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2 Publications

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    06/21/18 | Imaging dynamic and selective low-complexity domain interactions that control gene transcription.
    Chong S, Dugast-Darzacq C, Liu Z, Dong P, Dailey GM, Cattoglio C, Heckert A, Banala S, Lavis L, Darzacq X, Tjian R
    Science (New York, N.Y.). 2018 Jun 21;361(6400):eaar2555. doi: 10.1126/science.aar2555

    Many eukaryotic transcription factors (TFs) contain intrinsically disordered low-complexity domains (LCDs), but how they drive transactivation remains unclear. Here, live-cell single-molecule imaging reveals that TF-LCDs form local high-concentration interaction hubs at synthetic and endogenous genomic loci. TF-LCD hubs stabilize DNA binding, recruit RNA polymerase II (Pol II), and activate transcription. LCD-LCD interactions within hubs are highly dynamic, display selectivity with binding partners, and are differentially sensitive to disruption by hexanediols. Under physiological conditions, rapid and reversible LCD-LCD interactions occur between TFs and the Pol II machinery without detectable phase separation. Our findings reveal fundamental mechanisms underpinning transcriptional control and suggest a framework for developing single-molecule imaging screens for novel drugs targeting gene regulatory interactions implicated in disease.

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    06/08/18 | Measuring the global substrate specificity of mycobacterial serine hydrolases using a library of fluorogenic ester substrates.
    Bassett B, Waibel B, White A, Hansen H, Stephens D, Koelper A, Larsen EM, Kim C, Glanzer A, Lavis LD, Hoops GC, Johnson RJ
    ACS Infectious Diseases. 2018 Jun 8;4(6):904-11. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.7b00263

    Among the proteins required for lipid metabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis are a significant number of uncharacterized serine hydrolases, especially lipases and esterases. Using a streamlined synthetic method, a library of immolative fluorogenic ester substrates was expanded to better represent the natural lipidomic diversity of Mycobacterium. This expanded fluorogenic library was then used to rapidly characterize the global structure activity relationship (SAR) of mycobacterial serine hydrolases in M. smegmatis under different growth conditions. Confirmation of fluorogenic substrate activation by mycobacterial serine hydrolases was performed using nonspecific serine hydrolase inhibitors and reinforced the biological significance of the SAR. The hydrolases responsible for the global SAR were then assigned using gel-resolved activity measurements, and these assignments were used to rapidly identify the relative substrate specificity of previously uncharacterized mycobacterial hydrolases. These measurements provide a global SAR of mycobacterial hydrolase activity, a picture of cycling hydrolase activity, and a detailed substrate specificity profile for previously uncharacterized hydrolases.

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