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Computational protein design has been successful in modeling fixed backbone proteins in a single conformation. However, when modeling large ensembles of flexible proteins, current methods in protein design have been insufficient. Large barriers in the energy landscape are difficult to traverse while redesigning a protein sequence, and as a result current design methods only sample a fraction of available sequence space. We propose a new computational approach that combines traditional structure-based modeling using the Rosetta software suite with machine learning and integer linear programming to overcome limitations in the Rosetta sampling methods. We demonstrate the effectiveness of this method, which we call BROAD, by benchmarking the performance on increasing predicted breadth of anti-HIV antibodies. We use this novel method to increase predicted breadth of naturally-occurring antibody VRC23 against a panel of 180 divergent HIV viral strains and achieve 100% predicted binding against the panel. In addition, we compare the performance of this method to state-of-the-art multistate design in Rosetta and show that we can outperform the existing method significantly. We further demonstrate that sequences recovered by this method recover known binding motifs of broadly neutralizing anti-HIV antibodies. Finally, our approach is general and can be extended easily to other protein systems. Although our modeled antibodies were not tested in vitro, we predict that these variants would have greatly increased breadth compared to the wild-type antibody.
Kidney collecting system development requires integrin-dependent cell-extracellular matrix interactions. Integrins are heterodimeric transmembrane receptors consisting of α and β subunits; crucial integrins in the kidney collecting system express the β1 subunit. The β1 cytoplasmic tail has two NPxY motifs that mediate functions by binding to cytoplasmic signaling and scaffolding molecules. Talins, scaffolding proteins that bind to the membrane proximal NPxY motif, are proposed to activate integrins and to link them to the actin cytoskeleton. We have defined the role of talin binding to the β1 proximal NPxY motif in the developing kidney collecting system in mice that selectively express a Y-to-A mutation in this motif. The mice developed a hypoplastic dysplastic collecting system. Collecting duct cells expressing this mutation had moderate abnormalities in cell adhesion, migration, proliferation and growth factor-dependent signaling. In contrast, mice lacking talins in the developing ureteric bud developed kidney agenesis and collecting duct cells had severe cytoskeletal, adhesion and polarity defects. Thus, talins are essential for kidney collecting duct development through mechanisms that extend beyond those requiring binding to the β1 integrin subunit NPxY motif.
© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
Collagen IV scaffolds assemble through an intricate pathway that begins intracellularly and is completed extracellularly. Multiple intracellular enzymes act in concert to assemble collagen IV protomers, the building blocks of collagen IV scaffolds. After being secreted from cells, protomers are activated to initiate oligomerization, forming insoluble networks that are structurally reinforced with covalent crosslinks. Within these networks, embedded binding sites along the length of the protomer lead to the "decoration" of collagen IV triple helix with numerous functional molecules. We refer to these networks as "smart" scaffolds, which as a component of the basement membrane enable the development and function of multicellular tissues in all animal phyla. In this review, we present key molecular mechanisms that drive the assembly of collagen IV smart scaffolds.
© 2017 The Protein Society.
DNA damage and secondary structures can stall the replication machinery. Cells possess numerous tolerance mechanisms to complete genome duplication in the presence of such impediments. In addition to translesion synthesis (TLS) polymerases, most eukaryotic cells contain a multifunctional replicative enzyme called primase-polymerase (PrimPol) that is capable of directly bypassing DNA damage by TLS, as well as repriming replication downstream of impediments. Here, we report that PrimPol is recruited to reprime through its interaction with RPA. Using biophysical and crystallographic approaches, we identify that PrimPol possesses two RPA-binding motifs and ascertained the key residues required for these interactions. We demonstrate that one of these motifs is critical for PrimPol's recruitment to stalled replication forks in vivo. In addition, biochemical analysis reveals that RPA serves to stimulate the primase activity of PrimPol. Together, these findings provide significant molecular insights into PrimPol's mode of recruitment to stalled forks to facilitate repriming and restart.
The human neuropeptide Y receptor is a rhodopsin-like G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), which contributes to anorexigenic signals. Thus, this receptor is a highly interesting target for metabolic diseases. As GPCR internalization and trafficking affect receptor signaling and vice versa, we aimed to investigate the molecular mechanism of hYR desensitization and endocytosis. The role of distinct segments of the hYR carboxyl terminus was investigated by fluorescence microscopy, binding assays, inositol turnover experiments and bioluminescence resonance energy transfer assays to examine the internalization behavior of hYR and its interaction with arrestin-3. Based on results of C-terminal deletion mutants and substitution of single amino acids, the motif EESEHLPLSTVHTEVSKGS was identified, with glutamate, threonine and serine residues playing key roles, based on site-directed mutagenesis. Thus, we identified the internalization motif for the human neuropeptide Y receptor, which regulates arrestin-3 recruitment and receptor endocytosis.
