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Neurodegenerative and cognitive disorders are multifactorial diseases (i.e., involving neurodevelopmental, genetic, age or environmental factors) that are characterized by an abnormal development affecting neuronal function and integrity. Recently, an increasing number of studies revealed that the dysregulation of microRNAs (miRNAs) may be involved in the etiology of cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington’s diseases, Schizophrenia and Autism spectrum disorders. MiRNAs are a class of small non-coding RNAs that regulate gene expression through a base pairing mechanism with their target mRNAs, thereby inducing translational repression or mRNA degradation. Intriguingly, 70 % of known miRNAs are expressed in the brain while functional studies indicate that they play crucial roles in brain development by regulating key signaling pathways involved in synaptogenesis, neuronal plasticity, neurite outgrowth and memory processes. Further, the relevance of modulating miRNA expression levels to correct neurocognitive disorders is supported by the increasing number of studies demonstrating a link between miRNA dysregulation and the etiology and/or pathophysiology of cognitive dysfunction in several neurologic and neuropsychiatric disorders. This suggests that miRNAs might be used as diagnosis markers and/or could be exploited for therapeutic interventions. In this review, we first briefly summarize the basic molecular events involved in memory, a process inherent to cognitive disease, and then describe the role of miRNAs in neurodevelopment, synaptic plasticity and memory. Secondly, we provide an overview of the impact of miRNA dysregulation in the pathogenesis of different neurocognitive disorders, and lastly discuss the feasibility of miRNA-based therapeutics in the treatment of these cognitive disorders. This last part will be discussed in detail in the following review.
Active G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) conformations not only are promoted by agonists but also occur in their absence, leading to constitutive activity. Association of GPCRs with intracellular protein partners might be one of the mechanisms underlying GPCR constitutive activity. Here, we show that serotonin 5 hydroxytryptamine 6 (5-HT6) receptor constitutively activates the Gs/adenylyl cyclase pathway in various cell types, including neurons. Constitutive activity is strongly reduced by silencing expression of the Ras-GTPase activating protein (Ras-GAP) neurofibromin, a 5-HT6 receptor partner. Neurofibromin is a multidomain protein encoded by the NF1 gene, the mutation of which causes Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), a genetic disorder characterized by multiple benign and malignant nervous system tumors and cognitive deficits. Disrupting association of 5-HT6 receptor with neurofibromin Pleckstrin Homology (PH) domain also inhibits receptor constitutive activity, and PH domain expression rescues 5-HT6 receptor-operated cAMP signaling in neurofibromin-deficient cells. Furthermore, PH domains carrying mutations identified in NF1 patients that prevent interaction with the 5-HT6 receptor fail to rescue receptor constitutive activity in neurofibromin-depleted cells. Further supporting a role of neurofibromin in agonist-independent Gs signaling elicited by native receptors, the phosphorylation of cAMP-responsive element-binding protein (CREB) is strongly decreased in prefrontal cortex of Nf1+/− mice compared with WT mice. Moreover, systemic administration of a 5-HT6 receptor inverse agonist reduces CREB phosphorylation in prefrontal cortex of WT mice but not Nf1+/− mice. Collectively, these findings suggest that disrupting 5-HT6 receptor–neurofibromin interaction prevents agonist-independent 5-HT6 receptor-operated cAMP signaling in prefrontal cortex, an effect that might underlie neuronal abnormalities in NF1 patients.
Many genes are now thought to confer susceptibility to autism. Despite the fact that this neuropsychiatric disease appears to be related to several different causes, common cellular and molecular pathways have emerged and point to synaptic dysfunction or cellular growth. Several studies have indicated the importance of the ubiquitin pathway in synaptic function and the aetiology of autism. Here, we focused on the ring finger protein 135 (RNF135) gene, encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase expressed in the cortex and cerebellum, and located in the NF1 gene locus in 17q11.2, a region linked to autism. We carried out a genetic analysis of the coding sequence of RFN135 in a French cohort of patients with autism and observed a significantly increased frequency of genotypes carrying the rare allele of the rs111902263 (p.R115K) missense variant in patients (P=0.0019, odds ratio : 4.23, 95% confidence interval : 1.87-9.57). Particularly, three unrelated patients showed a homozygous genotype for K115, a situation not observed in the 1812 control individuals. Further cellular and molecular studies are required to elucidate the role of this gene and the variant K115 in brain development and neuronal function.
We finally present the existence of a cofilin-independent pathway also involved in neuronal function. A better understanding of the differences between both LIMKs and of the precise molecular mechanisms involved in their mode of action and regulation is now required to improve our understanding of the physiopathology of the neuronal diseases associated with LIMKs.
