice nucleation protein with bridged active sites 
Background
Ice nucleation proteins (INPs) allow water to freeze at high subzero temperatures. Due to their large size (>120 kDa), membrane association, and tendency to aggregate, an experimentally-determined tertiary structure of an INP has yet to be reported. How they function at the molecular level therefore remains unknown.
Results
Here we have predicted a novel β-helical fold for the INP produced by the bacterium Pseudomonas borealis. The protein uses internal serine and glutamine ladders for stabilization and is predicted to dimerize via the burying of a solvent-exposed tyrosine ladder to make an intimate hydrophobic contact along the dimerization interface. The manner in which PbINP dimerizes also allows for its multimerization, which could explain the aggregation-dependence of INP activity. Both sides of the PbINP structure have tandem arrays of amino acids that can organize waters into the ice-like clathrate structures seen on antifreeze proteins.
Conclusions
Dimerization dramatically increases the 'ice-active' surface area of the protein by doubling its width, increasing its length, and presenting identical ice-forming surfaces on both sides of the protein. We suggest that this allows sufficient anchored clathrate waters to align on the INP surface to nucleate freezing. As PbINP is highly similar to all known bacterial INPs, we predict its fold and mechanism of action will apply to these other INPs.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-36
PMCID: PMC3196904  PMID: 21951648
17.  Evolutionary traces decode molecular mechanism behind fast pace of myosin XI 
Background
Cytoplasmic class XI myosins are the fastest processive motors known. This class functions in high-velocity cytoplasmic streaming in various plant cells from algae to angiosperms. The velocities at which they process are ten times faster than its closest class V homologues.
Results
To provide sequence determinants and structural rationale for the molecular mechanism of this fast pace myosin, we have compared the sequences from myosin class V and XI through Evolutionary Trace (ET) analysis. The current study identifies class-specific residues of myosin XI spread over the actin binding site, ATP binding site and light chain binding neck region. Sequences for ET analysis were accumulated from six plant genomes, using literature based text search and sequence searches, followed by triple validation viz. CDD search, string-based searches and phylogenetic clustering. We have identified nine myosin XI genes in sorghum and seven in grape by sequence searches. Both the plants possess one gene product each belonging to myosin type VIII as well. During this process, we have re-defined the gene boundaries for three sorghum myosin XI genes using fgenesh program.
Conclusion
Molecular modelling and subsequent analysis of putative interactions involving these class-specific residues suggest a structural basis for the molecular mechanism behind high velocity of plant myosin XI. We propose a model of a more flexible switch I region that contributes to faster ADP release leading to high velocity movement of the algal myosin XI.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-35
PMCID: PMC3209465  PMID: 21942950
18.  Prediction of functionally important residues in globular proteins from unusual central distances of amino acids 
Background
Well-performing automated protein function recognition approaches usually comprise several complementary techniques. Beside constructing better consensus, their predictive power can be improved by either adding or refining independent modules that explore orthogonal features of proteins. In this work, we demonstrated how the exploration of global atomic distributions can be used to indicate functionally important residues.
Results
Using a set of carefully selected globular proteins, we parametrized continuous probability density functions describing preferred central distances of individual protein atoms. Relative preferred burials were estimated using mixture models of radial density functions dependent on the amino acid composition of a protein under consideration. The unexpectedness of extraordinary locations of atoms was evaluated in the information-theoretic manner and used directly for the identification of key amino acids. In the validation study, we tested capabilities of a tool built upon our approach, called SurpResi, by searching for binding sites interacting with ligands. The tool indicated multiple candidate sites achieving success rates comparable to several geometric methods. We also showed that the unexpectedness is a property of regions involved in protein-protein interactions, and thus can be used for the ranking of protein docking predictions. The computational approach implemented in this work is freely available via a Web interface at http://www.bioinformatics.org/surpresi.
