ABSTRACT: Tau aggregates into paired helical filaments within neurons, a pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Heparin promotes tau aggregation and recently has been shown to be involved in the cellular uptake of tau aggregates. Although the tau-heparin interaction has been extensively studied, little is known about the glycan determinants of this interaction. Here, we used surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and NMR spectroscopy to characterize the interaction between two tau fragments, K18 and K19, and several polysaccharides, including heparin, heparin oligosaccharides, chemically modified heparin, and related glycans. Using a heparin-immobilized chip, SPR revealed that tau K18 and K19 bind heparin with a KD of 0.2 and 70 ?M, respectively. In SPR competition experiments, N-desulfation and 2-O-desulfation had no effect on heparin binding to K18, whereas 6-O-desulfation severely reduced binding, suggesting a critical role for 6-O-sulfation in the tau-heparin interaction. The tau-heparin interaction became stronger with longer-chain heparin oligosaccharides. As expected for an electrostatics-driven interaction, a moderate amount of salt (0.3 M NaCl) abolished binding. NMR showed the largest chemical-shift perturbation (CSP) in R2 in tau K18, which was absent in K19, revealing differential binding sites in K18 and K19 to heparin. Dermatan sulfate binding produced minimal CSP, whereas dermatan disulfate, with the additional 6-O-sulfo group, induced much larger CSP. 2-O-desulfated heparin induced much larger CSP in K18 than 6-O-desulfated heparin. Our data demonstrate a crucial role for the 6-O-sulfo group in the tau-heparin interaction, which to our knowledge has not been reported before.
Project description:In Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal dementias, the microtubule-associated protein Tau forms intracellular paired helical filaments. The filaments can form not only by the full-length human Tau protein, but also by the three repeated (K19) or four repeated (K18) Tau segments. However, of interest, experimentally, K19 can seed K18, but not vice versa. To obtain insight into the cross-seeding between K18 and K19 aggregates, here, K18 and K19 octamers with repeat 3 (R3) in U-shaped, L-shaped, and long straight line-shaped (SL-shape) conformations are assembled into different structures. The simulation results show that K18-8/K19-8 (K18 and K19 assemblies number 8) with R3 in an L shape and K18-9/K19-9 with R3 in an SL shape are highly populated and present the highest structural similarity among all simulated K18 and K19 octamers, suggesting that similar folding of K18/K19 may serve as structural core for the K18-K19 co-assembled heterogeneous filament. We demonstrate that formation of stable R2 and R3 conformations is the critical step for K18 aggregation, and R3 is critical for K19 fibrillization. The different core units in K18 and K19 may create a cross-seeding barrier for the K18 seed to trigger K19 fibril growth because R2 is not available for K19. Our study provides insights into cross-seeding involving heterogeneous structures. The polymorphic nature of protein aggregation could be magnified in the cross-seeding process. If the seeding conformations lead to too much divergence in the energy landscape, it could impede fibril formation. Such an effect could also contribute to the asymmetric barrier between K18 and K19.
Project description:Heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans (PGs) interact with a number of extracellular signaling proteins, thereby playing an essential role in the regulation of many physiological processes. One major function of HS is to interact with fibroblast growth factors (FGFs) and their receptors (FGFRs) and form FGF.HS.FGFR signaling complexes. Past studies primarily examined the selectivity of HS for FGF or FGFR. In this report, we used a new strategy to study the structural specificity of HS binding to 10 different FGF.FGFR complexes. Oligosaccharide libraries prepared from heparin, 6-desulfated heparin, and HS were used for the interaction studies by solution competition surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and filter trapping assays. Specific oligosaccharides binding to FGF.FGFR complexes were subjected to polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) analysis and disaccharide compositional analysis using liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry. The competition SPR studies using sized oligosaccharide mixtures showed that binding of each of the tested FGFs or FGF.FGFR complexes to heparin immobilized to an SPR chip was size-dependent. The 6-desulfated heparin oligosaccharides exhibited a reduced level of inhibition of FGF and FGF.FGFR complex binding to heparin in the competition experiments. Heparin and the 6-desulfated heparin exhibited higher levels of inhibition of the FGF.FGFR complex binding to heparin than of FGF binding to heparin. In the filter trapping experiments, PAGE analysis showed different affinities between the FGF.FGFR complexes and oligosaccharides. Disaccharide analysis showed that HS disaccharides with a degree of polymerization of 10 (dp10) had high binding selectivity, while dp10 heparin and dp10 6-desulfated heparin showed reduced or no selectivity for the different FGF.FGFR complexes tested.
