Protein Science

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Wiley Online Library : Protein Science
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Insert engineering and solubility screening improves recovery of virus-like particle subunits displaying hydrophobic epitopes

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 23:02
Abstract

The Polyomavirus coat protein, VP1 has been developed as an epitope presentation system able to provoke humoral immunity against a variety of pathogens, such as Influenza and Group A Streptococcus. The ability of the system to carry cytotoxic T cell epitopes on a surface-exposed loop and the impact on protein solubility has not been examined. Four variations of three selected epitopes were cloned into surface-exposed loops of VP1, and expressed in Escherichia coli. VP1 pentamers, also known as capsomeres, were purified via a glutathione-S-transferase tag. Size exclusion chromatography indicated severe aggregation of the recombinant VP1 during enzymatic tag removal resulting from the introduction the hydrophobic epitopes. Inserts were modified to possess double aspartic acid residues at each end of the hydrophobic epitopes and a high-throughput buffer condition screen was implemented with protein aggregation monitored during tag removal by spectrophotometry and dynamic light scattering. These analyses showed that the insertion of charged residues at the extremities of epitopes could improve solubility of capsomeres and revealed multiple windows of opportunity for further condition optimization. A combination of epitope design, pH optimization, and the additive l-arginine permitted the recovery of soluble VP1 pentamers presenting hydrophobic epitopes and their subsequent assembly into virus-like particles.

Categories: Journal Articles

Structural insights into the intertwined dimer of fyn SH2

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 23:01
Abstract

Src homology 2 domains are interaction modules dedicated to the recognition of phosphotyrosine sites incorporated in numerous proteins found in intracellular signaling pathways. Here we provide for the first time structural insight into the dimerization of Fyn SH2 both in solution and in crystalline conditions, providing novel crystal structures of both the dimer and peptide-bound structures of Fyn SH2. Using nuclear magnetic resonance chemical shift analysis, we show how the peptide is able to eradicate the dimerization, leading to monomeric SH2 in its bound state. Furthermore, we show that Fyn SH2's dimer form differs from other SH2 dimers reported earlier. Interestingly, the Fyn dimer can be used to construct a completed dimer model of Fyn without any steric clashes. Together these results extend our understanding of SH2 dimerization, giving structural details, on one hand, and suggesting a possible physiological relevance of such behavior, on the other hand.

Categories: Journal Articles

KDAC8 substrate specificity quantified by a biologically relevant, label-free deacetylation assay

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 22:59
Abstract

Analysis of the human proteome has identified thousands of unique protein sequences that contain acetylated lysine residues in vivo. These modifications regulate a variety of biological processes and are reversed by the lysine deacetylase (KDAC) family of enzymes. Despite the known prevalence and importance of acetylation, the details of KDAC substrate recognition are not well understood. While several methods have been developed to monitor protein deacetylation, none are particularly suited for identifying enzyme-substrate pairs of label-free substrates across the entire family of lysine deacetylases. Here, we present a fluorescamine-based assay which is more biologically relevant than existing methods and amenable to probing substrate specificity. Using this assay, we evaluated the activity of KDAC8 and other lysine deacetylases, including a sirtuin, for several peptides derived from known acetylated proteins. KDAC8 showed clear preferences for some peptides over others, indicating that the residues immediately surrounding the acetylated lysine play an important role in substrate specificity. Steady-state kinetics suggest that the sequence surrounding the acetylated lysine affects binding affinity and catalytic rate independently. Our results provide direct evidence that potential KDAC8 substrates previously identified through cell based experiments can be directly deacetylated by KDAC8. Conversely, the data from this assay did not correlate well with predictions from previous screens for KDAC8 substrates using less biologically relevant substrates and assay conditions. Combining results from our assay with mass spectrometry-based experiments and cell-based experiments will allow the identification of specific KDAC-substrate pairs and lead to a better understanding of the biological consequences of these interactions.

