FMP Publications

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

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Structural-Functional Features of the Thyrotropin Receptor: A Class A G-Protein-Coupled Receptor at Work
Kleinau(*), G., Worth, C. L., Kreuchwig, A., Biebermann(*), H., Marcinkowski, P., Scheerer(*), P.; Krause, G.
Front Endocrinol (Lausanne), 8:86

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

Abstract: The thyroid-stimulating hormone receptor (TSHR) is a member of the glycoprotein hormone receptors, a sub-group of class A G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). TSHR and its endogenous ligand thyrotropin (TSH) are of essential importance for growth and function of the thyroid gland and proper function of the TSH/TSHR system is pivotal for production and release of thyroid hormones. This receptor is also important with respect to pathophysiology, such as autoimmune (including ophthalmopathy) or non-autoimmune thyroid dysfunctions and cancer development. Pharmacological interventions directly targeting the TSHR should provide benefits to disease treatment compared to currently available therapies of dysfunctions associated with the TSHR or the thyroid gland. Upon TSHR activation, the molecular events conveying conformational changes from the extra- to the intracellular side of the cell across the membrane comprise reception, conversion, and amplification of the signal. These steps are highly dependent on structural features of this receptor and its intermolecular interaction partners, e.g., TSH, antibodies, small molecules, G-proteins, or arrestin. For better understanding of signal transduction, pathogenic mechanisms such as autoantibody action and mutational modifications or for developing new pharmacological strategies, it is essential to combine available structural data with functional information to generate homology models of the entire receptor. Although so far these insights are fragmental, in the past few decades essential contributions have been made to investigate in-depth the involved determinants, such as by structure determination via X-ray crystallography. This review summarizes available knowledge (as of December 2016) concerning the TSHR protein structure, associated functional aspects, and based on these insights we suggest several receptor complex models. Moreover, distinct TSHR properties will be highlighted in comparison to other class A GPCRs to understand the molecular activation mechanisms of this receptor comprehensively. Finally, limitations of current knowledge and lack of information are discussed highlighting the need for intensified efforts toward TSHR structure elucidation.

Trictide, a tricellulin-derived peptide to overcome cellular barriers
Cording, J., Arslan, B., Staat, C., Dithmer, S., Krug(*), S. M., Krüger(*), A., Berndt, P., Günther, R., Winkler, L., Blasig, I. E.; Haseloff, R. F.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,

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

Abstract: The majority of tight junction (TJ) proteins restrict the paracellular permeation of solutes via their extracellular loops (ECLs). Tricellulin tightens tricellular TJs (tTJs) and regulates bicellular TJ (bTJ) proteins. We demonstrate that the addition of recombinantly produced extracellular loop 2 (ECL2) of tricellulin opens cellular barriers. The peptidomimetic trictide, a synthetic peptide derived from tricellulin ECL2, increases the passage of ions, as well as of small and larger molecules up to 10 kDa, between 16 and 30 h after application to human epithelial colorectal adenocarcinoma cell line 2. Tricellulin and lipolysis-stimulated lipoprotein receptor relocate from tTJs toward bTJs, while the TJ proteins claudin-1 and occludin redistribute from bTJs to the cytosol. Analyzing the opening of the tricellular sealing tube by the peptidomimetic using super-resolution stimulated-emission depletion microscopy revealed a tricellulin-free area at the tricellular region. Cis-interactions (as measured by fluorescence resonance energy transfer) of tricellulin-tricellulin (tTJs), tricellulin-claudin-1, tricellulin-marvelD3, and occludin-occludin (bTJs) were strongly affected by trictide treatment. Circular dichroism spectroscopy and molecular modeling suggest that trictide adopts a beta-sheet structure, resulting in a peculiar interaction surface for its binding to tricellulin. In conclusion, trictide is a novel and promising tool for overcoming cellular barriers at bTJs and tTJs with the potential to transiently improve drug delivery.

