The tumor suppressor p53 is a transcription factor that regulates the expression of a range of target genes in response to cellular stress. Adding to the complexity of understanding its cellular function is that in addition to the full-length protein, several p53 isoforms are produced in humans, harboring diverse expression patterns and functionalities. One isoform, Delta 40p53, which lacks the first transactivation domain including the binding region for the negative regulator MDM2, was shown to be a product of alternative translation initiation. Here we report the discovery of an alternative cellular mechanism for Delta 40p53 formation. We show that the 20S proteasome specifically cleaves the full-length protein (FLp53) to generate the Delta 40p53 isoform. Moreover, we demonstrate that a dimer of FLp53 interacts with a Delta 40p53 dimer, creating a functional hetero-tetramer. Consequently, the co-expression of both isoforms attenuates the transcriptional activity of FLp53 in a dominant negative manner. Finally, we demonstrate that following oxidative stress, at the time when the 20S proteasome becomes the major degradation machinery and FLp53 is activated, the formation of Delta 40p53 is enhanced, creating a negative feedback loop that balances FLp53 activation. Overall, our results suggest that Delta 40p53 can be generated by a 20S proteasome-mediated post-translational mechanism so as to control p53 function. More generally, the discovery of a specific cleavage function for the 20S proteasome may represent a more general cellular regulatory mechanism to produce proteins with distinct functional properties.
The strength and specificity of protein complex formation is crucial for most life processes and is determined by interactions between residues in the binding partners. Double-mutant cycle analysis provides a strategy for studying the energetic coupling between amino acids at the interfaces of such complexes. Here we show that these pairwise interaction energies can be determined from a single high-resolution native mass spectrum by measuring the intensities of the complexes formed by the two wild-type proteins, the complex of each wild-type protein with a mutant protein, and the complex of the two mutant proteins. This native mass spectrometry approach, which obviates the need for error-prone measurements of binding constants, can provide information regarding multiple interactions in a single spectrum much like nuclear Overhauser effects (NOEs) in nuclear magnetic resonance. Importantly, our results show that specific inter-protein contacts in solution are maintained in the gas phase.
Among the advantages of an electrostatic ion beam trap (EIBT), which is based on purely electrostatic fields, are mass-unlimited trapping and ease of operation. We have developed a new system that couples an electrospray ion source to an EIBT. Between the source and EIBT there is a Paul trap in which the ions are accumulated before being extracted and accelerated. After the ion bunch has entered the EIBT, the ions are trapped by rapidly raising the voltages on the entrance mirror. The oscillations of the bunch are detected by amplifying the charge induced on a pickup ring in the center of the trap, the ion mass being directly proportional to the square of the oscillation period. The trapping of biomolecules in the RF-bunching mode of the EIBT is used for measurement of mass spectra and collision cross sections. Coalescence of bunches of ions of nearby mass in the self-bunching mode is also demonstrated.
Determining the properties of proteins prior to purification saves time and labor. Here, we demonstrate a native mass spectrometry approach for rapid characterization of overexpressed proteins directly in crude cell lysates. The method provides immediate information on the identity, solubility, oligomeric state, overall structure, and stability, as well as ligand binding, without the need for purification.
Protein complexes often represent an ensemble of different assemblies with distinct functions and regulation. This increased complexity is enabled by the variety of protein diversification mechanisms that exist at every step of the protein biosynthesis pathway, such as alternative splicing and post transcriptional and translational modifications. The resulting variation in subunits can generate compositionally distinct protein assemblies. These different forms of a single protein complex may comprise functional variances that enable response and adaptation to varying cellular conditions. Despite the biological importance of this layer of complexity, relatively little is known about the compositional heterogeneity of protein complexes, mostly due to technical barriers of studying such closely related species. Here, we show that native mass spectrometry (MS) offers a way to unravel this inherent heterogeneity of protein assemblies. Our approach relies on the advanced Orbitrap mass spectrometer capable of multistage MS analysis across all levels of protein organization. Specifically, we have implemented a two-step fragmentation process in the inject flatapole device, which was converted to a linear ion trap, and can now probe the intact protein complex assembly, through its constituent subunits, to the primary sequence of each protein. We demonstrate our approach on the yeast homotetrameric FBP1 complex, the rate-limiting enzyme in gluconeogenesis. We show that the complex responds differently to changes in growth conditions by tuning phosphorylation dynamics. Our methodology deciphers, on a single instrument and in a single measurement, the stoichiometry, kinetics, and exact position of modifications, contributing to the exposure of the multilevel diversity of protein complexes.
Membrane protein function can be affected by the physical state of the lipid bilayer and specific lipid-protein interactions. For Na,K-ATPase, bilayer properties can modulate pump activity, and, as observed in crystal structures, several lipids are bound within the transmembrane domain. Furthermore, Na,K-ATPase activity depends on phosphatidylserine (PS) and cholesterol, which stabilize the protein, and polyunsaturated phosphatidylcholine (PC) or phosphatidylethanolamine (PE), known to stimulate Na, K-ATPase activity. Based on lipid structural specificity and kinetic mechanisms, specific interactions of both PS and PC/PE have been inferred. Nevertheless, specific binding sites have not been identified definitively. We address this question with native mass spectrometry (MS) and site-directedmutagenesis. Native MS shows directly that one molecule each of 18:0/18:1 PS and 18:0/20:4 PC can bind specifically to purified human Na, K-ATPase (alpha 1 beta 1). By replacing lysine residues at proposed phospholipid-binding sites with glutamines, the two sites have been identified. Mutations in the cytoplasmic alpha L8-9 loop destabilize the protein but do not affect Na,K-ATPase activity, whereas mutations in transmembrane helices (TM), alpha TM2 and alpha TM4, abolish the stimulation of activity by 18:0/20:4 PC but do not affect stability. When these data are linked to crystal structures, the underlying mechanism of PS and PC/PE effects emerges. PS (and cholesterol) bind between alpha TM 8, 9, 10, near the FXYD subunit, and maintain topological integrity of the labile C terminus of the alpha subunit (site A). PC/PE binds between alpha TM2, 4, 6, and 9 and accelerates the rate-limiting E1P-E2P conformational transition (site B). We discuss the potential physiological implications.
Missense mutations that lead to the expression of mutant proteins carrying single amino acid substitutions are the cause of numerous diseases. Unlike gene lesions, insertions, deletions, nonsense mutations, or modified RNA splicing, which affect the length of a polypeptide, or determine whether a polypeptide is translated at all, missense mutations exert more subtle effects on protein structure, which are often difficult to evaluate. Here, we took advantage of the spectral resolution afforded by the EMR Orbitrap platform, to generate a mass spectrometry-based approach relying on simultaneous measurements of the wild-type protein and the missense variants. This approach not only considerably shortens the analysis time due to the concurrent acquisition but, more importantly, enables direct comparisons between the wild-type protein and the variants, allowing identification of even subtle structural changes. We demonstrate our approach using the Parkinson's-associated protein, DJ-1. Together with the wild-type protein, we examined two missense mutants, DJ-1(A104T) and DJ-1(D149A), which lead to early-onset familial Parkinson's disease. Gas-phase, thermal, and chemical stability assays indicate clear alterations in the conformational stability of the two mutants: the structural stability of DJ-1(D149A) is reduced, whereas that of DJ-1(A104T) is enhanced. Overall, we anticipate that the methodology presented here will be applicable to numerous other missense mutants, promoting the structural investigations of multiple variants of the same protein.
