Articles by Jackson Buss in JoVE
Super-resolution Imaging of the Bacterial Division Machinery Jackson Buss1, Carla Coltharp1, Jie Xiao1 1Department of Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine We describe a super-resolution imaging method to probe the structural organization of the bacterial FtsZ-ring, an essential apparatus for cell division. This method is based on quantitative analyses of photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) images and can be applied to other bacterial cytoskeletal proteins.
Other articles by Jackson Buss on PubMed
Characterization of the ATPase Activity of the Escherichia Coli RecG Protein Reveals That the Preferred Cofactor is Negatively Supercoiled DNA Journal of Molecular Biology. Mar, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17292398 RecG is a member of the superfamily 2 helicase family. Its possible role in vivo is ATP hydrolysis driven regression of stalled replication forks. To gain mechanistic insight into how this is achieved, a coupled spectrophotometric assay was utilized to characterize the ATPase activity of RecG in vitro. The results demonstrate an overwhelming preference for negatively supercoiled DNA ((-)scDNA) as a cofactor for the hydrolysis of ATP. In the presence of (-)scDNA the catalytic efficiency of RecG and the processivity (as revealed through heparin trapping), were higher than on any other cofactor examined. The activity of RecG on (-)scDNA was not due to the presence of single-stranded regions functioning as loading sites for the enzyme as relaxed circular DNA treated with DNA gyrase, resulted in the highest levels of ATPase activity. Relaxation of (-)scDNA by a topoisomerase resulted in a 12-fold decrease in ATPase activity, comparable to that observed on both linear double-stranded (ds)DNA and (+)scDNA. In addition to the elevated activity in the presence of (-)scDNA, RecG also has high activity on model 4Y-substrates (i.e. chicken foot structures). This is due largely to the high apparent affinity of the enzyme for this DNA substrate, which is 46-fold higher than a 2Y-substrate (i.e. a three-way with two single-stranded (ss)DNA arms). Finally, the enzyme exhibited significant, but lower activity on ssDNA. This activity was enhanced by the Escherichia coli stranded DNA-binding protein (SSB) protein, which occurs through stabilizing of the binding of RecG to ssDNA. Stabilization is not afforded by the bacteriophage gene 32 protein, indicating a species specific, protein-protein interaction is involved. These results combine to provide significant insight into the manner and timing of the interaction of RecG with DNA at stalled replication forks.
RecG Interacts Directly with SSB: Implications for Stalled Replication Fork Regression Nucleic Acids Research. Dec, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18986999 RecG and RuvAB are proposed to act at stalled DNA replication forks to facilitate replication restart. To define the roles of these proteins in fork regression, we used a combination of assays to determine whether RecG, RuvAB or both are capable of acting at a stalled fork. The results show that RecG binds to the C-terminus of single-stranded DNA binding protein (SSB) forming a stoichiometric complex of 2 RecG monomers per SSB tetramer. This binding occurs in solution and to SSB protein bound to single stranded DNA (ssDNA). The result of this binding is stabilization of the interaction of RecG with ssDNA. In contrast, RuvAB does not bind to SSB. Side-by-side analysis of the catalytic efficiency of the ATPase activity of each enzyme revealed that (-)scDNA and ssDNA are potent stimulators of the ATPase activity of RecG but not for RuvAB, whereas relaxed circular DNA is a poor cofactor for RecG but an excellent one for RuvAB. Collectively, these data suggest that the timing of repair protein access to the DNA at stalled forks is determined by the nature of the DNA available at the fork. We propose that RecG acts first, with RuvAB acting either after RecG or in a separate pathway following protein-independent fork regression.
In Vivo Structure of the E. Coli FtsZ-ring Revealed by Photoactivated Localization Microscopy (PALM) PloS One. 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20856929 The FtsZ protein, a tubulin-like GTPase, plays a pivotal role in prokaryotic cell division. In vivo it localizes to the midcell and assembles into a ring-like structure-the Z-ring. The Z-ring serves as an essential scaffold to recruit all other division proteins and generates contractile force for cytokinesis, but its supramolecular structure remains unknown. Electron microscopy (EM) has been unsuccessful in detecting the Z-ring due to the dense cytoplasm of bacterial cells, and conventional fluorescence light microscopy (FLM) has only provided images with limited spatial resolution (200-300 nm) due to the diffraction of light. Hence, given the small sizes of bacteria cells, identifying the in vivo structure of the Z-ring presents a substantial challenge. Here, we used photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), a single molecule-based super-resolution imaging technique, to characterize the in vivo structure of the Z-ring in E. coli. We achieved a spatial resolution of âˆ¼35 nm and discovered that in addition to the expected ring-like conformation, the Z-ring of E. coli adopts a novel compressed helical conformation with variable helical length and pitch. We measured the thickness of the Z-ring to be âˆ¼110 nm and the packing density of FtsZ molecules inside the Z-ring to be greater than what is expected for a single-layered flat ribbon configuration. Our results strongly suggest that the Z-ring is composed of a loose bundle of FtsZ protofilaments that randomly overlap with each other in both longitudinal and radial directions of the cell. Our results provide significant insight into the spatial organization of the Z-ring and open the door for further investigations of structure-function relationships and cell cycle-dependent regulation of the Z-ring.