Journal of Structural Biology

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  • Hybrid Electron Microscopy Normal Mode Analysis graphical interface and protocol
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: Available online 27 September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology

    Author(s): Carlos Oscar S. Sorzano , José Miguel de la Rosa-Trevín , Florence Tama , Slavica Jonić

    This article presents an integral graphical interface to the Hybrid Electron Microscopy Normal Mode Analysis (HEMNMA) approach that was developed for capturing continuous motions of large macromolecular complexes from single-particle EM images. HEMNMA was shown to be a good approach to analyze multiple conformations of a macromolecular complex but it could not be widely used in the EM field due to a lack of an integral interface. In particular, its use required switching among different software sources as well as selecting modes for image analysis was difficult without the graphical interface. The graphical interface was thus developed to simplify the practical use of HEMNMA. It is implemented in the open-source software package Xmipp 3.1 (http://xmipp.cnb.csic.es) and only a small part of it relies on MATLAB that is accessible through the main interface. Such integration provides the user with an easy way to perform the analysis of macromolecular dynamics and forms a direct connection to the single-particle reconstruction process. A step-by-step HEMNMA protocol with the graphical interface is given in full details in Supplementary material. The graphical interface will be useful to experimentalists who are interested in studies of continuous conformational changes of macromolecular complexes beyond the modeling of continuous heterogeneity in single particle reconstruction.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Comparative structure of vertebrate sperm chromatin
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: Available online 27 September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology

    Author(s): Juan Ausió , Rodrigo González-Romero , Christopher L. Woodcock

    A consistent feature of sperm nuclei is its exceptionally compact state in comparison with somatic nuclei. Here, we have examined the structural organization of sperm chromatin from representatives of three vertebrate lineages, bony fish (Danio rerio), birds (Gallus gallus domesticus) and mammals (Mus musculus) using light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Although the three sperm nuclei are all highly compact, they differ in morphology and in the complement of compaction-inducing proteins. Whereas zebrafish sperm retain somatic histones and a nucleosomal organization, in the rooster and mouse, histones are largely replaced by small, arginine-rich protamines. In contrast to the mouse, the rooster protamine contains no cysteine residues and lacks the potential stabilizing effects of S–S bonds. Protamine driven chromatin compaction results in a stable, highly condensed chromatin, markedly different from the somatic nucleosome-based beads-on-a-string architecture, but its structure remains poorly understood. When prepared gently for whole mount TEM, the rooster and mouse sperm chromatin reveal striking rod-like units 40–50nm in width. Also present in the mouse, which has very flattened sperm nuclei, but not rooster, where nuclei take the form of elongated cylinders, are toroidal shaped structures, with an external diameter of about 90nm. In contrast, similarly prepared zebrafish sperm exhibit nucleosomal chromatin. We also examined the early stages in the binding of salmine (the salmon protamine) to defined sequence DNA. These images suggest an initial side-by-side binding of linear DNA–protamine complexes leading to the nucleation of thin, flexible rods with the potential to bend, allowing the ends to come into contact and fuse to form toroidal structures. We discuss the relationship between these in vitro observations and the rods and toroids seen in nuclei, and suggest an explanation for the apparent absence of these structures in TEM images of fully condensed sperm nuclei.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Structural studies suggest a peptidoglycan hydrolase function for the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Tat-secreted protein Rv2525c
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: Available online 24 September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology

    Author(s): Marco Bellinzoni , Ahmed Haouz , Isabelle Miras , Sophie Magnet , Gwénaëlle André-Leroux , Raju Mukherjee , William Shepard , Stewart T. Cole , Pedro M. Alzari

    Among the few proteins shown to be secreted by the Tat system in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Rv2525c is of particular interest, since its gene is conserved in the minimal genome of Mycobacterium leprae. Previous evidence linked this protein to cell wall metabolism and sensitivity to β-lactams. We describe here the crystal structure of Rv2525c that shows a TIM barrel-like fold characteristic of glycoside hydrolases of the GH25 family, which includes prokaryotic and phage-encoded peptidoglycan hydrolases. Structural comparison with other members of this family combined with substrate docking suggest that, although the ‘neighbouring group’ catalytic mechanism proposed for this family still appears as the most plausible, the identity of residues involved in catalysis in GH25 hydrolases might need to be revised.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Cover 2 - Editorial Board
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3









