Biologische Hochschulschriften (Goethe-Universität; nur lokal zugänglich)
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.
Atypical causes of nontraumatic intracranial subarachnoid hemorrhage
Verena Esther Kutschera
- Climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene (2.6-0.01 million years) have played an important role during evolution of many species. Cyclic range contractions and expansions had demographic consequences within species, provided environmental conditions for population divergence and speciation and enabled secondary contact and interspecific hybridization. These and other evolutionary processes have left genetic signatures in the genomes of affected organisms. Comprehensive and unbiased estimates of evolutionary processes can be obtained using genetic markers from different parts of the genome and by integrating population genetic and phylogenetic concepts.
Suitable for studies on evolutionary processes and patterns over different evolutionary time scales are bears (Ursidae) and foxes (Vulpes), which occupy a wide range of habitats and evolved during the past few millions of years. In my thesis, I therefore used bears and red foxes as study species to investigate the genetic variation within and between species and to obtain estimates of evolutionary relationships and divergence times of populations and species that I interpreted in a climatic context. Further, I investigated population genetic processes during the evolution of bears. My thesis includes three publications and one submitted manuscript, spanning different evolutionary time scales - from evolutionary relationships and processes among species (phylogenetic time scales, Publications I & II), among populations and closely related species in a geographical context (phylogeographic time scales, Publications II & III), to ongoing processes within species (population genetic time scales, Publication IV).
In Publication I (Kutschera et al. 2014, Mol Biol Evol 31(8):2004-2017), I studied bears at several nuclear markers from several individuals per species, complemented with markers from the Y chromosome. Using approaches based on a population genetic concept (coalescent theory) I obtained a species tree with divergence time estimates. Further, I studied two evolutionary processes in bears, interspecific gene flow and incomplete lineage sorting (ILS). This study contributed to the growing evidence that population genetic processes can be relevant on time scales up to several millions of years.
In Publication II (Hailer, Kutschera et al. 2012, Science 336(6079):344-347), we complemented previous mitochondrial (mt) DNA-based inference of the evolutionary history of polar and brown bears with nuclear DNA. Coalescence-based species tree analyses of multiple nuclear markers from several individuals per species placed polar bears as sister lineage to brown bears and their divergence time to about 600 thousand years ago (ka). This contrasted previous mtDNA-based inference. We explained this discrepancy between mtDNA and nuclear DNA with interspecific gene flow between polar and brown bears.
In Publication III (Kutschera et al. 2013, BMC Evol Biol 13:114), I studied range-wide phylogeographic events and their timing in red foxes. A synthesis of newly generated and published mtDNA sequences was analyzed using a coalescence-based approach with multiple fossil calibration points. Thereby, I validated the identity and geographic distribution of several red fox lineages and showed that red foxes colonized North America and Japan several times independently during the late Pleistocene (126-11 ka) and around the last glacial maximum (26.5-19 ka). In a comparison of my results from red foxes to brown bears and grey wolves, I identified similar phylogeographic patterns.
In Publication IV (Kutschera et al., submitted to Biol Conserv), I found similar levels of genetic variability in vagrant polar bears that had reached Iceland compared to established subpopulations from across the range. Based on climate projections reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2014, polar bear habitat will markedly decline and become increasingly fragmented within the next decades. Dispersal will play an important role by connecting isolated subpopulations, thereby maintaining genetic diversity levels. My results indicate that vagrants could stabilize genetic variability when immigrating into established subpopulations.
In conclusion, my thesis provided a deeper understanding of evolutionary genetic processes and patterns and their timing in bears and red foxes in a climatic context, which can have conservation implications. Further, I showed that processes like ILS and interspecific gene flow can be relevant over different time scales and are important aspects of evolutionary history. Thereby, my thesis contributed to the knowledge on the evolutionary history of several carnivore species and on evolutionary processes acting within and between closely related species.
Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis: toponomics approach to identifying new drug targets
- Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (JNCL) is a rare inherited childhood neurodegenerative disease that is caused by a mutation in the gene CLN3. The function of the protein produced by the gene has remained elusive, and therefore the disease mechanism of JNCL is as of yet unknown. The disease is fatal, and no cure is currently available. We believe that simvastatin shows promise as a possible treatment. Simvastatin is well tolerated in children, and as currently no other viable, less invasive treatment for JNCL exists, at least pilot-scale clinical trials for this new off-label use of simvastatin are warranted.
The protein CLN3 has been indicated to have several different subcellular localizations and functions, but conclusive evidence about its role in cellular metabolism is lacking. It is also unclear why the mutation causes the distinct phenotype of the JNCL disease. In order to bring lucidity to the issue, we set out to identify metabolic pathways related to the phenotype of JNCL by using Multi-Epitope Ligand Cartography (MELC) and the related field of toponomics. Toponomic methods are required to process the massive amount of data generated by the MELC runs in order to extract information from them.
Our disease model of choice was the CLN3Δex7/8 knock-in mouse. To separate cause from effect, we compared embryonal wild type and mutant mouse brains to their adult counterparts. The first analyses revealed progressively abnormal Combinatorial Molecular Patterns (CMPs, an unit of toponomic data) related to cholera toxin/ganglioside 1 (Ctx/GM1), which is a membrane microdomain marker.
Cholesterol is an essential part of microdomains, so we utilized filipin staining to see if there were actual changes in cholesterol concentration and localization between healthy and diseased animals. After the disturbance in cholesterol metabolism was verified, we investigated the metabolic pathway that synthesizes cholesterol, the mevalonate pathway. Simvastatin is a drug that specifically down-regulates the mevalonate pathway. Fish oil affects lipid homeostasis and has some effects similar to those of simvastatin, and both of these drugs have previously been studied for their effects on neurodegenerative diseases. After treatment of mice with these drugs, highperformance liquid chromatography (HPLC) measurements on the brain homogenate showed a decrease in levels of farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) and geranyl-geranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP), products of the mevalonate pathway, confirming the effect of these drugs on the brains of the animals. Analyses of motor function of the mice further supported the notion that simvastatin had a positive effect on the condition of the diseased animals.
CMP analyses from the simvastatin treated mice showed a rescue of the Ctx/GM1 CMPs, suggesting at least a partial restoration of membrane microdomain homeostasis. Filipin staining revealed reversion of the apparent cholesterol depletion in the adult mutant mouse hippocampus by simvastatin. Interestingly, an additional effect of the treatment was found: simvastatin also affected glutamate receptor homeostasis, especially as regarding to N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and alphaamino-3-hydroxyl-5-methyl-4-isoxazole-propionate (AMPA) receptors. This finding suggested that excitotoxicity could be a part of the disease process, and pointed towards glutamate receptors as possible therapy targets. This is in line with previous studies that have shown that attenuation of AMPA receptors and L voltage-dependent channels improve the phenotype of a JNCL mouse and cell model, respectively.
Simvastatin mediates many of its effects via downregulation of the mevalonate pathway products, such as isoprenoids and cholesterol. However, simvastatin also has multiple pleiotropic effects that include suppression of excitotoxicity and granting neuroprotection. It is apparent that simvastatin treatment has a positive effect on JNCL mice, but if its effects are mediated via cholesterol (and membrane microdomains), isoprenoids (and isoprenylated proteins) or via a fully cholesterol independent mechanism remains to be solved.
In this study we have shown that with the MELC method and toponomics it is possible to approach rare diseases with confounded disease mechanisms with a hypothesis-free approach, to identify possible drug targets, and to monitor the effects of the drugs on treated individuals. This should open up a new avenue in the research of the many diseases that so far have avoided all attempts at discerning their nature.
Untersuchung der Ribosomen-Biogenese der Hefe Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Funktion der Klasse I Methyltransferase Rrp8
- In dieser Arbeit wurde die physiologische Funktion der Klasse I Methyltransferase Rrp8 bei der Ribosomen-Biogenese der Hefe Saccharomyces cerevisiae untersucht. Ziel war es, die Bedeutung des Proteins für die rRNA-Prozessierungsschritte besser zu verstehen und das Substratmolekül zu identifizieren, das durch die katalytische Aktivität von Rrp8p modifiziert wird.
