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(1/1667) Hidden Markov models-based system (HMMSPECTR) for detecting structural homologies on the basis of sequential information.

HMMSPECTR is a tool for finding putative structural homologs for proteins with known primary sequences. HMMSPECTR contains four major components: a data warehouse with the hidden Markov models (HMM) and alignment libraries; a search program which compares the initial protein sequences with the libraries of HMMs; a secondary structure prediction and comparison program; and a dominant protein selection program that prepares the set of 10-15 "best" proteins from the chosen HMMs. The data warehouse contains four libraries of HMMs. The first two libraries were constructed using different HHM preparation options of the HAMMER program. The third library contains parts ("partial HMM") of initial alignments. The fourth library contains trained HMMs. We tested our program against all of the protein targets proposed in the CASP4 competition. The data warehouse included libraries of structural alignments and HMMs constructed on the basis of proteins publicly available in the Protein Data Bank before the CASP4 meeting. The newest fully automated versions of HMMSPECTR 1.02 and 1.02ss produced better results than the best result reported at CASP4 either by r.m.s.d. or by length (or both) in 64% (HMMSPECTR 1.02) and 79% (HMMSPECTR 1.02ss) of the cases. The improvement is most notable for the targets with complexity 4 (difficult fold recognition cases).  (+info)

(2/1667) Modelling the structure of the fusion protein from human respiratory syncytial virus.

The fusion protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV-F) is responsible for fusion of virion with host cells and infection of neighbouring cells through the formation of syncytia. A three-dimensional model structure of RSV-F was derived by homology modelling from the structure of the equivalent protein in Newcastle disease virus (NDV). Despite very low sequence homology between the two structures, most features of the model appear to have high credibility, although a few small regions in RSV-F whose secondary structure is predicted to be different to that in NDV are likely to be poorly modelled. The organization of individual residues identified in escape mutants against monoclonal antibodies correlates well with known antigenic sites. The location of residues involved in point mutations in several drug-resistant variants is also examined.  (+info)

(3/1667) Novel carbohydrate specificity of the 16-kDa galectin from Caenorhabditis elegans: binding to blood group precursor oligosaccharides (type 1, type 2, Talpha, and Tbeta) and gangliosides.

Galectins, a family of soluble beta-galactosyl-binding lectins, are believed to mediate cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix interactions during development, inflammation, apoptosis, and tumor metastasis. However, neither the detailed mechanisms of their function(s) nor the identities of their natural ligands have been unequivocally elucidated. Of the several galectins present in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, the 16-kDa "proto" type and the 32-kDa "tandem-repeat" type are the best characterized so far, but their carbohydrate specificities have not been examined in detail. Here, we report the carbohydrate-binding specificity of the recombinant C. elegans 16-kDa galectin and the structural analysis of its binding site by homology modeling. Our results indicate that unlike the galectins characterized so far, the C. elegans 16-kDa galectin interacts with most blood group precursor oligosaccharides (type 1, Galbeta1,3GlcNAc, and type 2, Galbeta1,4GlcNAc; Talpha, Galbeta1,3GalNAcalpha; Tbeta, Galbeta1,3GalNAcbeta) and gangliosides containing the Tbeta structure. Homology modeling of the C. elegans 16-kDa galectin CRD revealed that a shorter loop containing residues 66-69, which enables interactions of Glu(67) with both axial and equatorial -OH at C-3 of GlcNAc (in Galbeta1,4GlcNAc) or at C-4 of GalNAc (in Galbeta1,3GalNAc), provides the structural basis for this novel carbohydrate specificity.  (+info)

(4/1667) A comprehensive analysis of 40 blind protein structure predictions.

BACKGROUND: We thoroughly analyse the results of 40 blind predictions for which an experimental answer was made available at the fourth meeting on the critical assessment of protein structure methods (CASP4). Using our comparative modelling and fold recognition methodologies, we made 29 predictions for targets that had sequence identities ranging from 50% to 10% to the nearest related protein with known structure. Using our ab initio methodologies, we made eleven predictions for targets that had no detectable sequence relationships. RESULTS: For 23 of these proteins, we produced models ranging from 1.0 to 6.0 A root mean square deviation (RMSD) for the Calpha atoms between the model and the corresponding experimental structure for all or large parts of the protein, with model accuracies scaling fairly linearly with respect to sequence identity (i.e., the higher the sequence identity, the better the prediction). We produced nine models with accuracies ranging from 4.0 to 6.0 A Calpha RMSD for 60-100 residue proteins (or large fragments of a protein), with a prediction accuracy of 4.0 A Calpha RMSD for residues 1-80 for T110/rbfa. CONCLUSIONS: The areas of protein structure prediction that work well, and areas that need improvement, are discernable by examining how our methods have performed over the past four CASP experiments. These results have implications for modelling the structure of all tractable proteins encoded by the genome of an organism.  (+info)

(5/1667) The SBP2 and 15.5 kD/Snu13p proteins share the same RNA binding domain: identification of SBP2 amino acids important to SECIS RNA binding.

