ResearchPad - protein-domains https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[The <i>G123</i> rice mutant, carrying a mutation in <i>SE13</i>, presents alterations in the expression patterns of photosynthetic and major flowering regulatory genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_15737 Day length is a determinant of flowering time in rice. Phytochromes participate in flowering regulation by measuring the number of daylight hours to which the plant is exposed. Here we describe G123, a rice mutant generated by irradiation, which displays insensitivity to the photoperiod and early flowering under both long day and short day conditions. To detect the mutation responsible for the early flowering phenotype exhibited by G123, we generated an F2 population, derived from crossing with the wild-type, and used a pipeline to detect genomic structural variation, initially developed for human genomes. We detected a deletion in the G123 genome that affects the PHOTOPERIOD SENSITIVITY13 (SE13) gene, which encodes a phytochromobilin synthase, an enzyme implicated in phytochrome chromophore biosynthesis. The transcriptomic analysis, performed by RNA-seq, in the G123 plants indicated an alteration in photosynthesis and other processes related to response to light. The expression patterns of the main flowering regulatory genes, such as Ghd7, Ghd8 and PRR37, were altered in the plants grown under both long day and short day conditions. These findings indicate that phytochromes are also involved in the regulation of these genes under short day conditions, and extend the role of phytochromes in flowering regulation in rice.

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<![CDATA[Genome reconstruction of the non-culturable spinach downy mildew <i>Peronospora effusa</i> by metagenome filtering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13800 Peronospora effusa (previously known as P. farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, and here referred to as Pfs) is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew on spinach (Spinacia oleracea). To combat this destructive many disease resistant cultivars have been bred and used. However, new Pfs races rapidly break the employed resistance genes. To get insight into the gene repertoire of Pfs and identify infection-related genes, the genome of the first reference race, Pfs1, was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Due to the obligate biotrophic nature of this pathogen, material for DNA isolation can only be collected from infected spinach leaves that, however, also contain many other microorganisms. The obtained sequences can, therefore, be considered a metagenome. To filter and obtain Pfs sequences we utilized the CAT tool to taxonomically annotate ORFs residing on long sequences of a genome pre-assembly. This study is the first to show that CAT filtering performs well on eukaryotic contigs. Based on the taxonomy, determined on multiple ORFs, contaminating long sequences and corresponding reads were removed from the metagenome. Filtered reads were re-assembled to provide a clean and improved Pfs genome sequence of 32.4 Mbp consisting of 8,635 scaffolds. Transcript sequencing of a range of infection time points aided the prediction of a total of 13,277 gene models, including 99 RxLR(-like) effector, and 14 putative Crinkler genes. Comparative analysis identified common features in the predicted secretomes of different obligate biotrophic oomycetes, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. Their secretomes are generally smaller, compared to hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic oomycete species. We observe a reduction in proteins involved in cell wall degradation, in Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), proteins with PAN/apple domains, and host translocated effectors. The genome of Pfs1 will be instrumental in studying downy mildew virulence and for understanding the molecular adaptations by which new isolates break spinach resistance.

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<![CDATA[Host interactors of effector proteins of the lettuce downy mildew <i>Bremia lactucae</i> obtained by yeast two-hybrid screening]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13834 Plant pathogenic bacteria, fungi and oomycetes secrete effector proteins to manipulate host cell processes to establish a successful infection. Over the last decade the genomes and transcriptomes of many agriculturally important plant pathogens have been sequenced and vast candidate effector repertoires were identified using bioinformatic analyses. Elucidating the contribution of individual effectors to pathogenicity is the next major hurdle. To advance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying lettuce susceptibility to the downy mildew Bremia lactucae, we mapped physical interactions between B. lactucae effectors and lettuce candidate target proteins. Using a lettuce cDNA library-based yeast-two-hybrid system, 61 protein-protein interactions were identified, involving 21 B. lactucae effectors and 46 unique lettuce proteins. The top ten interactors based on the number of independent colonies identified in the Y2H and two interactors that belong to gene families involved in plant immunity, were further characterized. We determined the subcellular localization of the fluorescently tagged lettuce proteins and their interacting effectors. Importantly, relocalization of effectors or their interactors to the nucleus was observed for four protein-pairs upon their co-expression, supporting their interaction in planta.

