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Biophysics and Physicobiology

Tatsuhito Matsuo, Soichi Takeda, Toshiro Oda, Satoru Fujiwara
Troponin (Tn), consisting of three subunits, TnC, TnI, and TnT, is a protein in the thin filaments in muscle, and, together with another thin-filament protein tropomyosin (Tm), plays a major role in regulation of muscle contraction. Various mutations of Tn cause familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. These mutations are directly related to aberrations in this regulatory mechanism. Here we focus on the mutations E244D and K247R of TnT, which reside in the middle of the pathway of the Ca(2+)-binding signal from TnC to Tm...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Daichi Yamada, Tatsuya Iwata, Junpei Yamamoto, Kenichi Hitomi, Takeshi Todo, Shigenori Iwai, Elizabeth D Getzoff, Hideki Kandori
Photolyases (PHRs) are DNA repair enzymes that revert UV-induced photoproducts, either cyclobutane pyrimidine dimers (CPD) or (6-4) photoproducts (PPs), into normal bases to maintain genetic integrity. (6-4) PHR must catalyze not only covalent bond cleavage, but also hydroxyl or amino group transfer, yielding a more complex mechanism than that postulated for CPD PHR. Previous mutation analysis revealed the importance of two histidines in the active center, H354 and H358 for Xenopus (6-4) PHR, whose mutations significantly lowered the enzymatic activity...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Go Watanabe, Daisuke Nakajima, Akinori Hiroshima, Haruo Suzuki, Shigetaka Yoneda
A precise 100-ns molecular dynamics simulation in aquo was performed for the heterotetrameric sarcosine oxidase bound with a substrate analogue, dimethylglycine. The spatial region including the protein was divided into small rectangular cells. The average number of the water molecules locating within each cell was calculated based on the simulation trajectory. The clusters of the cells filled with water molecules were used to determine the water channels. The narrowness of the channels, the average hydropathy indices of the residues of the channels, and the number of migration events of water molecules through the channels were consistent with the selective transport hypothesis whereby tunnel T3 is the pathway for the exit of the iminium intermediate of the enzyme reaction...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Marie Kurihara, Yuki Sudo
One of the major topics in biophysics and physicobiology is to understand and utilize biological functions using various advanced techniques. Taking advantage of the photoreactivity of the seven-transmembrane rhodopsin protein family has been actively investigated by a variety of methods. Rhodopsins serve as models for membrane-embedded proteins, for photoactive proteins and as a fundamental tool for optogenetics, a new technology to control biological activity with light. In this review, we summarize progress of microbial rhodopsin research from the viewpoint of distribution, diversity and potential...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Akira R Kinjo
The direct-coupling analysis is a powerful method for protein contact prediction, and enables us to extract "direct" correlations between distant sites that are latent in "indirect" correlations observed in a protein multiple-sequence alignment. I show that the direct correlation can be obtained by using a formulation analogous to the Ornstein-Zernike integral equation in liquid theory. This formulation intuitively illustrates how the indirect or apparent correlation arises from an infinite series of direct correlations, and provides interesting insights into protein structure prediction...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Saki Aoto, Kei Yura
We addressed the evolutionary trace of hetero-oligomer interfaces by comparing the structures of paralogous proteins; one of them is a monomer or homo-oligomer and the other is a hetero-oligomer. We found different trends in amino acid conservation pattern and hydrophobicity between homo-oligomer and hetero-oligomer. The degree of amino acid conservation in the interface of homo-oligomer has no obvious difference from that in the surface, whereas the degree of conservation is much higher in the interface of hetero-oligomer...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Tetsuichi Wazawa, Nobuyuki Morimoto, Takeharu Nagai, Makoto Suzuki
Investigation of the rotational motion of a fluorescent probe tethered to a protein helps to elucidate the local properties of the solvent and protein near the conjugation site of the probe. In this study, we have developed an instrument for frequency-domain fluorescence (FDF) anisotropy measurements, and studied how the local properties around a protein, actin, can be elucidated from the rotational motion of a dye tethered to actin. Rhodamine 6G (R6G) was attached to Cys-374 using newly-synthesized R6G-maleimide with three different oligo(ethylene glycol) (OEG) linker lengths...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Mika Morikawa, Rina Naito, Koichi Mita, Satoshi Watabe, Kazunari Nakaishi, Teruki Yoshimura, Toshiaki Miura, Seiichi Hashida, Etsuro Ito
Adiponectin is a hormone secreted from adipocytes, and it demonstrates antidiabetic, anti-atherosclerotic, antiobesity and anti-inflammatory effects. However, the patterns of change in urinary adiponectin levels in various diseases remain unknown, because only trace amounts of the hormone are present in urine. In the present study, we applied an ultrasensitive ELISA coupled with thio-NAD cycling to measure urinary adiponectin levels. Spikeand-recovery tests using urine confirmed the reliability of our ultrasensitive ELISA...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Yuki Yanagisawa, Kosuke Hasegawa, Naohisa Wada, Masatoshi Tanaka, Takao Sekiya
