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Annual Review of Biochemistry

Min Dong, Geoffrey Masuyer, Pâl Stenmark
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) and tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) are the most potent toxins known and cause botulism and tetanus, respectively. BoNTs are also widely utilized as therapeutic toxins. They contain three functional domains responsible for receptor-binding, membrane translocation, and proteolytic cleavage of host proteins required for synaptic vesicle exocytosis. These toxins also have distinct features: BoNTs exist within a progenitor toxin complex (PTC), which protects the toxin and facilitates its absorption in the gastrointestinal tract, whereas TeNT is uniquely transported retrogradely within motor neurons...
November 2, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Johan Elf, Irmeli Barkefors
In the past decades, advances in microscopy have made it possible to study the dynamics of individual biomolecules in vitro and resolve intramolecular kinetics that would otherwise be hidden in ensemble averages. More recently, single-molecule methods have been used to image, localize, and track individually labeled macromolecules in the cytoplasm of living cells, allowing investigations of intermolecular kinetics under physiologically relevant conditions. In this review, we illuminate the particular advantages of single-molecule techniques when studying kinetics in living cells and discuss solutions to specific challenges associated with these methods...
October 25, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
David L Brautigan, Shirish Shenolikar
Protein serine/threonine phosphatases (PPPs) are ancient enzymes, with distinct types conserved across eukaryotic evolution. PPPs are segregated into types primarily on the basis of the unique interactions of PPP catalytic subunits with regulatory proteins. The resulting holoenzymes dock substrates distal to the active site to enhance specificity. This review focuses on the subunit and substrate interactions for PPP that depend on short linear motifs. Insights about these motifs from structures of holoenzymes open new opportunities for computational biology approaches to elucidate PPP networks...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Gunnar von Heijne
This article introduces the Protein Evolution and Design theme of the Annual Review of Biochemistry Volume 87.
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Shiou-Chuan (Sheryl) Tsai
Polyketides are a large family of structurally complex natural products including compounds with important bioactivities. Polyketides are biosynthesized by polyketide synthases (PKSs), multienzyme complexes derived evolutionarily from fatty acid synthases (FASs). The focus of this review is to critically compare the properties of FASs with iterative aromatic PKSs, including type II PKSs and fungal type I nonreducing PKSs whose chemical logic is distinct from that of modular PKSs. This review focuses on structural and enzymological studies that reveal both similarities and striking differences between FASs and aromatic PKSs...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Junhong Choi, Rosslyn Grosely, Arjun Prabhakar, Christopher P Lapointe, Jinfan Wang, Joseph D Puglisi
Translation elongation is a highly coordinated, multistep, multifactor process that ensures accurate and efficient addition of amino acids to a growing nascent-peptide chain encoded in the sequence of translated messenger RNA (mRNA). Although translation elongation is heavily regulated by external factors, there is clear evidence that mRNA and nascent-peptide sequences control elongation dynamics, determining both the sequence and structure of synthesized proteins. Advances in methods have driven experiments that revealed the basic mechanisms of elongation as well as the mechanisms of regulation by mRNA and nascent-peptide sequences...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Tamaki Suganuma, Jerry L Workman
Chromatin is a mighty consumer of cellular energy generated by metabolism. Metabolic status is efficiently coordinated with transcription and translation, which also feed back to regulate metabolism. Conversely, suppression of energy utilization by chromatin processes may serve to preserve energy resources for cell survival. Most of the reactions involved in chromatin modification require metabolites as their cofactors or coenzymes. Therefore, the metabolic status of the cell can influence the spectra of posttranslational histone modifications and the structure, density and location of nucleosomes, impacting epigenetic processes...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Laura J Niedernhofer, Aditi U Gurkar, Yinsheng Wang, Jan Vijg, Jan H J Hoeijmakers, Paul D Robbins
The nuclear genome decays as organisms age. Numerous studies demonstrate that the burden of several classes of DNA lesions is greater in older mammals than in young mammals. More challenging is proving this is a cause rather than a consequence of aging. The DNA damage theory of aging, which argues that genomic instability plays a causal role in aging, has recently gained momentum. Support for this theory stems partly from progeroid syndromes in which inherited defects in DNA repair increase the burden of DNA damage leading to accelerated aging of one or more organs...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Charisma Enam, Yifat Geffen, Tommer Ravid, Richard G Gardner
