Matching Items (21)

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A peptide adhesive molded by magnesium glues Rubisco's subunits together

Description

Rubisco enzymes play central roles in carbon fixation, with potential importance in biotechnology, but have eluded a full description of their multistep assembly and function. A new article describes the

Rubisco enzymes play central roles in carbon fixation, with potential importance in biotechnology, but have eluded a full description of their multistep assembly and function. A new article describes the fascinating discovery that some archaeal Rubiscos contain a built-in assembly domain inserted into an otherwise canonical Rubisco fold, providing a tremendous expansion of our understanding of the diversity of naturally occurring Rubiscos.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-04-21

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Photoconvertible Fluorescent Proteins and the Role of Dynamics in Protein Evolution

Description

Photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (pcFPs) constitute a large group of fluorescent proteins related to green fluorescent protein (GFP) that, when exposed to blue light, bear the capability of irreversibly switching their

Photoconvertible fluorescent proteins (pcFPs) constitute a large group of fluorescent proteins related to green fluorescent protein (GFP) that, when exposed to blue light, bear the capability of irreversibly switching their emission color from green to red. Not surprisingly, this fascinating class of FPs has found numerous applications, in particular for the visualization of biological processes. A detailed understanding of the photoconversion mechanism appears indispensable in the design of improved variants for applications such as super-resolution imaging. In this article, recent work is reviewed that involves using pcFPs as a model system for studying protein dynamics. Evidence has been provided that the evolution of pcFPs from a green ancestor involved the natural selection for altered dynamical features of the beta-barrel fold. It appears that photoconversion may be the outcome of a long-range positional shift of a fold-anchoring region. A relatively stiff, rigid element appears to have migrated away from the chromophore-bearing section to the opposite edge of the barrel, thereby endowing pcFPs with increased active site flexibility while keeping the fold intact. In this way, the stage was set for the coupling of light absorption with subsequent chemical transformations. The emerging mechanistic model suggests that highly specific dynamic motions are linked to key chemical steps, preparing the system for a concerted deprotonation and β-elimination reaction that enlarges the chromophore’s π-conjugation to generate red color.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2017-08-18

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ELECTRON TRANSFER PROCESS BETWEEN COFACTORS OF HELIOBACTERIA'S REACTION CENTER

Description

ABSTRACT:
The experiment was conducted to analyze the role of menaquinone (MQ) in heliobacteria’s reaction center (HbRC). Their photosynthetic apparatus is a homodimeric of type I reaction center (1). HbRC

ABSTRACT:
The experiment was conducted to analyze the role of menaquinone (MQ) in heliobacteria’s reaction center (HbRC). Their photosynthetic apparatus is a homodimeric of type I reaction center (1). HbRC contains these cofactors: P800 (special pair cholorphyll), A0 (8-hydroxy-chlorophyll [Chl] a), and FX (iron-sulfur cluster). The MQ factor is bypassed during the electron transfer process in HbRC. Electrons from the excited state of P800 (P800*) are transported to A0 and then directly to Fx. The hypothesis is that when electrons are photoaccumulated at Fx, and without the presence of any electron acceptors to the cluster, they would be transferred to MQ, and reduce it to MQH2 (quinol). Experiments conducted in the past with HbRC within the cell membranes yielded data that supported this hypothesis (Figures 4 and 5). We conducted a new experiment based on that foundation with HbRC, isolated from cell membrane. Two protein assays were prepared with cyt c553 and ascorbate in order to observe this phenomenon. The two samples were left in the glove box for several days for equilibration and then exposed to light in different intensity and periods. Their absorption was monitored at 800 nm for P800 or 554 nm for cyt c553 to observe their oxidation and reduction processes. The measurements were performed with the JTS-10 spectrophotometer. The data obtained from these experiments support the theory that P800+ reduced by the charge recombination of P800+Fx-. However, it did not confirm the reduction of P800+ done by cyt c553¬ which eventually lead to a net accumulation of oxidized cyt c553; instead it revealed another factor that could reduce P800+ faster and more efficient than cyt c553 (0.5 seconds vs several seconds), which could be MQ. More experiments need to be done in order to confirm this result. Hence, the data collected from this experiment have yet to support the theory of MQ being reduced to MQH2 outside the bacterial membranes.

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Date Created
  • 2015-05

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A Novel Bacterial Response to an ATP Sequestering Protein in Escherichia coli is controlled by the Stringent Response

Description

Bacteria have been shown to possess a large array of regulatory mechanisms to not just respond to a diverse array of environmental stresses, but to injurious artificial proteins as well.

