[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Salicylic acid (SA) and its derivatives have been used for millennia to reduce pain, fever, and inflammation. In addition, prophylactic use of acetylsalicylic acid, commonly known as aspirin, reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and certain cancers. Since aspirin is rapidly de-acetylated by esterases in human plasma, much of aspirin's bioactivity can be attributed to its primary metabolite, SA. Here we demonstrate that human high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) is a novel SA-binding protein. SA-binding sites on HMGB1 were identified in the HMG-box domains by NMR spectroscopic studies and confirmed by mutational analysis. Extracellular HMGB1 is a damage-associated molecular pattern molecule (DAMP), with multiple redox states. SA suppresses both the chemo-attractant activity of fully reduced HMGB1 and the increased expression of pro-inflammatory cytokine genes and COX-2 induced by disulfide HMGB1. Natural and synthetic SA derivatives with greater potency for inhibition of HMGB1 were identified, providing proof-of-concept that new molecules with high efficacy against sterile inflammation are attainable. An HMGB1 protein mutated in one of the SA-binding sites identified by NMR chemical shift perturbation studies retained chemo-attractant activity, but lost binding of and inhibition by SA and its derivatives, thereby firmly establishing that SA binding to HMGB1 directly suppresses its pro-inflammatory activities. Identification of HMGB1 as a pharmacological target of SA/aspirin provides new insights into the mechanisms of action of one of the world's longest and most used natural and synthetic drugs. It may also provide an explanation for the protective effects of low-dose aspirin usage.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Molecular Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coenzyme Q (CoQ) is an isoprenylated quinone that is essential for cellular respiration and is synthesized in mitochondria by the combined action of at least nine proteins (COQ1-9). Although most COQ proteins are known to catalyze modifications to CoQ precursors, the biochemical role of COQ9 remains unclear. Here, we report that a disease-related COQ9 mutation leads to extensive disruption of the CoQ protein biosynthetic complex in a mouse model, and that COQ9 specifically interacts with COQ7 through a series of conserved residues. Toward understanding how COQ9 can perform these functions, we solved the crystal structure of Homo sapiens COQ9 at 2.4 Å. Unexpectedly, our structure reveals that COQ9 has structural homology to the TFR family of bacterial transcriptional regulators, but that it adopts an atypical TFR dimer orientation and is not predicted to bind DNA. Our structure also reveals a lipid-binding site, and mass spectrometry-based analyses of purified COQ9 demonstrate that it associates with multiple lipid species, including CoQ itself. The conserved COQ9 residues necessary for its interaction with COQ7 comprise a surface patch around the lipid-binding site, suggesting that COQ9 might serve to present its bound lipid to COQ7. Collectively, our data define COQ9 as the first, to our knowledge, mammalian TFR structural homolog and suggest that its lipid-binding capacity and association with COQ7 are key features for enabling CoQ biosynthesis.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cytochrome c maturation protein E, CcmE, plays an integral role in the transfer of heme to apocytochrome c in many prokaryotes and some mitochondria. A novel subclass featuring a heme-binding cysteine has been identified in archaea and some bacteria. Here we describe the solution NMR structure, backbone dynamics, and heme binding properties of the soluble C-terminal domain of Desulfovibrio vulgaris CcmE, dvCcmE'. The structure adopts a conserved β-barrel OB fold followed by an unstructured C-terminal tail encompassing the CxxxY heme-binding motif. Heme binding analyses of wild-type and mutant dvCcmE' demonstrate the absolute requirement of residue C127 for noncovalent heme binding in vitro.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Protein domain family YabP (PF07873) is a family of small protein domains that are conserved in a wide range of bacteria and involved in spore coat assembly during the process of sporulation. The 62-residue fragment of Dsy0195 from Desulfitobacterium hafniense, which belongs to the YabP family, exists as a homodimer in solution under the conditions used for structure determination using NMR spectroscopy. The structure of the Dsy0195 homodimer contains two identical 62-residue monomeric subunits, each consisting of five anti-parallel beta strands (β1, 23-29; β2, 31-38; β3, 41-46; β4, 49-59; β5, 69-80). The tertiary structure of the Dsy0195 monomer adopts a cylindrical fold composed of two beta sheets. The two monomer subunits fold into a homodimer about a single C2 symmetry axis, with the interface composed of two anti-parallel beta strands, β1-β1' and β5b-β5b', where β5b refers to the C-terminal half of the bent β5 strand, without any domain swapping. Potential functional regions of the Dsy0195 structure were predicted based on conserved sequence analysis. The Dsy0195 structure reported here is the first representative structure from the YabP family.