Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 66,889 bioRxiv papers from 294,492 authors.
Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month
in category biochemistry
1,930 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.
1,186 downloads biochemistry
A density modification procedure for improving maps produced by single-particle electron cryo-microscopy is presented. The theoretical basis of the method is identical to that of maximum-likelihood density modification, previously used to improve maps from macromolecular X-ray crystallography. Two key differences from applications in crystallography are that the errors in Fourier coefficients are largely in the phases in crystallography but in both phases and amplitudes in electron cryo-microscopy, and that half-maps with independent errors are available in electron cryo-microscopy. These differences lead to a distinct approach for combination of information from starting maps with information obtained in the density modification process. The applicability of density modification theory to electron cryo-microscopy was evaluated using half-maps for apoferritin at a resolution of 3.1 Å and a matched 1.8 Å reference map. Error estimates for the map obtained by density modification were found to closely agree with true errors as estimated by comparison with the reference map. The density modification procedure was applied to a set of 54 datasets where half-maps, a full map and a model all had been deposited. The procedure improved map-model correlation and increased the visibility of details in the maps. The procedure requires two unmasked half-maps and a sequence file or other source of information on the volume of the macromolecule that has been imaged.
723 downloads biochemistry
We report a novel photoproximity protein interaction (PhotoPPI) profiling method to map protein-protein interactions in vitro and in live cells. This approach utilizes a bioorthogonal, multifunctional chemical probe that can be targeted to a genetically encoded protein of interest (POI) through a modular SNAP-Tag/benzylguanine covalent interaction. A first generation photoproximity probe, PP1, re-sponds to 365 nm light to simultaneously cleave a central nitroveratryl linker and a peripheral diazirine group, resulting in diffusion of a highly reactive carbene nucleophile away from the POI. We demonstrate facile probe loading, and subsequent interaction- and light-dependent proximal labeling of a model protein-protein interaction (PPI) in vitro. Integration of the PhotoPPI workflow with quantita-tive LC-MS/MS enabled unbiased interaction mapping for the redox regulated sensor protein, KEAP1, for the first time in live cells. We validated known and novel interactions between KEAP1 and the proteins PGAM5 and HK2, among others, under basal cellular condi-tions. By contrast, comparison of PhotoPPI profiles in cells experiencing metabolic or redox stress confirmed that KEAP1 sheds many basal interactions and becomes associated with known lysosomal trafficking and proteolytic proteins like SQSTM1, CTSD and LGMN. Together, these data establish PhotoPPI as a method capable of tracking the dynamic sub-cellular and protein interaction social network of a redox-sensitive protein in cells with high temporal resolution.
477 downloads biochemistry
Single-particle electron cryo-microscopy (cryoEM) has undergone a "resolution revolution" that makes it possible to characterize megadalton (MDa) complexes at atomic resolution without crystals. To fully exploit the new opportunities in molecular microscopy, new procedures for the cloning, expression and purification of macromolecular complexes need to be explored. Macromolecular assemblies are often unstable, and invasive construct design or inadequate purification conditions or sample preparation methods can result in disassembly or denaturation. The structure of the 2.6 MDa yeast fatty acid synthase (FAS) has been studied by electron microscopy since the 1960s. We report a new, streamlined protocol for the rapid production of purified yeast FAS for structure determination by high-resolution cryoEM. Together with a companion protocol for preparing cryoEM specimens on a hydrophilized graphene layer, our new protocol has yielded a 3.1 Å map of yeast FAS from 15,000 automatically picked particles within a day. The high map quality enabled us to build a complete atomic model of an intact fungal FAS.