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<![CDATA[Transcriptomic analysis of polyketide synthases in a highly ciguatoxic dinoflagellate, Gambierdiscus polynesiensis and low toxicity Gambierdiscus pacificus, from French Polynesia]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nca210627-69b7-4a50-96ce-ecb4ce1a2ae1

Marine dinoflagellates produce a diversity of polyketide toxins that are accumulated in marine food webs and are responsible for a variety of seafood poisonings. Reef-associated dinoflagellates of the genus Gambierdiscus produce toxins responsible for ciguatera poisoning (CP), which causes over 50,000 cases of illness annually worldwide. The biosynthetic machinery for dinoflagellate polyketides remains poorly understood. Recent transcriptomic and genomic sequencing projects have revealed the presence of Type I modular polyketide synthases in dinoflagellates, as well as a plethora of single domain transcripts with Type I sequence homology. The current transcriptome analysis compares polyketide synthase (PKS) gene transcripts expressed in two species of Gambierdiscus from French Polynesia: a highly toxic ciguatoxin producer, G. polynesiensis, versus a non-ciguatoxic species G. pacificus, each assembled from approximately 180 million Illumina 125 nt reads using Trinity, and compares their PKS content with previously published data from other Gambierdiscus species and more distantly related dinoflagellates. Both modular and single-domain PKS transcripts were present. Single domain β-ketoacyl synthase (KS) transcripts were highly amplified in both species (98 in G. polynesiensis, 99 in G. pacificus), with smaller numbers of standalone acyl transferase (AT), ketoacyl reductase (KR), dehydratase (DH), enoyl reductase (ER), and thioesterase (TE) domains. G. polynesiensis expressed both a larger number of multidomain PKSs, and larger numbers of modules per transcript, than the non-ciguatoxic G. pacificus. The largest PKS transcript in G. polynesiensis encoded a 10,516 aa, 7 module protein, predicted to synthesize part of the polyether backbone. Transcripts and gene models representing portions of this PKS are present in other species, suggesting that its function may be performed in those species by multiple interacting proteins. This study contributes to the building consensus that dinoflagellates utilize a combination of Type I modular and single domain PKS proteins, in an as yet undefined manner, to synthesize polyketides.

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<![CDATA[Unusual genome expansion and transcription suppression in ectomycorrhizal Tricholoma matsutake by insertions of transposable elements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd7412b83-0508-48a9-959e-b3aa8ede7a25

Genome sequencing of Tricholoma matsutake revealed its unusually large size as 189.0 Mbp, which is a consequence of extraordinarily high transposable element (TE) content. We identified that 702 genes were surrounded by TEs, and 83.2% of these genes were not transcribed at any developmental stage. This observation indicated that the insertion of TEs alters the transcription of the genes neighboring these TEs. Repeat-induced point mutation, such as C to T hypermutation with a bias over “CpG” dinucleotides, was also recognized in this genome, representing a typical defense mechanism against TEs during evolution. Many transcription factor genes were activated in both the primordia and fruiting body stages, which indicates that many regulatory processes are shared during the developmental stages. Small secreted protein genes (<300 aa) were dominantly transcribed in the hyphae, where symbiotic interactions occur with the hosts. Comparative analysis with 37 Agaricomycetes genomes revealed that IstB-like domains (PF01695) were conserved across taxonomically diverse mycorrhizal genomes, where the T. matsutake genome contained four copies of this domain. Three of the IstB-like genes were overexpressed in the hyphae. Similar to other ectomycorrhizal genomes, the CAZyme gene set was reduced in T. matsutake, including losses in the glycoside hydrolase genes. The T. matsutake genome sequence provides insight into the causes and consequences of genome size inflation.

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<![CDATA[Drosophila melanogaster tPlus3a and tPlus3b ensure full male fertility by regulating transcription of Y-chromosomal, seminal fluid, and heat shock genes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8accf0d5eed0c48499037d