In einer rrp8-ΔC Mutante, bei der die für die C-terminale Methyltransferase-Domäne codierende Sequenz deletiert vorlag, konnte eine leichte Mengenreduktion der 40S Untereinheit gefunden werden, was für eine Beteiligung von Rrp8p an der Biogenese der kleinen Untereinheit sprach. Unter Anwendung eines artifiziellen Tetrazyklin-Aptamer-Systems, das die Regulation der Expression eines spezifischen Gens erlaubt, wurde eine bereits vorher bekannte synthetische Interaktion mit der essentiellen 90SKomponente Nep1p bestätigt. Mit Hilfe dieses Expressionssystems konnte auch für eine reduzierte Expression von Nop14p, einem Interaktionspartner des Nep1-Proteins, eine synthetisch kranke Beziehung mit rrp8-ΔC festgestellt werden. Zusammen mit der Untersuchung des Sedimentationsverhaltens eines markierten Rrp8-Proteins und bekannten Daten aus der Literatur wiesen die genetischen Analysen darauf hin, dass Rrp8p neben dem Einfluss auf späte Reifungsschritte des 90S prä-Ribosoms auch für die frühen Reifungsschritte der 60S Untereinheit wichtig ist. Weitere Interaktionen mit Faktoren, die an der Translation beteiligt sind (TIF4631, DOM34) und die Messung der Translationsaktivität zeigten, dass der Ausfall von Rrp8p nicht nur die Biogenese verzögert, sondern gleichfalls die Funktionsfähigkeit des Ribosoms beeinflusst.
Die in dieser Arbeit durchgeführte phänotypische Analyse einer rrp8-ΔC tc-GAR1 Doppelmutante unterstützte die Vermutung, dass Rrp8p auch frühe Reifungsschritte der 60S Untereinheit beeinflusst. Mit einem in vitro Experiment konnte die Bindung von SAM an Rrp8p gezeigt werden und RP-HPLC Analysen der 25S rRNA verdeutlichten, dass Rrp8p neben dem Einfluss auf die Prozessierungsstelle A2 für die m1A645 Modifikation in Helix 25.1 verantwortlich ist. Die phänotypische Untersuchung einer von P. Kötter und S. Lamberth angefertigten rRNA Mutante (A645U) zeigte, dass die Sequenzveränderung innerhalb der Helix 25.1 der 25S rRNA, die zugleich zum Verlust der Modifikation führt, eine deutliche Auswirkung auf das Zellwachstum und auf das Polysomenprofil hat. Ähnliche Polysomenprofile wurden in den Mutanten rrp8-G209R und rrp8-G209A beobachtet, die ein punktmutiertes Rrp8-Protein exprimieren. Eine reduzierte SAM-Bindungsaktivität des mutierten Proteins führte ebenfalls zu einer reduzierten Menge an m1A645 modifizierter 25S rRNA. Eine im Unterschied zur rrp8-ΔC Mutante auftretende Reduktion der 60S Untereinheit in den Punktmutanten spricht für einen bisher noch unbekannten Einfluss von Rrp8p auf die Biogenese der 60S Untereinheit.
In Zusammenarbeit mit S. Sharma durchgeführte 2D-DIGE Experimente und quantitative Messungen von Transkriptmengen zeigten, dass im Vergleich zu einem Wildtyp-Stamm in einer rrp8-ΔC Mutante einige glykolytische Enzyme in geringerem Maße exprimiert werden, was in Zusammenhang mit einer in höheren Eukaryoten bekannten nukleolären Stressantwort gebracht werden kann. Dies verdeutlicht die komplexe Wechselwirkung zwischen der Ribosomenfunktion und dem Energiemetabolismus.
HuR promotes tumorigenic characteristics in hepatocellular carcinoma
- In the absence of apparent mutations, alteration of gene expression patterns represents the key mechanism by which normal cells evolve to cancer cells.