474 downloads biochemistry
O-Linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) is a monosaccharide that plays an essential role in cellular signaling throughout the nucleocytoplasmic proteome of eukaryotic cells. Yet, the study of post-translational modifications like O-GlcNAc has been limited by the lack of strategies to induce O-GlcNAcylation on a target protein in cells. Here, we report a generalizable genetic strategy to induce O-GlcNAc to specific target proteins in cells using a nanobody as a proximity-directing agent fused to O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT). Fusion of a nanobody that recognizes GFP (nGFP) or a nanobody that recognizes the four-amino acid sequence EPEA (nEPEA) to OGT(4), a truncated form of OGT, yielded a nanobody-OGT(4) construct that selectively delivered O-GlcNAc to the target protein (e.g., JunB, cJun, Nup62) and reduced alteration of global O-GlcNAc levels in the cell. Quantitative chemical proteomics confirmed the selective increase in O-GlcNAc to the target protein by nanobody-OGT(4). Glycoproteomics revealed that nanobody-OGT(4) or full-length OGT produced a similar glycosite profile on the target protein. Finally, we demonstrate the ability to selectively target endogenous α-synuclein for glycosylation in HEK293T cells. Thus, the use of nanobodies to redirect OGT substrate selection is a versatile strategy to induce glycosylation of desired target proteins in cells that will facilitate discovery of O-GlcNAc functions and provide a mechanism to engineer O-GlcNAc signaling. The proximity-directed OGT approach for protein-selective O-GlcNAcylation is readily translated to additional protein targets and nanobodies that may constitute a generalizable strategy to control post-translational modifications in cells.
431 downloads biochemistry
Methods to measure heterogeneity among cells are rapidly transforming our understanding of biology but are currently limited to molecular abundance measurements. We developed an approach to simultaneously measure biochemical activities and mRNA abundance in single cells to understand the heterogeneity of DNA repair activities across thousands of human lymphocytes, identifying known and novel cell-type-specific DNA repair phenotypes. Our approach provides a general framework for understanding functional heterogeneity among single cells.
413 downloads biochemistry
Poly(ADP-ribose) Polymerase 2 (PARP2) is one of three DNA-dependent PARPs involved in the detection of DNA damage. Upon binding to DNA double-strand breaks, PARP2 uses nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide to synthesize poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) onto itself and other proteins, including histones. PAR chains in turn promote the DNA damage response by recruiting downstream repair factors. These early steps of DNA damage signaling are relevant for understanding how genome integrity is maintained and how their failure leads to genome instability or cancer. There is no structural information on DNA double-strand break detection in the context of chromatin. Here we present a cryo-EM structure of two nucleosomes bridged by human PARP2 and confirm that PARP2 bridges DNA ends in the context of nucleosomes bearing short linker DNA. We demonstrate that the conformation of PARP2 bound to damaged chromatin provides a binding platform for the regulatory protein Histone PARylation Factor 1 (HPF1), and that the resulting HPF1·PARP2·nucleosome complex is enzymatically active. Our results contribute to a structural view of the early steps of the DNA damage response in chromatin.
369 downloads biochemistry
Cellular environments modulate protein energy landscapes to drive important biology, where small perturbations are consequential for biological signaling, allostery, and other vital processes. The energetic effects of ubiquitination are interesting due to its potential influence on degradation by the 26S proteasome, which requires intrinsically flexible or unstructured initiation regions that many known proteasome substrates lack. We generated proteins with natively attached, isopeptide-linked ubiquitin in structured domains to assess the energetic changes contributed by ubiquitin and how such changes manifest at the proteasome. Ubiquitination at sensitive sites destabilizes the native structure, and thereby increases the rate of degradation for substrates containing unstructured initiation regions. Importantly, this ubiquitination can even induce those requisite regions in well-folded proteins for proteasomal engagement. Our results indicate a biophysical role of site-specific ubiquitination as a potential regulatory mechanism for energy-dependent substrate degradation.
