FMP Publications

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

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Optimum levels of exchangeable protons in perdeuterated proteins for proton detection in MAS solid-state NMR spectroscopy
Akbey, Ü., Lange, S., Trent Franks, W., Linser, R., Rehbein, K., Diehl, A., van Rossum, B. J., Reif, B.; Oschkinat, H.
J Biomol NMR, 46:67-73

Tags: Protein Structure (Oschkinat), Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy (Reif)

Abstract: We present a systematic study of the effect of the level of exchangeable protons on the observed amide proton linewidth obtained in perdeuterated proteins. Decreasing the amount of D(2)O employed in the crystallization buffer from 90 to 0%, we observe a fourfold increase in linewidth for both (1)H and (15)N resonances. At the same time, we find a gradual increase in the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) for (1)H-(15)N correlations in dipolar coupling based experiments for H(2)O concentrations of up to 40%. Beyond 40%, a significant reduction in SNR is observed. Scalar-coupling based (1)H-(15)N correlation experiments yield a nearly constant SNR for samples prepared with < or =30% H(2)O. Samples in which more H(2)O is employed for crystallization show a significantly reduced NMR intensity. Calculation of the SNR by taking into account the reduction in (1)H T (1) in samples containing more protons (SNR per unit time), yields a maximum SNR for samples crystallized using 30 and 40% H(2)O for scalar and dipolar coupling based experiments, respectively. A sensitivity gain of 3.8 is obtained by increasing the H(2)O concentration from 10 to 40% in the CP based experiment, whereas the linewidth only becomes 1.5 times broader. In general, we find that CP is more favorable compared to INEPT based transfer when the number of possible (1)H,(1)H interactions increases. At low levels of deuteration (> or =60% H(2)O in the crystallization buffer), resonances from rigid residues are broadened beyond detection. All experiments are carried out at MAS frequency of 24 kHz employing perdeuterated samples of the chicken alpha-spectrin SH3 domain.

Domain organization and function in GluK2 subtype kainate receptors
Das(*), U., Kumar(*), J., Mayer(*), M. L.; Plested, A. J.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107:8463-8468

Tags: Molecular Neuroscience and Biophysics (Plested)

Abstract: Glutamate receptor ion channels (iGluRs) are excitatory neurotransmitter receptors with a unique molecular architecture in which the extracellular domains assemble as a dimer of dimers. The structure of individual dimer assemblies has been established previously for both the isolated ligand-binding domain (LBD) and more recently for the larger amino terminal domain (ATD). How these dimers pack to form tetrameric assemblies in intact iGluRs has remained controversial. Using recently solved crystal structures for the GluK2 kainate receptor ATD as a guide, we performed cysteine mutant cross-linking experiments in full-length tetrameric GluK2 to establish how the ATD packs in a dimer of dimers assembly. A similar approach, using a full-length AMPA receptor GluA2 crystal structure as a guide, was used to design cysteine mutant cross-links for the GluK2 LBD dimer of dimers assembly. The formation of cross-linked tetramers in full-length GluK2 by combinations of ATD and LBD mutants which individually produce only cross-linked dimers suggests that subunits in the ATD and LBD layers swap dimer partners. Functional studies reveal that cross-linking either the ATD or the LBD inhibits activation of GluK2 and that, in the LBD, cross-links within and between dimers have different effects. These results establish that kainate and AMPA receptors have a conserved extracellular architecture and provide insight into the role of individual dimer assemblies in activation of ion channel gating.

