Sample records for protein folding intermediate

  1. Intermediates and the folding of proteins L and G

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, Scott; Head-Gordon, Teresa


    We use a minimalist protein model, in combination with a sequence design strategy, to determine differences in primary structure for proteins L and G that are responsible for the two proteins folding through distinctly different folding mechanisms. We find that the folding of proteins L and G are consistent with a nucleation-condensation mechanism, each of which is described as helix-assisted {beta}-1 and {beta}-2 hairpin formation, respectively. We determine that the model for protein G exhibits an early intermediate that precedes the rate-limiting barrier of folding and which draws together misaligned secondary structure elements that are stabilized by hydrophobic core contacts involving the third {beta}-strand, and presages the later transition state in which the correct strand alignment of these same secondary structure elements is restored. Finally the validity of the targeted intermediate ensemble for protein G was analyzed by fitting the kinetic data to a two-step first order reversible reaction, proving that protein G folding involves an on-pathway early intermediate, and should be populated and therefore observable by experiment.

  2. Transient intermediates are populated in the folding pathways of single-domain two-state folding protein L (United States)

    Maity, Hiranmay; Reddy, Govardhan


    Small single-domain globular proteins, which are believed to be dominantly two-state folders, played an important role in elucidating various aspects of the protein folding mechanism. However, recent single molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments [H. Y. Aviram et al. J. Chem. Phys. 148, 123303 (2018)] on a single-domain two-state folding protein L showed evidence for the population of an intermediate state and it was suggested that in this state, a β-hairpin present near the C-terminal of the native protein state is unfolded. We performed molecular dynamics simulations using a coarse-grained self-organized-polymer model with side chains to study the folding pathways of protein L. In agreement with the experiments, an intermediate is populated in the simulation folding pathways where the C-terminal β-hairpin detaches from the rest of the protein structure. The lifetime of this intermediate structure increased with the decrease in temperature. In low temperature conditions, we also observed a second intermediate state, which is globular with a significant fraction of the native-like tertiary contacts satisfying the features of a dry molten globule.

  3. The ribosome can prevent aggregation of partially folded protein intermediates: studies using the Escherichia coli ribosome.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bani Kumar Pathak

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Molecular chaperones that support de novo folding of proteins under non stress condition are classified as chaperone 'foldases' that are distinct from chaperone' holdases' that provide high affinity binding platform for unfolded proteins and prevent their aggregation specifically under stress conditions. Ribosome, the cellular protein synthesis machine can act as a foldase chaperone that can bind unfolded proteins and release them in folding competent state. The peptidyl transferase center (PTC located in the domain V of the 23S rRNA of Escherichia coli ribosome (bDV RNA is the chaperoning center of the ribosome. It has been proposed that via specific interactions between the RNA and refolding proteins, the chaperone provides information for the correct folding of unfolded polypeptide chains. RESULTS: We demonstrate using Escherichia coli ribosome and variants of its domain V RNA that the ribosome can bind to partially folded intermediates of bovine carbonic anhydrase II (BCAII and lysozyme and suppress aggregation during their refolding. Using mutants of domain V RNA we demonstrate that the time for which the chaperone retains the bound protein is an important factor in determining its ability to suppress aggregation and/or support reactivation of protein. CONCLUSION: The ribosome can behave like a 'holdase' chaperone and has the ability to bind and hold back partially folded intermediate states of proteins from participating in the aggregation process. Since the ribosome is an essential organelle that is present in large numbers in all living cells, this ability of the ribosome provides an energetically inexpensive way to suppress cellular aggregation. Further, this ability of the ribosome might also be crucial in the context that the ribosome is one of the first chaperones to be encountered by a large nascent polypeptide chains that have a tendency to form partially folded intermediates immediately following their synthesis.

  4. Early Events, Kinetic Intermediates and the Mechanism of Protein Folding in Cytochrome c

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Kliger


    Full Text Available Kinetic studies of the early events in cytochrome c folding are reviewed with a focus on the evidence for folding intermediates on the submillisecond timescale. Evidence from time-resolved absorption, circular dichroism, magnetic circular dichroism, fluorescence energy and electron transfer, small-angle X-ray scattering and amide hydrogen exchange studies on the t £ 1 ms timescale reveals a picture of cytochrome c folding that starts with the ~ 1-ms conformational diffusion dynamics of the unfolded chains. A fractional population of the unfolded chains collapses on the 1 – 100 ms timescale to a compact intermediate IC containing some native-like secondary structure. Although the existence and nature of IC as a discrete folding intermediate remains controversial, there is extensive high time-resolution kinetic evidence for the rapid formation of IC as a true intermediate, i.e., a metastable state separated from the unfolded state by a discrete free energy barrier. Final folding to the native state takes place on millisecond and longer timescales, depending on the presence of kinetic traps such as heme misligation and proline mis-isomerization. The high folding rates observed in equilibrium molten globule models suggest that IC may be a productive folding intermediate. Whether it is an obligatory step on the pathway to the high free energy barrier associated with millisecond timescale folding to the native state, however, remains to be determined.

  5. Evidence for close side-chain packing in an early protein folding intermediate previously assumed to be a molten globule. (United States)

    Rosen, Laura E; Connell, Katelyn B; Marqusee, Susan


    The molten globule, a conformational ensemble with significant secondary structure but only loosely packed tertiary structure, has been suggested to be a ubiquitous intermediate in protein folding. However, it is difficult to assess the tertiary packing of transiently populated species to evaluate this hypothesis. Escherichia coli RNase H is known to populate an intermediate before the rate-limiting barrier to folding that has long been thought to be a molten globule. We investigated this hypothesis by making mimics of the intermediate that are the ground-state conformation at equilibrium, using two approaches: a truncation to generate a fragment mimic of the intermediate, and selective destabilization of the native state using point mutations. Spectroscopic characterization and the response of the mimics to further mutation are consistent with studies on the transient kinetic intermediate, indicating that they model the early intermediate. Both mimics fold cooperatively and exhibit NMR spectra indicative of a closely packed conformation, in contrast to the hypothesis of molten tertiary packing. This result is important for understanding the nature of the subsequent rate-limiting barrier to folding and has implications for the assumption that many other proteins populate molten globule folding intermediates.

  6. Physics of protein folding (United States)

    Finkelstein, A. V.; Galzitskaya, O. V.


    Protein physics is grounded on three fundamental experimental facts: protein, this long heteropolymer, has a well defined compact three-dimensional structure; this structure can spontaneously arise from the unfolded protein chain in appropriate environment; and this structure is separated from the unfolded state of the chain by the “all-or-none” phase transition, which ensures robustness of protein structure and therefore of its action. The aim of this review is to consider modern understanding of physical principles of self-organization of protein structures and to overview such important features of this process, as finding out the unique protein structure among zillions alternatives, nucleation of the folding process and metastable folding intermediates. Towards this end we will consider the main experimental facts and simple, mostly phenomenological theoretical models. We will concentrate on relatively small (single-domain) water-soluble globular proteins (whose structure and especially folding are much better studied and understood than those of large or membrane and fibrous proteins) and consider kinetic and structural aspects of transition of initially unfolded protein chains into their final solid (“native”) 3D structures.

  7. A partially folded intermediate species of the β-sheet protein apo-pseudoazurin ism trapped during proline-limited folding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reader, J.S.; van Nuland, N.A.J.; Thompson, G.S.; Ferguson, S.J.; Dobson, C.M.; Radford, S.E.


    The folding of apo-pseudoazurin, a 123-residue, predominantly -sheet protein with a complex Greek key topology, has been investigated using several biophysical techniques. Kinetic analysis of refolding using farand near-ultraviolet circular dichroism (UV CD) shows that the protein folds slowly to

  8. Partially folded intermediates during trypsinogen denaturation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martins N.F.


    Full Text Available The equilibrium unfolding of bovine trypsinogen was studied by circular dichroism, differential spectra and size exclusion HPLC. The change in free energy of denaturation was = 6.99 ± 1.40 kcal/mol for guanidine hydrochloride and = 6.37 ± 0.57 kcal/mol for urea. Satisfactory fits of equilibrium unfolding transitions required a three-state model involving an intermediate in addition to the native and unfolded forms. Size exclusion HPLC allowed the detection of an intermediate population of trypsinogen whose Stokes radii varied from 24.1 ± 0.4 Å to 26.0 ± 0.3 Å for 1.5 M and 2.5 M guanidine hydrochloride, respectively. During urea denaturation, the range of Stokes radii varied from 23.9 ± 0.3 Å to 25.7 ± 0.6 Å for 4.0 M and 6.0 M urea, respectively. Maximal intrinsic fluorescence was observed at about 3.8 M urea with 8-aniline-1-naphthalene sulfonate (ANS binding. These experimental data indicate that the unfolding of bovine trypsinogen is not a simple transition and suggest that the equilibrium intermediate population comprises one intermediate that may be characterized as a molten globule. To obtain further insight by studying intermediates representing different stages of unfolding, we hope to gain a better understanding of the complex interrelations between protein conformation and energetics.

  9. Teaching computers to fold proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Winther, Ole; Krogh, Anders Stærmose


    A new general algorithm for optimization of potential functions for protein folding is introduced. It is based upon gradient optimization of the thermodynamic stability of native folds of a training set of proteins with known structure. The iterative update rule contains two thermodynamic averages...

  10. Protein folding and wring resonances

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Jakob; Bohr, Henrik; Brunak, Søren


    The polypeptide chain of a protein is shown to obey topological contraints which enable long range excitations in the form of wring modes of the protein backbone. Wring modes of proteins of specific lengths can therefore resonate with molecular modes present in the cell. It is suggested that prot......The polypeptide chain of a protein is shown to obey topological contraints which enable long range excitations in the form of wring modes of the protein backbone. Wring modes of proteins of specific lengths can therefore resonate with molecular modes present in the cell. It is suggested...... that protein folding takes place when the amplitude of a wring excitation becomes so large that it is energetically favorable to bend the protein backbone. The condition under which such structural transformations can occur is found, and it is shown that both cold and hot denaturation (the unfolding...

  11. Evolution of a protein folding nucleus. (United States)

    Xia, Xue; Longo, Liam M; Sutherland, Mason A; Blaber, Michael


    The folding nucleus (FN) is a cryptic element within protein primary structure that enables an efficient folding pathway and is the postulated heritable element in the evolution of protein architecture; however, almost nothing is known regarding how the FN structurally changes as complex protein architecture evolves from simpler peptide motifs. We report characterization of the FN of a designed purely symmetric β-trefoil protein by ϕ-value analysis. We compare the structure and folding properties of key foldable intermediates along the evolutionary trajectory of the β-trefoil. The results show structural acquisition of the FN during gene fusion events, incorporating novel turn structure created by gene fusion. Furthermore, the FN is adjusted by circular permutation in response to destabilizing functional mutation. FN plasticity by way of circular permutation is made possible by the intrinsic C3 cyclic symmetry of the β-trefoil architecture, identifying a possible selective advantage that helps explain the prevalence of cyclic structural symmetry in the proteome. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  12. PREFACE Protein folding: lessons learned and new frontiers Protein folding: lessons learned and new frontiers (United States)

    Pappu, Rohit V.; Nussinov, Ruth


    multi-scale dynamical problem when one considers the synergies between protein expression, spontaneous folding, chaperonin-assisted folding, protein targeting, the kinetics of post-translational modifications, protein degradation, and of course the drive to avoid aggregation. Further, there is growing recognition that cells not only tolerate but select for proteins that are intrinsically disordered. These proteins are essential for many crucial activities, and yet their inability to fold in isolation makes them prone to proteolytic processing and aggregation. In the series of papers that make up this special focus on protein folding in physical biology, leading researchers provide insights into diverse cross-sections of problems in protein folding. Barrick provides a concise review of what we have learned from the study of two-state folders and draws attention to how several unanswered questions are being approached using studies on large repeat proteins. Dissecting the contribution of hydration-mediated interactions to driving forces for protein folding and assembly has been extremely challenging. There is renewed interest in using hydrostatic pressure as a tool to access folding intermediates and decipher the role of partially hydrated states in folding, misfolding, and aggregation. Silva and Foguel review many of the nuances that have been uncovered by perturbing hydrostatic pressure as a thermodynamic parameter. As noted above, protein folding in vivo is expected to be considerably more complex than the folding of two-state proteins in dilute solutions. Lucent et al review the state-of-the-art in the development of quantitative theories to explain chaperonin-assisted folding in vivo. Additionally, they highlight unanswered questions pertaining to the processing of unfolded/misfolded proteins by the chaperone machinery. Zhuang et al present results that focus on the effects of surface tethering on transition state ensembles and folding mechanisms of a model two

  13. Macromolecular crowding compacts unfolded apoflavodoxin and causes severe aggregation of the off-pathway intermediate during apoflavodoxin folding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Engel, R.; Westphal, A.H.; Huberts, D.; Nabuurs, S.M.; Lindhoud, S.; Visser, A.J.W.G.; Mierlo, van C.P.M.


    To understand how proteins fold in vivo, it is important to investigate the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding. Here, the influence of crowding on in vitro apoflavodoxin folding, which involves a relatively stable off-pathway intermediate with molten globule characteristics, is

  14. Understanding ensemble protein folding at atomic detail

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallin, Stefan; Shakhnovich, Eugene I


    Although far from routine, simulating the folding of specific short protein chains on the computer, at a detailed atomic level, is starting to become a reality. This remarkable progress, which has been made over the last decade or so, allows a fundamental aspect of the protein folding process to be addressed, namely its statistical nature. In order to make quantitative comparisons with experimental kinetic data a complete ensemble view of folding must be achieved, with key observables averaged over the large number of microscopically different folding trajectories available to a protein chain. Here we review recent advances in atomic-level protein folding simulations and the new insight provided by them into the protein folding process. An important element in understanding ensemble folding kinetics are methods for analyzing many separate folding trajectories, and we discuss techniques developed to condense the large amount of information contained in an ensemble of trajectories into a manageable picture of the folding process. (topical review)

  15. Frustration in Condensed Matter and Protein Folding (United States)

    Li, Z.; Tanner, S.; Conroy, B.; Owens, F.; Tran, M. M.; Boekema, C.


    By means of computer modeling, we are studying frustration in condensed matter and protein folding, including the influence of temperature and Thomson-figure formation. Frustration is due to competing interactions in a disordered state. The key issue is how the particles interact to reach the lowest frustration. The relaxation for frustration is mostly a power function (randomly assigned pattern) or an exponential function (regular patterns like Thomson figures). For the atomic Thomson model, frustration is predicted to decrease with the formation of Thomson figures at zero kelvin. We attempt to apply our frustration modeling to protein folding and dynamics. We investigate the homogeneous protein frustration that would cause the speed of the protein folding to increase. Increase of protein frustration (where frustration and hydrophobicity interplay with protein folding) may lead to a protein mutation. Research is supported by WiSE@SJSU and AFC San Jose.

  16. Fluorescence of Alexa fluor dye tracks protein folding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon Lindhoud

    Full Text Available Fluorescence spectroscopy is an important tool for the characterization of protein folding. Often, a protein is labeled with appropriate fluorescent donor and acceptor probes and folding-induced changes in Förster Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET are monitored. However, conformational changes of the protein potentially affect fluorescence properties of both probes, thereby profoundly complicating interpretation of FRET data. In this study, we assess the effects protein folding has on fluorescence properties of Alexa Fluor 488 (A488, which is commonly used as FRET donor. Here, A488 is covalently attached to Cys69 of apoflavodoxin from Azotobacter vinelandii. Although coupling of A488 slightly destabilizes apoflavodoxin, the three-state folding of this protein, which involves a molten globule intermediate, is unaffected. Upon folding of apoflavodoxin, fluorescence emission intensity of A488 changes significantly. To illuminate the molecular sources of this alteration, we applied steady state and time-resolved fluorescence techniques. The results obtained show that tryptophans cause folding-induced changes in quenching of Alexa dye. Compared to unfolded protein, static quenching of A488 is increased in the molten globule. Upon populating the native state both static and dynamic quenching of A488 decrease considerably. We show that fluorescence quenching of Alexa Fluor dyes is a sensitive reporter of conformational changes during protein folding.

  17. Heterochiral Knottin Protein: Folding and Solution Structure. (United States)

    Mong, Surin K; Cochran, Frank V; Yu, Hongtao; Graziano, Zachary; Lin, Yu-Shan; Cochran, Jennifer R; Pentelute, Bradley L


    Homochirality is a general feature of biological macromolecules, and Nature includes few examples of heterochiral proteins. Herein, we report on the design, chemical synthesis, and structural characterization of heterochiral proteins possessing loops of amino acids of chirality opposite to that of the rest of a protein scaffold. Using the protein Ecballium elaterium trypsin inhibitor II, we discover that selective β-alanine substitution favors the efficient folding of our heterochiral constructs. Solution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy of one such heterochiral protein reveals a homogeneous global fold. Additionally, steered molecular dynamics simulation indicate β-alanine reduces the free energy required to fold the protein. We also find these heterochiral proteins to be more resistant to proteolysis than homochiral l-proteins. This work informs the design of heterochiral protein architectures containing stretches of both d- and l-amino acids.

  18. Kinetics and Thermodynamics of Membrane Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernesto A. Roman


    Full Text Available Understanding protein folding has been one of the great challenges in biochemistry and molecular biophysics. Over the past 50 years, many thermodynamic and kinetic studies have been performed addressing the stability of globular proteins. In comparison, advances in the membrane protein folding field lag far behind. Although membrane proteins constitute about a third of the proteins encoded in known genomes, stability studies on membrane proteins have been impaired due to experimental limitations. Furthermore, no systematic experimental strategies are available for folding these biomolecules in vitro. Common denaturing agents such as chaotropes usually do not work on helical membrane proteins, and ionic detergents have been successful denaturants only in few cases. Refolding a membrane protein seems to be a craftsman work, which is relatively straightforward for transmembrane β-barrel proteins but challenging for α-helical membrane proteins. Additional complexities emerge in multidomain membrane proteins, data interpretation being one of the most critical. In this review, we will describe some recent efforts in understanding the folding mechanism of membrane proteins that have been reversibly refolded allowing both thermodynamic and kinetic analysis. This information will be discussed in the context of current paradigms in the protein folding field.

  19. Protein folding on a chip

    CERN Multimedia


    "Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory are proposing to use a super- computer originally developed to simulate elementary particles in high- energy physics to help determine the structures and functions of proteins, including, for example, the 30,000 or so proteins encoded by the human genome" (1 page)

  20. Coarsely resolved topography along protein folding pathways (United States)

    Fernández, Ariel; Kostov, Konstantin S.; Berry, R. Stephen


    The kinetic data from the coarse representation of polypeptide torsional dynamics described in the preceding paper [Fernandez and Berry, J. Chem. Phys. 112, 5212 (2000), preceding paper] is inverted by using detailed balance to obtain a topographic description of the potential-energy surface (PES) along the dominant folding pathway of the bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI). The topography is represented as a sequence of minima and effective saddle points. The dominant folding pathway displays an overall monotonic decrease in energy with a large number of staircaselike steps, a clear signature of a good structure-seeker. The diversity and availability of alternative folding pathways is analyzed in terms of the Shannon entropy σ(t) associated with the time-dependent probability distribution over the kinetic ensemble of contact patterns. Several stages in the folding process are evident. Initially misfolded states form and dismantle revealing no definite pattern in the topography and exhibiting high Shannon entropy. Passage down a sequence of staircase steps then leads to the formation of a nativelike intermediate, for which σ(t) is much lower and fairly constant. Finally, the structure of the intermediate is refined to produce the native state of BPTI. We also examine how different levels of tolerance to mismatches of side chain contacts influence the folding kinetics, the topography of the dominant folding pathway, and the Shannon entropy. This analysis yields upper and lower bounds of the frustration tolerance required for the expeditious and robust folding of BPTI.

  1. In vitro folding of inclusion body proteins. (United States)

    Rudolph, R; Lilie, H


    Insoluble, inactive inclusion bodies are frequently formed upon recombinant protein production in transformed microorganisms. These inclusion bodies, which contain the recombinant protein in an highly enriched form, can be isolated by solid/liquid separation. After solubilization, native proteins can be generated from the inactive material by using in vitro folding techniques. New folding procedures have been developed for efficient in vitro reconstitution of complex hydrophobic, multidomain, oligomeric, or highly disulfide-bonded proteins. These protocols take into account process parameters such as protein concentration, catalysis of disulfide bond formation, temperature, pH, and ionic strength, as well as specific solvent ingredients that reduce unproductive side reactions. Modification of the protein sequence has been exploited to improve in vitro folding.

  2. Equilibrium amide hydrogen exchange and protein folding kinetics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bai Yawen


    The classical Linderstrom-Lang hydrogen exchange (HX) model is extended to describe the relationship between the HX behaviors (EX1 and EX2) and protein folding kinetics for the amide protons that can only exchange by global unfolding in a three-state system including native (N), intermediate (I), and unfolded (U) states. For these slowly exchanging amide protons, it is shown that the existence of an intermediate (I) has no effect on the HX behavior in an off-pathway three-state system (I↔U↔N). On the other hand, in an on-pathway three-state system (U↔I↔N), the existence of a stable folding intermediate has profound effect on the HX behavior. It is shown that fast refolding from the unfolded state to the stable intermediate state alone does not guarantee EX2 behavior. The rate of refolding from the intermediate state to the native state also plays a crucial role in determining whether EX1 or EX2 behavior should occur. This is mainly due to the fact that only amide protons in the native state are observed in the hydrogen exchange experiment. These new concepts suggest that caution needs to be taken if one tries to derive the kinetic events of protein folding from equilibrium hydrogen exchange experiments

  3. Solvent Effects on Protein Folding/Unfolding (United States)

    García, A. E.; Hillson, N.; Onuchic, J. N.

    Pressure effects on the hydrophobic potential of mean force led Hummer et al. to postulate a model for pressure denaturation of proteins in which denaturation occurs by means of water penetration into the protein interior, rather than by exposing the protein hydrophobic core to the solvent --- commonly used to describe temperature denaturation. We study the effects of pressure in protein folding/unfolding kinetics in an off-lattice minimalist model of a protein in which pressure effects have been incorporated by means of the pair-wise potential of mean force of hydrophobic groups in water. We show that pressure slows down the kinetics of folding by decreasing the reconfigurational diffusion coefficient and moves the location of the folding transition state.

  4. Coherent topological phenomena in protein folding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Henrik; Brunak, Søren; Bohr, Jakob


    A theory is presented for coherent topological phenomena in protein dynamics with implications for protein folding and stability. We discuss the relationship to the writhing number used in knot diagrams of DNA. The winding state defines a long-range order along the backbone of a protein with long......-range excitations, `wring' modes, that play an important role in protein denaturation and stability. Energy can be pumped into these excitations, either thermally or by an external force....

  5. Experimental investigation of protein folding and misfolding. (United States)

    Dobson, Christopher M


    Newly synthesised proteins need to fold, often to intricate and close-packed structures, in order to function. The underlying mechanism by which this complex process takes place both in vitro and in vivo is now becoming understood, at least in general terms, as a result of the application of a wide range of biophysical and computational methods used in combination with the techniques of biochemistry and protein engineering. It is increasingly apparent, however, that folding is not only crucial for generating biological activity, but that it is also coupled to a wide range of processes within the cell, ranging from the trafficking of proteins to specific organelles to the regulation of cell growth and differentiation. Not surprisingly, therefore, the failure of proteins to fold appropriately, or to remain correctly folded, is associated with a large number of cellular malfunctions that give rise to disease. Misfolding, and its consequences such as aggregation, can be investigated by extending the types of techniques used to study the normal folding process. Application of these techniques is enabling the development of a unified description of the interconversion and regulation of the different conformational states available to proteins in living systems. Such a description proves a generic basis for understanding the fundamental links between protein misfolding and its associated clinical disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and Type II diabetes, and for exploring novel therapeutic strategies directed at their prevention and treatment on a rational basis.

  6. Melody discrimination and protein fold classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert P. Bywater


    Full Text Available One of the greatest challenges in theoretical biophysics and bioinformatics is the identification of protein folds from sequence data. This can be regarded as a pattern recognition problem. In this paper we report the use of a melody generation software where the inputs are derived from calculations of evolutionary information, secondary structure, flexibility, hydropathy and solvent accessibility from multiple sequence alignment data. The melodies so generated are derived from the sequence, and by inference, of the fold, in ways that give each fold a sound representation that may facilitate analysis, recognition, or comparison with other sequences.

  7. Towards a systematic classification of protein folds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindgård, Per-Anker; Bohr, Henrik


    structures are given a unique name, which simultaneously represent a linear string of physical coupling constants describing hinge spin interactions. We have defined a metric and a precise distance measure between the fold classes. An automated procedure is constructed in which any protein structure...

  8. Nanoscale Dewetting Transition in Protein Complex Folding (United States)

    Hua, Lan; Huang, Xuhui; Liu, Pu; Zhou, Ruhong; Berne, Bruce J.


    In a previous study, a surprising drying transition was observed to take place inside the nanoscale hydrophobic channel in the tetramer of the protein melittin. The goal of this paper is to determine if there are other protein complexes capable of displaying a dewetting transition during their final stage of folding. We searched the entire protein data bank (PDB) for all possible candidates, including protein tetramers, dimers, and two-domain proteins, and then performed the molecular dynamics (MD) simulations on the top candidates identified by a simple hydrophobic scoring function based on aligned hydrophobic surface areas. Our large scale MD simulations found several more proteins, including three tetramers, six dimers, and two two-domain proteins, which display a nanoscale dewetting transition in their final stage of folding. Even though the scoring function alone is not sufficient (i.e., a high score is necessary but not sufficient) in identifying the dewetting candidates, it does provide useful insights into the features of complex interfaces needed for dewetting. All top candidates have two features in common: (1) large aligned (matched) hydrophobic areas between two corresponding surfaces, and (2) large connected hydrophobic areas on the same surface. We have also studied the effect on dewetting of different water models and different treatments of the long-range electrostatic interactions (cutoff vs PME), and found the dewetting phenomena is fairly robust. This work presents a few proteins other than melittin tetramer for further experimental studies of the role of dewetting in the end stages of protein folding. PMID:17608515

  9. Predicting protein folding pathways at the mesoscopic level based on native interactions between secondary structure elements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sze Sing-Hoi


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Since experimental determination of protein folding pathways remains difficult, computational techniques are often used to simulate protein folding. Most current techniques to predict protein folding pathways are computationally intensive and are suitable only for small proteins. Results By assuming that the native structure of a protein is known and representing each intermediate conformation as a collection of fully folded structures in which each of them contains a set of interacting secondary structure elements, we show that it is possible to significantly reduce the conformation space while still being able to predict the most energetically favorable folding pathway of large proteins with hundreds of residues at the mesoscopic level, including the pig muscle phosphoglycerate kinase with 416 residues. The model is detailed enough to distinguish between different folding pathways of structurally very similar proteins, including the streptococcal protein G and the peptostreptococcal protein L. The model is also able to recognize the differences between the folding pathways of protein G and its two structurally similar variants NuG1 and NuG2, which are even harder to distinguish. We show that this strategy can produce accurate predictions on many other proteins with experimentally determined intermediate folding states. Conclusion Our technique is efficient enough to predict folding pathways for both large and small proteins at the mesoscopic level. Such a strategy is often the only feasible choice for large proteins. A software program implementing this strategy (SSFold is available at

  10. Energetic frustrations in protein folding at residue resolution: a homologous simulation study of Im9 proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yunxiang Sun

    Full Text Available Energetic frustration is becoming an important topic for understanding the mechanisms of protein folding, which is a long-standing big biological problem usually investigated by the free energy landscape theory. Despite the significant advances in probing the effects of folding frustrations on the overall features of protein folding pathways and folding intermediates, detailed characterizations of folding frustrations at an atomic or residue level are still lacking. In addition, how and to what extent folding frustrations interact with protein topology in determining folding mechanisms remains unclear. In this paper, we tried to understand energetic frustrations in the context of protein topology structures or native-contact networks by comparing the energetic frustrations of five homologous Im9 alpha-helix proteins that share very similar topology structures but have a single hydrophilic-to-hydrophobic mutual mutation. The folding simulations were performed using a coarse-grained Gō-like model, while non-native hydrophobic interactions were introduced as energetic frustrations using a Lennard-Jones potential function. Energetic frustrations were then examined at residue level based on φ-value analyses of the transition state ensemble structures and mapped back to native-contact networks. Our calculations show that energetic frustrations have highly heterogeneous influences on the folding of the four helices of the examined structures depending on the local environment of the frustration centers. Also, the closer the introduced frustration is to the center of the native-contact network, the larger the changes in the protein folding. Our findings add a new dimension to the understanding of protein folding the topology determination in that energetic frustrations works closely with native-contact networks to affect the protein folding.

  11. Protein folding and the organization of the protein topology universe

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lindorff-Larsen,, Kresten; Røgen, Peter; Paci, Emanuele


    residues and, in addition, that the topology of the transition state is closer to that of the native state than to that of any other fold in the protein universe. Here, we review the evidence for these conclusions and suggest a molecular mechanism that rationalizes these findings by presenting a view...... of protein folds that is based on the topological features of the polypeptide backbone, rather than the conventional view that depends on the arrangement of different types of secondary-structure elements. By linking the folding process to the organization of the protein structure universe, we propose...

  12. Protein Folding: Search for Basic Physical Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Y. Torshin


    Full Text Available How a unique three-dimensional structure is rapidly formed from the linear sequence of a polypeptide is one of the important questions in contemporary science. Apart from biological context of in vivo protein folding (which has been studied only for a few proteins, the roles of the fundamental physical forces in the in vitro folding remain largely unstudied. Despite a degree of success in using descriptions based on statistical and/or thermodynamic approaches, few of the current models explicitly include more basic physical forces (such as electrostatics and Van Der Waals forces. Moreover, the present-day models rarely take into account that the protein folding is, essentially, a rapid process that produces a highly specific architecture. This review considers several physical models that may provide more direct links between sequence and tertiary structure in terms of the physical forces. In particular, elaboration of such simple models is likely to produce extremely effective computational techniques with value for modern genomics.

  13. Nucleation phenomena in protein folding: the modulating role of protein sequence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Travasso, Rui D M; FaIsca, Patricia F N; Gama, Margarida M Telo da


    For the vast majority of naturally occurring, small, single-domain proteins, folding is often described as a two-state process that lacks detectable intermediates. This observation has often been rationalized on the basis of a nucleation mechanism for protein folding whose basic premise is the idea that, after completion of a specific set of contacts forming the so-called folding nucleus, the native state is achieved promptly. Here we propose a methodology to identify folding nuclei in small lattice polymers and apply it to the study of protein molecules with a chain length of N = 48. To investigate the extent to which protein topology is a robust determinant of the nucleation mechanism, we compare the nucleation scenario of a native-centric model with that of a sequence-specific model sharing the same native fold. To evaluate the impact of the sequence's finer details in the nucleation mechanism, we consider the folding of two non-homologous sequences. We conclude that, in a sequence-specific model, the folding nucleus is, to some extent, formed by the most stable contacts in the protein and that the less stable linkages in the folding nucleus are solely determined by the fold's topology. We have also found that, independently of the protein sequence, the folding nucleus performs the same 'topological' function. This unifying feature of the nucleation mechanism results from the residues forming the folding nucleus being distributed along the protein chain in a similar and well-defined manner that is determined by the fold's topological features

  14. Long-Lived Folding Intermediates Predominate the Targeting-Competent Secretome

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tsirigotaki, Alexandra; Chatzi, Katerina E; Koukaki, Marina


    is unknown, but is generally attributed to signal peptides and chaperones. We herein demonstrate that, during targeting, most mature domains maintain loosely packed folding intermediates. These largely soluble states are signal peptide independent and essential for translocase recognition...

  15. Folding Membrane Proteins by Deep Transfer Learning

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Sheng


    Computational elucidation of membrane protein (MP) structures is challenging partially due to lack of sufficient solved structures for homology modeling. Here, we describe a high-throughput deep transfer learning method that first predicts MP contacts by learning from non-MPs and then predicts 3D structure models using the predicted contacts as distance restraints. Tested on 510 non-redundant MPs, our method has contact prediction accuracy at least 0.18 better than existing methods, predicts correct folds for 218 MPs, and generates 3D models with root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) less than 4 and 5 Å for 57 and 108 MPs, respectively. A rigorous blind test in the continuous automated model evaluation project shows that our method predicted high-resolution 3D models for two recent test MPs of 210 residues with RMSD ∼2 Å. We estimated that our method could predict correct folds for 1,345–1,871 reviewed human multi-pass MPs including a few hundred new folds, which shall facilitate the discovery of drugs targeting at MPs.

  16. The Folding of de Novo Designed Protein DS119 via Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moye Wang


    Full Text Available As they are not subjected to natural selection process, de novo designed proteins usually fold in a manner different from natural proteins. Recently, a de novo designed mini-protein DS119, with a βαβ motif and 36 amino acids, has folded unusually slowly in experiments, and transient dimers have been detected in the folding process. Here, by means of all-atom replica exchange molecular dynamics (REMD simulations, several comparably stable intermediate states were observed on the folding free-energy landscape of DS119. Conventional molecular dynamics (CMD simulations showed that when two unfolded DS119 proteins bound together, most binding sites of dimeric aggregates were located at the N-terminal segment, especially residues 5–10, which were supposed to form β-sheet with its own C-terminal segment. Furthermore, a large percentage of individual proteins in the dimeric aggregates adopted conformations similar to those in the intermediate states observed in REMD simulations. These results indicate that, during the folding process, DS119 can easily become trapped in intermediate states. Then, with diffusion, a transient dimer would be formed and stabilized with the binding interface located at N-terminals. This means that it could not quickly fold to the native structure. The complicated folding manner of DS119 implies the important influence of natural selection on protein-folding kinetics, and more improvement should be achieved in rational protein design.

  17. Dry molten globule intermediates and the mechanism of protein unfolding. (United States)

    Baldwin, Robert L; Frieden, Carl; Rose, George D


    New experimental results show that either gain or loss of close packing can be observed as a discrete step in protein folding or unfolding reactions. This finding poses a significant challenge to the conventional two-state model of protein folding. Results of interest involve dry molten globule (DMG) intermediates, an expanded form of the protein that lacks appreciable solvent. When an unfolding protein expands to the DMG state, side chains unlock and gain conformational entropy, while liquid-like van der Waals interactions persist. Four unrelated proteins are now known to form DMGs as the first step of unfolding, suggesting that such an intermediate may well be commonplace in both folding and unfolding. Data from the literature show that peptide amide protons are protected in the DMG, indicating that backbone structure is intact despite loss of side-chain close packing. Other complementary evidence shows that secondary structure formation provides a major source of compaction during folding. In our model, the major free-energy barrier separating unfolded from native states usually occurs during the transition between the unfolded state and the DMG. The absence of close packing at this barrier provides an explanation for why phi-values, derived from a Brønsted-Leffler plot, depend primarily on structure at the mutational site and not on specific side-chain interactions. The conventional two-state folding model breaks down when there are DMG intermediates, a realization that has major implications for future experimental work on the mechanism of protein folding. 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  18. Thermodynamic properties of an extremely rapid protein folding reaction. (United States)

    Schindler, T; Schmid, F X


    The cold-shock protein CspB from Bacillus subtilis is a very small beta-barrel protein, which folds with a time constant of 1 ms (at 25 degrees C) in a U reversible N two-state reaction. To elucidate the energetics of this extremely fast reaction we investigated the folding kinetics of CspB as a function of both temperature and denaturant concentration between 2 and 45 degrees C and between 1 and 8 M urea. Under all these conditions unfolding and refolding were reversible monoexponential reactions. By using transition state theory, data from 327 kinetic curves were jointly analyzed to determine the thermodynamic activation parameters delta H H2O++, delta S H2O++, delta G H2O++, and delta C p H2O++ for unfolding and refolding and their dependences on the urea concentration. 90% of the total change in heat capacity and 96% of the change in the m value (m = d delta G/d[urea]) occur between the unfolded state and the activated state. This suggests that for CspB the activated state of folding is unusually well structured and almost equivalent to the native protein in its interactions with the solvent. As a consequence of this native-like activated state a strong temperature-dependent enthalpy/entropy compensation is observed for the refolding kinetics, and the barrier to refolding shifts from being largely enthalpic at low temperature to largely entropic at high temperature. This shift originates not from the changes in the folding protein chains itself, but from the changes in the protein-solvent interactions. We speculate that the absence of intermediates and the native-like activated state in the folding of CspB are correlated with the small size and the structural type of this protein. The stabilization of a small beta-sheet as in CspB requires extensive non-local interactions, and therefore incomplete sheets are unstable. As a consequence, the critical activated state is reached only very late in folding. The instability of partially folded structure is a means to

  19. Autonomously folding protein fragments reveal differences in the energy landscapes of homologous RNases H.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura E Rosen

    Full Text Available An important approach to understanding how a protein sequence encodes its energy landscape is to compare proteins with different sequences that fold to the same general native structure. In this work, we compare E. coli and T. thermophilus homologs of the protein RNase H. Using protein fragments, we create equilibrium mimics of two different potential partially-folded intermediates (I(core and I(core+1 hypothesized to be present on the energy landscapes of these two proteins. We observe that both T. thermophilus RNase H (ttRNH fragments are folded and have distinct stabilities, indicating that both regions are capable of autonomous folding and that both intermediates are present as local minima on the ttRNH energy landscape. In contrast, the two E. coli RNase H (ecRNH fragments have very similar stabilities, suggesting that the presence of additional residues in the I(core+1 fragment does not affect the folding or structure as compared to I(core. NMR experiments provide additional evidence that only the I(core intermediate is populated by ecRNH. This is one of the biggest differences that has been observed between the energy landscapes of these two proteins. Additionally, we used a FRET experiment in the background of full-length ttRNH to specifically monitor the formation of the I(core+1 intermediate. We determine that the ttRNH I(core+1 intermediate is likely the intermediate populated prior to the rate-limiting barrier to global folding, in contrast to E. coli RNase H for which I(core is the folding intermediate. This result provides new insight into the nature of the rate-limiting barrier for the folding of RNase H.

  20. Improving decoy databases for protein folding algorithms

    KAUST Repository

    Lindsey, Aaron


    Copyright © 2014 ACM. Predicting protein structures and simulating protein folding are two of the most important problems in computational biology today. Simulation methods rely on a scoring function to distinguish the native structure (the most energetically stable) from non-native structures. Decoy databases are collections of non-native structures used to test and verify these functions. We present a method to evaluate and improve the quality of decoy databases by adding novel structures and removing redundant structures. We test our approach on 17 different decoy databases of varying size and type and show significant improvement across a variety of metrics. We also test our improved databases on a popular modern scoring function and show that they contain a greater number of native-like structures than the original databases, thereby producing a more rigorous database for testing scoring functions.

  1. Protein folding and protein metallocluster studies using synchrotron small angler X-ray scattering

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eliezer, D.


    Proteins, biological macromolecules composed of amino-acid building blocks, possess unique three dimensional shapes or conformations which are intimately related to their biological function. All of the information necessary to determine this conformation is stored in a protein's amino acid sequence. The problem of understanding the process by which nature maps protein amino-acid sequences to three-dimensional conformations is known as the protein folding problem, and is one of the central unsolved problems in biophysics today. The possible applications of a solution are broad, ranging from the elucidation of thousands of protein structures to the rational modification and design of protein-based drugs. The scattering of X-rays by matter has long been useful as a tool for the characterization of physical properties of materials, including biological samples. The high photon flux available at synchrotron X-ray sources allows for the measurement of scattering cross-sections of dilute and/or disordered samples. Such measurements do not yield the detailed geometrical information available from crystalline samples, but do allow for lower resolution studies of dynamical processes not observable in the crystalline state. The main focus of the work described here has been the study of the protein folding process using time-resolved small-angle x-ray scattering measurements. The original intention was to observe the decrease in overall size which must accompany the folding of a protein from an extended conformation to its compact native state. Although this process proved too fast for the current time-resolution of the technique, upper bounds were set on the probable compaction times of several small proteins. In addition, an interesting and unexpected process was detected, in which the folding protein passes through an intermediate state which shows a tendency to associate. This state is proposed to be a kinetic molten globule folding intermediate

  2. Some physical approaches to protein folding (United States)

    Bascle, J.; Garel, T.; Orland, H.


    To understand how a protein folds is a problem which has important biological implications. In this article, we would like to present a physics-oriented point of view, which is twofold. First of all, we introduce simple statistical mechanics models which display, in the thermodynamic limit, folding and related transitions. These models can be divided into (i) crude spin glass-like models (with their Mattis analogs), where one may look for possible correlations between the chain self-interactions and the folded structure, (ii) glass-like models, where one emphasizes the geometrical competition between one- or two-dimensional local order (mimicking α helix or β sheet structures), and the requirement of global compactness. Both models are too simple to predict the spatial organization of a realistic protein, but are useful for the physicist and should have some feedback in other glassy systems (glasses, collapsed polymers .... ). These remarks lead us to the second physical approach, namely a new Monte-Carlo method, where one grows the protein atom-by-atom (or residue-by-residue), using a standard form (CHARMM .... ) for the total energy. A detailed comparison with other Monte-Carlo schemes, or Molecular Dynamics calculations, is then possible; we will sketch such a comparison for poly-alanines. Our twofold approach illustrates some of the difficulties one encounters in the protein folding problem, in particular those associated with the existence of a large number of metastable states. Le repliement des protéines est un problème qui a de nombreuses implications biologiques. Dans cet article, nous présentons, de deux façons différentes, un point de vue de physicien. Nous introduisons tout d'abord des modèles simples de mécanique statistique qui exhibent, à la limite thermodynamique, des transitions de repliement. Ces modèles peuvent être divisés en (i) verres de spin (éventuellement à la Mattis), où l'on peut chercher des corrélations entre les

  3. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks (United States)

    Jo, Taeho; Hou, Jie; Eickholt, Jesse; Cheng, Jianlin


    For accurate recognition of protein folds, a deep learning network method (DN-Fold) was developed to predict if a given query-template protein pair belongs to the same structural fold. The input used stemmed from the protein sequence and structural features extracted from the protein pair. We evaluated the performance of DN-Fold along with 18 different methods on Lindahl’s benchmark dataset and on a large benchmark set extracted from SCOP 1.75 consisting of about one million protein pairs, at three different levels of fold recognition (i.e., protein family, superfamily, and fold) depending on the evolutionary distance between protein sequences. The correct recognition rate of ensembled DN-Fold for Top 1 predictions is 84.5%, 61.5%, and 33.6% and for Top 5 is 91.2%, 76.5%, and 60.7% at family, superfamily, and fold levels, respectively. We also evaluated the performance of single DN-Fold (DN-FoldS), which showed the comparable results at the level of family and superfamily, compared to ensemble DN-Fold. Finally, we extended the binary classification problem of fold recognition to real-value regression task, which also show a promising performance. DN-Fold is freely available through a web server at

  4. Improving Protein Fold Recognition by Deep Learning Networks. (United States)

    Jo, Taeho; Hou, Jie; Eickholt, Jesse; Cheng, Jianlin


    For accurate recognition of protein folds, a deep learning network method (DN-Fold) was developed to predict if a given query-template protein pair belongs to the same structural fold. The input used stemmed from the protein sequence and structural features extracted from the protein pair. We evaluated the performance of DN-Fold along with 18 different methods on Lindahl's benchmark dataset and on a large benchmark set extracted from SCOP 1.75 consisting of about one million protein pairs, at three different levels of fold recognition (i.e., protein family, superfamily, and fold) depending on the evolutionary distance between protein sequences. The correct recognition rate of ensembled DN-Fold for Top 1 predictions is 84.5%, 61.5%, and 33.6% and for Top 5 is 91.2%, 76.5%, and 60.7% at family, superfamily, and fold levels, respectively. We also evaluated the performance of single DN-Fold (DN-FoldS), which showed the comparable results at the level of family and superfamily, compared to ensemble DN-Fold. Finally, we extended the binary classification problem of fold recognition to real-value regression task, which also show a promising performance. DN-Fold is freely available through a web server at

  5. An overlapping region between the two terminal folding units of the outer surface protein A (OspA) controls its folding behavior. (United States)

    Makabe, Koki; Nakamura, Takashi; Dhar, Debanjan; Ikura, Teikichi; Koide, Shohei; Kuwajima, Kunihiro


    Although many naturally occurring proteins consist of multiple domains, most studies on protein folding to date deal with single-domain proteins or isolated domains of multi-domain proteins. Studies of multi-domain protein folding are required for further advancing our understanding of protein folding mechanisms. Borrelia outer surface protein A (OspA) is a β-rich two-domain protein, in which two globular domains are connected by a rigid and stable single-layer β-sheet. Thus, OspA is particularly suited as a model system for studying the interplays of domains in protein folding. Here, we studied the equilibria and kinetics of the urea-induced folding-unfolding reactions of OspA probed with tryptophan fluorescence and ultraviolet circular dichroism. Global analysis of the experimental data revealed compelling lines of evidence for accumulation of an on-pathway intermediate during kinetic refolding and for the identity between the kinetic intermediate and a previously described equilibrium unfolding intermediate. The results suggest that the intermediate has the fully native structure in the N-terminal domain and the single layer β-sheet, with the C-terminal domain still unfolded. The observation of the productive on-pathway folding intermediate clearly indicates substantial interactions between the two domains mediated by the single-layer β-sheet. We propose that a rigid and stable intervening region between two domains creates an overlap between two folding units and can energetically couple their folding reactions. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  6. Ligand-promoted protein folding by biased kinetic partitioning. (United States)

    Hingorani, Karan S; Metcalf, Matthew C; Deming, Derrick T; Garman, Scott C; Powers, Evan T; Gierasch, Lila M


    Protein folding in cells occurs in the presence of high concentrations of endogenous binding partners, and exogenous binding partners have been exploited as pharmacological chaperones. A combined mathematical modeling and experimental approach shows that a ligand improves the folding of a destabilized protein by biasing the kinetic partitioning between folding and alternative fates (aggregation or degradation). Computationally predicted inhibition of test protein aggregation and degradation as a function of ligand concentration are validated by experiments in two disparate cellular systems.

  7. Simulation of fluorescence resonance energy transfer experiments: effect of the dyes on protein folding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allen, Lucy R; Paci, Emanuele


    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer is a powerful technique which is often used to probe the properties of proteins and complex macromolecules. The technique relies on relatively large fluorescent dyes which are engineered into the molecule of interest. In the case of small proteins, these dyes may affect the stability of the protein, and modify the folding kinetics and the folding mechanisms which are being probed. Here we use atomistic simulation to investigate the effect that commonly used fluorescent dyes have on the folding of a four-helix bundle protein. We show that, depending on where the dyes are attached, their effect on the kinetic and thermodynamic properties of the protein may be significant. We find that, while the overall folding mechanism is not affected by the dyes, they can destabilize, or even stabilize, intermediate states.

  8. Cotranslational protein folding reveals the selective use of ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    to fold properly by decelerating the translation rate at these sites. Thus the cotranslational protein folding is believed to be true for many proteins and is an important selection factor for the selective codon usage to optimize proper gene expres- sion and function (Komar 2009). A web server CS and S has been created by ...

  9. Atomistic structural ensemble refinement reveals non-native structure stabilizes a sub-millisecond folding intermediate of CheY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shi, Jade; Schwantes, Christian; Bilsel, Osman


    The dynamics of globular proteins can be described in terms of transitions between a folded native state and less-populated intermediates, or excited states, which can play critical roles in both protein folding and function. Excited states are by definition transient species, and therefore are difficult to characterize using current experimental techniques. We report an atomistic model of the excited state ensemble of a stabilized mutant of an extensively studied flavodoxin fold protein CheY. We employed a hybrid simulation and experimental approach in which an aggregate 42 milliseconds of all-atom molecular dynamics were used as an informative prior for the structure of the excited state ensemble. The resulting prior was then refined against small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data employing an established method (EROS). The most striking feature of the resulting excited state ensemble was an unstructured N-terminus stabilized by non-native contacts in a conformation that is topologically simpler than the native state. We then predict incisive single molecule FRET experiments, using these results, as a means of model validation. Our study demonstrates the paradigm of uniting simulation and experiment in a statistical model to study the structure of protein excited states and rationally design validating experiments.

  10. Folding of multidomain proteins: biophysical consequences of tethering even in apparently independent folding. (United States)

    Arviv, Oshrit; Levy, Yaakov


    Most eukaryotic and a substantial fraction of prokaryotic proteins are composed of more than one domain. The tethering of these evolutionary, structural, and functional units raises, among others, questions regarding the folding process of conjugated domains. Studying the folding of multidomain proteins in silico enables one to identify and isolate the tethering-induced biophysical determinants that govern crosstalks generated between neighboring domains. For this purpose, we carried out coarse-grained and atomistic molecular dynamics simulations of two two-domain constructs from the immunoglobulin-like β-sandwich fold. Each of these was experimentally shown to behave as the "sum of its parts," that is, the thermodynamic and kinetic folding behavior of the constituent domains of these constructs seems to occur independently, with the folding of each domain uncoupled from the folding of its partner in the two-domain construct. We show that the properties of the individual domains can be significantly affected by conjugation to another domain. The tethering may be accompanied by stabilizing as well as destabilizing factors whose magnitude depends on the size of the interface, the length, and the flexibility of the linker, and the relative stability of the domains. Accordingly, the folding of a multidomain protein should not be viewed as the sum of the folding patterns of each of its parts, but rather, it involves abrogating several effects that lead to this outcome. An imbalance between these effects may result in either stabilization or destabilization owing to the tethering. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Improving protein fold recognition by extracting fold-specific features from predicted residue-residue contacts. (United States)

    Zhu, Jianwei; Zhang, Haicang; Li, Shuai Cheng; Wang, Chao; Kong, Lupeng; Sun, Shiwei; Zheng, Wei-Mou; Bu, Dongbo


    Accurate recognition of protein fold types is a key step for template-based prediction of protein structures. The existing approaches to fold recognition mainly exploit the features derived from alignments of query protein against templates. These approaches have been shown to be successful for fold recognition at family level, but usually failed at superfamily/fold levels. To overcome this limitation, one of the key points is to explore more structurally informative features of proteins. Although residue-residue contacts carry abundant structural information, how to thoroughly exploit these information for fold recognition still remains a challenge. In this study, we present an approach (called DeepFR) to improve fold recognition at superfamily/fold levels. The basic idea of our approach is to extract fold-specific features from predicted residue-residue contacts of proteins using deep convolutional neural network (DCNN) technique. Based on these fold-specific features, we calculated similarity between query protein and templates, and then assigned query protein with fold type of the most similar template. DCNN has showed excellent performance in image feature extraction and image recognition; the rational underlying the application of DCNN for fold recognition is that contact likelihood maps are essentially analogy to images, as they both display compositional hierarchy. Experimental results on the LINDAHL dataset suggest that even using the extracted fold-specific features alone, our approach achieved success rate comparable to the state-of-the-art approaches. When further combining these features with traditional alignment-related features, the success rate of our approach increased to 92.3%, 82.5% and 78.8% at family, superfamily and fold levels, respectively, which is about 18% higher than the state-of-the-art approach at fold level, 6% higher at superfamily level and 1% higher at family level. An independent assessment on SCOP_TEST dataset showed consistent

  12. Microwave-enhanced folding and denaturation of globular proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bohr, Henrik; Bohr, Jakob


    It is shown that microwave irradiation can affect the kinetics of the folding process of some globular proteins, especially beta-lactoglobulin. At low temperature the folding from the cold denatured phase of the protein is enhanced, while at a higher temperature the denaturation of the protein from...... its folded state is enhanced. In the latter case, a negative temperature gradient is needed for the denaturation process, suggesting that the effects of the microwaves are nonthermal. This supports the notion that coherent topological excitations can exist in proteins. The application of microwaves...

  13. Self-organized critical model for protein folding (United States)

    Moret, M. A.


    The major factor that drives a protein toward collapse and folding is the hydrophobic effect. At the folding process a hydrophobic core is shielded by the solvent-accessible surface area of the protein. We study the fractal behavior of 5526 protein structures present in the Brookhaven Protein Data Bank. Power laws of protein mass, volume and solvent-accessible surface area are measured independently. The present findings indicate that self-organized criticality is an alternative explanation for the protein folding. Also we note that the protein packing is an independent and constant value because the self-similar behavior of the volumes and protein masses have the same fractal dimension. This power law guarantees that a protein is a complex system. From the analyzed data, q-Gaussian distributions seem to fit well this class of systems.

  14. Topologies to geometries in protein folding: Hierarchical and nonhierarchical scenarios (United States)

    Fernández, Ariel; Colubri, Andrés; Berry, R. Stephen


    This work presents a method to portray protein folding dynamics at a coarse resolution, based on a pattern-recognition-and-feedback description of the evolution of torsional motions of the backbone chain in the hydrophobic collapse of the protein. The approach permits theory and computation to treat the search of conformation space from picoseconds to the millisecond time scale or longer, the time scales of adiabatic evolution of soft-mode dynamics. The procedure tracks the backbone torsional coordinates modulo the basins of attraction to which they belong in the Ramachandran maps. The state and history of the backbone are represented in a map of local torsional states and hydrophobicity/hydrophilicity matching of the residues comprising the chain, the local topology matrix (LTM). From this map, we infer allowable structural features by recognizing patterns in the LTM as topologically compatible with particular structural forms within a level of frustration tolerance. Each such 3D realization of an LTM leads to a contact map, from which one can infer one or more structures. Introduction of energetic and entropic terms allow elimination of all but the most favored of these structures at each new juncture. The method's predictive power is first established by comparing "final," stable LTMs for natural sequences of intermediate length (N⩽120) with PDB data. The method is extended further to β-lactoglobulin (β-LG, N=162), the quintessential nonhierarchical folder.

  15. Protein solubility and folding enhancement by interaction with RNA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seong Il Choi

    Full Text Available While basic mechanisms of several major molecular chaperones are well understood, this machinery has been known to be involved in folding of only limited number of proteins inside the cells. Here, we report a chaperone type of protein folding facilitated by interaction with RNA. When an RNA-binding module is placed at the N-terminus of aggregation-prone target proteins, this module, upon binding with RNA, further promotes the solubility of passenger proteins, potentially leading to enhancement of proper protein folding. Studies on in vitro refolding in the presence of RNA, coexpression of RNA molecules in vivo and the mutants with impaired RNA binding ability suggests that RNA can exert chaperoning effect on their bound proteins. The results suggest that RNA binding could affect the overall kinetic network of protein folding pathway in favor of productive folding over off-pathway aggregation. In addition, the RNA binding-mediated solubility enhancement is extremely robust for increasing soluble yield of passenger proteins and could be usefully implemented for high-throughput protein expression for functional and structural genomic research initiatives. The RNA-mediated chaperone type presented here would give new insights into de novo folding in vivo.

  16. Water dynamics clue to key residues in protein folding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gao, Meng; Zhu, Huaiqiu; Yao, Xin-Qiu; She, Zhen-Su


    A computational method independent of experimental protein structure information is proposed to recognize key residues in protein folding, from the study of hydration water dynamics. Based on all-atom molecular dynamics simulation, two key residues are recognized with distinct water dynamical behavior in a folding process of the Trp-cage protein. The identified key residues are shown to play an essential role in both 3D structure and hydrophobic-induced collapse. With observations on hydration water dynamics around key residues, a dynamical pathway of folding can be interpreted.

  17. Protein folding pathology in domestic animals. (United States)

    Gruys, Erik


    Fibrillar proteins form structural elements of cells and the extracellular matrix. Pathological lesions of fibrillar microanatomical structures, or secondary fibrillar changes in globular proteins are well known. A special group concerns histologically amorphous deposits, amyloid. The major characteristics of amyloid are: apple green birefringence after Congo red staining of histological sections, and non-branching 7-10 nm thick fibrils on electron microscopy revealing a high content of cross beta pleated sheets. About 25 different types of amyloid have been characterised. In animals, AA-amyloid is the most frequent type. Other types of amyloid in animals represent: AIAPP (in cats), AApoAI, AApoAII, localised AL-amyloid, amyloid in odontogenic or mammary tumors and amyloid in the brain. In old dogs Abeta and in sheep APrPsc-amyloid can be encountered. AA-amyloidosis is a systemic disorder with a precursor in blood, acute phase serum amyloid A (SAA). In chronic inflammatory processes AA-amyloid can be deposited. A rapid crystallization of SAA to amyloid fibrils on small beta-sheeted fragments, the 'amyloid enhancing factor' (AEF), is known and the AEF has been shown to penetrate the enteric barrier. Amyloid fibrils can aggregate from various precursor proteins in vitro in particular at acidic pH and when proteolytic fragments are formed. Molecular chaperones influence this process. Tissue data point to amyloid fibrillogenesis in lysosomes and near cell surfaces. A comparison can be made of the fibrillogenesis in prion diseases and in enhanced AA-amyloidosis. In the reactive form, acute phase SAA is the supply of the precursor protein, whereas in the prion diseases, cell membrane proteins form a structural source. Abeta-amyloid in brain tissue of aged dogs showing signs of dementia forms a canine counterpart of senile dementia of the Alzheimer type (ccSDAT) in man. Misfolded proteins remain potential food hazards. Developments concerning prevention of amyloidogenesis

  18. Intermediate filament protein evolution and protists. (United States)

    Preisner, Harald; Habicht, Jörn; Garg, Sriram G; Gould, Sven B


    Metazoans evolved from a single protist lineage. While all eukaryotes share a conserved actin and tubulin-based cytoskeleton, it is commonly perceived that intermediate filaments (IFs), including lamin, vimentin or keratin among many others, are restricted to metazoans. Actin and tubulin proteins are conserved enough to be detectable across all eukaryotic genomes using standard phylogenetic methods, but IF proteins, in contrast, are notoriously difficult to identify by such means. Since the 1950s, dozens of cytoskeletal proteins in protists have been identified that seemingly do not belong to any of the IF families described for metazoans, yet, from a structural and functional perspective fit criteria that define metazoan IF proteins. Here, we briefly review IF protein discovery in metazoans and the implications this had for the definition of this protein family. We argue that the many cytoskeletal and filament-forming proteins of protists should be incorporated into a more comprehensive picture of IF evolution by aligning it with the recent identification of lamins across the phylogenetic diversity of eukaryotic supergroups. This then brings forth the question of how the diversity of IF proteins has unfolded. The evolution of IF proteins likely represents an example of convergent evolution, which, in combination with the speed with which these cytoskeletal proteins are evolving, generated their current diversity. IF proteins did not first emerge in metazoa, but in protists. Only the emergence of cytosolic IF proteins that appear to stem from a nuclear lamin is unique to animals and coincided with the emergence of true animal multicellularity. © 2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  19. Transiently disordered tails accelerate folding of globular proteins. (United States)

    Mallik, Saurav; Ray, Tanaya; Kundu, Sudip


    Numerous biological proteins exhibit intrinsic disorder at their termini, which are associated with multifarious functional roles. Here, we show the surprising result that an increased percentage of terminal short transiently disordered regions with enhanced flexibility (TstDREF) is associated with accelerated folding rates of globular proteins. Evolutionary conservation of predicted disorder at TstDREFs and drastic alteration of folding rates upon point-mutations suggest critical regulatory role(s) of TstDREFs in shaping the folding kinetics. TstDREFs are associated with long-range intramolecular interactions and the percentage of native secondary structural elements physically contacted by TstDREFs exhibit another surprising positive correlation with folding kinetics. These results allow us to infer probable molecular mechanisms behind the TstDREF-mediated regulation of folding kinetics that challenge protein biochemists to assess by direct experimental testing. © 2017 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  20. SVM-Fold: a tool for discriminative multi-class protein fold and superfamily recognition. (United States)

    Melvin, Iain; Ie, Eugene; Kuang, Rui; Weston, Jason; Stafford, William Noble; Leslie, Christina


    Predicting a protein's structural class from its amino acid sequence is a fundamental problem in computational biology. Much recent work has focused on developing new representations for protein sequences, called string kernels, for use with support vector machine (SVM) classifiers. However, while some of these approaches exhibit state-of-the-art performance at the binary protein classification problem, i.e. discriminating between a particular protein class and all other classes, few of these studies have addressed the real problem of multi-class superfamily or fold recognition. Moreover, there are only limited software tools and systems for SVM-based protein classification available to the bioinformatics community. We present a new multi-class SVM-based protein fold and superfamily recognition system and web server called SVM-Fold, which can be found at Our system uses an efficient implementation of a state-of-the-art string kernel for sequence profiles, called the profile kernel, where the underlying feature representation is a histogram of inexact matching k-mer frequencies. We also employ a novel machine learning approach to solve the difficult multi-class problem of classifying a sequence of amino acids into one of many known protein structural classes. Binary one-vs-the-rest SVM classifiers that are trained to recognize individual structural classes yield prediction scores that are not comparable, so that standard "one-vs-all" classification fails to perform well. Moreover, SVMs for classes at different levels of the protein structural hierarchy may make useful predictions, but one-vs-all does not try to combine these multiple predictions. To deal with these problems, our method learns relative weights between one-vs-the-rest classifiers and encodes information about the protein structural hierarchy for multi-class prediction. In large-scale benchmark results based on the SCOP database, our code weighting approach

  1. Degradation of extracytoplasmic catalysts for protein folding in Bacillus subtilis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Krishnappa, Laxmi; Monteferrante, Carmine G; Neef, Jolanda; Dreisbach, Annette; van Dijl, Jan Maarten

    The general protein secretion pathway of Bacillus subtilis has a high capacity for protein export from the cytoplasm, which is exploited in the biotechnological production of a wide range of enzymes. These exported proteins pass the membrane in an unfolded state, and accordingly, they have to fold

  2. Mechanical Modeling and Computer Simulation of Protein Folding (United States)

    Prigozhin, Maxim B.; Scott, Gregory E.; Denos, Sharlene


    In this activity, science education and modern technology are bridged to teach students at the high school and undergraduate levels about protein folding and to strengthen their model building skills. Students are guided from a textbook picture of a protein as a rigid crystal structure to a more realistic view: proteins are highly dynamic…

  3. Solitons and protein folding: An In Silico experiment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ilieva, N.; Dai, J.; Sieradzan, A.; Niemi, A.


    Protein folding [1] is the process of formation of a functional 3D structure from a random coil — the shape in which amino-acid chains leave the ribosome. Anfinsen’s dogma states that the native 3D shape of a protein is completely determined by protein’s amino acid sequence. Despite the progress in understanding the process rate and the success in folding prediction for some small proteins, with presently available physics-based methods it is not yet possible to reliably deduce the shape of a biologically active protein from its amino acid sequence. The protein-folding problem endures as one of the most important unresolved problems in science; it addresses the origin of life itself. Furthermore, a wrong fold is a common cause for a protein to lose its function or even endanger the living organism. Soliton solutions of a generalized discrete non-linear Schrödinger equation (GDNLSE) obtained from the energy function in terms of bond and torsion angles κ and τ provide a constructive theoretical framework for describing protein folds and folding patterns [2]. Here we study the dynamics of this process by means of molecular-dynamics simulations. The soliton manifestation is the pattern helix–loop–helix in the secondary structure of the protein, which explains the importance of understanding loop formation in helical proteins. We performed in silico experiments for unfolding one subunit of the core structure of gp41 from the HIV envelope glycoprotein (PDB ID: 1AIK [3]) by molecular-dynamics simulations with the MD package GROMACS. We analyzed 80 ns trajectories, obtained with one united-atom and two different all-atom force fields, to justify the side-chain orientation quantification scheme adopted in the studies and to eliminate force-field based artifacts. Our results are compatible with the soliton model of protein folding and provide first insight into soliton-formation dynamics

  4. Solitons and protein folding: An In Silico experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ilieva, N., E-mail: [Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Bulgarian Aacademy of Sciences, Sofia (Bulgaria); Dai, J., E-mail: [School of Physics, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing (China); Sieradzan, A., E-mail: [Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdańsk, Gdańsk (Poland); Niemi, A., E-mail: [Department of Physics and Astronomy, Uppsala University, Uppsala (Sweden); LMPT–CNRS, Université de Tours, Tours (France)


    Protein folding [1] is the process of formation of a functional 3D structure from a random coil — the shape in which amino-acid chains leave the ribosome. Anfinsen’s dogma states that the native 3D shape of a protein is completely determined by protein’s amino acid sequence. Despite the progress in understanding the process rate and the success in folding prediction for some small proteins, with presently available physics-based methods it is not yet possible to reliably deduce the shape of a biologically active protein from its amino acid sequence. The protein-folding problem endures as one of the most important unresolved problems in science; it addresses the origin of life itself. Furthermore, a wrong fold is a common cause for a protein to lose its function or even endanger the living organism. Soliton solutions of a generalized discrete non-linear Schrödinger equation (GDNLSE) obtained from the energy function in terms of bond and torsion angles κ and τ provide a constructive theoretical framework for describing protein folds and folding patterns [2]. Here we study the dynamics of this process by means of molecular-dynamics simulations. The soliton manifestation is the pattern helix–loop–helix in the secondary structure of the protein, which explains the importance of understanding loop formation in helical proteins. We performed in silico experiments for unfolding one subunit of the core structure of gp41 from the HIV envelope glycoprotein (PDB ID: 1AIK [3]) by molecular-dynamics simulations with the MD package GROMACS. We analyzed 80 ns trajectories, obtained with one united-atom and two different all-atom force fields, to justify the side-chain orientation quantification scheme adopted in the studies and to eliminate force-field based artifacts. Our results are compatible with the soliton model of protein folding and provide first insight into soliton-formation dynamics.

  5. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability. (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe


    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  6. Thermodynamics of protein folding: a random matrix formulation. (United States)

    Shukla, Pragya


    The process of protein folding from an unfolded state to a biologically active, folded conformation is governed by many parameters, e.g. the sequence of amino acids, intermolecular interactions, the solvent, temperature and chaperon molecules. Our study, based on random matrix modeling of the interactions, shows, however, that the evolution of the statistical measures, e.g. Gibbs free energy, heat capacity, and entropy, is single parametric. The information can explain the selection of specific folding pathways from an infinite number of possible ways as well as other folding characteristics observed in computer simulation studies. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd

  7. Folding propensity of intrinsically disordered proteins by osmotic stress

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mansouri, Amanda L.; Grese, Laura N.; Rowe, Erica L.


