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A Combined Computational Strategy Of Sequence And Structural Analysis Predicts The Existence Of A Functional Eicosanoid Pathway In Drosophila Melanogaster, Michael Scarpati 2017 The Graduate Center, City University of New York

A Combined Computational Strategy Of Sequence And Structural Analysis Predicts The Existence Of A Functional Eicosanoid Pathway In Drosophila Melanogaster, Michael Scarpati

All Graduate Works by Year: Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

With increased understanding of their roles in signal transduction and metabolism, eicosanoids have emerged as important players in human health and disease. Mammalian prostanoids and related lipid mediators perform varied functions in different tissues and organs. Synthesized through the oxygenation of C20 polyunsaturated fatty acids, mammalian eicosanoids are both pro- and anti-inflammatory. The physiological contexts in which eicosanoid family members act at the cellular level are not well understood. In this study, we examined whether the genome of Drosophila melanogaster, a powerful model for innate immunity and inflammation, codes for the enzymes required for eicosanoid biosynthesis. We report the existence ...


Determining The Structure Of Phospholipase C Epsilon, Hannah O'Neill, Monita Sieng, Elisabeth Garland-Kuntz, Angeline Lyon 2017 Purdue University

Determining The Structure Of Phospholipase C Epsilon, Hannah O'Neill, Monita Sieng, Elisabeth Garland-Kuntz, Angeline Lyon

The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Symposium

The phospholipase C (PLC) epsilon subfamily of PLC enzymes are found at highest concentration within the cardiovascular system. Improper functioning of the enzyme, whether due to overstimulation or changes in expression, has far-reaching effects within the human body Stunted heart valve development and cardiac hypertrophy and are two such examples. The mechanisms by which PLC epsilon activity is regulated in these processes remain unknown, as does the physical structure of the enzyme. In this study, we seek to determine the structure of a PLC epsilon fragment that retains enzymatic activity and is amenable to crystallization. Mutagenesis of PLC epsilon cDNA ...


Crystal Structure Of Apobec3a Bound To Single-Stranded Dna Reveals Structural Basis For Cytidine Deamination And Specificity, Takahide Kouno, Tania V. Silvas, Brendan J. Hilbert, Shivender Shandilya, Markus-Frederik Bohn, Brian A. Kelch, William E. Royer, Mohan Somasundaran, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Hiroshi Matsuo, Celia A. Schiffer 2017 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Crystal Structure Of Apobec3a Bound To Single-Stranded Dna Reveals Structural Basis For Cytidine Deamination And Specificity, Takahide Kouno, Tania V. Silvas, Brendan J. Hilbert, Shivender Shandilya, Markus-Frederik Bohn, Brian A. Kelch, William E. Royer, Mohan Somasundaran, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Hiroshi Matsuo, Celia A. Schiffer

Celia A. Schiffer

Nucleic acid editing enzymes are essential components of the immune system that lethally mutate viral pathogens and somatically mutate immunoglobulins, and contribute to the diversification and lethality of cancers. Among these enzymes are the seven human APOBEC3 deoxycytidine deaminases, each with unique target sequence specificity and subcellular localization. While the enzymology and biological consequences have been extensively studied, the mechanism by which APOBEC3s recognize and edit DNA remains elusive. Here we present the crystal structure of a complex of a cytidine deaminase with ssDNA bound in the active site at 2.2 A. This structure not only visualizes the active ...


Molecular Mechanisms Of C-Terminal Eps15 Homology Domain Containing (Ehd) Protein Function, Kriti Bahl 2017 University of Nebraska Medical Center

Molecular Mechanisms Of C-Terminal Eps15 Homology Domain Containing (Ehd) Protein Function, Kriti Bahl

Theses & Dissertations

Endocytic trafficking is not only an essential process for the maintenance of cellular homeostasis but also plays a vital role in regulating diverse cellular processes such as signaling, migration and cell division. The C-terminal Eps 15 Homology Domain proteins (EHD1-4) play pivotal roles in regulating distinct steps of endocytic trafficking. Among the EHDs, EHD2 is disparate both in terms of sequence homology (70%) and its subcellular localization at the caveolae. The crystal structure of EHD2 has been solved and it contains an unstructured loop consisting of two proline-phenylalanine (PF) motifs: KPFRKLNPF. However, the other paralogs EHD1, EHD3 ...