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2011 · Journal of Structural and Functional Genomics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this chapter, we concentrate on the production of high-quality protein samples for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) studies. In particular, we provide an in-depth description of recent advances in the production of NMR samples and their synergistic use with recent advancements in NMR hardware. We describe the protein production platform of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium and outline our high-throughput strategies for producing high-quality protein samples for NMR studies. Our strategy is based on the cloning, expression, and purification of 6×-His-tagged proteins using T7-based Escherichia coli systems and isotope enrichment in minimal media. We describe 96-well ligation-independent cloning and analytical expression systems, parallel preparative scale fermentation, and high-throughput purification protocols. The 6×-His affinity tag allows for a similar two-step purification procedure implemented in a parallel high-throughput fashion that routinely results in purity levels sufficient for NMR studies (>97% homogeneity). Using this platform, the protein open reading frames of over 17,500 different targeted proteins (or domains) have been cloned as over 28,000 constructs. Nearly 5000 of these proteins have been purified to homogeneity in tens of milligram quantities (see Summary Statistics, http://nesg.org/statistics.html), resulting in more than 950 new protein structures, including more than 400 NMR structures, deposited in the Protein Data Bank. The Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium pipeline has been effective in producing protein samples of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic origin. Although this chapter describes our entire pipeline for producing isotope-enriched protein samples, it focuses on the major updates introduced during the last 5 years (Phase 2 of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Protein Structure Initiative). Our advanced automated and/or parallel cloning, expression, purification, and biophysical screening technologies are suitable for implementation in a large individual laboratory or by a small group of collaborating investigators for structural biology, functional proteomics, ligand screening, and structural genomics research.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2011 · Methods in enzymology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We describe the core Protein Production Platform of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium (NESG) and outline the strategies used for producing high-quality protein samples. The platform is centered on the cloning, expression and purification of 6X-His-tagged proteins using T7-based Escherichia coli systems. The 6X-His tag allows for similar purification procedures for most targets and implementation of high-throughput (HTP) parallel methods. In most cases, the 6X-His-tagged proteins are sufficiently purified (>97% homogeneity) using a HTP two-step purification protocol for most structural studies. Using this platform, the open reading frames of over 16,000 different targeted proteins (or domains) have been cloned as>26,000 constructs. Over the past 10 years, more than 16,000 of these expressed protein, and more than 4400 proteins (or domains) have been purified to homogeneity in tens of milligram quantities (see Summary Statistics, http://nesg.org/statistics.html). Using these samples, the NESG has deposited more than 900 new protein structures to the Protein Data Bank (PDB). The methods described here are effective in producing eukaryotic and prokaryotic protein samples in E. coli. This paper summarizes some of the updates made to the protein production pipeline in the last 5 years, corresponding to phase 2 of the NIGMS Protein Structure Initiative (PSI-2) project. The NESG Protein Production Platform is suitable for implementation in a large individual laboratory or by a small group of collaborating investigators. These advanced automated and/or parallel cloning, expression, purification, and biophysical screening technologies are of broad value to the structural biology, functional proteomics, and structural genomics communities.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · Journal of Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There is a general need to develop more powerful and more robust methods for structural characterization of homodimers, homo-oligomers, and multiprotein complexes using solution-state NMR methods. In recent years, there has been increasing emphasis on integrating distinct and complementary methodologies for structure determination of multiprotein complexes. One approach not yet widely used is to obtain intermediate and long-range distance constraints from paramagnetic relaxation enhancements (PRE) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR)-based techniques such as double electron electron resonance (DEER), which, when used together, can provide supplemental distance constraints spanning to 10-70 A. In this Communication, we describe integration of PRE and DEER data with conventional solution-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) methods for structure determination of Dsy0195, a homodimer (62 amino acids per monomer) from Desulfitobacterium hafniense. Our results indicate that combination of conventional NMR restraints with only one or a few DEER distance constraints and a small number of PRE constraints is sufficient for the automatic NMR-based structure determination program CYANA to build a network of interchain nuclear Overhauser effect constraints that can be used to accurately define both the homodimer interface and the global homodimer structure. The use of DEER distances as a source of supplemental constraints as described here has virtually no upper molecular weight limit, and utilization of the PRE constraints is limited only by the ability to make accurate assignments of the protein amide proton and nitrogen chemical shifts.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2010 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic proteins (BMPs) are members of the conserved transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta superfamily, and play many developmental and homeostatic roles. In C. elegans, a BMP-like pathway, the DBL-1 pathway, controls body size and is involved in innate immunity. How these functions are carried out, though, and what most of the downstream targets of this pathway are, remain unknown.
