Depression has become one of the biggest health problems globally, but in certain places more than in others, suggesting cultural as well as biological causes. Neuroscientists are only beginning to understand underlying processes and to develop effective treatments for those cases where conventional psychotherapy and drugs fail.
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL) commonly occur during jump landing and cutting tasks. Attempts to land softly and land with greater knee flexion are associated with decreased ACL loading. However, their effects on performance are unclear.
Human sexual instincts can become fixated on a wide variety of targets, resulting in behaviours ranging from harmless fetishism to child abuse. The recent flood of investigations into historic cases in the UK has brought child protection issues to the top of the news agenda and shown that society is still far from addressing these problems in a rational, evidence-based way maximising harm reduction.
The translocation (T) domain of diphtheria toxin plays a critical role in moving the catalytic domain across the endosomal membrane. Translocation/insertion is triggered by a decrease in pH in the endosome where conformational changes of T domain occur through several kinetic intermediates to yield a final trans-membrane form. High-resolution structural studies are only applicable to the static T-domain structure at physiological pH, and studies of the T-domain translocation pathway are hindered by the simultaneous presence of multiple conformations. Here, we report the application of hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) for the study of the pH-dependent conformational changes of the T domain in solution. Effects of pH on intrinsic HDX rates were deconvolved by converting the on-exchange times at low pH into times under our "standard condition" (pH 7.5). pH-Dependent HDX kinetic analysis of T domain clearly reveals the conformational transition from the native state (W-state) to a membrane-competent state (W(+)-state). The initial transition occurs at pH 6 and includes the destabilization of N-terminal helices accompanied by the separation between N- and C-terminal segments. The structural rearrangements accompanying the formation of the membrane-competent state expose a hydrophobic hairpin (TH8-9) to solvent, prepare it to insert into the membrane. At pH 5.5, the transition is complete, and the protein further unfolds, resulting in the exposure of its C-terminal hydrophobic TH8-9, leading to subsequent aggregation in the absence of membranes. This solution-based study complements high resolution crystal structures and provides a detailed understanding of the pH-dependent structural rearrangement and acid-induced oligomerization of T domain.
A lack of X-ray or nuclear magnetic resonance structures of proteins inhibits their further study and characterization, motivating the development of new ways of analyzing structural information without crystal structures. The combination of hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry (HDX-MS) data in conjunction with homology modeling can provide improved structure and mechanistic predictions. Here a unique diheme cytochrome c (DHCC) protein from Heliobacterium modesticaldum is studied with both HDX and homology modeling to bring some definition of the structure of the protein and its role. Specifically, HDX data were used to guide the homology modeling to yield a more functionally relevant structural model of DHCC.
The use of bacteriophages to combat bacterial infections may help to address the current crisis of antibiotic resistance. Fundamental issues arising from the ecological dynamic of host, bacterium and phage can be investigated in trees, offering both a natural approach to treating plant disease, and a chance to avoid creating a new resistance problem. Michael Gross reports.
The orange carotenoid protein (OCP), a member of the family of blue light photoactive proteins, is required for efficient photoprotection in many cyanobacteria. Photoexcitation of the carotenoid in the OCP results in structural changes within the chromophore and the protein to give an active red form of OCP that is required for phycobilisome binding and consequent fluorescence quenching. We characterized the light-dependent structural changes by mass spectrometry-based carboxyl footprinting and found that an ? helix in the N-terminal extension of OCP plays a key role in this photoactivation process. Although this helix is located on and associates with the outside of the ?-sheet core in the C-terminal domain of OCP in the dark, photoinduced changes in the domain structure disrupt this interaction. We propose that this mechanism couples light-dependent carotenoid conformational changes to global protein conformational dynamics in favor of functional phycobilisome binding, and is an essential part of the OCP photocycle.
Stress responses that evolved for occasional dangerous situations can make us ill when they become chronic. But why do we perceive our relatively safe lives as stressful and what can we do to avoid the associated dangers?
Epitope mapping is an important tool for the development of monoclonal antibodies, mAbs, as therapeutic drugs. Recently, a class of therapeutic mAb alternatives, adnectins, has been developed as targeted biologics. They are derived from the 10th type III domain of human fibronectin ((10)Fn3). A common approach to map the epitope binding of these therapeutic proteins to their binding partners is X-ray crystallography. Although the crystal structure is known for Adnectin 1 binding to human epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), we seek to determine complementary binding in solution and to test the efficacy of footprinting for this purpose. As a relatively new tool in structural biology and complementary to X-ray crystallography, protein footprinting coupled with mass spectrometry is promising for protein-protein interaction studies. We report here the use of fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) coupled with MS to map the epitope of EGFR-Adnectin 1 at both the peptide and amino-acid residue levels. The data correlate well with the previously determined epitopes from the crystal structure and are consistent with HDX MS data, which are presented in an accompanying paper. The FPOP-determined binding interface involves various amino-acid and peptide regions near the N terminus of EGFR. The outcome adds credibility to oxidative labeling by FPOP for epitope mapping and motivates more applications in the therapeutic protein area as a stand-alone method or in conjunction with X-ray crystallography, NMR, site-directed mutagenesis, and other orthogonal methods.
To infect a cell, the Paramyxoviridae family of enveloped viruses relies on the coordinated action of a receptor-binding protein (variably HN, H, or G) and a more conserved metastable fusion protein (F) to effect membrane fusion and allow genomic transfer. Upon receptor binding, HN (H or G) triggers F to undergo an extensive refolding event to form a stable postfusion state. Little is known about the intermediate states of the F refolding process. Here, a soluble form of parainfluenza virus 5 F was triggered to refold using temperature and was footprinted along the refolding pathway using fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP). Localization of the oxidative label to solvent-exposed side chains was determined by high-resolution MS/MS. Globally, metastable prefusion F is oxidized more extensively than postfusion F, indicating that the prefusion state is more exposed to solvent and is more flexible. Among the first peptides to be oxidatively labeled after temperature-induced triggering is the hydrophobic fusion peptide. A comparison of peptide oxidation levels with the values of solvent-accessible surface area calculated from molecular dynamics simulations of available structural data reveals regions of the F protein that lie at the heart of its prefusion metastability. The strong correlation between the regions of F that experience greater-than-expected oxidative labeling and epitopes for neutralizing antibodies suggests that FPOP has a role in guiding the development of targeted therapeutics. Analysis of the residue levels of labeled F intermediates provides detailed insights into the mechanics of this critical refolding event.
As a rapidly growing global consumer base appreciates the pleasures of coffee and chocolate and health warnings are being replaced by more encouraging sounds from medical experts, their supply is under threat from climate change, pests and financial problems. Coffee farmers in Central America, in particular, are highly vulnerable to the impact of climate change, made worse by financial insecurity. Michael Gross reports.
The political fallout of the referendum against 'mass migration' in Switzerland could damage the country's reputation as a hub for international scientific collaboration. Worse still, by encouraging anti-immigration parties across Europe ahead of the European elections, it could ring in a new era of barriers to the exchange of people, skills and experience. Michael Gross reports.
