[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transthyretin (TTR) transports thyroid hormones (THs), thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) in the blood of vertebrates. TH-binding sites are highly conserved in vertebrate TTR, however, piscine TTR has a longer N-terminus which is thought to influence TH-binding affinity and may influence TTR stability. We produced recombinant wild type sea bream TTR (sbTTRWT) plus two mutants in which 6 (sbTTRM6) and 12 (sbTTRM12) N-terminal residues were removed. Ligand-binding studies revealed similar affinities for T3 (Kd=10.6+/-1.7nM) and T4 (Kd=9.8+/-0.97nM) binding to sbTTRWT. Affinity for THs was unaltered in sbTTRM12 but sbTTRM6 had poorer affinity for T4 (Kd=252.3+/-15.8nM) implying that some residues in the N-terminus can influence T4 binding. sbTTRM6 inhibited acid-mediated fibril formation in vitro as shown by fluorometric measurements using thioflavine T. In contrast, fibril formation by sbTTRM12 was significant, probably due to decreased stability of the tetramer. Such studies also suggested that sbTTRWT is more resistant to fibril formation than human TTR.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medin, a recently discovered 5.5 kDa peptide, is associated with amyloid deposits in the medial layer of human arteries and the prevalence is nearly 100% within individuals above 50 years. Presently, not much is known about its biochemical and biophysical properties or its pathway from soluble peptide to insoluble amyloid. Here we have characterized the behavior of medin in the presence of lipid membranes, using circular dichroism, isothermal titration calorimetry, differential scanning calorimetry, size exclusion chromatography, and atomic force microscopy (AFM). Medin was shown to exist as a monomer in solution with a predominantly random-coil structure. It binds lipid vesicles that have either a neutral or a negative surface potential. Upon association to membranes containing acidic lipids, it undergoes an electrostatically driven conformational change towards a mainly alpha-helical state. Prolonged incubation converts medin from an alpha-helical structure into an amyloid beta-sheet fibrillar state as confirmed by AFM. Based on these findings, we propose a mechanism of medin-amyloid formation where medin electrostatically associates in its monomeric form to biological interfaces displaying a negative potential. This process both increases the local peptide concentration and induces an aggregation-prone alpha-helical fold.
No preview · Article · Dec 2007 · Journal of Molecular Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The signal-recognition particle (SRP) is a ubiquitous protein-RNA complex that targets proteins to cellular membranes for insertion or secretion. A key player in SRP-mediated protein targeting is the evolutionarily conserved core consisting of the SRP RNA and the multidomain protein SRP54. Communication between the SRP54 domains is critical for SRP function, where signal sequence binding at the M domain directs receptor binding at the GTPase domain (NG domain). These SRP activities are linked to domain rearrangements, for which the role of SRP RNA is not clear. In free SRP, a direct interaction of the GTPase domain with SRP RNA has been proposed but has never been structurally verified. In this study, we present the crystal structure at 2.5-A resolution of the SRP54-SRP19-SRP RNA complex of Methanococcus jannaschii SRP. The structure reveals an RNA-bound conformation of the SRP54 GTPase domain, in which the domain is spatially well separated from the signal peptide binding site. The association of both the N and G domains with SRP RNA in free SRP provides further structural evidence for the pivotal role of SRP RNA in the regulation of the SRP54 activity.
Preview · Article · Oct 2007 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The use of high temperatures in the purification procedures of heat-stable proteins is a well established technique. Recently, rapid pre-heat treatment of protein samples prior to crystallization trials was described as a final polishing step to improve the diffraction properties of crystals [Pusey et al. (2005), Prog. Biophys. Mol. Biol. 88, 359-386]. The present study demonstrates that extended high-temperature incubation (328 K for 48 h) of the highly amyloidogenic transthyretin mutant TTR G53S/E54D/L55S successfully removes heterogeneities and allows the reproducible growth of well diffracting crystals. Heat treatment might be applied as an optimization method to other cases in which the protein/biomolecule fails to form diffracting crystals.
