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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 26, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Chemotaxis is a fundamental process whereby bacteria seek out nutrient sources and avoid harmful chemicals. For the symbiotic soil bacteriumSinorhizobium meliloti, the chemotaxis system also plays an essential role in the interaction with its legume host. The chemotactic signaling cascade is initiated through interactions of an attractant or repellent compound with chemoreceptors or methyl‐accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs).S. melilotipossesses eight chemoreceptors to mediate chemotaxis. Six of these receptors are transmembrane proteins with periplasmic ligand‐binding domains (LBDs). The specific functions of McpW and McpZ are still unknown. Here, we report the crystal structure of the periplasmic domain of McpZ (McpZPD) at 2.7 Å resolution. McpZPD assumes a novel fold consisting of three concatenated four‐helix bundle modules. Through phylogenetic analyses, we discovered that this helical tri‐modular domain fold arose within the Rhizobiaceae family and is still evolving rapidly. The structure, offering a rare view of a ligand‐free dimeric MCP‐LBD, reveals a novel dimerization interface. Molecular dynamics calculations suggest ligand binding will induce conformational changes that result in large horizontal helix movements within the membrane‐proximal domains of the McpZPD dimer that are accompanied by a 5 Å vertical shift of the terminal helix toward the inner cell membrane. These results suggest a mechanism of transmembrane signaling for this family of MCPs that entails both piston‐type and scissoring movements. The predicted movements terminate in a conformation that closely mirrors those observed in related ligand‐bound MCP‐LBDs.

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  3. Abstract

    Disabled-2 (Dab2) is an adaptor protein that regulates the extent of platelet aggregation by two mechanisms. In the first mechanism, Dab2 intracellularly downregulates the integrin αIIbβ3receptor, converting it to a low affinity state for adhesion and aggregation processes. In the second mechanism, Dab2 is released extracellularly and interacts with the pro-aggregatory mediators, the integrin αIIbβ3receptor and sulfatides, blocking their association to fibrinogen and P-selectin, respectively. Our previous research indicated that a 35-amino acid region within Dab2, which we refer to as the sulfatide-binding peptide (SBP), contains two potential sulfatide-binding motifs represented by two consecutive polybasic regions. Using molecular docking, nuclear magnetic resonance, lipid-binding assays, and surface plasmon resonance, this work identifies the critical Dab2 residues within SBP that are responsible for sulfatide binding. Molecular docking suggested that a hydrophilic region, primarily mediated by R42, is responsible for interaction with the sulfatide headgroup, whereas the C-terminal polybasic region contributes to interactions with acyl chains. Furthermore, we demonstrated that, in Dab2 SBP, R42 significantly contributes to the inhibition of platelet P-selectin surface expression. The Dab2 SBP residues that interact with sulfatides resemble those described for sphingolipid-binding in other proteins, suggesting that sulfatide-binding proteins share common binding mechanisms.

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