Aled M Edwards

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Are you Aled M Edwards?

Claim your profile

Publications (113)914.96 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and its clinical, industry and disease-foundation partners are launching open-source preclinical translational medicine studies.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: At the 12(th) Annual HUPO World Congress of Proteomics in Japan, the Human Proteome Project presented 16 scientific workshop sessions. Here we summarize highlights of 9 workshops from the Biology and Disease-driven HPP (B/D-HPP) teams and 3 from the HPP Resource Pillars. Highlights of the 3 Chromosome-centric HPP sessions appeared in the many articles of the 2014 C-HPP special issue of the Journal of Proteome Research[1]. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Proteomics 05/2014; 14(9). DOI:10.1002/pmic.201400041 · 3.97 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A variety of bacterial pathogenicity determinants including the Type VI secretion system and the virulence cassettes from Photorhabdus and Serratia share a common evolutionary origin with contractile tailed myophages. The well characterized E. coli phage P2 provides an excellent system for studies related to these systems as its protein composition appears to represent the "minimal" myophage tail. In this study, we used NMR spectroscopy to determine the solution structure of gpX, a 68 residue tail baseplate protein. Although the sequence and structure of gpX are similar to LysM domains, which are a large family associated with peptidoglycan-binding, we did not detect a peptidoglycan-binding activity for gpX. However, bioinformatic analysis revealed that half of all myophages, including all that possess phage T4-like baseplates, encode a tail protein with a LysM-like domain, emphasizing a widespread role for this domain in baseplate function. While phage P2 gpX comprises only a single LysM domain, many myophages display LysM domain fusions with other tail proteins, such as the DNA circulation protein found in Mu-like phages and gp53 of T4-like phages. Electron microscopy of P2 phage particles with an incorporated gpX-maltose binding protein fusion revealed that gpX is located at the top of the baseplate, near the junction of the baseplate and tail tube. GpW, the orthologue of phage T4 gp25 was also found to localize to this region. A general co-localization of LysM-like domains and gpW homologues in diverse phages is supported by our bioinformatic analysis.
    Journal of bacteriology 10/2013; 196(11). DOI:10.1128/JB.00805-13 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: ABCB10 is one of the three ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters found in the inner membrane of mitochondria. In mammals ABCB10 is essential for erythropoiesis, and for protection of mitochondria against oxidative stress. ABCB10 is therefore a potential therapeutic target for diseases in which increased mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and oxidative stress play a major role. The crystal structure of apo-ABCB10 shows a classic exporter fold ABC transporter structure, in an open-inwards conformation, ready to bind the substrate or nucleotide from the inner mitochondrial matrix or membrane. Unexpectedly, however, ABCB10 adopts an open-inwards conformation when complexed with nonhydrolysable ATP analogs, in contrast to other transporter structures which adopt an open-outwards conformation in complex with ATP. The three complexes of ABCB10/ATP analogs reported here showed varying degrees of opening of the transport substrate binding site, indicating that in this conformation there is some flexibility between the two halves of the protein. These structures suggest that the observed plasticity, together with a portal between two helices in the transmembrane region of ABCB10, assist transport substrate entry into the substrate binding cavity. These structures indicate that ABC transporters may exist in an open-inwards conformation when nucleotide is bound. We discuss ways in which this observation can be aligned with the current views on mechanisms of ABC transporters.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; DOI:10.1073/pnas.1217042110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the nuclear membrane zinc metalloprotease ZMPSTE24 lead to diseases of lamin processing (laminopathies), such as the premature aging disease progeria and metabolic disorders. ZMPSTE24 processes prelamin A, a component of the nuclear lamina intermediate filaments, by cleaving it at two sites. Failure of this processing results in accumulation of farnesylated, membrane-associated prelamin A. The 3.4 angstrom crystal structure of human ZMPSTE24 has a seven transmembrane α-helical barrel structure, surrounding a large, water-filled, intramembrane chamber, capped by a zinc metalloprotease domain with the catalytic site facing into the chamber. The 3.8 angstrom structure of a complex with a CSIM tetrapeptide showed that the mode of binding of the substrate resembles that of an insect metalloprotease inhibitor in thermolysin. Laminopathy-associated mutations predicted to reduce ZMPSTE24 activity map to the zinc metalloprotease peptide-binding site and to the bottom of the chamber.
