FMP Publications

Our publications are recorded in a searchable database since 2010, updates will be added regularly.

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Modulation of monocarboxylate transporter 8 oligomerization by specific pathogenic mutations
Fischer(*), J., Kleinau(*), G., Müller(*), A., Kühnen(*), P., Zwanziger(*), D., Kinne, A., Rehders(*), M., Moeller(*), L. C., Führer(*), D., Grüters(*), A., Krude(*), H., Brix(*), K.; Biebermann(*), H.
Journal of molecular endocrinology, 54:39-50

Tags: Structural Bioinformatics and Protein Design (Krause, G.)

Abstract: The monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) is a member of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). These membrane-spanning proteins facilitate translocation of a variety of substrates, MCT8 specifically transports iodothyronines. Mutations in MCT8 are the underlying cause of severe X-linked psychomotor retardation. At the molecular level, such mutations led to deficiencies in substrate translocation due to reduced cell-surface expression, impaired substrate binding, or decreased substrate translocation capabilities. However, the causal relationships between genotypes, molecular features of mutated MCT8, and patient characteristics have not yet been comprehensively deciphered. We investigated the relationship between pathogenic mutants of MCT8 and their capacity to form dimers (presumably oligomeric structures) as a potential regulatory parameter of the transport function of MCT8. Fourteen pathogenic variants of MCT8 were investigated in vitro with respect to their capacity to form oligomers. Particular mutations close to the substrate translocation channel (S194F, A224T, L434W, and R445C) were found to inhibit dimerization of MCT8. This finding is in contrast to those for other transporters or transmembrane proteins, in which substitutions predominantly at the outer-surface inhibit oligomerization. Moreover, specific mutations of MCT8 located in transmembrane helix 2 (del230F, V235M, and ins236V) increased the capacity of MCT8 variants to dimerize. We analyzed the localization of MCT8 dimers in a cellular context, demonstrating differences in MCT8 dimer formation and distribution. In summary, our results add a new link between the functions (substrate transport) and protein organization (dimerization) of MCT8, and might be of relevance for other members of the MFS. Finally, the findings are discussed in relationship to functional data combined with structural-mechanistical insights into MCT8.

Mistic's membrane association and its assistance in overexpression of a human GPCR are independent processes
Marino(*), J., Bordag, N., Keller(*), S.; Zerbe(*), O.
Protein Sci, 24:38-48

Tags: Biophysics of Membrane Proteins (Keller)

Abstract: The interaction of the Bacillus subtilis protein Mistic with the bacterial membrane and its role in promoting the overexpression of other membrane proteins are still matters of debate. In this study, we aimed to determine whether individual helical fragments of Mistic are sufficient for its interaction with membranes in vivo and in vitro. To this end, fragments encompassing each of Mistic's helical segments and combinations of them were produced as GFP-fusions, and their cellular localization was studied in Escherichia coli. Furthermore, peptides corresponding to the four helical fragments were synthesized by solid-phase peptide synthesis, and their ability to acquire secondary structure in a variety of lipids and detergents was studied by circular dichroism spectroscopy. Both types of experiments demonstrate that the third helical fragment of Mistic interacts only with LDAO micelles but does not partition into lipid bilayers. Interestingly, the other three helices interact with membranes in vivo and in vitro. Nevertheless, all of these short sequences can replace full-length Mistic as N-terminal fusions to achieve overexpression of a human G-protein-coupled receptor in E. coli, although with different effects on quantity and quality of the protein produced. A bioinformatic analysis of the Mistic family expanded the number of homologs from 4 to 20, including proteins outside the genus Bacillus. This information allowed us to discover a highly conserved Shine-Dalgarno sequence in the operon mstX-yugO that is important for downstream translation of the potassium ion channel yugO.

