FMP Publications

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

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Intracellular repair of oxidation-damaged alpha-synuclein fails to target C-terminal modification sites
Binolfi, A., Limatola, A., Verzini, S., Kosten, J., Theillet, F. X., Rose, H. M., Bekei, B., Stuiver, M., van Rossum, M.; Selenko, P.
Nat Commun, 7:10251

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko)

Abstract: Cellular oxidative stress serves as a common denominator in many neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease. Here we use in-cell NMR spectroscopy to study the fate of the oxidation-damaged Parkinson's disease protein alpha-synuclein (alpha-Syn) in non-neuronal and neuronal mammalian cells. Specifically, we deliver methionine-oxidized, isotope-enriched alpha-Syn into cultured cells and follow intracellular protein repair by endogenous enzymes at atomic resolution. We show that N-terminal alpha-Syn methionines Met1 and Met5 are processed in a stepwise manner, with Met5 being exclusively repaired before Met1. By contrast, C-terminal methionines Met116 and Met127 remain oxidized and are not targeted by cellular enzymes. In turn, persisting oxidative damage in the C-terminus of alpha-Syn diminishes phosphorylation of Tyr125 by Fyn kinase, which ablates the necessary priming event for Ser129 modification by CK1. These results establish that oxidative stress can lead to the accumulation of chemically and functionally altered alpha-Syn in cells.

In-Cell Protein Structures from 2D NMR Experiments
Müntener(*), T., Haussinger(*), D., Selenko, P.; Theillet, F. X.
J Phys Chem Lett, 7:2821-2825

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko)

Abstract: In-cell NMR spectroscopy provides atomic resolution insights into the structural properties of proteins in cells, but it is rarely used to solve entire protein structures de novo. Here, we introduce a paramagnetic lanthanide-tag to simultaneously measure protein pseudocontact shifts (PCSs) and residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) to be used as input for structure calculation routines within the Rosetta program. We employ this approach to determine the structure of the protein G B1 domain (GB1) in intact Xenopus laevis oocytes from a single set of 2D in-cell NMR experiments. Specifically, we derive well-defined GB1 ensembles from low concentration in-cell NMR samples ( approximately 50 muM) measured at moderate magnetic field strengths (600 MHz), thus offering an easily accessible alternative for determining intracellular protein structures.

Opposing effects of Elk-1 multisite phosphorylation shape its response to ERK activation
Mylona(*), A., Theillet, F. X., Foster(*), C., Cheng(*), T. M., Miralles(*), F., Bates(*), P. A., Selenko, P.; Treisman(*), R.
Science, 354:233-237

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko)

Abstract: Multisite phosphorylation regulates many transcription factors, including the serum response factor partner Elk-1. Phosphorylation of the transcriptional activation domain (TAD) of Elk-1 by the protein kinase ERK at multiple sites potentiates recruitment of the Mediator transcriptional coactivator complex and transcriptional activation, but the roles of individual phosphorylation events had remained unclear. Using time-resolved nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we found that ERK2 phosphorylation proceeds at markedly different rates at eight TAD sites in vitro, which we classified as fast, intermediate, and slow. Mutagenesis experiments showed that phosphorylation of fast and intermediate sites promoted Mediator interaction and transcriptional activation, whereas modification of slow sites counteracted both functions, thereby limiting Elk-1 output. Progressive Elk-1 phosphorylation thus ensures a self-limiting response to ERK activation, which occurs independently of antagonizing phosphatase activity.

1H, 13C and 15N backbone resonance assignment of the intrinsically disordered region of the nuclear envelope protein emerin
Samson(*), C., Herrada(*), I., Celli(*), F., Theillet, F. X.; Zinn-Justin(*), S.
Biomol NMR Assign, 10:179-182

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko)

Abstract: Human emerin is an inner nuclear membrane protein involved in the response of the nucleus to mechanical stress. It contributes to the physical connection between the cytoskeleton and the nucleoskeleton. It is also involved in chromatin organization. Its N-terminal region is nucleoplasmic and comprises a globular LEM domain from residue 1 to residue 43. The three-dimensional structure of this LEM domain in complex with the chromatin BAF protein was solved from NMR data. Apart from the LEM domain, the nucleoplasmic region of emerin, from residue 44 to residue 221, is predicted to be intrinsically disordered. Mutations in this region impair binding to several emerin partners as lamin A, actin or HDAC3. However the molecular details of these recognition defects are unknown. Here we report (1)H, (15)N, (13)CO, (13)Calpha and (13)Cbeta NMR chemical shift assignments of the emerin fragment from residue 67 to residue 170, which is sufficient for nuclear localization and involved in lamin A binding. Chemical shift analysis confirms that this fragment is intrinsically disordered in 0 and 8 M urea.