Bacteria have been shown to possess a large array of regulatory mechanisms to not just respond to a diverse array of environmental stresses, but to injurious artificial proteins as well. A previous investigation introduced DX, a man-made ATP sequestering protein into Escherichia coli (E. coli) which resulted in the formation of novel endoliposome structures and induced a viable but non-culturable state (VBNC) that was not easily reversed. It was hypothesized that the broadly conserved bacterial stringent response pathway may have been responsible for the observed phenotypic changes. With the goal of unveiling the molecular mechanism behind this novel response, changes in cellular morphology and physiology upon DX expression were assessed in a population of E. coli encoding a dysfunctional relA gene, one of the two genes controlling the induction of the stringent response. It was ultimately shown that RelA directly contributed to cellular filamentation, endoliposome structure formation, and the induction of a VBNC state. While the stringent response has been extensively shown to induce a VBNC state, to our knowledge, relA has not yet been shown to induce filamentation or coordinate the formation of endoliposome structures in bacteria. As the stringent response has been shown to be increasingly involved in antibiotic tolerance, this study provided an exciting opportunity to further characterize this adaptive response pathway to aid in the future development of novel therapeutics. In addition to this, this study continued to highlight that the DX protein may serve one of the first tools to allow for the direct selection of bacteria in a VBNC state by morphologically distinguishing non-culturable cells through cellular filamentation.

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Date Created
  • 2014-12

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Structural Analysis of the Spinach Rubisco Activase AAA+ Domain by Negative Stain Electron Microscopy

Description

Higher plant Rubisco activase (Rca) is a stromal ATPase responsible for reactivating Rubisco. It is a member of the AAA+ protein superfamily and is thought to assemble into closed-ring hexamers

Higher plant Rubisco activase (Rca) is a stromal ATPase responsible for reactivating Rubisco. It is a member of the AAA+ protein superfamily and is thought to assemble into closed-ring hexamers like other AAA+ proteins belonging to the classic clade. Progress towards modeling the interaction between Rca and Rubisco has been slow due to limited structural information on Rca. Previous efforts in the lab were directed towards solving the structure of spinach short-form Rca using X-ray crystallography, given that it had notably high thermostability in the presence of ATP-γS, an ATP analog. However, due to disorder within the crystal lattice, an atomic resolution structure could not be obtained, prompting us to move to negative stain electron microscopy (EM), with our long-term goal being the use of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) for atomic resolution structure determination. Thus far, we have screened different Rca constructs in the presence of ATP-γS, both the full-length β-isoform and truncations containing only the AAA+ domain. Images collected on preparations of the full-length protein were amorphous, whereas images of the AAA+ domain showed well-defined ring-like assemblies under some conditions. Procedural adjustments, such as the use of previously frozen protein samples, rapid dilution, and minimizing thawing time were shown to improve complex assembly. The presence of Mn2+ was also found to improve hexamer formation over Mg2+. Calculated class averages of the AAA+ Rca construct in the presence of ATP-γS indicated a lack of homogeneity in the assemblies, showing both symmetric and asymmetric hexameric rings. To improve structural homogeneity, we tested buffer conditions containing either ADP alone or different ratios of ATP-γS to ADP, though results did not show a significant improvement in homogeneity. Multiple AAA+ domain preparations were evaluated. Because uniform protein assembly is a major requirement for structure solution by cryo-EM, more work needs to be done on screening biochemical conditions to optimize homogeneity.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2018-05

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CD4 Response in Well-Controlled Pediatric HIV Patients on HAART

Description

Patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and who remain adherent to their highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) regimen are likely to achieve good virologic control over

Patients who are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and who remain adherent to their highly active antiretroviral treatment (HAART) regimen are likely to achieve good virologic control over significant periods of time. Children who start with a low CD4 percentage (below 15%) are associated with adverse clinical outcomes and the risk of never increasing their CD4 counts to normal functioning levels. While adherent adult HIV patients have been studied frequently, this was a retrospective chart study that aimed to describe the immune reconstitution pattern for up to 16 years in virologically controlled pediatric patients who had been or who are currently being treated at the Bill Holt Clinic at Phoenix Children's Hospital. In the preliminary study, 35 patients met criteria for inclusion and three years later for this extension study 7 more were added while 17 of the initial patients were followed further because they have remained in care and virologically controlled. All 28 patients who achieved 5 years of viral suppression were >25% CD4. All 8 patients who achieved 12 years of viral suppression were >31% CD4. All patients who achieved 16 years of viral suppression were >41% CD4. After 12 years, the 8 patients who maintained viral suppression all had absolute CD4 counts of over 600 cells and additionally each had CD4/CD8 ratios greater than 1. Overall, the data shows immune system normalization for up to 16 years, although CD4/CD8 ratios improved but never completely normalized. Some limitations include a small sample size and missing data points due to laboratory testing errors or the lack of technology in different countries to test for CD8 cells. These findings suggest that children who remain adherent to HAART can experience ongoing immune healing for up to 16 years. This may provide additional incentive to providers and caretakers to encourage adherence and maximize long-term immune competence in HIV positive children.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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The Interaction of Rubisco and Rubisco Activase: A FRET-based Study

Description

Rubisco is a very important protein which catalyzes the addition of CO2 to ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) to form two molecules of 3-phosphoglycerate in photosynthesis. Rubisco activase is the protein which