The Sec pathway mediates translocation of protein across the inner membrane of bacteria. SecA is a motor protein that drives translocation of preprotein through the SecYEG channel. SecA reversibly dimerizes under physiological conditions, but different dimer interfaces have been observed in SecA crystal structures. Here, we have used biophysical approaches to address the nature of the SecA dimer that exists in solution. We have taken advantage of the extreme salt sensitivity of SecA dimerization to compare the rates of hydrogen-deuterium exchange of the monomer and dimer and have analyzed the effects of single-alanine substitutions on dimerization affinity. Our results support the antiparallel dimer arrangement observed in one of the crystal structures of Bacillus subtilis SecA. Additional residues lying within the preprotein binding domain and the C-terminus are also protected from exchange upon dimerization, indicating linkage to a conformational transition of the preprotein binding domain from an open to a closed state. In agreement with this interpretation, normal mode analysis demonstrates that the SecA dimer interface influences the global dynamics of SecA such that dimerization stabilizes the closed conformation.
With rising sea levels and environmental problems caused by population and economic pressures colliding at the world's coastlines, there are huge risks to people and the environment, but also opportunities to restore natural defences and help both. Michael Gross reports.
PsbQ is a luminal extrinsic protein component that regulates the water splitting activity of photosystem II (PSII) in plants, algae, and cyanobacteria. However, PsbQ is not observed in the currently available crystal structures of PSII from thermophilic cyanobacteria. The structural location of PsbQ within the PSII complex has therefore remained unknown. Here, we report chemical cross-linking followed by immunodetection and liquid chromatography/tandem MS analysis of a dimeric PSII complex isolated from the model cyanobacterium, Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803, to determine the binding site of PsbQ within PSII. Our results demonstrate that PsbQ is closely associated with the PsbO and CP47 proteins, as revealed by cross-links detected between (120)K of PsbQ and (180)K and (59)K of PsbO, and between (102)K of PsbQ and (440)D of CP47. We further show that genetic deletion of the psbO gene results in the complete absence of PsbQ in PSII complexes as well as the loss of the dimeric form of PSII. Overall, our data provide a molecular-level description of the enigmatic binding site of PsbQ in PSII in a cyanobacterium. These results also help us understand the sequential incorporation of the PsbQ protein during the PSII assembly process, as well as its stabilizing effect on the oxygen evolution activity of PSII.
Some capsid proteins built on the ubiquitous HK97-fold have accessory domains imparting specific functions. Bacteriophage P22 coat protein has a unique insertion domain (I-domain). Two prior I-domain models from subnanometer cryoelectron microscopy (cryoEM) reconstructions differed substantially. Therefore, the I-domain's nuclear magnetic resonance structure was determined and also used to improve cryoEM models of coat protein. The I-domain has an antiparallel six-stranded ?-barrel fold, not previously observed in HK97-fold accessory domains. The D-loop, which is dynamic in the isolated I-domain and intact monomeric coat protein, forms stabilizing salt bridges between adjacent capsomers in procapsids. The S-loop is important for capsid size determination, likely through intrasubunit interactions. Ten of 18 coat protein temperature-sensitive-folding substitutions are in the I-domain, indicating its importance in folding and stability. Several are found on a positively charged face of the ?-barrel that anchors the I-domain to a negatively charged surface of the coat protein HK97-core.
A method for structural elucidation of biomolecules dating to the 1980s utilized high-energy collisions (~10 keV, laboratory frame) that induced charge-remote fragmentations (CRF), a class of fragmentations particularly informative for lipids, steroids, surfactants, and peptides. Unfortunately, the capability for high-energy activation has largely disappeared with the demise of magnetic sector instruments. With the latest designs of tandem time-of-flight mass spectrometers (TOF/TOF), however, this capability is now being restored to coincide with the renewed interest in metabolites and lipids, including steroid-sulfates and other steroid metabolites. For these metabolites, structure determinations are required at concentration levels below that appropriate for NMR. To meet this need, we explored CRF with TOF/TOF mass spectrometry for two groups of steroid sulfates, 3-sulfates and 21-sulfates. We demonstrated that the current generation of MALDI TOF/TOF instruments can generate charge-remote fragmentations for these materials. The resulting collision-induced dissociation (CID) spectra are useful for positional isomer differentiation and very often allow the complete structure determination of the steroid. We also propose a new nomenclature that directly indicates the cleavage sites on the steroid ring with carbon numbers.
Steroid conjugates, which often occur as metabolites, are challenging to characterize. One application is female-mouse urine, where steroid conjugates serve as important ligands for the pheromone-sensing neurons. Although the two with the highest abundance in mouse urine were previously characterized with mass spectrometry (MS) and NMR to be sulfated steroids, many more exist but remain structurally unresolved. Given that their physical and chemical properties are similar, they are likely to have a sulfated steroid ring structure. Because these compounds occur in trace amounts in mouse urine and elsewhere, their characterization by NMR will be difficult. Thus, MS methods become the primary approach for determining structure. Here, we show that a combination of MS tools is effective for determining the structures of sulfated steroids. Using 4-pregnene analogs, we explored high-resolving power MS (HR-MS) to determine chemical formulae; HD exchange MS (HDX-MS) to determine number of active, exchangeable hydrogens (e.g., OH groups); methoxyamine hydrochloride (MOX) derivatization MS, or reactive desorption electrospray ionization with hydroxylamine to determine the number of carbonyl groups; and tandem MS (MS(n)), high-resolution tandem MS (HRMS/MS), and GC-MS to obtain structural details of the steroid ring. From the fragmentation studies, we deduced three major fragmentation rules for this class of sulfated steroids. We also show that a combined MS approach is effective for determining structure of steroid metabolites, with important implications for targeted metabolomics in general and for the study of mouse social communication in particular.
ESI-protonated 1,5-bis-(2-methoxyphenyl)-1,4-pentadien-3-one (1) undergoes a gas-phase Nazarov cyclization and dissociates via expulsions of ketene and anisole. The dissociations of the [M + D](+) ions are accompanied by limited HD scrambling that supports the proposed cyclization. Solution cyclization of 1 was effected to yield the cyclic ketone, 2,3-bis-(2-methoxyphenyl)-cyclopent-2-ene-1-one, (2) on a time scale that is significantly shorter than the time for cyclization of dibenzalacetone. The dissociation characteristics of the ESI-generated [M + H](+) ion of the synthetic cyclic ketone closely resemble those of 1, suggesting that gas-phase and solution cyclization products are the same. Additional mechanistic studies by density functional theory (DFT) methods of the gas-phase reaction reveals that the initial cyclization is followed by two sequential 1,2-aryl migrations that account for the observed structure of the cyclic product in the gas phase and solution. Furthermore, the DFT calculations show that the methoxy group serves as a catalyst for the proton migrations necessary for both cyclization and fragmentation after aryl migration. An isomer formed by moving the 2-methoxy to the 4-position requires relatively higher collision energy for the elimination of anisole, as is consistent with DFT calculations. Replacement of the 2-methoxy group with an OH shows that the cyclization followed by aryl migration and elimination of phenol occurs from the [M + H](+) ion at low energy similar to that for 1.
The orange carotenoid protein (OCP) plays a photoprotective role in cyanobacterial photosynthesis similar to that of nonphotochemical quenching in higher plants. Under high-light conditions, the OCP binds to the phycobilisome (PBS) and reduces the extent of transfer of energy to the photosystems. The protective cycle starts from a light-induced activation of the OCP. Detailed information about the molecular mechanism of this process as well as the subsequent recruitment of the active OCP to the phycobilisome are not known. We report here our investigation on the OCP photoactivation from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 by using a combination of native electrospray mass spectrometry (MS) and protein cross-linking. We demonstrate that native MS can capture the OCP with its intact pigment and further reveal that the OCP undergoes a dimer-to-monomer transition upon light illumination. The reversion of the activated form of the OCP to the inactive, dark form was also observed by using native MS. Furthermore, in vitro reconstitution of the OCP and PBS allowed us to perform protein chemical cross-linking experiments. Liquid chromatography-MS/MS analysis identified cross-linking species between the OCP and the PBS core components. Our result indicates that the N-terminal domain of the OCP is closely involved in the association with a site formed by two allophycocyanin trimers in the basal cylinders of the phycobilisome core. This report improves our understanding of the activation mechanism of the OCP and the structural binding site of the OCP during the cyanobacterial nonphotochemical quenching process.
