Resonance Raman and FTIR spectroscopic characterization of the closed and open states of channelrhodopsin-1
Víctor A. Lórenz-Fonfría
- Channelrhodopsin-1 from Chlamydomonas augustae (CaChR1) is a light-activated cation channel, which is a promising optogenetic tool. We show by resonance Raman spectroscopy and retinal extraction followed by high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) that the isomeric ratio of all-trans to 13-cis of solubilized channelrhodopsin-1 is with 70:30 identical to channelrhodopsin-2 from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii (CrChR2). Critical frequency shifts in the retinal vibrations are identified in the Raman spectrum upon transition to the open (conductive P2(380)) state. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) spectra indicate different structures of the open states in the two channelrhodopsins as reflected by the amide I bands and the protonation pattern of acidic amino acids.
Molecular characterization of the Na+/H+-antiporter NhaA from Salmonella Typhimurium
Christopher J. Lentes
Syed H. Mir
- Na+/H+ antiporters are integral membrane proteins that are present in almost every cell and in every kingdom of life. They are essential for the regulation of intracellular pH-value, Na+-concentration and cell volume. These secondary active transporters exchange sodium ions against protons via an alternating access mechanism, which is not understood in full detail. Na+/H+ antiporters show distinct species-specific transport characteristics and regulatory properties that correlate with respective physiological functions. Here we present the characterization of the Na+/H+ antiporter NhaA from Salmonella enterica serovar Thyphimurium LT2, the causing agent of food-born human gastroenteritis and typhoid like infections. The recombinant antiporter was functional in vivo and in vitro. Expression of its gene complemented the Na+-sensitive phenotype of an E. coli strain that lacks the main Na+/H+ antiporters. Purified to homogeneity, the antiporter was a dimer in solution as accurately determined by size-exclusion chromatography combined with multi-angle laser-light scattering and refractive index monitoring. The purified antiporter was fully capable of electrogenic Na+(Li+)/H+-antiport when reconstituted in proteoliposomes and assayed by solid-supported membrane-based electrophysiological measurements. Transport activity was inhibited by 2-aminoperimidine. The recorded negative currents were in agreement with a 1Na+(Li+)/2H+ stoichiometry. Transport activity was low at pH 7 and up-regulation above this pH value was accompanied by a nearly 10-fold decrease of KmNa (16 mM at pH 8.5) supporting a competitive substrate binding mechanism. K+ does not affect Na+ affinity or transport of substrate cations, indicating that selectivity of the antiport arises from the substrate binding step. In contrast to homologous E. coli NhaA, transport activity remains high at pH values above 8.5. The antiporter from S. Typhimurium is a promising candidate for combined structural and functional studies to contribute to the elucidation of the mechanism of pH-dependent Na+/H+ antiporters and to provide insights in the molecular basis of species-specific growth and survival strategies.
Characterization of mouse NOA1 : subcellular localizaion, G-Quadruplex binding and proteolysis
- Mitochondria contain their own protein synthesis machinery with mitoribosomes that are similar to prokaryotic ribosomes. The thirteen proteins encoded in the mitochondrial genome are members of the respiratory chain complexes that generate a proton gradient, which is the electromotoric force for ATP synthesis.
NOA1 (Nitric Oxide Associated Protein-1) is a nuclear encoded GTPase that positively influences mitochondrial respiration and ATP production. Although a role in mitoribosome assembly was assigned to NOA1 the underlying molecular mechanism is poorly understood. This work shows that the multi-domain protein NOA1 serves multiple purposes for the function of mitochondria. NOA1 is a dual localized protein that makes a detour through the nucleus before mitochondrial import. The nuclear shuttling is mediated by a nuclear localization signal and the now identified nuclear export signal. SELEX (Systemic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) analysis revealed a G-quadruplex binding motif that characterizes NOA1 as ribonucleoprotein (RNP). G-quadruplex binding was coupled to the GTPase activity and increased the GTP hydrolysis rate. The sequence of localization events and the identification of NOA1 being a RNP lead to the discussion of an alternative import pathway for RNPs into mitochondria. The short-lived NOA1 contains ClpX recognition motifs and is specifically degraded by the mitochondrial matrix protease ClpXP. NOA1 is the first reported substrate of ClpXP in higher eukaryotes and augments the contribution of the ClpXP protease for mitochondrial metabolism. To assess the direct action of NOA1 on the mitoribosome co-sedimentation assays were performed. They showed that the interaction of NOA1 and the mitoribosome is dependent on the GTPase function and the nascent peptide chain. In vitro, NOA1 facilitated the membrane insertion of newly translated and isotope labeled mitochondrial translation products into inverted mitochondrial inner membrane vesicles. In conclusion, NOA1 is a G-quadruplex-RNP that acts as mitochondrial membrane insertion factor for mtDNA-encoded proteins.
