Jason Concel

University of Delaware, Newark, DE, United States

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Publications (8)70.55 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The cullin4A-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL4) is a multisubunit protein complex, comprising cullin4A (CUL4), RING H2 finger protein (RBX1), and DNA damage-binding protein 1 (DDB1). Proteins that recruit specific targets to CRL4 for ubiquitination (ubiquitylation) bind the DDB1 adaptor protein via WD40 domains. Such CRL4 substrate recognition modules are DDB1- and CUL4-associated factors (DCAFs). Here we show that, for DCAF1, oligomerization of the protein and the CRL4 complex occurs via a short helical region (residues 845-873) N-terminal to DACF1's own WD40 domain. This sequence was previously designated as a LIS1 homology (LisH) motif. The oligomerization helix contains a stretch of four Leu residues, which appear to be essential for α-helical structure and oligomerization. In vitro reconstituted CRL4-DCAF1 complexes (CRL4(DCAF1)) form symmetric dimers as visualized by electron microscopy (EM), and dimeric CRL4(DCAF1) is a better E3 ligase for in vitro ubiquitination of the UNG2 substrate compared to a monomeric complex.
    Biochemistry 03/2011; 50(8):1359-67. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a family of homonuclear (13)C-(13)C magic angle spinning spin diffusion experiments, based on R2(n)(v) (n = 1 and 2, v = 1 and 2) symmetry sequences. These experiments are well suited for (13)C-(13)C correlation spectroscopy in biological and organic systems and are especially advantageous at very fast MAS conditions, where conventional PDSD and DARR experiments fail. At very fast MAS frequencies the R2(1)(1), R2(2)(1), and R2(2)(2) sequences result in excellent quality correlation spectra both in model compounds and in proteins. Under these conditions, individual R2(n)(v) display different polarization transfer efficiency dependencies on isotropic chemical shift differences: R2(2)(1) recouples efficiently both small and large chemical shift differences (in proteins these correspond to aliphatic-to-aliphatic and carbonyl-to-aliphatic correlations, respectively), while R2(1)(1) and R2(2)(2) exhibit the maximum recoupling efficiency for the aliphatic-to-aliphatic or carbonyl-to-aliphatic correlations, respectively. At moderate MAS frequencies (10-20 kHz), all R2(n)(v) sequences introduced in this work display similar transfer efficiencies, and their performance is very similar to that of PDSD and DARR. Polarization transfer dynamics and chemical shift dependencies of these R2-driven spin diffusion (RDSD) schemes are experimentally evaluated and investigated by numerical simulations for [U-(13)C,(15)N]-alanine and the [U-(13)C,(15)N] N-formyl-Met-Leu-Phe (MLF) tripeptide. Further applications of this approach are illustrated for several proteins: spherical assemblies of HIV-1 U-(13)C,(15)N CA protein, U-(13)C,(15)N-enriched dynein light chain DLC8, and sparsely (13)C/uniformly (15)N enriched CAP-Gly domain of dynactin. Due to the excellent performance and ease of implementation, the presented R2(n)(v) symmetry sequences are expected to be of wide applicability in studies of proteins and protein assemblies as well as other organic solids by MAS NMR spectroscopy.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2011; 133(11):3943-53. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The capsid (CA) protein plays crucial roles in HIV infection and replication, essential to viral maturation. The absence of high-resolution structural data on unassembled CA hinders the development of antivirals effective in inhibiting assembly. Unlike enzymes that have targetable, functional substrate-binding sites, the CA does not have a known site that affects catalytic or other innate activity, which can be more readily targeted in drug development efforts. We report the crystal structure of the HIV-1 CA, revealing the domain organization in the context of the wild-type full-length (FL) unassembled CA. The FL CA adopts an antiparallel dimer configuration, exhibiting a domain organization sterically incompatible with capsid assembly. A small compound, generated in situ during crystallization, is bound tightly at a hinge site ("H site"), indicating that binding at this interdomain region stabilizes the ADP conformation. Electron microscopy studies on nascent crystals reveal both dimeric and hexameric lattices coexisting within a single condition, in agreement with the interconvertibility of oligomeric forms and supporting the feasibility of promoting assembly-incompetent dimeric states. Solution characterization in the presence of the H-site ligand shows predominantly unassembled dimeric CA, even under conditions that promote assembly. Our structure elucidation of the HIV-1 FL CA and characterization of a potential allosteric binding site provides three-dimensional views of an assembly-defective conformation, a state targeted in, and thus directly relevant to, inhibitor development. Based on our findings, we propose an unprecedented means of preventing CA assembly, by "conformationally trapping" CA in assembly-incompetent conformational states induced by H-site binding.