Preview · Article · Sep 2007 · Acta Crystallographica Section F Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: AD (Alzheimer's disease) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by self-assembly and amyloid formation of the 39-43 residue long Abeta (amyloid-beta)-peptide. The most abundant species, Abeta(1-40) and Abeta(1-42), are both present within senile plaques, but Abeta(1-42) peptides are considerably more prone to self-aggregation and are also essential for the development of AD. To understand the molecular and pathological mechanisms behind AD, a detailed knowledge of the amyloid structures of Abeta-peptides is vital. In the present study we have used quenched hydrogen/deuterium-exchange NMR experiments to probe the structure of Abeta(1-40) fibrils. The fibrils were prepared and analysed identically as in our previous study on Abeta(1-42) fibrils, allowing a direct comparison of the two fibrillar structures. The solvent protection pattern of Abeta(1-40) fibrils revealed two well-protected regions, consistent with a structural arrangement of two beta-strands connected with a bend. This protection pattern partly resembles the pattern found in Abeta(1-42) fibrils, but the Abeta(1-40) fibrils display a significantly increased protection for the N-terminal residues Phe4-His14, suggesting that additional secondary structure is formed in this region. In contrast, the C-terminal residues Gly37-Val40 show a reduced protection that suggests a loss of secondary structure in this region and an altered filament assembly. The differences between the present study and other similar investigations suggest that subtle variations in fibril-preparation conditions may significantly affect the fibrillar architecture.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Biochemical Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The transthyretin-related protein (TRP) family comprises proteins predicted to be structurally related to the homotetrameric transport protein transthyretin (TTR). The function of TRPs is not yet fully established, but recent data suggest that they are involved in purine catabolism. We have determined the three-dimensional structure of the Escherichia coli TRP in two crystal forms; one at 1.65 A resolution in the presence of zinc, and the other at 2.1 A resolution in the presence of zinc and bromide. The structures revealed five zinc-ion-binding sites per monomer. Of these, the zinc ions bound at sites I and II are coordinated in tetrahedral geometries to the side chains of residues His9, His96, His98, Ser114, and three water molecules at the putative ligand-binding site. Of these four residues, His9, His98, and Ser114 are conserved. His9 and His98 bind the central zinc (site I) together with two water molecules. The side chain of His98 also binds to the zinc ion at site II. Bromide ions bind at site I only, replacing one of the water molecules coordinated to the zinc ion. The C-terminal four amino acid sequence motif Y-[RK]-G-[ST] constitutes the signature sequence of the TRP family. Two Tyr111 residues form direct hydrogen bonds to each other over the tetramer interface at the area, which in TTR constitutes the rear part of its thyroxine-binding channel. The putative substrate/ligand-binding channel of TRP is consequently shallower and broader than its counterpart in TTR.
No preview · Article · Oct 2006 · Journal of Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alzheimer disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is tightly linked to the self-assembly and amyloid formation of the 39-43-residue-long amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptide. Considerable evidence suggests a correlation between Alzheimer disease development and the longer variants of the peptide, Abeta-(1-42/43). Currently, a molecular understanding for this behavior is lacking. In the present study, we have investigated the hydrogen/deuterium exchange of Abeta-(1-42) fibrils under physiological conditions, using solution NMR spectroscopy. The obtained residue-specific and quantitative map of the solvent protection within the Abeta-(1-42) fibril shows that there are two protected core regions, Glu11-Gly25 and Lys28-Ala42, and that the residues in between, Ser26 and Asn27, as well as those in the N terminus, Asp1-Tyr10, are solvent-accessible. This result reveals considerable discrepancies when compared with a previous investigation on Abeta-(1-40) fibrils and suggests that the additional residues in Abeta-(1-42), Ile41 and Ala42, significantly increase the solvent protection and stability of the C-terminal region Lys28-Ala42. Consequently, our findings provide a molecular explanation for the increased amyloidogenicity and toxicity of Abeta-(1-42) compared with shorter Abeta variants found in vivo.
No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prokaryotic signal recognition particle Ffh and its receptor FtsY allow targeting of proteins into or across the plasma membrane. The targeting process is GTP dependent and the two proteins constitute a distinct GTPase family. The receptor FtsY is composed of A and NG domains where the NG's GTPase domain plays a critical role in the targeting process. In this study, we describe two X-ray structures determined independently of each other of the NG domain of FtsY from Mycoplasma mycoides (MmFtsY). The two structures are markedly different in three of the nucleotide-binding segments, GI (P-loop), GII, and GIII, making only one of the structures compatible with nucleotide binding. Interestingly, the two distinct conformations of the nucleotide-binding segments of MmFtsY are similar to the apo- and ADP-loaded forms of certain ATPases. The structure of the extended interface between the A and NG domains of MmFtsY provides new insights into the role of the A domain for phospholipid interaction.
