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The XPA protein functions together with the single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) binding protein RPA as the central scaffold to ensure proper positioning of repair factors in multi-protein nucleotide excision repair (NER) machinery. We previously determined the structure of a short motif in the disordered XPA N-terminus bound to the RPA32C domain. However, a second contact between the XPA DNA-binding domain (XPA DBD) and the RPA70AB tandem ssDNA-binding domains, which is likely to influence the orientation of XPA and RPA on the damaged DNA substrate, remains poorly characterized. NMR was used to map the binding interfaces of XPA DBD and RPA70AB. Combining NMR and X-ray scattering data with comprehensive docking and refinement revealed how XPA DBD and RPA70AB orient on model NER DNA substrates. The structural model enabled design of XPA mutations that inhibit the interaction with RPA70AB. These mutations decreased activity in cell-based NER assays, demonstrating the functional importance of XPA DBD-RPA70AB interaction. Our results inform ongoing controversy about where XPA is bound within the NER bubble, provide structural insights into the molecular basis for malfunction of disease-associated XPA missense mutations, and contribute to understanding of the structure and mechanical action of the NER machinery.
© The Author(s) 2020. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.
Calcium-mediated signaling through inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptors (IPRs) is essential for the regulation of numerous physiological processes, including fertilization, muscle contraction, apoptosis, secretion, and synaptic plasticity. Deregulation of IPRs leads to pathological calcium signaling and is implicated in many common diseases, including cancer and neurodegenerative, autoimmune, and metabolic diseases. Revealing the mechanism of activation and inhibition of this ion channel will be critical to an improved understanding of the biological processes that are controlled by IPRs. Here, we report structural findings of the human type-3 IPR (IPR-3) obtained by cryo-EM (at an overall resolution of 3.8 Å), revealing an unanticipated regulatory mechanism where a loop distantly located in the primary sequence occupies the IP-binding site and competitively inhibits IP binding. We propose that this inhibitory mechanism must differ qualitatively among IPR subtypes because of their diverse loop sequences, potentially serving as a key molecular determinant of subtype-specific calcium signaling in IPRs. In summary, our structural characterization of human IPR-3 provides critical insights into the mechanistic function of IPRs and into subtype-specific regulation of these important calcium-regulatory channels.
© 2020 Azumaya et al.
Structures of biomolecular systems are increasingly computed by integrative modeling. In this approach, a structural model is constructed by combining information from multiple sources, including varied experimental methods and prior models. In 2019, a Workshop was held as a Biophysical Society Satellite Meeting to assess progress and discuss further requirements for archiving integrative structures. The primary goal of the Workshop was to build consensus for addressing the challenges involved in creating common data standards, building methods for federated data exchange, and developing mechanisms for validating integrative structures. The summary of the Workshop and the recommendations that emerged are presented here.
Copyright © 2019.
Clostridioides (formerly Clostridium) difficile is a Gram-positive, spore-forming anaerobe and a leading cause of hospital-acquired infection and gastroenteritis-associated death in US hospitals. The disease state is usually preceded by disruption of the host microbiome in response to antibiotic treatment and is characterized by mild to severe diarrhoea. C. difficile infection is dependent on the secretion of one or more AB-type toxins: toxin A (TcdA), toxin B (TcdB) and the C. difficile transferase toxin (CDT). Whereas TcdA and TcdB are considered the primary virulence factors, recent studies suggest that CDT increases the severity of C. difficile infection in some of the most problematic clinical strains. To better understand how CDT functions, we used cryo-electron microscopy to define the structure of CDTb, the cell-binding component of CDT. We obtained structures of several oligomeric forms that highlight the conformational changes that enable conversion from a prepore to a β-barrel pore. The structural analysis also reveals a glycan-binding domain and residues involved in binding the host-cell receptor, lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor. Together, these results provide a framework to understand how CDT functions at the host cell interface.