    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Table of Contents / barcode
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3









    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Delineating the reaction mechanism of reductase domains of Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases from mycobacteria
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Asfarul S. Haque , Ketan D. Patel , Mandar V. Deshmukh , Arush Chhabra , Rajesh S. Gokhale , Rajan Sankaranarayanan

    Substrate binding to enzymes often follows a precise order where catalysis is accomplished through programmed conformational changes. Short-chain dehydrogenase/reductase (SDR) enzymes follow sequential order ‘bi–bi’ reaction kinetics. The mechanistic study of a SDR homolog, reductase (R) domain, from multifunctional enzymes, e.g. Nonribosomal Peptide Synthetases (NRPSs) and Polyketide Synthases (PKSs) has revealed that it reductively releases 4′-phosphopantetheinyl arm-tethered peptidyl product. We report that the R-domains of NRPSs from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (RNRP) and Mycobacterium smegmatis (RGPL) do not strictly adhere to the obligatory mode of catalysis performed by SDRs, but instead can carry out reductive catalysis of substrate following random bi–bi reaction mechanism as deciphered by NMR and SAXS studies. The crucial conformational change associated with NADPH binding necessary to achieve catalytically competent conformation is also delineated by SAXS studies. Using ITC, we have demonstrated that mutation of catalytic tyrosine to phenylalanine in R-domains results in 3–4-fold decrease in affinity for NADPH and attribute this phenomenon to loss of the noncovalent cation–π interactions present between the tyrosine and nicotinamide ring. We propose that the adaptation to an alternative theme of bi–bi catalytic mechanism enables the R-domains to process the substrates transferred by upstream domains and maintain assembly-line enzymology.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Crystal structures of Ophiostoma piceae sterol esterase: Structural insights into activation mechanism and product release
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Javier Gutiérrez-Fernández , María Eugenia Vaquero , Alicia Prieto , Jorge Barriuso , María Jesús Martínez , Juan A. Hermoso

    Sterol esterases are able to efficiently hydrolyze both sterol esters and triglycerides and to carry out synthesis reactions in the presence of organic solvents. Their high versatility makes them excellent candidates for biotechnological purposes. Sterol esterase from fungus Ophiostoma piceae (OPE) belongs to the family abH03.01 of the Candida rugosa lipase-like proteins. Crystal structures of OPE were solved in this study for the closed and open conformations. Enzyme activation involves a large displacement of the conserved lid, structural rearrangements of loop α16–α17, and formation of a dimer with a large opening. Three PEG molecules are placed in the active site, mimicking chains of the triglyceride substrate, demonstrating the position of the oxyanion hole and the three pockets that accommodate the sn-1, sn-2 and sn-3 fatty acids chains. One of them is an internal tunnel, connecting the active center with the outer surface of the enzyme 30Å far from the catalytic Ser220. Based on our structural and biochemical results we propose a mechanism by which a great variety of different substrates can be hydrolyzed in OPE paving the way for the construction of new variants to improve the catalytic properties of these enzymes and their biotechnological applications.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Crystal structure of the full-length ATPase GspE from the Vibrio vulnificus type II secretion system in complex with the cytoplasmic domain of GspL
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Connie Lu , Konstantin V. Korotkov , Wim G.J. Hol

