[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Control over phenoxy radical-radical coupling reactions in vivo in vascular plants was enigmatic until our discovery of dirigent proteins (DPs, from the Latin dirigere, to guide or align). The first three-dimensional structure of a DP ((+)-pinoresinol forming DP, 1.95 Å resolution, rhombohedral space group H32)) is reported herein. It has a tightly packed trimeric structure with an eight-stranded beta-barrel topology for each DPmonomer. Each putative substrate binding and orientation coupling site is located on the trimer surface but too far apart for intermolecular coupling between sites. It is proposed that each site enables stereoselective coupling (using either two coniferyl alcohol radicals or a radical and a monolignol). Interestingly, there are six differentially conserved residues in DPs affording either the (+)- or (-)-antipodes in the vicinity of the putative binding site and region known to control stereoselectivity. DPs are involved in lignan biosynthesis, whereas dirigent domains/sites have been implicated in lignin deposition.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2015; 290(3):1308-1318. · 4.57 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The study of protein interactions in the context of living cells can generate critical information about localization, dynamics, and interacting partners. This information is particularly valuable in the context of host-pathogen interactions. Many pathogen proteins function within host cells in a variety of way such as, enabling evasion of the host immune system and survival within the intracellular environment. To study these pathogen-protein host-cell interactions, several approaches are commonly used, including: in vivo infection with a strain expressing a tagged or mutant protein, or introduction of pathogen genes via transfection or transduction. Each of these approaches has advantages and disadvantages. We sought a means to directly introduce exogenous proteins into cells. Electroporation is commonly used to introduce nucleic acids into cells, but has been more rarely applied to proteins although the biophysical basis is exactly the same. A standard electroporator was used to introduce affinity-tagged bacterial effectors into mammalian cells. Human epithelial and mouse macrophage cells were cultured by traditional methods, detached, and placed in 0.4 cm gap electroporation cuvettes with an exogenous bacterial pathogen protein of interest (e.g. Salmonella Typhimurium GtgE). After electroporation (0.3 kV) and a short (4 hr) recovery period, intracellular protein was verified by fluorescently labeling the protein via its affinity tag and examining spatial and temporal distribution by confocal microscopy. The electroporated protein was also shown to be functional inside the cell and capable of correct subcellular trafficking and protein-protein interaction. While the exogenous proteins tended to accumulate on the surface of the cells, the electroporated samples had large increases in intracellular effector concentration relative to incubation alone. The protocol is simple and fast enough to be done in a parallel fashion, allowing for high-throughput characterization of pathogen proteins in host cells including subcellular targeting and function of virulence proteins.
Journal of Visualized Experiments 01/2015; DOI:10.3791/52296
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) oil and hydrotreated product from pine tree farm waste (forest product residual, FPR) have been analyzed by direct infusion electrospray ionization Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry (ESI FT-ICR MS) in both positive- and negative-ionization modes and high-resolution two-dimensional heteronuclear 1H–13C NMR spectroscopy. FT-ICR MS resolves thousands of compounds in complex oils and provides unparalleled compositional details for individual molecules for identification of compound class (heteroatom content), type (number of rings plus double bonds to carbon or double bond equivalents (DBE) and carbon number (degree of alkylation). Heteronuclear 1H–13C NMR spectroscopy provides one-bond and multiple-bond correlations between pairs of 1H and 13C chemical shifts that are characteristic of different organic functional groups. Taken together this information provides a picture of the chemical composition of these oils. Pyrolysis crude oil product from pine wood was characterized for comparison. Generally, pyrolysis oil is comprised of a more diverse distribution of heteroatom classes with higher oxygen number relative to HTL oil as shown by both positive- and negative-ion ESI FT-ICR MS. A total of 300 N1, 594 O1 and 267 O2 compounds were observed as products of hydrotreatment. The relative abundance of N1O1, N1O2, N1O3, N2, N2O1, N2O2 and O3 compounds are reduced to different degrees after hydrotreatment and other higher heteroatom containing species (O4–O10, N1O4, N1O5 and N2O3) are completely removed by hydrotreatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One of the main aims of the multi-year program plan of the DOE’s Bioenergy Technologies Office (BETO) is the production of liquid transportation fuels from biomass in an efficient and cost-effective way, targeting a cost of $3/gasoline gallon equivalent (gge) by 2017. Conversion of wood and agricultural materials through the fast pyrolysis followed by catalytic upgrading pathway is one of the most promising thermochemical routes. Until recently, removal of O from the chemically and thermally unstable pyrolysis oils through catalytic upgrading was plagued with process shutdown within 100 hours of operation due to plug formation. Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) found out that the presence or absence of specific functionalities in the bio- oil enables achievement of much longer continuous process operations. This report aims to present the characteristics of oils produced in the various intermediate streams of the different reactors in the current state of the art of the process. By understanding the quality of the oils being produced, improvements such as targeted design of better catalysts active at more efficient operating conditions can be better informed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial species in the Enterobacteriaceae typically contain multiple paralogues of a small domain of unknown function (DUF1471) from a family of conserved proteins also known as YhcN or BhsA/McbA. Proteins containing DUF1471 may have a single or three copies of this domain. Representatives of this family have been demonstrated to play roles in several cellular processes including stress response, biofilm formation, and pathogenesis. We have conducted NMR and X-ray crystallographic studies of four DUF1471 domains from Salmonella representing three different paralogous DUF1471 subfamilies: SrfN, YahO, and SssB/YdgH (two of its three DUF1471 domains: the N-terminal domain I (residues 21-91), and the C-terminal domain III (residues 244-314)). Notably, SrfN has been shown to have a role in intracellular infection by Salmonella Typhimurium. These domains share less than 35% pairwise sequence identity. Structures of all four domains show a mixed α+β fold that is most similar to that of bacterial lipoprotein RcsF. However, all four DUF1471 sequences lack the redox sensitive cysteine residues essential for RcsF activity in a phospho-relay pathway, suggesting that DUF1471 domains perform a different function(s). SrfN forms a dimer in contrast to YahO and SssB domains I and III, which are monomers in solution. A putative binding site for oxyanions such as phosphate and sulfate was identified in SrfN, and an interaction between the SrfN dimer and sulfated polysaccharides was demonstrated, suggesting a direct role for this DUF1471 domain at the host-pathogen interface.
PLoS ONE 07/2014; DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0101787 · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dissimilatory reduction of sulfite is carried out by the siroheme enzyme DsrAB, with the involvement of the protein DsrC, which has two conserved redox-active cysteines. DsrC was initially believed to be a third subunit of DsrAB. Here, we report a study of the distribution of DsrC in cell extracts to show that, in the model sulfate reducer Desulfovibrio vulgaris, the majority of DsrC is not associated with DsrAB and is thus free to interact with other proteins. In addition, we developed a cysteine-labelling gel-shift assay to monitor the DsrC redox state and behaviour, and procedures to produce the different redox forms. The oxidized state of DsrC with an intramolecular disulfide bond, which is proposed to be a key metabolic intermediate, could be successfully produced for the first time by treatment with arginine.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 11/2013; 441(4). DOI:10.1016/j.bbrc.2013.10.116 · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiprotein complexes, rather than individual proteins, make up a large part of the biological macromolecular machinery of a cell. Understanding the structure and organization of these complexes is critical to understanding cellular function. Chemical cross-linking coupled with mass spectrometry is emerging as a complementary technique to traditional structural biology methods and can provide low-resolution structural information for a multitude of purposes, such as distance constraints in computational modeling of protein complexes. In this review, we discuss the experimental considerations for successful application of chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry in biological studies and highlight three examples of such studies from the recent literature. These examples (as well as many others) illustrate the utility of a chemical cross-linking-mass spectrometry approach in facilitating structural analysis of large and challenging complexes.
Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 08/2013; DOI:10.1007/s10969-013-9160-z
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of the mature protein complement in cells is crucial for a better understanding of cellular processes on a systems-wide scale. Toward this end, we used single-dimension ultra-high-pressure liquid chromatography mass spectrometry to investigate the comprehensive "intact" proteome of the Gram-negative bacterial pathogen Salmonella Typhimurium. Top-down proteomics analysis revealed 563 unique proteins including 1,665 proteoforms generated by posttranslational modifications (PTMs), representing the largest microbial top-down dataset reported to date. We confirmed many previously recognized aspects of Salmonella biology and bacterial PTMs, and our analysis also revealed several additional biological insights. Of particular interest was differential utilization of the protein S-thiolation forms S-glutathionylation and S-cysteinylation in response to infection-like conditions versus basal conditions. This finding of a S-glutathionylation-to-S-cysteinylation switch in a condition-specific manner was corroborated by bottom-up proteomics data and further by changes in corresponding biosynthetic pathways under infection-like conditions and during actual infection of host cells. This differential utilization highlights underlying metabolic mechanisms that modulate changes in cellular signaling, and represents a report of S-cysteinylation in Gram-negative bacteria. Additionally, the functional relevance of these PTMs was supported by protein structure and gene deletion analyses. The demonstrated utility of our simple proteome-wide intact protein level measurement strategy for gaining biological insight should promote broader adoption and applications of top-down proteomics approaches.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 05/2013; 110(25). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1221210110 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Phage viruses that infect prokaryotes integrate their genome into the host chromosome; thus, microbial genomes typically contain genetic remnants of both recent and ancient phage infections. Often phage genes occur in clusters of atypical G+C content that reflect integration of the foreign DNA. However, some phage genes occur in isolation without other phage gene neighbors, probably resulting from horizontal gene transfer. In these cases, the phage gene product is unlikely to function as a component of a mature phage particle, and instead may have been co-opted by the host for its own benefit. The product of one such gene from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, STM3605, encodes a protein with modest sequence similarity to phage-like lysozyme (N-acetylmuramidase) but appears to lack essential catalytic residues that are strictly conserved in all lysozymes. Close homologs in other bacteria share this characteristic. The structure of the STM3605 protein was characterized by X-ray crystallography, and functional assays showed that it is a stable, folded protein whose structure closely resembles lysozyme. However, this protein is unlikely to hydrolyze peptidoglycan. Instead, STM3605 is presumed to have evolved an alternative function because it shows some lytic activity and partitions to micelles.
Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 04/2013; 14(1). DOI:10.1007/s10969-013-9151-0
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus is a thermophilic, Gram-positive, non-spore forming, strictly anaerobic bacterium of interest in potential industrial applications, including the production of biofuels such as hydrogen or ethanol from lignocellulosic biomass through fermentation. High-resolution, solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is a useful method for the identification and quantification of metabolites that result from growth on different substrates. NMR allows facile resolution of isomeric (identical mass) constituents and does not destroy the sample.
Profiles of metabolites produced by the thermophilic cellulose-degrading bacterium Caldicellulosiruptor saccharolyticus DSM 8903 strain following growth on different monosaccharides (D-glucose, D-mannose, L-arabinose, D-arabinose, D-xylose, L-fucose, and D-fucose) as carbon sources revealed several unexpected fermentation products, suggesting novel metabolic capacities and unexplored metabolic pathways in this organism. Both 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy were used to determine intracellular and extracellular metabolite profiles. One dimensional 1H NMR spectral analysis was performed by curve fitting against spectral libraries provided in the Chenomx software; 2-D homonuclear and heteronuclear NMR experiments were conducted to further reduce uncertainties due to unassigned, overlapping, or poorly-resolved peaks. In addition to expected metabolites such as acetate, lactate, glycerol, and ethanol, several novel fermentation products were identified: ethylene glycol (from growth on D-arabinose), acetoin and 2,3-butanediol (from growth on D-glucose, L-arabinose, and D-xylose), and hydroxyacetone (from growth on D-mannose, L-arabinose, and D-xylose). Production of ethylene glycol from D-arabinose was particularly notable, with around 10% of the substrate carbon converted into this uncommon fermentation product.
The present research shows that C. saccharolyticus, already of substantial interest due to its capability for biological ethanol and hydrogen production, has further metabolic potential for production of higher molecular weight compounds, such as acetoin and 2,3-butanediol, as well as hydroxyacetone and the uncommon fermentation product ethylene glycol. In addition, application of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy facilitates identification of novel metabolites, which is instrumental for production of desirable bioproducts from biomass through microbial fermentation.
