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Collagen IV is the main structural protein that provides a scaffold for assembly of basement membrane proteins. Posttranslational modifications such as hydroxylation of proline and lysine and glycosylation of lysine are essential for the functioning of collagen IV triple-helical molecules. These modifications are highly abundant posing a difficult challenge for in-depth characterization of collagen IV using conventional proteomics approaches. Herein, we implemented an integrated pipeline combining high-resolution mass spectrometry with different fragmentation techniques and an optimized bioinformatics workflow to study posttranslational modifications in mouse collagen IV. We achieved 82% sequence coverage for the α1 chain, mapping 39 glycosylated hydroxylysine, 148 4-hydroxyproline, and seven 3-hydroxyproline residues. Further, we employed our pipeline to map the modifications on human collagen IV and achieved 85% sequence coverage for the α1 chain, mapping 35 glycosylated hydroxylysine, 163 4-hydroxyproline, and 14 3-hydroxyproline residues. Although lysine glycosylation heterogeneity was observed in both mouse and human, 21 conserved sites were identified. Likewise, five 3-hydroxyproline residues were conserved between mouse and human, suggesting that these modification sites are important for collagen IV function. Collectively, these are the first comprehensive maps of hydroxylation and glycosylation sites in collagen IV, which lay the foundation for dissecting the key role of these modifications in health and disease.
In vertebrate epithelia, p120-catenin (hereafter referred to as p120; also known as CTNND1) mediates E-cadherin stability and suppression of RhoA. Genetic ablation of p120 in various epithelial tissues typically causes striking alterations in tissue function and morphology. Although these effects could very well involve p120's activity towards Rho, ascertaining the impact of this relationship has been complicated by the fact that p120 is also required for cell-cell adhesion. Here, we have molecularly uncoupled p120's cadherin-stabilizing and RhoA-suppressing activites. Unexpectedly, removing p120's Rho-suppressing activity dramatically disrupted the integrity of the apical surface, irrespective of E-cadherin stability. The physical defect was tracked to excessive actomyosin contractility along the vertical axis of lateral membranes. Thus, we suggest that p120's distinct activities towards E-cadherin and Rho are molecularly and functionally coupled and this, in turn, enables the maintenance of cell shape in the larger context of an epithelial monolayer. Importantly, local suppression of contractility by cadherin-bound p120 appears to go beyond regulating cell shape, as loss of this activity also leads to major defects in epithelial lumenogenesis.
© 2016. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.
We screened a panel of mouse and human monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against chikungunya virus and identified several with inhibitory activity against multiple alphaviruses. Passive transfer of broadly neutralizing MAbs protected mice against infection by chikungunya, Mayaro, and O'nyong'nyong alphaviruses. Using alanine-scanning mutagenesis, loss-of-function recombinant proteins and viruses, and multiple functional assays, we determined that broadly neutralizing MAbs block multiple steps in the viral lifecycle, including entry and egress, and bind to a conserved epitope on the B domain of the E2 glycoprotein. A 16 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of a Fab fragment bound to CHIKV E2 B domain provided an explanation for its neutralizing activity. Binding to the B domain was associated with repositioning of the A domain of E2 that enabled cross-linking of neighboring spikes. Our results suggest that B domain antigenic determinants could be targeted for vaccine or antibody therapeutic development against multiple alphaviruses of global concern.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization imaging mass spectrometry (MALDI IMS) is a powerful molecular mapping technology that offers unbiased visualization of the spatial arrangement of biomolecules in tissue. Although there has been a significant increase in the number of applications employing this technology, the extracellular matrix (ECM) has received little attention, likely because ECM proteins are mostly large, insoluble and heavily cross-linked. We have developed a new sample preparation approach to enable MALDI IMS analysis of ECM proteins in tissue. Prior to freezing and sectioning, intact tissues are decellularized by incubation in sodium dodecyl sulfate. Decellularization removes the highly abundant, soluble species that dominate a MALDI IMS spectrum while preserving the structural integrity of the ECM. In situ tryptic hydrolysis and imaging of tryptic peptides are then carried out to accommodate the large sizes of ECM proteins. This new approach allows the use of MALDI IMS for identification of spatially specific changes in ECM protein expression and modification in tissue.