Background and Purpose The transmembrane protein LINGO-1 is a negative regulator in the nervous system mainly affecting axonal regeneration, neuronal survival, oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelination. However, the molecular mechanisms regulating its functions are poorly understood. In the present study, we investigated the formation and the role of LINGO-1 cis-dimers in the regulation of its biological activity. Experimental Approach LINGO-1 homodimers were identified in both HEK293 and SH-SY5Y cells using co-immunoprecipitation experiments and BRET saturation analysis. We performed a hypothesis-driven screen for identification of small-molecule protein–protein interaction modulators of LINGO-1 using a BRET-based assay, adapted for screening. The compound identified was further assessed for effects on LINGO-1 downstream signalling pathways using Western blotting analysis and AlphaScreen technology. Key Results LINGO-1 was present as homodimers in primary neuronal cultures. LINGO-1 interacted homotypically in cis-orientation and LINGO-1 cis-dimers were formed early during LINGO-1 biosynthesis. A BRET-based assay allowed us to identify phenoxybenzamine as the first conformational modulator of LINGO-1 dimers. In HEK-293 cells, phenoxybenzamine was a positive modulator of LINGO-1 function, increasing the LINGO-1-mediated inhibition of EGF receptor signalling and Erk phosphorylation. Conclusions and Implications Our data suggest that LINGO-1 forms constitutive cis-dimers at the plasma membrane and that low MW compounds affecting the conformational state of these dimers can regulate LINGO-1 downstream signalling pathways. We propose that targeting the LINGO-1 dimerization interface opens a new pharmacological approach to the modulation of its function and provides a new strategy for drug discovery.
New pyridazino[4,5-b]indol-4-ones and pyridazin-3(2H)-one analogs were synthesized and their inhibitory activities against DYRK1A, CDK5/p25, GSK3α/β and p110-α isoform of PI3K evaluated using harmine as reference. Both furan-2-yl 10 and pyridin-4-yl 19 from the two different series, exhibited submicromolar IC50 against DYRK1A with no activities against the three other kinases. In addition, compound 10 exhibited antiproliferative activities in the Huh-7, Caco2 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines.
A series of (5Z)-5-ylidene-thiazolidine-4-one derivatives bearing the N-(4,5-dihalogenopyrrol-2-yl)carbamoyl fragment of Dispacamide A was prepared through a newly developed approach using a solution phase protocol assisted by microwave irradiation. These new compounds were synthesized in good yields (10-98%) by sulphur/nitrogen displacement or eventually by Knoevenagel condensation in the presence of a base (AcONa) in AcOH solution. The ten synthetic products have been obtained with a Z-geometry about their exocyclic double bond. All these compounds have been evaluated against eight protein kinases and human cell lines.
Human kinases are one of the most promising targets for cancer therapy. Methods able to measure the effects of drugs on these cell agents remain crucial for biologists and medicinal chemists. The current work therefore sought to develop an in-capillary enzymatic assay based on capillary electrophoresis (CE) to evaluate the inhibition of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K), protein kinase B (Akt), and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). These kinases belong to the same signaling pathway PI3K/Akt/mTOR. For this proposal, the capillary was used as a nanoreactor in which a few nanoliters of the kinase, its substrate, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and the potent inhibitor were separately injected. A transverse diffusion of laminar flow profiles (TDLFP) approach was employed to mix the reactants. Adenosine diphosphate (ADP ) was detected online at 254 nm. The CE assay was first developed on the alpha isoform of PI3K. It was compared to five commercial kits frequently used to assess kinase inhibition, based on time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer (TR-FRET) and bioluminescence. Each assay was evaluated in terms of sensitivity (S/B), reproducibility (Z’), and variability (r (2)). This CE method was easily extended to assay the inhibition of the beta, gamma, and delta isoforms of PI3K, and of the other kinases of the pathway, Akt1 and mTOR, since it is based on in-capillary mixing by TDLFP and on ADP quantification by simple UV absorption. This work shows for the first time the evaluation of inhibitors of the kinases of the PI3K/Akt/mTOR pathway using a common in-capillary CE assay. Several inhibitors with a wide range of affinity toward these enzymes were tested.
The design, synthesis, and screening of dual PI3K/mTOR inhibitors that gave nanomolar enzymatic and cellular activities on both targets with an acceptable kinase selectivity profile are described. A docking study was performed to understand the binding mode of the compounds and to explain the differences in biological activity. In addition, cellular effects of the best dual inhibitors were determined on six cancer cell lines and compared to those on a healthy diploid cell line for cellular cytotoxicity. Two compounds are highly potent on cancer cells in the submicromolar range without any toxicity on healthy cells. A more detailed analysis of the cellular effect of these PI3K/mTOR dual inhibitors demonstrated that they induce GI-phase cell cycle arrest in breast cancer cells and trigger apoptosis. These compounds show an interesting kinase profile as dual PI3K/mTOR tool compounds or as a chemical series for further optimization to progress into in vivo experiments.
In poplar, we identified proteins homologous to yeast proteins involved in osmosensing multistep phosphorelay Sln1p-Ypd1p-Ssk1p. This finding led us to speculate that Populus cells could sense osmotic stress by a similar mechanism. This study focuses on first and second protagonists of this possible pathway : a histidine-aspartate kinase (HK1), putative osmosensor and histidine phosphotransfer proteins (HPt1 to 10), potential partners of this HK. Characterization of HK1 showed its ability to homodimerize in two-hybrid tests and to act as an osmosensor with a kinase activity in yeast, by functional complementation of sln1Δ sho1Δ strain. Moreover, in plant cells, plasma membrane localization of HK1 is shown. Further analysis on HPts allowed us to isolate seven new cDNAs, leading to a total of 10 different HPts identified in poplar. Interaction tests showed that almost all HPts can interact with HK1, but two of them exhibit stronger interactions, suggesting a preferential partnership in poplar. The importance of the phosphorylation status in these interactions has been investigated with two-hybrid tests carried out with mutated HK1 forms. Finally, in planta co-expression analysis of genes encoding these potential partners revealed that only three HPts are co-expressed with HK1 in different poplar organs. This result reinforces the hypothesis of a partnership between HK1 and these three preferential HPts in planta. Taken together, these results shed some light on proteins partnerships that could be involved in the osmosensing pathway in Populus.
