Brenda R S Temple

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States

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Publications (58)360.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Members of the Tomosyn/Lgl/Sro7 family play important roles in vesicle trafficking and cell polarity in eukaryotic cells. The yeast homolog, Sro7, is thought to act as a downstream effector of the Sec4 Rab GTPase to promote SNARE assembly during Golgi to cell surface vesicle transport. In this paper, we describe the identification of a Sec4 binding site on the surface of Sro7 that is contained within a cleft created by the junction of two adjacent β-propellers which form the core structure of Sro7. Computational docking experiments suggested four models for interaction of GTP-Sec4 with the Sro7 binding cleft. Further mutational and biochemical analyses confirmed that only one of the four docking arrangements is perfectly consistent with our genetic and biochemical interaction data. Close examination of this docking model suggests a structural basis for the high substrate and nucleotide selectivity in effector binding by Sro7. Finally, analysis of the surface variation within the homologous interaction site on Tomosyn-1 and Lgl-1 structural models suggests a possible conserved Rab GTPase effector function in Tomosyn vertebrate homologues. © 2015 by The American Society for Cell Biology.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Molecular biology of the cell
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    ABSTRACT: Nuclear bodies (NBs) are structures that concentrate proteins, RNAs, and ribonucleoproteins that perform functions essential to gene expression. How NBs assemble is not well understood. We studied the Drosophila histone locus body (HLB), a NB that concentrates factors required for histone mRNA biosynthesis at the replication-dependent histone gene locus. We coupled biochemical analysis with confocal imaging of both fixed and live tissues to demonstrate that the Drosophila Multi-Sex Combs (Mxc) protein contains multiple domains necessary for HLB assembly. An important feature of this assembly process is the self-interaction of Mxc via two conserved N-terminal domains: a LisH domain and a novel SIF (Self Interaction Facilitator) domain immediately downstream of the LisH domain. Molecular modeling suggests that the LisH and SIF domains directly interact, and mutation of either the LisH or SIF domains severely impairs Mxc function in vivo resulting in reduced histone mRNA accumulation. A region of Mxc between amino acids 721 and 1481 is also necessary for HLB assembly independent of the LisH and SIF domains. Lastly, the C-terminal 195 amino acids of Mxc are required for recruiting FLASH, an essential histone mRNA processing factor, to the HLB. We conclude that multiple domains of the Mxc protein promote HLB assembly in order to concentrate factors required for histone mRNA biosynthesis. © 2015 by The American Society for Cell Biology.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2015 · Molecular Biology of the Cell
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    ABSTRACT: Intracellular traffic in yeast between the Golgi and the cell surface is mediated by vesicular carriers which tether and fuse in a fashion that depends on the function of the Rab GTPase, Sec4. Overexpression of either of two Sec4 effectors, Sro7 or Sec15, results in the formation of a cluster of post-Golgi vesicles within the cell. Here we describe a novel assay which recapitulates post-Golgi vesicle clustering in vitro utilizing purified Sro7 and vesicles isolated from late secretory mutants. We show clustering in vitro closely replicates the in vivo clustering process as it is highly dependent on both Sro7 and GTP-Sec4. We also make use of this assay to characterize a novel mutant form of Sro7 which results in a protein which is specifically defective in vesicle clustering both in vivo and in vitro. We show that this mutation acts by effecting a conformational change in Sro7 from the closed to a more open structure. Our analysis demonstrates that the N-terminal propeller needs to be able to engage the C-terminal tail for vesicle clustering to occur. Consistent with this we show that occupancy of the N terminus of Sro7 by the t-SNARE Sec9 which results in the open conformation of Sro7, also acts to inhibit vesicle cluster formation by Sro7. This suggests a model by which a conformational switch in Sro7 acts to coordinate Rab-mediated vesicle tethering with SNARE assembly by requiring a single conformational state for both of these processes to occur. Copyright © 2014, The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: The G12/13 class of heterotrimeric G proteins, comprised of the α subunits Gα12 and Gα13, regulates multiple aspects of cellular behavior including proliferation and cytoskeletal rearrangements. Although guanine nucleotide exchange factors for the monomeric G protein Rho (RhoGEFs) are well-characterized as effectors of this G protein class, a variety of other downstream targets have been reported. To identify Gα12 determinants that mediate specific protein interactions, we utilized a structural and evolutionary comparison between the G12/13, Gs, Gi, and Gq classes to identify "class-distinctive" residues in Gα12 and Gα13. Mutation of these