The importance of protein and protein-complex structure motivates improvements in speed and sensitivity of structure determination in the gas phase and comparison with that in solution or solid state. An opportunity for the gas phase measurement is mass spectrometry (MS) combined with native electrospray ionization (ESI), which delivers large proteins and protein complexes in their near-native states to the gas phase. In this communication, we describe the combination of native ESI, electron-capture dissociation (ECD), and top-down MS for exploring the structures of ubiquitin and cytochrome c in the gas phase and their relation to those in the solid-state and solution. We probe structure by comparing the proteins flexible regions, as predicted by the B-factor in X-ray crystallography, with the ECD fragments. The underlying hypothesis is that maintenance of structure gives fragments that can be predicted from B-factors. This strategy may be applicable in general when X-ray structures are available and extendable to the study of intrinsically disordered proteins.
In photosynthetic organisms, photons are captured by light-harvesting antenna complexes, and energy is transferred to reaction centers where photochemical reactions take place. We describe here the isolation and characterization of a fully functional megacomplex composed of a phycobilisome antenna complex and photosystems I and II from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis PCC 6803. A combination of in vivo protein cross-linking, mass spectrometry, and time-resolved spectroscopy indicates that the megacomplex is organized to facilitate energy transfer but not intercomplex electron transfer, which requires diffusible intermediates and the cytochrome b6f complex. The organization provides a basis for understanding how phycobilisomes transfer excitation energy to reaction centers and how the energy balance of two photosystems is achieved, allowing the organism to adapt to varying ecophysiological conditions.
Monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) are powerful therapeutics, and their characterization has drawn considerable attention and urgency. Unlike small-molecule drugs (150-600Da) that have rigid structures, mAbs (?150kDa) are engineered proteins that undergo complicated folding and can exist in a number of low-energy structures, posing a challenge for traditional methods in structural biology. Mass spectrometry (MS)-based biophysical characterization approaches can provide structural information, bringing high sensitivity, fast turnaround, and small sample consumption. This review outlines various MS-based strategies for protein biophysical characterization and then reviews how these strategies provide structural information of mAbs at the protein level (intact or top-down approaches), peptide, and residue level (bottom-up approaches), affording information on higher order structure, aggregation, and the nature of antibody complexes.
Coral reefs are widely recognised as vital yet highly vulnerable ecosystems.Recent studies have demonstrated the possibility of recovery after disturbance,but also the continuing threats and decline. Michael Gross reports.
Nanodiscs are a promising system for studying gas-phase and solution complexes of membrane proteins and lipids. We previously demonstrated that native electrospray ionization allows mass spectral analysis of intact Nanodisc complexes at single lipid resolution. This report details an improved theoretical framework for interpreting and deconvoluting native mass spectra of Nanodisc lipoprotein complexes. In addition to the intrinsic lipid count and charge distributions, Nanodisc mass spectra are significantly shaped by constructive overlap of adjacent charge states at integer multiples of the lipid mass. We describe the mathematical basis for this effect and develop a probability-based algorithm to deconvolute the underlying mass and charge distributions. The probability-based deconvolution algorithm is applied to a series of dimyristoylphosphatidylcholine Nanodisc native mass spectra and used to provide a quantitative picture of the lipid loss in gas-phase fragmentation.
Study Design Observational. Objectives To compare lower extremity negative joint work and vertical ground reaction force loading rates in rearfoot-striking (RS) and Chi runners. Background Alternative running styles such as Chi running have become a popular alternative to RS running. Proponents assert that this running style reduces knee joint loading and ground reaction force loading rates. Methods Twenty-two RS and 12 Chi runners ran for 5 minutes at a self-selected speed on an instrumented treadmill. A 3-D motion analysis system was used to obtain kinematic data. Average vertical ground reaction force loading rate and negative work of the ankle dorsiflexors, ankle plantar flexors, and knee extensors were computed during the stance phase. Groups were compared using a 1-way analysis of covariance for each variable, with running speed and age as covariates. Results On average, RS runners demonstrated greater knee extensor negative work (RS, -0.332 J/body height × body weight [BH·BW]; Chi, -0.144 J/BH·BW; P<.001), whereas Chi runners demonstrated more ankle plantar flexor negative work (Chi, -0.467 J/BH·BW; RS, -0.315 J/BH·BW; P<.001). RS runners demonstrated greater average vertical ground reaction force loading rates than Chi runners (RS, 68.6 BW/s; Chi, 43.1 BW/s; P<.001). Conclusion Chi running may reduce vertical loading rates and knee extensor work, but may increase work of the ankle plantar flexors. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2013;43(10):685-692. Epub 9 September 2013. doi:10.2519/jospt.2013.4542.
This article examines the views of experts from a range of disciplines and how they view symptoms given to them by claimants in matters of personal injury or medical negligence assessments. The survey was carried out in 2009 and looks at current practice and attitudes from a number of different disciplines. The survey included questions looking at what percentage of cases were thought to be genuine, symptoms most likely to be elaborated, methods for assessing symptom validity, and documentary evidence required for a report. This article highlights the importance of looking at symptom validation in the legal process.
Probing the conformational changes of amyloid beta (A?) peptide aggregation is challenging owing to the vast heterogeneity of the resulting soluble aggregates. To investigate the formation of these aggregates in solution, we designed an MS-based biophysical approach and applied it to the formation of soluble aggregates of the A?42 peptide, the proposed causative agent in Alzheimers disease. The approach incorporates pulsed hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled with MS analysis. The combined approach provides evidence for a self-catalyzed aggregation with a lag phase, as observed previously by fluorescence methods. Unlike those approaches, pulsed hydrogen-deuterium exchange does not require modified A?42 (e.g., labeling with a fluorophore). Furthermore, the approach reveals that the center region of A?42 is first to aggregate, followed by the C and N termini. We also found that the lag phase in the aggregation of soluble species is affected by temperature and Cu(2+) ions. This MS approach has sufficient structural resolution to allow interrogation of A? aggregation in physiologically relevant environments. This platform should be generally useful for investigating the aggregation of other amyloid-forming proteins and neurotoxic soluble peptide aggregates.
Functional iron deficiency (FID) is an independent risk factor for poor outcome in advanced heart failure with reduced EF, but its role in heart failure with preserved EF (HFPEF) remains unclear. We aimed to investigate the impact of FID on cardiac performance determined by pressure-volume loop analysis in HFPEF.
