DNA repair. PAXX, a paralog of XRCC4 and XLF, interacts with Ku to promote DNA double-strand break repair.
Science. 2015 Jan 9;347(6218):185-8
Authors: Ochi T, Blackford AN, Coates J, Jhujh S, Mehmood S, Tamura N, Travers J, Wu Q, Draviam VM, Robinson CV, Blundell TL, Jackson SP
XRCC4 and XLF are two structurally related proteins that function in DNA double-strand break (DSB) repair. Here, we identify human PAXX (PAralog of XRCC4 and XLF, also called C9orf142) as a new XRCC4 superfamily member and show that its crystal structure resembles that of XRCC4. PAXX interacts directly with the DSB-repair protein Ku and is recruited to DNA-damage sites in cells. Using RNA interference and CRISPR-Cas9 to generate PAXX(-/-) cells, we demonstrate that PAXX functions with XRCC4 and XLF to mediate DSB repair and cell survival in response to DSB-inducing agents. Finally, we reveal that PAXX promotes Ku-dependent DNA ligation in vitro and assembly of core nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) factors on damaged chromatin in cells. These findings identify PAXX as a new component of the NHEJ machinery.
PMID: 25574025 [PubMed - in process]
The spatial organization of non-homologous end joining: from bridging to end joining.
DNA Repair (Amst). 2014 May;17:98-109
Authors: Ochi T, Wu Q, Blundell TL
Non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) repairs DNA double-strand breaks generated by DNA damage and also those occurring in V(D)J recombination in immunoglobulin and T cell receptor production in the immune system. In NHEJ DNA-PKcs assembles with Ku heterodimer on the DNA ends at double-strand breaks, in order to bring the broken ends together and to assemble other proteins, including DNA ligase IV (LigIV), required for DNA repair. Here we focus on structural aspects of the interactions of LigIV with XRCC4, XLF, Artemis and DNA involved in the bridging and end-joining steps of NHEJ. We begin with a discussion of the role of XLF, which interacts with Ku and forms a hetero-filament with XRCC4; this likely forms a scaffold bridging the DNA ends. We then review the well-defined interaction of XRCC4 with LigIV, and discuss the possibility of this complex interrupting the filament formation, so positioning the ligase at the correct positions close to the broken ends. We also describe the interactions of LigIV with Artemis, the nuclease that prepares the ends for ligation and also interacts with DNA-PK. Lastly we review the likely affects of Mendelian mutations on these multiprotein assemblies and their impacts on the form of inherited disease.
PMID: 24636752 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Structural and physiological analyses of the alkanesulphonate-binding protein (SsuA) of the citrus pathogen Xanthomonas citri.
PLoS One. 2013;8(11):e80083
Authors: Tófoli de Araújo F, Bolanos-Garcia VM, Pereira CT, Sanches M, Oshiro EE, Ferreira RC, Chigardze DY, Barbosa JA, de Souza Ferreira LC, Benedetti CE, Blundell TL, Balan A
BACKGROUND: The uptake of sulphur-containing compounds plays a pivotal role in the physiology of bacteria that live in aerobic soils where organosulfur compounds such as sulphonates and sulphate esters represent more than 95% of the available sulphur. Until now, no information has been available on the uptake of sulphonates by bacterial plant pathogens, particularly those of the Xanthomonas genus, which encompasses several pathogenic species. In the present study, we characterised the alkanesulphonate uptake system (Ssu) of Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. citri 306 strain (X. citri), the etiological agent of citrus canker.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A single operon-like gene cluster (ssuEDACB) that encodes both the sulphur uptake system and enzymes involved in desulphurisation was detected in the genomes of X. citri and of the closely related species. We characterised X. citri SsuA protein, a periplasmic alkanesulphonate-binding protein that, together with SsuC and SsuB, defines the alkanesulphonate uptake system. The crystal structure of SsuA bound to MOPS, MES and HEPES, which is herein described for the first time, provides evidence for the importance of a conserved dipole in sulphate group coordination, identifies specific amino acids interacting with the sulphate group and shows the presence of a rather large binding pocket that explains the rather wide range of molecules recognised by the protein. Isolation of an isogenic ssuA-knockout derivative of the X. citri 306 strain showed that disruption of alkanesulphonate uptake affects both xanthan gum production and generation of canker lesions in sweet orange leaves.
CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: The present study unravels unique structural and functional features of the X. citri SsuA protein and provides the first experimental evidence that an ABC uptake system affects the virulence of this phytopathogen.
PMID: 24282519 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
The crystal structure of fibroblast growth factor 18 (FGF18).
