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Active coping is an adaptive stress response that improves outcomes in medical and neuropsychiatric diseases. To date, most research into coping style has focused on neurotransmitter activity and little is known about the intrinsic excitability of neurons in the associated brain regions that facilitate coping. Previous studies have shown that HCN channels regulate neuronal excitability in pyramidal cells and that HCN channel current (I ) in the CA1 area increases with chronic mild stress. Reduction of I in the CA1 area leads to antidepressant-like behavior, and this region has been implicated in the regulation of coping style. We hypothesized that the antidepressant-like behavior achieved with CA1 knockdown of I is accompanied by increases in active coping. In this report, we found that global loss of TRIP8b, a necessary subunit for proper HCN channel localization in pyramidal cells, led to active coping behavior in numerous assays specific to coping style. We next employed a viral strategy using a dominant negative TRIP8b isoform to alter coping behavior by reducing HCN channel expression. This approach led to a robust reduction in I in CA1 pyramidal neurons and an increase in active coping. Together, these results establish that changes in HCN channel function in CA1 influences coping style.
© 2018 International Society for Neurochemistry.
While great progress has been made, only 10% of the nearly 1,000 integral, α-helical, multi-span membrane protein families are represented by at least one experimentally determined structure in the PDB. Previously, we developed the algorithm BCL::MP-Fold, which samples the large conformational space of membrane proteins de novo by assembling predicted secondary structure elements guided by knowledge-based potentials. Here, we present a case study of rhodopsin fold determination by integrating sparse and/or low-resolution restraints from multiple experimental techniques including electron microscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Simultaneous incorporation of orthogonal experimental restraints not only significantly improved the sampling accuracy but also allowed identification of the correct fold, which is demonstrated by a protein size-normalized transmembrane root-mean-square deviation as low as 1.2 Å. The protocol developed in this case study can be used for the determination of unknown membrane protein folds when limited experimental restraints are available.
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The elicitation of autologous neutralizing responses by immunization with HIV-1 envelope (Env) trimers conformationally stabilized in a prefusion closed state has generated considerable interest in the HIV-1 vaccine field. However, soluble prefusion closed Env trimers have been produced from only a handful of HIV-1 strains, limiting their utility as vaccine antigens and B cell probes. Here, we report the engineering from 81 HIV-1 strains of soluble, fully cleaved, prefusion Env trimers with appropriate antigenicity. We used a 96-well expression-screening format to assess the ability of artificial disulfides and Ile559Pro substitution (DS-SOSIP) to produce soluble cleaved-Env trimers; from 180 Env strains, 20 yielded prefusion closed trimers. We also created chimeras, by utilizing structure-based design to incorporate select regions from the well-behaved BG505 strain; from 180 Env strains, 78 DS-SOSIP-stabilized chimeras, including 61 additional strains, yielded prefusion closed trimers. Structure-based design thus enables the production of prefusion closed HIV-1-Env trimers from dozens of diverse strains.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
infection is the leading cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea and is mediated by the actions of two toxins, TcdA and TcdB. The toxins perturb host cell function through a multistep process of receptor binding, endocytosis, low pH-induced pore formation, and the translocation and delivery of an N-terminal glucosyltransferase domain that inactivates host GTPases. Infection studies with isogenic strains having defined toxin deletions have established TcdB as an important target for therapeutic development. Monoclonal antibodies that neutralize TcdB function have been shown to protect against infection in animal models and reduce recurrence in humans. Here, we report the mechanism of TcdB neutralization by PA41, a humanized monoclonal antibody capable of neutralizing TcdB from a diverse array of strains. Through a combination of structural, biochemical, and cell functional studies, involving X-ray crystallography and EM, we show that PA41 recognizes a single, highly conserved epitope on the TcdB glucosyltransferase domain and blocks productive translocation and delivery of the enzymatic cargo into the host cell. Our study reveals a unique mechanism of toxin neutralization by a monoclonal antibody, which involves targeting a process that is conserved across the large clostridial glucosylating toxins. The PA41 antibody described here provides a valuable tool for dissecting the mechanism of toxin pore formation and translocation across the endosomal membrane.
