Molecular basis for PICS-mediated piRNA biogenesis and cell division

By incorporating two mutually exclusive factors, PID-1 and TOST-1, C. elegans PICS complex plays important roles in piRNA biogenesis, chromosome segregation and cell division. We firstly map the interaction network between PICS subunits, then uncover the mechanisms underlying the interactions between PICS subunits by solving several complex structures, including those of TOFU-6/PICS-1, ERH-2/PICS-1, and ERH-2/TOST-1. Our biochemical experiment also demonstrates that PICS exists as an octamer consisting … Continue reading Molecular basis for PICS-mediated piRNA biogenesis and cell division

Incomplete tricarboxylic acid cycle and proton gradient in Pandoravirus massiliensis

The discovery of Acanthamoeba polyphaga Mimivirus, the first isolated giant virus of amoeba, challenged the historical hallmarks defining a virus. Giant virion sizes are known to reach up to 2.3 µm, making them visible by optical microscopy. Their large genome sizes of up to 2.5 Mb can encode proteins involved in the translation apparatus. We have investigated possible energy production in Pandoravirus massiliensis. Mitochondrial membrane markers allowed for the detection … Continue reading Incomplete tricarboxylic acid cycle and proton gradient in Pandoravirus massiliensis

Structural basis of human PDZD8–Rab7

Fig: The overall structure of the human PDZD8 CC–Rab7 complex. (A) Schematic representation of the domain structures of human PDZD8 and Rab7. The domains with the structures determined in this study are indicated with blue arrows. (B) 2.1 Å 2F0–Fc electron density maps with the final model superimposed. The Rab7 structure is shown in green and the PDZD8 CC in yellow. (C) Overall structure of the PDZD8 … Continue reading Structural basis of human PDZD8–Rab7

Comparison of DNA and RNA sequencing of total nucleic acids

Although metagenomics and metatranscriptomics are commonly used to identify bacteria and viruses in human samples, few studies directly compare these strategies. We wished to compare DNA and RNA sequencing of bacterial and viral metagenomes and metatranscriptomes in the human cervix. Total nucleic acids from six human cervical samples were subjected to DNA and RNA sequencing. The effect of DNase-treatment before reverse transcription to cDNA were … Continue reading Comparison of DNA and RNA sequencing of total nucleic acids

Structural basis of RNA polymerase inhibition by viral and host factors

RNA polymerase inhibition plays an important role in the regulation of transcription in response to environmental changes and in the virus-host relationship. Here we present the high-resolution structures of two such RNAP-inhibitor complexes that provide the structural bases underlying RNAP inhibition in archaea. The Acidianus two-tailed virus encodes the RIP factor that binds inside the DNA-binding channel of RNAP, inhibiting transcription by occlusion of binding … Continue reading Structural basis of RNA polymerase inhibition by viral and host factors

High-throughput identification of viral termini and packaging mechanisms

Viruses that infect bacteria (phages) are increasingly recognized for their importance in diverse ecosystems but identifying and annotating them in large-scale sequence datasets is still challenging. Although efficient scalable virus identification tools are emerging, defining the exact ends (termini) of phage genomes is still particularly difficult. The proper identification of termini is crucial, as it helps in characterizing the packaging mechanism of bacteriophages and provides … Continue reading High-throughput identification of viral termini and packaging mechanisms

One-step construction of circularized nanodiscs using SpyCatcher-SpyTag

Circularized nandiscs (cNDs) exhibit superb monodispersity and have the potential to transform functional and structural studies of membrane proteins. In particular, cNDs can stabilize large patches of lipid bilayers for the reconstitution of complex membrane biochemical reactions, enabling the capture of crucial intermediates involved in synaptic transmission and viral entry. However, previous methods for building cNDs require multiple steps and suffer from low yields. We … Continue reading One-step construction of circularized nanodiscs using SpyCatcher-SpyTag

Membrane anchoring facilitates colocalization of enzymes

Plant metabolism depends on cascade reactions mediated by dynamic enzyme assemblies known as metabolons. In this context, the cytochrome P450 (P450) superfamily catalyze key reactions underpinning the unique diversity of bioactive compounds. In contrast to their soluble bacterial counterparts, eukaryotic P450s are anchored to the endoplasmic reticulum membrane and serve as metabolon nucleation sites. Hence, membrane anchoring appears to play a pivotal role in the … Continue reading Membrane anchoring facilitates colocalization of enzymes

Inducible and tunable gene expression systems for Pseudomonas putida KT2440

Inducible and tunable expression systems are essential for the microbial production of biochemicals. Five different carbon source- and substrate-inducible promoter systems were developed and further evaluated inPseudomonas putida KT2440 by analyzing the expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) as a reporter protein. These systems can be induced by low-cost compounds such as glucose, 3-hydroxypropionic acid (3HP), levulinic acid (LA), and xylose. 3HP-inducible HpdR/PhpdH was also efficiently induced by … Continue reading Inducible and tunable gene expression systems for Pseudomonas putida KT2440

TAZ as a novel regulator of oxidative damage in decidualization

TAZ, as a crucial effector of Hippo pathway, is required for spermatogenesis and fertilization, but little is known regarding its physiological function in uterine decidualization. In this study, we showed that TAZ was localized in the decidua, where it promoted stromal cell proliferation followed by accelerated G1/S phase transition via Ccnd3 and Cdk4 and induced the expression or activity of stromal differentiation markers Prl8a2, Prl3c1 … Continue reading TAZ as a novel regulator of oxidative damage in decidualization