This thesis provides a comprehensive model of the molecular function of NOA1 and is the basis for future research. The identification of NOA1 as ClpXP substrate is a major contribution to the field of mitochondrial research.
Cell-free expression of GPCRs: the endothelin system
- The human endothelin receptors, ETA and ETB, are two members of the G-protein coupled receptors family (GPCRs) and they are key players in cardiovascular regulation. The characterization of their functionality in vitro has been limited by the possibility to obtain high quality samples using conventional expression systems. The Cell-Free expression system is an alternative technique for the production of membrane protein as well as GPCRs and can overcome some of the limitations that are commonly encountered using an in vivo approach. Cell-Free expression protocols for the two receptors ETA and ETB have been optimized by implementing post- and co-translational association to lipid bilayers. The efficiency of the reconstitution or association to liposomes and nanodiscs has systematically been studied and the ligand binding properties of the two receptors have been analyzed using a set of different complementary techniques. In several different conditions a high affinity binding of the peptide ligand ET-1 to both endothelin receptors could be obtained and the highest activity values were detected in sample prepared using a co-translational approach in presence of nanodiscs. Furthermore, the characteristic differential binding pattern of selected agonists and antagonists to the two receptors was confirmed. In samples obtained from several Cell-Free expression conditions, two intrinsic properties of the functionally folded ETB receptor, such as the proteolytic processing based on conformational recognition as well as the formation of SDS-resistant complexes with the peptide ligand ET-1, were detected. ETA and ETB are able to induce in vivo the activation of hetrotrimeric G proteins upon stimulation with an agonist, leading to the dissociation of the heterotrimeric complex and the exchange of GDP to GTP in the Galpha subunit. The Cell-Free expression system was chosen for the production of two G alpha subunit, Galpha s and Galpha q. Soluble expression of the two proteins was achieved and the production of active Galpha s was confirmed using fluorescent as well as radioactive assays. In conclusion, the obtained results document a new process for the production of ligand binding competent endothelin receptors, as well as Galpha proteins, using a Cell-Free expression system. The combination of this expression system and the nanodiscs technology appears to be a promising tool for the further characterization of membrane proteins as well as GPCRs.
MALDI-MS characterization of the human 5-lipoxygenase protein
- 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) is an enzyme with a substantial role in inflammatory processes. In vitro kinase assays using [32P]-ATP in combination with mutagenesis have revealed that serine residues 271, 523 and 663 can be phosphorylated by MK2, PKA and ERK2 kinases, respectively. A few available reports regarding 5-LO protein sequence have covered up to 30% of the sequence after amino acid sequencing including Ser663. In LCMS/MS analyses of 5-LO tryptic digests from different cellular sources different peptides have been detected; however, none of the three phosphorylations has been detected and only Ser663 was included in the covered sequence.
As there was no comprehensive mass spectrometric analysis of 5-LO, the purpose of this study was to optimize the experimental conditions under which detection of the aforementioned phosphorylation events, as well as other possible post-translational modifications (PTMs), would be feasible. Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-MS) was used for peptide analysis of 5-LO cleaved either by chemical reagents or by proteases. Sequence coverage of 5-LO could be enhanced to be close to completion by combination of results from digestions by trypsin, AspN and chymotrypsin. In-gel trypsin digestion followed by in-solution AspN digestion proved to be a useful sample treatment for reproducible detection of the Ser271-containing peptide.