residues in Gα12 to their deduced ancestral forms revealed a subset necessary for activation of serum response element (SRE)-mediated transcription, a G12/13-stimulated pathway implicated in cell proliferative signaling. Unexpectedly, this subset of Gα12 mutants showed impaired binding to heat shock protein-90 (Hsp90) while retaining binding to RhoGEFs. Corresponding mutants of Gα13 exhibited robust SRE activation, suggesting a Gα12-specific mechanism, and inhibition of Hsp90 by geldanamycin or siRNA-mediated lowering of Hsp90 levels resulted in greater down-regulation of Gα12 than Gα13 signaling in SRE activation experiments. Furthermore, the Drosophila G12/13 homolog Concertina was unable to signal to SRE in mammalian cells, and Gα12:Concertina chimeras revealed Gα12-specific determinants of SRE activation within the Switch regions and a C-terminal region. These findings identify Gα12 determinants of SRE activation, implicate Gα12:Hsp90 interaction in this signaling mechanism, and illuminate structural features that arose during evolution of Gα12 and Gα13 to allow bifurcated mechanisms of signaling to a common cell proliferative pathway.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Molecular pharmacology
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid droplet (LD) utilization is an important cellular activity that regulates energy balance and lipolytic release of lipid second messengers. As fatty acids exhibit both beneficial and toxic properties, their release from LDs must be controlled. Herein, we demonstrate yeast Sfh3, an unusual Sec14-like phosphatidylinositol transfer protein (PITP), is an LD-associated protein that inhibits lipid mobilization from these particles. We further document a complex biochemical diversification of LDs during sporulation wherein Sfh3, and select other LD proteins, redistribute into discrete LD subpopulations. The data report Sfh3 modulates the efficiency with which a neutral lipid hydrolase-rich LD subclass is consumed during biogenesis of specialized membrane envelopes that package replicated haploid meiotic genomes. These results present novel insights into the interface between phosphoinositide signaling and developmental regulation of LD metabolism, and unveil meiosis-specific aspects of Sfh3 (and phosphoinositide) biology that are invisible to contemporary haploid-centric cell biological, proteomic and functional genomics approaches.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Molecular biology of the cell
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    ABSTRACT: Sec14-like phosphatidylinositol transfer proteins (PITPs) integrate diverse territories of intracellular lipid metabolism with stimulated phosphatidylinositol-4-phosphate production and are discriminating portals for interrogating phosphoinositide signaling. Yet, neither Sec14-like PITPs nor PITPs in general have been exploited as targets for chemical inhibition for such purposes. Herein, we validate what is to our knowledge the first small-molecule inhibitors (SMIs) of the yeast PITP Sec14. These SMIs are nitrophenyl(4-(2-methoxyphenyl)piperazin-1-yl)methanones (NPPMs) and are effective inhibitors in vitro and in vivo. We further establish that Sec14 is the sole essential NPPM target in yeast and that NPPMs exhibit exquisite targeting specificities for Sec14 (relative to related Sec14-like PITPs), propose a mechanism for how NPPMs exert their inhibitory effects and demonstrate that NPPMs exhibit exquisite pathway selectivity in inhibiting phosphoinositide signaling in cells. These data deliver proof of concept that PITP-directed SMIs offer new and generally applicable avenues for intervening with phosphoinositide signaling pathways with selectivities superior to those afforded by contemporary lipid kinase-directed strategies.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Nature Chemical Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Leucyl-tRNA synthetases (LeuRSs) have an essential role in translation and are promising targets for antibiotic development. Agrocin 84 is a LeuRS inhibitor produced by the biocontrol agent Agrobacterium radiobacter K84 that targets pathogenic strains of A. tumefaciens, the causative agent of plant tumours. Agrocin 84 acts as a molecular Trojan horse and is processed inside the pathogen into a toxic moiety (TM84). Here we show using crystal structure, thermodynamic and kinetic analyses, that this natural antibiotic employs a unique and previously undescribed mechanism to inhibit LeuRS. TM84 requires tRNA(Leu) for tight binding to the LeuRS synthetic active site, unlike any previously reported inhibitors. TM84 traps the enzyme-tRNA complex in a novel 'aminoacylation-like' conformation, forming novel interactions with the KMSKS loop and the tRNA 3'-end. Our findings reveal an intriguing tRNA-dependent inhibition mechanism that may confer a distinct evolutionary advantage in vivo and inform future rational antibiotic design.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Nature Communications
