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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 237040 matches for " James C. Whisstock "
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A New Model for Pore Formation by Cholesterol-Dependent Cytolysins
Cyril F. Reboul,James C. Whisstock,Michelle A. Dunstone
PLOS Computational Biology , 2014, DOI: doi/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003791
Abstract: Cholesterol Dependent Cytolysins (CDCs) are important bacterial virulence factors that form large (200–300 ?) membrane embedded pores in target cells. Currently, insights from X-ray crystallography, biophysical and single particle cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) experiments suggest that soluble monomers first interact with the membrane surface via a C-terminal Immunoglobulin-like domain (Ig; Domain 4). Membrane bound oligomers then assemble into a prepore oligomeric form, following which the prepore assembly collapses towards the membrane surface, with concomitant release and insertion of the membrane spanning subunits. During this rearrangement it is proposed that Domain 2, a region comprising three β-strands that links the pore forming region (Domains 1 and 3) and the Ig domain, must undergo a significant yet currently undetermined, conformational change. Here we address this problem through a systematic molecular modeling and structural bioinformatics approach. Our work shows that simple rigid body rotations may account for the observed collapse of the prepore towards the membrane surface. Support for this idea comes from analysis of published cryo-EM maps of the pneumolysin pore, available crystal structures and molecular dynamics simulations. The latter data in particular reveal that Domains 1, 2 and 4 are able to undergo significant rotational movements with respect to each other. Together, our data provide new and testable insights into the mechanism of pore formation by CDCs.
Perforin evolved from a gene duplication of MPEG1, followed by a complex pattern of gene gain and loss within Euteleostomi
Michael E D'Angelo, Michelle A Dunstone, James C Whisstock, Joseph A Trapani, Phillip I Bird
BMC Evolutionary Biology , 2012, DOI: 10.1186/1471-2148-12-59
Abstract: We identified orthologs and homologs of human perforin in all but one species analysed from Euteleostomi, and present evidence for an earlier ortholog in Gnathostomata but not in more primitive chordates. In placental mammals perforin is a single copy gene, but there are multiple perforin genes in all lineages predating marsupials, except birds. Our comparisons of these many-to-one homologs of human perforin show that they mainly arose from lineage-specific gene duplications in multiple taxa, suggesting acquisition of new roles or different modes of regulation. We also present evidence that perforin arose from duplication of the ancient MPEG1 gene, and that it shares a common ancestor with the functionally related complement proteins.The evolution of perforin in vertebrates involved a complex pattern of gene, as well as intron, gain and loss. The primordial perforin gene arose at least 500 million years ago, at around the time that the major histocompatibility complex-T cell receptor antigen recognition system was established. As it is absent from primitive chordates and invertebrates, cytotoxic cells from these lineages must possess a different effector molecule or cytotoxic mechanism.
The AprV5 Subtilase Is Required for the Optimal Processing of All Three Extracellular Serine Proteases from Dichelobacter nodosus
Xiaoyan Han, Ruth M. Kennan, David L. Steer, A. Ian Smith, James C. Whisstock, Julian I. Rood
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0047932
Abstract: Dichelobacter nodosus is the principal causative agent of ovine footrot and its extracellular proteases are major virulence factors. Virulent isolates of D. nodosus secrete three subtilisin-like serine proteases: AprV2, AprV5 and BprV. These enzymes are each synthesized as precursor molecules that include a signal (pre-) peptide, a pro-peptide and a C-terminal extension, which are processed to produce the mature active forms. The function of the C-terminal regions of these proteases and the mechanism of protease processing and secretion are unknown. AprV5 contributes to most of the protease activity secreted by D. nodosus. To understand the role of the C-terminal extension of AprV5, we constructed a series of C-terminal-deletion mutants in D. nodosus by allelic exchange. The proteases present in the resultant mutants and their complemented derivatives were examined by protease zymogram analysis, western blotting and mass spectrometry. The results showed that the C-terminal region of AprV5 is required for the normal expression of protease activity, deletion of this region led to a delay in the processing of these enzymes. D. nodosus is an unusual bacterium in that it produces three closely related extracellular serine proteases. We have now shown that one of these enzymes, AprV5, is responsible for its own maturation, and for the optimal cleavage of AprV2 and BprV, to their mature active forms. These studies have increased our understanding of how this important pathogen processes these virulence-associated extracellular proteases and secretes them into its external environment.
