[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The Protein Circular Dichroism Data Bank (PCDDB) has been in operation for more than 5 years as a public repository for archiving circular dichroism spectroscopic data and associated bioinformatics and experimental metadata. Since its inception, many improvements and new developments have been made in data display, searching algorithms, data formats, data content, auxillary information, and validation techniques, as well as, of course, an increase in the number of holdings. It provides a site (http://pcddb.cryst.bbk.ac.uk) for authors to deposit experimental data as well as detailed information on methods and calculations associated with published work. It also includes links for each entry to bioinformatics databases. The data are freely available to accessors either as single files or as complete data bank downloads. The PCDDB has found broad usage by the structural biology, bioinformatics, analytical and pharmaceutical communities, and has formed the basis for new software and methods developments.
Full-text Article · Sep 2016 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
The Micro-Exon Gene-14 (MEG-14) displays a remarkable structure that allows the generation of antigenic variation in Schistosomes. Previous studies showed that the soluble portion of the MEG-14 protein displays features of an intrinsically disordered protein and is expressed exclusively in the parasite esophageal gland. These features indicated a potential for interaction with host proteins present in the plasma and cells from ingested blood.
A yeast two-hybrid experiment using as bait the soluble domain of Schistosoma mansoni MEG-14 (sMEG-14) against a human leukocyte cDNA library was performed. Pull-down and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) experiments were used to validate the interaction between sMEG-14 and human S100A9. Synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) were used to detect structural changes upon interaction between sMEG-14 and human S100A9. Feeding of live parasites with S100A9 attached to a fluorophore allowed the tracking of the fate of this protein in the parasite digestive system.
S100A9 interacted with sMEG-14 consistently in yeast two-hybrid assay, pull-down and SPR experiments. SRCD suggested that MEG-14 acquired a more regular structure as a result of the interaction with S100A9. Accumulation of recombinant S100A9 in the parasite's esophageal gland, when ingested by live worms suggests that such interaction may occur in vivo.
S100A9, a protein previously described to be involved in modulation of inflammatory response, was found to interact with sMEG-14.
Our results allow proposing a mechanism involving MEG-14 for the parasite to block inflammatory signaling, which would occur upon release of S100A9 when ingested blood cells are lysed.
Article · Sep 2016 · Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - General Subjects
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Enzymes isolated from thermophilic organisms found in oil reservoirs can find applications in many fields, including the oleochemical, pharmaceutical, bioenergy, and food/dairy industries. In this study, in silico identification and recombinant production of an esterase from the extremophile bacteria Petrotoga mobilis (designated PmEst) were performed. Then biochemical, bioinformatics and structural characterizations were undertaken using a combination of synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) and fluorescence spectroscopies to correlate PmEst stability and hydrolytic activity on different substrates. The enzyme presented a high Michaelis-Menten constant (KM 0.16 mM) and optimum activity at ~55°C for p-nitrophenyl butyrate. The secondary structure of PmEst was preserved at acid pH, but not under alkaline conditions. PmEst was unfolded at high concentrations of urea or guanidine through apparently different mechanisms. The esterase activity of PmEst was preserved in the presence of ethanol or propanol and its melting temperature increased ~8°C in the presence of these organic solvents. PmEst is a mesophilic esterase with substrate preference towards short-to medium-length acyl chains. The SRCD data of PmEst is in agreement with the prediction of an α/β protein, which leads us to assume that it displays a typical fold of esterases from this family. The increased enzyme stability in organic solvents may enable novel applications for its use in synthetic biology. Taken together, our results demonstrate features of the PmEst enzyme that indicate it may be suitable for applications in industrial processes, particularly, when the use of polar organic solvents is required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy is a well-established technique for studying the secondary structures, dynamics, folding pathways, and interactions of soluble proteins, and is complementary to the high resolution but generally static structures produced by X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and cryo electron microscopy. CD spectroscopy has special relevance for the study of membrane proteins, which are difficult to crystallise and largely ignored in structural genomics projects. However, the requirement for membrane proteins to be embedded in amphipathic environments such as membranes, lipid vesicles, detergent micelles, bicelles, oriented bilayers, or nanodiscs, in order for them to be soluble or dispersed in solution whilst maintaining their structure and function, necessitates the use of different experimental and analytical approaches than those employed for soluble proteins. This review discusses specialised methods for collecting and analysing membrane protein CD data, highlighting where protocols for soluble and membrane proteins diverge.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Crystallographic and electrophysiological studies have recently provided insight into the structure, function, and drug binding of prokaryotic sodium channels. These channels exhibit significant sequence identities, especially in their
transmembrane regions, with human voltage-gated sodium channels. However, rather than being single polypeptides with four homologous domains, they are tetramers of single domain polypeptides, with a C-terminal domain (CTD) composed of an inter-subunit four helix coiled coil. The structures of the CTDs differ between orthologues. In NavBh and NavMs, the C-termini form a disordered region adjacent to the final transmembrane helix, followed by a coiled-coil region, as demonstrated by synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) and double electron–electron resonance electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopic measurements. In contrast, in the crystal structure of the NavAe orthologue, the entire C-terminus is comprised of a helical region followed by a coiled coil. In this study, we have examined the CTD of the NsvBa from Bacillus alcalophilus, which unlike other orthologues is predicted by different methods to have different types of structures: either a disordered region adjacent to the transmembrane region, followed by a helical coiled coil, or a fully helical CTD. To discriminate between the two possible structures, we have used SRCD spectroscopy to experimentally determine the secondary structure of the C-terminus of this orthologue and used the results as the basis for modeling the open and closed conformations of the channel.