977 research outputs found

    Nmr relaxation studies on the hydrate layer of intrinsically unstructured proteins

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    Intrinsically unstructured/ disordered proteins (IUPs) exist in a disordered and largely solvent- exposed, still functional, structural state under physiological conditions. As their function is often directly linked with structural disorder, understanding their structure-function relationship in detail is a great challenge to structural biology. In particular, their hydration and residual structure, both closely linked with their mechanism of action, require close attention. Here we demonstrate that the hydration of IUPs can be adequately approached by a technique so far unexplored with respect to IUPs, solid-state NMR relaxation measurements. This technique provides quantitative information on various features of hydrate water bound to these proteins. By freezing nonhydrate ( bulk) water out, we have been able to measure free induction decays pertaining to protons of bound water from which the amount of hydrate water, its activation energy, and correlation times could be calculated. Thus, for three IUPs, the first inhibitory domain of calpastatin, microtubule-associated protein 2c, and plant dehydrin early responsive to dehydration 10, we demonstrate that they bind a significantly larger amount of water than globular proteins, whereas their suboptimal hydration and relaxation parameters are correlated with their differing modes of function. The theoretical treatment and experimental approach presented in this article may have general utility in characterizing proteins that belong to this novel structural class

    Calpastatin Subdomains A And C Are Activators of Calpain

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    The inhibitory domains of calpastatin contain three highly conserved regions, A, B, and C, of which A and C bind calpain in a strictly Ca2+-dependent manner but have no inhibitory activity whereas region B inhibits calpain on its own. We synthesized the 19-mer oligopeptides corresponding to regions A and C of human calpastatin domain I and tested their effect on human erythrocyte mu-calpain and rat m-calpain. The two peptides significantly activate both calpains: the Ca2+ concentration required for half-maximal activity is lowered from 4.3 to 2.4 mum for mu-calpain and from 250 to 140 mum for m-calpain. The EC50 concentration of the peptides is 7.5 mum for mu-calpain and 25 mum for m-calpain. It is noteworthy that at low Ca2+ concentrations (1-2 mum for mu-calpain and 70-110 mum for m-calpain) both enzymes are activated about 10-fold by the peptides. Based on these findings, it is suggested that calpastatin fragments may have a role in calpain activation in vivo. Furthermore, these activators open new avenues to cell biological studies of calpain function and eventually may alleviate pathological states caused by calpain malfunction

    Tripartite degrons confer diversity and specificity on regulated protein degradation in the ubiquitin-proteasome system

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    Specific signals (degrons) regulate protein turnover mediated by the ubiquitin-proteasome system. Here we systematically analyse known degrons and propose a tripartite model comprising the following: (1) a primary degron (peptide motif) that specifies substrate recognition by cognate E3 ubiquitin ligases, (2) secondary site(s) comprising a single or multiple neighbouring ubiquitinated lysine(s) and (3) a structurally disordered segment that initiates substrate unfolding at the 26S proteasome. Primary degron sequences are conserved among orthologues and occur in structurally disordered regions that undergo E3-induced folding-on-binding. Posttranslational modifications can switch primary degrons into E3-binding-competent states, thereby integrating degradation with signalling pathways. Degradation-linked lysines tend to be located within disordered segments that also initiate substrate degradation by effective proteasomal engagement. Many characterized mutations and alternative isoforms with abrogated degron components are implicated in disease. These effects result from increased protein stability and interactome rewiring. The distributed nature of degrons ensures regulation, specificity and combinatorial control of degradation. © 2016 Nature America, Inc

    Intrinsically Disordered Proteins Display No Preference for Chaperone Binding In Vivo

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    Intrinsically disordered/unstructured proteins (IDPs) are extremely sensitive to proteolysis in vitro, but show no enhanced degradation rates in vivo. Their existence and functioning may be explained if IDPs are preferentially associated with chaperones in the cell, which may offer protection against degradation by proteases. To test this inference, we took pairwise interaction data from high-throughput interaction studies and analyzed to see if predicted disorder correlates with the tendency of chaperone binding by proteins. Our major finding is that disorder predicted by the IUPred algorithm actually shows negative correlation with chaperone binding in E. coli, S. cerevisiae, and metazoa species. Since predicted disorder positively correlates with the tendency of partner binding in the interactome, the difference between the disorder of chaperone-binding and non-binding proteins is even more pronounced if normalized to their overall tendency to be involved in pairwise protein–protein interactions. We argue that chaperone binding is primarily required for folding of globular proteins, as reflected in an increased preference for chaperones of proteins in which at least one Pfam domain exists. In terms of the functional consequences of chaperone binding of mostly disordered proteins, we suggest that its primary reason is not the assistance of folding, but promotion of assembly with partners. In support of this conclusion, we show that IDPs that bind chaperones also tend to bind other proteins

    Analysis of computational approaches for motif discovery

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    Recently, we performed an assessment of 13 popular computational tools for discovery of transcription factor binding sites (M. Tompa, N. Li, et al., "Assessing Computational Tools for the Discovery of Transcription Factor Binding Sites", Nature Biotechnology, Jan. 2005). This paper contains follow-up analysis of the assessment results, and raises and discusses some important issues concerning the state of the art in motif discovery methods: 1. We categorize the objective functions used by existing tools, and design experiments to evaluate whether any of these objective functions is the right one to optimize. 2. We examine various features of the data sets that were used in the assessment, such as sequence length and motif degeneracy, and identify which features make data sets hard for current motif discovery tools. 3. We identify an important feature that has not yet been used by existing tools and propose a new objective function that incorporates this feature

