175 research outputs found

    Reconstitution of membrane proteins:a GPCR as an example

    Get PDF
    Membrane proteins are the gatekeepers to the cell and are essential to the function of all cells, controlling the flow of molecules and information across the cell membrane. Much effort has been put into the development of systems for studying membrane proteins in simplified environments that nevertheless mimic their native lipid environment. After isolation and production of purified membrane proteins in detergent, it is often necessary to reconstitute them into a lipid structure such as liposome, nanodisc, or lipodisq. Each of these has the advantage of returning the protein to a defined lipid environment, and the choice of system depends on the application. Regardless of the system to be used, the fundamental process involves the removal of detergent and incorporation of the protein into a stable lipid system. This chapter details methodologies we have developed, mainly focussed on the model G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) neurotensin receptor 1, and the GPCR-homologue and model, bacteriorhopdopsin

    Biophysical analysis of lipidic nanoparticles

    Get PDF
    Biological nanoparticles include liposomes, extracellular vesicle and lipid-based discoidal systems. When studying such particles, there are several key parameters of interest, including particle size and concentration. Measuring these characteristics can be of particular importance in the research laboratory or when producing such particles as biotherapeutics. This article briefly describes the major types of lipid-containing nanoparticles and the techniques that can be used to study them. Such methodologies include electron microscopy, atomic force microscopy, dynamic light scattering, nanoparticle tracking analysis, flow cytometry, tunable resistive pulse sensing and microfluidic resistive pulse sensing. Whilst no technique is perfect for the analysis of all nanoparticles, this article provides advantages and disadvantages of each, highlighting the latest developments in the field. Finally, we demonstrate the use of microfluidic resistive pulse sensing for the analysis of biological nanoparticles

    Regulation of G protein-coupled receptors by palmitoylation and cholesterol

    Get PDF
    Due to their membrane location, G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are subject to regulation by soluble and integral membrane proteins as well as membrane components, including lipids and sterols. GPCRs also undergo a variety of post-translational modifications, including palmitoylation. A recent article by Zheng et al. in BMC Cell Biology demonstrates cooperative roles for receptor palmitoylation and cholesterol binding in GPCR dimerization and G protein coupling, underlining the complex regulation of these receptors

    And then there were four: a study of UK market concentration - causes, consequences and the scope for market adjustment

    Get PDF
    While concentration measures are a good indicator of market structure, the link with competitiveness is more complex than often assumed. In particular, the modern theory of industrial organisation makes no clear statement regarding the impact of concentration on competition - the focus of this paper is concentration and no inferences are made about competitive aspects of the market. The extent and nature of concentration within the UK listed company audit market as at April, 2002 and, pro forma, after the collapse of Andersen is documented and analysed in detail (by firm, market segment and industry sector). The largest four firms held 90 per cent of the market (based on audit fees) in 2002, rising to 96 per cent with the demise of Andersen. A single firm, Pricewaterhouse-Coopers, held 70 per cent or more of the share of six out of 38 industry sectors, with a share of 50 per cent up to 70 per cent in a further seven sectors. The provision of non-audit services (NAS) by incumbent auditors is also considered. As at April 2002, the average ratio of non-audit fees (paid to auditor) to audit fees was 208 per cent, and exceeded 300 per cent in seven sectors. It is likely, however, that disposals by firms of their management consultancy and outsource firms, combined with the impact of the Smith Report on audit committees will serve to reduce these ratios. Another finding is that audit firms with expertise in a particular sector appeared to earn significantly higher nonaudit fees from their audit clients in that sector. The paper thus provides a solid empirical basis for debate. The subsequent discussion considers the implications for companies and audit firms of the high level of concentration in the current regulatory climate, where no direct regulatory intervention is planned

    The Paracoccus denitrificans NarK-like nitrate and nitrite transporters—probing nitrate uptake and nitrate/nitrite exchange mechanisms