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Binding screen for cftr correctors finds new chemical matter and yields insights into cf therapeutic strategy

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 03:22
Abstract

The most common mutation in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients is deletion of F508 (ΔF508) in the first nucleotide binding domain (NBD1) of the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). ΔF508 causes a decrease in the trafficking of CFTR to the cell surface and reduces the thermal stability of isolated NBD1; it is well established that both of these effects can be rescued by additional revertant mutations in NBD1. The current paradigm in CF small molecule drug discovery is that, like revertant mutations, a path may exist to ΔF508 CFTR correction through a small molecule chaperone binding to NBD1. We therefore set out to find small molecule binders of NBD1 and test if it is possible to develop these molecules into potent binders that increase CFTR trafficking in CF-patient derived hBE cells. Several fragments were identified that bind NBD1 at either the CFFT-001 site or the BIA site. However, repeated attempts to improve the affinity of these fragments resulted in only modest gains. While these results cannot prove there is no possibility of finding a high affinity small molecule binder of NBD1, they are discouraging and lead us to hypothesize that the nature of these two binding sites, and isolated NBD1 itself, may not contain the features needed to build high affinity interactions. Future work in this area may therefore require constructs including other domains of CFTR in addition to NBD1 if high affinity small molecule binding is to be achieved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

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Implications of aromatic–aromatic interactions: From protein structures to peptide models

Wed, 10/07/2015 - 00:49
Abstract

With increasing structural information on proteins, the opportunity to understand physical forces governing protein folding is also expanding. One of the significant non-covalent forces between the protein side chains is aromatic–aromatic interactions. Aromatic interactions have been widely exploited and thoroughly investigated in the context of folding, stability, molecular recognition, and self-assembly processes. Through this review, we discuss the contribution of aromatic interactions to the activity and stability of thermophilic, mesophilic, and psychrophilic proteins. Being hydrophobic, aromatic amino acids tend to reside in the protein hydrophobic interior or transmembrane segments of proteins. In such positions, it can play a diverse role in soluble and membrane proteins, and in α-helix and β-sheet stabilization. We also highlight here some excellent investigations made using peptide models and several approaches involving aryl–aryl interactions, as an increasingly popular strategy in protein and peptide engineering. A recent survey described the existence of aromatic clusters (trimer, tetramer, pentamer, and higher order assemblies), revealing the self-associating property of aryl groups, even in folded protein structures. The application of this self-assembly of aromatics in the generation of modern bionanomaterials is also discussed.

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Successful application of the DBLOC method to the hydroxylation of camphor by cytochrome p450

Tue, 10/06/2015 - 10:06
Abstract

The activation barrier for the hydroxylation of camphor by cytochrome P450 is computed using a mixed quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics (QM/MM) model of the full protein-ligand system and a fully QM calculation using a cluster model of the active site at the B3LYP/LACVP*/LACV3P** level of theory, which consists of B3LYP/LACV3P** single point energies computed at B3LYP/LACVP* optimized geometries. From the QM/MM calculation, we obtain a barrier height of 17.5 kcal/mol, while the experimental value is known to be less than or equal to 10 kcal/mol. This process was repeated using the D3 correction for hybrid DFT in order to investigate whether the inadequate treatment of dispersion interaction is responsible for the overestimation of the barrier. While the D3 correction does reduce the computed barrier to 13.3 kcal/mol, it is still in disagreement with experiment. After application of a series of transition metal optimized localized orbital corrections (DBLOC) and without any refitting of parameters, the barrier is further reduced to 10.0 kcal/mol, which is consistent with the experimental results. We also apply the DBLOC method to C-H bond activation in methane monooxygenase (MMO), as a second, independent test. The barrier in MMO is known, by experiment, to be 15.4 kcal/mol.1 After application of the DBLOC corrections to the MMO barrier compute by B3LYP, in a previous study, and accounting for dispersion with Grimme's D3 method, the unsigned deviation from experiment is improved from 3.2 kcal/mol to 2.3 kcal/mol. These results suggest that the combination of dispersion plus localized orbital corrections can yield significant quantitative improvements in modeling the catalytic chemistry of transition –metal containing enzymes, within the limitations of the statistical errors of the model, which appear to be on the order of ∼2 kcal/mole. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Categories: Journal Articles

Destabilization of the dimer interface is a common consequence of diverse ALS-associated mutations in metal free SOD1

Mon, 10/05/2015 - 23:21
Abstract

Neurotoxic misfolding of Cu, Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) is implicated in causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a devastating and incurable neurodegenerative disease. Disease-linked mutations in SOD1 have been proposed to promote misfolding and aggregation by decreasing protein stability and increasing the proportion of less folded forms of the protein. Here we report direct measurement of the thermodynamic effects of chemically and structurally diverse mutations on the stability of the dimer interface for metal free (apo) SOD1 using isothermal titration calorimetry and size exclusion chromatography. Remarkably, all mutations studied, even ones distant from the dimer interface, decrease interface stability, and increase the population of monomeric SOD1. We interpret the thermodynamic data to mean that substantial structural perturbations accompany dimer dissociation, resulting in the formation of poorly packed and malleable dissociated monomers. These findings provide key information for understanding the mechanisms and energetics underlying normal maturation of SOD1, as well as toxic SOD1 misfolding pathways associated with disease. Furthermore, accurate prediction of protein–protein association remains very difficult, especially when large structural changes are involved in the process, and our findings provide a quantitative set of data for such cases, to improve modelling of protein association.

