Publications

2010

Nagy Nikolett, Takács Balázs, Kovács Mihály

Motorenzimek működési alapelvei és egyedi finomhangolása

BIOKÉMIA XXXIV

Schueller N, Holton SJ, Fodor K, Milewski M, Konarev P, Stanley WA, Wolf J, Erdmann R, Schliebs W, Song YH, Wilmanns M.

The peroxisomal receptor Pex19p forms a helical mPTS recognition domain.

EMBO J 29:2491-500

The protein Pex19p functions as a receptor and chaperone of peroxisomal membrane proteins (PMPs). The crystal structure of the folded C-terminal part of the receptor reveals a globular domain that displays a bundle of three long helices in an antiparallel arrangement. Complementary functional experiments, using a range of truncated Pex19p constructs, show that the structured alpha-helical domain binds PMP-targeting signal (mPTS) sequences with about 10 muM affinity. Removal of a conserved N-terminal helical segment from the mPTS recognition domain impairs the ability for mPTS binding, indicating that it forms part of the mPTS-binding site. Pex19p variants with mutations in the same sequence segment abolish correct cargo import. Our data indicate a divided N-terminal and C-terminal structural arrangement in Pex19p, which is reminiscent of a similar division in the Pex5p receptor, to allow separation of cargo-targeting signal recognition and additional functions.

Massaoud MK, Marokházi J, Fodor A, Venekei, I.

Proteolytic enzyme production by strains of the insect pathogen xenorhabdus and characterization of an early-log-phase-secreted protease as a potential virulence factor

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2010 Oct;76(20):6901-9. Epub 2010 Aug 27.

As a comparison to a similar study on Photorhabdus strains, 15 Xenorhabdus bacterial strains and secondary phenotypic variants of two strains were screened for proteolytic activity by five detection methods. Although the number and intensity of proteolytic activities were different, every strain was positive for proteolytic activity by several tests. Zymography following native PAGE detected two groups of activities with different substrate affinities and a higher and lower electrophoretic mobility that were distinguished as activity 1 and 2, respectively. Zymography following SDS-PAGE resolved three activities, which were provisionally named proteases A, B, and C. Only protease B, an ∼55-kDa enzyme, was produced by every strain. This enzyme exhibited higher affinity to the gelatin substrate than to the casein substrate. Of the chromogenic substrates used, three were hydrolyzed: furylacryloyl-Ala-Leu-Val-Tyr (Fua-ALVY), Fua-LGPA (LGPA is Leu-Gly-Pro-Ala) (a substrate for collagen peptidases), and succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-thiobenzyl (Succ-AAPF-SBzl). All but the Fua-LGPA-ase activity seemed to be from secreted enzymes. According to their substrate preference profiles and inhibitor sensitivities, at least six such proteolytic enzymes could be distinguished in the culture medium of Xenorhabdus strains. The proteolytic enzyme that was secreted the earliest, protease B and the Succ-AAPF-SBzl-hydrolyzing enzyme, appeared from the early logarithmic phase of growth. Protease B could also be detected in the hemolymph of Xenorhabdus-infected Galleria mellonella larvae from 15 h postinfection. The purified protease B hydrolyzed in vitro seven proteins in the hemolymph of Manduca sexta that were also cleaved by PrtA peptidase from Photorhabdus. The N-terminal sequence of protease B showed similarity to a 55-kDa serralysin type metalloprotease in Xenorhabdus nematophila, which had been identified as an orthologue of Photorhabdus PrtA peptidase.

Rapali Péter, Radnai László, Süveges Dániel, Harmat Veronika, Weixiao Y. Wahlgren, Katona Gergely, Nyitray László és Pál Gábor

Az LC8 dinein könnyűlánc kötőmotívumának jellemzése és új kölcsönható partnerek jóslása irányított evolúció segítségével

Biokémia XXXIV. évfolyam 4. szám 2010. december

Szegő, E.M., Csorba, A., Janáky, T., Kékesi, K.A., Ábrahám, I.M., Mórotz, M.G., Penke, B., Palkovits, M., Murvai, Ü., Kellermayer, M.S.Z., Kardos, J., Juhász, G.D.