    Capillarity Theory for the Fly-Casting Mechanism

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    Biomolecular folding and function are often coupled. During molecular recognition events, one of the binding partners may transiently or partially unfold, allowing more rapid access to a binding site. We describe a simple model for this flycasting mechanism based on the capillarity approximation and polymer chain statistics. The model shows that flycasting is most effective when the protein unfolding barrier is small and the part of the chain which extends towards the target is relatively rigid. These features are often seen in known examples of flycasting in protein-DNA binding. Simulations of protein-DNA binding based on well-funneled native-topology models with electrostatic forces confirm the trends of the analytical theory

    Reduction in Structural Disorder and Functional Complexity in the Thermal Adaptation of Prokaryotes

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    Genomic correlates of evolutionary adaptation to very low or very high optimal growth temperature (OGT) values have been the subject of many studies. Whereas these provided a protein-structural rationale of the activity and stability of globular proteins/enzymes, the point has been neglected that adaptation to extreme temperatures could also have resulted from an increased use of intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs), which are resistant to these conditions in vitro. Contrary to these expectations, we found a conspicuously low level of structural disorder in bacteria of very high (and very low) OGT values. This paucity of disorder does not reflect phylogenetic relatedness, i.e. it is a result of genuine adaptation to extreme conditions. Because intrinsic disorder correlates with important regulatory functions, we asked how these bacteria could exist without IDPs by studying transcription factors, known to harbor a lot of function-related intrinsic disorder. Hyperthermophiles have much less transcription factors, which have reduced disorder compared to their mesophilic counterparts. On the other hand, we found by systematic categorization of proteins with long disordered regions that there are certain functions, such as translation and ribosome biogenesis that depend on structural disorder even in hyperthermophiles. In all, our observations suggest that adaptation to extreme conditions is achieved by a significant functional simplification, apparent at both the level of the genome and individual genes/proteins

    Functional Diversity and Structural Disorder in the Human Ubiquitination Pathway

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    The ubiquitin-proteasome system plays a central role in cellular regulation and protein quality control (PQC). The system is built as a pyramid of increasing complexity, with two E1 (ubiquitin activating), few dozen E2 (ubiquitin conjugating) and several hundred E3 (ubiquitin ligase) enzymes. By collecting and analyzing E3 sequences from the KEGG BRITE database and literature, we assembled a coherent dataset of 563 human E3s and analyzed their various physical features. We found an increase in structural disorder of the system with multiple disorder predictors (IUPred - E1: 5.97%, E2: 17.74%, E3: 20.03%). E3s that can bind E2 and substrate simultaneously (single subunit E3, ssE3) have significantly higher disorder (22.98%) than E3s in which E2 binding (multi RING-finger, mRF, 0.62%), scaffolding (6.01%) and substrate binding (adaptor/substrate recognition subunits, 17.33%) functions are separated. In ssE3s, the disorder was localized in the substrate/adaptor binding domains, whereas the E2-binding RING/HECT-domains were structured. To demonstrate the involvement of disorder in E3 function, we applied normal modes and molecular dynamics analyses to show how a disordered and highly flexible linker in human CBL (an E3 that acts as a regulator of several tyrosine kinase-mediated signalling pathways) facilitates long-range conformational changes bringing substrate and E2-binding domains towards each other and thus assisting in ubiquitin transfer. E3s with multiple interaction partners (as evidenced by data in STRING) also possess elevated levels of disorder (hubs, 22.90% vs. non-hubs, 18.36%). Furthermore, a search in PDB uncovered 21 distinct human E3 interactions, in 7 of which the disordered region of E3s undergoes induced folding (or mutual induced folding) in the presence of the partner. In conclusion, our data highlights the primary role of structural disorder in the functions of E3 ligases that manifests itself in the substrate/adaptor binding functions as well as the mechanism of ubiquitin transfer by long-range conformational transitions. © 2013 Bhowmick et al

    Disorder Predictors Also Predict Backbone Dynamics for a Family of Disordered Proteins

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    Several algorithms have been developed that use amino acid sequences to predict whether or not a protein or a region of a protein is disordered. These algorithms make accurate predictions for disordered regions that are 30 amino acids or longer, but it is unclear whether the predictions can be directly related to the backbone dynamics of individual amino acid residues. The nuclear Overhauser effect between the amide nitrogen and hydrogen (NHNOE) provides an unambiguous measure of backbone dynamics at single residue resolution and is an excellent tool for characterizing the dynamic behavior of disordered proteins. In this report, we show that the NHNOE values for several members of a family of disordered proteins are highly correlated with the output from three popular algorithms used to predict disordered regions from amino acid sequence. This is the first test between an experimental measure of residue specific backbone dynamics and disorder predictions. The results suggest that some disorder predictors can accurately estimate the backbone dynamics of individual amino acids in a long disordered region