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  • Shu, Nanjiang, 1981- (författare)
  • Prediction of zinc-binding sites in proteins and efficient protein structure description and comparison
  • 2008
  • Licentiatavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • A large number of proteins require certain metals to stabilize their structures or to function properly. About one third of all proteins in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) contain metals and it is estimated that approximately the same proportion of all proteins are metalloproteins. Zinc, the second most abundant transition metal found in eukaryotic organisms, plays key roles, mainly structural and catalytic, in many biological functions. Predicting whether a protein binds zinc and even the accurate location of binding sites is important when investigating the function of an experimentally uncharacterized protein. Describing and comparing protein structures with both efficiency and accuracy are essential for systematic annotation of functional properties of proteins, be it on an individual or on a genome scale. Dozens of structure comparison methods have been developed in the past decades. In recent years, several research groups have endeavoured in developing methods for fast comparison of protein structures by representing the three-dimensional (3D) protein structures as one-dimensional (1D) geometrical strings based on the shape symbols of clustered regions of φ/ψ torsion angle pairs of the polypeptide backbones. These 1D geometrical strings, shape strings, are as compact as 1D secondary structures but carry more elaborate structural information in loop regions and thus are more suitable for fast structure database searching, classification of loop regions and evaluation of model structures. In this thesis, a new method for predicting zinc-binding sites in proteins from amino acid sequences is described. This method predicts zinc-binding Cys, His, Asp and Glu (the four most common zinc-binding residues) with 75% precision (86% for Cys and His only) at 50% recall according to a solid 5-fold cross-validation on a non-redundant set of the PDB chains containing 2727 unique chains, of which 235 bind to zinc. This method predicts zinc-binding Cys and His with about 10% higher precision at different recall levels compared to a previously published method. In addition, different methods for describing and comparing protein structures are reviewed. Some recently developed methods based on 1D geometrical representation of backbone structures are emphasized and analyzed in details.
  • Buckland, Philip I., 1973-, et al. (författare)
  • The Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database : a resource for international, multiproxy and transdisciplinary studies of environmental and climatic change
  • 2015
  • Konferensbidrag (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Climate and environmental change are global challenges which require global data and infrastructure to investigate. These challenges also require a multi-proxy approach, integrating evidence from Quaternary science and archaeology with information from studies on modern ecology and physical processes among other disciplines. The Strategic Environmental Archaeology Database (SEAD http://www.sead.se) is a Swedish based international research e-infrastructure for storing, managing, analysing and disseminating palaeoenvironmental data from an almost unlimited number of analysis methods. The system currently makes available raw data from over 1500 sites (>5300 datasets) and the analysis of Quaternary fossil insects, plant macrofossils, pollen, geochemistry and sediment physical properties, dendrochronology and wood anatomy, ceramic geochemistry and bones, along with numerous dating methods. This capacity will be expanded in the near future to include isotopes, multi-spectral and archaeo-metalurgical data. SEAD also includes expandable climate and environment calibration datasets, a complete bibliography and extensive metadata and services for linking these data to other resources. All data is available as Open Access through http://qsead.sead.se and downloadable software. SEAD is maintained and managed at the Environmental Archaeology Lab and HUMlab at Umea University, Sweden. Development and data ingestion is progressing in cooperation with The Laboratory for Ceramic Research and the National Laboratory for Wood Anatomy and Dendrochronology at Lund University, Sweden, the Archaeological Research Laboratory, Stockholm University, the Geoarchaeological Laboratory, Swedish National Historical Museums Agency and several international partners and research projects. Current plans include expanding its capacity to serve as a data source for any system and integration with the Swedish National Heritage Board's information systems. SEAD is partnered with the Neotoma palaeoecology database (http://www.neotomadb.org) and a new initiative for building cyberinfrastructure for transdisciplinary research and visualization of the long-term human ecodynamics of the North Atlantic funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  • Alfredsson Timmins, Jenny, 1976- (författare)
  • Functional organisation of the cell nucleus in the fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • In eukaryotes the genome adopts a non-random spatial organisation, which is important for gene regulation. However, very little is known about the driving forces behind nuclear organisation. In the simple model eukaryote fission yeast, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, it has been known for a long time that transcriptionally repressed heterochromatin localise to the nuclear membrane (NM); the centromeres attaches to spindle pole body (SPB), while the telomeres are positioned at the NM on the opposite side of the nucleus compared to the SPB. Studies presented in this thesis aimed at advancing our knowledge of nuclear organisation in Schizosaccharomyces pombe. We show that the heterochromatic mating-type region localises to the NM in the vicinity of the SPB. This positioning was completely dependent on Clr4, a histone methyl transferase crucial for the formation of heterochromatin. Additional factors important for localisation were also identified: the chromo domain protein Swi6, and the two boundary elements IR-L and IR-R surrounding this locus. We further identify two other chromo domain proteins; Chp1 and Chp2, as crucial factors for correct subnuclear localisation of this region. From these results we suggest that the boundary elements together with chromodomain proteins in balanced dosage and composition cooperate in organising the mating-type chromatin. Gene regulation can affect the subnuclear localisation of genes. Using nitrogen starvation in S. pombe as a model for gene induction we determined the subnuclear localisation of two gene clusters repressed by nitrogen: Chr1 and Tel1. When repressed these loci localise to the NM, and this positioning is dependent on the histone deacetylase Clr3. During induction the gene clusters moved towards the nuclear interior in a transcription dependent manner. The knowledge gained from work presented in this thesis, regarding nuclear organisation in the S. pombe model system, can hopefully aid to a better understanding of human nuclear organisation.
