Dynamically driven protein allostery..
Nature structural & molecular biology. 13(9):831-8. Abstract
Allosteric interactions are typically considered to proceed through a series of discrete changes in bonding interactions that alter the protein conformation. Here we show that allostery can be mediated exclusively by transmitted changes in protein motions. We have characterized the negatively cooperative binding of cAMP to the dimeric catabolite activator protein (CAP) at discrete conformational states. Binding of the first cAMP to one subunit of a CAP dimer has no effect on the conformation of the other subunit. The dynamics of the system, however, are modulated in a distinct way by the sequential ligand binding process, with the first cAMP partially enhancing and the second cAMP completely quenching protein motions. As a result, the second cAMP binding incurs a pronounced conformational entropic penalty that is entirely responsible for the observed cooperativity. The results provide strong support for the existence of purely dynamics-driven allostery.
Dynamic genome organization and gene evolution by positive selection in geminivirus (Geminiviridae).
Molecular biology and evolution. 14:1114-24. Abstract
Geminiviruses (Geminiviridae) are a diverse group of plant viruses differing from other known plant viruses in possessing circular, single-stranded DNA. Current classification divides the family into three subgroups, defined in part by genome organization, insect vector, and plant host range. Previous phylogenetic assessments of geminiviruses have used DNA and/or amino acid sequences from the replication-associated and coat protein genes and have relied predominantly on distance analyses. We used amino acid and DNA sequence data from the replication-associated and coat protein genes from 22 geminivirus types in distance and parsimony analyses. Although the results of our analyses largely agree with those reported previously, we could not always predict viral relationships based on genome organization, plant host, or insect vector. Loss of correlation of these traits with phylogeny is likely due to improved sampling of geminivirus types. Unrooted parsimony trees suggest multiple independent origins for the monopartite genome. genome organization is therefore a dynamic character. Estimates of nonsynonymous and synonymous nucleotide substitutions for extant and inferred ancestral sequences were used to evaluate hypotheses that the replication-associated and coat protein sequences evolve to accommodate plant host and insect vector specificities, respectively. Results suggest that plant host specificity does not solely direct replication-associated protein-evolution but that coat protein sequence does evolve in response to insect vector specificity. Genome organization and, possibly, plant host specificity are not reliable taxonomic characters.
Dynamic gene copy number variation in collinear regions of grass genomes.
Mol Biol Evol. 29:861-71. Abstract
A salient feature of genomes of higher organisms is the birth and death of gene copies. An example is the alpha prolamin genes, which encode seed storage proteins in grasses (Poaceae) and represent a medium-size gene family. To better understand the mechanism, extent, and pace of gene amplification, we compared prolamin gene copies in the genomes of two different tribes in the Panicoideae, the Paniceae and the Andropogoneae. We identified alpha prolamin (setarin) gene copies in the diploid foxtail millet (Paniceae) genome (490 Mb) and compared them with orthologous regions in diploid sorghum (730 Mb) and ancient allotetraploid maize (2,300 Mb) (Andropogoneae). Because sequenced genomes of other subfamilies of Poaceae like rice (389 Mb) (Ehrhartoideae) and Brachypodium (272 Mb) (Pooideae) do not have alpha prolamin genes, their collinear regions can serve as "empty" reference sites. A pattern emerged, where genes were copied and inserted into other chromosomal locations followed by additional tandem duplications (clusters). We observed both recent (species-specific) insertion events and older ones that are shared by these tribes. Many older copies were deleted by unequal crossing over of flanking sequences or damaged by truncations. However, some remain intact with active and inactive alleles. These results indicate that genomes reflect only a snapshot of the gene content of a species and are far less static than conventional genetics has suggested. Nucleotide substitution rates for active alpha prolamins genes were twice as high as for low copy number beta, gamma, and delta prolamin genes, suggesting that gene amplification accelerates the pace of divergence.
Dynamic evolution of bz orthologous regions in the Andropogoneae and other grasses..
