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Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Daniel D Waller, Jaeok Park, Youla S Tsantrizos
Dysregulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis is implicated in numerous biochemical disorders that play a role in the onset and/or progression of age-related diseases, such as hypercholesterolemia, osteoporosis, various cancers, and neurodegeneration. The mevalonate metabolic pathway is responsible for the biosynthesis of the two key isoprenoid metabolites, farnesyl pyrophosphate (FPP) and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate (GGPP). Post-translational prenylation of various proteins, including the small GTP-binding proteins (GTPases), with either FPP or GGPP is vital for proper localization and activation of these proteins...
February 18, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jihane Basbous, Angelos Constantinou
FANCM is named after Fanconi anemia (FA) complement group M. The clinical symptoms of FA include congenital abnormalities, pancytopenia, and cancer proneness. However, recent studies reveal that biallelic inactivation of FANCM does not cause the constellation of FA symptoms, but predisposes patients to cancer and infertility. FANCM is a tumor suppressor gene that encodes a conserved and structure-specific DNA translocase. It controls the outcome of homologous recombination and facilitates DNA replication across a variety of natural and chemically induced obstacles...
February 4, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yi Zhang, Wenyi Mi, Yongming Xue, Xiaobing Shi, Tatiana G Kutateladze
Although relatively small in size, the ZZ-type zinc finger (ZZ) domain is a versatile signaling module that is implicated in a diverse set of cell signaling events. Here, we highlight the most recent studies focused on the ZZ domain function as a histone reader and a sensor of protein degradation signals. We review and compare the molecular and structural mechanisms underlying targeting the amino-terminal sequences of histone H3 and arginylated substrates by the ZZ domain. We also discuss the ZZ domain sensitivity to histone PTMs and summarize biological outcomes associated with the recognition of histone and non-histone ligands by the ZZ domain-containing proteins and complexes...
January 28, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Shanmugasundaram Ganapathy-Kanniappan
Aerobic glycolysis is the process of oxidation of glucose into pyruvate followed by lactate production under normoxic condition. Distinctive from its anaerobic counterpart (i.e. glycolysis that occurs under hypoxia), aerobic glycolysis is frequently witnessed in cancers, popularly known as the "Warburg effect", and it is one of the earliest known evidences of metabolic alteration in neoplasms. Intracellularly, aerobic glycolysis circumvents mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OxPhos), facilitating an increased rate of glucose hydrolysis...
January 22, 2019: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Désirée Schatton, Elena I Rugarli
Mitochondria are dynamic and plastic organelles, which flexibly adapt morphology, ATP production, and metabolic function to meet extrinsic challenges and demands. Regulation of mitochondrial biogenesis is essential during development and in adult life to survive stress and pathological insults, and is achieved not only by increasing mitochondrial mass, but also by remodeling the organellar proteome, metabolome, and lipidome. In the last decade, the post-transcriptional regulation of the expression of nuclear-encoded mitochondrial proteins has emerged as a fast, flexible, and powerful mechanism to shape mitochondrial function and coordinate it with other cellular processes...
December 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
S Parakh, E R Perri, C J Jagaraj, A M G Ragagnin, J D Atkin
Rab GTPases are becoming increasingly implicated in neurodegenerative disorders, although their role in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) has been somewhat overlooked. However, dysfunction of intracellular transport is gaining increasing attention as a pathogenic mechanism in ALS. Many previous studies have focused axonal trafficking, and the extreme length of axons in motor neurons may contribute to their unique susceptibility in this disorder. In contrast, the role of transport defects within the cell body has been relatively neglected...
December 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Lyubov A Lebedeva, Konstantin V Yakovlev, Eugene N Kozlov, Paul Schedl, Girish Deshpande, Yulii V Shidlovskii
In most animal species, newly formed primordial germ cells (PGCs) acquire the special characteristics that distinguish them from the surrounding somatic cells. Proper fate specification of the PGCs is coupled with transcriptional quiescence, whether they are segregated by determinative or inductive mechanisms. Inappropriate differentiation of PGCs into somatic cells is thought to be prevented due to repression of RNA polymerase (Pol) II-dependent transcription. In the case of a determinative mode of PGC formation (Drosophila, Caenorhabditis elegans, etc...
October 3, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Matthias Fellner, Robert P Hausinger, Jian Hu
Derived from an ancient ATP-hydrolyzing Rossmann-like fold protein, members of the PP-loop ATP pyrophosphatase family feature an absolutely conserved P-loop-like "SxGxDS/T" motif used for binding and presenting ATP for substrate adenylylation (AMPylation). Since the first family member was reported more than 20 years ago, numerous representatives catalyzing very diverse reactions have been characterized both functionally and structurally. The availability of more than 100 high quality structures in the protein data bank provides an excellent opportunity to gain structural insights into the generally conserved catalytic mechanism and the uniqueness of the reactions catalyzed by family members...
October 3, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Jean-Hugues Guervilly, Pierre Henri Gaillard
The SLX4/FANCP tumor suppressor has emerged as a key player in the maintenance of genome stability, making pivotal contributions to the repair of interstrand cross-links, homologous recombination, and in response to replication stress genome-wide as well as at specific loci such as common fragile sites and telomeres. SLX4 does so in part by acting as a scaffold that controls and coordinates the XPF-ERCC1, MUS81-EME1, and SLX1 structure-specific endonucleases in different DNA repair and recombination mechanisms...
October 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Diana Gulei, Bogdan Petrut, Adrian Bogdan Tigu, Anca Onaciu, Eva Fischer-Fodor, Atanas G Atanasov, Calin Ionescu, Ioana Berindan-Neagoe
Cancer represents a heterogeneous disease with multiple levels of regulation and a dynamic environment that sustains the evolution of the malignant mass. This dynamic is in part sustained by a class of extracellular vesicles termed exosomes that are able to imprint the pathological state by incorporating differential cargos in order to facilitate cell-to-cell communication. Exosomes are stable within the extracellular medium and function as shuttles secreted by healthy or pathological cells, being further taken by the accepting cell with direct effects on its phenotype...
