Special Issue "Function, Regulation, and Dysfunction of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Proteins and Proteomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Giuliana Fusco
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK
Interests: biochemistry; structural biology; functional intrinsically disordered proteins; parkinson; alzheimer
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Stefano Gianni
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It has become acknowledged that a significant portion of proteins encoded in eukaryotic and prokaryotic genomes feature a partial or total degree of structural disorder. Disordered regions can regulate the biological activity of protein molecules, such as the propensity to generate molecular complexity, including the regulation of phase separations. The involvement of intrinsically disordered proteins in fundamental biological processes, including cellular signaling, protein translation, and transcriptional regulation, is increasingly reported to be crucial in functional and pathological mechanisms. The remarkable ability of these molecules to establish macromolecular interactions with multiple biomolecular partners is likely promoted by their inherent flexibility and ability to adapt their shape. While the functional role of IDPs is attracting an increasing research focus, understanding the underlying structural and mechanistic principles of their biological activity remains a crucial research challenge. The role of kinetic versus thermodynamic control is the key to understand the way by which these elusive systems are regulated to solve their intriguing biological functions.

Dr. Giuliana Fusco
Prof. Dr. Stefano Gianni
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Life is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • intrinsically disordered proteins
  • post-translational modifications
  • phase separation
  • structural and functional dynamics
  • binding promiscuity and fuzzy complexes
  • molten globular states
  • kinetic vs thermodynamic control
  • conformational selection vs induced fit

Related Special Issue

Published Papers (16 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Open AccessEditorial
Function, Regulation, and Dysfunction of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins
Life 2021, 11(2), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11020140 - 12 Feb 2021
Viewed by 398
Abstract
The discovery that a considerable fraction of the eukaryotic proteins lacks a well-defined three-dimensional structure in their native state has revolutionised our general understanding of proteins [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Open AccessArticle
Extracellular Alpha-Synuclein Promotes a Neuroinhibitory Secretory Phenotype in Astrocytes
Life 2020, 10(9), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10090183 - 08 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 593
Abstract
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are α-synucleinopathies that exhibit widespread astrogliosis as a component of the neuroinflammatory response. Munc18, a protein critical to vesicle exocytosis, was previously found to strongly mark morphologically activated astrocytes in brain tissue of [...] Read more.
Multiple system atrophy (MSA) and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB) are α-synucleinopathies that exhibit widespread astrogliosis as a component of the neuroinflammatory response. Munc18, a protein critical to vesicle exocytosis, was previously found to strongly mark morphologically activated astrocytes in brain tissue of MSA patients. Immunofluorescence of MSA, DLB and normal brain tissue sections was combined with cell culture and co-culture experiments to investigate the relationship between extracellular α-synuclein and the transition to a secretory astrocyte phenotype. Increased Munc18-positive vesicles were resolved in activated astrocytes in MSA and DLB tissue compared to controls, and they were also significantly upregulated in the human 1321N1 astrocytoma cell line upon treatment with α-synuclein, with parallel increases in GFAP expression and IL-6 secretion. In co-culture experiments, rat primary astrocytes pretreated with α-synuclein inhibited the growth of neurites of co-cultured primary rat neurons and upregulated chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan. Taken together, these results indicate that the secretory machinery is significantly upregulated in the astrocyte response to extracellular α-synuclein and may participate in the release of neuroinhibitory and proinflammatory factors in α-synucleinopathies. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Alpha-Synuclein FRET Biosensors Reveal Early Alpha-Synuclein Aggregation in the Endoplasmic Reticulum
Life 2020, 10(8), 147; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080147 - 11 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 818
Abstract
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction is important for alpha-synuclein (αS) acquired toxicity. When targeted to the ER in SH-SY5Y cells, transient or stable expression of αS resulted in the formation of compact αS-positive structures in a small subpopulation of cells, resembling αS inclusions. Thus, [...] Read more.
Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) dysfunction is important for alpha-synuclein (αS) acquired toxicity. When targeted to the ER in SH-SY5Y cells, transient or stable expression of αS resulted in the formation of compact αS-positive structures in a small subpopulation of cells, resembling αS inclusions. Thus, because of the limitations of immunofluorescence, we developed a set of αS FRET biosensors (AFBs) able to track αS conformation in cells. In native conditions, expression in i36, a stable cell line for ER αS, of intermolecular AFBs, reporters in which CFP or YFP has been fused with the C-terminal of αS (αS-CFP/αS-YFP), resulted in no Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET), whereas expression of the intramolecular AFB, a probe obtained by fusing YFP and CFP with αS N- or C- termini (YFP-αS-CFP), showed a positive FRET signal. These data confirmed that αS has a predominantly globular, monomeric conformation in native conditions. Differently, under pro-aggregating conditions, the intermolecular AFB was able to sense significantly formation of αS oligomers, when AFB was expressed in the ER rather than ubiquitously, suggesting that the ER can favor changes in αS conformation when aggregation is stimulated. These results show the potential of AFBs as a new, valuable tool to track αS conformational changes in vivo. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Mapping of Photochemically-Derived Dityrosine across Fe-Bound N-Acetylated α-Synuclein
Life 2020, 10(8), 124; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080124 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1124
Abstract
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurological disease and belongs to a group of neurodegenerative disorders called synucleinopathies in which pathological aggregates of N-terminally acetylated α-synuclein (NAcα-Syn) accumulate in various regions of the brain. In PD, these NAcα-Syn [...] Read more.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most common neurological disease and belongs to a group of neurodegenerative disorders called synucleinopathies in which pathological aggregates of N-terminally acetylated α-synuclein (NAcα-Syn) accumulate in various regions of the brain. In PD, these NAcα-Syn aggregates have been found to contain covalent dityrosine crosslinks, which can occur either intermolecularly or intramolecularly. Cerebral metal imbalance is also a hallmark of PD, warranting investigations into the effects of brain biometals on NAcα-Syn. NAcα-Syn is an intrinsically disordered protein, and metal-mediated conformational modifications of this structurally dynamic protein have been demonstrated to influence its propensity for dityrosine formation. In this study, a library of tyrosine-to-phenylalanine (Y-to-F) NAcα-Syn constructs were designed in order to elucidate the nature and the precise residues involved in dityrosine crosslinking of Fe-bound NAcα-Syn. The structural capacity of each mutant to form dityrosine crosslinks was assessed using Photo-Induced Cross-Linking of Unmodified Proteins (PICUP), demonstrating that coordination of either FeIII or FeII to NAcα-Syn inhibits dityrosine crosslinking among the C-terminal residues. We further demonstrate that Y39 is the main contributor to dityrosine formation of Fe-bound NAcα-Syn, while Y125 is the main residue involved in dityrosine crosslinks in unmetalated NAcα-Syn. Our results confirm that iron coordination has a global effect on NAcα-Syn structure and reactivity. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Novel Perspective on Alzheimer’s Disease Treatment: Rosmarinic Acid Molecular Interplay with Copper(II) and Amyloid β
Life 2020, 10(7), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10070118 - 20 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 970
Abstract
Alzheimer’s disease is a severe disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a very debilitating disease with no cure at the moment. The necessity of finding an effective treatment is very demanding, and the entire scientific community is putting in a [...] Read more.
Alzheimer’s disease is a severe disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a very debilitating disease with no cure at the moment. The necessity of finding an effective treatment is very demanding, and the entire scientific community is putting in a lot of effort to address this issue. The major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease is the presence of toxic aggregated species in the brain, impaired metal homeostasis, and high levels of oxidative stress. Rosmarinic acid is a well-known potent antioxidant molecule, the efficacy of which has been proved both in vitro and in vivo. In this study, we investigated the possible role played by rosmarinic acid as a mediator of the copper(II)-induced neurotoxicity. Several spectroscopic techniques and biological assays were applied to characterize the metal complexes and to evaluate the cytotoxicity and the mutagenicity of rosmarinic acid and its Cu(II) complex. Our data indicate that rosmarinic acid is able to interfere with the interaction between amyloid β and Cu(II) by forming an original ternary association. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Open AccessArticle
Embelin as Lead Compound for New Neuroserpin Polymerization Inhibitors
Life 2020, 10(7), 111; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10070111 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 924
Abstract
Familial encephalopathy with neuroserpin inclusion bodies (FENIB) is a severe and lethal neurodegenerative disease. Upon specific point mutations in the SERPINI1gene-coding for the human protein neuroserpin (NS) the resulting pathologic NS variants polymerize and accumulate within the endoplasmic reticulum of neurons in [...] Read more.
