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  • Bergkvist, Liza, 1985- (författare)
  • Amyloid-β and lysozyme proteotoxicity in Drosophila : Beneficial effects of lysozyme and serum amyloid P component in models of Alzheimer’s disease and lysozyme amyloidosis
  • 2017
  • Doktorsavhandling (övrigt vetenskapligt)abstract
    • In the work presented this thesis, two different conditions that are classified as protein misfolding diseases: Alzheimer's disease and lysozyme amyloidosis and proteins that could have a beneficial effect in these diseases, have been studied using Drosophila melanogaster, commonly known as the fruit fly. The fruit fly has been used for over 100 years to study and better understand fundamental biological processes. Although the fruit fly, unlike humans, is an invertebrate, many of its central biological mechanisms are very similar to ours. The first transgenic flies were designed in the early 1980s, and since then, the fruit fly has been one of the most widely used model organisms in studies on the effects of over-expressed human proteins in a biological system; one can regard the fly as a living, biological test tube. For  most proteins, it is necessary that they fold into a three-dimensional structure to function properly. But sometimes the folding goes wrong; this may be due to mutations that make the protein unstable and subject to misfolding. A misfolded protein molecule can then aggregate with other misfolded proteins. In Alzheimer's disease, which is the most common form of dementia, protein aggregates are present in the brains of patients. These aggregates are composed of the amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide, a small peptide of around 42 amino acids which is cleaved from the larger, membrane-bound, protein AβPP by two different enzymes, BACE1 and γ-secretase. In the first part of this thesis, two different fly models for Alzheimer’s disease were used: the Aβ fly model, which directly expresses the Aβ peptide, and the AβPP-BACE1 fly model, in which all the components necessary to produce the Aβ peptide in the fly are expressed in the fly central nervous system (CNS). The two different fly models were compared and the results show that a significantly smaller amount of the Aβ peptide is needed to achieve the same, or an even greater, toxic effect in the AβPP-BACE1 model compared to the Aβ model. In the second part of the thesis, these two fly models for Alzheimer’s disease were again used, but now to investigate whether lysozyme, a protein involved in our innate immune system, can counteract the toxic effect of Aβ generated in the fly models. And indeed, lysozyme is able to save the flies from Aβ-induced toxicity. Aβ and lysozyme were found to interact with each other in vivo. The second misfolding disease studied in this thesis is lysozyme amyloidosis. It is a rare, dominantly inherited amyloid disease in which mutant variants of lysozyme give rise to aggregates, weighing up to several kilograms, that accumulate around the kidneys and liver, eventually leading to organ failure. In the third part of this thesis, a fly model for lysozyme amyloidosis was used to study the effect of co-expressing the serum amyloid P component (SAP), a protein that is part of all protein aggregates found within this disease class. SAP is able to rescue the toxicity induced by expressing the mutant variant of lysozyme, F57I, in the fly's CNS. To further investigate how SAP was able to do this, double-expressing lysozyme flies, which exhibit stronger disease phenotypes than those of the single-expressing lysozyme flies previously studied, were used in the fourth part of this thesis. SAP was observed to reduce F57I toxicity and promote F57I to form aggregates with more distinct amyloid characteristics. In conclusion, the work included in this thesis demonstrates that: i) Aβ generated from AβPP processing in the fly CNS results in higher proteotoxicity compared with direct expression of Aβ from the transgene, ii) lysozyme can prevent Aβ proteotoxicity in Drosophila and could thus be a potential therapeutic molecule to treat Alzheimer’s disease and iii) in a Drosophila model of lysozyme amyloidosis, SAP can prevent toxicity from the disease-associated lysozyme variant F57I and promote formation of aggregated lysozyme morphotypes with amyloid properties; this is important to take into account when a reduced level of SAP is considered as a treatment strategy for lysozyme amyloidosis.
