Julian Philip Whitelegge

Julian Philip Whitelegge
University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA · Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior

Ph.D.

About

406
Publications
41,733
Reads
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16,266
Citations
Introduction
My research and teaching are focused on the application of biological mass spectrometry to the study of structure/function relationships of integral membrane proteins, understanding protein misfolding and neurodegenerative disease, elucidating radiation insult and mitigation biomarkers, exploring inter-relationships of metabolism and molecular mechanisms of diabetes, as well as other systems biology projects in peptidomics, lipidomics and proteomics.
Additional affiliations
January 1998 - present
University of California, Los Angeles
January 1987 - present
Royal Holloway, University of London
September 1984 - August 1987
Imperial College London
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (406)
Preprint
White adipose tissues (WAT) play a central role in lipid storage and systemic energy, lipid, and glucose homeostasis. Understanding the intricacies of adipocyte formation could inform therapies for obesity and metabolic disorders. We have identified the POZ/BTB and AT Hook Containing Zinc Finger 1 (PATZ1) protein as an adipogenic transcription fact...
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Fatigue and other deleterious mood alterations resulting from prolonged efforts such as a long work shift can lead to a decrease in vigilance and cognitive performance, increasing the likelihood of errors during the execution of attention-demanding activities such as piloting an aircraft or performing medical procedures. Thus, a method to rapidly a...
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The assembly of large, multi-cofactor membrane protein complexes like photosystem II (PSII) requires a high level of coordination. The process is facilitated by a large network of auxiliary proteins that bind transiently to unassembled subunits, preassembled modules or intermediate states of PSII, which are comprised of a subset of subunits. Howeve...
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Effective treatment for Pancreatic Cancer remains a major challenge due to its resistance to radiation/chemotherapy and poor drug permeability. Moreover, treatment induced normal tissue toxicity, mainly to the duodenum and gastrointestinal epithelium, is common and is a dose limiting event, while toxicity to the pancreas is relatively rare. Gastroi...
Article
The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is critical for sensing defective microtubule-kinetochore attachments and tension across the kinetochore and functions to arrest cells in prometaphase to allow time to repair any errors before proceeding into anaphase. Dysregulation of the SAC leads to chromosome segregation errors that have been linked to huma...
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We previously reported several vignettes on types and classes of drugs able to mitigate acute and, in at least one case, late radiation syndromes in mice. Most of these had emerged from high throughput screening (HTS) of bioactive and chemical drug libraries using ionizing radiation-induced lymphocytic apoptosis as a readout. Here we report the ful...
Article
Transmembrane α-helical domains of membrane proteins tend to remain structured in the gas phase, presenting a challenge for efficient electron capture/transfer dissociation during top-down dissociation mass spectrometry (MS) experiments. In this study, we compare results from different dissociation modes on a modern Orbitrap platform applied to a m...
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Photochemical energy conversion during oxygenic photosynthesis is performed by membrane-embedded chlorophyll-binding protein complexes. The biogenesis and maintenance of these complexes requires auxiliary protein factors that optimize the assembly process and protect nascent complexes from photodamage. In cyanobacteria, several lipoproteins contrib...
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Human cell division is a highly regulated process that relies on the accurate capture and movement of chromosomes to the metaphase plate. Errors in the fidelity of chromosome congression and alignment can lead to improper chromosome segregation, which is correlated with aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. These processes are known to be regulated by extr...
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Wild-type human SOD1 forms a highly conserved intra-molecular disulfide bond between C57-C146, and in its native state is greatly stabilized by binding one copper and one zinc atom per monomer rendering the protein dimeric. Loss of copper extinguishes dismutase activity and destabilizes the protein, increasing accessibility of the disulfide with mo...
Chapter
The cytochrome b6f complex, embedded in the chloroplast thylakoid membrane, is a central hub in the proton-coupled electron transfer chain of oxygenic photosynthesis. It transfers electrons coupled to trans-membrane proton translocation in (1) a “linear” or “non-cyclic” pathway involving electron transfer between the two light-driven “reaction cent...
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Here we report the first recovery, sequencing, and identification of fossil biomineral proteins from a Pleistocene fossil invertebrate, the stony coral Orbicella annularis. This fossil retains total hydrolysable amino acids of a roughly similar composition to extracts from modern O. annularis skeletons, with the amino acid data rich in Asx (Asp + A...
