Melatonin biosynthesis: the structure of serotonin N-acetyltransferase at 2.5 A resolution suggests a catalytic mechanism.
Conversion of serotonin to N-acetylserotonin, the precursor of the circadian neurohormone melatonin, is catalyzed by serotonin N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) in a reaction requiring acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA). AANAT is a globular protein consisting of an eight-stranded beta sheet flanked by five alpha helices; a conserved motif in the center of the beta sheet forms the cofactor binding site. Three polypeptide loops converge above the AcCoA binding site, creating a hydrophobic funnel leading toward the cofactor and serotonin binding sites in the protein interior. Two conserved histidines not found in other NATs are located at the bottom of the funnel in the active site, suggesting a catalytic mechanism for acetylation involving imidazole groups acting as general acid/base catalysts. (+info)
Structural basis of Rab effector specificity: crystal structure of the small G protein Rab3A complexed with the effector domain of rabphilin-3A.
The small G protein Rab3A plays an important role in the regulation of neurotransmitter release. The crystal structure of activated Rab3A/GTP/Mg2+ bound to the effector domain of rabphilin-3A was solved to 2.6 A resolution. Rabphilin-3A contacts Rab3A in two distinct areas. The first interface involves the Rab3A switch I and switch II regions, which are sensitive to the nucleotide-binding state of Rab3A. The second interface consists of a deep pocket in Rab3A that interacts with a SGAWFF structural element of rabphilin-3A. Sequence and structure analysis, and biochemical data suggest that this pocket, or Rab complementarity-determining region (RabCDR), establishes a specific interaction between each Rab protein and its effectors. RabCDRs could be major determinants of effector specificity during vesicle trafficking and fusion. (+info)
Crystal structures of two Sm protein complexes and their implications for the assembly of the spliceosomal snRNPs.
The U1, U2, U4/U6, and U5 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs) involved in pre-mRNA splicing contain seven Sm proteins (B/B', D1, D2, D3, E, F, and G) in common, which assemble around the Sm site present in four of the major spliceosomal small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs). These proteins share a common sequence motif in two segments, Sm1 and Sm2, separated by a short variable linker. Crystal structures of two Sm protein complexes, D3B and D1D2, show that these proteins have a common fold containing an N-terminal helix followed by a strongly bent five-stranded antiparallel beta sheet, and the D1D2 and D3B dimers superpose closely in their core regions, including the dimer interfaces. The crystal structures suggest that the seven Sm proteins could form a closed ring and the snRNAs may be bound in the positively charged central hole. (+info)
A viral mechanism for inhibition of p300 and PCAF acetyltransferase activity.
Nucleosomal histone modification is believed to be a critical step in the activation of RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription. p300/CBP and PCAF histone acetyltransferases (HATs) are coactivators for several transcription factors, including nuclear hormone receptors, p53, and Stat1alpha, and participate in transcription by forming an activation complex and by promoting histone acetylation. The adenoviral E1A oncoprotein represses transcriptional signaling by binding to p300/CBP and displacing PCAF and p/CIP proteins from the complex. Here, we show that E1A directly represses the HAT activity of both p300/CBP and PCAF in vitro and p300-dependent transcription in vivo. Additionally, E1A inhibits nucleosomal histone modifications by the PCAF complex and blocks p53 acetylation. These results demonstrate the modulation of HAT activity as a novel mechanism of transcriptional regulation. (+info)
Crystal structure of the cytoplasmic domain of the type I TGF beta receptor in complex with FKBP12.
Activation of the type I TGFbeta receptor (TbetaR-I) requires phosphorylation of a regulatory segment known as the GS region, located upstream of the serine/threonine kinase domain in the cytoplasmic portion of the receptor. The crystal structure of a fragment of unphosphorylated TbetaR-I, containing both the GS region and the catalytic domain, has been determined in complex with the FK506-binding protein FKBP12. TbetaR-I adopts an inactive conformation that is maintained by the unphosphorylated GS region. FKBP12 binds to the GS region of the receptor, capping the TbetaR-II phosphorylation sites and further stabilizing the inactive conformation of TbetaR-I. Certain structural features at the catalytic center of TbetaR-I are characteristic of tyrosine kinases rather than Ser/Thr kinases. (+info)
Crystal structure of wild-type human procathepsin K.
