Fluoride ion channels of the Fluc family combat toxicity arising from accumulation of environmental F-. Although crystal structures are known, the densely packed pore region has precluded delineation of the ion pathway. Here we chart out the Fluc pore and characterize its chemical requirements for transport. A ladder of H-bond donating residues creates a 'polar track' demarking the ion-conduction pathway. Surprisingly, while track polarity is well conserved, polarity is nonetheless functionally dispensable at several positions. A threonine at one end of the pore engages in vital interactions through its β-branched methyl group. Two critical central phenylalanines that directly coordinate F- through a quadrupolar-ion interaction cannot be functionally substituted by aromatic, non-polar, or polar sidechains. The only functional replacement is methionine, which coordinates F- through its partially positive γ-methylene in mimicry of phenylalanine's quadrupolar interaction. These results demonstrate the unusual chemical requirements for selectively transporting the strongly H-bonding F- anion.
- Nicholas B Last
- Christopher Miller
- Senmiao Sun
- Minh C Pham
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Baron Chanda, University of Wisconsin-Madison, United States
© 2017, Last 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.
We present a new approach for macromolecular structure determination from multiple particles in electron cryo-tomography (cryo-ET) data sets. Whereas existing subtomogram averaging approaches are based on 3D data models, we propose to optimise a regularised likelihood target that approximates a function of the 2D experimental images. In addition, analogous to Bayesian polishing and contrast transfer function (CTF) refinement in single-particle analysis, we describe approaches that exploit the increased signal-to-noise ratio in the averaged structure to optimise tilt series alignments, beam-induced motions of the particles throughout the tilt series acquisition, defoci of the individual particles, as well as higher-order optical aberrations of the microscope. Implementation of our approaches in the open-source software package RELION aims to facilitate their general use, in particular for those researchers who are already familiar with its single-particle analysis tools. We illustrate for three applications that our approaches allow structure determination from cryo-ET data to resolutions sufficient for de novo atomic modelling.
Undruggability of RAS proteins has necessitated alternative strategies for the development of effective inhibitors. In this respect, phosphorylation has recently come into prominence as this reversible post-translational modification attenuates sensitivity of RAS towards RAF. As such, in this study, we set out to unveil the impact of phosphorylation on dynamics of HRASWT and aim to invoke similar behavior in HRASG12D mutant by means of small therapeutic molecules. To this end, we performed molecular dynamics (MD) simulations using phosphorylated HRAS and showed that phosphorylation of Y32 distorted Switch I, hence the RAS/RAF interface. Consequently, we targeted Switch I in HRASG12D by means of approved therapeutic molecules and showed that the ligands enabled detachment of Switch I from the nucleotide-binding pocket. Moreover, we demonstrated that displacement of Switch I from the nucleotide-binding pocket was energetically more favorable in the presence of the ligand. Importantly, we verified computational findings in vitro where HRASG12D/RAF interaction was prevented by the ligand in HEK293T cells that expressed HRASG12D mutant protein. Therefore, these findings suggest that targeting Switch I, hence making Y32 accessible might open up new avenues in future drug discovery strategies that target mutant RAS proteins.