Maintenance of energy homeostasis depends on the highly regulated storage and release of triacylglycerol primarily in adipose tissue and excessive storage is a feature of common metabolic disorders. CIDEA is a lipid droplet (LD)-protein enriched in brown adipocytes promoting the enlargement of LDs which are dynamic, ubiquitous organelles specialized for storing neutral lipids. We demonstrate an essential role in this process for an amphipathic helix in CIDEA, which facilitates embedding in the LD phospholipid monolayer and binds phosphatidic acid (PA). LD pairs are docked by CIDEA trans-complexes through contributions of the N-terminal domain and a C-terminal dimerization region. These complexes, enriched at the LD-LD contact site, interact with the cone-shaped phospholipid PA and likely increase phospholipid barrier permeability, promoting LD fusion by transference of lipids. This physiological process is essential in adipocyte differentiation as well as serving to facilitate the tight coupling of lipolysis and lipogenesis in activated brown fat.
- Stephen G Young, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2015, Barneda et al.
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The DNA sliding clamp proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) is an essential co-factor for many eukaryotic DNA metabolic enzymes. PCNA is loaded around DNA by the ATP-dependent clamp loader replication factor C (RFC), which acts at single-stranded (ss)/double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) junctions harboring a recessed 3’ end (3’ ss/dsDNA junctions) and at DNA nicks. To illuminate the loading mechanism we have investigated the structure of RFC:PCNA bound to ATPγS and 3’ ss/dsDNA junctions or nicked DNA using cryogenic electron microscopy. Unexpectedly, we observe open and closed PCNA conformations in the RFC:PCNA:DNA complex, revealing that PCNA can adopt an open, planar conformation that allows direct insertion of dsDNA, and raising the question of whether PCNA ring closure is mechanistically coupled to ATP hydrolysis. By resolving multiple DNA-bound states of RFC:PCNA we observe that partial melting facilitates lateral insertion into the central channel formed by RFC:PCNA. We also resolve the Rfc1 N-terminal domain and demonstrate that its single BRCT domain participates in coordinating DNA prior to insertion into the central RFC channel, which promotes PCNA loading on the lagging strand of replication forks in vitro. Combined, our data suggest a comprehensive and fundamentally revised model for the RFC-catalyzed loading of PCNA onto DNA.
Cyclic GMP-dependent protein kinases (PKGs) are key mediators of the nitric oxide/cGMP signaling pathway that regulates biological functions as diverse as smooth muscle contraction, cardiac function, and axon guidance. Understanding how cGMP differentially triggers mammalian PKG isoforms could lead to new therapeutics that inhibit or activate PKGs, complementing drugs that target nitric oxide synthases and cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases in this signaling axis. Alternate splicing of PRKG1 transcripts confers distinct leucine zippers, linkers, and auto-inhibitory pseudo-substrate sequences to PKG Iα and Iβ that result in isoform-specific activation properties, but the mechanism of enzyme auto-inhibition and its alleviation by cGMP is not well understood. Here we present a crystal structure of PKG Iβ in which the auto-inhibitory sequence and the cyclic nucleotide binding domains are bound to the catalytic domain, providing a snapshot of the auto-inhibited state. Specific contacts between the PKG Iβ auto-inhibitory sequence and the enzyme active site help explain isoform-specific activation constants and the effects of phosphorylation in the linker. We also present a crystal structure of a PKG I cyclic nucleotide binding domain with an activating mutation linked to Thoracic Aortic Aneurysms and Dissections. Similarity of this structure to wild type cGMP-bound domains and differences with the auto-inhibited enzyme provide a mechanistic basis for constitutive activation. We show that PKG Iβ auto-inhibition is mediated by contacts within each monomer of the native full-length dimeric protein, and using the available structural and biochemical data we develop a model for the regulation and cooperative activation of PKGs.