- Phosphorylation regulates the assembly of chloroplast import machinery (2008)
- Chloroplast function depends on the translocation of cytosolically synthesized precursor proteins into the organelle. The recognition and transfer of most precursor proteins across the outer membrane depend on a membrane inserted complex. Two receptor components of this complex, Toc34 and Toc159, are GTPases, which can be phosphorylated by kinases present in the hosting membrane. However, the physiological function of phosphorylation is not yet understood in detail. It is demonstrated that both receptors are phosphorylated within their G-domains. In vitro, the phosphorylation of Toc34 disrupts both homo- and heterodimerization of the G-domains as determined using a phospho-mimicking mutant. In endogenous membranes this mutation or phosphorylation of the wild-type receptor disturbs the association of Toc34, but not of Toc159 with the translocation pore. Therefore, phosphorylation serves as an inhibitor for the association of Toc34 with other components of the complex and phosphorylation can now be discussed as a mechanism to exchange different isoforms of Toc34 within this ensemble.
- TonB-dependent transporters and their occurrence in cyanobacteria (2009)
- Background Different iron transport systems evolved in Gram-negative bacteria during evolution. Most of the transport systems depend on outer membrane localized TonB-dependent transporters (TBDTs), a periplasma-facing TonB protein and a plasma membrane localized machinery (ExbBD). So far, iron chelators (siderophores), oligosaccharides and polypeptides have been identified as substrates of TBDTs. For iron transport, three uptake systems are defined: the lactoferrin/transferrin binding proteins, the porphyrin-dependent transporters and the siderophore-dependent transporters. However, for cyanobacteria almost nothing is known about possible TonB-dependent uptake systems for iron or other substrates. Results We have screened all publicly available eubacterial genomes for sequences representing (putative) TBDTs. Based on sequence similarity, we identified 195 clusters, where elements of one cluster may possibly recognize similar substrates. For Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 we identified 22 genes as putative TBDTs covering almost all known TBDT subclasses. This is a high number of TBDTs compared to other cyanobacteria. The expression of the 22 putative TBDTs individually depends on the presence of iron, copper or nitrogen. Conclusions We exemplified on TBDTs the power of CLANS-based classification, which demonstrates its importance for future application in systems biology. In addition, the tentative substrate assignment based on characterized proteins will stimulate the research of TBDTs in different species. For cyanobacteria, the atypical dependence of TBDT gene expression on different nutrition points to a yet unknown regulatory mechanism. In addition, we were able to clarify a hypothesis of the absence of TonB in cyanobacteria by the identification of according sequences.
- Structural and functional analysis of the archaeal endonuclease Nob1 (2011)
- Eukaryotic ribosome biogenesis requires the concerted action of numerous ribosome assembly factors, for most of which structural and functional information is currently lacking. Nob1, which can be identified in eukaryotes and archaea, is required for the final maturation of the small subunit ribosomal RNA in yeast by catalyzing cleavage at site D after export of the preribosomal subunit into the cytoplasm. Here, we show that this also holds true for Nob1 from the archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, which efficiently cleaves RNA-substrates containing the D-site of the preribosomal RNA in a manganese-dependent manner. The structure of PhNob1 solved by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy revealed a PIN domain common with many nucleases and a zinc ribbon domain, which are structurally connected by a flexible linker. We show that amino acid residues required for substrate binding reside in the PIN domain whereas the zinc ribbon domain alone is sufficient to bind helix 40 of the small subunit rRNA. This suggests that the zinc ribbon domain acts as an anchor point for the protein on the nascent subunit positioning it in the proximity of the cleavage site.
