Liam Michael Longo

Liam Michael Longo
Weizmann Institute of Science | weizmann · Department of Biological Chemistry

PhD

About

41
Publications
2,769
Reads
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591
Citations
Additional affiliations
February 2015 - present
Weizmann Institute of Science
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Description
  • Computational Protein Design with Rosetta.
August 2009 - December 2014
Florida State University
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Experimental Protein Folding and Design.
Education
August 2009 - December 2014
Florida State University
Field of study
  • Molecular Biophysics

Publications

Publications (41)
Article
A compendium of different types of abiotic chemical syntheses identifies a consensus set of 10 "prebiotic" α-amino acids. Before the emergence of biosynthetic pathways, this set is the most plausible resource for protein formation (i.e., proteogenesis) within the overall process of abiogenesis. An essential unsolved question regarding this prebioti...
Preprint
Full-text available
Dating back to the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), the P-loop NTPases and Rossmanns now comprise the most ubiquitous and diverse enzyme lineages. Intriguing similarities in their overall architecture and phosphate binding motifs suggest common ancestry; however, due to a lack of global sequence identity, these families are considered indepen...
Article
Significance The first proteins emerged some 4 billion y ago, and understanding how they came about is a daunting challenge. Further complicating matters, the rules of protein structure and function derived from modern proteins may be irrelevant to their earliest ancestors. We report an integrated approach in which protein sequence, structure, and...
Article
Full-text available
Significance The first enzymes emerged ∼4 billion y ago and have subsequently become the most diverse and functionally important component of life. But what were the first enzymes doing and how did they look? We probed the properties of the first enzymes by analyzing phospho-ligand binding across all known protein evolutionary lineages. We find tha...
Article
Anthropogenic organophosphorus compounds (AOPCs), such as phosphotriesters, are used extensively as plasticizers, flame retardants, nerve agents, and pesticides. To date, only a handful of soil bacteria bearing a phosphotriesterase (PTE), the key enzyme in the AOPC degradation pathway, have been identified. Therefore, the extent to which bacteria a...
Article
Full-text available
Peptide-RNA coacervates can result in the concentration and compartmentalization of simple biopolymers. Given their primordial relevance, peptide-RNA coacervates may have also been a key site of early protein evolution. However, the extent to which such coacervates might promote or suppress the exploration of novel peptide conformations is fundamen...
Preprint
Full-text available
How protein translation evolved from a simple beginning to its complex and accurate contemporary state is unknown. Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (AARSs) define the genetic code by activating amino acids and loading them onto cognate tRNAs. As such, their evolutionary history can shed light on early translation. Using structure-based alignments of the...
Preprint
Peptide-RNA coacervates can result in the concentration and compartmentalization of simple biopolymers. Given their primordial relevance, peptide-RNA coacervates may have also been a key site of early protein evolution. However, the extent to which such coacervates might promote or suppress the exploration of novel peptide conformations is fundamen...
Article
Full-text available
As sequence and structure comparison algorithms gain sensitivity, the intrinsic interconnectedness of the protein universe has become increasingly apparent. Despite this general trend, β-trefoils have emerged as an uncommon counterexample: They are an isolated protein lineage for which few, if any, sequence or structure associations to other lineag...
Preprint
Full-text available
Anthropogenic organophosphates (AOPs), such as phosphotriesters, are used extensively as plasticizers, flame retardants, nerve agents and pesticides. Soil bacteria bearing a phosphotriesterase (PTE) can degrade AOPs, but whether bacteria are capable of utilizing AOPs as a phosphorus source, and how widespread PTEs are in nature, remains unclear. He...
Preprint
Full-text available
As sequence and structure comparison algorithms gain sensitivity, the intrinsic interconnectedness of the protein universe has become increasingly apparent. Despite this general trend, β-trefoils have emerged as an uncommon counterexample: They are an isolated protein lineage for which few, if any, sequence or structure associations to other lineag...
Article
Full-text available
Pioneer of molecular evolution.
Article
Full-text available
Among the enzyme lineages that undoubtedly emerged prior to the last universal common ancestor is the so-called HUP, which includes Class I aminoacyl tRNA synthetases (AARSs) as well as enzymes mediating NAD, FAD, and CoA biosynthesis. Here, we provide a detailed analysis of HUP evolution, from emergence to structural and functional diversification...
Article
Significance It is widely assumed that today’s large and complex proteins emerged from much shorter and simpler polypeptides. Yet the nature of these early precursors remains enigmatic. We describe polypeptides that contain one of the earliest protein motifs, a phosphate-binding loop, or P-loop, embedded in a single beta-alpha element. These simple...
Article
Full-text available
Dating back to the last universal common ancestor (LUCA), the P-loop NTPases and Rossmanns now comprise the most ubiquitous and diverse enzyme lineages. Intriguing similarities in their overall architecture and phosphate binding motifs suggest common ancestry; however, due to a lack of sequence identity and some fundamental structural differences,...
Article
Full-text available
Polyamines are known to mediate diverse biological processes, and specifically to bind and stabilize compact conformations of nucleic acids, acting as chemical chaperones that promote folding by offsetting the repulsive negative charges of the phosphodiester backbone. However, whether and how polyamines modulate the structure and function of protei...
Preprint
Full-text available
Polyamines are known to mediate diverse biological processes, and specifically to bind and stabilize compact conformations of nucleic acids, acting as chemical chaperones that promote folding by offsetting the repulsive negative charges of the phosphodiester backbone. However, whether and how polyamines modulate the structure and function of protei...
Preprint
Full-text available
The P-loop Walker A motif underlies hundreds of essential enzyme families that bind nucleotide triphosphates (NTPs) and mediate phosphoryl transfer (P-loop NTPases), including the earliest DNA/RNA helicases, translocases and recombinases. What were the primordial precursors of these enzymes? Could these large and complex proteins emerge from simple...
