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- Accessory subunits of complex I from Yarrowia lipolytica (2005)
- Mitochondial NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) the largest multiprotein enzyme of the respiratory chain, catalyses the transfer of two electrons from NADH to ubiquinone, coupled to the translocation of four protons across the membrane. In addition to the 14 strictly conserved central subunits it contains a variable number of accessory subunits. At present, the best characterized enzyme is complex I from bovine heart with a molecular mass of about 980 kDa and 32 accessory proteins. In this study, the subunit composition of mitochondrial complex I from the aerobic yeast Y. lipolytica has been analysed by a combination of proteomic and genomic approaches. The sequences of 37 complex I subunits were identified. The sum of their individual molecular masses (about 930 kDa) was consistent with the native molecular weight of approximately 900 kDa for Y. lipolytica complex I obtained by BN-PAGE. A genomic analysis with Y. lipolytica and other eukaryotic databases to search for homologues of complex I subunits revealed 31 conserved proteins among the examined species. A novel protein named “X” was found in purified Y. lipolytica complex I by MALDI-MS. This protein exhibits homology to the thiosulfate sulfurtransferase enzyme referred to as rhodanese. The finding of a rhodanese-like protein in isolated complex I of Y. lipolytica allows to assume a special regulatory mechanism of complex I activity through control of the status of its iron-sulfur clusters. The second part of this study was aimed at investigating the possible role of one of these extra subunits, 39 kDa (NUEM) subunit which is related to the SDRs-enzyme family. The members of this family function in different redox and isomerization reactions and contain a conserved NAD(P)H-binding site. It was proposed that the 39 kDa subunit may be involved in a biosynthetic pathway, but the role of this subunit in complex I is unknown. In contrast to the situation in N. crassa, deletion of the 39 kDa encoding gene in Y. lipolytica led to the absence of fully assembled complex I. This result might indicate a different pathway of complex I assembly in both organisms. Several site-directed mutations were generated in the nucleotide binding motif. These had either no effect on enzyme activity and NADPH binding, or prevented complex I assembly. Mutations of arginine-65 that is located at the end of the second b-strand and responsible for selective interaction with the 2’-phosphate group of NADPH retained complex I activity in mitochondrial membranes but the affinity for the cofactor was markedly decreased. Purification of complex I from mutants resulted in decrease or loss of ubiquinone reductase activity. It is very likely that replacement of R65 not only led to a decrease in affinity for NADPH but also caused instability of the enzyme due to steric changes in the 39 kDa subunit. These data indicate that NADPH bound to the 39 kDa subunit (NUEM) is not essential for complex I activity, but probably involved in complex I assembly in Y. lipolytica.
- Functional and structural studies on the Atmungsferment Cytochrome c oxidase from Paracoccus denitrificans (2008)
- Cytochrome c oxidase (CcO), also called Complex IV of the aerobic respiratory chain, is located in the plasma membrane of prokaryotes and in the inner mitochondrial membrane of eukaryotes. The redox energy of dioxygen reduction is used to translocate protons across the membrane resulting in an electrochemical proton gradient. The generated proton gradient is exploited by the adenosine-5’-triphosphate synthase. In this work, bacterial four-subunit aa3-Type CcO from Paracoccus denitrificans (ATCC 13543, 4 SU-wt ATCC CcO) was used for analyses. 1) The recombinant homologously produced 4 SU-wt CcO (4 SU-wt rec CcO) was functionally compared with the native 4 SU-wt ATCC CcO. The 4 SU-wt rec CcO showed functional deficiencies as determined by UV-vis spectroscopy and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) studies. Total X-ray Reflection Fluorescence measurements show in both wild type CcOs the same ratio of the redoxactive Fe and Cu (2 Fe : 3 Cu) indicating full complement of the functional metals. If CcO contains only subunit I and II, it loses its functional integrity during continuous turnover activity. The importance of subunit III for integrity of CcO was demonstrated using 2 SU-wt rec CcO. Crystallisation trials of suicide inactivated 2 SU-wt rec CcOs have been ineffective using standard crystallisation conditions. Crystals of active 2 SU-wt rec CcO (positive control) have been obtained under these conditions and this result indicates possible structural changes in suicide inactivated 2 SU-wt rec CcO. The structure of active 2 SU-wt rec CcO was determined to 2.25 Å resolution. 