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23 Janelia Publications

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    12/21/21 | Structure and RNA template requirements of RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE 2.
    Fukudome A, Singh J, Mishra V, Reddem E, Martinez-Marquez F, Wenzel S, Yan R, Shiozaki M, Yu Z, Wang JC, Takagi Y, Pikaard CS
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A.. 2021 Dec 21;118(51):. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2115899118

    RNA-dependent RNA polymerases play essential roles in RNA-mediated gene silencing in eukaryotes. In , RNA-DEPENDENT RNA POLYMERASE 2 (RDR2) physically interacts with DNA-dependent NUCLEAR RNA POLYMERASE IV (Pol IV) and their activities are tightly coupled, with Pol IV transcriptional arrest, induced by the nontemplate DNA strand, somehow enabling RDR2 to engage Pol IV transcripts and generate double-stranded RNAs. The double-stranded RNAs are then released from the Pol IV-RDR2 complex and diced into short-interfering RNAs that guide RNA-directed DNA methylation and silencing. Here we report the structure of full-length RDR2, at an overall resolution of 3.1 Å, determined by cryoelectron microscopy. The N-terminal region contains an RNA-recognition motif adjacent to a positively charged channel that leads to a catalytic center with striking structural homology to the catalytic centers of multisubunit DNA-dependent RNA polymerases. We show that RDR2 initiates 1 to 2 nt internal to the 3' ends of its templates and can transcribe the RNA of an RNA/DNA hybrid, provided that 9 or more nucleotides are unpaired at the RNA's 3' end. Using a nucleic acid configuration that mimics the arrangement of RNA and DNA strands upon Pol IV transcriptional arrest, we show that displacement of the RNA 3' end occurs as the DNA template and nontemplate strands reanneal, enabling RDR2 transcription. These results suggest a model in which Pol IV arrest and backtracking displaces the RNA 3' end as the DNA strands reanneal, allowing RDR2 to engage the RNA and synthesize the complementary strand.

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    09/30/21 | The LRRK2 G2019S mutation alters astrocyte-to-neuron communication via extracellular vesicles and induces neuron atrophy in a human iPSC-derived model of Parkinson’s disease
    Aurelie de Rus Jacquet , Jenna L. Tancredi , Andrew L. Lemire , Michael C. DeSantis , Wei-Ping Li , Erin K. O’Shea
    eLife. 2021 Sep 30:. doi:

    Astrocytes are essential cells of the central nervous system, characterized by dynamic relationships with neurons that range from functional metabolic interactions and regulation of neuronal firing activities, to the release of neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors. In Parkinson’s disease (PD), dopaminergic neurons are progressively lost during the course of the disease, but the effects of PD on astrocytes and astrocyte-to-neuron communication remains largely unknown. This study focuses on the effects of the PD-related mutation LRRK2 G2019S in astrocytes generated from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. We report the alteration of extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis in astrocytes, and we identify the abnormal accumulation of key PD-related proteins within multi vesicular bodies (MVBs). We found that dopaminergic neurons internalize astrocyte-secreted EVs and that LRRK2 G2019S EVs are abnormally enriched in neurites and fail to provide full neurotrophic support to dopaminergic neurons. Thus, dysfunctional astrocyte-to-neuron communication via altered EV biological properties may participate in the progression of PD.

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    05/13/21 | CryoEM structure of the antibacterial target PBP1b at 3.3 Å resolution.
    Caveney NA, Workman SD, Yan R, Atkinson CE, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
    Nature Communications. 2021 May 13;12(1):2775. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-23063-6

    The pathway for the biosynthesis of the bacterial cell wall is one of the most prolific antibiotic targets, exemplified by the widespread use of β-lactam antibiotics. Despite this, our structural understanding of class A penicillin binding proteins, which perform the last two steps in this pathway, is incomplete due to the inherent difficulty in their crystallization and the complexity of their substrates. Here, we determine the near atomic resolution structure of the 83 kDa class A PBP from Escherichia coli, PBP1b, using cryogenic electron microscopy and a styrene maleic acid anhydride membrane mimetic. PBP1b, in its apo form, is seen to exhibit a distinct conformation in comparison to Moenomycin-bound crystal structures. The work herein paves the way for the use of cryoEM in structure-guided antibiotic development for this notoriously difficult to crystalize class of proteins and their complex substrates.