The essential base excision repair protein, apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease 1 (APE1), plays an important role in redox regulation in cells and is currently targeted for the development of cancer therapeutics. One compound that binds APE1 directly is (E)-3-[2-(5,6-dimethoxy-3-methyl-1,4-benzoquinonyl)]-2-nonylpropenoic acid (E3330). Here, we revisit the mechanism by which this negatively charged compound interacts with APE1 and inhibits its redox activity. At high concentrations (millimolar), E3330 interacts with two regions in the endonuclease active site of APE1, as mapped by hydrogen-deuterium exchange mass spectrometry. However, this interaction lowers the melting temperature of APE1, which is consistent with a loss of structure in APE1, as measured by both differential scanning fluorimetry and circular dichroism. These results are consistent with other findings that E3330 concentrations of >100 ?M are required to inhibit APE1s endonuclease activity. To determine the role of E3330s negatively charged carboxylate in redox inhibition, we converted the carboxylate to an amide by synthesizing (E)-2-[(4,5-dimethoxy-2-methyl-3,6-dioxocyclohexa-1,4-dien-1-yl)methylene]-N-methoxy-undecanamide (E3330-amide), a novel uncharged derivative. E3330-amide has no effect on the melting temperature of APE1, suggesting that it does not interact with the fully folded protein. However, E3330-amide inhibits APE1s redox activity in in vitro electrophoretic mobility shift redox and cell-based transactivation assays, producing IC(50) values (8.5 and 7 ?M) lower than those produced with E3330 (20 and 55 ?M, respectively). Thus, E3330s negatively charged carboxylate is not required for redox inhibition. Collectively, our results provide additional support for a mechanism of redox inhibition involving interaction of E3330 or E3330-amide with partially unfolded APE1.
The PSII repair cycle is required for sustainable photosynthesis in oxygenic photosynthetic organisms. In cyanobacteria and higher plants, proteolysis of the precursor D1 protein (pD1) to expose a C-terminal carboxylate group is an essential step leading to coordination of the Mn4CaO5 cluster, the site of water oxidation. Psb27 appears to associate with both pD1- and D1-containing PSII assembly intermediates by closely interacting with CP43. Here, we report that reduced binding affinity between CP43 and Psb27 is triggered by the removal of the C-terminal extension of the pD1 protein. A mass spectrometry-based footprinting strategy was adopted to probe solvent-exposed aspartic and glutamic acid residues on the CP43 protein. By comparing the extent of footprinting between HT3?ctpA?27PSII and HT3?ctpAPSII, two genetically modified PSII assembly complexes, we found that Psb27 binds to CP43 on the side of Loop E distal to the pseudo-symmetrical D1-D2 axis. By comparing a second pair of PSII assembly complexes, we discovered that Loop E of CP43 undergoes a significant conformational rearrangement due to the removal of the pD1 C-terminal extension, altering the Psb27-CP43 binding interface. The significance of this conformational rearrangement is discussed in the context of recruitment of the PSII lumenal extrinsic proteins and Mn4CaO5 cluster assembly. In addition to CP43s previously known function as one of the core PSII antenna proteins, this work demonstrates that Loop E of CP43 plays an important role in the functional assembly of the Water Oxidizing Center (WOC) during PSII biogenesis.
Mass spectrometry-based protein footprinting reveals regional and even amino-acid structural changes and fills the gap for many proteins and protein interactions that cannot be studied by X-ray crystallography or NMR spectroscopy. Hydroxyl radical-mediated labeling has proven to be particularly informative in this pursuit because many solvent-accessible residues can be labeled by OH in a protein or protein complex, thus providing more coverage than does specific amino-acid modifications. Finding all the OH-labeling sites requires LC/MS/MS analysis of a proteolyzed sample, but data processing is daunting without the help of automated software. We describe here a systematic means for achieving a comprehensive residue-resolved analysis of footprinting data in an efficient manner, utilizing software common to proteomics core laboratories. To demonstrate the method and the utility of OH-mediated labeling, we show that FPOP easily distinguishes the buried and exposed residues of barstar in its folded and unfolded states. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Mass spectrometry in structural biology.
Differential hydrogen/deuterium exchange (H/DX) coupled with mass spectrometry (H/DX-MS) offers a rapid and sensitive characterization of changes in proteins following perturbations induced by changes in folding, ligand binding, oligomerization, and modification. The characterization of H/DX rates by software tools and automated data processing often relies on the centroid mass calculation and, thereby, the deuterium distribution in the mass spectra is neglected. Here we present an example demonstrating the clear limitation of using only a centroid approach to characterize the H/DX rate, in which the change in protein is not reflected as the difference in deuterium uptake based on centroid calculation.
Atherosclerotic renal artery stenosis (ARAS) is a predictor of increased morbidity and mortality. However, whether ARAS itself accelerates the arteriosclerotic process or whether ARAS is solely the consequence of atherosclerosis is unclear. We imaged renal arteries of 1561 hypertensive patients undergoing coronary angiography and followed this cohort for 9 years (range, 2.4-15.1 years; median, 31.2 months, interquartile range, 13.4/52.9 months). All patients received aspirin, renin-angiotensin system blockade, statins, and beta blockade as indicated. One hundred seventy-one patients had ARAS >50% diameter stenosis and 126 patients an arteriosclerotic plaque (ARAP) without significant stenosis. Blood pressures were not different in ARAS, ARAP, and non-ARAS patients. After adjustment for cardiovascular risk factors by propensity scores and matched pair analysis, ARAS patients had a lower ejection fraction and more coronary artery disease (CAD) than non-ARAS patients. The same was true for brain natriuretic peptide values, troponin I, and highly sensitive C-reative protein. Over 9 years, more ARAS patients died of any cause (34% vs 23%; P < .05). The prevalence of CAD in ARAP patients was higher than in non-ARAS patients and lower than in ARAS patients. The mortality of the ARAP patients at 9 years was 37%, not different from the ARAS patients. Atherosclerotic renal artery disease appears to be a marker for the severity of atherosclerosis rather than a causative factor for atherosclerosis progression.
As therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) become a major focus in biotechnology and a source of the next-generation drugs, new analytical methods or combination methods are needed for monitoring changes in higher order structure and effects of post-translational modifications. The complexity of these molecules and their vulnerability to structural change provide a serious challenge. We describe here the use of complementary mass spectrometry methods that not only characterize mutant mAbs but also may provide a general framework for characterizing higher order structure of other protein therapeutics and biosimilars. To frame the challenge, we selected members of the IgG2 subclass that have distinct disulfide isomeric structures as a model to evaluate an overall approach that uses ion mobility, top-down MS sequencing, and protein footprinting in the form of fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP). These three methods are rapid, sensitive, respond to subtle changes in conformation of Cys???Ser mutants of an IgG2, each representing a single disulfide isoform, and may be used in series to probe higher order structure. The outcome suggests that this approach of using various methods in combination can assist the development and quality control of protein therapeutics.
Our closest hominid relatives may have died out 30,000 years before the arrival of the computer, but thanks to modern genomics and scanning technology, they are now very present in the 21st century and can even help us understand our own species.
In green-sulfur bacterial photosynthesis, excitation energy absorbed by a peripheral antenna structure known as the chlorosome is sequentially transferred through a baseplate protein to the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) antenna protein and into the reaction center, which is embedded in the cytoplasmic membrane. The molecular details of the optimized photosystem architecture required for efficient energy transfer are only partially understood. We address here the question of how the baseplate interacts with the FMO protein by applying hydrogen/deuterium exchange coupled with enzymatic digestion and mass spectrometry analysis to reveal the binding interface of the FMO antenna protein and the CsmA baseplate protein. Several regions on the FMO protein, represented by peptides consisting of 123-129, 140-149, 150-162, 191-208, and 224-232, show significant decreases of deuterium uptake after CsmA binding. The results indicate that the CsmA protein interacts with the Bchl a #1 side of the FMO protein. A global picture including peptide-level details for the architecture of the photosystem from green-sulfur bacteria can now be drawn.
Optogenetics - a new methodology that involves expression of light-responsive proteins in specific groups of neurons, which can then be activated with light - has only been around for six years, but some researchers are already using it to target big psychiatric questions. Michael Gross reports.
