News 2015



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Cellular genomes are highly vulnerable to perturbations to chromosomal DNA replication. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), the processivity factor for DNA replication, plays a central role as a platform for recruitment of genome surveillance and DNA repair factors to replication forks, allowing cells to mitigate the threats to genome stability posed by ...

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During protein synthesis, ribosomes become stalled on polyproline-containing sequences, unless they are rescued in archaea and eukaryotes by the initiation factor 5A (a/eIF-5A) and in bacteria by the homologous protein EF-P. While a structure of EF-P bound to the 70S ribosome exists, structural insight into eIF-5A on the 80S ribosome has been lacking. Here we ...

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G-protein coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK) channels are expressed throughout the human body and are an integral part of inhibitory signal transduction pathways. Upon binding of Gβγ subunits released from G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs), GIRK channels open and reduce the activity of excitable cells via hyperpolarization. As such, they play a role ...

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UV-induced formation of the cyclobutane pyrimidine dimer (CPD) lesion is investigated by stationary and time-resolved photosensitization experiments. The photosensitizer 2′-methoxyacetophenone with high intersystem crossing efficiency and large absorption cross-section in the UV-A range was used. A diffusion controlled reaction model is presented. Time-resolved ...

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CIPSM wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season and a healthy & peaceful New Year 2016!

 

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Eukaryotic chromatin is a complex yet dynamic structure, which is regulated in part by the assembly and disassembly of nucleosomes. Key to this process is a group of proteins termed histone chaperones that guide the thermodynamic assembly of nucleosomes by interacting with soluble histones. Here we investigate the interaction between the histone chaperone sNASP ...

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Increasingly, multiple omics approaches are being applied to understand the complexity of biological systems. Yet, computational approaches that enable the efficient integration of such data are not well developed. Here, we describe a novel algorithm, termed moCluster, which discovers joint patterns among multiple omics data. The method first employs a multiblock ...

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Enoyl-CoA carboxylase/reductases (ECRs) catalyze the selective α-carboxylation of α,β-unsaturated CoA-thioesters. Structure-based engineering of the active-site binding pocket of ECRs enabled significant alteration of their catalytic activity towards larger substrates. This facilitates the incorporation of unusual extender units into polyketide backbones, thus ...

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Multifunctional mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSN) have attracted substantial attention with regard to their high potential for targeted drug delivery. For future clinical applications it is crucial to address safety concerns and understand the potential immunotoxicity of these nanoparticles. In this study, we assess the biocompatibility and functionality of ...

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Components of the conserved engulfment pathways promote programmed cell death in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) through an unknown mechanism. Here we report that the phagocytic receptor CED-1 mEGF10 is required for the formation of a dorsal–ventral gradient of CED-3 caspase activity within the mother of a cell programmed to die and an increase in the level ...

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The normal heartbeat slightly fluctuates around a mean value; this phenomenon is called physiological heart rate variability (HRV). It is well known that altered HRV is a risk factor for sudden cardiac death. The availability of genetic mouse models makes it possible to experimentally dissect the mechanism of pathological changes in HRV and its relation to sudden ...

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Absorption of UV-radiation in nucleotides initiates a number of photophysical and photochemical processes, which may finally cause DNA damage. One major decay channel of photoexcited DNA leads to reactive charge transfer states. This study shows that these states trigger self-repair of DNA photolesions. The experiments were performed by UV spectroscopy and HPLC ...

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Due to its unique role as a hydrogen-bond donor and its positive charge, the guanidine group is an important pharmacophoric group and often used in synthetic ligands. The chemical modification of the guanidine group is often considered to destroy its function. Herein, we show that the N-methylation, N-alkylation, or N-acylation of the guanidine group can be used ...

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The αvβ6 integrin binds the RGD-containing peptide of the foot and mouth disease virus with high selectivity. In this study, the long binding helix of this ligand was downsized to an enzymatically stable cyclic peptide endowed with sub-nanomolar binding affinity toward the αvβ6 receptor and remarkable selectivity against other integrins. Computational studies ...

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Distant metastases arise in 20-30% of patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck (HNSCC) in the 2 years following treatment. Therapeutic options are limited and the outcome of the patients is poor. The identification of predictive biomarkers of patient at risk for distant metastasis and therapies are urgently needed. We previously identified a ...

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Spin-state-selective excitation (S3E) experiments allow the selection of individual transitions in a coupled two spin system. We show that in the solid state, the dipole–dipole interaction (DD) between 15N and 1H in a 1H–15N bond and the chemical shift anisotropy (CSA) of 15N in an amide moiety mutually cancel each other for a particular multiplet component at ...

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Alkaloids account for some of the most beautiful and biologically active natural products. Although they are usually classified along biosynthetic criteria, they can also be categorized according to certain structural motifs. Amongst these, the α-tertiary amine (ATA), i.e. a tetrasubstituted carbon atom surrounded by three carbons and one nitrogen, is ...

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Vibrio is a model organism for the study of quorum sensing (QS) signaling and is used to identify QS-interfering drugs. Naturally occurring fimbrolides are important tool compounds known to affect QS in various organisms; however, their cellular targets have so far remained elusive. Here we identify the irreversible fimbrolide targets in the proteome of living V. ...

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The cytosolic antiviral innate immune sensor RIG-I distinguishes 5′ tri- or diphosphate containing viral double-stranded (ds) RNA from self-RNA by an incompletely understood mechanism that involves ATP hydrolysis by RIG-I's RNA translocase domain. Recently discovered mutations in ATPase motifs can lead to the multi-system disorder Singleton-Merten Syndrome (SMS) ...

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ClpP is a self-compartmentalizing protease with crucial roles in bacterial and mitochondrial protein quality control. Although the ClpP homocomplex is composed of 14 equivalent active sites, it degrades a multitude of substrates to small peptides, demonstrating its capability to carry out diverse cleavage reactions. Here, we show that ClpP proteases from E. coli, ...

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Protein phosphatase 5 is involved in the regulation of kinases and transcription factors. The dephosphorylation activity is modulated by the molecular chaperone Hsp90, which binds to the TPR-domain of protein phosphatase 5. This interaction is dependent on the C-terminal MEEVD motif of Hsp90. We show that C-terminal Hsp90 fragments differ in their regulation of ...

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Click here to see a little feature on „Studiing in the Excelleny“ which aired in ARD and BR alpha on the 19th of November 2015.

 

Link:

http://www.br.de/fernsehen/ard-alpha/sendungen/campusmagazin/exzellenz-cluster-102.html

 

 

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The major immediate-early promoter and enhancer of the human cytomegalovirus (hCMV-MIE) is one of the most potent DNA elements driving recombinant gene expression in mammalian cells. Therefore, it is widely employed not only in research but also in large-scale industrial applications, e.g. for the production of therapeutic antibodies in Chinese hamster ovary ...

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We have shown previously that carbohydrate-specific bacterial adhesion to a non-physiological surface can be photocontrolled by reversible E/Z isomerisation using azobenzene-functionalised sugars. Here, this approach is applied to the surface of human cells. We show not only that bacterial adhesion to the azobenzene glycoside-modified cell surface is higher in ...

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Canonical membrane protein biogenesis requires co-translational delivery of ribosome-associated proteins to the Sec translocase and depends on the signal recognition particle (SRP) and its receptor (SR). In contrast, high-throughput delivery of abundant light-harvesting chlorophyll a,b-binding proteins (LHCPs) in chloroplasts to the Alb3 insertase occurs ...

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Clinically applied proteasome inhibitors induce cell death by concomitant blockage of constitutive and immunoproteasomes. In contrast, selective immunoproteasome inhibition is less cytotoxic and has the potential to modulate chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases. In this study, we rationally designed decarboxylated peptides that covalently target a ...

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Dynamic modification of heptad-repeats with the consensus sequence Tyr1-Ser2-Pro3-Thr4-Ser5-Pro6-Ser7 of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) C-terminal domain (CTD) regulates transcription-coupled processes. Mass spectrometry analysis revealed that K7-residues in non-consensus repeats of human RNAPII are modified by acetylation, or mono-, di-, and tri-methylation. K7ac, ...

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Caseinolytic protease P (ClpP) is an important regulator of Staphylococcus aureus pathogenesis. A high-throughput screening for inhibitors of ClpP peptidase activity led to the identification of the first non-covalent binder for this enzyme class. Co-crystallization of the small molecule with S. aureus ClpP revealed a novel binding mode: Because of the rotation ...

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Protein synthesis is a major target within the bacterial cell for antibiotics. Investigations into ribosome-targeting antibiotics have provided much needed functional and structural insight into their mechanism of action. However, the increasing prevalence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria has limited the utility of our current arsenal of clinically relevant ...