Effects of Estrogen on Beta-Amyloid-Induced Cholinergic Cell Death in the Nucleus Basalis Magnocellularis

Neuroendocrinology 321119 DOI: 10.1159/000321119

Alzheimer disease is characterized by accumulation of β-amyloid (Aβ) and cognitive dysfunctions linked to early loss of cholinergic neurons. As estrogen-based hormone replacement therapy has beneficial effects on cognition of demented patients, and it may prevent memory impairments, we investigated the effect of estrogen-pretreatment on Aβ-induced cholinergic neurodegeneration in the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (NBM). We tested which Aβ species induces the more pronounced cholinotoxic effect in vivo. We injected different Aβ assemblies in the NBM of mice, and measured cholinergic cell and cortical fiber loss. Spherical Aβ oligomers had the most toxic effect. Pretreatment of ovariectomized mice with estrogen before Aβ injection decreased cholinergic neuron loss and partly prevented fiber degeneration. By using proteomics, we searched for proteins involved in estrogen-mediated protection and in Aβ toxicity 24 h following injection. The change in expression of, e.g., DJ-1, NADH ubiquinone oxidoreductase, ATP synthase, phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1, protein phosphatase 2A and dimethylarginine dimethylaminohydrolase 1 support our hypothesis that Aβ induces mitochondrial dysfunction, decreases MAPK signaling, and increases NOS activation in NBM. On the other hand, altered expression of, e.g., MAP kinase kinase 1 and 2, protein phosphatase 1 and 2A by Aβ might increase MAPK suppression and NOS signaling in the cortical target area. Estrogen pretreatment reversed most of the changes in the proteome in both areas. Our experiments suggest that regulation of the MAPK pathway, mitochondrial pH and NO production may all contribute to Aβ toxicity, and their regulation can be prevented partly by estrogen pretreatment.

Orbán, G., Völgyi, K., Juhász, G., Penke, B., Kékesi, K.A., Kardos, J., and Czurkó, A.

Different electrophysiological actions of 24- and 72-hour aggregated amyloid-beta oligomers on hippocampal field population spike in both anesthetized and awake rats.

Brain Research, 1354, 227-235 (2010)

Diffusible oligomeric assemblies of the amyloid beta-protein (Abeta) could be the primary factor in the pathogenic pathway leading to Alzheimer's disease (AD). Converging lines of evidence support the notion that AD begins with subtle alterations in synaptic efficacy, prior to the occurrence of extensive neuronal degeneration. Recently, however, a shared or overlapping pathogenesis for AD and epileptic seizures occurred as aberrant neuronal hyperexcitability, as well as nonconvulsive seizure activity were found in several different APP transgenic mouse lines. This generated a renewed attention to the well-known comorbidity of AD and epilepsy and interest in how Abeta oligomers influence neuronal excitability. In this study therefore, we investigated the effect of various in vitro-aged Abeta(1-42) oligomer solutions on the perforant pathway-evoked field potentials in the ventral hippocampal dentate gyrus in vivo. Firstly, Abeta oligomer solutions (1 microl, 200 microM) which had been aggregated in vitro for 0, 24 or 72h were injected into the hippocampus of urethane-anesthetized rats, in parallel with in vitro physico-chemical characterization of Abeta oligomerization (atomic force microscopy, thioflavin-T fluorescence). We found a marked increase of hippocampal population spike (pSpike) after injection of the 24-h Abeta oligomer solution and a decrease of the pSpike amplitude after injection of the 72-h Abeta oligomer. Since urethane anesthesia affects the properties of hippocampal evoked potentials, we repeated the injection of these two Abeta oligomer solutions in awake, freely moving animals. Evoked responses to perforant pathway stimulation revealed a 70% increase of pSpike amplitude 50 min after the 24-h Abeta oligomer injection and a 55% decrease after the 72-h Abeta oligomer injection. Field potentials, that reflect synaptic potentials, were not affected by the Abeta injection. These results demonstrate that oligomeric Abeta aggregates elicit opposite electrophysiological effects on neuronal excitability which depend on their degree of oligomerization.

