Helen R Mott

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (39)245.52 Total impact

  • Helen R Mott, Darerca Owen
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    ABSTRACT: RLIP76 (Ral-interacting protein of 76 kDa) [also known as RalBP1 (Ral-binding protein 1)] is an effector for the Ral family small GTPases. RLIP76 has been implicated in a number of cell processes, including receptor-mediated endocytosis, cell migration, mitochondrial division and metabolite transport. RLIP76 has two recognizable domains in the centre of the protein sequence: a GAP (GTPase-activating protein) domain for the Rho family G-proteins and an RBD (Ral-binding domain). The remainder of RLIP76 has no discernable homology with other proteins. The RBD forms a simple coiled-coil of two α-helices, which interacts with RalB by binding to both of the nucleotide-sensitive 'switch' regions. Both of these RLIP76 helices are involved in the interaction with Ral, but the interhelix loop is left free. This is the location of one of the two ATP-binding sites that have been identified in RLIP76 and suggests that Ral interaction would not prevent ATP binding. The structure of the RhoGAP-RBD dyad shows that the two domains are fixed in their orientation by a relatively rigid linker. This domain arrangement allows the two domains to engage Rho family and Ral small G-proteins simultaneously at the membrane. This suggests that RLIP76 is a node for Rho and Ras family signalling.
    Biochemical Society Transactions 02/2014; 42(1):52-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinase C-related kinases (PRKs) are members of the protein kinase C superfamily of serine-threonine kinases and can be activated by binding to members of the Rho family of GTPases via a Rho-binding motif known as an HR1 domain. Three tandem HR1 domains reside at the N-terminus of the PRKs. We have assessed the ability of the HR1a and HR1b domains from the three PRK isoforms (PRK1, PRK2, and PRK3) to interact with the three Rho isoforms (RhoA, RhoB, and RhoC). The affinities of RhoA and RhoC for a construct encompassing both PRK1 HR1 domains were similar to those for the HR1a domain alone, suggesting that these interactions are mediated solely by the HR1a domain. The affinities of RhoB for both the PRK1 HR1a domain and the HR1ab didomain were higher than those of RhoA or RhoC. RhoB also bound more tightly to the didomain than to the HR1a domain alone, implicating the HR1b domain in the interaction. As compared with PRK1 HR1 domains, PRK2 and PRK3 domains bind less well to all Rho isoforms. Uniquely, however, the PRK3 domains display a specificity for RhoB that requires both the C-terminus of RhoB and the PRK3 HR1b domain. The thermal stability of the HR1a and HR1b domains was also investigated. The PRK2 HR1a domain was found to be the most thermally stable, while PRK2 HR1b, PRK3 HR1a, and PRK3 HR1b domains all exhibited lower melting temperatures, similar to that of the PRK1 HR1a domain. The lower thermal stability of the PRK2 and PRK3 HR1b domains may impart greater flexibility, driving their ability to interact with Rho isoforms.
    Biochemistry 10/2013; 52(45):7999–8011. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RLIP76 is an effector for Ral small GTPases, which in turn lie downstream of the master regulator Ras. Evidence is growing that Ral and RLIP76 play a role in tumorigenesis, invasion, and metastasis. RLIP76 contains both a RhoGAP domain and a Ral binding domain (GBD) and is, therefore, a node between Ras and Rho family signaling. The structure of the RhoGAP-GBD dyad reveals that the RLIP76 RhoGAP domain adopts a canonical RhoGAP domain structure and that the linker between the two RLIP76 domains is structured, fixing the orientation of the two domains and allowing RLIP76 to interact with Rho-family GTPases and Ral simultaneously. However, the juxtaposed domains do not influence each other functionally, suggesting that the RLIP76-Ral interaction controls cellular localization and that the fixed orientation of the two domains orientates the RhoGAP domain with respect to the membrane, allowing it to be perfectly poised to engage its target G proteins.