Selenoprotein synthesis in eukaryotes requires the selenocysteine insertion sequence (SECIS) RNA, a hairpin in the 3' untranslated region of selenoprotein mRNAs. The SECIS RNA is recognized by the SECIS-binding protein 2 (SBP2), which is a key player in this specialized translation machinery. The objective of this work was to obtain structural insight into the SBP2-SECIS RNA complex. Multiple sequence alignment revealed that SBP2 and the U4 snRNA-binding protein 15.5 kD/Snu13p share the same RNA binding domain of the L7A/L30 family, also found in the box H/ACA snoRNP protein Nhp2p and several ribosomal proteins. In corollary, we have detected a similar secondary structure motif in the SECIS and U4 RNAs. Combining the data of the crystal structure of the 15.5 kD-U4 snRNA complex, and the SBP2/15.5 kD sequence similarities, we designed a structure-guided strategy predicting 12 SBP2 amino acids that should be critical for SECIS RNA binding. Alanine substitution of these amino acids followed by gel shift assays of the SBP2 mutant proteins identified four residues whose mutation severely diminished or abolished SECIS RNA binding, the other eight provoking intermediate down effects. In addition to identifying key amino acids for SECIS recognition by SBP2, our findings led to the proposal that some of the recognition principles governing the 15.5 kD-U4 snRNA interaction must be similar in the SBP2-SECIS RNA complex.  (+info)

(6/1667) Group D prothrombin activators from snake venom are structural homologues of mammalian blood coagulation factor Xa.

Procoagulant venoms of several Australian elapids contain proteinases that specifically activate prothrombin; among these, Group D activators are functionally similar to coagulation factor Xa (FXa). Structural information on this class of prothrombin activators will contribute significantly towards understanding the mechanism of FXa-mediated prothrombin activation. Here we present the purification of Group D prothrombin activators from three Australian snake venoms (Hoplocephalus stephensi, Notechis scutatus scutatus and Notechis ater niger) using a single-step method, and their N-terminal sequences. The N-terminal sequence of the heavy chain of hopsarin D (H. stephensi) revealed that a fully conserved Cys-7 was substituted with a Ser residue. We therefore determined the complete amino acid sequence of hopsarin D. Hopsarin D shows approximately 70% similarity with FXa and approximately 98% similarity with trocarin D, a Group D prothrombin activator from Tropidechis carinatus. It possesses the characteristic Gla domain, two epidermal growth factor-like domains and a serine proteinase domain. All residues important for catalysis are conserved, as are most regions involved in interactions with factor Va and prothrombin. However, there are some structural differences. Unlike FXa, hopsarin D is glycosylated in both its chains: in light-chain residue 52 and heavy-chain residue 45. The glycosylation on the heavy chain is a large carbohydrate moiety adjacent to the active-site pocket. Overall, hopsarin D is structurally and functionally similar to mammalian coagulation FXa.  (+info)

(7/1667) Structural aspects of oligomerization taking place between the transmembrane alpha-helices of bitopic membrane proteins.

Recent advances in biophysical methods have been able to shed more light on the structures of helical bundles formed by the transmembrane segments of bitopic membrane proteins. In this manuscript, I attempt to review the biological importance and diversity of these interactions, the energetics of bundle formation, motifs capable of inducing oligomerization and methods capable of detecting, solving and predicting the structures of these oligomeric bundles. Finally, the structures of the best characterized instances of transmembrane alpha-helical bundles formed by bitopic membrane proteins are described in detail.  (+info)

(8/1667) Interaction of three Caenorhabditis elegans isoforms of translation initiation factor eIF4E with mono- and trimethylated mRNA 5' cap analogues.

Translation initiation factor eIF4E binds the m(7)G cap of eukaryotic mRNAs and mediates recruitment of mRNA to the ribosome during cap-dependent translation initiation. This event is the rate-limiting step of translation and a major target for translational control. In the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, about 70% of genes express mRNAs with an unusual cap structure containing m(3)(2,2,7)G, which is poorly recognized by mammalian eIF4E. C. elegans expresses five isoforms of eIF4E (IFE-1, IFE-2, etc.). Three of these (IFE-3, IFE-4 and IFE-5) were investigated by means of spectroscopy and structural modelling based on mouse eIF4E bound to m(7)GDP. Intrinsic fluorescence quenching of Trp residues in the IFEs by iodide ions indicated structural differences between the apo and m(7)G cap bound proteins. Fluorescence quenching by selected cap analogues showed that only IFE-5 forms specific complexes with both m(7)G- and m(3)(2,2,7)G-containing caps (K(as) 2 x 10(6) M(-1) to 7 x 10(6) M(-1)) whereas IFE-3 and IFE-4 discriminated strongly in favor of m(7)G-containing caps. These spectroscopic results quantitatively confirm earlier qualitative data derived from affinity chromatography. The dependence of K(as) on pH indicated optimal cap binding of IFE-3, IFE-4 and IFE-5 at pH 7.2, lower by 0.4 pH units than that of eIF4E from human erythrocytes. These results provide insight into the molecular mechanism of recognition of structurally different caps by the highly homologous IFEs.  (+info)