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Pablo Guardado-Calvo, Eduardo A Bignon, Eva Stettner, Scott Allen Jeffers, Jimena Pérez-Vargas, Gerard Pehau-Arnaudet, M Alejandra Tortorici, Jean-Luc Jestin, Patrick England, Nicole D Tischler, Félix A Rey
Hantaviruses are zoonotic viruses transmitted to humans by persistently infected rodents, giving rise to serious outbreaks of hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) or of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), depending on the virus, which are associated with high case fatality rates. There is only limited knowledge about the organization of the viral particles and in particular, about the hantavirus membrane fusion glycoprotein Gc, the function of which is essential for virus entry. We describe here the X-ray structures of Gc from Hantaan virus, the type species hantavirus and responsible for HFRS, both in its neutral pH, monomeric pre-fusion conformation, and in its acidic pH, trimeric post-fusion form...
October 2016: PLoS Pathogens
Kuo An Liao, Nicanor González-Morales, Frieder Schöck
Z-discs are organizing centers that establish and maintain myofibril structure and function. Important Z-disc proteins are α-actinin, which cross-links actin thin filaments at the Z-disc and Zasp PDZ domain proteins, which directly interact with α-actinin. Here we investigate the biochemical and genetic nature of this interaction in more detail. Zasp52 is the major Drosophila Zasp PDZ domain protein, and is required for myofibril assembly and maintenance. We show by in vitro biochemistry that the PDZ domain plus a C-terminal extension is the only area of Zasp52 involved in the interaction with α-actinin...
October 2016: PLoS Genetics
Tobias Baumann, Matthias Exner, Nediljko Budisa
To date, the two systems most extensively used for noncanonical amino acid (ncAA) incorporation via orthogonal translation are based on the Methanococcus jannaschii TyrRS/tRNA CUA(Tyr) and the Methanosarcina barkeri/Methanosarcina mazei PylRS/tRNA CUA(Pyl) pairs. Here, we summarize the development and usage of the pyrrolysine-based system for orthogonal translation, a process that allows for the recombinant production of site-specifically labeled proteins and peptides. Via stop codon suppression in Escherichia coli and mammalian cells, genetically encoded biomolecules can be equipped with a great diversity of chemical functionalities including click chemistry handles, post-translational modifications, and photocaged sidechains...
October 26, 2016: Advances in Biochemical Engineering/biotechnology
Marlene Møller Madsen, Nykola C Jones, Steen Brøndsted Nielsen, Søren Vrønning Hoffmann
Solar mutagenesis via the formation of thymine dimer photoproducts is a primary cause of skin cancer. The aim of this study is to provide a direct method for following the development of photolesions in thymine single strands and to determine how the formation of these photoproducts depends on the excitation wavelength in the ultraviolet (UV) between 210 nm and 325 nm. Experiments were performed both with a 20 Hz pulsed, intense, tunable laser as well as UV lamps (at 254 nm and 302 nm), but we find that only the dose matters at these wavelengths for the yield of photoproducts...
October 26, 2016: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics: PCCP
Xin He, Chang Fei Duan, Yong Hua Qi, Jun Dong, Geng Nan Wang, Guo Xian Zhao, Jian Ping Wang, Jing Liu
In this study, an anti-amoxicillin single chain variable fragment (ScFv) antibody was evolved by directional mutagenesis of a contact amino acid residue based on the analysis of virtual mutation. Comparison with its parental ScFv, the mutant showed highly improved affinity for 11 penicillins with up to 6-folds increased sensitivity. Then, its recognition mechanisms for the 11 drugs were studied by using molecular docking. Results showed that the mutant-penicillins intermolecular forces increased and the total binding energies decreased dramatically, which were responsible for the improvement of antibody sensitivity...
October 22, 2016: Analytical Biochemistry
Yushi Luan, Jun Cui, Weichen Wang, Jun Meng
Late blight of tomato is caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. In our previous work, we identified and characterized a miR1918 in P. infestans (pi-miR1918), and showed that its sequence is similar to the sequence of tomato miR1918 (sly-miR1918). In this study, we used Arabidopsis thaliana pre-miR159a as a backbone to synthesize pi-miR1918 via PCR and mutagenesis. The artificial pi-miR1918 was used to investigate the role of miR1918 in tomato-P. infestans interaction. Trangenic tomato plants that overexpressed the artificial pi-miR1918 displayed more serious disease symptoms than wild-type tomato plants after infection with P...
October 25, 2016: Scientific Reports
Stuart A Cain, Ewa J Mularczyk, Mukti Singh, Teresa Massam-Wu, Cay M Kielty
ADAMTS10 and ADAMTS6 are homologous metalloproteinases with ill-defined roles. ADAMTS10 mutations cause Weill-Marchesani syndrome (WMS), implicating it in fibrillin microfibril biology since some fibrillin-1 mutations also cause WMS. However little is known about ADAMTS6 function. ADAMTS10 is resistant to furin cleavage, however we show that ADAMTS6 is effectively processed and active. Using siRNA, over-expression and mutagenesis, it was found ADAMTS6 inhibits and ADAMTS10 is required for focal adhesions, epithelial cell-cell junction formation, and microfibril deposition...
