Subject: Chemistry, General & Theoretical Chemistry Keywords: structure prediction; Rosetta; computational modeling; protein design
Online: 16 October 2019 (05:40:52 CEST)
The Rosetta software suite for macromolecular modeling, docking, and design is widely used in pharmaceutical, industrial, academic, non-profit, and government laboratories. Considering its broad modeling capabilities, Rosetta consistently ranks highly when compared to other leading methods created for highly specialized protein modeling and design tasks. Developed for over two decades by a global community of scientists at more than 60 institutions, Rosetta has undergone multiple refactorings, and now comprises over three million lines of code. Here we discuss the methods developed in the last five years, involving the latest protocols for structure prediction, protein–protein and protein–small molecule docking, protein structure and interface design, loop modeling, the incorporation of various types of experimental data, and modeling of peptides, antibodies and other proteins in the immune system, nucleic acids, non-standard amino acids, carbohydrates, and membrane proteins. We briefly discuss improvements to the energy function, user interfaces, and usability of the software. Rosetta is available at www.rosettacommons.org.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0097.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Protein structure and dynamics; Molecular structure and modeling; Protein and macromolecules; Computational methods and bioinformatics; Computer-based teaching tools; Learning materials and teaching tools; Multimedia teaching tools
Online: 7 February 2020 (11:42:09 CET)
Biomolecular structure drives function, and computational capabilities have progressed such that the prediction and computational design of biomolecular structures is increasingly feasible. Because computational biophysics attracts students from many different backgrounds and with different levels of resources, teaching the subject can be challenging. One strategy to teach diverse learners is with interactive multimedia material that promotes self-paced, active learning. We have created a hands-on education strategy with a set of fifteen modules that teach topics in biomolecular structure and design, from fundamentals of conformational sampling and energy evaluation to applications like protein docking, antibody design, and RNA structure prediction. Our modules are based on PyRosetta, a Python library that encapsulates all computational modules and methods in the Rosetta software package. The workshop-style modules are implemented as Jupyter Notebooks that can be executed in the Google Colaboratory, allowing learners access with just a web browser. The digital format of Jupyter Notebooks allows us to embed images, molecular visualization movies, and interactive coding exercises. This multimodal approach may better reach students from different disciplines and experience levels as well as attract more researchers from smaller labs and cognate backgrounds to leverage PyRosetta in their science and engineering research. All materials are freely available at https://github.com/RosettaCommons/PyRosetta.notebooks.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0196.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: drug discovery; artificial intelligence; protein discovery; binding prediction; synthetic molecule generation; synthetic drug
Online: 20 November 2020 (11:30:03 CET)
In this paper we propose the generation of synthetic small and more sophisticated molecule structures that optimize the binding affinity to a target (ASYNT-GAN). To achieve this we leverage on three important achievements in A.I.: Attention, Deep Learning on Graphs and Generative Adversarial Networks. Similar to text generation based on parts of text we are able to generate a molecule architecture based on an existing target. By adopting this approach, we propose a novel way of searching for existing compounds that are suitable candidates. Similar to question and answer Natural Language solutions we are able to find drugs with highest relevance to a target. We are able to identify substructures of the molecular structure that are the most suitable for binding. In addition, we are proposing a novel way of generating the molecule in 3D space in such a way that the binding is optimized. We show that we are able to generate compound structures and protein structures that are optimised for binding to a target.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0006.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2; protein design; complementarity; competitive inhibitor; homology-based threading in rational protein design
Online: 4 March 2021 (10:14:39 CET)
COVID-19 is characterized by an unprecedented abrupt increase in the viral transmission rate (SARS-CoV-2) relative to its pandemic evolutionary ancestor, SARS-CoV (2003). The complex molecular cascade of events related to the viral pathogenicity is triggered by the Spike protein upon interacting with the ACE2 receptor on human lung cells through its receptor binding domain (RBDSpike). One potential therapeutic strategy to combat COVID-19 could thus be limiting the infection by blocking this key interaction. In this current study, we adopt a protein design approach to predict and propose non-virulent structural mimics of the RBDSpike which can potentially serve as its competitive inhibitors in binding to ACE2. The RBDSpike is an independently foldable protein domain, resilient to conformational changes upon mutations and therefore an attractive target for strategic re-design. Interestingly, in spite of displaying an optimal shape fit between their interacting surfaces (attributed to a consequently high mutual affinity), the RBDSpike–ACE2 interaction appears to have a quasi-stable character due to a poor electrostatic match at their interface. Structural analyses of homologous protein complexes reveal that the ACE2 binding site of RBDSpike has an unusually high degree of solvent-exposed hydrophobic residues, attributed to key evolutionary changes, making it inherently ‘reaction-prone’. The designed mimics aimed to block the viral entry by occupying the available binding sites on ACE2, are tested to have signatures of stable high-affinity binding with ACE2 (cross-validated by appropriate free energy estimates), overriding the native quasi-stable feature. The results show the apt of directly adapting natural examples in rational protein design, wherein, homology-based threading coupled with strategic ‘hydrophobic ↔ polar’ mutations serve as a potential breakthrough.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0250.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Keywords: Computational Protein Design; Graphical Models; Automata; Cost Function Networks; Structural Biology; Diversity.
Online: 9 April 2021 (09:47:16 CEST)
Proteins are the main active molecules of Life. While natural proteins play many roles, as enzymes or antibodies for example, there is a need to go beyond the repertoire of natural proteins to produce engineered proteins that precisely meet application requirements, in terms of function, stability, activity or other protein capacities. Computational Protein Design aims at designing new proteins from first principles, using full-atom molecular models. However, the size and complexity of proteins require approximations to make them amenable to energetic optimization queries. These approximations make the design process less reliable and a provable optimal solution may fail. In practice, expensive libraries of solutions are therefore generated and tested. In this paper, we explore the idea of generating libraries of provably diverse low energy solutions by extending Cost Function Network algorithms with dedicated automaton-based diversity constraints on a large set of realistic full protein redesign problems. We observe that it is possible to generate provably diverse libraries in reasonable time and that the produced libraries do enhance the Native Sequence Recovery, a traditional measure of design methods reliability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0071.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: 2019-nCoV; novel corona virus; Wuhan virus; drug; vaccine; spike protein; epitope; vaccine design
Online: 5 February 2020 (15:34:15 CET)
The recent outbreak of the new virus in Wuhan city, China from the sea food market has led to the identification of a new strain called the corona virus and named as novel corona virus (2019-nCoV) belonging to Coronaviridae family. This has created major havoc and concern due to the mortality of 250 persons and affecting more than 10,000 people. This virus causes sudden fever, pneumonia and also kidney failure. In this study a computational approach is proposed for drug and vaccine design. The spike protein sequences were collected from a protein database and analysed with various bioinformatics tools to identify suitable natural inhibitors for the N-terminal receptor binding domain of spike protein. Also, it is attempted to identify suitable vaccine candidates by identifying B-Cell and T-cell epitopes. In the drug design, the tanshinone Iia and methyl Tanshinonate were identified as natural inhibitors based on the docking score. In the vaccine design, B-cell epitope VLLPLVSSQCVNLTTRTQLPPAYTN was found to have the highest antigenicity. FVFLVLLPL of MHC class-I allele and FVFLVLLPL of MHC class-II allele were identified as best peptides based on a number of alleles and antigencity scores. The present study identifies natural inhibitors and putative antigenic epitopes which may be useful as effective drug and vaccine candidates for the eradication of novel corona virus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0339.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Biomaterials Keywords: Polysaccharide biomaterials; capsule polymerases; galactosyltransferase; molecular dynamics simulations; bioremediation; protein engineering; Neisseria meningitidis
Online: 20 September 2021 (15:08:47 CEST)
Heavy metal contamination of drinking water is a public health concern that requires the development of more efficient bioremediation techniques. Absorption technologies, including biosorption, provide opportunities for improvements to increase the diversity of metal ions removed and overall binding capacity. Microorganisms are a key component in wastewater treatment plants and they naturally bind metal ions through surface macromolecules but with limited capacity. The long-term goal of this work is to engineer capsule polymerases to synthesize molecules with novel functionalities. In previously published work, we showed that the Neisseria meningitidis serogroup W (NmW) galactose-sialic acid (Gal—NeuNAc) heteropolysaccharide binds lead effectively, thereby demonstrating the potential for using this capsular polysaccharide in environmental decontamination applications. In this study, computational analysis of the NmW capsule polymerase galactosyltransferase (GT) domain was used to gain insight into how the enzyme could be modified to enable the synthesis N-acetylgalactosamine-sialic acid (GalNAc—NeuNAc) heteropolysaccharide. Various computational approaches, including molecular modeling with I-TASSER and molecular dynamics simulations (MD) with NAMD, were utilized to identify key amino acid residues in the substrate binding pocket of the GT domain that may be key to conferring UDP-GalNAc specificity. Through these combined strategies and using BshA, a UDP-GlcNAc transferase, as a structural template, several NmW active site residues were identified as mutational targets to accommodate the proposed N-acetyl group in UDP-GalNAc. Thus, a rational approach for potentially conferring new properties to bacterial capsular polysaccharides is demonstrated.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0492.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Drug resistance; nsp12; protein design; fitness; RNA-dependent RNA polymerase; resistance mutations; SARS-CoV-2.
Online: 20 May 2021 (13:18:14 CEST)
Favipiravir is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) currently being used to manage COVID-19 in several countries. By acting as a substrate for RdRp, favipiravir gets incorporated into the nascent viral RNA and prevents strand extension. A high mutation rate of SARS-CoV-2 RdRp may facilitate antigenic drift as an answer to the host immune response, thereby generating resistance of virus to favipiravir. Therefore, it is extremely crucial to predict potential mutational sites in the RdRp and the emergence of structural modifications contributing to drug resistance. Here, we used high-throughput interface-based protein design to generate >100,000 designs and identify mutation hotspot residues in the favipiravir-binding site of RdRp. Several mutants had lower binding affinities to favipiravir, out of which hotspot residues with a high propensity to undergo positive selection were identified. The results showed that the designs retained an average of 97 to 98% sequence identity, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 can develop favipiravir resistance with just a few mutations. Notably, we observed that out of 134 mutations predicted designs, 63 specific mutations were already present in the CoV-GLUE database, thus attaining ~47% correlation match with the clinical sequencing data. The findings improve our understanding of the potential signatures of adaptation in SARS-CoV-2 against favipiravir and management of COVID-19. Furthermore, they can help develop exhaustive strategies for robust antiviral design and discovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0319.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: cytokine; S100 protein; S100P; protein–protein interaction
Online: 21 September 2022 (09:45:39 CEST)
S100 proteins are multifunctional calcium-binding proteins of vertebrates that act intracellularly, extracellularly, or both, and are engaged in the progression of many socially significant diseases. Their extracellular action is typically mediated by the recognition of specific receptor proteins. Besides, recent studies indicate the ability of some S100 proteins to affect cytokine signaling through direct interaction with cytokines. S100P was shown to be the S100 protein most actively involved in interactions with some of four-helical cytokines. To assess selectivity of S100P protein binding to four-helical cytokines, we have probed interaction of Ca2+-bound recombinant human S100P with a panel of 32 four-helical human cytokines covering all structural families of this fold, using surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy. 22 cytokines from all families of four-helical cytokines are S100P binders with the equilibrium dissociation constants, Kd, ranging from 1 nM to 3 µM (below the Kd value for the S100P complex with the V domain of its conventional receptor, receptor for advanced glycation end products, RAGE). Molecular docking and mutagenesis studies revealed the presence in the S100P molecule of a cytokine-binding site, which overlaps with the RAGE-binding site. Since S100 binding to four-helical cytokines inhibits their signaling in some cases, the revealed ability of S100P protein to interact with ca 71% of the four-helical cytokines indicates that S100P may serve as a poorly selective inhibitor of their action.
