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Publications (2)12.79 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The oomycete Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis (Hpa) is the causal agent of downy mildew on the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana and has been adapted as a model system to investigate pathogen virulence strategies and plant disease resistance mechanisms. Recognition of Hpa infection occurs when plant resistance proteins (R-genes) detect the presence or activity of pathogen-derived protein effectors delivered to the plant host. This study examines the Hpa effector ATR13 Emco5 and its recognition by RPP13-Nd, the cognate R-gene that triggers programmed cell death (HR) in the presence of recognized ATR13 variants. Herein, we use NMR to solve the backbone structure of ATR13 Emco5, revealing both a helical domain and a disordered internal loop. Additionally, we use site-directed and random mutagenesis to identify several amino acid residues involved in the recognition response conferred by RPP13-Nd. Using our structure as a scaffold, we map these residues to one of two surface-exposed patches of residues under diversifying selection. Exploring possible roles of the disordered region within the ATR13 structure, we perform domain swapping experiments and identify a peptide sequence involved in nucleolar localization. We conclude that ATR13 is a highly dynamic protein with no clear structural homologues that contains two surface-exposed patches of polymorphism, only one of which is involved in RPP13-Nd recognition specificity.
    PLoS Pathogens 12/2011; 7(12):e1002428. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: NafY participates in the final steps of nitrogenase maturation, having a dual role as iron-molybdenum cofactor (FeMo-co) carrier and as chaperone to the FeMo-co-deficient apo-NifDK (apo-dinitrogenase). NafY contains an N-terminal domain of unknown function (n-NafY) and a C-terminal domain (core-NafY) necessary for FeMo-co binding. We show here that n-NafY and core-NafY have very weak interactions in intact NafY. The NMR structure of n-NafY reveals that it belongs to the sterile α-motif (SAM) family of domains, which are frequently involved in protein-protein interactions. The presence of a SAM domain in NafY was unexpected and could not be inferred from its amino acid sequence. Although SAM domains are very commonly found in eukaryotic proteins, they have rarely been identified in prokaryotes. The n-NafY SAM domain binds apo-NifDK. As opposed to full-length NafY, n-NafY impaired FeMo-co insertion when present in molar excess relative to FeMo-co and apo-NifDK. The implications of these observations are discussed to offer a plausible mechanism of FeMo-co insertion. NafY domain structure, molecular tumbling, and interdomain motion, as well as NafY interaction with apo-NifDK are consistent with the function of NafY in FeMo-co delivery to apo-NifDK.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2011; 286(8):6321-8. · 4.65 Impact Factor