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Protein synthesis is a major target within the bacterial cell for antibiotics. Investigations into ribosome-targeting antibiotics have provided much needed functional and structural insight into their mechanism of action. However, the increasing prevalence of multi-drug-resistant bacteria has limited the utility of our current arsenal of clinically relevant ...

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Multienzymatic cascades are responsible for the biosynthesis of natural products and represent a source of inspiration for synthetic chemists. The FeII/α-ketoglutarate-dependent dioxygenase AsqJ from Aspergillus nidulans is outstanding because it stereoselectively catalyzes both a ferryl-induced desaturation reaction and epoxidation on a benzodiazepinedione. ...

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The association of light chains (LCs) and heavy chains is the basis for functional antibodies that are essential for adaptive immune responses. However, in some cases, LCs and especially fragments consisting of the LC variable (VL) domain are pathologically deposited in fatal aggregation diseases. The two domains of the LC are connected by a highly conserved ...

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The MLE helicase remodels the roX lncRNAs, enabling the lncRNA-mediated assembly of the Drosophila dosage compensation complex. We identified a stable MLE core comprising the DExH helicase module and two auxiliary domains: a dsRBD and an OB-like fold. MLEcore is an unusual DExH helicase that can unwind blunt-ended RNA duplexes and has specificity for uridine ...

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Synthesis of polyproline proteins leads to translation arrest. To overcome this ribosome stalling effect, bacteria depend on a specialized translation elongation factor P (EF-P), being orthologous and functionally identical to eukaryotic/archaeal elongation factor e/aIF-5A (recently renamed ‘EF5’). EF-P binds to the stalled ribosome between the peptidyl-tRNA ...

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Inkretin-Mimetika sind auf dem besten Weg, sich zu einer tragenden Säule in der Typ-2-Diabetes-Behandlung zu entwickeln. Durch ihre Wirkung auf die Bauchspeicheldrüse und das Gehirn verstärken sie die Insulinsekretion, induzieren einen Gewichtsverlust und halten die Normoglykämie aufrecht. Allerdings wird die Inkretin-Therapie mit Nebenwirkungen wie Übelkeit und ...

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T cell infiltration at the tumor site has been identified as a major predictor for the efficacy of adoptive T cell therapy. The chemokine C-C motif ligand 22 (CCL22) is highly expressed by immune cells in murine and human pancreatic cancer. Expression of its corresponding receptor, C-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CCR4), is restricted to regulatory T cells (Treg). ...

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Protein kinases are the most prominent group of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) clients and are recruited to the molecular chaperone by the kinase-specific cochaperone cell division cycle 37 (Cdc37). The interaction between Hsp90 and nematode Cdc37 is mediated by binding of the Hsp90 middle domain to an N-terminal region of Caenorhabditis elegans Cdc37 (CeCdc37). ...

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The DEAD-box protein DDX6 is a central component of translational repression mechanisms in maternal mRNA storage in oocytes and microRNA-mediated silencing in somatic cells. DDX6 interacts with the CCR4-NOT complex and functions in concert with several post-transcriptional regulators, including Edc3, Pat1, and 4E-T. We show that the conserved CUP-homology domain ...

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Purpose Integrins are transmembrane receptors responsible for cell–cell adhesion and cell–extracellular matrix binding and play an important role in angiogenesis and tumour metastasis. For this reason, integrins are increasingly used as targets for molecular imaging. Up to now interest has mostly been focused on the integrin subtype αvβ3. However, targeting of ...

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Retinal degenerative diseases can have many possible causes and are currently difficult to treat. As an alternative to therapies that require genetic manipulation or the implantation of electronic devices, photopharmacology has emerged as a viable approach to restore visual responses. Here, we present a new photopharmacological strategy that relies on a ...

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Body weight loss of Lepob/ob mice in response to leptin is larger than expected from the reduction in energy intake alone, suggesting a thermogenic action of unknown magnitude. We exploited the superior pharmacological properties of a novel long-acting leptin prepared via PASylation to study the contribution of its anorexigenic and thermogenic effects. ...

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The main bittering component in beer, hop iso-α-acids, have been characterised as weak acids, which act as ionophores impairing microbial cells' function under acidic conditions as present in beer. Besides medium pH, divalent cations play a central role regarding the efficacy of the antimicrobial effect. The iso-α-acids' non-bitter derivatives humulinic acids can ...

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Implant materials require optimal biointegration, including strong and stable cell-material interactions from the early stages of implantation. Ti-based alloys with low elastic modulus are attracting a lot of interest for avoiding stress shielding, but their osseointegration potential is still very low. In this study, we report on how cell adhesion is influenced ...

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Clinical application of proteasome inhibitors (PIs) is so far limited to peripheral blood cancers due to the pronounced cytotoxicity towards all cell types. Targeted delivery of PIs could permit the treatment of other cancers along with decreasing side effects. Herein we describe the first small-molecule proteasome inhibitor conjugate for targeted delivery, ...

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Integrin α5β1 expression is correlated with a worse prognosis in high-grade glioma. We previously unraveled a negative crosstalk between integrin α5β1 and p53 pathway, which was proposed to be part of the resistance of glioblastoma to chemotherapies. The restoration of p53 tumor-suppressor function is under intensive investigations for cancer therapy. However, ...

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Mutations in the PTEN-induced kinase 1 (PINK1) are causative of autosomal recessive Parkinson's disease (PD). We have previously reported that PINK1 is activated by mitochondrial depolarisation and phosphorylates serine 65 (Ser65) of the ubiquitin ligase Parkin and ubiquitin to stimulate Parkin E3 ligase activity. Here, we have employed quantitative ...

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The standard of care for diagnosis and therapy monitoring of gliomas is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which however, provides only an indirect and incomplete representation of the tumor mass, offers limited information for patient stratification according to WHO-grades and may insufficiently indicate tumor relapse after antiangiogenic therapy. Anticalins are ...

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Small heat-shock proteins, including αB-crystallin (αB), play an important part in protein homeostasis, because their ATP-independent chaperone activity inhibits uncontrolled protein aggregation. Mechanistic details of human αB, particularly in its client-bound state, have been elusive so far, owing to the high molecular weight and the heterogeneity of these ...

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Alzheimer's disease (AD) is associated with defects of synaptic connectivity. Such defects may not be restricted to local neuronal interactions but may extend to long-range brain activities, such as slow-wave oscillations that are particularly prominent during non–rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep and are important for integration of information across distant ...

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Strep-Tactin, an engineered form of streptavidin, binds avidly to the genetically encoded peptide Strep-tag II in a manner comparable to streptavidin binding to biotin. These interactions have been used in protein purification and detection applications. However, in single-molecule studies, for example using atomic force microscopy-based single-molecule force ...

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The peroxisomal proteins (peroxins) that mediate the import of peroxisomal matrix proteins have been identified. Recently, the purification of a functional peroxisomal translocon has been reported. However, the molecular details of the import pathways and the mechanisms by which the cargo is translocated into the lumen of the organelle are still poorly ...

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Background: Adenine nucleotide/phosphate carriers (APCs) from mammals and yeast are commonly known to adapt the mitochondrial adenine nucleotide pool in accordance to cellular demands. They catalyze adenine nucleotide - particularly ATP-Mg - and phosphate exchange and their activity is regulated by calcium. Our current knowledge about corresponding proteins from ...

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The correct topogenesis of peroxisomal membrane proteins is a crucial step for the formation of functioning peroxisomes. Although this process has been widely studied, the exact mechanism with which it occurs has not yet been fully characterized. Nevertheless, it is generally accepted that peroxisomes employ three proteins – Pex3, Pex19 and Pex16 in mammals – for ...

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Hydrogen evolution from photocatalytic reduction of water holds promise as a sustainable source of carbon-free energy. Covalent organic frameworks (COFs) present an interesting new class of photoactive materials, which combine three key features relevant to the photocatalytic process, namely crystallinity, porosity and tunability. Here we synthesize a series of ...

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Photodriven molecular motors are able to convert light energy into directional motion and hold great promise as miniaturized powering units for future nanomachines. In the current state of the art, considerable efforts have still to be made to increase the efficiency of energy transduction and devise systems that allow operation in ambient and non-damaging ...

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Alzheimer's disease is the most severe neurodegenerative disease worldwide. In the past years, a plethora of small molecules interfering with amyloid-β (Aβ) aggregation have been suggested. However, their mode of interaction with amyloid fibers is not understood. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are known γ-secretase modulators (GSMs). It has been ...

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The inactivation of the LRPPRC gene, which has previously been associated with the neurodegenerative French Canadian Leigh Syndrome, results in a decrease in the production of mitochondria-encoded subunits of complex IV, thereby causing a reduction in complex IV activity. Previously we have shown that reducing complex IV activity triggers a compensatory and ...