DATASET | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0011.v1
Subject: Keywords: antigen-antibody complex structure; interfacial electrostatic feature; Machine Learning-Based Antibody Design; Protein Data Bank
Online: 1 March 2020 (12:39:55 CET)
The importance of antibodies in health care and the biotechnology research and development demands not only knowledge of their experimental structures at high resolution, but also practical implementation of this knowledge for both effective and efficient design and production of antibody for its use in both medical and research applications. While the experimental wet-lab approach is usually costly, laborious and time-consuming, computational (dry-lab) approaches, in spite of their intrinsic limitations in comparison with its experimental (wet-lab) counterpart, provide a cheaper and faster alternative option. For the first time, this article reports a comprehensive set of structural electrostatic features extracted from experimentally determined antigen-antibody-related structures, including especially those structural electrostatic features at the interfaces of all experimentally determined antigen-antibody complex structures as of February 29, 2020, to facilitate effective and efficient machine learning-based computational antibody design using currently available experimental structures inside Protein Data Bank.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0222.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: myelin; myelination; development; peripheral neuropathies; protein folding; transmembrane protein; protein-membrane interaction; protein-protein interaction
Online: 13 May 2020 (04:51:20 CEST)
Myelin protein zero (P0), a type I transmembrane protein, is the most abundant protein in peripheral nervous system (PNS) myelin – the lipid-rich, periodic structure that concentrically encloses long axonal segments. Schwann cells, the myelinating glia of the PNS, express P0 throughout their development until the formation of mature myelin. In the intramyelinic compartment, the immunoglobulin-like domain of P0 bridges apposing membranes together via homophilic adhesion, forming a dense, macroscopic ultrastructure known as the intraperiod line. The C-terminal tail of P0 adheres apposing membranes together in the narrow cytoplasmic compartment of compact myelin, much like myelin basic protein (MBP). In mouse models, the absence of P0, unlike that of MBP or P2, severely disturbs the formation of myelin. Therefore, P0 is the executive molecule of PNS myelin maturation. How and when is P0 trafficked and modified to enable myelin compaction, and how disease mutations that give rise to incurable peripheral neuropathies alter the function of P0, are currently open questions. The potential mechanisms of P0 function in myelination are discussed, providing a foundation for the understanding of mature myelin development and how it derails in peripheral neuropathies.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0376.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: myelin; intrinsically disordered protein; multiple sclerosis; peripheral neuropathies; myelination; protein folding; protein-membrane interaction; protein-protein interaction
Online: 31 January 2020 (04:55:04 CET)
Myelin ensheathes selected axonal segments within the nervous system, resulting primarily in nerve impulse acceleration, as well as mechanical and trophic support for neurons. In the central and peripheral nervous systems, various proteins that contribute to the formation and stability of myelin are present, which also harbour pathophysiological roles in myelin disease. Many myelin proteins share common attributes, including small size, high hydrophobicity, multifunctionality, longevity, and intrinsic disorder. With recent advances in protein biophysical characterization and bioinformatics, it has become evident that intrinsically disordered proteins (IDPs) are abundant in myelin, and their flexible nature enables multifunctionality. Here, we review known myelin IDPs, their conservation, molecular characteristics and functions, and their disease relevance, along with open questions and speculations. We place emphasis on classifying the molecular details of IDPs in myelin and correlate these with their various functions, including susceptibility to post-translational modifications, function in protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions, as well as their role as extended entropic chains. We discuss how myelin pathology can relate to IDPs and which molecular factors are potentially involved.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0531.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: Rabies; intrinsic disorder; intrinsically disordered protein; intrinsically disordered protein region; protein-protein interaction
Online: 31 August 2022 (03:47:31 CEST)
Rabies is a neurological disease that causes between 40,000 and 70,000 deaths every year. Once a rabies patient has become symptomatic, there is no effective treatment for the illness, and in unvaccinated individuals, the case-fatality rate of rabies is close to 100%. French scientists Louis Pasteur and Émile Roux developed the first vaccine for rabies in 1885. If administered before the virus reaches the brain, the modern rabies vaccine imparts long-lasting immunity to the virus and saves more than 250,000 people every year. However, the rabies virus can suppress the host’s immune response once it has entered the cells of the brain, making death likely. This study aims to make use of disorder-based proteomics and bioinformatics to determine the impact that intrinsically disordered protein regions (IDPRs) in the proteome of the rabies virus have on the infectivity and lethality of the disease. This study uses the proteome of Rabies Lyssavirus (RABV) strain Pasteur Vaccins (PV), one of the best understood strains due to its use in the first rabies vaccine, as a model. The study suggests that the high levels of intrinsic disorder in the phosphoprotein (P-protein) and nucleoprotein (N-protein) allow them to participate in creation of the Negri bodies and help this virus suppress the antiviral immune response in the host cells. Additionally, the study suggests that there is a link between disorder in the matrix (M) protein and the modulation of viral transcription. The disordered regions in the M protein have a possible role in initiating viral budding within the cell. Furthermore, we checked the prevalence of functional disorder in a set of 37 host proteins directly involved in the interaction with the RABV proteins. The hope is that these new insights will aid in the development of treatments for rabies that are effective after infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0198.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: magnetoreception; cryptochrome; G protein α-subunit; protein-protein interaction
Online: 14 June 2022 (08:37:43 CEST)
Background: Night-migratory birds sense the Earth´s magnetic field by an unknown molecular mechanism. Theoretical and experimental evidence support the hypothesis that light-induced formation of a radical-pair in European robin cryptochrome 4a, ErCry4a, is the primary signalling step in the retina of the bird. In the present work, we investigated a possible route of cryptochrome signalling involving the α-subunit of the cone specific heterotrimeric G protein from European robin. Methods: Protein-protein interaction studies include surface plasmon resonance, pulldown affinity binding and Förster resonance energy transfer. Results: Surface plasmon resonance studies showed direct interaction revealing high to moderate affinity for binding of non-myristoylated and myristoylated G protein to ErCry4a, respectively. Pulldown affinity experiments confirmed this complex formation in solution. We validated these in vitro data by monitoring the interaction between ErCry4a and G protein in a transiently transfected neuroretinal cell line using Förster resonance energy transfer. Conclusions: Our results suggest that ErCry4a and the G protein also interact in vivo and might constitute the first biochemical signalling step in radical-pair-based magnetoreception.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0162.v1
Subject: Engineering, Automotive Engineering Keywords: Posttranslational modifications (PTMs); Protein tyrosine sulfation (PTS); Protein–protein interaction
Online: 3 November 2020 (14:36:25 CET)
Protein tyrosine sulfation (PTS), a vital post-translational modification, facilitates protein–protein interactions and regulates many physiological and pathological responses. Monitoring PTS has been difficult owing to the instability of sulfated proteins and the lack of a suitable method for detecting the protein sulfate ester. In this study, we combined an in situ PTS system with an ultra-high-sensitivity polysilicon nanowire field-effect transistor (pSNWFET)-based sensor to directly monitor PTS formation. A peptide containing the tyrosine sulfation site of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand (PSGL)-1 was immobilized onto the surface of the pSNWFET by using 3-aminopropyltriethoxysilane and glutaraldehyde as linker molecules. A coupled enzyme sulfation system consisting of tyrosylprotein sulfotransferase and phenol sulfotransferase was used to catalyze PTS of the immobilized PSGL-1 peptide. Enzyme-catalyzed sulfation of the immobilized peptide was readily observed through the shift of the drain current–gate voltage curves of the pSNWFET before and after PTS. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to describe in situ PTS and its direct observation by using semiconductor devices. We expect that this approach can be developed as a next generation biochip for biomedical research and industries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201702.0052.v1
Subject: Mathematics & Computer Science, Information Technology & Data Management Keywords: protein–protein interaction networks; protein function module; simplified swarm optimization
Online: 15 February 2017 (10:17:35 CET)
Proteomics research has become one of the most important topics in the fields of life science and natural science. At present, research on protein–protein interaction networks (PPINs) mainly focuses on detecting protein complexes or function modules. However, existing approaches are either ineffective or incomplete. In this paper, we investigate function module detection mechanisms in PPIN, including open databases, existing detection algorithms and recent solutions. After that, we describe the proposed solution based on simplified swarm optimization (SSO) algorithm and gene ontology knowledge. The proposed solution implements SSO algorithm for clustering proteins with similar function, and imports biological gene ontology knowledge for further identifying function complexes and improving detection accuracy. Furthermore, we use four different categories of species dataset for experiment: Fruitfly, Mouse, Scere, and Human. The testing and analysis result show that the proposed solution is feasible, efficient and could achieve a higher accuracy of prediction than existing approaches.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0159.v1
Subject: Biology, Plant Sciences Keywords: plant PII protein; protein-protein interaction; PII foci; BiFC; FRET/FLIM; plastidic protein degradation; cpUPR
Online: 8 November 2021 (15:30:44 CET)
The PII protein is an evolutionary highly conserved regulatory protein from bacteria to higher plants. In bacteria it modulates the activity of several enzymes, transporters and regulatory factors by interacting with them and thereby regulating important metabolic hubs like carbon/nitrogen homeostasis. More than two decades ago the PII protein was characterized for the first time in plants, but its physiological role is still not sufficiently resolved. To gain more insights into the function of this protein, we investigated the interaction behaviour of AtPII with candidate proteins by BiFC and FRET/FLIM in planta and with GFP/RFP traps in vitro. In the course of these studies we found that AtPII interacts in chloroplasts with itself as well as with known interactors like NAGK in dot-like aggregates, which we named PII foci. In these novel protein aggregates AtPII interacts also with yet unknown partners, which are known to be involved in plastidic protein degradation. Further studies revealed that the C-terminal part of AtPII is crucial for the formation of PII foci. Altogether, the presented results indicate a novel mode of interaction for PII proteins with other proteins in plants, which may be a new starting point for the elucidation of physiological functions of PII proteins in plants.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0034.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Hemopexin; Hemoglobin; protein-protein binding; hemin
Online: 2 March 2022 (06:56:02 CET)
Abstract: Background: Hemopexin (Hx) is a plasma glycoprotein that scavenges heme (Fe(III) protoporphyrin IX), Hx have important implication in hemolytic disorders and hemorrhagic condition because the release of hemoglobin increase labile heme, which is potentially toxic producing oxidative stress. Hx has been considered for therapeutic use and diagnostics. In this work, we analyzed and mapped interaction sequences of Hx with hemin and hemoglobin (2) Methods: Spot-synthesis technique was used to map human hemopexin (P02790) binding to hemin and human hemoglobin, a library of 15 amino acid peptides with a 10-amino acid overlap was designed to represent the entire coding region (aa 1-462) of hemopexin and synthesized onto cellulose membranes. In silico approach was performed to analyze amino acid frequency in identified interaction regions, and molecular docking was applied for protein-protein interaction (3) Results: Seven linear peptide sequences in Hx were identified to bind hemin (H1-H7), and five were described for Hb (Hb1-Hb5) interaction, with just two sequences shared between hemin and Hb. Amino acid composition of identified sequences demonstrated that Histidine residues are relevant for heme binding, H105, H293, H373, H400, H429, and H462 was distributed in H1-H7 peptide sequences, but other residues may also play an important role. Molecular docking analysis demonstrated Hx association with the β-chain of Hb, with several hot spot amino acids that coordinated interaction. (4) Conclusions: This study highlights new insights on Hx-hemin binding motifs and protein-protein interactions with Hb. Binding sequences and identified specific peptides can be used for therapeutic purposes and diagnostics, as hemopexin is under investigation to treat different diseases, and there is an urgent need for diagnostics of labile heme for monitoring hemolysis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0309.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: tuberculosis; Mycobacterium; protein-protein interactions; virulence
Online: 29 August 2019 (08:46:44 CEST)
Studies on Protein-Protein interactions (PPI) can be helpful for the annotation of unknown protein function and for the understanding of cellular processes, such as specific virulence mechanisms developed by bacterial pathogens. In that context, several methods have been extensively used in recent years for the characterization of Mycobacterium tuberculosis PPI to further decipher TB pathogenesis. This review aims at compiling the most striking results based on in vivo methods (yeast and bacterial two-hybrid systems, protein complementation assays) for the specific study of PPI in mycobacteria. Moreover, newly developed methods, such as in-cell native mass resonance and proximity-dependent biotinylation identification, will have a deep impact on future mycobacterial research, as they are able to perform dynamic (transient interactions) and integrative (multiprotein complexes) analyses.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0065.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: memory formation; moonlighting protein; protein-protein interaction; astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle
Online: 5 May 2020 (06:09:47 CEST)
Long-term potentiation (LTP) is a molecular basis of memory formation. Here, we demonstrate that LTP critically depends on muscle fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase 2 (Fbp2) – a glyconeogenic enzyme and moonlighting protein protecting mitochondria against stress. We show that LTP induction regulates Fbp2 association with neuronal mitochondria and Camk2, and that the Fbp2-Camk2 interaction correlates with Camk2 autophosphorylation. Silencing of Fbp2 expression or simultaneous inhibition and tetramerization of the enzyme with a synthetic effector mimicking the action of physiological inhibitors (NAD+ and AMP) abolishes Camk2 autoactivation and blocks formation of the early phase of LTP and expression of the late phase LTP markers. Astrocyte-derived lactate reduces NAD+/NADH ratio in neurons and thus, diminishes the pool of tetrameric and increases the fraction of dimeric Fbp2. We therefore hypothesize that this NAD+-level-dependent increase of the Fbp2 dimer/tetramer ratio might be a crucial mechanism in which astrocyte-neuron lactate shuttle stimulates LTP formation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0281.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: protein structural dynamics; NQO1; ligand binding; protein stability; allostery; protein degradation
Online: 24 October 2019 (15:41:46 CEST)
Human NAD(P)H:quinone oxidoreductase 1 (NQO1) is a multi-functional protein whose alteration is associated with cancer, Parkinson´s and Alzheimer´s diseases. NQO1 displays a remarkable functional chemistry, capable of binding different functional ligands that modulate its activity, stability and interaction with proteins and nucleic acids. Our understanding on this functional chemistry is limited by the difficulty of obtaining structural and dynamic information on many of these states. Herein, we have used hydrogen/deuterium exchange monitored by mass-spectrometry (HDXMS) to investigate the structural dynamics of NQO1 in three ligation states: without ligands (NQO1apo), with FAD (NQO1holo) and with FAD and the inhibitor dicoumarol (NQO1dic). We show that NQO1apo has a minimally stable folded core holding the protein dimer and with FAD and dicoumarol ligand binding sites populating binding non-competent conformations. Binding of FAD significantly decreases protein dynamics and stabilizes the FAD and dicoumarol binding sites as well as the monomer:monomer interface. Dicoumarol binding further stabilizes all three functional sites, a result not previously anticipated by available crystallographic models. Our work provides an experimental perspective into the communication of stability effects through the NQO1 dimer, valuable to understand at the molecular level the effects of disease-associated variants, post-translation modifications and ligand binding cooperativity in NQO1.
