[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CsrA/RsmA homologs are an extensive family of ribonucleic acid (RNA)-binding proteins that function as global post-transcriptional regulators controlling important cellular processes such as secondary metabolism, motility, biofilm formation and the production and secretion of virulence factors in diverse bacterial species. While direct messenger RNA binding by CsrA/RsmA has been studied in detail for some genes, it is anticipated that there are numerous additional, as yet undiscovered, direct targets that mediate its global regulation. To assist in the discovery of these targets, we propose a sequence-based approach to predict genes directly regulated by these regulators. In this work, we develop a computer code (CSRA_TARGET) implementing this approach, which leads to predictions for several novel targets in Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The predicted targets in other bacteria, specifically Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Pectobacterium carotovorum and Legionella pneumophila, also include global regulators that control virulence in these pathogens, unraveling intricate indirect regulatory roles for CsrA/RsmA. We have experimentally validated four predicted RsmA targets in P. aeruginosa. The sequence-based approach developed in this work can thus lead to several testable predictions for direct targets of CsrA homologs, thereby complementing and accelerating efforts to unravel global regulation by this important family of proteins.
Nucleic Acids Research 04/2014; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Evolution has produced proteins with exquisite ligand binding specificity, and manipulating this effect has been the basis for much of modern rational drug design. However, there are general classes of proteins with broader ligand selectivity linked to function, the origin of which is poorly understood. The odorant binding proteins (OBPs) sequester volatile molecules for transportation to the olfactory receptors. Rat OBP3, which we characterise by X-ray crystallography and NMR, binds a homologous series of aliphatic -lactones within its aromatic-rich hydrophobic pocket with remarkably little variation in affinity but extensive enthalpy/entropy compensation effects. We show that the binding energetics are modulated by two desolvation processes with quite different thermodynamic signatures. Ligand desolvation follows the classical hydrophobic effect, however, cavity desolvation is consistent with the liberation of 'high energy' water molecules back into bulk solvent with a strong, but compensated, enthalpic contribution, which together underpin the origins of broad ligand binding selectivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Paget disease of bone (PDB) is a skeletal disorder common in Western Europe but extremely rare in the Indian subcontinent and Far East. The condition has a strong genetic element with mutations affecting the SQSTM1 gene, encoding the p62 protein, frequently identified. Recently SQSTM1 mutations have also been reported in a small number of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), neurodegenerative disorders in which significant coexistence with PDB has not been previously recognised. Although several SQSTM1 mutations are common to both ALS/FTLD and PDB, many are ALS/FTLD-specific. The p62 protein regulates various cellular processes including NF-κB signaling and autophagy pathways. Here we consider how knowledge of the impact of PDB-associated SQSTM1 mutations (several of which are now known to be relevant for ALS/FTLD) on these pathways, as well as the locations of the mutations within the p62 primary sequence, may provide new insights into ALS/FTLD disease mechanisms.
Experimental Cell Research 01/2014; · 3.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SQSTM1 mutations are common in patients with Paget disease of bone (PDB), with most affecting the C-terminal ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain of the SQSTM1 protein. We performed structural and functional analyses of two UBA domain mutations, an I424S mutation relatively common in UK PDB patients, and an A427D mutation associated with a severe phenotype in Southern Italian patients. Both impaired SQSTM1’s ubiquitin-binding function in pull-down assays and resulted in activation of basal NF-κB signalling, compared to wild-type, in reporter assays. We found evidence for a relationship between the ability of different UBA domain mutants to activate NF-κB signalling in vitro and number of affected sites in vivo in 1152 PDB patients from the UK and Italy, with A427D-SQSTM1 producing the greatest level of activation (relative to wild-type) of all PDB mutants tested to date. NMR and isothermal titration calorimetry studies were able to demonstrate that I424S is associated with global structural changes in the UBA domain, resulting in 10-fold weaker UBA dimer stability than wild-type and reduced ubiquitin-binding affinity of the UBA monomer. Our observations provide insights into the role of SQSTM1-mediated NF-κB signalling in PDB aetiology, and demonstrate that different mutations in close proximity within loop 2/helix 3 of the SQSTM1 UBA domain exert distinct effects on protein structure and stability, including indirect effects at the UBA/ubiquitin-binding interface.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease 01/2014; · 4.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In bacteria, the highly conserved RsmA/CsrA family of RNA-binding proteins functions as global posttranscriptional regulators acting on mRNA translation and stability. Through phenotypic complementation of an rsmA mutant in Pseudomonas aeruginosa, we discovered a family member, termed RsmN. Elucidation of the RsmN crystal structure and that of the complex with a hairpin from the sRNA, RsmZ, reveals a uniquely inserted α helix, which redirects the polypeptide chain to form a distinctly different protein fold to the domain-swapped dimeric structure of RsmA homologs. The overall β sheet structure required for RNA recognition is, however, preserved with compensatory sequence and structure differences, allowing the RsmN dimer to target binding motifs in both structured hairpin loops and flexible disordered RNAs. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that, although RsmN appears unique to P. aeruginosa, homologous proteins with the inserted α helix are more widespread and arose as a consequence of a gene duplication event.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CUG-BP, Elav-like family (CELF) of RNA-binding proteins control gene expression at a number of different levels by regulating pre-mRNA splicing, deadenylation and mRNA stability. We present structural insights into the binding selectivity of CELF member 1 (CELF1) for GU-rich mRNA target sequences of the general form 5'-UGUNxUGUNyUGU and identify a high affinity interaction (Kd ∼ 100 nM for x = 2 and y = 4) with simultaneous binding of all three RNA recognition motifs within a single 15-nt binding element. RNA substrates spin-labelled at either the 3' or 5' terminus result in differential nuclear magnetic resonance paramagnetic relaxation enhancement effects, which are consistent with a non-sequential 2-1-3 arrangement of the three RNA recognition motifs on UGU sites in a 5' to 3' orientation along the RNA target. We further demonstrate that CELF1 binds to dispersed single-stranded UGU sites at the base of an RNA hairpin providing a structural rationale for recognition of CUG expansion repeats and splice site junctions in the regulation of alternative splicing.
Nucleic Acids Research 06/2013; · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Quadruplexes DNA are present in telomeric DNA as well as in several cancer-related gene promoters and hence affect gene expression and subsequent biological processes. The conformations of G4 provide selective recognition sites for small molecules and thus these structures have become important drug-design targets for cancer treatment. The DNA G-quadruplex binding pentacyclic acridinium salt RHPS4 (1) has many pharmacological attributes of an ideal telomere-targeting agent but has undesirable off-target liabilities. Notably a cardiovascular effect was evident in a guinea pig model, manifested by a marked and sustained increase in QTcB interval. In accordance with this, significant interaction with the human recombinant ß2 adrenergic receptor, and M1, M2 and M3 muscarinic receptors was observed, together with a high inhibition of the hERG tail current tested in a patch clamp assay. Two related pentacyclic structures, the acetylamines (2) and (3), both show a modest interaction with ß2 adrenergic receptor, and do not significatively inhibit the hERG tail current while demonstrating potent telomere on-target properties comparing closely with 1. Of the two isomers, the 2-acetyl-aminopentacycle (2) more closely mimics the overall biological profile of 1 and this information will be used to guide further synthetic efforts to identify novel variants of this chemotype, to maximize on-target and minimize off-target activities. Consequently, the improvement of toxicological profile of these compounds could therefore lead to the obtainment of suitable molecules for clinical development offering new pharmacological strategies in cancer treatment.
Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research 01/2013; 32(1):68. · 3.07 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations affecting the Sequestosome 1 (SQSTM1) gene commonly occur in patients with the skeletal disorder Paget's disease of bone (PDB), a condition characterised by defective osteoclast differentiation and function. Whilst most mutations cluster within the ubiquitin-associated (UBA) domain of the SQSTM1 protein, and are associated with dysregulated NFκB signaling, several non-UBA domain mutations have also been identified. Keap1 is a SQSTM1-interacting protein that regulates the levels and activity of the Nrf2 transcription factor. This in turn controls the expression of numerous cytoprotective genes that contribute to the cell's capacity to defend itself against chemical and oxidative stress, through binding to the antioxidant response element (ARE). The PDB-associated S349T mutation maps to the Keap1-interacting region (KIR) of SQSTM1, however the effects of PDB mutant SQSTM1 on Keap1 function have not been investigated. Here we show that unlike other SQSTM1 mutations, the S349T mutation results in neither impaired ubiquitin-binding function in pull-down assays, nor dysregulated NFκB signaling in luciferase reporter assays. Keap1 is expressed in differentiating osteoclast-like cells and the S349T mutation selectively impairs the SQSTM1-Keap1 interaction in co-immunoprecipitations, which molecular modelling indicates results from effects on critical hydrogen bonds required to stabilise the KIR-Keap1 complex. Further, S349T mutant SQSTM1, but not other PDB-associated mutants, showed reduced ability to activate Nrf2 signaling as assessed by ARE-luciferase reporter assays. Thus, SQSTM1-mediated dysregulation of the Keap1-Nrf2 axis, which could potentially lead to aberrant production of oxidative response genes, may contribute to disease aetiology in a subset of PDB patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present an overview of the current experimental and theoretical approaches to studying protein folding mechanisms, set against current models of the folding energy landscape. We describe how stability and folding kinetics can be determined experimentally and how this data can be interpreted in terms of the characteristic features of various models from the simplest two-state pathway to a multi-state mechanism. We summarize the pros and cons of a range of spectroscopic methods for measuring folding rates and present a theoretical framework, coupled with protein engineering approaches, for elucidating folding mechanisms and structural features of folding transition states. A series of case studies are used to show how experimental kinetic data can be interpreted in the context of non-native interactions, populated intermediates, parallel folding pathways, and sequential transition states. We also show how computational methods now allow transient species of high energy, such as folding transition states, to be modeled on the basis of experimental Φ-value analysis derived from the effects of point mutations on folding kinetics.