No preview · Article · Feb 2006 · Journal of Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Tyr114Cys substitution in the human plasma protein transthyretin leads to a particularly aggressive form of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. In a previous study we demonstrated that ATTR Tyr114Cys forms intermolecular disulfide bonds, which partly impair fibril formation and result in a more amorphous morphology. Apart from the introduced cysteinyl group in position 114, the native sequence contains one cysteine located at position 10. To deduce the role of intermolecular disulfide bridging in fibril formation we generated and characterized the TTR Cys10Ala/Tyr114Cys double mutant. Our results suggest that an intermolecular cysteine bridge at position 114 enhances the exposure of cysteine 10, thereby facilitating additional intermolecular cysteine assemblies. We also purified a disulfide-linked dimeric form of TTR Cys10Ala/Tyr114Cys, which was recognized by the anti-TTR amyloid-specific monoclonal antibody MAb (39-44). Moreover, this dimeric molecule can form protofibrils indistinguishable from the fibrils formed under reducing conditions, as judged by atomic force microscopy. Assuming that both molecules of the dimer are part of the core of the fibril, the assembly is incompatible with a preserved native or near-native dimeric interphase. Our findings raise the question of whether TTR-amyloid architecture is indeed the result of one highly stringent assembly of structures or if different fibrils may be built from different underlying structures.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A reagent-free microwave-assisted decarboxylation procedure for carboxylic acid functionalized bicyclic 2-pyridones has been developed. This new method, based on microwave heating at 220 degrees C for 600 seconds in N-methyl pyrrolidone (NMP), proved to be practical and very efficient, resulting in decarboxylated 2-pyridones in near-quantitative yields. The decarboxylated products and the intermediate 2-pyridones in the form of carboxylic acid methyl esters and carboxylic acids were screened for their effect on Abeta-peptide aggregation. Two out of the 21 2-pyridones described in this study inhibited amyloid formation of the Alzheimer Abeta(1-40) peptide. The effect was seen even at a 4 : 1 ratio of 2-pyridone and monomeric Abeta-peptide.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transthyretin amyloid formation occurs through a process of tetramer destabilization and partial unfolding. Small molecules, including the natural ligand thyroxine, stabilize the tetrameric form of the protein, and serve as inhibitors of amyloid formation. Crucial for TTR's ligand-binding properties are its three halogen-binding sites situated at the hormone-binding channel. In this study, we have performed a structural characterization of the binding of two halides, iodide and chloride, to TTR. Chlorides are known to shield charge repulsions at the tetrameric interface of TTR, which improve tetramer stability of the protein. Our study shows that iodides, like chlorides, provide tetramer stabilization in a concentration-dependent manner and at concentrations approximately 15-fold below that of chlorides. To elucidate binding sites of the halides, we took advantage of the anomalous scattering of iodide and used the single-wavelength anomalous dispersion (SAD) method to solve the iodide-bound TTR structure at 1.8 A resolution. The structure of chloride-bound TTR was determined at 1.9 A resolution using difference Fourier techniques. The refined structures showed iodides and chlorides bound at two of the three halogen-binding sites located at the hydrophobic channel. These sites therefore also function as halide-binding sites.