The histone H3 variant CENP-A is a crucial epigenetic marker for centromere specification. CENP-A forms a characteristic nucleosome and dictates the higher-order configuration of centromeric chromatin. However, little is known about how the CENP-A nucleosome affects the architecture of centromeric chromatin. In this study, we reconstituted tri-nucleosomes mimicking a centromeric nucleosome arrangement containing the CENP-A nucleosome, and determined their 3D structures by cryoelectron microscopy. The H3-CENP-A-H3 tri-nucleosomes adopt an untwisted architecture, with an outward-facing linker DNA path between nucleosomes. This is distinct from the H3-H3-H3 tri-nucleosome architecture, with an inward-facing DNA path. Intriguingly, the untwisted architecture may allow the CENP-A nucleosome to be exposed to the solvent in the condensed chromatin model. These results provide a structural basis for understanding the 3D configuration of CENP-A-containing chromatin, and may explain how centromeric proteins can specifically target the CENP-A nucleosomes buried in robust amounts of H3 nucleosomes in centromeres.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The voltage-gated potassium channel KCNQ1 (KV7.1) assembles with the KCNE1 accessory protein to generate the slow delayed rectifier current, IKS, which is critical for membrane repolarization as part of the cardiac action potential. Loss-of-function (LOF) mutations in KCNQ1 are the most common cause of congenital long QT syndrome (LQTS), type 1 LQTS, an inherited genetic predisposition to cardiac arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death. A detailed structural understanding of KCNQ1 is needed to elucidate the molecular basis for KCNQ1 LOF in disease and to enable structure-guided design of new anti-arrhythmic drugs. In this work, advanced structural models of human KCNQ1 in the resting/closed and activated/open states were developed by Rosetta homology modeling guided by newly available experimentally-based templates: X. leavis KCNQ1 and various resting voltage sensor structures. Using molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, the capacity of the models to describe experimentally established channel properties including state-dependent voltage sensor gating charge interactions and pore conformations, PIP2 binding sites, and voltage sensor-pore domain interactions were validated. Rosetta energy calculations were applied to assess the utility of each model in interpreting mutation-evoked KCNQ1 dysfunction by predicting the change in protein thermodynamic stability for 50 experimentally characterized KCNQ1 variants with mutations located in the voltage-sensing domain. Energetic destabilization was successfully predicted for folding-defective KCNQ1 LOF mutants whereas wild type-like mutants exhibited no significant energetic frustrations, which supports growing evidence that mutation-induced protein destabilization is an especially common cause of KCNQ1 dysfunction. The new KCNQ1 Rosetta models provide helpful tools in the study of the structural basis for KCNQ1 function and can be used to generate hypotheses to explain KCNQ1 dysfunction.
Immunity genes have repeatedly experienced natural selection during mammalian evolution. Galectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that regulate diverse immune responses, including maternal-fetal immune tolerance in placental pregnancy. Seven human galectins, four conserved across vertebrates and three specific to primates, are involved in placental development. To comprehensively study the molecular evolution of these galectins, both across mammals and within humans, we conducted a series of between- and within-species evolutionary analyses. By examining patterns of sequence evolution between species, we found that primate-specific galectins showed uniformly high substitution rates, whereas two of the four other galectins experienced accelerated evolution in primates. By examining human population genomic variation, we found that galectin genes and variants, including variants previously linked to immune diseases, showed signatures of recent positive selection in specific human populations. By examining one nonsynonymous variant in Galectin-8 previously associated with autoimmune diseases, we further discovered that it is tightly linked to three other nonsynonymous variants; surprisingly, the global frequency of this four-variant haplotype is ∼50%. To begin understanding the impact of this major haplotype on Galectin-8 protein structure, we modeled its 3D protein structure and found that it differed substantially from the reference protein structure. These results suggest that placentally expressed galectins experienced both ancient and more recent selection in a lineage- and population-specific manner. Furthermore, our discovery that the major Galectin-8 haplotype is structurally distinct from and more commonly found than the reference haplotype illustrates the significance of understanding the evolutionary processes that sculpted variants associated with human genetic disease.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.
