The advent of a new generation of electron microscopes and direct electron detectors has realized the potential of single particle cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) as a technique to generate high-resolution structures. Calculating these structures requires high performance computing clusters, a resource that may be limiting to many likely cryo-EM users. To address this limitation and facilitate the spread of cryo-EM, we developed a publicly available 'off-the-shelf' computing environment on Amazon's elastic cloud computing infrastructure. This environment provides users with single particle cryo-EM software packages and the ability to create computing clusters with 16 to 480+ CPUs. We tested our computing environment using a publicly available 80S yeast ribosome dataset and estimate that laboratories could determine high-resolution cryo-EM structures for $50 to $1,500 per structure within a timeframe comparable to local clusters. Our analysis shows that Amazon's cloud computing environment may offer a viable computing environment for cryo-EM.
- Sjors HW Scheres, Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology, United Kingdom
© 2015, Cianfrocco & Leschziner
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Dynein harnesses ATP hydrolysis to move cargo on microtubules in multiple biological contexts. Dynein meets a unique challenge in meiosis by moving chromosomes tethered to the nuclear envelope to facilitate homolog pairing essential for gametogenesis. Though processive dynein motility requires binding to an activating adaptor, the identity of the activating adaptor required for dynein to move meiotic chromosomes is unknown. We show that the meiosis-specific nuclear-envelope protein KASH5 is a dynein activating adaptor: KASH5 directly binds dynein using a mechanism conserved among activating adaptors and converts dynein into a processive motor. We map the dynein-binding surface of KASH5, identifying mutations that abrogate dynein binding in vitro and disrupt recruitment of the dynein machinery to the nuclear envelope in cultured cells and mouse spermatocytes in vivo. Our study identifies KASH5 as the first transmembrane dynein activating adaptor and provides molecular insights into how it activates dynein during meiosis.
The acidic luminal pH of lysosomes, maintained within a narrow range, is essential for proper degrative function of the organelle and is generated by the action of a V-type H+ ATPase, but other pathways for ion movement are required to dissipate the voltage generated by this process. ClC-7, a Cl-/H+ antiporter responsible for lysosomal Cl- permeability, is a candidate to contribute to the acidification process as part of this ‘counterion pathway’ The signaling lipid PI(3,5)P2 modulates lysosomal dynamics, including by regulating lysosomal ion channels, raising the possibility that it could contribute to lysosomal pH regulation. Here, we demonstrate that depleting PI(3,5)P2 by inhibiting the kinase PIKfyve causes lysosomal hyperacidification, primarily via an effect on ClC-7. We further show that PI(3,5)P2 directly inhibits ClC-7 transport and that this inhibition is eliminated in a disease-causing gain-of-function ClC-7 mutation. Together, these observations suggest an intimate role for ClC-7 in lysosomal pH regulation.