Membrane-assisted amyloid formation is implicated in human diseases, and many of the aggregating species accelerate amyloid formation and induce cell death. While structures of membrane-associated intermediates would provide tremendous insights into the pathology and aid in the design of compounds to potentially treat the diseases, it has not been feasible to overcome the challenges posed by the cell membrane. Here we use NMR experimental constraints to solve the structure of a type-2 diabetes related human islet amyloid polypeptide intermediate stabilized in nanodiscs. ROSETTA and MD simulations resulted in a unique b-strand structure distinct from the conventional amyloid b-hairpin and revealed that the nucleating NFGAIL region remains flexible and accessible within this isolated intermediate, suggesting a mechanism by which membrane-associated aggregation may be propagated. The ability of nanodiscs to trap amyloid intermediates as demonstrated could become one of the most powerful approaches to dissect the complicated misfolding pathways of protein aggregation.
- Ayyalusamy Ramamoorthy
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Lewis E Kay, University of Toronto, Canada
© 2017, Rodriguez Camargo et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
An imbalance of the gut microbiota, termed dysbiosis, has a substantial impact on host physiology. However, the mechanism by which host deals with gut dysbiosis to maintain fitness remains largely unknown. In Caenorhabditis elegans, Escherichia coli, which is its bacterial diet, proliferates in its intestinal lumen during aging. Here, we demonstrate that progressive intestinal proliferation of E. coli activates the transcription factor DAF-16, which is required for maintenance of longevity and organismal fitness in worms with age. DAF-16 up-regulates two lysozymes lys-7 and lys-8, thus limiting the bacterial accumulation in the gut of worms during aging. During dysbiosis, the levels of indole produced by E. coli are increased in worms. Indole is involved in the activation of DAF-16 by TRPA-1 in neurons of worms. Our finding demonstrates that indole functions as a microbial signal of gut dysbiosis to promote fitness of the host.
The Neuronal Calcium Sensor 1, an EF-hand Ca2+ binding protein, and Ric-8A coregulate synapse number and probability of neurotransmitter release. Recently, the structures of Ric-8A bound to Ga have revealed how Ric-8A phosphorylation promotes Ga recognition and activity as a chaperone and guanine nucleotide exchange factor. However, the molecular mechanism by which NCS-1 regulates Ric-8A activity and its interaction with Ga subunits is not well understood. Given the interest in the NCS-1/Ric-8A complex as a therapeutic target in nervous system disorders, it is necessary to shed light on this molecular mechanism of action at atomic level. We have reconstituted NCS-1/Ric-8A complexes to conduct a multimodal approach and determine the sequence of Ca2+ signals and phosphorylation events that promote the interaction of Ric-8A with Ga. Our data show that the binding of NCS-1 and Ga to Ric-8A are mutually exclusive. Importantly, NCS-1 induces a structural rearrangement in Ric-8A that traps the protein in a conformational state that is inaccessible to Casein Kinase II-mediated phosphorylation, demonstrating one aspect of its negative regulation of Ric-8A-mediated G-protein signaling. Functional experiments indicate a loss of Ric-8A GEF activity towards Ga when complexed with NCS-1, and restoration of nucleotide exchange activity upon increasing Ca2+ concentration. Finally, the high-resolution crystallographic data reported here define the NCS-1/Ric-8A interface and will allow the development of therapeutic synapse function regulators with improved activity and selectivity.