skip to main content

Title: Iron–Sulfur Clusters in Zinc Finger Proteins
Zinc finger (ZF) proteins are proteins that use zinc as a structural cofactor. The common feature among all ZFs is that they contain repeats of four cysteine and/or histidine residues within their primary amino acid sequence. With the explosion of genome sequencing in the early 2000s, a large number of proteins were annotated as ZFs based solely upon amino acid sequence. As these proteins began to be characterizedexperimentally, it was discovered that some of these proteins contain iron–sulfur sites either in place of or in addition to zinc. Here, we describe methods to isolate and characterize one such ZF protein, cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor 30 (CPSF3O) with respect to its metal-loading and RNA-binding activity.
Authors:
; ;
Award ID(s):
1708732
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10065273
Journal Name:
Methods in enzymology
Volume:
599
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
101-137
ISSN:
1557-7988
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. In biological systems, chemical and physical transformations of engineered silver nanomaterials (AgENMs) are mediated, in part, by proteins and other biomolecules. Metalloprotein interactions with AgENMs are also central in understanding toxicity, antimicrobial, and resistance mechanisms. Despite their readily available thiolate and amine ligands, zinc finger (ZF) peptides have thus far escaped study in reaction with AgENMs and their Ag( i ) oxidative dissolution product. We report spectroscopic studies that characterize AgENM and Ag( i ) interactions with two ZF peptides that differ in sequence, but not in metal binding ligands: the ZF consensus peptide CP-CCHC and the C-terminal zinc fingermore »domain of HIV-1 nucleocapsid protein p7 (NCp7_C). Both ZF peptides catalyze AgENM (10 and 40 nm, citrate coated) dissolution and agglomeration, two important AgENM transformations that impact bioreactivity. AgENMs and their oxidative dissolution product, Ag( i )(aq), mediate changes to ZF peptide structure and metalation as well. Spectroscopic titrations of Ag( i ) into apo-ZF peptides show an Ag( i )–thiolate charge transfer band, indicative of Ag( i )–ZF binding. Fluorescence studies of the Zn( ii )–NCp_7 complex indicate that the Ag( i ) also effectively competes with the Zn( ii ) to drive Zn( ii ) displacement from the ZFs. Upon interaction with AgENMs, Zn( ii ) bound ZF peptides show a secondary structural change in circular dichroism spectroscopy toward an apo-like structure. The results suggest that Ag( i ) and AgENMs may alter ZF protein function within the cell.« less
  2. Abstract The Zinc Fingers and Homeoboxes (Zhx) proteins, Zhx1, Zhx2, and Zhx3, comprise a small family of proteins containing two amino-terminal C2–H2 zinc fingers and four or five carboxy-terminal homeodomains. These multiple homeodomains make Zhx proteins unusual because the majority of homeodomain-containing proteins contain a single homeodomain. Studies in cultured cells and mice suggest that Zhx proteins can function as positive or negative transcriptional regulators. Zhx2 regulates numerous hepatic genes, and all three Zhx proteins have been implicated in different cancers. Because Zhx proteins contain multiple predicted homeodomains, are associated with interesting physiological traits, and seem to be only presentmore »in the vertebrate lineage, we investigated the evolutionary history of this small family by comparing Zhx homologs from a wide range of chordates. This analysis indicates that the zinc finger motifs and homeodomains are highly similar among all Zhx proteins and also identifies additional Zhx-specific conserved regions, including a 13 amino acid amino-terminal motif that is nearly identical among all gnathostome Zhx proteins. We found single Zhx proteins in the sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and in the nonvertebrate chordates sea squirt (Ciona intestinalis) and lancelet (Branchiostoma floridae); these Zhx proteins are most similar to gnathostome Zhx3. Based on our analyses, we propose that a duplication of the primordial Zhx gene gave rise to Zhx3 and the precursor to Zhx1 and Zhx2. A subsequent tandem duplication of this precursor generated Zhx1 and Zhx2 found in gnathostomes.« less
