Topoisomerase 1 (TOP1) generates transient nicks in the DNA to relieve torsional stress encountered during the cellular processes of transcription, replication, and recombination. At the site of the nick there is a covalent linkage of TOP1 with DNA via a tyrosine residue. This reversible TOP1-cleavage complex intermediate can become trapped on DNA by TOP1 poisons such as camptothecin, or by collision with replication or transcription machinery, thereby causing protein-linked DNA single- or double-strand breaks and resulting in cell death. Tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 (TDP1) is a key enzyme involved in the repair of TOP1-associated DNA breaks via hydrolysis of 3'-phosphotyrosine bonds. Inhibition of TDP1 is therefore an attractive strategy for targeting cancer cells in conjunction with TOP1 poisons. Existing methods for monitoring the phosphodiesterase activity of TDP1 are generally gel based or of high cost. Here we report a novel, oligonucleotide-based fluorescence assay that is robust, sensitive, and suitable for high-throughput screening of both fragment and small compound libraries for the detection of TDP1 inhibitors. We further validated the assay using whole cell extracts, extending its potential application to determine of TDP1 activity in clinical samples from patients undergoing chemotherapy.
Client protein recruitment to the Hsp90 system depends on cochaperones that bind the client and Hsp90 simultaneously and facilitate their interaction. Hsp90 involvement in the assembly of snoRNPs, RNA polymerases, PI3-kinase-like kinases, and chromatin remodeling complexes depends on the TTT (Tel2-Tti1-Tti2), and R2TP complexes-consisting of the AAA-ATPases Rvb1 and Rvb2, Tah1 (Spagh/RPAP3 in metazoa), and Pih1 (Pih1D1 in humans)-that together provide the connection to Hsp90. The biochemistry underlying R2TP function is still poorly understood. Pih1 in particular, at the heart of the complex, has not been described at a structural level, nor have the multiple protein-protein interactions it mediates been characterized. Here we present a structural and biochemical analysis of Hsp90-Tah1-Pih1, Hsp90-Spagh, and Pih1D1-Tel2 complexes that reveal a domain in Pih1D1 specific for binding CK2 phosphorylation sites, and together define the structural basis by which the R2TP complex connects the Hsp90 chaperone system to the TTT complex.
The innate immune system is critical in the response to infection by pathogens and it is activated by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) binding to pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). During viral infection, the direct recognition of the viral nucleic acids, such as the genomes of DNA viruses, is very important for activation of innate immunity. Recently, DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a heterotrimeric complex consisting of the Ku70/Ku80 heterodimer and the catalytic subunit DNA-PKcs was identified as a cytoplasmic PRR for DNA that is important for the innate immune response to intracellular DNA and DNA virus infection. Here we show that vaccinia virus (VACV) has evolved to inhibit this function of DNA-PK by expression of a highly conserved protein called C16, which was known to contribute to virulence but by an unknown mechanism. Data presented show that C16 binds directly to the Ku heterodimer and thereby inhibits the innate immune response to DNA in fibroblasts, characterised by the decreased production of cytokines and chemokines. Mechanistically, C16 acts by blocking DNA-PK binding to DNA, which correlates with reduced DNA-PK-dependent DNA sensing. The C-terminal region of C16 is sufficient for binding Ku and this activity is conserved in the variola virus (VARV) orthologue of C16. In contrast, deletion of 5 amino acids in this domain is enough to knockout this function from the attenuated vaccine strain modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). In vivo a VACV mutant lacking C16 induced higher levels of cytokines and chemokines early after infection compared to control viruses, confirming the role of this virulence factor in attenuating the innate immune response. Overall this study describes the inhibition of DNA-PK-dependent DNA sensing by a poxvirus protein, adding to the evidence that DNA-PK is a critical component of innate immunity to DNA viruses.
Bromo-adjacent homology (BAH) domains are commonly found in chromatin-associated proteins and fall into two classes; Remodels the Structure of Chromatin (RSC)-like or Sir3-like. Although Sir3-like BAH domains bind nucleosomes, the binding partners of RSC-like BAH domains are currently unknown. The Rsc2 subunit of the RSC chromatin remodeling complex contains an RSC-like BAH domain and, like the Sir3-like BAH domains, we find Rsc2 BAH also interacts with nucleosomes. However, unlike Sir3-like BAH domains, we find that Rsc2 BAH can bind to recombinant purified H3 in vitro, suggesting that the mechanism of nucleosome binding is not conserved. To gain insight into the Rsc2 BAH domain, we determined its crystal structure at 2.4 Å resolution. We find that it differs substantially from Sir3-like BAH domains and lacks the motifs in these domains known to be critical for making contacts with histones. We then go on to identify a novel motif in Rsc2 BAH that is critical for efficient H3 binding in vitro and show that mutation of this motif results in defective Rsc2 function in vivo. Moreover, we find this interaction is conserved across Rsc2-related proteins. These data uncover a binding target of the Rsc2 family of BAH domains and identify a novel motif that mediates this interaction.
