To identify rare causal variants in late-onset Parkinson disease (PD), we investigated an Austrian family with 16 affected individuals by exome sequencing. We found a missense mutation, c.1858G>A (p.Asp620Asn), in the VPS35 gene in all seven affected family members who are alive. By screening additional PD cases, we saw the same variant cosegregating with the disease in an autosomal-dominant mode with high but incomplete penetrance in two further families with five and ten affected members, respectively. The mean age of onset in the affected individuals was 53 years. Genotyping showed that the shared haplotype extends across 65 kilobases around VPS35. Screening the entire VPS35 coding sequence in an additional 860 cases and 1014 controls revealed six further nonsynonymous missense variants. Three were only present in cases, two were only present in controls, and one was present in cases and controls. The familial mutation p.Asp620Asn and a further variant, c.1570C>T (p.Arg524Trp), detected in a sporadic PD case were predicted to be damaging by sequence-based and molecular-dynamics analyses. VPS35 is a component of the retromer complex and mediates retrograde transport between endosomes and the trans-Golgi network, and it has recently been found to be involved in Alzheimer disease.
G. diazotrophicus and A. vinelandii are aerobic nitrogen-fixing bacteria. Although oxygen is essential for the survival of these organisms, it irreversibly inhibits nitrogenase, the complex responsible for nitrogen fixation. Both microorganisms deal with this paradox through compensatory mechanisms. In A. vinelandii a conformational protection mechanism occurs through the interaction between the nitrogenase complex and the FeSII protein. Previous studies suggested the existence of a similar system in G. diazotrophicus, but the putative protein involved was not yet described. This study intends to identify the protein coding gene in the recently sequenced genome of G. diazotrophicus and also provide detailed structural information of nitrogenase conformational protection in both organisms.
The electronic structure during the formation of a cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) between two thymine bases is investigated using semi-empirical and first-principles approaches. The dimerization of two isolated thymine bases is found to have no barrier or a very small barrier in agreement with previous studies suggesting low photostability of DNA. The well-known high photostability of DNA can only be explained taking other factors into account. We investigate the role of the exciton location in the particular environment. Different model systems, from isolated thymine bases to an oligonucleotide in aqueous solution, are discussed. Analysis of the frontier orbitals allows one to understand the connection between the location of the exciton, the relative orientation of the thymine bases, and the observed reactivity.
So far, 13 groups of mammalian Toll-like receptors (TLRs) have been identified. Most TLRs have been shown to recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns from a wide range of invading agents and initiate both innate and adaptive immune responses. The TLR ectodomains are composed of varying numbers and types of leucine-rich repeats (LRRs). As the crystal structures are currently missing for most TLR ligand-binding ectodomains, homology modeling enables first predictions of their three-dimensional structures on the basis of the determined crystal structures of TLR ectodomains. However, the quality of the predicted models that are generated from full-length templates can be limited due to low sequence identity between the target and templates. To obtain better templates for modeling, we have developed an LRR template assembly approach. Individual LRR templates that are locally optimal for the target sequence are assembled into multiple templates. This method was validated through the comparison of a predicted model with the crystal structure of mouse TLR3. With this method, we also constructed ectodomain models of human TLR5, TLR6, TLR7, TLR8, TLR9, and TLR10 and mouse TLR11, TLR12, and TLR13 that can be used as first passes for a computational simulation of ligand docking or to design mutation experiments. This template assembly approach can be extended to other repetitive proteins.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in the innate immune system. TLRs recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns and initiate an intracellular kinase cascade to induce an immediate defensive response. During recent years TLRs have become the focus of tremendous research interest. A central repository for the growing amount of relevant TLR sequence information has been created. Nevertheless, structural motifs of most sequenced TLR proteins, such as leucine-rich repeats (LRRs), are poorly annotated in the established databases. A database that organizes the structural motifs of TLRs could be useful for developing pattern recognition programs, structural modeling and understanding functional mechanisms of TLRs. We describe TollML, a database that integrates all of the TLR sequencing data from the NCBI protein database. Entries were first divided into TLR families (TLR1-23) and then semi-automatically subdivided into three levels of structural motif categories: (1) signal peptide (SP), ectodomain (ECD), transmembrane domain (TD) and Toll/IL-1 receptor (TIR) domain of each TLR; (2) LRRs of each ECD; (3) highly conserved segment (HCS), variable segment (VS) and insertions of each LRR. These categories can be searched quickly using an easy-to-use web interface and dynamically displayed by graphics. Additionally, all entries have hyperlinks to various sources including NCBI, Swiss-Prot, PDB, LRRML and PubMed in order to provide broad external information for users. The TollML database is available at http://tollml.lrz.de.