Photosystem II (PSII), a large multisubunit pigment-protein complex localized in the thylakoid membrane of cyanobacteria and chloroplasts, mediates light-driven evolution of oxygen from water. Recently, a high-resolution X-ray structure of the mature PSII complex has become available. Two PSII polypeptides, D1 and CP43, provide many of the ligands to an inorganic Mn(4)Ca center that is essential for water oxidation. Because of its unusual redox chemistry, PSII often undergoes degradation followed by stepwise assembly. Psb27, a small luminal polypeptide, functions as an important accessory factor in this elaborate assembly pathway. However, the structural location of Psb27 within PSII assembly intermediates has remained elusive. Here we report that Psb27 binds to CP43 in such assembly intermediates. We treated purified genetically tagged PSII assembly intermediate complexes from the cyanobacterium Synechocystis 6803 with chemical cross-linkers to examine intermolecular interactions between Psb27 and various PSII proteins. First, the water-soluble 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide (EDC) was used to cross-link proteins with complementary charged groups in close association to one another. In the His27?ctpAPSII preparation, a 58-kDa cross-linked species containing Psb27 and CP43 was identified. This species was not formed in the HT3?ctpA?psb27PSII complex in which Psb27 was absent. Second, the homobifunctional thiol-cleavable cross-linker 3,3-dithiobis(sulfosuccinimidylpropionate) (DTSSP) was used to reversibly cross-link Psb27 to CP43 in His27?ctpAPSII preparations, which allowed the use of liquid chromatography/tandem MS to map the cross-linking sites as Psb27K(63)?CP43D(321) (trypsin) and CP43K(215)?Psb27D(58)AGGLK(63)?CP43D(321) (chymotrypsin), respectively. Our data suggest that Psb27 acts as an important regulatory protein during PSII assembly through specific interactions with the luminal domain of CP43.
Apolipoprotein E, a 34 kDa protein, plays a key role in triglyceride and cholesterol metabolism. Of the three common isoforms (ApoE2, -3, and -4), only ApoE4 is a risk factor for Alzheimers disease. All three isoforms of wild-type ApoE self-associate to form oligomers, a process that may have functional consequences. Although the C-terminal domain, residues 216-299, of ApoE is believed to mediate self-association, the specific residues involved in this process are not known. Here we report the use of hydrogen/deuterium exchange (H/DX) coupled with enzymatic digestion to identify those regions in the sequence of full-length apoE involved in oligomerization. For this determination, we compared the results of H/DX of the wild-type proteins and those of monomeric forms obtained by modifying four residues in the C-terminal domain. The three wild-type and mutant isoforms show similar structures based on their similar H/DX kinetics and extents of exchange. Regions of the C-terminus (residues 230-270) of the ApoE isoforms show significant differences of deuterium uptake between oligomeric and monomeric forms, confirming that oligomerization occurs at these regions. To achieve single amino acid resolution, we examined the extents of H/DX by using electron transfer dissociation (ETD) fragmentation of peptides representing selected regions of both the monomeric and the oligomeric forms of ApoE4. From these experiments, we could identify the specific residues involved in ApoE oligomerization. In addition, our results verify that ApoE4 is composed of a compact structure at its N-terminal domain. Regions of C-terminal domain, however, appear to lack defined structure.
The collisionally activated mass spectral fragmentations of N-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)alanine and phenylalanine [M - H](-) may be gas-phase analogs of the base-catalyzed cyclization of N-(2,4-dinitrophenyl)amino acids in aqueous dioxane. This latter reaction is one source of the 2-substituted 5-nitro-1H-benzimidazole-3-oxides, which are antibacterial agents. The fragmentation of both compounds, established by tandem mass spectrometric experiments and supported by molecular modeling using DFT methods, indicate that the [M - H](-) ions dissociate via sequential eliminations of CO(2) and H(2)O to produce deprotonated benzimidazole-N-oxide derivatives. The gas-phase cyclization reactions are analogous to the base-catalyzed cyclization in solution, except that in the latter case, the reactant must be a dianion for the reaction to occur on a reasonable time scale. The cyclization of N-(2-nitrophenyl)phenylalanine, which has one less nitro group, requires a stronger base for the cyclization than the compound with a second nitro group at the 4-position. Following losses of CO(2) and H(2)O are expulsions of both neutral molecules and free radicals, the latter being examples of violations of the even-electron ion rule.
The growing use of monoclonal antibodies as therapeutics underscores the importance of epitope mapping as an essential step in characterizing antibody-antigen complexes. The use of protein footprinting coupled with mass spectrometry, which is emerging as a tool in structural biology, offers opportunities to map antibody-binding regions of antigens. We report here the use of footprinting via fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) with OH radicals to characterize the epitope of the serine protease thrombin. The data correlate well with previously published results that determined the epitope of thrombin. This study marks the first time oxidative labeling has been used for epitope mapping.
Gas-phase protein separation by ion mobility: With its ability to separate the Parkinsons disease protein ?-synuclein and its autoproteolytic products-despite the small concentrations of the latter-ion-mobility MS has enabled the characterization of intermediate fragments in in vitro oligomerization-aggregation. In particular, a possible key fragment, the highly aggregating C-terminal fragment, ?Syn(72-140), has been revealed.
The three common isoforms of apolipoprotein E (ApoE) differ at two sites in their 299 amino acid sequence; these differences modulate the structure of ApoE to affect profoundly the isoform associations with disease. The ?4 allele in particular is strongly associated with Alzheimers disease. The study of the structural effects of these mutation sites in aqueous media is hampered by the aggregation proclivity of each ApoE isoform. Hence, understanding the differences between isoforms has thus far relied on lower resolution biophysical measurements, mutagenesis, homology studies, and the use of truncated ApoE variants. In this study, we report two comparative studies of the ApoE family by using the mass spectrometry-based protein footprinting methods of FPOP and glycine ethyl ester (GEE) labeling. The first experiment examines the three full-length WT isoforms in their tetrameric state and finds that the overall structures are similar, with the exception of M108 in ApoE4 which is more solvent-accessible in this isoform than in ApoE2 and ApoE3. The second experiment provides clear evidence, from a comparison of the footprinting results of the wild-type proteins and a monomeric mutant, that several residues in regions 183-205 and 232-251 are involved in self-association.
Medical ethics prohibits caregivers from discriminating and providing preferential care to their compatriots and comrades. In military medicine, particularly during war and when resources may be scarce, ethical principles may dictate priority care for compatriot soldiers. The principle of nondiscrimination is central to utilitarian and deontological theories of justice, but communitarianism and the ethics of care and friendship stipulate a different set of duties for community members, friends, and family. Similar duties exist among the small cohesive groups that typify many military units. When members of these groups require medical care, there are sometimes moral grounds to treat compatriot soldiers ahead of enemy or allied soldiers regardless of the severity of their respective wounds.
Top-down mass spectrometry is an emerging approach for the analysis of intact proteins. The term was coined as a contrast with the better-established, bottom-up strategy for analysis of peptide fragments derived from digestion, either enzymatically or chemically, of intact proteins. Although the term top-down originates from proteomics, it can also be applied to mass spectrometric analysis of intact large biomolecules that are constituents of protein assemblies or complexes. Traditionally, mass spectrometry has usually started with intact molecules, and in this regard, top-down approaches reflect the spirit of mass spectrometry. This article provides an overview of the methodologies in top-down mass spectrometry and then reviews applications covering protein posttranslational modifications, protein biophysics, DNAs/RNAs, and protein assemblies. Finally, challenges and future directions are discussed.
