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(1/640) A computational screen for methylation guide snoRNAs in yeast.

Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are required for ribose 2'-O-methylation of eukaryotic ribosomal RNA. Many of the genes for this snoRNA family have remained unidentified in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, despite the availability of a complete genome sequence. Probabilistic modeling methods akin to those used in speech recognition and computational linguistics were used to computationally screen the yeast genome and identify 22 methylation guide snoRNAs, snR50 to snR71. Gene disruptions and other experimental characterization confirmed their methylation guide function. In total, 51 of the 55 ribose methylated sites in yeast ribosomal RNA were assigned to 41 different guide snoRNAs.  (+info)

(2/640) Utilization of exogenous purine compounds in Bacillus cereus. Translocation of the ribose moiety of inosine.

Intact cells of Bacillus cereus catalyze the breakdown of exogenous AMP to hypoxanthine and ribose 1-phosphate through the successive action of 5'-nucleotidase, adenosine deaminase, and inosine phosphorylase. Inosine hydrolase was not detectable, even in crude extracts. Inosine phosphorylase causes a "translocation" of the ribose moiety (as ribose 1-phosphate) inside the cell, while hypoxanthine remains external. Even though the equilibrium of the phosphorolytic reaction favors nucleoside synthesis, exogenous inosine (as well as adenosine and AMP) is almost quantitatively transformed into external hypoxanthine, since ribose 1-phosphate is readily metabolized inside the cell. Most likely, the translocated ribose 1-phosphate enters the sugar phosphate shunt, via its prior conversion into ribose 5-phosphate, thus supplying the energy required for the subsequent uptake of hypoxanthine in B. cereus.  (+info)

(3/640) Enzyme-mononucleotide interactions: three different folds share common structural elements for ATP recognition.

Three ATP-dependent enzymes with different folds, cAMP-dependent protein kinase, D-Ala:D-Ala ligase and the alpha-subunit of the alpha2beta2 ribonucleotide reductase, have a similar organization of their ATP-binding sites. The most meaningful similarity was found over 23 structurally equivalent residues in each protein and includes three strands each from their beta-sheets, in addition to a connecting loop. The equivalent secondary structure elements in each of these enzymes donate four amino acids forming key hydrogen bonds responsible for the common orientation of the "AMP" moieties of their ATP-ligands. One lysine residue conserved throughout the three families binds the alpha-phosphate in each protein. The common fragments of structure also position some, but not all, of the equivalent residues involved in hydrophobic contacts with the adenine ring. These examples of convergent evolution reinforce the view that different proteins can fold in different ways to produce similar structures locally, and nature can take advantage of these features when structure and function demand it, as shown here for the common mode of ATP-binding by three unrelated proteins.  (+info)

(4/640) Structural properties of DNA:RNA duplexes containing 2'-O-methyl and 2'-S-methyl substitutions: a molecular dynamics investigation.

The physical properties of a DNA:RNA hybrid sequence d(CCAACGTTGG)*(CCAACGUUGG) with modifications at the C2'-positions of the DNA strand by 2'-O-methyl (OMe) and 2'-S-methyl (SMe) groups are studied using computational techniques. Molecular dynamics simu-lations of SMe_DNA:RNA, OMe_DNA:RNA and standard DNA:RNA hybrids in explicit water indicate that the nature of the C2'-substituent has a significant influence on the macromolecular conformation. While the RNA strand in all duplexes maintains a strong preference for C3'-endo sugar puckering, the DNA strand shows considerable variation in this parameter depending on the nature of the C2'-substituent. In general, the preference for C3'-endo puckering follows the following trend: OMe_DNA>DNA>SMe_DNA. These results are further corroborated using ab initio methods. Both gas phase and implicit solvation calculations show the C2'-OMe group stabilizes the C3'-endo conformation while the less electronegative SMe group stabilizes the C2'-endo conformation when compared to the standard nucleoside. The macromolecular conformation of these nucleic acids also follows an analogous trend with the degree of A-form character decreasing as OMe_DNA:RNA>DNA:RNA>SMe_DNA:RNA. A structural analysis of these complexes is performed and compared with experimental melting point temper-atures to explain the structural basis to improved binding affinity across this series. Finally, a possible correlation between RNase H activity and conformational changes within the minor groove of these complexes is hypothesized.  (+info)

(5/640) A mutated PtsG, the glucose transporter, allows uptake of D-ribose.