Project description:Roundabout 1 (Robo1) is the cognate receptor for secreted axon guidance molecule, Slits, which function to direct cellular migration during neuronal development and angiogenesis. The Slit2-Robo1 signaling is modulated by heparan sulfate, a sulfated linear polysaccharide that is abundantly expressed on the cell surface and in the extracellular matrix. Biochemical studies have further shown that heparan sulfate binds to both Slit2 and Robo1 facilitating the ligand-receptor interaction. The structural requirements for heparan sulfate interaction with Robo1 remain unknown. In this report, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) spectroscopy was used to examine the interaction between Robo1 and heparin and other GAGs and determined that heparin binds to Robo1 with an affinity of ~650 nM. SPR solution competition studies with chemically modified heparins further determined that although all sulfo groups on heparin are important for the Robo1-heparin interaction, the N-sulfo and 6-O-sulfo groups are essential for the Robo1-heparin binding. Examination of differently sized heparin oligosaccharides and different GAGs also demonstrated that Robo1 prefers to bind full-length heparin chains and that GAGs with higher sulfation levels show increased Robo1 binding affinities.
Project description:A pathological signature of Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the formation of neurofibrillary tangles comprising filamentous aggregates of the microtubule associated protein tau. Tau self-assembly is accelerated by polyanions including heparin, an analogue of heparan sulfate. Tau filaments colocalize with heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in vivo, and HSPGs may also assist the transcellular propagation of tau aggregates. Here, we investigate the role of the sulfate moieties of heparin in the aggregation of a recombinant tau fragment ?tau187, comprising residues 255-441 of the C-terminal microtubule-binding domain. The effects that the selective removal of the N-, 2-O-, and 6-O-sulfate groups from heparin have on the kinetics of tau aggregation, aggregate morphology, and protein structure and dynamics were examined. Aggregation kinetics monitored by thioflavin T (ThT) fluorescence revealed that aggregation is considerably slower in the presence of 2-O-desulfated heparin than with N- or 6-O-desulfated heparin. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that tau filaments induced by 2-O-desulfated heparin were more slender than filaments formed in the presence of intact heparin or 6-O-desulfated heparin. The 2-O-desulfated heparin-induced filaments had more extensive regions of flexibility than the other filaments, according to circular dichroism and solid-state NMR spectroscopy. These results indicate that the sulfation pattern of heparin regulates tau aggregation, not purely though electrostatic forces but also through conformational perturbations of heparin when the 2-O-sulfate is removed. These findings may have implications for the progression of AD, as the sulfation pattern of GAGs is known to change during the aging process, which is the main risk factor for the disease.
Project description:Over the past decade intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) have emerged as a biologically important class of proteins, many of which are of therapeutic relevance. Here, we investigated the interactions between a model IDP system, tau K18, and nine literature compounds that have been reported as having an effect on tau in order to identify a robust IDP-ligand system for the optimization of a range of biophysical methods. We used NMR, surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and microscale thermophoresis (MST) methods to investigate the binding of these compounds to tau K18; only one showed unambiguous interaction with tau K18. Several near neighbors of this compound were synthesized and their interactions with tau K18 characterized using additional NMR methods, including 1D ligand-observed NMR, diffusion-ordered spectroscopy (DOSY) and 19F NMR. This study demonstrates that it is possible to detect and characterize IDP-ligand interactions using biophysical methods. However, care must be taken to account for possible artefacts, particularly the impact of compound solubility and where the protein has to be immobilized.
