Aled M Edwards

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Publications (124)1067.75 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: We developed and optimized a high-throughput project workflow to generate renewable recombinant antibodies to human proteins involved in epigenetic signalling. Three different strategies to produce phage display compatible protein antigens in bacterial systems were compared, and we found that in vivo biotinylation through the use of an Avi tag was the most productive method. Phage display selections were performed on 265 in vivo biotinylated antigen domains. High-affinity Fabs (<20nM) were obtained for 196. We constructed and optimized a new expression vector to produce in vivo biotinylated Fabs in E. coli. This increased average yields up to 10-fold, with an average yield of 4 mg/L. For 118 antigens, we identified Fabs that could immunoprecipitate their full-length endogenous targets from mammalian cell lysates. One Fab for each antigen was converted to a recombinant IgG and produced in mammalian cells, with an average yield of 15 mg/L. In summary, we have optimized each step of the pipeline to produce recombinant antibodies, significantly increasing both efficiency and yield, and also showed that these Fabs and IgGs can be generally useful for chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) protocols.
    PLoS ONE 10/2015; 10(10):e0139695. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0139695 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Solute carrier (SLC) membrane transport proteins control essential physiological functions, including nutrient uptake, ion transport, and waste removal. SLCs interact with several important drugs, and a quarter of the more than 400 SLC genes are associated with human diseases. Yet, compared to other gene families of similar stature, SLCs are relatively understudied. The time is right for a systematic attack on SLC structure, specificity, and function, taking into account kinship and expression, as well as the dependencies that arise from the common metabolic space. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Cell 07/2015; 162(3):478-487. DOI:10.1016/j.cell.2015.07.022 · 32.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemical probes are powerful reagents with increasing impacts on biomedical research. However, probes of poor quality or that are used incorrectly generate misleading results. To help address these shortcomings, we will create a community-driven wiki resource to improve quality and convey current best practice.
    Nature Chemical Biology 07/2015; 11(8):536-541. DOI:10.1038/nchembio.1867 · 13.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Antibodies are used in multiple cell biology applications, but there are no standardized methods to assess antibody quality-an absence that risks data integrity and reproducibility. We describe a mass spectrometry-based standard operating procedure for scoring immunoprecipitation antibody quality. We quantified the abundance of all the proteins in immunoprecipitates of 1,124 new recombinant antibodies for 152 chromatin-related human proteins by comparing normalized spectral abundance factors from the target antigen with those of all other proteins. We validated the performance of the standard operating procedure in blinded studies in five independent laboratories. Antibodies for which the target antigen or a member of its known protein complex was the most abundant protein were classified as 'IP gold standard'. This method generates quantitative outputs that can be stored and archived in public databases, and it represents a step toward a platform for community benchmarking of antibody quality.
    Nature Methods 06/2015; 12(8). DOI:10.1038/nmeth.3472 · 32.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: FIKKs are protein kinases with distinctive sequence motifs found exclusively in Apicomplexa. FIKK8 is the sole predicted cytosolic member of the subfamily and also the only one conserved amongst some non-Plasmodium parasites. Here, we report on the biochemical characterization of Plasmodium falciparum FIKK8 (PfFIKK8) and its Cryptosporidium parvum orthologue (CpFIKK). Recombinant protein samples of both were catalytically active. We characterized their phosphorylation ability using an enzymatic assay and substrate specificities using an arrayed positional scanning peptide library. Our results show that FIKK8 targets serine, preferably with arginine in the +3 and -3 positions. Furthermore, the soluble and active FIKK constructs in our experiments contained an N-terminal extension (NTE) conserved in FIKK8 orthologues from other apicomplexan species. Based on our results, we propose that this NTE is an integral feature of the FIKK subfamily. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology 06/2015; 24(2). DOI:10.1016/j.molbiopara.2015.06.002 · 1.79 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The haloacid dehalogenase (HAD)-like enzymes comprise a large superfamily of phosphohydrolases present in all organisms. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome encodes at least 19 soluble HADs including ten uncharacterized proteins. Here, we biochemically characterized 13 yeast phosphatases from the HAD superfamily which include both specific and promiscuous enzymes active against various phosphorylated metabolites and peptides with several HADs implicated in detoxification of phosphorylated compounds and pseudouridine. The crystal structures of four yeast HADs provided insight into their active sites, whereas the structure of the YKR070W dimer in complex with substrate revealed a composite substrate-binding site. Although the S. cerevisiae and Escherichia coli HADs share low sequence similarities, the comparison of their substrate profiles revealed seven phosphatases with common preferred substrates. The cluster of secondary substrates supporting significant activity of both S. cerevisiae and E. coli HADs includes 28 common metabolites that appear to represent the pool of potential activities for the evolution of novel HAD phosphatases. Evolution of novel substrate specificities of HAD phosphatases shows no strict correlation with sequence divergence. Thus, evolution of the HAD superfamily combines the conservation of the overall substrate pool and the substrate profiles of some enzymes with remarkable biochemical and structural flexibility of other superfamily members. Copyright © 2015, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2015; 290(30). DOI:10.1074/jbc.M115.657916 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) and its clinical, industry and disease-foundation partners are launching open-source preclinical translational medicine studies.
    Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 03/2015; 14(3):149-50. DOI:10.1038/nrd4565 · 41.91 Impact Factor
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    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 · 3.81 Impact Factor
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    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 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    PLoS Computational Biology 09/2013; 9(9):e1003244. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003244 · 4.62 Impact Factor
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    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; 110(24). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1217042110 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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    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 · 33.61 Impact Factor
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    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 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    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 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    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.
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    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 · 4.02 Impact Factor
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    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 · 4.25 Impact Factor
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    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 · 4.57 Impact Factor
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    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 · 2.81 Impact Factor
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    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(1):39. DOI:10.1186/1750-1172-7-39 · 3.36 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

5k Citations
1,067.75 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
  • 2011
    • Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2003–2006
    • University Health Network
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1997–2005
    • The Rockefeller University
      New York City, New York, United States
  • 2002
    • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
      • Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory
      Richland, WA, United States
  • 2000–2002
    • Ontario Institute for Cancer Research
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    • University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
      • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
      Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • 2001
    • The Princess Margaret Hospital
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1993–1997
    • McMaster University
      • Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology
      Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • 1991
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Structural Biology
      Palo Alto, California, United States