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Rxivist combines preprints from bioRxiv with data from Twitter to help you find the papers being discussed in your field. Currently indexing 62,303 bioRxiv papers from 276,577 authors.

Most downloaded bioRxiv papers, since beginning of last month

in category biophysics

2,071 results found. For more information, click each entry to expand.

1: HIV-1 Gag specifically restricts PI(4,5)P2 and cholesterol mobility in living cells creating a nanodomain platform for virus assembly.
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Posted to bioRxiv 21 Feb 2019

HIV-1 Gag specifically restricts PI(4,5)P2 and cholesterol mobility in living cells creating a nanodomain platform for virus assembly.
975 downloads biophysics

Cyril Favard, Jakub Chojnacki, Peggy Merida, Naresh Yandrapalli, Johnson Mak, Christian Eggeling, Delphine Muriaux

HIV-1 Gag protein self-assembles at the plasma membrane of infected cells for viral particle formation. Gag targets lipids, mainly the phosphatidylinositol (4,5) bisphosphate, at the inner leaflet of this membrane. Here, we address the question whether Gag is able to trap specifically PI(4,5)P2 or other lipids during HIV-1 assembly in the host CD4+ T lymphocytes. Lipid dynamics within and away from HIV-1 assembly sites was determined using super-resolution STED microscopy coupled with scanning Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy in living T cells. Analysis of HIV-1 infected cells revealed that, upon assembly, HIV-1 is able to specifically trap PI(4,5)P2, and cholesterol, but not phosphatidylethanolamine or sphingomyelin. Furthermore, our data show that Gag is the main driving force to restrict PI(4,5)P2 and cholesterol mobility at the cell plasma membrane. This is first direct evidence showing that HIV-1 creates its own specific lipid environment by selectively recruiting PI(4,5)P2 and cholesterol, as a membrane nano-platform for virus assembly.

2: Comparing serial X-ray crystallography and microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) as methods for routine structure determination from small macromolecular crystals
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Sep 2019

Comparing serial X-ray crystallography and microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) as methods for routine structure determination from small macromolecular crystals
599 downloads biophysics

Alexander Wolff, Iris Young, Raymond G. Sierra, Aaron S. Brewster, Michael W. Martynowycz, Eriko Nango, Michihiro Sugahara, Takanori Nakane, Kazutaka Ito, Andrew Aquila, Asmit Bhowmick, Justin T Biel, Sergio Carbajo, Aina E. Cohen, Saul Cortez, Ana Gonzalez, Tomoya Hino, Dohyun Im, Jake D Koralek, Minoru Kubo, Tomas S Lazarou, Takashi Nomura, Shigeki Owada, Avi Samelson, Rie Tanaka, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Erin M Thompson, Henry van den Bedem, Rahel A. Woldeyes, Fumiaki Yumoto, Wei Zhao, Kensuke Tono, Sebastien Boutet, So Iwata, Tamir Gonen, Nicholas K Sauter, James S. Fraser, Michael C Thompson

Innovative new crystallographic methods are facilitating structural studies from ever smaller crystals of biological macromolecules. In particular, serial X-ray crystallography and microcrystal electron diffraction (MicroED) have emerged as useful methods for obtaining structural information from crystals on the nanometer to micron scale. Despite the utility of these methods, their implementation can often be difficult, as they present many challenges not encountered in traditional macromolecular crystallography experiments. Here, we describe XFEL serial crystallography experiments and MicroED experiments using batch-grown microcrystals of the enzyme cyclophilin A (CypA). Our results provide a roadmap for researchers hoping to design macromolecular microcrystallography experiments, and they highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the two methods. Specifically, we focus on how the different physical conditions imposed by the sample preparation and delivery methods required for each type of experiment effect the crystal structure of the enzyme.