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    12/02/20 | Cryo-EM structure of the inhibited (10S) form of myosin II.
    Yang S, Tiwari P, Lee KH, Sato O, Ikebe M, Padrón R, Craig R
    Nature. 2020 Dec 02;588(7838):521-25. doi: 10.1038/s41586-020-3007-0

    Myosin II is the motor protein that enables muscle cells to contract and nonmuscle cells to move and change shape. The molecule has two identical heads attached to an elongated tail, and can exist in two conformations: 10S and 6S, named for their sedimentation coefficients. The 6S conformation has an extended tail and assembles into polymeric filaments, which pull on actin filaments to generate force and motion. In 10S myosin, the tail is folded into three segments and the heads bend back and interact with each other and the tail, creating a compact conformation in which ATPase activity, actin activation and filament assembly are all highly inhibited. This switched-off structure appears to function as a key energy-conserving storage molecule in muscle and nonmuscle cells, which can be activated to form functional filaments as needed-but the mechanism of its inhibition is not understood. Here we have solved the structure of smooth muscle 10S myosin by cryo-electron microscopy with sufficient resolution to enable improved understanding of the function of the head and tail regions of the molecule and of the key intramolecular contacts that cause inhibition. Our results suggest an atomic model for the off state of myosin II, for its activation and unfolding by phosphorylation, and for understanding the clustering of disease-causing mutations near sites of intramolecular interaction.

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    09/30/20 | Structural insight into the ATP-driven exporter of virulent peptide toxins.
    Zeytuni N, Dickey SW, Hu J, Chou HT, Worrall LJ, Alexander JA, Carlson ML, Nosella M, Duong F, Yu Z, Otto M, Strynadka NC
    Science Advances. 2020 Sep 30;6(40):. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.abb8219

    is a major human pathogen that has acquired alarming broad-spectrum antibiotic resistance. One group of secreted toxins with key roles during infection is the phenol-soluble modulins (PSMs). PSMs are amphipathic, membrane-destructive cytolytic peptides that are exported to the host-cell environment by a designated adenosine 5'-triphosphate (ATP)-binding cassette (ABC) transporter, the PSM transporter (PmtABCD). Here, we demonstrate that the minimal Pmt unit necessary for PSM export is PmtCD and provide its first atomic characterization by single-particle cryo-EM and x-ray crystallography. We have captured the transporter in the ATP-bound state at near atomic resolution, revealing a type II ABC exporter fold, with an additional cytosolic domain. Comparison to a lower-resolution nucleotide-free map displaying an "open" conformation and putative hydrophobic inner chamber of a size able to accommodate the binding of two PSM peptides provides mechanistic insight and sets the foundation for therapeutic design.

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    11/27/19 | Cryo-EM structure of the human FLCN-FNIP2-Rag-Ragulator complex.
    Shen K, Rogala KB, Chou H, Huang RK, Yu Z, Sabatini DM
    Cell. 2019 Nov 27;179(6):1319-29. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2019.10.036
    08/01/19 | T3S injectisome needle complex structures in four distinct states reveal the basis of membrane coupling and assembly.
    Hu J, Worrall LJ, Vuckovic M, Hong C, Deng W, Atkinson CE, Brett Finlay B, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
    Nature Microbiology. 2019 Aug;4(11):2010-19. doi: 10.1038/s41564-019-0545-z

    The bacterial injectisome is a syringe-shaped macromolecular nanomachine utilized by many pathogenic Gram-negative bacteria, including the causative agents of plague, typhoid fever, whooping cough, sexually transmitted infections and major nosocomial infections. Bacterial proteins destined for self-assembly and host-cell targeting are translocated by the injectisome in a process known as type III secretion (T3S). The core structure is the ~4 MDa needle complex (NC), built on a foundation of three highly oligomerized ring-forming proteins that create a hollow scaffold spanning the bacterial inner membrane (IM) (24-mer ring-forming proteins PrgH and PrgK in the Salmonella entericaserovar Typhimurium Salmonella pathogenicity island 1 (SPI-1) type III secretion system (T3SS)) and outer membrane (OM) (15-mer InvG, a member of the broadly conserved secretin pore family). An internalized helical needle projects from the NC and bacterium, ultimately forming a continuous passage to the host, for delivery of virulence effectors. Here, we have captured snapshots of the entire prototypical SPI-1 NC in four distinct needle assembly states, including near-atomic resolution, and local reconstructions in the absence and presence of the needle. These structures reveal the precise localization and molecular interactions of the internalized SpaPQR ‘export apparatus’ complex, which is intimately encapsulated and stabilized within the IM rings in the manner of a nanodisc, and to which the PrgJ rod directly binds and functions as an initiator and anchor of needle polymerization. We also describe the molecular details of the extensive and continuous coupling interface between the OM secretin and IM rings, which is remarkably facilitated by a localized 16-mer stoichiometry in the periplasmic-most coupling domain of the otherwise 15-mer InvG oligomer.

