Molecular determinants of proton selectivity and gating in the red-light activated channelrhodopsin Chrimson.
ABSTRACT: Channelrhodopsins are light-gated ion channels of green algae used for the precise temporal and spatial control of transmembrane ion fluxes. The channelrhodopsin Chrimson from Chlamydomonas noctigama allows unprecedented deep tissue penetration due to peak absorption at 590?nm. We demonstrate by electrophysiological recordings and imaging techniques that Chrimson is highly proton selective causing intracellular acidification in HEK cells that is responsible for slow photocurrent decline during prolonged illumination. We localized molecular determinants of both high proton selectivity and red light activation to the extracellular pore. Whereas exchange of Glu143 only drops proton conductance and generates an operational Na-channel with 590?nm activation, exchange of Glu139 in addition increased the open state lifetime and shifted the absorption hypsochromic by 70?nm. In conjunction with Glu300 in the center and Glu124 and Glu125 at the intracellular end of the pore, Glu139 contributes to a delocalized activation gate and stabilizes by long-range interaction counterion configuration involving protonation of Glu165 that we identified as a key determinant of the large opsin shift in Chrimson.
Project description:Channelrhodopsins are light-activated ion channels that mediate cation permeation across cell membranes upon light absorption. Red-light-activated channelrhodopsins are of particular interest, because red light penetrates deeper into biological tissues and also enables dual-color experiments in combination with blue-light-activated optogenetic tools. Here we report the crystal structure of the most red-shifted channelrhodopsin from the algae Chlamydomonas noctigama, Chrimson, at 2.6?Å resolution. Chrimson resembles prokaryotic proton pumps in the retinal binding pocket, while sharing similarity with other channelrhodopsins in the ion-conducting pore. Concomitant mutation analysis identified the structural features that are responsible for Chrimson's red light sensitivity; namely, the protonation of the counterion for the retinal Schiff base, and the polar residue distribution and rigidity of the retinal binding pocket. Based on these mechanistic insights, we engineered ChrimsonSA, a mutant with a maximum activation wavelength red-shifted beyond 605?nm and accelerated closing kinetics.
Project description:Triosephosphate isomerase (TIM) catalyzes the interconversion between dihydroxyacetone phosphate (DHAP) and d-glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate (GAP) via an enediol(ate) intermediate. The active-site residue Glu165 serves as the catalytic base during catalysis. It abstracts a proton from C1 carbon of DHAP to form the reaction intermediate and donates a proton to C2 carbon of the intermediate to form product GAP. Our difference Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies on the yeast TIM (YeTIM)/phosphate complex revealed a C?O stretch band at 1706 cm-1 from the protonated Glu165 carboxyl group at pH 7.5, indicating that the p Ka of the catalytic base is increased by >3.0 pH units upon phosphate binding, and that the Glu165 carboxyl environment in the complex is still hydrophilic in spite of the increased p Ka. Hence, the results show that the binding of the phosphodianion group is part of the activation mechanism which involves the p Ka elevation of the catalytic base Glu165. The deprotonation kinetics of Glu165 in the ?s to ms time range were determined via infrared (IR) T-jump studies on the YeTIM/phosphate and ("heavy enzyme") [U-13C,-15N]YeTIM/phosphate complexes. The slower deprotonation kinetics in the ms time scale is due to phosphate dissociation modulated by the loop motion, which slows down by enzyme mass increase to show a normal heavy enzyme kinetic isotope effect (KIE) ?1.2 (i.e., slower rate in the heavy enzyme). The faster deprotonation kinetics in the tens of ?s time scale is assigned to temperature-induced p Ka decrease, while phosphate is still bound, and it shows an inverse heavy enzyme KIE ?0.89 (faster rate in the heavy enzyme). The IR static and T-jump spectroscopy provides atomic-level resolution of the catalytic mechanism because of its ability to directly observe the bond breaking/forming process.
Project description:The first continuous, real-time spectroscopic monitoring of a photo-driven cargo delivery event from a mesoporous silica-based nanocarrier inside a single living cell is reported. By chemically attaching azobenzene molecules inside the 3 nm pore channels of mesoporous silica nanoparticles (?70 nm diameter), the escape of the cargo molecule [propidium iodide (PI)] from the pore is prevented in the dark but is facilitated by the light-driven isomerization motion. Real-time spectroscopic measurements of a single cell uncover intermediate processes that occur during this intracellular delivery event, from nanomachine activation to the release of PI into the cytosol and to PI's eventual intercalation with nuclear DNA. Changes in PI's fluorescence intensity and the hypsochromic shift of the band maxima are used to identify the local environment of the fluorophore that is being observed in the cell. The ability to precisely initiate a chemical event inside an individual cell and continuously monitor the subsequent biological responses will enhance our understanding of intracellular process upon drug, protein and nucleic acid delivery.
