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Wang X.-J.,Shandong University | Wang X.-J.,Key Laboratory for Protein Science of Chronic Degenerative Diseases | Zhang D.-L.,Shandong University | Zhang D.-L.,Key Laboratory for Protein Science of Chronic Degenerative Diseases | And 15 more authors.
Journal of Neurochemistry | Year: 2015

The cadherin epidermal growth factor (EGF) laminin G (LAG) seven-pass G-type receptors (CELSRs) are a special subgroup of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors, which are pivotal regulators of many biologic processes such as neuronal/endocrine cell differentiation, vessel valve formation, and the control of planar cell polarity during embryonic development. All three members of the CELSR family (CELSR1-3) have large ecto-domains that form homophilic interactions and encompass more than 2000 amino acids. Mutations in the ecto-domain or other gene locations of CELSRs are associated with neural tube defects and other diseases in humans. Celsr knockout (KO) animals have many developmental defects. Therefore, specific agonists or antagonists of CELSR members may have therapeutic potential. Although significant progress has been made regarding the functions and biochemical properties of CELSRs, our knowledge of these receptors is still lacking, especially considering that they are broadly distributed but have few characterized functions in a limited number of tissues. The dynamic activation and inactivation of CELSRs and the presence of endogenous ligands beyond homophilic interactions remain elusive, as do the regulatory mechanisms and downstream signaling of these receptors. Given this motivation, future studies with more advanced cell biology or biochemical tools, such as conditional KO mice, may provide further insights into the mechanisms underlying CELSR function, laying the foundation for the design of new CELSR-targeted therapeutic reagents. © 2014 International Society for Neurochemistry.

Pan C.,Shandong University | Tang J.-Y.,Key Laboratory for Protein Science of Chronic Degenerative Diseases | Tang J.-Y.,Shandong University | Xu Y.-F.,Shandong University | And 12 more authors.
Scientific Reports | Year: 2015

PP2C family phosphatases (the type 2C family of protein phosphatases; or metal-dependent phosphatase, PPM) constitute an important class of signaling enzymes that regulate many fundamental life activities. All PP2C family members have a conserved binuclear metal ion active center that is essential for their catalysis. However, the catalytic role of each metal ion during catalysis remains elusive. In this study, we discovered that mutations in the structurally buried D38 residue of PP2Cα (PPM1A) redefined the water-mediated hydrogen network in the active site and selectively disrupted M2 metal ion binding. Using the D38A and D38K mutations of PP2Cα as specific tools in combination with enzymology analysis, our results demonstrated that the M2 metal ion determines the rate-limiting step of substrate hydrolysis, participates in dianion substrate binding and stabilizes the leaving group after P-O bond cleavage. The newly characterized catalytic role of the M2 metal ion in this family not only provides insight into how the binuclear metal centers of the PP2C phosphatases are organized for efficient catalysis but also helps increase our understanding of the function and substrate specificity of PP2C family members.

Liu H.-D.,Shandong University | Liu H.-D.,Key Laboratory for Protein Science of Chronic Degenerative Diseases | Wang W.-B.,Shandong University | Wang W.-B.,Key Laboratory for Protein Science of Chronic Degenerative Diseases | And 10 more authors.
European Journal of Pharmacology | Year: 2015

Free Fatty Acid 4 receptor (FFA4 receptor or GPR120), a rhodopsin-like G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) subfamily member, is a receptor that senses specific fatty acids such as ω-3 fatty acid in fish oil or the endogenous signaling lipid, PHASA. FFA4 receptor is enriched in lung, colon and adipose tissue but is also detected in many other tissues and cells. The activation of FFA4 receptor has multiple effects, including but not limited to inhibition of inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity and adipogenesis, and regulating hormone secretion from the gastro-intestinal system and pancreatic islets. The important role of FFA4 receptor in maintaining metabolic homeostasis strongly indicates the great potential of selective FFA4 receptor agonizts to treat diabetes and inflammation. In this review, we summarize recent research progress in the physiological and biochemical studies of FFA4 receptor and highlight its underlying signaling mechanisms and ligand identification to assist future research to exploit FFA4 receptor as a drug target. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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