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Mitochondrial dysfunction is frequently associated with impairment in metabolic homeostasis and insulin action, and is thought to underlie cellular aging. However, it is unclear whether mitochondrial dysfunction is a cause or consequence of insulin resistance in humans. To determine the impact of intrinsic mitochondrial dysfunction on metabolism an...
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Several ‘super-complexes’ of individual hetero-oligomeric membrane protein complexes, whose function is to facilitate intra-membrane electron and proton transfer and harvesting of light energy, have been previously characterized in the mitochondrial cristae and chloroplast thylakoid membranes. We report the presence of an intra-membrane super-compl...
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Somatic mutations that perturb Parkin ubiquitin ligase activity and the misregulation of iron homeostasis have both been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Lactotransferrin (LTF) is a member of the transferrin iron binding proteins that regulate iron homeostasis and increased levels of LTF and its receptor have been observed in neurodegenerative disord...
Article
Scar tissue size following myocardial infarction is an independent predictor of cardiovascular outcomes, yet little is known about factors regulating scar size. We demonstrate that collagen V, a minor constituent of heart scars, regulates the size of heart scars after ischemic injury. Depletion of collagen V led to a paradoxical increase in post-in...
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The multinational Arabidopsis research community is highly collaborative and over the past thirty years these activities have been documented by the Multinational Arabidopsis Steering Committee (MASC). Here, we (a) highlight recent research advances made with the reference plant Arabidopsis thaliana ; (b) provide summaries from recent reports submi...
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Full-text available
Human cell division is a highly regulated process that relies on the accurate capture and movement of chromosomes to the metaphase plate. Errors in the fidelity of chromosome congression and alignment can lead to improper chromosome segregation, which is correlated with aneuploidy and tumorigenesis. Here we show that the dual specificity phosphatas...
Preprint
Full-text available
Somatic mutations that perturb Parkin ubiquitin ligase activity and the misregulation of iron homeostasis have both been linked to Parkinson's disease. Lactotransferrin is a member of the transferrin iron binding proteins that regulate iron homeostasis and increased levels of Lactotransferrin and its receptor have been observed in neurodegenerative...
Preprint
Full-text available
The spindle assembly checkpoint (SAC) is critical for sensing defective microtubule-kinetochore attachments and tension across the kinetochore and functions to arrest cells in prometaphase to allow time to repair any errors prior to proceeding into anaphase. The SAC has a central role in ensuring the fidelity of chromosome segregation and its dysre...
Preprint
Several ‘super-complexes’ of individual hetero-oligomeric membrane protein complexes, whose function is to facilitate intra-membrane electron and proton transfer and harvesting of light energy, have been previously characterized in the mitochondrial cristae and chloroplast thylakoid membranes. The latter membrane is reported here to also be the loc...
Article
Helicobacter pylori infection always induces gastritis, which may progress to ulcer disease or cancer. The mechanisms underlying mucosal injury by the bacteria are incompletely understood. Here we identify a novel pathway for H. pylori-induced gastric injury, the impairment of maturation of the essential transport enzyme and cell adhesion molecule,...
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A subsection of integral membrane proteins partition into chloroform during a chloroform/methanol/water extraction primarily designed to extract lipids. Traditionally, these proteins were called proteolipids due to their lipid-like properties; the c-subunit of the ATP synthase integral FO component is the best known due to its abundance. In this ma...
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Background: Factor (F) IX/IXa inactivation by plasmin has been studied; however, whether plasmin converts FIXa to a fibrinolytic enhancer is not known. Objective: Investigate plasmin proteolysis site(s) in FIXa that inactivates and transforms it into a fibrinolytic enhancer. Methods: NH2 -terminal sequencing, mass spec analysis and functional...
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Photosystem I (PSI) is present as trimeric complexes in most characterized cyanobacteria and as monomers in plants and algae. Recent reports of tetrameric PSI have raised questions regarding its structural basis, physiological role, phylogenetic distribution and evolutionary significance. Here, we examined PSI in 61 cyanobacteria, showing that tetr...
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Carbon monoxide (CO)-releasing antibody conjugates were synthesized utilizing a photoactivatable CO-releasing molecule (photoCORM) and mouse monoclonal antibodies linked by a biotin-streptavidin system. Different monoclonal antibodies raised against different surface-expressed antigens that are implicated in ovarian cancer afforded a family of anti...
