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PubMed | University of Liverpool and Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology
Type: | Journal: Nucleic acids research | Year: 2017

Onset of the lytic phase in the KSHV life cycle is accompanied by the rapid, global degradation of host (and viral) mRNA transcripts in a process termed host shutoff. Key to this destruction is the virally encoded alkaline exonuclease SOX. While SOX has been shown to possess an intrinsic RNase activity and a potential consensus sequence for endonucleolytic cleavage identified, the structures of the RNA substrates targeted remained unclear. Based on an analysis of three reported target transcripts, we were able to identify common structures and confirm that these are indeed degraded by SOX in vitro as well as predict the presence of such elements in the KSHV pre-microRNA transcript K12-2. From these studies, we were able to determine the crystal structure of SOX productively bound to a 31 nucleotide K12-2 fragment. This complex not only reveals the structural determinants required for RNA recognition and degradation but, together with biochemical and biophysical studies, reveals distinct roles for residues implicated in host shutoff. Our results further confirm that SOX and the host exoribonuclease Xrn1 act in concert to elicit the rapid degradation of mRNA substrates observed in vivo, and that the activities of the two ribonucleases are co-ordinated.


Felisberto-Rodrigues C.,Aix - Marseille University | Blangy S.,Aix - Marseille University | Goulet A.,Aix - Marseille University | Goulet A.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | And 4 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

Acidianus two-tailed virus (ATV) infects crenarchaea of the genus Acidianus living in terrestrial thermal springs at extremely high temperatures and low pH. ATV is a member of the Bicaudaviridae virus family and undergoes extra-cellular development of two tails, a process that is unique in the viral world. To understand this intriguing phenomenon, we have undertaken structural studies of ATV virion proteins and here we present the crystal structure of one of these proteins, ATVORF273. ATVORF273 forms tetramers in solution and a molecular envelope is provided for the tetramer, computed from small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data. The crystal structure has properties typical of hyperthermostable proteins, including a relatively high number of salt bridges. However, the protein also exhibits flexible loops and surface pockets. Remarkably, ATVORF273 displays a new α + β protein fold, consistent with the absence of homologues of this protein in public sequence databases. © 2012 Felisberto-Rodrigues et al.


Aramayo R.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | Sherman M.B.,University of Texas Medical Branch | Brownless K.,University College London | Lurz R.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | And 2 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

The p53 tumour suppressor is a transcriptional activator that controls cell fate in response to various stresses. p53 can initiate cell cycle arrest, senescence and/or apoptosis via transactivation of p53 target genes, thus preventing cancer onset. Mutations that impair p53 usually occur in the core domain and negate the p53 sequence-specific DNA binding. Moreover, these mutations exhibit a dominant negative effect on the remaining wild-type p53. Here, we report the cryo electron microscopy structure of the full-length p53 tetramer bound to a DNA-encoding transcription factor response element (RE) at a resolution of 21. While two core domains from both dimers of the p53 tetramer interact with DNA within the complex, the other two core domains remain available for binding another DNA site. This finding helps to explain the dominant negative effect of p53 mutants based on the fact that p53 dimers are formed co-translationally before the whole tetramer assembles; therefore, a single mutant dimer would prevent the p53 tetramer from binding DNA. The structure indicates that the Achilles' heel of p53 is in its dimer-of-dimers organization, thus the tetramer activity can be negated by mutation in only one allele followed by tumourigenesis. © 2011 The Author(s).