Dengue Virus Ns2b/Ns3 Protease Inhibitors Exploiting The Prime Side, Kuan-Hung Lin, Akbar Ali, Linah Rusere, Djade I. Soumana, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer 2017 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Dengue Virus Ns2b/Ns3 Protease Inhibitors Exploiting The Prime Side, Kuan-Hung Lin, Akbar Ali, Linah Rusere, Djade I. Soumana, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer

Celia A. Schiffer

The mosquito-transmitted dengue virus (DENV) infects millions of people in tropical and subtropical regions. Maturation of DENV particles requires proper cleavage of the viral polyprotein, including processing of 8 of the 13 substrate cleavage sites by dengue virus NS2B/NS3 protease. With no available direct-acting antiviral targeting DENV, NS2/NS3 protease is a promising target for inhibitor design. Current design efforts focus on the nonprime side of the DENV protease active site, resulting in highly hydrophilic and nonspecific scaffolds. However, the prime side also significantly modulates DENV protease binding affinity, as revealed by engineering the binding loop of aprotinin, a ...


Transcriptomic Differentiation Underlying Marine‐To‐Freshwater Transitions In The South American Silversides Odontesthes Argentinensis And O. Bonariensis (Atheriniformes), Lily Hughes, Gustavo Somoza, Bryan Nguyen, James Bernot, Mariano Gonzalez-Castro, Juan Martin Diaz de Astarloa, Guillermo Orti 2017 George Washington University

Transcriptomic Differentiation Underlying Marine‐To‐Freshwater Transitions In The South American Silversides Odontesthes Argentinensis And O. Bonariensis (Atheriniformes), Lily Hughes, Gustavo Somoza, Bryan Nguyen, James Bernot, Mariano Gonzalez-Castro, Juan Martin Diaz De Astarloa, Guillermo Orti

Computational Biology Institute

Salinity gradients are critical habitat determinants for freshwater organisms. Silverside fishes in the genus Odontesthes have recently and repeatedly transitioned from marine to freshwater habitats, overcoming a strong ecological barrier. Genomic and transcriptomic changes involved in this kind of transition are only known for a few model species. We present new data and analyses of gene expression and microbiome composition in the gills of two closely related silverside species, marine O. argentinensis and freshwater O. bonariensis and find more than three thousand transcripts differentially expressed, with osmoregulatory/ion transport genes and immune genes showing very different expression patterns across species ...


Blocking Deprotonation With Retention Of Aromaticity In A Plant Ent-Copalyl Diphosphate Synthase Leads To Product Rearrangement, Kevin C. Potter, Jiachen Zi, Young J. Hong, Samuel Schulte, Brandi Malchow, Dean J. Tantillo, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Blocking Deprotonation With Retention Of Aromaticity In A Plant Ent-Copalyl Diphosphate Synthase Leads To Product Rearrangement, Kevin C. Potter, Jiachen Zi, Young J. Hong, Samuel Schulte, Brandi Malchow, Dean J. Tantillo, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Biosynthesis of the labdane-related diterpenoids, a large superfamily of over 7,000 natural products, is characterized by the use of class II diterpene cyclases.[1] The vast majority of these biocatalysts are exclusively found in plants, stemming from repeated evolutionary diversification of the ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS) required for gibberellin phytohormone biosynthesis – i.e., via gene duplication and neofunctionalization.[2] As implied by this evolutionary scenario, these enzymes must exhibit catalytic plasticity that enables new products to readily arise. Consistent with this hypothesis, we have shown that substitution of smaller residues for the catalytic base group can lead to the ...