Claudin peptidomimetics modulate tissue barriers for enhanced drug delivery
Dithmer, S., Staat, C., Müller, C., Ku(*), M. C., Pohlmann(*), A., Niendorf(*), T., Gehne, N., Fallier-Becker(*), P., Kittel(*), A., Walter(*), F. R., Veszelka(*), S., Deli(*), M. A., Blasig, R., Haseloff, R. F., Blasig, I. E.; Winkler, L.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1397:169-184

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

Abstract: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) formed by the microvascular endothelium limits cerebral drug delivery. The paraendothelial cleft is sealed by tight junctions (TJs) with a major contribution from claudin-5, which we selected as a target to modulate BBB permeability. For this purpose, drug-enhancer peptides were designed based on the first extracellular loop (ECL) of claudin-5 to allow transient BBB permeabilization. Peptidomimetics (C5C2 and derivatives, nanomolar affinity to claudin-5) size-selectively (</=40 kDa) and reversibly (12-48 h) increased the permeability of brain endothelial and claudin-5-transfected epithelial cell monolayers. Upon peptide uptake, the number of TJ strand particles diminished, claudin-5 was downregulated and redistributed from cell-cell contacts to the cytosol, and the cell shape was altered. Cellular permeability of doxorubicin (cytostatic drug, 580 Da) was enhanced after peptide administration. Mouse studies (3.5 mumol/kg i.v.) confirmed that, for both C5C2 and a d-amino acid derivative, brain uptake of Gd-diethylene-triamine penta-acetic acid (547 Da) was enhanced within 4 h of treatment. On the basis of our functional data, circular dichroism measurements, molecular modeling, and docking experiments, we suggest an association model between beta-sheets flanked by alpha-helices, formed by claudin-5 ECLs, and the peptides. In conclusion, we identified claudin-5 peptidomimetics that improve drug delivery through endothelial and epithelial barriers expressing claudin-5.

Cross-over endocytosis of claudins is mediated by interactions via their extracellular loops
Gehne, N., Lamik, A., Lehmann, M., Haseloff, R. F., Andjelkovic(*), A. V.; Blasig, I. E.
Plos One, 12:e0182106

Tags: Molecular Cell Physiology (Blasig, I.E.), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner, Puchkov)

Abstract: Claudins (Cldns) are transmembrane tight junction (TJ) proteins that paracellularly seal endo- and epithelial barriers by their interactions within the TJs. However, the mechanisms allowing TJ remodeling while maintaining barrier integrity are largely unknown. Cldns and occludin are heterophilically and homophilically cross-over endocytosed into neighboring cells in large, double membrane vesicles. Super-resolution microscopy confirmed the presence of Cldns in these vesicles and revealed a distinct separation of Cldns derived from opposing cells within cross-over endocytosed vesicles. Colocalization of cross-over endocytosed Cldn with the autophagosome markers as well as inhibition of autophagosome biogenesis verified involvement of the autophagosomal pathway. Accordingly, cross-over endocytosed Cldns underwent lysosomal degradation as indicated by lysosome markers. Cross-over endocytosis of Cldn5 depended on clathrin and caveolin pathways but not on dynamin. Cross-over endocytosis also depended on Cldn-Cldn-interactions. Amino acid substitutions in the second extracellular loop of Cldn5 (F147A, Q156E) caused impaired cis- and trans-interaction, as well as diminished cross-over endocytosis. Moreover, F147A exhibited an increased mobility in the membrane, while Q156E was not as mobile but enhanced the paracellular permeability. In conclusion, the endocytosis of TJ proteins depends on their ability to interact strongly with each other in cis and trans, and the mobility of Cldns in the membrane is not necessarily an indicator of barrier permeability. TJ-remodeling via cross-over endocytosis represents a general mechanism for the degradation of transmembrane proteins in cell-cell contacts and directly links junctional membrane turnover to autophagy.

Evidence for Heterodimerization and Functional Interaction of the Angiotensin Type 2 Receptor and the Receptor MAS
Leonhardt(*), J., Villela(*), D. C., Teichmann, A., Munter(*), L. M., Mayer(*), M. C., Mardahl(*), M., Kirsch(*), S., Namsolleck(*), P., Lucht(*), K., Benz(*), V., Alenina(*), N., Daniell(*), N., Horiuchi(*), M., Iwai(*), M., Multhaup(*), G., Schülein, R., Bader(*), M., Santos(*), R. A., Unger(*), T.; Steckelings(*), U. M.