We performed a microarray analysis and compared expression profiles of animals lacking the SMA-6 DBL-1 receptor, which decreases pathway signaling, with animals that overexpress DBL-1 ligand, which increases pathway signaling. Consistent with a role for DBL-1 in control of body size, we find positive regulation by DBL-1 of genes involved in physical structure, protein synthesis and degradation, and metabolism. However, cell cycle genes were mostly absent from our results. We also identified genes in a hedgehog-related pathway, which may comprise a secondary signaling pathway downstream of DBL-1 that controls body size. In addition, DBL-1 signaling up-regulates pro-innate immunity genes. We identified a reporter for DBL-1 signaling, which is normally repressed but is up-regulated when DBL-1 signaling is reduced.
Our results indicate that body size in C. elegans is controlled in part by regulation of metabolic processes as well as protein synthesis and degradation. This supports the growing body of evidence that suggests cell size is linked to metabolism. Furthermore, this study discovered a possible role for hedgehog-related pathways in transmitting the BMP-like signal from the hypodermis, where the core DBL-1 pathway components are required, to other tissues in the animal. We also identified the up-regulation of genes involved in innate immunity, clarifying the role of DBL-1 in innate immunity. One of the highly regulated genes is expressed at very low levels in wild-type animals, but is strongly up-regulated in Sma/Mab mutants, making it a useful reporter for DBL-1/BMP-like signaling in C. elegans.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · BMC Developmental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Author Summary
Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family members, small secreted signaling molecules, play diverse roles in development and homeostasis. Uncontrolled BMP signaling results in a variety of disorders and diseases. BMPs signal to receiving cells through two receptor types, which act together to propagate the BMP signal within cells. To understand how BMP signaling is controlled, we used the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans to identify conserved regulators of BMP signaling. Here, we characterize SMA-10, the first extracellular positive regulator of DBL-1/BMP receptor-mediated signaling. SMA-10 is a new member of a family with leucine rich repeats and immunoglobulin-like domains (LRIG). SMA-10 physically binds the two types of DBL-1/BMP receptor. We demonstrate conservation of LRIG function by showing that a Drosophila melanogaster LRIG can functionally substitute for loss of C. elegans SMA-10/LRIG, that C. elegans SMA-10 can directly promote mammalian BMP signaling in cells, and that mammalian LRIG1 interacts with BMP receptors. Our work establishes a role for LRIGs in BMP regulation through binding both types of BMP receptor.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In selecting a method to produce a recombinant protein, a researcher is faced with a bewildering array of choices as to where to start. To facilitate decision-making, we describe a consensus 'what to try first' strategy based on our collective analysis of the expression and purification of over 10,000 different proteins. This review presents methods that could be applied at the outset of any project, a prioritized list of alternate strategies and a list of pitfalls that trip many new investigators.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) pathways are required for a wide variety of developmental and homeostatic decisions, and mutations in signaling components are associated with several diseases. An important aspect of BMP control is the extracellular regulation of these pathways. We show that LON-2 negatively regulates a BMP-like signaling pathway that controls body length in C. elegans. lon-2 acts genetically upstream of the BMP-like gene dbl-1, and loss of lon-2 function results in animals that are longer than normal. LON-2 is a conserved member of the glypican family of heparan sulfate proteoglycans, a family with several members known to regulate growth-factor signaling in many organisms. LON-2 is functionally conserved because the Drosophila glypican gene dally rescues the lon-2(lf) body-size defect. We show that the LON-2 protein binds BMP2 in vitro, and a mutant variation of LON-2 found in lon-2(e2140) animals diminishes this interaction. We propose that LON-2 binding to DBL-1 negatively regulates this pathway in C. elegans by attenuating ligand-receptor interactions. This is the first report of a glypican directly interacting with a growth-factor pathway in C. elegans and provides a mechanistic model for glypican regulation of growth-factor pathways.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In C. elegans there are two well-defined TGFbeta-like signaling pathways. The Sma/Mab pathway affects body size morphogenesis, male tail development and spicule formation while the Daf pathway regulates entry into and exit out of the dauer state. To identify additional factors that modulate TGFbeta signaling in the Sma/Mab pathway, we have undertaken a genetic screen for small animals and have identified kin-29.