Copyright Â© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The MYC family of oncogenes encodes a set of three related transcription factors that are overexpressed in many human tumors and contribute to the cancer-related deaths of more than 70,000 Americans every year. MYC proteins drive tumorigenesis by interacting with co-factors that enable them to regulate the expression of thousands of genes linked to cell growth, proliferation, metabolism and genome stability. One effective way to identify critical co-factors required for MYC function has been to focus on sequence motifs within MYC that are conserved throughout evolution, on the assumption that their conservation is driven by protein-protein interactions that are vital for MYC activity. In addition to their DNA-binding domains, MYC proteins carry five regions of high sequence conservation known as Myc boxes (Mb). To date, four of the Mb motifs (MbI, MbII, MbIIIa and MbIIIb) have had a molecular function assigned to them, but the precise role of the remaining Mb, MbIV, and the reason for its preservation in vertebrate Myc proteins, is unknown. Here, we show that MbIV is required for the association of MYC with the abundant transcriptional coregulator host cell factor-1 (HCF-1). We show that the invariant core of MbIV resembles the tetrapeptide HCF-binding motif (HBM) found in many HCF-interaction partners, and demonstrate that MYC interacts with HCF-1 in a manner indistinguishable from the prototypical HBM-containing protein VP16. Finally, we show that rationalized point mutations in MYC that disrupt interaction with HCF-1 attenuate the ability of MYC to drive tumorigenesis in mice. Together, these data expose a molecular function for MbIV and indicate that HCF-1 is an important co-factor for MYC.
DNA glycosylases are important repair enzymes that eliminate a diverse array of aberrant nucleobases from the genomes of all organisms. Individual bacterial species often contain multiple paralogs of a particular glycosylase, yet the molecular and functional distinctions between these paralogs are not well understood. The recently discovered HEAT-like repeat (HLR) DNA glycosylases are distributed across all domains of life and are distinct in their specificity for cationic alkylpurines and mechanism of damage recognition. Here, we describe a number of phylogenetically diverse bacterial species with two orthologs of the HLR DNA glycosylase AlkD. One ortholog, which we designate AlkD2, is substantially less conserved. The crystal structure of Streptococcus mutans AlkD2 is remarkably similar to AlkD but lacks the only helix present in AlkD that penetrates the DNA minor groove. We show that AlkD2 possesses only weak DNA binding affinity and lacks alkylpurine excision activity. Mutational analysis of residues along this DNA binding helix in AlkD substantially reduced binding affinity for damaged DNA, for the first time revealing the importance of this structural motif for damage recognition by HLR glycosylases.
Like the other Y-family DNA polymerases, human DNA polymerase η (hpol η) has relatively low fidelity and is able to tolerate damage during DNA synthesis, including 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-oxoG), one of the most abundant DNA lesions in the genome. Crystal structures show that Arg-61 and Gln-38 are located near the active site and may play important roles in the fidelity and efficiency of hpol η. Site-directed mutagenesis was used to replace these side chains either alone or together, and the wild type or mutant proteins were purified and tested by replicating DNA past deoxyguanosine (G) or 8-oxoG. The catalytic activity of hpol η was dramatically disrupted by the R61M and Q38A/R61A mutations, as opposed to the R61A and Q38A single mutants. Crystal structures of hpol η mutant ternary complexes reveal that polarized water molecules can mimic and partially compensate for the missing side chains of Arg-61 and Gln-38 in the Q38A/R61A mutant. The combined data indicate that the positioning and positive charge of Arg-61 synergistically contribute to the nucleotidyl transfer reaction, with additional influence exerted by Gln-38. In addition, gel filtration chromatography separated multimeric and monomeric forms of wild type and mutant hpol η, indicating the possibility that hpol η forms multimers in vivo.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
MYC is an oncoprotein transcription factor that is overexpressed in the majority of malignancies. The oncogenic potential of MYC stems from its ability to bind regulatory sequences in thousands of target genes, which depends on interaction of MYC with its obligate partner, MAX. Here, we show that broad association of MYC with chromatin also depends on interaction with the WD40-repeat protein WDR5. MYC binds WDR5 via an evolutionarily conserved "MYC box IIIb" motif that engages a shallow, hydrophobic cleft on the surface of WDR5. Structure-guided mutations in MYC that disrupt interaction with WDR5 attenuate binding of MYC at ∼80% of its chromosomal locations and disable its ability to promote induced pluripotent stem cell formation and drive tumorigenesis. Our data reveal WDR5 as a key determinant for MYC recruitment to chromatin and uncover a tractable target for the discovery of anticancer therapies against MYC-driven tumors.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Our recent study has shown that cellular junctions in myelin and in the epi-/perineruium that encase nerve fibers regulate the permeability of the peripheral nerves. This permeability may affect propagation of the action potential. Direct interactions between the PDZ₁ domain of zonula occludens (ZO₁ or ZO₂) and the C-termini of claudins are known to be crucial for the formation of tight junctions. Using the purified PDZ₁ domain of ZO₂ and a variety of C-terminal mutants of peripheral nerve claudins (claudin-1, claudin-2, claudin-3, claudin-5 in epi-/perineurium; claudin-19 in myelin), we have utilized NMR spectroscopy to determine specific roles of the 3 C-terminal claudin residues (position -2, -1, 0) for their interactions with PDZ₁ of ZO₂. In contrast to the canonical model that emphasizes the importance of residues at the -2 and 0 positions, our results demonstrate that, for peripheral nerve claudins, the residue at position -1 plays a critical role in association with PDZ₁, while the side-chain of residue 0 plays a significant but lesser role. Surprisingly, claudin-19, the most abundant claudin in myelin, exhibited no binding to ZO₂. These findings reveal that the binding mechanism of claudin/ZO in epi-/perineurium is distinct from the canonical interactions between non-ZO PDZ-containing proteins with their ligands. This observation provides the molecular basis for a strategy to develop drugs that target tight junctions in the epi-/perineurium of peripheral nerves.
Published by Elsevier Inc.