Artificial environments for the co-translational stabilization of cell-free expressed proteins
- An approach for designing individual expression environments that reduce or prevent protein aggregation and precipitation is described. Inefficient folding of difficult proteins in unfavorable translation environments can cause significant losses of overexpressed proteins as precipitates or inclusion bodies. A number of chemical chaperones including alcohols, polyols, polyions or polymers are known to have positive effects on protein stability. However, conventional expression approaches can use such stabilizing agents only post-translationally during protein extraction and purification. Proteins that already precipitate inside of the producer cells cannot be addressed. The open nature of cell-free protein expression systems offers the option to include single chemicals or cocktails of stabilizing compounds already into the expression environment. We report an approach for systematic screening of stabilizers in order to improve the solubility and quality of overexpressed proteins co-translationally. A comprehensive list of representative protein stabilizers from the major groups of naturally occurring chemical chaperones has been analyzed and their concentration ranges tolerated by cell-free expression systems have been determined. As a proof of concept, we have applied the method to improve the yield of proteins showing instability and partial precipitation during cell-free synthesis. Stabilizers that co-translationally improve the solubility and functional folding of human glucosamine 6-phosphate N-acetyltransferase have been identified and cumulative effects of stabilizers have been studied.
Super-Resolution Microscopy Reveals Specific Recruitment of HIV-1 Envelope Proteins to Viral Assembly Sites Dependent on the Envelope C-Terminal Tail
- The inner structural Gag proteins and the envelope (Env) glycoproteins of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) traffic independently to the plasma membrane, where they assemble the nascent virion. HIV-1 carries a relatively low number of glycoproteins in its membrane, and the mechanism of Env recruitment and virus incorporation is incompletely understood. We employed dual-color super-resolution microscopy visualizing Gag assembly sites and HIV-1 Env proteins in virus-producing and in Env expressing cells. Distinctive HIV-1 Gag assembly sites were readily detected and were associated with Env clusters that always extended beyond the actual Gag assembly site and often showed enrichment at the periphery and surrounding the assembly site. Formation of these Env clusters depended on the presence of other HIV-1 proteins and on the long cytoplasmic tail (CT) of Env. CT deletion, a matrix mutation affecting Env incorporation or Env expression in the absence of other HIV-1 proteins led to much smaller Env clusters, which were not enriched at viral assembly sites. These results show that Env is recruited to HIV-1 assembly sites in a CT-dependent manner, while Env(ΔCT) appears to be randomly incorporated. The observed Env accumulation surrounding Gag assemblies, with a lower density on the actual bud, could facilitate viral spread . Keeping Env molecules on the nascent virus low may be important for escape from the humoral immune response, while cell-cell contacts mediated by surrounding Env molecules could promote HIV-1 transmission through the virological synapse.
A gp41 MPER-specific Llama VHH Requires a Hydrophobic CDR3 for Neutralization but not for Antigen Recognition
David Lutje Hulsik
Nika M. Strokappe
Mohamed El Khattabi
Laura E. McCoy
Alexandre M. J. J. Bonvin
Johannes P. M. Langedijk
Anna Forsman Quigley
Marlén M. I. Aasa-Chapman
Michael S. Seaman
Robin A. Weiss
C. Theo Verrips
- The membrane proximal external region (MPER) of the HIV-1 glycoprotein gp41 is targeted by the broadly neutralizing antibodies 2F5 and 4E10. To date, no immunization regimen in animals or humans has produced HIV-1 neutralizing MPER-specific antibodies. We immunized llamas with gp41-MPER proteoliposomes and selected a MPER-specific single chain antibody (VHH), 2H10, whose epitope overlaps with that of mAb 2F5. Bi-2H10, a bivalent form of 2H10, which displayed an approximately 20-fold increased affinity compared to the monovalent 2H10, neutralized various sensitive and resistant HIV-1 strains, as well as SHIV strains in TZM-bl cells. X-ray and NMR analyses combined with mutagenesis and modeling revealed that 2H10 recognizes its gp41 epitope in a helical conformation. Notably, tryptophan 100 at the tip of the long CDR3 is not required for gp41 interaction but essential for neutralization. Thus bi-2H10 is an anti-MPER antibody generated by immunization that requires hydrophobic CDR3 determinants in addition to epitope recognition for neutralization similar to the mode of neutralization employed by mAbs 2F5 and 4E10.
