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is a Gram-positive, pathogenic bacterium and a prominent cause of hospital-acquired diarrhea in the United States. The symptoms of infection are caused by the activity of three large toxins known as toxin A (TcdA), toxin B (TcdB), and the transferase toxin (CDT). Reported here is a 3.8-Å cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of CDT, a bipartite toxin comprised of the proteins CDTa and CDTb. We observe a single molecule of CDTa bound to a CDTb heptamer. The formation of the CDT complex relies on the interaction of an N-terminal adaptor and pseudoenzyme domain of CDTa with six subunits of the CDTb heptamer. CDTb is observed in a preinsertion state, a conformation observed in the transition of prepore to β-barrel pore, although we also observe a single bound CDTa in the prepore and β-barrel conformations of CDTb. The binding interaction appears to prime CDTa for translocation as the adaptor subdomain enters the lumen of the preinsertion state channel. These structural observations advance the understanding of how a single protein, CDTb, can mediate the delivery of a large enzyme, CDTa, into the cytosol of mammalian cells.
Computational protein design of an ensemble of conformations for one protein-i.e., multi-state design-determines the side chain identity by optimizing the energetic contributions of that side chain in each of the backbone conformations. Sampling the resulting large sequence-structure search space limits the number of conformations and the size of proteins in multi-state design algorithms. Here, we demonstrated that the REstrained CONvergence (RECON) algorithm can simultaneously evaluate the sequence of large proteins that undergo substantial conformational changes. Simultaneous optimization of side chain conformations across all conformations increased sequence conservation when compared to single-state designs in all cases. More importantly, the sequence space sampled by RECON MSD resembled the evolutionary sequence space of flexible proteins, particularly when confined to predicting the mutational preferences of limited common ancestral descent, such as in the case of influenza type A hemagglutinin. Additionally, we found that sequence positions which require substantial changes in their local environment across an ensemble of conformations are more likely to be conserved. These increased conservation rates are better captured by RECON MSD over multiple conformations and thus multiple local residue environments during design. To quantify this rewiring of contacts at a certain position in sequence and structure, we introduced a new metric designated 'contact proximity deviation' that enumerates contact map changes. This measure allows mapping of global conformational changes into local side chain proximity adjustments, a property not captured by traditional global similarity metrics such as RMSD or local similarity metrics such as changes in φ and ψ angles.
Structural principles underlying the composition of protective antiviral monoclonal antibody (mAb) cocktails are poorly defined. Here, we exploited antibody cooperativity to develop a therapeutic mAb cocktail against Ebola virus. We systematically analyzed the antibody repertoire in human survivors and identified a pair of potently neutralizing mAbs that cooperatively bound to the ebolavirus glycoprotein (GP). High-resolution structures revealed that in a two-antibody cocktail, molecular mimicry was a major feature of mAb-GP interactions. Broadly neutralizing mAb rEBOV-520 targeted a conserved epitope on the GP base region. mAb rEBOV-548 bound to a glycan cap epitope, possessed neutralizing and Fc-mediated effector function activities, and potentiated neutralization by rEBOV-520. Remodeling of the glycan cap structures by the cocktail enabled enhanced GP binding and virus neutralization. The cocktail demonstrated resistance to virus escape and protected non-human primates (NHPs) against Ebola virus disease. These data illuminate structural principles of antibody cooperativity with implications for development of antiviral immunotherapeutics.
Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
We previously generated a panel of human monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against Zika virus (ZIKV) and identified one, ZIKV-116, that shares germline usage with mAbs identified in multiple donors. Here we show that ZIKV-116 interferes with ZIKV infection at a post-cellular attachment step by blocking viral fusion with host membranes. ZIKV-116 recognizes the lateral ridge of envelope protein domain III, with one critical residue varying between the Asian and African strains responsible for differential binding affinity and neutralization potency (E393D). ZIKV-116 also binds to and cross-neutralizes some dengue virus serotype 1 (DENV1) strains, with genotype-dependent inhibition explained by variation in a domain II residue (R204K) that potentially modulates exposure of the distally located, partially cryptic epitope. The V-J reverted germline configuration of ZIKV-116 preferentially binds to and neutralizes an Asian ZIKV strain, suggesting that this epitope may optimally induce related B cell clonotypes. Overall, these studies provide a structural and molecular mechanism for a cross-reactive mAb that uniquely neutralizes ZIKV and DENV1.
© 2019 Zhao et al.
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.
Computational methods to predict protein structure from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) restraints that only require assignment of backbone signals, hold great potential to study larger proteins. Ideally, computational methods designed to work with sparse data need to add atomic detail that is missing in the experimental restraints. We introduce a comprehensive framework into the Rosetta suite that uses NMR restraints derived from paramagnetic labeling. Specifically, RosettaNMR incorporates pseudocontact shifts, residual dipolar couplings, and paramagnetic relaxation enhancements. It continues to use backbone chemical shifts and nuclear Overhauser effect distance restraints. We assess RosettaNMR for protein structure prediction by folding 28 monomeric proteins and 8 homo-oligomeric proteins. Furthermore, the general applicability of RosettaNMR is demonstrated on two protein-protein and three protein-ligand docking examples. Paramagnetic restraints generated more accurate models for 85% of the benchmark proteins and, when combined with chemical shifts, sampled high-accuracy models (≤2Å) in 50% of the cases.
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.
The five articles in this multi-author review in CMLS provide examples of multi-functionality of proteins belonging to several families. Distinct structural features of proteins suggesting multi-functionality are emphasized: intrinsically disordered elements that can "mold" themselves to fit various binding partners, as well as short linear motifs within larger proteins that perform particular functions. Although only a few protein families are discussed in detail, the conclusions apply to numerous, if not all, proteins. Multi-functionality of virtually every protein implies that the manipulation of its expression levels by over-expression, knockdown, or knockout affects every one of its functions, known and unknown, so that the results of these experiments must be interpreted with this complexity in mind. Particular functions in a multi-functional protein are often fulfilled by identifiable smaller elements that can be expressed separately. Identification of mono-functional elements of a multi-functional protein paves the way to the construction of novel precisely targeted molecular tools for selective manipulation of cellular signaling that can be used for mechanistic studies in cell biology, as well as for therapeutic purposes.