    Proteins imparted with intrinsic disorder conduct a range of essential cellular functions. To better understand the folding and hydration properties of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), we used osmotic stress to induce conformational changes in nuclear co-activator binding domain (NCBD) and activator for thyroid hormone and retinoid receptor (ACTR). Osmotic stress was applied by the addition of small and polymeric osmolytes, where we discovered that water contributions to NCBD folding always exceeded those for ACTR. Both NCBD and ACTR were found to gain a-helical structure with increasing osmotic stress, consistent with their folding upon NCBD/ACTR complex formation. Using small-angle neutron scattering (SANS), we further characterized NCBD structural changes with the osmolyte ethylene glycol. Here a large reduction in overall size initially occurred before substantial secondary structural change. In conclusion, by focusing on folding propensity, and linked hydration changes, we uncover new insights that may be important for how IDP folding contributes to binding.

  8. Glycoprotein folding and quality-control mechanisms in protein-folding diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sean P. Ferris


    Full Text Available Biosynthesis of proteins – from translation to folding to export – encompasses a complex set of events that are exquisitely regulated and scrutinized to ensure the functional quality of the end products. Cells have evolved to capitalize on multiple post-translational modifications in addition to primary structure to indicate the folding status of nascent polypeptides to the chaperones and other proteins that assist in their folding and export. These modifications can also, in the case of irreversibly misfolded candidates, signal the need for dislocation and degradation. The current Review focuses on the glycoprotein quality-control (GQC system that utilizes protein N-glycosylation and N-glycan trimming to direct nascent glycopolypeptides through the folding, export and dislocation pathways in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER. A diverse set of pathological conditions rooted in defective as well as over-vigilant ER quality-control systems have been identified, underlining its importance in human health and disease. We describe the GQC pathways and highlight disease and animal models that have been instrumental in clarifying our current understanding of these processes.

  9. Identification of intermediate species in protein-folding by ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)


    FRET experiments. Such experi- mental measurements coupled with MEM analysis have actually ... prepared in a buffer of 20 mM Tris (Sigma-Aldrich, USA) and 250 μM ..... exponential and in principle is expected to be a six- exponential decay.

  10. Protein folding and misfolding shining light by infrared spectroscopy

    CERN Document Server

    Fabian, Heinz


    Infrared spectroscopy is a new and innovative technology to study protein folding/misfolding events in the broad arsenal of techniques conventionally used in this field. The progress in understanding protein folding and misfolding is primarily due to the development of biophysical methods which permit to probe conformational changes with high kinetic and structural resolution. The most commonly used approaches rely on rapid mixing methods to initiate the folding event via a sudden change in solvent conditions. Traditionally, techniques such as fluorescence, circular dichroism or visible absorption are applied to probe the process. In contrast to these techniques, infrared spectroscopy came into play only very recently, and the progress made in this field up to date which now permits to probe folding events over the time scale from picoseconds to minutes has not yet been discussed in a book. The aim of this book is to provide an overview of the developments as seen by some of the main contributors to the field...

  11. Probabilistic analysis for identifying the driving force of protein folding (United States)

    Tokunaga, Yoshihiko; Yamamori, Yu; Matubayasi, Nobuyuki


    Toward identifying the driving force of protein folding, energetics was analyzed in water for Trp-cage (20 residues), protein G (56 residues), and ubiquitin (76 residues) at their native (folded) and heat-denatured (unfolded) states. All-atom molecular dynamics simulation was conducted, and the hydration effect was quantified by the solvation free energy. The free-energy calculation was done by employing the solution theory in the energy representation, and it was seen that the sum of the protein intramolecular (structural) energy and the solvation free energy is more favorable for a folded structure than for an unfolded one generated by heat. Probabilistic arguments were then developed to determine which of the electrostatic, van der Waals, and excluded-volume components of the interactions in the protein-water system governs the relative stabilities between the folded and unfolded structures. It was found that the electrostatic interaction does not correspond to the preference order of the two structures. The van der Waals and excluded-volume components were shown, on the other hand, to provide the right order of preference at probabilities of almost unity, and it is argued that a useful modeling of protein folding is possible on the basis of the excluded-volume effect.

  12. Peptide folding in the presence of interacting protein crowders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bille, Anna, E-mail:; Irbäck, Anders, E-mail: [Computational Biology and Biological Physics, Department of Astronomy and Theoretical Physics, Lund University, Sölvegatan 14A, SE-223 62 Lund (Sweden); Mohanty, Sandipan, E-mail: [Jülich Supercomputing Centre, Institute for Advanced Simulation, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich (Germany)


    Using Monte Carlo methods, we explore and compare the effects of two protein crowders, BPTI and GB1, on the folding thermodynamics of two peptides, the compact helical trp-cage and the β-hairpin-forming GB1m3. The thermally highly stable crowder proteins are modeled using a fixed backbone and rotatable side-chains, whereas the peptides are free to fold and unfold. In the simulations, the crowder proteins tend to distort the trp-cage fold, while having a stabilizing effect on GB1m3. The extent of the effects on a given peptide depends on the crowder type. Due to a sticky patch on its surface, BPTI causes larger changes than GB1 in the melting properties of the peptides. The observed effects on the peptides stem largely from attractive and specific interactions with the crowder surfaces, and differ from those seen in reference simulations with purely steric crowder particles.

  13. Interferences of Silica Nanoparticles in Green Fluorescent Protein Folding Processes. (United States)

    Klein, Géraldine; Devineau, Stéphanie; Aude, Jean Christophe; Boulard, Yves; Pasquier, Hélène; Labarre, Jean; Pin, Serge; Renault, Jean Philippe


    We investigated the relationship between unfolded proteins, silica nanoparticles and chaperonin to determine whether unfolded proteins could stick to silica surfaces and how this process could impair heat shock protein activity. The HSP60 catalyzed green fluorescent protein (GFP) folding was used as a model system. The adsorption isotherms and adsorption kinetics of denatured GFP were measured, showing that denaturation increases GFP affinity for silica surfaces. This affinity is maintained even if the surfaces are covered by a protein corona and allows silica NPs to interfere directly with GFP folding by trapping it in its unstructured state. We determined also the adsorption isotherms of HSP60 and its chaperonin activity once adsorbed, showing that SiO2 NP can interfere also indirectly with protein folding through chaperonin trapping and inhibition. This inhibition is specifically efficient when NPs are covered first with a layer of unfolded proteins. These results highlight for the first time the antichaperonin activity of silica NPs and ask new questions about the toxicity of such misfolded proteins/nanoparticles assembly toward cells.

  14. Examining a Thermodynamic Order Parameter of Protein Folding. (United States)

    Chong, Song-Ho; Ham, Sihyun


    Dimensionality reduction with a suitable choice of order parameters or reaction coordinates is commonly used for analyzing high-dimensional time-series data generated by atomistic biomolecular simulations. So far, geometric order parameters, such as the root mean square deviation, fraction of native amino acid contacts, and collective coordinates that best characterize rare or large conformational transitions, have been prevailing in protein folding studies. Here, we show that the solvent-averaged effective energy, which is a thermodynamic quantity but unambiguously defined for individual protein conformations, serves as a good order parameter of protein folding. This is illustrated through the application to the folding-unfolding simulation trajectory of villin headpiece subdomain. We rationalize the suitability of the effective energy as an order parameter by the funneledness of the underlying protein free energy landscape. We also demonstrate that an improved conformational space discretization is achieved by incorporating the effective energy. The most distinctive feature of this thermodynamic order parameter is that it works in pointing to near-native folded structures even when the knowledge of the native structure is lacking, and the use of the effective energy will also find applications in combination with methods of protein structure prediction.

  15. Periodic and stochastic thermal modulation of protein folding kinetics. (United States)

    Platkov, Max; Gruebele, Martin


    Chemical reactions are usually observed either by relaxation of a bulk sample after applying a sudden external perturbation, or by intrinsic fluctuations of a few molecules. Here we show that the two ideas can be combined to measure protein folding kinetics, either by periodic thermal modulation, or by creating artificial thermal noise that greatly exceeds natural thermal fluctuations. We study the folding reaction of the enzyme phosphoglycerate kinase driven by periodic temperature waveforms. As the temperature waveform unfolds and refolds the protein, its fluorescence color changes due to FRET (Förster resonant Energy Transfer) of two donor/acceptor fluorophores labeling the protein. We adapt a simple model of periodically driven kinetics that nicely fits the data at all temperatures and driving frequencies: The phase shifts of the periodic donor and acceptor fluorescence signals as a function of driving frequency reveal reaction rates. We also drive the reaction with stochastic temperature waveforms that produce thermal fluctuations much greater than natural fluctuations in the bulk. Such artificial thermal noise allows the recovery of weak underlying signals due to protein folding kinetics. This opens up the possibility for future detection of a stochastic resonance for protein folding subject to noise with controllable amplitude.

  16. Protein fold recognition using geometric kernel data fusion. (United States)

    Zakeri, Pooya; Jeuris, Ben; Vandebril, Raf; Moreau, Yves


    Various approaches based on features extracted from protein sequences and often machine learning methods have been used in the prediction of protein folds. Finding an efficient technique for integrating these different protein features has received increasing attention. In particular, kernel methods are an interesting class of techniques for integrating heterogeneous data. Various methods have been proposed to fuse multiple kernels. Most techniques for multiple kernel learning focus on learning a convex linear combination of base kernels. In addition to the limitation of linear combinations, working with such approaches could cause a loss of potentially useful information. We design several techniques to combine kernel matrices by taking more involved, geometry inspired means of these matrices instead of convex linear combinations. We consider various sequence-based protein features including information extracted directly from position-specific scoring matrices and local sequence alignment. We evaluate our methods for classification on the SCOP PDB-40D benchmark dataset for protein fold recognition. The best overall accuracy on the protein fold recognition test set obtained by our methods is ∼ 86.7%. This is an improvement over the results of the best existing approach. Moreover, our computational model has been developed by incorporating the functional domain composition of proteins through a hybridization model. It is observed that by using our proposed hybridization model, the protein fold recognition accuracy is further improved to 89.30%. Furthermore, we investigate the performance of our approach on the protein remote homology detection problem by fusing multiple string kernels. The MATLAB code used for our proposed geometric kernel fusion frameworks are publicly available at∼raf.vandebril/homepage/software/geomean.php?menu=5/. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press.

  17. Aggregation of natively folded proteins: a theoretical approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trovato, Antonio; Maritan, Amos; Seno, Flavio


    The reliable identification of β-aggregating stretches in protein sequences is essential for the development of therapeutic agents for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as other pathological conditions associated with protein deposition. While the list of aggregation related diseases is growing, it has also been shown that many proteins that are normally well behaved can be induced to aggregate in vitro. This fact suggests the existence of a unified framework that could explain both folding and aggregation. By assuming this universal behaviour, we have recently introduced an algorithm (PASTA: prediction of amyloid structure aggregation), which is based on a sequence-specific energy function derived from the propensity of two residue types to be found paired in neighbouring strands within β-sheets in globular proteins. The algorithm is able to predict the most aggregation-prone portions of several proteins initially unfolded, in excellent agreement with experimental results. Here, we apply the method to a set of proteins which are known to aggregate, but which are natively folded. The quality of the prediction is again very high, corroborating the hypothesis that the amyloid structure is stabilized by the same physico-chemical determinants as those operating in folded proteins

  18. The nature of folded states of globular proteins. (United States)

    Honeycutt, J D; Thirumalai, D


    We suggest, using dynamical simulations of a simple heteropolymer modelling the alpha-carbon sequence in a protein, that generically the folded states of globular proteins correspond to statistically well-defined metastable states. This hypothesis, called the metastability hypothesis, states that there are several free energy minima separated by barriers of various heights such that the folded conformations of a polypeptide chain in each of the minima have similar structural characteristics but have different energies from one another. The calculated structural characteristics, such as bond angle and dihedral angle distribution functions, are assumed to arise from only those configurations belonging to a given minimum. The validity of this hypothesis is illustrated by simulations of a continuum model of a heteropolymer whose low temperature state is a well-defined beta-barrel structure. The simulations were done using a molecular dynamics algorithm (referred to as the "noisy" molecular dynamics method) containing both friction and noise terms. It is shown that for this model there are several distinct metastable minima in which the structural features are similar. Several new methods of analyzing fluctuations in structures belonging to two distinct minima are introduced. The most notable one is a dynamic measure of compactness that can in principle provide the time required for maximal compactness to be achieved. The analysis shows that for a given metastable state in which the protein has a well-defined folded structure the transition to a state of higher compactness occurs very slowly, lending credence to the notion that the system encounters a late barrier in the process of folding to the most compact structure. The examination of the fluctuations in the structures near the unfolding----folding transition temperature indicates that the transition state for the unfolding to folding process occurs closer to the folded state.

  19. Fast mapping of global protein folding states by multivariate NMR:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Malmendal, Anders; Underhaug, Jarl; Otzen, Daniel


    To obtain insight into the functions of proteins and their specific roles, it is important to establish efficient procedures for exploring the states that encapsulate their conformational space. Global Protein folding State mapping by multivariate NMR (GPS NMR) is a powerful high-throughput method......-lactalbumin in the presence of the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate, SDS, and compare these with other surfactants, acid, denaturants and heat....

  20. Analysis of protein folds using protein contact networks

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    is a well-recognized classification system of proteins, which is based on manual in- ... can easily correspond to the information in the 2D matrix. ..... [7] U K Muppirala and Zhijun Li, Protein Engineering, Design & Selection 19, 265 (2006).

  1. Visualization of protein folding funnels in lattice models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonio B Oliveira

    Full Text Available Protein folding occurs in a very high dimensional phase space with an exponentially large number of states, and according to the energy landscape theory it exhibits a topology resembling a funnel. In this statistical approach, the folding mechanism is unveiled by describing the local minima in an effective one-dimensional representation. Other approaches based on potential energy landscapes address the hierarchical structure of local energy minima through disconnectivity graphs. In this paper, we introduce a metric to describe the distance between any two conformations, which also allows us to go beyond the one-dimensional representation and visualize the folding funnel in 2D and 3D. In this way it is possible to assess the folding process in detail, e.g., by identifying the connectivity between conformations and establishing the paths to reach the native state, in addition to regions where trapping may occur. Unlike the disconnectivity maps method, which is based on the kinetic connections between states, our methodology is based on structural similarities inferred from the new metric. The method was developed in a 27-mer protein lattice model, folded into a 3×3×3 cube. Five sequences were studied and distinct funnels were generated in an analysis restricted to conformations from the transition-state to the native configuration. Consistent with the expected results from the energy landscape theory, folding routes can be visualized to probe different regions of the phase space, as well as determine the difficulty in folding of the distinct sequences. Changes in the landscape due to mutations were visualized, with the comparison between wild and mutated local minima in a single map, which serves to identify different trapping regions. The extension of this approach to more realistic models and its use in combination with other approaches are discussed.

  2. Protein Folding Free Energy Landscape along the Committor - the Optimal Folding Coordinate. (United States)

    Krivov, Sergei V


    Recent advances in simulation and experiment have led to dramatic increases in the quantity and complexity of produced data, which makes the development of automated analysis tools very important. A powerful approach to analyze dynamics contained in such data sets is to describe/approximate it by diffusion on a free energy landscape - free energy as a function of reaction coordinates (RC). For the description to be quantitatively accurate, RCs should be chosen in an optimal way. Recent theoretical results show that such an optimal RC exists; however, determining it for practical systems is a very difficult unsolved problem. Here we describe a solution to this problem. We describe an adaptive nonparametric approach to accurately determine the optimal RC (the committor) for an equilibrium trajectory of a realistic system. In contrast to alternative approaches, which require a functional form with many parameters to approximate an RC and thus extensive expertise with the system, the suggested approach is nonparametric and can approximate any RC with high accuracy without system specific information. To avoid overfitting for a realistically sampled system, the approach performs RC optimization in an adaptive manner by focusing optimization on less optimized spatiotemporal regions of the RC. The power of the approach is illustrated on a long equilibrium atomistic folding simulation of HP35 protein. We have determined the optimal folding RC - the committor, which was confirmed by passing a stringent committor validation test. It allowed us to determine a first quantitatively accurate protein folding free energy landscape. We have confirmed the recent theoretical results that diffusion on such a free energy profile can be used to compute exactly the equilibrium flux, the mean first passage times, and the mean transition path times between any two points on the profile. We have shown that the mean squared displacement along the optimal RC grows linear with time as for

  3. Two states or not two states: Single-molecule folding studies of protein L (United States)

    Aviram, Haim Yuval; Pirchi, Menahem; Barak, Yoav; Riven, Inbal; Haran, Gilad


    Experimental tools of increasing sophistication have been employed in recent years to study protein folding and misfolding. Folding is considered a complex process, and one way to address it is by studying small proteins, which seemingly possess a simple energy landscape with essentially only two stable states, either folded or unfolded. The B1-IgG binding domain of protein L (PL) is considered a model two-state folder, based on measurements using a wide range of experimental techniques. We applied single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy in conjunction with a hidden Markov model analysis to fully characterize the energy landscape of PL and to extract the kinetic properties of individual molecules of the protein. Surprisingly, our studies revealed the existence of a third state, hidden under the two-state behavior of PL due to its small population, ˜7%. We propose that this minority intermediate involves partial unfolding of the two C-terminal β strands of PL. Our work demonstrates that single-molecule FRET spectroscopy can be a powerful tool for a comprehensive description of the folding dynamics of proteins, capable of detecting and characterizing relatively rare metastable states that are difficult to observe in ensemble studies.

  4. Characterisation of transition state structures for protein folding using 'high', 'medium' and 'low' {Phi}-values. (United States)

    Geierhaas, Christian D; Salvatella, Xavier; Clarke, Jane; Vendruscolo, Michele


    It has been suggested that Phi-values, which allow structural information about transition states (TSs) for protein folding to be obtained, are most reliably interpreted when divided into three classes (high, medium and low). High Phi-values indicate almost completely folded regions in the TS, intermediate Phi-values regions with a detectable amount of structure and low Phi-values indicate mostly unstructured regions. To explore the extent to which this classification can be used to characterise in detail the structure of TSs for protein folding, we used Phi-values divided into these classes as restraints in molecular dynamics simulations. This type of procedure is related to that used in NMR spectroscopy to define the structure of native proteins from the measurement of inter-proton distances derived from nuclear Overhauser effects. We illustrate this approach by determining the TS ensembles of five proteins and by showing that the results are similar to those obtained by using as restraints the actual numerical Phi-values measured experimentally. Our results indicate that the simultaneous consideration of a set of low-resolution Phi-values can provide sufficient information for characterising the architecture of a TS for folding of a protein.

  5. Sampling-based exploration of folded state of a protein under kinematic and geometric constraints

    KAUST Repository

    Yao, Peggy


    Flexibility is critical for a folded protein to bind to other molecules (ligands) and achieve its functions. The conformational selection theory suggests that a folded protein deforms continuously and its ligand selects the most favorable conformations to bind to. Therefore, one of the best options to study protein-ligand binding is to sample conformations broadly distributed over the protein-folded state. This article presents a new sampler, called kino-geometric sampler (KGS). This sampler encodes dominant energy terms implicitly by simple kinematic and geometric constraints. Two key technical contributions of KGS are (1) a robotics-inspired Jacobian-based method to simultaneously deform a large number of interdependent kinematic cycles without any significant break-up of the closure constraints, and (2) a diffusive strategy to generate conformation distributions that diffuse quickly throughout the protein folded state. Experiments on four very different test proteins demonstrate that KGS can efficiently compute distributions containing conformations close to target (e.g., functional) conformations. These targets are not given to KGS, hence are not used to bias the sampling process. In particular, for a lysine-binding protein, KGS was able to sample conformations in both the intermediate and functional states without the ligand, while previous work using molecular dynamics simulation had required the ligand to be taken into account in the potential function. Overall, KGS demonstrates that kino-geometric constraints characterize the folded subset of a protein conformation space and that this subset is small enough to be approximated by a relatively small distribution of conformations. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Monovalent cation induced structural transitions in telomeric DNAs: G-DNA folding intermediates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardin, C.C.; Watson, T.; Henderson, E.; Prosser, J.K.


    Telomeric DNA consists of G- and C-rich strands that are always polarized such that the G-rich strand extends past the 3' end of the duplex to form a 12-16-base overhang. These overhanging strands can self-associate in vitro to form intramolecular structures that have several unusual physical properties and at least one common feature, the presence of non-Watson-Crick G·G base pairs. The term G-DNA was coined for this class of structures. On the basis of gel electrophoresis, imino proton NMR, and circular dichroism (CD) results, the authors find that changing the counterions from sodium to potassium specifically induces conformational transitions in the G-rich telomeric DNA from Tetrahymena, d(T 2 G 4 ) 4 (TET4), which results in a change from the intramolecular species to an apparent multistranded structure, accompanied by an increase in the melting temperature of the base pairs of >25 degree, as monitored by loss of the imino proton NMR signals. They infer that the multistranded structure is a quadruplex. The results indicate that specific differences in ionic interactions can result in a switch in telomeric DNAs between intramolecular hairpin-like or quadruplex-containing species and intermolecular quadruplex structures, all of which involve G·G base pairing interaction. They propose a model in which duplex or hairpin forms of G-DNA are folding intermediates in the formation of either 1-, 2-, or 4-stranded quadruplex structures

  7. Detecting protein folding by thermal fluctuations of microcantilevers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romina Muñoz

    Full Text Available The accurate characterization of proteins in both their native and denatured states is essential to effectively understand protein function, folding and stability. As a proof of concept, a micro rheological method is applied, based on the characterization of thermal fluctuations of a micro cantilever immersed in a bovine serum albumin solution, to assess changes in the viscosity associated with modifications in the protein's structure under the denaturant effect of urea. Through modeling the power spectrum density of the cantilever's fluctuations over a broad frequency band, it is possible to implement a fitting procedure to accurately determine the viscosity of the fluid, even at low volumes. Increases in viscosity during the denaturant process are identified using the assumption that the protein is a hard sphere, with a hydrodynamic radius that increases during unfolding. This is modeled accordingly through the Einstein-Batchelor formula. The Einstein-Batchelor formula estimates are verified through dynamic light scattering, which measures the hydrodynamic radius of proteins. Thus, this methodology is proven to be suitable for the study of protein folding in samples of small size at vanishing shear stresses.

  8. Protein folding on the ribosome studied using NMR spectroscopy (United States)

    Waudby, Christopher A.; Launay, Hélène; Cabrita, Lisa D.; Christodoulou, John


    NMR spectroscopy is a powerful tool for the investigation of protein folding and misfolding, providing a characterization of molecular structure, dynamics and exchange processes, across a very wide range of timescales and with near atomic resolution. In recent years NMR methods have also been developed to study protein folding as it might occur within the cell, in a de novo manner, by observing the folding of nascent polypeptides in the process of emerging from the ribosome during synthesis. Despite the 2.3 MDa molecular weight of the bacterial 70S ribosome, many nascent polypeptides, and some ribosomal proteins, have sufficient local flexibility that sharp resonances may be observed in solution-state NMR spectra. In providing information on dynamic regions of the structure, NMR spectroscopy is therefore highly complementary to alternative methods such as X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, which have successfully characterized the rigid core of the ribosome particle. However, the low working concentrations and limited sample stability associated with ribosome–nascent chain complexes means that such studies still present significant technical challenges to the NMR spectroscopist. This review will discuss the progress that has been made in this area, surveying all NMR studies that have been published to date, and with a particular focus on strategies for improving experimental sensitivity. PMID:24083462

  9. Chloroplast Chaperonin: An Intricate Protein Folding Machine for Photosynthesis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qian Zhao


    Full Text Available Group I chaperonins are large cylindrical-shaped nano-machines that function as a central hub in the protein quality control system in the bacterial cytosol, mitochondria and chloroplasts. In chloroplasts, proteins newly synthesized by chloroplast ribosomes, unfolded by diverse stresses, or translocated from the cytosol run the risk of aberrant folding and aggregation. The chloroplast chaperonin system assists these proteins in folding into their native states. A widely known protein folded by chloroplast chaperonin is the large subunit of ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (Rubisco, an enzyme responsible for the fixation of inorganic CO2 into organic carbohydrates during photosynthesis. Chloroplast chaperonin was initially identified as a Rubisco-binding protein. All photosynthetic eucaryotes genomes encode multiple chaperonin genes which can be divided into α and β subtypes. Unlike the homo-oligomeric chaperonins from bacteria and mitochondria, chloroplast chaperonins are more complex and exists as intricate hetero-oligomers containing both subtypes. The Group I chaperonin requires proper interaction with a detachable lid-like co-chaperonin in the presence of ATP and Mg2+ for substrate encapsulation and conformational transition. Besides the typical Cpn10-like co-chaperonin, a unique co-chaperonin consisting of two tandem Cpn10-like domains joined head-to-tail exists in chloroplasts. Since chloroplasts were proposed as sensors to various environmental stresses, this diversified chloroplast chaperonin system has the potential to adapt to complex conditions by accommodating specific substrates or through regulation at both the transcriptional and post-translational levels. In this review, we discuss recent progress on the unique structure and function of the chloroplast chaperonin system based on model organisms Chlamydomonas reinhardtii and Arabidopsis thaliana. Knowledge of the chloroplast chaperonin system may ultimately lead

  10. What determines the structures of native folds of proteins?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trovato, Antonio; Hoang, Trinh X; Banavar, Jayanth R; Maritan, Amos; Seno, Flavio


    We review a simple physical model (Hoang et al 2004 Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. USA 101 7960, Banavar et al 2004 Phys. Rev. E at press) which captures the essential physico-chemical ingredients that determine protein structure, such as the inherent anisotropy of a chain molecule, the geometrical and energetic constraints placed by hydrogen bonds, sterics, and hydrophobicity. Within this framework, marginally compact conformations resembling the native state folds of proteins emerge as competing minima in the free energy landscape. Here we demonstrate that a hydrophobic-polar (HP) sequence composed of regularly repeated patterns has as its ground state a β-helical structure remarkably similar to a known architecture in the Protein Data Bank

  11. Chemical Denaturants Smoothen Ruggedness on the Free Energy Landscape of Protein Folding. (United States)

    Malhotra, Pooja; Jethva, Prashant N; Udgaonkar, Jayant B


    To characterize experimentally the ruggedness of the free energy landscape of protein folding is challenging, because the distributed small free energy barriers are usually dominated by one, or a few, large activation free energy barriers. This study delineates changes in the roughness of the free energy landscape by making use of the observation that a decrease in ruggedness is accompanied invariably by an increase in folding cooperativity. Hydrogen exchange (HX) coupled to mass spectrometry was used to detect transient sampling of local energy minima and the global unfolded state on the free energy landscape of the small protein single-chain monellin. Under native conditions, local noncooperative openings result in interconversions between Boltzmann-distributed intermediate states, populated on an extremely rugged "uphill" energy landscape. The cooperativity of these interconversions was increased by selectively destabilizing the native state via mutations, and further by the addition of a chemical denaturant. The perturbation of stability alone resulted in seven backbone amide sites exchanging cooperatively. The size of the cooperatively exchanging and/or unfolding unit did not depend on the extent of protein destabilization. Only upon the addition of a denaturant to a destabilized mutant variant did seven additional backbone amide sites exchange cooperatively. Segmentwise analysis of the HX kinetics of the mutant variants further confirmed that the observed increase in cooperativity was due to the smoothing of the ruggedness of the free energy landscape of folding of the protein by the chemical denaturant.

  12. Entropic formulation for the protein folding process: Hydrophobic stability correlates with folding rates (United States)

    Dal Molin, J. P.; Caliri, A.


    Here we focus on the conformational search for the native structure when it is ruled by the hydrophobic effect and steric specificities coming from amino acids. Our main tool of investigation is a 3D lattice model provided by a ten-letter alphabet, the stereochemical model. This minimalist model was conceived for Monte Carlo (MC) simulations when one keeps in mind the kinetic behavior of protein-like chains in solution. We have three central goals here. The first one is to characterize the folding time (τ) by two distinct sampling methods, so we present two sets of 103 MC simulations for a fast protein-like sequence. The resulting sets of characteristic folding times, τ and τq were obtained by the application of the standard Metropolis algorithm (MA), as well as by an enhanced algorithm (Mq A). The finding for τq shows two things: (i) the chain-solvent hydrophobic interactions {hk } plus a set of inter-residues steric constraints {ci,j } are able to emulate the conformational search for the native structure. For each one of the 103MC performed simulations, the target is always found within a finite time window; (ii) the ratio τq / τ ≅ 1 / 10 suggests that the effect of local thermal fluctuations, encompassed by the Tsallis weight, provides to the chain an innate efficiency to escape from energetic and steric traps. We performed additional MC simulations with variations of our design rule to attest this first result, both algorithms the MA and the Mq A were applied to a restricted set of targets, a physical insight is provided. Our second finding was obtained by a set of 600 independent MC simulations, only performed with the Mq A applied to an extended set of 200 representative targets, our native structures. The results show how structural patterns should modulate τq, which cover four orders of magnitude; this finding is our second goal. The third, and last result, was obtained with a special kind of simulation performed with the purpose to explore a

  13. Protein folding simulations by generalized-ensemble algorithms. (United States)

    Yoda, Takao; Sugita, Yuji; Okamoto, Yuko


    In the protein folding problem, conventional simulations in physical statistical mechanical ensembles, such as the canonical ensemble with fixed temperature, face a great difficulty. This is because there exist a huge number of local-minimum-energy states in the system and the conventional simulations tend to get trapped in these states, giving wrong results. Generalized-ensemble algorithms are based on artificial unphysical ensembles and overcome the above difficulty by performing random walks in potential energy, volume, and other physical quantities or their corresponding conjugate parameters such as temperature, pressure, etc. The advantage of generalized-ensemble simulations lies in the fact that they not only avoid getting trapped in states of energy local minima but also allows the calculations of physical quantities as functions of temperature or other parameters from a single simulation run. In this article we review the generalized-ensemble algorithms. Four examples, multicanonical algorithm, replica-exchange method, replica-exchange multicanonical algorithm, and multicanonical replica-exchange method, are described in detail. Examples of their applications to the protein folding problem are presented.

  14. Roles of beta-turns in protein folding: from peptide models to protein engineering. (United States)

    Marcelino, Anna Marie C; Gierasch, Lila M


    Reverse turns are a major class of protein secondary structure; they represent sites of chain reversal and thus sites where the globular character of a protein is created. It has been speculated for many years that turns may nucleate the formation of structure in protein folding, as their propensity to occur will favor the approximation of their flanking regions and their general tendency to be hydrophilic will favor their disposition at the solvent-accessible surface. Reverse turns are local features, and it is therefore not surprising that their structural properties have been extensively studied using peptide models. In this article, we review research on peptide models of turns to test the hypothesis that the propensities of turns to form in short peptides will relate to the roles of corresponding sequences in protein folding. Turns with significant stability as isolated entities should actively promote the folding of a protein, and by contrast, turn sequences that merely allow the chain to adopt conformations required for chain reversal are predicted to be passive in the folding mechanism. We discuss results of protein engineering studies of the roles of turn residues in folding mechanisms. Factors that correlate with the importance of turns in folding indeed include their intrinsic stability, as well as their topological context and their participation in hydrophobic networks within the protein's structure.

  15. When fast is better: protein folding fundamentals and mechanisms from ultrafast approaches. (United States)

    Muñoz, Victor; Cerminara, Michele


    Protein folding research stalled for decades because conventional experiments indicated that proteins fold slowly and in single strokes, whereas theory predicted a complex interplay between dynamics and energetics resulting in myriad microscopic pathways. Ultrafast kinetic methods turned the field upside down by providing the means to probe fundamental aspects of folding, test theoretical predictions and benchmark simulations. Accordingly, experimentalists could measure the timescales for all relevant folding motions, determine the folding speed limit and confirm that folding barriers are entropic bottlenecks. Moreover, a catalogue of proteins that fold extremely fast (microseconds) could be identified. Such fast-folding proteins cross shallow free energy barriers or fold downhill, and thus unfold with minimal co-operativity (gradually). A new generation of thermodynamic methods has exploited this property to map folding landscapes, interaction networks and mechanisms at nearly atomic resolution. In parallel, modern molecular dynamics simulations have finally reached the timescales required to watch fast-folding proteins fold and unfold in silico All of these findings have buttressed the fundamentals of protein folding predicted by theory, and are now offering the first glimpses at the underlying mechanisms. Fast folding appears to also have functional implications as recent results connect downhill folding with intrinsically disordered proteins, their complex binding modes and ability to moonlight. These connections suggest that the coupling between downhill (un)folding and binding enables such protein domains to operate analogically as conformational rheostats. © 2016 The Author(s).

  16. Impact of hydrodynamic interactions on protein folding rates depends on temperature (United States)

    Zegarra, Fabio C.; Homouz, Dirar; Eliaz, Yossi; Gasic, Andrei G.; Cheung, Margaret S.


    We investigated the impact of hydrodynamic interactions (HI) on protein folding using a coarse-grained model. The extent of the impact of hydrodynamic interactions, whether it accelerates, retards, or has no effect on protein folding, has been controversial. Together with a theoretical framework of the energy landscape theory (ELT) for protein folding that describes the dynamics of the collective motion with a single reaction coordinate across a folding barrier, we compared the kinetic effects of HI on the folding rates of two protein models that use a chain of single beads with distinctive topologies: a 64-residue α /β chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 (CI2) protein, and a 57-residue β -barrel α -spectrin Src-homology 3 domain (SH3) protein. When comparing the protein folding kinetics simulated with Brownian dynamics in the presence of HI to that in the absence of HI, we find that the effect of HI on protein folding appears to have a "crossover" behavior about the folding temperature. This means that at a temperature greater than the folding temperature, the enhanced friction from the hydrodynamic solvents between the beads in an unfolded configuration results in lowered folding rate; conversely, at a temperature lower than the folding temperature, HI accelerates folding by the backflow of solvent toward the folded configuration of a protein. Additionally, the extent of acceleration depends on the topology of a protein: for a protein like CI2, where its folding nucleus is rather diffuse in a transition state, HI channels the formation of contacts by favoring a major folding pathway in a complex free energy landscape, thus accelerating folding. For a protein like SH3, where its folding nucleus is already specific and less diffuse, HI matters less at a temperature lower than the folding temperature. Our findings provide further theoretical insight to protein folding kinetic experiments and simulations.

  17. An expanded view of the protein folding landscape of PDZ domains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hultqvist, Greta; Pedersen, Søren W; Chi, Celestine N.


    state. In light of these results, we have re-analyzed previous folding data on PDZ domains and present a unified folding mechanism with three distinct transition states separated by two high-energy intermediates. Our data show that sequence composition tunes the relative stabilities of folding...

  18. Structural Conservation of the Myoviridae Phage Tail Sheath Protein Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aksyuk, Anastasia A.; Kurochkina, Lidia P.; Fokine, Andrei; Forouhar, Farhad; Mesyanzhinov, Vadim V.; Tong, Liang; Rossmann, Michael G. (SOIBC); (Purdue); (Columbia)


    Bacteriophage phiKZ is a giant phage that infects Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. The phiKZ virion consists of a 1450 {angstrom} diameter icosahedral head and a 2000 {angstrom}-long contractile tail. The structure of the whole virus was previously reported, showing that its tail organization in the extended state is similar to the well-studied Myovirus bacteriophage T4 tail. The crystal structure of a tail sheath protein fragment of phiKZ was determined to 2.4 {angstrom} resolution. Furthermore, crystal structures of two prophage tail sheath proteins were determined to 1.9 and 3.3 {angstrom} resolution. Despite low sequence identity between these proteins, all of these structures have a similar fold. The crystal structure of the phiKZ tail sheath protein has been fitted into cryo-electron-microscopy reconstructions of the extended tail sheath and of a polysheath. The structural rearrangement of the phiKZ tail sheath contraction was found to be similar to that of phage T4.

  19. Sampling-based exploration of folded state of a protein under kinematic and geometric constraints

    KAUST Repository

    Yao, Peggy; Zhang, Liangjun; Latombe, Jean-Claude


    Flexibility is critical for a folded protein to bind to other molecules (ligands) and achieve its functions. The conformational selection theory suggests that a folded protein deforms continuously and its ligand selects the most favorable

  20. Denatured state is critical in determining the properties of model proteins designed on different folds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Amatori, Andrea; Ferkinghoff-Borg, Jesper; Tiana, Guido


    The thermodynamics of proteins designed on three common folds (SH3, chymotrypsin inhibitor 2 [CI2], and protein G) is studied with a simplified C alpha, model and compared with the thermodynamics of proteins designed on random-generated folds. The model allows to design sequences to fold within a...

  1. Polymer collapse, protein folding, and the percolation threshold. (United States)

    Meirovitch, Hagai


    We study the transition of polymers in the dilute regime from a swollen shape at high temperatures to their low-temperature structures. The polymers are modeled by a single self-avoiding walk (SAW) on a lattice for which l of the monomers (the H monomers) are self-attracting, i.e., if two nonbonded H monomers become nearest neighbors on the lattice they gain energy of interaction (epsilon = -/epsilon/); the second type of monomers, denoted P, are neutral. This HP model was suggested by Lau and Dill (Macromolecules 1989, 22, 3986-3997) to study protein folding, where H and P are the hydrophobic and polar amino acid residues, respectively. The model is simulated on the square and simple cubic (SC) lattices using the scanning method. We show that the ground state and the sharpness of the transition depend on the lattice, the fraction g of the H monomers, as well as on their arrangement along the chain. In particular, if the H monomers are distributed at random and g is larger than the site percolation threshold of the lattice, a collapsed transition is very likely to occur. This conclusion, drawn for the lattice models, is also applicable to proteins where an effective lattice with coordination number between that of the SC lattice and the body centered cubic lattice is defined. Thus, the average fraction of hydrophobic amino acid residues in globular proteins is found to be close to the percolation threshold of the effective lattice.

  2. Chaotic Multiquenching Annealing Applied to the Protein Folding Problem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan Frausto-Solis


    Full Text Available The Chaotic Multiquenching Annealing algorithm (CMQA is proposed. CMQA is a new algorithm, which is applied to protein folding problem (PFP. This algorithm is divided into three phases: (i multiquenching phase (MQP, (ii annealing phase (AP, and (iii dynamical equilibrium phase (DEP. MQP enforces several stages of quick quenching processes that include chaotic functions. The chaotic functions can increase the exploration potential of solutions space of PFP. AP phase implements a simulated annealing algorithm (SA with an exponential cooling function. MQP and AP are delimited by different ranges of temperatures; MQP is applied for a range of temperatures which goes from extremely high values to very high values; AP searches for solutions in a range of temperatures from high values to extremely low values. DEP phase finds the equilibrium in a dynamic way by applying least squares method. CMQA is tested with several instances of PFP.

  3. Shedding Light on Protein Folding, Structural and Functional Dynamics by Single Molecule Studies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Krutika Bavishi


    Full Text Available The advent of advanced single molecule measurements unveiled a great wealth of dynamic information revolutionizing our understanding of protein dynamics and behavior in ways unattainable by conventional bulk assays. Equipped with the ability to record distribution of behaviors rather than the mean property of a population, single molecule measurements offer observation and quantification of the abundance, lifetime and function of multiple protein states. They also permit the direct observation of the transient and rarely populated intermediates in the energy landscape that are typically averaged out in non-synchronized ensemble measurements. Single molecule studies have thus provided novel insights about how the dynamic sampling of the free energy landscape dictates all aspects of protein behavior; from its folding to function. Here we will survey some of the state of the art contributions in deciphering mechanisms that underlie protein folding, structural and functional dynamics by single molecule fluorescence microscopy techniques. We will discuss a few selected examples highlighting the power of the emerging techniques and finally discuss the future improvements and directions.

  4. Improving protein fold recognition and structural class prediction accuracies using physicochemical properties of amino acids. (United States)

    Raicar, Gaurav; Saini, Harsh; Dehzangi, Abdollah; Lal, Sunil; Sharma, Alok


    Predicting the three-dimensional (3-D) structure of a protein is an important task in the field of bioinformatics and biological sciences. However, directly predicting the 3-D structure from the primary structure is hard to achieve. Therefore, predicting the fold or structural class of a protein sequence is generally used as an intermediate step in determining the protein's 3-D structure. For protein fold recognition (PFR) and structural class prediction (SCP), two steps are required - feature extraction step and classification step. Feature extraction techniques generally utilize syntactical-based information, evolutionary-based information and physicochemical-based information to extract features. In this study, we explore the importance of utilizing the physicochemical properties of amino acids for improving PFR and SCP accuracies. For this, we propose a Forward Consecutive Search (FCS) scheme which aims to strategically select physicochemical attributes that will supplement the existing feature extraction techniques for PFR and SCP. An exhaustive search is conducted on all the existing 544 physicochemical attributes using the proposed FCS scheme and a subset of physicochemical attributes is identified. Features extracted from these selected attributes are then combined with existing syntactical-based and evolutionary-based features, to show an improvement in the recognition and prediction performance on benchmark datasets. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. A simple quantitative model of macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding: Application to the murine prion protein(121-231) (United States)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.


    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the effects of macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. Macromolecular crowding is found to promote a decrease of the entropic cost of folding of proteins that produces an increase of both the stability and the folding rate. The acceleration of the folding rate due to macromolecular crowding is shown to be a topology-dependent effect. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). The differential effect of macromolecular crowding as a function of protein topology suffices to make non-native configurations relatively more accessible.

  6. Folding 19 proteins to their native state and stability of large proteins from a coarse-grained model. (United States)

    Kapoor, Abhijeet; Travesset, Alex


    We develop an intermediate resolution model, where the backbone is modeled with atomic resolution but the side chain with a single bead, by extending our previous model (Proteins (2013) DOI: 10.1002/prot.24269) to properly include proline, preproline residues and backbone rigidity. Starting from random configurations, the model properly folds 19 proteins (including a mutant 2A3D sequence) into native states containing β sheet, α helix, and mixed α/β. As a further test, the stability of H-RAS (a 169 residue protein, critical in many signaling pathways) is investigated: The protein is stable, with excellent agreement with experimental B-factors. Despite that proteins containing only α helices fold to their native state at lower backbone rigidity, and other limitations, which we discuss thoroughly, the model provides a reliable description of the dynamics as compared with all atom simulations, but does not constrain secondary structures as it is typically the case in more coarse-grained models. Further implications are described. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Triplex intermediates in folding of human telomeric quadruplexes probed by microsecond-scale molecular dynamics simulations

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Stadlbauer, Petr; Trantírek, L.; Cheatham III, T. E.; Koča, J.; Šponer, Jiří

    105C, OCT2014 (2014), s. 22-35 ISSN 0300-9084 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP208/12/1822; GA ČR(CZ) GA13-28310S Institutional support: RVO:68081707 Keywords : G-DNA folding * Quadruplex * Triplex Subject RIV: BO - Biophysics Impact factor: 2.963, year: 2014

  8. A four-way junction accelerates hairpin ribozyme folding via a discrete intermediate (United States)

    Tan, Elliot; Wilson, Timothy J.; Nahas, Michelle K.; Clegg, Robert M.; Lilley, David M. J.; Ha, Taekjip


    The natural form of the hairpin ribozyme comprises two major structural elements: a four-way RNA junction and two internal loops carried by adjacent arms of the junction. The ribozyme folds into its active conformation by an intimate association between the loops, and the efficiency of this process is greatly enhanced by the presence of the junction. We have used single-molecule spectroscopy to show that the natural form fluctuates among three distinct states: the folded state and two additional, rapidly interconverting states (proximal and distal) that are inherited from the junction. The proximal state juxtaposes the two loop elements, thereby increasing the probability of their interaction and thus accelerating folding by nearly three orders of magnitude and allowing the ribozyme to fold rapidly in physiological conditions. Therefore, the hairpin ribozyme exploits the dynamics of the junction to facilitate the formation of the active site from its other elements. Dynamic interplay between structural elements, as we demonstrate for the hairpin ribozyme, may be a general theme for other functional RNA molecules. PMID:12883002

  9. Flexibility damps macromolecular crowding effects on protein folding dynamics: Application to the murine prion protein (121-231) (United States)

    Bergasa-Caceres, Fernando; Rabitz, Herschel A.


    A model of protein folding kinetics is applied to study the combined effects of protein flexibility and macromolecular crowding on protein folding rate and stability. It is found that the increase in stability and folding rate promoted by macromolecular crowding is damped for proteins with highly flexible native structures. The model is applied to the folding dynamics of the murine prion protein (121-231). It is found that the high flexibility of the native isoform of the murine prion protein (121-231) reduces the effects of macromolecular crowding on its folding dynamics. The relevance of these findings for the pathogenic mechanism are discussed.

  10. Coupling ligand recognition to protein folding in an engineered variant of rabbit ileal lipid binding protein. (United States)

    Kouvatsos, Nikolaos; Meldrum, Jill K; Searle, Mark S; Thomas, Neil R


    We have engineered a variant of the beta-clam shell protein ILBP which lacks the alpha-helical motif that caps the central binding cavity; the mutant protein is sufficiently destabilised that it is unfolded under physiological conditions, however, it unexpectedly binds its natural bile acid substrates with high affinity forming a native-like beta-sheet rich structure and demonstrating strong thermodynamic coupling between ligand binding and protein folding.

  11. Can Natural Proteins Designed with ‘Inverted’ Peptide Sequences Adopt Native-Like Protein Folds? (United States)

    Sridhar, Settu; Guruprasad, Kunchur


    We have carried out a systematic computational analysis on a representative dataset of proteins of known three-dimensional structure, in order to evaluate whether it would possible to ‘swap’ certain short peptide sequences in naturally occurring proteins with their corresponding ‘inverted’ peptides and generate ‘artificial’ proteins that are predicted to retain native-like protein fold. The analysis of 3,967 representative proteins from the Protein Data Bank revealed 102,677 unique identical inverted peptide sequence pairs that vary in sequence length between 5–12 and 18 amino acid residues. Our analysis illustrates with examples that such ‘artificial’ proteins may be generated by identifying peptides with ‘similar structural environment’ and by using comparative protein modeling and validation studies. Our analysis suggests that natural proteins may be tolerant to accommodating such peptides. PMID:25210740

  12. How Robust Is the Mechanism of Folding-Upon-Binding for an Intrinsically Disordered Protein? (United States)

    Bonetti, Daniela; Troilo, Francesca; Brunori, Maurizio; Longhi, Sonia; Gianni, Stefano


    The mechanism of interaction of an intrinsically disordered protein (IDP) with its physiological partner is characterized by a disorder-to-order transition in which a recognition and a binding step take place. Even if the mechanism is quite complex, IDPs tend to bind their partner in a cooperative manner such that it is generally possible to detect experimentally only the disordered unbound state and the structured complex. The interaction between the disordered C-terminal domain of the measles virus nucleoprotein (N TAIL ) and the X domain (XD) of the viral phosphoprotein allows us to detect and quantify the two distinct steps of the overall reaction. Here, we analyze the robustness of the folding of N TAIL upon binding to XD by measuring the effect on both the folding and binding steps of N TAIL when the structure of XD is modified. Because it has been shown that wild-type XD is structurally heterogeneous, populating an on-pathway intermediate under native conditions, we investigated the binding to 11 different site-directed variants of N TAIL of one particular variant of XD (I504A XD) that populates only the native state. Data reveal that the recognition and the folding steps are both affected by the structure of XD, indicating a highly malleable pathway. The experimental results are briefly discussed in the light of previous experiments on other IDPs. Copyright © 2018 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Targeted Molecular Dynamics to determine Focal Adhesion Targeting Domain Folding Intermediates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pallavi Mohanty


    Full Text Available The Focal adhesion kinase (FAT domain of Focal Adhesion Kinase is a four helical bundle known for conformational plasticity. FAT adopts two distinctly different conformations i.e., close (cFAT and arm-exchanged (aeFAT states under native conditions [1]. The slow transition from cFAT to aeFAT is likely to proceed through an open intermediate state that allows YENV motif to attain β-turn conformation and phosphorylation of Y925 by Src kinases [2]. The two end states of FAT are known to interact with Paxillin and are responsible for maintaining steady state in Heart while intermediate conformation interacts with Grb2-SH2 leading to Pathological Cardiac Hypertrophy (PAH [2]. 10ns Targeted Molecular Dynamics (TMD was done between c- and aeFAT in order to explore the conformational transition and to capture pathologically relevant oFAT. Cluster and dynamic cross correlation analysis (DCCA of TMD generated trajectory was done and the selected FAT intermediate was docked with Grb2-SH2 using HADDOCK v2.2 docking followed by molecular dynamics. Conservation analysis of FAT-Grb2 binding site was done using CONSURF [3]. A Pharmacophore FAT-Grb2 complex was generated using SPARKv1.2 and submitted for Virtual screening using BLAZE v4. Drug likeliness and ADMET properties were calculated using MOLINSPIRATION tool. TMD reveals six clusters and DCCA showed positively and negatively correlated region along the transition pathway. Intermediates with competence for Grb2 interaction were docked with Grb2 and best binding complex was further refined. MMPBSA binding energy calculations revealed the best binding pose where the phosphorylated YENV motif of Human FAT interacted with a charged and hydrophobic pocket of Grb2. The conservation analysis showed that the charged pocket was more conserved in comparison with the hydrophobic pocket, hence providing useful insights on binding and specificity determining residues in Grb2. Virtual screening using the pharmacophore

  14. Protein folding: Over half a century lasting quest. Comment on "There and back again: Two views on the protein folding puzzle" by Alexei V. Finkelstein et al. (United States)

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Dokholyan, Nikolay V.


    Most proteins fold into unique three-dimensional (3D) structures that determine their biological functions, such as catalytic activity or macromolecular binding. Misfolded proteins can pose a threat through aberrant interactions with other proteins leading to a number of diseases including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis [1,2]. What does determine 3D structure of proteins? The first clue to this question came more than fifty years ago when Anfinsen demonstrated that unfolded proteins can spontaneously fold to their native 3D structures [3,4]. Anfinsen's experiments lead to the conclusion that proteins fold to unique native structure corresponding to the stable and kinetically accessible free energy minimum, and protein native structure is solely determined by its amino acid sequence. The question of how exactly proteins find their free energy minimum proved to be a difficult problem. One of the puzzles, initially pointed out by Levinthal, was an inconsistency between observed protein folding times and theoretical estimates. A self-avoiding polymer model of a globular protein of 100-residues length on a cubic lattice can sample at least 1047 states. Based on the assumption that conformational sampling occurs at the highest vibrational mode of proteins (∼picoseconds), predicted folding time by searching among all the possible conformations leads to ∼1027 years (much larger than the age of the universe) [5]. In contrast, observed protein folding time range from microseconds to minutes. Due to tremendous theoretical progress in protein folding field that has been achieved in past decades, the source of this inconsistency is currently understood that is thoroughly described in the review by Finkelstein et al. [6].

  15. A model in which heat shock protein 90 targets protein-folding clefts: rationale for a new approach to neuroprotective treatment of protein folding diseases. (United States)

    Pratt, William B; Morishima, Yoshihiro; Gestwicki, Jason E; Lieberman, Andrew P; Osawa, Yoichi


    In an EBM Minireview published in 2010, we proposed that the heat shock protein (Hsp)90/Hsp70-based chaperone machinery played a major role in determining the selection of proteins that have undergone oxidative or other toxic damage for ubiquitination and proteasomal degradation. The proposal was based on a model in which the Hsp90 chaperone machinery regulates signaling by modulating ligand-binding clefts. The model provides a framework for thinking about the development of neuroprotective therapies for protein-folding diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), and the polyglutamine expansion disorders, such as Huntington's disease (HD) and spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA). Major aberrant proteins that misfold and accumulate in these diseases are "client" proteins of the abundant and ubiquitous stress chaperone Hsp90. These Hsp90 client proteins include tau (AD), α-synuclein (PD), huntingtin (HD), and the expanded glutamine androgen receptor (polyQ AR) (SBMA). In this Minireview, we update our model in which Hsp90 acts on protein-folding clefts and show how it forms a rational basis for developing drugs that promote the targeted elimination of these aberrant proteins. © 2014 by the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine.

  16. Folding Dynamics of the Trp-Cage Miniprotein: Evidence for a Native-Like Intermediate from Combined Time-Resolved Vibrational Spectroscopy and Molecular Dynamics Simulations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meuzelaar, H.; Marino, K.A.; Huerta-Viga, A.; Panman, M.R.; Smeenk, L.E.J.; Kettelarij, A.J.; van Maarseveen, J.H.; Timmerman, P.; Bolhuis, P.G.; Woutersen, S.


    Trp-cage is a synthetic 20-residue miniprotein which folds rapidly and spontaneously to a well-defined globular structure more typical of larger proteins. Due to its small size and fast folding, it is an ideal model system for experimental and theoretical investigations of protein folding

  17. A collaborative visual analytics suite for protein folding research. (United States)

    Harvey, William; Park, In-Hee; Rübel, Oliver; Pascucci, Valerio; Bremer, Peer-Timo; Li, Chenglong; Wang, Yusu


    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulation is a crucial tool for understanding principles behind important biochemical processes such as protein folding and molecular interaction. With the rapidly increasing power of modern computers, large-scale MD simulation experiments can be performed regularly, generating huge amounts of MD data. An important question is how to analyze and interpret such massive and complex data. One of the (many) challenges involved in analyzing MD simulation data computationally is the high-dimensionality of such data. Given a massive collection of molecular conformations, researchers typically need to rely on their expertise and prior domain knowledge in order to retrieve certain conformations of interest. It is not easy to make and test hypotheses as the data set as a whole is somewhat "invisible" due to its high dimensionality. In other words, it is hard to directly access and examine individual conformations from a sea of molecular structures, and to further explore the entire data set. There is also no easy and convenient way to obtain a global view of the data or its various modalities of biochemical information. To this end, we present an interactive, collaborative visual analytics tool for exploring massive, high-dimensional molecular dynamics simulation data sets. The most important utility of our tool is to provide a platform where researchers can easily and effectively navigate through the otherwise "invisible" simulation data sets, exploring and examining molecular conformations both as a whole and at individual levels. The visualization is based on the concept of a topological landscape, which is a 2D terrain metaphor preserving certain topological and geometric properties of the high dimensional protein energy landscape. In addition to facilitating easy exploration of conformations, this 2D terrain metaphor also provides a platform where researchers can visualize and analyze various properties (such as contact density) overlayed on the

  18. Recognition and Binding of a Helix-Loop-Helix Peptide to Carbonic Anhydrase Occurs via Partly Folded Intermediate Structures (United States)

    Lignell, Martin; Becker, Hans-Christian


    Abstract We have studied the association of a helix-loop-helix peptide scaffold carrying a benzenesulfonamide ligand to carbonic anhydrase using steady-state and time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy. The helix-loop-helix peptide, developed for biosensing applications, is labeled with the fluorescent probe dansyl, which serves as a polarity-sensitive reporter of the binding event. Using maximum entropy analysis of the fluorescence lifetime of dansyl at 1:1 stoichiometry reveals three characteristic fluorescence lifetime groups, interpreted as differently interacting peptide/protein structures. We characterize these peptide/protein complexes as mostly bound but unfolded, bound and partly folded, and strongly bound and folded. Furthermore, analysis of the fluorescence anisotropy decay resulted in three different dansyl rotational correlation times, namely 0.18, 1.2, and 23 ns. Using the amplitudes of these times, we can correlate the lifetime groups with the corresponding fluorescence anisotropy component. The 23-ns rotational correlation time, which appears with the same amplitude as a 17-ns fluorescence lifetime, shows that the dansyl fluorophore follows the rotational diffusion of carbonic anhydrase when it is a part of the folded peptide/protein complex. A partly folded and partly hydrated interfacial structure is manifested in an 8-ns dansyl fluorescence lifetime and a 1.2-ns rotational correlation time. This structure, we believe, is similar to a molten-globule-like interfacial structure, which allows segmental movement and has a higher degree of solvent exposure of dansyl. Indirect excitation of dansyl on the helix-loop-helix peptide through Förster energy transfer from one or several tryptophans in the carbonic anhydrase shows that the helix-loop-helix scaffold binds to a tryptophan-rich domain of the carbonic anhydrase. We conclude that binding of the peptide to carbonic anhydrase involves a transition from a disordered to an ordered structure of the

  19. A Particle Swarm Optimization-Based Approach with Local Search for Predicting Protein Folding. (United States)

    Yang, Cheng-Hong; Lin, Yu-Shiun; Chuang, Li-Yeh; Chang, Hsueh-Wei


    The hydrophobic-polar (HP) model is commonly used for predicting protein folding structures and hydrophobic interactions. This study developed a particle swarm optimization (PSO)-based algorithm combined with local search algorithms; specifically, the high exploration PSO (HEPSO) algorithm (which can execute global search processes) was combined with three local search algorithms (hill-climbing algorithm, greedy algorithm, and Tabu table), yielding the proposed HE-L-PSO algorithm. By using 20 known protein structures, we evaluated the performance of the HE-L-PSO algorithm in predicting protein folding in the HP model. The proposed HE-L-PSO algorithm exhibited favorable performance in predicting both short and long amino acid sequences with high reproducibility and stability, compared with seven reported algorithms. The HE-L-PSO algorithm yielded optimal solutions for all predicted protein folding structures. All HE-L-PSO-predicted protein folding structures possessed a hydrophobic core that is similar to normal protein folding.

  20. Reliable protein folding on non-funneled energy landscapes: the free energy reaction path


    Lois, Gregg; Blawzdziewicz, Jerzy; O'Hern, Corey S.


    A theoretical framework is developed to study the dynamics of protein folding. The key insight is that the search for the native protein conformation is influenced by the rate r at which external parameters, such as temperature, chemical denaturant or pH, are adjusted to induce folding. A theory based on this insight predicts that (1) proteins with non-funneled energy landscapes can fold reliably to their native state, (2) reliable folding can occur as an equilibrium or out-of-equilibrium pro...

  1. Energy Landscapes: From Protein Folding to Molecular Assembly (United States)

    Databases National Security Education Center (NSEC) Center for Nonlinear Studies Engineering Institute assembly is very common in biology and in nanotechnology. Simple examples of self-assembly are the folding efflux pump machinery, ATP synthase, the ribosome, and many others. In nanotechnology, self-assembly has

  2. Computational Modeling of Proteins based on Cellular Automata: A Method of HP Folding Approximation. (United States)

    Madain, Alia; Abu Dalhoum, Abdel Latif; Sleit, Azzam


    The design of a protein folding approximation algorithm is not straightforward even when a simplified model is used. The folding problem is a combinatorial problem, where approximation and heuristic algorithms are usually used to find near optimal folds of proteins primary structures. Approximation algorithms provide guarantees on the distance to the optimal solution. The folding approximation approach proposed here depends on two-dimensional cellular automata to fold proteins presented in a well-studied simplified model called the hydrophobic-hydrophilic model. Cellular automata are discrete computational models that rely on local rules to produce some overall global behavior. One-third and one-fourth approximation algorithms choose a subset of the hydrophobic amino acids to form H-H contacts. Those algorithms start with finding a point to fold the protein sequence into two sides where one side ignores H's at even positions and the other side ignores H's at odd positions. In addition, blocks or groups of amino acids fold the same way according to a predefined normal form. We intend to improve approximation algorithms by considering all hydrophobic amino acids and folding based on the local neighborhood instead of using normal forms. The CA does not assume a fixed folding point. The proposed approach guarantees one half approximation minus the H-H endpoints. This lower bound guaranteed applies to short sequences only. This is proved as the core and the folds of the protein will have two identical sides for all short sequences.

  3. A Soluble, Folded Protein without Charged Amino Acid Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højgaard, Casper; Kofoed, Christian; Espersen, Roall


    Charges are considered an integral part of protein structure and function, enhancing solubility and providing specificity in molecular interactions. We wished to investigate whether charged amino acids are indeed required for protein biogenesis and whether a protein completely free of titratable...... side chains can maintain solubility, stability, and function. As a model, we used a cellulose-binding domain from Cellulomonas fimi, which, among proteins of more than 100 amino acids, presently is the least charged in the Protein Data Bank, with a total of only four titratable residues. We find...

  4. A Soluble, Folded Protein without Charged Amino Acid Residues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Højgaard, Casper; Kofoed, Christian; Espersen, Roall


    side chains can maintain solubility, stability, and function. As a model, we used a cellulose-binding domain from Cellulomonas fimi, which, among proteins of more than 100 amino acids, presently is the least charged in the Protein Data Bank, with a total of only four titratable residues. We find......Charges are considered an integral part of protein structure and function, enhancing solubility and providing specificity in molecular interactions. We wished to investigate whether charged amino acids are indeed required for protein biogenesis and whether a protein completely free of titratable...... that the protein shows a surprising resilience toward extremes of pH, demonstrating stability and function (cellulose binding) in the pH range from 2 to 11. To ask whether the four charged residues present were required for these properties of this protein, we altered them to nontitratable ones. Remarkably...

  5. An update of the DEF database of protein fold class predictions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reczko, Martin; Karras, Dimitris; Bohr, Henrik


    An update is given on the Database of Expected Fold classes (DEF) that contains a collection of fold-class predictions made from protein sequences and a mail server that provides new predictions for new sequences. To any given sequence one of 49 fold-classes is chosen to classify the structure re...... related to the sequence with high accuracy. The updated predictions system is developed using data from the new version of the 3D-ALI database of aligned protein structures and thus is giving more reliable and more detailed predictions than the previous DEF system.......An update is given on the Database of Expected Fold classes (DEF) that contains a collection of fold-class predictions made from protein sequences and a mail server that provides new predictions for new sequences. To any given sequence one of 49 fold-classes is chosen to classify the structure...

  6. [Artificial Cysteine Bridges on the Surface of Green Fluorescent Protein Affect Hydration of Its Transition and Intermediate States]. (United States)

    Melnik, T N; Nagibina, G S; Surin, A K; Glukhova, K A; Melnik, B S


    Studying the effect of cysteine bridges on different energy levels of multistage folding proteins will enable a better understanding of the process of folding and functioning of globular proteins. In particular, it will create prospects for directed change in the stability and rate of protein folding. In this work, using the method of differential scanning microcalorimetry, we have studied the effect of three cysteine bridges introduced in different structural elements of the green fluorescent protein on the denaturation enthalpies, activation energies, and heat-capacity increments when this protein passes from native to intermediate and transition states. The studies have allowed us to confirm that, with this protein denaturation, the process hardly damages the structure initially, but then changes occur in the protein structure in the region of 4-6 beta sheets. The cysteine bridge introduced in this region decreases the hydration of the second transition state and increases the hydration of the second intermediate state during the thermal denaturation of the green fluorescent protein.

  7. A versatile selection system for folding competent proteins using genetic complementation in a eukaryotic host

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lyngsø, C.; Kjaerulff, S.; Muller, S.


    in vivo selection system for folded proteins. It is based on genetic complementation of the Schizosaccharomyces pombe growth marker gene invertase fused C-terminally to a protein library. The fusion proteins are directed to the secretion system, utilizing the ability of the eukaryotic protein quality...

  8. There and back again: Two views on the protein folding puzzle. (United States)

    Finkelstein, Alexei V; Badretdin, Azat J; Galzitskaya, Oxana V; Ivankov, Dmitry N; Bogatyreva, Natalya S; Garbuzynskiy, Sergiy O


    The ability of protein chains to spontaneously form their spatial structures is a long-standing puzzle in molecular biology. Experimentally measured folding times of single-domain globular proteins range from microseconds to hours: the difference (10-11 orders of magnitude) is the same as that between the life span of a mosquito and the age of the universe. This review describes physical theories of rates of overcoming the free-energy barrier separating the natively folded (N) and unfolded (U) states of protein chains in both directions: "U-to-N" and "N-to-U". In the theory of protein folding rates a special role is played by the point of thermodynamic (and kinetic) equilibrium between the native and unfolded state of the chain; here, the theory obtains the simplest form. Paradoxically, a theoretical estimate of the folding time is easier to get from consideration of protein unfolding (the "N-to-U" transition) rather than folding, because it is easier to outline a good unfolding pathway of any structure than a good folding pathway that leads to the stable fold, which is yet unknown to the folding protein chain. And since the rates of direct and reverse reactions are equal at the equilibrium point (as follows from the physical "detailed balance" principle), the estimated folding time can be derived from the estimated unfolding time. Theoretical analysis of the "N-to-U" transition outlines the range of protein folding rates in a good agreement with experiment. Theoretical analysis of folding (the "U-to-N" transition), performed at the level of formation and assembly of protein secondary structures, outlines the upper limit of protein folding times (i.e., of the time of search for the most stable fold). Both theories come to essentially the same results; this is not a surprise, because they describe overcoming one and the same free-energy barrier, although the way to the top of this barrier from the side of the unfolded state is very different from the way from the


    NARCIS (Netherlands)


    The folding pathway for a 150-amino acid recombinant form of the dimeric cytokine human macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) has been studied. All 14 cysteine residues in the biologically active homodimer are involved in disulfide linkages. The structural characteristics of folding

  10. Heavy metal ions are potent inhibitors of protein folding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sharma, Sandeep K.; Goloubinoff, Pierre; Christen, Philipp


    Environmental and occupational exposure to heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury and lead results in severe health hazards including prenatal and developmental defects. The deleterious effects of heavy metal ions have hitherto been attributed to their interactions with specific, particularly susceptible native proteins. Here, we report an as yet undescribed mode of heavy metal toxicity. Cd 2+ , Hg 2+ and Pb 2+ proved to inhibit very efficiently the spontaneous refolding of chemically denatured proteins by forming high-affinity multidentate complexes with thiol and other functional groups (IC 50 in the nanomolar range). With similar efficacy, the heavy metal ions inhibited the chaperone-assisted refolding of chemically denatured and heat-denatured proteins. Thus, the toxic effects of heavy metal ions may result as well from their interaction with the more readily accessible functional groups of proteins in nascent and other non-native form. The toxic scope of heavy metals seems to be substantially larger than assumed so far

  11. The Multiple-Minima Problem in Protein Folding (United States)

    Scheraga, Harold A.


