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Wurst J.M.,Tri Institutional Training Program in Chemical Biology | Tan D.S.,Tri Institutional Training Program in Chemical Biology | Tan D.S.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
Organic Letters | Year: 2012

Acortatarins A and B have been synthesized via stereoselective spirocyclizations of glycals. Mercury-mediated spirocyclization of a pyrrole monoalcohol side chain leads to acortatarin A. Glycal epoxidation and reductive spirocyclization of a pyrrole dialdehyde side chain leads to acortatarin B. Acid equilibration and crystallographic analysis indicate that acortatarin B is a contrathermodynamic spiroketal with distinct ring conformations compared to acortatarin A. © 2012 American Chemical Society.


Zheng Q.,Cornell University | Zheng Q.,Tri Institutional Training Program in Chemical Biology | Jockusch S.,Columbia University | Zhou Z.,Cornell University | And 2 more authors.
Photochemistry and Photobiology | Year: 2014

Photoexcitation of fluorophores commonly used for biological imaging applications generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can cause bleaching of the fluorophore and damage to the biological system under investigation. In this study, we show that singlet oxygen contributes relatively little to Cy5 and ATTO 647N photobleaching at low concentrations in aqueous solution. We also show that Cy5 generates significantly less ROS when covalently linked to the protective agents, cyclooctatetraene (COT), nitrobenzyl alcohol (NBA) or Trolox. Such fluorophores exhibit enhanced photostability both in bulk solutions and in single-molecule fluorescence measurements. While the fluorophores ATTO 647N and ATTO 655 showed greater photostability than Cy5 and the protective-agent-linked Cy5 derivatives investigated here, both of ATTO 647N and ATTO 655 generated singlet oxygen and hydroxyl radicals at relatively rapid rates, suggesting that they may be substantially more phototoxic than Cy5 and its derivatives. Photoexcitation of fluorophores generates reactive oxygen species (ROS) which can cause bleaching of the fluorophore and damage to the biological system. We show that singlet oxygen contributes relatively little to Cy5 and ATTO 647N photobleaching at low concentrations in aqueous solution. We also show that Cy5 generates significantly less ROS when covalently linked to the protective agents, cyclooctatetraene (COT), nitrobenzyl alcohol (NBA) or Trolox. Such fluorophores exhibit enhanced photostability and generated less ROS than fluorophores that are commonly used, suggesting that they may be substantially less phototoxic than the common fluorophores. © 2013 The American Society of Photobiology.


Polikanov Y.S.,Yale University | Polikanov Y.S.,Howard Hughes Medical Institute | Starosta A.L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Juette M.F.,Cornell University | And 11 more authors.
Molecular Cell | Year: 2015

The increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria is limiting the effectiveness of currently approved antibiotics, leading to a renewed interest in antibiotics with distinct chemical scaffolds. We have solved the structures of the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome with A-, P-, and E-site tRNAs bound and in complex with either the aminocyclitol-containing antibiotic hygromycin A (HygA) or the nucleoside antibiotic A201A. Both antibiotics bind at the peptidyl transferase center and sterically occlude the CCA-end of the A-tRNA from entering the A site of the peptidyl transferase center. Single-molecule Förster resonance energy transfer (smFRET) experiments reveal that HygA and A201A specifically interfere with full accommodation of the A-tRNA, leading to the presence of tRNA accommodation intermediates and thereby inhibiting peptide bond formation. Thus, our results provide not only insight into the mechanism of action of HygA and A201A, but also into the fundamental process of tRNA accommodation during protein synthesis. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Akyuz N.,Cornell University | Georgieva E.R.,Cornell University | Zhou Z.,Cornell University | Stolzenberg S.,Cornell University | And 10 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

Glutamate transporters terminate neurotransmission by clearing synaptically released glutamate from the extracellular space, allowing repeated rounds of signalling and preventing glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity. Crystallographic studies of a glutamate transporter homologue from the archaeon Pyrococcus horikoshii, GltPh, showed that distinct transport domains translocate substrates into the cytoplasm by moving across the membrane within a central trimerization scaffold. Here we report direct observations of these 'elevator-like' transport domain motions in the context of reconstituted proteoliposomes and physiological ion gradients using single-molecule fluorescence resonance energy transfer (smFRET) imaging. We show that GltPh bearing two mutations introduced to impart characteristics of the human transporter exhibits markedly increased transport domain dynamics, which parallels an increased rate of substrate transport, thereby establishing a direct temporal relationship between transport domain motion and substrate uptake. Crystallographic and computational investigations corroborated these findings by revealing that the 'humanizing' mutations favour structurally 'unlocked' intermediate states in the transport cycle exhibiting increased solvent occupancy at the interface between the transport domain and the trimeric scaffold. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

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