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A novel chemoenzymatic approach for simple and fast site-specific protein labeling is reported. Recombinant tubulin tyrosine ligase (TTL) was repurposed to attach various unnatural tyrosine derivatives as small bioorthogonal handles to proteins containing a short tubulin-derived recognition sequence (Tub-tag). This novel strategy enables a broad range of ...

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The amyloid precursor protein (APP) is a single-span integral membrane protein whose C-terminal fragment C99 is cleaved within the transmembrane helix by γ-secretase. Cleavage produces various Aβ peptides that are linked to the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease. The transmembrane helix is known to homodimerize in a sequence-specific manner, and considerable ...

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The bioorthogonal keto group has attracted interest for the site-specific chemical conjugation of recombinant proteins under mild conditions, e.g. with aminooxy-functionalised fluorescent probes, radiometal chelates, toxins or polymers. However, the cotranslational incorporation of the corresponding non-canonical amino acid p-acetyl-l-phenylalanine (Apa) into ...

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The peptide bond formation with the amino acid proline (Pro) on the ribosome is slow, resulting in translational stalling when several Pro have to be incorporated into the peptide. Stalling at poly-Pro motifs is alleviated by the elongation factor P (EF-P). Here we investigate why Pro is a poor substrate and how EF-P catalyzes the reaction. Linear free energy ...

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Stationary and time-resolved experiments show that 2′-methoxyacetophenone (2-M) is an interesting compound for the investigation of triplet states in thymine samples. Time-resolved emission experiments show that the fluorescence lifetime of 2-M is 660 ps. A similar time constant of 680 ps is found in transient IR experiments. The data indicate efficient ...

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Protein kinases are important mediators of intracellular signaling and are reversibly activated by phosphorylation. Immobilized kinase inhibitors can be used to enrich these often low-abundance proteins, to identify targets of kinase inhibitors, or to probe their selectivity. It has been suggested that the binding of kinases to affinity beads reflects a kinase’s ...

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Analogues of the natural product duocarmycin bearing an indole moiety were shown to bind aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH1A1) in addition to DNA, while derivatives without the indole solely addressed the ALDH1A1 protein. The molecular mechanism of selective ALDH1A1 inhibition by duocarmycin analogues was unraveled through cocrystallization, mutational studies, ...

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Analogues of the natural product duocarmycin bearing an indole moiety were shown to bind aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A1 (ALDH1A1) in addition to DNA, while derivatives without the indole solely addressed the ALDH1A1 protein. The molecular mechanism of selective ALDH1A1 inhibition by duocarmycin analogues was unraveled through cocrystallization, mutational studies, ...

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The field of biology has been revolutionized by the recent advancement of an adaptive bacterial immune system as a universal genome engineering tool. Bacteria and archaea use repetitive genomic elements termed clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) in combination with an RNA-guided nuclease (CRISPR-associated nuclease: Cas) to target ...

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The l-alanine dehydrogenase of Bacillus subtilis (BasAlaDH), which is strictly dependent on NADH as redox cofactor, efficiently catalyzes the reductive amination of pyruvate to l-alanine using ammonia as amino group donor. To enable application of BasAlaDH as regenerating enzyme in coupled reactions with NADPH-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases, we alterated its ...

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The corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor type 1 (CRHR1) plays an important role in orchestrating neuroendocrine, behavioral, and autonomic responses to stress. To identify molecules capable of directly modulating CRHR1 signaling, we performed a yeast-two-hybrid screen using the C-terminal intracellular tail of the receptor as bait. We identified several ...

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Epicolactone is a recently isolated fungal metabolite that is highly complex for its size, and yet racemic. With its array of quaternary stereocentres, high degree of functionalization and intricate polycyclic structure, it poses a considerable challenge to synthesis, a challenge that can be met by understanding its biosynthetic origin. If drawn in a certain way, ...

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The signal recognition particle (SRP) recognizes signal sequences of nascent polypeptides and targets ribosome–nascent chain complexes to membrane translocation sites. In eukaryotes, translating ribosomes are slowed down by the Alu domain of SRP to allow efficient targeting. In prokaryotes, however, little is known about the structure and function of Alu ...

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Falcarinol and stipudiol are natural products with potent anti-cancer activity found in several vegetables. Here, we use a chemical proteomic strategy to identify ALDH2 as a molecular target of falcarinol in cancer cells and confirm enzyme inhibition via covalent alkylation of the active site. Furthermore, the synthesis of stipudiol led to the observation that ...

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Recent structural studies on libraries of cyclic hexapeptides led to the identification of common backbone conformations that may be instrumental to the oral availability of peptides. Furthermore, the observation of differential Caco-2 permeabilities of enantiomeric pairs of some of these peptides strongly supports the concept of conformational specificity driven ...

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Oncogene activation is usually not enough to induce cancer, but causes cells to arrest proliferation, alter chromatin structure, and increase protein secretion. In this issue of Molecular Cell, Chen et al. (2015) implicate the histone variant macroH2A.1 in the regulation of senescence.

 

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The thermostable NAD+-dependent alcohol dehydrogenase from Geobacillus stearothermophilus (BsADH) was exploited with regard to the biocatalytic synthesis of ω-oxo lauric acid methyl ester (OLAMe), a key intermediate for biobased polyamide 12 production, from the corresponding long-chain alcohol. Recombinant BsADH was produced in Escherichia coli as a homogeneous ...

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Up to 80% of human cancers, in particular solid tumors, contain cells with abnormal chromosomal numbers, or aneuploidy, which is often linked with marked chromosomal instability. Whereas in some tumors the aneuploidy occurs by missegregation of one or a few chromosomes, aneuploidy can also arise during proliferation of inherently unstable tetraploid cells ...

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NMR studies of multi-domain protein complexes provide unique insight into their molecular interactions and dynamics in solution. For large proteins domain-selective isotope labeling is desired to reduce signal overlap, but available methods require extensive optimization and often give poor ligation yields. We present an optimized strategy for segmental labeling ...

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N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) play a central role in synaptic plasticity, learning and memory, and are implicated in various neuronal disorders. We synthesized a diffusible photochromic glutamate analogue, azobenzene-triazole-glutamate (ATG), which is specific for NMDARs and functions as a photoswitchable agonist. ATG is inactive in its dark-adapted ...

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In vivo Ca2+ imaging of neuronal populations in deep cortical layers has remained a major challenge, as the recording depth of two-photon microscopy is limited because of the scattering and absorption of photons in brain tissue. A possible strategy to increase the imaging depth is the use of red-shifted fluorescent dyes, as scattering of photons is reduced at ...

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The effect of galectin-mediated microdomain formation on the spatiotemporal dynamics of glycosylated membrane proteins in human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) was studied qualitatively and quantitatively by high-resolution fluorescence microscopy and artificially mimicked by metabolic glycoprotein engineering. Two types of membrane proteins, sialic ...

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Assembly of the Gag polyprotein into new viral particles in infected cells is a crucial step in the retroviral replication cycle. Currently, little is known about the onset of assembly in the cytosol. In this paper, we analyzed the cytosolic HIV-1 Gag fraction in real time in live cells using advanced fluctuation imaging methods and thereby provide detailed ...

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NMR spectroscopic studies with a series of proline derivatives revealed that the polarity of the environment has a significant effect on the trans:cis isomer ratio of Xaa–Pro bonds. Computational studies showed that this effect is due to differences in the overall dipole moments of trans and cis conformers. Comparisons between the conformational properties of ...

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Here we employ single-molecule force spectroscopy with an atomic force microscope (AFM) and steered molecular dynamics (SMD) simulations to reveal force propagation pathways through a mechanically ultrastable multidomain cellulosome protein complex. We demonstrate a new combination of network-based correlation analysis supported by AFM directional pulling ...

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Swi2/Snf2 ATPases remodel substrates such as nucleosomes and transcription complexes to control a wide range of DNA-associated processes, but detailed structural information on the ATP-dependent remodeling reactions is largely absent. The single subunit remodeler Mot1 (modifier of transcription 1) dissociates TATA box-binding protein (TBP):DNA complexes, offering ...

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Chromatin remodeling complexes utilize the energy of ATP hydrolysis to change the packing state of chromatin, e.g. by catalysing the sliding of nucleosomes along DNA. Here we present simple models to describe experimental data of changes in DNA accessibility along a synthetic, repetitive array of nucleosomes during remodeling by the ACF enzyme or its isolated ...

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To shed light on cell-adhesion-related molecular pathways, synthetic cells offer the unique advantage of a well-controlled model system with reduced molecular complexity. Herein, we show that liposomes with the reconstituted platelet integrin αIIbβ3 as the adhesion-mediating transmembrane protein are a functional minimal cell model for studying cellular adhesion ...

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Transmembrane (TM) helices of integral membrane proteins can facilitate strong and specific noncovalent protein–protein interactions. Mutagenesis and structural analyses have revealed numerous examples in which the interaction between TM helices of single-pass membrane proteins is dependent on a GxxxG or (small)xxx(small) motif. It is therefore tempting to use ...

