EGI user forum 2011 : book of abstracts
The C-terminus of p63 contains multiple regulatory elements with different functions
Wesley E. Straub
Tobias Alexander Weber
Horng Der Ou
- The transcription factor p63 is expressed as at least six different isoforms, of which two have been assigned critical biological roles within ectodermal development and skin stem cell biology on the one hand and supervision of the genetic stability of oocytes on the other hand. These two isoforms contain a C-terminal inhibitory domain that negatively regulates their transcriptional activity. This inhibitory domain contains two individual components: one that uses an internal binding mechanism to interact with and mask the transactivation domain and one that is based on sumoylation. We have carried out an extensive alanine scanning study to identify critical regions within the inhibitory domain. These experiments show that a stretch of ~13 amino acids is crucial for the binding function. Further, investigation of transcriptional activity and the intracellular level of mutants that cannot be sumoylated suggests that sumoylation reduces the concentration of p63. We therefore propose that the inhibitory function of the C-terminal domain is in part due to direct inhibition of the transcriptional activity of the protein and in part due to indirect inhibition by controlling the concentration of p63. Keywords: p63, transcriptional regulation, auto-inhibition, sumoylation
A large-scale chemical modification screen identifies design rules to generate siRNAs with high activity, high stability and low toxicity
Jesper B. Bramsen
Maria B. Laursen
Anne F. Nielsen
Thomas B. Hansen
B. Ravindra Babu
Arthur Van Aerschot
Georgii V. Bobkov
Sergey N. Mikhailov
Thomas F. Meyer
Joachim W. Engels
- The use of chemically synthesized short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) is currently the method of choice to manipulate gene expression in mammalian cell culture, yet improvements of siRNA design is expectably required for successful application in vivo. Several studies have aimed at improving siRNA performance through the introduction of chemical modifications but a direct comparison of these results is difficult. We have directly compared the effect of 21 types of chemical modifications on siRNA activity and toxicity in a total of 2160 siRNA duplexes. We demonstrate that siRNA activity is primarily enhanced by favouring the incorporation of the intended antisense strand during RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC) loading by modulation of siRNA thermodynamic asymmetry and engineering of siRNA 3-overhangs. Collectively, our results provide unique insights into the tolerance for chemical modifications and provide a simple guide to successful chemical modification of siRNAs with improved activity, stability and low toxicity.
SBE13, a newly identified inhibitor of inactive polo-like kinase 1
- Poster presentation at 5th German Conference on Cheminformatics: 23. CIC-Workshop Goslar, Germany. 8-10 November 2009 Protein kinases are important targets for drug development. The almost identical protein folding of kinases and the common co-substrate ATP leads to the problem of inhibitor selectivity. Type II inhibitors, targeting the inactive conformation of kinases, occupy a hydrophobic pocket with less conserved surrounding amino acids . Human polo-like kinase 1 (Plk1) represents a promising target for approaches to identify new therapeutic agents. Plk1 belongs to a family of highly conserved serine/threonine kinases, and is a key player in mitosis, where it modulates the spindle checkpoint at metaphase/anaphase transition. Plk1 is over-expressed in all today analyzed human tumors of different origin and serves as a negative prognostic marker in cancer patients. The newly identified inhibitor, SBE13, a vanillin derivative, targets Plk1 in its inactive conformation . This leads to selectivity within the Plk family and towards Aurora A. This selectivity can be explained by docking studies of SBE13 into the binding pocket of homology models of Plk1, Plk2 and Plk3 in their inactive conformation. SBE13 showed anti-proliferative effects in cancer cell lines of different origins with EC50 values between 5 microM and 39 microM and induced apoptosis. Increasing concentrations of SBE13 result in increasing amounts of cells in G2/M phase 13 hours after double thymidin block of HeLa cells. The kinase activity of Plk1 was inhibited with an IC50 of 200 pM. Taken together, we could show that carefully designed structure-based virtual screening is well-suited to identify selective type II kinase inhibitors targeting Plk1 as potential anti-cancer therapeutics.
Role for caspase-2 during pore-forming toxin-mediated apoptosis
IAP-IAP complexes required for apoptosis resistance of C. trachomatis-infected cells
- Host cells infected with obligate intracellular bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis are profoundly resistant to diverse apoptotic stimuli. The molecular mechanisms underlying the block in apoptotic signaling of infected cells is not well understood. Here we investigated the molecular mechanism by which apoptosis induced via the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor is prevented in infected epithelial cells. Infection with C. trachomatis leads to the up-regulation of cellular inhibitor of apoptosis (cIAP)-2, and interfering with cIAP-2 up-regulation sensitized infected cells for TNF-induced apoptosis. Interestingly, besides cIAP-2, cIAP-1 and X-linked IAP, although not differentially regulated by infection, are required to maintain apoptosis resistance in infected cells. We detected that IAPs are constitutively organized in heteromeric complexes and small interfering RNA-mediated silencing of one of these IAPs affects the stability of another IAP. In particular, the stability of cIAP-2 is modulated by the presence of X-linked IAP and their interaction is stabilized in infected cells. Our observations suggest that IAPs are functional and stable as heteromers, a thus far undiscovered mechanism of IAP regulation and its role in modulation of apoptosis.