Efficient Heterocyclisation By (Di)Terpene Synthases, S. Mafu, K. C. Potter, M. L. Hillwig, S. Schulte, J. Criswell, R. J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Efficient Heterocyclisation By (Di)Terpene Synthases, S. Mafu, K. C. Potter, M. L. Hillwig, S. Schulte, J. Criswell, R. J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

While cyclic ether forming terpene synthases are known, the basis for such heterocyclisation is unclear. Here it is reported that numerous (di)terpene synthases, particularly including the ancestral ent-kaurene synthase, efficiently produce isomers of manoyl oxide from the stereochemically appropriate substrate. Accordingly, such heterocyclisation is easily accomplished by terpene synthases. Indeed, the use of single residue changes to induce production of the appropriate substrate in the upstream active site leads to efficient bifunctional enzymes producing isomers of manoyl oxide, representing novel enzymatic activity.


A Functional Genomics Approach To Tanshinone Biosynthesis Provides Stereochemical Insights, Wei Gao, Matthew L. Hillwig, Luqi Huang, Guanghong Cui, Xueyong Wang, Jianqiang Kong, Bin Yang, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Chinese Academy of Chinese Medical Science

A Functional Genomics Approach To Tanshinone Biosynthesis Provides Stereochemical Insights, Wei Gao, Matthew L. Hillwig, Luqi Huang, Guanghong Cui, Xueyong Wang, Jianqiang Kong, Bin Yang, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Tanshinones are abietane-type norditerpenoid quinone natural products that are the bioactive components of the Chinese medicinal herb Salvia miltiorrhiza Bunge. The initial results from a functional genomics-based investigation of tanshinone biosynthesis, specifically the functional identification of the relevant diterpene synthases from S. miltiorrhiza, are reported. The cyclohexa-1,4-diene arrangement of the distal ring poises the resulting miltiradiene for the ensuing aromatization and hydroxylation to ferruginol suggested for tanshinone biosynthesis.


A Single Residue Switch Converts Abietadiene Synthase Into A Pimaradiene Specific Cyclase, P. Ross Wilderman, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

A Single Residue Switch Converts Abietadiene Synthase Into A Pimaradiene Specific Cyclase, P. Ross Wilderman, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Terpene synthases often catalyze complex cyclization reactions that typically represent the committed step in particular biosynthetic pathways, leading to great interest in their enzymatic mechanisms. We have recently demonstrated that substitution of a specific Ile with Thr was sufficient to “short circuit” the complex cyclization reaction normally catalyzed by ent-kaurene synthases to instead produce ent-pimaradiene. Here we report that the complex cyclization/rearrangement reaction catalyzed by abietadiene synthase can be similarly cut short to produce pimaradienes by an analogous Ser for Ala change, albeit with a slight shift in active site location to accommodate the difference in substrate ...


Interdependence Of Inhibitor Recognition In Hiv-1 Protease, Janet L. Paulsen, Florian Leidner, Debra A. Ragland, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer 2017 University of Massachusetts Medical School

Interdependence Of Inhibitor Recognition In Hiv-1 Protease, Janet L. Paulsen, Florian Leidner, Debra A. Ragland, Nese Kurt Yilmaz, Celia A. Schiffer

Celia A. Schiffer

Molecular recognition is a highly interdependent process. Subsite couplings within the active site of proteases are most often revealed through conditional amino acid preferences in substrate recognition. However, the potential effect of these couplings on inhibition and thus inhibitor design is largely unexplored. The present study examines the interdependency of subsites in HIV-1 protease using a focused library of protease inhibitors, to aid in future inhibitor design. Previously a series of darunavir (DRV) analogs was designed to systematically probe the S1' and S2' subsites. Co-crystal structures of these analogs with HIV-1 protease provide the ideal opportunity to probe subsite interdependency ...


Edaxadiene: A New Bioactive Diterpene From Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Francis M. Mann, Meimei Xu, Xiaoming Chen, D. Bruce Fulton, David G. Russell, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Edaxadiene: A New Bioactive Diterpene From Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Francis M. Mann, Meimei Xu, Xiaoming Chen, D. Bruce Fulton, David G. Russell, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a widespread and devastating human pathogen. Presented here is the characterization of an atypical class I diterpene cyclase from M. tuberculosis that catalyzes an unusual cyclization reaction in converting the known M. tuberculosis metabolite halimadienyl diphosphate to a further cyclized novel diterpene, which we have termed edaxadiene, as it directly inhibits maturation of the phagosomal compartment in which the bacterium is taken up during infection.