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Human DNA glycosylase, hOGG1, is known to perform DNA repair by cleaving oxidized guanine (8OG) from the DNA. Despite numerous experimental and theoretical investigations, the underlying selective molecular mechanism has remained a mystery. Here we present a mechanism that explains how hOGG1’s catalytic pocket is able to host an undamaged guanine base, but is not ...

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The eukaryotic exosome is a conserved RNA-degrading complex that functions in RNA surveillance, turnover and processing. How the same machinery can either completely degrade or precisely trim RNA substrates has long remained unexplained. Here we report the crystal structures of a yeast nuclear exosome containing the 9-subunit core, the 3′–5′ RNases Rrp44 and ...

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Human melanocortin receptors (hMCRs) have been challenging targets to develop ligands that are explicitly selective for each of their subtypes. To modulate the conformational preferences of the melanocortin ligands and improve the biofunctional agonist/antagonist activities and selectivities, we have applied a backbone N-methylation approach on ...

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The identification of the essential bacterial second messenger cyclic-di-AMP (c-di-AMP) synthesized by the DNA-integrity scanning protein A (DisA) has opened up a new and emerging field in bacterial signalling. To further analyse the diadenylate cyclase (DAC) reaction catalysed by the DAC domains of DisA, we crystallized Thermotoga maritima DisA in the presence ...

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Mutations in the PDE6A gene can cause rod photoreceptors degeneration and the blinding disease retinitis pigmentosa (RP). While a number of pathogenic PDE6A mutations have been described, little is known about their impact on compound heterozygous situations and potential interactions of different disease-causing alleles. Here, we used a novel mouse model for the ...

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GTPases act as key regulators of many cellular processes by switching between active (GTP-bound) and inactive (GDP-bound) states. In many cases, understanding their mode of action has been aided by artificially stabilizing one of these states either by designing mutant proteins or by complexation with non-hydrolysable GTP analogues. Because of inherent ...

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Small molecules that interfere with microtubule dynamics, such as Taxol and the Vinca alkaloids, are widely used in cell biology research and as clinical anticancer drugs. However, their activity cannot be restricted to specific target cells, which also causes severe side effects in chemotherapy. Here, we introduce the photostatins, inhibitors that can be ...

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Natural products comprise a rich source for bioactive molecules with medicinal relevance. Many of these contain electrophilic scaffolds that bind conserved enzyme active sites covalently. Prominent examples include beta-lactams and beta-lactones, which specifically acylate serine residues in diverse peptidases. Although these scaffolds appear similar, their ...

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Hemithioindigo (HTI) is an emerging photoswitch with many advantageous properties compared to the commonly used photoswitches like azobenzenes, spiropyranes, or dithienylethenes. In this DIGEST the syntheses, physical and photophysical properties of HTI photoswitches and mechanistic explanations for the latter are reviewed. Emphasis will be placed on those ...

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The Caenorhabditis elegans germ-line development defective (GLD)-2–GLD-3 complex up-regulates the expression of genes required for meiotic progression. GLD-2–GLD-3 acts by extending the short poly(A) tail of germ-line–specific mRNAs, switching them from a dormant state into a translationally active state. GLD-2 is a cytoplasmic noncanonical poly(A) polymerase ...

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The IL-4-inducing principle from Schistosoma mansoni eggs (IPSE/α-1), the major secretory product of eggs from the parasitic worm S. mansoni, efficiently triggers basophils to release the immunomodulatory key cytokine interleukin-4. Activation by IPSE/α-1 requires the presence of IgE on the basophils, but the detailed molecular mechanism underlying activation is ...

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Aryl sulfonamides are a widely used drug class for the inhibition of carbonic anhydrases. In the context of our program of photochromic pharmacophores we were interested in the exploration of azobenzene-containing sulfonamides to block the catalytic activity of human carbonic anhydrase II (hCAII). Herein, we report the synthesis and in vitro evaluation of a small ...

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Ski7 is a cofactor of the cytoplasmic exosome in budding yeast, functioning in both mRNA turnover and non-stop decay (NSD), a surveillance pathway that degrades faulty mRNAs lacking a stop codon. The C-terminal region of Ski7 (Ski7C) shares overall sequence similarity with the translational GTPase (trGTPase) Hbs1, but whether Ski7 has retained the properties of a ...

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Nucleotide excision repair (NER) is responsible for the removal of a large variety of structurally diverse DNA lesions. Mutations of the involved proteins cause the xeroderma pigmentosum (XP) cancer predisposition syndrome. Although the general mechanism of the NER process is well studied, the function of the XPA protein, which is of central importance for ...

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The life span of non-renewing organisms is determined by the potential of their individual cells to maintain their functions while aging. Nematodes, like Caenorhabditis elegans with their 20 days of adult life, have proven to be excellent model systems to study organismal lifespan, its variability, and its regulation.

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We present a new protein labeling method based on the covalent enzymatic phosphocholination of a specific octapeptide amino acid sequence in intact proteins. The bacterial enzyme AnkX from Legionella pneumophila has been established to transfer functional phosphocholine moieties from synthetically produced CDP-choline derivatives to N-termini, C-termini, and ...

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The absolute levels of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (hmC) and 5-methylcytosine (mC) in human brain tissues at various ages were determined. Additionally, absolute levels of 5-formylcytosine (fC) in adult individuals and cytosine modification levels in sorted neurons were quantified. These data were compared with age-related fC, hmC, and mC levels in mouse brain ...

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Alternative splicing acts on transcripts from almost all human multi-exon genes. Notwithstanding its ubiquity, fundamental ramifications of splicing on protein expression remain unresolved. The number and identity of spliced transcripts that form stably folded proteins remain the sources of considerable debate, due largely to low coverage of experimental methods ...

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Peptide-protein interactions are ubiquitous in the cell and form an important part of the interactome. Computational docking methods can complement experimental characterization of these complexes, but current protocols are not applicable on the proteome scale. Here, we present a new fully blind flexible peptide-protein docking protocol, pepATTRACT, which ...

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Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) is widely used to identify chromosomal binding sites. Chromatin proteins are cross-linked to their target sequences in living cells. The purified chromatin is sheared and the relevant protein is enriched by immunoprecipitation with specific antibodies. The co-purifying genomic DNA is then determined by massive parallel ...

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Main conclusion The extreme Alb3 C terminus is important for Alb3 stability in a light dependent manner, but is dispensable for LHCP insertion or D1 synthesis.
 

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UV-induced Dewar lesion formation is investigated in single- and double-stranded oligonucleotides with ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy. The quantum yield for the conversion of the (6–4) lesion to the Dewar isomer in DNA strands is reduced by a factor of 4 in comparison to model dinucleotides. Time resolved spectroscopy reveals a fast process in the excited ...

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IspG is the penultimate enzyme in non-mevalonate biosynthesis of the universal terpene building blocks isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate. Its mechanism of action has been the subject of numerous studies but remained unresolved due to difficulties in identifying distinct reaction intermediates. Using a moderate reducing agent and an epoxide ...

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Small heat shock proteins (sHsps) are ubiquitous molecular chaperones that prevent the aggregation of unfolding proteins during proteotoxic stress. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Sip1 is the only sHsp exclusively expressed in oocytes and embryos. Here, we demonstrate that Sip1 is essential for heat shock survival of reproducing adults and embryos. X-ray ...

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Caseinolytic protease P (ClpP) represents a central bacterial degradation machinery that is involved in cell homeostasis and pathogenicity. The functional role of ClpP has been studied by genetic knockouts and through the use of beta-lactones, which remain the only specific inhibitors of ClpP discovered to date. Beta-lactones have served as chemical tools to ...

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The Janus Kinase (JAK) signaling pathway plays a key role for many cellular processes and has recently been correlated with neuronal disorders. In order to understand new links of JAK family members with other signaling pathways, chemical proteomics tools with broad kinase coverage are desirable. A probe that shows outstanding kinase selectivity and allows for ...

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DNMT1 is recruited by PCNA and UHRF1 to maintain DNA methylation after replication. UHRF1 recognizes hemimethylated DNA substrates via the SRA domain, but also repressive H3K9me3 histone marks with its TTD. With systematic mutagenesis and functional assays, we could show that chromatin binding further involved UHRF1 PHD binding to unmodified H3R2. These ...

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RNA binding proteins (RBPs) are key factors for the regulation of gene expression by binding to cis elements, i.e. short sequence motifs in RNAs. Recent studies demonstrate that cooperative binding of multiple RBPs is important for the sequence-specific recognition of RNA and thereby enables the regulation of diverse biological activities by a limited set of ...