    Structure 10/2013; · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cross-β amyloid form of peptides and proteins represents an archetypal and widely accessible structure consisting of ordered arrays of β-sheet filaments. These complex aggregates have remarkable chemical and physical properties, and the conversion of normally soluble functional forms of proteins into amyloid structures is linked to many debilitating human diseases, including several common forms of age-related dementia. Despite their importance, however, cross-β amyloid fibrils have proved to be recalcitrant to detailed structural analysis. By combining structural constraints from a series of experimental techniques spanning five orders of magnitude in length scale-including magic angle spinning nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, X-ray fiber diffraction, cryoelectron microscopy, scanning transmission electron microscopy, and atomic force microscopy-we report the atomic-resolution (0.5 Å) structures of three amyloid polymorphs formed by an 11-residue peptide. These structures reveal the details of the packing interactions by which the constituent β-strands are assembled hierarchically into protofilaments, filaments, and mature fibrils.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2013; · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinase C-related kinases (PRKs) are serine/threonine kinases that are members of the protein kinase C superfamily and can be activated by binding to members of the Rho family of small G proteins via a Rho binding motif known as an HR1 domain. The PRKs contain three tandem HR1 domains at their N-termini. The structure of the HR1a domain from PRK1 in complex with RhoA [Maesaki, R., et al. (1999) Mol. Cell 4, 793-803] identified two potential contact interfaces between the G protein and the HR1a domain. In this work, we have used an alanine scanning mutagenesis approach to identify whether both contact sites are used when the two proteins interact in solution and also whether HR1b, the second HR1 domain from PRK1, plays a role in binding to RhoA. The mutagenesis identified just one contact site as being relevant for binding of RhoA and HR1a in solution, and the HR1b domain was found not to contribute to RhoA binding. The folded state and thermal stability of the HR1a and HR1b domains were also investigated. HR1b was found to be more thermally stable than HR1a, and it is hypothesized that the differences in the biophysical properties of these two domains govern their interaction with small G proteins.
    Biochemistry 02/2011; 50(14):2860-9. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RLIP76 (also known as RalBP1) is an effector for Ral small G proteins. RLIP76 is a multifunctional, multi-domain protein that includes a GTPase activating domain for the Rho family (RhoGAP domain) and a GTPase binding domain (GBD) for the Ral small G proteins. The juxtaposition of these two domains (GAP and GBD) may be a strategy employed to co-ordinate regulation of Rho family and Ral-controlled signalling pathways at a crossover node. Here we present the 1H, 15N and 13C NMR backbone and sidechain resonance assignments of the GAP and GBD di-domain (31kDa). KeywordsRLIP76–RalBP1–Ral GTPase–Multidomain protein–Endocytosis–Signalling
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 01/2011; 6(2):1-4. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: RLIP76 (RalBP1) is a multidomain protein that interacts with multiple small G protein families: Ral via a specific binding domain, and Rho and R-Ras via a GTPase activating domain. RLIP76 interacts with endocytosis proteins and has also been shown to behave as a membrane ATPase that transports chemotherapeutic agents from the cell. We have determined the structure of the Ral-binding domain of RLIP76 and show that it comprises a coiled-coil motif. The structure of the RLIP76-RalB complex reveals a novel mode of binding compared to the structures of RalA complexed with the exocyst components Sec5 and Exo84. RLIP76 interacts with both nucleotide-sensitive regions of RalB, and key residues in the interface have been identified using affinity measurements of RalB mutants. Sec5, Exo84, and RLIP76 bind Ral proteins competitively and with similar affinities in vitro.
    Structure 08/2010; 18(8):985-95. · 5.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Seven-helix membrane proteins represent a challenge for structural biology. Here we report the first NMR structure determination of a detergent-solubilized seven-helix transmembrane (7TM) protein, the phototaxis receptor sensory rhodopsin II (pSRII) from Natronomonas pharaonis, as a proof of principle. The overall quality of the structure ensemble is good (backbone r.m.s. deviation of 0.48 A) and agrees well with previously determined X-ray structures. Furthermore, measurements in more native-like small phospholipid bicelles indicate that the protein structure is the same as in detergent micelles, suggesting that environment-specific effects are minimal when using mild detergents. We use our case study as a platform to discuss the feasibility of similar solution NMR studies for other 7TM proteins, including members of the family of G protein-coupled receptors.
    Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 06/2010; 17(6):768-74. · 11.90 Impact Factor
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    Helen R Mott, Darerca Owen
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    ABSTRACT: RLIP76 (RalBP1) is a multidomain protein that is a downstream effector of the small GTP ases RalA and RalB. As well as the Ral binding domain it contains a RhoGAP domain active against Cdc42 and Rac1. RLIP76 also binds to proteins involved in endocytosis and to R-Ras. We recently solved the structure of the Ral binding domain of RLIP76 and the structure of the complex that it forms with RalB. The structure shows that, unlike the other Ral effectors characterized so far, RLIP76 forms a coiled-coil that interacts with RalB. The RLIP76 Ral binding domain binds to both the switch regions of RalB, which are the parts of the G protein that chance conformation upon nucleotide exchange. Here, we review our structure and discuss how it sheds light on the other functions of RLIP76.
    Small GTPases 01/2010; 1(3):157-160.