    The type II secretion system (T2SS) is present in many Gram-negative bacteria and is responsible for secreting a large number of folded proteins, including major virulence factors, across the outer membrane. The T2SS consists of 11–15 different proteins most of which are present in multiple copies in the assembled secretion machinery. The ATPase GspE, essential for the functioning of the T2SS, contains three domains (N1E, N2E and CTE) of which the N1E domain is associated with the cytoplasmic domain of the inner membrane protein GspL. Here we describe and analyze the structure of the GspE•cyto-GspL complex from Vibrio vulnificus in the presence of an ATP analog, AMPPNP. There are three such ∼83kDa complexes per asymmetric unit with essentially the same structure. The N2E and CTE domains of a single V. vulnificus GspE subunit adopt a mutual orientation that has not been seen before in any of the previous GspE structures, neither in structures of related ATPases from other secretion systems. This underlines the tremendous conformational flexibility of the T2SS secretion ATPase. Cyto-GspL interacts not only with the N1E domain, but also with the CTE domain and is even in contact with AMPPNP. Moreover, the cyto-GspL domains engage in two types of mutual interactions, resulting in two essentially identical, but crystallographically independent, “cyto-GspL rods” that run throughout the crystal. Very similar rods are present in previous crystals of cyto-GspL and of the N1E•cyto-GspL complex. This arrangement, now seen four times in three entirely different crystal forms, involves contacts between highly conserved residues suggesting a role in the biogenesis or the secretion mechanism or both of the T2SS.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • The structural basis of differential inhibition of human calpain by indole and phenyl α-mercaptoacrylic acids
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Sarah E. Adams , Pierre J. Rizkallah , David J. Miller , Emma J. Robinson , Maurice B. Hallett , Rudolf K. Allemann

    Excessive activity of neutrophils has been linked to many pathological conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Calpain-I is a Ca2+-dependent protease that plays a key role in the extravasation of neutrophils from the blood stream prior to causing damage within affected tissues. Inhibition of calpain-I with small molecule mercaptoacrylic acid derivatives slows the cell spreading process of live neutrophils and so these compounds represent promising drug leads. Here we present the 2.05 and 2.03Å co-crystal X-ray structures of the pentaEF hand region, PEF(S), from human calpain with (Z)-3-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid and (Z)-3-(5-bromoindol-3-yl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid. In both structures, the α-mercaptoacrylic acid derivatives bind between two α-helices in a hydrophobic pocket that is also exploited by a leucine residue of the endogenous regulatory calpain inhibitor calpastatin. Hydrophobic interactions between the aromatic rings of both inhibitors and the aliphatic residues of the pocket are integral for tight binding. In the case of (Z)-3-(5-bromoindol-3-yl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid, hydrogen bonds form between the mercaptoacrylic acid substituent lying outside the pocket and the protein and the carboxylate group is coplanar with the aromatic ring system. Multiple conformations of (Z)-3-(5-bromoindol-3-yl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid were found within the pocket. The increased potency of (Z)-3-(5-bromoindol-3-yl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid relative to (Z)-3-(4-chlorophenyl)-2-mercaptoacrylic acid may be a consequence of the indole group binding more deeply in the hydrophobic pocket of PEF(S) than the phenyl ring.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Quantification of aortic and cutaneous elastin and collagen morphology in Marfan syndrome by multiphoton microscopy
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Jason Z. Cui , Arash Y. Tehrani , Kimberly A. Jett , Pascal Bernatchez , Cornelis van Breemen , Mitra Esfandiarei

    In a mouse model of Marfan syndrome, conventional Verhoeff-Van Gieson staining displays severe fragmentation, disorganization and loss of the aortic elastic fiber integrity. However, this method involves chemical fixatives and staining, which may alter the native morphology of elastin and collagen. Thus far, quantitative analysis of fiber damage in aorta and skin in Marfan syndrome has not yet been explored. In this study, we have used an advanced noninvasive and label-free imaging technique, multiphoton microscopy to quantify fiber fragmentation, disorganization, and total volumetric density of aortic and cutaneous elastin and collagen in a mouse model of Marfan syndrome. Aorta and skin samples were harvested from Marfan and control mice aged 3-, 6- and 9-month. Elastin and collagen were identified based on two-photon excitation fluorescence and second-harmonic-generation signals, respectively, without exogenous label. Measurement of fiber length indicated significant fragmentation in Marfan vs. control. Fast Fourier transform algorithm analysis demonstrated markedly lower fiber organization in Marfan mice. Significantly reduced volumetric density of elastin and collagen and thinner skin dermis were observed in Marfan mice. Cutaneous content of elastic fibers and thickness of dermis in 3-month Marfan resembled those in the oldest control mice. Our findings of early signs of fiber degradation and thinning of skin dermis support the potential development of a novel non-invasive approach for early diagnosis of Marfan syndrome.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Iron-rich ferritin in the hypoxia-tolerant rodent Spalax ehrenbergi: A naturally-occurring biomarker confirms the internalization and pathways of intracellular macromolecules
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Theodore C. Iancu , Talmon Arad , Imad Shams , Irena Manov