The BRCT-domain protein Rad4(TopBP1) facilitates activation of the DNA damage checkpoint in Schizosaccharomyces pombe by physically coupling the Rad9-Rad1-Hus1 clamp, the Rad3(ATR) -Rad26(ATRIP) kinase complex, and the Crb2(53BP1) mediator. We have now determined crystal structures of the BRCT repeats of Rad4(TopBP1), revealing a distinctive domain architecture, and characterized their phosphorylation-dependent interactions with Rad9 and Crb2(53BP1). We identify a cluster of phosphorylation sites in the N-terminal region of Crb2(53BP1) that mediate interaction with Rad4(TopBP1) and reveal a hierarchical phosphorylation mechanism in which phosphorylation of Crb2(53BP1) residues Thr215 and Thr235 promotes phosphorylation of the noncanonical Thr187 site by scaffolding cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) recruitment. Finally, we show that the simultaneous interaction of a single Rad4(TopBP1) molecule with both Thr187 phosphorylation sites in a Crb2(53BP1) dimer is essential for establishing the DNA damage checkpoint.
Protein kinase clients are recruited to the Hsp90 molecular chaperone system via Cdc37, which simultaneously binds Hsp90 and kinases and regulates the Hsp90 chaperone cycle. Pharmacological inhibition of Hsp90 in vivo results in degradation of kinase clients, with a therapeutic effect in dependent tumors. We show here that Cdc37 directly antagonizes ATP binding to client kinases, suggesting a role for the Hsp90-Cdc37 complex in controlling kinase activity. Unexpectedly, we find that Cdc37 binding to protein kinases is itself antagonized by ATP-competitive kinase inhibitors, including vemurafenib and lapatinib. In cancer cells, these inhibitors deprive oncogenic kinases such as B-Raf and ErbB2 of access to the Hsp90-Cdc37 complex, leading to their degradation. Our results suggest that at least part of the efficacy of ATP-competitive inhibitors of Hsp90-dependent kinases in tumor cells may be due to targeted chaperone deprivation.
A series of resorcylic acid macrolactams, nitrogen analogues of the naturally occurring macrolactone radicicol, have been prepared by chemical synthesis and evaluated as inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), an emerging attractive target for novel cancer therapeutic agents. The synthesis involves, as key steps, ring opening of an isocoumarin intermediate, followed by a ring-closing metathesis reaction to form the macrocycle. Subsequent manipulation of the ester group into a range of amides allows access to a range of new macrolactams following deprotection of the two phenolic groups. These new resorcylic acid lactams exhibit metabolic stability greater than that of related lactone counterparts, while co-crystallization of three macrolactams with the N-terminal domain ATP site of Hsp90 confirms that they bind in a similar way to the natural product radicicol and to our previous synthetic lactone analogues. Interestingly, however, in the case of the N-benzylamide, additional binding to a hydrophobic pocket of the protein was observed. In biological assays, the new macrocyclic lactams exhibit a biological profile equivalent or superior to that of the related lactones and show the established molecular signature of Hsp90 inhibitors in human colon cancer cells.
Much attention is focused on the benzoquinone ansamycins as anticancer agents, with several derivatives of the natural product geldanamycin (GdA) now in clinical trials. These drugs are selective inhibitors of Hsp90, a molecular chaperone vital for many of the activities that drive cancer progression. Mutational changes to their interaction site, the extremely conserved ATP binding site of Hsp90, would mostly be predicted to inactivate the chaperone. As a result, drug resistance should not arise readily this way. Nevertheless, Streptomyces hygroscopicus, the actinomycete that produces GdA, has evolved an Hsp90 family protein (HtpG) that lacks GdA binding. It is altered in certain of the highly conserved amino acids making contacts to this antibiotic in crystal structures of GdA bound to eukaryotic forms of Hsp90. Two of these amino acid changes, located on one side of the nucleotide-binding cleft, weakened GdA/Hsp90 binding and conferred partial GdA resistance when inserted into the endogenous Hsp90 of yeast cells. Crystal structures revealed their main effect to be a weakening of interactions with the C-12 methoxy group of the GdA ansamycin ring. This is the first study to demonstrate that partial GdA resistance is possible by mutation within the ATP binding pocket of Hsp90.
Mammalian polynucleotide kinase 3 phosphatase (PNK) plays a key role in the repair of DNA damage, functioning as part of both the nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) and base excision repair (BER) pathways. Through its two catalytic activities, PNK ensures that DNA termini are compatible with extension and ligation by either removing 3-phosphates from, or by phosphorylating 5-hydroxyl groups on, the ribose sugar of the DNA backbone. We have now determined crystal structures of murine PNK with DNA molecules bound to both of its active sites. The structure of ssDNA engaged with the 3-phosphatase domain suggests a mechanism of substrate interaction that assists DNA end seeking. The structure of dsDNA bound to the 5-kinase domain reveals a mechanism of DNA bending that facilitates recognition of DNA ends in the context of single-strand and double-strand breaks and suggests a close functional cooperation in substrate recognition between the kinase and phosphatase active sites.
