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Berlin Brandenburg

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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 05 August 2014, Vol.111(31), pp.11359-64
    Description: Intermediate filaments (IFs) are key to the mechanical strength of metazoan cells. Their basic building blocks are dimeric coiled coils mediating hierarchical assembly of the full-length filaments. Here we use single-molecule force spectroscopy by optical tweezers to assess the folding and stability of coil 2B of the model IF protein vimentin. The coiled coil was unzipped from its N and C termini. When pulling from the C terminus, we observed that the coiled coil was resistant to force owing to the high stability of the C-terminal region. Pulling from the N terminus revealed that the N-terminal half is considerably less stable. The mechanical pulling assay is a unique tool to study and control seed formation and structure propagation of the coiled coil. We then used rigorous theory-based deconvolution for a model-free extraction of the energy landscape and local stability profiles. The data obtained from the two distinct pulling directions complement each other and reveal a tripartite stability of the coiled coil: a labile N-terminal half, followed by a medium stability section and a highly stable region at the far C-terminal end. The different stability regions provide important insight into the mechanics of IF assembly.
    Keywords: Brownian Dynamics Simulation ; Protein Folding ; Trigger Sequence ; Stress, Mechanical ; Intermediate Filaments -- Chemistry ; Vimentin -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2012, Vol.109(34), pp.13620-13625
    Description: Together with actin filaments and microtubules, intermediate filaments (IFs) are the basic cytoskeletal components of metazoan cells. Over 80 human diseases have been linked to mutations in various IF proteins to date. However, the filament structure is far from being resolved at the atomic level, which hampers rational understanding of IF pathologies. The elementary building block of all IF proteins is a dimer consisting of an α-helical coiled-coil (CC) “rod” domain flanked by the flexible head and tail domains. Here we present three crystal structures of overlapping human vimentin fragments that comprise the first half of its rod domain. Given the previously solved fragments, a nearly complete atomic structure of the vimentin rod has become available. It consists of three α-helical segments (coils 1A, 1B, and 2) interconnected by linkers (L1 and L12). Most of the CC structure has a left-handed twist with heptad repeats, but both coil 1B and coil 2 also exhibit untwisted, parallel stretches with hendecad repeats. In the crystal structure, linker L1 was found to be α-helical without being involved in the CC formation. The available data allow us to construct an atomic model of the antiparallel tetramer representing the second level of vimentin assembly. Although the presence of the nonhelical head domains is essential for proper tetramer stabilization, the precise alignment of the dimers forming the tetramer appears to depend on the complementarity of their surface charge distribution patterns, while the structural plasticity of linker L1 and coil 1A plays a role in the subsequent IF assembly process. ; p. 13620-13625.
    Keywords: Models ; Microtubules ; Animalia ; Human Diseases ; Mutation ; Vimentin ; Microfilaments ; Intermediate Filaments ; Crystal Structure ; Humans
    ISSN: 0027-8424
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Biophysical Journal, 28 January 2014, Vol.106(2), pp.174a-175a
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 0006-3495
    E-ISSN: 1542-0086
    Source: ScienceDirect Journals (Elsevier)
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: The Journal of biological chemistry, 10 July 2015, Vol.290(28), pp.17145-53
    Description: Intermediate filaments (IFs) are composed of one or more members of a large family of cytoskeletal proteins, whose expression is cell- and tissue type-specific. Their importance in regulating the physiological properties of cells is becoming widely recognized in functions ranging from cell motility to signal transduction. IF proteins assemble into nanoscale biopolymers with unique strain-hardening properties that are related to their roles in regulating the mechanical integrity of cells. Furthermore, mutations in the genes encoding IF proteins cause a wide range of human diseases. Due to the number of different types of IF proteins, we have limited this short review to cover structure and function topics mainly related to the simpler homopolymeric IF networks composed of vimentin, and specifically for diseases, the related muscle-specific desmin IF networks.
    Keywords: Cell Motility ; Cytoskeleton ; Intermediate Filament ; Mechanotransduction ; Signal Transduction ; Intermediate Filaments -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00219258
    E-ISSN: 1083-351X
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Biophysical Journal, 18 July 2012, Vol.103(2), pp.195-201
    Description: The mechanical properties of epithelial cells are modulated by structural changes in keratin intermediate filament networks. To investigate the relationship between network architecture and viscoelasticity, we assembled keratin filaments from recombinant keratin proteins 8 (K8) and 18 (K18) in the presence of divalent ions (Mg ). We probed the viscoelastic modulus of the network by tracking the movement of microspheres embedded in the network during assembly, and studied the network architecture using scanning electron microscopy. Addition of Mg at physiological concentrations (〈1 mM) resulted in networks whose structure was similar to that of keratin networks in epithelial cells. Moreover, the elastic moduli of networks assembled in vitro were found to be within the same magnitude as those measured in keratin networks of detergent-extracted epithelial cells. These findings suggest that Mg -induced filament cross-linking represents a valid model for studying the cytoskeletal mechanics of keratin networks.