3: MINFLUX nanoscopy delivers multicolor nanometer 3D-resolution in (living) cells
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Aug 2019

MINFLUX nanoscopy delivers multicolor nanometer 3D-resolution in (living) cells
574 downloads biophysics

Klaus C. Gwosch, Jasmin K. Pape, Francisco Balzarotti, Philipp Hoess, Jan Ellenberg, Jonas Ries, Stefan W. Hell

The ultimate goal of biological superresolution fluorescence microscopy is to provide three-dimensional resolution at the size scale of a fluorescent marker. Here, we show that, by localizing individual switchable fluorophores with a probing doughnut-shaped excitation beam, MINFLUX nanoscopy provides 1 to 3 nanometer resolution in fixed and living cells. This progress has been facilitated by approaching each fluorophore iteratively with the probing doughnut minimum, making the resolution essentially uniform and isotropic over scalable fields of view. MINFLUX imaging of nuclear pore complexes of a mammalian cell shows that this true nanometer scale resolution is obtained in three dimensions and in two color channels. Relying on fewer detected photons than popular camera-based localization, MINFLUX nanoscopy is poised to open a new chapter in the imaging of protein complexes and distributions in fixed and living cells.

4: Massively parallel CRISPRi assays reveal concealed thermodynamic determinants of dCas12a binding
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Sep 2019

Massively parallel CRISPRi assays reveal concealed thermodynamic determinants of dCas12a binding
567 downloads biophysics

David A Specht, Yasu Xu, Guillaume Lambert

The versatility of CRISPR-Cas endonucleases as a tool for biomedical research has lead to diverse applications in gene editing, programmable transcriptional control, and nucleic acid detection. Most CRISPR-Cas systems, however, suffer from off-target effects and unpredictable non-specific binding that negatively impact their reliability and broader applicability. To better evaluate the impact of mismatches on DNA target recognition and binding, we develop a massively parallel CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) assay to measure the binding energy between tens of thousands of CRISPR RNA (crRNA) and target DNA sequences. By developing a general thermodynamic model of CRISPR-Cas binding dynamics, our results unravel a comprehensive map of the energetic landscape of Francisella novicida Cas12a (FnCas12a) as it searches for its DNA target. Our results reveal concealed thermodynamic factors affecting FnCas12a DNA binding which should guide the design and optimization of crRNA that limit off-target effects, including the crucial role of an extended, 6-base long PAM sequence and the impact of the specific base composition of crRNA-DNA mismatches. Our generalizable approach should also provide a mechanistic understanding of target recognition and DNA binding when applied to other CRISPR-Cas systems.

5: A processive rotary mechanism couples substrate unfolding and proteolysis in the ClpXP degradation machinery
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Posted to bioRxiv 24 Sep 2019

A processive rotary mechanism couples substrate unfolding and proteolysis in the ClpXP degradation machinery
481 downloads biophysics

Zev A Ripstein, Siavash Vahidi, Walid A Houry, John L Rubinstein, Lewis E Kay

The ClpXP degradation machine consists of a hexameric AAA+ unfoldase (ClpX) and a pair of heptameric serine protease rings (ClpP) that unfold, translocate, and subsequently degrade client proteins. ClpXP is an important target for drug development against infectious diseases. Although structures are available for isolated ClpX and ClpP rings, it remains unknown how symmetry mismatched ClpX and ClpP work in tandem for processive substrate translocation into the ClpP proteolytic chamber. Here we present cryo-EM structures of the substrate-bound ClpXP complex from Neisseria meningitidis at 2.3 to 3.3 Å resolution. The structures allow development of a model in which the cyclical hydrolysis of ATP is coupled to concerted motions of ClpX loops that lead to directional substrate translocation and ClpX rotation relative to ClpP. Our data add to the growing body of evidence that AAA+ molecular machines generate translocating forces by a common mechanism.