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    ABSTRACT: Author Summary Entamoeba histolytica causes an estimated 50 million intestinal infections and 100,000 deaths per year worldwide. Here, we identify functional heterotrimeric G-protein subunits in Entamoeba histolytica, constituting a signaling pathway which, when perturbed, is seen to regulate multiple cellular processes required for pathogenesis. Like mammalian counterparts, EhGα1 forms a heterotrimer with EhGβγ that is dependent on guanine nucleotide exchange and hydrolysis. Despite engaging a classical G-protein effector, EhRGS-RhoGEF, EhGα1 diverges from mammalian Gα subunits and cannot be classified within mammalian Gα subfamilies, as highlighted by distinct structural features in our crystal structure of EhGα1 in the inactive conformation. To identify roles of G-protein signaling in pathogenesis-related cellular processes, we engineered trophozoites for inducible expression of EhGα1 or a dominant negative mutant, finding that G-protein signaling perturbation affects host cell attachment and the related process of contact-dependent killing, as well as trophozoite migration and Matrigel transmigration. A transcriptomic comparison of our engineered strains revealed differential expression of known virulence-associated genes, including amoebapores and cytotoxic cysteine proteases. The expression data suggested, and biochemical experiments confirmed, that cysteine protease secretion is altered upon G-protein overexpression, identifying a mechanism by which pathogenesis-related trophozoite behaviors are perturbed. In summary, E. histolytica encodes a vital heterotrimeric G-protein signaling pathway that is likely amenable to pharmacologic manipulation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · PLoS Pathogens
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    ABSTRACT: Cisplatin (CP) and oxaliplatin (OX), platinum-based drugs used widely in chemotherapy, form adducts on intrastrand guanines (5'GG) in genomic DNA. DNA damage recognition proteins, transcription factors, mismatch repair proteins, and DNA polymerases discriminate between CP- and OX-GG DNA adducts, which could partly account for differences in the efficacy, toxicity, and mutagenicity of CP and OX. In addition, differential recognition of CP- and OX-GG adducts is highly dependent on the sequence context of the Pt-GG adduct. In particular, DNA binding protein domain HMGB1a binds to CP-GG DNA adducts with up to 53-fold greater affinity than to OX-GG adducts in the TGGA sequence context but shows much smaller differences in binding in the AGGC or TGGT sequence contexts. Here, simulations of the HMGB1a-Pt-DNA complex in the three sequence contexts revealed a higher number of interface contacts for the CP-DNA complex in the TGGA sequence context than in the OX-DNA complex. However, the number of interface contacts was similar in the TGGT and AGGC sequence contexts. The higher number of interface contacts in the CP-TGGA sequence context corresponded to a larger roll of the Pt-GG base pair step. Furthermore, geometric analysis of stacking of phenylalanine 37 in HMGB1a (Phe37) with the platinated guanines revealed more favorable stacking modes correlated with a larger roll of the Pt-GG base pair step in the TGGA sequence context. These data are consistent with our previous molecular dynamics simulations showing that the CP-TGGA complex was able to sample larger roll angles than the OX-TGGA complex or either CP- or OX-DNA complexes in the AGGC or TGGT sequences. We infer that the high binding affinity of HMGB1a for CP-TGGA is due to the greater flexibility of CP-TGGA compared to OX-TGGA and other Pt-DNA adducts. This increased flexibility is reflected in the ability of CP-TGGA to sample larger roll angles, which allows for a higher number of interface contacts between the Pt-DNA adduct and HMGB1a.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2012 · Biochemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Plants recognize microbes via specific pattern recognition receptors that are activated by microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs), resulting in MAMP-triggered immunity (MTI). Successful pathogens bypass MTI in genetically diverse hosts via deployment of effectors (virulence factors) that inhibit MTI responses, leading to pathogen proliferation. Plant pathogenic bacteria like Pseudomonas syringae utilize a type III secretion system to deliver effectors into cells. These effectors can contribute to pathogen virulence or elicit disease resistance, depending upon the host plant genotype. In disease resistant genotypes, intracellular immune receptors, typically belonging to the nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat family of proteins, perceive bacterial effector(s) and initiate downstream defense responses (effector triggered immunity) that include the hypersensitive response, and transcriptional re-programming leading to various cellular outputs that collectively halt pathogen growth. Nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat sensors can be indirectly activated via perturbation of a host protein acting as an effector target. AvrRpm1 is a P. syringae type III effector. Upon secretion into the host cell, AvrRpm1 is acylated by host enzymes and directed to the plasma membrane, where it contributes to virulence. This is correlated with phosphorylation of Arabidopsis RIN4 in vivo. RIN4 is a negative regulator of MAMP-triggered immunity, and its modification in the presence of four diverse type III effectors, including AvrRpm1, likely enhances this RIN4 regulatory function. The RPM1 nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat sensor perceives RIN4 perturbation in disease resistant plants, leading to a successful immune response. Here, demonstrate that AvrRpm1 has a fold homologous to the catalytic domain of poly(ADP-ribosyl) polymerase. Site-directed mutagenesis of each residue in the putative catalytic triad, His63-Tyr122-Asp185 of AvrRpm1, results in loss of both AvrRpm1-dependent virulence and AvrRpm1-mediated activation of RPM1, but, surprisingly, causes a gain of function: the ability to activate the RPS2 nucleotide binding leucine-rich repeat sensor.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · PLoS ONE