Structural disorder of monomeric alpha-synuclein persists in mammalian cells
Theillet, F. X., Binolfi, A., Bekei, B., Martorana(*), A., Rose, H. M., Stuiver, M., Verzini, S., Lorenz, D., van Rossum, M., Goldfarb(*), D.; Selenko, P.
Nature, 530:45-50

Tags: In-Cell NMR (Selenko), Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: Intracellular aggregation of the human amyloid protein alpha-synuclein is causally linked to Parkinson's disease. While the isolated protein is intrinsically disordered, its native structure in mammalian cells is not known. Here we use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy to derive atomic-resolution insights into the structure and dynamics of alpha-synuclein in different mammalian cell types. We show that the disordered nature of monomeric alpha-synuclein is stably preserved in non-neuronal and neuronal cells. Under physiological cell conditions, alpha-synuclein is amino-terminally acetylated and adopts conformations that are more compact than when in buffer, with residues of the aggregation-prone non-amyloid-beta component (NAC) region shielded from exposure to the cytoplasm, which presumably counteracts spontaneous aggregation. These results establish that different types of crowded intracellular environments do not inherently promote alpha-synuclein oligomerization and, more generally, that intrinsic structural disorder is sustainable in mammalian cells.

Lipid dynamics in boar sperm studied by advanced fluorescence imaging techniques
Schröter(*), F., Jakop(*), U., Teichmann, A., Haralampiev(*), I., Tannert(*), A., Wiesner, B., Müller(*), P.; Müller(*), K.
European biophysics journal : EBJ, 45:149-163

Tags: Cellular Imaging (Wiesner)

Abstract: The (re)organization of membrane components is of special importance to prepare mammalian sperm to fertilization. Establishing suitable methods to examine physico-chemical membrane parameters is of high interest. We characterized the behavior of fluorescent (NBD) analogs of sphingomyelin (SM), phosphatidylserine (PS), and cholesterol (Ch) in the acrosomal and postacrosomal macrodomain of boar sperm. Due to their specific transverse membrane distribution, a leaflet-specific investigation of membrane properties is possible. The behavior of lipid analogs in boar sperm was investigated by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP), and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (FCS). The results were compared with regard to the different temporal and spatial resolution of the methods. For the first time, fluorescence lifetimes of lipid analogs were determined in sperm cell membrane and found to be in a range characteristic for the liquid-disordered phase in artificial lipid membranes. FLIM analyses further indicate a more fluid microenvironment of NBD-Ch and NBD-PS in the postacrosomal compared to the acrosomal region. The concept of a more fluid cytoplasmic leaflet is supported by lower fluorescence lifetime and higher average D values (FCS) for NBD-PS in both head compartments. Whereas FLIM analyses did not indicate coexisting distinct liquid-ordered and -disordered domains in any of the head regions, comparisons between FRAP and FCS measurements suggest the incorporation of NBD-SM as well as NBD-PS in postacrosomal subpopulations with different diffusion velocity. The analog-specific results indicate that the lipid analogs used are suitable to report on the various physicochemical properties of different microenvironments.

RIM-binding protein 2 regulates release probability by fine-tuning calcium channel localization at murine hippocampal synapses
Grauel(*), M. K., Maglione, M., Reddy-Alla(*), S., Willmes(*), C. G., Brockmann(*), M. M., Trimbuch(*), T., Rosenmund(*), T., Pangalos(*), M., Vardar(*), G., Stumpf(*), A., Walter, A. M., Rost(*), B. R., Eickholt(*), B. J., Haucke, V., Schmitz(*), D., Sigrist(*), S. J.; Rosenmund(*), C.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113:11615-11620

Tags: Molecular Pharmacology and Cell Biology (Haucke), Molecular and Theoretical Neuroscience (Walter)

Abstract: The tight spatial coupling of synaptic vesicles and voltage-gated Ca2+ channels (CaVs) ensures efficient action potential-triggered neurotransmitter release from presynaptic active zones (AZs). Rab-interacting molecule-binding proteins (RIM-BPs) interact with Ca2+ channels and via RIM with other components of the release machinery. Although human RIM-BPs have been implicated in autism spectrum disorders, little is known about the role of mammalian RIM-BPs in synaptic transmission. We investigated RIM-BP2-deficient murine hippocampal neurons in cultures and slices. Short-term facilitation is significantly enhanced in both model systems. Detailed analysis in culture revealed a reduction in initial release probability, which presumably underlies the increased short-term facilitation. Superresolution microscopy revealed an impairment in CaV2.1 clustering at AZs, which likely alters Ca2+ nanodomains at release sites and thereby affects release probability. Additional deletion of RIM-BP1 does not exacerbate the phenotype, indicating that RIM-BP2 is the dominating RIM-BP isoform at these synapses.

