482,497 research outputs found

    Protein Complexes in Bacteria

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    Large-scale analyses of protein complexes have recently become available for Escherichia coli and Mycoplasma pneumoniae, yielding 443 and 116 heteromultimeric soluble protein complexes, respectively. We have coupled the results of these mass spectrometrycharacterized protein complexes with the 285 “gold standard” protein complexes identified by EcoCyc. A comparison with databases of gene orthology, conservation, and essentiality identified proteins conserved or lost in complexes of other species. For instance, of 285 “gold standard” protein complexes in E. coli, less than 10% are fully conserved among a set of 7 distantly-related bacterial “model” species. Complex conservation follows one of three models: well-conserved complexes, complexes with a conserved core, and complexes with partial conservation but no conserved core. Expanding the comparison to 894 distinct bacterial genomes illustrates fractional conservation and the limits of co-conservation among components of protein complexes: just 14 out of 285 model protein complexes are perfectly conserved across 95% of the genomes used, yet we predict more than 180 may be partially conserved across at least half of the genomes. No clear relationship between gene essentiality and protein complex conservation is observed, as even poorly conserved complexes contain a significant number of essential proteins. Finally, we identify 183 complexes containing well-conserved components and uncharacterized proteins which will be interesting targets for future experimental studies


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    Protein complexes are composed of two or more associated polypeptide chains that may have different functions. Protein complexes play a critical role for all processes in life and are considered as highly conserved in evolution. In previous studies, protein complexes from E. coli or Mycoplasma pneumoniae have been characterized experimentally, revealing that a typical bacterial cell has on the order of 500 protein complexes. Using gene homology (orthology), these experimentally-observed complexes can be used to predict protein complexes across many species of bacteria. Surprisingly, the majority of protein complexes is not conserved, demonstrating an unexpected evolutionary flexibility. The current research investigates the evolution of 174 well-characterized (“reference”) protein complexes from E. coli that have three or more subunits. More specifically, we study the evolutionary flexibility by using evidence and patterns of the presence or absence of the subunits across a range of 894 bacterial species and to interpret whether the evolution is due to the loss or gain of a subunit in the protein complex. The purpose of this study is to determine how the presence or absence of a subunit affects the protein complexes’ functionality. We discuss the functional changes observed in a protein complex due to the presence or absence of a particular subunit by using a statistical approach and by confirming its significance.https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/uresposters/1253/thumbnail.jp

    Protein-RNA interactions: a structural analysis

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    A detailed computational analysis of 32 protein-RNA complexes is presented. A number of physical and chemical properties of the intermolecular interfaces are calculated and compared with those observed in protein-double-stranded DNA and protein-single-stranded DNA complexes. The interface properties of the protein-RNA complexes reveal the diverse nature of the binding sites. van der Waals contacts played a more prevalent role than hydrogen bond contacts, and preferential binding to guanine and uracil was observed. The positively charged residue, arginine, and the single aromatic residues, phenylalanine and tyrosine, all played key roles in the RNA binding sites. A comparison between protein-RNA and protein-DNA complexes showed that whilst base and backbone contacts (both hydrogen bonding and van der Waals) were observed with equal frequency in the protein-RNA complexes, backbone contacts were more dominant in the protein-DNA complexes. Although similar modes of secondary structure interactions have been observed in RNA and DNA binding proteins, the current analysis emphasises the differences that exist between the two types of nucleic acid binding protein at the atomic contact level

    The representation of protein complexes in the Protein Ontology

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    Representing species-specific proteins and protein complexes in ontologies that are both human and machine-readable facilitates the retrieval, analysis, and interpretation of genome-scale data sets. Although existing protin-centric informatics resources provide the biomedical research community with well-curated compendia of protein sequence and structure, these resources lack formal ontological representations of the relationships among the proteins themselves. The Protein Ontology (PRO) Consortium is filling this informatics resource gap by developing ontological representations and relationships among proteins and their variants and modified forms. Because proteins are often functional only as members of stable protein complexes, the PRO Consortium, in collaboration with existing protein and pathway databases, has launched a new initiative to implement logical and consistent representation of protein complexes. We describe here how the PRO Consortium is meeting the challenge of representing species-specific protein complexes, how protein complex representation in PRO supports annotation of protein complexes and comparative biology, and how PRO is being integrated into existing community bioinformatics resources. The PRO resource is accessible at http://pir.georgetown.edu/pro/

    Development of an antibody fragment that stabilizes GPCR/G-protein complexes.

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    Single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) has recently enabled high-resolution structure determination of numerous biological macromolecular complexes. Despite this progress, the application of high-resolution cryo-EM to G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) in complex with heterotrimeric G proteins remains challenging, owning to both the relative small size and the limited stability of these assemblies. Here we describe the development of antibody fragments that bind and stabilize GPCR-G protein complexes for the application of high-resolution cryo-EM. One antibody in particular, mAb16, stabilizes GPCR/G-protein complexes by recognizing an interface between Gα and Gβγ subunits in the heterotrimer, and confers resistance to GTPγS-triggered dissociation. The unique recognition mode of this antibody makes it possible to transfer its binding and stabilizing effect to other G-protein subtypes through minimal protein engineering. This antibody fragment is thus a broadly applicable tool for structural studies of GPCR/G-protein complexes

    The self-assembly and evolution of homomeric protein complexes

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    We introduce a simple "patchy particle" model to study the thermodynamics and dynamics of self-assembly of homomeric protein complexes. Our calculations allow us to rationalize recent results for dihedral complexes. Namely, why evolution of such complexes naturally takes the system into a region of interaction space where (i) the evolutionarily newer interactions are weaker, (ii) subcomplexes involving the stronger interactions are observed to be thermodynamically stable on destabilization of the protein-protein interactions and (iii) the self-assembly dynamics are hierarchical with these same subcomplexes acting as kinetic intermediates.Comment: 4 pages, 4 figure

    Trapping mammalian protein complexes in viral particles

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    Cell lysis is an inevitable step in classical mass spectrometry-based strategies to analyse protein complexes. Complementary lysis conditions, in situ cross-linking strategies and proximal labelling techniques are currently used to reduce lysis effects on the protein complex. We have developed Virotrap, a viral particle sorting approach that obviates the need for cell homogenization and preserves the protein complexes during purification. By fusing a bait protein to the HIV-1 GAG protein, we show that interaction partners become trapped within virus-like particles (VLPs) that bud from mammalian cells. Using an efficient VLP enrichment protocol, Virotrap allows the detection of known binary interactions and MS-based identification of novel protein partners as well. In addition, we show the identification of stimulus-dependent interactions and demonstrate trapping of protein partners for small molecules. Virotrap constitutes an elegant complementary approach to the arsenal of methods to study protein complexes
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