Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 63 Next

Highlights of Coronavirus Structural Studies

9 Sep 2022

A public antibody class recognizes an S2 epitope exposed on open conformations of SARS-CoV-2 spike (Nature Communications)

Delineating the origins and properties of antibodies elicited by SARS-CoV-2 infection and vaccination is critical for understanding their benefits and potential shortcomings. Therefore, we investigate the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S)-reactive B cell repertoire in unexposed individuals by flow cytometry and single-cell sequencing. We show that similar to 82% of SARS-CoV-2 S-reactive B cells harbor a naive phenotype, which represents an unusually high fraction of total human naive B cells (similar to 0.1%). Approximately 10% of these naive S-reactive B cells share an IGHV1-69/IGKV3-11 B cell receptor pairing, an enrichment of 18-fold compared to the complete naive repertoire. Following SARS-CoV-2 infection, we report an average 37-fold enrichment of IGHV1-69/IGKV3-11 B cell receptor pairing in the S-reactive memory B cells compared to the unselected memory repertoire. This class of B cells targets a previously undefined non-neutralizing epitope on the S2 subunit that becomes exposed on S proteins used in approved vaccines when they transition away from the native pre-fusion state because of instability. These findings can help guide the improvement of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines.

To fully understand the potential shortcomings of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination, it is necessary to delineate the properties of the antibodies elicited, during immunization, and also infection. Through investigation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike-reactive B cell repertoire, authors identify following infection, a subset of B cells enriched and almost exclusively target a non-neutralizing S2 epitope present in aberrant forms.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 35 Next

Reader's Corner Archive

10 Jul

Solid-state NMR molecular snapshots of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall architecture during a conidial morphotype transition)

While establishing an invasive infection, the dormant conidia of Aspergillus fumigatustransit through swollen and germinating stages, to form hyphae. During this morphotype transition, the conidial cell wall undergoes dynamic remodeling, which poses challenges to the host immune system and antifungal drugs. However, such cell wall reorganization during conidial germination has not been studied so far. Here, we explored the molecular rearrangement of Aspergillus fumigatus cell wall polysaccharides during different stages of germination. We took advantage of magic-angle spinning NMR to investigate the cell wall polysaccharides, without employing any destructive method for sample preparation. The breaking of dormancy was associated with a significant change in the molar ratio between the major polysaccharides β-1,3-glucan and α-1,3-glucan, while chitin remained equally abundant. The use of various polarization transfers allowed the detection of rigid and mobile polysaccharides; the appearance of mobile galactosaminogalactan was a molecular hallmark of germinating conidia. We also report for the first time highly abundant triglyceride lipids in the mobile matrix of conidial cell walls. Water to polysaccharides polarization transfers revealed an increased surface exposure of glucans during germination, while chitin remained embedded deeper in the cell wall, suggesting a molecular compensation mechanism to keep the cell wall rigidity. We complement the NMR analysis with confocal and atomic force microscopies to explore the role of melanin and RodA hydrophobin on the dormant conidial surface. Exemplified here using Aspergillus fumigatus as a model, our approach provides a powerful tool to decipher the molecular remodeling of fungal cell walls during their morphotype switching.

13 Jun

The SPOC domain is a phosphoserine binding module that bridges transcription machinery with co- and post-transcriptional regulators (Nature Communications)

The heptad repeats of the C-terminal domain (CTD) of RNA polymerase II (Pol II) are extensively modified throughout the transcription cycle. The CTD coordinates RNA synthesis and processing by recruiting transcription regulators as well as RNA capping, splicing and 3’end processing factors. The SPOC domain of PHF3 was recently identified as a CTD reader domain specifically binding to phosphorylated serine-2 residues in adjacent CTD repeats. Here, we establish the SPOC domains of the human proteins DIDO, SHARP (also known as SPEN) and RBM15 as phosphoserine binding modules that can act as CTD readers but also recognize other phosphorylated binding partners. We report the crystal structure of SHARP SPOC in complex with CTD and identify the molecular determinants for its specific binding to phosphorylated serine-5. PHF3 and DIDO SPOC domains preferentially interact with the Pol II elongation complex, while RBM15 and SHARP SPOC domains engage with writers and readers of m6A, the most abundant RNA modification. RBM15 positively regulates m6A levels and mRNA stability in a SPOC-dependent manner, while SHARP SPOC is essential for its localization to inactive X-chromosomes. Our findings suggest that the SPOC domain is a major interface between the transcription machinery and regulators of transcription and co-transcriptional processes.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 29 Next

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.