Terminal Domain
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eLife ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 10 ◽  
Alena Kroupova ◽  
Fabian Ackle ◽  
Igor Asanović ◽  
Stefan Weitzer ◽  
Franziska M Boneberg ◽  

RtcB enzymes are RNA ligases that play essential roles in tRNA splicing, unfolded protein response, and RNA repair. In metazoa, RtcB functions as part of a five-subunit tRNA ligase complex (tRNA-LC) along with Ddx1, Cgi-99, Fam98B and Ashwin. The human tRNA-LC or its individual subunits have been implicated in additional cellular processes including microRNA maturation, viral replication, DNA double-strand break repair and mRNA transport. Here we present a biochemical analysis of the inter-subunit interactions within the human tRNA-LC along with crystal structures of the catalytic subunit RTCB and the N-terminal domain of CGI-99. We show that the core of the human tRNA-LC is assembled from RTCB and the C-terminal alpha-helical regions of DDX1, CGI-99, and FAM98B, all of which are required for complex integrity. The N-terminal domain of CGI-99 displays structural homology to calponin-homology domains, and CGI-99 and FAM98B associate via their N-terminal domains to form a stable subcomplex. The crystal structure of GMP-bound RTCB reveals divalent metal coordination geometry in the active site, providing insights into its catalytic mechanism. Collectively, these findings shed light on the molecular architecture and mechanism of the human tRNA ligase complex, and provide a structural framework for understanding its functions in cellular RNA metabolism.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 ◽  
Wei-Shuo Lin ◽  
I-Chen Chen ◽  
Hui-Chen Chen ◽  
Yi-Chien Lee ◽  
Suh-Chin Wu

Glycan-masking the vaccine antigen by mutating the undesired antigenic sites with an additional N-linked glycosylation motif can refocus B-cell responses to desired epitopes, without affecting the antigen’s overall-folded structure. This study examined the impact of glycan-masking mutants of the N-terminal domain (NTD) and receptor-binding domain (RBD) of SARS-CoV-2, and found that the antigenic design of the S protein increases the neutralizing antibody titers against the Wuhan-Hu-1 ancestral strain and the recently emerged SARS-CoV-2 variants Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351), and Delta (B.1.617.2). Our results demonstrated that the use of glycan-masking Ad-S-R158N/Y160T in the NTD elicited a 2.8-fold, 6.5-fold, and 4.6-fold increase in the IC-50 NT titer against the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351) and Delta (B.1.617.2) variants, respectively. Glycan-masking of Ad-S-D428N in the RBD resulted in a 3.0-fold and 2.0-fold increase in the IC-50 neutralization titer against the Alpha (B.1.1.7) and Beta (B.1.351) variants, respectively. The use of glycan-masking in Ad-S-R158N/Y160T and Ad-S-D428N antigen design may help develop universal COVID-19 vaccines against current and future emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Dukas Jurėnas ◽  
Leonardo Talachia Rosa ◽  
Martial Rey ◽  
Julia Chamot-Rooke ◽  
Rémi Fronzes ◽  

AbstractBacteria have evolved toxins to outcompete other bacteria or to hijack host cell pathways. One broad family of bacterial polymorphic toxins gathers multidomain proteins with a modular organization, comprising a C-terminal toxin domain fused to a N-terminal domain that adapts to the delivery apparatus. Polymorphic toxins include bacteriocins, contact-dependent growth inhibition systems, and specialized Hcp, VgrG, PAAR or Rhs Type VI secretion (T6SS) components. We recently described and characterized Tre23, a toxin domain fused to a T6SS-associated Rhs protein in Photorhabdus laumondii, Rhs1. Here, we show that Rhs1 forms a complex with the T6SS spike protein VgrG and the EagR chaperone. Using truncation derivatives and cross-linking mass spectrometry, we demonstrate that VgrG-EagR-Rhs1 complex formation requires the VgrG C-terminal β-helix and the Rhs1 N-terminal region. We then report the cryo-electron-microscopy structure of the Rhs1-EagR complex, demonstrating that the Rhs1 central region forms a β-barrel cage-like structure that encapsulates the C-terminal toxin domain, and provide evidence for processing of the Rhs1 protein through aspartyl autoproteolysis. We propose a model for Rhs1 loading on the T6SS, transport and delivery into the target cell.