2) Terminal oxidases require four electrons for the cleavage of the dioxygen bond (O=O). In general, the catalytic cycle of CcO is described by the electron input and thus by the different redox states of the metal centres: the O, E, R, P and F state. The two-electron reduced R intermediate is able to donate four electrons for dioxygen reduction forming the P state. The P intermediate is an oxoferryl state implying the lack of an electron for the R -> P transition, because the metal centres can only provide three electrons (Fe+II forms Fe+IV and Cu+II forms Cu+I). The P state, where the dioxygen bond is already broken, shows an oxoferryl state (FeIV=O2-) and a nearby tyrosine is proposed to form a tyrosyl radical representing the donor of the missing electron. H2O2-induced artificial intermediates provide the opportunity to investigated different catalytic intermediates in detail. Mixing equimolar amounts of H2O2 to CcO in the O state induces the "two-electron" reduced PH state at high pH and the electronically equal "two-electron" reduced F• H state at low pH. The addition of an excess amount of H2O2 leads to the three-electron reduced FH state. Functional studies using the 4 SU-wt ATCC CcO have demonstrated a bound peroxide (O- - O-) intermediate during the catalytic cycle. Using EPR it was previously shown that Y167 hosts a radical species in PH/F• H state which suggests that Y167 could provide this "missing electron". While X-ray structural models of CcO and Fourier-transformed infrared (FTIR) measurements of oxygenated ("pulsed") 4 SU-wt ATCC CcO suggest a bound peroxide in the O state, UV-vis and EPR spectroscopic studies indicate that other intermediates may also contain such peroxide species. Equimolar and excess amounts of H2O2 induce the PH/F• H and FH states, respectively and catalase treatment of the FH state leads, contrary to the natural direction of the catalytic cycle, to the apparent transition of the FH -> PH/F• H states, which is accompanied by reappearance of an EPR signal from the Y167• radical. The novel PFH/F• FH states are presented here and we postulate that the FH state hosts a superoxide (or peroxide) adduct at CuB in the binuclear site. In addition, the novel P10 state is also introduced having a maximum at lambda = 612 nm in the difference absorption spectrum (minus the O state). The P10 state is induced by mixing CcO in the O state with a pH 10 buffer. This pH 10 induced state resembles standard P states such as PCO, PH and PR. However, the P10 state evolves out of the O state without addition of reduction equivalents. Using EPR spectroscopy it was shown that Y167 hosts a radical species in the P10 state such as in the PH state. In summary, all functional data presented here provide evidence for a peroxide bound during the O state. Finally, a new model for the natural catalytic cycle is proposed. If the O state contains a peroxide, it is also likely that the E and R state contain this species. Even the oxoferryl intermediates P and F states may complex a peroxide at CuB in the binuclear site. 3) The amino acid residue Y167, which hosts the radical in the PH/F•H states, is not directly part of the binuclear site of CcO. For identification of the primary electron donor, two tryptophan variants of CcO, W272F and W164F, which are located nearby the binuclear site, were produced. Evidence is provided that W272 is a kinetically fast electron donor for the O2 molecule. The electron is replenished by Y167, or probably by Y280 in the natural cycle. The Y167 radical is detectable by EPR spectroscopy after treatment with equimolar amounts of H2O2 in the active variant W164F, but is absent in the inactive variant W272F. 4) CcO contains two proton conducting pathways, the D- and the K-pathway. Proteoliposomes of the variants H28A and D30N, mutations located at the entrance of the D-pathway, both show the identical proton pumping activity as the 4 SU-wt rec CcO (pumped H+/e- = 1). The variant N113D shows abolished proton pumping (pumped H+/e- = 0), but a relative high cytochrome c oxidation activity (63 %). G196D displays no cytochrome c oxidation and proton pumping activity. Overall, the addition or removal of a negative charge within the D-pathway such as in D124N, N131D, N113D and G196D leads to a decoupled phenotype indicating the high degree of electrostatic coupling in CcO.