Membrane-less organelles in cells are large, dynamic protein/protein or protein/RNA assemblies that have been reported in some cases to have liquid droplet properties. However, the molecular interactions underlying the recruitment of components are not well understood. Herein, we study how the ability to form higher-order assemblies influences the recruitment of the speckle-type POZ protein (SPOP) to nuclear speckles. SPOP, a cullin-3-RING ubiquitin ligase (CRL3) substrate adaptor, self-associates into higher-order oligomers; that is, the number of monomers in an oligomer is broadly distributed and can be large. While wild-type SPOP localizes to liquid nuclear speckles, self-association-deficient SPOP mutants have a diffuse distribution in the nucleus. SPOP oligomerizes through its BTB and BACK domains. We show that BTB-mediated SPOP dimers form linear oligomers via BACK domain dimerization, and we determine the concentration-dependent populations of the resulting oligomeric species. Higher-order oligomerization of SPOP stimulates CRL3(SPOP) ubiquitination efficiency for its physiological substrate Gli3, suggesting that nuclear speckles are hotspots of ubiquitination. Dynamic, higher-order protein self-association may be a general mechanism to concentrate functional components in membrane-less cellular bodies.
Protein complexes form the critical foundation for a wide range of biological process, however understanding the intricate details of their activities is often challenging. In this review we describe how mass spectrometry (MS) plays a key role in the analysis of protein assemblies and the cellular pathways which they are involved in. Specifically, we discuss how the versatility of mass spectrometric approaches provides unprecedented information on multiple levels. We demonstrate this on the ubiquitin-proteasome proteolytic pathway, a process that is responsible for protein turnover. We follow the various steps of this degradation route and illustrate the different MS workflows that were applied for elucidating molecular information. Overall, this review aims to stimulate the integrated use of multiple mass spectrometry approaches for analyzing complex biological systems.
Native mass spectrometry (MS) and ion mobility MS provide a way to discriminate between various allosteric mechanisms that cannot be distinguished using ensemble measurements of ligand binding in bulk protein solutions. Native MS, which yields mass measurements of intact assemblies, can be used to determine the values of ligand binding constants of multimeric allosteric proteins, thereby providing a way to distinguish, for example, between concerted and sequential allosteric models. Native MS can also be employed to study cooperativity owing to ligand-modulated protein oligomerization. The rotationally averaged cross-section areas of complexes obtained by ion mobility MS can be used to distinguish between induced fit and conformational selection. Native MS and its allied techniques are, therefore, becoming increasingly powerful tools for dissecting allosteric mechanisms.
Errors in protein synthesis, so-called phenotypic mutations, are orders-of-magnitude more frequent than genetic mutations. Here, we provide direct evidence that alternative protein forms and phenotypic variability derived from translational errors paved the path to genetic, evolutionary adaptations via gene duplication. We explored the evolutionary origins of Saccharomyces cerevisiae IDP3 - an NADP-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase mediating fatty acids beta-oxidation in the peroxisome. Following the yeast whole genome duplication, IDP3 diverged from a cytosolic ancestral gene by acquisition of a C-terminal peroxisomal targeting signal. We discovered that the pre-duplicated cytosolic IDPs are partially localized to the peroxisome owing to + 1 translational frameshifts that bypass the stop codon and unveil cryptic peroxisomal targeting signals within the 3'-UTR. Exploring putative cryptic signals in all 3'-UTRs of yeast genomes, we found that other enzymes related to NADPH production such as pyruvate carboxylase 1 (PYC1) might be prone to peroxisomal localization via cryptic signals. Using laboratory evolution we found that these translational frameshifts are rapidly imprinted via genetic single base deletions occurring within the very same gene location. Further, as exemplified here, the sequences that promote translational frameshifts are also more prone to genetic deletions. Thus, genotypes conferring higher phenotypic variability not only meet immediate challenges by unveiling cryptic 3'-UTR sequences, but also boost the potential for future genetic adaptations.
The highly conserved COP9 signalosome (CSN) complex is a key regulator of all cullin-RING-ubiquitin ligases (CRLs), the largest family of E3 ubiquitin ligases. Until now, it was accepted that the CSN is composed of eight canonical components. Here, we report the discovery of an additional integral and stoichiometric subunit that had thus far evaded detection, and we named it CSNAP (CSN acidic protein). We show that CSNAP binds CSN3, CSN5, and CSN6, and its incorporation into the CSN complex is mediated through the C-terminal region involving conserved aromatic residues. Moreover, depletion of this small protein leads to reduced proliferation and a flattened and enlarged morphology. Finally, on the basis of sequence and structural properties shared by both CSNAP and DSS1, a component of the related 19S lid proteasome complex, we propose that CSNAP, the ninth CSN subunit, is the missing paralogous subunit of DSS1.
Autotransporters deliver virulence factors to the bacterial surface by translocating an effector passenger domain through a membrane-anchored barrel structure. Although passenger domains are diverse, those found in enteric bacteria autotransporters, including AIDA-I in diffusely adhering Escherichia coli (DAEC) and TibA in enterotoxigenic E. coli, are commonly glycosylated. We show that AIDA-I is heptosylated within the bacterial cytoplasm by autotransporter adhesin heptosyltransferase (AAH) and its paralogue AAH2. AIDA-I heptosylation determines DAEC adhesion to host cells. AAH/AAH2 define a bacterial autotransporter heptosyltransferase (BAHT) family that contains ferric ion and adopts a dodecamer assembly. Structural analyses of the heptosylated TibA passenger domain reveal 35 heptose conjugates forming patterned and solenoid-like arrays on the surface of a beta helix. Additionally, CARC, the AIDA-like autotransporter from Citrobacter rodentium, is essential for colonization in mice and requires heptosylation by its cognate BAHT. Our study establishes a bacterial glycosylation system that regulates virulence and is essential for pathogenesis.
Time series data can provide valuable insight into the complexity of biological reactions. Such information can be obtained by mass-spectrometry-based approaches that measure presteady-state kinetics. These methods are based on a mixing device that rapidly mixes the reactants prior to the on-line mass measurement of the transient intermediate steps. Here, we describe an improved continuous-flow mixing apparatus for real-time electrospray mass spectrometry measurements. Our setup was designed to minimize metal-solution interfaces and provide a sheath flow of nitrogen gas for generating stable and continuous spray that consequently enhances the signal-to-noise ratio. Moreover, the device was planned to enable easy mounting onto a mass spectrometer replacing the commercial electrospray ionization source. We demonstrate the performance of our apparatus by monitoring the unfolding reaction of cytochrome C, yielding improved signal-to-noise ratio and reduced experimental repeat errors.
Focal adhesions (FAs) are large multi-protein complexes that act as transmembrane links between the extracellular matrix and the actin cytoskeleton. Recently, FAs were extensively characterized, yet the molecular mechanisms underlying their mechanical and signalling functions remain unresolved. To address this question, we isolated protein complexes containing different FA components, from chicken smooth muscle, and characterized their properties. Here we identified 'hybrid complexes' consisting of the actin-nucleating subunits of Arp2/3 and either vinculin or vinculin and a-actinin. We further show that suppression of p41-ARC, a central component of native Arp2/3, which is absent from the hybrid complexes, increases the levels of the Arp2/3-nucleating core in FA sites and stimulates FA growth and dynamics. In contrast, overexpression of p41-ARC adversely affects FAs. These results support the view that Arp2/3 can form modular 'hybrid complexes' containing an actin-nucleating 'functional core', and 'anchoring domains' (vinculin/p41-ARC) that regulate its subcellular localization.