Tags: Protein Trafficking (Schülein), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: The angiotensin type 2 receptor (AT2R) and the receptor MAS are receptors of the protective arm of the renin-angiotensin system. They mediate strikingly similar actions. Moreover, in various studies, AT2R antagonists blocked the effects of MAS agonists and vice versa. Such cross-inhibition may indicate heterodimerization of these receptors. Therefore, this study investigated the molecular and functional interplay between MAS and the AT2R. Molecular interactions were assessed by fluorescence resonance energy transfer and by cross correlation spectroscopy in human embryonic kidney-293 cells transfected with vectors encoding fluorophore-tagged MAS or AT2R. Functional interaction of AT2R and MAS was studied in astrocytes with CX3C chemokine receptor-1 messenger RNA expression as readout. Coexpression of fluorophore-tagged AT2R and MAS resulted in a fluorescence resonance energy transfer efficiency of 10.8 +/- 0.8%, indicating that AT2R and MAS are capable to form heterodimers. Heterodimerization was verified by competition experiments using untagged AT2R and MAS. Specificity of dimerization of AT2R and MAS was supported by lack of dimerization with the transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily C-member 6. Dimerization of the AT2R was abolished when it was mutated at cysteine residue 35. AT2R and MAS stimulation with the respective agonists, Compound 21 or angiotensin-(1-7), significantly induced CX3C chemokine receptor-1 messenger RNA expression. Effects of each agonist were blocked by an AT2R antagonist (PD123319) and also by a MAS antagonist (A-779). Knockout of a single of these receptors made astrocytes unresponsive for both agonists. Our results suggest that MAS and the AT2R form heterodimers and that-at least in astrocytes-both receptors functionally depend on each other.

Measurement of backbone hydrogen-deuterium exchange in the type III secretion system needle protein PrgI by solid-state NMR
Chevelkov, V., Giller(*), K., Becker(*), S.; Lange, A.
J Magn Reson, 283:110-116

Tags: Molecular Biophysics (Lange, A.)

Abstract: In this report we present site-specific measurements of amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange rates in a protein in the solid state phase by MAS NMR. Employing perdeuteration, proton detection and a high external magnetic field we could adopt the highly efficient Relax-EXSY protocol previously developed for liquid state NMR. According to this method, we measured the contribution of hydrogen exchange on apparent 15N longitudinal relaxation rates in samples with differing D2O buffer content. Differences in the apparent T1 times allowed us to derive exchange rates for multiple residues in the type III secretion system needle protein.

Backbone assignment of perdeuterated proteins by solid-state NMR using proton detection and ultrafast magic-angle spinning
Fricke, P., Chevelkov, V., Zinke, M., Giller(*), K., Becker(*), S.; Lange, A.
Nat Protoc, 12:764-782

Tags: Molecular Biophysics (Lange, A.)

Abstract: Solid-state NMR (ssNMR) is a technique that allows the study of protein structure and dynamics at atomic detail. In contrast to X-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy, proteins can be studied under physiological conditions-for example, in a lipid bilayer and at room temperature (0-35 degrees C). However, ssNMR requires considerable amounts (milligram quantities) of isotopically labeled samples. In recent years, 1H-detection of perdeuterated protein samples has been proposed as a method of alleviating the sensitivity issue. Such methods are, however, substantially more demanding to the spectroscopist, as compared with traditional 13C-detected approaches. As a guide, this protocol describes a procedure for the chemical shift assignment of the backbone atoms of proteins in the solid state by 1H-detected ssNMR. It requires a perdeuterated, uniformly 13C- and 15N-labeled protein sample with subsequent proton back-exchange to the labile sites. The sample needs to be spun at a minimum of 40 kHz in the NMR spectrometer. With a minimal set of five 3D NMR spectra, the protein backbone and some of the side-chain atoms can be completely assigned. These spectra correlate resonances within one amino acid residue and between neighboring residues; taken together, these correlations allow for complete chemical shift assignment via a 'backbone walk'. This results in a backbone chemical shift table, which is the basis for further analysis of the protein structure and/or dynamics by ssNMR. Depending on the spectral quality and complexity of the protein, data acquisition and analysis are possible within 2 months.

A Two-Component Adhesive: Tau Fibrils Arise from a Combination of a Well-Defined Motif and Conformationally Flexible Interactions
Xiang(*), S. Q., Kulminskaya(*), N., Habenstein(*), B., Biernat(*), J., Tepper(*), K., Paulat(*), M., Griesinger(*), C., Becker(*), S., Lange, A., Mandelkow(*), E.; Linser(*), R.
J. Am. Chem. Soc., 139:2639-2646

Tags: Molecular Biophysics (Lange, A.)

