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#28931821   2017/09/21 Save this To Up

Measuring the effects of particle orientation to improve the efficiency of electron cryomicroscopy.

The orientation distribution of a single-particle electron cryomicroscopy specimen limits the resolution of the reconstructed density map. Here we define a statistical quantity, the efficiency, E od, which characterises the orientation distribution via its corresponding point spread function. The efficiency measures the ability of the distribution to provide uniform information and resolution in all directions of the reconstruction, independent of other factors. This metric allows rapid and rigorous evaluation of specimen preparation methods, assisting structure determination to high resolution with minimal data.A number of parameters influence the resolution of a cryo-EM structure. Here the authors investigate the effects of specimen orientation in single particle cryo-EM and present open-source software for rapidly assessing orientation distributions to improve data collection.

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#28930353   2017/09/20 Save this To Up

Interplay between bulk self-assembly, interfacial and foaming properties in a catanionic surfactant mixture of varying composition.

The self-aggregation, surface properties and foamability of the catanionic surfactant mixture cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB)/sodium octyl sulfonate (SOSo) have been investigated to obtain insight on the relation between bulk nanostructures, surfactant packing, and foam stability and aging. Light microscopy, SANS, cryo-TEM, DLS, surface tension, rheometry and direct photography were used to characterize mixtures with varying CTAB molar fraction, xCTAB. In the bulk, self-assembly is richer in the excess CTAB region than in the excess SOSo one. Starting from neat CTAB micelles and on addition of anionic surfactant, there is a change from small ellipsoidal micelles (1 < xCTAB ≤ 0.80) to large rodlike micelles (0.65 ≤ xCTAB ≤ 0.55) and then to vesicles (0 < xCTAB ≤ 0.50), with coexistence regions in between; SOSo-rich mixtures are thus dominated by vesicles. High size polydispersity for the micelles and vesicles is an intrinsic feature of this system. Foam stability is concomitantly impacted by xCTAB. SOSo is a small mobile molecule and so it disrupts foam stability, irrespective of the presence of vesicles. Foams are thus only stable in the CTAB-rich regions, and SANS shows that the shape of micelles and vesicles is unchanged inside the foam. Foam drainage is thereby mostly controlled by the presence of the elongated micelles through the solution viscosity, whereas coarsening is influenced by dense surfactant packing at the gas-liquid interfaces.

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#28929138   2017/09/20 Save this To Up

CryoEM structure of MxB reveals a novel oligomerization interface critical for HIV restriction.

Human dynamin-like, interferon-induced myxovirus resistance 2 (Mx2 or MxB) is a potent HIV-1 inhibitor. Antiviral activity requires both the amino-terminal region of MxB and protein oligomerization, each of which has eluded structural determination due to difficulties in protein preparation. We report that maltose binding protein-fused, full-length wild-type MxB purifies as oligomers and further self-assembles into helical arrays in physiological salt. Guanosine triphosphate (GTP), but not guanosine diphosphate, binding results in array disassembly, whereas subsequent GTP hydrolysis allows its reformation. Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM), we determined the MxB assembly structure at 4.6 Å resolution, representing the first near-atomic resolution structure in the mammalian dynamin superfamily. The structure revealed previously described and novel MxB assembly interfaces. Mutational analyses demonstrated a critical role for one of the novel interfaces in HIV-1 restriction.

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#28927798   2017/09/20 Save this To Up

Effect of charcoal:dextran stripped fetal bovine serum on in vitro development of bovine embryos.

This study investigated the ability of charcoal:dextran stripped fetal bovine serum (CDS FBS) and heat-inactivated fetal bovine serum (HI FBS) to support in vitro development of bovine embryos. The developmental ability and quality of bovine embryos were determined by assessing their cell number, lipid content, mitochondrial activity, gene expression, and cryo-tolerance. The percentage of embryos that formed a blastocyst was significantly (P<0.05) higher in medium containing CDS FBS than in medium containing HI FBS (42.84±0.78% vs. 36.85±0.89%, respectively). Furthermore, the beneficial effects of CDS FBS on embryos were associated with significantly (P<0.05) increased mitochondrial activity, as identified by MitoTracker Green, as well as a reduced intracellular lipid content, as identified by Nile red staining, which increased their cryo-tolerance. Quantitative reverse transcription PCR showed that the mRNA levels of acyl-CoA synthetase long-chain family member 3, acyl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase long-chain, hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA reductase, and insulin-like growth factor 2 receptor were significantly (P<0.05) increased upon culture with CDS FBS. Moreover, the mRNA levels of sirtuin 1, superoxide dismutase 2, and the anti-apoptotic gene B-cell lymphoma 2 in frozen-thawed blastocysts were significantly (P<0.05) higher in the CDS FBS-supplemented group than in the HI FBS-supplemented group, whereas that of the pro-apoptotic gene BCL2-associated X protein was significantly lower. Taken together, these data suggest that supplementation of medium with CDS FBS improves the in vitro developmental competence and cryo-tolerance of bovine embryos.