- Reggie proteins : oligomerization, interdependency and influence on cell-matrix-adhesions (2008)
- Reggie-1 (flotillin-2) and reggie-2 (flotillin-1) are membrane microdomain proteins which are associated with the membrane by means of acylation. They influence different cellular signaling processes, such as neuronal, T-cell and insulin signaling. Upon stimulation of the EGF receptor, reggie-1 becomes phosphorylated and undergoes tyrosine 163 dependent translocation from the plasma membrane to endosomal compartments. In addition, reggie-1 was shown to influence actindependent processes. Reggie-2 has been demonstrated to affect caveolin- and clathrin-independent endocytosis. Both proteins form homo- and hetero-oligomers, but the function of these oligomers has remained elusive. Moreover, it has not been clarified if functions of reggie-1 are also influenced by reggie-2 and vice versa. The first aim of the study was to further investigate the interplay and the heterooligomerization of reggie proteins and their functional effects. Both reggie proteins were individually depleted by means of siRNA. In different siRNA systems and various cell lines, reggie-1 depleted cells showed reduced protein amounts of reggie-1 and reggie-2, but reggie-2 knock down cells still expressed reggie-1 protein. The decrease of reggie-2 in reggie-1 depleted cells was only detected at protein but not at mRNA level. Furthermore, reggie-2 expression could be rescued by expression of siRNA resistant wild type reggie-1-EGFP constructs, but not by the soluble myristoylation mutant G2A. This mutant was also not able to associate with endogenous reggie-1 or reggie-2, which demonstrates that membrane association of reggie-1 is necessary for hetero-oligomerization. In addition, fluorescence microscopy studies and membrane fractionations showed that correct localization of overexpressed reggie-2 was dependent on co-overexpressed reggie-1. Thus, hetero-oligomerization is crucial for membrane association of reggie-2 and for its protein stability or protein expression. Moreover, the binding of reggie-2 to reggie-1 required tyrosine 163 of reggie-1 which was previously shown to be important for endosomal translocation of reggie-1. Since reggie-2 was implicated to function in clathrin- and caveolin-independent endocytosis pathways, the effect of reggie-2 depletion on reggie-1 endocytosis was investigated. Indeed, reggie-1 was dependent on reggie-2 for endosomal localization and EGF-induced endocytosis. By FRET-FLIM analysis it could be shown that reggie heterooligomers are dynamic in size or conformation upon EGF stimulation. Thus, it can be concluded that reggie proteins are interdependent in different aspects, such as protein stability or expression, membrane association and subcellular localization. In addition, these results demonstrate that the hetero-oligomers are dynamic and reggie proteins influence each other in terms of function. A further aim was the characterization of reggie-1 and reggie-2 function in actindependent processes, where so far only reggie-1 was known to play a role. Depletion of either of the proteins reduced cell migration, cell spreading and the number of focal adhesions in steady state cells. Thus, also reggie-2 affects actin-dependent processes. Further investigation of the focal adhesions during cell spreading revealed that depletion of reggie-1 displayed different effects as compared to reggie-2 knock down. Reggie-1 depleted cells had elongated cell-matrix-adhesions and showed reduced activation of FAK and ERK2. On the other hand, depletion of reggie-2 resulted in a restricted localization of focal adhesion at the periphery of the cell and decreased ERK2 phosphorylation, but it did not affect FAK autophosphorylation. Hence, reggie proteins influence the regulation of cell-matrix-adhesions differently. A link between reggie proteins and focal adhesions is the actin cross-linking protein -actinin. The interaction of -actinin with reggie-1 could be verified by means of co-immunoprecipitations and FRET-FLIM analysis. Reggie-1 binds -actinin especially in membrane ruffles and in other locations where actin remodeling takes place. Moreover, -actinin showed a different localization pattern during cell spreading in reggie-1 depleted cells, as compared to the control cells. These results provide further insights into the function of both reggie proteins. Their interplay and hetero-oligomerization was shown to be crucial for their role in endocytosis. In addition, both reggie proteins influence actin-dependent processes and differentially affect focal adhesion regulation.
- Structural rearrangements and subunit interactions in P2X receptors (2009)
- P2X receptors represent the third superfamily of ligand gated ion channels with ATP as their natural ligand. Most of the mammalian P2X receptors are non-selective cation channels, which upon activation, mediate membrane depolarization and have physiological roles ranging from fast excitatory synaptic transmission, modulation of pain-sensation, LTP to apoptosis etc. In spite of them being an attractive drug target, their potential as a drug target is limited by the lack of basic understanding of the structure-function relationship of these receptors. In my thesis, I have investigated the behavior of homomeric P2X receptor subunits with the help of photolabeling and fluorescence techniques coupled to electrophysiological measurements using Xenopus laevis oocytes heterologous expression system. Concurrent photolabeling by BzATP and current recordings from the same set of receptors in real time has revealed that the gating process in homomeric P2X receptors is contributed individually by each subunit in an additive manner. Our study for the first time describes the agonist potency of Alexa-ATP (a fluorescent ATP analog) on P2X1 receptors. The use of Alexa-ATP in our experiments elucidated that receptor subunits are not independent but interacting with each other in a cooperative manner. The type of cooperativity, however, depended on the type and concentrations of allosteric/competing ligands. Based on our results, in my thesis we propose an allosteric model for ligand-receptor interactions in P2X receptors. When simulated, the model could replicate our experimental findings thus, further validating our model. Further, correlation between occupancy of P2X1 receptors (determined using binding curve for Alexa-ATP) with the steady-state desensitization suggests that binding of three agonist molecules per receptor are required to desensitize P2X1 receptors. We further extended the approach of fluorescence with electrophysiological measurement to assign the role for different domains in P2X1 receptors with the help of environmental sensitive, cysteine reactive fluorophore (TMRM). Cysteine rich domain-1 of P2X1 receptors (C117-C165) was found to be involved in structural rearrangements after agonist and antagonist binding. In contrast to the present understanding, that the binding of an antagonist cannot induce desensitization in P2X1 receptors and the receptors need to open first before undergoing desensitization, we propose based on our results that a competitive antagonist can also induce desensitization in P2X1 receptors by bypassing the open state. We have attempted to answer few intriguing questions in the field of P2X receptor research and we think that our answers provide many avenues to the basic understanding of functioning of P2X receptors.
