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Franke B.,University of Liverpool | Gasch A.,Universitatsklinikum Mannheim | Rodriguez D.,Institute Biologla Molecular Of Barcelona | Chami M.,University of Basel | And 12 more authors.
Open Biology | Year: 2014

MuRF1 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase central to muscle catabolism. It belongs to the TRIM protein family characterized by a tripartite fold of RING, B-box and coiled-coil (CC) motifs, followed by variable C-terminal domains. The CC motif is hypothesized to be responsible for domain organization in the fold as well as for high-order assembly into functional entities. But data on CC from this family that can clarify the structural significance of this motif are scarce. We have characterized the helical region from MuRF1 and show that, contrary to expectations, its CC domain assembles unproductively, being the B2- and COS-boxes in the fold (respectively flanking the CC) that promote a native quaternary structure. In particular, the C-terminal COS-box seemingly forms an a-hairpin that packs against the CC, influencing its dimerization. This shows that a C-terminal variable domain can be tightly integrated within the conserved TRIM fold to modulate its structure and function. Furthermore, data from transfected muscle show that in MuRF1 the COS-box mediates the in vivo targeting of sarcoskeletal structures and points to the pharmacological relevance of the COS domain for treating MuRF1-mediated muscle atrophy. © 2014 The Authors.

Mlguez D.G.,Institute Biologla Molecular Of Barcelona | Mlguez D.G.,Autonomous University of Madrid | Gil-Guinon E.,Institute Biologla Molecular Of Barcelona | Pons S.,Institute Biologla Molecular Of Barcelona | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cell Science | Year: 2013

The transforming growth factor beta (TGF-b) pathway plays key roles in development and cancer. TGF-b signaling converges on the Smad2 and Smad3 effectors, which can either cooperate or antagonize to regulate their transcriptional targets. Here we performed in vivo and in silico experiments to study how such cooperativity and antagonism might function during neurogenesis. In vivo electroporation experiments in the chick embryo neural tube show that Smad2 and Smad3 cooperate to promote neurogenesis, as well as the transcription of Smad3-specific targets. Knockdown of Smad2 enhances neurogenesis and the transcription of Smad3-specific targets. A mathematical model of the TGF-b pathway fits the experimental results and predicts that the proportions of the three different trimeric complexes formed dictates the transcriptional responses of the R-Smad proteins. As such, Smad2 targets are activated solely by the Smad2-Smad2-Smad4 complex, whereas Smad3 targets are activated both by Smad2-Smad3-Smad4 and Smad3-Smad3-Smad4 trimers. We have modeled the Smad responses onto arbitrary genes and propose that this mechanism might be extended to additional activities of TGF-b in development and disease. © 2013. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

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