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Drug- and noise-related hearing loss are both associated with inflammatory responses in the inner ear. We propose that intracochlear delivery of a combination of pro-resolving mediators, specialized proteins and lipids that accelerate the return to homeostasis by modifying the immune response rather than by inhibiting inflammation, might have a pro...
Article
Background: Investigations in human disease pathogenesis have been hampered due to paucity of access to fresh-frozen tissues (FFT) for use in global, data-driven methodologies. As an alternative, formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues are readily available in pathology banks. However, the use of formalin for fixation can lead to the loss...
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Receptor type protein tyrosine phosphatase-sigma (PTPσ) is primarily expressed by adult neurons and regulates neural regeneration. We recently discovered that PTPσ is also expressed by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here, we describe small molecule inhibitors of PTPσ that promote HSC regeneration in vivo. Systemic administration of the PTPσ inhib...
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Purpose: Potential acute exposure to ionizing radiation in nuclear or radiological accidents presents complex mass casualty scenarios that demand prompt triage and treatment decisions. Due to delayed symptoms and varied response of radiation victims, there is an urgent need to develop robust biomarkers to assess the extent of injuries in individua...
Article
Oligomeric forms of α-synuclein are believed to cause mitochondrial injury, which may contribute to neurotoxicity in Parkinson's disease (PD). Here oligomers of α-synuclein were prepared using the dopamine metabolite, DOPAL (3,4-dihydroxyphenylaldehyde), in the presence of guanidinium hydrochloride. Electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, and weste...
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One gene can give rise to many functionally distinct proteoforms, each of which has a characteristic molecular mass. Top-down mass spectrometry enables the analysis of intact proteins and proteoforms. Here members of the Consortium for Top-Down Proteomics provide a decision tree that guides researchers to robust protocols for mass analysis of intac...
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Objectives: Isolate, purify, and characterize extracellular vesicles (EVs) obtained from auditory HEI-OC1 cells, and evaluate their suitability for intracochlear transport and delivery of pharmacological drugs and/or pro-resolution mediators of acute inflammatory processes. Methods: HEI-OC1 EVs were isolated and purified using the exoEasy Maxi K...
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Voltage-dependent anion channel-1 (VDAC1) is a mitochondrial porin that is implicated in cellular metabolism and apoptosis, and modulated by numerous small molecules including lipids. VDAC1 binds sterols, including cholesterol and neurosteroids such as allopregnanolone. Biochemical and computational studies suggest that VDAC1 binds multiple cholest...
Article
Insulin therapy in the setting of type 1 and advanced type 2 diabetes is complicated by increased risk of hypoglycemia. This potentially fatal complication could be mitigated by a glucose-responsive insulin analog. We report an insulin-facilitated glucose transporter (Glut) inhibitor conjugate, in which the insulin molecule is rendered glucose-resp...
Article
Bovine digital dermatitis (BDD) is a multifactorial polymicrobial infectious disease associated with multiple species and phylotypes of treponemes. However, despite the abundance of molecular signatures for treponemes that are identified in bovine lesions, relatively few isolates are cultured, and even fewer have been characterized at the level of...
Article
Abundant attention has focused on synaptotagmin's C2 domains, but less is known about the structure and function of its other regions. Here, we synthesized the N-acetylated, C-end amidated and Cys-palmitated peptide (VLTCCFCICK KCLFKKKNKK K) which includes the fatty acylated cysteine residues in the membrane-affiliated domain of synaptotagmin-1. Fo...
Article
Objective: Exposure to lethal doses of radiation has severe effects on normal tissues. Exposed individuals experience a plethora of symptoms in different organ systems including the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, summarized as Acute Radiation Syndrome (ARS). There are currently no approved drugs for mitigating GI-ARS. A recent high-throughput screen...
Preprint
Full-text available
Photosystem I (PSI) were reported as trimeric complexes in most characterized cyanobacteria, yet monomers in plants and algae PSI. Recent reports on tetrameric PSI raised questions regarding its structural basis, physiological role, phylogenetic distribution and evolutionary significance. In this study, by examining PSI in 61 cyanobacteria, we show...
Article
Full-text available
Intensive research is underway to find new agents that can successfully mitigate the acute effects of radiation exposure. This is primarily in response to potential counterthreats of radiological terrorism and nuclear accidents but there is some hope that they might also be of value for cancer patients treated with radiation therapy. Research into...