- Substrate binding does not only mean catalysis: internal regulation in the cytochrome bc1 complex from Paracoccus denitrificans (2011)
- The ubiquinol:cytochrome c oxidoreductase is a key component of several aerobic respiratory chains in different organisms. It is an integral membrane protein complex, made up of three catalytic subunits (cytochrome b, cytochrome c1 and Rieske iron sulphur protein) and up to eight additional subunits in mitochondria. The complex oxidizes one quinol molecules and reduces two cytochrome c during the Q cycle, originally described by Peter Mitchell. Electrons are split between the low and the high potential chain and protons are released on the positive side of the membrane, increasing the protonmotive force needed by the ATP-synthase for energy transduction. The cytochrome bc1 complex from P. denitrificans is a perfect model for structural and functional studies. Bacteria are easy to grow and the genetic material is readily accessible for genetic manipulation. Moreover, the P. denitrificans aerobic respiratory chain is very close to the mitochondrial one: the complexes involved in electron transfer resemble the ones found in mitochondria, but lack most of the additional subunits. As a unique feature, P. denitrificans has a strongly acidic domain at the N-terminal region of the cytochrome c1, a sequence of 150 aminoacids which does not correlate with any known protein. An analogous composition can be found in the eukaryotic cytochrome bc1 complex as a part of an accessory subunit, proposed to be involved in facilitating electron transfer between the complex and the electron acceptor cytochrome c. In order to study the function of this domain in the P. denitrificans cytochrome bc1 complex, a deletion mutant has been previously cloned and modified with an affinity tag as a C-terminal extension of cytochrome b. The complex is purified by affinity chromatography and characterized by steady-state kinetics using not only horse heart cytochrome c but also the endogenous electron acceptor, the membrane bound cytochrome c552, employed here as a soluble fragment. Steady–state kinetics indicate that the deletion of the long acidic domain had effects neither on the turnover rate nor on the apparent affinity for the substrate. To understand wether the deletion affects the reaction between the cytochrome bc1 complex and the substrate, laser flash photolysis experiments are performed, showing that the interaction observed was not changed in the complex missing the acidic domain. The results presented in this work confirm the ones previously obtained by Julia Janzon using soluble fragments of the same interaction partners. The deletion, however, affected the oligomerization state of the complex, as shown by LILBID (Laser Induced Liquid Bead Ion Desorption) analysis. The wild type complex has a tetrameric structure, better described as a “dimer of dimers”. The deletion of the acidic domain on the cytochrome c1 results in the separation of the two dimers, yielding the canonical dimer. Therefore, the complex deleted in the acidic domain is used for cloning and expression of a heterodimeric complex, containing an inactivating mutation in the quinol oxidation site in only one monomer, thus allowing a selective switch-off for half the complex. Such a complex is needed for the verification of an internal regulation mechanism, the half-of-the-sites reactivity. According to it, the dimeric structure of the cytochrome bc1 complex has functional implications, since the two monomers can communicate and work in a coordinated manner. This approach confirms that substrate oxidation does effectively take place only in one of the two monomers constituting the dimer, and that the binding of substrate at the Qo and Qi site regulates the switch between active and inactive monomer. Moreover, this mechanism works also as an effective protection against the reaction of quinone intermediates with oxygen and the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), responsable for cellular aging. The motion of the ISP head domain is also addressed in this work; in particular the mechanism which regulates the movements towards the cytochrome c1 and the electron bifurcation at the quinol oxidation site. Laser flash kinetics in presence of several inhibitors and the substrate allow studying the response of the ISP to the binding of different species at the quinol oxidation site. The binding of ligand at the Qo site in the complex triggers the conformational switch in the ISP head domain, supporting the mechanism proposed in the literature according to which the Qo site is able to “sense” the presence of substrate and transfer the information to the ISP, regulating its mobility. The internal electron pathway between the ISP and the cytochrome c1 has been analyzed also by stopped-flow kinetics, in presence and absence of inhibitors. The results indicate that two kinetic phases describe the reduction of cytochrome c1 by the ISP, and a model for the simulation of the data is proposed.