Yamamoto, K., Yagi, H., Lee, Y.-H., Kardos, J., Hagihara, Y., Naiki, H. and Goto, Y.

The amyloid fibrils of the constant domain of immunoglobulin light chain.

FEBS Letters, 584, 3348-3353 (2010)

Light chain-associated (AL) amyloidosis is characterized by dominant fibril deposition of the variable domain (VL) of an immunoglobulin light chain, and thus its constant domain (CL) has been considered not to be amyloidogenic. We examined the in vitro fibril formation of the isolated CL in comparison with beta2-microglobulin (beta2-m), an immunoglobulin domain-like amyloidogenic protein responsible for dialysis-related amyloidosis. Two methods useful for beta2-m at neutral pH also induced amyloid fibrils of CL, which were monitored by thioflavin-T binding and electron microscopy (EM). These results suggest that CL plays an important role, more than previously assumed, in the development of AL-amyloidosis.

Kovacs, E., Harmat, V., Tóth, J., Vértessy, B. G., Módos, K., Kardos, J., Liliom, K.

Structure and mechanism of calmodulin binding to a signaling sphingolipid reveal new aspects of lipid-protein interactions

FASEB J., 24, 3829-3839 (2010)

Lipid-protein interactions are rarely characterized at a structural molecular level due to technical difficulties; however, the biological significance of understanding the mechanism of these interactions is outstanding. In this report, we provide mechanistic insight into the inhibitory complex formation of the lipid mediator sphingosylphosphorylcholine with calmodulin, the most central and ubiquitous regulator protein in calcium signaling. We applied crystallographic, thermodynamic, kinetic, and spectroscopic approaches using purified bovine calmodulin and bovine cerebral microsomal fraction to arrive at our conclusions. Here we present 1) a 1.6-â„« resolution crystal structure of their complex, in which the sphingolipid occupies the conventional hydrophobic binding site on calmodulin; 2) a peculiar stoichiometry-dependent binding process: at low or high protein-to-lipid ratio calmodulin binds lipid micelles or a few lipid molecules in a compact globular conformation, respectively, and 3) evidence that the sphingolipid displaces calmodulin from its targets on cerebral microsomes. We have ascertained the specificity of the interaction using structurally related lipids as controls. Our observations reveal the structural basis of selective calmodulin inhibition by the sphingolipid. On the basis of the crystallographic and biophysical characterization of the calmodulin-sphingosylphosphorylcholine interaction, we propose a novel lipid-protein binding model, which might be applicable to other interactions as well.

Major, B., Kardos, J., Kékesi, K. A., Lőrincz, Z., Závodszky, P., Gál, J.

Calcium-dependent conformational flexibility of a CUB domain controls activation of the complement serine protease C1r

J. Biol. Chem., 285, 11863-11869 (2010)

C1, the first component of the complement system, is a Ca(2+)-dependent heteropentamer complex of C1q and two modular serine proteases, C1r and C1s. Current functional models assume significant flexibility of the subcomponents. Noncatalytic modules in C1r have been proposed to provide the flexibility required for function. Using a recombinant CUB2-CCP1 domain pair and the individual CCP1 module, we showed that binding of Ca(2+) induces the folding of the CUB2 domain and stabilizes its structure. In the presence of Ca(2+), CUB2 shows a compact, folded structure, whereas in the absence of Ca(2+), it has a flexible, disordered conformation. CCP1 module is Ca(2+)-insensitive. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that CUB2 binds a single Ca(2+) with a relatively high K(D) (430 mum). In blood, the CUB2 domain of C1r is only partially (74%) saturated by Ca(2+), therefore the disordered, Ca(2+)-free form could provide the flexibility required for C1 activation. In accordance with this assumption, the effect of Ca(2+) on the autoactivation of native, isolated C1r zymogen was proved. In the case of infection-inflammation when the local Ca(2+) concentration decreases, this property of CUB2 domain could serve as subtle means to trigger the activation of the classical pathway of complement. The CUB2 domain of C1r is a novel example for globular protein domains with marginal stability, high conformational flexibility, and proteolytic sensitivity. The physical nature of the behavior of this domain is similar to that of intrinsically unstructured proteins, providing a further example of functionally relevant ligand-induced reorganization of a polypeptide chain.