Gene expression is tightly regulated by posttranscriptional processes. Within this context, RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) represent fundamental factors, since they control mechanisms, such as mRNA-stabilization, -translation and -degradation. Human antigen R (HuR) was among the first RBPs that have been directly associated to carcinogenesis. HuR modulates the stability and translation of mRNAs which encode proteins facilitating various ‘hallmarks of cancer’, namely proliferation, evasion of growth suppression, angiogenesis, cell death resistance, invasion and metastasis. Furthermore, it is well established that tumor-promoting inflammation contributes to tumorigenesis. In this process, monocytes are attracted to the site of the tumor and educated towards a tumor-promoting macrophage phenotype. While HuR has been extensively studied in various tumor cell types, little is known about HuR in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Thus, the aim of my work was to characterize the contribution of HuR to the development of cancer characteristics in HCC. I was particularly interested to investigate if HuR facilitates tumor-promoting inflammation, since a role for HuR has not been described in this context. To this end, I depleted HuR in HepG2 cells (HuR k/d) and used a co-culture model of HepG2 tumor spheroids and infiltrating monocytes to study the impact of HuR on the tumor microenvironment. I could show that depletion of HuR resulted in the reduction of cell numbers. Additionally, the expression of proliferation marker KI-67 and proto-oncogene c-Myc was reduced, supporting a proliferative role of HuR. Furthermore, exposure to cytotoxic staurosporine elevated apoptosis in HuR k/d cells compared to control cells. Concomitantly, the expression of the anti-apoptotic mediator B-cell lymphoma protein-2 (Bcl-2) was markedly reduced in the HuR k/d cells, pointing to an involvement of HuR in cell survival processes.
Accordingly, a pro-survival function of HuR was also observed in tumor spheroids, since HuR k/d spheroids exhibited a larger necrotic core region at earlier time points and showed elevated numbers of dead cells compared to control (Ctr.) spheroids. Interestingly, HuR k/d spheroids isplayed reduced numbers of infiltrated macrophages, suggesting that HuR contributes to a tumor-promoting, inflammatory microenvironment by recruiting monocytes/macrophages to the tumor site. Aiming at identifying HuR-regulated factors responsible for the recruitment of monocytes, I found reduced levels of the chemokine interleukin 8 (IL-8) in supernatants of HuR k/d spheroids, supporting a critical involvement of HuR in the chemoattraction of monocytes. Analyzing supernatants of co-cultures of macrophages and HuR k/d or Ctr. spheroids revealed additional differences in chemokine secretion patterns. Interestingly, protein levels of many chemokines were elevated in co-cultures of HuR k/d spheroids compared to control co-cultures. Albeit enhanced chemokine secretion was observed, less monocytes are recruited into HuR k/d spheroids, further underlining the necessity of HuR in cancer related monocyte/macrophage attraction and infiltration. Differences between chemokine profiles of mono- and co-cultured spheroids could be attributable to changes in spheroid-derived chemokines as a result of the crosstalk with the immune cells. Provided the chemokines originate from monocytes/macrophages, the different secretion patterns suggest that HuR contributes to the modulation of the functional phenotype of infiltrated macrophages, since the tumorenvironment is critically involved in the shaping of macrophage phenotypes. Regions of low-oxygen (hypoxia) represent another critical feature of tumors. Therefore, I next analyzed the impact of HuR on the hypoxic response. Loss of HuR attenuated hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) 2α expression after exposure to hypoxia, while HIF-1α protein levels remained unaltered. Considering previous results of our group, showing that HIF-2α depletion (HIF-2α k/d) resulted in the enhanced expression of HIF-1α protein, I aimed to determine the involvement of HuR in the compensatory upregulation of HIF-1α protein in HIF-2α k/d cells. I could demonstrate that not only total HuR protein levels, but specifically cytoplasmic HuR was elevated in HIF-2α depleted cells pointing to enhanced HuR