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Pavlovsky A.G.,University of Toledo | Liu X.,Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center | Faehnle C.R.,Keck Structural Biology Laboratory | Potente N.,University of Toledo | Viola R.E.,University of Toledo
Chemical Biology and Drug Design | Year: 2012

The aspartate biosynthetic pathway provides essential metabolites for many important biological functions, including the production of four essential amino acids. As this critical pathway is only present in plants and microbes, any disruptions will be fatal to these organisms. An early pathway enzyme, l-aspartate-β-semialdehyde dehydrogenase, produces a key intermediate at the first branch point of this pathway. Developing potent and selective inhibitors against several orthologs in the l-aspartate-β-semialdehyde dehydrogenase family can serve as lead compounds for antibiotic development. Kinetic studies of two small molecule fragment libraries have identified inhibitors that show good selectivity against l-aspartate-β-semialdehyde dehydrogenases from two different bacterial species, Streptococcus pneumoniae and Vibrio cholerae, despite the presence of an identical constellation of active site amino acids in this homologous enzyme family. Structural characterization of enzyme-inhibitor complexes have elucidated different modes of binding between these structurally related enzymes. This information provides the basis for a structure-guided approach to the development of more potent and more selective inhibitors. Disruptions of the aspartate biosynthetic pathway are fatal to microorganisms, and provide key enzyme targets for antibiotic development. Comparison of different enzyme-inhibitor structures against an early pathway enzyme have identified different binding modes that will serve as the basis for the development of more potent and selective inhibitors. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Schalch T.,Keck Structural Biology Laboratory | Job G.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Shanker S.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | Partridge J.F.,St Jude Childrens Research Hospital | And 2 more authors.
Nature Structural and Molecular Biology | Year: 2011

RNA interference (RNAi) is critical for the assembly of heterochromatin at Schizosaccharomyces pombe centromeres. Central to this process is the RNA-induced initiation of transcriptional gene silencing (RITS) complex, which physically anchors small noncoding RNAs to chromatin. RITS includes Ago1, the chromodomain protein Chp1, and Tas3, which forms a bridge between Chp1 and Ago1. Chp1 is a large protein with no recognizable domains, apart from its chromodomain. Here we describe how the structured C-terminal half of Chp1 binds the Tas3 N-terminal domain, revealing the tight association of Chp1 and Tas3. The structure also shows a PIN domain at the C-terminal tip of Chp1 that controls subtelomeric transcripts through a post-transcriptional mechanism. We suggest that the Chp1-Tas3 complex provides a solid and versatile platform to recruit both RNAi-dependent and RNAi-independent gene-silencing pathways for locus-specific regulation of heterochromatin. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

Lavy T.,Keck Structural Biology Laboratory | Lavy T.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Kumar P.R.,Keck Structural Biology Laboratory | He H.,Keck Structural Biology Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Genes and Development | Year: 2012

A wealth of genetic information and some biochemical analysis have made the GAL regulon of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae a classic model system for studying transcriptional activation in eukaryotes. Galactose induces this transcriptional switch, which is regulated by three proteins: the transcriptional activator Gal4p, bound to DNA; the repressor Gal80p; and the transducer Gal3p. We showed previously that NADP appears to act as a trigger to kick the repressor off the activator. Sustained activation involves a complex of the transducer Gal3p and Gal80p mediated by galactose and ATP. We solved the crystal structure of the complex of Gal3p-Gal80p with α-D-galactose and ATP to 2.1 Å resolution. The interaction between the proteins occurs only when Gal3p is in a "closed" state induced by ligand binding. The structure of the complex provides a rationale for the phenotypes of several well-known Gal80p and Gal3p mutants as well as the lack of galactokinase activity of Gal3p. © 2012 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

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