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    Jonathan D Lenz · Brenda R S Temple · Virginia L Miller
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    ABSTRACT: Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of plague, evolved from the gastrointestinal pathogen Yersinia pseudotuberculosis. Both species have numerous type Va autotransporters, most of which appear to be highly conserved. In Y. pestis CO92, the autotransporter genes yapK and yapJ share a high level of sequence identity. By comparing yapK and yapJ to three homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis IP32953 (YPTB0365, YPTB3285, and YPTB3286), we show that yapK is conserved in Y. pseudotuberculosis, while yapJ is unique to Y. pestis. All of these autotransporters exhibit >96% identity in the C terminus of the protein and identities ranging from 58 to 72% in their N termini. By extending this analysis to include homologous sequences from numerous Y. pestis and Y. pseudotuberculosis strains, we determined that these autotransporters cluster into a YapK (YPTB3285) class and a YapJ (YPTB3286) class. The YPTB3286-like gene of most Y. pestis strains appears to be inactivated, perhaps in favor of maintaining yapJ. Since autotransporters are important for virulence in many bacterial pathogens, including Y. pestis, any change in autotransporter content should be considered for its impact on virulence. Using established mouse models of Y. pestis infection, we demonstrated that despite the high level of sequence identity, yapK is distinct from yapJ in its contribution to disseminated Y. pestis infection. In addition, a mutant lacking both of these genes exhibits an additive attenuation, suggesting nonredundant roles for yapJ and yapK in systemic Y. pestis infection. However, the deletion of the homologous genes in Y. pseudotuberculosis does not seem to impact the virulence of this organism in orogastric or systemic infection models.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2012 · Infection and immunity
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    Janice C Jones · Alan M Jones · Brenda R S Temple · Henrik G Dohlman
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    ABSTRACT: Proteins with similar crystal structures can have dissimilar rates of substrate binding and catalysis. Here we used molecular dynamics simulations and biochemical analysis to determine the role of intradomain and interdomain motions in conferring distinct activation rates to two Gα proteins, Gα(i1) and GPA1. Despite high structural similarity, GPA1 can activate itself without a receptor, whereas Gα(i1) cannot. We found that motions in these proteins vary greatly in type and frequency. Whereas motion is greatest in the Ras domain of Gα(i1), it is greatest in helices αA and αB from the helical domain of GPA1. Using protein chimeras, we show that helix αA from GPA1 is sufficient to confer rapid activation to Gα(i1). Gα(i1) has less intradomain motion than GPA1 and instead displays interdomain displacement resembling that observed in a receptor-heterotrimer crystal complex. Thus, structurally similar proteins can have distinct atomic motions that confer distinct activation mechanisms.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: Insertion of an aspartate residue at position 345a in penicillin-binding protein 2 (PBP 2), which lowers the rate of penicillin acylation by ~6-fold, is commonly observed in penicillin-resistant strains of Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Here, we show that insertions of other amino acids also lower the penicillin acylation rate of PBP 2, but none supported growth of N. gonorrhoeae, indicating loss of essential transpeptidase activity. The Asp345a mutation likely acts by altering the interaction between its adjacent residue, Asp346, in the β2a-β2d hairpin loop and Ser363, the middle residue of the SXN active site motif. Because the adjacent aspartate creates ambiguity in the position of the insertion, we also examined if insertions at position 346a could confer decreased susceptibility to penicillin. However, only aspartate insertions were identified, indicating that only an Asp-Asp couple can confer resistance and retain transpeptidase function. The importance of the Asp346-Ser363 interaction was assessed by mutation of each residue to Ala. Although both mutants lowered the acylation rate of penicillin G by 5-fold, neither could support growth of N. gonorrhoeae, again indicating loss of transpeptidase function. Interaction between a residue in the equivalent of the β2a-β2d hairpin loop and the middle residue of the SXN motif is observed in crystal structures of other Class B PBPs, and its importance is also supported by multisequence alignments. Overall, these results suggest that this conserved interaction can be manipulated (e.g., by insertion) to lower the acylation rate by β-lactam antibiotics and increase resistance, but only if essential transpeptidase activity is preserved.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2012 · Biochemistry