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    02/07/19 | Cryo-EM structure of the homohexameric T3SS ATPase-central stalk complex reveals rotary ATPase-like asymmetry.
    Majewski DD, Worrall LJ, Hong C, Atkinson CE, Vuckovic M, Watanabe N, Yu Z, Strynadka NC
    Nature Communications. 2019 Feb 07;10(1):626. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-08477-7

    Many Gram-negative bacteria, including causative agents of dysentery, plague, and typhoid fever, rely on a type III secretion system - a multi-membrane spanning syringe-like apparatus - for their pathogenicity. The cytosolic ATPase complex of this injectisome is proposed to play an important role in energizing secretion events and substrate recognition. We present the 3.3 Å resolution cryo-EM structure of the enteropathogenic Escherichia coli ATPase EscN in complex with its central stalk EscO. The structure shows an asymmetric pore with different functional states captured in its six catalytic sites, details directly supporting a rotary catalytic mechanism analogous to that of the heterohexameric F/V-ATPases despite its homohexameric nature. Situated at the C-terminal opening of the EscN pore is one molecule of EscO, with primary interaction mediated through an electrostatic interface. The EscN-EscO structure provides significant atomic insights into how the ATPase contributes to type III secretion, including torque generation and binding of chaperone/substrate complexes.

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    01/10/19 | Cryo-EM of retinoschisin branched networks suggests an intercellular adhesive scaffold in the retina.
    Heymann JB, Vijayasarathy C, Huang RK, Dearborn AD, Sieving PA, Steven AC
    The Journal of Cell Biology. 2019 Jan 10;218(3):1027-38. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201806148

    Mutations in the retinal protein retinoschisin (RS1) cause progressive loss of vision in young males, a form of macular degeneration called X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS). We previously solved the structure of RS1, a 16-mer composed of paired back-to-back octameric rings. Here, we show by cryo-electron microscopy that RS1 16-mers can assemble into extensive branched networks. We classified the different configurations, finding four types of interaction between the RS1 molecules. The predominant configuration is a linear strand with a wavy appearance. Three less frequent types constitute the branch points of the network. In all cases, the "spikes" around the periphery of the double rings are involved in these interactions. In the linear strand, a loop (usually referred to as spike 1) occurs on both sides of the interface between neighboring molecules. Mutations in this loop suppress secretion, indicating the possibility of intracellular higher-order assembly. These observations suggest that branched networks of RS1 may play a stabilizing role in maintaining the integrity of the retina.

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    12/12/18 | Structure of Plasmodium falciparum Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr invasion complex.
    Wong W, Huang R, Menant S, Hong C, Sandow JJ, Birkinshaw RW, Healer J, Hodder AN, Kanjee U, Tonkin CJ, Heckmann D, Soroka V, Søgaard TM, Jørgensen T, Duraisingh MT, Czabotar PE, de Jongh WA, Tham W, Webb AI, Yu Z, Cowman AF
    Nature. 2018 Dec 12;565(7737):118-21. doi: 10.1038/s41586-018-0779-6

    Plasmodium falciparum causes the severe form of malaria that has high levels of mortality in humans. Blood-stage merozoites of P. falciparum invade erythrocytes, and this requires interactions between multiple ligands from the parasite and receptors in hosts. These interactions include the binding of the Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr complex with the erythrocyte receptor basigin, which is an essential step for entry into human erythrocytes. Here we show that the Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr complex binds the erythrocyte cell line JK-1 significantly better than does Rh5 alone, and that this binding occurs through the insertion of Rh5 and Ripr into host membranes as a complex with high molecular weight. We report a cryo-electron microscopy structure of the Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr complex at subnanometre resolution, which reveals the organization of this essential invasion complex and the mode of interactions between members of the complex, and shows that CyRPA is a critical mediator of complex assembly. Our structure identifies blades 4-6 of the β-propeller of CyRPA as contact sites for Rh5 and Ripr. The limited contacts between Rh5-CyRPA and CyRPA-Ripr are consistent with the dissociation of Rh5 and Ripr from CyRPA for membrane insertion. A comparision of the crystal structure of Rh5-basigin with the cryo-electron microscopy structure of Rh5-CyRPA-Ripr suggests that Rh5 and Ripr are positioned parallel to the erythrocyte membrane before membrane insertion. This provides information on the function of this complex, and thereby provides insights into invasion by P. falciparum.

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