Limited information exists on the anatomically-specific early stage events leading to clinically detectable mineral aggregates in the renal papilla. In this study, quantitative multiscale correlative maps of structural, elemental and biochemical properties of whole medullo-papillary complexes from human kidneys were developed. Correlative maps of properties specific to the uriniferous and vascular tubules using high-resolution X-ray computed tomography, scanning and transmission electron microscopy, energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and immunolocalization of noncollagenous proteins (NCPs) along with their association with anatomy specific biominerals were obtained. Results illustrated that intratubular spherical aggregates primarily form at the proximal regions distant from the papillary tip while interstitial spherical and fibrillar aggregates are distally located near the papillary tip. Biominerals at the papillary tip were closely localized with 10 to 50 μm diameter vasa recta immunolocalized for CD31 inside the medullo-papillary complex. Abundant NCPs known to regulate bone mineralization were localized within nanoparticles, forming early pathologic mineralized regions of the complex. Based on the physical association between vascular and urothelial tubules, results from light and electron microscopy techniques suggested that these NCPs could be delivered from vasculature to prompt calcification of the interstitial regions or they might be synthesized from local vascular smooth muscle cells after transdifferentiation into osteoblast-like phenotypes. In addition, results provided insights into the plausible temporal events that link the anatomically specific intratubular mineral aggregates with the interstitial biomineralization processes within the functional unit of the kidney.
Microtubules in animal cells assemble (nucleate) from both the centrosome and the cis-Golgi cisternae. A-kinase anchor protein 350 kDa (AKAP350A, also called AKAP450/CG-NAP/AKAP9) is a large scaffolding protein located at both the centrosome and Golgi apparatus. Previous findings have suggested that AKAP350 is important for microtubule dynamics at both locations, but how this scaffolding protein assembles microtubule nucleation machinery is unclear. Here, we found that overexpression of the C-terminal third of AKAP350A, enhanced GFP-AKAP350A(2691-3907), induces the formation of multiple microtubule-nucleation centers (MTNCs). Nevertheless, these induced MTNCs lacked "true" centriole proteins, such as Cep135. Mapping analysis with AKAP350A truncations demonstrated that AKAP350A contains discrete regions responsible for promoting or inhibiting the formation of multiple MTNCs. Moreover, GFP-AKAP350A(2691-3907) recruited several pericentriolar proteins to MTNCs, including γ-tubulin, pericentrin, Cep68, Cep170, and Cdk5RAP2. Proteomic analysis indicated that Cdk5RAP2 and Cep170 both interact with the microtubule nucleation-promoting region of AKAP350A, whereas Cep68 interacts with the distal C-terminal AKAP350A region. Yeast two-hybrid assays established a direct interaction of Cep170 with AKAP350A. Super-resolution and deconvolution microscopy analyses were performed to define the association of AKAP350A with centrosomes, and these studies disclosed that AKAP350A spans the bridge between centrioles, co-localizing with rootletin and Cep68 in the linker region. siRNA-mediated depletion of AKAP350A caused displacement of both Cep68 and Cep170 from the centrosome. These results suggest that AKAP350A acts as a scaffold for factors involved in microtubule nucleation at the centrosome and coordinates the assembly of protein complexes associating with the intercentriolar bridge.