  3. Most mammalian cells make both β- and γ-actin, two proteins which shape the cell’s internal skeleton and its ability to migrate. The molecules share over 99% of their sequence, yet they play distinct roles. In fact, deleting the β-actin gene in mice causes death in the womb, while the animals can survive with comparatively milder issues without their γ-actin gene. How two similar proteins can have such different biological roles is a long-standing mystery. A closer look could hold some clues: β- and γ-actin may contain the same blocks (or amino acids), but the genetic sequences that encode these proteinsmore »differ by about 13%. This is because different units of genetic information – known as synonymous codons – can encode the same amino acid. These ‘silent substitutions’ have no effect on the sequence of the proteins, yet a cell reads synonymous codons (and therefore produces proteins) at different speeds. To find out the impact of silent substitutions, Vedula et al. swapped the codons for the two proteins, forcing mouse cells to produce β-actin using γ-actin codons, and vice versa. Cells with non-manipulated γ-actin and those with β-actin made using γ-actin codons could move much faster than cells with β-actin. This suggested that silent substitutions were indeed affecting the role of the protein. Vedula et al. found that cells read γ-codons – and therefore made γ-actin – much more slowly than β-codons: this also affected how quickly the protein could be dispatched where it was needed in the cell. Slower production meant that bundles of γ-actin were shorter, which allowed cells to move faster by providing a weaker anchoring system. Overall, this work provides new links between silent substitutions and protein behavior, a relatively new research area which is likely to shed light on other protein families.« less
  4. Potassium ion (K+) channels have been observed in diverse viruses that infect eukaryotic marine and freshwater algae. However, experimental evidence for functional K+ channels among these alga-infecting viruses has thus far been restricted to members of the family Phycodnaviridae, which are large, double-stranded DNA viruses within the phylum Nucleocytoviricota. Recent sequencing projects revealed that alga-infecting members of Mimiviridae, another family within this phylum, may also contain genes encoding K+ channels. Here we examine the structural features and the functional properties of putative K+ channels from four cultivated members of Mimiviridae. While all four proteins contain variations of the conserved selectivitymore »filter sequence of K+ channels, structural prediction algorithms suggest that only two of them have the required number and position of two transmembrane domains that are present in all K+ channels. After in vitro translation and reconstitution of the four proteins in planar lipid bilayers, we confirmed that one of them, a 79 amino acid protein from the virus Tetraselmis virus 1 (TetV-1), forms a functional ion channel with a distinct selectivity for K+ over Na+ and a sensitivity to Ba2+. Thus, virus-encoded K+ channels are not limited to Phycodnaviridae but also occur in the members of Mimiviridae. The large sequence diversity among the viral K+ channels implies multiple events of lateral gene transfer.« less
  5. ABSTRACT Although the ϕX174 H protein is monomeric during procapsid morphogenesis, 10 proteins oligomerize to form a DNA translocating conduit (H-tube) for penetration. However, the timing and location of H-tube formation are unknown. The H-tube's highly repetitive primary and quaternary structures made it amenable to a genetic analysis using in-frame insertions and deletions. Length-altered proteins were characterized for the ability to perform the protein's three known functions: participation in particle assembly, genome translocation, and stimulation of viral protein synthesis. Insertion mutants were viable. Theoretically, these proteins would produce an assembled tube exceeding the capsid's internal diameter, suggesting that virions domore »not contain a fully assembled tube. Lengthened proteins were also used to test the biological significance of the crystal structure. Particles containing H proteins of two different lengths were significantly less infectious than both parents, indicating an inability to pilot DNA. Shortened H proteins were not fully functional. Although they could still stimulate viral protein synthesis, they either were not incorporated into virions or, if incorporated, failed to pilot the genome. Mutant proteins that failed to incorporate contained deletions within an 85-amino-acid segment, suggesting the existence of an incorporation domain. The revertants of shortened H protein mutants fell into two classes. The first class duplicated sequences neighboring the deletion, restoring wild-type length but not wild-type sequence. The second class suppressed an incorporation defect, allowing the use of the shortened protein. IMPORTANCE The H-tube crystal structure represents the first high-resolution structure of a virally encoded DNA-translocating conduit. It has similarities with other viral proteins through which DNA must travel, such as the α-helical barrel domains of P22 portal proteins and T7 proteins that form tail tube extensions during infection. Thus, the H protein serves as a paradigm for the assembly and function of long α-helical supramolecular structures and nanotubes. Highly repetitive in primary and quaternary structure, they are amenable to structure-function analyses using in-frame insertions and deletions as presented herein.« less