  • Blokzijl, Andries, et al. (författare)
  • Protein biomarker validation via proximity ligation assays
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics. - : Elsevier BV. - 1570-9639 .- 1878-1454. ; 1844:5, s. 933-939
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • The ability to detect minute amounts of specific proteins or protein modifications in blood as biomarkers for a plethora of human pathological conditions holds great promise for future medicine. Despite a large number of plausible candidate protein biomarkers published annually, the translation to clinical use is impeded by factors such as the required size of the initial studies, and limitations of the technologies used. The proximity ligation assay (PLA) is a versatile molecular tool that has the potential to address some obstacles, both in validation of biomarkers previously discovered using other techniques, and for future routine clinical diagnostic needs. The enhanced specificity of PIA extends the opportunities for large-scale, high-performance analyses of proteins. Besides advantages in the form of minimal sample consumption and an extended dynamic range, the PLA technique allows flexible assay reconfiguration. The technology can be adapted for detecting protein complexes, proximity between proteins in extracellular vesicles or in circulating tumor cells, and to address multiple post-translational modifications in the same protein molecule. We discuss herein requirements for biomarker validation, and how PLA may play an increasing role in this regard. We describe some recent developments of the technology, including proximity extension assays, the use of recombinant affinity reagents suitable for use in proximity assays, and the potential for single cell proteomics. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Biomarkers: A Proteomic Challenge. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Blom, Hans, et al. (författare)
  • STED microscopy : towards broadened use and scope of applications
  • 2014
  • Ingår i: Current opinion in chemical biology. - : Elsevier. - 1367-5931 .- 1879-0402. ; 20:1, s. 127-133
  • Forskningsöversikt (refereegranskat)abstract
    • High resolution Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy has been demonstrated for fundamental studies in cells, living tissue and organisms. Today, a major trend in the STED technique development is to make the instruments simpler and more user-friendly, without compromising performance. This has become possible by new low-cost, turn-key laser technology and by implementing specifically designed phase plates and polarization elements, extending and simplifying the shaping of the laser beam profiles. These simpler and cheaper realizations of STED are now becoming more broadly available. In parallel with the continuous development of sample preparation and fluorophore reporter molecules ultimately setting the limit of the image quality, contrast and resolution, we can thus expect a significant increase in the use of STED, in science as well as for clinical and drug development purposes.
  • Brown, Christian, et al. (författare)
  • Structural and functional characterization of the microtubule interacting and trafficking domains of two oomycete chitin synthases
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: The FEBS Journal. - : Wiley. - 1742-464X .- 1742-4658. ; 283:16, s. 3072-3088
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Chitin synthases (Chs) are responsible for the synthesis of chitin, a key structural cell wall polysaccharide in many organisms. They are essential for growth in certain oomycete species, some of which are pathogenic to diverse higher organisms. Recently, a Microtubule Interacting and Trafficking (MIT) domain, which is not found in any fungal Chs, has been identified in some oomycete Chs proteins. Based on experimental data relating to the binding specificity of other eukaryotic MIT domains, there was speculation that this domain may be involved in the intracellular trafficking of Chs proteins. However, there is currently no evidence for this or any other function for the MIT domain in these enzymes. To attempt to elucidate their function, MIT domains from two Chs enzymes from the oomycete Saprolegnia monoica were cloned, expressed and characterized. Both were shown to interact strongly with the plasma membrane component phosphatidic acid, and to have additional putative interactions with proteins thought to be involved in protein transport and localization. Aiding our understanding of these data, the structure of the first MIT domain from a carbohydrate-active enzyme (MIT1) was solved by NMR, and a model structure of a second MIT domain (MIT2) was built by homology modelling. Our results suggest a potential function for these MIT domains in the intracellular transport and/or regulation of Chs enzymes in the oomycetes. 
  • Caleman, Carl, et al. (författare)
  • Radiation damage in biological material : electronic properties and electron impact ionization in urea
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: Europhysics letters. - : IOP. - 0295-5075 .- 1286-4854. ; 85:1, s. 18005-
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Radiation damage is an unavoidable process when performing structural investigations of biological macromolecules with X-rays. In crystallography this process can be limited through damage distribution in a crystal, while for single molecular imaging it can be outrun by employing short intense pulses. Secondary electron generation is crucial during damage formation and we present a study of urea, as model for biomaterial. From first principles we calculate the band structure and energy loss function, and subsequently the inelastic electron cross-section in urea. Using Molecular Dynamics simulations, we quantify the damage and study the magnitude and spatial extent of the electron cloud coming from an incident electron, as well as the dependence with initial energy.
  • Carlred, Louise, et al. (författare)
  • Imaging of amyloid-β in alzheimer’s disease transgenic mouse brains with ToF-SIMS using immunoliposomes
  • 2016
  • Ingår i: Biointerphases. - : American Institute of Physics (AIP). - 1934-8630 .- 1559-4106. ; 11:2, s. 1-11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Time-of-flight secondary ion mass spectrometry (ToF-SIMS) has been proven to successfully image different kinds of molecules, especially a variety of lipids, in biological samples. Proteins, however, are difficult to detect as specific entities with this method due to extensive fragmentation. To circumvent this issue, the authors present in this work a method developed for detection of proteins using antibody-conjugated liposomes, so called immunoliposomes, which are able to bind to the specific protein of interest. In combination with the capability of ToF-SIMS to detect native lipids in tissue samples, this method opens up the opportunity to analyze many different biomolecules, both lipids and proteins, at the same time, with high spatial resolution. The method has been applied to detect and image the distribution of amyloid-β (Aβ), a biologically relevant peptide in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), in transgenic mouse brain tissue. To ensure specific binding, the immunoliposome binding was verified on a model surface using quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation monitoring. The immunoliposome binding was also investigated on tissue sections with fluorescence microscopy, and compared with conventional immunohistochemistry using primary and secondary antibodies, demonstrating specific binding to Aβ. Using ToF-SIMS imaging, several endogenous lipids, such as cholesterol and sulfatides, were also detected in parallel with the immunoliposome-labeled Aβ deposits, which is an advantage compared to fluorescence microscopy. This method can thus potentially provide further information about lipid–protein interactions, which is important to understand the mechanisms of neurodegeneration in AD.