October 25, 2016: Scientific Reports
Yingfang Ma, Wei Shen, Xianzhong Chen, Long Liu, Zhemin Zhou, Fei Xu, Haiquan Yang
BACKGROUND: Alkaline amylase has significant potential for applications in the textile, paper and detergent industries, however, low yield of which cannot meet the requirement of industrial application. In this work, a novel ARTP mutagenesis-screening method and fermentation optimization strategies were used to significantly improve the expression level of recombinant alkaline amylase in B. subtilis 168. RESULTS: The activity of alkaline amylase in mutant B. subtilis 168 mut-16# strain was 1...
2016: Journal of Biological Engineering
Guang-Hui Ma, Yan Ye, Dan Zhang, Xin Xu, Pei Si, Jian-Long Peng, Yong-Long Xiao, Rui-Yuan Cao, Yu-Ling Yin, Jing Chen, Lin-Xiang Zhao, Yu Zhou, Wu Zhong, Hong Liu, Xiao-Min Luo, Li-Li Chen, Xu Shen
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a serious, highly contagious disease. HFMD caused by Enterovirus 71 (EV71), results in severe complications and even death. The pivotal role of EV71 3C(pro) in the viral life cycle makes it an attractive target for drug discovery and development to treat HFMD. In this study, we identified novel EV71 3C(pro) inhibitors by docking-based virtual screening. Totally 50 compounds were selected to test their inhibitory activity against EV71 3C(pro). The best inhibitor DC07090 exhibited the inhibition potency with an IC50 value of 21...
October 11, 2016: European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
Monika B Dolinska, Nicole Kus, Katie Farney, Paul T Wingfield, Brian P Brooks, Yuri V Sergeev
: Oculocutaneous albinism Type 1 (OCA1) is an autosomal recessive disorder caused by mutations in the tyrosinase gene. Two subtypes of OCA1 have been described: severe OCA1A with complete absence of tyrosinase activity and less severe OCA1B with residual tyrosinase activity. Here, we characterize the recombinant human tyrosinase intra-melanosomal domain and mutant variants, which mimic genetic changes in both subtypes of OCA1 patients. Proteins were prepared using site-directed mutagenesis, expressed in insect larvae, purified by chromatography, and characterized by enzymatic activities- tryptophan fluorescence, and Gibbs free energy changes...
October 24, 2016: Pigment Cell & Melanoma Research
Sara Cogliati, Enrique Calvo, Marta Loureiro, Adela M Guaras, Rocio Nieto-Arellano, Carolina Garcia-Poyatos, Iakes Ezkurdia, Nadia Mercader, Jesús Vázquez, José Antonio Enriquez
Respiratory chain complexes can super-assemble into quaternary structures called supercomplexes that optimize cellular metabolism(1). The interaction between complexes III (CIII) and IV (CIV) is modulated by supercomplex assembly factor 1 (SCAF1, also known as COX7A2l)(2). The discovery of SCAF1 represented strong genetic evidence that supercomplexes exist in vivo(2, 3). SCAF1 is present as a long isoform (113 amino acids) or a short isoform (111 amino acids) in different mouse strains(2, 4). Only the long isoform can induce the superassembly of CIII and CIV(2-6), but it is not clear whether SCAF1 is required for the formation of the respirasome (a supercomplex of CI, CIII2 and CIV)(1,2,4-6)...
October 24, 2016: Nature
Siliang Xu, Ping Duan, Jinping Li, Tristan Senkowski, Fengbiao Guo, Haibin Chen, Alberto Romero, Yugui Cui, Jiayin Liu, Shi-Wen Jiang
SET (SE Translocation) protein carries out multiple functions including those for protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) inhibition, histone modification, DNA repair, and gene regulation. SET overexpression has been detected in brain neurons of patients suffering Alzheimer's disease, follicle theca cells of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) patients, and ovarian cancer cells, indicating that SET may play a pathological role for these disorders. SET transcript 2, produced by a specific promoter, represents a major transcript variant in different cell types...
October 20, 2016: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Elisabeth Bezine, Yann Malaisé, Aurore Loeuillet, Marianne Chevalier, Elisa Boutet-Robinet, Bernard Salles, Gladys Mirey, Julien Vignard
The Cytolethal Distending Toxin (CDT), produced by many bacteria, has been associated with various diseases including cancer. CDT induces DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs), leading to cell death or mutagenesis if misrepaired. At low doses of CDT, other DNA lesions precede replication-dependent DSB formation, implying that non-DSB repair mechanisms may contribute to CDT cell resistance. To address this question, we developed a proliferation assay using human cell lines specifically depleted in each of the main DNA repair pathways...