Conclusions
Probabilistic analysis of atomic central distances in globular proteins is capable of capturing distinct orientational preferences of amino acids as resulting from different sizes, charges and hydrophobic characters of their side chains. When idealized spatial preferences can be inferred from the sole amino acid composition of a protein, residues located in hydrophobically unfavorable environments can be easily detected. Such residues turn out to be often directly involved in binding ligands or interfacing with other proteins.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-34
PMCID: PMC3188475  PMID: 21923943
19.  Atomic resolution structure of EhpR: phenazine resistance in Enterobacter agglomerans Eh1087 follows principles of bleomycin/mitomycin C resistance in other bacteria 
Background
The phenazines are redox-active secondary metabolites that a large number of bacterial strains produce and excrete into the environment. They possess antibiotic activity owing to the fact that they can reduce molecular oxygen to toxic reactive oxygen species. In order to take advantage of this activity, phenazine producers need to protect themselves against phenazine toxicity. Whereas it is believed that phenazine-producing pseudomonads possess highly active superoxide dismutases and catalases, it has recently been found that the plant-colonizing bacterium Enterobacter agglomerans expresses a small gene ehpR to render itself resistant towards D-alanyl-griseoluteic acid, the phenazine antibiotic produced by this strain.
Results
To understand the resistance mechanism installed by EhpR we have determined its crystal structure in the apo form at 2.15 Å resolution and in complex with griseoluteic acid at 1.01 Å, respectively. While EhpR shares a common fold with glyoxalase-I/bleomycin resistance proteins, the ligand binding site does not contain residues that some related proteins employ to chemically alter their substrates. Binding of the antibiotic is mediated by π-stacking interactions of the aromatic moiety with the side chains of aromatic amino acids and by a few polar interactions. The dissociation constant KD between EhpR and griseoluteic acid was quantified as 244 ± 45 μM by microscale thermophoresis measurements.
Conclusions
The data accumulated here suggest that EhpR confers resistance by binding D-alanyl-griseoluteic acid and acting as a chaperone involved in exporting the antibiotic rather than by altering it chemically. It is tempting to speculate that EhpR acts in concert with EhpJ, a transport protein of the major facilitator superfamily that is also encoded in the phenazine biosynthesis operon of E. agglomerans. The low affinity of EhpR for griseoluteic acid may be required for its physiological function.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-33
PMCID: PMC3175449  PMID: 21849072
20.  Peptide binding prediction for the human class II MHC allele HLA-DP2: a molecular docking approach 
Background
MHC class II proteins bind oligopeptide fragments derived from proteolysis of pathogen antigens, presenting them at the cell surface for recognition by CD4+ T cells. Human MHC class II alleles are grouped into three loci: HLA-DP, HLA-DQ and HLA-DR. In contrast to HLA-DR and HLA-DQ, HLA-DP proteins have not been studied extensively, as they have been viewed as less important in immune responses than DRs and DQs. However, it is now known that HLA-DP alleles are associated with many autoimmune diseases. Quite recently, the X-ray structure of the HLA-DP2 molecule (DPA*0103, DPB1*0201) in complex with a self-peptide derived from the HLA-DR α-chain has been determined. In the present study, we applied a validated molecular docking protocol to a library of 247 modelled peptide-DP2 complexes, seeking to assess the contribution made by each of the 20 naturally occurred amino acids at each of the nine binding core peptide positions and the four flanking residues (two on both sides).
Results
The free binding energies (FBEs) derived from the docking experiments were normalized on a position-dependent (npp) and on an overall basis (nap), and two docking score-based quantitative matrices (DS-QMs) were derived: QMnpp and QMnap. They reveal the amino acid preferences at each of the 13 positions considered in the study. Apart from the leading role of anchor positions p1 and p6, the binding to HLA-DP2 depends on the preferences at p2. No effect of the flanking residues was found on the peptide binding predictions to DP2, although all four of them show strong preferences for particular amino acids. The predictive ability of the DS-QMs was tested using a set of 457 known binders to HLA-DP2, originating from 24 proteins. The sensitivities of the predictions at five different thresholds (5%, 10%, 15%, 20% and 25%) were calculated and compared to the predictions made by the NetMHCII and IEDB servers. Analysis of the DS-QMs indicated an improvement in performance. Additionally, DS-QMs identified the binding cores of several known DP2 binders.