366 downloads biochemistry
Nanobodies (Nbs) are popular and versatile tools for structural biology because they have a compact single immunoglobulin domain organization. Nbs bind their target proteins with high affinities while reducing their conformational heterogeneity, and they stabilize multi-protein complexes. Here we demonstrate that engineered Nbs can also help overcome two major obstacles that limit the resolution of single-particle cryo-EM reconstructions: particle size and preferential orientation at the water-air interface. We have developed and characterised novel constructs, termed megabodies, by grafting Nbs into selected protein scaffolds to increase their molecular weight while retaining the full antigen binding specificity and affinity. We show that the megabody design principles are applicable to different scaffold proteins and recognition domains of compatible geometries and are amenable for efficient selection from yeast display libraries. Moreover, we used a megabody to solve the 2.5 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of a membrane protein that suffers from severe preferential orientation, the human GABAA β3 homopentameric receptor bound to its small-molecule agonist histamine.
320 downloads biochemistry
2’3’-cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) is characterized as an intracellular second messenger that is synthesized in response to cytosolic dsDNA and activates the innate immune STING pathway. Our previous discovery of its extracellular hydrolase ENPP1 hinted at the existence of extracellular cGAMP. Here, using mass spectrometry, we detected that cGAMP is continuously exported as a soluble factor by an engineered cell line but then efficiently cleared by ENPP1, explaining why it has escaped detection until now. By developing potent, specific, and cell impermeable ENPP1 inhibitors, we detected that cancer cells continuously export cGAMP in culture at steady state and at higher levels when treated with ionizing radiation (IR). In tumors, depletion of extracellular cGAMP using a neutralizing protein decreased tumor-associated immune cell infiltration in a tumor cGAS and host STING dependent manner. Depletion of extracellular cGAMP also abolished the curative effect of IR. Boosting extracellular cGAMP by ENPP1 inhibitors synergizes with IR to shrink tumors in mice. In conclusion, extracellular cGAMP is an anti-cancer immunotransmitter that could be stimulated and harnessed to treat less immunogenic cancers.
297 downloads biochemistry
The autophagy-initiating human ULK complex consists of the kinase ULK1/2, FIP200, ATG13, and ATG101. Hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry was used to map their mutual interactions. The N-terminal 640 residues (NTD) of FIP200 interact with the C-terminal IDR of ATG13. Mutations in these regions abolish their interaction. Negative stain electron microscopy (EM) and multiangle light scattering showed that FIP200 is a dimer whilst a single molecule each of the other subunits is present. The FIP200 NTD is flexible in the absence of ATG13, but in its presence adopts the shape of the letter C ~20 nm across. The ULK1 EAT domain interacts loosely with the NTD dimer, while the ATG13-ATG101 HORMA dimer does not contact the NTD. Cryo-EM of the NTD dimer revealed a structure similarity to the scaffold domain of TBK1, suggesting an evolutionary similarity between the autophagy initiating TBK1 kinase and the ULK1 kinase complex.
268 downloads biochemistry
Despite its growing popularity and use, bottom-up proteomics remains a complex analytical methodology. Its general workflow consists of three main steps: sample preparation, liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spec-trometry (LC-MS/MS) and computational data analysis. Quality assessment of the different steps and components of this workflow is instrumental to identify technical flaws and to avoid loss of precious measurement time and sample material. However, assessment of the extent of sample losses along the sample preparation protocol, in particular after proteolytic digestion, is not yet routinely implemented because of the lack of an accurate and straightforward method to quantify peptides. Here, we report on the use of a microfluidic UV/visible spectrophotometer to quantify MS-ready peptides directly in MS loading solvent, consuming only 2 microliter of sample. We determined the optimal peptide amount for LC-MS/MS analysis on a Q Exactive HF mass spectrometer using a dilution series of a commercial K562 cell digest. Careful evaluation of selected LC and MS parameters allowed us to define 3 microgram as an optimal peptide amount to be injected on this particular LC-MS/MS system. Finally, using tryptic digests from human HEK293T cells, we showed that injecting equal peptide amounts, rather than approximated ones, results into less variable LC-MS/MS and protein quantification data. The obtained quality improvement together with easy implementation of the ap-proach makes it possible to routinely quantify MS-ready peptides as a next step in daily proteomics quality control.