Goyal P.,Structural Biology Research Center | Goyal P.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Krasteva P.V.,Institute Pasteur Paris | Van Gerven N.,Structural Biology Research Center | And 15 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2014

Curli are functional amyloid fibres that constitute the major protein component of the extracellular matrix in pellicle biofilms formed by Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria (predominantly of the α and γ 3 classes). They provide a fitness advantage in pathogenic strains and induce a strong pro-inflammatory response during bacteraemia. Curli formation requires a dedicated protein secretion machinery comprising the outer membrane lipoprotein CsgG and two soluble accessory proteins, CsgE and CsgF. Here we report the X-ray structure of Escherichia coli CsgG in a non-lipidated, soluble form as well as in its native membrane-extracted conformation. CsgG forms an oligomeric transport complex composed of nine anticodon-binding-domain-like units that give rise to a 36-stranded β 2-barrel that traverses the bilayer and is connected to a cage-like vestibule in the periplasm. The transmembrane and periplasmic domains are separated by a 0.9-nm channel constriction composed of three stacked concentric phenylalanine, asparagine and tyrosine rings that may guide the extended polypeptide substrate through the secretion pore. The specificity factor CsgE forms a nonameric adaptor that binds and closes off the periplasmic face of the secretion channel, creating a 24,000 Å 3 pre-constriction chamber. Our structural, functional and electrophysiological analyses imply that CsgG is an ungated, non-selective protein secretion channel that is expected to employ a diffusion-based, entropy-driven transport mechanism. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


Saibil H.R.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | Grunewald K.,University of Oxford | Stuart D.I.,University of Oxford | Stuart D.I.,Diamond Light Source
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2015

Three-dimensional electron microscopy is an enormously powerful tool for structural biologists. It is now able to provide an understanding of the molecular machinery of cells, disease processes and the actions of pathogenic organisms from atomic detail through to the cellular context. However, cutting-edge research in this field requires very substantial resources for equipment, infrastructure and expertise. Here, a brief overview is provided of the plans for a UK national three-dimensional electron-microscopy facility for integrated structural biology to enable internationally leading research on the machinery of life. State-of-the-art equipment operated with expert support will be provided, optimized for both atomic-level single-particle analysis of purified macromolecules and complexes and for tomography of cell sections. The access to and organization of the facility will be modelled on the highly successful macromolecular crystallography (MX) synchrotron beamlines, and will be embedded at the Diamond Light Source, facilitating the development of user-friendly workflows providing near-real-time experimental feedback. © 2015.


Lamber E.P.,Institute of Cancer Research | Lamber E.P.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | Beuron F.,Institute of Cancer Research | Morris E.P.,Institute of Cancer Research | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

The retinoblastoma susceptibility protein RB1 is a key regulator of cell proliferation and fate. RB1 operates through nucleating the formation of multi-component protein complexes involved in the regulation of gene transcription, chromatin structure and protein stability. Phosphorylation of RB1 by cyclin-dependent kinases leads to conformational alterations and inactivates the capability of RB1 to bind partner protein. Using small angle X-ray scattering in combination with single particle analysis of transmission electron microscope images of negative-stained material we present the first three-dimensional reconstruction of non-phosphorylated RB1 revealing an extended architecture and deduce the domain arrangement within the molecule. Phosphorylation results in an overt alteration of the molecular shape and dimensions, consistent with the transition to a compact globular architecture. The work presented provides what is to our knowledge the first description of the relative domain arrangement in active RB1 and predicts the molecular movement that leads to RB1 inactivation following protein phosphorylation. © 2013 Lamber et al.


Saibil H.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology
Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology | Year: 2013

Molecular chaperones are diverse families of multidomain proteins that have evolved to assist nascent proteins to reach their native fold, protect subunits from heat shock during the assembly of complexes, prevent protein aggregation or mediate targeted unfolding and disassembly. Their increased expression in response to stress is a key factor in the health of the cell and longevity of an organism. Unlike enzymes with their precise and finely tuned active sites, chaperones are heavy-duty molecular machines that operate on a wide range of substrates. The structural basis of their mechanism of action is being unravelled (in particular for the heat shock proteins HSP60, HSP70, HSP90 and HSP100) and typically involves massive displacements of 20-30 kDa domains over distances of 20-50 Å and rotations of up to 100. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.


