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(1/4744) Single atom modification (O-->S) of tRNA confers ribosome binding.

Escherichia coli tRNALysSUU, as well as human tRNALys3SUU, has 2-thiouridine derivatives at wobble position 34 (s2U*34). Unlike the native tRNALysSUU, the full-length, unmodified transcript of human tRNALys3UUU and the unmodified tRNALys3UUU anticodon stem/loop (ASLLys3UUU) did not bind AAA- or AAG-programmed ribosomes. In contrast, the completely unmodified yeast tRNAPhe anticodon stem/loop (ASLPheGAA) had an affinity (Kd = 136+/-49 nM) similar to that of native yeast tRNAPheGmAA (Kd = 103+/-19 nM). We have found that the single, site-specific substitution of s2U34 for U34 to produce the modified ASLLysSUU was sufficient to restore ribosomal binding. The modified ASLLysSUU bound the ribosome with an affinity (Kd = 176+/-62 nM) comparable to that of native tRNALysSUU (Kd = 70+/-7 nM). Furthermore, in binding to the ribosome, the modified ASLLys3SUU produced the same 16S P-site tRNA footprint as did native E. coli tRNALysSUU, yeast tRNAPheGmAA, and the unmodified ASLPheGAA. The unmodified ASLLys3UUU had no footprint at all. Investigations of thermal stability and structure monitored by UV spectroscopy and NMR showed that the dynamic conformation of the loop of modified ASLLys3SUU was different from that of the unmodified ASLLysUUU, whereas the stems were isomorphous. Based on these and other data, we conclude that s2U34 in tRNALysSUU and in other s2U34-containing tRNAs is critical for generating an anticodon conformation that leads to effective codon interaction in all organisms. This is the first example of a single atom substitution (U34-->s2U34) that confers the property of ribosomal binding on an otherwise inactive tRNA.  (+info)

(2/4744) Phe161 and Arg166 variants of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase. Implications for NADPH recognition and structural stability.

Phe161 and Arg166 of p-hydroxybenzoate hydroxylase from Pseudomonas fluorescens belong to a newly discovered sequence motif in flavoprotein hydroxylases with a putative dual function in FAD and NADPH binding [1]. To study their role in more detail, Phe161 and Arg166 were selectively changed by site-directed mutagenesis. F161A and F161G are catalytically competent enzymes having a rather poor affinity for NADPH. The catalytic properties of R166K are similar to those of the native enzyme. R166S and R166E show impaired NADPH binding and R166E has lost the ability to bind FAD. The crystal structure of substrate complexed F161A at 2.2 A is indistinguishable from the native enzyme, except for small changes at the site of mutation. The crystal structure of substrate complexed R166S at 2.0 A revealed that Arg166 is important for providing an intimate contact between the FAD binding domain and a long excursion of the substrate binding domain. It is proposed that this interaction is essential for structural stability and for the recognition of the pyrophosphate moiety of NADPH.  (+info)

(3/4744) Midbrain combinatorial code for temporal and spectral information in concurrent acoustic signals.

All vocal species, including humans, often encounter simultaneous (concurrent) vocal signals from conspecifics. To segregate concurrent signals, the auditory system must extract information regarding the individual signals from their summed waveforms. During the breeding season, nesting male midshipman fish (Porichthys notatus) congregate in localized regions of the intertidal zone and produce long-duration (>1 min), multi-harmonic signals ("hums") during courtship of females. The hums of neighboring males often overlap, resulting in acoustic beats with amplitude and phase modulations at the difference frequencies (dFs) between their fundamental frequencies (F0s) and harmonic components. Behavioral studies also show that midshipman can localize a single hum-like tone when presented with a choice between two concurrent tones that originate from separate speakers. A previous study of the neural mechanisms underlying the segregation of concurrent signals demonstrated that midbrain neurons temporally encode a beat's dF through spike synchronization; however, spectral information about at least one of the beat's components is also required for signal segregation. Here we examine the encoding of spectral differences in beat signals by midbrain neurons. The results show that, although the spike rate responses of many neurons are sensitive to the spectral composition of a beat, virtually all midbrain units can encode information about differences in the spectral composition of beat stimuli via their interspike intervals (ISIs) with an equal distribution of ISI spectral sensitivity across the behaviorally relevant dFs. Together, temporal encoding in the midbrain of dF information through spike synchronization and of spectral information through ISI could permit the segregation of concurrent vocal signals.  (+info)

(4/4744) Ca2+ and cross-bridge-induced changes in troponin C in skinned skeletal muscle fibers: effects of force inhibition.