Project description:Leishmania major aquaglyceroporin LmAQP1 allows adventitious passage of antimonite, an activated form of the drug Pentostam, which is used as the first line treatment for leishmaniasis. The extracellular C-loop of an aquaglyceroporin confers substrate specificity. Alteration of Glu125 to serine in the Plasmodium falciparum aquaglyceroporin PfAQP has been shown to selectively affect water but not glycerol permeability. The C-loop of LmAQP1 is twelve residues longer than PfAQP, and Ala163 is at an equivalent position as Glu125 of PfAQP. The role of Ala163 in LmAQP1 solute permeability was investigated. Alteration of Ala163 to serine or threonine did not significantly affect conduction of solutes. However, alteration to aspartate, glutamate, and glutamine blocked passage of water, glycerol, and other organic solutes. While LmAQP1 is a mercurial insensitive water channel, mutation of the adjacent threonine (Thr164) to cysteine led to inhibition of water passage by Hg(2+). This inhibition could be reversed upon addition of ?-mercaptoethanol. These data suggest that, unlike Glu125 (PfAQP), Ala163 is not involved in stabilization of the C-loop and selective solute permeability. Ala163 is located near the pore mouth of the channel, and replacement of Ala163 by bulkier residue sterically hinders the passage of solutes. Alteration of Ala163 to serine or threonine affected metalloid uptake in the order, wild-type>A163S>A163T. Metalloid conduction was near completely blocked when Ala163 was mutagenized to aspartate, glutamate, or glutamine. Mutations such as A163S and A163T that reduced the permeability to antimonite, without a significant loss in water or solute conductivity raises the possibility that, subtle changes in the side chain of the amino acid residue in position 163 of LmAQP1 may play a role in drug resistance.
Project description:Optogenetic tools enable examination of how specific cell types contribute to brain circuit functions. A long-standing question is whether it is possible to independently activate two distinct neural populations in mammalian brain tissue. Such a capability would enable the study of how different synapses or pathways interact to encode information in the brain. Here we describe two channelrhodopsins, Chronos and Chrimson, discovered through sequencing and physiological characterization of opsins from over 100 species of alga. Chrimson's excitation spectrum is red shifted by 45 nm relative to previous channelrhodopsins and can enable experiments in which red light is preferred. We show minimal visual system-mediated behavioral interference when using Chrimson in neurobehavioral studies in Drosophila melanogaster. Chronos has faster kinetics than previous channelrhodopsins yet is effectively more light sensitive. Together these two reagents enable two-color activation of neural spiking and downstream synaptic transmission in independent neural populations without detectable cross-talk in mouse brain slice.
Project description:Lipolysis in the adipocytes provides free fatty acids for other tissues in response to the energy demand. With the rapid increase in obesity-related diseases, finding novel stimuli or mechanisms that regulate lipid metabolism becomes important. We examined the effects of visible light (410, 457, 505, 530, 590, and 660?nm) irradiation on lipolysis regulation in adipocytes differentiated from human adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs). Interestingly, 590?nm (amber) light irradiation significantly reduced the concentration of lipid droplets (LDs). We further investigated the lipolytic signaling pathways that are involved in 590?nm light irradiation-induced breakdown of LDs. Immunoblot analysis revealed that 590?nm light irradiation-induced phosphorylation of hormone-sensitive lipase (HSL) was insufficient to promote reduction of LDs. We observed that 590?nm light irradiation decreased the expression of perilipin 1. We found that 590?nm light irradiation, but not 505?nm, induced conversion of LC3 I to LC3 II, a representative autophagic marker. We further demonstrated that the lysosomal inhibitors leupeptin/NH4Cl inhibited 590?nm light irradiation-induced reduction of LDs in differentiated adipocytes. Our data suggest that 590?nm light irradiation-induced LD breakdown is partially mediated by autophagy-related lysosomal degradation, and can be applied in clinical settings to reduce obesity.
