Chengcheng Liu

Bioprocessing Technology Institute, Tumasik, Singapore

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Publications (3)12.33 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Filopodia are essential for the development of neuronal growth cones, cell polarity and cell migration. Their protrusions are powered by the polymerization of actin filaments linked to the plasma membrane, catalyzed by formin proteins. The acceleration of polymerization depends on the number of profilin-actins binding with the formin-FH1 domain. Biophysical characterization of the disordered formin-FH1 domain remains a challenge. We analyzed the conformational distribution of the diaphanous-related formin mDia1-FH1 bound with one to six profilins. We found a coil-to-elongation transition in the FH1 domain. We propose a cooperative "jack" model for the FH1 domain of formins stacked by profilin-actins.
    FEBS Letters 05/2014; 588(14). DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2014.05.016 · 3.34 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Characterization of in vitro substrates of protein kinases by peptide library screening provides a wealth of information on the substrate specificity of kinases for amino acids at particular positions relative to the site of phosphorylation, but provides no information concerning interdependence among positions. High-throughput techniques have recently made it feasible to identify large numbers of in vivo kinase substrates. We used data from experiments on the kinases ATM/ATR and CDK1, and curated CK2 substrates to evaluate the prevalence of interactions between substrate positions within a motif and the utility of these interactions in predicting kinase substrates. Among these data, evidence of interpositional sequence dependencies is strikingly rare, and what dependency exists does little to aid in the prediction of novel kinase substrates. Significant increases in the ability of models to predict kinase-substrate specificity beyond position-independent models must come largely from inclusion of elements of biological and cellular context, rather than further analysis of substrate sequences alone. Our results suggest that, evolutionarily, kinase substrate fitness exists in a smooth energetic landscape. Taken with results from others indicating that phosphopeptide-binding domains do exhibit interpositional dependence, our data suggest that incorporation of new substrate molecules into phospho-signalling networks may be rate-limited by the evolution of suitability for binding by phosphopeptide-binding domains.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 09/2012; 367(1602):2574-83. DOI:10.1098/rstb.2012.0010 · 6.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: LRP6 is a membrane protein crucial in the initiation of canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling. Its function is dependent on its proline-serine rich intracellular domain. LRP6 has five PPP(S/T)P motifs that are phosphorylated during activation, starting with the site closest to the membrane. Like all long proline rich regions, there is no stable 3D structure for this isolated, contiguous region. In our study, we use a computational simulation tool to sample the conformational space of the LRP6 intracellular domain, under the spatial constraints imposed by (a) the membrane and (b) the close approach of the neighboring intracellular molecular complex, which is assembled on Frizzled when Wnt binds to both LRP6 and Frizzled on the opposite side of the membrane. We observe that an elongated form dominates in the LRP6 intracellular domain structure ensemble. This elongation could relieve conformational auto-inhibition of the PPP(S/T)PX(S/T) motif binding sites and allow GSK3 and CK1 to approach their phosphorylation sites, thereby activating LRP6 and the downstream pathway. We propose a model in which the conformation of the LRP6 intracellular domain is elongated before activation. This is based on the intrusion of the Frizzled complex into the ensemble space of the proline rich region of LRP6, which alters the shape of its available ensemble space. To test whether this observed ensemble conformational change is sequence dependent, we did a control simulation with a hypothetical sequence with 50% proline and 50% serine in alternating residues. We confirm that this ensemble neighbourhood-based conformational change is independent of sequence and conclude that it is likely found in all proline rich sequences. These observations help us understand the nature of proline rich regions which are both unstructured and which seem to evolve at a higher rate of mutation, while maintaining sequence composition.
    BMC Bioinformatics 11/2011; 12 Suppl 13(Suppl 13):S13. DOI:10.1186/1471-2105-12-S13-S13 · 2.67 Impact Factor