- Structural determinants for substrate specificity of the promiscuous multidrug efflux pump AcrB (2013)
- Opportunistic Gram-negative pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter Baumanii and Pseudomonas aeruginosa are becoming more and more multiresistant against many commonly available antibiotics [39, 40]. An important resistance mechanism of Gram-negative bacteria is the efflux of noxious compounds by tripartite systems [39, 41-44]. The best studied and most clinically relevant tripartite system is the AcrA-AcrB-TolC system of Escherichia coli, where substrate recognition and energy transduction takes place in the inner membrane protein AcrB. AcrB has a remarkably huge substrate spectrum and can recognize structurally diverse molecules, such as hexan in contrast to erythromycin, as its substrates . Therefore, overproduction of the tripartite system can render a Gram-negative pathogen resistant against multiple antibiotics at once. The mechanisms of how AcrB is able to recognize such an enormous spectrum of molecules as substrates, without compromising its specificity (e.g. by neglecting essential compounds like lipids or gluclose as its susbtates), remained puzzling. Structural insight into substrate specificity was so far limited to two co-crystal structures of AcrB, where minocycline and doxorubicin, respectively, were identified bound to an internal binding pocket of AcrB. This binding pocket is particularly deeply buried into internal parts of the T monomer of AcrB and was, therefore, denoted deep binding pocket (DBP). Analysis of several AcrB co-crystal structures with substrate molecules bound to the DBP [4, 23, 25] indicated that the substrate promiscuity involved multisite binding modes within the DBP. Multisite binding modes, where different substrate molecules can bind to slightly different positions and orientations to the same binding pocket, is a common feature of multidrug recognizing proteins such as QacR or BmrR [27-29]. Nevertheless, AcrB's substrate spectrum is much broader than substrate spectra of most other multidrug recognizing proteins. Therefore, it is likely that additional mechanisms are involved in mediating the observed high substrate promiscuity of AcrB. In our recently published high-resolution AcrB/doxorubicin co-crystal structure (pdb entry: 4DX7 ) we were able to identify two additional substrate binding pockets in the L monomer of AcrB: i) the access pocket (AP), with an opening towards the periplasm, and ii) a putative binding site in a groove between transmembrane helices 8 and 9 (TM8/TM9 groove), accessible from the lipid layer of the inner membrane. Both binding pockets are likely to be access sites for substrates towards AcrB. Furthermore, each of the binding pockets are possibly specialized to recognize a specific subset of the entire substrate spectrum of AcrB, i.e. highly hydrophobic substrates (e.g. n-dodecyl-ß-d-maltoside or sodium dodecylsulfate) might access AcrB towards the TM8/TM9 groove and water soluble substrates (e.g. berberine) might access AcrB towards the AP. Since substrates will accumulate in the membrane or the periplasm according to their hydrophilic or hydrophobic nature, substrates will be "pre-selected" by the medium, rather than by the protein itself, and guided to their appropriate access site. This process is proposed to be called "medium- mediated pre-selection". The AcrB/doxorubicin co-crystal structure (pdb entry: 4DX7 ) furthermore revealed that the AP and DBP are in next neighborhood to each other and are separated by a switch loop. This switch loop adopts distinct conformations in the L, T and O monomers. Specific switch loop conformations are strongly involved in coordinating the selective occupation of both binding pockets, the AP and the DBP. The conformation of the switch loop in the L monomer (L-switch loop) opens the AP and closes the DBP, whereas the conformation of the switch loop in the T monomer (T-switch Loop) opens the DBP and closes the AP. An analysis of all asymmetric AcrB structures indicated that the L-switch loop is able to adopt multiple distinct conformations, whereas the conformation of T-switch loop remained largely congruent in all crystal structures. Moreover, each distinct switch loop conformation, observed in co-crystal structures of AcrB with occupied AP [4, 23], was perfectly adapted to the bound substrate molecule. Therefore, the putatively flexible switch loop is likely to act as an adaptive module and mediates a high binding pocket plasticity without altering the global protein structure. This binding mode is called adaptor-mediated binding mechanism, where an flexible adaptive module (like the switch loop) is able to adapt the surface shape of an binding pocket to different substrate molecules. Furthermore, structural and biochemical analyses of an AcrB G616N variant, revealed the involvement of specific switch loop conformations in the substrate specificity of AcrB. A substitution of G616, located on the switch loop, to N616 was able to alter the conformation of the switch loop exclusively in the L monomers of AcrB, whereas the switch loop conformations in T and O monomers remained congruent to the conformations observed in crystal structures of wildtype AcrB. Moreover, cells producing the AcrB G616N and MexB, both bearing the G616N amino acid substitution, exhibited a reduced resistance against certain substrates, whereas the resistance against most other substrates remained on the level of wildtype AcrB. Correlations of the phenotypes with minimal projection areas, a novel 2-spatiodimensional parameter which approximates the size of a substrate molecule, revealed that AcrB variants with a G616N substitution have a reduced efflux activity for exclusively large substrate molecules. The rejection of large substrates is most likely connected with altered L-switch loop conformations....