Naber N, Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Purcell TJ, Cooke R, Pate E.

Combining EPR with fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor conformational changes at the myosin nucleotide pocket.

J Mol Biol. 2010 Mar 5;396(4):937-48. Epub 2009 Dec 28.

We used spin-labeled nucleotide analogs and fluorescence spectroscopy to monitor conformational changes at the nucleotide-binding site of wild-type Dictyostelium discoideum (WT) myosin and a construct containing a single tryptophan at position F239 near the switch 1 loop. Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy and tryptophan fluorescence have been used previously to investigate changes at the myosin nucleotide site. A limitation of fluorescence spectroscopy is that it must be done on mutated myosins containing only a single tryptophan. A limitation of EPR spectroscopy is that one infers protein conformational changes from alterations in the mobility of an attached probe. These limitations have led to controversies regarding conclusions reached by the two approaches. For the first time, the data presented here allow direct correlations to be made between the results from the two spectroscopic approaches on the same proteins and extend our previous EPR studies to a nonmuscle myosin. EPR probe mobility indicates that the conformation of the nucleotide pocket of the WTSLADP (spin-labeled ADP) complex is similar to that of skeletal myosin. The pocket is closed in the absence of actin for both diphosphate and triphosphate nucleotide states. In the actin myosin diphosphate state, the pocket is in equilibrium between closed and open conformations, with the open conformation slightly more favorable than that seen for fast skeletal actomyosin. The EPR spectra for the mutant show similar conformations to skeletal myosin, with one exception: in the absence of actin, the nucleotide pocket of the mutant displays an open component that was approximately 4-5 kJ/mol more favorable than in skeletal or WT myosin. These observations resolve the controversies between the two techniques. The data from both techniques confirm that binding of myosin to actin alters the conformation of the myosin nucleotide pocket with similar but not identical energetics in both muscle and nonmuscle myosins.

Takács, B., Billington N, Gyimesi, M., Kintses, B., Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Knight PJ, Kovács, M.

Myosin complexed with ADP and blebbistatin reversibly adopts a conformation resembling the start point of the working stroke.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2010 Apr 13;107(15):6799-804. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

The powerstroke of the myosin motor is the basis of cell division and bodily movement, but has eluded empirical description due to the short lifetime and low abundance of intermediates during force generation. To gain insight into this process, we used well-established single-tryptophan and pyrene fluorescent sensors and electron microscopy to characterize the structural and kinetic properties of myosin complexed with ADP and blebbistatin, a widely used inhibitor. We found that blebbistatin does not weaken the tight actin binding of myosin.ADP, but unexpectedly it induces lever priming, a process for which the gamma-phosphate of ATP (or its analog) had been thought necessary. The results indicate that a significant fraction of the myosin.ADP.blebbistatin complex populates a previously inaccessible conformation of myosin resembling the start of the powerstroke.

Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Kovács, M.

Emerging complex pathways of the actomyosin powerstroke.

Trends Biochem Sci. 2010 Dec;35(12):684-90. Review.

Actomyosin powers muscle contraction and various cellular activities, including cell division, differentiation, intracellular transport and sensory functions. Despite their crucial roles, key aspects of force generation have remained elusive. To perform efficient force generation, the powerstroke must occur while myosin is bound to actin. Paradoxically, this process must be initiated when myosin is in a very low actin-affinity state. Recent results shed light on a kinetic pathway selection mechanism whereby the actin-induced activation of the swing of myosin's lever enables efficient mechanical functioning. Structural elements and biochemical principles involved in this mechanism are conserved among various NTPase-effector (e.g. kinesin-microtubule, G protein exchange factor and kinase-scaffold protein) systems that perform chemomechanical or signal transduction.

Simon, Z., Vigh-Smeller M, Peragovics A, Csukly G, Zahoránszky-Kohalmi G, Rauscher, A.A, Jelinek, B., Hári P, Bitter I, Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Czobor P.

Relating the shape of protein binding sites to binding affinity profiles: is there an association?

BMC Struct Biol. 2010 Oct 5;10:32.