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Streptococcus pneumoniae; protein purification; protein labelling; seleno-methionine; DNA-protein interactions
Online: 20 May 2019 (10:03:26 CEST)
Streptococcus pneumoniae is an pathogenic and opportunistic Gram-positive bacteria that is the leading cause of community acquired respiratory diseases, varying from mild- to deathly- infections. Appearance of antibiotic resistant isolates has prompted the search for novel targets. One of the most promising approaches is the structure-based knowledge of possible targets in conjunction to rational design and docking of inhibitors of the chosen targets. A useful technique to help solving protein structures is to label them with a heavy atom, like selenium, that facilitates tracing of the some of the amino acid residues. We have chosen two pneumococcal DNA-binding proteins, namely the relaxase domain of MobM protein from plasmid pMV158, and the RelB-RelE antitoxin-toxin protein complex. Through the update of a previous protocol  that uses seleno-L-methionine, we could achieve 100% labelling of the proteins. Furthermore, the labelled proteins retained full activity as judged from relaxation of supercoiled plasmid DNA and from gel-retardation assays.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0012.v1
Subject: Materials Science, Other Keywords: surface functionalization; biosensor functionalization; protein immobilization; protein structure analysis; protein immobilization
Online: 1 March 2018 (16:43:35 CET)
Proteins play a major role in biosensors in which they provide catalytic activity and specificity in molecular recognition. The immobilization process is however far from straightforward as it often affects the protein functionality. An extensive interaction of the protein with the surface or a significant surface crowding can lead to changes in the mobility and conformation of the protein structure. This review will provide an insight of how the analysis of the physico-chemical features of the protein surface features before the immobilization process can help to identify the optimal immobilization approach to preserve the functionality of the protein when on the surface of the biosensor.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0189.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: protein; plant-based protein; whey protein; essential amino acids; leucine, healthy men
Online: 16 November 2019 (00:58:01 CET)
This study assessed bio-equivalence of high-quality, plant-based protein blends versus Whey Protein Isolate (WPI) in healthy, resistance-trained men. The primary endpoint was incremental area under the curve (iAUC) of blood essential Amino Acids (eAAs) 4 hours after consumption of each product. Cmax and Tmax of blood leucine were secondary outcomes. Subjects (n=18) consumed three plant-based protein blends and WPI (control). Analysis of Variance model was used to assess for bio-equivalence of total sum of blood eAA concentrations. The total blood eAA iAUC ratios of the three blends were: [90% CI]: #1: 0.66 [0.58-0.76]; #2: 0.71 [0.62-0.82]; #3: 0.60 [0.52-0.69], not completely within the pre-defined equivalence range [0.80-1.25], indicative of 30-40% lower iAUC versus WPI. Leucine Cmax of the three blends was not equivalent to WPI, #1: 0.70 [0.67-0.73]; #2: 0.72 [0.68-0.75]; #3: 0.65 [0.62 – 0.68], indicative of a 28-35% lower response. Leucine Tmax for two blends were similar to WPI (#1: 0.94 [0.73-1.18]; #2: 1.56 [1.28-1.92]; #3: 1.19 [0.95-1.48]). The plant-based protein blends were not bio-equivalent. However, blood leucine kinetic data across the blends approximately doubled from fasting concentrations whereas blood Tmax data across two blends was similar to WPI. This suggests evidence of rapid hyperleucinemia, which correlates with a protein’s anabolic potential.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202103.0003.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: protein engineering; creation of an entirely new protein; pluripotency of an immature protein; GC-NSF(a) hypothesis; protein 0th-order structure; origin of protein
Online: 1 March 2021 (12:41:07 CET)
Proteins having a variety of functions play many essential roles in maintaining various life activities in organisms. Various methods, by which new protein functions can be artificially produced, have progressed rapidly upon development in recombinant DNA technology and effective screening techniques. However, the obtainable scope of the new functions has been restricted in a narrow range, because only functions of presently existing proteins can be used. On the other hand, it has been considered that it would be impossible to create an entirely new protein, which does not show any meaningful homology with any other amino acid sequences of previously existing proteins. The reason is because one amino acid sequence for a protein cannot be selected out from an extraordinary large amino acid sequence diversity as ~10130. As a matter of course, it is impossible to design an amino acid sequence of a protein in advance and a gene encoding the protein cannot be also formed through random process. Nevertheless, extant organisms have generated a variety of entirely new proteins in some way to make full use of them. This means that extant organisms have equipped a mechanism with which entirely new proteins can be produced under the present core life system composed of protein, tRNA (genetic code) and gene. In this article, first I introduce the mechanism, with which entirely new proteins are created in extant organisms, and further propose a novel strategy for application of the mechanism to protein engineering through creation of entirely new proteins, which could contribute to development of various industries.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0267.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Food Chemistry Keywords: myofibrillar protein; sulfhydryl-blocking agent; disulfide bond; protein-stabilized emulsions; interface protein membrane
Online: 19 October 2021 (10:21:59 CEST)
To investigate the role of sulfhydryl groups and disulfide bonds in different protein-stabilized emulsions, N-ethylmaleimide (NEM) was used as sulfhydryl-blocking agent to be added in the emulsion. The addition of NEM to block the sulfhydryl groups resulted in a reduction of the content of disulfide bonds formation, which enabled destruction of the internal structure of the protein molecule, and then decreased the restriction of protein membrane on the oil droplets. Furthermore, with NEM content increasing in the emulsion, a reduction of protein emulsifying activity and emulsion stability also occurred. At the same time, the intermolecular interaction of the protein on the oil droplet interface membrane was destroyed, and the emulsion droplet size increased with the NEM content in the emulsion. Although NEM blocking sulfhydryl groups not to form disulfide bonds has similar effects on three types of protein emulsion, the degree of myofibrillar protein (MP), egg-white protein isolate (EPI), and soybean protein isolate (SPI) as emulsifier had a subtle difference.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0257.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: protein-protein interactions; PDZ domains; choanoflagellates; evolution; target selectivity; protein-peptide interactions; signaling
Online: 15 September 2021 (12:25:01 CEST)
Choanoflagellates are single-celled eukaryotes with complex signaling pathways. They are considered the closest non-metazoan ancestors to mammals and other metazoans, and form multicellular-like states called rosettes. The choanoflagellate Monosiga brevicollis contains over 150 PDZ domains, an important peptide-binding domain in all three domains of life (Archaea, Bacteria, and Eukarya). Therefore, an understanding of PDZ domain signaling pathways in choanoflagellates may provide insight into the origins of multicellularity. PDZ domains recognize the C-terminus of target proteins and regulate signaling and trafficking pathways, as well as cellular adhesion. Here, we developed a computational program, Domain Analysis and Motif Matcher (DAMM), that predicts target specificity in choanoflagellate PDZ domains by analyzing peptide-binding cleft sequence identity as compared to human PDZ domains. We used this program, protein biochemistry, fluorescence polarization, and structural analyses to characterize the specificity of A9UPE9_MONBE, a M. brevicollis PDZ domain-containing protein with no homology to any metazoan protein, finding that its PDZ domain is most similar to those of the DLG family. We then identified two endogenous sequences that bind A9UPE9 PDZ with <100 M affinity, a value commonly considered the threshold for cellular PDZ-peptide interactions. Taken together, this approach can be used to predict cellular targets of previously uncharacterized PDZ domains in choanoflagellates and other organisms. Our data contributes to investigations into choanoflagellate signaling and how it informs metazoan evolution.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0339.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: neurodegeneration, glucose metabolism, enzyme catalysis, protein-protein interaction, hydrogen exchange mass spectrometry, protein cross-linking, protein assembly, molecular modeling
Online: 13 April 2021 (10:19:30 CEST)
The 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (OGDHc) is a key enzyme in the TCA cycle and represents one of the major regulators of mitochondrial metabolism through NADH and reactive oxygen species levels. The OGDHc impacts cell metabolic and cell signaling pathways through the coupling of 2-oxoglutarate metabolism to gene transcription related to tumor cell proliferation and aging. DHTKD1 is a gene encoding 2-oxoadipate dehydrogenase (E1a), which functions in the L-lysine degradation pathway. The potentially damaging variants in DHTKD1 have been associated to the (neuro) pathogenesis of several diseases. Evidence was obtained for the formation of a hybrid complex between the OGDHc and E1a, suggesting a potential cross talk between the two metabolic pathways and raising fundamental questions about their assembly. Here we reviewed the recent findings and advances in understanding of protein-protein interactions in OGDHc and 2-oxoadipate dehydrogenase complex (OADHc), an understanding that will create a scaffold to help design approaches to mitigate the effects of diseases associated with dysfunction of the TCA cycle or lysine degradation. A combination of biochemical, biophysical and structural approaches such as chemical cross-linking MS and cryo-EM appears particularly promising to provide vital information for the assembly of 2-oxo acid dehydrogenase complexes, their function and regulation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0384.v1
Online: 18 August 2021 (14:14:01 CEST)
Silybum Marianum, is a plant belonging to the family Asteraceae. For many centuries it has been used a natural remedy for many diseases like Liver and Biliary tract diseases. It is effective as an anti-oxidant and is used in a variety of diseases. This study was conducted to check the effects of Silybum Marianum on PARP protein (4UND protein).The Molecular Docking techniques was chosen to check the effects of different chemical constituents of Silybum marianum on DNA damaging protein. For this purpose, different PARP inhibitor drugs were taken as standard. The Molecular Docking of the chemical constituents of Silybum marianum was performed using 4UND protein with the help of PyRx software along with BIOVIA Drug Discovery studio software. The result of molecular docking showed that some of the chemical constituent have higher binding affinity than standard PARP inhibitor drugs.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0161.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: protein splicing; intein; crystal structure; hyperthermophile; protein engineering
Online: 10 May 2021 (10:29:29 CEST)
Inteins are prevalent among extremophiles. Mini-inteins with robust splicing properties are of particular interest for biotechnological applications due to their small size. However, biochemical and structural characterization has still been limited to a small number of inteins, and only a few inteins serve as widely used tools in protein engineering approaches. We determined the crystal structure of a naturally-occurring Pol-II mini-intein from Pyrococcus horikoshii and compared it with two other natural mini-inteins from Pyrococcus horikoshii. Despite the similar sizes, the comparison revealed distinct differences in insertions and deletions, implying specific evolutionary pathways from distinct ancestral origins. Our studies suggest that sporadically distributed mini-inteins might be more promising for further protein engineering applications than the highly conserved mini-inteins. Structural investigations of more inteins could guide the shortest path to finding novel robust mini-inteins suitable for protein engineering purposes.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0234.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: astrocytes; calcineurin; GLAST; protein synthesis; protein degradation; proteostasis
Online: 15 March 2020 (01:39:55 CET)
Alterations in the expression of glutamate/aspartate transporter (GLAST) have been associated with several neuropathological conditions including Alzheimer’s disease and epilepsy. However, the mechanisms by which GLAST expression is altered are poorly understood. Here we used a combination of pharmacological and genetic approaches coupled with quantitative PCR and Western blot to investigate the mechanism of the regulation of GLAST expression by a Ca2+/calmodulin-activated phosphatase calcineurin (CaN). We show that treatment of cultured hippocampal mouse and fetal human astrocytes with a CaN inhibitor FK506 resulted in a dynamic modulation of GLAST protein expression, being downregulated after 24-48 h, but upregulated after 7 days of continuous FK506 (200 nM) treatment. Protein synthesis, as assessed by puromycin incorporation in neo-synthesized polypeptides, was inhibited already after 1 h of FK506 treatment, while the use of a proteasome inhibitor MG132 (1 μM) shows that GLAST protein degradation was only suppressed after 7 days of FK506 treatment. In astrocytes with constitutive genetic ablation of CaN both protein synthesis and degradation were significantly inhibited. Taken together, our data suggest that, in cultured astrocytes, CaN controls GLAST expression at a posttranscriptional level through regulation of GLAST protein synthesis and degradation.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201905.0140.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: protein crystallization; protein sample qualification; JAXA PCG; microgravity
Online: 15 December 2019 (13:43:29 CET)
We summarize how to obtain protein crystals from which better diffraction images can be obtained. In particular, we describe in detail the quality evaluation of the protein sample, the crystallization methods and crystallization conditions, the flash-cooling protection of the crystal, and the crystallization under a microgravity environment.
Subject: Physical Sciences, Other Keywords: conformation of protein; albumin protein; non-gaussian chain
Online: 7 August 2019 (09:59:10 CEST)
We study a conformation of an albumin protein in the temperature range of 300K-315K, i.e. in the physiological range of temperature. Using simulations we calculate values of two backbone angles, that carry most of information about positioning of the protein chain in a conformational space. Given these, we calculate energy components of such protein. Further, using the Flory theory we determine the temperature in which investigated albumin chain model is closest to the free joined chain model. Near the Flory temperature, we study energy components and the conformational entropy, both derived from two angles that reflect most of the chain dynamics in a conformational space. We show that the conformational entropy is an oscillating function of time in considered range of temperature. Our finding is that, the only regular oscillation pattern appears near the Flory temperature.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0355.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: developmental delay; de novo mutation; protein-protein interaction; PPI interface; protein in-teractome; PsymuKB
Online: 19 August 2022 (04:50:42 CEST)
Mutations, especially those at the protein-protein interaction (PPI) interface, have been associated with various diseases. Meanwhile, though de novo mutations (DNMs) have been proven important in neuropsychiatric disorders, such as developmental delay (DD), the relationship between PPI interface DMNs and DD has not been well studied. Here we curated developmental delay DNM datasets from the PsyMuKB database and showed that DD patients showed a higher rate and deleteriousness in DNM missense on the PPI interface than sibling control. Next, we identified 302 DD-related PsychiPPIs, defined as PPI harboring a statistically significant number of DNM missenses at their interface, and 42 DD candidate genes from PsychiPPI. We then observed that PsychiPPIs preferentially affected hub proteins in the human protein interactome network. When analyzing DD candidate genes using gene ontology and gene spatio-expression, we found that PsychiPPI genes carrying PPI interface mutations, such as FGFR3 and ALOX5, were enriched in development-related pathways and the development of the neocortex, and cerebellar cortex, suggesting their potential involvement in the etiology of DD. Our results demonstrated that DD patients carried an excess burden of PPI-truncating DNM, which could be used to efficiently search for disease-related genes and mutations in large-scale sequencing studies. In conclusion, our comprehensive study indicated the significant role of PPI interface DNMs in developmental delay pathogenicity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202008.0318.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: nicotinic acetylcholine receptors; three-finger toxins; acetylcholine binding protein; protein – protein docking; computational modeling
Online: 14 August 2020 (09:57:35 CEST)
Three finger toxins (3FTX) are a group of peptides that affect multiple receptor types. One group of proteins affected by 3FTX are nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR). Structural information on how neurotoxins interact with nAChR is limited and are confined to a small group of neurotoxins. Therefore, in silico methods are valuable in understanding the interactions between 3FTX and different nAChR subtypes, but there are no established protocols to model 3FTX – nAChR interactions. We developed a homology modeling and protein docking protocol to address this issue and tested its success on three different systems. First, neurotoxin peptides co-crystallized with acetylcholine binding protein (AChBP) were re-docked to assess whether Rosetta protein – protein docking can reproduce the native poses. Second, experimental data on peptide binding to AChBP was used to test whether the docking protocol can qualitatively distinguish AChBP-binders from non-binders. Finally, we docked eight peptides with known α7 and muscle-type nAChR binding properties to test whether the protocol can explain the differential activities of the peptides at the two receptor subtypes. Overall, our docking protocol succeeded in predicting both qualitative and specific aspects of 3FTX binding to nAChR and shed light on some unknown aspects of 3FTX binding to different receptor subtypes.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0126.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: protein-protein interaction; protein-peptide interaction; triglycine; substrate binding site; peptide; inhibitor; Proteinase K
Online: 11 August 2019 (08:37:08 CEST)
Various peptides or non-structural amino acids are recognized by their specific target proteins and perform biological role in various pathways in vivo. Understanding the interactions between target protein and peptides (or non-structural amino acids) provides key information on the molecular interactions, which can be potentially translated to the development of novel drugs. However, it is experimentally challenging to determine the crystal structure of protein-peptide complexes. To obtain structural information on substrate recognition of peptide-recognizing enzyme, X-ray crystallographic studies were performed using triglycine (Gly-Gly-Gly) as main-chain of peptide. The crystal structure of Parengyodontium album Proteinase K in complex with triglcyine was determined at 1.4 Å resolution. Two different bound conformations of triglycine were observed at the substrate recognition site. The triglycine backbone forms stable interactions with β5-α4 and α5-β6 loops of main-chain. One of the triglycine-binding conformations was identical with the binding mode of a peptide-based inhibitor from a previously reported crystal structure of Proteinase K. Triglycine has potential application X-ray crystallography to identify substrate recognition sites in peptide binding enzymes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201705.0015.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: fusion proteins; protein therapeutics; ricin; pokeweed antiviral protein; protein engineering; immunotoxins; ribosome-inactivating proteins.
Online: 1 May 2017 (10:51:21 CEST)
Fusion protein therapeutics engineering is advancing to meet the need for novel medicine. Herein, we further characterize the development of novel RTA & PAP-S1 antiviral fusion proteins. In brief, RTA/PAP-S1 and PAP-S1/RTA fusion proteins were produced in both cell free and E. coli in vivo expression systems, purified by His-tag affinity chromatography, and protein synthesis inhibitory activity assayed by comparison to the production of a control protein, CalmL3. Results showed that the RTA/PAP-S1 fusion protein is amenable to standardized production and purification and has both increased potency and less toxicity compared to either RTA or PAP-S1 alone. Thus, this research highlights the developmental potential of novel fusion proteins with reduced cytotoxic risk and increased potency.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202110.0168.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Cell & Developmental Biology Keywords: heat shock proteins; co-chaperones; protein quality control; protein folding; protein degradation; cardioprotection; neuroprotection; cancer
Online: 11 October 2021 (14:38:49 CEST)
Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are a family of molecular chaperones that regulate essential protein refolding and triage decisions to maintaining protein homeostasis. Numerous co-chaperone proteins directly interact and modify the function of HSPs, and these interactions impact the outcome of protein triage, impacting everything from structural proteins to cell signaling mediators. The chaperone/co-chaperone machinery protects against various stressors to ensuring cellular function in the face of stress. However, coding mutations, expression changes, and post-translational modifications of the chaperone/co-chaperone machinery can alter the cellular stress response. Importantly, these dysfunctions appear to contribute to numerous human diseases. Therapeutic targeting of chaperones is an attractive but challenging approach due to the vast functions of HSPs, likely contributing to the off-target effects of these therapies. Current efforts focus on targeting co-chaperones to develop precise treatments for numerous diseases caused by defects in protein quality control. This review focuses on the recent developments regarding selected HSP70/HSP90 co-chaperones, focusing on cardioprotection, neuroprotection, and cancer. We also discuss therapeutic approaches that highlight both the utility and challenges of targeting co-chaperones.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202106.0661.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: protein structure; hierarchy; protein sequence; ANIS method; supersecondary structure.