A series of novel 5-benzylated 4-oxo-3,4-dihydro-5H-pyridazino[4,5-b]indoles was synthesized through a newly developed approach. All these compounds were evaluated against DYRK1A, CDK5 and PI3Kα and showed promising inhibitory activities against PI3Kα with most IC50 values in the micromolar range. Among them, compound 18 was strongly considered as the most interesting compound with an IC50 value of 0.091 μM. This series exhibited also significant anti-proliferative effects in various human cancer cell lines including those resulting in activation of the PI3K pathway.
Ras GTPases mediate numerous biological processes through their ability to cycle between an inactive GDP-bound form and an active GTP-bound form. Guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) favor the formation of the active Ras-GTP, whereas GTPase activating proteins (GAPs) promote the formation of inactive Ras-GDP. Numerous studies have established complex signaling cross-talks between Ras GTPases and other members of the superfamily of small GTPases. GEFs were thought to play a major role in these cross-talks. However, recently GAPs were also shown to play crucial roles in these processes. Among RasGAPs, Nf1 is of special interest. Nf1 is responsible for the genetic disease Neurofibromatosis type I, and recent data strongly suggest that this RasGAP connects different signaling pathways.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS :
In order to know if the RasGAP Nf1 might play a role in connecting Ras GTPases to other small GTPase pathways, we systematically looked for new partners of Nf1, by performing a yeast two-hybrid screening on its SecPH domain. LIMK2, a major kinase of the Rho/ROCK/LIMK2/cofilin pathway, was identified in this screening. We confirmed this interaction by co-immunoprecipitation experiments, and further characterized it. We also demonstrated its specificity : the close related homolog of LIMK2, LIMK1, does not interact with the SecPH domain of Nf1. We then showed that SecPH partially inhibits the kinase activity of LIMK2 on cofilin. Our results furthermore suggest a precise mechanism for this inhibition : in fact, SecPH would specifically prevent LIMK2 activation by ROCK, its upstream regulator.
Although previous data had already connected Nf1 to actin cytoskeleton dynamics, our study provides for the first time possible detailed molecular requirements of this involvement. Nf1/LIMK2 interaction and inhibition allows to directly connect neurofibromatosis type I to actin cytoskeleton remodeling, and provides evidence that the RasGAP Nf1 mediates a new cross-talk between Ras and Rho signaling pathways within the superfamily of small GTPases.
Lim kinase 2 isoforms, LIMK2a and LIMK2b, phosphorylate cofilin leading to remodeling of actin cytoskeleton during neuronal differentiation. The expression and function of the LIMK2d isoform, missing the kinase domain, remain unknown. We analyzed the expression of LIMK2 splice variants in adult rat brain and in cultures of rat neural stem cells by RT-QPCR. All three splice variants were expressed in adult cortex, hippocampus and cerebellum. Limk2a and Limk2d expression, but not Limk2b, increased during neuronal differentiation. We studied the localization and function of LIMK2d isoform by transfecting Hela, NSC-34, and hippocampal rat neuron cultures. Similarly to LIMK2b, LIMK2d was expressed in the cytoplasm, neurites and dendritic spines, but not in the nucleus. Similarly to LIMK2a, LIMK2d over-expression in NSC-34 cells increased neurite length, but independently of cofilin phosphorylation or of direct interaction with actin. Overall, these results indicate that LIMK2d is a third LIMK2 isoform which regulates neurite extension and highlights the possible existence of a kinase independent function of LIMK2.
Plant LIM domain proteins may act as transcriptional activators of lignin biosynthesis and/or as actin binding and bundling proteins. Plant LIM genes have evolved in phylogenetic subgroups differing in their expression profiles : in the whole plant or specifically in pollen. However, several poplar PtLIM genes belong to uncharacterized monophyletic subgroups and the expression patterns of the LIM gene family in a woody plant have not been studied.
In this work, the expression pattern of the twelve duplicated poplar PtLIM genes has been investigated by semi quantitative RT-PCR in different vegetative and reproductive tissues. As in other plant species, poplar PtLIM genes were widely expressed in the tree or in particular tissues. Especially, PtXLIM1a, PtXLIM1b and PtWLIM1b genes were preferentially expressed in the secondary xylem, suggesting a specific function in wood formation. Moreover, the expression of these genes and of the PtPLIM2a gene was increased in tension wood. Western-blot analysis confirmed the preferential expression of PtXLIM1a protein during xylem differentiation and tension wood formation. Genes classified within the pollen specific PLIM2 and PLIM2-like subgroups were all strongly expressed in pollen but also in cottony hairs. Interestingly, pairs of duplicated PtLIM genes exhibited different expression patterns indicating subfunctionalisations in specific tissues.