    The discovery of pits/caveolae in the plasmalemma advanced the study of macromolecule internalization. “Transcytosis” describes the transport of macromolecular cargo from one front of a polarized cell to the other within membrane-bounded carrier(s), via endocytosis, intracellular trafficking and exocytosis. Clathrin-mediated transcytosis is used extensively by epithelial cells, while caveolae-mediated transcytosis mostly occurs in endothelial cells. The internalization pathways were monitored by various markers, including radioisotopes, nanoparticles, enzymes, immunostains, and fluorophores. We describe an internalization pathway identified using a naturally-occurring biomarker, in vivo assembled ferritin, containing electron-dense iron cores. Iron, an essential trace metal for most living species and iron homeostasis, is crucial for cellular life. Ferritin is a ubiquitous and highly conserved archeoprotein whose main function is to store a reserve iron supply inside the cytoplasm in a non-toxic form. Ferritin is present in all organisms which have a metabolic requirement for iron and in even in organisms whose taxonomic rank is very low. The newborns of the blind mole, Spalax ehrenbergi, are born and live in a hypoxic environment and have significant iron overload in their liver and heart, but their iron metabolism has not been previously studied. These newborns, which are evolutionarily adapted to fluctuations in the environmental oxygen, have a unique ability to sequester transplacental iron and store it in ferritin without any signs of iron toxicity. Using the ferrihydrite cores of ferritin, we were able to monitor the ferritin internalization from portals of its entry into the cytosol of hepatocytes and cardiomyocytes and into the lysosomes.
    Graphical abstract




    Categories: Journal Articles
  • 3D Raman mapping of the collagen fibril orientation in human osteonal lamellae
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Susanne Schrof , Peter Varga , Leonardo Galvis , Kay Raum , Admir Masic

    Chemical composition and fibrillar organization are the major determinants of osteonal bone mechanics. However, prominent methodologies commonly applied to investigate mechanical properties of bone on the micro scale are usually not able to concurrently describe both factors. In this study, we used polarized Raman spectroscopy (PRS) to simultaneously analyze structural and chemical information of collagen fibrils in human osteonal bone in a single experiment. Specifically, the three-dimensional arrangement of collagen fibrils in osteonal lamellae was assessed. By analyzing the anisotropic intensity of the amide I Raman band of collagen as a function of the orientation of the incident laser polarization, different parameters related to the orientation of the collagen fibrils and the degree of alignment of the fibrils were derived. Based on the analysis of several osteons, two major fibrillar organization patterns were identified, one with a monotonic and another with a periodically changing twist direction. These results confirm earlier reported twisted and oscillating plywood arrangements, respectively. Furthermore, indicators of the degree of alignment suggested the presence of disordered collagen within the lamellar organization of the osteon. The results show the versatility of the analytical PRS approach and demonstrate its capability in providing not only compositional, but also 3D structural information in a complex hierarchically structured biological material. The concurrent assessment of chemical and structural features may contribute to a comprehensive characterization of the microstructure of bone and other collagen-based tissues.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Crystal structure of kiwellin, a major cell-wall protein from kiwifruit
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 3

    Author(s): Cyril Hamiaux , Ratnasiri Maddumage , Martin J. Middleditch , Roneel Prakash , David A. Brummell , Edward N. Baker , Ross G. Atkinson