PROSPER: An Integrated Feature-Based Tool for Predicting Protease Substrate Cleavage Sites
Jiangning Song, Hao Tan, Andrew J. Perry, Tatsuya Akutsu, Geoffrey I. Webb, James C. Whisstock, Robert N. Pike
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050300
Abstract: The ability to catalytically cleave protein substrates after synthesis is fundamental for all forms of life. Accordingly, site-specific proteolysis is one of the most important post-translational modifications. The key to understanding the physiological role of a protease is to identify its natural substrate(s). Knowledge of the substrate specificity of a protease can dramatically improve our ability to predict its target protein substrates, but this information must be utilized in an effective manner in order to efficiently identify protein substrates by in silico approaches. To address this problem, we present PROSPER, an integrated feature-based server for in silico identification of protease substrates and their cleavage sites for twenty-four different proteases. PROSPER utilizes established specificity information for these proteases (derived from the MEROPS database) with a machine learning approach to predict protease cleavage sites by using different, but complementary sequence and structure characteristics. Features used by PROSPER include local amino acid sequence profile, predicted secondary structure, solvent accessibility and predicted native disorder. Thus, for proteases with known amino acid specificity, PROSPER provides a convenient, pre-prepared tool for use in identifying protein substrates for the enzymes. Systematic prediction analysis for the twenty-four proteases thus far included in the database revealed that the features we have included in the tool strongly improve performance in terms of cleavage site prediction, as evidenced by their contribution to performance improvement in terms of identifying known cleavage sites in substrates for these enzymes. In comparison with two state-of-the-art prediction tools, PoPS and SitePrediction, PROSPER achieves greater accuracy and coverage. To our knowledge, PROSPER is the first comprehensive server capable of predicting cleavage sites of multiple proteases within a single substrate sequence using machine learning techniques. It is freely available at http://lightning.med.monash.edu.au/PROSP?ER/.
MUSTANG-MR Structural Sieving Server: Applications in Protein Structural Analysis and Crystallography
Arun S. Konagurthu,Cyril F. Reboul,Jason W. Schmidberger,James A. Irving,Arthur M. Lesk,Peter J. Stuckey,James C. Whisstock,Ashley M. Buckle
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010048
Abstract: A central tenet of structural biology is that related proteins of common function share structural similarity. This has key practical consequences for the derivation and analysis of protein structures, and is exploited by the process of “molecular sieving” whereby a common core is progressively distilled from a comparison of two or more protein structures. This paper reports a novel web server for “sieving” of protein structures, based on the multiple structural alignment program MUSTANG.
Fingerprinting the Substrate Specificity of M1 and M17 Aminopeptidases of Human Malaria, Plasmodium falciparum
Marcin Poreba, Sheena McGowan, Tina S. Skinner-Adams, Katharine R. Trenholme, Donald L. Gardiner, James C. Whisstock, Joyce To, Guy S. Salvesen, John P. Dalton, Marcin Drag
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0031938
Abstract: Background Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of human malaria, expresses two aminopeptidases, PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP, critical to generating a free amino acid pool used by the intraerythrocytic stage of the parasite for proteins synthesis, growth and development. These exopeptidases are potential targets for the development of a new class of anti-malaria drugs. Methodology/Principal Findings To define the substrate specificity of recombinant forms of these two malaria aminopeptidases we used a new library consisting of 61 fluorogenic substrates derived both from natural and unnatural amino acids. We obtained a detailed substrate fingerprint for recombinant forms of the enzymes revealing that PfM1AAP exhibits a very broad substrate tolerance, capable of efficiently hydrolyzing neutral and basic amino acids, while PfM17LAP has narrower substrate specificity and preferentially cleaves bulky, hydrophobic amino acids. The substrate library was also exploited to profile the activity of the native aminopeptidases in soluble cell lysates of P. falciparum malaria. Conclusions/Significance This data showed that PfM1AAP and PfM17LAP are responsible for majority of the aminopeptidase activity in these extracts. These studies provide specific substrate and mechanistic information important for understanding the function of these aminopeptidases and could be exploited in the design of new inhibitors to specifically target these for anti-malaria treatment.
MrGrid: A Portable Grid Based Molecular Replacement Pipeline
Jason W. Schmidberger,Mark A. Bate,Cyril F. Reboul,Steve G. Androulakis,Jennifer M. N. Phan,James C. Whisstock,Wojtek J. Goscinski,David Abramson,Ashley M. Buckle
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0010049
Abstract: The crystallographic determination of protein structures can be computationally demanding and for difficult cases can benefit from user-friendly interfaces to high-performance computing resources. Molecular replacement (MR) is a popular protein crystallographic technique that exploits the structural similarity between proteins that share some sequence similarity. But the need to trial permutations of search models, space group symmetries and other parameters makes MR time- and labour-intensive. However, MR calculations are embarrassingly parallel and thus ideally suited to distributed computing. In order to address this problem we have developed MrGrid, web-based software that allows multiple MR calculations to be executed across a grid of networked computers, allowing high-throughput MR.
