- Unlike most riboswitches, which have one cognate effector, the bacterial yjdF riboswitch binds to diverse azaaromatic compounds, only a subset of which cause it to activate translation. We examined the yjdF aptamer domain by small-angle X-ray scattering and found that in the presence of activating ligands, the RNA adopts an overall shape similar to that of tRNA. Sequence analyses suggested that the yjdF aptamer is a homolog of tRNALys, and that two of the conserved loops of the riboswitch are equivalent to the D-loop and T-loop of tRNA, associating to form an elbow-like tertiary interaction.
- The unfolded protein response (UPR) is an adaptation mechanism activated to resolve transient accumulation of unfolded/misfolded proteins in the endoplasmic reticulum. Failure to resolve the transient accumulation of such proteins results in UPR-mediated programmed cell death. Loss of tumor suppressor gene or oncogene addiction in cancer cells can result in sustained higher basal UPR levels; however, it is not clear if these higher basal UPR levels in cancer cells can be exploited as a therapeutic strategy.
- Sulfite oxidase (SOX) is a homodimeric molybdoheme enzyme that oxidizes sulfite to sulfate at the molybdenum center. Following substrate oxidation, molybdenum is reduced and subsequently regenerated by two sequential electron transfers (ETs) via heme to cytochrome c. SOX harbors both metals in spatially separated domains within each subunit, suggesting that domain movement is necessary to allow intramolecular ET. To address whether one subunit in a SOX dimer is sufficient for catalysis, we produced heterodimeric SOX variants with abolished sulfite oxidation by replacing the molybdenum-coordinating and essential cysteine in the active site.
- G protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) convert external stimuli into cellular signals through heterotrimeric guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) and β-arrestins (βarrs). In a βarr-dependent signaling pathway, βarrs link GPCRs to various downstream signaling partners, such as the Raf–mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular signal–regulated kinase–extracellular signal-regulated kinase cascade. Agonist-stimulated GPCR–βarr complexes have been shown to interact with C-Raf and are thought to initiate the mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway through simple tethering of these signaling partners.
- Unique among metazoan repressive histone methyltransferases, G9a and GLP, which chiefly target histone 3 lysine 9 (H3K9), require dimerization for productive H3K9 mono (me1)- and dimethylation (me2) in vivo. Intriguingly, even though each enzyme can independently methylate H3K9, the predominant active form in vivo is a heterodimer of G9a and GLP. How dimerization influences the central H3K9 methyl binding (“reading”) and deposition (“writing”) activity of G9a and GLP and why heterodimerization is essential in vivo remains opaque.
- Aggregation of the circulating protein leukocyte-cell-derived chemotaxin 2 (LECT2) causes amyloidosis of LECT2 (ALECT2), one of the most prevalent forms of systemic amyloidosis affecting the kidney and liver. The I40V mutation is thought to be necessary but not sufficient for ALECT2, with a second, as-yet undetermined condition being required for the disease. EM, X-ray diffraction, NMR, and fluorescence experiments demonstrate that LECT2 forms amyloid fibrils in vitro in the absence of other proteins.