    Kiwellin is a cysteine-rich, cell wall-associated protein with no known structural homologues. It is one of the most abundant proteins in kiwifruit (Actinidia spp.), and has been shown to be recognised by IgE of some patients allergic to kiwifruit. Cleavage of kiwellin into an N-terminal 4kDa peptide called kissper and a core domain called KiTH is mediated by actinidin in vitro, and isolation of the kissper peptide from green-fleshed kiwifruit extracts suggested it may result from in vivo processing of kiwellin. In solution, kissper is highly flexible and displays pore-forming activity in synthetic lipid-bilayers. We present here the 2.05Å resolution crystal structure of full-length kiwellin, purified from its native source, Actinidia chinensis (gold-fleshed kiwifruit). The structure confirms the modularity of the protein and the intrinsic flexibility of kissper and reveals that KiTH harbours a double-psi β-barrel fold hooked to an N-terminal β hairpin. Comparisons with structurally-related proteins suggest that a deep gorge located at the protein surface forms a binding site for endogenous ligands.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • New simulated annealing approach considering helix bending applied to determine the 8.8Å structure of 15-protofilament microtubules
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: Available online 1 September 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology

    Author(s): Toshihiko Ogura , Hiroaki Yajima , Ryo Nitta , Nobutaka Hirokawa , Chikara Sato

    The helix is an important motif in biological architectures. The helical structures of nanoscale proteins are principally determined by three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction from electron micrographs. However, bending or distortion of flexible helices and the low contrast of the images recorded by cryo-electron microscopy, prevent the analysis from reaching high resolution. We have developed a novel helical reconstruction method that overcomes these issues, and present the processing of microtubule images to demonstrate its application. Cropping long helical structures into small square pieces allows bending or distortion of the helices to be accounted for. The initial image-frames are automatically positioned assuming perfect helical symmetry. A simulated annealing (SA)-based algorithm is then used to adjust the framing. This is guided by the contrast of 2D averages, which serve as an accuracy index. After the initial 3D reconstruction, the position and orientation of each average image is iteratively adjusted to give the best match between the input average and the reprojection from the reconstruction. Finally, reconstructions from images recorded at different defocus values, are aligned and averaged to compensate the contrast transfer modulation and improve the resolution. The method successfully determined the structure of a 15-protofilament microtubule. The 8.8Å resolution (7.8Å using the 0.143 FSC criterion) attained allows differences between the α- and β- tubulins to be discerned in the absence of a molecular landmark such as microtubule-associated proteins, for the first time by electron microscopy. The SA-based method is applicable to other helical protein complexes and in general to helical structures.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Cover 2 - Editorial Board
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2









    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Table of Contents / barcode
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2









    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Structure of the 3.3MDa, in vitro assembled, hubless bacteriophage T4 baseplate
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2

    Author(s): Moh Lan Yap , Thomas Klose , Pavel Plevka , Anastasia Aksyuk , Xinzheng Zhang , Fumio Arisaka , Michael G. Rossmann

    The bacteriophage T4 baseplate is the control center of the virus, where the recognition of an E scherichia coli host by the long tail fibers is translated into a signal to initiate infection. The short tail fibers unfold from the baseplate for firm attachment to the host, followed by shrinkage of the tail sheath that causes the tail tube to enter and cross the periplasmic space ending with injection of the genome into the host. During this process, the 6.5MDa baseplate changes its structure from a “dome” shape to a “star” shape. An in vitro assembled hubless baseplate has been crystallized. It consists of six copies of the recombinantly expressed trimeric gene product (gp) 10, monomeric gp7, dimeric gp8, dimeric gp6 and monomeric gp53. The diffraction pattern extends, at most, to 4.0Å resolution. The known partial structures of gp10, gp8, and gp6 and their relative position in the baseplate derived from earlier electron microscopy studies were used for molecular replacement. An electron density map has been calculated based on molecular replacement, single isomorphous replacement with anomalous dispersion data and 2-fold non-crystallographic symmetry averaging between two baseplate wedges in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. The current electron density map indicates that there are structural changes in the gp6, gp8, and gp10 oligomers compared to their structures when separately crystallized. Additional density is also visible corresponding to gp7, gp53 and the unknown parts of gp10 and gp6.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Quantifying resolution limiting factors in subtomogram averaged cryo-electron tomography using simulations
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2

    Author(s): Lenard M. Voortman , Miloš Vulović , Massimiliano Maletta , Andreas Voigt , Erik M. Franken , Angelita Simonetti , Peter J. Peters , Lucas J. van Vliet , Bernd Rieger

