Publications

Abstract (Expand)

Negative feedback control is a ubiquitous feature of biochemical systems, as is time delay between a signal and its response. Negative feedback in conjunction with time delay can lead to oscillations. In a cellular context, it might be beneficial to mitigate oscillatory behaviour to avoid recurring stress situations. This can be achieved by increasing the distance between the parameters of the system and certain thresholds, beyond which oscillations occur. This distance has been termed resistance. Here, we prove that in a generic three-dimensional negative feedback system the resistance of the system is modified by nested autoinhibitory feedbacks. Our system features negative feedbacks through both input-inhibition as well as output-activation, a signalling component with mass conservation and perfect adaptation. We show that these features render the system applicable to biological data, exemplified by the high osmolarity glycerol system in yeast and the mammalian p53 system. Output-activation is better supported by data than input-inhibition and also shows distinguished properties with respect to the system's stimulus. Our general approach might be useful in designing synthetic systems in which oscillations can be tuned by synthetic autoinhibitory feedbacks.

Authors: J. Schaber, A. Lapytsko, D. Flockerzi

Date Published: No date defined

Journal: J R Soc Interface

Abstract

Not specified

Authors: None

Date Published: 24th Oct 2017

Journal: Not specified

Abstract (Expand)

Ataxia telangiectasia (A-T) is a rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by progressive neurodegeneration and cerebellar ataxia. A-T is causally linked to defects in ATM, a master regulator of the response to and repair of DNA double-strand breaks. The molecular basis of cerebellar atrophy and neurodegeneration in A-T patients is unclear. Here we report and examine the significance of increased PARylation, low NAD+, and mitochondrial dysfunction in ATM-deficient neurons, mice, and worms. Treatments that replenish intracellular NAD+ reduce the severity of A-T neuropathology, normalize neuromuscular function, delay memory loss, and extend lifespan in both animal models. Mechanistically, treatments that increase intracellular NAD+ also stimulate neuronal DNA repair and improve mitochondrial quality via mitophagy. This work links two major theories on aging, DNA damage accumulation, and mitochondrial dysfunction through nuclear DNA damage-induced nuclear-mitochondrial signaling, and demonstrates that they are important pathophysiological determinants in premature aging of A-T, pointing to therapeutic interventions.

Authors: Evandro Fei Fang, Henok Kassahun, Deborah L. Croteau, Morten Scheibye-Knudsen, Krisztina Marosi, Huiming Lu, Raghavendra A. Shamanna, Sumana Kalyanasundaram, Ravi Chand Bollineni, Mark A. Wilson, Wendy B. Iser, Bradley N. Wollman, Marya Morevati, Jun Li, Jesse S. Kerr, Qiping Lu, Tyler B. Waltz, Jane Tian, David A. Sinclair, Mark P. Mattson, Marianne B. Nilsen, Vilhelm A. Bohr

Date Published: 1st Oct 2016

Journal: Cell Metabolism

Abstract (Expand)

BACKGROUND AND METHODOLOGY: Recently, we reported on a new class of naphthoquinone derivatives showing a promising anti-trypanosomatid profile in cell-based experiments. The lead of this series (B6, 2-phenoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone) showed an ED(50) of 80 nM against Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, and a selectivity index of 74 with respect to mammalian cells. A multitarget profile for this compound is easily conceivable, because quinones, as natural products, serve plants as potent defense chemicals with an intrinsic multifunctional mechanism of action. To disclose such a multitarget profile of B6, we exploited a chemical proteomics approach. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A functionalized congener of B6 was immobilized on a solid matrix and used to isolate target proteins from Trypanosoma brucei lysates. Mass analysis delivered two enzymes, i.e. glycosomal glycerol kinase and glycosomal glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, as potential molecular targets for B6. Both enzymes were recombinantly expressed and purified, and used for chemical validation. Indeed, B6 was able to inhibit both enzymes with IC(50) values in the micromolar range. The multifunctional profile was further characterized in experiments using permeabilized Trypanosoma brucei cells and mitochondrial cell fractions. It turned out that B6 was also able to generate oxygen radicals, a mechanism that may additionally contribute to its observed potent trypanocidal activity. CONCLUSIONS AND SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, B6 showed a multitarget mechanism of action, which provides a molecular explanation of its promising anti-trypanosomatid activity. Furthermore, the forward chemical genetics approach here applied may be viable in the molecular characterization of novel multitarget ligands.