- Expression and characterization of P-type ATPases for structural studies (2007)
- Two types of proteins transport ions across the membrane – ion channels and ion pumps. Ion pumps transport ions against their electrochemical gradient by co-transporting another ion or a substrate molecule through a concentration gradient or by coupling this process to an energy source like ATP. Those that couple ATP hydrolysis to ion transport are called ion motive ATPases and can be classified as ‘V’, ‘F’ and ‘P’ types. In this thesis, two sub-classes of P-type ATPases, PIIIA and PIB were studied. Attempts were made to over-express and crystallize the plant proton pump AHA2 (a PIIIA-ATPase). Also, the two putative copper transporting ATPases, CtrA3 (CopB-like) and CtrA2 (CopA-like) from Aquifex aeolicus (both PIB pumps) were over-expressed in E. coli and characterized. PIIIA-type pumps transport protons across the membrane and are found exclusively in plants and fungi, and probably some archaea. One of the most characterized proton pump biochemically is the A. thaliana proton pump AHA2. An 8Å projection map of this enzyme is already available (Jahn 2001). PIBATPases, also called CPX type pumps transport heavy metal ions such as Cu+, Cu2+, Zn2+, Pb2+, Cd2+, Co2+ across biological membranes and play an important role in homeostasis and biotolerance of these metals. CopA and CopB are two such proteins that transport copper across cell membrane found in many prokaryotes. CopB-like proteins are found almost exclusively in bacteria, with CPH sequence motif, while CopA-like proteins have CPC sequence motif, also found in eukaryotic copper transporters including human ATP7A and ATP7B. CopB extrudes Cu2+ across the membrane. CopA is activated by and transports Cu+ but the direction of transport is debated. Attempts were made to over-express the plant proton pump AHA2 in yeast Pichia pastoris. However, the yeast expressed only a truncated protein, which could not be used for further studies. It can be concluded that P. pastoris strain SMD1163 is not a good host for expression of AHA2. Focus was then shifted to AHA2 that has been over-expressed and purified from S. cerevisiae strain RS72. Growth and purification protocols had to be changed from published methods because of laboratory constraints and this probably had an effect on the protein produced. The protein purified from S. cerevisiae could not be crystallized reproducibly for structural studies by electron microscopy. CtrA3 was expressed in E. coli and purified using Ni2+-NTA matrix. Like CopB of A. fulgidus (Mana Capelli 2003), it was active only in the presence of Cu2+ and to some extent in Ag+. The protein was maximally active at 75°C, at pH 7 and in presence of cysteine. Lipids were essential for the activity of CtrA3. However, when the protein was purified in Cymal-6, CtrA3 could not hydrolyze ATP, even when lipids were added to the reaction mixture. For reconstitution of CtrA3 into liposomes for 2D crystallization, several lipids were tested. To screen the lipids compatible for protein incorporation, CtrA3 was dialyzed with different lipids at a high lipid-to-protein ratio of 10:1 and centrifuged by sucrose density gradient. Protein incorporated in lipids localized with liposome fraction in the gradient. Most of the CtrA3 was incorporated into DPPC with no aggregation. This lipid was used for reconstitution of CtrA3 at low LPRs, and at an LPR of 0.3-0.5, the protein formed 2D crystals. A NaCl concentration of 50mM was necessary for the formation of crystals. However, salt removal by dialysis prior to harvesting was essential for obtaining wellordered lattices of CtrA3. Addition of preservatives like trehalose and tannin or direct plunging in liquid ethane for cryo-microscopy destroyed the crystal lattice. Similar to CtrA3, the gene responsible for expression of CtrA2 was amplified from genomic DNA of A. aeolicus and expressed in E. coli and purified by Ni2+-NTA. Functional characterization of CtrA2 was done by analyzing ATP hydrolysis activity of the enzyme. Similar to CopA of A. fulgidus (Mandal 2002), CtrA2 was activated in the presence of Ag+ and to some extent, Cu+. It is possible that both the copper ATPases of A. aeolicus have different ion selectivity- CtrA3, specific for Cu2+ and CtrA2, specific for Cu+. Maximal activity of CtrA2 was also at 75°C. Cysteine was essential for activity of CtrA2, but the protein was not dependent on addition of lipids for activation. Reconstitution of CtrA2 was done similar to CtrA3 for screening of lipids for 2D crystallization. Of the lipids tested, DOPC reconstituted the protein best. However, screening at low LPRs did not yield any crystals. Even though both CtrA3 and CtrA2 are similar heavy metal transporting Ptype ATPases from the same organism and have 36% identity, they behaved completely different in their expression levels in E. coli, purification profiles, activity and reconstitution in lipids.