activity. Silencing HuR in HIF-2α deficient cells attenuated enhanced HIF-1α protein expression, thus confirming a direct role of HuR in the compensatory upregulation of HIF-1α. This as also reflected on HIF-1α target gene expression. I further investigated the mechanism underlying the compensatory HIF-1α expression in HIF-2α deficient cells. Analyzing HIF-1α mRNA expression, I excluded enhanced HIF1-α transcription and stability to account for elevated HIF-1α expression in HIF-2α k/d cells. HIF-1α promoter activity assays confirmed the mRNA data. Furthermore, HIF-1α protein half-life was not elevated in HIF-2α k/d cells compared to control cells, indicating that HIF-1α protein stability is not altered in HIF-2α k/d cells. Analysis of the association of HIF-1α with the translational machinery using polysomal fractionation finally revealed an increased istribution of HIF-1α mRNA in the heavier polysomal fractions in HIF-2α k/d cells compared to control cells. Since augmented ribosome occupancy is an indicator for more efficient translation, I propose enhanced HIF-1α translation as underlying principle of the compensatory increase in HIF-1α protein levels in HIF-2α k/d cells. In summary, my results demonstrate that HuR is critical for the development of cancer characteristics in HCC. Future work analyzing the impact of HuR on tumor-promoting inflammation, specifically macrophage attraction and activation could provide new trategies to inhibit macrophage-driven tumor progression. Furthermore, I provide evidence that HuR contributes to the hypoxic response by regulating the expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α. Targeting single HIF-isoforms for tumor therapy should be carefully considered, because of their compensatory regulation when one α-subunit is depleted. Thus, therapeutic strategies targeting factors such as HuR that control both α-subunits and at the same time prevent compensation might be more promising.
Analyses of the human ribosome biogenesis co-factors PWP2, EMG1 and XPO5 / von Matthias Sebastian Leisegang
- Ribosome biogenesis is best understood in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. In human or mammalian ribosome biogenesis, it has been shown that basic principles are conserved to yeast, but additional features have been reported. Our understanding about the interplay between proteins and RNA in human ribosome biogenesis is far from complete.
The present study focused on the analysis of the human ribosome biogenesis co-factors PWP2, EMG1 and Exportin 5 (XPO5) to understand the degree of conservation of ribosome biogenesis. The proteins were characterized in respect to their localization and interaction partners. For the early 90S co-factor, PWP2, it was possible to pull down and identify the human UTP-B complex with MALDI mass spectrometry. Besides the orthologues of the members of this complex known in yeast (TBL3, WDR3, WDR36, UTP6, UTP18), the human UTP-B complex is not only conserved from yeast to humans, but contains also additional components, like the DEAD-box RNA helicase DDX21, which lacks a yeast orthologue. DDX21 was localized to the nucleus, assembled to the native UTP-B complex and co-precipitated also with other UTP-B complex members, presumably extending the functions of this complex in ribosome biogenesis.
This phenomenon was also observed for the 90S co-factor EMG1, an RNA methyltransferase, whose mutant form causes the Bowen-Conradi syndrome, if aspartic acid is mutated to glycine at position 86. This study revealed that the mutant, EMG1-D86G, clearly lost its nucleolar localization and co-precipitated to histones for unknown reasons.
A participation of the nuclear export receptor XPO5 in human ribosome biogenesis was shown in this study. Pulldown analysis, sucrose density gradients and UV crosslinking and analysis of cDNAs of XPO5 revealed the involvement of XPO5 in pre-60S subunit maturation. Moreover, besides the known pre-miRNAs and tRNAs as substrates for nuclear export, XPO5 crosslinked to snoRNAs. XPO5 was further demonstrated to interact with the miRNA Let-7a, which has an important regulatory function for MYC, a transcription factor required for ribosome biogenesis.
All results support a role of these proteins in human ribosome biogenesis and therefore it seems that the biogenesis of ribosomes in human cells requires additional components, like DDX21 and XPO5.
