- Centrioles are key eukaryotic organelles that are responsible for the formation of cilia and flagella, and for organizing the microtubule network and the mitotic spindle in animals. Centriole assembly requires oligomerization of the essential protein spindle assembly abnormal 6 (SAS-6), which forms a structural scaffold templating the organization of further organelle components. A dimerization interaction between SAS-6 N-terminal “head” domains was previously shown to be essential for protein oligomerization in vitro and for function in centriole assembly.
- In plants, many natural defense mechanisms include cellular membrane fusion as a way to resist infection by external pathogens. Several plant proteins mediate membrane fusion, but the detailed mechanism by which they promote fusion is less clear. Understanding this process could provide valuable insights into these proteins' physiological functions and guide bioengineering applications (i.e. the design of antimicrobial proteins). The plant-specific insert (PSI) from Solanum tuberosum can help reduce certain pathogen attack via membrane fusion.
- Tk-hefu is an artificial peptide designed based on the α-hairpinin scaffold, which selectively blocks voltage-gated potassium channels Kv1.3. Here we present its spatial structure resolved by NMR spectroscopy and analyze its interaction with channels using computer modeling. We apply protein surface topography to suggest mutations and increase Tk-hefu affinity to the Kv1.3 channel isoform. We redesign the functional surface of Tk-hefu to better match the respective surface of the channel pore vestibule.
- The Ser/Thr protein kinase ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) plays an important role in the DNA damage response, signaling in response to redox signals, the control of metabolic processes, and mitochondrial homeostasis. ATM localizes to the nucleus and at the plasma membrane, mitochondria, peroxisomes, and other cytoplasmic vesicular structures. It has been shown that the C-terminal FATC domain of human ATM (hATMfatc) can interact with a range of membrane mimetics and may thereby act as a membrane-anchoring unit.
- In calmodulin (CaM)-rich environments, oncogenic KRAS plays a critical role in adenocarcinomas by promoting PI3K/Akt signaling. We previously proposed that at elevated calcium levels in cancer, CaM recruits PI3Kα to the membrane and extracts K-Ras4B from the membrane, organizing a K-Ras4B–CaM–PI3Kα ternary complex. CaM can thereby replace a missing receptor-tyrosine kinase signal to fully activate PI3Kα. Recent experimental data show that CaM selectively promotes K-Ras signaling but not of N-Ras or H-Ras.
- Background: The HVR is important in K-Ras4B signaling.Results: GTP binding and oncogenic mutations may weaken the HVR-catalytic core interactions.Conclusion: GTP and some oncogenic mutations (e.g. G12C/G12V/Q61H/E37K) could attenuate HVR-catalytic domain interactions at the switch I/effector binding site by direct or longer-range interactions.Significance: GTP and specific mutations could prompt exposure of switch I/effector binding site, thereby up-regulating signaling.