Michael Eckart

Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, United States

Are you Michael Eckart?

Claim your profile

Publications (10)100.29 Total impact

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: GPR126 is an orphan heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor (GPCR) that is essential for the development of diverse organs. We found that type IV collagen, a major constituent of the basement membrane, binds to Gpr126 and activates its signaling function. Type IV collagen stimulated the production of cyclic adenosine monophosphate in rodent Schwann cells, which require Gpr126 activity to differentiate, and in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells expressing exogenous Gpr126. Type IV collagen specifically bound to the extracellular amino-terminal region of Gpr126 containing the CUB (complement, Uegf, Bmp1) and pentraxin domains. Gpr126 derivatives lacking the entire amino-terminal region were constitutively active, suggesting that this region inhibits signaling and that ligand binding relieves this inhibition to stimulate receptor activity. A new zebrafish mutation that truncates Gpr126 after the CUB and pentraxin domains disrupted development of peripheral nerves and the inner ear. Thus, our findings identify type IV collagen as an activating ligand for GPR126, define its mechanism of activation, and highlight a previously unrecognized signaling function of type IV collagen in basement membranes.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Science Signaling
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bacteria use partitioning systems based on the ParA ATPase to actively mobilize and spatially organize molecular cargoes throughout the cytoplasm. The bacterium Caulobacter crescentus uses a ParA-based partitioning system to segregate newly replicated chromosomal centromeres to opposite cell poles. Here we demonstrate that the Caulobacter PopZ scaffold creates an organizing center at the cell pole that actively regulates polar centromere transport by the ParA partition system. As segregation proceeds, the ParB-bound centromere complex is moved by progressively disassembling ParA from a nucleoid-bound structure. Using superresolution microscopy, we show that released ParA is recruited directly to binding sites within a 3D ultrastructure composed of PopZ at the cell pole, whereas the ParB-centromere complex remains at the periphery of the PopZ structure. PopZ recruitment of ParA stimulates ParA to assemble on the nucleoid near the PopZ-proximal cell pole. We identify mutations in PopZ that allow scaffold assembly but specifically abrogate interactions with ParA and demonstrate that PopZ/ParA interactions are required for proper chromosome segregation in vivo. We propose that during segregation PopZ sequesters free ParA and induces target-proximal regeneration of ParA DNA binding activity to enforce processive and pole-directed centromere segregation, preventing segregation reversals. PopZ therefore functions as a polar hub complex at the cell pole to directly regulate the directionality and destination of transfer of the mitotic segregation machine.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Vital to bacterial survival is the faithful propagation of cellular signals, and in Caulobacter crescentus, ChpT is an essential mediator within the cell-cycle circuit. ChpT functions as a histidine-containing phosphotransfer protein (HPt) that shuttles a phosphoryl group from the receiver domain of CckA, the upstream hybrid histidine kinase (HK), to one of two downstream response regulators (CtrA or CpdR) that controls cell-cycle progression. To understand how ChpT interacts with multiple signaling partners, we solved the crystal structure of ChpT at 2.3 Å resolution. ChpT adopts a pseudo-HK architecture but does not bind ATP. We identified two point mutation classes affecting phosphotransfer and cell morphology: one that globally impairs ChpT phosphotransfer, and a second that mediates partner selection. Importantly, a small set of conserved ChpT residues promotes signaling crosstalk and contributes to the branched signaling that activates the master regulator CtrA while inactivating the CtrA degradation signal, CpdR.
    Preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Structure
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A potent neutralizing antibody to a conserved hepatitis C virus (HCV) epitope might overcome its extreme variability, allowing immunotherapy. The human monoclonal antibody HC-1 recognizes a conformational epitope on the HCV E2 glycoprotein. Previous studies showed that HC-1 neutralizes most HCV genotypes but has modest potency. To improve neutralization, we affinity-matured HC-1 by constructing a library of yeast-displayed HC-1 single chain Fv (scFv) mutants, using for selection an E2 antigen from one of the poorly neutralized HCVpp. We developed an approach by parallel mutagenesis of the heavy chain variable (VH) and κ-chain variable (Vk) genes separately, then combining the optimized VH and Vk mutants. This resulted in the generation of HC-1-related scFv variants exhibiting improved affinities. The best scFv variant had a 92-fold improved affinity. After conversion to IgG1, some of the antibodies exhibited a 30-fold improvement in neutralization activity. Both surface plasmon resonance and solution kinetic exclusion analysis showed that the increase in affinity was largely due to a lowering of the dissociation rate constant, Koff. Neutralization against a panel of HCV pseudoparticles and infectious 2a HCV virus improved with the affinity-matured IgG1 antibodies. Interestingly, some of these antibodies neutralized a viral isolate that was not neutralized by wild-type HC-1. Moreover, propagating 2a HCVcc under the selective pressure of WT HC-1 or affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies yielded no viral escape mutants and, with the affinity-matured IgG1, needed 100-fold less antibody to achieve complete virus elimination. Taken together, these findings suggest that affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies are excellent candidates for therapeutic development.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: MicroRNA-122 (miR-122) enhances hepatitis C virus (HCV) fitness via targeting two sites in the 5′-untranslated region (UTR) of HCV. We used selective 2′-hydroxyl acylation analyzed by primer extension to resolve the HCV 5′-UTR's RNA secondary structure in the presence of miR-122. Nearly all nucleotides in miR-122 are involved in targeting the second site, beyond classic seed base pairings. These additional interactions enhance HCV replication in cell culture. To our knowledge, this is the first biophysical study of this complex to reveal the importance of ‘tail’ miR-122 nucleotide interactions.