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Together with the Rad50 ATPase, the Mre11 nuclease forms an evolutionarily conserved protein complex that plays a central role in the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Mre11-Rad50 detects and processes DNA ends, and has functions in the tethering as well as the signalling of DSBs. The Mre11 dimer can bind one or two DNA ends or hairpins, and processes ...

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The high-resolution refinement of docked protein-protein complexes can provide valuable structural and mechanistic insight into protein complex formation complementing experiment. Monte Carlo (MC) based approaches are frequently applied to sample putative interaction geometries of proteins including also possible conformational changes of the binding partners. In ...

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Hsp90 is a molecular chaperone involved in the activation of numerous client proteins, including many kinases. The most stringent kinase client is the oncogenic kinase v-Src. To elucidate how Hsp90 chaperones kinases, we reconstituted v-Src kinase chaperoning in vitro and show that its activation is ATP-dependent, with the cochaperone Cdc37 increasing the ...

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Antibodies are key reagents to investigate cellular processes. The development of recombinant antibodies and binders derived from natural protein scaffolds has expanded traditional applications, such as immunofluorescence, binding arrays, and immunoprecipitation. In addition, their small size and high stability in ectopic environments have enabled their use in ...

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In our screening efforts to identify unique scaffolds from myxobacteria for the drug discovery process, we used LC-SPE-NMR-MS techniques to isolate six linear peptides, termed macyranone A–F, from Cystobacter fuscus MCy9118. The macyranones are characterized by a rare 2-methylmalonamide moiety and an α-amino ketone fragment including an α′,β′-epoxyketone in ...

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The transient receptor potential (TRPC) proteins form non-selective cation channels that are activated downstream of Gq-phospholipase C-coupled receptors. TRPC3, one of the seven members of the TRPC subfamily, combines functions of an unspecific ion channel and a signal transducer. In the mammalian brain, the expression of TRPC3 is highest in cerebellar Purkinje ...

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Histone variants are emerging as key regulatory molecules in cancer. We report a unique role for the H2A.Z isoform H2A.Z.2 as a driver of malignant melanoma. H2A.Z.2 is highly expressed in metastatic melanoma, correlates with decreased patient survival, and is required for cellular proliferation. Our integrated genomic analyses reveal that H2A.Z.2 controls the ...

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The increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria is limiting the effectiveness of currently approved antibiotics, leading to a renewed interest in antibiotics with distinct chemical scaffolds. We have solved the structures of the Thermus thermophilus 70S ribosome with A-, P-, and E-site tRNAs bound and in complex with either the aminocyclitol-containing antibiotic ...

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Mouse full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) are dominated by responses of photoreceptors and depolarizing (ON-) bipolar cells, but not much of hyperpolarizing (OFF-) bipolar cells under conventional recording conditions. Here we investigate a novel ERG protocol in mice for functional assessment of the major ON- and OFF-bipolar cell pathways using flicker stimuli ...

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Protein phosphatase 5 (PP5) is an evolutionary conserved serine/threonine phosphatase. Its dephosphorylation activity modulates a diverse set of cellular factors including protein kinases and the microtubule-associated tau protein involved in neurodegenerative disorders. It is auto-regulated by its heat-shock protein (Hsp90)-interacting tetratricopeptide repeat ...

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Photoreceptor cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels play a pivotal role in phototransduction. Mutations in the cone CNG channel subunits CNGA3 and CNGB3 are associated with achromatopsia and cone dystrophies. We have shown endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-associated apoptotic cone death and increased phosphorylation of the ER Ca2+ channel inositol ...

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Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is a γ-herpesvirus that may cause infectious mononucleosis in young adults. In addition, epidemiological and molecular evidence links EBV to the pathogenesis of lymphoid and epithelial malignancies. EBV has the unique ability to transform resting B cells into permanently proliferating, latently infected lymphoblastoid cell lines. ...

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Background: Special diphenyl-pyrazole compounds and in particular anle138b were found to reduce the progression of prion and Parkinson's disease in animal models. The therapeutic impact of these compounds was attributed to the modulation of α-synuclein and prion-protein aggregation related to these diseases. Methods: Photophysical and photochemical properties of ...

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Members of the YidC/Oxa1/Alb3 protein family mediate membrane protein insertion and this process is initiated by the assembly of YidC:ribosome nascent chain (RNC) complexes at the inner leaflet of the lipid bilayer. The positively charged C-terminus of Escherichia coli YidC plays a significant role in ribosome binding but is not the sole determinant as deletion ...

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Cleavage analyses of 20S proteasomes with natural or synthetic substrates allowed to infer the substrate specificities of the active sites and paved the way for the rational design of high-affinity proteasome inhibitors. However, details of cleavage preferences remained enigmatic due to the lack of appropriate structural data. In a unique approach, we here ...

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The ubiquitous occurrence of DNA damages renders its repair machinery a crucial requirement for the genomic stability and the survival of living organisms. Deficiencies in DNA repair can lead to carcinogenesis, Alzheimer, or Diabetes II, where increased amounts of oxidized DNA bases have been found in patients. Despite the highest mutation frequency among ...

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Any profound comprehension of gene function requires detailed information about the subcellular localization, molecular interactions and spatio-temporal dynamics of gene products. We developed a multifunctional integrase (MIN) tag for rapid and versatile genome engineering that serves not only as a genetic entry site for the Bxb1 integrase but also as a novel ...

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Fatty acids (FAs) are not only essential components of cellular energy storage and structure, but play crucial roles in signalling. Here we present a toolkit of photoswitchable FA analogues (FAAzos) that incorporate an azobenzene photoswitch along the FA chain. By modifying the FAAzos to resemble capsaicin, we prepare a series of photolipids targeting the ...

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Analytical ultracentrifugation (AUC) is a first principles based method to determine absolute sedimentation coefficients and buoyant molar masses of macromolecules and their complexes, reporting on their size and shape in free solution. The purpose of this multi-laboratory study was to establish the precision and accuracy of basic data dimensions in AUC and ...

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Multicellular organisms depend on cell-type-specific division of labor for survival. Specific cell types have their unique developmental program and respond differently to environmental challenges, yet are orchestrated by the same genetic blueprint. A key challenge in biology is thus to understand how genes are expressed in the right place, at the right time, and ...

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Immuno-PET imaging of the tumor antigen HER2/neu allows for the noninvasive detection and monitoring of oncogene expression; such detection and monitoring are of prognostic value in patients with breast cancer. Compared with the full-size antibody trastuzumab, smaller protein tracers with more rapid blood clearance permit higher imaging contrast at earlier time ...

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More than 50% of mammalian genomes consist of retrotransposon sequences. Silencing of retrotransposons by heterochromatin is essential to ensure genomic stability and transcriptional integrity. Here, we identified a short sequence element in intracisternal A particle (IAP) retrotransposons that is sufficient to trigger heterochromatin formation. We used this ...

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Calculating the number of confidently identified proteins and estimating false discovery rate (FDR) is a challenge when analyzing very large proteomic data sets such as entire human proteomes. Biological and technical heterogeneity in proteomic experiments further add to the challenge and there are strong differences in opinion regarding the conceptual validity ...

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Orthogonally functionalized binary micropatterned substrates are produced using a novel protocol. The use of adequate peptido-mimetics enables an unprecedented segregation of purified αvβ3 and α5β1 integrins in adjacent microislands and evidences the preference of U2OS cells to colocalize such receptors. Moreover, this tendency can be altered by varying the ...

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Increased thermal or mechanical stability of DNA duplexes is desired for many applications in nanotechnology or -medicine where DNA is used as a programmable building block. Modifications of pyrimidine bases are known to enhance thermal stability and have the advantage of standard base-pairing and easy integration during chemical DNA synthesis. Through ...

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Am 14.05.2015 wurde CIPSM-Wissenschaftler Christoph Bräuchle im Rahmen der 114. Hauptversammlung der Deutschen Bunsen-Gesellschaft für Physikalische Chemie e.V. die Walther-Nernst-Denkmünze durch den Ersten Vorsitzenden der Deutschen Bunsengesellschaft, Herrn Prof. J. Sauer, überreicht.   Dieser Preis wird nur alle drei Jahre verliehen an WissenschaftlerInnen, ...

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Broad-spectrum proteasome inhibitors are applied as anticancer drugs, whereas selective blockage of the immunoproteasome represents a promising therapeutic rationale for autoimmune diseases. We here aimed at identifying minimal structural elements that confer β5c or β5i selectivity on proteasome inhibitors. Based on the natural product belactosin C, we ...

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The pH-responsive one-component signaling system CadC in Escherichia coli belongs to the family of ToxR-like proteins, whose members share a conserved modular structure, with an N-terminal cytoplasmic winged helix–turn–helix DNA-binding domain being followed by a single transmembrane helix and a C-terminal periplasmic pH-sensing domain. In E. coli CadC, a ...