The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is an evolutionarily conserved protein complex that participates in the regulation of the ubiquitin/26S proteasome pathway by controlling the function of cullin-RING-ubiquitin ligases. Impressive progress has been made in deciphering its critical role in diverse cellular and developmental processes. However, little is known about the underlying regulatory principles that coordinate its function. Through biochemical and fluorescence microscopy analyses, we determined that the complex is localized in the cytoplasm, nucleoplasm, and chromatin-bound fractions, each differing in the composition of posttranslationally modified subunits, depending on its location within the cell. During the cell cycle, the segregation between subcellular localizations remains steady. However, upon UV damage, a dose-dependent temporal shuttling of the CSN complex into the nucleus was seen, accompanied by upregulation of specific phosphorylations within CSN1, CSN3, and CSN8. Taken together, our results suggest that the specific spatiotemporal composition of the CSN is highly controlled, enabling the complex to rapidly adapt and respond to DNA damage.
The invasive Asian ambrosia beetle Euwallacea sp. (Coleoptera, Scolytinae, Xyleborini) and a novel Fusarium sp. that it farms in its galleries as a source of nutrition causes serious damage to more than 20 species of live trees and pose a serious threat to avocado production (Persea americana) in Israel and California. Adult female beetles are equipped with mandibular mycangia in which its fungal symbiont is transported within and from the natal galleries. Damage caused to the xylem is associated with disease symptoms that include sugar or gum exudates, dieback, wilt and ultimately host tree mortality. In 2012 the beetle was recorded on more than 200 and 20 different urban landscape species in southern California and Israel respectively. Euwallacea sp. and its symbiont are closely related to the tea shot-hole borer (E. fornicatus) and its obligate symbiont, F. ambrosium occurring in Sri Lanka and India. To distinguish these beetles, hereafter the unnamed xyleborine in Israel and California will be referred to as Euwallacea sp. IS/CA. Both fusaria exhibit distinctive ecologies and produce clavate macroconidia, which we think might represent an adaption to the species-specific beetle partner. Both fusaria comprise a genealogically exclusive lineage within Clade 3 of the Fusarium solani species complex (FSSC) that can be differentiated with arbitrarily primed PCR. Currently these fusaria can be distinguished only phenotypically by the abundant production of blue to brownish macroconidia in the symbiont of Euwallacea sp. IS/CA and their rarity or absence in F. ambrosium. We speculate that obligate symbiosis of Euwallacea and Fusarium, might have driven ecological speciation in these mutualists. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to describe and illustrate the novel, economically destructive avocado pathogen as Fusarium euwallaceae sp. nov. S. Freeman et al.
The activity of many proteins, including metabolic enzymes, molecular machines, and ion channels, is often regulated by conformational changes that are induced or stabilized by ligand binding. In cases of multimeric proteins, such allosteric regulation has often been described by the concerted Monod-Wyman-Changeux and sequential Koshland-Nemethy-Filmer classic models of cooperativity. Despite the important functional implications of the mechanism of cooperativity, it has been impossible in many cases to distinguish between these various allosteric models using ensemble measurements of ligand binding in bulk protein solutions. Here, we demonstrate that structural MS offers a way to break this impasse by providing the full distribution of ligand-bound states of a protein complex. Given this distribution, it is possible to determine all the binding constants of a ligand to a highly multimeric cooperative system, and thereby infer its allosteric mechanism. Our approach to the dissection of allosteric mechanisms relies on advances in MS-which provide the required resolution of ligand-bound states-and in data analysis. We validated our approach using the well-characterized Escherichia coli chaperone GroEL, a double-heptameric ring containing 14 ATP binding sites, which has become a paradigm for molecular machines. The values of the 14 binding constants of ATP to GroEL were determined, and the ATP-loading pathway of the chaperone was characterized. The methodology and analyses presented here are directly applicable to numerous other cooperative systems and are therefore expected to promote further research on allosteric systems.
Identifying the list of subunits that make up protein complexes constitutes an important step towards understanding their biological functions. However, such knowledge alone does not reveal the full complexity of protein assemblies, as each subunit can take on multiple forms. Proteins can be post-translationally modified or cleaved, multiple products of alternative splicing can exist, and a single subunit may be encoded by more than one gene. Thus, for a complete description of a protein complex, it is necessary to expose the diversity of its subunits. Adding this layer of information is an important step towards understanding the mechanisms that regulate the activity of protein assemblies. Here, we describe a mass spectrometry-based approach that exposes the array of protein variants that comprise protein complexes. Our method relies on denaturing the protein complex, and separating its constituent subunits on a monolithic column prepared in-house. Following the subunit elution from the column, the flow is split into two fractions, using a Triversa NanoMate robot. One fraction is directed straight into an on-line ESI-QToF mass spectrometer for intact protein mass measurements, while the rest of the flow is fractionated into a 96-well plate for subsequent proteomic analysis. The heterogeneity of subunit composition is then exposed by correlating the subunit sequence identity with the accurate mass. Below, we describe in detail the methodological setting of this approach, its application on the endogenous human COP9 signalosome complex, and the significance of the method for structural mass spectrometry analysis of intact protein complexes. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
A multifunctional porous Si biosensor that can both monitor the enzymatic activity of minute samples and allow subsequent retrieval of the entrapped proteolytic products for mass spectrometry analysis is described. The biosensor is constructed by DNA-directed/reversible immobilization of enzymes onto a Fabry-Perot thin film. We demonstrate high enzymatic activity levels of the immobilized enzymes (more than 80%), while maintaining their specificity. Mild dehybridization conditions allow enzyme recycling and facile surface regeneration for consecutive biosensing analysis. The catalytic activity of the immobilized enzymes is monitored in real time by reflective interferometric Fourier transform spectroscopy. The real-time analysis of minute quantities of enzymes (concentrations at least 1 order of magnitude lower, 0.1 mg mL(-1), in comparison to previous reports, 1 mg mL(-1)), in particular proteases, paves the way for substrate profiling and the identification of cleavage sites. The biosensor configuration is compatible with common proteomic methods and allows for a successful downstream mass spectrometry analysis of the reaction products.
Multifunctional porous Si nanostructure is designed to optically monitor enzymatic activity of horseradish peroxidase. First, an oxidized PSi optical nanostructure, a Fabry-P,rot thin film, is synthesized and is used as the optical transducer element. Immobilization of the enzyme onto the nanostructure is performed through DNA-directed immobilization. Preliminary studies demonstrate high enzymatic activity levels of the immobilized horseradish peroxidase, while maintaining its specificity. The catalytic activity of the enzymes immobilized within the porous nanostructure is monitored in real time by reflective interferometric Fourier transform spectroscopy. We show that we can easily regenerate the surface for consecutive biosensing analysis by mild dehybridization conditions.
