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The Crystal Structure and Small-Angle X-Ray Analysis of CsdL/TcdA Reveal a New tRNA Binding Motif in the MoeB/E1 Superfamily. - PloS one
Cyclic N6-threonylcarbamoyladenosine ('cyclic t6A', ct6A) is a non-thiolated hypermodification found in transfer RNAs (tRNAs) in bacteria, protists, fungi and plants. In bacteria and yeast cells ct6A has been shown to enhance translation fidelity and efficiency of ANN codons by improving the faithful discrimination of aminoacylated tRNAs by the ribosome. To further the understanding of ct6A biology we have determined the high-resolution crystal structures of CsdL/TcdA in complex with AMP and ATP, an E1-like activating enzyme from Escherichia coli, which catalyzes the ATP-dependent dehydration of t6A to form ct6A. CsdL/TcdA is a dimer whose structural integrity and dimer interface depend critically on strongly bound K+ and Na+ cations. By using biochemical assays and small-angle X-ray scattering we show that CsdL/TcdA can associate with tRNA with a 1:1 stoichiometry and with the proper position and orientation for the cyclization of t6A. Furthermore, we show by nuclear magnetic resonance that CsdL/TcdA engages in transient interactions with CsdA and CsdE, which, in the latter case, involve catalytically important residues. These short-lived interactions may underpin the precise channeling of sulfur atoms from cysteine to CsdL/TcdA as previously characterized. In summary, the combination of structural, biophysical and biochemical methods applied to CsdL/TcdA has afforded a more thorough understanding of how the structure of this E1-like enzyme has been fine tuned to accomplish ct6A synthesis on tRNAs while providing support for the notion that CsdA and CsdE are able to functionally interact with CsdL/TcdA.
Recognition determinants of broadly neutralizing human antibodies against dengue viruses. - Nature
Dengue disease is caused by four different flavivirus serotypes, which infect 390Â million people yearly with 25% symptomatic cases and for which no licensed vaccine is available. Recent phase III vaccine trials showed partial protection, and in particular no protection for dengue virus serotype 2 (refs 3, 4). Structural studies so far have characterized only epitopes recognized by serotype-specific human antibodies. We recently isolated human antibodies potently neutralizing all four dengue virus serotypes. Here we describe the X-ray structures of four of these broadly neutralizing antibodies in complex with the envelope glycoprotein E from dengue virus serotype 2, revealing that the recognition determinants are at a serotype-invariant site at the E-dimer interface, including the exposed main chain of the E fusion loop and the two conserved glycan chains. This 'E-dimer-dependent epitope' is also the binding site for the viral glycoprotein prM during virus maturation in the secretory pathway of the infected cell, explaining its conservation across serotypes and highlighting an Achilles' heel of the virus with respect to antibody neutralization. These findings will be instrumental for devising novel immunogens to protect simultaneously against all four serotypes of dengue virus.
Crystallization and preliminary X-ray characterization of the full-length bacteriophytochrome from the plant pathogen Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris. - Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology communications
Phytochromes give rise to the largest photosensor family known to date. However, they are underrepresented in the Protein Data Bank. Plant, cyanobacterial, fungal and bacterial phytochromes share a canonical architecture consisting of an N-terminal photosensory module (PAS2-GAF-PHY domains) and a C-terminal variable output module. The bacterium Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, a worldwide agricultural pathogen, codes for a single bacteriophytochrome (XccBphP) that has this canonical architecture, bearing a C-terminal PAS9 domain as the output module. Full-length XccBphP was cloned, expressed and purified to homogeneity by nickel-NTA affinity and size-exclusion chromatography and was then crystallized at room temperature bound to its cofactor biliverdin. A complete native X-ray diffraction data set was collected to a maximum resolution of 3.25â€…Ã…. The crystals belonged to space group P43212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 103.94, c = 344.57â€…Ã… and a dimer in the asymmetric unit. Refinement is underway after solving the structure by molecular replacement.
Structural studies suggest a peptidoglycan hydrolase function for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tat-secreted protein Rv2525c. - Journal of structural biology
Among the few proteins shown to be secreted by the Tat system in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Rv2525c is of particular interest, since its gene is conserved in the minimal genome of Mycobacterium leprae. Previous evidence linked this protein to cell wall metabolism and sensitivity to Î²-lactams. We describe here the crystal structure of Rv2525c that shows a TIM barrel-like fold characteristic of glycoside hydrolases of the GH25 family, which includes prokaryotic and phage-encoded peptidoglycan hydrolases. Structural comparison with other members of this family combined with substrate docking suggest that, although the 'neighbouring group' catalytic mechanism proposed for this family still appears as the most plausible, the identity of residues involved in catalysis in GH25 hydrolases might need to be revised.Copyright Â© 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Neoeubria inbionis Shepard & Barr, a new genus and new species of neotropical water penny beetle (Coleoptera: Psephenidae: Eubriinae), with a key to the adult Eubriinae of the Neotropic Zone. - Zootaxa
Neoeubria inbionis, new genus and new species, is described from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama and Ecuador. All life stages are descibed and illustrated, and a key to adults of the Eubriinae genera of the Neotropics is provided. Neoeubria is one of the most basal genera of the Eubriinae.