Kearns S.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | Kearns S.,University College London | Lurz R.,Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics | Orlova E.V.,Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology | Okorokov A.L.,University College London
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2016

p53 tumor suppressor is a transcription factor that controls cell cycle and genetic integrity. In response to genotoxic stress p53 activates DNA repair, cell cycle arrest, apoptosis or senescence, which are initiated via p53 binding to its specific DNA response elements (RE). The consensus p53 DNA RE consists of two decameric palindromic half-site sequences. Crystallographic studies have demonstrated that two isolated p53 DNA-binding core domains interact with one half-site of the p53 DNA REs suggesting that one p53 tetramer is bound to one RE. However, our recent 3D cryo-EM studies showed that the full-length p53 tetramer is bound to only one half-site of RE. Here, we have used biochemical and electron microscopy (EM) methods to analyze DNA-binding of human and murine p53 tetramers to various p53 DNA REs. Our new results demonstrate that two p53 tetramers can interact sequence-specifically with one DNA RE at the same time. In particular, the EM structural analysis revealed that two p53 tetramers bind one DNA RE simultaneously with DNA positioned between them. These results demonstrate a mode different from that assumed previously for the p53-DNA interaction and suggest important biological implications on p53 activity as a transcriptional regulator of cellular response to stress. © 2016 The Author(s) 2016. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Nucleic Acids Research.


Kilchert C.,University of Oxford | Wittmann S.,University of Oxford | Passoni M.,University of Oxford | Shah S.,University of Oxford | And 2 more authors.
Cell Reports | Year: 2015

In eukaryotic cells, inefficient splicing is surprisingly common and leads to the degradation of transcripts with retained introns. How pre-mRNAs are committed to nuclear decay is unknown. Here, we uncover a mechanism by which specific intron-containing transcripts are targeted for nuclear degradation in fission yeast. Sequence elements within these "decay-promoting" introns co-transcriptionally recruit the exosome specificity factor Mmi1, which induces degradation of the unspliced precursor and leads to a reduction in the levels of the spliced mRNA. This mechanism negatively regulates levels of the RNA helicase DDX5/Dbp2 to promote cell survival in response to stress. In contrast, fast removal of decay-promoting introns by co-transcriptional splicing precludes Mmi1 recruitment and relieves negative expression regulation. We propose that decay-promoting introns facilitate the regulation of gene expression. Based on the identification of multiple additional Mmi1 targets, including mRNAs, long non-coding RNAs, and sn/snoRNAs, we suggest a general role in RNA regulation for Mmi1 through transcript degradation. © 2015 The Authors.


PubMed | Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics, Institute for Structural and Molecular Biology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University College London and University of Connecticut
Type: | Journal: Frontiers in molecular neuroscience | Year: 2016

Disease gene discovery in neurodevelopmental disorders, including X-linked intellectual disability (XLID) has recently been accelerated by next-generation DNA sequencing approaches. To date, more than 100 human X chromosome genes involved in neuronal signaling pathways and networks implicated in cognitive function have been identified. Despite these advances, the mutations underlying disease in a large number of XLID families remained unresolved. We report the resolution of MRX78, a large family with six affected males and seven affected females, showing X-linked inheritance. Although a previous linkage study had mapped the locus to the short arm of chromosome X (Xp11.4-p11.23), this region contained too many candidate genes to be analyzed using conventional approaches. However, our X-chromosome exome resequencing, bioinformatics analysis and inheritance testing revealed a missense mutation (c.C2366T, p.A789V) in IQSEC2, encoding a neuronal GDP-GTP exchange factor for Arf family GTPases (ArfGEF) previously implicated in XLID. Molecular modeling of IQSEC2 revealed that the A789V substitution results in the insertion of a larger side-chain into a hydrophobic pocket in the catalytic Sec7 domain of IQSEC2. The A789V change is predicted to result in numerous clashes with adjacent amino acids and disruption of local folding of the Sec7 domain. Consistent with this finding, functional assays revealed that recombinant IQSEC2(A789V) was not able to catalyze GDP-GTP exchange on Arf6 as efficiently as wild-type IQSEC2. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that the A789V mutation in IQSEC2 is the underlying cause of XLID in the MRX78 family.

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