Spermatogenesis in Drosophila melanogaster is characterized by a specific transcriptional program during the spermatocyte stage. Transcription of thousands of genes is regulated by the interaction of several proteins or complexes, including a tTAF-containing TFIID variant, tMAC, Mediator, and chromatin interactors, e.g., bromodomain proteins. We addressed how distinct subsets of target genes are selected. We characterized the highly similar proteins tPlus3a and tPlus3b, which contain a Plus3 domain and are enriched in the testis, mainly in spermatocytes. In tPlus3a and tplus3b deletion mutants generated using the CRISPR/Cas9 system, fertility was severely reduced and sperm showed defects during individualization. tPlus3a and tPlus3b heterodimerized with the bromodomain protein tBRD-1. To elucidate the role of the tPlus3a and tPlus3b proteins in transcriptional regulation, we determined the transcriptomes of tplus3a-tplus3b and tbrd-1 deletion mutants using next-generation sequencing (RNA-seq) and compared them to that of the wild-type. tPlus3a and tPlus3b positively or negatively regulated the expression of nearly 400 genes; tBRD-1 regulated 1,500 genes. Nearly 200 genes were regulated by both tPlus3a and tPlus3b and tBRD-1. tPlus3a and tPlus3b activated the Y-chromosomal genes kl-3 and kl-5, which indicates that tPlus3a and tPlus3b proteins are required for the function of distinct classes of genes. tPlus3a and tPlus3b and tBRD-1 repress genes relevant for seminal fluid and heat shock. We hypothesize that tPlus3a and tPlus3b proteins are required to specify the general transcriptional program in spermatocytes.

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<![CDATA[Reticulate evolution in eukaryotes: Origin and evolution of the nitrate assimilation pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fefd5eed0c484007967

Genes and genomes can evolve through interchanging genetic material, this leading to reticular evolutionary patterns. However, the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, and in particular of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), remains controversial. Given that metabolic pathways with taxonomically-patchy distributions can be indicative of HGT events, the eukaryotic nitrate assimilation pathway is an ideal object of investigation, as previous results revealed a patchy distribution and suggested that the nitrate assimilation cluster of dikaryotic fungi (Opisthokonta) could have been originated and transferred from a lineage leading to Oomycota (Stramenopiles). We studied the origin and evolution of this pathway through both multi-scale bioinformatic and experimental approaches. Our taxon-rich genomic screening shows that nitrate assimilation is present in more lineages than previously reported, although being restricted to autotrophs and osmotrophs. The phylogenies indicate a pervasive role of HGT, with three bacterial transfers contributing to the pathway origin, and at least seven well-supported transfers between eukaryotes. In particular, we propose a distinct and more complex HGT path between Opisthokonta and Stramenopiles than the one previously suggested, involving at least two transfers of a nitrate assimilation gene cluster. We also found that gene fusion played an essential role in this evolutionary history, underlying the origin of the canonical eukaryotic nitrate reductase, and of a chimeric nitrate reductase in Ichthyosporea (Opisthokonta). We show that the ichthyosporean pathway, including this novel nitrate reductase, is physiologically active and transcriptionally co-regulated, responding to different nitrogen sources; similarly to distant eukaryotes with independent HGT-acquisitions of the pathway. This indicates that this pattern of transcriptional control evolved convergently in eukaryotes, favoring the proper integration of the pathway in the metabolic landscape. Our results highlight the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, by showing the crucial contribution of HGT and gene fusion in the evolutionary history of the nitrate assimilation pathway.

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<![CDATA[Evolutionary behaviour of bacterial prion-like proteins]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c8823f7d5eed0c484639437

Prions in eukaryotes have been linked to diseases, evolutionary capacitance, large-scale genetic control and long-term memory formation. In bacteria, constructed prion-forming proteins have been described, such as the prion-forming protein recently described for Clostridium botulinum transcription terminator Rho. Here, I analyzed the evolution of the Rho prion-forming domain across bacteria, and discovered that its conservation is sporadic both in the Clostridium genus and in bacteria generally. Nonetheless, it has an apparent evolutionary reach into eight or more different bacterial phyla. Motivated by these results, I investigated whether this pattern of wide-ranging evolutionary sporadicity is typical of bacterial prion-like domains. A measure of coverage of a domain (C) within its evolutionary range was derived, which is effectively a weighted fraction of the number of species in which the domain is found. I observe that occurrence across multiple phyla is not uncommon for bacterial prion-like protein domain families, but that they tend to sample of a low fraction of species within their evolutionary range, like Rho. The Rho prion-like domain family is one of the top three most widely distributed prion-like protein domain families in terms of number of phyla. There are >60 prion-like protein domain families that have at least the evolutionary coverage of Rho, and are found in multiple phyla. The implications of these findings for evolution and for experimental investigations into prion-forming proteins are discussed.