Crystal structure and functional mapping of human ASMT, the last enzyme of the melatonin synthesis pathway. - Journal of pineal research
Melatonin is a synchronizer of many physiological processes. Abnormal melatonin signaling is associated with human disorders related to sleep, metabolism, and neurodevelopment. Here, we present the X-ray crystal structure of human N-acetyl serotonin methyltransferase (ASMT), the last enzyme of the melatonin biosynthesis pathway. The polypeptide chain of ASMT consists of a C-terminal domain, which is typical of other SAM-dependent O-methyltransferases, and an N-terminal domain, which intertwines several helices with another monomer to form the physiologically active dimer. Using radioenzymology, we analyzed 20 nonsynonymous variants identified through the 1000 genomes project and in patients with neuropsychiatric disorders. We found that the majority of these mutations reduced or abolished ASMT activity including one relatively frequent polymorphism in the Han Chinese population (N17K, rs17149149). Overall, we estimate that the allelic frequency of ASMT deleterious mutations ranges from 0.66% in Europe to 2.97% in Asia. Mapping of the variants on to the 3-dimensional structure clarifies why some are harmful and provides a structural basis for understanding melatonin deficiency in humans.Â© 2012 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Conformational changes upon ligand binding in the essential class II fumarase Rv1098c from Mycobacterium tuberculosis. - FEBS letters
rv1098c, an essential gene in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, codes for a class II fumarase. We describe here the crystal structure of Rv1098c in complex with l-malate, fumarate or the competitive inhibitor meso-tartrate. The models reveal that substrate binding promotes the closure of the active site through conformational changes involving the catalytic SS-loop and the C-terminal domain, which likely represents a general feature of this enzyme superfamily. Analysis of ligand-enzyme interactions as well as site-directed mutagenesis suggest Ser318 as one of the two acid-base catalysts.Copyright Â© 2012 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Insights into the Rrf2 repressor family--the structure of CymR, the global cysteine regulator of Bacillus subtilis. - The FEBS journal
The global regulator CymR represses the transcription of a large set of genes involved in cystine uptake and cysteine biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis and Staphylococcus aureus. This repressor belongs to the widespread and poorly characterized Rrf2 family of regulators. The crystal structure of CymR from B. subtilis reveals a biologically active dimer, where each monomer folds into two tightly packed domains: a DNA-binding domain, which houses a winged helix-turn-helix (wHTH) motif; and a long dimerization domain, which places the wHTH motifs at the extremes. This architecture explains how these small regulators can span 23-27-bp DNA targets. The wHTH motif of CymR resembles those of the GntR superfamily of regulators, such as FadR and HutC. Superimposing the FadR wHTH motifs bound to their DNA fragments onto the wHTH motifs of the CymR dimer structure suggests that the DNA target and/or the protein must undergo some conformational changes upon binding. The CymR structure also hints at a possible location of the Fe-S centre associated with several Rrf2-type regulators.Â© 2011 The Authors Journal compilation Â© 2011 FEBS.
Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Rv2714, a representative of a duplicated gene family in Actinobacteria. - Acta crystallographica. Section F, Structural biology and crystallization communications
The gene Rv2714 from Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which codes for a hypothetical protein of unknown function, is a representative member of a gene family that is largely confined to the order Actinomycetales of Actinobacteria. Sequence analysis indicates the presence of two paralogous genes in most mycobacterial genomes and suggests that gene duplication was an ancient event in bacterial evolution. The crystal structure of Rv2714 has been determined at 2.6 A resolution, revealing a trimer in which the topology of the protomer core is similar to that observed in a functionally diverse set of enzymes, including purine nucleoside phosphorylases, some carboxypeptidases, bacterial peptidyl-tRNA hydrolases and even the plastidic form of an intron splicing factor. However, some structural elements, such as a beta-hairpin insertion involved in protein oligomerization and a C-terminal alpha-helical domain that serves as a lid to the putative substrate-binding (or ligand-binding) site, are only found in Rv2714 bacterial homologues and represent specific signatures of this protein family.
The crystal structure of M. leprae ML2640c defines a large family of putative S-adenosylmethionine-dependent methyltransferases in mycobacteria. - Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society
Mycobacterium leprae protein ML2640c belongs to a large family of conserved hypothetical proteins predominantly found in mycobacteria, some of them predicted as putative S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet)-dependent methyltransferases (MTase). As part of a Structural Genomics initiative on conserved hypothetical proteins in pathogenic mycobacteria, we have determined the structure of ML2640c in two distinct crystal forms. As expected, ML2640c has a typical MTase core domain and binds the methyl donor substrate AdoMet in a manner consistent with other known members of this structural family. The putative acceptor substrate-binding site of ML2640c is a large internal cavity, mostly lined by aromatic and aliphatic side-chain residues, suggesting that a lipid-like molecule might be targeted for catalysis. A flap segment (residues 222-256), which isolates the binding site from the bulk solvent and is highly mobile in the crystal structures, could serve as a gateway to allow substrate entry and product release. The multiple sequence alignment of ML2640c-like proteins revealed that the central alpha/beta core and the AdoMet-binding site are very well conserved within the family. However, the amino acid positions defining the binding site for the acceptor substrate display a higher variability, suggestive of distinct acceptor substrate specificities. The ML2640c crystal structures offer the first structural glimpses at this important family of mycobacterial proteins and lend strong support to their functional assignment as AdoMet-dependent methyltransferases.
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