Familial encephalopathy with neuroserpin inclusion bodies (FENIB) is a severe and lethal neurodegenerative disease. Upon specific point mutations in the SERPINI1gene-coding for the human protein neuroserpin (NS) the resulting pathologic NS variants polymerize and accumulate within the endoplasmic reticulum of neurons in the central nervous system. To date, embelin (EMB) is the only known inhibitor of NS polymerization in vitro. This molecule is capable of preventing NS polymerization and dissolving preformed polymers. Here, we show that lowering EMB concentration results in increasing size of NS oligomers in vitro. Moreover, we observe that in cells expressing NS, the polymerization of G392E NS is reduced, but this effect is mediated by an increased proteasomal degradation rather than polymerization impairment. For these reasons we designed a systematic chemical evolution of the EMB scaffold aimed to improve its anti-polymerization properties. The effect of EMB analogs against NS polymerization was assessed in vitro. None of the EMB analogs displayed an anti-polymerization activity better than the one reported for EMB, indicating that the EMB–NS interaction surface is very specific and highly optimized. Thus, our results indicate that EMB is, to date, still the best candidate for developing a treatment against NS polymerization. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Dynamical Behavior and Conformational Selection Mechanism of the Intrinsically Disordered Sic1 Kinase-Inhibitor Domain
Life 2020, 10(7), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10070110 - 11 Jul 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 906
Abstract
Intrinsically Disordered Peptides and Proteins (IDPs) in solution can span a broad range of conformations that often are hard to characterize by both experimental and computational methods. However, obtaining a significant representation of the conformational space is important to understand mechanisms underlying protein [...] Read more.
Intrinsically Disordered Peptides and Proteins (IDPs) in solution can span a broad range of conformations that often are hard to characterize by both experimental and computational methods. However, obtaining a significant representation of the conformational space is important to understand mechanisms underlying protein functions such as partner recognition. In this work, we investigated the behavior of the Sic1 Kinase-Inhibitor Domain (KID) in solution by Molecular Dynamics (MD) simulations. Our results point out that application of common descriptors of molecular shape such as Solvent Accessible Surface (SAS) area can lead to misleading outcomes. Instead, more appropriate molecular descriptors can be used to define 3D structures. In particular, we exploited Weighted Holistic Invariant Molecular (WHIM) descriptors to get a coarse-grained but accurate definition of the variegated Sic1 KID conformational ensemble. We found that Sic1 is able to form a variable amount of folded structures even in absence of partners. Among them, there were some conformations very close to the structure that Sic1 is supposed to assume in the binding with its physiological complexes. Therefore, our results support the hypothesis that this protein relies on the conformational selection mechanism to recognize the correct molecular partners. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Optimization of Molecular Dynamics Simulations of c-MYC1-88—An Intrinsically Disordered System
Life 2020, 10(7), 109; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10070109 - 10 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 872
Abstract
Many of the proteins involved in key cellular regulatory events contain extensive intrinsically disordered regions that are not readily amenable to conventional structure/function dissection. The oncoprotein c-MYC plays a key role in controlling cell proliferation and apoptosis and more than 70% of the [...] Read more.
Many of the proteins involved in key cellular regulatory events contain extensive intrinsically disordered regions that are not readily amenable to conventional structure/function dissection. The oncoprotein c-MYC plays a key role in controlling cell proliferation and apoptosis and more than 70% of the primary sequence is disordered. Computational approaches that shed light on the range of secondary and tertiary structural conformations therefore provide the only realistic chance to study such proteins. Here, we describe the results of several tests of force fields and water models employed in molecular dynamics simulations for the N-terminal 88 amino acids of c-MYC. Comparisons of the simulation data with experimental secondary structure assignments obtained by NMR establish a particular implicit solvation approach as highly congruent. The results provide insights into the structural dynamics of c-MYC1-88, which will be useful for guiding future experimental approaches. The protocols for trajectory analysis described here will be applicable for the analysis of a variety of computational simulations of intrinsically disordered proteins. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
In Silico Study of the Mechanism of Binding of the N-Terminal Region of α Synuclein to Synaptic-Like Membranes
Life 2020, 10(6), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10060098 - 26 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 922
Abstract
The membrane binding by α-synuclein (αS), a presynaptic protein whose aggregation is strongly linked with Parkinson’s disease, influences its biological behavior under functional and pathological conditions. This interaction requires a conformational transition from a disordered-unbound to a partially helical membrane-bound state of the [...] Read more.
The membrane binding by α-synuclein (αS), a presynaptic protein whose aggregation is strongly linked with Parkinson’s disease, influences its biological behavior under functional and pathological conditions. This interaction requires a conformational transition from a disordered-unbound to a partially helical membrane-bound state of the protein. In the present study, we used enhanced coarse-grained MD simulations to characterize the sequence and conformational determinants of the binding to synaptic-like vesicles by the N-terminal region of αS. This region is the membrane anchor and is of crucial importance for the properties of the physiological monomeric state of αS as well as for its aberrant aggregates. These results identify the key factors that play a role in the binding of αS with synaptic lipid bilayers in both membrane-tethered and membrane-locked conformational states. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle
Understanding the Mechanism of Recognition of Gab2 by the N-SH2 Domain of SHP2
Life 2020, 10(6), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10060085 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 787
Abstract
Gab2 is a scaffold protein with a crucial role in colocalizing signaling proteins and it is involved in the regulation of several important molecular pathways. SHP2 is a protein phosphatase that binds, through its two SH2 domains, specific consensus sequences presenting a phosphorylated [...] Read more.
