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  1. Vaccines derived from chimpanzee adenovirus Y25 (ChAdOx1), human adenovirus type 26 (HAdV-D26), and human adenovirus type 5 (HAdV-C5) are critical in combatting the severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic. As part of the largest vaccination campaign in history, ultrarare side effects not seen in phase 3 trials, including thrombosis with thrombocytopenia syndrome (TTS), a rare condition resembling heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT), have been observed. This study demonstrates that all three adenoviruses deployed as vaccination vectors versus SARS-CoV-2 bind to platelet factor 4 (PF4), a protein implicated in the pathogenesis of HIT. We have determined the structure of the ChAdOx1 viral vector and used it in state-of-the-art computational simulations to demonstrate an electrostatic interaction mechanism with PF4, which was confirmed experimentally by surface plasmon resonance. These data confirm that PF4 is capable of forming stable complexes with clinically relevant adenoviruses, an important step in unraveling the mechanisms underlying TTS.
  2. Rotary vacuolar adenosine triphosphatases (V-ATPases) drive transmembrane proton transport through a V o proton channel subcomplex. Despite recent high-resolution structures of several rotary ATPases, the dynamic mechanism of proton pumping remains elusive. Here, we determined a 2.7-Å cryo–electron microscopy (cryo-EM) structure of yeast V o proton channel in nanodisc that reveals the location of ordered water molecules along the proton path, details of specific protein-lipid interactions, and the architecture of the membrane scaffold protein. Moreover, we uncover a state of V o that shows the c -ring rotated by ~14°. Molecular dynamics simulations demonstrate that the two rotary states are in thermal equilibrium and depict how the protonation state of essential glutamic acid residues couples water-mediated proton transfer with c -ring rotation. Our cryo-EM models and simulations also rationalize a mechanism for inhibition of passive proton transport as observed for free V o that is generated as a result of V-ATPase regulation by reversible disassembly in vivo.
  3. Abstract

    A primary reason for the intense interest in structural biology is the fact that knowledge of structure can elucidate macromolecular functions in living organisms. Sustained effort has resulted in an impressive arsenal of tools for determining the static structures. But under physiological conditions, macromolecules undergo continuous conformational changes, a subset of which are functionally important. Techniques for capturing the continuous conformational changes underlying function are essential for further progress. Here, we present chemically-detailed conformational movies of biological function, extracted data-analytically from experimental single-particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) snapshots of ryanodine receptor type 1 (RyR1), a calcium-activated calcium channel engaged in the binding of ligands. The functional motions differ substantially from those inferred from static structures in the nature of conformationally active structural domains, the sequence and extent of conformational motions, and the way allosteric signals are transduced within and between domains. Our approach highlights the importance of combining experiment, advanced data analysis, and molecular simulations.