Plant Journal. 72:212-221. Abstract
Genome structure exhibits remarkable plasticity within Zea mays. To examine how haplotype structure has evolved within the Andropogoneae tribe, we have analyzed the bz gene-rich region of maize, the Zea teosintes mays ssp. mexicana, luxurians and diploperennis, Tripsacum dactyloides, Coix lacryma-jobi, and Sorghum propinquum. We sequenced and annotated BAC clones from these species and reannotated the orthologous Sorghum bicolor region. Gene colinearity in the region is well conserved within the genus Zea. However, the orthologous regions of Coix and Sorghum exhibited several micro-rearrangements relative to Zea, including addition, truncation, and deletion of genes. The stc1 gene, involved in the production of a terpenoid insect defense signal, is evolving particularly fast and its progressive disappearance from some species is occurring by microhomology-mediated recombination. LTR retrotransposons are the main contributors to the dynamic evolution of the bz region. Common transposon insertion sites occur among haplotypes from different Zea mays subspecies, but not outside of the species. As in Zea, different patterns of interspersion between genes and retrotransposons are observed in Sorghum. We estimate that the average divergence times between maize and Tripsacum, Coix and Sorghum are 8.5, 12.1, and 12.4 million years ago (MYA), respectively, and that between Coix and Sorghum is 9.3 MYA. A comparison of the bz orthologous regions of Zea, Sorghum, and Coix with those of Brachypodium, Setaria, and Oryza allows us to infer how the region has evolved by the addition and deletion of genes in the approximately 50 MY since these genera diverged from a common progenitor.
The Drosophila saxophone gene: a serine-threonine kinase receptor of the TGF-β superfamily.
Science (New York, NY). 263:1756-9. Abstract
The Drosophila decapentaplegic (dpp) gene encodes a transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta)-like protein that plays a key role in several aspects of development. Transduction of the DPP signal was investigated by cloning of serine-threonine kinase transmembrane receptors from Drosophila because this type of receptor is specific for the TGF-beta-like ligands. Here evidence is provided demonstrating that the Drosophila saxophone (sax) gene, a previously identified female sterile locus, encodes a TGF-beta-like type I receptor. Embryos from sax mothers and dpp embryos exhibit similar mutant phenotypes during early gastrulation, and these two loci exhibit genetic interactions, which suggest that they are utilized in the same pathway. These data suggest that sax encodes a receptor for dpp.
Drosophila MAD, a member of the Smad family, translocates to the nucleus upon stimulation of the dpp pathway.
Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 238:595-8. Abstract
Smads are a novel group of proteins which act to mediate signaling by members of the TGF-beta superfamily. Seven vertebrate Smad genes, which fall into three classes, have been reported. Members of the Class I Smads have been shown to bind to the cytoplasmic portion of the TGF-beta like receptors, where they become phosphorylated and translocate to the nucleus. Once in the nucleus they may function as transcriptional activators. We wondered if translocation to the nucleus is a general property of the Smads and whether it was evolutionarily conserved. We examined the subcellular localization of Drosophila MAD and found that it is capable of nuclear translocation, in Drosophila S2 cells, when the dpp pathway is stimulated. To prove the functional conservation of receptor/Smad interactions, we used the mouse BMP type I receptor ALK6 to stimulate the pathway and found that it is capable of sending MAD to the nucleus. These results show that cytoplasmic localization with translocation to the nucleus upon stimulation is a feature of the Smads that is conserved through evolution.
Drosophila lowfat, a novel modulator of Fat signaling.
Development (Cambridge, England). 136:3223-33. Abstract
The Fat-Hippo-Warts signaling network regulates both transcription and planar cell polarity. Despite its crucial importance to the normal control of growth and planar polarity, we have only a limited understanding of the mechanisms that regulate Fat. We report here the identification of a conserved cytoplasmic protein, Lowfat (Lft), as a modulator of Fat signaling. Drosophila Lft, and its human homologs LIX1 and LIX1-like, bind to the cytoplasmic domains of the Fat ligand Dachsous, the receptor protein Fat, and its human homolog FAT4. Lft protein can localize to the sub-apical membrane in disc cells, and this membrane localization is influenced by Fat and Dachsous. Lft expression is normally upregulated along the dorsoventral boundary of the developing wing, and is responsible for elevated levels of Fat protein there. Levels of Fat and Dachsous protein are reduced in lft mutant cells, and can be increased by overexpression of Lft. lft mutant animals exhibit a wing phenotype similar to that of animals with weak alleles of fat, and lft interacts genetically with both fat and dachsous. These studies identify Lft as a novel component of the Fat signaling pathway, and the Lft-mediated elevation of Fat levels as a mechanism for modulating Fat signaling.
The Drosophila gene Medea demonstrates the requirement for different classes of Smads in dpp signaling.