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    M. Machius · J. Jones · J. Duffy · B. Temple · H. Dohlman · A. Jones

    Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Acta Crystallographica Section A Foundations of Crystallography
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    ABSTRACT: Heterotrimeric G protein complexes are conserved from plants to mammals, but the complexity of each system varies. Arabidopsis thaliana contains one Gα, one Gβ (AGB1), and at least three Gγ subunits, allowing it to form three versions of the heterotrimer. This plant model is ideal for genetic studies because mammalian systems contain hundreds of unique heterotrimers. The activation of these complexes promotes interactions between both the Gα subunit and the Gβγ dimer with enzymes and scaffolds to propagate signaling to the cytoplasm. However, although effectors of Gα and Gβ are known in mammals, no Gβ effectors were previously known in plants. Toward identifying AGB1 effectors, we genetically screened for dominant mutations that suppress Gβ-null mutant (agb1-2) phenotypes. We found that overexpression of acireductone dioxygenase 1 (ARD1) suppresses the 2-day-old etiolated phenotype of agb1-2. ARD1 is homologous to prokaryotic and eukaryotic ARD proteins; one function of ARDs is to operate in the methionine salvage pathway. We show here that ARD1 is an active metalloenzyme, and AGB1 and ARD1 both control embryonic hypocotyl length by modulating cell division; they also may contribute to the production of ethylene, a product of the methionine salvage pathway. ARD1 physically interacts with AGB1, and ARD enzymatic activity is stimulated by AGB1 in vitro. The binding interface on AGB1 was deduced using a comparative evolutionary approach and tested using recombinant AGB1 mutants. A possible mechanism for AGB1 activation of ARD1 activity was tested using directed mutations in a loop near the substrate-binding site.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: Components of the heterotrimeric G protein complex are conserved from plants to mammals, but the complexity of each system varies. Arabidopsis thaliana contains one Gα, one Gβ (AGB1), and at least three Gγ subunits, allowing it to form three versions of the heterotrimer. This plant model is ideal for genetic studies because mammalian systems can contain thousands of unique heterotrimers. The activation of these complexes promotes interactions between both the Gα subunit and the Gβγ dimer with enzymes and scaffolds to propagate signaling to the cytoplasm. However, while effectors of Gα and Gβ are known in mammals, no Gβ effectors were previously known in plants. Toward identifying AGB1 effectors, we used a genetic screen for dominant mutations that suppress Gβ-null mutant (agb1-2) phenotypes. We found that overexpression of aci-reductone dioxygenase 1 (ARD1) suppresses the two-day-old, etiolated phenotype of agb1-2. ARD1 is homologous to prokaryotic and eukaryotic ARD proteins; one function of ARDs is to operate in the methionine salvage pathway. ARD1 is an active metalloenzyme, and AGB1 and ARD1 both control embryonic hypocotyl length by modulating cell division; they also may contribute to the production of ethylene, a product of the methionine salvage pathway. ARD1 physically interacts with AGB1, and ARD enzymatic activity is stimulated by AGB1 in vitro. The binding interface on AGB1 was deduced using a comparative evolutionary approach and tested using recombinant AGB1 mutants. A possible mechanism for AGB1 activation of ARD1 activity was tested using directed mutations in a loop near the substrate binding site.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: SmgGDS is an atypical guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that promotes both cell proliferation and migration and is up-regulated in several types of cancer. SmgGDS has been previously shown to activate a wide variety of small GTPases, including the Ras family members Rap1a, Rap1b, and K-Ras, as well as the Rho family members Cdc42, Rac1, Rac2, RhoA, and RhoB. In contrast, here we show that SmgGDS exclusively activates RhoA and RhoC among a large panel of purified GTPases. Consistent with the well known properties of GEFs, this activation is catalytic, and SmgGDS preferentially binds to nucleotide-depleted RhoA relative to either GDP- or GTPγS-bound forms. However, mutational analyses indicate that SmgGDS utilizes a distinct exchange mechanism compared with canonical GEFs and in contrast to known GEFs requires RhoA to retain a polybasic region for activation. A homology model of SmgGDS highlights an electronegative surface patch and a highly conserved binding groove. Mutation of either area ablates the ability of SmgGDS to activate RhoA. Finally, the in vitro specificity of SmgGDS for RhoA and RhoC is retained in cells. Together, these results indicate that SmgGDS is a bona fide GEF that specifically activates RhoA and RhoC through a unique mechanism not used by other Rho family exchange factors.