6: Coupling chromatin structure and dynamics by live super-resolution imaging
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Sep 2019

Coupling chromatin structure and dynamics by live super-resolution imaging
469 downloads biophysics

R. Barth, K. Bystricky, H. A. Shaban

Chromatin conformation regulates gene expression and thus constant remodeling of chromatin structure is essential to guarantee proper cell function. To gain insight into the spatio-temporal organization of the genome, we employ high-density photo-activated localization microscopy and deep learning to obtain temporally resolved super-resolution images of chromatin in vivo . In combination with high-resolution dense motion reconstruction, we confirm the existence of elongated ~ 45 to 90 nm wide chromatin ‘blobs’, which appear to be dynamically associating chromatin fragments in close physical and genomic proximity and adopt TAD-like interactions in the time-average limit. We found the chromatin structure exhibits a spatio-temporal correlation extending ~ 4 μm in space and tens of seconds in time, while chromatin dynamics are correlated over ~ 6 μm and outlast 40 s. Notably, chromatin structure and dynamics are closely interrelated, which may constitute a mechanism to grant access to regions with high local chromatin concentration.

7: RELION-3: new tools for automated high-resolution cryo-EM structure determination
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Posted to bioRxiv 19 Sep 2018

RELION-3: new tools for automated high-resolution cryo-EM structure determination
443 downloads biophysics

Jasenko Zivanov, Takanori Nakane, Bjorn Forsberg, Dari Kimanius, Wim J.H. Hagen, Erik Lindahl, Sjors Scheres

Here, we describe the third major release of RELION. CPU-based vector acceleration has been added in addition to GPU support, which provides flexibility in use of resources and avoids memory limitations. Reference-free autopicking with Laplacian-of-Gaussian filtering and execution of jobs from python allows non-interactive processing during acquisition, including 2D-classification, de novo model generation and 3D-classification. Per-particle refinement of CTF parameters and correction of estimated beam tilt provides higher-resolution reconstructions when particles are at different heights in the ice, and/or coma-free alignment has not been optimal. Ewald sphere curvature correction improves resolution for large particles. We illustrate these developments with publicly available data sets: together with a Bayesian approach to beam-induced motion correction it leads to resolution improvements of 0.2-0.7 Å compared to previous RELION versions.

8: GemSpot: A Pipeline for Robust Modeling of Ligands into CryoEM Maps
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Posted to bioRxiv 03 Sep 2019

GemSpot: A Pipeline for Robust Modeling of Ligands into CryoEM Maps
407 downloads biophysics

Michael J. Robertson, Gydo C. P. van Zundert, Kenneth Borrelli, Georgios Skiniotis

Producing an accurate atomic model of biomolecule-ligand interactions from maps generated by cryo-electron microscopy often presents challenges inherent to the methodology and the dynamic nature of ligand binding. Here we have developed GemSpot, a pipeline of computational chemistry methods that take into account EM map potentials, quantum mechanics energy calculations, and water molecule site prediction to generate candidate poses and provide a measure of the degree of confidence. The pipeline is validated through several published cryoEM structures of complexes in different resolution ranges and various types of ligands. In all cases, at least one identified pose produced both excellent interactions with the target and agreement with the map. GemSpot will be valuable for the robust identification of ligand poses and drug discovery efforts through cryoEM.

9: The Structural Basis of Indisulam-Mediated Recruitment of RBM39 to the DCAF15-DDB1-DDA1 E3 Ligase Complex
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Posted to bioRxiv 16 Aug 2019

The Structural Basis of Indisulam-Mediated Recruitment of RBM39 to the DCAF15-DDB1-DDA1 E3 Ligase Complex
397 downloads biophysics

Dirksen Bussiere, Lili Xie, Wei Shu, Honnappa Srinivas

The anti-cancer agent Indisulam inhibits cell proliferation by causing degradation of RBM39, an essential mRNA splicing factor. Indisulam promotes an interaction between RBM39 and the DCAF15 E3 ligase substrate receptor leading to RBM39 ubiquitination and proteasome-mediated degradation. To delineate the precise mechanism by which Indisulam mediates DCAF15-RBM39 interaction, we solved the DCAF15-DDB1-DDA1-Indisulam-RBM39(RRM2) complex structure to 2.3 Angstroms. DCAF15 has a novel topology which embraces the RBM39(RRM2) domain largely via nonpolar interactions, and Indisulam binds between DCAF15 and RBM39(RRM2) and coordinates additional interactions between the two proteins. Studies with RBM39 point mutants and Indisulam analogs validated the structural model and defined the RBM39 alpha-helical degron motif. The degron is found only in RBM23 and RBM39 and only these proteins were detectably downregulated in Indisulam-treated HCT116 cells. This work further explains how Indisulam induces RBM39 degradation and defines the challenge of harnessing DCAF15 to degrade novel targets.