Although many phenols and catechols found as polyphenol natural products are antioxidants and have putative disease-preventive properties, others have deleterious health effects. One possible route to toxicity is the bioactivation of the phenolic function to quinones that are electrophilic, redox-agents capable of modifying DNA and proteins. The structure-property relationships of biologically important quinones and their precursors may help understand the balance between their health benefits and risks. We describe a mass-spectrometry-based study of four quinones produced by oxidizing flavanones and flavones. Those with a C2-C3 double bond on ring C of the flavonoid stabilize by delocalization of an incipient positive charge from protonation and render the protonated quinone particularly susceptible to nucleophilic attack. We hypothesize that the absence of this double bond is one specific structural determinant that is responsible for the ability of quinones to modify biological macromolecules. Those quinones containing a C2-C3 single bond have relatively higher aqueous stability and longer half-lives than those with a double bond at the same position; the latter have short half-lives at or below ?1 s. Quinones with a C2-C3 double bond show little ability to depurinate DNA because they are rapidly hydrated to unreactive species. Molecular-orbital calculations support that quinone hydration by a highly structure-dependent mechanism accounts for their chemical properties. The evidence taken together support a hypothesis that those flavonoids and related natural products that undergo oxidation to quinones and are then rapidly hydrated are unlikely to damage important biological macromolecules.
Calmodulin (CaM), a ubiquitous intracellular sensor protein, binds Ca(2+) and interacts with various targets as part of signal transduction. Using hydrogen/deuterium exchange (H/DX) and a high resolution PLIMSTEX (Protein-Ligand Interactions by Mass Spectrometry, Titration, and H/D Exchange) protocol, we examined five different states of calmodulin: calcium-free, calcium-loaded, and three states of calcium-loaded in the presence of either melittin, mastoparan, or skeletal myosin light-chain kinase (MLCK). When CaM binds Ca(2+), the extent of HDX decreased, consistent with the protein becoming stabilized upon binding. Furthermore, Ca(2+)-saturated calmodulin exhibits increased protection when bound to the peptides, forming high affinity complexes. The protocol reveals significant changes in EF hands 1, 3, and 4 with saturating levels of Ca(2+). Titration of the protein using PLIMSTEX provides the binding affinity of Ca(2+) to calmodulin within previously reported values. The affinities of calmodulin to Ca(2+) increase by factors of 300 and 1000 in the presence of melittin and mastoparan, respectively. A modified PLIMSTEX protocol whereby the protein is digested to component peptides gives a region-specific titration. The titration data taken in this way show a decrease in the root mean square fit of the residuals, indicating a better fit of the data. The global H/D exchange results and those obtained in a region-specific way provide new insight into the Ca(2+)-binding properties of this well-studied protein.
Human apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) endonuclease 1 (APE1) is a central participant in the base excision repair pathway, exhibiting AP endonuclease activity that incises the DNA backbone 5 to an abasic site. Besides its prominent role as a DNA repair enzyme, APE1 was separately identified as a protein called redox effector factor 1, which is able to enhance the DNA binding activity of several transcription factors through a thiol-exchange-based reduction-oxidation mechanism. In the present study, we found that human APE1 is S-glutathionylated under conditions of oxidative stress both in the presence of glutathione in vitro and in cells. S-glutathionylated APE1 displayed significantly reduced AP endonuclease activity on abasic-site-containing oligonucleotide substrates, a result stemming from impaired DNA binding capacity. The combination of site-directed mutagenesis, biochemical assays, and mass spectrometric analysis identified Cys99 in human APE1 as the critical residue for the S-glutathionylation that leads to reduced AP endonuclease activity. This modification is reversible by reducing agents, which restore APE1 incision function. Our studies describe a novel posttranslational modification of APE1 that regulates the DNA repair function of the protein.
The high sensitivity, extended mass range, and fast data acquisition/processing of mass spectrometry and its coupling with native electrospray ionization (ESI) make the combination complementary to other biophysical methods of protein analysis. Protein assemblies with molecular masses up to MDa are now accessible by this approach. Most current approaches have used quadrupole/time-of-flight tandem mass spectrometry, sometimes coupled with ion mobility, to reveal stoichiometry, shape, and dissociation of protein assemblies. The amino-acid sequence of the subunits, however, still relies heavily on independent bottom-up proteomics. We describe here an approach to study protein assemblies that integrates electron-capture dissociation (ECD), native ESI, and FTICR mass spectrometry (12 T). Flexible regions of assembly subunits of yeast alcohol dehydrogenase (147 kDa), concanavalin A (103 kDa), and photosynthetic Fenna-Matthews-Olson antenna protein complex (140 kDa) can be sequenced by ECD or "activated-ion" ECD. Furthermore, noncovalent metal-binding sites can also be determined for the concanavalin A assembly. Most importantly, the regions that undergo fragmentation, either from one of the termini by ECD or from the middle of a protein, as initiated by CID, correlate well with the B-factor from X-ray crystallography of that protein. This factor is a measure of the extent an atom can move from its coordinated position as a function of temperature or crystal imperfections. The approach provides not only top-down proteomics information of the complex subunits but also structural insights complementary to those obtained by ion mobility.
Troponin C (TnC), present in all striated muscle, is the Ca(2+)-activated trigger that initiates myocyte contraction. The binding of Ca(2+) to TnC initiates a cascade of conformational changes involving the constituent proteins of the thin filament. The functional properties of TnC and its ability to bind Ca(2+) have significant regulatory influence on the contractile reaction of muscle. Changes in TnC may also correlate with cardiac and various other muscle-related diseases. We report here the implementation of the PLIMSTEX strategy (protein ligand interaction by mass spectrometry, titration, and H/D exchange) to elucidate the binding affinity of TnC with Ca(2+) and, more importantly, to determine the order of Ca(2+) binding of the four EF hands of the protein. The four equilibrium constants, K(1) = (5 ± 5) × 10(7) M(-1), K(2) = (1.8 ± 0.8) × 10(7) M(-1), K(3) = (4.2 ± 0.9) × 10(6) M(-1), and K(4) = (1.6 ± 0.6) × 10(6) M(-1), agree well with determinations by other methods and serve to increase our confidence in the PLIMSTEX approach. We determined the order of binding to the four EF hands to be III, IV, II, and I by extracting from the H/DX results the deuterium patterns for each EF hand for each state of the protein (apo through fully Ca(2+) bound). This approach, demonstrated for the first time, may be general for determining binding orders of metal ions and other ligands to proteins.
We recently described a new electrically compensated trap in FT ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry and developed a means of tuning traps of this general design. Here, we describe a continuation of that research by comparing the ion transient lifetimes and the resulting mass resolving powers and signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios that are achievable in the compensated vs. uncompensated modes of this trap. Transient lifetimes are ten times longer under the same conditions of pressure, providing improved mass resolving power and S/N ratios. The mass resolving power as a function of m/z is linear (log-log plot) and nearly equal to the theoretical maximum. Importantly, the ion cyclotron frequency as a function of ion number decreases linearly in accord with theory, unlike its behavior in the uncompensated mode. This linearity should lead to better control in mass calibration and increased mass accuracy than achievable in the uncompensated mode.