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2011 · Journal of Virology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A potent neutralizing antibody to a conserved HCV epitope might overcome its extreme variability, allowing immunotherapy. The human monoclonal antibody HC-1 recognizes a conformational epitope on the HCV E2 glycoprotein. Previous studies showed that HC-1 neutralized most HCV genotypes but having modest potency. To improve neutralization, we affinity-matured HC-1 by constructing a library of yeast-displayed HC-1 single chain Fv (scFv) mutants and using for selection an E2 antigen from one of the poorly neutralized HCVpp. We developed an approach by parallel mutagenesis of the heavy chain variable (VH) and kappa chain variable (Vk) genes separately and then combining the optimized VH and Vk mutants. This resulted in the generation of HC-1-related scFv variants exhibiting improved affinities. The best scFv variant had a 92-fold improved affinity. After conversion to IgG1, some of the antibodies exhibited a 30-fold improvement in neutralization activity. Both surface plasmon resonance and solution kinetic exclusion analysis showed the increase in affinity was largely due to a lowering of the dissociation rate constant, Koff. Neutralization against a panel of HCV pseudoparticles and infectious 2a HCV virus improved with the affinity-matured IgG1 antibodies. Interestingly, some of these antibodies neutralized a viral isolate that was not neutralized by wildtype (wt) HC-1. Moreover, propagating 2a HCVcc under the selective pressure of wt HC-1 or affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies yielded no viral escape mutants, and, with the affinity-matured IgG1, needed 100-fold less antibody to achieve complete virus elimination. Taken together, these findings suggest that affinity-matured HC-1 antibodies are excellent candidates for therapeutic development.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Asthma is considered a Th2 cell–associated disorder. Despite this, both the Th1 cell–associated cytokine IFN-γ and airway neutrophilia have been implicated in severe asthma. To investigate the relative contributions of different immune system components to the pathogenesis of asthma, we previously developed a model that exhibits several features of severe asthma in humans, including airway neutrophilia and increased lung IFN-γ. In the present studies, we tested the hypothesis that IFN-γ regulates mast cell function in our model of chronic asthma. Engraftment of mast cell–deficient KitW(-sh/W-sh) mice, which develop markedly attenuated features of disease, with wild-type mast cells restored disease pathology in this model of chronic asthma. However, disease pathology was not fully restored by engraftment with either IFN-γ receptor 1–null (Ifngr1–/–) or Fcε receptor 1γ–null (Fcer1g–/–) mast cells. Additional analysis, including gene array studies, showed that mast cell expression of IFN-γR contributed to the development of many FcεRIγ-dependent and some FcεRIγ-independent features of disease in our model, including airway hyperresponsiveness, neutrophilic and eosinophilic inflammation, airway remodeling, and lung expression of several cytokines, chemokines, and markers of an alternatively activated macrophage response. These findings identify a previously unsuspected IFN-γ/mast cell axis in the pathology of chronic allergic inflammation of the airways in mice.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2011 · The Journal of clinical investigation
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Until recently, a dedicated mitotic apparatus that segregates newly replicated chromosomes into daughter cells was believed to be unique to eukaryotic cells. Here we demonstrate that the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus segregates its chromosome using a partitioning (Par) apparatus that has surprising similarities to eukaryotic spindles. We show that the C. crescentus ATPase ParA forms linear polymers in vitro and assembles into a narrow linear structure in vivo. The centromere-binding protein ParB binds to and destabilizes ParA structures in vitro. We propose that this ParB-stimulated ParA depolymerization activity moves the centromere to the opposite cell pole through a burnt bridge Brownian ratchet mechanism. Finally, we identify the pole-specific TipN protein as a new component of the Par system that is required to maintain the directionality of DNA transfer towards the new cell pole. Our results elucidate a bacterial chromosome segregation mechanism that features basic operating principles similar to eukaryotic mitotic machines, including a multivalent protein complex at the centromere that stimulates the dynamic disassembly of polymers to move chromosomes into daughter compartments.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Nature Cell Biology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bacterial replication origins move towards opposite ends of the cell during DNA segregation. We have identified a proline-rich polar protein, PopZ, required to anchor the separated Caulobacter crescentus chromosome origins at the cell poles, a function that is essential for maintaining chromosome organization and normal cell division. PopZ interacts directly with the ParB protein bound to specific DNA sequences near the replication origin. As the origin/ParB complex is being replicated and moved across the cell, PopZ accumulates at the cell pole and tethers the origin in place upon arrival. The polar accumulation of PopZ occurs by a diffusion/capture mechanism that requires the MreB cytoskeleton. High molecular weight oligomers of PopZ assemble in vitro into a filamentous network with trimer junctions, suggesting that the PopZ network and ParB-bound DNA interact in an adhesive complex, fixing the chromosome origin at the cell pole.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2008 · Cell
  • M Yu · M R Eckart · A A Morgan · K Mukai · A J Butte · M Tsai · S J Galli

    No preview · Article ·

Publication Stats

445 Citations
100.29 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013-2014
    • Stanford University
      • Department of Medicine
      Palo Alto, California, United States
  • 2008-2010
    • Stanford Medicine
      • Department of Developmental Biology
      Stanford, California, United States