An immunodominant peptide (p185(378-394)) derived from the c-erbB2 gene product, was recognized by an anti-DNA antibody, B3, and importantly by two classical DNA-binding proteins, Tgo polymerase and Pa-UDG. These reactivities were inhibited by DNA, confirming that the peptide mimicked DNA. BALB/c mice immunized with p185(378-394) developed significant titers of IgG anti-dsDNA antibodies. Screening of 39 human lupus sera revealed that 5% of these sera possessed reactivity toward p185(378-394). Representative mouse and human sera with anti-p185(378-394) reactivity bound intact p185, and this binding was inhibited by dsDNA. This is the first demonstration of a naturally occurring autoantigen mimotope. The present study identifies a potential antigenic stimulus that might trigger systemic lupus erythematosus in a subset of patients.
The cytosolic chaperonin CCT is a 1-MDa protein-folding machine essential for eukaryotic life. The CCT interactome shows involvement in folding and assembly of a small range of proteins linked to essential cellular processes such as cytoskeleton assembly and cell-cycle regulation. CCT has a classic chaperonin architecture, with two heterogeneous 8-membered rings stacked back-to-back, enclosing a folding cavity. However, the mechanism by which CCT assists folding is distinct from other chaperonins, with no hydrophobic wall lining a potential Anfinsen cage, and a sequential rather than concerted ATP hydrolysis mechanism. We have solved the crystal structure of yeast CCT in complex with actin at 3.8 Å resolution, revealing the subunit organisation and the location of discrete patches of co-evolving signature residues that mediate specific interactions between CCT and its substrates. The intrinsic asymmetry is revealed by the structural individuality of the CCT subunits, which display unique configurations, substrate binding properties, ATP-binding heterogeneity and subunit-subunit interactions. The location of the evolutionarily conserved N-terminus of Cct5 on the outside of the barrel, confirmed by mutational studies, is unique to eukaryotic cytosolic chaperonins.
Cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) play crucial roles in promoting DNA replication and preventing rereplication in eukaryotic cells [1-4]. In budding yeast, CDKs promote DNA replication by phosphorylating two proteins, Sld2 and Sld3, which generates binding sites for pairs of BRCT repeats (breast cancer gene 1 [BRCA1] C terminal repeats) in the Dpb11 protein [5, 6]. The Sld3-Dpb11-Sld2 complex generated by CDK phosphorylation is required for the assembly and activation of the Cdc45-Mcm2-7-GINS (CMG) replicative helicase. In response to DNA replication stress, the interaction between Sld3 and Dpb11 is blocked by the checkpoint kinase Rad53 , which prevents late origin firing [7, 8]. Here we show that the two key CDK sites in Sld3 are conserved in the human Sld3-related protein Treslin/ticrr and are essential for DNA replication. Moreover, phosphorylation of these two sites mediates interaction with the orthologous pair of BRCT repeats in the human Dpb11 ortholog, TopBP1. Finally, we show that DNA replication stress prevents the interaction between Treslin/ticrr and TopBP1 via the Chk1 checkpoint kinase. Our results indicate that Treslin/ticrr is a genuine ortholog of Sld3 and that the Sld3-Dpb11 interaction has remained a critical nexus of S phase regulation through eukaryotic evolution.
Successful structural investigations of protein-protein interactions can be facilitated by studying only the core interacting regions of the constituent proteins. However, attempting the discovery of stable core complexes using informed trial-and-error approaches can prove time and resource intensive.
The multi-subunit DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK), a crucial player in DNA repair by non-homologous end-joining in higher eukaryotes, consists of a catalytic subunit (DNA-PKcs) and the Ku heterodimer. Ku recruits DNA-PKcs to double-strand breaks, where DNA-PK assembles prior to DNA repair. The interaction of DNA-PK with DNA is regulated via autophosphorylation. Recent SAXS data addressed the conformational changes occurring in the purified catalytic subunit upon autophosphorylation. Here, we present the first structural analysis of the effects of autophosphorylation on the trimeric DNA-PK enzyme, performed by electron microscopy and single particle analysis. We observe a considerable degree of heterogeneity in the autophosphorylated material, which we resolved into subpopulations of intact complex, and separate DNA-PKcs and Ku, by using multivariate statistical analysis and multi-reference alignment on a partitioned particle image data set. The proportion of dimeric oligomers was reduced compared to non-phosphorylated complex, and those dimers remaining showed a substantial variation in mutual monomer orientation. Together, our data indicate a substantial remodelling of DNA-PK holo-enzyme upon autophosphorylation, which is crucial to the release of protein factors from a repaired DNA double-strand break.
CHK2 is a checkpoint kinase involved in the ATM-mediated response to double-strand DNA breaks. Its potential as a drug target is still unclear, but inhibitors of CHK2 may increase the efficacy of genotoxic cancer therapies in a p53 mutant background by eliminating one of the checkpoints or DNA repair pathways contributing to cellular resistance. We report here the identification and characterization of a novel CHK2 kinase inhibitor, CCT241533. X-ray crystallography confirmed that CCT241533 bound to CHK2 in the ATP pocket. This compound inhibits CHK2 with an IC(50) of 3 nmol/L and shows minimal cross-reactivity against a panel of kinases at 1 ?mol/L. CCT241533 blocked CHK2 activity in human tumor cell lines in response to DNA damage, as shown by inhibition of CHK2 autophosphorylation at S516, band shift mobility changes, and HDMX degradation. CCT241533 did not potentiate the cytotoxicity of a selection of genotoxic agents in several cell lines. However, this compound significantly potentiates the cytotoxicity of two structurally distinct PARP inhibitors. Clear induction of the pS516 CHK2 signal was seen with a PARP inhibitor alone, and this activation was abolished by CCT241533, implying that the potentiation of PARP inhibitor cell killing by CCT241533 was due to inhibition of CHK2. Consequently, our findings imply that CHK2 inhibitors may exert therapeutic activity in combination with PARP inhibitors.
