Structure of Streptococcus agalactiae tip pilin GBS104: a model for GBS pili assembly and host interactions.
ABSTRACT: The crystal structure of a 75 kDa central fragment of GBS104, a tip pilin from the 2063V/R strain of Streptococcus agalactiae (group B streptococcus; GBS), is reported. In addition, a homology model of the remaining two domains of GBS104 was built and a model of full-length GBS104 was generated by combining the homology model (the N1 and N4 domains) and the crystal structure of the 75 kDa fragment (the N2 and N3 domains). This rod-shaped GBS104 model is constructed of three IgG-like domains (the N1, N2 and N4 domains) and one vWFA-like domain (the N3 domain). The N1 and N2 domains of GBS104 are assembled with distinct and remote segments contributed by the N- and C-termini. The metal-binding site in the N3 domain of GBS104 is in the closed/low-affinity conformation. Interestingly, this domain hosts two long arms that project away from the metal-binding site. Using site-directed mutagenesis, two cysteine residues that lock the N3 domain of GBS104 into the open/high-affinity conformation were introduced. Both wild-type and disulfide-locked recombinant proteins were tested for binding to extracellular matrix proteins such as collagen, fibronectin, fibrinogen and laminin, and an increase in fibronectin binding affinity was identified for the disulfide-locked N3 domain, suggesting that induced conformational changes may play a possible role in receptor binding.
Project description:Four types of calcined MCM-41 silica nanoparticles, loaded with dyes and capped with different gating ensembles are prepared and characterized. N1 and N2 nanoparticles are loaded with rhodamine 6G and capped with bulky poly(ethylene glycol) derivatives bearing ester groups (1 and 2). N3-N4 nanoparticles are loaded with sulforhodamine B and capped with self-immolative derivatives bearing ester moieties. In the absence of esterase enzyme negligible cargo release from N1, N3 and N4 nanoparticles is observed whereas a remarkable release for N2 is obtained most likely due to the formation of an irregular coating on the outer surface of the nanoparticles. In contrast, a marked delivery is found in N1, N3, and N4 in the presence of esterase enzyme. The delivery rate is related to the hydrophilic/hydrophobic character of the coating shell. The use of hydrophilic poly(ethylene glycol) derivatives as gating ensembles on N1 and N2 enables an easy access of esterase to the ester moieties with subsequent fast cargo release. On the other hand, the presence of a hydrophobic monolayer on N3 and N4 partially hinders esterase enzyme access to the ester groups and the rate of cargo release was decreased.
Project description:Thermostable and alkaline- or acid-stable xylanases are more advantageous in agricultural and industrial fields. In this study, a rational structure-based design was conducted based on a thermostable GH11 xylanase TlXynA from Thermomyces lanuginosus to improved pH-tolerance. Four mutant enzymes (P1, P2, P3, and P4) and five variants (N1, N2, N3, N4, and N5) were constructed by substituting surface charged residue combinations using site-directed mutagenesis. Compared to the native enzyme, two mutants P1 and P2 showed higher acid tolerance, especially at pH 3.0, presented 50 and 40% of their maximum activity, respectively. In addition, four mutants N1, N2, N3 and N4 had higher tolerance than the native enzyme to alkaline environments (pH 7.0-9.0). At pH 9.0, the residual activities of N1, N2, N3, and N4 were 86, 78, 77, and 66%, respectively. In summary, an improved pH-tolerance design principle is being reported.
Project description:Neuroticism is a heritable personality trait that is comprised of distinct sub-factors, or facets. Sub-factors of neuroticism are linked to different emotional states or psychiatric symptoms and studying the genetic variants associated with these facets may help reveal the biological mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders. In the present study, a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies for six facets of neuroticism was performed in 5584 participants from three cohorts. Additionally, a Gene Set Enrichment Analysis was conducted to find biological pathways associated with each facet. Six neuroticism facets (N1: anxiety, N2: angry hostility, N3: depression, N4: self-consciousness, N5: impulsivity and N6: vulnerability) were assessed using the Korean version of the Revised NEO Personality Inventory. In the single-nucleotide polymorphism-based analysis, results showed genome-wide significance for N2 within the MIR548H3 gene (rs1360001, P=4.14 × 10-9). Notable genes with suggestive associations (P<1.0 × 10-6) were ITPR1 for N1, WNT7A for N2, FGF10 and FHIT for N3, DDR1 for N4, VGLL4 for N5 and PTPRD for N6. In the pathway-based analysis, the axon guidance pathway was identified to be associated with multiple facets of neuroticism (N2, N4 and N6). The focal adhesion and extracellular matrix receptor interaction pathways were significantly associated with N2 and N3. Our findings revealed genetic influences and biological pathways that are associated with facets of neuroticism.