Conclusions
The molecular docking protocol, as applied to a combinatorial library of peptides, models the peptide-HLA-DP2 protein interaction effectively, generating reliable predictions in a quantitative assessment. The method is structure-based and does not require extensive experimental sequence-based data. Thus, it is universal and can be applied to model any peptide - protein interaction.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-32
PMCID: PMC3146810  PMID: 21752305
21.  Dynamical Basis for Drug Resistance of HIV-1 Protease 
Background
Protease inhibitors designed to bind to protease have become major anti-AIDS drugs. Unfortunately, the emergence of viral mutations severely limits the long-term efficiency of the inhibitors. The resistance mechanism of these diversely located mutations remains unclear.
Results
Here I use an elastic network model to probe the connection between the global dynamics of HIV-1 protease and the structural distribution of drug-resistance mutations. The models for study are the crystal structures of unbounded and bound (with the substrate and nine FDA approved inhibitors) forms of HIV-1 protease. Coarse-grained modeling uncovers two groups that couple either with the active site or the flap. These two groups constitute a majority of the drug-resistance residues. In addition, the significance of residues is found to be correlated with their dynamical changes in binding and the results agree well with the complete mutagenesis experiment of HIV-1 protease.
Conclusions
The dynamic study of HIV-1 protease elucidates the functional importance of common drug-resistance mutations and suggests a unifying mechanism for drug-resistance residues based on their dynamical properties. The results support the robustness of the elastic network model as a potential predictive tool for drug resistance.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-31
PMCID: PMC3149572  PMID: 21740562
22.  Structure of catalytic domain of Matriptase in complex with Sunflower trypsin inhibitor-1 
Background
Matriptase is a type II transmembrane serine protease that is found on the surfaces of epithelial cells and certain cancer cells. Matriptase has been implicated in the degradation of certain extracellular matrix components as well as the activation of various cellular proteins and proteases, including hepatocyte growth factor and urokinase. Sunflower trypsin inhibitor-1 (SFTI-1), a cyclic peptide inhibitor originally isolated from sunflower seeds, exhibits potent inhibitory activity toward matriptase.
Results
We have engineered and produced recombinant proteins of the matriptase protease domain, and have determined the crystal structures of the protease:SFTI-1 complex at 2.0 Å as well as the protease:benzamidine complex at 1.2 Å. These structures elaborate the structural basis of substrate selectivity of matriptase, and show that the matriptase S1 substrate specificity pocket is larger enough to allow movement of benzamidine inside the S1 pocket. Our study also reveals that SFTI-1 binds to matriptase in a way similar to its binding to trypsin despite the significantly different isoelectric points of the two proteins (5.6 vs. 8.2).
Conclusions
This work helps to define the structural basis of substrate specificity of matriptase and the interactions between the inhibitor and protease. The complex structure also provides a structural template for designing new SFTI-1 derivatives with better potency and selectivity against matriptase and other proteases.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-30
PMCID: PMC3141381  PMID: 21693064
23.  Binary classification of protein molecules into intrinsically disordered and ordered segments 
Background
Although structural domains in proteins (SDs) are important, half of the regions in the human proteome are currently left with no SD assignments. These unassigned regions consist not only of novel SDs, but also of intrinsically disordered (ID) regions since proteins, especially those in eukaryotes, generally contain a significant fraction of ID regions. As ID regions can be inferred from amino acid sequences, a method that combines SD and ID region assignments can determine the fractions of SDs and ID regions in any proteome.
Results
In contrast to other available ID prediction programs that merely identify likely ID regions, the DICHOT system we previously developed classifies the entire protein sequence into SDs and ID regions. Application of DICHOT to the human proteome revealed that residue-wise ID regions constitute 35%, SDs with similarity to PDB structures comprise 52%, while SDs with no similarity to PDB structures account for the remaining 13%. The last group consists of novel structural domains, termed cryptic domains, which serve as good targets of structural genomics. The DICHOT method applied to the proteomes of other model organisms indicated that eukaryotes generally have high ID contents, while prokaryotes do not. In human proteins, ID contents differ among subcellular localizations: nuclear proteins had the highest residue-wise ID fraction (47%), while mitochondrial proteins exhibited the lowest (13%). Phosphorylation and O-linked glycosylation sites were found to be located preferentially in ID regions. As O-linked glycans are attached to residues in the extracellular regions of proteins, the modification is likely to protect the ID regions from proteolytic cleavage in the extracellular environment. Alternative splicing events tend to occur more frequently in ID regions. We interpret this as evidence that natural selection is operating at the protein level in alternative splicing.