NAD(P)H:quinone-oxidoreductase-1 (NQO1) is a cytosolic enzyme that catalyzes the reduction of various quinones using flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) as a cofactor. NQO1 has been also shown to rescue proteins containing intrinsically unstructured domains, such as p53 and p73, from degradation by the 20S proteasome through an unknown mechanism. Here, we studied the nature of interaction between NQO1 and the 20S proteasome. Our study revealed a double negative feedback loop between NQO1 and the 20S proteasome, whereby NQO1 prevents the proteolytic activity of the 20S proteasome and the 20S proteasome degrades the apo form of NQO1. Furthermore, we demonstrate, both in vivo and in vitro, that NQO1 levels are highly dependent on FAD concentration. These observations suggest a link between 20S proteolysis and the metabolic cellular state. More generally, the results may represent a regulatory mechanism by which associated cofactors dictate the stability of proteins, thus coordinating protein levels with the metabolic status.
Based on software prediction, intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are widely represented in animal cells where they play important instructive roles. Despite the predictive power of the available software programs we nevertheless need simple experimental tools to validate the predictions. IDPs were reported to be preferentially thermo-resistant and also are susceptible to degradation by the 20S proteasome. Analysis of a set of proteins revealed that thermo-resistant proteins are preferred 20S proteasome substrates. Positive correlations are evident between the percent of protein disorder and the level of thermal stability and 20S proteasomal susceptibility. The data obtained from these two assays do not fully overlap but in combination provide a more reliable experimental IDP definition. The correlation was more significant when the IUPred was used as the IDPs predicting software. We demonstrate in this work a simple experimental strategy to improve IDPs identification.
Certain hypovirulent Rhizoctonia isolates effectively protect plants against well-known important pathogens among Rhizoctonia isolates as well as against other pathogens. The modes of action involved in this protection include resistance induced in plants by colonization with hypovirulent Rhizoctonia isolates. The qualifications of hypovirulent isolates (efficient protection, rapid growth, effective colonization of the plants, and easy application in the field) provide a significant potential for the development of a commercial microbial preparation for application as biological control agents. Understanding of the modes of action involved in protection is important for improving the various aspects of development and application of such preparations. The hypothesis of the present study is that resistance pathways such as systemic acquired resistance (SAR), induced systemic resistance (ISR), and phytoalexins are induced in plants colonized by the protective hypovirulent Rhizoctonia isolates and are involved in the protection of these plants against pathogenic Rhizoctonia. Changes in protection levels of Arabidopsis thaliana mutants defective in defense-related genes (npr1-1, npr1-2, ndr1-1, npr1-2/ndr1-1, cim6, wrky70.1, snc1, and pbs3-1) and colonized with the hypovirulent Rhizoctonia isolates compared with that of the wild type (wt) plants colonized with the same isolates confirmed the involvement of induced resistance in the protection of the plants against pathogenic Rhizoctonia spp., although protection levels of mutants constantly expressing SAR genes (snc1 and cim6) were lower than that of wt plants. Plant colonization by hypovirulent Rhizoctonia isolates induced elevated expression levels of the following genes: PR5 (SAR), PDF1.2, LOX2, LOX1, CORI3 (ISR), and PAD3 (phytoalexin production), which indicated that all of these pathways were induced in the hypovirulent-colonized plants. When SAR or ISR were induced separately in plants after application of
Mass spectrometry has become a powerful tool for determining the composition, stoichiometry, subunit interactions, and architectural organization of non-covalent protein complexes. The vast majority of assemblies studied so far by this approach are those that contain a sufficient amount of electrostatic interactions and hydrogen bonds that can survive the transition from solution to the gas-phase and maintain the structural features of the vaporized ions. An intriguing question that naturally arises is whether mass spectrometry can also be harnessed for the study of molecular systems dominated by non-polar interactions. Here we address this issue and discuss the fate of hydrophobic complexes in the absence of bulk water molecules. We emphasize the progress that has been accomplished in this field that is moving towards the analysis of larger and more complex hydrophobic systems. We attribute this advance to recent developments of mass spectrometry and its application to non-covalent complexes in general, and to the understanding of experimental and biochemical conditions for the preservation of hydrophobic interactions in particular. Furthermore, we discuss the ability of mass spectrometry to serve as a quantitative tool for assessing the strength, binding energies, and stoichiometries of hydrophobic interactions. Overall, we aim to stimulate research in this area and to establish mass spectrometry as a tool for analyzing hydrophobic interactions within complex biological systems.
Precise knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of a protein is critical, if we are to understand its biological role and mode of action. However, today it is becoming increasingly clear that dissecting the protein's structural architecture is not enough: a complete description of biomolecular activity must also include the dimension of time. Protein motion and dynamics are crucial for protein stability and reactivity. A range of techniques have been developed for probing dynamic processes. In this tutorial review, we focus on one of these approaches-structural mass spectrometry (MS). MS has the ability to capture functional conformational transitions in the slow time regime, from a few milliseconds to hours. The power of this approach lies not only in its sensitivity and speed of analysis, but also in the fact that it is a non-ensemble technique. Thus, within a single spectrum, the entire distribution of co-existing states can be resolved. In discussing the challenges, advantages and limitations of the field, as well as future directions, we highlight the applicability of MS for quantitative monitoring of structural kinetics. In particular, we describe the array of MS-based strategies that are available for capturing protein folding, enzymatic reactions, ligand interactions, subunit exchange and biogenesis pathways.
Jasmonates are a family of plant hormones that regulate plant growth, development and responses to stress. The F-box protein CORONATINE INSENSITIVE 1 (COI1) mediates jasmonate signalling by promoting hormone-dependent ubiquitylation and degradation of transcriptional repressor JAZ proteins. Despite its importance, the mechanism of jasmonate perception remains unclear. Here we present structural and pharmacological data to show that the true Arabidopsis jasmonate receptor is a complex of both COI1 and JAZ. COI1 contains an open pocket that recognizes the bioactive hormone (3R, 7S)-jasmonoyl-L-isoleucine (JA-Ile) with high specificity. High-affinity hormone binding requires a bipartite JAZ degron sequence consisting of a conserved a-helix for COI1 docking and a loop region to trap the hormone in its binding pocket. In addition, we identify a third critical component of the jasmonate co-receptor complex, inositol pentakisphosphate, which interacts with both COI1 and JAZ adjacent to the ligand. Our results unravel the mechanism of jasmonate perception and highlight the ability of F-box proteins to evolve as multi-component signalling hubs.
Ion-mobility mass spectrometry is emerging as a powerful tool for studying the structures of less established protein assemblies. The method provides simultaneous measurement of the mass and size of intact protein assemblies, providing information not only on the subunit composition and network of interactions but also on the overall topology and shape of protein complexes. However, how the experimental parameters affect the measured collision cross-sections remains elusive. Here, we present an extensive systematic study on a range of proteins and protein complexes with differing sizes, structures, and oligomerization states. Our results indicate that the experimental parameters, T-wave height and velocity, influence the determined collision cross-section independently and in opposite directions. Increasing the T-wave height leads to compaction of the protein structures, while higher T-wave velocities lead to their expansion. These different effects are attributed to differences in energy transmission and dissipation rates. Moreover, by analyzing proteins in their native and denatured states, we could identify the lower and upper boundaries of the collision cross-section, which reflect the "maximally packed" and "ultimately unfolded" states. Together, our results provide grounds for selecting optimal experimental parameters that will enable preservation of the nativelike conformation, providing structural information on uncharacterized protein assemblies.