Identification and analysis of novel anti-apoptotic proteins in pancreatic carcinoma
Insights into a lipid regulator by solid-state MAS NMR : kinetic and structure-functional studies on diacylglycerol kinase
Sandra Johanna Ullrich
- In this thesis the integral membrane protein diacylglycerol kinase (DAGK) from E.coli is investigated with solid-state NMR. The aim is to gain an insight into the enzyme’s mechanism through integration of kinetic, structural and dynamic data. The biological function of DAGK is the transfer of the γ-phosphate group from Mg*ATP to diacylglycerol (DAG) building phosphatidic acid (PA) as port of the membrane-derived oligosaccharide cycle[31,34]. Surprisingly, DAGK does not share structural or sequential similarities with other kinases. Typical sequence motives found in other kinases, which catalyze phosphoryl transfer reactions, are not found. In its physiological form DAGK is a homo-trimer with nine transmembrane helices, three catalytic centers and a size of 39.6 kDa.
First, the set-up of a real-time 31P MAS NMR experiment is shown. This experiment allows measuring in real-time the simultaneous ATP hydrolysis in the aqueous phase and lipid substrate phos-phorylation in the membrane phase with atomic resolution under magic angle spinning. After fast transfer of the sample into the NMR spectrometer the enzymatic reaction is started with a temperature jump. This approach of real-time MAS NMR in a dual-phase system was demonstrated for the lipid substrate analogs dioleoyl- (DOG) and dibutyrylglycerol (DBG), with a C8 and C4 aliphatic chain, respectively. The combination of 31P direct and cross polarization functions as a dynamic filter. In the 31P direct polarized experiment nuclei in both phases are detected, while in the 31P cross polar-ized experiment, only nuclei in the membrane phase are detected. Rates for substrate turnover, i.e. degradation of γP-, βP, αP-ATP and build-up of βP-, αP-ADP, free phosphate as side reaction, and PA are obtained, which reveal a Michaelis-Menten behavior with regard to Mg*ATP and DBG. Here Mg*ATP and DBG follow a random-equilibrium model, where every substrate can bind indepen-dently from the other substrate. Analyses of the peak integrals from educts and products of the enzymatic reaction, revealed the stoichiometry of the reaction: 1.5 ATP molecules are used to phos-phorylate one DBG molecule. The excess of ATP is attributed to the basal ATPase activity. Further-more, experiments with ATPγS, usually regarded as a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, where carried out. Surprisingly, DAGK hydrolyzes ATPγS and also transfers the thio-phosphate group to the lipid acceptor DBG, which points to a certain degree of plasticity in the active center. A phosphorylated enzyme intermediate was not detected. These results suggest the building of a ternary complex of Mg*ATP, DBG and DAGK performing a direct-phosphoryl transfer reaction, without passing through a phosphorylated enzyme intermediate. Experiments with the transition state analog ortho-vanadate (Vi) showed a decoupling of the ATP hydrolysis activity from lipid substrate phosphorylation. This indicates a specific transfer site for the γ-phosphate group from ATP to DAG, which can be blocked by Vi.
A general disadvantage of NMR spectroscopy compared to other spectroscopic methods is its inherent low sensitivity. One possible starting point for the improvement of signal-to-noise per unit time is the reduction of the spin-lattice relaxation time of protons. Usually 95 % of the experi-mental time is required for the relaxation of the 1H to equilibrium. The addition of paramagnetic species can be used to reduce the 1H T1. In a comprehensive study four different paramagnetic agents were tested: Cu2+-EDTA, Cu2+-EDTA-tag, Gd3+-TTAHA and Gd3+-DOTA. The titration of these paramagnetic complexes showed the principle feasibility of this approach, but differences between the tested species exist. The most promising complex is Gd3+-DOTA which, at a concentration of 2 mM, causes a 10-time improvement of signal-to-noise ratio per unit time. This allowed measuring 2D 13C-13C correlation spectra of proteoliposomes in one tenth of the usual required experimental time (i.e. 10 hours vs. 4 days) with good signal-to-noise.