Cyclin/cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) complexes are critical regulators of cellular proliferation. A complex network of regulatory mechanisms has evolved to control their activity, including activating and inactivating phosphorylation of the catalytic CDK subunit and inhibition through specific regulatory proteins. Primate herpesviruses, including the oncogenic Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus, encode cyclin D homologues. Viral cyclins have diverged from their cellular progenitor in that they elicit holoenzyme activity independent of activating phosphorylation by the CDK-activating kinase and resistant to inhibition by CDK inhibitors. Using sequence comparison and site-directed mutagenesis, we performed molecular analysis of the cellular cyclin D and the Kaposi sarcoma herpesvirus-cyclin to delineate the molecular mechanisms behind their different behavior. This provides evidence that a surface recognized for its involvement in the docking of CIP/KIP inhibitors is required and sufficient to modulate cyclin-CDK response to a range of regulatory cues, including INK4 sensitivity and CDK-activating kinase dependence. Importantly, amino acids in this region are critically linked to substrate selection, suggesting that a mutational drift in this surface simultaneously affects function and regulation. Together our work provides novel insight into the molecular mechanisms governing cyclin-CDK function and regulation and defines the biological forces that may have driven evolution of viral cyclins.
Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is an essential molecular chaperone whose activity is regulated not only by cochaperones but also by distinct posttranslational modifications. We report here that casein kinase 2 phosphorylates a conserved threonine residue (T22) in ? helix-1 of the yeast Hsp90 N-domain both in vitro and in vivo. This ? helix participates in a hydrophobic interaction with the catalytic loop in Hsp90s middle domain, helping to stabilize the chaperones ATPase-competent state. Phosphomimetic mutation of this residue alters Hsp90 ATPase activity and chaperone function and impacts interaction with the cochaperones Aha1 and Cdc37. Overexpression of Aha1 stimulates the ATPase activity, restores cochaperone interactions, and compensates for the functional defects of these Hsp90 mutants.
Ire1 (Ern1) is an unusual transmembrane protein kinase essential for the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) unfolded protein response (UPR). Activation of Ire1 by association of its N-terminal ER luminal domains promotes autophosphorylation by its cytoplasmic kinase domain, leading to activation of the C-terminal ribonuclease domain, which splices Xbp1 mRNA generating an active Xbp1s transcriptional activator. We have determined the crystal structure of the cytoplasmic portion of dephosphorylated human Ire1? bound to ADP, revealing the phosphoryl-transfer competent dimeric face-to-face complex, which precedes and is distinct from the back-to-back RNase active conformation described for yeast Ire1. We show that the Xbp1-specific ribonuclease activity depends on autophosphorylation, and that ATP-competitive inhibitors staurosporin and sunitinib, which inhibit autophosphorylation in vitro, also inhibit Xbp1 splicing in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrate that activated Ire1? is a competent protein kinase, able to phosphorylate a heterologous peptide substrate. These studies identify human Ire1? as a target for development of ATP-competitive inhibitors that will modulate the UPR in human cells, which has particular relevance for myeloma and other secretory malignancies.
Structure-based design was applied to the optimization of a series of 2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenols to generate potent and selective ATP-competitive inhibitors of the DNA damage response signaling enzyme checkpoint kinase 2 (CHK2). Structure-activity relationships for multiple substituent positions were optimized separately and in combination leading to the 2-(quinazolin-2-yl)phenol 46 (IC(50) 3 nM) with good selectivity for CHK2 against CHK1 and a wider panel of kinases and with promising in vitro ADMET properties. Off-target activity at hERG ion channels shown by the core scaffold was successfully reduced by the addition of peripheral polar substitution. In addition to showing mechanistic inhibition of CHK2 in HT29 human colon cancer cells, a concentration dependent radioprotective effect in mouse thymocytes was demonstrated for the potent inhibitor 46 (CCT241533).
TopBP1 is a scaffold protein that coordinates activation of the DNA-damage-checkpoint response by coupling binding of the 9-1-1 checkpoint clamp at sites of ssDNA, to activation of the ATR-ATRIP checkpoint kinase complex. We have now determined the crystal structure of the N-terminal region of human TopBP1, revealing an unexpected triple-BRCT domain structure. The arrangement of the BRCT domains differs significantly from previously described tandem BRCT domain structures, and presents two distinct sites for binding phosphopeptides in the second and third BRCT domains. We show that the site in the second but not third BRCT domain in the N-terminus of TopBP1, provides specific interaction with a phosphorylated motif at pSer387 in Rad9, which can be generated by CK2.