Online: 28 June 2021 (14:11:39 CEST)
Most non-infectious diseases are associated with dysfunction of proteins or protein complexes. Аssociation between sequence and structure is analyzed since a long time, and analysis of sequence organization in domains and motifs is actual research area. A mathematical method is proposed here to identify the hierarchical organization of protein sequences. The method is based on pentapeptide as a unit of protein sequences. This method was applied on a non-homologous dataset of protein sequences. The analysis revealed 11 hierarchical levels of protein sequence organization, showing the relationship of these multiple fragments of sequences. Using different examples, we illustrated how the fragments of the spatial structure of protein correspond to the elements of the hierarchical structure of the protein sequence. A hierarchical structure is observed in the protein sequence. This methodology is an interesting basis for mathematically based classification of elements of spatial organization of proteins. Elements of the hierarchical structure of different levels of the hierarchy can be used for biotechnological and medical problems.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202102.0062.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Allergology Keywords: Stroke; Periodontitis; Periodontal disease; protein-protein network interaction; Bioinformatics
Online: 1 February 2021 (16:45:13 CET)
The clinical interaction between stroke and periodontitis has been consistently studied and confirmed. Hence, forecasting potentially new protein interactions in this association using bioinformatic strategies presents potential interest. In this exploratory study, we conducted a protein-protein network interaction (PPI) search with documented encoded proteins for both stroke and periodontitis. Genes of interest were collected via GWAS database. The STRING database was used to predict the PPI networks, first in a sensitivity purpose (confidence cut-off of 0.7), and then with a highest confidence cut-off (0.9). Genes over-representation was inspected in the final network. As a result, we foresee a prospective protein network of interaction between stroke and periodontitis. Inflammation, pro-coagulant/pro-thrombotic state and ultimately atheroma plaque rupture is the main biological mechanism derived from the network. These pilot results may pave the way to future molecular and therapeutic studies to further comprehend the mechanisms between these two conditions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202006.0126.v1
Online: 10 June 2020 (05:12:20 CEST)
Lung cancer predominates in cancer-related deaths worldwide, with lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) being a common histological subtype of lung cancer. The aim at this study was to search for biomarkers associated with the progression and prognosis of LUAD. We have integrated the expression profiles of 1174 lung cancer patients from five GEO datasets (GSE18842, GSE19804, GSE30219, GSE40791 and GSE68465) and identified a set of differentially expressed genes. Functional enrichment analysis showed that these genes are closely related to the progression of LUAD, such as cell cycle, mitosis and adhesion. Cytoscape software was used to establish a protein-protein interaction (PPI) network to analyze important modules using Molecular Complex Detection (MCODE), and finally CCNB1, BUB1B and TTK were selected for further study. The study found that compared with non-tumor lung tissue, CCNB1, BUB1B and TTK are highly expressed in LUAD. Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that CCNB1, BUB1B and TTK were negatively correlated with the overall survival and disease-free survival of patients. Gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA) demonstrated that for the samples of any hub gene highly expressed, most of the functional gene sets enriched in cell cycle. In summary, CCNB1, BUB1B and TTK can be used as biomarkers of poor prognosis of LUAD. The high expression of CCNB1, BUB1B and TTK can accelerate the progression of LUAD and lead to shorter survival, suggesting that they may be potential targets for treatment in LUAD.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0026.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: coronavirus; SARS-CoV-2; Spike protein; Nucleocapsid protein; MSA
Online: 3 May 2020 (06:27:36 CEST)
SARS-CoV-2 is a novel and highly pathogenic coronavirus, which was first diagnosed in Wuhan city, China, in 2019, and spread to 185 countries and territories, and as of April 29, 2020, more than 3.11 million cases were recorded, and more than 217,000 people were killed. Despite all worldwide efforts, there is currently no vaccine, any drugs available to protect people against deadly SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The world urgently needs a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus vaccine or effective antiviral drugs to relieve the human suffering associated with the pandemic that kills thousands of people every day. The SARS-CoV-2 genome encode a non-structural proteins named as ORF1a/b, and structural proteins such as spike (S) glycoprotein, nucleocapsid protein (N), small envelop protein (E) and matrix protein (M). A number of studies have been shown that CoV spike (S) glycoprotein and nucleocapsid protein (N) could be promising targets for vaccine, antibodies and therapeutic drug development to combat with deadly, pandemic SARS-CoV-2. Purposes of the present paper is the sequence analysis and amino acid variations of structural proteins deduced from novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 strains, isolated in different countries. Multiple sequence alignment of S, N and E proteins from four different coronavirus species, are also described. It is expected that the data from these studies will be very useful for the the designing and development of vaccines, antibodies and therapeutic agents that can be used to combat with the highly pathogenic SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus worldwide.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201909.0078.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: ZIKV; protein-protein interaction; non-structural viral proteins; network
Online: 7 September 2019 (00:18:39 CEST)
The Zika virus (ZIKV) is a mosquito-borne Flavivirus and can be transmitted through an infected mosquito bite or through human-to-human interaction by sexual activity, blood transfusion, breastfeeding or perinatal exposure. After the 2015-2016 outbreak in Brazil, a strong link between ZIKV infection and microcephaly emerged. ZIKV specifically targets human neural progenitor cells, suggesting that proteins encoded by ZIKV bind and inactivate host cell proteins leading to microcephaly. Here, we present a systematic annotation of interactions between human proteins and the seven non-structural ZIKV proteins corresponding to a Brazilian isolate. The interaction network was generated by combining tandem-affinity purification followed by mass spectrometry with yeast two-hybrid screens. We identified 150 human proteins, involved in distinct biological processes, as interactors to ZIKV non-structural proteins. Our interacting network is composed of proteins that have been previously associated with microcephaly in human genetic disorders and/or animal models. This study builds on previously published interacting networks of ZIKV and genes related to autosomal recessive primary microcephaly to generate a catalog of human cellular targets of ZIKV proteins implicated in processes related to microcephaly in humans. Collectively, this data can be used as a resource for future characterization of ZIKV infection biology and help create a basis for the discovery of drugs which may disrupt the interaction and reduce the health damage to the fetus.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0096.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: AgrA protein; biofilm; MRSA; quorum sensing; SarA protein; swarming
Online: 7 August 2019 (10:29:04 CEST)
Background: Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is an opportunistic pathogen and a predominant cause of life-threatening nosocomial infections. Drug resistance in S. aureus is attributed to production of biofilm, which is controlled largely by bacterial quorum sensing (QS) systems. Methodology: In vitro analysis of biofilm inhibition assay was performed using crystal violet staining assay, swarming motility, light microscopy and growth curve analyses. Identification of the major constituents of I. verum fruit extract was performed by GC-MS. Ligand-protein interaction was analyzed by molecular docking investigations. Results: The methanol extract of I. verum inhibited the growth of MRSA at the concentration of 4.8 mg/ml. At the sub-inhibitory concentration (2.4mg/ml), the extract showed significant reduction in biofilmogenesis. Light microscopy analysis confirmed the antibiofilm activity as well as the efficacy in disturbing biofilm architecture. A reduced swarming motility was observed at the lowest concentration of 2.4mg/ml. GC-MS analysis revealed anethol (AL) as the major constituent. The molecular docking analysis attributes the antibiofilm activity to an active ligand AL, which strongly interacted with the active site residues of AgrA and SarA proteins of S. aureus. Conclusion: We report the activities of I. verum to be immensely interfering with QS system and biofilm formation in MRSA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0223.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: animal protein; plant protein; elderly; obesity; glomerular filtration rate
Online: 27 March 2018 (11:23:20 CEST)
Controversy exists on whether animal and plant proteins influence obesity differently. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between total, animal, and plant protein intake with the obesity index and renal function in Korean adults. Study participants included Korean adults aged 60 years or older from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2013-2014. Height, weight, and waist circumference (WC) were measured and the body mass index (BMI) was calculated. One-day 24-hour recall data were used to estimate the daily total, animal, and plant protein intake. Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) was calculated by using the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) equation. General linear modellings were used to assess the relationships between protein intake, BMI and WC. The mean age was 69.2 ± 0.2 years, 44.2% were male. The total daily protein intake was 1.1 ± 0.02 g/kg/d and 0.9 ± 0.02 g/kg/d for males and females, respectively. Only one third of protein intake was from animal sources. In males, BMI (p < 0.001, p = 0.016, p < 0.001 respectively) and WC (p < 0.001, p = 0.010, p < 0.001, respectively) decreased as daily intake of plant protein (g/kg/d), animal protein (g/kg/d) and total protein (g/kg/d) increased. Similar associations were shown in Korean female. GFR was not associated with protein intake regardless of protein source in both sexes. In Korean adults aged 60 years or older, the protein intake was associated with a favorable obesity index without decrease in renal function. The effect was similar in both male and females, with both animal and plant proteins.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0343.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: 14-3-3; interactome; protein-protein interaction; mitochondria; metabolism; protein quality control; homeostasis; left ventricule; network
Online: 18 August 2022 (10:54:49 CEST)
Rationale: The 14-3-3 protein family is known to interact with many proteins in non-cardiac cell types to regulate multiple signaling pathways, particularly those relating to energy and protein homeostasis; and the 14-3-3 network is a therapeutic target of critical metabolic and proteostatic signaling in cancer and neurological diseases. Although the heart is critically sensitive to nutrient and energy alterations, and multiple signaling pathways coordinate to maintain the cardiac cell homeostasis, neither the structure of cardiac 14-3-3 protein interactome, nor potential functional roles of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions (PPIs) in heart has been explored. Objective: To establish the comprehensive landscape and characterize the functional role of cardiac 14-3-3 PPIs. Methods and Results: We evaluated both RNA expression and protein abundance of 14-3-3 isoforms in mouse heart, followed by co-immunoprecipitation of 14-3-3 proteins and mass spectrometry in left ventricle. We identified 52 proteins comprising the cardiac 14-3-3 interactome. Multiple bioinformatic analyses indicated that more than half of the proteins bound to 14-3-3 are related to mitochondria; and the deduced functions of the mitochondrial 14-3-3 network are to regulate cardiac ATP production via interactions with mitochondrial inner membrane proteins, especially those in mitochondrial complex I. Binding to ribosomal proteins, 14-3-3 proteins likely coordinate protein synthesis and protein quality control. Localizations of 14-3-3 proteins to mitochondria and ribosome were validated via immunofluorescence assays. The deduced function of cardiac 14-3-3 PPIs is to regulate cardiac metabolic homeostasis and proteostasis. Conclusions: Thus, the cardiac 14-3-3 interactome may be a potential therapeutic target in cardiovascular metabolic and proteostatic disease states, as it already is in cancer therapy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202204.0027.v1
Online: 5 April 2022 (12:02:35 CEST)
Protein Contact Network (PCN) is an emerging paradigm for modelling protein structure. A common approach to interpreting such data is through network-based analyses. It has been shown that clustering analysis may discover allostery in PCN. Nevertheless Network Embedding has shown good performances in discovering hidden communities and structures in network. In this work, we compare some approaches for graph embedding with respect to some classical clustering approaches for annotating protein structures.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0206.v1
Online: 5 November 2020 (10:24:06 CET)
Interactome depicts the arrangement of all atomic communications in cells, particularly with regards to protein-protein collaborations. We look at different strategies for foreseeing protein-protein collaborations utilizing grouping and structure data. A definitive objective of those methodologies is to introduce the total approach for the programmed choice of communication accomplices utilizing their amino corrosive arrangements as well as three dimensional structures, whenever known. The proposed approval of the hypothetical strategies utilizing test information would be a superior appraisal of their exactness.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202109.0070.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Psychiatry & Mental Health Studies Keywords: stroke; inflammation; neuro-immune; cytokines; hemostasis; coagulation; protein-protein interactions
Online: 3 September 2021 (15:11:00 CEST)
This study used established biomarkers of death due to ischemic stroke (IS) and performed network, enrichment, and annotation analysis. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analysis revealed that the backbone of the highly connective network of IS death consisted of IL6, ALB, TNF, SERPINE1, VWF, VCAM1, TGFB1, and SELE. Cluster analysis revealed immune and hemostasis subnetworks, which were strongly interconnected through the major switches ALB and VWF. Enrichment analysis revealed that the PPI immune subnetwork of death due to IS was highly associated with TLR2/4, TNF, JAK-STAT, NOD, IL10, IL13, IL4, and TGF-β1/SMAD pathways. The top biological and molecular functions and pathways enriched in the hemostasis network of death due IS were platelet degranulation and activation, the intrinsic pathway of fibrin clot formation, the urokinase-type plasminogen activator pathway, post-translational protein phosphorylation, integrin cell surface interactions, and the proteoglycan-integrin-extra cellular matrix complex (ECM). Regulation Explorer analysis of transcriptional factors shows: a) that NFKB1, RELA and SP1 were the major regulating actors of the PPI network; and b) hsa-mir-26-5p and hsa-16-5p were the major regulating microRNA actors. In conclusion, prevention of death due to IS should consider that current IS treatments may be improved by targeting VWF, VEGFA, proteoglycan-integrin-ECM complex, NFKB/RELA and SP1.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0543.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: HSPA5; GRP78; BiP; HCV E2; protein-protein docking; structural bioinformatics
Online: 27 October 2020 (09:11:13 CET)
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the main causative factor for liver cirrhosis and the development of liver cancer, with a confirmed ~ 180 million infections worldwide. E2 is an HCV structural protein responsible for virus entry to the host cell. Heat Shock Protein A5 (HSPA5), also termed BiP and GRP78, is the master regulator of the unfolded protein response mechanism, where it mainly localizes in the lumen of the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) in normal conditions. Under the stress of HCV infection or carcinogenesis, HSPA5 is upregulated. Consequently, HSPA5 escapes the ER retention localization and translocates to the cytoplasm and plasma membrane. Pep42, a cyclic peptide that was reported to target explicitly cell-surface HSPA5 in vivo. Owing to the high sequence and structural conservation between the C554-C566 region of HCV E2 and the Pep42, then we propose that the HCV E2 C554-C566 region could be the recognition site. The motivation of this work is to predict the possible binding mode between HCV E2 and HSPA5 by implementing molecular docking to test such proposed binding. Docking results reveal the high potent binding of the HCV E2 C554-C566 region to HSPA5 substrate-binding domain β (SBDβ). Moreover, the full-length HCV E2 also exhibits high binding potency to HSPA5 SBDβ. Defining the binding mode between HCV E2 and HSPA5 is of significance, so one can interfere with such binding and reducing the viral infection.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0050.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dentistry Keywords: Parkinson’s disease; Periodontitis; Periodontal disease; protein-protein network interaction; Bioinformatics
Online: 3 September 2020 (04:13:12 CEST)
Recent studies supported a clinical association between Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and periodontitis. Hence, investigating possible protein interactions between these two conditions is of interest. In this study, we conducted a protein-protein network interaction analysis with recognized genes encoding proteins for PD and periodontitis. Genes of interest were collected via GWAS database. Then, we conducted a protein interaction analysis using STRING database, with a highest confidence cut-off of 0.9. Our protein network casted a comprehensive analysis of potential protein-protein interactions between PD and periodontitis. This analysis may underpin valuable information for new candidate molecular mechanisms between PD and periodontitis and may serve new potential targets for research purposes. These results should be carefully interpreted giving the limitations of this approach.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0010.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: skeletal muscle; muscle protein synthesis; muscle protein breakdown; serum; hydrolysate
Online: 1 March 2020 (11:52:27 CET)
In this study we used a recently developed ex vivo-in vitro model to assess the effect of feeding older adults a casein protein hydrolysate (CPH) compared with non-bioactive non-essential amino acid (NEAA) supplement on Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) and Breakdown (MPB). Serum from six healthy older males following overnight fast and 60 min postprandial ingestion of CPH or NEAA (0.33 g.kg-1 body mass) was used to condition C2C12 myotube media. CPH-fed serum significantly increased MPS compared to fasted serum. In addition, CPH-fed serum induced myotube growth and markedly suppressed atrogin-1, but not MuRF1, expression. Comparatively, no change in MPS, myotube growth and gene expression was observed following NEAA-fed serum treatment. CPH-fed serum from older adults stimulated de novo MPS, suppressed markers of protein breakdown and resulted in myotube growth, indicating a potential role for CPH as a dietary protein source to prevent age-related sarcopenia.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0414.v1
Subject: Biology, Physiology Keywords: endoplasmic reticulum; lipid droplets; peroxisomes; PEX3; protein targeting; membrane protein insertion; protein translocation; label-free quantitative mass spectrometry; differential protein abundance analysis; Zellweger syndrome
Online: 23 November 2021 (09:23:16 CET)
Protein import into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is the first step in the biogenesis of about 10,000 different soluble and membrane proteins in humans. It involves co- or post-translational targeting of precursor polypeptides to the ER and their subsequent membrane insertion or translocation. So far, three pathways for ER targeting of precursor polypeptides plus four pathways for ER targeting of mRNAs were described. Typically, these pathways deliver their substrates to the Sec61 polypeptide-conducting channel in the ER membrane. Next, the precursor polypeptides are inserted into the ER membrane or translocated into the ER lumen, which may involve auxiliary translocation components, such as the TRAP and Sec62/Sec63 complexes, or auxiliary membrane protein insertases, such as EMC and the TMCO1 complex. Recently, the PEX19/PEX3-dependent pathway, which has a well-known function in targeting and inserting various peroxisomal membrane proteins into pre-existent peroxisomal membranes, was also found to act in targeting and, putatively, inserting monotopic hairpin proteins into the ER. These either remain in the ER as resident ER membrane proteins or are pinched off from the ER as components of new lipid droplets. Therefore, the question arose if this pathway may play a more general role in ER protein targeting, i.e. represents a fourth pathway for ER targeting of precursor polypeptides. Thus, we addressed the client spectrum of the PEX19/PEX3-dependent pathway in both PEX3-depleted HeLa cells and PEX3-deficient Zellweger patient fibroblasts by an established approach, which involves label-free quantitative mass spectrometry of the total proteome of depleted or deficient cells and differential protein abundance analysis. The negatively affected proteins included twelve peroxisomal proteins and two hairpin proteins of the ER, thus confirming two previously identified classes of putative PEX19/PEX3-clients in human cells. Interestingly, fourteen collagen-related proteins with signal peptides or N-terminal transmembrane helices and belonging to the secretory pathway were also negatively affected by PEX3-deficiency, which may suggest compromised collagen biogenesis as a hitherto unknown contributor to organ failures in the respective Zellweger patients.