Article
Many protein architectures exhibit evidence of internal rotational symmetry postulated to be the result of gene duplication/fusion events involving a primordial polypeptide motif. A common feature of such structures is a domain‐swapped arrangement at the interface of the N‐ and C‐termini motifs and postulated to provide cooperative interactions tha...
Preprint
Full-text available
De novo emergence, and emergence of the earliest proteins specifically, demands a transition from disordered polypeptides into structured proteins with well defined functions. However, can peptides confer evolutionary relevant functions, let alone with minimal abiotic amino acid alphabets? How can such polypeptides evolve into mature proteins? Spec...
Article
Enzymes catalyze a vast range of reactions. Their catalytic performances, mechanisms, global folds, and active-site architectures are also highly diverse, suggesting that enzymes are shaped by an entire range of physiological demands and evolutionary constraints, as well as by chemical and physicochemical constraints. We have attempted to identify...
Article
An efficient protein folding pathway leading to target structure, and the avoidance of aggregation, is essential to protein evolution and de novo design; however, design details to achieve efficient folding and avoid aggregation are poorly understood. We report characterization of the thermally-induced aggregate of fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1...
Article
Full-text available
The linkage between regulatory elements of transcription, such as promoters, and their protein products is central to gene function. Promoter-protein coevolution is therefore expected, but rarely observed, and the manner by which these two regulatory levels are linked remains largely unknown. We study glutamate dehydrogenase-a hub of carbon and nit...
Article
Proteins are the fundamental biopolymer responsible for much of the biochemistry of living systems. The remarkable versatility of proteins often results from their capacity to spontaneously fold into a defined conformation with specific biological or chemical function. Dysregulation of folding can result in a consequent metabolic dysregulation to g...
Article
The folding nucleus (FN) is a cryptic element within protein primary structure that enables an efficient folding pathway and is the postulated heritable element in the evolution of protein architecture; however, almost nothing is known regarding how the FN structurally changes as complex protein architecture evolves from simpler peptide motifs. We...
Article
The halophile environment has a number of compelling aspects with regard to the origin of structured polypeptides (i.e., proteogenesis) and, instead of a curious niche that living systems adapted into, the halophile environment is emerging as a candidate “cradle” for proteogenesis. In this viewpoint, a subsequent halophile-to-mesophile transition w...
Article
Full-text available
Type I collagen is composed of 2 polypeptides, α1(I) and α2(I), which fold into triple helix. Collagen α1(I) and α2(I) mRNAs have a conserved stem-loop structure in their 5' UTRs, the 5'SL. LARP6 binds the 5'SL to regulate type I collagen expression. We show that 5 nucleotides within the single stranded regions of 5'SL contribute to the high affini...
Article
Buried free-cysteine (Cys) residues can contribute to an irreversible unfolding pathway that promotes protein aggregation, increases immunogenic potential, and significantly reduces protein functional half-life. Consequently, mutation of buried free-Cys residues can result in significant improvement in the storage, reconstitution, and pharmacokinet...
Article
Models of symmetric protein evolution typically invoke gene duplication and fusion events, in which repetition of a structural motif generates foldable, stable symmetric protein architecture. Success of such evolutionary processes suggests that the duplicated structural motif must be capable of nucleating protein folding. If correct, symmetric expa...
Article
Top-down symmetric deconstruction (TDSD) is a joint experimental and computational approach to generate a highly stable, functionally benign protein scaffold for intended application in subsequent functional design studies. By focusing on symmetric protein folds, TDSD can leverage the dramatic reduction in sequence space achieved by applying a prim...
Article
Full-text available
There are significant challenges in forming testable hypotheses regarding abiogenesis (i.e., the origin of life); for example, the original environment on the early Earth during the process of abiogenesis is a matter of debate [although it was significantly different from the current environment (Oparin, 1952; Hazen et al., 2008)]. Furthermore, the...
Article
Background: Establishment of a traumatic brain injury (TBI)-sensitive biomarker or identification of a key therapeutic agent would significantly improve clinicians' efforts to diagnose and treat TBI, thereby promoting improved outcomes for patients. Numerous studies support the role of kallikrein-6 (Klk6) as a critical component of neuroinflammati...
Article
Protein 3° structure symmetry is a defining feature of nearly one-third of protein folds and is generally thought to result from a combination of gene duplication, fusion, and truncation events. Such events represent major replication errors, involving substantial alteration of protein 3° structure and causing regions of exact repeating 1° structur...
Article
The acquisition of function is often associated with destabilizing mutations, giving rise to the stability-function tradeoff hypothesis. To test whether function is also accommodated at the expense of foldability, fibroblast growth factor-1 (FGF-1) was subjected to a comprehensive φ-value analysis at each of the 11 turn regions. FGF-1, a β-trefoil...
Article
Structural symmetry is observed in the majority of fundamental protein folds and gene duplication and fusion evolutionary processes are postulated to be responsible. However, convergent evolution leading to structural symmetry has also been proposed; additionally, there is debate regarding the extent to which exact primary structure symmetry is com...
Article
Turn secondary structure is essential to the formation of globular protein architecture. Turn structures are, however, much more complex than either alpha-helix or beta-sheet, and the thermodynamics and folding kinetics are poorly understood. Type I beta-turns are the most common type of reverse turn, and they exhibit a statistical consensus sequen...
Article
Bacterial wilt (BW) caused by the bacterial pathogen Ralstonia solanacearum is one of the most important diseases of tomatoes in the southeastern United States due to its destructive nature, wide host range, and geographical distribution. Acibenzolar-S-methyl (ASM, Actigard 50 WG), is a systemic acquired resistance inducer. Greenhouse experiments w...

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