Human cytochrome P450 (P450) 11B2 catalyzes the formation of aldosterone, the major endogenous human mineralocorticoid. Aldosterone is important for the regulation of electrolyte homeostasis. Mutations and overexpression of P450 11B2 (also known as aldosterone synthase) can lead to hypertension, congestive heart failure, and diabetic nephropathy. The enzyme is therefore a target for drug development to manage these various disorders. P450 11B2 catalyzes aldosterone formation from 11-deoxycorticosterone through three distinct oxidation steps. It is currently unknown to which degree these reactions happen in sequence without the intermediate products dissociating from the enzyme ( processively) or whether these reactions happen solely distributively, in which the intermediate products must first dissociate and then rebind to the enzyme before subsequent oxidation. We present here a comprehensive investigation of processivity in P450 11B2-catalyzed reactions using steady-state, pre-steady-state, pulse-chase, equilibrium-binding titrations, and stopped-flow binding studies. We utilized the data obtained to develop a kinetic model for P450 11B2 and tested this model by enzyme kinetics simulations. We found that although aldosterone is produced processively, the enzyme preferentially utilizes a distributive mechanism that ends with the production of 18-OH corticosterone. This seemingly contradictory observation could be resolved by considering the ability of the intermediate product 18-OH corticosterone to exist as a lactol form, with the equilibrium favoring the ring-closed lactol configuration. In summary, our refined model for P450 11B2 catalysis indicates isomerization of the intermediate to a lactol can explain why P450 11B2 must produce aldosterone through a processive mechanism despite favoring a distributive mechanism.
© 2019 Reddish and Guengerich.
Computational methods that produce accurate protein structure models from limited experimental data, for example, from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, hold great potential for biomedical research. The NMR-assisted modeling challenge in CASP13 provided a blind test to explore the capabilities and limitations of current modeling techniques in leveraging NMR data which had high sparsity, ambiguity, and error rate for protein structure prediction. We describe our approach to predict the structure of these proteins leveraging the Rosetta software suite. Protein structure models were predicted de novo using a two-stage protocol. First, low-resolution models were generated with the Rosetta de novo method guided by nonambiguous nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) contacts and residual dipolar coupling (RDC) restraints. Second, iterative model hybridization and fragment insertion with the Rosetta comparative modeling method was used to refine and regularize models guided by all ambiguous and nonambiguous NOE contacts and RDCs. Nine out of 16 of the Rosetta de novo models had the correct fold (global distance test total score > 45) and in three cases high-resolution models were achieved (root-mean-square deviation < 3.5 å). We also show that a meta-approach applying iterative Rosetta + NMR refinement on server-predicted models which employed non-NMR-contacts and structural templates leads to substantial improvement in model quality. Integrating these data-assisted refinement strategies with innovative non-data-assisted approaches which became possible in CASP13 such as high precision contact prediction will in the near future enable structure determination for large proteins that are outside of the realm of conventional NMR.
© 2019 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Influenza viruses antagonize key immune defence mechanisms via the virulence factor non-structural protein 1 (NS1). A key mechanism of virulence by NS1 is blocking nuclear export of host messenger RNAs, including those encoding immune factors; however, the direct cellular target of NS1 and the mechanism of host mRNA export inhibition are not known. Here, we identify the target of NS1 as the mRNA export receptor complex, nuclear RNA export factor 1-nuclear transport factor 2-related export protein 1 (NXF1-NXT1), which is the principal receptor mediating docking and translocation of mRNAs through the nuclear pore complex via interactions with nucleoporins. We determined the crystal structure of NS1 in complex with NXF1-NXT1 at 3.8 Å resolution. The structure reveals that NS1 prevents binding of NXF1-NXT1 to nucleoporins, thereby inhibiting mRNA export through the nuclear pore complex into the cytoplasm for translation. We demonstrate that a mutant influenza virus deficient in binding NXF1-NXT1 does not block host mRNA export and is attenuated. This attenuation is marked by the release of mRNAs encoding immune factors from the nucleus. In sum, our study uncovers the molecular basis of a major nuclear function of influenza NS1 protein that causes potent blockage of host gene expression and contributes to inhibition of host immunity.