A series of resorcylic acid macrolactones, analogues of the natural product radicicol has been prepared by chemical synthesis, and evaluated as inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90), an emerging attractive target for novel cancer therapeutic agents. The synthesis involves acylation of an ortho-toluic acid dianion, esterification, followed by a ring-closing metathesis to form the macrocycle. Subsequent manipulation of the protected hydroxymethyl side chain allows access to a range of new analogues following deprotection of the two phenolic groups. Co-crystallization of one of the new macrolactones with the N-terminal domain of yeast Hsp90 confirms that it binds in a similar way to the natural product radicicol and to our previous synthetic analogues, but that the introduction of the additional hydroxymethyl substituent appears to result in an unexpected change in conformation of the macrocyclic ring. As a result of this conformational change, the compounds bound less favorably to Hsp90.
Artemis is required for V(D)J recombination and the repair of a subset of radiation-induced DNA double strand breaks (DSBs). Artemis-null patients display radiosensitivity (RS) and severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), classified as RS-SCID. Strongly impacting hypomorphic Artemis mutations confer marked infant immunodeficiency and a predisposition for EBV-associated lymphomas. Here, we provide evidence that a polymorphic Artemis variant (c.512C > G: p.171P > R), which has a world-wide prevalence of 15%, is functionally impacting. The c.512C > G mutation causes an approximately 3-fold decrease in Artemis endonuclease activity in vitro. Cells derived from a patient who expressed a single Artemis allele with the polymorphic mutational change, showed radiosensitivity and a DSB repair defect in G2 phase, with Artemis cDNA expression rescuing both phenotypes. The c.512C > G change has an additive impact on Artemis function when combined with a novel C-terminal truncating mutation (p.436C > X), which also partially inactivates Artemis activity. Collectively, our findings provide strong evidence that monoallelic expression of the c.512C > G variant impairs Artemis function causing significant radiosensitivity and a G2 phase DSB repair defect. The patient exhibiting monoallelic c.512C > G-Artemis expression showed immunodeficiency only in adulthood, developed bilateral carcinoma of the nipple and myelodysplasia raising the possibility that modestly decreased Artemis function can impact clinically.
Saccharomyces WEE1 (Swe1), the only "true" tyrosine kinase in budding yeast, is an Hsp90 client protein. Here we show that Swe1(Wee1) phosphorylates a conserved tyrosine residue (Y24 in yeast Hsp90 and Y38 in human Hsp90alpha) in the N domain of Hsp90. Phosphorylation is cell-cycle associated and modulates the ability of Hsp90 to chaperone a selected clientele, including v-Src and several other kinases. Nonphosphorylatable mutants have normal ATPase activity, support yeast viability, and productively chaperone the Hsp90 client glucocorticoid receptor. Deletion of SWE1 in yeast increases Hsp90 binding to its inhibitor geldanamycin, and pharmacologic inhibition/silencing of Wee1 sensitizes cancer cells to Hsp90 inhibitor-induced apoptosis. These findings demonstrate that Hsp90 chaperoning of distinct client proteins is differentially regulated by specific posttranslational modification of a unique subcellular pool of the chaperone, and they provide a strategy to increase the cellular potency of Hsp90 inhibitors.
The molecular chaperone heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is required for the correct folding and stability of a number of client proteins that are important for the growth and maintenance of cancer cells. Heat shock protein 72 (Hsp72), a co-chaperone of Hsp90, is also emerging as an attractive cancer drug target. Both proteins bind and hydrolyze adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and ATPase activity is essential for their function. Inhibition of Hsp90 ATPase activity leads to the degradation of client proteins, resulting in cell growth inhibition and apoptosis. Several small-molecule inhibitors of the ATPase activity of Hsp90 have been described and are currently being evaluated clinically for the treatment of cancer. A number of methods for the measurement of ATPase activity have been previously used, but not all of these are ideally suited to screening cascades in drug discovery projects. The authors have evaluated the use of commercial reagents (Transcreener ADP) for the measurement of ATPase activity of both yeast and human Hsp90 (ATP K(m) approximately 500 microM) and human Hsp72 (ATP K(m) ~1 microM). The low ATPase activity of human Hsp90 and its stimulation by the co-chaperone Aha1 was measured with ease using reduced incubation times, generating robust data (Z = 0.75). The potency of several small-molecule inhibitors of both Hsp90 and Hsp72 was determined using the Transcreener reagents and compared well to that determined using other assay formats.
Hsp90-mediated function of NLR receptors in plant and animal innate immunity depends on the cochaperone Sgt1 and, at least in plants, on a cysteine- and histidine-rich domains (CHORD)-containing protein Rar1. Functionally, CHORD domains are associated with CS domains, either within the same protein, as in the mammalian melusin and Chp1, or in separate but interacting proteins, as in the plant Rar1 and Sgt1. Both CHORD and CS domains are independently capable of interacting with the molecular chaperone Hsp90 and can coexist in complexes with Hsp90. We have now determined the structure of an Hsp90-CS-CHORD ternary complex, providing a framework for understanding the dynamic nature of Hsp90-Rar1-Sgt1 complexes. Mutational and biochemical analyses define the architecture of the ternary complex that recruits nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) by manipulating the structural elements to control the ATPase-dependent conformational cycle of the chaperone.