Prodepth: Predict Residue Depth by Support Vector Regression Approach from Protein Sequences Only
Jiangning Song, Hao Tan, Khalid Mahmood, Ruby H. P. Law, Ashley M. Buckle, Geoffrey I. Webb, Tatsuya Akutsu, James C. Whisstock
PLOS ONE , 2009, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0007072
Abstract: Residue depth (RD) is a solvent exposure measure that complements the information provided by conventional accessible surface area (ASA) and describes to what extent a residue is buried in the protein structure space. Previous studies have established that RD is correlated with several protein properties, such as protein stability, residue conservation and amino acid types. Accurate prediction of RD has many potentially important applications in the field of structural bioinformatics, for example, facilitating the identification of functionally important residues, or residues in the folding nucleus, or enzyme active sites from sequence information. In this work, we introduce an efficient approach that uses support vector regression to quantify the relationship between RD and protein sequence. We systematically investigated eight different sequence encoding schemes including both local and global sequence characteristics and examined their respective prediction performances. For the objective evaluation of our approach, we used 5-fold cross-validation to assess the prediction accuracies and showed that the overall best performance could be achieved with a correlation coefficient (CC) of 0.71 between the observed and predicted RD values and a root mean square error (RMSE) of 1.74, after incorporating the relevant multiple sequence features. The results suggest that residue depth could be reliably predicted solely from protein primary sequences: local sequence environments are the major determinants, while global sequence features could influence the prediction performance marginally. We highlight two examples as a comparison in order to illustrate the applicability of this approach. We also discuss the potential implications of this new structural parameter in the field of protein structure prediction and homology modeling. This method might prove to be a powerful tool for sequence analysis.
Conformational Change in the Chromatin Remodelling Protein MENT
Poh Chee Ong, Sarah J. Golding, Mary C. Pearce, James A. Irving, Sergei A. Grigoryev, Debbie Pike, Christopher G. Langendorf, Tanya A. Bashtannyk-Puhalovich, Stephen P. Bottomley, James C. Whisstock, Robert N. Pike, Sheena McGowan
PLOS ONE , 2009, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004727
Abstract: Chromatin condensation to heterochromatin is a mechanism essential for widespread suppression of gene transcription, and the means by which a chromatin-associated protein, MENT, induces a terminally differentiated state in cells. MENT, a protease inhibitor of the serpin superfamily, is able to undergo conformational change in order to effect enzyme inhibition. Here, we sought to investigate whether conformational change in MENT is ‘fine-tuned’ in the presence of a bound ligand in an analogous manner to other serpins, such as antithrombin where such movements are reflected by a change in intrinsic tryptophan fluorescence. Using this technique, MENT was found to undergo structural shifts in the presence of DNA packaged into nucleosomes, but not naked DNA. The contribution of the four Trp residues of MENT to the fluorescence change was mapped using deconvolution analysis of variants containing single Trp to Phe mutations. The analysis indicated that the overall emission spectra is dominated by a helix-H tryptophan, but this residue did not dominate the conformational change in the presence of chromatin, suggesting that other Trp residues contained in the A-sheet and RCL regions contribute to the conformational change. Mutagenesis revealed that the conformational change requires the presence of the DNA-binding ‘M-loop’ and D-helix of MENT, but is independent of the protease specificity determining ‘reactive centre loop’. The D-helix mutant of MENT, which is unable to condense chromatin, does not undergo a conformational change, despite being able to bind chromatin, indicating that the conformational change may contribute to chromatin condensation by the serpin.
RAB-Like 2 Has an Essential Role in Male Fertility, Sperm Intra-Flagellar Transport, and Tail Assembly
Jennifer C. Y. Lo,Duangporn Jamsai,Anne E. O'Connor,Claire Borg,Brett J. Clark,James C. Whisstock,Mark C. Field,Vicki Adams,Tomomoto Ishikawa,R. John Aitken,Belinda Whittle,Christopher C. Goodnow,Christopher J. Ormandy,Moira K. O'Bryan
PLOS Genetics , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1002969
Abstract: A significant percentage of young men are infertile and, for the majority, the underlying cause remains unknown. Male infertility is, however, frequently associated with defective sperm motility, wherein the sperm tail is a modified flagella/cilia. Conversely, a greater understanding of essential mechanisms involved in tail formation may offer contraceptive opportunities, or more broadly, therapeutic strategies for global cilia defects. Here we have identified Rab-like 2 (RABL2) as an essential requirement for sperm tail assembly and function. RABL2 is a member of a poorly characterized clade of the RAS GTPase superfamily. RABL2 is highly enriched within developing male germ cells, where it localizes to the mid-piece of the sperm tail. Lesser amounts of Rabl2 mRNA were observed in other tissues containing motile cilia. Using a co-immunoprecipitation approach and RABL2 affinity columns followed by immunochemistry, we demonstrated that within developing haploid germ cells RABL2 interacts with intra-flagella transport (IFT) proteins and delivers a specific set of effector (cargo) proteins, including key members of the glycolytic pathway, to the sperm tail. RABL2 binding to effector proteins is regulated by GTP. Perturbed RABL2 function, as exemplified by the Mot mouse line that contains a mutation in a critical protein–protein interaction domain, results in male sterility characterized by reduced sperm output, and sperm with aberrant motility and short tails. Our data demonstrate a novel function for the RABL protein family, an essential role for RABL2 in male fertility and a previously uncharacterised mechanism for protein delivery to the flagellum.
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