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<![CDATA[Brain expansion promoted by polycomb-mediated anterior enhancement of a neural stem cell proliferation program]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c7ee7d4d5eed0c4848f4f0c

During central nervous system (CNS) development, genetic programs establish neural stem cells and drive both stem and daughter cell proliferation. However, the prominent anterior expansion of the CNS implies anterior–posterior (A–P) modulation of these programs. In Drosophila, a set of neural stem cell factors acts along the entire A–P axis to establish neural stem cells. Brain expansion results from enhanced stem and daughter cell proliferation, promoted by a Polycomb Group (PcG)->Homeobox (Hox) homeotic network. But how does PcG->Hox modulate neural-stem-cell–factor activity along the A–P axis? We find that the PcG->Hox network creates an A–P expression gradient of neural stem cell factors, thereby driving a gradient of proliferation. PcG mutants can be rescued by misexpression of the neural stem cell factors or by mutation of one single Hox gene. Hence, brain expansion results from anterior enhancement of core neural-stem-cell–factor expression, mediated by PcG repression of brain Hox expression.

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<![CDATA[TyrR is involved in the transcriptional regulation of biofilm formation and D-alanine catabolism in Azospirillum brasilense Sp7.]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6f1503d5eed0c48467ac9f

Azospirillum brasilense is one of the most studied species of diverse agronomic plants worldwide. The benefits conferred to plants inoculated with Azospirillum have been primarily attributed to its capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen and synthesize phytohormones, especially indole-3-acetic acid (IAA). The principal pathway for IAA synthesis involves the intermediate metabolite indole pyruvic acid. Successful colonization of plants by Azospirillum species is fundamental to the ability of these bacteria to promote the beneficial effects observed in plants. Biofilm formation is an essential step in this process and involves interactions with the host plant. In this study, the tyrR gene was cloned, and the translated product was observed to exhibit homology to TyrR protein, a NtrC/NifA-type activator. Structural studies of TyrR identified three putative domains, including a domain containing binding sites for aromatic amino acids in the N-terminus, a central AAA+ ATPase domain, and a helix-turn-helix DNA binding motif domain in the C-terminus, which binds DNA sequences in promoter-operator regions. In addition, a bioinformatic analysis of promoter sequences in A. brasilense Sp7 genome revealed that putative promoters encompass one to three TyrR boxes in genes predicted to be regulated by TyrR. To gain insight into the phenotypes regulated by TyrR, a tyrR-deficient strain derived from A. brasilense Sp7, named A. brasilense 2116 and a complemented 2116 strain harboring a plasmid carrying the tyrR gene were constructed. The observed phenotypes indicated that the putative transcriptional regulator TyrR is involved in biofilm production and is responsible for regulating the utilization of D-alanine as carbon source. In addition, TyrR was observed to be absolutely required for transcriptional regulation of the gene dadA encoding a D-amino acid dehydrogenase. The data suggested that TyrR may play a major role in the regulation of genes encoding a glucosyl transferase, essential signaling proteins, and amino acids transporters.

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<![CDATA[Convergent perturbation of the human domain-resolved interactome by viruses and mutations inducing similar disease phenotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9afd5eed0c484529ff0

An important goal of systems medicine is to study disease in the context of genetic and environmental perturbations to the human interactome network. For diseases with both genetic and infectious contributors, a key postulate is that similar perturbations of the human interactome by either disease mutations or pathogens can have similar disease consequences. This postulate has so far only been tested for a few viral species at the level of whole proteins. Here, we expand the scope of viral species examined, and test this postulate more rigorously at the higher resolution of protein domains. Focusing on diseases with both genetic and viral contributors, we found significant convergent perturbation of the human domain-resolved interactome by endogenous genetic mutations and exogenous viral proteins inducing similar disease phenotypes. Pan-cancer, pan-oncovirus analysis further revealed that domains of human oncoproteins either physically targeted or structurally mimicked by oncoviruses are enriched for cancer driver rather than passenger mutations, suggesting convergent targeting of cancer driver pathways by diverse oncoviruses. Our study provides a framework for high-resolution, network-based comparison of various disease factors, both genetic and environmental, in terms of their impacts on the human interactome.