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    ABSTRACT: Several species of African trypanosomes cause fatal disease in livestock, but most cannot infect humans due to innate trypanosome lytic factors (TLFs). Human TLFs are pore forming high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles that contain apolipoprotein L-I (apoL-I) the trypanolytic component, and haptoglobin-related protein (Hpr), which binds free hemoglobin (Hb) in blood and facilitates the uptake of TLF via a trypanosome haptoglobin-hemoglobin receptor. The human-infective Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense escapes lysis by TLF by expression of serum resistance-associated (SRA) protein, which binds and neutralizes apoL-I. Unlike humans, baboons are not susceptible to infection by T. b. rhodesiense due to previously unidentified serum factors. Here, we show that baboons have a TLF complex that contains orthologs of Hpr and apoL-I and that full-length baboon apoL-I confers trypanolytic activity to mice and when expressed together with baboon Hpr and human apoA-I, provides protection against both animal infective and the human-infective T. brucei rhodesiense in vivo. We further define two critical lysines near the C terminus of baboon apoL-1 that are necessary and sufficient to prevent binding to SRA and thereby confer resistance to human-infective trypanosomes. These findings form the basis for the creation of TLF transgenic livestock that would be resistant to animal and human-infective trypanosomes, which would result in the reduction of disease and the zoonotic transmission of human infective trypanosomes.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 10/2009; 106(46):19509-14. · 9.74 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report (1)H, (13)C and (15)N resonance assignments for Binder of Arl Two (BART), an effector of the small G protein Arl2. The BMRB accession code is 15914.
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 07/2009; 3(1):33-6. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The small G proteins RalA/B have a crucial function in the regulatory network that couples extracellular signals with appropriate cellular responses. RalA/B are an important component of the Ras signaling pathway and, in addition to their role in membrane trafficking, are implicated in the initiation and maintenance of tumorigenic transformation of human cells. RalA and RalB share 85% sequence identity and collaborate in supporting cancer cell proliferation but have markedly different effects. RalA is important in mediating proliferation, while depletion of RalB results in transformed cells undergoing apoptosis. Crystal structures of RalA in the free form and in complex with its effectors, Sec5 and Exo84, have been solved. Here we have determined the solution structure of free RalB bound to the GTP analogue GMPPNP to an RMSD of 0.6 A. We show that, while the overall architecture of RalB is very similar to the crystal structure of RalA, differences exist in the switch regions, which are sensitive to the bound nucleotide. Backbone 15N dynamics suggest that there are four regions of disorder in RalB: the P-loop, switch I, switch II, and the loop comprising residues 116-121, which has a single residue insertion compared to RalA. 31P NMR data and the structure of RalB.GMPPNP show that the switch regions predominantly adopt state 1 (Ras nomenclature) in the unbound form, which in Ras is not competent to bind effectors. In contrast, 31P NMR analysis of RalB.GTP reveals that conformations corresponding to states 1 and 2 are both sampled in solution and that addition of an effector protein only partially stabilizes state 2.
    Biochemistry 02/2009; 48(10):2192-206. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report here the (1)H, (15)N and (13)C resonance assignments for the small G protein RalB bound to the GTP analogue, GMPPNP and complexed with the Ral binding domain of its downstream effector RLIP76. The BMRB accession code is 15525.
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 01/2009; 2(2):179-82. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report (1)H and (15)N resonance assignments for the free Ral binding domain of RLIP76 (393-446) and the (1)H, (15)N and (13)C resonance assignments for the RLIP76 Ral binding domain in complex with the active conformation of RalB. The BMRB accession code for free RLIP76 is 15524 and in complex with RalB is 15525.
