Biomolecules2014, 4(3), 848-861; doi:10.3390/biom4030848 (registering DOI) - published 22 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Cytoplasmic structures showing a selective concentration of both polyubiquitinated proteins and proteasome have been described in various epithelial, hematopoietic, mesenchymal and neural cells in vitro or in fetal tissues, as well as in chronically-infected, mutated preneoplastic and neoplastic tissues. These cytoplasmic structures differ from other ubiquitin-reactive cytoplasmic bodies, like sequestosomes, aggresome-like-induced structures in dendritic cells (DALIS)/non-dendritic cells (ALIS) and aggresomes in showing distinctive ultrastructural organization (particle-rich cytoplasmic structure or PaCS), a cytochemical pattern and a functional profile. Their formation can be induced in vitro in dendritic or natural killer cells by trophic factors and interleukin treatment. They originate in close connection with ribosomes, while, as a result of their growth, the cytoskeleton and other surrounding organelles are usually dislocated outside their core. Interestingly, these particulate cytoplasmic structures are often found to fill cytoplasmic blebs forming proteasome- and polyubiquitinated protein-discharging vesicles, called ectosomes, which are found to detach from the cell and freely float in the extracellular space. To clearly point out the importance of the polyubiquitinated proteins and proteasome containing cytoplasmic structures, their role in cell biology and pathology has been carefully analyzed.
Biomolecules2014, 4(3), 827-847; doi:10.3390/biom4030827 - published 10 September 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Transcription activation is the foremost step of gene expression and is modulated by various factors that act in synergy. Misregulation of this process and its associated factors has severe effects and hence requires strong regulatory control. In recent years, growing evidence has highlighted the 26S proteasome as an important contributor to the regulation of transcription initiation. Well known for its role in protein destruction, its contribution to protein synthesis was initially viewed with skepticism. However, studies over the past several years have established the proteasome as an important component of transcription initiation through proteolytic and non-proteolytic activities. In this review, we discuss findings made so far in understanding the connections between transcription initiation and the 26S proteasome complex.
Biomolecules2014, 4(3), 812-826; doi:10.3390/biom4030812 - published 29 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Proteasomes regulate many essential cellular processes by degrading intracellular proteins. While aging is known to be associated with dysfunction of the proteasome, there are few reports detailing activity and function of proteasomes in the early stages of life. To elucidate the function and development of mammalian proteasomes, 26S proteasomes were affinity-purified from rat intestine, spleen and liver. The developmental expression of core, regulatory and immunoproteasome subunits was analyzed by immunoblotting and reverse-transcriptase PCR of mRNA subunits, and proteasome catalytic function was determined by fluorogenic enzymatic assays. The expression of core (β2, β5, α7 and β1) and regulatory (Rpt5) subunits was found to be present at low levels at birth and increased over time particularly at weaning. In contrast, while gradual developmental progression of proteasome structure was also seen with the immunoproteasome subunits (β1i, β5i, and β2i), these were not present at birth. Our studies demonstrate a developmental pattern to 26S proteasome activity and subunit expression, with low levels of core proteasome components and absence of immunoproteasomes at birth followed by increases at later developmental stages. This correlates with findings from other studies of a developmental hyporesponsiveness of the adaptive immune system to allow establishment of microbial colonization immediately after birth.
Biomolecules2014, 4(3), 795-811; doi:10.3390/biom4030795 - published 14 August 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In Parkinson’s disease and some atypical Parkinson’s syndromes, aggregation of the α-synuclein protein (α-syn) has been linked to neurodegeneration. Many triggers for pathological α-syn aggregation have been identified, including port-translational modifications, oxidative stress and raised metal ions, such as Ca2+. Recently, it has been found using cell culture models that transient increases of intracellular Ca2+ induce cytoplasmic α-syn aggregates. Ca2+-dependent α-syn aggregation could be blocked by the Ca2+ buffering agent, BAPTA-AM, or by the Ca2+ channel blocker, Trimethadione. Furthermore, a greater proportion of cells positive for aggregates occurred when both raised Ca2+ and oxidative stress were combined, indicating that Ca2+ and oxidative stress cooperatively promote α-syn aggregation. Current on-going work using a unilateral mouse lesion model of Parkinson’s disease shows a greater proportion of calbindin-positive neurons survive the lesion, with intracellular α-syn aggregates almost exclusively occurring in calbindin-negative neurons. These and other recent findings are reviewed in the context of neurodegenerative pathologies and suggest an association between raised Ca2+, α-syn aggregation and neurotoxicity.
Biomolecules2014, 4(3), 725-773; doi:10.3390/biom4030725 - published 24 July 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The discovery of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins, which contain significant levels of disorder yet perform complex biologically functions, as well as unwanted aggregation, has motivated numerous experimental and theoretical studies aimed at describing residue-level conformational ensembles. Multiple lines of evidence gathered over the last 15 years strongly suggest that amino acids residues display unique and restricted conformational preferences in the unfolded state of peptides and proteins, contrary to one of the basic assumptions of the canonical random coil model. To fully understand residue level order/disorder, however, one has to gain a quantitative, experimentally based picture of conformational distributions and to determine the physical basis underlying residue-level conformational biases. Here, we review the experimental, computational and bioinformatic evidence for conformational preferences of amino acid residues in (mostly short) peptides that can be utilized as suitable model systems for unfolded states of peptides and proteins. In this context particular attention is paid to the alleged high polyproline II preference of alanine. We discuss how these conformational propensities may be modulated by peptide solvent interactions and so called nearest-neighbor interactions. The relevance of conformational propensities for the protein folding problem and the understanding of IDPs is briefly discussed.