kin-29 encodes a protein with a cytoplasmic serine-threonine kinase and a novel C-terminal domain. The kinase domain is a distantly related member of the EMK (ELKL motif kinase) family, which interacts with microtubules. We show that the serine-threonine kinase domain has in vitro activity. kin-29 mutations result in small animals, but do not affect male tail morphology as do several of the Sma/Mab signal transducers. Adult worms are smaller than the wild-type, but also develop more slowly. Rescue by kin-29 is achieved by expression in neurons or in the hypodermis. Interaction with the dauer pathway is observed in double mutant combinations, which have been seen with Sma/Mab pathway mutants. We show that kin-29 is epistatic to the ligand dbl-1, and lies upstream of the Sma/Mab pathway target gene, lon-1.
kin-29 is a new modulator of the Sma/Mab pathway. It functions in neurons and in the hypodermis to regulate body size, but does not affect all TGFbeta outputs, such as tail morphogenesis.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2005 · BMC Developmental Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In Caenorhabditis elegans, two well-characterized TGF beta signaling cascades have been identified: the Small/Male tail abnormal (Sma/Mab) and Dauer formation (Daf) pathways. The Sma/Mab pathway regulates body size morphogenesis and male tail development. The ligand of the pathway, dbl-1, transmits its signal through two receptor serine threonine kinases, daf-4 and sma-6, which in turn regulate the activity of the Smads, sma-2, sma-3, and sma-4. In general, Smads have been shown to both positively and negatively regulate the transcriptional activity of downstream target genes in various organisms. In C. elegans, however, target genes have remained elusive. We have cloned and characterized lon-1, a gene with homology to the cysteine-rich secretory protein (CRISP) family of proteins. lon-1 regulates body size morphogenesis, but does not affect male tail development. lon-1 is expressed in hypodermal tissues, which is the focus of body size determination, similar to sma-2, sma-4, and sma-6. Using genetic methods, we show that lon-1 lies downstream of the Sma/Mab signaling cascade and demonstrate that lon-1 mRNA levels are up-regulated in sma-6-null mutant animals. This provides evidence that lon-1 is negatively regulated by Sma/Mab pathway signaling. Taken together, these data identify lon-1 as a novel downstream target gene of the dbl-1 TGF beta-like signaling pathway.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A TGFβ signal transduction cascade controls body size and male tail morphogenesis in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. We have analyzed the function of the sma-3 Smad gene, one of three Smad genes that function in this pathway. Null mutations in sma-3 are at least as severe as null mutations in the ligand and type I receptor genes, dbl-1 and sma-6, indicating that the other Smads do not function in the absence of SMA-3. Furthermore, null mutations in sma-3 do not cause defects in egg laying or in regulation of the developmentally arrested dauer larva stage, indicating no overlapping function with another C. elegans TGFβ signaling pathway. The sma-3 gene is widely expressed at all developmental stages in hermaphrodites and males. The molecular lesions associated with eight sma-3 alleles of varying severity have been determined. The missense mutations cluster in two previously identified regions important for Smad function.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2000 · Developmental Biology