Matching Items (5)

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AFM study of gene silencing by DNA methylation and its interactions involving chromatin and methyl CpG binding proteins

Description

CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression.

CpG methylation is an essential requirement for the normal development of mammals, but aberrant changes in the methylation can lead to tumor progression and cancer. An in-depth understanding of this phenomenon can provide insights into the mechanism of gene repression. We present a study comparing methylated DNA and normal DNA wrt its persistence length and contour length. Although, previous experiments and studies show no difference between the physical properties of the two, the data collected and interpreted here gives a different picture to the methylation phenomena and its effect on gene silencing. The study was extended to the artificially reconstituted chromatin and its interactions with the methyl CpG binding proteins were also probed.

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Date Created
2012

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Identification of structural mechanisms that modulate glycosaminoglycan affinity in various strains of decorin binding protein A

Description

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a class of complex biomolecules comprised of linear, sulfated polysaccharides whose presence on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix involve them in many physiological phenomena as well as in interactions with pathogenic microbes. Decorin binding protein

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are a class of complex biomolecules comprised of linear, sulfated polysaccharides whose presence on cell surfaces and in the extracellular matrix involve them in many physiological phenomena as well as in interactions with pathogenic microbes. Decorin binding protein A (DBPA), a Borrelia surface lipoprotein involved in the infectivity of Lyme disease, is responsible for binding GAGs found on decorin, a small proteoglycan present in the extracellular matrix. Different DBPA strains have notable sequence heterogeneity that results in varying levels of GAG-binding affinity. In this dissertation, the structures and GAG-binding mechanisms for three strains of DBPA (B31 and N40 DBPAs from B. burgdorferi and PBr DBPA from B. garinii) are studied to determine why each strain has a different affinity for GAGs. These three strains have similar topologies consisting of five α-helices held together by a hydrophobic core as well as two long flexible segments: a linker between helices one and two and a C-terminal tail. This structural arrangement facilitates the formation of a basic pocket below the flexible linker which is the primary GAG-binding epitope. However, this GAG-binding site can be occluded by the flexible linker, which makes the linker a negative regulator of GAG-binding. ITC and NMR titrations provide KD values that show PBr DBPA binds GAGs with higher affinity than B31 and N40 DBPAs, while N40 binds with the lowest affinity of the three. Work in this thesis demonstrates that much of the discrepancies seen in GAG affinities of the three DBPAs can be explained by the amino acid composition and conformation of the linker. Mutagenesis studies show that B31 DBPA overcomes the pocket obstruction with the BXBB motif in its linker while PBr DBPA has a retracted linker that exposes the basic pocket as well as a secondary GAG-binding site. N40 DBPA, however, does not have any evolutionary modifications to its structure to enhance GAG binding which explains its lower affinity for GAGs. GMSA and ELISA assays, along with NMR PRE experiments, confirm that structural changes in the linker do affect GAG-binding and, as a result, the linker is responsible for regulating GAG affinity.

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Date Created
2015

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Characterization of small metal-binding protein (SmbP) from Nitrosomonas europaea

Description

A novel small metal-binding protein (SmbP), with only 93 residues and no similarity to other known proteins, has been isolated from the periplasm of Nitrosomonas europaea. It is characterized by its high percentage (17%) of histidines, a motif of ten

A novel small metal-binding protein (SmbP), with only 93 residues and no similarity to other known proteins, has been isolated from the periplasm of Nitrosomonas europaea. It is characterized by its high percentage (17%) of histidines, a motif of ten repeats of seven residues, a four α-helix bundle structure, and a high binding affinity to about six equivalents of Cu2+. The goal of this study is to investigate the Cu2+ binding sites in SmbP and to understand how Cu2+ stabilizes the protein. Preliminary folding experiments indicated that Cu2+ greatly stabilizes SmbP. In this study, protein folding data from circular dichroism (CD) spectroscopy was used to elucidate the role of Cu2+ in stabilizing SmbP structure against unfolding induced by decreased pH, increased temperature, and chemical denaturants. The significant stabilization effects of Cu2+ were demonstrated by the observation that Cu2+-SmbP remained fully folded under extreme environmental conditions, such as acidic pH, 96 °C, and 8 M urea. Also, it was shown that Cu2+ is able to induce the refolding of unfolded SmbP in acidic solutions. These findings imply that the coordination of Cu2+ to histidine residues is responsible for the stabilization effects. The crystal structure of SmbP without Cu2+ has been determined. However, attempts to crystallize Cu2+-SmbP have not been successful. In this study, multidimensional NMR experiments were conducted in order to gain additional information regarding the Cu2+-SmbP structure, in particular its metal binding sites. Unambiguous resonance assignments were successfully made. Cα secondary chemical shifts confirmed that SmbP has a four α-helical structure. A Cu2+-protein titration experiment monitored by NMR indicated a top-to-bottom, sequential metal binding pattern for SmbP. In addition, several bioinformatics tools were used to complement the experimental approach and identity of the ligands in Cu2+-binding sites in SmbP is proposed.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2010