Conclusions
We classified entire regions of proteins into the two categories, SDs and ID regions and thereby obtained various kinds of complete genome-wide statistics. The results of the present study are important basic information for understanding protein structural architectures and have been made publicly available at http://spock.genes.nig.ac.jp/~genome/DICHOT.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-29
PMCID: PMC3199747  PMID: 21693062
24.  A model for the Escherichia coli FtsB/FtsL/FtsQ cell division complex 
Background
Bacterial division is produced by the formation of a macromolecular complex in the middle of the cell, called the divisome, formed by more than 10 proteins. This process can be divided into two steps, in which the first is the polymerization of FtsZ to form the Z ring in the cytoplasm, and then the sequential addition of FtsA/ZipA to anchor the ring at the cytoplasmic membrane, a stage completed by FtsEX and FtsK. In the second step, the formation of the peptidoglycan synthesis machinery in the periplasm takes place, followed by cell division. The proteins involved in connecting both steps in cell division are FtsQ, FtsB and FtsL, and their interaction is a crucial and conserved event in the division of different bacteria. These components are small bitopic membrane proteins, and their specific function seems to be mainly structural. The purpose of this study was to obtain a structural model of the periplasmic part of the FtsB/FtsL/FtsQ complex, using bioinformatics tools and experimental data reported in the literature.
Results
Two oligomeric models for the periplasmic region of the FtsB/FtsL/FtsQ E. coli complex were obtained from bioinformatics analysis. The FtsB/FtsL subcomplex was modelled as a coiled-coil based on sequence information and several stoichiometric possibilities. The crystallographic structure of FtsQ was added to this complex, through protein-protein docking. Two final structurally-stable models, one trimeric and one hexameric, were obtained. The nature of the protein-protein contacts was energetically favourable in both models and the overall structures were in agreement with the experimental evidence reported.
Conclusions
The two models obtained for the FtsB/FtsL/FtsQ complex were stable and thus compatible with the in vivo periplasmic complex structure. Although the hexameric model 2:2:2 has features that indicate that this is the most plausible structure, the ternary complex 1:1:1 cannot be discarded. Both models could be further stabilized by the binding of the other proteins of the divisome. The bioinformatics modelling of this kind of protein complex, whose function is mainly structural, provide useful information. Experimental results should confirm or reject these models and provide new data for future bioinformatics studies to refine the models.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-28
PMCID: PMC3152878  PMID: 21672257
25.  Crystal structure of alkyl hydroperoxidase D like protein PA0269 from Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Homology of the AhpD-like structural family 
Background
Alkyl hydroperoxidase activity provides an important antioxidant defense for bacterial cells. The catalytic mechanism requires two peroxidases, AhpC and AhpD, where AhpD plays the role of an essential adaptor protein.
Results
The crystal structure of a putative AhpD from Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been determined at 1.9 Å. The protein has an all-helical fold with a chain topology similar to a known AhpD from Mycobacterium tuberculosis despite a low overall sequence identity of 9%. A conserved two α-helical motif responsible for function is present in both. However, in the P. aeruginosa protein, helices H3, H4 of this motif are located at the N-terminal part of the chain, while in M. tuberculosis AhpD, the corresponding helices H8, H9 are situated at the C-terminus. Residues 24-62 of the putative catalytic region of P. aeruginosa have a higher sequence identity of 33% where the functional activity is supplied by a proton relay system of five residues, Glu36, Cys48, Tyr50, Cys51, and His55, and one structural water molecule. A comparison of five other related hypothetical proteins from various species, assigned to the alkyl hydroperoxidase D-like protein family, shows they contain the same conserved structural motif and catalytic sequence Cys-X-X-Cys. We have shown that AhpD from P. aeruginosa exhibits a weak ability to reduce H2O2 as tested using a ferrous oxidation-xylenol orange (FOX) assay, and this activity is blocked by thiol alkylating reagents.
Conclusion
Thus, this hypothetical protein was assigned to the AhpD-like protein family with peroxidase-related activity. The functional relationship of specific oligomeric structures of AhpD-like structural family is discussed.
doi:10.1186/1472-6807-11-27
PMCID: PMC3141380  PMID: 21615954

Results 1-25 (50)