BACKGROUND: Various pattern-based methods exist that use in vitro or in silico affinity profiles for classification and functional examination of proteins. Nevertheless, the connection between the protein affinity profiles and the structural characteristics of the binding sites is still unclear. Our aim was to investigate the association between virtual drug screening results (calculated binding free energy values) and the geometry of protein binding sites. Molecular Affinity Fingerprints (MAFs) were determined for 154 proteins based on their molecular docking energy results for 1,255 FDA-approved drugs. Protein binding site geometries were characterized by 420 PocketPicker descriptors. The basic underlying component structure of MAFs and binding site geometries, respectively, were examined by principal component analysis; association between principal components extracted from these two sets of variables was then investigated by canonical correlation and redundancy analyses. RESULTS: PCA analysis of the MAF variables provided 30 factors which explained 71.4% of the total variance of the energy values while 13 factors were obtained from the PocketPicker descriptors which cumulatively explained 94.1% of the total variance. Canonical correlation analysis resulted in 3 statistically significant canonical factor pairs with correlation values of 0.87, 0.84 and 0.77, respectively. Redundancy analysis indicated that PocketPicker descriptor factors explain 6.9% of the variance of the MAF factor set while MAF factors explain 15.9% of the total variance of PocketPicker descriptor factors. Based on the salient structures of the factor pairs, we identified a clear-cut association between the shape and bulkiness of the drug molecules and the protein binding site descriptors. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to investigate complex multivariate associations between affinity profiles and the geometric properties of protein binding sites. We found that, except for few specific cases, the shapes of the binding pockets have relatively low weights in the determination of the affinity profiles of proteins. Since the MAF profile is closely related to the target specificity of ligand binding sites we can conclude that the shape of the binding site is not a pivotal factor in selecting drug targets. Nonetheless, based on strong specific associations between certain MAF profiles and specific geometric descriptors we identified, the shapes of the binding sites do have a crucial role in virtual drug design for certain drug categories, including morphine derivatives, benzodiazepines, barbiturates and antihistamines.

Purcell TJ, Naber N, Franks-Skiba K, Dunn AR, Eldred CC, Berger CL, Málnási-Csizmadia, A., Spudich JA, Swank DM, Pate E, Cooke R.

Nucleotide Pocket Thermodynamics Measured by EPR Reveal How Energy Partitioning Relates Myosin Speed to Efficiency.

J Mol Biol. 2010 Dec 23. [Epub ahead of print]

We have used spin-labeled ADP to investigate the dynamics of the nucleotide-binding pocket in a series of myosins, which have a range of velocities. Electron paramagnetic resonance spectroscopy reveals that the pocket is in equilibrium between open and closed conformations. In the absence of actin, the closed conformation is favored. When myosin binds actin, the open conformation becomes more favored, facilitating nucleotide release. We found that faster myosins favor a more closed pocket in the actomyosin-ADP state, with smaller values of ΔH(0) and ΔS(0), even though these myosins release ADP at a faster rate. A model involving a partitioning of free energy between work-generating steps prior to rate-limiting ADP release explains both the unexpected correlation between velocity and opening of the pocket and the observation that fast myosins are less efficient than slow myosins.

Nagy, N. T., Sakamoto, T., Takács, B., Gyimesi, M., Hazai, E., Bikádi, Z., Sellers, J. R., Kovács, M.

Functional adaptation of the switch-2 nucleotide sensor enables rapid processive translocation by myosin-5.

FASEB J. 2010 Nov;24(11):4480-90.

Active site loops that are conserved across superfamilies of myosins, kinesins, and G proteins play key roles in allosteric coupling of NTP hydrolysis to interaction with track filaments or effector proteins. In this study, we investigated how the class-specific natural variation in the switch-2 active site loop contributes to the motor function of the intracellular transporter myosin-5. We used single-molecule, rapid kinetic and spectroscopic experiments and semiempirical quantum chemical simulations to show that the class-specific switch-2 structure including a tyrosine (Y439) in myosin-5 enables rapid processive translocation along actin filaments by facilitating Mg(2+)-dependent ADP release. Using wild-type control and Y439 point mutant myosin-5 proteins, we demonstrate that the translocation speed precisely correlates with the kinetics of nucleotide exchange. Switch-2 variants can thus be used to fine-tune translocation speed while maintaining high processivity. The class-specific variation of switch-2 in various NTPase superfamilies indicates its general role in the kinetic tuning of Mg(2+)-dependent nucleotide exchange

Takács, B., O'Neall-Hennessey, E., Hetényi, C., Kardos, J., Szent-Györgyi, A. G., Kovács, M.