  • Klevebring, Daniel, 1981- (författare)
  • On Transcriptome Sequencing
  • 2009
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • This thesis is about the use of massive DNA sequencing to investigate the transcriptome. During recent decades, several studies have made it clear that the transcriptome comprises a more complex set of biochemical machinery than was previously believed. The majority of the genome can be expressed as transcripts; and overlapping and antisense transcription is widespread. New technologies for the interroga- tion of nucleic acids have made it possible to investigate such cellular phenomena in much greater detail than ever before. For each application, special requirements need to be met. The work presented in this thesis focuses on the transcrip- tome and the development of technology for its analysis. In paper I, we report our development of an automated approach for sample preparation. The procedure was benchmarked against a publicly available reference data set, and we note that our approach outperformed similar manual procedures in terms of reproducibility. In the work reported in papers II-IV, we used different massive sequencing technologies to investigate the transcriptome. In paper II we describe a concatemerization approach that increased throughput by 65% using 454 sequencing,and we identify classes of transcripts not previously described in Populus. Papers III and IV both report studies based on SOLiD sequencing. In the former, we investigated transcripts and proteins for 13% of the human gene and detected a massive overlap for the upper 50% transcriptional levels. In the work described in paper IV, we investigated transcription in non-genic regions of the genome and detected expression from a high number of previ- ously unknown loci.
  • Xu, Bo, 1980- (författare)
  • Evolutionary and Pharmacological Studies of NPY and QRFP Receptors
  • 2014
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The neuropeptide Y (NPY) system consists of 3-4 peptides and 4-7 receptors in vertebrates. It has powerful effects on appetite regulation and is involved in many other biological processes including blood pressure regulation, bone formation and anxiety. This thesis describes studies of the evolution of the NPY system by comparison of several vertebrate species and structural studies of the human Y2 receptor, which reduces appetite, to identify amino acid residues involved in peptide-receptor interactions.The NPY system was studied in zebrafish (Danio rerio), western clawed frog (Xenopus tropicalis), and sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus). The receptors were cloned and functionally expressed and their pharmacological profiles were determined using the native peptides in either binding studies or a signal transduction assay. Some peptide-receptor preferences were observed, indicating functional specialization.A receptor family closely related to the NPY receptors, called the QRFP receptors, was investigated. A QRFP receptor was cloned from amphioxus, Branchistoma floridae, showing that the receptor arose before the origin of the vertebrates. Evolutionary studies demonstrated that the ancestral vertebrate had as many as four QRFP receptors, only one of which remains in mammals today. This correlates with the NPY receptor family, located in the same chromosomal regions, which had seven members in the ancestral vertebrate but only 4-5 in living mammals. Some vertebrates have considerably more complex NPY and QRFP receptor systems than humans and other mammals.Two studies investigated interactions of NPY-family peptides with the human Y2 receptor. Candidate residues, selected based on structural modeling and docking, were mutated to disrupt possible interactions with peptide ligands. The modified receptors were expressed in cultured cells and investigated by measuring binding and functional responses. Several receptor residues were found to influence peptide-receptor interactions, some of which are involved in maintaining receptor structure. In a pilot study, the kinetics of peptide-receptor interaction were found to be very slow, of the order several hours.In conclusion, this thesis clarifies evolutionary relationships for the complex NPY and QRFP peptide-receptor systems and improves the structural models of the human NPY-family receptors, especially Y2. These results will hopefully facilitate drug design for targeting of NPY-family receptors.