Current protocols in protein science / editorial board, John E. Coligan ... [et al.] 04/2012; Chapter 28:Unit 28.2.1-22.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: UBDs [Ub (ubiquitin)-binding domains], which are typically small protein motifs of <50 residues, are used by receptor proteins to transduce post-translational Ub modifications in a wide range of biological processes, including NF-κB (nuclear factor κB) signalling and proteasomal degradation pathways. More than 20 families of UBDs have now been characterized in structural detail and, although many recognize the canonical Ile44/Val70-binding patch on Ub, a smaller number have alternative Ub-recognition sites. The A20 Znf (A20-like zinc finger) of the ZNF216 protein is one of the latter and binds with high affinity to a polar site on Ub centred around Asp58/Gln62. ZNF216 shares some biological function with p62, with both linked to NF-κB signal activation and as shuttle proteins in proteasomal degradation pathways. The UBA domain (Ub-associated domain) of p62, although binding to Ub through the Ile44/Val70 patch, is unique in forming a stable dimer that negatively regulates Ub recognition. We show that the A20 Znf and UBA domain are able to form a ternary complex through independent interactions with a single Ub molecule, supporting functional models for Ub as a 'hub' for mediating multi-protein complex assembly and for enhancing signalling specificity.
Biochemical Society Transactions 04/2012; 40(2):404-8. · 2.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Non-covalent interactions between ubiquitin (Ub)-modified substrates and Ub-binding domains (UBDs) are fundamental to signal transduction by Ub receptor proteins. Poly-Ub chains, linked through isopeptide bonds between internal Lys residues and the C-terminus of Ub, can be assembled with varied topologies to mediate different cellular processes. We have developed and applied a rapid and sensitive electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry (ESI-MS) method to determine isopeptide linkage-selectivity and affinity of poly-Ub·UBD interactions. We demonstrate the technique using mono-Ub and poly-Ub complexes with a number of α-helical and zinc-finger (ZnF) UBDs from proteins with roles in neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. Affinities in the 2-200 μM range were determined to be in excellent agreement with data derived from other biophysical techniques, where available. Application of the methodology provided further insights into the poly-Ub linkage specificity of the hHR23A-UBA2 domain, confirming its role in Lys48-linked poly-Ub signaling. The ZnF UBP domain of isopeptidase-T showed no linkage specificity for poly-Ub chains, and the Rabex-5 MIU also exhibited little or no specificity. The discovery that a number of domains are able to bind cyclic Lys48 di-Ub with affinities similar to those for the acyclic form indicates that cyclic poly-Ub may be capable of playing a role in Ub-signaling. Detection of a ternary complex involving Ub interacting simultaneously with two different UBDs demonstrated the co-existence of multi-site interactions, opening the way for the study of crosstalk between individual Ub-signaling pathways.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2012; 134(14):6416-24. · 10.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The diverse influences of ubiquitin, mediated by its post-translational covalent modification of other proteins, have been extensively investigated. However, more recently roles for unanchored (nonsubstrate linked) polyubiquitin chains have also been proposed. Here we describe the use of ubiquitin-binding domains to affinity purify endogenous unanchored polyubiquitin chains and their subsequent characterization by mass spectrometry (MS). Using the A20 Znf domain of the ubiquitin receptor ZNF216 we isolated a protein from skeletal muscle shown by a combination of nanoLC-MS and LC-MS/MS to represent an unmodified and unanchored K48-linked ubiquitin dimer. Selective purification of unanchored polyubiquitin chains using the Znf UBP (BUZ) domain of USP5/isopeptidase-T allowed the isolation of K48 and K11-linked ubiquitin dimers, as well as revealing longer chains containing as many as 15 ubiquitin moieties, which include the K48 linkage. Top-down nanoLC-MS/MS of the A20 Znf-purified ubiquitin dimer generated diagnostic ions consistent with the presence of the K48 linkage, illustrating for the first time the potential of this approach to probe connectivity within endogenous polyubiquitin modifications. As well as providing initial proteomic insights into the molecular composition of endogenous unanchored polyubiquitin chains, this work also represents the first definition of polyubiquitin chain length in vivo.