Myosin cleft closure determines the energetics of the actomyosin interaction

FASEB J. 2010 Sep 13

Formation of the strong binding interaction between actin and myosin is essential for force generation in muscle and in cytoskeletal motor systems. To clarify the role of the closure of myosin's actin-binding cleft in the actomyosin interaction, we performed rapid kinetic, spectroscopic, and calorimetric experiments and atomic-level energetic calculations on a variety of myosin isoforms for which atomic structures are available. Surprisingly, we found that the endothermic actin-binding profile of vertebrate skeletal muscle myosin subfragment-1 is unique among studied myosins. We show that the diverse propensity of myosins for cleft closure determines different energetic profiles as well as structural and kinetic pathways of actin binding. Depending on the type of myosin, strong actin binding may occur via induced-fit or conformational preselection mechanisms. However, cleft closure does not directly determine the kinetics and affinity of actin binding. We also show that cleft closure is enthalpically unfavorable, reflecting the development of an internal strain within myosin in order to adopt precise steric complementarity to the actin filament. We propose that cleft closure leads to an increase in the torsional strain of myosin's central β-sheet that has been proposed to serve as an allosteric energy-transducing spring during force generation.-Takács, B., O'Neall-Hennessey, E., Hetényi, C., Kardos, J., Szent-Györgyi, A. G., Kovács, M. Myosin cleft closure determines the energetics of the actomyosin interaction.

Alexa, A., Varga, J., Reményi, A.

Scaffolds are 'active' regulators of signaling modules.

FEBS J. 2010 Nov;277(21):4376-82

Signaling cascades, in addition to proteins with obvious signaling-relevant activities (e.g. protein kinases or receptors), also employ dedicated 'inactive' proteins whose functions appear to be the organization of the former components into higher order complexes through protein-protein interactions. The core function of signaling adaptors, anchors and scaffolds is the recruitment of proteins into one macromolecular complex. Several recent studies have demonstrated that the recruiter and the recruited molecules mutually influence each other in a scaffolded complex. This yields fundamentally novel properties for the signaling complex as a whole. Because these are not merely additive to the properties of the individual components, scaffolded signaling complexes may behave as functionally distinct modules.

Radnai, L., Rapali, P., Hodi, Z., Suveges, D., Molnar, T., Kiss, B., Becsi, B., Erdodi, F., Buday, L., Kardos, J., Kovacs, M., Nyitray, L.

Affinity, avidity and kinetics of target sequence binding to LC8 dynein light chain isoforms.

J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 3;285(49):38649-57.

LC8 dynein light chain (DYNLL) is a highly conserved eukaryotic hub protein with dozens of binding partners and various functions beyond being subunit of dynein and myosin Va motor proteins. Here we compared the kinetic and thermodynamic parameters of binding of both mammalian isoforms, DYNLL1 and DYNLL2, to two putative consensus binding motifs (KXTQTX, XGI/VQVD) and report only subtle differences. Peptides containing either of the above motifs bind to DYNLL2 with micromolar affinity, whereas a myosin Va peptide (lacking the conserved Gln) and the non-canonical Pak1 peptide bind with Kd values of 9 μM and 40 μM, respectively. Binding of the KXTQTX motif is enthalpy-driven, while that of all other peptides is both enthalpy- and entropy-driven. Moreover, the KXTQTX motif shows strikingly slower off-rate constant than the other motifs. As most DYNLL partners are homodimeric, we also assessed the binding of bivalent ligands to DYNLL2. Compared to monovalent ligands, a significant avidity effect was found: Kd values of 37 and 3.5 nM for a dimeric myosin Va fragment and a Leu zipper dimerized KXTQTX motif, respectively. Ligand binding kinetics of DYNLL can be best described by a conformational selection model consisting of a slow isomerisation and a rapid binding step. We also studied the binding of the phosphomimetic Ser88Glu mutant of DYNLL2 to the dimeric myosin Va fragment, and found a significantly lower apparent Kd (3 μM). We conclude that the thermodynamic and kinetic fine-tuning of binding of various ligands to DYNLL could have physiological relevance in its interaction network.