Quantification of protein backbone hydrogen-deuterium exchange rates by solid state NMR spectroscopy
del Amo, J. M., Fink, U.; Reif, B.
J Biomol NMR, 48:203-212

Tags: Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy (Reif)

Abstract: We present the quantification of backbone amide hydrogen-deuterium exchange rates (HDX) for immobilized proteins. The experiments make use of the deuterium isotope effect on the amide nitrogen chemical shift, as well as on proton dilution by deuteration. We find that backbone amides in the microcrystalline alpha-spectrin SH3 domain exchange rather slowly with the solvent (with exchange rates negligible within the individual (15)N-T (1) timescales). We observed chemical exchange for 6 residues with HDX exchange rates in the range from 0.2 to 5 s(-1). Backbone amide (15)N longitudinal relaxation times that we determined previously are not significantly affected for most residues, yielding no systematic artifacts upon quantification of backbone dynamics (Chevelkov et al. 2008b). Significant exchange was observed for the backbone amides of R21, S36 and K60, as well as for the sidechain amides of N38, N35 and for W41epsilon. These residues could not be fit in our previous motional analysis, demonstrating that amide proton chemical exchange needs to be considered in the analysis of protein dynamics in the solid-state, in case D(2)O is employed as a solvent for sample preparation. Due to the intrinsically long (15)N relaxation times in the solid-state, the approach proposed here can expand the range of accessible HDX rates in the intermediate regime that is not accessible so far with exchange quench and MEXICO type experiments.

[8-[Bis(carboxymethyl)aminomethyl]-6-bromo-7-hydroxycoumarin-4-yl]methyl moieties as photoremovable protecting groups for compounds with COOH, NH2, OH, and C=O functions
Hagen, V., Kilic, F., Schaal, J., Dekowski, B., Schmidt(*), R.; Kotzur, N.
J Org Chem, 75:2790-2797

Tags: Synthetic Organic Biochemistry (Hagen)

Abstract: We introduce a variant of coumarin-based photoactivatable protecting groups and use it exemplarily for caging of a carboxylic acid, an amine, a phenol, and a carbonyl compound. The caged compounds are efficiently photolyzed at long-wavelength UV/vis irradiation. Compared to the corresponding (6-bromo-7-hydroxycoumarin-4-yl)methyl (Bhc) derivatives, the novel coumarin-type caged compounds are distinguished by (i) dramatically increased solubilities in aqueous buffers, (ii) lower pK(a) values of the C7 hydroxyl of the coumarin chromophore, thus permitting efficient photorelease at lower pH, and (iii) higher photolysis quantum yields in the case of photoprotected carbonyl compounds. The primary step of the photocleavages occurs with rate constants of about 10(9) s(-1).

Modulation of G-protein coupled receptor sample quality by modified cell-free expression protocols: A case study of the human endothelin A receptor
Junge(*), F., Luh(*), L. M., Proverbio(*), D., Schäfer(*), B., Abele(*), R., Beyermann, M., Dötsch(*), V.; Bernhard(*), F.
J Struct Biol, 172:94-106

Tags: Peptide Synthesis (Beyermann)

Abstract: G-protein coupled receptors still represent one of the most challenging targets in membrane protein research. Here we present a strategic approach for the cell-free synthesis of these complex membrane proteins exemplified by the preparative scale production of the human endothelin A receptor. The versatility of the cell-free expression system was used to modulate sample quality by alteration of detergents hence presenting different solubilization environments to the synthesized protein at different stages of the production process. Sample properties after co-translational and post-translational solubilization have been analysed by evaluation of homogeneity, protein stability and receptor ligand binding competence. This is a first quality evaluation of a membrane protein obtained in two different cell-free expression modes and we demonstrate that both can be used for the production of ligand-binding competent endothelin A receptor in quantities sufficient for structural approaches. The presented strategy of cell-free expression protocol development could serve as basic guideline for the production of related receptors in similar systems. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Effects of ACE2 inhibition in the post-myocardial infarction heart
Kim(*), M. A., Yang(*), D., Kida(*), K., Molotkova(*), N., Yeo(*), S. J., Varki(*), N., Iwata(*), M., Dalton(*), N. D., Peterson(*), K. L., Siems, W. E., Walther(*), T., Cowling(*), R. T., Kjekshus(*), J.; Greenberg(*), B.
Journal of cardiac failure, 16:777-785

Tags: Biochemical Neurobiology (Siems)