For the investigation of structural or dynamic changes in the protein upon substrate interaction with MAS NMR, the spectral properties CP efficiency and resolution of the DAGK in liposomes needed to be improved. The most critical step during sample preparation is the reconstitution of the membrane protein from detergent micelles into a membrane of synthetic lipids under detergent removal. For this procedure the important criteria are enzymatic activity, measured in a coupled ATPase assay, and homogeneity of the proteoliposomes, which was tested e.g. on a discontinuous sucrose step gradient. Therefore an extensive study was carried out, in which different detergents, lipids and lipid mixtures, techniques for detergent removal and different protein-to-lipid ratios were tested. A direct correlation between high ATPase activity and good resolution was not found. Moreover, active DAGK in a mixture of DMPC and cholesterol, which emulates the membrane features of a membrane containing DAG, showed the best CP efficiency and resolution.
The assignment of the protein backbone and amino acid side chains the first mandatory step towards the investigation of structural and dynamical features influencing and defining the enzymatic mechanism by MAS NMR. As the assignment procedure is very time consuming for a total protein, a special labeling scheme for DAGK was developed, which allows assigning most of the protein areas presumably involved in enzyme catalysis. The assignment of DAGK with solution NMR was not transferable to the MAS NMR spectra. Most important for the assignment process were the unique pairs, two consecutive amino acids which only appear once in the amino acid sequence. These unique pairs served as anchor points. Five different multinuclear MAS NMR experiments (DARR, NCO, NCA, NCACX, NCOCX) were required for the sequential assignment. It was possible to assign 35 % of the total amino acid sequence with one sample and 8 experiments acquired at 850 MHz. The secondary structure analysis showed subtle differences to the DAGK assignment with solution NMR, which can be attributed to the different environment in lipid bilayers and detergent micelles.
Data about structural and dynamical changes under substrate interaction can reveal details about the enzymatic mechanism. Therefore changes in chemical shift in 2D heteronuclear correlation experiments in the apo-state and under substrate saturated conditions with the substrates Mg*AMP-PNP, a non-hydrolysable ATP-analog, DOG, a mixture of Mg*AMP-PNP and DOG as well as inhibited by Vi were recorded. The most significant peak changes were observed at the interface membrane-cytoplasm as well as the the N-terminal amphipathic helix. The residues revealing chemical shift perturbations correlate with conserved residues or such residues, for which importance for catalysis and/or folding could be shown in mutation studies. Especially noticeable were the changes at the amino acids Asn 72, Lys 64, His 87, Tyr 86 and Asp 95.
Beside changes of the chemical shift, changes of line width or signal doubling were observable. These changes can point to a correlation with dynamic reorientations in the μs-ms time regime, which are most relevant for enzymatic processes. The protein backbone dynamics in the apo-state as well as saturated with the substrates or inhibited with Vi were investigated with a 15N-CODEX experiment, which is based on the reorientation of the CSA tensor upon dynamical changes. Specific effects of the different substrates or analogs on the protein backbone dynamic were revealed complementing the structural data and the chemical shift perturbation experiments.