Development (Cambridge, England). 125:1519-28. Abstract
Signals from transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) ligands are transmitted within the cell by members of the Smad family, which can be grouped into three classes based on sequence similarities. Our previous identification of both class I and II Smads functioning in a single pathway in C. elegans, raised the issue of whether the requirement for Smads derived from different classes is a general feature of TGF-beta signaling. We report here the identification of a new Drosophila class II Smad, Medea, a close homolog of the human tumor-suppressor gene DPC4. Embryos from germline clones of both Medea and Mad (a class I Smad) are ventralized, as are embryos null for the TGF-beta-like ligand decapentaplegic (dpp). Loss of Medea also blocks dpp signaling during later development, suggesting that Medea, like Mad, is universally required for dpp signaling. Furthermore, we show that the necessity for these two closely related, non-redundant Smads, is due to their different signaling properties - upon activation of the Dpp pathway, Mad is required to actively translocate Medea into the nucleus. These results provide a paradigm for, and distinguish between, the requirement for class I and II Smads in Dpp/BMP signaling.
The Drosophila decapentaplegic and short gastrulation genes function antagonistically during adult wing vein development.
Development (Cambridge, England). 122:4033-44. Abstract
TGF-beta-related signaling pathways play diverse roles during vertebrate and invertebrate development. A common mechanism for regulating the activity of TGF-beta family members is inhibition by extracellular antagonists. Recently, the Drosophila short gastrulation (sog) gene was shown to encode a predicted diffusible factor which antagonizes signaling mediated by the TGF-beta-like Decapentaplegic (Dpp) pathway in the early blastoderm embryo. sog and dpp, which are among the earliest zygotic genes to be activated, are expressed in complementary dorsal-ventral domains. The opposing actions of sog and dpp in the early embryo have been highly conserved during evolution as their vertebrate counterparts, chordin and BMP-4, function homologously to define neural versus non-neural ectoderm in Xenopus. Here we exploit the genetically sensitive adult wing vein pattern to investigate the generality of the antagonistic relationship between sog and dpp. We show that dpp is expressed in vein primordia during pupal wing development and functions to promote vein formation. In contrast, sog is expressed in complementary intervein cells and suppresses vein formation. sog and dpp function during the same phenocritical periods (i.e. 16-28 hours after pupariation) to influence the vein versus intervein cell fate choice. The conflicting activities of dpp and sog are also revealed by antagonistic dosage-sensitive interactions between these two genes during vein development. Analysis of vein and intervein marker expression in dpp and sog mutant wings suggests that dpp promotes vein fates indirectly by activating the vein gene rhomboid (rho), and that sog functions by blocking an autoactivating Dpp feedback loop. These data support the view that Sog is a dedicated Dpp antagonist.
Drosophila ATM and ATR have distinct activities in the regulation of meiotic DNA damage and repair.
J Cell Biol. 195:359-67. Abstract
Ataxia telangiectasia-mutated (ATM) and ataxia telangiectasia-related (ATR) kinases are conserved regulators of cellular responses to double strand breaks (DSBs). During meiosis, however, the functions of these kinases in DSB repair and the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage checkpoint are unclear. In this paper, we show that ATM and ATR have unique roles in the repair of meiotic DSBs in Drosophila melanogaster. ATR mutant analysis indicated that it is required for checkpoint activity, whereas ATM may not be. Both kinases phosphorylate H2AV (gamma-H2AV), and, using this as a reporter for ATM/ATR activity, we found that the DSB repair response is surprisingly dynamic at the site of DNA damage. gamma-H2AV is continuously exchanged, requiring new phosphorylation at the break site until repair is completed. However, most surprising is that the number of gamma-H2AV foci is dramatically increased in the absence of ATM, but not ATR, suggesting that the number of DSBs is increased. Thus, we conclude that ATM is primarily required for the meiotic DSB repair response, which includes functions in DNA damage repair and negative feedback control over the level of programmed DSBs during meiosis.
Dorsal-ventral signaling in the Drosophila eye.
Science. 281:2031-4. Abstract
The development of the Drosophila eye has served as a model system for investigations of tissue patterning and cell-cell communication; however, early eye development has not been well understood. The results presented here indicate that specialized cells are established along the dorsal-ventral midline of the developing eye by Notch-mediated signaling between dorsal and ventral cells, and that Notch activation at the midline plays an essential role both in promoting the growth of the eye primordia and in regulating eye patterning. These observations imply that the developmental homology between Drosophila wings and vertebrate limbs extends to Drosophila eyes.
