intrinsically disordered
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2022 ◽  
Soumyanetra Chandra ◽  
Kritika Gupta ◽  
Shruti Khare ◽  
Pehu Kohli ◽  
Aparna Asok ◽  

Deep mutational scanning studies suggest that single synonymous mutations are typically silent and that most exposed, non active-site residues are tolerant to mutations. Here we show that the ccdA antitoxin component of the E.coli ccdAB toxin-antitoxin operonic system is unusually sensitive to mutations when studied in the operonic context. A large fraction (~80%) of single codon mutations, including many synonymous mutations in the ccdA gene show inactive phenotypes that are correlated with the E.coli codon usage frequency but retain native-like binding affinity towards cognate toxin, CcdB. Therefore, the observed phenotypic effects are largely not due to alterations in protein structure or stability, consistent with the fact that a large region of CcdA is intrinsically disordered. In select cases, proteomics studies reveal altered ratios of CcdA:CcdB protein levels in vivo, suggesting that these mutations likely alter relative translation efficiencies of the two genes in the operon. We extend these results by predicting and validating single synonymous mutations that lead to loss of function phenotypes in the relBE operon upon introduction of rarer codons. Thus, in their native context, genes are likely to be more sensitive to both synonymous and non-synonymous point mutations than inferred from previous saturation mutagenesis studies.

2022 ◽  
Spencer Smyth ◽  
Zhenfu Zhang ◽  
Alaji Bah ◽  
Thomas Tsangaris ◽  
Jennifer Dawson ◽  

Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) play critical roles in regulatory protein interactions, but detailed structural/dynamics characterization of their ensembles remain challenging, both in isolation and they form dynamic fuzzy complexes. Such is the case for mRNA cap-dependent translation initiation, which is regulated by the interaction of the predominantly folded eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E) with the intrinsically disordered eIF4E binding proteins (4E-BPs) in a phosphorylation-dependent manner. Single-molecule Forster resonance energy transfer showed that the conformational changes of 4E-BP2 induced by binding to eIF4E are non-uniform along the sequence; while a central region containing both motifs that bind to eIF4E expands and becomes stiffer, the C-terminal region is less affected. Fluorescence anisotropy decay revealed a nonuniform segmental flexibility around six different labelling sites along the chain. Dynamic quenching of these fluorescent probes by intrinsic aromatic residues measured via fluorescence correlation spectroscopy report on transient intra- and inter-molecular contacts on nanosecond-microsecond timescales. Upon hyperphosphorylation, which induces folding of ~40 residues in 4E-BP2, the quenching rates decreased at labelling sites closest to the phosphorylation sites and within the folded domain, and increased at the other sites. The chain dynamics around sites in the C-terminal region far away from the two binding motifs were significantly reduced upon binding to eIF4E, suggesting that this region is also involved in the highly dynamic 4E-BP2:eIF4E complex. Our time-resolved fluorescence data paint a sequence-level rigidity map of three states of 4E-BP2 differing in phosphorylation or binding status and distinguish regions that form contacts with eIF4E. This study adds complementary structural and dynamics information to recent studies of 4E-BP2, and it constitutes an important step towards a mechanistic understanding of this important IDP via integrative modelling.

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 923
Giulia Pesce ◽  
Frank Gondelaud ◽  
Denis Ptchelkine ◽  
Juliet F. Nilsson ◽  
Christophe Bignon ◽  

Henipaviruses are severe human pathogens within the Paramyxoviridae family. Beyond the P protein, the Henipavirus P gene also encodes the V and W proteins which share with P their N-terminal, intrinsically disordered domain (NTD) and possess a unique C-terminal domain. Henipavirus W proteins antagonize interferon (IFN) signaling through NTD-mediated binding to STAT1 and STAT4, and prevent type I IFN expression and production of chemokines. Structural and molecular information on Henipavirus W proteins is lacking. By combining various bioinformatic approaches, we herein show that the Henipaviruses W proteins are predicted to be prevalently disordered and yet to contain short order-prone segments. Using limited proteolysis, differential scanning fluorimetry, analytical size exclusion chromatography, far-UV circular dichroism and small-angle X-ray scattering, we experimentally confirmed their overall disordered nature. In addition, using Congo red and Thioflavin T binding assays and negative-staining transmission electron microscopy, we show that the W proteins phase separate to form amyloid-like fibrils. The present study provides an additional example, among the few reported so far, of a viral protein forming amyloid-like fibrils, therefore significantly contributing to enlarge our currently limited knowledge of viral amyloids. In light of the critical role of the Henipavirus W proteins in evading the host innate immune response and of the functional role of phase separation in biology, these studies provide a conceptual asset to further investigate the functional impact of the phase separation abilities of the W proteins.

