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3 Janelia Publications

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    02/01/20 | In situ structure determination at nanometer resolution using TYGRESS.
    Song K, Shang Z, Fu X, Lou X, Grigorieff N, Nicastro D
    Nature Methods. 2020 Feb 01;17(2):201-08. doi: 10.1038/s41592-019-0651-0

    The resolution of subtomogram averages calculated from cryo-electron tomograms (cryo-ET) of crowded cellular environments is often limited owing to signal loss in, and misalignment of, the subtomograms. By contrast, single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (SP-cryo-EM) routinely reaches near-atomic resolution of isolated complexes. We report a method called 'tomography-guided 3D reconstruction of subcellular structures' (TYGRESS) that is a hybrid of cryo-ET and SP-cryo-EM, and is able to achieve close-to-nanometer resolution of complexes inside crowded cellular environments. TYGRESS combines the advantages of SP-cryo-EM (images with good signal-to-noise ratio and contrast, as well as minimal radiation damage) and subtomogram averaging (three-dimensional alignment of macromolecules in a complex sample). Using TYGRESS, we determined the structure of the intact ciliary axoneme with up to resolution of 12 Å. These results reveal many structural details that were not visible by cryo-ET alone. TYGRESS is generally applicable to cellular complexes that are amenable to subtomogram averaging.

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    01/27/20 | Structure and assembly of calcium homeostasis modulator proteins.
    Syrjanen JL, Michalski K, Chou T, Grant T, Rao S, Simorowski N, Tucker SJ, Grigorieff N, Furukawa H
    Nature Structural and Molecular Biology. 2020 Jan 27;27(2):150-9. doi: 10.1038/s41594-019-0369-9

    The biological membranes of many cell types contain large-pore channels through which a wide variety of ions and metabolites permeate. Examples include connexin, innexin and pannexin, which form gap junctions and/or bona fide cell surface channels. The most recently identified large-pore channels are the calcium homeostasis modulators (CALHMs), through which ions and ATP permeate in a voltage-dependent manner to control neuronal excitability, taste signaling and pathologies of depression and Alzheimer's disease. Despite such critical biological roles, the structures and patterns of their oligomeric assembly remain unclear. Here, we reveal the structures of two CALHMs, chicken CALHM1 and human CALHM2, by single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), which show novel assembly of the four transmembrane helices into channels of octamers and undecamers, respectively. Furthermore, molecular dynamics simulations suggest that lipids can favorably assemble into a bilayer within the larger CALHM2 pore, but not within CALHM1, demonstrating the potential correlation between pore size, lipid accommodation and channel activity.

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    01/07/20 | Structure of the vesicular stomatitis virus L protein in complex with Its phosphoprotein cofactor.
    Jenni S, Bloyet L, Diaz-Avalos R, Liang B, Whelan SP, Grigorieff N, Harrison SC
    Cell Reports. 2020 Jan 07;30(1):53-60.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.12.024

    The large (L) proteins of non-segmented, negative-strand RNA viruses are multifunctional enzymes that produce capped, methylated, and polyadenylated mRNA and replicate the viral genome. A phosphoprotein (P), required for efficient RNA-dependent RNA polymerization from the viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) template, regulates the function and conformation of the L protein. We report the structure of vesicular stomatitis virus L in complex with its P cofactor determined by electron cryomicroscopy at 3.0 Å resolution, enabling us to visualize bound segments of P. The contacts of three P segments with multiple L domains show how P induces a closed, compact, initiation-competent conformation. Binding of P to L positions its N-terminal domain adjacent to a putative RNA exit channel for efficient encapsidation of newly synthesized genomes with the nucleoprotein and orients its C-terminal domain to interact with an RNP template. The model shows that a conserved tryptophan in the priming loop can support the initiating 5' nucleotide.

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