10: Organization and Regulation of Chromatin by Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation
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Posted to bioRxiv 18 Jan 2019

Organization and Regulation of Chromatin by Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation
383 downloads biophysics

B.A. Gibson, L.K. Doolittle, L.E. Jensen, N. Gamarra, S. Redding, M.K. Rosen

Genomic DNA is highly compacted in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells as a nucleoprotein assembly called chromatin. The basic unit of chromatin is the nucleosome, where ~146 base pair increments of the genome are wrapped and compacted around the core histone proteins. Further genomic organization and compaction occur through higher order assembly of nucleosomes. This organization regulates many nuclear processes, and is controlled in part by histone post-transtranslational modifications and chromatin-binding proteins. Mechanisms that regulate the assembly and compaction of the genome remain unclear. Here we show that in the presence of physiologic concentrations of mono- and divalent salts, histone tail-driven interactions drive liquid-liquid phase separation (LLPS) of nucleosome arrays, resulting in substantial condensation. Phase separation of nucleosomal arrays is inhibited by histone acetylation, whereas histone H1 promotes phase separation, further compaction, and decreased dynamics within droplets, mirroring the relationship between these modulators and the accessibility of the genome in cells. These results indicate that under physiologically relevant conditions, LLPS is an intrinsic behavior of the chromatin polymer, and suggest a model in which the condensed phase reflects a genomic 'ground state' that can produce chromatin organization and compaction in vivo. The dynamic nature of this state could enable known modulators of chromatin structure, such as post-translational modifications and chromatin binding proteins, to act upon it and consequently control nuclear processes such as transcription and DNA repair. Our data suggest an important role for LLPS of chromatin in the organization of the eukaryotic genome.

11: Mechanisms of activation and desensitization of full-length glycine receptor in membranes
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Posted to bioRxiv 30 Sep 2019

Mechanisms of activation and desensitization of full-length glycine receptor in membranes
378 downloads biophysics

Arvind kumar, Sandip Basak, Shanlin Rao, Yvonne Gicheru, Megan L Mayer, Mark Sansom, Sudha Chakrapani

Glycinergic synapses play a central role in motor control and pain processing in the central nervous system. Glycine receptors (GlyR) are key players in mediating fast inhibitory neurotransmission at these synapses. While previous high-resolution structural studies have provided insights into the molecular architecture of GlyR, several mechanistic questions pertaining to channel function are still unknown. Here, we present Cryo-EM structures of the full-length GlyR protein reconstituted into lipid nanodiscs that are captured in the unliganded (closed) and glycine-bound (open and desensitized) conformations. A comparison of the three states reveals global conformational changes underlying GlyR channel gating. The functional state assignments were validated by molecular dynamics simulations of the structures incorporated in a lipid bilayer. Observed permeation events are in agreement with the anion selectivity of the channel and the reported single-channel conductance of GlyR. These studies establish the structural basis for gating, selectivity, and single-channel conductance of GlyR in a physiological environment.

12: How to define and optimize axial resolution in light-sheet microscopy: a simulation-based approach
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Posted to bioRxiv 27 Sep 2019

How to define and optimize axial resolution in light-sheet microscopy: a simulation-based approach
374 downloads biophysics