The strong expression of several LIM genes in cottony hairs and germinating pollen, as well as in xylem fibers suggests an involvement of plant LIM domain proteins in the control of cell expansion. Comparisons of expression profiles of poplar LIM genes with the published functions of closely related plant LIM genes suggest conserved functions in the areas of lignin biosynthesis, pollen tube growth and mechanical stress response. Based on these results, we propose a novel nomenclature of poplar LIM domain proteins.
The PEBP (phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein) family is a large group of proteins whose human member, hPEBP1, has been shown to play multiple functions, influencing intracellular signaling cascades, cell cycle regulation, neurodegenerative processes, and reproduction. It also acts, by an unknown mechanism, as a metastasis suppressor in a number of cancers. A more complete understanding of its biological role is thus necessary. As the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a powerful and easy to handle model organism, we focused on Tfs1p, the yeast ortholog of hPEBP1. In a previous study based on a two-hybrid approach, we showed that Tfs1p interacts and inhibits Ira2p, a GTPase Activating Protein (GAP) of the small GTPase Ras. In order to further characterize the molecular functions of Tfs1p, we undertook the identification of protein complexes formed around Tfs1p using a targeted proteomics approach. Complexed proteins were purified by tandem-affinity, cleaved with trypsin, and identified by nanoflow liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry. Overall, 14 new interactors were identified, including several proteins involved in intermediate metabolism. We confirmed by co-immunoprecipitation that Tfs1p interacts with Glo3p, a GAP for Arf GTPases belonging to the Ras superfamily of small GTPases, indicating that Tfs1p may be involved in the regulation of another GAP. We similarly confirmed the binding of Tfs1p with the metabolic enzymes Idp1p and Pro1p. Integration of these results with known functional partners of Tfs1p shows that two subnetworks meet through the Tfs1p node, suggesting that it may act as a bridge between cell signaling and intermediate metabolism in yeast.
Neurofibromatosis type 1 is a common genetic disease that causes nervous system tumors, and cognitive deficits. It is due to mutations within the NF1 gene, which encodes the Nf1 protein. Nf1 has been shown to be involved in the regulation of Ras, cAMP and actin cytoskeleton dynamics. In this study, using immunofluorescence experiments, we have shown a partial nuclear localization of Nf1 in the astrocytoma cell line : CCF and we have demonstrated that Nf1 partially colocalizes with PML (promyelocytic leukemia) nuclear bodies. A direct interaction between Nf1 and the multiprotein complex has further been demonstrated using ‘‘in situ’’ proximity ligation assay (PLA).
Tfs1p and Ylr179cp are yeast proteins belonging to the PEBP family. Tfs1p, but not Ylr179cp, has been shown to interact with and inhibit Ira2p, a GTPase-activating protein of Ras. Tfs1p has been shown to be a specific inhibitor of the CPY protease and the 3D structure of the complex has been resolved. To shed light on the molecular determinants of Tfs1p involved in the Tfs1/Ira2 interaction, the 3D structure of Ylr179cp has been modelled and compared to that of Tfs1p. Tfs1p point mutants and Tfs1 hybrid proteins combining regions of Tfs1p and Ylr179cp were also designed and their function was tested. Results, interpreted from a structural point of view, show that the accessibility of the surface pocket of Tfs1p, its N-terminal region and the specific electrostatic properties of a large surface region containing these two elements, play a crucial role in this interaction. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
To study the Populits response to an osmotic stress, we have isolated one cDNA encoding a histidine-aspartate kinase (HK1) and four cDNAs encoding histidine-containing phosphotransfer proteins (HPts), HPt1-4. The predicted HK1 protein shares a typical structure with ATHK1 and SLN1 osmosensors. The 4 HPTs are characterized by the histidine phosphotransfer domain. We have shown that HK1 is upregulated during an osmotic stress in hydroponic culture. We have detected an interaction between HK1 and HPt2, using the yeast two-hybrid system. These results suggest the existence of a multi-step phosphorelay pathway probably involved in osmotic stress sensing in Populus. (c) 2005 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Yhr049w/FSH1 was recently identified in a combined computational and experimental proteomics analysis for the detection of active serine hydrolases in yeast. This analysis suggested that FSH1 might be a serine-type hydrolase belonging to the broad functional alpha beta-hydrolase superfamily. In order to get insight into the molecular function of this gene, it was targeted in our yeast structural genomics project. The crystal structure of the protein confirms that it contains a Ser/His/Asp catalytic triad that is part of a minimal alpha beta-hydrolase fold. The architecture of the putative active site and analogies with other protein structures suggest that FSH1 may be an esterase. This finding was further strengthened by the unexpected presence of a compound covalently bound to the catalytic serine in the active site. Apparently, the enzyme was trapped with a reactive compound during the purification process.
Ras proteins are guanine nucleotide-binding proteins that are highly conserved among eukaryotes. They are involved in signal transduction pathways and are tightly regulated by two sets of antagonistic proteins : GTPase-activating proteins (GAPs) inhibit Ras proteins, whereas guanine exchange factors activate them. In this work, we describe Tfs1p, the first physiological inhibitor of a Ras GAP, Ira2p, in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. TFS1 is a multicopy suppressor of the cdc25-1 mutation in yeast and corresponds to the so-called Ic CPY cytoplasmic inhibitor.