The DNA ligase IV-Xrcc4 complex is responsible for the ligation of broken DNA ends in the non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathway of DNA double strand break repair in mammals. Mutations in DNA ligase IV (Lig4) lead to immunodeficiency and radiosensitivity in humans. Only partial structural information for Lig4 and Xrcc4 is available, while the structure of the full-length proteins and their arrangement within the Lig4-Xrcc4 complex is unknown. The C-terminal domain of Xrcc4, whose structure has not been solved, contains phosphorylation sites for DNA-PKcs and is phylogenetically conserved, indicative of a regulatory role in NHEJ. Here, we have purified full length Xrcc4 and the Lig4-Xrcc4 complex, and analysed their structure by single-particle electron microscopy. The three-dimensional structure of Xrcc4 at a resolution of approximately 37A reveals that the C-terminus of Xrcc4 forms a dimeric globular domain connected to the N-terminus by a coiled-coil. The N- and C-terminal domains of Xrcc4 locate at opposite ends of an elongated molecule. The electron microscopy images of the Lig4-Xrcc4 complex were examined by two-dimensional image processing and a double-labelling strategy, identifying the site of the C-terminus of Xrcc4 and the catalytic core of Lig4 within the complex. The catalytic domains of Lig4 were found to be in the vicinity of the N-terminus of Xrcc4. We provide a first sight of the structural organization of the Lig4-Xrcc4 complex, which suggests that the BRCT domains could provide the link of the ligase to Xrcc4 while permitting some movements of the catalytic domains of Lig4. This arrangement may facilitate the ligation of diverse configurations of damaged DNA.
5-(Hetero)aryl-3-(4-carboxamidophenyl)-2-aminopyridine inhibitors of CHK2 were identified from high throughput screening of a kinase-focussed compound library. Rapid exploration of the hits through straightforward chemistry established structure-activity relationships and a proposed ATP-competitive binding mode which was verified by X-ray crystallography of several analogues bound to CHK2. Variation of the 5-(hetero)aryl substituent identified bicyclic dioxolane and dioxane groups which improved the affinity and the selectivity of the compounds for CHK2 versus CHK1. The 3-(4-carboxamidophenyl) substituent could be successfully replaced by acyclic omega-aminoalkylamides, which made additional polar interactions within the binding site and led to more potent inhibitors of CHK2. Compounds from this series showed activity in cell-based mechanistic assays for inhibition of CHK2.
Despite its importance as a target in anti-cancer therapeutics and the numerous rational-based inhibitor design efforts aimed at it, there are only limited data available on structural-thermodynamic relationships of interactions of the N-terminal ATP-binding domain of Hsp90 (N-Hsp90). Here, we redress this by presenting an investigation of binding of nucleotides and ansamycin compounds to this domain. Interactions of nucleotides with N-Hsp90 are relatively weak (>10 microM) and are strongly enthalpy driven over the temperature range 10-25 degrees C. Geldanamycin (GA) and its analogues 17-AAG [17-(allylamino)-17-demethoxy-GA] and 17-DMAG (17-N,N-dimethylaminoethylamino-17-demethoxy-GA) bind more strongly and have a dominant favourable enthalpic contribution over the temperature range investigated. We investigated the temperature dependence of the enthalpic contribution to binding. We found that while the ansamycin compounds have the commonly observed negative value, the nucleotides show a negligible or even a positive DeltaC(p) of binding. These data represent the first observation of a single binding site for which interactions with different ligands result in both negative and positive DeltaC(p) values. By addressing the likely impact of the potential contributions from protein-ligand interactions, we are able to attribute the anomalous DeltaC(p) for the nucleotides largely to a change in the conformation of the domain structure and local motion in the lid region of N-Hsp90 with the concomitant exposure of hydrophobic amino acid side chains.
Rad9, Rad1, and Hus1 form a heterotrimeric complex (9-1-1) that is loaded onto DNA at sites of DNA damage. DNA-loaded 9-1-1 activates signaling through the Chk1 arm of the DNA damage checkpoint response via recruitment and stimulation of ATR. Additionally, 9-1-1 may play a direct role in facilitating DNA damage repair via interaction with a number of DNA repair enzymes. We have now determined the crystal structure of the human 9-1-1 complex, revealing a toroidal structure with a similar architecture to the homotrimeric PCNA DNA-binding clamp. The structure explains the formation of a unique heterotrimeric arrangement and reveals significant differences among the three subunits in the sites implicated in binding to the clamp loader and to ligand proteins. Biochemical analysis reveals a single repair enzyme-binding site on 9-1-1 that can be blocked competitively by the PCNA-binding cell-cycle regulator p21(cip1/waf1).
The breast cancer 2, early onset protein (BRCA2) is central to the repair of DNA damage by homologous recombination. BRCA2 recruits the recombinase RAD51 to sites of damage, regulates its assembly into nucleoprotein filaments and thereby promotes homologous recombination. Localization of BRCA2 to nuclear foci requires its association with the partner and localizer of BRCA2 (PALB2), mutations in which are associated with cancer predisposition, as well as subtype N of Fanconi anaemia. We have determined the structure of the PALB2 carboxy-terminal beta-propeller domain in complex with a BRCA2 peptide. The structure shows the molecular determinants of this important protein-protein interaction and explains the effects of both cancer-associated truncating mutants in PALB2 and missense mutations in the amino-terminal region of BRCA2.