- Prediction of beta-barrel membrane proteins by searching for restricted domains (2005)
- BACKGROUND: The identification of beta-barrel membrane proteins out of a genomic/proteomic background is one of the rapidly developing fields in bioinformatics. Our main goal is the prediction of such proteins in genome/proteome wide analyses. RESULTS: For the prediction of beta-barrel membrane proteins within prokaryotic proteomes a set of parameters was developed. We have focused on a procedure with a low false positive rate beside a procedure with lowest false prediction rate to obtain a high certainty for the predicted sequences. We demonstrate that the discrimination between beta-barrel membrane proteins and other proteins is improved by analyzing a length limited region. The developed set of parameters is applied to the proteome of E. coli and the results are compared to four other described procedures. CONCLUSION: Analyzing the beta-barrel membrane proteins revealed the presence of a defined membrane inserted beta-barrel region. This information can now be used to refine other prediction programs as well. So far, all tested programs fail to predict outer membrane proteins in the proteome of the prokaryote E. coli with high reliability. However, the reliability of the prediction is improved significantly by a combinatory approach of several programs. The consequences and usability of the developed scores are discussed.
- Defining the core proteome of the chloroplast envelope membranes (2013)
- High-throughput protein localization studies require multiple strategies. Mass spectrometric analysis of defined cellular fractions is one of the complementary approaches to a diverse array of cell biological methods. In recent years, the protein content of different cellular (sub-)compartments was approached. Despite of all the efforts made, the analysis of membrane fractions remains difficult, in that the dissection of the proteomes of the envelope membranes of chloroplasts or mitochondria is often not reliable because sample purity is not always warranted. Moreover, proteomic studies are often restricted to single (model) species, and therefore limited in respect to differential individual evolution. In this study we analyzed the chloroplast envelope proteomes of different plant species, namely, the individual proteomes of inner and outer envelope (OE) membrane of Pisum sativum and the mixed envelope proteomes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Medicago sativa. The analysis of all three species yielded 341 identified proteins in total, 247 of them being unique. 39 proteins were genuine envelope proteins found in at least two species. Based on this and previous envelope studies we defined the core envelope proteome of chloroplasts. Comparing the general overlap of the available six independent studies (including ours) revealed only a number of 27 envelope proteins. Depending on the stringency of applied selection criteria we found 231 envelope proteins, while less stringent criteria increases this number to 649 putative envelope proteins. Based on the latter we provide a map of the outer and inner envelope core proteome, which includes many yet uncharacterized proteins predicted to be involved in transport, signaling, and response. Furthermore, a foundation for the functional characterization of yet unidentified functions of the inner and OE for further analyses is provided.
- The protein translocation systems in plants - composition and variability on the example of Solanum lycopersicum (2013)
- Background: Protein translocation across membranes is a central process in all cells. In the past decades the molecular composition of the translocation systems in the membranes of the endoplasmic reticulum, peroxisomes, mitochondria and chloroplasts have been established based on the analysis of model organisms. Today, these results have to be transferred to other plant species. We bioinformatically determined the inventory of putative translocation factors in tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) by orthologue search and domain architecture analyses. In addition, we investigated the diversity of such systems by comparing our findings to the model organisms Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Arabidopsis thaliana and 12 other plant species. Results: The literature search end up in a total of 130 translocation components in yeast and A. thaliana, which are either experimentally confirmed or homologous to experimentally confirmed factors. From our bioinformatic analysis (PGAP and OrthoMCL), we identified (co-)orthologues in plants, which in combination yielded 148 and 143 orthologues in A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum, respectively. Interestingly, we traced 82% overlap in findings from both approaches though we did not find any orthologues for 27% of the factors by either procedure. In turn, 29% of the factors displayed the presence of more than one (co-)orthologue in tomato. Moreover, our analysis revealed that the genomic composition of the translocation machineries in the bryophyte Physcomitrella patens resemble more to higher plants than to single celled green algae. The monocots (Z. mays and O. sativa) follow more or less a similar conservation pattern for encoding the translocon components. In contrast, a diverse pattern was observed in different eudicots. Conclusions: The orthologue search shows in most cases a clear conservation of components of the translocation pathways/machineries. Only the Get-dependent integration of tail-anchored proteins seems to be distinct. Further, the complexity of the translocation pathway in terms of existing orthologues seems to vary among plant species. This might be the consequence of palaeoploidisation during evolution in plants; lineage specific whole genome duplications in Arabidopsis thaliana and triplications in Solanum lycopersicum.