Peripheral nerve lesions are considered the most relevant symptoms of leprosy, a chronic infectious disease caused by Mycobacterium leprae. The strategies employed by M. leprae to infect and multiply inside Schwann cells (SCs), however, remain poorly understood. In this study, it is shown that treatment of SCs with M. leprae significantly decreased cell death induced by serum deprivation. Not displayed by Mycobacterium smegmatis or Mycobacterium bovis BCG, the M. leprae survival effect was both dose dependent and specific. The conditioned medium (CM) of M. leprae-treated cultures was seen to mimic the protective effect of the bacteria, suggesting that soluble factors secreted by SCs in response to M. leprae were involved in cell survival. Indeed, by quantitative RT-PCR and dot blot/ELISA, it was demonstrated that M. leprae induced the expression and secretion of the SC survival factor insulin-like growth factor-I. Finally, the involvement of this hormone in M. leprae-induced SC survival was confirmed in experiments with neutralizing antibodies. Taken together, the results of this study delineate an important strategy for the successful colonization of M. leprae in the nerve based on the survival maintenance of the host cell through induction of IGF-I production.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) belong to the Toll-like receptor/interleukin-1 receptor (TLR/IL-1R) superfamily which is defined by a common cytoplasmic Toll/interleukin-1 receptor (TIR) domain. TLRs recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns and initiate an intracellular kinase cascade to trigger an immediate defensive response. SIGIRR (single immunoglobulin interleukin-1 receptor-related molecule), another member of the TLR/IL-1R superfamily, acts as a negative regulator of MyD88-dependent TLR signaling. It attenuates the recruitment of MyD88 adaptors to the receptors with its intracellular TIR domain. Thus, SIGIRR is a highly important molecule for the therapy of autoimmune diseases caused by TLRs. So far, the structural mechanism of interactions between SIGIRR, TLRs and adaptor molecules is unclear. To develop a working hypothesis for this interaction, we constructed three-dimensional models for the TIR domains of TLR4, TLR7, MyD88 and SIGIRR based on computational modeling. Through protein-protein docking analysis, we developed models of essential complexes involved in the TLR4 and 7 signaling and the SIGIRR inhibiting processes. We suggest that SIGIRR may exert its inhibitory effect through blocking the molecular interface of TLR4, TLR7 and the MyD88 adaptor mainly via its BB-loop region.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) play a key role in the innate immune system. The TLR7, 8, and 9 compose a family of intracellularly localized TLRs that signal in response to pathogen-derived nucleic acids. So far, there are no crystallographic structures for TLR7, 8, and 9. For this reason, their ligand-binding mechanisms are poorly understood. To enable first predictions of the receptor-ligand interaction sites, we developed three-dimensional structures for the leucine-rich repeat ectodomains of human TLR7, 8, and 9 based on homology modeling. To achieve a high sequence similarity between targets and templates, structural segments from all known TLR ectodomain structures (human TLR1/2/3/4 and mouse TLR3/4) were used as candidate templates for the modeling. The resulting models support previously reported essential ligand-binding residues. They also provide a basis to identify three potential receptor dimerization mechanisms. Additionally, potential ligand-binding residues are identified using combined procedures. We suggest further investigations of these residues through mutation experiments. Our modeling approach can be extended to other members of the TLR family or other repetitive proteins.
First-principles simulations start to be applicable to the photochemistry and photophysics in biological systems. In this review the prerequisites for investigating such excited state phenomena in large systems are outlined. Generally, a quantum mechanical description of the electronic structure is combined with molecular dynamics simulations, which allows to describe the motion of the atoms in the field produced by the quantum-mechanical potential. Like this, bonds can be formed and broken, that is, chemical reactions can be simulated. The review focuses on applications of first-principles molecular dynamics to photoactive proteins.
Gluconacetobacter diazotrophicus Pal5 is an endophytic diazotrophic bacterium that lives in association with sugarcane plants. It has important biotechnological features such as nitrogen fixation, plant growth promotion, sugar metabolism pathways, secretion of organic acids, synthesis of auxin and the occurrence of bacteriocins.
Related JoVE Video
Journal of Visualized Experiments
What is Visualize?
JoVE Visualize is a tool created to match the last 5 years of PubMed publications to methods in JoVE's video library.
How does it work?
We use abstracts found on PubMed and match them to JoVE videos to create a list of 10 to 30 related methods videos.
Video X seems to be unrelated to Abstract Y...
In developing our video relationships, we compare around 5 million PubMed articles to our library of over 4,500 methods videos. In some cases the language used in the PubMed abstracts makes matching that content to a JoVE video difficult. In other cases, there happens not to be any content in our video library that is relevant to the topic of a given abstract. In these cases, our algorithms are trying their best to display videos with relevant content, which can sometimes result in matched videos with only a slight relation.