Most of the proteins secreted in the epididymis are produced by the proximal region, and several of them are secreted in abundance. Many of these major proteins have now been identified, including a new epididymis-specific RNase A-like Train A protein, which has been recently described in several mammals. This protein is expressed and secreted exclusively in the initial part of the epididymis. RNase A activity was analyzed in the fluids from the testis and from different epididymal regions, but in no case was the Train A protein found to have RNase A activity. The protein was present only in the luminal fluid of the epididymal region that secreted it. Using an in vitro/in vivo microperfusion technique and immunogold electron microscopy labeling, we demonstrated that the epithelium that secreted it specifically reabsorbed the protein that was present in the lumen of the tubule.
The aim of this review is to describe an in vivo assay of the interactions taking place in the Tol-Pal or TonB-ExbB-ExbD envelope complexes in the periplasm of Escherichia coli and between them and colicins or g3p protein of filamentous bacteriophages. Domains of colicins or periplasmic soluble domains of Tol or TonB proteins can be artificially addressed to the periplasm of bacteria by fusing them to a signal sequence from an exported protein. These domains interact specifically in the periplasm with the Tol or TonB complexes and disturb their function, which can be directly detected by the appearance of specific tol or tonB phenotypes. This technique can be used to detect new interactions, to characterize them biochemically and to map them or to induce tol or tonB phenotypes to study the functions of these two complexes. 0 2002 Societe francaise de biochimie et biologie moleculaire / Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved.
In rat and human cells, RKIP (previously known as PEEP) was characterized as an inhibitor of the MEK phosphorylation by Raf-l. In Escherichia coli, the genes ybhb and ybcl possibly encode two RKIP homologues while in the genomes of other bacteria and archaebacteria other homologous genes of RKIP have been found. The parallel between the cellular signaling mechanisms in eukaryotes and prokaryotes suggests that these bacterial proteins could be involved in the regulation of protein phosphorylation by kinases as well. We first showed that the proteins YBHB and YBCL were present in the cytoplasm and periplasm of E. coli, respectively, after which we determined their crystallographic structures.
Several proteins of the Tol/Pal system are required for group A colicin import into Escherichia coli. Colicin A interacts with TolA and TolB via distinct regions of its N-terminal domain. Both interactions are required for colicin translocation. Using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we show in this study that colicin A also interacts with a third component of the Tol/Pal system required for colicin import, TolR. This interaction is specific to colicins dependent on TolR for their translocation, strongly suggesting a direct involvement of the interaction in the colicin translocation step. TolR is anchored to the inner membrane by a single transmembrane segment and protrudes into the periplasm. The interaction involves part of the periplasmic domain of TolR and a small region of the colicin A N-terminal domain. This region and the other regions responsible for the interaction with TolA and TolB have been mapped precisely within the colicin A N-terminal domain and appear to be arranged linearly in the colicin sequence. Multiple contacts with periplasmic-exposed Tol proteins are therefore a general principle required for group A colicin translocation.
Background : The periplasmic protein TolB from Escherichia coli is part of the Tol-PAL (peptidogtycan-associated lipoprotein) multiprotein complex used by group A colicins to penetrate and kill cells. TolB homologues are found in many Gram-negative bacteria and the Tol-PAL system is thought to play a role in bacterial envelope integrity. TolB is required for lethal infection by Salmonella typhimurium in mice. Results : The crystal structure of the selenomethionine-substituted TolB protein from E. coli was solved using multiwavelength anomalous dispersion methods and refined to 1.95 Angstrom. TolB has a two-domain structure. The N-terminal domain consists of two a helices, a five-stranded beta-sheet floor and a long loop at the back of this floor.
The Tol-peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (PAL) system of Escherichia call is a multiprotein complex of the envelope involved in maintaining outer membrane integrity. PAL and the periplasmic protein TolB, two components of this complex, are interacting with each other, and they have also been reported to interact with OmpA and the major lipoprotein, two proteins interacting with the peptidoglycan. All these interactions suggest a role of the Tol-PAL system in anchoring the outer membrane to the peptidoglycan. Therefore, we were interested in better understanding the interaction between PAL and the peptidoglycan, We designed an in vitro interaction assay based on the property of purified peptidoglycan to be pelleted by ultracentrifugation, Using this assay, we showed that a purified PAL protein interacted in vitro with pure peptidoglycan, A peptide competition experiment further demonstrated that the region from residues 89 to 130 of PAL was sufficient to bind the peptidoglycan. Moreover, the fact that this same region of PAL was also binding to TolB suggested that these two interactions were exclusive. Indeed, the TolB-PAL complex appeared not to be associated with the peptidoglycan. This led us to the conclusion that PAL may exist in two forms in the cell envelope, one bound to TolB and the other bound to the peptidoglycan.
