Publications

Nucleotide-dependent conformational changes in the N-Ethylmaleimide Sensitive Factor (NSF) and their potential role in SNARE complex disassembly.

Homohexameric, N-Ethylmaleimide Sensitive Factor (NSF) disassembles Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor (SNARE) complexes after membrane fusion, an essential step in vesicular trafficking. NSF contains three domains (NSF-N, NSF-D1, and NSF-D2), each contributing to activity. We combined electron microscopic (EM) analysis, analytical ultracentrifugation (AU) and functional mutagenesis to visualize NSF’s ATPase cycle.

Assembly and channel opening of outer membrane protein in tripartite drug efflux pumps of Gram-negative bacteria.

In this work, we describe the crystal structure of the membrane fusion protein MexA from the Pseudomonas aeruginosa MexAB-OprM pump in the hexameric ring arrangement. Electron microscopy study on the chimeric complex of MexA and the outer membrane protein OprM reveals that MexA makes a tip-to-tip interaction with OprM, which suggests a docking model for MexA and OprM.

Movies of ice-embedded particles enhance resolution in electron cryo-microscopy.

Low-dose images obtained by electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) are often affected by blurring caused by sample motion during electron beam exposure, degrading signal especially at high resolution. We show here that we can align frames of movies, recorded with a direct electron detector during beam exposure of rotavirus double-layered particles, thereby greatly reducing image blurring caused by beam-induced motion and sample stage instabilities.

Organization of the influenza virus replication machinery.

Influenza virus ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) are central to the viral life cycle and in adaptation to new host species. RNPs are composed of the viral genome, viral polymerase, and many copies of the viral nucleoprotein. In vitro cell expression of all RNP protein components with four of the eight influenza virus gene segments enabled structural determination of native influenza virus RNPs by means of cryogenic electron microscopy (cryo-EM).

Functional implications of an intermeshing cogwheel-like interaction between TolC and MacA in the action of macrolide-specific efflux pump MacAB-TolC.

The inner membrane transporter MacB requires the outer membrane factor TolC and the periplasmic adaptor protein MacA to form a functional tripartite complex. In this study, we used a chimeric protein containing the tip region of the TolC α-barrel to investigate the role of the TolC α-barrel tip region with regard to its interaction with MacA.

Recombinant functional multidomain hemoglobin from the gastropod Biomphalaria glabrata.

The extracellular hemoglobin multimer of the planorbid snail Biomphalaria glabrata , intermediate host of the human parasite Schistosoma mansoni , is presumed to be a 1.44 MDa complex of six 240 kDa polypeptide subunits, arranged as three disulfide‐bridged dimers. The complete amino acid sequence of two subunit types (BgHb1 and BgHb2), and the partial sequence of a third type (BgHb3) are known.

Funnel-like hexameric assembly of the periplasmic adapter protein in the tripartite multidrug efflux pump in gram-negative bacteria.

The Escherichia coli AcrAB-TolC pump is the principal multidrug exporter that confers intrinsic drug tolerance to the bacteria. The inner membrane transporter AcrB requires the outer membrane factor TolC and the periplasmic adapter protein AcrA. However, it remains ambiguous how the three proteins are assembled. In this study, a hexameric model of the adapter protein was generated based on the propensity for trimerization of a dimeric unit, and this model was further validated by presenting its channel-forming property that determines the substrate specificity.

Automation in Single-Particle Electron Microscopy Cryo-EM, Part C: Analyses, Interpretation, and Case studies

Throughout the history of single-particle electron microscopy (EM), automated technologies have seen varying degrees of emphasis and development, usually depending upon the contemporary demands of the field. We are currently faced with increasingly sophisticated devices for specimen preparation, vast increases in the size of collected data sets, comprehensive algorithms for image processing, sophisticated tools for quality assessment, and an influx of interested scientists from outside the field who might lack the skills of experienced microscopists.

10-A cryoEM structure and molecular model of the Myriapod (Scutigera) 6x6mer hemocyanin: understanding a giant oxygen transport protein.

Oxygen transport in Myriapoda is maintained by a unique 6 × 6mer hemocyanin, that is, 36 subunits arranged as six hexamers (1 × 6mers). In the sluggish diplopod Spirostreptus, the 1 × 6mers seem to operate as almost or fully independent allosteric units (h ∼ 1.3; P50 ∼ 5 torr), whereas in the swift centipede Scutigera, they intensively cooperate allosterically (h ∼ 10; P50 ∼ 50 torr).