    Science 03/2013; 339(6127):1604-7. DOI:10.1126/science.1231513 · 31.48 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tail Assembly Chaperones (TACs) are a family of proteins likely required for the morphogenesis of all long-tailed phages. In this study, we determined the crystal structure of gp13, the TAC of phage HK97. This structure is similar that of the TAC from the Lactococcus phage p2, and two unannotated structures of likely TACs encoded in prophage-derived regions of B. subtilis and B. stearothermophilus. Despite the high sequence divergence of these proteins, gp13 forms a ring structure with similar dimensions to the spirals observed in the crystal lattices of these other proteins. Remarkably, these similar quaternary structures are formed through very different interprotomer interactions. We present functional data supporting the biological relevance of these spiral structures, and propose that spiral formation has been the primary requirement for these proteins during evolution. This study presents an unusual example of diverged protein sequences and oligomerization mechanisms in the presence of conserved quaternary structure.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 03/2013; 425(14). DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.03.035 · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The assembly of long non-contractile phage tails begins with the formation of the tail tip complex. Tail tip complexes are multi-functional protein structures that mediate host cell adsorption and genome injection. The tail tip complex of phage λ is assembled from multiple copies of eight different proteins, including gpL. Purified preparations of gpL and several homologues all displayed a distinct reddish colour, suggesting the binding of iron by these proteins. Further characterization the gpL homologue from phage N15, which was most amenable to in vitro analyses, showed that it contains two domains. The C-terminal domain was demonstrated to coordinate an iron-sulphur cluster, providing the first example of a viral structural protein binding to this type of metal group. We characterized the iron-sulphur cluster using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy, absorbance spectroscopy, and electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy and found that it is an oxygen-sensitive [4Fe-4S](2+) cluster. Four highly conserved cysteine residues were shown to be required for coordinating the iron-sulphur cluster, and substitution of any of these Cys residues with Ser or Ala within the context of λ gpL abolished biological activity. These data imply that the intact iron-sulphur cluster is required for function. The presence of four conserved Cys residues in the C-terminal regions of very diverse gpL homologues suggest that utilization of an iron-sulphur cluster is a widespread feature of non-contractile tailed phages that infect Gram-negative bacteria. In addition, this is the first example of a viral structural protein that binds an iron-sulphur cluster.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 03/2013; 425(14). DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.03.032 · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A conserved spi-ral structure for highly diverged phage Tail Assembly Chaperones, Journal of Molecular Biology (2013), doi:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.03.035 This is a PDF file of an unedited manuscript that has been accepted for publication. As a service to our customers we are providing this early version of the manuscript. The manuscript will undergo copyediting, typesetting, and review of the resulting proof before it is published in its final form. Please note that during the production process errors may be discovered which could affect the content, and all legal disclaimers that apply to the journal pertain.
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Aldosterone is a major mineralocorticoid hormone that plays a key role in the regulation of electrolyte balance and blood pressure. Excess aldosterone levels can arise from dysregulation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system and are implicated in the pathogenesis of hypertension and heart failure. Aldosterone synthase (cytochrome P450 11B2, CYP11B2) is the sole enzyme responsible for the production of aldosterone in humans. Blocking of aldosterone synthesis by mediating aldosterone synthase activity is thus a recently emerging pharmacological therapy for hypertension, yet a lack of structural information has limited this approach. Here, we present the crystal structures of human aldosterone synthase in complex with a substrate deoxycorticosterone and an inhibitor fadrozole. The structures reveal a hydrophobic cavity with specific features associated with corticosteroid recognition. The substrate binding mode, along with biochemical data, explains the high 11β-hydroxylase activity of aldosterone synthase toward both gluco- and mineralocorticoid formation. The low processivity of aldosterone synthase with a high extent of intermediates release might be one of the mechanisms of controlled aldosterone production from deoxycorticosterone. Although the active site pocket is lined by identical residues between CYP11B isoforms, most of the divergent residues that confer additional 18-oxidase activity of aldosterone synthase are located in the I-helix (vicinity of the O(2) activation path) and loops around the H-helix (affecting an egress channel closure required for retaining intermediates in the active site). This intrinsic flexibility is also reflected in isoform-selective inhibitor binding. Fadrozole binds to aldosterone synthase in the R-configuration, using part of the active site cavity pointing toward the egress channel. The structural organization of aldosterone synthase provides critical insights into the molecular mechanism of catalysis and enables rational design of more specific antihypertensive agents.
