Czech National Centre of the European Research Infrastructure Consortium INSTRUCT ERIC
Czech Infrastructure for Integrative Structural Biology – CIISB
Structure without function is a corpse, function without structure is a ghost.
S. Vogel and S. A. Weinwright, 1969
A gateway to realm of structural data for biochemists, biophysicists, molecular biologist, and all scientists whose research benefits from accurate structure determination of biological macromolecules, assemblies, and complex molecular machineries at atomic resolution.
Open access to 10 high-end core facilities and assisted expertise in NMR, X-ray crystallography and crystallization, cryo-electron microscopy and tomography, biophysical characterization of biomolecular interaction, nanobiotechnology, proteomics and structural mass spectrometry.
A distributed infrastructure constituted by Core Facilities of CEITEC (Central European Institute of Technology), located in Brno, and BIOCEV (Biotechnology and Biomedicine Centre), located in Vestec near Prague, Central Bohemia.
Instruct-ERIC workshop on Computational Approaches in Integration of Structural Biology Techniques
On October 8 – 10, the Institute of Biotechnology of the Czech Academy of Sciences organised an Instruct – ERIC workshop on Computational Approaches in Integration of Structural Biology Techniques.
The 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Is awarded to John Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino “for the development of lithium-ion batteries”.
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2019
is awarded jointly to William G. Kaelin Jr, Sir Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza “for their discoveries of how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.”
the best of science obtained using CIISB Core Facilities
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2019
(A) Cryo-EM structure of RV-B5 complexed to OBR-5-340 colored radially as indicated by the color bar. Distance from the viral center is 130 Å (white) to 160 Å (dark blue). (B) Example of the quality of the maps of RV-B5 with OBR-5-340 (Left) and without OBR-5-340 (Right). (C) View centered on OBR-5-340 (yellow) in complex with RV-B5 (red). For comparison, the control, i.e., RV-B5 solved in the absence of inhibitor (blue), is overlaid. Residues nearby and contributed by VP1 are labeled. (D) RV-B5 solved in the absence of OBR-5-340. Note the absence of density at the position where the inhibitor is seen in the complex.
More than 160 rhinovirus (RV) types cause about a billion respiratory infections annually in the United States alone, contributing to influenza-like illness. This diversity makes vaccination impractical. Existing small-molecule inhibitors target RVs by binding to a hydrophobic pocket in the capsid but exhibit side effects, resistance, and/or mutational escape, impeding registration as drugs. The pyrazolopyrimidine OBR-5-340 acts like other capsid binders by preventing conformational changes required for genome release. However, by using cryo-EM, we show that OBR-5-340 inhibits the naturally pleconaril-resistant RV-B5 by attaching close to the pocket entrance in a binding geometry different from that of most capsid binders. Combinations of inhibitors with disparate binding modes might thus effectively combat RVs while reducing the risk of resistance development.
Wald, J., Pasin, M., Richter, M., Walther, C., Mathai, N., Kirchmair, J., Makarov, V. M., Goessweiner-Mohr, N., Marlovits, T. C., Zanella, I., Real-Hohn, A., Verdaguer, N., Blaas, D., and Schmidtke. M.: Cryo-EM structure of pleconaril-resistant rhinovirus-B5 complexed to the antiviral OBR-5-340 reveals unexpected binding site, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2019, 116 (38), 19109-19115.https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1904732116
J. AM. CHEM. SOC. 2019
Double-staining (PI/FAM) FCM analysis (A) and confocal microscopy images (B) of cells co-transfected with the (FAM)-MHDNA: netropsin (1:1) complex. In panel (A), the percentages of viable non-transfected cells, viable MH-DNA containing cells, dead/compromised non-transfected cells, and dead/compromised transfected cells are indicated in the bottom-left, bottom-right, top-left, and top-right quadrants, respectively. In panel (B), the green color marks the localization of (FAM)-MH-DNA, while the blue color marks cellc nuclei stained with Hoechst 33342. (C) Deconvoluted imino regions of 1D 1H NMR spectra of MH-DNA in vitro and the 1:1 MHDNA: netropsin complex in vitro and in cells. NMR spectra of extracellular fluid taken from the sample after in-cell NMR spectral acquisition and of non-transfected cells (cellular background) are shown in gray. The vertical green and blue dashed lines mark imino signals specific to the unbound and ligand-bound forms of MH-DNA, respectively.