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 0006-3495
    E-ISSN: 1542-0086
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 21 August 2012, Vol.109(34), pp.13620-5
    Description: Together with actin filaments and microtubules, intermediate filaments (IFs) are the basic cytoskeletal components of metazoan cells. Over 80 human diseases have been linked to mutations in various IF proteins to date. However, the filament structure is far from being resolved at the atomic level, which hampers rational understanding of IF pathologies. The elementary building block of all IF proteins is a dimer consisting of an α-helical coiled-coil (CC) "rod" domain flanked by the flexible head and tail domains. Here we present three crystal structures of overlapping human vimentin fragments that comprise the first half of its rod domain. Given the previously solved fragments, a nearly complete atomic structure of the vimentin rod has become available. It consists of three α-helical segments (coils 1A, 1B, and 2) interconnected by linkers (L1 and L12). Most of the CC structure has a left-handed twist with heptad repeats, but both coil 1B and coil 2 also exhibit untwisted, parallel stretches with hendecad repeats. In the crystal structure, linker L1 was found to be α-helical without being involved in the CC formation. The available data allow us to construct an atomic model of the antiparallel tetramer representing the second level of vimentin assembly. Although the presence of the nonhelical head domains is essential for proper tetramer stabilization, the precise alignment of the dimers forming the tetramer appears to depend on the complementarity of their surface charge distribution patterns, while the structural plasticity of linker L1 and coil 1A plays a role in the subsequent IF assembly process.
    Keywords: Intermediate Filaments -- Chemistry ; Vimentin -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Biophysical Journal, 16 December 2014, Vol.107(12), pp.2923-2931
    Description: Actin filaments, microtubules, and intermediate filaments (IFs) are central elements of the metazoan cytoskeleton. At the molecular level, the assembly mechanism for actin filaments and microtubules is fundamentally different from that of IFs. The former two types of filaments assemble from globular proteins. By contrast, IFs assemble from tetrameric complexes of extended, half-staggered, and antiparallel oriented coiled-coils. These tetramers laterally associate into unit-length filaments; subsequent longitudinal annealing of unit-length filaments yields mature IFs. In vitro, IFs form open structures without a fixed number of tetramers per cross-section along the filament. Therefore, a central question for the structural biology of IFs is whether individual subunits can dissociate from assembled filaments and rebind at other sites. Using the fluorescently labeled IF-protein vimentin for assembly, we directly observe and quantitatively determine subunit exchange events between filaments as well as with soluble vimentin pools. Thereby we demonstrate that the cross-sectional polymorphism of donor and acceptor filaments plays an important role. We propose that in segments of donor filaments with more than the standard 32 molecules per cross-section, subunits are not as tightly bound and are predisposed to be released from the filament.
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 0006-3495
    E-ISSN: 1542-0086
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Journal of molecular biology, 22 April 2011, Vol.408(1), pp.135-46
    Description: The elementary building block of all intermediate filaments (IFs) is a dimer featuring a central α-helical rod domain flanked by the N- and C-terminal end domains. In nuclear IF proteins (lamins), the rod domain consists of two coiled-coil segments, coil1 and coil2, that are connected by a short non-helical linker. Coil1 and the C-terminal part of coil2 contain the two highly conserved IF consensus motifs involved in the longitudinal assembly of dimers. The previously solved crystal structure of a lamin A fragment (residues 305-387) corresponding to the second half of coil2 has yielded a parallel left-handed coiled coil. Here, we present the crystal structure and solution properties of another human lamin A fragment (residues 328-398), which is largely overlapping with fragment 305-387 but harbors a short segment of the tail domain. Unexpectedly, no parallel coiled coil forms within the crystal. Instead, the α-helices are arranged such that two anti-parallel coiled-coil interfaces are formed. The most significant interface has a right-handed geometry, which is accounted for by a characteristic 15-residue repeat pattern that overlays with the canonical heptad repeat pattern. The second interface is a left-handed anti-parallel coiled coil based on the predicted heptad repeat pattern. In solution, the fragment reveals only a weak dimerization propensity. We speculate that the C-terminus of coil2 might unzip, thereby allowing for a right-handed coiled-coil interface to form between two laterally aligned dimers. Such an interface might co-exist with a heterotetrameric left-handed coiled-coil assembly, which is expected to be responsible for the longitudinal A(CN) contact.
    Keywords: Lamin Type A -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00222836
    E-ISSN: 1089-8638
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: BMC Biology, Feb 28, 2011, Vol.9, p.16
    Description: Intermediate filaments include the nuclear lamins, which are universal in metazoans, and the cytoplasmic intermediate filaments, which are much more varied and form cell type-specific networks in animal cells. Until now, it has been thought that insects harbor lamins only. This view is fundamentally challenged by the discovery, reported in BMC Biology, of an intermediate filament-like cytoplasmic protein, isomin, in the hexapod Isotomurus maculatus. Here we briefly review the history of research on intermediate filaments, and discuss the implications of this latest finding in the context of what is known of their structure and functions. See research article: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/9/17
    Keywords: Insects -- Physiological Aspects ; Insects -- Research ; Phylogeny -- Research ; Intermediate Filament Proteins -- Physiological Aspects ; Intermediate Filament Proteins -- Research
    ISSN: 1741-7007
    Source: Cengage Learning, Inc.
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: BMC Biology, 01 February 2011, Vol.9(1), p.16
    Description: Abstract Intermediate filaments include the nuclear lamins, which are universal in metazoans, and the cytoplasmic intermediate filaments, which are much more varied and form cell type-specific networks in animal cells. Until now, it has been thought that insects harbor lamins only. This view...
    Keywords: Biology
    ISSN: 1741-7007
    E-ISSN: 1741-7007
    Source: Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ)
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