Production, characterization and determination of the real catalytic properties of the putative "succinate dehydrogenase" from Wolinella succinogenes
Hanno Dominik Juhnke
Hamid Reza Nasiri
C. Roy D. Lancaster
- Both the genomes of the epsilonproteobacteria Wolinella succinogenes and Campylobacter jejuni contain operons (sdhABE) that encode for so far uncharacterized enzyme complexes annotated as ‘non-classical’ succinate:quinone reductases (SQRs). However, the role of such an enzyme ostensibly involved in aerobic respiration in an anaerobic organism such as W. succinogenes has hitherto been unknown. We have established the first genetic system for the manipulation and production of a member of the non-classical succinate:quinone oxidoreductase family. Biochemical characterization of the W. succinogenes enzyme reveals that the putative SQR is in fact a novel methylmenaquinol:fumarate reductase (MFR) with no detectable succinate oxidation activity, clearly indicative of its involvement in anaerobic metabolism. We demonstrate that the hydrophilic subunits of the MFR complex are, in contrast to all other previously characterized members of the superfamily, exported into the periplasm via the twin-arginine translocation (tat)-pathway. Furthermore we show that a single amino acid exchange (Ala86→His) in the flavoprotein of that enzyme complex is the only additional requirement for the covalent binding of the otherwise non-covalently bound FAD. Our results provide an explanation for the previously published puzzling observation that the C. jejuni sdhABE operon is upregulated in an oxygen-limited environment as compared with microaerophilic laboratory conditions.
Dynamic Control of Selectivity in the Ubiquitination Pathway Revealed by an ASP to GLU Substitution in an Intra-Molecular Salt-Bridge Network
Sjoerd J. L. van Wijk
Adrien S. J. Melquiond
Sjoerd J. de Vries
H. Th. Marc Timmers
Alexandre M. J. J. Bonvin
- Ubiquitination relies on a subtle balance between selectivity and promiscuity achieved through specific interactions between ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) and ubiquitin ligases (E3s). Here, we report how a single aspartic to glutamic acid substitution acts as a dynamic switch to tip the selectivity balance of human E2s for interaction toward E3 RING-finger domains. By combining molecular dynamic simulations, experimental yeast-two-hybrid screen of E2-E3 (RING) interactions and mutagenesis, we reveal how the dynamics of an internal salt-bridge network at the rim of the E2-E3 interaction surface controls the balance between an “open”, binding competent, and a “closed”, binding incompetent state. The molecular dynamic simulations shed light on the fine mechanism of this molecular switch and allowed us to identify its components, namely an aspartate/glutamate pair, a lysine acting as the central switch and a remote aspartate. Perturbations of single residues in this network, both inside and outside the interaction surface, are sufficient to switch the global E2 interaction selectivity as demonstrated experimentally. Taken together, our results indicate a new mechanism to control E2-E3 interaction selectivity at an atomic level, highlighting how minimal changes in amino acid side-chain affecting the dynamics of intramolecular salt-bridges can be crucial for protein-protein interactions. These findings indicate that the widely accepted sequence-structure-function paradigm should be extended to sequence-structure-dynamics-function relationship and open new possibilities for control and fine-tuning of protein interaction selectivity.
Defining the core proteome of the chloroplast envelope membranes
Maik Sascha 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.
Direct evidence that the N-terminal extensions of the TAP complex act as autonomous interaction scaffolds for the assembly of the MHC I peptide-loading complex
- The loading of antigenic peptides onto major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules is an essential step in the adaptive immune response against virally or malignantly transformed cells. The ER-resident peptide-loading complex (PLC) consists of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP1 and TAP2), assembled with the auxiliary factors tapasin and MHC I. Here, we demonstrated that the N-terminal extension of each TAP subunit represents an autonomous domain, named TMD0, which is correctly targeted to and inserted into the ER membrane. In the absence of coreTAP, each TMD0 recruits tapasin in a 1:1 stoichiometry. Although the TMD0s lack known ER retention/retrieval signals, they are localized to the ER membrane even in tapasin-deficient cells. We conclude that the TMD0s of TAP form autonomous interaction hubs linking antigen translocation into the ER with peptide loading onto MHC I, hence ensuring a major function in the integrity of the antigen-processing machinery.