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Maeda S.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Maeda S.,ETH Zurich | Sun D.,Paul Scherrer Institute | Sun D.,ETH Zurich | And 12 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The activation of the G-protein transducin (Gt) by rhodopsin (Rho) has been intensively studied for several decades. It is the best understood example of GPCR activation mechanism and serves as a template for other GPCRs. The structure of the Rho/G protein complex, which is transiently formed during the signaling reaction, is of particular interest. It can help understanding the molecular details of how retinal isomerization leads to the G protein activation, as well as shed some light on how GPCR recognizes its cognate G protein. The native Rho/Gt complex isolated from bovine retina suffers from low stability and loss of the retinal ligand. Recently, we reported that constitutively active mutant of rhodopsin E113Q forms a Rho/Gt complex that is stable in detergent solution. Here, we introduce methods for a large scale preparation of the complex formed by the thermo-stabilized and constitutively active rhodopsin mutant N2C/M257Y/D282C(RhoM257Y) and the native Gt purified from bovine retinas. We demonstrate that the light-activated rhodopsin in this complex contains a covalently bound unprotonated retinal and therefore corresponds to the active metarhodopin II state; that the isolated complex is active and dissociates upon addition of GTP cS; and that the stoichiometry corresponds to a 1:1 molar ratio of rhodopsin to the heterotrimeric G-protein. And finally, we show that the rhodopsin also forms stable complex with Gi. This complex has significantly higher thermostability than RhoM257Y/Gt complex and is resistant to a variety of detergents. Overall, our data suggest that the RhoM257Y/Gi complex is an ideal target for future structural and mechanistic studies of signaling in the visual system. © 2014 Maeda et al. Source

Banner D.W.,PRED Pharma Research and Early Development | Gsell B.,PRED Pharma Research and Early Development | Benz J.,PRED Pharma Research and Early Development | Bertschinger J.,Covagen Inc. | And 24 more authors.
Acta Crystallographica Section D: Biological Crystallography | Year: 2013

The aspartic protease BACE2 is responsible for the shedding of the transmembrane protein Tmem27 from the surface of pancreatic β-cells, which leads to inactivation of the β-cell proliferating activity of Tmem27. This role of BACE2 in the control of β-cell maintenance suggests BACE2 as a drug target for diabetes. Inhibition of BACE2 has recently been shown to lead to improved control of glucose homeostasis and to increased insulin levels in insulin-resistant mice. BACE2 has 52% sequence identity to the well studied Alzheimer's disease target enzyme β-secretase (BACE1). High-resolution BACE2 structures would contribute significantly to the investigation of this enzyme as either a drug target or anti-target. Surface mutagenesis, BACE2-binding antibody Fab fragments, single-domain camelid antibody VHH fragments (Xaperones) and Fyn-kinase-derived SH3 domains (Fynomers) were used as crystallization helpers to obtain the first high-resolution structures of BACE2. Eight crystal structures in six different packing environments define an ensemble of low-energy conformations available to the enzyme. Here, the different strategies used for raising and selecting BACE2 binders for cocrystallization are described and the crystallization success, crystal quality and the time and resources needed to obtain suitable crystals are compared. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography. Source

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