    The conformational energy surface of a polypeptide or protein has many local minima, and conventional energy minimization procedures reach only a local minimum (near the starting point of the optimization algorithm) instead of the global minimum (the multiple-minima problem). Several procedures have been developed to surmount this problem, the most promising of which are: (a) build up procedure, (b) optimization of electrostatics, (c) Monte Carlo-plus-energy minimization, (d) electrostatically-driven Monte Carlo, (e) inclusion of distance restraints, (f) adaptive importance-sampling Monte Carlo, (g) relaxation of dimensionality, (h) pattern-recognition, and (i) diffusion equation method. These procedures have been applied to a variety of polypeptide structural problems, and the results of such computations are presented. These include the computation of the structures of open-chain and cyclic peptides, fibrous proteins and globular proteins. Present efforts are being devoted to scaling up these procedures from small polypeptides to proteins, to try to compute the three-dimensional structure of a protein from its amino sequence.

  12. BiP clustering facilitates protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marc Griesemer


    Full Text Available The chaperone BiP participates in several regulatory processes within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER: translocation, protein folding, and ER-associated degradation. To facilitate protein folding, a cooperative mechanism known as entropic pulling has been proposed to demonstrate the molecular-level understanding of how multiple BiP molecules bind to nascent and unfolded proteins. Recently, experimental evidence revealed the spatial heterogeneity of BiP within the nuclear and peripheral ER of S. cerevisiae (commonly referred to as 'clusters'. Here, we developed a model to evaluate the potential advantages of accounting for multiple BiP molecules binding to peptides, while proposing that BiP's spatial heterogeneity may enhance protein folding and maturation. Scenarios were simulated to gauge the effectiveness of binding multiple chaperone molecules to peptides. Using two metrics: folding efficiency and chaperone cost, we determined that the single binding site model achieves a higher efficiency than models characterized by multiple binding sites, in the absence of cooperativity. Due to entropic pulling, however, multiple chaperones perform in concert to facilitate the resolubilization and ultimate yield of folded proteins. As a result of cooperativity, multiple binding site models used fewer BiP molecules and maintained a higher folding efficiency than the single binding site model. These insilico investigations reveal that clusters of BiP molecules bound to unfolded proteins may enhance folding efficiency through cooperative action via entropic pulling.

  13. Protein folding and translocation : single-molecule investigations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leeuwen, Rudolphus Gerardus Henricus van


    This thesis describes experiments, in which we used an optical-tweezers setup to study a number of biological systems. We studied the interaction between the E. coli molecular chaperone SecB and a protein that was being unfolded and refolded using our optical tweezers setup. Our measurements clearly

  14. High Pressure ZZ-Exchange NMR Reveals Key Features of Protein Folding Transition States. (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Kitazawa, Soichiro; Peran, Ivan; Stenzoski, Natalie; McCallum, Scott A; Raleigh, Daniel P; Royer, Catherine A


    Understanding protein folding mechanisms and their sequence dependence requires the determination of residue-specific apparent kinetic rate constants for the folding and unfolding reactions. Conventional two-dimensional NMR, such as HSQC experiments, can provide residue-specific information for proteins. However, folding is generally too fast for such experiments. ZZ-exchange NMR spectroscopy allows determination of folding and unfolding rates on much faster time scales, yet even this regime is not fast enough for many protein folding reactions. The application of high hydrostatic pressure slows folding by orders of magnitude due to positive activation volumes for the folding reaction. We combined high pressure perturbation with ZZ-exchange spectroscopy on two autonomously folding protein domains derived from the ribosomal protein, L9. We obtained residue-specific apparent rates at 2500 bar for the N-terminal domain of L9 (NTL9), and rates at atmospheric pressure for a mutant of the C-terminal domain (CTL9) from pressure dependent ZZ-exchange measurements. Our results revealed that NTL9 folding is almost perfectly two-state, while small deviations from two-state behavior were observed for CTL9. Both domains exhibited large positive activation volumes for folding. The volumetric properties of these domains reveal that their transition states contain most of the internal solvent excluded voids that are found in the hydrophobic cores of the respective native states. These results demonstrate that by coupling it with high pressure, ZZ-exchange can be extended to investigate a large number of protein conformational transitions.

  15. Why and how does native topology dictate the folding speed of a protein? (United States)

    Rustad, Mark; Ghosh, Kingshuk


    Since the pioneering work of Plaxco, Simons, and Baker, it is now well known that the rates of protein folding strongly correlate with the average sequence separation (absolute contact order (ACO)) of native contacts. In spite of multitude of papers, our understanding to the basis of the relation between folding speed and ACO is still lacking. We model the transition state as a Gaussian polymer chain decorated with weak springs between native contacts while the unfolded state is modeled as a Gaussian chain only. Using these hamiltonians, our perturbative calculation explicitly shows folding speed and ACO are linearly related when only the first order term in the series is considered. However, to the second order, we notice the existence of two new topological metrics, termed COC1 and COC2 (COC stands for contact order correction). These additional correction terms are needed to properly account for the entropy loss due to overlapping (nested or linked) loops that are not well described by simple addition of entropies in ACO. COC1 and COC2 are related to fluctuations and correlations among different sequence separations. The new metric combining ACO, COC1, and COC2 improves folding speed dependence on native topology when applied to three different databases: (i) two-state proteins with only α/β and β proteins, (ii) two-state proteins (α/β, β and purely helical proteins all combined), and (iii) master set (multi-state and two-state) folding proteins. Furthermore, the first principle calculation provides us direct physical insights to the meaning of the fit parameters. The coefficient of ACO, for example, is related to the average strength of the contacts, while the constant term is related to the protein folding speed limit. With the new scaling law, our estimate of the folding speed limit is in close agreement with the widely accepted value of 1 μs observed in proteins and RNA. Analyzing an exhaustive set (7367) of monomeric proteins from protein data bank

  16. Protein folding includes oligomerization – examples from the endoplasmic reticulum and cytosol

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Christis, C.; Lubsen, N.H.; Braakman, I.


    A correct three-dimensional structure is a prerequisite for protein functionality, and therefore for life. Thus, it is not surprising that our cells are packed with proteins that assist protein folding, the process in which the native three-dimensional structure is formed. In general, plasma

  17. Tracking of protein folding by chiral spectroscopic methods

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Krupová, Monika; Andrushchenko, Valery; Bouř, Petr


    Roč. 23, č. 1 (2016), s. 36 ISSN 1211-5894. [Discussions in Structural Molecular Biology /14./. 17.03.2016-19.03.2016, Nové Hrady] R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA16-04902S; GA ČR GA15-09072S Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : proteins * fibrils * lanthanides * vibrational circular dichroism * circularly polarised luminescence Subject RIV: CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry

  18. An Intramolecular Chaperone Inserted in Bacteriophage P22 Coat Protein Mediates Its Chaperonin-independent Folding* (United States)

    Suhanovsky, Margaret M.; Teschke, Carolyn M.


    The bacteriophage P22 coat protein has the common HK97-like fold but with a genetically inserted domain (I-domain). The role of the I-domain, positioned at the outermost surface of the capsid, is unknown. We hypothesize that the I-domain may act as an intramolecular chaperone because the coat protein folds independently, and many folding mutants are localized to the I-domain. The function of the I-domain was investigated by generating the coat protein core without its I-domain and the isolated I-domain. The core coat protein shows a pronounced folding defect. The isolated I-domain folds autonomously and has a high thermodynamic stability and fast folding kinetics in the presence of a peptidyl prolyl isomerase. Thus, the I-domain provides thermodynamic stability to the full-length coat protein so that it can fold reasonably efficiently while still allowing the HK97-like core to retain the flexibility required for conformational switching during procapsid assembly and maturation. PMID:24126914

  19. Effects of knot type in the folding of topologically complex lattice proteins (United States)

    Soler, Miguel A.; Nunes, Ana; Faísca, Patrícia F. N.


    The folding properties of a protein whose native structure contains a 52 knot are investigated by means of extensive Monte Carlo simulations of a simple lattice model and compared with those of a 31 knot. A 52 knot embedded in the native structure enhances the kinetic stability of the carrier lattice protein in a way that is clearly more pronounced than in the case of the 31 knot. However, this happens at the expense of a severe loss in folding efficiency, an observation that is consistent with the relative abundance of 31 and 52 knots in the Protein Data Bank. The folding mechanism of the 52 knot shares with that of the 31 knot the occurrence of a threading movement of the chain terminus that lays closer to the knotted core. However, co-concomitant knotting and folding in the 52 knot occurs with negligible probability, in sharp contrast to what is observed for the 31 knot. The study of several single point mutations highlights the importance in the folding of knotted proteins of the so-called structural mutations (i.e., energetic perturbations of native interactions between residues that are critical for knotting but not for folding). On the other hand, the present study predicts that mutations that perturb the folding transition state may significantly enhance the kinetic stability of knotted proteins provided they involve residues located within the knotted core.

  20. Predicting protein folding rate change upon point mutation using residue-level coevolutionary information. (United States)

    Mallik, Saurav; Das, Smita; Kundu, Sudip


    Change in folding kinetics of globular proteins upon point mutation is crucial to a wide spectrum of biological research, such as protein misfolding, toxicity, and aggregations. Here we seek to address whether residue-level coevolutionary information of globular proteins can be informative to folding rate changes upon point mutations. Generating residue-level coevolutionary networks of globular proteins, we analyze three parameters: relative coevolution order (rCEO), network density (ND), and characteristic path length (CPL). A point mutation is considered to be equivalent to a node deletion of this network and respective percentage changes in rCEO, ND, CPL are found linearly correlated (0.84, 0.73, and -0.61, respectively) with experimental folding rate changes. The three parameters predict the folding rate change upon a point mutation with 0.031, 0.045, and 0.059 standard errors, respectively. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  1. Transferable coarse-grained potential for de novo protein folding and design.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Coluzza

    Full Text Available Protein folding and design are major biophysical problems, the solution of which would lead to important applications especially in medicine. Here we provide evidence of how a novel parametrization of the Caterpillar model may be used for both quantitative protein design and folding. With computer simulations it is shown that, for a large set of real protein structures, the model produces designed sequences with similar physical properties to the corresponding natural occurring sequences. The designed sequences require further experimental testing. For an independent set of proteins, previously used as benchmark, the correct folded structure of both the designed and the natural sequences is also demonstrated. The equilibrium folding properties are characterized by free energy calculations. The resulting free energy profiles not only are consistent among natural and designed proteins, but also show a remarkable precision when the folded structures are compared to the experimentally determined ones. Ultimately, the updated Caterpillar model is unique in the combination of its fundamental three features: its simplicity, its ability to produce natural foldable designed sequences, and its structure prediction precision. It is also remarkable that low frustration sequences can be obtained with such a simple and universal design procedure, and that the folding of natural proteins shows funnelled free energy landscapes without the need of any potentials based on the native structure.

  2. Analysis of the free-energy surface of proteins from reversible folding simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucy R Allen


    Full Text Available Computer generated trajectories can, in principle, reveal the folding pathways of a protein at atomic resolution and possibly suggest general and simple rules for predicting the folded structure of a given sequence. While such reversible folding trajectories can only be determined ab initio using all-atom transferable force-fields for a few small proteins, they can be determined for a large number of proteins using coarse-grained and structure-based force-fields, in which a known folded structure is by construction the absolute energy and free-energy minimum. Here we use a model of the fast folding helical lambda-repressor protein to generate trajectories in which native and non-native states are in equilibrium and transitions are accurately sampled. Yet, representation of the free-energy surface, which underlies the thermodynamic and dynamic properties of the protein model, from such a trajectory remains a challenge. Projections over one or a small number of arbitrarily chosen progress variables often hide the most important features of such surfaces. The results unequivocally show that an unprojected representation of the free-energy surface provides important and unbiased information and allows a simple and meaningful description of many-dimensional, heterogeneous trajectories, providing new insight into the possible mechanisms of fast-folding proteins.

  3. Protein folding simulations: from coarse-grained model to all-atom model. (United States)

    Zhang, Jian; Li, Wenfei; Wang, Jun; Qin, Meng; Wu, Lei; Yan, Zhiqiang; Xu, Weixin; Zuo, Guanghong; Wang, Wei


    Protein folding is an important and challenging problem in molecular biology. During the last two decades, molecular dynamics (MD) simulation has proved to be a paramount tool and was widely used to study protein structures, folding kinetics and thermodynamics, and structure-stability-function relationship. It was also used to help engineering and designing new proteins, and to answer even more general questions such as the minimal number of amino acid or the evolution principle of protein families. Nowadays, the MD simulation is still undergoing rapid developments. The first trend is to toward developing new coarse-grained models and studying larger and more complex molecular systems such as protein-protein complex and their assembling process, amyloid related aggregations, and structure and motion of chaperons, motors, channels and virus capsides; the second trend is toward building high resolution models and explore more detailed and accurate pictures of protein folding and the associated processes, such as the coordination bond or disulfide bond involved folding, the polarization, charge transfer and protonate/deprotonate process involved in metal coupled folding, and the ion permeation and its coupling with the kinetics of channels. On these new territories, MD simulations have given many promising results and will continue to offer exciting views. Here, we review several new subjects investigated by using MD simulations as well as the corresponding developments of appropriate protein models. These include but are not limited to the attempt to go beyond the topology based Gō-like model and characterize the energetic factors in protein structures and dynamics, the study of the thermodynamics and kinetics of disulfide bond involved protein folding, the modeling of the interactions between chaperonin and the encapsulated protein and the protein folding under this circumstance, the effort to clarify the important yet still elusive folding mechanism of protein BBL

  4. Intermediate filament protein nestin is expressed in developing meninges. (United States)

    Yay, A; Ozdamar, S; Canoz, O; Baran, M; Tucer, B; Sonmez, M F


    Nestin is a type VI intermediate filament protein known as a marker for progenitor cells that can be mostly found in tissues during the embryonic and fetal periods. In our study, we aimed to determine the expression of nestin in meninges covering the brain tissue at different developmental stages and in the new born. In this study 10 human fetuses in different development stages between developmental weeks 9-34 and a newborn brain tissue were used. Fetuses in paraffin section were stained with H+E and nestin immunohistochemical staining protocol was performed. In this study, in the human meninges intense nestin expression was detected as early as in the 9th week of development. Intensity of this expression gradually decreased in later stages of development and nestin expression still persisted in a small population of newborn meningeal cells. In the present study, nestin positive cells gradually diminished in the developing and maturing meninges during the fetal period. This probably depends on initiation of a decrease in nestin expression and replacement with other tissue-specific intermediate filaments while the differentiation process continues. These differences can make significant contributions to the investigation and diagnosis of various pathological disorders (Tab. 1, Fig. 3, Ref. 36).

  5. Structure of the thioredoxin-fold domain of human phosducin-like protein 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lou, Xiaochu; Bao, Rui; Zhou, Cong-Zhao; Chen, Yuxing


    The X-ray crystal structure of the Trx-fold domain of hPDCL2 was solved at 2.70 Å resolution and resembled the Trx-fold domain of rat phosducin. Human phosducin-like protein 2 (hPDCL2) has been identified as belonging to subgroup II of the phosducin (Pdc) family. The members of this family share an N-terminal helix domain and a C-terminal thioredoxin-fold (Trx-fold) domain. The X-ray crystal structure of the Trx-fold domain of hPDCL2 was solved at 2.70 Å resolution and resembled the Trx-fold domain of rat phosducin. Comparative structural analysis revealed the structural basis of their putative functional divergence

  6. Lessons from Animal Models of Cytoplasmic Intermediate Filament Proteins. (United States)

    Bouameur, Jamal-Eddine; Magin, Thomas M

    Cytoplasmic intermediate filaments (IFs) represent a major cytoskeletal network contributing to cell shape, adhesion and migration as well as to tissue resilience and renewal in numerous bilaterians, including mammals. The observation that IFs are dispensable in cultured mammalian cells, but cause tissue-specific, life-threatening disorders, has pushed the need to investigate their function in vivo. In keeping with human disease, the deletion or mutation of murine IF genes resulted in highly specific pathologies. Epidermal keratins, together with desmin, are essential to protect corresponding tissues against mechanical force but also participate in stabilizing cell adhesion and in inflammatory signalling. Surprisingly, other IF proteins contribute to tissue integrity to a much lesser extent than anticipated, pointing towards their role in stress situations. In support, the overexpression of small chaperones or the interference with inflammatory signalling in several settings has been shown to rescue severe tissue pathologies that resulted from the expression of mutant IF proteins. It stills remains an open issue whether the wide range of IF disorders share similar pathomechanisms. Moreover, we lack an understanding how IF proteins participate in signalling processes. Now, with a large number of mouse models in hand, the next challenge will be to develop organotypic cell culture models to dissect pathomechanisms at the molecular level, to employ Crispr/Cas-mediated genome engineering to optimize models and, finally, to combine available animal models with medicinal chemistry for the development of molecular therapies.

  7. Exploring the Evolutionary Accident Hypothesis: Are Extant Protein Folds the Fittest or the Luckiest? (United States)

    Shannon, G.; Wei, C.; Pohorille, A.


    Considering the range of functions proteins perform, it is surprising they fold into a relatively small set of structures or "folds" that facilitate such function. One explanation is that only a minority were fit enough to emerge from Darwinian selection during the early evolution of life. Alternatively, perhaps only a fraction of all possible folds were trialed. Understanding proto-catalyst selection will aid understanding of the origins and early evolution of life. To investigate which explanation is correct, we study a protein evolved in vitro to bind ATP by Jack Szostak (Fig. 1). This protein adopts a fold which is absent from nature. We are testing whether this fold would have possessed the capability to evolve that would have been essential to survive natural selection on early Earth. Folds that couldn't improve their fitness and evolve to perform new functions would have been replaced by rivals that could. To determine whether the fold is evolvable, we are attempting to change the function of the protein by rationally redesigning to bind GTP. Two design strategies in the region of the nucleobase have been implemented to provide hydrogen bonding partners for the ligand i) an insertion ii) a MET to ASN mutation. Redesigns are being studied computationally at Ames Research Center including free energy of binding calculations. Binding affinities of promising redesigns are to be validated by experimental collaborators at ForteBio using Super Streptavidin Biosensors. If the fold is found to be non-evolvable, this may suggest that many structures were trialed, but the majority were pruned on the basis of their evolvability. Alternatively, if the fold is demonstrated to be evolvable, it would be difficult to explain its absence from nature without considering the possibility that the fold simply wasn't sampled on early Earth. This would not only further our understanding of the origins of life on Earth but also suggest a common phe-nomenon of proto

  8. Conformational dynamics of a protein in the folded and the unfolded state

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fitter, Joerg


    In a quasielastic neutron scattering experiment, the picosecond dynamics of {alpha}-amylase was investigated for the folded and the unfolded state of the protein. In order to ensure a reasonable interpretation of the internal protein dynamics, the protein was measured in D{sub 2}O-buffer solution. The much higher structural flexibility of the pH induced unfolded state as compared to the native folded state was quantified using a simple analytical model, describing a local diffusion inside a sphere. In terms of this model the conformational volume, which is explored mainly by confined protein side-chain movements, is parameterized by the radius of a sphere (folded state, r=1.2 A; unfolded state, 1.8 A). Differences in conformational dynamics between the folded and the unfolded state of a protein are of fundamental interest in the field of protein science, because they are assumed to play an important role for the thermodynamics of folding/unfolding transition and for protein stability.

  9. Modulation of the maladaptive stress response to manage diseases of protein folding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniela Martino Roth


    Full Text Available Diseases of protein folding arise because of the inability of an altered peptide sequence to properly engage protein homeostasis components that direct protein folding and function. To identify global principles of misfolding disease pathology we examined the impact of the local folding environment in alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (AATD, Niemann-Pick type C1 disease (NPC1, Alzheimer's disease (AD, and cystic fibrosis (CF. Using distinct models, including patient-derived cell lines and primary epithelium, mouse brain tissue, and Caenorhabditis elegans, we found that chronic expression of misfolded proteins not only triggers the sustained activation of the heat shock response (HSR pathway, but that this sustained activation is maladaptive. In diseased cells, maladaptation alters protein structure-function relationships, impacts protein folding in the cytosol, and further exacerbates the disease state. We show that down-regulation of this maladaptive stress response (MSR, through silencing of HSF1, the master regulator of the HSR, restores cellular protein folding and improves the disease phenotype. We propose that restoration of a more physiological proteostatic environment will strongly impact the management and progression of loss-of-function and gain-of-toxic-function phenotypes common in human disease.

  10. Folding Proteins at 500 ns/hour with Work Queue. (United States)

    Abdul-Wahid, Badi'; Yu, Li; Rajan, Dinesh; Feng, Haoyun; Darve, Eric; Thain, Douglas; Izaguirre, Jesús A


    Molecular modeling is a field that traditionally has large computational costs. Until recently, most simulation techniques relied on long trajectories, which inherently have poor scalability. A new class of methods is proposed that requires only a large number of short calculations, and for which minimal communication between computer nodes is required. We considered one of the more accurate variants called Accelerated Weighted Ensemble Dynamics (AWE) and for which distributed computing can be made efficient. We implemented AWE using the Work Queue framework for task management and applied it to an all atom protein model (Fip35 WW domain). We can run with excellent scalability by simultaneously utilizing heterogeneous resources from multiple computing platforms such as clouds (Amazon EC2, Microsoft Azure), dedicated clusters, grids, on multiple architectures (CPU/GPU, 32/64bit), and in a dynamic environment in which processes are regularly added or removed from the pool. This has allowed us to achieve an aggregate sampling rate of over 500 ns/hour. As a comparison, a single process typically achieves 0.1 ns/hour.

  11. Constructing a folding model for protein S6 guided by native fluctuations deduced from NMR structures

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lammert, Heiko; Noel, Jeffrey K.; Haglund, Ellinor; Onuchic, José N.; Schug, Alexander


    The diversity in a set of protein nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) structures provides an estimate of native state fluctuations that can be used to refine and enrich structure-based protein models (SBMs). Dynamics are an essential part of a protein’s functional native state. The dynamics in the native state are controlled by the same funneled energy landscape that guides the entire folding process. SBMs apply the principle of minimal frustration, drawn from energy landscape theory, to construct a funneled folding landscape for a given protein using only information from the native structure. On an energy landscape smoothed by evolution towards minimal frustration, geometrical constraints, imposed by the native structure, control the folding mechanism and shape the native dynamics revealed by the model. Native-state fluctuations can alternatively be estimated directly from the diversity in the set of NMR structures for a protein. Based on this information, we identify a highly flexible loop in the ribosomal protein S6 and modify the contact map in a SBM to accommodate the inferred dynamics. By taking into account the probable native state dynamics, the experimental transition state is recovered in the model, and the correct order of folding events is restored. Our study highlights how the shared energy landscape connects folding and function by showing that a better description of the native basin improves the prediction of the folding mechanism

  12. Comparative analysis of the folding dynamics and kinetics of an engineered knotted protein and its variants derived from HP0242 of Helicobacter pylori (United States)

    Wang, Liang-Wei; Liu, Yu-Nan; Lyu, Ping-Chiang; Jackson, Sophie E.; Hsu, Shang-Te Danny


    Understanding the mechanism by which a polypeptide chain thread itself spontaneously to attain a knotted conformation has been a major challenge in the field of protein folding. HP0242 is a homodimeric protein from Helicobacter pylori with intertwined helices to form a unique pseudo-knotted folding topology. A tandem HP0242 repeat has been constructed to become the first engineered trefoil-knotted protein. Its small size renders it a model system for computational analyses to examine its folding and knotting pathways. Here we report a multi-parametric study on the folding stability and kinetics of a library of HP0242 variants, including the trefoil-knotted tandem HP0242 repeat, using far-UV circular dichroism and fluorescence spectroscopy. Equilibrium chemical denaturation of HP0242 variants shows the presence of highly populated dimeric and structurally heterogeneous folding intermediates. Such equilibrium folding intermediates retain significant amount of helical structures except those at the N- and C-terminal regions in the native structure. Stopped-flow fluorescence measurements of HP0242 variants show that spontaneous refolding into knotted structures can be achieved within seconds, which is several orders of magnitude faster than previously observed for other knotted proteins. Nevertheless, the complex chevron plots indicate that HP0242 variants are prone to misfold into kinetic traps, leading to severely rolled-over refolding arms. The experimental observations are in general agreement with the previously reported molecular dynamics simulations. Based on our results, kinetic folding pathways are proposed to qualitatively describe the complex folding processes of HP0242 variants.

  13. Prediction of the optimal set of contacts to fold the smallest knotted protein (United States)

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, P.; Jarmolinska, A. I.; Sulkowska, J. I.


    Knotted protein chains represent a new motif in protein folds. They have been linked to various diseases, and recent extensive analysis of the Protein Data Bank shows that they constitute 1.5% of all deposited protein structures. Despite thorough theoretical and experimental investigations, the role of knots in proteins still remains elusive. Nonetheless, it is believed that knots play an important role in mechanical and thermal stability of proteins. Here, we perform a comprehensive analysis of native, shadow-specific and non-native interactions which describe free energy landscape of the smallest knotted protein (PDB id 2efv). We show that the addition of shadow-specific contacts in the loop region greatly enhances folding kinetics, while the addition of shadow-specific contacts along the C-terminal region (H3 or H4) results in a new folding route with slower kinetics. By means of direct coupling analysis (DCA) we predict non-native contacts which also can accelerate kinetics. Next, we show that the length of the C-terminal knot tail is responsible for the shape of the free energy barrier, while the influence of the elongation of the N-terminus is not significant. Finally, we develop a concept of a minimal contact map sufficient for 2efv protein to fold and analyze properties of this protein using this map.

  14. Prediction of the optimal set of contacts to fold the smallest knotted protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dabrowski-Tumanski, P; Jarmolinska, A I; Sulkowska, J I


    Knotted protein chains represent a new motif in protein folds. They have been linked to various diseases, and recent extensive analysis of the Protein Data Bank shows that they constitute 1.5% of all deposited protein structures. Despite thorough theoretical and experimental investigations, the role of knots in proteins still remains elusive. Nonetheless, it is believed that knots play an important role in mechanical and thermal stability of proteins. Here, we perform a comprehensive analysis of native, shadow-specific and non-native interactions which describe free energy landscape of the smallest knotted protein (PDB id 2efv). We show that the addition of shadow-specific contacts in the loop region greatly enhances folding kinetics, while the addition of shadow-specific contacts along the C-terminal region (H3 or H4) results in a new folding route with slower kinetics. By means of direct coupling analysis (DCA) we predict non-native contacts which also can accelerate kinetics. Next, we show that the length of the C-terminal knot tail is responsible for the shape of the free energy barrier, while the influence of the elongation of the N-terminus is not significant. Finally, we develop a concept of a minimal contact map sufficient for 2efv protein to fold and analyze properties of this protein using this map. (paper)

  15. General Protein Data Bank-Based Collective Variables for Protein Folding. (United States)

    Ardevol, Albert; Palazzesi, Ferruccio; Tribello, Gareth A; Parrinello, Michele


    New, automated forms of data analysis are required to understand the high-dimensional trajectories that are obtained from molecular dynamics simulations on proteins. Dimensionality reduction algorithms are particularly appealing in this regard as they allow one to construct unbiased, low-dimensional representations of the trajectory using only the information encoded in the trajectory. The downside of this approach is that a different set of coordinates are required for each different chemical system under study precisely because the coordinates are constructed using information from the trajectory. In this paper, we show how one can resolve this problem by using the sketch-map algorithm that we recently proposed to construct a low-dimensional representation of the structures contained in the protein data bank. We show that the resulting coordinates are as useful for analyzing trajectory data as coordinates constructed using landmark configurations taken from the trajectory and that these coordinates can thus be used for understanding protein folding across a range of systems.

  16. Fluorescent in situ folding control for rapid optimization of cell-free membrane protein synthesis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika Müller-Lucks

    Full Text Available Cell-free synthesis is an open and powerful tool for high-yield protein production in small reaction volumes predestined for high-throughput structural and functional analysis. Membrane proteins require addition of detergents for solubilization, liposomes, or nanodiscs. Hence, the number of parameters to be tested is significantly higher than with soluble proteins. Optimization is commonly done with respect to protein yield, yet without knowledge of the protein folding status. This approach contains a large inherent risk of ending up with non-functional protein. We show that fluorophore formation in C-terminal fusions with green fluorescent protein (GFP indicates the folding state of a membrane protein in situ, i.e. within the cell-free reaction mixture, as confirmed by circular dichroism (CD, proteoliposome reconstitution and functional assays. Quantification of protein yield and in-gel fluorescence intensity imply suitability of the method for membrane proteins of bacterial, protozoan, plant, and mammalian origin, representing vacuolar and plasma membrane localization, as well as intra- and extracellular positioning of the C-terminus. We conclude that GFP-fusions provide an extension to cell-free protein synthesis systems eliminating the need for experimental folding control and, thus, enabling rapid optimization towards membrane protein quality.

  17. Quantification of Drive-Response Relationships Between Residues During Protein Folding. (United States)

    Qi, Yifei; Im, Wonpil


    Mutual correlation and cooperativity are commonly used to describe residue-residue interactions in protein folding/function. However, these metrics do not provide any information on the causality relationships between residues. Such drive-response relationships are poorly studied in protein folding/function and difficult to measure experimentally due to technical limitations. In this study, using the information theory transfer entropy (TE) that provides a direct measurement of causality between two times series, we have quantified the drive-response relationships between residues in the folding/unfolding processes of four small proteins generated by molecular dynamics simulations. Instead of using a time-averaged single TE value, the time-dependent TE is measured with the Q-scores based on residue-residue contacts and with the statistical significance analysis along the folding/unfolding processes. The TE analysis is able to identify the driving and responding residues that are different from the highly correlated residues revealed by the mutual information analysis. In general, the driving residues have more regular secondary structures, are more buried, and show greater effects on the protein stability as well as folding and unfolding rates. In addition, the dominant driving and responding residues from the TE analysis on the whole trajectory agree with those on a single folding event, demonstrating that the drive-response relationships are preserved in the non-equilibrium process. Our study provides detailed insights into the protein folding process and has potential applications in protein engineering and interpretation of time-dependent residue-based experimental observables for protein function.

  18. Structure of a Trypanosoma brucei α/β-hydrolase fold protein with unknown function

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Merritt, Ethan A.; Holmes, Margaret; Buckner, Frederick S.; Van Voorhis, Wesley C.; Quartly, Erin; Phizicky, Eric M.; Lauricella, Angela; Luft, Joseph; DeTitta, George; Neely, Helen; Zucker, Frank; Hol, Wim G. J.


    T. brucei gene Tb10.6k15.0140 codes for an α/β-hydrolase fold protein of unknown function. The 2.2 Å crystal structure shows that members of this sequence family retain a conserved Ser residue at the expected site of a catalytic nucleophile, but that trypanosomatid sequences lack structural homologs for the other expected residues of the catalytic triad. The structure of a structural genomics target protein, Tbru020260AAA from Trypanosoma brucei, has been determined to a resolution of 2.2 Å using multiple-wavelength anomalous diffraction at the Se K edge. This protein belongs to Pfam sequence family PF08538 and is only distantly related to previously studied members of the α/β-hydrolase fold family. Structural superposition onto representative α/β-hydrolase fold proteins of known function indicates that a possible catalytic nucleophile, Ser116 in the T. brucei protein, lies at the expected location. However, the present structure and by extension the other trypanosomatid members of this sequence family have neither sequence nor structural similarity at the location of other active-site residues typical for proteins with this fold. Together with the presence of an additional domain between strands β6 and β7 that is conserved in trypanosomatid genomes, this suggests that the function of these homologs has diverged from other members of the fold family

  19. Multiple molecule effects on the cooperativity of protein folding transitions in simulations (United States)

    Lewis, Jacob I.; Moss, Devin J.; Knotts, Thomas A.


    Though molecular simulation of proteins has made notable contributions to the study of protein folding and kinetics, disagreement between simulation and experiment still exists. One of the criticisms levied against simulation is its failure to reproduce cooperative protein folding transitions. This weakness has been attributed to many factors such as a lack of polarizability and adequate capturing of solvent effects. This work, however, investigates how increasing the number of proteins simulated simultaneously can affect the cooperativity of folding transitions — a topic that has received little attention previously. Two proteins are studied in this work: phage T4 lysozyme (Protein Data Bank (PDB) ID: 7LZM) and phage 434 repressor (PDB ID: 1R69). The results show that increasing the number of proteins molecules simulated simultaneously leads to an increase in the macroscopic cooperativity for transitions that are inherently cooperative on the molecular level but has little effect on the cooperativity of other transitions. Taken as a whole, the results identify one area of consideration to improving simulations of protein folding.

  20. Fast identification of folded human protein domains expressed in E. coli suitable for structural analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Schlegel Brigitte


    Full Text Available Abstract Background High-throughput protein structure analysis of individual protein domains requires analysis of large numbers of expression clones to identify suitable constructs for structure determination. For this purpose, methods need to be implemented for fast and reliable screening of the expressed proteins as early as possible in the overall process from cloning to structure determination. Results 88 different E. coli expression constructs for 17 human protein domains were analysed using high-throughput cloning, purification and folding analysis to obtain candidates suitable for structural analysis. After 96 deep-well microplate expression and automated protein purification, protein domains were directly analysed using 1D 1H-NMR spectroscopy. In addition, analytical hydrophobic interaction chromatography (HIC was used to detect natively folded protein. With these two analytical methods, six constructs (representing two domains were quickly identified as being well folded and suitable for structural analysis. Conclusion The described approach facilitates high-throughput structural analysis. Clones expressing natively folded proteins suitable for NMR structure determination were quickly identified upon small scale expression screening using 1D 1H-NMR and/or analytical HIC. This procedure is especially effective as a fast and inexpensive screen for the 'low hanging fruits' in structural genomics.

  1. Introducing the Levinthal's Protein Folding Paradox and Its Solution (United States)

    Martínez, Leandro


    The protein folding (Levinthal's) paradox states that it would not be possible in a physically meaningful time to a protein to reach the native (functional) conformation by a random search of the enormously large number of possible structures. This paradox has been solved: it was shown that small biases toward the native conformation result…

  2. PyFolding: Open-Source Graphing, Simulation, and Analysis of the Biophysical Properties of Proteins. (United States)

    Lowe, Alan R; Perez-Riba, Albert; Itzhaki, Laura S; Main, Ewan R G


    For many years, curve-fitting software has been heavily utilized to fit simple models to various types of biophysical data. Although such software packages are easy to use for simple functions, they are often expensive and present substantial impediments to applying more complex models or for the analysis of large data sets. One field that is reliant on such data analysis is the thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding. Over the past decade, increasingly sophisticated analytical models have been generated, but without simple tools to enable routine analysis. Consequently, users have needed to generate their own tools or otherwise find willing collaborators. Here we present PyFolding, a free, open-source, and extensible Python framework for graphing, analysis, and simulation of the biophysical properties of proteins. To demonstrate the utility of PyFolding, we have used it to analyze and model experimental protein folding and thermodynamic data. Examples include: 1) multiphase kinetic folding fitted to linked equations, 2) global fitting of multiple data sets, and 3) analysis of repeat protein thermodynamics with Ising model variants. Moreover, we demonstrate how PyFolding is easily extensible to novel functionality beyond applications in protein folding via the addition of new models. Example scripts to perform these and other operations are supplied with the software, and we encourage users to contribute notebooks and models to create a community resource. Finally, we show that PyFolding can be used in conjunction with Jupyter notebooks as an easy way to share methods and analysis for publication and among research teams. Copyright © 2017 Biophysical Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Self-organization and mismatch tolerance in protein folding: General theory and an application (United States)

    Fernández, Ariel; Berry, R. Stephen


    The folding of a protein is a process both expeditious and robust. The analysis of this process presented here uses a coarse, discretized representation of the evolving form of the backbone chain, based on its torsional states. This coarse description consists of discretizing the torsional coordinates modulo the Ramachandran basins in the local softmode dynamics. Whenever the representation exhibits "contact patterns" that correspond to topological compatibilities with particular structural forms, secondary and then tertiary, the elements constituting the pattern are effectively entrained by a reduction of their rates of exploration of their discretized configuration space. The properties "expeditious and robust" imply that the folding protein must have some tolerance to both torsional "frustrated" and side-chain contact mismatches which may occur during the folding process. The energy-entropy consequences of the staircase or funnel topography of the potential surface should allow the folding protein to correct these mismatches, eventually. This tolerance lends itself to an iterative pattern-recognition-and-feedback description of the folding process that reflects mismatched local torsional states and hydrophobic/polar contacts. The predictive potential of our algorithm is tested by application to the folding of bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI), a protein whose ability to form its active structure is contingent upon its frustration tolerance.

  4. Participation of Low Molecular Weight Electron Carriers in Oxidative Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    József Mandl


    Full Text Available Oxidative protein folding is mediated by a proteinaceous electron relay system, in which the concerted action of protein disulfide isomerase and Ero1 delivers the electrons from thiol groups to the final acceptor. Oxygen appears to be the final oxidant in aerobic living organisms, although the existence of alternative electron acceptors, e.g. fumarate or nitrate, cannot be excluded. Whilst the protein components of the system are well-known, less attention has been turned to the role of low molecular weight electron carriers in the process. The function of ascorbate, tocopherol and vitamin K has been raised recently. In vitro and in vivo evidence suggests that these redox-active compounds can contribute to the functioning of oxidative folding. This review focuses on the participation of small molecular weight redox compounds in oxidative protein folding.

  5. How Many Protein Sequences Fold to a Given Structure? A Coevolutionary Analysis. (United States)

    Tian, Pengfei; Best, Robert B


    Quantifying the relationship between protein sequence and structure is key to understanding the protein universe. A fundamental measure of this relationship is the total number of amino acid sequences that can fold to a target protein structure, known as the "sequence capacity," which has been suggested as a proxy for how designable a given protein fold is. Although sequence capacity has been extensively studied using lattice models and theory, numerical estimates for real protein structures are currently lacking. In this work, we have quantitatively estimated the sequence capacity of 10 proteins with a variety of different structures using a statistical model based on residue-residue co-evolution to capture the variation of sequences from the same protein family. Remarkably, we find that even for the smallest protein folds, such as the WW domain, the number of foldable sequences is extremely large, exceeding the Avogadro constant. In agreement with earlier theoretical work, the calculated sequence capacity is positively correlated with the size of the protein, or better, the density of contacts. This allows the absolute sequence capacity of a given protein to be approximately predicted from its structure. On the other hand, the relative sequence capacity, i.e., normalized by the total number of possible sequences, is an extremely tiny number and is strongly anti-correlated with the protein length. Thus, although there may be more foldable sequences for larger proteins, it will be much harder to find them. Lastly, we have correlated the evolutionary age of proteins in the CATH database with their sequence capacity as predicted by our model. The results suggest a trade-off between the opposing requirements of high designability and the likelihood of a novel fold emerging by chance. Published by Elsevier Inc.


    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kane, A; Hertzog, D; Baumgartel, P; Lengefeld, J; Horsley, D; Schuler, B; Bakajin, O


    The purpose of this study is to design, fabricate and optimize microfluidic mixers to investigate the kinetics of protein secondary structure formation with Synchrotron Radiation Circular Dichroism (SRCD) spectroscopy. The mixers are designed to rapidly initiate protein folding reaction through the dilution of denaturant. The devices are fabricated out of fused silica, so that they are transparent in the UV. We present characterization of mixing in the fabricated devices, as well as the initial SRCD data on proteins inside the mixers

  7. Identification of a key structural element for protein folding within beta-hairpin turns. (United States)

    Kim, Jaewon; Brych, Stephen R; Lee, Jihun; Logan, Timothy M; Blaber, Michael


    Specific residues in a polypeptide may be key contributors to the stability and foldability of the unique native structure. Identification and prediction of such residues is, therefore, an important area of investigation in solving the protein folding problem. Atypical main-chain conformations can help identify strains within a folded protein, and by inference, positions where unique amino acids may have a naturally high frequency of occurrence due to favorable contributions to stability and folding. Non-Gly residues located near the left-handed alpha-helical region (L-alpha) of the Ramachandran plot are a potential indicator of structural strain. Although many investigators have studied mutations at such positions, no consistent energetic or kinetic contributions to stability or folding have been elucidated. Here we report a study of the effects of Gly, Ala and Asn substitutions found within the L-alpha region at a characteristic position in defined beta-hairpin turns within human acidic fibroblast growth factor, and demonstrate consistent effects upon stability and folding kinetics. The thermodynamic and kinetic data are compared to available data for similar mutations in other proteins, with excellent agreement. The results have identified that Gly at the i+3 position within a subset of beta-hairpin turns is a key contributor towards increasing the rate of folding to the native state of the polypeptide while leaving the rate of unfolding largely unchanged.

  8. Recent developments in the theory of protein folding: searching for the global energy minimum. (United States)

    Scheraga, H A


    Statistical mechanical theories and computer simulation are being used to gain an understanding of the fundamental features of protein folding. A major obstacle in the computation of protein structures is the multiple-minima problem arising from the existence of many local minima in the multidimensional energy landscape of the protein. This problem has been surmounted for small open-chain and cyclic peptides, and for regular-repeating sequences of models of fibrous proteins. Progress is being made in resolving this problem for globular proteins.

  9. An evolutionarily conserved glycine-tyrosine motif forms a folding core in outer membrane proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Michalik

    Full Text Available An intimate interaction between a pair of amino acids, a tyrosine and glycine on neighboring β-strands, has been previously reported to be important for the structural stability of autotransporters. Here, we show that the conservation of this interacting pair extends to nearly all major families of outer membrane β-barrel proteins, which are thought to have originated through duplication events involving an ancestral ββ hairpin. We analyzed the function of this motif using the prototypical outer membrane protein OmpX. Stopped-flow fluorescence shows that two folding processes occur in the millisecond time regime, the rates of which are reduced in the tyrosine mutant. Folding assays further demonstrate a reduction in the yield of folded protein for the mutant compared to the wild-type, as well as a reduction in thermal stability. Taken together, our data support the idea of an evolutionarily conserved 'folding core' that affects the folding, membrane insertion, and thermal stability of outer membrane protein β-barrels.

  10. Classification of protein fold classes by knot theory and prediction of folds by neural networks: A combined theoretical and experimental approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ramnarayan, K.; Bohr, Henrik; Jalkanen, Karl J.


    We present different means of classifying protein structure. One is made rigorous by mathematical knot invariants that coincide reasonably well with ordinary graphical fold classification and another classification is by packing analysis. Furthermore when constructing our mathematical fold...... classifications, we utilize standard neural network methods for predicting protein fold classes from amino acid sequences. We also make an analysis of the redundancy of the structural classifications in relation to function and ligand binding. Finally we advocate the use of combining the measurement of the VA...

  11. Co-evolutionary constraints of globular proteins correlate with their folding rates. (United States)

    Mallik, Saurav; Kundu, Sudip


    Folding rates (lnkf) of globular proteins correlate with their biophysical properties, but relationship between lnkf and patterns of sequence evolution remains elusive. We introduce 'relative co-evolution order' (rCEO) as length-normalized average primary chain separation of co-evolving pairs (CEPs), which negatively correlates with lnkf. In addition to pairs in native 3D contact, indirectly connected and structurally remote CEPs probably also play critical roles in protein folding. Correlation between rCEO and lnkf is stronger in multi-state proteins than two-state proteins, contrasting the case of contact order (co), where stronger correlation is found in two-state proteins. Finally, rCEO, co and lnkf are fitted into a 3D linear correlation. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Development and application of a free energy force field for all atom protein folding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Verma, A.


    Proteins are the workhorses of all cellular life. They constitute the building blocks and the machinery of all cells and typically function in specific three-dimensional conformations into which each protein folds. Currently over one million protein sequences are known, compared to about 40,000 structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (the world-wide database of protein structures). Reliable theoretical methods for protein structure prediction could help to reduce the gap between sequence and structural databases and elucidate the biological information in structurally unresolved sequences. In this thesis we explore an approach for protein structure prediction and folding that is based on the Anfinsen's hypothesis that most proteins in their native state are in thermodynamic equilibrium with their environment. We have developed a free energy forcefield (PFF02) that locates the native conformation of many proteins from all structural classes at the global minimum of the free-energy model. We have validated the forcefield against a large decoy set (Rosetta). The average root mean square deviation (RMSD) for the lowest energy structure for the 32 proteins of the decoy set was only 2.14 Aa from the experimental conformation. We have successfully implemented and used stochastic optimization methods, such as the basin hopping technique and evolutionary algorithms for all atom protein structure prediction. The evolutionary algorithm performs exceptionally well on large supercomputational architectures, such as BlueGene and MareNostrum. Using the PFF02 forcefield, we were able to fold 13 proteins (12-56 amino acids), which include helix, sheet and mixed secondary structure. On average the predicted structure of these proteins deviated from their experimental conformation by only 2.89 Aa RMSD. (orig.)

  13. Chemical Ligation of Folded Recombinant Proteins: Segmental Isotopic Labeling of Domains for NMR Studies (United States)

    Xu, Rong; Ayers, Brenda; Cowburn, David; Muir, Tom W.


    A convenient in vitro chemical ligation strategy has been developed that allows folded recombinant proteins to be joined together. This strategy permits segmental, selective isotopic labeling of the product. The src homology type 3 and 2 domains (SH3 and SH2) of Abelson protein tyrosine kinase, which constitute the regulatory apparatus of the protein, were individually prepared in reactive forms that can be ligated together under normal protein-folding conditions to form a normal peptide bond at the ligation junction. This strategy was used to prepare NMR sample quantities of the Abelson protein tyrosine kinase-SH(32) domain pair, in which only one of the domains was labeled with 15N Mass spectrometry and NMR analyses were used to confirm the structure of the ligated protein, which was also shown to have appropriate ligand-binding properties. The ability to prepare recombinant proteins with selectively labeled segments having a single-site mutation, by using a combination of expression of fusion proteins and chemical ligation in vitro, will increase the size limits for protein structural determination in solution with NMR methods. In vitro chemical ligation of expressed protein domains will also provide a combinatorial approach to the synthesis of linked protein domains.

  14. The Dynameomics Entropy Dictionary: A Large-Scale Assessment of Conformational Entropy across Protein Fold Space. (United States)

    Towse, Clare-Louise; Akke, Mikael; Daggett, Valerie


    Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations contain considerable information with regard to the motions and fluctuations of a protein, the magnitude of which can be used to estimate conformational entropy. Here we survey conformational entropy across protein fold space using the Dynameomics database, which represents the largest existing data set of protein MD simulations for representatives of essentially all known protein folds. We provide an overview of MD-derived entropies accounting for all possible degrees of dihedral freedom on an unprecedented scale. Although different side chains might be expected to impose varying restrictions on the conformational space that the backbone can sample, we found that the backbone entropy and side chain size are not strictly coupled. An outcome of these analyses is the Dynameomics Entropy Dictionary, the contents of which have been compared with entropies derived by other theoretical approaches and experiment. As might be expected, the conformational entropies scale linearly with the number of residues, demonstrating that conformational entropy is an extensive property of proteins. The calculated conformational entropies of folding agree well with previous estimates. Detailed analysis of specific cases identifies deviations in conformational entropy from the average values that highlight how conformational entropy varies with sequence, secondary structure, and tertiary fold. Notably, α-helices have lower entropy on average than do β-sheets, and both are lower than coil regions.

  15. Earthworm Lumbricus rubellus MT-2: Metal Binding and Protein Folding of a True Cadmium-MT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gregory R. Kowald


    Full Text Available Earthworms express, as most animals, metallothioneins (MTs—small, cysteine-rich proteins that bind d10 metal ions (Zn(II, Cd(II, or Cu(I in clusters. Three MT homologues are known for Lumbricus rubellus, the common red earthworm, one of which, wMT-2, is strongly induced by exposure of worms to cadmium. This study concerns composition, metal binding affinity and metal-dependent protein folding of wMT-2 expressed recombinantly and purified in the presence of Cd(II and Zn(II. Crucially, whilst a single Cd7wMT-2 species was isolated from wMT-2-expressing E. coli cultures supplemented with Cd(II, expressions in the presence of Zn(II yielded mixtures. The average affinities of wMT-2 determined for either Cd(II or Zn(II are both within normal ranges for MTs; hence, differential behaviour cannot be explained on the basis of overall affinity. Therefore, the protein folding properties of Cd- and Zn-wMT-2 were compared by 1H NMR spectroscopy. This comparison revealed that the protein fold is better defined in the presence of cadmium than in the presence of zinc. These differences in folding and dynamics may be at the root of the differential behaviour of the cadmium- and zinc-bound protein in vitro, and may ultimately also help in distinguishing zinc and cadmium in the earthworm in vivo.

  16. CATHEDRAL: a fast and effective algorithm to predict folds and domain boundaries from multidomain protein structures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oliver C Redfern


    Full Text Available We present CATHEDRAL, an iterative protocol for determining the location of previously observed protein folds in novel multidomain protein structures. CATHEDRAL builds on the features of a fast secondary-structure-based method (using graph theory to locate known folds within a multidomain context and a residue-based, double-dynamic programming algorithm, which is used to align members of the target fold groups against the query protein structure to identify the closest relative and assign domain boundaries. To increase the fidelity of the assignments, a support vector machine is used to provide an optimal scoring scheme. Once a domain is verified, it is excised, and the search protocol is repeated in an iterative fashion until all recognisable domains have been identified. We have performed an initial benchmark of CATHEDRAL against other publicly available structure comparison methods using a consensus dataset of domains derived from the CATH and SCOP domain classifications. CATHEDRAL shows superior performance in fold recognition and alignment accuracy when compared with many equivalent methods. If a novel multidomain structure contains a known fold, CATHEDRAL will locate it in 90% of cases, with <1% false positives. For nearly 80% of assigned domains in a manually validated test set, the boundaries were correctly delineated within a tolerance of ten residues. For the remaining cases, previously classified domains were very remotely related to the query chain so that embellishments to the core of the fold caused significant differences in domain sizes and manual refinement of the boundaries was necessary. To put this performance in context, a well-established sequence method based on hidden Markov models was only able to detect 65% of domains, with 33% of the subsequent boundaries assigned within ten residues. Since, on average, 50% of newly determined protein structures contain more than one domain unit, and typically 90% or more of these

  17. Bioinformatics analysis identify novel OB fold protein coding genes in C. elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daryanaz Dargahi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The C. elegans genome has been extensively annotated by the WormBase consortium that uses state of the art bioinformatics pipelines, functional genomics and manual curation approaches. As a result, the identification of novel genes in silico in this model organism is becoming more challenging requiring new approaches. The Oligonucleotide-oligosaccharide binding (OB fold is a highly divergent protein family, in which protein sequences, in spite of having the same fold, share very little sequence identity (5-25%. Therefore, evidence from sequence-based annotation may not be sufficient to identify all the members of this family. In C. elegans, the number of OB-fold proteins reported is remarkably low (n=46 compared to other evolutionary-related eukaryotes, such as yeast S. cerevisiae (n=344 or fruit fly D. melanogaster (n=84. Gene loss during evolution or differences in the level of annotation for this protein family, may explain these discrepancies. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: This study examines the possibility that novel OB-fold coding genes exist in the worm. We developed a bioinformatics approach that uses the most sensitive sequence-sequence, sequence-profile and profile-profile similarity search methods followed by 3D-structure prediction as a filtering step to eliminate false positive candidate sequences. We have predicted 18 coding genes containing the OB-fold that have remarkably partially been characterized in C. elegans. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: This study raises the possibility that the annotation of highly divergent protein fold families can be improved in C. elegans. Similar strategies could be implemented for large scale analysis by the WormBase consortium when novel versions of the genome sequence of C. elegans, or other evolutionary related species are being released. This approach is of general interest to the scientific community since it can be used to annotate any genome.

  18. Atomic force microscopy and force spectroscopy on the assessment of protein folding and functionality. (United States)

    Carvalho, Filomena A; Martins, Ivo C; Santos, Nuno C


    Atomic force microscopy (AFM) applied to biological systems can, besides generating high-quality and well-resolved images, be employed to study protein folding via AFM-based force spectroscopy. This approach allowed remarkable advances in the measurement of inter- and intramolecular interaction forces with piconewton resolution. The detection of specific interaction forces between molecules based on the AFM sensitivity and the manipulation of individual molecules greatly advanced the understanding of intra-protein and protein-ligand interactions. Apart from the academic interest in the resolution of basic scientific questions, this technique has also key importance on the clarification of several biological questions of immediate biomedical relevance. Force spectroscopy is an especially appropriate technique for "mechanical proteins" that can provide crucial information on single protein molecules and/or domains. Importantly, it also has the potential of combining in a single experiment spatial and kinetic measurements. Here, the main principles of this methodology are described, after which the ability to measure interactions at the single-molecule level is discussed, in the context of relevant protein-folding examples. We intend to demonstrate the potential of AFM-based force spectroscopy in the study of protein folding, especially since this technique is able to circumvent some of the difficulties typically encountered in classical thermal/chemical denaturation studies. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Shedding light on protein folding, structural and functional dynamics by single molecule studies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bavishi, Krutika; Hatzakis, Nikos


    property of a population, single molecule measurements offer observation and quantification of the abundance, lifetime and function of multiple protein states. They also permit the direct observation of the transient and rarely populated intermediates in the energy landscape that are typically averaged out...

  20. Soft Computing Techniques for the Protein Folding Problem on High Performance Computing Architectures. (United States)

    Llanes, Antonio; Muñoz, Andrés; Bueno-Crespo, Andrés; García-Valverde, Teresa; Sánchez, Antonia; Arcas-Túnez, Francisco; Pérez-Sánchez, Horacio; Cecilia, José M


    The protein-folding problem has been extensively studied during the last fifty years. The understanding of the dynamics of global shape of a protein and the influence on its biological function can help us to discover new and more effective drugs to deal with diseases of pharmacological relevance. Different computational approaches have been developed by different researchers in order to foresee the threedimensional arrangement of atoms of proteins from their sequences. However, the computational complexity of this problem makes mandatory the search for new models, novel algorithmic strategies and hardware platforms that provide solutions in a reasonable time frame. We present in this revision work the past and last tendencies regarding protein folding simulations from both perspectives; hardware and software. Of particular interest to us are both the use of inexact solutions to this computationally hard problem as well as which hardware platforms have been used for running this kind of Soft Computing techniques.

  1. Determination of protein global folds using backbone residual dipolar coupling and long-range NOE restraints

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Giesen, Alexander W.; Homans, Steve W.; Brown, Jonathan Miles


    We report the determination of the global fold of human ubiquitin using protein backbone NMR residual dipolar coupling and long-range nuclear Overhauser effect (NOE) data as conformational restraints. Specifically, by use of a maximum of three backbone residual dipolar couplings per residue (N i -H N i , N i -C' i-1 , H N i - C' i-1 ) in two tensor frames and only backbone H N -H N NOEs, a global fold of ubiquitin can be derived with a backbone root-mean-square deviation of 1.4 A with respect to the crystal structure. This degree of accuracy is more than adequate for use in databases of structural motifs, and suggests a general approach for the determination of protein global folds using conformational restraints derived only from backbone atoms

  2. CASP10-BCL::Fold efficiently samples topologies of large proteins. (United States)

    Heinze, Sten; Putnam, Daniel K; Fischer, Axel W; Kohlmann, Tim; Weiner, Brian E; Meiler, Jens


    During CASP10 in summer 2012, we tested BCL::Fold for prediction of free modeling (FM) and template-based modeling (TBM) targets. BCL::Fold assembles the tertiary structure of a protein from predicted secondary structure elements (SSEs) omitting more flexible loop regions early on. This approach enables the sampling of conformational space for larger proteins with more complex topologies. In preparation of CASP11, we analyzed the quality of CASP10 models throughout the prediction pipeline to understand BCL::Fold's ability to sample the native topology, identify native-like models by scoring and/or clustering approaches, and our ability to add loop regions and side chains to initial SSE-only models. The standout observation is that BCL::Fold sampled topologies with a GDT_TS score > 33% for 12 of 18 and with a topology score > 0.8 for 11 of 18 test cases de novo. Despite the sampling success of BCL::Fold, significant challenges still exist in clustering and loop generation stages of the pipeline. The clustering approach employed for model selection often failed to identify the most native-like assembly of SSEs for further refinement and submission. It was also observed that for some β-strand proteins model refinement failed as β-strands were not properly aligned to form hydrogen bonds removing otherwise accurate models from the pool. Further, BCL::Fold samples frequently non-natural topologies that require loop regions to pass through the center of the protein. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  3. FRAN and RBF-PSO as two components of a hyper framework to recognize protein folds. (United States)

    Abbasi, Elham; Ghatee, Mehdi; Shiri, M E


    In this paper, an intelligent hyper framework is proposed to recognize protein folds from its amino acid sequence which is a fundamental problem in bioinformatics. This framework includes some statistical and intelligent algorithms for proteins classification. The main components of the proposed framework are the Fuzzy Resource-Allocating Network (FRAN) and the Radial Bases Function based on Particle Swarm Optimization (RBF-PSO). FRAN applies a dynamic method to tune up the RBF network parameters. Due to the patterns complexity captured in protein dataset, FRAN classifies the proteins under fuzzy conditions. Also, RBF-PSO applies PSO to tune up the RBF classifier. Experimental results demonstrate that FRAN improves prediction accuracy up to 51% and achieves acceptable multi-class results for protein fold prediction. Although RBF-PSO provides reasonable results for protein fold recognition up to 48%, it is weaker than FRAN in some cases. However the proposed hyper framework provides an opportunity to use a great range of intelligent methods and can learn from previous experiences. Thus it can avoid the weakness of some intelligent methods in terms of memory, computational time and static structure. Furthermore, the performance of this system can be enhanced throughout the system life-cycle. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Extracting rate coefficients from single-molecule photon trajectories and FRET efficiency histograms for a fast-folding protein. (United States)

    Chung, Hoi Sung; Gopich, Irina V; McHale, Kevin; Cellmer, Troy; Louis, John M; Eaton, William A


    Recently developed statistical methods by Gopich and Szabo were used to extract folding and unfolding rate coefficients from single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) data for proteins with kinetics too fast to measure waiting time distributions. Two types of experiments and two different analyses were performed. In one experiment bursts of photons were collected from donor and acceptor fluorophores attached to a 73-residue protein, α(3)D, freely diffusing through the illuminated volume of a confocal microscope system. In the second, the protein was immobilized by linkage to a surface, and photons were collected until one of the fluorophores bleached. Folding and unfolding rate coefficients and mean FRET efficiencies for the folded and unfolded subpopulations were obtained from a photon by photon analysis of the trajectories using a maximum likelihood method. The ability of the method to describe the data in terms of a two-state model was checked by recoloring the photon trajectories with the extracted parameters and comparing the calculated FRET efficiency histograms with the measured histograms. The sum of the rate coefficients for the two-state model agreed to within 30% with the relaxation rate obtained from the decay of the donor-acceptor cross-correlation function, confirming the high accuracy of the method. Interestingly, apparently reliable rate coefficients could be extracted using the maximum likelihood method, even at low (rate coefficients and mean FRET efficiencies were also obtained in an approximate procedure by simply fitting the FRET efficiency histograms, calculated by binning the donor and acceptor photons, with a sum of three-Gaussian functions. The kinetics are exposed in these histograms by the growth of a FRET efficiency peak at values intermediate between the folded and unfolded peaks as the bin size increases, a phenomenon with similarities to NMR exchange broadening. When comparable populations of folded and unfolded

  5. The role of atomic level steric effects and attractive forces in protein folding. (United States)

    Lammert, Heiko; Wolynes, Peter G; Onuchic, José N


    Protein folding into tertiary structures is controlled by an interplay of attractive contact interactions and steric effects. We investigate the balance between these contributions using structure-based models using an all-atom representation of the structure combined with a coarse-grained contact potential. Tertiary contact interactions between atoms are collected into a single broad attractive well between the C(β) atoms between each residue pair in a native contact. Through the width of these contact potentials we control their tolerance for deviations from the ideal structure and the spatial range of attractive interactions. In the compact native state dominant packing constraints limit the effects of a coarse-grained contact potential. During folding, however, the broad attractive potentials allow an early collapse that starts before the native local structure is completely adopted. As a consequence the folding transition is broadened and the free energy barrier is decreased. Eventually two-state folding behavior is lost completely for systems with very broad attractive potentials. The stabilization of native-like residue interactions in non-perfect geometries early in the folding process frequently leads to structural traps. Global mirror images are a notable example. These traps are penalized by the details of the repulsive interactions only after further collapse. Successful folding to the native state requires simultaneous guidance from both attractive and repulsive interactions. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Microsecond simulations of the folding/unfolding thermodynamics of the Trp-cage mini protein (United States)

    Day, Ryan; Paschek, Dietmar; Garcia, Angel E.


    We study the unbiased folding/unfolding thermodynamics of the Trp-cage miniprotein using detailed molecular dynamics simulations of an all-atom model of the protein in explicit solvent, using the Amberff99SB force field. Replica-exchange molecular dynamics (REMD) simulations are used to sample the protein ensembles over a broad range of temperatures covering the folded and unfolded states, and at two densities. The obtained ensembles are shown to reach equilibrium in the 1 μs per replica timescale. The total simulation time employed in the calculations exceeds 100 μs. Ensemble averages of the fraction folded, pressure, and energy differences between the folded and unfolded states as a function of temperature are used to model the free energy of the folding transition, ΔG(P,T), over the whole region of temperature and pressures sampled in the simulations. The ΔG(P,T) diagram describes an ellipse over the range of temperatures and pressures sampled, predicting that the system can undergo pressure induced unfolding and cold denaturation at low temperatures and high pressures, and unfolding at low pressures and high temperatures. The calculated free energy function exhibits remarkably good agreement with the experimental folding transition temperature (Tf = 321 K), free energy and specific heat changes. However, changes in enthalpy and entropy are significantly different than the experimental values. We speculate that these differences may be due to the simplicity of the semi-empirical force field used in the simulations and that more elaborate force fields may be required to describe appropriately the thermodynamics of proteins. PMID:20408169

  7. An essential nonredundant role for mycobacterial DnaK in native protein folding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Allison Fay


    Full Text Available Protein chaperones are essential in all domains of life to prevent and resolve protein misfolding during translation and proteotoxic stress. HSP70 family chaperones, including E. coli DnaK, function in stress induced protein refolding and degradation, but are dispensable for cellular viability due to redundant chaperone systems that prevent global nascent peptide insolubility. However, the function of HSP70 chaperones in mycobacteria, a genus that includes multiple human pathogens, has not been examined. We find that mycobacterial DnaK is essential for cell growth and required for native protein folding in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Loss of DnaK is accompanied by proteotoxic collapse characterized by the accumulation of insoluble newly synthesized proteins. DnaK is required for solubility of large multimodular lipid synthases, including the essential lipid synthase FASI, and DnaK loss is accompanied by disruption of membrane structure and increased cell permeability. Trigger Factor is nonessential and has a minor role in native protein folding that is only evident in the absence of DnaK. In unstressed cells, DnaK localizes to multiple, dynamic foci, but relocalizes to focal protein aggregates during stationary phase or upon expression of aggregating peptides. Mycobacterial cells restart cell growth after proteotoxic stress by isolating persistent DnaK containing protein aggregates away from daughter cells. These results reveal unanticipated essential nonredunant roles for mycobacterial DnaK in mycobacteria and indicate that DnaK defines a unique susceptibility point in the mycobacterial proteostasis network.

  8. A multi-directional rapidly exploring random graph (mRRG) for protein folding

    KAUST Repository

    Nath, Shuvra Kanti; Thomas, Shawna; Ekenna, Chinwe; Amato, Nancy M.


    Modeling large-scale protein motions, such as those involved in folding and binding interactions, is crucial to better understanding not only how proteins move and interact with other molecules but also how proteins misfold, thus causing many devastating diseases. Robotic motion planning algorithms, such as Rapidly Exploring Random Trees (RRTs), have been successful in simulating protein folding pathways. Here, we propose a new multi-directional Rapidly Exploring Random Graph (mRRG) specifically tailored for proteins. Unlike traditional RRGs which only expand a parent conformation in a single direction, our strategy expands the parent conformation in multiple directions to generate new samples. Resulting samples are connected to the parent conformation and its nearest neighbors. By leveraging multiple directions, mRRG can model the protein motion landscape with reduced computational time compared to several other robotics-based methods for small to moderate-sized proteins. Our results on several proteins agree with experimental hydrogen out-exchange, pulse-labeling, and F-value analysis. We also show that mRRG covers the conformation space better as compared to the other computation methods. Copyright © 2012 ACM.

  9. Synergistic cooperation of PDI family members in peroxiredoxin 4-driven oxidative protein folding. (United States)

    Sato, Yoshimi; Kojima, Rieko; Okumura, Masaki; Hagiwara, Masatoshi; Masui, Shoji; Maegawa, Ken-ichi; Saiki, Masatoshi; Horibe, Tomohisa; Suzuki, Mamoru; Inaba, Kenji


    The mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER) harbors disulfide bond-generating enzymes, including Ero1α and peroxiredoxin 4 (Prx4), and nearly 20 members of the protein disulfide isomerase family (PDIs), which together constitute a suitable environment for oxidative protein folding. Here, we clarified the Prx4 preferential recognition of two PDI family proteins, P5 and ERp46, and the mode of interaction between Prx4 and P5 thioredoxin domain. Detailed analyses of oxidative folding catalyzed by the reconstituted Prx4-PDIs pathways demonstrated that, while P5 and ERp46 are dedicated to rapid, but promiscuous, disulfide introduction, PDI is an efficient proofreader of non-native disulfides. Remarkably, the Prx4-dependent formation of native disulfide bonds was accelerated when PDI was combined with ERp46 or P5, suggesting that PDIs work synergistically to increase the rate and fidelity of oxidative protein folding. Thus, the mammalian ER seems to contain highly systematized oxidative networks for the efficient production of large quantities of secretory proteins.