Cathepsin K is a lysosomal cysteine protease belonging to the papain superfamily. It has been implicated as a major mediator of osteoclastic bone resorption. Wild-type human procathepsin K has been crystallized in a glycosylated and a deglycosylated form. The latter crystals diffract better, to 3.2 A resolution, and contain four molecules in the asymmetric unit. The structure was solved by molecular replacement and refined to an R-factor of 0.194. The N-terminal fragment of the proregion forms a globular domain while the C-terminal segment is extended and shows substantial flexibility. The proregion interacts with the enzyme along the substrate binding groove and along the proregion binding loop (residues Ser138-Asn156). It binds to the active site in the opposite direction to that of natural substrates. The overall binding mode of the proregion to cathepsin K is similar to that observed in cathepsin L, caricain, and cathepsin B, but there are local differences that likely contribute to the specificity of these proregions for their cognate enzymes. The main observed difference is in the position of the short helix alpha3p (67p-75p), which occupies the S' subsites. As in the other proenzymes, the proregion utilizes the S2 subsite for anchoring by placing a leucine side chain there, according to the specificity of cathepsin K toward its substrate. (+info)
Tolerance of a protein to multiple polar-to-hydrophobic surface substitutions.
Hydrophobic substitutions at solvent-exposed positions in two alpha-helical regions of the bacteriophage P22 Arc repressor were introduced by combinatorial mutagenesis. In helix A, hydrophobic residues were tolerated individually at each of the five positions examined, but multiple substitutions were poorly tolerated as shown by the finding that mutants with more than two additional hydrophobic residues were biologically inactive. Several inactive helix A variants were purified and found to have reduced thermal stability relative to wild-type Arc, with a rough correlation between the number of polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions and the magnitude of the stability defect. Quite different results were obtained in helix B, where variants with as many as five polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions were found to be biologically active and one variant with three hydrophobic substitutions had a t(m) 6 degrees C higher than wild-type. By contrast, a helix A mutant with three similar polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions was 23 degrees C less stable than wild-type. Also, one set of three polar-to-hydrophobic substitutions in helix B was tolerated when introduced into the wild-type background but not when introduced into an equally active mutant having a nearly identical structure. Context effects occur both when comparing different regions of the same protein and when comparing the same region in two different homologues. (+info)
Sequence specificity, statistical potentials, and three-dimensional structure prediction with self-correcting distance geometry calculations of beta-sheet formation in proteins.
A statistical analysis of a representative data set of 169 known protein structures was used to analyze the specificity of residue interactions between spatial neighboring strands in beta-sheets. Pairwise potentials were derived from the frequency of residue pairs in nearest contact, second nearest and third nearest contacts across neighboring beta-strands compared to the expected frequency of residue pairs in a random model. A pseudo-energy function based on these statistical pairwise potentials recognized native beta-sheets among possible alternative pairings. The native pairing was found within the three lowest energies in 73% of the cases in the training data set and in 63% of beta-sheets in a test data set of 67 proteins, which were not part of the training set. The energy function was also used to detect tripeptides, which occur frequently in beta-sheets of native proteins. The majority of native partners of tripeptides were distributed in a low energy range. Self-correcting distance geometry (SECODG) calculations using distance constraints sets derived from possible low energy pairing of beta-strands uniquely identified the native pairing of the beta-sheet in pancreatic trypsin inhibitor (BPTI). These results will be useful for predicting the structure of proteins from their amino acid sequence as well as for the design of proteins containing beta-sheets. (+info)