    Cryo-electron tomography (CET) is the only available technique capable of characterizing the structure of biological macromolecules in conditions close to the native state. With the advent of subtomogram averaging, as a post-processing step to CET, resolutions in the (sub-) nanometer range have become within reach. In addition to advances in instrumentation and experiments, the reconstruction scheme has improved by inclusion of more accurate contrast transfer function (CTF) correction methods, better defocus estimation, and better alignments of the tilt-series and subtomograms. To quantify the importance of each contribution, we have split the full process from data collection to reconstruction into different steps. For the purpose of evaluation we have acquired tilt-series of ribosomes in such a way that we could precisely determine the defocus of each macromolecule. Then, we simulated tilt-series using the InSilicoTEM package and applied tomogram reconstruction and subtomogram averaging. Through large scale simulations under different conditions and parameter settings we find that tilt-series alignment is the resolution limiting factor for our experimental data. Using simulations, we find that when this alignment inaccuracy is alleviated, tilted CTF correction improves the final resolution, or equivalently, the same resolution can be achieved using less particles. Furthermore, we predict from which resolution onwards better CTF correction and defocus estimation methods are required. We obtain a final average using 3198 ribosomes with a resolution of 2.2nm on the experimental data. Our simulations suggest that with the same number of particles a resolution of 1.2nm could be achieved by improving the tilt-series alignment.





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Robust evaluation of 3D electron cryomicroscopy data using tilt-pairs
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2

    Author(s): Christopher J. Russo , Lori A. Passmore

    Determining the structure of a protein complex using electron microscopy requires the calculation of a 3D density map from 2D images of single particles. Since the individual images are taken at low electron dose to avoid radiation damage, they are noisy and difficult to align with each other. This can result in incorrect maps, making validation essential. Pairs of electron micrographs taken at known angles to each other (tilt-pairs) can be used to measure the accuracy of assigned projection orientations and verify the soundness of calculated maps. Here we establish a statistical framework for evaluating images and density maps using tilt-pairs. The directional distribution of such angular data is modelled using a Fisher distribution on the unit sphere. This provides a simple, quantitative and easily comparable metric, the concentration parameter κ, for evaluating the quality of datasets and density maps that is independent of the data collection and analysis methods. A large κ is indicative of good agreement between the particle images and the 3D density map. For structure validation, we recommend κ > 10 and a p-value <0.01. The statistical framework herein allows one to objectively answer the question: Is a reconstructed density map correct within a particular confidence interval?





    Categories: Journal Articles
  • Structural basis for salt-dependent folding of ribonuclease H1 from halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1
    [Oct 2014]

    Publication date: August 2014
    Source:Journal of Structural Biology, Volume 187, Issue 2

    Author(s): Dong-Ju You , Nujarin Jongruja , Elias Tannous , Clement Angkawidjaja , Yuichi Koga , Shigenori Kanaya

    RNase H1 from extreme halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 (Halo-RNase H1) requires ⩾2M NaCl, ⩾10mM MnCl2, or ⩾300mM MgCl2 for folding. To understand the structural basis for this salt-dependent folding of Halo-RNase H1, the crystal structure of Halo-RNase H1was determined in the presence of 10mM MnCl2. The structure of Halo-RNase H1 highly resembles those of metagenome-derived LC11-RNase H1 and Sulfolobus tokodaii RNase H1 (Sto-RNase H1), except that it contains two Mn2+ ions at the active site and has three bi-aspartate sites on its surface. To examine whether negative charge repulsion at these sites are responsible for low-salt denaturation of Halo-RNase H1, a series of the mutant proteins of Halo-RNase H1 at these sites were constructed. The far-UV CD spectra of these mutant proteins measured in the presence of various concentrations of NaCl suggest that these mutant proteins exist in an equilibrium between a partially folded state and a folded state. However, the fraction of the protein in a folded state is nearly 0% for the active site mutant, 40% for the bi-aspartate site mutant, and 70% for the mutant at both sites in the absence of salt. The active site mutant requires relatively low concentration (∼0.5M) of salt for folding. These results suggest that suppression of negative charge repulsion at both active and bi-aspartate sites by salt is necessary to yield a folded protein.





    Categories: Journal Articles