There is often an interest in knowing, for a given ligand concentration, how many protein molecules have one, two, three, etc. ligands bound in a specific manner. This is a question that cannot be addressed using conventional ensemble techniques. Here, a mathematical method is presented for separating specific from nonspecific binding in nonensemble studies. The method provides a way to determine the distribution of specific binding stoichiometries at any ligand concentration when using nonensemble (e.g., single-molecule) methods. The applicability of the method is demonstrated for ADP binding to creatine kinase using mass spectroscopy data. A major advantage of our method, which can be applied to any protein-ligand system, is that no previous information regarding the mechanism of ligand interaction is required.
Physical interactions between proteins and the formation of stable complexes form the basis of most biological functions. Therefore, a critical step toward understanding the integrated workings of the cell is to determine the structure of protein complexes, and reveal how their structural organization dictates function. Studying the three-dimensional organization of protein assemblies, however, represents a major challenge for structural biologists, due to the large size of the complexes, their heterogeneous composition, their flexibility, and their asymmetric structure. In the last decade, mass spectrometry has proven to be a valuable tool for analyzing such noncovalent complexes. Here, I illustrate the breadth of structural information that can be obtained from this approach, and the steps taken to elucidate the stoichiometry, topology, packing, dynamics, and shape of protein complexes. In addition, I illustrate the challenges that lie ahead, and the future directions toward which the field might be heading. (J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 2010, 21, 487-500) (C) 2010 American Society for Mass Spectrometry
The primary sequence of proteins usually dictates a single tertiary and quaternary structure. However, certain proteins undergo reversible backbone rearrangements. Such metamorphic proteins provide a means of facilitating the evolution of new folds and architectures. However, because natural folds emerged at the early stages of evolution, the potential role of metamorphic intermediates in mediating evolutionary transitions of structure remains largely unexplored. We evolved a set of new proteins based on similar to 100 amino acid fragments derived from tachylectin-2-a monomeric, 236 amino acids, five-bladed beta-propeller. Their structures reveal a unique pentameric assembly and novel beta-propeller structures. Although identical in sequence, the oligomeric subunits adopt two, or even three, different structures that together enable the pentameric assembly of two propellers connected via a small linker. Most of the subunits adopt a wild-type-like structure within individual five-bladed propellers. However, the bridging subunits exhibit domain swaps and asymmetric strand exchanges that allow them to complete the two propellers and connect them. Thus, the modular and metamorphic nature of these subunits enabled dramatic changes in tertiary and quaternary structure, while maintaining the lectin function. These oligomers therefore comprise putative intermediates via which beta-propellers can evolve from smaller elements. Our data also suggest that the ability of one sequence to equilibrate between different structures can be evolutionary optimized, thus facilitating the emergence of new structures.
Ion mobility (IM) is a method that measures the time taken for an ion to travel through a pressurized cell under the influence of a weak electric field. The speed by which the ions traverse the drift region depends on their size: large ions will experience a greater number of collisions with the background inert gas (usually N(2;)) and thus travel more slowly through the IM device than those ions that comprise a smaller cross-section. In general, the time it takes for the ions to migrate though the dense gas phase separates them, according to their collision cross-section (Omega). Recently, IM spectrometry was coupled with mass spectrometry and a traveling-wave (T-wave) Synapt ion mobility mass spectrometer (IM-MS) was released. Integrating mass spectrometry with ion mobility enables an extra dimension of sample separation and definition, yielding a three-dimensional spectrum (mass to charge, intensity, and drift time). This separation technique allows the spectral overlap to decrease, and enables resolution of heterogeneous complexes with very similar mass, or mass-to-charge ratios, but different drift times. Moreover, the drift time measurements provide an important layer of structural information, as Omega is related to the overall shape and topology of the ion. The correlation between the measured drift time values and Omega is calculated using a calibration curve generated from calibrant proteins with defined cross-sections(1). The power of the IM-MS approach lies in its ability to define the subunit packing and overall shape of protein assemblies at micromolar concentrations, and near-physiological conditions(1). Several recent IM studies of both individual proteins(2,3) and non-covalent protein complexes(4-9), successfully demonstrated that protein quaternary structure is maintained in the gas phase, and highlighted the potential of this approach in the study of protein assemblies of unknown geometry. Here, we provide a detailed description of IMS-MS a
Living cells control and regulate their biological processes through the coordinated action of a large number of proteins that assemble themselves into an array of dynamic, multi-protein complexes(1). To gain a mechanistic understanding of the various cellular processes, it is crucial to determine the structure of such protein complexes, and reveal how their structural organization dictates their function. Many aspects of multi-protein complexes are, however, difficult to characterize, due to their heterogeneous nature, asymmetric structure, and dynamics. Therefore, new approaches are required for the study of the tertiary levels of protein organization. One of the emerging structural biology tools for analyzing macromolecular complexes is mass spectrometry (MS)(2-5). This method yields information on the complex protein composition, subunit stoichiometry, and structural topology. The power of MS derives from its high sensitivity and, as a consequence, low sample requirement, which enables examination of protein complexes expressed at endogenous levels. Another advantage is the speed of analysis, which allows monitoring of reactions in real time. Moreover, the technique can simultaneously measure the characteristics of separate populations co-existing in a mixture. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for the application of structural MS to the analysis of large protein assemblies. The procedure begins with the preparation of gold-coated capillaries for nanoflow electrospray ionization (nESI). It then continues with sample preparation, emphasizing the buffer conditions which should be compatible with nESI on the one hand, and enable to maintain complexes intact on the other. We then explain, step-by-step, how to optimize the experimental conditions for high mass measurements and acquire MS and tandem MS spectra. Finally, we chart the data processing and analyses that follow. Rather than attempting to characterize every aspect of protein assemblies, this prot
The major core promoter-binding factor in polymerase II transcription machinery is TFIID, a complex consisting of TBP, the TATA box-binding protein, and 13 to 14 TBP-associated factors (TAFs). Previously we found that the histone H2A-like TAF paralogs TAF4 and TAF4b possess DNA-binding activity. Whether TAF4/TAF4b DNA binding directs TFIID to a specific core promoter element or facilitates TFIID binding to established core promoter elements is not known. Here we analyzed the mode of TAF4b.TAF12 DNA binding and show that this complex binds DNA with high affinity. The DNA length required for optimal binding is similar to 70 bp. Although the complex displays a weak sequence preference, the nucleotide composition is less important than the length of the DNA for high affinity binding. Comparative expression profiling of wild-type and a DNA-binding mutant of TAF4 revealed common core promoter features in the down-regulated genes that include a TATA-box and an Initiator. Further examination of the PEL98 gene from this group showed diminished Initiator activity and TFIID occupancy in TAF4 DNA-binding mutant cells. These findings suggest that DNA binding by TAF4/4b-TAF12 facilitates the association of TFIID with the core promoter of a subset of genes.