Protein--protein interactions are ubiquitous and essential for most biological processes. Although new proteomic technologies have generated large catalogs of interacting proteins, considerably less is known about these interactions at the molecular level, information that would aid in predicting protein interactions, designing therapeutics to alter these interactions, and understanding the effects of disease-producing mutations. Here we describe mapping the interacting surfaces of the bacterial toxin SPN (Streptococcus pyogenes NAD(+) hydrolase) in complex with its antitoxin IFS (immunity factor for SPN) by using hydrogen-deuterium amide exchange and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. This approach affords data in a relatively short time for small amounts of protein, typically 5-7 pmol per analysis. The results show a good correspondence with a recently determined crystal structure of the IFS--SPN complex but additionally provide strong evidence for a folding transition of the IFS protein that accompanies its binding to SPN. The outcome shows that mass-based chemical footprinting of protein interaction surfaces can provide information about protein dynamics that is not easily obtained by other methods and can potentially be applied to large, multiprotein complexes that are out of range for most solution-based methods of biophysical analysis.
The nature and stoichiometry of pigments in the Fenna-Matthews-Olson (FMO) photosynthetic antenna protein complex were determined by native electrospray mass spectrometry. The FMO antenna complex was the first chlorophyll-containing protein that was crystallized. Previous results indicate that the FMO protein forms a trimer with seven bacteriochlorophyll a in each monomer. This model has long been a working basis to understand the molecular mechanism of energy transfer through pigment/pigment and pigment/protein coupling. Recent results have suggested, however, that an eighth bacteriochlorophyll is present in some subunits. In this report, a direct mass spectrometry measurement of the molecular weight of the intact FMO protein complex clearly indicates the existence of an eighth pigment, which is assigned as a bacteriochlorophyll a by mass analysis of the complex and HPLC analysis of the pigment. The eighth pigment is found to be easily lost during purification, which results in its partial occupancy in the mass spectra of the intact complex prepared by different procedures. The results are consistent with the recent X-ray structural models. The existence of the eighth bacteriochlorophyll a in this model antenna protein gives new insights into the functional role of the FMO protein and motivates the need for new theoretical and spectroscopic assignments of spectral features of the FMO protein.
Her4 is a transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinase belonging to the ErbB-EGFR family. It plays a vital role in the cardiovascular and nervous systems, and mutations in Her4 have been found in melanoma and lung cancer. The kinase domain of Her4 forms a dimer complex, called the asymmetric dimer, which results in kinase activation. Although a crystal structure of the Her4 asymmetric dimer is known, the dimer affinity and the effect of the subsequent phosphorylation steps on kinase domain conformation are unknown. We report here the use of carboxyl-group footprinting MS on a recombinant expressed, Her4 kinase-domain construct to address these questions. Carboxyl-group footprinting uses a water-soluble carbodiimide, 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)carbodiimide, in the presence of glycine ethyl ester, to modify accessible carboxyl groups on glutamate and aspartate residues. Comparisons of Her4 kinase-domain monomers versus dimers and of unphosphorylated versus phosphorylated dimers were made to map the dimerization interface and to determine phosphorylation induced-conformational changes. We detected 37 glutamate and aspartate residues that were modified, and we quantified their extents of modification by liquid chromatography MS. Five residues showed changes in carboxyl-group modification. Three of these residues are at the predicted dimer interface, as shown by the crystal structure, and the remaining two residues are on loops that likely have altered conformation in the kinase dimer. Incubating the Her4 kinase dimers with ATP resulted in dramatic increase in Tyr-850 phosphorylation, located on the activation loop, and this resulted in a conformational change in this loop, as evidenced by reduction in carboxyl-group modification. The kinase monomer-dimer equilibrium was measured using a titration format in which the extent of carboxyl-group footprinting was mathematically modeled to give the dimer association constant (1.5-6.8 × 10(12) dm(2)/mol). This suggests that the kinase-domain makes a significant contribution to the overall dimerization affinity of the full-length Her4 protein.
Fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) is a mass spectrometry-based protein footprinting method that modifies proteins on the microsecond time scale. Highly reactive (•)OH, produced by laser photolysis of hydrogen peroxide, oxidatively modifies the side chains of approximately one-half the common amino acids on this time scale. Because of the short labeling exposure, only solvent-accessible residues are sampled. Quantification of the modification extent for the apo and holo states of a protein-ligand complex provides structurally sensitive information at the amino-acid level to compare the structures of unknown protein complexes with known ones. We report here the use of FPOP to monitor the structural changes of calmodulin in its established binding to M13 of the skeletal muscle myosin light chain kinase. We use the outcome to establish the unknown structures resulting from binding with melittin and mastoparan. The structural comparison follows a comprehensive examination of the extent of FPOP modifications as measured by proteolysis and LC-MS/MS for each protein-ligand equilibrium. The results not only show that the three calmodulin-peptide complexes have similar structures but also reveal those regions of the protein that became more or less solvent-accessible upon binding. This approach has the potential for relatively high throughput, information-dense characterization of a series of protein-ligand complexes in biochemistry and drug discovery when the structure of one reference complex is known, as is the case for calmodulin and M13 of the skeletal muscle myosin light chain kinase, and the structures of related complexes are not.
Apurinic/apyrimidinic endonuclease (APE1) is an essential base excision repair protein that also functions as a reduction and oxidation (redox) factor in mammals. Through a thiol-based mechanism, APE1 reduces a number of important transcription factors, including AP-1, p53, NF-?B, and HIF-1?. What is known about the mechanism to date is that the buried residues Cys 65 and Cys 93 are critical for APE1s redox activity. To further detail the redox mechanism, we developed a chemical footprinting-mass spectrometric assay using N-ethylmaleimide (NEM), an irreversible Cys modifier, to characterize the interaction of the redox inhibitor, E3330, with APE1. When APE1 was incubated with E3330, two NEM-modified products were observed, one with two and a second with seven added NEMs; this latter product corresponds to a fully modified APE1. In a similar control reaction without E3330, only the +2NEM product was observed in which the two solvent-accessible Cys residues, C99 and C138, were modified by NEM. Through hydrogen-deuterium amide exchange with analysis by mass spectrometry, we found that the +7NEM-modified species incorporates approximately 40 more deuterium atoms than the native protein, which exchanges nearly identically as the +2NEM product, suggesting that APE1 can be trapped in a partially unfolded state. E3330 was also found to increase the extent of disulfide bond formation involving redox critical Cys residues in APE1 as assessed by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry, suggesting a basis for its inhibitory effects on APE1s redox activity. Collectively, our results suggest that APE1 adopts a partially unfolded state, which we propose is the redox active form of the enzyme.
Although bottom-up proteomics using tryptic digests is widely used to locate post-translational modifications (PTM) in proteins, there are cases where the protein has several potential modification sites within a tryptic fragment and MS(2) strategies fail to pinpoint the location. We report here a method using two proteolytic enzymes, trypsin and pepsin, in combination followed by tandem mass spectrometric analysis to provide fragments that allow one to locate the modification sites. We used this strategy to find a glycosylation site on bovine trypsin expressed in maize (TrypZean). Several glycans are present, and all are attached to a nonconsensus N-glycosylation site on the protein.
We report a new mass-spectrometry-based approach for studying protein-folding dynamics on the submillisecond time scale. The strategy couples a temperature jump with fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP), whereby folding/unfolding is followed by changes in oxidative modifications by OH radical reactions. Using a flow system containing the protein barstar as a model, we altered the proteins equilibrium conformation by applying the temperature jump and demonstrated that its reactivity with OH free radicals serves as a reporter of the conformational change. Furthermore, we found that the time-dependent increase in mass resulting from free-radical oxidation is a measure of the rate constant for the transition from the unfolded to the first intermediate state. This advance offers the promise that, when extended with mass-spectrometry-based proteomic analysis, the sites and kinetics of folding/unfolding can also be followed on the submillisecond time scale.