Gab2 is a scaffold protein with a crucial role in colocalizing signaling proteins and it is involved in the regulation of several important molecular pathways. SHP2 is a protein phosphatase that binds, through its two SH2 domains, specific consensus sequences presenting a phosphorylated tyrosine located on the disordered tail of Gab2. To shed light on the details of such a fundamental interaction for the physiology of the cell, we present a complete mutational analysis of the kinetics of binding between the N-SH2 domain of SHP2 and a peptide mimicking a specific region of Gab2. By analyzing kinetic data, we determined structural features of the transition state of the N-SH2 domain binding to Gab2, highlighting a remarkable cooperativity of the binding reaction. Furthermore, comparison of these data with ones previously obtained for another SH2 domain suggests the presence of underlying general features characterizing the binding process of SH2 domains. Data are discussed under the light of previous works on SH2 domains. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Open AccessReview
Roles, Characteristics, and Analysis of Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: A Minireview
Life 2020, 10(12), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10120320 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 639
Abstract
In recent years, there has been a growing understanding that a significant fraction of the eukaryotic proteome is intrinsically disordered, and that these conformationally dynamic proteins play a myriad of vital biological roles in both normal and pathological states. In this review, selected [...] Read more.
In recent years, there has been a growing understanding that a significant fraction of the eukaryotic proteome is intrinsically disordered, and that these conformationally dynamic proteins play a myriad of vital biological roles in both normal and pathological states. In this review, selected examples of intrinsically disordered proteins are highlighted, with particular attention for a few which are relevant in neurological disorders and in viral infection. Next, the underlying causes for intrinsic disorder are discussed, along with computational methods used to predict whether a given amino acid sequence is likely to adopt a folded or unfolded state in solution. Finally, biophysical methods for the analysis of intrinsically disordered proteins will be discussed, as well as the unique challenges they pose in this context due to their highly dynamic nature. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Keeping α-Synuclein at Bay: A More Active Role of Molecular Chaperones in Preventing Mitochondrial Interactions and Transition to Pathological States?
Life 2020, 10(11), 289; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10110289 - 19 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
The property of molecular chaperones to dissolve protein aggregates of Parkinson-related α-synuclein has been known for some time. Recent findings point to an even more active role of molecular chaperones preventing the transformation of α-synuclein into pathological states subsequently leading to the formation [...] Read more.
The property of molecular chaperones to dissolve protein aggregates of Parkinson-related α-synuclein has been known for some time. Recent findings point to an even more active role of molecular chaperones preventing the transformation of α-synuclein into pathological states subsequently leading to the formation of Lewy bodies, intracellular inclusions containing protein aggregates as well as broken organelles found in the brains of Parkinson’s patients. In parallel, a short motif around Tyr39 was identified as being crucial for the aggregation of α-synuclein. Interestingly, this region is also one of the main segments in contact with a diverse pool of molecular chaperones. Further, it could be shown that the inhibition of the chaperone:α-synuclein interaction leads to a binding of α-synuclein to mitochondria, which could also be shown to lead to mitochondrial membrane disruption as well as the possible proteolytic processing of α-synuclein by mitochondrial proteases. Here, we will review the current knowledge on the role of molecular chaperones in the regulation of physiological functions as well as the direct consequences of impairing these interactions—i.e., leading to enhanced mitochondrial interaction and consequential mitochondrial breakage, which might mark the initial stages of the structural transition of α-synuclein towards its pathological states. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Functional Mammalian Amyloids and Amyloid-Like Proteins
Life 2020, 10(9), 156; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10090156 - 21 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 963
Abstract
Amyloids are highly ordered fibrous cross-β protein aggregates that are notorious primarily because of association with a variety of incurable human and animal diseases (termed amyloidoses), including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and prion diseases. Some amyloid-associated diseases, [...] Read more.
