Protein Synthesis and Degradation
- The unfoldase ClpC1 is one of the most exciting drug targets against tuberculosis. This AAA+ unfoldase works in cooperation with the ClpP1P2 protease and is the target of at least four natural product antibiotics: cyclomarin, ecumicin, lassomycin, and rufomycin. Although these molecules are promising starting points for drug development, their mechanisms of action remain largely unknown. Taking advantage of a middle domain mutant, we determined the first structure of Mycobacterium tuberculosis ClpC1 in its apo, cyclomarin-, and ecumicin-bound states via cryo-EM.
- α-synucleinopathy is driven by an imbalance of synthesis and degradation of α-synuclein (αSyn), causing a build up of αSyn aggregates and post-translationally modified species, which not only interfere with normal cellular metabolism but also by their secretion propagates the disease. Therefore, a better understanding of αSyn degradation pathways is needed to address α-synucleinopathy. Here, we used the nerve growth factor–differentiated catecholaminergic PC12 neuronal cell line, which was conferred α-synucleinopathy by inducible expression of αSyn and tubulin polymerization-promoting protein p25α.
- Rad6, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme conserved from yeast to humans, functions in transcription, genome maintenance, and proteostasis. The contributions of many conserved secondary structures of Rad6 and its human homologs UBE2A and UBE2B to their biological functions are not understood. A mutant RAD6 allele with a missense substitution at alanine-126 (A126) of helix-3 that causes defects in telomeric gene silencing, DNA repair, and protein degradation was reported over 2 decades ago. Here, using a combination of genetics, biochemical, biophysical, and computational approaches, we discovered that helix-3 A126 mutations compromise the ability of Rad6 to ubiquitinate target proteins without disrupting interactions with partner E3 ubiquitin-ligases that are required for their various biological functions in vivo.
- Translation terminates by releasing the polypeptide chain in one of two chemical reactions catalyzed by the ribosome. Release is also a target for engineering, as readthrough of a stop codon enables incorporation of unnatural amino acids and treatment of genetic diseases. Hydrolysis of the ester bond of peptidyl-tRNA requires conformational changes of both a class I release factor (RF) protein and the peptidyl transferase center of a large subunit rRNA. The rate-limiting step was proposed to be hydrolysis at physiological pH and an RF conformational change at higher pH, but evidence was indirect.
- The IL-3, IL-5, and GM-CSF family of cytokines play an essential role in the growth, differentiation, and effector functions of multiple hematopoietic cell types. Receptors in this family are composed of cytokine-specific α chains and a common β chain (CSF2RB), responsible for the majority of downstream signaling. CSF2RB abundance and stability influence the magnitude of the cellular response to cytokine stimulation, but the exact mechanisms of regulation are not well understood. Here, we use genetic screens in multiple cellular contexts and cytokine conditions to identify STUB1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, and CHIC2 as regulators of CSF2RB ubiquitination and protein stability.
- AAA+ (ATPases Associated with diverse cellular Activities) proteases unfold substrate proteins by pulling the substrate polypeptide through a narrow pore. To overcome the barrier to unfolding, substrates may require extended association with the ATPase. Failed unfolding attempts can lead to a slip of grip, which may result in substrate dissociation, but how substrate sequence affects slippage is unresolved. Here, we measured single molecule dwell time using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy, scoring time-dependent dissociation of engaged substrates from bacterial AAA+ ATPase unfoldase/translocase ClpX.
- Gamma-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors are the primary inhibitory neurotransmitter-gated ion channels in the mammalian central nervous system. Maintenance of GABAA receptor protein homeostasis (proteostasis) in cells utilizing its interacting proteins is essential for the function of GABAA receptors. However, how the proteostasis network orchestrates GABAA receptor biogenesis in the endoplasmic reticulum is not well understood. Here, we employed a proteomics-based approach to systematically identify the interactomes of GABAA receptors.