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Next-generation sequencing has transformed the ability to link genotypes to phenotypes and facilitates the dissection of genetic contribution to complex traits. However, it is challenging to link genetic variants with the perturbed functional effects on proteins encoded by such genes. Here we show how RNA sequencing can be exploited to construct genotype-specific protein sequence databases to assess natural variation in proteins, providing information about the molecular toolbox driving cellular processes. For this study, we used two natural genotypes selected from a recent genome-wide association study of Populus trichocarpa, an obligate outcrosser with tremendous phenotypic variation across the natural population. This strategy allowed us to comprehensively catalogue proteins containing single amino acid polymorphisms (SAAPs), as well as insertions and deletions. We profiled the frequency of 128 types of naturally occurring amino acid substitutions, including both expected (neutral) and unexpected (non-neutral) SAAPs, with a subset occurring in regions of the genome having strong polymorphism patterns consistent with recent positive and/or divergent selection. By zeroing in on the molecular signatures of these important regions that might have previously been uncharacterized, we now provide a high-resolution molecular inventory that should improve accessibility and subsequent identification of natural protein variants in future genotype-to-phenotype studies.
BACKGROUND - Gastric cancer (GC) is a deadly malignancy worldwide. In the past, it has been shown that cellular signaling pathway alterations play a crucial role in the development of GC. In particular, deregulation of the PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway seems to affect multiple GC functions including growth, proliferation, metabolism, motility and angiogenesis. Targeting alterations in this pathway by microRNAs (miRNAs) represents a potential therapeutic strategy, especially in inhibitor-resistant tumors. The objective of this study was to evaluate the expression of 3 pre-selected miRNAs, miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a, in a series of primary GC tissues and matched non-GC tissues and in several GC-derived cell lines, and to subsequently evaluate the functional role of these miRNAs.
METHODS - Twenty-five primary GC samples, 25 matched non-GC samples and 3 GC-derived cell lines, i.e., AGS, MKN28 and MKN45, were included in this study. miRNA and target gene expression levels were assessed by quantitative RT-PCR and western blotting, respectively. Subsequently, cell viability, clone formation, cell death, migration and invasion assays were performed on AGS cells.
RESULTS - miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a were found to be down-regulated in the primary GC tissues and the GC-derived cell lines tested. MiRNA mimic transfections significantly reduced cell viability and colony formation, increased cell death and reduced cell migration and invasion in AGS cells. We also found that exogenous expression of miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a decreased the expression of their putative targets MTOR, PIK3CB and TSC1, respectively.
CONCLUSIONS - Our expression analyses and in vitro functional assays suggest that miR-101-2, miR-125b-2 and miR-451a act as potential tumor suppressors in primary GCs as well as in GC-derived AGS cells.
Helicobacter pylori exhibits a high level of intraspecies genetic diversity. In this study, we investigated whether the diversification of H. pylori is influenced by the composition of the diet. Specifically, we investigated the effect of a high-salt diet (a known risk factor for gastric adenocarcinoma) on H. pylori diversification within a host. We analyzed H. pylori strains isolated from Mongolian gerbils fed either a high-salt diet or a regular diet for 4 months by proteomic and whole-genome sequencing methods. Compared to the input strain and output strains from animals fed a regular diet, the output strains from animals fed a high-salt diet produced higher levels of proteins involved in iron acquisition and oxidative-stress resistance. Several of these changes were attributable to a nonsynonymous mutation in fur (fur-R88H). Further experiments indicated that this mutation conferred increased resistance to high-salt conditions and oxidative stress. We propose a model in which a high-salt diet leads to high levels of gastric inflammation and associated oxidative stress in H. pylori-infected animals and that these conditions, along with the high intraluminal concentrations of sodium chloride, lead to selection of H. pylori strains that are most fit for growth in this environment.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Autoreactive B lymphocytes that commonly arise in the developing repertoire can be salvaged by receptor editing, a central tolerance mechanism that alters BCR specificity through continued L chain rearrangement. It is unknown whether autoantigens with weak cross-linking potential, such as insulin, elicit receptor editing, or whether this process is dysregulated in related autoimmunity. To resolve these issues, we developed an editing-competent model in which anti-insulin Vκ125 was targeted to the Igκ locus and paired with anti-insulin VH125Tg. Physiologic, circulating insulin increased RAG-2 expression and was associated with BCR replacement that eliminated autoantigen recognition in a proportion of developing anti-insulin B lymphocytes. The proportion of anti-insulin B cells that underwent receptor editing was reduced in the type 1 diabetes-prone NOD strain relative to a nonautoimmune strain. Resistance to editing was associated with increased surface IgM expression on immature (but not transitional or mature) anti-insulin B cells in the NOD strain. The actions of mAb123 on central tolerance were also investigated, because selective targeting of insulin-occupied BCR by mAb123 eliminates anti-insulin B lymphocytes and prevents type 1 diabetes. Autoantigen targeting by mAb123 increased RAG-2 expression and dramatically enhanced BCR replacement in newly developed B lymphocytes. Administering F(ab')2123 induced IgM downregulation and reduced the frequency of anti-insulin B lymphocytes within the polyclonal repertoire of VH125Tg/NOD mice, suggesting enhanced central tolerance by direct BCR interaction. These findings indicate that weak or faulty checkpoints for central tolerance can be overcome by autoantigen-specific immunomodulatory therapy.
