ABSTRACT: Ferritin H-homopolymers have been extensively used as nanocarriers for diverse applications in the targeted delivery of drugs and imaging agents, due to their unique ability to bind the transferrin receptor (CD71), highly overexpressed in most tumor cells. In order to incorporate novel fluorescence imaging properties, we have fused a lanthanide binding tag (LBT) to the C-terminal end of mouse H-chain ferritin, HFt. The HFt-LBT possesses one high affinity Terbium binding site per each of the 24 subunits provided by six coordinating aminoacid side chains and a tryptophan residue in its close proximity and is thus endowed with strong FRET sensitization properties. Accordingly, the characteristic Terbium emission band at 544 nm for the HFt-LBT Tb(III) complex was detectable upon excitation of the tag enclosed at two order of magnitude higher intensity with respect to the wtHFt protein. X-ray data at 2.9 Å and cryo-EM at 7 Å resolution demonstrated that HFt-LBT is correctly assembled as a 24-mer both in crystal and in solution. On the basis of the intrinsic Tb(III) binding properties of the wt protein, 32 additional Tb(III) binding sites, located within the natural iron binding sites of the protein, were identified besides the 24 Tb(III) ions coordinated to the LBTs. HFt-LBT Tb(III) was demonstrated to be actively uptaken by selected tumor cell lines by confocal microscopy and FACS analysis of their FITC derivatives, although direct fluorescence from Terbium emission could not be singled out with conventional, 295-375 nm, fluorescence excitation.
Project description:Metal ions serve important roles in structural biology applications from long-range perturbations seen in magnetic resonance experiments to electron-dense signatures in X-ray crystallography data; however, the metal ion must be secured in a molecular framework to achieve the maximum benefit. Polypeptide-based lanthanide-binding tags (LBTs) represent one option that can be directly encoded within a recombinant protein expression construct. However, LBTs often exhibit significant mobility relative to the target molecule. Here we report the characterization of improved LBTs sequences for insertion into a protein loop. These LBTs were inserted to connect two parallel alpha helices of an immunoglobulin G (IgG)-binding Z domain platform. Variants A and B bound Tb(3+) with high affinity (0.70 and 0.13 ?M, respectively) and displayed restricted LBT motion. Compared to the parent construct, the metal-bound A experienced a 2.5-fold reduction in tag motion as measured by magnetic field-induced residual dipolar couplings and was further studied in a 72.2 kDa complex with the human IgG1 fragment crystallizable (IgG1 Fc) glycoprotein. The appearance of both pseudo-contact shifts (-0.221 to 0.081 ppm) and residual dipolar couplings (-7.6 to 14.3 Hz) of IgG1 Fc resonances in the IgG1 Fc:(variant A:Tb(3+))2 complex indicated structural restriction of the LBT with respect to the Fc. These studies highlight the applicability of improved LBT sequences with reduced mobility to probe the structure of macromolecular systems.
Project description:Large-conductance Ca(2+)- and voltage-activated K(+) (BK) channels are involved in a large variety of physiological processes. Regulatory β-subunits are one of the mechanisms responsible for creating BK channel diversity fundamental to the adequate function of many tissues. However, little is known about the structure of its voltage sensor domain. Here, we present the external architectural details of BK channels using lanthanide-based resonance energy transfer (LRET). We used a genetically encoded lanthanide-binding tag (LBT) to bind terbium as a LRET donor and a fluorophore-labeled iberiotoxin as the LRET acceptor for measurements of distances within the BK channel structure in a living cell. By introducing LBTs in the extracellular region of the α- or β1-subunit, we determined (i) a basic extracellular map of the BK channel, (ii) β1-subunit-induced rearrangements of the voltage sensor in α-subunits, and (iii) the relative position of the β1-subunit within the α/β1-subunit complex.
Project description:With the increasing demand for rare earth elements (REEs) in many emerging clean energy technologies, there is an urgent need for the development of new approaches for efficient REE extraction and recovery. As a step toward this goal, we genetically engineered the aerobic bacterium Caulobacter crescentus for REE adsorption through high-density cell surface display of lanthanide binding tags (LBTs) on its S-layer. The LBT-displayed strains exhibited enhanced adsorption of REEs compared to cells lacking LBT, high specificity for REEs, and an adsorption preference for REEs with small atomic radii. Adsorbed Tb(3+) could be effectively recovered using citrate, consistent with thermodynamic speciation calculations that predicted strong complexation of Tb(3+) by citrate. No reduction in Tb(3+) adsorption capacity was observed following citrate elution, enabling consecutive adsorption/desorption cycles. The LBT-displayed strain was effective for extracting REEs from the acid leachate of core samples collected at a prospective rare earth mine. Our collective results demonstrate a rapid, efficient, and reversible process for REE adsorption with potential industrial application for REE enrichment and separation.