Biotechnology for Biofuels 04/2013; 6(1):47. DOI:10.1186/1754-6834-6-47 · 6.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemical cross-linking of proteins followed by proteolysis and mass spectrometric analysis of the resulting cross-linked peptides provides powerful insight into the quaternary structure of protein complexes. Mixed-isotope cross-linking (a method for distinguishing intermolecular cross-links) was coupled with liquid chromatography, ion mobility spectrometry and mass spectrometry (LC-IMS-MS) to provide an additional separation dimension to the traditional cross-linking approach. This method produced multiplet m/z peaks that are aligned in the IMS drift time dimension and serve as signatures of intermolecular cross-linked peptides. We developed an informatics tool to use the amino acid sequence information inherent in the multiplet spacing for accurate identification of the cross-linked peptides. Because of the separation of cross-linked and non-cross-linked peptides in drift time, our LC-IMS-MS approach was able to confidently detect more intermolecular cross-linked peptides than LC-MS alone.
Journal of the American Society for Mass Spectrometry 03/2013; 24(3):444-9. DOI:10.1007/s13361-012-0565-x · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reversible disulfide oxidation between proximal cysteines in proteins represents a common regulatory control mechanism to modulate flux through metabolic pathways in response to changing environmental conditions. To enable in vivo measurements of cellular redox changes linked to disulfide bond formation, we have synthesized a cell-permeable thiol-reactive affinity probe (TRAP) consisting of a monosubstituted cyanine dye derivatized with arsenic (i.e., TRAP_Cy3) to trap and visualize dithiols in cytosolic proteins. Alkylation of reactive thiols prior to displacement of the bound TRAP_Cy3 by ethanedithiol permits facile protein capture and mass spectrometric identification of proximal reduced dithiols to the exclusion of individual cysteines. Applying TRAP_Cy3 to evaluate cellular responses to increases in oxygen and light levels in the photosynthetic microbe Synechococcus sp. PCC 7002, we observe large decreases in the abundance of reduced dithiols in cellular proteins, which suggest redox-dependent mechanisms involving the oxidation of proximal disulfides. Under these same growth conditions that result in the oxidation of proximal thiols, there is a reduction in the abundance of post-translational oxidative protein modifications involving methionine sulfoxide and nitrotyrosine. These results suggest that the redox status of proximal cysteines respond to environmental conditions, acting to regulate metabolic flux and minimize the formation of reactive oxygen species to decrease oxidative protein damage.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2013; 135(9). DOI:10.1021/ja3117284 · 11.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CV_2116 is a small hypothetical protein of 82 amino acids from the Gram-negative coccobacillus Chromobacterium violaceum. A PSI-BLAST search using the CV_2116 sequence as a query identified only one hit (E = 2e(-07)) corresponding to a hypothetical protein OR16_04617 from Cupriavidus basilensis OR16, which failed to provide insight into the function of CV_2116. The CV_2116 gene was cloned into the p15TvLic expression plasmid, transformed into E. coli, and (13)C- and (15)N-labeled NMR samples of CV_2116 were overexpressed in E. coli and purified for structure determination using NMR spectroscopy. The resulting high-quality solution NMR structure of CV_2116 revealed a novel α + β fold containing two anti-parallel β-sheets in the N-terminal two-thirds of the protein and one α-helix in the C-terminal third of the protein. CV_2116 does not belong to any known protein sequence family and a Dali search indicated that no similar structures exist in the protein data bank. Although no function of CV_2116 could be derived from either sequence or structural similarity searches, the neighboring genes of CV_2116 encode various proteins annotated as similar to bacteriophage tail assembly proteins. Interestingly, C. violaceum exhibits an extensive network of bacteriophage tail-like structures that likely result from lateral gene transfer by incorporation of viral DNA into its genome (prophages) due to bacteriophage infection. Indeed, C. violaceum has been shown to contain four prophage elements and CV_2116 resides in the fourth of these elements. Analysis of the putative operon in which CV_2116 resides indicates that CV_2116 might be a component of the bacteriophage tail-like assembly that occurs in C. violaceum.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences 12/2012; 13(6):7354-64. DOI:10.3390/ijms13067354 · 2.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report NMR assignments and solution structure of the 71-residue 30S ribosomal protein S28E from the archaean Pyrococcus horikoshii, target JR19 of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium. The structure, determined rapidly with the aid of automated backbone resonance assignment (AutoAssign) and automated structure determination (AutoStructure) software, is characterized by a four-stranded �-sheet with a classic Greek-key topology and an oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide �-barrel (OB) fold. The electrostatic surface of S28E exhibits positive and negative patches on opposite sides, the former constituting a putative binding site for RNA. The 13 C-terminal residues of the protein contain a consensus sequence motif constituting the signature of the S28E protein family. Surprisingly, this C-terminal segment is unstructured in solution. Keywords: Ribosomal protein; Greek-key motif; NMR structure; Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium The field of structural genomics aims at elucidating the structures of representative proteins from sequence families to provide more complete coverage of protein fold space and at spurring advances in bioinformatic, biotechnological
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ribosome consists of small and large subunits each composed of dozens of proteins and RNA molecules. However, the functions of many of the individual protomers within the ribosome are still unknown. In this article, we describe the solution NMR structure of the ribosomal protein RP-L35Ae from the archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus. RP-L35Ae is buried within the large subunit of the ribosome and belongs to Pfam protein domain family PF01247, which is highly conserved in eukaryotes, present in a few archaeal genomes, but absent in bacteria. The protein adopts a six-stranded anti-parallel β-barrel analogous to the "tRNA binding motif" fold. The structure of the P. furiosus RP-L35Ae presented in this article constitutes the first structural representative from this protein domain family.
