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Annual Review of Biochemistry

Tilman Schneider-Poetsch, Minoru Yoshida
The central dogma of molecular biology, that DNA is transcribed into RNA and RNA translated into protein, was coined in the early days of modern biology. Back in the 1950s and 1960s, bacterial genetics first opened the way toward understanding life as the genetically encoded interaction of macromolecules. As molecular biology progressed and our knowledge of gene control deepened, it became increasingly clear that expression relied on many more levels of regulation. In the process of dissecting mechanisms of gene expression, specific small-molecule inhibitors played an important role and became valuable tools of investigation...
May 4, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Enrico Cappellini, Ana Prohaska, Fernando Racimo, Frido Welker, Mikkel Winther Pedersen, Morten E Allentoft, Peter de Barros Damgaard, Petra Gutenbrunner, Julie Dunne, Simon Hammann, Mélanie Roffet-Salque, Melissa Ilardo, J Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Yucheng Wang, Martin Sikora, Lasse Vinner, Jürgen Cox, Richard P Evershed, Eske Willerslev
Over the last decade, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, the field now stands on firm foundations. Researchers now successfully retrieve nucleotide and amino acid sequences, as well as lipid signatures, from progressively older samples, originating from geographic areas and depositional environments that, until recently, were regarded as hostile to long-term preservation of biomolecules...
April 25, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Aleem Syed, John A Tainer
Genomic instability in disease and its fidelity in health depend on the DNA damage response (DDR), regulated in part from the complex of meiotic recombination 11 homolog 1 (MRE11), ATP-binding cassette-ATPase (RAD50), and phosphopeptide-binding Nijmegen breakage syndrome protein 1 (NBS1). The MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex forms a multifunctional DDR machine. Within its network assemblies, MRN is the core conductor for the initial and sustained responses to DNA double-strand breaks, stalled replication forks, dysfunctional telomeres, and viral DNA infection...
April 25, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Maria Samata, Asifa Akhtar
X chromosome regulation represents a prime example of an epigenetic phenomenon where coordinated regulation of a whole chromosome is required. In flies, this is achieved by transcriptional upregulation of X chromosomal genes in males to equalize the gene dosage differences in females. Chromatin-bound proteins and long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) constituting a ribonucleoprotein complex known as the male-specific lethal (MSL) complex or the dosage compensation complex mediate this process. MSL complex members decorate the male X chromosome, and their absence leads to male lethality...
April 18, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Grace E Kenney, Amy C Rosenzweig
Copper-binding metallophores, or chalkophores, play a role in microbial copper homeostasis that is analogous to that of siderophores in iron homeostasis. The best-studied chalkophores are members of the methanobactin (Mbn) family-ribosomally produced, posttranslationally modified natural products first identified as copper chelators responsible for copper uptake in methane-oxidizing bacteria. To date, Mbns have been characterized exclusively in those species, but there is genomic evidence for their production in a much wider range of bacteria...
April 18, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Marcel Mettlen, Ping-Hung Chen, Saipraveen Srinivasan, Gaudenz Danuser, Sandra L Schmid
Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) is the major endocytic pathway in mammalian cells. It is responsible for the uptake of transmembrane receptors and transporters, for remodeling plasma membrane composition in response to environmental changes, and for regulating cell surface signaling. CME occurs via the assembly and maturation of clathrin-coated pits that concentrate cargo as they invaginate and pinch off to form clathrin-coated vesicles. In addition to the major coat proteins, clathrin triskelia and adaptor protein complexes, CME requires a myriad of endocytic accessory proteins and phosphatidylinositol lipids...
April 16, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Jared A M Bard, Ellen A Goodall, Eric R Greene, Erik Jonsson, Ken C Dong, Andreas Martin
As the endpoint for the ubiquitin-proteasome system, the 26S proteasome is the principal proteolytic machine responsible for regulated protein degradation in eukaryotic cells. The proteasome's cellular functions range from general protein homeostasis and stress response to the control of vital processes such as cell division and signal transduction. To reliably process all the proteins presented to it in the complex cellular environment, the proteasome must combine high promiscuity with exceptional substrate selectivity...
April 13, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Samar A Mahmoud, Peter Chien
Regulated proteolysis is a vital process that affects all living things. Bacteria use energy-dependent AAA+ proteases to power degradation of misfolded and native regulatory proteins. Given that proteolysis is an irreversible event, specificity and selectivity in degrading substrates are key. Specificity is often augmented through the use of adaptors that modify the inherent specificity of the proteolytic machinery. Regulated protein degradation is intricately linked to quality control, cell-cycle progression, and physiological transitions...
April 12, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Bruno Antonny, Joëlle Bigay, Bruno Mesmin
To maintain an asymmetric distribution of ions across membranes, protein pumps displace ions against their concentration gradient by using chemical energy. Here, we describe a functionally analogous but topologically opposite process that applies to the lipid transfer protein (LTP) oxysterolbinding protein (OSBP). This multidomain protein exchanges cholesterol for the phosphoinositide phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] between two apposed membranes. Because of the subsequent hydrolysis of PI(4)P, this counterexchange is irreversible and contributes to the establishment of a cholesterol gradient along organelles of the secretory pathway...
March 29, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Atanas D Radkov, Yen-Pang Hsu, Garrett Booher, Michael S VanNieuwenhze
Peptidoglycan is an essential component of the cell wall that protects bacteria from environmental stress. A carefully coordinated biosynthesis of peptidoglycan during cell elongation and division is required for cell viability. This biosynthesis involves sophisticated enzyme machineries that dynamically synthesize, remodel, and degrade peptidoglycan. However, when and where bacteria build peptidoglycan, and how this is coordinated with cell growth, have been long-standing questions in the field. The improvement of microscopy techniques has provided powerful approaches to study peptidoglycan biosynthesis with high spatiotemporal resolution...