Members of the protein kinase family are amongst the most commonly mutated genes in human cancer, and both mutated and activated protein kinases have proved to be tractable targets for the development of new anticancer therapies The MoKCa database (Mutations of Kinases in Cancer, http://strubiol.icr.ac.uk/extra/mokca) has been developed to structurally and functionally annotate, and where possible predict, the phenotypic consequences of mutations in protein kinases implicated in cancer. Somatic mutation data from tumours and tumour cell lines have been mapped onto the crystal structures of the affected protein domains. Positions of the mutated amino-acids are highlighted on a sequence-based domain pictogram, as well as a 3D-image of the protein structure, and in a molecular graphics package, integrated for interactive viewing. The data associated with each mutation is presented in the Web interface, along with expert annotation of the detailed molecular functional implications of the mutation. Proteins are linked to functional annotation resources and are annotated with structural and functional features such as domains and phosphorylation sites. MoKCa aims to provide assessments available from multiple sources and algorithms for each potential cancer-associated mutation, and present these together in a consistent and coherent fashion to facilitate authoritative annotation by cancer biologists and structural biologists, directly involved in the generation and analysis of new mutational data.
Heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) is a promising cancer drug target, as multiple oncogenic proteins are destabilized simultaneously when it loses its activity in tumor cells. Highly selective Hsp90 inhibitors, including the natural antibiotics geldanamycin (GdA) and radicicol (RAD), inactivate this essential molecular chaperone by occupying its nucleotide binding site. Often cancer drug therapy is compromised by the development of resistance, but a resistance to these Hsp90 inhibitors should not arise readily by mutation of those amino acids within Hsp90 that facilitate inhibitor binding, as these are required for the essential ATP binding/ATPase steps of the chaperone cycle and are tightly conserved. Despite this, the Hsp90 of a RAD-producing fungus is shown to possess an unusually low binding affinity for RAD but not GdA. Within its nucleotide binding site a normally conserved leucine is replaced by isoleucine, though the chaperone ATPase activity is not severely affected. Inserted into the Hsp90 of yeast, this conservative leucine to isoleucine substitution recreated this lowered affinity for RAD in vitro. It also generated a substantially enhanced resistance to RAD in vivo. Co-crystal structures reveal that the change to isoleucine is associated with a localized increase in the hydration of an Hsp90-bound RAD but not GdA. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that it is possible for Hsp90 inhibitor resistance to arise by subtle alteration to the structure of Hsp90 itself.
The conformationally coupled mechanism by which ATP is utilized by yeast Hsp90 is now well characterized. In contrast, ATP utilization by human Hsp90s is less well studied, and appears to operate differently. To resolve these conflicting models, we have conducted a side-by-side biochemical analysis in a series of mutant yeast and human Hsp90s that have been both mechanistically and structurally characterized with regard to the crystal structure of the yeast Hsp90 protein. We show that each monomer of the human Hsp90 dimer is mutually dependent on the other for ATPase activity. Fluorescence studies confirmed that the N-terminal domains of Hsp90beta come into close association with each other. Mutations that directly affect the conformational dynamics of the ATP-lid segment had marked effects, with T31I (yeast T22I) and A116N (yeast A107N) stimulating, and T110I (yeast T101I) inhibiting, human and yeast ATPase activity to similar extents, showing that ATP-dependent lid closure is a key rate-determining step in both systems. Mutation of residues implicated in N-terminal dimerization of yeast Hsp90 (L15R and L18R in yeast, L24R and L27R in humans) significantly reduced the ATPase activity of yeast and human Hsp90s, showing that ATP-dependent association of the N-terminal domains in the Hsp90 dimer is also essential in both systems. Furthermore, cross-linking studies of the hyper-active yeast A107N and human A116N ATP-lid mutants showed enhanced dimerization, suggesting that N-terminal association is a direct consequence of ATP binding and lid closure in both systems.
Rho family GTPases are important cellular switches and control a number of physiological functions. Understanding the molecular basis of interaction of these GTPases with their effectors is crucial in understanding their functions in the cell. Here we present the crystal structure of the complex of Rac2 bound to the split pleckstrin homology (spPH) domain of phospholipase C-gamma(2) (PLCgamma(2)). Based on this structure, we illustrate distinct requirements for PLCgamma(2) activation by Rac and EGF and generate Rac effector mutants that specifically block activation of PLCgamma(2), but not the related PLCbeta(2) isoform. Furthermore, in addition to the complex, we report the crystal structures of free spPH and Rac2 bound to GDP and GTPgammaS. These structures illustrate a mechanism of conformational switches that accompany formation of signaling active complexes and highlight the role of effector binding as a common feature of Rac and Cdc42 interactions with a variety of effectors.
Short-patch repair of DNA single-strand breaks and gaps (SSB) is coordinated by XRCC1, a scaffold protein that recruits the DNA polymerase and DNA ligase required for filling and sealing the damaged strand. XRCC1 can also recruit end-processing enzymes, such as PNK (polynucleotide kinase 3-phosphatase), Aprataxin and APLF (aprataxin/PNK-like factor), which ensure the availability of a free 3-hydroxyl on one side of the gap, and a 5-phosphate group on the other, for the polymerase and ligase reactions respectively. PNK binds to a phosphorylated segment of XRCC1 (between its two C-terminal BRCT domains) via its Forkhead-associated (FHA) domain. We show here, contrary to previous studies, that the FHA domain of PNK binds specifically, and with high affinity to a multiply phosphorylated motif in XRCC1 containing a pSer-pThr dipeptide, and forms a 2:1 PNK:XRCC1 complex. The high-resolution crystal structure of a PNK-FHA-XRCC1 phosphopeptide complex reveals the basis for this unusual bis-phosphopeptide recognition, which is probably a common feature of the known XRCC1-associating end-processing enzymes.