Journal of Proteome Research 03/2012; 11(3):1969-80. · 5.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in the SQSTM1 gene were identified as a common cause of Paget's disease of bone (PDB) but experimental evidence demonstrated that SQSTM1 mutation is not sufficient to induce PDB in vivo. Here, we identified two nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (C421T, H141Y and T575C, V192A) in the TNFRSF11A gene, associated with PDB and with the severity of phenotype in a large population of 654 unrelated patients that were previously screened for SQSTM1 gene mutations. The largest effect was found for the T575C variant, yielding an odds ratio of 1.29 (p = 0.003), with the C allele as the risk allele. Moreover, an even more significant p-value (p = 0.0002) was observed in the subgroup of patients with SQSTM1 mutation, with an odds ratio of 1.71. Interestingly, patients with the C allele also showed an increased prevalence of polyostotic disease (68%, 53%, and 51% in patients with CC, CT, and TT genotypes, respectively; p = 0.01), as well as an increased number of affected skeletal sites (2.9, 2.5, and 2.0 in patients with CC, CT, and TT genotypes, respectively, p = 0.008). These differences increased when analyses were restricted to cases with SQSTM1 mutation. In human cell lines, cotrasfection with mutated SQSTM1 and TNFRSF11A(A192) produced a level of activation of NFκB signaling greater than cotrasfection with wild-type SQSTM1 and TNFRSF11A(V192), confirming genetics and clinical evidences. These results provide the first evidence that genetic variation within the OPG/RANK/RANKL system influences the severity of PBD in synergistic action with SQSTM1 gene mutations.
Journal of bone and mineral research: the official journal of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research 10/2011; 27(2):443-52. · 6.04 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ubiquitin (Ub) modifications are transduced by receptor proteins that use Ub-binding domains (UBDs) to recognize distinct interaction faces on the Ub surface. We report the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) solution structures of the A20-like zinc finger (A20 Znf) UBD of the Ub receptor ZNF216, and its complex with Ub, and show that the binding surface on Ub centered on Asp58 leaves the canonical hydrophobic Ile44 patch free to participate in additional interactions. We have modeled ternary complexes of the different families of UBDs and show that while many are expected to bind competitively to the same Ile44 surface or show steric incompatibility, other combinations (in particular, those involving the A20 Znf domain) are consistent with a single Ub moiety simultaneously participating in multiple interactions with different UBDs. We subsequently demonstrate by NMR that the A20 Znf domain of ZNF216 and the UBA domain of the p62 protein (an Ile44-binding UBD), which function in the same biological pathways, are able to form such a Ub-mediated ternary complex through independent interactions with a single Ub. This work supports an emerging concept of Ub acting as a scaffold to mediate multiprotein complex assembly.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cycle inhibiting factor (Cif) is produced by pathogenic intracellular bacteria and injected into the host cells via a type III secretion system. Cif is known to interfere with the eukaryotic cell cycle by inhibiting the function of cullin RING E3 ubiquitin ligases (CRLs). Cullin proteins form the scaffold protein of CRLs and are modified with the ubiquitin-like protein Nedd8, which exerts important conformational control required for CRL activity. Cif has recently been shown to catalyze the deamidation of Gln40 in Nedd8 to Glu. Here, we addressed how Nedd8 deamidation inhibits CRL activity. Our results indicate that Burkholderia pseudomallei Cif (also known as CHBP) inhibits the deconjugation of Nedd8 in vivo by inhibiting binding of the deneddylating COP9 signalosome (CSN) complex. We provide evidence that the reduced binding of CSN and the inhibition of CRL activity by Cif are due to interference with Nedd8-induced conformational control, which is dependent on the interaction between the Nedd8 hydrophobic patch and the cullin winged-helix B subdomain. Of note, mutation of Gln40 to Glu in ubiquitin, an additional target of Cif, inhibits the interaction between the hydrophobic surface of ubiquitin and the ubiquitin-binding protein p62/SQSTM1, showing conceptually that Cif activity can impair ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like protein non-covalent interactions. Our results also suggest that Cif may exert additional cellular effects by interfering with the association between ubiquitin and ubiquitin-binding proteins.