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<![CDATA[Conserved regulation of neurodevelopmental processes and behavior by FoxP in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c75bdd5eed0c4843d00af

FOXP proteins form a subfamily of evolutionarily conserved transcription factors involved in the development and functioning of several tissues, including the central nervous system. In humans, mutations in FOXP1 and FOXP2 have been implicated in cognitive deficits including intellectual disability and speech disorders. Drosophila exhibits a single ortholog, called FoxP, but due to a lack of characterized mutants, our understanding of the gene remains poor. Here we show that the dimerization property required for mammalian FOXP function is conserved in Drosophila. In flies, FoxP is enriched in the adult brain, showing strong expression in ~1000 neurons of cholinergic, glutamatergic and GABAergic nature. We generate Drosophila loss-of-function mutants and UAS-FoxP transgenic lines for ectopic expression, and use them to characterize FoxP function in the nervous system. At the cellular level, we demonstrate that Drosophila FoxP is required in larvae for synaptic morphogenesis at axonal terminals of the neuromuscular junction and for dendrite development of dorsal multidendritic sensory neurons. In the developing brain, we find that FoxP plays important roles in α-lobe mushroom body formation. Finally, at a behavioral level, we show that Drosophila FoxP is important for locomotion, habituation learning and social space behavior of adult flies. Our work shows that Drosophila FoxP is important for regulating several neurodevelopmental processes and behaviors that are related to human disease or vertebrate disease model phenotypes. This suggests a high degree of functional conservation with vertebrate FOXP orthologues and established flies as a model system for understanding FOXP related pathologies.

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<![CDATA[A combined computational strategy of sequence and structural analysis predicts the existence of a functional eicosanoid pathway in Drosophila melanogaster]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6c7583d5eed0c4843cfe40

This study reports on a putative eicosanoid biosynthesis pathway in Drosophila melanogaster and challenges the currently held view that mechanistic routes to synthesize eicosanoid or eicosanoid-like biolipids do not exist in insects, since to date, putative fly homologs of most mammalian enzymes have not been identified. Here we use systematic and comprehensive bioinformatics approaches to identify most of the mammalian eicosanoid synthesis enzymes. Sensitive sequence analysis techniques identified candidate Drosophila enzymes that share low global sequence identities with their human counterparts. Twenty Drosophila candidates were selected based upon (a) sequence identity with human enzymes of the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase branches, (b) similar domain architecture and structural conservation of the catalytic domain, and (c) presence of potentially equivalent functional residues. Evaluation of full-length structural models for these 20 top-scoring Drosophila candidates revealed a surprising degree of conservation in their overall folds and potential analogs for functional residues in all 20 enzymes. Although we were unable to identify any suitable candidate for lipoxygenase enzymes, we report structural homology models of three fly cyclooxygenases. Our findings predict that the D. melanogaster genome likely codes for one or more pathways for eicosanoid or eicosanoid-like biolipid synthesis. Our study suggests that classical and/or novel eicosanoids mediators must regulate biological functions in insects–predictions that can be tested with the power of Drosophila genetics. Such experimental analysis of eicosanoid biology in a simple model organism will have high relevance to human development and health.

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<![CDATA[Controlling the dynamics of the Nek2 leucine zipper by engineering of “kinetic” disulphide bonds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5df370d5eed0c4845812dc

Nek2 is a dimeric serine/ threonine protein kinase that belongs to the family of NIMA-related kinases (Neks). Its N-terminal catalytic domain and its C-terminal regulatory region are bridged by a leucine zipper, which plays an important role in the activation of Nek2’s catalytic activity. Unusual conformational dynamics on the intermediary/slow timescale has thwarted all attempts so far to determine the structure of the Nek2 leucine zipper by means of X-ray crystallography and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). Disulfide engineering, the strategic placement of non-native disulfide bonds into flexible regions flanking the coiled coil, was used to modulate the conformational exchange dynamics of this important dimerization domain. The resulting reduction in exchange rate leads to substantial improvements of important features in NMR spectra, such as line width, coherence transfer leakage and relaxation. These effects were comprehensively analyzed for the wild type protein, two single disulfide bond-bearing mutants and another double disulfide bonds-carrying mutant. Furthermore, exchange kinetics were measured across a wide temperature range, allowing for a detailed analysis of activation energy (ΔG) and maximal rate constant (k’ex). For one mutant carrying a disulfide bond at its C-terminus, a full backbone NMR assignment could be obtained for both conformers, demonstrating the benefits of the disulfide engineering. Our study demonstrates the first successful application of ‘kinetic’ disulfide bonds for the purpose of controlling the adverse effects of protein dynamics. Firstly, this provides a promising, robust platform for the full structural and functional investigation of the Nek2 leucine zipper in the future. Secondly, this work broadens the toolbox of protein engineering by disulfide bonds through the addition of a kinetic option in addition to the well-established thermodynamic uses of disulfide bonds.

