Structure Function
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Biology ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
pp. 136
Satya Srirama Karthik Divvela ◽  
Darius Saberi ◽  
Beate Brand-Saberi

Atoh8 belongs to a large superfamily of transcriptional regulators called basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) proteins. bHLH proteins have been identified in a wide range of organisms from yeast to humans. The members of this special group of transcription factors were found to be involved not only in embryonic development but also in disease initiation and its progression. Given their importance in several fundamental processes, the translation, subcellular location and turnover of bHLH proteins is tightly regulated. Alterations in the expression of bHLH proteins have been associated with multiple diseases also in context with Atoh8 which seems to unfold its functions as both transcriptional activator and repressor. Like many other bHLH transcription factors, so far, Atoh8 has also been observed to be involved in both embryonic development and carcinogenesis where it mainly acts as tumor suppressor. This review summarizes our current understanding of Atoh8 structure, function and regulation and its complex and partially controversial involvement in development and disease.

Jeremy H Raymond ◽  
Zackie Aktary ◽  
Lionel Larue ◽  
Véronique Delmas

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) serve prominent roles in melanocyte lineage physiology, with an impact at all stages of development, as well as on mature melanocyte functions. GPCR ligands are present in the skin and regulate melanocyte homeostasis, including pigmentation. The role of GPCRs in the regulation of pigmentation and, consequently, protection against external aggression, such as ultraviolet radiation, has long been established. However, evidence of new functions of GPCRs directly in melanomagenesis has been highlighted in recent years. GPCRs are coupled, through their intracellular domains, to heterotrimeric G proteins, which induce cellular signaling through various pathways. Such signaling modulates essential cellular processes of melanomagenesis, such as proliferation and migration. GPCR-associated signaling in melanoma can be activated by the binding of paracrine factors to their receptors or directly by activating mutations. In this review, we present melanoma-associated alterations of GPCRs and their downstream signaling and discuss the various preclinical models used to evaluate new therapeutic approaches against GPCR activity in melanoma. Recent striking advances in our understanding of the structure, function, and regulation of GPCRs will undoubtedly broaden treatment options in melanoma in the future.

Respirology ◽  
2022 ◽  
Harkiran K. Kooner ◽  
Marrissa J. McIntosh ◽  
Vedanth Desaigoudar ◽  
Jonathan H. Rayment ◽  
Rachel L. Eddy ◽  

2022 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
Hridindu Roychowdury ◽  
Philip A. Romero

AbstractThe human caspase family comprises 12 cysteine proteases that are centrally involved in cell death and inflammation responses. The members of this family have conserved sequences and structures, highly similar enzymatic activities and substrate preferences, and overlapping physiological roles. In this paper, we present a deep mutational scan of the executioner caspases CASP3 and CASP7 to dissect differences in their structure, function, and regulation. Our approach leverages high-throughput microfluidic screening to analyze hundreds of thousands of caspase variants in tightly controlled in vitro reactions. The resulting data provides a large-scale and unbiased view of the impact of amino acid substitutions on the proteolytic activity of CASP3 and CASP7. We use this data to pinpoint key functional differences between CASP3 and CASP7, including a secondary internal cleavage site, CASP7 Q196 that is not present in CASP3. Our results will open avenues for inquiry in caspase function and regulation that could potentially inform the development of future caspase-specific therapeutics.

Carlos M. Figueroa ◽  
Matías D. Asencion Diez ◽  
Miguel A. Ballicora ◽  
Alberto A. Iglesias

2022 ◽  
Vol 23 (2) ◽  
pp. 670
Nolan Neville ◽  
Nathan Roberge ◽  
Zongchao Jia

Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) has been implicated in an astonishing array of biological functions, ranging from phosphorus storage to molecular chaperone activity to bacterial virulence. In bacteria, polyP is synthesized by polyphosphate kinase (PPK) enzymes, which are broadly subdivided into two families: PPK1 and PPK2. While both enzyme families are capable of catalyzing polyP synthesis, PPK1s preferentially synthesize polyP from nucleoside triphosphates, and PPK2s preferentially consume polyP to phosphorylate nucleoside mono- or diphosphates. Importantly, many pathogenic bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Acinetobacter baumannii encode at least one of each PPK1 and PPK2, suggesting these enzymes may be attractive targets for antibacterial drugs. Although the majority of bacterial polyP studies to date have focused on PPK1s, PPK2 enzymes have also begun to emerge as important regulators of bacterial physiology and downstream virulence. In this review, we specifically examine the contributions of PPK2s to bacterial polyP homeostasis. Beginning with a survey of the structures and functions of biochemically characterized PPK2s, we summarize the roles of PPK2s in the bacterial cell, with a particular emphasis on virulence phenotypes. Furthermore, we outline recent progress on developing drugs that inhibit PPK2 enzymes and discuss this strategy as a novel means of combatting bacterial infections.