    Get PDF
    Nitrate and nitrite transport across biological membranes is often facilitated by protein transporters that are members of the major facilitator superfamily. Paracoccus denitrificans contains an unusual arrangement whereby two of these transporters, NarK1 and NarK2, are fused into a single protein, NarK, which delivers nitrate to the respiratory nitrate reductase and transfers the product, nitrite, to the periplasm. Our complementation studies, using a mutant lacking the nitrate/proton symporter NasA from the assimilatory nitrate reductase pathway, support that NarK1 functions as a nitrate/proton symporter while NarK2 is a nitrate/nitrite antiporter. Through the same experimental system, we find that Escherichia coli NarK and NarU can complement deletions in both narK and nasA in P. denitrificans, suggesting that, while these proteins are most likely nitrate/nitrite antiporters, they can also act in the net uptake of nitrate. Finally, we argue that primary sequence analysis and structural modelling do not readily explain why NasA, NarK1 and NarK2, as well as other transporters from this protein family, have such different functions, ranging from net nitrate uptake to nitrate/nitrite exchange

    A β-mannanase with a lysozyme-like fold and a novel molecular catalytic mechanism

    Get PDF
    The enzymatic cleavage of β-1,4-mannans is achieved by endo-β-1,4-mannanases, enzymes involved in germination of seeds and microbial hemicellulose degradation, and which have increasing industrial and consumer product applications. β- Mannanases occur in a range of families of the CAZy sequence-based glycoside hydrolase (GH) classification scheme including families 5, 26, and 113. In this work we reveal that β- mannanases of the newly described GH family 134 differ from other mannanase families in both their mechanism and tertiary structure. A representative GH family 134 endo-β-1,4-mannanase from a Streptomyces sp. displays a fold closely related to that of hen egg white lysozyme but acts with inversion of stereochemistry. A Michaelis complex with mannopentaose, and a product complex with mannotriose, reveal ligands with pyranose rings distorted in an unusual inverted chair conformation. Ab initio quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics metadynamics quantified the energetically accessible ring conformations and provided evidence in support of a 1C4 → 3H4 ‡ → 3S1 conformational itinerary along the reaction coordinate. This work, in concert with that on GH family 124 cellulases, reveals how the lysozyme fold can be co-opted to catalyze the hydrolysis of different polysaccharides in a mechanistically distinct manner

    Expression of eukaryotic membrane proteins in eukaryotic and prokaryotic hosts

    Get PDF
    The production of membrane proteins of high purity and in satisfactory yields is crucial for biomedical research. Due to their involvement in various cellular processes, membrane proteins have increasingly become some of the most important drug targets in modern times. Therefore, their structural and functional characterization is a high priority. However, protein expression has always been more challenging for membrane proteins than for soluble proteins. In this review, we present four of the most commonly-used expression systems for eukaryotic membrane proteins. We describe the benefits and drawbacks of bacterial, yeast, insect and mammalian cells. In addition, we describe the different features (growth rate, yield, post-translational modifications) of each expression system, and how they are influenced by the construct design and modifications of the target gene. Cost-effective and fast-growing E. coli is mostly selected for the production of small, simple membrane proteins that, if possible, do not require post-translational modifications but has the potential for the production of bigger proteins as well. Yeast hosts are advantageous for larger and more complex proteins but for the most complex ones, insect or mammalian cells are used as they are the only hosts able to perform all the post-translational modifications found in human cells. A combination of rational construct design and host cell choice can dramatically improve membrane protein production processes

    Structure, sequon recognition and mechanism of tryptophan C-mannosyltransferase.