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NMR analysis of the interaction of picornaviral proteinases Lb and 2A with their substrate eukaryotic initiation factor 4GII

Sun, 10/04/2015 - 23:53
Abstract

Messenger RNA is recruited to the eukaryotic ribosome by a complex including the eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 4E (the cap-binding protein), the scaffold protein eIF4G and the RNA helicase eIF4A. To shut-off host–cell protein synthesis, eIF4G is cleaved during picornaviral infection by a virally encoded proteinase; the structural basis of this reaction and its stimulation by eIF4E is unclear. We have structurally and biochemically investigated the interaction of purified foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) leader proteinase (Lbpro), human rhinovirus 2 (HRV2) 2A proteinase (2Apro) and coxsackievirus B4 (CVB4) 2Apro with purified eIF4GII, eIF4E and the eIF4GII/eIF4E complex. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), we completed 13C/15N sequential backbone assignment of human eIF4GII residues 551–745 and examined their binding to murine eIF4E. eIF4GII551–745 is intrinsically unstructured and remains so when bound to eIF4E. NMR and biophysical techniques for determining stoichiometry and binding constants revealed that the papain-like Lbpro only forms a stable complex with eIF4GII551–745 in the presence of eIF4E, with KD values in the low nanomolar range; Lbpro contacts both eIF4GII and eIF4E. Furthermore, the unrelated chymotrypsin-like 2Apro from HRV2 and CVB4 also build a stable complex with eIF4GII/eIF4E, but with KD values in the low micromolar range. The HRV2 enzyme also forms a stable complex with eIF4E; however, none of the proteinases tested complex stably with eIF4GII alone. Thus, these three picornaviral proteinases have independently evolved to establish distinct triangular heterotrimeric protein complexes that may actively target ribosomes involved in mRNA recruitment to ensure efficient host cell shut-off.

Categories: Journal Articles

Crystal structure of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis transcriptional regulator Rv0302

Tue, 09/29/2015 - 11:01
Abstract

Mycobacterium tuberculosis is a pathogenic bacterial species, which is neither Gram positive nor Gram negative. It has a unique cell wall, making it difficult to kill and conferring resistance to antibiotics that disrupt cell wall biosynthesis. Thus, the mycobacterial cell wall is critical to the virulence of these pathogens. Recent work shows that the mycobacterial membrane protein large (MmpL) family of transporters contributes to cell wall biosynthesis by exporting fatty acids and lipidic elements of the cell wall. The expression of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis MmpL proteins is controlled by a complicated regulatory network system. Here we report crystallographic structures of two forms of the TetR-family transcriptional regulator Rv0302, which participates in regulating the expression of MmpL proteins. The structures reveal a dimeric, two-domain molecule with architecture consistent with the TetR family of regulators. Comparison of the two Rv0302 crystal structures suggests that the conformational changes leading to derepression may be due to a rigid body rotational motion within the dimer interface of the regulator. Using fluorescence polarization and electrophoretic mobility shift assays, we demonstrate the recognition of promoter and intragenic regions of multiple mmpL genes by this protein. In addition, our isothermal titration calorimetry and electrophoretic mobility shift experiments indicate that fatty acids may be the natural ligand of this regulator. Taken together, these experiments provide new perspectives on the regulation of the MmpL family of transporters.

Categories: Journal Articles

A model for activation of the hexadecameric phosphorylase kinase complex deduced from zero-length oxidative crosslinking

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 22:49
Abstract

Phosphorylase kinase (PhK) is a hexadecameric (αβγδ)4 enzyme complex that upon activation by phosphorylation stimulates glycogenolysis. Due to its large size (1.3 MDa), elucidating the structural changes associated with the activation of PhK has been challenging, although phosphoactivation has been linked with an increased tendency of the enzyme's regulatory β-subunits to self-associate. Here we report the effect of a peptide mimetic of the phosphoryltable N-termini of β on the selective, zero-length, oxidative crosslinking of these regulatory subunits to form β–β dimers in the nonactivated PhK complex. This peptide stimulated β–β dimer formation when not phosphorylated, but was considerably less effective in its phosphorylated form. Because this peptide mimetic of β competes with its counterpart region in the nonactivated enzyme complex in binding to the catalytic γ-subunit, we were able to formulate a structural model for the phosphoactivation of PhK. In this model, the nonactivated state of PhK is maintained by the interaction between the nonphosphorylated N-termini of β and the regulatory C-terminal domains of the γ-subunits; phosphorylation of β weakens this interaction, leading to activation of the γ-subunits.

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Atypical effect of temperature tuning on the insertion of the catalytic iron−sulfur center in a recombinant [FeFe]-hydrogenase

Thu, 09/24/2015 - 22:48
Abstract

The expression of recombinant [FeFe]-hydrogenases is an important step for the production of large amount of these enzymes for their exploitation in biotechnology and for the characterization of the protein-metal cofactor interactions. The correct assembly of the organometallic catalytic site, named H-cluster, requires a dedicated set of maturases that must be coexpressed in the microbial hosts or used for in vitro assembly of the active enzymes. In this work, the effect of the post-induction temperature on the recombinant expression of CaHydA [FeFe]-hydrogenase in E. coli is investigated. The results show a peculiar behavior: the enzyme expression is maximum at lower temperatures (20°C), while the specific activity of the purified CaHydA is higher at higher temperature (30°C), as a consequence of improved protein folding and active site incorporation.

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Protonation states and catalysis: Molecular dynamics studies of intermediates in tryptophan synthase

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 00:52
Abstract

The importance of protonation states and proton transfer in pyridoxal 5’-phosphate (PLP)-chemistry can hardly be overstated. Although experimental approaches to investigate pKa values can provide general guidance for assigning proton locations, only static pictures of the chemical species are available. To obtain the overall protein dynamics for the interpretation of detailed enzyme catalysis in this study, guided by information from solid-state NMR, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations for the PLP-dependent enzyme tryptophan synthase (TRPS), whose catalytic mechanism features multiple quasi-stable intermediates. The primary objective of this work is to elucidate how the position of a single proton on the reacting substrate affects local and global protein dynamics during the catalytic cycle. In general, proteins create a chemical environment and an ensemble of conformational motions to recognize different substrates with different protonations. The study of these interactions in TRPS shows that functional groups on the reacting substrate, such as the phosphoryl group, pyridine nitrogen, phenolic oxygen and carboxyl group, of each PLP-bound intermediate play a crucial role in constructing an appropriate molecular interface with TRPS. In particular, the protonation states of the ionizable groups on the PLP cofactor may enhance or weaken the attractions between the enzyme and substrate. In addition, remodulation of the charge distribution for the intermediates may help generate a suitable environment for chemical reactions. The results of our study enhance knowledge of protonation states for several PLP intermediates and help to elucidate their effects on protein dynamics in the function of TRPS and other PLP-dependent enzymes.

Categories: Journal Articles

A community resource of experimental data for NMR / X-ray crystal structure pairs

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 00:51
Abstract

We have developed an online NMR / X-ray Structure Pair Data Repository. The NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative (PSI) has provided many valuable reagents, 3D structures, and technologies for structural biology. The Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium was one of several PSI centers. NESG used both X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy for protein structure determination. A key goal of the PSI was to provide experimental structures for at least one representative of each of hundreds of targeted protein domain families. In some cases, structures for identical (or nearly identical) constructs were determined by both NMR and X-ray crystallography. NMR spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction data for 41 of these “NMR / X-ray” structure pairs determined using conventional triple-resonance NMR methods with extensive sidechain resonance assignments have been organized in an online NMR / X-ray Structure Pair Data Repository. In addition, several NMR data sets for perdeuterated, methyl-protonated protein samples are included in this repository. As an example of the utility of this repository, these data were used to revisit questions about the precision and accuracy of protein NMR structures first outlined by Levy and coworkers several years ago (Andrec et al., Proteins 2007;69:449–465). These results demonstrate that the agreement between NMR and X-ray crystal structures is improved using modern methods of protein NMR spectroscopy. The NMR / X-ray Structure Pair Data Repository will provide a valuable resource for new computational NMR methods development.

Categories: Journal Articles

Structural and mechanistic insights on nitrate reductases

Tue, 09/22/2015 - 00:46
Abstract

Nitrate reductases (NR) belong to the DMSO reductase family of Mo-containing enzymes and perform key roles in the metabolism of the nitrogen cycle, reducing nitrate to nitrite. Due to variable cell location, structure and function, they have been divided into periplasmic (Nap), cytoplasmic, and membrane-bound (Nar) nitrate reductases. The first crystal structure obtained for a NR was that of the monomeric NapA from Desulfovibrio desulfuricans in 1999. Since then several new crystal structures were solved providing novel insights that led to the revision of the commonly accepted reaction mechanism for periplasmic nitrate reductases. The two crystal structures available for the NarGHI protein are from the same organism (Escherichia coli) and the combination with electrochemical and spectroscopic studies also lead to the proposal of a reaction mechanism for this group of enzymes. Here we present an overview on the current advances in structural and functional aspects of bacterial nitrate reductases, focusing on the mechanistic implications drawn from the crystallographic data.

Categories: Journal Articles

The loss of inhibitory C-terminal conformations in disease associated P123H β-synuclein

Mon, 09/21/2015 - 00:05
Abstract

β-synuclein (βS) is a homologue of α-synuclein (αS), the major protein component of Lewy bodies in patients with Parkinson's disease. In contrast to αS, βS does not form fibrils, mitigates αS toxicity in vivo and inhibits αS fibril formation in vitro. Previously a missense mutation of βS, P123H, was identified in patients with Dementia with Lewy Body disease. The single P123H mutation at the C-terminus of βS is able to convert βS from a nontoxic to a toxic protein that is also able to accelerate formation of inclusions when it is in the presence of αS in vivo. To elucidate the molecular mechanisms of these processes, we compare the conformational properties of the monomer forms of αS, βS and P123H-βS, and the effects on fibril formation of coincubation of αS with βS, and with P123H-βS. NMR residual dipolar couplings and secondary structure propensities show that the P123H mutation of βS renders it more flexible C-terminal to the mutation site and more αS-like. In vitro Thioflavin T fluorescence experiments show that P123H-βS accelerates αS fibril formation upon coincubation, as opposed to wild type βS that acts as an inhibitor of αS aggregation. When P123H-βS becomes more αS-like it is unable to perform the protective function of βS, which suggests that the extended polyproline II motif of βS in the C-terminus is critical to its nontoxic nature and to inhibition of αS upon coincubation. These studies may provide a basis for understanding which regions to target for therapeutic intervention in Parkinson's disease.

Categories: Journal Articles

Structure of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase bound to a novel 38-mer hairpin template-primer DNA aptamer

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 00:54
Abstract

The development of a modified DNA aptamer that binds HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) with ultra-high affinity has enabled the X-ray structure determination of an HIV-1 RT-DNA complex to 2.3 Å resolution without the need for an antibody Fab fragment or RT-DNA cross-linking. The 38-mer hairpin-DNA aptamer has a 15 base-pair duplex, a three-deoxythymidine hairpin loop, and a five-nucleotide 5′-overhang. The aptamer binds RT in a template-primer configuration with the 3′-end positioned at the polymerase active site and has 2′-O-methyl modifications at the second and fourth duplex template nucleotides that interact with the p66 fingers and palm subdomains. This structure represents the highest resolution RT-nucleic acid structure to date. The RT-aptamer complex is catalytically active and can serve as a platform for studying fundamental RT mechanisms and for development of anti-HIV inhibitors through fragment screening and other approaches. Additionally, the structure allows for a detailed look at a unique aptamer design and provides the molecular basis for its remarkably high affinity for RT.

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Aromatic residues in RNase T stack with nucleobases to guide the sequence-specific recognition and cleavage of nucleic acids