248 downloads biochemistry
Stress granules are condensates of non-translating mRNAs and proteins involved in the stress response and neurodegenerative diseases. Stress granules form in part through intermolecular RNA-RNA interactions, although the process of RNA condensation is poorly understood. In vitro , we demonstrate that RNA is effectively recruited to the surfaces of RNA or RNP condensates. We demonstrate that the DEAD-box protein eIF4A reduces RNA condensation in vitro and limits stress granule formation in cells. This defines a purpose for eIF4A to limit intermolecular RNA-RNA interactions in cells, thereby allowing for proper RNP function. These results establish an important role for DEAD-box proteins as ATP-dependent RNA chaperones that can limit the intermolecular condensation and entanglement of RNA, analogous to the function of proteins like HSP70 in combatting protein aggregates. eTOC Blurb Stress granules are formed in part by the process of RNA condensation, which is mediated by and promotes trans RNA-RNA interactions. The essential DEAD-box protein and translation initiation factor eIF4A limits stress granule formation by reducing RNA condensation through its function as an ATP-dependent RNA binding protein, behaving analogously to how protein chaperones like HSP70 combat protein aggregates. Highlights
240 downloads biochemistry
Lucy Isobel Crouch, David N Bolam, Arnaud Basle, Christopher Stewart, Manfred Wuhrer, Robert J. Linhardt, Marcelo V Liberato, Christopher A Lamb, Fuming Zhang, Katie Cooke, Mary Doona, Stephanie Needham, Richard R Brady, Janet E Berrington, Katarina Madunic, Peter Chater, Jeffrey P Pearson, Paulina A Urbanowicz, Daniel IR Spencer, Eric James Martens, Robert Glowacki
The human gut microbiota (HGM) are closely associated with health, development and disease. The thick intestinal mucus layer, especially in the colon, is the key barrier between the contents of the lumen and the epithelial cells, providing protection against infiltration by the microbiota as well potential pathogens. The upper layer of the colonic mucus is a niche for a subset of the microbiota which utilise the mucin glycoproteins as a nutrient source and mucin grazing by the microbiota appears to play a key role in maintaining barrier function as well as community stability. Despite the importance of mucin breakdown for gut health, the mechanisms by which gut bacteria access this complex glycoprotein are not well understood. The current model for mucin degradation involves exclusively exo-acting glycosidases that sequentially trim monosaccharides from the termini of the glycan chains to eventually allow access to the mucin peptide backbone by proteases. However, this model is in direct contrast to the Sus paradigm of glycan breakdown used by the Bacteroidetes which involves extracellular cleavage of glycans by surface located endo-acting enzymes prior to import of the oligosaccharide products. Here we describe the discovery and characterisation of endo-acting family 16 glycoside hydrolases (GH16s) from prominent mucin degrading gut bacteria that specifically target the oligosaccharide side chains of intestinal mucins from both animals and humans. These endo-acting O-glycanases display β1,4-glactosidase activity and in several cases are surface located indicating they are involved in the initial step in mucin breakdown. The data suggest a new paradigm for mucin breakdown by the microbiota and the endo-mucinases provide a potential tool to explore changes that occur in mucin structure in intestinal disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer.
230 downloads biochemistry
Gordon Williamson, Giulia Tamburrino, Gaetan Dias Mirandela, Melanie Boeckstaens, Marcus Bade, Andrei Pisliakov, Callum M Ives, Eilidh Terras, Adriana Bizior, Paul A Hoskisson, Anna-Maria Marini, Ulrich Zachariae, Arnaud Javelle
The transport of charged molecules across biological membranes faces the dual problem of accommodating charges in a highly hydrophobic environment while maintaining selective substrate translocation. A particular controversy has existed around the mechanism of ammonium exchange by the ubiquitous Amt/Mep/Rh transporter family, an essential process in all kingdoms of life. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology, yeast functional complementation and extended molecular dynamics simulations, we reveal a unique two-lane pathway for electrogenic NH4+ transport in two archetypal members of the family. The pathway underpins a mechanism by which charged H+ and neutral NH3 are carried separately across the membrane after NH4+ deprotonation. This mechanism defines a new principle of achieving transport selectivity against competing ions in a biological transport process.