Proteins Structure Function and Bioinformatics 01/2012; 80(7):1901-6. DOI:10.1002/prot.24071 · 2.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein domain family YabP (PF07873) is a family of small protein domains that are conserved in a wide range of bacteria and involved in spore coat assembly during the process of sporulation. The 62-residue fragment of Dsy0195 from Desulfitobacterium hafniense, which belongs to the YabP family, exists as a homodimer in solution under the conditions used for structure determination using NMR spectroscopy. The structure of the Dsy0195 homodimer contains two identical 62-residue monomeric subunits, each consisting of five anti-parallel beta strands (β1, 23-29; β2, 31-38; β3, 41-46; β4, 49-59; β5, 69-80). The tertiary structure of the Dsy0195 monomer adopts a cylindrical fold composed of two beta sheets. The two monomer subunits fold into a homodimer about a single C2 symmetry axis, with the interface composed of two anti-parallel beta strands, β1-β1' and β5b-β5b', where β5b refers to the C-terminal half of the bent β5 strand, without any domain swapping. Potential functional regions of the Dsy0195 structure were predicted based on conserved sequence analysis. The Dsy0195 structure reported here is the first representative structure from the YabP family.
Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics 09/2011; 12(3):175-9. DOI:10.1007/s10969-011-9117-z
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The highly toxic anticoagulant rodenticide brodifacoum is an organic compound that has two diastereomeric forms. In this paper, we consider the hypothesis that the relative population of the diastereomers is a characteristic of forensic value for the association or source attribution of specimens of brodifacoum. In general, the stereoisomer distribution in an organic compound depends on the reagents, conditions, and methods used for synthesis and purification, and may vary over time due to differential stabilities of the stereoisomers. The stereoisomer distribution may thus serve as an identifier of the production methods and history of samples and provide a basis for comparing recovered specimens. We refer to this novel approach for signature detection as stereoisomer distribution analysis or SDA. If the stereoisomers are diastereomers, quantitative determination of the diastereomer ratio in a specimen can be performed by a number of techniques, notably gas or liquid chromatography or nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. This paper describes an NMR spectroscopic analysis of ten commercial technical grade brodifacoum samples from distinct batches originating from three different sources. The results reveal detectable source-to-source and batch-to-batch variations in diastereomer ratios.
Forensic science international 08/2011; 214(1-3):178-81. DOI:10.1016/j.forsciint.2011.08.003 · 2.12 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human interferon-stimulated gene 15 protein (ISG15), also called ubiquitin cross-reactive protein (UCRP), is the first identified ubiquitin-like protein containing two ubiquitin-like domains fused in tandem. The active form of ISG15 is conjugated to target proteins via the C-terminal glycine residue through an isopeptide bond in a manner similar to ubiquitin. The biological role of ISG15 is strongly associated with the modulation of cell immune function, and there is mounting evidence suggesting that many viral pathogens evade the host innate immune response by interfering with ISG15 conjugation to both host and viral proteins in a variety of ways. Here we report nearly complete backbone (1)H(N), (15)N, (13)C', and (13)C(α), as well as side chain (13)C(β), methyl (Ile-δ1, Leu, Val), amide (Asn, Gln), and indole N-H (Trp) NMR resonance assignments for the 157-residue human ISG15 protein. These resonance assignments provide the basis for future structural and functional solution NMR studies of the biologically important human ISG15 protein.