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#28925789   2017/09/19 Save this To Up

Motile cilia defects in diseases other than primary ciliary dyskinesia: The contemporary diagnostic and research role for transmission electron microscopy.

Ultrastructural studies have underpinned the cell biological and clinical investigations of the varied roles of motile cilia in health and disease, with a long history since the 1950s. Recent developments from transmission electron microscopy (TEM; cryo-electron microscopy, electron tomography) have yielded higher resolution and fresh insights into the structure and function of these complex organelles. Microscopy in ciliated organisms, disease models, and in patients with ciliopathy diseases has dramatically expanded our understanding of the ubiquity, multisystem involvement, and importance of cilia in normal human development. Here, we review the importance of motile cilia ultrastructural studies in understanding the basis of diseases other than primary ciliary dyskinesia.

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#28925324   2017/09/19 Save this To Up


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#28923924   2017/09/19 Save this To Up

Near-atomic structure of jasplakinolide-stabilized malaria parasite F-actin reveals the structural basis of filament instability.

During their life cycle, apicomplexan parasites, such as the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum, use actomyosin-driven gliding motility to move and invade host cells. For this process, actin filament length and stability are temporally and spatially controlled. In contrast to canonical actin, P. falciparum actin 1 (PfAct1) does not readily polymerize into long, stable filaments. The structural basis of filament instability, which plays a pivotal role in host cell invasion, and thus infectivity, is poorly understood, largely because high-resolution structures of PfAct1 filaments were missing. Here, we report the near-atomic structure of jasplakinolide (JAS)-stabilized PfAct1 filaments determined by electron cryomicroscopy. The general filament architecture is similar to that of mammalian F-actin. The high resolution of the structure allowed us to identify small but important differences at inter- and intrastrand contact sites, explaining the inherent instability of apicomplexan actin filaments. JAS binds at regular intervals inside the filament to three adjacent actin subunits, reinforcing filament stability by hydrophobic interactions. Our study reveals the high-resolution structure of a small molecule bound to F-actin, highlighting the potential of electron cryomicroscopy for structure-based drug design. Furthermore, our work serves as a strong foundation for understanding the structural design and evolution of actin filaments and their function in motility and host cell invasion of apicomplexan parasites.

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#28922324   2017/09/18 Save this To Up

Biological properties and therapeutic value of cryopreserved fat tissue.

Fat grafting frequently requires multiple treatments and thus repeated liposuction to achieve treatment goals. The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether cryopreservation of adipose tissue may facilitate future fat grafting.

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#28912485   2017/09/15 Save this To Up

Serial millisecond crystallography for routine room-temperature structure determination at synchrotrons.

Historically, room-temperature structure determination was succeeded by cryo-crystallography to mitigate radiation damage. Here, we demonstrate that serial millisecond crystallography at a synchrotron beamline equipped with high-viscosity injector and high frame-rate detector allows typical crystallographic experiments to be performed at room-temperature. Using a crystal scanning approach, we determine the high-resolution structure of the radiation sensitive molybdenum storage protein, demonstrate soaking of the drug colchicine into tubulin and native sulfur phasing of the human G protein-coupled adenosine receptor. Serial crystallographic data for molecular replacement already converges in 1,000-10,000 diffraction patterns, which we collected in 3 to maximally 82 minutes. Compared with serial data we collected at a free-electron laser, the synchrotron data are of slightly lower resolution, however fewer diffraction patterns are needed for de novo phasing. Overall, the data we collected by room-temperature serial crystallography are of comparable quality to cryo-crystallographic data and can be routinely collected at synchrotrons.Serial crystallography was developed for protein crystal data collection with X-ray free-electron lasers. Here the authors present several examples which show that serial crystallography using high-viscosity injectors can also be routinely employed for room-temperature data collection at synchrotrons.

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#28894095   2017/09/12 Save this To Up

Atomic structures of Coxsackievirus A6 and its complex with a neutralizing antibody.

Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) has recently emerged as a major cause of hand, foot and mouth disease in children worldwide but no vaccine is available against CVA6 infections. Here, we demonstrate the isolation of two forms of stable CVA6 particles-procapsid and A-particle-with excellent biochemical stability and natural antigenicity to serve as vaccine candidates. Despite the presence (in A-particle) or absence (in procapsid) of capsid-RNA interactions, the two CVA6 particles have essentially identical atomic capsid structures resembling the uncoating intermediates of other enteroviruses. Our near-atomic resolution structure of CVA6 A-particle complexed with a neutralizing antibody maps an immune-dominant neutralizing epitope to the surface loops of VP1. The structure-guided cell-based inhibition studies further demonstrate that these loops could serve as excellent targets for designing anti-CVA6 vaccines.Coxsackievirus A6 (CVA6) causes hand, foot and mouth disease in children. Here the authors present the CVA6 procapsid and A-particle cryo-EM structures and identify an immune-dominant neutralizing epitope, which can be exploited for vaccine development.

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