October 24, 2016: Scientific Reports
Elisete P Rodrigues, Cleiton de Paula Soares, Patrícia G Galvão, Eddie L Imada, Jean L Simões-Araújo, Luc F M Rouws, André L M de Oliveira, Márcia S Vidal, José I Baldani
Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus is a beneficial nitrogen-fixing endophyte found in association with sugarcane plants and other important crops. Beneficial effects of G. diazotrophicus on sugarcane growth and productivity have been attributed to biological nitrogen fixation process and production of phytohormones especially indole-3-acetic acid (IAA); however, information about the biosynthesis and function of IAA in G. diazotrophicus is still scarce. Therefore, the aim of this work was to identify genes and pathways involved in IAA biosynthesis in this bacterium...
2016: Frontiers in Microbiology
Asuka Onuma, Wataru Fujii, Koji Sugiura, Kunihiko Naito
Genome editing using the CRISPR/Cas system can induce mutations with high efficiency, and allows easier production of genome-modified animals than that offered by the conventional method where embryonic stem cells are used. However, studies using CRISPR/Cas systems have been mostly limited to proliferating somatic cells and pronuclear-stage fertilized eggs. In contrast, the efficiency of a CRISPR/Cas system in immature and maturing oocytes progressing through meiosis has not yet been assessed. In the present study, we evaluated the genome-modification efficiency of the CRISPR/Cas system during meiotic maturation of porcine oocytes...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Reproduction and Development
Mary E Walter, Alicia Ortiz, Casey Sondgeroth, Nathan M Sindt, Nikolas Duszenko, Jennie L Catlett, You Zhou, Shah Valloppilly, Christopher Anderson, Samodha Fernando, Nicole R Buan
Bacterial and archaeal genomes can contain 30% or more hypothetical genes with no predicted function. Phylogenetically deep-branching microbes, such as methane-producing archaea (methanogens), contain up to 50% genes with unknown function. In order to formulate hypotheses about the function of hypothetical gene functions in the strict anaerobe, Methanosarcina acetivorans, we have developed high-throughput anaerobic techniques to UV mutagenize, screen, and select for mutant strains in 96-well plates. Using these approaches we have isolated 10 mutant strains that exhibit a variety of physiological changes including increased or decreased growth rate relative to the parent strain when cells use methanol and/or acetate as carbon and energy sources...
October 19, 2016: Journal of Microbiological Methods
Zhen Lei, Abdul Sami Shaikh, Wenshuai Zheng, Xiao Yu, Jingui Yu, Jingxin Li
Itch, the unpleasant sensation that evokes a desire to scratch, accompanies numerous skin and nervous system disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms of itch are unclear. Acid sensing ion channel 3 (ASIC3) is a sensor of acidic and primary inflammatory pain. The whole-cell patch-clamp technique was used to determine the effect of Chloroquine (CQ)on ASICs currents in primary sensory neurons or the Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells transfected with rat-ASIC1a or- ASIC3. Site-directed mutagenesis of plasmid was performed...
October 22, 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
Ines Teichert, Miriam Lutomski, Ramona Märker, Minou Nowrousian, Ulrich Kück
During the sexual life cycle of filamentous fungi, multicellular fruiting bodies are generated for the dispersal of spores. The filamentous ascomycete Sordaria macrospora has a long history as a model system for studying fruiting body formation, and two collections of sterile mutants have been generated. However, for most of these mutants, the underlying genetic defect remains unknown. Here, we investigated the mutant spadix (spd) that was generated by X-ray mutagenesis in the 1950s and terminates sexual development after the formation of pre-fruiting bodies (protoperithecia)...
October 21, 2016: Molecular Genetics and Genomics: MGG
Jamie L Burgess, R Alan Burgess, Yalemi Morales, Jenna M Bouvang, Sean J Johnson, Nicholas E Dickenson
Like many Gram-negative pathogens, Shigella rely on a complex type three secretion system (T3SS) to inject effector proteins into host cells, take over host functions, and ultimately establish infection. Despite these critical roles, the energetics and regulatory mechanisms controlling the T3SS and pathogen virulence remain largely unclear. In this study, we present a series of high-resolution crystal structures of Spa47 and use the structures to model an activated Spa47 oligomer, finding that ATP hydrolysis may be supported by specific sidechain contributions from adjacent protomers within the complex...
October 21, 2016: Journal of Biological Chemistry
Ranjan Basak, Naveen Kumar Nair, Indraneel Mittra
There is extensive literature to show that nucleic acids can be taken up by cells under experimental conditions and that foetal DNA can be detected in maternal tissues. The uptaken DNA can integrate into host cell genomes and can be transcribed and translated into proteins. They can also cause chromosomal damage and karyotype alterations. Cell-free nucleic acids (cfNAs)-based non-invasive DNA diagnostic techniques are being extensively researched in the field of cancer with the potential to advance new prognostic parameters and direct treatment decisions...
October 12, 2016: Mutation Research
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