Chemiluminescence (CL) of firefly luciferin (Ln) consisting of red and green emission peaks can be generated by dissolving oxygen (O2) gas in deoxygenated dimethyl sulfoxide containing potassium tert-butoxide (t-BuOK) even without the enzyme luciferase. In this study, the characteristics of CL of Ln are examined by varying the concentrations of both Ln ([Ln]) and t-BuOK ([t-BuOK]). The time courses of the green and the red luminescence signals are also measured using a 32-channel photo sensor module. Interestingly, addition of 18-crown-6 ether (18-crown-6), a good clathrate for K(+), to the reaction solution before exposure to O2 changes the luminescence from green to red when [t-BuOK] = 20 mM and [18-crown-6] = 80 mM...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Takayoshi Tomono, Hisao Kojima, Satoshi Fukuchi, Yukako Tohsato, Masahiro Ito
Glycans play important roles in such cell-cell interactions as signaling and adhesion, including processes involved in pathogenic infections, cancers, and neurological diseases. Glycans are biosynthesized by multiple glycosyltransferases (GTs), which function sequentially. Excluding mucin-type O-glycosylation, the non-reducing terminus of glycans is biosynthesized in the Golgi apparatus after the reducing terminus is biosynthesized in the ER. In the present study, we performed genome-wide analyses of human GTs by investigating the degree of conservation of homologues in other organisms, as well as by elucidating the phylogenetic relationship between cephalochordates and urochordates, which has long been controversial in deuterostome phylogeny...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Eiji Kanamori, Shin-Ichi Kawaguchi, Seiki Kuramitsu, Tsutomu Kouyama, Midori Murakami
The crystal structures of citrate synthase from the thermophilic eubacteria Thermus thermophilus HB8 (TtCS) were determined for an open form at 1.5 Å resolution and for closed form at 2.3 Å resolution, respectively. In the absence of ligands TtCS in the open form was crystalized into a tetragonal form with a single subunit in the asymmetric unit. TtCS was also co-crystallized with citrate and coenzyme-A to form an orthorhombic crystal with two homodimers in the asymmetric unit. Citrate and CoA are found in the active site situated between the large domain and the small domain in all subunit whereas the complex shows two distinct closed conformations, the fully closed form and partially closed form...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Yuji Furutani, Hirofumi Shimizu, Yusuke Asai, Shigetoshi Oiki, Hideki Kandori
The X-ray structure of KcsA, a eubacterial potassium channel, displays a selectivity filter composed of four parallel peptide strands. The backbone carbonyl oxygen atoms of these strands solvate multiple K(+) ions. KcsA structures show different distributions of ions within the selectivity filter in solutions containing different cations. To assess the interactions of cations with the selectivity filter, we used attenuated total reflection Fourier-transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy. Ion-exchange-induced ATR-FTIR difference spectra were obtained by subtracting the spectrum of KcsA soaked in K(+) solution from that obtained in Li(+), Na(+), Rb(+), and Cs(+) solutions...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Takumi Koshiba
Protein-protein interactions are essential biological reactions occurring at inter- and intra-cellular levels. The analysis of their mechanism is generally required in order link to understand their various cellular functions. Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), which is based on an enzymatic activity of luciferase, is a useful tool for investigating protein-protein interactions in live cells. The combination of the BRET system and biomolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) would provide us a better understanding of the hetero-oligomeric structural states of protein complexes...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Hitomi Nakashima, Chika Okimura, Yoshiaki Iwadate
Cell-crawling migration plays an essential role in complex biological phenomena. It is now generally believed that many processes essential to such migration are regulated by microtubules in many cells, including fibroblasts and neurons. However, keratocytes treated with nocodazole, which is an inhibitor of microtubule polymerization - and even keratocyte fragments that contain no microtubules - migrate at the same velocity and with the same directionality as normal keratocytes. In this study, we discovered that not only these migration properties, but also the molecular dynamics that regulate such properties, such as the retrograde flow rate of actin filaments, distributions of vinculin and myosin II, and traction forces, are also the same in nocodazole-treated keratocytes as those in untreated keratocytes...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Satoru Okuda, Yasuhiro Inoue, Taiji Adachi
During morphogenesis, various cellular activities are spatiotemporally coordinated on the protein regulatory background to construct the complicated, three-dimensional (3D) structures of organs. Computational simulations using 3D vertex models have been the focus of efforts to approach the mechanisms underlying 3D multicellular constructions, such as dynamics of the 3D monolayer or multilayer cell sheet like epithelia as well as the 3D compacted cell aggregate, including dynamic changes in layer structures...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
Koji Oda, Masahiro Kinoshita
There is an empirical rule that the thermal stability of a protein is related to the packing efficiency or core volume of the folded state and the protein tends to exhibit higher stability as the backbone and side chains are more closely packed. Previously, the wild type and its nine mutants of staphylococcal nuclease were compared by examining their folded structures. The results obtained were as follows: The stability was not correlated with the number of intramolecular hydrogen bonds, intramolecular electrostatic interaction energy, or degree of burial of the hydrophobic surface; though the empirical rule mentioned above held, it was not the proximate cause of higher stability; and the number of van der Waals contacts N vdW, or equivalently, the intramolecular van der Waals interaction energy was an important factor governing the stability...
2015: Biophysics and Physicobiology
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