Project description:Lanthanide-binding tags (LBTs) are valuable tools for investigation of protein structure, function, and dynamics by NMR spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography, and luminescence studies. We have inserted LBTs into three different loop positions (denoted L, R, and S) of the model protein interleukin-1? (IL1?) and varied the length of the spacer between the LBT and the protein (denoted 1?3). Luminescence studies demonstrate that all nine constructs bind Tb3+ tightly in the low nanomolar range. No significant change in the fusion protein occurs from insertion of the LBT, as shown by two X-ray crystallographic structures of the IL1?-S1 and IL1?-L3 constructs and for the remaining constructs by comparing the 1H?15N heteronuclear single-quantum coherence NMR spectra with that of the wild-type IL1?. Additionally, binding of LBT-loop IL1? proteins to their native binding partner in vitro remains unaltered. X-ray crystallographic phasing was successful using only the signal from the bound lanthanide. Large residual dipolar couplings (RDCs) could be determined by NMR spectroscopy for all LBT-loop constructs and revealed that the LBT-2 series were rigidly incorporated into the interleukin-1? structure. The paramagnetic NMR spectra of loop-LBT mutant IL1?-R2 were assigned and the ?? tensor components were calculated on the basis of RDCs and pseudocontact shifts. A structural model of the IL1?-R2 construct was calculated using the paramagnetic restraints. The current data provide support that encodable LBTs serve as versatile biophysical tags when inserted into loop regions of proteins of known structure or predicted via homology modeling.
Project description:The title compound, (C(8)H(20)N)[Tb(C(5)HF(6)O(2))(4)], is a tetrakis ?-diketonate complex of hexa-fluoro-acetyl-acetone with terbium(III), and tetra-ethyl-ammonium as the counter-ion. This compound shows typical green terbium(III) luminescence upon excitation at about 335?nm. The coordination geometry around the Tb(III) atom is a slightly distorted square anti-prism. One hexa-fluoro-acetyl-acetone ligand has a disordered CF(3) group [occupancies of 0.575?(4) and 0.425?(4)]. A three-dimensional network is built up by linkage of Tb(III) complexes via C-H?F inter-actions.
Project description:Ferritin is a spherical molecule composed of 24 subunits of two types, ferritin H chain (FHC) and ferritin L chain (FLC). Ferritin stores iron within cells, but it also circulates and binds specifically and saturably to a variety of cell types. For most cell types, this binding can be mediated by ferritin composed only of FHC (HFt) but not by ferritin composed only of FLC (LFt), indicating that binding of ferritin to cells is mediated by FHC but not FLC. By using expression cloning, we identified human transferrin receptor-1 (TfR1) as an important receptor for HFt with little or no binding to LFt. In vitro, HFt can be precipitated by soluble TfR1, showing that this interaction is not dependent on other proteins. Binding of HFt to TfR1 is partially inhibited by diferric transferrin, but it is hindered little, if at all, by HFE. After binding of HFt to TfR1 on the cell surface, HFt enters both endosomes and lysosomes. TfR1 accounts for most, if not all, of the binding of HFt to mitogen-activated T and B cells, circulating reticulocytes, and all cell lines that we have studied. The demonstration that TfR1 can bind HFt as well as Tf raises the possibility that this dual receptor function may coordinate the processing and use of iron by these iron-binding molecules.