Antifungal membranolytic activity of the tyrocidines against filamentous plant fungi
Rautenbach(*), M., Troskie(*), A. M., Vosloo(*), J. A.; Dathe, M. E.
Biochimie, 130:122-131

Tags: Peptide-Lipid-Interaction/ Peptide Transport (Dathe)

Abstract: The tyrocidines and analogues are cyclic decapeptides produced by Brevibacillus parabrevis with a conserved sequence of cyclo(D-Phe1-Pro2-X3-x4-Asn5-Gln6-X7-Val8-X9-Leu10) with Trp3,4/Phe3,4 in the aromatic dipeptide unit, Lys9/Orn9 as their cationic residue and Tyr (tyrocidines), Trp (tryptocidines) or Phe (phenicidines) in position 7. Previous studies indicated they have a broad antifungal spectrum with the peptides containing a Tyr residue in position 7 being more active than those with a Phe or Trp residue in this position. Detailed analysis of antifungal inhibition parameters revealed that Phe3-D-Phe4 in the aromatic dipeptide unit lead to more consistent activity against the three filamentous fungi in this study. These peptides exhibited high membrane activity and fast leakage kinetics against model membranes emulating fungal membranes, with selectivity towards ergosterol containing membranes. More fluid membranes and doping of liposomes with the sphingolipid, glucosylceramide, led to a decreased permeabilising activity. Peptide-induced uptake of membrane impermeable dyes was observed in hyphae of both Fusarium solani and Botrytis cinerea, with uptake more pronounced at the hyphal growth tips that are known to contain ergosterol-sphigolipid rich lipid rafts. Tyrocidine interaction with these rafts may lead to the previously observed fungal hyperbranching. However, the leakage of model membranes and Bot. cinerea did not correlate directly with the antifungal inhibition parameters, indicating another target or mode of action. Proteinase K treatment of target fungi had a minimal influence or even improved the tyrocidine activity, ruling out a mannoprotein target in the fungal cell wall. beta-glucanase treatment of Bot. cinerea did not significantly affect the tyrocidine activity, but there was a significant loss in activity towards the beta-glucanase treated F. solani. This study showed the tyrocidine antifungal membrane activity is selective towards ergosterol and possibly lipid rafts, but also point to additional targets such as the cell wall beta-glucans that could modulate their activity.

Reversible Opening of Intercellular Junctions of Intestinal Epithelial and Brain Endothelial Cells With Tight Junction Modulator Peptides
Bocsik(*), A., Walter(*), F. R., Gyebrovszki(*), A., Fulop(*), L., Blasig, I., Dabrowski, S., Otvos(*), F., Toth(*), A., Rakhely(*), G., Veszelka(*), S., Vastag(*), M., Szabo-Revesz(*), P.; Deli(*), M. A.
Journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 105:754-765

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

Abstract: The intercellular junctions restrict the free passage of hydrophilic compounds through the paracellular clefts. Reversible opening of the tight junctions of biological barriers is investigated as one of the ways to increase drug delivery to the systemic circulation or the central nervous system. Six peptides, ADT-6, HAV-6, C-CPE, 7-mer (FDFWITP, PN-78), AT-1002, and PN-159, acting on different integral membrane and linker junctional proteins were tested on Caco-2 intestinal epithelial cell line and a coculture model of the blood-brain barrier. All peptides tested in nontoxic concentrations showed a reversible tight junctions modulating effect and were effective to open the paracellular pathway for the marker molecules fluorescein and albumin. The change in the structure of cell-cell junctions was verified by immunostaining for occludin, claudin-4,-5, ZO-1, beta-catenin, and E-cadherin. Expression levels of occludin and claudins were measured in both models. We could demonstrate a selectivity of C-CPE, ADT-6, and HAV-6 peptides for epithelial cells and 7-mer and AT-1002 peptides for brain endothelial cells. PN-159 was the most effective modulator of junctional permeability in both models possibly acting via claudin-1 and -5. Our results indicate that these peptides can be effectively and selectively used as potential pharmaceutical excipients to improve drug delivery across biological barriers.

The sclerostin-neutralizing antibody AbD09097 recognizes an epitope adjacent to sclerostin's binding site for the Wnt co-receptor LRP6
Boschert(*), V., Frisch(*), C., Back(*), J. W., van Pee(*), K., Weidauer(*), S. E., Muth(*), E. M., Schmieder, P., Beerbaum, M., Knappik(*), A., Timmerman(*), P.; Mueller(*), T. D.
Open biology, 6

Tags: Solution NMR (Schmieder)

Abstract: The glycoprotein sclerostin has been identified as a negative regulator of bone growth. It exerts its function by interacting with the Wnt co-receptor LRP5/6, blocks the binding of Wnt factors and thereby inhibits Wnt signalling. Neutralizing anti-sclerostin antibodies are able to restore Wnt activity and enhance bone growth thereby presenting a new osteoanabolic therapy approach for diseases such as osteoporosis. We have generated various Fab antibodies against human and murine sclerostin using a phage display set-up. Biochemical analyses have identified one Fab developed against murine sclerostin, AbD09097 that efficiently neutralizes sclerostin's Wnt inhibitory activity. In vitro interaction analysis using sclerostin variants revealed that this neutralizing Fab binds to sclerostin's flexible second loop, which has been shown to harbour the LRP5/6 binding motif. Affinity maturation was then applied to AbD09097, providing a set of improved neutralizing Fab antibodies which particularly bind human sclerostin with enhanced affinity. Determining the crystal structure of AbD09097 provides first insights into how this antibody might recognize and neutralize sclerostin. Together with the structure-function relationship derived from affinity maturation these new data will foster the rational design of new and highly efficient anti-sclerostin antibodies for the therapy of bone loss diseases such as osteoporosis.

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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
+4930 94793 - 100 
+4930 94793 - 109 (Fax)

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