Authors: S. Pieretti, Jurgen Haanstra, M. Mazet, R. Perozzo, C. Bergamini, F. Prati, R. Fato, G. Lenaz, G. Capranico, R. Brun, Barbara Bakker, P. A. Michels, L. Scapozza, M. L. Bolognesi, A. Cavalli

Date Published: 17th Jan 2013

Journal: PLoS Negl Trop Dis

Abstract (Expand)

The Twin-arginine Translocation (Tat) pathway is known to translocate fully folded proteins across bacterial, archaeal and organellar membranes. To date, the mechanisms involved in processing, proofreading and quality control of Tat substrates have remained largely elusive. Bacillus subtilis is an industrially relevant Gram-positive model bacterium. The Tat pathway in B. subtilis differs from that of other well-studied organisms in that it is composed of two complexes operating in parallel. To obtain a better understanding of this pathway in B. subtilis and to identify Tat-associated proteins, the B. subtilis 'Tat proteome' was investigated by quantitative proteomics. Metabolically labeled proteins from cytoplasmic, membrane and extracellular fractions were analyzed by LC-MS/MS. Changes in the amounts of identified peptides allowed for quantitative comparisons of their abundance in tat mutant strains. The observed differences were suggestive of indirect or direct protein-protein relationships. The rich data set generated was then approached in hypothesis-driving and hypothesis-driven manners. The hypothesis-driving approach led to the identification of a novel delayed biofilm phenotype of certain tat mutant strains, whereas the hypothesis-driven approach identified the membrane protein QcrA as a new Tat substrate of B. subtilis. Thus, our quantitative proteomics analyses have unveiled novel Tat pathway-dependent phenotypes in Bacillus.

Authors: Vivianne J Goosens, Andreas Otto, Corinna Glasner, Carmine G Monteferrante, René van der Ploeg, Michael Hecker, Dörte Becher, Jan Maarten Van Dijl

Date Published: 22nd Dec 2012

Journal: J. Proteome Res.

Abstract (Expand)

Genes are regulated because their expression involves a fitness cost to the organism. The production of proteins by transcription and translation is a well-known cost factor, but the enzymatic activity of the proteins produced can also reduce fitness, depending on the internal state and the environment of the cell. Here, we map the fitness costs of a key metabolic network, the lactose utilization pathway in Escherichia coli. We measure the growth of several regulatory lac operon mutants in different environments inducing expression of the lac genes. We find a strikingly nonlinear fitness landscape, which depends on the production rate and on the activity rate of the lac proteins. A simple fitness model of the lac pathway, based on elementary biophysical processes, predicts the growth rate of all observed strains. The nonlinearity of fitness is explained by a feedback loop: production and activity of the lac proteins reduce growth, but growth also affects the density of these molecules. This nonlinearity has important consequences for molecular function and evolution. It generates a cliff in the fitness landscape, beyond which populations cannot maintain growth. In viable populations, there is an expression barrier of the lac genes, which cannot be exceeded in any stationary growth process. Furthermore, the nonlinearity determines how the fitness of operon mutants depends on the inducer environment. We argue that fitness nonlinearities, expression barriers, and gene-environment interactions are generic features of fitness landscapes for metabolic pathways, and we discuss their implications for the evolution of regulation.

Authors: Lilia Perfeito, Stéphane Ghozzi, Johannes Berg, Karin Schnetz, Michael Lässig

Date Published: 21st Jul 2011

Journal: PLoS Genet.