Nevertheless, in none of the examined cleavage protocols the sequence around Ser523 was detected reproducibly or with acceptable signal intensity for subsequent peptide fragmentation. Propionic anhydride and sulfo-NHS-SS-biotin cross-linker (EZ-linkTM), were used for derivatization of lysine side chains and hindrance of lysine residue recognition by trypsin. Phosphopeptide enrichment became possible after tryptic digestion of these samples, not only due to formation of an individual Ser523-containing peptide, but also because TiO2-mediated enrichment, which is performed in acidic pH, was not impaired by positively charged free lysine side chains. Additionally, biotinylation of lysine residues was exploited for an intermediate enrichment step of the lysine containing peptides, prior to TiO2 phosphopeptide enrichment.
MALDI-MS analysis after in-vitro phosphorylation of 5-LO by the three kinases showed that Ser271 was phosphorylated in the MK2 and PKA kinase assays, while Ser523 was phosphorylated only in the PKA kinase assay. Surpisingly, no phosphopeptides were detected in the in-vitro kinase assays with ERK2, even though the unmodified counterpart of the Ser663-containing peptide was easily detected. The detection limit for each of the three phosphorylation sites was determined by the use of custom made phosphopeptides and an amount of 0.06 pmol of phosphopeptide in 1 μg 5-LO (representing 0.5% phosphorylation rate) was sufficient in all cases for successful enrichment and detection by MS.
In-vitro kinase assays with [32P]-ATP were performed for some kinases that were expected to phosphorylate 5-LO according to in-silico data. Three members of the Src tyrosine kinase family (Fgr, Hck and Yes) and the Ser/Thr specific kinase DNA-PK used 5-LO as their substrate and mainly residues at the N-terminal part of 5-LO were detected phosphorylated by MS (e.g. Y42, Y53). Additional in-vitro assays for recombinant 5-LO modification included incubation with glutathione or compound U73122, previously described as inhibitor of 5-LO.
Since in-vitro assays might have generated artifacts, a method for 5-LO purification from human cells was sought, in order to examine the modification state of the protein in the cellular context. ATP-agarose affinity purification and anti-5-LO immunoprecipitation proved inappropriate for sample purification for MALDI-MS analysis. Consequently, two human cell lines that are able to express 5-LO (Rec-1 Blymphocytes and MM6 monocytes) were transduced with a DNA cassette that contained recombinant human 5-LO sequence with an attached N-terminal FLAG-tag. Anti-FLAG immunoprecipitation was then performed effectively in cell lysates and the precipitated FLAG-5-LO was separated by SDS-PAGE before MALDI-MS analysis.
The examined cell stimuli were expected to result to phosphorylation of 5-LO at Ser523 by PKA in Rec-1 cells and to phosphorylation of Ser271 and/or Ser663 in MM6 cells by activated MK2 and ERK2, respectively. Additionally, under the conditions of MM6 cell stimulation, Fgr, Hck and Yes kinases, which phosphorylated 5-LO in vitro, were expected to be activated and the possibility of 5-LO phosphorylation on tyrosine was investigated. Although immunoblotting results indicated that all the aforementioned phosphorylation events existed in the examined samples, MALDI-MS analysis verified only phosphorylation on Ser271 in differentiated MM6 cells, interestingly regardless of cell stimulation.
Finally, the primary amine derivatization procedure by EZ-linkTM was utilized for MS analysis of lysine rich proteins. In the past, chemical propionylation of histones had been employed prior to trypsin digestion; however it was easily confused in MS with combinations of other PTMs (e.g. acetylation, methylation). Moreover, propionylation is a PTM for histone H3 and this information was lost. Consequently, the EZ-link reagent was more useful for analysis of histones, as unambiguous assignment of PTMs and detection of native propionylation on bovine H3 became possible.