218 downloads biochemistry
Michaela Veliova, Caroline Mendes Ferreira, Ilan Y. Benador, Anthony E. Jones, Brandon R. Desousa, Kiana Mahdaviani, Rebeca Acín-Pérez, Anton Petcherski, Ajit S. Divakaruni, Marc Prentki, Barbara E Corkey, Marc Liesa, Marcus F. Oliveira, Orian S Shirihai
Futile lipid cycling is an ATP-wasting process proposed to participate in energy expenditure of mature fat-storing white adipocytes, given their inability to oxidize fat. The hallmark of activated brown adipocytes is to increase fat oxidation by uncoupling respiration from ATP synthesis. Whether ATP-consuming lipid cycling can contribute to BAT energy expenditure has been largely unexplored. Here we find that pharmacological inhibition of the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) in brown adipocytes is sufficient to increase ATP-synthesis fueled by fatty acid oxidation, even in the absence of adrenergic stimulation. We find that elevated ATP-demand induced by MPC inhibition results from activation of futile lipid cycling. Furthermore, we identify that glutamine consumption and the Malate-Aspartate Shuttle are required for the increase in Energy Expenditure induced by MPC inhibition in Brown Adipocytes (MAShEEBA). These data demonstrate that futile energy expenditure through lipid cycling can be activated in BAT by altering fuel availability to mitochondria. Therefore, we identify a new mechanism to increase fat oxidation and energy expenditure in BAT that bypasses the need for adrenergic stimulation of mitochondrial uncoupling.
211 downloads biochemistry
The γ-tubulin ring complex (γ-TuRC) is an essential regulator of centrosomal and acentrosomal microtubule formation. Metazoan γ-TuRCs isolate as ~2 MDa complexes containing the conserved proteins γ-tubulin, GCP2 and GCP3, as well as the expanded subunits GCP4, GCP5, and GCP6. However, in current structural models, γ-TuRCs assemble solely from subcomplexes of γ-tubulin, GCP2 and GCP3. The role of the metazoan-specific subunits in γ-TuRC assembly and architecture are not currently known, due to a lack of high resolution structural data for the native complex. Here, we present a cryo-EM structure of the native human γ-TuRC at 3.8Å resolution. Our reconstruction reveals an asymmetric, single helical-turn and cone-shaped structure built from at least 34 polypeptides. Pseudo-atomic models indicate that GCP4, GCP5 and GCP6 form distinct Y-shaped assemblies that structurally mimic GCP2/GCP3 subcomplexes and are distal to the γ-TuRC "seam". Evolutionary expansion in metazoan-specific subunits diversifies the γ-TuRC by introducing large (>100,000 Å2) surfaces that could interact with different regulatory factors. We also identify an unanticipated structural bridge that includes an actin-like protein and spans the γ-TuRC lumen. Despite its asymmetric composition and architecture, the human γ-TuRC arranges γ-tubulins into a helical geometry poised to nucleate microtubules. The observed compositional complexity of the γ-TuRC could self-regulate its assembly into a cone-shaped structure to control microtubule formation across diverse contexts, e.g. within biological condensates or alongside existing filaments.