Project description:Keratins (K) 8 and 18 variants predispose carriers to the development of end-stage liver disease and patients with chronic hepatitis C to disease progression. Hepatocytes express K8/K18, whereas biliary epithelia express K8/K18/K19. K8-null mice, which are predisposed to liver injury, spontaneously develop anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) and have altered hepatocyte mitochondrial size and function. There is no known association of K19 with human disease and no known association of K8/K18/K19 with human autoimmune liver disease. We tested the hypothesis that K8/K18/K19 variants associate with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), an autoimmune cholestatic liver disease characterized by the presence of serum AMA. In doing so, we analyzed the entire exonic regions of K8/K18/K19 in 201 Italian patients and 200 control blood bank donors. Five disease-associated keratin heterozygous variants were identified in patients versus controls (K8 G62C/R341H/V380I, K18 R411H, and K19 G17S). Four variants were novel and included K19 G17S/V229M/N184N and K18 R411H. Overall, heterozygous disease-associated keratin variants were found in 17 of 201 (8.5%) PBC patients and 4 of 200 (2%) blood bank donors (P < 0.004, odds ratio = 4.53, 95% confidence interval = 1.5-13.7). Of the K19 variants, K19 G17S was found in three patients but not in controls and all K8 R341H (eight patients and three controls) associated with concurrent presence of the previously described intronic K8 IVS7+10delC deletion. Notably, keratin variants associated with disease severity (12.4% variants in Ludwig stage III/IV versus 4.2% in stages I/II; P < 0.04, odds ratio = 3.25, 95% confidence interval = 1.02-10.40), but not with the presence of AMA.K8/K18/K19 variants are overrepresented in Italian PBC patients and associate with liver disease progression. Therefore, we hypothesize that K8/K18/K19 variants may serve as genetic modifiers in PBC.
Project description:Keratin polypeptide 8 (K8) associates noncovalently with its partners K18 and/or K19 to form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of hepatocytes and other simple-type epithelial cells. Human K8, K18, and K19 variants predispose to liver disease, whereas site-specific keratin phosphorylation confers hepatoprotection. Because stress-induced protein phosphorylation regulates sumoylation, we hypothesized that keratins are sumoylated in an injury-dependent manner and that keratin sumoylation is an important regulatory modification. We demonstrate that K8/K18/K19, epidermal keratins, and vimentin are sumoylated in vitro. Upon transfection, K8, K18, and K19 are modified by poly-SUMO-2/3 chains on Lys-285/Lys-364 (K8), Lys-207/Lys-372 (K18), and Lys-208 (K19). Sumoylation affects filament organization and stimulus-induced keratin solubility and is partially inhibited upon mutation of one of three known K8 phosphorylation sites. Extensive sumoylation occurs in cells transfected with individual K8, K18, or K19 but is limited upon heterodimerization (K8/K18 or K8/K19) in the absence of stress. In contrast, keratin sumoylation is significantly augmented in cells and tissues during apoptosis, oxidative stress, and phosphatase inhibition. Poly-SUMO-2/3 conjugates are present in chronically injured but not normal, human, and mouse livers along with polyubiquitinated and large insoluble keratin-containing complexes. Notably, common human K8 liver disease-associated variants trigger keratin hypersumoylation with consequent diminished solubility. In contrast, modest sumoylation of wild type K8 promotes solubility. Hence, conformational changes induced by keratin natural mutations and extensive tissue injury result in K8/K18/K19 hypersumoylation, which retains keratins in an insoluble compartment, thereby limiting their cytoprotective function.
Project description:Once released by HIV(+) cells, p17 binds heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) and CXCR1 on leukocytes causing their dysfunction. By exploiting an approach integrating computational modeling, site-directed mutagenesis of p17, chemical desulfation of heparin, and surface plasmon resonance, we characterized the interaction of p17 with heparin, a HSPG structural analog, and CXCR1. p17 binds to heparin with an affinity (K(d) = 190 nm) that is similar to those of other heparin-binding viral proteins. Two stretches of basic amino acids (basic motifs) are present in p17 N and C termini. Neutralization (Arg?Ala substitution) of the N-terminal, but not of the C-terminal basic motif, causes the loss of p17 heparin-binding capacity. The N-terminal heparin-binding motif of p17 partially overlaps the CXCR1-binding domain. Accordingly, its neutralization prevents also p17 binding to the chemochine receptor. Competition experiments demonstrated that free heparin and heparan sulfate (HS), but not selectively 2-O-, 6-O-, and N-O desulfated heparins, prevent p17 binding to substrate-immobilized heparin, indicating that the sulfate groups of the glycosaminoglycan mediate p17 interaction. Evaluation of the p17 antagonist activity of a panel of biotechnological heparins derived by chemical sulfation of the Escherichia coli K5 polysaccharide revealed that the highly N,O-sulfated derivative prevents the binding of p17 to both heparin and CXCR1, thus inhibiting p17-driven chemotactic migration of human monocytes with an efficiency that is higher than those of heparin and HS. Here, we characterized at a molecular level the interaction of p17 with its cellular receptors, laying the basis for the development of heparin-mimicking p17 antagonists.