Subject: Keywords: pangolin; intrinsic; disorder; protein; nucleocapsid; Nipah; virulence; viral protein; protein structure; protein function; shell; covid; coronavirus; ebola; vaccine; immune; antibody; shell; nucleoprotein; matrix; attenuate
Online: 28 June 2020 (09:16:27 CEST)
A model to predict the relative levels of respiratory and fecal-oral transmission potentials of coronaviruses (CoVs) by measuring the percentage of protein intrinsic disorder (PID) of the M (Membrane) and N (nucleoprotein) proteins in their outer and inner shells, respectively, was built before the MERS-CoV outbreak. Application of this model to the 2003 SARS-CoV indicated that this virus with MPID = 8.6% and NPID = 50.2% falls into group B, which consists of CoVs with intermediate levels of both fecal-oral and respiratory transmission potentials. Further validation of the model came with MERS-CoV (MPID = 9%, NPID = 44%) and SARS-CoV-2 (MPID = 5.5%, NPID = 48%) falling into the groups C and B, respectively. Group C contains CoVs with higher fecal-oral but lower respiratory transmission potentials. Unlike SARS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 with MPID = 5.5% has one of the hardest outer shells among CoVs. This shell hardness is believed to be responsible for high viral loads in the mucus and saliva making it more contagious than SARS-CoV. The hard shell is able to resist the anti-microbial enzymes in body fluids. Further searches have found that high rigidity of outer shell is characteristic for the CoVs of burrowing animals, such as rabbits (MPID = 5.6%) and pangolins (MPID = 5-6%), which are in contact with the buried feces. A closer inspection of pangolin-CoVs from 2017-19 reveals that these animals provided a unique window of opportunity for the entry of an attenuated SARS-CoV-2 precursor into the human population in 2017 or earlier, with the subsequent slow and silent spread as a mild cold that followed by its mutations into the current more virulent form. Evidence of this lies in the similarity of shell disorder and genetic proximity of the pangolin-CoVs to SARS-CoV-2 (~90%). A 2017 pangolin-CoV strain shows evidence of higher levels of attenuation and higher fecal-oral transmission associated with lower human infectivity via having lower NPID (44.8%). Our shell disorder analysis also revealed that lower inner shell disorder is associated with the lesser virulence in a variety of viruses.
Subject: Keywords: intrinsic; disorder; protein; nucleocapsid; Nipah; virulence; viral protein; protein structure; protein function, shell; covid; coronavirus; ebola; vaccine; immune; antibody; shell; nucleocapsid; nucleoprotein; matrix; attenuate;
Online: 7 May 2020 (10:04:51 CEST)
A model that predicts levels of coronavirus (CoV) respiratory/fecal-oral transmission potentials based on the outer shell hardness has been built using neural network (artificial intelligence, AI) analysis of the percentage of disorder (PID) in the nucleocapsid, N, and membrane, M, proteins of the inner and outer viral shells, respectively. Based mainly on the PID of N, SARS-CoV-2 is categorized as having intermediate levels of both respiratory and fecal oral transmission potential. Related to this, other studies have found strong positive correlations between virulence and inner shell disorder among numerous viruses, including Nipah, Ebola, and Dengue viruses. There is some evidence that this is also true for SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV, which have N PIDs of 48% and 50%, and are characterized by case-fatality rates of 7.1% and 10.9%, respectively. The link between levels of respiratory transmission and virulence lies in viral load of body fluids and organ respectively. A virus can be infectious via respiratory modes only if the viral loads in saliva and mucus exceed certain minima. Likewise, a person may die, if the viral load is too high especially in viral organs. Inner shell proteins of viruses play important roles in the replication of viruses, and structural disorder enhances these roles by providing greater efficiency in protein-protein/DNA/RNA/lipid binding. This paper outlines a novel strategy in attenuating viruses involving comparison of disorder patterns of inner shells of related viruses to identify residues and regions that could be ideal for mutation. The M protein of SARS-CoV-2 has one of the lowest M PID values (6%) in its family, and therefore this virus has one of the hardest outer shells, which makes it resistant to antimicrobial enzymes in body fluid. While this is likely responsible for its contagiousness, the risks of creating an attenuated virus with a more disordered M are discussed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0457.v2
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Toxicology Keywords: Covid-19; desmosine; dp-ucMGP; elastic fibers; factor II; matrix Gla protein; PIVKA-II; protein S; vitamin K; vitamin K antagonist
Online: 29 May 2020 (04:16:20 CEST)
Background: A significant proportion of SARS-CoV-2-infected patients develops respiratory failure. Thromboembolism is also prevalent in coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19). Vitamin K plays a role in coagulation and possibly also in lung diseases. We therefore hypothesized that vitamin K is implicated in Covid-19 pathogenesis. Methods: 134 Covid-19 patients and 184 controls were included. Inactive vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (i.e.dp-ucMGP) and prothrombin (i.e. PIVKA-II) were measured, which are inversely related to respectively extrahepatic and hepatic vitamin K status. Desmosine was measured to quantify elastic fiber degradation. Lung involvement and arterial calcifications severity were assessed by computed tomography. Results Dp-ucMGP was elevated in Covid-19 patients compared to controls (P=0.001). Higher dp-ucMGP was found in Covid-19 patients with poor compared to better outcomes (P=0.002). PIVKA-II was normal in 81.8%, mildly elevated in 14.0% and moderately elevated in 4.1% of Covid-19 patients not using vitamin K antagonists. Dp-ucMGP in Covid-19 patients was correlated with desmosine (P<0.001), thoracic aortic calcification (P<0.001) but not with pneumonia severity. Conclusions: Extrahepatic vitamin K status was severely reduced in Covid-19 patients, as reflected by elevated inactive MGP, and related to poor outcome. Procoagulant prothrombin activity remained preserved in the majority of Covid-19 patients, which is compatible with the increased thrombogenicity that is frequently observed in severe Covid-19. Impaired MGP activation was linked to accelerated elastic fiber degradation and premorbid vascular calcifications. A trial should assess whether increasing MGP and protein S activity by vitamin K administration improves Covid-19 outcomes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0394.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Modularity; Protein-to-protein interaction networks; Spectral characterization; Tree of life
Online: 17 May 2021 (16:56:57 CEST)
Modularity and organizational hierarchy are important concepts in understanding the structure and evolution of interactions in complex biological systems. In this work, we introduce and use a spectral characterization measure (Spectral Entropy) to quantify modularity in protein-to-protein interaction (PPI) networks in species across the tree of life. We evaluated the relation between the size of a PPI network and its (Spectral Entropy-based) modularity, and found a sigmoidal response between the two. We also found significant differences in the distribution of Spectral Entropy values among the three domains of life (Bacteria, Archaea, Eukaryotes). To explore further correlations with biological traits, we focused solely on bacterial PPI networks, which are the most numerous among the three domains and had associated trait metadata, and investigated how modularity impacts or is impacted by growth, aerobicity, selection and location on the tree of life. We found no relation between maximal growth rate and Spectral Entropy, but a strong dependence between G-C content (a proxy for selection) and Spectral Entropy. We also discovered that Spectral Entropy is negatively affected by phylogenetic placement (evolutionary distance from the last universal common ancestor). The general nature of the Spectral Entropy measure of hierarchical modularity in networks suggests that it will be useful in other settings where structural properties of real-world networks are being compared.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0560.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: HCMV; protein-protein interactions; small molecules; ppUL44; PAP; pUL54; antivirals; screening
Online: 23 November 2020 (08:29:23 CET)
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a leading cause of severe diseases in immunocompromised individuals, including AIDS and transplanted patients, and in congenitally infected newborns. The utility of available drugs is limited by poor bioavailability, toxicity, and emergence of resistant strains. Therefore, it is crucial to identify new targets of therapeutic intervention. Among the latter, viral protein-protein interactions are becoming increasingly attractive. Since dimerization of HCMV DNA polymerase processivity factor ppUL44 plays an essential role in the viral life cycle being required for oriLyt-dependent DNA replication, we performed an in silico screening and selected 18 small molecules (SMs) potentially interfering with ppUL44 homodimerization. Antiviral assays using recombinant HCMV TB40-UL83-YFP in the presence of the selected SMs led to the identification of four active compounds. The most active one, B3, also efficiently inhibited AD169 in plaque reduction assays and impaired replication of an AD169-GFP reporter virus and its ganciclovir-resistant counterpart to a similar extent. As assessed by Western blotting experiments, treatment of infected cells with B3 specifically reduced viral gene expression starting from 48 h post infection, consistent with activity on viral DNA synthesis. Therefore, inhibition of ppUL44 dimerization could represent a new class of HCMV inhibitors, complementary to those targeting the DNA polymerase catalytic subunit or the viral terminase complex.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202007.0558.v2
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: COVID-19; protein protein interactions; virtual screening; docking; molecular dynamics; zinc
Online: 2 September 2020 (09:48:48 CEST)
The outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, continues to affect millions of people around the world. The absence of a globally distributed effective treatment makes the exploration of new mechanisms of action a key step to address this situation. Stabilization of non-native Protein-Protein Interactions (PPIs) of the nucleocapsid protein of MERS-CoV has been reported as a valid strategy to inhibit viral replication. In this study, the applicability of this unexplored mechanism of action against SARS-CoV-2 is analyzed. During our research, we were able to find three inducible interfaces of SARS-CoV-2 N protein NTD, compare them to the previously reported MERS-CoV stabilized dimers, and identify those residues that are responsible for their formation. A drug discovery protocol implemented consisting of docking, molecular dynamics and MM-GBSA enabled us to find several compounds that might be able to exploit this mechanism of action. In addition, a common catechin skeleton was found among many of these molecules, which might be useful for further drug design. We consider that our findings could motivate future research in the fields of drug discovery and design towards the exploitation of this previously unexplored mechanism of action against COVID-19.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0081.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Genetics Keywords: Lung cancer; biomarker; gene ontology; protein-protein interaction networks; survival analysis
Online: 5 May 2020 (12:28:25 CEST)
Objective: The aim of study is to find key genes and enriched pathways associated with lung cancer. Participants and Methods: Differentially expressed genes (DEGs) data of 54674 genes based on stage, tumor and status of lung cancer was taken from 66 patients of African American (AAs) origin. 2392 DEGs were found based on stage, 13502 DEGs were found based on tumor, 2927 DEGs were found based on status having p value (p<0.05). Results: Total 33 common DEGs were found from stage, tumor and status of lung cancer. Gene ontology (GO) and KEGG pathway enrichment analysis was performed and 49 significant pathways were obtained, out of which 10 pathways were found to be exclusively involved in lung cancer development. Protein-protein interaction (PPI) network analysis found 69 nodes and 324 edges and identified 10 hub genes based on their highest degrees. Module analysis of PPI found that ‘Viral carcinogenesis’, ‘pathways in cancer’, ‘notch signaling pathway’, ‘AMPK signaling pathways’ had a close association with lung cancer. Conclusion: These identified DEGs regulate other genes which play important role in growth of lung cancer. The key genes and enriched pathways identified can thus help in better identification and prediction of lung cancer.
Online: 17 September 2021 (11:49:04 CEST)
In 1984, Susumu Ohno hypothesized that the nylon-degrading enzyme NylB arose de novo via a frameshift mutation within a hypothetical precursor protein (PR.C). However, Ohno never tested his hypothesis or provided supporting biological evidence. For decades, Ohno’s famous frame-shift hypothesis has been uncritically accepted as the correct explanation for the origin of NylB and has been used to illustrate how simple it is for a totally new enzyme to arise spontaneously. In this paper we test Ohno’s hypothesis in light of data not available in 1984. We searched multiple protein databases and found that the NylB protein is widely occurring, has thousands of homologs, and is found in diverse organisms and diverse habitats. Conserved domain searches showed that the NylB sequence is homologous to beta lactamases - a family of highly conserved enzymes. However, our searches showed that there is no evidence for the existence of Ohno’s hypothetical PR.C protein, nor any credible homolog. Our results effectively falsify Ohno's frameshift hypothesis. We extended this analysis to other nylonases and found all the nylonases we examined had large numbers of homologs throughout the biosphere. This falsifies the long-held assumption that all nylonases evolved after the invention of nylon in 1935.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0188.v1
Online: 17 January 2020 (10:20:39 CET)
regulating translational speed and accuracy. Threonylcarbamoyl adenosine (t6A37) and 5-methoxycarbonylmethyl-thiouridine (mcm5s2U34) are critical ASL modifications that have been linked to several human diseases. The model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is viable despite the absence of both modifications, growth is however greatly impaired. The major observed consequence is a subsequent increase in protein aggregates and aberrant morphology. Proteomic analysis of the t6A-deficient strain revealed a global mistranslation leading to protein aggregation without regard to physicochemical properties or t6A-dependent or biased codon usage in parent genes. However, loss of sua5 led to increased expression of soluble proteins for mitochondrial function, protein quality processing/trafficking, oxidative stress response, and energy homeostasis. These results point to a global function for t6A in protein homeostasis very similar to mcm5/s2U modifications.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202104.0048.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle; Conditionally disordered protein; Intrinsically disordered protein; photosynthesis regulation.