    Get PDF
    C-linked glycosylation is essential for the trafficking, folding and function of secretory and transmembrane proteins involved in cellular communication processes. The tryptophan C-mannosyltransferase (CMT) enzymes that install the modification attach a mannose to the first tryptophan of WxxW/C sequons in nascent polypeptide chains by an unknown mechanism. Here, we report cryogenic-electron microscopy structures of Caenorhabditis elegans CMT in four key states: apo, acceptor peptide-bound, donor-substrate analog-bound and as a trapped ternary complex with both peptide and a donor-substrate mimic bound. The structures indicate how the C-mannosylation sequon is recognized by this CMT and its paralogs, and how sequon binding triggers conformational activation of the donor substrate: a process relevant to all glycosyltransferase C superfamily enzymes. Our structural data further indicate that the CMTs adopt an unprecedented electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism to enable the C-glycosylation of proteins. These results afford opportunities for understanding human disease and therapeutic targeting of specific CMT paralogs

    Identification of membrane engineering targets for increased butanol tolerance in Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum

    Get PDF
    There is a growing interest in the use of microbial cell factories to produce butanol, an industrial solvent and platform chemical. Biobutanol can also be used as a biofuel and represents a cleaner and more sustainable alternative to the use of conventional fossil fuels. Solventogenic Clostridia are the most popular microorganisms used due to the native expression of butanol synthesis pathways. A major drawback to the wide scale implementation and development of these technologies is the toxicity of butanol. Various membrane properties and related functions are perturbed by the interaction of butanol with the cell membrane, causing lower yields and higher purification costs. This is ultimately why the technology remains underemployed. This study aimed to develop a deeper understanding of butanol toxicity at the membrane to determine future targets for membrane engineering. Changes to the lipidome in Clostridium saccharoperbutylacetonicum N1–4 (HMT) throughout butanol fermentation were investigated with thin layer chromatography and mass spectrometry. By the end of fermentation, levels of phosphatidylglycerol lipids had increased significantly, suggesting an important role of these lipid species in tolerance to butanol. Using membrane models and in vitro assays to investigate characteristics such as permeability, fluidity, and swelling, it was found that altering the composition of membrane models can convey tolerance to butanol, and that modulating membrane fluidity appears to be a key factor. Data presented here will ultimately help to inform rational strain engineering efforts to produce more robust strains capable of producing higher butanol titres

    Bioinformatic characterization of a triacylglycerol lipase produced by Aspergillus flavus isolated from the decaying seed of Cucumeropsis mannii

    Get PDF
    Lipases are enzymes of industrial importance responsible for the hydrolysis of ester bonds of triglycerides. A lipolytic fungus was isolated and subsequently identified based on the ITS sequence analysis as putative Aspergillus flavus with accession number LC424503. The gene coding for extracellular triacylglycerol lipase was isolated from Aspergillus flavus species, sequenced, and characterised using bioinformatics tools. An open reading frame of 420 amino acid sequence was obtained and designated as Aspergillus flavus lipase (AFL) sequence. Alignment of the amino acid sequence with other lipases revealed the presence GHSLG sequence which is the lipase consensus sequence Gly-X1-Ser-X2-Gly indicating that it a classical lipase. A catalytic active site lid domain composed of TYITDTIIDLS amino acids sequence was also revealed. This lid protects the active site, control the catalytic activity and substrate selectivity in lipases. The 3-Dimensional structural model shared 34.08% sequence identity with a lipase from Yarrowia lipolytica covering 272 amino acid residues of the template model. A search of the lipase engineering database using AFL sequence revealed that it belongs to the class GX-lipase, superfamily abH23 and homologous family abH23.02, molecular weight and isoelectric point values of 46.95 KDa and 5.7, respectively. N-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 164, 236 and 333, with potentials of 0.7250, 0.7037 and 0.7048, respectively. O-glycosylation sites were predicted at residues 355, 358, 360 and 366. A signal sequence of 37 amino acids was revealed at the N-terminal of the polypeptide. This is a short peptide sequence that marks a protein for transport across the cell membrane and indicates that AFL is an extracellular lipase. The findings on the structural and molecular properties of Aspergillus flavus lipase in this work will be crucial in future studies aiming at engineering the enzyme for biotechnology applications
    • …
    corecore