Group A colicins need proteins of the Escherichia coli envelope Tol complex (TolA, TolB, TolQ and TolR) to reach their cellular target. The N-terminal domain of colicins is involved in the import process. The N-terminal domains of colicins A and E1 have been shown to interact with TolA, and the N-terminal domain of colicin E3 has been shown to interact with TolB. We found that a pentapeptide conserved in the N-terminal domain of all group A colicins, the ’TolA box’, was important for colicin A import but was not involved in the colicin A-TolA interaction. It was, however, involved in the colicin A-TolB interaction. The interactions of colicin A N-terminal domain deletion mutants with TolA and TolB were investigated. Random mutagenesis was performed on a construct allowing the colicin A N-terminal domain to be exported in the bacteria periplasm. This enabled us to select mutant protein domains unable to compete with the wildtype domain of the entire colicin A for import into the cells. Our results demonstrate that different regions of the colicin A N-terminal domain interact with TolA and TolB. The colicin A N-terminal domain was also shown to form a trimeric complex with TolA and TolB.
TolB from Escherichia coli is part of the Tol system used by the group A colicins to penetrate and kill cells. A TolB derivative tagged with six histidines was overexpressed, purified by chelation on a nickel affinity column and crystallized using the SAmBA software to define the optimal crystallization protocol. The crystals belong to the monoclinic system, space group P2(1) with unit-cell parameters a = 64.48, b = 41.06, c = 78.41 Angstrom, beta = 110.78 degrees. Frozen crystals diffract to 1.9 Angstrom resolution. Screening for heavy-atom derivatives both on the native TolB and various cysteine-substituted mutants is in progress. In addition, a selenomethionine-substituted protein is being produced in order to use the MAD method for structure determination.
TolB is a periplasmic protein of the cell envelope Tol complex. It is partially membrane associated through an interaction with the outer membrane lipoprotein PAL (peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein), which also belongs to the Tol system. The interaction of TolB with outer membrane porins of Escherichia coli was investigated with a purified TolB derivative harboring a six-histidine tag. TolB interacted with the trimeric porins OmpF, OmpC, PhoE, and LamB but not with their denatured monomeric forms or OmpA. These interactions took place both in the presence and in the absence of lipopolysaccharide. TolA, an inner membrane component of the Tol system, also interacts with the trimeric porins via its central periplasmic domain (R. Derouiche, M. Gavioli, H. Benedetti, A. Prilipov, G. Lazdlunski, and R. Lloubes, EMBO J. 15:6408-6415, 1996). In the presence of the purified central domain of TolA (TolAIIHis), the TolB-porin complexes disappeared to form TolAIIHis-porin complexes. These results suggest that the interactions of TolA and TolB with porins might take place in vivo and might be concomitant events participating in porin assembly. They also suggest that the Tol system as a whole map be involved in porin assembly in the outer membrane.
Colicins use two envelope multiprotein systems to reach their cellular target in susceptible cells of Escherichia coil : the Tol system for group A colicins and the TonB system for group B colicins. The N-terminal domain of colicins is involved in the translocation step. To determine whether it interacts in vivo with proteins of the translocation system, constructs were designed to produce and export to the cell periplasm the N-terminal domains of colicin E3 (group A) and colicin B (group B). Producing cells became specifically tolerant to entire extracellular colicins of the same group. The periplasmic N-terminal domains therefore compete with entire colicins for proteins of the translocation system and thus interact in situ with these proteins on the inner side of the outer membrane. In vivo cross-linking and co-immunoprecipitation experiments in cells producing the colicin E3 N-terminal domain demonstrated the existence of a 120kDa complex containing the colicin domain and ToIB. After in vitro cross-linking experiments with these two purified proteins, a 120 kDa complex was also obtained. This suggests that the complex obtained in vivo contains exclusively toIB and the colicin E3 domain. The N-terminal domain of a translocation-defective colicin E3 mutant was found to no longer interact with ToIB. Hence, this interaction must play an important role in colicin E3 translocation.
Colicins are divided into two groups according to the proteins required for their import into sensitive bacteria. The Tol and TonB pathways are involved in import of group A and group B colicins respectively. Because previous analyses have shown that colicin El and colicin A (two group A colicins) interact in vitro with the C-terminal domain of TolA (TolAIII) while colicin B (group B colicin) does not, attention was focused on these interactions with purified proteins. TolA has been described as a three-domain protein with an N-terminal inner-membrane anchor and a long periplasmic region formed by two domains (TolAII and TolAIII). TolAIII, TolAII and TolAII-III soluble domains with an N-terminal hexa-histidine extension were purified. The interactions of colicins with the purified TolA domains were analysed by overlay Western blotting, which indicated that both N-terminal domains of colicins A and E1 interacted with TolAIII, while a gel shift procedure detected no interaction with colicin E1. The binding kinetic values of the N-terminal domains of colicins A and E1 to TolAIII were estimated by surface plasmon resonance and were shown to be similar.
TolA is an inner membrane protein with three domains : a transmembrane N-terminus and periplasmic central and C-terminal domains. The interaction of TolA with outer membrane porins of Escherichia coli was investigated. Western blot analyses of cell extracts with anti-TolA antibodies indicated that TolA forms high molecular weight complexes specifically with trimeric OmpF, OmpC, PhoE and LamB, but not with OmpA. The interaction of purified TolA domains with purified porins was also studied. TolA interacted with OmpF, PhoE and LamB porins via its central domain, but not with either their denatured monomeric forms or OmpA. Moreover, the presence or absence of lipopolysaccharides associated with trimeric porins did not modify the interactions. These results suggest that the specific interaction of TolA with outer membrane porins might be relevant to the function of Tol proteins.