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Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) have become an important therapeutic option for treating several forms of cancer. Gefitinib, an inhibitor of the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), is in clinical use for treating non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) harboring activating EGFR mutations. However, despite high initial response rates, many patients develop ...

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Aging has been associated with a progressive decline of proteostasis, but how this process affects proteome composition remains largely unexplored. Here, we profiled more than 5,000 proteins along the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans. We find that one-third of proteins change in abundance at least 2-fold during aging, resulting in a severe proteome imbalance. ...

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Objectives: To characterize phenotypes of T cells that accumulated in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions, to compare the lesional T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of T-cell subsets to peripheral blood, and to identify paired α and β chains from single CD8+ T cells from an index patient who we followed for 18 years. Methods: We combined immunohistochemistry, laser ...

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The Ccr4-Not complex regulates eukaryotic gene expression at multiple levels, including mRNA turnover, translational repression, and transcription. We have studied the ubiquitylation module of the yeast Ccr4-Not complex and addressed how E3 ligase binds cognate E2 and how it is tethered to the complex. The 2.8-Å resolution crystal structure of the N-terminal RING ...

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DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) block replication fork progression by inhibiting DNA strand separation. Repair of ICLs requires sequential incisions, translesion DNA synthesis, and homologous recombination, but the full set of factors involved in these transactions remains unknown. We devised a technique called chromatin mass spectrometry (CHROMASS) to study ...

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Intramembrane proteolysis – cleavage of proteins within the plane of a membrane – is a widespread phenomenon that can contribute to the functional activation of substrates and is involved in several diseases. Although different families of intramembrane proteases have been discovered and characterized, we currently do not know how these enzymes discriminate ...

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Most chloroplast resident proteins are equipped with N-terminal transit peptides to ensure targeting from the cytosol to the organelle. Import rates can be modulated by phosphorylation and 14-3-3 binding within the transit peptides. Using the phosphorylatable preprotein pHCF136, a photosystem II assembly factor, we investigated the function of preprotein ...

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The chromatin remodeling complex NoRC, comprising the subunits SNF2h and TIP5/BAZ2A, mediates heterochromatin formation at major clusters of repetitive elements, including rRNA genes, centromeres and telomeres. Association with chromatin requires the interaction of the TAM (TIP5/ARBP/MBD) domain of TIP5 with noncoding RNA, which targets NoRC to specific genomic ...

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Recently, oral absorption of cyclic hexapeptides was improved by N-methylation of their backbone amides. However, the number and position of N-methylations or of solvent exposed NHs did not correlate to intestinal permeability, measured in a Caco-2 model. In this study, we investigate enantiomeric pairs of three polar and two lipophilic peptides to demonstrate ...

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Ribosomal stalling is used to regulate gene expression and can occur in a species-specific manner. Stalling during translation of the MifM leader peptide regulates expression of the downstream membrane protein biogenesis factor YidC2 (YqjG) in Bacillus subtilis, but not in Escherichia coli. In the absence of structures of Gram-positive bacterial ribosomes, a ...

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Kinase inhibition is considered to be an important therapeutic target for LRRK2 mediated Parkinson’s disease (PD). Many LRRK2 kinase inhibitors have been reported but have yet to be optimized in order to qualify as drug candidates for the treatment of the disease. In order to start a structure–function analysis of such inhibitors, we mutated the active site of ...

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A biomimetic total synthesis of santalin Y, a structurally complex but racemic natural product, is described. The key step is proposed to be a (3+2) cycloaddition of a benzylstyrene to a “vinylogous oxidopyrylium”, which is followed by an intramolecular Friedel–Crafts reaction. This cascade generates the unique oxafenestrane framework of the target molecule and ...

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Ten-eleven translocation hydroxylases (TET1-3) oxidize 5-methylcytosine (5mC) to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC). In neurons, increased 5hmC levels within gene bodies correlate positively with gene expression. The mechanisms controlling TET activity and 5hmC levels are poorly understood. In particular, it is not known how the neuronal TET3 isoform lacking a ...

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The second messenger NAADP triggers Ca2+ release from endo-lysosomes. Although two-pore channels (TPCs) have been proposed to be regulated by NAADP, recent studies have challenged this. By generating the first mouse line with demonstrable absence of both Tpcn1 and Tpcn2 expression (Tpcn1/2−/−), we show that the loss of endogenous TPCs abolished NAADP-dependent ...

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Ribosome protection proteins (RPPs) confer resistance to tetracycline by binding to the ribosome and chasing the drug from its binding site. Current models for RPP action are derived from 7.2- to 16-Å resolution structures of RPPs bound to vacant or nontranslating ribosomes. Here we present a cryo-electron microscopy reconstruction of the RPP TetM in complex with ...

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A highly stable modular platform, based on the sequential covalent attachment of different functionalities to the surface of core–shell mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) for targeted drug delivery is presented. A reversible pH-responsive cap system based on covalently attached poly(2-vinylpyridine) (PVP) was developed as drug release mechanism. Our platform ...

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We are happy that two prestigious distinctions from the fields of peptide chemistry have been awarded to our CIPSM researcher Horst Kessler.   The R. Bruce Merrifield Award is the most prestigious award of the American Peptide Society. Presented at the biennial symposia of the American Peptide Society, it recognizes the lifetime achievement of a peptide scientist ...

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The cochaperone Sti1/Hop physically links Hsp70 and Hsp90. The protein exhibits one binding site for Hsp90 (TPR2A) and two binding sites for Hsp70 (TPR1 and TPR2B). How these sites are used remained enigmatic. Here we show that Sti1 is a dynamic, elongated protein that consists of a flexible N-terminal module, a long linker and a rigid C-terminal module. Binding ...

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The CNGA3−/−/Nrl−/− mouse is a cone-dominant model with Cnga3 channel deficiency, which partially mimics the all cone foveal structure of human achromatopsia 2 with CNGA3 mutations. Although subretinal (SR) AAV vector administration can transfect retinal cells efficiently, the injection-induced retinal detachment can cause retinal damage, particularly when SR ...

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Human odorant-binding protein, OBPIIa, is expressed by nasal epithelia to facilitate transport of hydrophobic odorant molecules across the aqueous mucus. Here, we report its crystallographic analysis at 2.6 Å resolution. OBPIIa is a monomeric protein that exhibits the classical lipocalin fold with a conserved eight-stranded β-barrel harboring a remarkably large ...

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We here report the construction of an E. coli expression system able to manufacture an unnatural amino acid by artificial biosynthesis. This can be orchestrated with incorporation into protein by amber stop codon suppression inside a living cell. In our case an alkyne-bearing pyrrolysine amino acid was biosynthesized and incorporated site-specifically allowing ...

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lInteraction between the surface of implants and biological tissues is a key aspect of biomaterials research. Apart from fulfilling the non-toxicity and structural requirements, synthetic materials are asked to direct cell response, offering engineered cues that provide specific instructions to cells. This work explores the functionalization of titanium with ...

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PeBoW, a trimeric complex consisting of pescadillo (Pes1), block of proliferation (Bop1), and the WD repeat protein 12 (WDR12), is essential for processing and maturation of mammalian 5.8S and 28S ribosomal RNAs. Applying a mass spectrometric analysis, we identified the DEAD-box helicase DDX27 as stably associated factor of the PeBoW-complex. DDX27 interacts with ...

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We demonstrate that discrete three-dimensional (3D) DNA components can specifically self-assemble in solution on the basis of shape-complementarity and without base pairing. Using this principle, we produced homo- and heteromultimeric objects, including micrometer-scale one- and two-stranded filaments and lattices, as well as reconfigurable devices, including an ...

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A pivotal step in the transformation of an endosymbiotic cyanobacterium to a plastid some 1.5 billion years ago was the evolution of a protein import apparatus, the TOC/TIC machinery, in the common ancestor of Archaeplastida. Recently, a putative new TIC member was identified in Arabidopsis thaliana: TIC214. This finding is remarkable for a number of reasons:  ...

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Biological activity in the cell is predominantly mediated by large multiprotein and protein–nucleic acid complexes that act together to ensure functional fidelity. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy is the only method that can provide information for high-resolution three-dimensional structures and the conformational dynamics of these complexes in ...

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Leptin plays a central role in the control of energy homeostasis and appetite and, thus, has attracted attention for therapeutic approaches in spite of its limited pharmacological activity owing to the very short circulation in the body. To improve drug delivery and prolong plasma half-life, we have fused murine leptin with Pro/Ala/Ser (PAS) polypeptides of up to ...

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Epigenetic states defined by chromatin can be maintained through mitotic cell division. However, it remains unknown how histone-based information is transmitted. Here we combine nascent chromatin capture (NCC) and triple-SILAC (stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture) labeling to track histone modifications and histone variants during DNA ...