Online: 2 April 2021 (11:23:04 CEST)
In the chloroplast, Calvin-Benson-Bassham enzymes are active in the reducing environment imposed in the light via the electrons from the photosystems. In the dark these enzymes are inhibited, and this regulation is mainly mediated via oxidation of key regulatory cysteine residues. CP12 is a small protein that plays a role in this regulation with four cysteine residues that undergo a redox transition. Using amide-proton exchange with solvent measured by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass-spectrometry, we confirmed that reduced CP12 is intrinsically disordered. Using real-time NMR, we showed that the oxidation of the two disulfide bridges are simultaneous. In oxidized CP12, the C23-C31 pair is in a region that undergoes a conformational exchange in the NMR-intermediate timescale. The C66-C75 pair is in the C-terminus that folds into a stable helical turn. We confirmed that these structural states exist in a physiologically relevant environment that is, in cell extract from Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Consistent with these structural equilibria, the reduction is slower for the C66-C75 pair compared to the C23-C31 pair. Finally, the redox mid-potentials for the two cysteine pairs differ and are similar to those found for phosphoribulokinase and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase, that we relate to the regulatory role of CP12.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202010.0512.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: Mitochondria; Ubiquitin; Proteasome; mitophagy; autophagy; proteolysis; protein import; Protein Quality Control; Metabolism
Online: 26 October 2020 (10:49:39 CET)
Mitochondria are constantly subjected to stressful conditions due to their unique physiology and organization. The resulting damage leads to mitochondrial dysfunction, which underlies many pathophysiological conditions. Hence, constant surveillance is required to closely monitor mitochondrial health for sound maintenance of cellular metabolism and thus, for viability. In addition to internal mitochondrial chaperones and proteases, mitochondrial health is also governed by host cell protein quality control systems. The Ubiquitin-Proteasome System (UPS) and autophagy constitute the main pathways for removal of damaged or superfluous proteins in the cytosol, nucleus, and from certain organelles such as the ER and mitochondria. Although stress-induced ubiquitin-dependent degradation of mitochondrial outer membrane proteins has been widely studied, mechanisms of intramitochondrial protein ubiquitination have remained largely elusive due to the predominantly cytosolic nature of UPS components, separated from internal mitochondrial proteins by a double membrane. However, recent research has illuminated examples of intramitochondrial protein ubiquitination pathways and highlighted their importance under basal and stressful conditions. Owing to the dependence of mitochondria on the error-prone process of protein import from the cytosol, it is imperative that the cell eliminate any accumulated proteins in the event of mitochondrial import deficiency. Apparently, a significant portion of this activity involves ubiquitination in one way or another. In the present review article, following a brief introduction to mitochondrial protein quality control mechanisms, we discuss our recent understanding of intramitochondrial protein ubiquitination, its importance for the basal function of mitochondria, metabolic implications, and possible therapeutic applications.
HYPOTHESIS | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0147.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: position-specific visualization; experimentally uncharted territories; membrane protein structure; protein data bank
Online: 15 January 2020 (07:53:46 CET)
As of today, there is not any direct report yet of the degree to which missing residues exist for experimentally determined membrane protein (MP) structures, which constitute more than half of current drug targets. With a chain- and position-specific visualisation and a statistical analysis of all MP structures inside PDB (as of September 25, 2019), this article argues that the experimentally uncharted territories (EUTs, i.e., consisting of missing residues) within PDB are pluggable and should be plugged with an experimental data-driven hybrid approach, and calls for continued development of MP structural determination with less and less EUTs, in light of MPs' crucial role in biological and biomedical research, both fundamental and pharmaceutical.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0085.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: molecular dynamics; matrix metalloproteinase; domain movement; zinc binding protein; calcium binding protein
Online: 4 July 2019 (18:07:55 CEST)
Matrix Metaloproteinase-2 (MMP-2) is an extracellular Zn2+ protease specific to type I and IV collagens. Its expression is associated with several inflammatory, degenerative, and malignant diseases. Conformational properties, domain movements, and interactions between MMP-2 and its associated metal ions were characterized using a 1.0 µs molecular dynamics simulation. Dihedral principle component analysis revealed 10 families of conformations with the greatest degree of variability occurring in the link region connecting the catalytic and hemopexin domains. Dynamics cross correlation analysis indicated domain movements corresponding to opening and closing of the hemopexin domain in relation to the fibronectin and catalytic domains facilitated by the link region. Interaction energies were calculated using the MMPBSA-interaction entropy analysis method and revealed strong binding energies for the catalytic Zn2+ ion 1, Ca2+ ion 1, and Ca2+ ion 3 with significant conformational stability at the binding sites of Zn2+ ion 1 and Ca2+ ion 1. Ca2+ ion 2 diffuses freely away from its crystallographically defined binding site. Zn2+ ion 2 plays a minor role in conformational stability of the catalytic domain while Ca2+ ion 3 is strongly attracted to the highly electronegative sidechains of the Asp residues around the central β-sheet core of the hemopexin domain.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0018.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Dermatology Keywords: atopic dermatitis; AD; dermatology; target identification; pathway identification; bioinformatics; protein-protein networks
Online: 1 July 2019 (12:47:49 CEST)
The exploration and identification of targets and pathways for Atopic dermatitis (AD) treatment and diagnosis are critical for AD control. The conventional target exploration approach such as the literature review is not satisfying in terms of efficiency and accuracy. Recently, the bioinformatic approach is drawing attention for its unique advantage of high-volume data analysis for target and pathway exploration; Open Targets Platform is the targets source for this study to extract top 200 high-rank proteins from 3122 AD associated proteins. STRING, Cytoscape, CytoHubba, ClueGo, and CluePedia function had been applied for data analysis. The KEGG Mapper search & colour pathway was the pathway map resource for identified pathways; 23 key hub genes (VDR, KIT, BCL2L11, NFKBIA, KRAS, IL13, JAK2, STAT3, IL21, IL4R, REL, PDGFRB, FOXP3, RARA, RELB, EGFR, IL21R, MYC, CREBBP, NR3C1, IL2, JAK1, and KITLG). Additionally, 8 correlated pathways and the biological process had been identified; Through this study, a viable approach for target and pathway exploration had been presented. The identified AD targets and pathways will be tested for upcoming research for traditional Chinese medicinal herb interactions
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0262.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Condensed Matter Physics Keywords: protein self-assembling; protein hydrogel; lysozyme; ultrasonic sound propagation; transient grating spectroscopy
Online: 21 December 2018 (15:02:30 CET)
In this work, we have studied the propagation of ultrasonic waves of lysozyme solutions characterized by different degrees of aggregation and networking. The experimental investigation has been performed by means of the Transient Grating (TG) spectroscopy as a function of temperature; this technique enables to measure the ultrasonic acoustic proprieties over a wide time window, ranging from nanoseconds to milliseconds. The fitting of the measured TG signal allows the extraction of several dynamic properties, here we focused on the speed and the damping rate of sound. The temperature variation induces in the lysozyme solutions a series of processes: protein folding-unfolding, aggregation and sol-gel transition. Our TG investigation shows how these self-assembling phenomena modulate the sound propagation, affecting both the velocity and the damping rate of the ultrasonic waves. In particular, the damping of ultrasonic acoustic waves proves to be a dynamic property very sensitive to the protein conformational rearrangements and aggregation processes.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201807.0606.v1
Subject: Chemistry, General & Theoretical Chemistry Keywords: protein-DNA interactions; facilitated diffusion; protein target search; discrete-state stochastic models
Online: 31 July 2018 (05:39:04 CEST)
Protein-DNA interactions are critical for the successful functioning of all natural systems. The key role in these interactions is played by processes of protein search for specific sites on DNA. Although it has been studied for many years, only recently microscopic aspects of these processes became more clear. In this work, we present a review on current theoretical understanding of the molecular mechanisms of the protein target search. A comprehensive discrete-state stochastic method to explain the dynamics of the protein search phenomena is introduced and explained. Our theoretical approach utilizes a first-passage analysis and it takes into account the most relevant physical-chemical processes. It is able to describe many fascinating features of the protein search, including unusually high effective association rates, high selectivity and specificity, and the robustness in the presence of crowders and sequence heterogeneity.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0192.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: soy protein isolate; protein hydrolysate; soy protein peptides; physical load; food efficacy and safety; NMR blood test; blood metabolites; forced swimming
Online: 14 September 2022 (04:57:19 CEST)
Peptides of hydrolysates of food proteins are an easily digestible source of amino acids necessary for the body to adapt to physical stress. Commercially significant hydrolysates include whey protein, casein, and other animal proteins. Hydrolysates of plant proteins are gaining popularity, but they are less common, then animal ones. Soy protein isolate is promising for obtaining the hydrolysates due to its affordable price and balanced amino acid profile. However, there are no direct studies showing an improvement in the result of physical activity when eating soy protein isolate hydrolysate (SPIH). In this work, for the first time, the study was conducted on the safety and efficacy of SPIH during physical load on model animals (rats). It was shown that the hydrolysate did not lead to pathological changes in the viscera, food intake, and weight of animals did not differ from the control group (animals consumed whey protein). Under physical load rats enteral fed SPIH showed a tendency to adapt more quickly to physical stress than the control group and the group of animals that was fed by free amino acids. The metabolites of animal blood serum were studied by NMR spectroscopy. It was shown that by the 95th minute after feeding in the group of rats receiving SPIH, the difference of proteinogenic amino acids concentrations in blood between individuals was significantly less than in the groups receiving whey protein or a mixture of amino acids. In other words, individual biochemical and physiological characteristics of individuals did not affect the assimilation of amino acids of hydrolysate.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0201.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: human coronaviruses; envelope protein; PDZ-binding motif (PBM), homology-based modelling; docking; HADDOCK; protein-protein interaction; PALS1; pathogenesis; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 14 June 2022 (09:52:47 CEST)
The less virulent human (h) coronaviruses (CoVs) 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1 cause mild, self-limiting respiratory tract infections, while the more virulent SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2 have caused severe outbreaks. The CoV envelope (E) protein, an important contributor to the pathogenesis of severe hCoVs infections, may provide insight into this disparate severity of the disease. We, therefore, generated full-length E protein models for SARS-CoV-1, -2, MERS-CoV, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-NL63 and docked C-terminal peptides of each model to the PDZ domain of the human PALS1 protein. The PDZ-binding motif (PBM) of the SARS-CoV-1, -2, and MERS-CoV models adopted a more flexible, extended coil while the HCoV-229E and HCoV-NL63 models adopted a less flexible alpha helix. All the E peptides docked to PALS1 occupied the same binding site and the more virulent hCoV E peptides generally interacted more stably with PALS1 than the less virulent ones. We propose that the increased flexibility of the PBM in more virulent hCoVs may permit more stable binding to various host proteins, thereby possibly contributing to more severe disease. This is the first paper to model full-length 3D structures for both more virulent and less virulent hCoVs E proteins, providing novel insights for possible drug and/or vaccine development.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0124.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: intrinsically disordered protein; IDP; protein-protein interaction; mutual synergistic folding; coupled folding and binding; structural analysis; structure-based classification; fold recognition
Online: 11 October 2019 (04:00:32 CEST)
Intrinsically disordered proteins mediate crucial biological functions through their interactions with other proteins. Mutual synergistic folding (MSF) occurs when all interacting proteins are disordered, folding into a stable structure in the course of the complex formation. In these cases, the folding and binding processes occur in parallel, lending the resulting structures uniquely heterogeneous features. Currently there are no dedicated classification approaches that would take into account the particular biological and biophysical properties of MSF complexes. Here we present a scalable clustering-based classification scheme, built on redundancy-filtered features that describe the sequence and structure properties of the complexes, and the role of the interaction, which is directly responsible for structure formation. Using this approach, we define six major types of MSF complexes, corresponding to biologically meaningful groups. Hence, the presented method also shows that differences in binding strength, subcellular localization, and regulation are encoded in the sequence and structural properties of proteins. While current structure classification methods can also handle complex structures, we show that the developed scheme is fundamentally different, and since it takes into account defining features of MSF complexes, it serves as a better representation of structures arising through this specific interaction mode.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0366.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, General & Theoretical Physics Keywords: Curvature proteins; Membrane Remodelling; Protein-protein interactions; Mesoscopic Modeling; Backmapping and molecular reconstruction
Online: 22 August 2022 (03:20:01 CEST)
Specialized classes of proteins, working together in a tightly orchestrated manner, induce and maintain highly curved cellular and organelles membrane morphology. Due to the various ex- perimental constraints, including the resolution limits of imaging techniques, it is non-trivial to accurately elucidate interactions among the various components involved in membrane deformation. The spatial and temporal scales of the systems also make it formidable to investigate them using simulations with molecular details. Interestingly, mechanics-based mesoscopic models have been used with great success in recapitulating the membrane defor- mations observed in experiments. In this review, we collate together and discuss the various mechanics based mesoscopic models for protein-mediated membrane deformation studies. In particular, we provide an elaborate description of a mesoscopic model where the membrane is modeled as a triangulated sheet and proteins are represented as either nematics or fila- ments. This representation allows us to explore the various aspects of protein-protein and protein-membrane interactions as well as examine the underlying mechanistic pathways for emergent behavior such as curvature-mediated protein localization and membrane deforma- tion. We also put forward current efforts in the field towards back-mapping these mesoscopic models to finer-grained particle based models - a framework that could be used to explore how molecular interactions propagate to physical scales and vice-versa. We end the review with an integrative-modeling based road map where experimental imaging micrograph and biochemical data are combined with mesoscopic and molecular simulations methods in a theoretically consistent manner to faithfully recapitulate the multiple length and time scales in the membrane remodeling processes.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202206.0144.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry Keywords: Molecular docking; molecular dynamics; pharmacophore; molecular modeling; XIAP protein; protein inhibitor; anticancer activity
Online: 9 June 2022 (11:08:29 CEST)
Herein, we are proposing two chalcone molecules, (E)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-3-(p-tolyl) prop-2-en-1-one and (E)-3-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1-(2,4,6-trihydroxyphenyl) prop-2-en-1-one, based on the anticancer bioactive molecule Xanthohumol, which are suitable for further in vitro and in vivo studies. Their ability to create stable complexes with the antiapoptotic X-linked IAP (XIAP) protein makes them promising anticancer agents. The calculations were based on ligand-based and structure-based virtual screening combined for the pharmacophore built. Additionally, the structures passed Lipinski's rule for drug use, and their reactivity was confirmed using density functional theory studies. The candidates were chosen between 10639400 compounds, and the docking protocols were evaluated using molecular dynamics simulations.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202004.0514.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Virology Keywords: virus-host interaction; human immunodeficiency virus; protein-protein interactions; OMICs; transcriptomics; network analysis
Online: 30 April 2020 (03:07:05 CEST)
The interaction of human immunodeficiency virus with human cells is responsible for all stages of the viral life cycle, from the infection of CD4+ cells to reverse transcription, integration, and the assembly of new viral particles. To date, a large amount of OMICs data as well as information from functional genomics screenings regarding the HIV-1-host interaction has been accumulated in the literature and in public databases. We processed databases containing HIV-host interactions and found 2910 HIV-1-human protein-protein interactions, mostly related to viral group M subtype B, 137 interactions between human and HIV-1 coding and non-coding RNAs, essential for viral lifecycle and cell defense mechanisms, 232 transcriptomics, 27 proteomics, and 34 epigenomics HIV-related experiments. Numerous studies regarding network-based analysis of corresponding OMICs data have been published in recent years. We overview various types of molecular networks, which can be created using OMICs data, including HIV-human protein-protein interaction networks, co-expression networks, gene regulatory and signaling networks, and approaches for the analysis of their topology and dynamics. The network-based analysis can be used to determine the critical pathways and key proteins involved in the HIV life cycle, cellular and immune responses to infection, viral escape from host defense mechanisms, and mechanisms mediating different susceptibility of humans to infection. The proteins and pathways identified in these studies may represent a basis for developing new anti-HIV therapeutic strategies such as new small-molecule drugs preventing infection of CD4+ cells and viral replication, effective vaccines, "shock and kill" and "block and lock" approaches to cure latent infection.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0193.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: coarse-grained; CABS model; MC simulations; statistical force fields; disordered protein; protein structure
Online: 17 December 2018 (10:54:32 CET)
The description of protein disordered states is important for understanding protein folding mechanisms and their functions. In this short review, we briefly describe a simulation approach to modeling disordered protein interactions and unfolded states of globular proteins. It is based on the CABS coarse-grained protein model that uses a Monte Carlo (MC) sampling scheme and a knowledge-based statistical force field. We review several case studies showing that description of protein disordered states resulting from CABS simulations is consistent with experimental data. The case studies comprise investigations of protein-peptide binding and protein folding processes. The CABS model has been recently made available as the simulation engine of multiscale modeling tools enabling studies of protein-peptide docking and protein flexibility. Those tools offer customization of the modeling process, driving the conformational search using distance restraints, reconstruction of selected models to all-atom resolution and studies of large protein systems in a reasonable computational time. Therefore, CABS can be combined in integrative modeling pipelines incorporating experimental data and other modeling tools of various resolution.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0131.v1
Online: 8 December 2021 (14:22:24 CET)
A 52-day experiment was conducted to determine the crude protein (CP) requirements of juvenile matrinxã Brycon amazonicus, and to evaluate their resulting growth performance, hematological parameters and enzymatic activities. Sixty fish (29.03g ± 1.16g) were distributed in 12 tanks (310 L) with a completely randomized design, and maintained at four dietary crude protein levels (270, 320, 350, 390 g.kg-1) for 52 days. The results revealed that the fish fed diet 390 g.kg-1 CP had the best final weight, weight gain, feed conversion ratio, specific growth rate, protein efficiency ratio and lipid retention rate. The same could be stated for hematocrit, number of circulating erythrocytes, triglycerides and total proteins of the hematological profile (p<0.05). In the whole body composition, dry matter content was lower in the fish fed 390 g.kg-1 CP, while lipid content was higher in the fish fed 350-390 g.kg-1 CP (p<0.05). No differences were observed in CP and ash (p>0.05), or in the activities of digestive enzymes (p>0.05). In short, our findings suggest benefits of the 390 g.kg-1 CP feed for being the most adequate for this species’ juvenile stage.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0159.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: electrophoresis; protein; mechanical treatment; quantification
Online: 6 July 2021 (14:54:12 CEST)
Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (PAGE) is widely used for studying proteins and protein-containing objects. However, it is employed most frequently as a qualitative method rather than a quantitative one. In this paper, we show the feasibility of routine digital image acquisition and mathematical processing of electrophoregrams for protein quantification. Both the well-studied model protein molecules (bovine serum albumin) and more complex real-world protein-based products (casein-containing isolate for sports nutrition), which were subjected to mechanical activation in a planetary ball mill to obtain samples characterized by different protein denaturation degrees, were used as study objects. Protein quantification in the mechanically activated samples was carried out. The degree of destruction of individual protein was shown to be higher compared to that of protein-containing mixture after mechanical treatment for an identical amount of time. The methodological approach used in this study can serve as guidance for other researchers who would like to use electrophoresis for protein quantification both in individual form and in protein mixtures. The findings prove that photographic imaging of gels followed by mathematical data processing can be applied for analyzing the electrophoretic data.