  • Caulfield, Thomas, et al. (författare)
  • Molecular Dynamics Simulations Suggest a Non-Doublet Decoding Model of -1 Frameshifting by tRNA(Ser3)
  • 2019
  • Ingår i: Biomolecules. - : MDPI AG. - 2218-273X. ; 9:11
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • In-frame decoding in the ribosome occurs through canonical or wobble Watson-Crick pairing of three mRNA codon bases (a triplet) with a triplet of anticodon bases in tRNA. Departures from the triplet-triplet interaction can result in frameshifting, meaning downstream mRNA codons are then read in a different register. There are many mechanisms to induce frameshifting, and most are insufficiently understood. One previously proposed mechanism is doublet decoding, in which only codon bases 1 and 2 are read by anticodon bases 34 and 35, which would lead to -1 frameshifting. In E. coli, tRNA(GCU)(Ser3) can induce -1 frameshifting at alanine (GCA) codons. The logic of the doublet decoding model is that the Ala codon's GC could pair with the tRNA(Ser3 ')s GC, leaving the third anticodon residue U36 making no interactions with mRNA. Under that model, a U36C mutation would still induce -1 frameshifting, but experiments refute this. We perform all-atom simulations of wild-type tRNA(Ser3), as well as a U36C mutant. Our simulations revealed a hydrogen bond between U36 of the anticodon and G1 of the codon. The U36C mutant cannot make this interaction, as it lacks the hydrogen-bond-donating H3. The simulation thus suggests a novel, non-doublet decoding mechanism for -1 frameshifting by tRNA(Ser3) at Ala codons.
  • Chen, Mingzhi, et al. (författare)
  • Predicting protein folding cores by empirical potential functions
  • 2009
  • Ingår i: Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics. - New York : Elsevier. - 0003-9861 .- 1096-0384. ; 483:1, s. 16-22
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Theoretical and in vitro experiments suggest that protein-folding cores form early in the process of folding, and that proteins may have evolved to optimize both folding speed and native-state stability. In our previous work (Chen et al., Structure, 14, 1401 (2006)), we developed a set of empirical potential functions and used them to analyze interaction energies among secondary-structure elements in two β-sandwich proteins. Our work on this group of proteins demonstrated that the predicted folding core also harbors residues that form native-like interactions early in the folding reaction. In the current work, we have tested our empirical potential functions on structurally-different proteins for which the folding cores have been revealed by protein hydrogen-deuterium exchange experiments. Using a set of 29 unrelated proteins, which have been extensively studied in the literature, we demonstrate that the average prediction result from our method is significantly better than predictions based on other computational methods. Our study is an important step towards the ultimate goal of understanding the correlation between folding cores and native structures.
  • Contreras, F.-Xabier, et al. (författare)
  • Molecular recognition of a single sphingolipid species by a protein's transmembrane domain
  • 2012
  • Ingår i: Nature. - : Springer Science and Business Media LLC. - 0028-0836 .- 1476-4687. ; 481:7382, s. 525-529
  • Tidskriftsartikel (refereegranskat)abstract
    • Functioning and processing of membrane proteins critically depend on the way their transmembrane segments are embedded in the membrane. Sphingolipids are structural components of membranes and can also act as intracellular second messengers. Not much is known of sphingolipids binding to transmembrane domains (TMDs) of proteins within the hydrophobic bilayer, and how this could affect protein function. Here we show a direct and highly specific interaction of exclusively one sphingomyelin species, SM 18, with the TMD of the COPI machinery protein p24 (ref. 2). Strikingly, the interaction depends on both the headgroup and the backbone of the sphingolipid, and on a signature sequence (VXXTLXXIY) within the TMD. Molecular dynamics simulations show a close interaction of SM 18 with the TMD. We suggest a role of SM 18 in regulating the equilibrium between an inactive monomeric and an active oligomeric state of the p24 protein, which in turn regulates COPI-dependent transport. Bioinformatic analyses predict that the signature sequence represents a conserved sphingolipid-binding cavity in a variety of mammalian membrane proteins. Thus, in addition to a function as second messengers, sphingolipids can act as cofactors to regulate the function of transmembrane proteins. Our discovery of an unprecedented specificity of interaction of a TMD with an individual sphingolipid species adds to our understanding of why biological membranes are assembled from such a large variety of different lipids.
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