- Investigation of three accessory subunits of complex I from Yarrowia lipolytica (2010)
- The nicotinamide-adenine-dinucleotide (NADH):ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I) from the strictly aerobic yeast Y. lipolytica contains at least 26 “accessory” subunits however the significance of most of them remains unknown. The aim of this study was to characterize the role of three accessory subunits of complex I, recently identified: two mitochondrial acyl carrier proteins, ACPM1 and ACPM2 and a sulfurtransferase (st1) subunit. ACPMs are small (approx. 10 kDa) acidic proteins that are homologous to the corresponding central components of prokaryotic fatty acid synthase complexes. Genomic deletions of the two genes ACPM1 and ACPM2 resulted in strains that were not viable or retained only trace amounts of assembled mitochondrial complex I, respectively, as assessed using two-dimensional blue native/sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (BN/SDS) PAGE. This suggested different functions for the two proteins that despite high similarity could not be complemented by the respective other homolog still expressed in the deletion strains. To test whether complex I was affected by deletion of the ACPM2 gene, its activities in mitochondrial membranes were measured. Consequently, specific inhibitor sensitive dNADH: decylubiquinone (DBQ) oxidoreductase activity was lost completely and a strong decrease in dNADH: hexa-ammine-ruthenium (HAR) oxidoreductase activity was measured. Remarkably, the same phenotypes were observed if just the conserved serine carrying the phosphopantethein moiety was exchanged with alanine. Although this suggested a functional link to the lipid metabolism of mitochondria, using HPLC chromatography no changes in the lipid composition of the organelles were found. Proteomic analysis revealed that both ACPMs were tightly bound to purified mitochondrial complex I. Western blot analysis revealed that the affinity tagged ACPM1 and ACPM2 proteins were exclusively detectable in mitochondrial membranes but not in the mitochondrial matrix as reported for other organisms. Hence it has been concluded that the ACPMs can serve all their possible functions in mitochondrial lipid metabolism and complex I assembly and stabilization as subunits bound to complex I. A protein exhibiting rhodanese (thiosulfate:cyanide sulfurtransferase) activity was found to be associated with homogenous preparation of complex I. From a rhodanese deletion strain, functional complex I that lacked the additional protein but was fully assembled and displayed no functional defects or changes in EPR signature was purified. In contrast to previous suggestions, this indicated that the sulfurtransferase associated with Y. lipolytica complex I is not required for assembly of its iron–sulfur clusters.
- Funktionelle Charakterisierung der C-terminalen-Domänen des Korepressors N-CoR (2006)
- Although in general cells are genetically identical in multicellular organisms, the differential expression of genomic information enables cell type definition and specific organ function. In eukaryotic cells, the DNA is associated with histone and non-histones proteins into a restrictive structure called chromatin. Assembly into chromatin does not only protect and package the linear double stranded DNA into the nucleus but is fundamental for the execution of diverse genetic programs. Posttranslational modifications of histones regulate the accessibility of the DNA to transcription factors and serve as scaffold for binding of regulatory proteins. Nuclear receptors are transcription factors that bind specific target sequences on the DNA and recruit transcriptional coregulators at the promoter. These are able to modify the chromatin structure in an activating or repressing manner. The contribution of corepressors to the biological actions of nuclear receptors has turned out to be essential. Impaired corepressor function can be the cause of endocrine malfunctions, neoplastic diseases or severe developmental abnormalities. To better understand the role of the nuclear receptor corepressor N-CoR the unknown function of the extreme C-terminus was investigated. In this thesis the interaction of N-CoR with the non-POU-domain containing octamer-binding protein Non0/p54nrb, that was found tobe a potential interaction partner in a yeast-two-hybrid screen, was confirmed. This protein contains two RNA recognition motifs (RRM) and is described as a multifunctional protein since it is involved in transcription Initiation as well as in pre-mRNA processing. The RRM1 motif was determined to be essential and sufficient for the interaction with N-CoR. Obtaining dominant negative effect with the Non0/p54nrb RRM1 deletion mutant in functional reporter assays, data support that NonO modulates the capacity of N-CoR to repress and alters the recruitment of N-CoR by nuclear receptors to targeted Promoters. Additional analyses suggest that the N- and C- terminus of N-CoR are involved in intramolecular interactions and that they regulate each other. Taken results together a functional model is proposed that supports the biological relevance of the interaction of N-CoR with NonO and the function of N-CoR C-terminus acting as asensor that evaluates the ratio of corepressors and coactivators in the nuclear receptor environment. N-CoR repressive capacity would be altered by modulating factors like NonO that interacts with N-CoR C-terminus. The mechanism support that splicing and transcription regulation are physically and functionallylinked to ensure the appropriate amount of messager RNA to be transcript and process in response to stimulation intensity and cell context.