Insights Into Diterpene Cyclization From Structure Of Bifunctional Abietadiene Synthase From Abies Grandis, Ke Zhou, Yang Gao, Julie A. Hoy, Francis M. Mann, Richard B. Honzatko, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Insights Into Diterpene Cyclization From Structure Of Bifunctional Abietadiene Synthase From Abies Grandis, Ke Zhou, Yang Gao, Julie A. Hoy, Francis M. Mann, Richard B. Honzatko, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Abietadiene synthase from Abies grandis (AgAS) is a model system for diterpene synthase activity, catalyzing class I (ionization-initiated) and class II (protonation-initiated) cyclization reactions. Reported here is the crystal structure of AgAS at 2.3 Å resolution and molecular dynamics simulations of that structure with and without active site ligands. AgAS has three domains (α, β, and γ). The class I active site is within the C-terminal α domain, and the class II active site is between the N-terminal γ and β domains. The domain organization resembles that of monofunctional diterpene synthases and is consistent with proposed evolutionary origins of ...


Isotuberculosinol: The Unusual Case Of An Immunomodulatory Diterpenoid From Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Francis M. Mann, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Winona State University

Isotuberculosinol: The Unusual Case Of An Immunomodulatory Diterpenoid From Mycobacterium Tuberculosis, Francis M. Mann, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

The actinomycetes family of bacteria is classically considered a rich source of natural products [1]. It is often suggested that such compounds have been selected by evolution to have biological activity [2]. For example, given the microbial-rich soil environment of the actinomycetes native habitat, their natural products have been suggested to serve in chemical warfare and/or signaling, which has been further connected to their leading role in providing pharmaceutically relevant antibiotic agents [3]. Nevertheless, surprisingly few of these molecules have been definitively assigned specific physiological roles in the native producing bacteria.


Structure And Mechanism Of The Diterpene Cyclase Ent-Copalyl Diphosphate Synthase, Mustafa Köksal, Huayou Hu, Robert M. Coates, Reuben J. Peters, David D. Christianson 2017 University of Pennsylvania

Structure And Mechanism Of The Diterpene Cyclase Ent-Copalyl Diphosphate Synthase, Mustafa Köksal, Huayou Hu, Robert M. Coates, Reuben J. Peters, David D. Christianson

Reuben J. Peters

The structure of ent-copalyl diphosphate synthase (CPS) reveals three α-helical domains (α, β, γ), as also observed in the related diterpene cyclase taxadiene synthase. However, active sites are located at the interface of the βγ domains in CPS but exclusively in the α domain of taxadiene synthase. Modular domain architecture in plant diterpene cyclases enables the evolution of alternative active sites and chemical strategies for catalyzing isoprenoid cyclization reactions.


Terpenoid Synthase Structures: A So Far Incomplete View Of Complex Catalysis, Yang Gao, Richard B. Honzatko, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Terpenoid Synthase Structures: A So Far Incomplete View Of Complex Catalysis, Yang Gao, Richard B. Honzatko, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

The complexity of terpenoid natural products has drawn significant interest, particularly since their common (poly)isoprenyl origins were discovered. Notably, much of this complexity is derived from the highly variable cyclized and/or rearranged nature of the observed hydrocarbon skeletal structures. Indeed, at least in some cases it is difficult to immediately recognize their derivation from poly-isoprenyl precursors. Nevertheless, these diverse structures are formed by sequential elongation to acyclic precursors, most often with subsequent cyclization and/or rearrangement. Strikingly, the reactions used to assemble and diversify terpenoid backbones share a common carbocationic driven mechanism, although the means by which the ...


Two Rings In Them All: The Labdane-Related Diterpenoids, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Two Rings In Them All: The Labdane-Related Diterpenoids, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

In his original exposition of the biogenetic isoprenoid rule, L. Ruzicka noted the structural identity between the fused A/B rings of triterpenoids/sterols and certain multicyclic diterpenoids as part of the impetus leading to that profound insight. His prescient hypothesis that this chemical structure relationship reflects similarities in the initial cyclization of these diterpenoids with that occurring in triterpenoid biosynthesis has since been verified. However, this chemical structure relationship does not continue to hold true for the additional rings found in many of these di- and tri- terpenoid natural products. This is now appreciated to arise from differences in ...


