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Members of the orthosomycin family of natural products are decorated polysaccharides with potent antibiotic activity and complex biosynthetic pathways. The defining feature of the orthosomycins is an orthoester linkage between carbohydrate moieties that is necessary for antibiotic activity and is likely formed by a family of conserved oxygenases. Everninomicins are octasaccharide orthosomycins produced by Micromonospora carbonacea that have two orthoester linkages and a methylenedioxy bridge, three features whose formation logically requires oxidative chemistry. Correspondingly, the evd gene cluster encoding everninomicin D encodes two monofunctional nonheme iron, α-ketoglutarate-dependent oxygenases and one bifunctional enzyme with an N-terminal methyltransferase domain and a C-terminal oxygenase domain. To investigate whether the activities of these domains are linked in the bifunctional enzyme EvdMO1, we determined the structure of the N-terminal methyltransferase domain to 1.1 Å and that of the full-length protein to 3.35 Å resolution. Both domains of EvdMO1 adopt the canonical folds of their respective superfamilies and are connected by a short linker. Each domain's active site is oriented such that it faces away from the other domain, and there is no evidence of a channel connecting the two. Our results support EvdMO1 working as a bifunctional enzyme with independent catalytic activities.
Mammalian orthoreovirus attachment to target cells is mediated by the outer capsid protein σ1, which projects from the virion surface. The σ1 protein is a homotrimer consisting of a filamentous tail, which is partly inserted into the virion; a body domain constructed from β-spiral repeats; and a globular head with receptor-binding properties. The σ1 tail is predicted to form an α-helical coiled coil. Although σ1 undergoes a conformational change during cell entry, the nature of this change and its contributions to viral replication are unknown. Electron micrographs of σ1 molecules released from virions identified three regions of flexibility, including one at the midpoint of the molecule, that may be involved in its structural rearrangement. To enable a detailed understanding of essential σ1 tail organization and properties, we determined high-resolution structures of the reovirus type 1 Lang (T1L) and type 3 Dearing (T3D) σ1 tail domains. Both molecules feature extended α-helical coiled coils, with T1L σ1 harboring central chloride ions. Each molecule displays a discontinuity (stutter) within the coiled coil and an unexpectedly seamless transition to the body domain. The transition region features conserved interdomain interactions and appears rigid rather than highly flexible. Functional analyses of reoviruses containing engineered σ1 mutations suggest that conserved residues predicted to stabilize the coiled-coil-to-body junction are essential for σ1 folding and encapsidation, whereas central chloride ion coordination and the stutter are dispensable for efficient replication. Together, these findings enable modeling of full-length reovirus σ1 and provide insight into the stabilization of a multidomain virus attachment protein. While it is established that different conformational states of attachment proteins of enveloped viruses mediate receptor binding and membrane fusion, less is understood about how such proteins mediate attachment and entry of nonenveloped viruses. The filamentous reovirus attachment protein σ1 binds cellular receptors; contains regions of predicted flexibility, including one at the fiber midpoint; and undergoes a conformational change during cell entry. Neither the nature of the structural change nor its contribution to viral infection is understood. We determined crystal structures of large σ1 fragments for two different reovirus serotypes. We observed an unexpectedly tight transition between two domains spanning the fiber midpoint, which allows for little flexibility. Studies of reoviruses with engineered changes near the σ1 midpoint suggest that the stabilization of this region is critical for function. Together with a previously determined structure, we now have a complete model of the full-length, elongated reovirus σ1 attachment protein.
Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology.
Helicobacter pylori is a genetically diverse bacterial species that colonizes the stomach in about half of the human population. Most persons colonized by H. pylori remain asymptomatic, but the presence of this organism is a risk factor for gastric cancer. Multiple populations and subpopulations of H. pylori with distinct geographic distributions are recognized. Genetic differences among these populations might be a factor underlying geographic variation in gastric cancer incidence. Relatively little is known about the genomic features of African H. pylori strains compared to other populations of strains. In this study, we first analyzed the genomes of H. pylori strains from seven globally distributed populations or subpopulations and identified encoded proteins that exhibited the highest levels of sequence divergence. These included secreted proteins, an LPS glycosyltransferase, fucosyltransferases, proteins involved in molybdopterin biosynthesis, and Clp protease adaptor (ClpS). Among proteins encoded by the cag pathogenicity island, CagA and CagQ exhibited the highest levels of sequence diversity. We then identified proteins in strains of Western African origin (classified as hspWAfrica by MLST analysis) with sequences that were highly divergent compared to those in other populations of strains. These included ATP-dependent Clp protease, ClpS, and proteins of unknown function. Three of the divergent proteins sequences identified in West African strains were characterized by distinct insertions or deletions up to 8 amino acids in length. These polymorphisms in rapidly evolving proteins represent robust genetic signatures for H. pylori strains of West African origin.
DNA glycosylases preserve genome integrity and define the specificity of the base excision repair pathway for discreet, detrimental modifications, and thus, the mechanisms by which glycosylases locate DNA damage are of particular interest. Bacterial AlkC and AlkD are specific for cationic alkylated nucleobases and have a distinctive HEAT-like repeat (HLR) fold. AlkD uses a unique non-base-flipping mechanism that enables excision of bulky lesions more commonly associated with nucleotide excision repair. In contrast, AlkC has a much narrower specificity for small lesions, principally N3-methyladenine (3mA). Here, we describe how AlkC selects for and excises 3mA using a non-base-flipping strategy distinct from that of AlkD. A crystal structure resembling a catalytic intermediate complex shows how AlkC uses unique HLR and immunoglobulin-like domains to induce a sharp kink in the DNA, exposing the damaged nucleobase to active site residues that project into the DNA This active site can accommodate and excise N3-methylcytosine (3mC) and N1-methyladenine (1mA), which are also repaired by AlkB-catalyzed oxidative demethylation, providing a potential alternative mechanism for repair of these lesions in bacteria.
