[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Effect of rearing temperature on growth and thermal tolerance of Schizothorax (Racoma) kozlovi Nikolsky larvae and juveniles was investigated. The fish (start at 12 days post hatch) were reared for nearly 6 months at five constant temperatures of 10, 14, 18, 22 and 26 °C. Then juvenile fish being acclimated at three temperatures of 14, 18 and 22 °C were chosen to determine their critical thermal maximum (CTMax) and lethal thermal maximum (LTMax) by using the dynamic method. Growth rate of S. kozlovi larvae and juveniles was significantly influenced by temperature and fish size, exhibiting an increase with increased rearing temperature, but a decline with increased fish size. A significant ontogenetic variation in the optimal temperatures for maximum growth were estimated to be 24.7 °C and 20.6 °C for larvae and juveniles of S. kozlovi, respectively. The results also demonstrated that acclimation temperature had marked effects on their CTMax and LTMax, which ranged from 32.86 °C to 34.54 °C and from 33.79 °C to 34.80 °C, respectively. It is suggested that rearing temperature must never rise above 32 °C for its successful aquaculture. Significant temperature effects on the growth rate and thermal tolerance both exhibit a plasticity pattern. Determination of critical heat tolerance and optima temperature for maximum growth of S. kozlovi is of ecological significance in the conservation and aquaculture of this species.
Journal of Thermal Biology 12/2014; · 1.54 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatitis A virus (HAV) remains enigmatic, despite 1.4 million cases worldwide annually. It differs radically from other picornaviruses, existing in an enveloped form and being unusually stable, both genetically and physically, but has proved difficult to study. Here we report high-resolution X-ray structures for the mature virus and the empty particle. The structures of the two particles are indistinguishable, apart from some disorder on the inside of the empty particle. The full virus contains the small viral protein VP4, whereas the empty particle harbours only the uncleaved precursor, VP0. The smooth particle surface is devoid of depressions that might correspond to receptor-binding sites. Peptide scanning data extend the previously reported VP3 antigenic site, while structure-based predictions suggest further epitopes. HAV contains no pocket factor and can withstand remarkably high temperature and low pH, and empty particles are even more robust than full particles. The virus probably uncoats via a novel mechanism, being assembled differently to other picornaviruses. It utilizes a VP2 'domain swap' characteristic of insect picorna-like viruses, and structure-based phylogenetic analysis places HAV between typical picornaviruses and the insect viruses. The enigmatic properties of HAV may reflect its position as a link between 'modern' picornaviruses and the more 'primitive' precursor insect viruses; for instance, HAV retains the ability to move from cell-to-cell by transcytosis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aimsa study was conducted to compare the intestinal microbial compositions of two fish species with similar feeding strategy; paddlefish (Polyodon spathala) and bighead carp (Aristichthys nobilis) reared in the same pond.Methods and Resultsage-0 paddlefish and bighead carp with mean average body lengths of 43.39±2.78 cm and 19.33± 3.68 cm, respectively were reared with natural prey items in the same pond (20 m2). After 30-days of rearing the intestinal microbiota of the two fish species were assessed by pyrosequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Interestingly, deviations were observed in the microbial communities of the two fish species according to the alpha- and beta-diversity measurements and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA). Shannon diversity (P=0.015) and Pielou.evenness (P=0.035) revealed significant lower diversity of the intestinal microbiota of paddlefish. Moreover, different core intestinal microbiota was noticed in the two fish species. Proteobacteria (57.3%), Firmicutes (11.9%), Fusobacteria (8.9%), Planctomycetes (7.3%), Actinobacteria (6.0%) and Verrucomicrobia (3.2%) were detected in bighead carp, while the dominant phyla in paddlefish intestines were Bacteroidetes (37.0%), Fusobacteria (35.1%), Firmicutes (14.8%) and Proteobacteria (12.6%).Conclusionsour results revealed that the intestinal microbiota differed between paddlefish and bighead carp reared in the same pond when fed similar nature food. The potential host factors, such as the genetic background, gut histology and physiology are assumed to be involved in the intestinal bacterial compositions.Significance and Impact of the Studyconsidering the similar feeding strategy of paddlefish and bighead carp, the present study presents basic knowledge for evaluation of the importance of host factors (genetic background and gut anatomy) on intestinal microbial composition.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Journal of Applied Microbiology 08/2014; · 2.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlike the well-established picture for the entry of enveloped viruses, the mechanism of cellular entry of non-enveloped eukaryotic viruses remains largely mysterious. Picornaviruses are representative models for such viruses, and initiate this entry process by their functional receptors. Here we present the structural and functional studies of SCARB2, a functional receptor of the important human enterovirus 71 (EV71). SCARB2 is responsible for attachment as well as uncoating of EV71. Differences in the structures of SCARB2 under neutral and acidic conditions reveal that SCARB2 undergoes a pivotal pH-dependent conformational change which opens a lipid-transfer tunnel to mediate the expulsion of a hydrophobic pocket factor from the virion, a pre-requisite for uncoating. We have also identified the key residues essential for attachment to SCARB2, identifying the canyon region of EV71 as mediating the receptor interaction. Together these results provide a clear understanding of cellular attachment and initiation of uncoating for enteroviruses.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The tripartite motif-containing protein 2 (TRIM2) functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Loss of function of TRIM2 has been shown to result in early-onset axonal neuropathy. As a member of the TRIM-NHL family of proteins, TRIM2 has a conserved modular architecture that includes N-terminal RING finger and B-box domains, a middle coiled-coil domain and a C-terminal NHL domain. To characterize the functional role of its NHL domain from the perspective of structural biology, a truncation of human TRIM2 (residues 465-744) was expressed, purified and crystallized. Rod-shaped crystals were obtained that diffracted X-rays to 1.7 Å resolution. The crystals belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 43.6, b = 76.4, c = 107.4 Å, α = 90.0, β = 94.0, γ = 90.0°. A Matthews coefficient of 1.97 Å(3) Da(-1), corresponding to a solvent content of 37.6%, indicated the presence of three molecules per asymmetric unit, which was further confirmed by the phasing solution from molecular replacement.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prokaryotic 5'-Methylthioadenosine/S-adenosylhomocysteine nucleosidase (MTAN) catalyzes the irreversible cleavage of the glycosidic bond in 5'-methylthioadenosine (MTA) and S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH), a process that plays a key role in several metabolic pathways. Its absence in all mammalian species has implicated this enzyme as a promising target for antimicrobial drug design. Here, we report the crystal structure of BmMTAN in complex with its product adenine at a resolution of 2.6 Å determined by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion method. 11 key residues were mutated for kinetic characterization. Mutations of Tyr134 and Met144 resulted in the largest overall increase in Km, whereas mutagenesis of residues Glu18, Glu145 and Asp168 completely abolished activity. Glu145 and Asp168 were identified as active site residues essential for catalysis. The catalytic mechanism and implications of this structure for broad-based antibiotic design are discussed.
Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 03/2014; · 2.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Enterovirus 71 (HEV71) epidemics in children and infants result mainly in mild symptoms; however, especially in the Asia-Pacific region, infection can be fatal. At present, no therapies are available. We have used structural analysis of the complete virus to guide the design of HEV71 inhibitors. Analysis of complexes with four 3-(4-pyridyl)-2-imidazolidinone derivatives with varying anti-HEV71 activities pinpointed key structure-activity correlates. We then identified additional potentially beneficial substitutions, developed methods to reliably triage compounds by quantum mechanics-enhanced ligand docking and synthesized two candidates. Structural analysis and in vitro assays confirmed the predicted binding modes and their ability to block viral infection. One ligand (with IC50 of 25 pM) is an order of magnitude more potent than the best previously reported inhibitor and is also more soluble. Our approach may be useful in the design of effective drugs for enterovirus infections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) uses maltose-1-phosphate to synthesize α-glucans that make up the major component of its outer capsular layer. Maltose kinase (MaK) catalyzes phosphorylation of maltose. The molecular basis for this phosphorylation is currently not understood. Here, we describe the first crystal structure of MtbMaK refined to 2.4 Å resolution. The bi-modular architecture of MtbMaK reveals a remarkably unique N-lobe. An extended sheet protrudes into ligand binding pocket of an adjacent monomer and contributes residues critical for kinase activity. Structure of the complex of MtbMaK bound with maltose reveals that maltose binds in a shallow cavity of the C-lobe. Structural constraints permit phosphorylation of α-maltose only. Surprisingly, instead of a Gly-rich loop, MtbMaK employs 'EQS' loop to tether ATP. Notably, this loop is conserved across all MaK homologues. Structures of MtbMaK presented here unveil features that are markedly different from other kinases and support the scaffolding role proposed for this kinase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: GPCR proteins represent the largest family of signaling membrane proteins in eukaryotic cells. Their importance to basic cell biology, human diseases, and pharmaceutical interventions is well established. Many crystal structures of GPCR proteins have been reported in both active and inactive conformations. These data indicate that agonist binding alone is not sufficient to trigger the conformational change of GPCRs necessary for binding of downstream G-proteins, yet other essential factors remain elusive. Based on analysis of available GPCR crystal structures, we identified a potential conformational switch around the conserved Asp2.50, which consistently shows distinct conformations between inactive and active states. Combining the structural information with the current literature, we propose an energy-coupling mechanism, in which the interaction between a charge change of the GPCR protein and the membrane potential of the living cell plays a key role for GPCR activation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coxsackievirus A16 belongs to the family Picornaviridae, and is a major agent of hand-foot-and-mouth disease that infects mostly children, and to date no vaccines or antiviral therapies are available. 2A protease of enterovirus is a nonstructural protein and possesses both self-cleavage activity and the ability to cleave the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4G. Here we present the crystal structure of coxsackievirus A16 2A protease, which interestingly forms hexamers in crystal as well as in solution. This structure shows an open conformation, with its active site accessible, ready for substrate binding and cleavage activity. In conjunction with a previously reported "closed" state structure of human rhinovirus 2, we were able to develop a detailed hypothesis for the conformational conversion triggered by two "switcher" residues Glu88 and Tyr89 located within the bll2-cII loop. Substrate recognition assays revealed that amino acid residues P1', P2 and P4 are essential for substrate specificity, which was verified by our substrate binding model. In addition, we compared the in vitro cleavage efficiency of 2A proteases from coxsackievirus A16 and enterovirus 71 upon the same substrates by fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET), and observed higher protease activity of enterovirus 71 compared to that of coxsackievirus A16. In conclusion, our study shows an open conformation of coxsackievirus A16 2A protease and the underlying mechanisms for conformational conversion and substrate specificity. These new insights should facilitate the future rational design of efficient 2A protease inhibitors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Disulfide bond-forming (Dsb) protein is a bacterial periplasmic protein that is essential for the correct folding and disulfide bond formation of secreted or cell wallassociated proteins. DsbA introduces disulfide bonds into folding proteins, and is re-oxidized through interaction with its redox partner DsbB. Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a Gram-positive bacterium, expresses a DsbA-like protein ( Rv2969c), an extracellular protein that has its Nterminus anchored in the cell membrane. Since Rv2969c is an essential gene, crucial for disulfide bond formation, research of DsbA may provide a target of a new class of anti-bacterial drugs for treatment of M.tuberculosis infection. In the present work, the crystal structures of the extracellular region of Rv2969c (Mtb DsbA) were determined in both its reduced and oxidized states. The overall structure of Mtb DsbA can be divided into two domains: a classical thioredoxin-like domain with a typical CXXC active site, and an α-helical domain. It largely resembles its Escherichia coli homologue EcDsbA, however, it possesses a truncated binding groove; in addition, its active site is surrounded by an acidic, rather than hydrophobic surface. In our oxidoreductase activity assay, Mtb DsbA exhibited a different substrate specificity when compared to EcDsbA. Moreover, structural analysis revealed a second disulfide bond in Mtb DsbA, which is rare in the previously reported DsbA structures, and is assumed to contribute to the overall stability of Mtb DsbA. To investigate the disulphide formation pathway in M.tuberculosis, we modeled Mtb Vitamin K epoxide reductase (Mtb VKOR), a binding partner of Mtb DsbA, to Mtb DsbA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: It remains largely mysterious how the genomes of non-enveloped eukaryotic viruses are transferred across a membrane into the host cell. Picornaviruses are simple models for such viruses, and initiate this uncoating process through particle expansion, which reveals channels through which internal capsid proteins and the viral genome presumably exit the particle, although this has not been clearly seen until now. Here we present the atomic structure of an uncoating intermediate for the major human picornavirus pathogen CAV16, which reveals VP1 partly extruded from the capsid, poised to embed in the host membrane. Together with previous low-resolution results, we are able to propose a detailed hypothesis for the ordered egress of the internal proteins, using two distinct sets of channels through the capsid, and suggest a structural link to the condensed RNA within the particle, which may be involved in triggering RNA release.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gut microbiota has shown tight and coordinated connection with various functions of its host such as metabolism, immunity, energy utilization, and health maintenance. To gain insight into whether gut microbes affect the metabolism of fish, we employed fast-growing transgenic common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) to study the connections between its large body feature and gut microbes. Metagenome-based fingerprinting and high-throughput sequencing on bacterial 16S rRNA genes indicated that fish gut was dominated by Proteobacteria, Fusobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, which displayed significant differences between transgenic fish and wild-type controls. Analyses to study the association of gut microbes with the fish metabolism discovered three major phyla having significant relationships with the host metabolic factors. Biochemical and histological analyses indicated transgenic fish had increased carbohydrate but decreased lipid metabolisms. Additionally, transgenic fish has a significantly lower Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes ratio than that of wild-type controls, which is similar to mammals between obese and lean individuals. These findings suggest that gut microbiotas are associated with the growth of fast growing transgenic fish, and the relative abundance of Firmicutes over Bacteroidetes could be one of the factors contributing to its fast growth. Since the large body size of transgenic fish displays a proportional body growth, which is unlike obesity in human, the results together with the findings from others also suggest that the link between obesity and gut microbiota is likely more complex than a simple Bacteroidetes:Firmicutes ratio change.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e64577. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: One group of Bcl-2 protein family, which shares only the BH3 domain (BH3-only), is critically involved in the regulation of programmed cell death. Herein we demonstrated a novel human BH3-only protein (designated as Bop) which could induce apoptosis in a BH3 domain-dependent manner. Further analysis indicated that Bop mainly localized to mitochondria and used its BH3 domain to contact the loop regions of voltage dependent anion channel 1 (VDAC1) in the outer mitochondrial membrane. In addition, purified Bop protein induced the loss of mitochondrial transmembrane potential (Δψm) and the release of cytochrome c. Furthermore, Bop used its BH3 domain to contact pro-survival Bcl-2 family members (Bcl-2, Bcl-X(L), Mcl-1, A1 and Bcl-w), which could inhibit Bop-induced apoptosis. Bop would be constrained by pro-survival Bcl-2 proteins in resting cells, because Bop became released from phosphorylated Bcl-2 induced by microtubule-interfering agent like vincristine (VCR). Indeed, knockdown experiments indicated that Bop was partially required for VCR induced cell death. Finally, Bop might need to function through Bak and Bax, likely by releasing Bak from Bcl-X(L) sequestration. In conclusion, Bop may be a novel BH3-only factor that can engage with the regulatory network of Bcl-2 family members to process intrinsic apoptotic signaling.