2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (12) ◽  
Chenxi Zhong ◽  
Ming Chen ◽  
Yu Chen ◽  
Feng Yao ◽  
Wentao Fang

AbstractAberrant activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and dysregulation of metabolism have been frequently observed in lung cancer. However, the molecular mechanism by which Wnt/β-catenin signaling is regulated and the link between Wnt/β-catenin signaling and cancer metabolism are not fully understood. In this study, we showed that the loss of dual serine/threonine tyrosine protein kinase (DSTYK) led to the activation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling and upregulation of its target gene, lactate dehydrogenase (LDHA), and thus the elevation of lactate. DSTYK phosphorylated the N-terminal domain of β-catenin and inhibited Wnt/β-catenin signaling, which led to the inhibition of cell growth, colony formation and tumorigenesis in a lung adenocarcinoma mouse model. DSTYK was downregulated in lung cancer tissues, and its expression was positively correlated with the survival of patients with lung adenocarcinoma. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the loss of DSTYK activates Wnt/β-catenin/LDHA signaling to promote the tumorigenesis of lung cancer and that DSTYK may be a therapeutic target.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (23) ◽  
pp. 12983
Aitor Franco ◽  
Jorge Cuéllar ◽  
José Ángel Fernández-Higuero ◽  
Igor de la Arada ◽  
Natalia Orozco ◽  

The aggregation of α-synuclein is the hallmark of a collective of neurodegenerative disorders known as synucleinopathies. The tendency to aggregate of this protein, the toxicity of its aggregation intermediates and the ability of the cellular protein quality control system to clear these intermediates seems to be regulated, among other factors, by post-translational modifications (PTMs). Among these modifications, we consider herein proteolysis at both the N- and C-terminal regions of α-synuclein as a factor that could modulate disassembly of toxic amyloids by the human disaggregase, a combination of the chaperones Hsc70, DnaJB1 and Apg2. We find that, in contrast to aggregates of the protein lacking the N-terminus, which can be solubilized as efficiently as those of the WT protein, the deletion of the C-terminal domain, either in a recombinant context or as a consequence of calpain treatment, impaired Hsc70-mediated amyloid disassembly. Progressive removal of the negative charges at the C-terminal region induces lateral association of fibrils and type B* oligomers, precluding chaperone action. We propose that truncation-driven aggregate clumping impairs the mechanical action of chaperones, which includes fast protofilament unzipping coupled to depolymerization. Inhibition of the chaperone-mediated clearance of C-truncated species could explain their exacerbated toxicity and higher propensity to deposit found in vivo.

2021 ◽  
Jonathan M Labriola ◽  
Shane Miersch ◽  
Gang Chen ◽  
Chao Chen ◽  
Alevtina Pavlenco ◽  

The COVID-19 pandemic has been exacerbated by the emergence of variants of concern (VoCs). Many VoC mutations are found in the viral spike protein (S-protein), and are thus implicated in host infection and response to therapeutics. Bivalent neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) targeting the S-protein receptor-binding domain (RBD) are promising therapeutics for COVID-19, but are limited due to low potency and vulnerability to RBD mutations found in VoCs. To address these issues, we used naive phage-displayed peptide libraries to isolate and optimize 16-residue peptides that bind to the RBD or the N-terminal domain (NTD) of the S-protein. We fused these peptides to the N-terminus of a moderate affinity nAb to generate tetravalent peptide-IgG fusions, and showed that both classes of peptides were able to improve affinities for the S-protein trimer by >100-fold (apparent KD <1 pM). Critically, cell-based infection assays with a panel of six SARS-CoV-2 variants demonstrate that an RBD-binding peptide was able to enhance the neutralization potency of a high-affinity nAb >100-fold. Moreover, this peptide-IgG was able to neutralize variants that were resistant to the same nAb in the bivalent IgG format. To show that this approach is general, we fused the same peptide to a clinically approved nAb drug, and showed that it rescued neutralization against a resistant variant. Taken together, these results establish minimal peptide fusions as a modular means to greatly enhance affinities, potencies, and breadth of coverage of nAbs as therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2.

