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34 Janelia Publications

Showing 31-34 of 34 results
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    06/24/14 | Taura syndrome virus IRES initiates translation by binding its tRNA-mRNA-like structural element in the ribosomal decoding center.
    Koh CS, Brilot AF, Grigorieff N, Korostelev AA
    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 24;111(25):9139-44. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1406335111

    In cap-dependent translation initiation, the open reading frame (ORF) of mRNA is established by the placement of the AUG start codon and initiator tRNA in the ribosomal peptidyl (P) site. Internal ribosome entry sites (IRESs) promote translation of mRNAs in a cap-independent manner. We report two structures of the ribosome-bound Taura syndrome virus (TSV) IRES belonging to the family of Dicistroviridae intergenic IRESs. Intersubunit rotational states differ in these structures, suggesting that ribosome dynamics play a role in IRES translocation. Pseudoknot I of the IRES occupies the ribosomal decoding center at the aminoacyl (A) site in a manner resembling that of the tRNA anticodon-mRNA codon. The structures reveal that the TSV IRES initiates translation by a previously unseen mechanism, which is conceptually distinct from initiator tRNA-dependent mechanisms. Specifically, the ORF of the IRES-driven mRNA is established by the placement of the preceding tRNA-mRNA-like structure in the A site, whereas the 40S P site remains unoccupied during this initial step.

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    06/05/14 | Molecular basis for age-dependent microtubule acetylation by tubulin acetyltransferase.
    Szyk A, Deaconescu AM, Spector J, Goodman B, Valenstein ML, Ziolkowska NE, Kormendi V, Grigorieff N, Roll-Mecak A
    Cell. 2014 Jun 5;157(6):1405-15. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.03.061

    Acetylation of α-tubulin Lys40 by tubulin acetyltransferase (TAT) is the only known posttranslational modification in the microtubule lumen. It marks stable microtubules and is required for polarity establishment and directional migration. Here, we elucidate the mechanistic underpinnings for TAT activity and its preference for microtubules with slow turnover. 1.35 Å TAT cocrystal structures with bisubstrate analogs constrain TAT action to the microtubule lumen and reveal Lys40 engaged in a suboptimal active site. Assays with diverse tubulin polymers show that TAT is stimulated by microtubule interprotofilament contacts. Unexpectedly, despite the confined intraluminal location of Lys40, TAT efficiently scans the microtubule bidirectionally and acetylates stochastically without preference for ends. First-principles modeling and single-molecule measurements demonstrate that TAT catalytic activity, not constrained luminal diffusion, is rate limiting for acetylation. Thus, because of its preference for microtubules over free tubulin and its modest catalytic rate, TAT can function as a slow clock for microtubule lifetimes.

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    03/20/14 | Frealix: Model-based refinement of helical filament structures from electron micrographs.
    Rohou A, Grigorieff N
    Journal of Structural Biology. 2014 Mar 20;186(2):234-44. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2014.03.012

    The structures of many helical protein filaments can be derived from electron micrographs of their suspensions in thin films of vitrified aqueous solutions. The most successful and generally-applicable approach treats short segments of these filaments as independent "single particles", yielding near-atomic resolution for rigid and well-ordered filaments. The single-particle approach can also accommodate filament deformations, yielding sub-nanometer resolution for more flexible filaments. However, in the case of thin and flexible filaments, such as some amyloid-β (Aβ) fibrils, the single-particle approach may fail because helical segments can be curved or otherwise distorted and their alignment can be inaccurate due to low contrast in the micrographs. We developed new software called Frealix that allows the use of arbitrarily short filament segments during alignment to approximate even high curvatures. All segments in a filament are aligned simultaneously with constraints that ensure that they connect to each other in space to form a continuous helical structure. In this paper, we describe the algorithm and benchmark it against datasets of Aβ(1-40) fibrils and tobacco mosaic virus (TMV), both analyzed in earlier work. In the case of TMV, our algorithm achieves similar results to single-particle analysis. In the case of Aβ(1-40) fibrils, we match the previously-obtained resolution but we are also able to obtain reliable alignments and \~{}8-Å reconstructions from curved filaments. Our algorithm also offers a detailed characterization of filament deformations in three dimensions and enables a critical evaluation of the worm-like chain model for biological filaments.

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    12/01/13 | Quantitative characterization of electron detectors for transmission electron microscopy.
    Ruskin RS, Yu Z, Grigorieff N
    Journal of Structural Biology. 2013 Dec;184(3):385-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jsb.2013.10.016

    A new generation of direct electron detectors for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) promises significant improvement over previous detectors in terms of their modulation transfer function (MTF) and detective quantum efficiency (DQE). However, the performance of these new detectors needs to be carefully monitored in order to optimize imaging conditions and check for degradation over time. We have developed an easy-to-use software tool, FindDQE, to measure MTF and DQE of electron detectors using images of a microscope’s built-in beam stop. Using this software, we have determined the DQE curves of four direct electron detectors currently available: the Gatan K2 Summit, the FEI Falcon I and II, and the Direct Electron DE-12, under a variety of total dose and dose rate conditions. We have additionally measured the curves for the Gatan US4000 and TVIPS TemCam-F416 scintillator-based cameras. We compare the results from our new method with published curves.

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