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<![CDATA[Inherent versus induced protein flexibility: Comparisons within and between apo and holo structures]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5b52c9d5eed0c4842bd003

Understanding how ligand binding influences protein flexibility is important, especially in rational drug design. Protein flexibility upon ligand binding is analyzed herein using 305 proteins with 2369 crystal structures with ligands (holo) and 1679 without (apo). Each protein has at least two apo and two holo structures for analysis. The inherent variation in structures with and without ligands is first established as a baseline. This baseline is then compared to the change in conformation in going from the apo to holo states to probe induced flexibility. The inherent backbone flexibility across the apo structures is roughly the same as the variation across holo structures. The induced backbone flexibility across apo-holo pairs is larger than that of the apo or holo states, but the increase in RMSD is less than 0.5 Å. Analysis of χ1 angles revealed a distinctly different pattern with significant influences seen for ligand binding on side-chain conformations in the binding site. Within the apo and holo states themselves, the variation of the χ1 angles is the same. However, the data combining both apo and holo states show significant displacements. Upon ligand binding, χ1 angles are frequently pushed to new orientations outside the range seen in the apo states. Influences on binding-site variation could not be easily attributed to features such as ligand size or x-ray structure resolution. By combining these findings, we find that most binding site flexibility is compatible with the common practice in flexible docking, where backbones are kept rigid and side chains are allowed some degree of flexibility.

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<![CDATA[Merkel cell polyomavirus Tumor antigens expressed in Merkel cell carcinoma function independently of the ubiquitin ligases Fbw7 and β-TrCP]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c58d627d5eed0c484031780

Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) accounts for 80% of all Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) cases through expression of two viral oncoproteins: the truncated large T antigen (LT-t) and small T antigen (ST). MCPyV ST is thought to be the main driver of cellular transformation and has also been shown to increase LT protein levels through the activity of its Large-T Stabilization Domain (LSD). The ST LSD was reported to bind and sequester several ubiquitin ligases, including Fbw7 and β-TrCP, and thereby stabilize LT-t and several other Fbw7 targets including c-Myc and cyclin E. Therefore, the ST LSD is thought to contribute to transformation by promoting the accumulation of these oncoproteins. Targets of Fbw7 and β-TrCP contain well-defined, conserved, phospho-degrons. However, as neither MCPyV LT, LT-t nor ST contain the canonical Fbw7 phospho-degron, we sought to further investigate the proposed model of ST stabilization of LT-t and transformation. In this study, we provide several lines of evidence that fail to support a specific interaction between MCPyV T antigens and Fbw7 or β-TrCP by co-immunoprecipitation or functional consequence. Although MCPyV ST does indeed increase LT protein levels through its Large-T Stabilization domain (LSD), this is accomplished independently of Fbw7. Therefore, our study indicates a need for further investigation into the role and mechanism(s) of MCPyV T antigens in viral replication, latency, transformation, and tumorigenesis.

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<![CDATA[HuVarBase: A human variant database with comprehensive information at gene and protein levels]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca311d5eed0c48441f0af

Human variant databases could be better exploited if the variant data available in multiple resources is integrated in a single comprehensive resource along with sequence and structural features. Such integration would improve the analyses of variants for disease prediction, prevention or treatment. The HuVarBase (HUmanVARiantdataBASE) assimilates publicly available human variant data at protein level and gene level into a comprehensive resource. Protein level data such as amino acid sequence, secondary structure of the mutant residue, domain, function, subcellular location and post-translational modification are integrated with gene level data such as gene name, chromosome number & genome position, DNA mutation, mutation type origin and rs ID number. Disease class has been added for the disease causing variants. The database is publicly available at https://www.iitm.ac.in/bioinfo/huvarbase. A total of 774,863 variant records, integrated in the HuVarBase, can be searched with options to display, visualize and download the results.