Copyright © 2015 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
KCNE1 is a single transmembrane protein that modulates the function of voltage-gated potassium channels, including KCNQ1. Hereditary mutations in the genes encoding either protein can result in diseases such as congenital deafness, long QT syndrome, ventricular tachyarrhythmia, syncope, and sudden cardiac death. Despite the biological significance of KCNE1, the structure and dynamic properties of its physiologically relevant native membrane-bound state are not fully understood. In this study, the structural dynamics and topology of KCNE1 in bilayered lipid vesicles was investigated using site-directed spin labeling (SDSL) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. A 53-residue nitroxide EPR scan of the KCNE1 protein sequence including all 27 residues of the transmembrane domain (45-71) and 26 residues of the N- and C-termini of KCNE1 in lipid bilayered vesicles was analyzed in terms of nitroxide side-chain motion. Continuous wave-EPR spectral line shape analysis indicated the nitroxide spin label side-chains located in the KCNE1 TMD are less mobile when compared to the extracellular region of KCNE1. The EPR data also revealed that the C-terminus of KCNE1 is more mobile when compared to the N-terminus. EPR power saturation experiments were performed on 41 sites including 18 residues previously proposed to reside in the transmembrane domain (TMD) and 23 residues of the N- and C-termini to determine the topology of KCNE1 with respect to the 1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine (POPC)/1-palmitoyl-2-oleoyl-sn-glycero-3-phospho-(1'-rac-glycerol) (POPG) lipid bilayers. The results indicated that the transmembrane domain is indeed buried within the membrane, spanning the width of the lipid bilayer. Power saturation data also revealed that the extracellular region of KCNE1 is solvent-exposed with some of the portions partially or weakly interacting with the membrane surface. These results are consistent with the previously published solution NMR structure of KCNE1 in micelles.
The rapid progress in high-throughput sequencing has significantly enriched our capacity for studying the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In addition to performing specific mitochondrial targeted sequencing, an increasingly popular alternative approach is using the off-target reads from exome sequencing to infer mtDNA variants, including single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and heteroplasmy. However, the effectiveness and practicality of this approach have not been tested. Recently, RNAseq data have also been suggested as a good source for alternative data mining, but whether mitochondrial variants can be detected from RNAseq data has not been validated. We designed a study to evaluate the practicability of mtDNA variant detection using exome and RNA sequencing data. Five breast cancer cell lines were sequenced through mitochondrial targeted, exome, and RNA sequencing. Mitochondrial targeted sequencing was used as the gold standard to compute the validation and false discovery rates of SNP and heteroplasmy detection in exome and RNAseq data. We found that exome and RNA sequencing can accurately detect mitochondrial SNPs. However, the lower false discovery rate makes exome sequencing a better choice for heteroplasmy detection than RNAseq. Furthermore, we examined three alignment strategies and found that aligning reads directly to the mitochondrial reference genome or aligning reads to the nuclear and mitochondrial references genomes simultaneously produced the best results, and that aligning to the nuclear genome first and afterwards to the mitochondrial genome performed poorly. In conclusion, our study provides important guidelines for future studies that intend to use either exome sequencing or RNAseq data to infer mitochondrial SNPs and heteroplasmy.
© The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press. For Permissions, please email: email@example.com.