October 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Yu-Hang Xing, Ling-Ling Chen
Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are a family of conserved nuclear RNAs that function in the modification of small nuclear RNAs (snRNAs) or ribosomal RNAs (rRNAs), or participate in the processing of rRNAs during ribosome subunit maturation. Eukaryotic DNA transcription and RNA processing produce many long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) species. Although most lncRNAs are processed like typical mRNAs to be 5' capped and 3' polyadenylated, other types of lncRNAs are stabilized from primary Pol II transcripts by alternative mechanisms...
September 25, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Shafqat Rasool, Jean-François Trempe
Mutations in PINK1 cause early-onset recessive Parkinson's disease. This gene encodes a protein kinase implicated in mitochondrial quality control via ubiquitin phosphorylation and activation of the E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin. Here, we review and analyze functional features emerging from recent crystallographic, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and mass spectrometry studies of PINK1. We compare the apo and ubiquitin-bound PINK1 structures and reveal an allosteric switch, regulated by autophosphorylation, which modulates substrate recognition...
September 21, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Neel H Shah, Jeanine F Amacher, Laura M Nocka, John Kuriyan
Tyrosine kinases were first discovered as the protein products of viral oncogenes. We now know that this large family of metazoan enzymes includes nearly one hundred structurally diverse members. Tyrosine kinases are broadly classified into two groups: the transmembrane receptor tyrosine kinases, which sense extracellular stimuli, and the cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases, which contain modular ligand-binding domains and propagate intracellular signals. Several families of cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases have in common a core architecture, the "Src module," composed of a Src-homology 3 (SH3) domain, a Src-homology 2 (SH2) domain, and a kinase domain...
September 5, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Stéphanie Lebreton, Chiara Zurzolo, Simona Paladino
Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchored proteins (GPI-APs) are a class of proteins attached to the extracellular leaflet of the plasma membrane via a post-translational modification, the glycolipid anchor. The presence of both glycolipid anchor and protein portion confers them unique features. GPI-APs are expressed in all eukaryotes, from fungi to plants and animals. They display very diverse functions ranging from enzymatic activity, signaling, cell adhesion, cell wall metabolism, neuritogenesis, and immune response...
August 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
María-Eugenia Zaballa, F Gisou van der Goot
S-Acylation (commonly referred to as S-palmitoylation) is a post-translational modification consisting in the covalent attachment of an acyl chain to a cysteine residue of the target protein. The lability of the resulting thioester bond gives S-acylation an essential characteristic: its reversibility. S-acylation dynamically regulates different aspects in the life of a protein (including stability, localization, interactome, and function) and, thus, plays critical roles in cellular physiology. For long, the reversibility of S-acylation has been neglected and thereby its potential as a regulatory mechanism for protein function undervalued...
August 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Alexandra Vaisman, Roger Woodgate
The well-being of all living organisms relies on the accurate duplication of their genomes. This is usually achieved by highly elaborate replicase complexes which ensure that this task is accomplished timely and efficiently. However, cells often must resort to the help of various additional "specialized" DNA polymerases that gain access to genomic DNA when replication fork progression is hindered. One such specialized polymerase family consists of the so-called "translesion synthesis" (TLS) polymerases; enzymes that have evolved to replicate damaged DNA...
August 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Cassandra S Carroll, Margo M Moore
Iron is required for microbial growth and proliferation. To survive in low-iron environments, some microorganisms secrete ferric iron chelators called siderophores. Siderophore biosynthesis occurs via two pathways: the non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) pathway and the NRPS-independent siderophore (NIS) synthetase pathway. NIS enzymes function by adenylating a carboxylic acid substrate, typically citrate, or a derivative, followed by nucleophilic capture of an amine or alcohol and displacement of a citryl intermediate...
August 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Hong-Leong Cheah, Carsten A Raabe, Li-Pin Lee, Timofey S Rozhdestvensky, Marimuthu Citartan, Siti Aminah Ahmed, Thean-Hock Tang
Over the past decade, RNA-deep sequencing has uncovered copious non-protein coding RNAs (npcRNAs) in bacteria. Many of them are key players in the regulation of gene expression, taking part in various regulatory circuits, such as metabolic responses to different environmental stresses, virulence, antibiotic resistance, and host-pathogen interactions. This has contributed to the high adaptability of bacteria to changing or even hostile environments. Their mechanisms include the regulation of transcriptional termination, modulation of translation, and alteration of messenger RNA (mRNA) stability, as well as protein sequestration...
August 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Robert M Hughes
On-cue regulation of gene transcription is an invaluable tool for the study of biological processes and the development and integration of next-generation therapeutics. Ideal reagents for the precise regulation of gene transcription should be nontoxic to the host system, highly tunable, and provide a high level of spatial and temporal control. Light, when coupled with protein or small molecule-linked photoresponsive elements, presents an attractive means of meeting the demands of an ideal system for regulating gene transcription...
July 24, 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Angela Jeong, Kiall Francis Suazo, W Gibson Wood, Mark D Distefano, Ling Li
The mevalonate-isoprenoid-cholesterol biosynthesis pathway plays a key role in human health and disease. The importance of this pathway is underscored by the discovery that two major isoprenoids, farnesyl and geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate, are required to modify an array of proteins through a process known as protein prenylation, catalyzed by prenyltransferases. The lipophilic prenyl group facilitates the anchoring of proteins in cell membranes, mediating protein-protein interactions and signal transduction...
June 2018: Critical Reviews in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
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