Journal of Molecular Biology 08/2011; 413(2):430-7. · 3.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CUGBP, Elav-like family member 1 (CELF1) is an RNA binding protein with important roles in the regulation of splicing, mRNA decay and translation. CELF1 contains three RNA recognition motifs (RRMs). We used gel retardation, gel filtration, isothermal titration calorimetry and NMR titration studies to investigate the recognition of RNA by the first two RRMs of CELF1. NMR shows that RRM1 is promiscuous in binding to both UGU and CUG repeat sequences with comparable chemical shift perturbations. In contrast, RRM2 shows greater selectivity for UGUU rather than CUG motifs. A construct (T187) containing both binding domains (RRM1 and RRM2) was systematically studied for interaction with tandem UGU RNA binding sites with different length linker sequences UGU(U)(x)UGU where x = 1-7. A single U spacer results in interactions only with RRM1, demonstrating both steric constraints in accommodating both RRMs simultaneously at adjacent sites, and also subtle differences in binding affinities between RRMs. However, high affinity co-operative binding (K(d) ~ 0.4 µM) is evident for RNA sequences with x = 2-4, but longer spacers (x ≥ 5) lead to a 10-fold reduction in affinity. Our analysis rationalizes the high affinity interaction of T187 with the 11mer GRE consensus regulatory sequence UGUUUGUUUGU and has significant consequences for the prediction of CELF1 binding sites.
Nucleic Acids Research 07/2011; 39(19):8638-50. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In recent work we have established a fundamental relationship between the cost in entropy of an association between two entities
A and B, involving one- and two-point interactions in the gas phase, or in non-polar solvents, to give a complex A,B, as a function
of the exothermicity of the interaction between them (1). While there is a limit to the adverse entropy of a bimolecular association
in terms of the loss of translational and overall rotational freedom (ca 50 to 60 kJ/mol for TΔS° in solution at 298 K) (2),
the exothermicity of an interaction can increase far beyond the exothermicity at which the limiting cost in entropy is approached.
We have proposed, and subsequently justified on the basis of a large body of experimental data from many laboratories (for
example, see Figure 1A), that the enthalpic benefit versus entropie cost of associations of the type stipulated above have
the general form shown in Figure 1B (1). We emphasise the approximate form of the curve; the precise entropie cost of an association
is dependent on many variables such as mass, density of vibrational states and the shape of the potential energy well in which
the associated species lies. In complex systems where the possibility arises that internal rotations are also restricted within
the associating species, then the limiting entropie cost will be higher with the curve displaced to the right. The loss of
entropy illustrated by Figures 1A and 1B reflects only loss of translational and overall rotational freedom upon association.
The data clearly show that associations with small exothermicities can result in remarkably small adverse entropy changes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The scaffold protein p62/SQSTM1 acts as a hub in regulating a diverse range of signaling pathways which are dependent upon a functional ubiquitin-binding C-terminal UBA domain. Mutations linked to Paget's disease of bone (PDB) commonly cluster within the UBA domain. The p62 UBA domain is unique in forming a highly stable dimer which regulates ubiquitin recognition by using overlapping surface patches in both dimerization and ubiquitin binding, making the two association events competitive. NMR structural analysis and biophysical methods show that some PDB mutations modulated the ubiquitin binding affinity by both direct and indirect mechanisms that affect UBA structural integrity, dimer stability, and contacts at the UBA-ubiquitin interface. In other cases, common PDB mutations (P392L in particular) result in no significant change in ubiquitin binding affinity for the UBA domain in isolation; however, all PDB UBA mutations lead to loss of function with respect to ubiquitin binding in the context of full-length p62, suggesting a more complex underlying mechanism.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The structurally unique natural product telomestatin incorporates seven oxazole rings and one sulfur-containing thiazoline in a macrocyclic arrangement. The compound is a potent inhibitor of the enzyme telomerase and therefore provides a structural framework for developing new potential therapeutic agents for cancer. An efficient formal total synthesis of telomestatin is reported in which the key steps are the use of dirhodium(II)-catalyzed reactions of diazocarbonyl compounds to generate six oxazole rings, demonstrating the power of rhodium carbene methodology in organic chemical synthesis. CD spectroscopy establishes that seco-derivatives of telomestatin are potent stabilizers of G-quadruplex structures derived from the human telomeric repeat sequence. Mass spectrometry studies, confirmed by molecular dynamics simulations, provide the first evidence that high affinity binding to terminal G-tetrads in both 1:1 and 2:1 ligand complexes is mediated through the macrocycle coordinating a monovalent cation, with selectivity for the antiparallel structure.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 02/2011; 133(4):1044-51. · 10.68 Impact Factor