Redox Regulation of Cell Contacts by Tricellulin and Occludin: Redox-Sensitive Cysteine Sites in Tricellulin Regulate Both Tri- and Bicellular Junctions in Tissue Barriers as Shown in Hypoxia and Ischemia
Cording, J., Günther, R., Vigolo(*), E., Tscheik, C., Winkler, L., Schlattner, I., Lorenz, D., Haseloff, R. F., Schmidt-Ott(*), K. M., Wolburg(*), H.; Blasig, I. E.
Antioxid Redox Signal, 23:1035-1049

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Abstract: UNLABELLED: Tight junctions (TJs) seal paracellular clefts in epithelia/endothelia and form tissue barriers for proper organ function. TJ-associated marvel proteins (TAMPs; tricellulin, occludin, marvelD3) are thought to be relevant to regulation. Under normal conditions, tricellulin tightens tricellular junctions against macromolecules. Traces of tricellulin occur in bicellular junctions. AIMS: As pathological disturbances have not been analyzed, the structure and function of human tricellulin, including potentially redox-sensitive Cys sites, were investigated under reducing/oxidizing conditions at 3- and 2-cell contacts. RESULTS: Ischemia, hypoxia, and reductants redistributed tricellulin from 3- to 2-cell contacts. The extracellular loop 2 (ECL2; conserved Cys321, Cys335) trans-oligomerized between three opposing cells. Substitutions of these residues caused bicellular localization. Cys362 in transmembrane domain 4 contributed to bicellular heterophilic cis-interactions along the cell membrane with claudin-1 and marvelD3, while Cys395 in the cytosolic C-terminal tail promoted homophilic tricellullar cis-interactions. The Cys sites included in homo-/heterophilic bi-/tricellular cis-/trans-interactions contributed to cell barrier tightness for small/large molecules. INNOVATION: Tricellulin forms TJs via trans- and cis-association in 3-cell contacts, as demonstrated electron and quantified fluorescence microscopically; it tightens 3- and 2-cell contacts. Tricellulin's ECL2 specifically seals 3-cell contacts redox dependently; a structural model is proposed. CONCLUSIONS: TAMP ECL2 and claudins' ECL1 share functionally and structurally similar features involved in homo-/heterophilic tightening of cell-cell contacts. Tricellulin is a specific redox sensor and sealing element at 3-cell contacts and may compensate as a redox mediator for occludin loss at 2-cell contacts in vivo and in vitro. Molecular interaction mechanisms were proposed that contribute to tricellulin's function. In conclusion, tricellulin is a junctional redox regulator for ischemia-related alterations.

Redox-sensitive structure and function of the first extracellular loop of the cell-cell contact protein claudin-1: lessons from molecular structure to animals
Dabrowski, S., Staat, C., Zwanziger, D., Sauer(*), R. S., Bellmann, C., Günther, R., Krause, E., Haseloff, R. F., Rittner(*), H.; Blasig, I. E.
Antioxid Redox Signal, 22:1-14

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.), Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.)

Abstract: UNLABELLED: The paracellular cleft within epithelia/endothelia is sealed by tight junction (TJ) proteins. Their extracellular loops (ECLs) are assumed to control paracellular permeability and are targets of pathogenes. We demonstrated that claudin-1 is crucial for paracellular tightening. Its ECL1 is essential for the sealing and contains two cysteines conserved throughout all claudins. AIMS: We prove the hypothesis that this cysteine motif forms a redox-sensitive intramolecular disulfide bridge and, hence, the claudin-1-ECL1 constitutes a functional structure which is associated to ECLs of this and other TJ proteins. RESULTS: The structure and function of claudin-1-ECL1 was elucidated by investigating sequences of this ECL as synthetic peptides, C1C2, and as recombinant proteins, and exhibited a beta-sheet binding surface flanked by an alpha-helix. These sequences bound to different claudins, their ECL1, and peptides with nanomolar binding constants. C-terminally truncated C1C2 (-4aaC) opened cellular barriers and the perineurium. Recombinant ECL1 formed oligomers, and bound to claudin-1 expressing cells. Oligomerization and claudin association were abolished by reducing agents, indicating intraloop disulfide bridging and redox sensitivity. INNOVATION: The structural and functional model based on our in vitro and in vivo investigations suggested that claudin-1-ECL1 constitutes a functional and ECL-binding beta-sheet, stabilized by a shielded and redox-sensitive disulfide bond. CONCLUSION: Since the beta-sheet represents a consensus sequence of claudins and further junctional proteins, a general structural feature is implied. Therefore, our model is of general relevance for the TJ assembly in normal and pathological conditions. C1C2-4aaC is a new drug enhancer that is used to improve pharmacological treatment through tissue barriers.