Dorsal-ventral signaling in limb development.
Current Opinion in Cell Biology. 9:867-76. Abstract
In both Drosophila wings and vertebrate limbs, signaling between dorsal and ventral cells establishes an organizer that promotes limb formation. Significant progress has been made recently towards characterizing the signaling interactions that occur at the dorsal-ventral limb border. Studies of chicks have indicated that, as in Drosophila, this signaling process requires the participation of Fringe. Studies of Drosophila have indicated that Fringe functions by inhibiting the ability of Notch to be activated by one ligand, Serrate, while potentiating the ability of Notch to be activated by another ligand, Delta. Recent studies of both Drosophila and vertebrates have also shed new light on the signaling activity of the dorsal-ventral boundary limb organizer, and have highlighted how this organizer is maintained by feedback mechanisms with neighboring cells.
Domain organization of RNA polymerase alpha subunit: C-terminal 85 amino acids constitute a domain capable of dimerization and DNA binding..
Cell. 78(5):889-96. Abstract
Using limited proteolysis, we show that the Escherichia coli RNA polymerase alpha subunit consists of an N-terminal domain comprised of amino acids 8-241, a C-terminal domain comprised of amino acids 249-329, and an unstructured and/or flexible interdomain linker. We have carried out a detailed structural and functional analysis of an 85 amino acid proteolytic fragment corresponding to the C-terminal domain (alpha CTD-2). Our results establish that alpha CTD-2 has a defined secondary structure (approximately 40% alpha helix, approximately 0% beta sheet). Our results further establish that alpha CTD-2 is a dimer and that alpha CTD-2 exhibits sequence-specific DNA binding activity. Our results suggest a model for the mechanism of involvement of alpha in transcription activation by promoter upstream elements and upstream-binding activator proteins.
DNA-sequence recognition by CAP: role of the adenine N6 atom of base pair 6 of the DNA site..
Nucleic acids research. 18(23):6853-6. Abstract
Two similar, but not identical, models have been proposed for the amino acid-base pair contacts in the CAP-DNA complex ('Model I,' Weber, I. and Steitz, T., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 81, 3973-3977, 1984; 'Model II,' Ebright, et al., Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 81, 7274-7278, 1984). One difference between the two models involves Glu181 of CAP. Model I predicts that Glu181 of CAP makes two specificity determining contacts: one H-bond with the cytosine N4 atom of G:C at base pair 7 of the DNA half site, and one H-bond with the adenine N6 atom of T:A at base pair 6 of the DNA half site. In contrast, Model II predicts that Glu181 makes only one specificity determining contact: one H-bond with the cytosine N4 atom of G:C at base pair 7 of the DNA half site. In the present work, we show that replacement of T:A at base pair 6 of the DNA half site by T:N6-methyl-adenine has no, or almost no, effect on the binding of CAP. We conclude, contrary to Model I, that Glu181 of CAP makes no contact with the adenine N6 atom of base pair 6 of the DNA half site.
DNA-binding Specificity of Mcm1: Operator Mutations that Alter DNA-bending and Transcriptional Activities by a MADs box Protein.
Mol Cell Biol. 17:1881-1889. Abstract
The yeast Mcm1 protein is a member of the MADS box family of transcriptional regulatory factors, a class of DNA-binding proteins found in such diverse organisms as yeast, plants, flies, and humans. To explore the protein-DNA interactions of Mcm1 in vivo and in vitro, we have introduced an extensive series of base pair substitutions into an Mcm1 operator site and examined their effects on Mcm1-mediated transcriptional regulation and DNA-binding affinity. Our results show that Mcm1 uses a mechanism to contact the DNA that has some significant differences from the one used by the human serum response factor (SRF), a closely related MADS box protein in which the three-dimensional structure has been determined. One major difference is that 5-bromouracil-mediated photo-cross-linking experiments indicate that Mcm1 is in close proximity to functional groups in the major groove at the center of the recognition site whereas the SRF protein did not exhibit this characteristic. A more significant difference is that mutations at a position outside of the conserved CC(A/T)6GG site significantly reduce Mcm1-dependent DNA bending, while these substitutions have no effect on DNA bending by SRF. This result shows that the DNA bending by Mcm1 is sequence dependent and that the base-specific requirements for bending differ between Mcm1 and SRF. Interestingly, although these substitutions have a large effect on DNA bending and transcriptional activation by Mcm1, they have a relatively small effect on the DNA-binding affinity of the protein. This result suggests that the degree of DNA bending is important for transcriptional activation by Mcm1.
