The self-association of prion protein (PrP) is a critical step in the pathology of prion diseases. It is increasingly recognized that small non-fibrillar ?-sheet-rich oligomers of PrP may be of crucial importance in the prion disease process. Here, we characterize the structure of a well defined ?-sheet-rich oligomer, containing ?12 PrP molecules, and often enclosing a central cavity, formed using full-length recombinant PrP. The N-terminal region of prion protein (residues 23-90) is required for the formation of this distinct oligomer; a truncated form comprising residues 91-231 forms a broad distribution of aggregated species. No infectivity or toxicity was found using cell and animal model systems. This study demonstrates that examination of the full repertoire of conformers and assembly states that can be accessed by PrP under specific experimental conditions should ideally be done using the full-length protein.
Prion propagation involves a conformational transition of the cellular form of prion protein (PrPC) to a disease-specific isomer (PrPSc), shifting from a predominantly alpha-helical conformation to one dominated by beta-sheet structure. This conformational transition is of critical importance in understanding the molecular basis for prion disease. Here, we elucidate the conformational properties of a disulfide-reduced fragment of human PrP spanning residues 91-231 under acidic conditions, using a combination of heteronuclear NMR, analytical ultracentrifugation, and circular dichroism. We find that this form of the protein, which similarly to PrPSc, is a potent inhibitor of the 26 S proteasome, assembles into soluble oligomers that have significant beta-sheet content. The monomeric precursor to these oligomers exhibits many of the characteristics of a molten globule intermediate with some helical character in regions that form helices I and III in the PrPC conformation, whereas helix II exhibits little evidence for adopting a helical conformation, suggesting that this region is a likely source of interaction within the initial phases of the transformation to a beta-rich conformation. This precursor state is almost as compact as the folded PrPC structure and, as it assembles, only residues 126-227 are immobilized within the oligomeric structure, leaving the remainder in a mobile, random-coil state.
A series of 4-azaindole inhibitors of c-Met kinase is described. The postulated binding mode was confirmed by an X-ray crystal structure and series optimisation was performed on the basis of this structure. Future directions for series development are discussed.
A series of quinoxaline inhibitors of c-Met kinase is described. The postulated binding mode was confirmed by an X-ray crystal structure and optimisation of the series was performed on the basis of this structure. Future directions for development of the series are discussed together with the identification of a novel quinoline scaffold.
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