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proper assembly of large protein-RNA complexes requires sequential binding of the proteins to the RNA. The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a multiprotein-RNA complex responsible for the cotranslational targeting of proteins to biological membranes. Here we describe the crystal structure at 2.6-A resolution of the S-domain of SRP RNA from the archeon Methanococcus jannaschii. Comparison of this structure with the SRP19-bound form reveals the nature of the SRP19-induced conformational changes, which promote subsequent SRP54 attachment. These structural changes are initiated at the SRP19 binding site and transmitted through helix 6 to looped-out adenosines, which form tertiary RNA interaction with helix 8. Displacement of these adenosines enforces a conformational change of the asymmetric loop structure in helix 8. In free RNA, the three unpaired bases A195, C196, and C197 are directed toward the helical axis, whereas upon SRP19 binding the loop backbone inverts and the bases are splayed out in a conformation that resembles the SRP54-bound form. Nucleotides adjacent to the bulged nucleotides seem to be particularly important in the regulation of this loop transition. Binding of SRP19 to 7S RNA reveals an elegant mechanism of how protein-induced changes are directed through an RNA molecule and may relate to those regulating the assembly of other RNPs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Conformational changes in native and variant forms of the human plasma protein transthyretin (TTR) induce several types of amyloid diseases. Biochemical and structural studies have mapped the initiation site of amyloid formation onto residues at the outer C and D beta-strands and their connecting loop. In this study, we characterise an engineered variant of transthyretin, Ala108Tyr/Leu110Glu, which is kinetically and thermodynamically more stable than wild-type transthyretin, and as a consequence less amyloidogenic. Crystal structures of the mutant were determined in two space groups, P2(1)2(1)2 and C2, from crystals grown in the same crystallisation set-up. The structures are identical with the exception for residues Leu55-Leu58, situated at beta-strand D and the following DE loop. In particular, residues Leu55-His56 display large shifts in the C2 structure. There the direct hydrogen bonding between beta-strands D and A has been disrupted and is absent, whereas the beta-strand D is present in the P2(1)2(1)2 structure. This difference shows that from a mixture of metastable TTR molecules, only the molecules with an intact beta-strand D are selected for crystal growth in space group P2(1)2(1)2. The packing of TTR molecules in the C2 crystal form and in the previously determined amyloid TTR (ATTR) Leu55Pro crystal structure is close-to-identical. This packing arrangement is therefore not unique in amyloidogenic mutants of TTR.
No preview · Article · Aug 2004 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transthyretin (TTR) is an extracellular transport protein involved in the distribution of thyroid hormones and vitamin A.
So far, TTR has only been found in vertebrates, of which piscine TTR displays the lowest sequence identity with human TTR
(47%). Human and piscine TTR bind both thyroid hormones 3,5,3′-triiodo-l-thyronine (T3) and 3,5,3′,5′-tetraiodo-l-thyronine (thyroxine, T4). Human TTR has higher affinity for T4 than T3, whereas the reverse holds for piscine TTR. X-ray structures of Sparus aurata (sea bream) TTR have been determined as the apo-protein at 1.75 Å resolution and bound to ligands T3 and T4, both at 1.9 Å resolution. The apo structure is similar to human TTR with structural changes only at β-strand D. This strand
forms an extended loop conformation similar to the one in chicken TTR. The piscine TTR·T4 complex shows the T4-binding site to be similar but not identical to human TTR, whereas the TTR·T3 complex shows the I3′ halogen situated at the site normally occupied by the hydroxyl group of T4. The significantly wider entrance of the hormone-binding channel in sea bream TTR, in combination with its narrower cavity,
provides a structural explanation for the different binding affinities of human and piscine TTR to T3 and T4.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a phylogenetically conserved ribonucleoprotein that associates with ribosomes to mediate the targeting of membrane and secretory proteins to biological membranes. In higher eukaryotes, SRP biogenesis involves the sequential binding of SRP19 and SRP54 proteins to the S domain of 7S RNA. The recently determined crystal structures of SRP19 in complex with the S domain, and that of the ternary complex of SRP19, the S domain and the M domain of SRP54, provide insight into the molecular basis of S-domain assembly and SRP function.