Polypropylene (PP) transvaginal mesh (TVM) repair for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) has shown promising short-term objective cure rates. However, life-altering complications have been associated with the placement of PP mesh for SUI repair. PP degradation as a result of the foreign body reaction (FBR) has been proposed as a contributing factor to mesh complications. We hypothesized that PP oxidizes under in vitro conditions simulating the FBR, resulting in degradation of the PP. Three PP mid-urethral slings from two commercial manufacturers were evaluated. Test specimens (n = 6) were incubated in oxidative medium for up to 5 weeks. Oxidation was assessed by Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), and degradation was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). FTIR spectra of the slings revealed evidence of carbonyl and hydroxyl peaks after 5 weeks of incubation time, providing evidence of oxidation of PP. SEM images at 5 weeks showed evidence of surface degradation, including pitting and flaking. Thus, oxidation and degradation of PP pelvic mesh were evidenced by chemical and physical changes under simulated in vivo conditions. To assess changes in PP surface chemistry in vivo, fibers were recovered from PP mesh explanted from a single patient without formalin fixation, untreated (n = 5) or scraped (n = 5) to remove tissue, and analyzed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Mechanical scraping removed adherent tissue, revealing an underlying layer of oxidized PP. These findings underscore the need for further research into the relative contribution of oxidative degradation to complications associated with PP-based TVM devices in larger cohorts of patients.
We report a novel approach for the delivery of curcumin to the brain via inhalation of the aerosol for the potential treatment of Alzheimer's disease. The percentage of plaque fraction in the subiculum and hippocampus reduced significantly when young 5XFAD mice were treated with inhalable curcumin over an extended period of time compared to age-matched nontreated counterparts. Further, treated animals demonstrated remarkably improved overall cognitive function, no registered systemic or pulmonary toxicity associated with inhalable curcumin observed during the course of this work.
Helicobacter pylori secretes a pore-forming VacA toxin that has structural features and activities substantially different from those of other known bacterial toxins. VacA can assemble into multiple types of water-soluble flower-shaped oligomeric structures, and most VacA activities are dependent on its capacity to oligomerize. The 88-kDa secreted VacA protein can undergo limited proteolysis to yield two domains, designated p33 and p55. The p33 domain is required for membrane channel formation and intracellular toxic activities, and the p55 domain has an important role in mediating VacA binding to cells. Previous studies showed that the p55 domain has a predominantly β-helical structure, but no structural data are available for the p33 domain. We report here the purification and analysis of a nonoligomerizing mutant form of VacA secreted by H. pylori The nonoligomerizing 88-kDa mutant protein retains the capacity to enter host cells but lacks detectable toxic activity. Analysis of crystals formed by the monomeric protein reveals that the β-helical structure of the p55 domain extends into the C-terminal portion of p33. Fitting the p88 structural model into an electron microscopy map of hexamers formed by wild-type VacA (predicted to be structurally similar to VacA membrane channels) reveals that p55 and the β-helical segment of p33 localize to peripheral arms but do not occupy the central region of the hexamers. We propose that the amino-terminal portion of p33 is unstructured when VacA is in a monomeric form and that it undergoes a conformational change during oligomer assembly.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS - Idiopathic subglottic stenosis (iSGS) is an unexplained obstruction involving the lower laryngeal and upper tracheal airway. Persistent mucosal inflammation is a hallmark of the disease. Epithelial microbiota dysbiosis is found in other chronic inflammatory mucosal diseases; however, the relationship between tracheal microbiota composition and iSGS is unknown. Given the critical role for host defense at mucosal barriers, we analyzed tissue specimens from iSGS patients for the presence of microbial pathogens.
METHODS - Utilizing 30 human iSGS, 20 intubation-related tracheal stenosis (iLTS), and 20 healthy control specimens, we applied molecular, immunohistochemical, electron microscopic, immunologic, and Sanger-sequencing techniques.
RESULTS - With unbiased culture-independent nucleic acid, protein, and immunologic approaches, we demonstrate that Mycobacterium species are uniquely associated with iSGS. Phylogenetic analysis of the mycobacterial virulence factor rpoB suggests that, rather than Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a variant member of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex or a closely related novel mycobacterium is present in iSGS specimens.
CONCLUSION - These studies identify a novel pathogenic role for established large airway bacteria and provide new targets for future therapeutic intervention.
LEVEL OF EVIDENCE - NA Laryngoscope, 127:179-185, 2017.
© 2016 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.