The Clp protease is conserved among eubacteria and most eukaryotes, and uses ATP to drive protein substrate unfolding and translocation into a chamber of sequestered proteolytic active sites. The main constitutive Clp protease in photosynthetic organisms has evolved into a functionally essential and structurally intricate enzyme. The model Clp protease from the cyanobacterium Synechococcus consists of the HSP100 molecular chaperone ClpC and a mixed proteolytic core comprised of two distinct subunits, ClpP3 and ClpR. We have purified the ClpP3/R complex, the first for a Clp proteolytic core comprised of heterologous subunits. The ClpP3/R complex has unique functional and structural features, consisting of twin heptameric rings each with an identical ClpP3(3)ClpR(4) configuration. As predicted by its lack of an obvious catalytic triad, the ClpR subunit is shown to be proteolytically inactive. Interestingly, extensive modification to ClpR to restore proteolytic activity to this subunit showed that its presence in the core complex is not rate-limiting for the overall proteolytic activity of the ClpCP3/R protease. Altogether, the ClpP3/R complex shows remarkable similarities to the 20 S core of the proteasome, revealing a far greater degree of convergent evolution than previously thought between the development of the Clp protease in photosynthetic organisms and that of the eukaryotic 26 S proteasome.
The COP9 signalosome (CSN) is an eight-subunit protein complex that is found in all eukaryotes. Accumulating evidence indicates its diverse biological functions that are often linked to ubiquitin-mediated proteolysis. Here we applied an emerging mass spectrometry approach to gain insight into the structure of the CSN complex. Our results indicate that the catalytically active human complex, reconstituted in vitro, is composed of a single copy of each of the eight subunits. By forming a total of 35 subcomplexes, we are able to build a comprehensive interaction map that shows two symmetrical modules, Csn1/2/3/8 and Csn4/5/6/7, connected by interactions between Csn1-Csn6. Overall the stable modules and multiple subcomplexes observed here are in agreement with the "mini-CSN" complexes reported previously. This suggests that the propensity of the CSN complex to change and adapt its subunit composition might underlie its ability to perform multiple functions in vivo.
Proteomic studies have yielded detailed lists of protein components. Relatively little is known, however, of interactions between proteins or of their spatial arrangement. To bridge this gap, we are developing a mass spectrometry approach based on intact protein complexes. By studying intact complexes, we show that we are able to not only determine the stoichiometry of all subunits present but also deduce interaction maps and topological arrangements of subunits. To construct an interaction network, we use tandem mass spectrometry to define peripheral subunits and partial denaturation in solution to generate series of subcomplexes. These subcomplexes are subsequently assigned using tandem mass spectrometry. To facilitate this assignment process, we have developed an iterative search algorithm (SUMMIT) to both assign protein subcomplexes and generate protein interaction networks. This software package not only allows us to construct the subunit architecture of protein assemblies but also allows us to explore the limitations and potential of our approach. Using series of hypothetical complexes, generated at random from protein assemblies containing between six and fourteen subunits, we highlight the significance of tandem mass spectrometry for defining subunits present. We also demonstrate the importance of pairwise interactions and the optimal numbers of subcomplexes required to assign networks with up to fourteen subunits. To illustrate application of our approach, we describe the overall architecture of two endogenous protein assemblies isolated from yeast at natural expression levels, the 19S proteasome lid and the RNA exosome. In constructing our models, we did not consider previous electron microscopy images but rather deduced the subunit architecture from series of subcomplexes and our network algorithm. The results show that the proteasome lid complex consists of a bicluster with two tetrameric lobes. The exosome lid, by contrast, is a six-membered ring
Proton-translocating ATPases are central to biological energy conversion. Although eukaryotes contain specialized F-ATPases for ATP synthesis and V-ATPases for proton pumping, eubacteria and archaea typically contain only one enzyme for both tasks. Although many eubacteria contain ATPases of the F-type, some eubacteria and all known archaea contain ATPases of the A-type. A-ATPases are closely related to V-ATPases but simpler in design. Although the nucleotide-binding and transmembrane rotor subunits share sequence homology between A-, V-, and F-ATPases, the peripheral stalk is strikingly different in sequence, composition, and stoichiometry. We have analyzed the peripheral stalk of Thermus thermophilus A-ATPase by using phage display-derived single-domain antibody fragments in combination with electron microscopy and tandem mass spectrometry. Our data provide the first direct evidence for the existence of two peripheral stalks in the A-ATPase, each one composed of heterodimers of subunits E and G arranged symmetrically around the soluble A(1) domain. To our knowledge, this is the first description of phage display-derived antibody selection against a multi-subunit membrane protein used for purification and single particle analysis by electron microscopy. It is also the first instance of the derivation of subunit stoichiometry by tandem mass spectrometry to an intact membrane protein complex. Both approaches could be applicable to the structural analysis of other membrane protein complexes.
Keywords: ALTERNATIVE CONFORMATIONS
We have compared micelles, reverse micelles, and reverse micelles encapsulating myoglobin using electrospray mass spectrometry. To enable a direct comparison, the same surfactant (cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)) was used in each case and micelle formation was controlled by manipulating the aqueous and organic phases. Tandem mass spectra of the resulting micelle preparations reveal differences in the ions that dissociate: those that dissociate from regular micelles have undergone >90% exchange of bromide ions from the headgroup with acetate ions from bulk solvent. By contrast, for reverse micelles, ions are detected without exchange of bromide ions from the headgroup, consistent with their protection in the core of the micellar structure. Tandem mass spectra of micelles and reverse micelles reveal polydispersed assemblies containing several hundred CTAB molecules, indicating the coalescence of the micellar systems to form large assemblies. For reverse micelles incorporating myoglobin, spectra are consistent with one holo myogolobin molecule in association with approximately 270 CTAB molecules. Overall, therefore, our results show that the solution-phase orientation of surfactants is preserved during electrospray and are consistent with interactions being maintained between surfactants and an encapsulated protein.
The 20 S proteasome is an essential proteolytic particle, responsible for degrading short-lived and abnormal intracellular proteins. The 700-kDa assembly is comprised of 14 alpha-type and 14 beta-type subunits, which form a cylindrical architecture composed of four stacked heptameric rings (alpha7beta7beta7alpha7). The formation of the 20 S proteasome is a complex process that involves a cascade of folding, assembly, and processing events. To date, the understanding of the assembly pathway is incomplete due to the experimental challenges of capturing short-lived intermediates. In this study, we have applied a real-time mass spectrometry approach to capture transient species along the assembly pathway of the 20 S proteasome from Rhodococcus erythropolis. In the course of assembly, we observed formation of an early alpha/beta-heterodimer as well as an unprocessed half-proteasome particle. Formation of mature holoproteasomes occurred in concert with the disappearance of half-proteasomes. We also analyzed the beta-subunits before and during assembly and reveal that those with longer propeptides are incorporated into half- and full proteasomes more rapidly than those that are heavily truncated. To characterize the preholoproteasome, formed by docking of two unprocessed half-proteasomes and not observed during assembly of wild type subunits, we trapped this intermediate using a beta-subunit mutational variant. In summary, this study provides evidence for transient intermediates in the assembly pathway and reveals detailed insight into the cleavage sites of the propeptide.