  10. Stabilities and Dynamics of Protein Folding Nuclei by Molecular Dynamics Simulation (United States)

    Song, Yong-Shun; Zhou, Xin; Zheng, Wei-Mou; Wang, Yan-Ting


    To understand how the stabilities of key nuclei fragments affect protein folding dynamics, we simulate by molecular dynamics (MD) simulation in aqueous solution four fragments cut out of a protein G, including one α-helix (seqB: KVFKQYAN), two β-turns (seqA: LNGKTLKG and seqC: YDDATKTF), and one β-strand (seqD: DGEWTYDD). The Markov State Model clustering method combined with the coarse-grained conformation letters method are employed to analyze the data sampled from 2-μs equilibrium MD simulation trajectories. We find that seqA and seqB have more stable structures than their native structures which become metastable when cut out of the protein structure. As expected, seqD alone is flexible and does not have a stable structure. Throughout our simulations, the native structure of seqC is stable but cannot be reached if starting from a structure other than the native one, implying a funnel-shape free energy landscape of seqC in aqueous solution. All the above results suggest that different nuclei have different formation dynamics during protein folding, which may have a major contribution to the hierarchy of protein folding dynamics. Supported by the National Basic Research Program of China under Grant No. 2013CB932804, the National Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant No. 11421063, and the CAS Biophysics Interdisciplinary Innovation Team Project

  11. Mapping the Protein Fold Universe Using the CamTube Force Field in Molecular Dynamics Simulations. (United States)

    Kukic, Predrag; Kannan, Arvind; Dijkstra, Maurits J J; Abeln, Sanne; Camilloni, Carlo; Vendruscolo, Michele


    It has been recently shown that the coarse-graining of the structures of polypeptide chains as self-avoiding tubes can provide an effective representation of the conformational space of proteins. In order to fully exploit the opportunities offered by such a 'tube model' approach, we present here a strategy to combine it with molecular dynamics simulations. This strategy is based on the incorporation of the 'CamTube' force field into the Gromacs molecular dynamics package. By considering the case of a 60-residue polyvaline chain, we show that CamTube molecular dynamics simulations can comprehensively explore the conformational space of proteins. We obtain this result by a 20 μs metadynamics simulation of the polyvaline chain that recapitulates the currently known protein fold universe. We further show that, if residue-specific interaction potentials are added to the CamTube force field, it is possible to fold a protein into a topology close to that of its native state. These results illustrate how the CamTube force field can be used to explore efficiently the universe of protein folds with good accuracy and very limited computational cost.

  12. Generic framework for mining cellular automata models on protein-folding simulations. (United States)

    Diaz, N; Tischer, I


    Cellular automata model identification is an important way of building simplified simulation models. In this study, we describe a generic architectural framework to ease the development process of new metaheuristic-based algorithms for cellular automata model identification in protein-folding trajectories. Our framework was developed by a methodology based on design patterns that allow an improved experience for new algorithms development. The usefulness of the proposed framework is demonstrated by the implementation of four algorithms, able to obtain extremely precise cellular automata models of the protein-folding process with a protein contact map representation. Dynamic rules obtained by the proposed approach are discussed, and future use for the new tool is outlined.

  13. Discovery of Proteomic Code with mRNA Assisted Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan C. Biro


    Full Text Available The 3x redundancy of the Genetic Code is usually explained as a necessity to increase the mutation-resistance of the genetic information. However recent bioinformatical observations indicate that the redundant Genetic Code contains more biological information than previously known and which is additional to the 64/20 definition of amino acids. It might define the physico-chemical and structural properties of amino acids, the codon boundaries, the amino acid co-locations (interactions in the coded proteins and the free folding energy of mRNAs. This additional information, which seems to be necessary to determine the 3D structure of coding nucleic acids as well as the coded proteins, is known as the Proteomic Code and mRNA Assisted Protein Folding.

  14. Long range correlations and folding angle with applications to α-helical proteins (United States)

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Nicolis, Stam; Niemi, Antti J.


    The conformational complexity of chain-like macromolecules such as proteins and other linear polymers is much larger than that of point-like atoms and molecules. Unlike particles, chains can bend, twist, and even become knotted. Thus chains might also display a much richer phase structure. Unfortunately, it is not very easy to characterize the phase of a long chain. Essentially, the only known attribute is the radius of gyration. The way how it changes when the degree of polymerization becomes different, and how it evolves when the ambient temperature and solvent properties change, is commonly used to disclose the phase. But in any finite length chain there are corrections to scaling that complicate the detailed analysis of the phase structure. Here we introduce a quantity that we call the folding angle to identify and scrutinize the phase structure, as a complement to the radius of gyration. We argue for a mean-field level relationship between the folding angle and the scaling exponent in the radius of gyration. We then estimate the value of the folding angle in the case of crystallographic α-helical protein structures in the Protein Data Bank. We also show how the experimental value of the folding angle can be obtained computationally, using a semiclassical Born-Oppenheimer description of α-helical chiral chains.

  15. Conserved nucleation sites reinforce the significance of Phi value analysis in protein-folding studies. (United States)

    Gianni, Stefano; Jemth, Per


    The only experimental strategy to address the structure of folding transition states, the so-called Φ value analysis, relies on the synergy between site directed mutagenesis and the measurement of reaction kinetics. Despite its importance, the Φ value analysis has been often criticized and its power to pinpoint structural information has been questioned. In this hypothesis, we demonstrate that comparing the Φ values between proteins not only allows highlighting the robustness of folding pathways but also provides per se a strong validation of the method. © 2014 International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

  16. The IntFOLD server: an integrated web resource for protein fold recognition, 3D model quality assessment, intrinsic disorder prediction, domain prediction and ligand binding site prediction. (United States)

    Roche, Daniel B; Buenavista, Maria T; Tetchner, Stuart J; McGuffin, Liam J


    The IntFOLD server is a novel independent server that integrates several cutting edge methods for the prediction of structure and function from sequence. Our guiding principles behind the server development were as follows: (i) to provide a simple unified resource that makes our prediction software accessible to all and (ii) to produce integrated output for predictions that can be easily interpreted. The output for predictions is presented as a simple table that summarizes all results graphically via plots and annotated 3D models. The raw machine readable data files for each set of predictions are also provided for developers, which comply with the Critical Assessment of Methods for Protein Structure Prediction (CASP) data standards. The server comprises an integrated suite of five novel methods: nFOLD4, for tertiary structure prediction; ModFOLD 3.0, for model quality assessment; DISOclust 2.0, for disorder prediction; DomFOLD 2.0 for domain prediction; and FunFOLD 1.0, for ligand binding site prediction. Predictions from the IntFOLD server were found to be competitive in several categories in the recent CASP9 experiment. The IntFOLD server is available at the following web site:

  17. The ModFOLD4 server for the quality assessment of 3D protein models


    McGuffin, Liam J.; Buenavista, Maria T.; Roche, Daniel B.


    Once you have generated a 3D model of a protein,\\ud how do you know whether it bears any resemblance\\ud to the actual structure? To determine the usefulness\\ud of 3D models of proteins, they must be assessed in\\ud terms of their quality by methods that predict their\\ud similarity to the native structure. The ModFOLD4\\ud server is the latest version of our leading independent\\ud server for the estimation of both the global and\\ud local (per-residue) quality of 3D protein models. The\\ud server ...

  18. Electrostatics, structure prediction, and the energy landscapes for protein folding and binding. (United States)

    Tsai, Min-Yeh; Zheng, Weihua; Balamurugan, D; Schafer, Nicholas P; Kim, Bobby L; Cheung, Margaret S; Wolynes, Peter G


    While being long in range and therefore weakly specific, electrostatic interactions are able to modulate the stability and folding landscapes of some proteins. The relevance of electrostatic forces for steering the docking of proteins to each other is widely acknowledged, however, the role of electrostatics in establishing specifically funneled landscapes and their relevance for protein structure prediction are still not clear. By introducing Debye-Hückel potentials that mimic long-range electrostatic forces into the Associative memory, Water mediated, Structure, and Energy Model (AWSEM), a transferable protein model capable of predicting tertiary structures, we assess the effects of electrostatics on the landscapes of thirteen monomeric proteins and four dimers. For the monomers, we find that adding electrostatic interactions does not improve structure prediction. Simulations of ribosomal protein S6 show, however, that folding stability depends monotonically on electrostatic strength. The trend in predicted melting temperatures of the S6 variants agrees with experimental observations. Electrostatic effects can play a range of roles in binding. The binding of the protein complex KIX-pKID is largely assisted by electrostatic interactions, which provide direct charge-charge stabilization of the native state and contribute to the funneling of the binding landscape. In contrast, for several other proteins, including the DNA-binding protein FIS, electrostatics causes frustration in the DNA-binding region, which favors its binding with DNA but not with its protein partner. This study highlights the importance of long-range electrostatics in functional responses to problems where proteins interact with their charged partners, such as DNA, RNA, as well as membranes. © 2015 The Protein Society.

  19. Studies of protein structure in solution and protein folding using synchrotron small-angle x-ray scattering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen, Lingling [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)


    Synchrotron small angle x-ray scattering (SAXS) has been applied to the structural study of several biological systems, including the nitrogenase complex, the heat shock cognate protein (hsc70), and lysozyme folding. The structural information revealed from the SAXS experiments is complementary to information obtained by other physical and biochemical methods, and adds to our knowledge and understanding of these systems.

  20. Anisotropy of the Coulomb Interaction between Folded Proteins: Consequences for Mesoscopic Aggregation of Lysozyme (United States)

    Chan, Ho Yin; Lankevich, Vladimir; Vekilov, Peter G.; Lubchenko, Vassiliy


    Toward quantitative description of protein aggregation, we develop a computationally efficient method to evaluate the potential of mean force between two folded protein molecules that allows for complete sampling of their mutual orientation. Our model is valid at moderate ionic strengths and accounts for the actual charge distribution on the surface of the molecules, the dielectric discontinuity at the protein-solvent interface, and the possibility of protonation or deprotonation of surface residues induced by the electric field due to the other protein molecule. We apply the model to the protein lysozyme, whose solutions exhibit both mesoscopic clusters of protein-rich liquid and liquid-liquid separation; the former requires that protein form complexes with typical lifetimes of approximately milliseconds. We find the electrostatic repulsion is typically lower than the prediction of the Derjaguin-Landau-Verwey-Overbeek theory. The Coulomb interaction in the lowest-energy docking configuration is nonrepulsive, despite the high positive charge on the molecules. Typical docking configurations barely involve protonation or deprotonation of surface residues. The obtained potential of mean force between folded lysozyme molecules is consistent with the location of the liquid-liquid coexistence, but produces dimers that are too short-lived for clusters to exist, suggesting lysozyme undergoes conformational changes during cluster formation. PMID:22768950

  1. Discrete Frenet frame, inflection point solitons, and curve visualization with applications to folded proteins (United States)

    Hu, Shuangwei; Lundgren, Martin; Niemi, Antti J.


    We develop a transfer matrix formalism to visualize the framing of discrete piecewise linear curves in three-dimensional space. Our approach is based on the concept of an intrinsically discrete curve. This enables us to more effectively describe curves that in the limit where the length of line segments vanishes approach fractal structures in lieu of continuous curves. We verify that in the case of differentiable curves the continuum limit of our discrete equation reproduces the generalized Frenet equation. In particular, we draw attention to the conceptual similarity between inflection points where the curvature vanishes and topologically stable solitons. As an application we consider folded proteins, their Hausdorff dimension is known to be fractal. We explain how to employ the orientation of Cβ carbons of amino acids along a protein backbone to introduce a preferred framing along the backbone. By analyzing the experimentally resolved fold geometries in the Protein Data Bank we observe that this Cβ framing relates intimately to the discrete Frenet framing. We also explain how inflection points (a.k.a. soliton centers) can be located in the loops and clarify their distinctive rôle in determining the loop structure of folded proteins.

  2. Rapid measurement of residual dipolar couplings for fast fold elucidation of proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rasia, Rodolfo M. [Jean-Pierre Ebel CNRS/CEA/UJF, Institut de Biologie Structurale (France); Lescop, Ewen [CNRS, Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles (France); Palatnik, Javier F. [Universidad Nacional de Rosario, Instituto de Biologia Molecular y Celular de Rosario, Facultad de Ciencias Bioquimicas y Farmaceuticas (Argentina); Boisbouvier, Jerome, E-mail:; Brutscher, Bernhard, E-mail: [Jean-Pierre Ebel CNRS/CEA/UJF, Institut de Biologie Structurale (France)


    It has been demonstrated that protein folds can be determined using appropriate computational protocols with NMR chemical shifts as the sole source of experimental restraints. While such approaches are very promising they still suffer from low convergence resulting in long computation times to achieve accurate results. Here we present a suite of time- and sensitivity optimized NMR experiments for rapid measurement of up to six RDCs per residue. Including such an RDC data set, measured in less than 24 h on a single aligned protein sample, greatly improves convergence of the Rosetta-NMR protocol, allowing for overnight fold calculation of small proteins. We demonstrate the performance of our fast fold calculation approach for ubiquitin as a test case, and for two RNA-binding domains of the plant protein HYL1. Structure calculations based on simulated RDC data highlight the importance of an accurate and precise set of several complementary RDCs as additional input restraints for high-quality de novo structure determination.

  3. An overview on molecular chaperones enhancing solubility of expressed recombinant proteins with correct folding. (United States)

    Mamipour, Mina; Yousefi, Mohammadreza; Hasanzadeh, Mohammad


    The majority of research topics declared that most of the recombinant proteins have been expressed by Escherichia coli in basic investigations. But the majority of high expressed proteins formed as inactive recombinant proteins that are called inclusion body. To overcome this problem, several methods have been used including suitable promoter, environmental factors, ladder tag to secretion of proteins into the periplasm, gene protein optimization, chemical chaperones and molecular chaperones sets. Co-expression of the interest protein with molecular chaperones is one of the common methods The chaperones are a group of proteins, which are involved in making correct folding of recombinant proteins. Chaperones are divided two groups including; cytoplasmic and periplasmic chaperones. Moreover, periplasmic chaperones and proteases can be manipulated to increase the yields of secreted proteins. In this article, we attempted to review cytoplasmic chaperones such as Hsp families and periplasmic chaperones including; generic chaperones, specialized chaperones, PPIases, and proteins involved in disulfide bond formation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Right- and left-handed three-helix proteins. I. Experimental and simulation analysis of differences in folding and structure. (United States)

    Glyakina, Anna V; Pereyaslavets, Leonid B; Galzitskaya, Oxana V


    Despite the large number of publications on three-helix protein folding, there is no study devoted to the influence of handedness on the rate of three-helix protein folding. From the experimental studies, we make a conclusion that the left-handed three-helix proteins fold faster than the right-handed ones. What may explain this difference? An important question arising in this paper is whether the modeling of protein folding can catch the difference between the protein folding rates of proteins with similar structures but with different folding mechanisms. To answer this question, the folding of eight three-helix proteins (four right-handed and four left-handed), which are similar in size, was modeled using the Monte Carlo and dynamic programming methods. The studies allowed us to determine the orders of folding of the secondary-structure elements in these domains and amino acid residues which are important for the folding. The obtained data are in good correlation with each other and with the experimental data. Structural analysis of these proteins demonstrated that the left-handed domains have a lesser number of contacts per residue and a smaller radius of cross section than the right-handed domains. This may be one of the explanations of the observed fact. The same tendency is observed for the large dataset consisting of 332 three-helix proteins (238 right- and 94 left-handed). From our analysis, we found that the left-handed three-helix proteins have some less-dense packing that should result in faster folding for some proteins as compared to the case of right-handed proteins. Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. Amino acid alphabet reduction preserves fold information contained in contact interactions in proteins. (United States)

    Solis, Armando D


    To reduce complexity, understand generalized rules of protein folding, and facilitate de novo protein design, the 20-letter amino acid alphabet is commonly reduced to a smaller alphabet by clustering amino acids based on some measure of similarity. In this work, we seek the optimal alphabet that preserves as much of the structural information found in long-range (contact) interactions among amino acids in natively-folded proteins. We employ the Information Maximization Device, based on information theory, to partition the amino acids into well-defined clusters. Numbering from 2 to 19 groups, these optimal clusters of amino acids, while generated automatically, embody well-known properties of amino acids such as hydrophobicity/polarity, charge, size, and aromaticity, and are demonstrated to maintain the discriminative power of long-range interactions with minimal loss of mutual information. Our measurements suggest that reduced alphabets (of less than 10) are able to capture virtually all of the information residing in native contacts and may be sufficient for fold recognition, as demonstrated by extensive threading tests. In an expansive survey of the literature, we observe that alphabets derived from various approaches-including those derived from physicochemical intuition, local structure considerations, and sequence alignments of remote homologs-fare consistently well in preserving contact interaction information, highlighting a convergence in the various factors thought to be relevant to the folding code. Moreover, we find that alphabets commonly used in experimental protein design are nearly optimal and are largely coherent with observations that have arisen in this work. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  6. Production, purification and oxidative folding of the mouse recombinant prion protein

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Pavlíček, A.; Bednárová, Lucie; Holada, K.


    Roč. 52, č. 4 (2007), s. 391-397 ISSN 0015-5632 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD310/05/H533 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA310/04/0419 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Keywords : recombinant prion protein * production * purification * folding Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 0.989, year: 2007

  7. Systematic analysis of short internal indels and their impact on protein folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo Jun-tao


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Protein sequence insertions/deletions (indels can be introduced during evolution or through alternative splicing (AS. Alternative splicing is an important biological phenomenon and is considered as the major means of expanding structural and functional diversity in eukaryotes. Knowledge of the structural changes due to indels is critical to our understanding of the evolution of protein structure and function. In addition, it can help us probe the evolution of alternative splicing and the diversity of functional isoforms. However, little is known about the effects of indels, in particular the ones involving core secondary structures, on the folding of protein structures. The long term goal of our study is to accurately predict the protein AS isoform structures. As a first step towards this goal, we performed a systematic analysis on the structural changes caused by short internal indels through mining highly homologous proteins in Protein Data Bank (PDB. Results We compiled a non-redundant dataset of short internal indels (2-40 amino acids from highly homologous protein pairs and analyzed the sequence and structural features of the indels. We found that about one third of indel residues are in disordered state and majority of the residues are exposed to solvent, suggesting that these indels are generally located on the surface of proteins. Though naturally occurring indels are fewer than engineered ones in the dataset, there are no statistically significant differences in terms of amino acid frequencies and secondary structure types between the "Natural" indels and "All" indels in the dataset. Structural comparisons show that all the protein pairs with short internal indels in the dataset preserve the structural folds and about 85% of protein pairs have global RMSDs (root mean square deviations of 2Å or less, suggesting that protein structures tend to be conserved and can tolerate short insertions and deletions. A few pairs

  8. Variation in the Subcellular Localization and Protein Folding Activity among Arabidopsis thaliana Homologs of Protein Disulfide Isomerase

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christen Y. L. Yuen


    Full Text Available Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs catalyze the formation, breakage, and rearrangement of disulfide bonds to properly fold nascent polypeptides within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER. Classical animal and yeast PDIs possess two catalytic thioredoxin-like domains (a, a′ and two non-catalytic domains (b, b′, in the order a-b-b′-a′. The model plant, Arabidopsis thaliana, encodes 12 PDI-like proteins, six of which possess the classical PDI domain arrangement (AtPDI1 through AtPDI6. Three additional AtPDIs (AtPDI9, AtPDI10, AtPDI11 possess two thioredoxin domains, but without intervening b-b′ domains. C-terminal green fluorescent protein (GFP fusions to each of the nine dual-thioredoxin PDI homologs localized predominantly to the ER lumen when transiently expressed in protoplasts. Additionally, expression of AtPDI9:GFP-KDEL and AtPDI10: GFP-KDDL was associated with the formation of ER bodies. AtPDI9, AtPDI10, and AtPDI11 mediated the oxidative folding of alkaline phosphatase when heterologously expressed in the Escherichia coli protein folding mutant, dsbA−. However, only three classical AtPDIs (AtPDI2, AtPDI5, AtPDI6 functionally complemented dsbA−. Interestingly, chemical inducers of the ER unfolded protein response were previously shown to upregulate most of the AtPDIs that complemented dsbA−. The results indicate that Arabidopsis PDIs differ in their localization and protein folding activities to fulfill distinct molecular functions in the ER.

  9. Rapid expansion of the protein disulfide isomerase gene family facilitates the folding of venom peptides

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Safavi-Hemami, Helena; Li, Qing; Jackson, Ronneshia L.


    Formation of correct disulfide bonds in the endoplasmic reticulum is a crucial step for folding proteins destined for secretion. Protein disulfide isomerases (PDIs) play a central role in this process. We report a previously unidentified, hypervariable family of PDIs that represents the most...... diverse gene family of oxidoreductases described in a single genus to date. These enzymes are highly expressed specifically in the venom glands of predatory cone snails, animals that synthesize a remarkably diverse set of cysteine-rich peptide toxins (conotoxins). Enzymes in this PDI family, termed...

  10. In vivo labelling of proteins associated with folded chromosomes of yeast

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Litske Petersen, J.G.; Pinon, R.


    Proteins associated with the pre-replicative (g 1 ) and post-replicative (g 2 ) folded chromosomes of Saccharomyces cerevisiae can be labelled in vivo by growing cells in acetate vegetative medium containing [ 35 S]methionine. In both sporulating (MATa/MATα) and non-sporulating (MATa/MATa, MATα/MATα) diploids proteins associated with the resting stage genome (g 0 ) can be labelled with [ 35 S]methionine during nitrogen starvation and in sporulation medium. In addition, in MATa/MATα diploids proteins associated with the meiotic replication form (r) can also be labelled. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography of the labelled proteins from the various folded genome forms showed that the g 1 and g 2 patterns are, with the exception of one polypeptide band, essentially identical. Several differences distinguished the r and g 0 patterns from those of the g 1 and g 2 structures. At least four polypeptide bands distinguish the r and g 0 patterns. No significant differences were observed between the g 0 proteins of sporulating and non-sporulating diploids. (author)

  11. MFIB: a repository of protein complexes with mutual folding induced by binding. (United States)

    Fichó, Erzsébet; Reményi, István; Simon, István; Mészáros, Bálint


    It is commonplace that intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are involved in crucial interactions in the living cell. However, the study of protein complexes formed exclusively by IDPs is hindered by the lack of data and such analyses remain sporadic. Systematic studies benefited other types of protein-protein interactions paving a way from basic science to therapeutics; yet these efforts require reliable datasets that are currently lacking for synergistically folding complexes of IDPs. Here we present the Mutual Folding Induced by Binding (MFIB) database, the first systematic collection of complexes formed exclusively by IDPs. MFIB contains an order of magnitude more data than any dataset used in corresponding studies and offers a wide coverage of known IDP complexes in terms of flexibility, oligomeric composition and protein function from all domains of life. The included complexes are grouped using a hierarchical classification and are complemented with structural and functional annotations. MFIB is backed by a firm development team and infrastructure, and together with possible future community collaboration it will provide the cornerstone for structural and functional studies of IDP complexes. MFIB is freely accessible at The MFIB application is hosted by Apache web server and was implemented in PHP. To enrich querying features and to enhance backend performance a MySQL database was also created., Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press.

  12. Targeting the OB-Folds of Replication Protein A with Small Molecules

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor J. Anciano Granadillo


    Full Text Available Replication protein A (RPA is the main eukaryotic single-strand (ss DNA-binding protein involved in DNA replication and repair. We have identified and developed two classes of small molecule inhibitors (SMIs that show in vitro inhibition of the RPA-DNA interaction. We present further characterization of these SMIs with respect to their target binding, mechanism of action, and specificity. Both reversible and irreversible modes of inhibition are observed for the different classes of SMIs with one class found to specifically interact with DNA-binding domains A and B (DBD-A/B of RPA. In comparison with other oligonucleotide/oligosaccharide binding-fold (OB-fold containing ssDNA-binding proteins, one class of SMIs displayed specificity for the RPA protein. Together these data demonstrate that the specific targeting of a protein-DNA interaction can be exploited towards interrogating the cellular activity of RPA as well as increasing the efficacy of DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics used in cancer treatment.

  13. Why do alpha-beta parallel proteins, like flavodoxins, form misfolded off-pathway intermediates?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nabuurs, S.M.


    The question: “Why do α-β parallel proteins, like flavodoxins, form misfolded off-pathway
    intermediates?" is the main subject of this thesis. A. vinelandii apoflavodoxin is chosen as protein
    of interest as it is a representative of α-β parallel proteins, which are widely prevalent in

  14. GroEL-GroES assisted folding of multiple recombinant proteins simultaneously over-expressed in Escherichia coli. (United States)

    Goyal, Megha; Chaudhuri, Tapan K


    Folding of aggregation prone recombinant proteins through co-expression of chaperonin GroEL and GroES has been a popular practice in the effort to optimize preparation of functional protein in Escherichia coli. Considering the demand for functional recombinant protein products, it is desirable to apply the chaperone assisted protein folding strategy for enhancing the yield of properly folded protein. Toward the same direction, it is also worth attempting folding of multiple recombinant proteins simultaneously over-expressed in E. coli through the assistance of co-expressed GroEL-ES. The genesis of this thinking was originated from the fact that cellular GroEL and GroES assist in the folding of several endogenous proteins expressed in the bacterial cell. Here we present the experimental findings from our study on co-expressed GroEL-GroES assisted folding of simultaneously over-expressed proteins maltodextrin glucosidase (MalZ) and yeast mitochondrial aconitase (mAco). Both proteins mentioned here are relatively larger and aggregation prone, mostly form inclusion bodies, and undergo GroEL-ES assisted folding in E. coli cells during over-expression. It has been reported that the relative yield of properly folded functional forms of MalZ and mAco with the exogenous GroEL-ES assistance were comparable with the results when these proteins were overexpressed alone. This observation is quite promising and highlights the fact that GroEL and GroES can assist in the folding of multiple substrate proteins simultaneously when over-expressed in E. coli. This method might be a potential tool for enhanced production of multiple functional recombinant proteins simultaneously in E. coli. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Adaptive local learning in sampling based motion planning for protein folding. (United States)

    Ekenna, Chinwe; Thomas, Shawna; Amato, Nancy M


    Simulating protein folding motions is an important problem in computational biology. Motion planning algorithms, such as Probabilistic Roadmap Methods, have been successful in modeling the folding landscape. Probabilistic Roadmap Methods and variants contain several phases (i.e., sampling, connection, and path extraction). Most of the time is spent in the connection phase and selecting which variant to employ is a difficult task. Global machine learning has been applied to the connection phase but is inefficient in situations with varying topology, such as those typical of folding landscapes. We develop a local learning algorithm that exploits the past performance of methods within the neighborhood of the current connection attempts as a basis for learning. It is sensitive not only to different types of landscapes but also to differing regions in the landscape itself, removing the need to explicitly partition the landscape. We perform experiments on 23 proteins of varying secondary structure makeup with 52-114 residues. We compare the success rate when using our methods and other methods. We demonstrate a clear need for learning (i.e., only learning methods were able to validate against all available experimental data) and show that local learning is superior to global learning producing, in many cases, significantly higher quality results than the other methods. We present an algorithm that uses local learning to select appropriate connection methods in the context of roadmap construction for protein folding. Our method removes the burden of deciding which method to use, leverages the strengths of the individual input methods, and it is extendable to include other future connection methods.

  16. Protein folding optimization based on 3D off-lattice model via an improved artificial bee colony algorithm. (United States)

    Li, Bai; Lin, Mu; Liu, Qiao; Li, Ya; Zhou, Changjun


    Protein folding is a fundamental topic in molecular biology. Conventional experimental techniques for protein structure identification or protein folding recognition require strict laboratory requirements and heavy operating burdens, which have largely limited their applications. Alternatively, computer-aided techniques have been developed to optimize protein structures or to predict the protein folding process. In this paper, we utilize a 3D off-lattice model to describe the original protein folding scheme as a simplified energy-optimal numerical problem, where all types of amino acid residues are binarized into hydrophobic and hydrophilic ones. We apply a balance-evolution artificial bee colony (BE-ABC) algorithm as the minimization solver, which is featured by the adaptive adjustment of search intensity to cater for the varying needs during the entire optimization process. In this work, we establish a benchmark case set with 13 real protein sequences from the Protein Data Bank database and evaluate the convergence performance of BE-ABC algorithm through strict comparisons with several state-of-the-art ABC variants in short-term numerical experiments. Besides that, our obtained best-so-far protein structures are compared to the ones in comprehensive previous literature. This study also provides preliminary insights into how artificial intelligence techniques can be applied to reveal the dynamics of protein folding. Graphical Abstract Protein folding optimization using 3D off-lattice model and advanced optimization techniques.

  17. A replica exchange Monte Carlo algorithm for protein folding in the HP model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shmygelska Alena


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The ab initio protein folding problem consists of predicting protein tertiary structure from a given amino acid sequence by minimizing an energy function; it is one of the most important and challenging problems in biochemistry, molecular biology and biophysics. The ab initio protein folding problem is computationally challenging and has been shown to be NP MathType@MTEF@5@5@+=feaafiart1ev1aaatCvAUfKttLearuWrP9MDH5MBPbIqV92AaeXatLxBI9gBaebbnrfifHhDYfgasaacH8akY=wiFfYdH8Gipec8Eeeu0xXdbba9frFj0=OqFfea0dXdd9vqai=hGuQ8kuc9pgc9s8qqaq=dirpe0xb9q8qiLsFr0=vr0=vr0dc8meaabaqaciaacaGaaeqabaqabeGadaaakeaat0uy0HwzTfgDPnwy1egaryqtHrhAL1wy0L2yHvdaiqaacqWFneVtcqqGqbauaaa@3961@-hard even when conformations are restricted to a lattice. In this work, we implement and evaluate the replica exchange Monte Carlo (REMC method, which has already been applied very successfully to more complex protein models and other optimization problems with complex energy landscapes, in combination with the highly effective pull move neighbourhood in two widely studied Hydrophobic Polar (HP lattice models. Results We demonstrate that REMC is highly effective for solving instances of the square (2D and cubic (3D HP protein folding problem. When using the pull move neighbourhood, REMC outperforms current state-of-the-art algorithms for most benchmark instances. Additionally, we show that this new algorithm provides a larger ensemble of ground-state structures than the existing state-of-the-art methods. Furthermore, it scales well with sequence length, and it finds significantly better conformations on long biological sequences and sequences with a provably unique ground-state structure, which is believed to be a characteristic of real proteins. We also present evidence that our REMC algorithm can fold sequences which exhibit significant interaction between termini in the hydrophobic core relatively easily. Conclusion We demonstrate that REMC utilizing the pull move

  18. Protein folding: Defining a standard set of experimental conditions and a preliminary kinetic data set of two-state proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maxwell, Karen L.; Wildes, D.; Zarrine-Afsar, A.


    Recent years have seen the publication of both empirical and theoretical relationships predicting the rates with which proteins fold. Our ability to test and refine these relationships has been limited, however, by a variety of difficulties associated with the comparison of folding and unfolding ...... efforts is to set uniform standards for the experimental community and to initiate an accumulating, self-consistent data set that will aid ongoing efforts to understand the folding process....... constructs. The lack of a single approach to data analysis and error estimation, or even of a common set of units and reporting standards, further hinders comparative studies of folding. In an effort to overcome these problems, we define here a consensus set of experimental conditions (25°C at pH 7.0, 50 m...... rates, thermodynamics, and structure across diverse sets of proteins. These difficulties include the wide, potentially confounding range of experimental conditions and methods employed to date and the difficulty of obtaining correct and complete sequence and structural details for the characterized...

  19. Localizing internal friction along the reaction coordinate of protein folding by combining ensemble and single-molecule fluorescence spectroscopy (United States)

    Borgia, Alessandro; Wensley, Beth G.; Soranno, Andrea; Nettels, Daniel; Borgia, Madeleine B.; Hoffmann, Armin; Pfeil, Shawn H.; Lipman, Everett A.; Clarke, Jane; Schuler, Benjamin


    Theory, simulations and experimental results have suggested an important role of internal friction in the kinetics of protein folding. Recent experiments on spectrin domains provided the first evidence for a pronounced contribution of internal friction in proteins that fold on the millisecond timescale. However, it has remained unclear how this contribution is distributed along the reaction and what influence it has on the folding dynamics. Here we use a combination of single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer, nanosecond fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, microfluidic mixing and denaturant- and viscosity-dependent protein-folding kinetics to probe internal friction in the unfolded state and at the early and late transition states of slow- and fast-folding spectrin domains. We find that the internal friction affecting the folding rates of spectrin domains is highly localized to the early transition state, suggesting an important role of rather specific interactions in the rate-limiting conformational changes. PMID:23149740

  20. Supersymmetric quantum mechanics method for the Fokker-Planck equation with applications to protein folding dynamics (United States)

    Polotto, Franciele; Drigo Filho, Elso; Chahine, Jorge; Oliveira, Ronaldo Junio de


    This work developed analytical methods to explore the kinetics of the time-dependent probability distributions over thermodynamic free energy profiles of protein folding and compared the results with simulation. The Fokker-Planck equation is mapped onto a Schrödinger-type equation due to the well-known solutions of the latter. Through a semi-analytical description, the supersymmetric quantum mechanics formalism is invoked and the time-dependent probability distributions are obtained with numerical calculations by using the variational method. A coarse-grained structure-based model of the two-state protein Tm CSP was simulated at a Cα level of resolution and the thermodynamics and kinetics were fully characterized. Analytical solutions from non-equilibrium conditions were obtained with the simulated double-well free energy potential and kinetic folding times were calculated. It was found that analytical folding time as a function of temperature agrees, quantitatively, with simulations and experiments from the literature of Tm CSP having the well-known 'U' shape of the Chevron Plots. The simple analytical model developed in this study has a potential to be used by theoreticians and experimentalists willing to explore, quantitatively, rates and the kinetic behavior of their system by informing the thermally activated barrier. The theory developed describes a stochastic process and, therefore, can be applied to a variety of biological as well as condensed-phase two-state systems.

  1. Engineering Aromatic-Aromatic Interactions To Nucleate Folding in Intrinsically Disordered Regions of Proteins. (United States)

    Balakrishnan, Swati; Sarma, Siddhartha P


    Aromatic interactions are an important force in protein folding as they combine the stability of a hydrophobic interaction with the selectivity of a hydrogen bond. Much of our understanding of aromatic interactions comes from "bioinformatics" based analyses of protein structures and from the contribution of these interactions to stabilizing secondary structure motifs in model peptides. In this study, the structural consequences of aromatic interactions on protein folding have been explored in engineered mutants of the molten globule protein apo-cytochrome b 5 . Structural changes from disorder to order due to aromatic interactions in two variants of the protein, viz., WF-cytb5 and FF-cytb5, result in significant long-range secondary and tertiary structure. The results show that 54 and 52% of the residues in WF-cytb5 and FF-cytb5, respectively, occupy ordered regions versus 26% in apo-cytochrome b 5 . The interactions between the aromatic groups are offset-stacked and edge-to-face for the Trp-Phe and Phe-Phe mutants, respectively. Urea denaturation studies indicate that both mutants have a C m higher than that of apo-cytochrome b 5 and are more stable to chaotropic agents than apo-cytochrome b 5 . The introduction of these aromatic residues also results in "trimer" interactions with existing aromatic groups, reaffirming the selectivity of the aromatic interactions. These studies provide insights into the aromatic interactions that drive disorder-to-order transitions in intrinsically disordered regions of proteins and will aid in de novo protein design beyond small peptide scaffolds.

  2. Solution structure of an archaeal DNA binding protein with an eukaryotic zinc finger fold.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florence Guillière

    Full Text Available While the basal transcription machinery in archaea is eukaryal-like, transcription factors in archaea and their viruses are usually related to bacterial transcription factors. Nevertheless, some of these organisms show predicted classical zinc fingers motifs of the C2H2 type, which are almost exclusively found in proteins of eukaryotes and most often associated with transcription regulators. In this work, we focused on the protein AFV1p06 from the hyperthermophilic archaeal virus AFV1. The sequence of the protein consists of the classical eukaryotic C2H2 motif with the fourth histidine coordinating zinc missing, as well as of N- and C-terminal extensions. We showed that the protein AFV1p06 binds zinc and solved its solution structure by NMR. AFV1p06 displays a zinc finger fold with a novel structure extension and disordered N- and C-termini. Structure calculations show that a glutamic acid residue that coordinates zinc replaces the fourth histidine of the C2H2 motif. Electromobility gel shift assays indicate that the protein binds to DNA with different affinities depending on the DNA sequence. AFV1p06 is the first experimentally characterised archaeal zinc finger protein with a DNA binding activity. The AFV1p06 protein family has homologues in diverse viruses of hyperthermophilic archaea. A phylogenetic analysis points out a common origin of archaeal and eukaryotic C2H2 zinc fingers.

  3. Improved in Vitro Folding of the Y2 G Protein-Coupled Receptor into Bicelles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Schmidt


    Full Text Available Prerequisite for structural studies on G protein-coupled receptors is the preparation of highly concentrated, stable, and biologically active receptor samples in milligram amounts of protein. Here, we present an improved protocol for Escherichia coli expression, functional refolding, and reconstitution into bicelles of the human neuropeptide Y receptor type 2 (Y2R for solution and solid-state NMR experiments. The isotopically labeled receptor is expressed in inclusion bodies and purified using SDS. We studied the details of an improved preparation protocol including the in vitro folding of the receptor, e.g., the native disulfide bridge formation, the exchange of the denaturating detergent SDS, and the functional reconstitution into bicelle environments of varying size. Full pharmacological functionality of the Y2R preparation was shown by a ligand affinity of 4 nM and G-protein activation. Further, simple NMR experiments are used to test sample quality in high micromolar concentration.

  4. Ab initio folding of mixed-fold FSD-EY protein using formula-based polarizable hydrogen bond (PHB) charge model (United States)

    Zhang, Dawei; Lazim, Raudah; Mun Yip, Yew


    We conducted an all-atom ab initio folding of FSD-EY, a protein with a ββα configuration using non-polarizable (AMBER) and polarizable force fields (PHB designed by Gao et al.) in implicit solvent. The effect of reducing the polarization effect integrated into the force field by the PHB model, termed the PHB0.7 was also examined in the folding of FSD-EY. This model incorporates into the force field 70% of the original polarization effect to minimize the likelihood of over-stabilizing the backbone hydrogen bonds. Precise folding of the β-sheet of FSD-EY was further achieved by relaxing the REMD structure obtained in explicit water.

  5. Theory and simulation of explicit solvent effects on protein folding in vitro and in vivo (United States)

    England, Jeremy L.

    The aim of this work is to develop theoretical tools for understanding what happens to water that is confined in amphipathic cavities, and for testing the consequences of this understanding for protein folding in vitro and in vivo. We begin in the first chapter with a brief review of the theoretical and simulation literature on the hydrophobic effect and the aqueous solvation of charged species that also puts forward a simple theoretical framework within which various solvation phenomena reported in past studies may be unified. Subsequently, in the second chapter we also review past computational and theoretical work on the specific question of how chaperonin complexes assist the folding of their substrates. With the context set, we turn in Chapter 3 to the case of an open system with water trapped between hydrophobic plates that experiences a uniform electric field normal to and between the plates. Classic bulk theory of electrostriction in polarizable fluids tells us that the electric field should cause an increase in local water density as it rises, yet some simulations have suggested the opposite. We present a mean-field Potts model we have developed to explain this discrepancy, and show how such a simple, coarse-grained lattice description can capture the fundamental consequences of the fact that external electric fields can frustrate the hydrogen bond network in confined water. Chapter 4 continues to pursue the issue of solvent evacuation between hydrophobic plates, but focuses on the impact of chemical denaturants on hydrophobic effects using molecular dynamics simulations of hydrophobic dewetting. We find that while urea and guanidinium have similar qualitative effects at the bulk level, they seem to differ in the microscopic mechanism by which they denature proteins, although both inhibit the onset of dewetting. Lastly, Chapters 5 and 6 examine the potential importance of solvent-mediated forces to protein folding in vivo. Chapter 5 develops a Landau

  6. SHuffle, a novel Escherichia coli protein expression strain capable of correctly folding disulfide bonded proteins in its cytoplasm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lobstein Julie


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Production of correctly disulfide bonded proteins to high yields remains a challenge. Recombinant protein expression in Escherichia coli is the popular choice, especially within the research community. While there is an ever growing demand for new expression strains, few strains are dedicated to post-translational modifications, such as disulfide bond formation. Thus, new protein expression strains must be engineered and the parameters involved in producing disulfide bonded proteins must be understood. Results We have engineered a new E. coli protein expression strain named SHuffle, dedicated to producing correctly disulfide bonded active proteins to high yields within its cytoplasm. This strain is based on the trxB gor suppressor strain SMG96 where its cytoplasmic reductive pathways have been diminished, allowing for the formation of disulfide bonds in the cytoplasm. We have further engineered a major improvement by integrating into its chromosome a signal sequenceless disulfide bond isomerase, DsbC. We probed the redox state of DsbC in the oxidizing cytoplasm and evaluated its role in assisting the formation of correctly folded multi-disulfide bonded proteins. We optimized protein expression conditions, varying temperature, induction conditions, strain background and the co-expression of various helper proteins. We found that temperature has the biggest impact on improving yields and that the E. coli B strain background of this strain was superior to the K12 version. We also discovered that auto-expression of substrate target proteins using this strain resulted in higher yields of active pure protein. Finally, we found that co-expression of mutant thioredoxins and PDI homologs improved yields of various substrate proteins. Conclusions This work is the first extensive characterization of the trxB gor suppressor strain. The results presented should help researchers design the appropriate protein expression conditions using

  7. Can a pairwise contact potential stabilize native protein folds against decoys obtained by threading? (United States)

    Vendruscolo, M; Najmanovich, R; Domany, E


    We present a method to derive contact energy parameters from large sets of proteins. The basic requirement on which our method is based is that for each protein in the database the native contact map has lower energy than all its decoy conformations that are obtained by threading. Only when this condition is satisfied one can use the proposed energy function for fold identification. Such a set of parameters can be found (by perceptron learning) if Mp, the number of proteins in the database, is not too large. Other aspects that influence the existence of such a solution are the exact definition of contact and the value of the critical distance Rc, below which two residues are considered to be in contact. Another important novel feature of our approach is its ability to determine whether an energy function of some suitable proposed form can or cannot be parameterized in a way that satisfies our basic requirement. As a demonstration of this, we determine the region in the (Rc, Mp) plane in which the problem is solvable, i.e., we can find a set of contact parameters that stabilize simultaneously all the native conformations. We show that for large enough databases the contact approximation to the energy cannot stabilize all the native folds even against the decoys obtained by gapless threading.

  8. TMFoldWeb: a web server for predicting transmembrane protein fold class. (United States)

    Kozma, Dániel; Tusnády, Gábor E


    Here we present TMFoldWeb, the web server implementation of TMFoldRec, a transmembrane protein fold recognition algorithm. TMFoldRec uses statistical potentials and utilizes topology filtering and a gapless threading algorithm. It ranks template structures and selects the most likely candidates and estimates the reliability of the obtained lowest energy model. The statistical potential was developed in a maximum likelihood framework on a representative set of the PDBTM database. According to the benchmark test the performance of TMFoldRec is about 77 % in correctly predicting fold class for a given transmembrane protein sequence. An intuitive web interface has been developed for the recently published TMFoldRec algorithm. The query sequence goes through a pipeline of topology prediction and a systematic sequence to structure alignment (threading). Resulting templates are ordered by energy and reliability values and are colored according to their significance level. Besides the graphical interface, a programmatic access is available as well, via a direct interface for developers or for submitting genome-wide data sets. The TMFoldWeb web server is unique and currently the only web server that is able to predict the fold class of transmembrane proteins while assigning reliability scores for the prediction. This method is prepared for genome-wide analysis with its easy-to-use interface, informative result page and programmatic access. Considering the info-communication evolution in the last few years, the developed web server, as well as the molecule viewer, is responsive and fully compatible with the prevalent tablets and mobile devices.

  9. BCL::MP-Fold: membrane protein structure prediction guided by EPR restraints (United States)

    Fischer, Axel W.; Alexander, Nathan S.; Woetzel, Nils; Karakaş, Mert; Weiner, Brian E.; Meiler, Jens


    For many membrane proteins, the determination of their topology remains a challenge for methods like X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy has evolved as an alternative technique to study structure and dynamics of membrane proteins. The present study demonstrates the feasibility of membrane protein topology determination using limited EPR distance and accessibility measurements. The BCL::MP-Fold algorithm assembles secondary structure elements (SSEs) in the membrane using a Monte Carlo Metropolis (MCM) approach. Sampled models are evaluated using knowledge-based potential functions and agreement with the EPR data and a knowledge-based energy function. Twenty-nine membrane proteins of up to 696 residues are used to test the algorithm. The protein-size-normalized root-mean-square-deviation (RMSD100) value of the most accurate model is better than 8 Å for twenty-seven, better than 6 Å for twenty-two, and better than 4 Å for fifteen out of twenty-nine proteins, demonstrating the algorithm’s ability to sample the native topology. The average enrichment could be improved from 1.3 to 2.5, showing the improved discrimination power by using EPR data. PMID:25820805

  10. Protein folding and non-conventional drug design: a primer for nuclear structure physicists

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broglia, R.A.; Tiana, G.; Provasi, D.


    Some of the paradigms emerging from the study of the phenomena of phase transitions in finite many-body systems, like e.g. the atomic nucleus can be used at profit to solve the protein folding problem within the framework of simple (although not oversimplified) models. From this solution a paradigm emerges for the design of non-conventional drugs, which inhibit enzymatic action without inducing resistance (mutations). The application of these concepts to the design of an inhibitor to the HIV-protease central in the life cycle of the HIV virus is discussed

  11. Design of an Efficient Turbulent Micro-Mixer for Protein Folding Experiments (United States)

    Inguva, Venkatesh; Perot, Blair


    Protein folding studies require the development of micro-mixers that require less sample, mix at faster rates, and still provide a high signal to noise ratio. Chaotic to marginally turbulent micro-mixers are promising candidates for this application. In this study, various turbulence and unsteadiness generation concepts are explored that avoid cavitation. The mixing enhancements include flow turning regions, flow splitters, and vortex shedding. The relative effectiveness of these different approaches for rapid micro-mixing is discussed. Simulations found that flow turning regions provided the best mixing profile. Experimental validation of the optimal design is verified through laser confocal microscopy experiments. This work is support by the National Science Foundation.

  12. Imbalance of heterologous protein folding and disulfide bond formation rates yields runaway oxidative stress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tyo Keith EJ


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The protein secretory pathway must process a wide assortment of native proteins for eukaryotic cells to function. As well, recombinant protein secretion is used extensively to produce many biologics and industrial enzymes. Therefore, secretory pathway dysfunction can be highly detrimental to the cell and can drastically inhibit product titers in biochemical production. Because the secretory pathway is a highly-integrated, multi-organelle system, dysfunction can happen at many levels and dissecting the root cause can be challenging. In this study, we apply a systems biology approach to analyze secretory pathway dysfunctions resulting from heterologous production of a small protein (insulin precursor or a larger protein (α-amylase. Results HAC1-dependent and independent dysfunctions and cellular responses were apparent across multiple datasets. In particular, processes involving (a degradation of protein/recycling amino acids, (b overall transcription/translation repression, and (c oxidative stress were broadly associated with secretory stress. Conclusions Apparent runaway oxidative stress due to radical production observed here and elsewhere can be explained by a futile cycle of disulfide formation and breaking that consumes reduced glutathione and produces reactive oxygen species. The futile cycle is dominating when protein folding rates are low relative to disulfide bond formation rates. While not strictly conclusive with the present data, this insight does provide a molecular interpretation to an, until now, largely empirical understanding of optimizing heterologous protein secretion. This molecular insight has direct implications on engineering a broad range of recombinant proteins for secretion and provides potential hypotheses for the root causes of several secretory-associated diseases.

  13. Ricinus communis cyclophilin: functional characterisation of a sieve tube protein involved in protein folding. (United States)

    Gottschalk, Maren; Dolgener, Elmar; Xoconostle-Cázares, Beatriz; Lucas, William J; Komor, Ewald; Schobert, Christian


    The phloem translocation stream of the angiosperms contains a special population of proteins and RNA molecules which appear to be produced in the companion cells prior to being transported into the sieve tube system through the interconnecting plasmodesmata. During this process, these non-cell-autonomous proteins are thought to undergo partial unfolding. Recent mass spectroscopy studies identified peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase (PPIases) as potential molecular chaperones functioning in the phloem translocation stream (Giavalisco et al. 2006). In the present study, we describe the cloning and characterisation of a castor bean phloem cyclophilin, RcCYP1 that has high peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase activity. Equivalent enzymatic activity was detected with phloem sap or purified recombinant (His)(6)-tagged RcCYP1. Mass spectrometry analysis of proteolytic peptides, derived from a 22 kDa band in HPLC-fractionated phloem sap, immunolocalisation studies and Western analysis of proteins extracted from castor bean tissues/organs indicated that RcCYP1 is an abundant protein in the companion cell-sieve element complex. Microinjection experiments established that purified recombinant (His)(6)-RcCYP1 can interact with plasmodesmata to both induce an increase in size exclusion limit and mediate its own cell-to-cell trafficking. Collectively, these findings support the hypothesis that RcCYP1 plays a role in the refolding of non-cell-autonomous proteins after their entry into the phloem translocation stream.

  14. A structural basis for cellular uptake of GST-fold proteins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie J Morris

    Full Text Available It has recently emerged that glutathione transferase enzymes (GSTs and other structurally related molecules can be translocated from the external medium into many different cell types. In this study we aim to explore in detail, the structural features that govern cell translocation and by dissecting the human GST enzyme GSTM2-2 we quantatively demonstrate that the α-helical C-terminal domain (GST-C is responsible for this property. Attempts to further examine the constituent helices within GST-C resulted in a reduction in cell translocation efficiency, indicating that the intrinsic GST-C domain structure is necessary for maximal cell translocation capacity. In particular, it was noted that the α-6 helix of GST-C plays a stabilising role in the fold of this domain. By destabilising the conformation of GST-C, an increase in cell translocation efficiency of up to ∼2-fold was observed. The structural stability profiles of these protein constructs have been investigated by circular dichroism and differential scanning fluorimetry measurements and found to impact upon their cell translocation efficiency. These experiments suggest that the globular, helical domain in the 'GST-fold' structural motif plays a role in influencing cellular uptake, and that changes that affect the conformational stability of GST-C can significantly influence cell translocation efficiency.

  15. Thermodynamic Stabilization of the Folded Domain of Prion Protein Inhibits Prion Infection in Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingzhong Kong


    Full Text Available Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into a protease-resistant form, PrPSc. Here, we show that mutation-induced thermodynamic stabilization of the folded, α-helical domain of PrPC has a dramatic inhibitory effect on the conformational conversion of prion protein in vitro, as well as on the propagation of TSE disease in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing a human prion protein variant with increased thermodynamic stability were found to be much more resistant to infection with the TSE agent than those expressing wild-type human prion protein, in both the primary passage and three subsequent subpassages. These findings not only provide a line of evidence in support of the protein-only model of TSEs but also yield insight into the molecular nature of the PrPC→PrPSc conformational transition, and they suggest an approach to the treatment of prion diseases.

  16. Structural and biochemical characterization of the cell fate determining nucleotidyltransferase fold protein MAB21L1. (United States)

    de Oliveira Mann, Carina C; Kiefersauer, Reiner; Witte, Gregor; Hopfner, Karl-Peter


    The exceptionally conserved metazoan MAB21 proteins are implicated in cell fate decisions and share considerable sequence homology with the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase. cGAS is the major innate immune sensor for cytosolic DNA and produces the second messenger 2'-5', 3'-5' cyclic GMP-AMP. Little is known about the structure and biochemical function of other proteins of the cGAS-MAB21 subfamily, such as MAB21L1, MAB21L2 and MAB21L3. We have determined the crystal structure of human full-length MAB21L1. Our analysis reveals high structural conservation between MAB21L1 and cGAS but also uncovers important differences. Although monomeric in solution, MAB21L1 forms a highly symmetric double-pentameric oligomer in the crystal, raising the possibility that oligomerization could be a feature of MAB21L1. In the crystal, MAB21L1 is in an inactive conformation requiring a conformational change - similar to cGAS - to develop any nucleotidyltransferase activity. Co-crystallization with NTP identified a putative ligand binding site of MAB21 proteins that corresponds to the DNA binding site of cGAS. Finally, we offer a structure-based explanation for the effects of MAB21L2 mutations in patients with eye malformations. The underlying residues participate in fold-stabilizing interaction networks and mutations destabilize the protein. In summary, we provide a first structural framework for MAB21 proteins.

  17. Conformational disorder in folded and intrinsically disordered proteins from nuclear magnetic resonance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Salmon, Loic


    Biological macromolecules are, by essence, dynamical systems. While the importance of this flexibility is nowadays well established, the accurate characterization of the conformational disorder of these systems remains an important challenge. Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is a unique tool to probe these motions at atomic level, through the analysis of spin relaxation or residual dipolar couplings. The latter allows all motions occurring at timescales faster than the millisecond to be investigated, including physiologically important timescales. The information presents in those couplings is interpreted here using mainly analytical approaches in order to quantify the amounts of dynamics present in folded protein, to determine the direction of those motions and to obtain structural information within this conformational disorder. These analytical approaches are complemented by numerical methods, that allowed the observation of phenomena from a different point of view or the investigation of other systems such as intrinsically disordered proteins. All of these studies demonstrate an important complementarity between structural order and conformational disorder. (author)

  18. Pharmacological chaperone reshapes the energy landscape for folding and aggregation of the prion protein (United States)

    Gupta, Amar Nath; Neupane, Krishna; Rezajooei, Negar; Cortez, Leonardo M.; Sim, Valerie L.; Woodside, Michael T.


    The development of small-molecule pharmacological chaperones as therapeutics for protein misfolding diseases has proven challenging, partly because their mechanism of action remains unclear. Here we study Fe-TMPyP, a tetrapyrrole that binds to the prion protein PrP and inhibits misfolding, examining its effects on PrP folding at the single-molecule level with force spectroscopy. Single PrP molecules are unfolded with and without Fe-TMPyP present using optical tweezers. Ligand binding to the native structure increases the unfolding force significantly and alters the transition state for unfolding, making it more brittle and raising the barrier height. Fe-TMPyP also binds the unfolded state, delaying native refolding. Furthermore, Fe-TMPyP binding blocks the formation of a stable misfolded dimer by interfering with intermolecular interactions, acting in a similar manner to some molecular chaperones. The ligand thus promotes native folding by stabilizing the native state while also suppressing interactions driving aggregation.

  19. Recognition of secretory proteins in Escherichia coli requires signals in addition to the signal sequence and slow folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Flower Ann M


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The Sec-dependent protein export apparatus of Escherichia coli is very efficient at correctly identifying proteins to be exported from the cytoplasm. Even bacterial strains that carry prl mutations, which allow export of signal sequence-defective precursors, accurately differentiate between cytoplasmic and mutant secretory proteins. It was proposed previously that the basis for this precise discrimination is the slow folding rate of secretory proteins, resulting in binding by the secretory chaperone, SecB, and subsequent targeting to translocase. Based on this proposal, we hypothesized that a cytoplasmic protein containing a mutation that slows its rate of folding would be recognized by SecB and therefore targeted to the Sec pathway. In a Prl suppressor strain the mutant protein would be exported to the periplasm due to loss of ability to reject non-secretory proteins from the pathway. Results In the current work, we tested this hypothesis using a mutant form of λ repressor that folds slowly. No export of the mutant protein was observed, even in a prl strain. We then examined binding of the mutant λ repressor to SecB. We did not observe interaction by either of two assays, indicating that slow folding is not sufficient for SecB binding and targeting to translocase. Conclusions These results strongly suggest that to be targeted to the export pathway, secretory proteins contain signals in addition to the canonical signal sequence and the rate of folding.

  20. Kinks, loops, and protein folding, with protein A as an example

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krokhotin, Andrey; Liwo, Adam; Maisuradze, Gia G.; Scheraga, Harold A.; Niemi, Antti J.


    The dynamics and energetics of formation of loops in the 46-residue N-terminal fragment of the B-domain of staphylococcal protein A has been studied. Numerical simulations have been performed using coarse-grained molecular dynamics with the united-residue (UNRES) force field. The results have been analyzed in terms of a kink (heteroclinic standing wave solution) of a generalized discrete nonlinear Schrödinger (DNLS) equation. In the case of proteins, the DNLS equation arises from a C α -trace-based energy function. Three individual kink profiles were identified in the experimental three-α-helix structure of protein A, in the range of the Glu16-Asn29, Leu20-Asn29, and Gln33-Asn44 residues, respectively; these correspond to two loops in the native structure. UNRES simulations were started from the full right-handed α-helix to obtain a clear picture of kink formation, which would otherwise be blurred by helix formation. All three kinks emerged during coarse-grained simulations. It was found that the formation of each is accompanied by a local free energy increase; this is expressed as the change of UNRES energy which has the physical sense of the potential of mean force of a polypeptide chain. The increase is about 7 kcal/mol. This value can thus be considered as the free energy barrier to kink formation in full α-helical segments of polypeptide chains. During the simulations, the kinks emerge, disappear, propagate, and annihilate each other many times. It was found that the formation of a kink is initiated by an abrupt change in the orientation of a pair of consecutive side chains in the loop region. This resembles the formation of a Bloch wall along a spin chain, where the C α backbone corresponds to the chain, and the amino acid side chains are interpreted as the spin variables. This observation suggests that nearest-neighbor side chain–side chain interactions are responsible for initiation of loop formation. It was also found that the individual kinks are

  1. Modulation of the Extent of Cooperative Structural Change During Protein Folding by Chemical Denaturant. (United States)

    Jethva, Prashant N; Udgaonkar, Jayant B


    Protein folding and unfolding reactions invariably appear to be highly cooperative reactions, but the structural and sequence determinants of cooperativity are poorly understood. Importantly, it is not known whether cooperative structural change occurs throughout the protein, or whether some parts change cooperatively and other parts change noncooperatively. In the current study, hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry has been used to show that the mechanism of unfolding of the PI3K SH3 domain is similar in the absence and presence of 5 M urea. The data are well described by a four state N ↔ I N ↔ I 2 ↔ U model, in which structural changes occur noncooperatively during the N ↔ I N and I N ↔ I 2 transitions, and occur cooperatively during the I 2 ↔ U transition. The nSrc-loop and RT-loop, as well as β strands 4 and 5 undergo noncooperative unfolding, while β strands 1, 2, and 3 unfold cooperatively in the absence of urea. However, in the presence of 5 M urea, the unfolding of β strand 4 switches to become cooperative, leading to an increase in the extent of cooperative structural change. The current study highlights the relationship between protein stability and cooperativity, by showing how the extent of cooperativity can be varied, using chemical denaturant to alter protein stability.

  2. ModFOLD6: an accurate web server for the global and local quality estimation of 3D protein models. (United States)

    Maghrabi, Ali H A; McGuffin, Liam J


    Methods that reliably estimate the likely similarity between the predicted and native structures of proteins have become essential for driving the acceptance and adoption of three-dimensional protein models by life scientists. ModFOLD6 is the latest version of our leading resource for Estimates of Model Accuracy (EMA), which uses a pioneering hybrid quasi-single model approach. The ModFOLD6 server integrates scores from three pure-single model methods and three quasi-single model methods using a neural network to estimate local quality scores. Additionally, the server provides three options for producing global score estimates, depending on the requirements of the user: (i) ModFOLD6_rank, which is optimized for ranking/selection, (ii) ModFOLD6_cor, which is optimized for correlations of predicted and observed scores and (iii) ModFOLD6 global for balanced performance. The ModFOLD6 methods rank among the top few for EMA, according to independent blind testing by the CASP12 assessors. The ModFOLD6 server is also continuously automatically evaluated as part of the CAMEO project, where significant performance gains have been observed compared to our previous server and other publicly available servers. The ModFOLD6 server is freely available at: © The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.

  3. Web-based computational chemistry education with CHARMMing II: Coarse-grained protein folding.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frank C Pickard


    Full Text Available A lesson utilizing a coarse-grained (CG Gō-like model has been implemented into the CHARMM INterface and Graphics (CHARMMing web portal ( to the Chemistry at HARvard Macromolecular Mechanics (CHARMM molecular simulation package. While widely used to model various biophysical processes, such as protein folding and aggregation, CG models can also serve as an educational tool because they can provide qualitative descriptions of complex biophysical phenomena for a relatively cheap computational cost. As a proof of concept, this lesson demonstrates the construction of a CG model of a small globular protein, its simulation via Langevin dynamics, and the analysis of the resulting data. This lesson makes connections between modern molecular simulation techniques and topics commonly presented in an advanced undergraduate lecture on physical chemistry. It culminates in a straightforward analysis of a short dynamics trajectory of a small fast folding globular protein; we briefly describe the thermodynamic properties that can be calculated from this analysis. The assumptions inherent in the model and the data analysis are laid out in a clear, concise manner, and the techniques used are consistent with those employed by specialists in the field of CG modeling. One of the major tasks in building the Gō-like model is determining the relative strength of the nonbonded interactions between coarse-grained sites. New functionality has been added to CHARMMing to facilitate this process. The implementation of these features into CHARMMing helps automate many of the tedious aspects of constructing a CG Gō model. The CG model builder and its accompanying lesson should be a valuable tool to chemistry students, teachers, and modelers in the field.

  4. RECOVERY ACT - Thylakoid Assembly and Folded Protein Transport by the Tat Pathway

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dabney-Smith, Carole [Miami Univ., Oxford, OH (United States)


    Assembly of functional photosystems complete with necessary intrinsic (membrane-bound) and extrinsic proteins requires the function of at least 3 protein transport pathways in thylakoid membranes. Our research focuses on one of those pathways, a unique and essential protein transport pathway found in the chloroplasts of plants, bacteria, and some archaebacteria, the Twin arginine translocation (Tat) system. The chloroplast Tat (cpTat) system is thought to be responsible for the proper location of ~50% of thylakoid lumen proteins, several of which are necessary for proper photosystem assembly, maintenance, and function. Specifically, cpTat systems are unique because they transport fully folded and assembled proteins across ion tight membranes using only three membrane components, Tha4, Hcf106, and cpTatC, and the protonmotive force generated by photosynthesis. Despite the importance of the cpTat system in plants, the mechanism of transport of a folded precursor is not well known. Our long-term goal is to investigate the role protein transport systems have on organelle biogenesis, particularly the assembly of membrane protein complexes in thylakoids of chloroplasts. The objective of this proposal is to correlate structural changes in the membrane-bound cpTat component, Tha4, to the mechanism of translocation of folded-precursor substrates across the membrane bilayer by using a cysteine accessibility and crosslinking approach. Our central hypothesis is that the precursor passes through a proteinaceous pore of assembled Tha4 protomers that have undergone a conformational or topological change in response to transport. This research is predicated upon the observations that Tha4 exists in molar excess in the membrane relative to the other cpTat components; its regulated assembly to the precursor-bound receptor; and our data showing oligomerization of Tha4 into very large complexes in response to transport. Our rationale for these studies is that understanding cp

  5. Multiple scales and phases in discrete chains with application to folded proteins (United States)

    Sinelnikova, A.; Niemi, A. J.; Nilsson, Johan; Ulybyshev, M.


    Chiral heteropolymers such as large globular proteins can simultaneously support multiple length scales. The interplay between the different scales brings about conformational diversity, determines the phase properties of the polymer chain, and governs the structure of the energy landscape. Most importantly, multiple scales produce complex dynamics that enable proteins to sustain live matter. However, at the moment there is incomplete understanding of how to identify and distinguish the various scales that determine the structure and dynamics of a complex protein. Here we address this impending problem. We develop a methodology with the potential to systematically identify different length scales, in the general case of a linear polymer chain. For this we introduce and analyze the properties of an order parameter that can both reveal the presence of different length scales and can also probe the phase structure. We first develop our concepts in the case of chiral homopolymers. We introduce a variant of Kadanoff's block-spin transformation to coarse grain piecewise linear chains, such as the C α backbone of a protein. We derive analytically, and then verify numerically, a number of properties that the order parameter can display, in the case of a chiral polymer chain. In particular, we propose that in the case of a chiral heteropolymer the order parameter can reveal traits of several different phases, contingent on the length scale at which it is scrutinized. We confirm that this is the case with crystallographic protein structures in the Protein Data Bank. Thus our results suggest relations between the scales, the phases, and the complexity of folding pathways.

  6. Effect of the geometry of confining media on the stability and folding rate of α -helix proteins (United States)

    Wang, Congyue; Piroozan, Nariman; Javidpour, Leili; Sahimi, Muhammad


    Protein folding in confined media has attracted wide attention over the past 15 years due to its importance to both in vivo and in vitro applications. It is generally believed that protein stability increases by decreasing the size of the confining medium, if the medium's walls are repulsive, and that the maximum folding temperature in confinement is in a pore whose size D0 is only slightly larger than the smallest dimension of a protein's folded state. Until recently, the stability of proteins in pores with a size very close to that of the folded state has not received the attention it deserves. In a previous paper [L. Javidpour and M. Sahimi, J. Chem. Phys. 135, 125101 (2011)], we showed that, contrary to the current theoretical predictions, the maximum folding temperature occurs in larger pores for smaller α-helices. Moreover, in very tight pores, the free energy surface becomes rough, giving rise to a new barrier for protein folding close to the unfolded state. In contrast to unbounded domains, in small nanopores proteins with an α-helical native state that contain the β structures are entropically stabilized implying that folding rates decrease notably and that the free energy surface becomes rougher. In view of the potential significance of such results to interpretation of many sets of experimental data that could not be explained by the current theories, particularly the reported anomalously low rates of folding and the importance of entropic effects on proteins' misfolded states in highly confined environments, we address the following question in the present paper: To what extent the geometry of a confined medium affects the stability and folding rates of proteins? Using millisecond-long molecular dynamics simulations, we study the problem in three types of confining media, namely, cylindrical and slit pores and spherical cavities. Most importantly, we find that the prediction of the previous theories that the dependence of the maximum folding

  7. Adaptive enhanced sampling with a path-variable for the simulation of protein folding and aggregation (United States)

    Peter, Emanuel K.