Astrocyte-derived Wnt growth factors regulate blood-brain barrier integrity
Cathrin Jacqueline Czupalla
Charakterisierung der Rolle von α-Taxilin [Alpha-Taxilin] für den Zelleintritt und die Morphogenese von Hepatitis B
- Eine Infektion mit dem Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) kann bei 5-10 % der infizierten Erwachsenen und 70-90 % der infizierten Kinder chronisch verlaufen. Trotz einer verfügbaren Impfung gegen die Erkrankung sind heute nach Angaben der WHO weltweit etwa 350 Mio. Menschen chronisch HBV-infiziert [Lupberger and Hildt, 2007, Hollinger and Liang, 2001]. In 5-10 % der Fälle führt eine chronische Infektion zu einer Leberfibrose und Zirrhose, welche letztlich zur Ausbildung eines hepatozellulären Karzinoms (HCC) führen kann. HCCs sind die dritthäufigste karzinomassoziierte Todesursache weltweit [Blum, 2005]. Um Therapien gegen eine HBV-Infektion und das damit erhöhte Risiko einer HCC-Entstehung entwickeln zu können, müssen die einzelnen Schritte des HBV-Replikationszyklus verstanden sein. Wesentliche Schritte der frühen Infektionsphase, insbesondere der Rezeptor bzw. Rezeptorkomplex, welcher den Zelleintritt des Virus vermittelt sowie der Transport des Virusgenoms in den Zellkern, sind bisher noch unklar. Auch der Exportprozess und die Freisetzung der Viruspartikel ist bisher noch nicht im Detail verstanden. Es ist jedoch bekannt, dass die Viruspartikel unter Nutzung der zellulären ESCRT (endosomal sorting complex required for transport)-Maschinerie aus der Zelle freigesetzt werden [Lambert et al., 2007]. Auf der Suche nach Faktoren, die in diese Vorgänge involviert sind, konnte in dieser Arbeit das vesikeltransportassoziierte Protein α-Taxilin identifiziert werden. Der Einfluss von HBV auf die α-Taxilin-Bildung und seine mögliche Beteiligung am viralen Export wurden dabei näher charakterisiert. In HBV-positiven Zellen konnte in vivo und in vitro eine signifikante Steigerung der α-Taxilin-Expression nachgewiesen werden. Diese wird hierbei durch die HBV-Proteine HBx und LHBs über den Raf/Mek/Erk-Signalweg induziert [Glatzel, 2011]. Mithilfe von knockdown-Experimenten konnte beobachtet werden, dass α-Taxilin für den Export der Viruspartikel, nicht aber für den Export subviraler Partikel (SVPs) essentiell ist. Der Export der Virionen findet hierbei über das ESCRT-System statt. Den HBV-Strukturproteinen fehlen jedoch die für die Interaktion mit dem ESCRT-System essentiellen late-Domänen. Die Proteinstruktur von α-Taxilin dagegen weist diese late-Domänen auf. In dieser Arbeit konnte diese interaktionsvermittelnde Funktion von α-Taxilin zwischen dem Virus und dem ESCRT-System charakterisiert werden. Über eine Interaktion von α-Taxilin mit dem viralen LHBs-Protein auf der einen Seite und der tsg101-Komponente des ESCRT-I-Komplexes auf der anderen Seite agiert α-Taxilin als eine Art Linker zwischen dem ESCRT-System und HBV.
Darüber hinaus wurde Annexin A5 als zellulärer Interaktionspartner für α-Taxilin identifiziert [Röttger, 2011]. Es dirigiert α-Taxilin in einer Art shuttle-Funktion auf die Zellmembran suszeptibler Zellen und bindet es an deren Zelloberfläche. Diese Exposition von α-Taxilin nimmt während der Dedifferenzierung in Korrelation mit dem Suszeptibilitätsverlust primärer Hepatozyten ab. Eine Maskierung von α-Taxilin durch eine vorherige Inkubation der Zellen mit α-Taxilin-spezifischen Antikörpern konnte die Bindung und die Aufnahme der Viren inhibieren. Überexpressionsstudien bestätigten die essentielle Rezeptorfunktion von α-Taxilin. Die verstärkte Produktion von α-Taxilin führte zur Suszeptibilität der Zellen. Auch die Speziesspezifität der Bindung zwischen humanem α-Taxilin und HBV konnte in einem Co-Immunpräzipitationsexperiment mit den rezeptorbindenden Domänen von HBV, WHV und DHBV identifiziert werden.
In der vorliegenden Arbeit konnte somit zum ersten Mal eine Rezeptorfunktion von α-Taxilin bei der Aufnahme von HBV in die Wirtszelle nachgewiesen werden. Darüber hinaus schreiben die in dieser Arbeit gemachten Beobachtungen α-Taxilin eine essentielle Funktion für die Vermittlung des ESCRT-abhängigen Exports der Virionen aus der Zelle zu. Die hierbei gewonnen Erkenntnisse sind von hoher Relevanz für die weitere Erforschung der HBV-assoziierten Pathogenese und die Etablierung eines in vivo Infektions-Modells.