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Huntingtin (Htt) is a 350 kD intracellular protein, ubiquitously expressed and mainly localized in the cytoplasm. Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused by a CAG triplet amplification in exon 1 of the corresponding gene resulting in a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion at the N-terminus of Htt. Production of full-length Htt has been difficult in the past and so far a ...

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My research entered the RNA world when I joined the EMBL Heidelberg. During my doctoral and postdoctoral research I had focused on developing and applying solution NMR methods and studied protein structure and dynamics of the Bcl family proteins, which are important regulators of apoptosis. When I set up my own group at EMBL in 1997 I became quickly interested in ...

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Since the atomic force microscope (AFM) has evolved into a general purpose platform for mechanical experiments at the nanoscale, the need for a simple and generally applicable localization of the AFM cantilever in the reference frame of an optical microscope has grown. Molecular manipulations like in single molecule cut and paste or force spectroscopy as well as ...

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The proteasome is responsible for the majority of protein degradation within eukaryotic cells and proteasome inhibitors have gained blockbuster status as anticancer drugs. Here, we introduce an analytical platform comprising reverse phase chromatography, intact protein mass spectrometry, and customized data analysis that allows a streamlined investigation of ...

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Traditionally, the impairment of cognitive functions in Alzheimeŕs disease (AD) is thought to result from a reduction in neuronal and synaptic activities, and ultimately cell death. Here, we review recent in vivo evidence from mouse models and human patients indicating that, particularly in early stages of AD, neuronal circuits are hyperactive instead of ...

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While immunoglobulins are well-known for their characteristic ability to bind macromolecular antigens (i.e., as antibodies during an immune response), the lipocalins constitute a family of proteins whose role is the complexation of small molecules for various physiological processes. In fact, a number of low-molecular-weight substances in multicellular organisms ...

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Copenhagen, 9th March 2015: The world’s most valuable (€1m) neuroscience prize, The Brain Prize has been awarded, to CIPSM researcher Arthur Konnerth and three other scientists for the invention and development of two-photon microscopy, a transformative tool in brain research. Two-photon microscopy is one of a handful of techniques which over the last 15 years ...

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Quorum sensing (QS) is a communication process enabling a bacterial population to coordinate and synchronize specific behaviors. The bioluminescent marine bacterium Vibrio harveyi integrates three autoinducer (AI) signals into one quorum sensing cascade comprising a phosphorelay involving three hybrid sensor kinases, LuxU, LuxO, a Hfq/smallRNAs switch, and the ...

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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are essential for cellular communication in higher organisms. Even though a vast pharmacological toolset to study cholinergic systems has been developed, control of endogenous neuronal nAChRs with high spatiotemporal precision has been lacking. To address this issue, we have generated photoswitchable nAChR agonists and ...

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CIPSM is thrilled that CIPSM researcher Hendrik Dietz was awarded with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Price, the most prestigious German research award. Hendrik will receive 2,5 Mio. € for his work that he started 2009 here at CIPSM.  

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As building blocks of diverse macromolecular complexes, the AAA+ ATPases Rvb1 and Rvb2 are crucial for many cellular activities including cancer-related processes. Their oligomeric structure and function remain unclear. We report the crystal structures of full-length heteromeric Rvb1·Rvb2 complexes in distinct nucleotide binding states. Chaetomium thermophilum ...

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An exchange system is presented, which allows ultrafast experiments with high excitation rates (1 kHz) on samples with reaction cycles in the range of a few seconds and small sample volumes of about 0.3 ml. The exchange is accomplished using a commercially available cuvette by the combination of a special type of magnetic stirring with transverse translational ...

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V(D)J recombination assembles Ag receptor genes during lymphocyte development. Enhancers at AR loci are known to control V(D)J recombination at associated alleles, in part by increasing chromatin accessibility of the locus, to allow the recombination machinery to gain access to its chromosomal substrates. However, whether there is a specific mechanism to induce ...

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An analytical method to calculate the molecular vibrational Hessian matrix at the self-consistent field level is presented. By analysis of the multipole expansions of the relevant derivatives of Coulomb-type two-electron integral contractions, we show that the effect of the perturbation on the electronic structure due to the displacement of nuclei decays at least ...

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Most mitochondrial proteins contain an N-terminal targeting signal that is removed by specific proteases following import. In plant mitochondria, only mitochondrial processing peptidase (MPP) has been characterized to date. Therefore, we sought to determine the substrates and cleavage sites of the Arabidopsis thaliana homologues to the yeast Icp55 and Oct1 ...

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Chemokine ligand-receptor interactions play a pivotal role in cell attraction and cellular trafficking, both in normal tissue homeostasis and in disease. In cancer, chemokine receptor-4 (CXCR4) expression is an adverse prognostic factor. Early clinical studies suggest that targeting CXCR4 with suitable high-affinity antagonists might be a novel means for therapy. ...

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We present an extension of our recently presented PreLinK scheme ( J. Chem. Phys. 2013, 138, 134114) for the exact exchange contribution to nuclear forces. The significant contributions to the exchange gradient are determined by preselection based on accurate shell-pair contributions to the SCF exchange energy prior to the calculation. Therefore, our method is ...

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Ebola virus causes sporadic outbreaks of lethal hemorrhagic fever in humans, but there is no currently approved therapy. Cells take up Ebola virus by macropinocytosis, followed by trafficking through endosomal vesicles. However, few factors controlling endosomal virus movement are known. Here we find that Ebola virus entry into host cells requires the endosomal ...

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Azobenzene photoresponsive elements can be installed on sulfonylureas, yielding optical control over pancreatic beta cell function and insulin release. An obstacle to such photopharmacological approaches remains the use of ultraviolet-blue illumination. Herein, we synthesize and test a novel yellow light-activated sulfonylurea based on a heterocyclic azobenzene ...

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Polytwistane is an intriguing hydrocarbon nanorod that has not been experimentally realized to date. To facilitate its identification in complex reaction mixtures, the 1H and 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of idealized polytwistane were calculated using two distinct quantum chemical approaches. In addition, the NMR spectra of related hydrocarbon ...

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The cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is involved in membrane budding processes, such as multivesicular biogenesis and cytokinesis. In HIV-infected cells, HIV-1 hijacks the ESCRT machinery to drive HIV release. Early in the HIV-1 assembly process, the ESCRT-I protein Tsg101 and the ESCRT-related protein ALIX are recruited ...

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The 2015 general meeting of the members of CIPSM will take place on the 24th of February at 4 p.m. n Großhadern. Give your feelings a vote!   Location:
Butenandtstr. 5-13
81377 München

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Actin filament dynamics govern many key physiological processes from cell motility to tissue morphogenesis. A central feature of actin dynamics is the capacity of filaments to polymerize and depolymerize at their ends in response to cellular conditions. It is currently thought that filament kinetics can be described by a single rate constant for each end. In this ...

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The microbiome and the phage meta-genome within the human gut are influenced by antibiotic treatments. Identifying a novel mechanism, here we demonstrate that bacteria use the universal communication molecule AI-2 to induce virulence genes and transfer them via phage release. High concentrations (i.e. 100 μM) of AI-2 promote dispersal of bacteria from already ...

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Polycyclic tetramate macrolactams (PTMs) are a structurally, biomedically and biosynthetically intriguing class of bacterial metabolites. By combining parts of the machineries of different PTM biosynthetic pathways, we demonstrate for the first time the substrate promiscuity of a class of PTM tailoring enzymes, thereby facilitating the (bio)synthesis of butremycin.  

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The Clp protease complex degrades a multitude of substrates, which are engaged by a AAA+ chaperone such as ​ClpX and subsequently digested by the dynamic, barrel-shaped ​ClpP protease. Acyldepsipeptides (ADEPs) are natural product-derived antibiotics that activate ​ClpP for chaperone-independent protein digestion. Here we show that both protein and small-molecule ...

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Ribosome stalling at polyproline stretches is common and fundamental. In bacteria, translation ​elongation factor P (​EF-P) rescues such stalled ribosomes, but only when it is post-translationally activated. In Escherichia coli, activation of ​EF-P is achieved by (R)-β-lysinylation and hydroxylation of a conserved ​lysine. Here we have unveiled a markedly ...

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The increasing prevalence of multidrug-resistant pathogenic bacteria is making current antibiotics obsolete. Proline-rich antimicrobial peptides (PrAMPs) display potent activity against Gram-negative bacteria and thus represent an avenue for antibiotic development. PrAMPs from the oncocin family interact with the ribosome to inhibit translation, but their mode of ...

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Type II diabetes is characterized by deposition of the hormone human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide (hIAPP). Formation of hIAPP amyloid fibrils and aggregates is considered to be responsible for pancreatic β-cell losses. Therefore, insight into the structure of hIAPP in the solid-state and in solution is of fundamental importance in order to better understand the ...