Elena Remacha, Lars Friedrich, Julien Vermot, Florian O Fahrbach

'How thick is your light sheet?' is a question that has been asked frequently after talks showing impressive renderings of 3D data acquired by a light-sheet microscope. This question is motivated by the fact that most of the time the thickness of the light-sheet is uniquely associated to the axial resolution of the microscope. However, the link between lightsheet thickness and axial resolution has never been systematically assessed and it is still unclear how both are connected. The question is not trivial because commonly employed measures cannot readily be applied or do not lead to easily interpretable results for the many different types of light sheet. Here, by using simulation data we introduce a set of intuitive measures that helps to define the relationship between light sheet thickness and axial resolution. Unexpectedly, our analysis revealed a trade-off between better axial resolution and thinner light-sheet thickness. Our results are surprising because thicker light-sheets that provide lower image contrast have previously not been associated with better axial resolution. We conclude that classical Gaussian illumination beams should be used when image contrast is most important, and more advanced types of illumination represent a way to optimize axial resolution at the expense of image contrast.

13: On the mechanism of bilayer separation by extrusion; or, why your large unilamellar vesicles are not really unilamellar
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Posted to bioRxiv 10 Sep 2019

On the mechanism of bilayer separation by extrusion; or, why your large unilamellar vesicles are not really unilamellar
317 downloads biophysics

Haden L. Scott, Allison Skinkle, Elizabeth G Kelley, M Neal Waxham, Ilya Levental, Frederick A Heberle

Extrusion through porous filters is a widely used method for preparing biomimetic model membranes. Of primary importance in this approach is the efficient production of single bilayer (unilamellar) vesicles that eliminate the influence of interlamellar interactions and strictly define the bilayer surface area available to external reagents such as proteins. Sub-microscopic vesicles produced using extrusion are widely assumed to be unilamellar, and large deviations from this assumption would dramatically impact interpretations from many model membrane experiments. Using three probe-free methods - small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering (SAXS and SANS) and cryogenic electron microscopy (cryoEM) - we report unambiguous evidence of extensive multilamellarity in extruded vesicles composed of neutral phosphatidylcholine lipids, including for the common case of neutral lipids dispersed in physiological buffer and extruded through 100 nm diameter pores. In such preparations, only ~35% of lipids are externally accessible, and this fraction is highly dependent on preparation conditions. Charged lipids promote unilamellarity, as does decreasing solvent ionic strength, indicating the importance of electrostatic interactions in determining the lamellarity of extruded vesicles. Smaller extrusion pore sizes also robustly increase the fraction of unilamellar vesicles, suggesting a role for membrane bending. Taken together, these observations suggest a mechanistic model for extrusion, wherein formation of unilamellar vesicles involves competition between bilayer bending and adhesion energies. The findings presented here have wide-ranging implications for the design and interpretation of model membrane studies, especially ensemble-averaged observations relying on the assumption of unilamellarity.

14: ABEL-FRET: tether-free single-molecule FRET with hydrodynamic profiling
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Posted to bioRxiv 29 Sep 2019

ABEL-FRET: tether-free single-molecule FRET with hydrodynamic profiling
313 downloads biophysics

Hugh S Wilson, Quan Wang

Single-molecule Fröster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) has become a versatile and widespread method to probe nanoscale conformation and dynamics. However, current experimental protocols often resort to molecule immobilization for long observation times and rarely approach the resolution limit of FRET-based nanoscale metrology. Here we present ABEL-FRET, an immobilization-free platform for smFRET measurements with near shot-noise limited, Angstrom-level resolution in FRET efficiency. Furthermore, ABEL-FRET naturally integrates hydrodynamic profiling, which harnesses single-molecule diffusion coefficient to enhance FRET sensing of biological processes.

15: Cytoskeletal organization in isolated plant cells under geometry control.
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Posted to bioRxiv 26 Sep 2019

Cytoskeletal organization in isolated plant cells under geometry control.
306 downloads biophysics

