Desaturase enzymes are composed of two classes, the structurally well characterized soluble class found predominantly in the plastids of higher plants and the more widely distributed but poorly structurally defined integral membrane class. Despite their distinct evolutionary origins, the two classes both require an iron cofactor and molecular oxygen for activity and are inhibited by azide and cyanide, suggesting strong mechanistic similarities. The fact that the soluble desaturase is active as a homodimer prompted us test the hypothesis that an archetypal integral membrane desaturase from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the Delta(9)-acyl-Co-A desaturase Ole1p, also exhibits a dimeric organization. Ole1p was chosen because it is one of the best characterized integral membrane desaturase and because it retains activity when fused with epitope tags. FLAG-Ole1p was detected by Western blotting of immunoprecipitates in which anti-Myc antibodies were used for capture from yeast extracts co-expressing Ole1p-Myc and Ole1p-FLAG. Interaction was confirmed by two independent bimolecular complementation assays (i.e. the split ubiquitin system and the split luciferase system). Co-expression of active and inactive Ole1p subunits resulted in an approximately 75% suppression of the accumulation of palmitoleic acid, demonstrating that the physiologically active form of Ole1p in vivo is the dimer in which both protomers must be functional.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Actin filament bundles are higher-order cytoskeletal structures that are crucial for the maintenance of cellular architecture and cell expansion. They are generated from individual actin filaments by the actions of bundling proteins like fimbrins, LIMs, and villins. However, the molecular mechanisms of dynamic bundle formation and turnover are largely unknown. Villins belong to the villin/gelsolin/fragmin superfamily and comprise at least five isovariants in Arabidopsis thaliana. Different combinations of villin isovariants are coexpressed in various tissues and cells. It is not clear whether these isovariants function together and act redundantly or whether they have unique activities. VILLIN1 (VLN1) is a simple filament-bundling protein and is Ca(2+) insensitive. Based on phylogenetic analyses and conservation of Ca(2+) binding sites, we predict that VLN3 is a Ca(2+)-regulated villin capable of severing actin filaments and contributing to bundle turnover. The bundling activity of both isovariants was observed directly with time-lapse imaging and total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in vitro, and the mechanism mimics the "catch and zipper" action observed in vivo. Using time-lapse TIRF microscopy, we observed and quantified the severing of individual actin filaments by VLN3 at physiological calcium concentrations. Moreover, VLN3 can sever actin filament bundles in the presence of VLN1 when calcium is elevated to micromolar levels. Collectively, these results demonstrate that two villin isovariants have overlapping and distinct activities.
The Plant Cell 08/2010; 22(8):2727-48. DOI:10.1105/tpc.110.076240 · 9.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tempo and mode of evolution of loci with a large effect on adaptation and reproductive isolation will influence the rate of evolutionary divergence and speciation. Desaturase loci are involved in key biochemical changes in long-chain fatty acids. In insects, these have been shown to influence adaptation to starvation or desiccation resistance and in some cases act as important pheromones. The desaturase gene family of Drosophila is known to have evolved by gene duplication and diversification, and at least one locus shows rapid evolution of sex-specific expression variation. Here, we examine the evolution of the gene family in species representing the Drosophila phylogeny. We find that the family includes more loci than have been previously described. Most are represented as single-copy loci, but we also find additional examples of duplications in loci which influence pheromone blends. Most loci show patterns of variation associated with purifying selection, but there are strong signatures of diversifying selection in new duplicates. In the case of a new duplicate of desat1 in the obscura group species, we show that strong selection on the coding sequence is associated with the evolution of sex-specific expression variation. It seems likely that both sexual selection and ecological adaptation have influenced the evolution of this gene family in Drosophila.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Adiponectin is a mammalian hormone that exerts anti-diabetic, anti-cancer and cardioprotective effects through interaction with its major ubiquitously expressed plasma membrane localized receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. Here, we report a Saccharomyces cerevisiae based method for investigating agonist-AdipoR interactions that is amenable for high-throughput scale-up and can be used to study both AdipoRs separately. Agonist-AdipoR1 interactions are detected using a split firefly luciferase assay based on reconstitution of firefly luciferase (Luc) activity due to juxtaposition of its N- and C-terminal fragments, NLuc and CLuc, by ligand induced interaction of the chimeric proteins CLuc-AdipoR1 and APPL1-NLuc (adaptor protein containing pleckstrin homology domain, phosphotyrosine binding domain and leucine zipper motif 1-NLuc) in a S. cerevisiae strain lacking the yeast homolog of AdipoRs (Izh2p). The assay monitors the earliest known step in the adiponectin-AdipoR anti-diabetic signaling cascade. We demonstrate that reconstituted Luc activity can be detected in colonies or cells using a CCD camera and quantified in cell suspensions using a microplate reader. AdipoR1-APPL1 interaction occurs in absence of ligand but can be stimulated specifically by agonists such as adiponectin and the tobacco protein osmotin that was shown to have AdipoR-dependent adiponectin-like biological activity in mammalian cells. To further validate this assay, we have modeled the three dimensional structures of receptor-ligand complexes of membrane-embedded AdipoR1 with cyclic peptides derived from osmotin or osmotin-like plant proteins. We demonstrate that the calculated AdipoR1-peptide binding energies correlate with the peptides' ability to behave as AdipoR1 agonists in the split luciferase assay. Further, we demonstrate agonist-AdipoR dependent activation of protein kinase A (PKA) signaling and AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) phosphorylation in S. cerevisiae, which are homologous to important mammalian adiponectin-AdipoR1 signaling pathways. This system should facilitate the development of therapeutic inventions targeting adiponectin and/or AdipoR physiology.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e65454. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0065454 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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