Tárnok, K., Szilágyi, L., Berki, T., Németh, P., Gráf, L., Schlett, K.

Anoxia leads to a rapid translocation of human trypsinogen 4 to the plasma membrane of cultured astrocytes.

J Neurochem. 2010 Oct;115(2):314-24.

Trypsinogen 4 is specifically expressed in the human brain, mainly by astroglial cells. Although its exact role in the nervous tissue is yet unclear, trypsin 4-mediated pathological processes were suggested in Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and ischemic injury. In the present study, we analyzed the intracellular distribution of fluorescently tagged human trypsinogen 4 isoforms during normal and anoxic conditions in transfected mouse primary astrocytes. Our results show that initiation of anoxic milieu by the combined action of KCN treatment and glucose deprivation rapidly leads to the association of leader peptide containing trypsinogen 4 constructs to the plasma membrane. Using rhodamine 110 bis-(CBZ-L-isoleucyl-L-prolyl-L-arginine amide), a synthetic chromogen peptide substrate of trypsin, we show that anoxia can promote extracellular activation of trypsinogen 4 indicating that extracellular activation of human trypsinogen 4 can be an important component in neuropathological changes of the injured human brain.

Rojo, L., Sotelo-Mundo, R., García-CarreÁ±o, F., Gráf, L.

Isolation, biochemical characterization, and molecular modeling of American lobster digestive cathepsin D1.

Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2010 Dec;157(4):394-400

An aspartic proteinase was isolated from American lobster gastric fluid. The purified cathepsin D runs as a single band on native-PAGE displaying proteolytic activity on a zymogram at pH 3.0, with an isoelectric point of 4.7. Appearance of the protein in SDS-PAGE, depended on the conditions of the gel electrophoresis. SDS treatment by itself was not able to fully unfold the protein. Thus, in SDS-PAGE the protein appeared to be heterogeneous. A few minute of boiling the sample in the presence of SDS was necessary to fully denature the protein that then run in the gel as a single band of ~50 kDa. The protein sequence of lobster cathepsin D1, as deduced from its mRNA sequence, lacks a 'polyproline loop' and β-hairpin, which are characteristic of some of its structural homologues. A comparison of amino acid sequences of digestive and non-digestive cathepsin D-like enzymes from invertebrates showed that most cathepsin D enzymes involved in food digestion, lack the polyproline loop, whereas all non-digestive cathepsin Ds, including the American lobster cathepsin D2 paralog, contain the polyproline loop. We propose that the absence or presence of this loop may be characteristic of digestive and non-digestive aspartic proteinases, respectively.

Gáspári, Z., Pál, G.,

Fehérjevallatás szótárfejlesztéssel

Élet és Tudomány, 2010.(33) 1034-36

Pál, G.

Látni a láthatatlant: Képalkotási technikák az elektronmikroszkópiától a röntgenkrisztallográfiáig

Kémiai Panoráma. 2010. 1 évf. 3.

Pál, G.

Kémiai Nobel-díj 2009: Érthetővé vált egy rendkívül bonyolult molekuláris gépezet

Kémiai Panoráma. 2010. 1 évf. 3.

Gyimesi, M., Vellai, T., Kovács, M.

A genetikai állomány stabilitása: helikáz enzimek szerepe a DNS-hibajavításban.

Természet Világa, 2010. március

Természet Világa, 2010. március

Gyimesi, M., Sarlós, K., Derényi, I., Kovács, M.

Streamlined determination of processive run length and mechanochemical coupling of nucleic acid motor activities

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Apr;38(7):e102.