Abstract: BACKGROUND: There is evidence that angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) is cardioprotective. To assess this in the post-myocardial infarction (MI) heart, we treated adult male Sprague-Dawley rats with either placebo (PL) or C16, a selective ACE2 inhibitor, after permanent coronary artery ligation or sham operation. METHODS AND RESULTS: Coronary artery ligation resulting in MI between 25% to 50% of the left ventricular (LV) circumference caused substantial cardiac remodeling. Daily C16 administration from postoperative days 2 to 28 at a dose that inhibited myocardial ACE2 activity was associated with a significant increase in MI size and reduction in LV % fractional shortening. Treatment with C16 did not significantly affect post-MI increases in LV end-diastolic dimension but did inhibit increases in wall thickness and fibrosis in non-infarcted LV. On postoperative day 7, C16 had no significant effect on the increased level of apoptosis in the infarct and border zones nor did it significantly affect capillary density surrounding the MI. It did, however, significantly reduce the number of c-kit(+) cells in the border region. CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the notion that ACE2 exerts cardioprotective effects by preserving jeopardized cardiomyocytes in the border zone. The reduction in hypertrophy and fibrosis with C16, however, suggests that ACE2 activity has diverse effects on post-MI remodeling.

Simultaneous detection of protein phosphorylation and acetylation by high-resolution NMR spectroscopy
Liokatis, S., Dose, A., Schwarzer, D.; Selenko, P.
J Am Chem Soc, 132:14704-14705

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko), Protein Chemistry (Schwarzer)

Abstract: Post-translational protein modifications (PTMs) such as phosphorylation and acetylation regulate a large number of eukaryotic signaling processes. In most instances, it is the combination of different PTMs that "encode" the biological outcome of these covalent amendments in a highly dynamic and cell-state-specific manner. Most research tools fail to detect different PTMs in a single experiment and are unable to directly observe dynamic PTM states in complex environments such as cell extracts or intact cells. Here we describe in situ observations of phosphorylation and acetylation reactions by high-resolution liquid-state NMR spectroscopy. We delineate the NMR characteristics of progressive lysine acetylation and provide in vitro examples of joint phosphorylation and acetylation events and how they can be deciphered on a residue-specific basis and in a time-resolved and quantitative manner. Finally, we extend our NMR investigations to cellular phosphorylation and acetylation events in human cell extracts and demonstrate the unique ability of NMR spectroscopy to simultaneously report the establishment of these PTMs by endogenous cellular enzymes.

A novel subtype of AP-1-binding motif within the palmitoylated trans-Golgi network/endosomal accessory protein Gadkin/gamma-BAR
Maritzen(*), T., Schmidt(*), M. R., Kukhtina(*), V., Higman, V. A., Strauss, H., Volkmer(*), R., Oschkinat, H., Dotti(*), C. G.; Haucke, V.
J Biol Chem, 285:4074-4086

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke), Protein Structure (Oschkinat)

Abstract: Membrane traffic between the trans-Golgi network (TGN) and endosomes is mediated in part by the assembly of clathrin-AP-1 adaptor complex-coated vesicles. This process involves multiple accessory proteins that directly bind to the ear domain of AP-1gamma via degenerate peptide motifs that conform to the consensus sequence diameterG(P/D/E)(diameter/L/M) (with diameter being a large hydrophobic amino acid). Recently, gamma-BAR (hereafter referred to as Gadkin for reasons explained below) has been identified as a novel AP-1 recruitment factor involved in AP-1-dependent endosomal trafficking of lysosomal enzymes. How precisely Gadkin interacts with membranes and with AP-1gamma has remained unclear. Here we show that Gadkin is an S-palmitoylated peripheral membrane protein that lacks stable tertiary structure. S-Palmitoylation is required for the recruitment of Gadkin to TGN/endosomal membranes but not for binding to AP-1. Furthermore, we identify a novel subtype of AP-1-binding motif within Gadkin that specifically associates with the gamma1-adaptin ear domain. Mutational inactivation of this novel type of motif, either alone or in combination with three more conventional AP-1gamma binding peptides, causes Gadkin to mislocalize to the plasma membrane and interferes with its ability to render AP-1 brefeldin A-resistant, indicating its physiological importance. Our studies thus unravel the molecular basis for Gadkin-mediated AP-1 recruitment to TGN/endosomal membranes and identify a novel subtype of the AP-1-binding motif.