Protein & Cell 10/2012; 3(10):790-801. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MCP-1-induced protein 1 (MCPIP1) plays an important role in the downregulation of the LPS-induced immune response by acting as an RNase targeting IL-6 and IL-12b mRNAs. A conserved domain located in the N-terminal part of MCPIP1 is thought to be responsible for its RNase activity, but its catalytic mechanism is not well understood due to the lack of an atomic resolution structure. We determined the 3D crystal structure of this MCPIP1 N-terminal conserved RNase domain at a resolution of 2.0 Å. The overall structure of MCPIP1 N-terminal conserved domain shares high structural homology with PilT N-terminal domain. We show that the RNase catalytic center is composed of several acidic residues, verifying their importance by site-specific mutagenesis. A positively charged arm close to the catalytic center may act as an RNA substrate-binding site, since exchange of critical positively charged residues on this arm with alanine partially abolish the RNase activity of MCPIP1 in vivo. Our structure of the MCPIP1 N-terminal conserved domain reveals the details of the catalytic center and provides a greater understanding of the RNA degradation mechanism.
Nucleic Acids Research 05/2012; 40(14):6957-65. · 8.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We investigated the influence of host species on intestinal microbiota by comparing the gut bacterial community structure of four cohabitating freshwater fish larvae, silver carp, grass carp, bighead carp, and blunt snout bream, using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the amplified 16S and 18S rRNA genes. Similarity clustering indicated that the intestinal microbiota derived from these four fish species could be divided into four groups based on 16S rRNA gene similarity, whereas the eukaryotic 18S rRNA genes showed no distinct groups. The water sample from the shared environment contained microbiota of an independent group as indicated by both 16S and 18S rRNA genes segments. The bacterial community structures were visualized using rank-abundance plots fitted with linear regression models. Results showed that the intestinal bacterial evenness was significantly different between species (P<0.05) and between species and the water sample (P<0.01). Thirty-five relatively dominant bands in DGGE patterns were sequenced and grouped into five major taxa: Proteobacteria (26), Actinobacteria (5), Bacteroidetes (1), Firmicutes (2), and Cyanobacterial (1). Six eukaryotes were detected by sequencing 18S rRNA genes segments. The present study suggests that the intestines of the four fish larvae, although reared in the same environment, contained distinct bacterial populations, while intestinal eukaryotic microorganisms were almost identical.
The Journal of Microbiology 02/2012; 50(1):29-37. · 1.28 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The human Gadd45 protein family plays critical roles in DNA repair, negative growth control, genomic stability, cell cycle checkpoints and apoptosis. Here we report the crystal structure of human Gadd45γ [corrected], revealing a unique dimer formed via a bundle of four parallel helices, involving the most conserved residues among the Gadd45 isoforms. Mutational analysis of human Gadd45γ [corrected] identified a conserved, highly acidic patch in the central region of the dimer for interaction with the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), p21 and cdc2, suggesting that the parallel dimer is the active form for the interaction. Cellular assays indicate that: (1) dimerization of Gadd45γ [corrected] is necessary for apoptosis as well as growth inhibition, and that cell growth inhibition is caused by both cell cycle arrest and apoptosis; (2) a conserved and highly acidic patch on the dimer surface, including the important residues Glu87 and Asp89, is a putative interface for binding proteins related to the cell cycle, DNA repair and apoptosis. These results reveal the mechanism of self-association by Gadd45 proteins and the importance of this self-association for their biological function.
Protein & Cell 10/2011; 2(10):814-26. · 3.22 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aspartate kinase (AK) from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) catalyzes the biosynthesis of aspartate family amino acids, including lysine, threonine, isoleucine and methionine. We determined the crystal structures of the regulatory subunit of aspartate kinase from Mtb alone (referred to as MtbAKβ) and in complex with threonine (referred to as MtbAKβ-Thr) at resolutions of 2.6 Å and 2.0 Å, respectively. MtbAKβ is composed of two perpendicular non-equivalent ACT domains [aspartate kinase, chorismate mutase, and TyrA (prephenate dehydrogenase)] per monomer. Each ACT domain contains two α helices and four antiparallel β strands. The structure of MtbAKβ shares high similarity with the regulatory subunit of the aspartate kinase from Corynebacterium glutamicum (referred to as CgAKβ), suggesting similar regulatory mechanisms. Biochemical assays in our study showed that MtbAK is inhibited by threonine. Based on crystal structure analysis, we discuss the regulatory mechanism of MtbAK.
Protein & Cell 09/2011; 2(9):745-54. · 3.22 Impact Factor