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<![CDATA[Molecular insights in the pathogenesis of classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome from transcriptome-wide expression profiling of patients’ skin fibroblasts]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c61e8b3d5eed0c48496efc5

Classical Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (cEDS) is a dominant inherited connective tissue disorder mainly caused by mutations in the COL5A1 and COL5A2 genes encoding type V collagen (COLLV), which is a fibrillar COLL widely distributed in a variety of connective tissues. cEDS patients suffer from skin hyperextensibility, abnormal wound healing/atrophic scars, and joint hypermobility. Most of the causative variants result in a non-functional COL5A1 allele and COLLV haploinsufficiency, whilst COL5A2 mutations affect its structural integrity. To shed light into disease mechanisms involved in cEDS, we performed gene expression profiling in skin fibroblasts from four patients harboring haploinsufficient and structural mutations in both disease genes. Transcriptome profiling revealed significant changes in the expression levels of different extracellular matrix (ECM)-related genes, such as SPP1, POSTN, EDIL3, IGFBP2, and C3, which encode both matricellular and soluble proteins that are mainly involved in cell proliferation and migration, and cutaneous wound healing. These gene expression changes are consistent with our previous protein findings on in vitro fibroblasts from other cEDS patients, which exhibited reduced migration and poor wound repair owing to COLLV disorganization, altered deposition of fibronectin into ECM, and an abnormal integrin pattern. Microarray analysis also indicated the decreased expression of DNAJB7, VIPAS39, CCPG1, ATG10, SVIP, which encode molecular chaperones facilitating protein folding, enzymes regulating post-Golgi COLLs processing, and proteins acting as cargo receptors required for endoplasmic reticulum (ER) proteostasis and implicated in the autophagy process. Patients’ cells also showed altered mRNA levels of many cell cycle regulating genes including CCNE2, KIF4A, MKI67, DTL, and DDIAS. Protein studies showed that aberrant COLLV expression causes the disassembly of itself and many structural ECM constituents including COLLI, COLLIII, fibronectin, and fibrillins. Our findings provide the first molecular evidence of significant gene expression changes in cEDS skin fibroblasts highlighting that defective ECM remodeling, ER homeostasis and autophagy might play a role in the pathogenesis of this connective tissue disorder.

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<![CDATA[Structure of the DP1–DP2 PolD complex bound with DNA and its implications for the evolutionary history of DNA and RNA polymerases]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4b7f56d5eed0c48484117d

PolD is an archaeal replicative DNA polymerase (DNAP) made of a proofreading exonuclease subunit (DP1) and a larger polymerase catalytic subunit (DP2). Recently, we reported the individual crystal structures of the DP1 and DP2 catalytic cores, thereby revealing that PolD is an atypical DNAP that has all functional properties of a replicative DNAP but with the catalytic core of an RNA polymerase (RNAP). We now report the DNA-bound cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of the heterodimeric DP1–DP2 PolD complex from Pyrococcus abyssi, revealing a unique DNA-binding site. Comparison of PolD and RNAPs extends their structural similarities and brings to light the minimal catalytic core shared by all cellular transcriptases. Finally, elucidating the structure of the PolD DP1–DP2 interface, which is conserved in all eukaryotic replicative DNAPs, clarifies their evolutionary relationships with PolD and sheds light on the domain acquisition and exchange mechanism that occurred during the evolution of the eukaryotic replisome.

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<![CDATA[Thermodynamic model of gene regulation for the Or59b olfactory receptor in Drosophila]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c4a309fd5eed0c4844c073a

Complex eukaryotic promoters normally contain multiple cis-regulatory sequences for different transcription factors (TFs). The binding patterns of the TFs to these sites, as well as the way the TFs interact with each other and with the RNA polymerase (RNAp), lead to combinatorial problems rarely understood in detail, especially under varying epigenetic conditions. The aim of this paper is to build a model describing how the main regulatory cluster of the olfactory receptor Or59b drives transcription of this gene in Drosophila. The cluster-driven expression of this gene is represented as the equilibrium probability of RNAp being bound to the promoter region, using a statistical thermodynamic approach. The RNAp equilibrium probability is computed in terms of the occupancy probabilities of the single TFs of the cluster to the corresponding binding sites, and of the interaction rules among TFs and RNAp, using experimental data of Or59b expression to tune the model parameters. The model reproduces correctly the changes in RNAp binding probability induced by various mutation of specific sites and epigenetic modifications. Some of its predictions have also been validated in novel experiments.

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