Project description:The pathogen Staphylococcus aureus uses iron-regulated surface determinant (Isd) proteins to scavenge the essential nutrient iron from host hemoproteins. The IsdH protein (also known as HarA) is a receptor for hemoglobin (Hb), haptoglobin (Hp), and the Hb-Hp complex. It contains three NEAT (NEAr Transporter) domains: IsdH(N1), IsdH(N2), and IsdH(N3). Here we show that they have different functions; IsdH(N1) binds Hb and Hp, whereas IsdH(N3) captures heme that is released from Hb. The staphylococcal IsdB protein also functions as an Hb receptor. Primary sequence homology to IsdH indicates that it will also employ functionally distinct NEAT domains to bind heme and Hb. We have used site-directed mutagenesis and surface plasmon resonance methods to localize the Hp and Hb binding surface on IsdH(N1). High affinity binding to these structurally unrelated proteins requires residues located within a conserved aromatic motif that is positioned at the end of the beta-barrel structure. Interestingly, this site is quite malleable, as other NEAT domains use it to bind heme. We also demonstrate that the IsdC NEAT domain can capture heme directly from Hb, suggesting that there are multiple pathways for heme transfer across the cell wall.
Project description:Secretins are versatile outer membrane pores used by many bacteria to secrete proteins, toxins, or filamentous phages; extrude type IV pili (T4P); or take up DNA. Extrusion of T4P and natural transformation of DNA in the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus requires a unique secretin complex comprising six stacked rings, a membrane-embedded cone structure, and two gates that open and close a central channel. To investigate the role of distinct domains in ring and gate formation, we examined a set of deletion derivatives by cryomicroscopy techniques. Here we report that maintaining the N0 ring in the deletion derivatives led to stable PilQ complexes. Analyses of the variants unraveled that an N-terminal domain comprising a unique ????? fold is essential for the formation of gate 2. Furthermore, we identified four ????? domains essential for the formation of the N2 to N5 rings. Mutant studies revealed that deletion of individual ring domains significantly reduces piliation. The N1, N2, N4, and N5 deletion mutants were significantly impaired in T4P-mediated twitching motility, whereas the motility of the N3 mutant was comparable with that of wild-type cells. This indicates that the deletion of the N3 ring leads to increased pilus dynamics, thereby compensating for the reduced number of pili of the N3 mutant. All mutants exhibit a wild-type natural transformation phenotype, leading to the conclusion that DNA uptake is independent of functional T4P.
Project description:The Gram-positive pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae, known as group B Streptococcus (GBS), is the leading cause of bacterial septicemia, pneumonia, and meningitis among neonates. GBS assembles two types of pili-pilus islands (PIs) 1 and 2-on its surface to adhere to host cells and to initiate colonization for pathogenesis. The GBS PI-1 pilus is made of one major pilin, GBS80, which forms the pilus shaft, and two secondary pilins, GBS104 and GBS52, which are incorporated into the pilus at various places. We report here the crystal structure of the 35-kDa C-terminal fragment from GBS80, which is composed of two IgG-like domains (N2-N3). The structure was solved by single-wavelength anomalous dispersion using sodium-iodide-soaked crystals and diffraction data collected at the home source. The N2 domain exhibits a cnaA/DEv-IgG fold with two calcium-binding sites, while the N3 domain displays a cnaB/IgG-rev fold. We have built a model for full-length GBS80 (N1, N2, and N3) with the help of available homologous major pilin structures, and we propose a model for the GBS PI-1 pilus shaft. The N2 and N3 domains are arranged in tandem along the pilus shaft, whereas the respective N1 domain is tilted by approximately 20° away from the pilus axis. We have also identified a pilin-like motif in the minor pilin GBS52, which might aid its incorporation at the pilus base.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Rodent and primate pregnancy-specific glycoprotein (PSG) gene families have expanded independently from a common ancestor and are expressed virtually exclusively in placental trophoblasts. However, within each species, it is unknown whether multiple paralogs have been selected for diversification of function, or for increased dosage of monofunctional PSG. We analysed the evolution of the mouse PSG sequences, and compared them to rat, human and baboon PSGs to attempt to understand the evolution of this complex gene family. RESULTS:Phylogenetic tree analyses indicate that the primate N domains and the rodent N1 domains exhibit a higher degree of conservation than that observed in a comparison of the mouse N1 and N2 domains, or mouse N1 and N3 domains. Compared to human and baboon PSG N domain exons, mouse and rat PSG N domain exons have undergone less sequence homogenisation. The high non-synonymous substitution rates observed in the CFG face of the mouse N1 domain, within a context of overall conservation, suggests divergence of function of mouse PSGs. The rat PSG family appears to have undergone less expansion than the mouse, exhibits lower divergence rates and increased sequence homogenisation in the CFG face of the N1 domain. In contrast to most primate PSG N domains, rodent PSG N1 domains do not contain an RGD tri-peptide motif, but do contain RGD-like sequences, which are not conserved in rodent N2 and N3 domains. CONCLUSION:Relative conservation of primate N domains and rodent N1 domains suggests that, despite independent gene family expansions and structural diversification, mouse and human PSGs retain conserved functions. Human PSG gene family expansion and homogenisation suggests that evolution occurred in a concerted manner that maintains similar functions of PSGs, whilst increasing gene dosage of the family as a whole. In the mouse, gene family expansion, coupled with local diversification of the CFG face, suggests selection both for increased gene dosage and diversification of function. Partial conservation of RGD and RGD-like tri-peptides in primate and rodent N and N1 domains, respectively, supports a role for these motifs in PSG function.