Mycorrhiza ◽  
2022 ◽  
Carolyn J. Schultz ◽  
Yue Wu ◽  
Ute Baumann

AbstractDiversity in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) contributes to biodiversity and resilience in natural environments and healthy agricultural systems. Functional complementarity exists among species of AMF in symbiosis with their plant hosts, but the molecular basis of this is not known. We hypothesise this is in part due to the difficulties that current sequence assembly methodologies have assembling sequences for intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) due to their low sequence complexity. IDPs are potential candidates for functional complementarity because they often exist as extended (non-globular) proteins providing additional amino acids for molecular interactions. Rhizophagus irregularis arabinogalactan-protein-like proteins (AGLs) are small secreted IDPs with no known orthologues in AMF or other fungi. We developed a targeted bioinformatics approach to identify highly variable AGLs/IDPs in RNA-sequence datasets. The approach includes a modified multiple k-mer assembly approach (Oases) to identify candidate sequences, followed by targeted sequence capture and assembly (mirabait-mira). All AMF species analysed, including the ancestral family Paraglomeraceae, have small families of proteins rich in disorder promoting amino acids such as proline and glycine, or glycine and asparagine. Glycine- and asparagine-rich proteins also were found in Geosiphon pyriformis (an obligate symbiont of a cyanobacterium), from the same subphylum (Glomeromycotina) as AMF. The sequence diversity of AGLs likely translates to functional diversity, based on predicted physical properties of tandem repeats (elastic, amyloid, or interchangeable) and their broad pI ranges. We envisage that AGLs/IDPs could contribute to functional complementarity in AMF through processes such as self-recognition, retention of nutrients, soil stability, and water movement.

Blood ◽  
2022 ◽  
Leif Ludwig ◽  
Caleb A Lareau ◽  
Erik L. Bao ◽  
Nan Liu ◽  
Taiju Utsugisawa ◽  

Master regulators, such as the hematopoietic transcription factor (TF) GATA1, play an essential role in orchestrating lineage commitment and differentiation. However, the precise mechanisms by which such TFs regulate transcription through interactions with specific cis-regulatory elements remain incompletely understood. Here, we describe a form of congenital hemolytic anemia caused by missense mutations in an intrinsically disordered region of GATA1, with a poorly understood role in transcriptional regulation. Through integrative functional approaches, we demonstrate that these mutations perturb GATA1 transcriptional activity by partially impairing nuclear localization and selectively altering precise chromatin occupancy by GATA1. These alterations in chromatin occupancy and concordant chromatin accessibility changes alter faithful gene expression, with failure to both effectively silence and activate select genes necessary for effective terminal red cell production. We demonstrate how disease-causing mutations can reveal regulatory mechanisms that enable the faithful genomic targeting of master TFs during cellular differentiation.

2022 ◽  
Vol 12 (1) ◽  
Samaneh Sadat Nickayin ◽  
Rosa Coluzzi ◽  
Alvaro Marucci ◽  
Leonardo Bianchini ◽  
Luca Salvati ◽  