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Voltage-gated sodium channels are essential for electrical signalling across cell membranes. They exhibit strong selectivities for sodium ions over other cations, enabling the finely tuned cascade of events associated with action potentials. This paper describes the ion permeability characteristics and the crystal structure of a prokaryotic sodium channel, showing for the first time the detailed locations of sodium ions in the selectivity filter of a sodium channel. Electrostatic calculations based on the structure are consistent with the relative cation permeability ratios (Na(+) ≈ Li(+) ≫ K(+), Ca(2+), Mg(2+)) measured for these channels. In an E178D selectivity filter mutant constructed to have altered ion selectivities, the sodium ion binding site nearest the extracellular side is missing. Unlike potassium ions in potassium channels, the sodium ions in these channels appear to be hydrated and are associated with side chains of the selectivity filter residues, rather than polypeptide backbones.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The initiation of the action potential in excitable cells results from the opening of voltage-gated sodium channels. These channels represent key targets for development of pharmaceutical drugs as mutations in human sodium channels produce a wide range of neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Channel blockers such as lamotrigine and lidocaine have been shown to have efficacy, respectively, as anti-epileptic and local anaesthetic drugs, and are widely used clinically. We have shown that these and other drugs and ligands which block human sodium channels also bind to and block the NavMs channel (a prokaryotic orthologue of human sodium channels) with similar affinities and kinetics.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Circular dichroism (CD) is an optical spectroscopic method that exploits the differential absorption of left- and right-handed circularly polarized light by optically active molecules to determine their absolute configurations. CD spectroscopy in the far-ultraviolet (UV) wavelength range of the electromagnetic spectrum (260-170 nm) can be used to characterize and quantify protein secondary structural content in terms of α-helical, β-strand, and unordered structure. It can also be used to identify changes that occur due to interactions with ligands or other moieties or environmental factors such as changes in pH or ionic. The CD signals from the aromatic residues tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine are detectable in the near-UV range between 260 and 300 nm and can be used to monitor changes in the environment of these moieties, which can reflect protein tertiary structure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This paper describes the use of a newly-developed micro-chip bilayer platform to examine the electrophysiological properties of the prokaryotic voltage-gated sodium channel pore (NavSp) from Silicibacter pomeroyi. The platform allows up to 6 bilayers to be analysed simultaneously. Proteoliposomes were incorporated into suspended lipid bilayers formed within the microfluidic bilayer chips. The chips provide access to bilayers from either side, enabling the fast and controlled titration of compounds. Dose-dependent modulation of the opening probability by the channel blocking drug nifedipine was measured and its IC50 determined.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The International Synchrotron Radiation Circular Dichroism (SRCD) Spectroscopy Meeting was held at the Physikzentrum, Bad Honnef, Germany on May 17–20, 2015, as the 590th WE-Heraeus-Seminar. It was the third in the series of SRCD Workshops, following the first one held at the Daresbury Synchrotron (UK) in 2001, and the second at the Beijing Synchrotron Radiation Facility (BSRF) and the Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) in 2009. SRCD2015 was organized by Dr. Jochen Bürck, Prof. Anne Ulrich, and Dr. Dirk Windisch (all of Institute of Biological Interfaces (IBG-2), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany) and Prof. Bonnie Ann Wallace (Birkbeck College, University of London, UK). It was aimed at both synchrotron CD beamline scientists and scientific users of the beamlines, and included participants from 14 countries. For the first time, representatives of all operational SRCD beamlines worldwide were present at the same meeting, and scientists developing two new SRCD beamlines also participated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The protein calexcitin was originally identified in molluscan photoreceptor neurons as a 20 kDa molecule which was up-regulated and phosphorylated following a Pavlovian conditioning protocol. Subsequent studies showed that calexcitin regulates the voltage-dependent potassium channel and the calcium-dependent potassium channel as well as causing the release of calcium ions from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) by binding to the ryanodine receptor. A crystal structure of calexcitin from the squid
showed that the fold is similar to that of another signalling protein, calmodulin, the N- and C-terminal domains of which are known to separate upon calcium binding, allowing interactions with the target protein. Phosphorylation of calexcitin causes it to translocate to the cell membrane, where its effects on membrane excitability are exerted and, accordingly,
calexcitin contains two protein kinase C phosphorylation sites (Thr61 and Thr188). Thr-to-Asp mutations which mimic phosphorylation of the protein were introduced and crystal structures of the corresponding single and double mutants were determined, which suggest that the C-terminal phosphorylation site (Thr188) exerts the greatest effects on the protein structure. Extensive NMR studies were also conducted, which demonstrate that the wild-type protein predominantly adopts a more open conformation in solution than the crystallographic studies have indicated and, accordingly, normal-mode dynamic simulations suggest that it has considerably greater capacity for flexible motion than the X-ray studies had suggested. Like calmodulin, calexcitin consists of four EF-hand motifs, although only the first three EF-hands of calexcitin are involved in binding calcium ions; the C-terminal EF-hand lacks the appropriate amino acids. Hence, calexcitin possesses two functional EF-hands in close proximity in its N-terminal domain and one functional calcium site in its C-terminal domain. There is evidence that the protein has two markedly different affinities for calcium ions, the weaker of which is most likely to be associated with binding of calcium ions to the protein during neuronal excitation. In the current study, site-directed mutagenesis has been used to abolish each of the three calcium-binding sites of calexcitin, and these experiments suggest that it is the single calcium-binding site in the C-terminal domain of the protein which is likely to have a sensory role in the neuron.