Quantitative determination of enzymatic rates, processivity and mechanochemical coupling is a key aspect in characterizing nucleotide triphosphate (NTP)-driven nucleic acid motor enzymes, for both basic research and technological applications. Here, we present a streamlined analytical method suitable for the determination of all key functional parameters based on measurement of NTP hydrolysis during interaction of motor enzymes with the nucleic acid track. The proposed method utilizes features of kinetic time courses of NTP hydrolysis that have not been addressed in previous analyses, and also accounts for the effect of protein traps used in kinetic experiments on processivity. This analysis is suitable for rapid and precise assessment of the effects of mutations, physical conditions, binding partners and other effectors on the functioning of translocases, helicases, polymerases and other NTP-consuming processive nucleic acid motors.

Gyimesi, M., Sarlós, K., Kovács, M.

Processive translocation mechanism of the human Bloom's syndrome helicase along single-stranded DNA. Nucleic Acids Research

Nucleic Acids Res. 2010 Jul;38(13):4404-14

BLM, one of the human RecQ helicases, plays a fundamental role in homologous recombination-based error-free DNA repair pathways, which require its translocation and DNA unwinding activities. Although translocation is essential in vivo during DNA repair processes and it provides a framework for more complex activities of helicases, including strand separation and nucleoprotein displacement, its mechanism has not been resolved for any human DNA helicase. Here, we present a quantitative model for the translocation of a monomeric form of BLM along ssDNA. We show that BLM performs translocation at a low adenosine triphosphate (ATP) coupling ratio (1 ATP consumed/1 nucleotide traveled) and moderate processivity (with a mean number of 50 nucleotides traveled in a single run). We also show that the rate-limiting step of the translocation cycle is a transition between two ADP-bound enzyme states. Via opening of the helicase core, this structural change may drive the stepping of BLM along the DNA track by a directed inchworm mechanism. The data also support the conclusion that BLM performs double-stranded DNA unwinding by fully active duplex destabilization.

Szappanos, B., Süveges, D., Nyitray, L., Perczel A, Gáspári Z.

Folded-unfolded cross-predictions and protein evolution: The case study of coiled-coils.

FEBS Lett. 2010 Apr 16;584(8):1623-7.

Here we report a thorough analysis of cross-predictions between coiled-coil and disordered protein segments using various prediction algorithms for both sequence classes. Coiled-coils are often predicted to be unstructured, consistent with their obligate multimeric nature, whereas reverse cross-predictions are rare due to the regularity of coiled-coil sequences. We propose the simultaneous use of the programs Coils and IUPred to achieve acceptable prediction accuracy and minimize the extent of cross-predictions. The relevance of observed cross-predictions might be that disordered sequences can adopt coiled-coil conformation relatively easily during protein evolution. Copyright © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Mok J, Kim PM, Lam HY, Piccirillo S, Zhou X, Jeschke GR, Sheridan DL, Parker SA, Desai V, Jwa M, Cameroni E, Niu H, Good M, Reményi, A., Ma JL, Sheu YJ, Sassi HE, Sopko R, Chan CS, De Virgilio C, Hollingsworth NM, Lim WA, Stern DF, Stillman B, Andrews BJ, Gerstein MB, Snyder M, Turk BE.

Deciphering protein kinase specificity through large-scale analysis of yeast phosphorylation site motifs

Sci Signal. 2010 Feb 16;3(109)

Phosphorylation is a universal mechanism for regulating cell behavior in eukaryotes. Although protein kinases target short linear sequence motifs on their substrates, the rules for kinase substrate recognition are not completely understood. We used a rapid peptide screening approach to determine consensus phosphorylation site motifs targeted by 61 of the 122 kinases in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. By correlating these motifs with kinase primary sequence, we uncovered previously unappreciated rules for determining specificity within the kinase family, including a residue determining P-3 arginine specificity among members of the CMGC [CDK (cyclin-dependent kinase), MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase), GSK (glycogen synthase kinase), and CDK-like] group of kinases. Furthermore, computational scanning of the yeast proteome enabled the prediction of thousands of new kinase-substrate relationships. We experimentally verified several candidate substrates of the Prk1 family of kinases in vitro and in vivo and identified a protein substrate of the kinase Vhs1. Together, these results elucidate how kinase catalytic domains recognize their phosphorylation targets and suggest general avenues for the identification of previously unknown kinase substrates across eukaryotes.