FMP Publications

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

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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.

Short Cationic Antimicrobial Peptides Interact with ATP
Hilpert(*), K., McLeod(*), B., Yu(*), J., Elliott(*), M. R., Rautenbach(*), M., Ruden(*), S., Bürck(*), J., Muhle-Goll(*), C., Ulrich(*), A. S., Keller, S.; Hancock(*), R. E. W.
Antimicrob Agents Ch, 54:4480-4483

Tags: Biophysics of Membrane Proteins (Keller)

Abstract: The mode of action of short, nonhelical antimicrobial peptides is still not well understood. Here we show that these peptides interact with ATP and directly inhibit the actions of certain ATP-dependent enzymes, such as firefly luciferase, DnaK, and DNA polymerase. alpha-Helical and planar or circular antimicrobial peptides did not show such interaction with ATP.

Solid-state NMR and SAXS studies provide a structural basis for the activation of alphaB-crystallin oligomers
Jehle, S., Rajagopal(*), P., Bardiaux, B., Markovic, S., Kühne, R., Stout(*), J. R., Higman, V. A., Klevit(*), R. E., van Rossum, B. J.; Oschkinat, H.
Nat Struct Mol Biol, 17:1037-1042

Tags: Protein Structure (Oschkinat), Computational Chemistry/ Drug Design (Kühne)

Abstract: The small heat shock protein alphaB-crystallin (alphaB) contributes to cellular protection against stress. For decades, high-resolution structural studies on oligomeric alphaB have been confounded by its polydisperse nature. Here, we present a structural basis of oligomer assembly and activation of the chaperone using solid-state NMR and small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS). The basic building block is a curved dimer, with an angle of approximately 121 degrees between the planes of the beta-sandwich formed by alpha-crystallin domains. The highly conserved IXI motif covers a substrate binding site at pH 7.5. We observe a pH-dependent modulation of the interaction of the IXI motif with beta4 and beta8, consistent with a pH-dependent regulation of the chaperone function. N-terminal region residues Ser59-Trp60-Phe61 are involved in intermolecular interaction with beta3. Intermolecular restraints from NMR and volumetric restraints from SAXS were combined to calculate a model of a 24-subunit alphaB oligomer with tetrahedral symmetry.

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.

Principles and Determinants of G-Protein Coupling by the Rhodopsin-Like Thyrotropin Receptor
Kleinau, G., Jaeschke(*), H., Worth, C. L., Mueller(*), S., Gonzalez(*), J., Paschke(*), R.; Krause, G.
Plos One, 5

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

Abstract: In this study we wanted to gain insights into selectivity mechanisms between G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCR) and different subtypes of G-proteins. The thyrotropin receptor (TSHR) binds G-proteins promiscuously and activates both Gs (cAMP) and Gq (IP). Our goal was to dissect selectivity patterns for both pathways in the intracellular region of this receptor. We were particularly interested in the participation of poorly investigated receptor parts. We systematically investigated the amino acids of intracellular loop (ICL) 1 and helix 8 using site-directed mutagenesis alongside characterization of cAMP and IP accumulation. This approach was guided by a homology model of activated TSHR in complex with heterotrimeric Gq, using the X-ray structure of opsin with a bound G-protein peptide as a structural template. We provide evidence that ICL1 is significantly involved in G-protein activation and our model suggests potential interactions with subunits G alpha as well as G beta gamma. Several amino acid substitutions impaired both IP and cAMP accumulation. Moreover, we found a few residues in ICL1 (L440, T441, H443) and helix 8 (R687) that are sensitive for Gq but not for Gs activation. Conversely, not even one residue was found that selectively affects cAMP accumulation only. Together with our previous mutagenesis data on ICL2 and ICL3 we provide here the first systematically completed map of potential interfaces between TSHR and heterotrimeric G-protein. The TSHR/Gq-heterotrimer complex is characterized by more selective interactions than the TSHR/Gs complex. In fact the receptor interface for binding Gs is a subset of that for Gq and we postulate that this may be true for other GPCRs coupling these G-proteins. Our findings support that G-protein coupling and preference is dominated by specific structural features at the intracellular region of the activated GPCR but is completed by additional complementary recognition patterns between receptor and G-protein subtypes.

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.