TolQ, TolR and TolA are membrane proteins involved in maintaining the structure of Escherichia coli cell envelope. TolQ and TolR span the inner membrane with three and with one a-helical segments, respectively. The tolQ925 mutation (A177V),located in the third putative transmembrane helix of TolQ (TolQ-III), induces cell sensitivity to bile salts and tolerance towards colicin A but not colicin El, unlike a null tolQ mutation, which induces tolerance to all group A colicins. Since TolQ is required for colicin A and Fl uptake, in contrast to TolR, which is necessary only for colicin A, we hypothesized that the tolQ925 mutation might affect an interaction between TolQ and TolR. We therefore searched for suppressor mutations in TolR that would restore cell envelope integrity and colicin A sensitivity to the tolQ925 mutant. Five different tolR alleles were isolated and characterized.
Pore-forming colicins are soluble bacteriocins which form voltage-gated ion channels in the inner membrane of Escherichia coli. To reach their target, these colicins first bind to a receptor located on the outer membrane and then are translocated through the envelope. Colicins are subdivided into two groups according to the envelope proteins involved in their translocation : group A colicins use the Tot proteins ; group B colicins use the proteins TonB, ExbB, and ExbD. We have previously shown that a double-cysteine colicin A mutant which possesses a disulfide bond in its pore-forming domain is translocated through the envelope but is unable to form a channel in the inner membrane (D. Duche, D. Baty, M. Chartier, and L. Letellier, J. Biol. Chem. 269:24820-24825, 1994). Measurements of colicin-induced K+ efflux reveal that preincubation of the cells with the double-cysteine mutant prevents binding of colicins of group A but not of group B. Moreover, we show that the mutant is still in contact with its receptor and import machinery when it interacts with the inner membrane. From these competition experiments, we conclude that each Escherichia coli cell contains approximately 400 and 1,000 colicin A receptors and translocation sites, respectively.
The TolA, TolB, TolQ, and TolR proteins are involved in maintaining the integrity of the Escherichia coil outer membrane and in the import of group A colicins and filamentous phage DNA. TolA, TolQ, and TolR are localized in the inner membrane while TolB is periplasmic, although a small amount of membrane-associated TolB is always found. In vivo cross-linking experiments with formaldehyde were performed in order to determine the proteins interacting with TolA In wild-type strains, two specific complexes of 65 and 71 kDa, com prising TolA, were identified. These complexes were absent in a tolQ strain, while only the 65-kDa complex was absent in a tolR strain. When the tol strains were transformed with plasmids encoding TolR or TolQ, the specific complexes were restored. Moreover, immunoprecipitation experiments with the antiserum directed against TolA indicated that TolQ and TolR were co-immunoprecipitated with TolA after cross-linking. These data demonstrate that TolA interacts directly with TolR and TolQ. Two truncated TolA proteins devoid of either the C-terminal or the central domains of the protein were subjected to in vivo cross-linking. Since these two TolA derivatives still formed specific complexes with TolR and TolQ, we concluded that the TolA N-terminal domain interacted with these proteins.
TolA, B, -Q, and -R proteins are involved in maintaining the cell envelope integrity of Escherichia coli ; they have been parasitized by the group A colicins and the single strand DNA of some filamentous bacteriophages to permit them to enter the cells, TolA and TolR are anchored to the inner membrane by a single transmembrane domain, TolQ is an integral membrane protein with three transmembrane segments, and TolB has re cently been found to be periplasmic although it is partially membrane-associated The latter result suggests that TolB might interact with membrane proteins, Other lines of evidence favor the existence of a Tol complex, To further characterize this complex, we investigated which proteins interact with TolB.
Two Saccharomyces cerevisiae mutants, end3 and end4, defective in the internalization step of endocytosis, have previously been isolated. The END3 gene was cloned by complementation of the temperature-sensitive growth defect caused by the end3 mutation and the END3 nucleotide sequence was determined. The END3 gene product is a 40-kDa protein that has a putative EF-hand Ca2+-binding site, a consensus sequence for the binding of phosphotidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2), and a C-terminal domain containing two homologous regions of 17-19 aa. The EF-hand consensus and the putative PIP2-binding sites are seemingly not required for End3 protein function. In contrast, different portions of the End3p N-terminal domain, and at least one of the two repeated regions in its C-terminus, are required for End3p activity. Disruption of the END3 gene yielded cells with the same phenotype as the original end3 mutant. An end3(ts) allele was obtained and this allowed us to demonstrate that End3p is specifically involved in the internalization step of endocytosis. In addition, End3p was shown to be required for proper organization of the actin cytoskeleton and for the correct distribution of chitin at the cell surface.
Colicin A is a pore-forming bacteriocin that depends upon the Tol proteins in order to be transported from its receptor at the outer membrane surface to its target, the inner membrane. The presequence of yeast mitochondria cytochrome c(1) (pc1) as well as the first 167 amino acids of cytochrome b(2) (pb2) were fused to the pore-forming domain of colicin A (pfColA). Both hybrid proteins (pc1-pfColA and pb2-pfColA) were cytotoxic for Escherichia coli strains devoid of colicin A immunity protein whereas the pore-forming domain without presequence had no lethal effect. The entire precursors and their processed forms were found entirely associated with the bacterial inner membrane and their cytotoxicities were related to their pore-forming activities. The proteins were also shown to kill the tol bacterial strains, which are unable to transport colicins. In addition, we showed that both the cytochrome c(1) presequence fused to the dihydrofolate reductase (pc1-DHFR) and the cytochrome c(1) presequence moiety of pc1-pfColA were translocated across inverted membrane vesicles. Our results indicated that : (i) pc1-pfColA produced in the cell cytoplasm was able to assemble in the inner membrane by a mechanism independent of the tol genes ; (ii) the inserted pore-forming domain had a channel activity ; and (ii) this channel activity was inhibited within the membrane by the immunity protein.