Pauline Durand-Smet, Tamsin Spelman, Elliot M. Meyerowitz, Henrik Jonsson

Specific cell and tissue form is essential to support many biological functions of living organisms. During development, the creation of different shapes at the cellular and tissue level fundamentally requires the integration of genetic, biochemical and physical inputs. It is well established that the cortical microtubule network plays a key role in the morphogenesis of the plant cell wall by guiding the organisation of new cell wall material. Moreover, it has been suggested that light or mechanical stresses can orient the microtubules thereby controlling wall architecture and plant cell shape. The cytoskeleton is thus a major determinant of plant cell shape. What is less clear is how cell shape in turn influences cytoskeletal organization. Recent in vitro experiments and numerical simulations predicted that a geometry-based rule is sufficient to explain some of the microtubule organization observed in cells. Due to their high flexural rigidity and persistence length of the order of a few millimeters, MTs are rigid over cellular dimensions and are thus expected to align along their long axis if constrained in specific geometries. This hypothesis remains to be tested in cellulo. Here we present an experimental approach to explore the relative contribution of geometry to the final organization of actin and microtubule cytoskeletons in single plant cells. We show that, in cells constrained in rectangular shapes, the cytoskeleton align along the long axis of the cells. By studying actin and microtubules in cells with the same system we show that while actin organisation requires microtubules to be present to align the converse is not the case. A model of self organizing microtubules in 3D predicts that severing of microtubules is an important parameter controlling the anisotropy of the microtubule network. We experimentally confirmed the model predictions by analysing the response to shape change in plant cells with altered microtubule severing dynamics. This work is a first step towards assessing quantitatively how cell geometry contributes to the control of cytoskeletal organization in living plant cells.

16: High Resolution Structural Insights into Heliorhodopsin Family
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Posted to bioRxiv 12 Sep 2019

High Resolution Structural Insights into Heliorhodopsin Family
301 downloads biophysics

Kirill Kovalev, Dmytro Volkov, Roman Astashkin, Alexey Alekseev, Ivan Gushchin, Jose Haro-Moreno, Andrey Rogachev, Taras Balandin, Valentin Borshchevskiy, Alexander Popov, Gleb Bourenkov, Ernst Bamberg, Francisco Rodriguez-Valera, Georg Bueldt, Valentin Gordeliy

Rhodopsins are the most abundant light-harvesting proteins. A new family of rhodopsins, heliorhodopsins (HeRs), was recently discovered. In opposite to the known rhodopsins their N-termini face the cytoplasm. HeRs structure and function remain unknown. We present structures of two HeR-48C12 states at 1.5 Å showing its remarkable difference from all known rhodopsins. Its internal extracellular part is completely hydrophobic, while the cytoplasmic part comprises a cavity (‘active site’), surrounded by charged amino acids and containing a cluster of water molecules, presumably being a primary proton acceptor from the Schiff base. At acidic pH a planar triangle molecule (acetate) is present in the ‘active site’ which demonstrated its ability to maintain such anions as carbonate or nitrate. Structure-based bioinformatic analysis identified 10 subfamilies of HeRs suggesting their diverse biological functions. The structures and available data suggest an enzymatic activity of HeR-48C12 subfamily and their possible involvement into fundamental redox biological processes.

17: An RNA-binding region regulates CTCF clustering and chromatin looping
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Posted to bioRxiv 13 Dec 2018

An RNA-binding region regulates CTCF clustering and chromatin looping
300 downloads biophysics

Anders Sejr Hansen, Tsung-Han S Hsieh, Claudia Cattoglio, Iryna Pustova, Xavier Darzacq, Robert Tjian

Mammalian genomes are folded into Topologically Associating Domains (TADs), consisting of cell-type specific chromatin loops anchored by CTCF and cohesin. Since CTCF and cohesin are expressed ubiquitously, how cell-type specific CTCF-mediated loops are formed poses a paradox. Here we show RNase-sensitive CTCF self-association in vitro and that an RNA-binding region (RBR) mediates CTCF clustering in vivo. Intriguingly, deleting the RBR abolishes or impairs almost half of all chromatin loops in mouse embryonic stem cells. Disrupted loop formation correlates with abrogated clustering and diminished chromatin binding of the RBR mutant CTCF protein, which in turn results in a failure to halt cohesin-mediated extrusion. Thus, CTCF loops fall into at least 2 classes: RBR-independent and RBR-dependent loops. We suggest that evidence for distinct classes of RBR-dependent loops may provide a mechanism for establishing cell-specific CTCF loops regulated by RNAs and other RBR partners.