Full-text Article · Mar 2015 · Acta Crystallographica Section D Biological Crystallography
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We describe the identification in aphids of a unique heterodimeric voltage-gated sodium channel which has an atypical ion selectivity filter and, unusually for insect channels, is highly insensitive to tetrodotoxin. We demonstrate that this channel has most likely arisen by adaptation (gene fission or duplication) of an invertebrate ancestral mono(hetero)meric channel. This is the only identifiable voltage-gated sodium channel homologue in the aphid genome(s), and the channel's novel selectivity filter motif (DENS instead of the usual DEKA found in other eukaryotes) may result in a loss of sodium selectivity, as indicated experimentally in mutagenised Drosophila channels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Diacylglycerol acyltransferase 1 (DGAT1) is a key enzyme in the triacylglyceride synthesis pathway. Bovine DGAT1 is an endoplasmic reticulum membrane-bound protein associated with the regulation of fat content in milk and meat. The aim of this study was to evaluate the interaction of DGAT1 peptides corresponding to putative substrate binding sites with different types of model membranes. Whilst these peptides are predicted to be located in an extramembranous loop of the membrane-bound protein, their hydrophobic substrates are membrane-bound molecules. In this study, peptides corresponding to the binding sites of the two substrates involved in the reaction were examined in the presence of model membranes in order to probe potential interactions between them that might influence the subsequent binding of the substrates. Whilst the conformation of one of the peptides changed upon binding several types of micelles regardless of their surface charge, suggesting binding to hydrophobic domains, the other peptide bound strongly to negatively-charged model membranes. This binding was accompanied by a change in conformation, and produced leakage of the liposome-entrapped dye calcein. The different hydrophobic and electrostatic interactions observed suggest the peptides may be involved in the interactions of the enzyme with membrane surfaces, facilitating access of the catalytic histidine to the triacylglycerol substrates.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We describe the identification in aphids of a unique heterodimeric voltage-gated sodium channel which has an atypical ion selectivity filter and, unusually for insect channels, is highly insensitive to tetrodotoxin. We demonstrate that this channel has most likely arisen by adaptation (gene fission or duplication) of an invertebrate ancestral mono(hetero)meric channel. This is the only identifiable voltage-gated sodium channel homologue in the aphid genome(s), and the channel’s novel selectivity filter motif (DENS instead of the usual DEKA found in other eukaryotes) may result in a loss of sodium selectivity, as indicated experimentally in mutagenised Drosophila channels.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We describe a scalable artificial bilayer lipid membrane platform for rapid electrophysiological screening of ion channels and transporters. A passive pumping method is used to flow microliter volumes of ligand solution across a suspended bilayer within a microfluidic chip. Bilayers are stable at flow rates up to ∼0.5 μl/min. Phospholipid bilayers are formed across a photolithographically defined aperture made in a dry film resist within the microfluidic chip. Bilayers are stable for many days and the low shunt capacitance of the thin film support gives low-noise high-quality single ion channel recording. Dose-dependent transient blocking of α-hemolysin with β-cyclodextrin (β-CD) and polyethylene glycol is demonstrated and dose-dependent blocking studies of the KcsA potassium channel with tetraethylammonium show the potential for determining IC50 values. The assays are fast (30 min for a complete IC50 curve) and simple and require very small amounts of compounds (100 μg in 15 μl). The technology can be scaled so that multiple bilayers can be addressed, providing a screening platform for ion channels, transporters, and nanopores.