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Background: Metabolite, ion and protein translocation into chloroplasts occurs across two membranes, the inner and the outer envelope. Solute and metabolite channels fulfill very important functions in integrating the organelles into the metabolic network of the cell. However so far only a few have been identified. Here we describe the identification and the ...

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One function of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in corticotroph cells is to suppress the transcription of the gene encoding proopiomelanocortin (POMC), the precursor of the stress hormone adrenocorticotropin (ACTH). Cushing disease is a neuroendocrine condition caused by partially glucocorticoid-resistant corticotroph adenomas that excessively secrete ACTH, ...

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Solid supported probes have proven to be an efficient tool for chemical proteomics. The kinobeads technology features kinase inhibitors covalently attached to Sepharose for affinity enrichment of kinomes from cell or tissue lysates. This technology, combined with quantitative mass spectrometry, is of particular interest for the profiling of kinase inhibitors. It ...

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Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a leading external hazard to the integrity of DNA. Exposure to UV radiation triggers a cascade of chemical reactions, and many molecular products (photolesions) have been isolated that are potentially dangerous for the cellular system. The early steps that take place after UV absorption by DNA have been studied by ultrafast ...

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Co-translational protein folding is not yet well understood despite the availability of high-resolution ribosome crystal structures. We present first solid-state NMR data on non-mobile regions of a prokaryotic ribosomal complex. Localized chemical shift perturbations and line broadening are observed for the backbone amide resonances corresponding to the regions ...

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Many small proteins fold highly cooperatively in an all-or-none fashion and thus their native states are well protected from thermal fluctuations by an extensive network of interactions across the folded structure. Because protein structures are stabilized by local and nonlocal interactions among distal residues, dissecting individual substructures from the ...

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Inhibition of the 20S proteasome by bortezomib (Velcade) constitutes a successfully applied therapy for blood cancer. However, emerging resistance restricts its medicinal use. For example, mutations in the proteolytically active β5-subunit of the proteasome, the main target of inhibitors, were reported to impair drug binding and thus to reduce therapeutic ...

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Protein-protein docking programs can give valuable insights into the structure of protein complexes in the absence of an experimental complex structure. Web interfaces can facilitate the use of docking programs by structural biologists. Here, we present an easy web interface for protein-protein docking with the ATTRACT program. While aimed at nonexpert users, the ...

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Fatty acid synthesis in plants occurs in plastids, and thus, export for subsequent acyl editing and lipid assembly in the cytosol and endoplasmatic reticulum is required. Yet, the transport mechanism for plastid fatty acids still remains enigmatic. We isolated FAX1 (fatty acid export 1), a novel protein, which inserts into the chloroplast inner envelope by ...

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In this work, we show how the water flip-back approach that is widely employed in solution-state NMR can be adapted to proton-detected MAS solid-state NMR of highly deuterated proteins. The scheme allows to enhance the sensitivity of the experiment by decreasing the recovery time of the proton longitudinal magnetization. The method relies on polarization transfer ...

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Redox signals have emerged as important regulators of cellular physiology and pathology. The advent of redox imaging in vertebrate systems now provides the opportunity to dynamically visualize redox signaling during development and disease. In this review, we summarize recent advances in the generation of genetically encoded redox indicators (GERIs), introduce ...

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Listeria monocytogenes is a devastating bacterial pathogen. Its virulence and intracellular stress tolerance are supported by caseinolytic protease P (ClpP), an enzyme that is conserved among bacteria. L. monocytogenes expresses two ClpP isoforms that are only distantly related by sequence and differ in catalysis, oligomerization, active-site composition, and ...

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After the engulfment of two prokaryotic organisms, the thus emerged eukaryotic cell needed to establish means of communication and signaling to properly integrate the acquired organelles into its metabolism. Regulatory mechanisms had to evolve to ensure that chloroplasts and mitochondria smoothly function in accordance with all other cellular processes. One ...

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The development of selective anticancer vaccines that provide enhanced protection against tumor recurrence and metastasis has been the subject of intense research in the scientific community. The tumor-associated glycoprotein MUC1 represents a well-established target for cancer immunotherapy and has been used for the construction of various synthetic vaccine ...

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Residual dipolar couplings are highly useful NMR parameters for calculating and refining molecular structures, dynamics, and interactions. For some applications, however, it is inevitable that the preferred orientation of a molecule in an alignment medium is calculated a priori. Several methods have been developed to predict molecular orientations and residual ...

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Pluripotent cells can be subdivided into two distinct states, the naïve and the primed state, the latter being further advanced on the path of differentiation. There are substantial differences in the regulation of pluripotency between human and mouse, and in humans only stem cells that resemble the primed state in mouse are readily available. Reprogramming of ...

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Adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors are the most widely used vehicle systems for neuronal gene transfer. This popularity is based on the non-pathogenic nature of AAVs and their versatility making them a multifunctional vector system for basic research and clinical applications. AAVs are successfully applied in clinical and pre-clinical gene therapy studies for ...

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The synthesis of novel, chignolin-derived peptides comprising the azobenzene photoswitch [3-(3-aminomethyl)phenylazo]phenylacetic acid (AMPP) is reported. Reversible photoswitching behavior led to folding into β-hairpin-like structures, as unequivocally demonstrated by CD, FT-IR and NMR spectroscopy.

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A pure and abundant population of adult rod perikarya can be exploited in different studies concerning nuclear functions such as gene expression analyses which aim at elucidating the relationship between cell type and disease. Sorting is based either on specific cell-surface markers or fluorescently labeled reporter proteins. Here, we describe a simple and ...

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Dendrites are the predominant entry site for excitatory synaptic potentials in most types of central neurons. There is increasing evidence that dendrites are not just passive transmitting devices but play active roles in synaptic integration through linear and non-linear mechanisms. Frequently, excitatory synapses are formed on dendritic spines. In addition to ...

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Regulation of histone acetylation is fundamental to the utilization of eukaryotic genomes in chromatin. Aberrant acetylation contributes to disease and can be clinically combated by inhibiting the responsible enzymes. Our knowledge of the histone acetylation system is patchy because we so far lacked the methodology to describe acetylation patterns and their ...

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Fusaric acid is produced by pathogenic fungi of the genus Fusarium, and is toxic to plants and rhizobacteria. Many fluorescent pseudomonads can prevent wilt diseases caused by these fungi. This study was undertaken to evaluate the effect of fusaric acid on P. protegens Pf-5 and elucidate the mechanisms that enable the bacterium to survive in the presence of the ...

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Liver cancer represents the second most deadly human malignancy. The major histological subtype called hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) arises by chronic inflammation-triggered regenerative responses of normally quiescent hepatocytes and progenitors, respectively. Such regenerative stress accelerates the accumulation of genetic and epigenetic changes (Yamashita & ...

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The proteasome represents an invaluable target for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune disorders. The application of proteasome inhibitors, however, remains limited to blood cancers because their reactive headgroups and peptidic scaffolds convey unfavorable pharmacodynamic properties. Thus, the discovery of more drug-like lead structures is indispensable. In ...

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We introduce a labeling scheme for magic angle spinning (MAS) solid-state NMR that is based on deuteration in combination with dilution of the carbon spin system. The labeling strategy achieves spectral editing by simplification of the HαCα and aliphatic side chain spectral region. A reduction in both proton and carbon spin density in combination with fast ...

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TET proteins oxidize 5-methylcytosine to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine, 5-formylcytosine, and 5-carboxylcytosine and thus provide a possible means for active DNA demethylation in mammals. Although their catalytic mechanism is well characterized and the catalytic dioxygenase domain is highly conserved, the function of the regulatory regions (the N terminus and the ...

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Summary: To enable mass spectrometry (MS)-based proteomic studies with poorly characterized organisms, we developed a computational workflow for the homology-driven assembly of a non-redundant reference sequence dataset. In the automated pipeline, translated DNA sequences (e.g. ESTs, RNA deep-sequencing data) are aligned to those of a closely related and fully ...

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Among patients newly infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), only 20-30% clear the infection spontaneously. In the remaining 70% the infection persists, causing chronic liver inflammation and disease. It is well established that polymorphisms in host genes, especially in components of the innate immune response, contribute to the phenomenon of spontaneous HCV ...

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Translation is a fundamental and highly regulated cellular process. Previously, we reported that the kinase and transcription elongation factor Ctk1 increases fidelity during translation elongation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Here, we show that loss of Ctk1 function also affects the initiation step of translation. Translation active extracts from Ctk1-depleted ...

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Human glycodelin (Gd) is an abundant glycoprotein from the lipocalin family and is involved in crucial biological processes such as reproduction and immune reaction. In females and males, Gd is found in four distinct glycoforms–A, C, F and S–that arise from different N-linked oligosaccharide side chains at amino acid residues Asn28 and Asn63. We have expressed Gd ...

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