- The evolution of the ribosome biogenesis pathway from a yeast perspective (2013)
- Ribosome biogenesis is fundamental for cellular life, but surprisingly little is known about the underlying pathway. In eukaryotes a comprehensive collection of experimentally verified ribosome biogenesis factors (RBFs) exists only for Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Far less is known for other fungi, animals or plants, and insights are even more limited for archaea. Starting from 255 yeast RBFs, we integrated ortholog searches, domain architecture comparisons and, in part, manual curation to investigate the inventories of RBF candidates in 261 eukaryotes, 26 archaea and 57 bacteria. The resulting phylogenetic profiles reveal the evolutionary ancestry of the yeast pathway. The oldest core comprising 20 RBF lineages dates back to the last universal common ancestor, while the youngest 20 factors are confined to the Saccharomycotina. On this basis, we outline similarities and differences of ribosome biogenesis across contemporary species. Archaea, so far a rather uncharted domain, possess 38 well-supported RBF candidates of which some are known to form functional sub-complexes in yeast. This provides initial evidence that ribosome biogenesis in eukaryotes and archaea follows similar principles. Within eukaryotes, RBF repertoires vary considerably. A comparison of yeast and human reveals that lineage-specific adaptation via RBF exclusion and addition characterizes the evolution of this ancient pathway.
- The Complexity of Vesicle Transport Factors in Plants Examined by Orthology Search (2014)
- Vesicle transport is a central process to ensure protein and lipid distribution in eukaryotic cells. The current knowledge on the molecular components and mechanisms of this process is majorly based on studies in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana, which revealed 240 different proteinaceous factors either experimentally proven or predicted to be involved in vesicle transport. In here, we performed an orthologue search using two different algorithms to identify the components of the secretory pathway in yeast and 14 plant genomes by using the ‘core-set’ of 240 factors as bait. We identified 4021 orthologues and (co-)orthologues in the discussed plant species accounting for components of COP-II, COP-I, Clathrin Coated Vesicles, Retromers and ESCRTs, Rab GTPases, Tethering factors and SNAREs. In plants, we observed a significantly higher number of (co-)orthologues than yeast, while only 8 tethering factors from yeast seem to be absent in the analyzed plant genomes. To link the identified (co-)orthologues to vesicle transport, the domain architecture of the proteins from yeast, genetic model plant A. thaliana and agriculturally relevant crop Solanum lycopersicum has been inspected. For the orthologous groups containing (co-)orthologues from yeast, A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum, we observed the same domain architecture for 79% (416/527) of the (co-)orthologues, which documents a very high conservation of this process. Further, publically available tissue-specific expression profiles for a subset of (co-)orthologues found in A. thaliana and S. lycopersicum suggest that some (co-)orthologues are involved in tissue-specific functions. Inspection of localization of the (co-)orthologues based on available proteome data or localization predictions lead to the assignment of plastid- as well as mitochondrial localized (co-)orthologues of vesicle transport factors and the relevance of this is discussed.
- A pre-ribosomal RNA interaction network involving snoRNAs and the Rok1 helicase (2014)
- Ribosome biogenesis in yeast requires 75 small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) and a myriad of cofactors for processing, modification, and folding of the ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs). For the 19 RNA helicases implicated in ribosome synthesis, their sites of action and molecular functions have largely remained unknown. Here, we have used UV cross-linking and analysis of cDNA (CRAC) to reveal the pre-rRNA binding sites of the RNA helicase Rok1, which is involved in early small subunit biogenesis. Several contact sites were identified in the 18S rRNA sequence, which interestingly all cluster in the “foot” region of the small ribosomal subunit. These include a major binding site in the eukaryotic expansion segment ES6, where Rok1 is required for release of the snR30 snoRNA. Rok1 directly contacts snR30 and other snoRNAs required for pre-rRNA processing. Using cross-linking, ligation and sequencing of hybrids (CLASH) we identified several novel pre-rRNA base-pairing sites for the snoRNAs snR30, snR10, U3, and U14, which cluster in the expansion segments of the 18S rRNA. Our data suggest that these snoRNAs bridge interactions between the expansion segments, thereby forming an extensive interaction network that likely promotes pre-rRNA maturation and folding in early pre-ribosomal complexes and establishes long-range rRNA interactions during ribosome synthesis.