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: SmgGDS is an atypical guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) that promotes both cell proliferation and migration and is up-regulated in several types of cancer. SmgGDS has been previously shown to activate a wide variety of small GTPases, including the Ras family members Rap1a, Rap1b, and K-Ras, as well as the Rho family members Cdc42, Rac1, Rac2, RhoA, and RhoB. In contrast, here we show that SmgGDS exclusively activates RhoA and RhoC among a large panel of purified GTPases. Consistent with the well known properties of GEFs, this activation is catalytic, and SmgGDS preferentially binds to nucleotide-depleted RhoA relative to either GDP- or GTPγS-bound forms. However, mutational analyses indicate that SmgGDS utilizes a distinct exchange mechanism compared with canonical GEFs and in contrast to known GEFs requires RhoA to retain a polybasic region for activation. A homology model of SmgGDS highlights an electronegative surface patch and a highly conserved binding groove. Mutation of either area ablates the ability of SmgGDS to activate RhoA. Finally, the in vitro specificity of SmgGDS for RhoA and RhoC is retained in cells. Together, these results indicate that SmgGDS is a bona fide GEF that specifically activates RhoA and RhoC through a unique mechanism not used by other Rho family exchange factors.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
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    ABSTRACT: In animals, heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding protein (G protein) signaling is initiated by G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), which activate G protein α subunits; however, the plant Arabidopsis thaliana lacks canonical GPCRs, and its G protein α subunit (AtGPA1) is self-activating. To investigate how AtGPA1 becomes activated, we determined its crystal structure. AtGPA1 is structurally similar to animal G protein α subunits, but our crystallographic and biophysical studies revealed that it had distinct properties. Notably, the helical domain of AtGPA1 displayed pronounced intrinsic disorder and a tendency to disengage from the Ras domain of the protein. Domain substitution experiments showed that the helical domain of AtGPA1 was necessary for self-activation and sufficient to confer self-activation to an animal G protein α subunit. These findings reveal the structural basis for a mechanism for G protein activation in Arabidopsis that is distinct from the well-established mechanism found in animals.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2011 · Science Signaling
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    John L Foster · Sarah J Denial · Brenda R S Temple · J Victor Garcia
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    ABSTRACT: Advances in the last several years have enhanced mechanistic understanding of Nef-induced CD4 and MHCI downregulation and have suggested a new paradigm for analyzing Nef function. In both of these cases, Nef acts by forming ternary complexes with significant contributions to stability imparted by non-canonical interactions. The mutational analyses and binding assays that have led to these conclusions are discussed. The recent progress has been dependent on conservative mutations and multi-protein binding assays. The poorly understood Nef functions of p21 activated protein kinase (PAK2) activation, enhancement of virion infectivity, and inhibition of immunoglobulin class switching are also likely to involve ternary complexes and non-canonical interactions. Hence, investigation of these latter Nef functions should benefit from a similar approach. Six historically used alanine substitutions for determining structure-function relationships of Nef are discussed. These are M20A, E62A/E63A/E64A/E65A (AAAA), P72A/P75A (AXXA), R106A, L164A/L165A, and D174A/D175A. Investigations of less-disruptive mutations in place of AAAA and AXXA have led to different interpretations of mechanism. Two recent examples of this alternate approach, F191I for studying PAK2 activation and D123E for the critical residue D123 are discussed. The implications of the new findings and the resulting new paradigm for Nef structure-function are discussed with respect to creating a map of Nef functions on the protein surface. We report the results of a PPI-Pred analysis for protein-protein interfaces. There are three predicted patches produced by the analysis which describe regions consistent with the currently known mutational analyses of Nef function.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2011 · Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology

Publication Stats

2k Citations
360.83 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2003-2015
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      • • Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics
      • • Department of Biology
      • • Department of Cell Biology and Physiology
      • • Department of Medicine
      • • Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center
      North Carolina, United States
  • 2011
    • Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics
      Teheran, Tehrān, Iran
  • 2010
    • Boston Children's Hospital
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States