    Molecular Endocrinology 01/2013; 27(2). DOI:10.1210/me.2012-1287 · 4.20 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The biology and disease oriented branch of the Human Proteome Project (B/D-HPP) was established by the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) with the main goal of supporting the broad application of state-of the-art measurements of proteins and proteomes by life scientists studying the molecular mechanisms of biological processes and human disease. This will be accomplished through the generation of research and informational resources that will support the routine and definitive measurement of the process or disease relevant proteins. The B/D-HPP is highly complementary to the C-HPP and will provide datasets and biological characterization useful to the C-HPP teams. In this manuscript we describe the goals, the plans, and the current status of the of the B/D-HPP.
    Journal of Proteome Research 12/2012; 12(1). DOI:10.1021/pr301151m · 5.00 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: One of the final steps in the morphogenetic pathway of phage λ is the packaging of a single genome into a preformed empty head structure. In addition to the terminase enzyme, the packaging chaperone, FI protein (gpFI), is required for efficient DNA packaging. In this study, we demonstrate an interaction between gpFI and the major head protein, gpE. Amino acid substitutions in gpFI that reduced the strength of this interaction also decreased the biological activity of gpFI, implying that this head binding activity is essential for the function of gpFI. We also show that gpFI is a two-domain protein, and the C-terminal domain is responsible for the head binding activity. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we determined the three-dimensional structure of the C-terminal domain and characterized the helical nature of the N-terminal domain. Through structural comparisons, we were able to identify two previously unannotated prophage-encoded proteins with tertiary structures similar to gpFI, although they lack significant pairwise sequence identity. Sequence analysis of these diverse homologues led us to identify related proteins in a variety of myo- and siphophages, revealing that gpFI function has a more highly conserved role in phage morphogenesis than was previously appreciated. Finally, we present a novel model for the mechanism of gpFI chaperone activity in the DNA packaging reaction of phage λ.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2012; 287(38):32085-95. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M112.378349 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A phage moron is a DNA element inserted between a pair of genes in one phage genome that are adjacent in other related phage genomes. Phage morons are commonly found within phage genomes, and in a number of cases, they have been shown to mediate phenotypic changes in the bacterial host. The temperate phage HK97 encodes a moron element, gp15, within its tail morphogenesis region that is absent in most closely related phages. We show that gp15 is actively expressed from the HK97 prophage and is responsible for providing the host cell with resistance to infection by phages HK97 and HK75, independent of repressor immunity. To identify the target(s) of this gp15-mediated resistance, we created a hybrid of HK97 and the related phage HK022. This hybrid phage revealed that the tail tube or tape measure proteins likely mediate the susceptibility of HK97 to inhibition by gp15. The N terminus of gp15 is predicted with high probability to contain a single membrane-spanning helix by several transmembrane prediction programs. Consistent with this putative membrane localization, gp15 acts to prevent the entry of phage DNA into the cytoplasm, acting in a manner reminiscent of those of several previously characterized superinfection exclusion proteins. The N terminus of gp15 and its phage homologues bear sequence similarity to YebO proteins, a family of proteins of unknown function found ubiquitously in enterobacteria. The divergence of their C termini suggests that phages have co-opted this bacterial protein and subverted its activity to their advantage.