Plasmodium falciparum is the infective agent responsible for malaria tropica. The glycogen synthase kinase-3 of the parasite (PfGSK-3) was suggested as a potential biological target for novel antimalarial drugs. Starting from hit structures identified in a high-throughput screening campaign, 3,6-diamino-4-(2-halophenyl)-2-benzoylthieno[2,3-b]pyridine-5-carbonitriles were discovered as a new class of PfGSK-3 inhibitors. Being less active on GSK-3 homologues of other species, the title compounds showed selectivity in favor of PfGSK-3. Taking into account the X-ray structure of a related molecule in complex with human GSK-3 (HsGSK-3), a model was computed for the comparison of inhibitor complexes with the plasmodial and human enzymes. It was found that subtle differences in the ATP-binding pockets are responsible for the observed PfGSK-3 vs HsGSK-3 selectivity. Representatives of the title compound class exhibited micromolar IC?? values against P. falciparum erythrocyte stage parasites. These results suggest that inhibitors of PfGSK-3 could be developed as potential antimalarial drugs.
DYRKs (dual specificity, tyrosine phosphorylation regulated kinases) and CLKs (cdc2-like kinases) are implicated in the onset and development of Alzheimers disease and Down syndrome. The marine sponge alkaloid leucettamine B was recently identified as an inhibitor of DYRKs/CLKs. Synthesis of analogues (leucettines) led to an optimized product, leucettine L41. Leucettines were cocrystallized with DYRK1A, DYRK2, CLK3, PIM1, and GSK-3?. The selectivity of L41 was studied by activity and interaction assays of recombinant kinases and affinity chromatography and competition affinity assays. These approaches revealed unexpected potential secondary targets such as CK2, SLK, and the lipid kinase PIKfyve/Vac14/Fig4. L41 displayed neuroprotective effects on glutamate-induced HT22 cell death. L41 also reduced amyloid precursor protein-induced cell death in cultured rat brain slices. The unusual multitarget selectivity of leucettines may account for their neuroprotective effects. This family of kinase inhibitors deserves further optimization as potential therapeutics against neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimers disease.
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1) is a primary DNA damage sensor whose (ADP-ribose) polymerase activity is acutely regulated by interaction with DNA breaks. Upon activation at sites of DNA damage, PARP1 modifies itself and other proteins by covalent addition of long, branched polymers of ADP-ribose, which in turn recruit downstream DNA repair and chromatin remodeling factors. PARP1 recognizes DNA damage through its N-terminal DNA-binding domain (DBD), which consists of a tandem repeat of an unusual zinc-finger (ZnF) domain. We have determined the crystal structure of the human PARP1-DBD bound to a DNA break. Along with functional analysis of PARP1 recruitment to sites of DNA damage in vivo, the structure reveals a dimeric assembly whereby ZnF1 and ZnF2 domains from separate PARP1 molecules form a strand-break recognition module that helps activate PARP1 by facilitating its dimerization and consequent trans-automodification.
Structural biology studies typically require large quantities of pure, soluble protein. Currently the most widely-used method for obtaining such protein involves the use of bioinformatics and experimental methods to design constructs of the target, which are cloned and expressed. Recently an alternative approach has emerged, which involves random fragmentation of the gene of interest and screening for well-expressing fragments. Here we describe the application of one such fragmentation method, combinatorial domain hunting (CDH), to a target which historically was difficult to express, human MEK-1. We show how CDH was used to identify a fragment which covers the kinase domain of MEK-1 and which expresses and crystallizes significantly better than designed expression constructs, and we report the crystal structure of this fragment which explains some of its superior properties. Gene fragmentation methods, such as CDH, thus hold great promise for tackling difficult-to-express target proteins.
The DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) and Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase-1 (PARP1) are critical enzymes that reduce genomic damage caused by DNA lesions. They are both activated by DNA strand breaks generated by physiological and environmental factors, and they have been shown to interact. Here, we report in vivo evidence that DNA-PK and PARP1 are equally necessary for rapid repair. We purified a DNA-PK/PARP1 complex loaded on DNA and performed electron microscopy and single particle analysis on its tetrameric and dimer-of-tetramers forms. By comparison with the DNA-PK holoenzyme and fitting crystallographic structures, we see that the PARP1 density is in close contact with the Ku subunit. Crucially, PARP1 binding elicits substantial conformational changes in the DNA-PK synaptic dimer assembly. Taken together, our data support a functional, in-pathway role for DNA-PK and PARP1 in double-strand break (DSB) repair. We also propose a NHEJ model where protein-protein interactions alter substantially the architecture of DNA-PK dimers at DSBs, to trigger subsequent interactions or enzymatic reactions.
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