FMP Publications

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

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Control of AMPA receptor activity by the extracellular loops of auxiliary proteins
Riva, I., Eibl, C., Volkmer, R., Carbone, A. L.; Plested, A. J.
Elife, 6

Tags: Molecular Neuroscience and Biophysics (Plested)

Abstract: At synapses throughout the mammalian brain, AMPA receptors form complexes with auxiliary proteins, including TARPs. However, how TARPs modulate AMPA receptor gating remains poorly understood. We built structural models of TARP-AMPA receptor complexes for TARPs gamma2 and gamma8, combining recent structural studies and de novo structure predictions. These models, combined with peptide binding assays, provide evidence for multiple interactions between GluA2 and variable extracellular loops of TARPs. Substitutions and deletions of these loops had surprisingly rich effects on the kinetics of glutamate-activated currents, without any effect on assembly. Critically, by altering the two interacting loops of gamma2 and gamma8, we could entirely remove all allosteric modulation of GluA2, without affecting formation of AMPA receptor-TARP complexes. Likewise, substitutions in the linker domains of GluA2 completely removed any effect of gamma2 on receptor kinetics, indicating a dominant role for this previously overlooked site proximal to the AMPA receptor channel gate.

Targeting and alteration of tight junctions by bacteria and their virulence factors such as Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin
Eichner(*), M., Protze, J., Piontek, A., Krause, G.; Piontek(*), J.
Pflügers Arch, 469:77-90

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

Abstract: The integrity of tight junctions, which regulate paracellular permeability, is challenged by many bacterial pathogens. This is caused by inflammatory responses triggered by pathogens and direct interaction of bacteria or their toxins with host epithelial cells. In some cases, tight junction proteins represent receptors for cell surface proteins or toxins of the pathogen, such as Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (CPE). CPE causes diarrhea and cramps-the symptoms of a common foodborne illness, caused by C. perfringens type A. It uses a subgroup of the claudin family of tight junction proteins as receptors and forms pores in the membrane of intestinal epithelial cells. Ca2+ influx through these pores finally triggers cell damage. In this review, we summarize tight junction targeting and alteration by a multitude of different microorganisms such as C. perfringens, Escherichia coli, Helicobacter pylori, Salmonella typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, Vibrio cholerae, Yersinia enterocolitica, protozoan parasites, and their proteins. A focus is drawn towards CPE, the interaction with its receptors, cellular, and pathophysiological consequences for the intestinal epithelium. In addition, we portend to the use of CPE-based claudin modulators for drug delivery as well as diagnosis and therapy of cancer.

Structural determinants of a conserved enantiomer-selective carvone binding pocket in the human odorant receptor OR1A1
Geithe(*), C., Protze, J., Kreuchwig, F., Krause, G.; Krautwurst(*), D.
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS,

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

Abstract: Chirality is a common phenomenon within odorants. Most pairs of enantiomers show only moderate differences in odor quality. One example for enantiomers that are easily discriminated by their odor quality is the carvones: humans significantly distinguish between the spearmint-like (R)-(-)-carvone and caraway-like (S)-(+)-carvone enantiomers. Moreover, for the (R)-(-)-carvone, an anosmia is observed in about 8% of the population, suggesting enantioselective odorant receptors (ORs). With only about 15% de-orphaned human ORs, the lack of OR crystal structures, and few comprehensive studies combining in silico and experimental approaches to elucidate structure-function relations of ORs, knowledge on cognate odorant/OR interactions is still sparse. An adjusted homology modeling approach considering OR-specific proline-caused conformations, odorant docking studies, single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) analysis, site-directed mutagenesis, and subsequent functional studies with recombinant ORs in a cell-based, real-time luminescence assay revealed 11 amino acid positions to constitute an enantioselective binding pocket necessary for a carvone function in human OR1A1 and murine Olfr43, respectively. Here, we identified enantioselective molecular determinants in both ORs that discriminate between minty and caraway odor. Comparison with orthologs from 36 mammalian species demonstrated a hominid-specific carvone binding pocket with about 100% conservation. Moreover, we identified loss-of-function SNPs associated with the carvone binding pocket of OR1A1. Given carvone enantiomer-specific receptor activation patterns including OR1A1, our data suggest OR1A1 as a candidate receptor for constituting a carvone enantioselective phenotype, which may help to explain mechanisms underlying a (R)-(-)-carvone-specific anosmia in humans.