    Journal of bacteriology 07/2012; 194(18):5012-9. DOI:10.1128/JB.00843-12 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: With the advent of next-generation DNA sequencing, the pace of inherited orphan disease gene identification has increased dramatically, a situation that will continue for at least the next several years. At present, the numbers of such identified disease genes significantly outstrips the number of laboratories available to investigate a given disorder, an asymmetry that will only increase over time. The hope for any genetic disorder is, where possible and in addition to accurate diagnostic test formulation, the development of therapeutic approaches. To this end, we propose here the development of a strategic toolbox and preclinical research pathway for inherited orphan disease. Taking much of what has been learned from rare genetic disease research over the past two decades, we propose generalizable methods utilizing transcriptomic, system-wide chemical biology datasets combined with chemical informatics and, where possible, repurposing of FDA approved drugs for pre-clinical orphan disease therapies. It is hoped that this approach may be of utility for the broader orphan disease research community and provide funding organizations and patient advocacy groups with suggestions for the optimal path forward. In addition to enabling academic pre-clinical research, strategies such as this may also aid in seeding startup companies, as well as further engaging the pharmaceutical industry in the treatment of rare genetic disease.
    Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases 06/2012; 7:39. DOI:10.1186/1750-1172-7-39 · 3.96 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Gloomy predictions about the future of pharma have forced the industry to investigate alternative models of drug discovery. Public-private partnerships (PPPs) have the potential to revitalize the discovery and development of first-in-class therapeutics. The new PPP Arch2POCM hopes to foster biomedical innovation through precompetitive validation of pioneer therapeutic targets for human diseases. In this meeting report, we capture insights garnered from the April 2011 Arch2POCM conference.
    Science translational medicine 06/2011; 3(88):88mr1. DOI:10.1126/scitranslmed.3002678 · 14.41 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Despite the wealth of commercially available antibodies to human proteins, research is often hindered by their inconsistent validation, their poor performance and the inadequate coverage of the proteome. These issues could be addressed by systematic, genome-wide efforts to generate and validate renewable protein binders. We report a multicenter study to assess the potential of hybridoma and phage-display technologies in a coordinated large-scale antibody generation and validation effort. We produced over 1,000 antibodies targeting 20 SH2 domain proteins and evaluated them for potency and specificity by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), protein microarray and surface plasmon resonance (SPR). We also tested selected antibodies in immunoprecipitation, immunoblotting and immunofluorescence assays. Our results show that high-affinity, high-specificity renewable antibodies generated by different technologies can be produced quickly and efficiently. We believe that this work serves as a foundation and template for future larger-scale studies to create renewable protein binders.
    Nature Methods 05/2011; 8(7):551-8. DOI:10.1038/nmeth.1607 · 25.95 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SIRT6 is a member of the evolutionarily conserved sirtuin family of NAD(+)-dependent protein deacetylases and functions in genomic stability and transcriptional control of glucose metabolism. Early reports suggested that SIRT6 performs ADP-ribosylation, whereas more recent studies have suggested that SIRT6 functions mainly as a histone deacetylase. Thus, the molecular functions of SIRT6 remain uncertain. Here, we perform biochemical, kinetic, and structural studies to provide new mechanistic insight into the functions of SIRT6. Utilizing three different assays, we provide biochemical and kinetic evidence that SIRT6-dependent histone deacetylation produces O-acetyl-ADP-ribose but at a rate ∼1,000 times slower than other highly active sirtuins. To understand the molecular basis for such low deacetylase activity, we solved the first crystal structures of this class IV sirtuin in complex with ADP-ribose and the non-hydrolyzable analog of O-acetyl-ADP-ribose, 2'-N-acetyl-ADP-ribose. The structures revealed unique features of human SIRT6, including a splayed zinc-binding domain and the absence of a helix bundle that in other sirtuin structures connects the zinc-binding motif and Rossmann fold domain. SIRT6 also lacks the conserved, highly flexible, NAD(+)-binding loop and instead contains a stable single helix. These differences led us to hypothesize that SIRT6, unlike all other studied sirtuins, would be able to bind NAD(+) in the absence of an acetylated substrate. Indeed, we found that SIRT6 binds NAD(+) with relatively high affinity (K(d) = 27 ± 1 μM) in the absence of an acetylated substrate. Isothermal titration calorimetry and tryptophan fluorescence binding assays suggested that ADP-ribose and NAD(+) induce different structural perturbations and that NADH does not bind to SIRT6. Collectively, these new insights imply a unique activating mechanism and/or the possibility that SIRT6 could act as an NAD(+) metabolite sensor.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2011; 286(16):14575-87. DOI:10.1074/jbc.M111.218990 · 4.60 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Most protein research focuses on those known before the human genome was mapped. Work on the slew discovered since, urge Aled M. Edwards and his colleagues.