Functional Characterization Of Wheat Copalyl Diphosphate Synthases Sheds Light On The Early Evolution Of Labdane-Related Diterpenoid Metabolism In The Cereals, Yisheng Wu, Ke Zhou, Tomonobu Toyomasu, Chizu Sugawara, Madoka Oku, Shiho Abe, Masami Usui, Wataru Mitsuhashi, Makiko Chono, Peter M. Chandler, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Functional Characterization Of Wheat Copalyl Diphosphate Synthases Sheds Light On The Early Evolution Of Labdane-Related Diterpenoid Metabolism In The Cereals, Yisheng Wu, Ke Zhou, Tomonobu Toyomasu, Chizu Sugawara, Madoka Oku, Shiho Abe, Masami Usui, Wataru Mitsuhashi, Makiko Chono, Peter M. Chandler, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Two of the most agriculturally important cereal crop plants are wheat (Triticum aestivum) and rice (Oryza sativa). Rice has been shown to produce a number of diterpenoid natural products as phytoalexins and/or allelochemicals – specifically, labdane-related diterpenoids, whose biosynthesis proceeds via formation of an eponymous labdadienyl/copalyl diphosphate (CPP) intermediate (e.g., the ent-CPP of gibberellin phytohormone biosynthesis). Similar to rice, wheat encodes a number of CPP synthases (CPS), and the three CPS characterized to date (TaCPS1,2,&3) all have been suggested to produce ent-CPP. However, several of the downstream diterpene synthases will only react with CPP intermediate of normal or syn, but not ent, stereochemistry, as described in the accompanying report. Investigation of additional CPS did not resolve this issue, as the only other functional synthase (TaCPS4) also produced ent-CPP. Chiral product characterization of all the TaCPS then revealed that TaCPS2 uniquely produces normal, rather than ent-, CPP; thus, providing a suitable substrate source for the downstream diterpene synthases. Notably, TaCPS2 is most homologous to the similarly stereochemically differentiated syn-CPP ...


A Single Residue Switch For Mg2+-Dependent Inhibition Characterizes Plant Class Ii Diterpene Cyclases From Primary And Secondary Metabolism, Francis M. Mann, Sladjana Prisic, Emily K. Davenport, Mara K. Determan, Robert M. Coates, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

A Single Residue Switch For Mg2+-Dependent Inhibition Characterizes Plant Class Ii Diterpene Cyclases From Primary And Secondary Metabolism, Francis M. Mann, Sladjana Prisic, Emily K. Davenport, Mara K. Determan, Robert M. Coates, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Class II diterpene cyclases mediate the acid-initiated cycloisomerization reaction that serves as the committed step in biosynthesis of the large class of labdane-related diterpenoid natural products, which includes the important gibberellin plant hormones. Intriguingly, these enzymes are differentially susceptible to inhibition by their Mg2+ cofactor, with those involved in gibberellin biosynthesis being more sensitive to such inhibition than those devoted to secondary metabolism, which presumably limits flux toward the potent gibberellin phytohormones. Such inhibition has been suggested to arise from intrasteric Mg2+ binding to the DXDD motif that cooperatively acts as the catalytic acid, whose affinity must then be modulated ...


Diterpenoid Biopolymers: New Directions For Renewable Materials Engineering, Matthew L. Hillwig, Francis M. Mann, Reuben J. Peters 2017 Iowa State University

Diterpenoid Biopolymers: New Directions For Renewable Materials Engineering, Matthew L. Hillwig, Francis M. Mann, Reuben J. Peters

Reuben J. Peters

Most types of ambers are naturally occurring, relatively hard, durable resinite polymers derived from the exudates of trees. This resource has been coveted for thousands of years due to its numerous useful properties in industrial processes, beauty, and purported medicinal properties. Labdane diterpenoid based ambers represent the most abundant and important resinites on earth. These resinites are a dwindling, non-renewable natural resource, so a new source of such materials needs to be established. Recent advances in sequencing technologies and biochemical engineering are rapidly accelerating the rate of identifying and assigning function to genes involved in terpenoid biosynthesis, as well as ...


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