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Basement membranes are defining features of the cellular microenvironment; however, little is known regarding their assembly outside cells. We report that extracellular Cl(-) ions signal the assembly of collagen IV networks outside cells by triggering a conformational switch within collagen IV noncollagenous 1 (NC1) domains. Depletion of Cl(-) in cell culture perturbed collagen IV networks, disrupted matrix architecture, and repositioned basement membrane proteins. Phylogenetic evidence indicates this conformational switch is a fundamental mechanism of collagen IV network assembly throughout Metazoa. Using recombinant triple helical protomers, we prove that NC1 domains direct both protomer and network assembly and show in Drosophila that NC1 architecture is critical for incorporation into basement membranes. These discoveries provide an atomic-level understanding of the dynamic interactions between extracellular Cl(-) and collagen IV assembly outside cells, a critical step in the assembly and organization of basement membranes that enable tissue architecture and function. Moreover, this provides a mechanistic framework for understanding the molecular pathobiology of NC1 domains.
© 2016 Cummings et al.
Despite impressive successes in protein design, designing a well-folded protein of more 100 amino acids de novo remains a formidable challenge. Exploiting the promising biophysical features of the artificial protein Octarellin V, we improved this protein by directed evolution, thus creating a more stable and soluble protein: Octarellin V.1. Next, we obtained crystals of Octarellin V.1 in complex with crystallization chaperons and determined the tertiary structure. The experimental structure of Octarellin V.1 differs from its in silico design: the (αβα) sandwich architecture bears some resemblance to a Rossman-like fold instead of the intended TIM-barrel fold. This surprising result gave us a unique and attractive opportunity to test the state of the art in protein structure prediction, using this artificial protein free of any natural selection. We tested 13 automated webservers for protein structure prediction and found none of them to predict the actual structure. More than 50% of them predicted a TIM-barrel fold, i.e. the structure we set out to design more than 10years ago. In addition, local software runs that are human operated can sample a structure similar to the experimental one but fail in selecting it, suggesting that the scoring and ranking functions should be improved. We propose that artificial proteins could be used as tools to test the accuracy of protein structure prediction algorithms, because their lack of evolutionary pressure and unique sequences features.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
In silico prediction of a protein's tertiary structure remains an unsolved problem. The community-wide Critical Assessment of Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) experiment provides a double-blind study to evaluate improvements in protein structure prediction algorithms. We developed a protein structure prediction pipeline employing a three-stage approach, consisting of low-resolution topology search, high-resolution refinement, and molecular dynamics simulation to predict the tertiary structure of proteins from the primary structure alone or including distance restraints either from predicted residue-residue contacts, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) nuclear overhauser effect (NOE) experiments, or mass spectroscopy (MS) cross-linking (XL) data. The protein structure prediction pipeline was evaluated in the CASP11 experiment on twenty regular protein targets as well as thirty-three 'assisted' protein targets, which also had distance restraints available. Although the low-resolution topology search module was able to sample models with a global distance test total score (GDT_TS) value greater than 30% for twelve out of twenty proteins, frequently it was not possible to select the most accurate models for refinement, resulting in a general decay of model quality over the course of the prediction pipeline. In this study, we provide a detailed overall analysis, study one target protein in more detail as it travels through the protein structure prediction pipeline, and evaluate the impact of limited experimental data.
Assembly of HIV-1 particles is initiated by the trafficking of viral Gag polyproteins from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane, where they co-localize and bud to form immature particles. Membrane targeting is mediated by the N-terminally myristoylated matrix (MA) domain of Gag and is dependent on the plasma membrane marker phosphatidylinositol-4,5-bisphosphate [PI(4,5)P2]. Recent studies revealed that PI(4,5)P2 molecules containing truncated acyl chains [tr-PI(4,5)P2] are capable of binding MA in an "extended lipid" conformation and promoting myristoyl exposure. Here we report that tr-PI(4,5)P2 molecules also readily bind to non-membrane proteins, including HIV-1 capsid, which prompted us to re-examine MA-PI(4,5)P2 interactions using native lipids and membrane mimetic liposomes and bicelles. Liposome binding trends observed using a recently developed NMR approach paralleled results of flotation assays, although the affinities measured under the equilibrium conditions of NMR experiments were significantly higher. Native PI(4,5)P2 enhanced MA binding to liposomes designed to mimic non-raft-like regions of the membrane, suggesting the possibility that binding of the protein to disordered domains may precede Gag association with, or nucleation of, rafts. Studies with bicelles revealed a subset of surface and myr-associated MA residues that are sensitive to native PI(4,5)P2, but cleft residues that interact with the 2'-acyl chains of tr-PI(4,5)P2 molecules in aqueous solution were insensitive to native PI(4,5)P2 in bicelles. Our findings call to question extended-lipid MA:membrane binding models, and instead support a model put forward from coarse-grained simulations indicating that binding is mediated predominantly by dynamic, electrostatic interactions between conserved basic residues of MA and multiple PI(4,5)P2 and phosphatidylserine molecules.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
DNA damage and other forms of replication stress can cause replication forks to stall. Replication stress response proteins stabilize and resolve stalled forks by mechanisms that include fork remodeling to facilitate repair or bypass of damaged templates. Several enzymes including SMARCAL1, HLTF, and ZRANB3 catalyze these reactions. SMARCAL1 and HLTF utilize structurally distinct accessory domains attached to an ATPase motor domain to facilitate DNA binding and catalysis of fork remodeling reactions. Here we describe a substrate recognition domain within ZRANB3 that is needed for it to recognize forked DNA structures, hydrolyze ATP, catalyze fork remodeling, and act as a structure-specific endonuclease. Thus, substrate recognition domains are a common feature of fork remodeling, SNF2-family, DNA-dependent ATPases, and our study provides further mechanistic understanding of how these enzymes maintain genome integrity during DNA replication.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
F-BAR proteins link cellular membranes to the actin cytoskeleton in many biological processes. Here we investigated the function of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe Imp2 F-BAR domain in cytokinesis and find that it is critical for Imp2's role in contractile ring constriction and disassembly. To understand mechanistically how the F-BAR domain functions, we determined its structure, elucidated how it interacts with membranes, and identified an interaction between dimers that allows helical oligomerization and membrane tubulation. Using mutations that block either membrane binding or tubulation, we find that membrane binding is required for Imp2's cytokinetic function but that oligomerization and tubulation, activities often deemed central to F-BAR protein function, are dispensable. Accordingly, F-BARs that do not have the capacity to tubulate membranes functionally substitute for the Imp2 F-BAR, establishing that its major role is as a cell-cycle-regulated bridge between the membrane and Imp2 protein partners, rather than as a driver of membrane curvature.
Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Herein, we report the discovery of 2-amino-4-bis(aryloxybenzyl)aminobutanoic acids as novel inhibitors of ASCT2(SLC1A5)-mediated glutamine accumulation in mammalian cells. Focused library development led to two novel ASCT2 inhibitors that exhibit significantly improved potency compared with prior art in C6 (rat) and HEK293 (human) cells. The potency of leads reported here represents a 40-fold improvement over our most potent, previously reported inhibitor and represents, to our knowledge, the most potent pharmacological inhibitors of ASCT2-mediated glutamine accumulation in live cells. These and other compounds in this novel series exhibit tractable chemical properties for further development as potential therapeutic leads.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Ribonucleotides and 2'-deoxyribonucleotides are the basic units for RNA and DNA, respectively, and the only difference is the extra 2'-OH group on the ribonucleotide sugar. Cellular rNTP concentrations are much higher than those of dNTP. When copying DNA, DNA polymerases not only select the base of the incoming dNTP to form a Watson-Crick pair with the template base but also distinguish the sugar moiety. Some DNA polymerases use a steric gate residue to prevent rNTP incorporation by creating a clash with the 2'-OH group. Y-family human DNA polymerase η (hpol η) is of interest because of its spacious active site (especially in the major groove) and tolerance of DNA lesions. Here, we show that hpol η maintains base selectivity when incorporating rNTPs opposite undamaged DNA and the DNA lesions 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine and cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer but with rates that are 10(3)-fold lower than for inserting the corresponding dNTPs. X-ray crystal structures show that the hpol η scaffolds the incoming rNTP to pair with the template base (dG) or 7,8-dihydro-8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine with a significant propeller twist. As a result, the 2'-OH group avoids a clash with the steric gate, Phe-18, but the distance between primer end and Pα of the incoming rNTP increases by 1 Å, elevating the energy barrier and slowing polymerization compared with dNTP. In addition, Tyr-92 was identified as a second line of defense to maintain the position of Phe-18. This is the first crystal structure of a DNA polymerase with an incoming rNTP opposite a DNA lesion.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Escherichia coli 5'-nucleotidase is a two-domain enzyme exhibiting a unique 96° domain motion that is required for catalysis. Here we present an integrated structural biology study that combines DEER distance distributions with structural information from X-ray crystallography and computational biology to describe the population of presumably almost isoenergetic open and closed states in solution. Ensembles of models that best represent the experimental distance distributions are determined by a Monte Carlo search algorithm. As a result, predominantly open conformations are observed in the unliganded state indicating that the majority of enzyme molecules await substrate binding for the catalytic cycle. The addition of a substrate analog yields ensembles with an almost equal mixture of open and closed states. Thus, in the presence of substrate, efficient catalysis is provided by the simultaneous appearance of open conformers (binding substrate or releasing product) and closed conformers (enabling the turnover of the substrate).
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is defined by clinical manifestations that include thrombosis and/or fetal loss or pregnancy morbidity in patients with antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Antiphospholipid antibodies are among the most common causes of acquired thrombophilia, but unlike most of the genetic thrombophilias are associated with both venous and arterial thrombosis. Despite an abundance of clinical and basic research on aPL, a unified mechanism that explains their prothrombotic activity has not been defined; this may reflect the heterogeneity of aPL and/or the fact that they may influence multiple pro- and/or antithrombotic pathways. Antiphospholipid antibodies are directed primarily toward phospholipid binding proteins rather than phospholipid per se, with the most common antigenic target being β2-glycoprotein 1 (β2GPI) although antibodies against other targets such as prothrombin are well described. Laboratory diagnosis of aPL depends upon the detection of a lupus anticoagulant (LA), which prolongs phospholipid-dependent anticoagulation tests, and/or anticardiolipin and anti-β2-glycoprotein 1 antibodies. Indefinite anticoagulation remains the mainstay of therapy for thrombotic APS, although new strategies that may improve outcomes are emerging. Preliminary reports suggest caution in the use of direct oral anticoagulants in patients with APS-associated thrombosis. Based on somewhat limited evidence, aspirin and low molecular weight heparin are recommended for obstetrical APS. There remains a pressing need for better understanding of the pathogenesis of APS in humans, for identification of clinical and laboratory parameters that define patients at greatest risk for APS-related events, and for targeted treatment of this common yet enigmatic disorder.
© 2015 by The American Society of Hematology. All rights reserved.