Rubisco is a very important protein which catalyzes the addition of CO2 to ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) to form two molecules of 3-phosphoglycerate in photosynthesis. Rubisco activase is the protein which functions to uninhibit Rubisco, however proof of a physical interaction has never been shown. A possible method for determining the interaction of the two proteins is by Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET) based analysis of the two proteins. Attempts to get a FRET signal from these two proteins have been unsuccessful. To get better results, Ficoll 70, a crowding agent, was used. Analysis suggests that Ficoll 70 does not affect the fluorescence of Alexa-fluor 488 and Alexa-fluor 647 used to label the two proteins. Further analysis also suggests that while the Alexa label on Rubisco activase does not affect the ATPase activity of the protein, the protein also does not have a high rate of ATP turnover.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-05

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Microfluidic sorting of protein nanocrystals by size for X-ray free-electron laser diffraction

Description

The advent and application of the X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) has uncovered the structures of proteins that could not previously be solved using traditional crystallography. While this new technology is

The advent and application of the X-ray free-electron laser (XFEL) has uncovered the structures of proteins that could not previously be solved using traditional crystallography. While this new technology is powerful, optimization of the process is still needed to improve data quality and analysis efficiency. One area is sample heterogeneity, where variations in crystal size (among other factors) lead to the requirement of large data sets (and thus 10–100 mg of protein) for determining accurate structure factors. To decrease sample dispersity, we developed a high-throughput microfluidic sorter operating on the principle of dielectrophoresis, whereby polydisperse particles can be transported into various fluid streams for size fractionation. Using this microsorter, we isolated several milliliters of photosystem I nanocrystal fractions ranging from 200 to 600 nm in size as characterized by dynamic light scattering, nanoparticle tracking, and electron microscopy. Sorted nanocrystals were delivered in a liquid jet via the gas dynamic virtual nozzle into the path of the XFEL at the Linac Coherent Light Source. We obtained diffraction to ∼4 Å resolution, indicating that the small crystals were not damaged by the sorting process. We also observed the shape transforms of photosystem I nanocrystals, demonstrating that our device can optimize data collection for the shape transform-based phasing method. Using simulations, we show that narrow crystal size distributions can significantly improve merged data quality in serial crystallography. From this proof-of-concept work, we expect that the automated size-sorting of protein crystals will become an important step for sample production by reducing the amount of protein needed for a high quality final structure and the development of novel phasing methods that exploit inter-Bragg reflection intensities or use variations in beam intensity for radiation damage-induced phasing. This method will also permit an analysis of the dependence of crystal quality on crystal size.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-08-19

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A Hinge Migration Mechanism Unlocks the Evolution of Green-to-Red Photoconversion in GFP-like Proteins

Description

In proteins, functional divergence involves mutations that modify structure and dynamics. Here we provide experimental evidence for an evolutionary mechanism driven solely by long-range dynamic motions without significant backbone adjustments,

In proteins, functional divergence involves mutations that modify structure and dynamics. Here we provide experimental evidence for an evolutionary mechanism driven solely by long-range dynamic motions without significant backbone adjustments, catalytic group rearrangements, or changes in subunit assembly. Crystallographic structures were determined for several reconstructed ancestral proteins belonging to a GFP class frequently employed in superresolution microscopy. Their chain flexibility was analyzed using molecular dynamics and perturbation response scanning. The green-to-red photoconvertible phenotype appears to have arisen from a common green ancestor by migration of a knob-like anchoring region away from the active site diagonally across the β barrel fold. The allosterically coupled mutational sites provide active site conformational mobility via epistasis. We propose that light-induced chromophore twisting is enhanced in a reverse-protonated subpopulation, activating internal acid-base chemistry and backbone cleavage to enlarge the chromophore. Dynamics-driven hinge migration may represent a more general platform for the evolution of novel enzyme activities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-01-06

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An Improved Cerulean Fluorescent Protein with Enhanced Brightness and Reduced Reversible Photoswitching

Description

Cyan fluorescent proteins (CFPs), such as Cerulean, are widely used as donor fluorophores in Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments. Nonetheless, the most widely used variants suffer from drawbacks that

Cyan fluorescent proteins (CFPs), such as Cerulean, are widely used as donor fluorophores in Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) experiments. Nonetheless, the most widely used variants suffer from drawbacks that include low quantum yields and unstable flurorescence. To improve the fluorescence properties of Cerulean, we used the X-ray structure to rationally target specific amino acids for optimization by site-directed mutagenesis. Optimization of residues in strands 7 and 8 of the β-barrel improved the quantum yield of Cerulean from 0.48 to 0.60. Further optimization by incorporating the wild-type T65S mutation in the chromophore improved the quantum yield to 0.87. This variant, mCerulean3, is 20% brighter and shows greatly reduced fluorescence photoswitching behavior compared to the recently described mTurquoise fluorescent protein in vitro and in living cells. The fluorescence lifetime of mCerulean3 also fits to a single exponential time constant, making mCerulean3 a suitable choice for fluorescence lifetime microscopy experiments. Furthermore, inclusion of mCerulean3 in a fusion protein with mVenus produced FRET ratios with less variance than mTurquoise-containing fusions in living cells. Thus, mCerulean3 is a bright, photostable cyan fluorescent protein which possesses several characteristics that are highly desirable for FRET experiments.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011-03-29