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Malkova A.,Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis | Haber J.E.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center
Annual Review of Genetics | Year: 2012

Mutations stimulate evolutionary change and lead to birth defects and cancer in humans as well as to antibiotic resistance in bacteria. According to the classic view, most mutations arise in dividing cells and result from uncorrected errors of S-phase DNA replication, which is highly accurate because of the involvement of selective DNA polymerases and efficient error-correcting mechanisms. In contrast, studies in bacteria and yeast reveal that DNA synthesis associated with repair of double-strand chromosomal breaks (DSBs) by homologous recombination is highly inaccurate, thus making DSBs and their repair an important source of mutations. Different error-prone mechanisms appear to operate in different repair scenarios. In the filling in of single-stranded DNA regions, error-prone translesion DNA polymerases appear to produce most errors. In contrast, in gene conversion gap repair and in break-induced replication, errors are independent of translesion polymerases, and many mutations have the signatures of template switching during DNA repair synthesis. DNA repair also appears to create complex copy-number variants. Overall, homologous recombination, which is traditionally considered a safe pathway of DSB repair, is an important source of mutagenesis that may contribute to human disease and evolution. © 2012 by Annual Reviews. Source

Lepore B.W.,Graduate Program in Bioorganic Chemistry | Liu D.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center | Peng Y.,Brandeis University | Fu M.,Northwestern University | And 5 more authors.
Biochemistry | Year: 2010

Mechanism-based inhibitors such as cycloserine and gabaculine can inactivate aminotransferases via reactions of the compounds with the pyridoxal phosphate cofactor forming an irreversible adduct. The reaction is chirally specific in that any one enzyme usually only recognizes one enantiomer of the inactivator. For instance, l-aspartate aminotransferase (l-AspAT) is inactivated by 4-amino-4,5-dihydro-2-thiophenecarboxylic acid (ADTA), however, only by the S-isomer. We have now shown that d-amino acid aminotransferase (d-a-AT) is irreversibly inactivated by the R-isomer of the same compound. The X-ray crystal structure (PDB code: 3LQS) of the inactivated enzyme shows that in the product the enzyme no longer makes a Schiff base linkage to the pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) cofactor, and instead the compound has formed a derivative of the cofactor. The adduct is similar to that formed between d-cycloserine and d-a-AT or alanine racemase (Ala-Rac) in that the thiophene ring of R-ADTA is intact and seems to be aromatic. The plane of the ring is rotated by nearly 90 with respect to the plane of the pyridine ring of the cofactor, in comparison with the enzyme inactivated by cycloserine. Based on the structure of the product, the mechanism of inactivation most probably involves a transamination followed by aromatization to form an aromatic thiophene ring. © 2010 American Chemical Society. Source

Davies C.W.,Purdue University | Chaney J.,Purdue University | Korbel G.,Whitehead Institute For Biomedical Research | Ringe D.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters | Year: 2012

UCHL1 is a 223 amino acid member of the UCH family of deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs), found abundantly and exclusively expressed in neurons and the testis in normal tissues. Two naturally occurring variants of UCHL1 are directly involved in Parkinson's disease (PD). Not only has UCHL1 been linked to PD, but it has oncogenic properties, having been found abnormally expressed in lung, pancreatic, and colorectal cancers. Although inhibitors of UCHL1 have been described previously the co-crystal structure of the enzyme bound to any inhibitor has not been reported. Herein, we report the X-ray structure of UCHL1 co-crystallized with a peptide-based fluoromethylketone inhibitor, Z-VAE(OMe)-FMK (VAEFMK) at 2.35 Å resolution. The co-crystal structure reveals that the inhibitor binds in the active-site cleft, irreversibly modifying the active-site cysteine; however, the catalytic histidine is still misaligned as seen in the native structure, suggesting that the inhibitor binds to an inactive form of the enzyme. Our structure also reveals that the inhibitor approaches the active-site cleft from the opposite side of the crossover loop as compared to the direction of approach of ubiquitin's C-terminal tail, thereby occupying the P1′ (leaving group) site, a binding site perhaps used by the unknown C-terminal extension of ubiquitin in the actual in vivo substrate(s) of UCHL1. This structure provides a view of molecular contacts at the active-site cleft between the inhibitor and the enzyme as well as furnishing structural information needed to facilitate further design of inhibitors targeted to UCHL1 with high selectivity and potency. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Tsabar M.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center | Haber J.E.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center
Current Opinion in Genetics and Development | Year: 2013

Double-strand breaks (DSBs) pose a serious threat to genome integrity. Eukaryotes from yeast to humans respond to DSB damage by activating a complex DNA damage response that includes imposing a block to cell cycle progression and the repair of the DSB by one of several pathways. Many of these processes are accompanied by alterations in chromosome and chromatin structure. In this review we focus on the checkpoint responses and DNA repair in the well-studied model organism, the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Zeng M.,Brandeis University | Zeng M.,Rosenstiel Basic Medical science Research Center | Kuzirian M.S.,Brandeis University | Kuzirian M.S.,National Center for Behavioral Genomics and Volen Center for Complex Systems | And 7 more authors.
Methods | Year: 2013

The RNA interference (RNAi) pathway in animal cells can be harnessed to silence gene expression with artificial small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or transgenes that express small hairpin RNAs (shRNAs). The transgene-expressing shRNA approach has been adapted into large-scale resources for genome-wide loss-of-function screens, whereas focused studies on a narrow set of genes can be achieved by using individual shRNA constructs from these resources. Although current shRNA repositories generally work, they might fail in certain situations and therefore necessitate other alternatives. We detail here a new highly-accessible and rational design of custom shRNAs that utilizes a refined backbone configuration termed the 'organic' shRNA (OshR) platform. The OshR platform is 'organic' because it conforms more naturally to the endogenous vertebrate miRNAs by maintaining specific bulges and incorporating strategic mismatches to insure the desired guide strand is produced while reducing the accumulation of passenger strands that might contribute to off-target effects. We also demonstrate that the reliability of the OshR platform for gene silencing is increased when sequences target the 3' UnTranslated Region (3'UTR) of a gene. We further compare the OshR platform with the current and emerging shRNA designs, and propose that the OshR platform is a novel approach that can allow investigators to generate custom and effective shRNAs for individual gene functional studies. © 2013 . Source

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