2022 ◽  
Sara Giammaria ◽  
Glen Sharpe ◽  
Dyachojk Oksana ◽  
Paul Rafuse ◽  
Shuba Lesya ◽  

Abstract Correlation between structural data from optical coherence tomography (OCT) and functional data from the visual field (VF) may be suboptimal because of poor mapping of OCT measurement locations to VF test stimuli. We tested the hypothesis that stronger structure-function correlations in the macula can be achieved with fundus-tracking perimetery, by precisely mapping OCT measurements to VF sensitivity at the same location. The conventional 64 superpixel (3°x3°) OCT grid was mapped to VF sensitivities averaged in 40 corresponding VF units with standard automated perimetry (conventional mapped approach, CMA) in 38 glaucoma patients and 10 healthy subjects. Similarly, a 144 superpixel (2°x2°) OCT grid was mapped to each of the 68 VF locations with fundus-tracking perimetry (localized mapped approach, LMA). For each approach, the correlation between sensitivity at each VF unit and OCT superpixel was computed and the maximum value used to generate vector maps. CMA yielded significantly higher structure-function correlations compared to LMA. Only 20% of the vectors with CMA and <5% with LMA were within corresponding mapped OCT superpixels, while most were directed towards loci with structural damage. Measurement variability and patterns of glaucomatous damage are more likely to affect the correlations rather than precise mapping of VF stimuli.

2022 ◽  
Vol 18 (1) ◽  
pp. e1010182
Patrick Günther ◽  
Dennis Quentin ◽  
Shehryar Ahmad ◽  
Kartik Sachar ◽  
Christos Gatsogiannis ◽  

The type VI secretion system (T6SS) is a widespread protein export apparatus found in Gram-negative bacteria. The majority of T6SSs deliver toxic effector proteins into competitor bacteria. Yet, the structure, function, and activation of many of these effectors remains poorly understood. Here, we present the structures of the T6SS effector RhsA from Pseudomonas protegens and its cognate T6SS spike protein, VgrG1, at 3.3 Å resolution. The structures reveal that the rearrangement hotspot (Rhs) repeats of RhsA assemble into a closed anticlockwise β-barrel spiral similar to that found in bacterial insecticidal Tc toxins and in metazoan teneurin proteins. We find that the C-terminal toxin domain of RhsA is autoproteolytically cleaved but remains inside the Rhs ‘cocoon’ where, with the exception of three ordered structural elements, most of the toxin is disordered. The N-terminal ‘plug’ domain is unique to T6SS Rhs proteins and resembles a champagne cork that seals the Rhs cocoon at one end while also mediating interactions with VgrG1. Interestingly, this domain is also autoproteolytically cleaved inside the cocoon but remains associated with it. We propose that mechanical force is required to remove the cleaved part of the plug, resulting in the release of the toxin domain as it is delivered into a susceptible bacterial cell by the T6SS.

Heidi L. Anderson ◽  
Jason C. Casler ◽  
Laura L. Lackner

Positioning organelles at the right place and time is critical for their function and inheritance. In budding yeast, mitochondrial and nuclear positioning require the anchoring of mitochondria and dynein to the cell cortex by clusters of Num1. We have previously shown that mitochondria drive the assembly of cortical Num1 clusters, which then serve as anchoring sites for mitochondria and dynein. When mitochondrial inheritance is inhibited, mitochondrial-driven assembly of Num1 in buds is disrupted and defects in dynein-mediated spindle positioning are observed. Using a structure-function approach to dissect the mechanism of mitochondria-dependent dynein anchoring, we found the EF hand-like motif (EFLM) of Num1 and its ability to bind calcium are required to bias dynein anchoring on mitochondria-associated Num1 clusters. Consistently, when the EFLM is disrupted, we no longer observe defects in dynein activity following inhibition of mitochondrial inheritance. Thus, the Num1 EFLM functions to bias dynein anchoring and activity in nuclear inheritance subsequent to mitochondrial inheritance. We hypothesize that this hierarchical integration of organelle positioning pathways by the Num1 EFLM contributes to the regulated order of organelle inheritance during the cell cycle.

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