In mammals, cytosine in the CpG sequence is often methylated by DNA methyltransferase (Dnmt). Methylated cytosine (5mC) plays crucial roles in gene silencing, genomic imprinting, X-chromosome inactivation and the stability of genomic DNA. Aberrant DNA methylation causes embryonic lethality and cancer. Recently, 5-hydoxymethylcytosine (5hmC) was discovered to be a new modification of cytosine, being an intermediate of the demethylation process, and thus is implicated in the pluripotency of stem cells, development, and disease. Therefore, it is quite important to develop the technique to analyze the position of 5hmC in genome. To determine 5hmC at single-base resolution, several techniques have been reported. However, each method has advantages and disadvantages.
The α, β and γ isoforms of mammalian heterochromatin protein 1 (HP1) selectively bind to methylated lysine 9 of histone H3 via their chromodomains. Although the phenotypes of HP1-knockout mice are distinct for each isoform, the molecular mechanisms underlying HP1 isoform-specific function remain elusive. In the present study, we found that in contrast to HP1α, HP1γ could not bind tri-methylated H3 lysine 9 in a reconstituted tetra-nucleosomes when the nucleosomes were in an uncompacted state. The hinge region connecting HP1’s chromodomain and chromoshadow domain contributed to the distinct recognition of the nucleosomes by HP1α and HP1γ.
The post-translational modification of histones plays an important role in gene expression. We report herein on a method for synthesizing such modified histones by ligating chemically prepared N-terminal peptides and C-terminal recombinant peptide building blocks. Based on their chemical synthesis, core histones can be categorized as two types; histones H2A, H2B and H4 which contain no Cys residues, and histone H3 which contains a Cys residue(s) in the C-terminal region. A combination of native chemical ligation and desulphurization can be simply used to prepare histones without Cys residues. For the synthesis of histone H3, the endogenous Cys residue(s) must be selectively protected, while keeping the N-terminal Cys residue of the C-terminal building block that is introduced for purposes of chemical ligation unprotected.
The chemical synthesis of human interleukin-2 (IL-2) , having a core 1 sugar, by a ligation method is reported. Although IL-2 is a globular glycoprotein, its C-terminal region, in particular (99-133), is extremely insoluble when synthesized by solid-phase method. To overcome this problem, the side-chain carboxylic acid of the Glu residues was protected by a picolyl ester, thus reversing its polarity from negative to positive. This reverse polarity protection significantly increased the isoelectric point of the peptide segment and made it positive under acidic conditions and facilitated the purification. An efficient method to prepare the prolyl peptide thioester required for the synthesis of the (28-65) segment was also developed. These efforts resulted in the total synthesis of the glycosylated IL-2 having full biological activity.
KEYWORDS: Prdm13; amacrine cell; interneuron; retina; subtype specification; visual function
Osaka University and Nippi Inc., a Japanese biotech company having an expertise in collagen and collagen-related products, succeeded in manufacturing laminin-511 E8 fragment, a very potent cell-adhesive substrates for cultivation of human pluripotent stem cells, in accordance with GMP (good manufacturing practice). The laminin fragment, commercialized from Nippi under the trade name of “iMatrix-511 MG”, is suitable for production of clinical-grade human iPS cells and other stem cells in cell transplantation therapy. The new product will be commercially available in June 2015. iMatrix-511 GM will accelerate the production of a wide variety of pluripotent stem cells, particularly iPS cells, to be used in regenerative medicine.
- Protein 4.1G is essential for the arrangement of correct retinal synapse location
- 4.1G contributes to membrane-trafficking system mediated by neuronal AP3
- Retinal synaptic location is important for establishing normal visual acuity
- Normal membrane trafficking is essential for synaptic integrity maintenance
SorLA is a neuronal sorting receptor considered to be a major risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease. We have recently reported that it directs lysosomal targeting of nascent neurotoxic amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides by directly binding Aβ. Here, we determined the crystal structure of the human sorLA domain responsible for Aβ capture, Vps10p, in an unbound state and in complex with two ligands. Vps10p assumes a ten-bladed β-propeller fold with a large tunnel at the center. An internal ligand derived from the sorLA propeptide bound inside the tunnel to extend the β-sheet of one of the propeller blades. The structure of the sorLA Vps10p-Aβ complex revealed that the same site is used. Peptides are recognized by sorLA Vps10p in redundant modes without strict dependence on a particular amino acid sequence, thus suggesting a broad specificity toward peptides with a propensity for β-sheet formation.
Femtosecond X-ray serial crystallography has revolutionized atomic resolution structural investigation by drastically expanding the accessibility to proteins in small-sized crystals, at room temperature and on dynamic reaction. Despite such an enticing opportunity, robust and reliable crystal carrying media are largely lacking. Here, we introduce a grease matrix carrier for protein microcrystals to obtain the structures of lysozyme, glucose isomerase, thaumatin and fatty acid-binding protein type-3 beyond 2Å resolution under ambient conditions.
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) can be repaired by one of two major pathways–non-homologous end-joining (NHEJ) and homologous recombination (HR)–depending on whether cells are in G1 or S/G2 phase, respectively. However, the mechanisms of DSB repair during M phase remain largely unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that transient treatment of M-phase cells with the chemotherapeutic topoisomerase inhibitor etoposide induced DSBs that were often associated with anaphase bridge formation and genome instability such as dicentric chromosomes. Although most of the DSBs were carried over into the next G1 phase, some were repaired during M phase. Both NHEJ and HR, in particular NHEJ, promoted anaphase-bridge formation, suggesting that these repair pathways can induce genome instability during M phase. On the other hand, C-terminal-binding protein interacting protein (CtIP) suppressed anaphase bridge formation, implying that CtIP function prevents genome instability during mitosis.