Project description:Two monofunctional Delta(3), Delta(2)-enoyl-CoA isomerases, one in mitochondria (mECI) and the other in both mitochondria and peroxisomes (pECI), belong to the low-similarity isomerase/hydratase superfamily. Both enzymes catalyze the movement of a double bond from C3 to C2 of an unsaturated acyl-CoA substrate for re-entry into the beta-oxidation pathway. Mutagenesis has shown that Glu165 of rat mECI is involved in catalysis; however, the putative catalytic residue in yeast pECI, Glu158, is not conserved in mECI. To elucidate whether Glu165 of mECI is correctly positioned for catalysis, the crystal structure of rat mECI has been solved. Crystal packing suggests the enzyme is trimeric, in contrast to other members of the superfamily, which appear crystallographically to be dimers of trimers. The polypeptide fold of mECI, like pECI, belongs to a subset of this superfamily in which the C-terminal domain of a given monomer interacts with its own N-terminal domain. This differs from that of crotonase and 1,4-dihydroxy-2-naphtoyl-CoA synthase, whose C-terminal domains are involved in domain swapping with an adjacent monomer. The structure confirms Glu165 as the putative catalytic acid/base, positioned to abstract the pro-R proton from C2 and reprotonate at C4 of the acyl chain. The large tunnel-shaped active site cavity observed in the mECI structure explains the relative substrate promiscuity in acyl-chain length and stereochemistry. Comparison with the crystal structure of pECI suggests the catalytic residues from both enzymes are spatially conserved but not in their primary structures, providing a powerful reminder of how catalytic residues cannot be determined solely by sequence alignments.
Project description:The development of direct methanol fuel cells is hindered by the issue of methanol crossover across membranes, despite the remarkable features resulting from the use of liquid fuel. Here we investigate the proton-selective conduction behavior across 2D graphyne in an aqueous environment. The aqueous proton conduction mechanism transitions from bare proton penetration to a mixed vehicular and Grotthuss transportation when the side length of triangular graphyne pores increases to 0.95?nm. A further increase in the side length to 1.2?nm results in the formation of a patterned aqueous/vacuum interphase, enabling protons to be conducted through the water wires via Grotthuss mechanism with low energy barriers. More importantly, it is found that 2D graphyne with the side length of less than 1.45?nm can effectively block methanol crossover, suggesting that 2D graphyne with an appropriate pore size is an ideal material to achieve zero-crossover proton-selective membranes.
Project description:Oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL) is, at least in part, responsible for angiogenesis in atherosclerotic regions. This effect of ox-LDL has been shown to be mediated through a specific receptor LOX-1. Here we describe the effect of miR-590-5p on ox-LDL-mediated angiogenesis in in vitro and in vivo settings. Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) were transfected with miR-590-5p mimic or inhibitor followed by treatment with ox-LDL. In other experiments, Marigel plugs were inserted in the mice subcutaneous space. Both in vitro and in vivo studies showed that miR-590-5p mimic (100?nM) inhibited the ox-LDL-mediated angiogenesis (capillary tube formation, cell proliferation and migration as well as pro-angiogenic signals- ROS, MAPKs, pro-inflammatory cytokines and adhesion-related proteins). Of note, miR-590-5p inhibitor (200?nM) had the opposite effects. The inhibitory effect of miR-590-5p on angiogenesis was mediated by inhibition of LOX-1 at translational level. The inhibition of LOX-1 by miR-590-5p was confirmed by luciferase assay. In conclusion, we show that MiR-590-5p inhibits angiogenesis by targeting LOX-1 and suppressing redox-sensitive signals.
Project description:By enabling a tight control of cell excitation, optogenetics is a powerful approach to study the function of neurons and neural circuits. With its transparent body, a fully mapped nervous system, easily quantifiable behaviors and many available genetic tools, Caenorhabditis elegans is an extremely well-suited model to decipher the functioning logic of the nervous system with optogenetics. Our goal was to establish an efficient dual color optogenetic system for the independent excitation of different neurons in C. elegans. We combined two recently discovered channelrhodopsins: the red-light sensitive Chrimson from Chlamydomonas noctigama and the blue-light sensitive CoChR from Chloromonas oogama. Codon-optimized versions of Chrimson and CoChR were designed for C. elegans and expressed in different mechanosensory neurons. Freely moving animals produced robust behavioral responses to light stimuli of specific wavelengths. Since CoChR was five times more sensitive to blue light than the commonly used ChR2, we were able to use low blue light intensities producing no cross-activation of Chrimson. Thanks to these optogenetics tools, we revealed asymmetric cross-habituation effects between the gentle and harsh touch sensory motor pathways. Collectively, our results establish the Chrimson/CoChR pair as a potent tool for bimodal neural excitation in C. elegans and equip this genetic model organism for the next generation of in vivo optogenetic analyses.