2021 ◽  
Vol 7 (11) ◽  
Francisco Barona-Gómez ◽  
Luis Delaye ◽  
Erik Díaz-Valenzuela ◽  
Fabien Plisson ◽  
Arely Cruz-Pérez ◽  

Understanding the evolution of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in various regions of the world during the Covid-19 pandemic is essential to help mitigate the effects of this devastating disease. We describe the phylogenomic and population genetic patterns of the virus in Mexico during the pre-vaccination stage, including asymptomatic carriers. A real-time quantitative PCR screening and phylogenomic reconstructions directed at sequence/structure analysis of the spike glycoprotein revealed mutation of concern E484K in genomes from central Mexico, in addition to the nationwide prevalence of the imported variant 20C/S:452R (B.1.427/9). Overall, the detected variants in Mexico show spike protein mutations in the N-terminal domain (i.e. R190M), in the receptor-binding motif (i.e. T478K, E484K), within the S1–S2 subdomains (i.e. P681R/H, T732A), and at the basis of the protein, V1176F, raising concerns about the lack of phenotypic and clinical data available for the variants of interest we postulate: 20B/478K.V1 (B.1.1.222 or B.1.1.519) and 20B/P.4 (B. Moreover, the population patterns of single nucleotide variants from symptomatic and asymptomatic carriers obtained with a self-sampling scheme confirmed the presence of several fixed variants, and differences in allelic frequencies among localities. We identified the mutation N:S194L of the nucleocapsid protein associated with symptomatic patients. Phylogenetically, this mutation is frequent in Mexican sub-clades. Our results highlight the dual and complementary role of spike and nucleocapsid proteins in adaptive evolution of SARS-CoV-2 to their hosts and provide a baseline for specific follow-up of mutations of concern during the vaccination stage.

2021 ◽  
Li Wang ◽  
Markus H Kainulainen ◽  
Nannan Jiang ◽  
Han Di ◽  
Gaston Bonenfant ◽  

The divergence of SARS-CoV-2 into variants of concern/interest (VOC/VOI) necessitated analysis of their impact on vaccines. Escape from vaccine-induced antibodies by SARS-CoV-2 VOC/VOIs was analyzed to ascertain and rank their risk. The variants showed differential reductions in neutralization and replication titers by the post-vaccination sera with Beta variant showing the most neutralization escape that was mechanistically driven by mutations in both the N-terminal domain and receptor-binding domain of the spike.

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (1) ◽  
Sofya K. Garushyants ◽  
Igor B. Rogozin ◽  
Eugene V. Koonin

AbstractThe appearance of multiple new SARS-CoV-2 variants during the COVID-19 pandemic is a matter of grave concern. Some of these variants, such as B.1.617.2, B.1.1.7, and B.1.351, manifest higher infectivity and virulence than the earlier SARS-CoV-2 variants, with potential dramatic effects on the course of the pandemic. So far, analysis of new SARS-CoV-2 variants focused primarily on nucleotide substitutions and short deletions that are readily identifiable by comparison to consensus genome sequences. In contrast, insertions have largely escaped the attention of researchers although the furin site insert in the Spike (S) protein is thought to be a determinant of SARS-CoV-2 virulence. Here, we identify 346 unique inserts of different lengths in SARS-CoV-2 genomes and present evidence that these inserts reflect actual virus variance rather than sequencing artifacts. Two principal mechanisms appear to account for the inserts in the SARS-CoV-2 genomes, polymerase slippage and template switch that might be associated with the synthesis of subgenomic RNAs. At least three inserts in the N-terminal domain of the S protein are predicted to lead to escape from neutralizing antibodies, whereas other inserts might result in escape from T-cell immunity. Thus, inserts in the S protein can affect its antigenic properties and merit monitoring.

Jungmin Choi ◽  
Zae Young Ryoo ◽  
Dong-Hyung Cho ◽  
Hyun-Shik Lee ◽  
Hong-Yeoul Ryu

AbstractCrosstalk between post-translational modifications of histone proteins influences the regulation of chromatin structure and gene expression. Among such crosstalk pathways, the best-characterized example is H2B monoubiquitination-mediated H3K4 and H3K79 methylation, which is referred to as trans-tail regulation. Although many studies have investigated the fragmentary effects of this pathway on silencing and transcription, its ultimate contribution to transcriptional control has remained unclear. Recent advances in molecular techniques and genomics have, however, revealed that the trans-tail crosstalk is linked to a more diverse cascade of histone modifications and has various functions in cotranscriptional processes. Furthermore, H2B monoubiquitination sequentially facilitates H3K4 dimethylation and histone sumoylation, thereby providing a binding platform for recruiting Set3 complex proteins, including two histone deacetylases, to restrict cryptic transcription from gene bodies. The removal of both ubiquitin and SUMO, small ubiquitin-like modifier, modifications from histones also facilitates a change in the phosphorylation pattern of the RNA polymerase II C-terminal domain that is required for subsequent transcriptional elongation. Therefore, this review describes recent findings regarding trans-tail regulation-driven processes to elaborate on their contribution to maintaining transcriptional fidelity.

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