Ordnung des Fachbereichs Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie der Johann
Wolfgang Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main für den Bachelorstudiengang Chemie mit dem Abschlussgrad Bachelor of Science vom 15.08.2011 und 11.02.2013 in der Fassung vom 16.12.2013 : genehmigt durch das Präsidium der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität am 15. April 2014
Ordnung der Fachbereiche Medizin, Biowissenschaften, Biochemie, Chemie und Pharmazie sowie Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität für den Masterstudiengang Interdisciplinary Neuroscience mit dem Abschluss "Master of Science" (M.Sc.) vom 30. März 2009 in der Fassung vom 22. April 2009 : genehmigt durch das Präsidium am 11. Oktober 2011 ; hier: Änderung der Wahlpflichtmodule vom 20. Januar 2014, genehmigt durch das Präsidium am 25. März 2014
Molecular Dynamics Simulation Study of Conformational Changes of Transcription Factor TFIIS during RNA Polymerase II Transcriptional Arrest and Reactivation
Juan Manuel Ortiz-Sánchez
J. Andrew McCammon
- Transcription factor IIS (TFIIS) is a protein known for catalyzing the cleavage reaction of the 3′-end of backtracked RNA transcript, allowing RNA polymerase II (Pol II) to reactivate the transcription process from the arrested state. Recent structural studies have provided a molecular basis of protein-protein interaction between TFIIS and Pol II. However, the detailed dynamic conformational changes of TFIIS upon binding to Pol II and the related thermodynamic information are largely unknown. Here we use computational approaches to investigate the conformational space of TFIIS in the Pol II-bound and Pol II-free (unbound) states. Our results reveal two distinct conformations of TFIIS: the closed and the open forms. The closed form is dominant in the Pol II-free (unbound) state of TFIIS, whereas the open form is favorable in the Pol II-bound state. Furthermore, we discuss the free energy difference involved in the conformational changes between the two forms in the presence or absence of Pol II. Additionally, our analysis indicates that hydrophobic interactions and the protein-protein interactions between TFIIS and Pol II are crucial for inducing the conformational changes of TFIIS. Our results provide novel insights into the functional interplay between Pol II and TFIIS as well as mechanism of reactivation of Pol II transcription by TFIIS.
Identification of residues required for stalled-ribosome rescue in the codon-independent release factor YaeJ
- The YaeJ protein is a codon-independent release factor with peptidyl-tRNA hydrolysis (PTH) activity, and functions as a stalled-ribosome rescue factor in Escherichia coli. To identify residues required for YaeJ function, we performed mutational analysis for in vitro PTH activity towards rescue of ribosomes stalled on a non-stop mRNA, and for ribosome-binding efficiency. We focused on residues conserved among bacterial YaeJ proteins. Additionally, we determined the solution structure of the GGQ domain of YaeJ from E. coli using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. YaeJ and a human homolog, ICT1, had similar levels of PTH activity, despite various differences in sequence and structure. While no YaeJ-specific residues important for PTH activity occur in the structured GGQ domain, Arg118, Leu119, Lys122, Lys129 and Arg132 in the following C-terminal extension were required for PTH activity. All of these residues are completely conserved among bacteria. The equivalent residues were also found in the C-terminal extension of ICT1, allowing an appropriate sequence alignment between YaeJ and ICT1 proteins from various species. Single amino acid substitutions for each of these residues significantly decreased ribosome-binding efficiency. These biochemical findings provide clues to understanding how YaeJ enters the A-site of stalled ribosomes.