Willkommen im Molekül-Kino : die drei Emmy-Noether-Stipendiaten am FB 14
Genome-wide multi-parametric analysis of H2AX or γH2AX distributions during ionizing radiation-induced DNA damage response
Maria Cristina Cardoso
- Background: After induction of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs), the DNA damage response (DDR) is activated. One of the earliest events in DDR is the phosphorylation of serine 139 on the histone variant H2AX (gH2AX) catalyzed by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinases-related kinases. Despite being extensively studied, H2AX distribution across the genome and gH2AX spreading around DSBs sites in the context of different chromatin compaction states or transcription are yet to be fully elucidated.
Materials and methods: gH2AX was induced in human hepatocellular carcinoma cells (HepG2) by exposure to 10 Gy X-rays (250 kV, 16 mA). Samples were incubated 0.5, 3 or 24 hours post irradiation to investigate early, intermediate and late stages of DDR, respectively. Chromatin immunoprecipitation was performed to select H2AX, H3 and gH2AX-enriched chromatin fractions. Chromatin-associated DNA was then sequenced by Illumina ChIP-Seq platform. HepG2 gene expression and histone modification (H3K36me3, H3K9me3) ChIP-Seq profiles were retrieved from Gene Expression Omnibus (accession numbers GSE30240 and GSE26386, respectively).
Results: First, we combined G/C usage, gene content, gene expression or histone modification profiles (H3K36me3, H3K9me3) to define genomic compartments characterized by different chromatin compaction states or transcriptional activity. Next, we investigated H3, H2AX and gH2AX distributions in such defined compartments before and after exposure to ionizing radiation (IR) to study DNA repair kinetics during DDR. Our sequencing results indicate that H2AX distribution followed H3 occupancy and, thus, the nucleosome pattern. The highest H2AX and H3 enrichment was observed in transcriptionally active compartments (euchromatin) while the lowest was found in low G/C and gene-poor compartments (heterochromatin). Under physiological conditions, the body of highly and moderately transcribed genes was devoid of gH2AX, despite presenting high H2AX levels. gH2AX accumulation was observed in 5’ or 3’ flanking regions, instead. The same genes showed a prompt gH2AX accumulation during the early stage of DDR which then decreased over time as DDR proceeded.
Finally, during the late stage of DDR the residual gH2AX signal was entirely retained in heterochromatic compartments. At this stage, euchromatic compartments were completely devoid of gH2AX despite presenting high levels of non-phosphorylated H2AX.
Conclusions: We show that gH2AX distribution ultimately depends on H2AX occupancy, the latter following H3 occupancy and, thus, nucleosome pattern. Both H2AX and H3 levels were higher in actively transcribed compartments. However, gH2AX levels were remarkably low over the body of actively transcribed genes suggesting that transcription levels antagonize gH2AX spreading. Moreover, repair processes did not take place uniformly across the genome; rather, DNA repair was affected by genomic location and transcriptional activity. We propose that higher H2AX density in euchromaticcompartments results in high relative gH2AXconcentration soon after the activation of DDR, thus favoring the recruitment of the DNA repair machinery to those compartments. When the damage is repaired and gH2AX is removed, its residual fraction is retained in the heterochromatic compartments which are then targeted and repaired at later times.
Ordnung des Fachbereichs Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie für den Masterstudiengang Biochemie mit dem Abschluss Master of Science vom 11.02.2013 : genehmigt durch das Präsidium der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am 19.03.2013
Defining the core proteome of the chloroplast envelope membranes
Dimitrios G. Papasotiriou
Maik S. Sommer
- High-throughput protein localization studies require multiple strategies. Mass spectrometric analysis of defined cellular fractions is one of the complementary approaches to a diverse array of cell biological methods. In recent years, the protein content of different cellular (sub-)compartments was approached. Despite of all the efforts made, the analysis of membrane fractions remains difficult, in that the dissection of the proteomes of the envelope membranes of chloroplasts or mitochondria is often not reliable because sample purity is not always warranted. Moreover, proteomic studies are often restricted to single (model) species, and therefore limited in respect to differential individual evolution. In this study we analyzed the chloroplast envelope proteomes of different plant species, namely, the individual proteomes of inner and outer envelope (OE) membrane of Pisum sativum and the mixed envelope proteomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago sativa. The analysis of all three species yielded 341 identified proteins in total, 247 of them being unique. 39 proteins were genuine envelope proteins found in at least two species. Based on this and previous envelope studies we defined the core envelope proteome of chloroplasts. Comparing the general overlap of the available six independent studies (including ours) revealed only a number of 27 envelope proteins. Depending on the stringency of applied selection criteria we found 231 envelope proteins, while less stringent criteria increases this number to 649 putative envelope proteins. Based on the latter we provide a map of the outer and inner envelope core proteome, which includes many yet uncharacterized proteins predicted to be involved in transport, signaling, and response. Furthermore, a foundation for the functional characterization of yet unidentified functions of the inner and OE for further analyses is provided.