    Biomolecular NMR Assignments 01/2009; 2(2):191-4. · 0.64 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The ADP-ribosylation factor-like (Arl) family of small G proteins are involved in the regulation of diverse cellular processes. Arl2 does not appear to be membrane localized and has been implicated as a regulator of microtubule dynamics. The downstream effector for Arl2, Binder of Arl 2 (BART) has no known function but, together with Arl2, can enter mitochondria and bind the adenine nucleotide transporter. We have solved the solution structure of BART and show that it forms a novel fold composed of six alpha-helices that form three interlocking "L" shapes. Analysis of the backbone dynamics reveals that the protein is highly anisotropic and that the loops between the central helices are dynamic. The regions involved in the binding of Arl2 were mapped onto the surface of BART and are found to localize to these loop regions. BART has faces of differing charge and structural elements, which may explain how it can interact with other proteins.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 12/2008; 284(2):992-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The cell surface of African trypanosomes is covered by a densely packed monolayer of a single protein, the variant surface glycoprotein (VSG). The VSG protects the trypanosome cell surface from effector molecules of the host immune system and is the mediator of antigenic variation. The sequence divergence between VSGs that is necessary for antigenic variation can only occur within the constraints imposed by the structural features necessary to form the monolayer barrier. Here, the structures of the two domains that together comprise the C-terminal di-domain of VSG ILTat1.24 have been determined. The first domain has a structure similar to the single C-terminal domain of VSG MITat1.2 and provides proof of structural conservation in VSG C-terminal domains complementing the conservation of structure present in the N-terminal domain. The second domain, although based on the same fold, is a minimized version missing several structural features. The structure of the second domain contains the C-terminal residue that in the native VSG is attached to a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor that retains the VSG on the external face of the plasma membrane. The solution structures of this domain and a VSG GPI glycan have been combined to produce the first structure-based model of a GPI-anchored protein. The model suggests that the core glycan of the GPI anchor lies in a groove on the surface of the domain and that there is a close association between the GPI glycan and protein. More widely, the GPI glycan may be an integral part of the structure of other GPI-anchored proteins.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2008; 283(6):3584-93. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein kinase C-related kinase 1 (PRK1 or PKN) is involved in regulation of the intermediate filaments of the actin cytoskeleton, as well as having effects on processes as diverse as mitotic timing and apoptosis. It is activated by interacting with the Rho family small G proteins and arachidonic acid or by caspase cleavage. We have previously shown that the HR1b of PRK1 binds exclusively to Rac1, whereas the HR1a domain binds to both Rac1 and RhoA. Here, we have determined the solution structure of the HR1b-Rac complex. We show that HR1b binds to the C-terminal end of the effector loop and switch 2 of Rac1. Comparison with the HR1a-RhoA structure shows that this part of the Rac1-HR1b interaction is homologous to one of the contact sites that HR1a makes with RhoA. The Rac1 used in this study included the C-terminal polybasic region, which is frequently omitted from structural studies, as well as the core G domain. The Rac1 C-terminal region reverses in direction to interact with residues in switch 2, and the polybasic region itself interacts with residues in HR1b. The interactions with HR1b do not prevent the polybasic region being available to contact the negatively charged membrane phospholipids, which is considered to be its primary role. This is the first structural demonstration that the C terminus of a G protein forms a novel recognition element for effector binding.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2008; 283(3):1492-500. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IQGAP1 contains a domain related to the catalytic portion of the GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) for the Ras small G proteins, yet it has no RasGAP activity and binds to the Rho family small G proteins Cdc42 and Rac1. It is thought that IQGAP1 is an effector of Rac1 and Cdc42, regulating cell-cell adhesion through the E-cadherin-catenin complex, which controls formation and maintenance of adherens junctions. This study investigates the binding interfaces of the Rac1-IQGAP1 and Cdc42-IQGAP1 complexes. We mutated Rac1 and Cdc42 and measured the effects of mutations on their affinity for IQGAP1. We have identified similarities and differences in the relative importance of residues used by Rac1 and Cdc42 to bind IQGAP1. Furthermore, the residues involved in the complexes formed with IQGAP1 differ from those formed with other effector proteins and GAPs. Relatively few mutations in switch I of Cdc42 or Rac1 affect IQGAP1 binding; only mutations in residues 32 and 36 significantly decrease affinity for IQGAP1. Switch II mutations also affect binding to IQGAP1 although the effects differ between Rac1 and Cdc42; mutation of either Asp-63, Arg-68, or Leu-70 abrogate Rac1 binding, whereas no switch II mutations affect Cdc42 binding to IQGAP1. The Rho family "insert loop" does not contribute to the binding affinity of Rac1/Cdc42 for IQGAP1. We also present thermodynamic data pertaining to the Rac1/Cdc42-RhoGAP complexes. Switch II contributes a large portion of the total binding energy to these complexes, whereas switch I mutations also affect binding. In addition we identify "cold spots" in the Rac1/Cdc42-RhoGAP/IQGAP1 interfaces. Competition data reveal that the binding sites for IQGAP1 and RhoGAP on the small G proteins overlap only partially. Overall, the data presented here suggest that, despite their 71% identity, Cdc42 and Rac1 appear to have only partially overlapping binding sites on IQGAP1, and each uses different determinants to achieve high affinity binding.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2008; 283(3):1692-704. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Protein molecules have the ability to form a rich variety of natural and artificial structures and materials. We show that amyloid fibrils, ordered supramolecular nanostructures that are self-assembled from a wide range of polypeptide molecules, have rigidities varying over four orders of magnitude, and constitute a class of high-performance biomaterials. We elucidate the molecular origin of fibril material properties and show that the major contribution to their rigidity stems from a generic interbackbone hydrogen-bonding network that is modulated by variable side-chain interactions.
    Science 01/2008; 318(5858):1900-3. · 31.20 Impact Factor