- 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.