Auxin is a pivotal plant hormone that controls many aspects of plant growth and development. Perceived by a small family of F-box proteins including transport inhibitor response 1 (TIR1), auxin regulates gene expression by promoting SCF ubiquitin-ligase-catalysed degradation of the Aux/IAA transcription repressors, but how the TIR1 F-box protein senses and becomes activated by auxin remains unclear. Here we present the crystal structures of the Arabidopsis TIR1-ASK1 complex, free and in complexes with three different auxin compounds and an Aux/IAA substrate peptide. These structures show that the leucine-rich repeat domain of TIR1 contains an unexpected inositol hexakisphosphate co-factor and recognizes auxin and the Aux/IAA polypeptide substrate through a single surface pocket. Anchored to the base of the TIR1 pocket, auxin binds to a partially promiscuous site, which can also accommodate various auxin analogues. Docked on top of auxin, the Aux/IAA substrate peptide occupies the rest of the TIR1 pocket and completely encloses the hormone-binding site. By filling in a hydrophobic cavity at the protein interface, auxin enhances the TIR1-substrate interactions by acting as a 'molecular glue'. Our results establish the first structural model of a plant hormone receptor.
Agrobacterium tumefaciens infects plant cells by the transfer of DNA. A key factor in this process is the bacterial virulence protein VirE2, which associates stoichiometrically with the transported single-stranded (ss) DNA molecule (T-strand). As observed in vitro by transmission electron microscopy, VirE2-ssDNA readily forms an extended helical complex with a structure well suited to the tasks of DNA protection and nuclear import. Here we have elucidated the role of the specific molecular chaperone VirE1 in regulating VireE2-VirE2 and VirE2-ssDNA interactions. VirE2 alone formed functional filamentous aggregates capable of ssDNA binding. In contrast, co-expression with VirE1 yielded monodisperse VirE1-VirE2 complexes. Cooperative binding of VirE2 to ssDNA released VirE1, resulting in a controlled formation mechanism for the helical complex that is further promoted by macromolecular crowding. Based on this in vitro evidence, we suggest that the constrained volume of the VirB channel provides a natural site for the exchange of VirE2 binding from VirE1 to the T-strand.
The fact that ions of macromolecular complexes produced by electrospray ionization can be maintained intact in a mass spectrometer has stimulated exciting new lines of research. In this review we chart the progress of this research from the observation of simple homo-oligomers to complex heterogeneous macromolecular assemblies of mega-Dalton proportions. The applications described herein not only confirm the status of mass spectrometry (MS) as a structural biology approach to complement X-ray analysis or electron microscopy, but also highlight unique attributes of the methodology. This is exemplified in studies of the biogenesis of macromolecular complexes and in the exchange of subunits between macromolecular complexes. Moreover, recent successes in revealing the overall subunit architecture of complexes are set to promote MS from a complementary approach to a structural biology tool in its own right.
HIV-1 coreceptor usage plays a critical role in virus tropism and pathogenesis. A switch from CCR5- to CXCR4-using viruses occurs during the course of HIV-1 infection and correlates with subsequent disease progression. A single mutation at position 322 within the V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120, from a negatively to a positively charged residue, was found to be sufficient to switch an R5 virus to an X4 virus. In this study,the NMR structure of the V3 region of an R5 strain, HIV-1(JR-FL), in complex with an HIV-1-neutralizing antibody was determined. Positively charged and negatively charged residues at positions 304 and 322, respectively, oppose each other in the beta-hairpin structure, enabling a favorable electrostatic interaction that stabilizes the postulated R5 conformation. Comparison of the R5 conformation with the postulated X4 conformation of the V3 region (positively charged residue at position 322) reveals that electrostatic repulsion between residues 304 and 322 in X4 strains triggers the observed one register shift in the N-terminal strand of the V3 region. We posit that electrostatic interactions at the base of the V3 beta-hairpin can modulate the conformation and thereby influence the phenotype switch. In addition, we suggest that interstrand cation-pi interactions between positively charged and aromatic residues induce the switch to the X4 conformation as a result of the S306R mutation. The existence of three pairs of identical (or very similar) amino acids in the V3 C-terminal strand facilitates the switch between the R5 and X4 conformations.
The 26S proteasome contains a 19S regulatory particle that selects and unfolds ubiquitinated substrates for degradation in the 20S catalytic particle. To date there are no high-resolution structures of the 19S assembly, nor of the lid or base subcomplexes that constitute the 19S. Mass spectra of the intact lid complex from Saccharomyces cerevisiae show that eight of the nine subunits are present stoichiometrically and that a stable tetrameric subcomplex forms in solution. Application of tandem mass spectrometry to the intact lid complex reveals the subunit architecture, while the coupling of a cross-linking approach identifies further interaction partners. Taking together our results with previous analyses we are able to construct a comprehensive interaction map. In summary, our findings allow us to identify a scaffold for the assembly of the particle and to propose a regulatory mechanism that prevents exposure of the active site until assembly is complete. More generally, the results highlight the potential of mass spectrometry to add crucial insight into the structural organization of an endogenous, wild-type complex.
The processing of propeptides and the maturation of 20S proteasomes require the association of beta rings from two half proteasomes. We propose an assembly-dependent activation model in which interactions between helix (H3 and H4) residues of the opposing half proteasomes are prerequisite for appropriate positioning of the S2-S3 loop; such positioning enables correct coordination of the active-site residue needed for propeptide cleavage. Mutations of H3 or H4 residues that participate in the association of two half proteasomes inhibit activation and prevent, in nearly all cases, the formation of full proteasomes. In contrast, mutations affecting interactions with residues of the S2-S3 loop allow the assembly of full, but activity impacted, proteasomes. The crystal structure of the inactive H3 mutant, Phe145Ala, shows that the S2-S3 loop is displaced from the position observed in wild-type proteasomes. These data support the proposed assembly-dependent activation model in which the S2-S3 loop acts as an activation switch.
We have cloned the proteasome and the proteasome activating nucleotidase (PAN) genes from the mesophilic archaeon Methanosarcina mazei and produced the respective proteins in Escherichia coli cultures. The recombinant complexes were purified to homogeneity and characterized biochemically, structurally, and by mass spectrometry. We found that the degradation of Bodipy-casein by Methanosarcina proteasomes was activated by Methanosarcina PAN. Notably, the Methanosarcina PAN unfolded GFP-SsrA only in the presence of Methanosarcina proteasomes. Structural analysis by 2D averaging electron microscopy of negatively stained complexes displayed the typical structure for the proteasome, namely four-striped side-views and sevenfold-symmetric top-views, with 15 nm height and 11 nm diameter. The structural analysis of the PAN preparation revealed also four-striped side-views, albeit with a height of 18 nm and sixfold-symmetric top-views with a diameter of 15 nm, which corresponds most likely to a dimer of two hexameric complexes. Mass spectrometric analysis of both the Methanosarcina and the Methanocaldococcus PAN proteins indicated hexameric complexes. In summary, we performed a functional and structural characterization of the PAN and proteasome complexes from the archaeon M. mazei and described unique new structural and functional features.
The third variable region (V3) of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 is involved in gp120 binding to the chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR4, which serve as co-receptors in HIV-1 infection. The sequence of V3 determines whether the virus binds to CCR5 and infects predominantly macrophages (R5 virus) or to CXCR4 and infects mostly T-cells (X4 virus). This review summarizes structural information for V3 peptides in complex with HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies. Nuclear magnetic resonance studies of the V3 peptides led to the proposal of a mechanism for co-receptor selectivity. Experiments to further explore this mechanism and potential applications of V3 structural information are discussed.