Project description:Although evidence-based practice (EBP) has been widely investigated, few studies have investigated its correlation with a clinical nursing ladder system. The current national study evaluates whether EBP implementation has been incorporated into the clinical ladder system.A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted nationwide of registered nurses among regional hospitals of Taiwan in January to April 2011. Subjects were categorized into beginning nurses (N1 and N2) and advanced nurses (N3 and N4) by the clinical ladder system. Multivariate logistic regression model was used to adjust for possible confounding demographic factors.Valid postal questionnaires were collected from 4,206 nurses, including 2,028 N1, 1,595 N2, 412 N3, and 171 N4 nurses. Advanced nurses were more aware of EBP than beginning nurses (p < 0.001; 90.7% vs. 78.0%). In addition, advanced nurses were more likely to hold positive beliefs about and attitudes toward EBP (p < 0.001) and possessed more sufficient knowledge of and skills in EBP (p < 0.001). Furthermore, they more often implemented EBP principles (p < 0.001) and accessed online evidence-based retrieval databases (p < 0.001). The most common motivation for using online databases was self-learning for advanced nurses and positional promotion for beginning nurses. Multivariate logistic regression analyses showed advanced nurses were more aware of EBP, had higher knowledge and skills of EBP, and more often implemented EBP than beginning nurses.The awareness of, beliefs in, attitudes toward, knowledge of, skills in, and behaviors of EBP among advanced nurses were better than those among beginning nurses. The data indicate that a clinical ladder system can serve as a useful means to enhance EBP implementation.
Project description:Guanase is an important enzyme of the purine salvage pathway of nucleic acid metabolism and its inhibition has beneficial implications in viral, bacterial, and cancer therapy. The work described herein is based on a hypothesis that azepinomycin, a heterocyclic natural product and a purported transition state analog inhibitor of guanase, does not represent the true transition state of the enzyme-catalyzed reaction as closely as does iso-azepinomycin, wherein the 6-hydroxy group of azepinomycin has been translocated to the 5-position. Based on this hypothesis, and assuming that iso-azepinomycin would bind to guanase at the same active site as azepinomycin, several analogs of iso-azepinomycin were designed and successfully synthesized in order to gain a preliminary understanding of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic sites surrounding the guanase binding site of the ligand. Specifically, the analogs were designed to explore the hydrophobic pockets, if any, in the vicinity of N1, N3, and N4 nitrogen atoms as well as O(5) oxygen atom of iso-azepinomycin. Biochemical inhibition studies of these analogs were performed using a mammalian guanase. Our results indicate that (1) increasing the hydrophobicity near O(5) results in a negative effect, (2) translocating the hydrophobicity from N3 to N1 also results in decreased inhibition, (3) increasing the hydrophobicity near N3 or N4 produces significant enhancement of inhibition, (4) increasing the hydrophobicity at either N3 or N4 with a simultaneous increase in hydrophobicity at O(5) considerably diminishes any gain in inhibition made by solely enhancing hydrophobicity at N3 or N4, and (5) finally, increasing the hydrophilic character near N3 has also a deleterious effect on inhibition. The most potent compound in the series has a Ki value of 8.0±1.5?M against rabbit liver guanase.