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Published By Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences

1091-6490, 0027-8424
Updated Friday, 17 September 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2108281118
Author(s):  
Aditya S. Vaidya ◽  
Francis C. Peterson ◽  
James Eckhardt ◽  
Zenan Xing ◽  
Sang-Youl Park ◽  
...  

Abscisic acid (ABA) is a key plant hormone that mediates both plant biotic and abiotic stress responses and many other developmental processes. ABA receptor antagonists are useful for dissecting and manipulating ABA’s physiological roles in vivo. We set out to design antagonists that block receptor–PP2C interactions by modifying the agonist opabactin (OP), a synthetically accessible, high-affinity scaffold. Click chemistry was used to create an ∼4,000-member library of C4-diversified opabactin derivatives that were screened for receptor antagonism in vitro. This revealed a peptidotriazole motif shared among hits, which we optimized to yield antabactin (ANT), a pan-receptor antagonist. An X-ray crystal structure of an ANT–PYL10 complex (1.86 Å) reveals that ANT’s peptidotriazole headgroup is positioned to sterically block receptor–PP2C interactions in the 4′ tunnel and stabilizes a noncanonical closed-gate receptor conformer that partially opens to accommodate ANT binding. To facilitate binding-affinity studies using fluorescence polarization, we synthesized TAMRA–ANT. Equilibrium dissociation constants for TAMRA–ANT binding to Arabidopsis receptors range from ∼400 to 1,700 pM. ANT displays improved activity in vivo and disrupts ABA-mediated processes in multiple species. ANT is able to accelerate seed germination in Arabidopsis, tomato, and barley, suggesting that it could be useful as a germination stimulant in species where endogenous ABA signaling limits seed germination. Thus, click-based diversification of a synthetic agonist scaffold allowed us to rapidly develop a high-affinity probe of ABA–receptor function for dissecting and manipulating ABA signaling.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (39) ◽  
pp. e2022442118
Author(s):  
Luqiang Guo ◽  
Yichun Wu ◽  
Haishuang Chang ◽  
Ze Zhang ◽  
Hua Tang ◽  
...  

The Down syndrome cell adhesion molecule (DSCAM) belongs to the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) and plays important roles in neural development. It has a large ectodomain, including 10 Ig-like domains and 6 fibronectin III (FnIII) domains. Previous data have shown that DSCAM can mediate cell adhesion by forming homophilic dimers between cells and contributes to self-avoidance of neurites or neuronal tiling, which is important for neural network formation. However, the organization and assembly of DSCAM at cell adhesion interfaces has not been fully understood. Here we combine electron microscopy and other biophysical methods to characterize the structure of the DSCAM-mediated cell adhesion and generate three-dimensional views of the adhesion interfaces of DSCAM by electron tomography. The results show that mouse DSCAM forms a regular pattern at the adhesion interfaces. The Ig-like domains contribute to both trans homophilic interactions and cis assembly of the pattern, and the FnIII domains are crucial for the cis pattern formation as well as the interaction with the cell membrane. By contrast, no obvious assembly pattern is observed at the adhesion interfaces mediated by mouse DSCAML1 or Drosophila DSCAMs, suggesting the different structural roles and mechanisms of DSCAMs in mediating cell adhesion and neural network formation.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2100496118
Author(s):  
Tiantian Fan ◽  
Ruiqi Qin ◽  
Yan Zhang ◽  
Jingxia Wang ◽  
Jing-Song Fan ◽  
...  

Natural spider silk with extraordinary mechanical properties is typically spun from more than one type of spidroin. Although the main components of various spider silks have been widely studied, little is known about the molecular role of the minor silk components in spidroin self-assembly and fiber formation. Here, we show that the minor component of spider eggcase silk, TuSp2, not only accelerates self-assembly but remarkably promotes molecular chain alignment of spidroins upon physical shearing. NMR structure of the repetitive domain of TuSp2 reveals that its dimeric structure with unique charged surface serves as a platform to recruit different domains of the main eggcase component TuSp1. Artificial fiber spun from the complex between TuSp1 and TuSp2 minispidroins exhibits considerably higher strength and Young’s modulus than its native counterpart. These results create a framework for rationally designing silk biomaterials based on distinct roles of silk components.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (39) ◽  
pp. e2017239118
Author(s):  
Zhen Zhang ◽  
Sandip Mondal ◽  
Subhasish Mandal ◽  
Jason M. Allred ◽  
Neda Alsadat Aghamiri ◽  
...  