Real-Time Analysis and Visualization for Single-Molecule Based Super-Resolution Microscopy
- Accurate multidimensional localization of isolated fluorescent emitters is a time consuming process in single-molecule based super-resolution microscopy. We demonstrate a functional method for real-time reconstruction with automatic feedback control, without compromising the localization accuracy. Compatible with high frame rates of EM-CCD cameras, it relies on a wavelet segmentation algorithm, together with a mix of CPU/GPU implementation. A combination with Gaussian fitting allows direct access to 3D localization. Automatic feedback control ensures optimal molecule density throughout the acquisition process. With this method, we significantly improve the efficiency and feasibility of localization-based super-resolution microscopy.
CD69 Is a TGF-β/1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 Target Gene in Monocytes
Thea K. Wöbke
Andreas von Knethen
Bernd L. Sorg
- CD69 is a transmembrane lectin that can be expressed on most hematopoietic cells. In monocytes, it has been functionally linked to the 5-lipoxygenase pathway in which the leukotrienes, a class of highly potent inflammatory mediators, are produced. However, regarding CD69 gene expression and its regulatory mechanisms in monocytes, only scarce data are available. Here, we report that CD69 mRNA expression, analogous to that of 5-lipoxygenase, is induced by the physiologic stimuli transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1α,25(OH)2D3) in monocytic cells. Comparison with T- and B-cell lines showed that the effect was specific for monocytes. CD69 expression levels were increased in a concentration-dependent manner, and kinetic analysis revealed a rapid onset of mRNA expression, indicating that CD69 is a primary TGF-β/1α,25(OH)2D3 target gene. PCR analysis of different regions of the CD69 mRNA revealed that de novo transcription was initiated and proximal and distal parts were induced concomitantly. In common with 5-lipoxygenase, no activation of 0.7 kb or ~2.3 kb promoter fragments by TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 could be observed in transient reporter assays for CD69. Analysis of mRNA stability using a transcription inhibitor and a 3′UTR reporter construct showed that TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 do not influence CD69 mRNA stability. Functional knockdown of Smad3 clearly demonstrated that upregulation of CD69 mRNA, in contrast to 5-LO, depends on Smad3. Comparative studies with different inhibitors for mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) revealed that MAPK signalling is involved in CD69 gene regulation, whereas 5-lipoxygenase gene expression was only partly affected. Mechanistically, we found evidence that CD69 gene upregulation depends on TAK1-mediated p38 activation. In summary, our data indicate that CD69 gene expression, conforming with 5-lipoxygenase, is regulated monocyte-specifically by the physiologic stimuli TGF-β and 1α,25(OH)2D3 on mRNA level, although different mechanisms account for the upregulation of each gene.
Simple Method for Sub-Diffraction Resolution Imaging of Cellular Structures on Standard Confocal Microscopes by Three-Photon Absorption of Quantum Dots
- This study describes a simple technique that improves a recently developed 3D sub-diffraction imaging method based on three-photon absorption of commercially available quantum dots. The method combines imaging of biological samples via tri-exciton generation in quantum dots with deconvolution and spectral multiplexing, resulting in a novel approach for multi-color imaging of even thick biological samples at a 1.4 to 1.9-fold better spatial resolution. This approach is realized on a conventional confocal microscope equipped with standard continuous-wave lasers. We demonstrate the potential of multi-color tri-exciton imaging of quantum dots combined with deconvolution on viral vesicles in lentivirally transduced cells as well as intermediate filaments in three-dimensional clusters of mouse-derived neural stem cells (neurospheres) and dense microtubuli arrays in myotubes formed by stacks of differentiated C2C12 myoblasts.