No preview · Article · Mar 2003 · Current Opinion in Structural Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A number of proteins related to the homotetrameric transport protein transthyretin (TTR) forms a highly conserved protein family, which we present in an integrated analysis of data from different sources combined with an initial biochemical characterization. Homologues of the transthyretin-related protein (TRP) can be found in a wide range of species including bacteria, plants and animals, whereas transthyretins have so far only been identified in vertebrates. A multiple sequence alignment of 49 TRP sequences from 47 species to TTR suggests that the tertiary and quaternary features of the three-dimensional structure are most likely preserved. Interestingly, while some of the TRP orthologues show as little as 30% identity, the residues at the putative ligand-binding site are almost entirely conserved. RT/PCR analysis in Caenorhabditis elegans confirms that one TRP gene is transcribed, spliced and predominantly expressed in the worm, which suggests that at least one of the two C. elegans TRP genes encodes a functional protein. We used double-stranded RNA-mediated interference techniques in order to determine the loss-of-function phenotype for the two TRP genes in C. elegans but detected no apparent phenotype. The cloning and initial characterization of purified TRP from Escherichia coli reveals that, while still forming a homotetramer, this protein does not recognize thyroid hormones that are the natural ligands of TTR. The ligand for TRP is not known; however, genomic data support a functional role involving purine catabolism especially linked to urate oxidase (uricase) activity.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2003 · European Journal of Biochemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Y114C mutation in human transthyretin (TTR) is associated with a particular form of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy. We show that vitreous aggregates ex vivo consist of either regular amyloid fibrils or disordered disulfide-linked precipitates that maintain the ability to bind Congo red. Furthermore, we demonstrate in vitro that the ATTR Y114C mutant exists in three forms: one unstable but nativelike tetrameric form, one highly aggregated form in which a network of disulfide bonds is formed, and one fibrillar form. The disulfide-linked aggregates and the fibrillar form of the mutant can be induced by heat induction under nonreduced and reduced conditions, respectively. Both forms are recognized by the amyloid specific antibody MAB(39-44). In a previous study, we have linked exposure of this epitope in TTR to a three-residue shift in beta-strand D. The X-ray crystallographic structure of reduced tetrameric ATTR Y114C shows a structure similar to that of the wild type but with a more buried position of Cys10 and with beta-mercaptoethanol associated with Cys114, verifying the strong tendency for this residue to form disulfide bonds. Combined with the ex vivo data, our in vitro findings suggest that ATTR Y114C can lead to disease either by forming regular unbranched amyloid fibrils or by forming disulfide-linked aggregates that maintain amyloid-like properties but are unable to form regular amyloid fibrils.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The signal recognition particle (SRP) is a phylogenetically conserved ribonucleoprotein. It associates with ribosomes to mediate co-translational targeting of membrane and secretory proteins to biological membranes. In mammalian cells, the SRP consists of a 7S RNA and six protein components. The S domain of SRP comprises the 7S.S part of RNA bound to SRP19, SRP54 and the SRP68/72 heterodimer; SRP54 has the main role in recognizing signal sequences of nascent polypeptide chains and docking SRP to its receptor. During assembly of the SRP, binding of SRP19 precedes and promotes the association of SRP54 (refs 4, 5). Here we report the crystal structure at 2.3 A resolution of the complex formed between 7S.S RNA and SRP19 in the archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii. SRP19 bridges the tips of helices 6 and 8 of 7S.S RNA by forming an extensive network of direct protein RNA interactions. Helices 6 and 8 pack side by side; tertiary RNA interactions, which also involve the strictly conserved tetraloop bases, stabilize helix 8 in a conformation competent for SRP54 binding. The structure explains the role of SRP19 and provides a molecular framework for SRP54 binding and SRP assembly in Eukarya and Archaea.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Substitution of Pro for Thr199 in the active site of human carbonic anhydrase II (HCA II)(1) reduces its catalytic efficiency about 3000-fold. X-ray crystallographic structures of the T199P/C206S variant have been determined in complex with the substrate bicarbonate and with the inhibitors thiocyanate and beta-mercaptoethanol. The latter molecule is normally not an inhibitor of wild-type HCA II. All three ligands display novel binding interactions to the T199P/C206S mutant. The beta-mercaptoethanol molecule binds in the active site area with its sulfur atom tetrahedrally coordinated to the zinc ion. Thiocyanate binds tetrahedrally coordinated to the zinc ion in T199P/C206S, in contrast to its pentacoordinated binding to the zinc ion in wild-type HCA II. Bicarbonate binds to the mutant with two of its oxygens at the positions of the zinc water (Wat263) and Wat318 in wild-type HCA II. The environment of this area is more hydrophilic than the normal bicarbonate-binding site of HCA II situated in the hydrophobic part of the cavity normally occupied by the so-called deep water (Wat338). The observation of a new binding site for bicarbonate has implications for understanding the mechanism by which the main-chain amino group of Thr199 acquired an important role for orientation of the substrate during the evolution of the enzyme.