Identity crisis in the PMP-22/EMP/MP20/Claudin superfamily (Pfam00822)
Gehne, N., Haseloff, R. F.; Blasig, I. E.
Tissue Barriers, 3:e1089680

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Depletion of highly abundant proteins from human cerebrospinal fluid: a cautionary note
Günther, R., Krause, E., Schümann, M., Blasig, I. E.; Haseloff, R. F.
Mol Neurodegener, 10:53

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.), Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.)

Abstract: Affinity-based techniques, both for enrichment or depletion of proteins of interest, suffer from unwanted interactions between the bait or matrix material and molecules different from the original target. This effect was quantitatively studied by applying two common procedures for the depletion of albumin/gamma immunoglobulin to human cerebrospinal fluid. Proteins of the depleted and the column-bound fraction were identified by mass spectrometry, employing (18)O labeling for quantitation of their abundance. To different extents, the depletion procedures caused the loss of proteins previously suggested as biomarker candidates for neurological diseases. This is an important phenomenon to consider when quantifying protein levels in biological fluids.

Transmembrane proteins of the tight junctions at the blood-brain barrier: structural and functional aspects
Haseloff, R. F., Dithmer, S., Winkler, L., Wolburg, H.; Blasig, I. E.
Semin Cell Dev Biol, 38:16-25

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Abstract: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is formed by microvascular endothelial cells sealed by tetraspanning tight junction (TJ) proteins, such as claudins and TAMPs (TJ-associated marvel proteins, occludin and tricellulin). Claudins are the major components of the TJs. At the BBB, claudin-5 dominates the TJs by preventing the paracellular permeation of small molecules. On the other hand, TAMPs regulate the structure and function of the TJs; tricellulin may tighten the barrier for large molecules. This review aims at integrating and summarizing the most relevant and recent work on how the BBB is influenced by claudin-1, -3, -5, -12 and the TAMPs occludin and tricellulin, all of which are four-transmembrane TJ proteins. The exact functions of claudin-1, -3, -12 and TAMPs at this barrier still need to be elucidated.

Mode of action of claudin peptidomimetics in the transient opening of cellular tight junction barriers
Staat, C., Coisne(*), C., Dabrowski, S., Stamatovic(*), S. M., Andjelkovic(*), A. V., Wolburg(*), H., Engelhardt(*), B.; Blasig, I. E.
Biomaterials, 54:9-20

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.)

Abstract: In epithelial/endothelial barriers, claudins form tight junctions, seal the paracellular cleft, and limit the uptake of solutes and drugs. The peptidomimetic C1C2 from the C-terminal half of claudin-1's first extracellular loop increases drug delivery through epithelial claudin-1 barriers. However, its molecular and structural mode of action remains unknown. In the present study, >100 muM C1C2 caused paracellular opening of various barriers with different claudin compositions, ranging from epithelial to endothelial cells, preferentially modulating claudin-1 and claudin-5. After 6 h incubation, C1C2 reversibly increased the permeability to molecules of different sizes; this was accompanied by redistribution of claudins and occludin from junctions to cytosol. Internalization of C1C2 in epithelial cells depended on claudin-1 expression and clathrin pathway, whereby most C1C2 was retained in recyclosomes >2 h. In freeze-fracture electron microscopy, C1C2 changed claudin-1 tight junction strands to a more parallel arrangement and claudin-5 strands from E-face to P-face association - drastic and novel effects. In conclusion, C1C2 is largely recycled in the presence of a claudin, which explains the delayed onset of barrier and junction loss, the high peptide concentration required and the long-lasting effect. Epithelial/endothelial barriers are specifically modulated via claudin-1/claudin-5, which can be targeted to improve drug delivery.