DNA-binding determinants of the alpha subunit of RNA polymerase: novel DNA-binding domain architecture..
Genes & development. 10(1):16-26. Abstract
The Escherichia coli RNA polymerase alpha-subunit binds through its carboxy-terminal domain (alpha CTD) to a recognition element, the upstream (UP) element, in certain promoters. We used genetic and biochemical techniques to identify the residues in alpha CTD important for UP-element-dependent transcription and DNA binding. These residues occur in two regions of alpha CTD, close to but distinct from, residues important for interactions with certain transcription activators. We used NMR spectroscopy to determine the secondary structure of alpha CTD, alpha CTD contains a nonstandard helix followed by four alpha-helices. The two regions of alpha CTD important for DNA binding correspond to the first alpha-helix and the loop between the third and fourth alpha-helices. The alpha CTD DNA-binding domain architecture is unlike any DNA-binding architecture identified to date, and we propose that alpha CTD has a novel mode of interaction with DNA. Our results suggest models for alpha CTD-DNA and alpha CTD-DNA-activator interactions during transcription initiation.
DNA sequence determinants for binding of the Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein..
The Journal of biological chemistry. 267(21):14713-20. Abstract
The consensus DNA site for binding of the Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) is 22 base pairs in length and is 2-fold symmetric: 5'-AAATGTGATCTAGATCACATTT-3'. Positions 4 to 8 of each half of the consensus DNA half-site are the most strongly conserved. In this report, we analyze the effects of substitution of DNA base pairs at positions 4 to 8, the effects of substitution of thymine by uracil and by 5-methylcytosine at positions 4, 6, and 8, and the effect of dam methylation of the 5'-GATC-3' sequence at positions 7 to 10. All DNA sites having substitutions of DNA base pairs at positions 4 to 8 exhibit lower affinities for CAP than does the consensus DNA site, consistent with the proposal that the consensus DNA site is the ideal DNA site for CAP. Specificity for T:A at position 4 appears to be determined solely by the thymine 5-methyl group. Specificity for T:A at position 6 and specificity for A:T at position 8 appear to be determined in part, but not solely, by the thymine 5-methyl group. dam methylation has little effect on CAP.DNA complex formation. The thermodynamically defined consensus DNA site spans 28 base pairs. All, or nearly all, DNA determinants required for maximal affinity for CAP and for maximal thermodynamically defined CAP.DNA ion pair formation are contained within a 28-base pair DNA fragment that has the 22-base pair consensus DNA site at its center. The quantitative data in this report provide base-line thermodynamic data required for detailed investigations of amino acid-base pair and amino acid-phosphate contacts in this protein-DNA complex.
DNA markers define plastid haplotypes in Arabidopsis thaliana.
Current Genetics. 51:269-75. Abstract
To identify genetic markers in the Arabidopsis thaliana plastid genome (ptDNA), we amplified and sequenced the rpl2-psbA and rbcL-accD regions in 26 ecotypes. The two regions contained eight polymorphic sites including five insertions and/or deletions (indels) involving changes in the length of A or T mononucleotide repeats and three base substitutions. The 27 alleles defined 15 plastid haplotypes, providing a practical set of ptDNA markers for the Columbia, Landsberg erecta and Wassilewskija ecotypes that are commonly used in genetic studies and also for the C24 and RLD ecotypes that are the most amenable for cell culture manipulations.
DNA binding specificity and sequence of Xanthomonas campestris catabolite gene activator protein-like protein..
Journal of bacteriology. 174(16):5457-61. Abstract
The Xanthomonas campestris catabolite gene activator protein-like protein (CLP) can substitute for the Escherichia coli catabolite gene activator protein (CAP) in transcription activation at the lac promoter (V. de Crecy-Lagard, P. Glaser, P. Lejeune, O. Sismeiro, C. Barber, M. Daniels, and A. Danchin, J. Bacteriol. 172:5877-5883, 1990). We show that CLP has the same DNA binding specificity as CAP at positions 5, 6, and 7 of the DNA half site. In addition, we show that the amino acids at positions 1 and 2 of the recognition helix of CLP are identical to the amino acids at positions 1 and 2 of the recognition helix of CAP:i.e., Arg at position 1 and Glu at position 2.