Segmental expression of claudin proteins correlates with tight junction barrier properties in rat intestine
Markov(*), A. G., Veshnyakova, A., Fromm(*), M., Amasheh(*), M.; Amasheh(*), S.
J Comp Physiol B, 180:591-598

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

Abstract: In tubular epithelia, barrier function varies in a segment-specific way. The aim of this study was to correlate the presence of tight junction proteins and paracellular barrier properties along rat intestine. Tissue segments of duodenum, jejunum, ileum, and colon were stripped of submucosal cell layers and mounted in Ussing chambers for impedance spectroscopy to measure epithelial resistance (R (epi)). In parallel, expression of tight junction proteins was analysed by Western blots and immune fluorescence confocal microscopy. Colon showed highest R (epi), followed by duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. In small intestine, common transepithelial resistance (R (trans) or TER) overestimated true R (epi) by similar to 60%. In colon, strongest expression of "tightening" claudins 1, 3, 4, 5, and 8 was detected. In accordance with R (epi) the most proximal of the small intestinal segments, duodenum exhibited highest expression of "tightening" claudins and lowest expression of claudins mediating permeability, namely claudin-2, -7, and -12, compared to jejunum and ileum. These results correspond to the specific role of the duodenum as the first segment facing the acidic gastric content.

Routes of epithelial water flow: aquaporins versus cotransporters
Mollajew, R., Zocher(*), F., Horner(*), A., Wiesner, B., Klussmann, E.; Pohl, P.
Biophys J, 99:3647-3656

Tags: Anchored Signalling (Klussmann), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: The routes water takes through membrane barriers is still a matter of debate. Although aquaporins only allow transmembrane water movement along an osmotic gradient, cotransporters are believed to be capable of water transport against the osmotic gradient. Here we show that the renal potassium-chloride-cotransporter (KCC1) does not pump a fixed amount of water molecules per movement of one K(+) and one Cl(-), as was reported for the analogous transporter in the choroid plexus. We monitored water and potassium fluxes through monolayers of primary cultured renal epithelial cells by detecting tiny solute concentration changes in the immediate vicinity of the monolayer. KCC1 extruded K(+) ions in the presence of a transepithelial K(+) gradient, but did not transport water. KCC1 inhibition reduced epithelial osmotic water permeability P(f) by roughly one-third, i.e., the effect of inhibitors was small in resting cells and substantial in hormonal stimulated cells that contained high concentrations of aquaporin-2 in their apical membranes. The furosemide or DIOA (dihydroindenyl-oxy-alkanoic acid)-sensitive water flux was much larger than expected when water passively followed the KCC1-mediated ion flow. The inhibitory effect of these drugs on water flux was reversed by the K(+)-H(+) exchanger nigericin, indicating that KCC1 affects water transport solely by K(+) extrusion. Intracellular K(+) retention conceivably leads to cell swelling, followed by an increased rate of endocytic AQP2 retrieval from the apical membrane.

Reciprocal regulation of aquaporin-2 abundance and degradation by protein kinase A and p38-MAP kinase
Nedvetsky, P. I., Tabor, V., Tamma(*), G., Beulshausen, S., Skroblin, P., Kirschner, A., Mutig(*), K., Boltzen, M., Petrucci, O., Vossenkamper, A., Wiesner, B., Bachmann(*), S., Rosenthal(*), W.; Klussmann, E.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology : JASN, 21:1645-1656

Tags: Anchored Signalling (Klussmann), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: Arginine-vasopressin (AVP) modulates the water channel aquaporin-2 (AQP2) in the renal collecting duct to maintain homeostasis of body water. AVP binds to vasopressin V2 receptors (V2R), increasing cAMP, which promotes the redistribution of AQP2 from intracellular vesicles into the plasma membrane. cAMP also increases AQP2 transcription, but whether altered degradation also modulates AQP2 protein levels is not well understood. Here, elevation of cAMP increased AQP2 protein levels within 30 minutes in primary inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells, in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells ectopically expressing AQP2, and in mouse kidneys. Accelerated transcription or translation did not explain this increase in AQP2 abundance. In IMCD cells, cAMP inhibited p38-mitogen-activated protein kinase (p38-MAPK) via activation of protein kinase A (PKA). Inhibition of p38-MAPK associated with decreased phosphorylation (serine 261) and polyubiquitination of AQP2, preventing proteasomal degradation. Our results demonstrate that AVP enhances AQP2 protein abundance by altering its proteasomal degradation through a PKA- and p38-MAPK-dependent pathway.

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.

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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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