Protein Cell. 2014 May;5(5):343-7
Authors: Brown A, Adam LE, Blundell TL
PMID: 24668462 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Does a more precise chemical description of protein-ligand complexes lead to more accurate prediction of binding affinity?
J Chem Inf Model. 2014 Mar 24;54(3):944-55
Authors: Ballester PJ, Schreyer A, Blundell TL
Predicting the binding affinities of large sets of diverse molecules against a range of macromolecular targets is an extremely challenging task. The scoring functions that attempt such computational prediction are essential for exploiting and analyzing the outputs of docking, which is in turn an important tool in problems such as structure-based drug design. Classical scoring functions assume a predetermined theory-inspired functional form for the relationship between the variables that describe an experimentally determined or modeled structure of a protein-ligand complex and its binding affinity. The inherent problem of this approach is in the difficulty of explicitly modeling the various contributions of intermolecular interactions to binding affinity. New scoring functions based on machine-learning regression models, which are able to exploit effectively much larger amounts of experimental data and circumvent the need for a predetermined functional form, have already been shown to outperform a broad range of state-of-the-art scoring functions in a widely used benchmark. Here, we investigate the impact of the chemical description of the complex on the predictive power of the resulting scoring function using a systematic battery of numerical experiments. The latter resulted in the most accurate scoring function to date on the benchmark. Strikingly, we also found that a more precise chemical description of the protein-ligand complex does not generally lead to a more accurate prediction of binding affinity. We discuss four factors that may contribute to this result: modeling assumptions, codependence of representation and regression, data restricted to the bound state, and conformational heterogeneity in data.
PMID: 24528282 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Small-Molecule Inhibitors That Target Protein-Protein Interactions in the RAD51 Family of Recombinases.
ChemMedChem. 2014 Dec 2;
Authors: Scott DE, Coyne AG, Venkitaraman A, Blundell TL, Abell C, Hyvönen M
The development of small molecules that inhibit protein-protein interactions continues to be a challenge in chemical biology and drug discovery. Herein we report the development of indole-based fragments that bind in a shallow surface pocket of a humanised surrogate of RAD51. RAD51 is an ATP-dependent recombinase that plays a key role in the repair of double-strand DNA breaks. It both self-associates, forming filament structures with DNA, and interacts with the BRCA2 protein through a common "FxxA" tetrapeptide motif. We elaborated previously identified fragment hits that target the FxxA motif site and developed small-molecule inhibitors that are approximately 500-fold more potent than the initial fragments. The lead compounds were shown to compete with the BRCA2-derived Ac-FHTA-NH2 peptide and the self-association peptide of RAD51, but they had no effect on ATP binding. This study is the first reported elaboration of small-molecular-weight fragments against this challenging target.
PMID: 25470112 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Enriching the annotation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv proteome using remote homology detection approaches: Insights into structure and function.
Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2014 Nov 6;
Authors: Ramakrishnan G, Ochoa-Montaño B, Raghavender US, Mudgal R, Joshi AG, Chandra NR, Sowdhamini R, Blundell TL, Srinivasan N
The availability of the genome sequence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv has encouraged determination of large numbers of protein structures and detailed definition of the biological information encoded therein; yet, the functions of many proteins in M. tuberculosis remain unknown. The emergence of multidrug resistant strains makes it a priority to exploit recent advances in homology recognition and structure prediction to re-analyse its gene products. Here we report the structural and functional characterization of gene products encoded in the M. tuberculosis genome, with the help of sensitive profile-based remote homology search and fold recognition algorithms resulting in an enhanced annotation of the proteome where 95% of the M. tuberculosis proteins were identified wholly or partly with information on structure or function. New information includes association of 244 proteins with 205 domain families and a separate set of new association of folds to 64 proteins. Extending structural information across uncharacterized protein families represented in the M. tuberculosis proteome, by determining superfamily relationships between families of known and unknown structures, has contributed to an enhancement in the knowledge of structural content. In retrospect, such superfamily relationships have facilitated recognition of probable structure and/or function for several uncharacterized protein families, eventually aiding recognition of probable functions for homologous proteins corresponding to such families. Gene products unique to mycobacteria for which no functions could be identified are 183. Of these 18 were determined to be M. tuberculosis specific. Such pathogen-specific proteins are speculated to harbour virulence factors required for pathogenesis. A re-annotated proteome of M. tuberculosis, with greater completeness of annotated proteins and domain assigned regions, provides a valuable basis for experimental endeavours designed to obtain a better understanding of pathogenesis and to accelerate the process of drug target discovery.
PMID: 25467293 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]