Online: 8 July 2020 (11:00:04 CEST)
The Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RGNEF) protein encoded by the ARHGEF28 gene has been implicated in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Biochemical and pathological studies have shown that RGNEF is a component of the hallmark neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in ALS-affected neurons. Additionally, a heterozygous mutation in ARHGEF28 has been identified in a number of familial ALS (fALS) cases that may give rise to one of two truncated variants of the protein. Little is known about the normal biological function of RGNEF or how it contributes to ALS pathogenesis. To further explore RGNEF biology we have established and characterized a yeast model and characterized RGNEF expression in several mammalian cell lines. We demonstrate that RGNEF is toxic when overexpressed and forms inclusions. We also found that the fALS-associated mutation in ARGHEF28 gives rise to an inclusion-forming and toxic protein. Additionally, through unbiased screening using the split-ubiquitin system, we have identified RGNEF interacting proteins, including two ALS-associated proteins. Functional characterization of other RGNEF interactors identified in our screen suggest that RGNEF functions as a microtubule regulator. Our findings indicate that RGNEF misfolding and toxicity may cause impairment of the microtubule network and contribute to ALS pathogenesis.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0120.v1
Subject: Biology, Agricultural Sciences & Agronomy Keywords: wheat; biofortification; QTLs; protein; minerals
Online: 9 August 2019 (12:54:32 CEST)
Wheat is the essential constituent of cereal-based diets and one of the most significant sources of calories. However, there is an inherently low bioavailability of proteins, mineral, and vitamins in modern wheat grains. Biofortification has earned recognition as an outstanding approach, at the same time as a cure for world hunger. The developments in the identifications of quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis and understanding of the physiological and molecular basis of QTLs controlling the biofortification traits in wheat has revealed new horizons for the improvement of modern wheat varieties. Within this review, we have compiled the information from the studies carried out in wheat using QTL mapping methodologies that is among the best methods for biofortification traits. We hope this review will serve as an essential reference for the QTLs identified for the several important biofortification traits in wheat.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0195.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Applied Chemistry Keywords: Nanoparticles, interactions, protein corona, nanomedicine
Online: 16 July 2019 (12:36:38 CEST)
Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary science covering matters involving nanoscale level that is being developed for a great variety of applications. Nanomedicine is one of these attractive and challenging uses focused on the employment of nanomaterials in medical applications such as drug delivery. However, the uses of these nanometric systems requires specific parameters to establish the possible advantages and disadvantages in specific applications. This review presents the fundamental factors of nanoparticles and it´s microenvironment that must be considered to make an appropriate design for medical applications: (i) Interactions between nanoparticles and their biological environment, (ii) the interaction mechanisms, (iii) and the physicochemical properties of nanoparticles. On the other hand, the repercussions of the control, alteration and modification of these parameters in the final applications. Additionally, we here briefly report the implications of nanoparticles in nanomedicine and provide perspectives for some particular applications which still are challenged
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202108.0512.v1
Subject: Keywords: oyster mushroom (Pleurotus sp.); PARP protein; 4UND protein; molecular docking; PyRx; BIOVIA drug discovery
Online: 26 August 2021 (16:15:06 CEST)
Oyster mushroom( Pleurotus ostreatus) is belong to the group of healthy foods, as they contain high levels of proteins, vitamins and different classes of compounds, it is discovered that oyster mushrooms could play a key role in maintaining good health. Oyster mushroom (Pleurotus sp.) Class Basidiomycetes and Family Agaricaceae are widely known as ‘dhingri’ in India. Pleurotus Ostreatus have several medicinal properties including ; anti-arthritic , antitumor, immune modulatory , antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antigenotoxic, hypo-cholesterolaemic, antihyperglycaemic antihypertensive, antiplatelet aggregating, antiviral and antimicrobial activities.. In this paper studied that effects of chemical constituents of oyster mushroom(Pleurotus sp.) on DNA damaging protein which analyzed its activity of PARP inhibiting or vice – versa.For this analysis we choose the molecular docking technique to check the effects of different chemical constituents of oyster mushroom(Pleurotus sp.) on DNA damaging protein and compare their results to PARP inhibitory drugs which taken as standard . We perform the molecular docking in between chemical constituents of oyster mushroom(Pleurotus sp.) and 4UND protein compare to performance of molecular docking in between standard PARP inhibitory drugs and 4UND protein with the help of PyRx and BIOVIA Discovery studio software.The analysis of molecular docking shows that some chemical constituents of oyster mushroom(Pleurotus sp.) having more binding affinity than standard PARP inhibitory drugs .The Rutin shows better binding affinity than PARP inhibitory drugs on the same protein.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0516.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nutrition Keywords: Plant-dominant diet; low-protein diet; dietary protein intake; glomerular hyperfiltration; CKD prevention; uremia
Online: 31 May 2020 (21:22:42 CEST)
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects >10% of the adult population. Each year approximately 120,000 Americans develop end-stage kideny disease and initiate dialysis, which is costly and associated with functional impairments, worse health-related quality of life, and high early-mortality rates exceeding 20% in the first year. Recent declarations by the World Kidney Day and the U.S. Government Executive Order seek to implement strategies that reduce the burden of kidney failure by slowing CKD progression and controlling uremia without dialysis. Pragmatic dietary interventions may have a role in improving CKD outcomes and preventing or delaying dialysis initiation. Evidence suggests that a patient-centered plant-dominant low-protein diet (PLADO) of 0.6-0.8 g/kg/day comprised of >50% plant-based sources, administered by dietitians trained in non-dialysis CKD care, can be promising. The scientific premise of the PLADO is based on the observations that high protein diets with high meat intake are not only associated with higher cardiovascular disease risk but also higher CKD incidence and faster CKD progression due to increased intraglomerular pressure and glomerular hyperfiltration. Meat intake increases production of nitrogenous end-products, worsens uremia, and may increase the risk of hyperkalemia, given constipation from the typical low fiber intake. Plant-dominant, fiber-rich, low-protein diet may lead to favorable alterations in the gut microbiome, which can modulate uremic toxin generation and slow CKD progression, along with reducing cardiovascular risk in CKD patients. PLADO is a heart-healthy, safe, flexible, and feasible diet that could be the centerpiece of a conservative and preservative CKD-management strategy that challenges the prevailing dialysis-centered paradigm.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0271.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biophysics Keywords: GPCRs; membrane protein; molecular dynamics; protein structure; drug design; biased-signaling pathway; allosteric sites
Online: 26 August 2019 (15:34:57 CEST)
G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are critical drug targets. GPCRs convey signals from the extracellular to the intracellular environment through G proteins. There is evidence that some ligands that bind to the GPCRs activate different downstream signaling pathways. G protein activation or -arrestin biased signaling involves ligands binding to receptors and stabilizing conformations that trigger a specific pathway. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations are especially valuable for obtaining detailed mechanistic information, including identification of allosteric sites and understanding modulators' interactions between receptors and ligands. Here, we highlight recent simulation studies and methods used to study biased G protein-coupled receptor signaling and their conformational dynamics. We also highlight applications of MD simulations to drug discovery.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201801.0245.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: sulfoxidation; epoxidation; two-component monooxygenase; flavoprotein; enantioselective biotransformation; fusion protein; protein linker; soil microorganism
Online: 25 January 2018 (17:14:33 CET)
VpStyA1 and VpStyA2B of Variovorax paradoxus EPS is annotated and characterized as the first representative of an E2-type styrene monooxygenase of proteobacteria. It comprises a single epoxidase (VpStyA1) and a fusion protein (VpStyA2B) which serves mainly as NADH:FAD-oxidoreductase. VpStyA2B had a Km of 33.6 ± 4.0 µM for FAD and a kcat of 22.3 ± 1.1 s-1. VpStyA2B and VpStyA1 showed monooxygenase activity on styrene of 0.14 U mg-1 and 0.46 U mg-1 as well as on benzyl methyl sulfide of 1.62 U mg-1 and of 3.11 U mg-1. A putative fusion region at position 408 (AREAV) was mutated to provide insights on VpStyA2B-function. The best mutant (408-AAAAA) obtained showed a 6.6-times higher affinity for FAD while keeping the NADH-affinity and -oxidation activity. Corresponding epoxidase activity increased (1.6-times). But, other mutants showed still NADH:FAD-oxidoreductase activity, but lost mostly their epoxidase activity indicating effects on the monooxygenase-part as well. Thus, this monooxygenase system represents an interesting candidate for biocatalyst development.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201712.0170.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: RNA world; [GADV]-protein world; GADV hypothesis; origin of life; protein 0th-order structure; origin of protein; origin of genetic code; origin of gene
Online: 25 December 2017 (08:08:37 CET)
All life on Earth uses three integrated molecular systems in which genetic information contained in DNA base sequences is transmitted to ribosomes by RNA and a genetic code, then translated into the amino acid sequences of structural and catalytic proteins. Therefore, the most important point for understanding the origin of life is to determine how such systems could emerge from random processes on the early Earth. In this review, two alternatives are compared: the RNA world hypothesis and the [GADV]-protein world hypothesis. [GADV] refers to four amino acids, Gly [G], Ala [A], Asp [D] and Val [V] that are conserved in the amino acid sequences of many common proteins. Here I will argue that the origins of the three primary processes required for life to begin can be better explained by the GADV hypothesis than the RNA world hypothesis. The GADV hypothesis also incorporates a conversion process by which random polymers can evolve into proteins with ordered sequences.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0267.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Caenorhabditis elegans; proteostasis; bacteria; neurodegenerative diseases; protein aggregates; protein conformational disease; butyrate; aminoglycoside; Pseudomonas aeruginosa
Online: 18 March 2022 (09:21:45 CET)
Neurodegenerative protein conformational diseases are characterized by misfolding and aggregation of metastable proteins encoded within the host genome. The host is also home to thousands of proteins encoded within exogenous genomes harbored by bacteria, fungi, and viruses. Yet, their contributions to host protein-folding homeostasis, or proteostasis, remain elusive. Recent studies, including our previous work, suggest that bacterial products contribute to toxic aggregation of endogenous host proteins. We refer to these products as bacteria-derived protein aggregates (BDPAs). Furthermore, antibiotics were recently associated with increased risk for neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis possibly by virtue of altering the composition of the human gut microbiota. Other studies have shown a negative correlation between disease progression and antibiotic administration, supporting their protective effect against neurodegenerative diseases. These contradicting studies emphasize the complexity of the human gut microbiota, the gut-brain axis, and the effect of antibiotics. Here, we further our understanding of bacteria’s effect on host protein folding using the model Caenorhabditis elegans. We employed genetic and chemical methods to demonstrate that the proteotoxic effect of bacteria on host protein folding correlates with the presence of BDPAs. Furthermore, the abundance and proteotoxicity of BDPAs are influenced by gentamicin, an aminoglycoside antibiotic that induces protein misfolding, and by butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that we previously found to affect host protein aggregation and the associated toxicity. Collectively, these results increase our understanding of host-bacteria interactions in the context of protein conformational diseases.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0017.v1
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: protein-protein interactions; interactome; congenital heart disease; developmental disorder; hypoplastic left heart syndrome; web application
Online: 1 February 2022 (16:00:59 CET)
Hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) is a severe congenital heart disease (CHD) affecting 1 in 5,000 newborns. We constructed the interactome of 74 HLHS-associated genes identified from a large-scale mouse mutagenesis screen, augmenting it with 408 novel protein-protein interactions (PPIs) using our High-precision Protein-Protein Interaction Prediction (HiPPIP) model. The interactome is available on a webserver with advanced search capabilities (http://severus.dbmi.pitt.edu/wiki-HLHS). 364 genes including 73 novel interactors were differentially regulated in tissues/iPSC-derived cardiomyocytes of HLHS patients. Novel PPIs facilitated the identification of TOR signaling and endoplasmic reticulum stress modules. 60.5% of the interactome consisted of housekeeping genes that may harbor large-effect mutations and drive HLHS etiology but show limited transmission. Network proximity of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and liver carcinoma-associated genes to HLHS genes suggested a mechanistic basis for their comorbidity with HLHS. Interactome genes showed tissue-specificity for sites of extracardiac anomalies (placenta, liver and brain). The HLHS interactome shared significant overlaps with the interactomes of ciliopathy and microcephaly-associated genes, with the shared genes respectively enriched for genes involved in intellectual disability and/or developmental delay, and neuronal death pathways. This supported the increased burden of ciliopathy variants and prevalence of neurological abnormalities observed among HLHS patients with developmental delay and microcephaly respectively.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0531.v1
Subject: Biology, Anatomy & Morphology Keywords: A.thaliana; HaloTag; RNA-binding proteins; RNA pulldown assay; RNA-protein complexes; cold shock domain protein
Online: 23 July 2021 (09:32:28 CEST)
Study of RNA-protein interactions and identification of RNA targets are among the key aspects of understanding the RNA biology. Currently, various methods are available to investigate these interactions, in particular, RNA pulldown assay. In the present paper, a method based on the HaloTag technology is presented that is called Halo-RPD (HaloTag RNA PullDown). The proposed protocol uses plants with stable fusion protein expression and the MagneBeads magnetic beads to capture RNA-protein complexes directly from the cytoplasmic lysate of transgenic A. thaliana plants. The key stages described in the paper are as follows: 1) preparation of the magnetic beads 2) tissue homogenization and collection of control samples 3) precipitation and wash of RNA-protein complexes; 4) evaluation of protein binding efficacy; 5) RNA isolation; 6) analysis of the obtained RNA. Recommendations for better NGS assay designs are provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201803.0071.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Other Keywords: biosensor; S-layer protein; crystalline 2D protein lattice; lipid membrane platform; linking matrix; bioreceptor; biomimetics
Online: 9 March 2018 (12:10:28 CET)