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Heterologous expression of human membrane proteins is a challenge in structural biology towards drug discovery. Here we report a complete expression and purification process of a functional human sodium/D-glucose co-transporter 1 (hSGLT1) in Pichia pastoris as representative example of a useful strategy for any human membrane protein. hSGLT1 gene w...
Article
Background: Loss of intestinal barrier integrity plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of various gastrointestinal diseases and is implicated in the onset of sepsis and multiple organ failure. An array of methods to assess different aspects of intestinal barrier function suffers from lack of sensitivity, prolonged periods of specimen collec...
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Objective Mitochondria are organelles primarily responsible for energy production, and recent evidence indicates that alterations in size, shape, location, and quantity occur in response to fluctuations in energy supply and demand. We tested the impact of acute and chronic exercise on mitochondrial dynamics signaling and determined the impact of th...
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Murine herpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) productively infects mouse lungs, exhibiting a complex pathology characteristic of both acute viral infections and chronic respiratory diseases. We sought to discover proteins differentially expressed in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from mice infected with MHV-68. Mice were infected intranasally with MHV-68. After nin...
Article
Solvent-accessibility change plays a critical role in protein misfolding and aggregation, the culprit for several neurodegenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Mass spectrometry-based hydroxyl radical (·OH) protein footprinting has evolved as a powerful and fast tool in elucidating protein solvent accessibility. In this...
Preprint
Murine herpesvirus-68 (MHV-68) productively infects the mouse lungs, exhibiting a complex pathology characteristic of both acute viral infections and chronic respiratory diseases. We sought to discover proteins differentially expressed in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) from mice infected with MHV-68. Mice were infected intranasally with MHV-68. After...
Article
Mutations in Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) gene are linked to 10-20% of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (fALS) cases. The mutations cause misfolding and self-assembly of SOD1 into toxic oligomers and aggregates, resulting in motor neuron degeneration. The molecular mechanisms underlying SOD1 aggregation and toxicity are unclear. Characte...
Article
Sulfogalactosylglycerolipid (SGG, aka seminolipid) is selectively synthesized in high amounts in mammalian testicular germ cells (TGCs). SGG is an ordered lipid and directly involved in cell adhesion. SGG is indispensable for spermatogenesis, a process that greatly depends on interaction between Sertoli cells and TGCs. Spermatogenesis is disrupted...
Article
Zika virus (ZIKV) has been identified as a cause of neurologic diseases in infants and Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and currently, no therapeutics or vaccines are approved. In this study, we sought to identify potential host proteins interacting with ZIKV particles to gain better insights into viral infectivity. Viral particles were purified through de...
Article
In the last decade, native mass spectrometry has emerged as a powerful tool for studying the interactions of lipids and other small molecules with integral membrane proteins and their complexes. In this issue of Cell Chemical Biology, Pyle et al. (2018) establishes the role of phosphatidyl-inositol in dimerization and activity of a eukaryotic purin...
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Introduction: Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the third leading cause of cancer-related mortality worldwide, has limited treatment options. Advanced Mass Spectrometry have emerged as powerful tool to identify changes in protein expression in HCC Objectives: Identified differentially expressed proteins in HCC patients who underwent liver transplant...
Article
Each of the 30 human amyloid diseases is associated with the aggregation of a particular precursor protein into amyloid fibrils. In transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR), mutant or wild-type forms of the serum carrier protein transthyretin (TTR), synthesized and secreted by the liver, convert to amyloid fibrils deposited in the heart and other organs. T...
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• Background and Aims Cultured cell suspensions have been the preferred model to study the apoplast as well as to monitor metabolic and cell cycle-related changes. Previous work showed that methyl jasmonate (MeJA) inhibits leaf growth in a CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1)-dependent manner, with COI1 being the jas-monate (JA) receptor. Here, the eff...
Article
Multiple secretion pathways are known for export of protein(s) forming the S-layer in bacteria. The unicellular model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 (hereafter S. 6803) also possesses a well-defined S-layer composed of Sll1951 protein. However, the mechanism of its secretion is not completely understood. In the present study, the...
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Nuclear receptors regulate gene expression in response to environmental cues, but the molecular events governing the cell type specificity of nuclear receptors remain poorly understood. Here we outline a role for a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) in modulating the cell type–specific actions of liver X receptors (LXRs), sterol-activated nuclear receptor...