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  1. Abstract

    Despite the great promise of genetic code expansion technology to modulate structures and functions of proteins, external addition of ncAAs is required in most cases and it often limits the utility of genetic code expansion technology, especially to noncanonical amino acids (ncAAs) with poor membrane internalization. Here, we report the creation of autonomous cells, both prokaryotic and eukaryotic, with the ability to biosynthesize and genetically encode sulfotyrosine (sTyr), an important protein post-translational modification with low membrane permeability. These engineered cells can produce site-specifically sulfated proteins at a higher yield than cells fed exogenously with the highest level of sTyr reported in the literature. We use these autonomous cells to prepare highly potent thrombin inhibitors with site-specific sulfation. By enhancing ncAA incorporation efficiency, this added ability of cells to biosynthesize ncAAs and genetically incorporate them into proteins greatly extends the utility of genetic code expansion methods.

  2. We consider the problem of matrix approximation and denoising induced by the Kronecker product decomposition. Specifically, we propose to approximate a given matrix by the sum of a few Kronecker products of matrices, which we refer to as the Kronecker product approximation (KoPA). Because the Kronecker product is an extensions of the outer product from vectors to matrices, KoPA extends the low rank matrix approximation, and includes it as a special case. Comparing with the latter, KoPA also offers a greater flexibility, since it allows the user to choose the configuration, which are the dimensions of the two smaller matrices forming the Kronecker product. On the other hand, the configuration to be used is usually unknown, and needs to be determined from the data in order to achieve the optimal balance between accuracy and parsimony. We propose to use extended information criteria to select the configuration. Under the paradigm of high dimensional analysis, we show that the proposed procedure is able to select the true configuration with probability tending to one, under suitable conditions on the signal-to-noise ratio. We demonstrate the superiority of KoPA over the low rank approximations through numerical studies, and several benchmark image examples.
  3. Photoactivatable fluorophores have been widely used for tracking molecular and cellular dynamics with subdiffraction resolution. In this work, we have prepared a series of photoactivatable probes using the oxime moiety as a new class of photolabile caging group in which the photoactivation process is mediated by a highly efficient photodeoximation reaction. Incorporation of the oxime caging group into fluorophores results in loss of fluorescence. Upon light irradiation in the presence of air, the oxime-caged fluorophores are oxidized to their carbonyl derivatives, restoring strong fluorophore fluorescence. To demonstrate the utility of these oxime-caged fluorophores, we have created probes that target different organelles for live-cell confocal imaging. We also carried out photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM) imaging under physiological conditions using low-power light activation in the absence of cytotoxic additives. Our studies show that oximes represent a new class of visible-light photocages that can be widely used for cellular imaging, sensing, and photo-controlled molecular release.
  4. Antibodies, particularly of the immunoglobulin G (IgG) isotype, are a group of biomolecules that are extensively used as affinity reagents for many applications in research, disease diagnostics, and therapy. Most of these applications require antibodies to be modified with specific functional moieties, including fluorophores, drugs, and proteins. Thus, a variety of methodologies have been developed for the covalent labeling of antibodies. The most common methods stably attach functional molecules to lysine or cysteine residues, which unavoidably results in heterogeneous products that cannot be further purified. In an effort to prepare homogeneous antibody conjugates, bioorthogonal handles have been site-specifically introduced via enzymatic treatment, genetic code expansion, or genetically encoded tagging, followed by functionalization using bioorthogonal conjugation reactions. The resulting homogeneous products have proven superior to their heterogeneous counterparts for both in vitro and in vivo usage. Nevertheless, additional chemical treatment or protein engineering of antibodies is required for incorporation of the bioorthogonal handles, processes that often affect antibody folding, stability, and/or production yield and cost. Accordingly, concurrent with advances in the fields of bioorthogonal chemistry and protein engineering, there is growing interest in site-specifically labeling native (nonengineered) antibodies without chemical or enzymatic treatments. In this review, we highlight recent strategies formore »producing site-specific native antibody conjugates and provide a comprehensive summary of the merits and disadvantages of these strategies.« less
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 7, 2023
  6. Protein-protein interactions play critical roles in biology, but the structures of many eukaryotic protein complexes are unknown, and there are likely many interactions not yet identified. We take advantage of advances in proteome-wide amino acid coevolution analysis and deep-learning–based structure modeling to systematically identify and build accurate models of core eukaryotic protein complexes within the Saccharomyces cerevisiae proteome. We use a combination of RoseTTAFold and AlphaFold to screen through paired multiple sequence alignments for 8.3 million pairs of yeast proteins, identify 1505 likely to interact, and build structure models for 106 previously unidentified assemblies and 806 that have not been structurally characterized. These complexes, which have as many as five subunits, play roles in almost all key processes in eukaryotic cells and provide broad insights into biological function.