Changes in skeletal troponin C (sTnC) structure during thin filament activation by Ca2+ and strongly bound cross-bridge states were monitored by measuring the linear dichroism of the 5' isomer of iodoacetamidotetramethylrhodamine (5'IATR), attached to Cys98 (sTnC-5'ATR), in sTnC-5'ATR reconstituted single skinned fibers from rabbit psoas muscle. To isolate the effects of Ca2+ and cross-bridge binding on sTnC structure, maximum Ca2+-activated force was inhibited with 0.5 mM AlF4- or with 30 mM 2,3 butanedione-monoxime (BDM) during measurements of the Ca2+ dependence of force and dichroism. Dichroism was 0.08 +/- 0.01 (+/- SEM, n = 9) in relaxing solution (pCa 9.2) and decreased to 0.004 +/- 0.002 (+/- SEM, n = 9) at pCa 4.0. Force and dichroism had similar Ca2+ sensitivities. Force inhibition with BDM caused no change in the amplitude and Ca2+ sensitivity of dichroism. Similarly, inhibition of force at pCa 4.0 with 0.5 mM AlF4- decreased force to 0.04 +/- 0.01 of maximum (+/- SEM, n = 3), and dichroism was 0.04 +/- 0.03 (+/- SEM, n = 3) of the value at pCa 9.2 and unchanged relative to the corresponding normalized value at pCa 4.0 (0.11 +/- 0.05, +/- SEM; n = 3). Inhibition of force with AlF4- also had no effect when sTnC structure was monitored by labeling with either 5-dimethylamino-1-napthalenylsulfonylaziridine (DANZ) or 4-(N-(iodoacetoxy)ethyl-N-methyl)amino-7-nitrobenz-2-oxa-1,3-diazole (NBD). Increasing sarcomere length from 2.5 to 3.6 microm caused force (pCa 4.0) to decrease, but had no effect on dichroism. In contrast, rigor cross-bridge attachment caused dichroism at pCa 9.2 to decrease to 0.56 +/- 0.03 (+/- SEM, n = 5) of the value at pCa 9. 2, and force was 0.51 +/- 0.04 (+/- SEM, n = 6) of pCa 4.0 control. At pCa 4.0 in rigor, dichroism decreased further to 0.19 +/- 0.03 (+/- SEM, n = 6), slightly above the pCa 4.0 control level; force was 0.66 +/- 0.04 of pCa 4.0 control. These results indicate that cross-bridge binding in the rigor state alters sTnC structure, whereas cycling cross-bridges have little influence at either submaximum or maximum activating [Ca2+].  (+info)

(5/4744) Heterotropic effectors exert more significant strain on monoligated than on unligated hemoglobin.

The effect of allosteric effectors, such as inositol hexakisphosphate and/or bezafibrate, has been investigated on the unliganded human adult hemoglobin both spectroscopically (employing electronic absorption, circular dichroism, resonance Raman, and x-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopies) and functionally (following the kinetics of the first CO binding step up to a final 4% ligand saturation degree). All data indicate that the unliganded T-state is not perturbed by the interaction with either one or both effectors, suggesting that their functional influence is only exerted when a ligand molecule is bound to the heme. This is confirmed by the observation that CO dissociation from partially liganded hemoglobin ( +info)

(6/4744) Coupling of the oxygen-linked interaction energy for inositol hexakisphosphate and bezafibrate binding to human HbA0.

The energetics of signal propagation between different functional domains (i.e. the binding sites for O2, inositol hexakisphospate (IHP), and bezafibrate (BZF)) of human HbA0 was analyzed at different heme ligation states and through the use of a stable, partially heme ligated intermediate. Present data allow three main conclusions to be drawn, and namely: (i) IHP and BZF enhance each others binding as the oxygenation proceeds, the coupling free energy going from close to zero in the deoxy state to -3.4 kJ/mol in the oxygenated form; (ii) the simultaneous presence of IHP and BZF stabilizes the hemoglobin T quaternary structure at very low O2 pressures, but as oxygenation proceeds it does not impair the transition toward the R structure, which indeed occurs also under these conditions; (iii) under room air pressure (i.e. pO2 = 150 torr), IHP and BZF together induce the formation of an asymmetric dioxygenated hemoglobin tetramer, whose features appear reminiscent of those suggested for transition state species (i.e. T- and R-like tertiary conformation(s) within a quaternary R-like structure).  (+info)

(7/4744) The magnitude of changes in guanidine-HCl unfolding m-values in the protein, iso-1-cytochrome c, depends upon the substructure containing the mutation.

Hydrophilic to hydrophobic mutations have been made at 11 solvent exposed sites on the surface of iso-1-cytochrome c. Most of these mutations involve the replacement of lysine with methionine, which is nearly isosteric with lysine. Minimal perturbation to the native structure is expected, and this expectation is confirmed by infrared amide I spectroscopy. Guanidine hydrochloride denaturation studies demonstrate that these variants affect the magnitude of the m-value, the rate of change of free energy with respect to denaturant concentration, to different degrees. Changes in m-values are indicative of changes in the equilibrium folding mechanism of a protein. Decreases in m-values are normally thought to result either from an increased population of intermediates during unfolding or from a more compact denatured state. When cytochrome c is considered in terms of its thermodynamic substructures, the changes in the m-value for a given variant appear to depend upon the substructure in which the mutation is made. These data indicate that the relative stabilities and physical properties of substructures of cytochrome c play an important determining role in the equilibrium folding mechanism of this protein.  (+info)

(8/4744) Reversible conversion of monomeric human prion protein between native and fibrilogenic conformations.

Prion propagation involves the conversion of cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a disease-specific isomer, PrPSc, shifting from a predominantly alpha-helical to beta-sheet structure. Here, conditions were established in which recombinant human PrP could switch between the native alpha conformation, characteristic of PrPC, and a compact, highly soluble, monomeric form rich in beta structure. The soluble beta form (beta-PrP) exhibited partial resistance to proteinase K digestion, characteristic of PrPSc, and was a direct precursor of fibrillar structures closely similar to those isolated from diseased brains. The conversion of PrPC to beta-PrP in suitable cellular compartments, and its subsequent stabilization by intermolecular association, provide a molecular mechanism for prion propagation.  (+info)