AbstractSouthern Europe is a hotspot for desertification risk because of the intimate impact of soil deterioration, landscape transformations, rising human pressure, and climate change. In this context, large-scale empirical analyses linking landscape fragmentation with desertification risk assume that increasing levels of land vulnerability to degradation are associated with significant changes in landscape structure. Using a traditional approach of landscape ecology, this study evaluates the spatial structure of a simulated landscape based on different levels of vulnerability to land degradation using 15 metrics calculated at three time points (early-1960s, early-1990s, early-2010s) in Italy. While the (average) level of land vulnerability increased over time almost in all Italian regions, vulnerable landscapes demonstrated to be increasingly fragmented, as far as the number of homogeneous patches and mean patch size are concerned. The spatial balance in affected and unaffected areas—typically observed in the 1960s—was progressively replaced with an intrinsically disordered landscape, and this process was more intense in regions exposed to higher (and increasing) levels of land degradation. The spread of larger land patches exposed to intrinsic degradation brings to important consequences since (1) the rising number of hotspots may increase the probability of local-scale degradation processes, and (2) the buffering effect of neighbouring (unaffected) land can be less effective on bigger hotspots, promoting a downward spiral toward desertification.

Juan Sebastian Cruz-Méndez ◽  
María Paula Herrera-Sánchez ◽  
Ángel Enrique Céspedes-Rubio ◽  
Iang Schroniltgen Rondón-Barragán

Abstract Background Myelin basic protein (MBP) is one of the most important structural components of the myelin sheaths in both central and peripheral nervous systems. MBP has several functions including organization of the myelin membranes, reorganization of the cytoskeleton during the myelination process, and interaction with the SH3 domain in signaling pathways. Likewise, MBP has been proposed as a marker of demyelination in traumatic brain injury and chemical exposure. Methods The aim of this study was to molecularly characterize the myelin basic protein a (mbpa) gene from the Colombian native fish, red-bellied pacu, Piaractus brachypomus. Bioinformatic tools were used to identify the phylogenetic relationships, physicochemical characteristics, exons, intrinsically disordered regions, and conserved domains of the protein. Gene expression was assessed by qPCR in three models corresponding to sublethal chlorpyrifos exposure, acute brain injury, and anesthesia experiments. Results mbpa complete open reading frame was identified with 414 nucleotides distributed in 7 exons that encode 137 amino acids. MBPa was recognized as belonging to the myelin basic protein family, closely related with orthologous proteins, and two intrinsically disordered regions were established within the sequence. Gene expression of mbpa was upregulated in the optic chiasm of the chlorpyrifos exposed fish in contrast to the control group. Conclusions The physicochemical computed features agree with the biological functions of MBP, and basal gene expression was according to the anatomical distribution in the tissues analyzed. This study is the first molecular characterization of mbpa from the native species Piaractus brachypomus.

2022 ◽  
Xiangze Zeng ◽  
Kiersten M Ruff ◽  
Rohit V Pappu

The most commonly occurring intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are polyampholytes, which are defined by the duality of low net charge per residue and high fractions of charged residues. Recent experiments have uncovered surprises regarding sequence-ensemble relationships of model polyampholytic IDPs. These include differences in conformational preferences for sequences with lysine vs. arginine, and the suggestion that well-mixed sequences either form globules or conformations with ensemble averages that are reminiscent of ideal chains wherein intra-chain and chain-solvent interactions are counterbalanced. Here, we explain these observations by analyzing results from atomistic simulations. We find that polyampholytic IDPs generally sample two distinct stable states, namely globules and self-avoiding walks. Globules are favored by electrostatic attractions between oppositely charged residues, whereas self-avoiding walks are favored by favorable free energies of hydration of charged residues. We find sequence-specific temperatures of bistability at which globules and self-avoiding walks can coexist. At these temperatures, ensemble averages over coexisting states give rise to statistics that resemble ideal chains without there being an actual counterbalancing of intra-chain and chain-solvent interactions. At equivalent temperatures, arginine-rich sequences tilt the preference toward globular conformations whereas lysine-rich sequences tilt the preference toward self-avoiding walks. This stems from intrinsic differences in free energies of hydration between arginine and lysine. We also identify differences between aspartate and glutamate containing sequences, whereby the shorter aspartate sidechain engenders preferences for metastable, necklace-like conformations. Finally, although segregation of oppositely charged residues within the linear sequence maintains the overall two-state behavior, compact states are highly favored by such systems.

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