The focus is to expand the original design of fast photochemical oxidation of proteins (FPOP) and introduce SO(4)(-•), generated by 248 nm homolysis of low millimolar levels of persulfate, as a radical reactant in protein footprinting. FPOP is a chemical approach to footprinting proteins and protein complexes by "snapshot" reaction with free radicals. The radical used until now is the OH radical, and it provides a measure of residue-resolved solvent accessibility of the native protein. We show that FPOP can accommodate other reagents, increasing its versatility. The new persulfate FPOP system is a potent, nonspecific, and tunable footprinting method; 3-5 times less persulfate is needed to give the same global levels of modification as seen with OH radicals. Although solvent-exposed His and Tyr residues are more reactive with SO(4)(-•) than with (•)OH, oxidation of apomyoglobin and calmodulin shows that (•)OH probes smaller accessible areas than SO(4)(-•), with the possible exception of histidine. His64, an axial ligand in the heme-binding pocket of apomyoglobin, is substantially up-labeled by SO(4)(-•) relative to (•)OH. Nevertheless, the kinds of modification and residue selectivity for both reagent radicals are strikingly similar. Thus, the choice of these reagents relies on the physical properties, particularly the membrane permeability, of the radical precursors.
The Fenna-Matthews-Olson protein (FMO) binds seven or eight bacteriochlorophyll a (BChl a) molecules and is an important model antenna system for understanding pigment-protein interactions and mechanistic aspects of photosynthetic light harvesting. FMO proteins of green sulfur bacteria (Chlorobiales) have been extensively studied using a wide range of spectroscopic and theoretical approaches because of their stability, the spectral resolution of their pigments, their water-soluble nature, and the availability of high-resolution structural data. We obtained new structural and spectroscopic insights by studying the FMO protein from the recently discovered, aerobic phototrophic acidobacterium, Candidatus Chloracidobacterium thermophilum. Native C. thermophilum FMO is a trimer according to both analytical gel filtration and native-electrospray mass spectrometry. Furthermore, the mass of intact FMO trimer is consistent with the presence of 21-24 BChl a in each. Homology modeling of the C. thermophilum FMO was performed by using the structure of the FMO protein from Chlorobaculum tepidum as a template. C. thermophilum FMO differs from C. tepidum FMO in two distinct regions: the baseplate, CsmA-binding region and a region that is proposed to bind the reaction center subunit, PscA. C. thermophilum FMO has two fluorescence emission peaks at room temperature but only one at 77K. Temperature-dependent fluorescence spectroscopy showed that the two room-temperature emission peaks result from two excited-state BChl a populations that have identical fluorescence lifetimes. Modeling of the data suggests that the two populations contain 1-2 BChl and 5-6 BChl a molecules and that thermal equilibrium effects modulate the relative population of the two emitting states.
The intact yeast alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) tetramer of 147 kDa was introduced into a FTICR mass spectrometer by native electrospray. Electron capture dissociation of the entire 23+ to 27+ charge state distribution produced the expected charge-reduced ions and, more unexpectedly, 39 c-type peptide fragments that identified N-terminus acetylation and the first 55 amino acids. The results are in accord with the crystal structure of yeast ADH, which shows that the C-terminus is buried at the assembly interface, whereas the N-terminus is exposed, allowing ECD to occur. This remarkable observation shows promise that a top-down approach for intact protein assemblies will be effective for characterizing their components, inferring their interfaces, and obtaining both proteomics and structural biology information in one experiment.
Hexamethoxy-calixarene has been fully functionalized with p-phosphonic acid groups on the upper rim in 57% yield over three steps, and has been authenticated in the solid state by X-ray diffraction as either a nitrate salt or one of two calcium complexes. The latter differ by the ratio of calcium ions per calixarene, either 3:1 or 4:1. In both structures the coordination sphere of the calcium ions is made up of oxygen atoms from the phosphonic acid groups and from water of crystallization, as part of extended polymeric layers in the extended 3D packing. Hirshfeld surface analysis shows extensive O...H and O...Ca interactions for the phosphonic acid moieties in both calcium structures. MALDI-TOF MS of the hexaphosphonic acid shows nano-arrays consisting of up to a maximum of 28 calixarene units.
"Medicalized" weapons--those that rely on advances in neuroscience, physiology, and pharmacology--offer the prospect of reducing casualties and protecting civilians. They could be especially useful in modern asymmetric wars in which conventional states are pitted against guerrilla or insurgent forces. But may physicians and other medical workers participate in their development?
The UV portion of sunlight is mutagenic and can modify DNA by producing various photoproducts. UV photodamage often occurs at dipyrimidine sites, to give cyclobutane, pyrimidine-(6-4)-pyrimidone (6-4), and pyrimidine-(6-4)-Dewar pyrimidone (Dewar) photoproducts, and at TA and AA sites. There is no reported evidence, however, of UV photoproduct formation between C or 5-methylC ((m)C) and A. Irradiation of d(GTAT(m)CATGAGGTGC) with UVB light at physiological pH gives an unexpected photoproduct that undergoes fast thermal deamination but does not revert to its original structure under UVC irradiation. Evidence from nuclease P1 digestion coupled with electrospray ionization (ESI)-MS/MS is in accord with product formation between (m)C and A. HPLC analysis indicates that deamination gives a T<>A photoproduct that coelutes on reverse-phase chromatography with the well-known TA* photoproduct, formed from an initial [2 + 2] reaction between C5-C6 and C6-C5 of the adjacent thymine and adenine [as shown by Zhao , X. , et al. ( 1996 ) Nucleic Acids Res. 24 , 1554 - 1560 and Davies , R. J. , et al. ( 2007 ) Nucleic Acids Res. 35 , 1048 - 1053 ]. Furthermore, the deamination product of the unknown (m)C<>A photoproduct and the TA* photoproduct undergo nearly identical fragmentation in tandem MS. The evidence, taken together, indicates that the deamination product of the unknown (m)CA photoproduct has the same chemical structure as the TA* photoproduct. Therefore, the unknown photoproduct is referred to as the (m)CA* photoproduct, which, upon deamination, gives the TA* photoproduct.
A new methodology using hydrogen/deuterium amide exchange (HDX) to determine the binding affinity of protein-peptide interactions is reported. The method, based on our previously established approach, protein ligand interaction by mass spectrometry, titration, and H/D exchange (PLIMSTEX) [J. Am. Chem. Soc.2003, 125, 5252-5253], makes use of a dilution strategy (dPLIMSTEX) for HDX, using the mass of the peptide ligand as readout. We employed dPLIMSTEX to study the interaction of calcium-saturated calmodulin with the opioid peptide ?-endorphin as a model system; the affinity results are in good agreement with those from traditional PLIMSTEX and with literature values obtained by using other methods. We show that the dPLIMSTEX method is feasible to quantify an antigen-antibody interaction involving a 3-nitrotyrosine modified peptide in complex with a monoclonal anti-nitrotyrosine antibody. A dissociation constant in the low nanomolar range was determined, and a binding stoichiometry of antibody/peptide of 1:2 was confirmed. In addition, we determined that the epitope in the binding interface contains a minimum of five amino acids. The dPLIMSTEX approach is a sensitive and powerful tool for the quantitative determination of peptide affinities with antibodies, complementary to conventional immuno-analytical techniques.
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