The present Feature Paper highlights the application of bacterial surface (S-) layer proteins as versatile components for the fabrication of biosensors. One technologically relevant feature of S‑layer proteins is their ability to self-assemble on many surfaces and interfaces to form a crystalline 2D protein lattice. The S-layer lattice on the surface of a biosensor becomes part of the interface architecture, linking the bioreceptor to the transducer interface, which may cause signal amplification. The S-layer lattice as ultrathin, highly porous structure with functional groups in a well-defined special distribution and orientation and an overall anti-fouling characteristics can significantly raise the limit in terms of variety and ease of bioreceptor immobilization, compactness of bioreceptor molecule arrangement, sensitivity, specificity, and detection limit for many types of biosensors. The present paper discusses and summarizes examples for the successful implementation of S-layer lattices on biosensor surfaces in order to give a comprehensive overview on the application potential of these bioinspired S-layer protein-based biosensors.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0234.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: osteoarthritis; articular cartilage; degeneration; regeneration; therapeutic protein; growth factor; protein production platform; protein packaging cell line; transforming growth factor β (TGF-β); GP2-293 cells
Online: 23 August 2019 (03:33:49 CEST)
This article focuses on the current state-of-the-art in the area of cellular and molecular biotechnology for over-production of clinically relevant therapeutic growth factors and how the technology can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). Transfected and irradiated protein packaging cell lines may be used as “cellular factories” for large-scale production of therapeutic proteins and pro-anabolic growth factors, particularly in the context of cartilage matrix regeneration. We discuss the potential for new innovations in regenerative medicine for degenerative diseases of synovial joints using mammalian protein production platforms, specifically protein packaging cell lines, for over-producing growth factors for cartilage tissue regeneration and give recent examples. Mammalian protein production platforms that incorporate protein packaging cell lines are superior to bacterial expression systems and are likely to have a significant impact on the development of new biological therapies for treating focal cartilage defects and more generally for the treatment of degenerative joint diseases such as OA.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202209.0079.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Hepatitis C virus; core protein; TNFα
Online: 6 September 2022 (03:38:14 CEST)
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) core protein is a multifunctional protein that is involved in proliferation, inflammation and apoptosis mechanism of hepatocytes. HCV core protein genetic variability has been implicated in various outcomes of HCV pathology and treatment. In the present study, we aimed to analyze the role of HCV core protein in tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα)-induced death under the viewpoint of HCV genetic variability. Immortalized hepatocytes (IHH), and not the Huh7.5 hepatoma cell line, stably expressing HCV subtype 4a and HCV subtype 4f core proteins showed that only HCV 4a core protein could increase sensitivity to TNFα-induced death. Development of two transgenic mice expressing the two different core proteins under the liver-specific promoter of transthyretin (TTR) allowed for the in vivo assessment of the role of core in TNFα-induced death. Using the TNFα-dependent model of lipopolysaccharide/D-galactosamine (LPS/Dgal) we were able to recapitulate the in vitro results in IHH cells in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing HCV 4a core protein were more susceptible to the LPS/Dgal model while mice expressing HCV 4f core protein had the same susceptibility as their littermate controls. Transcriptome analysis in liver biopsies from these transgenic mice gave insights into HCV core molecular pathogenesis, while linking HCV core protein genetic variability to differential pathology in vivo.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202112.0492.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: glideosome-associated connector; protein; crystallography; structure
Online: 30 December 2021 (17:13:26 CET)
A model for parasitic motility has been proposed in which parasite filamentous actin (F-actin) is attached to surface adhesins by a large component of the glideosome, known as the glideosome-associated connector protein (GAC). This large 286 kDa protein interacts at the cytoplasmic face of the plasma membrane with the phosphatidic acid-enriched inner leaflet and cytosolic tails of surface adhesins to connect them to the parasite actomyosin system. GAC is observed initially to the conoid at the apical pole and re-localised with the glideosome to the basal pole in gliding parasite. GAC presumably functions in force transmission to surface adhesins in the plasma membrane and not in force generation. Proper connection between F-actin and the adhesins is as important for motility and invasion as motor operation itself. This notion highlights the need for new structural information on GAC interactions, which has eluded the field since its discovery. We have obtained crystals that diffracted to 2.6-2.9 Å for full-length GAC from Toxoplasma gondii in native and selenomethionine-labelled forms. These crystals belong to space group P212121, cell dimensions are roughly a=119 Å, b=123Å, c=221Å, α=90, β=90, γ=90 with 1 molecule per asymmetric unit, suggesting a more compact conformation than previously proposed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0560.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Microbiology Keywords: Renaturation; Denaturation; Phage; Fusion protein; Podoviruses
Online: 30 November 2021 (11:35:53 CET)
In antimicrobial-peptide/protein engineering, understanding the peptide/protein’s adaptability to harsh environmental conditions such as urea, proteases, fluctuating temperatures, high salts provide enormous insight into the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the engineered peptide/protein and its ability to survive the harsh internal environment of the human body such as the gut or the harsh external environment to which they are applied. A previous work in our laboratory demonstrated that our cloned Eɛ34 TSP showed potent antimicrobial activity against Salmonella newington, and more so, could prevent biofilm formation on decellularized tissue. In this work, the effects of urea-acid on the Eɛ34 stability is studied, and the results demonstrates that at lower pHs of 3 and 4 with urea the protein was denatured into monomeric species. However, the protein withstood urea denaturation above pH of 5 and thus remained as trimeric protein. The mechanism of denaturation of Eɛ34 TSP seems to show that urea denatures proteins by depleting hydrophobic core of the protein by directly binding to the amide units via hydrogen bonds. The results of our in-silico investigation determined that urea binds with Eɛ34 TSP with relative free energies range of -3.4 to -2.9 kcal/mol at the putative globular head binding domain of the protein. The urea molecules interacts with with the protein’s predicted hydrophobic core, thus, disrupting and exposing the shielded hydrophobic moieties of Eɛ34 TSP to the solvent. We further showed that after the unfolding of Eɛ34 TSP via urea-acid, renaturation of the protein to its native conformation was possible within few hours. This unique characteristic of refolding of Eɛ34 TSP which is similar to that of the P22 phage tailspike protein is of special interest to protein scientists and can also be exploited in antimicrobial-protein engineering.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0483.v1
Subject: Engineering, Biomedical & Chemical Engineering Keywords: Filtration; Flux density function; Protein crystals
Online: 20 May 2021 (11:07:11 CEST)
Development and engineering of protein crystals regarding mechanical stability and crystallizability occurs on a small scale. Later in the process chain of industrial production however, filtration properties are important to separate the crystals from mother liquor. Many protein crystals are sensitive to mechanical stress which is why it is important to know the filtration behavior early on. In this study we analyze settling and filtration behavior of isometric, rod-like and needle shaped lysozyme and rod-like alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) crystals on a small scale using an optical analytical centrifuge. Needle shaped lysozyme and rod-like ADH crystals show compressible material behavior. With the results from settling and filtration experiments the flux density function is calculated and modeled which can be used to describe the whole settling and permeation process in dependency of the solids volume fraction. This is also an issue for simulations of industrial processes.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0379.v1
Subject: Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry Keywords: Flow Chemistry; Photochemistry; Radiochemistry; Protein Conjugation.
Online: 20 January 2021 (14:55:28 CET)
89Zr-radiolabelled proteins functionalised with desferrioxamine B are a cornerstone of diagnostic positron emission tomography. In the clinical setting, 89Zr-labelled proteins are produced manually. Here, we explore the potential of using a microfluidic photochemical flow reactor to prepare 89Zr-radiolabelled proteins. The light-induced functionalisation and 89Zr-radiolabelling of human serum albumin ([89Zr]ZrDFO-PEG3-Et-azepin-HSA) was achieved by flow photochemistry with a decay-corrected radiochemical yield (RCY) of 31.2±1.3% (n = 3) and radiochemical purity >90%. In comparison, a manual batch photoreactor synthesis produced the same radiotracer in a decay-corrected RCY of 59.6±3.6% (n = 3) with an equivalent RCP >90%. The results indicate that photoradiolabelling in flow is a feasible platform for the automated production of protein-based 89Zr-radiotracers, but further refinement of the apparatus, and optimisation of the method is required before the flow process is competitive with manual reactions.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0390.v2
Subject: Life Sciences, Biochemistry Keywords: Recombinant protein; Protease; DPP4; SARS-CoV-2; MERS-CoV
Online: 17 November 2020 (11:38:02 CET)
Proteases catalyse irreversible posttranslational modifications that often alter a biological function of the substrate. The protease dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) is a pharmacological target in type 2 diabetes therapy primarily because it inactivates glucagon-like protein-1. DPP4 also has roles in steatosis, insulin resistance, cancers and inflammatory and fibrotic diseases. In addition, DPP4 binds to the spike protein of MERS virus, causing it to be the human cell surface receptor for that virus. DPP4 has been identified as a potential binding target of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, so this question requires experimental investigation. Understanding protein structure and function requires reliable protocols for production and purification. We developed such strategies for baculovirus generated soluble recombinant human DPP4 (residues 29-766) produced in insect cells. Purification used differential ammonium sulphate precipitation, hydrophobic interaction chromatography, dye affinity chromatography in series with immobilised metal affinity chromatography, and ion exchange chromatography. The binding affinities of DPP4 to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein and its receptor binding domain (RBD) were measured using surface plasmon resonance and ELISA. This optimised DPP4 purification procedure yielded 1 to 1.8 mg of pure fully active soluble DPP4 protein per litre of insect cell culture with specific activity >30 U/mg, indicative of high purity. No specific binding between DPP4 and CoV-2 spike protein was detected by surface plasmon resonance or ELISA. In summary, a procedure for high purity high yield soluble human DPP4 was achieved and used to show that, unlike MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV-2 does not bind human DPP4.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202002.0284.v1
Online: 20 February 2020 (05:27:15 CET)
Wild game consumption has been associated with health benefits, but the influence on protein metabolism remains unknown. We compared the feeding-induced response to 2 oz of free-range reindeer (FR) versus commercial beef (CB) using stable isotope methodology. Seven male and female participants (age: 38±12 years; body mass index: 24±3 kg/m2) completed two studies using a randomized, crossover design in which they ingested 2 oz of FR or CB. L-[ring 2H5]phenylalanine & L-[ring 2H2]tyrosine were delivered via primed, continuous intravenous infusion. Blood samples were collected during the basal period and following consumption of FR or CB. Feeding-induced changes in whole body protein synthesis (PS), protein breakdown (PB), and net protein balance (NB) were determined via analysis of plasma samples for phenyalanine and tyrosine enrichment by gas chromatography mass spectrometry; plasma essential amino acid concentrations were determined by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry. Plasma post-prandial essential amino acid (EAA) concentrations were higher with the ingestion of FR compared to CB (P=0.02). The acute feeding-induced response in PS was not different in either trial, but PB was reduced with the ingestion of FR compared to CB (P<0.0001). The difference in PB contributed to a superior level of NB (P<0.0001). When protein kinetics were normalized relative to the amino acids ingested, PB/EAAs and total amino acids ingested were reduced (P<0.01 and 0.001, respectively) in FR compared to CB; contributing to greater NB/total amino acid ingested (P<0.0001) between FR and CB. We conclude that the nutrient profiles of FR may have a more favorable benefit on protein metabolism compared to CB. These data support the potential health benefits of wild game in the preservation of whole-body protein.
Online: 28 November 2019 (09:38:55 CET)
The current framework of evolutionary theory postulates that evolution relies on random mutations generating a diversity of phenotypes on which natural selection acts. This framework was established using a top-down approach as it originated from Darwinism, which is based on observations made on complex multicellular organisms, and then modified to fit a DNA-centric view. In this article, I argue that, based on a bottom-up approach starting from the physicochemical properties of nucleic and amino acid polymers, we should reject the facts that: i) natural selection plays a dominant role in evolution, and ii) the probability of mutations is independent of the generated phenotype. I will show that the adaptation of a phenotype to an environment does not correspond to organism fitness but rather corresponds to maintaining the genome stability and integrity. In a stable environment, the phenotype maintains the stability of its originating genome, and both (genome and phenotype) are reproduced identically. In an unstable environment (i.e., corresponding to variations in physicochemical parameters above a physiological range), the phenotype no longer maintains the stability of its originating genome but instead influences its variations. Indeed, environment- and cellular-dependent physicochemical parameters define the probability of mutations in terms of frequency, nature and location in a genome. Evolution is non-deterministic because it relies on probabilistic physicochemical rules, and evolution is driven by a bidirectional interplay between genome and phenotype, the phenotype ensuring the stability of the genotype in a cellular and environment physicochemical parameter-depending manner.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201904.0250.v1
Subject: Life Sciences, Molecular Biology Keywords: prebiotic chemistry; protein synthesis; hairpin RNA
Online: 22 April 2019 (12:11:21 CEST)
A model of the early RNA world is proposed. Nearly self-complementary sequences that could adopt double-stranded, smallhairpin-like (shRNA), structures would be selected for due to their greater hydrolytic stability. These would be phosphorylated attheir 5' ends. We suppose that dehydrating conditions arise (perhaps intermittently) in the early environment allowing amino acidsto condense with these RNA molecules. The resulting phosphate-amino acid anhydrides would play the role of early, charged,tRNAs. A crude genetic code could emerge owing to the greater resistance of some amino acid-shRNA pairings to hydrolysisrelative to others. Early on there is no division of labor between mRNAs and tRNAs; the same molecules perform both functions.But the first systems would have encoded little in the way of protein sequence information. Rather they would have served as catalysts for the random polymerization of amino acids. It is speculated that the selective advantage inhering in such systems lay intheir ability to supply raw materials for the formation of coacervates within which the various molecules essential to proto-lifecould be concentrated. This would greatly facilitate the necessary chemistries. The evolution of homochiral protein and RNA populations is discussed. An appealing feature of this model is its ability to explain the transition from phosphorylated amino acids to the 3' ester-linked aminoacyl-tRNAs employed by modern life.