211 downloads biochemistry
Deubiquitylating enzymes (DUBs) counteract ubiquitylation to control the stability or activity of their substrates. Identifying DUB substrates is challenging and genetic approaches can be thwarted by redundant action of DUBs. Here, we circumvented redundancy by broadly inhibiting DUBs in Xenopus egg extract and used quantitative mass spectrometry to identify over thirty proteins that undergo proteasomal degradation, the majority of which have not been reported as DUB substrates. These results were confirmed with recombinant human proteins, demonstrating the conservation of their DUB-dependent stability. We used these substrates to profile the ability of a panel of DUBs to rescue degradation. This approach revealed that USP7, uniquely among the 14 DUBs tested, has a broad ability to rescue degradation. USP21, which is used widely to nonspecifically deubiquitylate proteins in vitro, was unable to rescue degradation, highlighting the importance of profiling enzyme activity in a physiological system. Together, we identify new DUB substrates and present a system to characterize physiological DUB specificity, overcoming the challenges posed by DUB redundancy.
207 downloads biochemistry
The Rbfox family of splicing factors regulate alternative splicing during animal development and in disease, impacting thousands of exons in the maturing brain, heart, and muscle. Rbfox proteins have long been known to bind to the RNA sequence GCAUG with high affinity, but just half of Rbfox CLIP peaks contain a GCAUG motif. We incubated recombinant RBFOX2 with over 60,000 transcriptomic sequences to reveal significant binding to several moderate-affinity, non-GCAYG sites at a physiologically relevant range of RBFOX concentrations. We find that many of these secondary motifs bind Rbfox robustly in vivo and that several together can exert regulation comparable to a GCAUG in a trichromatic splicing reporter assay. Furthermore, secondary motifs regulate RNA splicing in neuronal development and in neuronal subtypes where cellular Rbfox concentrations are highest, enabling a second wave of splicing changes as Rbfox levels increase.
198 downloads biochemistry
Karishma Patel, Louise J Walport, James L Walshe, Paul Solomon, Jason K. K. Low, Daniel H. Tran, Kevork S Mouradian, Ana P G Silva, Lorna Wilkinson-White, Jacqueline M Matthews, J Mitchell Guss, Richard J. Payne, Toby Passioura, Hiroako Suga, Joel P Mackay
Cyclic peptide display screening techniques can identify drug leads and biological probes with exceptional affinity and specificity. To date, however, the structural and functional diversity encoded in such peptide libraries remains unexplored. We have used the Random nonstandard Peptide Integrated Discovery (RaPID) system to develop cyclic peptide inhibitors of several acetyllysine-binding bromodomains from the Bromodomain and Extra-Terminal domain (BET) family of epigenetic regulators. These peptides have very high affinities for their targets and exhibit extraordinary selectivity (up to 106-fold), making them the highest-affinity and most specific BET-binding molecules discovered to date. Crystal structures of 13 distinct peptide-bromodomain complexes, which all target the acetyllysine-binding pocket, reveal remarkable diversity in both peptide structure and binding mode, and include both α-helical and β-sheet type structures. The peptides can exhibit a high degree of structural pre-organization and bivalent binding of two BDs by one peptide was common, flagging the potential for a new direction in inhibitor design that could bring stronger discrimination between BET-family paralogues. Our data demonstrate for the first time the enormous potential held in these libraries to provide a wide array of modes against a single target, maximizing the opportunity to attain high potency and specificity ligands to a wide variety of proteins.
196 downloads biochemistry
The polymerization–depolymerization dynamics of cytoskeletal proteins play essential roles in the self-organization of cytoskeletal structures, in eukaryotic as well as prokaryotic cells. While advances in fluorescence microscopy and in vitro reconstitution experiments have helped to study the dynamic properties of these complex systems, methods that allow to collect and analyze large quantitative datasets of the underlying polymer dynamics are still missing. Here, we present a novel image analysis workflow to study polymerization dynamics of active filaments in a non-biased, highly automated manner. Using treadmilling filaments of the bacterial tubulin FtsZ as an example, we demonstrate that our method is able to specifically detect, track and analyze growth and shrinkage of polymers, even in dense networks of filaments. We believe that this automated method can facilitate the analysis of a large variety of dynamic cytoskeletal systems, using standard time-lapse movies obtained from experiments in vitro as well as in the living cell. Moreover, we provide scripts implementing this method as supplementary material.
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