    Nature 02/2011; 470(7333):163-5. DOI:10.1038/470163a · 42.35 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPRs) and the associated proteins (Cas) comprise a system of adaptive immunity against viruses and plasmids in prokaryotes. Cas1 is a CRISPR-associated protein that is common to all CRISPR-containing prokaryotes but its function remains obscure. Here we show that the purified Cas1 protein of Escherichia coli (YgbT) exhibits nuclease activity against single-stranded and branched DNAs including Holliday junctions, replication forks and 5'-flaps. The crystal structure of YgbT and site-directed mutagenesis have revealed the potential active site. Genome-wide screens show that YgbT physically and genetically interacts with key components of DNA repair systems, including recB, recC and ruvB. Consistent with these findings, the ygbT deletion strain showed increased sensitivity to DNA damage and impaired chromosomal segregation. Similar phenotypes were observed in strains with deletion of CRISPR clusters, suggesting that the function of YgbT in repair involves interaction with the CRISPRs. These results show that YgbT belongs to a novel, structurally distinct family of nucleases acting on branched DNAs and suggest that, in addition to antiviral immunity, at least some components of the CRISPR-Cas system have a function in DNA repair.
    Molecular Microbiology 01/2011; 79(2):484-502. DOI:10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07465.x · 5.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Canadian Medical Association Journal 12/2010; 183(6):681-5. DOI:10.1503/cmaj.100375 · 5.81 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domains are found frequently on the surface of tailed double-stranded DNA bacteriophages, yet their functional role remains obscure. Here, we have investigated the structure and function of the C-terminal Ig-like domain of gpV (gpV(C)), the tail tube protein of phage λ. This domain has been predicted through sequence similarity to be a member of the bacterial Ig-like domain 2 (Big_2) family, which is composed of more than 1300 phage and bacterial sequences. Using trypsin proteolysis, we have delineated the boundaries of gpV(C) and have shown that its removal reduces the biological activity of gpV by 100-fold; thus providing a definitive demonstration of a functional role for this domain. Determination of the solution structure of gpV(C) by NMR spectroscopy showed that it adopts a canonical Ig-like fold of the I-set class. This represents the first structure of a phage-encoded Ig-like domain and only the second structure of a Big_2 domain. Structural and sequence comparisons indicate that the gpV(C) structure is more representative of both the phage-encoded Big_2 domains and Big_2 domains in general than the other available Big_2 structure. Bioinformatics analyses have identified two conserved clusters of residues on the surface of gpV(C) that may be important in mediating the function of this domain.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 10/2010; 403(3):468-79. DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2010.08.044 · 3.96 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
914.96 Total Impact Points


  • 1998–2015
    • University of Toronto
      • • Structural Genomics Consortium
      • • Banting and Best Department of Medical Research
      • • Department of Molecular Genetics
      • • Department of Medical Biophysics
      • • Ontario Cancer Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2014
    • Concordia University–Ann Arbor
      Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States
  • 2011
    • Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2003–2006
    • University Health Network
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2002
    • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
      • Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory
      Richland, WA, United States
  • 2000–2002
    • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • The Scripps Research Institute
      • Department of Cell and Molecular Biology
      لا هویا, California, United States
  • 2001
    • The Princess Margaret Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1997
    • The Rockefeller University
      New York, New York, United States
  • 1995–1997
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1991
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Structural Biology
      Palo Alto, California, United States