Amyloids are highly ordered fibrous cross-β protein aggregates that are notorious primarily because of association with a variety of incurable human and animal diseases (termed amyloidoses), including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and prion diseases. Some amyloid-associated diseases, in particular T2D and AD, are widespread and affect hundreds of millions of people all over the world. However, recently it has become evident that many amyloids, termed “functional amyloids,” are involved in various activities that are beneficial to organisms. Functional amyloids were discovered in diverse taxa, ranging from bacteria to mammals. These amyloids are involved in vital biological functions such as long-term memory, storage of peptide hormones and scaffolding melanin polymerization in animals, substrate attachment, and biofilm formation in bacteria and fungi, etc. Thus, amyloids undoubtedly are playing important roles in biological and pathological processes. This review is focused on functional amyloids in mammals and summarizes approaches used for identifying new potentially amyloidogenic proteins and domains. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Amyloidogenic Intrinsically Disordered Proteins: New Insights into Their Self-Assembly and Their Interaction with Membranes
Life 2020, 10(8), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080144 - 08 Aug 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1023
Abstract
Aβ, IAPP, α-synuclein, and prion proteins belong to the amyloidogenic intrinsically disordered proteins’ family; indeed, they lack well defined secondary and tertiary structures. It is generally acknowledged that they are involved, respectively, in Alzheimer’s, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Parkinson’s, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob’s diseases. The [...] Read more.
Aβ, IAPP, α-synuclein, and prion proteins belong to the amyloidogenic intrinsically disordered proteins’ family; indeed, they lack well defined secondary and tertiary structures. It is generally acknowledged that they are involved, respectively, in Alzheimer’s, Type II Diabetes Mellitus, Parkinson’s, and Creutzfeldt–Jakob’s diseases. The molecular mechanism of toxicity is under intense debate, as many hypotheses concerning the involvement of the amyloid and the toxic oligomers have been proposed. However, the main role is represented by the interplay of protein and the cell membrane. Thus, the understanding of the interaction mechanism at the molecular level is crucial to shed light on the dynamics driving this phenomenon. There are plenty of factors influencing the interaction as mentioned above, however, the overall view is made trickier by the apparent irreproducibility and inconsistency of the data reported in the literature. Here, we contextualized this topic in a historical, and even more importantly, in a future perspective. We introduce two novel insights: the chemical equilibrium, always established in the aqueous phase between the free and the membrane phospholipids, as mediators of protein-transport into the core of the bilayer, and the symmetry-breaking of oligomeric aggregates forming an alternating array of partially ordered and disordered monomers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
The Conformational Plasticity Vista of PDZ Domains
Life 2020, 10(8), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080123 - 27 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 826
Abstract
The PDZ domain (PSD95-Discs large-ZO1) is a widespread modular domain present in the living organisms. A prevalent function in the PDZ family is to serve as scaffolding and adaptor proteins connecting multiple partners in signaling pathways. An explanation of the flexible functionality in [...] Read more.
The PDZ domain (PSD95-Discs large-ZO1) is a widespread modular domain present in the living organisms. A prevalent function in the PDZ family is to serve as scaffolding and adaptor proteins connecting multiple partners in signaling pathways. An explanation of the flexible functionality in this domain family, based just on a static perspective of the structure–activity relationship, might fall short. More dynamic and conformational aspects in the protein fold can be the reasons for such functionality. Folding studies indeed showed an ample and malleable folding landscape for PDZ domains where multiple intermediate states were experimentally detected. Allosteric phenomena that resemble energetic coupling between residues have also been found in PDZ domains. Additionally, several PDZ domains are modulated by post-translational modifications, which introduce conformational switches that affect binding. Altogether, the ability to connect diverse partners might arise from the intrinsic plasticity of the PDZ fold. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessReview
Interaction of Oxidative Stress and Misfolded Proteins in the Mechanism of Neurodegeneration
Life 2020, 10(7), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10070101 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1493
Abstract
Aggregation of the misfolded proteins β-amyloid, tau, huntingtin, and α-synuclein is one of the most important steps in the pathology underlying a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders, including the two most common ones—Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Activity and toxicity of these proteins depends [...] Read more.
Aggregation of the misfolded proteins β-amyloid, tau, huntingtin, and α-synuclein is one of the most important steps in the pathology underlying a wide spectrum of neurodegenerative disorders, including the two most common ones—Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Activity and toxicity of these proteins depends on the stage and form of aggregates. Excessive production of free radicals, including reactive oxygen species which lead to oxidative stress, is proven to be involved in the mechanism of pathology in most of neurodegenerative disorders. Both reactive oxygen species and misfolded proteins play a physiological role in the brain, and only deregulation in redox state and aggregation of the proteins leads to pathology. Here, we review the role of misfolded proteins in the activation of ROS production from various sources in neurons and glia. We discuss if free radicals can influence structural changes of the key toxic intermediates and describe the putative mechanisms by which oxidative stress and oligomers may cause neuronal death. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop