Phase Ib study evaluating a self-adjuvanted mRNA cancer vaccine (RNActive®) combined with local radiation as consolidation and maintenance treatment for patients with stage IV non-small cell lung cancer
Sven D. Koch
Altered mucosal immune response after acute lung injury in a murine model of Ataxia Telangiectasia
Su Youn Kim
Antigenic and 3D structural characterization of soluble X4 and hybrid X4-R5 HIV-1 Env trimers
Correlative light- and electron microscopy with chemical tags
Margot P. Scheffer
Erin M. Schuman
Achilleas S. Frangakis
- Correlative microscopy incorporates the specificity of fluorescent protein labeling into high-resolution electron micrographs. Several approaches exist for correlative microscopy, most of which have used the green fluorescent protein (GFP) as the label for light microscopy. Here we use chemical tagging and synthetic fluorophores instead, in order to achieve protein-specific labeling, and to perform multicolor imaging. We show that synthetic fluorophores preserve their post-embedding fluorescence in the presence of uranyl acetate. Post-embedding fluorescence is of such quality that the specimen can be prepared with identical protocols for scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM); this is particularly valuable when singular or otherwise difficult samples are examined. We show that synthetic fluorophores give bright, well-resolved signals in super-resolution light microscopy, enabling us to superimpose light microscopic images with a precision of up to 25 nm in the x-y plane on electron micrographs. To exemplify the preservation quality of our new method we visualize the molecular arrangement of cadherins in adherens junctions of mouse epithelial cells.
Chemically induced photoswitching of fluorescent probes - a general concept for super-resolution microscopy
Peter J. Verveer
- We review fluorescent probes that can be photoswitched or photoactivated and are suited for single-molecule localization based super-resolution microscopy. We exploit the underlying photochemical mechanisms that allow photoswitching of many synthetic organic fluorophores in the presence of reducing agents, and study the impact of these on the photoswitching properties of various photoactivatable or photoconvertible fluorescent proteins. We have identified mEos2 as a fluorescent protein that exhibits reversible photoswitching under various imaging buffer conditions and present strategies to characterize reversible photoswitching. Finally, we discuss opportunities to combine fluorescent proteins with organic fluorophores for dual-color photoswitching microscopy.
Species differences in bacterial NhaA Na+/H+ exchangers
- Bacteria have adapted their NhaA Na(+)/H(+) exchangers responsible for salt homeostasis to their different habitats. We present an electrophysiological and kinetic analysis of NhaA from Helicobacter pylori and compare it to the previously investigated exchangers from Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. Properties of all three transporters are described by a simple model using a single binding site for H(+) and Na(+). We show that H.pylori NhaA only has a small acidic shift of its pH-dependent activity profile compared to the other transporters and discuss why a more drastic change in its pH activity profile is not physiologically required.
Roles of coactosin-like protein (CLP) and 5-lipoxygenase-activating protein (FLAP) in cellular leukotriene biosynthesis
- 5-Lipoxygenase (5LO) is a key enzyme in biosynthesis of leukotrienes (LTs), lipid mediators of inflammation. To study the roles of the 5LO accessory proteins coactosin-like protein (CLP) and 5LO-activating protein (FLAP), we knocked down these proteins in human monocytic cells. Our results show that expression of CLP was required for full cellular 5LO activity when cells were activated with Ca2+ ionophore, as well as with a physiological stimulus (lipopolysaccharide followed by N-formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine). During LT biosynthesis in stimulated cells, 5LO typically translocates to the nuclear membrane. This redistribution, from cytosolic to perinuclear, was clearly compromised in both CLP- and FLAP-deficient cells. Our results suggest that the CLP–5LO interaction may be a target for reduced LT production.
Resonance Raman and FTIR spectroscopic characterization of the closed and open states of channelrhodopsin-1
Víctor A. Lórenz-Fonfría
- Channelrhodopsin-1 from Chlamydomonas augustae (CaChR1) is a light-activated cation channel, which is a promising optogenetic tool. We show by resonance Raman spectroscopy and retinal extraction followed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) that the isomeric ratio of all-trans to 13-cis of solubilized channelrhodopsin-1 is with 70:30 identical to channelrhodopsin-2 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (CrChR2). Critical frequency shifts in the retinal vibrations are identified in the Raman spectrum upon transition to the open (conductive P2(380)) state. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra indicate different structures of the open states in the two channelrhodopsins as reflected by the amide I bands and the protonation pattern of acidic amino acids.
Molecular Characterization of the Na+/H+-Antiporter NhaA from Salmonella Typhimurium
Christopher J. Lentes
Syed H. Mir
- Na+/H+ antiporters are integral membrane proteins that are present in almost every cell and in every kingdom of life. They are essential for the regulation of intracellular pH-value, Na+-concentration and cell volume. These secondary active transporters exchange sodium ions against protons via an alternating access mechanism, which is not understood in full detail. Na+/H+ antiporters show distinct species-specific transport characteristics and regulatory properties that correlate with respective physiological functions. Here we present the characterization of the Na+/H+ antiporter NhaA from Salmonella enterica serovar Thyphimurium LT2, the causing agent of food-born human gastroenteritis and typhoid like infections. The recombinant antiporter was functional in vivo and in vitro. Expression of its gene complemented the Na+-sensitive phenotype of an E. coli strain that lacks the main Na+/H+ antiporters. Purified to homogeneity, the antiporter was a dimer in solution as accurately determined by size-exclusion chromatography combined with multi-angle laser-light scattering and refractive index monitoring. The purified antiporter was fully capable of electrogenic Na+(Li+)/H+-antiport when reconstituted in proteoliposomes and assayed by solid-supported membrane-based electrophysiological measurements. Transport activity was inhibited by 2-aminoperimidine. The recorded negative currents were in agreement with a 1Na+(Li+)/2H+ stoichiometry. Transport activity was low at pH 7 and up-regulation above this pH value was accompanied by a nearly 10-fold decrease of KmNa (16 mM at pH 8.5) supporting a competitive substrate binding mechanism. K+ does not affect Na+ affinity or transport of substrate cations, indicating that selectivity of the antiport arises from the substrate binding step. In contrast to homologous E. coli NhaA, transport activity remains high at pH values above 8.5. The antiporter from S. Typhimurium is a promising candidate for combined structural and functional studies to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanism of pH-dependent Na+/H+ antiporters and to provide insights in the molecular basis of species-specific growth and survival strategies.
Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of Conformational Changes of Transcription Factor TFIIS during RNA Polymerase II Transcriptional Arrest and Reactivation
Juan Manuel Ortiz-Sánchez
J. Andrew McCammon
- Transcription factor IIS (TFIIS) is a protein known for catalyzing the cleavage reaction of the 3′-end of backtracked RNA transcript, allowing RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to reactivate the transcription process from the arrested state. Recent structural studies have provided a molecular basis of protein-protein interaction between TFIIS and Pol II. However, the detailed dynamic conformational changes of TFIIS upon binding to Pol II and the related thermodynamic information are largely unknown. Here we use computational approaches to investigate the conformational space of TFIIS in the Pol II-bound and Pol II-free (unbound) states. Our results reveal two distinct conformations of TFIIS: the closed and the open forms. The closed form is dominant in the Pol II-free (unbound) state of TFIIS, whereas the open form is favorable in the Pol II-bound state. Furthermore, we discuss the free energy difference involved in the conformational changes between the two forms in the presence or absence of Pol II. Additionally, our analysis indicates that hydrophobic interactions and the protein-protein interactions between TFIIS and Pol II are crucial for inducing the conformational changes of TFIIS. Our results provide novel insights into the functional interplay between Pol II and TFIIS as well as mechanism of reactivation of Pol II transcription by TFIIS.