  • Zhou, Tuping, et al. (författare)
  • A Novel Method for Accurate One-dimensional Protein Structure Prediction Based on Fragment Matching
  • 2010
  • Ingår i: Bioinformatics. - 1367-4803 .- 1367-4811. ; 26:4, s. 470-477
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Motivation: The precise prediction of one-dimensional (1D) protein structure as represented by the protein secondary structure and 1D string of discrete state of dihedral angles (i.e. Shape Strings) is a prerequisite for the successful prediction of three-dimensional (3D) structure as well as protein-protein interaction. We have developed a novel 1D structure prediction method, called Frag1D, based on a straightforward fragment matching algorithm and demonstrated its success in the prediction of  three sets of 1D structural alphabets, i.e. the classical three-state secondary structure, three-state Shape Strings and eight-state Shape Strings. Results: By exploiting the vast protein sequence and protein structure data available, we have brought secondary structure prediction closer to the expected theoretical limit. When tested by a leave-one-out cross validation on a non-redundant set of PDB cutting at 30% sequence identity containing 5860 protein chains, the overall per-residue accuracy for secondary structure prediction, i.e. Q3 is 82.9%. The overall per-residue accuracy for three-state and eight-state Shape Strings are 85.1% and 71.5% respectively. We have also benchmarked our program with the latest version of PSIPRED for secondary structure prediction and our program predicted 0.3% better in Q3 when tested on 2241 chains with the same training set. For Shape Strings, we compared our method with a recently published method with the same dataset and definition as used by that method. Our program predicted at 2.2% better in accuracy for three-state Shape Strings. By quantitatively investigating the effect of data base size on 1D structure prediction we show that the accuracy increases by about 1% with every doubling of the database size.
  • Ihse, Elisabet, 1977-, et al. (författare)
  • Amyloid fibrils with fragmented ATTR may be the rule in non-Val30Met ATTR amyloidosis
  • Annan publikation (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • The clinical phenotype of familial ATTR amyloidosis depends to some extent on the particular mutation, but differences exist also within mutations. We have previously described that two types of amyloid fibril compositions exist among Swedish ATTRV30M amyloidosis patients, one consisting of a mixture of intact and fragmented ATTR (type A) and one composed of only intact ATTR (type B). Patients with type A fibrils have a late age of onset and signs of cardiomyopathy, while patients with type B fibrils have an early onset and much less myocardial involvement. The present study aimed to determine if the correlation between fibril type and clinical phenotype is true for familial amyloidosis in general. Cardiac and/or adipose tissue from 48 patients carrying 21 different non-TTRV30M mutations were examined, as well as 7 non-Swedish ATTRV30M patients. Fibril type was determined with western blotting and compared to the patients´ age of onset and degree of cardiomyopathy. Non-Swedish V30M patients showed the same correlation as described for Swedish V30M patients, with fibrils of only full-length ATTR (type B) linked to less myocardial involvement. In contrast, all patients with non-V30M mutations had a fibril composition with ATTR fragments (type A). Some of these patients had onset of disease at young age. The vast majority had increased thickness of left cardiac ventricle, but a few individuals had values within normal limits. This study shows that a fibril composition with fragmented ATTR is very common in ATTR amyloidosis. It also suggests that fibrils composed of only full-length ATTR is an exception, perhaps only found among young ATTRV30M amyloidosis patients.
  • Ihse, Elisabet, 1977- (författare)
  • Two Types of Fibrils in ATTR Amyloidosis : Implications for Clinical Phenotype and Treatment Outcome
  • 2011
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Systemic amyloidoses are a group of lethal diseases where proteins aggregate into fibrillar structures, called amyloid fibrils, that deposits throughout the body. Transthyretin (TTR) causes one type of amyloidosis, in which the aggregates mainly infiltrate nervous and cardiac tissue. Almost a hundred different mutations in the TTR gene are known to trigger the disease, but wild-type (wt) TTR is also incorporated into the fibrils, and may alone form amyloid. Patients with the TTRV30M mutation show, for unknown reasons, two clinical phenotypes. Some have an early onset of disease without cardiomyopathy while others have a late onset and cardiomyopathy. It has previously been described that amyloid fibrils formed from TTRV30M can have two different compositions; either with truncated molecules beside full-length TTR (type A) or only-full-length molecules (type B).  In this thesis, the clinical importance of the two types of amyloid fibrils was investigated. We found that the fibril composition types are correlated to the two clinical phenotypes seen among TTRV30M patients, with type A fibrils present in late onset patients and type B fibrils in early onset patients. The only treatment for hereditary TTR amyloidosis has been liver transplantation, whereby the liver producing the mutant TTR is replaced by an organ only producing wt protein. However, in some patients, cardiac symptoms progress post-transplantationally. We demonstrated that the propensity to incorporate wtTTR differs between fibril types and tissue types in TTRV30M patients, with cardiac amyloid of type A having the highest tendency. This offers an explanation to why particularly cardiac amyloidosis develops after transplantation, and suggests which patients that are at risk for such development. By examining patients with other mutations than TTRV30M, we showed that, in contrast to the general belief, a fibril composition with truncated TTR is very common and might even be the general rule. This may explain why TTRV30M patients often have a better outcome after liver transplantation than patients with other mutations. In conclusion, this thesis has contributed with one piece to the puzzle of understanding the differences in clinical phenotype and treatment response between TTR amyloidosis patients, by demonstrating corresponding differences at a molecular level.
