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The transfer of ubiquitin (Ub) to a substrate protein requires a cascade of E1 activating, E2 conjugating, and E3 ligating enzymes. E3 Ub ligases containing U-box and RING domains bind both E2∼Ub conjugates and substrates to facilitate transfer of the Ub molecule. Although the overall mode of action of E3 ligases is well established, many of the mechanistic details that determine the outcome of ubiquitination are poorly understood. CHIP (carboxyl terminus of Hsc70-interacting protein) is a U-box E3 ligase that serves as a co-chaperone to heat shock proteins and is critical for the regulation of unfolded proteins in the cytosol. We have performed a systematic analysis of the interactions of CHIP with E2 conjugating enzymes and found that only a subset bind and function. Moreover, some E2 enzymes function in pairs to create products that neither create individually. Characterization of the products of these reactions showed that different E2 enzymes produce different ubiquitination products, i.e. that E2 determines the outcome of Ub transfer. Site-directed mutagenesis on the E2 enzymes Ube2D1 and Ube2L3 (UbcH5a and UbcH7) established that an SPA motif in loop 7 of E2 is required for binding to CHIP but is not sufficient for activation of the E2∼Ub conjugate and consequent ubiquitination activity. These data support the proposal that the E2 SPA motif provides specificity for binding to CHIP, whereas activation of the E2∼Ub conjugate is derived from other molecular determinants.
Wheat streak mosaic virus is a Tritimovirus, a member of the Potyviridae family, which includes the very large Potyvirus genus. We have examined wheat streak mosaic virus by electron microscopy and fiber diffraction from partially oriented sols, and analyzed the results to estimate the symmetry and structural parameters of the viral helix. The virions have an apparent radius of 63 +/- 5 A. The viral helix has a pitch of 33.4 A +/- 0.6 A. There appear to be 6.9 subunits per turn of the helix, although we cannot completely eliminate values of 5.9 or 7.9 for this parameter.
Experiments were conducted to determine if the 37 kDa protein (37K) of Soil-borne wheat mosaic virus (SBWMV) is a virus movement protein. First, evidence was obtained that indicated that 37K has the ability to move from cell to cell, similar to other virus movement proteins (MPs). Plasmids containing the GFP gene fused to the SBWMV 37K, the coat protein (CP) or the CP readthrough domain (RT) ORFs were delivered by biolistic bombardment to wheat and tobacco leaves. In wheat leaves, cell-to-cell movement of GFP-37K was observed, while GFP, GFP-CP and GFP-RT accumulated primarily in single cells. All fusion proteins accumulated in single cells in tobacco leaves. Thus, cell-to-cell movement is a specific property of 37K that occurs in SBWMV host plants. Subcellular accumulation of 37K was studied using SBWMV-infected and 37K-expressing transgenic wheat. In infected and transgenic wheat leaves, 37K accumulated in the cell wall, similar to other virus MPs, and in aggregates in the cytoplasm. Phylogenetic studies were conducted to compare the furovirus 37K proteins with members of the 30K superfamily of virus MPs. Amino acid sequences of the furovirus 37K proteins were aligned with the MPs from 43 representative viruses. The furovirus 37K proteins were found to reside in a clade that also contained the dianthovirus MPs. Combined, these data suggest that SBWMV 37K is probably a virus MP.
The wheat-grain proteome was investigated, as a basis for devising more efficient methods of cultivar identification or discrimination. Australian wheats (Halberd, Cranbrook, CD87 and Katepwa) were used as the basis of this study. These cultivars were selected on the basis of differences in the quality types represented, in terms of dough-processing attributes that can suit one cultivar better than another for specific types of industrial utilisation. Total wheat endosperm (flour) protein extracts were prepared from mature wheat for two-dimensional electrophoresis, across both acidic (pH 4-7) and basic (pH 6-11) pH ranges. Three particular regions of the proteome maps were chosen for close comparison, involving two sets of gluten proteins and a nongluten protein region (involving small heat shock proteins), based on previous protein characterisation. Differences in the nongluten protein regions (heat shock proteins and other unidentified polypeptides) are of particular interest as being possible targets for use in developing new approaches to cultivar discrimination, such as the development of simple immunoassays.
The structure of gene sequences coding for the mRNA of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) alpha-subunit was investigated by Southern blot analysis of genomic DNAs using a cloned, full length cDNA probe. While four hormones, lutropin, follitropin, thyrotropin, and choriogonadotropin, have homologous alpha-subunits, only one gene that bears hCG-alpha sequences could be detected per haploid complement. The structure of this single gonadotropin alpha-subunit gene, which contains intervening sequences, is the same in DNA from first trimester and term placentae. However polymorphism was observed for the presence of a HindIII site and of an Eco RI site in the gene's 3' flanking sequences. The organization of hCG-alpha sequences in several trophoblastic and nontrophoblastic tumor cell lines, which produce hCG subunits, was also examined. In each, the same gene copy number and structure were seen as in normal tissue. Thus, the characteristics of ectopic alpha-subunit expression in these cells seem not to be determined by DNA rearrangements.
The insertion of visual opsin into membranes occurred during in vitro translation of opsin mRNA in wheat germ extract in the presence of either microsomes or liposomes. The rhodopsin that integrated into both types of membranes after regeneration with 11-cis-retinal was functionally active (in contrast to the nonincorporated protein). Opsin either cotranslationally translocated into microsomes or inserted into liposomes had equal sensitivity to proteolysis and yielded the same pattern of peptides, which differed substantially from the set of peptides produced during proteolysis of opsin not incorporated into membranes. Thus visual opsin does not require protein translocation machinery for proper insertion into the lipid bilayer.