    In this article, we present a novel adaptive enhanced sampling molecular dynamics (MD) method for the accelerated simulation of protein folding and aggregation. We introduce a path-variable L based on the un-biased momenta p and displacements dq for the definition of the bias s applied to the system and derive 3 algorithms: general adaptive bias MD, adaptive path-sampling, and a hybrid method which combines the first 2 methodologies. Through the analysis of the correlations between the bias and the un-biased gradient in the system, we find that the hybrid methodology leads to an improved force correlation and acceleration in the sampling of the phase space. We apply our method on SPC/E water, where we find a conservation of the average water structure. We then use our method to sample dialanine and the folding of TrpCage, where we find a good agreement with simulation data reported in the literature. Finally, we apply our methodologies on the initial stages of aggregation of a hexamer of Alzheimer's amyloid β fragment 25-35 (Aβ 25-35) and find that transitions within the hexameric aggregate are dominated by entropic barriers, while we speculate that especially the conformation entropy plays a major role in the formation of the fibril as a rate limiting factor.

  8. Evaluating the effects of cutoffs and treatment of long-range electrostatics in protein folding simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stefano Piana

    Full Text Available The use of molecular dynamics simulations to provide atomic-level descriptions of biological processes tends to be computationally demanding, and a number of approximations are thus commonly employed to improve computational efficiency. In the past, the effect of these approximations on macromolecular structure and stability has been evaluated mostly through quantitative studies of small-molecule systems or qualitative observations of short-timescale simulations of biological macromolecules. Here we present a quantitative evaluation of two commonly employed approximations, using a test system that has been the subject of a number of previous protein folding studies--the villin headpiece. In particular, we examined the effect of (i the use of a cutoff-based force-shifting technique rather than an Ewald summation for the treatment of electrostatic interactions, and (ii the length of the cutoff used to determine how many pairwise interactions are included in the calculation of both electrostatic and van der Waals forces. Our results show that the free energy of folding is relatively insensitive to the choice of cutoff beyond 9 Å, and to whether an Ewald method is used to account for long-range electrostatic interactions. In contrast, we find that the structural properties of the unfolded state depend more strongly on the two approximations examined here.

  9. Method-Unifying View of Loop-Formation Kinetics in Peptide and Protein Folding. (United States)

    Jacob, Maik H; D'Souza, Roy N; Schwarzlose, Thomas; Wang, Xiaojuan; Huang, Fang; Haas, Elisha; Nau, Werner M


    Protein folding can be described as a probabilistic succession of events in which the peptide chain forms loops closed by specific amino acid residue contacts, herein referred to as loop nodes. To measure loop rates, several photophysical methods have been introduced where a pair of optically active probes is incorporated at selected chain positions and the excited probe undergoes contact quenching (CQ) upon collision with the second probe. The quenching mechanisms involved triplet-triplet energy transfer, photoinduced electron transfer, and collision-induced fluorescence quenching, where the fluorescence of Dbo, an asparagine residue conjugated to 2,3-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, is quenched by tryptophan. The discrepancy between the loop rates afforded from these three CQ techniques has, however, remained unresolved. In analyzing this discrepancy, we now report two short-distance FRET methods where Dbo acts as an energy acceptor in combination with tryptophan and naphtylalanine, two donors with largely different fluorescence lifetimes of 1.3 and 33 ns, respectively. Despite the different quenching mechanisms, the rates from FRET and CQ methods were, surprisingly, of comparable magnitude. This combination of FRET and CQ data led to a unifying physical model and to the conclusion that the rate of loop formation in folding reactions varies not only with the kind and number of residues that constitute the chain but also in particular with the size and properties of the residues that constitute the loop node.

  10. A Self-Assisting Protein Folding Model for Teaching Structural Molecular Biology. (United States)

    Davenport, Jodi; Pique, Michael; Getzoff, Elizabeth; Huntoon, Jon; Gardner, Adam; Olson, Arthur


    Structural molecular biology is now becoming part of high school science curriculum thus posing a challenge for teachers who need to convey three-dimensional (3D) structures with conventional text and pictures. In many cases even interactive computer graphics does not go far enough to address these challenges. We have developed a flexible model of the polypeptide backbone using 3D printing technology. With this model we have produced a polypeptide assembly kit to create an idealized model of the Triosephosphate isomerase mutase enzyme (TIM), which forms a structure known as TIM barrel. This kit has been used in a laboratory practical where students perform a step-by-step investigation into the nature of protein folding, starting with the handedness of amino acids to the formation of secondary and tertiary structure. Based on the classroom evidence we collected, we conclude that these models are valuable and inexpensive resource for teaching structural molecular biology. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. New force replica exchange method and protein folding pathways probed by force-clamp technique. (United States)

    Kouza, Maksim; Hu, Chin-Kun; Li, Mai Suan


    We have developed a new extended replica exchange method to study thermodynamics of a system in the presence of external force. Our idea is based on the exchange between different force replicas to accelerate the equilibrium process. This new approach was applied to obtain the force-temperature phase diagram and other thermodynamical quantities of the three-domain ubiquitin. Using the C(alpha)-Go model and the Langevin dynamics, we have shown that the refolding pathways of single ubiquitin depend on which terminus is fixed. If the N end is fixed then the folding pathways are different compared to the case when both termini are free, but fixing the C terminal does not change them. Surprisingly, we have found that the anchoring terminal does not affect the pathways of individual secondary structures of three-domain ubiquitin, indicating the important role of the multidomain construction. Therefore, force-clamp experiments, in which one end of a protein is kept fixed, can probe the refolding pathways of a single free-end ubiquitin if one uses either the polyubiquitin or a single domain with the C terminus anchored. However, it is shown that anchoring one end does not affect refolding pathways of the titin domain I27, and the force-clamp spectroscopy is always capable to predict folding sequencing of this protein. We have obtained the reasonable estimate for unfolding barrier of ubiquitin, using the microscopic theory for the dependence of unfolding time on the external force. The linkage between residue Lys48 and the C terminal of ubiquitin is found to have the dramatic effect on the location of the transition state along the end-to-end distance reaction coordinate, but the multidomain construction leaves the transition state almost unchanged. We have found that the maximum force in the force-extension profile from constant velocity force pulling simulations depends on temperature nonlinearly. However, for some narrow temperature interval this dependence becomes

  12. From the test tube to the cell: exploring the folding and aggregation of a beta-clam protein. (United States)

    Ignatova, Zoya; Krishnan, Beena; Bombardier, Jeffrey P; Marcelino, Anna Marie C; Hong, Jiang; Gierasch, Lila M


    A crucial challenge in present biomedical research is the elucidation of how fundamental processes like protein folding and aggregation occur in the complex environment of the cell. Many new physico-chemical factors like crowding and confinement must be considered, and immense technical hurdles must be overcome in order to explore these processes in vivo. Understanding protein misfolding and aggregation diseases and developing therapeutic strategies to these diseases demand that we gain mechanistic insight into behaviors and misbehaviors of proteins as they fold in vivo. We have developed a fluorescence approach using FlAsH labeling to study the thermodynamics of folding of a model beta-rich protein, cellular retinoic acid binding protein (CRABP) in Escherichia coli cells. The labeling approach has also enabled us to follow aggregation of a modified version of CRABP and chimeras between CRABP and huntingtin exon 1 with its glutamine repeat tract. In this article, we review our recent results using FlAsH labeling to study in-vivo folding and present new observations that hint at fundamental differences between the thermodynamics and kinetics of protein folding in vivo and in vitro.

  13. Type III intermediate filaments desmin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), vimentin, and peripherin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hol, Elly M.; Capetanaki, Yassemi


    Type III intermediate filament (IF) proteins assemble into cytoplasmic homopolymeric and heteropolymeric filaments with other type III and some type IV IFs. These highly dynamic structures form an integral component of the cytoskeleton of muscle, brain, and mesenchymal cells. Here, we review the

  14. Type III Intermediate Filaments Desmin, Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), Vimentin, and Peripherin

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hol, Elly M; Capetanaki, Yassemi


    SummaryType III intermediate filament (IF) proteins assemble into cytoplasmic homopolymeric and heteropolymeric filaments with other type III and some type IV IFs. These highly dynamic structures form an integral component of the cytoskeleton of muscle, brain, and mesenchymal cells. Here, we review

  15. Studies on the metabolism of chlorotrianisene to a reactive intermediate and subsequent covalent binding to microsomal proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Juedes, M.J.


    The studies on chlorotrianisene were conducted to determine whether metabolism of chlorotrianisene occurs via the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase system and whether a reactive intermediate is being formed that is capable of binding covalently to microsomal proteins. [ 3 H]-chlorotrianisene was incubated with liver microsomes supplemented with NADPH. At the termination of the incubation, the protein was trapped on a glass filter and the unbound chlorotrianisene was removed by extensive washing of the protein with organic solvent. A dramatic stimulation of covalent binding was demonstrated in microsomes from rats treated with methylcholanthrene (60 fold increase) versus control or phenobarbital treatment. Verification of covalent binding was achieved by localization of radiolabeled bands following sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of the macromolecules in the incubation mixture. Further analysis of the radiolabeled macromolecules separated on SDS-PAGE revealed that these macromolecules were degraded by protease degradation indicating that the macromolecules were proteins. Further investigations were done to determine the cause of the dramatic stimulation of covalent binding detected in microsomes from methylcholanthrene treated rats versus control or phenobarbital treated rats. Further evidence for the participation of P-450c was obtained with a reconstituted cytochrome P-450 system. Incubations of chlorotrianisene with reconstituted P-450c and NADPH-cytochrome P-450 reductase exhibited covalent binding characteristics comparable to those seen in microsomal incubations. Investigations into the nature of the binding site and the reactive intermediate are currently being conducted. By analyzing the BSA adduct, the author intends to isolate the specific amino acid binding site(s)

  16. On the origins of the weak folding cooperativity of a designed ββα ultrafast protein FSD-1.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun Wu

    Full Text Available FSD-1, a designed small ultrafast folder with a ββα fold, has been actively studied in the last few years as a model system for studying protein folding mechanisms and for testing of the accuracy of computational models. The suitability of this protein to describe the folding of naturally occurring α/β proteins has recently been challenged based on the observation that the melting transition is very broad, with ill-resolved baselines. Using molecular dynamics simulations with the AMBER protein force field (ff96 coupled with the implicit solvent model (IGB = 5, we shed new light into the nature of this transition and resolve the experimental controversies. We show that the melting transition corresponds to the melting of the protein as a whole, and not solely to the helix-coil transition. The breadth of the folding transition arises from the spread in the melting temperatures (from ∼325 K to ∼302 K of the individual transitions: formation of the hydrophobic core, β-hairpin and tertiary fold, with the helix formed earlier. Our simulations initiated from an extended chain accurately predict the native structure, provide a reasonable estimate of the transition barrier height, and explicitly demonstrate the existence of multiple pathways and multiple transition states for folding. Our exhaustive sampling enables us to assess the quality of the Amber ff96/igb5 combination and reveals that while this force field can predict the correct native fold, it nonetheless overstabilizes the α-helix portion of the protein (Tm = ∼387K as well as the denatured structures.

  17. On the origins of the weak folding cooperativity of a designed ββα ultrafast protein FSD-1. (United States)

    Wu, Chun; Shea, Joan-Emma


    FSD-1, a designed small ultrafast folder with a ββα fold, has been actively studied in the last few years as a model system for studying protein folding mechanisms and for testing of the accuracy of computational models. The suitability of this protein to describe the folding of naturally occurring α/β proteins has recently been challenged based on the observation that the melting transition is very broad, with ill-resolved baselines. Using molecular dynamics simulations with the AMBER protein force field (ff96) coupled with the implicit solvent model (IGB = 5), we shed new light into the nature of this transition and resolve the experimental controversies. We show that the melting transition corresponds to the melting of the protein as a whole, and not solely to the helix-coil transition. The breadth of the folding transition arises from the spread in the melting temperatures (from ∼325 K to ∼302 K) of the individual transitions: formation of the hydrophobic core, β-hairpin and tertiary fold, with the helix formed earlier. Our simulations initiated from an extended chain accurately predict the native structure, provide a reasonable estimate of the transition barrier height, and explicitly demonstrate the existence of multiple pathways and multiple transition states for folding. Our exhaustive sampling enables us to assess the quality of the Amber ff96/igb5 combination and reveals that while this force field can predict the correct native fold, it nonetheless overstabilizes the α-helix portion of the protein (Tm = ∼387K) as well as the denatured structures.

  18. Thermodynamics of protein folding using a modified Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton model. (United States)

    Tsai, Min-Yeh; Yuan, Jian-Min; Teranishi, Yoshiaki; Lin, Sheng Hsien


    Herein, we propose a modified version of the Wako-Saitô-Muñoz-Eaton (WSME) model. The proposed model introduces an empirical temperature parameter for the hypothetical structural units (i.e., foldons) in proteins to include site-dependent thermodynamic behavior. The thermodynamics for both our proposed model and the original WSME model were investigated. For a system with beta-hairpin topology, a mathematical treatment (contact-pair treatment) to facilitate the calculation of its partition function was developed. The results show that the proposed model provides better insight into the site-dependent thermodynamic behavior of the system, compared with the original WSME model. From this site-dependent point of view, the relationship between probe-dependent experimental results and model's thermodynamic predictions can be explained. The model allows for suggesting a general principle to identify foldon behavior. We also find that the backbone hydrogen bonds may play a role of structural constraints in modulating the cooperative system. Thus, our study may contribute to the understanding of the fundamental principles for the thermodynamics of protein folding.

  19. Mitochondrial associated ubiquitin fold modifier-1 mediated protein conjugation in Leishmania donovani.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sreenivas Gannavaram


    Full Text Available In this report, we demonstrate the existence of the ubiquitin fold modifier-1 (Ufm1 and its conjugation pathway in trypanosomatid parasite Leishmania donovani. LdUfm1 is activated by E1-like enzyme LdUba5. LdUfc1 (E2 specifically interacted with LdUfm1 and LdUba5 to conjugate LdUfm1 to proteinaceous targets. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that LdUfm1 is conjugated to Leishmania protein targets that are associated with mitochondria. Immunofluorescence experiments showed that Leishmania Ufm1, Uba5 and Ufc1 are associated with the mitochondria. The demonstration that all the components of this system as well as the substrates are associated with mitochondrion suggests it may have physiological roles not yet described in any other organism. Overexpression of a non-conjugatable form of LdUfm1 and an active site mutant of LdUba5 resulted in reduced survival of Leishmania in the macrophage. Since mitochondrial activities are developmentally regulated in the life cycle of trypanosomatids, Ufm1 mediated modifications of mitochondrial proteins may be important in such regulation. Thus, Ufm1 conjugation pathway in Leishmania could be explored as a potential drug target in the control of Leishmaniasis.

  20. The Cobalamin-binding Protein in Zebrafish is an Intermediate Between the Three Cobalamin-binding Proteins in Human

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Greibe, Eva Holm; Fedosov, Sergey; Nexø, Ebba


    are the oldest evolutionary derivatives followed by IF and HC (the latter being present only in reptiles and most but not all mammals). Our findings suggest that the only cobalamin-binding protein in zebrafish is an intermediate between the three human cobalamin binders. These findings support the hypothesis...

  1. A novel member of the split betaalphabeta fold: Solution structure of the hypothetical protein YML108W from Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pineda-Lucena, Antonio; Liao, Jack; Cort, John R.; Yee, Adelinda; Kennedy, Michael A.; Edwards, Aled M.


    As part of the Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium pilot project focused on small eukaryotic proteins and protein domains, we have determined the NMR structure of the protein encoded by open reading frame YML108W from Saccharomyces cerevisiae. YML108W belongs to one of the numerous structural proteomics targets whose biological function is unknown. Moreover, this protein does not have sequence similarity to any other protein. The NMR structure of YML108W consists of a four-stranded b-sheet with strand order 2143 and two a-helices, with an overall topology of bbabba. Strand b1 runs parallel to b4, and b2:b1 and b4:b3 pairs are arranged in an antiparallel fashion. While this fold belongs to the split bab family, it appears to be unique among this family; it is a novel arrangement of secondary structure, thereby expanding the universe of protein folds

  2. Glutamate Induced Thermal Equilibrium Intermediate and Counteracting Effect on Chemical Denaturation of Proteins. (United States)

    Anumalla, Bramhini; Prabhu, N Prakash


    When organisms are subjected to stress conditions, one of their adaptive responses is accumulation of small organic molecules called osmolytes. These osmolytes affect the structure and stability of the biological macromolecules including proteins. The present study examines the effect of a negatively charged amino acid osmolyte, glutamate (Glu), on two model proteins, ribonuclease A (RNase A) and α-lactalbumin (α-LA), which have positive and negative surface charges at pH 7, respectively. These proteins follow two-state unfolding transitions during both heat and chemical induced denaturation processes. The addition of Glu stabilizes the proteins against temperature and induces an early equilibrium intermediate during unfolding. The stability is found to be enthalpy-driven, and the free energy of stabilization is more for α-LA compared to RNase A. The decrease in the partial molar volume and compressibility of both of the proteins in the presence of Glu suggests that the proteins attain a more compact state through surface hydration which could provide a more stable conformation. This is also supported by molecule dynamic simulation studies which demonstrate that the water density around the proteins is increased upon the addition of Glu. Further, the intermediates could be completely destabilized by lower concentrations (∼0.5 M) of guanidinium chloride and salt. However, urea subverts the Glu-induced intermediate formed by α-LA, whereas it only slightly destabilizes in the case of RNase A which has a positive surface charge and could possess charge-charge interactions with Glu. This suggests that, apart from hydration, columbic interactions might also contribute to the stability of the intermediate. Gdm-induced denaturation of RNase A and α-LA in the absence and the presence of Glu at different temperatures was carried out. These results also show the Glu-induced stabilization of both of the proteins; however, all of the unfolding transitions followed two

  3. The energy landscapes of repeat-containing proteins: topology, cooperativity, and the folding funnels of one-dimensional architectures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego U Ferreiro


    Full Text Available Repeat-proteins are made up of near repetitions of 20- to 40-amino acid stretches. These polypeptides usually fold up into non-globular, elongated architectures that are stabilized by the interactions within each repeat and those between adjacent repeats, but that lack contacts between residues distant in sequence. The inherent symmetries both in primary sequence and three-dimensional structure are reflected in a folding landscape that may be analyzed as a quasi-one-dimensional problem. We present a general description of repeat-protein energy landscapes based on a formal Ising-like treatment of the elementary interaction energetics in and between foldons, whose collective ensemble are treated as spin variables. The overall folding properties of a complete "domain" (the stability and cooperativity of the repeating array can be derived from this microscopic description. The one-dimensional nature of the model implies there are simple relations for the experimental observables: folding free-energy (DeltaG(water and the cooperativity of denaturation (m-value, which do not ordinarily apply for globular proteins. We show how the parameters for the "coarse-grained" description in terms of foldon spin variables can be extracted from more detailed folding simulations on perfectly funneled landscapes. To illustrate the ideas, we present a case-study of a family of tetratricopeptide (TPR repeat proteins and quantitatively relate the results to the experimentally observed folding transitions. Based on the dramatic effect that single point mutations exert on the experimentally observed folding behavior, we speculate that natural repeat proteins are "poised" at particular ratios of inter- and intra-element interaction energetics that allow them to readily undergo structural transitions in physiologically relevant conditions, which may be intrinsically related to their biological functions.

  4. High-energy intermediates in protein unfolding characterized by thiol labeling under nativelike conditions. (United States)

    Malhotra, Pooja; Udgaonkar, Jayant B


    A protein unfolding reaction usually appears to be so dominated by a large free energy barrier that identifying and characterizing high-energy intermediates and, hence, dissecting the unfolding reaction into multiple structural transitions have proven to be a challenge. In particular, it has been difficult to identify any detected high-energy intermediate with the dry (DMG) and wet (WMG) molten globules that have been implicated in the unfolding reactions of at least some proteins. In this study, a native-state thiol labeling methodology was used to identify high-energy intermediates, as well as to delineate the barriers to the disruption of side chain packing interactions and to site-specific solvent exposure in different regions of the small protein, single-chain monellin (MNEI). Labeling studies of four single-cysteine-containing variants of MNEI have identified three high-energy intermediates, populated to very low extents under nativelike conditions. A significant dispersion in the opening rates of the cysteine side chains has allowed multiple steps, leading to the loss of side chain packing, to be resolved temporally. A detailed structural analysis of the positions of the four cysteine residue positions, which are buried to different depths within the protein, has suggested a direct correlation with the structure of a DMG, detected in previous studies. It is observed that side chain packing within the core of the protein is maintained, while that at the surface is disrupted, in the DMG. The core of the protein becomes solvent-exposed only in a WMG populated after the rate-limiting step of unfolding at high denaturant concentrations.

  5. The Role of Backbone Hydrogen Bonds in the Transition State for Protein Folding of a PDZ Domain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Søren W. Pedersen

    Full Text Available Backbone hydrogen bonds are important for the structure and stability of proteins. However, since conventional site-directed mutagenesis cannot be applied to perturb the backbone, the contribution of these hydrogen bonds in protein folding and stability has been assessed only for a very limited set of small proteins. We have here investigated effects of five amide-to-ester mutations in the backbone of a PDZ domain, a 90-residue globular protein domain, to probe the influence of hydrogen bonds in a β-sheet for folding and stability. The amide-to-ester mutation removes NH-mediated hydrogen bonds and destabilizes hydrogen bonds formed by the carbonyl oxygen. The overall stability of the PDZ domain generally decreased for all amide-to-ester mutants due to an increase in the unfolding rate constant. For this particular region of the PDZ domain, it is therefore clear that native hydrogen bonds are formed after crossing of the rate-limiting barrier for folding. Moreover, three of the five amide-to-ester mutants displayed an increase in the folding rate constant suggesting that the hydrogen bonds are involved in non-native interactions in the transition state for folding.

  6. Cofactor-binding sites in proteins of deviating sequence: comparative analysis and clustering in torsion angle, cavity, and fold space. (United States)

    Stegemann, Björn; Klebe, Gerhard


    Small molecules are recognized in protein-binding pockets through surface-exposed physicochemical properties. To optimize binding, they have to adopt a conformation corresponding to a local energy minimum within the formed protein-ligand complex. However, their conformational flexibility makes them competent to bind not only to homologous proteins of the same family but also to proteins of remote similarity with respect to the shape of the binding pockets and folding pattern. Considering drug action, such observations can give rise to unexpected and undesired cross reactivity. In this study, datasets of six different cofactors (ADP, ATP, NAD(P)(H), FAD, and acetyl CoA, sharing an adenosine diphosphate moiety as common substructure), observed in multiple crystal structures of protein-cofactor complexes exhibiting sequence identity below 25%, have been analyzed for the conformational properties of the bound ligands, the distribution of physicochemical properties in the accommodating protein-binding pockets, and the local folding patterns next to the cofactor-binding site. State-of-the-art clustering techniques have been applied to group the different protein-cofactor complexes in the different spaces. Interestingly, clustering in cavity (Cavbase) and fold space (DALI) reveals virtually the same data structuring. Remarkable relationships can be found among the different spaces. They provide information on how conformations are conserved across the host proteins and which distinct local cavity and fold motifs recognize the different portions of the cofactors. In those cases, where different cofactors are found to be accommodated in a similar fashion to the same fold motifs, only a commonly shared substructure of the cofactors is used for the recognition process. Copyright © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Protein P7 of the cystovirus φ6 is located at the three-fold axis of the unexpanded procapsid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garrett Katz

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to determine the location of protein P7, the RNA packaging factor, in the procapsid of the φ6 cystovirus. A comparison of cryo-electron microscopy high-resolution single particle reconstructions of the φ6 complete unexpanded procapsid, the protein P2-minus procapsid (P2 is the RNA directed RNA-polymerase, and the P7-minus procapsid, show that prior to RNA packaging the P7 protein is located near the three-fold axis of symmetry. Difference maps highlight the precise position of P7 and demonstrate that in P7-minus particles the P2 proteins are less localized with reduced densities at the three-fold axes. We propose that P7 performs the mechanical function of stabilizing P2 on the inner protein P1 shell which ensures that entering viral single-stranded RNA is replicated.

  8. Protein Folding and Aggregation into Amyloid: The Interference by Natural Phenolic Compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimo Stefani


    Full Text Available Amyloid aggregation is a hallmark of several degenerative diseases affecting the brain or peripheral tissues, whose intermediates (oligomers, protofibrils and final mature fibrils display different toxicity. Consequently, compounds counteracting amyloid aggregation have been investigated for their ability (i to stabilize toxic amyloid precursors; (ii to prevent the growth of toxic oligomers or speed that of fibrils; (iii to inhibit fibril growth and deposition; (iv to disassemble preformed fibrils; and (v to favor amyloid clearance. Natural phenols, a wide panel of plant molecules, are one of the most actively investigated categories of potential amyloid inhibitors. They are considered responsible for the beneficial effects of several traditional diets being present in green tea, extra virgin olive oil, red wine, spices, berries and aromatic herbs. Accordingly, it has been proposed that some natural phenols could be exploited to prevent and to treat amyloid diseases, and recent studies have provided significant information on their ability to inhibit peptide/protein aggregation in various ways and to stimulate cell defenses, leading to identify shared or specific mechanisms. In the first part of this review, we will overview the significance and mechanisms of amyloid aggregation and aggregate toxicity; then, we will summarize the recent achievements on protection against amyloid diseases by many natural phenols.

  9. Protein folding kinetics by combined use of rapid mixing techniques and NMR observation of individual amide protons

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roder, H.; Wuethrich, K.


    A method to be used for experimental studies of protein folding introduced by Schmid and Baldwin, which is based on the competition between amide hydrogen exchange and protein refolding, was extended by using rapid mixing techniques and 1 H NMR to provide site-resolved kinetic information on the early phases of protein structure acquisition. In this method, a protonated solution of the unfolded protein is rapidly mixed with a deuterated buffer solution at conditions assuring protein refolding in the mixture. This simultaneously initiates the exchange of unprotected amide protons with solvent deuterium and the refolding of protein segments which can protect amide groups from further exchange. After variable reaction times the amide proton exchange is quenched while folding to the native form continues to completion. By using 1 H NMR, the extent of exchange at individual amide sites is then measured in the refolded protein. Competition experiments at variable reaction times or variable pH indicate the time at which each amide group is protected in the refolding process. This technique was applied to the basic pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, for which sequence-specific assignments of the amide proton NMR lines had previously been obtained. For eight individual amide protons located in the beta-sheet and the C-terminal alpha-helix of this protein, apparent refolding rates in the range from 15 s-1 to 60 s-1 were observed. These rates are on the time scale of the fast folding phase observed with optical probes

  10. Structures of two Arabidopsis thaliana major latex proteins represent novel helix-grip folds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lytle, Betsy L.; Song, Jikui; de la Cruz, Norberto B.; Peterson, Francis C.; Johnson, Kenneth A.; Bingman, Craig A.; Phillips, Jr., George N.; Volkman, Brian F.; (MCW); (UW)


    Here we report the first structures of two major latex proteins (MLPs) which display unique structural differences from the canonical Bet v 1 fold described earlier. MLP28 (SwissProt/TrEMBL ID Q9SSK9), the product of gene At1g70830.1, and the At1g24000.1 gene product (Swiss- Prot/TrEMBL ID P0C0B0), proteins which share 32% sequence identity, were independently selected as foldspace targets by the Center for Eukaryotic Structural Genomics. The structure of a single domain (residues 17-173) of MLP28 was solved by NMR spectroscopy, while the full-length At1g24000.1 structure was determined by X-ray crystallography. MLP28 displays greater than 30% sequence identity to at least eight MLPs from other species. For example, the MLP28 sequence shares 64% identity to peach Pp-MLP119 and 55% identity to cucumber Csf2.20 In contrast, the At1g24000.1 sequence is highly divergent (see Fig. 1), containing a gap of 33 amino acids when compared with all other known MLPs. Even when the gap is excluded, the sequence identity with MLPs from other species is less than 30%. Unlike some of the MLPs from other species, none of the A. thaliana MLPs have been characterized biochemically. We show by NMR chemical shift mapping that At1g24000.1 binds progesterone, demonstrating that despite its sequence dissimilarity, the hydrophobic binding pocket is conserved and, therefore, may play a role in its biological function and that of the MLP family in general.

  11. Golf-course and funnel energy landscapes: Protein folding concepts in martensites (United States)

    Shankaraiah, N.


    We use protein folding energy landscape concepts such as golf course and funnel to study re-equilibration in athermal martensites under systematic temperature quench Monte Carlo simulations. On quenching below a transition temperature, the seeded high-symmetry parent-phase austenite that converts to the low-symmetry product-phase martensite, through autocatalytic twinning or elastic photocopying, has both rapid conversions and incubation delays in the temperature-time-transformation phase diagram. We find the rapid (incubation delays) conversions at low (high) temperatures arises from the presence of large (small) size of golf-course edge that has the funnel inside for negative energy states. In the incubating state, the strain structure factor enters into the Brillouin-zone golf course through searches for finite transitional pathways which close off at the transition temperature with Vogel-Fulcher divergences that are insensitive to Hamiltonian energy scales and log-normal distributions, as signatures of dominant entropy barriers. The crossing of the entropy barrier is identified through energy occupancy distributions, Monte Carlo acceptance fractions, heat emission, and internal work.

  12. Investigation of the three-dimensional lattice HP protein folding model using a genetic algorithm

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fábio L. Custódio


    Full Text Available An approach to the hydrophobic-polar (HP protein folding model was developed using a genetic algorithm (GA to find the optimal structures on a 3D cubic lattice. A modification was introduced to the scoring system of the original model to improve the model's capacity to generate more natural-like structures. The modification was based on the assumption that it may be preferable for a hydrophobic monomer to have a polar neighbor than to be in direct contact with the polar solvent. The compactness and the segregation criteria were used to compare structures created by the original HP model and by the modified one. An islands' algorithm, a new selection scheme and multiple-points crossover were used to improve the performance of the algorithm. Ten sequences, seven with length 27 and three with length 64 were analyzed. Our results suggest that the modified model has a greater tendency to form globular structures. This might be preferable, since the original HP model does not take into account the positioning of long polar segments. The algorithm was implemented in the form of a program with a graphical user interface that might have a didactical potential in the study of GA and on the understanding of hydrophobic core formation.

  13. Multiphase Simulated Annealing Based on Boltzmann and Bose-Einstein Distribution Applied to Protein Folding Problem. (United States)

    Frausto-Solis, Juan; Liñán-García, Ernesto; Sánchez-Hernández, Juan Paulo; González-Barbosa, J Javier; González-Flores, Carlos; Castilla-Valdez, Guadalupe


    A new hybrid Multiphase Simulated Annealing Algorithm using Boltzmann and Bose-Einstein distributions (MPSABBE) is proposed. MPSABBE was designed for solving the Protein Folding Problem (PFP) instances. This new approach has four phases: (i) Multiquenching Phase (MQP), (ii) Boltzmann Annealing Phase (BAP), (iii) Bose-Einstein Annealing Phase (BEAP), and (iv) Dynamical Equilibrium Phase (DEP). BAP and BEAP are simulated annealing searching procedures based on Boltzmann and Bose-Einstein distributions, respectively. DEP is also a simulated annealing search procedure, which is applied at the final temperature of the fourth phase, which can be seen as a second Bose-Einstein phase. MQP is a search process that ranges from extremely high to high temperatures, applying a very fast cooling process, and is not very restrictive to accept new solutions. However, BAP and BEAP range from high to low and from low to very low temperatures, respectively. They are more restrictive for accepting new solutions. DEP uses a particular heuristic to detect the stochastic equilibrium by applying a least squares method during its execution. MPSABBE parameters are tuned with an analytical method, which considers the maximal and minimal deterioration of problem instances. MPSABBE was tested with several instances of PFP, showing that the use of both distributions is better than using only the Boltzmann distribution on the classical SA.

  14. A first-principles model of early evolution: emergence of gene families, species, and preferred protein folds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstantin B Zeldovich


    Full Text Available In this work we develop a microscopic physical model of early evolution where phenotype--organism life expectancy--is directly related to genotype--the stability of its proteins in their native conformations-which can be determined exactly in the model. Simulating the model on a computer, we consistently observe the "Big Bang" scenario whereby exponential population growth ensues as soon as favorable sequence-structure combinations (precursors of stable proteins are discovered. Upon that, random diversity of the structural space abruptly collapses into a small set of preferred proteins. We observe that protein folds remain stable and abundant in the population at timescales much greater than mutation or organism lifetime, and the distribution of the lifetimes of dominant folds in a population approximately follows a power law. The separation of evolutionary timescales between discovery of new folds and generation of new sequences gives rise to emergence of protein families and superfamilies whose sizes are power-law distributed, closely matching the same distributions for real proteins. On the population level we observe emergence of species--subpopulations that carry similar genomes. Further, we present a simple theory that relates stability of evolving proteins to the sizes of emerging genomes. Together, these results provide a microscopic first-principles picture of how first-gene families developed in the course of early evolution.

  15. The Role of Short-Chain Conjugated Poly-(R-3-Hydroxybutyrate (cPHB in Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rosetta N. Reusch


    Full Text Available Poly-(R-3-hydroxybutyrate (PHB, a linear polymer of R-3-hydroxybutyrate (R-3HB, is a fundamental constituent of biological cells. Certain prokaryotes accumulate PHB of very high molecular weight (10,000 to >1,000,000 residues, which is segregated within granular deposits in the cytoplasm; however, all prokaryotes and all eukaryotes synthesize PHB of medium-chain length (~100–200 residues which resides within lipid bilayers or lipid vesicles, and PHB of short-chain length (<12 residues which is conjugated to proteins (cPHB, primarily proteins in membranes and organelles. The physical properties of cPHB indicate it plays important roles in the targeting and folding of cPHB-proteins. Here we review the occurrence, physical properties and molecular characteristics of cPHB, and discuss its influence on the folding and structure of outer membrane protein A (OmpA of Escherichia coli.

  16. Tat proteins as novel thylakoid membrane anchors organize a biosynthetic pathway in chloroplasts and increase product yield 5-fold

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henriques de Jesus, Maria Perestrello Ramos; Nielsen, Agnieszka Janina Zygadlo; Mellor, Silas Busck


    to their complex structures. Some of the crucial enzymes catalyzing their biosynthesis are the cytochromes P450 (P450s) situated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), powered by electron transfers from NADPH. Dhurrin is a cyanogenic glucoside and its biosynthesis involves a dynamic metabolon formed by two P450s....... Nevertheless, translocation of the pathway from the ER to the chloroplast creates other difficulties, such as the loss of metabolon formation and intermediate diversion into other metabolic pathways. We show here that co-localization of these enzymes in the thylakoid membrane leads to a significant increase...... in product formation, with a concomitant decrease in off-pathway intermediates. This was achieved by exchanging the membrane anchors of the dhurrin pathway enzymes to components of the Twin-arginine translocation pathway, TatB and TatC, which have self-assembly properties. Consequently, we show 5-fold...

  17. Identification of individual protein-ligand NOEs in the limit of intermediate exchange

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reibarkh, Mikhail; Malia, Thomas J.; Hopkins, Brian T.; Wagner, Gerhard


    Interactions of proteins with small molecules or other macromolecules play key roles in many biological processes and in drug action, and NMR is an excellent tool for their structural characterization. Frequently, however, line broadening due to intermediate exchange completely eliminates the signals needed for measuring specific intermolecular NOEs. This limits the use of NMR for detailed structural studies in such kinetic situations. Here we show that an optimally chosen excess of ligand over protein can reduce the extent of line broadening for both the ligand and the protein. This makes observation of ligand resonances possible but reduces the size of the measurable NOEs due to the residual line broadening and the non-stoichiometric concentrations. Because the solubility of small molecule drug leads are often limited to high micromolar concentrations, protein concentrations are restricted to even lower values in the low micromolar range. At these non-stoichiometric concentrations and in the presence of significant residual line broadening, conventional NOESY experiments very often are not sensitive enough to observe intermolecular NOEs since the signals inverted by the NOESY preparation pulse sequence relax prior to significant NOE build up. Thus, we employ methods related to driven NOE spectroscopy to investigate protein-ligand interactions in the intermediate exchange regime. In this approach, individual protein resonances are selectively irradiated for up to five seconds to build up measurable NOEs at the ligand resonances. To enable saturation of individual protein resonances we prepare deuterated protein samples selectively protonated at a few sites so that the 1D 1 H spectrum of the protein is resolved well enough to permit irradiation of individual protein signals, which do not overlap with the ligand spectrum. This approach is suitable for measuring a sufficiently large number of protein-ligand NOEs that allow calculation of initial complex structures

  18. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold. (United States)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching


    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52Å resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel β-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over α-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Insights from the Structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis Topoisomerase I with a Novel Protein Fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tan, Kemin; Cao, Nan; Cheng, Bokun; Joachimiak, Andrzej; Tse-Dinh, Yuk-Ching


    The DNA topoisomerase I enzyme of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MtTOP1) is essential for the viability of the organism and survival in a murine model. This topoisomerase is being pursued as a novel target for the discovery of new therapeutic agents for the treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis. In this study, we succeeded in obtaining a structure of MtTOP1 by first predicting that the C-terminal region of MtTOP1 contains four repeated domains that do not involve the Zn-binding tetracysteine motifs seen in the C-terminal domains of Escherichia coli topoisomerase I. A construct (amino acids A2-T704), MtTOP1-704t, that includes the N-terminal domains (D1-D4) and the first predicted C-terminal domain (D5) of MtTOP1 was expressed and found to retain DNA cleavage-religation activity and catalyze single-stranded DNA catenation. MtTOP1-704t was crystallized, and a structure of 2.52 angstrom resolution limit was obtained. The structure of the MtTOP1 N-terminal domains has features that have not been observed in other previously available bacterial topoisomerase I crystal structures. The first C-terminal domain D5 forms a novel protein fold of a four-stranded antiparallel beta-sheet stabilized by a crossing-over alpha-helix. Since there is only one type IA topoisomerase present in Mycobacteriaceae and related Actinobacteria, this subfamily of type IA topoisomerase may be required for multiple functions in DNA replication, transcription, recombination, and repair. The unique structural features observed for MtTOP1 may allow these topoisomerase I enzymes to carry out physiological functions associated with topoisomerase III enzyme in other bacteria.

  20. Oxidative protein folding: from thiol-disulfide exchange reactions to the redox poise of the endoplasmic reticulum. (United States)

    Hudson, Devin A; Gannon, Shawn A; Thorpe, Colin


    This review examines oxidative protein folding within the mammalian endoplasmic reticulum (ER) from an enzymological perspective. In protein disulfide isomerase-first (PDI-first) pathways of oxidative protein folding, PDI is the immediate oxidant of reduced client proteins and then addresses disulfide mispairings in a second isomerization phase. In PDI-second pathways the initial oxidation is PDI-independent. Evidence for the rapid reduction of PDI by reduced glutathione is presented in the context of PDI-first pathways. Strategies and challenges are discussed for determination of the concentrations of reduced and oxidized glutathione and of the ratios of PDI(red):PDI(ox). The preponderance of evidence suggests that the mammalian ER is more reducing than first envisaged. The average redox state of major PDI-family members is largely to almost totally reduced. These observations are consistent with model studies showing that oxidative protein folding proceeds most efficiently at a reducing redox poise consistent with a stoichiometric insertion of disulfides into client proteins. After a discussion of the use of natively encoded fluorescent probes to report the glutathione redox poise of the ER, this review concludes with an elaboration of a complementary strategy to discontinuously survey the redox state of as many redox-active disulfides as can be identified by ratiometric LC-MS-MS methods. Consortia of oxidoreductases that are in redox equilibrium can then be identified and compared to the glutathione redox poise of the ER to gain a more detailed understanding of the factors that influence oxidative protein folding within the secretory compartment. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Multi-scaled explorations of binding-induced folding of intrinsically disordered protein inhibitor IA3 to its target enzyme.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jin Wang


    Full Text Available Biomolecular function is realized by recognition, and increasing evidence shows that recognition is determined not only by structure but also by flexibility and dynamics. We explored a biomolecular recognition process that involves a major conformational change - protein folding. In particular, we explore the binding-induced folding of IA3, an intrinsically disordered protein that blocks the active site cleft of the yeast aspartic proteinase saccharopepsin (YPrA by folding its own N-terminal residues into an amphipathic alpha helix. We developed a multi-scaled approach that explores the underlying mechanism by combining structure-based molecular dynamics simulations at the residue level with a stochastic path method at the atomic level. Both the free energy profile and the associated kinetic paths reveal a common scheme whereby IA3 binds to its target enzyme prior to folding itself into a helix. This theoretical result is consistent with recent time-resolved experiments. Furthermore, exploration of the detailed trajectories reveals the important roles of non-native interactions in the initial binding that occurs prior to IA3 folding. In contrast to the common view that non-native interactions contribute only to the roughness of landscapes and impede binding, the non-native interactions here facilitate binding by reducing significantly the entropic search space in the landscape. The information gained from multi-scaled simulations of the folding of this intrinsically disordered protein in the presence of its binding target may prove useful in the design of novel inhibitors of aspartic proteinases.

  2. Dependence of α-helical and β-sheet amino acid propensities on the overall protein fold type

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fujiwara Kazuo


    Full Text Available Abstract Background A large number of studies have been carried out to obtain amino acid propensities for α-helices and β-sheets. The obtained propensities for α-helices are consistent with each other, and the pair-wise correlation coefficient is frequently high. On the other hand, the β-sheet propensities obtained by several studies differed significantly, indicating that the context significantly affects β-sheet propensity. Results We calculated amino acid propensities for α-helices and β-sheets for 39 and 24 protein folds, respectively, and addressed whether they correlate with the fold. The propensities were also calculated for exposed and buried sites, respectively. Results showed that α-helix propensities do not differ significantly by fold, but β-sheet propensities are diverse and depend on the fold. The propensities calculated for exposed sites and buried sites are similar for α-helix, but such is not the case for the β-sheet propensities. We also found some fold dependence on amino acid frequency in β-strands. Folds with a high Ser, Thr and Asn content at exposed sites in β-strands tend to have a low Leu, Ile, Glu, Lys and Arg content (correlation coefficient = −0.90 and to have flat β-sheets. At buried sites in β-strands, the content of Tyr, Trp, Gln and Ser correlates negatively with the content of Val, Ile and Leu (correlation coefficient = −0.93. "All-β" proteins tend to have a higher content of Tyr, Trp, Gln and Ser, whereas "α/β" proteins tend to have a higher content of Val, Ile and Leu. Conclusions The α-helix propensities are similar for all folds and for exposed and buried residues. However, β-sheet propensities calculated for exposed residues differ from those for buried residues, indicating that the exposed-residue fraction is one of the major factors governing amino acid composition in β-strands. Furthermore, the correlations we detected suggest that amino acid composition is related to folding

  3. Evidence of non-coincidence of normalized sigmoidal curves of two different structural properties for two-state protein folding/unfolding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahaman, Hamidur; Khan, Md. Khurshid Alam; Hassan, Md. Imtaiyaz; Islam, Asimul; Moosavi-Movahedi, Ali Akbar; Ahmad, Faizan


    Highlights: ► Non-coincidence of normalized sigmoidal curves of two different structural properties is consistence with the two-state protein folding/unfolding. ► DSC measurements of denaturation show a two-state behavior of g-cyt-c at pH 6.0. ► Urea-induced denaturation of g-cyt-c is a variable two- state process at pH 6.0. ► GdmCl-induced denaturation of g-cyt-c is a fixed two- state process at pH 6.0. -- Abstract: In practice, the observation of non-coincidence of normalized sigmoidal transition curves measured by two different structural properties constitutes a proof of existence of thermodynamically stable intermediate(s) on the folding ↔ unfolding pathway of a protein. Here we give first experimental evidence that this non-coincidence is also observed for a two-state protein denaturation. Proof of this evidence comes from our studies of denaturation of goat cytochrome-c (g-cyt-c) at pH 6.0. These studies involve differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) measurements in the absence of urea and measurements of urea-induced denaturation curves monitored by observing changes in absorbance at 405, 530, and 695 nm and circular dichroism (CD) at 222, 405, and 416 nm. DSC measurements showed that denaturation of the protein is a two-state process, for calorimetric and van’t Hoff enthalpy changes are, within experimental errors, identical. Normalization of urea-induced denaturation curves monitored by optical properties leads to noncoincident sigmoidal curves. Heat-induced transition of g-cyt-c in the presence of different urea concentrations was monitored by CD at 222 nm and absorption at 405 nm. It was observed that these two different structural probes gave not only identical values of T m (transition temperature), ΔH m (change in enthalpy at T m ) and ΔC p (constant-pressure heat capacity change), but these thermodynamic parameters in the absence of urea are also in agreement with those obtained from DSC measurements

  4. Analyzing import intermediates of mitochondrial proteins by blue native gel electrophoresis. (United States)

    Waizenegger, Thomas; Rapaport, Doron


    Blue native gel electrophoresis (BNGE) is a powerful tool for analyzing native protein complexes from biological membranes as well as water-soluble proteins. It can be used for determining relative molecular masses of protein complexes and their subunit composition and for the detection of subcomplexes. We describe the analysis by BNGE of in vitro import reactions composed of radiolabeled precursor proteins and isolated mitochondria. Such an analysis is a powerful tool to follow import intermediates and to study assembly of protein complexes. Analysis of import reactions by BNGE provides information on the molecular mass of the complex with which the imported precursor is associated. In addition, components of such a complex can be identified by incubating the mitochondrial lysate with either soluble antibodies or antibodies coupled to protein A matrix. The binding of soluble antibodies to specific complexes results in an observed shift in their apparent molecular mass (antibody shift). Alternatively, addition of matrix-bound antibodies followed by removal of the matrix from the mixture will result in depletion of the specific complex from the mitochondrial lysate (antibody depletion). The experimental details of these techniques are described.

  5. Supramolecular Architectures and Mimics of Complex Natural Folds Derived from Rationally Designed alpha-Helical Protein Structures (United States)

    Tavenor, Nathan Albert

    Protein-based supramolecular polymers (SMPs) are a class of biomaterials which draw inspiration from and expand upon the many examples of complex protein quaternary structures observed in nature: collagen, microtubules, viral capsids, etc. Designing synthetic supramolecular protein scaffolds both increases our understanding of natural superstructures and allows for the creation of novel materials. Similar to small-molecule SMPs, protein-based SMPs form due to self-assembly driven by intermolecular interactions between monomers, and monomer structure determines the properties of the overall material. Using protein-based monomers takes advantage of the self-assembly and highly specific molecular recognition properties encodable in polypeptide sequences to rationally design SMP architectures. The central hypothesis underlying our work is that alpha-helical coiled coils, a well-studied protein quaternary folding motif, are well-suited to SMP design through the addition of synthetic linkers at solvent-exposed sites. Through small changes in the structures of the cross-links and/or peptide sequence, we have been able to control both the nanoscale organization and the macroscopic properties of the SMPs. Changes to the linker and hydrophobic core of the peptide can be used to control polymer rigidity, stability, and dimensionality. The gaps in knowledge that this thesis sought to fill on this project were 1) the relationship between the molecular structure of the cross-linked polypeptides and the macroscopic properties of the SMPs and 2) a means of creating materials exhibiting multi-dimensional net or framework topologies. Separate from the above efforts on supramolecular architectures was work on improving backbone modification strategies for an alpha-helix in the context of a complex protein tertiary fold. Earlier work in our lab had successfully incorporated unnatural building blocks into every major secondary structure (beta-sheet, alpha-helix, loops and beta

  6. The formation of a native-like structure containing eight conserved hydrophobic residues is rate limiting in two-state protein folding of ACBP

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kragelund, Birthe Brandt; Osmark, Peter; Neergaard, Thomas B.


    The acyl-coenzyme A-binding proteins (ACBPs) contain 26 highly conserved sequence positions. The majority of these have been mutated in the bovine protein, and their influence on the rate of two-state folding and unfolding has been measured. The results identify eight sequence positions, out of 24...... probed, that are critical for fast productive folding. The residues are all hydrophobic and located in the interface between the N- and C-terminal helices. The results suggest that one specific site dominated by conserved hydrophobic residues forms the structure of the productive rate-determining folding...... step and that a sequential framework model can describe the protein folding reaction....

  7. Folding machineries displayed on a cation-exchanger for the concerted refolding of cysteine- or proline-rich proteins

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lee Dae-Hee


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Escherichia coli has been most widely used for the production of valuable recombinant proteins. However, over-production of heterologous proteins in E. coli frequently leads to their misfolding and aggregation yielding inclusion bodies. Previous attempts to refold the inclusion bodies into bioactive forms usually result in poor recovery and account for the major cost in industrial production of desired proteins from recombinant E. coli. Here, we describe the successful use of the immobilized folding machineries for in vitro refolding with the examples of high yield refolding of a ribonuclease A (RNase A and cyclohexanone monooxygenase (CHMO. Results We have generated refolding-facilitating media immobilized with three folding machineries, mini-chaperone (a monomeric apical domain consisting of residues 191–345 of GroEL and two foldases (DsbA and human peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase by mimicking oxidative refolding chromatography. For efficient and simple purification and immobilization simultaneously, folding machineries were fused with the positively-charged consecutive 10-arginine tag at their C-terminal. The immobilized folding machineries were fully functional when assayed in a batch mode. When the refolding-facilitating matrices were applied to the refolding of denatured and reduced RNase A and CHMO, both of which contain many cysteine and proline residues, RNase A and CHMO were recovered in 73% and 53% yield of soluble protein with full enzyme activity, respectively. Conclusion The refolding-facilitating media presented here could be a cost-efficient platform and should be applicable to refold a wide range of E. coli inclusion bodies in high yield with biological function.

  8. Basic Tilted Helix Bundle – A new protein fold in human FKBP25/FKBP3 and HectD1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helander, Sara; Montecchio, Meri [Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Division of Chemistry, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Lemak, Alexander [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Farès, Christophe [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Almlöf, Jonas [Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Division of Chemistry, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden); Li, Yanjun [Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, 101 College St, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Yee, Adelinda [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Arrowsmith, Cheryl H. [Princess Margaret Cancer Centre and Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Northeast Structural Genomics Consortium, Toronto, Ontario (Canada); Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, 101 College St, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Dhe-Paganon, Sirano [Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto, 101 College St, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1L7 (Canada); Sunnerhagen, Maria, E-mail: [Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Division of Chemistry, Linköping University, SE-58183 Linköping (Sweden)


    Highlights: • We describe the structure of a novel fold in FKBP25 and HectD. • The new fold is named the Basic Tilted Helix Bundle (BTHB) domain. • A conserved basic surface patch is presented, suggesting a functional role. - Abstract: In this paper, we describe the structure of a N-terminal domain motif in nuclear-localized FKBP25{sub 1–73}, a member of the FKBP family, together with the structure of a sequence-related subdomain of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HectD1 that we show belongs to the same fold. This motif adopts a compact 5-helix bundle which we name the Basic Tilted Helix Bundle (BTHB) domain. A positively charged surface patch, structurally centered around the tilted helix H4, is present in both FKBP25 and HectD1 and is conserved in both proteins, suggesting a conserved functional role. We provide detailed comparative analysis of the structures of the two proteins and their sequence similarities, and analysis of the interaction of the proposed FKBP25 binding protein YY1. We suggest that the basic motif in BTHB is involved in the observed DNA binding of FKBP25, and that the function of this domain can be affected by regulatory YY1 binding and/or interactions with adjacent domains.

  9. Basic Tilted Helix Bundle – A new protein fold in human FKBP25/FKBP3 and HectD1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helander, Sara; Montecchio, Meri; Lemak, Alexander; Farès, Christophe; Almlöf, Jonas; Li, Yanjun; Yee, Adelinda; Arrowsmith, Cheryl H.; Dhe-Paganon, Sirano; Sunnerhagen, Maria


    Highlights: • We describe the structure of a novel fold in FKBP25 and HectD. • The new fold is named the Basic Tilted Helix Bundle (BTHB) domain. • A conserved basic surface patch is presented, suggesting a functional role. - Abstract: In this paper, we describe the structure of a N-terminal domain motif in nuclear-localized FKBP25 1–73 , a member of the FKBP family, together with the structure of a sequence-related subdomain of the E3 ubiquitin ligase HectD1 that we show belongs to the same fold. This motif adopts a compact 5-helix bundle which we name the Basic Tilted Helix Bundle (BTHB) domain. A positively charged surface patch, structurally centered around the tilted helix H4, is present in both FKBP25 and HectD1 and is conserved in both proteins, suggesting a conserved functional role. We provide detailed comparative analysis of the structures of the two proteins and their sequence similarities, and analysis of the interaction of the proposed FKBP25 binding protein YY1. We suggest that the basic motif in BTHB is involved in the observed DNA binding of FKBP25, and that the function of this domain can be affected by regulatory YY1 binding and/or interactions with adjacent domains

  10. Folding behavior of four silks of giant honey bee reflects the evolutionary conservation of aculeate silk proteins. (United States)

    Maitip, Jakkrawut; Trueman, Holly E; Kaehler, Benjamin D; Huttley, Gavin A; Chantawannakul, Panuwan; Sutherland, Tara D


    Multiple gene duplication events in the precursor of the Aculeata (bees, ants, hornets) gave rise to four silk genes. Whilst these homologs encode proteins with similar amino acid composition and coiled coil structure, the retention of all four homologs implies they each are important. In this study we identified, produced and characterized the four silk proteins from Apis dorsata, the giant Asian honeybee. The proteins were readily purified, allowing us to investigate the folding behavior of solutions of individual proteins in comparison to mixtures of all four proteins at concentrations where they assemble into their native coiled coil structure. In contrast to solutions of any one protein type, solutions of a mixture of the four proteins formed coiled coils that were stable against dilution and detergent denaturation. The results are consistent with the formation of a heteromeric coiled coil protein complex. The mechanism of silk protein coiled coil formation and evolution is discussed in light of these results. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Key intermediates in nitrogen transformation during microwave pyrolysis of sewage sludge: a protein model compound study. (United States)

    Zhang, Jun; Tian, Yu; Cui, Yanni; Zuo, Wei; Tan, Tao


    The nitrogen transformations with attention to NH3 and HCN were investigated at temperatures of 300-800°C during microwave pyrolysis of a protein model compound. The evolution of nitrogenated compounds in the char, tar and gas products were conducted. The amine-N, heterocyclic-N and nitrile-N compounds were identified as three important intermediates during the pyrolysis. NH3 and HCN were formed with comparable activation energies competed to consume the same reactive substances at temperatures of 300-800°C. The deamination and dehydrogenation of amine-N compounds from protein cracking contributed to the formation of NH3 (about 8.9% of Soy-N) and HCN (6.6%) from 300 to 500°C. The cracking of nitrile-N and heterocyclic-N compounds from the dehydrogenation and polymerization of amine-N generated HCN (13.4%) and NH3 (31.3%) between 500 and 800°C. It might be able to reduce the HCN and NH3 emissions through controlling the intermediates production at temperatures of 500-800°C. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Scale-free behaviour of amino acid pair interactions in folded proteins

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Steffen B.; Neves-Petersen, Maria Teresa; Mortensen, Rasmus J.


    The protein structure is a cumulative result of interactions between amino acid residues interacting with each other through space and/or chemical bonds. Despite the large number of high resolution protein structures, the ‘‘protein structure code’’ has not been fully identified. Our manuscript...... presents a novel approach to protein structure analysis in order to identify rules for spatial packing of amino acid pairs in proteins. We have investigated 8706 high resolution non-redundant protein chains and quantified amino acid pair interactions in terms of solvent accessibility, spatial and sequence...... which amino acid paired residues contributed to the cells with a population above 50, pairs of Ala, Ile, Leu and Val dominate the results. This result is statistically highly significant. We postulate that such pairs form ‘‘structural stability points’’ in the protein structure. Our data shows...

  13. Stable intermediates determine proteins' primary unfolding sites in the presence of surfactants

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Petersen, Steen Vang; Andersen, Kell kleiner; Enghild, Jan J.


    Despite detailed knowledge of the overall structural changes and stoichiometries of surfactant binding, little is known about which protein regions constitute the preferred sites of attack for initial unfolding. Here we have exposed three proteins to limited proteolysis at anionic (SDS) and catio......Despite detailed knowledge of the overall structural changes and stoichiometries of surfactant binding, little is known about which protein regions constitute the preferred sites of attack for initial unfolding. Here we have exposed three proteins to limited proteolysis at anionic (SDS......) and cationic (DTAC) surfactant concentrations corresponding to specific conformational transitions, using the surfactant-robust broad-specificity proteases Savinase and Alcalase. Cleavage sites are identified by SDS-PAGE and N-terminal sequencing. We observe well-defined cleavage fragments, which suggest......, cleavage sites can be rationalized from the structure of the protein's folding transition state and the position of loops in the native state. Nevertheless, they are more sensitive to choice of surfactant and protease, probably reflecting a heterogeneous and fluctuating ensemble of partially unfolded...

  14. Folding DNA into a Lipid-Conjugated Nanobarrel for Controlled Reconstitution of Membrane Proteins. (United States)

    Dong, Yuanchen; Chen, Shuobing; Zhang, Shijian; Sodroski, Joseph; Yang, Zhongqiang; Liu, Dongsheng; Mao, Youdong


    Building upon DNA origami technology, we introduce a method to reconstitute a single membrane protein into a self-assembled DNA nanobarrel that scaffolds a nanodisc-like lipid environment. Compared with the membrane-scaffolding-protein nanodisc technique, our approach gives rise to defined stoichiometry, controlled sizes, as well as enhanced stability and homogeneity in membrane protein reconstitution. We further demonstrate potential applications of the DNA nanobarrels in the structural analysis of membrane proteins. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  15. The Serine/threonine kinase Stk33 exhibits autophosphorylation and phosphorylates the intermediate filament protein Vimentin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Herrmann Harald


    Full Text Available Abstract Background Colocalization of Stk33 with vimentin by double immunofluorescence in certain cells indicated that vimentin might be a target for phosphorylation by the novel kinase Stk33. We therefore tested in vitro the ability of Stk33 to phosphorylate recombinant full length vimentin and amino-terminal truncated versions thereof. In order to prove that Stk33 and vimentin are also in vivo associated proteins co-immunoprecipitation experiments were carried out. For testing the enzymatic activity of immunoprecipitated Stk33 we incubated precipitated Stk33 with recombinant vimentin proteins. To investigate whether Stk33 binds directly to vimentin, an in vitro co-sedimentation assay was performed. Results The results of the kinase assays demonstrate that Stk33 is able to specifically phosphorylate the non-α-helical amino-terminal domain of vimentin in vitro. Furthermore, co-immunoprecipitation experiments employing cultured cell extracts indicate that Stk33 and vimentin are associated in vivo. Immunoprecipitated Stk33 has enzymatic activity as shown by successful phosphorylation of recombinant vimentin proteins. The results of the co-sedimentation assay suggest that vimentin binds directly to Stk33 and that no additional protein mediates the association. Conclusion We hypothesize that Stk33 is involved in the in vivo dynamics of the intermediate filament cytoskeleton by phosphorylating vimentin.

  16. Loss of conformational entropy in protein folding calculated using realistic ensembles and its implications for NMR-based calculations (United States)

    Baxa, Michael C.; Haddadian, Esmael J.; Jumper, John M.; Freed, Karl F.; Sosnick, Tobin R.


    The loss of conformational entropy is a major contribution in the thermodynamics of protein folding. However, accurate determination of the quantity has proven challenging. We calculate this loss using molecular dynamic simulations of both the native protein and a realistic denatured state ensemble. For ubiquitin, the total change in entropy is TΔSTotal = 1.4 kcal⋅mol−1 per residue at 300 K with only 20% from the loss of side-chain entropy. Our analysis exhibits mixed agreement with prior studies because of the use of more accurate ensembles and contributions from correlated motions. Buried side chains lose only a factor of 1.4 in the number of conformations available per rotamer upon folding (ΩU/ΩN). The entropy loss for helical and sheet residues differs due to the smaller motions of helical residues (TΔShelix−sheet = 0.5 kcal⋅mol−1), a property not fully reflected in the amide N-H and carbonyl C=O bond NMR order parameters. The results have implications for the thermodynamics of folding and binding, including estimates of solvent ordering and microscopic entropies obtained from NMR. PMID:25313044

  17. Coat Protein Mutations That Alter the Flux of Morphogenetic Intermediates through the ϕX174 Early Assembly Pathway. (United States)

    Blackburn, Brody J; Li, Shuaizhi; Roznowski, Aaron P; Perez, Alexis R; Villarreal, Rodrigo H; Johnson, Curtis J; Hardy, Margaret; Tuckerman, Edward C; Burch, April D; Fane, Bentley A


    Two scaffolding proteins orchestrate ϕX174 morphogenesis. The internal scaffolding protein B mediates the formation of pentameric assembly intermediates, whereas the external scaffolding protein D organizes 12 of these intermediates into procapsids. Aromatic amino acid side chains mediate most coat-internal scaffolding protein interactions. One residue in the internal scaffolding protein and three in the coat protein constitute the core of the B protein binding cleft. The three coat gene codons were randomized separately to ascertain the chemical requirements of the encoded amino acids and the morphogenetic consequences of mutation. The resulting mutants exhibited a wide range of recessive phenotypes, which could generally be explained within a structural context. Mutants with phenylalanine, tyrosine, and methionine substitutions were phenotypically indistinguishable from the wild type. However, tryptophan substitutions were detrimental at two sites. Charged residues were poorly tolerated, conferring extreme temperature-sensitive and lethal phenotypes. Eighteen lethal and conditional lethal mutants were genetically and biochemically characterized. The primary defect associated with the missense substitutions ranged from inefficient internal scaffolding protein B binding to faulty procapsid elongation reactions mediated by external scaffolding protein D. Elevating B protein concentrations above wild-type levels via exogenous, cloned-gene expression compensated for inefficient B protein binding, as did suppressing mutations within gene B. Similarly, elevating D protein concentrations above wild-type levels or compensatory mutations within gene D suppressed faulty elongation. Some of the parental mutations were pleiotropic, affecting multiple morphogenetic reactions. This progressively reduced the flux of intermediates through the pathway. Accordingly, multiple mechanisms, which may be unrelated, could restore viability. IMPORTANCE Genetic analyses have been

  18. Lipid-protein nanodiscs for cell-free production of integral membrane proteins in a soluble and folded state: comparison with detergent micelles, bicelles and liposomes. (United States)

    Lyukmanova, E N; Shenkarev, Z O; Khabibullina, N F; Kopeina, G S; Shulepko, M A; Paramonov, A S; Mineev, K S; Tikhonov, R V; Shingarova, L N; Petrovskaya, L E; Dolgikh, D A; Arseniev, A S; Kirpichnikov, M P


    Production of integral membrane proteins (IMPs) in a folded state is a key prerequisite for their functional and structural studies. In cell-free (CF) expression systems membrane mimicking components could be added to the reaction mixture that promotes IMP production in a soluble form. Here lipid-protein nanodiscs (LPNs) of different lipid compositions (DMPC, DMPG, POPC, POPC/DOPG) have been compared with classical membrane mimicking media such as detergent micelles, lipid/detergent bicelles and liposomes by their ability to support CF synthesis of IMPs in a folded and soluble state. Three model membrane proteins of different topology were used: homodimeric transmembrane (TM) domain of human receptor tyrosine kinase ErbB3 (TM-ErbB3, 1TM); voltage-sensing domain of K(+) channel KvAP (VSD, 4TM); and bacteriorhodopsin from Exiguobacterium sibiricum (ESR, 7TM). Structural and/or functional properties of the synthesized proteins were analyzed. LPNs significantly enhanced synthesis of the IMPs in a soluble form regardless of the lipid composition. A partial disintegration of LPNs composed of unsaturated lipids was observed upon co-translational IMP incorporation. Contrary to detergents the nanodiscs resulted in the synthesis of ~80% active ESR and promoted correct folding of the TM-ErbB3. None of the tested membrane mimetics supported CF synthesis of correctly folded VSD, and the protocol of the domain refolding was developed. The use of LPNs appears to be the most promising approach to CF production of IMPs in a folded state. NMR analysis of (15)N-Ile-TM-ErbB3 co-translationally incorporated into LPNs shows the great prospects of this membrane mimetics for structural studies of IMPs produced by CF systems. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. A comparative method for finding and folding RNA secondary structures within protein-coding regions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pedersen, Jakob Skou; Meyer, Irmtraud Margret; Forsberg, Roald


    that RNA-DECODER's parameters can be automatically trained to successfully fold known secondary structures within the HCV genome. We scan the genomes of HCV and polio virus for conserved secondary-structure elements, and analyze performance as a function of available evolutionary information. On known...... secondary structures, RNA-DECODER shows a sensitivity similar to the programs MFOLD, PFOLD and RNAALIFOLD. When scanning the entire genomes of HCV and polio virus for structure elements, RNA-DECODER's results indicate a markedly higher specificity than MFOLD, PFOLD and RNAALIFOLD....

  20. Phase transition in polypeptides: a step towards the understanding of protein folding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Yakubovich, Alexander V.; Solov'yov, Ilia; Solov'yov, Andrey V.


    We present a formalism which turns out to be very successful in the description of the polypeptide folding. We consider this process as a first-order phase transition and develop a theory which is free of model parameters and is based solely on fundamental physical principles. It describes...... essential thermodynamical properties of the system such as heat capacity, the phase transition temperature and others from the analysis of the polypeptide potential energy surface calculated within ab initio density functional theory and parameterized by two dihedral angles. This problem is viewed...