Colicin A is a bacterial toxin which forms channels in the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli. Its translocation through the envelope requires the participation of bacterial proteins encoded by the tolQ, -R, -A, and -B genes. Overproduction of the Tol proteins decreased the time needed for colicin A translocation and increased the number of channels formed in vivo. Cells overproducing radioactively labeled Tol proteins and containing or not colicin A were fractionated. The Tol proteins were mainly recovered in the inner membrane and in the contact sites between the two membranes. The presence of colicin A increased the specific radioactivity of the Tol proteins in the contact sites. Our data suggest that the Tol proteins form a complex of definite stoichiometry in the membranes and that colicin A is associated to this complex upon channel formation. We discuss the possibility that the channel activity determined in vivo is due to the colicin A-Tol proteins complex.
We demonstrate that the 1C10 monoclonal antibody (mAb) directed against the N-terminal domain of the colicin A recognizes a 13 residue-region (13 Thr-Gly-Trp-Ser-Ser-Glu-Arg-Gly-Ser-Gly-Pro-Asp-Pro25). When this peptide is inserted into a protein in the amino-terminal or an internal position, the tagged protein is efficiently detected by the 1C11 mAb either by immunoblotting or immunoprecipitation. In vitro, the minimal structure required for detection using the pepscan system is 19Arg-Gly-Ser-Gly-Pro-Glu-Pro25, indicating that in vivo the proper exposure of the epitope requires additional residues. The construction of a versatile vector allowing overproduction of tagged proteins is described. Various applications of the 1C11 epitope are mentioned. This epitope did not alter the function of any of the proteins so far tested.
Previous studies have shown that channel formation in the cytoplasmic membrane of Escherichia coli by colicin A and phage T5 leads to an efflux of cytoplasmic potassium and to a membrane depolarization. Here we show that upon opening of these channels, the intracellular ATP concentration is decreased to 10% of its original value in
The Saccharomyces cerevisiae a-pheromone receptor, a polytopic, G protein-coupled, membrane protein, is internalized after binding of alpha-factor. Mutational analysis suggested that the first 39 residues of the receptor’s cytoplasmic tail carries sufficient information for internalization. A point mutation in one of these 39 residues, K337 to R337 renders the receptor nonfunctional for endocytosis. Other residues, D335 and S338, contribute to the efficiency of internalization. When the sequence DAKSS is added onto a severely truncated receptor, endocytosis of the receptor is restored, showing that this sequence functions to mediate or to signal interaction with the endocytic machinery. Analysis of pheromone response and recovery in strains expressing mutant receptors suggests that receptor internalization is not important for response but contributes to recovery from pheromone.
The addition of the pore forming colicin A to Escherichia coli cells results in an efflux of cytoplasmic potassium. This efflux is preceded by a lag time which is related to the time needed for the translocation of the toxin through the envelope. Denaturing the colicin A with urea, before adding it to the cells, did not affect the properties of the pore but decreased the lag time. After renaturation, the lag time was similar to that of the native colicin. This suggests that the unfolding of colicin A accelerates its translocation. The addition of trypsin, which has access neither to the periplasmic space nor to the cytoplasmic membrane, resulted in an immediate arrest of the potassium efflux induced by colicins A and B. The possibility that trypsin may act on a bacterial component required for colicin reception and/or translocation was ruled out. It is thus likely that the arrest of the efflux corresponds to a closing of the pores. This long distance effect of trypsin suggests that part of the polypeptide chain of the colicins may still be in contact with the external medium even when the pore has formed in the inner membrane.
Colicins are antibiotic proteins that kill sensitive Escherichia coli cells. Their mode of action involves three steps : binding to specific receptors located in the outer membrane, translocation across this membrane, and action on their targets. A specific colicin domain can be assigned to each of these steps. Colicins have been subdivided into two groups (A and B) depending on the proteins required for them to cross the external membrane. Plasmids were constructed which led to an overproduction of the Tol proteins involved in the import of group A colicins. In vitro binding of overexpressed Tol proteins to either Tol-dependent (group A) or TonB-dependent (group B) colicins was analyzed. The Tol dependent colicins A and El were able to interact with TolA but the TonB dependent colicin B was not. The C-terminal region of TolA, which is necessary for colicin uptake, was also found to be necessary for colicin A and E1 binding to occur. Furthermore, only the isolated N-terminal domain of colicin A, which is involved in the translocation step, was found to bind to TolA. These results demonstrate the existence of a correlation between the ability of group A colicins to translocate and their in vitro binding to TolA protein, suggesting that these interactions might be part of the colicin import process.
Chargé de recherche , Responsable de groupe thématique , Signalisation cellulaire