Studies on DNA−ligand interactions in the cellular environment are problematic due to the lack of suitable biophysical tools. To address this need, we developed an in-cell NMR-based approach for monitoring DNA−ligand interactions inside the nuclei of living human cells. Our method relies on the acquisition of NMR data from cells electroporated with preformed DNA−ligand complexes. The impact of the intracellular environment on the integrity of the complexes is assessed based on in-cellNMR signals from unbound and ligand-bound forms of a given DNA target. This technique was tested on complexes of two model DNA fragments and four ligands, namely, a representative DNA minor-groove binder (netropsin) and ligands binding DNA base-pairing defects (naphthalenophanes). In the latter case, we demonstrate that two of the three in vitro -validated ligands retain their ability to form stable interactions with their model target DNA in cellulo, whereas the third one loses this ability due to off -target interactions with genomic DNA and cellular metabolites. Collectively, our data suggest that direct evaluation of the behavior of druglike molecules in the intracellular environment provides important insights into the development of DNA-binding ligands with desirable biological activity and minimal side effects resulting from off -target binding.
Krafcikova, M., Dzatko, S., Caron, C., Granzhan, A., Fiala, R., Loja, T., Teulade-Fichou, M-P., Fessl, T., Hänsel-Hertsch, R., Mergny, J-L., Foldynova-Trantirkova, S., and Trantirek, L.: Monitoring DNA−Ligand Interactions in Living Human Cells Using NMR Spectroscopy, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 13281-13825, DOI:10.1021/jacs.9b03031
literature to read, science to follow
In this section, a distinct selection of six highly stimulating research publications and reviews published during past 6 months is presented. It is our hope that links to exciting science, which deserves attention of the structural biology community, will help you to locate gems in the steadily expanding jungle of scientific literature. You are welcome to point out to any paper you found interesting by sending a link or citation to email@example.com. The section is being updated regularly.
Principles for Integrative Structural Biology Studies
Guru of integrative structural biology computation Andrej Sali and Michale P. Rout summarize in the recent Cell Primer Principles for Integrative Structural Biology Studies.
A standardized citation metrics author database annotated for scientific field
Citation metrics are widely used and misused. John P. A. Ioannidis et. al. created a publicly available data-base of 100,000 top scientists that provides standardized information on citations, h-index, co-authorship-adjusted hm-index, citations to papers in different authorship positions, and a composite indicator. Separate data are shown for career-long and single-year impact. Metrics with and without self-citations and ratio of citations to citing papers are given. Scientists are classified into 22 scientific fields and 176 subfields. Field- and subfield-specific percentiles are also provided for all scientists who have published at least five papers. Career-long data are updated to end of 2017 and to end of 2018 for comparison.
How structure informs and transforms chemogenetics
Chemogenetic technologies such as Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) are widely used to remotely control neuronal and non-neuronal signaling. DREADDs exist for most of the canonical G protein-coupled receptor signaling pathways, and provide a synthetic biology platform useful for elucidating the role of neuronal signaling for brain function. Here, Bryan L. Roth presents a focused review that shows how recent insights obtained from GPCR structural studies inform our understanding of these chemogenetic tools from a structural perspective.
Emerging structural insights into glycosyltransferase-mediated synthesis of glycans
Glycans linked to proteins and lipids play key roles in biology; thus, accurate replication of cellular glycans is crucial for maintaining function following cell division. Several recent crystal structures of glycosyltransferases with bound acceptor substrates reveal that these enzymes have common core structures that function as scaffolds upon which variable loops are inserted to confer substrate specificity and correctly orient the nucleophilic hydroxyl group. K. W. Moremen and R. S. Haltiwanger in Nature Chemical Biology review argue that the varied approaches for acceptor binding site assembly suggest that an ongoing evolution of these loop regions provides templates for assembly of the diverse glycan structures observed in biology.
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases as therapeutic targets
Aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (ARSs) are essential enzymes for protein synthesis with evolutionarily conserved enzymatic mechanisms. Recent genomic, proteomic and functionomic advances have unveiled unexpected disease-associated mutations and altered expression, secretion and interactions in human ARSs, revealing hidden biological functions beyond their catalytic roles in protein synthesis. These studies have also brought to light their potential as a rich and unexplored source for new therapeutic targets and agents through multiple avenues, including direct targeting of the catalytic sites, controlling disease-associated protein–protein interactions and developing novel biologics from the secreted ARS proteins or their parts. Sunghoon Kim et. al. in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery address the emerging biology and therapeutic applications of human ARSs in diseases including autoimmune and rare diseases, and cancer.
Atomic Force Microscopy Based Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy in Biology
Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (TERS), one of the burgeoning probing techniques, can provide not only the topography characterization with high resolution, but also can deliver the chemical or molecular information of a sample beyond the optical diffraction limitation. In this review, Bo Liu et. al. mainly focus on the applications of AFM-TERS in three biological systems: nucleic acids, proteins and pathogens. From the TERS characterization to the data analysis, this review demonstrates that AFM-TERS has great potential applications to visually characterizing the biomolecular structure and crucially detecting more nano-chemical information of biological systems.
Quote of October
“Siamo locomotive, non vagoni.”Ivano Bertini (1940-2012)