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 02/2011; 406(3):371-86. · 3.91 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2011; 100(3). · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In mature HIV-1 virions, the 26.6 kDa CA protein is assembled into a characteristic cone-shaped core (capsid) that encloses the RNA viral genome. The assembled capsid structure is best described by a fullerene cone model that is made up from a hexameric lattice containing a variable number of CA pentamers, thus allowing for closure of tubular or conical structures. In this paper, we present a solid-state NMR analysis of the wild-type HIV-1 CA protein, prepared as conical and spherical assemblies that are stable and are not affected by magic angle spinning of the samples at frequencies between 10 and 25 kHz. Multidimensional homo- and heteronuclear correlation spectra of CA assemblies of uniformly (13)C,(15)N-labeled CA exhibit narrow lines, indicative of the conformational homogeneity of the protein in these assemblies. For the conical assemblies, partial residue-specific resonance assignments were obtained. Analysis of the NMR spectra recorded for the conical and spherical assemblies indicates that the CA protein structure is not significantly different in the different morphologies. The present results demonstrate that the assemblies of CA protein are amenable to detailed structural analysis by solid-state NMR spectroscopy.
    Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2010; 132(6):1976-87. · 10.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lemay et al recently reported that the RNA binding protein HuR directly interacts with the ribonuclease H (RNase H) domain of HIV-1 reverse transcriptase (RT) and influences the efficiency of viral reverse transcription (Lemay et al., 2008, Retrovirology 5:47). HuR is a member of the embryonic lethal abnormal vision protein family and contains 3 RNA recognition motifs (RRMs) that bind AU-rich elements (AREs). To define the structural determinants of the HuR-RT interaction and to elucidate the mechanism(s) by which HuR influences HIV-1 reverse transcription activity in vitro, we cloned and purified full-length HuR as well as three additional protein constructs that contained the N-terminal and internal RRMs, the internal and C-terminal RRMs, or the C-terminal RRM only. All four HuR proteins were purified and characterized by biophysical methods. They are well structured and exist as monomers in solution. No direct protein-protein interaction between HuR and HIV-1 RT was detected using NMR titrations with 15N labeled HuR variants or the 15N labeled RNase H domain of HIV-1 RT. Furthermore, HuR did not significantly affect the kinetics of HIV-1 reverse transcription in vitro, even on RNA templates that contain AREs. Our results suggest that HuR does not impact HIV-1 replication through a direct protein-protein interaction with the viral RT.
    Retrovirology 01/2010; 7:40. · 5.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mature HIV-1 particles contain conical-shaped capsids that enclose the viral RNA genome and perform essential functions in the virus life cycle. Previous structural analysis of two- and three-dimensional arrays of the capsid protein (CA) hexamer revealed three interfaces. Here, we present a cryoEM study of a tubular assembly of CA and a high-resolution NMR structure of the CA C-terminal domain (CTD) dimer. In the solution dimer structure, the monomers exhibit different relative orientations compared to previous X-ray structures. The solution structure fits well into the EM density map, suggesting that the dimer interface is retained in the assembled CA. We also identified a CTD-CTD interface at the local three-fold axis in the cryoEM map and confirmed its functional importance by mutagenesis. In the tubular assembly, CA intermolecular interfaces vary slightly, accommodating the asymmetry present in tubes. This provides the necessary plasticity to allow for controlled virus capsid dis/assembly.
    Cell 11/2009; 139(4):780-90. · 31.96 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 capsid protein (CA) encloses the viral RNA genome and forms a conical-shaped particle in the mature HIV-1 virion, with orderly capsid assembly and disassembly critically important for viral infectivity. The 231 residue CA is composed of two helical domains, connected by a short linker sequence. In solution, CA exhibits concentration dependent dimerization which is mediated by the C-terminal domain (CTD). Here, we present nearly complete (1)H, (15)N and (13)C assignments for the 20 kDa homodimeric CA-CTD, a prerequisite for structural characterization of the CA-CTD dimer.
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 11/2009; 4(1):21-3. · 0.64 Impact Factor