Habituation and sensitization (nonassociative learning) are among the most fundamental forms of learning and memory behavior present in organisms that enable adaptation and learning in dynamic environments. Emulating such features of intelligence found in nature in the solid state can serve as inspiration for algorithmic simulations in artificial neural networks and potential use in neuromorphic computing. Here, we demonstrate nonassociative learning with a prototypical Mott insulator, nickel oxide (NiO), under a variety of external stimuli at and above room temperature. Similar to biological species such as Aplysia, habituation and sensitization of NiO possess time-dependent plasticity relying on both strength and time interval between stimuli. A combination of experimental approaches and first-principles calculations reveals that such learning behavior of NiO results from dynamic modulation of its defect and electronic structure. An artificial neural network model inspired by such nonassociative learning is simulated to show advantages for an unsupervised clustering task in accuracy and reducing catastrophic interference, which could help mitigate the stability–plasticity dilemma. Mott insulators can therefore serve as building blocks to examine learning behavior noted in biology and inspire new learning algorithms for artificial intelligence.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (39) ◽  
pp. e2025451118
Author(s):  
Shengya Cao ◽  
Sean M. Peterson ◽  
Sören Müller ◽  
Mike Reichelt ◽  
Christian McRoberts Amador ◽  
...  

Cell surface receptors are critical for cell signaling and constitute a quarter of all human genes. Despite their importance and abundance, receptor interaction networks remain understudied because of difficulties associated with maintaining membrane proteins in their native conformation and their typically weak interactions. To overcome these challenges, we developed an extracellular vesicle-based method for membrane protein display that enables purification-free and high-throughput detection of receptor–ligand interactions in membranes. We demonstrate that this platform is broadly applicable to a variety of membrane proteins, enabling enhanced detection of extracellular interactions over a wide range of binding affinities. We were able to recapitulate and expand the interactome for prominent members of the B7 family of immunoregulatory proteins such as PD-L1/CD274 and B7-H3/CD276. Moreover, when applied to the orphan cancer-associated fibroblast protein, LRRC15, we identified a membrane-dependent interaction with the tumor stroma marker TEM1/CD248. Furthermore, this platform enabled profiling of cellular receptors for target-expressing as well as endogenous extracellular vesicles. Overall, this study presents a sensitive and easy to use screening platform that bypasses membrane protein purification and enables characterization of interactomes for any cell surface–expressed target of interest in its native state.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2109334118
Author(s):  
Albert Serra-Cardona ◽  
Chuanhe Yu ◽  
Xinmin Zhang ◽  
Xu Hua ◽  
Yuan Yao ◽  
...  

In response to DNA replication stress, DNA replication checkpoint kinase Mec1 phosphorylates Mrc1, which in turn activates Rad53 to prevent the generation of deleterious single-stranded DNA, a process that remains poorly understood. We previously reported that lagging-strand DNA synthesis proceeds farther than leading strand in rad53-1 mutant cells defective in replication checkpoint under replication stress, resulting in the exposure of long stretches of the leading-strand templates. Here, we show that asymmetric DNA synthesis is also observed in mec1-100 and mrc1-AQ cells defective in replication checkpoint but, surprisingly, not in mrc1∆ cells in which both DNA replication and checkpoint functions of Mrc1 are missing. Furthermore, depletion of either Mrc1 or its partner, Tof1, suppresses the asymmetric DNA synthesis in rad53-1 mutant cells. Thus, the DNA replication checkpoint pathway couples leading- and lagging-strand DNA synthesis by attenuating the replication function of Mrc1-Tof1 under replication stress.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2106353118
Author(s):  
Yue Wu ◽  
Afu Fu ◽  
Gilad Yossifon

Herein, we studied localized electroporation and gene transfection of mammalian cells using a metallodielectric hybrid micromotor that is magnetically and electrically powered. Much like nanochannel-based, local electroporation of single cells, the presented micromotor was expected to increase reversible electroporation yield, relative to standard electroporation, as only a small portion of the cell’s membrane (in contact with the micromotor) is affected. In contrast to methods in which the entire membrane of all cells within the sample are electroporated, the presented micromotor can perform, via magnetic steering, localized, spatially precise electroporation of the target cells that it traps and transports. In order to minimize nonselective electrical lysis of all cells within the chamber, resulting from extended exposure to an electrical field, magnetic propulsion was used to approach the immediate vicinity of the targeted cell, after which short-duration, electric-driven propulsion was activated to enable contact with the cell, followed by electroporation. In addition to local injection of fluorescent dye molecules, we demonstrated that the micromotor can enhance the introduction of plasmids into the suspension cells because of the dielectrophoretic accumulation of the plasmids in between the Janus particle and the attached cell prior to the electroporation step. Here, we chose a different strategy involving the simultaneous operation of many micromotors that are self-propelling, without external steering, and pair with cells in an autonomic manner. The locally electroporated suspension cells that are considered to be very difficult to transfect were shown to express the transfected gene, which is of significant importance for molecular biology research.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2024966118
Author(s):  
Sarah Nicholas ◽  
Karin Nordström

