The kidney releases a non-polymerizing form of Uromodulin in the urine and circulation that retains the external hydrophobic patch domain

Uromodulin (Tamm-Horsfall protein, THP) is a glycoprotein uniquely produced in the kidney. It is released by cells of the thick ascending limbs (TAL) apically in the urine, and basolaterally in the renal interstitium and systemic circulation. Processing of mature urinary THP, which polymerizes into supra-molecular filaments, requires cleavage of an external hydrophobic patch (EHP) at the C-terminus. However, THP in the circulation is not polymerized, and it remains unclear if non-aggregated forms of THP exist natively in the urine.
We propose that an alternative processing path, which retains the EHP domain, can lead to a non-polymerizing form of THP. We generated an antibody that specifically recognizes THP with retained EHP (THP+EHP) and established its presence in the urine in a non-polymerized native state. Proteomic characterization of urinary THP+EHP revealed its C-terminus ending at F617. In the human kidney, THP+EHP was detected in TAL cells, and less strongly in the renal parenchyma.
Using immunoprecipitation followed by proteomic sequencing and immunoblotting, we then demonstrated that serum THP has also retained EHP. In a small cohort of patients at risk for acute kidney injury (AKI), admission urinary THP+EHP was significantly lower in patients who subsequently developed AKI during hospitalization. Our findings uncover novel insights into uromodulin biology by establishing the presence of an alternative path for cellular processing, which could explain the release of non-polymerizing THP in circulation joplink Immobilized Papain. Larger studies are needed to establish the utility of urinary THP+EHP as a sensitive biomarker of kidney health and susceptibility to injury.

A crystal-processing machine using a deep-ultraviolet laser: application to long-wavelength native SAD experiments

While native SAD phasing is a promising method for next-generation macromolecular crystallography, it requires the collection of high-quality diffraction data using long-wavelength X-rays. The crystal itself and the noncrystalline medium around the crystal can cause background noise during long-wavelength X-ray data collection, hampering native SAD phasing. Optimizing the crystal size and shape or removing noncrystalline sample portions have thus been considered to be effective means of improving the data quality. A crystal-processing machine that uses a deep-UV laser has been developed.
The machine utilizes the pulsed UV laser soft ablation (PULSA) technique, which generates less heat than methods using infrared or visible lasers. Since protein crystals are sensitive to heat damage, PULSA is an appropriate method to process them. Integration of a high-speed Galvano scanner and a high-precision goniometer enables protein crystals to be shaped precisely and efficiently. Application of this crystal-processing machine to a long-wavelength X-ray diffraction experiment significantly improved the diffraction data quality and thereby increased the success rate in experimental phasing using anomalous diffraction from atoms.

Development of high-resolution multidimensional native protein microfluidic chip electrophoresis fingerprinting and its application in the quick analysis of unknown microorganisms

The unascertained, constant mutation and emergence of new types of microorganisms present significant challenges to their detection. Differing from the focus on the limited local 16S rRNA gene or protein markers, characteristic whole fingerprint technologies at the omic level are particularly suitable for unknown analytes since accurate knowledge about the constituents is not necessarily required.
Herein, through a combination of several innovative strategies, including pure water isotachophoresis integrated (2 + 1)D electrophoresis, inversion-funnel peak stacking channel geometry and COMSOL computer-aided fluid simulation, high-resolution whole protein 2D native microfluidic chip electrophoresis was achieved within less than 1 min. The highest ever reported peak capacity for native 2D chip electrophoresis was obtained.
Furthermore, taking Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus subtilis as model analytes without protein biomarker information, the feasibility of the identification and semiqualification of unknown microbes in pure or mixed samples was explored with the utilisation of original algorithms, including SIFT feature abstraction and a global information entropy combined support vector machine.
As such, the multidisciplinary cooperation in the present study demonstrates monstrated promising prospects for microfluidic chip electropherogram fingerprint-based quick microorganism assays, biointeraction studies, and drug screenings, even if the analytes are not fully ascertained.

Drug targeting opportunities en route to Ras nanoclusters

Disruption of the native membrane organization of Ras by the farnesyltransferase inhibitor tipifarnib in the late 1990s constituted the first indirect approach to drug target Ras. Since then, our understanding of how dynamically Ras shuttles between subcellular locations has changed significantly. Ras proteins have to arrive at the plasma membrane for efficient MAPK-signal propagation. On the plasma membrane Ras proteins are organized into isoform specific proteo-lipid assemblies called nanocluster.
Recent evidence suggests that Ras nanocluster have a specific lipid composition, which supports the recruitment of effectors such as Raf. Conversely, effectors possess lipid-recognition motifs, which appear to serve as co-incidence detectors for the lipid domain of a given Ras isoform. Evidence suggests that dimeric Raf proteins then co-assemble dimeric Ras in an immobile complex, thus forming the minimal unit of an active nanocluster.
Here we review established and novel trafficking chaperones and trafficking factors of Ras, along with the set of lipid and protein modulators of Ras nanoclustering. We highlight drug targeting approaches and opportunities against these determinants of functional Ras membrane organization. Finally, we reflect on implications for Ras signaling in polarized cells, such as epithelia, which are a common origin of tumorigenesis.

The native state conformational heterogeneity in the energy landscape of protein folding

The native structure of proteins is central to various functions performed by cells. A vital part of the structure-function paradigm of proteins is their inherent flexibility and dynamics. The dynamic interconversion between the conformational substates in the heterogeneous native state basin of the energy landscape enables a single protein molecule to perform multiple functions. The dynamics among the substates are assisted by the motion of different structural elements of a protein out of which side-chains of amino acids hold a significant position due to their involvement in various functions such as molecular recognition and dynamic allostery.
This review briefly describes the origin of conformational heterogeneity in the native state ensemble and the motions of different structural modules that assist the equilibrium dynamics of the conformational substates. The review then centers the discussion on conformational heterogeneity due to side-chain movements in proteins, the experimental methods to detect and characterize them, and their role in performing multiple functions.

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