Polar and charged extracellular residues conserved among barrier-forming claudins contribute to tight junction strand formation
Piontek, A., Rossa, J., Protze, J., Wolburg(*), H., Hempel(*), C., Günzel(*), D., Krause, G.; Piontek(*), J.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences,

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

Abstract: Claudins (Cldn) form the backbone of tight junction (TJ) strands and thereby regulate paracellular permeability for solutes and water. Polymeric strands are formed by homo- and heterophilic cis- and trans-interactions between claudin protomers. Crystal structures of some claudins have been resolved; however, the mechanism by which claudins assemble into TJ strands remains unclear. To elucidate strand architecture, TJ-like strands were reconstituted in HEK293 cells by claudin transfection. Determinants of prototypic, classic barrier-forming claudins (Cldn1, -3, and -5) involved in strand formation were analyzed by mutagenesis. The capability of claudin constructs to interact in trans and to form strands was investigated by cell contact-enrichment assays and freeze-fracture electron microscopy. Residues in extracellular loops 1 and 2 of the claudins affecting strand formation were identified. Using homology modeling and molecular docking, we tested working concepts for the arrangement of claudin protomers within TJ strands. We show that the charge of Lys65 in Cldn1 and Glu158 in Cldn3, but not of Arg30 or Asp145 in Cldn3, and the polarity of Gln56 and Gln62 in Cldn3 and of Gln57 in Cldn5 are necessary for TJ strand formation. These residues are all conserved among barrier-forming classic claudins. The results contribute to mechanistic understanding of claudin-based regulation of paracellular permeability.

A cCPE-based xenon biosensor for magnetic resonance imaging of claudin-expressing cells
Piontek, A., Witte, C., May Rose, H., Eichner(*), M., Protze, J., Krause, G., Piontek(*), J.; Schröder, L.
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1397:195-208

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

Abstract: The majority of malignant tumors originate from epithelial cells, and many of them are characterized by an overexpression of claudins (Cldns) and their mislocalization out of tight junctions. We utilized the C-terminal claudin-binding domain of Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin (cCPE), with its high affinity to specific members of the claudin family, as the targeting unit for a claudin-sensitive cancer biosensor. To overcome the poor sensitivity of conventional relaxivity-based magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, we utilized the superior sensitivity of xenon Hyper-CEST biosensors. We labeled cCPE for both xenon MRI and fluorescence detection. As one readout module, we employed a cryptophane (CrA) monoacid and, as the second, a fluorescein molecule. Both were conjugated separately to a biotin molecule via a polyethyleneglycol chemical spacer and later via avidin linked to GST-cCPE. Nontransfected HEK293 cells and HEK293 cells stably expressing Cldn4-FLAG were incubated with the cCPE-based biosensor. Fluorescence-based flow cytometry and xenon MRI demonstrated binding of the biosensor specifically to Cldn4-expressing cells. This study provides proof of concept for the use of cCPE as a carrier for diagnostic contrast agents, a novel approach for potential detection of Cldn3/-4-overexpressing tumors for noninvasive early cancer detection.

Membrane-traversing mechanism of thyroid hormone transport by monocarboxylate transporter 8
Protze, J., Braun(*), D., Hinz, K. M., Bayer-Kusch(*), D., Schweizer(*), U.; Krause, G.
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS,

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

Abstract: Monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) mediates thyroid hormone (TH) transport across the plasma membrane in many cell types. In order to better understand its mechanism, we have generated three new MCT8 homology models based on sugar transporters XylE in the intracellular opened (PDB ID: 4aj4) and the extracellular partly occluded (PDB ID: 4gby) conformations as well as FucP (PDB ID: 3o7q) and GLUT3 (PDB ID: 4zwc) in the fully extracellular opened conformation. T3-docking studies from both sides revealed interactions with His192, His415, Arg445 and Asp498 as previously identified. Selected mutations revealed further transport-sensitive positions mainly at the discontinuous transmembrane helices TMH7 and 10. Lys418 is potentially involved in neutralising the charge of the TH substrate because it can be replaced by charged, but not by uncharged, amino acids. The side chain of Thr503 was hypothesised to stabilise a helix break at TMH10 that undergoes a prominent local shift during the transport cycle. A T503V mutation accordingly affected transport. The aromatic Tyr419, the polar Ser313 and Ser314 as well as the charged Glu422 and Glu423 lining the transport channel have been studied. Based on related sugar transporters, we suggest an alternating access mechanism for MCT8 involving a series of amino acid positions previously and newly identified as critical for transport.

Unitary Properties of AMPA Receptors with Reduced Desensitization
Zhang(*), W., Eibl, C., Weeks(*), A. M., Riva, I., Li(*), Y. J., Plested, A. J. R.; Howe(*), J. R.
Biophys J,

Tags: Molecular Neuroscience and Biophysics (Plested)

Abstract: Wild-type AMPA receptors display a characteristic rapidly desensitizing phenotype. Many studies point to the dimer interface between pairs of extracellular ligand binding domains as the key region controlling the rate at which the receptors desensitize. However, mutations at the extracellular end of the pore-forming regions (near the putative ion channel gate) have also been shown to alter desensitization. Here we report the behavior of single GluA4 receptors carrying one of two mutations that greatly reduce desensitization at the level of ensemble currents: the dimer interface mutation L484Y and the Lurcher mutation (A623T, GluA4-Lc) in the extracellular end of M3 (the second true transmembrane helix). Analysis of unitary currents in patches with just one active receptor showed that each mutation greatly prolongs bursts of openings without prolonging the apparent duration of individual openings. Each mutation decreases the frequency with which individual receptors visit desensitized states, but both mutant receptors still desensitize multiple times per second. Cyclothiazide (CTZ) reduced desensitization of wild-type receptors and both types of mutant receptor. Analysis of shut-time distributions revealed a form of short-lived desensitization that was resistant to CTZ and was especially prominent for GluA4-Lc receptors. Despite reducing desensitization of GluA4 L484Y receptors, CTZ decreased the amplitude of ensemble currents through GluA2 and GluA4 LY receptor mutants. Single-channel analysis and comparison of the GluA2 L483Y ligand binding domain dimer in complex with glutamate with and without CTZ is consistent with the conclusion that CTZ binding to the dimer interface prevents effects of the LY mutation to modulate receptor activation, resulting in a reduction in the prevalence of large-conductance substates that accounts for the decrease in ensemble current amplitudes. Together, the results show that similar nondesensitizing AMPA-receptor phenotypes of population currents can arise from distinct underlying molecular mechanisms that produce different types of unitary activity.