  1. Different secondary structure elements as scaffolds for protein folding transition states of two homologous four-helix bundles. (United States)

    Teilum, Kaare; Thormann, Thorsten; Caterer, Nigel R; Poulsen, Heidi I; Jensen, Peter H; Knudsen, Jens; Kragelund, Birthe B; Poulsen, Flemming M


    Comparison of the folding processes for homologue proteins can provide valuable information about details in the interactions leading to the formation of the folding transition state. Here the folding kinetics of 18 variants of yACBP and 3 variants of bACBP have been studied by Phi-value analysis. In combination with Phi-values from previous work, detailed insight into the transition states for folding of both yACBP and bACBP has been obtained. Of the 16 sequence positions that have been studied in both yACBP and bACBP, 5 (V12, I/L27, Y73, V77, and L80) have high Phi-values and appear to be important for the transition state formation in both homologues. Y31, A34, and A69 have high Phi-values only in yACBP, while F5, A9, and I74 have high Phi-values only in bACBP. Thus, additional interactions between helices A2 and A4 appear to be important for the transition state of yACBP, whereas additional interactions between helices A1 and A4 appear to be important for the transition state of bACBP. To examine whether these differences could be assigned to different packing of the residues in the native state, a solution structure of yACBP was determined by NMR. Small changes in the packing of the hydrophobic side-chains, which strengthen the interactions between helices A2 and A4, are observed in yACBP relative to bACBP. It is suggested that different structure elements serve as scaffolds for the folding of the 2 ACBP homologues. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  2. Early kinetic intermediate in the folding of acyl-CoA binding protein detected by fluorescence labeling and ultrarapid mixing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilum, Kaare; Maki, Kosuke; Kragelund, Birthe B


    showed a major increase in tryptophan-dansyl fluorescence energy transfer, indicating formation of a partially collapsed ensemble of states on the 100-micros time scale. A subsequent decrease in dansyl fluorescence is attributed to intramolecular quenching of donor fluorescence on formation of the native...

  3. TDP-43 Proteinopathies: A New Player in Neurodegenerative Diseases with Defective Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suna Lahut


    Full Text Available The proteome is the sum of all proteins inside a cell, and proteostasis (protein homeostasis is the stable condition of the proteome. Proteostasis is essential for the cellular and organismal health. Stress, aging and the chronic expression of misfolded proteins challenge the proteostasis machinery and the vitality of the cell. There is increasing evidence that the accumulation of damaged proteins not only has direct consequences on the efficiency and fidelity of cellular processes but, when not corrected, that they initiate a cascade of dysfunction, which in humans is associated with a plethora of diseases of protein conformation, referred to as proteinopathies. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD, Parkinson’s Disease (PD, Huntington’s Disease (HD, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, cancer and diabetes, whose frequencies have drastically increased in countries with aging populations, are all consequences of misfolded proteins. This paper focuses on TDP-43, which excelled as a key protein in neurodegenerative processes because of its association with different diseases, especially with ALS and Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia (FTLD, the two best studied examples of TDP-43 proteinopathies

  4. TDP-43 Proteinopathies: A New Player in Neurodegenerative Diseases with Defective Protein Folding

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suna Lahut


    Full Text Available The proteome is the sum of all proteins inside a cell, and proteostasis (protein homeostasis is the stable condition of the proteome. Proteostasis is essential for the cellular and organismal health. Stress, aging and the chronic expression of misfolded proteins challenge the proteostasis machinery and the vitality of the cell. There is increasing evidence that the accumulation of damaged proteins not only has direct consequences on the efficiency and fidelity of cellular processes but, when not corrected, that they initiate a cascade of dysfunction, which in humans is associated with a plethora of diseases of protein conformation, referred to as proteinopathies. Alzheimer’s Disease (AD, Parkinson’s Disease (PD, Huntington’s Disease (HD, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS, cancer and diabetes, whose frequencies have drastically increased in countries with aging populations, are all consequences of misfolded proteins. This paper focuses on TDP-43, which excelled as a key protein in neurodegenerative processes because of its association with different diseases, especially with ALS and Frontotemporal Lobar Dementia (FTLD, the two best studied examples of TDP-43 proteinopathies.

  5. GRP94: An HSP90-like protein specialized for protein folding and quality control in the endoplasmic reticulum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Marzec, Michal; Eletto, Davide; Argon, Yair


    Glucose-regulated protein 94 is the HSP90-like protein in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum and therefore it chaperones secreted and membrane proteins. It has essential functions in development and physiology of multicellular organisms, at least in part because of this unique clientele. GRP94...

  6. Probing Protein Structure and Folding in the Gas Phase by Electron Capture Dissociation (United States)

    Schennach, Moritz; Breuker, Kathrin


    The established methods for the study of atom-detailed protein structure in the condensed phases, X-ray crystallography and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, have recently been complemented by new techniques by which nearly or fully desolvated protein structures are probed in gas-phase experiments. Electron capture dissociation (ECD) is unique among these as it provides residue-specific, although indirect, structural information. In this Critical Insight article, we discuss the development of ECD for the structural probing of gaseous protein ions, its potential, and limitations.

  7. ORION: a web server for protein fold recognition and structure prediction using evolutionary hybrid profiles. (United States)

    Ghouzam, Yassine; Postic, Guillaume; Guerin, Pierre-Edouard; de Brevern, Alexandre G; Gelly, Jean-Christophe


    Protein structure prediction based on comparative modeling is the most efficient way to produce structural models when it can be performed. ORION is a dedicated webserver based on a new strategy that performs this task. The identification by ORION of suitable templates is performed using an original profile-profile approach that combines sequence and structure evolution information. Structure evolution information is encoded into profiles using structural features, such as solvent accessibility and local conformation -with Protein Blocks-, which give an accurate description of the local protein structure. ORION has recently been improved, increasing by 5% the quality of its results. The ORION web server accepts a single protein sequence as input and searches homologous protein structures within minutes. Various databases such as PDB, SCOP and HOMSTRAD can be mined to find an appropriate structural template. For the modeling step, a protein 3D structure can be directly obtained from the selected template by MODELLER and displayed with global and local quality model estimation measures. The sequence and the predicted structure of 4 examples from the CAMEO server and a recent CASP11 target from the 'Hard' category (T0818-D1) are shown as pertinent examples. Our web server is accessible at

  8. Steady-state structural fluctuation is a predictor of the necessity of pausing-mediated co-translational folding for small proteins. (United States)

    Huang, Wenxi; Liu, Wanting; Jin, Jingjie; Xiao, Qilan; Lu, Ruibin; Chen, Wei; Xiong, Sheng; Zhang, Gong


    Translational pausing coordinates protein synthesis and co-translational folding. It is a common factor that facilitates the correct folding of large, multi-domain proteins. For small proteins, pausing sites rarely occurs in the gene body, and the 3'-end pausing sites are only essential for the folding of a fraction of proteins. The determinant of the necessity of the pausings remains obscure. In this study, we demonstrated that the steady-state structural fluctuation is a predictor of the necessity of pausing-mediated co-translational folding for small proteins. Validated by experiments with 5 model proteins, we found that the rigid protein structures do not, while the flexible structures do need 3'-end pausings to fold correctly. Therefore, rational optimization of translational pausing can improve soluble expression of small proteins with flexible structures, but not the rigid ones. The rigidity of the structure can be quantitatively estimated in silico using molecular dynamic simulation. Nevertheless, we also found that the translational pausing optimization increases the fitness of the expression host, and thus benefits the recombinant protein production, independent from the soluble expression. These results shed light on the structural basis of the translational pausing and provided a practical tool for industrial protein fermentation. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  9. The analysis Arabidopsis thaliana overexpressing a 14kDa self-folding protein [abstract (United States)

    A recent study in banana identified a 14kDa protein that has been hypothesized to function in regulating the nucleation and growth of the needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate that accumulate within the tissues of this plant. To gain further insight in to the functional role of this 14 kDa prote...

  10. Differential role of calpain-dependent protein cleavage in intermediate and long-term operant memory in Aplysia. (United States)

    Lyons, Lisa C; Gardner, Jacob S; Lentsch, Cassidy T; Gandour, Catherine E; Krishnan, Harini C; Noakes, Eric J


    In addition to protein synthesis, protein degradation or protein cleavage may be necessary for intermediate (ITM) and long-term memory (LTM) to remove molecular constraints, facilitate persistent kinase activity and modulate synaptic plasticity. Calpains, a family of conserved calcium dependent cysteine proteases, modulate synaptic function through protein cleavage. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica to investigate the in vivo role of calpains during intermediate and long-term operant memory formation using the learning that food is inedible (LFI) paradigm. A single LFI training session, in which the animal associates a specific netted seaweed with the failure to swallow, generates short (30min), intermediate (4-6h) and long-term (24h) memory. Using the calpain inhibitors calpeptin and MDL-28170, we found that ITM requires calpain activity for induction and consolidation similar to the previously reported requirements for persistent protein kinase C activity in intermediate-term LFI memory. The induction of LTM also required calpain activity. In contrast to ITM, calpain activity was not necessary for the molecular consolidation of LTM. Surprisingly, six hours after LFI training we found that calpain activity was necessary for LTM, although this is a time at which neither persistent PKC activity nor protein synthesis is required for the maintenance of long-term LFI memory. These results demonstrate that calpains function in multiple roles in vivo during associative memory formation. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Unraveling a phosphorylation event in a folded protein by NMR spectroscopy: phosphorylation of the Pin1 WW domain by PKA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smet-Nocca, Caroline, E-mail:; Launay, Helene; Wieruszeski, Jean-Michel; Lippens, Guy; Landrieu, Isabelle, E-mail: [Universite de Lille-Nord de France, Institut Federatif de Recherches 147, CNRS UMR 8576 (France)


    The Pin1 protein plays a critical role in the functional regulation of the hyperphosphorylated neuronal Tau protein in Alzheimer's disease and is by itself regulated by phosphorylation. We have used Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to both identify the PKA phosphorylation site in the Pin1 WW domain and investigate the functional consequences of this phosphorylation. Detection and identification of phosphorylation on serine/threonine residues in a globular protein, while mostly occurring in solvent-exposed flexible loops, does not lead to chemical shift changes as obvious as in disordered proteins and hence does not necessarily shift the resonances outside the spectrum of the folded protein. Other complications were encountered to characterize the extent of the phosphorylation, as part of the {sup 1}H,{sup 15}N amide resonances around the phosphorylation site are specifically broadened in the unphosphorylated state. Despite these obstacles, NMR spectroscopy was an efficient tool to confirm phosphorylation on S16 of the WW domain and to quantify the level of phosphorylation. Based on this analytical characterization, we show that WW phosphorylation on S16 abolishes its binding capacity to a phosphorylated Tau peptide. A reduced conformational heterogeneity and flexibility of the phospho-binding loop upon S16 phosphorylation could account for part of the decreased affinity for its phosphorylated partner. Additionally, a structural model of the phospho-WW obtained by molecular dynamics simulation and energy minimization suggests that the phosphate moiety of phospho-S16 could compete with the phospho-substrate.

  12. Unraveling a phosphorylation event in a folded protein by NMR spectroscopy: phosphorylation of the Pin1 WW domain by PKA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smet-Nocca, Caroline; Launay, Hélène; Wieruszeski, Jean-Michel; Lippens, Guy; Landrieu, Isabelle


    The Pin1 protein plays a critical role in the functional regulation of the hyperphosphorylated neuronal Tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease and is by itself regulated by phosphorylation. We have used Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy to both identify the PKA phosphorylation site in the Pin1 WW domain and investigate the functional consequences of this phosphorylation. Detection and identification of phosphorylation on serine/threonine residues in a globular protein, while mostly occurring in solvent-exposed flexible loops, does not lead to chemical shift changes as obvious as in disordered proteins and hence does not necessarily shift the resonances outside the spectrum of the folded protein. Other complications were encountered to characterize the extent of the phosphorylation, as part of the 1 H, 15 N amide resonances around the phosphorylation site are specifically broadened in the unphosphorylated state. Despite these obstacles, NMR spectroscopy was an efficient tool to confirm phosphorylation on S16 of the WW domain and to quantify the level of phosphorylation. Based on this analytical characterization, we show that WW phosphorylation on S16 abolishes its binding capacity to a phosphorylated Tau peptide. A reduced conformational heterogeneity and flexibility of the phospho-binding loop upon S16 phosphorylation could account for part of the decreased affinity for its phosphorylated partner. Additionally, a structural model of the phospho-WW obtained by molecular dynamics simulation and energy minimization suggests that the phosphate moiety of phospho-S16 could compete with the phospho-substrate.

  13. On the Trails of the Proteasome Fold: Structural and Functional Analysis of the Ancestral β-Subunit Protein Anbu. (United States)

    Vielberg, Marie-Theres; Bauer, Verena C; Groll, Michael


    The 20S proteasome is a key player in eukaryotic and archaeal protein degradation, but its progenitor in eubacteria is unknown. Recently, the ancestral β-subunit protein (Anbu) was predicted to be the evolutionary precursor of the proteasome. We crystallized Anbu from Hyphomicrobium sp. strain MC1 in four different space groups and solved the structures by SAD-phasing and Patterson search calculation techniques. Our data reveal that Anbu adopts the classical fold of Ntn-hydrolases, but its oligomeric state differs from that of barrel-shaped proteases. In contrast to their typical architecture, the Anbu protomer is a tightly interacting dimer that can assemble into a helical superstructure. Although Anbu features a catalytic triad of Thr1O γ , Asp17O δ1 and Lys32N ε , it is unable to hydrolyze standard protease substrates. The lack of activity might be caused by the incapacity of Thr1NH 2 to function as a Brønsted acid during substrate cleavage due to its missing activation via hydrogen bonding. Altogether, we demonstrate that the topology of the proteasomal fold is conserved in Anbu, but whether it acts as a protease still needs to be clarified. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Probing the Ca2+-assisted pi-pi interaction during Ca2+-dependent protein folding

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Matyska Lišková, Petra; Fišer, Radovan; Macek, Pavel; Chmelík, Josef; Sýkora, Jan; Bednárová, Lucie; Konopásek, I.; Bumba, Ladislav


    Roč. 12, č. 2 (2016), s. 531-541 ISSN 1744-683X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP207/11/0717; GA ČR(CZ) GBP208/12/G016; GA MŠk LO1509 Institutional support: RVO:61388971 ; RVO:61388963 ; RVO:61388955 Keywords : METAL-ION-BINDING * NEISSERIA-MENINGITIDIS * RTX PROTEINS Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry; CF - Physical ; Theoretical Chemistry (UFCH-W) Impact factor: 3.889, year: 2016

  15. Nitazoxanide Inhibits Pilus Biogenesis by Interfering with Folding of the Usher Protein in the Outer Membrane. (United States)

    Chahales, Peter; Hoffman, Paul S; Thanassi, David G


    Many bacterial pathogens assemble surface fibers termed pili or fimbriae that facilitate attachment to host cells and colonization of host tissues. The chaperone/usher (CU) pathway is a conserved secretion system that is responsible for the assembly of virulence-associated pili by many different Gram-negative bacteria. Pilus biogenesis by the CU pathway requires a dedicated periplasmic chaperone and an integral outer membrane (OM) assembly and secretion platform termed the usher. Nitazoxanide (NTZ), an antiparasitic drug, was previously shown to inhibit the function of aggregative adherence fimbriae and type 1 pili assembled by the CU pathway in enteroaggregativeEscherichia coli, an important causative agent of diarrhea. We show here that NTZ also inhibits the function of type 1 and P pili from uropathogenicE. coli(UPEC). UPEC is the primary causative agent of urinary tract infections, and type 1 and P pili mediate colonization of the bladder and kidneys, respectively. By analysis of the different stages of the CU pilus biogenesis pathway, we show that treatment of bacteria with NTZ causes a reduction in the number of usher molecules in the OM, resulting in a loss of pilus assembly on the bacterial surface. In addition, we determine that NTZ specifically prevents proper folding of the usher β-barrel domain in the OM. Our findings demonstrate that NTZ is a pilicide with a novel mechanism of action and activity against diverse CU pathways. This suggests that further development of the NTZ scaffold may lead to new antivirulence agents that target the usher to prevent pilus assembly. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  16. Importance of dispersion and electron correlation in ab initio protein folding. (United States)

    He, Xiao; Fusti-Molnar, Laszlo; Cui, Guanglei; Merz, Kenneth M


    Dispersion is well-known to be important in biological systems, but the effect of electron correlation in such systems remains unclear. In order to assess the relationship between the structure of a protein and its electron correlation energy, we employed both full system Hartree-Fock (HF) and second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation (MP2) calculations in conjunction with the Polarizable Continuum Model (PCM) on the native structures of two proteins and their corresponding computer-generated decoy sets. Because of the expense of the MP2 calculation, we have utilized the fragment molecular orbital method (FMO) in this study. We show that the sum of the Hartree-Fock (HF) energy and force field (LJ6)-derived dispersion energy (HF + LJ6) is well correlated with the energies obtained using second-order Møller-Plesset perturbation (MP2) theory. In one of the two examples studied, the correlation energy as well as the empirical dispersive energy term was able to discriminate between native and decoy structures. On the other hand, for the second protein we studied, neither the correlation energy nor dispersion energy showed discrimination capabilities; however, the ab initio MP2 energy and the HF+LJ6 both ranked the native structure correctly. Furthermore, when we randomly scrambled the Lennard-Jones parameters, the correlation between the MP2 energy and the sum of the HF energy and dispersive energy (HF+LJ6) significantly drops, which indicates that the choice of Lennard-Jones parameters is important.

  17. Differential role of molten globule and protein folding in distinguishing unique features of botulinum neurotoxin. (United States)

    Kumar, Raj; Kukreja, Roshan V; Cai, Shuowei; Singh, Bal R


    Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are proteins of great interest not only because of their extreme toxicity but also paradoxically for their therapeutic applications. All the known serotypes (A-G) have varying degrees of longevity and potency inside the neuronal cell. Differential chemical modifications such as phosphorylation and ubiquitination have been suggested as possible mechanisms for their longevity, but the molecular basis of the longevity remains unclear. Since the endopeptidase domain (light chain; LC) of toxin apparently survives inside the neuronal cells for months, it is important to examine the structural features of this domain to understand its resistance to intracellular degradation. Published crystal structures (both botulinum neurotoxins and endopeptidase domain) have not provided adequate explanation for the intracellular longevity of the domain. Structural features obtained from spectroscopic analysis of LCA and LCB were similar, and a PRIME (PReImminent Molten Globule Enzyme) conformation appears to be responsible for their optimal enzymatic activity at 37°C. LCE, on the other hand, was although optimally active at 37°C, but its active conformation differed from the PRIME conformation of LCA and LCB. This study establishes and confirms our earlier finding that an optimally active conformation of these proteins in the form of PRIME exists for the most poisonous poison, botulinum neurotoxin. There are substantial variations in the structural and functional characteristics of these active molten globule related structures among the three BoNT endopeptidases examined. These differential conformations of LCs are important in understanding the fundamental structural features of proteins, and their possible connection to intracellular longevity could provide significant clues for devising new countermeasures and effective therapeutics. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Flexible segments modulate co-folding of dUTPase and nucleocapsid proteins

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Németh-Pongrácz, V.; Barabás, O.; Fuxreiter, M.; Simon, I.; Pichová, Iva; Rumlová, Michaela; Zábranská, Helena; Svergun, D.; Petoukhov, M.; Harmat, V.; Klement, E.; Hunyadi-Gulyás, E.; Medzihradszky, K. F.; Kónya, E.; Vértessy, B. G.


    Roč. 35, č. 2 (2007), s. 495-505 ISSN 0305-1048 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0508 Grant - others:6th Framework Programme(XE) LSHC-CT-2005-012127 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z40550506 Source of funding: R - rámcový projekt EK Keywords : dUTPase * Mason-Pfizer monkey virus * structure * fusion protein NC-dUTPase Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 6.954, year: 2007


    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Razi Ahmad,


    Full Text Available The nano-TiO2 was synthesized using Lactobacillus sp. and characterized by XRD and TEM. The X-ray diffraction showed that TiO2 nanoparticles were crystalline in nature. TEM images revealed that these particles are irregular in shape with an average particle size of 50–100 nm. The biosynthesized nanoparticles were used for the immobilization and refolding of thermally inactivated alpha amylase enzyme. The enzyme after adsorption on TiO2 nanoparticles retained 71% of enzyme activity. The immobilized enzyme was found to be thermally more stable as compared to the free enzyme. When the enzyme was heated to 60°C for 60 min the free enzyme loses all of its activity whereas the adsorbed enzyme retained 82% of its activity.The adsorbed/immobilized protein could be reused five times without any loss in enzyme activity. The operational stability data also shows that after immobilization the stability of alpha amylase increases. To study the nanoparticles-protein interaction, alpha amylase enzyme was inactivated by heating at 60°C for 1 hour. The thermally inactivated alpha amylase when incubated with the biosynthesized TiO2 nanoparticles regains nearly 65% activity after 2.0 hour. Thus TiO2 nanoparticles assist in refolding of the enzyme.

  20. Expansion of the octarepeat domain alters the misfolding pathway but not the folding pathway of the prion protein. (United States)

    Leliveld, S Rutger; Stitz, Lothar; Korth, Carsten


    A misfolded conformation of the prion protein (PrP), PrP (Sc), is the essential component of prions, the infectious agents that cause transmissible neurodegenerative diseases. Insertional mutations that lead to an increase in the number of octarepeats (ORs) in PrP are linked to familial human prion disease. In this study, we investigated how expansion of the OR domain causes PrP to favor a prion-like conformation. Therefore, we compared the conformational and aggregation modulating properties of wild-type versus expanded OR domains, either as a fusion construct with the protein G B1 domain (GB1-OR) or as an integral part of full-length mouse PrP (MoPrP). Using circular dichroism spectroscopy, we first demonstrated that ORs are not unfolded but exist as an ensemble of three distinct conformers: polyproline helix-like, beta-turn, and "Trp-related". Domain expansion had little effect on the conformation of GB1-OR fusion proteins. When part of MoPrP however, OR domain expansion changed PrP's folding landscape, not by hampering the production of native alpha-helical monomers but by greatly reducing the propensity to form amyloid and by altering the assembly of misfolded, beta-rich aggregates. These features may relate to subtle pH-dependent conformational differences between wild-type and mutant monomers. In conclusion, we propose that PrP insertional mutations are pathogenic because they enhance specific misfolding pathways of PrP rather than by undermining native folding. This idea was supported by a trial bioassay in transgenic mice overexpressing wild-type MoPrP, where intracerebral injection of recombinant MoPrP with an expanded OR domain but not wild-type MoPrP caused prion disease.

  1. Origin and Evolution of Protein Fold Designs Inferred from Phylogenomic Analysis of CATH Domain Structures in Proteomes (United States)

    Bukhari, Syed Abbas; Caetano-Anollés, Gustavo


    The spatial arrangements of secondary structures in proteins, irrespective of their connectivity, depict the overall shape and organization of protein domains. These features have been used in the CATH and SCOP classifications to hierarchically partition fold space and define the architectural make up of proteins. Here we use phylogenomic methods and a census of CATH structures in hundreds of genomes to study the origin and diversification of protein architectures (A) and their associated topologies (T) and superfamilies (H). Phylogenies that describe the evolution of domain structures and proteomes were reconstructed from the structural census and used to generate timelines of domain discovery. Phylogenies of CATH domains at T and H levels of structural abstraction and associated chronologies revealed patterns of reductive evolution, the early rise of Archaea, three epochs in the evolution of the protein world, and patterns of structural sharing between superkingdoms. Phylogenies of proteomes confirmed the early appearance of Archaea. While these findings are in agreement with previous phylogenomic studies based on the SCOP classification, phylogenies unveiled sharing patterns between Archaea and Eukarya that are recent and can explain the canonical bacterial rooting typically recovered from sequence analysis. Phylogenies of CATH domains at A level uncovered general patterns of architectural origin and diversification. The tree of A structures showed that ancient structural designs such as the 3-layer (αβα) sandwich (3.40) or the orthogonal bundle (1.10) are comparatively simpler in their makeup and are involved in basic cellular functions. In contrast, modern structural designs such as prisms, propellers, 2-solenoid, super-roll, clam, trefoil and box are not widely distributed and were probably adopted to perform specialized functions. Our timelines therefore uncover a universal tendency towards protein structural complexity that is remarkable. PMID:23555236

  2. In silico insights into protein-protein interactions and folding dynamics of the saposin-like domain of Solanum tuberosum aspartic protease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dref C De Moura

    Full Text Available The plant-specific insert is an approximately 100-residue domain found exclusively within the C-terminal lobe of some plant aspartic proteases. Structurally, this domain is a member of the saposin-like protein family, and is involved in plant pathogen defense as well as vacuolar targeting of the parent protease molecule. Similar to other members of the saposin-like protein family, most notably saposins A and C, the recently resolved crystal structure of potato (Solanum tuberosum plant-specific insert has been shown to exist in a substrate-bound open conformation in which the plant-specific insert oligomerizes to form homodimers. In addition to the open structure, a closed conformation also exists having the classic saposin fold of the saposin-like protein family as observed in the crystal structure of barley (Hordeum vulgare L. plant-specific insert. In the present study, the mechanisms of tertiary and quaternary conformation changes of potato plant-specific insert were investigated in silico as a function of pH. Umbrella sampling and determination of the free energy change of dissociation of the plant-specific insert homodimer revealed that increasing the pH of the system to near physiological levels reduced the free energy barrier to dissociation. Furthermore, principal component analysis was used to characterize conformational changes at both acidic and neutral pH. The results indicated that the plant-specific insert may adopt a tertiary structure similar to the characteristic saposin fold and suggest a potential new structural motif among saposin-like proteins. To our knowledge, this acidified PSI structure presents the first example of an alternative saposin-fold motif for any member of the large and diverse SAPLIP family.

  3. Essential roles of protein-solvent many-body correlation in solvent-entropy effect on protein folding and denaturation: Comparison between hard-sphere solvent and water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oshima, Hiraku; Kinoshita, Masahiro


    In earlier works, we showed that the entropic effect originating from the translational displacement of water molecules plays the pivotal role in protein folding and denaturation. The two different solvent models, hard-sphere solvent and model water, were employed in theoretical methods wherein the entropic effect was treated as an essential factor. However, there were similarities and differences in the results obtained from the two solvent models. In the present work, to unveil the physical origins of the similarities and differences, we simultaneously consider structural transition, cold denaturation, and pressure denaturation for the same protein by employing the two solvent models and considering three different thermodynamic states for each solvent model. The solvent-entropy change upon protein folding/unfolding is decomposed into the protein-solvent pair (PA) and many-body (MB) correlation components using the integral equation theories. Each component is further decomposed into the excluded-volume (EV) and solvent-accessible surface (SAS) terms by applying the morphometric approach. The four physically insightful constituents, (PA, EV), (PA, SAS), (MB, EV), and (MB, SAS), are thus obtained. Moreover, (MB, SAS) is discussed by dividing it into two factors. This all-inclusive investigation leads to the following results: (1) the protein-water many-body correlation always plays critical roles in a variety of folding/unfolding processes; (2) the hard-sphere solvent model fails when it does not correctly reproduce the protein-water many-body correlation; (3) the hard-sphere solvent model becomes problematic when the dependence of the many-body correlation on the solvent number density and temperature is essential: it is not quite suited to studies on cold and pressure denaturating of a protein; (4) when the temperature and solvent number density are limited to the ambient values, the hard-sphere solvent model is usually successful; and (5) even at the ambient

  4. Probing slowly exchanging protein systems via {sup 13}C{sup {alpha}}-CEST: monitoring folding of the Im7 protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hansen, Alexandar L.; Bouvignies, Guillaume; Kay, Lewis E., E-mail: [University of Toronto, Departments of Molecular Genetics, Biochemistry and Chemistry (Canada)


    A {sup 13}C{sup {alpha}} chemical exchange saturation transfer based experiment is presented for the study of protein systems undergoing slow interconversion between an 'observable' ground state and one or more 'invisible' excited states. Here a labeling strategy whereby [2-{sup 13}C]-glucose is the sole carbon source is exploited, producing proteins with {sup 13}C at the C{sup {alpha}} position, while the majority of residues remain unlabeled at CO or C{sup {beta}}. The new experiment is demonstrated with an application to the folding reaction of the Im7 protein that involves an on-pathway excited state. The obtained excited state {sup 13}C{sup {alpha}} chemical shifts are cross validated by comparison to values extracted from analysis of CPMG relaxation dispersion profiles, establishing the utility of the methodology.

  5. Direct ubiquitin independent recognition and degradation of a folded protein by the eukaryotic proteasomes-origin of intrinsic degradation signals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amit Kumar Singh Gautam

    Full Text Available Eukaryotic 26S proteasomes are structurally organized to recognize, unfold and degrade globular proteins. However, all existing model substrates of the 26S proteasome in addition to ubiquitin or adaptor proteins require unstructured regions in the form of fusion tags for efficient degradation. We report for the first time that purified 26S proteasome can directly recognize and degrade apomyoglobin, a globular protein, in the absence of ubiquitin, extrinsic degradation tags or adaptor proteins. Despite a high affinity interaction, absence of a ligand and presence of only helices/loops that follow the degradation signal, apomyoglobin is degraded slowly by the proteasome. A short floppy F-helix exposed upon ligand removal and in conformational equilibrium with a disordered structure is mandatory for recognition and initiation of degradation. Holomyoglobin, in which the helix is buried, is neither recognized nor degraded. Exposure of the floppy F-helix seems to sensitize the proteasome and primes the substrate for degradation. Using peptide panning and competition experiments we speculate that initial encounters through the floppy helix and additional strong interactions with N-terminal helices anchors apomyoglobin to the proteasome. Stabilizing helical structure in the floppy F-helix slows down degradation. Destabilization of adjacent helices accelerates degradation. Unfolding seems to follow the mechanism of helix unraveling rather than global unfolding. Our findings while confirming the requirement for unstructured regions in degradation offers the following new insights: a origin and identification of an intrinsic degradation signal in the substrate, b identification of sequences in the native substrate that are likely to be responsible for direct interactions with the proteasome, and c identification of critical rate limiting steps like exposure of the intrinsic degron and destabilization of an unfolding intermediate that are presumably

  6. Novel Entropically Driven Conformation-specific Interactions with Tomm34 Protein Modulate Hsp70 Protein Folding and ATPase Activities

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Durech, M.; Trčka, F.; Man, Petr; Blackburn, E.A.; Hernychová, L.; Dvořáková, P.; Coufalová, D.; Kavan, Daniel; Vojtěšek, B.; Muller, P.


    Roč. 15, č. 5 (2016), s. 1710-1727 ISSN 1535-9476 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1509 EU Projects: Wellcome Trust(CZ) 01527/Z/13/Z Institutional support: RVO:61388971 Keywords : HEAT-SHOCK-PROTEIN * MOLECULAR CHAPERONE DNAK * SUBSTRATE-BINDING DOMAIN * INVASIVE BREAST - CANCER Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 6.540, year: 2016

  7. 'Let the phage do the work': Using the phage P22 coat protein structures as a framework to understand its folding and assembly mutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teschke, Carolyn M.; Parent, Kristin N.


    The amino acid sequence of viral capsid proteins contains information about their folding, structure and self-assembly processes. While some viruses assemble from small preformed oligomers of coat proteins, other viruses such as phage P22 and herpesvirus assemble from monomeric proteins (Fuller and King, 1980). The subunit assembly process is strictly controlled through protein:protein interactions such that icosahedral structures are formed with specific symmetries, rather than aberrant structures. dsDNA viruses commonly assemble by first forming a precursor capsid that serves as a DNA packaging machine. DNA packaging is accompanied by a conformational transition of the small precursor procapsid into a larger capsid for isometric viruses. Here we highlight the pseudo-atomic structures of phage P22 coat protein and rationalize several decades of data about P22 coat protein folding, assembly and maturation generated from a combination of genetics and biochemistry.

  8. The adsorption and unfolding kinetics determines the folding state of proteins at the air-water interface and thereby the equation of state

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wierenga, P.A.; Egmond, M.R.; Voragen, A.G.J.; Jongh,


    Unfolding of proteins has often been mentioned as an important factor during the adsorption process at air-water interfaces and in the increase of surface pressure at later stages of the adsorption process. This work focuses on the question whether the folding state of the adsorbed protein depends

  9. Rapid protein fold determination using secondary chemical shifts and cross-hydrogen bond 15N-13C’ scalar couplings (3hbJNC’)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bonvin, A.M.J.J.; Houben, K.; Guenneugues, M.N.L.; Kaptein, R.; Boelens, R.


    The possibility of generating protein folds at the stage of backbone assignment using structural restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond scalar couplings and secondary chemical shift information is investigated using as a test case the small alpha/beta protein

  10. Changing folding and binding stability in a viral coat protein: a comparison between substitutions accessible through mutation and those fixed by natural selection. (United States)

    Miller, Craig R; Lee, Kuo Hao; Wichman, Holly A; Ytreberg, F Marty


    Previous studies have shown that most random amino acid substitutions destabilize protein folding (i.e. increase the folding free energy). No analogous studies have been carried out for protein-protein binding. Here we use a structure-based model of the major coat protein in a simple virus, bacteriophage φX174, to estimate the free energy of folding of a single coat protein and binding of five coat proteins within a pentameric unit. We confirm and extend previous work in finding that most accessible substitutions destabilize both protein folding and protein-protein binding. We compare the pool of accessible substitutions with those observed among the φX174-like wild phage and in experimental evolution with φX174. We find that observed substitutions have smaller effects on stability than expected by chance. An analysis of adaptations at high temperatures suggests that selection favors either substitutions with no effect on stability or those that simultaneously stabilize protein folding and slightly destabilize protein binding. We speculate that these mutations might involve adjusting the rate of capsid assembly. At normal laboratory temperature there is little evidence of directional selection. Finally, we show that cumulative changes in stability are highly variable; sometimes they are well beyond the bounds of single substitution changes and sometimes they are not. The variation leads us to conclude that phenotype selection acts on more than just stability. Instances of larger cumulative stability change (never via a single substitution despite their availability) lead us to conclude that selection views stability at a local, not a global, level.

  11. Bactericidal/Permeability-increasing protein fold-containing family member A1 in airway host protection and respiratory disease. (United States)

    Britto, Clemente J; Cohn, Lauren


    Bactericidal/permeability-increasing protein fold-containing family member A1 (BPIFA1), formerly known as SPLUNC1, is one of the most abundant proteins in respiratory secretions and has been identified with increasing frequency in studies of pulmonary disease. Its expression is largely restricted to the respiratory tract, being highly concentrated in the upper airways and proximal trachea. BPIFA1 is highly responsive to airborne pathogens, allergens, and irritants. BPIFA1 actively participates in host protection through antimicrobial, surfactant, airway surface liquid regulation, and immunomodulatory properties. Its expression is modulated in multiple lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, respiratory malignancies, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. However, the role of BPIFA1 in pulmonary pathogenesis remains to be elucidated. This review highlights the versatile properties of BPIFA1 in antimicrobial protection and its roles as a sensor of environmental exposure and regulator of immune cell function. A greater understanding of the contribution of BPIFA1 to disease pathogenesis and activity may clarify if BPIFA1 is a biomarker and potential drug target in pulmonary disease.

  12. Analysis of residuals from enzyme kinetic and protein folding experiments in the presence of correlated experimental noise. (United States)

    Kuzmic, Petr; Lorenz, Thorsten; Reinstein, Jochen


    Experimental data from continuous enzyme assays or protein folding experiments often contain hundreds, or even thousands, of densely spaced data points. When the sampling interval is extremely short, the experimental data points might not be statistically independent. The resulting neighborhood correlation invalidates important theoretical assumptions of nonlinear regression analysis. As a consequence, certain goodness-of-fit criteria, such as the runs-of-signs test and the autocorrelation function, might indicate a systematic lack of fit even if the experiment does agree very well with the underlying theoretical model. A solution to this problem is to analyze only a subset of the residuals of fit, such that any excessive neighborhood correlation is eliminated. Substrate kinetics of the HIV protease and the unfolding kinetics of UMP/CMP kinase, a globular protein from Dictyostelium discoideum, serve as two illustrative examples. A suitable data-reduction algorithm has been incorporated into software DYNAFIT [P. Kuzmic, Anal. Biochem. 237 (1996) 260-273], freely available to all academic researchers from

  13. Force generation by titin folding. (United States)

    Mártonfalvi, Zsolt; Bianco, Pasquale; Naftz, Katalin; Ferenczy, György G; Kellermayer, Miklós


    Titin is a giant protein that provides elasticity to muscle. As the sarcomere is stretched, titin extends hierarchically according to the mechanics of its segments. Whether titin's globular domains unfold during this process and how such unfolded domains might contribute to muscle contractility are strongly debated. To explore the force-dependent folding mechanisms, here we manipulated skeletal-muscle titin molecules with high-resolution optical tweezers. In force-clamp mode, after quenching the force (force trace contained rapid fluctuations and a gradual increase of average force, indicating that titin can develop force via dynamic transitions between its structural states en route to the native conformation. In 4 M urea, which destabilizes H-bonds hence the consolidated native domain structure, the net force increase disappeared but the fluctuations persisted. Thus, whereas net force generation is caused by the ensemble folding of the elastically-coupled domains, force fluctuations arise due to a dynamic equilibrium between unfolded and molten-globule states. Monte-Carlo simulations incorporating a compact molten-globule intermediate in the folding landscape recovered all features of our nanomechanics results. The ensemble molten-globule dynamics delivers significant added contractility that may assist sarcomere mechanics, and it may reduce the dissipative energy loss associated with titin unfolding/refolding during muscle contraction/relaxation cycles. © 2017 The Protein Society.

  14. N-Terminal Domains in Two-Domain Proteins Are Biased to Be Shorter and Predicted to Fold Faster Than Their C-Terminal Counterparts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etai Jacob


    Full Text Available Computational analysis of proteomes in all kingdoms of life reveals a strong tendency for N-terminal domains in two-domain proteins to have shorter sequences than their neighboring C-terminal domains. Given that folding rates are affected by chain length, we asked whether the tendency for N-terminal domains to be shorter than their neighboring C-terminal domains reflects selection for faster-folding N-terminal domains. Calculations of absolute contact order, another predictor of folding rate, provide additional evidence that N-terminal domains tend to fold faster than their neighboring C-terminal domains. A possible explanation for this bias, which is more pronounced in prokaryotes than in eukaryotes, is that faster folding of N-terminal domains reduces the risk for protein aggregation during folding by preventing formation of nonnative interdomain interactions. This explanation is supported by our finding that two-domain proteins with a shorter N-terminal domain are much more abundant than those with a shorter C-terminal domain.

  15. Ancylostoma ceylanicum Excretory-Secretory Protein 2 Adopts a Netrin-Like Fold and Defines a Novel Family of Nematode Proteins

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K Kucera; L Harrison; M Cappello; Y Modis


    Hookworms are human parasites that have devastating effects on global health, particularly in underdeveloped countries. Ancylostoma ceylanicum infects humans and animals, making it a useful model organism to study disease pathogenesis. A. ceylanicum excretory-secretory protein 2 (AceES-2), a highly immunoreactive molecule secreted by adult worms at the site of intestinal attachment, is partially protective when administered as a mucosal vaccine against hookworm anemia. The crystal structure of AceES-2 determined at 1.75 {angstrom} resolution shows that it adopts a netrin-like fold similar to that found in tissue inhibitors of matrix metalloproteases (TIMPs) and in complement factors C3 and C5. However, recombinant AceES-2 does not significantly inhibit the 10 most abundant human matrix metalloproteases or complement-mediated cell lysis. The presence of a highly acidic surface on AceES-2 suggests that it may function as a cytokine decoy receptor. Several small nematode proteins that have been annotated as TIMPs or netrin-domain-containing proteins display sequence homology in structurally important regions of AceES-2's netrin-likefold. Together, our results suggest that AceES-2 defines a novel family of nematode netrin-like proteins, which may function to modulate the host immune response to hookworm and other parasites.

  16. SAAFEC: Predicting the Effect of Single Point Mutations on Protein Folding Free Energy Using a Knowledge-Modified MM/PBSA Approach. (United States)

    Getov, Ivan; Petukh, Marharyta; Alexov, Emil


    Folding free energy is an important biophysical characteristic of proteins that reflects the overall stability of the 3D structure of macromolecules. Changes in the amino acid sequence, naturally occurring or made in vitro, may affect the stability of the corresponding protein and thus could be associated with disease. Several approaches that predict the changes of the folding free energy caused by mutations have been proposed, but there is no method that is clearly superior to the others. The optimal goal is not only to accurately predict the folding free energy changes, but also to characterize the structural changes induced by mutations and the physical nature of the predicted folding free energy changes. Here we report a new method to predict the Single Amino Acid Folding free Energy Changes (SAAFEC) based on a knowledge-modified Molecular Mechanics Poisson-Boltzmann (MM/PBSA) approach. The method is comprised of two main components: a MM/PBSA component and a set of knowledge based terms delivered from a statistical study of the biophysical characteristics of proteins. The predictor utilizes a multiple linear regression model with weighted coefficients of various terms optimized against a set of experimental data. The aforementioned approach yields a correlation coefficient of 0.65 when benchmarked against 983 cases from 42 proteins in the ProTherm database. the webserver can be accessed via

  17. A Method for Extracting the Free Energy Surface and Conformational Dynamics of Fast-Folding Proteins from Single Molecule Photon Trajectories (United States)


    Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy holds the promise of providing direct measurements of protein folding free energy landscapes and conformational motions. However, fulfilling this promise has been prevented by technical limitations, most notably, the difficulty in analyzing the small packets of photons per millisecond that are typically recorded from individual biomolecules. Such limitation impairs the ability to accurately determine conformational distributions and resolve sub-millisecond processes. Here we develop an analytical procedure for extracting the conformational distribution and dynamics of fast-folding proteins directly from time-stamped photon arrival trajectories produced by single molecule FRET experiments. Our procedure combines the maximum likelihood analysis originally developed by Gopich and Szabo with a statistical mechanical model that describes protein folding as diffusion on a one-dimensional free energy surface. Using stochastic kinetic simulations, we thoroughly tested the performance of the method in identifying diverse fast-folding scenarios, ranging from two-state to one-state downhill folding, as a function of relevant experimental variables such as photon count rate, amount of input data, and background noise. The tests demonstrate that the analysis can accurately retrieve the original one-dimensional free energy surface and microsecond folding dynamics in spite of the sub-megahertz photon count rates and significant background noise levels of current single molecule fluorescence experiments. Therefore, our approach provides a powerful tool for the quantitative analysis of single molecule FRET experiments of fast protein folding that is also potentially extensible to the analysis of any other biomolecular process governed by sub-millisecond conformational dynamics. PMID:25988351

  18. The structure of Rauvolfia serpentina strictosidine synthase is a novel six-bladed beta-propeller fold in plant proteins. (United States)

    Ma, Xueyan; Panjikar, Santosh; Koepke, Juergen; Loris, Elke; Stöckigt, Joachim


    The enzyme strictosidine synthase (STR1) from the Indian medicinal plant Rauvolfia serpentina is of primary importance for the biosynthetic pathway of the indole alkaloid ajmaline. Moreover, STR1 initiates all biosynthetic pathways leading to the entire monoterpenoid indole alkaloid family representing an enormous structural variety of approximately 2000 compounds in higher plants. The crystal structures of STR1 in complex with its natural substrates tryptamine and secologanin provide structural understanding of the observed substrate preference and identify residues lining the active site surface that contact the substrates. STR1 catalyzes a Pictet-Spengler-type reaction and represents a novel six-bladed beta-propeller fold in plant proteins. Structure-based sequence alignment revealed a common repetitive sequence motif (three hydrophobic residues are followed by a small residue and a hydrophilic residue), indicating a possible evolutionary relationship between STR1 and several sequence-unrelated six-bladed beta-propeller structures. Structural analysis and site-directed mutagenesis experiments demonstrate the essential role of Glu-309 in catalysis. The data will aid in deciphering the details of the reaction mechanism of STR1 as well as other members of this enzyme family.

  19. Simplified in vitro refolding and purification of recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor using protein folding cation exchange chromatography. (United States)

    Vemula, Sandeep; Dedaniya, Akshay; Thunuguntla, Rahul; Mallu, Maheswara Reddy; Parupudi, Pavani; Ronda, Srinivasa Reddy


    Protein folding-strong cation exchange chromatography (PF-SCX) has been employed for efficient refolding with simultaneous purification of recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor (rhG-CSF). To acquire a soluble form of renatured and purified rhG-CSF, various chromatographic conditions, including the mobile phase composition and pH was evaluated. Additionally, the effects of additives such as urea, amino acids, polyols, sugars, oxidizing agents and their amalgamations were also investigated. Under the optimal conditions, rhG-CSF was efficaciously solubilized, refolded and simultaneously purified by SCX in a single step. The experimental results using ribose (2.0M) and arginine (0.6M) combination were found to be satisfactory with mass yield, purity and specific activity of 71%, ≥99% and 2.6×10(8)IU/mg respectively. Through this investigation, we concluded that the SCX refolding method was more efficient than conventional methods which has immense potential for the large-scale production of purified rhG-CSF. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Active site mutations in yeast protein disulfide isomerase cause dithiothreitol sensitivity and a reduced rate of protein folding in the endoplasmic reticulum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, B; Tachibana, C; Winther, Jakob R.


    Aspects of protein disulfide isomerase (PDI) function have been studied in yeast in vivo. PDI contains two thioredoxin-like domains, a and a', each of which contains an active-site CXXC motif. The relative importance of the two domains was analyzed by rendering each one inactive by mutation to SGAS....... Such mutations had no significant effect on growth. The domains however, were not equivalent since the rate of folding of carboxypeptidase Y (CPY) in vivo was reduced by inactivation of the a domain but not the a' domain. To investigate the relevance of PDI redox potential, the G and H positions of each CGHC......-deleted strains overexpressing the yeast PDI homologue EUG1 are viable. Exchanging the wild-type Eug1p C(L/I)HS active site sequences for C(L/I)HC increased the growth rate significantly, however, further highlighting the importance of the oxidizing function for optimal growth....

  1. WW domain folding complexity revealed by infrared spectroscopy. (United States)

    Davis, Caitlin M; Dyer, R Brian


    Although the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence of proteins offers a convenient probe of protein folding, interpretation of the fluorescence spectrum is often difficult because it is sensitive to both global and local changes. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy offers a complementary measure of structural changes involved in protein folding, because it probes changes in the secondary structure of the protein backbone. Here we demonstrate the advantages of using multiple probes, infrared and fluorescence spectroscopy, to study the folding of the FBP28 WW domain. Laser-induced temperature jumps coupled with fluorescence or infrared spectroscopy have been used to probe changes in the peptide backbone on the submillisecond time scale. The relaxation dynamics of the β-sheets and β-turn were measured independently by probing the corresponding IR bands assigned in the amide I region. Using these wavelength-dependent measurements, we observe three kinetics phases, with the fastest process corresponding to the relaxation kinetics of the turns. In contrast, fluorescence measurements of the wild-type WW domain and tryptophan mutants exhibit single-exponential kinetics with a lifetime that corresponds to the slowest phase observed by infrared spectroscopy. Mutant sequences provide evidence of an intermediate dry molten globule state. The slowest step in the folding of this WW domain is the tight packing of the side chains in the transition from the dry molten globule intermediate to the native structure. This study demonstrates that using multiple complementary probes enhances the interpretation of protein folding dynamics.

  2. The unique fold and lability of the [2Fe-2S] clusters of NEET proteins mediate their key functions in health and disease. (United States)

    Karmi, Ola; Marjault, Henri-Baptiste; Pesce, Luca; Carloni, Paolo; Onuchic, Jose' N; Jennings, Patricia A; Mittler, Ron; Nechushtai, Rachel


    NEET proteins comprise a new class of [2Fe-2S] cluster proteins. In human, three genes encode for NEET proteins: cisd1 encodes mitoNEET (mNT), cisd2 encodes the Nutrient-deprivation autophagy factor-1 (NAF-1) and cisd3 encodes MiNT (Miner2). These recently discovered proteins play key roles in many processes related to normal metabolism and disease. Indeed, NEET proteins are involved in iron, Fe-S, and reactive oxygen homeostasis in cells and play an important role in regulating apoptosis and autophagy. mNT and NAF-1 are homodimeric and reside on the outer mitochondrial membrane. NAF-1 also resides in the membranes of the ER associated mitochondrial membranes (MAM) and the ER. MiNT is a monomer with distinct asymmetry in the molecular surfaces surrounding the clusters. Unlike its paralogs mNT and NAF-1, it resides within the mitochondria. NAF-1 and mNT share similar backbone folds to the plant homodimeric NEET protein (At-NEET), while MiNT's backbone fold resembles a bacterial MiNT protein. Despite the variation of amino acid composition among these proteins, all NEET proteins retained their unique CDGSH domain harboring their unique 3Cys:1His [2Fe-2S] cluster coordination through evolution. The coordinating exposed His was shown to convey the lability to the NEET proteins' [2Fe-2S] clusters. In this minireview, we discuss the NEET fold and its structural elements. Special attention is given to the unique lability of the NEETs' [2Fe-2S] cluster and the implication of the latter to the NEET proteins' cellular and systemic function in health and disease.

  3. Using the Computer Game "FoldIt" to Entice Students to Explore External Representations of Protein Structure in a Biochemistry Course for Nonmajors (United States)

    Farley, Peter C.


    This article describes a novel approach to teaching novice Biochemistry students visual literacy skills and understanding of some aspects of protein structure using the internet resource FoldIt and a worksheet based on selected Introductory Puzzles from this computer game. In responding to a questionnaire, students indicated that they (94%)…

  4. Single-molecule studies of the Im7 folding landscape. (United States)

    Pugh, Sara D; Gell, Christopher; Smith, D Alastair; Radford, Sheena E; Brockwell, David J


    Under appropriate conditions, the four-helical Im7 (immunity protein 7) folds from an ensemble of unfolded conformers to a highly compact native state via an on-pathway intermediate. Here, we investigate the unfolded, intermediate, and native states populated during folding using diffusion single-pair fluorescence resonance energy transfer by measuring the efficiency of energy transfer (or proximity or P ratio) between pairs of fluorophores introduced into the side chains of cysteine residues placed in the center of helices 1 and 4, 1 and 3, or 2 and 4. We show that while the native states of each variant give rise to a single narrow distribution with high P values, the distributions of the intermediates trapped at equilibrium (denoted I(eqm)) are fitted by two Gaussian distributions. Modulation of the folding conditions from those that stabilize the intermediate to those that destabilize the intermediate enabled the distribution of lower P value to be assigned to the population of the unfolded ensemble in equilibrium with the intermediate state. The reduced stability of the I(eqm) variants allowed analysis of the effect of denaturant concentration on the compaction and breadth of the unfolded state ensemble to be quantified from 0 to 6 M urea. Significant compaction is observed as the concentration of urea is decreased in both the presence and absence of sodium sulfate, as previously reported for a variety of proteins. In the presence of Na(2)SO(4) in 0 M urea, the P value of the unfolded state ensemble approaches that of the native state. Concurrent with compaction, the ensemble displays increased peak width of P values, possibly reflecting a reduction in the rate of conformational exchange among iso-energetic unfolded, but compact conformations. The results provide new insights into the initial stages of folding of Im7 and suggest that the unfolded state is highly conformationally constrained at the outset of folding. (c) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Regulation of protein phosphorylation of the intermediate-sized filament vimentin in the ciliary epithelium of the mammalian eye

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coca-Prados, M.


    The intermediate-sized filaments of vimentin-type (Mr = 57,000) have been identified biochemically and immunochemically as a major cytoskeleton component in the ciliary epithelium of the mammalian eye. When human or rabbit ciliary processes, or cultured ciliary epithelial-derived cells were incubated in serum-free medium containing [ 32 P]orthophosphate and any of the following agents: 1) beta-adrenergic agonists (isoproterenol or epinephrine), 2) direct activators of adenylate cyclase (cholera toxin or forskolin), 3) analogs of cyclic AMP (8-Br-cAMP), or 4) prostaglandin E1, the phosphorylation of vimentin was significantly enhanced. The maximal enhancement ranged, in vivo and in vitro, from about 3-fold in human to 5-fold in rabbit, with either 1 mM 8-Br-cAMP or 0.1 microM forskolin. Indirect immunofluorescence microscopy using a monoclonal antibody, anti-vimentin, allowed the localization of vimentin filaments in cultured ciliary epithelial cells. Treatment of these cells in culture with the catecholamine hormone, isoproterenol (1 microM), resulted in a profound reorganization of vimentin filaments. This may be correlated with the enhanced levels of phosphorylated vimentin observed upon increasing cellular cyclic AMP

  6. Protein phosphatase dependent circadian regulation of intermediate-term associative memory


    Michel, Maximilian; Gardner, Jacob S.; Green, Charity L.; Organ, Chelsea L.; Lyons, Lisa C.


    The endogenous circadian clock is a principal factor modulating memory across species. Determining the processes through which the circadian clock modulates memory formation is a key issue in understanding and identifying mechanisms to improve memory. We used the marine mollusk Aplysia californica to investigate circadian modulation of intermediate-term memory (ITM) and the mechanisms through which the circadian clock phase specifically suppresses memory using the operant learning paradigm, l...

  7. Development of a Novel Green Fluorescent Protein-Based Binding Assay to Study the Association of Plakins with Intermediate Filament Proteins. (United States)

    Favre, Bertrand; Begré, Nadja; Bouameur, Jamal-Eddine; Borradori, Luca


    Protein-protein interactions are fundamental for most biological processes, such as the formation of cellular structures and enzymatic complexes or in signaling pathways. The identification and characterization of protein-protein interactions are therefore essential for understanding the mechanisms and regulation of biological systems. The organization and dynamics of the cytoskeleton, as well as its anchorage to specific sites in the plasma membrane and organelles, are regulated by the plakins. These structurally related proteins anchor different cytoskeletal networks to each other and/or to other cellular structures. The association of several plakins with intermediate filaments (IFs) is critical for maintenance of the cytoarchitecture. Pathogenic mutations in the genes encoding different plakins can lead to dramatic manifestations, occurring principally in the skin, striated muscle, and/or nervous system, due to cytoskeletal disorganization resulting in abnormal cell fragility. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how plakins bind to IFs, although some general rules are slowly emerging. We here describe in detail a recently developed protein-protein fluorescence binding assay, based on the production of recombinant proteins tagged with green fluorescent protein (GFP) and their use as fluid-phase fluorescent ligands on immobilized IF proteins. Using this method, we have been able to assess the ability of C-terminal regions of GFP-tagged plakin proteins to bind to distinct IF proteins and IF domains. This simple and sensitive technique, which is expected to facilitate further studies in this area, can also be potentially employed for any kind of protein-protein interaction studies. © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Nucleic acid binding properties and intermediates of HCV core protein multimerization in Pichia pastoris

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Acosta-Rivero, Nelson; Rodriguez, Armando; Musacchio, Alexis; Falcon, Viviana; Suarez, Viana M.; Chavez, Liudmila; Morales-Grillo, Juan; Duenas-Carrera, Santiago


    Little is known about the in vivo assembly pathway or structure of the hepatitis C virus nucleocapsid. In this work the intermediates of HCcAg multimerization in Pichia pastoris cells and the nucleic acid binding properties of structured nucleocapsid-like particles (NLPs) were studied. Extensive cross-linking was observed for HCcAg after glutaraldehyde treatment. Data suggest that HCcAg exists in dimeric forms probably representing P21-P21, P21-P23, and P23-P23 dimers. In addition, the presence of HCcAg species that might represent trimers and multimers was observed. After sucrose equilibrium density gradient purification and nuclease digestion, NLPs were shown to contain both RNA and DNA molecules. Finally, the analysis by electron microscopy indicated that native NLPs were resistant to nuclease treatment. These results indicated that HCcAg assembles through dimers, trimers, and multimers' intermediates into capsids in P. pastoris cells. Assembly of NLPs in its natural environment might confer stability to these particles by adopting a compact structure

  9. F-Type Lectins: A Highly Diversified Family of Fucose-Binding Proteins with a Unique Sequence Motif and Structural Fold, Involved in Self/Non-Self-Recognition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerardo R. Vasta


    Full Text Available The F-type lectin (FTL family is one of the most recent to be identified and structurally characterized. Members of the FTL family are characterized by a fucose recognition domain [F-type lectin domain (FTLD] that displays a novel jellyroll fold (“F-type” fold and unique carbohydrate- and calcium-binding sequence motifs. This novel lectin family comprises widely distributed proteins exhibiting single, double, or greater multiples of the FTLD, either tandemly arrayed or combined with other structurally and functionally distinct domains, yielding lectin subunits of pleiotropic properties even within a single species. Furthermore, the extraordinary variability of FTL sequences (isoforms that are expressed in a single individual has revealed genetic mechanisms of diversification in ligand recognition that are unique to FTLs. Functions of FTLs in self/non-self-recognition include innate immunity, fertilization, microbial adhesion, and pathogenesis, among others. In addition, although the F-type fold is distinctive for FTLs, a structure-based search revealed apparently unrelated proteins with minor sequence similarity to FTLs that displayed the FTLD fold. In general, the phylogenetic analysis of FTLD sequences from viruses to mammals reveals clades that are consistent with the currently accepted taxonomy of extant species. However, the surprisingly discontinuous distribution of FTLDs within each taxonomic category suggests not only an extensive structural/functional diversification of the FTLs along evolutionary lineages but also that this intriguing lectin family has been subject to frequent gene duplication, secondary loss, lateral transfer, and functional co-option.

  10. Novel membrane frizzled-related protein gene mutation as cause of posterior microphthalmia resulting in high hyperopia with macular folds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wasmann, Rosemarie A.; Wassink-Ruiter, Jolien S. Klein; Sundin, Olof H.; Morales, Elisa; Verheij, Joke B. G. M.; Pott, Jan Willem R.

    Abstract. Purpose: We present a genetic and clinical analysis of two sisters, 3 and 4 years of age, with nanophthalmos and macular folds. Methods: Ophthalmological examination, general paediatric examination and molecular genetic analysis of the MFRP gene were performed in both affected siblings.

  11. Depletion of the chromatin looping proteins CTCF and cohesin causes chromatin compaction: insight into chromatin folding by polymer modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tark-Dame, M.; Jerabek, H.; Manders, E.M.M.; Heermann, D.W.; van Driel, R.


    Folding of the chromosomal fibre in interphase nuclei is an important element in the regulation of gene expression. For instance, physical contacts between promoters and enhancers are a key element in cell-type-specific transcription. We know remarkably little about the principles that control

  12. ngs (notochord granular surface) gene encodes a novel type of intermediate filament family protein essential for notochord maintenance in zebrafish. (United States)

    Tong, Xiangjun; Xia, Zhidan; Zu, Yao; Telfer, Helena; Hu, Jing; Yu, Jingyi; Liu, Huan; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen; Lin, Shuo; Zhang, Bo


    The notochord is an important organ involved in embryonic patterning and locomotion. In zebrafish, the mature notochord consists of a single stack of fully differentiated, large vacuolated cells called chordocytes, surrounded by a single layer of less differentiated notochordal epithelial cells called chordoblasts. Through genetic analysis of zebrafish lines carrying pseudo-typed retroviral insertions, a mutant exhibiting a defective notochord with a granular appearance was isolated, and the corresponding gene was identified as ngs (notochord granular surface), which was specifically expressed in the notochord. In the mutants, the notochord started to degenerate from 32 hours post-fertilization, and the chordocytes were then gradually replaced by smaller cells derived from chordoblasts. The granular notochord phenotype was alleviated by anesthetizing the mutant embryos with tricaine to prevent muscle contraction and locomotion. Phylogenetic analysis showed that ngs encodes a new type of intermediate filament (IF) family protein, which we named chordostatin based on its function. Under the transmission electron microcopy, bundles of 10-nm-thick IF-like filaments were enriched in the chordocytes of wild-type zebrafish embryos, whereas the chordocytes in ngs mutants lacked IF-like structures. Furthermore, chordostatin-enhanced GFP (EGFP) fusion protein assembled into a filamentous network specifically in chordocytes. Taken together, our work demonstrates that ngs encodes a novel type of IF protein and functions to maintain notochord integrity for larval development and locomotion. Our work sheds light on the mechanisms of notochord structural maintenance, as well as the evolution and biological function of IF family proteins.

  13. FSHD myoblasts fail to downregulate intermediate filament protein vimentin during myogenic differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lipinski M.


    Full Text Available Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD is an autosomal dominant hereditary neuromuscular disorder. The clinical features of FSHD include weakness of the facial and shoulder girdle muscles followed by wasting of skeletal muscles of the pelvic girdle and lower extremities. Although FSHD myoblasts grown in vitro can be induced to differentiate into myotubes by serum starvation, the resulting FSHD myotubes have been shown previously to be morphologically abnormal. Aim. In order to find the cause of morphological anomalies of FSHD myotubes we compared in vitro myogenic differentiation of normal and FSHD myoblasts at the protein level. Methods. We induced myogenic differentiation of normal and FSHD myoblasts by serum starvation. We then compared protein extracts from proliferating myoblasts and differentiated myotubes using SDS-PAGE followed by mass spectrometry identification of differentially expressed proteins. Results. We demonstrated that the expression of vimentin was elevated at the protein and mRNA levels in FSHD myotubes as compared to normal myotubes. Conclusions. We demonstrate for the first time that in contrast to normal myoblasts, FSHD myoblasts fail to downregulate vimentin after induction of in vitro myogenic differentiation. We suggest that vimentin could be an easily detectable marker of FSHD myotubes

  14. Slow Histidine H/D Exchange Protocol for Thermodynamic Analysis of Protein Folding and Stability using Mass Spectrometry


    Tran, Duc T.; Banerjee, Sambuddha; Alayash, Abdu I.; Crumbliss, Alvin L.; Fitzgerald, Michael C.


    Described here is a mass spectrometry based protocol to study the thermodynamic stability of proteins and protein-ligand complexes using the slow H/D exchange reaction of the imidazole C2 proton in histidine side chains. The protocol, which involves evaluating the denaturant dependence of this slow H/D exchange reaction in proteins, allows the global and/or subglobal unfolding/refolding properties of proteins and protein-ligand complexes to be probed. The protocol is developed using several m...

  15. The intermediate filament network protein, vimentin, is required for parvoviral infection

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fay, Nikta; Panté, Nelly, E-mail:


    Intermediate filaments (IFs) have recently been shown to serve novel roles during infection by many viruses. Here we have begun to study the role of IFs during the early steps of infection by the parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVM). We found that during early infection with MVM, after endosomal escape, the vimentin IF network was considerably altered, yielding collapsed immunofluorescence staining near the nuclear periphery. Furthermore, we found that vimentin plays an important role in the life cycle of MVM. The number of cells, which successfully replicated MVM, was reduced in infected cells in which the vimentin network was genetically or pharmacologically modified; viral endocytosis, however, remained unaltered. Perinuclear accumulation of MVM-containing vesicles was reduced in cells lacking vimentin. Our data suggests that vimentin is required for the MVM life cycle, presenting possibly a dual role: (1) following MVM escape from endosomes and (2) during endosomal trafficking of MVM. - Highlights: • MVM infection changes the distribution of the vimentin network to perinuclear regions. • Disrupting the vimentin network with acrylamide decreases MVM replication. • MVM replication is significantly reduced in vimentin-null cells. • Distribution of MVM-containing vesicles is affected in MVM infected vimentin-null cells.

  16. The intermediate filament network protein, vimentin, is required for parvoviral infection

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fay, Nikta; Panté, Nelly


    Intermediate filaments (IFs) have recently been shown to serve novel roles during infection by many viruses. Here we have begun to study the role of IFs during the early steps of infection by the parvovirus minute virus of mice (MVM). We found that during early infection with MVM, after endosomal escape, the vimentin IF network was considerably altered, yielding collapsed immunofluorescence staining near the nuclear periphery. Furthermore, we found that vimentin plays an important role in the life cycle of MVM. The number of cells, which successfully replicated MVM, was reduced in infected cells in which the vimentin network was genetically or pharmacologically modified; viral endocytosis, however, remained unaltered. Perinuclear accumulation of MVM-containing vesicles was reduced in cells lacking vimentin. Our data suggests that vimentin is required for the MVM life cycle, presenting possibly a dual role: (1) following MVM escape from endosomes and (2) during endosomal trafficking of MVM. - Highlights: • MVM infection changes the distribution of the vimentin network to perinuclear regions. • Disrupting the vimentin network with acrylamide decreases MVM replication. • MVM replication is significantly reduced in vimentin-null cells. • Distribution of MVM-containing vesicles is affected in MVM infected vimentin-null cells

  17. A nonadaptive origin of a beneficial trait: in silico selection for free energy of folding leads to the neutral emergence of mutational robustness in single domain proteins. (United States)

    Pagan, Rafael F; Massey, Steven E


    Proteins are regarded as being robust to the deleterious effects of mutations. Here, the neutral emergence of mutational robustness in a population of single domain proteins is explored using computer simulations. A pairwise contact model was used to calculate the ΔG of folding (ΔG folding) using the three dimensional protein structure of leech eglin C. A random amino acid sequence with low mutational robustness, defined as the average ΔΔG resulting from a point mutation (ΔΔG average), was threaded onto the structure. A population of 1,000 threaded sequences was evolved under selection for stability, using an upper and lower energy threshold. Under these conditions, mutational robustness increased over time in the most common sequence in the population. In contrast, when the wild type sequence was used it did not show an increase in robustness. This implies that the emergence of mutational robustness is sequence specific and that wild type sequences may be close to maximal robustness. In addition, an inverse relationship between ∆∆G average and protein stability is shown, resulting partly from a larger average effect of point mutations in more stable proteins. The emergence of mutational robustness was also observed in the Escherichia coli colE1 Rop and human CD59 proteins, implying that the property may be common in single domain proteins under certain simulation conditions. The results indicate that at least a portion of mutational robustness in small globular proteins might have arisen by a process of neutral emergence, and could be an example of a beneficial trait that has not been directly selected for, termed a "pseudaptation."