Defining a conformational consensus motif in cotransin-sensitive signal sequences: a proteomic and site-directed mutagenesis study
Klein, W., Westendorf, C., Schmidt, A., Conill-Cortes, M., Rutz, C., Blohs, M., Beyermann, M., Protze, J., Krause, G., Krause, E.; Schülein, R.
Plos One, 10:e0120886

Tags: Protein Trafficking (Schülein), Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.), Structural Bioinformatics and Protein Design (Krause, G.), Peptide Chemistry (Beyermann)

Abstract: The cyclodepsipeptide cotransin was described to inhibit the biosynthesis of a small subset of proteins by a signal sequence-discriminatory mechanism at the Sec61 protein-conducting channel. However, it was not clear how selective cotransin is, i.e. how many proteins are sensitive. Moreover, a consensus motif in signal sequences mediating cotransin sensitivity has yet not been described. To address these questions, we performed a proteomic study using cotransin-treated human hepatocellular carcinoma cells and the stable isotope labelling by amino acids in cell culture technique in combination with quantitative mass spectrometry. We used a saturating concentration of cotransin (30 micromolar) to identify also less-sensitive proteins and to discriminate the latter from completely resistant proteins. We found that the biosynthesis of almost all secreted proteins was cotransin-sensitive under these conditions. In contrast, biosynthesis of the majority of the integral membrane proteins was cotransin-resistant. Cotransin sensitivity of signal sequences was neither related to their length nor to their hydrophobicity. Instead, in the case of signal anchor sequences, we identified for the first time a conformational consensus motif mediating cotransin sensitivity.

A modular toolkit to inhibit proline-rich motif-mediated protein-protein interactions
Opitz, R., Müller, M., Reuter, C., Barone, M., Soicke(*), A., Roske(*), Y., Piotukh, K., Huy(*), P., Beerbaum, M., Wiesner, B., Beyermann, M., Schmieder, P., Freund(*), C., Volkmer, R., Oschkinat, H., Schmalz(*), H. G.; Kühne, R.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 112:5011-5016

Tags: Computational Chemistry and Protein Design (Kühne), NMR-Supported Structural Biology (Oschkinat), Peptide Chemistry (Hackenberger/ Volkmer), Solution NMR (Schmieder), Peptide Chemistry (Beyermann), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: Small-molecule competitors of protein-protein interactions are urgently needed for functional analysis of large-scale genomics and proteomics data. Particularly abundant, yet so far undruggable, targets include domains specialized in recognizing proline-rich segments, including Src-homology 3 (SH3), WW, GYF, and Drosophila enabled (Ena)/vasodilator-stimulated phosphoprotein (VASP) homology 1 (EVH1) domains. Here, we present a modular strategy to obtain an extendable toolkit of chemical fragments (ProMs) designed to replace pairs of conserved prolines in recognition motifs. As proof-of-principle, we developed a small, selective, peptidomimetic inhibitor of Ena/VASP EVH1 domain interactions. Highly invasive MDA MB 231 breast-cancer cells treated with this ligand showed displacement of VASP from focal adhesions, as well as from the front of lamellipodia, and strongly reduced cell invasion. General applicability of our strategy is illustrated by the design of an ErbB4-derived ligand containing two ProM-1 fragments, targeting the yes-associated protein 1 (YAP1)-WW domain with a fivefold higher affinity.

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Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
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13125 Berlin, Germany
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