Amyloid beta 42 peptide (Abeta42)-lowering compounds directly bind to Abeta and interfere with amyloid precursor protein (APP) transmembrane dimerization
Richter(*), L., Munter(*), L. M., Ness(*), J., Hildebrand(*), P. W., Dasari, M., Unterreitmeier(*), S., Bulic(*), B., Beyermann, M., Gust(*), R., Reif, B., Weggen(*), S., Langosch(*), D.; Multhaup(*), G.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 107:14597-14602

Tags: Solid-State NMR Spectroscopy (Reif), Peptide Synthesis (Beyermann)

Abstract: Following ectodomain shedding by beta-secretase, successive proteolytic cleavages within the transmembrane sequence (TMS) of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) catalyzed by gamma-secretase result in the release of amyloid-beta (Abeta) peptides of variable length. Abeta peptides with 42 amino acids appear to be the key pathogenic species in Alzheimer's disease, as they are believed to initiate neuronal degeneration. Sulindac sulfide, which is known as a potent gamma-secretase modulator (GSM), selectively reduces Abeta42 production in favor of shorter Abeta species, such as Abeta38. By studying APP-TMS dimerization we previously showed that an attenuated interaction similarly decreased Abeta42 levels and concomitantly increased Abeta38 levels. However, the precise molecular mechanism by which GSMs modulate Abeta production is still unclear. In this study, using a reporter gene-based dimerization assay, we found that APP-TMS dimers are destabilized by sulindac sulfide and related Abeta42-lowering compounds in a concentration-dependent manner. By surface plasmon resonance analysis and NMR spectroscopy, we show that sulindac sulfide and novel sulindac-derived compounds directly bind to the Abeta sequence. Strikingly, the attenuated APP-TMS interaction by GSMs correlated strongly with Abeta42-lowering activity and binding strength to the Abeta sequence. Molecular docking analyses suggest that certain GSMs bind to the GxxxG dimerization motif in the APP-TMS. We conclude that these GSMs decrease Abeta42 levels by modulating APP-TMS interactions. This effect specifically emphasizes the importance of the dimeric APP-TMS as a promising drug target in Alzheimer's disease.

Analysis of CLCN2 as Candidate Gene for Megalencephalic Leukoencephalopathy with Subcortical Cysts
Scheper(*), G. C., van Berkel(*), C. G. M., Leisle, L., de Groot(*), K. E., Errami(*), A., Jentsch, T. J.; Van der Knaap(*), M. S.
Genet Test Mol Bioma, 14:255-257

Tags: Physiology and Pathology of Ion Transport (Jentsch

Abstract: Mutations in the gene MLC1 are found in approximately 80% of the patients with the inherited childhood white matter disorder megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC). Genetic linkage studies have not led to the identification of another disease gene. We questioned whether mutations in CLCN2, coding for the chloride channel protein 2 (ClC-2), are involved in MLC. Mice lacking this protein develop white matter abnormalities, which are characterized by vacuole formation in the myelin sheaths, strikingly similar to the intramyelinic vacuoles in MLC. Sequence analysis of CLCN2 at genomic DNA and cDNA levels in 18 MLC patients without MLC1 mutations revealed some nucleotide changes, but they were predicted to be nonpathogenic. Further, in electrophysiological experiments, one of the observed amino acid changes was shown to have no effect on the ClC-2-mediated currents. In conclusion, we found no evidence suggesting that the CLCN2 gene is involved in MLC.

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Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V. (FMP)
Campus Berlin-Buch
Robert-Roessle-Str. 10
13125 Berlin, Germany
+4930 94793 - 100 
+4930 94793 - 109 (Fax)

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