Human monoclonal antibody (mAb) 447-52D neutralizes a broad spectrum of HIV-1 isolates, whereas murine mAb 0.5β, raised against gp120 of the X4 isolate HIV-1(IIIB), neutralizes this strain specifically. Two distinct gp120 V3 peptides, V3(MN) and V3,B, adopt alternative β-hairpin conformations when bound to 447-52D and 0.5β, respectively, suggesting that the alternative conformations of this loop play a key role in determining the coreceptor specificity of HIV-1. To test this hypothesis and to better understand the molecular basis underlying an antibody's breadth of neutralization, the solution structure of the V3(IIIB) peptide bound to 447-52D was determined by NMR. V3(IIIB) and V3(MN) peptides bound to 447-52D exhibited the same N-terminal strand conformation, while the V3(IIIB) peptide revealed alternative N-terminal conformations when bound to 447-52D and 0.5β. Comparison of the three known V3 structures leads to a model in which a 180&DEG; change in the orientation of the side chains and the resulting one-residue shift in hydrogen bonding patterns in the N-terminal strand of the β-hairpins markedly alter the topology of the surface that interacts with antibodies and that can potentially interact with the HIV-1 coreceptors. Predominant interactions of 447-52D with three conserved residues of the N-terminal side of the V3 loop, K312 I314, and I316, can account for its broad cross reactivity, whereas the predominant interactions of 0.5β with variable residues underlie its strain specificity.
The Fv is the smallest antigen binding fragment of the antibody and is made of the variable domains of the light and heavy chains, V-L and V-H, respectively. The 26-kDa Fv is amenable for structure determination in solution using multi-dimensional hetero-nuclear NMR spectroscopy. The human monoclonal antibody 447-52D neutralizes a broad spectrum of HIV-1 isolates. This anti-HIV-1 antibody elicited in an infected patient is directed against the third variable loop (W) of the envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of the virus. The V3 loop is an immunodominant neutralizing epitope of HIV-1. To obtain the 447-52D Fv for NMR studies, an Escherichia coli bicistronic expression vector for the heterodimeric 447-52D Fv and vectors for single chain Fv and individually expressed V-H and V-L were constructed. A pelB signal peptide was linked to the antibody genes to enable secretion of the expressed polypeptides into the periplasm. For easy cloning of any antibody gene without potential modification of the antibody sequence, restriction sites were introduced in the pelB sequence and following the termination codon. A set of oligonucleotides that prime the leader peptide genes of all potential antibody human antibodies were designed as backward primers. The forward primers for the V-L and V-H were based on constant region sequences. The 447-52D Fv could not be expressed either by a bicistronic vector or as single chain Fv, probably due to its toxicity to Escherichia coli. High level of expression was obtained by individual expression of the VH and the VL chains, which were then purified and recombined to generate a soluble and active 447-52D Fv fragment. The V-L of mAb 447-52D was uniformly labeled with C-13 and N-15 nuclei (U-C-13/N-15). Preliminary NMR spectra demonstrate that structure determination of the recombinant 447-52D Fv and its complex with V3 peptides is feasible. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
The V3 loop of the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein gp120 is involved in binding to the CCR5 and CXCR4 coreceptors. The structure of an HIV-1(MN) V3 peptide bound to the Fv of the broadly neutralizing human monoclonal antibody 447-52D was solved by NMR and found to be a beta hairpin. This structure of V3(MN) was found to have conformation and sequence similarities to beta hairpins in CD8 and CCR5 ligands MIP-1alpha, MIP-1beta, and RANTES and differed from the beta hairpin of a V3(IIIB) peptide bound to the strain-specific murine anti-gp120(IIIB) antibody 0.5beta. In contrast to the structure of the bound V3(MN) peptide, the V3(IIIB) peptide resembles a beta hairpin in SDF-1, a CXCR4 ligand. These data suggest that the 447-52D-bound V3(MN) and the 0.5beta-bound V3(IIIB) structures represent alternative V3 conformations responsible for selective interactions with CCR5 and CXCR4, respectively.
Most human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) neutralizing antibodies in infected individuals and in immunized animals are directed against the third variable loop (V3) of the envelope glycoprotein (gp120) of the virus. This loop plays a crucial role in phenotypic determination, cytopathicity (syncytium induction), and coreceptor usage of HIV-1. The human monoclonal antibody 447-52D was found to neutralize a broad spectrum of HIV-1 strains. In order to solve the solution structure of the V3(MN) peptide bound to the 447-52D Fab fragment by NMR, large quantities of labeled peptide and a protocol for the purification of the Fab fragment were needed. An expression plasmid coding for the 23-residue V3 peptide of the HIV-1(MN) strain CV3(MN) peptide, YNKRKRIHIGPGRAFYTTENIIG) linked to a derivative of the RNA-binding domain of hnRNCP1 was constructed. The fusion protein attached to the V3 peptide prevents its degradation. Using this system, U-N-15, U-C-13,N-15, and U-C-13 15N, 50%, 2 H labeled fusion protein molecules were expressed in Escherichia coli grown on rich Celtone medium with yields of about 240 mg/ liter. The V3(MN) peptide was released by CN-Br cleavage and purified by RP-HPLC, giving final yields of 6-13 mg/liter. This expression system is generally applicable for biosynthesis of V3-related peptides and was also used to prepare the V3(JR.FL). The 447-52D Fab fragment was obtained by a short enzymatic papain cleavage of the whole antibody. Preliminary NMR spectra demonstrate that fall structural analysis of the V3(MN) complexed to the 447-52D Fab is feasible. This system enables studies of the same epitope bound to different HIV-1 neutralizing antibodies. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science (USA).
'Melittin, a 26 residue, non-cell-selective cycolytic peptide, is the major component of the venom of the honey bee Apis mellifera. In a previous study, a diastereomer ([D]-V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21-melittin, D-amino acids at positions V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21) of melittin was synthesized and its function was investigated [Oren, Z., and Shai, Y. (1997) Biochemistry 36, 1826-1835]. [D]-V-5 8,I-17,K-21-melittin lost its cytotoxic effects on mammalian cells; however, it retained antibacterial activity. Furthermore, [D]-V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21-melittin binds strongly and destabilizes only negatively charged phospholipid vesicles, in contrast to native melittin, which binds strongly also zwitterionic phospholipids. To understand the differences in the properties of melittin and its diastereomer, 2D-NMR experiments were carried out with [D]-V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21-melittin, and polarized attenuated total reflectance Fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy experiments were-done with both melittin and [D]-V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21-melittin. The structure of the diastereomer was characterized by NMR in water, as well as in three different membrane-mimicking environment, 40% 2,2,2-trifluoroethanol (TFE)/water, methanol, and dodecylphosphocholine/phosphatidylglycerol (DPC/DMPG) micelles. The NMR data revealed an amphipathic alpha-helix only in the C-terminal region of the diastereomer in TFE/water and methanol solutions and in DPC/DMPG micelles. ATR-FTIR experiments revealed that melittin and [D]-V-5,V-8,I-17,K-21-melittin are oriented parallel to the membrane surface. This study indicates the role of secondary structure formation in selective cytolytic activity of [D]-V-5,V-8 ,I-17,K-21- melittin. While the N-terminal helical structure is not required for the cytolytic activity toward negatively charged membranes and bacterial cells, it appears to be a crucial structural element for binding and insertion into zwitterionic membranes and for hemolytic activity.