Most efforts to estimate the reproducibility of published findings have focused on specific areas of research, even though science is usually assessed and funded on a regional or national basis. Here we describe a project to assess the reproducibility of findings in biomedical science published by researchers based in Brazil. The Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative is a systematic, multi-center effort to repeat between 60 and 100 experiments: the project will focus on a set of common laboratory methods, repeating each experiment in three different laboratories. The results, due in 2021, will allow us to estimate the level of reproducibility of biomedical science in Brazil, and to investigate what the published literature can tell us about the reproducibility of research in a given area.
All data cited in the article is available at the project's site at the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io/6av7k/).
Data from The Brazilian Reproducibility Initiative: a systematic assessment of Brazilian biomedical scienceOpen Science Framework, 10.17605/OSF.IO/6AV7K.
- Olavo B Amaral
- Clarissa FD Carneiro
The project's funder (Instituto Serrapilheira) made suggestions on the study design, but had no role in data collection and interpretation, or in the decision to submit the work for publication. K. N. and A.P.W.S. are supported by post-doctoral scholarships within this project. C.F.D.C. is supported by a PhD scholarship from CNPq.
- Peter A Rodgers, eLife, United Kingdom
© 2019, Amaral 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.
Profilin-1 (PFN1) is a cytoskeletal protein that regulates the dynamics of actin and microtubule assembly. Thus, PFN1 is essential for the normal division, motility, and morphology of cells. Unfortunately, conventional fusion and direct labeling strategies compromise different facets of PFN1 function. As a consequence, the only methods used to determine known PFN1 functions have been indirect and often deduced in cell-free biochemical assays. We engineered and characterized two genetically encoded versions of tagged PFN1 that behave identical to each other and the tag-free protein. In biochemical assays purified proteins bind to phosphoinositide lipids, catalyze nucleotide exchange on actin monomers, stimulate formin-mediated actin filament assembly, and bound tubulin dimers (kD = 1.89 µM) to impact microtubule dynamics. In PFN1-deficient mammalian cells, Halo-PFN1 or mApple-PFN1 (mAp-PEN1) restored morphological and cytoskeletal functions. Titrations of self-labeling Halo-ligands were used to visualize molecules of PFN1. This approach combined with specific function-disrupting point-mutants (Y6D and R88E) revealed PFN1 bound to microtubules in live cells. Cells expressing the ALS-associated G118V disease variant did not associate with actin filaments or microtubules. Thus, these tagged PFN1s are reliable tools for studying the dynamic interactions of PFN1 with actin or microtubules in vitro as well as in important cell processes or disease-states.
Activation of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) is an allosteric process. It involves conformational coupling between the orthosteric ligand binding site and the G protein binding site. Factors that bind at non-cognate ligand binding sites to alter the allosteric activation process are classified as allosteric modulators and represent a promising class of therapeutics with distinct modes of binding and action. For many receptors, how modulation of signaling is represented at the structural level is unclear. Here, we developed FRET sensors to quantify receptor modulation at each of the three structural domains of metabotropic glutamate receptor 2 (mGluR2). We identified the conformational fingerprint for several allosteric modulators in live cells. This approach enabled us to derive a receptor-centric representation of allosteric modulation and to correlate structural modulation to the standard signaling modulation metrics. Single-molecule FRET analysis revealed that a NAM increases the occupancy of one of the intermediate states while a PAM increases the occupancy of the active state. Moreover, we found that the effect of allosteric modulators on the receptor dynamics is complex and depend on the orthosteric ligand. Collectively, our findings provide a structural mechanism of allosteric modulation in mGluR2 and suggest possible strategies for design of future modulators.