Lipid-mediated PX-BAR domain recruitment couples local membrane constriction to endocytic vesicle fission
Schöneberg(*), J., Lehmann, M., Ullrich(*), A., Posor, Y., Lo, W. T., Lichtner, G., Schmoranzer, J., Haucke, V.; Noe(*), F.
Nat Commun, 8:15873

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke)

Abstract: Clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME) involves membrane-associated scaffolds of the bin-amphiphysin-rvs (BAR) domain protein family as well as the GTPase dynamin, and is accompanied and perhaps triggered by changes in local lipid composition. How protein recruitment, scaffold assembly and membrane deformation is spatiotemporally controlled and coupled to fission is poorly understood. We show by computational modelling and super-resolution imaging that phosphatidylinositol 3,4-bisphosphate [PI(3,4)P2] synthesis within the clathrin-coated area of endocytic intermediates triggers selective recruitment of the PX-BAR domain protein SNX9, as a result of complex interactions of endocytic proteins competing for phospholipids. The specific architecture induces positioning of SNX9 at the invagination neck where its self-assembly regulates membrane constriction, thereby providing a template for dynamin fission. These data explain how lipid conversion at endocytic pits couples local membrane constriction to fission. Our work demonstrates how computational modelling and super-resolution imaging can be combined to unravel function and mechanisms of complex cellular processes.

Intersectin associates with synapsin and regulates its nanoscale localization and function
Gerth(*), F., Jäpel, M., Pechstein, A., Kochlamazashvili, G., Lehmann, M., Puchkov, D., Onofri(*), F., Benfenati(*), F., Nikonenko(*), A. G., Maritzen, T., Freund(*), C.; Haucke, V.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 114:12057-12062

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke); Membrane Traffic and Cell Motility (Maritzen)

Abstract: Neurotransmission is mediated by the exocytic release of neurotransmitters from readily releasable synaptic vesicles (SVs) at the active zone. To sustain neurotransmission during periods of elevated activity, release-ready vesicles need to be replenished from the reserve pool of SVs. The SV-associated synapsins are crucial for maintaining this reserve pool and regulate the mobilization of reserve pool SVs. How replenishment of release-ready SVs from the reserve pool is regulated and which other factors cooperate with synapsins in this process is unknown. Here we identify the endocytic multidomain scaffold protein intersectin as an important regulator of SV replenishment at hippocampal synapses. We found that intersectin directly associates with synapsin I through its Src-homology 3 A domain, and this association is regulated by an intramolecular switch within intersectin 1. Deletion of intersectin 1/2 in mice alters the presynaptic nanoscale distribution of synapsin I and causes defects in sustained neurotransmission due to defective SV replenishment. These phenotypes were rescued by wild-type intersectin 1 but not by a locked mutant of intersectin 1. Our data reveal intersectin as an autoinhibited scaffold that serves as a molecular linker between the synapsin-dependent reserve pool and the presynaptic endocytosis machinery.

Retrograde transport of TrkB-containing autophagosomes via the adaptor AP-2 mediates neuronal complexity and prevents neurodegeneration
Kononenko, N. L., Claßen, G. A., Kuijpers, M., Puchkov, D., Maritzen, T., Tempes(*), A., Malik(*), A. R., Skalecka(*), A., Bera(*), S., Jaworski(*), J.; Haucke, V.
Nat Commun, 8:14819

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke), Membrane Traffic and Cell Motility (Maritzen), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner, Puchkov)

Abstract: Autophagosomes primarily mediate turnover of cytoplasmic proteins or organelles to provide nutrients and eliminate damaged proteins. In neurons, autophagosomes form in distal axons and are trafficked retrogradely to fuse with lysosomes in the soma. Although defective neuronal autophagy is associated with neurodegeneration, the function of neuronal autophagosomes remains incompletely understood. We show that in neurons, autophagosomes promote neuronal complexity and prevent neurodegeneration in vivo via retrograde transport of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-activated TrkB receptors. p150Glued/dynactin-dependent transport of TrkB-containing autophagosomes requires their association with the endocytic adaptor AP-2, an essential protein complex previously thought to function exclusively in clathrin-mediated endocytosis. These data highlight a novel non-canonical function of AP-2 in retrograde transport of BDNF/TrkB-containing autophagosomes in neurons and reveal a causative link between autophagy and BDNF/TrkB signalling.

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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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