Project description:Keratins, formerly known as cytokeratins, are the major epithelial-specific subgroup of intermediate filament proteins. Adult hepatocytes express keratin polypeptides 8 and 18 (K8/K18), whereas cholangiocytes express K8/K18 and keratins 7 and 19 (K7/K19). Keratins function primarily to protect hepatocytes from apoptosis and necrosis, which was revealed using several genetic mouse models. This cytoprotective function was further clarified by the identification of natural human keratin variants that are normally silent, but become pathogenic by predisposing their carriers to apoptosis during acute or chronic liver injury mediated by toxins, virus infection, or metabolic stress. During apoptosis, caspases cleave K18 and K19 at conserved aspartates (human K18/K19: (235) Val-Glu-Val-Asp(?) ) and K18 at a unique aspartate (human K18: (394) Asp-Ala-Leu-Asp(?) ), with the latter exposed epitope becoming recognized by the M30 antibody in blood and tissues. Additional K18-containing protein backbone epitopes are detected using the M6 and M5 (termed M65) antibodies. Intact K18 and its associated fragments, which are released into blood during apoptosis and necrosis in various diseases, have been analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay using the M30/M65 antibodies or their signal ratios. Furthermore, M30/M65 levels have been used as diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers in acute and chronic liver diseases, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and acute liver failure. Other keratin biomarkers include K8/K18/K19-related tissue polypeptide antigen, K18-related tissue polypeptide-specific antigen, and K19-related CYFRA-21-1, which have been evaluated mostly in patients with epithelial tumors.Keratins and their fragments are released into blood during liver and other epithelial tissue injury. The epithelial specificity of K18/K19, epitope unmasking upon caspase digestion, keratin abundance, and relative keratin stability render them useful biomarkers for hepatocyte and cholangiocyte apoptosis and necrosis. However, the precise biochemical nature and release mechanism of circulating keratins remain unknown. (Hepatology 2016;64:966-976).
Project description:Mutations in the MAPT gene can lead to disease-associated variants of tau. However, the pathological mechanisms behind these genetic tauopathies are poorly understood. Here, we characterized the aggregation stages and conformational changes of tau C291R, a recently described MAPT mutation with potential pathogenic functions. The C291R variant of the tau four-repeat domain (tau-K18; a functional fragment with increased aggregation propensity compared with the full-length protein), aggregated into a mix of granular oligomers, amorphous and annular pore-like aggregates, in native-state and heparin-treated reactions as observed using atomic force microscopy (AFM) and negative-stained electron microscopy. On extended incubation in the native-state, tau-K18 C291R oligomers, unlike wild type (WT) tau-K18, aggregated to form protofibrils of four different phenotypes: (1) spherical annular; (2) spherical annular encapsulating granular oligomers; (3) ring-like annular but non-spherical; and (4) linear protofibrils. The ring-like tau-K18 C291R aggregates shared key properties of annular protofibrils previously described for other amyloidogenic proteins, in addition to two unique features: irregular/non-spherical-shaped annular protofibrils, and spherical protofibrils encapsulating granular oligomers. Tau-K18 C291R monomers had a circular dichroism (CD) peak at ~210 nm compared with ~199 nm for tau-K18 WT. These data suggest mutation-enhanced ?-sheet propensity. Together, we describe the characterization of tau-K18 C291R, the first genetic mutation substituting a cysteine residue. The aggregation mechanism of tau-K18 C291R appears to involve ?-sheet-rich granular oligomers which rearrange to form unique protofibrillar structures.