For the human observer, it can be difficult to follow the motion of small objects, especially when they move against background clutter. In contrast, insects efficiently do this, as evidenced by their ability to capture prey, pursue conspecifics, or defend territories, even in highly textured surrounds. We here recorded from target selective descending neurons (TSDNs), which likely subserve these impressive behaviors. To simulate the type of optic flow that would be generated by the pursuer’s own movements through the world, we used the motion of a perspective corrected sparse dot field. We show that hoverfly TSDN responses to target motion are suppressed when such optic flow moves syn-directional to the target. Indeed, neural responses are strongly suppressed when targets move over either translational sideslip or rotational yaw. More strikingly, we show that TSDNs are facilitated by optic flow moving counterdirectional to the target, if the target moves horizontally. Furthermore, we show that a small, frontal spatial window of optic flow is enough to fully facilitate or suppress TSDN responses to target motion. We argue that such TSDN response facilitation could be beneficial in modulating corrective turns during target pursuit.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2108242118
Author(s):  
Kyle W. Bender ◽  
Daniel Couto ◽  
Yasuhiro Kadota ◽  
Alberto P. Macho ◽  
Jan Sklenar ◽  
...  

Receptor kinases (RKs) are fundamental for extracellular sensing and regulate development and stress responses across kingdoms. In plants, leucine-rich repeat receptor kinases (LRR-RKs) are primarily peptide receptors that regulate responses to myriad internal and external stimuli. Phosphorylation of LRR-RK cytoplasmic domains is among the earliest responses following ligand perception, and reciprocal transphosphorylation between a receptor and its coreceptor is thought to activate the receptor complex. Originally proposed based on characterization of the brassinosteroid receptor, the prevalence of complex activation via reciprocal transphosphorylation across the plant RK family has not been tested. Using the LRR-RK ELONGATION FACTOR TU RECEPTOR (EFR) as a model, we set out to understand the steps critical for activating RK complexes. While the EFR cytoplasmic domain is an active protein kinase in vitro and is phosphorylated in a ligand-dependent manner in vivo, catalytically deficient EFR variants are functional in antibacterial immunity. These results reveal a noncatalytic role for EFR in triggering immune signaling and indicate that reciprocal transphoshorylation is not a ubiquitous requirement for LRR-RK complex activation. Rather, our analysis of EFR along with a detailed survey of the literature suggests a distinction between LRR-RKs with RD- versus non-RD protein kinase domains. Based on newly identified phosphorylation sites that regulate the activation state of the EFR complex in vivo, we propose that LRR-RK complexes containing a non-RD protein kinase may be regulated by phosphorylation-dependent conformational changes of the ligand-binding receptor, which could initiate signaling either allosterically or through driving the dissociation of negative regulators of the complex.


2021 ◽  
Vol 118 (38) ◽  
pp. e2111060118
Author(s):  
Judy Q. Yang ◽  
Joseph E. Sanfilippo ◽  
Niki Abbasi ◽  
Zemer Gitai ◽  
Bonnie L. Bassler ◽  
...  

The spread of pathogenic bacteria in unsaturated porous media, where air and liquid coexist in pore spaces, is the major cause of soil contamination by pathogens, soft rot in plants, food spoilage, and many pulmonary diseases. However, visualization and fundamental understanding of bacterial transport in unsaturated porous media are currently lacking, limiting the ability to address the above contamination- and disease-related issues. Here, we demonstrate a previously unreported mechanism by which bacterial cells are transported in unsaturated porous media. We discover that surfactant-producing bacteria can generate flows along corners through surfactant production that changes the wettability of the solid surface. The corner flow velocity is on the order of several millimeters per hour, which is the same order of magnitude as bacterial swarming, one of the fastest known modes of bacterial surface translocation. We successfully predict the critical corner angle for bacterial corner flow to occur based on the biosurfactant-induced change in the contact angle of the bacterial solution on the solid surface. Furthermore, we demonstrate that bacteria can indeed spread by producing biosurfactants in a model soil, which consists of packed angular grains. In addition, we demonstrate that bacterial corner flow is controlled by quorum sensing, the cell–cell communication process that regulates biosurfactant production. Understanding this previously unappreciated bacterial transport mechanism will enable more accurate predictions of bacterial spreading in soil and other unsaturated porous media.


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