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    ABSTRACT: Bacterial response regulators can regulate the expression of genes that confer antibiotic resistance; they contain a receiver and an effector domain and their ability to bind DNA is based on the dimerization state. This is triggered by phosphorylation of the receiver domain by a kinase. However, even in the absence of phosphorylation response regulators can exist in equilibrium between monomers and dimers with phosphorylation shifting the equilibrium towards the dimer form. We have determined the crystal structure of the unphosphorylated dimeric BaeR from Escherichia coli. The dimer interface is formed by a domain swap at the receiver domain. In comparison with the unphosphorylated dimeric PhoP from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, BaeR displays an asymmetry of the effector domains.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Protein Science
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    ABSTRACT: Sodium/proton (Na+/H+) antiporters, located at the plasma membrane in every cell, are vital for cell homeostasis. In humans, their dysfunction has been linked to diseases, such as hypertension, heart failure and epilepsy, and they are well-established drug targets. The best understood model system for Na+/H+ antiport is NhaA from Escherichia coli, for which both electron microscopy and crystal structures are available. NhaA is made up of two distinct domains: a core domain and a dimerization domain. In the NhaA crystal structure a cavity is located between the two domains, providing access to the ion-binding site from the inward-facing surface of the protein. Like many Na+/H+ antiporters, the activity of NhaA is regulated by pH, only becoming active above pH 6.5, at which point a conformational change is thought to occur. The only reported NhaA crystal structure so far is of the low pH inactivated form. Here we describe the active-state structure of a Na+/H+ antiporter, NapA from Thermus thermophilus, at 3 Å resolution, solved from crystals grown at pH 7.8. In the NapA structure, the core and dimerization domains are in different positions to those seen in NhaA, and a negatively charged cavity has now opened to the outside. The extracellular cavity allows access to a strictly conserved aspartate residue thought to coordinate ion binding directly, a role supported here by molecular dynamics simulations. To alternate access to this ion-binding site, however, requires a surprisingly large rotation of the core domain, some 20 0 against the dimerization interface. We conclude that despite their fast transport rates of up to 1,500 ions per second, Na+/H+ antiporters operate by a two-domain rocking bundle model, revealing themes relevant to secondary-active transporters in general.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2013 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: Coarse-grained protein structure models offer increased efficiency in structural modeling, but these must be coupled with fast and accurate methods to revert to a full-atom structure. Here, we present a novel algorithm to reconstruct mainchain models from C traces. This has been parameterized by fitting Gaussian mixture models (GMMs) to short backbone fragments centered on idealized peptide bonds. The method we have developed is statistically significantly more accurate than several competing methods, both in terms of RMSD values and dihedral angle differences. The method produced Ramachandran dihedral angle distributions that are closer to that observed in real proteins and better Phaser molecular replacement log-likelihood gains. Amino acid residue sidechain reconstruction accuracy using SCWRL4 was found to be statistically significantly correlated to backbone reconstruction accuracy. Finally, the PD2 method was found to produce significantly lower energy full-atom models using Rosetta which has implications for multiscale protein modeling using coarse-grained models. A webserver and C++ source code is freely available for noncommercial use from: http://www.sbg.bio.ic.ac.uk/phyre2/PD2_ca2main/. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Journal of Computational Chemistry
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