Abstract (Expand)

Defects of the mitochondrial K(+)/H(+) exchanger (KHE) result in increased matrix K(+) content, swelling, and autophagic decay of the organelle. We have previously identified the yeast Mdm38 and its human homologue LETM1, the candidate gene for seizures in Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, as essential components of the KHE. In a genome-wide screen for multicopy suppressors of the pet(-) (reduced growth on nonfermentable substrate) phenotype of mdm38Delta mutants, we now characterized the mitochondrial carriers PIC2 and MRS3 as moderate suppressors and MRS7 and YDL183c as strong suppressors. Like Mdm38p, Mrs7p and Ydl183cp are mitochondrial inner membrane proteins and constituents of approximately 500-kDa protein complexes. Triple mutant strains (mdm38Delta mrs7Delta ydl183cDelta) exhibit a remarkably stronger pet(-) phenotype than mdm38Delta and a general growth reduction. They totally lack KHE activity, show a dramatic drop of mitochondrial membrane potential, and heavy fragmentation of mitochondria and vacuoles. Nigericin, an ionophore with KHE activity, fully restores growth of the triple mutant, indicating that loss of KHE activity is the underlying cause of its phenotype. Mdm38p or overexpression of Mrs7p, Ydl183cp, or LETM1 in the triple mutant rescues growth and KHE activity. A LETM1 human homologue, HCCR-1/LETMD1, described as an oncogene, partially suppresses the yeast triple mutant phenotype. Based on these results, we propose that Ydl183p and the Mdm38p homologues Mrs7p, LETM1, and HCCR-1 are involved in the formation of an active KHE system.

Authors: Ludmila Zotova, Markus Aleschko, Gerhard Sponder, Roland Baumgartner, Siegfried Reipert, Monika Prinz, Rudolf Schweyen, Karin Nowikovsky

Date Published: 2nd Mar 2010

Journal: J. Biol. Chem.

Abstract (Expand)

Glycolysis is one of the most important metabolic pathways in heterotrophic organisms. Several genes encoding glycolytic enzymes are essential in many bacteria even under conditions when neither glycolytic nor gluconeogenic activities are required. In this study, a screening for in vivo interaction partners of glycolytic enzymes of the soil bacterium Bacillus subtilis was used to provide a rationale for essentiality of glycolytic enzymes. Glycolytic enzymes proved to be in close contact with several other proteins, among them a high proportion of essential proteins. Among these essential interaction partners, other glycolytic enzymes were most prominent. Two-hybrid studies confirmed interactions of phosphofructokinase with phosphoglyceromutase and enolase. Such a complex of glycolytic enzymes might allow direct substrate channeling of glycolytic intermediates. Moreover we found associations of glycolytic enzymes with several proteins known or suspected to be involved in RNA processing and degradation. One of these proteins, Rny (YmdA), which has so far not been functionally characterized, is required for the processing of the mRNA of the glycolytic gapA operon. Two-hybrid analyses confirmed the interactions between the glycolytic enzymes phosphofructokinase and enolase and the enzymes involved in RNA processing, RNase J1, Rny, and polynucleotide phosphorylase. Moreover RNase J1 interacts with its homologue RNase J2. We suggest that this complex of mRNA processing and glycolytic enzymes is the B. subtilis equivalent of the RNA degradosome. Our findings suggest that the functional interaction of glycolytic enzymes with essential proteins may be the reason why they are indispensable.

Authors: Fabian M Commichau, Fabian M Rothe, Christina Herzberg, Eva Wagner, Daniel Hellwig, Martin Lehnik-Habrink, Elke Hammer, Uwe Voelker, Joerg Stuelke

Date Published: 3rd Feb 2009

Journal: Mol. Cell Proteomics

Abstract (Expand)

The computational reconstruction and analysis of cellular models of microbial metabolism is one of the great success stories of systems biology. The extent and quality of metabolic network reconstructions is, however, limited by the current state of biochemical knowledge. Can experimental high-throughput data be used to improve and expand network reconstructions to include unexplored areas of metabolism? Recent advances in experimental technology and analytical methods bring this aim an important step closer to realization. Data integration will play a particularly important part in exploiting the new experimental opportunities.

Authors: Rainer Breitling, Dennis Vitkup, Michael P Barrett

Date Published: 21st Nov 2007

Journal: Nat. Rev. Microbiol.

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