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Structural perspectives on glycosaminoglycan-binding proteins and their receptors

Description

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long chains of negatively charged sulfated polysaccharides. They are often found to be covalently attached to proteins and form proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Many proteins bind GAGs through electrostatic interactions. GAG-binding proteins (GBPs) are involved

Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are long chains of negatively charged sulfated polysaccharides. They are often found to be covalently attached to proteins and form proteoglycans in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Many proteins bind GAGs through electrostatic interactions. GAG-binding proteins (GBPs) are involved in diverse physiological activities ranging from bacterial infections to cell-cell/cell-ECM contacts. This thesis is devoted to understanding how interactions between GBPs and their receptors modulate biological phenomena. Bacteria express GBPs on surface that facilitate dissemination and colonization by attaching to host ECM. The first GBP investigated in this thesis is decorin binding protein (DBP) found on the surface of Borrelia burgdorferi, causative pathogens in Lyme disease. DBPs bind GAGs of decorin, a proteoglycan in ECM. Of the two isoforms, DBPB is less studied than DBPA. In current work, structure of DBPB from B. burgdorferi and its GAG interactions were investigated using solution NMR techniques. DBPB adopts a five-helical structure, similar to DBPA. Despite similar GAG affinities, DBPB has its primary GAG-binding site on the lysine-rich C terminus, which is different from DBPA. Besides GAGs, GBPs in ECM also interact with cell surface receptors, such as integrins. Integrins belong to a big family of heterodimeric transmembrane proteins that receive extracellular cues and transmit signals bidirectionally to regulate cell adhesion, migration, growth and survival. The second part of this thesis focuses on αM I-domain of the promiscuous integrin αMβ2 (Mac-1 or CD11b/CD18) and explores the structural mechanism of αM I-domain interactions with pleiotrophin (PTN) and platelet factor 4 (PF4), which are cationic proteins with high GAG affinities. After completing the backbone assignment of αM I-domain, paramagnetic relaxation enhancement (PRE) experiments were performed to show that both PTN and PF4 bind αM I-domain using metal ion dependent adhesion site (MIDAS) in an Mg2+ independent way, which differs from the classical Mg2+ dependent mechanism used by all known integrin ligands thus far. In addition, NMR relaxation dispersion analysis revealed unique inherent conformational dynamics in αM I-domain centered around MIDAS and the crucial C-terminal helix. These dynamic motions are potentially functionally relevant and may explain the ligand promiscuity of the receptor, but requires further studies.

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Date Created
2019

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Regulation of Vaccinia virus induced programmed necrosis through Z-form nucleic acid binding proteins

Description

The interaction between a virus and its host is a constant competition for supremacy. Both the virus and the host immune system constantly evolve mechanisms to circumvent one another. Vaccinia virus (VACV) infections are a prime example of this. VACV

The interaction between a virus and its host is a constant competition for supremacy. Both the virus and the host immune system constantly evolve mechanisms to circumvent one another. Vaccinia virus (VACV) infections are a prime example of this. VACV contains a highly conserved innate immune evasion gene, E3L, which encodes the E3 protein composed of a Z-NA-binding domain (Z-NA BD) in the N terminus and a highly characterized dsRNA binding domain in the C-terminus. Both domains of E3 have been found to be essential for the inhibition of antiviral states initiated by host type 1 IFNs. However, the mechanism by which the Z-NA-BD of E3’s N-terminus confers IFN resistance has yet to be established. This is partially due to conflicting evidence showing that the Z-NA-BD is dispensable in most cell culture systems, yet essential for pathogenicity in mice. Recently it has been demonstrated that programmed necrosis is an alternative form of cell death that can be initiated by viral infections as part of the host’s innate immune response to control infection. The work presented here reveals that VACV has developed a mechanism to inhibit programmed necrosis. This inhibition occurs through utilizing E3’s N-terminus to prevent the initiation of programmed necrosis involving the host-encoded cellular proteins RIP3 and Z-NA-binding protein DAI. The inhibition of programmed necrosis has been shown to involve regions of both the viral and host proteins responsible for Z-NA binding through in vivo studies demonstrating that deletions of the Z-NA-BD in E3 correspond to an attenuation of pathogenicity in wild type mice that is restored in RIP3- and DAI-deficient models. Together these findings provide novel insight into the elusive function of the Z-NA-binding domain of the N-terminus and its role in preventing host recognition of viral infections. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that a unique mechanism for resisting virally induced programmed necrosis exists. This mechanism, specific to Z-NA binding, involves the inhibition of a DAI dependent form of programmed necrosis possibly by preventing host recognition of viral infections, and hints at the possible biological role of Z-NA in regulating viral infections.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016