Abstract: Fibrillar aggregates of A beta and Tau in the brain are the major hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease. Most Tau fibers have a twisted appearance, but the twist can be variable and even absent. This ambiguity, which has also been associated with different phenotypes of tauopathies, has led to controversial assumptions about fibril constitution, and it is unclear to-date what the molecular causes of this polymorphism are. To tackle this question, we used solid-state NMR strategies providing assignments of non-seeded three-repeat-domain Tau(3RD) with an inherent heterogeneity. This is in contrast to the general approach to characterize the most homogeneous preparations by construct truncation or intricate seeding protocols. Here, carbon and nitrogen chemical-shift conservation between fibrils revealed invariable secondary-structure properties, however, with inter-monomer interactions variable among samples. Residues with variable amide shifts are localized mostly to N- and C-terminal regions within the rigid beta structure in the repeat region of Tau(3RD). By contrast, the hexapeptide motif in repeat R3, a crucial motif for fibril formation, shows strikingly low variability of all NMR parameters: Starting as a nucleation site for monomer monomer contacts, this six-residue sequence element also turns into a well-defined structural element upon fibril formation. Given the absence of external causes in vitro, the interplay of structurally differently conserved elements in this protein likely reflects an intrinsic property of Tau fibrils.

The differentiation and plasticity of Tc17 cells are regulated by CTLA-4-mediated effects on STATs
Arra(*), A., Lingel(*), H., Kuropka, B., Pick(*), J., Schnoeder(*), T., Fischer(*), T., Freund(*), C., Pierau(*), M.; Brunner-Weinzierl(*), M. C.
Oncoimmunology, 6:e1273300

Tags: Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.)

Abstract: As the blockade of inhibitory surface-molecules such as CTLA-4 on T cells has led to recent advances in antitumor immune therapy, there is great interest in identifying novel mechanisms of action of CD8+ T cells to evoke effective cytotoxic antitumor responses. Using in vitro and in vivo models, we investigated the molecular pathways underlying the CTLA-4-mediated differentiation of IL-17-producing CD8+ T cells (Tc17 cells) that strongly impairs cytotoxicity. Our studies demonstrate that Tc17 cells lacking CTLA-4 signaling have limited production of STAT3-target gene products such as IL-17, IL-21, IL-23R and RORgammat. Upon re-stimulation with IL-12, these cells display fast downregulation of Tc17 hallmarks and acquire Tc1 characteristics such as IFNgamma and TNF-alpha co-expression, which is known to correlate with tumor control. Indeed, upon adoptive transfer, these cells were highly efficient in the antigen-specific rejection of established OVA-expressing B16 melanoma in vivo. Mechanistically, in primary and re-stimulated Tc17 cells, STAT3 binding to the IL-17 promoter was strongly augmented by CTLA-4, associated with less binding of STAT5 and reduced relative activation of STAT1 which is known to block STAT3 activity. Inhibiting CTLA-4-induced STAT3 activity reverses enhancement of signature Tc17 gene products, rendering Tc17 cells susceptible to conversion to Tc1-like cells with enhanced cytotoxic potential. Thus, CTLA-4 critically shapes the characteristics of Tc17 cells by regulating relative STAT3 activation, which provides new perspectives to enhance cytotoxicity of antitumor responses.

Post-translational cleavage of Hv1 in human sperm tunes pH- and voltage-dependent gating
Berger(*), T. K., Fusshöller(*), D. M., Goodwin(*), N., Bönigk(*), W., Müller(*), A., Dokani Khesroshahi(*), N., Brenker(*), C., Wachten(*), D., Krause, E., Kaupp(*), U. B.; Strünker(*), T.
J Physiol, 595:1533-1546

Tags: Mass Spectrometry (Krause, E.)

Abstract: KEY POINTS: In human sperm, proton flux across the membrane is controlled by the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1. We show that sperm harbour both Hv1 and an N-terminally cleaved isoform termed Hv1Sper. The pH-control of Hv1Sper and Hv1 is distinctively different. Hv1Sper and Hv1 can form heterodimers that combine features of both constituents. Cleavage and heterodimerization of Hv1 might represent an adaptation to the specific requirements of pH control in sperm. ABSTRACT: In human sperm, the voltage-gated proton channel Hv1 controls the flux of protons across the flagellar membrane. Here, we show that sperm harbour Hv1 and a shorter isoform, termed Hv1Sper. Hv1Sper is generated from Hv1 by removal of 68 amino acids from the N-terminus by post-translational proteolytic cleavage. The pH-dependent gating of the channel isoforms is distinctly different. In both Hv1 and Hv1Sper, the conductance-voltage relationship is determined by the pH difference across the membrane (pH). However, simultaneous changes in intracellular and extracellular pH that leave DeltapH constant strongly shift the activation curve of Hv1Sper but not that of Hv1, demonstrating that cleavage of the N-terminus tunes pH sensing in Hv1. Moreover, we show that Hv1 and Hv1Sper assemble as heterodimers that combine features of both constituents. We suggest that cleavage and heterodimerization of Hv1 represents an adaptation to the specific requirements of pH control in sperm.

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