2017-01-09Herein we present a chimeric recombinant spider silk protein (spidroin) whose aqueous solubility equals that of native spider silk dope and a spinning device that is based solely on aqueous buffers, shear forces and lowered pH. The process recapitulates the complex molecular mechanisms that dictate native spider silk spinning and is highly efficient; spidroin from one liter of bacterial shake-flask culture is enough to spin a kilometer of the hitherto toughest as-spun artificial spider silk fiber.
2017-01-09The rapid increase of antibiotic resistance has created an urgent need to develop novel antimicrobial agents. Here we describe the crystal structure of the promising bacterial target phospho-N-acetylmuramoyl–pentapeptide translocase (MraY) in complex with the nucleoside antibiotic tunicamycin. The structure not only reveals the mode of action of several related natural-product antibiotics but also gives an indication on the binding mode of the MraY UDP–MurNAc–pentapeptide and undecaprenyl-phosphate substrates.
2016-12-26Cells express several G-protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) at their surfaces, transmitting simultaneous extracellular hormonal and chemical signals into cells. A comprehensive understanding of mechanisms underlying the integrated signaling response induced by distinct GPCRs is thus required. Here we found that the β2-adrenergic receptor, which induces a short cAMP response, prolongs nuclear cAMP and protein kinase A (PKA) activation by promoting endosomal cAMP production in parathyroid hormone (PTH) receptor signaling through the stimulatory action of G protein Gβγ subunits on adenylate cyclase type 2.
2016-12-19Hundreds of human proteins are modified by reversible palmitoylation of cysteine residues (S-palmitoylation), but the regulation of depalmitoylation is poorly understood. Here, we develop 'depalmitoylation probes' (DPPs), small-molecule fluorophores, to monitor the endogenous activity levels of 'erasers' of S-palmitoylation, acylprotein thioesterases (APTs). Live-cell analysis with DPPs reveals rapid growth-factor-mediated inhibition of the depalmitoylation activity of APTs, exposing a novel regulatory mechanism of dynamic lipid signaling.
2016-11-28The iron (Fe) proteins of molybdenum (Mo) and vanadium (V) nitrogenases mimic carbon monoxide (CO) dehydrogenase in catalyzing the interconversion between CO2 and CO under ambient conditions. Catalytic reduction of CO2 to CO is achieved in vitro and in vivo upon redox changes of the Fe-protein-associated [Fe4S4] clusters. These observations establish the Fe protein as a model for investigation of CO2 activation while suggesting its biotechnological adaptability for recycling the greenhouse gas into useful products.