March 29, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Mary C Andorfer, Jared C Lewis
Flavin-dependent halogenases (FDHs) catalyze the halogenation of organic substrates by coordinating reactions of reduced flavin, molecular oxygen, and chloride. Targeted and random mutagenesis of these enzymes have been used to both understand and alter their reactivity. These studies have led to insights into residues essential for catalysis and FDH variants with improved stability, expanded substrate scope, and altered site selectivity. Mutations throughout FDH structures have contributed to all of these advances...
March 28, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Samim Sharifi, Holger Bierhoff
Ribosome biogenesis is a complex and highly energy-demanding process that requires the concerted action of all three nuclear RNA polymerases (Pol I-III) in eukaryotes. The three largest ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs) originate from a precursor transcript (pre-rRNA) that is encoded by multicopy genes located in the nucleolus. Transcription of these rRNA genes (rDNA) by Pol I is the key regulation step in ribosome production and is tightly controlled by an intricate network of signaling pathways and epigenetic mechanisms...
March 28, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Jinzhong Lin, Dejian Zhou, Thomas A Steitz, Yury S Polikanov, Matthieu G Gagnon
Genetic information is translated into proteins by the ribosome. Structural studies of the ribosome and of its complexes with factors and inhibitors have provided invaluable information on the mechanism of protein synthesis. Ribosome inhibitors are among the most successful antimicrobial drugs and constitute more than half of all medicines used to treat infections. However, bacterial infections are becoming increasingly difficult to treat because the microbes have developed resistance to the most effective antibiotics, creating a major public health care threat...
March 23, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Cathleen Zeymer, Donald Hilvert
Directed evolution is a powerful technique for generating tailor-made enzymes for a wide range of biocatalytic applications. Following the principles of natural evolution, iterative cycles of mutagenesis and screening or selection are applied to modify protein properties, enhance catalytic activities, or develop completely new protein catalysts for non-natural chemical transformations. This review briefly surveys the experimental methods used to generate genetic diversity and screen or select for improved enzyme variants...
March 1, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Hans Clevers, Fiona M Watt
Central to the classical hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) paradigm is the concept that the maintenance of blood cell numbers is exclusively executed by a discrete physical entity: the transplantable HSC. The HSC paradigm has served as a stereotypic template in stem cell biology, yet the search for rare, hardwired professional stem cells has remained futile in most other tissues. In a more open approach, the focus on the search for stem cells as a physical entity may need to be replaced by the search for stem cell function, operationally defined as the ability of an organ to replace lost cells...
March 1, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Md Saiful Islam, Thomas M Leissing, Rasheduzzaman Chowdhury, Richard J Hopkinson, Christopher J Schofield
2-Oxoglutarate (2OG)-dependent oxygenases (2OGXs) catalyze a remarkably diverse range of oxidative reactions. In animals, these comprise hydroxylations and N-demethylations proceeding via hydroxylation; in plants and microbes, they catalyze a wider range including ring formations, rearrangements, desaturations, and halogenations. The catalytic flexibility of 2OGXs is reflected in their biological functions. After pioneering work identified the roles of 2OGXs in collagen biosynthesis, research indicated they also function in plant and animal development, transcriptional regulation, nucleic acid modification/repair, fatty acid metabolism, and secondary metabolite biosynthesis, including of medicinally important antibiotics...
March 1, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Wei Yang, Yang Gao
The number of DNA polymerases identified in each organism has mushroomed in last two decades. Most newly found DNA polymerases specialize in translesion synthesis and DNA repair instead of replication. Although intrinsic error rates are higher for translesion and repair polymerases than for replicative polymerases, the specialized polymerases increase genome stability and reduce tumorigenesis. Reflecting the numerous types ofDNAlesions and variations of broken DNA ends, translesion and repair polymerases differ in structure, mechanism, and function...
March 1, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Elisabeth M Storck, Cagakan Özbalci, Ulrike S Eggert
Cells depend on hugely diverse lipidomes for many functions. The actions and structural integrity of the plasma membrane and most organelles also critically depend on membranes and their lipid components. Despite the biological importance of lipids, our understanding of lipid engagement, especially the roles of lipid hydrophobic alkyl side chains, in key cellular processes is still developing. Emerging research has begun to dissect the importance of lipids in intricate events such as cell division. This review discusses how these structurally diverse biomolecules are spatially and temporally regulated during cell division, with a focus on cytokinesis...
March 1, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Nicole Berner, Karl-Richard Reutter, Dieter H Wolf
Cells must constantly monitor the integrity of their macromolecular constituents. Proteins are the most versatile class of macromolecules but are sensitive to structural alterations. Misfolded or otherwise aberrant protein structures lead to dysfunction and finally aggregation. Their presence is linked to aging and a plethora of severe human diseases. Thus, misfolded proteins have to be rapidly eliminated. Secretory proteins constitute more than one-third of the eukaryotic proteome. They are imported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where they are folded and modified...
February 2, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Adi Goldenzweig, Sarel Fleishman
Proteins are increasingly used in basic and applied biomedical research.Many proteins, however, are only marginally stable and can be expressed in limited amounts, thus hampering research and applications. Research has revealed the thermodynamic, cellular, and evolutionary principles and mechanisms that underlie marginal stability. With this growing understanding, computational stability design methods have advanced over the past two decades starting from methods that selectively addressed only some aspects of marginal stability...
January 26, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
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