© 2017 The Authors.
Pre-mRNA processing protein 40 (Prp40) is a nuclear protein that has a role in pre-mRNA splicing. Prp40 possesses two leucine-rich nuclear export signals, but little is known about the function of Prp40 in the export process. Another protein that has a role in protein export is centrin, a member of the EF-hand superfamily of Ca-binding proteins. Prp40 was found to be a centrin target by yeast-two-hybrid screening using both Homo sapiens centrin 2 (Hscen2) and Chlamydomonas reinhardtii centrin (Crcen). We identified a centrin-binding site within H. sapiens Prp40 homolog A (HsPrp40A), which contains a hydrophobic triad WLL that is known to be important in the interaction with centrin. This centrin-binding site is highly conserved within the first nuclear export signal consensus sequence identified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Prp40. Here, we examine the interaction of HsPrp40A peptide (HsPrp40Ap) with both Hscen2 and Crcen by isothermal titration calorimetry. We employed the thermodynamic parameterization to estimate the polar and apolar surface area of the interface. In addition, we have defined the molecular mechanism of thermally induced unfolding and dissociation of the Crcen-HsPrp40Ap complex using two-dimensional infrared correlation spectroscopy. These complementary techniques showed for the first time, to our knowledge, that HsPrp40Ap interacts with centrin in vitro, supporting a coupled functional role for these proteins in pre-mRNA splicing.
Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Closely spaced clusters of tandemly duplicated genes (CTDGs) contribute to the diversity of many phenotypes, including chemosensation, snake venom, and animal body plans. CTDGs have traditionally been identified subjectively as genomic neighborhoods containing several gene duplicates in close proximity; however, CTDGs are often highly variable with respect to gene number, intergenic distance, and synteny. This lack of formal definition hampers the study of CTDG evolutionary dynamics and the discovery of novel CTDGs in the exponentially growing body of genomic data. To address this gap, we developed a novel homology-based algorithm, CTDGFinder, which formalizes and automates the identification of CTDGs by examining the physical distribution of individual members of families of duplicated genes across chromosomes. Application of CTDGFinder accurately identified CTDGs for many well-known gene clusters (e.g., Hox and beta-globin gene clusters) in the human, mouse and 20 other mammalian genomes. Differences between previously annotated gene clusters and our inferred CTDGs were due to the exclusion of nonhomologs that have historically been considered parts of specific gene clusters, the inclusion or absence of genes between the CTDGs and their corresponding gene clusters, and the splitting of certain gene clusters into distinct CTDGs. Examination of human genes showing tissue-specific enhancement of their expression by CTDGFinder identified members of several well-known gene clusters (e.g., cytochrome P450s and olfactory receptors) and revealed that they were unequally distributed across tissues. By formalizing and automating CTDG identification, CTDGFinder will facilitate understanding of CTDG evolutionary dynamics, their functional implications, and how they are associated with phenotypic diversity.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: email@example.com.
Phospholipid flippases in the type IV P-type ATPase (P4-ATPases) family establish membrane asymmetry and play critical roles in vesicular transport, cell polarity, signal transduction, and neurologic development. All characterized P4-ATPases flip glycerophospholipids across the bilayer to the cytosolic leaflet of the membrane, but how these enzymes distinguish glycerophospholipids from sphingolipids is not known. We used a directed evolution approach to examine the molecular mechanisms through which P4-ATPases discriminate substrate backbone. A mutagenesis screen in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has identified several gain-of-function mutations in the P4-ATPase Dnf1 that facilitate the transport of a novel lipid substrate, sphingomyelin. We found that a highly conserved asparagine (N220) in the first transmembrane segment is a key enforcer of glycerophospholipid selection, and specific substitutions at this site allow transport of sphingomyelin.
The S100 proteins are a unique class of EF-hand Ca(2+) binding proteins distributed in a cell-specific, tissue-specific, and cell cycle-specific manner in humans and other vertebrates. These proteins are distinguished by their distinctive homodimeric structure, both intracellular and extracellular functions, and the ability to bind transition metals at the dimer interface. Here we summarize current knowledge of S100 protein binding of Zn(2+), Cu(2+) and Mn(2+) ions, focusing on binding affinities, conformational changes that arise from metal binding, and the roles of transition metal binding in S100 protein function.
Upon Notch pathway activation, the receptor is cleaved to release the Notch intracellular domain (NICD), which translocates to the nucleus to activate gene transcription. Using Xenopus egg extracts, we have identified a Notch1-specific destruction signal (N1-Box). We show that mutations in the N1-Box inhibit NICD1 degradation and that the N1-Box is transferable for the promotion of degradation of heterologous proteins in Xenopus egg extracts and in cultured human cells. Mutation of the N1-Box enhances Notch1 activity in cultured human cells and zebrafish embryos. Human cancer mutations within the N1-Box enhance Notch1 signaling in transgenic zebrafish, highlighting the physiological relevance of this destruction signal. We find that binding of the Notch nuclear factor, CSL, to the N1-Box blocks NICD1 turnover. Our studies reveal a mechanism by which degradation of NICD1 is regulated by the N1-Box to minimize stochastic flux and to establish a threshold for Notch1 pathway activation.
Copyright © 2016 The Author(s). Published by 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.