Mutations arose from an Escherichia coli strain defective in the high (Rbs/ribose) and low (Als/allose and Xyl/xylose) affinity D-ribose transporters, which allow cells to grow on D-ribose. Genetic tagging and mapping of the mutations revealed that two loci in the E. coli linkage map are involved in creating a novel ribose transport mechanism. One mutation was found in ptsG, the glucose-specific transporter of phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system and the other in mlc, recently reported to be involved in the regulation of ptsG. Five different mutations in ptsG were characterized, whose growth on D-ribose medium was about 80% that of the high affinity system (Rbs+). Two of them were found in the predicted periplasmic loops, whereas three others are in the transmembrane region. Ribose uptakes in the mutants, competitively inhibited by D-glucose, D-xylose, or D-allose, were much lower than that of the high affinity transporter but higher than those of the Als and Xyl systems. Further analyses of the mutants revealed that the rbsK (ribokinase) and rbsD (function unknown) genes are involved in the ribose transport through PtsG, indicating that the phosphorylation of ribose is not mediated by PtsG and that some unknown metabolic function mediated by RbsD is required. It was also found that D-xylose, another sugar not involved in phosphorylation, was efficiently transported through the wild-type or mutant PtsG in mlc-negative background. The efficiencies of xylose and glucose transports are variable in the PtsG mutants, depending on their locations, either in the periplasm or in the membrane. In an extreme case of the transmembrane change (I283T), xylose transport is virtually abolished, indicating that the residue is directly involved in determining sugar specificity. We propose that there are at least two domains for substrate specificity in PtsG with slightly altered recognition properties.  (+info)

(6/640) Enhanced function conferred on low-abundance chemoreceptor Trg by a methyltransferase-docking site.

In Escherichia coli, high-abundance chemoreceptors are present in cellular amounts approximately 10-fold higher than those of low-abundance receptors. These two classes exhibit inherent differences in functional activity. As sole cellular chemoreceptors, high-abundance receptors are effective in methyl-accepting activity, in establishing a functional balance between the two directions of flagellar rotation, in timely adaptation, and in mediating efficient chemotaxis. Low-abundance receptors are not, even when their cellular content is increased. We found that the low-abundance receptor Trg acquired essential functional features of a high-abundance receptor by the addition of the final 19 residues of the high-abundance receptor Tsr. The carboxy terminus of this addition carried a methyltransferase-binding pentapeptide, NWETF, present in high-abundance receptors but absent in the low-abundance class. Provision of this docking site not only enhanced steady-state and adaptational methylation but also shifted the abnormal, counterclockwise bias of flagellar rotation toward a more normal rotational balance and vastly improved chemotaxis in spatial gradients. These improvements can be understood as the result of both enhanced kinase activation by the more methylated receptor and timely adaptation by more efficient methyl-accepting activity. We conclude that the crucial functional difference between the low-abundance receptor Trg and its high-abundance counterparts is the level of methyl-accepting activity conferred by the methyltransferase-docking site.  (+info)

(7/640) Age-related decrease in proteoglycan synthesis of human articular chondrocytes: the role of nonenzymatic glycation.

OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of nonenzymatic glycation of cartilage extracellular matrix on the synthetic activity of chondrocytes. METHODS: The proteoglycan-synthesis rate (35SO4(2-) incorporation) and levels of advanced nonenzymatic glycation (determined by high-performance liquid chromatography measurement of pentosidine) were evaluated in human articular cartilage from 129 donors, varying in age from 25 to 88 years, and in cartilage with enhanced levels of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) resulting from incubation with ribose. RESULTS: Cartilage showed a strong age-related increase in pentosidine levels (r = 0.97, P < 0.0005) and, concomitantly, a decrease in proteoglycan synthesis (r = -0.98, P < 0.0002). This decrease in proteoglycan synthesis correlated with the increase in pentosidine (r = -0.95, P < 0.02). Moreover, the elevation of pentosidine levels in the in vitro-ribosylated cartilage was proportional with the decrease in proteoglycan synthesis (r = -0.95, P < 0.005). CONCLUSION: In both aged and in vitro AGE-enriched cartilage, the rate of proteoglycan synthesis was negatively correlated with the degree of glycation. This suggests that the age-related increase in cartilage AGE levels may be responsible, at least in part, for the age-related decline in the synthetic capacity of cartilage.  (+info)

(8/640) A detailed view of a ribosomal active site: the structure of the L11-RNA complex.

We report the crystal structure of a 58 nucleotide fragment of 23S ribosomal RNA bound to ribosomal protein L11. This highly conserved ribonucleoprotein domain is the target for the thiostrepton family of antibiotics that disrupt elongation factor function. The highly compact RNA has both familiar and novel structural motifs. While the C-terminal domain of L11 binds RNA tightly, the N-terminal domain makes only limited contacts with RNA and is proposed to function as a switch that reversibly associates with an adjacent region of RNA. The sites of mutations conferring resistance to thiostrepton and micrococcin line a narrow cleft between the RNA and the N-terminal domain. These antibiotics are proposed to bind in this cleft, locking the putative switch and interfering with the function of elongation factors.  (+info)