18: Protein network structure enables switching between liquid and gel states
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Posted to bioRxiv 03 Sep 2019

Protein network structure enables switching between liquid and gel states
295 downloads biophysics

Jeremy D. Schmit, Jill J Bouchard, Erik W Martin, Tanja Mittag

Biomolecular condensates are emerging as an important organizational principle within living cells. These condensed states are formed by phase separation, yet little is known about how material properties are encoded within the constituent molecules and how the specificity for being in different phases is established. Here we use analytic theory to explain the phase behavior of the cancer-related protein SPOP and its substrate DAXX. Binary mixtures of these molecules have a phase diagram that contains dilute liquid, dense liquid, and gel states. We show that these discrete phases appear due to a competition between SPOP-DAXX and DAXX-DAXX interactions. The stronger SPOP-DAXX interactions dominate at sub-stoichiometric DAXX concentrations leading to the formation of crosslinked gels. The theory shows that the driving force for gel formation is not the binding energy, but rather the entropy of distributing DAXX molecules on the binding sites. At high DAXX concentrations the SPOP-DAXX interactions saturate, which leads to the dissolution of the gel and the appearance of a liquid phase driven by weaker DAXX-DAXX interactions. This competition between interactions allows multiple dense phases to form in a narrow region of parameter space. We propose that the molecular architecture of phase-separating proteins governs the internal structure of dense phases, their material properties and their functions. Analytical theory can reveal these properties on the long length and time scales relevant to biomolecular condensates.

19: Real-time cryo-EM data pre-processing with Warp
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Posted to bioRxiv 14 Jun 2018

Real-time cryo-EM data pre-processing with Warp
289 downloads biophysics

Dimitry Tegunov, Patrick Cramer

The acquisition of cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) data from biological specimens is currently largely uncoupled from subsequent data evaluation, correction and processing. Therefore, the acquisition strategy is difficult to optimize during data collection, often leading to suboptimal microscope usage and disappointing results. Here we provide Warp, a software for real-time evaluation, correction, and processing of cryo-EM data during their acquisition. Warp evaluates and monitors key parameters for each recorded micrograph or tomographic tilt series in real time. Warp also rapidly corrects micrographs for global and local motion, and estimates the local defocus with the use of novel algorithms. The software further includes a deep learning-based particle picking algorithm that rivals human accuracy to make the pre-processing pipeline truly automated. The output from Warp can be directly fed into established tools for particle classification and 3D image reconstruction. In a benchmarking study we show that Warp automatically processed a published cryo-EM data set for influenza virus hemagglutinin, leading to an improvement of the nominal resolution from 3.9 Å to 3.2 Å. Warp is easy to install, computationally inexpensive, and has an intuitive and streamlined user interface.

20: Boiling Acid Mimics Intracellular Giant Virus Genome Release
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Posted to bioRxiv 20 Sep 2019

Boiling Acid Mimics Intracellular Giant Virus Genome Release
285 downloads biophysics

Jason R Schrad, Jonatas S Abrahao, Juliana R Cortines, Kristin N Parent

Since their discovery, giant viruses have expanded our understanding of the principles of virology. Due to their gargantuan size and complexity, little is known about the life cycles of these viruses. To answer outstanding questions regarding giant virus infection mechanisms, we set out to determine biomolecular conditions that promote giant virus genome release. We generated four metastable infection intermediates in Samba virus (lineage A Mimiviridae) as visualized by cryo-EM, cryo-ET, and SEM. Each of these four intermediates reflects a stage that occurs in vivo. We show that these genome release stages are conserved in other, diverse giant viruses. Finally, we identified proteins that are released from Samba and newly discovered Tupanvirus through differential mass spectrometry. Our work revealed the molecular forces that trigger infection are conserved amongst disparate giant viruses. This study is also the first to identify specific proteins released during the initial stages of giant virus infection.

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