  18. Theory of the Protein Equilibrium Population Snapshot by H/D Exchange Electrospray Ionization Mass Spectrometry (PEPS-HDX-ESI-MS) Method used to obtain Protein Folding Energies/Rates and Selected Supporting Experimental Evidence. (United States)

    Liyanage, Rohana; Devarapalli, Nagarjuna; Pyland, Derek B; Puckett, Latisha M; Phan, N H; Starch, Joel A; Okimoto, Mark R; Gidden, Jennifer; Stites, Wesley E; Lay, Jackson O


    Protein equilibrium snapshot by hydrogen/deuterium exchange electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (PEPS-HDX-ESI-MS or PEPS) is a method recently introduced for estimating protein folding energies and rates. Herein we describe the basis for this method using both theory and new experiments. Benchmark experiments were conducted using ubiquitin because of the availability of reference data for folding and unfolding rates from NMR studies. A second set of experiments was also conducted to illustrate the surprising resilience of the PEPS to changes in HDX time, using staphylococcal nuclease and time frames ranging from a few seconds to several minutes. Theory suggests that PEPS experiments should be conducted at relatively high denaturant concentrations, where the protein folding/unfolding rates are slow with respect to HDX and the life times of both the closed and open states are long enough to be sampled experimentally. Upon deliberate denaturation, changes in folding/unfolding are correlated with associated changes in the ESI-MS signal upon fast HDX. When experiments are done quickly, typically within a few seconds, ESI-MS signals, corresponding to the equilibrium population of the native (closed) and denatured (open) states can both be detected. The interior of folded proteins remains largely un-exchanged. Amongst MS methods, the simultaneous detection of both states in the spectrum is unique to PEPS and provides a "snapshot" of these populations. The associated ion intensities are used to estimate the protein folding equilibrium constant (or the free energy change, ΔG). Linear extrapolation method (LEM) plots of derived ΔG values for each denaturant concentration can then be used to calculate ΔG in the absence of denaturant, ΔG(H(2)O). In accordance with the requirement for detection of signals for both the folded and unfolded states, this theoretical framework predicts that PEPS experiments work best at the middle of the denaturation curve where natured

  19. Bacterial intermediate filaments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Charbon, Godefroid; Cabeen, M.; Jacobs-Wagner, C.


    Crescentin, which is the founding member of a rapidly growing family of bacterial cytoskeletal proteins, was previously proposed to resemble eukaryotic intermediate filament (IF) proteins based on structural prediction and in vitro polymerization properties. Here, we demonstrate that crescentin...

  20. Rapid protein fold determination using secondary chemical shifts and cross-hydrogen bond 15N-13C' scalar couplings (3hbJNC')

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bonvin, Alexandre M.J.J.; Houben, Klaartje; Guenneugues, Marc; Kaptein, Robert; Boelens, Rolf [Utrecht University, Bijvoet Center for Biomolecular Research, NMR Spectroscopy (Netherlands)


    The possibility of generating protein folds at the stage of backbone assignment using structural restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond scalar couplings and secondary chemical shift information is investigated using as a test case the small {alpha}/{beta} protein chymotrypsin inhibitor 2. Dihedral angle restraints for the {phi} and {psi} angles of 32 out of 64 residues could be obtained from secondary chemical shift analysis with the TALOS program (Corneliscu et al., 1999a). This information was supplemented by 18 hydrogen-bond restraints derived from experimentally measured cross-hydrogen bond {sup 3hb}J{sub NC'} coupling constants. These experimental data were sufficient to generate structures that are as close as 1.0 A backbone rmsd from the crystal structure. The fold is, however, not uniquely defined and several solutions are generated that cannot be distinguished on the basis of violations or energetic considerations. Correct folds could be identified by combining clustering methods with knowledge-based potentials derived from structural databases.

  1. Context-dependent protein folding of a virulence peptide in the bacterial and host environments: structure of an SycH–YopH chaperone–effector complex

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vujanac, Milos; Stebbins, C. Erec


    The structure of a SycH–YopH chaperone–effector complex from Yersinia reveals the bacterial state of a protein that adopts different folds in the host and pathogen environments. Yersinia pestis injects numerous bacterial proteins into host cells through an organic nanomachine called the type 3 secretion system. One such substrate is the tyrosine phosphatase YopH, which requires an interaction with a cognate chaperone in order to be effectively injected. Here, the first crystal structure of a SycH–YopH complex is reported, determined to 1.9 Å resolution. The structure reveals the presence of (i) a nonglobular polypeptide in YopH, (ii) a so-called β-motif in YopH and (iii) a conserved hydrophobic patch in SycH that recognizes the β-motif. Biochemical studies establish that the β-motif is critical to the stability of this complex. Finally, since previous work has shown that the N-terminal portion of YopH adopts a globular fold that is functional in the host cell, aspects of how this polypeptide adopts radically different folds in the host and in the bacterial environments are analysed


    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Carra, Serena; Boncoraglio, Alessandra; Kanon, Bart; Brunsting, Jeanette F.; Minoia, Melania; Rana, Anil; Vos, Michel J.; Seidel, Kay; Sibon, Ody C. M.; Kampinga, Harm H.


    Protein aggregation is a hallmark of many neuronal disorders, including the polyglutamine disorder spinocerebellar ataxia 3 and peripheral neuropathies associated with the K141E and K141N mutations in the small heat shock protein HSPB8. In cells, HSPB8 cooperates with BAG3 to stimulate autophagy in

  3. High-Pressure NMR and SAXS Reveals How Capping Modulates Folding Cooperativity of the pp32 Leucine-rich Repeat Protein. (United States)

    Zhang, Yi; Berghaus, Melanie; Klein, Sean; Jenkins, Kelly; Zhang, Siwen; McCallum, Scott A; Morgan, Joel E; Winter, Roland; Barrick, Doug; Royer, Catherine A


    Many repeat proteins contain capping motifs, which serve to shield the hydrophobic core from solvent and maintain structural integrity. While the role of capping motifs in enhancing the stability and structural integrity of repeat proteins is well documented, their contribution to folding cooperativity is not. Here we examined the role of capping motifs in defining the folding cooperativity of the leucine-rich repeat protein, pp32, by monitoring the pressure- and urea-induced unfolding of an N-terminal capping motif (N-cap) deletion mutant, pp32-∆N-cap, and a C-terminal capping motif destabilization mutant pp32-Y131F/D146L, using residue-specific NMR and small-angle X-ray scattering. Destabilization of the C-terminal capping motif resulted in higher cooperativity for the unfolding transition compared to wild-type pp32, as these mutations render the stability of the C-terminus similar to that of the rest of the protein. In contrast, deletion of the N-cap led to strong deviation from two-state unfolding. In both urea- and pressure-induced unfolding, residues in repeats 1-3 of pp32-ΔN-cap lost their native structure first, while the C-terminal half was more stable. The residue-specific free energy changes in all regions of pp32-ΔN-cap were larger in urea compared to high pressure, indicating a less cooperative destabilization by pressure. Moreover, in contrast to complete structural disruption of pp32-ΔN-cap at high urea concentration, its pressure unfolded state remained compact. The contrasting effects of the capping motifs on folding cooperativity arise from the differential local stabilities of pp32, whereas the contrasting effects of pressure and urea on the pp32-ΔN-cap variant arise from their distinct mechanisms of action. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Complex folding and misfolding effects of deer-specific amino acid substitutions in the β2-α2 loop of murine prion protein (United States)

    Agarwal, Sonya; Döring, Kristina; Gierusz, Leszek A.; Iyer, Pooja; Lane, Fiona M.; Graham, James F.; Goldmann, Wilfred; Pinheiro, Teresa J. T.; Gill, Andrew C.


    The β2-α2 loop of PrPC is a key modulator of disease-associated prion protein misfolding. Amino acids that differentiate mouse (Ser169, Asn173) and deer (Asn169, Thr173) PrPC appear to confer dramatically different structural properties in this region and it has been suggested that amino acid sequences associated with structural rigidity of the loop also confer susceptibility to prion disease. Using mouse recombinant PrP, we show that mutating residue 173 from Asn to Thr alters protein stability and misfolding only subtly, whilst changing Ser to Asn at codon 169 causes instability in the protein, promotes oligomer formation and dramatically potentiates fibril formation. The doubly mutated protein exhibits more complex folding and misfolding behaviour than either single mutant, suggestive of differential effects of the β2-α2 loop sequence on both protein stability and on specific misfolding pathways. Molecular dynamics simulation of protein structure suggests a key role for the solvent accessibility of Tyr168 in promoting molecular interactions that may lead to prion protein misfolding. Thus, we conclude that ‘rigidity’ in the β2-α2 loop region of the normal conformer of PrP has less effect on misfolding than other sequence-related effects in this region.

  5. ngs (Notochord Granular Surface) Gene Encodes a Novel Type of Intermediate Filament Family Protein Essential for Notochord Maintenance in Zebrafish* (United States)

    Tong, Xiangjun; Xia, Zhidan; Zu, Yao; Telfer, Helena; Hu, Jing; Yu, Jingyi; Liu, Huan; Zhang, Quan; Sodmergen; Lin, Shuo; Zhang, Bo


    The notochord is an important organ involved in embryonic patterning and locomotion. In zebrafish, the mature notochord consists of a single stack of fully differentiated, large vacuolated cells called chordocytes, surrounded by a single layer of less differentiated notochordal epithelial cells called chordoblasts. Through genetic analysis of zebrafish lines carrying pseudo-typed retroviral insertions, a mutant exhibiting a defective notochord with a granular appearance was isolated, and the corresponding gene was identified as ngs (notochord granular surface), which was specifically expressed in the notochord. In the mutants, the notochord started to degenerate from 32 hours post-fertilization, and the chordocytes were then gradually replaced by smaller cells derived from chordoblasts. The granular notochord phenotype was alleviated by anesthetizing the mutant embryos with tricaine to prevent muscle contraction and locomotion. Phylogenetic analysis showed that ngs encodes a new type of intermediate filament (IF) family protein, which we named chordostatin based on its function. Under the transmission electron microcopy, bundles of 10-nm-thick IF-like filaments were enriched in the chordocytes of wild-type zebrafish embryos, whereas the chordocytes in ngs mutants lacked IF-like structures. Furthermore, chordostatin-enhanced GFP (EGFP) fusion protein assembled into a filamentous network specifically in chordocytes. Taken together, our work demonstrates that ngs encodes a novel type of IF protein and functions to maintain notochord integrity for larval development and locomotion. Our work sheds light on the mechanisms of notochord structural maintenance, as well as the evolution and biological function of IF family proteins. PMID:23132861

  6. Two-dimensional NMR and photo-CIDNP studies of the insulin monomer: Assignment of aromatic resonances with application to protein folding, structure, and dynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weiss, M.A.; Shoelson, S.E.; Nguyen, D.T.; O'Shea, E.; Karplus, M.; Khait, I.; Neuringer, L.J.; Inouye, K.; Frank, B.H.; Beckage, M.


    The aromatic 1 H NMR resonances of the insulin monomer are assigned at 500 MHz by comparative studies of chemically modified and genetically altered variants, including a mutant insulin (PheB25 → Leu) associated with diabetes mellitus. The two histidines, three phenylalanines, and four tyrosines are observed to be in distinct local environments; their assignment provides sensitive markers for studies of tertiary structure, protein dynamics, and protein folding. The environments of the tyrosine residues have also been investigated by photochemically induced dynamic nuclear polarization (photo-CIDNP) and analyzed in relation to packing constrains in the crystal structures of insulin. Dimerization involving specific B-chain interactions is observed with increasing protein concentration and is shown to depend on temperature, pH, and solvent composition. The differences between proinsulin and mini-proinsulin suggest a structural mechanism for the observation that the fully reduced B29-A1 analogue folds more efficiently than proinsulin to form the correct pattern of disulfide bonds. These results are discussed in relation to molecular mechanics calculations of insulin based on the available crystal structures

  7. Cotranslocational processing of the protein substrate calmodulin by an AAA+ unfoldase occurs via unfolding and refolding intermediates. (United States)

    Augustyniak, Rafal; Kay, Lewis E


    Protein remodeling by AAA+ enzymes is central for maintaining proteostasis in a living cell. However, a detailed structural description of how this is accomplished at the level of the substrate molecules that are acted upon is lacking. Here, we combine chemical cross-linking and methyl transverse relaxation-optimized NMR spectroscopy to study, at atomic resolution, the stepwise unfolding and subsequent refolding of the two-domain substrate calmodulin by the VAT AAA+ unfoldase from Thermoplasma acidophilum By engineering intermolecular disulphide bridges between the substrate and VAT we trap the substrate at different stages of translocation, allowing structural studies throughout the translocation process. Our results show that VAT initiates substrate translocation by pulling on intrinsically unstructured N or C termini of substrate molecules without showing specificity for a particular amino acid sequence. Although the B1 domain of protein G is shown to unfold cooperatively, translocation of calmodulin leads to the formation of intermediates, and these differ on an individual domain level in a manner that depends on whether pulling is from the N or C terminus. The approach presented generates an atomic resolution picture of substrate unfolding and subsequent refolding by unfoldases that can be quite different from results obtained via in vitro denaturation experiments.

  8. Three-Dimensional Protein Fold Determination from Backbone Amide Pseudocontact Shifts Generated by Lanthanide Tags at Multiple Sites

    KAUST Repository

    Yagi, Hiromasa


    Site-specific attachment of paramagnetic lanthanide ions to a protein generates pseudocontact shifts (PCS) in the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of the protein that are easily measured as changes in chemical shifts. By labeling the protein with lanthanide tags at four different sites, PCSs are observed for most amide protons and accurate information is obtained about their coordinates in three-dimensional space. The approach is demonstrated with the chaperone ERp29, for which large differences have been reported between X-ray and NMR structures of the C-terminal domain, ERp29-C. The results unambiguously show that the structure of rat ERp29-C in solution is similar to the crystal structure of human ERp29-C. PCSs of backbone amides were the only structural restraints required. Because these can be measured for more dilute protein solutions than other NMR restraints, the approach greatly widens the range of proteins amenable to structural studies in solution. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. The Inner Membrane Complex Sub-compartment Proteins Critical for Replication of the Apicomplexan Parasite Toxoplasma gondii Adopt a Pleckstrin Homology Fold* (United States)

    Tonkin, Michelle L.; Beck, Josh R.; Bradley, Peter J.; Boulanger, Martin J.


    Toxoplasma gondii, an apicomplexan parasite prevalent in developed nations, infects up to one-third of the human population. The success of this parasite depends on several unique structures including an inner membrane complex (IMC) that lines the interior of the plasma membrane and contains proteins important for gliding motility and replication. Of these proteins, the IMC sub-compartment proteins (ISPs) have recently been shown to play a role in asexual T. gondii daughter cell formation, yet the mechanism is unknown. Complicating mechanistic characterization of the ISPs is a lack of sequence identity with proteins of known structure or function. In support of elucidating the function of ISPs, we first determined the crystal structures of representative members TgISP1 and TgISP3 to a resolution of 2.10 and 2.32 Å, respectively. Structural analysis revealed that both ISPs adopt a pleckstrin homology fold often associated with phospholipid binding or protein-protein interactions. Substitution of basic for hydrophobic residues in the region that overlays with phospholipid binding in related pleckstrin homology domains, however, suggests that ISPs do not retain phospholipid binding activity. Consistent with this observation, biochemical assays revealed no phospholipid binding activity. Interestingly, mapping of conserved surface residues combined with crystal packing analysis indicates that TgISPs have functionally repurposed the phospholipid-binding site likely to coordinate protein partners. Recruitment of larger protein complexes may also be aided through avidity-enhanced interactions resulting from multimerization of the ISPs. Overall, we propose a model where TgISPs recruit protein partners to the IMC to ensure correct progression of daughter cell formation. PMID:24675080

  10. Structure of the N-terminal domain of the protein Expansion: an ‘Expansion’ to the Smad MH2 fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beich-Frandsen, Mads; Aragón, Eric [Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Llimargas, Marta [Institut de Biologia Molecular de Barcelona, IBMB–CSIC, Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Benach, Jordi [ALBA Synchrotron, BP 1413, km 3.3, Cerdanyola del Vallès (Spain); Riera, Antoni [Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Universitat de Barcelona, Martí i Franqués 1-11, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Pous, Joan [Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Platform of Crystallography IBMB–CSIC, Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Macias, Maria J., E-mail: [Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), Baldiri Reixac 10, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA), Passeig Lluís Companys 23, 08010 Barcelona (Spain)


    Expansion is a modular protein that is conserved in protostomes. The first structure of the N-terminal domain of Expansion has been determined at 1.6 Å resolution and the new Nα-MH2 domain was found to belong to the Smad/FHA superfamily of structures. Gene-expression changes observed in Drosophila embryos after inducing the transcription factor Tramtrack led to the identification of the protein Expansion. Expansion contains an N-terminal domain similar in sequence to the MH2 domain characteristic of Smad proteins, which are the central mediators of the effects of the TGF-β signalling pathway. Apart from Smads and Expansion, no other type of protein belonging to the known kingdoms of life contains MH2 domains. To compare the Expansion and Smad MH2 domains, the crystal structure of the Expansion domain was determined at 1.6 Å resolution, the first structure of a non-Smad MH2 domain to be characterized to date. The structure displays the main features of the canonical MH2 fold with two main differences: the addition of an α-helical region and the remodelling of a protein-interaction site that is conserved in the MH2 domain of Smads. Owing to these differences, to the new domain was referred to as Nα-MH2. Despite the presence of the Nα-MH2 domain, Expansion does not participate in TGF-β signalling; instead, it is required for other activities specific to the protostome phyla. Based on the structural similarities to the MH2 fold, it is proposed that the Nα-MH2 domain should be classified as a new member of the Smad/FHA superfamily.

  11. Structure of the N-terminal domain of the protein Expansion: an ‘Expansion’ to the Smad MH2 fold

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beich-Frandsen, Mads; Aragón, Eric; Llimargas, Marta; Benach, Jordi; Riera, Antoni; Pous, Joan; Macias, Maria J.


    Expansion is a modular protein that is conserved in protostomes. The first structure of the N-terminal domain of Expansion has been determined at 1.6 Å resolution and the new Nα-MH2 domain was found to belong to the Smad/FHA superfamily of structures. Gene-expression changes observed in Drosophila embryos after inducing the transcription factor Tramtrack led to the identification of the protein Expansion. Expansion contains an N-terminal domain similar in sequence to the MH2 domain characteristic of Smad proteins, which are the central mediators of the effects of the TGF-β signalling pathway. Apart from Smads and Expansion, no other type of protein belonging to the known kingdoms of life contains MH2 domains. To compare the Expansion and Smad MH2 domains, the crystal structure of the Expansion domain was determined at 1.6 Å resolution, the first structure of a non-Smad MH2 domain to be characterized to date. The structure displays the main features of the canonical MH2 fold with two main differences: the addition of an α-helical region and the remodelling of a protein-interaction site that is conserved in the MH2 domain of Smads. Owing to these differences, to the new domain was referred to as Nα-MH2. Despite the presence of the Nα-MH2 domain, Expansion does not participate in TGF-β signalling; instead, it is required for other activities specific to the protostome phyla. Based on the structural similarities to the MH2 fold, it is proposed that the Nα-MH2 domain should be classified as a new member of the Smad/FHA superfamily

  12. Fiscal 1999 achievement report on research and development project on intellectual infrastructure creation and utilization technologies. Development of efficient protein expression system (Development of efficient protein expression system utilizing protein folding mechanism of hyperthermophilic bacteria); 1999 nendo kokoritsu tanpakushitsu hatsugen system no kaihatsu seika hokokusho. Chokonetsukin no tanpakushitsu oritatami kiko wo riyoshita kokoritsu tanpakushitsu hatsugen system no kaihatsu

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)



    Efforts were exerted to achieve efficient expression of proteins of hyperthermophilic bacteria, hyperthermophilic archaeabacteria in particular, using a heterogene expression system in which Escherichia coli was the host. In an effort to search for genes related to protein folding and to elucidate the mechanism of folding, chaperonin and prefoldin subunit genes, out of various factors participating in protein folding in hyperthermophilic archaeabacteria, were cloned, and expressed in Escherichia coli. As a system for analyzing protein folding reaction, an experimental system was established on a substrate comprising isopropyl malate dehydrogenase, citrate synthase, glucose dehydrogenase, and a green fluorescent protein. Studies were further conducted to elucidate the mechanism of expression of enzyme genes in Escherichia coli for the establishment of a mass production method for useful enzymes. Also carried out was the research and development of an element technology evaluation system involving protein expression. (NEDO)

  13. Protein self-assembly and lipid binding in the folding of the potassium channel KcsA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barrera, F.N.; Renard, M.L.; Poveda, J.A.; de Kruijff, B.; Killian, J.A.; González-Ros, J.M.


    Moderate concentrations of the alcohol 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE) cause the coupled unfolding and dissociation into subunits of the homotetrameric potassium channel KcsA, in a process that is partially irreversible when the protein is solubilized in plain dodecyl â-D-maltoside (DDM) micelles

  14. General framework for studying the dynamics of folded and nonfolded proteins by NMR relaxation spectroscopy and MD simulation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Prompers, J.J.; Brüschweiler, R.


    A general framework is presented for the interpretation of NMR relaxation data of proteins. The method, termed isotropic reorientational eigenmode dynamics (iRED), relies on a principal component analysis of the isotropically averaged covariance matrix of the lattice functions of the spin

  15. Indicator Amino Acid-Derived Estimate of Dietary Protein Requirement for Male Bodybuilders on a Nontraining Day Is Several-Fold Greater than the Current Recommended Dietary Allowance. (United States)

    Bandegan, Arash; Courtney-Martin, Glenda; Rafii, Mahroukh; Pencharz, Paul B; Lemon, Peter Wr


    Background: Despite a number of studies indicating increased dietary protein needs in bodybuilders with the use of the nitrogen balance technique, the Institute of Medicine (2005) has concluded, based in part on methodologic concerns, that "no additional dietary protein is suggested for healthy adults undertaking resistance or endurance exercise." Objective: The aim of the study was to assess the dietary protein requirement of healthy young male bodybuilders ( with ≥3 y training experience) on a nontraining day by measuring the oxidation of ingested l-[1- 13 C]phenylalanine to 13 CO 2 in response to graded intakes of protein [indicator amino acid oxidation (IAAO) technique]. Methods: Eight men (means ± SDs: age, 22.5 ± 1.7 y; weight, 83.9 ± 11.6 kg; 13.0% ± 6.3% body fat) were studied at rest on a nontraining day, on several occasions (4-8 times) each with protein intakes ranging from 0.1 to 3.5 g · kg -1 · d -1 , for a total of 42 experiments. The diets provided energy at 1.5 times each individual's measured resting energy expenditure and were isoenergetic across all treatments. Protein was fed as an amino acid mixture based on the protein pattern in egg, except for phenylalanine and tyrosine, which were maintained at constant amounts across all protein intakes. For 2 d before the study, all participants consumed 1.5 g protein · kg -1 · d -1 On the study day, the protein requirement was determined by identifying the breakpoint in the F 13 CO 2 with graded amounts of dietary protein [mixed-effects change-point regression analysis of F 13 CO 2 (labeled tracer oxidation in breath)]. Results: The Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) of protein and the upper 95% CI RDA for these young male bodybuilders were 1.7 and 2.2 g · kg -1 · d -1 , respectively. Conclusion: These IAAO data suggest that the protein EAR and recommended intake for male bodybuilders at rest on a nontraining day exceed the current recommendations of the Institute of Medicine by ∼2.6-fold

  16. The Complexity of Folding Self-Folding Origami

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Menachem Stern


    Full Text Available Why is it difficult to refold a previously folded sheet of paper? We show that even crease patterns with only one designed folding motion inevitably contain an exponential number of “distractor” folding branches accessible from a bifurcation at the flat state. Consequently, refolding a sheet requires finding the ground state in a glassy energy landscape with an exponential number of other attractors of higher energy, much like in models of protein folding (Levinthal’s paradox and other NP-hard satisfiability (SAT problems. As in these problems, we find that refolding a sheet requires actuation at multiple carefully chosen creases. We show that seeding successful folding in this way can be understood in terms of subpatterns that fold when cut out (“folding islands”. Besides providing guidelines for the placement of active hinges in origami applications, our results point to fundamental limits on the programmability of energy landscapes in sheets.

  17. The Complexity of Folding Self-Folding Origami (United States)

    Stern, Menachem; Pinson, Matthew B.; Murugan, Arvind


    Why is it difficult to refold a previously folded sheet of paper? We show that even crease patterns with only one designed folding motion inevitably contain an exponential number of "distractor" folding branches accessible from a bifurcation at the flat state. Consequently, refolding a sheet requires finding the ground state in a glassy energy landscape with an exponential number of other attractors of higher energy, much like in models of protein folding (Levinthal's paradox) and other NP-hard satisfiability (SAT) problems. As in these problems, we find that refolding a sheet requires actuation at multiple carefully chosen creases. We show that seeding successful folding in this way can be understood in terms of subpatterns that fold when cut out ("folding islands"). Besides providing guidelines for the placement of active hinges in origami applications, our results point to fundamental limits on the programmability of energy landscapes in sheets.

  18. How Four Scientists Integrate Thermodynamic and Kinetic Theory, Context, Analogies, and Methods in Protein-Folding and Dynamics Research: Implications for Biochemistry Instruction. (United States)

    Jeffery, Kathleen A; Pelaez, Nancy; Anderson, Trevor R


    To keep biochemistry instruction current and relevant, it is crucial to expose students to cutting-edge scientific research and how experts reason about processes governed by thermodynamics and kinetics such as protein folding and dynamics. This study focuses on how experts explain their research into this topic with the intention of informing instruction. Previous research has modeled how expert biologists incorporate research methods, social or biological context, and analogies when they talk about their research on mechanisms. We used this model as a guiding framework to collect and analyze interview data from four experts. The similarities and differences that emerged from analysis indicate that all experts integrated theoretical knowledge with their research context, methods, and analogies when they explained how phenomena operate, in particular by mapping phenomena to mathematical models; they explored different processes depending on their explanatory aims, but readily transitioned between different perspectives and explanatory models; and they explained thermodynamic and kinetic concepts of relevance to protein folding in different ways that aligned with their particular research methods. We discuss how these findings have important implications for teaching and future educational research. © 2018 K. A. Jeffery et al. CBE—Life Sciences Education © 2018 The American Society for Cell Biology. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). It is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  19. Using extremely halophilic bacteria to understand the role of surface charge and surface hydration in protein evolution, folding, and function (United States)

    Hoff, Wouter; Deole, Ratnakar; Osu Collaboration


    Halophilic Archaea accumulate molar concentrations of KCl in their cytoplasm as an osmoprotectant, and have evolved highly acidic proteomes that only function at high salinity. We examine osmoprotection in the photosynthetic Proteobacteria Halorhodospira halophila. We find that H. halophila has an acidic proteome and accumulates molar concentrations of KCl when grown in high salt media. Upon growth of H. halophila in low salt media, its cytoplasmic K + content matches that of Escherichia coli, revealing an acidic proteome that can function in the absence of high cytoplasmic salt concentrations. These findings necessitate a reassessment of two central aspects of theories for understanding extreme halophiles. We conclude that proteome acidity is not driven by stabilizing interactions between K + ions and acidic side chains, but by the need for maintaining sufficient solvation and hydration of the protein surface at high salinity through strongly hydrated carboxylates. We propose that obligate protein halophilicity is a non-adaptive property resulting from genetic drift in which constructive neutral evolution progressively incorporates weakly stabilizing K + binding sites on an increasingly acidic protein surface.

  20. Lack of negative charge in the E46Q mutant of photoactive yellow protein prevents partial unfolding of the blue shifted intermediate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Derix, N.M.; Wechselberger, R.W.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/304829005; van der Horst, M.A.; Hellingwerf, K.J.; Boelens, R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/070151407; Kaptein, R.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/074334603; van Nuland, N.A.J.


    The long-lived light-induced intermediate (pB) of the E46Q mutant (glutamic acid is replaced by glutamine at position 46) of photoactive yellow protein (PYP) has been investigated by NMR spectroscopy. The ground state of this mutant is very similar to that of wild-type PYP (WT), whereas the pB

  1. Experimental Study of the Oriented Immobilization of Antibodies on Photonic Sensing Structures by Using Protein A as an Intermediate Layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raffaele Caroselli


    Full Text Available A proper antibody immobilization on a biosensor is a crucial step in order to obtain a high sensitivity to be able to detect low target analyte concentrations. In this paper, we present an experimental study of the immobilization process of antibodies as bioreceptors on a photonic ring resonator sensor. A protein A intermediate layer was created on the sensor surface in order to obtain an oriented immobilization of the antibodies, which enhances the interaction with the target antigens to be detected. The anti-bovine serum albumin (antiBSA-bovine serum albumin (BSA pair was used as a model for our study. An opto-fluidic setup was developed in order to flow the different reagents and, simultaneously, to monitor in real-time the spectral response of the photonic sensing structure. The antiBSA immobilization and the BSA detection, their repeatability, and specificity were studied in different conditions of the sensor surface. Finally, an experimental limit of detection for BSA recognition of only 1 ng/mL was obtained.

  2. Expression of the type VI intermediate filament proteins CP49 and filensin in the mouse lens epithelium. (United States)

    FitzGerald, Paul; Sun, Ning; Shibata, Brad; Hess, John F


    The differentiated lens fiber cell assembles a filamentous cytoskeletal structure referred to as the beaded filament (BF). The BF requires CP49 (bfsp2) and filensin (bfsp1) for assembly, both of which are highly divergent members of the large intermediate filament (IF) family of proteins. Thus far, these two proteins have been reported only in the differentiated lens fiber cell. For this reason, both proteins have been considered robust markers of fiber cell differentiation. We report here that both proteins are also expressed in the mouse lens epithelium, but only after 5 weeks of age. Localization of CP49 was achieved with immunocytochemical probing of wild-type, CP49 knockout, filensin knockout, and vimentin knockout mice, in sections and in the explanted lens epithelium, at the light microscope and electron microscope levels. The relationship between CP49 and other cytoskeletal elements was probed using fluorescent phalloidin, as well as with antibodies to vimentin, GFAP, and α-tubulin. The relationship between CP49 and the aggresome was probed with antibodies to γ-tubulin, ubiquitin, and HDAC6. CP49 and filensin were expressed in the mouse lens epithelium, but only after 5 weeks of age. At the light microscope level, these two proteins colocalize to a large tubular structure, approximately 7 × 1 μm, which was typically present at one to two copies per cell. This structure is found in the anterior and anterolateral lens epithelium, including the zone where mitosis occurs. The structure becomes smaller and largely undetectable closer to the equator where the cell exits the cell cycle and commits to fiber cell differentiation. This structure bears some resemblance to the aggresome and is reactive with antibodies to HDAC6, a marker for the aggresome. However, the structure does not colocalize with antibodies to γ-tubulin or ubiquitin, also markers for the aggresome. The structure also colocalizes with actin but appears to largely exclude vimentin and

  3. Combining structural modeling with ensemble machine learning to accurately predict protein fold stability and binding affinity effects upon mutation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Niklas Berliner

    Full Text Available Advances in sequencing have led to a rapid accumulation of mutations, some of which are associated with diseases. However, to draw mechanistic conclusions, a biochemical understanding of these mutations is necessary. For coding mutations, accurate prediction of significant changes in either the stability of proteins or their affinity to their binding partners is required. Traditional methods have used semi-empirical force fields, while newer methods employ machine learning of sequence and structural features. Here, we show how combining both of these approaches leads to a marked boost in accuracy. We introduce ELASPIC, a novel ensemble machine learning approach that is able to predict stability effects upon mutation in both, domain cores and domain-domain interfaces. We combine semi-empirical energy terms, sequence conservation, and a wide variety of molecular details with a Stochastic Gradient Boosting of Decision Trees (SGB-DT algorithm. The accuracy of our predictions surpasses existing methods by a considerable margin, achieving correlation coefficients of 0.77 for stability, and 0.75 for affinity predictions. Notably, we integrated homology modeling to enable proteome-wide prediction and show that accurate prediction on modeled structures is possible. Lastly, ELASPIC showed significant differences between various types of disease-associated mutations, as well as between disease and common neutral mutations. Unlike pure sequence-based prediction methods that try to predict phenotypic effects of mutations, our predictions unravel the molecular details governing the protein instability, and help us better understand the molecular causes of diseases.

  4. How old is your fold?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Winstanley, Henry F.; Abeln, Sanne; Deane, Charlotte M.

    Motivation: At present there exists no age estimate for the different protein structures found in nature. It has become clear from occurrence studies that different folds arose at different points in evolutionary time. An estimation of the age of different folds would be a starting point for many

  5. Folding of DsbB in mixed micelles

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Otzen, Daniel


    state and an unfolding intermediate that accumulates only under unfolding conditions at high mole fractions of SDS. The stability of DsbB is around 4.4 kcal/mol in DM, and this is halved upon reduction of the two periplasmic disulfide bonds, and is sensitive to mutagenesis. With the caveat that kinetic...... is sensitive to changes in lipid and detergent composition. As an attempt to overcome this problem, I present a kinetic analysis of the folding of a membrane protein, disulfide bond reducing protein B (DsbB), in a mixed micelle system consisting of varying molar ratios of sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS...

  6. Folding units in calcium vector protein of amphioxus: Structural and functional properties of its amino- and carboxy-terminal halves. (United States)

    Baladi, S; Tsvetkov, P O; Petrova, T V; Takagi, T; Sakamoto, H; Lobachov, V M; Makarov, A A; Cox, J A


    Muscle of amphioxus contains large amounts of a four EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein, CaVP, and its target, CaVPT. To study the domain structure of CaVP and assess the structurally important determinants for its interaction with CaVPT, we expressed CaVP and its amino (N-CaVP) and carboxy-terminal halves (C-CaVP). The interactive properties of recombinant and wild-type CaVP are very similar, despite three post-translational modifications in the wild-type protein. N-CaVP does not bind Ca2+, shows a well-formed hydrophobic core, and melts at 44 degrees C. C-CaVP binds two Ca2+ with intrinsic dissociation constants of 0.22 and 140 microM (i.e., very similar to the entire CaVP). The metal-free domain in CaVP and C-CaVP shows no distinct melting transition, whereas its 1Ca2+ and 2Ca2+) forms melt in the 111 degrees -123 degrees C range, suggesting that C-CaVP and the carboxy- domain of CaVP are natively unfolded in the metal-free state and progressively gain structure upon binding of 1Ca2+ and 2Ca2+. Thermal denaturation studies provide evidence for interdomain interaction: the apo, 1Ca2+ and 2Ca2+ states of the carboxy-domain destabilize to different degrees the amino-domain. Only C-CaVP forms a Ca2+-dependent 1:1 complex with CaVPT. Our results suggest that the carboxy-terminal domain of CaVP interacts with CaVPT and that the amino-terminal lobe modulates this interaction.

  7. RNA folding: structure prediction, folding kinetics and ion electrostatics. (United States)

    Tan, Zhijie; Zhang, Wenbing; Shi, Yazhou; Wang, Fenghua


    Beyond the "traditional" functions such as gene storage, transport and protein synthesis, recent discoveries reveal that RNAs have important "new" biological functions including the RNA silence and gene regulation of riboswitch. Such functions of noncoding RNAs are strongly coupled to the RNA structures and proper structure change, which naturally leads to the RNA folding problem including structure prediction and folding kinetics. Due to the polyanionic nature of RNAs, RNA folding structure, stability and kinetics are strongly coupled to the ion condition of solution. The main focus of this chapter is to review the recent progress in the three major aspects in RNA folding problem: structure prediction, folding kinetics and ion electrostatics. This chapter will introduce both the recent experimental and theoretical progress, while emphasize the theoretical modelling on the three aspects in RNA folding.

  8. Crystal structure of the PAC1R extracellular domain unifies a consensus fold for hormone recognition by class B G-protein coupled receptors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shiva Kumar

    Full Text Available Pituitary adenylate cyclase activating polypeptide (PACAP is a member of the PACAP/glucagon family of peptide hormones, which controls many physiological functions in the immune, nervous, endocrine, and muscular systems. It activates adenylate cyclase by binding to its receptor, PAC1R, a member of class B G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR. Crystal structures of a number of Class B GPCR extracellular domains (ECD bound to their respective peptide hormones have revealed a consensus mechanism of hormone binding. However, the mechanism of how PACAP binds to its receptor remains controversial as an NMR structure of the PAC1R ECD/PACAP complex reveals a different topology of the ECD and a distinct mode of ligand recognition. Here we report a 1.9 Å crystal structure of the PAC1R ECD, which adopts the same fold as commonly observed for other members of Class B GPCR. Binding studies and cell-based assays with alanine-scanned peptides and mutated receptor support a model that PAC1R uses the same conserved fold of Class B GPCR ECD for PACAP binding, thus unifying the consensus mechanism of hormone binding for this family of receptors.

  9. Optimized set of two-dimensional experiments for fast sequential assignment, secondary structure determination, and backbone fold validation of 13C/15N-labelled proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bersch, Beate; Rossy, Emmanuel; Coves, Jacques; Brutscher, Bernhard


    NMR experiments are presented which allow backbone resonance assignment, secondary structure identification, and in favorable cases also molecular fold topology determination from a series of two-dimensional 1 H- 15 N HSQC-like spectra. The 1 H- 15 N correlation peaks are frequency shifted by an amount ± ω X along the 15 N dimension, where ω X is the C α , C β , or H α frequency of the same or the preceding residue. Because of the low dimensionality (2D) of the experiments, high-resolution spectra are obtained in a short overall experimental time. The whole series of seven experiments can be performed in typically less than one day. This approach significantly reduces experimental time when compared to the standard 3D-based methods. The here presented methodology is thus especially appealing in the context of high-throughput NMR studies of protein structure, dynamics or molecular interfaces

  10. Intermediate treatments (United States)

    John R. Jones; Wayne D. Shepperd


    Intermediate treatments are those applied after a new stand is successfully established and before the final harvest. These include not only intermediate cuttings - primarily thinning - but also fertilization, irrigation, and protection of the stand from damaging agents.

  11. A computational study of a recreated G protein-GEF reaction intermediate competent for nucleotide exchange: fate of the Mg ion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mériam Ben Hamida-Rebaï

    Full Text Available Small G-proteins of the superfamily Ras function as molecular switches, interacting with different cellular partners according to their activation state. G-protein activation involves the dissociation of bound GDP and its replacement by GTP, in an exchange reaction that is accelerated and regulated in the cell by guanine-nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs. Large conformational changes accompany the exchange reaction, and our understanding of the mechanism is correspondingly incomplete. However, much knowledge has been derived from structural studies of blocked or inactive mutant GEFs, which presumably closely represent intermediates in the exchange reaction and yet which are by design incompetent for carrying out the nucleotide exchange reaction. In this study we have used comparative modelling to recreate an exchange-competent form of a late, pre-GDP-ejection intermediate species in Arf1, a well-characterized small G-protein. We extensively characterized three distinct models of this intermediate using molecular dynamics simulations, allowing us to address ambiguities related to the mutant structural studies. We observed in particular the unfavorable nature of Mg2+ associated forms of the complex and the establishment of closer Arf1-GEF contacts in its absence. The results of this study shed light on GEF-mediated activation of this small G protein and on predicting the fate of the Mg ion at a critical point in the exchange reaction. The structural models themselves furnish additional targets for interfacial inhibitor design, a promising direction for exploring potentially druggable targets with high biological specificity.

  12. Complementation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutations in genes involved in translation and protein folding (EFB1 and SSB1) with Candida albicans cloned genes. (United States)

    Maneu, V; Roig, P; Gozalbo, D


    We have demonstrated that the expression of Candida albicans genes involved in translation and protein folding (EFB1 and SSB1) complements the phenotype of Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants. The elongation factor 1beta (EF-1beta) is essential for growth and efb1 S. cerevisiae null mutant cells are not viable; however, viable haploid cells, carrying the disrupted chromosomal allele of the S. cerevisiae EFB1 gene and pEFB1, were isolated upon sporulation of a diploid strain which was heterozygous at the EFB1 locus and transformed with pEFB1 (a pEMBLYe23 derivative plasmid containing an 8-kb DNA fragment from the C. albicans genome which contains the EFB1 gene). This indicates that the C. albicans EFB1 gene encodes a functional EF-1beta. Expression of the SSB1 gene from C. albicans, which codes for a member of the 70-kDa heat shock protein family, in S. cerevisiae ssb1 ssb2 double mutant complements the mutant phenotype (poor growth particularly at low temperature, and sensitivity to certain protein synthesis inhibitors, such as paromomycin). This complementation indicates that C. albicans Ssbl may function as a molecular chaperone on the translating ribosomes, as described in S. cerevisiae. Northern blot analysis showed that SSB mRNA levels increased after mild cold shift (28 degrees C to 23 degrees C) and rapidly decreased after mild heat shift (from 28 degrees C to 37 degrees C, and particularly to 42 degrees C), indicating that SSB1 expression is regulated by temperature. Therefore, Ssb1 may be considered as a molecular chaperone whose pattern of expression is similar to that found in ribosomal proteins, according to its common role in translation.

  13. Residue contacts predicted by evolutionary covariance extend the application of ab initio molecular replacement to larger and more challenging protein folds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Felix Simkovic


    Full Text Available For many protein families, the deluge of new sequence information together with new statistical protocols now allow the accurate prediction of contacting residues from sequence information alone. This offers the possibility of more accurate ab initio (non-homology-based structure prediction. Such models can be used in structure solution by molecular replacement (MR where the target fold is novel or is only distantly related to known structures. Here, AMPLE, an MR pipeline that assembles search-model ensembles from ab initio structure predictions (`decoys', is employed to assess the value of contact-assisted ab initio models to the crystallographer. It is demonstrated that evolutionary covariance-derived residue–residue contact predictions improve the quality of ab initio models and, consequently, the success rate of MR using search models derived from them. For targets containing β-structure, decoy quality and MR performance were further improved by the use of a β-strand contact-filtering protocol. Such contact-guided decoys achieved 14 structure solutions from 21 attempted protein targets, compared with nine for simple Rosetta decoys. Previously encountered limitations were superseded in two key respects. Firstly, much larger targets of up to 221 residues in length were solved, which is far larger than the previously benchmarked threshold of 120 residues. Secondly, contact-guided decoys significantly improved success with β-sheet-rich proteins. Overall, the improved performance of contact-guided decoys suggests that MR is now applicable to a significantly wider range of protein targets than were previously tractable, and points to a direct benefit to structural biology from the recent remarkable advances in sequencing.

  14. Visualized and precise design of artificial small RNAs for regulating T7 RNA polymerase and enhancing recombinant protein folding in Escherichia coli

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yujia Zhao


    Full Text Available Small non-coding RNAs (sRNAs have received much attention in recent years due to their unique biological properties, which can efficiently and specifically tune target gene expressions in bacteria. Inspired by natural sRNAs, recent works have proposed the use of artificial sRNAs (asRNAs as genetic tools to regulate desired gene that has been applied in several fields, such as metabolic engineering and bacterial physiology studies. However, the rational design of asRNAs is still a challenge. In this study, we proposed structure and length as two criteria to implement rational visualized and precise design of asRNAs. T7 expression system was one of the most useful recombinant protein expression systems. However, it was deeply limited by the formation of inclusion body. To settle this problem, we designed a series of asRNAs to inhibit the T7 RNA polymerase (Gene1 expression to balance the rate between transcription and folding of recombinant protein. Based on the heterologous expression of Aspergillus oryzae Li-3 glucuronidase in E. coli, the asRNA-antigene1-17bp can effectively decrease the inclusion body and increase the enzyme activity by 169.9%.

  15. Compositional profile of α / β-hydrolase fold proteins in mangrove soil metagenomes: prevalence of epoxide hydrolases and haloalkane dehalogenases in oil-contaminated sites. (United States)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Ottoni, Júlia Ronzella; de Oliveira, Valéria Maia; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Andreote, Fernando Dini


    The occurrence of genes encoding biotechnologically relevant α/β-hydrolases in mangrove soil microbial communities was assessed using data obtained by whole-metagenome sequencing of four mangroves areas, denoted BrMgv01 to BrMgv04, in São Paulo, Brazil. The sequences (215 Mb in total) were filtered based on local amino acid alignments against the Lipase Engineering Database. In total, 5923 unassembled sequences were affiliated with 30 different α/β-hydrolase fold superfamilies. The most abundant predicted proteins encompassed cytosolic hydrolases (abH08; ∼ 23%), microsomal hydrolases (abH09; ∼ 12%) and Moraxella lipase-like proteins (abH04 and abH01; mangroves BrMgv01-02-03. This suggested selection and putative involvement in local degradation/detoxification of the pollutants. Seven sequences that were annotated as genes for putative epoxide hydrolases and five for putative haloalkane dehalogenases were found in a fosmid library generated from BrMgv02 DNA. The latter enzymes were predicted to belong to Actinobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Planctomycetes and Proteobacteria. Our integrated approach thus identified 12 genes (complete and/or partial) that may encode hitherto undescribed enzymes. The low amino acid identity (< 60%) with already-described genes opens perspectives for both production in an expression host and genetic screening of metagenomes. © 2014 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology.

  16. Compositional profile of α/β-hydrolase fold proteins in mangrove soil metagenomes: prevalence of epoxide hydrolases and haloalkane dehalogenases in oil-contaminated sites (United States)

    Jiménez, Diego Javier; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Ottoni, Júlia Ronzella; de Oliveira, Valéria Maia; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Andreote, Fernando Dini


    The occurrence of genes encoding biotechnologically relevant α/β-hydrolases in mangrove soil microbial communities was assessed using data obtained by whole-metagenome sequencing of four mangroves areas, denoted BrMgv01 to BrMgv04, in São Paulo, Brazil. The sequences (215 Mb in total) were filtered based on local amino acid alignments against the Lipase Engineering Database. In total, 5923 unassembled sequences were affiliated with 30 different α/β-hydrolase fold superfamilies. The most abundant predicted proteins encompassed cytosolic hydrolases (abH08; ∼ 23%), microsomal hydrolases (abH09; ∼ 12%) and Moraxella lipase-like proteins (abH04 and abH01; mangroves BrMgv01-02-03. This suggested selection and putative involvement in local degradation/detoxification of the pollutants. Seven sequences that were annotated as genes for putative epoxide hydrolases and five for putative haloalkane dehalogenases were found in a fosmid library generated from BrMgv02 DNA. The latter enzymes were predicted to belong to Actinobacteria, Deinococcus-Thermus, Planctomycetes and Proteobacteria. Our integrated approach thus identified 12 genes (complete and/or partial) that may encode hitherto undescribed enzymes. The low amino acid identity (< 60%) with already-described genes opens perspectives for both production in an expression host and genetic screening of metagenomes. PMID:25171437

  17. MiAMP1, a novel protein from macadamia integrifolia adopts a greek key β-barrel fold unique amongst plant antimicrobial proteins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McManus, A.M.; Nielsen, K.J.; Craik, D.J.; Marcus, J.P.; Harrison, S.J.; Green, J.L.; Manners, J.M.


    Full text: MiAMP1 is a recently discovered 76 amino acid, highly basic protein from the nut kernel of Macadamia integrifolia which possesses no sequence homology to any known protein. A study of its antimicrobial activity revealed that it inhibited the growth of several microbial plant pathogens in vitro but had no effect on mammalian or plant cells. For these reasons, MiAMP1 is considered to be a potentially useful tool for the genetic engineering of disease resistance in transgenic crop plants and for the design of new fungicides. The three-dimensional structure of MiAMP1 was determined through homonuclear and heteronuclear ( 15 N) 2D NMR spectroscopy and subsequent simulated annealing calculations. MiAMP1 is made up of eight β-strands which are arranged in two Greek key motifs. These Greek key motifs associate to form a Greek key β-barrel. This structure is unique amongst plant antimicrobial proteins and forms a new class which we term the β-Barrelins. Interestingly, the structure of MiAMP1 bears remarkable similarity to a yeast killer toxin from Williopsis mrakii. The structural similarity of MiAMP1 and WmKT, which originate from plant and fungal phyla respectively, may reflect a similar mode of action

  18. Graph-representation of oxidative folding pathways

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaján László


    Full Text Available Abstract Background The process of oxidative folding combines the formation of native disulfide bond with conformational folding resulting in the native three-dimensional fold. Oxidative folding pathways can be described in terms of disulfide intermediate species (DIS which can also be isolated and characterized. Each DIS corresponds to a family of folding states (conformations that the given DIS can adopt in three dimensions. Results The oxidative folding space can be represented as a network of DIS states interconnected by disulfide interchange reactions that can either create/abolish or rearrange disulfide bridges. We propose a simple 3D representation wherein the states having the same number of disulfide bridges are placed on separate planes. In this representation, the shuffling transitions are within the planes, and the redox edges connect adjacent planes. In a number of experimentally studied cases (bovine pancreatic trypsin inhibitor, insulin-like growth factor and epidermal growth factor, the observed intermediates appear as part of contiguous oxidative folding pathways. Conclusions Such networks can be used to visualize folding pathways in terms of the experimentally observed intermediates. A simple visualization template written for the Tulip package can be obtained from V.A.

  19. The Structure of Rauvolfia serpentina Strictosidine Synthase Is a Novel Six-Bladed β-Propeller Fold in Plant Proteins[W (United States)

    Ma, Xueyan; Panjikar, Santosh; Koepke, Juergen; Loris, Elke; Stöckigt, Joachim


    The enzyme strictosidine synthase (STR1) from the Indian medicinal plant Rauvolfia serpentina is of primary importance for the biosynthetic pathway of the indole alkaloid ajmaline. Moreover, STR1 initiates all biosynthetic pathways leading to the entire monoterpenoid indole alkaloid family representing an enormous structural variety of ∼2000 compounds in higher plants. The crystal structures of STR1 in complex with its natural substrates tryptamine and secologanin provide structural understanding of the observed substrate preference and identify residues lining the active site surface that contact the substrates. STR1 catalyzes a Pictet-Spengler–type reaction and represents a novel six-bladed β-propeller fold in plant proteins. Structure-based sequence alignment revealed a common repetitive sequence motif (three hydrophobic residues are followed by a small residue and a hydrophilic residue), indicating a possible evolutionary relationship between STR1 and several sequence-unrelated six-bladed β-propeller structures. Structural analysis and site-directed mutagenesis experiments demonstrate the essential role of Glu-309 in catalysis. The data will aid in deciphering the details of the reaction mechanism of STR1 as well as other members of this enzyme family. PMID:16531499

  20. The inverted chevron plot measured by NMR relaxation reveals a native-like unfolding intermediate in acyl-CoA binding protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teilum, Kaare; Poulsen, F. M.; Akke, M.


    those from stopped-flow kinetics and define an "inverted chevron" plot. The combination of NMR relaxation and stopped-flow kinetic measurements allowed determination of k f and k u in the range from 0.48 M GuHCl to 1.28 M GuHCl. Individually, the stopped-flow and NMR data fit two-state models...... for folding. However, although the values of k f determined by the two methods agree, the values of k u do not. As a result, a combined analysis of all data does not comply with a two-state model but indicates that an unfolding intermediate exists on the native side of the dominant energy barrier...

  1. Two novel variants of human medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD). K364R, a folding mutation, and R256T, a catalytic-site mutation resulting in a well-folded but totally inactive protein

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O'Reilly, Linda P; Andresen, Brage S; Engel, Paul C


    was again totally inactive. Neither mutant showed marked depletion of FAD. The pure K364R protein was considerably less thermostable than wild-type MCAD. Western blots indicated that, although the R256T mutant protein is less thermostable than normal MCAD, it is much more stable than K364R. Though......Two novel rare mutations, MCAD approximately 842G-->C (R256T) and MCAD approximately 1166A-->G (K364R), have been investigated to assess how far the biochemical properties of the mutant proteins correlate with the clinical phenotype of medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency. When...... the gene for K364R was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, the synthesized mutant protein only exhibited activity when the gene for chaperonin GroELS was co-overexpressed. Levels of activity correlated with the amounts of native MCAD protein visible in western blots. The R256T mutant, by contrast, displayed...

  2. Suicide inactivation of cytochrome P-450 by methoxsalen. Evidence for the covalent binding of a reactive intermediate to the protein moiety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Labbe, G.; Descatoire, V.; Beaune, P.; Letteron, P.; Larrey, D.; Pessayre, D.


    Incubation of rat liver microsomes with [3H]methoxsalen and NADPH resulted in the covalent binding of a methoxsalen intermediate to proteins comigrating with cytochromes P-450 UT-A, PB-B/D, ISF-G and PCN-E. Binding was increased by pretreatments with phenobarbital, beta-naphthoflavone (beta NF) and dexamethasone. Such pretreatments also increased the loss of CO-binding capacity either after administration of methoxsalen, or after incubation of hepatic microsomes with methoxsalen and NADPH. Immunoprecipitation of the methoxsalen metabolite-protein adducts in phenobarbital-induced microsomes was moderate with anti-UT-A antibodies, but marked with anti-PB-B/D and anti-PCN-E antibodies. Immunoprecipitation was observed also with anti-ISF-G (anti-beta NF-B) antibodies in beta NF-induced microsomes. Methoxsalen (0.25 mM) inhibited markedly the benzphetamine demethylase activity of phenobarbital-induced microsomes and the erythromycin demethylase activity of dexamethasone-induced microsomes. Whereas methoxsalen itself did not produce any binding spectrum, in contrast either in vivo administration of methoxsalen or incubation in vitro with methoxsalen and NADPH resulted in a low-to-high spin conversion of cytochrome P-450 as suggested by the appearance of a spectrum analogous to a type I binding spectrum. This low-to-high spin conversion was apparently due to a methoxsalen intermediate (probably, covalently bound to the protein and preventing partial sixth ligation of the iron). We conclude that suicide inactivation of cytochrome P-450 by methoxsalen is related to the covalent binding of a methoxsalen intermediate to the protein moiety of several cytochrome P-450 isoenzymes (including UT-A, PB-B/D, PCN-E as well as ISF-G and/or beta NF-B)

  3. Vocal Fold Paralysis (United States)

    ... here Home » Health Info » Voice, Speech, and Language Vocal Fold Paralysis On this page: What is vocal fold ... Where can I get additional information? What is vocal fold paralysis? Structures involved in speech and voice production ...

  4. Flips for 3-folds and 4-folds

    CERN Document Server

    Corti, Alessio


    This edited collection of chapters, authored by leading experts, provides a complete and essentially self-contained construction of 3-fold and 4-fold klt flips. A large part of the text is a digest of Shokurov's work in the field and a concise, complete and pedagogical proof of the existence of 3-fold flips is presented. The text includes a ten page glossary and is accessible to students and researchers in algebraic geometry.

  5. C-terminus of the P4-ATPase ATP8A2 functions in protein folding and regulation of phospholipid flippase activity. (United States)

    Chalat, Madhavan; Moleschi, Kody; Molday, Robert S


    ATP8A2 is a P4-ATPase that flips phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine across cell membranes. This generates membrane phospholipid asymmetry, a property important in many cellular processes, including vesicle trafficking. ATP8A2 deficiency causes severe neurodegenerative diseases. We investigated the role of the C-terminus of ATP8A2 in its expression, subcellular localization, interaction with its subunit CDC50A, and function as a phosphatidylserine flippase. C-terminal deletion mutants exhibited a reduced tendency to solubilize in mild detergent and exit the endoplasmic reticulum. The solubilized protein, however, assembled with CDC50A and displayed phosphatidylserine flippase activity. Deletion of the C-terminal 33 residues resulted in reduced phosphatidylserine-dependent ATPase activity, phosphatidylserine flippase activity, and neurite extension in PC12 cells. These reduced activities were reversed with 60- and 80-residue C-terminal deletions. Unlike the yeast P4-ATPase Drs2, ATP8A2 is not regulated by phosphoinositides but undergoes phosphorylation on the serine residue within a CaMKII target motif. We propose a model in which the C-terminus of ATP8A2 consists of an autoinhibitor domain upstream of the C-terminal 33 residues and an anti-autoinhibitor domain at the extreme C-terminus. The latter blocks the inhibitory activity of the autoinhibitor domain. We conclude that the C-terminus plays an important role in the efficient folding and regulation of ATP8A2. © 2017 Chalat et al. This article is distributed by The American Society for Cell Biology under license from the author(s). Two months after publication it is available to the public under an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 3.0 Unported Creative Commons License (

  6. Whereas Short-Term Facilitation Is Presynaptic, Intermediate-Term Facilitation Involves Both Presynaptic and Postsynaptic Protein Kinases and Protein Synthesis (United States)

    Jin, Iksung; Kandel, Eric R.; Hawkins, Robert D.


    Whereas short-term plasticity involves covalent modifications that are generally restricted to either presynaptic or postsynaptic structures, long-term plasticity involves the growth of new synapses, which by its nature involves both pre- and postsynaptic alterations. In addition, an intermediate-term stage of plasticity has been identified that…

  7. Synchrotron radiation circular dichroism spectroscopy study of recombinant T β4 folding (United States)

    Huang, Yung-Chin; Chu, Hsueh-Liang; Chen, Peng-Jen; Chang, Chia-Ching

    Thymosin beta 4 (T β4) is a 43-amino acid small peptide, has been demonstrated that it can promote cardiac repair, wound repair, tissue protection, and involve in the proliferation of blood cell precursor stem cells of bone marrow. Moreover, T β4 has been identified as a multifunction intrinsically disordered protein, which is lacking the stable tertiary structure. Owing to the small size and disordered character, the T β4 protein degrades rapidly and the storage condition is critical. Therefore, it is not easy to reveal its folding mechanism of native T β4. However, recombinant T β4 protein (rT β4), which fused with a 5-kDa peptide in its amino-terminal, is stable and possesses identical function of T β4. Therefore, rT β4 can be used to study its folding mechanism. By using over-critical folding process, stable folding intermediates of rT β4 can be obtained. Structure analysis of folding intermediates by synchrotron radiation circular dichroism (SRCD) and fluorescence spectroscopies indicate that rT β4 is a random coli major protein and its hydrophobic region becomes compact gradually. Moreover, the rT β4 folding is a two state transition. Thermal denaturation analysis indicates that rT β4 lacks stable tertiary structure. These results indicated that rT β4, similar to T β4, is an intrinsically disordered protein. Research is supported by MOST, Taiwan. MOST 103-2112-M-009-011-MY3. Corresponding author: Chia-Ching Chang;

  8. Covering folded shapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oswin Aichholzer


    Full Text Available Can folding a piece of paper flat make it larger? We explore whether a shape S must be scaled to cover a flat-folded copy of itself. We consider both single folds and arbitrary folds (continuous piecewise isometries \\(S\\to\\mathbb{R}^2\\. The underlying problem is motivated by computational origami, and is related to other covering and fixturing problems, such as Lebesgue's universal cover problem and force closure grasps. In addition to considering special shapes (squares, equilateral triangles, polygons and disks, we give upper and lower bounds on scale factors for single folds of convex objects and arbitrary folds of simply connected objects.

  9. Effects of addition of hydrocolloids on the textural and structural properties of high-protein intermediate moisture food model systems containing sodium caseinate. (United States)

    Li, J; Wu, Y; Ma, Y; Lu, N; Regenstein, J M; Zhou, P


    High-protein intermediate moisture food (HPIMF) containing sodium caseinate (NaCN) often gave a harder texture compared with that made from whey proteins or soy proteins, due to the aggregation of protein particles. The objectives of this study were to explore whether the addition of hydrocolloids could soften the texture and illustrate the possible mechanism. Three kinds of hydrocolloids, xanthan gum, κ-carrageenan, and gum arabic were chosen, and samples including of these three kinds of hydrocolloids were studied through texture analysis using a TPA test and microstructure observation by confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The texture analysis results showed that xanthan gum was more effective at softening the HPIMF containing NaCN compared to κ-carrageenan and gum arabic. In addition, with the increase of xanthan gum concentration from 0.2 to 2%, the HPIMF matrix became softer, and fractures were observed during the compression for samples with xanthan gum added at low concentrations but not 2%. Microstructure observation suggested that the matrix originally dominated by the network formed through the aggregation of swollen protein particles was inhibited by the addition of xanthan gum, resulting in the softening of the texture and also contributing to the fracture during compression. With the increase of xanthan gum concentration up to 2%, the protein dominating network would be gradually replaced with a matrix dominated by the newly formed network of xanthan gum with protein particles as fillers. Furthermore, this formation of a xanthan gum dominating network structure also resulted in changes in small molecule distribution, as observed using low-field NMR.

  10. Intermediate Fragment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kruse Aagaard, Anders


    This text and its connected exhibition are aiming to reflect both on the thoughts, the processes and the outcome of the design and production of the artefact ‘Intermediate Fragment’ and making as a contemporary architectural tool in general. Intermediate Fragment was made for the exhibition ‘Enga...... of realising an exhibition object was conceived, but expanded, refined and concretised through this process. The context of the work shown here is an interest in a tighter, deeper connection between experimentally obtained material knowledge and architectural design....

  11. Covisualization in living onion cells of putative integrin, putative spectrin, actin, putative intermediate filaments, and other proteins at the cell membrane and in an endomembrane sheath (United States)

    Reuzeau, C.; Doolittle, K. W.; McNally, J. G.; Pickard, B. G.; Evans, M. L. (Principal Investigator)


    Covisualizations with wide-field computational optical-sectioning microscopy of living epidermal cells of the onion bulb scale have evidenced two major new cellular features. First, a sheath of cytoskeletal elements clads the endomembrane system. Similar elements clad the inner faces of punctate plasmalemmal sites interpreted as plasmalemmal control centers. One component of the endomembrane sheath and plasmalemmal control center cladding is anti-genicity-recognized by two injected antibodies against animal spectrin. Immunoblots of separated epidermal protein also showed bands recognized by these antibodies. Injected phalloidin identified F-actin with the same cellular distribution pattern, as did antibodies against intermediate-filament protein and other cytoskeletal elements known from animal cells. Injection of general protein stains demonstrated the abundance of endomembrane sheath protein. Second, the endomembrane system, like the plasmalemmal puncta, contains antigen recognized by an anti-beta 1 integrin injected into the cytoplasm. Previously, immunoblots of separated epidermal protein were shown to have a major band recognized both by this antibody prepared against a peptide representing the cytosolic region of beta 1 integrin and an antibody against the matrix region of beta 1 integrin. The latter antiboby also identified puncta at the external face of protoplasts. It is proposed that integrin and associated transmembrane proteins secure the endomembrane sheath and transmit signals between it and the lumen or matrix of the endoplasmic reticulum and organellar matrices. This function is comparable to that proposed for such transmembrane linkers in the plasmalemmal control centers, which also appear to bind cytoskeleton and a host of related molecules and transmit signals between them and the wall matrix. It is at the plasmalemmal control centers that the endoplasmic reticulum, a major component of the endomembrane system, attaches to the plasma membrane.

  12. Effect of point substitutions within the minimal DNA-binding domain of xeroderma pigmentosum group A protein on interaction with DNA intermediates of nucleotide excision repair. (United States)

    Maltseva, E A; Krasikova, Y S; Naegeli, H; Lavrik, O I; Rechkunova, N I


    Xeroderma pigmentosum factor A (XPA) is one of the key proteins in the nucleotide excision repair (NER) process. The effects of point substitutions in the DNA-binding domain of XPA (positively charged lysine residues replaced by negatively charged glutamate residues: XPA K204E, K179E, K141E, and tandem mutant K141E/K179E) on the interaction of the protein with DNA structures modeling intermediates of the damage recognition and pre-incision stages in NER were analyzed. All these mutations decreased the affinity of the protein to DNA, the effect depending on the substitution and the DNA structure. The mutant as well as wild-type proteins bind with highest efficiency partly open damaged DNA duplex, and the affinity of the mutants to this DNA is reduced in the order: K204E > K179E > K141E = K141/179E. For all the mutants, decrease in DNA binding efficiency was more pronounced in the case of full duplex and single-stranded DNA than with bubble-DNA structure, the difference between protein affinities to different DNA structures increasing as DNA binding activity of the mutant decreased. No effect of the studied XPA mutations on the location of the protein on the partially open DNA duplex was observed using photoinduced crosslinking with 5-I-dUMP in different positions of the damaged DNA strand. These results combined with earlier published data suggest no direct correlation between DNA binding and activity in NER for these XPA mutants.

  13. New variants of known folds: do they bring new biology?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koonin, Eugene V.