Formation of PGE 2 in the tumor microenvironment and its impact on tumorigenesis
- Tumor development usually follows predictable paths where tumor cells acquire common characteristics and features known as the hallmarks of cancer. Recently, additional characteristics have been added to these hallmarks since solid tumors are composed of a very heterogeneous population of transformed, formerly normal tissue cells and stromal cells, e.g. immune cells and fibroblasts. Compelling evidence suggests that stromal cells and tumor cells maintain a symbiotic relationship to build up the tumor microenvironment and to fuel tumor growth. In cancer therapies, common features of tumors such as unrestricted cell growth, suppression of immunological responses, and the ability to form new blood vessels (angiogenesis) have emerged as the main targets of interest. The lipid mediator prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) is known to promote all these features and thus, is connected to cancer progression in general. Its synthesis is triggered in response to stress factors or during inflammation. Inducible PGE2 production relies on the enzymes cyclooxygenase 2 (COX-2) and microsomal prostanglandin E synthase 1 (mPGES-1), which are simultaneously expressed in response to a variety of different stimuli and are functionally coupled. Inhibition of COX-2 with non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for cancer treatment is, however, limited by cardiovascular risks, since selective COX-2 inhibition disrupts the prostacyclin/thromboxane balance. Therefore targeting mPGES-1 downstream of COX-2 for PGE2 inhibition was evaluated in this work in different steps of carcinogenesis. Knockdown of mPGES-1 in DU145 prostate cancer cells revealed that the mPGES-1 status did not affect growth of monolayer tumor cells, but significantly impaired 3D growth of multi-cellular tumor spheroids (MCTS). Spheroid formation induced COX-2 in DU145 and other prostate cancer spheroids. High levels of PGE2 were detected in supernatants of DU145 MCTS as opposed to monolayer DU145 cells. Pharmacological inhibition of COX-2 and mPGES-1 confirmed the pivotal role of PGE2 for DU145 MCTS growth. Besides promoting spheroid growth, MCTS-derived PGE2 also inhibited cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation. When investigating the mechanisms of COX-2 induction during spheroid formation, the typical tumor microenvironmental factors such as glucose deprivation, hypoxia or tumor cell apoptosis failed to enhance COX-2. Interestingly, when interfering with apoptosis in DU145 spheroids, the pan-caspase inhibitor Z-VAD-FMK triggered a Summary 12 shift towards necrosis, thus enhancing COX-2 expression. Coculturing viable DU145 monolayer cells with isolated heat-shocked-treated necrotic DU145 cells, but not with necrotic cell supernatants, induced COX-2 and PGE2, confirming the impact of necrosis for MCTS growth and CTL inhibition. As mentioned, in vivo tumors are very heterogenous mixtures of tumor cells and stromal cells e.g. immune cells. Hence, the interaction of the immune system with tumors was investigated in further experiments. When coculturing MCF-7 breast cancer spheroids with human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), only low levels of PGE2 were detected, since MCF-7 cells did not upregulate COX-2 during spheroid formation and did not induce PGE2 production by PBMCs. Under inflammatory conditions, by adding the toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to cocultures, PGE2 production was triggered, spheroid sizes were reduced, and numbers of high levels of granzyme B expressing (GrBhi) CTLs were increased, while CD80 expression by tumor-associated phagocytes was also elevated. Inhibition of CD80 but not CD86 diminished numbers of GrBhi CTLs and attenuated spheroid lysis. To determine the role of ctivation-induced PGE2 production, use of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib and the experimental mPGES-1 inhibitor C3 further increased CD80 expression. Addition of PGE2, the prostaglandin E2 (EP2) receptor agonist butaprost, and the phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) inhibitor rolipram reduced LPS/C3-triggered CD80 expression, confirming the impact of COX- 2/mPGES-1-derived PGE2 on shaping phagocyte phenotypes in an EP2/cAMP-dependent manner. In a spontaneous breast cancer model (MMTV-PyMT), mPGES-1-deficiency significantly delayed tumor growth in mice, confirming an overall protumorigenic role of mPGES-1 in breast cancer development in vivo. However in tumors of mPGES-1-/- mice, tumor-infiltrating phagocytes expressed low levels of CD80 similar to their wildtype counterparts. These data suggest that the immunosuppressive microenvironment does not allow for immunostimulatory effects by mPGES-1 inhibition without an activating stimulus. Evidences in this study recommend the application of mPGES-1 inhibitors for treating cancer diseases, since mPGES-1 promotes tumor growth in multiple steps of carcinogenesis, ranging from well-characterized effects of tumor cell growth to immune suppression of CTL activity and phagocyte polarization. Regarding the latter, blunting PGE2 during immune activation may limit the tumor-favoring features of inflammation and improve the efficiency of TLR4 based immune therapies.