- In vivo selection of retroviral display libraries for tumor homing (2010)
- The display of foreign polypeptides and proteins on the surface of viruses or cells provides an important tool for the engineering of biomolecules and the analysis of their interactions with binding partners. The most extensively used display platform is the coat protein of the filamentous bacteriophage (Smith, 1985). Phage display libraries have often been selected for polypeptides, e.g. single chain (sc) antibodies that bind to a protein of interest, but in vivo selection could only be demonstrated for peptides so far. An alternative display platform is the retrovirus murine leukemia virus (MLV). Here, polypeptides are displayed at the N-terminus of the viral envelope glycoprotein. Proof of principle for this platform was demonstrated for protease substrate libraries, which can be selected through coupling proteolytic activation with viral infectivity (Buchholz et al., 1998). Selection of the library CX4A on living cells resulted in viruses with more than three orders of magnitude improved spreading efficiency through tumor cells (Hartl et al., 2005). Also scAb libraries have recently been displayed and selected using retroviruses (Urban et al., 2005). The library scFvlibxMo displays the repertoire of phage display preselected sc antibodies for laminin-1 binding. The retrovirus based selection process resulted in laminin-specific sc antibodies with improved expression levels in mammalian cells. This thesis describes the in vivo (i.e. in mouse tumor models) selection of the C-X4-A and scFvlibxMo for tumor homing upon systemic delivery. For selection of the protease substrate library C-X4-A a subcutaneous tumor was induced in SCID mice followed by three systemic injections of the library. The selection process was monitored over a period of 34 days. After the incubation period mice were sacrificed and virus load in organs and tumor determined. PCR analysis after 34 days showed that virus from the library had preferentially infected the tumor. Sequence analysis showed the selection of protease substrates with the most prominent one with a frequency of over 65%. The four most prominent protease substrate variants where reconstituted into the original viral backbone for further investigation (C-SK-A, C-HI-A, C-HM-A and C-HS-A). Interestingly, these viruses exhibited a reduced spreading capacity in vitro on HT1080 cells as compared to the C-AK-A virus, which had previously been selected on HT1080 cells. When assayed for tumor homing, however, viruses C-HI-A and C-HS-A had clearly improved in comparison to C-AK-A. Tumor tissue had been infected at rates of over 55% while virus load of extratumoral organs was very low (infection rates <0.7 for C-HS-A and <0.02 for C-HI-A). Tumor targeting capacity had thus been improved over 10-fold by the in vivo selection of the C-X4-A library. The experimental set up for the in vivo selection of the scFvlibxMo library was performed according to that of the C-X4-A library. Fingerprint analysis of the selected viruses that infected tumor tissue resulted in the identification of seven antibody variants showing unique CDR3 sequences. Two prominent clones (M49T-A and M49T-B) were cloned back into the MoMLV genome for further analysis of the reconstituted viruses. While variant B bound laminin-1 efficiently, variant A was unable to do so, although it was selected at highest frequency (76%). Both reconstituted viruses were equally well infectious and spread through HT1080rec1 cells at a similar efficiency as MoMLV. In an in vivo competition experiment the selected viruses clearly out-competed a laminin-1 binding reference virus L36xMo for tumor homing. To understand the molecular driving forces behind the in vivo selection process the epitope of the selected scFv M49T-A was identified using a phage peptide library approach. In silico analysis led to the identification of a small group of possible antigens, including tenascin, fibronectin and collagen. The data described in this thesis demonstrate that the retrovirus display platform is capable of allowing the in vivo selection of protease substrates and scFvs. Notably, the replication competence of the system introduced an additional level of complexity to the library. The performed in vivo selections significantly enhanced tumor tropism. Selective infection of tumor cells combined with transfer of anti-tumoral genes is an attractive strategy for cancer therapy being in focus of current research. The viruses selected in this thesis build prime candidates for targeted retrovirus based tumor therapy.