Project description:Lanthanide luminescence, while ideal for in?vivo applications owing to sharp emission bands within the optical window, requires high-intensity, short-wavelength excitation of small organic "antenna" chromophores in the vicinity of the lanthanide complex to access excited f-orbital states through intersystem crossing. Herein, we explored Cherenkov radiation of the radioisotopes 18 F and 89 Zr as an in?situ source of antenna excitation. The effective inter- and intramolecular excitation of the terbium(III) complexes of a macrocylic polyaminocarboxylate ligand (hydration number (q)=0, quantum yield (?)=47?%) as well as its analogue functionalized to append an intramolecular Cherenkov excitation source (q=0.07, ?=63?%) was achieved. Using conventional small-animal fluorescence imaging equipment, we have determined a detection limit of 2.5?nmol of Tb(III) complex in presence of 10??Ci of 18 F or 89 Zr. Our system is the first demonstration of the optical imaging of discrete luminescent lanthanide complexes without external short-wave excitation.
Project description:Iron is thought to enter the ferritin cavity via the three-fold channel, which is lined in its narrowest part by the residues Asp-131 and Glu-134. We describe here variants of human ferritins with active and inactive ferroxidase centres having Asp-131 and Glu-134 substituted with Ala and Ala or with Ile and Phe respectively. The two types of substitution had similar effects on ferritin functionality: (i) they decreased the amount of iron incorporated from Fe(II) solutions and decreased ferroxidase activity by about 50%; (ii) they inhibited iron incorporation from Fe(III) citrate in the presence of ascorbate; (iii) they resulted in loss of Fe and Tb binding sites; and (iv) they resulted in a marked decrease in the inhibition of iron oxidation by Tb (but not by Zn). In addition, it was found that substitution with Ala of Cys-130 and His-118, both of which face the three-fold channel, decreased the capacity of H-ferritin to bind terbium and to incorporate iron from Fe(III) citrate in the presence of ascorbate. The results indicate that: (i) in three-fold channels are the major sites of iron transfer into the cavity of H- and L-ferritins; (ii) at least two metal binding sites are located on the channels which play an active role in capturing and transferring iron into the cavity; and (iii) the permeability of the channel is apparently not affected by the hydrophilicity of its narrowest part. In addition, it is proposed that iron incorporation from Fe(III) citrate complexes in the presence of ascorbate is a reliable, and possibly more physiological, approach to the study of ferritin functionality.
Project description:A luminescent terbium metal-organic framework [Tb(HPIA-)(PIA2-)(H2O)2] (Tb-MOF), synthesized by a lanthanide metal ion (Tb3+) and nitric heterocyclic carboxylic acid ligands H2PIA (H2PIA = 5-(1H-pyrazol-3-yl)isophthalic-acid), was structurally characterized as a three-dimensional skeleton structure in which layered coordination frameworks are connected by hydrogen bonds. Based on the antenna effect, Tb-MOF can emit bright green fluorescence under 254 nm excitation, and the fluorescence emission presents excellent durability in aqueous solutions among a wide pH range. Moreover, the structure of Tb-MOF also possesses outstanding thermal stabilities. In some ways, PO4 3- and its derivatives are thought to be a kind of pollutant ion causing series environmental and health problems. The as-synthesized Tb-MOF exhibits prominent selectivity and remarkable sensitivity for detecting PO4 3- as an easy-to-use fluorescent probe with low detection limit, fast response, and wide detection range. Therefore, Tb-MOF has significant applications in the fields of human health and environmental monitoring.
Project description:Deep-ultraviolet excitation fluorescence microscopy has enabled molecular imaging having an optical sectioning capability with a wide-field configuration and its usefulness for slide-free pathology has been shown in recent years. Here, we report usefulness of terbium ions as RNA-specific labeling probes for slide-free pathology with deep-ultraviolet excitation fluorescence. On excitation in the wavelength range of 250-300 nm, terbium ions emitted fluorescence after entering cells. Bright fluorescence was observed at nucleoli and cytoplasm while fluorescence became weak after RNA decomposition by ribonuclease prior to staining. It was also found that the fluorescence intensity at nucleoplasm increased with temperature during staining and that this temperature-dependent behavior resembled temperature-dependent hypochromicity of DNA due to melting. These findings indicated that terbium ions stained single-stranded nucleic acid more efficiently than double-stranded nucleic acid. We further combined terbium ions and DNA-specific dyes for dual-color imaging. In the obtained image, nucleolus, nucleoplasm, and cytoplasm were distinguished. We demonstrated the usefulness of dual-color imaging for rapid diagnosis of surgical specimen by showing optical sectioning of unsliced tissues. The present findings can enhance deep-ultraviolet excitation fluorescence microscopy and consequently expand the potential of fluorescence microscopy in life sciences.