Nuclear proteins participate in diverse cellular processes, many of which are essential for cell survival and viability. To maintain optimal nuclear physiology, the cell employs the ubiquitin-proteasome system to eliminate damaged and misfolded proteins in the nucleus that could otherwise harm the cell. In this review, we highlight the current knowledge about the major ubiquitin-protein ligases involved in protein quality control degradation (PQCD) in the nucleus and how they orchestrate their functions to eliminate misfolded proteins in different nuclear subcompartments...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Emily M Zygiel, Elizabeth M Nolan
In response to microbial infection, the human host deploys metal-sequestering host-defense proteins, which reduce nutrient availability and thereby inhibit microbial growth and virulence. Calprotectin (CP) is an abundant antimicrobial protein released from neutrophils and epithelial cells at sites of infection. CP sequesters divalent first-row transition metal ions to limit the availability of essential metal nutrients in the extracellular space. While functional and clinical studies of CP have been pursued for decades, advances in our understanding of its biological coordination chemistry, which is central to its role in the host-microbe interaction, have been made in more recent years...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Lianet Noda-Garcia, Wolfram Liebermeister, Dan S Tawfik
How individual enzymes evolved is relatively well understood. However, individual enzymes rarely confer a physiological advantage on their own. Judging by its current state, the emergence of metabolism seemingly demanded the simultaneous emergence of many enzymes. Indeed, how multicomponent interlocked systems, like metabolic pathways, evolved is largely an open question. This complexity can be unlocked if we assume that survival of the fittest applies not only to genes and enzymes but also to the metabolites they produce...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
William I Weis, Brian K Kobilka
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate the majority of cellular responses to external stimuli. Upon activation by a ligand, the receptor binds to a partner heterotrimeric G protein and promotes exchange of GTP for GDP, leading to dissociation of the G protein into α and βγ subunits that mediate downstream signals. GPCRs can also activate distinct signaling pathways through arrestins. Active states of GPCRs form by small rearrangements of the ligand-binding, or orthosteric, site that are amplified into larger conformational changes...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Ehud Gazit
The formation of ordered nanostructures by molecular self-assembly of proteins and peptides represents one of the principal directions in nanotechnology. Indeed, polyamides provide superior features as materials with diverse physical properties. A reductionist approach allowed the identification of extremely short peptide sequences, as short as dipeptides, which could form well-ordered amyloid-like β-sheet-rich assemblies comparable to supramolecular structures made of much larger proteins. Some of the peptide assemblies show remarkable mechanical, optical, and electrical characteristics...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Stuart Kornfeld
My initial research experience involved studying how bacteria synthesize nucleotide sugars, the donors for the formation of cell wall polysaccharides. During this time, I became aware that mammalian cells also have a surface coat of sugars and was intrigued as to whether these sugars might be arranged in specific sequences that function as information molecules in biologic processes. Thus began a long journey that has taken me from glycan structural analysis and determination of plant lectin-binding preferences to the biosynthesis of Asn-linked oligosaccharides and the mannose 6-phosphate (Man-6-P) lysosomal enzyme targeting pathway...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Jennifer Bridwell-Rabb, Tsehai A J Grell, Catherine L Drennan
S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) has been referred to as both "a poor man's adenosylcobalamin (AdoCbl)" and "a rich man's AdoCbl," but today, with the ever-increasing number of functions attributed to each cofactor, both appear equally rich and surprising. The recent characterization of an organometallic species in an AdoMet radical enzyme suggests that the line that differentiates them in nature will be constantly challenged. Here, we compare and contrast AdoMet and cobalamin (Cbl) and consider why Cbl-dependent AdoMet radical enzymes require two cofactors that are so similar in their reactivity...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
Ronald C Conaway
Although cell metabolism has been established as a major regulator of eukaryotic gene expression, the mechanisms underlying this regulation are still being uncovered. Recent years have seen great advances in our understanding of biochemical mechanisms of metabolic regulation of transcription and chromatin. Prime examples include insights into how nutrients and cellular energy status regulate synthesis of ribosomal RNAs by RNA polymerases I and III during ribosome biogenesis and how a variety of enzymes that catalyze modifications of histones in chromatin are regulated by the levels of certain metabolites...
June 20, 2018: 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...
June 20, 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 past three decades, studies of ancient biomolecules-particularly ancient DNA, proteins, and lipids-have revolutionized our understanding of evolutionary history. Though initially fraught with many challenges, today the field 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...
June 20, 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...
June 20, 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...
June 20, 2018: Annual Review of Biochemistry
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