  • Oelker, Melanie, 1988- (författare)
  • Disarming bacteria : a structure-based approach to design an anti-virulence drug against Listeria monocytogenes
  • 2021
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • Antibiotic resistances are one of the biggest threats to global health and if we don’t change our behavior and way of using antibiotics we will end up in a ‘post-antibiotic era’, in which common infections and minor injuries can once kill again and up to 10 million deaths per year may occur by 2050. Therefore, there is a high need for new anti-bacterial drugs, especially of alternatives to existing antibiotics with already described resistances. Classical antibiotics target the essential processes of survival and growth in bacteria and therefore put a high selective pressure on them to develop resistances. In contrast, the ability to infect or damage a host, the virulence, is less essential for bacteria. Thus, targeting the virulence is supposed to cause a lower selective pressure and this alternative mode-of-action could help to decelerate the development of antibiotic resistances.The aims in this work were to proceed with the structure-based design of an anti-virulence drug against the food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, but also to deepen our understanding of the complex regulation system for the virulence of this bacterium. PrfA, the master regulator of virulence in Listeria monocytogenes, is a member of a large family of bacterial transcription factors, which are regulated by a conformational change and allosteric modulation by different regulator molecules. Furthermore, its critical role in virulence regulations makes is a suitable target for an anti-virulence drug. In this work new lead compounds based on the previously identified ring-fused 2-pyridone scaffold were designed, synthesized and analyzed by different biological, biophysical, computational and structural biology methods. Three new binding sites and binding modes of these compounds in PrfA were evaluated for their potential use in future designs and a compound with improved activity was identified. In a second study another structurally different lead compound was discovered to inhibit PrfA. Furthermore, the studies on proposed natural regulators of PrfA uncovered the underlying mechanism for the virulence regulation by the peptide signature of the environment and in a follow-up study the structural basis of the binding of inhibitory peptides to PrfA was further investigated. Finally, a structural review on all available structure of PrfA provided more insights into the allosteric regulation mechanism of PrfA activity.This work will hopefully support in the successful development of an anti-virulence drug against Listeria monocytogenes and thus contribute to the reduction of the problem of antibiotic resistances.
  • Kaarniranta, Kai, et al. (författare)
  • Primary chondrocytes resist hydrostatic pressure-induced stress while primary synovial cells and fibroblasts show modified Hsp70 response.
  • 2001
  • Ingår i: Osteoarthritis and Cartilage. - : Saunders Elsevier. - 1063-4584 .- 1522-9653. ; 9:1, s. 7-13
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • OBJECTIVE: During joint loading, chondrocytes in the articular cartilage are subjected to gradients of high compressive hydrostatic pressure (HP). In response to diverse chemical or physical stresses, heat shock genes are induced to express heat shock proteins (Hsps). This study sought to examine the role of Hsps in baroresistance in primary bovine chondrocytes and synovial cells, as well as in primary human fibroblasts.METHODS: Northern blotting was used to analyze the steady-state levels of hsp70 mRNA in the primary cells exposed to HP or heat stress. Hsp70 protein accumulation was analyzed by Western blotting, and the DNA-binding activity was examined by gel mobility shift assay.RESULTS: Primary bovine chondrocytes which have been adapted to live under pressurized conditions showed negligible Hsp70 response upon HP loading, whereas primary bovine synovial cells and human fibroblasts accumulated hsp70 mRNA and protein when subjected to HP. The response was initiated without activation of the heat shock transcription factor 1. Interestingly, pre-conditioning of the barosensitive fibroblasts with HP or heat shock reduced the Hsp70 response, indicating induction of baroresistance.CONCLUSION: This study suggests that Hsp70 can play an important role in the early stages of adaptation of cells to HP. Thus, the Hsp70 gene expression upon HP loading may serve as one indicator of the chondrocytic phenotype of the cells. This can be of use in the treatment of cartilage lesions.
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