    New distinct versions of known protein folds provide a powerful means of protein-function prediction that complements sequence and genomic context analysis. New distinct versions of known protein folds provide a powerful means of protein-function prediction that complements sequence and genomic context analysis. These structures do not supplant direct biochemical experiments, but are indispensable for the complete characterization of proteins

  14. Insights into enzyme-substrate interaction and characterization of catalytic al intermediates of a Xylella Fastidiosa antioxidant protein

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliveira, Marcos Antonio de; Cussiol, Jose Renato Rosa; Soares Netto, Luis Eduardo; Guimaraes, Beatriz Gomes; Medrano, Francisco Javier; Gozzo, Fabio Cesar


    Plants and animals have developed various strategies to defend themselves from pathogens. One of them is the generation of oxidants such as organic Hydroperoxides (OHP). OHP can be generated through free radicals as well as enzymatic oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids. To counteract this oxidative stress, bacteria have evolved several antioxidant mechanisms. Organic hydroperoxide resistance protein (Ohr) was initially identified as a factor involved in the resistance of bacteria, most of them pathogenic, to OHP, but not H 2 O 2 . We have cloned Ohr gene from Xylella fastidiosa and expressed in in Escherichia coli. The biochemical role of Ohr remained unknown for a long time until this work and the work of Nikolov's group (Cornell University, New York) independently showed that these proteins are thiol dependent peroxidases, whose activity is generated by a reactive cysteine. (author)

  15. Insights into enzyme-substrate interaction and characterization of catalytic al intermediates of a Xylella Fastidiosa antioxidant protein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, Marcos Antonio de; Cussiol, Jose Renato Rosa; Soares Netto, Luis Eduardo [Sao Paulo Univ. (USP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Biociencias. Dept. de Genetica e Biologia Evolutiva; Guimaraes, Beatriz Gomes; Medrano, Francisco Javier; Gozzo, Fabio Cesar [Laboratorio Nacional de Luz Sincrotron (LNLS), Campinas, SP (Brazil). Centro de Biologia Molecular Estrutural


    Plants and animals have developed various strategies to defend themselves from pathogens. One of them is the generation of oxidants such as organic Hydroperoxides (OHP). OHP can be generated through free radicals as well as enzymatic oxidation of unsaturated fatty acids. To counteract this oxidative stress, bacteria have evolved several antioxidant mechanisms. Organic hydroperoxide resistance protein (Ohr) was initially identified as a factor involved in the resistance of bacteria, most of them pathogenic, to OHP, but not H{sub 2}O{sub 2}. We have cloned Ohr gene from Xylella fastidiosa and expressed in in Escherichia coli. The biochemical role of Ohr remained unknown for a long time until this work and the work of Nikolov's group (Cornell University, New York) independently showed that these proteins are thiol dependent peroxidases, whose activity is generated by a reactive cysteine. (author)

  16. Mutation in cyclophilin B that causes hyperelastosis cutis in American Quarter Horse does not affect peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase activity but shows altered cyclophilin B-protein interactions and affects collagen folding. (United States)

    Ishikawa, Yoshihiro; Vranka, Janice A; Boudko, Sergei P; Pokidysheva, Elena; Mizuno, Kazunori; Zientek, Keith; Keene, Douglas R; Rashmir-Raven, Ann M; Nagata, Kazuhiro; Winand, Nena J; Bächinger, Hans Peter


    The rate-limiting step of folding of the collagen triple helix is catalyzed by cyclophilin B (CypB). The G6R mutation in cyclophilin B found in the American Quarter Horse leads to autosomal recessive hyperelastosis cutis, also known as hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia. The mutant protein shows small structural changes in the region of the mutation at the side opposite the catalytic domain of CypB. The peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase activity of the mutant CypB is normal when analyzed in vitro. However, the biosynthesis of type I collagen in affected horse fibroblasts shows a delay in folding and secretion and a decrease in hydroxylysine and glucosyl-galactosyl hydroxylysine. This leads to changes in the structure of collagen fibrils in tendon, similar to those observed in P3H1 null mice. In contrast to cyclophilin B null mice, where little 3-hydroxylation was found in type I collagen, 3-hydroxylation of type I collagen in affected horses is normal. The mutation disrupts the interaction of cyclophilin B with the P-domain of calreticulin, with lysyl hydroxylase 1, and probably other proteins, such as the formation of the P3H1·CypB·cartilage-associated protein complex, resulting in less effective catalysis of the rate-limiting step in collagen folding in the rough endoplasmic reticulum.

  17. Mutation in Cyclophilin B That Causes Hyperelastosis Cutis in American Quarter Horse Does Not Affect Peptidylprolyl cis-trans Isomerase Activity but Shows Altered Cyclophilin B-Protein Interactions and Affects Collagen Folding* (United States)

    Ishikawa, Yoshihiro; Vranka, Janice A.; Boudko, Sergei P.; Pokidysheva, Elena; Mizuno, Kazunori; Zientek, Keith; Keene, Douglas R.; Rashmir-Raven, Ann M.; Nagata, Kazuhiro; Winand, Nena J.; Bächinger, Hans Peter


    The rate-limiting step of folding of the collagen triple helix is catalyzed by cyclophilin B (CypB). The G6R mutation in cyclophilin B found in the American Quarter Horse leads to autosomal recessive hyperelastosis cutis, also known as hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia. The mutant protein shows small structural changes in the region of the mutation at the side opposite the catalytic domain of CypB. The peptidylprolyl cis-trans isomerase activity of the mutant CypB is normal when analyzed in vitro. However, the biosynthesis of type I collagen in affected horse fibroblasts shows a delay in folding and secretion and a decrease in hydroxylysine and glucosyl-galactosyl hydroxylysine. This leads to changes in the structure of collagen fibrils in tendon, similar to those observed in P3H1 null mice. In contrast to cyclophilin B null mice, where little 3-hydroxylation was found in type I collagen, 3-hydroxylation of type I collagen in affected horses is normal. The mutation disrupts the interaction of cyclophilin B with the P-domain of calreticulin, with lysyl hydroxylase 1, and probably other proteins, such as the formation of the P3H1·CypB·cartilage-associated protein complex, resulting in less effective catalysis of the rate-limiting step in collagen folding in the rough endoplasmic reticulum. PMID:22556420

  18. Role of Intermediate Filaments in Vesicular Traffic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azzurra Margiotta


    Full Text Available Intermediate filaments are an important component of the cellular cytoskeleton. The first established role attributed to intermediate filaments was the mechanical support to cells. However, it is now clear that intermediate filaments have many different roles affecting a variety of other biological functions, such as the organization of microtubules and microfilaments, the regulation of nuclear structure and activity, the control of cell cycle and the regulation of signal transduction pathways. Furthermore, a number of intermediate filament proteins have been involved in the acquisition of tumorigenic properties. Over the last years, a strong involvement of intermediate filament proteins in the regulation of several aspects of intracellular trafficking has strongly emerged. Here, we review the functions of intermediate filaments proteins focusing mainly on the recent knowledge gained from the discovery that intermediate filaments associate with key proteins of the vesicular membrane transport machinery. In particular, we analyze the current understanding of the contribution of intermediate filaments to the endocytic pathway.

  19. Purification of correctly oxidized MHC class I heavy-chain molecules under denaturing conditions: a novel strategy exploiting disulfide assisted protein folding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferré, Henrik; Ruffet, Emmanuel; Blicher, Thomas


    The aim of this study has been to develop a strategy for purifying correctly oxidized denatured major histocompability complex class I (MHC-I) heavy-chain molecules, which on dilution, fold efficiently and become functional. Expression of heavy-chain molecules in bacteria results in the formation...... of insoluble cellular inclusion bodies, which must be solubilized under denaturing conditions. Their subsequent purification and refolding is complicated by the fact that (1). correct folding can only take place in combined presence of beta(2)-microglobulin and a binding peptide; and (2). optimal in vitro...... conditions for disulfide bond formation ( approximately pH 8) and peptide binding ( approximately pH 6.6) are far from complementary. Here we present a two-step strategy, which relies on uncoupling the events of disulfide bond formation and peptide binding. In the first phase, heavy-chain molecules...

  20. Purification of correctly oxidized MHC class I heavy-chain molecules under denaturing conditions: A novel strategy exploiting disulfide assisted protein folding

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ferré, Henrik; Ruffet, E.; Blicher, T.


    The aim of this study has been to develop a strategy for purifying correctly oxidized denatured major histocompability complex class I (MHC-I) heavy-chain molecules, which on dilution, fold efficiently and become functional. Expression of heavy-chain molecules in bacteria results in the formation...... of insoluble cellular inclusion bodies, which must be solubilized under denaturing conditions. Their subsequent purification and refolding is complicated by the fact that (1) correct folding can only take place in combined presence of beta(2)-microglobulin and a binding peptide; and (2) optimal in vitro...... conditions for disulfide bond formation (similar topH 8) and peptide binding (similar topH 6.6) are far from complementary. Here we present a two-step strategy, which relies on uncoupling the events of disulfide bond formation and peptide binding. In the first phase, heavy-chain molecules with correct...

  1. Prediction of folding preference of 10 kDa silk-like proteins using a Lego approach and ab initio calculations. (United States)

    Pohl, Gábor; Beke, Tamás; Borbély, János; Perczel, András


    Because of their great flexibility and strength resistance, both spider silks and silkworm silks are of increasing scientific and commercial interest. Despite numerous spectroscopic and theoretical studies, several structural properties at the atomic level have yet to be identified. The present theoretical investigation focuses on these issues by studying three silk-like model peptides: (AG)(64), [(AG)(4)EG](16), and [(AG)(4)PEG](16), using a Lego-type approach to construct these polypeptides. On the basis of these examples it is shown that thermoneutral isodesmic reactions and ab initio calculations provide a capable method to investigate structural properties of repetitive polypeptides. The most probable overall fold schema of these molecules with respect to the type of embedded hairpin structures were determined at the ab initio level of theory (RHF/6-311++G(d,p)//RHF/3-21G). Further on, analysis is carried out on the possible hairpin and turn regions and on their effect on the global fold. In the case of the (AG)(64) model peptide, the optimal beta-sheet/turn ratio was also determined, which provided good support for experimental observations. In addition, lateral shearing of a hairpin "folding unit" was investigated at the quantum chemical level to explain the mechanical properties of spider silk. The unique mechanical characteristics of silk bio-compounds are now investigated at the atomic level.

  2. The Structure of the Neurotoxin- Associated Protein HA33/A from Clostridium botulinum Suggests a Reoccurring Beta-Trefoil Fold in the Progenitor Toxin Complex

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Arndt, Joseph W; Gu, Jenny; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Schwarzenbacher, Robert; Hanson, Michael A; Lebeda, Frank L; Stevens, Raymond C


    The hemagglutinating protein HA33 from Clostridium botulinum is associated with the large botulinum neurotoxin secreted complexes and is critical in toxin protection, internalization, and possibly activation...

  3. Fast events in protein folding: structural volume changes accompanying the early events in the N-->I transition of apomyoglobin induced by ultrafast pH jump.


    Abbruzzetti, S; Crema, E; Masino, L; Vecli, A; Viappiani, C; Small, J R; Libertini, L J; Small, E W


    Ultrafast, laser-induced pH jump with time-resolved photoacoustic detection has been used to investigate the early protonation steps leading to the formation of the compact acid intermediate (I) of apomyoglobin (ApoMb). When ApoMb is in its native state (N) at pH 7.0, rapid acidification induced by a laser pulse leads to two parallel protonation processes. One reaction can be attributed to the binding of protons to the imidazole rings of His24 and His119. Reaction with imidazole leads to an u...

  4. Protein changes associated with reprotonation of the Schiff base in the photocycle of Asp96-->Asn bacteriorhodopsin. The MN intermediate with unprotonated Schiff base but N-like protein structure (United States)

    Sasaki, J.; Shichida, Y.; Lanyi, J. K.; Maeda, A.


    The difference Fourier transform infrared spectrum for the N intermediate in the photoreaction of the light-adapted form of bacteriorhodopsin can be recorded at pH 10 at 274 K (Pfefferle, J.-M., Maeda, A., Sasaki, J., and Yoshizawa, T. (1991) Biochemistry 30, 6548-6556). Under these conditions, Asp96-->Asn bacteriorhodopsin gives a photoproduct which shows changes in protein structure similar to those observed in N of wild-type bacteriorhodopsin. However, decreased intensity of the chromophore bands and the single absorbance maximum at about 400 nm indicate that the Schiff base is unprotonated, as in the M intermediate. This photoproduct was named MN. At pH 7, where the supply of proton is not as restricted as at pH 10, Asp96-->Asn bacteriorhodopsin yields N with a protonated Schiff base. The Asn96 residue, which cannot deprotonate as Asp96 in wild-type bacteriorhodopsin, is perturbed upon formation of both MN at pH 10 and N at pH 7. We suggest that the reprotonation of the Schiff base is preceded by a large change in the protein structure including perturbation of the residue at position 96.

  5. The calcium-modulated proteins, S100A1 and S100B, as potential regulators of the dynamics of type III intermediate filaments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Garbuglia


    Full Text Available The Ca2+-modulated, dimeric proteins of the EF-hand (helix-loop-helix type, S100A1 and S100B, that have been shown to inhibit microtubule (MT protein assembly and to promote MT disassembly, interact with the type III intermediate filament (IF subunits, desmin and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP, with a stoichiometry of 2 mol of IF subunit/mol of S100A1 or S100B dimer and an affinity of 0.5-1.0 µM in the presence of a few micromolar concentrations of Ca2+. Binding of S100A1 and S100B results in inhibition of desmin and GFAP assemblies into IFs and stimulation of the disassembly of preformed desmin and GFAP IFs. S100A1 and S100B interact with a stretch of residues in the N-terminal (head domain of desmin and GFAP, thereby blocking the head-to-tail process of IF elongation. The C-terminal extension of S100A1 (and, likely, S100B represents a critical part of the site that recognizes desmin and GFAP. S100B is localized to IFs within cells, suggesting that it might have a role in remodeling IFs upon elevation of cytosolic Ca2+ concentration by avoiding excess IF assembly and/or promoting IF disassembly in vivo. S100A1, that is not localized to IFs, might also play a role in the regulation of IF dynamics by binding to and sequestering unassembled IF subunits. Together, these observations suggest that S100A1 and S100B may be regarded as Ca2+-dependent regulators of the state of assembly of two important elements of the cytoskeleton, IFs and MTs, and, potentially, of MT- and IF-based activities.

  6. Intermediate uveitis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Babu B


    Full Text Available Intermediate uveitis (IU is described as inflammation in the anterior vitreous, ciliary body and the peripheral retina. In the Standardization of Uveitis Nomenclature (SUN working group′s international workshop for reporting clinical data the consensus reached was that the term IU should be used for that subset of uveitis where the vitreous is the major site of the inflammation and if there is an associated infection (for example, Lyme disease or systemic disease (for example, sarcoidosis. The diagnostic term pars planitis should be used only for that subset of IU where there is snow bank or snowball formation occurring in the absence of an associated infection or systemic disease (that is, "idiopathic". This article discusses the clinical features, etiology, pathogenesis, investigations and treatment of IU.

  7. NoFold: RNA structure clustering without folding or alignment. (United States)

    Middleton, Sarah A; Kim, Junhyong


    Structures that recur across multiple different transcripts, called structure motifs, often perform a similar function-for example, recruiting a specific RNA-binding protein that then regulates translation, splicing, or subcellular localization. Identifying common motifs between coregulated transcripts may therefore yield significant insight into their binding partners and mechanism of regulation. However, as most methods for clustering structures are based on folding individual sequences or doing many pairwise alignments, this results in a tradeoff between speed and accuracy that can be problematic for large-scale data sets. Here we describe a novel method for comparing and characterizing RNA secondary structures that does not require folding or pairwise alignment of the input sequences. Our method uses the idea of constructing a distance function between two objects by their respective distances to a collection of empirical examples or models, which in our case consists of 1973 Rfam family covariance models. Using this as a basis for measuring structural similarity, we developed a clustering pipeline called NoFold to automatically identify and annotate structure motifs within large sequence data sets. We demonstrate that NoFold can simultaneously identify multiple structure motifs with an average sensitivity of 0.80 and precision of 0.98 and generally exceeds the performance of existing methods. We also perform a cross-validation analysis of the entire set of Rfam families, achieving an average sensitivity of 0.57. We apply NoFold to identify motifs enriched in dendritically localized transcripts and report 213 enriched motifs, including both known and novel structures. © 2014 Middleton and Kim; Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press for the RNA Society.

  8. Crystal structures of MW1337R and lin2004: Representatives of a novel protein family that adopt a four-helical bundle fold

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kozbial, Piotr; Xu, Qingping; Chiu, Hsiu-Ju; McMullan, Daniel; Krishna, S. Sri; Miller, Mitchell D.; Abdubek, Polat; Acosta, Claire; Astakhova, Tamara; Axelrod, Herbert L.; Carlton, Dennis; Clayton, Thomas; Deller, Marc; Duan, Lian; Elias, Ylva; Elsliger, Marc-André; Feuerhelm, Julie; Grzechnik, Slawomir K.; Hale, Joanna; Han, Gye Won; Jaroszewski, Lukasz; Jin, Kevin K.; Klock, Heath E.; Knuth, Mark W.; Koesema, Eric; Kumar, Abhinav; Marciano, David; Morse, Andrew T.; Murphy, Kevin D.; Nigoghossian, Edward; Okach, Linda; Oommachen, Silvya; Reyes, Ron; Rife, Christopher L.; Spraggon, Glen; Trout, Christina V.; ban den Bedem, Henry; Weekes, Dana; White, Aprilfawn; Wolf, Guenter; Zubieta, Chloe; Hodgson, Keith O.; Wooley, John; Deacon, Ashley M.; Godzik, Adam; Lesley, Scott A.; Wilson, Ian A. (Scripps); (SSRL); (JCSG); (UCSD); (Burnham)


    To extend the structural coverage of proteins with unknown functions, we targeted a novel protein family (Pfam accession number PF08807, DUF1798) for which we proposed and determined the structures of two representative members. The MW1337R gene of Staphylococcus aureus subsp. aureus Rosenbach (Wood 46) encodes a protein with a molecular weight of 13.8 kDa (residues 1-116) and a calculated isoelectric point of 5.15. The lin2004 gene of the nonspore-forming bacterium Listeria innocua Clip11262 encodes a protein with a molecular weight of 14.6 kDa (residues 1-121) and a calculated isoelectric point of 5.45. MW1337R and lin2004, as well as their homologs, which, so far, have been found only in Bacillus, Staphylococcus, Listeria, and related genera (Geobacillus, Exiguobacterium, and Oceanobacillus), have unknown functions and are annotated as hypothetical proteins. The genomic contexts of MW1337R and lin2004 are similar and conserved in related species. In prokaryotic genomes, most often, functionally interacting proteins are coded by genes, which are colocated in conserved operons. Proteins from the same operon as MW1337R and lin2004 either have unknown functions (i.e., belong to DUF1273, Pfam accession number PF06908) or are similar to ypsB from Bacillus subtilis. The function of ypsB is unclear, although it has a strong similarity to the N-terminal region of DivIVA, which was characterized as a bifunctional protein with distinct roles during vegetative growth and sporulation. In addition, members of the DUF1273 family display distant sequence similarity with the DprA/Smf protein, which acts downstream of the DNA uptake machinery, possibly in conjunction with RecA. The RecA activities in Bacillus subtilis are modulated by RecU Holliday-junction resolvase. In all analyzed cases, the gene coding for RecU is in the vicinity of MW1337R, lin2004, or their orthologs, but on a different operon located in the complementary DNA strand. Here, we report the crystal structures

  9. Effects of Metal Ions, Temperature, and a Denaturant on the Oxidative Folding Pathways of Bovine α-Lactalbumin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reina Shinozaki


    Full Text Available Bovine α-lactalbumin (αLA has four disulfide (SS bonds in the native form (N. On the oxidative folding pathways of this protein, two specific SS folding intermediates, i.e., (61–77, 73–91 and des[6–120], which have two and three native SS bonds, respectively, accumulate predominantly in the presence of Ca2+. In this study, we reinvestigated the pathways using a water-soluble cyclic selenoxide reagent, trans-3,4-dihydroxyselenolane oxide (DHSox, as a strong and quantitative oxidant to oxidize the fully reduced form (R. In the presence of ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA (under a metal-free condition, SS formation randomly proceeded, and N did not regenerate. On the other hand, two specific SS intermediates transiently generated in the presence of Ca2+. These intermediates could be assigned to (61–77, 73–91 and des[6–120] having two common SS bonds, i.e., Cys61-Cys77 and Cys73-Cys91, near the calcium binding pocket of the β-sheet domain. Much faster folding to N was observed in the presence of Mn2+, whereas Na+, K+, Mg2+, and Zn2+ did not affect the pathways. The two key intermediates were susceptible to temperature and a denaturant. The oxidative folding pathways revealed were significantly different from those of hen egg white lysozyme, which has the same SS-bonding pattern as αLA, suggesting that the folding pathways of SS-containing proteins can alter depending on the amino acid sequence and other factors, even when the SS-bond topologies are similar to each other.

  10. A 28-fold increase in secretory protein synthesis is associated with DNA puff activity in the salivary gland of Bradysia hygida (Diptera, Sciaridae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    de-Almeida J.C.


    Full Text Available When the first group of DNA puffs is active in the salivary gland regions S1 and S3 of Bradysia hygida larvae, there is a large increase in the production and secretion of new salivary proteins demonstrable by [3H]-Leu incorporation. The present study shows that protein separation by SDS-PAGE and detection by fluorography demonstrated that these polypeptides range in molecular mass from about 23 to 100 kDa. Furthermore, these proteins were synthesized mainly in the S1 and S3 salivary gland regions where the DNA puffs C7, C5, C4 and B10 are conspicuous, while in the S2 region protein synthesis was very low. Others have shown that the extent of amplification for DNA sequences that code for mRNA in the DNA puffs C4 and B10 was about 22 and 10 times, respectively. The present data for this group of DNA puffs are consistent with the proposition that gene amplification is necessary to provide some cells with additional gene copies for the production of massive amounts of proteins within a short period of time (Spradling AC and Mahowald AP (1980 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 77: 1096-1100.

  11. Urinary Loss of Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle Intermediates As Revealed by Metabolomics Studies: An Underlying Mechanism to Reduce Lipid Accretion by Whey Protein Ingestion? (United States)


    Whey protein intake is associated with the modulation of energy metabolism and altered body composition both in human subjects and in animals, but the underlying mechanisms are not yet elucidated. We fed obesity-prone C57BL/6J mice high-fat diets with either casein (HF casein) or whey (HF whey) for 6 weeks. At equal energy intake and apparent fat and nitrogen digestibility, mice fed HF whey stored less energy as lipids, evident both as lower white adipose tissue mass and as reduced liver lipids, compared with HF-casein-fed mice. Explorative analyses of 48 h urine, both by 1H NMR and LC–MS metabolomic platforms, demonstrated higher urinary excretion of tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates citric acid and succinic acid (identified by both platforms), and cis-aconitic acid and isocitric acid (identified by LC–MS platform) in the HF whey, relative to in the HF-casein-fed mice. Targeted LC–MS analyses revealed higher citric acid and cis-aconitic acid concentrations in fed state plasma, but not in liver of HF-whey-fed mice. We propose that enhanced urinary loss of TCA cycle metabolites drain available substrates for anabolic processes, such as lipogenesis, thereby leading to reduced lipid accretion in HF-whey-fed compared to HF-casein-fed mice. PMID:24702026

  12. Evidence for a Shared Mechanism in the Formation of Urea-Induced Kinetic and Equilibrium Intermediates of Horse Apomyoglobin from Ultrarapid Mixing Experiments (United States)

    Mizukami, Takuya; Abe, Yukiko; Maki, Kosuke


    In this study, the equivalence of the kinetic mechanisms of the formation of urea-induced kinetic folding intermediates and non-native equilibrium states was investigated in apomyoglobin. Despite having similar structural properties, equilibrium and kinetic intermediates accumulate under different conditions and via different mechanisms, and it remains unknown whether their formation involves shared or distinct kinetic mechanisms. To investigate the potential mechanisms of formation, the refolding and unfolding kinetics of horse apomyoglobin were measured by continuous- and stopped-flow fluorescence over a time range from approximately 100 μs to 10 s, along with equilibrium unfolding transitions, as a function of urea concentration at pH 6.0 and 8°C. The formation of a kinetic intermediate was observed over a wider range of urea concentrations (0–2.2 M) than the formation of the native state (0–1.6 M). Additionally, the kinetic intermediate remained populated as the predominant equilibrium state under conditions where the native and unfolded states were unstable (at ~0.7–2 M urea). A continuous shift from the kinetic to the equilibrium intermediate was observed as urea concentrations increased from 0 M to ~2 M, which indicates that these states share a common kinetic folding mechanism. This finding supports the conclusion that these intermediates are equivalent. Our results in turn suggest that the regions of the protein that resist denaturant perturbations form during the earlier stages of folding, which further supports the structural equivalence of transient and equilibrium intermediates. An additional folding intermediate accumulated within ~140 μs of refolding and an unfolding intermediate accumulated in <1 ms of unfolding. Finally, by using quantitative modeling, we showed that a five-state sequential scheme appropriately describes the folding mechanism of horse apomyoglobin. PMID:26244984

  13. Fast events in protein folding: structural volume changes accompanying the early events in the N-->I transition of apomyoglobin induced by ultrafast pH jump. (United States)

    Abbruzzetti, S; Crema, E; Masino, L; Vecli, A; Viappiani, C; Small, J R; Libertini, L J; Small, E W


    Ultrafast, laser-induced pH jump with time-resolved photoacoustic detection has been used to investigate the early protonation steps leading to the formation of the compact acid intermediate (I) of apomyoglobin (ApoMb). When ApoMb is in its native state (N) at pH 7.0, rapid acidification induced by a laser pulse leads to two parallel protonation processes. One reaction can be attributed to the binding of protons to the imidazole rings of His24 and His119. Reaction with imidazole leads to an unusually large contraction of -82 +/- 3 ml/mol, an enthalpy change of 8 +/- 1 kcal/mol, and an apparent bimolecular rate constant of (0.77 +/- 0.03) x 10(10) M(-1) s(-1). Our experiments evidence a rate-limiting step for this process at high ApoMb concentrations, characterized by a value of (0. 60 +/- 0.07) x 10(6) s(-1). The second protonation reaction at pH 7. 0 can be attributed to neutralization of carboxylate groups and is accompanied by an apparent expansion of 3.4 +/- 0.2 ml/mol, occurring with an apparent bimolecular rate constant of (1.25 +/- 0.02) x 10(11) M(-1) s(-1), and a reaction enthalpy of about 2 kcal/mol. The activation energy for the processes associated with the protonation of His24 and His119 is 16.2 +/- 0.9 kcal/mol, whereas that for the neutralization of carboxylates is 9.2 +/- 0.9 kcal/mol. At pH 4.5 ApoMb is in a partially unfolded state (I) and rapid acidification experiments evidence only the process assigned to carboxylate protonation. The unusually large contraction and the high energetic barrier observed at pH 7.0 for the protonation of the His residues suggests that the formation of the compact acid intermediate involves a rate-limiting step after protonation.

  14. Guiding the folding pathway of DNA origami. (United States)

    Dunn, Katherine E; Dannenberg, Frits; Ouldridge, Thomas E; Kwiatkowska, Marta; Turberfield, Andrew J; Bath, Jonathan


    DNA origami is a robust assembly technique that folds a single-stranded DNA template into a target structure by annealing it with hundreds of short 'staple' strands. Its guiding design principle is that the target structure is the single most stable configuration. The folding transition is cooperative and, as in the case of proteins, is governed by information encoded in the polymer sequence. A typical origami folds primarily into the desired shape, but misfolded structures can kinetically trap the system and reduce the yield. Although adjusting assembly conditions or following empirical design rules can improve yield, well-folded origami often need to be separated from misfolded structures. The problem could in principle be avoided if assembly pathway and kinetics were fully understood and then rationally optimized. To this end, here we present a DNA origami system with the unusual property of being able to form a small set of distinguishable and well-folded shapes that represent discrete and approximately degenerate energy minima in a vast folding landscape, thus allowing us to probe the assembly process. The obtained high yield of well-folded origami structures confirms the existence of efficient folding pathways, while the shape distribution provides information about individual trajectories through the folding landscape. We find that, similarly to protein folding, the assembly of DNA origami is highly cooperative; that reversible bond formation is important in recovering from transient misfoldings; and that the early formation of long-range connections can very effectively enforce particular folds. We use these insights to inform the design of the system so as to steer assembly towards desired structures. Expanding the rational design process to include the assembly pathway should thus enable more reproducible synthesis, particularly when targeting more complex structures. We anticipate that this expansion will be essential if DNA origami is to continue its

  15. N-linked glycosylation at Asn152 on CD147 affects protein folding and stability: promoting tumour metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma. (United States)

    Li, Jiang-Hua; Huang, Wan; Lin, Peng; Wu, Bo; Fu, Zhi-Guang; Shen, Hao-Miao; Jing, Lin; Liu, Zhen-Yu; Zhou, Yang; Meng, Yao; Xu, Bao-Qing; Chen, Zhi-Nan; Jiang, Jian-Li


    Cluster of differentiation 147 (CD147), also known as extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer, is a transmembrane glycoprotein that mediates oncogenic processes partly through N-glycosylation modifications. N-glycosylation has been demonstrated to be instrumental for the regulation of CD147 function during malignant transformation. However, the role that site-specific glycosylation of CD147 plays in its defective function in hepatocellular carcinomacells needs to be determined. Here, we demonstrate that the modification of N-glycosylation at Asn152 on CD147 strongly promotes hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) invasion and migration. After the removal of N-glycans at Asn152, CD147 was more susceptible to degradation by ER-localized ubiquitin ligase-mediated endoplasmic reticulum-associated degradation (ERAD). Furthermore, N-linked glycans at Asn152 were required for CD147 to acquire and maintain proper folding in the ER. Moreover, N-linked glycans at Asn152 functioned as a recognition motif that was directly mediated by the CNX quality control system. Two phases in the retention-based ER chaperones system drove ER-localized CD147 trafficking to degradation. Deletion of N-linked glycosylation at Asn152 on CD147 significantly suppressed in situ tumour metastasis. These data could potentially shed light on the molecular regulation of CD147 through glycosylation and provide a valuable means of developing drugs that target N-glycans at Asn152 on CD147.

  16. Up-regulated expression of cartilage intermediate-layer protein and ANK in articular hyaline cartilage from patients with calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate crystal deposition disease. (United States)

    Hirose, Jun; Ryan, Lawrence M; Masuda, Ikuko


    Excess accumulation of extracellular inorganic pyrophosphate (ePPi) in aged human cartilage is crucial in calcium pyrophosphate dihydrate (CPPD) crystal formation in cartilage matrix. Two sources of ePPi are ePPi-generating ectoenzymes (NTPPPH) and extracellular transport of intracellular PPi by ANK. This study was undertaken to evaluate the role of NTPPPH and ANK in ePPi elaboration, by investigating expression of NTPPPH enzymes (cartilage intermediate-layer protein [CILP] and plasma cell membrane glycoprotein 1 [PC-1]) and ANK in human chondrocytes from osteoarthritic (OA) articular cartilage containing CPPD crystals and without crystals. Chondrocytes were harvested from knee cartilage at the time of arthroplasty (OA with CPPD crystals [CPPD], n = 8; OA without crystals [OA], n = 10). Normal adult human chondrocytes (n = 1) were used as a control. Chondrocytes were cultured with transforming growth factor beta1 (TGFbeta1), which stimulates ePPi elaboration, and/or insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which inhibits ePPi elaboration. NTPPPH and ePPi were measured in the media at 48 hours. Media CILP, PC-1, and ANK were determined by dot-immunoblot analysis. Chondrocyte messenger RNA (mRNA) was extracted for reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to study expression of mRNA for CILP, PC-1, and ANK. NTPPPH and ANK mRNA and protein were also studied in fresh frozen cartilage. Basal ePPi elaboration and NTPPPH activity in conditioned media from CPPD chondrocytes were elevated compared with normal chondrocytes, and tended to be higher compared with OA chondrocytes. Basal expression of mRNA for CILP (chondrocytes) and ANK (cartilage) was higher in both CPPD chondrocytes and CPPD cartilage extract than in OA or normal samples. PC-1 mRNA was less abundant in CPPD chondrocytes and cartilage extract than in OA chondrocytes and extract, although the difference was not significant. CILP, PC-1, and ANK protein levels were similar in CPPD, OA, and normal chondrocytes

  17. The thermodynamics of protein folding: a critique of widely used quasi-thermodynamic interpretations and a restatement based on the Gibbs-Duhem relation and consistent with the Phase Rule. (United States)

    Pethica, Brian A


    Interpretations of data in the extensive literature on the unfolding of proteins in aqueous solution follow a variety of methods involving assumptions leading to estimates of thermodynamic quantities associated with the unfolding transition. Inconsistencies and thermodynamic errors in these methods are identified. Estimates of standard molar free energies and enthalpies of unfolding using incompletely defined equilibrium constants and the van't Hoff relation are unsound, and typically contradict model-free interpretation of the data. A widely used routine for estimating the change in heat capacity associated with unfolding based on changes in the unfolding temperature and enthalpy co-induced by addition of denaturant or protective additives is thermodynamically incorrect by neglect of the Phase Rule. Many models and simulations predicting thermodynamic measures of unfolding are presently making comparisons with insecure quantities derived by incorrect thermodynamic analyses of experimental data. Analysis of unfolding via the Gibbs-Duhem equation with the correct Phase Rule constraints avoids the assumptions associated with incomplete equilibrium constants and misuse of the van't Hoff relation, and applies equally to positive, negative, sitewise or diffuse solute binding to the protein. The method gives the necessary relations between the thermodynamic parameters for thermal and isothermal unfolding and is developed for the case of two-state unfolding. The differences in binding of denaturants or stabilizers to the folded and unfolded forms of the protein are identified as major determinants of the unfolding process. The Phase Rule requires the temperature and enthalpy of unfolding to depend generally on the protein concentration. The available evidence bears out this expectation for thermal unfolding, indicating that protein-protein interactions influence folding. A parallel dependence of the denaturant concentrations for isothermal unfolding on the protein

  18. Combinatorial pattern discovery approach for the folding trajectory analysis of a beta-hairpin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laxmi Parida


    Full Text Available The study of protein folding mechanisms continues to be one of the most challenging problems in computational biology. Currently, the protein folding mechanism is often characterized by calculating the free energy landscape versus various reaction coordinates, such as the fraction of native contacts, the radius of gyration, RMSD from the native structure, and so on. In this paper, we present a combinatorial pattern discovery approach toward understanding the global state changes during the folding process. This is a first step toward an unsupervised (and perhaps eventually automated approach toward identification of global states. The approach is based on computing biclusters (or patterned clusters-each cluster is a combination of various reaction coordinates, and its signature pattern facilitates the computation of the Z-score for the cluster. For this discovery process, we present an algorithm of time complexity c in RO((N + nm log n, where N is the size of the output patterns and (n x m is the size of the input with n time frames and m reaction coordinates. To date, this is the best time complexity for this problem. We next apply this to a beta-hairpin folding trajectory and demonstrate that this approach extracts crucial information about protein folding intermediate states and mechanism. We make three observations about the approach: (1 The method recovers states previously obtained by visually analyzing free energy surfaces. (2 It also succeeds in extracting meaningful patterns and structures that had been overlooked in previous works, which provides a better understanding of the folding mechanism of the beta-hairpin. These new patterns also interconnect various states in existing free energy surfaces versus different reaction coordinates. (3 The approach does not require calculating the free energy values, yet it offers an analysis comparable to, and sometimes better than, the methods that use free energy landscapes, thus validating the

  19. Combinatorial Pattern Discovery Approach for the Folding Trajectory Analysis of a beta-Hairpin.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)


    Full Text Available The study of protein folding mechanisms continues to be one of the most challenging problems in computational biology. Currently, the protein folding mechanism is often characterized by calculating the free energy landscape versus various reaction coordinates, such as the fraction of native contacts, the radius of gyration, RMSD from the native structure, and so on. In this paper, we present a combinatorial pattern discovery approach toward understanding the global state changes during the folding process. This is a first step toward an unsupervised (and perhaps eventually automated approach toward identification of global states. The approach is based on computing biclusters (or patterned clusters-each cluster is a combination of various reaction coordinates, and its signature pattern facilitates the computation of the Z-score for the cluster. For this discovery process, we present an algorithm of time complexity cinRO((N + nm log n, where N is the size of the output patterns and (n x m is the size of the input with n time frames and m reaction coordinates. To date, this is the best time complexity for this problem. We next apply this to a beta-hairpin folding trajectory and demonstrate that this approach extracts crucial information about protein folding intermediate states and mechanism. We make three observations about the approach: (1 The method recovers states previously obtained by visually analyzing free energy surfaces. (2 It also succeeds in extracting meaningful patterns and structures that had been overlooked in previous works, which provides a better understanding of the folding mechanism of the beta-hairpin. These new patterns also interconnect various states in existing free energy surfaces versus different reaction coordinates. (3 The approach does not require calculating the free energy values, yet it offers an analysis comparable to, and sometimes better than, the methods that use free energy landscapes, thus validating the

  20. Method of generating ploynucleotides encoding enhanced folding variants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradbury, Andrew M.; Kiss, Csaba; Waldo, Geoffrey S.


    The invention provides directed evolution methods for improving the folding, solubility and stability (including thermostability) characteristics of polypeptides. In one aspect, the invention provides a method for generating folding and stability-enhanced variants of proteins, including but not limited to fluorescent proteins, chromophoric proteins and enzymes. In another aspect, the invention provides methods for generating thermostable variants of a target protein or polypeptide via an internal destabilization baiting strategy. Internally destabilization a protein of interest is achieved by inserting a heterologous, folding-destabilizing sequence (folding interference domain) within DNA encoding the protein of interest, evolving the protein sequences adjacent to the heterologous insertion to overcome the destabilization (using any number of mutagenesis methods), thereby creating a library of variants. The variants in the library are expressed, and those with enhanced folding characteristics selected.

  1. Vocal Fold Collision Modeling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Granados, Alba; Brunskog, Jonas; Misztal, M. K.


    When vocal folds vibrate at normal speaking frequencies, collisions occurs. The numerics and formulations behind a position-based continuum model of contact is an active field of research in the contact mechanics community. In this paper, a frictionless three-dimensional finite element model...

  2. Folding worlds between pages

    CERN Multimedia

    Meier, Matthias


    "We all remember pop-up books form our childhood. As fascinated as we were back then, we probably never imagined how much engineering know-how went into these books. Pop-up engineer Anton Radevsky has even managed to fold a 27-kilometre particle accelerator into a book" (4 pages)

  3. Folds and Etudes (United States)

    Bean, Robert


    In this article, the author talks about "Folds" and "Etudes" which are images derived from anonymous typing exercises that he found in a used copy of "Touch Typing Made Simple". "Etudes" refers to the musical tradition of studies for a solo instrument, which is a typewriter. Typing exercises are repetitive attempts to type words and phrases…

  4. Effect of the inoculation site of bovine purified protein derivative (PPD) on the skin fold thickness increase in cattle from officially tuberculosis free and tuberculosis-infected herds. (United States)

    Casal, Carmen; Alvarez, Julio; Bezos, Javier; Quick, Harrison; Díez-Guerrier, Alberto; Romero, Beatriz; Saez, Jose L; Liandris, Emmanouil; Navarro, Alejandro; Perez, Andrés; Domínguez, Lucas; de Juan, Lucía


    The official technique for diagnosis of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) worldwide is the tuberculin skin test, based on the evaluation of the skin thickness increase after the intradermal inoculation of a purified protein derivative (PPD) in cattle. A number of studies performed on experimentally infected or sensitized cattle have suggested that the relative sensitivity of the cervical test (performed in the neck) may vary depending on the exact location in which the PPD is injected. However, quantitative evidence on the variation of the test accuracy associated to changes in the site of inoculation in naturally infected animals (the population in which performance of the test is most critical for disease eradication) is lacking. Here, the probability of obtaining a positive reaction (>2 or 4 millimeters and/or presence of local clinical signs) after multiple inoculations of bovine PPD in different cervical and scapular locations was assessed in animals from five bTB-infected herds (818 cattle receiving eight inoculations) using a hierarchical Bayesian logistic regression model and adjusting for the potential effect of age and sex. The effect of the inoculation site was also assessed qualitatively in animals from four officially tuberculosis free (OTF) herds (two inoculations in 210 animals and eight inoculations in 38 cattle). Although no differences in the qualitative outcome of the test were observed in cattle from OTF herds, a statistically important association between the test outcome and the inoculation site in animals from infected herds was observed, with higher probabilities of positive results when the test was performed in the neck anterior area. Our results suggest that test sensitivity may be maximized by considering the area of the neck in which the test is applied, although lack of effect of the inoculation site in the specificity of the test should be confirmed in a larger sample. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Competition between folding and glycosylation in the endoplasmic reticulum

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holst, B; Bruun, A W; Kielland-Brandt, Morten


    Using carboxypeptidase Y in Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a model system, the in vivo relationship between protein folding and N-glycosylation was studied. Seven new sites for N-glycosylation were introduced at positions buried in the folded protein structure. The level of glycosylation of such new...... acceptor sites. In some cases, all the newly synthesized mutant protein was modified at the novel site while in others no modification took place. In the most interesting category of mutants, the level of glycosylation was dependent on the conditions for folding. This shows that folding and glycosylation...

  6. WW Domain Folding Complexity Revealed by Infrared Spectroscopy


    Davis, Caitlin M.; Dyer, R. Brian


    Although the intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence of proteins offers a convenient probe of protein folding, interpretation of the fluorescence spectrum is often difficult because it is sensitive to both global and local changes. Infrared (IR) spectroscopy offers a complementary measure of structural changes involved in protein folding, because it probes changes in the secondary structure of the protein backbone. Here we demonstrate the advantages of using multiple probes, infrared and fluorescen...

  7. Fluorescence lifetime components reveal kinetic intermediate states upon equilibrium denaturation of carbonic anhydrase II. (United States)

    Nemtseva, Elena V; Lashchuk, Olesya O; Gerasimova, Marina A; Melnik, Tatiana N; Nagibina, Galina S; Melnik, Bogdan S


    In most cases, intermediate states of multistage folding proteins are not 'visible' under equilibrium conditions but are revealed in kinetic experiments. Time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy was used in equilibrium denaturation studies. The technique allows for detecting changes in the conformation and environment of tryptophan residues in different structural elements of carbonic anhydrase II which in its turn has made it possible to study the intermediate states of carbonic anhydrase II under equilibrium conditions. The results of equilibrium and kinetic experiments using wild-type bovine carbonic anhydrase II and its mutant form with the substitution of leucine for alanine at position 139 (L139A) were compared. The obtained lifetime components of intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence allowed for revealing that, the same as in kinetic experiments, under equilibrium conditions the unfolding of carbonic anhydrase II ensues through formation of intermediate states.

  8. Comparing the Folding and Misfolding Energy Landscapes of Phosphoglycerate Kinase


    Agocs, Gergely; Szabo, Bence T.; Koehler, Gottfried; Osvath, Szabolcs


    Partitioning of polypeptides between protein folding and amyloid formation is of outstanding pathophysiological importance. Using yeast phosphoglycerate kinase as model, here we identify the features of the energy landscape that decide the fate of the protein: folding or amyloidogenesis. Structure formation was initiated from the acid-unfolded state, and monitored by fluorescence from 10 ms to 20 days. Solvent conditions were gradually shifted between folding and amyloidogenesis, and the prop...

  9. Surfing the free energy landscape of flavodoxin folding

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bollen, Y.J.M.


    The research described in this thesis has been carried out to obtain a better understanding of the fundamental rules describing protein folding. Protein folding is the process in which a linear chain of amino acids contracts to a compact state in which it is active. Flavodoxin from Azotobacter

  10. A kinetic model of trp-cage folding from multiple biased molecular dynamics simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrizio Marinelli


    Full Text Available Trp-cage is a designed 20-residue polypeptide that, in spite of its size, shares several features with larger globular proteins.Although the system has been intensively investigated experimentally and theoretically, its folding mechanism is not yet fully understood. Indeed, some experiments suggest a two-state behavior, while others point to the presence of intermediates. In this work we show that the results of a bias-exchange metadynamics simulation can be used for constructing a detailed thermodynamic and kinetic model of the system. The model, although constructed from a biased simulation, has a quality similar to those extracted from the analysis of long unbiased molecular dynamics trajectories. This is demonstrated by a careful benchmark of the approach on a smaller system, the solvated Ace-Ala3-Nme peptide. For theTrp-cage folding, the model predicts that the relaxation time of 3100 ns observed experimentally is due to the presence of a compact molten globule-like conformation. This state has an occupancy of only 3% at 300 K, but acts as a kinetic trap.Instead, non-compact structures relax to the folded state on the sub-microsecond timescale. The model also predicts the presence of a state at Calpha-RMSD of 4.4 A from the NMR structure in which the Trp strongly interacts with Pro12. This state can explain the abnormal temperature dependence of the Pro12-delta3 and Gly11-alpha3 chemical shifts. The structures of the two most stable misfolded intermediates are in agreement with NMR experiments on the unfolded protein. Our work shows that, using biased molecular dynamics trajectories, it is possible to construct a model describing in detail the Trp-cage folding kinetics and thermodynamics in agreement with experimental data.

  11. A thermodynamic definition of protein domains. (United States)

    Porter, Lauren L; Rose, George D


    Protein domains are conspicuous structural units in globular proteins, and their identification has been a topic of intense biochemical interest dating back to the earliest crystal structures. Numerous disparate domain identification algorithms have been proposed, all involving some combination of visual intuition and/or structure-based decomposition. Instead, we present a rigorous, thermodynamically-based approach that redefines domains as cooperative chain segments. In greater detail, most small proteins fold with high cooperativity, meaning that the equilibrium population is dominated by completely folded and completely unfolded molecules, with a negligible subpopulation of partially folded intermediates. Here, we redefine structural domains in thermodynamic terms as cooperative folding units, based on m-values, which measure the cooperativity of a protein or its substructures. In our analysis, a domain is equated to a contiguous segment of the folded protein whose m-value is largely unaffected when that segment is excised from its parent structure. Defined in this way, a domain is a self-contained cooperative unit; i.e., its cooperativity depends primarily upon intrasegment interactions, not intersegment interactions. Implementing this concept computationally, the domains in a large representative set of proteins were identified; all exhibit consistency with experimental findings. Specifically, our domain divisions correspond to the experimentally determined equilibrium folding intermediates in a set of nine proteins. The approach was also proofed against a representative set of 71 additional proteins, again with confirmatory results. Our reframed interpretation of a protein domain transforms an indeterminate structural phenomenon into a quantifiable molecular property grounded in solution thermodynamics.

  12. Natural triple beta-stranded fibrous folds. (United States)

    Mitraki, Anna; Papanikolopoulou, Katerina; Van Raaij, Mark J


    A distinctive family of beta-structured folds has recently been described for fibrous proteins from viruses. Virus fibers are usually involved in specific host-cell recognition. They are asymmetric homotrimeric proteins consisting of an N-terminal virus-binding tail, a central shaft or stalk domain, and a C-terminal globular receptor-binding domain. Often they are entirely or nearly entirely composed of beta-structure. Apart from their biological relevance and possible gene therapy applications, their shape, stability, and rigidity suggest they may be useful as blueprints for biomechanical design. Folding and unfolding studies suggest their globular C-terminal domain may fold first, followed by a "zipping-up" of the shaft domains. The C-terminal domains appear to be important for registration because peptides corresponding to shaft domains alone aggregate into nonnative fibers and/or amyloid structures. C-terminal domains can be exchanged between different fibers and the resulting chimeric proteins are useful as a way to solve structures of unknown parts of the shaft domains. The following natural triple beta-stranded fibrous folds have been discovered by X-ray crystallography: the triple beta-spiral, triple beta-helix, and T4 short tail fiber fold. All have a central longitudinal hydrophobic core and extensive intermonomer polar and nonpolar interactions. Now that a reasonable body of structural and folding knowledge has been assembled about these fibrous proteins, the next challenge and opportunity is to start using this information in medical and industrial applications such as gene therapy and nanotechnology.

  13. Postvaccination C-Reactive Protein and C5/gp41732-744 Antibody Level Fold-Changes Over Baseline Are Independent Predictors of Therapeutic HIV Vaccine Effect in a Phase 2 Clinical Study of Vacc-4x. (United States)

    Huang, Yunda; Zhang, Lily; Jolliffe, Darren; Sanchez, Brittany; Stjernholm, Grete; Jelmert, Øyvind; Ökvist, Mats; Sommerfelt, Maja A


    Therapeutic vaccination has the potential to contribute to functional HIV cure strategies. However, to show functional HIV cure, study participants must be taken off combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). The availability of suitable biomarkers that can predict viral load (VL) or CD4 count outcomes following therapeutic HIV vaccination would reduce the risks associated with cART interruption in such studies. This report sought to determine baseline and postvaccination biomarker predictors of vaccine effect (VE) on VL and CD4 counts following cART interruption in a double-blind, randomized phase 2 study of the peptide-based therapeutic HIV vaccine, Vacc-4x (n = 93), versus placebo (n = 43). Antibody responses to a novel envelope glycoprotein antigen, C5/gp41 732-744 , and three safety marker measurements [C-reactive protein (CRP), white blood cell, and lactate dehydrogenase] were considered. Interaction tests in univariate and multivariate linear regression models were used to estimate the effect of biomarkers on VE, defined as the VL or CD4 count difference in Vacc-4x versus placebo groups. The reported q-values (considered significant for hypothesis-generating purposes if ≤0.2) accounted for multiple comparisons using the false discovery rate method. Data were analyzed from all available 58 Vacc-4x and 25 placebo recipients before cART resumption. Lower postvaccination fold-change over baseline of CRP concentration (interaction p- (q-) value = 0.005 (0.11) for VL) and higher fold-change of anti-C5/gp41 732-744 antibody levels (0.005 (0.11) for VL and 0.009 (0.20) for CD4) were associated with Vacc-4x benefit. These findings suggest potential roles for inflammation and immune activation markers in predicting therapeutic HIV VE.

  14. Folding Membrane Proteins by Deep Transfer Learning

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Sheng; Li, Zhen; Yu, Yizhou; Xu, Jinbo


    contacts by learning from non-MPs and then predicts 3D structure models using the predicted contacts as distance restraints. Tested on 510 non-redundant MPs, our method has contact prediction accuracy at least 0.18 better than existing methods, predicts

  15. Improving decoy databases for protein folding algorithms

    KAUST Repository

    Lindsey, Aaron; Yeh, Hsin-Yi (Cindy); Wu, Chih-Peng; Thomas, Shawna; Amato, Nancy M.


    energetically stable) from non-native structures. Decoy databases are collections of non-native structures used to test and verify these functions. We present a method to evaluate and improve the quality of decoy databases by adding novel structures and removing

  16. Ca-Dependent Folding of Human Calumenin (United States)

    Mazzorana, Marco; Hussain, Rohanah; Sorensen, Thomas


    Human calumenin (hCALU) is a six EF-hand protein belonging to the CREC family. As other members of the family, it is localized in the secretory pathway and regulates the activity of SERCA2a and of the ryanodine receptor in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We have studied the effects of Ca2+ binding to the protein and found it to attain a more compact structure upon ion binding. Circular Dichroism (CD) measurements suggest a major rearrangement of the protein secondary structure, which reversibly switches from disordered at low Ca2+ concentrations to predominantly alpha-helical when Ca2+ is added. SAXS experiments confirm the transition from an unfolded to a compact structure, which matches the structural prediction of a trilobal fold. Overall our experiments suggest that calumenin is a Ca2+ sensor, which folds into a compact structure, capable of interacting with its molecular partners, when Ca2+ concentration within the ER reaches the millimolar range. PMID:26991433

  17. Folding pathways explored with artificial potential functions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ulutaş, B; Bozma, I; Haliloglu, T


    This paper considers the generation of trajectories to a given protein conformation and presents a novel approach based on artificial potential functions—originally proposed for multi-robot navigation. The artificial potential function corresponds to a simplified energy model, but with the novelty that—motivated by work on robotic navigation—a nonlinear compositional scheme of constructing the energy model is adapted instead of an additive formulation. The artificial potential naturally gives rise to a dynamic system for the protein structure that ensures collision-free motion to an equilibrium point. In cases where the equilibrium point is the native conformation, the motion trajectory corresponds to the folding pathway. This framework is used to investigate folding in a variety of protein structures, and the results are compared with those of other approaches including experimental studies

  18. Complete fold annotation of the human proteome using a novel structural feature space. (United States)

    Middleton, Sarah A; Illuminati, Joseph; Kim, Junhyong


    Recognition of protein structural fold is the starting point for many structure prediction tools and protein function inference. Fold prediction is computationally demanding and recognizing novel folds is difficult such that the majority of proteins have not been annotated for fold classification. Here we describe a new machine learning approach using a novel feature space that can be used for accurate recognition of all 1,221 currently known folds and inference of unknown novel folds. We show that our method achieves better than 94% accuracy even when many folds have only one training example. We demonstrate the utility of this method by predicting the folds of 34,330 human protein domains and showing that these predictions can yield useful insights into potential biological function, such as prediction of RNA-binding ability. Our method can be applied to de novo fold prediction of entire proteomes and identify candidate novel fold families.

  19. AmyI-1-18, a cationic α-helical antimicrobial octadecapeptide derived from α-amylase in rice, inhibits the translation and folding processes in a protein synthesis system. (United States)

    Taniguchi, Masayuki; Ochiai, Akihito; Fukuda, Shun; Sato, Teppei; Saitoh, Eiichi; Kato, Tetsuo; Tanaka, Takaaki


    In our previous study, we used a cell-free rapid translation system (RTS), which is an in vitro protein synthesis system based on Escherichia coli lysate, for evaluating the inhibition of green fluorescent protein (GFP) synthesis by pyrrhocoricin. In this study, using an RTS, we evaluated the inhibition of GFP synthesis by AmyI-1-18, an antimicrobial octadecapeptide. We found that, similarly to pyrrhocoricin, AmyI-1-18 inhibited GFP synthesis in the RTS in a concentration-dependent manner. In addition, the blockage of transcription and translation steps in the RTS was individually estimated using RT-PCR after gene expression to determine the mRNA products and using sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis to determine the amounts of GFP expressed from purified mRNA, respectively. The results demonstrated that the inhibition of GFP synthesis by AmyI-1-18 did not occur at the transcription step but rather at the translation step. Furthermore, we assessed the inhibition of DnaK-mediated refolding of chemically denatured luciferase by AmyI-1-18; AmyI-1-18 inhibited the protein folding activity of the ATP-dependent DnaK/DnaJ molecular chaperone system in a concentration-dependent manner. Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis showed that AmyI-1-18 strongly bound to RNA with a KD value of 1.4 × 10(-8) M but not to DNA and that AmyI-1-18 specifically bound to DnaK with a KD value of 4.4 × 10(-6) M. These SPR analysis results supported the results obtained in both the RTS and the molecular chaperone system. These results demonstrated that both RNA and DnaK are most likely the target of AmyI-1-18 in the protein synthesis system. Copyright © 2016 The Society for Biotechnology, Japan. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The intermediate filament protein vimentin binds specifically to a recombinant integrin α2/β1 cytoplasmic tail complex and co-localizes with native α2/β1 in endothelial cell focal adhesions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kreis, Stephanie; Schoenfeld, Hans-Joachim; Melchior, Chantal; Steiner, Beat; Kieffer, Nelly


    Integrin receptors are crucial players in cell adhesion and migration. Identification and characterization of cellular proteins that interact with their short α and β cytoplasmic tails will help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms by which integrins mediate bi-directional signaling across the plasma membrane. Integrin α2β1 is a major collagen receptor but to date, only few proteins have been shown to interact with the α2 cytoplasmic tail or with the α2β1 complex. In order to identify novel binding partners of a α2β1cytoplasmic domain complex, we have generated recombinant GST-fusion proteins, incorporating the leucine zipper heterodimerization cassettes of Jun and Fos. To ascertain proper functionality of the recombinant proteins, interaction with natural binding partners was tested. GST-α2 and GST-Jun α2 bound His-tagged calreticulin while GST-β1 and GST-Fos β1 proteins bound talin. In screening assays for novel binding partners, the immobilized GST-Jun α2/GST-Fos β1 heterodimeric complex, but not the single subunits, interacted specifically with endothelial cell-derived vimentin. Vimentin, an abundant intermediate filament protein, has previously been shown to co-localize with αvβ3-positive focal contacts. Here, we provide evidence that this interaction also occurs with α2β1-enriched focal adhesions and we further show that this association is lost after prolonged adhesion of endothelial cells to collagen

  1. Folding kinetics of WW domains with the united residue force field for bridging microscopic motions and experimental measurements. (United States)

    Zhou, Rui; Maisuradze, Gia G; Suñol, David; Todorovski, Toni; Macias, Maria J; Xiao, Yi; Scheraga, Harold A; Czaplewski, Cezary; Liwo, Adam


    To demonstrate the utility of the coarse-grained united-residue (UNRES) force field to compare experimental and computed kinetic data for folding proteins, we have performed long-time millisecond-timescale canonical Langevin molecular dynamics simulations of the triple β-strand from the Formin binding protein 28 WW domain and six nonnatural variants, using UNRES. The results have been compared with available experimental data in both a qualitative and a quantitative manner. Complexities of the folding pathways, which cannot be determined experimentally, were revealed. The folding mechanisms obtained from the simulated folding kinetics are in agreement with experimental results, with a few discrepancies for which we have accounted. The origins of single- and double-exponential kinetics and their correlations with two- and three-state folding scenarios are shown to be related to the relative barrier heights between the various states. The rate constants obtained from time profiles of the fractions of the native, intermediate, and unfolded structures, and the kinetic equations fitted to them, correlate with the experimental values; however, they are about three orders of magnitude larger than the experimental ones for most of the systems. These differences are in agreement with the timescale extension derived by scaling down the friction of water and averaging out the fast degrees of freedom when passing from all-atom to a coarse-grained representation. Our results indicate that the UNRES force field can provide accurate predictions of folding kinetics of these WW domains, often used as models for the study of the mechanisms of proein folding.

  2. Biological adhesion of the flatworm Macrostomum lignano relies on a duo-gland system and is mediated by a cell type-specific intermediate filament protein. (United States)

    Lengerer, Birgit; Pjeta, Robert; Wunderer, Julia; Rodrigues, Marcelo; Arbore, Roberto; Schärer, Lukas; Berezikov, Eugene; Hess, Michael W; Pfaller, Kristian; Egger, Bernhard; Obwegeser, Sabrina; Salvenmoser, Willi; Ladurner, Peter


    Free-living flatworms, in both marine and freshwater environments, are able to adhere to and release from a substrate several times within a second. This reversible adhesion relies on adhesive organs comprised of three cell types: an adhesive gland cell, a releasing gland cell, and an anchor cell, which is a modified epidermal cell responsible for structural support. However, nothing is currently known about the molecules that are involved in this adhesion process. In this study we present the detailed morphology of the adhesive organs of the free-living marine flatworm Macrostomum lignano. About 130 adhesive organs are located in a horse-shoe-shaped arc along the ventral side of the tail plate. Each organ consists of exactly three cells, an adhesive gland cell, a releasing gland cell, and an anchor cell. The necks of the two gland cells penetrate the anchor cell through a common pore. Modified microvilli of the anchor cell form a collar surrounding the necks of the adhesive- and releasing glands, jointly forming the papilla, the outer visible part of the adhesive organs. Next, we identified an intermediate filament (IF) gene, macif1, which is expressed in the anchor cells. RNA interference mediated knock-down resulted in the first experimentally induced non-adhesion phenotype in any marine animal. Specifically, the absence of intermediate filaments in the anchor cells led to papillae with open tips, a reduction of the cytoskeleton network, a decline in hemidesmosomal connections, and to shortened microvilli containing less actin. Our findings reveal an elaborate biological adhesion system in a free-living flatworm, which permits impressively rapid temporary adhesion-release performance in the marine environment. We demonstrate that the structural integrity of the supportive cell, the anchor cell, is essential for this adhesion process: the knock-down of the anchor cell-specific intermediate filament gene resulted in the inability of the animals to adhere. The RNAi

  3. Identification of proteins from 4200-year-old skin and muscle tissue biopsies from ancient Egyptian mummies of the first intermediate period shows evidence of acute inflammation and severe immune response. (United States)

    Jones, Jana; Mirzaei, Mehdi; Ravishankar, Prathiba; Xavier, Dylan; Lim, Do Seon; Shin, Dong Hoon; Bianucci, Raffaella; Haynes, Paul A


    We performed proteomics analysis on four skin and one muscle tissue samples taken from three ancient Egyptian mummies of the first intermediate period, approximately 4200 years old. The mummies were first dated by radiocarbon dating of the accompany-\\break ing textiles, and morphologically examined by scanning electron microscopy of additional skin samples. Proteins were extracted, separated on SDS-PAGE (sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis) gels, and in-gel digested with trypsin. The resulting peptides were analysed using nanoflow high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. We identified a total of 230 unique proteins from the five samples, which consisted of 132 unique protein identifications. We found a large number of collagens, which was confirmed by our microscopy data, and is in agreement with previous studies showing that collagens are very long-lived. As expected, we also found a large number of keratins. We identified numerous proteins that provide evidence of activation of the innate immunity system in two of the mummies, one of which also contained proteins indicating severe tissue inflammation, possibly indicative of an infection that we can speculate may have been related to the cause of death.This article is part of the themed issue 'Quantitative mass spectrometry'. © 2016 The Author(s).

  4. Mapping the kinetic barriers of a Large RNA molecule's folding landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jörg C Schlatterer

    Full Text Available The folding of linear polymers into discrete three-dimensional structures is often required for biological function. The formation of long-lived intermediates is a hallmark of the folding of large RNA molecules due to the ruggedness of their energy landscapes. The precise thermodynamic nature of the barriers (whether enthalpic or entropic that leads to intermediate formation is still poorly characterized in large structured RNA molecules. A classic approach to analyzing kinetic barriers are temperature dependent studies analyzed with Eyring's transition state theory. We applied Eyring's theory to time-resolved hydroxyl radical (•OH footprinting kinetics progress curves collected at eight temperature from 21.5 °C to 51 °C to characterize the thermodynamic nature of folding intermediate formation for the Mg(2+-mediated folding of the Tetrahymena thermophila group I ribozyme. A common kinetic model configuration describes this RNA folding reaction over the entire temperature range studied consisting of primary (fast transitions to misfolded intermediates followed by much slower secondary transitions, consistent with previous studies. Eyring analysis reveals that the primary transitions are moderate in magnitude and primarily enthalpic in nature. In contrast, the secondary transitions are daunting in magnitude and entropic in nature. The entropic character of the secondary transitions is consistent with structural rearrangement of the intermediate species to the final folded form. This segregation of kinetic control reveals distinctly different molecular mechanisms during the two stages of RNA folding and documents the importance of entropic barriers to defining rugged RNA folding landscapes.

  5. Vocal fold injection medialization laryngoplasty. (United States)

    Modi, Vikash K


    Unilateral vocal fold paralysis (UVFP) can cause glottic insufficiency that can result in hoarseness, chronic cough, dysphagia, and/or aspiration. In rare circumstances, UVFP can cause airway obstruction necessitating a tracheostomy. The treatment options for UVFP include observation, speech therapy, vocal fold injection medialization laryngoplasty, thyroplasty, and laryngeal reinnervation. In this chapter, the author will discuss the technique of vocal fold injection for medialization of a UVFP. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  6. Fast computational methods for predicting protein structure from primary amino acid sequence (United States)

    Agarwal, Pratul Kumar [Knoxville, TN


    The present invention provides a method utilizing primary amino acid sequence of a protein, energy minimization, molecular dynamics and protein vibrational modes to predict three-dimensional structure of a protein. The present invention also determines possible intermediates in the protein folding pathway. The present invention has important applications to the design of novel drugs as well as protein engineering. The present invention predicts the three-dimensional structure of a protein independent of size of the protein, overcoming a significant limitation in the prior art.

  7. Intermediality and media change



    This book is about intermediality as an approach to analysing and understanding media change. Intermediality and Media Change is critical of technological determinism that characterises 'new media discourse' about the ongoing digitalization, framed as a revolution and creating sharp contrasts between old and new media. Intermediality instead emphasises paying attention to continuities between media of all types and privileges a comparative perspective on technological changes in media over ti...

  8. Single-molecule folding mechanisms of the apo- and Mg2+-bound states of human neuronal calcium sensor-1

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Naqvi, Mohsin M; Heiðarsson, Pétur Orri; Otazo, Mariela R


    , at least transiently, at resting Ca(2+) conditions. Here, we used optical tweezers to study the folding behavior of individual NCS-1 molecules in the presence of Mg(2+) and in the absence of divalent ions. Under tension, the Mg(2+)-bound state of NCS-1 unfolds and refolds in a three-state process...... in a variety of cellular processes in which it has been linked to a number of disorders such as schizophrenia and autism. Despite extensive studies on the Ca(2+)-activated state of NCS proteins, little is known about the conformational dynamics of the Mg(2+)-bound and apo states, both of which are populated...... by populating one intermediate state consisting of a folded C-domain and an unfolded N-domain. The interconversion at equilibrium between the different molecular states populated by NCS-1 was monitored in real time through constant-force measurements and the energy landscapes underlying the observed transitions...

  9. Periodic folding of viscous sheets (United States)

    Ribe, Neil M.


    The periodic folding of a sheet of viscous fluid falling upon a rigid surface is a common fluid mechanical instability that occurs in contexts ranging from food processing to geophysics. Asymptotic thin-layer equations for the combined stretching-bending deformation of a two-dimensional sheet are solved numerically to determine the folding frequency as a function of the sheet’s initial thickness, the pouring speed, the height of fall, and the fluid properties. As the buoyancy increases, the system bifurcates from “forced” folding driven kinematically by fluid extrusion to “free” folding in which viscous resistance to bending is balanced by buoyancy. The systematics of the numerically predicted folding frequency are in good agreement with laboratory experiments.

  10. Thermostability in endoglucanases is fold-specific (United States)


    Background Endoglucanases are usually considered to be synergistically involved in the initial stages of cellulose breakdown-an essential step in the bioprocessing of lignocellulosic plant materials into bioethanol. Despite their economic importance, we currently lack a basic understanding of how some endoglucanases can sustain their ability to function at elevated temperatures required for bioprocessing, while others cannot. In this study, we present a detailed comparative analysis of both thermophilic and mesophilic endoglucanases in order to gain insights into origins of thermostability. We analyzed the sequences and structures for sets of endoglucanase proteins drawn from the Carbohydrate-Active enZymes (CAZy) database. Results Our results demonstrate that thermophilic endoglucanases and their mesophilic counterparts differ significantly in their amino acid compositions. Strikingly, these compositional differences are specific to protein folds and enzyme families, and lead to differences in intramolecular interactions in a fold-dependent fashion. Conclusions Here, we provide fold-specific guidelines to control thermostability in endoglucanases that will aid in making production of biofuels from plant biomass more efficient. PMID:21291533