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He Y.,State Key Laboratory of Bio membrane and Membrane Biotechnology | He Y.,Center for Structural Biology | Hao Q.,State Key Laboratory of Bio membrane and Membrane Biotechnology | Hao Q.,Center for Structural Biology | And 7 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

Abscisic acid (ABA) is an essential phytohormone that regulates plant stress responses. ABA receptors in Arabidopsis thaliana (AtPYLs) have been extensively investigated by structural, biochemical, and in vivo studies. In contrast, relatively little is known about the ABA signal transduction cascade in rice. Besides, the diversities of AtPYLs manifest that the information accumulated in Arabidopsis cannot be simply adapted to rice. Thus, studies on rice ABA receptors are compulsory. By taking a bioinformatic approach, we identified twelve ABA receptor orthologs in Oryza sativa (japonica cultivar-group) (OsPYLs), named OsPYL1-12. We have successfully expressed and purified OsPYL1-3, 6 and 10-12 to homogeneity, tested the inhibitory effects on PP2C in Oryza sativa (OsPP2C), and measured their oligomerization states. OsPYL1-3 mainly exhibit as dimers and require ABA to inhibit PP2C's activity. On the contrary, OsPYL6 retains in the monomer-dimer equilibrium state and OsPYL10-11 largely exist as monomers, and they all display an ABA-independent phosphatase inhibition manner. Interestingly, although OsPYL12 seems to be a dimer, it abrogates the phosphatase activity of PP2Cs in the absence of ABA. Toward a further understanding of OsPYLs on the ABA binding and PP2C inhibition, we determined the crystal structure of ABA-OsPYL2-OsPP2C06 complex. The bioinformatic, biochemical and structural analysis of ABA receptors in rice provide important foundations for designing rational ABA-analogues and breeding the stress-resistant rice for commercial agriculture.©2014 He et al. Source


Huang W.,Tsinghua Peking Joint Center for Life science | Huang W.,Center for Structural Biology | Choi W.,Tsinghua Peking Joint Center for Life science | Choi W.,Center for Structural Biology | And 22 more authors.
Cell Research | Year: 2012

The Beclin 1 gene is a haplo-insufficient tumor suppressor and plays an essential role in autophagy. However, the molecular mechanism by which Beclin 1 functions remains largely unknown. Here we report the crystal structure of the evolutionarily conserved domain (ECD) of Beclin 1 at 1.6 Å resolution. Beclin 1 ECD exhibits a previously unreported fold, with three structural repeats arranged symmetrically around a central axis. Beclin 1 ECD defines a novel class of membrane-binding domain, with a strong preference for lipid membrane enriched with cardiolipin. The tip of a surface loop in Beclin 1 ECD, comprising three aromatic amino acids, acts as a hydrophobic finger to associate with lipid membrane, consequently resulting in the deformation of membrane and liposomes. Mutation of these aromatic residues rendered Beclin 1 unable to stably associate with lipid membrane in vitro and unable to fully rescue autophagy in Beclin 1-knockdown cells in vivo. These observations form an important framework for deciphering the biological functions of Beclin 1. © 2012 IBCB, SIBS, CAS All rights reserved. Source


Gong X.,State Key Laboratory of Bio membrane and Membrane Biotechnology | Gong X.,Tsinghua University | Li J.,State Key Laboratory of Bio membrane and Membrane Biotechnology | Li J.,Tsinghua University | And 10 more authors.
Cell Research | Year: 2015

The sterol regulatory element-binding protein (SREBP) and SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) are central players in the SREBP pathway, which control the cellular lipid homeostasis. SCAP binds to SREBP through their carboxyl (C) domains and escorts SREBP from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi upon sterol depletion. A conserved pathway, with the homologues of SREBP and SCAP being Sre1 and Scp1, was identified in fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Here we report the in vitro reconstitution of the complex between the C domains of Sre1 and Scp1 as well as the crystal structure of the WD40 domain of Scp1 at 2.1 Å resolution. The structure reveals an eight-bladed β-propeller that exhibits several distinctive features from a canonical WD40 repeat domain. Structural and biochemical characterization led to the identification of two Scp1 elements that are involved in Sre1 recognition, an Arg/Lys-enriched surface patch on the top face of the WD40 propeller and a 30-residue C-terminal tail. The structural and biochemical findings were corroborated by in vivo examinations. These studies serve as a framework for the mechanistic understanding and further functional characterization of the SREBP and SCAP proteins in fission yeast and higher organisms. © 2015 IBCB, SIBS, CAS All rights reserved. Source

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