Fri, 09/18/2015 - 00:51
Abstract

RNase T is a classical member of the DEDDh family of exonucleases with a unique sequence preference in that its 3′-to-5′ exonuclease activity is blocked by a 3′-terminal dinucleotide CC in digesting both single-stranded RNA and DNA. Our previous crystal structure analysis of RNase T-DNA complexes show that four phenylalanine residues, F29, F77, F124, and F146, stack with the two 3′-terminal nucleobases. To elucidate if the π–π stacking interactions between aromatic residues and nucleobases play a critical role in sequence-specific protein–nucleic acid recognition, here we mutated two to four of the phenylalanine residues in RNase T to tryptophan (W mutants) and tyrosine (Y mutants). The Escherichia coli strains expressing either the W mutants or the Y mutants had slow growth phenotypes, suggesting that all of these mutants could not fully substitute the function of the wild-type RNase T in vivo. DNA digestion assays revealed W mutants shared similar sequence specificity with wild-type RNase T. However, the Y mutants exhibited altered sequence-dependent activity, digesting ssDNA with both 3′-end CC and GG sequences. Moreover, the W and Y mutants had reduced DNA-binding activity and lower thermal stability as compared to wild-type RNase T. Taken together, our results suggest that the four phenylalanine residues in RNase T not only play critical roles in sequence-specific recognition, but also in overall protein stability. Our results provide the first evidence showing that the π−π stacking interactions between nucleobases and protein aromatic residues may guide the sequence-specific activity for DNA and RNA enzymes.

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Selection of recombinant anti-SH3 domain antibodies by high-throughput phage display

Wed, 09/16/2015 - 06:47
Abstract

Antibodies are indispensable tools in biochemical research and play an expanding role as therapeutics. While hybridoma technology is the dominant method for antibody production, phage display is an emerging technology. Here, we developed and employed a high-throughput pipeline that enables selection of antibodies against hundreds of antigens in parallel. Binding selections using a phage-displayed synthetic antigen-binding fragment (Fab) library against 110 human SH3 domains yielded hundreds of Fabs targeting 58 antigens. Affinity assays demonstrated that representative Fabs bind tightly and specifically to their targets. Furthermore, we developed an efficient affinity maturation strategy adaptable to high-throughput, which increased affinity dramatically but did not compromise specificity. Finally, we tested Fabs in common cell biology applications and confirmed recognition of the full-length antigen in immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence assays. In summary, we have established a rapid and robust high-throughput methodology that can be applied to generate highly functional and renewable antibodies targeting protein domains on a proteome-wide scale.

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Observed surface lysine acetylation of human carbonic anhydrase II expressed in Escherichia coli

Tue, 09/15/2015 - 00:33
Abstract

Acetylation of surface lysine residues of proteins has been observed in Escherichia coli (E. coli), an organism that has been extensively utilized for recombinant protein expression. This post-translational modification is shown to be important in various processes such as metabolism, stress-response, transcription, and translation. As such, utilization of E. coli expression systems for protein production may yield non-native acetylation events of surface lysine residues. Here we present the crystal structures of wild-type and a variant of human carbonic anhydrase II (hCA II) that have been expressed in E. coli and exhibit surface lysine acetylation and we speculate on the effect this has on the conformational stability of each enzyme. Both structures were determined to 1.6 Å resolution and show clear electron density for lysine acetylation. The lysine acetylation does not distort the structure and the surface lysine acetylation events most likely do not interfere with the biological interpretation. However, there is a reduction in conformational stability in the hCA II variant compared to wild type (∼4°C decrease). This may be due to other lysine acetylation events that have occurred but are not visible in the crystal structure due to intrinsic disorder. Therefore, surface lysine acetylation events may affect overall protein stability and crystallization, and should be considered when using E. coli expression systems.

Categories: Journal Articles

Estimating first-passage time distributions from weighted ensemble simulations and non-Markovian analyses

Wed, 09/09/2015 - 23:55
Abstract

First-passage times (FPTs) are widely used to characterize stochastic processes such as chemical reactions, protein folding, diffusion processes or triggering a stock option. In previous work (Suarez et al., JCTC 2014;10:2658-2667), we demonstrated a non-Markovian analysis approach that, with a sufficient subset of history information, yields unbiased mean first-passage times from weighted-ensemble (WE) simulations. The estimation of the distribution of the first-passage times is, however, a more ambitious goal since it cannot be obtained by direct observation in WE trajectories. Likewise, a large number of events would be required to make a good estimation of the distribution from a regular “brute force” simulation. Here, we show how the previously developed non-Markovian analysis can generate approximate, but highly accurate, FPT distributions from WE data. The analysis can also be applied to any other unbiased trajectories, such as from standard molecular dynamics simulations. The present study employs a range of systems with independent verification of the distributions to demonstrate the success and limitations of the approach. By comparison to a standard Markov analysis, the non-Markovian approach is less sensitive to the user-defined discretization of configuration space.

Categories: Journal Articles